Category Archives: Lifestyle

Some of my favorite things about life.

Instagrammers I Double Tap <3

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Scrolling through Instagram is one of my favorite, time-wasting activities. There is always a lot of visually stunning photos and good information to go around.

When “stories” first hit, I had to admit that I wasn’t sold on the idea. Fast forward to now as I often find myself re-watching certain stories over and over again. It’s shameless, really.

Here are some of my favorite ‘grammers that you might want to check out.

@myleik: Myleik is a business person, inspiration-maven and a go-getter. I’ve long been a fan of her work and business (Curl Box). There’s plenty to admire. But with her newest venture My Taught You, Myleik delves deep into inspiration, personal and business growth. You’ll often find inspiring or thoughtful quotes on her page. And her stories are also pretty good at giving you a sneak peek of her home life, day-to-day boss status and RECIPES. She also has a podcast that is well worth a listen (yours truly was also a guest!).

@prestonkonrad: I’ve always been a fan of style but not the super avant-garde stuff. Give me a classic and straightforward look any time. That’s why I’m so used to double-tapping Preston Konrad’s account. I first came across Preston on his TLC show Style by Jury, which was essentially my new updated What Not to Wear. I was sad when that show ended and was all too happy to discover Preston’s fashion-centered Instagram account. I ran into Preston at an event a few months ago and awkwardly introduced myself to him. He’s stylish and gracious in person, which isn’t something you always encounter in the style industry. If you need some fashion inspiration, he could be your new go-to guy.

@skinnywashere: This guy works hard, travels a lot and parties hard too! If you’re looking for a good time with pictures of some pretty attractive people and gorgeous locations, then you should be following Skinny. He’s a talented photographer and seems to have a whole lot of fun too!

@_jamesthor: Me and James go way back to my days in NC. We’ve both relocated since those college days and I’m incredibly proud to see the work that he’s been doing. His photos of some of the most beautiful people is always inspired and interesting to view.

@becauseofthem: Let’s be honest, these days we all need an extra dose of inspiration, don’t we? Because of Them We Can is one of my favorite Instagram accounts for that reason. The posts drip with pride in the Black experience and it’s always so wonderful to see young kids embody some of the greatest figures in Black American history. Not only are the pictures often adorable, they’re also educational which is saying a lot for a platform mostly used to show pretty faces and bodies (not that there is anything wrong with that…see above!).

@humansofny: If you’re not a New Yorker you may not know about this one. Brandon Stanton, the man behind Humans of New York, is not only a photographer but a storyteller. His series of posts highlighting NYers (and people he meets on his travels) is at all times riveting. It’s occasionally exciting, romantic, and at times heartbreaking. It’s hard to mindlessly scroll through Instagram when you have something so special in your feed. Follow this account. I promise you won’t regret it.

And a special shout out to Victoria of Victoria McGinley Studio for the inspiration for this post!

Who do you like to follow on Instagram the most? Weigh in!

How to Maximize Your Attractiveness: Adopt These 7 Grooming Habits ASAP

Guest submission by Robin Salvador.

Do you have a social event you need to attend to or just trying to make an impression?

With all things to consider: from the shoes, hair, and clothes; you are off being busy in making yourself socially presentable – sporting the classic hairstyles for men, and looking very dapper in a new suit, this all easily translates to a well-groomed guy. But of course, rather than just keeping yourself well turned-out for a special occasion, why not make it an everyday habit? After all, a guy who exudes a level of confidence with his persona is something you would want to embody even in a casual setting.

For any guy who wants to make an impression, I am revealing the seven grooming habits all young debonair men have in common. It’s time to make a change ASAP!

Skin Care

For any well-groomed guy, he factors in a good sunscreen. You want to maintain a healthy skin on a daily basis. When you’re an active guy, all you need is a good, effective sunscreen. It can make all the difference. Remember to always use sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage and harmful UV rays. In addition, a great moisturizer is always handy as it prevents any cracks and peeling dry skin from worsening.

Be a regular at your barbers

When you’re living in a fast-paced environment, there are times you’ll most likely prolong doing activities/chores such as going to your barber shop to get yourself shaved and cut. One habit you need to apply is to book your appointment beforehand so that you already make time for it in your schedule.

Find your signature scent

Men who smell great are definitely more attractive. A signature scent amplifies your presentation to others. In general, we identify every person we know based on how they look and how they smell. So if you want to make a striking impression, a signature scent is what you need. Just don’t go overboard and wear too much so that people around you are overwhelmed by it.

Hair Products

Well-groomed guys also swear by the hair products they use. They want to have a hairstyle complimentary to their attire. So for your own hair products, you need to know and identify which products work well for you. Does your thick hair handle pomades and gels well? If you are a bit lost on what hair products you should choose, ask your barber if he or she has some suggestions.

Dental Care

Not only is skincare and hair care important, dental care is a no-brainer. Since brushing your teeth alone takes up a small percentage of dental care, be sure to floss your teeth every day because this helps prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Facial Grooming

Managing your facial hair or manscaping, to be exact, isn’t something you need to hold out on. Keep things neat. Taming facial hair is necessary to look your best. If you want to present well and be taken seriously, trim it enough to make it look nice and clean. You don’t have to necessarily shave your beard off, just cut it in a nice length where you can still manage it.

Hand-care and Foot grooming

A good habit to note is having your nails cut once in a week, or when your nails get long enough that you scratch yourself. Make it a routine to do your nails after you shower because it’s easy to cut them when they’re softer. It is also important to be mindful of the flaky skin around your nail beds. To help soften those, dab some moisturizer around your nail beds to treat and smooth them down. It is these small details that will make a big difference.

Robin Vinz Salvador is the Digital Marketing Manager of Bound for Style. You may contact him at robin@boundforstyle.com.

How to Find the Right Suit for Every Occassion

There comes a time in many of our lives where we have to step outside of our comfort zones and deal with the (mostly) inevitable rite of passage of formal suit wear.  For some of us our first foray into formal attire is church events or weddings, for others (like me) it was high school prom or cultural balls.  In any event, sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to wear.

In fact, this is something that women fuss with guys over at different periods in our lives, but it’s also something that women relish in.  A nice suit is akin to women’s lingerie as they say.

Attraction aside, the women in our lives like it when we dress to fit the occasion and wearing a nice blazer or suit always makes me feel a little extra smooth. It still makes me feel like a mature adult even if they are days in which that doesn’t seem all that applicable (Saturday nights, anyone?).

For the partners, moms and significant others out there, I’ve come across this handy guide from the folks at The Black Tux which can help.  This infographic will help your guy find the right threads for whatever occasion is on your his agenda.  And as you start to make prom preparations in the coming months, The Black Tux has a selection of prom suits and rentals for you to choose from too! I wish this was around when I was in high school as it would have made the search for the perfect suit a lot more convenient.

I’m not a fashionisto but I do appreciate a well put together outfit. To take your style to the next level I think it’s all about the details. Find a unique tie bar,  lapel pin, or pocket square to accentuate your personality. At events it’s these little details that help start conversations and garner a little extra attention. They can be great icebreakers!

Check out The Black Tux’s guide for “How to Style Your Guy” below:

Weekly Obsessions 2/21/17 Edition

Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve done a weekly obsessions post so I thought it was about time to share some of what’s been occupying my mind lately.

For those of you interested in the #RESIST movement, filmmaker Michael Moore has created a new site called The Resistance Calendar, where you can keep up with political events and movements against, fascism, racism, homophobia, etc. You can even submit events to be added to the calendar yourself.

Speaking of events, upcoming this Friday is a Naturally Curly sponsored event hosted by activist and icon Michaela Angela Davis and everyone’s favorite activist/actor/comedian/blogger extraordinaire Franchesca Ramsey.  Tickets for the event are available at Harlem Stage.

Also, I know I’m late on the Girl Scout cookie wagon but I just got a chance to watch this video and it is HILARIOUS.

Also, SheaMoisture is currently running a Buy 2, Get 1 sale at Sally’s Beauty both in store and online. It’s time to replenish your stash!

Here’s to a good rest of the week!

Some of My Favorite Travel Carry on Essentials

While traveling to new places can be lovely, it can also be hard…especially for a grooming guru. As if packing your suitcase with the clothes that you need isn’t enough, you also have to figure out which grooming products to take. As you might imagine, this thoroughly stresses me out.

Will I have enough conditioner?
Can I get away with a travel size amount?
I’m going to have to shave, but they don’t seek mini sizes of what I typically use?
WHAT TO DO?!

Yes, I’m being dramatic but  this is always the struggle I have when I’m packing for a trip for more than a weekend.  There’s no perfect science to figure out which products to take. However, I’ve gotten better at mastering the essentials for my carry on bag (personal item, in airplane speak) so I thought I would share some of my tips with you.

Traveling makes me feel gross. I’m tired. Grumpy. Under-caffeinated (usually) and while I’m not a germophobe, I’m always concerned of cooties on planes.  A small travel bottle of hand sanitizer is a must-have. It works not only on your hands but has also been reassuring for me with seat armrests, headrests and the like. Also, it tends to smell better than the funky person who is sitting across the aisle from you.  Alternatively, a small pack of anti-bacterial wipes would also be a good thing to try. Both are compact and effective.

Recently, I’ve also tried out EO’s Natural Deodorant Wipes which are clutch when you are heading right from the airport to dinner plans or drinks. The lavender wipe is lovely and helps you feel refreshed when you can’t take a shower midday. They come in single use packs which make them perfect for carry on bags. And, the scents are not overpowering and for someone with sensitive skin like me, I find them to be a great addition to my carry on bag.  As a side note, there is also a tea tree variety as well. Both varieties (tea tree and lavender) are anti-bacterial which means they actually kill bacteria that causes odor. BOOM.

I ALWAYS…ALWAYS also have some sort of hand lotion or salve with me too. I hate the feeling of dry hands. Lately, I’ve been holding on to White Pine Hand Salve by Barnaby Black and its just…everything. I highly recommend it as it works for hands, feet, face… whatever you need really. And all of these products (along with some Carmex) will go through security screening at the airport with zero problems.

Oh, and don’t forget the Altoids. I’m all about the Altoids.

Safe travels!

My Only New Year’s Resolution – No More Wrinkles!

Happy new year everyone!  I hope that you all had a great holiday season. Welcome to 2017!

I know that so many of us embrace resolutions at the beginning of each year but I have to be honest and say that I’ve focused less and less on resolutions by the time New Year’s Day rolls around. To be honest, the only one I entertain is the idea that I keep pushing myself towards my personal and professional goals everyday.

Aside from that, looking professional and put together is an important step as a working professional. Here’s the thing though, I HATE ironing and preparing clothes for work. I’m the kind of guy who likes to get up, throw on a shirt and pants (and funky socks) and call it a day. I try to design my closet so that anything goes with well, anything.  But there are some days (more often than not) that I don’t hang or fold clothes right out of the dryer which means I’m left with wrinkly shirts and that’s not cool.

I was fortuitous enough to receive some samples of Downy Wrinkle Releaser which actually helps with this.  Here’s the rundown of some of my pros and cons of the product:

Cons

  • It has a sticky texture that will make you feel a little coated if the products lands on your hand or any other surface in your home. A mirror of mine has fallen prey to the residue a few times.
  • Unfortunately, this is a product that you have to plan to use. Unlike ironing, you have to spray down your shirt or clothing ahead of time to give it time to adequately dry, unlike ironing which takes 10 minutes per outfit (approximately). This means you may have to plan ahead of time, or prepare the night before, in order to have your clothes ready for the next day.

Pros

  • It works!  I took some pictures to show you but I have to say that it’s difficult to capture the progress via camera.  What I can tell you is that I felt infinitely more comfortable wearing an unironed oxford shirt when I used Downy Wrinkle Releaser. It definitely smooths out wrinkles pretty well if you follow the instructions.
  • It’s convenient for multi-taskers. I find that I always have 300 hundred things on my mind (it seems) so being able to spray down a shirt or pants and let it air dry for a little while makes good sense to me. In the morning, this leaves me time to shower or make coffee. At night, this means I can prep for the next day while doing paperwork or other things (like binge-watching Sense8!).
  • Along with the at-home bottle version, there is also a travel sized spray bottle that…travels well.  I also gave a few away as stocking stuffers for Christmas. You’d be surprised by how much people hate ironing, or maybe not. When I asked a friend for follow-up if she had used it her response was, “I have. IT WORKS!”  So there you go.
Would you try out a spray like this so you didn’t have to iron everyday?

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Downy for the purpose of this review.

5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy in the Winter

This is a guest post by writer Wesley Oaks of iManscape.com.

The winter weather can be tough on your skin. The dry winter air steals moisture away from the skin every moment you’re exposed. If you don’t treat your skin you could end up with dry skin, cracking, or bleeding and the colder it is the worse it can make the problem.

Things that we typically do in the winter can even add to the damage. Indoor heating robs the air of moisture. Hot showers & baths and over the top skin cleansers can also mean dry skin.

Giving your skin additional moisture indeed helps, but there’s more to do if you’re going to counteract the effects of winter and keep your skin looking healthy. Here’s a couple of tips to help reduce itching, redness, chapping.

1 – Choose Moisturizer Carefully

Some of the moisturizers out there have ingredients that will further dry your skin in winter months. Keep an eye out for petroleum-based moisturizers and dry to avoid them.

Choose a moisturizer with natural ingredients & is oil based. Oil based moisturizers do a better job of retaining moisture compared to water-based options.

2 – Use Lukewarm Water

No one’s going to argue that a hot shower during the winter doesn’t feel amazing. However, when possible, opt for a lukewarm temperature, particularly when washing your face, hands, or smaller area of your body. You’ll avoid stripping away natural healthy oils from your skin.

3 – Protect

Always protect your skin with gloves, scarfs, and other clothing. You’re already trying to stay warm so go ahead and grab a couple more pieces to do the job well. Also, don’t be fooled by the winter sun. It can be just as harmful as in the summer.

Grab a healthy sun screen and use small amounts. Products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are great choices.

4 – Drink Up

We often forget how important water is when it isn’t so hot outside. We end up turning to a warm drink over water. Your coffee, cocoa, and warm teas are wonderful, but they aren’t doing your skin any good.

If you want the best of both worlds you may like to try warm water with lemon.

5 – Exfoliate

We tend to forget about exfoliating during the winter. It’s a very important activity that should always be done. By removing dead skin cells you’ll help moisturizers do a better job by being able to reach more of your skin.

If left alone, dead skin will layer over old skin and prevent your moisturizers from being as effective.

Conclusion

Hopefully this post was a great reminder to take care of your skin this winter. Life can always get busy and we sometimes forget we just need to take care of ourselves. Treat your skin right and it will keep you looking youthful for a long time to come.

Please let us know if you enjoyed the post and share some of your own skin care tips below!

 

Wesley is the owner of iManscape, a website for men, beards, and manscaping. For more from him visit his website or like iManscape on Facebook.

What are your favorite holiday movies?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Christmas and the  holiday season overall I don’t know there’s just something about this time of year that people to slow down, take stock of things and generally take care of one another. Call it Christmas magic of whatever you want, but I really dig it.

This year has been strange though, for some reason it’s taken me a bit longer to get into the full mood of the season. I visited some holiday markets in NYC last weekend and just watched White Christmas (for the first time!) all the way through last night. I liked it. But then again I’m a fan of crooners and old-fashioned things (blame Mom).

So I need a little bit of help. What holiday movies help you get in the spirit? What are your favorites ones to watch?

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (probably the reason I fell in love with the Big Apple to be honest)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (works for both Halloween and Christmas, right?!)

Elf, one of Will Ferrel’s best!

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas…THE classic!

 

What else is on your list?

Winter Skin Care Secrets with Dr. Brian Zelickson

It’s almost winter time which means it’s time to break out those humidifiers and extra thick lotions to take good care of your skin. Personally, I always struggle during the winter months because the air is so dry. My already dry scalp continues to suffer and if I forget to lotion right out of the shower, I get a BAD case of the itchies which is terrible for your skin.

Most of us spend winters covered up, from head to toe. As a New Yorker, it’s something I’m intimately familiar with.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to gear up with a scarf, gloves, coat and hat. It’s rough!

I always look for advice from the experts on how to practice the best grooming possible, because we all need help, right?  I was able to speak with Dr. Brian Zelickson via email about some of his winter skin care tips for men. Here are some helpful tips and product recommendations that I think will help you out this winter!

Tip 1

Nothing speeds up the aging process like excess sun exposure. It’s important to wear an SPF during the winter, even when the sun isn’t as noticeable. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Anti-Aging Youthful Skin Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tip 2

Apply a body moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, and avoid products with dyes and scents that can aggravate skin.

Product Recommendation: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

Tip 3

Wash your face at night, so you cleanse all of the oils and dirt from the day. In the morning, simply rinse with water and buff with a gentle cloth. If you have issues with acne, try a gentle cleanser with Salicylic Acid.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Skin Clearing Clarifying Cleanser

Tip 4

If your skin is constantly dry, add a product that is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. It’s naturally found in the body, and is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps skin with hydration.

Product Recommendation: Dermarché Labs Fullfill

What are your favorite products to use during winter? Let’s share some recommendations in the comment section below!

 

Dr. Brian Zelickson is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the Mayo Clinic. He is a pioneer in laser medicine and surgery. He is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and a member of American Academy of Dermatology & American Dermatologic Association.

Solange Reaches the Top on Billboard

There’s always a healthy, and sometimes, unhealthy amount of competition between siblings in everyday life. There is certainly no exception when it comes to celebrity siblings.  Now Solange and Beyoncé are entering into new celebrity-sibling territory as Solange’s latest album A Seat at the Table reaches the number 1 spot on Billboard. Congrats Solange! With this achievement, Solange and Beyoncé become the only sisters in Billboard history to have reached the #1 spot…and they did it in the same year!

Everyone’s little sister, Solange, has had her share of success over the years. She’s released several albums since she left her days of helping write and dance for Destiny’s Child.

Billboard charts these days aren’t only about album sales. They also take into account streaming and digital purchases. This, I think, follows the trend of music but also levels the playing field for artists who wouldn’t typically get the kind of shine or PR (public relations) push that artists like Beyoncé or Britney Spears might get, for example.

Not one to shy away from using her voice, in her latest effort, Solange’s latest is personal and politically charged but maybe not in the way that you might expect. From what I’ve heard so far (which is only two tracks), she is in perfectly pure, unforced Solange form.  If you’re looking for a big pop belter Solange isn’t your girl and never has been. This, I think, only adds to her the dynamics of her talent and makes her incredibly unique. The dimension of movement in the album’s first videos and the space in which her natural voice exists make for a really enjoyable musical experience.  Simply put, she’s dope.

Check out the video for “Don’t Touch My Hair” from A Seat at the Table below: