FIFTY

Depression in the digital age is very tricky and something not often spoken about in depth. I’m so thankful that the black community especially, has opened up more and are having conversations about it.

In October of 2017 I was diagnosed with major depression. While I feel like I’ve carried a sense of sadness with me pretty much my entire life, I never sought the help of a medical professional. At that time in my life, it seemed as though everything was going to shit. Personally and professionally I felt overwhelmed and every day tasks became too much to bare, my job at the time was incredibly stressful and I just had my breaking point.

As black women, we are groomed to be strong, resilient, impervious to all the things that would take down any other being. For a long time I believed I was that person, being told how strong I was over and over, the tough no non sense woman who was always very sure of who she was. But what happens when you can no longer believe what people are telling you, you are and you start to see yourself as something else?

This is a battle of the mind, your mind is telling you, you are all these negative things and it is a constant struggle against something inside of you. So I started seeing a therapist and I took time off of work. I am fortunate enough to have had the support of family and friends and to have worked for a company who was willing to invest in me as a person even when I wasn’t strong enough to invest in myself. When you get to the point where you can no longer pretend not to see or feel the things that are wrong it brings on a shock and it’s so important to deal with them. I am working against 25 years of bottled up emotion, I guess that’s the Scorpio in me haha, but as I get ready to head into my 26th year I am so grateful to be in a much better place than where I was.

I am very hard on myself and I want to do so much in life so the feeling of being stagnant or mediocre overwhelmed me. The idea that the women that came before me went through so much so that I could chase my dreams and make something of myself put a weight on my mind. And while you should absolutely set goals and have standards for yourself, it’s important to be realistic. To understand that your path is your own and life will only get better if you focus on things that make you happy instead of things that bring you down. This isn’t a 123 fix kind of situation and it can put a strain on your life and the lives of the people around you, so for me, I challenge myself everyday to be better. And some days are better than others but I know that although confronting my depression opened up the Pandora’s box inside of me it has allowed me to sift through so much that I had suppressed so that I can figure out what to keep and what to let go.

FORTY-NINE

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                                                                                     MANGO Jumpsuit GAP Mules CHANEL bag

                                                                                     MANGO Jumpsuit GAP Mules CHANEL bag

It's been unbearably hot in New York so being able to pull off this jumpsuit was a nice reprieve. The rain came and gave us much cooler weather. I got this jumpsuit during the Mango sale and I absolutely love it! I can see myself wearing this through fall and early winter layering it with a turtle neck underneath. I'm such a fan of this khaki color and I really want to include more of this safari style into my wardrobe. I love a good jumpsuit because it's a one and done kind of look and makes me look way more put together than I actually am. I also love that I can dress it up with a pair of shoes or go really casual with a pair of sneakers. I wore this cuffed on Saturday with my Prada sneakers from the last post and I really liked how it came together. I believe this jumpsuit is still available in a full run of sizes so check it out HERE.

FORTY-EIGHT

                                                                                         PRADA Cloudbust WILFRED Blazer                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                         PRADA Cloudbust WILFRED Blazer                                                                                                                                                                 

I literally shot these this morning before work because the weather has been so unpredictable in NYC this week. I'm currently on a delayed R train as I type this but hey, it's Friday, the weather's good, and my office has a bar so c'est la vie! Let’s get into it! When I first saw these Prada Cloudbust sneakers debut on the runway I knew I wanted them. My group chat went nuts and we all agreed they were the a must cop. We say that for many things but everything that receives that moniker doesn’t ultimately end up getting purchased. And when I saw the price for these I was sure that 1. I wasn’t paying that price ($750) 2. I wasn’t going to be able to find it in my price point because they were so new and so instantly popular. I let the notion go for a couple months, and as with all expensive designer pieces, I set them free and if they return I know they’re meant to be. I casually set up a saved search for them on eBay and for a couple of months literally not one result popped up, and then a couple of weeks ago I had options, muiltiple shoes in my size started popping up on eBay for half off and open to negotiations. I ended up getting these sneakers for $300 after negotiating because honestly no one was buying and I was watching about 3 other pairs, while not new, in the same price range and color. I attribute this to the fact that many people, like I did, didn’t expect these to pop up on eBay so quickly and for this price range.

As for the socks, these were also a deal while still an exuberant price for a pair of socks. They retail for $210 and I got them for $105 at 24 Sevres, my new favorite online shop for designer deals. They’re based in Paris with an insane inventory, great sale prices, and super fast shipping. I ordered these socks on a Friday and got them on Monday..from Paris! While I normally wouldn’t spend this much on a pair of socks they completed the aesthetic for me, I’m usually anti logo but I love the detail Prada put into this collection. Even with the $105 spent on socks, I still came out on top! If you’re not listening to my recommendations by now, you really need to be because I’m just giving away all of these grails.

FORTY-SEVEN

                                                                          Alexander Wang shorts from  TheRealReal

                                                                          Alexander Wang shorts from TheRealReal

Here's the second look using my buys from TheRealReal, I've been really into silky fabrics and easy dressing as of late. The weather has been so unpredictable in NY so on days when the sun actually decides to show itself, I prefer to be in lightweight clothing. These Alexander Wang shorts are exactly what I was looking for and what's even better is that they only cost me $20. Paired here with my favorite discount buy, my Chanel sling backs (If anyone knows a good cobbler in NYC please let me know because I actually wear my shoes and these need to be resoled soon!). One tip I would give to anyone using TheRealReal is to be very intentional in what you're looking for, I call it the "Marshall's effect" when there's too much product to choose from, it can be very overwhelming. When I'm shopping on the app I usually start with a specific designer or style that I'm looking for, this helps me wade through the noise and find some really amazing pieces.

FORTY-FIVE

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Happy Saturday guys! As I type this post I'm currently enjoying a cup of tea and letting my Kiehl's mask suck all of the dirt out of my pores. I've wanted to do an updated post on my skin care routine for sometime and now I'm finally at a place with my skin where I feel like I can give my honest opinions on the products I'm using. What I am guilty of, as are many other bloggers, is of reviewing products and giving my stamp of approval before I've actually given my skin the chance to react to what I'm using. This brings me to Glossier Solution, I have never had a bad reaction to a new skin care product like I did with this one. And because the first week was fine I used it way longer than I should have. I was experiencing insane cystic acne on my cheeks (I never broke out on my cheeks prior, only on my chin and forehead) and it left dark scars in it's wake. I thought to myself, this is just "the purge" they speak of. FUCK THAT! My advice to you all is if your skin is reacting negatively, STOP USING THE PRODUCT. I started using Glossier Solution on January 17th, 2018 and a month later my skin was a shell of what it once was. Solution was the only new thing in my routine but once I stopped using it the damage had already been done. I have hyper-pigmentation so breakouts leave very dark spots on my skin. I was in hell and feeling very self conscious. I decided to stop bullshitting with these cool Instagram brands and stick to brands that were veterans in the industry and what has proven to work for me in the past.

KIEHLS RARE EARTH DEEP PORE CLEANSING MASQUE: $33 I love this mask! It wasn't until I started wearing concealer due to the breakout on my cheeks that I realized how large my pores were. I wanted a mask that would get tight but didn't require that I scrub my skin raw to remove. My skin feels super clean and refreshed after I use this and has definitely kept my pores in check. I use it twice a week and leave on for about 30 minutes. What I really love about this is that Kiehls is such a reputable brand and the large 5oz jar clocks in at only $33. Typically for a mask this size and for a brand of this caliber, you spend a lot more for a lot less product. 

LA MER CLEANSING FOAM: $25 This product has really remained my favorite cleanser. I wrote about it in my last skincare post and it still my daily choice. My skin feels so clean after and it smells so good. The larger version is $90 while this only comes in at $25. I know that may seem expensive for the size however because the product is so concentrated you only need about a dime size to lather your face. With washing my face twice a day this size lasts me about 3 months. 

BIO-OIL: $14.99 This is a holy grail product, no frills, just science. It sinks into your skin and because I battle hyper-pigmentation I use it everyday, twice a day. It has helped to fade my dark spots on my cheeks (they're almost gone!!!!) and prevent any new ones from appearing though I have not had a  bad breakout since I stopped using solution. This is good for scars, uneven skin tone, and stretch marks.

GOOD GENES: $105 Now now now, I have spoken the gospel of Sunday Riley since my post HERE. That time in my life was the best my skin has ever been, but of course, I was being cheap and I stopped using it once I finished the jar. For a while that was fine until things took a turn. I love this product so much, my skin looks brighter immediately and this also combats my very oily skin, hyper-pigmentation, and pores. It is very expensive, so I'd recommend purchasing the mini version at Sephora to test and if you want to take the plunge and buy the larger size, get it from Dermstore because they offer 20% off of your first purchase!

TIDAL BRIGHTENING ENZYME CREAM: $65 This was a new product for me, and I really like it. Because hyper-pigmentation is such a problem for my skin, I wanted every product in my routine to be combating that in some way. Leave it to Sunday Riley to come in and snatch more of my coins and make a moisturizer that is specifically made to target hyper-pigmentation. It is on the pricey side and once I get rid of the dark spots on my face I'll probably switch to a cheaper moisturizer but if you also suffer from hyper-pigmentation than I'd recommend this for you.

Even with all of these products it is still important to be mindful of what you put in your body as well as outside. I drink a lot of water and make sure to eat a lot of vegetables and leafy greens to help with a glow from within. I don't indulge in fast food and I've recently made the decision to heavily cut back on alcohol because that is terrible for your skin! As always, please be cautious of what you are putting on your skin, don't fall for pretty instagram posts like I did, and I mean that even for my own! What works for me may not work for you, so tread lightly as products can cause long lasting damage.

DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN

It has been a work in progress for me to let go of the notion that I’m not allowed to have this space because there are so many greater issues plaguing my community. But that’s not fair, for so long we have been taught that we must sacrifice and put our interests to the side while the privileged were able to have it all

I write for black women. I write for women who look like me and who live my experiences. It’s the most authentic thing I can do because I cannot write someone else’s story. If other women outside of that can relate to what I share, that’s cool too. But when I say I write for black women I mean I am not watering down who I am to cater to a system that was not built for us.

How have we allowed ourselves to be OTHER for so long when we hold so much buying power? We set the trends! How have we let our story and our narrative be told for so long by women who have never shared our journey? I refuse to be edited down and packaged to fit into a mold that I want no parts of. In many areas of my life, I cannot control being discriminated against, judged solely off of the color of my skin, or losing out on opportunities because they didn’t want the liability of what has become the stereotype of who black women are. With all of that against me, it is so important for me to be free in who I am, the way I speak, and how I dress. I do this for me and anyone who resonates with my experience.

I struggle a lot with blogging in large part due to how superficial it all seems. It has been a work in progress for me to let go of the notion that I’m not allowed to have this space because there are so many greater issues plaguing my community. But that’s not fair, for so long we have been taught that we must sacrifice and put our interests to the side while the privileged were able to have it all. I’m not settling for a piece anymore, I want it ALL and I want it my way. Being true to who I am.

Even in my community I’ve felt other, relating to a lot of minimalist styles I saw white women sport (Céline, Jacquemus, Loewe). Why is there no black Man Repeller for me to look up to? Someone with great style that defied what bloggers were thought to be an created an empire for women...who look like her.  This isn’t a diss, I love the Man Repeller and what she has been able to accomplish but how could I expect her to live her truth and be able to tell my story? Or the story of other black women as someone of great privledge so far removed from my experiences? This is why I’ve kept this blog going even when I wanted to stop, because I know there are plenty of women of color like me who want to see more people that look like them expressing these same things.

My blog is one form of expression for me and I’m definitely learning how to use it better and I am trying to put out more content that is as authentic as possible. I’ve wanted to write something like this for a while but didn’t know how it would fit into this space, but like I said before, I want it all and I’ll do it my own way.

FORTY-THREE

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                                                                                                                                                                   HELMUT LANG Top ZARA Pants RAF SIMONS Adidas CHANEL Bag

                                                                                                                                                                   HELMUT LANG Top ZARA Pants RAF SIMONS Adidas CHANEL Bag

Happy Memorial day everyone! Like most holidays in the US that started out with somewhat pure intentions, Memorial day has been overrun by consumerism and become another national day of sales. Granted, I'm not one to complain about a good deal as that is the main focus of this blog. I got this Helmut Lang top from Barneys Warehouse on sale for $30, when retail is $115. I've been looking for a crop top in this exact style for a while and jumped at this one when I saw it. Barneys Warehouse is usually a miss for me, and I like to compare it to the online version of Marshalls. Most of the time it's junk but every once in a while you find a gem! I'm sure you all are tired of seeing me in all white but trust me that won't stop me! As the sun beams in NYC and my skin gets darker I fall more in love with the stark contrast against white clothes. And as you can see, my rooftop is pretty much all silver so it's the perfect place to cook in the summer. I hope everyone is enjoying their day off or that overtime (like I did, because broke, because sales, because shopping habit). 

FORTY-ONE

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                                                                                                                    Jumpsuit ZARA Purse THE OUAI Shoes RAF SIMONS x ADIDAS

                                                                                                                    Jumpsuit ZARA Purse THE OUAI Shoes RAF SIMONS x ADIDAS

I'm sure I've mentioned this before but I love an all white look, especially in the summer. There's something about glowy black skin that looks so good in comparison to the starkness of white clothes. I bought this Zara jumpsuit about 3 or 4 years ago and have literally never worn it until now. The length was awkward on my petite frame and I was on the verge of cutting it into two separate pieces when I decided to just use hemming tape to adjust the length of the pants. As a small woman, hemming tape and safety pins are almost an extension of my body at this point. I can't tell you how many times those tools have saved a look at the last minute. I'd definitely advise having a regular tailor but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if I do say so myself, the results here are perfect. Prepare yourself to seem me in white all spring/summer.