Style Ideas for African Essence Queens

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Outfit Elements:

1. The Crown- I really love my hair short. I’ve kept it short for the past 6 six years or so. Right now, my grooming regimen is simply brush curls. This is- taking the softest bristled brush you can find and brushing your hair in a circular motion, allowing the natural curl pattern to become very defined. I use a a shea oil mixture from aiiznaturals.com to condition the follicles. I then use a non-flake gel (Eco Styler) to hold the curls in place. However, most of the time the gel isn’t necessary. The curls will just stay because I have tightly coiled hair.

2. Manicure- Clear polish.

3. Make-up-  I normally like my lips tinted, but I am not wearing any make-up in these series of photos.

4. Jewelry-  I wore two sets of earrings. The first set was a bronze colored pair that I got from Kohl’s. The second pair, I got from a natural hair fair that came to my city about 3 years ago. An African vendor sold them for $15 a pair. She made them and painted them by hand. The rings were from various vendors at festivals. They are copper. One is shaped like an ankh and the other is an abstract design. I wear them often. The large bracelet  is from an annual African street festival held on Jefferson Ave in Nashville, TN between Fisk and Tennessee State University.

5. Dress- DOTS (on clearance for about $7)

6. Tan sweater- JCP ($20); multi-colored sweater- DEB ($5); large reversible scarf- Forever 21 (maybe about $14)

7. Stockings- Target ($6 on sale)

8. Fringe boots- $10 (Sears/Kmart website on sale w/ free shipping!)

9. Notes & Style Rules: It is rare that I pay full price for any item of clothing or pair of shoes. It is mos def possible to dress for cheap. The items that I like, people don’t normally go for, so I can find them for dollars. Also, I am not into designer brands. So no, I did not need the Minnetonka boots although I know that they are a better quality. Maybe one day, but not for now. I didn’t need to spend much money. These cheaper fringe boots are working out just fine for me.

The dress was a great find. I love the textured look. It matches the stockings. I’ve gotten similar dresses from the thrift store.I do not like a lot of the clothes at DOTS because they look cheap, but the key is to go for those items that you can make look more elegant.

Also, have rules to what you can and cannot buy. For example, I do not ever wear stripes! I think stripes do not compliment what I am- my skin tone, my hair, my mind- they are just not for me. In the cheap female clothing stores you will see a lot of stripes. People go for that, but I go for the items with patterns or for the items that are plain. Another of my rules is not to purchase anything with a logo or name brands unless its something I got from the thrift store. I do no like to rep any company.

Overall, because I buy for cheap, I can splurge on other things when I need to. I work in a casual environment so if I wanted to wear this outfit to work, I would put on the longer sweater so that my butt would not show. At night, to go out with friends, I can wear the orange sweater with the designs. It does not cover the butt (keep in mind it is still appropriate for the African Essence Queen, nothing too revealing). Also, I convert all earrings to clips. I cannot get pierced ears because they don’t agree with my body. I buy clips on earrings at Claire’s on clearance and remove the clips and use them on other earrings. I also buy them from JoAnns Fabrics but they don’t sell any comfortable clip-on findings.

Queen Duafe for African Essence

Style Ideas for African American Women- 1st Day of Winter 2012-2013

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Outfit Elements:

1. The Crown- I’m wearing a hat from H&M. Since I have shorter hair, when I wear hats, I wrap a scarf underneath the hat to give the hat a heightened look.

2. Manicure- I like dark polishes. I have on China Glaze’s first mate color. It is a wonderful blue color. I am not a big fan of the quality of the polish. It chips easily. 1st and last time I’ll buy it!

3. Make-up- not into, mascara, foundation, blushes, etc. However, I really like tinted lips so I often wear a light coat of lipstick. I like Iman’s brandy. Very nice.

4. Jewelry- Black wooden jewelry is my thing. Got the necklace from a consignment store circa 2007 and have only worn it a few times. Just starting to get into into. The pink on the right side of the necklace matches the hot pink skirt perfectly! The rings I got from City Buddha for very cheap, like $1.95-2.98/ring. The bracelets are a treasure that I got from a friend from Guinea. He sells them at fairs, festivals, etc. They were about $25 for both. They are made from the tusks of an elephant. Actually, I think they can run up to $25 a piece or more in some places. They are worth it. Love them. My fav in the jewelry chest.

5. Skirt- Hot pink from Forever 21. $6.

6. Sweater- TJMaxx– Clearance price $10.

7. Stockings- Not sure (maybe from Target on sale?)

8. Shoes- Kohls. $24.

Queen Duafe for African Essence

Style Ideas for Sistahs- 2012-2013

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Outfit Elements:

1. The Crown- Early stages of locs. I loved my hair this year. It took 3 months to lock. I washed it myself once a week. I did not twist it much because I liked the roots thick and I liked the new growth to show- I’ve always liked rugged locs.

2. Manicure- Clear polish.

3. Make-up- not into, mascara, foundation, blushes, etc. However, I really like tinted lips so I often wear a light coat of lipstick. I like Iman’s brandy. Very nice.

4. Jewelry- Gold jewelry. Bangles- Forever 21, ring- consignment shop, earrings, Indian & African clothing store circa 2006; watch- a booth in the mall (can’t remember name)

5. Dress- Dillard’s

6. Jacket- Dillard’s

7. Socks- Marshall’s

8. Book- My fav book from college: Before the Mayflower

9. Shoes- DSW circa 2009

Queen Duafe for African Essence

Style Ideas for Sistahs- Fall & Winter

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My colorful life…

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Outfit Elements:

1. The Crown- Early stages of locs. I loved my hair this year. It took 3 months to lock. I washed it myself once a week. I did not twist it much because I liked the roots thick and I liked the new growth to show- I’ve always liked rugged locs.

2. Manicure- I like dark polishes but I have on OPI’s big apple red. It was leftover from a wedding I was in. I actually ended up loving it a whole it!

3. Make-up- not into, mascara, foundation, blushes, etc. However, I really like tinted lips so I often wear a light coat of lipstick. I like Iman’s brandy. Very nice.

4. Jewelry- Black wooden jewelry is my thing. Got the necklace from a dollar store years ago. Got the bracelet from a table at an African street fair for a few dollars.

5. Dress- bought this from an Indian gift shop years ago.

6. Sweater- TJMaxx

7. Leggings- Not sure.

8. Belt- Came with an outfit I got from JCP (sort of a cheap material, not my fav)

9. Shoes- DSW circa 2009

Queen Duafe for African Essence

Musik for the Soul – TUPAC remembered

I am a poet. I love to manipulate words into messages. For me, the process of writing can be magical and extremely therapeutic. I have an appetite for expression. My expression is not like A FB status update, or a tweet, not even a profile change on LinkedIn. It’s more like having a conversation with a person who is willing to listen and with a person who is willing to share. It is not posting a YouTube video, it is coming into real contact with people everyday and knowing what to say to them and looking into their eyes and seeing my own reflection.

It’s hard to judge anyone. Many of us are in pain and we hurt others attempting to find peace. In finding this peace, we end up creating more pain, brokenhearted  We need to learn how to stop this dangerous process of victimization. It is a bad habit in many of the people’s lives that I am in contact with. Men and women seem not  to want to take responsibility for the failed relationships in their lives. Quick to point the finger, we create unnecessary enemies and label them “haters.” Haters is only one of the names- hypocrites, bullshitters, fake posers, speculators… so many names, but the bottom line is always the same. The problem, the common denominator is you. Is it too much for us to correct our own deviant and harmful behaviors before we start pointing and talking behind backs trying to rally comrades because we are too afraid to stand alone.

Does this sound like you? Well its time to change.

This blog posting is labeled Musik for the Soul. I was going through my windows music library tonight and 2Pacs’ CD came up. It is always the first CD I see in my library, but I rarely click on it. Tonight I had to click on “So Many Tears.” I listened to the song and was extremely moved by 2Pac, Tupac, Makaveli- the writer, the rapper, the actor, the poet with many faces and many names. He was an extremely articulate writer… hmmmmm

His lyrics seem to be a constant reality for so many REAL people.

The lyrics go like this. What do you think?

“So Many Tears”

I shall not fear no man but God

Though I walk through the valley of death
I shed so many tears (if I should die before I wake)
Please God walk with me (grab a nigga and take me to Heaven)Back in elementary, I thrived on misery
Left me alone I grew up amongst a dyin breed
Inside my mind couldn’t find a place to rest
until I got that Thug Life tatted on my chest
Tell me can you feel me? I’m not livin in the past, you wanna last
Be tha first to blast, remember Kato
No longer with us he’s deceased
Call on the sirens, seen him murdered in the streets
Now rest in peace
Is there heaven for a G? Remember me
So many homies in the cemetery, shed so many tearsAhh, I suffered through the years, and shed so many tears..
Lord, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tearsNow that I’m strugglin in this business, by any means
Label me greedy gettin green, but seldom seen
And fuck the world cause I’m cursed, I’m havin visions
of leavin here in a hearse, God can you feel me?
Take me away from all the pressure, and all the pain
Show me some happiness again, I’m goin blind
I spend my time in this cell, ain’t livin well
I know my destiny is Hell, where did I fail?
My life is in denial, and when I die,
baptized in eternal fire I’ll shed so many tearsLord, I suffered through the years, and shed so many tears..
Lord, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears

Now I’m lost and I’m weary, so many tears
I’m suicidal, so don’t stand near me
My every move is a calculated step, to bring me closer
to embrace an early death, now there’s nothin left
There was no mercy on the streets, I couldn’t rest
I’m barely standin, bout to go to pieces, screamin peace
And though my soul was deleted, I couldn’t see it
I had my mind full of demons tryin to break free
They planted seeds and they hatched, sparkin the flame
inside my brain like a match, such a dirty game
No memories, just a misery
Paintin a picture of my enemies killin me, in my sleep
Will I survive til the mo’nin, to see the sun
Please Lord forgive me for my sins, cause here I come…

Lord, I suffered through the years (God) and shed so many tears..
God, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears

Lord knows I.. tried, been a witness to homicide
Seen drivebys takin lives, little kids die
Wonder why as I walk by
Broken-hearted as I glance at the chalk line, gettin high
This ain’t the life for me, I wanna change
But ain’t no future right for me, I’m stuck in the game
I’m trapped inside a maze
See this Tanqueray influenced me to gettin crazy
Disillusioned lately, I’ve been really wantin babies
so I could see a part of me that wasn’t always shady
Don’t trust my lady, cause she’s a product of this poison
I’m hearin noises, think she fuckin all my boys, can’t take no more
I’m fallin to the floor; beggin for the Lord to let me in
to Heaven’s door — shed so many tears
(Dear God, please let me in)

Lord, I’ve lost so many years, and shed so many tears..
I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears
Lord, I suffered through the years, and shed so many tears..
God, I lost so many peers, and shed so many tears…

Very moving!!!!!!!!
We all suffer, but we are all given the final decision to change.
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Tupac was normal, just like us all. He went through many different controversial phases under public scrutiny. He did things that I do not accept such as the sagging and the california love video, and spreading hate throughout rap with the heated beef with east coast rappers . However, when he was in his right mind, her had many many great lyrics. I think in the end he realized that his greatest enemy was himself.
This song is like a great poem. We honor Edgar Allen Poe, but perhaps we should embrace these types of stories more- like the story told in this song is relevant to the men that we deal with everyday. This was not too long ago and these types of ills still exist. It’s nice when we find situations where the men have not been harmed so much or had to live a rough lifestyle, but the reality is, many of them do. How do you deal with that ladies? How do you deal with a man who has suffered and who has been abused by the world, his family, society, and himself? How do you love this man while maintaining your own identity? It’s a struggle. What do you think ladies?
Peace and Love,
Queen Duafe for African Essence