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Vibes

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

Vibes

#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

Vibes

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.


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).



Vibes

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!

Vibes

Favorite Fall Jeans

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a style post here. Truth is, I have been trying to get my wardrobe together. Back in the spring, I decided to go the capsule route. I didn’t get very far. For fall, I got more realistic. Not just about the things I like, but pieces that fit my lifestyle and my budget. I felt kind of like I was envisioning this dream capsule full of things I probably couldn’t or wouldn’t wear in my daily life. My fall capsule inspo was much more real. Much more me. My closet, though very minimal, is so much better than it was before I started this project. That being said, there’ll definitely be more style posts in the future but I’ll warn you…Not sure I’ll ever get to that fancy blogger, taking cute scenic photos throughout the city point. For now, my stone wall will do.

Favorite Fall Jeans

Many months back I wrote a mom style post inspired by Tia Mowry. Still one of my favorite stylish moms. In one of the photos she was wearing a very dark pair of denim, wide leg jeans. I’ve looked high and low for a pair that looked as great as those did and I finally found them. At my favorite place of course! Target style for the win. These jeans are everything. Like I’m seriously obsessed. The fit is perfect. The cut is perfect. The wash is perfect. And there a million and one ways that I can style them.

They are more flared than wide leg but I prefer this. I paired them with a simple blue tee I snagged from Nordstrom rack for a cool $14. I have this shirt in a few different colors because with my lifestyle a few good tees are a must.

I had been on a search for a large camel/brown tote as well. I’ve learned that there are a few hours each week that I just need to be working outside of the house. Also as work has been picking up both with creative things and Belle Marron, I find myself at meetings and coffee dates much more these days. I needed something big enough to hold all the things but cute enough to wear on the daily if I wanted to. Snagged this one from Old Navy while I was in line buying more school uniform pants for the boys. New fave. You’ll see it around here again too ;).

Outfit Deets: Jeans | Tee | Bag

~xoxo