My Hair Journey

Hair can be such a complicated thing. It’s one of the first things people see (and therefore judge) on us. I’ll admit to passing over a guy or two who may have had amazing personalities, but the hair was just meh. Whole sections of my life can pretty much be told by my hair. As a child, I had thick, coarse, hard to manage hair. My mother was tasked with taming it, and it was a very painful process of yanking and tugging with a brush and comb with a final showdown with The Hot Comb. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s literally a metal comb that you sit on the stove until it heats up, then you comb it through curly hair, thus straightening it. Pretty frightening to a six-year-old. I guess around that time my mom got a little tired of working with so much hair (she’s a short haired lady, so I don’t blame her), and I got my first chemical straightening, AKA a relaxer. This shouldn’t be confused with a perm, although growing up, I heard the terms used interchangeably. Perms make the hair curly. We wanted mine straight.

Me and my Mom

It was always great at first, right after leaving the salon. My hair would be silky smooth and bouncy. I could swim without fear of my hair curling right back up, I could braid it, I could wear bows in it, or I could just leave it alone! Of course with chemical relaxers came the damaging effects. The ends of my hair split and frayed in between visits, and no hair trim would stop it. I got chemical burns and subsequent scabs on my scalp from sitting just a moment too long. This led me to pick the scabs, and now I have a horrible habit of picking my scalp until it bleeds, even though they have long since faded.

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I stopped the relaxers when I was 12, but added a blonde streak and bangs, so the damage didn’t stop. In 7th grade, I dyed it back blackΒ and decided to do a big chop. Well, let me tell you guys and gals. Never ever get your hair cut at a beauty school no matter how cheap it is. I ended up looking like Dora the Explorer for months. Luckily for me, my hair grew back to about an inch above its original height in just 2 years.

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I spent the next 2 years growing it out more and allowing my hair to return to its natural state. I still got it flat ironed once a month, but I took pride in wearing my hair (mainly) like I’d been born with it. Β I added a bronze all-over dye when I turned 15, and as it grew out, I reveled in the ombre. But over the last 4 years of wearing long,straight hair, I got tired.

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My natural afro was nothing to be scoffed at. At 17, it was big and tangled, and difficult for me to handle alone. Wet, it scrunched up and stuck out at odd intervals. Blown out and detangled, it dried up like a tumbleweed, and I just could not manage it. I was tired of straightening and dyeing, and tugging and pulling all over again. Some may say I’m not proud of my blackness for expressing such disdain for my hair, but that’s just the way it was.

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I had a lot of image problems back in middle school, and I felt them coming back to haunt me every time I tried to deal with my hair again. Paying $40 for a hot press. Breaking another comb. Taking 4 hours to self-dye my hair because it’sΒ just so much.Β If I couldn’t handle my hair, how could I handle everything else going on in my life?

So I chopped it off. Back and sides shaved with a dollop on top. Gone. That first chunk of hair hitting my shoulder was absolutely terrifying. Yet with each snip after, I felt lighter. Liberated. Whole. I wasn’t tied to my mom and grandma’s remarks about my “long,beautiful” hair. Short hair is beautiful and I am beautiful. Again, I had to relearn to love the person I see in the mirror. My hair has always been a reflection of me, and it will continue to be. It will change, but so will I. In the midst of it all, I am still here, being the best me I know how to be.

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I realize that each person’s relationship with their hair is personal and poignant. There are so many stories behind every style, and I’ve finally come to appreciate that my story isn’t set in stone but evolving.

If you guys have your own hair stories, feel free to leave them in the comments. Let’s walk this hair journey together.

-Peace.

-Dymond M.

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Live Fast and DYE Your Hair

Last week, I finally decided to dye my hair for the first time at home. Trust me, it was intimidating, especially considering I’ve have bad dye jobs done in professional salons (Apparently, my hair doesn’t like the color red? It wants orange?) But, I didn’t have enough money to get it done at a salon, so at home it was!

I did about a week’s worth of steady research before I decided to dye my hair at home. This is super important for first -timers because you do not want any mistakes. I researched between different brand dyes, how at-home dyes work, the tools needed, prices, and most importantly, how the dyes would affect the color already on my head. See, when I dyed my hair, it was a pretty brassy orange. It had already been bleached to cornstarch yellow once, and then a rinse was applied (which washes out in a couple washes), but since I don’t wash my hair super frequently (more like every 3 weeks or so) it hadn’t really gotten the chance to rinse out.

So when I went to Ulta and asked what was the best way to fix this BEFORE I dyed my hair, they recommended a clarifying shampoo. This is the shampoo that a lot of swimmers use to get chlorine out of their hair so it won’t turn green. In the same vein, they said it would strip a lot of the rinse out so I’d be back at the bleached yellow. So I picked up Paul Mitchell’s Clairifying Shampoo in a travel size for $5.

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I liked the scent of the shampoo. In fact, most salon shampoos just smell better than any drugstore shampoo could offer hands down. While I was washing my hair, I could see a lot of the orange coming out in the suds. However, it did not all come out. My hair was still pretty orange (albeit lighter) when I was finished which was disappointed. I think if I weren’t trying to completely remove the first color, it would’ve worked as intended.

Then, after much research, I decided to use Manic Panic’s Vegan Dye in Ultra Violet. I had originally planned on doing a shade of blue, but my research indicated that Manic Panic and bleached blonde hair generally end up without an accidental shade of green. Thinking my hair would be returned to its original state of yellow, I opted for a purple instead. Now that I know thay the shampoo won’t completely remove the previous color, I may do the blue next time.

I only dyed my hair from my ears down (about half my hair) so i used about 3/4 of the jar (4 oz), and had some left over for touch ups. Had I dyed my whole head, I probably would’ve needed 2 jars (That’s what MP recommends in their tutorials as well). They retail for $10.49 at Sally’s beauty stores.

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I really did like the final color. My mom was relieved because it’s a lot more subtle than the last color, and actually blends in with my black hair some days. If I put heat on it (flat iron) it kind of brightens up which is very cool.

BEWARE: IT STAINS EVERYTHING. I know all dyes stain to some extent and did my very best to take all the precautions (gloves, towels,shower caps, bleach in the sink right after washing) and it STILL left a faint purple ring around my sink that will NOT come off. So beware!

It was a pretty long, tedious process to dye my hair at home, but I think I’d do it again. I’ll probably wait a couple month before doing it again for the summer.

-Dymond M. <3

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Tutorial Time: Punk Rock Ballerina!

I’m sure you’ve all been anticipating this tutorial since my last post, so here it is! I finally made another video. I didn’t feel the need to be as perfect as I used to be, and I just talked to the camera. Other than it being a bit dark, I hope you guys enjoy it!

The Written Tutorial

You Will Need:

  • The Maybelline Blushed Nudes
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock (The yellow one NOT the pink one)
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Nude Lipstick of choice
  • Blender brush (optional)

numbered blush pallete

  1. You will be using 10Β numbers 12 to complete the eyeshadow portion of the tutorial. First, you will apply #10 all over the lid, lash line, and brow crease of your eye. Feel free to use primer at this point if you want it to be longer lasting.
  2. Next, take #12 and apply it in the brow crease, on the brow bone, and wing it out to the side.You can use the blender brush for a softer look.Β You can apply under the bottom lid as well for an extra big wing! We’re going for a Black Swan look here!
  3. Now, apply the mascara. 2 coats on the top lash and 1 on the bottom.
  4. Apply the nude lipstick and voila! You’re done!

Have fun you guys! If you try the look, shoot me a pic by tagging me on Instagram or Twitter, @thechicmachine!

-The Mechanic <3

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#OOTD: Retro Metro

I’ve been in a real retro vibe ever since I came home from staying at the Cabana Bay Resort at DECA Nationals. I mean, I was already vintage obsessed before, but that gorgeous hotel made it ten times worse! So when I went shopping a few weeks ago, I found myself drawn towards prints instead of solids and hourglass silhouettes. Then, I fluffed my hair up, found the brightest pink lipstick I could find, and set out to take some pictures! I hope you all enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Dress- Plato’s Closet

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Shirt- J. Crew  Skirt: Forever 21 Socks-MINE <3
Shirt- J. Crew
Skirt: Forever 21
Socks-MINE <3
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Necklace graciously provided by IFB and Carolee Jewelry

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Makeup: BareMinerals Matte Foundation ($28) L'Oreal Miss Manga Rock Mascara ($8) Wet n Wild Lipstick in Retro Pink ($1) Candie's Eyeshadow
Makeup:
BareMinerals Matte Foundation ($28)
L’Oreal Miss Manga Rock Mascara ($8)
Wet n Wild Lipstick in Retro Pink ($1)
Candie’s Eyeshadow
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Monday Clickage

So true

It’s Monday. πŸ™ . Unfortunately, I’ve still got 3 full weeks of school to go, and half of them are full of FINALS (Dun dun DUNNNNNN). So I’m taking this week to sort of refresh my mind and rest my body because even though I had lots of fun in Orlando, I’m almost more tired now than when I first started! I’m still working on a compilation post with all the pictures I took (and I took a LOT of pictures),and I’m also working on my monthly favorites post, so until then, have some fun going through these wicked awesome articles I found!

30 Songs to Get You Through Finals Week (Her Campus)

Hair Rules to Break (NYLON)

I’m Breaking Up With The Ethnic Hair Care Aisle (Racked)

10 Stunning Chinese-Inspired Fine Jewelry Pieces for Monday’s Met Gala (Vogue) The Met Gala is tonight, and it seems that selfie sticks and social media posts from the Met tonight have been PROHIBITED! πŸ™ So check out these jewelry pieces and I hope it sates your Met Gala hunger.

This 5-Year-Old’s Dress Was Deemed Too Inappropriate For Kindergarten(Seventeen) I must say that this. Is. Ridiculous. I’ve never liked the dress code restrictions before and I surely don’t like them now. There will more than likely be a rant coming on this blog in the near future…

May the 4th Be With You. πŸ™‚

-The Mechanic <3

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ULTA Haul *Guest Blog*

Hey guys! You made it past Monday! Woo hoo! Good for you. Now I’d like to introduce you to fellow blogger, Lauren, who is one half of the blog Boxy Ladies, which reviews many (and I mean MANY) ranges of subscription boxes. Lauren was also the winner of my ULTA gift card giveaway back in December, and she ever so kindly wrote up a review of all the products that she bought so here goes nothing!

-The Mechanic

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I won this Ulta gift card a long time ago and it took me SO LONG to use it. In part, because I’m a Sephora Girl and I try to bank my points there. But also, we’ve been trying to save money so I wanted to make this gift card count when I really needed it! So I used it to replace two staples I use all the time and one new mascara to try! Also, when I’m in Ulta, I tend to wonder why I’m a Sephora Girl when Ulta has EVERYTHING I COULD EVER WANT?! Maybe if I don’t become a VIB Rouge again next year, I’ll get my points at Ulta!

Here are the products I bought:
Β 
Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo
I have tried so many dry shampoos in the past few years. It’s a favorite thing for subscription boxes to include and considering I have a subscription box blog, I have a lot of them. But I read on a different beauty blog that this was a great one so I picked it up. What I like most about it is that it gives a bit of a light matte texture to my hair, which naturally has no texture at all. This helps give it some volume as well. I like to shower at night and then spray it into my hair so it really works its way in there over night. Then I add some texturizing spray in the morning and will decide how it looks before I give it some curl or do a texture-y, piece-y pony tail.
Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer
As a very pale person, I have been a fan of Jergens Natural Glow line for awhile. Self-tanners can be messy and hard to work with but if it’s just putting on lotion, how hard can it be? Well, I managed to mess that up as well. With the lotion, sometimes I left hand print lines on myself where I hadn’t totally blended everything. But the foaming mousse is so much easier to work with! It foams easily so you get plenty of product to blend in everywhere. It also absorbs quickly so you don’t feel sticky or greasy very long. It takes a few minutes to absorb so I like doing this at night but it really doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. But I have to wake up so early to get to work at 7:30 that I ain’t trying to do this in the mornings!
Maybelline Lash Sensational
When I initially bought this last week, I wasn’t super thrilled. I’ve been using YSL and Benefit mascaras lately so my lashes have been kind of spoiled. When I put this on for the first time, it didn’t seem to lengthen my lashes at all. Just separate them a bit. However, when I tried it again today, I learned it was user error. The brush is sort of curved with short bristles on the inside of the curve and longer bristles on the outside. You short of have to “roll” the brush as you are applying so that your lashes experience both bristles in a stroke. Once you do this, you’ll get incredibly long lashes at a drug store price. I’m into that.
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Tutorial Time:Mega Curls

As a lady with mostly straight hair, I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to get BIG, yet natural looking curls and waves. When I want curls, I take time the night before to do these simple steps.

1.Comb and brush hair COMPLETELY out. You don’t want any kinks in your hair for the next step, or your ends will look frayed.

2. Part your hair into 4 sections and braid each section. Wrap the braid around itself and secure with a bobby pin.

3. Spray with texturizer of choice. 

After these steps,your hair should look like this:

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The next step is the easiest: Go to sleep! Then when you wake up, take it down and run your fingers through it. Don’t run a comb through it because it will end up fraying the ends. Don’t brush it unless you want waves and not curls. The finished product should look like this :

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There you have it! If you try it, let me know how it turns out! Btw, in the bottom picture I was playing around with the “beauty face”  setting on my phone’s camera. It’s supposed to blur and/or get rid of uneven skin and blemishes. Maybe it works, but it makes me look like I’m 6! So I don’t actually look that perfect.

See ya!
– The Mechanic <3

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Costume Design in the Entertainment Business

What is it about that perfect outfit? The one you’ve dreamed up in your head, the one who you’ve created about 100 different variations of it that would look just “so cute” all put together. And let’s be real. If we all had all the money we could ever need at our disposal, I’m like 99% we’d use a great chunk of it perfecting our dream wardrobe. Our bathrooms would be full of every beauty product we could get our hands on. We’d go to the salon twice a month like we should for a trim and to keep our hair healthy and bouncy. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the money for that kind of dedication to our appearances. Then, during a sweatpants and t-shirt Netflix marathon, you flip onto an episode of Pretty Little Liars or New Girl and wham! She’s got it.The outfit. And pretty much every other thing you could ever want in your closet. Of course you know that in real life, on a New Girl budget, she’d never be able to afford all of those cute frocks with designer names on the tag. That doesn’t make you envy any less though, does it? So I ask, what is it about these characters and the clothes that define them, and you? Are the costume designers looking into your innermost soul? Who’s your biggest TV/movie fashion inspiration?Β  Sound off in the comments, and tell me what you think! <3

Have a fantabulous day!

-The Mechanic <3

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ULTA's 21 Days of Beauty

Ulta Presents 21 Days of Beauty

One of my favorite semi-annual sales of the year is upon us! Back in September, ULTA has their 21 Days of Beauty sale where I picked up my Urban Decay NAKED BB Cream for only $17 which is half off the regular price. Now it’s back and the deals this time around are absolutely extraordinary. Luckily for you, I got my catalog in the mail yesterday, and I’ve got the full list of deals and dates right here for all your makeup needs.

Mar. 15- BAREMINERALS: All Over Face Color and Blush 50% Off ($10)

PHILOSOPHY Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash 8 oz. ($15)

Mar. 16- STILA Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner BOGO Free ($20)

Mar. 17- TARTE Lights,Camera,Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($10)

MULTIPLEYE Lash Enhancing Primer ($10)

Mar. 18- EXUVIANCE Performance Peel AP25 50% Off ($37.50)

Mar. 19- BUTTER LONDON Nail Lacquer and Treatments ($9 Each)

Mar. 20- IT COSMETICS Your Brows But Better Brow Powder Skinny Pencil 50% Off ($12)

CLARISONIC Mia ($79)

Mar. 21- URBAN DECAY Eyeshadow Primer Potions 50% Off ($10-12)

BENEFIT- Free Brow Wax w/ $50 Benefit product purchase and/or service purchase (at participating locations)

PHILOSOPHY Foundations ($25)

Mar. 22- TOO FACED Primed and Poreless Face Primer ($15)

PUR MINERALS 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup ($17)

Mar. 23- SANMEDICA SeroVital-hgh Dietary Supplement 60 ct ($69)

Mar 24.- MALLY Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener ($22)

Mar.25- CK ONE Shine Lipstick ($9)

Mar.26-STILA Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss 50% Off ($12)

Mar.27-SMASHBOX 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer 50% Off ($10)

STRIVECTIN Age Fighting Discovery Kit ($20)

Mar. 28- Bare Minerals ALL MASCARAS 50% Off

MARIO BADESCU Entire Brand 25% Off

Mar. 29- LORAC Champagne Dreams Pallet ($15)

PHILOSOPHY Miracle Worker Trial Kit ($30)

Mar.30- ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Clear Brow Gel 50% Off ($11)

Mar.31-LAURA GELLER Baked Highlighter with Brush ($15)

Apr.1- TOO FACED Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush 50% Off ($15)

Apr.2- TARTE Maracuja Oil ($25)

Apr.3- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Creme 50% Off ($16)

BLISS Fat Girl Six Pack 50% Off ($19)

Apr.4- SMASHBOX Photo Finish Foundation Primer 50% Off ($18)

Free Brow Wax with $50 Benefit cosmetics product and/or service purchase (at participating locations only)

Keep in mind that this list is for all of the deals you can redeem in-store. There are also plenty of online deals that you can scroll through here. I hope you guys find what you’re looking for!

Happy Shopping!

-The Mechanic <3

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