Live Better, Feel Better

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Back at the beginning of the year, I had decided that my only New Years’ resolution was to be a better person all the way around – mentally, physically, emotionally.

For years, I’ve experienced low self-esteem as well as many years of verbal assaults. “Fat girls shouldn’t wear this.” “You’re too big to wear that.” But, I decided that I didn’t want that to be who I was. I didn’t want to allow other people’s thoughts and opinion to play such a huge factor in my life. I wanted to gain back control of how I view myself and now allow other’s opinions to taint how I view myself.

So on April 16, I decided to start back hitting the gym. I am a plus sized girl, so hitting the gym came with a lot of anxiety. I was afraid of what people would think about me being a bigger girl working out, not really knowing exactly what I was doing, or people thinking that I’m just doing this to get skinny. None of that is the case, I am literally just trying to gain control of how I feel about myself.

So, I started working out. It’s not about the weight-loss or getting skinny, it is more so about me gaining control and loving who I am. I was afraid, but now I feel more empowered. Which has made me want to live my best life. So getting healthy has made me start living my life a little bit better. I don’t worry as much about what I am wearing, or how I look.

Once you start living your life to your fullest potential, unapologetically – you will ultimately feel so much better. Your insides will begin to be reflected in your outward interactions and life.

In what was are you going to start living better – share below in the comments! I want to start improving other aspects of my life as well (such as my living in love (with actions), or spiritually, mentally, etc.)

Love Always,

– Tanesha J.

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My Favorite Beauty Products – Part 3: for the eyes!!

Let me just warn you this will probably be the longest one in the series because I have tons of favorites. Eye make-up is so important to me because it’s often the first thing someone notices about you. If you haven’t done so already please check out the other parts of this series – part 1 and part 2! (Helpful hint – there are links to all the products when you click on their names.)

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Ardell Natural Lash Black 120! I really love these because they are the most natural looking on me. I have tried other . My mom said they look like I just have on really great mascara. They have a thin band (I’m not sure what the technical term is) and it’s really easy to apply the glue with (I use the Duo Glue in Dark). I love that I can buy it in two pack option because I can alternate which ones I use to make them last longer and not fear running out. They’re super comfortable and out of the way. If you’re just starting out putting on false lashes (like I was) I would suggest you use these after you watch this tutorial.

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Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette – I personally use the first Naked Palette but all of them are AH-mazing. I feel like there is a color for every single occasion in this palette. This was actually the first eyeshadow palette I’ve ever used, since starting doing my own make-up. I love all the colors and it’s very versatile. What I mean by that is the colors can be applied lightly for a more natural everyday look, or the colors can be applied more heavily for a more glamorous or “night out” look. This product has lasted me at least a few years, mainly because I go for more natural looks.

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Smashbox Eye Liners- ALWAYS SHARP WATERPROOF KOHL LINER (in Brown without the shimmer) and LIMITLESS LIQUID LINER (in Black). These are my go-to eyeliners and they both are amazing in their own right. The Kohl Liner is amazing. One of my favorite features about this liner is that it is self-sharpening. One of the things I hated about pencil eyeliners was that I had to sharpen it. The Kohl liner is also water-proof and rich in color! This is my go-to, everyday liner. It’s so amazing! The Liquid Liner reminds me of a felt-tipped marker, which is exactly what I need because I am new to the liquid liner world. I feel like this is a great introductory product if you are trying to use liquid liner. The liquid liner always dries super dark, which in the past with other liners I could never find one that dried as dark as it was wet. It also features a precision tip and thus does not dry out easily (I’ve left the top off for 30 minutes on accident and it was still good to use).

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Mascara – Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara– the formula is amazing. It almost feels like a gel consistency, it’s really hard to describe unless you use it. I mainly use this on my natural lashes and on days I don’t put on any other make-up. I feel like this mascara does my lashes good. I also love love love love the brush that comes with this mascara. I wish that I could take this brush and use it for all my mascaras. I just recently ran out of this mascara and I’m super sad about it. Anyways, I just found out that they have a waterproof formula – so I am going to be checking that one out as well.  Also, I really love Pür Cosmetics’ Big Look Waterproof Mascara. I recently started using this mascara because my mom brought it right around the time my other mascara ran out, so I’ve been borrowing it as a substitute for my own. It’s super light and clean. The brush is amazing. I feel like because of the formula that includes omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants in it, it makes my lashes grow in thicker and softer

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way to review or talk about these products (it would be nice but no). I just love them so much and I thought that you all might love them too!

What are some of your favorite beauty products for your eyes? Share below in the comments!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

My Favorite Beauty Products – Part 2 Lipsticks and Lip Care!!

Welcome welcome welcome to my favorite beauty products part 2 (check out part 1 here) !! This post will be all about my favorite lipstick/lip care items! Like I said previously I am by no means a fashion or beauty blogger (although sometimes I wish I was!). I just thought the holiday season is coming up, and who doesn’t love beauty products?! These aren’t in any order. (Helpful hint – there are links to all the products when you click on their names.)

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The Lip Bar‘s Liquid Matte (specifically Bawse lady). I was first introduced to this brand at Hampton University where the creator Melissa Butler (an HBCU Grad) hosted a seminar about beauty. It was super inspiring and honestly changed a bit of how I look at myself and made me much more conscious of how I talk to and about myself. She encouraged us to speak lovingly about ourselves. Moving on, I cannot stress enough how much I love this lip color. I only really wear matte lip colors (just a personal preference). My favorite thing about this matte lip color is I never feel like my lips are dry, and they never look crusty. Part of the problem with matte lip color is it tends to dry your lips out, and just look gross after a while. But ABSOLUTELY NOT with this liquid matte lipstick. My mom is even hooked on this one. Honestly, all of her lip line is amazing – go buy her products now!

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My next favorite is SmashBox’s Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick. This might sound strange but I really love the smell of this liquid lipstick. It’s not too harsh – it’s what a lipstick should smell like. Another great thing about this liquid lipstick is the applicator. It’s sort of different from regular liquid lipstick applicators – it’s much bigger. It does seem a little daunting at first but I’ve grown to love it immensely because I feel like I can outline my lips much better and more precisely. I also love how rich the color is and how long it lasts. For example, I wore the Bawse shade for homecoming, and it lasted all day – I was out from about 11:30am ’til about 12AM that night and it still looked amazing when I got home. I didn’t even want to take it off!

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Next, we have the bath and body work’s Ultra Mentha. This item is more of a lip care product in my opinion. I only use it after I’ve used one of my more drying lip colors and my lips are looking dry. Sometimes I even wear it to bed, if I know I have an early morning and I still want to look fresh and put together. More recently I’ve been using it as a pre-treatment before I put on my make-up. Just to make sure my lips are as supple and perfect as possible before putting on another lip color. It has menthol in it so it gives you this tingly/cooling sensation on your lips when you wear it. On their website, they said it could also help with bad breath! Bonus tip – it tastes amazing so even if you eat a little you’ll probably be happy about it!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way to review or talk about these products (it would be nice but no). I just love them so much and I thought that you all might love them too!

What are some of your favorite beauty products for your lips? Share below in the comments!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

My Favorite Beauty Products – Part 1 Cleansers!!

I am by no means a beauty or fashion blogger, but I love and appreciate using great things on my skin, face, and body. There are certain products that I’m just obsessed with right now and I thought what better way to share them, then here on ladies and company. I must preface this with everyone’s skin is different and it might now work for you. I suggest you buy and try different things that work best for you and your body. So this is going to become a mini-series (due in part to me having sooooo many favorite products), so the first part is going to face cleansers (plus a body cleanser type thing). (Helpful hint – there are links to all the products when you click on their names.)

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Lush’s Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub! Omg! This product is amazing! I had been looking for a facial scrub for about 3 months now, and my mom had been raving about Lush products so we went to the store and was able to try some different products before purchasing. This product brightened my face and afterward, my face felt sooooooo soft and rejuvenated. On the container it says it’s a vegetarian product (yay!) and that “this scrubby mix removes dead skin and softens, leaving you moisturized and supple.” I mostly use this product once a week but sometimes every other week.  I’ve never used it anywhere but my face, but I am sure in the future I might on dark spots.

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Lush’s Buffy. I must preface this product with a back story. I absolutely hate hate hate hate putting on lotion. I feel like it is such a waste of time and energy. I don’t know why I have such disgust for it, but yeah. But this product changes the game! So after you shower regularly you use this body butter in the shower and it’s basically like putting on lotion but better. My skin LOVED this. I used it from the neck down and my skin was like glowing with happiness. Honestly, even days after trying the product and showering regularly (without using Buffy) my skin still feels softer than usual! This is another vegetarian product! I use this about every other shower, only because I don’t want to run out too quickly.

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Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Wash – The Coconut Milk. I was first introduced to their Hawaiian line while I was in California and I used (and LOVED) their shampoo and conditioner. Honestly, the only reason I’m not including it in this post is because I haven’t used it in about 2 years but my mother and brother both use and love it. The face wash has sort of a conditioner texture to it, and it doesn’t lather up with bubbles – which initially is rather strange but the results were incredible! My face always feels super soft and nourished afterward! I use this product (well I try to use it) every day as like my daily cleanser. Online the product looks different, but it’s the same thing they just redesigned the bottles. The cheapest place to find it was on Amazon online, but I buy mine normally from Walmart.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way to review or talk about these products (it would be nice but no). I just love them so much and I thought that you all might love them too!

What are some of your favorite cleansing beauty products? Share below in the comments!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Four Gorgeous Styles for Valentine’s Day

Hey ladies! So Valentine’s Day is coming up and whether you are going out with your boo or your best friends you want to look fly so I am going to show you four styles I have done with my hair that will complement that outfit you have been dying to wear.

Now I have natural hair but these styles can be done on permed, natural, weave, or transitioning hair. Let us know if you tried one of these styles for V-Day!!!

 

  1. Braided Up do

This style for me was fun, although it did have its challenges.  For this style you will need ponytail holders, a hard brush, gel of your choice, bobby pins and two packs of kanekalon hair and some rubber bands. If you have short to medium hair, you may want to blow dry or stretch your hair well so that you can put your hair in two pony tails. First you will part your hair from ear to ear making a front section and a back section. Then you want to put each section in a little pony bun at the top of your head (make sure they still look like two separate buns) making one slightly off centered and gelling the sides and your edges. After making the buns take a pack of kanekalon hair, leave the rubber band on it and braid it. Do the same with the other pack. Take one pack of hair and use the rubber band to attach the hair to the bun in the back and wrap it around to make a bigger bun. Make sure your hair is not showing. Then with the front bun do the same by attaching the rubber band to the front bun and make sort of a bang and pin the braid in place making sure that that bun is covered also. There you go! A sleek up do that will last through a night of twerking.

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  1. Perm Rod Set

This style lasts a long time and will make you feel absolutely flawless. You will need some setting lotion, perm rods (I used the purple ones but I advise smaller ones like gray or white), a comb, and a hood dryer (optional). Just take your time and put on some music as you section, set, roll and possibly sit if you desire. My hair does not always cooperate so when I use no heat the curl is more like a wave.

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  1. Bantu Knot out

For this style I used a Denman brush, Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, and you can use rubber bands if you choose too. This style can be done on freshly washed damp hair or dry stretched hair. Section a piece of hair brush it, apply a holding lotion of choice and I prefer to two-strand twist my hair and then bantu knot it so 1. It is easier to bantu and 2. It comes out curlier than if I just wrapped it around itself.

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  1. Wand Curls

I know a lot of naturals are like “no heat” but I am a firm believer in heat every now and then is okay but don’t over-do it. With most of the heat styles I will blow dry it one day and curl it the next and then I don’t put any more heat into until the next occasion I feel like doing a heated style. For this style I washed my hair, did a protein treatment and then put a hydration conditioner in my hair and bunned it up for a week. After a week of bunning and not standing my hair I decided to hot comb it since it had been stretched and to get a polished look. The next day I took my ½ to 1inch curling wand and did small sections of curls all over my head scrunch in some holding mousse. At night time I pineapple my hair into a bonnet and go to sleep.

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12 Months to a better you: February

Heyyyy!!!  I hope you all did an AHHMMAZING job on the first moths challenge of drinking more water, specifically drinking half your weight in ounces. Leave a comment below on how the first month of the challenge went and what goals you set yourself. I will tell you while I was home it was a lot easier to do, but when I got back to school drinking half my body weight in ounces was kinda hard. I didn’t have as easy an access to water than I did at home and I am much busier at school and often time forgot to drink water. I am working on it though. Now don’t forget to continue this challenge into the next month!

The challenge for this month: Make Breakfast a Priority

I know some of y’all are going to be like, “Really Averi? That’s a no brainer.” But that is not the case for everyone. There are people who know breakfast is important and still don’t eat it, like my mother, and there are people who don’t know that eating breakfast will kick start your metabolism. However, keep those fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, juicy sausage and those scrambled eggs with cheese for the weekend. Also if you can help it stay away from the McGriddles, doughnuts, breakfast taco and anything else you can get in a drive through on your way to work. Keep it simple with some plain greek yogurt and granola, or even some whole grain cereal with non-fat milk and fruit. If you don’t have time for a wholesome breakfast then I would suggest portion control. Watch your sugar and carb intake and increase your protein, for example you can eat a bowl of oatmeal (no sugar added), two boiled eggs with a hint of salt and some orange juice. That is a breakfast that is packed with protein and ill keep you fuller longer.  Studies show that people who lost at least 30lbs and kept it off for a year or more ate breakfast every morning. If you have lost some weight recently like I have and keep it off try eating a great breakfast every morning and watch your energy increase and your waist line decrease!!

 

Until next month,

Averi-Simone

12 Months to a Healthier You

 

Hey ladies, and I’m sure we have a few gents who follow our blog as well, hey to y’all too! Happy New Year!!!!! I want to first apologize for not being as dedicated in the past year, life was UBER crazy and I spent half of the year studying abroad!!! However, that is a post for a different day.

This post is dedicated to kicking off a bomb.com 2016 and maintaining an equally bomb.com year. I would like to introduce to you The L&C Twelve Months to a Better You Challenge. This is a year-long challenge, and every month there will be a post introducing what the challenge is for the month. The catch: you have to maintain the challenge from the month before into the next month. For instance, if January’s challenge is to watch more T.V. (it’s not) then when I introduce February’s challenge you have to add that to what January’s challenge is. Got it? Okay, let’s get started!

January:

This month should be the easiest. Drink more water!! That’s it! Studies have shown that drinking more water helps us lose weight because we stay fuller longer. Water also helps cleanse your intestines of toxins and other debris. Now I know that for a long time we were told to drink eight glasses of water a day but that is not necessarily true. We all have different body types shapes and sizes. I want to urge you to drink half your body weight. You don’t have to start with that but by the end of the month I want you to promise Ladies and Company that you will work your way up to drinking half your weight and we will do the same to you. Below is a chart of how many cups of water you should drink depending on your weight. The chart doesn’t give all of the possible weights a person can have but if you want to drink the correct amount of water, use this formula:

Your Weight  x  0.5  =   The # of oz of water a day

 

Let the drinking begin!! Good luck!

Peace Love and Health,

Averi Simone

 

 

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The Big Chop Summer: Tips to Handle Your New Natural

Summer is popular for many, many reasons but in the Natural Hair World summer is the time for Big Chops! Who knows why exactly this is the best time to put the scissors to those relaxed ends, but I found it was easiest for me to big chop in the summer because the weather was better and I had more free time to learn just what-the-heck to do with my new natural curls. For whatever reason YOU may big chop in the summer, there will be a lot of surprises in store and new things to embrace about being natural. Here are five easy tips and tricks if you’ve already big chopped and find yourself facing serious #naturalgirlproblems or if you are considering “big chopping” but don’t know what to expect.

  1. Don’t Compare Your Fro

Before I big chopped I was constantly on Youtube and Instagram looking through pictures of other girl’s big chop results or TWA’s (teeny weeny afro). I was so excited, thinking that I would get these cute little ringlets of curls similar to the many pictures I was seeing. After cutting my hair, however, I simply didn’t look like those other girls because…well because obviously I wasn’t them! When you first big chop, don’t compare your hair to someone else’s. Natural hair comes in a million different curl patterns, and colors and grows in different shapes or to different lengths and so on and so forth. Enjoy your own fro, learn how to love it and embrace it for what it is from day one.

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  1. Nourish Your Fro

When you first chop and are left with little to no hair, it is easy to think that you won’t have to do anything to it for days on end. This is not true. Imagine your hair is a flower in need of being watered and nourished daily in order to help it to flourish. By “watering” I don’t mean shampooing daily (see tip 3), just spritzing it with a water and oil or water and conditioner mix in the morning should be enough. Also, remember that beautiful hair comes from the inside out so nourish your body by eating right and drinking PLENTY of water. Your hair will thank you for it.

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  1. Leave Your Fro Alone

A new fro is normally as tempting to play with as a brand new toy but trust me when I say: leave, it, alone! By this I mean that you should try to resist the temptation to shampoo, re-twist, re-bantu knot or re-braid your hair daily. Find a style that will last you at least 3-5 days, which will help you avoid stressing and breaking your new coils. Also, if your goal is to achieve long (or big) natural hair, then avoid drastic experimentations. If you can, try to stay away from dabbling in keratin treatments, hair dye or texturizers. You’ll end up having to big chop again to get rid of damaged hair or you’ll set yourself further back in the journey then where you started. (Disclaimer: of course you can do WHATEVER you want with your hair and hair will always grow back. So if you’re not worried about anything then by all means do what you want.)

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  1. Budget for Your Fro

The natural hair journey is NOT cheap! Ethnic hair care products are crazy expensive and as a new naturalista it’s almost certain that you will be tempted to buy everything on the shelves that the online hair care forums promise will bring you cute curls to your TWA. The trial and error stage with products will go so much more smoothly and you will feel better about going natural if you are realistic with how much money you are going to spend. So set aside a hefty budget (maybe of about $100-$300) as your natural hair fund to spend on products in your first year. This money can cover products such as co-wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and oils (that you will probably end up never using more than once), new brushes, combs, rollers, dryers and diffusers. The budget will also help you fund protective styles (such as weaves, braids or twists) that can be cute, fun and will give your hair a break. Your hair and wallet will definitely thank you.

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  1. Fall in Love with Your Fro

Warning: big chopping your hair is going to change the way you look. You now no longer have hair in your face distracting from your features, and your style may even change now that you can pull off eccentric pieces you never thought you could have before. It may disorient you to see how different you look, but I promise, from the bottom of my heart, that you look beautiful. If you love your fro, I can promise that it will love you back and reward you by flourishing. Tell your fro how pretty it looks today. Take the time to appreciate how unique your hair is and how mature and sexy you look with such a daring haircut. Don’t be discouraged, don’t let comments get to you and don’t stop falling in love with your fro.
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And with that good luck on your natural hair journey! By the way, I would LOVE to see pictures of new TWA’s and if you would like, share your Big Chop story with us.

Love, Aliah W.

7 Ways to Piss off a Natural Girl

  1. Touch My Hair

I appreciate your loving glances and looks of awe at this magical crown of hair on my head. I might smile generously to show my appreciation of your admiration, but I promise this is NOT an invitation for you to reach out and touch my hair. It surprises me how many people (white AND black) will seriously graze their fingers over my natural hair. Also, DON’T assume that I’m going to say yes to touch it. Sometimes people ask just as a formality with their hands already outstretched and that’s irritating. Keep your hands to yourself. One because it’s creepy and uncomfortable and two, because this actually took a lot of time, oil, products, detangling, twisting, and knotting to get it to this level of perfection and you’re ruining it!
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  1. The “Just-Add-Water” Assumption

I don’t know why people assume that natural hair girls simply spray their hair with water, shake like a wet dog and stroll out the door with a cute ‘do. When in reality what actually happens is a long process and you have to style it at least sometimes. Even if I skip the perm-rod set or Bantu-knot twist out, I still have to put in some kind of product or, at the very least, oil. So this whole “you’re natural it must only take you a few seconds to get ready” is some bull. Stop assuming and appreciate the hours of work I put to achieve the perfect coils, kinks, and curls.

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  1. Ask “Is it supposed to look like that?”

The beauty of natural hair is that it kind of does its own thing. This was hard for the control freak in me when I wanted every curl and coil to spiral in the same direction and lay the same way. The reality is, my hair is going to go in every which way it wants so don’t ask me if it’s “supposed to look like that” because odds are, it’s not supposed to, but it does and your question only irritates me further.

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  1. Pressure to straighten

I wear my hair in its natural state for a reason. I can do many things with my hair but for whatever reasons I choose, straightening it is not one I want to do. It’s insulting to insinuate that in order for me to look presentable enough to show up somewhere with you, my hair must be straight. Not to mention the time I stand to lose, and the heat damage I stand to gain from the press of a hot comb. Also, stop suggesting things like “just imagine your hair straight”, or “you should really straighten it sometimes!” or “you need to come over and just let me straighten it.” Friends don’t let friends suffer heat damage!

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  1. Designate them as a Rain-person

Few things are more irritating than when it’s a torrential downpour outside but somehow as the natural hair person I automatically get volunteered to fetch anything that’s out in the rain, or denied the right to huddle under the umbrella. Or if I’m hustling to get out of the rain and someone turns to me and says “Why are you running you don’t have anything to worry about.” My hair is not waterproof. My makeup, clothes, and shoes aren’t either.

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  1. Criticize Weaves and Wigs

I view hair as art and expression. Some express their creativeness with make-up or clothes, but I enjoy changing my hair style once a month on average. Maybe my hair isn’t the color, length or texture to achieve some of the styles that I desire. Or maybe I want to protect my hair from harsh styling and restyling. Either way, wearing weaves and wigs every now and then doesn’t exclude me from being a naturalista. As long as the hair growing from my head is not chemically treated, I can still call myself a natural chick.

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  1. Use the word Nappy

4c hair is not any less natural than 3c. This ridiculous notion that you have to have mixed chicks-esque coils to be “natural” should cease and desist immediately. All textures, colors, and lengths are beautiful. That’s the point of being NATURAL, displaying yourself and your hair in its natural form and stage. So please stop putting those gorgeous sisters down. Natural is a hard thing to embrace at times, and we don’t need YOU curl-shamers to make it any more difficult.

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– Aliah W.

How to start working out (and stick with it)!

Decide you are going to change your lifestyle. Literally this is one of the hardest part of starting to work out. Make the decision to start working out. Start next week, or today, or tomorrow. If you pick a day in the future. STICK TO IT! Do not keep pushing it back. This is basically a date with yourself, why reschedule? Just start!

Pick somewhere you are comfortable with working out at. Maybe it’s the free gym on campus, in your dorm room, at home, Planet fitness, One Life or wherever! Just find somewhere were you feel good about going to work out! (Me personally, I love going to Planet Fitness. I don’t feel judged, or like I have anything to prove to anyone but myself. ) You could even start with doing a challenge like the one below.
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Get a workout partner. A workout partner isn’t just someone to work out with, it’s someone to hold you accountable to keep you on the right path! They can also motivate you to keep pushing yourself further.
Eat healthier. I’m not saying, Cut out all the junk food in your life cold turkey, unless you’re really about that life (I am not). I’m saying make healthier food choices, really control your portions, drink a lot more water, get healthier snacks.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss a day, or eat something super fatty, it’s OK! Just be sure to get back on track, and do not waver on you path. In my opinion I would worry less about the number on the scale, but more about how you look (before and after pictures!!) and how you feel.  And don’t compare your workout journey to anyone else’s. Your body is as unique as your fingerprints, so how your body changes and the rate at which it changes will be different from anyone else’s.
Overall, just start somewhere and keep going!
How I got started working out: I really started by doing the mini 30 day challenges, and then eventually upgraded to doing like 4 at a time, and then really upgrading to going to the gym. So right now I go to the gym, do a challenge or two, and starting Monday (May 4th) drinking a gallon of water a day (I will do a before and after review in 4-5 weeks)!
Slow and steady wins the race and good luck with your healthier lifestyle transition.
Keep it Classy,
– T.Renae