Pinspirations.

Hi, there.

So I went to Pinterest a few weeks ago to get some ideas for my next protective style. As you know, I’ve been protective styling it more often than not, ever since my crochets in February. After deciding that I wanted some cornrows, I eventually descended into the sweet Pinterest rabbit hole, where you dig deeper and deeper into photos and inspiration until voilà and Eureka, you find it. And I found it. These two ‘dos caught my eye:

Basically, cornrows are braided on the sides and then fed into the braiding style in the middle. A braidhawk, if you will. Well, my eyes got really, really big and starry and I decided that I’d go this way next. After making an appointment with a braider that my mom likes to go to (not only is she super affordable but she provides the hair, which keeps me from getting lost in the rabbit hole of hair stores), I got my ‘do done this past Thursday. Here it is, dear reader:

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Needless to say, I love it almost as much as sliced bread. (I remain bread’s humble servant, so…) She did exactly what I wanted and I adore the look. I chose to have Senegalese twists in the middle, by the way. Also, I said nothing specific about length and she kept right on braiding, so the braids currently reach my derrière. I would post a standing shot so you can see the full length, but my pants were a bit too loose that morning (it was early, ok?), and you don’t need to see all of that. Anywho, trust me when I say that I’m basically sitting on them. Something certainly new for This Square Peg: I tend to get my braids mid-back and safe, not too attention grabbing, especially with working in the corporate world. But yay for changes and not worrying about all of that.

Here’s to Pinspirations and rabbit holes and women with the power to do amazing things for our hair.

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Products from Heaven: Vanilla, Shea, and other Non-Edibles.

Hi. I’m in love with the following three products. Links are also provided, if you’d like to take a look at them and welcome them into your world:

Olay Ultra Moisture Vanilla Indulgence Body Wash

It’s not edible. But I must stress that when I use this body wash, it feels like I’m swimming in a pool of vanilla cupcakes, each one more delicious and dangerous than the next.olay I’ve used Oil of Olay products here and there, but not enough to develop a relationship with them. (Because we’re really in relationships with these products, aren’t we?) Anyway, after randomly choosing this body wash one evening while shopping, it’s a new favorite. The scent is dreamlicious; my skin is soft and lovely after use. Try it. Just don’t eat it.

AVEENO® POSITIVELY NOURISHING®COMFORTING WHIPPED SOUFFLE

Also not edible. And yet the combination of cocoa and Shea butter in this creamy lotion is enough to inspire you (i.e., me) to at least search for an edible version of these dual ingredients. Maybe in an ice cream? aveeno souffleGelato? Souffle? Moving on: I’ve used Aveeno products since time began, and yet I mainly stuck with their daily moisturizing lotion. But this is no mere lotion. It’s so, so creamy. As soon as it touches my skin, I inhale deeply, relax a bit, and apply just enough to prevent sliding off my bed in the dead of night.

Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter

After nearly 4 years as a naturalista, I’ll definitely say that the product junkie-ism that inevitably comes with the natural hair life has largely abated for me. My bathroom no longer looks like an aisle in your local drugstore. I have my staple products. But once in a while, I watch YouTube videos and my eyes get big and I decide to try a few (only a few) of the things I’m seeing. Regarding this particular inedible product from Black Girl Long Hair Marketplace, I saw a neat video on the many uses of Shea butter and was reminded about how versatile it is. I’ve had the raw African Shea Butter in my bathroom for eons, but honestly, the scent wasn’t giving me the I-wish-I-could-eat-you feels. (Because this is how I make decisions on skincare, beauty, and hair: whether or not it smells like my next dessert. We keep it real here at This Square Peg…) Enter the aforementioned video, enter this website, enter the word “vanilla”, enter this yummy productbglh shea butter that I use almost every day in my hair care. Whether I’m two-strand twisting my hair, or smoothing it down for a puff, or just keeping the fro soft, I love it. FYI: If you order it, and you really must, choose to have it packaged in a cool container. I didn’t, which meant that my Shea butter came to me in a melted vanilla soup form. I whipped it myself. Anyway, definitely a keeper.

Any skin/beauty/hair products you’re crushing on lately? Tell me about them, pretty please. I’m always on the hunt for new favorites…

How Queens Attend Galas.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen photos of Queen Lupita at the 2016 Met Gala.

Oh, you haven’t?

Why not?

No, we won’t go there. I’m here to help.

"Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals
Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

Right? Are you still breathing? Let’s look at one more, shall we?

QueenL
Photo courtesy of Vulture.com

If you look to the left of Lupita, that’s actor Nate Parker in the background, to the left, quite humorously and openly caught up in the rapture of the Queen.

Absolutely loving the glamour and grandeur and chocolateness and beauty and class and elegance of our lady. And that hair! I won’t discuss the foolishness of Vogue magazine crediting Lupita’s hairstyle to Audrey Hepburn and completely diminishing the distinctly African influences behind the style. Not worth my typing time. But trust and believe that our Lupita responded in her usual classy and direct way.

Happy Queen Monday, everyone…

The Chocolate Flapper.

First, hi.

So last Saturday, a good friend of mine threw a decades party: guests were to choose their favorite decade and dress accordingly. Naturally, being that I love all things Twenties–the Jazz Age, Gatsby was running around (fictionally), and girls were bobbing their hair–it was a sure thing that I would arrive in my flapper best. After scouring the Internet for ideas on what to wear, I found the best outfit on Amazon and purchased it faster than you could say F. Scott Fitzgerald. Can I tell you how excited I was about this whole thing, by the way? I feel like I’ve been going through the motions lately. This fête was a nice injection to the monotony and I’m so happy that my friends to put it all together. Anywho, without further ado…

Your chocolate flapper.

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I was so into it, too, walking around and swinging that feather boa like I owned a speakeasy down the street. Needless to say, the party was fantastic. There were sock hop ladies and Afros and Nineties girl groups all over the place. And lest you think we just danced and twirled the night away, there were various costume contests. Guess who won best costume, 1920-1950??

The sangria to the right was one of my lovely gifts. I won’t get into how excited I was to win. Everything you’re imagining about my reaction is what happened. But who was even more excited? My mother. She was elated, which was fun, sweet, and utterly awesome. Really good times.

Onwards and upwards…and flapwards…

p.s.: those bouncy curls you see on my head are actually my new batch of crochet braids. They added such a fun touch to the costume, no? We’ll talk about those new crochets later.

Fabu Fashion Thursday: Jump, Jump

My love affair with jumpsuits continues. I went ahead and wore one to work today. Here it is, compliments of an empty ladies washroom.

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So until today, it’s never dawned on me to wear a jumpsuit to work. I don’t know why. I just never thought of it. Perhaps it didn’t strike me as providing the professional look I typically want when trudging to the office. And then last night, while wondering what I would wear to the OK Corral the next day: Eureka. I found it. I would indeed wear the jumpsuit, pair it with a blazer and a belt, and there you go. Why? Because it’s basically a built-in pantsuit. Pantsuits, the go-to ensemble for that professional life. I mean, it’s a dream come true, really. Oh, the wonder of it all. As you can also see, I also threw on one of favorite chunky necklaces to complete the outfit. It was a gift from the bestie and I wear it whenever I can. Further deets are below, if you’re interested.

Jumpsuit: Ross
Blazer: Sears (don’t sleep on that ancient store; it’s got some hidden gems)
Belt: Ross

Fini and onwards…

This Square Peg, Can You Hear Me?

The title’s reference is from here. If you’re a fan, allow me to welcome you into my heart forever. If you’re a superfan, allow me to move in with you because we’re officially besties.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it, since we chatted? And I’d like to imagine that my readers are in a wooded glen somewhere, like Yentl, asking if I can hear you. (Ah, this imagination of mine.) Yes, I can hear you, and yep, I’m here. Life gets in the way. The strange desire to not write or type a thing gets in the way. Planning for a European adventure that begins tomorrow gets in the way.

AudreyWave
Hey, y’all.

Wha-?

Yes, dear reader, three months after gallivanting around Germany and England, I’m headed back to Europe, this time to France. I fly out tomorrow evening and will be in Paris for about 8 days. (Seriously, y’all, jump on travel deals like there’s no tomorrow. More on that in another post.) This time, however, I’m going with two dear friends and I look forward to the fun that will be had, as well as the wine I intend to ingest while there. (I’ve been craving wine lately. So weird. I’m basically a teetotaler when it comes to alcohol, but when I want it, I wants it.) Add hot, French croissants to that list of intentions, and you can kiss my good eating regimen goodbye. Worth it, though. While I’m there and if WiFi doesn’t act up, I’ll be documenting my Frenchie adventures (such as how to recall all that French I’ve lost as the years passed me by) on TSP. Read along, won’t you?

Anywho, other than planning and putting off packing until tonight (as I do), and other life stuff, of course, I remain here. What have you been up to?

things i currently need #6

The first things I currently need of 2016. *insert celebratory applause here*

As always, images below are courtesy of my best friend 4 eva, Pinterest.

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I need everything about this ensemble. Every single thing.

creamsicle

This is a sherbet mimosa. Please and thank you. Need.

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I need to be in my bedroom and peer up at the ceiling and see stars. I mean, this needs to happen as soon as possible. Like, right now.

Welcome to the first Pinterest round-up of 2016!

Onwards…

Products from Heaven: Fits Like a Dove.

Here’s the real, no-holds barred truth about Your Square Peg: she sweats like a chocolate pig. There’s no other way to say it.

Ever since I woke up one morning a million years ago and discovered the monster known as–shudder–puberty, the sweat glands opened up, got to work, and decided to work overtime every single day. So when it comes to controlling that interesting region under the arms, I’ve been using Secret antiperspirant ever since I can remember, especially after my mother discreetly told me that borrowing my father’s deodorant (true story) was no longer acceptable. (I was 12. And it smelled nice. Strange children grow up to be sassy square pegs, so join me in embracing the strange, won’t you?)

Sidenote: I’ve long heard the conversations around me about not wearing deodorant because of all the chemicals. I appreciate it, and until I do research and find something organic and chemical free to control the sweat monster, sticking with the standard.

You know how Secret (and other antiperspirants) advertise the whole “invisible solid” thing on their products? Which should calm your fears about wearing dark clothes and not having white stains staring back at you in the mirror? Here’s a secret: This. Isn’t. True. This has never been true. You know it as much as I do. Nevertheless, I stuck with Secret through the years, wearing dark blouses very carefully and slowly, lest I disturb the Force, and kept it moving. But one gets tired of holding her breath as she pulls on her clothes. Enter Dove Dry Spray, which I happened to notice on dovedryspraythe shelf one afternoon last week. The following words on the bottle caught my eye: wetness protection. After engaging in the usual Square Peg side eye that I give any product, I decided to give it a try. It goes on dry, it boasted 48-hour odor protection, as well–why not, right?

Well, I don’t call it a Product from Heaven just because. It’s awesome. For one thing, I wasn’t lied to: this thing goes on instantly dry, it gives this chocolate square pig peg actual wetness protection, and I’ve yet to see any of those pesky white stains on my clothes. I love it so. And that scent…so heavenly.

So there you go: yet another Product from Heaven that I’ve stumbled on while meandering in the aisles of a store. Maybe I should just move in?

Ladies: care to share what you do when it comes to antiperspirant?

Products from Heaven: It’s Shea, Baby, All Shea. [The Body Edition]

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I make plenty of use of the three products to the right for my curly fro. I’m also now eyeing that Curl and Shine Kit.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough that I use almost every product in the wonderful and quite effective SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus line for my mind-of-its-own natural hair. I had to go and discover that SheaMoisture has amazing products for bath & body, too. (Where was I, you ask? Living under a rock, apparently. It takes square pegs some time, ok?) That said, I went ahead and fell in love with four specific products that I’ll share with you. Make way for bullets:

  • Coconut & Hibiscus Foaming Milk and Body Wash. What can I say, really? It’s foamy and milky and takes me to a coconut and hibiscus garden in the south of France somewhere. I recently purchased this product and it makes the body electric all soft and pliable and, again, I smell like an assortment of desserts. Win. [5/5 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Body Wash. I actually tried this one first. Hardly dissimilar from the first item; in fact, I first wondered why SM had two. I got the same effects from this one. And, really, the only reason that I purchased the first one and not a replacement of this one when I ran out was simply because of semantics and old age. In other words, they looked the same and I believed I was buying the same thing. (So many orange bottles.) I will say, however, that I like the whole milky/foamy aspect of the first body wash a bit more. Still a win, though. You can’t go wrong with either. [4/5 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Bath, Body & Massage Oil. Oh, are you sensing a theme here? I love that coco and ‘scus theme more than I can say. Anyway, after discovering that body oils were my new best friends, I purchased this product to see what it was all about. The consistency is heavy, yes, so unless you use the same dime-sized amount you’re cautioned to use when applying hair products–which I ignore and admit it, you do, too–you’ll learn, like me, that a little really goes a long way. (Especially after side eyeing the buckets of oil I had slathered all over me.) It’s a sweet scent, quite similar to the body washes, but can be cloying if, again, you don’t watch the amount you use. But it was also soft and yummy, so there’s that. [3-ish, close to 4 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Body Butter. All hail, basically. This product is creamy and delicious. The same aroma as the body washes, but so there’s the whole I-smell-like-a-French-garden thing, and it seriously does wonder for my dry skin. In fact, now that we’re in autumn and a month away from wintertime, I’ve placed the above-mentioned oil on the back burner while I use this body butter. With this, a little goes a long way, too, but perhaps I’m saying that because I want it to last forever and ever. I don’t know. The consistence is indeed butter like, as the product name suggests, so you may not need to slather it all over you. Really great overall. [5/5 Square Pegs and an extra praise emoji]

What are your tried-and-true or new beauty products?