Friday, April 17, 2015

Chronic Selfie Disorder: 3rd Week of April

Is it weird that I take a selfie everyday? Here is this week's summary.


Monday, April 13, 2015

How To Prepare Your Skin For the Future Naturally

Lets talk about skincare!



I was always afraid to use anything on my face for years; I always assumed that:

1. Products would trigger breakouts. 
2. I didn't need additional sun protection because of my skin color.
3. My overall habits didn't impact my skin.

I was really wrong!

I took for granted that my skin will, by the grace of God, have to last me through my 30s, 40s, and decades to come. When I crossed the threshold of 25, I really started researching skin care products, I developed a routine (my almost 30 routine), and started loving on my skin.



Now I:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easy Natural Deodorant Recipe


I made the best DIY natural deodorant in the world. I have been trying to fight the battle against BO naturally for a few months now, sometimes unsuccessfully. I have tried nearly half a dozen natural deodorants with varying degrees of failure.

A few months ago I found a really awesome natural deodorant recipe in a natural living magazine and tried it, though it worked perfectly for my sister (who cannot use traditional deodorant because it causes chronic painful sewage smelling cysts beneath her armpits) the baking soda threw off the pH balance beneath my husband and I's armpits and irritated our skin. My husband went back to the traditional deodorant, but of all the research on traditional deodorant ingredients convinced me never to return to it again (even at the risk of smelling musty).

For weeks I tried many different store bought natural deodorants. I was wiping down my pits three times a day at the office and re-applying the mediocre store-bought stuff just to maintain my personal hygiene! On several special occasions, I re-visited some of the homemade batch my sister was happily using and risked the irritation (which usually takes a few days to set in).


Finally, after some additional research, I found a recipe that seems to be working WITHOUT the skin irritation of the baking soda (I'm a few days in).


Natural Deodorant for Sensitive Skin Recipe

Monday, March 30, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Play Clothes: Skinny Slacks and Slimming Blazers in Black

That moment when it takes a photo to realize a shirt is semi see through...



This is the first time I've EVER worn this lovely Ann Taylor loft shirt without a camisole underneath, but it was a warm day and I was wearing a blazer so I went without it. Opps!

None the less, the outfit was a success, very comfortable and it did not look sheer in person. Truth be told, I kind of like it, makes me look edgier that I actually am in real life!



Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft
Blazer: Banana Republic
Pants: Old Navy
Flats: Nordstrom Rack
Purse: Coach
Shades: Tory Burch

Monday, March 23, 2015

3 Steps for Better Skin


I started to write an all encompassing post on tips for a clearer complexion – from diet to detoxing – but I realized that most of my friends that have intermittent battles with acne have one thing in common, a dirty face. So why focus on a million different remedies when this might be at the root of your problems.

Let me clarify that my definition of a dirty face may be slightly different from yours. The moment I touch my face with hands that haven’t been recently washed, my face becomes dirty. The second I sweat, dirt germs must be multiplying on my epidermis! Last but not least, the millisecond I add makeup, my pores aren’t breathing as freely as they were meant to be and I count my face as dirty!

REMOVE THAT MAKEUP!
More than one good friend has admitted to me that they periodically fall asleep with their makeup on. Gasp! As soon as I get home I use a makeup wipe to wipe away every bit of the day’s makeup. I have not, and hopefully never will fall asleep with makeup on!


CLEANSE, CLEANSE, CLEANSER
I believe in a great cleanser – not one with a million hard to pronounce ingredients and fancy commercials. My current favorite cleanser has a handful of ingredients I could find in a grocery store, and works!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Could Loc Bangs Work For Me?

Amongst my many adventurous hair desires, I kind of want to give myself loc bangs, but growing up in the era of Chappelle Show has left me with a Rick James impersonation fear!

Getting sisterlocks, for me, was about hair prosperity and looking like Dave Chapelle's Rick James is the opposite of hair prosperity for a girl. There are still so few depictions of dreads and braids in popular culture, so the ones you encounter kind of sear themselves into your brain.


What do you think, could I pull off loc bangs?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Black Thursday

A selfie crafted just for Instagram!

Natural Hair and Locs

Follow me: @RaisingSelf on Instagram, for more random hair, makeup, cooking, life and random Southern California living photos!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Quick and Easy Ways to Grow Out Your Eyebrows

A few weeks ago I realized my eyebrows were becoming ridiculously thin for a face as full as mine. Though I have my brows professionally threaded regularly, my at-home maintenance in between visits were the root cause of my rapidly thinning brows.



Though it was hard to exert self control, this is how I grew out my brows:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Play Clothes: Easy Casual Gray & Yellow Outfit

DIY ripped jeans bought on clearance from JCPenney, a clearance scarf from Target and a pair of sale canvas shoes also from Target... and voila, the perfect weekend causal outfit!


Makeup and care-free!

Jeans: JCPenney
Shirt: TJMaxx
Shoes: Target
Scarf: Target
Skin: Natural Sunscreen from Andalou

And there you have it, a quick & easy casual gray & yellow outfit

Monday, March 2, 2015

Easy Ways to Improve Bad Mother-Daughter Relationships


Recently, a young lady reached out to me via Sisterlock's Facebook page seeking some major life advice:

I'm getting my Sisterlocks installed on Monday morning. I can't wait! I love your locks and have seen so many beautiful pictures of you. Even though I'm joining the Sisterlocks club, my Mom disapproves. It's strange because she is a very proud Black woman.

My Mother reminds me often to embrace my African heritage yet she finds Locs to be gross. Locks are huge part of African culture. It's disappointing to see this hypocritical attitude coming from my mother on this subject. I tried to reason with my Mom but she gets defensive & judgmental. My mother is also uncomfortable with the fact that I'm in a interracial relationship because of the cultural differences. I'm proud myself (including my heritage) and my individual beauty. How is it now that I'm embracing my beauty through African styles, my pro African mom rejects this idea? Why can't I find someone else from another heritage/culture just as worthy and Handsome/beautiful?

My Love's culture doesn't really have a connection with Locs but he is open to the beauty of them. My Mom who says, "Embrace your Blackness" deems Locs as ugly & dirty looking. This confuses a lot. It's seem like whatever I do is it never good enough & my Mom is never happy for me. I'm reaching out to you for advice. All I wanted was her support & I'm getting everything but that.

I replied to her post and wanted to share some of my reply with others that maybe facing similar difficulties with their mother (or matriarch in their life):

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Work Clothes: California Winter

It's winter in Cali, which means the early mornings and evenings are chilly, with mild to warm mid-days, and full on sunshine all day!

Lace Blouse (layer 1): Banana Republic
Top (layer 2): Nordstrom Rack
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Scarf: Target

This outfit is a by-product of the need to be comfortable, stay warm early in the day, peel off some layers during lunch and stay warm during that chilly evening walk to the car.




Earrings: Anthropologie 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Shadow, Light and Locs

Shadow, light and locs...

locs, dreads, interlocks
I love playing with photography and light!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Video: My First Attempt At A Braid-Out on Locs

This was my first ever attempt at a braid-out, and I've been loc'd for almost 5 years! Some might be surprised by this, but my favorite part of locs is how low maintenance they are, and elaborate hairstyles can be a laid back buzz kill. Nonetheless, I gave it a try and though the results were not as defined and short lived (because I didn't use a setting lotion), I would try it again.


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