It’s been a while since I introduced you guys to a gal that is self defined, amazing, inspiring and smart to boot! I’ve been a loyal reader for what seems like eons, and was thrilled to include her in this month’s Natural Hair section of ESSENCE Magazine. So this week we’re sailing on new wings and saying hello to new hair + style crush, Cynthia of Simply Cyn.
Congrats on the success of your blog! When did you realize you had such loyal readers?
Its funny in the beginning, you wonder if they’ll keep coming back, you wonder if anyone is really reading, but there’s been so much love and support, also a lot of mutual admiration with other bloggers. Sometimes I’ll get the sweetest comments and messages or maybe even get recognized on the train and then it hits me. It’s all been a very enriching experience.
Where did your love for handmade and all things Etsy stem from?
Etsy was like a drug during my wedding (hence my blogname), I was on that site so much. So many lovely things, handmade to boot. I don’t have one crafty bone in my body- maybe I have a little craft but it only occupies my pinky, that’s how little. So it was really about my admiration for these artists and truly thinking they needed more exposure and that I would do what little I could to give them some additional shine.
It takes some women a few years to hit their “style stride.” Where did inspiration spring up for you?
I would say it started on the streets of NYC. I’d watch and be so envious of the style I would see and how some girls could really put things together. It moved online to bloggers and easy access to tons of cool street style pics. I also love magazines …so today, its a combination of everything I see. I pick and choose what I like, until I create something I like, something I’m comfortable in, something that’s more me.
How would you describe your style aesthetic today?
Most of the time its pretty laidback, chill. I have never been able to put a label on it. I almost think someone from the outside looking in might be able to describe it better. For me, it’s simply what works.
Any similarities from your day job to your blogging ‘job’?
Not in the least. I’m an attorney. I’m in court on anything from trusts and estates litigation to medical malpractice etc. There is absolutely no overlap between both worlds. When I’m not in court, if I’m just in my office, I can jazz my style up more to be less stuffy.
Where do you source inspiration for your outfit posts?
First my closet. I just stare at what I have and see how it can come together. Other bloggers, their instagram feeds, (beg, borrow, steal ideas haha). Magazines: they help me know whats in stores, whats coming soon.
How does being natural fit into your overall sense of style?
Being natural for me has been about acceptance. Accepting who I am as I am. I know that its not that deep for everyone and it doesn’t have to be. But for me, I became much more confident and it shows and I think it all started with me saying, stop trying so hard to change who you are. It used to be so frustrating for me because my natural hair’s texture would fight back so hard when I used relaxers. There was a point where I needed a relaxer every few weeks, then my hair would fall out and I was miserable and I just hated everything. Style has a lot to do with being happy, comfortable and confident. There’s a reason why two people can wear the exact same outfit and you get two different outcomes.
Current covet list?
BEAUTY: I keep makeup simple but I really just got into skin care, like proper skin care, moisturizing, serums, exfoliating etc. I am in love with TARTE products and splurged on their Maracuja Oil which I love. A little goes a long way, that bottle is probably gonna last me forever. But now I wanna try all the other Face Oils. The Marula Oil and Fresh Seaberry Oil. Someone told me you can find some less expensive and just as great brands on Amazon, havent been able to check that out yet.
HAIR: I’m probably the last person on this but I intend to finally try Oyins Juice and Berries. Also while I liked Shea Moisture hair color I just used, I’m also tempted to try Garnier’s new Olia (60% Olive Oil) hair color. Reviews have been mixed and color is always scary but its only hair- right??
FASHION: I love designer collaborations and hope they keep them coming. Not every item or collaboration is going to be a success but usually you can find one or two really great items. I’m due to swing by Kohls (never thought I’d say that) to check out Derek Lams line.
Can you share your idea of the self-defined woman today?
She’s like a guided missile, not distracted or detracted by those around her. She is comfortable in her choices whether they bring good or bad. She accepts her faults and works her pluses. She may not know exactly what she wants but she tries. I don’t think the self-defined woman is about being perfect or right or even successful in the eyes of others. It’s the woman who can say without worrying about judgment (cos we as women tend to care a little too much about what everyone else thinks), this is my path, this is what I’m doing, this is what I’m about.
Favorite quote you’d take with you anywhere.
There’s so many, but one I try to hold on to each day, especially on tough days : “Live, Laugh, Love”
Make sure to check out this month’s issue of ESSENCE Magazine to catch more of Cynthia and her favorite natural hair picks!