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Friday, July 29, 2011

Queen Helene's Royal Curl, Curl Shaping Creme- The First Try

So I've been hearing about this product since May on (my daily haunt!) and how great it is and even better than KCCC for a wng, etc. It took a while for it to get to my Whole Foods compared to people in the midwest and other states, so I basically forgot about it after checking a couple times. Then one day earlier this month I popped in WF and it was there. I got as far as the line with it and decided to stop my pj'ism. I was so proud of myself :D Even though I was looking for a KCCC replacement since it's not exactly kind to the pockets being $17 for 8oz., I held off because I still had 1/2 jar left and other stylers/gels I wanted to play around and compare it with first. I've tried Eco Styler gel, Herbal Essences, Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream, Curl Junkie, etc. After trying many styler/li combo's, they all gave me the same results as each other, more of an afro-curl when dry, more poufy, which I like, but nothing gave me the curl definition that the custard does, which is a defined corkscrew, a look I sometimes also want. So I finally caved yesterday and bought QH's creme at Whole Foods for $7.95 (15oz) because my custard jar is getting down there! Of course I couldn't wait to try it out so yesterday evening I did a wng using:

Shampoo- Garnier Fructis Pure Clean (has sulfates, but I've been using 'cones, so I wanted to get rid of them)
Then I used some of the plant poo mixed with Giovanni 50:50 Shampoo for extra clean :D
Condish- Garnier Fructis Color Shield
LI- KCKT, then combed through to get rid of any knots
Then applied the cream in sections on soaking wet hair, shingling it (pulling it through with my fingers and shaping the curl), spritzing with water first
Sealed with KBB's hair oil

Here's the blurb from their website:

"In a hive, there’s only one queen whose diet is only Royal Jelly, a nutrient packed super-food with 17 amino acids, vitamins A, C, D, K and multiple B-vitamins. We use the Queen Bee’s Royal Jelly in Curl Shaping Créme to naturally tame frizz, define curls and smooth waves with silky hold. Pure Aloe Vera Gel and Agave Nectar quench your hair’s thirst without the grease, while powerful Green Tea antioxidants and intense moisturizers defend against damaging heat and humidity. 

All natural: No harsh, or drying chemicals like alcohol, sulfates, petrolatum, parabens or phthalates." 

Applying it was smooth as it really is like a jelly, and it's very light. Once fully applied, there wasn't a lot of white product on my hair like I usually get when I do KCKT and KCCC, which is great because I can't leave the house with my hair that way. With the creme, you can totally leave the house with your hair wet and not get any stares. I still diffused a bit to help it dry faster, not fully, and it really looked great! With KC, I get a tight coil that springs right up, which I love and absolutely no frizz. With QH, it was a looser curl, almost a wave. So it did lengthen my curl as they claim on the jar. Not much frizz. 

When my hair was dry, there was shrinkage, but it was shiny and I didn't have to wipe my nape and hairline off to remove any sticky residue (like with the custard). It was a little crunchy, but no more than when I use any other gel. 

I love that it's all natural and doesn't have any harsh chemicals in it. The smell is nice and fresh like any regular mainstream hair product. The custard smells like marshmallow, which I ADORE! The true test will be seeing how many days I get out of this one wng. With KC, it can literally last about 5 days with me just steaming it in the shower and spritzing with water before I leave, no re-applying of any product. QH claims this will combat humidity and heat, which I find interesting since glycerin is the second ingredient...but we'll see since NYC has been all of the above! :/

I slept with my sleep cap last night as usual and when I woke up this morning, yes it looked jacked up, but with the KCCC, all I have to do is my steam/spritz routine and tousle a little and it's all good. We'll see.

It didn't give me as many days at KCCC, but that doesn't really matter since it's cheaper and in a bigger jar, so I can afford to re-do it ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My much needed jewelry organization

My chest of drawers was a definite eye-sore with jewelry, sunglasses, body products, papers/receipts and everything else in between strewn all over it. Whatever the item of the day was, it ended up there. Oh, just got back from vacay? Just throw those travel-sized bottles of whatever product on there. Mind you, I would tidy it, but it would slowly turn into mayhem in no time. The last time I really organized it, I bought two baskets from Target (see below), the one to the left had my body products, such as creams/lotions, facial products, deodorants, etc, and the other had smaller jewelry in their boxes, sunglasses, bangles and soon enough hairbands ended up in there too. Then if I was hiding something from my son, I'd throw it in either one. When I finally cleaned both baskets on Sunday, I either said "What is this?" half the time, or "Oh, I forgot about this!" the other. I found an Easter Egg I was supposed to give my son at Easter, a keepsake pacifier :| and small parts to his toys that we thought he'd swallow way back when.
Nope, this is no joke. It got out of hand :/
The bulk of my jewelry was hanging to the right of my drawers in a 80-pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer that I bought a few years ago from The Container Store. Even though it has clear pockets, whatever I put in them got lost since I put more than one item per pocket. So basically, I was only wearing jewelry I could see or was easily accessible, aka, thrown on my chest of drawers :/ When I did the big clean, I rediscovered jewelry I completely forgot about! So I threw out stuff that turned (cheap jewelry) and organized bracelets and earrings by color into the pockets. Still more than one per pocket, but at least they were color coordinated. The necklaces, I put clear push pins on the wall and hung them on. When I finally finished everything I could actually see what I had. It took about 3 hours!!

The next day I was online looking for earring organizers, I tried Amazon, saw a good one, but that involved drilling holes in the wall and I didn't want to do that (nor do I even know how, ha!) So I went onto my trusty fav website, The Container Store and saw some stuff that looked interesting and jumped up that instant from my desk and went to the store.  They're currently having their Happy Organized Home Sale, perfect timing, so I got:

Acrylic Grooved Bracelet Stand, $7.99
Acrylic Folding Earring Screen, on sale for $9.99 (reg. $14.99)
4-Section Acrylic Swivel Organizer (for my rings), on sale for $6.99 (reg. $9.99)
As you can see, it's easy to get organized on a budget. I couldn't wait to get home that evening to see if everything would fit or if I even needed it all. I did. Everything is a lot more organized and I'm pleased...though it sort of looks like an jewelry store now :D 

Earring rack, color coordinated, studs to the bottom

Necklaces on push-pins

80-pocket organizer, earrings to the top, bracelets to the bottom, the other side doesn't have much

Large hoop earrings and charm/link/tennis bracelets on the bracelet stand

Rings, small earrings, and a brooch in the swivel organizer
The last two days have been heaven being able to wear jewelry I couldn't see before! I plan on getting Aye'Shanti to help me make a nice jewelry holder for the wall behind my chest of drawers. I want to maybe move the necklaces onto that. I've also been meaning to put that poster on my wall into a frame ever since I got it at my baby shower nearly 4 years ago. I tried, I swear, it's just hard to find one that fits :( When I update the wall I'll post about it. That's my next mission!

My hair today, wng 07/20/11

2nd day wng with Kinky Curly products
I did a mini bang today, ha!

All Avon, I just got a new quad eye-shadow palette from them, True Color in Caribbean Sunset, pretty colors. The teal and coral on the lid, darker bronze in the crease and the lightest color to highlight the brow bone. This is it on the left:

Eye liner on the lower lash line is Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds in Twilight Sparkle.

Cheeks: Avon True Color blush in Antique Rose.

Lips: Avon SuperShock Liquid Lip Shine in Melon Madness. I've mentioned this one in my blog before, in a different color.

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My nails this week, July 18th

Top coat- Avon Nail Experts UV Gloss Guard

Main color
Color Club mini in Chelsea Girl (Duane Reade)
Same brand I tried last week, I had to put 3 coats of this color to get it to my liking.

L.A. Girl Flare in Yellow (Forever 21 last year). Very opaque, one coat shows a lot.
Absolute! in Orange (local bss)
Absolute! in Fuschia (local bss)
This brand is like 99cents, you need like a million coats ;)

Here they are in better lighting

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Hair Today, Fri July 15th

What I did:
So yesterday I did that awful wng with CJSL and HE Set Me Up gel. I didn't want to wash it out and do another wng, so I decided to do a twist-out ("twist" is what you do to set it, "out" is when you take them out to produce the style).

Last night I spritzed section-by-section with water, combing it out (bottom to root, never the other way around which causes breakage), then did flat two-strand twists going back. Maybe about 6 of them total. For the bang, I did two twists going forward and instead of leaving it long and hanging, I twisted them up into knots on top of my head. By doing this, it shortens them and gives a nice bouncy curl. Naturally, the less twists you do, the bigger the curl. I didn't really have to put anymore product in it when I did the twists because it already had the leave-in and gel from that morning.

This morning I took them out and sort of fluffed my hair to get rid of the parts. I didn't like how the sides looked just like that, so I kind of twisted each side a bit and put a bobby pin. The bang, I pulled a bit to the side and tucked in pieces securing it with bobby pins as well. Et voila!

Lip gloss is mark. Lots of Lacquer Super Color Lipgloss in the shade FEVER

These are my Aye'Shanti Designs Tassa Tassel short earrings
Ever since I discovered the flat-twist out, that's all I do instead of single twists. It's less spacey so you don't spend a lot of time trying to get rid of parts and it gives a nice ringlet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Got my Aye'Shanti Designs Order!

It came with a beautiful understated card with an embossed gold purse on it. Inside, a lovely handwritten note. Even the plastic wrapping was sealed with gold tape! I'm a sucker for presentation.

The short Colors in Flight earrings (feathers) were custom hand-painted for me in the colors I selected and sealed to repel water. She even did the water test before-hand. Because of this sealant, the feathers aren't limp and will hold the form they're sealed in. They kind of have character!

My first pair of crochet earrings, I'm excited! Love the gold accent of the hoop inside the edges.

Even the head of our HR dept here at work and another coworker marvelled at how nice my earrings were!  Both have backs in them which I appreciate. It drives me nuts when I get earrings without them and I hate removing from one pair to put in another. Just a pet peeve *shrug*

What are you waiting for? Head to her Mango, Paper, Scissors Etsy store and start shopping! ;) She makes custom orders and even ships to Canada. If you want to give her free reign to design something special for you, she'll do that too. She doesn't make two of the same kind of earrings either, everyone's design is unique. She made me a pair of purple flower earrings with a gold chain hanging from them in 2009 and I was the only one who had them. She's also sweet, accomodating and a pleasure to do business with, that's why she's had loyal clients for the last 2+ years.

Here are my purple earrings, I still get compliments on them whenever I wear them to this day:

Some of my Summer favs from her current collection:
Scrapstress: Calypso

Banana Leaf Collection: Turks & Pink

Perfect earrings to make your outfit pop!

Check out and follow her two blogs:
Mango, Paper, Scissors
Aye'Shanti Designs

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I fixed it

Much better, lol.

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Did a wng today...ehhh

That's hair lingo for "wash-n-go".

- I used Garnier Fructis Color Shield conditioner for a co-wash
- Styled with Curl Junkie smoothing lotion (spoke about it yesterday) and Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel (why do I feel like mine was in a purple tube?)
- diffused to dry a bit
- then put some Karen's Body Beautiful Jojoba oil on top

Not really feeling the outcome, I think if I had more time it could have came out better. That's why I don't normally do wng's in the morning, it's a mad dash out the door!!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My All-Time Fav Lipgloss for Everyday!

mark. juice gems in Fig. Trust me, the perfect shade for every skin-tone. It's translucent with a lot of shine and a little glint of sparkle, perfect for the summer. It even smells nice and fruity.

"This high-shine tinted gloss contains real fruit extract, so each shade has its own tantalizing juicy flavor. 0.5 fl. oz."

I'll give you a 10% discount if you order it from me by tomorrow midnight (July 14th 11:59pm)! Comment now if you're interested. Must be in the U.S. to order from my e-store.

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Curl Junkie Revisited

As you can see, there's a little more poufage to my sides than usual :)
I'm wearing the mark. juice gem in Fig in this pic.

I first tried the Curl Junkie Smoothing Lotion and Curls In a Bottle combo in May. I didn't feel like it "did anything" back then, but I think that's because since I was in the beginning stages of being natural again, I was too focused on curl definition and "controlling" my hair. I don't think I was entirely comfortable yet and was comparing it to Kinky Curly Curling Custard which gives you more controlled curls. Now that I'm 3-months in and loving my "poufage" and kinkiness, I decided to revisit CJ. I have to say, I LIKE! It gives me more kink than curl which is what I want at times. In two days it has become more frizzy than it would have with KCCC, but that's okay with me.

Monday Hair Regimen (I took a Summer Day off from work!)
Shampoo: Deity America Plant 'Poo
DT (deep treatment): Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix
Then I went under my Huetiful Steamer for the first time for the recommended time
RO (rinse out): Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner (smells like oranges, maybe more like the peel!)
LI: Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Lotion (CJSL, LOVE the smell of this!)
Styler: Curl Junkie Curls in a Bottle (CIAB, smells like an orange creamsicle)

Since I was going out for lunch, I diffused a little because my hair was white. Once semi-dry, it looked great.

Yesterday I just steamed it while showering and this morning I did the same, but then sprayed some water and added a little more CIAB to my bangs since I styled it a little differently. It dried a little stiff, but when I just checked it, it softened.

If you are in Brooklyn, you can get this on-the-ground at Ecodermis & Wolfberry in my neighborhood, 563 Lincoln Place. They also carry a lot of other natural hair product brands, like Donna Marie and Bee Mine. Save on shipping if you can!

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Oyin Handmade Body Products

Oyin had a Memorial Weekend $5 sale on body products and I scooped up their After Bath Blended Body Oil and Head-to-Toe Honey Wash both in the Coco/Mango fragrance. First, I have to say that I love that these products each have dual uses, for hair and body. It definitely kills the multiple bottles in the shower that some hubbies tend to not like :D I'm in the process of trying to "kill my stash", so I'm trying to use up all the shower gels I have laying around.  Second, I love how they both smell, like that fresh natural, coconut scent. Not sure if I'm smelling any mango, but I definitely smell the virgin coconut oil that's in it.

The wash doesn't suds up a lot because it doesn't have sulfates in it, which a lot of shower gels, shampoos, bubble baths, etc, have to make them foam. Actually, none of Oyin's products have any harsh chemicals in them and by the time I get to my legs, I have to add some more to my pouf. Sometimes I mix it with other shower gels I have (Bath & Body Works for example) to get that sudsy effect that tends to go a long way. So you definitely have to use a little more than you normally would a regular shower gel with sulfates in it. The consistency is good, same as the oil, not too thick or not watery. Like most natural products, you have to make sure to shake it well since they tend to settle at the bottom.

The oil, I love how it feels on damp skin. It absorbs well and isn't too thick or watery. Your skin is left soft buy not greasy. I use it on my son's skin after his bedtime bath and I've also used it on his hair, it gives great shine. Hubby uses it on his skin and likes it too. Finally a unisex product that everyone can use! Plus since it's natural, I don't have any qualms about using it on my son. It's also recommended to use as a hot oil treatment for the hair, which I haven't done yet, as a matter of fact, I haven't used either of them on my hair as yet. That will be next! Stay tuned! ;)

Pay/half has feathered earrings, $4!

Of course handmade earrings look more authentic, but these are good if you have a budget. Check here for a location near you.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cheap Find, Monday July 11th

From my local beauty supply store, 99cents!

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My nails this week, July 11th

I did the dots on my thumb one by one.

The purple color is a nail polish I found at Duane Reade last week for $2.49, it's a small bottle 0.25 fl oz (mini), a brand named Color Club in the color Pucci-Licious (N20). It goes on like some $0.99 nail polishes do, with a bit of streaks and extremely matte, but two coats and a top coat later, it looks beautiful. I'll be going back for more.

They come in a beautiful selection of colors, so much so that I had a hard time choosing one. The display is what caught my eye.

The green is the same Jade Avon nail polish I used last week. I'm in love with it. Two coats of this (and no top coat) took longer to dry than two coats of the Pucci-Licious and the top coat!

The dots, I used a combo of the Jade and a darker purple (Let's Talk #929) Sinful Colors shade on top of the Pucci-Licious.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

mark. Sneak Peek, Magalog 9 (Avon Campaigns 18 & 19)

Get a Handle On It Bag
Washed faux leather, $60

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mark. Sneak Peek, Magalog 9 (Avon Campaigns 18 & 19)

Glammed Up Ring, $28

3 campaigns from now.

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mark. Sneak Peek, Magalog 9 (Avon Campaigns 18 & 19)

High Stepping Boots, thigh-high and foldable! Faux leather, sizes 6-10. $70

Something Wild Purse, faux suede with patent accents. $32

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Friday, July 8, 2011

I got my Huetiful hair steamer!

With the facial attachment and headband! Yay!

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Cheap Finds, Fri July 8th

Heyyy, denim wrapped frayed earrings at my local beauty supply store (bss), 99cents! They look handmade, minus the handmade cost. I love supporting handmade artists, but let's face it, we do need some cheap stuff to wear everyday.

Don't be afraid to check out what your local bss has in the accessories department.  Yes, a lot may have gold earrings that are too gold (aka cheap) and flimsy looking, or silver that looks like foil paper, but some have hidden treasures ;)

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Thurs July 7th Shoes

French Connection UK

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My new hair color

Whaddya think?

I lightened my bangs by first putting on a hair tipping cap, then applying Clairol Pure White Creme Developer 30 volume mixed with Clairol BW2 Powder Lightener to the exposed parts of my hair until it became the shade I liked. Once this was done, I did a deep treatment with Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix. When bleaching your hair, always make sure you deep condition and keep your hair moisturized.

Then I put some Jazzing Ruby Red in some parts and Jazzing Cherry Cola in others, then left other parts in the color it was with just the lightener applied. Here's their color chart.

I think I want to lighten some parts some more until it's near white so that the Jazzing can take more.

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Got my QuellyRue Designs Order!

It came with a nice handwritten thank-you note!
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Friday Evening Look!

I went to see Steel Pulse @ Prospect Park Bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn!!

Sorry, this should have went up on Friday!

Dress: New York & Co,
shoes: Toms gold glitter,
headband: NYC street vendor,
earrings: Quelly Rue Designs
crossbody bag: The Sak, SakRoots Collection
I did a blow-out Wednesday evening, my first one since cutting my locs. Then I did a flat-twist-out a few hours before this event on Friday for some waves. I had an actual FRO! Loved it!