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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Woman

slay-o’clock.

Well, it was bound to happen. I fell off the wagon. I went back 100 steps. I lost the mojo. In other words: I returned to my sloppily-dressed ways.

I’ve mentioned to you that way back in the day, because of weight and lack of self-esteem and not really knowing who I was as a woman, I preferred the drab, large sized, Stevie Nicks/Dorothy Zbornak look. It was my way of hiding. Yet as much as I love Stevie and my Dorothy, it wasn’t the best idea. But with time and working on the inside and then turning to the outside, all of that improved. I fell in love with me, which ultimately meant buying her (me) fancy, lovely things, like clothes that actually fit and creating a simple, feminine and chicelegant (new word; save it in your dictionaries, folks) sense of style. 

Of late, however, the blah of life translated to fashion, style, everything. The return of ill-fitted, voluminous pants. Going to work with not one stitch of makeup on, not even my trusty MAC Studio Fix. Feeling like a shapeless brown platypus. 

As I’m prone to do, I had to figure out what was going on inside before the outside. 

  1. I’m still adjusting to this new area, six months later. (Right? Six months already.)
  2. I’ve been through some recent changes that have affected me emotionally.
  3. Idris still hasn’t called me. 

You know: things like that. In all seriousness, dear readers, I was going through stuff. And stuff means grabbing some parachute pants (far less awesome than Hammer’s), throwing them on, and going to work. 
But it’s time to let it all go. I saw myself in the mirror yesterday, super fresh-faced, absent of even lip balm, for goodness sakes (chapped lips to the heavens), and told myself to wake up. Stuff happens. We deal with it as we go. But no more cracked lips, y’all. No more.

So what time is it? It’s slay-o’clock. Because looking my best leads to feeling my best. A fundamental truth. We all know it. It’s not new math or the invention of something that will keep these edges laid. Looking better makes me feel better. In that vein, this morning I put on a cuter dress, put on some red lippie, and I welcomed the day. Put on your slay clock and join me, won’t you?

Now your turn: did the blah of life ever affect your personal style? What did you do about it? 

“edge control”? 

Who are the scientists or hairologists that create the gel for those of us with edges that have temperamental minds of their own? They need to work harder. Because people like me with edges like me laugh at these gels, these silly things that do absolutely nothing to tame these rebellious follicles that rest on the borders of my hairline. Normally, I wouldn’t care. I’m the kind of naturalista that puffs my hair and doesn’t take the time to smooth things out at the front. Smooth isn’t that important to me. But then I started taking Biotin and vitamins to make my hair stronger and yay, my hair started really growing and getting fuller, but whoa, my hair started really growing and getting fuller and goodness, I looked like I lived in someone’s backyard. And with braids (I’ve had braids since December; done and re-done), if one wants a ponytail or to pull the braids back, the edges cannot shame you. But mine shame me. Every. Single. Day.

So I purchased this “edge control” gel, which a woman at the shop claimed would do wonders for my edges. Nope. Nope. Nope. The hair lays for approximately 5 seconds and then rolls its eyes at me and sticks right back up. Wild and curly and crazy. Unabashedly untamed and unkempt.

But you know what? I’m c’est la vie-ing it, folks. That’s life. Bushy edges and all. I can’t change them. There is no control

But am I the only one? If you have rebellious edges, kindly let me know in the comments. Edge misery (not really though) loves company.

Happy Friyay, bon weekend, and onwards and upwards. 

Fabu Fashion Tuesday: What is that? Velvet?

If you know that line from Coming to America, then yes, you belong here.

So yes, I wore a velvet dress this past weekend for a special worship event. This is notable because I’ve never worn the fabric. Not even when it was the it thing to wear in the 90s. (By the way, a friend commented on my “retro” look, to which I could only chuckle. Not the look I was going for, but whatever works.) But when I saw this velvet and lace dress on Asos one morning, I had to have. It was thoroughly unique, and you shall see why. 


Right?? Doesn’t that lace front and high collar take you back to Victorian times? I was hooked, lined, and sinkered. Now here’s me.



I didn’t do too much by way of accessories. To me, the dress was enough pièce de résistance. A pair of pearl posts (which belonged to Sally at the seashore), some fashion rings, and that’s all she wore as far as accessories. (And I didn’t lose any of them! This tends to be a problem. Huzzah!) I snagged some awesome tights by Jessica Simpson from DSW (she should really stick to this fashion thing and stay away from music) and bought those hot shoes you see on my feet from DSW, as well. A lovely, faith-strengthening day was had.

As you can also see: the fro has been tucked away under those Senegalese twists for the next several weeks. She needs to rest. We’ll talk about She later.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

Bonjour, December.

I welcomed the new month with a high puff, a little red lippie, and a sweater/turtleneck combo because it’s currently freezing in Dallas. Yes, you read that right. 


Welcome to the last month of the year. Wherever you are, may you remain warm and toasty. 

(I’m 4 years natural this month, y’all! So the posts this month will certainly have a hair theme. Onwards…)

Blogvember #14: Le Fro and Le Chapeau.

I’m quite happy to inform you that I bought a chapeau (hat) this weekend. Of course, discovering that le fro (also referred to as She) could handle hats isn’t new; I discussed that wonderful revelation here. And yet those reservations about hats and fros and large heads don’t entirely go away, do they? We need to constantly remind ourselves, we in the Big Head Society, that it’ll be ok: hats will fit. 

While shopping with the bestie this past Saturday, I saw my new hat and I instantly wanted to try it on. That was the clue that it was meant to be mine. But that still didn’t stop me from muttering to the bestie that it likely wouldn’t fit. Try it on anyway, she replied, as she busied herself with perusing the sea of scarves in the aisle she was in. Shrugging, I reached for it, secured it atop my twist-out, and headed to find a mirror. Before I reached said mirror, Bestie was already gushing that it was beautiful. When I finally saw it, you guys…


The chicness. Oh, the chicness of it all. And that color. Even better: the ole noggin didn’t feel like an unknown object had taken up unlawful space there. Very comfortable. I also loved how little peeks of my coils were visible. As I said before: I made it mine. Naturally, for the rest of the day, my new chapeau became the centerpiece of several admiring selfies. (Because why not?)


By the way, I’m wearing Oh-So Wicked lipstick by Rimmel in these photos. Since autumn is here, I’ve been adding darker shades in between my tried and true red lippie. Don’t you love the variety of it all?

Anyway, bienvenue, mon chapeau…

(Are you a hat wearer? What are your favorite styles? Give up the goods…)

Blogvember #9: Meanwhile, in Paris…

…she has given me life. Liiiiife. 

Ride your vélo in those awesome heels, my lovely Parisienne. Rock your style. 

I love this. Happy Wednesday. 

Blogvember #7: Oh, am I blushing?

I think the last time I wore blush was sometime in my late teens when I officially got the green light from the Moms to start wearing makeup. Since my abundance of teen magazines provided everything from makeup tips to how to get that guy to notice you (no comment), I basically put everything on my face. Blush, mascara, eyeliner–yes, everything. Thank goodness for time and figuring out what actually worked for me. One thing I decided to part with was blush. My melanin didn’t respond well to it; I rarely found colors and shades that worked. So bye bye, blush.

Just recently, however, as I sauntered through the halls of YouTube university, I saw a video by one of the natural hair ladies that I follow; she was sharing her fall makeup routine. When she topped her applied makeup with blush, I paused for a bit. Hmm. We have similar skin tones, I said to myself. Can it be? Can you actually wear blush? Apart from the fact that yes, I speak to myself like a character from Shakespeare (can it be? Why, forsooth, yes it can), I loved how the blush complimented her lovely skin. And quite simply, the color she chose (Black Rasperry by Black Radiance) communicated what I was doing wrong back in the day: I was choosing colors too close to my skin tone, in the fear that a too-bright shade would turn me in your neighborhood clown. But staying in the plum/raspberry family seemed doable. After perusing a thousand stores for Black Radiance products (which have always been good to me), I finally found the Artisan Color Baked Blush in Raspberry. I wore it last night to my house of worship. See below. 


Needless to say, I fell in love with my blush last night. I thought it was a wonderful blend of understated and lovely, providing a pop of color to my face that I really liked. So it’s a keeper, ladies and gents. Makeup is all about adventure and experimenting, no? I declare this latest addition a winner. 

While we’re at it, here’s a full-length view of what I wore:


The necklace was a gift from the bestie, the blouse from Ross, and the high-waisted African print skirt was sewed by my talented Mama. Very pleased with the overall look.

So you out there: are you a blusher? What are your favorite brands? 

Blogvember #2: Deliverance.

Back in the day, I was a proud purveyor of the poker face. Betraying nothing on the surface while all kinds of madness/side eye/frustrations went on underneath. Perhaps it was a by-product of growing up painfully shy: I didn’t want anyone to notice me anyway, so it wasn’t necessary to communicate, even via my face, what I was feeling. 

Dear reader: that poker face is gone. 

Its absence was brought to my attention some years ago by my bestie, who commented that my face hid nothing. “Oh, really? It used to,” I replied, shocked and slightly hurt that my poker face powers had diminished. “Not anymore, cool cat,” she said, highlighting one of her many nicknames for me. (Another one is Muffin Breath. We’ll talk about that later.)

Alas, it was true. The fact was that I was no longer that withdrawing little girl who was content to observe without reacting. I reacted. And anyone could tell exactly how I felt. Something about this change made me proud. Sure: I’m a big believer in keeping calm. I mean, unless Idris is in the room, I’ve never been a proponent of losing your cool. Being the daughter of a mother who has repeated time and time again to always keep my dignity (advice that has brought me through a lot of interesting times) means that yes, I certainly try to maintain my composure. But maintaining my composure also means that my narrowed eyes in your direction is clear communication that whatever you’re doing/saying ain’t fooling me. And I think that’s the point, dear reader. If life is a poker game, at this point, I’d rather you look right at me and know how I feel about a matter. Plus, I don’t know how to play poker so I’m basically there to eat your snacks. 

Are you a poker face purveyor? Or, like me, has your ability to mask everything flown the coop?

that skin(care) thing.

By now, you get that I like when things are low key and simple, right? Low maintenance rocks my quiet world. I watched a YouTube video today about skincare products and was reminded of just that: when it comes to skincare and beauty regimens, you can imagine how utterly unfussy I am. If it takes longer than 5-10 minutes to do any of it, just no. Give me my Mac Studio Fix and my Ruby Woo. Give me my Neutrogena face scrub, a moisturizer, and let’s be done with it. Words like toner and serum might as well rhyme with binomial and integer: they mean nothing to me. (Big ups to all my Math side eye people–uninterested and confused, one fraction at a time.) The word regimen itself makes me tired.

But a girl gets older and the acne from 10th grade wants its home back, right on my forehead. Or a girl gets her face waxed and the pores become hotels who always have a vacancy. Or weird blemishes pop up and have me wondering what happened to all those superhero African juices that, post-puberty, combated whatever pimple tried to disturb the peace. And when This Square Peg realizes that her status quo must change…she reluctantly realizes that she must change it.

My current “regimen” for skincare:

  1. Wake up.
  2. Consider calling out sick. 
  3. Wonder if a murderer or serial killer is also waking up at the same time as you, being that it’s 5 something in the morning and that hour is reserved for killers.
  4. Trudge to the loo.
  5. Pull out your Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub and apply a dab to your brand new Vanity Planet facial brush. (You’ve used your hands to wash your face for, oh, 23 years, up until a month ago. But you saw a YouTube video and the wallet was close by and there was a discount, so…) Start cleaning. 
  6. Finish, wipe face.
  7. Apply light moisturizer. Store brand or Equate.
  8. Crawl back into bed. Kidding. Maybe.

That’s all, folks. No face masks, serums, toners, brighteners, prayers to the good skin gods. But the blemishes keep coming. Not every day, but they pop up here and there. Might be the stress from all the changes I’ve gone through these past few months. Might be the reactions to said stress, which typically involve carbs and liquids that aren’t water. I’ve long known that skincare has a lot to do with diet and nutrition and not necessarily just superhero African juices. Anyway, I’ve used Neutrogena for years, and decidedly the acne combating brands, since, as stated above, pimples were my main issue since age 15. The clusters have long gone, but one likes to decorate the center of my head every now and then. But perhaps it’s time to find something different, a new product.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and you will, because you love me):

  1. Tell me what skincare products work for you. 
  2. Do you sometimes battle a blemish here and there? Acne?
  3. If you understand what toner is and its point, please: share with the class. Convince me. Remember that I’m still doubtful on whether fractions mean anything in real life. (Says the woman who can’t figure out the difference between 1/2 and 1/3.)
  4. Do you have a–gulp–skincare regimen? If so, please share that with the class in the comments.

All for research purposes. My forehead thanks you. 

p.s.: I’ve recently discovered Melanglow, an awesome place to get beauty and skin advice and recommendations for us brown girls. So yay for that. Check it out. 

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