Dandy Lion...

  To further celebrate the "Dandy Lion: Articulating a Re(De)fined Black Masculine Identity" exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore,  on Saturday, they hosted, 
"Dandy Day: A Celebration of Dandyism"
Curator Shantrelle P. Lewis took museum-goers on a gallery walk of the exhibit, and contributors to the exhibit were on hand to explain the inspiration behind their offerings.  In addition, DJ Jahsonic was on the 1s and 2s playing great music, while Planet Maud Vintage & Co. hosted vintage ware-sellers. Both the exhibit and the shopping was great. If you are in Baltimore before May 13th, be sure to check the exhibit out before it leaves.
Jamala Johns, contributor to exhibit, and founder of le coil, the best natural hair tumblr ever

Great look and personality; green lipstick, I mean...what more can I say?!

A woman after my own heart with those adinkra symbol tattoos and close cropped hair


Joann, owner of Planet Maud Vintage & co, and friend

A serious shopper

I was obsessed with her side-swept bang, side pony, fallen topknot, etc., hair.  Who says locs aren't versatile?

Nicole, Jessica, and Allyse of Sweet Repeats Boutique
Photo from exhibit 

Miss Carmen

Jenna, of Fashion Dolls Noir 

Andrea, of Fly 

Hadiya, owner of Zulu Gypsy, the best vintage accessories around


Makeup for the Masses...

The "Girls of Plenty" I know are either full-blown makeup mavens or refuse to wear makeup at all. I fall somewhere very near the spectrum of those that refuse to wear makeup, but I actually do.  Most of the "Girls of Plenty" that refuse to wear makeup espouse the same rhetoric - "It doesn't look natural", "I sweat too much", "I don't have time", or "I don't really need it".  Admittedly, I was one of those people who thought wearing makeup would take away from the naturalista image I had created and coveted since my early teens.  Forget that!  As a grown woman, I want to look like a grown woman, and nothing helps me to achieve that look like makeup.  Granted, my makeup will look NOTHING like the women who create tutorials on Youtube, nor mirror the makeup you see in advertisements.  But it suits, me. And it makes me feel a little more polished.  So see how I create a very minimal, everyday makeup look using products that offer polish, without braving into the vast sea of makeup application I have no knowledge of.
Me, Au Naturel

I use Dudu Osun on my face, twice a day.  It is the best Black Soap I have ever used.  This is it, this is all.  I am not a product junkie, so it's either this or Cetaphil, but as of late, it's been this.


After I wash my face, I promptly slather Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion on my face and neck.  I was introduced to this moisturizer over 15 years ago, and there is nothing else I trust to moisturize my face.  If you have oily skin, they also offer this in a gel formula.


After moisturizing, I add my version of foundation with the incredible Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Mocha.  This moisturizer tops the "Best of" Lists in almost every fashion and beauty publication as the best tinted moisturizer ever.  If your skin is not as dry as mine, feel free to skip the moisturizer and go straight to this step.  But even over the Clinique moisturizer, it still feels virtually weightless and goes on super sheer.  And Laura Mercier offers this tinted moisturizer in an incredible range of skin tones, especially for brown women.  Some people use their hands to apply this, but I prefer to use a wide, flat foundation brush to ensure even coverage.  I use about a half-a-dime sized amount to cover my entire face, and it gives me the minimal coverage I need to allow my natural skin to shine through.   

After applying tinted moisturizer


Next, I apply the brown shade of this wonderful quad from Black Radiance.  This is a staple in my makeup arsenal, and at less than $5.00, has been an everyday go-to for me.  

In keeping with my makeup being as natural as possible, I use the shade that is as close to my skin tone as possible, but it adds a shimmer and some depth, giving the appearance of nothing but a natural glow.

After applying brown eyeshadow


My eyebrows are arched professionally every 2 weeks religiously, but I refuse to fill them in with anything.  An eyebrow brush and comb does the trick and works just fine in between eyebrow waxing.

Next, I apply an eyeliner.  I love the smudgey formula of this Mac Eye Kohl in Smolder and it is super black and easy to apply.

After applying eye liner

After applying eye liner.  Notice how I'm starting to look a little brighter?


Next, I apply mascara to my lashes.  My father blessed me with super long, unruly lashes, and I have attempted to tame and define them with every mascara under the sun, even trying the super-hyped DiorShow for a while. But nothing, but nothing, elongates and makes my lashes appear fuller than Maybelline's classic Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black.

After applying mascara to top lashes


Now, I try to add some color.  I will admit, that I add most of the color in my face through blush, and I use peaches, plums, burgundies, fuschias, etc., but for a sheer, barely there natural flush, this Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love does the trick every time.  So light, sheer, and weightless, this is my go-to all the time.

After applying cheek stain
For a sheer, natural lip, no liner or mirror required, I use MAC's lip gelee.  It provides a gloss with minimal sparkle appropriate for daytime, and because it is in a tube, application is fool-proof.  Too bad MAC discontinued this lip product.

This is my what my makeup looks like after application.  I follow this routine everyday, and sometimes switch my look up by using other blushes or lipsticks, but generally, this is is.  I have timed how long this look takes, and seriously, it logs in at UNDER 4 minutes!  Who doesn't want to look like they exerted some effort without looking overly drag queenish?  


It Don't Matter if you Black or White...

My friend, Teriyana, was named Teacher of the Year at her school this year. Although she told me about the Gala celebrating her honor about 2 months before it actually happened, I still did not prepare for this event.  So if you are wondering, "What the hell does she have on?", trust me, I kinda felt the same way.  But, I was still confident and worked the hell out of this ensemble.  Besides, this event was not about me, and to fret over an outfit would have detracted from Teriyana's huge accomplishment.  But when I arrived, I felt even better as everyone had on the traditional ball gown, or short cocktail dress and strappy sandals.  I learned years ago to listen to myself when it comes to fashion choices and surprisingly, I never steer myself wrong. (That's a lie)
Tuxedo Jacket: One Stop Plus, Dress: Eloquii, Shoes: Nordstrom

This dress is from Eloquii, the Limited's plus size clothing line.  It was affordable, and extremely high quality.
And it fit my shape magically.  I bought this a couple of months ago and decided (at the last minute) that this gala would be a perfect opportunity to try it out.  I love it and look forward to wearing it many more times.

I love it when people see the magnificence of this jacket straight on.  Kiah from one of my favorite blogs wore this jacket many moons ago, and I loved the jacket.  I never thought about buying it until I was making a purchase from One Stop Plus and this jacket was on the clearance with a pair of slacks for only 19.99!  The price was too right for me not to purchase it.  Perhaps my most loved item right now (even though I have had it a few months)

Love items of clothing that accentuate my waist and glide over my rear and thighs.  I always feel so sexy.

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