Sheek Magazine

Category: Me

Winter Style

This will be a Winter of practicality because I’ll only be going out for necessities like groceries and the like. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with layers! My base look remains consistent throughout winter; varying turtlenecks and jeans.

New color palette to try:

Primary: Red + Yellow + Blue

Outfit formulas-

Faces coat + white boots

White puffer coat + blue beanie + yellow scarf + rorange gloves + white boots

Camel coat + camel & abstract shape scarf + rorange beanie + cream gloves + black boots

Rorange coat + cream beanie + black gloves + black boots

 

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Hair Changes

These past ten years of being natural have been a learning experience. Not only in how to do my hair, but what my hair means to me. As I grow older, I’ve made deliberate choices about it that challenge societal notions of “beauty” for cis women. Here are a few of those changes listed below.

COLOR

For the longest, I had colors in the red family. Dark auburn, ginger, cinnamon, then eventually an ombre blonde on the ends. Loved that color for it really matched my freckles and somehow looked more “natural” on me than my black hair. 

I still feel like my natural hair color washes me out. My face is about 4 shades paler than the rest of my body and that difference has always been something I disliked. Black hair seemed to draw attention to that, but I’m contemplating just accepting it to stop with the bleach damage. Hopefully my freckles will darken with time like my mom’s have.

For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to get silver hair. I’ve wanted it since 2015, but was worried that the amount of bleaching to get there would be too damaging (basically something I’ve realized lately.) It’s such a great neutral color and I can’t get over how amazing it looks with my favorite red. So many women have been pressured to hide all signs of aging and have covered their natural greys with dye. It’s great to see more embracing the grey (like my mom and Mate’s mom!) I’ve had some white hairs mixed in since childhood but I can’t wait till they take over!

To try and lay off the bleach, I’ve found a new product. It’s a temporary silver hair wax that has amazing results on all types of natural hair. So I’m thinking I can just add that in each week when I style, and focus on building back my hair’s health.

LENGTH

I cut my hair recently which would make this big chop number 4. There was some damage and I also wanted to try a tapered shape. I used to have a goal of “long” hair like many naturalistas but I’ve switched my goal to be “big hair” with an emphasis on healthy coils. The cut means it’ll take more time to achieve, but the ease of short hair is undeniable! 

Unfortunately, countless women have been told to never cut their hair, it makes them beautiful, it’s their “glory” etc etc. I never thought this dead protein on my head should be exalted as such, I see it as another way to express myself. But damaged, stringy ends were not an asset to my coiled coif, so a cut was in order. 

STYLE

When I first went natural, I tried all the hairstyles. Twists, roller sets, protective styles, you name it! (You can still watch the tutorials on my Youtube.) I never had a weave and only wore wigs for cosplay, but that opens up even more possibilities for people who enjoy them!

I love natural hair, the variety we can achieve, reclaiming a part of ourselves that was hated due to white supremacy. And though there’s been a lot more acceptance of natural hair in the past decade, there are still issues of appropriation from white people, Black individuals being reprimanded at school & work, and an overall lack of representation of kinkier styles being considered just as “beautiful” as loose curly ones. 

Of all the styles I’ve tried, the fro is my ultimate favorite. No matter the color, no matter the length, this is the style for me. I especially enjoy trimming and playing with different shapes. My fro also helps me feel closer to my parents who had them in the 70s. One day I just want a big ass fro that can help me knock injustice out!

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Black Bags

I’ve loved the classic look of black leather bags for so many years now. I thought it’d be fun to show the various ones I have with a description of how I use each.

Medium Camera Bag

This was a hand-me-down from my dad and has held up so well over the years. I’d use this for a shoot that needs a bit more gear (like flash or another lens.)

Laptop Bag

This was a secondhand find from a local consignment store. It is the perfect size for if I needed to bring my MacBook pro anywhere and could fit my small portfolio book and resumes.

Camera Purse

This was one of my first intentional, ethical purchases years ago from Ona. It is my go to for headshot/portrait sessions when I only need my camera and 2 lenses. 

Mini Circle Purse

The smallest of the bunch, this was my last purchase from Fossil when I worked there many years ago. When I only need a few items, I use this.

Halfmoon Bag

My most recent buy from the wonderful Tree Fairfax. This would be great for hands free activities like the farmer’s market or travel and can fit a nice amount in it as long as the items are flatter.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Fall Style

Every year when August rolls around, I inevitably swoon for the thought of cooler days and layers. The thoughts are premature of course, for it remains pretty hot through September so Fall styling must always wait. But once that briskness arrives? I go all in!

New color palette to try:

Cream + Rorange + Camel + Black

Outfit formulas-

Tee + jeans + fun socks + derbys

Boxy black top + black pants + red socks & black boots OR red boots

Boxy black top + camel pants + cream mules or boots

Cream/black quilted jacket + cream tee + camel pants + red socks + black chelseas

Dark denim jacket + striped tee + camel pants + black boots

Camel jacket + cream tee + washed black jeans + red boots or rorange mary janes

Red denim jacket + cream tee + dark jeans + black with red boots

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Work Bag

I’ve been partial to vintage Coach bags for years now, and have been able to find them secondhand in stores and online. This most recent find is something I had on my poshmark wishlist for about a year before buying. Since it was in new condition, the seller had it listed at its full price so I knew it would be quite a big purchase. It is so well made, my favorite color, and I know it will last for many many years.

Here’s a peek of what’s inside:

-ipad pro

-Charger/cords

-Business cards

-Small notebook & pen

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Silver Hair

I finally achieved silver hair!

I had attempted this before in December of last year then again in January of this year. Only the ends of my hair were light enough for the silver to take. Over the past several months, I’ve been bleaching (and consequently trimming/applying protein treatments) to get my hair to a light enough yellow.

I actually was going to stick with blonde for awhile, but this last time I bleached the roots and decided to try silver again.

After lightening, there was still quite a bit of brassiness so I applied the Fanola no yellow shampoo and left it on for a bit. The ends took as usual but the upper area was still stubbornly honey colored. I had some left over Manic Panic “alien grey” from before so I put that on the still brassy roots.

I rinsed and it helped a lot. The next day, there were still a few blonde places, so I put the Fanola no yellow conditioner on with a plastic cap for a few hours. That helped blend some more, though it left a lilac cast.

Next wash, I shampooed to get the excess purple out and dried it to apply one more batch of “alien grey” on any remaining patchiness. After rinsing again, I was so pleased with the results.

Lastly, I ordered the Overtone silver conditioner line to maintain. Having all three shades will allow me to mix and distribute differently on particular places on my hair. 

All-in-all, I’m glad I was able to make this color possible. It’s fun yet still a neutral hue that matches with all my outfits. And I can refresh it with color depositing conditioner, so no more risk of damage on these weary ends!

Keeping these in mind helped me through the process:

1) Patience

2) Multiple Bleaching Sessions

3) Not afraid of trimming/cutting damaged ends

4) Protein Treatments + Deep Conditioning

5) Purple/Silver Toning Products  

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Summer Style

Not sure how long the distancing will last, so I’m still keeping comfort at the top of my priorities. Thankfully, once summer hits I LIVE in sandals, my most favorite type of shoes. I gave up the cheap, flat ones from my youth and have been investing in really comfortable, supportive ones from various brands over the past few years.

Going to add in softer earth tones to my usual palette to mix things up. Plan to utilize various headwraps for protective styling as well as have fun with all of my statement necklaces as they really jazz up simple looks.

Main pieces include:

Supportive sandals, light denim shorts, Arq tanks, boxy linen tops, maxi skirts, flowy pants, and midi dresses.

Outfit formulas-

Fitted tank + maxi skirt + sandals

Fitted tank + shorts + sandals

Fitted tank + flowy pants + sandals

Boxy top + light jeans + sandals

Boxy top + flowy pants + sandals

Boxy top + shorts + sandals

Midi dress + sandals

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Spring Style

I’ve had major success with simplifying my fall/winter style over the last few years, so I want to bring that over to spring as well. 

We don’t have real spring in MI anymore, I’m sure the climate crisis has affected where you live these past 20 years as well. Amidst the slushy wet days there are a few nice ones sprinkled in however. So though I’ll still have to wear a coat or jacket most days, I may be able to wear a lighter under layer.

Excited to finally trade my turtlenecks for tees. I’m going to stay within my palette (black, white/cream, red, with stripes & polka dots for fun.) Went through my tees and found quite a bit to purge (too small now) so I set note on my wishlist to eventually replace those.

I’ve grown to really appreciate the idea of uniform dressing, at least in terms of basics that I can mix and match. Here are some specific outfit formulas I plan to try out.

Polka dot top + light jeans + red glove shoes

Stripe tee + light jeans + rorange mary janes

Graphic tee + light jeans + white derbys

Flowy white top + red flowy pants + black babos

Flowy black top + red flowy pants + white glove shoes

Fitted tee + cream wrap pants + glove shoes

Fitted tee + black balloon pants + glove shoes

Midi dress + glove shoes

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Bigger Sizes

It’s ok to buy a bigger size.

Let me repeat that.

It’s ok to buy a bigger size.

So many of us have had it drilled into our heads since youth the notion that small/thin/skinny is “better.” I’ll just jump in and be another voice that assures THAT IS NOT THE CASE. In life, our body changes, it grows & morphs, it may shrink & sag or plump up.

All of these changes are normal.

Sometimes we may have weight fluctuations due to hormonal changes, digestive issues, and/or stress, at least I know those are all the case for me. Due to that, I’ve recently picked up some bigger sizes of my favorite pants to wear.

I know minimalists go around saying if it can’t fit, purge it to make room for something that does (or just purge it for the sake of owning less.) While I agree on donating/selling items you don’t like or wear, fit is a bit more complicated. If you have a favorite pair of pants–that took a long time to find initially–that aren’t fitting comfortably right now, I say buy the bigger size! Now if you still love everything about the smaller size, don’t purge it immediately.

I’m not suggesting someone hold onto something that doesn’t fit and that makes them feel terrible about themselves. I’m saying to hold onto the extra size in case your weight does fluctuate back down so then you won’t have to keep going out to buy those same items because you already have them, which will save you money down the road.

My examples are shown in the images. Core pants for me are light wash jeans and black & cream trousers. The jeans are the exact same style of levis, just in a bigger size and they fit great. The trousers are everlane, and I haven’t wanted to support them as a company for a bit, so I tried out some Only Child pants instead. They are also comfy, but very thin and more suitable for warm weather, so my search continues for black & cream trousers in a thick cotton and/or denim material while I’m in this size range.

To recap, if you have found an awesome item but it doesn’t fit quite right anymore, don’t feel guilty about buying a bigger size. Don’t feel guilty about holding onto it for a few months if you want to. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to part with it and the bigger size does wind up working after all.

I can’t make you love changing sizes, but I hope to normalize that part of life by sharing that I have accepted it and refuse to feel guilty because it.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah