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Youtuber Spotlight: Queens & Curls

Youtuber Spotlight: Queens & Curls

Our very own president of UC’s chapter of Curly in College has her own youtube channel. Keianna, who goes under the name “Queens & Curls,” is an expert in all things natural hair related. In her latest video, which is seen above, she shows us how she uses Curls products to achieve a three strand twist out. Her other videos include tutorials, her favorite products to use, and a wash routine.

Curly in College will be sharing her videos here on the blog, but in the meantime, check out Queens & Curls for yourself, and be sure to like, subscribe, and leave a comment if you like what you see.

Curly Q of the Week: Kalea Lucas

Curly Q of the Week: Kalea Lucas

Curly Q of the week presents Kalea Lucas, a business major at the University of Cincinnati. Lucas has been a naturally curly girl all of her life. Growing up with a mother who rocked her natural hair on a daily basis, she never saw fit to chemically relax or alter her daughter’s curl pattern. That is not to say it was easy growing up curly. Lucas remembers countless times of struggle when she would have to deal with the thicker and curlier pattern her mom was not used to handling. When asked what her favorite products to use were, Lucas says, “I really like Shea Moisture to maintain my curls. Their Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my favorite. I also like to use Jamaican castor oil on my scalp. When I do a wash-n-go, I use Shea Moisture’s Strengthen, Grow, and Restore Leave-In Conditioner.” Lucas mostly likes to style her hair in a twist out. In the colder, winter months though she says,”I try not to do a lot of wash-n-gos. I mostly leave my hair up in a bun.” Lucas’ piece of advice for all curly haired girls is, “I love my hair now but when I was younger I was so obsessed with perfecting it. I also wanted my curls to look a specific way, and when they didn’t I would get really upset. So, I would just say that no matter what your curl pattern is, or how you rock your hair, just love what you’ve got!”

4 Looks to Try for Valentine’s Day!

4 Looks to Try for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you have last minute plans and are not sure what to wear I have some cute looks to help inspire your Valentine’s Day outfit.
1. If you want a cute but comfortable look, try a sweater dress paired with some colorful tights! This look can be completed with a heel boot.

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2. If you desire a more elegant look, try a long panted jumpsuit with a pair of chunky heels. To take this look a step further, play around with bold patterns for a pop.

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3. Speaking of patterns, try a flirty mini skirt with patterns like floral or plaid. If you add a turtle neck and some thigh high boots this look will be sealed!

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4. If you really want to make a statement, try a tulle skirt! They come in a wide range of colors. If you want to “pump” it up, add a fur coat and a pair of pumps!

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Remember that you do not have to wear red or pink. Personally, I’m not a fan of wearing those colors. Instead, I settle for blush or burgundy. Either way, confidence is what will seal your outfit. Make sure that you feel good, if you aren’t confident in your outfit it probably will show. However, don’t be scared to be bold!
Reclaiming My Hair

Reclaiming My Hair

There comes a time in your life when you have to decide to be honest with yourself. Not sugarcoating anything but being truthful with how you feel on the inside; that way you can learn to embrace the things you wish you could change. I recently had to have this deep and intense conversation with myself. For as long as I can remember I  have always hated my hair. I wished I had longer, thinner, looser curls… I wanted to have “good hair”. Instead I was given extremely thick, medium length hair that I constantly wished would somehow magically change if  I tried hard enough. My childhood was spent sitting  in the beauty salon getting relaxers and spending an hour or two under the dryer to my stylist’s dismay.  I constantly used heat to give me the silky smooth hair that I  desired.

Having hair stylists make remarks about how my hair was too thick to even wash and how it would never get dry, had a damaging effect on my self-esteem. Instead of them giving me tips on my hair type, the negative criticism made me hate my hair even more. At this point I felt as if I could never go to a stylist again because I didn’t want to burden them with my “difficult” hair. My mom tried her hardest to get me to see that the hair I was given was good enough, but I could never see it. Until one day I stumbled upon a Youtube video by Naptural85. Seeing her opened my eyes to a world that I had never even thought I could be apart of. She had the same hair type as me and her hair looked healthy and long just like I had always wanted for myself. On that day I stopped getting relaxers and started my transition.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 10.49.27 PMI knew that I couldn’t keep straightening my hair because it would start to become heat damaged and doing the big chop was something that I was too scared to do so the next best thing for me was to get sew-ins.  Sew-in extensions became my best friend, having my hair in braids underneath assured me that my hair would grow and stay healthy while allowing me to  have  versatile hair styles. This was my comfort zone for many years and instead of it helping, it hindered me. I was no longer waiting for all of my relaxed hair to grow out but rather deepening my hatred for my own hair. As I got into college I would strategically schedule hair appointments so that none of my classmates would ever see me with my actual hair. I would even go so far as to skip class and call off work so I wouldn’t have to be seen without my “hair security blanket”. It got so bad that my hair stylist was pleading with me to stop with the extensions and to let my hair breath. I knew that in order for me to stop running away from my hair I had to run toward it.

On December 20th I took down my last sew-in and for the first time in three and a half years I wore my hair out. The first full day was the hardest, I constantly looked in the mirror at myself as I tried to adjust to this new person in front of me. I felt self conscious as if wearing my hair in a twistout would make me the target of piercing eyes.  I was worried that wearing my natural hair would make me stand out more thanks to the ridiculous standards of beauty that we are taught. Instead of all of my greatest fears coming true the complete opposite happened, I was comfortable.

The stigma that I associated with my hair was gone and I felt like this afro style suited me better than any of the styles I had previously. As each day goes on I’m learning more and more about my hair and how to take care of it.  I know that not everyday will be a good hair day but the more I accept what I can’t change the better my attitude about myself will be.  The India Arie song I Am Not My Hair contained lyrics that made me ponder even more about my decision to accept my kinks and coils. “Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oh Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity? I am expressing my creativity” These lines resonated with me and helped me in the decision to reclaim my hair and to no longer be ashamed of it.

 

 

Black History Month: Black Women In The Advancement Of Black Lives And Culture

Black History Month: Black Women In The Advancement Of Black Lives And Culture

American history is rooted in a culture that dehumanizes people of color. Throughout history, African-Americans have had to fight for their rights. From slavery to MLK, and now black lives matter; movements have been essential in the progress of equality for African-American lives. Today, in 2016, we are still fighting for human rights and so the question arises: why are we still fighting?
If you look at ladies such as Dorothy Height, Mary McLeod Bethune, Nina Simone, Rosa Parks or Ella Baker and compare them to others such as Laverne Cox, Amandla Stenberg, Bree Newsome, Michelle Alexander, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors you will notice that although times have changed, our desire for freedom has not. As Ella Baker once said, “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killings of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
Black woman have played a prominent role in the advancement of black lives and culture. For instance Nina Simone, a civil rights singer, created music that addressed the Birmingham bombing, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. Dorothy Height, the former president of the National Council of Negro Women, was an activist for black women, demanding that there be an increase in opportunities. We can not forget Rosa Parks, who refused to offer her seat to a white passenger on the bus thus leading a reform in segregation through the organization of boycotts. There was also Mary McLeod Bethune who was the president of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women. She served as the advisor of minority affairs for President Roosevelt, started the National Council of Negro Women and was the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration to help the youth find job opportunities, especially black young adults. Lastly, Ella Baker who organized the Young Negroes Cooperative League in NYC, was the national director of the NAACP, and was a part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

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Peaceful protest in Downtown Cleveland for Tamir Rice

Currently, black woman are still pushing for black lives. Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors have started a movement in the black community called Black Lives Matter. Laverne Cox has become an advocate for black transgender lives; her document Free Cece, has addressed issues within the black and Trans community. Amandla Stenberg has become a very important voice for the black youth. She is a black feminist, who also happens to be an actor from Hunger Games, calls out culture appropriation and discontinues Eurocentric beauty standards. Stenberg has even asked, “As culture shifts and racial tensions are tested through the vehicle of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is important to question: Do female black lives matter too?” Bree Newsome is another courageous lady; she climbed up a pole to remove the confederate flag before being arrested. Newsome has shed light on the racist culture associated with the confederate flag and why we should not stop until it is removed permanently. Michelle Alexander shed light  on the cruelties and harsh realities of the justice system and how it has impacted the African-American community. Her book, the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, explores how the government disproportionately and wrongfully treats black men.

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Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors

A huge difference between the civil rights movement and black lives matter movement is social media. We live in an era where our phones are constantly in our hands; thus we hold the power of media at our fingertips. Black lives matter was started by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. This movement is meant to fight against violence towards the African-American community. Likewise, the civil rights movement was meant to end segregation and discrimination towards black individuals.

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images found using #MelaninMonday on twitterBLM 1

Thankfully the help of social media, has allowed us to expand the ways in which we fight for our rights. Recordings of violent acts spread like wild fire; just like black encouragement and self-love takes over social media. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic, #blackout, #MelaninGirls, and #MelaninMonday flood the internet. If you were to type any of these hashtags and search them on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or any other social media platform then you will find images, words of encouragement or injustice within the black community. “Black Twitter” has become a way for the black community to band together online and form unity to speak out against any injustices that we face. This current movement is fighting for freedom and to end mental segregation. As Nina Simone once said, “’Free’ is just a feeling. It’s just a feeling. It’s like how do you tell somebody how it feels to be in love.” Therefore, we will not stop fighting until we feel free.

“New Year, New look” Evolve Your Style!

“New Year, New look” Evolve Your Style!

Every year universal trends and styles are either discarded, recycled or evolved. These fashion trends are incorporated into our personal style, meaning the way we express our individuality changes in time as well.  I have found that one thing that truly gets me excited for the new year is shopping! Splurging on new items to add to your wardrobe at the beginning of the year kick-starts your “New Year, New Me” look. I’m sure that I share that same excitement of coming back from break owning a new hand bag or pair of shoes with a lot of women. Here is what I suggest:

Do research! This is made fun by hundreds of different fashion bloggers or “vloggers” on the internet who have created very specific “lookbooks” to showcase outfit ideas. Just find a favorite youtuber who shares your taste in clothing. Also look for trends that are on the rise. I have noticed that metallic materials are starting to be used a lot more in unconventional ways. Take the iconic rose gold for example as it has been seen in phones, shoes and even sticker tattoos.

Step out of your comfort zone! Getting away from what you are used to is always a great way to grow and that can be applied to many area in life. What is the one thing you were too shy to wear in public? For me that was heels so I opted for Chelsea Boots. These boots are perfectly cute to style with a winter wardrobe and usually have a subtle 1 or 2 inch heel.

Image Via wheretoget.it

Image Via wheretoget.it

Step it up! Maybe you have a clothing item that is forever ingrained in your personal style like oversized sweaters or jeans. Make some tweaks in your style by changing details in these items. Blue jeans can turn to distressed jeans and oversized sweaters can turn to low-rise sweaters. Also, now is a good time to consider buying that watch you have been eyeing for months to a year.

Restock! Make sure that you have all of your clothing essentials to start the year off right. You would be surprised how much matching underwear and pajama sets can boost your confidence. Do you have enough basic long-sleeve shirts? Or maybe you wore out your sweat suits? This is why I accept socks as Christmas presents.

Make-up! Make-up trends are just as prevalent as fashion trends and the same steps apply if you are wanting to step up your make-up routine. Subscribe to youtubers that post bomb make-up tutorials. Don’t be afraid to ask employees at Sephora or Ulta for pointers. Amp up your look by trying different techniques than you are used to and decide if you are ready to splurge on high-end products.

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Youtuber Raven Elyse

I hope that I have encouraged you to “glo up” for 2016! Here are a list of my favorite fashion and shopping websites for great looks and deals.


Some of my favorite places to shop:

asos.com

shoptagr.com

fashionnova.com

Here is a list of my favorite “Beauty Gurus” of color on youtube:

Jayla Koriyan

Raven Elyse 

Nicole Guerriero 

Tasha Green 

Erica Fae