Disappear

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I made our weekly sojourn to the grocery store. (Even Pre-COVID, we shopped weekly to save time, energy, and money.) We slowly wound our way through the store we simultaneously loved and hated—large selection and great prices, narrow aisles and never enough cashiers.

A woman’s cart stood between us and the almond milk, one of the last items on our list. Eager to get this trip over with, my boyfriend moved her cart a few inches so I could push ours past. The movement must have caught her eye, and she turned to look at me.

“You’re so beautiful!” she exclaimed.

I thanked her, secretly wondering how she could think such a thing given the cloth mask covering half my face. Without missing a beat, she continued.

“Where are you from?”

That was the first of many microaggressions to come.

I quickly replied, “Kentucky,” and pushed my cart closer to the dairy case in an effort to end the conversation. But she inched closer, maskless (!) and babbling.

“Your hair is lovely. What do you do to your hair to get it like that?”

The answer? Literally nothing. (The few sprays of water I applied before the trip didn’t count—I didn’t even put any product in it!) I shrugged and responded, “It just grows this way,” struggling mightily to keep myself from rolling my eyes. I was brought up to respect my elders, and even though the gray-haired woman in front of me was trying my patience, my mama raised me to be polite.

I tried to leave but the woman continued, following one awful comment with a string of several more.

“African women are so elegant, very regal and classy. You know, I could tell you weren’t from around here. You don’t act like the Black people in Wisconsin. I work with them and they have such an attitude. They wear their hair in the braids and it just comes out. I’m from India and I help them, boil the coconut oil and castor oil to make something to help it grow back. Your hair is beautiful and healthy, and you wear it just as it is! They should be more like you.”

Racism, wrapped in compliments. From another woman of color, at that! I wanted to disappear.

As she turned and walked away, she noticed the large ginger root in our cart.

“Healthy too! You are so good. May God bless you.”

My boyfriend, having ventured to get the almond milk himself, returned to find me standing next to our cart. Seething, I recounted the interaction. We headed toward the checkout line, watching carefully to avoid seeing her again.

Usually, I leave that grocery store anxious and frustrated because of the crowded aisles and lengthy checkout lines. Today, anxiety and frustration were replaced with anger and sadness.

You cannot uplift one Black woman and simultaneously put others down.

You cannot talk badly about Black people in Wisconsin while ignoring the fact that it is one of the worst states in America for Black people.

You cannot celebrate Black hair in its natural state while trashing the protective styles many of us (including myself) wear regularly.

You can, though, be racist and a person of color at the same damn time.

FOTD: Kitty Kat

Beyoncé is my queen. Her music, style, and general badass-ness gives me life…and I know I ain’t the only one. Recently I’ve been listening to some of her older albums–B’Day, I Am… Sasha Fierce, and 4 still go hard, y’all–and got inspired to do this cat-eye look. I’ve never tried a cat-eye this dramatic but I’m definitely feeling the result; it probably won’t become an everyday thing but I’ll definitely bust it out for special occasions. 

Product and application details are after the jump: 

My finished Face of the Day! 

Face:

  • Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Dark (applied with fingers)
  • Smashbox Contour Palette–highlight and contour shades only (applied with the flat brush and contour brush from my Sephora contour brush kit)
  • Mary Kay Powder Blush in Berry Brown (applied with the stippling brush from the aforementioned contour brush kit)
  • Cover FX Blotting Powder in Deep (applied with powder brush all over the face)

Brows:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony (applied with brow brush and spoolied out)

Eyes:

  • Two Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer (applied with a cotton swab over the entire lid)
  • Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm (lid, applied with fingers) and Metallic Taupe (crease, applied with fingers)
  • Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Half Baked (brow bone, applied with tapered blending brush)
  • Benefit Roller Lash Mascara in Black and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black (two coats each on upper and lower lashes)
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black (upper–used a lot of cotton swabs and eye makeup remover to get the wings together)
  • MAC Smolder Eye Kohl in Black (lower–on water line)

Lips:

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Ozone
  • Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rosé
  • Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss in Midnightini 

 All smiles–I feel so pretty! 

FOTD: Minimal and Marvelous!

Now introducing my newest series: Face of the Day! I’m starting to get more into makeup and thought I’d share my experiences with different products and applications. There aren’t enough resources out there for women of color in regards to which colors and brands work best for us, so hopefully these posts will help a sister out! 

I’m heading to Chipotle to get a burrito and didn’t feel like doing my full makeup routine, so I decided to a minimal look that still looked pulled together. Below are the products and application, as well as a photo of my finished face!

  My finished Face of the Day!  

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Browdip Pomade in Ebony. Applied with a brow brush and lightly brushed with a spoolie brush for a more natural look. 

Face: Cover FX Blotting Power in Deep. Applied with a powder brush all over the face, including over the brows to set the color. 

Lashes: Benefit Roller Lash in Black and Smashbox Full Exposure in Jet Black. One coat of each (Benefit first) on top and bottom lashes. I love the Benefit brush because it has a smaller side for applying to your tiny bottom lashes!

Lips: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick and MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam I. Red lips instantly give you a more put-together look. 

That’s it! Just a few products and a few minutes to apply them that still give you a put-together look. Let me know what you think and tell me about your products for a minimal but marvelous look!

 Lipsyncing for my life to Luther Vandross Radio on Pandora–I love old school R&B!