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LIAM'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW


You Never Forget Your First Time…

Swirl Nation bloggers had the opportunity to sample the Mixed Chicks Hair product line and give us feedback on how the products worked in their hair. Mixed Chicks Hair products were created by Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy whose collaboration of love developed products for multiracial men, women and children who had curly/textured hair types.


Who better to try Mixed Chicks Hair products than your favorite Swirl Nation ladies? Here is Liam's experience...

Before Leave In

Before Leave In

Name: Liam, age 3 (son of Swirl Nation founder Amal)

 

Social Media: IG / TW 

 

After Leave In

After Leave In

What was the first Mixed Chicks products you tried? Mixed Chicks Kids’ Leave-In Conditioner

 

Initial reaction? Yay

 

Why did you decide to try Mixed Chicks products out? Giveaway

 

Does using a culture specific beauty product impact your beauty regime? My son’s hair has never been challenging.  Being from a mixed racial background myself, I have a pretty good grasp on his type of hair; however, from my experience, to have the shine and definition for my curls and his curls, hair-wetting, every day, is almost mandatory.  Every once in awhile, we might have that lucky day where we could get away without wetting our hair and still have the brilliant, just-washed look.  With the Mixed Chicks Kid’s Leave-In Conditioner, my son can go three whole days – THREE- without me having to re-wet his hair and he still has defined curls.  This definitely saves time.  I don’t know the price-point of the products used, but if you could only buy one of the products, I would say invest in the leave-in.  Also, from a mommy standpoint, I love how you can easily “lock” all of the bottles without pushing down and turning (inadvertently dispensing product). My kids like to pour shampoo in the bath to make bubbles… whole bottles… that’s a lot of screaming and money.

 

Are there other Mixed Chicks products you are interested in trying out? For the 3-year-old, no.

LIAM'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
Day Two

Day Two

Day Three

Day Three


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XAVIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW


Swirl Nation bloggers had the opportunity to sample the Mixed Chicks Hair product line and give us feedback on how the products worked in their hair. Mixed Chicks Hair products were created by Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy whose collaboration of love developed products for multiracial men, women and children who had curly/textured hair types.


Who better than to try Mixed Chicks Hair products than your favorite Swirl Nation ladies? Here is Xavia's experience...

XAVIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

I get a little nervous writing reviews. The way my opinion is set up, it's really hard for me to fluff and fudge, and I worry about the day when I have to review something I hated. Not today, though. Phew!

XAVIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

Mixed Chicks was my first. With curly hair care that is. Years ago, I was a faithful customer. With each baby, though, I lost a portion of the energy I put into my hair until, eventually, it was all messy bun, all the time. What can I say, the kids killed my curls! Since I'm all about making a mess beautiful, though, I thought it was time to direct some of that attention to my mane. I was given the opportunity to review by the Mixed Chicks crew, and I was more than happy to revisit my first love.

With the intent to help my girls embrace their locks, I’ve made the decision not to straighten my hair anymore. At least until they're old enough, and their self-image is a little less pliable. You'd think I have a stockpile of good curly girl product, but very often I don't; hence the messy bun. Thanks to Mixed Chicks, though, I now had the goodies I needed to give my curls some life.

XAVIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

The wash and wear process required as much energy as I remember, but there was a ginormous difference. My girls lasted longer than I expected. I attempted to cheat the system, and just run a bit of the leave in conditioner through, but my results were just "meh". I still got compliments, but once I took the time to section my hair and really work it in, I was impressed with the result. All these years I've associated Mixed Chicks with amazing definition and curls, but with a lot less softness than I prefer. I appreciated the hold when I needed my hair to turn heads, but it wasn't practical for my every day. I'm a mama of small kids, I need practical.

Once I stopped cutting corners my hair lasted an impressive 3 days, with very little effort on my part; aside from day 1 of course. To be fair, I have a whole lot of super thick hair. I'm not sure the work I had to put in is typical. Now back to the softness, let's get back to that. My hair was like clouded pillows . I remember the leave in being a little tacky which left my curls with a slight crunch. Well, either they have done their homework and stepped their game up, or my mind is playing tricks, because I had crazy definition without sacrificing the touchable factor. It itches the left side of my right cornea when someone touches my hair uninvited, but if I do give you the go, you're gonna want to linger.

Back in the day all I knew was the shampoo, conditioner combo. If there were other products I certainly wasn't aware. This time around I had their Deep Conditioner, Smoothing Serum, and Morning After Redefining Foam to play with. I felt like the deep conditioner, and serum had something to do with the luxurious outcome, but I felt a little clumsy with the foam. It wasn't difficult to use, I just was a little less than sure of how. I intended to use it day 2 to revive, but I didn't need to! I kinda liked day 2 even more.  Perfect ringlets are great, but I'm a fan of the "I woke up like this" approach to hair care. My curls had fallen just enough to make it look like I didn't try, my hair was just awesome on it's own. That was a huge score for me. Day 3 I really didn't need it either, but I was getting impatient so I went ahead anyway. It was easy to use, and brought the plum back, but I'm not sure if I used the right amount. Again, I did the work a little through with my fingers, and I have the feeling my volume and length probably needed a little more than that.

I finger combed the deep conditioner through, but followed it with the Mixed Chicks brush, which felt amazing on my scalp and gave it some much needed attention. I'm not sure why or how, but chunks of my hair were not left behind in the bristles. That was new to me, but not nearly as important as how my scalp felt, Most every other shampoo leaves it super irritated, but Mixed Chicks was scalp friendly. Huge bonus for me. If I have one gripe with co-wash, other than liking a lather clean from time to time, it's that they really irritate my scalp, as do most shampoos. Co-washes though, tend to leave it extra cakey, and even if my hair looks great my scalp is never happy. I didn't even have any scalp expectations of Mixed Chicks, but it felt and looked super healthy afterwards. That either means there's a uniquely awesome ingredient that agrees with me, or that there's the lack of an ingredient that all other shampoos have that perhaps I'm allergic to. It's a win either way. I'm not a chemist so don't ask me to explain the science, all I know is I didn't want to instantly destroy my hair with a scratch attack.

Last but not least let's sniff this stuff, because it smells sooooo good! Honestly, most of us would use even the worst product at least sometimes if it smelled amazing. Makes no sense, but then again, beauty isn't always synonymous with logic. Luckily with this brand you don't have to smell good in vein, because the products work just as wells as they smell. The styling products smell good too, but the shampoo and conditioner have a very distinct scent, that's kinda fruity, kinda floral, and leaves me smelling the bottle, just cuz.

Most curly girls know, it can be difficult to maintain a monogamous relationship with any one line. The mood of our curls swing just as much as we do with styling them. Most lines have one stand out strength and serves a specific purpose in our arsenal. For me, Mixed Chicks used to serve as my definition/smell good go to. The fact that there's also a softness now, has me considering settling down.

XAVIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

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THERESA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW


You Never Forget Your First Time…

Swirl Nation bloggers had the opportunity to sample the Mixed Chicks Hair product line and give us feedback on how the products worked in their hair. Mixed Chicks Hair products were created by Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy whose collaboration of love developed products for multiracial men, women and children who had curly/textured hair types.


Who better than to try Mixed Chicks Hair products than your favorite Swirl Nation ladies? Here is Theresa's experience...

THERESA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
THERESA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

Name: Theresa, age 9 (daughter of Swirl Nation contributing blogger Chris Kelly)

Social Media: TW 

What was the first Mixed Chicks products you tried? Shampoo

 

Initial reaction? Was concerned when reading ingredients because it contains sulfates.

 

Why did you decide to try Mixed Chicks products out? My daughter is 9 years old, mixed race, Caucasian and black with a head of curls. I have tried every product on her hair and have been unsuccessful in finding anything that truly works. I tried Mixed Chicks when she was about 3, the children’s line and didn’t really like it.

 

Does using a culture specific beauty product impact your beauty regime? Culture specific is not why I would buy or use a product, the efficacy of the product is what is important. Having tried many culture specific products, I do find there is a positive difference in products that are specifically designed for ethnically mixed hair.

 

Are there other Mixed Chicks products you are interested in trying out? The generosity of the products we received including the brush have really covered all of our needs. I would probably like to try the sulfate free shampoo I saw in their brochure included with products I received.

THERESA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
THERESA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog



 

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KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW


You Never Forget Your First Time…

Swirl Nation bloggers had the opportunity to sample the Mixed Chicks Hair product line and give us feedback on how the products worked in their hair. Mixed Chicks Hair products were created by Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy whose collaboration of love developed products for multiracial men, women and children who had curly/textured hair types.


Who better than to try Mixed Chicks Hair products than your favorite Swirl Nation ladies? Here is Kaia's experience...

KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

Name: Kaia (daughter of Swirl Nation founder Jen), age 12

Social Media: IG / TW 

What was the first Mixed Chicks products you tried? The Mixed Chicks Kids Shampoo and Conditioner.

Initial reaction? The shampoo was nice and gentle. My daughter has volleyball or conditioning pretty much every day of the week and gets super sweaty so she has to wash her hair every night, which can really dry out your hair. But the combination of the Mixed Chicks Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-In Conditioner keep it moisturized and looking great! Every night she goes to bed with wet hair and it air dries as she sleeps and in the morning we spray it with the Tangle Tamer Spray to define the curls and just scrunch it up a little.

 

Why did you decide to try Mixed Chicks products out? I had always been curious about the products, so I was excited when we had the opportunity to try them through the Hair Stories series!

 

Does using a culture specific beauty product impact your beauty regime? I think it is great to know that a product is made with mixed hair in mind. Obviously not all mixed girls’ (or guys’) hair is the same, my daughter’s hair for example is pretty fine and has looser curls. Overall her hair is low-maintenance and easy to handle, it just needs the right mix of cleansing and conditioning which I think Mixed Chicks provides.

 

Are there other Mixed Chicks products you are interested in trying out? The Replenishing Oil would be great to try, I usually use Moroccan Oil or Coconut Oil Spray on her hair in the mornings so it would be great to see how that compares.

KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
KAIA'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

 

 

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CHANEL'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW


You Never Forget Your First Time…

Swirl Nation bloggers had the opportunity to sample the Mixed Chicks Hair product line and give us feedback on how the products worked in their hair. Mixed Chicks Hair products were created by Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy whose collaboration of love developed products for multiracial men, women and children who had curly/textured hair types.


Who better than to try Mixed Chicks Hair products than your favorite Swirl Nation ladies? Here is Chanel's experience...

CHANEL'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

Name: Chanel Bosh

Social Media: IG / TW

CHANEL'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

What was the first Mixed Chicks products you tried? Slick Styling Tamer

Initial reaction: OH MY GOD! This is magic! Nothing works to slick my hair. NOTHING! I have never been able to really achieve a "slick" look. For whatever reason, edge control pastes never really work on my hair texture. But as soon as I tried Mixed Chicks Slick Styling Tamer, I was very pleasantly surprised. I rubbed some of the product between my palms, then smoothed it onto my hair. Before I even used my brush, I noticed that my hair was already relatively slick. 

 

Why did you decide to try Mixed Chicks products out?  I decided to try Mixed Chicks out because of a referral to be a product tester. I had always been on the fence about trying this product line, because I did not think that the products would work for my type of hair, which is a bit kinkier than what people usually think of as "mixed chicks" hair. I thought, my hair might be too coarse and kinky. But when I saw that Mixed Chicks has expanded their product link to include the Slick Styling Tamer and Coil, Kink, and Curl Styling Cream, I decided to give it a try. 

 

Does using a culture specific beauty product impact your beauty regime? Yes! Culture specific beauty products make me feel good about myself and my hair type. Also, because culture specific products are more tailored to my hair type, it is easier for me to style my hair, while using fewer products. 

 

Are there other Mixed Chicks products you are interested in trying out? I am interested in trying the Detangling Deep Conditioner and the Sulfate Free Shampoo

CHANEL'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog
CHANEL'S MIXED CHICKS HAIR PRODUCT REVIEW via Swirl Nation Blog

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#ItsMineToDefine Giveaway


#ItsMineToDefine Giveaway via Swirl Nation Blog

Happy Holidays! I’m so excited to announce the last big GIVEAWAY Mixed Chicks will be hosting for 2016 that has something for everyone. If you have any social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) you are eligible to participate!

Give us your favorite holiday hairstyle selfie and #Itsminetodefine by Dec 25th. Winners will be selected and notified shortly after.


You Must TAG

@mixedchickshair
@mixedchicksuk
@yourhairstoryseries

in your post or we won't see your entry, only 1 entry per participant

  • Any social media platform can be used, but you must tag us so we can see it!!
  • 3 winners will receive the kids product set w/spring bands
  • 2 winners will receive the full men's line w/spring bands
  • 1 winner will receive the leave-in conditioner w/redefining foam and spring bands
  • 1 winner will receive deep conditioner w/replenishing oil, hair silk and spring bands 

I am excited to see your beautiful faces and encourage you to participate even if you have never used the products before. I look forward to seeing all the submissions.

Make sure to TAG and use the HASHTAG!

And follow on social media! Facebook  / Instagram / Twitter

#ItsMineToDefine Giveaway via Swirl Nation Blog

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MORE CURLS, MORE QUESTIONS


More Curls, More Questions via Swirl Nation Blog

Where I grew up, “Can I touch your hair!” was never a question– it was a statement.

My slinky-tight curls enamored my blonde and brunette friends. With glowing eyes, my classmates would squeak with amusement upon stroking what they said was a ‘soft’ and ‘fluffy’ Afro, often comparing my hair to that of a cloud. 

As a young girl the comparisons seemed to be nothing more than kind words and a generous compliment. I glistened and welcomed the petting of my hair, and would even wear colorful bows to attract attention to my poof-ball ponytails.

But as I grew into my preteen years, the admiration of my hair became less about its unique texture and more about ‘how exotic’ it seemed.  Groups of girls would form a tight circle around me at lunch and ask questions about my everyday hair maintenance. I didn’t mind feeding their curiosity, but the one question that always seemed to bother me was, “Don’t you want to make it straighter? “How do you get your hair straight like ours?”

There wasn’t a day that had gone by where I hadn’t grappled with my hair’s thick, tight curls. When a comb snapped in half mid brush, I recognized the challenges my hair posed - but figured it was simply who I was. I never toyed with the idea of trying to change what had always been, but the more and more the other girls asked, the more I wondered if that’s what would make me feel beautiful.

More Curls, More Questions via Swirl Nation Blog

It was then I committed the ultimate sin and doused my natural curls in chemical relaxer. My once voluptuous hair sank flat onto my scalp, the curls succumbing to straight, mousy waves. Writing about the experience now sounds like a nightmare, but back in 2008 it was my dream unfolding (or more literally, my curls).

Instead of making my hair longer, straighter and more culturally accepted – the relaxer destroyed not only my hair, but also my confidence. I could never maintain length, my hair was dry, brittle and DAMAGED- and in result I had felt ugly. Instead of taking this as a sign to transition back to natural, I hid under extensions for years.

Now, with the help of an excellent and very trusted stylist, I am on the pathway to a more natural approach to my hair.  I yearn to get back to my bouncy, full curls. As I continue to transition, I still wear extensions as a protective look as well as a way to try unique hairstyles.

Extensions are great, and I embrace everyone to try them as a way to enhance your natural beauty-not as a shield from the world.

As I wake up each morning I can see my natural curls peaking out, longing to ambush my scalp once again. Looking the mirror I can smile at the person I’ve become as I am one step closer to celebrating my fully natural self.  

Post was first published on Biracial Beauty


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THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE


THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE via Swirl Nation Blog

Like everyone, I have a sense of style all my own. Most comfortable in a pair of jeans / a jean skirt and a T-shirt, dressing up for me means swapping out the T-shirt with an Inc. or DKNY top. I never did learn how to use clothes to complement my hair and makeup and frankly I never did figure out how to use makeup. While some women can pull off wild colors, it’s best if I go the less is more route.

I am what one might call a fashion misfit. Indeed my husband calls me a fashion faux pas. Paul asks me on a regular basis whether I dress in the dark with a blindfold on. It’s pretty bad when a former IT professional turned goat farmer suggests I go back and rethink my choice of clothes.

Sometimes I do okay and I actually get compliments. On those days I am feel like I have a shot at being fashionable and then I do something to remind us all that Stella McCartney, Vera Wang or Stef-n-Ty aren’t calling to ask for my advice for their spring or fall collection.

And while I have my own sense of style—assuming we can really call it that—I have never given much thought to the fact that I am limited because of my beliefs.  

Funky and eclectic as I am, much as I like to use color (even when I probably should refrain), I am not stuck. I have the luxury to be put together one day and a fashion faux pas the next. I am not limited by a one-look-fits-all.  

What if I wore the same type of clothes day after day and were forced to have it be the same color or style? This is what life is like for many Muslim women around the world—that is, so I have been led to believe. Before going out in public, many Muslim women worldwide are expected to wear a hijab. A hijab typically refers to a veil that covers the head and chest.

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

With modesty the driving force behind women wearing a hijab, when I think about them, I tend to think of the hijab as black, brown, beige or otherwise lacking excitement and unlikely to be a fashion trend.

However, I came across two websites that changed the way I see the hijab. I am the first to admit that I saw the hijab as oppressive—to this ultra feminist, it seems excessive and controlling.

And perhaps it’s also possible some Muslim women are leading a movement toward modernity.

One website addresses the fact that there is no one-color-fits-all and the other turns the notion that Muslim women are oppressed and are forced to sacrifice style and individuality for the sake of tradition.

 
THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE via Swirl Nation Blog

White, Black or In-Between, There’s a Hijab for You

Like all people of color (Poc) we span the rainbow, Muslims are no exception. Like Christianity, Islam isn’t limited to any one region. The heaviest concentrations of Muslims live in Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) with many living in Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Given the differences in features and complexions between Asians, Africans, South Americans and those of European descent, Muslims come in all shades you can imagine.

Now regardless what skin tone you have, there’s a hijab that will match it, thanks to Habiba Da Silva of England. 

If It Weren’t Seen As Appropriation and Fetishization, I Might Wear One of These! Who said I couldn’t match earth tones with lavender while wearing a jean jacket and Ray Ban sunglasses? I think I could pull this off—maybe. I can’t think of a better way to complement my leopard print pumps, can you?

Are the new fall colors out yet? Need I say more?

Check out these and more modern hijabs at the Be With Style website.

It looks like I need to start seeing the hijab in a different light. Again, I am obviously very ignorant because clearly there is an intersection between the hijab and haute couture. 


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MISS JAPAN IS HAPA (AGAIN)!


MISS JAPAN IS HAPA (AGAIN)! via Swirl Nation Blog
 
MISS JAPAN IS HAPA (AGAIN)! via Swirl Nation Blog

I think it so awesome that this year's Miss Japan is once again biracial! Priyanka Yoshikawa is 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Indian, and she's just stunning! How beautiful and wonderful that Miss Japan is mixed! Sadly, there is a lot of hate going around on social media about Miss Japan not being Japanese enough to represent.

3% of Japan is mixed. I feel that just because you are a blend doesn't make you any less of something. In my opinion if you were born and raised within a culture that ultimately makes you that. Perhaps it is just a very Americanized view of mine. I was born and raised in the U.S. I think of myself as an American regardless of my ethnic background! Plus she is 1/2 Japanese! She speaks Japanese, she is Japanese.

"There was a time as a kid when I was confused about my identity," she said. "But I've lived in Japan so long now I feel Japanese."

It is so sad that many of the Japanese people think Priyanka Yoshikawa is not fit to be Miss Japan. People have called her a "terrorist", "Arab", and "Arab terrorist". The same disgusting backlash happened to her predecessor Ariana Miyamoto, who is half black. Even though some of the Japanese people are being closed-minded it's nice to see that the people who judge Miss Japan are not, and give this title based on ability and not "pureness". 

Times have changed friends. Pretty soon there won't be anyone that can deem themselves "pure", and that makes me happy! 

MISS JAPAN IS HAPA (AGAIN)! via Swirl Nation Blog

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#NoMakeup


#NoMakeup via Swirl Nation Blog

I am a huge fan of Alicia Keys right now. Not only did she kill it at the DNC but she has also started a revolution of her own. I’m talking about her no longer wearing any makeup, the #NoMakeUp campaign.

It might sound trivial and of no importance, because I mean really who cares if a celebrity is wearing makeup or not? There’s a lot that’s going on in this world that, yes, is way more important. However, her message speaks volumes to women everywhere.

Ms. Keys is basically sticking it to the man, and she’s sticking it to him good. Her protest of sans makeup is giving women everywhere liberating freedom from hours and money spent on applying their face. Myself included. As an actor I strive for perfection, I want to look my best – and I’m not gonna lie I have always enjoyed trying out new cosmetics. It’s fun. My face is a canvas upon which I can express my inner conscious. Am I feeling edgy today? Or more playful? Depending on my mood I can create an image to fit it. Or depending upon the audition or show I can make myself appear more “Ethnic” or “White”. But this gets so tiring. Why should I have to conform to society or the entertainment industry? Why can’t I just be me?

#NoMakeup via Swirl Nation Blog

Alicia Keys recently wrote an essay on her process to get to #NoMakeup on Lenny, and I have to say it’s pretty damn brilliant. She states “I hope to God it’s a revolution”. I believe it is. You have given women the courage everywhere to say “No”. No, I will not conform. No, I do not need makeup to be considered beautiful. This is me and if you don’t like it you can suck it!

I encourage women everywhere to embrace the #NoMakeUp. I’m not saying you have to do it every day but try it out! It’s liberating and your skin will probably thank you for the break. Beauty is skin deep. You don’t need airbrushed perfection to be beautiful because you are beautiful. Embrace your inner goddess, embrace yourself.


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STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED!


STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED via Swirl Nation Blog

Makeup and I have not had a very long relationship in the grand scheme of things. Some people start slathering it on in their tweens... Rest assured, I was most definitely not one of those people. If I remember correctly, the first time I began using makeup in earnest (aka not for winter formal or prom) was after a breakup in college. I know, a little petty, I admit it.

My first attempt was over the top, bright red lipstick and a bit heavy on the eyeshadow, but I quickly realized that less is more for me, so I ditched my high school makeup in favor of more eco-friendly brands that wouldn’t be as hard on my very sensitive skin. I’m not going to lie--it can at times be an expensive and losing battle. Early on in my makeup experimentation, it became apparent that most eye makeup is not meant to stick on a Hapa’s lids. Or at the very least, not this Hapa’s lids.

When I had a little more time in my life, I scoured the internet for tutorials on how to get my eyeliner to stay put and how to apply it in a way that worked for my eyelids, since I don’t have a monolid, but a very slight double lid. Take note, vloggers and bloggers, last I checked, there are very few tutorials that talk about how to apply your eye makeup when you don’t quite have a monolid and you definitely don’t have that standard double lid. Is there even a name for what I have? If anyone knows it, kindly tell me so I can finally have a defined term for my eyelid makeup anatomy. The closest I found back in the day was from The Beauty Department titled, “Winged Liner for a Droopy Lid.” Gee, thanks for that. Helpful? Maybe. Ego boosting? No.

 
I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion

I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion

In my quest for eco-friendly eyeliner that stays put, I luckily found 100% Pure’s pot gel liner, but I’m not including a link to it because guess what? It doesn’t exist anymore. I think they stopped making it in 2014 and I’ve been heartbroken ever since. But the one problem I’ve always run into with my makeup, including this extinct gel liner, is that I don’t use it fast enough to justify the cost. Eventually, I’ve always had to throw out my costly purchases long past their expiration date. Enter Stowaway Cosmetics.

I found out about this brand because I’m addicted to The Zoe Report’s little lists and blogs that pop up every five seconds on my Facebook feed. It’s a never ending cycle because I can’t resist clicking on basically all of them. I haven’t been paid to plug any of these brands, by the way, I’m just a victim of fashion and social media, I promise. So back to Stowaway. This brand caught my eye because of its small packaging and portions that are designed to be used within the three month expiration period, so when I first heard about it and realized I wouldn’t have to throw out half tubes of expired things anymore, I was pretty excited. That being said, I’m a big stickler for what goes into cosmetics as well, so before purchasing, I checked out their FAQ. When I found out that they were EU compliant, cruelty-free, and gluten-free (a few of their products are vegan, but not all of them), I decided that I’d give this brand a try.

I ordered myself The Basics Kit, which is $75, customizable based on your skin tone, and you get to pick the colors you want for your eyeliner, blush, and lipstick. Since getting the kit, I’ve pretty much pared down my makeup collection to what you see in this photo:

STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED via Swirl Nation Blog

Here’s what came in my Stowaway Basics Kit:

  • Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm in Light
  • Creaseless Concealer in Light
  • Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony
  • Creme Lipstick in Raspberry and I got a freebie for signing up for their email list, so I picked Cranberry as my second one
  • Effortless Eyeliner in Jet
  • Extreme Lash Mascara

Supplements to my kit:

When my Stowaway order arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was shipped in very minimal packaging, and while each item was individually boxed, there was none of that awful plastic to rip off of the tubes themselves. All of the makeup tubes and containers have a slightly rubberized feel that’s very grippable and makes these tiny products easy to use without feeling like you’re working with doll-sized cosmetics. And they’re so easy to stowaway! Okay, that was the only stowaway pun I’m throwing in here, I promise. But enough geeking out about the packaging--let’s talk about the makeup. I’m going to do my best to talk about the makeup in the order I apply it to keep things simple.

Clockwise from Upper Right:  Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light

Clockwise from Upper Right: Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light

So the Beauty Balm is admittedly one of those products I rarely use. If I include applying it to show you in this blog, I’ve used it twice. I feel like my freckly Hapa complexion, though a little red and/or shiny at times and sometimes acne-prone, is fine on its own--you know what? Better than fine. It’s awesome. I also hate the feeling of anything aside from a very light moisturizer on my face, and though this BB is lightweight, I’m talking about Princess and the Pea sensitive here. I can feel it. But I can see why this product might be nice if you want to even your tone out, and it really does do that. However, the BB in Light made me look a little orange depending on the lighting and what I was wearing.

Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.

Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.

I was surprised that the Light tone would do this to me, and though I’m no expert on foundation or BB’s, it seems a little strange that a BB labelled Light would be so… Orange. I’m also pretty certain that if I got the lightest of the tones, Fair, I would look a little chalky and it wouldn’t match my skin’s undertone at all. Maybe if I get a good tan I can wear this BB and feel more comfortable in it, but for now I’m fine just using the concealer in Light for any rogue zits and undereye coverage, since it seems a little more forgiving tonally than the BB. All you need is a small dot of concealer and then just blend it with your finger, it provides great coverage.

Along with anything skin tone related, my biggest trepidation when I go to buy makeup is eyeliner and mascara because I have trouble getting these to stay put. If I use normal eyeliner, it inevitably ends up all over my top eyelids and my mascara can end up smearing on my lower lids. Not a good look. I was really dubious of the eyeliner at first, since I usually stick with gel or liquid, but found that it does have some serious staying power as does the mascara. I’ve worn these while working 10+ hour days at my 6 Degrees of Hapa pop-up in 100º heat… And my eyeliner and mascara only smudged just a little.

A  little too blunt for my liking.

A  little too blunt for my liking.

The application of the eyeliner itself can be a little funky, because the eyeliner really didn’t self-sharpen as it claims to. Mine ended up looking like a tiny, stubby crayon tip after one use. But luckily the eyeliner itself is so small that even when it is blunt, it still can draw a relatively thin line given a little patience. I haven’t attempted a cat eye with this, though, I think it might be a little too advanced for this eyeliner. My other trick that I always use to make sure these two products (of any brand) keep off my eyelids is to dust foundation powder on my top and bottom lids with an eyeshadow brush to keep them from getting oily. This usually helps keep me from looking like a racoon by the end of the day.

Though I’m not too big on eyeshadow, I was really excited when Stowaway announced their tiny eyeshadow palette. I haven’t used it thoroughly yet, but I think that the eight shades have potential if you want to add a little extra to your look. The palette comes with a very small double-ended brush that’s not my favorite thing to use, since it makes applying the shadow evenly feel like a bit of a challenge. For me, the best thing about this eyeshadow palette is that it has a matte dark brown shade that works really well for my eyebrow filler and... This whole kit is way smaller than my old two shade eyebrow filler palette alone.

Where the eyeshadow palette might be lacking in color, the Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony has me covered. It adds a nice pop to my cheeks without looking unnatural and the packaging for this is pretty cute with a little mirror to peek in if you’re out and about. I have a round face, so when I apply blush I tend to apply by dabbing a little of this rouge from my temples in a slight curve down to the apples of my cheeks to create more structure (aka the only type of contouring I’ll ever attempt). One of my favorite things to do right now is to use my blush as my eyeshadow--don’t scream in horror, it actually looks really good if done minimally. I just apply a little in and above the crease of my upper eyelid and blend. That being said, I probably won’t be using this shade on my lips, since it’s a little too matte for my liking as a lip product.

Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.

Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.

Speaking of lips… I love their lipstick. Stowaway’s lipsticks are really smooth, don’t have that weird lipstick smell, and the application is really easy. I haven’t had any problems with these drying out my lips, which is a deal breaker for me. I tried out a trick from their video tip, which was dabbing some concealer on your lips to get it to have more staying power and to get the color to pop, and it seems to do the trick. The one thing I’d recommend is that you probably want to pick up a clear lip liner to keep it from feathering. I have yet to do this, but it’s on my very very shortlist of makeup needs (pun intended).

 

Putting it all together:

All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.

All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.

My Hapa complexion and eye shape (I refuse to call it droopy) can make finding makeup that works for me a bit of a struggle. If I really wanted a BB for everyday wear, I’d have to keep looking for one that actually fits my skin tone, but I do think Stowaway’s eyeliner and mascara really work for me and I’d definitely get the rouge and lipsticks again. This kit might be one of my best purchases of the year--it makes packing my makeup bag super simple, keeps me from making overly complicated makeup mistakes I’ll regret when I look at Instagram later, and I’ve even started using makeup a little more often because I know it’s going to stay put.

I ordered my kit at the end of April and it’s now the beginning July, and to be honest, I’m probably not going to be able to use up all of my makeup before its three month expiration date. But now I know what I like out of the kit and what I don’t think I need to get again, like the BB, and frankly, $75 for six products is a lot better than spending what I had been on less portable cosmetics that I wasn’t ever going to be able to use up on time. The one concern I did have about Stowaway was that they didn’t have a recycling program for used products, but lo and behold, they introduced one!

The two things that would be on my Stowaway release wishlist would have to be a clear lip liner and a foundation powder. These two additions for me would make this the ultimate cosmetics kit, because it would give my makeup that much more wearability and longevity for the long days I tend to work. I also wouldn’t mind if they expanded the BB line to include more tones, because as we all know, people come in many shades. Have any of your tried Stowaway or want to share some tips for mixed makeup wearers?


 

 

 

 

 

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Collaborating with Mixed Chicks- Why we need the “Your Hair Story Series”


Collaborating with Mixed Chicks- Why we need the “Your Hair Story Series” via Swirl Nation Blog

When I first developed the idea for my newest blogging series, I knew I wanted to create something unique, original, and that would speak to ethnic struggles multiracial people could relate to. I have been fortunate to be writing on several platforms over the past few months and exposing myself to a constant hamster wheel of learning about people all over the world experiencing the same issues with identity, beauty, and their place in society. I was especially curious to explore the world of beauty and hair which is an important attribute of many ethnicities in terms of representation and products that are catered to our hair texture/types.

Many of us can attest to growing up without products specifically made for our hair type that forced us to use what was available for the status quo, but not multiracial hair. I had been using Mixed Chicks hair products for a few months now and had been thoroughly impressed with the results it was having on my curls. I realized that my curls were a large extension of me and the style, texture, kink, coil, and waves represented my culture, background, ethnicity, and race. My hair itself has the capability to tell a story. Being that ninety percent of the time it is the first identifier people make with me being biracial, I knew that given the opportunity other people could share their own sentiments on stories regarding their hair.

I took a big gamble and proposed the series to Mixed Chicks who were enthused to help, grow, develop, and support my vision to use beauty as a means of storytelling. The “Your Hair Story Series” celebrates diversity of all types by giving customers the opportunity to share their experiences with a product specifically manufactured for their hair while giving personal testament to how that impacts their daily lives. Through social media and a newly approaching blog launch this week on the MixedChicks.Net site, we are giving people of all ethnicities, backgrounds, age, and gender’s the chance to share their story with us.

I truly believe that by giving voice to the stories behind the hair we are combining beauty and the art of story in an original way that is as educational for the customers as it is for the readers. I have had the opportunity to read beautiful stories regarding texture, personal struggles with loving natural hair, why this product makes a difference in beauty regime, and how their specific hair type is a reflection of their culture. I’m anticipating a great reaction to these amazing, dynamic voices from individuals who are genuinely excited to give insight into their backgrounds and why this company empowers them.

Interested parties can feel free to LIKE, TWEET, or FOLLOW our social media pages for the latest posts/updates and contact my email for questions on how to get involved. I’m looking to showcase anyone who uses the Mixed Chicks brand of beauty products and wants to share their story. What’s the story behind your hair?

Instagram: @yourhairstoryseries

Twitter: @HairStorySeries

Facebook: /yourhairstoryseries

Collaborating with Mixed Chicks- Why we need the “Your Hair Story Series” via Swirl Nation Blog

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RAW BEAUTY OBSESSION: MARY'S MARIPOSA

So I'll start with the disclaimer: this article is centered around a raw beauty product line that my cousin Maryam created 13 years ago. My family in Michigan has been raving about it and I've tried things here and there but Maryam and I lived on opposites sides of the country and I was into the lux lines we all see in the blogs, magazines, etc. 

A few months after we moved back east, I took a quick trip from Michigan to New York and stopped by Maryam's to pick up an item or two. $200+ later I had a car full of Mary's Mariposa products.  

 
RAW BEAUTY MARY'S MARIPOSA via Swirl Nation Blog

A few weeks after my trip, I had a tragic haircut from my salon owner's daughter. I was devastated (ask my husband and kids) but then went full throttle to grow my hair back as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, my almost 50 year-old hormones don't work like they used to and my hair has been thinning, slowly but surely.

When I bought Mariposa's Hair Growth Formula, Maryam warned me "Don't put this anywhere you don't want hair to grow." I heeded her advice--a hairy neck and temples doesn't look good on anyone.

Four months later (last week) I returned to the salon that committed the cut crime (I was so mad, I'd switched salons). The owner handled my entire appointment. Throughout my services, she kept saying, "You have a lot of new growth." When she got to the styling stage she said, "OK, you have a LOT of new growth, like, a lot, a lot, a lot. Don't put any heat on your hair unless you come here. You have so many new hairs coming in!"  

I had noticed the baby hair filling in my thinning temples but to hear my stylist affirm my regime was working was a whole new ballgame. Which is why I'm sharing my story. Here's the scoop: I use Raw Black Shampoo, condition with whatever I have (Maryam was sold out of her conditioner), apply Hair Growth Formula to my scalp and pin it up for 20 minutes (no hairy neck!) After moisturizing the rest of my body, I put the light and delicious smelling Hair Oil on my ends and work it all the way through and then do a protective style. 

Have a couple other favorites--love, love, love the Powder Deodorant. And years of spots and scars on my face have faded after using the Raw Face Cream and Brazilian Body Balm. Body Butters moisturize and smooth skin (Monoi scent is yummy). And yep, my initial $200 got me all of this and more...


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SWIRL HAIR: EXPRESS YOURSELF


I work in the world of advertising and marketing (experiential marketing to be exact) so I love to keep a close eye on what brands are doing. Dove is one of the few brands out there that has made some great ads with real women and addressing issues real women experience. Their new content piece addresses "Hair Shaming", citing that 80% of women feel pressured to wear their hair a certain way. It's an interesting stat and not surprising. On Swirl Nation the topic of hair is always a hot one since the multiracial community and women of color in general are often unfairly judged by their hair. 

The video features women with curly hair, natural hair, straightened hair, blonde hair, flowing grey hair, electric blue hair, and short hair. The message is every woman should wear her hair however SHE wants and I agree. Let me know your thoughts on the commercial. 


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SWIRL STYLE: CASUALLY CHIC


I dress with the priorities of comfort first and then a chic look.  This is a flexible look that can be worn during the day and transitioned into the night.

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

Mixing fitted and flowy is a great combination when it comes to chic, casual attire. I paired this textured high waisted, pencil skirt with a crop top to give this look a bit of chicness.  To give it a little edge I wore ankle boots with gold hardware and a vintage fedora.  Loose, wavy hair and a long silk blouse give it a touch of comfort. Gold rings, dainty bracelets and necklace pulled it all together.  This is flattering on all body shapes and heights.  It lengthens and enhances your figure and the blouse fashionably blurs anything you want a bit covered.  Add your individual touches with accessories and shoes.   If you try this look, post a photo and tag our Instagram page

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL STYLE: COACHELLA


If you live in LA like I do, Coachella kind of feels like an official holiday or something. It seems like everyone goes and when you go you plan your outfits for weeks. Even if you don't go you're still probably going out of your way to do something awesome just so you can say #Nochella. I have gone before for work and will likely be forced to go again once my daughter is in High School and is into that kind of thing. But for now I am happy to sit at home on my beach and admire everyone's Coachella experiences from afar. 

As I woke up yesterday morning I checked my Instagram (which sadly is always my first move), and saw some gorgeous multiracial ladies rocking their Coachella fashion and thought it was only right that we give them some shine. 

 

JHENE AIKO

First up is my obsession, Jhene Aiko. I have written about Jhene before on the blog. My love affair with Jhene has spanned about 3 years at this point. The first time I ever saw was in a Crooks & Castles ad and it compelled me to find out who she was and what she was all about, I'm so glad I did! Her voice and vibe is incredible. The second I drop my daughter off at school I switch to my Jhene playlist. She is one of those women who can literally wear anything and looks amazing. She is usually in hippie inspired outfits and Coachella is no exception. Shout out to my client Teva because she is rocking the jesus sandals in the best way possible! 

 

KARRUECHE

I don't have the same kind of feelings for Karrueche that I have for Jhene, but she's a cute girl who escaped a bad relationship so in that sense I can relate at least;) Not sure I would ever go for thigh harnesses??? But hey, maybe if I was Karrueche sized I would?! However I am totally feeling the return of the Baywatch 1-piece. 

 

ROCKY BARNES

My cousin Dana was actually the first person to introduce me to Rocky via some Instagram photos of her in various bikinis. She's gorgeous and has definitely nailed the Coachella vibe. She definitely wins the award for the most outfits, although she was being paid by Revolve to be there so that makes sense:) 

 

SHAY MITCHELL

I met Shay Mitchell when she hosted an event I designed last Spring, she's super nice and did an amazing job and looks super cute in all her looks! 

Does this get you inspired for festival season?! Which one is your favorite look?!


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SHADEISM


In my last post, I briefly mentioned Shadeism.

Shadeism, or Colorism, is different than racism, as it often occurs within an ethnic group, or race.  It is when a group values a certain shade of skin, typically a lighter shade, over another.  Shadeism is prejudice based on social conclusions attached to skin color.  It is not dependent on ancestry, so we cannot call it racism.  Shadeism is solely based on color.  Warning, this post only scratches the surface of this subject and I am not an expert.  Hopefully, this post will get you interested in researching the topic further, or at the least, start a conversation.

Shadeism exists all over the world.  It even existed amongst Europeans at one time.  Tanned skin signaled you worked outside, in the fields and were of a lower class.  Fairer skin, along with soft hands, signaled you were of the aristocracy, or higher class.  When the Europeans colonized the world, they brought the notion, sometimes inadvertently, that lighter is better.

Sometimes, this notion already existed in cultures, before the introduction of Europeans to a society.  Although certainly exacerbated after being colonized by the British, Indians already had a caste system and Shadeism was sometimes a byproduct of it.  In Japan, both men and women used rice powder to lighten their skin and hide imperfections.  In both cultures, lighter skin implied wealth and membership to a higher, non-working class.

The introduction of slavery to the Americas brought race, and racism, into the mix.  Because slavery in America was based on race, a superiority of the white race because of ancestry and a right to own slaves because of this so-called superiority, Shadeism took on a whole new meaning in the black community.  Many of the white masters raped their slaves and this produced many bi-racial children.  The lighter slaves were given favor and allowed to work in the house, while the darker slaves worked in the fields.  The mixing was so prevalent that some of the “slaves” were unrecognizable as being black, and this challenged the “right” to own slaves based on color or superiority.  It also frightened white Northerners who could be accused of being black, and without sufficient evidence to prove otherwise, could be shipped to the south and work on a plantation.  This, along with other reasons, helped the Abolitionist movement to end slavery.

A “white” slave:

Shadeism after reconstruction fractured the black community.  Newly freed slaves developed their own societies.  Because the dominant white society placed extra value on blacks mixed with white ancestry, light-skinned blacks began to intermarry and create special societies and social clubs.  Entrance into these social clubs involved ridiculous tests: brown paper bags, combs, flashlights, amongst other things.  These clubs were purely meant to exclude, not include. Having lighter skin made it easier to get an education, own land, and start a business. 

 

2 clips from Spike Lee’s School Daze:

The beautiful and fair Aishwarya Rai

The beautiful and fair Aishwarya Rai

This strive for “whiteness” still occurs in present day.  Bleaching creams in India, Asia, and Africa are big-business.  Preference is still placed on lighter-skinned Bollywood actors.  In Asia, fair-skinned Asians are valued; and although the diversity of black people used in ads is getting better, the preference for light-skinned, long-haired black girls still persists in rap videos.

The good news is more and more people are rejecting these ideals of beauty and Shadeism.  The peachy color named “skin” in a box of crayons sold in India has been challenged.  Lupita Nyong’o has been named one of the world’s most beautiful people.  We’ve crowned an Indian woman Miss America.  Idris Elba is universally one of the sexiest men alive.  White people are tanning…

 

 

Lupita Nyong’o, People’s Most Beautiful Woman in 2014:

SHADEISM via Swirl Nation Blog

So, if this notion of lighter is better still persists in your culture, please know and embrace ALL shades, from the fairest to the darkest and everything in between, are beautiful, especially if it is yours.

Shadeism Part 1:

Shadeism Part 2:


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INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES

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INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES


INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

Last week I wrote an Obsessed post on the new Christian Louboutin ballet flats that were just released that now come in 7 different skin tones, dispelling the antiquated notion that "nude" is synonymous with a peachy/beige color. The designer also has his signature heels in a range of tones.

The news is very exciting because in fashion the high end designers cause a trickle down effect which means more accessible brands will follow their lead. What's amazing is that it is 2016 and inclusive fashion is just now becoming "a thing", but better late than never right? 

 
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

Another brand that has caught my eye in the last couple years is Nubian Skin, a lingerie brand that offers a range of intimates in various skin tones. Nubian Skin was started by a 30 year old former private equity senior associate, Ade Hasaan. She was frustrated not being able to find lingerie to match her skin tone, so she did something about it and launched her own brand. Celebrities like Kerry Washington and multiracial Thandie Newton are fans. You can learn more about Ade in this great interview she did with the L.A. Times

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

One area Nubian Skin has recently added is hosiery for Plus Size women called Nubian Skin Curve. Hopefully they add larger sizes for their lingerie soon because while skin tone diversity is obviously key, so is celebrating body diversity. Currently their bra sizes go up to a 40 and their panties to an XL. The hosiery is available in XL through 3XL. All Nubian Skin pieces come in 4 colors: 

  • Berry
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel 
  • Cafe Au Lait
 

Bjorn Borg, is a designer I'm not super familiar with but in my research I discovered he also has a line he calls Six Shades of Human. His website states the collection is to celebrate the 84% of humans that do not have the skin tone that was previously used as the "nude" standard. The photography is clean, modern and gorgeous, so you're welcome for all the eye candy:) 

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
 

Another interesting example is Kanye West organized his latest fashion show in skin tone order with corresponding outfits, reminds me of a human Pantone Book which is a cool concept. When Vogue asked the designer about his casting choices, Kanye explained: 'It’s just a painting, just using clothing as a canvas of proportion and color.' 

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
 

I hope these brands launch a million copycats in the fashion world so men, women and kids of all races and multiracial combinations can find fashion that matches their skin tones. Fashion has been exclusive for too long, catering to the white, the thin and the unattainable. As consumers we want to see a wide range of skin tones and bodies, and now is the time to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness in every possible way.

What examples of inclusiveness have you see in the world of fashion?


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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN

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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN


SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

Denim on Denim is a favorite trend of mine that remains in season year round and a no fail look.  Creatively combining light and dark blues is a must.  Throw in your personal touch of accessories and flare to own your unique look. Adding layers and a pop of color will always enhance your denim look.

 

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

I love combining light and dark denim then adding a hat, jewelry, and a blazer to jazz it up.  As pictured, a high-waist, wide-leg denim gives you a slimming, longer leg look with a light blue denim button up.  I added layers appropriate for cooler evening weather.  The beige linen blazer and skinny red belt from gives the outfit a boost.  I finished the look off with a vintage wide-brim fedora, a vintage thrift watch with a gifted bracelet, a combination of a gifted vintage rings and finished with a gifted necklace layered necklace.

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL HAIR: CURLY VS STRAIGHT

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SWIRL HAIR: CURLY VS STRAIGHT


I get asked all of the time, why I don’t wear my hair in its naturally kinky state all of the time.  No, it is not because I don’t like my African roots.  It is not because I want to look more white.  I love my ‘fro.  I get so many compliments on it.  In Miami, I was one of the first models with my big hair and I got booked all of the time.

The reason I don’t where my hair naturally all of time: maintenance.

I first went natural 18 years ago during my freshman year of college.  I was too poor to afford getting every-six-week relaxers, so I did the “big chop”.  My hair was about 4 inches long with some relaxed ends that I set on straws (yes, drinking straws), to help the relaxed ends match my natural roots.  Once my hair reached about chin-length curly, I stopped setting my hair on straws and went full-blown Angela Davis

It took a long time for me to figure out my hair.  I was a hair product addict.  In the beginning, I would wash my hair and leave conditioner in it, then let it air dry.  I would wash my hair every 2 – 3 days to revive the curl.  This was 1998-1999.  The only curly hair product on the market was John Frieda’s “Frizz Ease”.  I finally settled on alternating between VO5 conditioner and Suave conditioner, purely because they were both cheap.  This led to two problems.  The first problem was build-up.  My hair would become a limp noodle with no volume, because I was basically wetting my hair every other day and piling on conditioner.  The second problem was that I lived in Colorado.  I walked to school every day and it took about a full day for my hair to fulyl dry.  I remember arriving to school with frozen hair in the winter.  I also remember having a bronchial infection for six weeks, probably due to wet hair every day.

I began modelling at 20, two years after I went natural.  So much of my “look” banked on my looking ethnically vague, so it was requested that I where my hair straight most of the time.  I never relaxed my hair, but I did get weaves to lighten my straightening load and I wore hair pieces.  I still wore my hair in the ‘fro when I was lazy, or didn’t have any modelling jobs.  My very liberal University in Boulder, CO (go Buffs) took to my kinky hair with admiration, so I was never ashamed of my hair.  I totally went through the “can I touch your hair” moments EVERY time I wore my hair curly.

I gave up the weaves, but I continue to go back and forth from straight to curly to this day.  So, WHY do I not wear my hair curly all of the time?  I will list the reasons why:

  • It takes an hour to detangle my hair
  • I don’t have the patience to be gentle with my hair, so I rip it out
  • My hair is very fine and tends to knot easily
  • I have to wash my hair twice a week for the curls to look flawless (and that isn’t guaranteed)
  • I am NEVER GUARANTEED a good hair day with curly hair, it’s hit or miss
  • I don’t feel sexy when I go to bed looking like Bone Thugs N Harmony if I decide to do twist-outs to cut down on detangle time
  • It really boils down to TIME

It takes me (or the DryBar, actually) approximately one hour to an hour and twenty minutes to blow out my hair.  With said blow-out, I only wash my hair once a week, sometimes I can go longer.  I’m guaranteed a neat, put-together side bun every day my hair is straight.  I can do my hair in less than 2 minutes when my hair is straight.  I can brush my hair and really get to my scalp when my hair is straight EVERY DAY.

The longest I ever went wearing my hair curly consecutively was when I was pregnant with my son.  I wore my hair in either milk braids or a bun.  My hair grew to my waist.  It was ridiculous.  My arms are tired thinking about it.  My husband traveled a lot for work, so he didn’t have to endure sleeping with “Snoop Dogg” all the time, as twist-outs were my go-to maintenance regime.  My hair was healthy and somewhat manageable, but again, the TIME it took to make it look decent.  I eventually ended up paying someone to give me the Ouidad cut.  It is a weird cut – it looked amazing for three days, and now I’m in the process of growing it out again.

So, do I have pointers on wearing your hair kinky?  

  • I love the No-Poo method/co-washing.
  • Make sure to use a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse once a month or so if you decide to no-poo.
  • I love Kinky Curly’s Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner.  I always go back to this product.  Hands down, the best detangler.  Ever.  It makes your hair really slippery.
  • I love the Denman brush to get my curls to “clump” together.
  • If you want to save time on washing and detangling every day, wear twist-outs or braid-outs.  If you share your bed with a significant other, be prepared to be teased about your new sexy bedtime look.
  • Make sure your hair is moisturized.  Many people “seal” their curls after the moisturizing process.  I still haven’t figured this part out.  My hair is very fine and any oil on my hair just kind of sits on top.  My hair doesn’t exactly absorb oily products.  My hair likes creamy products, but everyone is different.
  • Divide your hair into sections and only detangle your hair when it is saturated with conditioner.
  • When detangling straight or curly hair, begin at the ends and work your way up to the roots.

I’m sure I’m missing more pointers, but these are good ones to start.  I will post a tutorial later, but as for now, I will enjoy my fresh blow-out.


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