Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.
Happy New Year!
I hope you all rang in the new year fabulously—here’s to 2017! I wanted to start the year by letting you fine folk know about a few changes around these parts.
But since it’s been a bit since we last chatted on the blog, let’s also do a quick catch-up.
A few days after I published my Black-owned holiday gift guide, I flew down to Georgia to spend two glorious weeks with my family for the holidays. I always look forward to this time of year because I spend extended periods of time on the family couch eating and watching TV…lol. Then in between all that lounging I find time to venture out of Acworth, GA and visit friends and other productive activities. The good folks at Mazda and Mitsubishi were each kind enough to provide me with some wheels for my stay.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT is a very small wonder for those looking for an affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle. While there aren’t a ton of bells and whistles on it, one cool thing I found is that if you also have an Android phone, you can connect it to the dashboard and basically have your apps and other phone functions in a safer and convenient to access spot.
Now the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD and I became fast friends. I own a 2015 Jeep Renegade (after years of owning sedans) and loooove that it gives me the feel of an SUV (well, it IS an SUV…lol) with some of the conveniences of a car like being easy on gas and fitting into smaller spaces when I need to park on the street. But I drove down to Georgia and back to NYC once before (albeit in my then 2007 Toyota Camry) and will never ever do it again even in my Renegade. So it’s quite an adjustment to going back to driving a car lower in height, but the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD made it a cinch. First thing I felt while driving was that it feels like a really substantial machine: smooth driving and I felt extremely safe. It has quite a number of amazing features, but my faves were definitely the blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert (it also had heated seats but my Jeep also has that plus a heated steering wheel). The blind spot monitor will light up on the side view mirrors to let you know if a car is in your blind spot—even if it’s two lanes away. Then if you’re driving outside the lines on either the highway or on local streets, the indicator will light up and beep. Keeps ya in check. You can also turn it off or modify if need be.
Another thing I did while I was in GA? Got my hair done! The owner of Petal Jolie Salon II in Acworth/Kennesaw (2639 Hickory Grove Rd NW Suite 170) invited me in for some services and to check out the location. I’ve been going down to Acworth for a little over 10 years now and sometimes I’m there for a few days, sometimes I’m there for a few weeks which means a girl’s gotta get her hair done at some point. Finding a decent salon in the area over the last ten years has been a challenge especially during times when I have had events to host in Atlanta. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had some really questionable hair experiences where I walked out looking like a LaBelle extra :/
But not this time!
I was super excited to go to Petal Jolie Salon II because I’d been following them on Instagram for a few years and LOVE how LAID everyone’s hair looks. Since the original salon is in Atlanta (and the way my driving to Atlanta from Acworth patience be set up sometimes…lol), I hadn’t had an event to go to for me to get my hair done in the Atlanta salon. But now that there’s a salon that I can get to pretty quickly from where my family lives, I was TOO hyped to get my hair done at their new Acworth location.
I had my weave reinstalled (I used Temple Hair Texturized Relaxed Straight—loooove this hair—I’m doing leave out here and also did so in my last install, but you can see my full review of the hair with a closure here), the color refreshed (original color done by Gabrielle Corney) and we changed my part from a middle part to a side part. I can’t even find the right superlatives to describe how much I love this install. I’m very tender-headed (my long-time NYC stylist Gabi knows this) so when someone new does my hair, I always have to emphasize how tender-headed I am especially when it comes to getting a new install. My install was so beautiful and pain-free, praise GAWD. The salon atmosphere was so calm and soothing, too. I’ll definitely be back should I need to get my hair done while I’m down in Acworth. You should totally check them out and tell your friends especially if you’re in the Acworth/Kennesaw/Marietta area. You can find out more info about the salon at their site and make sure you follow them on Instagram. If you go to the salon, make sure you tell them Danielle sent ya!
Blog and Youtube channel changes
So this year marks TEN years since I first started this blog. T-E-N. 10. Diez. ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-FIVE-SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT-NINE-TEN. I can’t believe how much time has gone by—feels like just yesterday I was writing my very first post.
When I starting this blog in November 2007 I was 26, working in the corporate world but desperately wanted a creative outlet and cared way too much about what other people thought of me. Now I’m 35, I’m a freelance creative, I have very few effs to give and I have mad facial hair…lol. Blogging has also changed a lot since I first started and the way I blog has obviously changed tons over the last ten years. I’ve also changed as well. While I’m still very much into makeup, skincare, clothes, and more, I’m day by day slowly evolving into the dad from Everybody Hates Chris when it comes to spending on some of the other things. Like no lie, the other day I was PMS-ing and saw they had opened a Cheesecake Factory at a mall near me. I was so about to get a slice of that sweet goodness until I remembered it’s about $7 for a SINGLE slice of cheesecake. $7?!?!? Man, do you know how many other things I could be doing with $7? Like I could maybe put a few more extra bucks together with that and make my own entire cheesecake. Not to mention the calories and how all that sugar would set me up to want to eat other not that great stuff. I’m also very adult in making wise decisions about food. I feel like I’ve finally grown up and do things like carry a pocketbook and eat my vegetables and stuff.
I’m still the same ole G though—just a little hairier, a lot more achy, and I have less patience for bullsh*t.
Actually, nah, eff that. I’m not censoring myself. BULLSHIT.
Haha let me stop.
But anyway, back to these changes. So while you can still expect the same great fashion and beauty content this blog is known for, I am tweaking things a bit. For one, I won’t be doing reviews the same way I used to. I’ll still be reviewing products and checking out new stuff, but instead of having say 20 individual product reviews, I’ll instead group them together in one post—maybe weekly or every other week. I’ll still include swatches and images like I always have, but there won’t be as much volume as before on the blog. I think you’ll love it—I’ll call it something cool, too. You’ll be able to get my thoughts on a number of products all in one post. Cool, right?
It may also feel like I’ll be posting less which in theory I will be, BUT it’s because I’m working to make my posts even more dynamic than before. I can’t mass produce quality and I want to really take time to bring you posts I really think you’ll enjoy and learn a lot from.
I don’t know if I ever told you, but I have a very crazy attention span (or maybe I set out to tell you and then got distracted by something and forgot…lol). I get SO MANY ideas for content every single day and I get excited about them all (because they’re really awesome ideas) but then I feel a ways when I don’t get them all out. So now I’m going to slow my behind down and really edit things down so I can mostly make the type of posts that will have you all in my DMs and comments like “YOOOO THIS IS SOME GOOD ISH!”
I even created a schedule/calendar so it’s easier for you guys to know when your favorite topics are coming up on the blog. I swear you’re going to love this. Here’s a sneak peek:
I’ll have a post on a specific makeup or skincare topic—either something I come up with or I’ll pull from your comments/questions. If you’d like to see a specific topic discussed here on the blog, leave a comment or better yet—tweet me @StyleNBeautyDoc or post it on my Facebook page wall. I won’t be able to get to every single request, but things that come up often will definitely be added to the pipeline.
My collective review post which comes mostly weekly but will always be posted on a Tuesday. Also feel free to tweet me @StyleNBeautyDoc or post on my Facebook page wall if there are products you’d like me to check out—just please understand that I’m not always able to get everything. Brands don’t always send me product and it’s not always a good business decision for me to buy everything either. If budgets were unlimited, trust me, I’d try to get to as many things as I could.
Wear to Work Wednesday! This doesn’t change as my Wednesday staple post. You guys love this series so it’ll be a repeat. If I can partner with more brands I can do more of these with me modeling the clothes (I’ve been a freelance creative for the last seven years and most of my wardrobe isn’t suitable for many office environments because I don’t frequent office environments).
We’ll either talk about some sort of trend (fashion or beauty) OR I’ll introduce something from my new “At Home with Danielle” series (see more about this below). This probably won’t be a weekly thing because the type of content for these posts will require a lot of woman-power, but you can expect to see these type of posts on a Thursday when available.
Fashion Friday! This is where I’ll share my outfit posts.
There might be mix-ups in the schedule at times, but for the most part I’ll be sticking to this.
I’ll also be continuing to upload regularly to my Youtube channel. You can expect a new video every Sunday unless I’m traveling or really, really, really busy. It’s funny I even have a Youtube channel at all because I swore I didn’t know how to edit and now I’m trying to shoot with second cameras and stuff. Ahhhh sookie! But expect to see more style videos (dressing for your body, 5 ways to wear XYZ, etc.) AND we’ll be going back to basics with makeup—I feel like things have gone so far left in the digital makeup world so I’ll be doing my part in bringing things back. I’m also going to have some balance on the channel and we’ll talk about adulting together. It’ll be a hoot. I may also have some special guests popping in every now and then. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss it.
But I will also have a bit of a schedule/theme for my Youtube channel. Each week you can expect a video from one of the topics below:
MAKEUP/SKINCARE: either a makeup or skincare tutorial, a technique/trick, a best products list, etc.
FASHION STYLING: I’m getting back to my Image Consultant roots to show you some dressing for your body styling tricks as well as how to maximize wearage of different fashion pieces.
ADULTING: I put up a video to start a convo about money and you guys agreed that you’d love for it to be a regular series, so it will be! In this series I’ll be talking about things like money, saving, spending, adult situations (haha—that sounds suspect—but I mean things like maintaining friendships, making major purchases, etc.), self-esteem, and other things involving adulting.
SPECIAL GUEST/AT HOME WITH DANIELLE/ON THE ROAD WITH DANIELLE: I’ll have a guest on to chat about any of the three previous subjects. Guests will include my friend Nas and I also have a host of beauty industry people I love that will be making appearances. Absent of a guest video I’ll either have a video about a home decor topic or about a fun place I’ve traveled to.
So I just acquired a home office (my sis used to occupy the room but she bought a house like two years ago and finally moved all her crap out) so I’ll be doing some fun closet makeover projects and other cool home decor projects that I’ll post both here and on my Youtube. I also need to actually redo a lot of the apartment but that will happen bit by bit because mama’s budget is kinda sus. I’ll do what I can when I can.
I have some really cool beauty events I’m plotting out for this year so make sure you’re on my Insider list to get updates.
So it can take a bit of time for me to catch up on a regular roll-out of everything because I was out of town for two weeks and then I need time to actually produce and edit the content (plus I have some other really, really cool things planned for this year that need my attention). Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog (this is different from my TSABD Insider list, but you should sign up for this list, too) so you’ll know when new posts are up!
Hope you’re as excited about what’s to come on the blog this year as I am! Let me know what you think in the comments!
And because I can be super corny like that, here’s some songs I enjoy that have the word “changes” in the title: