Sunday, September 16, 2012

Turmeric Mask

My skin care routine is becoming more natural all the time and quite frankly, it's saving me a ton of money. Money I end up spending on make up, but I digress. *sigh

About a month ago, I started making a face mask using turmeric and a few other ingredients. I have definitely noticed a positive difference in my skin since from the first time I've used this mask. My skin is smoother and more clear than it has been in a long time.

I started using this mask because I need to take better care of my skin; and in my opinion, the best way to do that is naturally. So, without further ado, below is a list of the ingredients I used to create this mask and their benefits.

1/2 Teaspoon of Turmeric

Turmeric has a number of health benefits, but I will list the benefits as they pertain to this mask. Turmeric provides the following:
  • Lightens blemishes
  • Gives skin a natural glow
  • Reduces skin infections
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Fights against acne
  • Natural antiseptic
  • Good for acne 
2 Tablespoons of Chick Pea Flour/Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • Naturally exfoliates
  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Contains Vitamins A, K and B-complex
 1 Tablespoon of Almond Oil
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Non-greasy
1 Teaspoon of Greek Yogurt
  • Anti-fungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Smooths skin
  • Reduces acne
If you don't have Greek yogurt, you can use plain yogurt or substitute yogurt with milk. It just so happens that I ran out of milk and I used Greek yogurt instead.

Combine the dry ingredients to the bowl first, then the almond oil and finally the yogurt. Stir well.

The mixture should look have the consistency of pudding and have the color of mustard.

Apply the mask all over your face and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. While you wait, put the left over mask in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

Once the time is up, rinse your face with warm water and voila! Soft and supple skin. I love the way my skin feels after using this mask. 

Side note: Because of the turmeric, this mask will stain fairer skin. No worries, just use less turmeric. Instead of 1/2 of a teaspoon, use 1/4. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Long Hair Don't Care

Every once in a while I get my hair straightened. Usually for a trim, travel, special events or because my husband says something to the effect of,"So... you haven't worn your hair straight in a while."

It's not something I really think about. Anyways, in case you were wondering what my hair looks like straight, I present to you my favorite photo of 2012.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Festival Make-up

This past weekend, I had to work at the One Music Festival in Atlanta, GA. If you live here or have ever been to Atlanta, you know it is HOT. Of course I needed make up that would last all day and hopefully into the night. Below is a list of steps I took to make sure my make up lasted all day. I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the night.

1. On a clean and moisturized face, I added a layer of primer. My primer of choice is a photo finish primer by Smashbox.  I like this primer because it is oil free and glides on easily.  I used about a dime size for my whole face.

2. Next I applied my foundation. I applied a little more foundation that usual because I needed it to last all day. With my Real Techniques buffing brush, I buffed one pump of Perfection Lumiere by Chanel to each side of my face. BTW, I plan on doing a review of this foundation in the near future.

3. I applied Select Cover Up Concealer by MAC under my eyes. Once that dried, I applied a dab of foundation on top of the concealer.

4. I applied Urban Decay's Primer Potion on my eye lids and eyebrows. After that set, I applied Maybelline's Color Tattoo, Bad to the Bronze, on my eyelid. I followed that up by sweeping Buck from Urban Decay's Naked Palette onto my crease and I filled in my brows with Revlon Colorstay brow enhancer.

5. I applied 24/7 Liquid liner by Urban Decay to my lash line and followed that up with Make Up Forever Smokey Lash Mascara (this is made of magic, if you didn't already know).

6. I applied Sephora's Urban Luxe All Over Powder on the tops of my cheeks and brow bone as a highlight and followed with Merrily by MAC on my cheeks.

7. I set my make up with Cover FX Translucent Setting Powder.

8. Finally, I applied a nude lipstick and gloss.

I have to say, my make up lasted all day and into the night. I applied my make up at 9:30, but I forgot to take a picture. However, I did manage to take pictures throughout the day. Through all of the running around, Atlanta heat and sweating, my make up lasted much longer than I anticipated. I did not touch up my make up at all. I merely blotted my face to get rid of any sweat. Below is a timeline of my make up throughout the day.
                                                                       11 am

                                                                   3:45 PM

                                                                    6:45 PM

                                                                  10:30 PM
I'm very happy with the way my make up lasted. My eye make up lasted longer than than the rest, but that's to be expected because I was blotting my face during the day and not my eyes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Hair Routine

Some of you have been asking me about my hair routine and so I've decided to post about it. It's pretty simple and I don't see it changing anytime soon. Mainly because I am in love with the products I use.

First note, before I wash my hair, I rub my mix of olive oil and rosemary oil (pictured in the water bottle) on my scalp and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Now, I'm going to describe what I do to my hair after I've washed and conditioned it because, well there's nothing special about washing and conditioning my hair. It is what it is. BUT, I will tell you, I do not co-wash ever. I know, shocking. I believe the purpose of shampoo is to clean the scalp and conditioner is for conditioning the hair. I will save the debate about shampooing versus co-washing for another post that will never happen.

 The Ingredients
First, I divide my hair down the middle and keep one section to the side in a loose ponytail. I only wrap a rubber band around my hair once. That usually keeps it out of the way. Then I divide my hair into 3 or 4 sections, depending on the volume I want for the next day. In the case of this post, I divided my hair into 4 sections.

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Coco Curls

I then mix equal parts of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Coco Curls together, rub it between my palms and coat my hair. After my little mix has blended into my hair, I add some flax seed gel. I continue this process until I have 4 braids. I then move on to the other side of my head.

(Note: my hair dries rather quickly, so I re-wet my hair with a spray bottle of water.)
The Braids

I never braid my hair tightly, only loose braids will do. You can see the unbraided curls match the curl pattern in my final look. I only braid my hair enough to maintain and protect my curls while I sleep. I do not want to stretch my curls.

The Turbie Twist

Finally, if I have to go to sleep, I cover my head with my Turbie Twist. This is only if I wait too late to wash my hair. I prefer to air-dry my hair for at least 4 to 5 hours before going to sleep.

When I wake up, I gently take out my braids, give my head a few shakes (maybe a part on the side) and go.

The Finale

That is all. No seriously.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Make Up For Ever - Aqua Liner

I have been looking for a green eyeliner that isn't too bright, isn't too dark but has a little shine to it. I was lead to Make Up For Ever. If you don't already know, this brand of make up is fantastic.

Make Up For Ever - Aqua Liner 4 Diamond Lagoon Green (Sephora $23.00)

This eyeliner comes in 15 colors and claims to be waterproof, tear proof and sweat proof. I want to let you know, it's all of those things. My eyelids tend to get a little oily throughout the day and if I don't wear an eyeshadow primer, my shadow and liner tend to crease and disappear. I put this liner on at 11:30 this morning and it stayed put until I was ready to take it off.

The applicator has a foam tip and is fine for precision line drawing. You can make your line as thick or as thin as you would like. It dries relatively quickly but it shines all day as if you just applied it.

Yup. I love it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Coco Curls  

It's been a long time. I shouldn't have left you. No, let me stop.
I bought Coco Curls when I was at Fro Fashion Week way back in February. Since Fro Fashion Week, I have tried other products that have left me a bit underwhelmed but CoCo Curls is not one of those products. I love this stuff.

Coco Curls ($25 for 16 oz. and $15 for 8 oz.)

I bought the largest size because my hair eats everything and I thought I would blow through this like everything else. I was wrong. A little goes a long way and I can't see running out of it anytime soon. The photos are from the only container I've purchased since February. This is not to say someone else will not use more, this is just how it works for me.

Before I get into the texture and consistency, I have to tell you it's 100% natural. The ingredients include Shea butter, Aloe Vera and a host of pure essential oils. For me, this means my hair won't have a weird filmy feeling after my hair dries.

The texture is smooth and it has a thick consistency. I like to mix it with my Shea Moisture Curling Smoothie. Actually, mixing the two has been part of my new routine for the last few months. Ever since I've added this product to my routine, I've noticed my hair is softer and hydrated.  It's great to use alone to add some moisture to your hair, seal your ends, ect. I definitely recommend this product and it is something I plan on purchasing again. As soon as I run out. Whenever that will be. LOL.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Curls Unleashed

At Fro Fashion Week, I was given a few products from the new Organic Root Stimulator line called Curls Unleashed. I must say I do enjoy these products. These products can be found at Sally Beauty Supply store and the price ranges from roughly $10 to $14. What do I love the most? Well, these products do not contain sulfates, mineral oils or SD alcohol AND the packaging is BPA free and recyclable. This line won't suffocate or strip my hair and the packaging is environmentally friendly. Everybody wins!

Curls Unleashed - Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($10.99)

This shampoo has a thick consistency but, surprisingly, it rinses really well. A little definitely goes a long way. A little going a long way simply means I won't use a lot of product washing my hair and more money in my pocket.

Oh and since I haven't mentioned it yet, yes, it smells great. This entire line smells fresh, clean and does not have that chemically enhanced sweet smell. You know, what I mean. It's that fruity smell you can't quite put your finger on, but deep down you know it's a fruit that can't be found in nature.

 Curls Unleashed - No Restrictions Moisturizing Conditioner ($13.49)

This conditioner is labeled no restrictions for a reason. It can be used for detangling, co-washing, and as a regular conditioner.  It has a thick consistency, but like the shampoo, it rinses well. After using this, my hair felt hydrated and very soft.

Curls Unleashed - Curl Defining Crème ($14.99)

Let me start by saying the Curl Defining Crème does not contain petrolatum, mineral oil, SD alcohol, or parabens. Again, no choking of the hair or stripping of moisture. In fact, in addition to defining your curls, it gives added moisture and doesn't flake. Another thing is it stretches your curls.

 I have to be honest, I like my shrinkage so I'm not a fan of products that stretch curls. On the same note, while this product does provide curl stretching, it really depends on how much is added to your hair. I don't add a generous amount; just enough to moisturize my hair. I still loved the results.

Curls Unleashed Set It Off Curl Boosting Jelly - ($13.49)

If you want a soft and flexible hold for your curls, look no further. This purple gel, in combination with the Curl Defining Creme, gives your hair definition and hold without flaking and without giving you crunchy hair. It looks like it has a thick consistency but it doesn't. It's actually pretty light. Seriously, what more do you need?

These products do not complete the line. There is also the following:
  • Second Chance Curl Refresher
  • No Boundaries Leave in Conditioner
  • Let if Flow Shine and Define Mousse
Overall, I am satisfied with the products I've tried and I look forward to trying the others. If you decide to try them, let me know what you think.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fro Fashion Week

Fro Fashion Week is a gathering all natural women dream of. Ok, maybe not dream, but it is an event that anyone who is interested in trying new products and learning more about maintaining healthy hair and skin shouldn't miss.

If you've never been (and you should go at least once), Fro Fashion Week is an event that takes place twice a year in Atlanta and showcases the hottest trends in hair and fashion. Not only that, but it's a great place for vendors to showcase their products.

Who was there? Why let me show you. The official Fro Fashion Week video is brought to you by

Hopefully I'll see you next time!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Your hair is better than mine. (Super Rant)

The title of this post makes me sick. The other day I was talking with one of my friends and she said she wishes she had my hair because my hair is so much easier to deal with. Oh and no, she's never done my hair or even asked what it's like to have my hair. I guess looser curls equals better hair. *rolls eyes

Being the hot blooded Leo that I am, I immediately went on the defense. Why? Because it's not a compliment for someone to make the misguided assumption that my hair is easier to deal with because of its texture. It doesn't make me feel good for someone to say my hair is better. In reality, it's a put down. It's a put down to me and for the person saying it.

Stating my hair is easier to deal with, without actually knowing what I "deal with" is ignorant and dismissive. It's saying I don't have bad hair days, a long routine or struggles. It's saying my life is so much easier because of my hair. More importantly, it's also saying that whatever God gave you isn't good enough. Anytime you believe someone has a better anything than you, you're really saying what you have isn't good enough. In essence, you're saying a part of me is better than you. Not a compliment. Not okay.

If you want to have issues with your hair, have at it. But leave me out of it. I love my hair. I think it's fantastic, not better. At the same time, I wasn't raised, trained or conditioned to believe anything else. Do I admire the hair of others? Of course; but I would never wish I had hair like someone else and I certainly wouldn't think it was better than mine.

When it comes to our hair and how we treat each other, we have got to do better. This good, better, best hair bull sh*t needs to end.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Real Techniques Make Up Brushes

I believe beautiful make up requires two things, great skin and great application. In order to achieve great application, you have to have the right tools. However, I do not believe this means you have to spend a fortune on your brushes. I recently purchased Real techniques Brushes, by professional make up artist and YouTube guru  Samantha Chapman, at Ulta.

Before I describe in detail the brushes I bought, let me take moment and tell you why I love these brushes. First, they're affordable. While I like to mix high end make up with drug store products, I really prefer high end products. So, I don't want to spend too much money on brushes. Second, they don't shed. There's nothing worse than spending $55 for one brush only to find out it sheds more than I do. Third, they're synthetic and incredibly soft. In my opinion, synthetic brushes work better with cream blushes and eye shadows, they don't absorb as much product and they're easier to clean. Finally each set comes in a different color so you'll always know which brush goes to what area of the face. Of course you can use them for whatever you like; but if you're just starting out with make up, the color coding is helpful.

The Core Collection (Ulta $17.99)

This is the first set I picked up. It comes with four brushes that are meant for applying foundation, blush and lipstick. I'll talk about them in the order of the picture.

1. The Contour Brush - This dome shaped brush is great for contouring your cheeks; but I like to use it to apply cream blush and highlighter because it allows you to concentrate on specific areas on your cheeks. I haven't used a regular blush brush since I bought this one.

2. The Pointed Foundation Brush - I think this is a little small for applying foundation, so I use it more for applying concealer. It gets in close under the eye and a little concealer goes a long way with this brush.

3. The Detailer Brush - This brush is great for adding concealer to the tiniest places or you can use it to apply lipstick.

4. The Buffing Brush - This is my favorite brush in this set. Buffing foundation into the skin is so easy and the finished look is really natural. I used to apply my foundation with a stippling brush; but, I now prefer this brush.

The case also folds into a nice travel pouch that is easy to carry and store.

The Foundation Brush (Ulta $7.99

The Foundation Brush (Ulta $7.99) and The Blush Brush (Ulta $8.99)
I just wanted these. I bought the foundation brush on impulse. I actually use my hands to apply foundation and I follow up with the buffing brush. BUT, for $7.99, I just thought why not. Turns out, I really like this brush. If I were to apply foundation on one of my friends, I would use this brush. It does not absorb a lot of product and the application is flawless. I really like this brush.

The Blush Brush is another story. I needed a new fluffy brush because I only have one powder brush and I was using it to apply blush as well.  I ended up using this brush to apply powder instead of blush. It gives an even application without taking up too much powder.

As you can see, the kit stands on it's own. Although I'm not sure if that is a feature I will use, I still think it's pretty cool. Over all, I am very pleased with these and I definitely recommend them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweet Honey Treatment

For the last couple of weeks, my hair was feeling a little sad. It was dry, limp and just plain unhappy. I usually wash my hair every four days, but I've been stretching it to six or seven days for the last two weeks. I really needed to deep condition my hair and quite frankly, I was tired of seeing my hair in a bun. Then I remembered I purchased Sweet Honey Treatment Deep Conditioning Treatment from the ladies of The Natural Root, LLC (

Kimbley Miller and Lori A. Lindsay started their company to teach women and girls to embrace their natural beauty. Part of that mission is to help mothers to learn how to train and maintain their daughter's natural hair. Together, they created a book that teaches natural hair maintenance called "The Root of the Matter" ($19.50

Now back to the Sweet Honey Treatment. I do believe this conditioner is amazing! At first I thought it was going to be difficult to rinse out because, well, it's made of honey, and honey is sticky. Naturally, it was a little sticky BUT it was not difficult to rinse out. My hair felt incredibly soft while I was rinsing it out. My hair hasn't felt that conditioned and hydrated in a while. I later learned, this is because honey is a natural humectant, meaning it helps your hair attract and hold moisture.

So, here's what I did:

1. I washed and conditioned my hair as usual.
2. I sectioned my hair into six sections and applied the conditioner.
3. I braided my hair in loose braids and covered them with a plastic cap and my Turbie Twist.
4. I let the conditioner sit in my hair for about 30 minutes.
5. I rinsed and followed my night time routine.

One jar of the Sweet Honey Treatment costs about $14 and keeps in the refrigerator for around 3 weeks. It's definitely worth the investment. My hair is no longer frowning or in a bun.