Natural Icon Beauty Feature- DIEDRE’

I believe I have a knack and love for identifying and exposing talents and beauty in people but I also want to use this medium to empower women to be confident in who they are, to love themselves, cultivate their style and to enjoy life. I hope my blog brand Natural Icon Beauty will be an avenue where I can marry my love for natural hair, beauty, creative arts, humour, personal style, self confidence, empowerment, and exposing talents to create something that people will love and something that will possibly change/impact lives for the better. With this in mind, I’ve decided to do a monthly feature to highlight the style and beauty of a black woman with natural hair. My first Natural Icon Beauty of the Month will be the gorgeous Diedre’ McKenzie.
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Diedre’ has worked with me on many occasions and was actually integral in helping me to get this blog off the ground when it was merely just an idea. She’s always supportive of my ventures and has willingly used her talents, when possible, to aid many others in attaining their dreams. It is, therefore a no-brainer that I feature this member of Team Natural Icon Beauty who is an Art/Events Manager, Model, Stylist, Make-Up Artist, Aspiring Photographer among other things… and Friend.

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I wanted to find out more about her and her natural hair so I asked her:

NIB: Hey Queen, I’m so glad you agreed to be featured as our Natural Icon Beauty of the Month. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
DIEDRE’: My Name is Diedre` McKenzie a graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where I studied for a Degree in Arts Management. At the age of 23, my main goal in life is to be happy and truly successful where I believe my success is determined by whether I find happiness or joy in what I do. I love being creative and helping people to see the true potential in themselves through styling, decor and living a good lifestyle. I model as a hobby and I am currently trying to get certified in the areas of makeup artistry, interior decorating, fashion design, psychology and health and wellness.

NIB: Define your style.
DIEDRE’: hmm, to give a specific definition to my style is a very complicated one. I like anything that looks good on my body. I like to be sultry yet sophisticated and I rarely follow trends unless it looks good.

NIB: What do you love about your natural hair?
DIEDRE’: I love most things about my hair, the only thing I don’t like is the amount of money I spend on products to get the perfect look and that it makes me impatient waiting on it to grow.

NIB: Have you ever processed your natural tresses?
DIEDRE’: No I haven’t and I never will.

NIB: What’s your favourite way to wear your hair?
DIEDRE’: I have several go to hairstyles- A messy high bun for work, bangs when its not windy, wash and go mostly and cornrowed back as protective do. When I get tired of combing it, I put in some braids for a month or two.

NIB: Some people are under the impression that having natural hair is hard and expensive to maintain, is this so?
DIEDRE’: The only thing that’s hard about having natural hair is trying to meet the standards of what people say is “combed” hair. Not to say your hair shouldn’t be groomed or tamed, because it would make you look more kept, but if you accept the shape, form, textures etc. of your hair everything else comes easy.

NIB: What’s your hair regimen?
DIEDRE’: Water, Water, Water… Water is the main step in my hair regimen. I wet it in the mornings. I use moisturizer with main ingredient water. I occasionally use gel with main ingredient water. Otherwise, I would wash and go and sometimes put in a curling gel to keep my curls tight. I co-wash my hair twice a week, ( I no longer use shampoo) and trim the ends ever so often ( I’m due a trim now).

NIB: Explain ‘co-wash’ for those of us who don’t understand what that is.
DIEDRE’: Co-wash is using conditioner to wash your hair instead of using shampoo.

NIB: I’ve heard stories of women who have been pressured to process their hair or who have experienced harsh criticisms, negativity and/or even sabotage because they wear their natural tresses. Have you had any such experience(s) solely or partly because of your hair?
DIEDRE’: The society we live in has yet to come to terms that even if we were all put in a baking mold we would still come out different, some will have more air holes than others ( Pun intended). It is until we realize that we cannot change the way we were made and embrace our differences, that people will be forced to embrace it. I have had many experiences where the way I chose to wear my hair have affected people’s opinion of me. I even went about changing it to suit them, but I have learnt that the only reason I should change something about myself is if it is going to make me happier or healthier. I’ve never heard of natural hair killing anyone yet, so until then, I’ll keep rocking my curls.

NIB: As a model, do you find it harder to get gigs because of your natural hair? Or is natural hair readily accepted in the fashion industry?
DIEDRE’: The fashion Industry likes girls who they can play around different looks with. The girl with no hair gets more gigs than a girl with processed or natural hair because then they can wear wigs and different hairstyles so natural hair is not a deal breaker especially since natural hair is simply a fad for some. Even processed hair chics are putting in curly tresses to have our type of hair *flashes hair while tilting head to the side*. However, the struggle that most models face is with height, weight and/or skin colour.

NIB: People will look at how gorgeous you are and think that you must be very confident and that you have it all together, is that so? Or do you have insecurities like the rest of us?
DIEDRE’: Ha! Confidence is such a funny thing! Today, you have it tomorrow you don’t. You never really have it all the time because there is always something that makes you question your worth. What I have learned is that it’s not important to meet everyone’s expectation but it is important to meet your own. There is always someone who’s not going to like you, not going to see your worth, always expecting the worse from you or trying to put you down because of selfish reasons but seeing your goal and focusing on reaching it is what’s important. In my case, that’s being happy.

NIB: If you could describe your life, vision for your life, or guiding philosophy(ies) using three quotes, what would they be?
DIEDRE’: “Live, Love, Laugh.”; “Just Do It!”; “This Too shall Pass.” I was going to include “Forever Faster” but I don’t run. That’s how I remind myself to live every day. I don’t have a plan as to how I want my life to go I just have a goal and will do everything to reach it.

NIB: One last question, what does it mean for you to be a Natural Icon Beauty?
DIEDRE’: Wah! Mi life tun up now! *laughs out loud* Everyday you live your life trying to reach your goal, you never think the work is done because you always see room to grow and be a better version of yourself and then, someone sees your hard work and tells you good job, or tells you they admire you. It means something. It means that you’re not just working for you but to help people who have the same desires, struggles and questions of life to find the answer much quicker than if they were to search for it themselves. My ultimate dream is to help people realize how much investing in themselves can make their life more fulfilling. To be considered as a Natural Icon Beauty means I’m doing something right and I am one step closer to this dream.
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“I wasn’t sure I was going to pull off this dress, but then I remembered who I was and owned it like nobody’s biz.”

Yes, you sure did. Thanks again Diedre. I appreciate that you were open and honest. I wish you all the best in your present and future endevours.

Thanks to everyone for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature. Awaiting your Comments below 😆

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Click Here

Credits:
Photography:
Photo 1 & 7-9 : @jesuisalrick
Photos 2-6: @nickiikane

Make Up:
Photo 1 & 7-9 : @kimzie_kim
Photos 2-6: @mz_zeri

Styling: Diedre Mckenzie

Keep up with Diedre:
Instagram: Click Here
Facebook: Click Here

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DIY Crop Top Style

What do you do when your flight gets cancelled so you have a couple more days before your next flight? You do something constructive. Well, I wrote two blog posts.

What do you do when you have written two blog posts you insist that you saved and edited to perfection but they have somehow mysteriously gone missing? You cuss some b*mb*cl**t start over. *inhale* *exhale* So as hard as this is for me to do, I will write them over. *sigh* Let’s hope this ‘New Year New Me’ fever doesn’t wear off any time soon. I’m kind of liking this patient Stacia. 😒

My friend Diedre suggested that I let you know how I came up with and how you can achieve each of the looks for all my style entries. As great as that sounds, I have no plans to commit to that kind of bondage, professionalism consistency for each post especially since I write (and edit) as I’m inspired. Hence, I sometimes don’t even know what I’m going to write about until I actually start writing. And at that point, there’s no telling what will or will not make the cut.

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Speaking of cut, it now makes sense to share with you how I achieved the look for this crop top and how you can too with just a tshirt, scissors, needle (or sewing machine), thread and material scraps of your choice. And since I lost my original content this could be a great DIY project, I thought you’d find it useful.

Believe it or not, this spunky crop top was once a dull solid colour black tshirt. I achieved its new look by cutting a piece of animal print material that I liked and stitched it in the centre of the black Tshirt. I then cut the shirt to my desired length. I also cut around the ring of the neckline to make it wider so I could achieve an off the shoulder effect. After that, I cut two strips of denim from an old pair of jeans and stitched it to the shoulders like an epaulette. I then cuffed the sleeves to my liking and that was it. My once dull black Tee has now been transformed into a crop top with a new cheerful personality.

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And of course, in the true coining meaning of my ‘hippie urban’ and ‘upcycled chic’ style, I paired it with the infamous neon green flared skirt that sadly will be making its final appearance for the year (R.I.P.)…. and my pink Converse that I absolutely love. Consequently, it didn’t suffer the same fate that the rest of the other stuff I got from my ex did. *snickers* Come on, #DontJudgeMe I’m just kiddin’….. (or am I? Lol)   

Thanks for visiting. Awaiting your Comments below 😆

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Click Here

Credits:

Crop Top: @staciadavidson

Styling: @staciadavidson

Photography: @nickiikane

Make Up: @ms.yelad_realntrue

Location: Downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Off The Shoulder

I designed this off the shoulder body con dress a couple years ago but haven’t worn it in ages. On searching my closet for another compliment for the neon green flared skirt, I came across it and thought that the off the shoulder cut and the earth tone colours would be a good fit. The black tulle at the hem may be a bit much for the conservative or boring among us but I thought it added even an iota of personality. I love off the shoulders by the way, but I have to admit, that my curves confidence was definitely the selling point for this dress. *giggles*

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Again, I love the versatility of being able to wear it by itself (as a dress) or as a top with a flared skirt. I definitely loved this look. I almost felt like Cinderella. If only I had the glass slipper… (and the Prince Charming😂.)

Thanks for visiting. Awaiting your Comments below 😆

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Click Here

Credits:

Dress: @staciadavidson

Styling: @staciadavidson

Photography: @nickiikane

Make Up: @ms.yelad_realntrue

Location: Downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Vintage & Mini

I know I had promised 4 consecutive weeks (January) of neon green flared skirt styling posts. However, I’ve decided to give you a break this week to prevent any kind of cloying feeling that could possibly upset your fashion appetite. Not quite! The truth is, I had no plans to give you a break from my neon skirt obsession but I’m working solely from my phone today and I’m having problems downloading those neon skirt photos. Nevertheless, I’m staying true to my decision to make at least one new post every Sunday. I’ve opted to substitute the original intended post for today for this one, rather than not post anything at all. *pats self on back* I’m working on being more disciplined in the things that matter so I’m striving for consistency rather than perfection. I’m learning ‘perfection’ is the enemy of greatness anyway, and things don’t have to be exactly how I’ve planned it for it to be beautiful. Flexibility doesn’t mean that I’m not focused. Sometimes you have to adjust your sail according to the direction the wind is blowing. Albeit, you’re going to the same destination…. (And off I go into a philosophical tangent lol).

Unfortunately, you’re still in for a treat as I will be posting the rest of the neon flared skirt outfits, as promised, next week. Thank me later. But in the mean time, check out my Vintage & Mini combo for this week.

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I am trying to think of the appropriate style jargons to describe my preferences. I’m leaning closer towards the idea that my personal style is a mix of laid back, afro-centric, hippie, afro-casual, urban, vintage sexy and upcycled chic😂. Is there even such a thing? Does that even make sense?🙈 Doesn’t matter, I think that really summed up my style in a nutshell.

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I’m always looking for thrift finds wherever I go and I especially love seeking out vintage looking pieces whenever I’m on one of my thrifting escapades. On a previous visit to DC, I discovered this ‘vintage’ floral jacket which I instantly fell in love with despite the earnest attempts of my friend to try to persuade me that I was wasting all of $5 on this “ugly jacket intended for an old woman”. I guess pairing it with this hip hugging mini (that I got made) was the compromise and my way of “younging” it up for her *side eye😒*.  My crochet gladiator sandals by local designer Michelle Walker of Crochet Eye Candy was another great style find. I can definitely add this to my closet of repeat offenders.

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I bet you couldn’t tell that I’m Jamaican. I tried not to make it too obvious. Yeah right?! *giggles* One Love.

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Thanks for visiting. Awaiting your Comments below 😆

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Click Here

Credits:
Sandals: @crocheteyecandy

Skirt: @staciadavidson

Styling: @staciadavidson

Photography: @marz_jackson

Make Up: @lejounb.artistry

Location: Downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Neon & Polka Dots- Part 2

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As I had said in last week’s post, my neon green flared skirt will be featured this month (and maybe even after). Yes, I love it that much so look out for it next week as well. Today, allow me to bore you with the same colours I wore last week. My intention is that my  breasts smile will make up for that. Enjoy!

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I found this black and white polka dot bikini top and thought that it would go well with my neon green skirt. I would have worn it alone (that is, with the skirt) and showed a little skin if only my ‘summer body’ wasn’t looking so winter-ish *covers waist face*. So I literally just put the polka dot bikini top over a black tank top and Voila! I had a new top. Well, kind of. Lol I hope you like it.*wink*

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You’ve probably already read the “About Me” Section but I’m always learning something new about myself so I encourage and recommend that you read each post as it will probably give you a better understanding of and insight to the person behind the blog. Here are a few more things that I’ve uncovered about myself & this blog:

  1. I’m from a Tropical country so my outfit choices will somewhat reflect and be influenced by that. I always say Style over Fashion because style is personal and fashion is about rules and trends. However, when it comes to winter, it’s always COMFORT FIRST. A Winter in New York is when I’m at my worst. It’s way too cold to be pretty.
  2. I’m showcasing my personal lifestyle. So that simply means my hair will not always be combed, my nails may never be done and I’ll be wearing flats and sandals ALOT. Ok, so that’s actually my disclaimer.
  3. I absolutely love thrifting. I love up cycling. I’m creative, cheap frugal and resourceful. I like trying things. Like, for instance, wearing a bikini top over a tank top and calling it an outfit… I know you’re saying, “Look at her thinking she’s fresh.” lol But am I not? *blows kiss*

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The world of fashion is black or white. It can be a cruel and unforgiving place for those who break the rules so I’d rather not live there. I like experimenting and having the freedom to create, wear and do whatever I want, however I choose. I live in colour. See what I did there? 🙂

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Oh, remember these red heels from my last post? Ha! Repeating is a hobby of mine. Can’t say I didn’t warn you! How’s that for a fashion blog? *side eye*

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And this is how I ride off into the sunset with Prince Charming…lol Not really… my friend Phillippa suggested I hop on this man’s bike and he was too willing to oblige. Didn’t come off as we had hoped but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. *smirks*

Thanks for visiting. Awaiting your Comments below- The good, the bad & the ugly 🙂

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Click Here

Credits:

Photography: @marz_jackson

Make Up: @lejounb.artistry

Neon & Polka Dots

I’m super excited about my first style entry. One of the things you’ll learn about me is that I like to repeat pieces. The fact that I bought it, suggests that I like it and if I like it, then that simply means I’m going to want to wear it as I often as I desire. Makes sense right?

This is exactly how I feel about this neon green flared skirt I bought at a Thrift Store in D.C. The day that I bought it was a very good day because  I absolutely LOVE it! 🙂 I’ll be featuring it this month and showing different ways that I’ve styled it. I’m also going to show how you can be resourceful and stylish at the same time. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a fortune. Just be creative and let your beauty shine from within. CONFIDENCE is everything! 🙂

 

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I’m wearing a black dress with a statement black and white polka dot neckline which I designed along with a red vintage looking bag that I snatched from my mom’s closet and a pair of red heels that you’ll be seeing alot. lol

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I then paired the neon skirt with the same dress, now worn as a top, to show how versatile your pieces can be. As for my hair, that’s my “I just woke up like this” look. And to complete the look, I added my beautiful smile. *wink*

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Natural Icon

Credits:

Dress: Designed by me (@StaciaDavidson)

Photography: @Nickiikane

Make Up: @ms.yelad_realntrue

Happy New Year Queens

I really just wanted to say just that. Happy New Year Queens.

It’s been about 3 or 4 years now since I’ve had the idea and started working towards this blog and finally I’ve secured the domain naturaliconbeauty.com

I want you to be a part of my journey. Like, Comment, Subscribe and Share when I make new posts. You’ll learn more about my plans as I share more about the direction this blog will take.

Thanks again for visiting and Happy New Year 🙂

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Love xoxo,

Queen Stacia.

Follow on Instagram: @naturaliconbeauty

Like on Facebook: Natural Icon

Credits:

Photography: @marz_jackson

Models: @phillippajodysmith, @makedia_pryce, @mz.xeri, @daviannetucker

Necklaces: @yaadtrendz

Styling: @22squeezie