Author Archive

$tretch It + $tyle It

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Finance, Latest | by — April 11, 2022

It’s a new season and also time for your closet to get a new look. An unlimited budget is ideal for anyone, but if you’re working with tight funds, you can still give your closet the upgrade it deserves. There are a plethora of options! Having a frugal conscience now will benefit your future self. Here is how we take a $30 budget and stretch it for a closet revamp:

Rings and Things | $5

Accessorizing can take an outfit up a notch. Try adding things like midi rings, bracelets, pins, headscarves, and uniquely designed earrings to your closet—all of which can be found for a low price at your local shopping store and even a quick Target run. You can find plenty of inspiration by swiping through your Instagram feed! 

Repurpose | Up to $10

Use your creative eye and check out your local thrift store to see what you can find. There are endless ways to take something and put your own spin on it. For example, find a pair of jeans and add rips to them or take a shirt and cut it into a crop top. With the 90’s trends becoming popular again, you might luck out and find something that doesn’t need to be repurposed at all!

The Unique Bag | $15

Add a bag to your closet that is out of the ordinary—something you normally wouldn’t lean towards. Whether it’s a bright color or a cool shape, make sure it stands out. You can take a simple outfit and make it the center of attention or make a dope outfit even more dope. 

~Tia Banks

Style Line-Up: Aysia

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Maryland-based fashion-lover, Aysia!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

My name is Aysia. I’m 20 years old, and I was born and raised in Clinton, Maryland.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

My number 1 trend would have to be layers! I feel like layering has really kicked up this year. I think it’s a good way to add different kinds of movement to your outfits. It’s also a great way to get the most out of your closet. It allows you to wear seasonal clothing all year round. For example, a cropped tank top could be worn over a turtleneck. Then you’d have a different look and be warm for the winter!

Coming in second would be Maximalism. I love seeing people turn up the notch and be completely extra when it comes to clothing. Funky patterns, hats, tights—everything. When I see the crazy outfits some people put together, sometimes I wonder how they pull it off.

My number three would be huge, chunky, platform shoes. I’ve wanted to get my hands on a pair, but I haven’t yet. I’ll have to gift myself a pair at some point!

Describe your style in 3 words:

That’s tough! I think my style is funky, a tad bit retro, and a little bit quirky

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

I’ll be honest here; I don’t usually keep up with what other people are wearing. I’ll usually see a celebrity or influencer rocking something unique and sometimes soak that into my own style. 

However, I’d have to say my ultimate fashion icon is my mom! She’s been into fashion since she was a young girl and she loves dressing up. Our  tastes are quite different, but when I put together outfits now for videos and pictures, I often wear clothes that she’s handed down to me.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

Anything black! For me, black is the easiest color to style, and I own a lot of it. At one point, I kept my closet fairly neat. It was primarily color coded, and the black section was the largest. My go-to would be to pluck a hoodie or shirt from there, throw on some jeans, add a cute shoe (usually a boot) and be on my way!

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

It would be to make sure you are comfortable with what you are wearing and that you love it! I absolutely hate feeling “meh” in an outfit. I think any outfit that you choose to rock should feel like a second skin. It’s often a reflection of you, and you should feel good in it!

Follow more of Aysia’s style here:

INSTAGRAM

Anxiety? 3 Ways To Focus

Anxiety is an extremely common issue that affects many people. Once you’re triggered, it’s hard to get a grasp on your emotions. Academics can play a major role in causing anxiety because of the overwhelming pressure to succeed. It’s not easy to pay attention when classes are early in the morning, long, and sometimes boring. Even then, you still have to find your focus because you have to pass. Here are some tips for staying focused and getting through the semester.

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Catch Some Z’s | Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is so important to your academic success. When you get a full night’s rest, you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed in the morning and able to have better focus. Save the late nights for the weekend! 

Remember This | A lot of times we stress ourselves out before the bad things happen. We are triggered at the thought that we might fail, when in reality, you are doing just fine. Remember not to stress until it’s actually needed.

Take A Break | Don’t be afraid to take a break—and lots of them. Over working yourself can make you feel drained and have a negative outcome on your grades. Taking a short break refreshes your mind allowing you to get back to work while being more focused.

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~ Content Editor, Tia Banks

Hair Code: Phathiswa

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — January 13, 2022

Unlock the hair code to South African’s beauty-lover + digital creator, Phathiswa!

What’s your name + where are you from?
 
My name is Phathiswa Bandla, @khwezibandla on Instagram, and I’m from Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa.
 
Braids, faux locs, natural, extensions, wigs, bantu knots ~ so many choices! What makes you love the versatility of your hair?

I love how I can express myself in so many different ways.  I can capture a certain style and aesthetic with braids, then a completely different one with my synthetic wig.

What does your hair mean to you? What does it say about you?
 
My hair is an important part of who I am. It represents my roots, my culture sometimes and it is a very integral part of my entire style or aesthetic. BTW your hair and shoes are the most important part of your outfit- like FR.
 
 

Do your rock certain styles during certain seasons? Do different hairstyles bring out different sides of your personality?

I really love having braids, its an all season type of style. However I do prefer my DIY ponytail in Summer. I recently had it in a week ago and it does make me feel quite different. It’s giving a more grown possibly sexier (lol) version of me.

Fill In The Blank: “Good hair days make me feel______”
 
Like SZA, the ultimate black girl lol also a Goddess!
 
 
What’s one products or hair accessory you can’t live without?
 
My hair gel! Not just to slick down my edges but it helps prepare my hair for all types of styles.  Definitely a product I can’t live without right now.
 
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous to try a new style or look?
 
There’s so many different versions of yourself to explore! Don’t miss out and let fear get the best of you, go blonde! And get those color braids right now!
 
Follow more of Phathiswa here:

Let’s Go! 4 Steps To Start 2022

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — January 5, 2022

The new year is settling in and we are ready to take on 2022! How we start is just as important as how we finish and so we want to start off on a positive foot. In addition to working on your resolutions, here are some things you can do to get your new year underway.

Cleanse | Go into the New Year with a clear mind and a clear body. Cleansing is great for clearing out the toxins from the filling holiday meals and will allow you to get a fresh start on January 1st. TikTok is a great search engine for a simple, healthy cleanse using ingredients from your kitchen. 

(Tenor.com)

Close Loose Ends | Finish that project you started, cut off that toxic guy, and sign up for that extracurricular you’ve been wanting to try. Getting rid of the negative and preparing for the new, is the best way commence 2022 on the right foot.

New Look | There is nothing better than bringing in the freshness of a new year than with a new hair style. Try that blunt cut, add some length or get a fresh set of knotless braids. There is always confidence in a new look and why wouldn’t you bring confidence into the new year?

Vision Board | Create a visual of what you want your year to look like and everything you want to achieve for 2022. A few months in, most people lose sight of their goals and a vision board will always be hanging around as a daily remind of what you want for yourself. 

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~Tia Banks, Content Editor

#Freshman5 x Hadassah!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — December 17, 2021

 

Take note of Hadassah’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!

Full Name: Hadassah Meralus

College/University: Alabama A&M University

Friendship/Relationship: Every school is its own melting pot. You’ll meet people along your journey from everywhere. Networking is essential and can also benefit you with your future endeavors. Just remember to be yourself and always stand out amongst the crowds.

Classes/Studying: Rule No. 1: NEVER struggle in silence! Hit the library or reach out to your professor about the material being taught in class. Take time out daily to study or even join a study group. At a university/college, there are multiple opportunities to receive academic support: academic advising, tutoring, the writing center, online resources, supplemental courses, and subject-specific tutoring.

Budgeting Money: With budgeting money, figure out your responsibilities in terms of your own living needs. From there you can determine how to allocate your funds for each responsibility. Keep in mind, saving your money will always save you the hassle in the near future financially.

Time Management: In college, there’s a weight of independence and responsibility. Grab a planner or calendar to write down important dates and events so that you never miss a beat. Prioritize studying, school work, getting involved on campus, and last but not least, yourself!

Self-care: ALWAYS make time for yourself and remember YOUR PURPOSE. Anything is possible if you believe and stick to it. Whether it’s taking a stroll on the campus’s quad, going shopping or studying in the library, use that time to self reflect and even focus on the big picture, YOU & YOUR PURPOSE.

Follow more of Hadassah’s journey:

Instagram

Meet Ty of Ty Talks!

Imagine a space where you can unapologetically be yourself by entering into a judgment free-zone when it comes to figuring out life + societal pressures. Well, the good news is you don’t have to dream up this place because this space already exists with Ty Talks!

Hailing from Orlando, Florida; 21-year old college student and YouTuber Tyasia (aka Ty) navigates adulting while inviting you to peek into her journey. From handling toxic friendships to dealing with the lopsided standards of beauty; she dives into honest convos that many viewers relate to on a regular basis. Her words wrapped with authenticity and voice dripping with bravery + vulnerability; she speaks on the ups, downs and inspiring lessons she’s learned. Tackling cultural issues, Ty encourages her community to ask themselves who do they truly want to be in this world!

Let’s get to know Tyasia a little better…

Your channel is such a safe haven for dope girls to build community as you share your journey with your digital audience! What inspired you to originally launch your YouTube channel?

I have been trying to do YouTube for a few years now and could never really stick too it due to personal, financial, and motivational reasons. The past year I had a lot of changes happen in my life that I felt I needed to share with everyone and to be the voice that girls my age, younger and even older didn’t have growing up. To become the voice of reason and advice that they currently need. I want them to know that they have a safe space and someone that understands life, decisions, mistakes, and growth from their perspective.

You beautifully dive into important and impactful topics such as self-confidence, colorism, dating and so many more subjects Black girls relate to on a day-to-day basis, what has been the most vulnerable topic that you’ve discussed? Why?

The most vulnerable topic for me thus far would have to be the topic of relationships in terms of their effect on your growth, mental health, and life as a whole. Many people fail to realize this but the connections that we make teach us a lot about ourselves and our outside circumstances. Personal relationships can affect our focus on tasks everything from career and school to simply trying to fall asleep at night. It’s hard because we become so emotionally invested within things, and I just want to guide people through that. Without indulging too much, due to future content I will be releasing, the relationship we have with others is reflected in our relationship with ourselves.

Insecurities can seep into our minds without us even knowing + we all definitely struggle for them not to dictate our actions BUT sometimes it can seem impossible! How do you navigate + overcome your insecurities?

To be honest I normally do one of two things to battle with my insecurities, I give in to it, because like everyone else, I am human.  Having and maintaining a strong mind isn’t something built within a day, and most of the time I find myself falling back into habits that do not serve me. The other thing I do is not focus on how I will make things happen, but to do or try instead. As an overthinker, the best thing that I can do for myself is to simply not think about it and do what needs to be done, because the longer you sit and loath taking care of the task, that’s time spent that could’ve been done completing it.

Your YouTube community has definitely shared their love for your authenticity and transparency! What has been the most positive + touching feedback you’ve received from your videos?

Honestly, seeing the overwhelming responses from Black women and girls is what keeps me going. My focus is to make others feel seen and heard because it’s something that I didn’t have. It makes me feel less alone, knowing that I am doing that for others, it’ s the best gift ever. Especially from someone who didn’t talk much growing up and never felt like her voice mattered.

What advice would you give others who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?

The most honest and truthful advice I can give is that you must be ready and completely willing. When you are on your journey, you are going to be doing, feeling, and realizing a lot about yourself, those around you, and the world. You are going to feel a whirlwind of emotions, but you can’t allow your temporary emotions to stop you from reaching long-term fulfillment and joy.

What’s one positive mantra or positive quote do you live by?

It’s so hard to just pick one so I’ll give you both a quote and mantra. My favorite quote is from Audrey Hepburn, it says, “nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible.” My favorite mantra right now is “expect nothing, accept everything”, it takes away the weight of expectations and mistakes, something we all need.

Fun faves! Food? Movies? Artist? Celeb crush?

My favorite foods would be pasta of any kind, shrimp and Korean food. My favorite movie of all time is Jumanji, the original one with Robin Williams. My favorite artist changes frequently but right now it’s Tierra Whack and no celebrity crushes for me at the moment.

Follow more on Ty’s journey here:

YouTube

Tik Tok

Spotify

Crew Link-Up For Under $30?

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Finance, Latest | by — November 17, 2021

Money may be tight but that won’t stop girls night. Hanging with the girls doesn’t always have to break the bank. There are plenty of options for getting together with the crew on a budget. Here are three ideas under $30 to help you get started. 

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continue reading..

Beauty Line-up: Brittany S.

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — October 7, 2021

 

Scroll through the Beauty Line-Up of Tallahassee-based beauty-lover + digital creator, Brittany!

What’s your name + city you live in?

Hello my name is Brittany Seville and I currently live in Tallahassee, FL for college.

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + expressing your vibe. What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?

Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + expressing your vibe. two beauty trends I am loving this year are Graphic and over the top eyeliner looks and wearing blush (or any red color eyeshadow) under my eyes.

If you had only 15 seconds to grab 3 beauty products, what would they be?

I would Grab my Brown lip liner, My eyebrow pencil (of course), and my concealer.

Beauty inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon OR what inspires your makeup looks + why?

I can’t say that I have a beauty icon but I definitely pull the majority of my inspo off of pinterest! I am often inspired the most by the looks that have more of a futuristic and colourful vibe.

A mixture of everyday glam and bold colourful eye makeup.

How does your makeup reflect your personal style?

My makeup reflects my style in a way that shows that I take risks but sometimes like to stay safe, just in case.

What’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?

I would have to say my “club hopper” NYX LIp Liner. I honestly don’t go anywhere without it. She and I are one.

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?

My number one beauty rule is to do whatever makes you feel like the best version of you. you don’t need to follow trends or stay safe just because you feel like no one else is looking like you. The best part about a beauty routine is that it’s customizable to each individual person. I always say “if I go out and look like everyone else, how are you supposed to spot me out from the rest.”

Follow more of Brittany’s looks here:

Instagram

Natural In The Age Of BBL…

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Health/Beauty, Daily Blog, Latest | by — September 15, 2021

Natural Beauty In The Age Of BBL

Written by Naya Solomon

BBL Problems. BBL Behavior. The BBL Effect. DO any of these phrases ring a bell?

A couple monthss back, a viral video had Twitter in pretty high spirits- the clip showed a line of recent BBL patients looking to board planes as wheelchair passengers. Accompanied by lighthearted tweets from account owner @MuvaofGotti, stating things like, “-it’s 28 wheelchairs coming off this flight from DR and Delta losing their minds-” the internet found it hilarious, ridiculing the seemingly innumerable women lined up like dominoes after subjecting themselves to the same  procedure.

A few others chimed in to express their mild concern, disbelief, and comedic sentiments for the surgeons responsible for making these women’s dreams come true. That following month, another twitter user came forward with a surprising letter from an unnamed Hotel, expressing their inability to accommodate so many post-operative stays.

It seems we as a people have reached an emotional impasse in regards to the BBL(Brazillian Butt Lift) Epidemic that has very clearly taken the country and its impressionable young women by storm. Despite its lighthearted presence online, what goes on beneath the surface is a bit more sinister.

As successful surgical videos circulate online and grace the eyes of young girls, teens, and women trapped in the house and online, we have to wonder what the effect of all this one-sided media will have.

Tiktok has given us “The BBL Effect,” an insanely popular trend started by creator @Antonibumba poking fun at the caricature that is the young woman with a bbl- she’s a socialite that uses apple pay at the deli. She drinks with a straw even though it’s bad for her lip-filler. She needs all her clothes altered. With her lips pursed and hair tossed over her shoulder, she is the moment. See: Kylie Jenner and Stassie Baby types. We see young people of all sorts imitating their favorite bbl-toting baddies.

Antonio’s latest video under the tag very casually addresses the viral tweets, suggests they be safe if planning to undergo the surgery, and almost quickly enough to dismiss it, mentions that the procedure was giving “life threatening vibes,” noting that their aunt died from one only six months prior.

The threat that bbl’s pose on the body is easily overlooked when the culture makes it palatable and popular. Now, no shade to Antonio they’re hilarious and we love and appreciate our black content creators- but this is an excellent example of how something so serious can become trivialized.

“BBL surgery” in the tiktok search bar will show you hundreds of patients documenting their experiences, some as young as nineteen years old- an age at which the body hasn’t finished developing.

So many of us have been online for so long we’ve forgotten how to log off. When faced with other women on social media so frequently, we forget that everything is strategically planned, our bodies are posed, our hair is coiffed, and nothing is ever as it seems. Naturalness isn’t a crime. Our perceptions of what is beautiful and attainable has been skewed by social media stunts and capitalistic endeavors. If lots of people make something popular, society begins to cater to it. As this surgery gained massive popularity, terms like “BBL Fashion” were coined, and it was suddenly easy to see what kinds of stores have always catered to the unattainable looks that wear on our confidence: Fashion Nova, Pretty Little Thing, clothes pulled tightly on mannequins shaped like coke bottles.

It’s painfully easy to fall victim to insecurity when society makes it palatable, but it’s not the only route to take. Perhaps it’s time we looked past our insecurities and at who and what preys on them. There’s nothing wrong with you at all, and there never was.

~ By Naya Solomon