All posts by CurlySpice

I’m Not African American. I’m Black.

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I don’t respect Jessie Jackson’s fight to generalize a whole race.

What he did was perhaps unintentionally selfish and closed minded.

I understand not everyone wants to be labeled by a color such as Black, White, Yellow, or Brown, but I will tell you why I prefer Black with a capital B in place of African American.
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People who are less knowledgeable about diverse settings and cultures beyond their own often confuse race, nationality and ethnicity; exhibit A.. The United States.

The Americas as a continent are made up of North America (Canada, the U.S, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, etc.), Central America (The Caribbean), and South America (Venezuela, Belize, Chili, Brazil, etc.)

However the term American is exclusively used to describe a citizen of the United States.

Basically all of the countries in North America take on their own title to label their nationality. I usually don’t hear people describe their nationality as North American. Canadians and other countries in North America do not classify themselves American. American seems to be used to strictly classify citizenship in the U.S.

If you do not have citizenship in the U.S but claim American, people will certainly look at you with disdain right?

Now, my point.

Are all Black Americans Africans? Do all Black Americans have citizenship in Africa or have direct relation in Africa?

Hold that thought.

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Unlike North America, you’ll sometimes hear other continents clump their nationalities together by continent rather than country. Example: you may hear ppl from India and Japan call themselves Asian to describe their nationality in terms of region. If they wanted to be more specific like North Americans, they’ll identify their nationality by their country. Example, Japanese, Indian. Same with middle easterners. You may hear a person from Iraq describe themselves as middle eastern (region) or Iraqi (country’s nationality ). You may hear people from Trinidad, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic all refer to themselves as Caribbean in terms of geographical location, but more specifically, Trinidadian, Jamaican, or Dominican. Same with Africans, they’ll call themselves African to describe the region they are from, or if they want to be more specific describe the exact country in Africa as their nationality (Nigerian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Egyptian, etc.)

You get the point?

Now that you understand the breakdown, is the United States a country in Africa?

Can a group of people born and raised in say Kenya, with no citizenship/ direct ties to the U.S refer to themselves as Americans?

Do you get my point? Africa/African is NOT a race. It is a geographical location!

European is not a race!

Caribbean is not a race!

American is not a race! Etc.etc.

They are all geographical locations of continents and countries used to describe nationality.

Any race can be citizens of those regions.

There are black people living in Europe (the U.K, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand, etc.). They are all considered European or more specifically, whatever country they are a citizen of in Europe.

Same with any other region. Emphasis on Africa, since it is the topic of debate here.

Are the white Africans in South Africa not African Mr. Jessie Jackson???

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I do see this as an honest mistake many Americans make though.

America is a large country that is made up of states that can be as large as a country in some cases.

Even though a state in America might be as large as a whole country, they don’t have distinct nationalities. They are united and lumped as America/American.

America in general struggles with identity. It is a melting pot. They do not have 1 rich/dominant culture since people from all over the world tend to migrate here, but still hold on to their home culture.

The more recent an American family’s migration is, the stronger their bond and knowledge is to their original culture. For example, a first generation American will be certain and well aware of their cultural background than an American family whose family may have migrated here during slavery.
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Culture/ Ethnicity: Each continent is made up of different countries, which may have different cultures and traditions.
Example: Dominican, Trinidadian and Haitian nationalities are all broadly described as Caribbean, however Dominicans are heavily influenced by Spanish Culture, whereas Trinidadians are heavily influenced by East Indian (as in India) Hindi culture, and Haitians have a dominant French culture.

Slaves from Africa were also sent to the Caribbean, which means all three countries are also influenced by African customs, some more heavily than others. It just depends on what people dominated a region.

You will also find lots of French influence in certain parts of Trinidad like my mom’s side of the family’s last name (Fournillier), or the residence my family in Trinidad lives (Paramin and Le Platte).

Spanish influence in Trinidad is also common, like the city where I was born (Port-of-Spain), the fact Trinidad practically sits on top of Venezuela, and my grandmother and elders before her ability to speak a mixture of Spanish and French, which describes a broken language called Patois.

One’s culture is taking into account all of these influences, but a region’s dominant culture is based on a region’s dominant customs, and for Trinidad, despite the French and Spanish’s mild influence, Hindu culture dominates.

Slaves were brought from Africa to the Caribbean as a place to be trained to adopt the mentality of a slave (Willie Lynch) before being shipped to the U.S. The Africans were influenced by the Spanish and French culture in Trinidad, but after slavery, the island became deserted and indentured laborers (the East Indians) migrated to Trinidad to work the sugar cane plantations.

They mixed with the remaining population there and dominated islands like Trinidad and Guyana.

To this day the East Indian population in those places outweigh the other races. If you look at Many Trinidadians and Guyanese people (not all), they have a noticeable mix of afro and indo (East Indian) features; thick, dark curly textured or even bone straight hair, hairy (lol), tanned skin (may vary), larger eyes.

The accents are sing-song just like the Hindi language. We celebrate Indian arrival Day, Divali, our food is heavily influenced by East Indian cuisine (curry, roti, dhal, chick pea, etc.) Therefore we can say Trinidad’s culture is predominantly Hindi.

In retrospect, Haitians speak French and I am sure most of their food, and customs are French, therefore Haitian’s culture is predominantly French.

Dominicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Guatemalans, South American countries etc., are predominantly Spanish culture. However in each country the way Spanish is spoken may be different. It’s just a regional thing.

In Africa, like Haiti, many speak French as the French may have had a dominant impact there during revolutionary times.

Africa is even more in depth in terms of ethnicity as they also have tribes, which makes it more complex to narrow tradition.

As for race. Even though it is divided into the least categories, I feel as though it is the most complex topic, and I do not feel as though I have complete knowledge to break it down. I do however feel as though it is scientific and deals with dominant genetic makeup, DNA etc.

I describe myself as a Black woman.
My nationality is Caribbean-American (Trinidadian-American if you feel the need to be more precise).
And lastly my ethnicity is a mixture of Indo, Afro, Spanish and French culture. More heavily indo and Afro as my grandmother is East indian race and my grandfather is Black.

For an American person whose family migrated since the days of slavery, they may feel confused about titles like ethnicity and nationality more so than race.

They may feel entitled to know where else their ancestors migrated from since we all know America is basically just a place made up of immigrants.

I understand adopting the term African American since The U.S had the most influence with slavery, slaves were adopted originally from Africa, and because many Black Americans make a connection with being Black with being from Africa…But Black does not exclusively = African.

Africa is just a continent that happens to be predominantly Black in most regions. There are all types of non Blacks who are African ( whites, Arabians).

Black people, like White people, Yellow, or Brown people come in a mixture of different nationalities and ethnicities.

Black people from Australia, the Caribbean and Africa all look different.
Even black people within Africa look different. Example: Ethiopians look nothing like Nigerians, or Egyptians.

You can’t clump us all into one and label us African, American, or African- American.

We do not all migrate TO the U.S and we do not all migrate FROM Africa.

Black is not only African American. Black is variation! We are not restricted to a region.

Read, open your mind, travel please!

The Perfect Velour (Khloe Kardashian) Red Lip

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Sorry, eyebrows need re-threading

I’ve searched high and low for a red lip that looked like the Snow White, matte, rich red color that Khloe Kardashian Kardashian rocks (see image below). Gorgeous!

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I’ve had Ruby Woo for 4 years and although it is hyped as the perfect, blue-based, pin up, red lip color for all skin tones and undertones, I’ve noticed that it has an orange tint.

I’m not sure if I get an orangish tint from Ruby Woo in certain lighting because I have very warm undertones in my skin, but I’ve heard others say the same.

As I’ve said, I’ve literally tried a ton of reds in search of my version of the perfect red lip, even NARS “Cruella” velvet-matte lip pencil, a beautiful shade of red, & more blue-based than ruby woo.

I didn’t see any reviews on NARS Cruella by any Black people, but that never bothered me.

I took a deep breath and decided $25 + tax, $27 was worth the perfect red lip.

Upon application I grew disappointed. The color was a beautiful blue based, brick red color, but not like the Valentine’s day, smooth, velour, rich red I was hoping for.

I then began my search again and came across reviews for Elf Rich Red lip crayon/pencil for $3.

To be honest I love Elf because their stuff is super cheap for quality products, but I was skeptical at the same time because of the price.

On the reviews also the Elf formula for their lip crayons looked creamy/shiny even though the product stated “matte”. This is something I hate! The more matte the better for me. Matte lipsticks just look so much more sophisticated, almost hand crafted on lips, whereas creamy lipsticks look like chicken grease and paint. But the color was beautiful, so I bought it.

When it arrived in the mail I immediately tried it on without much expectation.

I looked in the mirror and it was beautiful. It was NOT shiny! I have to remind myself that a lot of YouTubers pack on tons of lip balm under matte lipsticks and it ends up defeating the purpose  -____-

The formula is a velvet matte like the NARS lip pencils, which is great because they don’t dry your lips out too much.

The minor, and I do mean super minor con is you have to apply layers to build the richness that I like. It is super pigmented, but not like those I’m used to like MAC.

I decided to glide my MAC Ruby Woo red lipstick over the Elf Rich Red crayon and I almost cried. It was what I was wanting for so long. I rubbed my lips together to mix the colors and it was perfect.

To put the icing on the cake, I took a teeny weeny bit of white body powder (translucent powder might be better), and patted my lips, and oh my gosh! It just set the color perfectly, and gave it that hand crafted painted, plush look I like.

My lips also stayed moisturized, even though I didn’t use a lip balm under.

Disclaimer: If setting lip color with powder, DO NOT USE YOUR FOUNDATION powder. It will change the lip color.

I’m so happy 💋

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Elf Rich Red on the left (richer color) MAC Ruby Woo on right

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3rd Chop’s A Charm Right?

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And you’re scared because…? Lol.

1)Aug 2010: 1st chop after transitioning for a yr
2) Oct. 2011. Chopped because of bleach/color damage. I was scary addicted.
3) Feb. 2014. Chopped because of bleacch/ color damage again. Even though I love and miss the signature spicy, bronze, highlighted hair color, I was ready to grow up & take my hair’s health seriously + we all know third time’s a charm.

7 Reasons I Love Fall <3

1) I’m a Fall Baby 🙂 (October 7th!)

 

2) The weather: I like chilly; not freezing, but crisp air hitting my face.

 

3)Scents: Spices. Air freshners and candles that smell like apple pie, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla, hazelnut, any homey scent makes me feel relaxed and warm.

When it comes to my perfumes I’ve always been drawn to those deeper toned ones for women. It makes you smell expensive! In the Fall I also tend to spend more on quality perfumes. Fall 2012, Coach Poppy and Britney Spears “Fantasy” (I’ve worn that forever!) were my go to’s. Last Fall, Jessica Simpson Fancy Love and Rihanna’s “Rebel Fleur”. I got so many compliments on both. Whenever I wear Rebel Fleur I think of NYC, which is where I was last Fall. Scents are so reminiscent, which can be a good or bad thing.

In search of a new Fall perfume. I have a collection by now; awesome because I love variation (Libra).

 

4) Warm Drinks and poetry: I’m the typical suburban girl who loves her Starbucks 🙂 Coffee shops in general are life in the colder months.

5) Humdity free: My hair sends up thanks and praises for this one. I know some people have issues with their natural hair during colder months, but my curls and straight hair loves it. My straight hair remains straight without reverting, and my curls dry flawlessly and frizz-less, because of the cold air.

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6) Food: Food just tastes better in colder months. So many homemade goodies. I always weigh more from October-February, which isn’t a terrible thing in my case. I workout, therefore giving myself room to be able to do so without appearing hefty.

 

 

 

7) FALL FASHION: dark and neutral colors (olive, other greens, rust, oranges, browns, black, gray, burgundy, reds, etc.), bold red/dark/ neutral lips, nails, dark hair, darker eyes (mascara and liner season 🙂 ), sweaters, boots, scarfs, hats (beanies, berets, fedoras), plaid, polka dots, tights, ahh! 😀

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Tips For Flat Ironing Fine Textured Hair

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We all know the finer your strands are, the more probe you are to frizz and reversion if you have curly hair.

Even though I have very dense hair (enough for 2 ppl), my strands are very fine in texture; I just have a lot of them.

Lately I’ve been struggling to get my hair straight, without it frizzing or reverting 5 seconds later.

Fine haired people are usually scared to use oils or products that weigh their strands down, but I found using an oil, or being a little more heavy handed than usual on the leave in conditioner helps add weight to your strands, so that they stay and remain frizz free.

Adding weight to your strands also helps get a sleeker look when you run the flat iron along them.

Using just serum to flat iron my hair left it too wispy and light, and although I love that, I prefer bone straight hair over big hair when straight.

Below are a few tips on how to tame fine stranded hair:

1) don’t be afraid to apply the same amt of leave in conditioner you would use if your were wearing your hair curly

2) invest in a good blow dryer/ flat iron. Ones with an ionizer/ ceramic/
Titanium plates.

3) experiment with the chase (comb and flat iron combo) method. Our ends tend to want to stubbornly re-curl.

4) lightly oil your ends and strands before flat ironing. I find that since my serum has silicones, it just sits/ coats my strands instead of penetrating them and adding a little weight. Weight is good for fine strands.

5) you will notice your hair will absorb/ drink up most of the oil you put on it before flat ironing and your hair won’t be greasy.

6) stay cool. Sleep with the air condition on if it’s hot/humid. If it’s Winter, turn down/off the heat. Humidity loves fine strands.

7) tie a scarf to cover your hair and then place a shower cap over it before showering. I almost always have to re-straighten after I take a shower if I’m not careful. I find that using a detachable shower hose helps.

8) wrap/ bun your hair up at night and wear a satin scarf

9) dodge rain like the plague

Sealing With Serum vs. Oil on my Hair

 


I never understood why people with kinkier curls than mine were able to take down a pineapple, shake and go, when mine just stiffly adopted the shape of the pineapple.

I use organic gels that do not make my hair stiff, so what was causing the greasy stiffness?

Culprit: Oil! 

When I first went natural I didn’t dare let oil touch my hair unless I was doing a hot oil treatment/ deep conditioning; I guess I still had the “straight hair syndrome” of not wanting to weigh my hair down. Instead, I sealed my natural hair with serum, which has a lighter feel.

As the years went by and I did my second chop, I began developing classic natural hair practices like sealing with oils. I even went on a rant about the difference between sealing oils (castor, jojoba, shea) vs moisturizing oils (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.)

My transition to sealing with oils instead of serum lead to frustration because my hair just doesn’t seem to like being coated in oil. I can tell this from the way my wash n go dries in comparison to sealing with a serum. It looks nice and shiny on camera, but greasy in person.

Through trial and error, I came up with a conclusion: my hair doesn’t hate oils in general, it just doesn’t like being sealed with oil. I can do hot oil treatments, massage my scalp with them, etc., but sealing, I need to give it up.

Jojoba oil is one of the best sealants for those of you whose hair like being sealed with oil, since it mimics our natural sebum. However, I’ve noticed that when sealing MY HAIR with oil, even though my hair retains moisture, I do not have much movement when it dries. It feels a bit stiff and oily, even when using minimal.

Yesterday I used my Garnier Fuctis serum that I’ve used for years, and now only use for flat ironing to seal my wash n go and observed a few things:

1) more movement from my hair

2) less weighed down, fluffier curls

3) still shiny, but not oily

4) softer hair even on second day

Conclusion:

My hair loves the consistency of serums or any serum-like product over oil. I’ve tried products that claim to be serums, but have an oil consistency, and my hair, although it liked the product, produced the same results as when I use an oil to seal. I’ve noticed all-natural serums all have the consistency of an oil, which breaks my heart.

Concerns:
All/ most serums that have a glycerin consistency are packed with at least one or more silicons. Maybe it’s the silicons that give it its consistency. This concerns me because I am not a fan of silicons; well silicons in moisturizers. 

Silicons are sealants; stronger sealants than oil. If you have silicons in your conditioners and moisturizers, you are NOT moisturizing/conditioning your hair. It is just sitting on top of your strands creating a barrier. This is why silicons are excellent sealants.

They even use silicons to seal cracks in pipes, doors, windows, flooring,  so it should absolutely not be used in conditioning products.

With that being said, I use hair serums for my sealing step of my wash n go’s. Therefore, I am making sure to condition and moisturize (leave in, creams, etc) with all organic products, so they penetrate my strands, then lock in that moisture with my serum containing silicone.

As much as this transition is going to pain me, because I’m so against silicons, you must understand it depends on the way you use it.

My biggest concern is getting the silicone out of my hair in preparation for the next wash, since I do not like using sulphates either.

Sulphates strip the hair, but is one of the few things that can wash away silicons. But guess what?

Baking soda, a natural ingredient can also remove silicons from hair.

I already cleanse my low porosity hair with a baking soda rinse every week/ every other week to avoid extra build up. Therefore I need not worry. The baking soda will cleanse away the silicone containing sealant.

Meanwhile, I know if I switch back to sealing with serum, my hair would be softer, have more movement (maybe I can pineapple again), and my moisture would be locked in securely until wash day. Maybe that will help limit my hair washing to once a week and give my hair a break from washing and going every 2-3 days. Doubt it (lol).

I haven’t re-adopted the pattern yet. Will keep you all updated.