Reset Your Crown - Weddings - Issue 3

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Megan Jenifer-Harris Weddings | Issue 3



Feat u res All About Megan


personal & professional excellence


Q&A by Dominique Panganiban

Photo essay by Megan Jenifer-Harris

MOVE OF THE MONTH Couple’s Workout and Jumprope Challenge By Megan Jenifer-Harris




Words from the Untamed Natural


Yes! You can wear your natural hair to your wedding! By Nneka Otim Avoid heat damage this summer by using these tips! By Alana Patrick


LaKaye Mbah


Dominique Panganiban


Alana Patrick






Visit our website or send an email to info@resetyourcrown. com with SUBSCRIBE ME! in the subject line!



Wedded Bliss!

Megan & James on style and success By Nina Brewton

Wear your pearls in a non-traditional way!

Spare a little of your wedding budget by crating your own centerpieces.

By Yetunde Rodriguez

Wedding STYLE

Follow the trends, or ignore them all! Look the way you’ve always dreamed for your wedding. By LaKaye Mbah


Neutraul make-up lets your personality shine on your wedding day. By Kishinna Fields

47 56 58

Dream Photoshoot Winner


See GIgi Rodger’s daring photoshoot including styling and makeup. By the RYC Team!

Check the most current rates on our site, then contact info@ for deadlines & availability.



Get the look of a high end West Elm piece for less. By Astral Riles


To ask an expert a question send an email to


This issue features dresses available for rent from Great Neck Florist in Virginia Beach, including the one Megan is wearing on the cover. Make up by Kishinna Fields, styling by Dominique Panganiban. Photography by LaKaye Mbah. Go behind the scenes of our shoot on page 60. 3


Something old is new again! Check out the pearls on pg. 34

Contrib u tors


Yetunde Rodriguez the creative mind behind AfroMartha, a lifestyle DIY, Food and Home Decor Blog. AfroMartha’s philosophy is simple: anything you want, whether it is a fabulous meal, a beautiful environment, or solutions to storage and organization, can all be had with a few basic skills, and a willingness to be open to creative inspiration. The name ‘AfroMartha’ is a humorous homage to The Original Martha, the Doyenne of Domesticity, and is also a nod to the creator’s African heritage.

Shalonda Toliver

Nina brewton

Hair stylist VirginiaBeachHairstylist


Shalonda is originally from Dallas, Texas but was raised mainly in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She developed her love for hair while watching her mother go to Cosmetology school in the 80’s. She took cosmetology courses in her last two years of High School and became a Licensed Cosmetologist at 17. She doesn’t put herself in a box and is proficient in all textures of hair. She challenges herself to be the best and loves what she does.

Nina C. Brewton is a writer who speaks and a speaker who sings, seeking to inspire others in all she does. The native of Wichita, Kansas is a veteran of the United States Air Force and currently lives in Hampton, Virginia with her husband Raphael. She is the author of a memoir, Dramas of a Bald Head Queen, and Heart of a Queen – Poetry and Prose from the Soul. She is currently working on, a tribute to sisterhood, Sangin’ Like Shug Avery. For more info or booking, visit 5






Q&A Interview & Styling: Dominique Panganiban / Photography: LaKaye Mbah / Makeup: Kishinna Fields

RYC recently sat down with Megan Jenifer-Harris, a bubbly and energetic beauty, who, in her own words “pours love on people as soon as [she] meets them.” In addition to being an accomplished violinist and author, Megan is a wellness coach and manages a website called, an online resource that promotes health and lifestyle well being. Megan talked to RYC about how her natural transformation changed her life, and explained the power in cultivating beauty “from the inside out.”

How did you begin your natural hair journey?

I began through an accident. I have fine hair and relaxers never really took well. I had a weave I wore for a few months and tried to get a relaxer after the weave. The result was what I call an “erm” - an under-processed perm. My stylist said I could come back in 2-3 weeks and get the process done again, but in the meantime, he would blow dry it out and flat iron it. The results from the blow dry and flat iron looked better than what my relaxers normally look like. I returned in a couple of weeks and he suggested I don’t do the relaxer again and instead keep blow-drying and flat ironing until we decide it’s time for a relaxer. We both liked the results so much more so we agreed to slowly grow out the relaxer with this process. So ultimately, I tran6 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM

sitioned from relaxed to natural, but still with straight hair. That was seventeen years ago. Who or what influenced your decision to go natural?

I was tired of my failure rate with relaxers. After the great transitioning experience with my stylist, it was an easy decision. What challenges, if any did you have as a woman with natural hair and how did you overcome them?

Fortunately I’m self-employed, so I don’t have the issues that many women face in the corporate world. The only challenges I face have to do with coming up with different ways to style my hair.


Since I exercise a lot, sweat makes it difficult to maintain certain styles. My hair has always been medium/long, so if it’s not in a protective style, I two -strand twist or flat twist it while working out. Sometimes I’ll have bantu knots while working out, and cover them with a bandana or triangle scarf. I wait until my hair dries completely before removing the twists or knots. Then I pin and finger style the waves or curls into a style, or wear some type of accessory. If you could give any advice to anyone going natural, what would it be?

Be confident in your decision. Own that thang honey!!! Wearing ANYTHING confidently contributes to your overall happiness, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Enjoy your personal self-expression and remember the reason you decided to do it. If you feel it’s the best decision for you, go for it and rock the you-knowwhat out of it! Besides your hair, how else are you living a natural and/or healthy lifestyle?

I love to eat well! I don’t eat perfectly 100% of the time, but a good 85 - 90% of the time I eat clean, whole foods. I drink lots of water and DEFINITELY believe in sleep! I enjoy working out. I switch up my workouts often to avoid boredom, and take breaks to relax. I also LOVE to meditate every morning before starting my day. It helps to get me off on a good foot. Lastly, I do things and spend time with people I love. I don’t engage in a lot of negative behaviors or entertain many negative people. What changes have you made to transition into a healthy lifestyle, and what differences have you noticed?

The biggest change I’ve made is making the conscious decision to honor my commitments to myself and be more consistent. I’ve found that when I adopt the mindset of commitment to change, then I can create and stick to a new habit for as long as I need to see results. Having this attitude has helped me stick to my guns while working toward goals.


What brings you the most joy?

I enjoy helping people to see and recognize their purpose. I have a motto: “Anything is possible, and I’m worthy.” I love seeing when people begin to trust themselves enough to pursue their dreams, and then watching them do it. That’s what BeInsideOut is really about - being in tune with your power and listening to your body. I love helping people recognize and tap into their inner spirit. If you could be anywhere for the day, where would it be and why?

The beach! My husband, James, and I are completely different, but even the beach is something that we both agree on! I love the serenity of the beach, and James loves the water. We both love the sun and the heat. Hair: What products do you use?

Lately I’ve been shampooing with Lawrence Ray Concepts (LRC) Complete Cleanse and Total Moisture shampoo. I’ve been conditioning with Carol’s Daughter Monoi Deep Conditioner and mask. For styling with heat, I’ll spray in LRC Shake-N-Go as a leave in, and then use a little black castor or jojoba oil to seal it, and Carol’s Daughter Strengthening Serum as a heat protectant. When styling without heat, I’ll use the LOC method: with LRC Shake-N-Go as the leavein, Jamaican Black Castor oil 9

to seal and a homemade shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter whipped smoothie as the cream. What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have spare time I like to go to cultural events. I also enjoy fitness classes. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but I do like trying new things, and experiencing different cultures. I also enjoy reading, writing, and creating things. You are very fit. What part of your fitness routine do you enjoy the most? What part do you most dread?

I’m athletic, but I’m not athletic to the core. My 10 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM

husband is the real athlete. So while I enjoy working out, truthfully, I’d rather be dancing. What’s your secret?

Knowing that I’m connected to God. When I feel disconnected from that, I’m all out of whack, and I feel funky. However, once I plug back in, immerse myself in God’s love and presence, that’s when I feel like myself. You’ll find too that the people who do that, who connect with God, those, are the people who see providence showing up in their life. It happens all the time. Define your personal style.

It’s changed over the years. I used to be real

earthy back in the day. Now, I guess you can say that I have two extremes. I like street fashion - even when I’m dressed up I like to have elements of looking dressed down. I also like to mix fabric textures, one fabric I really like is denim. The other extreme is gym clothes. I’m frequently in gym clothes and sweats! Either way, I do have to be comfortable. My style is simple, but kind of piece meal, like patch-work. Sometimes I match, sometimes I don’t. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Vegging out on Netflix, and watching a whole series at a time. Who’s your “natural role model?”

I don’t really have one because my hair is so strange! But there are a couple of natural hair YouTube channels that I enjoy: whoissugar, and naptural85. What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew then?

From a young age I was a seeker, but I didn’t seek ‘here (points to her chest).’ I wish I knew to pay attention to myself more, to trust my inner feelings. And to trust the difference between what I was being shown and what I felt in the first place. I feel that’s the most important thing that people should do - recognize the God in themselves first. 11


Personal & Professional Excellence One of Megan’s greatest loves is music and she enjoys teaching and playing violin. She and James are really into health, wellness and wealth-building. Megan’s website, www., focuses on improving the mind, heart, body and spirit from within. You can buy her book, How Ordinary People Attract Extraordinary Wealth! on Photography provided by Megan Jenifer-Harris.


Move of the Month:

Workout Together


Three Reasons Couples Exercise Well Together By Megan Jenifer Harris

With daunting figures of disease and illness in the U.S., people are becoming more health conscious and starting to be proactive about their well being. The most popular way of accomplishing this is through exercise. Exercise is economical. It also has lasting benefits such as relieving stress, strengthening the body and losing unwanted fat. Adding exercise as part of a lifestyle requires

commitment and dedication, which often times is a challenge to do alone. Having a workout buddy or even hiring a personal trainer can help give one the push, motivation and accountability to stick with creating a new habit. It can be even more beneficial when your workout partner is your significant other. Why is that? Here are three reasons: 1. You really KNOW each other

As a couple, depending on the depth of the relationship, vulnerabilities are exposed. Lovers can often times see each other’s hidden fears and help unearth deeply rooted beliefs. Some people are naturally motivated and driven to regularly work out. But for those who aren’t, the required motivation may be different. A significant other can help to pinpoint that motivating factor more deeply than what anyone 15

on the surface could detect. 2. You’re on the same page It’s quite a challenge to be diplomatic in a relationship with conflicting interests. If one person wants to work out while the other lays on the couch and makes a habit of daily pizza binging, there may be some other pertinent issues to address. However, if being healthy is a priority for both, then an action plan can be created and executed

including all the ground rules. These include support and conversely, the willingness to receive constructive criticism. This action plan, nonetheless, creates lasting synergy. 3. More quality time together Life can be demanding so couples are looking for ways to spend more time together. Going for a jog, taking turns with sets on leg day, doing sit-ups together, helping each other stretch are all examples of couple’s exercise.


With quality time comes creating more positive memories, space for gentle affection and loving reinforcement of the relationship. The lasting effects of couple’s fitness are better bonding, intimacy and stamina. When working collectively toward a common goal, the process (and reward) can be more thoroughly enjoyed. Continue Reading for a 10 minute HIIT jump rope routine Megan and James do together.--------->

Get Fit with a 10 Minute Jump Rope HIIT

For this issue, James and Megan have put together a 10 minute HIIT routine using jump ropes!

What can you do when you’re pressed for time but need to get an effective workout? To be effective it should up the heart rate, exercise numerous muscle groups, increase the caloric burn and keep burning fat long after you’ve stopped. Sound impossible? Not with HIIT workouts! HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. Researched and practiced largely in the last decade, HIIT workouts are designed to include short bursts of high intensity exer-

cise followed by a short recovery period at a lower intensity. Calisthenic exercises such as jumping jacks, planks, push-ups, dips, squats and burpees are common options for HIIT workouts. Benefits of Jumping Rope

It may seem elementary, but jumping rope is a serious workout! Most people can jog for at least a minute and not get winded or tired. Jumping rope at a quick pace gets the

heart rate moving in 30 seconds! It engages all the muscle groups, especially the core, as it has to work hard to keep the body aligned. Say bye bye to belly fat jumping rope! If you’re not coordinated, learning to jump rope will help improve coordination and balance, while being something fun the whole family can enjoy. It’s portable and can be used in a variety of ways to keep the exercise interesting and challenging.

10 Minute Routine 60 seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds Try this routine slowly until you can jump for one minute at a fast pace. You’ll see the intensity alternate between high and medium. During the high intensity intervals, try adding high knee lifts, back kicks or even double-unders. During the medium intervals, you can enjoy a fast paced basic bounce.

Warm Up High Intensity Medium Intensity High Intensity Medium Intensity High Intensity Medium Intensity Make sure you control your breathing while doing interval workouts. It may be tempting to hold your breath, but don’t as you can easily pass out from lack of oxygen. If you need to build your jump rope stamina before attempting such an intense workout, try one of the BeInsideOut

30 second rest 30 second rest 30 second rest 30 second rest 30 second rest 30 second rest Cool Down jump rope challenges. Pair up with a friend or do it with your significant other. Find out all the details at As always, jump at your own risk! Before starting any new exercise regimen, consult with your physician. Neither Reset Your Crown nor it’s affiliates will be held liable for any injuries or damages sustained while attempting the suggested workouts. 17


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For up to the minute natural hair and style tips.


To see what styles are trending in our offices.


To read our hot topics of the moment.

Visit Our Website!

To read posts by our expert stylists and designers. 18 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM


Ask A Stylist Untamed Natural


Ask a Stylist! By Nneka Otim

How can I make my natural hair look elegant for my wedding day?


So your big day is drawing closer (yikes), and when you walk down the aisle it’s imperative to feel sexy, gorgeous and of course elegant. For many naturalista, fear gets in the way, fear of not knowing how to control and style our natural tresses. It’s unfortunate that so many of us opt out of wearing our hair in its natural state. Well I believe that your wedding day is a great day to show off your confidence and be fearless. Everything can be set in place for your wedding day, but the big question is “What do you do with your natural hair? “Let me offer you tips and style options on how to get picture perfect hair that will make you the center of attention on your special day.

Primp and Prep!

I suggest you start thinking about your perfect bridal hairstyle at least three to four months before your big day. A big factor to consider is the condition of your hair. If your hair is dry and suffering from breakage and splits ends it ‘s time give your hair lots of love and care. Book an appointment with your stylist to get a trim, steam and deep conditioning treatments. If your hair is strong, shiny and healthy then good for you! Take time to gather pictures and explore the right style for your bridal dress, faces shape and headdress (if you choose to wear one). Oh and most importantly, have fun! Call your girls, order dinner and a few bottles of wine and pour through magazines for

inspiration. Don’t forget about online scrapbooks such as Pinterest (my fave) to keep all your style ideas organized and accessible. Up Up and away!!

Updo’s are a great way to avoid frizziness and give you a dazzling look for your special day! Your options are Mini-twist, Flat-twist, Bigtwist, Buns, Topknots and Pompadours. When creating styles like this, be sure to avoid water-based hair products on the morning of the wedding. These will make edges frizz faster. Keep in mind you can add loose kinky/curly – textured hair to add bulk and volume to your twist-updo. If you think your hair will start to lift or frizz, oil based products (continued on page 23)

Nneka Otim’s hands have been working magic on her client’s hair for over ten years. Because of her transition and journey from relaxed to natural hair, Nneka believes that it’s her calling to assist others on their journey. Nneka accepts appointments in Atlanta by appointment only. 404-587-3002 20 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM

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Photos Provided by Nneka Otim

are best. Pomades are also great for flyaways. Updo’s are classic, elegant, modern and won’t leave you disappointed. Luxurious Locs!

Brides with locs have innumerable options for wedding day glam! With locs, Pin-ups, Buns, Fishtail-braids, Topknots, Crinkles and Curls give a very soft, chic look. If you plan on getting your roots retwisted, do so about two days before your wedding. This will

ensure they look fresh, but also give you time to style your hair for your rehearsal dinner or other pre-wedding day events. Accessories are key when creating wedding styles with locs. Sparkly, bejeweled clips can be purchased at accessories stores or beauty supply stores. Be creative and remember it doesn’t have to break the bank to be fabulous! Awesomely Fro It!!!

option for your wedding. With wearing your fro it’s important to have the right products to keep your hair moisturized through out the day. With a fro you also want to stay away from water-base products. Again accessories are key, spice up your fro by adding a beautiful flower that matches your floral arrangements or a bejeweled head band, hair pin or comb. You’ll be surprised of the elegant look of your fro.

Wearing your fro free is a great

Bride Guide! Natural Hair Tips for your Big Day

Tip 1: If your stylist won’t be with you for the entire day have one of you bridesmaids (or that friend that’s good with hair) to carry a small bag containing items such as a sheen spray, spare clips/pins and a boar bristle brush to maintain your style. Tip 2: Make sure you pick a style that goes from day to evening time and a style that will fit with any thing you choose to wear.

Tip 3: Please be sure to drink plenty of water as soon as you start planning your wedding. That will ensure that your, hair, scalp & skin has proper moisture and will give your hair a nice silky shiny look for your special day. Tip 4: Shine your light! You deserve to look and feel absolutely amazing on your special day. Smile and beam with confidence and most importantly enjoy!! 23

Untamed Natural by Alana Patrick

Avoiding A Natural Disaster: Protecting Your Tresses With Summer right around the corner, the transition to warmer temperatures and humidity can be hectic on your hair! The ultimate goal is to have healthy hair whether we’re in our TWA phase, or have long curly tresses down our backs; however, all too often we don’t realize how we may be damaging our hair, and not even realizing it. Here are some tips to avoid problems with your natural hair. 1 Protective Styling Don’t be alarmed, you don’t have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on braids! A protective style could be something so simple as wearing two-strand twists, and pinning them in a cute style. You’re creating something that’s unique to you, and certainly cost effective! Letting the hair breathe every now and then is essential.

2 Avoiding Repetitive Motions Pulling the hair back or in a high bun, constantly, tends to cause breakage along your edges. Avoid damage by alternating ways in which the hair is pulled back: try low, high, or mid puffs. The hair is manipulated different ways, avoiding breakage. 3 Keep Your Hair Moisturized Always remember to seal your ends with an oil, it is essential! Dry and damaged hair will break off. Hot oil treatments and deep conditioners are necessary, at your discretion, and will also help prevent hair from becoming too dry or damaged, thus leading to breakage. 4 Find A Regimen that Works For You

All too often, we find ourselves trying to base our hair off of others; while most people will have the same hair type, no two heads are exactly the same! Some prefer to shampoo, and some prefer to only co-wash – the point is that trying new things in your hair regimen is OK. Experimenting with different products is what helps us find what works for our hair; sure, we’ll find a set amount of products and only stick to those, but after a while, they may not have the same effect on our hair. Never base your regimen or products around the sole opinions of others; it’s your hair, so you choose how to do it! We must remember to take care of our lovely tresses, and remember, all textures are beautiful and need love. Embrace your happy, nappy roots!

Alana Patrick is a self-proclaimed Natural Hair PJ (Product Junkie), and proud! Check out her personal blog at for her latest product reviews styles and learn about her wild life. 24 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM



Style Wedded Bliss Style Spotlight / DIY Get Married Your Way Get the Look Ask an Interior Designer Photoshoot Winner: Gigi Rodgers




Photography by LaKaye Mbah Styling by Dominique Panganiban Makeup by Kishinna Fields Words by Nina Brewton Quote by Herman Hesse


Instagram: @beinsideout


sun moon

“We are

dear friend;


n n,



we are

sea and





become recognize

It is not our purpose to each other; it is to each other,



to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is:


each other’s opposite and complement.” 38 WWW.RESETYOURCROWN.COM


here truly is nothing better than finding the love of

your life. Many spend a lifetime searching for

the person who brings balance to your life, adding to everything that you are, filling in those missing pieces. The yin to your yang, the moon to your sun... When we first meet a person, we find our attraction is based on all of the things that we have in common. We both have a love for art, education, music, sports, etc. For Megan and James Harris, their connection first began at the gym. Their love for fitness and health drew them together and after being together for over five years, they recognize that their commonalities were just the beginning of making them who they are - individually and collectively. Megan Jenifer-Harris is a woman of many layers. This city-girl raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area is a beautiful, eclectic sister who lights up the world with her infectious smile and incredible energy. She’s the type who finds the positive in everything and sees potential in everyone. Megan loves to shine brightly on all who encounter her. Whether teaching violin to

children, coaching clients looking to live a life of stellar health and wellness or doing hair and makeup for brides to be this multitalented entrepreneur loves to stay on the go. Megan is a talker, a mover and a shaker and to catch a glimpse of her daily routine, you may find yourself weary just at the thought of all she is committed to. Great strength can be found in silence and paying attention to detail. James Harris is a man of few words. Strong, observant and slow to respond in situations, the native of Hampton, Virginia loves the simple things in life - family, friends and sports. His style is neat but simple and generally he can be found relaxing comfortably in jeans or shorts, a t-shirt or tank top, sneakers or Timberland boots. James is also an entrepreneur and has a great competitive spirit. He completes tasks apparently out of spite -- that is, because others may not think that he can achieve the things he says and for that reason alone, he will. That competitive edge is exactly what led him to complete his bachelors and masters degrees in record time. Both Megan and James have multiple degrees, education being a foundation (continued on page 40)


for their successes. Megan, who took the traditional route in the quest for higher education, is constantly in motion yet extremely organized and strategic while James is laid back and more spontaneous when it comes to making life choices, pursuing his education and career in a nontraditional format. These differences alone are what often create conflict in the relationships between polar opposites. But the things that differ between us and the ones we love can not only make life more exciting but provides increased opportunities for us to grow as


individuals. Has married life been perfect for the two? Of course not. But in a quote by the bride of James Harris, we see the key to any and every relationship: In Megan’s own words: “Our marriage works because although we’re really different, we communicate well, respect each other and are sensitive to each other’s ways of doing and being. We don’t try to change one another. We appreciate our differences, thus we don’t stifle each other or get in the way of growth both as individuals and as husband and wife.”

“Enjoy your personal s e l f - e x p r ess i o n and remember the reason you decided to do it.�

Once when James was helping Megan remove her braids, the unthinkable happened! He accidentally chopped her natural tresses thinking they were extensions. Megan went with the flow and used protective styling to grow back her missing hair. 41

Style Spotlight:

Not Your Mother’s Pearls


Once strictly traditional, pearls are back on the rise thanks to modern touches like bead work and delicate metallic casing. Necklace and pearl earrings to the left by Tallook | Tallook: Head accessory (this page, top) by AfroMartha: 43

d i y weddin g

By Yetunde Rodriguez



Step 1. Empty and rinse out the

bottles (the fun part!) Remove all labels and neck bands from the bottles. Depending on the type of adhesive used on the label, there two methods that will effectively remove the label. • Fill the bottle with the hottest tap water available to really sticky adhesive then peel off the label. • For less sticky (dry) adhesive,peel of as much of the label as possible, then soak the bottles in hot soapy water. • As a last resort, VERY CAREFULLY) scrape off any remaining label residue with a single

edge razor blade in a handle. • Give the bottles a thorough wiping with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or cotton ball to remove any stubborn residue. Allow the bottles to dry thoroughly. Step 2. In a well ventilated area,

lightly spray the bottles with 2-3 coats of spray paint. It is very important to do light coats to prevent runs and drips in your finish. 2-3 light coats are better than 1 heavy coat. • After the last coat, allow the bottles to dry thoroughly, at least 2 days. This will allow the paint to cure and prevent from


scraping off when writing on the bottles. Step 3. Decorate your bottles!

I used a soft silver prismacolor color pencil for a sharp contrast. (You could also use a silver Sharpie marker.)

Things to remember:

• The more the merrier! Gather your girlfriends to help you with this project (There’s free wine in it for them!) • If you’re not a wine drinker but still want to use wine bottles, solicit your local wine stores or fine restaurants for free empty bottles.


Wine Bottle Centerpieces Level of Difficulty: Easy!!

Design Suggestions: Your Initials Table Numbers Doodles The Wedding Date A Message to Your Guests

Use the Bottles to Hold:


• A few empty wine bottles, enough for the number of guest tables at the reception. • 90% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol • Paper Towels • Matte spray paint in desired colors. For this project, We used matte black spray paint for dramatic effect. *Alternate suggestion: Black chalkboard paint • Contrasting color pencil. We used a silver Prismacolor pencil. *Alternate suggestion: Acrylic paint with and a small paint brush. • Single edged razor blade in a handle. • Newspapers or a drop cloth to protect your work surface.

A Spray of Flowers Tapered Candles Corks that Hold Table Numbers Anything Else You Can Think Of.

Read more DIY Tips for your special occasions and home on 45


Get Married Your Way!

RYC’s Mini Wedding Guide Featuring: Top row (left to right): Essence James, Mischiel Jeffries, Gigi Rodgers, Ilia Vukas, Jetaun Louie Hair by Shalonda Toliver Makeup by Kishinna Fields 47

Be your own kind of beau While trends can be helpful while looking for wedding ideas, there’s no need to be a slave to them. Our gorgeous models show you how you can personalize your wedding and showcase your unique personality.




Flaunt your natural hair! Believe it or not, each of these women have natural hair! Jetaun pressed her usually curly hair and gave it big, soft curls then accented with a delicate rose. Mischiel’s long locs were curled and styled two different ways to show maximum versatility. Gigi’s short crop was given an extra soft feminine touch with a heart-embellished head tie. If you’re planning an active honeymoon, you may plan to wear your hair in a protective sew-in weave, like Essence. Ilia’s giant curly fro works perfectly with a bohemian flower crown.





Ballgown, A-Line, Trumpet, Mermaid or Sheath, choose a style that flatters your body and makes you feel amazing. You can even go outside the box and choose a non-traditional pink dress for the big day.

k a dress that excites you!


Have a flawless face!

The final touch for any bride is gorgeous makeup. On your wedding day, you want to be the best version of yourself. Choose natural makeup that will let your beauty shine through. All makeup done by Kishinna Fields, except for Gigi (fourth from left) whose makeup was done by Shalonda Toliver. u



Get the Look







Your natural beauty will really shine through with these neutral essentials: 1. False Eyelashes by Ardell in #110 $3.49 - | 2. L.A. Gils Pro Concealer $2.99 - www.lagirlusa. com | 3. Mac “All that Glitters” eyeshadow $15.00 - | 4. Mac “Ambering Rose” Blush $21.00 - | 5. NYX Butter lipsticks “Pops $6.00 - | Items compiled by Kishinna Fields 57

Ask an Interior Designer! Have you ever seen the perfect piece of furniture and thought to yourself, “I love it BUT there is absolutely no way that I am paying for it because it’s way over-priced?” Then you try to find ways to justify spending that kind of money…money that you probably don’t even have! Well, I say this to myself often, and it’s not because I am “cheap” or “frugal”, it’s because I know that if I try hard enough I can find something in similar style & quality for less money somewhere else. And if I can’t find it, then I’ll just have to get my hands a little dirty and do a DIY project to get exactly what I want. See more of her before and afters on Words & Images by Astral Riles

I recently redesigned my bedroom and I found the perfect white mid-century modern dresser at West Elm, but it was priced at $699, which by the way was way over my budget. Considering the fact that I am obsessed with the mid-century modern style right now, I wasn’t willing to give up on what I wanted. I searched all over the internet, as well as, in several stores to find something similar for at least half of the price but I had no luck. Finally, I decided to check out a few thrift stores and just when I was about to give up the search, I hit the furniture jackpot! I came across a mid-century modern dresser set that was priced at a mere $84. I couldn’t believe my eyes because the dressers were

in awesome condition. I immediately made the purchase. Although, I wasn’t able to buy the dresser at West Elm, I still used its color and style for my DIY inspiration. The DIY plan was to sand, prime and paint the dresser a high gloss white. The existing drawer pulls were a gold & black color, which was perfect, so I left them the same color. I knew that the gold hardware would be a beautiful contrast to the high gloss white paint. The task of painting the dresser was fairly easy. The biggest and most time consuming part of the project was the prep work. The actual painting was super easy! It took a total of 2 days to complete this DIY project and it was absolutely worth it. To be quite


honest, the dresser that I have now is even more gorgeous than my West Elm inspiration piece and it literally only cost me less than $100 including paint and materials. I am proud to get my hands dirty from time to time. And the dresser looks great in my bedroom. So, the moral of the story is…you don’t always have to spend a lot money to get what you want!


Inspiration Piece from West Elm 59

Behind the Scenes



spent many years as a wedding photographer. My customers were mainly gorgeous AfricanAmerican women and some had natural hair. I noticed that my natural brides often opted to wear weaves or press their hair instead of wearing it natural. My inspiration behind creating this issue was to show options for different ways to wear natural hair for the big day. Megan and James were the perfect couple for this issue not only because of Megan’s natural hair, but also because the newlyweds are all about living a positive and healthy life. I hope you enjoyed this issue! -LaKaye Mbah



Dream Photoshoot Winner!

Gigi Rodgers When we saw the lovely designs on the side of Gigi’s majestic dome, we knew we found the perfect subject for our first photo giveaway. Gigi challenged us to push the envelope, which lead to the submerged water image on the bottom right. Kishinna did an amazing job on the makeup, giving Gigi three distinct looks. Gigi’s dream shoot involved going outside of the box and Dominique had amazing key pieces in her style arsenal that complimented Gigi’s personality. We loved working with her so much, that we asked Gigi to be one of our models for this issue! The patterned tights come from Gigi’s own line of custom apparel from Kontrolld Khaos. They’re available online at:







Michele Conaway Creative Portraiture

5702 Baltimore Ave Hyattsville, MD 20781 240-343-5702 443.468.3531


Love recognizes no barriers. Love jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination... full of hope. -Maya Angelou

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