When Are We Truly ‘At Our Best’

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There was a time when I would have never posted this picture anywhere. There was a time I would have never been caught video chatting without a complete beat face. Even as recently as last year, had FaceTime rang with me still sweaty from the gym, I would have declined the call or strategically placed the camera so that I had a chance to ‘put myself together’ before anyone could see me. But then I have to ask myself would I had even gone to the gym without at least foundation on? I think not.

Now, I know that we all say there is nothing wrong with trying to look ‘our best’. But lately, I have struggled with what that means and all the weight and pressure that comes with that. It’s a mind f*ck really. So tell me, am I not at my best like this? I had a good day, prayed, went to yoga, walked, drank a mean green smoothie for dinner, cleaned my room and approached the day with gratitude. But even after all that, I still need to look outside of myself in order to be my best? It’s really quite confusing and the implications that come along with statements like ‘you’re best’ can be daunting.

I worry sometimes that this blog adds to that confusion because we are in a way a beauty blog. But my hope is that we aren’t your average beauty blog. My hope is that we keep it real enough to keep your minds at ease. My hope is that no claims of perfection are made here. My hope is that Shanti and I document our own personal journeys that folks can relate to it but not strive towards it. My hope is that we inspire.

In summary, I’m at a point in my life that when it comes to beauty, I no longer feel the need to strive towards perfection and I think it is because I have defined for myself what “at my best” is. I think it’s important that we all do that. It’s vital that we have and live by our definitions and refine them when need be.  Otherwise, we are at risk of living up to standards made with a broad brush.

So, I am at my best when…

-I eat healthy

-I exercise

-I’m in love

-I take care of my skin

-I use my favorite sweet smelling shea butter after I shave

-I use lip liner with my lipstick

-I wear my new black leather jacket with a bright red lip, aviator sun glasses and slick my hair back in a tight bun

-I have that black long line bra on

-I get my eyebrows done and handle any random weird hairs on my face/chin/mustache (smh)

-I drink tons of water

-I’m organized

-I get to see him

-I think positive

-I trust the journey

-I smile

-I stretch

-I’m social and not behind this computer

-I watch/listen/love Beyonce

-I’m around kids

-I get a pedicure

-I sing

-I leave my hair alone until it is completely dry.

When are you at your best ladies?

Our Daily Prayer

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God, make me brave for life:

Oh, braver than this

Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain

  Shining and lovely again

God, make me brave for life; 

much braver than this.

As the blown grass lifts,

let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,

knowing thy way is wise.

God make me brave,

life brings such blinding things.

Help me to keep my sight;

Help me to see aright

That out of darkens comes light.

-Anonymous Author

Rest In Peace Mike Brown

Help A Curl Out

anette

I met Anette, mother of three and wife to a loving husband a couple years ago when she attended one of our events in NYC. It was nice to finally put a face to the name that was always popping up in our comments section and various news feeds. She was a true blue around the way girl. There, dancing with her husband she was and still is full of life, love and happiness. As they held hands, smiling and kissing, I remember envying their relationship. 

A few months ago, I saw that Anette had big chopped. I mean, the homey was straight rocking a baldy and killing it. I thought to myself, “Damn, she took a damn blade straight to her scalp and killed it”.  I commented on how beautiful she looked and went on scrolling through my timeline. It wasn’t until recently, thanks to instagram, I realized Anette was battling Leukemia. Her posts were always so upbeat and  inspiring that the thought never crossed my mind. Cancer? Anette? Wha? 

I don’t know anything about battling cancer. But I do know that this woman needs some help. I spent less than 24 hours in the hospital this month and am haunted by that ER bill. I cannot imagine the type of financial burden Anette is dealing with, all while taking care of her children and trying to survive. At this time, she is in need of a transplant. This transplant is her hope at survival. So, if you have a dollar, two, maybe even 20 please send it her way. It really doesn’t take much because together, five dollars here and there will add up. It takes a village y’all. 

See her GOFundMe Campaign Below…

“First, I just want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read this. My name is Anette Tillman. I am 24 year old stay at home mom of 3 amazing boys, Rondell Jr, Jayven, and Ivan. They are the light of my life and what keep me the most hopeful in this difficult time. My life drastically changed in January of this year. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It took as all by surprise. I never expected to be 24yrs young and to be fighting against cancer. This hasn’t been easy on myself and my family. The financial burden is becoming a bit difficult to bare with. Even with medical insurance, bills seem to still pile up. I have an amazing husband that carries the world on his shoulders. He works a full time job and cares for our sons by himself while I am away. I just wish I could do more to help him. As you can imagine my medical bills have become a financial burden for us and each day we are struggling to make ends meet. I have a bone marrow transplant coming up soon. This transplant is my only shot at survival, I need this not just for myself but for my sons and husband as well. They need me and I need them. I just want to help my husband take care of us and take some of this burden away from him. I’m trusting in God and remaining hopeful always. Psalm 34:15, 17 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. I know that God places people in your life to be a blessing in trying situations. Prayers and financial blessings are greatly appreciated. Again Thank you all and God Bless”.

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To donate click the link http://www.gofundme.com/c7dd7w

Be grateful y’all.

Hair Rules Review

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Recently, Shanti and I went to critically acclaimed curly girl salon, Hair Rules in NYC. We went with the high hopes of complete color transformation and new do’s. We left humbled and educated. Watch the video below for details on our sobering experience. 

Shanti’s Sun Kissed Summer Color

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Antoinette’s Color Fix.

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Was it worth it? What y’all think? 

Our Faves From CurlFest

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend CurlFest created by the truly talented CurlygirlCollective. Nonetheless, the vibes and attendees looked like they had an amazing time. We stalked and gawked and wanted to share some of our favorite looks!

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The get right crew of the CurlyGirlCollective

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The Twist

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The asymmetrical shape

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That radiant smile and halo of curls

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Swag on a million

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The Color

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The Freckles and Frost

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The Love

Did you Make it To NY’s CurlFest? How Was It?

Hair Story : Tae’lor Roots

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1.Have you always been so confident and in love with your curls? What’s your hair story? 

I wouldn’t say I was always confident with my curls. I never really paid much attention to my natural hair because I would always have my hair straightened. I was natural up until I was 14 and I only wanted a perm because I wanted to wear a roller-set. I never realized that “perm” basically meant “permanent” and I would not easily be able to go back to my press and curl. I kept getting my hair relaxed regularly for four years until I was fed up with constantly getting burned and finally, I decided to ditch the lye.

2.How long has it taken for you to “master” the care of your hair? Who/what helped you gain mastery?

It did not take long to master taking care of my hair because when I first big chopped, I did my hair every week with a different product (I bought some and borrowed some) until I found something that worked for me. Now that my hair is longer, I just try new hairstyles and products as a way to keep me occupied when I am bored. YouTube became such a huge help, it was only necessary to make my very own for girls who are now going through the same process I went through 3 years ago.

3.What is your de-tangling process? 

I usually wet my hair and divide it into 6 sections. I’ve been working with Organix conditioners lately because I love the thickness of it and all of the flavors smell amazing. I squirt about a quarter-sized drop in my hand for each section and then I comb through with a wide toothed comb starting at the ends and working my way up to the roots. I also comb through with a smaller comb as I style my hair to assure that all of the tangles are out.

4. How do you achieve your daily hairstyle (try to be detailed being as though others are gaining inspiration and DIRECTION from your instruction.

My go to hairstyle is my twist out.  I usually just co-wash and detangle my hair. After that, I divide my hair into two sections while it’s still wet and rub coconut oil through both sides. Next I part my hair into smaller sections depending on how big or small I want my crinkles to be. I use a leave in conditioner (lately it’s been Hair Mayonnaise) and I run it through that smaller section as I twist my hair down to the end. I do not take the twists out until it has completely air-dried and then I just put my hair in a pineapple when it is time to go to sleep.

5.Now that you are relaxer free, how do you perceive others that still have relaxed hair?

I have a lot of women in my family and all of them have relaxers. I constantly tell them all that they would be so satisfied with their hair if they just let their curls flourish but of course they do not listen. I don’t perceive anyone differently just because of how they choose to wear their hair but one thing that does grind my gears is when I hear “it isn’t for everyone.” If it is growing out of your scalp, how much more “for you” could it possibly get?

6.How did/do battle the internal voice that may speak words of doubt about the beauty and worthiness of your natural beauty?

Usually on the days that I begin to second-guess my “natural beauty,” I go to YouTube or a natural hair blog to find a new hairstyle I may want to try. This inspires me and keeps the natural journey new.

7. What hair product can’t you live without?

I CANNOT go without my coconut oil…EVER! I use it at some point no matter what I may do to my hair.

8. Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses about natural hair?

If you are transitioning and begin to doubt your journey, find some inspiration and realize all of the potential your beautiful curls have. No one else can rock it like you!

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Obsessed much? Follow Tae’lor Roots on Instagram at @Queen_taelor

 

Keep Cool Summer Braid and Twist Updos (With Tutorials)

It’s officially getting hot in NYC. I’m already throwing my hair up in a top knot daily and it’s getting old quick. Here are some alternative styles that will keep you cute and cool. These braids are pictured and done on straight hair but with the right amount of length and stretching, and depending on your hair’s texture and curl pattern there’s no reason why these styles shouldn’t translate well on our curls. Keep in mind that some will look better than others. Try them out. Save yourself from simple summer top knot syndrome.

1. The French Tuck

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2. The Head Band

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3. The Snake 

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4. The Surprise

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5. The Infinity Braid

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6. The Side Swipe

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7. The Bohemian Crown

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Tutorial Here 

8. The Milk Maid 

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9. The Tuck and Roll

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10. The Twisted Vine.

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Tag us on instagram with your new do.

Keep cool and Carry On Ladies. Which one will you try? 

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