Struggle Bus Naturals- Quick and Dirty new naturals tips.

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Hello my gorgeous friends.

Today I want to talk about being newly natural and confused AF.

As usual, there will be amazon affiliate links.

And as with all stuff, this is my experience. Your mileage may vary. Before we get into tips, let’s talk natural hair jargon.

Low/no poo- this is basically when you either use sulfate shampoos rarely or not at all.

Sulfates- OKAY here is a thing. A lot of natural hair related stuff will scare tactic you with the term sulfates. OMG SO DANGEROUS, DESTROYS HAIR..IT IS DISHSOAP. Nope. Sulfate only describes the stuff that makes the thing clean your hair. Or your car or your dishes. The sulfates in your shampoo are not exactly the same as what you use in your dishwasher. Sulfate shampoos are not inherently evil. Some folks have hair that can tolerate being super squeaky cleaned with suds, some don’t.

In the same vein, CHEMICALS. Okay, let’s have a real talk. Chemicals are everything, everything is chemicals. Water is a chemical. Chemicals are not to be inherently feared because they are both natural and man made. That said, anything can cause an adverse reaction and that does not automatically mean a product or ingredient is the devil. You can be allergic to water.

Pro tips about allergens: if you have a nut allergy be very careful using anything with shea butter or coconut oil. How do you know if you’re having a reaction? Redness, intense itching, hives etc. If you have those, or fear a reaction, stop using something. If it is i n your hair, try shampooing with a gentle shampoo and rinsing very very well.

Cowash- As I talked about here, this is using conditioner or a conditioner based cleanser to clean your hair.

L.O.C Method- My personal favorite method of keeping my hair well moisturized and in good condition. It stands for Leave In, Oil and Cream. We’ll talk about that a bit further down.

EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre-poo- Treating your hair with conditioner or oil prior to washing.

DCing- Deep conditioning. Using a dedicated deep conditioner ideally under a plastic cap or bag, for 15 minutes to however long with or without extra heat.

Big Chop- Cutting off all your relaxed hair.

Transition- Going natural without a big chop.

Tip no. 1) Limit yourself as to how much advice you take in. Including mine. I got very big eyes when I first went natural and in the process wound up spending a lot of money, doing some damage to my hair and ultimately feeling really stressed that my transition to natural wasn’t going like it seemed to go in the hair blogs. So, slow your roll.

2.) Start simple. Whether you big chop or transition start easy. Establish a simple routine for yourself so you have a baseline idea of how to take care of your hair. When I transitioned to natural here’s what I did: I found that my hair responds well to heavier butter based moisturizers. I started using whipped shea butters to moisturize my hair. I discovered that my hair doesn’t really like hard core protein. Basically, take your time and get to know your hair.

This is especially important for those who had relaxed hair for a really long time. Let me tell you a story.

When I was first fully natural I was envisioning myself with a perfectly round little afro (a TWA) just like my Mom had back in the day. I remembered her tightly coiled hair and how shiny it was and yadda yadda.

What I have…is not that on my head. My natural hair is incredibly variously textured. From 4/a/b in spots to almost straight in a few sections. I thought it was damaged so I spent the first few years being natural cutting a lot off of my hair. Then I realized that’s just my hair.

Other things to get to know about your hair when you’re starting out. I wish I’d known about porosity.  Once you figure out what kind of porosity you’re working with, learning what products work for you will be easier.

3.) If you don’t know how, try learning how to cornrow. I personally can’t. I’ve tried and tried and can’t do it. But, I do believe it’s a great skill to have.

4.) Start out with good habits. Don’t detangle on dry hair. Soak it in conditioner or oil or get it wet. Work in sections. Even if your hair is very short, learn to work in sections. Learn to shampoo properly. Concentrate shampoo on your scalp and let the run off cleanse your hair. As a general rule, if you shampoo spend twice the time rinsing than you do sudsing. Don’t use your nails on your scalp use the pads of your fingers.

5.) Figure out a good method to trim your hair. Alternately decide if you want a pro to do it. I use the search and destroy method most often.

Those are my tips for those just starting. Let’s talk some details.

I’ll tell you about my routine with my hair.

I’m a protective styler. Mainly because I’m bad at styling but also because I’m trying to retain every bit of growth I get. My go to protective styles are buns and wigs.

Under my wig, my hair is braided into smallish braids. Not cornrows. I take them down every two weeks to cleanse. One week I will cowash another I will use shampoo. I always pre-treat my hair with coconut oil. After I do that, I wash and deep condition. I fully detangle my hair in the shower and put it into 4 big twists. I let that air dry a bit then I use the LOC method and rebraid my hair.

Every other month or so I deep clean my hair or clarify it. Pro-tip, if your hair isn’t taking moisture like it usually does, try doing this to strip all residue from your scalp and hair.

I will use the OGX Tea Tree and peppermint shampoo first. After I rinse that out, I use the Shea Moisture raw shea moisture retention shampoo. That combo does both my hair and scalp good.

I follow up clarifying with an intense deep conditioner. My favorites are the Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner but only in the packets. The bottle doesn’t seem to work as well for me. I’m also a big fan of the SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque. The Shea Moisture products tend to be very very heavily scented so be aware of that. I also love the Dark and Lovely AU Naturale Moisture L O C Deep Conditioning Delight.

Once my hair has air dried a bit I start with my LOC method. I have used Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin. I added a bit of light castor oil and it worked very nicely for me. For more slip, I highly recommend My DNA Leave-in Conditioner and Detangler. I used two bottles of this and it worked very nicely both times.

For oil you can use plain oils, probably not castor oil because of how heavy it is. But EVOO, coconut or whatever. I have a super secret about oils. I use commercial oils that have stuff I like in them. Check for hair loving herbs and stuff. My faves are, African Royale Hot Six Hair OilDoo Gro Mega Thick Growth Oil (I don’t know if this accelerates growth but I do love this formula).

For my cream layer I alternate between the Shea Moisture Strengthen Grow & Restore Loc & Braid Butter and a handmade whipped shea butter I picked up on etsy.

Usually because I always sleep with my hair wrapped I generally do this without unbraiding my hair twice a week.

Voila. A quick start guide.

Our next struggle bus naturals beginner thing, we’re going to talk about what to do with products you don’t particularly care for. We’ll talk about dollar store treasures. And talk about keeping your hair care budget manageable.

OH and last tip, stay hydrated. Being well hydrated is just all round good for you!

Old Goth Shoe Review-Dolly Bae Harlots Web Boots.

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A few months ago I had a gift card to Dolls Kill and I spent a few weeks figuring out what I wanted. Pro-tip they are not average size and up folk friendly for clothing. A lot of their clothing is only stocked in small sizes and a lot of the supposed one size stuff doesn’t fit above a size 8.

That being what it is, I picked up the Dolly Bae Harlots Web boots while they were on clearance.

These caught my eye because of the clear compartment and little plastic spiders inside the platform. Also being that the platform isn’t solid I figured they’d be pretty light as well. I’ve worn these a few times and here we go.

First up the box. They arrived in a huge glossy box see below:

box

[Image description: shiny black box with the words “Dolly Bae” in white script on it.

The boots were very well packaged. Each was both stuffed with tissue paper and there was that thin foamy stuff taped around the platform so they wouldn’t scuff in transit. Excellent.

Packaging A++.

Now here is how the shoes look at my feet, for reference I wear a size 7m in women’s shoes.

ropahow

[Image description: Black lace up shoes with black embroidered spider webs on top.

Okay so the upper is real leather. The embroidery is very nice. The leather has a nice thick but not hard feel. It is already starting to loosen up nicely after a few wears and walking around.

The laces are your standard round laces. They are long enough that if you have wider or fatter feet you should be able to lace them comfortable. There is a large industrial style zipper up the back and here is where I knock a couple of points off. The zipper action is very hard. I will likely oil the zipper a little to try and ease the action. That said, I believe the zipper is going to be pretty durable.

The platform, y’all.

The specs: these have a 3″ platform that is hollow inside with a bunch of baby plastic black spiders in it. Now if you look at the photos it looks like there is a ton, but really there aren’t that many. The bottom of the platform has a nice sole. See here:

platform

[image description: Platform ankle boots showing a clear platform with black plastic spiders inside.

The spiders move around while you walk and make a little noise. If you are sensitive to small kinda scratchy noises you won’t like them.

This type of platform is pretty great if you don’t like to wear heels or are newer to higher platforms. Like any other platforms since you don’t feel your feet hit the ground they can take a bit of getting used to. And you’ll probably stumble at least once I have.

Overall- I would have actually paid full price for these. I feel like the construction is solid, the wear is comfy, there is even some arch support which a lot of Goth shoes don’t have. A-.

I also had my eye on these Demonia boots. But here’s the thing about Demonia as a brand. I’ve worn Demonia boots for a long, long time and the last pair I purchased in probably 2013 or so were not great. The last pair I bought was these and while they are cute as shit, the construction is a hot shitty pants mess. On the inside of the boot in the toe box there is a weird solid ridge of plastic that cuts into my toes.

My problem with Demonia has been iffy construction. I have another pair of Demonia boots that are probably 7 years old and are fantastic. Also for the tall boots the calf circumference can be small.

So if you’re gonna wear Demonia, do try them on first if you can.

Also FYI- I really can’t write about all of the current terrible news. I can’t. So posting round these parts is gonna be fluffy and shiny because I have to take care of my mental health.

Cold Weather Style Feels.

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In the past few months I’ve discovered (old news I know, but I AM OLD deal with it) Strega/Dark more fashion. Thank you tumblr.

One of the features of these styles I am in love with are a lot of the beautiful knit type items folks layer with. So, to that end, I’ve decided to make myself some of those because reasons.

I already crochet and have started a couple of my big giant shawls for myself. I have been looking into arm knitting as well.

I’m looking at making one of these shawls.  I have a terrible wool allergy so a lot of the projects with the awesome huge chunky yarns have been inaccessible to me until, DUN DUN DUN… (affiliate links ahead)

Bernat Mega Bulky yarn. I saw this yarn not long ago and want it so bad. I love how it looks. I want to try it out.

Red Heart Boutique Twilight Yarn in Armour delivers the sparkle with no wool and that jumbo size.

Another favorite is Lion Brand Homespun.

Back to the Dark Mori. I’m SO into the idea because I love the idea and being that I’m outside a lot, I feel like it should work. That said, I’m terrible at it. I’m going to try harder this fall and winter. I think giving myself teh task of making myself some of the top/upper layer accessories will help get me started

I’m collecting up images and inspo and when I’ve got some more of my shit together I’ll post some of my actual outfit ideas.

I think I might have a little bulky yarn hidden in my stash and this weekend I’m gonna try to dig out some of my shawls for wearing.

Also in this cold weather fashion trend of mine, I’ll probably angst about my struggle with finding appropriate shoes that I can afford.

Are any of y’all crafty? Show me the stuff you make. I promise I won’t bite you if you’re cool.

Coming up soon, we’re gonna talk buying leggings, we’re gonna talk about Fall/Winter textures AND OMG I’m super stoked I’m gearing up for a quick and dirty guide for newly naturals.

I’m really excited about what’s happening in my new little blog here.

Thanks for visiting.

ALSO, if you want to see more of my choices for woolfree awesome yarns, check out this link (also linked above) of some of my faves. ALSO I’ll be adding a craft section to my Amazon store as well.

 

#bodygoals #beautygoals and thangs.

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I’ve been daydreaming pretty heavily lately about my end game in terms of body modification. Oh wait, you didn’t think this would be about waist trainers or some shit did you?

Nope.

If I was going to do any waist training it would be tight lace corsetry. But that’s a whole other entry.

SO.

Due to financial shit, my partner and I were unable to get our septums pierced for his birthday and I’m pretty bummed about that. I really want to finish up facial piercings in the next year or so. I want my septum and each nostril. For summary, of course.

I really like the idea of having an upside down triangle of shiny things in my face.

Beauty as I age involves a lot of thought about body modifcation. My ultimate dream is to be a heavily tattooed little old person someday. I’m talking pretty much a full bodysuit of tattoos, maybe a few implants and scarification. I’m talking serious.

I dream about being a Nazgul Alien Evil Queen.

Since I was a little baby potato, my dreams in terms of my own looks have always involved body modifications of one sort or another. My tattoo dreams (I have about 10 medium to smallish ones planned right now) are just, right now they feel out of reach because it is expensive. I’m hoping that I can get either a poetry/personal survival related piece on my right forearm or two small ones behind each ear soonish.

I’m working up to getting at least the spiritually meaningful ink first. Then the fun stuff.

One of the other things I’ve really thought a lot about is using accessories to help me feel beautiful in my gender/expression.

So since I’m currently putting bits of money aside for new fancy goth stuff let’s talk about stuff I want.

I want prescription sclera lenses. I actually really want to get my eyes tattooed and blacked out, but, that body mod isn’t totally a safe one and given how bad my vision is I feel like it would just fuck up my vision more. I’m also really into these.

The other thing I dream about is having custom grills. My favorite are this style. I want them fanged, top and bottom in the white gold.

The older and more comfortable I get in my body, the more I want to explore how I present myself to the world. I want to try out ways to make myself look alien or monstrous. The traditional or trendy ideas of beauty have really stopped being at all influential or important to me.

I don’t really do a lot with my eyebrows. Occasionally I shave or wax them into thin eyebrows but I’m terrible at drawing them on and filling them. I wish I was better at it so I could shave them off and have different ones daily. I really LOVE super artistic brows and it’s a skill I hope to attain.

While I’m on the countdown to 40 (I turn 40 next March) I’m so happy that my expression of my own beauty is becoming this weird thing where I screw around with make up and I’m not afraid not to do pretty, professional looking make up on myself. I spent a lot of time a few years ago feeling very unimpressed with my make up skills in spite of the hours of practice I put in.

These days, I’ll throw crap on my face until I feel cute and sometimes it works sometimes not. And I’m fine with it. I’m proud of it.

My engagement with beauty is strictly on my terms. This is possibly the greatest gift in terms of beauty I’ve ever given myself. Even more than taking time to learn to take care of my skin or hair.

In terms of my gender expression, I’ve settled on just being a non-binary femme alien nazgul monster queen. Like, that really does it for me. The gender thing we’ll talk more about.

There is something so joyful for me in  not beating myself up on any level about the zero fucks I give about what is age appropriate, normal, pretty or whatever.

So how about some peeks at what I’m into lately?

I’m really into the soft grunge look. That said, being that I’m not pale I have had a bit of a time figuring out how to make it work. Also the techniques. I got the technique down today, but I used an eyeshadow that’s too made on my skin. Also, for me, I want my skin close to flawless and beat. Almost every tutorial is done by/for White/pale people so I’ve had to improvise.

I’m getting back into dramatic ass super extra big ole winged liner. Big Wings. I’ve been experimenting with different liner formulas. I like my cat eye liner big and black. Or big and black on top color on bottom. My Old Goth standby.

What am I ready to get back into?

Experimenting with ways to look like a creepy, mostly dead doll type figure. Not sure how to get what I see in my head, I’m working on it.

Also big shiny lips. We’ll do a lip look post later on.

I’m finding myself ready to play with my looks again and it’s fantastic.

Lately I’ve been kinda plainish for my taste mainly because I’ve not had the energy so I’m working on it.

Wanna see my face?

Come follow me on Instagram. Most of my insta is selfies and I’m going to resume actually trying to get good make up shots.

The best part about this is that I’m living proof you are never too old or too anything to reframe how you think of beauty, both your own and other folks. You just have to try.

Next time we’re gonna talk about fashion and my concept of low key cosplay in every day life. Ways to invoke your faves without dropping legit cosplay money.

 

Struggle Bus Naturals- CoWashing What?

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Hello my fellow struggle bus naturals.

Today let’s talk about cowashing.

For those who don’t know cowashing is using a conditioning formula to cleanse your hair. There are a ton on the market and I’d like to talk about how I figured out making it work for me.

When I first went natural cowashing was really just getting on the map in natural hair care. (These will all be amazon affiliate links) I purchased a bottle of Wen conditioning cleanser. .

First thing is that stuff smells amazing. Second up, I have stuff I need to work around.

  1. My scalp can get kind of crapped up. Off and on my scalp gets dry and flaky or just kind of gunky. It always has.
  2. My hair even at that point when it was about 5 inches shorter, is very dense. I need a lot of product to coat all my strands.
  3. That shit is expensive.
  4. My hot water heater is not mighty enough to do ALL my wash in shower.

Now, while the Wen was nice, my hair didn’t feel conditioned enough to me and my scalp still felt a bit dirty.

The brands I liked better were:

The As I Am cowash is really nice. It smells nice, it has a good amount of slip, it left my hair feeling quite nice. However it is in a freaking jar…A JAR. So the first one I got I wound up spilling half of it because my hands were slippery and it went whoopsie. Also again, I ran out of hot water. That said, if your hair isn’t super dry or very dirty this works really nicely and it’s affordable if you’re not using a lot.

The next thing I tried was straight up V05 Moisture Milk. While I do love that product for detangling it did not work on it’s own for a cowash for me. Also, do not buy it from Amazon go to the dollar store.

So I figured out a few things.

My hair thrives on low poo but not no poo. Cowashing is pretty great but I had to get a formula together.

Here is how it goes down for me.

I take a plastic bowl and spoon (usually empty butter containers or whatever) and gather my conditioners.

Yes, plural.

I usually buy conditioners by the liter. First, you want a base conditioner. Use one that’s got some heft and thickness here are the ones I like.

Aussie Moist  is my jam. It has a great amount of slip, is very moisturizing by itself and has a nice bit of body to the formula.

Tresemme Naturals Flawless curls hydrating conditioner. This is another classic for me. It’s not as moisturizing as the Aussie but it’s pretty great. The other great thing is often at drug stores it is on sale for the giant size. I also like this formula and this one as well for my base.

For my base I like it to be about a quarter of my overall mix.

Next up, you’ll want to add something for that extra slip. Aside from the mentioned V05 I will use, Suave Naturals line. My fave is coconut. This is another one I say do not buy this shit from Amazon it’s like a dollar everywhere else. The Organix line is also pretty great. I’ll add some of the Argan oil one for my slip. Basically you want something that’ll help ease your detangling.

Next I add a few squirts of something with some protein. Generically speaking, look for stuff that says anti breakage. I religiously use Garnier Damage eraser. My hair is protein sensitive and I’ve found that using a bit of this in my mix regularly has made a nice difference.

Now you can skip to my cleansing element here or if you are protective styling you can do this.

My hair LOVES friggin oils. I am protective styling so I add oils to my cowash. My number ONE oil to add to anything is light castor oil. It’s light as in color. This one (the bottle is UV protected) I’ve gone through four bottles and it’s lovely. I like a good heavy oil. You can also experiment with lighter oils like EVOO, Jojoba etc.

The other things I add are a few drops of tea tree oil for my scalp. Also a word of caution. Check with your doctor if you’re pregnant before you try essential oils. And, less is more. If you’re using the tingly oils (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary) start with only a few drops. They can all irritate skin and you need to be careful.

The other thing I add (that I hate) is a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. I don’t know why, but it just makes a huge difference in detangling, my hair feels smoother and better moisturized when I’m done. It’s gross and will give your mix a slightly chunky feel, but it works for me.

Now for my super secret.

I add gentle shampoo. Not a whole lot. Only a little bit.

My favorites are: Moisture Retention from Shea Moisture. If my scalp feels itchy, I use the Organix Tea Tree shampoo.

Sometimes I use my liquid African Black soap or even baby shampoo (only a TINY bit of that).

I recommend only adding a small amount of your cleanser to begin with. See how you like it.

I know it sounds like a lot, but, once I figured out how to eyeball the ratios of stuff my hair likes it only takes me about five minutes to mix it up. I priced it out and even with the extra stuff I use, it’s far more economical to use and I’m able to asses what my hair needs batch to batch because I make it right before I use it.

Now the how.

I don’t wet my hair first. I always pre-treat my hair with coconut oil whether I’m cowashing or shampooing. My hair responds super well to coconut oil so it is a staple.

When I get ready to cowash my hair is already sectioned and partially detangled. I saturate each section heavily and focus extra product on my ends. Then I hop into the shower and start with lukewarm water. I get each section wet, use the pads of my fingers on my scalp and once I get a bit of a lather, then I start detangling with my shower comb.

How do you know if you like your mix?

Before you moisturize your hair, let it air dry for a bit when you’re done washing. How does your hair feel? Is it soft? Fluffy? Does your scalp feel dirty? If you’re forgetful jot down your feels and work out what you need more of.

When I need extra moisture I will add a few squirts of the Shea Moisture manuka honey conditioner.

So that’s the secret, or my secret, at least.

Like most things with my natural hair, a lot of the blogs and stuff can only tell you so much. I’ve found that gentle experimentation and sticking with what my hair responds well to has been key.

And to end, a photo of my shrunken up super moist hair post cowash:

shrunkenhair

[image description] Photos of a brown skinned Black person. Their hair is curly. 

This was also just after a pretty intense trim. I had to get rid of some super raggedy ends. Next time I’ll talk about why I love protective styling so much and how I got to the point of figuring out how to get and keep my hair healthy and move towards focusing on length retention.

Fall Aesthetics- Gender Fluid Goth Feelings

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It is officially Fall in my brain. The weather is cooling down and is grey and drizzly.

That means, Fall Aesthetics are happening.

Per usual since I am protective styling my hair, I changed it. I’m rocking some evil mermaid locks right now and I’m super into it. I’ll have a whole post about it soon.

newhair

[image description: photo of the author. Brown skinned person with black and burgundy long wavy hair]

So that’s the hair aesthetic right now. A little Evil Femme Mermaid.

NOW the clothes.

Fall and cooler weather means I have to wear more pants and weather resistant stuff. Can we talk about what I’m craving?

My ultimate Fall looks are lots of vampy make up (messy smokey eye, big dark lips) very Goth Femme and I like cardigans and if I’m wearing pants I prefer skinny cut jeans (but not denim if I can help it), straight cut twill pants and of course leggings.

How about some links? Some are affiliate some not:

For some masc/butch footwear can we talk about black on black Timberlands? They are pricy but I believe they are worth it. When I was in my early 20s I had some classic ones that lasted for probably six years with a lot of heavy wear. Pro tip if you have smaller feet like me, try looking at Kids Footlocker for big kid sizes. You save some cash and have a few extra finish types to choose from. The other great thing about this style of boot is that if you get the adult sizes usually the mens sizes, they are steel cap which is great.

Also, if you can’t afford Timbs, check places like Payless or Kmart for similar styles. Usually you can find them in the work boot area.

Next tip about pants.

For reference about my body. In pants I am usually a 13-15 in Jrs. In grown lady pants depending on the cut and brand I’m anywhere from a 10-14. I have big ass hams and not a lot of booty. I also loathe pants. I wear them because I don’t like my ass or cooch being cold but I hate pants. Mainly because a lot of pants tend to not fit my hips/low waist at the same time. Or my high natural waist and my hips at the same time.

My advice about pants, especially for gender fluid folks.

Find a style of ass covering that makes you feel good about your booty. Doesn’t matter if they are dude pants, lady pants, leggings, jeggings, whatever.

Now for me, let me show y’all some of what is on my wishlist.

First up I am actually wearing these right now:

These are (that is an amazon affiliate link) Jr sizing low rise straight leg twill pants.

Pros: these fit my big hams small booty self very well. The rise is a bit low but not unbearable. They are inexpensive and last pretty well. Comfy (the material softens up very nicely) and I like them. They are very easily modded. They are very plain so you can add patches or trim or whatever floats your boat.

Cons: They do stretch kind of weird. You will eventually need a belt especially if you sit a lot.They are not the quality that the dude Dickie’s usually are. The material is thinner and they will not look as good for long.

They also do come in plus sizes.

Tips for buying: I have not found them in stores so if you’re unsure, order two sizes and return what doesn’t fit. Also if you have more booty in the pants regardless of size this cut probably won’t do you any good.

I’ve got half a mind to give this style a shot as well. I like that slightly wide leg fit. That sort of cut always makes me feel a little more boy. 

 

When I’m feeling a bit less masc but I don’t feel like wearing a dress I’m super into printed leggings this year.

Behold my new favorite leggings.

hammy

[image description: a photo of crossed legs. The leggings have small light colored print]

Those are my Bloodmilk Knock off Hamlet leggings.

Okay, yes I know I bought knock offs. I’m awful and whatnot.

Real talk though. I cannot spend on a good day (they are in Australia so the prices are in AUD) like 60$ on leggings that will probably not fit me because Bloodmilk notoriously does not serve fatties.So yeah nope. Fuck those people.

My secret for the four pairs of printed leggings I’ve picked up has been ebay. Search for your print and make sure you read any feedback and reviews. Keywords you want to pay attention to in the sizing details. American vs Asian sizing. Asian sizing is going to almost always run quite a bit smaller.

Some leggings hacks, especially printed leggings.

If they are a bit too see through in the butt or crotch wear tunic length tops. If they are just a bit too small or they don’t go all the way up to your crotch, get some tight fitting undies like mens briefs and wear em super hero style with a long top.

If the waistband elastic is too tight, break that shit. Basically stretch it until you hear or feel it pop then stretch it a bit more.

If you are more crafty, you can replace too small elastic with something else stretchy to give yourself more space in the waist without sacrificing your print.

Now let’s talk about some other subtle ways to get your gender feels on without having to buy more stuff.

For me personally when I’m feeling a bit more Masc Femme, I tend to wear different jewelry. Still pretty femme but it feels good to me to wear my chunkier jewelry when I feel more masc and my  more delicate jewelry when I feel more Feminine Femme.

I’m still exploring more ways of expressing my gender and talking about it in a way that fits the type of fluidity I feel.

What else are my Fall aesthetics? Some beauty stuff okay?

VAMPY LIPS Y’ALL.

I’ve been wearing the HELL out of this J.Cat Beauty Lip paint stuff in Queen of Hearts. It is a tad bit messy and if you have any dry skin around your mouth this will be an issue. It is really full coverage and I find that playing with blotting can totally change how the product looks on your lips. Super worth it

I’m also super into Nyx lippies. Y’all they have a TON of finishes, colors, opacities etc to choose from and they are fairly inexpensive so you can get to experiment without busting the bank. Currently I’m super obsessed with the Butter Glosses. I think at last count I have six of them and I LOVE them. Pro tip: they are frequently on sale at drug stores and Ulta for great deals like I picked up some that were buy two Nyx products get one free.

I’m still on the hunt for a new coat to wear between now and actual cold weather. I am super picky and have a terrible wool allergy so that struggle is super real.

Next time, I’ll probably blog some about more gender feels, some new skin care stuff I’m playing with and my urge to Vlog.

Later taters.

Struggle Bus Naturals-Twist Wig Review

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Hello beautiful people.

Today I’ve got a wig review.

I’m calling it a struggle bus review because this style is SO great, but I can’t braid y’all. I gave myself not great twists one time and regretted it immediately.

Twisted lace front wigs are really great for folks who:

  • Can’t braid
  • Have sensitive edges
  • Are prone to migraines
  • Don’t want to commit the time.

The particular wig I have, I’ve had since last summer and now that it’s a bit beat up looks really great. All of these links are affiliate links. If you don’t like the ones I show, google similar names and you’ll probably find one suited to your needs.

First a photo (not full length, my twist wig is very long, brushes my booty and I’m about 5’3″):

twists

Photo of a brown skinned person with glossy iips, wearing a long twisted hair style.

Okay, first the cons:

Most of the twist style wigs I’ve looked at need some DIY love before wearing. Mine came with all of the twists sewn down and I had to very carefully cut a lot of little stitches.

You’re going to want to be super careful cutting the lace. You don’t want to loosen any of the twists up front.

When I first got it, I also spent some time loosening the twists up just a little. I wanted them to be a bit puffier. I’ve noticed in the last year or so, that some manipulation has made the twists a bit fluffier.

If you like a super customized hairline, this style is not for you.

One other little thing, it’s hard to find these in super amazing colors. But stick around to the end for a solution to that.

Pros.

Super easy to maintain. You can have unicorn long hair, and not spend all your time detangling or whatever. Very slip on and go.

You can do some updo, but I tend to not.

It is SUPER lightweight. Like shocking light. I don’t get any headaches wearing this style of wig.

Not nearly as expensive as going to get twists done every however many weeks.

Easier maintenance of your hair underneath your protective style.

If you want to tighten the twists after a long while of wear, go along and snip any fly aways then lightly steam the wig and twist.

Now let me mention a few other things.

Since I wear mostly inexpensive wigs that have kinda rough lace and I have sensitive edges let me show you my favorite wig accessory.

Milano Collection WiGrip Extra Hold Wig Comfort Band. Y’all. Y’ALL. Y’all know I hate paying retail but I have three of these and they are worth every penny. I have struggled with my edges and unfortunately last year I had a bout of pretty bad anxiety and wound up with a bald spot. If you’ve worn wigs a lot you know the combs/clips can be murder on your edges. This lil thing helps. Basically you put on  your wig cap over this and that. You can tuck the combs right between the cap and the band.  Also it can help mitigate any friction or irritation with the synthetic lace.

Also, if you find wigs a bit too big, this can help with fit.

Now how about some wigs?

The closest to (I may have the version from last season) what I have is this one.  My piece is also heat safe and a few times I wore the ends curled.

If you prefer braids this style is super pretty. Although I would not wear it behind my hairline like it is on the model.

Now let’s talk about what if you want fancy colors?

OKAY, so I know this is probably old news, but I discovered that there are pre-braided crochet braid wig caps. Look here.

Y’all, being that I can’t braid I never thought about crochet braids until I saw those. This means that I, non braiding ass me can do some crochet braid WIGS Y’ALL.

I mean you can buy pre-twisted/loc’d hair. Look. Seriously. We know you can buy synthetic hair in amazing colors so basically, this is freedom for a lot of us non braiding ass people.

So my lovelies. My fellow struggle bus naturals, we catching up.

Oh yes, yes y’all, we ALL up in it.

I encourage y’all do to some youtubeing. There are TONS of tutorials for making crochet braid wigs, on doing them in general. Etc.

That’s all darlings.

Next time, I’ll do a slow roll LOC tutorial and talk about why I am so about the protective styling.

I love y’all.

Some More Brown Femme Goodness

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I’m still kind of depressed about poor folks stuff so how about I do some quickie links/short reviews of beauty stuff?

Yes.

OH wait before I start, no your eyes are not deceiving you. I did a little redesigning today. If you click in, I’ve moved some of my affiliate stuff down to the left, and up top you can see some of my linked pages. Let me know about the color, the stark white actually makes my head hurt, but if it’s hard for y’all to read holler at me.

OKAY NOW.

Brown Femme goodness.

Okay, can we start with how ass over tea kettle I am with Nyx Cosmetics right now? Recently a CVS opened in my neighborhood and they carry ALL the fuckin Nyx. Like….y’all the first time I went I totally freaked out.

So the major thing I love about Nyx beyond affordability is that they make enough of a range of things lip colors, that you can really stock up (especially those kick ass CVS sales) and experiment without being out like 18$ to find out you hate something.

Let me show you what Nyx lippies I’m loving right now.

First off, I LOVE their Butter Glosses.Since I’m suddenly SUPER into nudes, this shade called Ginger Snap is my current fave shiny nude. Honestly, it is almost the exact color of my face when I put it on my lips.

I’m also a HUGE fan of the Nyx Lingerie lips. As far as liquid lipsticks go this is the most comfortable one I own.

I also love their lipsticks, all of them.

And let’s talk about some tips.

In terms of make up, if you’re not ready for extra eye looks yet, lipsticks are a fantastic way to feel a bit more edgy and let’s talk about some ways to find stuff that is adventurous and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

The Nyx Cosmic Metal Lipcreams look AMAZING to me. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m desperate to. And also if you can’t wear a metallic blue lip at work, pack it in your bag and put it on when you go.

I’m also really impressed by the Maybelline Color Sensation lipsticks. I have two and the Grey about it one is a GREAT griege nude for brown folks. You’re not gonna get like, high end payoff, but they are super great for folks just getting into wilder lips.

Next up, JCat Wonder Lip Paints. I was immediately obsessed with the OCC Lip Tars when they first came out. Those are expensive AF. These are not and honestly, pro tip. If you can find some containers you can split them with your Femme friends and not really run out. It’s a huge amount of product for very little money. Also the Jcat Soft Matte lip stuff is really pretty. Messy to apply at first, but so gorgeous.

What other stuff?

OH okay if you’re like me and don’t really do all the highlight and contour let me tell you a secret. One of my secret make up weapons is a couple of good bronzers.

A couple of bronzes can do wonders for your makeup wardrobe. A little on the cheeks, nose, forehead and you’ve got a little bit of a glow. Use it for nude eyeshadow looks.

For oily skinned folks, I do not recommend using, the type of bronzer with a lot of sparkle. When your face starts to grease up, it can make it look weird. Ask me how I know (tragic day of looking like a greasy disco ball and not ina fun way)

I have two of these Rimmel London Natural bronzers. They are old and are very pretty. Sun Bronze warms up very nicely on my skin and gives me that slightly accented glow type look. It is really subtle on me and buildable.

I also REALLY love the Nyx matte bronzers. I have the second to darkest one and I need a new one soon. It is perfect for me when I’m not doing my whole super matte creepy fake looking dolly skin look.

To apply I use a very big very fluffy brush. I like my bronzers to be pretty diffuse and not very concentrated. I can’t find a link, but it’s like an overgrown Kabuki brush. Stout handle and big very fluffy brush head. I think I got them in the clearance bin at Big Lots.

Lately, I’ve had a hankering to recreate some 90s looks I wore when I was a teenager/young adult. There is glitter involved and I’m kinda hype for it.

The weather here has been pretty hot so I’ve mainly been wearing a lot of dual colored cat eyes and hot lippies. My face is greasy as all get out but I’m trying to roll with it until the weather gets cooler.

I’ve also gone back to the L’Oreal Pro matte. My color is Soft Sable. It’s just the teensiest bit too light, but the only other brown shade is way too dark. That makes me super angry, but it is the only drugstore foundation I’ve been able to wear for the past year or so.

I’ve tried  a few others, but as lots of beauty bloggers have said before me, a lot of drug store foundation is really pink. I am not. Even though my cash situation is not great, I still daydream about the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. I KNOW some of y’all are like bitch what? But, with powder and a good primer y’all, I had a big sample of it and it is just so gorgeous. It made me feel like a baby doll.

For a while I was a devout user of MUFE Matte Velvet. UNTIL I went to an event and had a flash photo taken and OMG…the ASH IT WAS REAL. I was mortified, though to be fair not a soul noticed even when I showed them. But yeah. It broke my heart. I’ve been eyeballing the UD All Nighter foundation, but their shade range… I am not sure I will have a good match. I might go grab a sample.

Right now I think I’m mostly daydreaming about having a perfect dolly face. Which means I’ll have to buy color corrector AND new concealer. But y’all know how it is.

Coming up soon I’ll review the pastel lavender wig I was wearing, we’ll have some struggle bus natural talk AND I’ll show y’all some of the stuff I use/wear that I will pay the extra coins for.

I love y’all.

Real Talk on my Mind.

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It is coming to that time of year when I need to restock a bunch of stuff, such as but not limited to:

  • Drawers for the household
  • Socks for the household
  • 1/2 pairs of pants. Not leggings but other pants.
  • Night time moisturizer.
  • Skin serum (I like vit c/hyaluranic acid ones, we’ll talk about that later)
  • Mascara
  • Pillows for self and partner
  • Underpants for partner
  • Tights
  • Various website costs

Stuff I need but not for survival:

  • New mid weight coat, preferably hooded, rain resistent and not wool. Longer than booty length.
  • Basic wardrobe shit, tees, cardigans, tanks.
  • Few more multi season dresses.
  • Three bras, two regular one sports so I can get my fitness on without pulling a titty.
  • More leggings, printed ones.
  • ONe or two pairs of platform shoes.

Stuff that I’m just going to HAVE to get probably sooner than later:

  • New higher end phone. I have a low end smart phone that isn’t very old but is on the verge of death.
  • A tablet for writing on the go.
  • Some stuff with my teeth is gonna be about 1K in total.
  • etc

Currently between my Amazon affiliate, Patreon and  bit of other stuff I’ve got our regular stuff pretty well covered, including Uniballer’s medication, but I haven’t been able to get traction to feel okay spending on the other necessary stuff.

I made an error in calculating and had myself a good panic attack the other day.

Then I redid it and had one of those woke poor folks moments where I realized such a relatively small amount could set us ahead enough to live comfortably, I just sort of had to shake my head.

I went a step further and added up a slightly larger amount and y’all, being a poor person and trying to better yourself with two pennies when you need a dollar is such a terrible thing. I’m trying really hard not to be discouraged. I already feel fairly ground down, worn out. I’m still doing my arty shit, but, it feels terrible.

Yes, I could try a fundraiser but, those make me feel kinda terrible. I will likely reopen my teespring shop and try some other stuff.

There’s no conclusion here, just some real shit.

Being poor is terrible and so stessful.

If you are having this problem right now, I feel you. And I see you. We’ll make it.

Gender Feels are Upon Me

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If you didn’t know already, I am not a cis person. Read about it here.

I’ve been thinking about the gender indicators in my life/aesthetics. I have some more non-fiction in the works about this stuff, and that the best way to describe my gender is Femme. If you want to know about Queer Femme sorts, start here this is pretty great.

When I was lil baby Femme, normally when I felt more like FemmeBoi I would break out my (note most clothes, stuff will be affiliate links) bondage pants, saggy jeans, the occasional snapback and I usually would cut all my hair off. I kind of hated that but kind of loved it.

Looking back, a lot of my gender presentation was based on what I thought was masculine. Boots, oxfords, I wore a lot of oxfords. Trousers if I wasn’t wearing bondage pants. Mens clothes.

Now that I’m older, I realize that masculinity is not one size fit all. So what do I do now?

I’ve been in the long process of unfucking my wardrobe, mainly in figuring out what fits what doesn’t and getting rid of some truly raggedy shit.

If you’ve been here for a minute you know I’m an Aging Goth, I hate wearing pants, I’m not a fan of non stretchy waistbands. My style is pretty Femme. Lately all I want in the world are printed leggings, skater dresses, skater skirts, boots (UGH if those weren’t Demonia I’d buy them  next I love them so much, I’ll make a post about Demona later), tall socks and maybe some big ole ratty sweaters.

So what/how am I altering my gender expression to match my mood?

These days it is still boots but instead of trousers I wear leggings. Or if I’m feeling it, I might wear my only slightly trusty Dickies. And my very worn trusty old Docs. The short ones.  I also tend to wear more masculine scents. Yes, I KNOW scentless but doing that makes me super unhappy and I try not to douse myself. Honest.

The funniest thing to me about my gender expression and style is that it’s fairly genderless at this point. Mainly my gender expression has turned into aesthetic goals.

These include:

  • Looking like an anime villain.
  • Low key cosplay.
  • Regal Goth Prince
  • Kinda butchy Domme in business/sex wear. (Don’t ask I dunno yet)
  • Alien Nazgul Queen (Queen as in Queer not monarch)

What else is in my dream aesthetic? Sex and danger. A little androgyny. Fully beat face, with some masculine swagger. Because I can do that. That is what my body does naturally depending on what gender feels I’m having at any one time.

Later in life when I’ve got the cash I will continue with my body mods as well. We’ll talk about that in another post.

Basically, I want my outside decoration to entirely flow with the tide of my feelings. It will be hard, but I believe in myself.

That’s all for now.