For the past couple of months, I’ve dealt with itching, acne, and an overall unpleasant texture on my face. I suspect this is due to a combination of my rather unhealthy skin care routine as of late (meaning I have no routine) and stress/anxiety. I’ve decided to totally revamp my skin care routine. I’ll buy face lotion (I use the same lotion for face and body, not good), a new cleanser, maybe a serum?, a toner, and a face mask.
One key thing about me: I love to-do lists. I get intense satisfaction from writing things down, then crossing them off my list when the task is completed. I tend to forget things I need to do, so writing it down is key.
However, recently I’ve noticed that I tend to have about 3 or 4 to-do lists scattered around the place at one time. I’ll start a to-do list, finish it, keep it (I don’t even know why), then start a new one. It’s not uncommon for me to find to-do lists from weeks ago still hanging around. Also, I am a very organized shopper, and I often make lists of things I want to buy, then cross them out as I buy them. I also makes lists of shows I want to watch and TV shows I want to see. I’ve see-sawed from keeping these lists on my phone, on sheets of paper, or in notebooks. Finally, I realized I needed a new method.
I’ve always been very liberal when it comes social issues, and that extends to sex and sexuality. I don’t think premarital sex is wrong, and I respect people who choose to have “casual sex” (I hate that phrase), as long as they’re being careful and using protection. I acknowledge that there are people out there that have more conservative views than I do, but I try to respect their beliefs.
Yesterday on Twitter, a discussion started about premarital sex and celibacy. I agreed with some points, but couldn’t agree with others. One of the most perplexing parts of the discussion was the concept of soul ties. Soul ties, for those who don’t know, are lifelong connections between people who have had sex. After you’ve had sex with someone, your souls are forever intertwined, almost as if you’re carrying part of their soul in your body. I’ve even heard someone say that after having sex with someone, you may take some of their traits.
Normally, I hate these kinds of posts about “THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW 1!1!”.They’re usually filled with pseudo-advice, with adages like “love yourself” and “take risks”. Those are things that people should do, yes, but I often finish reading these kinds of lists wanting more.
There’s been a lot of talk about cultural appropriation lately, and I’ve mostly kept out of the fray because 1. I’ve made a resolution not to fight with strangers on the internet anymore, and 2. The cultural appropriation conversation is way more context than people realize. I’ve been blessed (or cursed?) with the ability to see many sides to most arguments, and that often leaves me in the middle.
After seeing a bunch of different publications post about cultural appropriation, and seeing the mayhem that ensued in the comments section, I finally decided to jump into the conversation.
A lot of these conversations have centered around braids. With more and more celebrities began wearing braids, they’ve recently come back into the national spotlight. (But please note that they’ve always been a mainstay in Black, Latina, and Native American cultures). Usually someone on Twitter or Facebook will lament how non-black people have adopted braids, and the comments will go like this – “Well but black people don’t own braids” to “It’s a free country I can do what I want” then “Why can black people wear blonde hair but I’m racist if I have braids?” and finally “it’s just a hairstyle”.
Well see, that’s the thing. It’s not just a hairstyle. In a world that constantly forces us to assimilate to popular culture, braids, afros, and cornrows, are an act of defiance, a last stand. These hairstyles have gotten Black men and women reprimanded, suspended, or fired, simply because of their hair. Until recently, female Marines weren’t even allowed to wear locks and twists. This doesn’t happen when non-black people wear these same hairstyles. So, the issue isn’t with letting other people wear braids – it’s how the world reacts.
A black person with braids is seen as ratchet, classless, ghetto, but put that hairstyle on a white body and all of a sudden those same braids are cool, creative, high-end. This person then gets credit for “creating” this edgy new hairstyle.
The same can go for tons of other things – saris, Native American headdresses, bindis. I remember Indian girls being made fun of for being “dot heads”, but now bindis are the hottest Coachella accessory. As an African, it’s been kind of weird to see how people have adopted dashikis after I spent my childhood being called dirty and smelly, simply because of my ethnicity.
As I stated in the beginning, the cultural appropriation conversation is way too complex to unpack in this just one blog post, think piece, or discussion. I don’t feel right saying white people can’t wear braids; it’s not my place to do so, and I absolutely recognize that not all people have bad intentions when wearing something from a different culture. I would just love for there to be more awareness. Recognize that that headdress you’re wearing means something to the culture that it comes from. Admit that your bantu knots are part of a history that is very near and dear to people of a certain heritage. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that you can’t pick and choose what parts of a culture to embrace. You can’t talk about how you hate Mexican immigrants, then turn around and paint your face like a sugar skull for Halloween. You can’t claim to love Black music and fashion, then dismiss issues facing the Black community in the same breath. This is definitely an ongoing discussion, but I’m excited to see where it goes.
For more on this subject, please check out Amandla Stenburg’s YouTube video “Don’t Cash Crop my Cornrows.”
Have any questions, observations, or complaints? Comment below.
I’ve long been on a search for the perfect edge control. I first tried with Dr. Miracle’s Style Edge Holding Gel, but soon stopped using it after realizing that it only held my edges down for about 10 minutes. I didn’t try any other edge controls because I was sure that nothing would be strong enough for my natural and curly hair.
When I was in high school, Gossip Girl was the show every girl in my grade was watching. My friend Julie and I would discuss every headband worn, every party attended, and every scheme gone wrong the day after the episode aired. It was our drug. And of course, there was no greater topic to analyze than the relationship of Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass. Every time it seemed like these two got it together, some crazy event would happen that would break them apart again (including, but not limited to, Chuck getting shot, Blair getting pregnant by a prince, and Chuck accidentally on purpose killing his father). My 16year-old suburban brain ate it up. How glamorous, how cool, how New York!
My next obsession came in the form of a little show named Sex & The City. (as you guys know by now) I started watching the show in college, as I was much too young to watch when it originally aired (I was 11 when the show ended in 2004). Yet again, I was sucked into another complex and crazy relationship. Big got married! Then he was cheating on his wife with Carrie! Then Carrie moved to Paris with that Russian guy when she really wanted to be with Big! Then in the Sex & The City movie, Big left Carrie at the altar. But it was all ok in the end because he got her a really big closet. *swoon*. I often half joked about finding my own Big, all while erasing all mentions of all of the crappy stuff he did.
The last straw came in the form of a book. A bestselling book. A book that launched a movie series, it’s own S&M kit, and inspired housewives all around the globe. You know what I’m talking about. 50 Shades of Grey. I started reading the book during my junior year of college and I could not have been more enthralled with the mysterious Christian Grey. I wanted him. I needed him. I deserved him. But then I read the other two books. And let’s just say, I started singing a different tune. Christian wouldn’t let Ana go out with her friends. Christian wouldn’t let Ana get drunk if she wanted to. Christian didn’t even trust Ana enough to go visit her own mother without barging in on the trip. Was this love? Was this what little girls should be dreaming of? Was this what ANYONE should be dreaming of?
As recent college grad who still doesn’t know what exactly a 401k is, I don’t claim to know everything about love. But what these shows and books depicted as love often isn’t healthy or happy. How many times did we see Ana, Carrie, and Blair weeping over their men, only to go back to them after a shrug of the shoulders and a cocktail. My request of all women? Let’s demand more. Demand more from your significant others. Demand more from the producers and writers that release these films and books. We deserve characters that treat each other like human beings, not rag dolls without emotion. Love doesn’t hurt. And it shouldn’t have to.
Photo credit – Eonline
Primers are everything. They’re the foundation for your foundation and one of the first steps in creating a flawless face. I’ve been using the ELF primer since last year, and when it ran out I decided to switch to the NYX primer. Recently, I got some samples of 2 other popular primers and decided to test them out and see which one would be victorious. A battle royale of sorts.
I used the Benefit primer on Monday. It’s a balm, and it’s pretty thick when you open up the tube. I applied it first to my under eyes, forehead, and nose, then spread what was left on the rest of my face. I liked the texture of it, and my skin felt nice. When I got to work, my makeup looked a bit smudged, but it was mostly fine. However, as the day went on, my eyeliner migrated down my eyes, and my pores didn’t look any better. While I like the texture of this primer, I don’t really think of it as a primer per se. The main function of this product is to reduce the size of your pores, so I think this would work better if you put it on, then put on another primer.
Wednesday was Smashbox day. I liked the texture of this one as well, and it applied easily and smoothly. Throughout the day, I noticed a tiny bit of oiliness and my makeup looked a little bit smudged, but honestly, this is a good primer.
On Thursday I went back to my NYX primer. I have had problems with this primer since I bought it about a month ago. It’s not as thick as I like a primer to be; in fact this primer can look outright watery at times. When I put it on, I don’t feel that silicone feeling I get when I used to use the ELF primer. I like to feel the primer when I put it on, so that I know my skin has on a shield of sorts. When I tried this primer again after using the other ones, I was pleasantly surprised. While the primer is still a bit too watery for my liking, it felt different on my face. Throughout the day, my makeup barely moved, and I wasn’t oily. I think the days of using other primers made me appreciate this one more.
Results – I never thought I would say this, but the NYX primer is my favorite. My eyeliner didn’t bleed, I wasn’t oily, and I looked good all day. In second place is the Smashbox primer. I would be willing to try it again, as it has the texture and thickness that the NYX primer doesn’t. Sadly, in last place is the POREfessional. I know people absolutely love this primer, but it didn’t do it for me. I didn’t see any difference in my pores, and it didn’t help my makeup stay on longer.
Have a favorite primer? Comment below!