Elle Varner: Up & Comer

This week, a friend brought me up to speed on newcomer Elle Varner. I immediately went hair crazy, then realized I’d heard her song on the radio several times. Turns out we share the same alma mater too – go NYU!

Apparently Elle also performed at the second annual Black Girls Rock! awards, which airs this Sunday, Nov. 6 on BET. I thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony last year, and definitely plan on tuning in again. Tracee Ellis Ross will be co-hosting as well – in other words: fab hair galore.

Check out Elle Varner’s video, Only Wanna Give It To You, below:


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Updos We Love : Zoe Saldana

This style is definitely versatile enough to be pulled off on both curly/kinky or straight hair. The beauty of the deep side part and twist is that it can hide a multitude of hair annoyances (frizz or just plain old boredom from pulling the hair straight back). As you can see, the style is somewhat loose and has an imperfect part – all encouraging a carefree, but chic look.

All you’ll need is a few bobby pins, and maybe some pomade or a water-based gel, to run through the hairline.

Zoe Saldana was photographed at Michael Kors Spring 2012 show last week, with her apparent fashion bud and seat mate Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. I loved Zoe’s gray ensemble and clutch, and am a fan of the monochromatic look they are both sporting. Cool and crisp!


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Natural Fluff, No Fuss

source: WWD

The Induced Fro.

We’ve all seen this textured hair on the runways, but I was so intrigued by this pinned braid (or twist?), used to prep straight hair. I was clicking through the pictures thinking, Do it again!

I’m sure its a common technique used behind the scenes, but I’m wondering how its done. The models were photographed backstage at the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2012 show. Not exactly no-fuss, but loving the fluff!

Do I officially need an intervention, if I’m trying to figure out how those plaits could be pulled off….think near the nape and pinned into an intricate coif? I’m considering!

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Industry Peek

source: Aih

Makeup and mags.

The industries are forever mingling, so it’s only fitting when those clever publishing and retail execs pull together to expand their relationships (i.e. sales).

What am I referring to, exactly?

Apparently, you’ll be able to get some affirmation on your latest beauty purchase, when shopping in Ulta. And we aren’t talking about the lady standing next to you on the shampoo aisle – more like Vogue.

Condé Nast and  Ulta are teaming up for the publishing company to sell subscriptions  and single copies of  Allure and Glamour, according to a report from AdWeek. Eventually, the deal could expand to include other publications under Condé Nast, like Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Prior to the deal, Ulta sold InStyle, a Time Inc. pub, in its stores.

Would you prefer to scour through magazines while beauty shopping at Ulta? Or are you content doing that at your local pharmacy?

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Follow BLACKSTRANDS on Twitter!


Want the latest updates on posts and beauty industry news?

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What’s in store

Hello Loves!

I’m very excited to announce some news on what’s in store for BLACKSTRANDS.

No worries! There will still be natural hair care advice and pics for you to ogle, but there will also be another element – which, for me, was the final piece to the puzzle.

As I’m a staff writer/journalist by day,  I wanted to have content on the site that was relevant to my everyday life, and also offered something that I feel is missing from the blogosphere. Don’t want to go into too many details, as this is still in the works, but be on the look out for some fresh content!

I’m planning to produce 2-3 scheduled posts per week – not including miscellaneous ones for fun ;>

In the meantime, I wanted to post a little update of my own hair….I’m auburn!


Of course, I’m still relaxer free and my hair is getting pretty long (time for length updates). The highlights were done at the salon I mentioned in a previous post. I left the salon with just a blow-dry, to get a much needed trim. Look out for more pics in various styles :)

Hold tight, there’s more in store!

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