I met this stylish gal during NY Fashion Week backstage at the Edwing D’Angelo show while covering the hair and beauty behind the scenes. Her amazingly THICK afro puff had me at “hello!” and her preppy-chic look was fierce but I’d soon find out that this naturalista was there representing one of my favorite sites! Let’s meet her, shall we?
My name is Gracie J, I am Assistant Beauty Editor at LoveBrownSugar.com and beauty blogger at ByGracieJ.com aka Curl Next Door.
I am a freelance manicurist, a naturalista, and DIY enthusiast… and I’m a cat lover, hi Mitty Bits!
Have you always worn your hair in its natural state? If not, how long ago did you make the decision to go back and what made you take that step?
I went natural a little over 3 years ago. I was tired of my hair thinning out from getting relaxers. No matter what I tried, my hair was never able to retain length. Once I started to see how much my hair was growing while natural, I knew I’d never go back.
Why do you enjoy being a natural girl? Did you face any challenges along the way?
Being natural, sometimes you can’t just get up and go, wash days are the worst and there are times when your hair just won’t do what you want it to. But, there are also rewarding days when my hair is just amaze-balls, days like that makes me happy to be a natural girl.
With a full schedule, what’s your weekly routine like?
My elastic headband and I are best buds. I pull my hair up in a pineapple, smooth out the sides of my hair with a soft bristle brush, tie up my hair with my satin scarf until I’m headed out the door and I’m ready to go!
Do you feel that going back to your natural texture has changed your overall style in any way?
Not at all! I’ve always been a hair girl, always switching up my hair styles. My personal style if anything has just gotten better over the years.
How would you describe your personal style? Is there anyone who inspires you?
Always have been a little Urban Boho Chic girl. My main concern is always confort. If I’m comfortable, I’m a happy girl.
Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
I know this may sound so cliche, but I love Forever21 and H&M, but I’ve been known to dabble in thrift stores here and there.
What’s one piece in your closet you just couldn’t live without?
My faux leather leggings! I can create any style for any occasion around them. If you see me on the street, you’ll probably catch me wearing them. I am not ashamed.
Tell us about your blog Curl Next Door… how/when did it come about and what can we find there?
My blog is a living capsule of all the nail, beauty, fashion, hair, DIY, healthy living tips and tricks that I love. I get a lot of questions on my hair and nails especially and just got kinda tired of repeating the same things over to different people, so I was like “Curl Next Door” here you go, you’re welcome lol!
Any fashion tips or advice for those who are newly natural?
Fashion tips, wanna know a secret? I wear the same pieces all year round, any season. The key is, don’t always buy distinctive prints, people notice those. Buy the simple things, the main items that make up an outfit are killer shoes and pretty accessories, people notice those.
For the newly natural ladies:
keep your hair moisturized
and rock that bad girl like there is no tomorrow.
What’s next for Gracie J?
I want to build my brand and continue writing on my blog. It’s fun. Keep an eye out on me and my little curly fro 😉