Makeup trends, like fashion, technology and other trends, are never-ending. Although there are the basic products and techniques that will always be around, there are also always new tips or looks to try out. Contouring has been a well-known makeup technique used by makeup artists for years, but strobing is a newer technique that many tend to overlook. Contouring is works to sculpt and chisel the face, while strobing is used to give a radiant glow that chisels the face in a brighter way — often with a lighter feel and less product. So what technique is right for you? Below we'll break down strobing vs. contouring.
In order to contour, it's important to have both highlight and contour colors. The highlight should be a shade or two lighter than your foundation shade, while the contour should be a shade or two darker. Contouring is all about the dramatics, but it's still intended to end up blended out to look subtle and natural. The light and dark shades work to give the face shape and definition.
To contour, simply start with your highlighter, adding it under the eyes and on your t-zone, marking from your forehead down to your chin. Take your favorite brush or sponge and blend, blend, blend! To really enhance the highlighter, some choose to "bake" with a setting powder on the highlighted areas, however, this is optional. Next, take your darker shade and add it under your jawline, under your cheekbones, and along your temples. Blend the shade in, making sure to blend away any harsh lines. After that's done, be sure to blend out your face completely and add blush if you'd like. YouTubers Tiarra Monet and DestinyLashaeMakeup have great tutorials for how to get the perfect contour.
Many refer to strobing as the simpler version of contouring. It's all about light and using it to enhance your features. It's essentially contouring but only doing the highlighting step. Strobing is intended to provide a natural glow with a sort of dewy finish. It's great for spring and summer months and warmer climates where the thought of a face full of makeup sounds miserable.
The best way to successfully strobe your face is by adding a little bit of illuminator to your foundation. Right away, you're adding some glow before highlighting. Next, use your highlighter on those t-zone areas. To prevent your face from having an oily look, avoid highlighting the forehead. When completed, feel free to add just a tad bit of blush, and voila! You'll be glowing for sure. COSMEHOLICS ANONYMOUS and Jennie Jenkins have awesome tutorials for those who prefer this method.
While both methods can give great results, it's always about doing what suits you best. Whatever you decide, enjoy these quick fixes for emphasizing your beautiful features!
What makeup techniques are you currently obsessed with? Share them in the comments!
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Wearing wigs is one of those trends that never goes out of style. Our predecessors did it in the old days and women are still doing it today. Although many wigs can be super pricey, costing $400 for one unit, others can be cheap and only run you about $30. But typically, cheaper units are constructed with hair of lower quality. However, it's still possible for you to slay on a budget while also preserving your synthetic wig. Here are the 10 commandments for any who chooses to wear synthetic units:
1. Thou shalt always go for a natural hairline
With any protective hairstyle, the goal is to make it look as natural as possible. When wearing your unit, always make your hairline look as natural as you can. Whether you decide to leave some of your edges out for blending or to push the unit a little bit behind your hairline, always go for what looks the most realistic.
2. Thou shalt always secure unit on head
Most wigs are constructed with clips for security. But if the unit is not secure enough for your liking, don't be afraid to sew it down or use bobby pins. You'd rather have it secure than falling off your head while you're out and about.
3. Thou shalt keep calm on the wig glue
Securing your unit is important. But using wig glue to do it is not. There are so many other ways to ensure that your unit is safe and sound. Wig glue can be extremely damaging to the hair. Try to opt for better options.
4. Thou shalt never blow-dry the unit
If you decide to wash your unit, be sure to use cold water and let it air dry. Blow-drying the unit will cause it to melt.
5. Thou shalt always finger comb some of the curls out of the unit
Units that are intended to be a kinky curly style do not always need to be combed. But the units with looser curls and waves should be played around with to make them look more natural.
6. Thou shalt always make a realistic part in the unit
While some units come with a part, others comes without one at all. Regardless, be sure to make the part look as realistic as possible. Feel free to tweeze it or add concealer to make it match the width and color of your natural part.
7. Thou shalt always follow the instructions on the packaging
General rule of thumb: If it comes with instructions, it's always best to just follow them. For example, some synthetic units can be flat ironed up to a certain temperature. If you go beyond that temperature, you will more than likely damage the unit. It is in your best interest to just do what the directions suggest.
8. Thou shalt never use human hair products on the unit
What many people might not know is that synthetic units are made of fabric, not hair. So using human hair products on them will actually be damaging to the unit. If you decide to wash your unit, use dish detergent or fabric softener. Human hair shampoo and conditioner will be of no use to you.
9. Thou shalt never sleep in their unit
With any type of hair, you should have some type of maintenance routine to ensure that sleeping does not mess up your look. With synthetic units, they are more likely to get tangled, frizzy, or lose shape. To prevent this from happening, just remove your unit at night.
10. Thou shalt always place unit on a wig head
In addition to removing your unit before bed, be sure to place it on a wig head. Though synthetic units are inexpensive, you still want to get your money's worth and make it last as long as possible. Keeping the unit on a wig head ensures that it will keep its form.
What are some of your tips for wearing synthetic wigs? Comment below!
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Beauty hacks and DIYs are my go-to thing. Nothing excites me more than creating my own household goods. So it should be no surprise that I've whipped up another go-to recipe. Protein treatments are super important for healthy hair, whether you're natural or relaxed. But because I have relaxed hair, it's an imperative part of my hair regimen to prevent breakage at the demarcation line.
Here's my spin on a DIY deep conditioner/protein treatment:
3 tbsp olive oil
4 squirts of your favorite conditioner (preferably sulfate-free)
The first step is to add all of your ingredients into a bowl. From this point on, you'll only want to use this bowl for hair related purposes. Next, grab a plastic fork and whisk the ingredients together as much as possible. Once the concoction is all mixed, then it's your choice how you want to apply it. When using this recipe, I section my hair and then use my hands to lather the mixture onto each section. I admit this method can get a bit messy, so maybe using an old lotion bottle might be helpful.
Be generous when adding this mixture to your hair. The oil will give your hair the moisture it desires while the egg is providing some protein. Once all of your mixture is on your head, take a plastic shower cap, cover your head, and just chill out for twenty minutes.
After letting it sit, just wash the mixture out with warm to cold water. Please refrain from using hot water, as you might start to cook the egg. Once your hair is completely rinsed, follow up with a regular moisturizing conditioner and there you go. Your hair should feel better in your hands and it'll have a beautiful shine.
What's your favorite homemade deep conditioner recipe? Let us know in the comments below!
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Having a hair regimen is essential to maintaining moisture and retaining length. Although we often times stress the importance of moisturizing our tresses, we tend to ignore how important protein is for our hair. Though the thought of adding protein to your hair regimen might be frightening to some, it's essential in fighting hair loss and keeping that hair growing strong.
Surprisingly enough, our hair is made up of 70 percent protein already. Despite this, adding more is important in order to maintain the balance between the products we use. But there are also some more obvious signs when our hair needs some strength.
If your hair has lost its elasticity, is kind of limp and mushy, has just been dyed, or is experiencing tremendous breakage and shedding, then a protein treatment is what you need. Protein works to strengthen the hair follicles and prevent them from breaking. It's especially essential to those who are relaxed because it keeps your hair from breaking at the line of demarcation that forms when your new growth comes in.
For those of us who love to save a few bucks and actually get our money's worth, a DIY protein treatment is super easy to make. Eggs and mayonnaise are both foods you probably already own that are high in protein. Adding these to an oil and a little bit of conditioner would make a great protein treatment at little-to-no cost.
There are also some great store bought products that can help to strengthen your hair. One well-known product is the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment. The product runs about $5-$10 at your local beauty supply store, but it's well worth the money spent.
Regardless of the method you decide to use, there are a few rules you should follow when it comes to treating your hair:
Protein treatments should be a monthly regimen. Protein is strong, and adding too much can be damaging to the hair shaft. If you don't experience a lot of breakage in general, you can go a few months without it.
If using a store-bought treatment like the Aphogee product, be sure to follow directions closely. They are there for a reason and it's essential that you follow them in order to maintain healthy hair.
After your treatment, follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. Protein is super drying on the hair, so it's important to add that moisture back in and seal it with an oil.
What's your favorite DIY protein treatment? Let us know in the comments below!
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It's 2016 and all around me seems to be nothing but naturalistas and transitioners. As much as I would love to feed into the hype, the truth is, I'm over that stage of life. When I was 14 years old, I made a decision to stop getting relaxers. When I discovered that my natural hair had curls and waves, I was in love from that point on and I wanted nothing more to do with the creamy crack and my relaxed hair.
Then came seven long years spent of me growing my hair out, loving my twist-out, hating my natural curl pattern, cutting my hair, dyeing my hair, locking my hair and doing anything to keep me and my hair on good terms. But what about when you get tired of fighting with your kinky curls? Or what about when the dye has dried your hair out and those twists outs have never looked the same since?
I spent half a year cracking down on all of the popular relaxed YouTubers. I found my select few (ulovemegz and sofreshdyamond) and I started from the beginning of their journeys. After months of in-depth research, fighting with myself about where I would stand in the black community after this and convincing friends and family that my hair wouldn't fall out — I did it. I sat down on October 6th in my apartment and let my roommate take me back to the first 11 years of my life.
I started getting relaxers when I was 3 years old. Though it sounds crazy, my mother just couldn't handle the curls floating around on my head. My time being natural let me know that I couldn't either. My natural hair journey was a lesson learned and an experience that I will never forget. More than anything it's taught me a major life lesson: do what's best for you.
As much as I wanted to feed into what other people thought I should represent, I simply couldn't. Logically speaking, I was damaging my hair more by remaining natural. I was consistently leaving it in a ponytail for days at a time or flat ironing it every second just to get some manageability.
Since I've been relaxed, I'm the happiest I've been in a long time with my hair. I'm able to achieve many styles that I never could before, it's convenient and my hair is actually healthy. I will never be embarrassed to stand in a room full of natural women and you shouldn't be either. Know that your hair is just as beautiful, and most importantly — it's a part of you being genuine to...
After asking myself, "Why don't black people support black businesses?" and posing this question to you all, I've been experimenting with various products from black-owned businesses. Reflecting on my experience with Nubian Heritage deodorants seemed necessary since both my husband and I received so many questions from family and friends about our recent purchase.
In an effort to do more to support black businesses, I bought the coconut and papaya for myself and the honey and black seed for my husband. We both used the deodorants for about two weeks. This was the fourth natural deodorant that I've tried and my husband’s first. We both were avid Degree users but recently decided to make the switch to all natural products — and black-owned companies when we can find them.
Sadly, neither one of us found exactly what we were looking for. We’re still optimistic in our search to find a great deodorant that offers long-lasting protection and a fresh and natural scent.
Here are our list of pros and cons for the Nubian Heritage scents listed above:
Inexpensive — You can purchase the products online or at Sprouts for $7.
Great scents — Both deodorants smell good. They are very light and mix well with our natural chemistry.
No white residue on clothing — We were very happy that they didn't leave any white residue behind on our clothing. That’s so annoying and can be embarrassing if not caught.
Cleans off of armpits very easily when showering — It doesn’t take much scrubbing and leaves no old buildup.
Leaves foam residue under armpits — No matter how many strokes we applied (even if we only did one) it left behind a foam residue on our armpits. We either let it air-dry or wipe it off with a towel. It can also get pretty sticky if you apply too much.
Stinging sensation — We both experience a slight stinging sensation directly after applying. We’re not sure why but that is very uncomfortable. It could be possible that our bodies don’t agree with one or some of the ingredients used to make the product. I will say this is the largest con for both of us.
Protection — We both feel like we get around 8-12 hours of protection. A shower is definitely needed if we surpass that time-frame.
Overall, I think this could be a great product, just not for us. I would like to note that the stinging sensation could differ for each user, especially because our bodies are all so unique.
Please don’t make your decision solely based on our experience. I do believe you should give it a chance and form your own opinion. These products didn’t work out for us, although we really wanted them to. Now, it’s back to the drawing board. I’m off to do some research and see what else we should try. Wish us luck!
Have you used this deodorant before and if so, what was your experience?
What natural deodorant are you using now? Let us know in the comments...
It's officially the season for protective styling (to be honest, it's always a good time for a protective style), and although the possibilities are endless, it seems crochet braids are taking over. Though wigs and weaves are always poppin', expect to see a crochet frenzy in 2016. The method has been around for years, but with the introduction of new styles, people are loving this super easy protective style.
The crochet method is not just convenient for styling purposes, but it's also easy to do. It's simply braiding your hair, using a latch hook to pull the hair through each braid, and then tying the piece into a knot.
The crochet styles that we've seen in the past have usually been curly, kinky styles. But now the method is being used to achieve styles that would normally take hours to complete. Senegalese twists, havana twists, box braids, and even faux locs are all styles that can be accomplished using the crochet method. Now you can get the same looks with less time spent.
If you're interested in trying out this easy style, here are some tips for achieving your best look:
It's better to have too much
When purchasing the hair for your style, buy generously. There's nothing worse than having your stylist start and then not be able to finish because you don't have enough hair. It's always better to have too much rather than not enough.
Braid your hair properly
The braids don't have to be perfect, but they do need to be tight enough so that the style can last. Well-braided hair also gives a more uniformed look once the additional hair is latched on. Keep the braids simple and neat and you'll be fine.
Get the look that works for you
Though the crochet mambo twists might be in style, that look might not be your personal preference. Go for what fits your style. After all, if you're planning to keep this look for a while, you should like it, right?
This is your chance! If you've ever wanted to know how you might look with purple box braids or burgundy mambo twists, this is your chance to find out. You can get an edgy look without months of commitment. So get creative and make the look fit you!
Regardless of what style you choose to execute, crocheting is an easy method to try. If done properly, this is one protective style that you'll install again and...
Naturalistas have it hard in the winter. In the summer, our lovely curls can remain moisturized and hydrated for hours on end. In the winter, however, it becomes nearly impossible to lock that moisture into our natural hair. This is especially true if you’re from the Midwest or North, where it gets pretty frigid.
After seven years of being natural and surviving multiple Chicago winters, I had to learn the hard way that winter hair care is important. The cold can be drying to our hair and can even make you sick during extreme weather. So here are my tips on caring for your curls during the colder seasons.
Don’t wash your hair as often
I know it sounds weird, but it works. If you wash your hair often in the winter, it strips away the moisture by constantly washing your hair. Washing every two weeks is the suggested wash routine. When I was a freshman in college, I attempted to loc my hair. Because I wanted my hair to loc quickly, I didn't wash as often or bother my hair at all for that matter. By using this method, I retained so much length in a short period of time.
Protective styles are your friend
Protective styling is avoiding over-manipulation, chemical and environmental elements. Some common protective styles are braids, twists and updos, but the possibilities are endless. As long as you're letting your hair relax for two weeks to a couple of months at a time, you are protective styling. This method really helps with retaining length and locking in that moisture. My locs are an example of protective styling. It’s too cold in the winter to constantly style your hair anyway. Get a style that can last a while.
Just wear a hat
Hats are easy for many reasons. They protect your hair, keep you warm, they're cute, they're trendy, and it’s so easy to wear one. Just throw it on and go. You can wake up and not do anything to your hair, but it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a beanie!
It's important to deep condition your natural hair all year round. But it’s even more important in the winter when the weather is drying. By deep conditioning, you’re helping your hair lock in that moisture. And by washing your hair less frequently, it’s staying locked in for longer periods of time. Always remember this as well — you can never deep condition too often.
With the winter among us, these tips will be extremely helpful for the naturalistas out there. By establishing a winter hair care regimen, you can increase your chances of retaining length and moisture.
Good luck on your hair...
Curls, kinks and coils, oh my! The natural hair movement is sweeping the nation; over the past few years, hair relaxer sales have decreased by at least 26 percent. It seems that African-American women are ditching their relaxers and chemical straightening kits to embrace their naturally curly hair textures.
But what exactly does “going natural” mean? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word natural as “not having any extra substances or chemicals added: not containing anything artificial.” The meaning of the phrase can differ from one woman to the next, but most agree on this — natural hair is hair that is no longer straightened through the use of chemical relaxers. The hair is as close to its original state and texture as possible.
Donning an afro and natural styles like it are no new concept of course. Natural hair was especially popular back in the '60s and '70s. According to “The History of Natural Black Hair,” an article published by Bustle.com, the afro was about making a political statement. Within that statement was the goal of reclaiming black power and reiterating the message that black is beautiful.
But why are afros, rolls, and two-strand twists making such a comeback among black women? Why now? And how does this new wave of “naturalness” differ from that of the '60s and '70s?
“I feel that the reason people wanna go natural now is because they just wanna be themselves and feel more comfortable in their own skin,” said beauty and natural hair blogger Jasmine Spells. “As African-Americans, we’re known to get perms [or relaxers] because our hair is ‘nappy.’ Our hair is not nappy!”
“I feel that people are now seeing how healthy and how pretty their hair is being natural,” she said.
With the decision to ban chemical straightening agents from the hair came the hopes of having healthier tresses altogether. Another catalyst in the shift toward natural textures was the want by many women to remove previous damage to their hair caused by relaxers, hair extensions and heat.
Unlike maintaining relaxed or straight hair, naturally curly hair needs to be tended to much more often. “What You Should Know About Natural Hair” by Blacknaps.org suggests that natural hair be handled delicately and moisturized daily, as curly hair tends to lose moisture faster than straight hair.
“Trying to figure out what to do with my head was the most difficult part,” said Akosua Wiafe. “It’s time consuming and my hair never dries. It needs about two days.”
Although styling hair in a way that’s flattering when dealing with uniquely-textured hair can be difficult, many women are still opting to rock their natural locks.
“I think that people are starting to realize that we don’t have to submit our hair to a certain standard,” Mixon said. “I think people are starting to embrace that their hair grows toward the sky. It doesn’t fall.”
Not only has the natural hair phenomenon affected the way African-American women view their hair, but it has also affected the hair care industry and the number of products available for those with ethnic hair. A number of hair care brands such as L’Oreal, Pantene, Crème of Nature and Dark and Lovely have created collections tailored specifically for curly and natural hair textures.
“No one is really losing here,” said Tai Carter-Roman, a hair stylist in the Atlanta area who has experience doing natural hair. “It [natural hair] has only affected the stubborn hair companies; the companies that only used to make relaxers. Now, they have products that cater to all hair types and textures.”
Roman also reiterated that this new wave of naturalness simply isn’t fueled by fascination or the “black is beautiful” mantra.
“Women are starting to realize that with a flat iron and a blow dryer, they can achieve the relaxed look without all the chemicals,” she said. “It’s more of a health concern thing now.”
No matter the reason for going natural or the negative stigmas that come with it, African-American women have found a love for their kinky, curly hair like never before. Whether it’s a passing phase or one that will stick, it’s sure to have a lasting impact on the traditional standards of African-American beauty.
“I love my hair ‘cuz I’m happy to be nappy,” said Wiafe with a giggle. “It grows out of my head. I have no choice but to love it. If you don’t love it, you’re stuck with it, so you might as well learn to.”
Tanasia Kenney is a recent graduate of Kennesaw State University. She's an aspiring journalist and hopes to own her own lifestyle magazine one day. She enjoys writing about beauty and runs her own mental health blog. She also has a passion for dance and the performing arts. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends, and binge watching old episodes ofGirlfriends. Kenney hopes to continue perfecting her craft as a journalist through hands-on experience in the field.
Follow her at http://www.anxieteas.wordpress.com or on Twitter:...
I wish I could reference a guide that told Black women what to do with their hair at work. I’ve searched everywhere from Madame Noire and Mommy Noire to Pinterest and Thank God I’m Natural for work-friendly hairstyles that will make my curly mane look “acceptable” by traditional office standards — but it’s not like there’s an official guideline of what is accepted or looked down upon that we can refer to before stepping into our individual interviews or new jobs.
When perusing pictures of work-friendly hairstyles for women with natural hair, I have found numerous women sporting their natural curls without much constraint. It seems as though social media is calling us to embrace our natural looks in the workplace. And don’t get me wrong, the support I have seen Black women give each other to love and embrace their curls is amazing and much-needed. My only fear is that my future boss won’t be on the same page as me. Even though the natural hair movement has provided me with confidence in my hair, it has not yet changed the fact that some employers still discriminate against Black hair. Therefore, I feel like I am not properly prepared for what is about to come when I step into the “professional” world.
Why don’t you just ditch your curls and straighten your hair?
I have worn my hair natural for my whole life, and I have refused to straighten my hair for more than a year now. I stopped straightening my hair because the compliments I would get for my change in hairstyle always rubbed me the wrong way. People would touch it and comment on how soft and shiny my hair was and how they thought I looked prettier with my hair straight. I felt like the ugly duckling after it transformed into a beautiful swan. So when I went back to my curls it was like I was the ugly duckling again. I was so sick of feeling this way that I decided to wear my curls all the time and force others to embrace them. I’ve made great progress this past year toward truly loving my hair 100 percent. And the natural hair movement has really made the transition much more possible for me.
Some women have stories similar to mine. Others have stopped applying heat to their hair to salvage what is left from the damage caused by years of relaxers and ironing. For those of us who go natural, there are important reasons as to why we chose to ditch relaxers. Unfortunately, the professional world does not always know of these reasons or consider them valid.
Now I find myself at a standstill, as I’m sure many of us feel. As much as I want to continue with this natural hair journey in full force, I realize that the professional world will most likely want to see my hair straight. Of course, I don’t want to over-exaggerate – there are work settings out there that are accepting of black hair. In fact, I was lucky enough to work in an office this past summer that had no problem with my curls. But these settings can be a rarity.
As a law-school-bound student, I know that law firms as well as other corporate settings are infamous for being unaccepting of Black hair. Let’s face it: As much as I love my hair, there are stigmas people attach to it, such as: “wild,” “hippy/hipster,” “weed-smoker” — and those are only a few of the labels. My college degree at a prestigious school and can-do attitude might not single-handedly change what people think of my hair, specifically my interviewers and future employers.
The professional world has not yet widely accepted black hair. what can we do?
Do we move the natural hair movement into corporate America with full force and risk unemployment? Or do we surrender and press our hair in an attempt to look like them?
I say let’s make bigger and bolder moves toward making natural hair widely accepted in the professional world.
But to be honest, I am young, slightly naive and have no experience in the professional world. I cannot yet shed any advice on how to maneuver this gray area. Will my curls be accepted in my future workplace or will they be condemned? I don’t know how you could possibly tell before your first day at a job. Do you just walk in the first day with curls, or do you come in with straight hair and scope the place out for a week before making a decision? And if curls are fine, are there only certain hairstyles that are deemed “acceptable”?
Now I must call out to all of you women rocking natural hair in the workplace. What advice can you give a 20-year-old with temperamental curls just dipping her feet into the professional world? Share your opinion and experiences below.
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