Hoodwitchery Problems

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I have some eclectic hood witch things I like to do and whatnot and I’m coming across some issues I remember running into when I was full Witch Woo back in the day.

For my particular flavor of woo, I work and check myself to not be appropriative or gross in what I do. Call it Hood witchery, Kitchen Witchery, Eclectic Pagan- I don’t really feel attached to the name of any one tradition and as I’ve gotten older, Hood Witch is where I feel best.

Currently I don’t have a space for a full sized altar so I’ve been gathering bits and bobs to put in my bag to carry with me. I was gifted some beautiful chunks of crystals and I have a list of other things I want for it.

Now here is the problem.

Some of the things I want come from the diaspora and I don’t want to buy them from white people who group things like the I Ching, tarot, quasi Buddhism, Hoodoo, Voodoo a smattering of Santeria and other Columbused sacred things. Also, I live in Seattle so a lot of that is fairly unavoidable.

I keep searching etsy and other places and try to vet who I’m purchasing from but y’all….shit is tiring as fuck.

I don’t want to have to cleanse items of their residual Columbusing bad feelings before I can use them.

 

I’m searching carefully, I don’t need to rush the process.

My personal methodologies of magic have started to intersect with my general self-care practices and for me that feels very right.

I’m finding that right now with the rise of witchy imagery and a (at least aesthetic) acceptance of darker things, is that I cannot get away from white folkx Columbusing the magic of POC. On one hand, after so many years of my life having these interests (spiritually, aesthetically etc) and having to just deal with having zero representation save for the Columbused occasional depiction of a Loa, now there’s some representation but sometimes I have some issues.

The Black witchy aesthetic tends to mirror the White one. Thin, willowly and beautiful in expensive clothes with beautiful background images and Insta photos that are yes super beautiful to look at but for me are so well filtered and presented there’s nothing for me to connect to.

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about it. On one hand, I really do love looking at beautiful people doing stuff I think is beautiful. One of the best things about social media like tumblr (you can follow me if you wanna not always sfw) is that I’m able to fulfill the hunger I have for looking at and talking to my fellow Black weirdos. It is fucking amazing. I mean I’ve found some Black witch groups on the facebooks and it feels overall super good.

This uh, melding of the aesthetic and spiritual is great for me emotionally. I had an essay in Witch Craft magazine (read the playlist for it here and pick up a copy it is amazing) about my magic and embodying dark scary magic and that is what I crave. And for a while I was able to escape Whiteness in this and currently not so much.

As I’ve gotten older, learning to embrace these things about myself more fully and not argue with myself about it has been great. Reclamation and creating myself are very important to who I am as a human and currently this is what my remaking is made of.

So yes, I’m having some issues with this but, overall I’m making it work.

How about a Flash Back Friday photo?

Me showing a friend my big hair and when I was just starting to re-enter my wooness.

At some point when I’m comfortable I’ll talk more in depth about my woo. Suffice to say, it’s pretty all over the place like me and it is perfect.

Photo circa maybe 2013?

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The time Betsy Johnson Broke My Heart

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A site I like to window shop at sometimes sent me an email about a bunch of Betsy Johnson stuff on sale.

Y’all don’t know this, but Betsy Johnson was the first designer I loved. When I was a lil post teenage potato, the only designer that I ever thought, holy fuck I want to wear that was Betsy.

Back in the 90s, my style was absolutely done what I gotta do with thrift store and hand me downs. Not because it was fashionable, but I was poor and chubby. And then in some magazine I saw Betsy Johnson clothes. It became my big secret dream to have one. Even more than the pretty formal dresses that never fit me, more than the Goth wear I saw in the Retail Slut catalogs I got.

A dress similar to this one was my dream.

My style icons were Grace Jones, Courtney Love, Stevie Nicks, the goth and punk girls I saw randomly. I wanted to wear pleated school girl skirts and boots, I wanted to wear big chunky ass shoes and slip dresses and y’all get it.

I had this vision of Bad Bitch Femme. Glitter and fucked up nails and whatnot.

However, I was not a thin girl. Even at my lowest weights, I’ve always still been a thick girl. Back then, after having a little money for mall clothes, I remember leaving in tears because I couldn’t find things I liked that fit my body. I remember very vividly being in a dressing room in the Limited maybe and trying not to cry and my Mom being impatient because I wouldn’t come out.

So I made it work sort of. I remember convincing myself that well fuck mall clothes anyway and that I just didn’t have the body to wear things I actually liked. And then I started to fake it.

I remember I had this ridiculous outfit, a pair of poop brown mens 70s slacks that I paired with a cream colored long sleeve thermal, boots and a big old fake high long ponytail. I paired it with a super glossy glittery lip and a big ole stripe of liner and it was one of the first times I was like, I am fine as fuck.

My next foray into dressing just how I wanted to was when I went to my first Pride. I want to say it was maybe 1999? I dunno, I’m an old.

So I had thrifted what was probably part of a dance team outfit. It was a fuschia sequinned a line mini skirt with a little keyhole belly cut out and a black ribbon. I saw it buried in a bin at Value Village and fell in immediate love.

I wore it low on my hips with platform sandals and a strappy vintage camisole that was almost see thru. There was glitter on my face (I used to mix my own glittery face powder back in the day, SHUT UP IT WAS THE SHIT) and I had a pixie haircut and y’all, I went alone and it was when I found my bounce.

I did that thing where when I got to the parade, I invoked my runway hoeness and walked it the fuck out. Booty bouncing, titties out, shoulders back, feelin the FUCK out of myself. There was a drag queen handing out sunglasses and she stopped me, put some glitter cat eyes on my face and made me do my runway walk.

I wound up being friends with her but mostly what i remember is this drag queen and some cute gay boys yelling, “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORK BITCH” and it was the first time in my young adult potato life, I really felt beautiful.

Now around that time I was saving money, all my change, any extra dollars because I wanted to go into the Betsy Johnson store and buy a dress. I got myself gussied up and went in and almost immediately realized that nothing would fit me aside from maybe some earrings or sunglasses or a purse.

I didn’t want a fucking purse.

I remember leaving (AH I was 21 by then) and going to sit in a bar by myself and feel like the grossest human to ever live.

Betsy Johnson just broke my lil heart. I was devastated. I’d worked so hard to save up about 300$ and I even had a plan to take myself out on a fancy date so I could wear whatever I bought.

Now I took that money and wound up in a Hot Topic, ostensibly to buy myself some band shirts or something and I discovered this long black beautiful Gothy dress. It was full length, had a chiffon cape thingy, the big sheer bell sleeves. Sort of this style, but not velvet. The ubiquitous Goth thing.

I found my thing.

I found the thing that opened up fashion to me in a while new way. I realized that my body was not at fault for some stuff not fitting me. That my inability to wear Betsy or shop at 5-7-9 or whatever.

My big point here is this.

Your body is not wrong.

You have to figure out what you’re working with and work with it. Figure it out. The thing is, there’s something like THE big deal thing, you just have to find it.

That said, sometimes you’re still gonna mourn the perfect thing. It’s okay. It happens to all of us.

This post brought to you by this most perfect dress that would in no universe fit my ass.

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Someone please buy that damn dress and then get your photo taken and show me because I think it is so damn beautiful. Betsy, you hurt my feelings again.

 

Stuff what I’m thinkin about.

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My transition to a daytime worker person is still ongoing. Today for the first time in months I’m wearing a dress and regular (non fleece) tights. I feel very cute.

What flavor of cute though?

I’m not spending much money on new stuff so I’m going to be wearing a lot of what I already have. I’ve been going through my clothes over the last few months and decided to hang on to some specific things.

That said, I am absolutely vibrating with want.

I’m very into witchy, Loli, Mori influenced stuff right now as well as what I call Gothables from big box stores. Essentially I want to look like a Bad Witch Fairy Anime Villain 90% of the time. Alternately i want to be a cute evil babydoll person. Weird art. I want to feel like weird cute and creepy art.

I’m super into all things skater dress and skirt. I’ve been buying a new dress once every few months because I realized that I have woefully few dresses that fit me anymore.

I think I’ve mentioned it already, but for real this whole Trumpy shit is just making me weird. And yes, let’s quote the Joker and say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger or whatever y’all know.

I feel like I’ve tried to kind of tame or shake the feeling. I get these ideas in my head and I’m like, yeah wor probably wouldn’t trip but no…can I not?

I just want to cover myself in magical tattoos of sigils and protection words and wear make up that makes people not want to sit by me on the bus and be fabulous and sparkly so at least one thing is nice every day.

High Scary Femme as radical survival.

Let’s be real, I do want to grow up to be terrifying and glam as fuck as an old heavily modded person of femmeness that said- y’all I ain’t got let’s be as freaky AF money.

I DIGRESS.

Anteeeway.

Let me show y’all a few things I’ve purchased in the last five months or so that I love.

The surprisingly great item of the month is this (affiliate links ahead) top from Amazon. Y’all, this is the nicest cheap shirt I’ve gotten from Amazon in a while. For reference I usually wear a 14-16 in tops and have some tig ole biddies. I bought this in black in an XL. The fit is a wee bit weird across the shoulders but once it stretched a bit it was fine. I wouldn’t wear it as a dress but wore it with faux leather leggings and boots and felt cute and floaty AF. Not the greatest but very workable. I would not suggest it for anyone with bigger boobs than mine (very full DD) but if you are smaller busted but wear say 16-18 you should be good. And these are fairly thin so wear a cami underneath.

I picked up one of these dresses off of Wish for a dollar. I got the largest size and the material is weird, but not bad. Feels cute, fits nicely, although, anyone bustier than me no son. There is no stretch there.

To see some of what I’m into fashion wise, keep your eyes on this here pinboard. Some of these are shop style links some not.

 

Struggle Bus Naturals- Dollar Store Supplies

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Hello darlings.

Let’s talk about ways to lower the cost of being natural.

Like everything else, we all know that being natural can get all in our pockets. Conditioners, trying new products etc. Let’s talk about some strategies to help lower that cost a bit. And I’ll share some pro tips on making it work.

First let’s talk supplies.

Things I think you need to have on hand, whether you’ve got a big fluffy fro or a two.

1.) Shower comb. (These are affiliate links, but always look at the dollar store/Walmart, etc. for this stuff.) When I first went natural, I bought a lot of higher priced combs from beauty supplies etc and broke every single one of them. Now I buy them in this style from the dollar store. I keep one in the shower for wash day and one by my bed for out of shower detangling. If they have any little bit of an edge on them, take a nail file and smooth them down and boom. Excellent comb.

2.) Cheapy conditioners. I keep bottles of the stuff on hand for pre poo detangling if my hair is tangly, I use it to add slip to my cowashes. Sometimes if I’ve done something to my hair and it’s dry and tangled, cheapy conditioner to the rescue. I also use some of the conditioners from Tresemme to form the base of my cowashes. My faves are: Suave Professionals Conditioner, Almond + Shea Butter, TRESemmé Flawless Curls Conditioner, Curl HydrationGarnier Fructis Style Damage Eraser Conditioner,Aussie Mega Moist Conditioner with Pump, and my super all time fall back always does me right Suave Essentials Conditioner, Tropical Coconut. I’ll do a post about how I mix my cowashes for best cleansing and how to figure it out.

3.) OILS! I LOVE oils, oils love me but it can get expensive. If you are a coconut oil user, check discount grocery stores. I have bought/spotted giant jars of coconut oil for under 10$ at Big Lots. Check here to see if you have one close by. For oils like Castor oil here’s my trick. I use a bargain brand light castor oil as an additive to my deep conditioners, pre poos, and cowashes. I use Viva Naturals Castor Oil. The bottle lasts quite a long time. It isn’t cold pressed but I found it performs just as well as my super fancy organic blappity blap. The other brand of oils I’m fond of is the NOW brand. I have used several of them and been satisfied every time.AND you can get smaller bottles so you can try out an oil and see if it agrees with you. Like this avocado oil.

Other stuff to watch out for at the dollar store.

Shower caps, those gold foil conditioning caps, butterfly clips (essential to working with hair in sections), headbands (I like the soft cloth kind), those terry cloth turban/wrap things. Now with those I suggest using them less to dry your hair and more to contain any pre-poos or other messy conditioning stuff.

My biggest tip is to focus on creating yourself a basics stash. Your ride or die conditioners, shampoos etc. Don’t commit to the biggest most expensive thing first. Using up a product you hate is a hell of a task.

Next struggle bus naturals post, I’ll do a photo tutorial of how I mix my cowashes.

Passion planner-Thoughts.

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Hello darlings.

Can we talk planners?

Back in the day before smart phones I was a devout user of dollar store calenders and pocket journals like this. Small chubby notebooks like this were my jam (affiliate link back there). I wrote everything in them, chunks of stories, my work schedule, bus times, everything.

This is also how I developed my love of this specific pen. Always purple. Back then, that was my ultimate treat myself thing was one of those pens. My current very favorite pen (that I use daily) are these. Also always in purple.

Now that we live in the future, I’ve mainly been using my google calendar for stuff. I share it with my partner and use it for appointments, budgeting, bills and whatnots but it wasn’t really fulfilling. And not really doing what I needed.

In the last few years, paper planners have been trendy. I’ve seen lots of styles and whatnot. I’ve tried Bullet Journaling. From their site:

Rapid Logging

Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal. Rapid Logging is the solution. Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.

For me, when I tried this system, it didn’t really work with my brain. For me, a big part of this process is slowing my brain works. I think this method would be great for folks who want quick easy and very open planning.

After that I started researching Passion Planners. I read a lot of reviews and watched videos and ultimately treated myself to the UNDATED MONDAY COMPACT TIMELESS BLACK.  Y’all.

First up the quality is very nice. The construction is solid, the paper has a nice feel and color. From their website:

WHAT’S INSIDE

  • Passion RoadMap: Annual exercise that helps you define, and create actions for your goals in 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, and throughout your life.
  • Weekly layouts starting on Monday
  • Annual and monthly overview calendars
  • Monthly reflection questions to keep you focused on your progress
  • 28 additional blank pages
  • 28 additional gridded pages

WEEKLY LAYOUTS

  • Weekly and daily focuses to keep your attention on the most important tasks.
  • Weekly plans from Monday – Sunday, 6 AM – 11 PM. Every day, broken down into 30 minute sections to help you manage your time.
  • “Good Things That Happened” section to keep you focused on the positive.
  • A motivational quote and challenge to inspire positive action.
  • Personal and work to-do lists organized by priority to encourage work-life balance, because very often we forget to take care of ourselves.
  • “Space of Infinite Possibility” where you can take notes, draw, create, write, brainstorm or customize to your needs.

For me this is what I needed. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I am super in love. In love enough to start personalizing it with stickers from artist Jesse Dewyer (the amazing mermaid) and some from the Evil Supply Co.

cover

[image description: image of a black planner with a fat great white mermaid sticker in the lower left, a pink and purple rose sticker and a graveyard dirt sticker on top]

It is A5 size 5.5”x8.5” and fits in my purse very nicely. There is a little pocket on the inside where I have some stickers and extra notes.

Okay, so overall I am very into this.

If part of your planning/journaling is some down/quiet time to spend with yourself I think this system is great. There is enough structure to include work/creative life and space for other stuff. I also get to indulge my love of stickers, I have some other color pens that are gonna be incorporated.

How do I use it?

I do the weekly plans as you can see in the photo below (sorry it is blurry)

inside

[image description: pages in a passion planner with purple writing, and a green 13 sticker]

My handwritng isn’t as arty as you might find if you search the hashtag #pashfam but I’m making it my own.

Lastly, I really appreciate their charity program. For part of the year they do a buy one and they donate one thing that is pretty great.

I will be posting more photos as I get more into it. You can follow me on Insta @weebeasty to see what I do with it.

Overall I’m giving it a 9.5/10 ONLY because I hate the color of the ribbon. Super petty I know but whatevs. Also, if you decide to pick one up, do me a solid and come back here and I can give you a referral. I’ll be saving up to buy another one because I love them.

That’s all y’all.

Do you use planners? Show me yours.

I See you 2017

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Hello darlings.

I hope this finds y’all well as you can be.

Can we talk about 2017?

I keep saying it, but I’ll say it again. I’m turning 40 this year. Holy damn.

Let’s talk the Old Goth at 40.

I’ve given up cheap ballet flats for good. I gave away my last pair with some sadness. I’ve figured out that because of the shape of my feet, I’m best with mary janes with some stretch, my trusty Doc Martens and boots.

And how about some protips?

If you have feet that are more narrow at the heel, Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus. Look for the thicker padding and stick some of this in the back of your shoes. it can help if your heels slip around in shoes, help breaking in shoes AND it even helps breaking in new Docs. Also, y’all. Be nice to your feet. I know shit is expensive, but do take care of them, especially if you are diabetic, or don’t drive.

Next thing. It’s time to start transitioning from my holy shit I’m cold style (lots of layers and leggings and tall socks) to, oh damn I’m kinda cold but getting sweaty.

I am so tired of wearing leggings. Yes, I look adorable in them. I’m giving some major 90s realness with my big sweaters and leggings, but I miss dresses.

I’m so excited about the return of babydolls to go with my skater dresses. I’m a 90s bb and I just LOVE that there are so many affordable options for the cuts I favor and most of them come in black or kinda fugly dark floral prints.

I’m working up a new pin board (shop style affiliate link y’all) with some of the stuff I really REALLY want to be wearing for spring. I have fancy goth aspirations but frankly, I’m really a comfy femme old goth and that’s okay. A lot of what I like you can easily goth up with accessories and styling.

Along with the season change, I’m changing my whole work day. I’m retiring from being a professional night owl and moving back into the daytime worker world. I’m not enthused about getting up at the buttcrack of dawn, I am pretty excited to think that my partner and I will be able to go out and do stuff!

Also, like since I might actually have a life outside of work I need going out wear right?

I want to stop here to make a note of something I’m experiencing in the post Trumpfuckian nightmare.

As things have progressed, I’m settling into this very uh, peaceful rage. I want to pull out all my weapons all the time and that includes my Femmeness. I am walking around with my booty out, back straight and chin up.

I walk around giving fewer and fewer fucks about a lot of things daily. Among them, what anyone ever has to say about how I look, how I work out my gender presentation etc. Not. One. Single. Fuck.

Being that I’ve been unable to wear the amount of dresses I like, I’ve been opting for feeling like I’m representing some beat face rugged Femme Realness and I look quite unbothered.

My go to look aside from big sweaters and leggings and tall socks has been my new FAVE skinny jeans. Y’all, I actually really hate to wear jeans. I don’t like how denim feels on my skin most of the time. I have the Lovesick High Waisted black skinny jeans.* They are super black, very comfy. I’m kind of chunky teenager size and I have these in a size 15 for bloated days (today) and a size 13 for a tighter fit. I do find the legs a bit too long for me and they aren’t as skin tight skinny on me as they are on the model but I actually really like them. I also have the lower rise version and I would actually pay full price for em.

For a jeans hater like me, they are pretty great.

I also enjoy some nerdy tees. Uniballer and I are both big fans of Tee Turtle (good sizing range, variety of cuts, GREAT prices and cute designs).

And as for my make up, I’m back to dabbling in the slightly weird. Today behold my faceballs.

Okay so I’m wearing a big ass wing today. For my big wings I do not fuck around. I use a very very black gel liner. (Affiliate links ahoy) My current hands down fave is the L’ORÉAL Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner 24 Hour liner in Blackest Black. I’ve used eleventy billion kinds of liner and for a big ole super black wing this is my never fail. It is as dark as Mac Blacktrack Fluidline but it’s not 17 damn dollars. A lot of the time I buy them bogo and always have a back up.

Being that I was really not fucking around, I used my Aesthetica Pro Series Lip Brush for my liner. Now I know some of you are like um, but lip brush? No seriously. If you have a big ole eye and love a bigass wing, this type of brush makes things way easier. Also, remember if you have a bigger brush the line is always gonne be chunkier and you may need to go in with a smaller brush to pack product at your lashline. I have like four of that type of brush and they are perfect for me.

Next I did something a lil weird. I put this random (it is in an unlabled baggie so it may have been a prototype or 1 off) bright red eyeshadow right in the inner corner of my eye above the liner line. That wasn’t an accident I did it on purpose. I used a little flat shader brush like the one in this kit on amazon. I didn’t blend I just packed color in there. To pack color on, you want to press press press and not do wiper motions. I really wanted a splotch of friggin red and didn’t put on another color or blend it at all. I used the edge (this takes practice) of the same brush and packed that color on my lower lash line too. I took it to the end of the cat eye liner (I cannot get a good pic) and a little in the inner corner tear duct area. Then I piled on mascara and finished with my fave griege nude lippie.

NYX COSMETICS Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon. I’ve tried both high end and low end liquid matte lippies and the lingerie line is in my top two for comfort and wear.

Then I powdered the shit out of my fave and walked out the door.

I cut my own damn bangs on this wig, I’ve got a rekindled interest in doing less “proper” make up. I don’t give a fuck.

I want to fully inhabit the fuck out of my GenderQueer Chunky Assed Old Gothness.

How I present my outer body is my armor. It is how I survive and how I shore myself up when I’m flagging. Look at my face, I know that not only am I the enemy of many factions who are now in charge that it will chap their collective ass to have me walking around with my head up, not cowering in fucking terror.

So you know what?

Fuck it.

That said, I’m going to resume my little body modification savings fund. Maybe for my birthday I’ll finally get my septum pierced or get a small tattoo.

If you followed me from the blogger days, y’all know every year at the gentle prodding of friends I make a ridiculous wishlist for my birthday. I made one. If you buy me a book PLEASE buy the cheapest copy. I don’t need em brand new y’all. Find that here. 

I am depressed and scared. I’m making some other life changes that are scary but happening. Life is rolling on and I gotta roll with it or get flattened.

Stay tuned for some other major announcements.

If you want to follow my other writing, sign up to my writer newsletter which is really a love letter to my fellow creatives. I talk about art, resistance, trauma, what I’m workin on. Lots of stuff. Check out the archive here and sign up if you’re so moved.

I love y’all.

Take care of each other and yourselves.

Love,

Auntie Shannon

 

 

A few quickie reviews.

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I’ve tried out a few new things recently and nothing that needs their own entries so how about some quickies?

Last month I tried out the monthly snack box Graze (my referral link for new folks) basically it’s a monthly sampler of super healthy snacks. It is somewhat customizable with some major caveats. If you’re like me and don’t like nuts that much, there’s not a whole lot on offer. I liked two things out of I think 8 and I gave my partner the other things and he didnt’ care for them much. That said, if you do like nuts I do think it’s a nice deal. If you find yourself in need of snacks at work or whatever, it’s a nice little treat box. I believe right now if you sign up, you can get one free via my affiliate link.

The next thing is the Ulta Ultra Rich hand and nail cream. I have the Coconut almond milk one and y’all. It is 12$ and well worth it to me. The scent is light, not super perfumy and the texture is very rich and creamy without being greasy. This is the hand cream I use at work. I have really super dry hands that crack and this helps keep my hands more supple during the day. If you don’t have super dry skin, this will just feel super luxe and keep your hands the way they are. Don’t expect miracles but it is good stuff.

I’ve been using a new nighttime moisturizer for about a month and y’all…I mean like…so. The NO7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream. Y’all. for 25$ this cream is super rich and feels thick on the skin. I use this last at night and in the month I’ve been using it regularly I’m seeing that my skin is absolutely softer, I have a few patches on my face where I get these irritated thick dry skin over ingrown hairs and this stuff softens that up.I use it all down my neck and onto the tops of my boobs. It is a really wonderful rich cream and it takes only a little bit to go around and the jar will last a while. Like every other goddamn moisturizer, I’d prefer it to come in a pump or tube but yanno.

Now I have to show y’all something that is expensive AF and that I am so in love with it hurts. Like, I did not want to like it, but I friggin love it. The Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. From Fall through probably May my lips are super prone to cracking. Doesn’t matter how hydrated I am, if I don’t’ have a cold it is allergies or just how my body is. It hurts and leaves discoloration around the corners of my mouth. Normally at night I use a combo of a good heavy, waxy lip balm (generic Burts Bees type or the Eos balms) with a generous (thick and gross) layer of Rosebud Salve on my lips. I don’t know what the super secret formula of that is, but it works. I like the original flavor.

NOW.

I picked up some samples of the Agave lip mask from Sephora a while back……..holy shit wow.

I don’t care about the colors, I slopped that shit on and know that I mouth breathed all night because I was congested. Not only were my lips supple in the morning there was STILL product on them. Normally I’d tell myself, please don’t buy that shit again, but, I want to keep being able to wear ALL my fave lip looks so I’m likely going to pick some up.

I have some other new skin care stuff I’m trying. I’ve kept my promise to myself and have some really great stuff stashed at home to tryout.

What else is coming up?

I’m putting together a page that will have links to indie POC artists because that is important to me. Keep an eye out for that.

MMm what else? I dunno y’all. Stuff.

Have you tried anything new and awesome lately?

You can tell me.

New Year, New Stuff and damn it’s cold

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Holy damn. Y’all we here.

I started this on the third and couldn’t quite get to where I could say anything beyond holy shit no.

I had to spend some time doing a heart to heart with myself. I keep feeling like I should do something more with this space, but frankly I cannot. My actual soul cannot take me giving more space to the Trumpfuckian nightmare than I already do.

So, save for rarely I won’t be doing that here.

Instead I’m gonna do more of what I love. We’re gonna talk beauty, skin care, aging, bodies, fashion the way I wanna talk about it.

It brings me joy to talk about these things and frankly when you are a marginalized person under threat, doing things that bring you joy is a nice big ole middle finger to the forces that want us to suffer.

So let’s talk about 2017.

I started spending a lot of time side hustling way back in Sept. because I wanted to buy a bunch of high end skin care stuff to start off 2017. I mostly did Swagbucks (y’all it was slow ass going but if you have the time why not) and plotted. I’ve only really dabbled in high end skin care, a moisturizer here and there but nothing major. I really wanted to try brands like Boscia, Peter Thomas Roth and whatnot.

I saved up 100$ in gift cards from my side hustle and y’all I bought SO MANY THINGS. Mostly all travel sized so I can try them out. I’m concentrating mostly on masks and a few cleansers to put into rotation.

I’m already so delighted by my skin, I really just want to play and see what happens.

I really want to do some OOTDs but I’m having a hell of a time figuring it out. The lighting in my apartment is not bright enough, I don’t have a full length mirror. I’m thinking if I can find my tripod I can take photos myself at work but I must find the tripod.

Mainly because y’all I have been so cute lately.

Today I’m wearing leggings with an attached skater skirt, Harajuku style socks, booties, a cute vneck top and a cardi. I’m fucking adorable.

Imma sort it out.

What else?

Beauty misadventures.

Aging. I mean I’m turning mother fucking 40 this year and if you’ve been here a minute you know I’m HYPE about it.

So that’s where we’re at.

I’m going to try and figure out more photo posting and coming next week I’ll show y’all my fave lippies on my real face.

In a few weeks I’ll do a wig lookbook AND a special post on how to buy wigs on a budget and why it’s okay if your shit ain’t laid.

OH before I forget. I used my shop style links and created a new pinboard. These are some of the skin care items I’m trying this year.

2016 By Some Numbers

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I’ve been keeping various metrics all year and I spent some time averaging stuff out and wanted to share. I use a mix of apps and my google calendar to keep track of stuff.

Bodily things:

  • According to my pedometer app I walk between 1-1.75 miles a day when I remember to start the app.
  • I drink on average 2 liters of water a day.
  • I drink about a liter of other liquids (tea, coffee, juice) a day
  • Since doing the LOC Method I take down and moisturize my hair 2 times a week and then on wash day.
  • I deep cleanse (clarify) my hair once a month.
  • On good days I eat about four times while I’m at work. Usually snack sized things.
  • I exfoliate from face to butt about 2 times a week.
  • I moisturize from face to butt every night.

Other things:

I generally write about 2K words a day in various ways. Blog posts, work on the next version of Self-Care like A Boss, my author newsletter etc.

For the past couple of months I crochet for a bit over an hour and a half.

I listen to 2 or so hours of audiobooks or podcasts.

My work days start at noon and usually end around midnight. I include my dayjob working hours and my commute.

This year like a lot of us I survived the multiple losses of people I admire. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to manage my anxiety, figuring out how to live and thrive with it and not spend so much time fighting it.

This little blog has been on my mind.

And real talk.

I don’t know if I mentioned it but the main purpose of this blog is so that I can teach myself to write about stuff like fashion, beauty and Black Beauty and natural hair and whatnot in my own way. I’ve had a long standing interest in these things and between us I really hate how this stuff is written about a lot of the time.

I’ve always felt pretty cold about beauty that doesn’t even bother to try being inclusive. I got very tired of beauty bloggers who in spite of their chipy “positive” attitudes, could never critique stuff. I mean, so many white and non-Black POC stanning for brands (sponsors) that don’t come in colors appropriate for Brown skin and they don’t tell you.

It culminated for me after binge watching beauty reviews on youtube and I realized that in terms of format, content and the things most of the people I followed would and wouldn’t comment on- they had nothing for me. Even a few Black youtuber/beauty bloggers. Like, girl I’m glad you got some shit for free but don’t tell me something is for “everyone” when CLEARLY shit doesn’t come in darker than tan.

I read/saw skin care reviews with raves after two days of use. I mean, can we be real? Unless something is legit miraculous or is like a pore-filler/mattifying primer, you can’t tell shit after a few days.

I read/saw so many reviews of beauty bags where nobody bothered to say that, yo 80% of these products will not work for Black people.

I got tired of it. I find it disingenuous. I got tired of the gender essentialism, casual transphobia, casual colorism, etc.

I also tried to break into beauty writing in magazines and because I don’t do things like gender essentialism, always positive etc nah son.

So here we are.

I’m your Fine Ass Old Auntie with the tea.

If shit is shit, I’m gonna tell you.

Now that this little spot is paid for, I’m going to be expanding my content. I’m going to do more of those affiliate linked fashion posts. More make up posts.

I have plans to talk about trying to shop in a more ethical fashion. So that means, I might talk about some problematic Faves. I’m going to talk about products I feel are a rip off.

If I can work it out and figure out how to use my little phone tripod, there will be some more outfit stuff. We’re gonna talk about fat fashion and cheap fashion and things.

2017 is gonna be something else.

Now, if you celebrate(d) holidays, happy and merry and all.

If you party for New Years, do so safely.

Happy 2017 darling dears.

Feelin Myself- Hair n Beauty updates

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Oh hay y’all.

As we are ending the trash fire that 2016 has been, I want to end on a few good notes.

Including, stuff that I am super into beauty and hair wise.

Hair first.

I’ve been doing the L.O.C (Leave in, Oil, Cream) method of moisturizing my hair for a while now and wow does it work. It took a few months for me to figure out that my hair once it is well moisturized, only wants to have the full LOC done on it twice a week while I’m protective styling.

Now I am hardcore protective styling. I’m using wigs and I only manipulate my hair to wash it. I’ve decided to protective style until, uh, well whenever I’m done I guess. My hair is healthy enough right now that I’m focusing really heavily on retaining my length.

My current rotation of products is: (affiliate links ahoy)

Liquid-Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture L.O.C. Super Quench Leave-In Spray– not bad. Not quite liquidy enough for my tastes. If you prefer a finer spray this one is good.

Oil- I use half and half of the African Royale Hot Six Hair Oil and JBCO. I added some powdered MSM to it as well.

For my cream (My holy grail is still Oyin Handmade Whipped pudding, but real talk I can’t generally afford it) Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter. I actually bought that on a whim. A few months ago I spent about 50$ on a TON of hair care stock up and this was on sale and a big ass jar. I’ve used some of the jar and it is super moisturizing. It is also kind of heavily perfumed with a powdery scent I don’t think is stellar. The secret is to make sure hair is good and damp or wet before application.

Simple. Easy. My hair is thriving very nicely.

I have also discovered a new type of bonnet to sleep in and I LOVE IT. No irritation, no pressure on my edges. The Magic organic argan oil treated sleep cap.  I dunno if the treatment works or no but, it stays on. I sleep like a demon and used to have to tie other satin bonnets on tightly and that does not work when you get migraines. These are loose and I’ve yet to force once off and no marks on my forehead when I get up. A+.

Now let’s talk my skin.

I had one indulgence on Cyber Monday and I bought the Spin for Perfect Skin brush from Groupon.

spinbrush

I did a TON of research and decided to give it a shot. Y’all……..holy shit I’m in love with it so hard. First of all, it was 80$ off (don’t worry links in a minute) it came with: the machine, a soft brush (lower left corner), an exfoliating brush (right bottom), a body brush, and a pumice stone. I have used all of them and wow.

The soft daily face brush is very soft. This thing spins at a good clip and leaves my skin super clean and smooth. First, I remove my makeup with my Rice, Bright cleansing oil, then I put liquid African Black soap and spin away. I’m careful not to press hard and my skin has already shown some improvement. My dark spots are fading a bit faster, my period break outs are less intense. It actually works better for me than my Clarisonic.

Once a week I use the exfoliating brush with a creamy cleanser. Usually Sunday’s because normally I don’t wear make up on Sunday. Then I follow up with a mask.

Excellence. The exfoliating brush has decreased how many ingrown hairs I get on my chin and is great overall.

The body brush…….zomfg. My skin is very dry and peely in the winter. I have to have good exfoliation a few times a week and this gets the job done. After I exfoliate with a moisturizing body wash, after I slather on my moisturizers. My booty is smooth and the dry patch I have is already starting to shrink.

NOW. If you don’t already use groupon please consider using my referral link to sign up. You can find the brush here. It didn’t come with a fancy case which is fine. I sanitize my brush heads after use and it goes on a shelf. Honestly, it was a great investment and I’d pay full price for it.

Winter is always tough on my self image. It’s taken me all these years to figure out how to dress and stay warm, to have a nice coat, to have my skin in check. I’ve decided in 2017 in order to continue my glow up, I’m gonna change up my skin care a little bit. Just a few minor tweaks.

Coming up soon I’ll do a post and show y’all my little wig collection. Also, I’ll show y’all how I braid under my wings. It’s not the fleekiest method but I can’t cornrow and it works.

After new year, look for some thoughts on turning 40, hopefully some thoughts about an adventure in perfumery and some angst about underwear.