Memorial Day Slay Part Two | Day Party

I have to admit I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to clothing; except for a short period of time in college when I was known for wearing tops as dresses (don't judge) I generally wear clothing as it was intended to be worn. But as always there comes a time and a place to break the rules. I originally bought all of these pieces last summer and wore them completely differently (see here and here) but I was inspired to step outside of the proverbial box and switch up my style for the day. The top is actually a VERY body conscious dress and the skirt came as part of a coordinate set that I never actually wore together. Hair provided by B&HF Extensions. In all honestly I love this combo more than the original styling. 

What's everyone wearing/doing on this extended weekend?

 

Product Rundown and Review | B&HF Extensions Hair Crush Products

All products were sent to me for use and review however, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

A complete rundown of all the awesome products by B&HF Extensions.

A complete rundown of all the awesome products by B&HF Extensions.

As you guys have probably noticed my hairstyle has been very different as of late. If you follow me on YouTube or Instagram then you probably saw that I have been working with a pretty dope company called B&HF Extensions. B&HF Extensions is a small black owned business based in Georgia that exclusively supplies Premium Peruvian Hair. I have done several reviews and tutorials of their hair on my channel but today I want to showcase their awesome hair care products.

B&HF Extensions has a full line of hair care products that are great for your own hair AND your hair extensions. 

First and foremost I have to say that all of these products are salon quality. You will not find anything similar at the drugstore or Target for a similar price. The line ranges from your shampoo and conditioner (as well as a co wash) to heat protectant and a life giving shine serum. Everything smells amazing but the scent is not over powering and when using the products all together you will not smell like you dumped a bottle of perfume on yourself. The shampoo, co wash, and leave in conditioner have worked wonders on my natural hair and I have found myself rationing the product to hold on to it for a little while longer.

The products that I have been using mainly for my hair extensions are the Blowing Kisses Heat Activated Thermal Protect Spray, Kandy Kisses Spray Laminate, Silk Nectar Shine Serum. These products have kept all of my units looking fresh and helped protect the color that I applied.

My favorite products from the line are the leave in conditioner (which says quite a bit seeing as I normally don't like spray leave in conditioners), the Incredible Moisturizing Shampoo,  and the shine serum. That being said, all of the products are simply amazing and come highly recommended by mw. If you would like to purchase the products check out the B&HF Hair Extensions site here.

Let me know if you guys are interested in trying these products!

Joelle

Memorial Day Slay Part One

Who's cooking out this weekend and can a girl get an invite?

A fun mix of colors and prints to kick off the unofficial beginning of summer.

A fun mix of colors and prints to kick off the unofficial beginning of summer.

Being an Upstate New Yorker I wait for a glimpse of warmth from about October to May (and by warmth, I mean 60 degrees, the bar is set pretty low around here). The weather this year was particularly odd since we didn't get a real Spring and went straight from sweater weather to almost 90 degrees. 

Memorial Day being the unofficial beginning of summer I figured it would be fun to go with s super short short and long jacket to balance out all the skin. And of course, since it's summer time, I figured it was appropriate to mix different colors and prints.

Outfit Details

(everything is old so no links)

Jacket and Shorts | Marshall's Crop Top | Misguided Shoes | Asos Hair | B&HF Extensions

What are you all doing for Memorial Day weekend?

Joelle

The Girl With The Glasses

Getting real nerdy today.

In honor of May 4th I decided to break out the glasses and show you guys my inner "nerd". I had frames way before they were trendy. A result of my constant reading in the dark while I was supposed to be sleep, I was never ashamed of having four eyes. As a matter of fact, I was so excited to get my first pair of glasses and even for my braces that I practically begged my dad to take me the eye doctor.  Such a weird child I was. See what I did there?

Kisses,

 

Joelle

How To: Go Blonde Like a Pro

Going blonde is simple; all you need is time, patience, and a ton of product.

How to go blonde, step by step

How to go blonde, step by step

First and foremost, I will say that I do not suggest doing this on your own hair. The hair that I lifted and colored is from B&HF Extensions. I lifted and colored three bundles and one closure of their Premium Peruvian Loose Wave Hair prior to installing the hair to create a wig. The entire process took me about 8 hours which was spread out over several days. I would suggest doing this over several days so as not to over stress the hair.

In order to complete this look you will need the large bucket (yes I said bucket) of BW2 Pure White Lightening Powder, 20 and 30 Volume Developer (I used the Clairol Flare 20 Volume and a generic 30 Volume from my local beauty supply store), and hair color to be used after you lift the hair to tone down the brass (Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and 9 A and Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum). You will also need a mixing bowl, a baby whisk (I'm pretty sure that's not the technical name but this is my blog and I do what I want), a color brush, hair foils, and something to protect your tables/ floors like some old news paper or plastic bags.

To start this process off I mixed three scoops of the BW2 lightening powder with about three and a half scoops of the 30 volume developer and mixed it together with my baby whisk. The cream should have the smooth consistency of pancake batter.

Quick Tip: Wear long sleeves and pants so as not to irritate your skin like I did and be sure to wear clothes that you don't really care about like I didn't. Basically do as I say and not as I do.

I started with the bundle that I wanted to be the darkest which would be on the bottom layer of my hair. I applied my mixture to the hair starting from the ends working my way up to the weft so as not to create an uneven color. After I was finished applying the product to the entire bundle I wrapped the hair in foil (not kitchen foil, go ahead and spend the coins at the Beauty Supply for actual hair foil) and let it process for 10 minutes. The result should be a very pretty and rich dark brown color.You will now need to rinse, shampoo, and condition the hair.  At this point you can blow dry the hair or let it air dry in preparation of the second process. for the second process I wanted to create some highlights and an ombre effect. Why? Because I'm extra. Y'all know this. I mixed together my lightening powder with a twenty volume developer this time and pulled aside some small and random pieces where I wanted the hair to be highlighted. After applying the product on my highlights I brushed the creme about halfway up the remainder of the bundle to create an ombre look. I let this hair process for about twenty minutes before rinsing, shampooing and conditioning.

Quick tip: To create a natural looking ombre as opposed to a straight across line you can either slightly tease the hair or apply the product in upward strokes.

After washing and conditioning the bundle I used a deep treatment by Doo Gro to revive the hair.

I repeated this process on the remaining bundles but I let the hair process for about 30 minutes for the first process and I used 30 volume developer when lifting for the highlights and ombre. This made the bundles much lighter than the first one which was what I was going for.

In order to remove any brassy tones from lifting the hair, it's necessary to tone OR deposit a color on top of the hair. I chose to put a color as toning needs to be retouched more often the color. For the darker bundle I used the Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and left it on for about 40 minutes. For the lighter bundles and closure I used Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum which I placed on the ends and applied to certain strands to get MORE highlights (again, I'm extra). On the remainder of the hair I used the Loreal Preference 9A. This created gorgeous highlights and an amazing ombre as well as a beautiful overall color. Using the three bundles and a closure I created a wig unit.

As I said the entire process took be about 8 hours over a period of four days. It is extremely time consuming but well worth it in my opinion. The hair from BHF Extensions lifted AND colored beautifully and I'm extremely happy with the results.

I hope this was helpful for you guys!

Kisses,

Joelle

Major Keys To Avoid Natural Hair Setbacks

Are you following DJ Khaled on snapchat? You should be.

I feel like I've heard this story so many times before. Girl (or boy goes natural), girl falls in love with hair, girl starts experimenting with some crazy styles and takes it a step too far, and then girl has to cut off all of her hair. Tears are usually involved. And then the cycle continues. Listen I'm the first one to tell you go out and be a hair ho and go ahead have fun with your hair; however, if your goal is length retention and health there are some ways to avoid natural hair setbacks.

1. Know Your Limits - Depending on your length or your hair's overall health, there are certain things that your hair just can't do. For example, as someone with about two inches of hair MAYBE a slicked back puff isn't for me. You see how I recognized my natural hair limitations? This saves me time, frustration, and inches.

2. Lay off the heat! Ugh I know. Everyone says no heat, no heat, no heat! Trust me, I'm not that girl. I love a silk press during the winter season as much as anyone else but I would suggest limiting direct heat to once a year. Many naturals like to use straighter styles to measure length. I would suggest combining your length check with your yearly flat ironing session. Now that we've talked about the much feared flat iron let's talk about it's evil side kick the blow dryer. This tool can cause just as much, if not more, damage as the flat iron. Naturals tend to feel safer using a blow dryer on high heat and with out any heat protectant. STOP DOING THAT! It's seriously the worst and will fry your hair with a quickness.

3. Get out of your head- Keep it simple and get your hands out of your hair. Your twist out doesn't need to be fresh every single day and a bun or low manipulation style is your best friend. Think of ways to stretch your styles: buns, puffs and even wash and gos are great low manipulation options for prolonging styles.

4. Protective Style with a plan - Naturalistas everywhere will tell you that protective styling is KEY but what they won't tell you is that long term protective styles can do more harm than good if your hair is not properly cared for. When I go into a long term style I like to have a plan: a start date, a take out date, and a hair care regimen that is easy to stick by. It sounds like much but having a plan of action keeps me on track for optimal length retention results. During my last protective style which lasted about 6 weeks I was able to grow and retain almost three quarters of an inch of hair which I mostly accredit to my regimen.

5. Learn from your mistakes. - When it comes to my natural hair, I've done everything wrong. And I do mean everything. I've over processed and I've had heat damage. I've over conditioned and suffered from protein over load. I've done the disastrous at home cut and I've kept my mouth shut in a stylist's chair when I should have spoken up. But guess what? I won't be making any of those mistakes (unknowingly) again. As it is in life, we have to learn from from the past in order to grow. Once you've had a setback, decide to see the lesson in it and be sure to remember it for the future.

So tell me about your natural hair setbacks. Have you had any? What did you learn from them? Sound off!

Until Next Time,

Joelle

Why My Natural Hair IS A Political Statement

I never considered my natural hair a political statement, until it was one.

After cutting off relaxed my hair in 2011 strange things started to happen. People started to ask me if I was fighting the power. Black men started calling me sista. People thought I was earthy. It was weird. I mean I love me some Erykah Badu (not that recent Twitter ridiculousness that she decided to bless us with last week) but I'm not that girl. Correction, I am that girl and I tuck it in because most people ain't ready. But still, I was a little confused as to why people were assuming that my hairstyle was some sort of revolt against society.

Around the same time, friends and acquaintances of the caucasian persuasion started to give me hair advice. They would see a happy, curly, whirly chica on TV and say "Oh you should wear your hair like that!" and I would have to explain to them that while I am happy my hair is neither whirly or curly so that would be a NO. They would try to hide their disappointment  and we would quickly change the subject.

These interactions sparked an interesting conversation within myself about what my natural hair meant to me AND to others. I started to realize that my hairstyle choices have an affect to those around me.  While I don't want to over emphasize the "importance" of my presence, I realize that it is crazy to see a black woman embracing her beauty and walking in confidence. So many black children have been conditioned to apologize for their looks: "Oh don't worry about this, my hair appointment is tomorrow" or "I can't go, my hair isn't done". Seeing so many black people enjoying and embracing their God given beauty is fairly new. When my (well meaning) white friends felt entitled to tell me how I should wear MY hair (that's a different conversation), they were unknowingly telling me that I was making them uncomfortable. They were quietly screaming, "Hey! Come back over to something we understand!" Which is crazy to me because "it's just hair".

Long story short, when I went natural it was not some political statement. My intent was never to join a revolution. But I did.

Real Life Introvert, Internet Imposter

The best and worst thing about the internet is that you can be whoever you want to be.

Confession: I've been cat fishing you guys all this time. Okay that's a bit of exaggeration. But I have been pretending a little bit. 

The internet is an amazing place where one can have certain degree of anonymity. Most people who follow me on my Youtube Channel, Instagram, or here don't know me in real life and can only see what I choose to show. So naturally I show you guys the best: The best outfits, hair, and makeup. I seem outgoing and personable. Keyword: seem. 

Full disclosure, in real life I am the most awkward, introverted, and inwardly focused person you have ever met (says every single introverted person ever). I would much rather sit in awkward silence than start a conversation with someone I don't fully know and groups of people actually drain me. So to say that I've been pretending is fairly accurate.

That being said, my inward nature is the main reason I thrive on internet platforms. As a creative it's an amazing outlet where I can place my work without ACTUALLY interacting with people. From the comfort of my home and in my complete solitude I can reach people I normally would never talk to.

So tell me, who are you pretending to be on the internet?

Why You Should Slather Yourself in Coffee

Drinking coffee may give you the bubble guts, but rubbing it on your body has a few benefits.

O I already over shared a little bit in the opening but seriously coffee wreaks havoc on my stomach. It's awful. That being said, coffee has some amazing skin benefits you should probably know about. 

Learn how to make you own coffee body scrub here!

Okay so now that you've seen mellow like a contestant on naked and afraid AND learned how to make your own body scrub let's talk about why this stuff is awesome sauce.

Coffee has some amazing skin benefits. First and foremost it is a great and gentle exfoliant. Exfoliation is so important especially if you want to look younger and brighter but you want to make sure that you're not using something that is too rough on your skin. For me, coffee is the perfect middle ground and I definitely look brighter after using it. The caffeine in coffee also promotes cell regeneration and circulation. It's an all around win!

Now let's talk about the olive oil. The Holy Grail (after coconut oil of course) enhances exfoliation so it's a dream team when combined with coffee grounds. And after use, you won't have nasty clogged pores just beautiful glowy skin.

I really just added coconut oil because I like it but it also has properties that will enhance your natural beauty. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer which will leave your skin nice and hydrated. BUT be careful not to use too much because it can clog your pores and cause acne. Coconut oil is also a natural antibacterial which will help your scrub keep longer if you don't use it all at once.

Random: I once went on a date with a guy who had an obsession with honey. I knew as soon as he told me that that he was not The One. Weird food fetishes aside, honey is pretty great for you skin. Honey is actually a natural antibacterial as well and can help prevent acne. Along with all of these other ingredients, honey helps to give you a natural and youthful glow.

Hopefully I've convinced you to start incorporating a coffee scrub into your beauty routine! Now tell me, what is your favorite beauty ritual?

 

 

Bad Girls Do It Better?

Why am I holding on to this wall? I don't know

Why am I holding on to this wall? I don't know

Bloggers love to look at their feet

Bloggers love to look at their feet

I recently did a video collab with an awesome Youtuber named Jennyfer Ross. By recently, I mean today, as in it just went up. I'll have the video down below. Because I love ya. Any who, Jennyfer had the awesome to do kind of a bad girl look and I loved it! The idea is a bit of departure from my style because I generally have a more subdued style. I occasionally am afraid to play with different aesthetics because I already know what "works" for me. But why not step outside the box and have a little fun? What do you guys like to wear when you want to cut loose and change it up?