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In The Know 003 - The Pastels

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Although I love Youtube, it can get monotonous sometimes. Which is why a new channel can totally feel like a breath of fresh air, and I am here to bring a really rad group of women who have an awesome channel. The Pastels describe themselves as being fun, fresh, inclusive and candid. And they are absolutely that and more. We talked about WOC beauty, dealing with the eurocentricity of beauty and also their personal makeup style.


 Can you briefly introduce yourselves and also your channel?
Our channel is called the Pastels! We’re three gal pals from Sydney, Australia, and our names are Chanel, Anabelle and Clara.

2.     Why did you start your channel?

During highschool, we always talked about starting a youtube channel. We started our channel after we graduated high school. Because we were on summer break and had a lot of free time, we figured it would be a good way to hang out and have fun.

3.     Your channel has grown a lot in a few years. Why do you think that people have had such a positive reaction to your channel and the way you’re owning beauty as woc?

We are a very versatile; we have three different skin tones, face shapes, skin types, makeup products and styles all on one channel alone. Having these options allow us to be more relatable. Also the fact that we’re friends is entertaining to watch and gives our viewers a sense of friendship/sisterhood.


4.     As WOC the beauty industry isn’t always the friendliest industry towards us. In what ways do you wish the beauty industry was more open to woc and the diversity in which we come in?

We want brands to be more inclusive. We need more representation on the runway and photoshoots; more spokespeople representing brands, more funding and exposure for PoC owned cosmetic businesses. We would appreciate brands being more inclusive to PoC by extending shade ranges and undertones especially in Australia.

5.     What was the hardest part of dealing with Eurocentric beauty standards and growing and becoming more comfortable with your own personal beauty?

Eurocentic beauty standards, for us, is unattainable. The media depicts white as the pinnacle of beauty, and as a result, we’re constantly bombarded with images of an “ideal standard of beauty beauty”. So, it kinda makes it hard to love yourself when society is so set on telling you you shouldn’t. 

The most difficult part is unlearning years of systematic conditioning against your own appearance. It’s a completely different narrative for people that fit the mould of beauty or navigate somewhat more easily (in terms of intersectionality).


6.     Continuing on this note, what advice do you have for young women of color who are also dealing with the issues of beauty standards now and their own personal beauty. (you can address woc period, women of your own ethnicity, etc).

It’s important to realize overcoming beauty standards is a process. Being able to accept your own personal beauty takes time. We recommend surrounding yourself with other like-minded people of colour, that not only remind you that you are enough but actively celebrate enough as you are. Also, finding people of colour that you really respect and look up to that inspire you. Look at their achievements and understand the work that went into getting them where they are and use that to motivate yourself. We love Solange, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Kerry Washington, Margaret Cho, Tracee Ellis Ross, Amber Rose and the list goes on.

Chanel: I also would like to say something to Asians, specifically South-East Asians, that there’s nothing wrong with being tanned. I know we often hear it so much from our elders who wish to pass this way of thinking on, but it’s toxic and unhelpful.

7.     Can you talk a little bit about your makeup journey and who has helped shape it?

Practice and experimentation is key. Getting to know our face and understanding what works for us helped. We all went through, and still admittedly going through, experiencing mishaps because it’s all experimentation. In terms of who shaped it, it’s not so much people but forms of media sparking inspiration, such as Instagram, Youtube, magazines, runways.


8.     How would describe your makeup style?
Anabelle: Classic, structured, elegant, neutral with the occasional pinks, oranges and reds (Modern Renaissance is literally my everyday go-to, soooo…).

Clara: Sometimes girly, sometimes edgy. Sometimes bronzey and neutral, and sometimes the complete opposite. It just depends what mood I’m in or what I’m wearing.

Chanel: Bushy eyebrows, minimal eyes and a bold lip. Girly, romantic and Parisian. Retro but not costumey. I like to pretend I’m in a film.

9.     What makeup brands or companies would you like to collab with?

Kryolan, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bobbi Brown, NARS, M.A.C, Glossier, Milk

10.  Do you have any events, or projects you are working on this year?
We don’t have anything on the books but we are hoping for big things this year for us

 If you are into what the Pastels are laying down (and y'all totally are I know!) then check out these three videos! These were their favorites to film and edit (and I personally really love the intergalactic makeup video!):

You can find The Pastels Here:
Twitter: @pastelsofficial 
Instagram: @thepastelsofficial 

 Stills are from their Neon Makeup and Pastel Makeup videos!

In The Know 002 - Interview with Tara Chandra

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I have been waiting (waiting) an entire month just to post this! Honestly? I really look forward to these monthly posts because they're so fun and I get to interview and talk to really cool kids who are really inspiring. This month I got to interview the very cool and very edgy Tara Chandra, who describes her style as being eclectic, loud, weird and extra. We talked about how she puts together an outfit, the reason behind her starting to discuss feminism on her channel and also style inspiration!

James Coomer - @internetjames -

I’ve loved your Youtube channel for a while now but I can’t really assume that my readers will have been too. For the sake of argument would you mind introducing yourself (a quick get to know me kind of summary) and your blog/Youtube channel?      

Hi! I’m Tara, a 19 year old girl (she/her) from Sydney, Australia. My favourite colours are pink, yellow and orange. I began creating content around 4 years ago on YouTube and my blog. I later created a public Instagram and started posting fashion/lifestyle content. Nowadays, I mainly focus on YouTube and Instagram as they’re my favourite platforms to work on – taking photos and video editing. My Instagram is 95% filled with outfit photos, and my YouTube channel is focused on fashion, lifestyle, self-education and miscellaneous videos

What kind of impact do you want your online presence to have on others and the fashion community as a whole?

I think my ultimate aim is to ‘inspire’ other people to dress however they want to dress without fear of judgement. 

What influences your style and can you name some people/artists that have had an impact on your style? 

Other people are probably the largest influencer for my style. When I see someone else wearing something I find aesthetically pleasing, I try and incorporate the underlying look into my outfits. However, most of the time I just wear what I think looks good. I think my ultimate style icon is Iris Apfel. She’s 95 years old but still killing that unique style! She’s fearless. 

James Coomer - @internetjames -

Recently you’ve included videos on feminism and also have talked about identity on your Youtube channel in the past. Why did you decide to make those videos and talk about those topics?

My ‘Tara Talks’ series is one of my favourites. They’re all about self-education which has stemmed from self-realisation and the desire to be learning more in a non-conventional text book kind of way. I make these videos because I talk about topics I think people should know about. These are topics that are personally important to me. I am using YouTube as a place of expression and a platform to share my opinions.

My series focuses on people of color and how they impact the fashion/beauty community. Does your identity and culture impact your fashion in any way? If so how?

I don’t think my identity and culture directly shape my fashion style, but rather it influences my experiences, abilities, access to things and outlook on life (to name a few). With all other factors included, I could say that it does have an effect on what I wear, but in general terms I don’t think so. However, I have begun to embrace my culture, wearing more traditional prints and pieces as a form of self-acceptance and confidence in my cultural identity; as I move away from my experiences and understandings of internalized racism.  

  Your sense of style to me is whimsical yet edgy. It’s very unique and not something that can be easily replicated. With that in mind how do you go about choosing what to wear and what accessories to pair with it? 

Thank you! My style doesn’t have a set structure, which is what makes it different. More often than not, I wear things solely for colour-coordination purposes. I look at individual pieces and work from there. I can’t explain my process that well – but create a base and then add 10 accessories to top the Christmas tree off. 

Gemma Brookes - @gemmabrookes_ -

With the new year just coming in what do you hope to see more of and less of in the new year? 

I’d love to see more acceptance, and less judgment/hate.

Are there any brands or designers that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

UNIF, hit me up.

 Are there any projects (things like fashion campaigns, collaborations, etc) that you’ve been working on that you are looking forward to sharing with your followers?

I’m constantly doing fun shoots and collaborations with upcoming photographers and businesses which is always fun. I’m doing my first styling gig with a photographer which will be awesome. We’re hopefully going to try and get that into a magazine. 


If you are digging what Tara is saying (and how do you not?) then you can visit her youtube channel and her IG. She recommends you watch her No Black Clothing Challenge , UNI / COLLEGE LOOKBOOK #5, SS16 LOOKBOOK, and her TARA TRAVELS || USA video.  

What I've Been Watching Lately

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I usually don't watch that much Tv but I have been lately and I've been gorging myself on Netflix. I've started and finished so many movies and shows on Netflix than I think I ever had? I thought I might share with y'all what I've been watching this past month.

Watched and Finished

The Messengers

Okay so this show had only one season run and it wasn't that great but as someone who really loves biblical fiction and things that involve angels and demons (and yes I am a huge reader of Angels & Demons the book) I really liked it. I mean there was a ton of twists near the end and I was shocked, SHOCKED at certain parts. And also before two characters even met, I knew, I freaking knew that they would be together.  Aside from that there is a lot of action and there's a lot of interesting twists and additions to this show. I really liked a lot of the characters and kinda didn't hate anyone. Except the accent of the Man was kind of annoying at first but then it was kinda alright? Idk, if you got a day to spend and want to spend it on alright tv and you're also someone who loves stories involving demons and angels (in the biblical sense) then check out The Messengers on Netflix.

The Office

Just throwing this out there I skipped the last two seasons because once Michael was gone I didn't care but I did watch the last episode. Before this, I have never watched any episode of the office and I didn't care to? It just wasn't what I was interested in at the time and it just didn't appeal to me. Well so and so years later I finally got around to watching the whole thing and I liked it. I laughed a lot and I kind of liked the deadpan style it's in (because I'm really into some British comedies and the style obvious borrows a lot from the UK version). I'm not wild about it, but it's nice for wanting something to marathon.


It's basically about two girls who see demons and then fight them. It's got a lot of relationship things in it and it's got some cliche parts but they're the good cheesy kind. Also there are some deceptions and betrayals you see coming from 10000 miles away but they don't hurt any less. If you watch this show for any reason, it should be to hear how freaking great the soundtrack is. I mean it's killer, so much so that I listen to it on Spotify on a regular basis.

The Travelers

It's a pretty interesting concept that isn't the same old "people from the future come back to the past to save the future by altering the past" storyline. I really liked this show (I do have some grievances obviously) and I can't wait for the next season of it. I'm actually really shocked by how some of the storylines and relationships have developed over the course of the story. And also I'm kind of shocked by how twisty everything is and how at one point no one in the show understands whats really going on. I love that aspect and it isn't one of those "this person knows something and everyone else is in the dark", it's actually just no one understands jack about anything.

Watched and Stopped

This is your classic 90s show about a girl who falls in love and helps out a supernatural being while keeping his secret. He, is an alien form another planet and shes just your average ordinary girl. Roswell is okay, I mainly stopped because I didn't want to get too attached to the show. I have this thing where I skip ahead in the seasons and read the plot of each episode on netflix in order to give me ideas about if I want to continue the show or not.  And I was not interested in what I saw. Though I must say I love the tone of the show and I also love the softness of the main male lead's voice.

I started glitch and got3 episodes in before I just stopped. The show was okay, I just got bored with it. LIke there are about 3 shows in my List that deal with this kind of topic (people come back from the dead and no one knows why!) and I just didn't care for most of these characters. I kind of got annoyed with Kate and James at one point (both separately and together). I was annoyed with Kate because she was upset that James moved on (it's such a cliche kind thing and it's not really her fault I'm annoyed) and I don't really get what James deal is most of the time or his goals it's just a no from me.

Watched and Haven't Finished

I know I know I'm late to the party! But in my defence I have no defence. Voltron is great. It's got an interesting plot line, pretty decent characters and the voice actors are great. I haven't finished all of the first season but I will get to it. Also I just wanted to say that my favorite is Hunk. Also Allura is an A+++ character, 100% would recommend. And she's voiced by Kimberly Brooks who is icon? My voice acting idol? She along with a few others (like Cree Summers) are basically the voices of my childhood and also like my favorite voice actors period.

Beauty & The Beast
I'm not talking about the upcoming movie starring Emma Watson (I don't really care about that tbh!) but I'm talking about the CW show. And I have only started the first season (and haven't finished) but I am excited for the next seasons. I thought it was pretty interesting and exciting and I loved the interactions between JT and anyone else. Not trying to be funny but I am aching for interactions between JT and Tess, because I imagine it to be 10x funnier than any other interaction. Also I think the premise is really unique. I have read a ton of beauty and the beast reimagined stories but this one is pretty different.

What have y'all been watching? Got any recommendations?

A (disjointed) Thought About My Hair and Conforming

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I love my hair. I really do. It's probably my crowning (joke intended) glory. It brings me so much joy and pride and I secretly smile and screech with happiness every time I wash my hair and see it all curl and kink up. But sometimes it's not really easy to have afro-textured hair. I mean aside from all the you know obvious maintenance stuff that comes with it.

Some days I sit down, look at my hair and think "You know, some days I really want to relax the chooks outta you". And a lot of the times it's due to two things. One, my hair reflects my existence and if I feel stuck emotionally or creatively, the first thing I want to do is change my hair. But the most important reason is because I view my hair as being a very political statement. It didn't start off that way but I've come to love my hair as the statement and the message that I believe it gives off.

However that doesn't mean that I love the way that I feel with it. Now don't get me wrong I love how free and excited and I don't know, powerful I feel with it. I love the way I stand out but it's a double edged blade. Some days I don't love it. Some days I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb and some days I don't even know if I like the way I feel when people look or interpret me with it.

And its days like those that I feel like going back to relaxed hair. Because I don't fit in. I feel like I stand out in bad way. I feel like a million stares are aimed at me and all of them are telling me "No."

The feeling of fitting in and conforming can feel so good. It can feel wonderful to just fit in and to feel like you belong among others. Maybe it's apart of human nature to enjoy fitting in and to enjoy feeling apart of the a wider community. Or maybe it's some thing that has to do with the fact that black hair has been a large part of the oppression of black people. You don't fit in because it's human nature but because you have been coerced into conforming to white standards in order to feel this sense of community and safety?

I don't know if I like conforming to society and assimilating. I like existing the way I do and looking different and being weird and strange. But, it's not that easy to be different and to always love being differnt.

Take for instance this, I don't know if my hair ever looks good. Yeah it looks soft and fluffy and I'm pretty sure that if I was back home people would think I had left the house with my hair undone but still I can't tell if my hair looks good. It never looks as shiny as it does when it's straightened and I have no basis on the way natural hair and afros are supposed to look like when they are done well and done poorly.

You know and I can't quite say it's because Afros can't look bad, or if it's because Afros and natural has always been thought of as being ugly and so now that I find beauty and empowerment in my hair I can't tell if I think my hair is ugly or not done nice because it isn't or if it's because I'm projecting those ideas on my hair at the same time I'm thinking about how pretty and fun my hair is. It's like two opposing messages going to one location and having the resulting message being a weird combination of the two messages.

I mean at least I knew if I was having a bad hair day when I permed my hair straight. Now? I'm not really sure.

I guess when you choose not to conform to white standards of beauty, you have to find some other way to identify a personal beauty in order to have a baseline, because they don't necessarily exist in a way that is as defined as white standards of beauty. I mean so much of the western world have been dominated by euro-centric beauty standards that in terms of the way that woc find out what beauty means can be a little foggy.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this in exact ideas its just this: Having an idea of what beauty standards are and choosing to go against that is powerful. But choosing to not conform can be hard. It can be heavy and make you stand out in ways that make things harder, may make you feel strange and may make you feel like you stick out. And it can make you feel great. It's a powerful force. And I personally haven't gotten to the point where I feel comfortable not conforming yet. Or at least not in it's entirety, not yet.

Behind the Blog #001 - The Basics

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I've been writing a few posts that have nothing to do with blogging which is kind of how I like it! But it's always good to change things up and discuss the business behind the blog and so that's what this post is all about. Think of this as the bones of the blog. I might further talk about blog inspiration and things like that at a later time but I think it's best we start at the foundation of the blog. I also promise this will be a short blog post!

I started my blog not too long ago (I think summer of '16?) and I've been at it for a whole half a year. I have no idea to describe my blog. It is a small blog that I can't imagine will be of any interest to anyone aside from a very niche group of people that includes only me and myself. But I love it. To be honest, it's a place for me to vent and discuss issues that are important to me, but I also want this to be a kind of a place for young woc. I haven't really figured out how it will become that place but I think it's in the works.

As I stated somewhere before on my blog, I started blogging a while ago and had another blog that I promptly got sick of and deleted. I have a great love affair of deleting things I've created and starting over. It can be rejuvenating. And that's how I view this blog here. It's fresh, and I honestly love writing and I write so much more than I have ever written for my old blog. And i feel like this blog is going somewhere you know? I was previously a beauty and fashion blog and I felt bogged down by that. I didn't have a lot of products to go through and I felt bored with it, which was so bizarre because I love beauty and fashion. I think switching to a lifestyle blog and focusing on writing things I want to talk about rather than stressing about what I could talk about when  dont have much makeup to begin with is invigorating.

I have a few posts that are in the line of discussing feminism and different aspects of how our world affects me and things like that. ANd surprisingly they aren't my favorite posts to write. I mean I love them but I also have issues with writing them. It is very difficult for me to write these posts because I usually come back and re-write them more and more. As my language and the knowledge I have about these topics change and develop, the way I talk about them change. And it can be hard to try and discuss things when it's not as easy for me to juggle all my thoughts and not be kind of preachy or a know it all. I don't think I pull this off quite as well as I think I do, but this whole mode of thinking is a process and it's a way to change your thinking. It's difficult and I guess I worry a lot about those posts and I don't think I have any new opinions or ideas to add to the topic. It kind of decreases the fun of them but I do enjoy those posts a lot, nonetheless.

I enjoy writing up a review posts or even a kind of normal lifestyle post. I think it's fun and it can be a relief to write them. I don't worry too much about the way I'm trying to write and all my thoughts, but rather I'm focused on writing an interesting post (which I don't think I pull off quite as well as I think I do). I think it can be fun to sit back and not have arguments with myself about what I'm writing and just write.

Since I'm slowly starting to write more personal based posts about me and my ideas about certain things, I'm actually really enjoying those kinds of posts as well. But it can also be difficult trying to put concepts and flashes of thoughts and feelings into proper sentences. But it's really therapeutic and I enjoy it a lot more than I really thought I would.

Anyway this is the bare bones you need to know about my blog. I guess I will write up some more future posts about how I come up with ideas and pictures and what not.

Tell me the basics of your blog! What kind of posts do you dis/like writing?

Get to Know Me Tag

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New Year, New me right? Ha, no let's be real I'm still going to be the same old me and probably even more me than I ever have been. I guess that's the beauty of getting older, you are more comfortable with who you are and are also so much more comfortable exploring the different intricacies of your personality and what makes you, you. With that being said, wouldn't it be super fun to know more about me, and who I am? Nobody tagged me, but who cares, I tag me.

1. Are you named after anyone?
Nope not at all. 

2. When was the last time you cried? 
 Oh I cried when I got my bunny, Presto. And it was because my other rabbit (who my dad found) died that morning and I was honestly so upset and heartbroken over Houdini dying that my parents left and got me a new rabbit and I basically cried while wrapping my arms around Presto's cage. Her first memory of me, is me sobbing all over her cage....good times...

3. Do you have kids?


4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? 
No probably not. I personally think I'd find myself annoying or really scary/standoffish.
5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
I think my sarcasm has actually toned down a lot these past few years. So no I don't think I do!
6. Will you ever bungee-jump?  
Heck no.

7. What’s your favorite cereal? 
I love (love love) oatmeal. I think that should count as cereal since it's hot cereal. But if were talking about cold cereal I really do love a bowl of mini wheats. Except they have to be slightly soft from sitting in the milk.

This is also presto...she has no idea how a camera works tbh

8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
I notice how they dress, their eyes and also makeup. I'm kind of into how people present themselves and how they express themselves (or don't) so I notice those kinds of things right away.
9. What is your eye colour? 

10. Scary movie or happy endings?
Happy endings. I really like cheesy movies.
11. Favorite smells? 
I love anything that smells of fruit or sugar. I also love the smell of like toasted spices and also the scent of cold air (don't even question me on this!). Also the smell of the ocean during the summer is the best and the smell of like....rabbit hay...and the smell of tea.
12. Summer or winter?
Summer except I'm kind of enjoying winter (like with the snow and all) surprisingly. I don't like the cold but winter isn't so bad. Everything is really sad looking though.
13. Computer or television?
14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? 
 Um Canada? 

15. Do you have any special talents? 
 Ha, no. 

Picture I took of the Bermuda Aquarium when I started working there. Also ignore the date on the picture it's wrong

16. Where were you born?
17. What are your hobbies?
Okay I love cooking, drawing/cartooning, reading,and I do enjoy a bit o' tv every once in a while
18. Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have a dog and a cat and I have my bunny Presto. 
19. Favorite movie?
The Goonies because I am a Geek 
20. Do you have any siblings?
21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Um I think I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a kid (I also wanted to work at the Aquarium which I did! High five to younger me) and tbh I'm not that far from where I was. I'm going to be a biologist just not the kind of biologist I thought I would be. I'm a cooler kind of biologist now and younger me would be in awe of me.

Now that you know a bit more about me, tell me about y'all! Choose a question and tell me the answer to it! I also tag any of y'all who want to do (just pretend your name is right here). 

A Thought about Personal Perception

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Let me first start off by saying that this is a weird post to write. It' strange because even though I don't really filter myself on this blog, I rarely go into topics that are me-centric. Usually, they are overarching topics that involve groups that I am apart of and as a result I have an opinion on them. I am a black woman and  I have opinions on things that involve black women. I am also plus sized and I have an opinion on fashion as it pertains to (and ignores) plus sized women. But aside from my introduction post, most posts I write aren't as me-centric as this one will be.

I've been in a continuous slump of how to present myself both offline and online. And it's been happening for as long as I can remember. At first it was a conflict because I wanted to be so many things and look so many ways. At that time the multiplicity of people just wasn't a thing in my mind and I didn't realize I could be anything and everything I wanted. I wanted to be emo and punk but I also wanted to be as cute as a button and have that sort of feminine dolly look about me. It also became a case of not seeing black women who were into those looks and having a basis to set myself upon, you know?

Now it's different. I've been lucky and blessed really to see the emergence of black women in every look I can imagine and then some. I've also come to realize that I don't have to stick to one look. I can change it up everyday and still feel like I'm being true to myself and the aesthetic of things I like. But I still have an internal conflict going on. Everyday it would get a little worse and it's an overwhelming feeling at times.

It's a pressure to be pretty that no one but myself is inflicting upon me. I don't have to be pretty or choose to present myself in ways that relate to being pretty. I don't even have to present myself in a way that is remotely attractive or is normal or whatever. I don't have to really do anything. And I full well know this but I still can't feel comfortable posting pictures of myself that I feel aren't pretty. There's a pressure to be pretty. I'm not even going to discuss whether or not I think I'm pretty or whatever because that's really not at the heart of the issue. It's the feeling that I should be conforming to some idea of pretty. There are so many versions of pretty and I feel like I have to fit into some box of pretty.

So I kind of did something a little weird. Well not that weird. I deleted Ig and then signed back up for it. I took a week-long break in between it and let me tell you I got a lot of stuff done. I read alot during this time and I came to realize that IG took up a bit of time of my life. There's nothing wrong with that of course but I mean I think I could be using that time to do other things.

Anyway what happened was that I kind of vented all my issues and ideas about this pressure to feel and to present as pretty (to my friend) and came back and did what I wanted to do. Which is to present myself in a way that is very me and isn't necessarily pretty.

And so far? It's working pretty well. I've got my images all set up ready to post and truthfully I like it. Instead of focusing on how pretty or not I look, I just think about whether or not this picture is me and also is it fun? I think that so much of personality is taken up by how dramatic, and silly, and whimsical I am. And I feel like my pictures should reflect that. 

I guess what I want to say is that personal perception of self is hard to define. It's hard to look like you feel and to be content with that. It's even harder when you're not sure exactly how you wish to present yourself in a way that is cohesive to how you feel. As scary and overwhelming and impossibly confusing it is getting there, when you do get to the point where you think your outside matches your inside, it can be a relief and wonderful. Many people don't really understand this or at least acknowledge how great it can feel to in sync.

But I can tell you as someone who is slowly finding out how she wants to be perceived and the ways in which I can do this, it feels really great. It's a challenge some days because I think that the way I want to be perceived and the way I present myself isn't always the best and doesn't look that great to the people around me, and other's perceptions of me is something I struggle with. But it's all a work in progress and everyday I slowly just stop worrying about how others perceive me.