Big Chop 3


R.I.P. to my hair – it’s gone.  I recorded the cut for you.

Scissors and haircuts have been heavy on the brain. In February I had a trim/shape (see 3.4 Years Later post) and 25 days after that (March 12, 2016) this happened…



And I went even shorter on March 19, 2016.

Current mode? “I’m dancin and emphazing.”

Want to know more? Send questions to

Barber | Tasha | IG:@yournewbarber
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Bantu Knots Equal Taut High Puff


Nine bantu knots

High puffs are like coconut oil, they make everything better.

Does your twist-out look like you rolled down a hill, then fell head first into a river? Throw it in a high puff. It’s the cure-all style.

As my hair grows I alter my methods of mastering the high puff.  To get my kinky curls taut and in formation at medium hair length, I bantu knot them. Twist-outs worked when my hair was shorter. Hair pours down my face at medium-length, so shrinkage is my friend.

I began with freshly cleansed, conditioned and blow-dried hair. This look can be created on an old style too. Need a bantu tutorial? Check out Mini Marley’s ‘Heatless Bantu Knot-Out on Dry Hair’ video.  And iknowlee has you covered with the high puff tutorial. See my completed look below.

Warning! Do not risk loosing your edges. Frequent tension on the edges can cause traction alopecia. Toia B sums up the risk nicely in a post featured on Curly

Products I Used

Wash | Marula Oil Rare Oil Replenishing Shampoo

Condition | Marula Oil Rare Oil Replenishing Conditioner

Moisturize| H20 and DevaCurl Set It Free Moisture

Style| DevaCurl SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler

Seal (hair+scalp)| Tropic Isle Living Lavender Jamaican Black Castor Oil


Bantu shrinkage is great for taut curls


The look – High Puff w/ taut curls


Products used


3.4 Years Later…

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

-Michael “MJ” Jordan

I am not saying that I’m Jordan, but I’m not denying it either. However, I can confirm that I fail over and over.

My hair and I have an on-off relationship, like my friends who change their Facebook status every time I sneeze.

I went back to natural 3.4 years ago. For the past three years my failing streak began around wintertime. I slack on trims, moisturizing, and bunch of other stuff that stunts growth and hair health. Why? I dedicate less time to my hair.

I fail in winter because I am…

  • wrapping up the year more and taking care of my hair less
  • celebrating holidays (esp. my burfday)
  • frustrated with winter for sucking out all of my hair’s moisture
  • adding new interests/activities to my better my life
  • not big on protective styling
  • afraid of wigs (I briefly braved on this year though)

Scissors have a way of wiping away my failures, so I booked an appointment with Felicia Leatherwood for a trim and shape. I have fresh ends for a fresh start and extra volume.

Here we go again…


Elucence Shampoo + Conditioner Claims Vs. Results

IMG_1181Cleansed, conditioned and finger-detangled my kinky curls with the Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner.

Elucence gifted me with these products during the December curlBOX Chat via Twitter. This post is not required nor sponsored by either brand. All opinions are my own.

Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo claims vs. Results

  • increases moisture content of dry hair

I am not able to vouch for increased moisture. Dehydrate my hair to test this theory? I’ll pass. However, this shampoo does not strip my hair of its moisture like others. 

  • improves hair texture and appearance

No noticeable difference in my curl pattern – my curls usually snap, crackle and pop. Product did leave my hair soft.

  • detangles and improves hair manageability

Not sure about this. I detangle with conditioner.

  • color friendly, rich lathering formula

Not playing with hair color, so not sure about the color-friendly boast. Yes to rich lather! It delivers.

  • perfect for chemical or color treated hair


  • concentrated for maximum results and value

Agreed. Only a small amount of product needed.

  • dual-purpose and ultra-gentle cleansing and conditioning

Yes to gentle cleansing.

*Extra: The fresh and sweet Georgia peach scent induces cravings. Product recommended for those in love with lathering shampoos. 

Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner

  • boosts moisture levels with lipids and proteins

Destiny fulfilled. Moisture upon moisture.

  • adds softness, shine and silkiness with essential triglycerides

Moist hair is soft hair. Even after blow drying my hair remains soft and shiny. 

  • provides effortless combing to minimize breakage

True story. See my hair loss below. I finger-detangled. I blow dry with the comb attachment and it moves through like butter.

  • dual-purpose conditioner and leave-in treatment

Before blow drying, I add a dollop of conditioner to my hair as a leave-in.

  • as a leave-in, provides continuous moisturizing

I seal the moisture in with oil – the moisture stays locked in.

*Extra: This Kool-aid scented conditioner gets both of my thumbs up. It helps me win wash day.

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After cleansing, conditioning, and detangling

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After cleansing, conditioning, and detangling


R.I.P. to the hair I lost in the detangling process.




5 Days in New York [w/ Itinerary] #NYCSummerFling


I’ve crushed on lusted after New York City (NYC) for what seem like forever. The Wayans Brothers, Friends, Will & Grace, The Parent ‘Hood, Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl all played a role in shaping my view of The Big Apple and the subsequent lust that ensued. NYC and I finally met and hooked up for a summer fling.

I fell in love hard, like Lenny Williams in ‘Cause I Love You’ (oh oh oh). At the end of our 5-day whirlwind I craved more…  more beautiful rooftop views, more yummy foods, more New York minutes, more eclectic style, more crossing streets like cars don’t break bones (street lights are only for decoration). I am willing to set aside my germaphobe tendencies and get with public transportation, driving in the city would stress me out anyway.

The love for NYC is real. As an Angeleno I am not prepared for the four season life, but I would tough seasons.

We managed to squeeze in everything on our to-do list and even threw in a couple extras (see itinerary below). Biking through Central Park is amazing and turned out to be my favorite activity. I thought I wanted to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, but I would have pulled my hair out navigating through the herd.

I am elated to report that I did not see a single rat, God wanted me to have a great trip.

Favorite Pizza (so far): Adrienne’s Pizza Bar

Must-Eat Foods: Crab roll (Luke’s Lobster), Mac and Greens (Red Rooster), Cotton-Soft Cheesecake (Dominique Ansel Bakery), Cereal Milk Soft Serve (Momofuku Milk Bar), Cheese Fries (Shake Shack), Bea Arthur (Big Gay Ice Cream)

Mind-Blowing Views: Roof Garden Café (The Met Rooftop), Top of the Rock NYC (Rockefeller Center), Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge

Life-Changing Activites/Sites: 9/11 Memorial, Bike Ride in Central Park, Times Square, Broadway Shows


New York 2015

Mon Style: Travel-Friendly Casual Chic


I heart this look – chic, classic and travel-approved. Comfy flats equal no foot pain. Crossbody bags with zippers provide pickpocket resistant storage.

Black, black and more black overflowed my luggage in prep for my #NYCsummerfling. Why? It camouflages potential sticky humidity dirt, Aunt Flo planned to travel with me, and it supported my recent all black mood. Also, black says: “I’m not a killer, but don’t push me.”

I sprinkled a little color with the footwear, lips and my (self-dubbed) big city blue nails.

Click the links below to get the look. Don’t be fooled by the labels, I purchased most items on S-A-L-E.

IMG_8810‘Take Your Marc – Percy’ Crossbody Bag – Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom

Zara Fringed Leather Bluchers – Zara

Little Black Dress – Bebe

 Textured Woven Coat – H&M

Amy Bracelet Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs

Retro Matte Ruby Woo Lipstick – Mac

Nightmoth Lip Pencil – Mac

Nails – Wynn Nail Spa




Soaking Up The Sun in Venice, Italy


A regular Wednesday (I wish)

Five countries (seven cities/towns) within three weeks is ambitious, tiring, and amazing. We basically chilled our way through Venice, primarily because we were exhausted.

We altered the original itinerary that included four countries (eleven cities/towns). Berlin, Hamburg, La Rochelle, and Monaco did not make the cut, but we squeezed in Vatican City.

As we floated (smoother than a Michael Jackson moonwalk) across the Grand Canal the Italian men yelled,”Ciao bella! Ciao bella!” Never have I ever experienced so many strangers so anxious to repetitively greet me. I’m a celebrity in Italy. Thank God American men don’t love me that much.

Beyonce’s life must be hard. God knew I’d get annoyed with celebrity, that’s why I can’t sing. I will still pretend that I can sing and perform private concerts in the car.

Speaking of cars, I’d never imagined life without one. Los Angeles is Godzilla compared to European cities. We walked almost every city and I loved it. Look Ma, I can live without a car.

Venice is tricky. Up the stairs, walk across the bridge, down the stairs, turn right, then across another bridge (and repeat). The buildings, shops, and canals are similar, it’s easy to get lost. Lost in beauty for $500, Alex.

Vacation sums up our stay in Venice. Take me back, please!



Click to enlarge photos. View more on my Tumblr page.

Milan + Florence: Ciao Bella, Italy!


Flying Above Milan

Life happened in Milan. We planned for a one-day pitstop in Italy’s shopping capital. Exiting the plane on the tarmac instead of the terminal is not cool when you’re being drenched by Bigfoot’s tear drops. Ciao bella, Milano!

We booked a one-night stay at a chain hotel. The cabbie cut me off as I read the name – he insisted that he knew the hotel. Unfortunately, the “Malpensa” part is key to distinguishing between the Hotel ibis Milano Malpensa and Hotel ibis Milano Centro. Unfortunately, we got half way to the wrong hotel. The 12 euro cab ride became 80 euro, but we settled on 40 euro. He played us – we charged it to the game.


Streets of Milan

After settling in at the hotel we found our way to the train that would transport us to the heart of Milan. We are still unclear if we made it to the correct shopping sanctuary. Europeans tend to close up shop during the summer and flee from the tourists. Milan felt like a ghost town. Our short-lived shopping adventure ended at Sephora. My sister purchased a flat iron to lay her hair that clearly did not survive the hail of cats a dogs. FYI, I advised against straight hair for our 21 days in Europe.


Santa Maria delle Grazie

After Milan we moved to Florence. Cue It Never Rains by Tony! Toni! Toné. Once again, Europe acknowledged our arrival with celebratory showers.Yes, we learned to dance in the rain.

We rented an apartment for our stay. Our luggage made like sponges and soaked up the water, which trickled through to the clothes. Thank you, baby Jesus, for the washer in our apartment.

Moving on… Florence is delicious and the views are serene and superb. I could live in Florence. Natives were welcoming and warm. Oh and the food, more please!

The rain cleared and we discovered the city by foot. At this point we were pros at navigating by map. Throughout our trip, I felt like a kid in a candy store. How amazing is European architecture? So freakin breathtaking and intricate.

My sweet spot for Florence (Italy) intensified because I could interpret the language. I flexed my Spanish knowledge to communicate, it’s similar to Italian.

Here is one of my fave memories from Florence. Shout out to my sister for capturing the moment.

Beauty Review: Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque by 7th Heaven (formerly Montagne Jeunesse)


Before launching into the product review, I should introduce you to my skin. Make-up artists love it, but they are not on the battlefield everyday.

All skin is NOT created equal. I learned that little nugget through trial and error (mostly error). Over washing, under washing, Ceptaphil, Proactive, Noxzema, Ambi, prescribed topical treatments… I did and tried it all.

My face is basically a oil refinery, in 24 hours it produces enough oil to fill a large tanker truck. As if managing oily skin is not a feat in itself, my skin has the nerve to be sensitive too.

Moving on to the masque… I washed my face, patted it dry with a towel, then applied the masque. Twenty minutes later I removed it to reveal a super clean face. I typically use toner morning and night, but I already felt my pores breathing, so I skipped it to prevent over drying. I finished with moisturizer.

While this product worked favorably for me, remember that all skin is NOT created equal. I did not experience irritation, so I would try this product again. This review is based on a single use. The 7th Heaven (formerly Montagne Jeunesse) peel off masque fell into my lap courtesy of Influenster.

Stuff You Might Like To Know

Scent: Fresh and natural

Consistency: Similar to aloe vera

Application: Easy, but messy due to consistency

Removal: Easy peasy, like peeling off Elmer’s glue

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Mon Style: White On Right

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Outfit Details

Semi Sheer Cotton Tee (I cut off the sleeves) – Forever 21

White Straight Leg Jeans – Target

Camo Calf Hair Belt – Gap

Tabacco T Strap Sandal  – Michael Kors