Thank God.

Sometimes I feel as though God is the King of Last Minute Gifts. But it’s all good. Mainly because He is.

In spite of all of my grumbling about how some believers behave, I’ve realized that I am still very much in love with the core of my faith. I can’t let it go. None of the things that people may do can nullify God’s infinite grace and love.

Marie and Me

Well, not really.  Still…Let me introduce you to someone.

A couple of months ago I tweeted @HowSheHustles. I mentioned 3 different leaders that I though the ladies should get to know. Marie Forleo is one of them.

I first discovered Marie a few years ago via her dating book, Make Every Man Want You.

*cue the sound of a record scratching*

Now, now. Don’t be put off by the title. I almost didn’t take it home, but the content won me over. Truth be told, her book should have been called Get Yourself Together, Girl. That’s what it’s mainly about—getting yourself together and making the most of your life.

The truth is that I forgot about Ms. Forleo for a long while. But I think an interview with Danielle LaPorte prompted me to visit her web site. Marie has gone beyond being a relationship expert, into the world of business. She offers female entrepreneurs great advice. Her focus is on service and authenticity. And fun. Her videos are always a joy to watch!

They also offer some great food for thought.

Nudes you can use.

I don’t always have easy access to a mall with a MAC counter. Places like Walmart are closer.

Hence, earlier this summer, this video from African Export saved me.

For some reason, I couldn’t find the mauve or red shades that she mentioned. But if you’re a medium-brown toned black woman looking for a neutral lipstick, she used a couple of great options.

Here are my current loves:
nudelipsticks
Yes, I know that in this photo they look very similar. But when you see them in real life, they’re just different enough to be two distinct colors. 

On the left: Revlon 671 – Mink. This shade is an absolute nude match for me.

On the right: Revlon 135 – Chocolate Velvet. A slightly stronger brown. When I have it on it’s more obvious that I’m wearing lipstick. Still, it’s a great neutral shade.

In the past I’ve stuck with bolder browns that say HERE ARE MY LIPS. These two colors are a pleasant alternative.

Cameron Russell: “Looks aren’t everything…”

This video truly inspired me. We need to keep considering the realities behind what we’re fed.

As Ms. Russell showed her audience the contrast between “Magazine Cameron” and “Real Life Cameron”, I was stunned. I know publications use young(er) models. But hearing about the industry from someone in it really haunted me.

How many times have I been concerned about my body’s dimensions–all because I’ve compared them to someone who was half my age?

Her words also left me afraid. I found myself hoping that men’s magazines don’t use underage models.

That may sound like a silly fear to you. But honestly…I figure if presenting high-schoolers in images meant for adult eyes is the norm in women’s magazines, then anything is possible.


If you’re curious about Cameron Russell’s adventures beyond the world of modeling, she has a Twitter account. She’s also one of the brilliant minds behind Interrupt Magazine.

Lovely.

When I first prepped this post, only the video was featured. But I believe I would be remiss if I didn’t say something.

The Door by Ava DuVernay depicts a prime example of something that I am deeply thankful for. Media that depicts black women as WOMEN.

Not sassy stereotypes.

Living, breathing, beautiful, bountiful, vulnerable, normal human beings.

Lord willing, I look forward to following in Ms. DuVernay’s footsteps.

On fear. And hair.

I’d originally written this as a random tangent in the middle of a recent draft. But it didn’t quite fit. I was talking about the push-and-pull between wanting to create, and knowing that much of what you make is crap.

Kind of like that Ira Glass quote that my friend Lisa told me about

except I focused on my anxiety and how I recently felt ill during the process of preparing something and putting it out there.

But then I said…

To some degree I take it that being a new artist is like cultivating dreadlocks.

A wacky comparison. But hear me out…

Long story short, I’m trying to put my hair in dreads for the eleventy-billionth time. Unlike past efforts, I believe that this go-round I’ll be patient enough to see things through successful. The only frustrating part of the whole process is that there’s something a lot of people with locs go through that’s known as the “ugly” stage. It’s when your hair won’t behave. It sticks up and out and refuses to mesh together.

Basically, it looks like a hot mess.

I keep my hair up for work all the time. On off days when I try to wear it down, sometimes I like it. On other occasions, I think “WTH is this?”

That’s when I put it back up and remind myself that after 6 months* or so, my strands will realize who they belong to and start to behave.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to remember the words of a dear friend. Days ago I was online, whining to her about my hair. She sent me a brilliant reply:

“Let it be ugly.”

Lesson?

Whether you’re making a masterpiece or trying to look good, take heart.

Don’t be afraid to make a mess.

Bad days don’t last for long. Not when you’ve got GLORY on your mind.

*My friend and loc mentor JB has estimated that my hair will take 6 months to fully loc. Next April can’t come soon enough.