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Fashion Friday: Fedora, Faux Leather & Denim

On an unseasonably warm November day, I made my way over to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to help shoot some footage with Natasha of Mane Moves TV and Brooklyn Independent Media (deets on that to come). Of course, I had to represent for the BK!

Here’s what I did…

ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-2 ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-1 ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-5This leather/faux leather combo jacket was one of many gems I walked away with from an event organized by super stylish thrifter Afroista at Buy the Bag. Won it in a contest. Wooot! ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-3 ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-4 ToBNatural-Fashion-Fedora-Faux-Leather-6

Hat: H&M (similar) | Scarf: H&M (love this!) | Jacket: (Thrifted) Bebe | Shirt: Old, Gap (very close) | Jeans: Old Navy | Boots: Target (pretty close)

At about fourteen weeks pregnant, I was tired and beginning to… expand (LOL)! I needed to do something easy, comfortable and cute. Thank goodness those stretchy jeans still fit! Nothing is simpler that denim separates and riding boots. Hubby’s stylish fedora (which he wore only once as a groomsman) came in handy to add some flair to what would have been a rather plain-ish outfit and the infinity scarf gave me just the pop of color I needed! Done, done aaannd DONE!

What are some of your favorite cold-weather accessories? Like my denim-on-denim, do you tend to have a “uniform” of go-to pieces for each season? Share below!

*thanks to Natasha for snapping these pics! ;-)

xoxo

Toia B.

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ToBNatural Named Among Top Black Style Bloggers on Good Lookn Out!

Hey my peoples!

I’m popping in ever so briefly to fill you in on a fabulous list that I was featured on earlier this year. Yes, I just noticed (LOL!) thanks to a quick check of my site stats.

One of the clicks that led to lil ole me came from Marie Young of dope fashion, lifestyle and beauty blog Good Lookn Out. The list? 100 Black Fashion and Style Bloggers Paving the Way… Puh! What an honor!

Scanning the list, I was blown away that ToBNatural was named among such huge blogs as Gabi Fresh, Kéla’s Kloset, The Fashionista Next Door and Fashion du Jour. Wow! Thanks so much Marie! ;-)

Make sure you check out the full list and show some love to those other style blogs as well.

p.s. more on the outfit in the featured photo coming soon…

xoxo

Toia B.

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Stylist Spotlight: Kinky Curly Beauty

How many women have I featured so far that I’ve become acquainted with via Instagram now? Too many to count. This natural hair care pro representing Birmingham Alabama with the funky red mane has garnered the attention of over 20K followers thanks to her beautiful and original flat-twist styles! Ladies can’t wait to head to her studio for their very own #KCBUpdo.

I had to reach out to her and share her talent with you all. Read on…

My name is Leslie but I’m known throughout Social Media and around home as Kinky Curly Beauty. I’ve been a licensed stylist for the past 22 years.

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How long have you had an interest in hair care?

I’ve had a love for hair from an early age…learning to cornrow on my baby dolls at the age of 8 years old. I began braiding my little sister and cousins hair at the age of 12, and when I was 19 years old I enrolled into Cosmetology school.

Have you always worn your hair in its natural state? If not, when and why did you decide to go back to your natural hair texture? Transition or big chop?

I’ve big chopped a total of three times.  The last time was April 2012.  I decided to transition because of premature greying.  I was at a point where I had to choose between permanent hair color and relaxers…needless to say, permanent colors won. :)

What kind of experience can women expect when they come to you? 

I have a love of hair that goes back more than 30+ years.  From the moment you’re greeted at the door, you’re treated as if you were myself being serviced.  I have a genuine concern for the health of your hair as well as a desire to add to your beauty by sculpting your hair into a piece of art.

What are three hair care or styling tips you find yourself frequently giving your clients or those who are simply trying to navigate all this natural hair stuff?

Moisture, moisture, MOISTURE!!! I’ve learned that most naturals aren’t aware of how to retain moisture.  So I’m often giving advice on certain products to use according to the texture of your hair.

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How do you feel about the resurgence of women embracing their natural texture in the past few years? Do you believe it’s here to stay?

Like myself, many in the past had issues with learning how to manage our natural hair.  I think that now so many of us are returning to our natural textures because there’s so much information out now on how to take care of our beautiful manes.

What’s one big natural hair myth that you’d like to clear up?

Excessive trimming is a must. This is not true.  While it’s best to watch for split ends and thinning, I think it’s safe to get two (2) trims annually.  That’s if you typically don’t have any thinning issues. Trimming too often prevents length retention in most cases.  Therefore if you don’t have thinning or split-ends issues, you can hold off of trimming so often.

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Many find it hard to come up with new styles on their own. How do you manage to come up with the beautiful flat twists styles that you’ve come to be known for? Trial and error or happy accidents?

Both.  It began with my just trying things out on myself.  As a career woman, I didn’t want to only be subjected to the Puff or Twistouts, so I decided to try different styles that I felt would go great with a suit or a sexy dress. Upon wearing the styles out and posting pictures on social media, I began to receive tons of compliments.  So it started basically from my playing in my hair and just trying different things.

Any advice for those still deciding to make the change to natural?

Make sure it’s your decision and don’t allow anyone to change your mind.

Own it! Love what God gave you.

Never compare your texture to others…whatever it is, it’s yours and it’s beautiful!

Constantly checking for growth is equivalent to watching paint dry…a long wait. LOL!

Enjoy your journey!

Take lots of pictures! Pictures are sure to tell you your growth history.

Where can we find you on the web?

I can be found at each location below:

Facebook Youtube Twitter Instagram TumblrPinterest

Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your hair story and your natural hair words of wisdom! Please take a look at more of Kinky Curly Beauty’s work in the gallery below and, if you’re in the Birmingham, AL area, stop on by for YOUR #KCBUpdo! ;-)

xoxo

Toia B.

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Event Recap | The Healthy Hair & Beauty Affair II

Six months later and almost a year to the date of the first one, I bring you a recap of The Healthy Hair & Beauty Affair II! Shame on me, right? LOL! Ugh. This has been sitting in my drafts all this time. Crazy. Anywho… let’s get on with it!

Word on the street is The (SOLD OUT!) Healthy Hair & Beauty Affair II held at The DUMBO Loft was awesome! There were nothing but positive comments from the attendees as well as the special guests AND vendors. WOW! I am so… SO excited that everyone who came out to support had a great time and left feeling inspired and informed.

Joining me once again were Chef Keaton with his tasty hors d’oeuvres and DJ Rich Nice to keep things bumping. Photographer Jason John of Xcallibur Photo rounded out our “family reunion”, this time armed with an assistant to capture all the happenings. I set out to make this event bigger and better than the first: larger venue, more special guests, a wide array of vendors and, yes, more coverage… we had Mane Moves TV in the house for video coverage and interviews!

HHBA-2-Mane-Moves-TVThanks to our title sponsors- Alikay Naturals, EDEN BodyWorks & CURLS- who provided full-sized products plus a gang of other amazing brands, ticket-holders received a hefty swag bag filled to capacity!

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The afternoon kicked off with “One Time For the Naturals”, an original piece by spoken word artist and author Joekenneth Museau, written just for the event! After giving a shout out to our generous sponsors, I turned the stage over to Tameeka McNeil Johnson aka The Curl Whisperer.

Tameeka’s Transformation Workshop was a big hit as she demonstrated a ‘wash and go’ styling technique while answering numerous natural hair questions from the audience. Her wealth of knowledge was evident as she tackled questions about trimming, hair typing and a number of #naturalgirlproblems ;-) As Curl Prep’s brand ambassador, Tameeka showed just what their Sweet Buttuh can do and also plugged (and sold) her latest project, “The Little Black Book of Rules for Curly Girls” as she offered free consultations.

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After hearing two more pieces from JoeKenneth, we shifted the focus to “Real Hair Talk” with the founder of Karen’s Body Beautiful, Karen Tappin-Saunderson.

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We heard about her natural hair journey and struggles which lead to the creation of this highly sought-after product line which you can now find in select Target locations nationwide as well as beauty supply stores. Karen celebrated ten years of KBB with an all-white affair the week following this event. Congrats to her!

Up next was a hair product demo by another natural hair care entrepreneur, Scarlett Rocourt, the beauty behind Wonder Curl. Using her amazing, all-natural products, Scarlett finessed LaToya’s mane to enhance her beautiful natural curls.

Last but not least was the Sofistafunk fashion presentation with makeup by my girl freelance MUA Val Joseph and hair by Tameeka. Sofistafunk, The Original Skirt Co., headed up by visionary Arlinda McIntosh, is known for creative, out-of-the-box style which I knew would fit in nicely with the event not to mention the overall feel of the artsy-ness that DUMBO, Brooklyn is known for.

Many thanks to every single person, from vendor to special guest who played a role in making this natural hair, fashion and beauty event the success that it was! For more photos, please go here and check out the hashtag #hhbaDUMBO on Instagram for the attendee perspective.

Will there be a part three? Who knows?! #BabyBarry is due to arrive in May so, right now, it’s hard to say. In any event, stay tuned for whatever goodies I may have in store come 2015. ;-)

xoxo

Toia B.

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Natural Fashionistas: The Ladies of KD Kulture

Happy Sunday!

Yes, it’s been a minute since we’ve featured a super stylish natural here on the blog (my bad… all this baby stuff has me all over the place!). But you’ll be happy to know that today, we’re featuring not just one gal but a whole group of women with fabulous style. So let’s ignore the fact that it’s actually December and welcome our November Natural Fashionistas, the ladies of KD Kulture!

Representing the crew are sisters Kiirstin and Danica… let’s get to know ‘em, shall we?!

My name is Kiirstin Hill and I am the oldest of the three sisters. We started KD Kulture blog along with our mother, Kristi, out of a love of fashion and our dedication to uplifting and empowering women.  I am also a wife, mother of four, and a self admitted shopaholic and budgetnista.

Hi everyone! My name is Danica. I’m one of the women behind the blog, KD Kulture. I, like my mom and sisters, enjoy all things fashion and beauty! I’m also a Christian, a wife, a graduate student, and a naturalista.

How long have you been wearing your hair in its natural state?

Kiirstin: I’ve been natural since 2007.

Danica: 9 years

What’s one of the biggest things you’ve learned on this journey thus far?

Kiirstin: The biggest thing I’ve learned on this natural hair journey is to LOVE your curls, coils or kinks.  Early on I would look at other naturalistas hair and envy their hair texture and type, but now I fully embrace my hair!

Danica: Love YOUR hair no matter the texture or length.

Briefly tell us about your hair care routine and your go-to style(s).

Kiirstin: I’m a wash and go girl!  Having four kids doesn’t allow for a lot of time for me so I tend to keep my routine simple and a wash and go works best for me.  I typically wash using shampoo ever other week and deep condition twice a month.  I also use the L.O.C. Method to maintain moisture since my hair is color treated and moisture is key in the health of your hair.

Danica: Protein treatments and hair masks are a must to strengthen your hair and to help protect your tresses from breakage. I do a hair mask and I co-wash my hair approximately once a week. My current favorite is Eden Bodyworks co-wash. My go-to styles are a top knot bun and a twist out. You can never go wrong with these staple styles!

Some feel that returning to natural has made them open to take more risks with fashion. Do each of you find this to be true of yourselves?

Kiirstin: For me returning to my natural texture didn’t influence my style until I did my second big chop last year.  Once I cut and colored my hair it totally began to define my style a little more and it gave me a little more edge.

Danica: I feel that my hair compliments my style. I’ve always been open to taking fashion risks so my hair is a great addition to my edgy, eclectic style.

Sister Destiney looks amazing in this floral blazer and bright green cigarette trousers.

Sister Destiney looks amazing in this floral blazer and bright green cigarette trousers.

You offer an eclectic mix of styles on KD Kulture. How would you each describe your own personal “flavor”?

Kiirstin: I would say I’m classic with a rock and roll edge lol! I love classic staple pieces and adding the right mix of edge to it.  Whether it’s anything leather or an edgy statement piece, I love to mix classic pieces with the unexpected.

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Danica: I would say that my style is feminine, edgy and eclectic. I tend to get bored with the same old styles so I enjoy trying out new trends and looking for new ways to style items.

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KD Kulture & the boutique Fab Seconds are all about fly fashion for the budget savvy. Why was it important for you ladies to create this platform and share with the masses?

We ALL love to shop but most importantly shopping on a budget!  Our mother is the inspiration behind our boutique.  Raising four kids she had to be conscious of her budget so she always said to buy it on sale! She’d always buy us nice items but she would never pay full price. We wanted a boutique but we knew it had to be affordable because not everyone can afford high end pieces.

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Fill us in on your favorite places to shop!

Our favorite places currently (this list changes a lot) are Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Zara, H & M.  We’re more about where we can get the best deal.

What advice would you give those who are trying to stretch their dollar while staying fashionable and current?

Kiirstin: I would say invest in staple pieces and don’t be afraid to look in several different stores!  You never know where you’ll find a hidden gem at the right price. If you can’t afford it, then wait because it is sure to go on sale. Never pay full price!

Danica: Never pay full price for anything! Trust me. It will go on sale.

Big thanks to Kiirstin and Danica for representing KD Kulture so well with a great interview! Make sure you keep up with them on the blog, on Instagram and visit the boutique for great deals!

xoxo

Toia B.