I’ve been in a makeup rut—recycling the same two looks again and again, thanks to a lack of time and sheer laziness. Now that spring has arrived it’s time to up my game. I’m putting my usual smoky eye to bed and looking to Tsumori Chisato for inspiration. At her Spring’14 show in Paris the models strutted down the runway with zany orange eyes. Inspired by Kabuki theatre, Shu Uemura’s Director Kakuyasu Uchiide added a tangerine twist to the standard smoky eye. He introduced dimension and updated the look for warmer weather. I love how the sherbet shade extends up over the inner brow line. And those pointed brows are perfection, framing the eyes beautifully.

Kakuyasu prepped the models’ skin with Light Bulb foundation before working in peach and orange  pressed metallic shadows. He introduced color starting at the girls’ temple working in downward motions. Perhaps he was a tad heavy handed with the orange blush but it is fashion! I’d tone down the blush for real life. The look paired perfectly with a neutral lip –try a clear loss or a natural balm. I’m currently loving Fresh Sugar Lip Balm and Dior Lip Glow.

Photos by Aimee Blaut in Paris

How To Dry Your Manicure In Two Minutes

There's a reason the phrase "like watching paint dry" is a way to describe awful, mind-numbingly boring things: it's the worst. So why, in the 21st century, do we put up with nail paint drying, a process that requires us to treat our fingertips like they're newborn teacup poodles? We have magic camera glasses and space planes, but somehow polish is holding us hostage? I don't think so.

Time waits for no man(icure)...and neither do I, which is why I love enamel dryers. Sure, they're full of chemicals, but if you want set nails in under five minutes so you can finish getting ready, they're you're best (read: ONLY) hope. There are three products I'd recommend if you're as impatient as I am:

1. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Clearly Quick Topcoat
The whole Sally Hansen Insta-Dri line is fantastic, actually. If you use a thin coat of the polish it really is good to go in less than a minute, and the topcoat is similarly quick. The only hitch is that if you have several thick, still-wet coats of regular polish on and then put Clearly Quick on top, the effect is akin to throwing a tarp on the surface of a swimming pool. It's covered, but there's still water underneath, and if you throw something at it you'll end up getting splashed. So when you've got a ton of polish on, instead try...

2. Essie Quick-E Drying Drops
These are a great for complicated, thick manicures because they help dry your polish without the risk of screwing up the paint by brushing topcoat over it. You squeeze a droplet out on top of each nail and then wait a couple minutes. Also try these in conjunction with Insta-Dri if you want to speed the topcoat up even more. This week I put a couple drops on top of a manicure that consisted of two coats of Pixi Nail Colour topped with Clearly Quick, and the whole thing was dry—really dry—in about 90 seconds.

3. Envi Nail Enamel Dryer
This stuff is an '80s-tastic throwback to a time when enamel dryers were aerosol and contained ingredients like 'mink oil' and 'Quaaludes', but it works! You have to wait 60 seconds after application to spray this stuff on, but you can get your whole hand at once, which makes it the fastest option of the bunch. You need a pretty good misting to get it to work, but after that you're golden. It's not as effective as its newer drying brethren, but it is cheap, retro, and highly decorative. Just...don't inhale.

—Lacey Gattis

Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.

CN Says-
You're gonna wanna take a moment to read Kenya's responses. #JustSayin 

by GG Renee of AllTheManyLayers

"Do not be afraid...to roar, to be traditional, to be vulnerable, to be predictable or unpredictable or to be any of the things we are and are not supposed to be. Do not be afraid to change your mind, clothes, opinion, or hair and the next day change it all again. Do not be afraid, that is the only thing you must not be."

*Describe your a-ha moment.
I've had so many! The day I left my very small town, where I knew everyone, to go to a school where I didn't know any of the 20k students. I went 600 miles & 3 states away to find that my comfort zone is wherever I am.

Read On!>>>
The weekend I moved from Chicago to Miami with my puppy and a U-haul, even though I didn't have a place to live once I got there. I had my dreams, my puppy and my faith, and sometimes that's all a girl needs.

The night I stood on a stage in Moscow, in front of thousands of people & felt unapologetic as an almost 30yr old, female dancer who chose career over love & family.

The moment when I found out that I was pregnant and knew that unplanned is sometimes the best plan. The afternoon in September that I found out I miscarried & realized that we don't even know some of our biggest dreams or fears until they happen to us.

The Sunday that I packed up my life into 6 boxes & a couple garbage bags and moved to another state to be with the man I loved, who I met only 6 months prior.

Last night & every night, when I thank God for my very beautiful life and the little voice in me that says "do it" that has led me to all my "a-has."

*Tell us something about your personality that used to bother you, but you've now learned to love and use to your advantage?
I do my very best to not let people see me cry, but when I get really angry, I cry. It is involuntary & completely unpreventable. I hate it because when I need to appear the strongest, I feel weak & vulnerable; crying and succumbing to the theory of hysteria! It infuriates me, which makes me cry more!

While I haven't learned to love it or use it to my advantage, I no longer apologize when I rage cry. I wipe my tears & keep bitching! I'm an extremely passionate person and I refuse to apologize for being physically consumed with how I feel.

*What’s your best piece of woman-to-woman advice?
Do not be afraid...to roar, to be traditional, to be vulnerable, to be predictable or unpredictable or to be any of the things we are and are not supposed to be. Do not be afraid to change your mind, clothes, opinion, or hair and the next day change it all again. Do not be afraid, that is the only thing you must not be.

*What has been your favorite mistake?
I chopped my hair off in undergrad. My hair was so long (waist-length) and healthy and I chopped it off, Halle Berry, off! I was so sick of being the "light-skinned girl with long hair" and all the connotations that comes with that title: stuck-up, pretty but not smart, not black enough and I hated being called Pocahontas!

It was a huge mistake because I cut my hair to prove a point to others & not because I wanted short hair. It all worked out though, because I learned a lot: its hair, so we cut it off and it grows back; there are connotations attached to all things (short hair, long hair, light skin, dark skin, women, men, everything...) not just hair, and they are only as powerful as we make them; and I hate being called Halle Berry just as much as I hated being called Pocahontas!

*What is your favorite way to express yourself creatively?
I write, I always have. When I was young, I wrote fictitious short stories and kept a journal. Now I blog, which is basically a live journal of all my personal short stories! Every now and then, I still dance in my kitchen, because sometimes there aren't words.

*How does having a creative outlet promote emotional health and well-being?
Having a creative outlet allows me to get the feelings out of my body, where they would otherwise take on a life of their own and consume my every thought & action. When my feelings build up, they begin to physically manifest; I get sick and don't want to eat or I only want to eat! Writing gives my feelings a space to live, outside of me, while I digest and analyze them. Writing keeps me sane and healthy.

*Have you ever experienced depression or anxiety and how have you gotten through it?
Yes, while I've never been clinically diagnosed, my background in social work has taught me enough to know that I experience episodes of both and I imagine that I always will. I become consumed with people, relationships, ideas... so I easily become overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed leads to anxiety and when these people, relationships, ideas, etc., don't meet my expectations, I experience a high level of disappointment, which triggers the depression.

I have learned to manage my expectations and take responsibility for the role that I play in my own disappointment, be more realistic about what others are capable of offering, and acknowledge that not everyone reciprocates the same.

It also helps to take mental breaks from all relationships where I am being held accountable for someone else's feelings. I communicate that I'm overwhelmed and I just need some temporary space to recharge and digest what's going on in my world. People who love me don't take it personal and give me the space that I need to get back to being the best version of me. I try not to beat myself up when I'm in a valley and I remind myself that these feelings are temporary. I also know that I'm strong enough to come out the other side.

*What do you not want us to know?
My telephone number. Seriously. I get so much anxiety about people asking for my phone number because then I have to tell them, "I'm sorry, but I don't give my number out." and then people get ALL up in their feelings & take it personal, when it's not. In this age of technology, people have so much access to you, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, and a million other apps that I don't even know exist!

My phone number is personal to me, not you & I know every person who has my number, personally. Not everyone needs to have access to you at all times and keeping my phone number private allows me to create boundaries for when I get overwhelmed and need to take a mental break!

*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
I'm always more creative at night. I think a lot of right-brainers get a jolt of inspiration at night! It may have something to do with your brain being done with processing the day's events or your brain finally feels free from tasking and has space to create, not think!

I'm extremely aware of what's going on around me and what people are going through. I see a lesson in EVERYTHING, know that NOTHING is coincidental and I am inspired by the purpose that goes into every moment we get. It's not even a process that takes place, it's automatic.

When I see my dog birdwatching, I'm immediately grateful for the reminder to take breaks & appreciate the beauty that is everywhere we look.

If I find a lost puppy, I know that he found me and I am meant to help him, otherwise someone else would have found him.

If I get a red light, I'm meant to be in that space, waiting.

If my call drops or my message fails to send, my words are not ready to be heard.

If I see a homeless person and I have a dollar that is not spoken for, then I am meant to give it away.

If an opportunity presents itself, I am meant to see where it leads. It will either be a blessing or a lesson. There is meaning in all moments, small and large & each meaning is specific and unique to you because they are your moments. :) I write because I find it therapeutic to share my moments and I know that someone is meant to read my words, and so they will...

*How do you soothe yourself when you are upset, disappointed, angry, jealous?
I always turn to music when I'm hurt. A song becomes the soundtrack to my feelings & I play it over and over until I've exhausted the feelings that I'm holding onto. Then, when I hear that song, I always remember the emotional space that I was in and it's satisfying to be free of the feelings that I was once sitting in.

When I have learned a lesson or am finally able to see the beauty in my hurt, I write & share my words in hopes that someone else sees themselves and knows that they are not alone & they too will come out the other side.

*What does it mean to you to be a soulful beauty?
A soulful beauty is someone who possesses a beauty that is so deep, it must be aligned with her spirit. This beauty is obviously more complex and withstanding than physical beauty, but I think it lends to her physical glow. And given that the beauty is aligned with her spirit and not her hair, eye color, or the shape of her lips or hips, it is truly unique to only her.

The best compliment people give me is not that they love my hair or anything attached to my physical beauty, but that I am transparent. There is no kinder compliment than having someone tell me that they see me for who I truly am & then they choose to stick around. :)

*What is your favorite quote, scripture or affirmation?
Oh, so hard!! There are so many! Can I share three with you?!

When I am struggling with change or letting go, I turn to the first verse of The Serenity Prayer:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other...

Whenever I feel alone from loss, I turn to this quote by Mitch Albom & it forces me to acknowledge the small distance between & I know that I'm obligated to continue living, despite my loss, because one day I will be on the other side of that small distance between...but not today.

“Death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.”
The last quote is Ernest Hemingway's response to being asked what he means by "guts," and he replied,"grace under pressure." It's commonly known as his definition of courage. So now, when I pray, I ask for grace, so that I may be courageous.

Name: Kenya
Blog: Halfie Truths
Instagram: @halfietruths
Twitter: @halfietruths
CN says:
re-posting since we're talking about fine hurr! 

Hola Chicas!

Last night's post got me thinking...

Many of us (not erry'body, tho) want thicker looking hair. I'm talking BIG, voluminous, heavy, block-people's-line-of-vision tresses. I too fancy big hair, and even go so far as to henna regularly to achieve it. Score! It totally works, but what happens when you can't henna (due to time constraints, side effects such as curl loosening or the red tint)? Or, if henna simply didn't work for you? Obviously, growing more hair per square inch would be sorcery... so we have to work with what we've got.

Read On>>>
My tips for fuller looking hair:
  • Wash&Gos shrink and shrink and shrink some more. This shrinking action makes my hair appear shorter and thinner than it actually is. Stretched styles such as twist and braid-outs, roller sets, bantu knot-outs, and Twist-n-Curls, really aid in stretching out the curl, showing more length, and thus giving the illusion of volume. Also, I don't know about you, but my hair doesn't shrink uniformly. Left to its own devices, the back (which is very fluffy and has a tighter curl) will shrink to 80%, and the front, to my chin... other pieces throughout shrink anywhere from 25%-50%. This makes for a very uneven and sparse looking finished product. When it's all stretched out to the same length it looks healthier and BIGGER!
  • Dry sets rock! For me, they only work in the winter, tho... the summer humidity shrinks them up as soon as I hit the front porch. Dry sets yield an even bigger look than the typical wet set twist or braid-outs. Love, love, love these! To achieve the bossiest dry sets, I gently finger detangle in sections, brush through with a paddle brush to create an undefined bush (breaks up the curly clumps), and twist using a leave-in or cream to set the waves(no water necessary). I allow it to set overnight and in the morning... pure awesomeness.
  • Damp sets.  Allow your freshly washed and conditioned hair to air dry for 30 minutes or so before twisting or braiding.  Damp sets yield nearly the same results as my dry sets with a teeny bit more hold. The results are less defined and piece-y as compared to a wet set.  
  • If you don't have time to do a wet set to stretch your hair in preparation for a dry set, you can blow dry your hair on warm, concentrating on the roots, and skipping the ends. A twist or braid-out on blown out hair may not last very long, but you'll definitely be rocking the Joan from Girlfriends look. I would reserve this style for special occasions. The blow dryer is definitely a frenemy.
  • Fluff! I fluff with my fingers. Gently raking through the released twists starting at the roots. I first separate all the twists, then separate the sections further. Finally, I do the raking action, shake, use my fingers like a pick to cover any parts, and I'm out the door.
  • Pineappling. This nightly routine also stretches the hair. Days after a good pineapple, my hair looks fuller, and I love that.
  • Finally, eating a healthy, balanced diet, engaging in lots of cardio (to stimulate the scalp), and gentle hair practices can all help you keep more of what you grow. Also biotin is known to thicken the actual hair cuticle providing a fuller appearance because of the increased diameter of the hair shaft. And MSM supplements claim to lengthen the growth cycle, which would make for fuller looking hair, since you'd keep strands for longer. 
  • Less is more when it comes to product. Opt for curl creams over gels. Hard hold products can make fine haired curlies look stringy and overly clumped/defined, they also make your hair too stiff to fluff (which results in frizz). Also, always use less product than you think you need.
What tips do you have to help finer hair appear thicker?

These tips create such a great illusion of natural volume that people often ask me how do I fit all of my hair under a hat when in reality, my hair can easily all fit into the tiniest elastic band tied multiple times! I hope you found these tips helpful for the fine hair, wavy and loosely curled ladies!

Creating volume
  1. Use water-based styling products. They are much lighter on your hair and less likely to weight it down. Here are some suggestions:Giovanni Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner, Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel, Kinky-Curly Knot Today, or Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Weightless Styling Mousse.
  2. Invest in some afro picks: one for home, one for the office, one for the car, and one for your purse. This is your best tool for volume!
  3. Consider getting bangs if your hair is very fine and less curly on the top of your head. Curly bangs give an instant lift to your curls, the shorter the hair, the more it tends to curl, so having bangs adds extra volume on top.
  4. Use small claw clamps at the roots of your hair while drying your hair.
  5. If you prefer to diffuse your hair to air-drying, do most of it with your head facing downward. Focus the dryer toward the back of your hair to create volume and follow up with your afro pick to add volume to the top.
More Tips
  • Opting for darker colors is a great option to give your hair a thicker appearance. Also consider dimensional color such as balayage; this will give the illusion of more layers to your curls for a fuller look throughout.
  • If you're really insecure about wearing your fine/thin curls loose, look into curly clip-in extensions to add your desired fullness!
  • Sleep on a satin pillowcase with your hair in a pineapple (a ponytail at the very front of your head), but secure the elastic band very loosely. You also have the option of sleeping with you hair out depending on your texture.
  • Cut your hair in layers. This is especially important for ladies with fine curls, as it instantly adds more dimension and volume to your hair.
  • Make sure your hairstylist understands your hair type. Curly hair is very unique! If your hairstylist doesn't have experience working with curly hair, shop around! I've heard stories of girls with fine curly hair having their hair thinned out by hairstylists.
For a visual, check out the tutorial below.

How do you create volume on your fine natural hair?