Monday, March 15, 2010

Makeup Break!

We interrupt our usual hair discussion for this brief announcement

Does anyone else hate wearing makeup during the summer? That's one thing I dread once it starts warming up here. I barely wear my usual foundation (MAC Studio Tech -NW47 if you wanna buy me some!) during the spring/summer/early fall because I feel like my face is melting. Even in the winter I don't wear it every day. I love it, but sometimes it just feels a bit heavy. Not to mention that I tend to break out if I use it too many days in a row.
So for the longest I've been stuck in a catch-22 because I don't like just being bare-faced. Unfortunately if a pimple even tries to pop up, I'm scarred with a dark spot. I've wanted to try a mineral powder, but was told by the guy at the MAC counter that it would end up leaving me shiny. Thought about Bare Minerals, but I was never able to find a shade that suited me. So the other day while browsing around the Sephora counter at JCP, one of the ladies directed me to a brand I'd never heard of: Cover FX.

She applied Powder FX (which is actually a foundation, not just a powder like I originally thought) and it went on like buttah. The color was perfect (B35 ova here!), it didn't take much (which meant no caked-up look) and it didn't leave me looking shiny, even on my sometimes oily T-zone. The lady at the makeup counter said that it also works to heal and reduce acne. I'm not so sure about those claims, but it doesn't break me out, which was the main thing I was looking for. Another thing I LOVE about this product is the wide variety of shades. Usually I just have to pick the darkest shade and hope for the best (although many times it's still too light). B35 works perfectly for me, but not for my mom who's a tad darker. Fortunately, using Match FX we figure she's a B45 (going to the counter to verify before she buys it).
Overall, this is a makeup MUST for me. I don't have any kind of rating system (maybe I should work on that?) but if I did, this would definitely get top ranking. Cover FX may have stolen me away from MAC...

But not completely! I am still in love with MAC's eyeshadow. That pricey pro palette will be mine one day!! But what I do have now is a lovely lipcolor. It's one that I purchased a few years ago but haven't been able to find in forever. When I got it, I told the guy that I was looking for something different than what I already had (a bunch of browns and burgundy/purples). When he handed me a Slimshine tube in Lovey-Dove I thought he'd lost his mind. It's such a pretty color--sort of a coral/copper color with a bit of blush or something... IDK--but I thought I'd look ridiculous wearing it. Wrong! It's a great everyday lip color. Goes on kinda sheer, not sticky... It doesn't last as long as I'd like, but it's not bad. And now that I've found out I can order it from Nordstroms (I haven't even been able to get it from MAC's site or counter!), I've fallen in love with it all over again!

So here I am today with my Powder FX & Lovey-Dove lips! Please excuse the lop-sided faux-fro (co-wash tonight!) and the wild eyebrows -_-

And speaking of eyebrows... I've got to find some stencils & brow powder/pencil to do something with these things! I thought I was going to try Eyecandy Eyebrows for a "custom" stencil, but at $110? No thanks. I'll be going to CVS & picking up the lil stencil pack with four shapes to choose from. Out of those, something's gotta be better than this! And for approx. $6 if they don't work, it won't be a major loss.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging...

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Hair Horror Story

OMG I don't know how I forgot to share this with y'all!

As I've mentioned before, I've always been a salon girl. Never really did my own hair because... well, I never had to. But I had an experience back in January to make me change that completely!

From the very start of my transition, my stylist constantly said that she "didn't know what to do" with my hair and that she wasn't gonna be able to deal with it for long. I always laughed it off, my line of thinking being "she started doing hair in the late 60s/70s; she's gotta know about doing natural hair." And I'd been doing fine with the little roller set that I'd been getting. On this particular visit, she said she wouldn't be able to do that style with it anymore. I thought it was odd (since even the newgrowth was manageable and able to be rolled when wet) but said okay and asked what could she do with it. She said she could press it. Cool, I thought. I'd have a little wrap action going.

So I sat in the chair for her to kinda comb through and detangle my hair before washing (it hurt, but I didn't think it was too bad) and asked her to trim it. I specified "trim about an inch off" because last time I said cut (my mistake) and ended up with my hair barely past my ears. Apparently I needed to be more specific. I heard the snip of the shears, looked up, and saw a good two inches of my hair in her hands. She proceeds to just cut randomly (later I realized that it's not even at all), even adding a bang that I did not want or ask for. (That bang is currently the bane of my existence. Yes, it's really that bad!) So although I'm pissed, I know I can't do anything about the cut. We shampoo, we condition. She fires this thing up: 

What happened next was nearly unbearable. She begins to tug & pull at my hair, dragging this burning comb through my hair. I was just annoyed with the pulling at first, but when she got to the very back of my hair I wanted to turn around and punch her! There were several spots where she burned my scalp. Thanks to my high pain threshold and the fact that I'm a G I didn't realize how bad it was until a few days later when I was oiling my scalp.

By the time I left the shop, I was in so much pain. My scalp felt like it was on fire, and my head was throbbing so much that I had to take some Excedrin & lie down as soon as I got home. That day I decided I would never go back to her. Since I still have not found a stylist (anyone happen to know a natural stylist in Jackson, MS?) I've been doing it myself. And doing a pretty good darn job of it...

But last Sunday I wanted something different. I was missing the old days of flowy hair. So I washed it, then had my mom blowdry and flat iron it. It came out flawless (and painless)! And here is the kicker: My mom's at-home straightening lasted longer than the professional one I suffered for! SMH True, it only lasted a week (including one touch up of the edges with a straightening comb) but the other was puffing back up the very next day.

Moral of the story: If whoever does your hair is against you going natural (or really, whatever decision you make in regards to your hair) LEAVE them and find someone else! Or do it yourself. Eventually their negative disposition towards what you're doing will either push you away from what you want to do, or manifest itself in hair horror stories like this one.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Point of It All

A few nights ago I was asked if all I write about is hair. (Answer: NO. I also blog randomness over on I'm Not A Celebrity... But I Play One on TV, but I've kinda been slacking...) I guess hair probably seems like a rather trivial thing to focus on, obsess over, write about, read about... That is, if it's never been an issue to you. For a guy I guess I can see why it seems so unnecessary. They're hardly ever scrutinized about it, unless we're talking about locs & braids in a corporate environment. But for women, and especially Black women, it's not the same. We are bombarded with ads and messages about what we should look like, so it shouldn't be surprising that we focus on that. True, beauty is only skin deep, it's what's on the inside that counts, yadda yadda yadda. But we all know people still judge books by their cover and we want our covers to say "Fabulous!" (Random sidenote: I actually judge books by their covers. Literally. If the cover doesn't grab my attention, I won't pick it up, unless it's a book I was intending to read anyway. I know that has nothing to do with nothing but I felt like sharing ^_^)
Anyway, here are my main reasons for being obsessed enough with my hair to write, research, take pix, steal pix, etc.

1. This is a matter of self-discovery for me. Since I've become conscious of the fact that I am not & will never be a "classic beauty" I've had to come to terms with my image & my body. My weight, my skin, my height, my facial features, my gait; I've learned (and am learning) to love each and every aspect of myself physically. The one thing that I've always loved was my hair. It's always been long and soft and flowing and beautiful... and permed. So while I've always been able to accept my hair, it wasn't the hair God gave me. And if I'm gonna accept the body He entrusted me with, why not the hair as well?

2. It's a learning experience. I have NEVER done my hair as much as I have in these past couple of months, especially since the beginning of this year. The most I'd done to my own hair prior to transitioning was wrapping, unwrapping, and making ponytails. So this blog is helping me keep track of my progress and what does/doesn't work for me.

3. I want to show others that it's possible to have beautiful, chemical free hair. The general consensus around here is that unless you have "good" hair, you have to have a perm. Like I always say, it's all "good" hair, as long as it's healthy! I also want to let naturals know that it is possible to have healthy relaxed hair. (I know I haven't focused much on that, but I will get to it, trust!)

So that's the point of it all for me. I'd love to get input from other natural hair bloggers/tweeters about why you do what you do!