One of my professors from Howard sent me a message on Facebook recently. He has known me for a long time and seen me through much as I struggled with my identity as an African-American woman living in America. He lived the lows with me and now recognizes the high that I am currently living. He said, "I am glad that you have grown to love yourself so much that it is contagious." What he didn't know from me telling him, but could intuit from seeing my photos (his work is taking and analyzing of photographs), was that I had fallen madly in love with myself (and that I was also madly in love with God). A wonderful change had taken place on the inside that was evident on the outside. It manifested itself in the smallest of things:wearing make-up to 9am classes because I wanted to, keeping my hair done because I like the way it looks when it is done, working out and shedding a few pounds to get healthy, loving my body and being truly content in a size 14, and graduating summa cool nerdy because this is who I am. I believe that part of the reason my hubby fell for me (and could love me authentically) was because I had fallen for me and I was finally living the lyrics of Mary J. Blige's song, "Take me as I am, or have nothing at all..."
Another Facebook friend of mine, upon seeing one of my wedding photos, expressed, "Love is the best accessory." While I think that love is more than an accessory, I will admit that love looks good on me. But the truth is love, real love, looks good on everyone...
Her comment made me think about other accessories that look good on me. I can recall a few years ago after buying my first (of many) Nars All-in-One Bronzer Stick (in Palm Beach), I was glowing. People noticed it and I was convinced that the Holy Spirit had blessed my make-up. All jokes aside, there are some things that I absolutely love. I am not going to be dramatic and say I can't live without them (because I can), but they do make me look and feel good. My latest fall must-haves are...
Johnson's Baby Oil Gel (Shea Butter)
I have been spending a good amount of time in the sun; My aunt calls me a fudgesicle! To keep my glow glowing, I have been using John's Baby Oil Gel in Shea Butter. It is light and makes my skin look and feel amazing (perhaps like a baby's bottom, lol). I also like it because it lasts. I have used other gels, namely Vaseline Intensive Care, but this one looks good, feels good, and lasts a long time.
Essie Nail Polish in Chinchilly
I have been trying to keep my nails done recently. For one, I love the way it feels when someone massages my hands. Secondly, I love the way my hands look when they are manicured. Lastly, with this beautiful ring on my finger, I'd hate to make it look bad with ragged cuticles and chipped polish. And so, I have made it a practice to get regular manicures. The artist in me wants to wear funky blues and greens and oranges on my nails. The preacher in me knows that people are paying attention to the details and will form opinions based on minor things. The woman in me is interested in finding my place, my niche, my thing. So, in my most recent visit to the salon, upon seeing Essie's Chinchilly, it was as if God made a color to satisfy the artist, preacher woman that I am. Chincilly is a beautiful grey, with a faint purple undertone. It is at once sophisticated and fun! It is neutral without being boring. It is me all the way! And you know what? After seeing it on my hands (and feet) for the first time I did something I've never done before. I purchased a bottle so that I would always be guaranteed to have my Chinchilly!Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Black Velvet Collection
Last week, during a leisurely walk through Lord and Taylor (ha!) a friend and I were taken aback by the beautiful new make-up colors by Bobbi Brown. As we marveled, a make-up artist (and sales associate) walked over and began to engage us in casual conversation. And then she did it. She asked if I wanted to try the shadow that I was drooling over. She's good, I thought. I couldn't resist, so in a matter of seconds I was sitting in the chair with Laurie making me over. Of course, she didn't stop at my eyes. Let's see how it looks with the lipstick you like. Before I knew it, I was at the checkout counter purchasing Blackberry eyeshadow, Black Kohl Eye Liner (that slides on like buttah), and Black Garnet lipstick. I must admit, I don't regret that leisurely stroll at all. The make-up is perfect for day and night and complements my skin wonderfully.
All that is to say, find what works for you and wear it well. Most of all, clothe yourself in love...I guarantee it will look good on you!