All in Favor, Say “Eye!”


Tropical summer holiday fashion concept

Spring is finally here, which means the long-awaited bright, sunny days of summer are upon us. While we’re all rejoicing, stripping off a few layers and basking in nature’s glow; we have to remember to protect not just our delicate skin, but also our eyes. Although, our melanin protects our skin from sun damage better than other racial groups, our eyes are just as vulnerable as everyone else’s to damage. If you don’t take extra precautions to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, there are a myriad of ways you can do both temporary and irreversible damage. One such way is via photokeratitus, which is basically a sunburn to the cornea of the eye and is also known as snowblindness.  The name is a bit of a misnomer, because high altitude UV rays bouncing off of snow isn’t the only way you can harm your eyes. Natural and artificial light and tanning lamps are also common ways. Here are some quick tips to help prevent UV light damage:

  1. Wear sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection”. These are lenses that block both UV-A and UV-B rays and are labeled either UV400 or 100% UV protection.
  2. Wear wide brimmed hats – They’ll provide a larger canopy around your head which will better shield you from the sun
  3. Choose wrap-around shades (if that’s your thing), so that you can block the sun’s rays from infiltrating from the side
  4. Choose UV-blocking contact lenses in addition to the other barrier precautions. Sounds trivial, but every bit helps

Other Tips and Information:

  • Clouds don’t block the sun’s U rays – so don’t let grey skies be your guide
  • Your altitude and the time of day matters – High altitudes and the sun’s reflection off of water, ice or snow increases its intensity. Also, the sun is the strongest in the middle of the day to early afternoon, so swimming in the glistening pool in the height of the sun’s rays, creates the perfect condition for sun damage if you’re not careful. Some symptoms to watch:
  • Red eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Burning eyes
  • Little white spots on your cornea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches
  • Halo around lights
  • Reduced vision
  • Swollen eyes and/or eye lids

The most affordable place to purchase prescription and non-prescription glasses, and a variety of lens types, is EyeBuyDirect. The company sells high-quality, fashion-forward frames at insanely low prices due to their streamlined business model, enabling them to sell high end frames for as low as…..get this… six ($6) dollars! They’re highly recommended, and their price point will allow you to collect fashion eyeglass collection to match any look or mood without breaking the bank.

It’s a Wrap!

Social Media - Hair wraps (1)

I’ve always appreciated the beauty of a colorful wrap, scarf or turban, but the look never represented my personal style. I was much more simple, minimalist and unassuming in my tastes. Wraps always appeared to say, “Look at me!”, not dissimilar to someone wearing some cool as hell sunglasses that I’d be way too shy or insecure to wear with any confidence that people would credibly believe. I always associated them with African culture, celebrities or bad hair days, which is a very limiting way of thinking, any way you look at it. For me, the most daring head gear that I would rock was a baseball cap, which I always wore on my daily runs; and maybe the rare knit cap on particularly cold winter days. I live in warm climes, so really cold days are far and few between. Things changed a few years ago, however, when I became a card carrying natural curly girl. My hair no longer fit under baseball caps, so I had to find other solutions to absorb the salty sweat from my runs…or was that the salty taste of my tears of determination? What originally made me look cool and athletic, was now making me look like Ronald McDonald. My hair began to stick out on all sides of my baseball caps, making me look like a clown in search of a child’s birthday party. Trust me when I say, it wasn’t cool and it definitely wasn’t cute.

I also found that I loved my big, full, curly locks, and it was surprisingly super easy to manage, but sometimes I felt like my hair was just too much. It’s like when an incredibly curvaceous and attractive women dresses for work and dons a pair of nerdy glasses and ties her hair up in an understated bun because mama knows what she’s really working with, and, self-admittedly, it’s a lot. Sometimes I wanted to just tame the wild mane on my head with a more subdued, controlled look and I found that silk scarves corralled my hair, yet also let my coily tendrils freely escape. It was just the right amount of “Martha’s Vineyard meets Harlem”. John F. Kennedy’s mistakenly once said that the Mandarin word Weiji meant the word crisis, which he said stood for both “danger” and “opportunity.” It turned out to be a flawed definition and interpretation, but let’s go with it right now. It was dangerous if I let my hair go every day, and I had the opportunity to control it. In any event, I began to experiment with beautiful, silk, patterned scarves. I purchased mod and geometric designs, 50’s-60’s inspired florals and designer inspired, Chanel and Versace knock-offs. My scarves began to integrate seamlessly with my outfits and became the center pieces of my unique, über-stylish looks. Those over-sized, designer glasses worn by Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, suddenly didn’t seem so crazy after all.

Tying my hair back was both practical and fashionable. It was no longer a doo rag; but a must do. Below, you’ll find interesting ways you can experiment with wraps, scarves and turbans. Remember, go big and boldly into the world and don’t be afraid to express your personal style. It wasn’t until I stopped being afraid of looking like a star, that I realized that I had always been one.