More Locs!

General Loc Maintenance

Wearing locs is great, and one of the best things about wearing them is low maintenance! When I say low maintenance, I mean almost no maintenance. I get my roots interlocked (retightened) every six weeks, and try to wash my hair every ten to fifteen days. I may miss a wash day here and there, but I ensure to have my retightening done on a regular basis. Another low maintenance perk is product usage.  Locs can be maintained with shampoo, water and oil  90% of the time.

Mature, Color Treated Loc Maintenance

I suffered a devastating experience with breakage (due to low iron) in 2015 when I colored my hair just before discovering I was pregnant with my second child. I haven’t given up on color, but I have started to include products to help strengthen and maintain moisture in my locs.

So far, all of the products that I’ve used have been for loose natural hair. Both of my daughters have loose natural hair, so their haircare products are easily acessible. And while locs are a form of natural hair, they aren’t loose strands of hair, and mine are colored treated, so there are some products that can work for me and others that simply won’t.

Even though I’ve branched out and added some additional products to my routine, my scalp still felt dry and itchy, and my locs still looked dry and frizzy.

More Life with More Locs

I finally got my hand on a brand that I’ve had my eye on for a while, MORE LOCS! The first things that I immediately noticed about my hair was the SHINE! After using the product for about a week -OMG! Like, for real!

More Loc debuted earlier this year (2017), the line features over ten products made to give your locs More moisture, More shine, More growth! Because one of my biggest scalp and hair issues is dryness, I selected two items to help me with that.

scalp nourish

PC: @ishagainesphoto

The Scalp Nourish oil feels like heaven on my scalp! I like that it’s not as thick and heavy as some other oils that I’ve used in the past. It’s easy to distribute, it absorbs into my scalp and locs, and it smells like tropical heaven!

white tea moisture mist

PC: @ishagainesphoto

I use the White Tea Moisture Mist daily. It adds moisture to my locs that I can see, and feel when I touch my hair. My locs feel less brittle and the added moisture brought more life into the color of my locs.

The products didn’t just sit on top of my hair nor did it absorb into non-existence like I’d never used it. My scalp and locs feel nourished and moisturized. Not only does my hair and scalp look better, the added moisture has also helped eliminate some of the frizziness I was experiencing with my locs.

More Locs offers products ranging from cleansers to oils and serums. Find out more about More Locs on Instagram at  @More_locs.  Next on my list of things to try from More Locs is the Herbal Cleanse (shampoo) and Loc Silk (conditioner). Have you experienced More Locs? Tell me your favorite product within the line and why you love it!

3 Things I Love About NYX Cosmetics

NYX Cosmetics has rose in the ranks of beauty brands in this multi-million dollar cosmetic industry. The brand that was once notoriously known as a beauty supply brand can still be found in those places, but you can also find it in drugstores, big box stores, specialty stores and malls worldwide. I attended the recent opening of NYX Cosmetics store in Dallas’  NorthPark Center Mall. Being inside that store is like being in candy land, the options are limitless! NYX cosmetics offers a wide range of products used by pros, novice and everyday girls worldwide.  Find out my three favorite things about NYX Cosmetics below.

It’s Affordable!

You can complete a full (glam) face using NYX products for just over $100. Let me say again; complete a full (glam) face for just over $100! This brand is perfect for moms with teenagers, teenagers, young adults, professionals, beginner makeup enthusiasts, and those who like to get the best bang for their buck. I completed this look using the products listed below.

Total Control Drop Foundation $14.00

#No Filter Blurring Primer $15.00

Gotcha Covered Conealer $6.00

Cheek Contour Duo Palette $6.30

Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder $8.00

3-in-1 Brow Pencil $13.00

Ultimate Multi-finish Shadow Palette $18.00

Cosmic Metals $7.50

Soft Matte Cream Lip $6.50

Double Stacked Mascara $15.00

Total $109.30

It’s Functional

I can confidently put on  NYX products in the morning with a full day planned,  knowing my makeup will still look decent a the end of the day.  The look shown above lasted for more than six hours of wear.  One of my favorite products that NYX has out right now is the Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder. Girl! That powder shines so bright, you could send light signals off your cheek reflections! Synthetica is a must have!

It’s for Everyone!

Whatever look you’re going for, NYX has you covered. Their lippies and eye shadows range in colors that are  a theater majors dream! Create looks from no makeup makeup to fantasy with these vibrant, metallic, futuristic, goth, whimsical, corporate, professional, fun, neutral, and nude shade options. See me below in Out O This World Metal Lip Cream .

NYX Cosmetics is a brand that’s able to tickle the tastebuds of just about all personalities, it’s  easily accessible, and I simply cannot mention enough how affordable this brand is.

What NYX products do you have in hour collection and what are your favorites?

My Frenzy For Fenty

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launched at the stroke of midnight on Friday, September 8th and is all the rage (see my immediate reaction below)! Fenty Beauty is EVERYWHERE, but does the brand really measure up? There was no way I was willing to let this product sell out before I got my hands on it, so I skipped lunch on Friday and clawed my way through the crowd at Sephora. I even had to go back Saturday, with my children in tow. But I got it, and spent my entire weekend dancing and romancing with this collection to get the deets.

The line features Fenty Beauty by Rihanna: Pro Filt’r Matte Longwear Foundation in forty (40) brown-girl and pale-girl inclusive shades, Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer, four (4) Match Stix Trio sets, twenty (20) Match Stix Matte Skinsticks, six (6) Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, ten (10) Match Stix Shimmeer Shinsticks, Invisimatte Blotting Powder, Invisimatte Blotting Paper and refills, a Full-bodied Foundation Brush, three (3) Portable Brushes, and a Precision Makeup Sponge.  All available exclusively at Sephora.

My undertones are a mix of cool and warm, and I have a hard time finding foundations that match; so hearing Rih-Rih boast about how brown-girl friendly her shade range is definitely piqued my interest. After seeing her on the red carpet for the premier of Fenty in Oscar de la Renta solidified the fact that I would definitely be purchasing a highlight; my girl had glow for days!

The foundation shades did not disappoint, and I was pretty impressed with finding my match on the third swatch. I’ve been wearing it for the past three days, and the formula is beyond light and airy. I purposely packed it on once, and it still felt like I wasn’t wearing any. It’s a buildable, medium coverage, soft matte formula, but not drying. It’s also longwearing and will last through a full days work.

The Match Stix Trios are pre-packaged to take the guess work out of finding your conceal and contour shade. I needed Deep, the darkest set they have, so if you’re any darker than me, you’ll want a customized set. The pigment is great, and they are easy to apply and blend out. The Match Stixs are also light and airy as well.

But girl, what you will need in your collection, hands down, is a KILLAWATT Freestyle Highlighter! I promise you they had to have been in the lab blasting “Shine Bright Like a Diamond” from start to finish while formulating these. Trophy Wife is simply insane. So insane that I honestly can’t think of a better use for it than to perch myself atop a plush chaise, naked, with my entire body dusted in its glittery gold glow, with a red lip and some stilettos, patiently awaiting the mister. However, in all seriousness, you can’t go wrong with any of them, the pigment is intense.

Fenty beauty swiftly earned a spot in my daily use collection. My homegirl (in my head) Rih Rih came through, and I’m anxiously and eagerly anticipating the expansion of this brand! See my three face by Fenty pics below.

Day 1: With a full day planned, I moisturized heavily (because of dry skin) and packed on the product. The foundation looks like skin and the additional moisturizing steps taken in combination with it provided a beautiful and luminous glow.

Day 2: Not as long of a day as day one. I needed to be cute for a couple of hours. This look was created with my normal skin prep routine without any additional hydrating steps, with not as much product.

Day 3: The real functionality test, wearing the product to work with a white shirt! I didn’t use much product this day. But, as you can see, the foundation did last all day. I won’t even call the product you see on my shirt transfer, because it only came off on the areas of the shirt that actually rubbed against my face.

All product pictures are from @fentybeauty

M.I.L.F.

Never in my young adult life did I EVER imagine being sexually empowered and secure enough in my femininity to hit M.I.L.F. status. But here I am, “HEY GIRL!”  And yes, the euphemism may have some of you clutching pearls and judging. But I’ve birthed two children and this body has been through some things; ain’t nothing wrong feeling great about looking good!

 

Motherhood is an experience like no other. I wouldn’t trade it for the world -well, I wouldn’t trade parts of it. Motherhood is the most instinctually selfless process humanly possible. Understand that most days are not pretty, there simply isn’t time for it all.

And because we are women and much is expected and required of us, it’s easy for us to lose anything we’ve ever known about ourselves when we become a mothers. Add marriage and a job to that equation, and you will unknowingly find yourself stretched as thin as ice. Your days start to run together and life passes you by.

The Hubs and I enjoying date night.

Just like the weather, we go through seasons in our lives. It’s our job to learn how to best navigate through life during each of those seasons. Once we learn how to seamlessly adjust to change, things start looking up. I believe it is true that, “with age comes wisdom.” Settling into this crazy, sexy, cool life that I’ve created for myself and some days are a struggle. I’m not too proud to admit that, but when I’m on, I’m on and it’s so refreshing.

P.H.A.T. (Pretty Hot and Tempting) if I do say so myself.

Self-care is all the rage now days and something that I believe in wholeheartedly. It helps me stay focused and at at my best. In today’s society, we allocate the majority of our time to our to-do list leaving little time for rest and relaxation. That can be problematic. As a mother of two, full-time employee, blogger, beauty expert, freelance writer who is married to a high school athletic coach, I have to take “Me-Time” whenever and however I can get it. Some of the ways I sneak in time for self-care are:

Play in makeup – Little girls aren’t the only ones who love to see themselves dolled up. Playing in makeup is good for practicing  applying your favorite looks. It can help you get used to seeing yourself in colors you may normally not wear, and it’s a self-esteem booster.

Have sex -I’m talking about the sex that YOU like. What you like, how you like it and for how long. It’s your world, squirrel! Have the kind of sex that blows your mind and makes you roll over butt-naked, smiling so hard that you have to hide your face in the sheets so your partner doesn’t witness you melting inside.

Working Out -When my schedule allows, I hit the gym and work up a good sweat. Working out helps to relieve stress and tension, and it also helps maintain weight, build muscle and it’s an overall health benefit.

Spa Treatments -A facial, Swedish massage, manicure and pedicure are the ultimate in self-care. But, they can be pricy so on to the next!

Home Spa Treatments -My Toxin-Free facial is relaxing, affordable and will leave your skin feeling silly smooth.

Sitting in silence –I’m not often afforded the opportunity to have the house (or any space) to myself. When those occasions present themselves, I sit in silence. No TV, no radio, and sometimes no cell phone or any other electronic device.

 Go out –Meet your girls, go to brunch, go shopping, go to an empowerment event, go dancing. Do whatever makes your heart smile -and be sure to laugh and take pictures while you’re doing it.

 When I make sure to take time for self-care it shows! My family and friends notice, but most of all, my husband notices. And trust, when I’m top of my game, he reminds me often. After all, he reaps  the benefits  from it!

Purpose Seekers Tour – Dallas

Being human goes hand-in-hand with having purpose. God put every single one of us here to serve in our purpose. We have also been filled with passion for specific things meant to help drive that purpose.

So, as Oprah would say, “You have a purpose! You have  a purpose! You have a purpose! You, yes you, and you have a purpose too!”  But, what is purpose and how do you recognize and tap into it? Is purpose something that can be sought out? Can I really do what I love and prosper from it by serving in my purpose?

On July 31st the Purpose Seekers Tour made its fourth stop, in Dallas Texas, and answered those questions. Created by Tiffany Gillespie, The Purpose Seekers Tour-Purpose to Prosperity, includes a panel of entrepreneurs who have trusted God, stepped out on faith, married passion with purpose, and have successfully maintained businesses beyond the start-up phase. A platform of encouragement lead by example.

Each stop on the Purpose Seekers Tours involves panelists who are willing and eager to share their “secrets to success,” by providing inspiration through personal testimonies of real-life experiences. In short, there is no “secret” to success. Be consistent, listen when God speaks and follow your heart.

Tiffany “To the ‘T'” Gillespie knew that she had a passion for event planning, she trained for it and became certified; but allowed doubt, unfamiliarity, and the opinions and suggestions of others deter her from it.  Upon receiving certification she immediately started a business, but did nothing with it for nearly a year. One Sunday morning, in 2012, she heard a sermon that would change her life.

“About five years ago I started my company. I stepped out on faith. I remember hearing a sermon from my pastor about your purpose, and about your God-given gift. And I had never heard anyone teach about passion or purpose. So, when he taught about this, it was like an ah-ha moment. Something went off, like, some lightbulb just went off for me,” she explains.

Passion is that thing that keeps you up at night, that you simply cannot stop thinking about. The thing that consumes your whole self, and at times you don’t even know or realize it.

The Purpose Seekers remind us to always seek God and keep Him first. They provide insight and tools needed to assist in actively and strategically creating profitable business through passion and purpose.

The Panelists

With Tiffany, the Dallas panel: Athena DeVonne, founder of Passion As A Verb, LaKisha Wells, founder of Renee’s Eventi, and Majisty Dennis, founder of Majisty Ministries, all served as opened books, pouring out wealths of knowledge on not only surviving, but prospering from this thing called entrepreneurship!

Athena DeVonne

Photo Credit: @passionasaverb

Athena DeVonne has known about and battled with extreme asthma since the age of nine. Extreme to the point of being told that laughing can be deadly. Imagine having that situation worked out with God, going through life happy without a hitch, then having your world crash down on you. Relationship problems; specifically, divorce, while pregnant with your second child, and having your oldest diagnosed with a brain condition that causes seizures.

This left DeVonne broken, and with zero employment options, as no employer will work around the extensive time she would now be required to be out of office. Out of necessity and her passion for seeing love cultivated and grow, she created her wedding planning business Coalesce Creations. The relationships built from her passion of love (wedding planning) developed into the creation of her blog Passion As A Verb. An inspirational, motivational, resources guide for entrepreneurs who are ready to put the excuses to rest and live their passion as a verb!

She tells us, “I use it [asthma] as a tool to keep going instead of a clutch. It’s part of what I can use as my testimony. If I didn’t have struggles, what would I have to share with you?”

Majisty Dennis

Photo Credit: Shebatty

An entrepreneur since the age of fifteen, Majisty Dennis is a self-employed veteran with over a decade in the game. She accredits that to her mom.

“My mom was adamant about imparting the importance of purpose to me, even at a young age. So, she would tell me that, ‘I don’t want you to be waiting til [sic] you grow up to find out what your purpose was,’ she would tell me the things that God was telling her about my life. As I got older, I just continued to seek God about those things for myself, so that I could have my own revelation and continue like that. So, as the Lord gives me adventures and things to take on, I just go for it!”

Dennis started out miming from passion, then developed a business plan and made it a profession. She now, teaches the art of mime, does motivational speaking, and recently released the inspirational book, From Religion to Revival, it can be found and purchased at Majisty Ministries.

As a young entrepreneur keeping intimidation at minimum is crucial to success. Her advice to young entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs in general is, “Be convinced of what you’re trying to tell everyone else. People will tell you that you’re too young, and then , when you get older, they will tell you that you’re too old. You will always be too something, so work on spending your energy on convincing yourself of the message you want to tell everyone else. Once you’re convinced of it, the world will respond to you in a different way.”

LaKisha Wells

Photo Credit: @reneeseventi

Lakisha Wells created Renee’s Eventi Wedding Planning and Design in 2010. During that time and being new to the wedding planning industry, the help and resources she needed for her business were not available.

However, because of her passion for human connection she pressed forward. Feeling her way around, seemingly lost, and encountering the stumbling blocks of being a new business owner/wedding planner caused Wells to attempt success by mimicking another planner’s style, what they did, and how they communicated with their clients.

“It didn’t work for me. It made me realize who I am as a wedding planner,” she says. “My purpose as a wedding planner is to be authentically me. Who I am is who I am, and I have to make that work in my business.”

Over time, Wells has discovered that It is perfectly ok to be a wedding planner who has a Type A personality full of love and compassion, fully involved with her couples.

“Do I have a Type A personality? Yes! But, I get totally connected with my couples and that’s ok! Once I figured that out, my business began to prosper and I didn’t make excuses for being who I am.”

Wells is also serving in her purpose as the co-founder of Chicks in Pink Stilettos-DFW, a non-profit organization that supports the fight against breast cancer.

Tiffany Gillespie

Photo Credit: ms_tothet

Tiffany Gillespie is an author, event planner, and business consultant who promised God that she would live everyday of her life out loud, for Him, if He allowed her to walk away from brain surgery with all of her pieces in tact in 2013.

Gillespie has always had a passion for event and wedding planning. So much so, that she trained for it, became certified, networked and built relationships within the industry, and started a business in early 2012 that she sat on and did nothing with for nearly a year. Why?

Fear of the unknown caused Gillespie to play it safe, and do what felt most comfortable and familiar, ignoring the (less obvious) signs from God meant to push her into her purpose. She earned a degree in Criminal Justice. She dabbled with her business, doing events here and there, but still focused elsewhere.

She took desk jobs with companies in the event planning industry,in hopes of finding fulfillment from close proximity. It didn’t work, and she found herself feeling chained to a desk, literally drowning in paperwork and very unhappy, but still afraid to take the leap of faith and fully pursue her passion/business.

“While my brother and I were always encouraged to be creative, and to follow our gifts and to follow our passions, we were never encouraged to be business owners. Cause, we we don’t have any business owners in my family. I don’t fault my parents for that, they just didn’t know,” she says.

After chasing the (somebody’s) dream, and landing a series of dead-end jobs, God used a sneeze to jolt her into action with a purpose. Gillespie knew she had a condition that blocks spinal fluid which would eventfully lead to nerve damage. On March 6th 2013 a late night sneeze resulted in a pain so sharp, she fell to the floor. The pain started in her arm and went throuth to her pinky.

Gillespie had surgery on April 1st, was out of the hospital in seven days and recalls that, “When I say God blessed me, God, He and I together, rocked that surgery,” she says.  “That moment taught me. This condition and the after effects of the surgery are thorns in my side. But they are the things that always keep me humble, always dependent on God, always going back to Him and never doing my own thing, because I can’t operate in life without Him. And I’m thankful for that, because I don’t know how my life would be or what I would be doing if I did not have this thorn in my side, this thing that keeps me so deeply connected to God. From that moment forward, everything about my life is about walking in purpose.”

Gillespie made one last attempt at squeezing into the “Corporate America” box, and after being fired within 6 month she began working her business full time, and has been successful since. Keep your eye out for Gillespie, the Purpose Seekers Tour is the first of more motivational workshop tours to come!

The ladies left it all on the floor for Dallas. Guests left the event inspired, full, and most importantly, ready to live a prosperous life in their purpose!

For more information and to find the Purpose Seekers Tour in a city near you, go to www.thepurposeseekersschool.com 

Accessories In The Nude 2017 Fashion Show

“If you aren’t wearing the right accessories, you may as well be nude.” -Meko Krout.

For nine years, Accessories In the Nude has produced the highly anticipated A.I.N. Fashion Show! On Saturday, July 22nd, at the Esé Azenabor Fashion Gallery, A.I.N. held its annual showcase where the 2017 Accessory Designer winner was announced. Six local designers also showcased their collections.

Out of a necessity to support fashion production, creator/owner, Meko Krout founded A.I.N. in 2008.

“We started off wanting to do a fashion show, then decided to branch off into helping other designers build their brand,” she says.

According to Krout, wardrobe designers get highlighted more. “We wanted to focus on accessories and make it a competition,” she says. “Our goal is to help designers build their dream and keep building. The winner receives  money  towards their business.”

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s showcase will be donated to the  non-profit organization, The Birthday Party Project! TBPP  provides birthday parties to homeless children in the metroplex.

Krout explains that, “The decision to donate a portion of the proceeds is because we always want to give back. The Birthday Party Project gives back to children! They have birthday parties for homeless children! I try to have people visualize. How did you feel when you had a birthday party experience growing up? Everyone should have that experience. I thought that was something fun, and something everyone would want to jump on.”

“It is a blessing that we continue to grow,” says Krout. “Shout out to my A.I.N. team, especially [Executive Producer] Willie [Johnson].  I think he loves the brand as much as I love it. We couldn’t do it without him, and the entire team; the makeup team and everyone who steps up and assists.”

Master  of Ceremony,  Housewives of Dallas star, LeeAnne Locken kept this fashionable event rolling, while DJ M*Knight rocked the house, setting the stage for the show.

The competition!

This year’s winner is Michael “Bow Tie Mike” Williams. Mike has been designing bow ties since 2005 when boredom inspired his creativity.

Last year’s winner, Tina Peters announcing Bow Tie Mike as this year’s winner.

“I was bored with seeing the same style of ties over and over again,” he says. “I wanted something that stands out. Something to draw people’s attention; get people going. I wanted to do something to put smiles on people’s faces. This tie took five days to create,” says Bow Tie Mike.

Mike is a humble, yet appreciative artist. “Bow ties are my life. God is good!”

Look for Bow Tie Mike @bowtie_mike on Instagram

The show!

Six designers. Six collections. Plucked from Dallas’ Fashion Scene. Indigo 1745, Yvonne Johnson, House of No Lady, Jamel Hawk, RADKEEM SIMS, Uyo by Udoh Atelier and Josette Couture made up the montage of futuristic, innovative, avant-garde looks that set the runway on FIRE!

Indigo 1745

 

This collection was eclectic and easy to wear.

 

Yvonne Johnson

 

A fun, colorful collection with class.

 

House of No Lady

 

This collection was jaw dropping. A literal take on survival of the fittest.

 

Jamel Hawk

 

The swanky side of calm, cool, and collected.

 

Radkeem Sims

 

Stylishly daring, this collection is for the Bad Girl/ Bad Boy hidden inside.

 

Uyo by Udoh Atelier

 

Afro beats and chilled drinks. This collection will have you summer festival ready.

 

Josette Couture

 

This lady sings no blues. The Josette Couture collection by Josette Gollatt is classy and feminine, with just enough drama.

“I love black. Black is beautiful baby, and white is alright. And what makes us both the same is the Red, the Blood. That is where I come from, says Golatt.”

Gollatt is not new to fashion. Her experience spans from her childhood and continued throughout adulthood.

Gollatt says, “I started sewing at nine with my lunch money. I started then.”

Even as a young girl, Gollatt knew that she had a gift, so she did-away with patterns.

“I wanted to experiment, so mistakes weren’t mistakes,” she says.

“It’s great when someone else loves what you love, and it’s ok if they don’t. That’s the cherry on top, because when you’re designing, you’re in your own headspace, in your own zone and you have to do what comes out of you first -not concerning yourself about anybody else.”

Finally, if you love fashion, you will not miss the 2018 show. Stay in the know. Follow A.I.N. on Instagram @ainshow.

For more information about being a part of the A.I.N. Showcase, visit Accessories in The Nude Showcase or e-mail Meko Krout at mekokrout@accessoriesinthenude.com.

Photo Credit: Cy Davison- Beyond Reach Media