A fashion and lifestyle magazine and blog produced by Students in the Design and Merchandising program at Drexel University

Friday, November 28, 2014

DIY Dip Dye Hair Color

Three easy steps to dip dyeing your own hair just like a pro!

Colored hair is becoming huge in fashion these days. From Kylie Jenner to Nicole Richie, the colored hair we see is becoming a popular trend people can’t seem to get enough of.

Being one of the many who partake in this trend, I’ve been dip dyeing the tips of my hair a variety of colors for the past 3 years, so unfortunately for Kylie Jenner, I started the trend first. I has grown to be a huge part of who I am to the point that which my friends have now asked me to dye their hair after seeing me test it out first. It was my first attempt at cosmetology and I have to say it went quite well. After 3 years of dyeing my own hair, and now multiple friends hair, I have mastered the techniques of achieving the perfect ombre color combinations; here are the simple, easy steps to do it yourself at home:

Step 1: Materials & Preparation:

You’ll need to prepare your materials in front of a mirror, preferably over a sink. As you can see from the picture above, the materials are pretty simple: tinfoil, cut into 4” strips; hair clips, used to section off hair; tinting brushes with rods; and lastly the dye, Manic Panic. Manic Panic has a huge selection of colors. I use this brand over others because it’s a semi permanent dye which means each time you shower and shampoo your hair, the dye starts to fade away. By the end of a month, the color is barely visible, leaving you with a clean palette to try it again!

Step 2: Dyeing

Before you start painting color all over your head you’ll want to section off your hair; using the clips, divide your hair into four main parts.
Starting with the bottom most layer, take a strip of hair about 1-2” thick (depending on the thickness of your hair) and place it along the strip of tinfoil. Using the tinting brush, apply the color dye directly from the jar onto your hair; brush the color evenly over the hair exposed.

Once the color is fully covering the hair you want, fold the tinfoil up into a square. Repeat this process until all of your hair is folded up in tinfoil. Once all the color is set, depending on how long it took to dye the hair, wait 30-45 minutes for the color to fully sink in.  

Step 3: Washing

Once the color has rested in the hair, it’s time to wash it out. To wash the color out, take out all the tinfoil and shower normally. As you shampoo, you will see color start to run but it’s normal to have excess color. Once the water is runs clear, condition and style normally. The color is now set into the hair and will fade during each wash with shampoo; you are now free to style your hair normally with the added pop of color!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Five 90’s TV Shows to Binge Watch Right Now

The 1990’s was by far the greatest decade to end a century. During this era flannel shirts were considered fashion-forward, boy bands were heartthrobs, and couch commando was most widely played game since every television show produced was just that good. In the midst of a 90’s comeback and with summer vacation approaching here are five 90’s TV shows to binge watch all summer long or, if you just cannot wait that long, right now.

Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000): Thank you 1990’s for reviving primetime soaps. Follow the dramatic world of rich teens growing up in Beverly Hills as they embark on their adolescent journey. Plus, watch Tori Spelling play a wasted teen at prom, Jason Priestly get drugged by one of his many girlfriends, and Luke Perry hook up with both Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty, which inevitability causes a lot of catfights.

Friends (1994-2004): A classic 90’s sitcom and one of the best to ever grace our television screens. This show offers an array of characters, or friends, that are present in your life including: your best friend from college, your crazy roommate, annoying sibling, and cute next-door neighbors. In addition, you should thank this sitcom for glorifying the idea of coffee shops and making the “Rachel” haircut socially acceptable.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996): If you don’t already know the catchy theme song by Will Smith you should go memorize the lyrics immediately as to not embarrass yourself when you inevitably hear “From West Philadelphia Born and Raised…” A classic and paramount 90’s sitcom, Will Smith stars as a novelized version of himself who moves from the hoods of Philly to live with his auntie and uncle in the fancy town Bel-Air where he inescapably manages to cause trouble.

Beavis and Butt-head (1993-2011): This one may come as a surprise, but cartoons in the 1990’s, most notably “The Simpsons”, paved the way for crude cartoons that we all love and religiously watch today. The series follows two rudimentary, dim-witted teenage boys who show no moral, have no parental supervision, and wannabe delinquents. Laugh at Beavis and Butthead as they partake in immature and idiotic activities that you just can’t even.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003): Sarah Michelle Geller redefines the horror genre in her role as Buffy Summers where the girl is plays the hero rather than the damsel in distress. When Buffy isn’t dealing with her ordinary high-school drama she’s slaying the demons of darkness with the help of her trusty “Scooby Gang”. As if a girl kicking-butt isn’t addicting enough steamy romances, sexy vampires, and of course action are all more reasons to get binge watch this show.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's Go To The Movies

When I watch movies, my mind expands inch by inch. It is as if I have a bookcase in my head that is slowly filling up with untold adventures, mysteries, romances and stories to be told. I am transported to another time, place and catapulted into a story that is not my own. Opportunities are endless and countries are transported in seconds, allowing me to experience things that I never will first hand. I am inspired to make my moments memorable. I too wish to be the object of someone’s awe and I hope my experiences can entertain and inspire others to make a change. Movies aren’t a waste of time, or rotting my brain. Instead, they are the nourishment that feeds my imagination, the fuel to my fire.

The history of film started in the 1890’s when motion-picture cameras were invented and the first cinemas were built. My history in film started when I was five, watching the 1982 classic, Annie. The song “Lets Go To The Movies” from the Broadway production-turned-film subliminally fed my love for the cinema. Oh how I wished to watch an authentic silent film, as opposed to only seeing the respectable 2011 Academy award winning film, The Artist.

Later as I grew older, movies became my books, and my stories. Once a week my family would go to the movie theatre and learn. Some were better than others, but regardless, like clockwork we went. Fueled by classics from Woody Allen to John Hughes, I became a mild form of an addict. On Christmas our celebration consisted of a double feature, particularly seeing two Academy award winning nominated movies back-to-back.

As I started thinking about a career I contemplated going into film and even took courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a high school student. However, I learned quickly that some elements of life should stay sacred. If I were to learn how movies were made, it may ruin the one form of magic I believe in. I was not about to and still refuse to give that up. Instead of becoming consumed by the behind the scenes nature of the business, I choose to stay a naive scholar letting my mind roam and educate myself in the only library I pay to visit, Netflix.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Breaking Black

Barbie pink was never my thing. If anything, I would say my choice of color lived on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Most tell me it’s not a real color, or that I wear it too much, but I politely disagree. The color black is the best color. Period. You can mix and match it and always look chic and put together, it never contradicts my mood, and it just makes me feel good. After all, lets be real, who wants to throw on a bright pink sweater when their mood is far from bubbly pink? No one. Whether you realize it or not, you’re going to grab the darkest piece in your wardrobe. Regardless if you’re feeling like a Debbie Downer, or you are in the happiest of moods, the color black is for everyone. Despite my personal visual attraction to the color, my roommate thought it was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone, and what better time than on Halloween?

As I stepped into American Apparel, I only had one thing on my mind. I was on a mission to find a black leotard to go help me transform into a ballerina, a slight homage to my younger years when I used to dance. I had two days until Halloween, and this was the only costume I knew I would be able to throw together in a matter of minutes. Thankfully for my roommate, my luck ran dry and there was no leotard in sight. I searched through the American Apparel maze disappointed pondering now what am I going to be? Before I could even begin brainstorming, my roommate pulled out a velvet bright pink dress and held it before my eyes. I starred blankly back at her, feeling disgusted by the fuzzy pink ensemble. Seconds before I could voice my disapproval, her eyes grew wide and she proclaimed YOU’RE GOING TO BE BARBIE. She was so enthusiastic, that I really couldn’t really say no. After all, it’s just Halloween.

My transformation to becoming Barbie began. I bought shiny nude tights to make my legs look plastic, some temporary Barbie tattoos and called it a day. I made my hair as voluminous as anyone with fine hair can make it, threw on some bright pink lipstick and I felt instantly transformed. I was completely out of my comfort zone, pink dress and all. Although it was a great night, I couldn’t wait to get that pink dress off.

Playing dress up for the night had me thinking how much of an impact color has on your emotions and mood. But where do these feelings about certain colors originate? Of course, our feelings about color are deeply rooted in our own experiences. For some, the color yellow could strike up feelings of anxiety, or it could even bring back a sense of nostalgia. A past experience, whether you remember it or not, does impact how you view the colors around you. As for myself, I can’t really say why I dislike the color pink but I know taking a trip down memory lane may confirm my deep disapproval for it. Until then, I am perfectly content staying away from the color, although breaking black was a nice experiment for the night.


The scene includes beads of sweat dripping down athletes’ faces as they visualize and psych themselves up for the next rep.  The soundtrack blasting through the speakers varies anywhere from 2 Chainz Pandora radio to a 90’s hits playlist and is accompanied by the pounding and clinking of weights being lifted.  A motivational tone is constant as Michael Rankin, Director of Strength and Conditioning, oversees his weight room with pride.
            Referred to solely as “Rankin” by his athletes, Michael Rankin trains and motivates Drexel’s 18 varsity teams, rounding out to be over 480 student athletes.  His typical day starts with his first team at 6:30 am, followed by another 5 teams streaming in every half hour.  Rankin and his staff coach the athletes through their training programs that have been custom designed by Rankin himself.  He always tries to get his own workout in before he heads home for a just an hour’s break.  When asked about maintaining his personal training schedule throughout all of the mayhem, he emphasized the importance of setting an example for the students with the mindset that it will always be manageable to train.  “I’m not going to come up with an excuse, the same way I’m not going to let the kids come up with an excuse.” After returning, Rankin works with more teams until he ends his day at about 8:00 pm.  From sun up to sun down, the weight room runs like a well-oiled machine.
Rankin’s determination for success and commitment did not appear over night.  His passion for health and wellness began on his first day of school as a child.  “I hated going to school but I remember loving P.E,” he says.  In 5th grade, Rankin was farming and performing manual labor, putting the money toward a home gym in his basement until he was old enough to join a larger facility.  Just about a decade later, Rankin was a collegiate football player at Western Maryland College until neck and back injuries forced him to transfer to West Chester University. As he was closer to his doctors and trainers, he moved on from football and focused on Olympic and power lifting programs.  After graduation, Rankin interned at a private training facility under Mike Boyle, the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Boston University. “Mike Boyle was the one who really showed me what a varsity weight room should like,” he states. From there, Rankin’s competitive spirit has driven him to pursue many different sports and training programs.  “I’ll do anything,” he says.  Rankin has competed in lifting, races and triathlons, but has also tried out for an Olympic team, American Gladiators, and was interviewed for MTV’s Made.  His most recent adventure was a charity bike race to the shore that took around six hours.  With it being only his second time on a road bike, Rankin is still feeling the aftermath about a week later.
As he works with both collegiate and professional athletes, Rankin describes the work ethic that is mandatory to find true success in his weight room. “Look, you can’t train heart.  So, you can try to motivate, try pick people up, try to create an atmosphere but if you don’t have heart, you don’t have heart.  All the yelling in the world, the best program in the world, doesn’t matter if you put forth no effort.” He has had experience with athletes from the NFL, NHL and the Olympic team and continues to practice an open door policy for anyone interested in taking advantage of his experience and knowledge.  “Once an athlete here, always an athlete here, in my eyes.  I love when people come back and train.  That’s probably my favorite part of this job,” he says.  The relationships that he has with his own coaches allow him to recognize the impact that he and his staff can have on the lives of his athletes.  “It’s pretty overwhelming and it’s something I take pretty seriously,” he says.
When asked about his dream job, Rankin was very clear by stating, “This is it.”  Although he’s been associated with top programs, including the Cleveland Browns and the Olympic Training Center, he recognizes the family atmosphere that surrounds him at Drexel.  Rankin also shared his desire to turn the single weight room into an entire performance center in years to come. “I’d rather focus on making the grass greener where I am, than continuing to move spots every few years with the hope that the grass is already greener there.  I’d rather tend to the grass where I am now and make sure it’s the best that I can make it.  That’s more rewarding than going to a big name and keeping it status quo.”

            From a young age, Rankin’s motivation and curiosity has taken him through experiences that most people only dream about.  Sharing his education and expertise along the way, he continues to inspire athletes of all levels to be the best version of themselves.  Teresha Bradley, a senior varsity athlete at Drexel University, states, “Rankin has always recognized my full potential as an athlete.  He’s always known I could do it, even before I did.”  As he pursues his long-term goals for a program that has reached new heights under his direction, Michael Rankin exemplifies dedication to Drexel Athletics.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feminism: Food (or Feast) for Thought

     To the slacktivists and armchair activists in all of us—listen up. Does social media deserve all the credit it’s often given in promoting social change? “Timid activists” and “millennials looking for a shortcut to understanding Feminism”—are these oxymorons? While seemingly simple in its assertions and goals, the concept of Feminism is stuffed with a long and complex history of thinkers, writers, and politicians whose extensive work decoding the roots and resolutions to the problem of gender-based oppression cannot easily be summed up in a BuzzFeed article or a four-minute YouTube video (much to our generation’s chagrin). This article will not pretend to be that YouTube video, but rather admittedly scrape at the tip of the iceberg. This list of both timeless and current concepts and questions will provide a jumping-off point for a more in-depth understanding of Feminism that can only be achieved through self-education and rigorous personal investment.
Militancy—what do we actually mean?
     “I’m a Feminist, but not that militant kind.” We’ve all heard this attempt to declare oneself a Feminist without the connotations of, well, caring too much. Because caring too much is passé—because there is such a thing as caring “too much”. This is not the case. A common mantra of the Black Panther Party asserted that you were either militant or an in-betweener, and if you’re an in-betweener, you might as well be nothing. This is to say that social change does not stem from lukewarm feelings or part-time passion. So what is “that militant kind” we speak of? What has militancy and radicalism come to mean in the context of Feminism? From whom and where did you learn this?
     Oppression is an economic crutch for the privileged, and it is intricately woven into the foundational fabrics of our society. The late Black Arts poet Amiri Baraka persistently asserted that racism exists ultimately to serve capitalist interests. The historical and contemporary problems concerning Feminism are similar. What are the economic gains in dehumanization and oppression, and specifically the oppression of women? How does a capitalist society seek to manipulate, and what forms does this manipulation take when directed at women? How do I unknowingly participate in my own manipulation? Can equality realistically exist in a capitalist society?
Preaching to the Choir
... Let's Not
     Discussing issues with like-minded people is never a bad thing—unless you stop there. Holding up a sign about why you need Feminism to all your Feminist friends can sometimes be no more productive than sitting in bed at night whispering into the ear of your teddy bear that you need Feminism. The problem is not only whether or not people know they are Feminists—it’s Feminists not knowing what to do with their Feminism. So who are you talking to? Who are they talking to? Who has the power, voice, and status to personally affect social change and who is talking to them? In other words, what politicians are speaking on your behalf, and are they saying what you want them to say? If not, what are you doing to change that?
Social Media and the Quick Fix
     BuzzFeed is fun. Wikipedia is convenient. Facebook is engaging and an efficient mode of distribution. Neither one nor all of these resources combined will leave you very informed. On the contrary, they can trick one into feeling educated without actually gaining that much knowledge, and in this the danger lies. That de-contextualized Audre Lorde quote your friend tweeted packs a punch, but how far does that go? What has been gained, aside from a virtual high-five and enthusiastic retweet? And how many people have retweeted, blogged, or posted this without seeking out or understanding the text and ideas behind it?
Which Finally Brings Us To: Books
        If you were to sit down and elaborately answer all the questions posed here, you’d have a pretty hefty book on your hands. Luckily for us all, there’s over a century of these critical Feminist texts and ideas already at our disposal. Let’s read some of them, think about them, and update and build from them, not try to poorly reinvent the wheel.

Top 5 Philadelphia-Based Illustrators

Philadelphia, to my surprise, is home to many of the most talented illustrators in the field.  Maybe its the fact that we are two hours from New York City, and cheaper.  Maybe its the fact that we are home to some of the country’s best art schools.  Whatever it is, artists, designers, illustrators, and photographers seem to love our city.  Here, I’ve listed five out of the many successful illustrators currently living in Philadelphia.  These five stick out to me because their never-failing ability to make me want to look again or maybe even read an article.

This U-Arts grad draws, paints, sculpts, and designs in a style that literally makes me smile.  His work is comical while creating complex urban environments and the characters who live in them. The scenes Rementer creates often have narrative and usually include typographic elements.  He has showcased artwork internationally and has been featured by The New York Times, MTV, Urban Outfitters, and many more.  Rementer has been awarded the prestigious Young Gun award by the Art Director Club for his illustrations.  


They are a three man design studio made up of Jason Kernevich, Dusty Summers, and Woody Harrington.  What impresses me most is their ability to communicate complex ideas with straightforward imagery.  Their strength is in concept.  They have a designers eye with an illustrators hand.  These guys have a huge client list including Apple, Pentagram, The New York Times, and many more.  They are all Tyler grads, and two of them now teach at Tyler.  


Mikey Burton’s new portfolio site was launched this week, showcasing many new projects.  Burton is a true talent with bold icons and outlined graphics.  His work can be both humorous and informative.  He is both a designer and an Illustrator calling himself a “designy illustrator”.     Burton’s award winning work has been seen in The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN, and many more.  


4.  Melissa Mcfeeters

Another Tyler grad with an amazing eye for both design and illustration.  She is a master of textured vector illustrations.  Earthy color palettes and frequent environmental subjects allow Mcfeeters to focus on and perfect a specific niche in the market.  Her illustration work has received awards from Communication Arts and AIGA.  Her work is frequently seen in Philadelphia Magazine, Grid Magazine, Philadelphia City Paper, and more.   


5.  Martha Rich

This Penn MFA grad works as both a fine artist and an illustrator.  Rich also teaches at Tyler School of Art.  Her work is typically hand painted and full of enthusiasm.  Rich’s fine art approach separates her work from the rest.  Honest and comical, Rich’s work is sure to make you laugh. The Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Bon Appetit have all hired Martha Rich along with many more publications and advertisers.     

photographs and facts: