Pure Essentials Closing Sale

Hey NYC beauties! For those who like to support local businesses (as “we” New Yorkers like to do :P) this place Pure Essentials has a sale, 20% off because sadly, it’s going out of business. Their last day is Thursday. It is on 1st Ave between 79 & 80 streets. If you live in that neighbourhood ( or feel like taking the 6 train to 77St this week) stop by! I got all this stuff at 20%off! Plus the guy threw in the toner (L’Oreal Hydrafresh) for free. New products to try! Woohoo!

20130129-204123.jpg

Product list:
-Nubian Heritage African Black Soap
-Ambi Black Soap w/ Shea Butter
-Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo
-Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner
-Hair Rules Blow Out Your Kinks (for when I am finally brave enough)
-Mill Creek Botanicals Tea Tree Shampoo
-Mill Creek Botanicals Tea Tree Conditioner
-L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
-OPI Don’t Mess with OPI Nail Lacquer
-L’Oreal eye makeup remover
-L’Oreal Hydrafresh toner
– Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing face lotion.

All products are things I haven’t tried except for the Hydrafresh toner. I love the toner, it keeps my face clear and it helps prevent razor bumps.
I will be reporting back soon on my product haul.

Xox
D&A

Advertisements

Winter Switch-up Part 2

Hey guys so as promised, here is part 2 of my winter hair repertoire. This time I will be focused on products and applications. However, I forgot to mention in my previous post one more protective technique. Sleeping in a satin bonnet. Now, usually I don’t bother wrapping my hair because I like my ‘fro to be free and I already sleep on satin pillows and sheets. However, In winter I’m not just protecting my head from sheets but also from the dry, hot air in my apartment so I cover up. Before I do this, I usually put my into hair as many or as few twists (not very neatly) as I feel like. This helps them fit under the cap more easily and stretches them somewhat so they can be more easily pulled into protective styles the next day. I moisturize them before doing so in a method I’ll explain shortly. So now for products.

I read on naturallycurly.com that not varying your shampoo can diminish or even reverse its positive effects. Is this without-a-doubt true? I don’t know for sure. I do not always agree with even the most reputable sites, however, I decided to be safe and bought a second shampoo/conditioner set to alternate in every other week. I chose L’oreal Ever Sleek mainly for the price and because I didn’t realise it was for straightened hair. Oh well! I don’t think that really matters. It’s cheaper than most natural products since it’s one of the drugstore brands getting in on the natural game and it was 7.99 a Duane Reade as opposed to Shea Moisture’s 10.99 ( I later realised that it’s only 8.5 oz in a bottle so per oz. the price is about the same.)

What did I think? Let’s start with the sulphate-free shampoo. It made my hair squeaky clean. It actually squeaked. It was clear and not rich and creamy like the SM shampoo at all. It felt…fine. I was neither here nor there with it. To be fair, I also realised the products were really for smoothing straight hair. It’s important, curls, to go off of research when buying products and not just price.  Still, even when you’re 3c/4a curly, you don’t want frizz so smoothing is a nice effect. The conditioner is the most important part to a curly in my opinion. It was extremely thick and creamy. It felt more like a curl-defining cream than a conditioner and did not give me the slippage I wanted. It took a lot of conditioner and work to detangle and ithe smell was nothing special, just like unscented body lotion. Afterwards I will say that my hair felt very smooth. However, that could also be attributed in part to the yoghurt deep conditioner.

That’s the other thing I am doing for winter: focusing on different conditioners. Normally I alternate between my Greek yoghurt conditioner and my caramel treatment. Now I may use the caramel Tx (treatment) occasionally still but am concerned that it contains honey, a humectant. Humectants are great for the summer because they draw moisture from the air to your curls. However in the winter they can have the opposite effect. Greek yoghurt is great for your scalp but rich in protein, which, in the winter, can make hair brittle. I use plain regular yoghurt mixed with olive, tea tree and peppermint oil. The two latter oils are great for a winter-dry scalp.
I just eyeball the proportions and I use plain yoghurt since sugary flavours can encourage fungus that can lead to dandruff. Yoghurt is good for fighting scalp fungus, the lactic acid is very good for your skin. Yoghurt also moisturizes the hair and the skin on your scalp and balances the pH of your hair, creating a shiny seal to the cuticle.

plain-yogurt

After washing, I recommend rubbing oils such as tea tree, peppermint or jojoba on the scalp, but a clean scalp only. Oil and dirt can cause buildup that makes a dry scalp worse. Ensure the oils you use are paraben-free because those ingredients also dry the scalp.

2010-11-03 08-36-13-peppermint_oil

Lastly, remember to use the LOC method on your hair: Liquid, Oil, Cream.
Spray your hair with whatever moisturizing sprigs you use, water, conditioner spray or whatever your personal mix. Not too much, as I said in my last post we don’t want to leave the house with wet hair. Next, add an oil of your choice for a light conditioning seal. I like coconut oil. Last, add a heavier cream or butter to seal, paying special attention to the ends of your hair, which may rub up against the rough, winter fabric of your clothes. Some bloggers recommend coating your ends in conditioner and sealing with a non-alcoholic gel. I can’t vouch for it personally. My LOC is an EVOO-condish-water mix followed by coconut oil followed by Shea moisture curl-enhancing smoothie.

Next post, I will take you through my routine for Trinidad. That’s right: no place like home for the holidays. Xox.
Daria & Angela

Winter switch up!

Hey curls! Miss me much? I’ve got a few updates and tips for the winter season. It’s my first winter in NYC and as my friend wisely said “In this city, you have to be an all-terrain-person!
So how do you make your hair all-terrain? Here are my thoughts. They will be coming to you in two installments.

1) Protective styling. Can’t stress this enough. Here are some looks I’ve tried out recently.

20121210-201011.jpg here’s a tutorial link. I couldn’t figure out how to do a horizontal French braid so I did more of a flat twist. I need to practice this look. I call it my “hat hair”

Here’s another

20121210-201622.jpg borrowed from naptural85’s infinity twist tutorial
Here’s another tutorial I like but don’t have a picture of myself in it.
And here’s me just messin’ around with an old twist out.

20121210-202320.jpg That’s really just a loose side bun.

Here’s me making an ugly sad face in this look from naptural85

20121210-202742.jpg

All these looks are there to protect my hair by minimizing its exposure to the elements but they are also designed to fit better under my hats, which brings me to tip 2…

2) Cover your head. There are many reasons you should do this- to keep warm, to keep protect your hair from the elements. Winter air can be drying and damp hair can freeze in the cold, expanding and disfiguring the hair shaft. (Think about when you put a full water bottle in the freezer) also, the heat of indoors and the drastic temperature shift from indoors to outdoors can also dry your hair. That said, you should cover up but most winter hats are made of coarse materials like wool and fleece that cause friction and rub against the hair, resulting in damage and frizz. There are solutions to this.
A) buy winter hats with satin lining. The good thing about this is that the satin is sure to stay in place as a smooth, non absorbent barrier between your hat and your head. The cons are that they are not always easy to find and you are limiting the kinds of hats you can wear if you ONLY buy those kinds. They can be hard to come by too. Also the lining may not stretch all the way to the edge of the hat, leaving you with some exposure to harsher fabric.
B) Wrap your hair in satin and then put the hat on. This is pretty simple and protective. The problem with this is that it can be hard to get all my hair under the scarf if I don’t twist/ bun it. And the scarf and hat can start slipping off your head, making you look silly. Bobby pinning may help with this.
C) Pin a satin bonnet to the inside of your hat. I haven’t tried this one but it seems good because you can remove the bonnet as you change hats. But I think it can look clunky and not as seamless depending on your hair and your hat.
D) Fabric glue your bonnet at the rim to inside your hat rim. Again, I haven’t tried it but it could be great or it could get messy and again look like a clunky fit. Look for a washable fabric glue at your local Walmart.
E) Sew your own lining. Here is a YouTube tutorial for sewing in a fleece lining. I imagine you could do the same with satin. Haven’t done it but it seems like a good plan. Of course, it’s a little more work and skill involved but I have a friend who has done it and says it hasn’t taken her too much time or skill since she is not a sewer.

So there is part one. In part two I will be telling you about what products I am using and the right application techniques. Hasta luego!
Daria and Angela

Update on Friday’s style

DC was a record-breaking 106 yesterday and my 1940’s hair stood up pretty well. I was in New York, preparing for my move there, when I heard someone complain about the heat and I thought: This is nothing. You’re further North and your city was not built on a swamp!

I was in both cities yesterday and I tell you, DC wins. But a New York friend of mine cleverly tweeted that no amount of strategically placed baby powder was sufficient for the heat! Lmao! Only a West Indian would say that!

I guess if I can’t stand the heat I should get out of the country! Good thing I am going to Trinidad on Tuesday. Yeah it’s hot but at least there’s a nice island breeze!

See you in Trinidad! D & A

Rock n Roll- Tuck N Roll

Here’s a style I have seen a lot of people rocking from celebs like Solange to Rosie the Riveter so I have decided to try it out for myself.

1- Comb your hair so it is knot-free
2- Using a parting comb, section off a portion of your hair at the front. This should be on one side of your head.
3-Roll the hair section under (into your forehead) using your index finger. Hold it there with your finger.
4- Pin the hair section in place on either side.
5- Place the remaining hair in a side bun for a fun but polished finish.
6- Place a barrette/bandeau/scarf to the side of your new “poof” to accentuate the look. Et Voila! Easy Peasy Japanesey!

20120706-224122.jpg
If you want to go full on retro, pair it with a cute vintage outfit and/or some retro sunglasses, which are big this season. Like these. (glasses from Forever 21)

20120706-224338.jpg

Rants and rambles

Just a bunch of stray observations:
-Today I got asked what I used in my hair. The first girl, though running late, stopped me in Target, called her friend over, then followed me to the Shea moisture aisle. You know what I did with my hair today? Nothing! Didn’t even comb it!
-The lady wanted her texture to look like mine and asked if the product would give her that result. I tried to explain that while the curl enhancing smoothie would help with curl definition and moisture, what she saw was the result of genetics, not product. You can’t just slab something in your hair and expect a different curl pattern. And despite my having learnt this long ago (through hearsay, reading and personal experience) that false idea still persists. What we need to do is get rid of this new form of “texturism” that is emerging alongside the natural hair movement and learn to enjoy what we have instead. Forgive me, however, if I didn’t think target was the right place to get on my soapbox.
-Against my better judgement, I am trying a beauty product with a bunch of ingredients I cannot pronounce including cetyl alcohol and amodimethicone. Time to do some research. The product is Tressemé split remedy leave in conditioner. I don’t know how I feel about a leave in with silicones in it because I feel it might suffocate my strands. But I feel like I should get out of my comfort zone and since I am afraid to trim my hair I thought this might help. I saw it in Essence magazine’s top beauty products of 2012. It was cheap at my local CVS. Now I am not expecting this magically restitch my split ends: once hairs are split, they are split. I am hoping this will reduce their occurrence in the future. Here is a section of my hair right now.

20120702-235326.jpg
-I have been wearing a stubborn red lipstick all day. Nothing would take it off, not the shower, lotions, nothing. So I took my problem to google and got recs like baby oil and Vaseline. None of which I had on hand. The first thing that came up, though, was aloe Vera gel. I had none of this either but thought to myself vegetable glycerin had similar properties. Lo and behold the colour is off!
-I am liking the whole orange lipstick look and tried on MAC “So Chaud” today. I got compliments from other customers at Macy’s but Michael, my
Photographer friend and the only reason I know anything about make-up thinks if I do orange at all I need to go darker.

20120703-000138.jpg
What do you guys think? Bold and beautiful? Or Bozo the clown?
Red and orange kisses,
Daria and Angela

A new way to wash?

It’s a wet day in Prince George’s county, MD. I hope I remembered the veggie glycerine last time I filled up the spray bottle.

Lately, I have been washing and deep treating my hair less and less. This time of year, I am not sweating too much and the dry flaky scalp of winter is gone so I can go longer between washes for a little bit, at least.

Going longer between washes is fine. It’s certainly cheaper. However, Angela misses her deep conditioning. When I have washed, the last few times I have either just shampooed and conditioned or used the condition-wash-condition method.

Last night I decided enough was enough. Despite my best efforts to moisturise and seal, when I put my water/EVOO spritz on my hair the water seemed to be quickly absorbed by my thirsty strands, leaving them with nothing but an oily feeling. My scalp was also feeling a bit dry so I decided to put my EVOO, Greek yoghurt mix on (with a little tea tree oil for the scalp).

What I did differently was braid each section of hair after I applied the yoghurt mix. I had about five or six thick plaits sitting under a warm cap for half an hour.

In the shower, I unbraided a section, shampooed it, conditioned it, ran a comb thru and braided it back. I repeated the steps all around my head and let the conditioner sit in my plaits a few minutes. Then I took them out and rinsed.

This method is widely known among natural hair bloggers. The pros of it? Manageability. I combed through my sections in one or two sweeps, no single strand knots- Angela’s greatest known enemy- and less hair being pulled out, which makes for less mess in my shower. The manageability could, however, be due to my detangling before adding the yoghurt, though. Who knows?

The cons? This was time consuming. I felt like I was racing to get out of my shower before the hot water ran out. Usually I turn the water off if I am shampooing or soaping my skin but if it’s off for too long I get cold. Next time I will try fewer plaits and see if that helps.

My hair feels great now. Yoghurt always makes my strands smoother. It dried more quickly, indicating it had enough moisture. It was also much more manageable due to both the deep treatment and the braiding. Angela is BACK!

Fellow curlies, do you shampoo in sections?

Wedding Bells!

Fun things are happening for my friends in the world of hair. First up, my bestie from college just big chopped and went all natural! Hopefully I can get her permission to show you guys a pic. She looks great (IMHO).

Second, my bestie from middle/ highschool just got engaged. She and her fiancé are making the wise decision to have a longer engagement since they are in the midst of moving back to Trinidad and job hunting. So it will likely be a year or two before I get to be a bridesmaid but I am already looking up dresses and hair with her. I’ve found some great inspiration already on Afrobella These may be of help to some of you since it is wedding season.

The look I choose will largely depend on the dress, however and it will be a while before we pick one, I’m sure. My bestie is someone I trust to not make me look like a clown and I am going to be experimenting with different up-do’s and wedding styles! So look out for those on my blog and my twitter.

Still to come: info on an upcoming play on natural hair. If you are an actress in the Washington DC area and are of African descent (doesn’t matter your hair texture) this may be for you!

Ciao for now,
D&A

Make-up!

I have just started getting into make-up as well as hair and it’s one of those things: the more you know, the less you know you know. Apparently I’ve been putting mascara on wrong!!! So my friend Michael took me to Ulta for the first time in my life and tonight I am going for a bday hangout with my urban decay palette and smashbox powder and primer. I also discovered the solution for the liquid-liner challenged: felt-tip eyeliner pens. They give you that same liquid look. Not bad for a first attempt, huh?
20120518-191436.jpg

Side Braid

20120517-080922.jpg

20120517-081020.jpg
Today I took to protective styling in the form of a side braid. Using my hair’s natural side-part I divided my hair in two. Plaiting my hair from the part’s side and rolling it (like you do your hair before you put it in a bun) on the other side. Then I put those sections in one ponytail and braided the pony for a boho look. To improve this style I will probably use a warm blow dryer to stretch my hair slightly before hand. It was difficult to plait my hair at this length and thickness. Ah well, I’m learning.
I polished off this look with Urban Decay big fatty mascara and some earrings from Eastern Market. You will hear more on my adventures in make-up soon.