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Tyshia Shante

Life

Vulnerability

Vulnerability

Sharing makes me nervous. Says the girl with a blog where she pours her heart out in posts for the whole entire internet. Yea…I don’t get it either. Sharing makes me nervous. But…it’s easier for me to share on a blog post though. I check my stats, I mean, I’m a blogger. I pretty much know how many people are reading my stuff on any given day. It’s still weird sometimes sharing here but it always makes me feel better. As if the words are bottled up inside and the only way to relieve the restlessness is to get them out into the world. Where…maybe they can help someone or…maybe not. But at least they are free, which makes me free.

So blogging, itself, isn’t the sharing the makes me nervous. It’s the sharing that I can’t as easily get neat little analytics data from. So, it’s really social media. I hate sharing, on pretty much any social media platform, except Twitter. Twitter is my fave. I’ll share for days over there.

All this rambling about how I’m allegedly nervous about sharing but can share where it feels good to me, brings me to the point of vulnerability. When is too much, too much? I put myself out there on these blog posts and I have no problem tweeting through it. But something about sharing my blog posts–yes, even on Twitter–just makes me cringe. And then, I shudder when I think about Instagram. It’s all fun and games posting selfies and cute pics of my kids but getting deep? It hurtsss. Literally, it hurts. I can’t.

I’ve been thinking about all of this though. Because, the truth of the matter, as the hubs so lovingly walked me through is that, this is what I love to do and this is what I want to do. Meaning, writing, blogging, being a writer. So…is sharing the shit sandwich (Big Magic reference, get into it) that comes along with it? Vulnerability? Even when you feel like it’s all too much? 

I guess so.

But as much as I loathe the sharing (literally, I feel my stomach turning thinking about it) the question remains–as it always does when you are battling your fears no matter how small: but did you die? (Hangover reference kids) And because it’s never that deep…I carry on. Vulnerability and all. Yes, even when it feels like it’s too much.

~xoxo

Health + Wellness

Plant Based

Plant Based
Gather round friends. It’s story time! This is the true life account of how one day I was living my best meat eating life and the next day, I wasn’t.

If you’ve been keeping up, you know that I decided to make some dramatic changes to my lifestyle. One of the main changes? My eating habits. So here’s the thing though, while I was fully committed to eating better, more whole foods and cutting down processed foods and sugar…I didn’t ever actually have any intention on becoming a vegetarian. And vegan? Wasn’t even a passing thought in my mind. And if we’re keeping it real…it still isn’t. Transitioning to a plant based diet was honestly (truly) a natural progression, that happened rather abruptly. When I think about it, it was all really out of my hands. Funny how life works like that huh…

This whole thing started a couple months ago, when I stopped eating dairy. I wrote a little about that on my Choosing Natural post. With dairy, I had always had issues with it, and when I say always I mean since infancy when after a scary incident my mother learned I had to be switched to soy based formula. That shoulda been a red flag right? Nope. Instead I spent the next 29 whole years eating dairy. Why are people like this? Anyway, I started having all kinds of issues, so I cut out the most logical culprit. Dairy had to go.

Around the same time, I stopped eating pork. And, that was pretty random. I was doing some research and came across a few articles and videos on what pork does to your body and I was just like…for whyyyy? WHY? Soon after, with equal randomness, I stopped eating red meat. At this point, I’m not sure why I did that.You gotta understand, I was doing research but…it was something else that had me just feeling off about a lot of things. I was becoming skeeved out at meat in general. It was weird. But, whatever.

At this point in my life, I go in the direction that I am led and that’s pretty much that.

I had started feeling pretty good about where I was with food and fully intended on eating plant based during the day with meat at night. I planned to stick with chicken or fish and be good to go. And then I watched the Forks & Knives documentary and was just like…okay I’m good. And that was that. This is my life now…for now.

Here’s the thing. And y’all know (or maybe y’all don’t know…we should talk about this) I don’t do titles. So, saying that I’m vegetarian or vegan just feels like another label I don’t really want to have. I think that’s why I vibe so much with the “plant based” movement. For me, it feels right for where I’m at, at this point. I don’t eat meat right now and I don’t eat dairy anymore. That’s just what it is for me.

For my plant based friends…how did you make the switch. Are you vegan, vegetarian, doing what works for you at the moment like me? Anyone else super random?

Plant Based

~xoxo

Life

Honoring My Gift

Honoring my gift
Do you want to know something weird? One of my favorite sounds is the one that my keyboard makes as I’m writing stories. There’s probably nothing that brings me greater joy and comfort than hearing those keys knowing that each word I type is just a small piece to a bigger, greater puzzle. This might seem like a small thing but, for me, it’s a true acknowledgement that I love writing and everything that comes along with it. Which is why I find it so interesting that, I don’t think if you would have ever asked me in my if my dream was to be a writer, I would have replied yes. Being a writer was never something I thought about doing. It wasn’t a thing that I thought I could achieve. It wasn’t a thing that I even knew people, personally, did. Writer was never a dream…

As a child, I could lose myself faster in a book then I could anything else. And I’ve been writing poems and short stories for as long as I can remember. It was this, probably, that led to one of the reasons I never entertained the idea of being a writer. Because the idea of writing only came to me in the form of a book. And that seemed like such a huge feat to undertake. Especially for someone who struggled with turning in a 5 page college essay on time.As I got older, my love for written word never left me. I loved writing but the world and life had distorted my view of what writing truly was. What it could truly be.

As an adult, my escape from the 9 – 5 life, the only professional life I’ve ever known, came in the form of writing. The universe is sly like that. This career or life that I’ve always been drawn to, but never gave the chance to be, was exactly what gave me the professional freedom I’ve longed for. But even then–because remember, I’m the stubborn learner–I didn’t recognize myself as a writer. Nothing about the way that I could effortlessly string together a few words to form sentences that people actually paid me for, stood out to me as extraordinary. Even though it was that very talent that was providing for my family.

Maybe it was because I wasn’t writing the stuff that made my soul come alive. I wasn’t writing the stories that were buried deep within my bones. And while the things that I was writing about are all things that are important to different people, when you get a certain kind of feedback on a certain kind of work, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that maybe that’s the only thing you’re good at. To think, maybe that’s the kind of writer I am.

I have written so many words. Countless. In journals, on this blog, on my old blog. Both published and hidden. And many still lurking in my drafts. And for all the heart and all the soul that I have poured into some of those posts, it’s an odd pill to swallow when the result after publish is silence. A vastly different world from the one where a client could ask me to put my magic on a paragraph, and in an hour’s time after the task is complete, I open my email to feedback like “PERFECTION. You just get it.” These things, for the “artist who is sensitive about her shit”…can distort the mind and has many times left me feeling like…maybe that’s not the kind of writer I am.

As I’ve settled into my life as a freelance writer & editor…(one of) my dreams has become clear. I want to be a writer. I am a writer. But I want to be the writer that I am in my heart. The one who writes the stories inside her. And as I realize this, all I can think about is the countless reasons that Elizabeth Gilbert tells us we have to chase and pursue our most deepest creative endeavors. Big Magic

I’ve learned over the past year that, this is a gift. And it’s my dream/duty/goal/Personal Legend (The Alchemist strikes again) to honor it as much as I can, as many ways as I can, for the time that I am here on this earth.

~xoxo

Life

When You Really Want Something…

The Alchemist

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ~Paulo Coelho

I just finished reading The Alchemist and I have to say that it lived up to everything people said about it and more. The Alchemist is one of those books that everyone talks about and says all the things you want to hear about a book like: life changing, top 5 favorites, must read. So when the hubs and I ended up at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago and he told me to pick out whatever I wanted? You know, I pulled up my book list so quick. I have at least 20 books on it but my eyes were pulled to The Alchemist so that’s what I got. And guess what? Life changing, top 5 favorite book, a must read for sure.

This blog is not a book review though. This post is about that quote. In my last post, I talked about obliviously hearing or reading things. Taking in as much as I can with deep reflection is one way I’m hoping to combat that. But even still, as I read this phrase countless times during The Alchemist…I wasn’t exactly taking in all that it really meant.

When you really want something, all of the universe will conspire to make it happen.

Can we have a truth moment here? Between friends? I’m a stubborn learner. I’m the kind of girl that struggles with receiving the message without the mess. I don’t love this about myself but transparency…for you and for me.

There’s something I want in my personal life. Something that I know that I can absolutely achieve. I’ve talked about it, I’ve written out plans for it (write the vision), I’ve dreamt about it. But, if we’re being real–amongst friends here remember–it’s resided just outside of my reach because of my own actions or inaction at times. Now, I want to be real here because I do believe there’s truth to the idea that if you really want something, you’ll work for it. Or the similar notion that your actions speak louder than your words (I’m a REAL life advocate of that one). But, and this is a big but, sometimes you really can want something and for whatever reason (fear, anxiety, lack of discipline, I could go on) be paralyzed in your life to do what it takes to go after it.

That’s where I was and that’s where the universe came in and conspired to make things happen…and it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows.

There’s an old saying that goes “be careful what you wish for” and it’s been adapted a million times a million different ways. The main gist of it is really is, to understand that what you’re asking for, you will receive and it might not look pretty to get there. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t want take that thought and be all paranoid about my requests. But it’s a truth. That sometimes there’s a mess to get the message. And sometimes the universe’s conspiracy might be a little rough.

Just some food for thought for those of you in the thick of it. Those having the moments like me. Half crying, half talking through the mess to understand that it’s all part of the plan.

Oh and look at message found in my cup of tea today! After I wrote this and just as I was editing and getting ready to post. Confirmation. I see what you did there God.

He who wants a rose must respect the thorn. ~ Persian Proverb

PS: Get The Alchemist ~xoxo

Life

Spiritual Sunday: Finding God

Spiritual Sunday: A freely written essay series on lessons along my spiritual journey. Ramblings, personal discoveries, and hopefully a cohesive message delivered in love. 

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ~ John 4:4

Growing up in church, I’d always hear that God is everywhere. Only now that I’m consciously walking in my spiritual journey, am I realizing how oblivious to this majestic truth that I’ve been. Before, I “knew” that God was everywhere but I didn’t know. You feel me? But now, I know know. A true awakening indeed.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16

In you…

There’s something remarkable about reading scripture through my current lens. As if I’m reading them with new eyes, in new light. I’ve recited each of these scriptures more times in my life than I can count. But only now…is the depth and a fresh understanding of this word truly means is being shown to me.

In you…God…is in you.

I sit here and let those words cover me. Wash over me. Fill me. My body has a physical reaction to the word. I can feel myself becoming whole as I meditate on this truth: God is in me.

Peace ~xoxo

Life

Self Work

Self Work

Self work is a phrase that has been steadily on my mind for awhile now. It’s so fitting. In this time and space where I am learning and discovering, working on myself has become something I must pursue with great intensity. I talked about this before but, everything around me, inside of me, is changing. And that’s to be expected you know? The only thing constant in this life is God’s love…and change. The thing is though, great change is hard. And it’s even harder when you’re not equipped to handle it. When you’re not balanced. That’s where self work comes in. And that’s where I’m at. At the point where it’s essential for my well being–is it too dramatic to say for my survival?–to work on myself. But what does that mean? Oh, so much. But let me see if I can break it down.

Spiritual Work: Above all else, nurturing my spirit is one of, if not the most, important parts of myself. When you think about it, and yes this is going to be a bit woo woo, the soul/spirit is all you really have. This body, this life, this time is temporary. But your soul and the spirit is everlasting. Eternal. So if you need to work on yourself, it only makes sense to start there. I am a follower of Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light for me. But, I have beliefs that might not align so perfectly with your “traditional” Christian ideals. For a long time, I suppressed those. But I’m beginning to learn that I was not made to sit in these limiting beliefs when there are such strong feelings planted deep inside of me. I’m limiting and blocking myself from being spiritually whole. I’m not sure what my feelings mean. The only thing I know for sure is that I am God’s Child and Jesus is my Savior. The spiritual work is figuring out the rest. That starts with with study and learning. Putting in the spiritual work.

Mind Work: You know that saying “what you think, you become”? Perspective is everything. Literally, everything. No matter the situation, your perspective can completely change your experience. But mastering positive perspectives is hard. Especially for an anxiety driven, emotional, intuitive, and (overly) dramatic person like myself. Becoming a master of my thoughts is the fight of a lifetime for me. But, I’m beginning to understand it is part of my assignment. Anxiety, and it’s overwhelming effects it can have on the mind, is something I have struggled with my entire life. But mind work goes beyond just that. It’s about perspective on everything. Letting go of things you thought, letting go, letting life flow, and having the outlook that it’s all right/alright. That’s mental strength. And probably something that gets easier when you’re spiritually healthy.

Body Work: And finally, the temple. This is what brings the self work full circle. Mind, body, soul…or in my case soul, mind, body. I’ve written at length my recent struggles with my body. For the past 29 years, I have barely exercised and rested comfortably in my petite frame without giving health, fitness, or nutrition a second thought. Well…when you know better, you do better. Nourishing my temple is such an important part of my self work. My spiritual and mind can be perfectly aligned but without my temple, I’m again, limiting myself on this earth. Changing the foods I eat, being more intentional with what I put in and on my body, and working on my physical strength is the foundation to treating my body like the temple it is. One of daily affirmations speaks directly to this: My body is a temple and I take care to treat it with love by what I put on, in, and surround it with.

So here’s to self work. To focusing on nourishing yourself, in the areas that you need, in the ways that you need. If you’re doing some self work and want to connect let me know. Let us journey together. Peace. ~xo

Beauty + Style

Beyond Coconut Oil

Beyond Coconut Oil

Listen, I LOVE coconut oil as much as anybody else on this planet. You know those “pours coconut oil over entire life” memes? I’m here for it. Coconut oil is one of the first oils that I really started using for like, all of life’s problems. But, can I tell y’all that there is a world of oils out there that you might just love if you cheated on coconut real quick?

So like a year ago, my hair went TF off. I’d been natural for a while at that point, but all of sudden my hair was sooo dry, brittle, breaking off, all over a complete mess. I didn’t know what was going on so, I doused it with more coconut oil. Makes sense right? Except, it was getting worse. I was at the end of my rope when I stumbled across this video of Naptural85 where she talked about being allergic to coconut oil. Mind. Blown.

I hit the googles immediately after watching that video and while I wouldn’t go as far to make the conclusion that I’m allergic to coconut oil, my hair was definitely having some kind of reaction and wasn’t here for it. I don’t use coconut oil on my hair anymore and it’s been slowly improving. I still use it on my son’s hair because it seems to work well for him for now, but as for me? Coconut oil and my hair have broken up for good.

But fear not, there are a ton of other great oils that you can use for you hair and skin that work very nicely. I’m gonna tell you about THREE that I’ve incorporated into my hair and skin routines and why they are the bomb.com. Ready? Continue Reading

Life

On Choosing Natural

Choosing Natural

I realized I’ve never actually shared why I’ve decided after almost 30 years that I wanted to change my lifestyle. I’m sure it had to come across strange, this makeup obsessed blogger goes on hiatus and comes back all zen, clean eating, and holistic wellness. Yes I’m all incense and herbal tea now y’all. I’d be wondering what’s up too. Honestly, natural based living is something I’ve been wanting to pursue for a while, but could never master the discipline to really do it seriously. And then, divine intervention and God’s cosmic line up of the universe put me in a position where…well…I didn’t really have a choice. Hashtag blessed. I’ll try to make this timeline as simple as possible but…y’all already know that sometimes my words have a mind of their own. TLDR; at the end if it gets too deep peeps.

Continue Reading

Beauty + Style

#CluelessBeauty: Green Beauty & Natural Hair Chat Recap

In case you missed it {serving you some serious side eye if you did} Wednesday night I co-hosted my first Twitter chat on green beauty & natural hair. I was invited by Maggi of Clueless Curl to share my expertise on all things green beauty along with Keisha of Keisha Adinkara and Monique of BrownSkinGreenBeauty. Allll the gems were dropped during the chat including fave green beauty products, how to read ingredient labels, which things you should avoid and couple of tips and tricks from the panel.

It was really nice to chat about green beauty with fellow brown girls because as I’ve mentioned, diversity is struggling in this space and the people need to know that brown girls are all about green beauty too! So, if you didn’t hop on Wednesday night, I’m sharing the highlights below. Enjoy and make sure to follow the rest of the ladies on the panel! ;-*

WHAT IS GREEN BEAUTY?

A lifestyle. It’s self care. Self love. Self awareness.

IS IT EXPENSIVE?

A collective nope. As with anything you can make it fit your budget.


WHAT INGREDIENTS SHOULD YOU AVOIDE?

Anything you can’t pronounce. Lowkey kidding but I think this tweet summed it up pretty nicely.

FAVE NATURAL HAIR TRICK

FAVE GREEN BEAUTY TIP

~xoxo

Motherhood

Motherhood

Motherhood

I watch my youngest son run around in the sun, shirt off, bare foot, locs flowing in the wind. His smile is like a ray of sun and his joy? It immediately pulls you in. For the moment nothing else matters except watching him flourish with innocent black boy joy. I’m here, under the warm rays of the sun, laptop on lap attempting to live up to my dubious title of work at home mom and freelancer. As I become entranced with the breeze, baby boy laughter, and husband’s dancing…I ditch wordpress for an afternoon trip to the park on 70 degree day in February.

My hair is wrapped in a turban. For the life of me I can’t get my locs to lay straight. They’re my alter ego if you didn’t know. Wild where I’m lowkey, stretching towards the sun when I want to lie low, a statement maker while I rather make my way without statement. It’s time for a nature walk. A place where I feel most a peace.

It’s quiet here, save for the sounds of my sun’s footsteps. Jumping off of this rock, trying to climb that tree. The soft sounds of the creek flowing beside us. I realize, quite randomly, that perhaps my hippie mom transformation is complete.

Beauty + Style

Brown Girl, Green Beauty

Brown Girl Green Beauty
When I first started beauty blogging, I was so passionate about it because I felt that black women were–and still are–underrepresented in this space. I wanted to help brown girls find beauty products that were truly for them, not ones that they had to “make work”. I remember so much about my earlier days of beauty blogging. The frustration when brands completely left us out of their shade line ups. The anger when we were lazily added on as an afterthought months later. The Twitter discussions when brands didn’t value us enough as influencers. Ahhh the memories. I spent a great deal of time channeling those feelings into my blog and eventually into my writing for other publications and platforms as a brown beauty expert.

It’s interesting to find myself in a similar place once again.

If I thought mainstream beauty was tough…I hadn’t even scratched the surface. The world of green beauty is even less diverse than I thought (not sure how I thought that was possible though) and the more I learn, not just for my personal life but my business as well, the more I’m just like WOW. Let me put things in a little perspective for you, so you see where I’m coming from.

  • In a study done by the Environmental Working Group a couple months back it was found that products marketed to African American women are more likely to contain hazardous ingredients.

  • That same study found that less than 25% of products marketed to black women scored low for hazardous ingredients.

  • Yet, in another study done by GCI Magazine at the end of last year, it was found that 42% and 46% of Hispanic and African American women respectively were interested in products with natural/organic ingredients.

In case you missed that disconnect: we want natural products but products created for us aren’t exactly meeting those needs. I shared those deets for the numbers but before I even found that information, I could see the disconnect by simply searching green beauty brands for diversity and representation.

Now, I know there are some brands who get it and are doing it right. And through this series, I fully intend on sharing those with you and showing support to the ones that get it. But, I gotta be real…too many are falling short. And the more I learn, the more frustrated determined I get. It’s why I started Belle Marron and it’s why I’m working to share what I’m learning along the way. You know, for the culture.

Life

31 Empowering Self Affirmations

I don’t want to sound redundant but I have to be real with y’all when I say that 29 has really been a transformative year for me. Or at least, it is the start of a transformation into the woman I hope to become. So more like, a year of discovery. Or at least, the very beginnings of discovery. You get the point. I feel like I’ll be reiterating that in more posts than not but I can’t help it. It’s where I’m at in my life and you gonna get a piece of this glow up okay?

So, at the beginning of 2017 I had just finished reading Big Magic–a must read for any creative, struggling creative, aspiring creative, whoever you are, just read it–and was feeling all sorts of creative magic flowing through me. I decided, since I’d already been feeling like 29 was bringing me so many discoveries, that I wanted to really flex my creative muscles. Right around this time I had also decided that 2017 would be the year of consistency so you can imagine the wild ideas that were flying around my head. When they finally settled, I had come up with the idea that every month this year, I would dedicate myself to doing one creative thing every day. No strings attached. No fear, no thoughts. Just open creativity and consistency. Hand in hand. Making magic happen.

I chose a theme for each month of the year–I’ll share as we go along–and January’s was to write daily empowering self affirmations. So in January, every day, sometimes in the morning when I first woke up, sometimes at random moments in the day, and others right before I closed my eyes, I wrote an affirmation. Every day that I wrote one, I felt like it was trash. Don’t be concerned, that’s my normal writing process. It goes literally something like: YAY project! –> Sheesh this is hard –> Trash –> Trash  –> I suck –> Oh. Ok. –> I kinda like this –> I’m decent!!! Ayeee. So yea, I felt like it was trash until I looked back at my month and had 31 dope ass self affirmations (if I do say so myself). One time for the year of creativity!

Sharing because where’s the love in keeping all that to myself? Y’all mind if I wild out? Sorry, couldn’t help it.

31 Empowering Self Affirmations

self affirmations
~ I am obedient, disciplined, and always in the presence of God.

~ I trust the process of my life and have faith that my steps are divinely guided.

~ I know that my words have power so I ONLY speak life and positivity.

~ I know that everyday is a fresh start. I am not defined by yesterday’s events or actions.

~ I am a master of my own body and know that consistency is achieved through discipline.

~ I approach each and every moment with wild ambition.

self affirmations
~ My perspective is my choice so I choose to look at all things with love and light.

~ My creativity is limitless.

~ I am aware of what it is that I want and always act with intention.

~ I know that the key to reaching my goals is not about the bigger picture only about the NEXT STEP.

~ My body is a temple and I take care to treat it with love by what I put on, in, and surround it with.

~ I love woman I am, the one I was, and the one I will become.

self affirmations

~ I can reinvent myself as often as I need to. The only definition of me that matters is my own.

~ The answers to everything I need to know about myself already lie within ME.

~ I know that I control the narrative of my thoughts and choose positive perspectives over everything.

~ I know that love takes work and pledge myself to be a servant to it everyday of my life.

~ I know that my words are not only powerful but truthful and I stand behind all that it is I speak.

~ I know that grand visions require grand plans and action and I will show up and deliver.

Self Affirmations
~ I believe in the stillness of the journey. Urgency is not welcome here.

~ I know that I was made of and for love. It is all I share into the world.

~ My life has no bounds. Any divine vision placed in my mind or in my heart I can manifest.

~ I am not worried or fearful of anything. I am covered by His mercy and led by His grace.

~ I know that a harvest is just beyond the struggle. I will never give up.

31 Empowering Self Affirmations
Beauty + Style

My Natural Skin Care Routine

Beauty blogging whaatt?! Yaasss. Can y’all tell I’m excited to share some beauty stuff? It’s been awhile and I have sooo much to talk about when it comes to my first love. Seriously. I have a notebook full of blog post topics so you know that it’s real. I almost didn’t know where to start but after a few deep breaths and a quick peek at my stash, I decided skin care was the way to go. Skin care is really the foundation to beauty so if anyone is thinking about switching to natural beauty or even just adding more natural based products into their life, skin care is the place to start.

While the type of beauty products I love and use may have changed a bit, what hasn’t changed is that I still am a low maintenance girl when it comes to my makeup, hair, and skin. My natural skin care routine is no different. One day, I’ll become one of those fancy skin care people that has a million and one steps in their routine but until that day…this is me.

My Natural Skin Care Routine

Natural Skin Care Routine

I start by cleansing my skin with the Acure Facial Cleansing Gel. I discovered this brand during a trip to Target in which I absolutely shouldn’t have been in the natural beauty section but I was. I picked up a few sample sizes of the Acure cleansers (like pictured) so I could try them out and have been loving this one. I purchased the full size, but the sample sizes cost about $3 so you could go grab a few and try them out as well. The Acure Facial Cleansing Gel has superfruit + chlorella and is for people with combo to oily skin types–although, I have been dealing with some forehead dryness that is irritating my life, but that’s another story for another day. I use this cleanser twice a day, though at night, I usually use the Simple Cleansing Wipes to remove any makeup before cleansing.

A couple times a week I exfoliate my skin. Can I talk to y’all real quick about how exfoliating can really change your skin’s life when you do it right. As a beauty writer, I know that I’m supposed to exfoliate for glorious, glowing, gorgeous skin but…welp…I’m late. I am LOVING this Vanilla Bean Latte exfoliating scrub from Buff Her. I simply add a little to my cleanser and wash as normal. It’s super gentle and leaves my skin feeling soft after I’m done. This particular scrub is for people with combo to oily skin types but they have other versions as well. I might do a whole review on this one because I love it that much.

And finally, when I’m done cleansing and exfoliating I follow up with my favorite toner, the Refresh Rosewater Mist from Belle Marron. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with toners for some reason. Since before I made the decision to switch over to a natural skin care routine. Either they would be too strong and irritate my skin or they would work for awhile and then they’d…start to irritate my skin. I almost gave up until I learned about the astringent properties of rosewater and how it can be used as a toner. At Belle Marron we use an 100% organic hydrasol for our Refresh Rosewater mist and it’s hands down the only toner I use!

I definitely have a few other deets to share about my natural skin care routine including some oils I love, my favorite moisturizer, and a few masks that I incorporate on an as needed basis but this is a great start for those who are interested in natural skin care. I’ll cover more in a later post.

~xoxo

*Reminder! I’m co-hosting a green beauty and natural hair Twitter chat on March 1st at 7:30pm EST. Follow me @tyshia_shante and join us using #cluelessbeauty!

Life

New Things in Old Places

New Things
Hey Queens. I’m still getting my groove back when it comes to blogging again, but I wanted to share more about what you can expect and the direction this space will take. I hope you’ll all continue to follow along, but if not, no love lost. Promise. If there is one this to be said for this oversaturated, hyper connected, sea of content that we call the internet it’s that you MUST practice the art of taking what you need and leaving the rest. It’s life changing. So what can you expect here on This Brown Queen?

Natural Beauty | Soulful Living | Conscious Motherhood | Health + Wellness

Natural Beauty: If you’ve been around here the past couple of years, you know this blog originally started as a beauty blog. I had some lifestyle stuff sprinkled in but for the most part I was writing about beauty for brown girls. Beauty is still very much a passion for me–so much so that I have my own makeup and skin care line for brown girls–but my love for it has changed a bit. I’ll continue to share beauty posts but it will be much more natural focused. And as for natural hair, while I’m no longer a loose natural, I’m so in love my loc journey so I’ll be sharing as I go. Speaking of which, I’m co-hosting a green beauty + natural hair Twitter chat on March 1st at 7est. #cluelessbeauty Join us!

Soulful Living: The biggest change is that this blog will be much more lifestyle focused than it’s been in the past. When I fake started that other blog {insert side eye}, it was because I felt the need for a lifestyle blog but didn’t want to disrupt this space. But, lifestyle is really what I love writing about. But why soulful living? Well, I’m working on exactly what soulful living means to me in my home, work, spirituality and daily life so you’ll see many of my lifestyle posts focused on that part of my journey.

Conscious Motherhood: My parenting style is evolving as I do. Do you realize how difficult it is to parent when you’re still trying to discover yourself? If anyone can relate, please, let me know so we can talk about it. Our journey of conscious parenting is a long–and difficult–one. I want to share as I’m learning, what’s working, what’s not, and all the wonderful discoveries along the way. That can include everything from homeschool discoveries to how we celebrated Kwanzaa this year.

Health + Wellness: The last piece of the puzzle–which probably should be the first–is taking care of myself. With 30 so close I can feel it (literally, everything hurts) my health and wellness is a major priority. This is new to me. Healthy eating, exercising, whet? But I have to make some changes. I’ve recently switched to a dairy-free diet–crying real tears on that one–and have been experimenting with more whole foods and organic options. So yes, you’ll be getting my chia oatmeal and blueberry muffin recipes here as well :).

So here’s to new beginnings in old spaces. ~xoxo

I trust my creative process and embrace its depth and dimensions.

Life

Love Thyself + Trust the Process

Tyshia Shante
I have to say my 29th year of life has been the most transformative thus far. I mean, aside from the arbitrary ideas that come along with 30 steadily approaching–feelings of where I should be, what my bank account should look like, what LIFE should look like–there’s been something much bigger going on. Something deeper. Subconscious even. I didn’t expect to go through so many changes this year. It’s like everything I had come to know, everything I thought I wanted to be, shit…everything I thought I was…was challenged. But in a good way. A way that I needed to be challenged. A way that I needed to experience so I could begin to peel back the layers of this persona and get to know the real me.

At a few months shy of my 30th birthday, I’ll be honest to say that I didn’t really know who I was for a long time. Still don’t if we being real here. Oh, but I’m learning. I know it’s trendy, cliche even, to use the term “woke”. Everybody’s woke these days. But, lowkey, it’s fitting. The past decade, chile yes I said a whole decade, I’ve kind of just reactively gone with the flow. I’ve never been a really questionable, skeptical kinda girl (aside from the times my intuition has blatantly told me “girl this ain’t right”). I was primarily raised in a family of the same. I had some really tough experiences in my early twenties but still, nothing too eye opening. Nothing too life changing. It wasn’t until my mid/late twenties when I started to embrace the complexities, the quirkiness, the afrocentricity, and the spirituality within me that I had always, subconsciously, suppressed.

I don’t know exactly what caused it. I’m sure it was a number of things. Meeting my husband introduced me to a world of art and culture I never knew existed. He helped me unlock the creativity that I had hidden inside, pushed to the back of my consciousness. Blogging and social media introduced to communities of women who were like me and different from me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. There were a few other things that I’m sure contributed–making my own career path, transitioning to natural hair, growing in marriage, and motherhood. Regardless of how it started, this period of awakening over the past couple years brought me to the interesting space I am now.

And I’m just scratching the surface. I’m just now figuring out what it is I want–in this moment. I added that last bit because I’m aware that life is fluid, it’s a journey, and things will change. But, I’m learning what it is I want, who I am, what’s important to me, what I like, what I believe, what I want to teach my children. I’m learning. Everyday.

I’m envisioning the woman that I would love to become but I’m not her yet. And that’s OKAY. I’m a work in progress, but that doesn’t take away from the Queen that I am right now. 

~xoxo

I love that woman that I am, the one I was, and the one I will become.