Posts Categorized: product review

May 22, 2013

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

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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

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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.

:FACE:

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!!

:BODY:

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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.

:HAIR:

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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 5, 2013

Lush’s H’Suan Wen Hua Conditioning Treatment

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There appears to be this on going debate as to whether pre-poo treatments are in fact necessary. Can applying a moisturizing concoction to hair strands prior to cleansing make any difference? If your hair’s been put to the test, is strung out, dried out, and overworked from the winter chill, I’d venture a guess and say yes!  Then again, walk into any Lush store across the continents and rest assured you’ll find the most attentive, convincing associates who have no qualms convincing you as well.

Over the past few years, I’ve managed to have zero will power when entering a Lush store. The incredibly happyish staff, the yummy smell of Gorilla perfumes & bath bombs with cutsy names like Tisty Tosty and Phoenix Rising. I dare any beauty girl to exit a Lush store with nary a sample of freshly handmade goop. It can’t happen.

H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment (pronounced swan-wen-waa) is one in a family of hair treatments from Lush that I’ve introduced to FRO when strands are in need of major intervention. In this case, it’s a battle of dry and brittle ends. Nestled in this wee pot is a mixture of eggs (protein juice) fresh organic avocado, extra virgin olive oil (moisture & shine) & cinnamon oil (not sure what this does, but so necessary cuz this stuff stinks).

Yes, the smell is….well, it takes some getting used to, though the benefits had FRO feeling & looking better. Before the poo, strands felt soft, and smoother around the ends…which was the intended goal. Hair food for strung out curls that are need of long overdo TLC are a necessary tool in any girl’s beauty box, I don’t care what you reach for. Will I use again. Yes. Funky smell and all.

April 19, 2013

Favorite New Things

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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.

April 5, 2013

Hair Loves: Eden Body Works Curl Defining Creme

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A few weeks ago a friend and I made our way to an event celebrating the release of the new Coconut Shea Collection from Eden Body Works. The actual intent was  to do a quick drive by, because well…we hadn’t seen each other in much too long, and the look of overdue hunger was strewn across our face; it’d been a long day at work. But as the event picked up, and the likes of Felicia Leatherwood began to spill on the importance of clarifying your scalp, and the inspiring Jasmine Lawrence (owner at only 21 yrs!) took to the floor to explain her life’s passion, I soon realized this was no ‘ordinary’ event.

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Attendees were not only treated to a talk on hair, beauty & fashion, but a bevy of information on the new line, which includes a collection of five “must-have” styling aids : Pudding Soufflé, Leave-in Conditioner, Co-wash, Curl Creme, and Edge Gel. Luckily, those in attendance were able to sneak home a few new goodies from the collection to try. My prize? The Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme, a styling aide formulated reduce shrinkage, help tame frizz & define and separate curls.

Lately I’ve been on a rade of the ol beauty stash, and decided to purge the lot of puddings and cremes, so to give this styling product a ‘go’ meant I was especially giddy to see the results! So what did I love?

Price: at $8.99 for a 16oz jar this already has ‘staple’ potential because it’s super affordable

Performance: I generally love when I can say this….but YES! A little bit goes a long way, so use a smidge when twisting, plaiting or setting hair. I used to set hair into medium sized twists, left in for 3-4 days, then rocked a twist-out. The smell of coconuts is not overpowering, so headaches will not ensue should you find yourself heavy handed.

Availability: As of April 1st, the full Eden Body Works collection, including the Coconut Shea line will be up for grabs online, and at select local Walmart stores starting May 1st. 

Verdict: I’d use again, particularly with the warmer months approaching. My biggest hair dilemma during the spring & leading into the summer is the increase in halo frizz. No matter what product I tend to cling to, FRO defies all odds and morphs into cousin IT. For those gearing up for wash-n-go season, this is a strong contender considering it tapps itself as being “humidity resistant.” I really do love how little you can use to achieve your desired look. With so many products still hitting the shelves, affordability is playing a pivotal role in if/when I commit to buying something.

If you guys have tried hair goodies from the Eden Body Works Collection, or better yet…if you have already attended an Eden Body Works event in your city, spill! Let me know how it went, what you loved, didn’t lurve…! 

March 26, 2013

Hair Loves: Camille Rose Naturals

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A few weeks ago I hightailed it to new fav respite & home away from home, Tarjay, to canoodle with all the new hair goodies stockpiled in the recently revamped hair care aisles. It is currently the equivalent of MECCA. I lie not. For the 1st time, elbows and conversations were flying left and right as women vied for the newest, latest and best for their hair. The question now being, what do you choose?

I’m still shamelessly giddy over the amount of choices we have these days when it comes to choosing products for our hair, yet I still find myself in the same pool when it comes to figuring out what really works for my hair texture. I haven’t a clue who the current buyer of Target is for this particular market, but I’d reaaaalllly like to give them a well deserved pat on the back. For a little over a month I’ve been digging into a yummy Almond Jai Twisting Butter along with the sweet smelling Algae Deep Conditioner from Camille Rose Naturals.

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1. Almond Jai Twisting Butter ($16.99, 8oz) Major win? Blended with Pumpkin Seed Oil, Honey, Marshmallow Root & Almond Milk – this is one of the few ‘butters’ great for all hair types and textures. Now, a wee bit goes a long way in keeping hair moisturized, particularly if you’re keen on wearing twists & braid-outs. I’ve been faithful to using the Jai to twist, then rock a mean twist-out for 3-4 days. Hair has been remarkably soft, frizz free and full of body.

2. Algae Deep Conditioner  ($20, 8oz) Initially on the fence on this, FRO called my bluff after we rinsed, and hair felt soft & well conditioned. Short on slip (consistency is pretty darn thick!), you’ll want to apply, then leave on for 10 minutes before detangling. This will help with separating hair with ease. For added benefit, sit under a heating cap for 20 minutes, and once dry hair will be moisturized.

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Best hair days of FRO’s life? Pretty much. I haven’t ventured out into new product land for some time, and stumbling on this gem has sort of reinvigorated my love.  Camille Rose, created in 2009 by a mother of five, Janell Stephens keeps me encouraged that products made for us by us can have star quality and made readily available at stores like Target. I’ll be trying a few other items from the line and sharing with you guys as I go along, but the overall consensus is total love. Love for the ingredients and for it’s versatility (even my co-workers have hopped on the love train!)

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Have you guys tried the line? Let me know your thoughts!