14 articles
Hairdryer Loses Handle, Becomes Magical

Hairdryer Loses Handle, Becomes Magical

You know he never ages, and it's just weird. He needs to address our concerns. At least release a statement to the press revealing his choice in under eye creams.

You know he never ages, and it’s just weird. He needs to address our concerns. At least release a statement to the press revealing his choice in under eye creams.

Hi Ladies,

I love finding out that things you assumed were necessary are actually pointless. Like, when we all discovered that toner was a marketing gimmick. Or when it hit us that shampoos were meant for straight, oily-hair, not textured hair (HOAX!). Or when we realized that Pharrell was actually a real-life Beloved, a person-ghost who appeared to be his actual age – but still had the supernaturally smooth, eerily unlined skin of an infant, which was when his mother murdered him in a frantic moment of abject terror (no? Any Toni Morrison-ites in the house? Just me?).  Anyway, it recently occurred to me that handles on hairdryers were pointless.

It's literally like using a brush or comb.

It’s literally like using a brush or comb.

Last week, RED by KISS Red by Kiss Handle-Less Hair Dryer came across my desk, and I plotzed. It looked crazy — but I loved the weirdness (kooky tools and devices are my new thing). And it’s actually profoundly revolutionary. Since you can directly grip the body of the hairdryer, it allows for more control when administering blowouts (which one definitely needs when wrestling with natural hair). Add the comb attachment, and you can really get into those roots, aim the heat where you need it, and then easily smooth down from the scalp to the tip. It makes blowing out your hair crazy precise, because it’s so much less unwieldy! Almost like using your own hands. Also, in case you’re wondering, the body of the dryer doesn’t get hot, so you’re good.

Brava, Red by Kiss. Gamechanger.

Aveda Targets Transitioners!

Aveda Targets Transitioners!


On June 1st, it’ll be my one-year transitioning anniversary! I’ve been growing out my natural hair the way I grew out my acrylic nails. I faked it till I made it. The nail tech would buff and polish my nails until the acrylic was just…gone. Similarly, I’ve continued my bi-weekly blowouts, hoping to rock a sleek look till the relaxer’s just…gone. It hasn’t been as easy as the mani situation, or as cute. My roots are so thick, they’re impossible to get through — and my blowouts look crazy. So when Aveda called, offering to give me a blowout using their new Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight Styling Cream, I was fascinated. The cream loosens your curls each time you blow dry your hair (0rganic Cassava Root fights humidity and plant fibers hold hair straight). It was designed to make straight-styling curls a zillion times easier and faster. The bonus? Aveda’s obvs an all-natural brand, which is perfect for delicate transitioning tresses.

Chris, my Aveda stylist, was born with stick-straight hair and admitted he was addicted to natural black girl texture! When I told him I was seconds from relaxing this mess again, he spent the next two hours talking me off the ledge — and then selling me on Bantu knots, two strand twists and SJP ringlets. I need to hire this dude for weekly therapy sessions. Anyway, he shampooed my hair using a pull-down detangling method I’ve never tried before — but I had way less knots when combing out. After applying heat protectant, he separated my hair into six sections. Then, using a dime sized dollop of the Naturally Straight Styling Cream, he layered it on each section from root to tip, the way you would a relaxer. And then blew me out the same way I do at home, nothing fancy.

One thing you can’t see? My hair was so amazingly soft I literally kept petting it all the way home. It looked windswept and sexy and felt like it had no product in it at all. I’m in love.



Meet My New SYB Team!

Meet My New SYB Team!

Hi ladies! So, I’m realizing that I can’t do SYB all by myself. I have an adorably demanding daughter and an unadorably demanding career (juggling freelance writing/editing for several outlets is like being an on-call doc, but with Carpal Tunnel and no paycheck). I wish I could post something fun and original every day — because I’ve loved you guys so intensely for almost a decade and adore doing it — but no mas puedo, y’all. And it kills me!

Thusly, I’ve just added three fabulous young writers to the Shake Your Beauty team! These women are too good. Funny, devotedly passionate about beauty, and whip-smart. Pop culture cuties with a serious yen for fragrance, makeup, hair, and skincare. And here they are…

LaToya Lewis


Meet Latoya Lewis! She’s a New Yorker born and bred, and though she studied both boys and criminal justice at Johnson & Wales — beauty is her thing. She’s worked for Nordstrom’s for six years, written for Refinery 29, and lives with her BF (who she calls @TheMister). She also has a plant named Miracle. Because she’s shocked it’s still alive. Latoya’s also mid-transition, so round of applause for that struggle.

Arielle Weinberg

This is Arielle Weinberg! She founded the gorgeously written beauty blog, The Scents of Self (her tagline is “The Nerdy Perfume Blog,” but I can attest that she’s nerdy in the sexiest way).  Obvs, she’s a devout fragrance junkie — and hopes to use her Natural Sciences degree from Johns Hopkins to develop perfumes one day. Smarty. Arielle lives in Manhattan, where she attempts to “live a meaningful life despite the fact that MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is discontinued.”

Anieka Wilson

And this is Anieka Wilson, a Queens-bred, recent graduation of Hostra University. While she majored in Public Relations (and was a boss about it, interning at 95.5, NYC’s Top 40 station), she totally fell in love with beauty. Once a “crazy-haired, anti-earring” chick — her words, not mine, you guys — she quickly became the go-to advisor amongst Hoftstra’s hair-and-makeup obsessed ladies. After killing it in the NAACP Legal Funds communications department, Anieka’s now starting a freelance makeup business!

Give it up for my new SYB Babes. You will love them. I feel so lucky.