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Lakeesha

7 Ways to Look Like You Tried (When You Didn’t)

By | Fashion

Whether you woke up late or just on the wrong side of the bed, we all have lazy outfit days. Luckily, on days like these, you don’t have to choose between dress slacks and sweatpants. We have a few outfit hacks for throwing together a polished ensemble that requires zero planning or hassle.

Remember these seven tips on the days you just can’t anymore.

01. Wear a Button-Up

If you don’t feel like putting effort into an outfit but don’t want to wear your ratty old tee, try wearing a button-up. The classic button-up offers all the comfort of your T-shirt without looking like you didn’t try. To look extra pulled-together, try tucking the front of the button-up into your pants.

02. Wear Black on Black

The black-on-black style trick is an oldie but a goodie. As a more formal color, black makes any outfit look more serious. Black on black is even more intentional looking, unifying your separate pieces for an overall professional and modern look.

03. Tuck It In

Our mothers were right for always nagging us to tuck in our shirts! Tucking in your top immediately defines your waist and changes your entire look by creating a polished silhouette.

04. Wear a Bold Lip with Dark Shades

When it comes to a basic outfit that needs an extra oomph, sometimes all it takes is a bold lip and sunglasses. Swiping on a crimson lipstick and throwing on a pair of sleek shades is perfect for when you’re in a rush. You’ll accomplish an Old Hollywood look in just seconds, and you don’t even need to worry about doing a full face of makeup.

05. Add Ladylike Elements

Boring getup? Add some ladylike elements that elevate your entire ensemble. A bold red lip, a feminine neck scarf, and Jackie Kennedy–worthy sunglasses will give your look some creative direction.

06. Wear Oversize Earrings

Bold earrings have a way of making any outfit look intentional. Jewelry in general always makes an outfit seem more deliberate, but a statement earring will take your look to the next level. Statement earrings are already extravagant, perfect for balancing out your simple outfit. The contrast between your fancy earrings and laid-back outfit will say “street style star,” not “I just woke up.”

07. Wear a Blazer

A blazer offers all the structure your basic outfit needs. The formality of the blazer immediately elevates your look by giving it a professional appeal that makes your tee and jeans look less grungy. In fact, the combo gives you an effortlessly cool vibe—who doesn’t want that?

How I Finally Followed My Personal Style Intuition and Unfollowed Uniformity

By | Fashion

I went to a private school for nine years of my life with a uniform, a strict ‘free-dress’ code, and an unspoken, yet very clear, idea of how everyone is supposed to dress. Hollister shirts, skinny jeans, and Vans. Then there was me—showing up to school in my army camo shirt, maroon corduroy flare jeans, and Converse. I couldn’t stand the uniformity of it all and longed for the days where I could freely express myself.

I’ve always had a heart for fashion. But as I entered college I began following some of the major fashion influencers and I lost sight of my creative spirit and felt my approach to style morphe into something more homogenous.

I saw common trends in the way women were dressing and how ‘perfect’ each outfit was, and I wanted to achieve that. I felt this need to shop more to keep up with these women whose job it was to look good all the time. My favorite boutiques and thrift shops were replaced with Zara, TJ Maxx, and H&M to keep up with the price of being seen as “trendy”. My closet was full with a whole lot of nothing and no outfit ever felt good enough.

I bought into the trends thinking I was expanding my personal style, but in reality I was just conforming it to momentary trends.

Then one day I watched this documentary called “Iris” about this older woman who is a fashion icon. She combined the most unique clothing and patterns with the craziest jewelry. There was no structure to her outfits and at first glance I didn’t like anything she put on. But then I saw the joy she felt assembling each look and grew to appreciate the art that she was creating. Fired up by this documentary, I decided I was going to start creating outfits like Iris—except when I opened my closet there wasn’t a single unique or truly beautiful piece of clothing in it.

I realized then that because I had started relying on other people to inspire how I dressed, fashion had became an anxious chore rather than an outlet for personal expression and creativity I had once enjoyed.

This truth inspired me to look inward. I came to realize that this desire to keep up with trends and follow fashion bloggers stemmed from a need for acceptance and to feel like I am enough. Yet all it did was exacerbate my tendency to compare myself with other women.

Reading and following fashion trends can of course be a helpful source of inspiration. It can open your imagination to different colors, textures, and looks. But it’s easy to allow trend following to steal your sense of creativity and personal flare. There is not a single human being in the history of mankind who is the same as me and I know I never want my style to stop reflecting that. In my view, personal style is a reflection of the unique human person whereas trends can be the antithesis to individuality.

Since this realization, so much has changed. I pressed the unfollow button on all those trendy bloggers and with their departure returned my creativity. I’m shopping less and yet it feels like I have more to wear. Sure, it’s a little scary stepping out in an outfit that doesn’t have the stamp of approval from mainstream fashion brands, but I love every piece of clothing in my closet and every day when I create a new outfit there is so much joy in leaving my house knowing I love what I wear. Now, just like in high school, I relish standing out in the crowd and the fact that a carefully chosen outfit can tell the world a little something about me.

This Haircut Helped Me Stop Worrying About Being ‘Pretty,’ and It Was So Liberating

By | Beauty

As I settle in the chair, hands clasped in my lap over the polyester gown, a sudden shiver of excitement rushes through my body.

“I’d like to go short,” I tell the stylist.

As he runs his fingers through my hair, he talks me through the various options and tells me which ones he thinks will suit me best: do I want a longer bob that skims my collar bone, a shorter chin-length bob, or something in between? But I’m not listening particularly hard. I feel a strange, unfamiliar detachment from the fate of my hair today.

“I trust you,” I say. Then, after a pause, “Let’s go shorter.”

There was something different about this haircut; for one thing, it’s the shortest that my hair has ever been in my life since I was about four years old. Once, the day after my father died, I got a spur of the moment shoulder length cut, but that’s as short as I’ve ever gone. Even then, when I was undone with grief and felt like doing something really radical to my appearance to reflect the change I felt inside of me, I lost my nerve at the last minute.

It’s not that this haircut was bad or deliberately unflattering in any way: quite the opposite. The stylist was incredibly skilled, and did a great job. It’s just that for most of my life, I’ve been pretty convinced that looking my absolute best involves perfectly coiffed, long, golden curls. In my dreams, I’d have someone do a Kate Middleton-style blowout on my hair every morning. My first semester at college after high school, I’d spend time each morning curling my locks before breakfast; one day when I didn’t go through this ritual, someone asked if I had used straighteners.

I’ll never forget the haircut I got after a particularly painful and confusing breakup, the haircut I got to make him see what he was missing; I told the stylist all about the heartbreak, and she spent ages blow-drying my long locks with a curling brush and then carefully coiffing it with curling irons. In my mind, that haircut was the pinnacle of perfect hair for me, the most flattering and knock-out it can possibly get, and I remember feeling like a million bucks that evening. If only I could look like this every single day, I thought.

What differentiated my recent haircut from all the rest, though, wasn’t just the length or style; it felt different because for the first time in my life I wanted to get a haircut just to see what it would look like, motivated purely by a sense of curiosity and fun, rather than to necessarily look my best. I wanted to feel less weight on my shoulders, to spend less time in front of the mirror in the mornings. I wanted to feel good in a deep-down my-hair-doesn’t-define-me kind of a way. I wanted to free myself from something, although at the time I wasn’t exactly sure what that was.

My husband loved my long hair, as did my daughter, who said “Oh, mommy, you’ve cut your hair!” with dismay when she saw my shorter style for the first time. I felt a little bit like Jo inLittle Women when she cuts her glorious mane to make some much-needed money for her family—although in my case the length of hair I had cut off went to charity. I no longer had something to hide behind, to fuss about.

This Easy (and Affordable) Beauty Trend Will Help You Get Your Dream Hair

By | Beauty

As someone with difficult combination skin, I’ve always been a big fan of a good facial—I even went as far as getting a series of facials in the weeks leading up to my wedding day to get my skin looking its absolute best. I’m a total skin-product junkie, and as a consequence have my cleansing, toning, moisturizing, masking, and scrubbing routine down to a fine art.

My hair is a different story, though. I’ve never paid too much attention to the products I use to wash it, I usually try to avoid going to the salon for haircuts until it’s in desperate need of a cut, and my daily approach to it usually goes something along the lines of: Does it look passably clean? Is it dry? Have I brushed it? Good, let’s go.

I know I’m not the only one to take my hair for granted. In fact, my passive neglect is probably better than a lot of other people’s bad hair habits: excessive use of hair dryers, straighteners, and curlers; rough towel drying; unhealthy chemical products; and dyeing. All of that, plus the unavoidable environmental damage we all experience in our day-to-day lives, has a huge impact on our hair’s condition.

Thankfully, a new trend in the beauty world is changing the way we think about our hair and providing us with an easy way to take better care of it from home. Multi-masking for skin has been a trend for a few years now, the idea being that you create a tailor-made face mask based on what different areas of your face need. Now the same idea but for your hair is gaining traction in the beauty world.

What is multi-masking for hair?

Multi-masking your hair is basically like giving your hair an intensive, highly tailored facial. Just like our skin, our hair has varying needs; the ends are much older than the roots where the hair has recently grown from the scalp, so it makes sense that the different areas would need different treatments to look their best.

If you’re having a multi-masking treatment in a salon, the stylist will ask you questions about your lifestyle, health, diet, and general wellness before carefully assessing the condition of your hair and diagnosing any problem areas and unique needs that your hair may have. They will then apply a series of hair masks to different areas to help restore it to its best condition and can advise you on which masks to invest in and take away to continue using at home.

Jalil told me that I have combination hair (just like my skin), which means that I tend to get greasy roots around my sebaceous glands and tangled, dry ends. She recommended three masks (my hair is pretty short—Davines has five different formulas in total): a purifying mask for my oily scalp, another for adding shine and radiance to my dull mid-lengths, and a third to moisturize and soften the ends.

After thoroughly applying the three masks to different areas of my hair, she covered it to allow my head to generate some heat and further activate and absorb the ingredients. We let the masks work their magic for about twenty minutes.

What are the benefits of multi-masking for your hair?

Once the masking process was finished and my hair was dried and combed, it looked and felt incredibly soft and shiny. I also noticed that the color looked brighter and my natural highlights were more noticeable; Jalil told me this was because as well as improving the overall condition of my hair, the masks removed a buildup of impurities, which helped show off my natural color at its best.

As Jalil put it, “You should think of your hair like a silk garment.” It’s like a fine and delicate fabric that needs careful care and the right kind of washing, at the right temperature, with the right detergent. The multi-masking method acknowledges that your hair is as unique as you are; our hair care should be as different from the next person’s as our skin care regimens.

If I had applied a single hair mask to my hair, it may have helped the dry ends but over-saturated the scalp and roots; using several different masks meant we could tackle the different problems of each area.

Tips for Multi-Masking Your Hair at Home

The great thing about multi-masking for hair is that you don’t have to have the treatment in a salon (although it can help to have the first one in a salon if you want advice on what routine and products to use at home).

01. Test porosity levels.

Jalil recommends testing your hair’s porosity levels (meaning how well your hair retains moisture) by running your finger up a single strand of hair from the tip to the root. Low-porosity hair will feel very smooth as you run your finger along it; this type of hair has very tightly closed cuticles and is extremely resistant to moisture, and it will likely float if you put it in water. High-porosity hair will feel very rough; this type of hair has very open cuticles and should sink if you put it in water. The ideal porosity is somewhere in the middle; you should feel a bit of resistance but not too much. If your hair is too absorbent, it will be prone to being dull and greasy, even lank, and if it’s not absorbent enough, it will be dry and tangle easily, lacking in shine and resistant to products.

02. Divide hair into sections.

Once you’ve diagnosed the overall condition and porosity of your hair, try to think of it in sections: Look at the condition of your scalp, the hair near the roots, the mid-lengths, and the ends. Now you can choose different hair masks for each area of your hair (people usually need anywhere from two to four masks, depending on the length and condition of their hair).

03. Apply mask.

Apply the masks to the appropriate area when your hair is clean and damp (but not sopping wet), and rub each one in carefully with your fingers, making sure that you work it into the hair shafts. It can help to comb it with a wide-toothed comb as you work through it. Wash your hands between each mask so that you don’t mix them, and then cover your hair with plastic wrap to help it generate some heat from your head. Jalil advises leaving the masks on once you’ve applied them all for at least fifteen minutes but preferably longer (if you’re using a natural mask such as The Circle Chronicles range from Davines, you can’t really leave it on too long).

04. Rinse and repeat.

Rinse your hair well, and then gently pat it down before leaving it to air dry, if possible. Depending on how dry your hair is, it can benefit from this repeated routine every ten days or so (more frequently for extremely dry or damaged hair).

Once you start to think of your hair the same way you’d think of your skin, you’ll notice that it looks a lot healthier, shinier, and stronger. It seems like such a common-sense approach that it’s about time it caught on in mainstream hair care, so here’s to working with your hair’s natural condition and texture to help it look its best, every day.