Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Spy Some Healthy Hair Care.

Ain't love grand?- You know the love between a black woman and her head tie.

While ignoring the criminal beside her, I noticed RiRi's strategically placed scarf. The positioning indicates special attention to the hairline. I did wonder how she managed to keep her edges intact with that high maintenance hair of hers. Ursela sure doesn't travel around with her and daily heat would be disastrous. So the secret is in the scarf ladies. I wonder what the bedding fabric is because her ends... lemme stop! lol.

Thumbs up to RiRi for some healthy hair care, hopefully some healthy relationships will follow?

Do you guys cover your entire forehead with your head tie? I couldnt do it. My skin would breakout from the oil.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Product Review: Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat.

Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat (not to be confused with Redken Smooth Down).

The promise: > Ultra-rich, cream treatment> Provides intense, deep moisturization> Delivers super, long-lasting conditioning, nourishment and control> Leaves hair streamlined, manageable and shiny.

My experience: After leaving this treatment on for a couple of hours without heat while I cleaned, my hair was very soft after rinsing. I didn't think it would be because the consistency of the conditioner isn't buttery at all. It's very light in comparison to the moisturizing conditioners that I normally use. My hair was also much easier to detangle and I lost less hair than I usually would on wash day. I would say this product delivers on it's promises without the use of the exaggerated adjectives like "ultra-rich", "intense" and "super, long-lasting".

I haven't invested in the normal retail size. The sample is $4 at Ulta. I cant be certain whether my positive experience with this product is due solely to it's efficacy because I also cowashed on that day rather than my normal shampooing. So... Idk. If you've tried it, I'd love to know your experience.

Give Good Face

We spend so much time, money and effort on our hair, but it's also important to invest in the preservation and beauty of our skin. Some of the many things we do for our hair (products, vitamins etc.) can inadvertently effect the health of the skin. So finding the right products and regimen for our skin is just as necessary.

My version of skin care was soap and water, twice daily, for a very long time. After watching some videos from one of my favorite youtubers, RiceBunny and learning that she started using anti-wrinkle cream at
8-I had to know more. Now, I'm learning more about my skin, moisturizing, DIY facials, diet and I'm starting to see a difference. (Link to skin typing here)

This wonderful article from is a great starting point:

Overwashing, overapplying, and product overkill won't improve your skin. Rein in your regimen to get real results.
Want beautiful skin like model Megan Gale? Don't overdo it, experts say.

Want beautiful skin like model Megan Gale? Don't overdo it, experts say.

Cleansing and exfoliating

You don't need to wash or scrub as often -- or as vigorously -- as you may think. "Many women go overboard here, figuring it will make their skin look better if they do both more frequently," says dermatologist Leslie Baumann. "But that only damages the skin's natural barrier and creates dryness and irritation."

Combination skin

How often: Wash your face twice a day, and gently exfoliate once or twice a week; this is enough to keep skin balanced and encourage cell turnover, according to experts.

What to look for: A mild cleanser that isn't too rich or too drying, says Mary Lupo, a dermatologist in New Orleans, Louisiana. Use an exfoliant that contains gentle particles or acids to remove dead cells without abrading your skin.

Where to find it: Cleanser -- Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, $6 at drugstores. Exfoliant -- St. Ives Elements Microdermabrasion Scrub, $7 at drugstores.

Dry skin

How often: Cleanse skin at night, when it's dirtiest. Rinse with cool water in the morning to help maintain natural oils. If skin is flaky, exfoliate once a week, says Lisa Donofrio, a professor of dermatology at Yale University.

What to look for: A cleansing oil or creamy wash that has moisturizing ingredients, such as glycerin. If you have sensitive skin to boot, avoid products that contain fragrances or alcohol, which can irritate.

Where to find it: Cleanser -- Laura Mercier Purifying Oil, $40,; or CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $11.50 at drugstores. Exfoliant -- Your safest bet is to use a wet washcloth.

Oily/acne-prone skin

How often: Lather up two to three times a day (as needed) but never more; overwashing kicks oil glands into overproduction. Exfoliate once or twice a week, but skip this if you have acne; the friction can make it worse.

What to look for: An oil-free, non-comedogenic foaming cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to prevent breakouts. The scrub should contain mild acids to keep the pores open and clean.

Where to find it: Cleanser -- Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, $7 at drugstores. Exfoliant -- Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub, $6 at drugstores.

Sensitive skin

How often: Wash once a day if your skin is irritated by nearly everything or if you have eczema or psoriasis; twice a day if your skin is dirty. Forget about exfoliating, as it's too abrasive for your skin type.

What to look for: Hypoallergenic and fragrance- and soap-free cleansers. Calming ingredients, like green tea, chamomile, feverfew, and aloe, are a bonus. As a general rule, the fewer ingredients in a product, the better.

Where to find it: Cleanser -- La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser ($19.50, Apply with your fingers. "Think of the way you'd touch a newborn," says Barbara Reed, a Denver, Colorado, dermatologist.

Portion control

• Use a quarter-size amount of cleanser on most skin types.

• A dime-size dollop of scrub will do.

• A pea-size dab of cleanser is plenty for sensitive skin. Real Simple: Best facial cleansers

Moisturizing and protecting

No matter what your skin type, moisture is important. "If your skin isn't hydrated, it can't protect itself from the free radicals that cause damage, discoloration, and wrinkles," says dermatologist Leslie Baumann.

Year-round daily sun protection is also a must. Fortunately there are moisturizers with SPF available for every complexion.

Combination skin

How often: Each morning, apply moisturizer with SPF after cleansing your skin. Reapply if you're spending more than 30 minutes outside, as sun-screens break down in sunlight over time.

What to look for: A medium-weight lotion with skin-protective antioxidants, such as green tea, coenzyme Q10, and vitamin C, and broad-spectrum sun protection with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Where to find it: L'Oréal Paris Revitalift UV Daily Moisturizing Cream with Mexoryl SX SPF 15, $22 at drugstores; or Clinique Super-defense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer Dry Combination, $43,

Dry skin

How often: To help seal in water, apply moisturizer with SPF once a day, right after cleansing, while your skin is still damp. Reapply at midday if your skin begins to feel tight, and use a cream at night.

What to look for: A rich cream that contains antioxidants, plus hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides. "Hyaluronic acid and glycerin bind in moisture, and ceramides prevent water loss from the skin," says Donofrio.

Where to find it: Dove Pro Age Day Moisturizer SPF 15, $14 at drugstores; or Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, $10.50 at drugstores.

Oily/acne-prone skin

How often: Moisturize every morning. Oily skin needs the right type of moisture and lightweight, non-comedogenic sun protection. Reapply as needed, since blotting away shine can remove sunscreen.

What to look for: An oil-free, featherweight lotion, serum, or gel with antioxidants. If you're acne-prone, avoid products with cocoa butter, cinnamon, or coconut oil, as they can trigger breakouts, says Baumann.

Where to find it: DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew SPF 15, $38,; or Clean & Clear Soft Oil-Free Day Moisturizer SPF 15, $8.50 at drugstores.

Sensitive skin

How often: In the morning, apply moisturizer to skin that has been dabbed dry. Ingredients penetrate wet skin more deeply, which is often a good thing, but this can irritate sensitive skin.

What to look for: Fragrance-free lotions or creams that contain anti-inflammatories, such as chamomile, green tea, feverfew, and caffeine. Avoid lipoic acid, as it can be irritating.

Where to find it: Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF 15, $14 at drugstores; or Dermalogica Super Sensitive Faceblock SPF 30, $45, for locations.

Portion control

Use a nickel-to quarter-size amount of moisturizer with SPF for face coverage. Real Simple: Seventeen affordable moisturizers

Treating and troubleshooting

Nighttime is best for targeting fine lines, blemishes, and discoloration. That's when the skin repairs itself, and the sun isn't around to degrade the active ingredients in the treatments. Careful and consistent use of effective products (most also provide moisture) will gradually yield great results.

Combination skin

To keep it smooth: Four nights a week, use a cream with retinol, a potent, tried-and-true wrinkle reducer. Try: Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment, $45,

To clear it up: Use a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide or 2 percent salicylic acid gel nightly. Try: B. Kamins Medicated Acne Gel 5, $26,; or Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Gel, $8 at drugstores.

To even tone: Retinol evens tone, but for darker spots, at night use a formula that also has skin-lightening licorice, kojic acid, soy, or vitamin C. Try: RoC Multi-Correxion Night Treatment, $25 at drugstores.

Dry skin

To keep it smooth: As dry skin can be sensitive, apply gentle retinols every other night with a moisturizer. Try: Avène Rétrinal Cream .05, $56, Other nights, just moisturize.

To clear it up: Heal blemishes using a moisturizing 2 percent salicylic acid treatment or a sulfur-based salve once or twice a week. Try: AcneWorx Gentle Moisturizing Clear Acne Treatment Gel, $20,

To even tone: Slather on a rich cream that contains skin-brightening ingredients, like coffeeberry extract, each night. Try: RevaléSkin Night Cream, $99,

Oily/acne-prone skin

To keep it smooth: Nightly use of a retinol gel or serum softens fine lines (skip it on nights you treat blemishes, as below). Try: Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serum 3X, $56,

To clear it up: Oily skin can take a 5 or 10 percent benzoyl peroxide gel twice a day, says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, California. Try: Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, $5 at drugstores.

To even tone: Each night smooth a thin layer of a lightweight vitamin C serum over your face to gradually lighten any discoloration. Try: Avon Anew Alternative Clearly C 10% Vitamin C Serum, $20,

Sensitive skin

To keep it smooth: Every third night, apply a mild retinol (see dry skin). Or use peptides nightly on lines. Try: Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment, $18 at drugstores.

To clear it up: Treat blemishes with a 2 percent salicylic acid treatment and follow with moisturizer. Try: Exuviance Blemish Treatment Gel, $16, Avoid benzoyl peroxide, which can be irritating.

To even tone: Consider a nightly application of a lotion with a gentle lightener, like a niacin derivative or vitamin C. Try: NIA 24 Intensive Recovery Complex, $110,

Portion control

• A pea-size amount of a retinol cream is adequate.

• A dime-size dollop of a skin brightener or moisturizer will do the trick.

• A sunflower seed--size dot of an acne salve is all your spots require.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Remember her?

Kim Wayans?!? I was shocked to say the least. Her hair looks fab, she looks fab. Why has she been ghost all these years though?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Celebrity Corn-Rows

Is this the unofficial "I actually have hair" style for the usually wigged up celebs these days? OK, gelled up corn-rows it is!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

41 days

This is a fist full of hair next to my mouse. It's the result of 41 days of braids.
As I was taking the braids out, I glided down my hair with my hands to remove shed hair. I pre-pood with oil overnight, mixed Nexxus Therappe with Suave conditioner and water and shampood in sections. Then I added about half a tablespoon of baking soda to a large glass of water and poured that over my hair, waited a minute, then rinsed. Then, I did an ACV rinse similarly. I followed with a hard protein treatment using Nexus Emergencee for 10 minutes. After that, I mixed the Aura conditioner with some coconut oil and honey and DCed for half an hour. Next, I applied Lustrasilk and the GVP version of Paul Mitchell The Detangler over my hair, detangled with a wide tooth comb and rinsed.

I'm now rocking a 3/4 wig and I'll post pics soon. I'm due for a trim because it's been over 4 months since scissors have touched my hair. I haven't encountered any splits, my hair has basically been in protective styles 98% of the time, even when straight. But I have to confess that I haven't exactly been consistent with the daily moisturizing and sealing. It's so easy to get lazy when your in a protective style...


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heat-Styled Natural: Alicia Keys

Just when you thought straight hair went into hiding...
Alicia Keys broke out the flat-iron and sported a sleek, split down the middle, heat-styled hair do for the White House Correspondents Dinner.

The middle part never did quite fit me. I always opt for a slated part at the side.

If you didn't get to see the Prez's speech, you can check it out here. It was surprisingly funny unlike some of the usual cornball jokes that get recycled in Washington DC.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joy Bryant's Summer Hair Tip

From her Q&A with AOL Black Voices
Q: Can you share some of your summer hair care secrets?
A: "I don't really have any hair secrets. I just think that some sort of pomade should always be handy." There are a variety of great pomades for our hair, including
Kizzy "Stay-Put" hair pomade by Carol's Daughter. You can use this awesome product to give your hair moisture and shine.

I've seen Joy in wigs, weaves & phony ponies, but I'm pretty sure she's natural. Several people have said her hair always looks a mess and some say it's simple, fresh and natural. You be the judge.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cheaper Alternative: Aura Rosemary Mint

The Aura Rosemary Mint line can be found in Sally's where the generic value products are located. It is supposed to be comparable to Aveda Damage Remedy.

Both lines tout Jojoba oil as a prominent ingredient. Aura is only 5.99 for 13. oz., but I got it on sale for 4.99. Aveda DR is about $24 for 8.5 oz. No Aveda. Hell no.

I like the smell and the tingling sensation from Aura. I can't give a full review yet because I've only used it while in braids. So look out for that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oprah's Ear-Tuck

*Ok, so this is just an excuse to post another pic of Lady O's fab hair*