YOU go get a perm, Dick.

I met a young lady a few weeks ago who broke my heart. A little. Since my arms were full, she – let’s call her Angel – greeted me with a warm half hug and a loving cheek squish followed up with a shower of compliments to my freshly chopped low fade. Angel went on to say she’d been natural before, but her husband (let’s call him Dick) told her to “go back.”

*sings whatcha say to me??! in my Sampha voice*

Smoothing her gelled nape, she claimed to be a lil rebel who let it get a little nappy before scheduling a retouch. Somehow I maintained an engaged, non-wtf expression as my stomach sunk a bit. We ended the segment with Angel saying she’d again return natural… one day.

Now I am no relationship expert but I know enough to know that when you love and when you’re in love, looks do not matter as much as they might when you’re an outsider looking in. But I also understand that you don’t want to lose who you were initially attracted to, especially if it entails sacrificing your lover’s health, right Dick?! Like gaining an unhealthy amount of weight or going in for elective surgeries, suctions and injections. I’ve seen men watch their wives wither away from cancer and chemo treatments, holding on even after her last heartbeat. So I know for a fact, through the eyes of a good person, character (and love) trumps appearance E V E R Y time.

But a relaxer? Dammit Dick! C’mon! I’m not judging (I’m judging) because Angel let you take the undeserved W, but really, you both lost. And what if you have a son? OMG what if you two have a daughter?! Or twin girls?? What will your choices + ideals teach them? Angel and I didn’t get that deep, but I’m guessing your views hurt her enough to open up to a stranger about her husband’s negative opinion. It’s fair to say I met a real life Unhappy Wife.

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I think we, Black people in the year 2017, know that CHEMICALLY relaxing + perming, especially for a long period of time, has great risks. We have to. If you don’t, please come out from under that huge rock, step into the 21st century + educate yourself. Look at the photos of the sometimes irreversible damage to our hair, scalp and psyche. I’d be all #teamhubby if you’d met and fell for an all natural Angel and she was now sporting a relaxer. But that’s not the case. Even if she’s a natural mess (which is tragic, but workwithable), Dick, you as her friend and life partner should have been tirelessly hunting down the nearest natural hair stylist and/or helping Angel find a formula to ease her hair struggles! You know, putting good use to some of those vows you took. I promise you it’s not that difficult with Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, FaceBook, Google, Bing, yahoo! answers, the girl with the fro in the drugstore, phonebooks, aunties, nieces, mamas, neighbors, cousins, co-workers, working thumbs and a voice.

Instead, what Dick’s telling Angel is that he cares more about her looks than her health. And happiness. Those vows, Dick! Those vows! Dick is telling Angel that her positive life changes don’t matter. Dick rests easy knowing that his spouse’s scalp is continuously burned by a cocktail of chemicals that will flatten and strip all life + uniqueness from otherwise strong, thick kinks and coils. What kind of man …?

Dick, if you’re reading, please know that I do not appreciate you or your kind shutting down the permanent wave that is natural hair. Sure it is just hair, but you’re an African in America and you know that collectively, hair is much much more than just hair to us. Our manes and minds have been pillaged for centuries by e v e r y o n e, including us! And here you are, perpetuating our enslavement and stifling our new growth (pun intended). Dick, you should be applauding the Black woman who chooses the natural route; although it may appear so, thanks to you/society/slavery/lack of support/Black codes/non-African hair promotion + fetishization/whitewashing/hair care aisles/self-loathing negroes/lack of resources/european beauty standards, it’s not always easy to let our natural selves be.

You chose one of the brave ones as a wife, you lucky Dick! You are so fortunate to have a smart, loving Black woman at your side who actually prefers to embrace her natural beauty in a world that condemns + mocks her entire being. Our crowns are a beautiful spectrum of curl patterns and textures and expressions that no other people can claim and we should be celebrating that, Dick. I know how divisive some pro-natural naturalistas can be and that’s not why I’m here. We’re all at different stages with different ideals and I can only pray that all African men and women see the power, strength + beauty in our natural selves. It’s a struggle to dismiss what we’ve been indoctrinated to define as beautiful. No fault of ours, but if we see someone trying to make that shift, let’s just back them for being courageous.

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P.S. Shout out to Josie who rocked her natural out for the first time! Whoop! That’s a small step to giant! Keep inspiring 😉

photo © rachelstewartjewelry.com

Black Hair v. White Laws [a reblog]

It’s modern day colonization. An invasion of our follicles. A new Black Code.

I say bleep that bleep and do not support anyone or anything that doesn’t accept our hair in its natural glory. And yes, that includes schools and workplaces. I know it’s often easier said than done because we need jobs, right? Maybe. Some source of income. Sure. But why would I subject myself to mistreatment for wearing my hair how it’s been historically worn? You know, straight from my scalp.

Why does it matter what my hair looks like if I’m qualified with a great work ethic?

If it’s not a safety or hygienic concern, then why have these conversations?

Maaaaybe because it can only apply to us with our natural hair that grows up like a flower kissing the sky or can mimic the roots, branches and trunk of a mighty Baobab. Maybe it’s that deep seated, murder-what-I-can’t-control hateration, a culturally exclusive rule for the only people that can rock big kinky fros, cornrows, Bantu knots, and locs. Effortlessly. Without appropriating or looking dirty or foolish.

Shrugs.

Maybe.

“do we really want justice scalia weighing in on black hair?” my white law school classmate thought his statement was funny, but it made me feel invisible. i was sitting in my american racism and the… View Post

via From Cornrows to Dreadlocks: Why It’s Time the Court Respected Black Hair — politics & fashion

Black Every Friday: Black Women, Don’t Get Bamboozled

Black Women Don’t Get Bamboozled: White/Non-Black Hair Companies Are Now Trying to Peddle Black Women Natural Hair Products.

I’m so disappointed with Carol’s Daughter! I used this brand religiously when I returned natural and now.. I just can’t. L’oreal tho? Really?!

Oyin HandmadeShea MoistureKinky-Curly and Thank God It’s Natural are a few of my favorite Black-owned hair care brands that are easy to find and don’t break the bank. There are tons of others out there so there is no excuse not to support our sisters and brothers when caring for our hair.

drugstore beauty: summer edition

I live in the dirty dirty and you know it gets super sticky, so my “beauty” regimen has adapted accordingly from winter to summer, southwest desert to.. um.. tropic thunder? Anyway, here’s my current hair to toe lineup:

c r o w n


coconut-oil

Coconut oil, my loyal best friend, transcends the seasons. I like to mix a little with my daily moisturizing spray. The combination is hydrating, smelly good and doesn’t get all gross when it’s humid {which is like everyday}.

beautyWhen I first returned natural, Carol’s Daughter was one of the first brands I tried and liked, and I’m getting back into it because it’s available at my local Target instead of just Macy’s and online. I suggest giving it a go if you have thick and/or natural hair and need a light, daily moisturizer. Plus it’s a Black-owned brand and smells aahhhmazing!

f a c e + b o d y


beauty7Y’all already  know I love Burt’s Bees and their latest vanilla bean stick is my new fav! {The mango butter is now a close runner up.} It’s provides great hydration throughout the seasons.

beauty4Oyin Handmade’s Honey Water is my new beloved. It is just perfect for these sticky southern summers and is only available in summer and spring. It’s built with with glycerin instead of oil, so it hydrates without that greasy gooey feeling that comes with humidity. Oyin is also Black-owned, created with love and made in Baltimore! Triple whoop!

beauty5And when my face, hands or feet need a lil extra moisture, I blend the Honey Water [the Honey and Rich Almond scents are super delightful, btw] with some coconut oil or just use the light, yet effective, Yes to Carrots lotion.

beauty3And, although it’s not exclusive to summer usage {albeit, some of us do allow ourselves to become a little wooly during winter}, my other favorite new thing is eos shave cream.

I’ll admit that I bought this at random, just shopping for a non-rusting bottle. But I was impressed with the label; it is made with butters and vitamins {hence the word cream instead of gel}, so you can shave wet or dry. {Plus aren’t all those other brands kinda scary with the wtf is this shit ingredients and contents under pressure/don’t let it get too hot warning labels??! Eek!} I got the vanilla bliss scent. {Can y’all tell I like vanilla? And Target?}


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Everything I’ve mentioned [except the Honey Water and the pictured brand of coconut oil] is available at Target and/or target.com! I know some beauty bloggers write about products from specialty stores and department store counters that a lot of us regular folk just can’t afford to try. Nothing wrong with that, but are you trying to spend a ton on something you don’t even know if you’ll love? I also feel that it’s important to be just as conscious to what you put on to your body as what you put in it, as it all gets ingested one way or another.

If you have skin or hair, these are a few things that simply work so well for me that I had to share. You’re welcome 🙂 But if you test them out and they don’t work, send them to me! haha

As always, thanks for reading + subscribing!! ❤

Five Stacks on the Make Up Bag

Every so often, I like to spotlight someone’s work. Their gift or specialty. Whether I know her or him personally, I just like to share their journey and let others know about their specific crafts. You know, to help them and their businesses grow and stuff.

Today I’m sharing the story of a young makeup professional named Sierra who never dreamed she’d be where she is today. I find her to be quite inspirational and very talented. She’s proof that dreams will come true and goals can be accomplished if you put in the time and dedication. The end of her testimony is what tells me that Sierra is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing, answering her calling, and being her authentic self. 

Check her out:

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I was an active teen so I just had no interest in makeup whatsoever. I think the first time I wore a full face of makeup was my winter dance in 9th grade. My mom did it and I was surprised at how many people complimented the way I looked. So I began to apply light makeup (liner, gloss and light eyeshadow) for special events. I went off to college and wore makeup on a more consistent basis and on occasion would do my roommate’s makeup but I didn’t really count on it going anywhere.

I ended up in Virginia in 2012 and that’s where the idea of being an MUA was first introduced. I have the best support system in my better half and in my ear. All she said every day was “You can do it. Put yourself out there.”

“Keep practicing and watch what happens.”

I listened and planned my first makeup party. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I thought I was doing something then. I went to my local beauty supply store and then to the dollar store and, in total, purchased about $60 worth of makeup. I threw the party and had about ten friends come and get their makeup done. I was so excited because everyone loved their makeup so I was reassured that I could do this! I began watching YouTube videos and practicing daily. I would do my new roommate’s makeup occasionally, but other than that, I still only did mine.

muacee

 

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I moved to Georgia in March of 2013 and began my business Makeup By Cee. I began posting my makeup that I would do on myself on Instagram and Facebook. I was getting no real attention but my love for makeup and my supporters compelled me to continue. I received my first “official” client in July and that will forever go down as one of the best days of my life. She was so happy with the way she looked and left an amazing review on my website. I felt so motivated! I began looking into all the behind the scenes things, not the surface part like “how-to’s,” but digging deeeep -like how many shades lighter is appropriate for a highlight color and why? How do you determine where to properly place an arch for the brows? How do you properly apply makeup for the acne-proned? Learning the basics of makeup strengthened me as an artist and I began to see great improvement in my skill. I started advertising my services on a daily basis around late July 2013 and got little response and no clients so it was extremely discouraging.

It was so hard to just keep talking to people and talking and talking and everyone is telling you that you’re good and clients tell you they’re coming and then…

….nobody comes.

I had no clients since that one woman in July and 2013 was coming to an end and I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I realized in order to be taken serious, I was going to have to get serious. I had no tact, no professionalism, no website, no prices…nothing.

My next steps were to purchase business cards and create my website, so I did that. Shortly after, I began leaving cards in the cosmetic sections of stores and passing them out in public when I was complimented on my makeup. I still had no real clientele but I did have a few occasional appointments and I was pretty excited about those. That excitement is what kept me going. I kept posting, kept passing out cards, kept talking to people and kept revamping my site to appropriately match how I progressed through my phases. At first, my response was coming from only people that I knew but it still made me feel good to have others love what I did.

So I kept going.

Consistency has been key in my journey.

muacee

It has gotten really hard at times to keep going, especially after promoting daily and not having clients for months. Ultimately, I saw the biggest change as I began to revamp my marketing techniques at the suggestion of my better half. I watched my Facebook likes go from the teens into the hundreds. I remember the day my Instagram followers hit 1000. Yes I cried lol. It may seem like nothing to some of you but my struggle was long and hard so I celebrated every success along the way. Now Makeup By Cee is in full swing! I have both a loyal clientele and following and an ever growing prospects. I still pass out cards everywhere I go and, consequently, pick up a lot of clients while I’m out and about. I love what I do so much. On a consistent basis, I have multiple clients weekly still giving amazing reviews. Even though it happens often, I’m still shocked when someone shares my one of my makeup photos. It’s so crazy because I remember the days when no one knew what I did. Now I’m watching my name spread and my talent and passion is in front of people who I don’t even know. That makes me feel like a million bucks.

All I have wanted to do since I started this was show the WORLD what I do ..and it’s happening. Even if I was never paid a dime, it’s the look on her face when she sees what I’ve done in the mirror. That makes everything I’ve gone through worth it. I’m certainly nowhere near finished yet. I have a long way to go but I am grateful for the long way I’ve come.

www.MakeupByCee.com

Instagram: @MakeuIsMyDope

www.Facebook.com/MakeupByCeeCee

MakeupIsMyDope.WordPress.Com

this is her too!

This is her!! [also pictured in the featured image] Skills!

This testimony was self-written by Sierra, her true life story- told by her! [A gray suede first!] Be sure to peep her social media pages, blog and website. And look her up and book her if you’re ever in GA. [P.S. she also does hair!]

Thank you for sharing, Sierra! Best of luck to you!

xo

Shopping Small: Adé Vegan Hair

Trying to keep up with my resolution to buy small, buy American and buy black more often- and be just as conscious of what I put on my body as I am of what I put in it- I gave Adé Vegan Hair a shot.

husky hair butter

I’d heard about Adé a few months back from Alex Elle, a hair blogger and inspirational speaker and author with a beautifully awesome afro. But trying to cut back on my hair product addiction, I waited until I got low on my other cream moisturizer and oil before I bought theirs.

First off, I love the Adé website; it’s nice and neat and they do a few things well instead of trying to confuse you with a hundred different products with a million uses. Secondly, I love their packaging. The seemingly recycled paper labels tie right in with their natural approach. Plus they have small, 2oz bottles and jars so you are not forced to buy a ton of product for the first time that you might not like. A+ marketing!

adé vegan

I purchased Husky Hair Butter for my strands and Follicle Food for my scalp. I like the light mousse-y, whipped texture of the butter. It makes my hair super soft and manageable and hydrated. I recommend it for a tightly coiled head of hair like mine. The Adé custom scent smells like shea butter with vanilla ice cream mixed in. Yum! And the food is great blend of oils with purpose. The ingredients are broken down so you not only know what’s in the product, but why. Every item is vegan. And, with certain items, you can customize the scent. I love that!

All in all, I give Adé a solid A grade. Try it if you’re on the lookout for something new to smooth and hydrate your tresses. Or if you are just a product junkie looking for your next fix 😉

Vegan-Symbol

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Small Business Saturday is a three year old tradition started back in 2010 to promote and celebrate small corporations the day after ominous Black Friday. Why should huge, multi-billion dollar brands get all the traffic and dough? Supporting local businesses not only boosts the economy but also helps your community. All the while, buying cool stuff you may or may not need.

The National Federation of Independent Business has a nice long list of small corps throughout the country participating in this weekend’s sales. Check it out!

Another easy site to find small businesses to shop this weekend is Pinterest. Just hit the link or search “small business” and voila!!

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If you didn’t have a reason to shop this weekend, this is a good one, especially if you have a long holiday gift list. If you don’t know where to go, ask around, search online or just go to the small businesses you frequent and see for yourself. As the years go on, I hope SBS continues to become more and more popular. And if you plan on shopping after stuffing your face with leftovers this weekend, don’t forgot about the little guys. Even if you have a honey glazed ham hangover and can’t get into some leggings and boots to step out, shop small from your sofa online. Please feel free to comment with information to find and shop your small business or a small business that you know will be participating in the sales for Small Business Saturday, November 30th.

Happy shopping!!