Myleik Teele

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Naturalista Chicery at the CurlBox Meetup

Naturalista Chicery at the CurlBox Meetup

Karen Tappin and Myleik Teele, running thangs at their meet-up last night.

 

Hi girls! Last night, I found myself at what seemed to be the very epicenter of fab naturalista chic-ery — curlBOX’s soiree at famed Karen’s Body Beautiful in Fort Greene, BK. A little backstory: curlBOX, founded by my girl Myleik Teele, is a way to experience curly hair products at an insanely low price (for $20, subscribers received 5-7 samples a month). And Karen’s Body Beautiful spa carries a house brand of all-natural black hair products that are legendary among naturalistas (the Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner is most coveted). Blended by the gloriously fro’d owner, Karen Tappin, the line is super-hydrating and restorative — and they smell divine.

 

Karen, Bobina and me! Funniest part of the event? A guy outside was banging congos -- and Bobina handed her doll to me so she could do a quick half-crump.

 

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to stop by — and I even brought my curly progeny, Miss Lina Bobina. I’ve covered a ton of natural hair meetups during my run at Essence.com, but I’ve never attended one as an almost-chemical-free chica, myself. I saw the whole thing with brand new, covetous eyes! There were hundreds of swaggy bombshells there, with some of the sexiest ‘dos I’ve ever seen — ringlets, fros, waist-length dreads, twist-outs  — and makeup game for days.

 

I meeaaan...

 

I saw two particularly stunning girls outside in the block-long line…and being me, I attacked them, demanding to know their beauty secrets.

 

Gorgeousness.

 

How CUTE, right? Here’s the tee from the chick on the left, Sherena, who’s been natural for a year and a half: “I’m wearing MAC Eyeshadow in Steamy…I thought the teal was a pretty contrast with the yellow. The lip is MAC Lipstick in Bubbles. And I make my own blend of shea butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil for my hair — I use it as a moisturizer and a twisting cream!”

The cutie on the right, Ingrid, has been chemical-free since ’09 and loves a statement lip: “It’s Wet & Wild Lipstick in Stoplight Red. I love the pop, plus I’m trying to keep it cost effective! And I’m a huge fan of Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner and the Bee Mine Curly Butter.”

Sigh. Forget celebs and models, sometimes the most inspiring/aspirational looks come from the chick up the block. Ladies, what makeup and hair looks are inspiring you these days?

 

Bobina, finding inspiration at the meetup from her lovely new friend :)

SYB Interview: curlBOX Creator, Myleik Teele

SYB Interview: curlBOX Creator, Myleik Teele

curlBOX creator, Myleik Teele

I’m still a good year from being a-hunnid percent natural, but I still got all giddy when I heard about curlBOX. For a $20 fee, curlBOX members receive an exclusive gift box stocked with five-to-seven naturalista hair product samples! I mean, genius. As every curly girl knows, you have to be a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to products, spending a good percentage of your salary buying and trying every natural-friendly product under the sun. But with curlBOX, you can sample the chicest brands to your heart’s content, for a fraction of the price.

So smart, and it’s all the brainchild of curlBOX’s creator, publicist extraordinaire Myleik Teele. Here, she sits down with SYB to chat about her business, her hair, and the products that make her happy.

SYB: Why did you start curlBOX?

Myleik Teele: One morning, my girlfriend was telling me about all of these emerging makeup-sampling companies. I’m a product junkie so I immediately checked them out, and it hit me…curly girls need this more than anyone!

SYB: What unique aspects are you bringing to the curly girl community?

MT: Utter fabulousness! Every month I get to gift our subscribers with the newest, hottest and most coveted products — things they’ve been hearing about and things they’ve never even seen before — for only $20!

SYB: What are your top five, can’t-live-without-them hair products?

MT:  I really have like 26 but I’ll give you five that I’m obsessed with right now!

1.  Elasta QP Mango Butter – This product makes sure I look cute every time I take down a twist or braid-out.  I add a little coconut oil to it and I’m done.

2.  Apple Cider Vinegar – I have to do an ACV rinse ever so often.  My hair likes it and needs it and I’ve managed to get over the horrendous smell.

3.  Huetiful Hair Steamer – My favorite time to use my steamer is with a sew-in (gets rid of that itch you can’t scratch) and after a day of sun bathing (it removes the crispiness you get from the sun).

4.  Carol’s Daughter Macadamia Hold & Control Smoother – It lays those edges down and holds them – and you can use it over and over without any build up.  It’s genius.

5.  Shea Radiance Moisturizing Hair Milk – A few sprays my ‘fro in the morning after it’s been smashed from sleeping.

Curly girl!

SYB: You’re 100% natural — did you “big chop” or transition?

MT: I’ve big chopped three times since the age of 18.  I haven’t had a perm in over a decade but I did transition out of damage from those “hard presses” that they do in LA a few years ago.

SYB: Who’s your hair goddess/icon?

MT: Truth?  Blogger/vlogger CharyJay is my hair icon. I discovered her last year when she entered a contest and I was on the panel of judges. Her hair is amazing, she has tons of styles and her videos are just funny.  She takes the seriousness out of natural haircare (because you know there can be over 15 steps on “wash day”). I’m always checking to see what she’s going to do next!

SYB: Advice for women wanting to start their own businesses?

MT: It’s cliché, but true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. curlBOX worked because I dialed into my network, which I built and nurtured over the course of decade. Whether I called an old colleague for launch advice or a company for samples, my track record was solid.  If the people I call don’t know me personally, I can be vouched for.  When you’re starting something new, you want to be sure you at least have a solid work reputation behind you along with an incredible work ethic.