Natural Hair Milestone: I Did My Own BOX BRAIDS!

Greetings Daizies,

This year one of my natural hair goals was to do more protective styles all by myself. In the past I have done crochet braids often which always turned out great. I tried doing my own singles almost 4 years ago, in the picture above and while I rocked them for a bit, I thought I would never do my own braids again. Getting the right grip, finding the time, and having the outcome of neat braids seemed like something that just wasn’t in my ministry. So for years I had to find someone to do my braids every time I wanted them done.

This all changed after seeing how amazing my hair turned out with marley twists last December. I surprised myself because, having attempted them before a few years ago, I struggled with twisting tight enough so that they wouldn’t unravel. But I tried it again and my confidence in doing all the styles I thought I couldn’t do had peaked. So last weekend, I set out two nights to just enjoy my new tv while braiding my hair.

Braiding Hair

The braiding hair has a lot to do with the braiding experience PERIODT. I really think Xpression braiding hair is the best. I compared it to a pack of hair I had left over and it was way better in terms of texture and look. So when doing your own hair, getting quality hair will help so much so that you don’t find yourself getting frustrated with tangles and shedding, which ultimately slows down the whole process.

I definitely overestimated the amount of hair that I would need. I bought 8 packs but only used 3 1/2. Cutting each pack in half allowed for box braids that were waist length.

Learnings

Feathering the hair adds some length. So when it seemed like cutting each pack in half would turn out with braids shorter than I wanted, feathering the ends before braiding created better usage of the hair’s length. Feathering in general was a critical step in braiding because it kept the braids from unravelling. Sometimes I would have to redo them if the ends weren’t layered enough.

Turning on a good movie was key. I scrolled through Netflix’s Oscar Nominee category and watched this movie called Lion. It was such a good movie. I had my oil diffuser on and had a fun night finishing my hair.

I was very mindful with neatness and keeping the braids straight all the way down. I can tell when a strand’s loop starts to twist and turn so I would just start over from where it got messy instead of rushing to get done.

Also grip wasn’t something I had trouble with this time. I think after having more experience doing my hair, it was easier to loop the braiding hair to my natural hair this time.

All together I would say it took about 9 1/2 hours between two nights. I really love the outcome. I hadn’t attempted to braid my hair in 4 years and this whole time I thought it was just something not apart of my skillset lol. But I got better and would’ve never known had I not tried again. The moral of the story is, if at first you don’t succeed you dust yourself off and try again.

Remember,

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How to Get Out of the Post-Travel Blues

I went through my blog drafts and came across a brief entry expressing how I felt after coming home from a semester abroad in Italy. I remember vividly feeling the way I felt. It doesn’t seem that long ago actually, but 2017 really was an entire 2 years ago. There is much that has changed but I appreciate the journey that it took to get here. I still went on one more study abroad trip after the exchange and it was well worth it. I encourage anyone in college to study abroad as many times as they can! Now that I’ve graduated, I have gotten used to shifting from study abroad as my way of exploring the world to getting comfortable living in one place but planning to travel at least every 3 months this year, with solo travel being a required yearly thing.

Coming back to reality can be such a drag, especially after what was probably the time of your life and seeing so much of the world. Even after trips that are 3-5 days, there’s the reluctance to get back to work and the routine of life at home. My experience with this is to give myself time but not too much time to dwell. Capturing the amazing moments in a creative and productive way keeps my mind moving as I reminisce. Creating a vlog, or writing a blog is a productive way to document all of the fun so that there is a tangible outcome of spending hours looking through pictures and videos of all of the fun I had.

Cinque Terre 2016

Stay productive and live in the moment

It’s true, right after touching down in the U.S. I immediately went on the study abroad page to find a new program I could apply for with one more year of college left. There is nothing wrong with being on the lookout to get out of the country again and by the way things are looking I’d wanna get out of here as much as possible. My advice is to treat it as a thing that you’re doing to nurture your love of travel not to avoid your actual life. You will be in your city more than you will be abroad. Home is what you will always come back to so take steps to improve your life where it is. I did this by making plans to do something new and visit a new place in the city at least twice a month. It has also helped now to recognize my thoughts in my head days prior to coming home and thinking of the positive things to look forward to when I come home or goals I want to accomplish. Thinking of the new goals you can set for yourself helps put some positivity into the “back to the reality” feelings of coming home. I learned that I want to be happy for the several months I’m home so that the travels are even more rewarding and I an feel happy all the way through without spending the last few days dreading coming home.

Puerto Vallarta 2018

For a lot of times coming back home means back to responsibilities and actual work. We all have to work and go to school and take care of others sometimes which is apart of life. One way to manage these stressors is to incorporate the self care activities normally associated with a vacation, into your life at home. I got more massages when I was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico than the entirety of the year. I think I should actually do more of that and not deprive myself of the amazing pampering of a massage. We don’t have to wait till a vacation every few months to do vacation-like activities. The more things we do to make ourselves smile, the better I think our days will be.

Take a glimpse into my 21 year old feelings coming back to America:

January 17, 2017

“I’ve come back to the United States for studying abroad twice now. The first time I came back from an exploration seminar and couldn’t stop thinking about London for months after I came back. I literally cried as I was getting on the plane. This time, I was gone for four months in Italy and I felt prepared coming home. No tears. I don’t find myself constantly thinking about Italy exactly but more of the feeling of traveling. I miss how  normal it was to be in Milan for a few days only to prepare for my next trip to a completely different place. I’m trying to find a new normal. A few days ago, it felt like I was in the same place I was at the start of last year. Wondering what’s next. Wanting to leave again. Each time studying abroad I felt free. Life was exciting. I was in beautiful places constantly and learning more things. How can I feel the same excitement and freedom in my actual country? As my college experience comes to an end, I realize that studying abroad can’t always be my goal for the year. I’ve already accomplished some amazing global goals as an undergraduate. So right now I am just waiting for something new again. Trying to find what I find when traveling but somewhat in everyday life.

Now that I’m back it feels like I’m starting college all over again but at the same time it seems like everything is exactly how I left it. My eyes see Seattle but my head is still traveling.”

Fun times. Fun times. May the travels continue in abundance.

A Beginner’s Drugstore Makeup Haul!

Greetings Daizies!

My most recent experiment was playing in makeup! After months of watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, I finally took some action into learning how to beat my face. As I am not an expert in makeup yet, I wanted to start off with using drugstore makeup and then work my way up. My current makeup look consists of concealer  Maybelline SUPER STAY BETTER SKIN® CONCEALER + CORRECTOR (in deep) , filling in my eyebrows using the Elf brow kit,  Covergirl Plumping blastPRO mascara, Wet’N’Wild Au Naturale pallette, and usually a light pink Wet’N’Wild Lipstick. Using these products in my routine have allowed for a process that takes less than 10 minutes = more sleep for me!

My goal for this experiment was to learn new makeup skills and enhance my look even further with more coverage for my skin and adding highlight for a summer glow. I want to try new colors and have fun with eye shadow again! I’ve been sticking with nudes for the longest now and would love to try some more fun shades. My skin is usually clean with minimal breakouts, so coverage for me is about covering dark circles and small blemishes they may appear every now and then. That being said, here is my experience and what I thought of the results:

I set out to spend $30 on makeup. Lol yeah that’s funny right. Long story short, I ended up spending about $57. How could such small things add up so quickly! I jotted some things down on my list compiled from several YouTube videos and what I thought I needed. I was on a hunt for a natural looking foundation, something to use as a highlighter, new makeup tools, etc and plenty of other things ended up in my basket. There is just so much!

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At least TRIED sticking to a list lol

Primer: Maybelline Master Primer $7.99 – Idk

This was one of the things I didn’t know I needed until I got there (I went to Target btw). Still don’t see what the difference is whether I used it or not. I’m salty cuz it was the most expensive thing I bought yet I still don’t know if it was worth it. That was like 6 McChickens right there.

Julius
My face when I spent more money on makeup than I planned

 

Foundation: Covergirl Ready, Set Glow in color 315 $6.99-Loved It

Ding ding ding! That’s the sound of me picking the perfect color foundation. Woooo! This is like the most important thing I felt for this makeup haul. Previously, I bought a Maybelline Fit Me foundation stick about a year ago and it was just not working for me, the color was just too red and dark. So for this one I was happy that it didn’t turn out ashy and just blended right in with my skin tone.

I used a Maybelline foundation brush for about $4.99. Yes I use alot of Maybelline products lol! Talk about brand resonance and mere exposure*marketing terms coming into play yup I’m a marketing major* The more you see or hear about a product the more likely you are to  buy it *MKTG 460 for ya, I slayed Midterm 1*

Concealer: Maybelline Superstay Better Skin $6- Same as last time, still Love It

I ended up overwhelmed with being twice my budget and decided to use my current concealer till it runs out (update it’s run out now girl lol). It’s probably just me, but I still think my dark circles are probably darker than they really are (that’s what I’ve heard)

Eyebrows: Elf Instant Lift Brow Pencil $2- Decent

For $2 you really can’t beat that. It came with an eyebrow brush which I really enjoyed. I liked the product but probably picked the wrong color because it kind of looks a little too gray when I apply it. I have the color taupe. I would buy again but actually read what color it is before I buy it lol

Having applied these products I really couldn’t tell the difference between my everyday makeup and what I had done. So I applied more!

Highlight: NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator $7.49 – Decent

Since highlight was one of my main focus points for this project, I really wanted this one to be a hit. But tbh I felt like I could’ve achieved the glow using a bronze or gold eye shadow from my Wet’N’Wild pallette. For it’s price, I thought it would do more. It’s OKAY. But I would definitely try something else next time. Had to force it and find some good lighting to show the highlight lol.

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You can see more of the blush+highlight

All the brushes I used were from ELF… you gotta crawl before you walk!

Blush: ELF rose royalty $3- Loved It

Another product I didn’t plan on getting but I was like  ” I got it, ball out!” *Kevin Hart voice*. The color was nice and subtle which gave me the natural summer glow I was aming for.I liked it and thought it was really cute actually 🙂

Eyeshadow: LA Colors $3- Loved It

I was pleasantly surprised with this eyeshadow palette. The colors were more pigmented than I thought.My favorite part of my overall look were the eyes. Eye makeup was literally what I started with back in middle school/high school. I would literally color coordinate my eyeshadow to my outfits everyday lol. I guess that first skill is still there.

Eyeliner: NYC Liquid Liner $2.82 – Liked It

If it’s not liquid liner than what is it? Liquid liner is definitely my favorite and I enjoyed this one very much. I want to perfect my winged liner as it has been out of commission for a while. This was a nice product 🙂

Mascara: NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara $3.62- Okay

I’ve had my fair share of drugstore mascara. Just trying to take my lashes from basic to ballin. Whether I spent $9 using the Covergirl brand or $3 with this brand, they still look rather the same. Decent product, didn’t do wonders though. Might have to holla back at Maybelline mascara which is where I started off.

Lipstick: Wet’N’Wild Breeze $.94- Liked It

I pretty much know what to expect with this lipstick and for it’s price I will probably never stop buying it. I’m pretty sure I see the same color and be like” ooooooooo this one is so cute” and end up with duplicates around the house lol. I mixed this nude color, with 2 more products I already had: a velvet Lavendar matte stick from L.A.Girl and another Wet’N’Wild product- Megalast Liquid Lip Color in the iris color.

And TADA I was done! Overall I liked the look. Comparing it to my dressier makeup days it was hard to see a difference for a few minutes lol. I will still keep practicing and trying new things though.

What are your holy grail makeup products or tricks? Let ya girl know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

DIY Shea Butter masque

Why Shea Butter?

Need to revitalize your curls? Look no further, Shea Butter is here! I thought I had tried just about everything for my hair but I had yet to try using Shea Butter My main reason for using Shea butter was for a hair sealant for the ends of my hair, and a moisturizer. After freshly washing my hair, these were the steps I took to creating a creamy Shea Butter masque.

What you will need:

  • Shea butter (I used all natural 100% pure)
  • Carrier oils
  • Fork or electric blender
  • Boiled water
  • Cup
  • Bowl

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Shea Butter from my local beauty supply store for about $5. Olive oil was about $4, and the Jamaican Black Castor Oils came in a package of 4 for about $20

  1. Scoop about 4 tablespoons of Shea Butter and place into a bowl

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Shea Butter in its natural state

  1. Mash Shea Butter with a fork. Okay it looks like I used a spoon lol but it got the job done!
  2. Add carrier oils. These include oils such as grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Differentiating between carrier and essential oils, carrier oils come from nuts and are referred to as vegetable oils.  For today I used olive oil, coconut oil, and Jamaican Black Castor oil infused with sage and coconut oil.
  3. Melt.I bet it is so much easier to mix with a blender but I didn’t have one so a fork works lol. After mixing with a fork, I placed the mixture above hot boiled water until it melted. This resulted in a creamy yellow paste.I was so confused as to what I was going to do with Shea Butter considering its very thick and hard in its natural state. Therefore, melting it was the best option. Melting longer results in less product overall. Next time I would probably melt only enough to be able to mix so I will end up with more product.
  4. Apply to hair.On my freshly washed hair, I applied the mixture in sections from roots to ends. I kept the remainder in a plastic cup and used throughout the process of installing my box braids.                                                                                                                                    Overall I am happy with the results of my Shea Butter mixture. It was an inexpensive way to create a moisturizer for my hair with ingredients I know will only help my hair.

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Entering the World of a Working Career Woman

Simmer Sixteen is finally here, and I am getting my first taste of what its like to truly be on my own. I landed an internship at a Fortune 500 company and literally having the 9 to 5 life. All the people on the planet- working that 9 to 5 just to stay alive, that 9 to 5 just to stay alive *Beyonce voice*.

While studying for finals wasn’t exactly the best thing in the world, I was lowkey dreading and nervous about life living alone and working. No matter how much I wished time would just pause, it never really did and here I am still trying to get my sleeping scheduled configured to a normal setting.  With the first few day, I would say I am still adjusting. Not coming home to any roommates, family, or even a cat felt quite isolated.I flipped through channels on the tv and movies on Netflix but was bored out of my mind after work. WOW, people really do this? How do people even have time for a social life after working a full 8 hour shift? I was literally so tired and thought ahead to my goal of being a working career woman while also having a family. Big props to the women that do it, I have a long ways to go !

Determined not to be bound to my residence after work, I purchased a handy dandy bus pass. Yay now time to explore. Admittedly exploring cities in WA is no where near excited as my time in London, but it got me more excited for my future excursion in Milan! It was a first step. I can’t see myself just working and coming home for the rest of the summer lol. So I plan to continue to go on adventures and learn some new skills outside of work. For starters I finally figured out this blog process of mapping my domain, so yay progress! Last summer I started my own blog and was really excited about it. Then the school year came along and naturally I had less and less time to blog. But let’s try this again:)

So for now, I am learning how to accept change and be okay with being alone. I can’t always be around people familiar and people won’t always be available to Facetime, call, and text me. So I have to embrace my own company and become comfortable with being on my own . Being on my own doesn’t mean I’m alone.