Monday, December 21, 2015

That Girl Challenge Update

Sooooo I started the That Girl Challenge nearly two years ago with a nice list of what I hope to accomplish in this challenge. Well I will surely admit that it was a total bust. But it's a new start and a new year... I am still young and can turn things around. So here is my update to my that girl challenge and how I go about accomplishing this. 

Skincare Game on Point

Skincare Products
    Cleanse (Aveeno Foaming Cleanser)
    Toner (Rosewater)
    Serum (Snail Bee High Content Essence)
    Moisturizer (Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer)
    Fade Cream (Ambi Fade Cream,Vicco Turmeric Cream)
    Sunblock (Nuetrogena Ultrasheer 30+ Sunblock)
    Occasionally exfoliate (Alba Botanica Scrub)

    My Skincare routine is tailored to adjust all my skincare needs. All products are to help erase my dark acne scars, even and brighten my skin tone, and provide a youthful glow. So the basic skincare routine is to cleanse, tone the skin, use a serum for evening and brightening, a moisturizer to seal and provide supple skin, fade cream to fade dark scars and evening the skin. Sunblock as a last step, to protect the skin from the damaging effects of sun rays. 

    I'm Painting My Face

    Makeup Arsenal

    Primer (Black Radiance Primer)
    Foundation (Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr)
    Powder (Too Faced Pressed Powder)
    Blush (Wet n Wild Mellow Pink)
    Contour kit (Sleek, optional)
    Eyeliner (Wet n Wild Liquid Eyeliner)
    Mascara (Maybelline Colossal Volume Express) 
    Lip liner (Mac Cork Lipliner)
    Lipstick  (Nude/Revlon Mink Pink)

    For the past few years I've been trying out different brands of foundation and powders and experimenting with my makeup techniques. I'v settled into a nice set look and I seem to be receiving compliments all the time from family and friends. I like to call my makeup addiction face painting or putting on my face in the morning, LOL. It's a wonderful art form that adds a touch of luxury to my morning rituals. My everyday makeup routine is a uniform look I've perfected to achieve the look of nice skin and bright big eyes. I use foundation to even my skin tone and conceal my dark marks. For my eyes I create a thin winged line for eyeliner and volumizing mascara to create larger doll like eyes. I just started dabbling in blush and contour powders and I just have to say how much I love these powders as they bring so much life to the face. Pink blush makes my cheeks really rosy and contour powder helps to sculpt my baby cheeks.

    Haircare Game on Point


    Prepoo overnight coconut oil (irregular)
    Shampoo twice twice a week
    Deep condition protein/moisture twice a week
    Moisturize and seal every two or three days

    My hair has definitely come a long way, but boy have I had some serious setbacks. I want to say with definite confidence heat is the devil but we are still good friends. So I have just come to terms that I use heat sparingly and I will purchase only high end quality straighteners. I've recently found a set hairstyle that fits my oval face graciously. Half up ponytail half down twistout with a side part of bangs (twists). Side part bangs frame my face really well more so than no bangs. I sometimes change my hair products and try out new ones but I do have a few holy grail items that I keep in regular rotation. Holy grail status: Organics Hair Mayonnaise, Coconut Oil, Aussie Moist Deeep Conditioner, and Shea Moisture Shea Butter Conditioner

     Developing Personal Style 

    Nine West Open Toe Heeled Ballet Flats

    I have finally found my balance between under dressed and overdressed; it's all about the shoes and the lips. In the last few years I began to cultivate a sense of personal style. I have my new go to flats that are not too casual or too dressy but works for almost any event. Just like with my beauty routine my fashion starts with the basics that compliments my figure and style. In partaking upon that girl challenge I've discovered my own personal style that reflects my personality. My style is classic, chic with whimsical notes and I always go for feminine pieces. My body shape is straight so I steer towards outfits that accentuate my waist and I overly indulge in dresses and skirts more than anything. I tend to gravitate towards solid colors, a few prints, mostly neutral colors or one bright statement piece, flare dresses, a line skirts, and kitten heels. 

    In keeping up with that girl challenge, I will be updating once a week. Let me know below in the comments if you want beauty and fashion pictures included everytime. Kind of like Oufit Of The Day (OOTD) and Face Of The Day (FOTD)

    Friday, December 18, 2015

    Tumblrs I Love


[photographer unknown]




Ph. Marc Hibbert

Ph. Osamu Yokonami


Stolen Summer - Robert and Shana Parkeharrison (2006)

Ph. Janneke & Lyson

Precious Adams performing Aurora act 3 variation
2014 Prix de Lausanne
(she won a scholarship + the contemporary dance prize!)


Eunice Oluminde           solangesolo:

“Dreaming of these flowers my sister put in my hair at dinner. One by one they bloomed in my afro, and stayed there until I danced them away..” - Solange



    Collage by woefoep(via Andrea & Mahogany Soul)      “I’ve Been Thinking” print by Andrea Pippins

    Love the energy of this shoot for beautiful scarves by SuTurno.  - Spotted at Made Fashion Week.


    Wednesday, November 11, 2015

    Pleasing Sights and Pleasing Sounds: Foreign Edition

    I'm a lover of good music, I mean really good music. Passionate music resonates something deep within me. A differing language has never stopped me from appreciating wonderful music. In fact every language has its own way of producing captivating music. Listening to foreign music outside of your own is appreciating music in its totality.You moving beyond just the lyrics and focusing on the soothing or commanding voice, the style and fusion of instruments, the rhythm and flow of the song, and the heart and soul of the music. I do not need to hear a song in English to fall in love with good music. Good music transcends language barriers and evokes a profound feeling in the heart of the listener. Truly good music will carry you you places whether or not you understand the lyrics. If you are only listening to music in your mother tongue you are missing out and are engaging in a limited musical perspective! 

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    I Crave Your Mouth

    Sonnet XI

    “I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.                        
    Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.                                  
    Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day . I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

    I hunger for your sleek laugh,
    your hands the color of a savage harvest,
    hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
    I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

    I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
    I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

    and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
    hunting for you, for your hot heart,
    Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.”

    ― Pablo Neruda


    One of my favorite poems from Pablo Neruda's book, 100 Love Sonnets. Its a poem that I read every so often. I've always wondered what such love is like, to crave the entirety of another being. Consuming the whole of a lover and being driven mad by such emotions. There's a human longing for comfort, a longing for close intimacy, and a longing for an unnerving bond. The hunger in the poet fuels his hunt in turn drives him mad pacing around for his lover's hot heart.

    Monday, October 26, 2015

    That Alternative Black Girl

    To the gamer Black girls who love playing an intense games of the Walking Dead, Mortal Kombat, and the Legend of Selda I see you.
    To the Black girls who dance and jam to alternative music, bounces her head to Bloc Party, sings along to Sia, and dances to electronic dance music circa 90s cue Enigma, I see you.
    To the Black girls who love all things gardening in her house building a homestead, on her apartment balcony, or on her back porch area of her trailer. She delights in pickling food,  preserving them in jellies and sugars, and selling them bottled in mason jars in the farmer market, I see you.
    To the Black girl learning something other than French or Spanish like Arabic, Swahili, or Chinese, because well... there are many more languages outside of English, Spanish, and French okay...I see you and salute you.
    To the Black girl who was a badass skater girl well before Avril Lavigne made it popular in her song, I see you and I wish you could teach me how to skate.
    To the Black girl who's a free spirit lighting the soy candles in her bedroom and reading poetry books by Rumi and Pablo Neruda, I see you and I enjoy reading my poetry early in the morning.
    To the Black girl who's fond of kpop and can sing all the words to Wonder Girls "So Hot" with a slight Korean accent, I see and hear you and will sing right along with you.
    To the Black girl who who flirts with any nice boy who tickles her fancy, dates whomever she wants, and marries her hearts love because its in her best interest to do so, I see you. I see you and applaud you for being in your own self interest and not in the interest of others... I see you my sister and I welcome you with open arms and an open heart of love.



    Sunday, September 27, 2015

    Beauty Culture

    Wearing a Bold Lip

    Lips are considered the most sensual feature on woman's face. Soft kissable lips are considered feminine and sensual. Pink and red lip colors are often the most enticing lip colors that men are drawn to when noticing a woman. A bold lip alone can be a makeup look unto itself. The act of wearing lipstick in a bold color like red bring about confidence and boost your morale.

    The Elegance of Long Manicured Nails

    Long manicured nails are seen as feminine and luxurious. A woman's hands if well maintained and properly positioned can be seen as graceful and dainty. Two dance styles that add grace to a woman's movements are belly dance and ballet. From the little knowledge I have of both dance styles a woman's hands must be in line with the general aesthetics so hands must always form a soft shape and not be resting in a pancake form. Whenever I notice a beautiful woman my eyes gravitate towards her hair and then towards her nails. I am seriously a crazy nail fanatic and love seeing women with long well manicured nails. Long nails accentuate the hands and add a sense of luxury to the women's appearance. I personally am not a fan of add on nails and I believe if needed add on nails should be worn for formal occasions rather than on a weekly basis. Nail salons can can relaxing and fun and provide a professional manicure with fun beautiful designs an average nail fanatic can not do. But if not careful relying on salons for nail care can be quite damaging, so it's best to treat nail salons as a treat rather than a need.

    The Poetry of  a Dress in Motion

    The only good thing about pants on a woman,
     is seeing the shape of her butt.
    Otherwise, they look clunky and industrial.
    Now a dress... accents her curves....
    and flows when she moves.
    Poetry in motion.

    Isn't that insightful and fascinating? A woman wearing a dress is akin to visual poetry in motion. A woman in a nice pair of jeans can be quite fashionable but a woman in a nice dress is quite stunning. No matter how nice the cut, wash, stitch, or style jeans can never compete on a equal standing with dresses. Dresses enhance and flatter a woman's figure while appearing more fun and flirty. Now I'm not anti jeans to the core, as jeans were once a core staple of my wardrobe. However I like the idea of a wardrobe consisting of 50% dresses and 50% of blouses, skirts, and jeans/pants. This wardrobe formula makes it much more easier to look your best and most feminine self. Dresses also provide a different feeling than when wearing a pair of jeans. A woman in a dress must learn to walk and sit a certain way to keep a fine appearance. Whenever I am wearing a dress I'm almost always mindful of the way I sit and cross my legs or ankles. I carry myself in a certain manner and my posture is almost always better. 

    The Everyday Makeup Look

    I love the look of subtlety enhanced makeup looks that give a nice warm healthy glow to the face. Makeup skills when executed well can subtlety enhance facial features or completely transform the face in a stunning manner.  Makeup should not give a cakey or a cheap appearance for a woman when its executed well. I consider makeup apart of the beauty arsenal that can help or hinder the woman who chooses to or not to wear makeup. Basic cosmetics can improve every women's looks.The easy basics of  a simple makeup routine usually include: mascara, a little blush, a dab of lipstick, and perhaps a flick of eyeliner. Everyday makeup even the minimal can be just that simple and help to polish a woman's looks.

    Please feel free to comment below and subscribe by email. :)

    Saturday, September 26, 2015

    Are You Better Than You Were Yesterday?

    There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week, which goes to say there are more than enough hours to accomplish what I set out to do. There is no such thing as I don't have the time, is what I have to remind myself constantly. The other day I was having a wonderful conversation with a dear cousin of mine and his conversation inspired this post. We haven't talked in a long while due to my own selfish and stubborn introverted nature of not keeping in touch. So when we do reconnect our conversations always last hours. When one thread of conversation ventured into a self improvement talk I was genuinely surprised and overjoyed. My cousin like myself is on a self-improvement journey and is always looking for ways to better himself. It's as if my two favorite cousins and I suddenly discovered our 20s is our decade to do better and become better lest before we turn into a scary version of our parents! His breakthrough statement that caught me by surprise "I'm always working on being better than I was yesterday". That one statement sparked a small fire inside me.

    It's true competition is always a good thing but the only true competition that really matters is the competition to be a better version of oneself. Putting in effort everyday even on small matters when enforced brings about a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Practicing certain habits over and over and over everyday with the intention of reaching close to perfection is the goal. So how exactly do I implement this mandate of becoming a better version of myself? I do a self evaluation at the end of every week. While I my jot down notes and tidbits here and there on a daily basis, weekly self evaluations seems less intimidating and much more efficient. My own personal self evaluation consists of the basics: school, health & fitness, social life, inner and outer relationships. Some typical questions I ask myself:

    •  Did I speak up in class more than once?
    •  Have I participated fully in a social engagement for my campus clubs?
    •  Do I call my family members and friends once a week to keep in touch?
    •  When engaging in conversations do I listen intensively more than I ramble?
    •  Have I watered, nursed, and cared for my plants every day?
    •  Have I completed my readings and gone over my class notes daily?
    •  Do I maintain my exercise routine every morning and every night with one day of rest?
    •  Have I written in my journal daily for reflection, honing my writing skills, and organizing my  jumbled  thoughts?
    •  Did I avoid spending money on useless things like vending machine snacks and overpriced  bagels?
    •  Do I cook at least three times a week focusing on proper technique and food prepping?
    •  Have I practiced my language skills every morning for at least one one hour?
    •  Do I listen to political news and podcasts at least once a day?

    Readjusting my frame of mind to ask myself the question "Am I I better than I was yesterday?" That should be my one goal that I can be accomplish everyday like clockwork. Improving myself little by little everyday is a small but much needed habit to practice. Once I can re frame my mindset to this I am much better at evaluating my past performance and future potential at the end of the week.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    The Radiant Smile of a Carefree Black Girl

    Smiling French Singer Inna Modja

    A SMILE is one of the most wonderful human expressions one can make. A smile denotes pleasure, happiness, and sociability. In fact smiling provides a positive feedback loop to our brain which generates a more positive feeling from within. So contrary to what some people belief a genuine smile does not show a sign of weakness but rather a powerful gesture when used correctly.

    A woman's smile is in fact a powerful gesture that increases happiness within her and towards others. Now to take it a step further, the smile of a carefree Black girl is one of the most pleasing smiles to come across. But wait...what's a carefree Black girl? Per writer Jamala Johns in her fantastic article on Refinery29 Carefree Black Girls, its broken down like this:

    Over the last 15 years or so, there’s been a heartening evolution in the works that I’ve been proud to be involved with. A while back, I launched le coil, a curated collection of natural-hair web finds and original photography. The more I worked on it, the more I started to realize that it was helping me explore a facet of the black female experience that went beyond just hair. I noticed that I instinctively leaned more toward more joyful expressions and regal poses, faces basking in natural light, and an overall tone that was warm, relatable, and encouraging. There had been countless conversations with friends where I lamented something along the lines of “I just want to see brown ladies having a delightful time and riding bicycles — and maybe having some brunch.”

    Right now with the advent of the internet culture there are new range of ideas and concepts and archetypes. As of now the new archetype I am completely enamored with is the carefree Black girl.
    A carefree Black girl is aware of the political and social climate but does not let the negativity consume her or let negative stereotypes define her. So she goes about her day to day being fantastically brown and glowing, enthusiastically happy, wearing her hair proud and crowned in floral headbands, and of course dressed in bright stylish clothing. However for me what tops off the look of a carefree Black girl is the all in the spirit of an authentic smile! When another Black woman smiles all the Brown angels harmonize in union ship. Okay, okay I know I'm being just a tad bit silly or a bit fanatical about smiling's true :) If I was a person to constantly be a consumer of mainstream culture and entertainment you would swear Black women almost never smiled, because according to them Black women mean mug, smirk, nod and salute fists in anger but almost never smile. With the current political and social climate Black women have every right to display a current range of unhappy emotions. But to see Black women still smile through it all day by day and to not constantly wear emotions on our sleeves is a truly wonderful thing. Seeing another smiling carefree Black girl is a like sign your allowed to be stylish and whimsical and just plain awesome basking in your own brown beauty!

    The smile of a carefree Black girl will always warm my heart and in turn make me smile :)