Posts Categorized: Chai’s Picks

May 22, 2013

Favorite New Things: A Moisturizing Co-Wash that works!

ouidad curl co-wash


Let me just preface this by saying that I’m typically not one to get excited when a product for naturally curly hair ‘works.’ Just don’t. Mainly because the now old adage is ridiculously true, and that is, what works for one curl may not necessarily work for the other. SO. If product A leaves my hair moisturized, fly and fresh with each use, chances are it may not do the same for another natural gal hoping for the same results. In the common sense world filled with beauty tales, this inevitably makes sense, no?

So when I gathered up my hair arsenal this past weekend to return the curls to their kinky glory, I took a dive and invited Ouidad’s Curl Co-wash to hang, lather and cleanse my strands. The caveat? No stripping…of the hair. I’ve been eyeballing co-wash cleansers for some time, and many have left me with ‘meh’ type reactions. But with only a few pumps into our post-scalp ritual, I could instantly tell a difference!

Sulfate free, Silicone free – but really you don’ need any of it. FRO took to this kind of straight on. I mean soaked it all in, low-lathered just enough to get the strands clean, but left hair soft. Great for natural hair that is tightly coiled, and highly textured – the creamy oily blend of conditioners works incredibly well to reduce frizz without leaving it dry. Best to work this into hair while in sections (you use a lot less with this method), leave on for 2-3 minutes (the Black Cumin Seed & Jamaican Black Oil need to work!), then rinse clean.

Future summer staple? Yessir. I’ve deemed these coming months up-do season, which means great products + easy styles must go hand in hand.

May 19, 2013

The Pampered Life



I’ve always been about the kind of life that allows you the time and day to reflect, power down and treat your self to the simple treasures. In this case, my day has long been Sunday. I prioritize, focus on what’s needed to treat FRO to the at home salon treatment, gather together favorite new mags and books to power through & raid the beauty stash to whip up and apply potions of lotion to zap zits, calm the eczema and re-gain that youthful glow. The list is pretty gi-normous in size at this point (I am a closeted beauty girl:-), but here are this week’s hand picks that are on the current rotation.


glamglowGetting through the winter months in hopes of making it to another glorious summer each year always seems like half the battle. Turns out my skin, in this case my face, cries out for mercy & a chance to enter skin rehab every year. Well this season’s mission is to refurbish & get skin back to it’s old glowing glory.  The first step in that process is to reach for Glam Glow’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment. Use alone as a spot treatment, or as an all over face mask, this is the kind of heavy beauty duty stuff meant to clear up problem skin, fight blemishes and prevent any future black heads from forming. My skin feels incredibly free of the yukkies after using. The added bonus? It works to cut down on my most annoying problem as of late….in-grown hairs!!



I really don’t make it a secret my on going love for the LUSH troop. From the ridiculously yummy hair treats, to the smell good perfumes, this company has all your beauty wishes covered. But for the body?  After my recent visit to their stores, I literally squeeealled in excitement after my hands were bathed in the Turkish Delight shower smoothie. With a base of rose water, coconut oil and cocoa butter – this is crack for your skin. Yes, the price is a bit steep. But if you’re like me, who grinds hard at the 9-5 and needs an at-home respite before the whistle blows, this is your buddy. I no joke. I’ve slathered this on my skin, let it seep in for a few minutes, then rinse to some incredibly soft, rose smelling yumminess. I’m also careful not to overdo the love- so a nice 7ounce pot will last the better part of a few months.



I’ve been singing the praises of this line for what seems like months now. Friends have latched on to the very goodness that is the moisturizing twisting butter, and co-workers can’t get enough of the Curlaide Moisture Butter. But my new go-to in pinch when FRO needs TLC is the Algae Renew Deep Conditioner. Check out my initial review here, but when you slither into the new and natural hair friendly aisles of your local Tarjay, pick up a jar, take it home – then thank me later.

May 4, 2013

Chai’s Picks! 5 Favorite Blogs

When I first began blogging over six years ago, rarely did I glance or ‘follow’other bloggers. Granted, the landscape was drastically different compared to today. Social media, big brand interventions and the speed at which we digest it all is enough to make you weary! But these days, to hunker down and pick a few favorites seems like such a task. Realistically? There are massive amounts of awesome bloggers & creatives doing their thing in the digital realm. Today, I share 5 that I adore & turn to continuously for some uplift, inspiration and to be reminded of why we do what we do.


LOVE. LIFE. EAT.  – I sincerely cannot think of a single blog I turn to as religiously as I do this. Felicia has a miraculous way of spilling the story of her travels and food adventures on the page so as to force you to face your own Q&A’s on life. I turn here to remind me of the craft of blogging and why it’s important  to sanctify your space, be it in the social media realm or behind a brick wall – guard it.

PARK & CUBE - Writer & graphic designer Shini Park is London based & covers everything from fashion to food to some freaking amazing DIY projects. A girls girl, her style always leaves me envious and scouring the webs for ways to pull of a smilar look.

All the Many Layers – I’ve been a fan of GG’s writing circa her old stomping ground, The Write Curl Diary & this new venture feels almost like kismet.  A writer who yearns to “give you tools to navigate your life with grace and guts,” you are immediately tempted to put in the work of becoming your best self after reading.

Oh Joy! - I’ve lost count as to the mounting designer-esque blogs in my feed & on the webs, but  Joy Cho’s efforts leaves a smile on my face each time a post goes live. Bloggers who remain innovative while humble are such a treat!

Party Over Hair - (okay, how cute is this name!) A new favorite add to my Feedly list, L has turned POH into a natural hair & lifestyle blog that’s incredibly informative. & an honest confession? It’s refreshing to see fresh and useful content on a blog devoted to natural hair.

I could really go on with the Blog Lovin, but if you guys have a few favorite daily stomping grounds, do share.

May 3, 2013

Hello, Weekend!

Hands down. The best part about this week? This here video by the crazily talented pair Janelle Monae & Mama Badu. How many times you s’pose we play this before the weekend’s out? I literally sat with jaw dropped after watching a few days ago. The sheer force and creativity of these women always amazes me. Anyhoot, I digress (but only for a minute) to say that a woman is nervous about a certain scheduled trim this weekend, but ALSO doubly excited for the incredibly beautiful weather expected. NOTE: There may be pics taken and sporadically posted on that Instagram thing of said trim. On to links for the weekend…!


Dinner for Lazy People | Red Wine Caramel Popcorn (Vegan + Gluten free) | Mouthwateringly good Elote Fritters for your Cinco de Mayo

Women Leaders of the World

 That high-achieving women experience social backlash because their very success – and specifically the behaviors that created that success – violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave. Women are expected to be nice, warm, friendly, and nurturing. Thus, if a woman acts assertively or competitively, if she pushes her team to perform, if she exhibits decisive and forceful leadership, she is deviating from the social script that dictates how she “should” behave.

Have I mentioned my love of challenges? Here’s an easy one for the Spring cleaning. The 7-Day Vegan Challenge

I linked to this a few weeks back. Interesting to read the aftermath. The Problem with the Dove Real Beauty Campaign 

Turn your hustle up a notch 50 Online Business Ideas for Female Entrepreneurs

BK fun – Spring Handmade Cavalade | Target First Saturdays at the Museum, with a Jesse Boykins performance

Love this series from Carol’s daughter, “The Curl” – Our ladies search for the perfect moisturizing oil!

Bangs are looking real sweet after seeing these pics

RiRi’s Ursula Stephen to open up a Hair Salon in the BK! The streets are bout to be paved with glitter & hair!!

Moment of Pause:

What do you wish someone had told you when you embarked on your path of something new?

When you are observant and aware of how your experiences can impact your life or career you are more capable of making solid decisions on how to move forward. Your gut is your guide, follow it.

Bloggers take courage, life is what you make it. Gabbi’s Swimsuitforall Collection drops May 15th!

Stuck in a Rut? 8 Ways to Shake up Your Life. NOW!

A reminder for your everyday (printed out, and pinned to my wall)

3 Reasons Why Natural Skin Care Products Can Transform Your Skin

April 19, 2013

Hello, Weekend!


Can we all just admit it’s been one of those weeks where, if we come out on the other side, the side where smiles from friends and family (maybe even co-workers) keep us grounded and sane, that somehow it’s all enough for us to give thanks? In this corner, making it a priority to see the good & notice the helpers as well!

Early last week a good friend and I noticed first buds on the trees closest to our home and damn near skipped for joy. It happens every year, the way in which the seasons turn the page showing us something new. But the beauty has to be in appreciating the newness of it each time. It doesn’t get old. My hope is that it doesn’t. Alas, some links for your weekend…!

This week’s ‘Aha!’ moment

What would our lives look like if we weren’t trying to craft them around a career title? If instead we framed our lives in the context of, what do we WANT to do?

Victoria a la SF Girl Bay sums up my thoughts on the pressures of social media to the tee. What do you guys think?

Flourless 3 ingredient choclate cake Banana Bread Protein Bars | fav new go-to snack w/yummy avocados | 11 ways to love Nutella

Time on your hands this weekend? 8 DIY projects with your  name on it

Seriously want to MOVE IN to the Free People/Anthropologie home office. Can you even imagine?!

Tips on How to Tackle your Spring Cleaning (confession, I haven’t started!)

Having fun playing around with this new Beauty Matchmaker product finder! Foxy and I should meet.

Flip the Switch cutie pie sandals

So much to see/do in NYC –> Tribeca Film Festival touches down with much to see | The Soul of Brooklyn returns with a Party | The Blossoms are finally blooming!

New favorite haven on Youtube. WIGS. Original scripted dramas, with all female leads that are simply amazing.

Reminder: You are Desire & More Beautiful than You Could Ever Imagine


Twitter/Facebook/Instagram /Pinterest

April 19, 2013

Favorite New Things


I’ve never had much love for the hair spray. Even circa relaxer wearing days, the tacky, sticky feel was never worth the wear. Lest we not confuse hair spray with ‘sheen spray.’ Now, sheen spray…I got down with. The right sheen spray saved many a blow-out/hot comb session. But the folks behind Ojon have delivered a hair spray, a Damage Reverse Restorative Finishing Spray, that’s loaded with goodies like Jojoba and Babassu oils, that won’t leave behind residue, a tacky mess or oil slicks. I’m all for it.

Even more reason I salute this spray? Perfect for those twist-outs, braid outs & set styles that you want to preserve sans the frizz. I sprayed this lovely potion on day 1 of a twist-out, experienced zero crunch, but maintained the softness FRO so adores. Yes, the skeptic wheel is turning mighty fast if you’ve always steered clear of sprays and curly hair. But the fun in this? You get that salon fresh smell (y’all know what I’m talking about!) while allowing your precious coils to live another day. Frizz free at that, with the hold you need to keep your twists looking their best.