Sometimes, you see a piece of art and it becomes a must that you find out more about the artist. I saw the work (Black Curl, 2013), online while browsing Artsy one day, and fell instantly in love. From there, I read up on and learned more about the powerhouse that is Lorna Simpson.
Lorna is an amazing artist that uses photography and collage techniques to create some of her iconic works. Her work is centered around racial and ethnic identity, including views of African American women. The great thing that I discovered while researching Lorna is that I’d recently seen one of her works in person!
Her piece Wigs, composed of 21 lithographic images was on display at the Walker Art Center in Minnesota. I visited during a random summer vacation, and her piece was one of my favorites. The installation of it spans an entire large wall and is so intriguing and full of culture. I had taken pictures of the piece, but didn’t capture the artists’ name, so I was beyond happy to discover it was Lorna. Thank you internet for re-discovery.
Lorna herself is beautiful, and resides in Brooklyn, NY. I’m very sad that I haven’t randomly ran into her yet. Waiting for the universe to make this happen.
My favorite pieces definitely hail from her “Ebony Collage” series, though. There’s something so whimsical about them. At the same time the photos used from vintage black magazines seem joyful, beautiful, and familiar.
When I initially created the Give Agency brand, it was a quick (personal) project that didn’t undergo much thought. It was a logo and identity that I’d created because I had a nonprofit interested in a design, with an executive board that felt like they needed an agency instead of just a freelancer.
Thus, Give Agency was born. Unlike some freelancer-created agencies, Give was never a front for a one-woman band. I actually did recruit key developers and project managers (and anyone else I needed) for that initial large project, and that continues to this day. Now, with many referrals making Give a real brand, I recreated its identity. Keeping the same logo, I added a bold color combination and customized patterns and textures to tell a story.
Although I don’t actively promote Give as a business, I still provide maintenance for existing sites and am happy to take on new nonprofit projects, as well as do several pro-bono projects under this brand per year.
It’s been a great week. I’m preparing for my move from Brooklyn to Charlotte so I’ve been pretty busy but also feeling extremely productive. The only down-side to all of this is that I told myself, no more online (or offline) shopping until after the move. But, that doesn’t keep me from browsing. As I’m assisting with a few interior design projects in the city, I’m constantly inspired by the things I find while working on them, and decided to mix in my work shopping and window shopping for this post.
Inspired by the Solace London Else Navy Dress, I immediately got a sense of modern luxury. It’s the type of space that I could see someone who’d purchase this dress in. Trendy and sophisticated, I began with a blue velvet couch that demands attention, with luxe investment accent pieces (and some affordable ones too) to match! I think style and design transcends, from clothing to interiors.
MODERN LUXE LIVING ROOM ITEMS:
Solace London Else Dress ($565) | 5-Arm Mobile Light ($2,000) | Ink Stain Vase ($93) | Rani Arabella Navy Fur Pillow ($995) | Forma Charme Black Leather Chair ($1199) | Feather Watercolor Paintings Set ($40) | Keelin Coffee Table ($215) | Brushed Metal Accent Table ($146) | Sklo Blue Glass Wrap Object ($550) | 3-Wick Candle ($165) | Mongolian Faux Fur Pillow ($44) | Jack Tuxedo Navy Blue Velvet Sofa ($1285)
I absolutely love the idea of creating a space that matches your fashion sense. Do you think that your clothing style and your home interior relate? Interested in transforming your space? Check out my interior services!
It’s official, I have decided that for my new apartment, I WILL HAVE A PINK SOFA. A nice light, blush pink. This is no longer just a thought or an optional idea. Although I took a trip to Charlotte to view apartments (you guys, I’m going to have a luxe apartment for only a fraction of what I pay now in Brooklyn) haven’t picked exactly which complex I’ll be moving into. I have it narrowed down to three, but I’m still pondering. This may mean that I don’t know my exact floorplan yet, but it hasn’t stopped me from going into interior designer mode and at least coming up with a theme.
Are you ready for it? It’s “Organic Mid-Century Modern”. Yes, I kind of made that up, but let me explain. I have an amazing, large thrifted record player that I’ll be using as part player, part TV console. It’s already beautiful, but I plan on painting the legs gold (because I’m on Pinterest way to much and think I must add a DIY touch to everything). So, that piece brings in the “mid-century”. The “organic” portion will come from the fact that I want lots of natural light and fresh plants. By fresh plants I imagine that I mean large banana leaf things, but may only mean succulents — I have to stick to what I can handle with this brown thumb. And to top it all of and bring in mid-century Palm Springs vibes? A pink sofa.
I’ve found a few amazing options ranging from DIY (buying pink slip covers or dying a white one pink) to way-out-of-my-price-range-but-a-girl-can-dream . Here are some that I’m currently using for inspiration:
KARLSTAD Pink Mid-Century Inspired Sofa Makeover via My Melodrama
Newport Tufted Sofa via Neiman Marcus
When it comes to the recent trend of us women ditching beauty supply packs of Milky Way and buying expensive virgin hair, whether Brazilian, Indian, Malaysian, or a million things in between, ladies everywhere are on the hunt for the best supplier. As someone who dyed hair weaves for clients (I was a colorist for about a year) on almost a daily basis, I got a lot of experience with the good, the bad, and they ugly when it comes to virgin hair and its suppliers. Hair vendors on AliExpress have recently become the most popular “cheap” option for obtaining this highly sought after hair. There are a few things that you need to know about buying hair on AliExpress (or anywhere else) before choosing ANY vendor (even the ones suggested), so I’ve rounded up a list of the best virgin hair vendors on Aliexpress and some tips on buying virgin hair, so be sure to read them below before you head over to the site! *Updated for 2017*
“Virgin Hair” x AliExpress
1. The Hair You Think Is Better Than AliExpress Hair, Is Probably AliExpress Hair
What I mean by this is that a lot of new “hair companies” find the cheaper prices of virgin hair on AliExpress. They then get a trusted supplier that they feel will leave their friends and clients happy, then up the price and pretend that it’s luxury hair that comes from the country of origin. I’ve seen this happen a lot on Instagram, and even some stand alone sites. If a company doesn’t have a website, or has an underwhelming online store, then most likely it’s a dead giveaway that they didn’t invest thousands of dollars on wholesale hair stock from Brazil. Use AliExpress yourself to cut out the $100+ charge from the middle man. Or, use a reputable (yet, sometimes very expensive) company such as Indique, Bella Dream, Sassy Mitchell, etc if you’re willing to pay that much anyway.
2. AliExpress Is Based In CHINA
This means that there are going to be some things you should pay attention to when it comes to shipping. All of the vendors I recommend take usually only around 3 days to express ship hair bundles free to the US. However, for one bundle, one lace closure, or other single products, pay attention. They may charge around $20+ for shipping on these, or choose a free shipping method that takes anywhere from 10-25 days. Be sure to look at the shipping amount, method, and days before making any order in any store on AliExpress.
*2017 Update*: A few suppliers have now opened warehouses within the US! This means that you can get your virgin hair from Aliexpress even faster. The options now allow you to choose from China or US for the hair vendors that have it available.
3. Is This Authentic Virgin Hair From The Country Of Origin?
Obviously, Brazilian hair and Indian hair do not originate in China. Therefore, the hair from any of these vendors on this site is not (to me) guaranteed to be truly authentic or even truly virgin, regardless of what they say. If it was “unprocessed”, you wouldn’t be able to choose color options or receive bundles that are all the exact same pattern. For me, for those last two reasons alone, I actually prefer that the hair is processed, so that all of my bundles match. HOWEVER, what is important to me (and most people) is the hair quality (that it is actually 100% human), that it’s true to pattern, that it can be used with heat tools and dyed, and that it lasts for a long period of time. If those are your main priorities when shopping for hair, then you may now (finally) continue on to my suggestions for hair on AliExpress.
My Choices for Best Virgin Hair Vendors On AliExpress:
Make sure any shop you purchase from on AliExpress has a high rating (diamonds or crowns) and a great feedback score (96% and above). If it’s one of the best virgin hair vendors on Aliexpress then they will usually meet that standard. Also, check the feedback on the individual product that you want to buy. A vendor might have previous positive feedback on other hair products or virgin hair bundles, but a new item they are offering may not be as good.
Also, the hair bundle pictures may be unique to the store, but be aware of stock or stolen images. These occur most often in the wig section, with photos of celebrities that don’t wear these brands of virgin hair. For a more accurate look, search the reviews from YouTuber’s on the AliExpress hair brand that you’re interested in purchasing!
For maintenance on my virgin hair I generally stick to conditioners and co-wash, as shampoos seem to dry both my real hair and my virgin hair extensions out. I use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration. Occasionally though, it will be time to shampoo, and for that I use this Garnier Whole Blends.
I really hope that this roundup for the best virgin hair vendors on Aliexpress and the tips help! Comment below with any questions or feel free to e-mail me!
*I am now offering a $1000 e-commerce web design and development special to my readers looking to have their own online virgin hair or beauty store. Simply be sure to mention this article when you write in. View my branding and web design services here.
– xoxo, Lindsey
I wish I could say that I had it all together on January 1st, 2017, but the truth is far from that. I didn’t wait to start new beginnings, as those had been in the works since December, so I was in the midst of a load. Between running an agency, freelance projects, and figuring out my goals for the year, I was a bit busy. The hardest thing to do? Determine my voice.
Who do I want to be? What do I want to speak on? Who do I want to represent? And then it hit me. I want to just be me. You see, in the blogging world, girls like me aren’t represented much. We’re too worried about conforming. Conforming to what should be the norm for being a professional in our field. I’m a female, and I’m a designer, but that’s not my “niche”. I love glitter and cursive script, but that’s not my aesthetic, and it shouldn’t have to be. I want to empower young female creatives, especially those of color, that want to create but are forced to be the “token” in workspaces, if they’re allowed in at all.
But how? Courses? No. Coaching? No. Living? Yes. Through leading by example, sharing my life, experiences, and things as they come and go, I just want to prove that it can be done. I want to continue to push the #GirlBoss movement, and let people know that you can be successful without going by the book and following trends. To do so, I’ll have to push myself. Hold me accountable.
Sit back, and learn something.
In the least, the “climate change” we’re encountering right now is political. Fresh off of the heels of an inauguration and the #WomensMarch, one thing I’ve observed, is unexpected unity. People from different backgrounds, races, and religious beliefs are all coming together for the greater good, for the sake of humanity — and trying to save as much of it as possible.
Everlane is one of my favorite brands, due to its dedication to transparency and being an ethical brand. The latest release of their 100% Human Collection has me proudly filling my virtual shopping cart. Here’s a word from Everlane on the thought driving this release:
Together, let’s be more human.
At Everlane, human rights are core to our Radical Transparency mission.
After a long season of divisive rhetoric, we think two things
matter most now—protecting those rights and remembering that we are
more the same than we are different.
Each purchase from this collection, which ranges from tees to sweatshirts to pins, results in a $5 donation to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) — a group that fights for civil rights for all.
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
– Warsan Shire
I’m constantly learning to love my natural hair and figuring out how to maintain it. No matter how much of a struggle being #teamnatural is, it’s also a constant and exciting learning experience. There have definitely been times where I was too lazy to properly care for my natural hair, with rushed routines and heat with no protecting. This led to a lot of damage and breaking. However, now that I have healthier habits, it’s easier for me to incorporate heat and tools the right way.
When using blow dryers, flat irons, or any other type of heat, the most important tip that I have is to use heat in moderation. You also need to be sure to use proper products such as heat protector spray or oils, as well as techniques that will guarantee the smallest amount of heat damage possible. Even back when my hair was relaxed, I learned that a lot of the cheap flat irons can cause major damage and burn your lovely hair, whether you immediately realize it or not. This can cause permanent damage to your curl pattern if you’re natural, and it takes a very long time to restore, grow out, and chop!
With that said, investing in high quality flat irons was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In collaboration with my hair stylist, I want to share with you information on my picks for the top three best flat irons for natural hair!
For this one, it’s all in the name! This flat iron by Bio Ionic is great for natural hair because it does a lot of work in just one pass! This is great for reducing heat damage that is caused by “passing” the flat iron over one section of hair 3-4 times in order to get it straight. It features silicone “speed strips” to make this possible, as well as special ceramic for a touch of shine. Like most, this flat iron has multiple heat / temperature settings, which I usually use on the higher end, after using heat protectant spray. When using this on natural hair I recommend the popular “comb-and-chase” method for the best results. You can search this method on Youtube for some amazing tutorials!
This flat iron by HSI is probably great for all hair types, but is definitely one of the best flat irons for natural hair! This was a featured “hot item” when I was browsing Amazon one day, and decided to purchase with intentions of just using it on virgin hair weave. It has adjustable heat temperatures that range from the low 200s all the way up to 450. The cord swivels around so that you can get all the wacky angles that come along with straightening your whole head of hair, which is definitely a plus! This flat iron also comes with Argan Oil that you can use on your hair to protect it from heat. It makes my hair so soft and smooth!
I definitely have a space in my hair heart for BaByliss products (my blowdryer is this brand too). This is the flat iron that my hair stylist uses on my hair and it works miracles on these natural edges! It’s mostly used when I have a wig (u-part) with leave out area and let me tell you, this flat iron is great at blending my natural hair with my virgin hair weave. It reaches a high heat (I’m pretty sure she goes the 450 route most of the time), but as with the others, you’ll be okay if used properly and with heat protectors in place!
HONORABLE MENTIONS UPDATE
I haven’t personally tried this Karmin Flat Iron, however, an overwhelming amount of my blog readers say that it is definitely one of the best!
The key takeaway is that if you’re natural, use heat in moderation or with good practices. You definitely shouldn’t feel the need to flat iron your hair everyday at all! I do it about once every two weeks. Learn how to maintain your hair after the straightening (a wrap if you want it straight, rods if you want it curly without using curling iron heat, etc). Keep an eye out for deals on eBay or Amazon for the flat iron of your choice. I don’t think I’ve ever bought any of my products at full retail! Also, throw some moisturizing oils or heat protector spray in the cart while you’re at it!
What are your favorite flat irons for natural hair?
It took me randomly trying on engagement rings one day while shopping with my mother to figure out how much I hate the look of regular engagement rings on my hand. The big beautiful diamonds just looked very awkward on my skinny fingers. All in all, I’m a pretty simple girl anyway, and would love a minimal engagement ring stacked with a few other quality rings (similar to your fave midi ring set).
I’ve been super busy with design projects and creating some cool projects with a few amazing clients. However, it wouldn’t be very November of me if I didn’t share some pics + info about MAKR’s Thanksgiving Pop-Up Shop.