StyledChic

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

5 Ways to get Out of a Natural Hair Rut


Yes.  You read it right.  How to get out of a natural hair rut, because it definitely happens if you've been natural for years.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe I'll ever go back to having a relaxer.   I think my hair just thrives more in its natural state. However, this year I've reached an all-time low of complete boredom.  I think that's probably why I started the year off protective styling with wigs.  In that post I talked about being tired of doing hair, so protective styling all winter and spring really did me some good.  I like a new look every now and again, but lately, it's just been on a whole other level.   I've noticed the itch to want to change styles more frequently and I've also been really frustrated about different ways to style my hair.  Blah.  Really I'm just speaking out loud, ranting.  In reality it's always cool to go back and forth from afro to defined curls.  I feel like it's also important to know that as a natural there are times in this journey where you won't like your hair.  It won't come out the way you want or may not even be the look you want to go for.  Sometimes my outfit may call for a sleeker look and my hair will give me poofy and frizzy that day.  Ugh.  While I love promoting self-confidence and embracing the features you were born with, at times for me, natural hair can be frustrating AND boring every now and again.  That's why you see a lot of us who's been in the game for a while switching it up with color, extensions, crochet braids, and even wigs.  YES wigs because it's so easy!  Some of us even cut it off and start all over again.  If you ever find yourself in a natural hair rut, here are 5 ways to make it out without reaching for the relaxer:


Experiment


The other night I just randomly did a Wash & Go.  I hardly ever wear my hair in wash & go styles but in the past few years wash & go's are a life saver when it comes to humidity in the summer.  In my early natural days I didn't like how my hair looked and it took me some time to embrace my overall appearance and texture.  I really think just taking the time out to try something outside of your comfort zone will help you to discover different styles.  That can definitely pull you out of a slump of having the same old look.  Don't just watch hair videos, spend time with YOUR hair.  I had to learn what worked for my curl type and just play around.  I discovered ways to style my hair based on my face shape and what just looks good.  You can also get a cut or color to switch things up.  Not everyone should set goals on getting "long hair".  Shorter hair on some women just fits them better.  You'll never really know what can give you that extra something if you don't experiment.  Even with color!

Try New Products


In the beginning I would only buy the basics like shampoo, conditioners, and a style pudding for twists.  It wasn't until recent years that I got a little more educated on how products will work on my hair type.  Products like foaming mousse and curling custards have really helped me out when I want to achieve different looks.  I've also found that trying out different brands can also give you a pick me up.  Not all products work the same.  Being armed with what always works is important but I noticed when I tried the ORS Curls Unleashed Boosting Jelly on my wash and go I really liked it!  It made me feel better about the way my hair was styled thus making me feel super happy about doing my hair the next day.


Protective Style


Sometimes a good wig or crochet braids are all we need to give us a new look without a permanent commitment!  After 4 months of wearing my wig off and on I started to miss my curls.  I believe most of us women like to switch things up so if you aren't sure exactly what you want to do with your natural hair--put it away for a while until you can figure out your next move.

Let Your Hair BE


This past weekend was busy and Saturday night I wasn't in the mood to re-twist my hair when I got home.  So I didn't.  The next morning I woke up irritated because I knew I only had a few options on how to wear my hair if I wanted it to look decent and I refused to wear a dog on bun again.  My hair was poofy and frizzy and so I said--forget it.  This is what it's gonna be and got my gel and foam and went to work.  I ended up pinning it into this up do shown in these photos, which I ended up loving just as is.  Not every curl has to be defined or "popping".  When you just let it be, and roll with it, with just a little this and that girl you'll still be able to swag it out like it's nothing.  

Natural Hair isn't about Having Perfect Hair


Now this took me some time to understand.  At first it was all about recreating these looks I'd see online.  Big brands don't always do a good job at representing every type of curly girl.  For a long time we could see that only a certain type of curl would be praised or marketed the most.  What I've learned here is that with my natural, it's not the same and is not always going to slick down like another's or even be perfectly curled.  I have really awesome hair days as well as those days when I have to roll with it and learn how to handle it. For the most part, I do like to put effort into my hair because let's be honest, nobody wants to look run down and busted when they go out in public.  But I will say that if you're looking for your hair to look perfect all the time go get yourself some weave.  Even when my hair isn't perfect everyone else around me seems to think otherwise.  Weird.  


If you've been in a style rut like me, hopefully these tips will help you out.  I think it's normal to want to try different things.  The main thing is to loosen up a bit and not be so hard on yourself about your natural.  Take the time to learn how to do your hair, experiment, and get inspired.  That should get you back on the good foot!  Oh and I got a Henna tattoo this past weekend at a vegetarian festival.  You can see it on my hand in the second photo in case you were wondering what I was doing, lol.  I love it.  Until next time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Family Dollar Grand Opening in Charlotte, NC with ORS


Today I'd like to share with you all my experience this past Saturday at another Family Dollar store opening with ORS Hair Care!  The location was set in Charlotte, NC this time and it was so nice to have taken part of another successful event!  If you missed out on the previous event in Norfolk, VA check out my recap HERE.  As Beauty & Style blogger of this event, my job was to once again connect with customers, share my own experience with natural hair, my personal hair routine, as well as beauty and style tips.  If you follow me on Snap Chat ( StyledChic2) Twitter, or FaceBook you all got a glimpse of some of the action that took place in store.  As you can see I wore my natural tresses this time.  Most guests were really interested in my fluffy twist out and what products I used to achieve this look.


Just like before, there were two ORS specialists on site to give each interested customer a Hair and Scalp Analysis along with expert hair care advice & customized product recommendations!


ORS Hair Technician Mother Nature is always so informative.  I love the fact that she uses the Trichoscope to give customers a  better view of their hair by seeing what their scalp actually looks like on the monitor.  It's so easy for us to make assumptions about our hair based on what we think is going on or by watching YouTube all the time.  If you're having deeper issues such hair lose, this tool allows the specialist to recognize the skin or hair problems, if any, and decide on the proper treatment to resolve the issue.  Sometimes it's best to seek professional opinion and help.  Each customer seemed to be very pleased with this in depth consultation.  Following the scalp analysis Mr. Rahmlee did an amazing job at giving customized lists of hair product recommendations by ORS.  Customers made sure to scoop up the samples that we had available to them and the store even sold out of the Olive Oil Smooth-N-Hold Pudding (The product I used for my twist-out)!


Thank you again to ORS and to Family Dollar of Charlotte, NC for inviting me to share in an awesome event for the community.  Mother Nature, Mr. Rahmlee, and Kimberly were such a pleasure to work with.  The turn out was great and Family Dollar did an amazing job with providing food, fun, live music, and giveaways for everyone!  


PHOTOS | SAMARA TAYLOR & MICHAEL HONEYCUTT

If you guys are interested in attending events that I am part of, make sure you are following me on each of my social platforms to stay in the loop!  Hopefully we can chat in person at my next stop!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Easy Timeless Style

  
The month of June has been keeping me pretty busy.  Most of my time has gone to my 9 to 5, which has had me work a few extra hours on the weekend and not any time for vacation because of the end of our fiscal year.  I've experienced similar aspects in a previous position I had before, but things are a little different in the department that I'm now in.  With that said, all of my hours on the clock have given me a little burn out. Which means less time sharing via social media, here on Styled Chic and more time keeping balanced mentally and physically.  To be totally honest, I intentionally stepped away from social media simply to break from the hustle and bustle of posting and taking in information.  I like to do that every now and again.  Whenever work or life picks up I try to make it a top priority to practice some self-care.  It's so important to give yourself a chance to recover after a busy schedule.  

When I find myself not having the time to give towards planning outfits, I rely heavily on statement items that I already have in my closet to make getting dressed easy.
Classic pieces for me will never get old or out of style.  I enjoy the fact that I can pull out an item from 5 years ago and still look and feel current.  What's even better is when you have multi-functional clothes in your closet that can be worn year round.  This navy sleeveless trench is the perfect example.  I've worn this vest a few times to work for a more professional look, but today I paired it with my favorite distressed jeans and snake skin cross body bag for a casual and feminine look.  The vest is light weight enough to wear during summer months and perfect for layering, which can get a little tricky with this heat.  Here's the perfect way to do it in June.



PHOTOS | EMMA FAIR

SHOP SIMILAR STYLES

There's always a way that you can incorporate more trendy items to a minimal look.  I decided that snakeskin would be my animal print of choice and opted for a nude caged stacked sandal.  While looks aren't everything, I definitely believe in getting dressed each day.  Hectic times calls for me to put my best foot forward.  Busy or not.  In this case, I'm out and about having some lunch and taking care of a few things before heading out of town tomorrow.  If I take the time to put myself together, I know I'm setting myself up to be more productive.  We should all know at this point, that if you look good, you feel good, Amen?  If you ever see me out, this is normally my style of choice.  If I had to sum it up I'd say that easy timeless style always wins.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Are Beauty Boxes Worth the money?


The Essence Beauty Box is actually my very first beauty box subscription ever.  Although I receive this box complimentary from Essence, I strongly believe in giving my honest opinions about all the products so that you can know first-hand whether to spend your coins or not.  I hate to review, just for the sake of reviewing.  If I'm not excited about it, I mean what's the point?  Sharing my latest beauty finds just comes natural for me.  Paid or unpaid.  Complimentary or not, you'll only see what I actually like here on Styled Chic.  You all know this about me by now right?  I say all this because there are SO MANY beauty boxes out there and it can be a bit over saturated when it comes to this stuff.  As you can probably tell from my previous posts on the Essence Beauty Box, I'm pretty satisfied with most of what I've received so far.  For me, I'm partial to this subscription because I'm a beauty lover and I'm always interested in trying new products.  What's great is that this box offers more than just cosmetics. There are hair and toiletries included as well.  I love that it caters to women of color, yet always has products that women of all shades can use.  Also, I like to switch things up.  If I've been using the same brand of mascara for months and I get a different brand in my beauty box, then I'm all for it.

Normally a beauty box can range anywhere from $10 to $25 per month.  For some, that may not be too bad, but those prices do add up over time.  We all spend our money on what we love.  Whatever that thing is, we budget or sacrifice for what we want, am I right?  If you're a beauty lover like myself and are on the fence about getting that monthly subscription, let me give you  a few tips to help you figure out if it's worth the money or not.

Are You a Beauty Lover?

I mean that should go without saying.  If you find yourself in Target down the beauty aisles picking up the latest hair product or in Sephora with 10 different lip color swatches on your hand on the regular, a box subscription just may be right for you.  Take that into consideration.  If you like trying new cosmetics on a regular bases, these boxes will give you the opportunity to discover something you love.  It's also the chance to take advantage of more luxy products at a fraction of the price.

Does the Box introduce you to new products?

A box should definitely expose you to products you've never heard of before.  It's that or whenever I open my box I find myself saying "Oh!  I saw this the other day and always wanted to try!"  I think a great box should have two factors:  it introduces me to a bunch of new products that I had never heard of before and will likely buy myself in the future. For example, in this month's box I received the 'Before You Go Toilet Spray Poo~Pourri'-- a bathroom odor eliminator that creates a barrier on the surface of the water of the toilet.  Just spray before you go!  Now who would've thought of that?!  Isn't that a great idea?  This is perfect to just carry in your bag for work or when you're headed to someone's home.  Courtesy mist is what I'll call it, lol.  I hadn't heard of this until now.  I'm going to have this item with me this weekend and see how it works.  You know how certain smells don't really eliminate the odor, just mask them?  Well we will see with this item.

New products?  Are they Good products? Useful?

Although  Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, weren't new to me, I've never actually tried them out.  I could've also just went over to Walgreens to pick them up but how convenient was it to have them already delivered to my door step?  Plus I had just run out.  Gas and time saved.  We all have preferences in the types of cosmetics we like to buy.  The key here is to find the box that is most useful for you.  I'm a mixture between drugstore brands and high end brands so I hope to see that in every box that I get.  From past boxes are you able to see if the company takes the time to curate items that you see yourself using in the future?  Are the items right for your hair type, skin tone, or overall lifestyle in general?  I consider it a waste to receive products that don't work for my curls or makeup that doesn't compliment my skin tone.  I don't expect every item to be perfect for me.  BUT, lol, most of them should be something I can use.

Number of Items & product size?

I can take a box with 5 small to medium sized products for $10 bucks.  But if I'm paying $20 I had better be getting more than a few full sized items.  Take the cost of the box and the number of items and weigh it out on your own.  The Essence Beauty Box normally contains about 5-6 items that are of great quality. That easily justifies the $12 to $15.  That Before You Go Spray is $9 alone for 2 oz. (what I received) so that gives you a good idea.

Presentation and Packaging

The fact that I feel like I'm getting a gift every month is nice.  It's something to look forward to.  I want to feel like the company cared.  Especially since I'm spending my money.  Does the box look like they just dumped the items in and taped it up all every which way?  Is everything beautifully wrapped?  Do they include a cute little beauty bag to keep in your purse?  I can say that I'm always impressed when I open the Essence Beauty Box.  I always want to take photos of it for you before I tear off the wrapping sticker.  There's always a note that thoroughly explains the items and what they are used for.  I love the color--everything.  I love the details that make you feel like they packaged it just for you.


So for me, yes.  A beauty box is worth the money because I've found one that is cost effective, offers enough items, has quality products, and I feel like I've gotten my money's worth on products I actually use.  Have you subscribed to a beauty box?  If you haven't, think about the tips I gave you and see what works.  If you want to give it a shot, definitely try the Essence Beauty Box.  For more details on this box head over to Essencebeautybox.com to see if these items interest you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chic Reads | 3 books on my night stand


Reading use to be a favorite pastime of mine growing up as a child and into my teen years.  I remember loving to read so much that if I ever cut up, as punishment, my parents would just take all my books away.  Crazy hunh?  Well it worked.  They knew how to get me, lol.  But then life happened.  I grew up went through high school, then college and got a full time job.  Girl, I wasn't reading anything other then those text books I had paid half a million dollars for for classes.  I just didn't have the time.  I was too tired, too stressed, busy, and dealing with...EVERYTHING.  These days I just make the time.  I find that reading is very relaxing and a perfect way to end my day.  I tend to keep in rotation books of whatever I may be going through at the time.  Right now it's books regarding career, business, and topics that have everything to do with the style and beauty industry.  My collection is growing.  Here are 3 books that are on my night stand right now.

The Career Code:  I have been following Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr since I purchased their 'Who, What, Wear' style book back in 2011.  Together, they have built a media empire by creating Whowhatwear.com, the leading platform for premium, shoppable fashion and style content.  I'm on this site almost everyday!  Shortly after, they created Clique media, a content and technology company behind home décor site, Domaine (www.domainehome.com), beauty site, Byrdie (www.byrdie.com), and exclusively represent a large, curated collection of the top bloggers in fashion (such as Atlantic-Pacific, Song of Style and Something Navy), beauty, and home décor as part of its online sales offering. Not to mention they've got a new clothing line with Target!

Since I enjoyed their last book and am pretty much inspired by their careers, I figured this would be a good read.  The Career Code has everything to do with helpful tips on navigating through your career.  It includes great topics, such as:  Job interview tips, style advice on what to wear to get promoted, and the easiest ways to get a raise.  Right now I'm taking note of  the book's 'Life Hacks' which gives tips on making you more efficient and effective in life in general!  My favorite life hack is 'Always be Ready'.  Which has so much truth to it.  Life is unpredictable.  True.  These ladies make a great point that the benefit of being prepared actually allows you to be more spontaneous while keeping your stress level down.  We all know that you have to stay ready, so you don't have to get ready.  Hello somebody.

Leave Your Mark:   Aliza Licht is formerly the voice behind the popular @DKNY PR GIRL twitter feed that boasted over half a million followers.  In 'Leave Your Mark', she shares advice and  inspiration through her own experiences as a top fashion publicist, while providing information about building your personal brand.  I'm still reading this one.  But I'm loving the passage in the book that talks about getting experience when you have no experience.  Hey, if you can't get through the front door, sometimes you gotta go through the window.

Love  x  Style  x   Life:  I'm so in love with this book because the aesthetic is very much my style.  French illustrator turned blogger, Garance Dore, opens up about her favorite topics in Love Style Life. From her childhood in Corsica, to finding her sense of style, to career advice and love stories.  Almost every section in this book is tied together so classically and I love the quality of the photos.  This book gives me all types of Parisian vibes.  I'm taking every last bit of it in!




Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Skinny Scarf


I was super excited to find this cute little skinny scarf from the Who What Wear clothing line while in Target a few months ago.  This item looks sold out online, but check for it in your local store.  I've got some cute alternatives down below.  This small accessary fits my personal style so well because it adds so much character to simple outfits.  I tend to not really overdo it on accessories.  I love wearing things that I can just breeze out of the house and wear to lunch downtown or to a concert.  Speaking of breezing around: These high waisted jeans are so comfortable!  The fit is so perfect and I can't help but wear them every single weekend.  FYI:  I wear the same outfits all the time!  Most of these pieces will be mixed and matched with other items in my closet as always.


PHOTOS | EMMA FAIR

SHOP SIMILAR STYLES





Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Balancing Work and Personal Life


"Don't get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life."

Finding the perfect balance between our professional and personal lives can be tough sometimes.  Most of us work full time (40 hrs a week) and maybe even more if you have a second job. For me, I find myself consistently modifying my daily routine to balance my day time profession with my blogging business and everyday life. If you have a job that you love, it's easy to pour all of your time and energy into it. Or, if  you aren't too happy in your current position, it's likely that you are pursuing your passion in another field. Maybe you're working late nights or on the weekends.   I'm all for pursuing our dreams so give everything you set out to do your all.  But whether your career is your life or you have a "side hustle", at the end of the day, when your day job is done, I've learned that the key to joy inevitably lies in balance.   I don't think we will ever have the perfect balance, but I do believe there are things we can do to help us keep our sanity and lives together.  Here are a few tips to help you out:

1.  Prioritize

I can't stress this enough.   As I talk to you, I'm talking to myself as well.  I'm pretty big on making 'To-Do' lists so this may help you as well.  If you're limited on the time you have throughout the weekday, take sometime on a Saturday or Sunday before logging in to Instagram or Facebook to note everything.  What is it that you need to get done that day?  Professionally, make a list of emails, tasks, or phone calls you need to make early in the a.m. and then go back and order everything by importance.  Do this for personal things too like food shopping or gasing up the car, walking the dog, or getting your nails done.  I find that whenever I make a prioritized list, it creates a more clear cut outline of what's important to get done.

2. Spend Time With Loved Ones & Friends

How easy is it to get caught up in the hustle of work life that you zone out as soon as you get home?  Very. We wake up, rush off to work, go through our day, sit in traffic, get home, shower, eat, zone out in front of the t.v., and go to sleep.  All to do it all over again the next day.  That is not living boo.  I want to LIVE life and not be a complete zombie through it.  Acknowledging our loved ones around us is so important.  Life is short.  So I don't take for granted how much support I have around me.  I don't ever want my spouse, family, and friends to feel abandoned.  Make time with them.  I love spending quality time, if it's not date night with my husband, something as simple as a conversation about how our days went or actually eating dinner together fully engaged without a cell phone in hand.  I probably talk with my mother and sister nearly every other day.  A simple text or planned activity on the weekend will do.  Have a wine and cheese night with your girlfriends.  Stay connected.  Make the time.  It will give you something to look forward to and deepen the relationships you have with those you love.

3.  Exercise

Exercise is an extremely effective stress-reducer. It releases endorphins, which boost your mood and can even inspire additional productivity!  The other day on my lunch break I took a 40 minute walk with my supervisor and definitely did me some good.  It was a warm sunny day outside and the scenery alone lifted my sort of blah mood I was feeling that afternoon.  It's so important to get out of our cubicles or off the couch, even if its just for 20 minutes.  Take a walk around the block if you can't find time to hit the gym.  With our hectic schedules, it can be so easy to skip a workout but ultimately, it can really boost your energy level and ability to concentrate.  I'm telling you what I know.

4.  Schedule down time and disconnect

I think disconnecting is good for the soul.  By disconnecting I mean, when you're off work, you're off.  Emails and phone calls should be limited to a certain time. Silence your iPhone. Unless your boss demands that you be available at all hours of the day, turn off work e-mail on nights and weekends. I enjoy having a night time routine when I'm off from work.  Also known as 'Getting Un-Ready', in which I put down my work bag, take off makeup, take a warm shower, and do a light pamper of skin moisterizers and oils.  Lavender oil is actually very relaxing, so I dab it on my wrists and collar bone.  When it's time for bed, I may read for about 20 mins and then lights off.  Try to power down all electronic devices.  Also, make time in your schedule to do hobbies you love.  Relax your mind by drinking a cup of tea in silence.  If you are out enjoying friends or your significant other put the phone down and fully engage with them.  We are so engulfed with social media in the age it's so common to see everyone with their phones in hand staring at their screens.  By disconnecting from social media and work we allow ourselves to be fully present in our real lives.

5.  Jump Start Your Mornings

Most times I find that by getting up an extra 30 minutes to an hour, allows me to get ready in peace.  I hate rushing.  When I rush my day is kind of thrown off.  The earlier I'm up, I'm more likely to pray or do some devotion ( I'm pushing myself to get better at staying connected to God daily).  It really does the soul good.  I have time to make a decent breakfast and groom myself just how I like.  If I'm doing really good, the night before I'll even prep my outfit, breakfast and lunch for the next day.  It doesn't always happen this way- I too have struggle mornings- but when I do map it all out like this, those mornings are the best.

Early on in my work career, I struggled with having a balance with work and home life, especially when I attended college.  Now that I'm a little older with more experience, I've been able to recognize my weaknesses and improve.  How do you keep balance with work and personal life?  I'd love to know.


 

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