Friday, September 30, 2011

Wiggin' It!

I finally wore the La Jay wig.

I worked with it a bit this morning. Meh. I think I just need to get used to looking at myself with big hair. I left the front and part of the side of my hair out. I pinned back the side of the wig because it was just ... too much. So far, the reactions I've gotten from close friends (who have the heart to tell me if I looked jacked up, lol) have been overwhelmingly positive.

I didn't know how I would handle wearing the wig. What if someone thought it looked nice? Do I tell them I have on a wig? Or do I just keep it moving? Overthinking it, no? Got a few compliments, "love your big hair," to someone else who thought my hair just grew a lot, lol. I fessed up, but if it happens again, I think I'm going to just say thank you and that's it.

It's my hair- - bought and paid for!

The La Jay is still growing on me. I  just have to get used to looking a different way, I guess.

Oh, and I realized I don't have any pics of me wearing my hair on this blog. Here are a few for comparison.

Flat twist on shrunken flat ironed hair

My wash and go curls in an updo

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big Hurr E'ry Day

I finally got the La Jay wig by Vanessa!

Now that I got it, umm... I don't know if I'm feeling it. I heard -- and saw-- on YouTube that it was big. But I don't think I was prepared for how big it was until I got it yesterday. I'm on some 80s Diana Ross and Chaka Khan ish, lol!

It's similar to my natural texture, but it's longer and fuller -- which is the look I'm going for. But the thing is so. damn. BIG!

Takes a bit of getting used to. I wore it right out of the beauty supply shop to the Goodwill next door (came home empty handed, unfortunately). Maybe it was my imagination, but I felt like everybody was staring at me.

Then, when I got home, my hubby and kids clowned me. My son said, "Mom, it looks like you  have fake hair, but I know it's not."

My daughters were not fans, and my hubby teased me about it all night. Didn't know it could be this hard to wear a wig! Despite what they say, I think I'm going to stick it out a little bit more. I wouldn't mind cutting it to shoulder length.

Hopefully, I'll grow to like it a bit more once I style it a bit more.

I didn't wear it today because I'm wearing a curly fro (plus, I figure it'll be easier to transition to the La
Jay after a day of wearing my own "big" hair, instead of my usual wash and go) and I needed a bit more time to work with it.

This morning, I went straight to YouTube to see how people style it. Seems like it looks the best when the front is left out, but it's a half wig that can also be worn as a full wig. I like the way this blogger styled it.

Here are a few pics. Let me know what you think.

Yay or nay?

Stylin and profilin the La Jay wig at Goodwill

Not so sure if I'm feelin' La Jay!

I Got Wig Checked!

Recently, I've thought about buying a natural wig and strongly considered the La Jay by Vanessa and Creta Girl by Freetress. So, I went to Atlanta Beauty Depot in Smyrna and tried a few on Wednesday. They were sold out of Creta, and I tried on their other natural wigs, but no luck.

La Jay by Vanessa
I wanted big hair, half wig, but natural looking curls and only color highlights.

The attendant was nice enough to let me try on several wigs (I absolutely hate and refuse to  patronize some beauty supply stores that limit customers to try on three wigs or so at a time). That's like going to Marshall's or TJ Maxx and only allowed to try on three items!

One wig was a honey blond -- hated it. OK for highlights, but it just had too much going on. Another wig looked too fake and wiggy looking.

While she was helping me try one on, she said:

Her: "You're wearing a wig now, right?"
Me:  "No, this is my hair."
The wig I tried on matched my curl pattern somewhat.
Her: "Why do you want to wear a wig?"
Me: "I want to protect my hair, and I want my curls to hang shoulder length. My  hair only hangs that way when it's flat ironed. Otherwise, my curls shrink up."

I wasn't offended, because she just asked a question. But I couldn't help thinking: I've been weave checked before, but hardly ever wig checked! LOL.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mossimo at Target?

Target's offering of clothing and home decor from luxury Italian designer Mossimo a few weeks ago was a stunning success for the retailer, but an absolute disaster for those looking to snag the goods at Tar-jay's bargain prices: Stores sold out in minutes, crashed, and Mossimo for Target goods were quickly uploaded to eBay by eager entrepreneurs for triple the cost.

Last week, I heard that those lucky enough to score Mossimo online were in for major disappointment, because Target was unable to fill many orders. So would you know that I was SHOCKED and STUNNED to find a Mossimo Haul at my Target store in Cumming, GA, over the weekend.

YES, HairNistas! Now, these were all mainly online returns, but a few Mossimo items for babies -- mainly sweaters and little pants -- were still featured.

But can I tell you HairNistas that I was SOOOO excited?

I snagged this Mossimo blouse for $10, marked down from $30. Think I'm gonna pair it with a cute pair of high-waisted jeans (haven't bought them yet) and I'll make sure I post a few pics with the outfit on. This pic really doesn't do this shirt justice. I almost passed on it, because I wasn't in love with the wild print and it was a bit big. I think this shirt has to grow on me, and I know I'll have to pair it with the right accessories.

Mossimo shirt from Target

Found a Mossimo sweater, but passed. Not a big fan of army green, and I really didn't care for the cut or fit. I found a Target basketfull of Mossiomo home decor goods -- neck pillows, a large bag, iPad cases and even bedding.

Mossimo sweater and Lingerie at Target

Neck pillow, bedding and iPad bags from Mossimo

Were you lucky enough to get Mossimo? Have you seen any at your local Target stores?

Look at What I Bought During My Latest Thrift Store Haul!

If you read my thrift store post last week, you know that I absolutely love and adore thrifting.

So, HairNistas, I wanted to give you a sneak peak into some recent finds that I grabbed while thrifting over the weekend. These days, I try to mainly scope out vintage finds and, of course, name brands. I refuse to pay for vintage goods when I know the very same "vintage inspired" goods are available for a fraction of the cost at a resale store.

Leather pants: I found a fab pair of black leather pants, circa 1980s/90s. These a a little roomy and  size up for me, but they're in GREAT condition. At $4.95, I just couldn't resist this vintage find. I'd love to have these trimmed down a bit (pencil pants, no?) and maybe taken it a bit at the waist.

Vintage Leather pants from Goodwill in Norcross, GA
Blouse: The color is what first attracted  me to this blouse. I love, love, love bright colors; they pop against my chocolate skin tone, especially this bright, brilliant, almost neon purple. The cut of this blouse also drew me in. High collar blouses with bows are all the rage this season and, while this isn't quite that look, it's close enough with the high collar and ruffle down the sides. And I plan to pair it with this bright blue belt. Still haven't found the high-collared blouse with the bow, but I know it's out there and this will suffice -- for now!

Vintage blouse from Goodwill
Shoes:  After one too many trips of returning home empty-handed after shopping at the Goodwill closest to my home, I had virtually given up on finding anything at that particular store. That is, until I stumbled upon these FAB shoes from FRYE! Note: They have the chunky, wooden heel that is so on point for shoes this season. These will go down in the vintage haul find of the decade, because The Frye Company heels retail for more than $200 and I only paid $5 bucks!

Shoes from The Frye Company from Goodwill in Cumming, GA
Still on the hunt for a pair of pony leopard heels (spotted a decent Guess pair of peep-toes, but they were two sizes too big), teal, fuschia, blue and mustard yellow cardis and shirts to color block, and blouses with bows.

In a future post, I plan to show you how I'm wearing my thrift finds -- complete with accessories.

What have you found at the thrift store lately?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How Will You Wear Your Hair This Fall?

The temps have nosedived, the leaves are falling and the chill is in the air.

This week marked the first week of fall. And, with all the changes in the weather comes another big change -- the change in how many of us wear our hair. For naturals, it means a 180-degree turn. It's less humidity -- say yes to "out" styles and blowdry/flat iron for some naturals) -- and a return of heavy moisturizers and also humectants.

But, how will you change your regimen, if at all?

After a record-scorcher summer of mostly 90-degree temps, I'm sooooo ready for a sleek blowout and flat iron. I just want to wear my hair straight for a few weeks. No doubt, I'll miss my curls, but it'll be nice to wear my hair swangin' without it looking like Chaka Khan by the end of the day because it swelled up with humidity.

I probably won't change my moisturizers much. I already use gels and glycerine, but I am looking at incorporating Hawaiin Silky glycerine moisturizer back into my routine and perhaps using up my cupucau butter stash.

I'm also seriously thinking about wigging it for protective styling. I'm a bit tired of my wash and goes, and I've been shedding a lot (at least I think so) lately. I just think I need to give my hair a break for a while.

My La Jay by Vanessa will be my go-to style during the week and I'll take another stab at dry twist outs after two good twist outs this week.

What about you? How will you wear your hair this fall?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Six Tips for Thrift Store Shopping

From Goodwill to Value Village, there's a thrift store in just about every community. Now, I know that people are "rediscovering" thrift stores because of the economy, but for many thrifting die-hards, the thrill of shopping there has never left.

In honor of National Thrift Store Day earlier this week, I'd like to pay homage to thrift stores.


Let me explain. I've been a die-hard thrifter for a while. I was raised in them, by my grandmother who always seemed able to make a dollar out of two cents. Not that she couldn't afford to shop elsewhere; she definitely could --- and did.

But, in her mind, why pay more for things when you didn't have to? That's where I got my love for thrifting, though I really didn't appreciate it at the time. Like most kids, I just wanted new, brand-name, in style stuff -- not the goods available at my local thrift store.

Still, I accompanied my grandmother on her thrift store hauls, particularly the Salvation Army that was less than a mile from our house in Highland Park, near Detroit, and the Value Village store a few miles away.

Eventually, her thrifty ways caught on. Every weekend, I looked forward to church rummage sales where, in dank, dark, musty church basements, I pored over vintage jewelry, old army jackets and other cool stuff when I was in high school.

I still thrifted while in college, often picking up tailored, name brand clothing I couldn't afford to wear to my newspaper internships. Then, my kids were born and I thrifted yet again, especially for barely-worn chic, fashionable baby clothes like Osh Kosh and Easter dresses for my daughters.

Expect for a brief period 5 years ago when I was building my business and I could barely afford to shop at a thrift store (I was filled with resentment that I could barely afford Value Village finds, but that's another story, LOL!), I've always shopped thrift.

Fastforward a few year and I've fallen in love with thrifting all over again. Vintage fashions are all the rage and, for the most part, that's at thrift stores. In fact, I often won't buy brand new, vintage-inspired clothing because I know that I can find it in a thrift store.

Germophobes be warned: You're sorting through things other people actually wore -- sweat stains and all -- and there's a certain smell that seems to be at EVERY thrift store, no matter where you go.

If you're new to thrifting, here are a few tips.

All thrift stores are not created alike. Really, it depends on personal preference, though I've managed to find good deals at just about every thrift store I've gone to. Thrift stores are consignment are not the same. That's not to say you can't find good deals at consignment stores, but usually consignment means higher prices.

I prefer to shop thrift, because it's the thrill of the hunt. You literally don't know what you find, and that's what makes it so fun. I spotted a pair of $125 Christian Louboutins the other day at Goodwill. Too big for me, but a steal nonetheless for that lucky person with a size 9 or 10-size foot.

  • Spend a little time getting to know your store. Often, expensive name brands can be had at stores in upscale communities, but this isn't always the case. Those Louboutins? Those were at a Goodwill in a largely blue collar ethnic community. So, don't judge a store by the neighborhood it's in. I snared my wedding dress and veil for just $75 at a St. Vincent De Paul store in a largely impoverished area of Detroit nearly16 years ago.
  • Go often. Seriously, the stuff has a fast churn. New items are brought in on the regular -- like many times throughout the day -- and there's nothing like the thrill of getting to a fresh rack of clothing before it is distributed on the floor. Racks are often left empty during the beginning of the week,  so mid and end-of-week shopping is best.
  • Take your time and go through each piece of clothing. Thrifting isn't like hitting up the rack at Macy's or TJ Maxx; you literally never know what gems you'll find. So, don't thrift if you're rushed for time; you'll miss something. Most thrift stores separate clothing by color and hang clothing on huge racks. Take your time to go through each and every piece of clothing on the rack; even check the floor for stragglers or clothing that fell on the floor. Be patient! I've missed good finds when I've been in a hurry.
  • Name brands, baby! I'm all about the brand names when I thrift. Why? Buying name brand fashions for pennies on the dollar. Sure, you can find clothing from Wal-Mart at thrift stores,  but why bother? Many times, you can find brand new items with the tags still on them from top brands such as H&M, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange and others.
  • Check clothing carefully. Most thrift stores don't allow returns, so buy carefully. Inspect the clothing for missing buttons, torn seams and broken zippers. As long as you're willing to sew it or have it altered, these things don't make it an automatic no-no, but it's best to go in knowing what you'll have to fix. I never buy white cotton or black cotton because it's usually faded or dingy with wear by the time it hits the store. And, I'm a sucker for well-tailored clothing, especially if you vintage shop. A well-tailored piece (vintage) is better than a cheaply made, modern piece of clothing.
  • Try it on. I never leave thrift stores without trying on clothing. I'll warn you: The fitting rooms aren't luxurious like Macy's (they're usually very dusty, dingy and with poor lighting) but I always try merchandise on. This is pre-worn stuff in many cases, so you want to check to see if clothing fits, if it is stretched out or otherwise unflattering. I always, always, always try on shoes, because it's important to me to get shoes that aren't run over or too worn. Shoes are one of the things I like least about thrifting because once someone has worn a shoe a lot, it can be hard to make it comfortable fit. Look for barely-worn or brand new shoes, instead.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wig it Up!

It can turn into an ugly, vicious debate in the natural community: Wigs/weaves vs. naturals.

But really, there shouldn't be an us vs. them.  I think naturals feel some type of way about weaving/wigging up, but I'm all about doing "you" and whatever that means for Y-O-U.

If that means wearing a wig or a weave to protect your precious tresses, then so be it. If length is your goal, the wig/weave wearer (depending on how well they maintain their natural hair, of course), will probably retain more length than those twist outs, braid outs and wash and go girls who wear their hair out non-stop.

Pick the wig or weave that looks best on you and do you, BOO!

Heck, I wore a straight wig three years ago to grow out a pixie cut. And I'm strongly considering buying a few natural wigs just to give my hair a much-needed break. I probably won't wear a straight wig, but a natural wig? Yeps, that's the plan.

If you haven't checked kinky wigs out recently, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise. There are so, so many on the market these days. From short to long to everything in between, natural wigs are all the rage. Why buy all these concoctions, curly cremes, $40 puddings and all of that when I can buy a wig with realistic looking curls?

I think my hair just might thank me for it.  Even weaves have gone kinky. I saw a kinky weave on a model in a magazine that was just GORGEOUS!

I don't have a problem with curls in my natural hair; my problem is uniform curls. My curls are about the size of the tiny metal pieces inside a push-button pin. But they're not uniform. And shrinkage is a MUTHA! Some days my curls are poppin' all over. Other days, ehh.

That, and I get tired of manipulating my hair at times. I think of wigs as an accessory. I'm easily bored. I probably won't color my hair, but I sure will sport a wig with the color I'm feeling at the moment -- and save my natural hair from the maintenance and upkeep that comes with color.

I'm loving the La Jay by Vanessa and Creta Girl by Freetress. I hate wig stock photos, (they look SO much better on a real person) so I'm showing images of wigs that were posted online or in forums with a link back their original source.

Would you wear a wig or no?

Creta Wig by Freetress

La Jay by Vanessa

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni for Target Shuts Down!

High-end fashion designers' collaboration with department stores is all the rage: Lanvin for H&M, Vera Wang for Kohl's and now (drumroll, please!) the most popular of them all -- Missoni for Target. That's right, Missoni shut down Tar-jay's site for most of yesterday and even part of this morning.

Target shoppers lined up in droves and mobbed Target stores to get their hands on the new Missoni digs - with their trademark, colorful zig zag patterns --- and home decor. The website crashed and the collection? A good chunk of it sold out in mere minutes, yup, minutes.

Usually, this is reserved for Black Fridays, not a Tuesday in mid-September.

We may be in a recession, but HairNistas love a good bargain, especially when it's from a luxury Italian knit designer like Missoni. Really, the 400-piece collection at Target is a steal at $2.99 (stationary), $59.99 for coats and $599.99 for patio furniture.

Normally, Missoni's luxury knit goods fetch $595 to $1,500.

And, if you weren't among the lucky few to get it, you may be out of luck. The collection was available a limited time, until late October. If you do get it, you'll have to cough up the dough: Already, folks have uploaded their Missoni bounty on eBay, asking double the price.

Were you able to get Missoni at Target?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Check out Your Fave Designs at Fashion Week in NYC

The fashionistas have laid out their best fashion wares for all to see ... otherwise known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC. 

Don't get me wrong: I love good fashions just like the next HairNista, but too often, runway fashions just aren't doable off-runway. What elicits "oohs" and "aahs" on the runway often aren't very practical things that you'd feel comfortable wearing at work, at home or on the street.

There are always exceptions.

Enter Detroit native Tracey Reese and Rachel Zoe of Project Runway fame. I love Reese because, like me, she's from Detroit, and she's made her mark in fashion. Check out her collection. Totally wearable.

Tracy Reese

Zoe is a fave as well. You can work this on the runway and off. And the bright red is killin 'em.

Rachel Zoe

What's your favorite Fashion Week look?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Natural World Hair Show -- Are you Going?

The 2011 World Natural Hair Health & Beauty Show in Atlanta begins this weekend. Can you say stoked? I absolutely LUV this show. This will be my third show, and I'm really looking forward to it.

The inspiration is SERIOUS because naturals are in the BUILDING  -- tons of beautiful kinks, curly fros, twists, locs, dreads, waves, fluffs and everything in between.

And did I say F-L-Y? Yes, HairNistas, this show is a can't miss event if you're in or near Atlanta. I remember my very first show: I nearly got whiplash from all the beautiful heads of hair I saw in just a few hours.

Frospiration on deck! There's even a big chop live on stage Saturday night.

And, the products! Lawd, Lawd, the products. Everybody who's anybody in natural hair is at this event. From the big names we all know and love -- Miss Jessie's, Hair Rules, Jane Carter, Uncle Funky's Daughter and of course, sponsor Taliah Waajid -- to small, up-and-coming hairpreneurs who mix up delightful, good for your hair concoctions in their kitchens.

Free samples? Umm.. they rule. I'm looking forward to getting tons of 'em.

Are you going to the Natural Hair Show?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Fro Kind of Way

I'm very impulsive when it comes to my hair. Today, I'm in a fro kind of mood. Who knows what mood I'll be in tomorrow? But, today I lightly blowdried my strands (heat protectant, of course) to flat iron.

I didn't feel like doing it.

So I just let it ... be. I fluffed it, and that's it. That's one of the best things about natural hair: I can be funky and spontaneous one day or just let my hair do what it do the next. One day I may feel like wearing it curly. The next day, straight. Wavy in a twist out or fierce, funky updo.

What kind of hair mood are you in today?

For frospiration, here are some bad, shut 'yo mouth fros.





Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's After Labor Day -- and Why You Should Absolutely Wear White!

The rules of fashion are have changed. Yes, HairNistas, you can -- and should -- wear white after Labor Day. I'm glad that this "rule" has changed. After all, isn't that what fashion is about -- breaking rules? Dancing to your own tune? Doing it your way?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers those antiquated fashion rules: you know, no patent leather shoes from Labor Day until Easter; no silks and lace in the daytime; the color of your shoes and purse must match; and the list goes on ...

We have so many "rules" to follow in every day society that, fashion is one area where there shouldn't be too many or, at least, make up your own, as long as it looks good on you. Now, I'll caution you: If the weather is 80 degrees where you're at right now, you can definitely pull off white until the temps dip. Personally, I'm loving the 70-degree break we're getting today from the 90-degree temps that have baked HairNistas in Atlanta all summer long.

But ... if you're in an area where temps have already cooled and folks are now wearing jackets or sweaters, you may have to modify this look a bit to make it work for you. Why? Because, it's a bit harder to wear white if you're doing it under a jacket. Something about it just doesn't feel right. Even so, temps usually spike a few times in September, so you can still wear white when the weather cooperates.

If you're itching to rock all white everything post-Labor Day, here are a few surefire ways to pull it off:

White denim skinny jeans: White denim is a classic, timeless look. Add a skinny jean -- or for the really fashion forward, a boyfriend jean, that instantly updates this denim staple. Pair it with jewel tones, such as teal or jade that's in for fall, and you've got a look that will work for both summer AND fall. Oh, and don't forget the bag.

Winter White: Go white or go home! Winter white is totally doable, even now. Spice it up, with a winter white jacket or winter white coat. Pair it with bold accessories, like big, gold hoops or a statement necklace. Or, why not don a white fur vest? The Hotness! Perfect way to segueway to fall.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

What I'm Lovin' For Fall - 3 Fall Fashion Trends

Ever since I was 12 years old flipping through the pages of Vogue and Harper Bazaar magazines, I have LOVED fashion!

I'd keep up with all the big names in fashion, scrawl my little designs in my notebook, and dream about becoming a fashion designer. That didn't exactly happen. But I became a fierce fashionista in real life, shaking down budget stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls to garage sales, flea markets and resale stores for fashion finds.

So, with that said, ya know that I'm super excited for fall. It's been a long, hot summer in Atlanta, where I live, and I'm looking forward to wearing some long-sleeved fashions and get a break from all of the hot, sweltering 90-degree weather.

If you want to stay uber stylish for fall, here are a few trends to jump on:

Jewel Tones: Add these to your wardrobe, stat! Jewel tones such as jade and teal are one word -- hot, hot, hot! This is an easy add, one that you can quickly and easily add a few things like accessories. I'm a bargain hunter, so this trend is one that you can do affordably. The best thing, is that if you buy staples or accessories in these color schemes, you can still rock them next year or even the next 10 years from now. And, these colors look great against the deep skin tones of girls of color.

Statement Necklaces: This is a trend that's been bubbling up for a while, but statement necklaces are everywhere for fall. The bolder, the better. Really, I can't think of a better way to take classics suchas the LBD or a black turtleneck, and give it a more mod feel.  If you only have money for just one accessory this fall, this one is it.

Animal Print: Animal prints continue their reign. This is a trend that's not really a trend; it's more of a classic: You can rock animal prints today or 10 years from now. Just be sure not to overdo it. Say it with me: One animal print at a time!

Color Blocking: Combining colors of the same hue on the color wheel -- fuschia with blue, blue with green, yellow with blue -- is a return from the summer, and it's trend that can be easily implemented for fall. Think orange and mustard yellow,  orange and brown or even teal and purple.

Leather, Pleather, baby!: It's back -- the leather skirt. I can't think of something that's more iconic. Leather has gotten a definite upgrade in the past 5 years, as fake leathers now look more "real. So, I guess it was only a matter of time before the trend made its way to skirts.  Only this time, the skirts are more A-line cut for a more retro/mod approach. Buy the leather skirts now and keep them. It's a purchase that you'll wear for years -- guaranteed.

So, What is

Do a quick search of "Natural Black Hair" or "Black Hair" on Google and you'll unearth thousands of sites -- everything from those hawking vitamin supplements purported to grow black hair quickly to Internet stalwarts such as and (My blog idols, and I want this blog to be like theirs when it grows up)!

Enter -- where hair and fashion meet. It's my hope that we'll be a community and a resource to the hair community -- a place where everyone of every hair texture is welcome. Hair and fashion are my two passions, and I decided that it was time that I quit talking about the types of blogs and I wanted to see and start my own.

A bit about me: I'm a professional blogger who's written lots of blogs for others -- everything from urologists, retail and apartment communities to DNA research companies. And, while I had written plenty of stuff for others, I hadn't written a whole lot about my passions - save for a few blogs that lost steam over the years, but that's another story!

Sit back, enjoy and of course, comment on my blogs. I'd love to hear what you think of!