Hello, lovelies! Yesterday was a good day – not only was it Friday (woo hoo!) but I also managed to look pretty spiffy. I wore my “goddess dress” again and also decided to wear my new Alchemy Gothic “Vault of the Seven Saints” necklace. Alchemy pieces are a bit pricey, but the design and craftsmanship are worth it. Alchemy’s design collections change, so once a particular piece stops being made, it’s gone. I bought my necklace from Amazon, but you can also find discontinued Alchemy jewelry on Ebay.
Here’s what I wore. I wore my black, sandal-moccasins because I wanted to be a bit more comfortable for work. But I would also wear my this dress with my black, Victorian-style boots.
Here’s my face. It’s a pretty basic look. I used Ben Nye® Lumiere Creme Colour in Bronze, which is close to my skin tone. It’s a nice color for when I want a “neutral” shimmer:
I had a nice and productive work week, but I’m happy it’s the weekend!The weather’s been gorgeous, and I’m pleased to be able to wear heavier makeup. Autumn also calls for layers and we know how much goths love layers.
Hello, my lovelies. Work has been insanely busy and I’m exhausted! I’ve been pretty useless and spent by the time I arrive home. We sell medical goods and this month is our sale month. That means that work will continue to be busy for the rest of July. Oh well, no complaints. At least I have a job, right?
Here’s what I wore on Thursday – just a simple black dress with my lace cardigan. The temperature dropped to about 86° F (30° C), so I was able to wear my long, lace cardigan. This is why I love to wear layers when I can. When I got hot, I simply took the cardigan off. Even though it was lacy and lightweight, it can still get hot wearing it.
Here’s my summer goth face. Just the usual dark makeup:
That’s all for today. A very short post, indeed. July’s birth flower post will be up very soon and I perform again in 2 weeks, so there are more substantial posts on the horizon. Stay tuned.
Hello, lovelies. Today is the 2-month mark of growing my locs. Things are going splendidly so far, even though my hair looks crazier and more fuzzy. But it’s interesting to see them form. They seem to have a mind of their own. The color is fading, but I’m hoping to dye them soon. If not, then no big deal. It’s a good thing I’m a tribal belly dancer – I can cover my gray and dark brown roots with flowers and a scarf.
Before we dive into the OOTD and makeup, let’s talk hair. First, here are the hair products that I no longer need. I feel free already!
Now for the products I do use. Right now, it’s just residue-free shampoo. For recommendations on which shampoos to buy for washing dreadlocks, you can go to the Raging Roots Studio website and go to their “Recommended Shampoo List“. I bought the Shea Moisture® Shampoo from Amazon.
Here’s what I wore. I bought the dark blue tunic from a fashion show that I attended back in February (DC Fashion Week). Most of the other clothing were either brightly colored or pastel, so I was pleased to find something dark:
Here’s my face. It wasn’t too hot outside, so I went a little heavy on the eye makeup:
Here’s how my hair has progressed so far:
My hair is gradually losing its length, but the locs are starting to show. My hair will continue to shrink until the locs start to mature – then I’ll start gaining some length (hopefully). It really is interesting seeing what my hair can do when left alone (not entirely – I do separate my hair). Can’t wait to see how they look next month.
I have a love-hate relationship with false eyelashes. I’ve been wearing false lashes off and on for years, even though I really only wear false eyelashes (we’ll call them “falsies” in this blog post) for dance and other occasions. I love the way they look – they really make my eyes stand out. Unfortunately, they can be a pain in the ass to put on and also, time consuming. There are women who can put on false eyelashes without much effort. I will forever be jealous of their ability to do this.
A work colleague of mine, Stefanee Nimetz, started selling the Younique brand mascara. It’s a gel and fiber formula and it’s DA BOMB! $30 for mascara is pricey, but sometimes, you just have to spend the money. And this stuff is worth every penny. Seriously.
Here are how my eyes look with varying degrees of eyelashes: natural/none, regular mascara (Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes®), gel and fiber formula (Younique), and false eyelashes. In all of these photos, I’m wearing at least my basic makeup: foundation and blush. I also curled my eyelashes before applying mascara.
– NO MASCARA –
– REGULAR MASCARA (MAYBELLINE) –
– EVERYDAY MASCARA (YOUNIQUE) –
– FALSE EYELASHES –
Here’s a comparison of my eyes, from top to bottom: no mascara, wearing Maybelline mascara, wearing Younique mascara, and wearing falsies:
A big thank you to Stefanee and Younique for giving me eyelashes! I’m still getting the hang of wearing 3D gel mascara. My eyelashes are so short and close to non-existent. WAAAAH! The Younique brand is similar to Avon and Mary Kay Cosmetics – you can’t get these in stores; you will need to contact a representative to order. You can inquire and order Younique from Love My Own Lashes. There’s also a tutorial by Sasha McCracken, below my signature.
Hello, lovelies! Last month was the start of my new hair journey. After having sat on the thought of growing dreadlocks (which I’ll be calling “locs”) for about 3 years, I’m finally ready. I’m all about having low maintenance hair, so I’ve decided to grow my locs using the “freeform” method. But first, a little hairstory.
My hair never behaved. NEVER. I attempted different hair styles throughout the years, and most looked “okay”. Nothing great. I used to have “straight-ish” hair. I say “straight-ish” because even with a perm, my hair would not get “stick straight”. The only time I had completely straight hair was when I went to the hair salon. After my second trip to the hair salon (my first was when I was 9 years old and it was a disaster), I had very straight hair. Unfortunately, I also had a raw scalp. I was, and still am “tender-headed“, which is somewhat of a sin in black-owned hair salons. I went to the salon with hair that already had a red tint, so I ended up with orange hair instead of blonde. It didn’t bother me, though. Since I was in my “alternative, grunge” moment, the orange hair suited me just fine.
After years of dyeing, frying and laying my hair to the side, my hair went on strike and said, “Fuck you! I can’t do it anymore!”. I deserved it too, because I put my hair through hell – bleaching, dyeing, AND straightening with a perm. My hair had had enough. It got to the point where it couldn’t even hold a curl. Styling my severely damaged hair was out of the question. That was the day in 1998, that I told my roommate to cut off ALL of my hair. I said, “Fuck it”, went bald and loved every minute of it! So low-maintennance, so free. This is also when I realized how important hair was to some people, especially men. Most of the women complimented me; the men absolutely HATED it. But I knew that my hair would grow back and since I don’t need anyone’s approval concerning my hair, their cries went in one ear and out the other.
**FUBAR: Fucked Up Beyond All Repair (or Recognition).
So, for 17 years I’ve worn my hair in its natural texture (I still dyed my hair, of course). It was a fresh start for my hair, and even though I dyed it, it was still a lot healthier than before. It also helped that I didn’t use heat on my hair. For the past 2 years though, I did blow out my hair occasionally. Since I could never blow-dry my hair completely straight, I just ended up with big hair. And I LOVE big hair! Not dirty hair. Not unhealthy hair. BIG hair.
I was never one to “do” my hair, meaning I couldn’t be bothered with styling my hair after I went natural. Too much work and too much fuss for me. It’s too bad, because there are some fabulous, natural hairstyles that black women wear. But I’m just too lazy and too impatient. I only bleached and dyed my hair on the weekends since it took a bit of work.
So, here we are. Last month on May 1, 2015 was the last day I picked up my comb. And my pick. And my conditioner. With my loose, natural hair I didn’t use shampoo, but conditioner instead (known as the “no-poo” method). Except for washing out the bleach in order to dye my hair, I used conditioner to wash my hair. If you have naturally curly or kinky hair, I highly suggest the “no-poo” method. Way less drying than shampoo. But with locs, I now use shampoo – no conditioner. I’m going with freeform locs, so right now all I’m doing is washing and separating my hair.
If you are thinking about growing dreadlocks or just want to learn more about them, there are 2 websites that I highly recommend: Dreadlocks Site and Raging Roots Studio. Both of these sites are educational and have wonderful advice concerning growing natural dreads (natural meaning no wax or other added chemicals that are unnecessary).
Each month, I will post a progress report on my locs. One thing that I’m hoping to learn from growing locs is patience. Growing dreadlocks can be a long process and some people say, a huge learning experience. I also know that my hair is not going to look “pretty” at times, but that’s part of the process.
UDM poster used with permission. (Photo credit: Toscana Photography. Design/Illustration: Jessica Inouye).
Hello, lovelies. I performed again with my ATS® dance troupe for Sahara Dance’s annual Spring show, Under A Desert Moon (UDM). This is the 13th year that Sahara Dance has put on this wonderful event. We danced in 2 shows, one in the evening at 5:00 pm and one at night, 8:00 pm. Both shows had large audiences who thoroughly enjoyed our performances. It was one of the best shows Sahara Dance has had! It’s so much fun to dance for a lively audience. We belly dancers love the loud cheers and zaghareet! It helps us to bring you the joy that we feel for this dance.
Here’s a short video by Dance Like An Egyptian, on how to zaghareet (pronounced ZAG-ar-eet). It’s a lot easier to explain when you can see and hear it. Also called trilling or ululation. Zaghareet is plural – the singular form is zagharoot.
As we become more of a united group, our costumes are becoming more layered and beautiful. My selfies didn’t turn out too well (hence the vintage filters), but here are a few pics of my costume:
And now we take to the stage! What I love about ATS® is that it’s mostly (sometimes completely) improvised. I used to be nervous about improvisation, especially to a song that I’ve never heard before. But it’s very important that one can improvise in belly dance. The Egyptian dancers mostly improv in their performances, so it’s worth it to get more comfortable with improv.
We had a cast party after the show and it was wonderful. I saw dancers and teachers that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. One teacher in particular remembered me from my first belly dance classes; she told me that it was great to see how much we had grown into our dance. It means so much to me when teachers see how much we improved. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the cast party. I was having too much fun and simply forgot.
Winter Caravan poster courtesy of Sahara Dance. Used with permission.
In2 weeks,I’ll be dancing with my ATS® troupe for the big, annual Spring show, Under A Desert Moon (UDM). I decided to share my second dance performance, which was the Winter Caravan show back in December.
I’m absolutely loving tribal belly dance. Eventually, I’d like to branch out into Tribal Fusion, but for now, I’m working on tribal belly dance. Tribal Fusion is an off-shoot of tribal. In dance, one never stops learning. In addition to leading workshops, belly dance instructors still take classes to hone their craft.
Our dance troupe performs American Tribal Style (ATS®) vs. Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS). The difference? ATS® follows a distinct, dance vocabulary, created by Carolena Nericcio, who also created her dance troupe, Fat Chance Belly Dance®. ITS is tribal belly dance that is not ATS®. In other words, ATS® is the “brand name” whereas ITS is simply, tribal belly dance. You have to be certified in ATS® in order to teach it.
Here’s my makeup and costume for our Winter Caravan performance:
Here are a few pics from our Winter Caravan performance. Our performance video is located after my signature:
Gifs via Photobucket. Summer Carnival poster used with permission.
I started taking belly dance classes in the fall of 2009, and I haven’t stopped since. Ever since I started dancing, I knew that eventually, I wanted to take tribal belly dance classes. I started out taking Raqs Sharqi (Arabic for oriental dance), which is the classic, Egyptian style of belly dance that many of us know. This is also the foundation for American Tribal Style (ATS®), Improvisational Tribal Style, (ITS), and Tribal Fusion. These 3 styles wouldn’t exist without Raqs Sharqi. This is essential to learn before moving on to tribal and Tribal Fusion.
The theme for the summer carnival was “Dancing Through The Decades”. Each dance troupe represented a different era, starting with the early 20th century and ending with our modern era. Our troupe represented the 1970s, since the early roots of ATS® started during this time. The beginnings of tribal belly dance is credited to Jamila Salimpour.
Here are a few pics of my costume and of our performance. Tribal costumes are the best – nothing has to match and a little imperfection is a-okay.We gothic bohos love layers, and tribal costumes are layers upon layers of gorgeousness!
Below my signature is a video of our dance performance. I hope you enjoy it. I think I’ve found my dance niche. Hooray! They’ll be other videos of our dance performances in the near future, so stay tuned.
See the photo above? That’s money I wasted on those useless tubes of lipstick, looking for the “right” shade of burgundy.
Out of 10 tubes of lipstick that I own, I only use 4 on a regular basis. I also own a tube of black lipstick that I wear occasionally, particularly on Halloween. I hate to throw away makeup, just because I don’t use it everyday, but 5 tubes will be trashed. They’re dried out (and they also feel like crayons) and the expiration date on lipstick is 2 years (maximum). Time to toss them.
The below pics are of lip colors that I decided to keep. These are shades that I wear constantly, including dance performances. All of my lipsticks (except for the black) are by Manic Panic®. Their colors pack a punch and the application is nice and creamy, which I prefer.
This shade is “Vampire Red”, a warm-red. I prefer cool-reds and -burgundies for my everyday makeup. I use “Vampire Red” for dance and to add a hint of color for my “nude-lip” look:
This shade is “Kiss Of Death”, a cool-red. I don’t wear red everyday, but when I do, this is the shade I wear. I also use it for a “nude-lip”, if I want a cooler tone:
This is my everyday lipstick, “Black Rose”. This is the burgundy lipstick that I’ve been looking for and found. I knew Manic Panic made lipstick, but I’ve never worn them until recently:
For an even darker shade of red, I use both “Kiss Of Death” and “Black Rose” together. Sometimes I’ll substitute “Vampire Red” for “Kiss Of Death”, for a warmer, yet darker shade of red:
This is my perfect shade of purple, “Deadly Nightshade”. I have never found a purple lipstick that I was happy with, until now. A lot of the purple lipsticks were wimpy in color or were just plain ugly. My shopping for purple lipstick is done:
This black lipstick is from StarGazer™. I don’t wear black lipstick anymore, except on Halloween. I’m older and the black washes me out, which is not a bad thing when that’s the look I’m going for. Not a shade I wear often:
You can also change the shade of your lip color, by combining it with lipliner. Black lipliner is a great way to darken your lip color, from just a little bit to almost black. This gives you the illusion of black lipstick without being as harsh:
After a considerable amount of time and money, I’ve found my perfect red, burgundy, and purple shades of lipstick. I think I’m done – at least, for awhile.
How many shades of lipstick do you own? How many do you actually wear?
This was somewhat of a last-minute makeup look that I did yesterday. I wanted to go for a 1920’s face, so I experimented with covering my eyebrows (see video below, by Hollywood Noir Makeup). It was an absolute failure. I admit that I didn’t have all of the right makeup to cover my brows, so I will give it another try, soon.
Since the covered eyebrows experiment failed, I washed my face and went with a Plan B. I decided to just drop the ’20s look and go trad goth. I added a red streak to the corners of my eyes, using blush:
Here’s what I wore, yesterday. It’s basically my usual: black, asymmetrical, and comfortable:
Be sure to check out the tutorial by Hollywood Noir Makeup, below my signature. I utterly failed, but I’m going to get the right makeup and try it again.