• After months of being creeped out by Instagram’s targeted ads I finally found a way to turn the function off and over the last few weeks have been pleasantly surprised and intrigued by the non-targeted ads gracing my feed. I’ve done more ad clicking and intentional viewing than I’ve ever done. I’m not an ad clicker because deep inside I irrationally believe they’re all scams trying to find ways to part me from my money. I know they aren’t all scams of course; just squirrels trying to sore a nut or some such. I think they got me. Enter Hanacure Face Masks and JW Pei Luxury vegan handbags. I really am impressed with what I’ve seen so far and have decided these companies will probably get my money at some point in the nearish future. Right now that’s an incredibly hard feat to pull off for any company that doesn’t sell food because I’m guarding these pennies like the last piece of sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving. 1. JW PEI   Do you remember me lamenting the loss of my go to wallet purse? JW Pei has an answer and it’s more affordable than Henri Bendel version I was eyeing. It’s made from recycled plastic bottles which fits perfectly in line with the approach I’ve been taking lately to be a better steward of Earth. More on that later. The price is right: somewhere between $39 and $65 depending on promotions. I’d be dropping those dollars down right now if it came in a white or bone color. As of this writing it’s only available in black, tan, and pink. They make other bag styles in white and also a pretty blush color so there’s hope that the Flap Wallet will one day follow suit. It seems to hit all the other notes to be candidate for my next wear until death do us part daily bag. I’m more excited than I probably should be.   2. Hanacure   We know I love my kbeauty sheet masks and I’m so glad that other aspects of South Korean skincare are being embraced in the West. They seriously know what they’re doing and we all need to be listening. But when I saw the ad for Hanacure’s tightening face mask I thought “this is a gimmick yes? Egg whites do this yes?” Then I found out the product has no egg whites and uses a lot more science than I ever learned in school. The product is supposed to give non-invasive results that rival those of injectables, lasers, and chemical peels promising cumulative results over time that last with regular maintenance. Color me deeply intrigued. I saw the videos and read the literature provided by the company as well as the customer reviews. Photos can lie but these results that their customers are reporting seem legit. No miracle cures just gradual improvement that makes for stunning results. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that they will probably get the $110 they’re asking for the full set of masks. If it helps the fine lines on my forehead then I’ll consider it money well spent. I want to age gracefully but…not yet. So heads up Instagram, JW Pei, and Hanacure. I’m sprung. Now, when you’ll get my money I don’t yet know, but congratulations on getting this far.

  • This past month was a reminder I didn’t need as to why I always wear my hair in braids, twists, buns, stretched, straight or otherwise not in a fro. I’ve been in a kind of hairstyle rut while I cope with this South Louisiana heat that’s too hot for wigs and I’d also say too hot for long braids. A  few weeks ago I was wearing my fading flat ironed hair in a variety of french twists and buns. After a couple weeks of that I was over it and decided to moisturize my hair and figure out where to go from there. I missed my fro. I was happy to see it after months of peeks of her in between protective styles. I figured why not just let her out for a weekend? So I did, got tons of compliments, she soaked up all the humidity around us and just glowed with all her might. Then by Sunday night she started acting like a gotdamn fool. Maybe it was my fault I didn’t bother to twist her up before bed Saturday night, but when she got picked out the next she was stunning and I was unbothered. She couldn’t handle all that greatness and I almost couldn’t either that night when I started dealing with the webs of tangles and beadibees that had sprung up within her. “Oh no indeed,” was all I could say; on repeat. I put it in mini twists for the next few weeks until I could decide what to do and have time to do it. Since I hadn’t really bothered to part them in any way that made sense or have nary a plan at all for them I became incredibly annoyed with how I looked. I had gone too far away from my comfort in the I-don’t-give-a-fuck-hairstyle territory. Feeling bad about my appearance simply wouldn’t do so I took them down after only two weeks and ended up with a semi-functional twist out (seen at the top of the post) that I played in for exactly 37 minutes. Now I’m sitting here with what feels like will be an eternal bun. I don’t know if it’s my hair texture and curl pattern that makes it just a dangerous proposition to have my fro out and think that retaining length is going to be a thing I do. I spent so many years kind of stagnating and slipping back when it came to my length retention goals and during that time I wore my fro out without a care. I truly love her. I love her so much. But we are not going to make mid-back length if we keep her out. So under twists, braids, buns, and wigs (but not in this 105º heat index weather) she goes. Forever? No. She’ll eventually be allowed outside the house, but not for no two days. Not again.

  • It would be a waste of time and product trying to lighten dark spots that just keep coming from new inflammation. So I’m suspending my challenge until May after I see my endocrinologist

  • Overall the tone is starting to even, especially the darker patches at my cheek bones; and the darker spots are beginning to fade but are still quite noticeable. I noticed that on the few days I’ve worn foundation that they were very easy to cover which is a sign to me that the pigment staining isn’t very deep.

  • It may seem strange to some that I have a whole beauty routine solely for the skin on my underarms, but those who know what it’s like to have aggravated, irritated, mean looking underarms that get splotchy, red, or hyperpigmented will understand where I’m coming from. Over the years I’ve developed a routine that keeps my sensitive skin happy and as calm as possible.

  • Unpacking all the reasons why you feel the way you do could take years and is not quite within the scope of this one essay, but let me tell you this: you don’t have to love what you find imperfect about yourself. Really. I don’t know if loving them should be the goal. I come from the if-you-don’t-like-it-change-it-in-a-healthy-and-considered-way camp. If you can’t love them then maybe the goal should be to be all right about them.

  • Recently my medications that I take to treat my PCOS were severely delayed by nearly two months due to troubles with my physician changing practices, my mail order pharmacy changing servicing companies, and Walgreens for being genuinely terrible with customer service and their mail order arm of the company. By the time I got what I needed the symptoms of PCOS were in full swing especially all over my face. Now I’m dealing with the aftermath of a hormonal breakout which for me and my melanin rich skin means post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) .

  • wig stands

    My evolution into wigs as my primary form of hair styling is over a decade in the making. I began dabbling with them in early college as a way to cover up my hair when I just didn’t feel like dealing with it, but didn’t have the time or money to get a sew-in.  Now they are such a ubiquitous part of my routine that I forget sometimes how averse I used to be to them.

  • Though I haven’t tried this brand before I’ve been drinking the sheet mask kool aid for about five years now. Thank the universe for the Korean Wave because now they’re everywhere and I hope they’ll be here to stay.

  • I haven’t reached the end when it comes to my hormone disorder and I’m okay that because it’s just another part of being me. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be moody all the time or have crippling menstrual cycles or crazy acne. I can feel peace within my body thanks to a hawk like attention to my diet, exercise, and symptoms; and three kick ass medical professionals in my corner who helped me get the chance to live my best life.

  • I was hesitant to try a color other than 1B because I’ve seen some colors that look one way online and in person you start chastising yourself because you knew better. When I took it out of the packaging I was excited it. The color is beautiful: dark browns with a shot of caramel throughout with darker brown roots. 

  • So I think I have some kind of follicular dysmorphic disorder. Longer length isn’t the most important thing, but it’s definitely something I want to achieve. I can say that after seeing these pictures I wouldn’t be proud to walk around with my hair down like this. It’s not bad but it ain’t great either. Certainly not the look I’m going for that’s for sure.