Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Products I Love Right Now

I started writing this post a while ago- and I may as well put it out there. I was waiting to have time to go back and rotate the pictures, crop them just so… but whatever. here! lol

Here is a short list of all the products that are currently in heavy rotation. 
You can Google them to find the best deals, but I assume Target or Amazon will be the best bet.

First we have the shadow-primers that came out a while ago and seem to have disappeared. Only to be replaced by little tubes that are much harder to use, with less color options. I've been ordering these on Amazon so that I don't run out, but these are pictures I took of my own products at home. What I love about these is the fact that they basically function as a very long lasting eye shadow, with a light shimmer suitable for mature skin :-p

These also work well under or even on top of eyeliner to help set that, or even replace it with a deft hand along the lash line. 

The Almay formula is my second choice, but I love their hazel color. It's a great every day, natural-looking compliment to my eye color. I usually just wear this alone when I want to brighten my eyes.

The brown bling color by Covergirl is dope though. It is not even really brown.  It's almost grey and has a metallic, cool undertone.  Maybe a brown with a silver shimmer best describes it.  It far from an ordinary brown. This color is the one I use to set almost all of my mac eyeshdows or various eyeliners but I wear it alone and line my bottom lashes with the wand as well. 
The other color I have worth mentioning is the pink color.  It is light and shimmery, but not white or cool, so it gives a nice light pop to the lash line or just below the brow without being too obvious. 

Next we have the Revlon Jut bitten BALM STAIN. I've mentioned these on the blog before and I am still in lust with them. I stress BALM STAIN because the matte crap and the regular sheen balm that looks similar are both whack. lol.

However, this stain is perfect.  It is chapstick. It is stain. It is lipstick. And the colors are flattering and even transform a bit on different lip colors. The colors Honey and Precious (Which seems to have been replaced by said Honey) are my favorite nudes. Then Crush and Adore are my favorite reds. I mean I really have all of them and I use them all! They seem to transform because the stain that lingers is a bit sheer, so it provides a lasting tint rather than a plastic-like coating. Precious resolves a nice, cool nude/pink on me. It lives in my purse.

Then we have L'oreal's All-over glow mineral powder.  It is like a highlight powder but it is not glittery. I hate that.  I hate glitter.  I don't know why highlight must mean glitter. I have never worn highlight products much because they are all either a glittery powder or a greasy cream (exception below) that irritates my skin. Well this powder is perfectly shimmery with no obvious glitterness.  The "nude glow" is not pink either.  I have yellow undertones so when I want a nice highlight on my upper cheeks I don't wan't it looking like blush. I also love this packaging. powder, brush cap. all together. clean and simple. 

And here is the exception to the cream illuminator. Mode's illuminator in Halo is also perfect. No skin breakouts somehow, yet smooth creamy coverage that is super high impact. I literally just need to touch my finger pad to the cream and that is enough for both cheeks. One more touch and I have below my brows and inner eye too. It is subtle enough for the day and it really helps make under-eye circles less noticeable. That nice awake pop. 

This is my forever mascara. I'm not a makeup girl in the sense that I need department store brands or magic, but this is a little magical for me. L'oreal Telescopic Mascara in "Carbon Black" is as black as I can find at a drugstore, and the thin wand is my favorite. It carrys a lot of mascara with each dip and the stiff bristles and small applicator make it easy to see WHILE applying the stuff to your actual eyelashes and not your eyelids lol. I stray and come back. I''m just going to stay.

And for a refresher hair mist I finally had to splurge and re-up on my old favorite Deva Curl Set it Free.  It just works for me.  Its thick, moisturizing, smells good. In fact it is so thick that I dilute by about 50% and it is still thick and effective.  None of my home concoctions work the same.  Aloe vera juice with water, glycerin, oils… And certainly no other spray I've bought. I think it's because they have managed to suspend beeswax into the liquid. I dunno. I love it. My hair loves it.

And here I am with my regular "every day face" on using the shadow primers and illuminator. 
(hair in a twist out) 

Wearing "Precious" below. It's makeup, but it's not made up.

I'm Getting Married :)

It's been months!

Life is just a whirlwind and I have not even worked on a new blog, at. all.

But please follow me on Instagram @justhairblog to see what's been going on and catch some hair ideas.

The biggest news I can share is the fact that I got engaged just before the 4th of July :)
We are still narrowing down a date, but if I do get a new blog up and running I will post some of the details of the wedding and reception planning. It will not be typical ;-) #blackdiamond

I also became an aunt just this past week.  My younger brother just had his first child, and my mom is now a grand mom!

I am still fighting with my teeth/orthodontist. I got my braces off over a year ago last July and one of my front teeth is still not stable. A space opens up every day as the hours pass, and then closes at night with my retainer. The top and bottom teeth don't fit together at that point, so that tooth just can't be happy. Grrr. I've been back 3 times in the past 2 months and I'll go again in a few more weeks, hopefully for a permanent resolution that does not involve shaving any more of the back of my tooth down :(
Should I get a second opinion on this whole thing?

A few weeks ago I also cut a bang back into my hair.  I just can't get through the grow out stage. I've been wearing my bun and buff over and over again.  It's just so easy and quick.

I am gardening this year, but it's been so dry and I've been so busy! I have also not counter-attacked the squirrels so they've made off with all my tomatoes grrr.
But I have had some success regardless.

I've tried a few new products including Superwet gel (yes), the As I Am line (yes!) and I revisited Curls Arc-Angel (NO).  I also tried some small company products that as of yet, are nothing to write about. But of coarse I will mix and re-mix until I exhaust all the options. I've learned not to discredit things so fast (as I did with the now altered-beyond-recognition Kiss My Face gel that I grew to LOVE and have now had to replace.) 

Since I've had this ring on my finger I've also been plain with nail polish a lot more than I used to.  L'OrĂ©al and Essie have some amazing polish out.
And that's it for now.  Follow me on Instagram and I will sort my online presence out soon. Nice to see you! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My hair made a baby cry :-/

I know it can be a little strange if you've never seen it… Big curly hair that moves oddly with little provocation.  I get it.

But this baby girl, maybe 8-9 months old who has a white mom with long straight hair and a black daddy with short coily hair, was having NONE of it. Which is ironic, because her hair looks a lot like mine did as a baby, and she may very well end up having hair very similar to mine when she gets older lol.

She stared and stared. Many babies are quick to grab earrings, hair… whatever seems interesting. This little girl…NOPE. She just stared. And if I was holding her she was staring or making sure that my hair did not do anything unsavory behind her back, craning her neck and shifting positions to keep it in sight.

So here I go, deciding to see if she was curious, scared - what… what is it?
My BF was holding her right next to me on the couch and she's staring from 2 feet away. First I used my hand to move some of it back away from my face. Well that caught her undivided attention. So then I shook it a little at her. Mind you she was sleepy and in silly/cranky mode so I was totally provoking her lol. She shrunk back, but her eyes got all big.  She stared.  I shook it again.  She let out a small whine.  The other adults were watching and laughing now like oh no, she's scared! So I very slightly shook it one more time… NOPE. tears. A monster. I said let me stop teasing her.  She stared at me the entire rest of the night - from far away.  Aww.

I felt like a big ole meanie, but also like, dag… I just washed it this morning!

Wash & Go using Camille Rose Naturals Moisture Milk and then Curl Maker with Castor oil layered on top.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Checking in. Feeling some kinda way.

If you were here with me last year then you may remember that I got a new job at an association that throws several conferences in close succession every year in later winter to early spring.  So that's where I have been yet again - to the faithful readers I have left.

I have been active on instagram however, so please follow me there to see what I've been doing with my hair.  It's been a long few months since my last post, I tell ya.

I am still considering the future of this blog and as the days go by and I follow more and more natural bloggers and wonder more and more what I have to say that is any more valuable or interesting.  I've been natural for over 12 years now.  I now know more about my natural hair then I remember about transitioning, or touch ups, or even learning new skills. I got regular relaxers for 8-9 years, only the last 5 of which was I old enough to be a direct part of the decision making process.  But since I've been natural, it's been all me.  And when I say that I mean in the beginning… it was ALL ME.  I had no natural friends, I had no natural Youtube channels to watch in 2001.  I had no section of the Target isle to shop in, no mail order nor mom-pop lines targeting my hair.  I literally had my hair, my hands and what I knew about relaxed hair to begin my journey.  I didn't even consider it "going natural" at the time.  That wasn't really the term until later.  Nor had I even decided not to relax my hair, I just cut it of to the point where there was none left, and then went home.  What I discovered about my hair made me decide not to relax it.

I remember sitting in college class and absentmindedly twirling my new coily fuzz and being amused that the coils stayed.  I did lots of coils and coil outs, then it grew out and I had yet to realize that gel and restricted post wetting combing was the key to getting my hair to dry curly.  It grew out dense, combed out and over manipulated.  I braided it a lot.  I put in braid extensions often.  I played with products and color rinses.  BlackPlanet discussion boards and photo sharing site like Fotki came out and I had someplace to talk about what I was learning, and to bounce ideas off off. But no one was an expert. I don't remember following any gurus. And do you know what happened next?

Not what you think.

I destroyed my hair a few times.  I hated it a few times. I disrespected it lots of times.  I learned how to take good care of my hair years later.

And I even had special skills going for me.  I was already pretty dexterous with my hands.  I could braid, and flat twist and put in my own extensions.  I was also pretty creative so I could re-create straight styles, or attempt old sets on my new hair.  Yet it still took me years.  And by years I mean 5 whole years after my last relaxer I still managed to need another big chop due to heat damage.  And even more recently than that I decided that having long natural hair was not conducive to my busy life, and I cut it short again.

But all in all ^THIS^ IS the life of a woman who does not chemically alter or heat "train" her hair to be worn straight with greater ease.  This is the life of a woman with coily, kinky, curly, frizzy, cottony, wooly, tight hair.
Trial and error, learning.
Products, experiments.

We've developed a little sub-sub-culture around our hair, which I immensely enjoy, but everything else is the same as when I was relaxed.  I go to work, I have a social life, a personal life, and I have hair.  The world is not ready for our natural hair types to be "just hair" too.  But for me a this point, it is just hair.  My hair.

I think my views on it come in part from the process of curiosity, fascination, exasperation and finally, acceptance that I have gone through.  Of course I'm still learning, and constantly changing my mind about my goals and desires for my hair, but thats life.  Cycles, and moods and circumstances. One day I could not care about length and demonized the constant acronyms for length goals, and on that same day years later I'm posting my BSL length hair. lol.  Yeah, you all have been with me long enough to see my dye my hair.  Swear not to do it again, do it again, and then swear to grow the color out.  You've seen me swear off shampoo, then run back to it.  Sway towards naturally derived products then swear by a Mexican gel with ingredients I can't pronounce.

I mean, hey. I'm a growing gal.  What am I really talking about here?

I've been talking about my own learning process this whole time.  While in the trees it comes across as tutorials, reviews, style updates and tips. But the Forest in its entirety, is called "Learning all about my own hair while I live my normal life grove". Yes, I think it's a grove because groves sound like a nice place that's not scary. lol.

What I'd like to do now is focus on how to learn about your own natural hair texture.  How to follow blogs and advice in a healthy and productive way.  How not to Idolize bloggers or hair types, or succumb to yet another culture of creating hierarchies for hair types, curl patterns, densities.  How to try a set or a product without dramatically ruining ones life for a few days.  How to process only what is pertinent to you from the advice or answer from a fellow natural.  Your fellow naturals are in the middle of their own process of learning and growing too.  It never ends. 4 years. 8 years. 12 years. 20 years. Life and circumstance will dictate priorities and preferences.  Adaptation and culture swings are constantly occurring.

Anywho.  This has mostly been a stream of consciousness type of post.  I'm feeling some kinda way I guess, and I do feel bad about my lack of posts here.  But I can't promise what is in store.  I still want to expand the topics and do a redesign, as I have lost many follows already due to my loss of consistency :-/

They may be few and far between but I will keep you updated on those decisions and changes as they come along!

<3 p="">

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Birthday hair! I went with a press with new products.

I decided to press my hair for a change of pace.  I wasn't sure about it since I just pressed it in November, blew it out in January and I wasn't liking the health of the lightened ends.  I cut about an inch off while I had it blown out, So I haven't gained any real length since November.   But it does look a lot better as the bulk of it grows back into my dark color.

I made a new batch of my beeswax pomade, using avocado oil instead of castor oil, and I used a different batch of winning products for the roller set.

For my leave in I used Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk. I'd heard great things about the line, and when I saw it at my local target I read all the ingredients.  I avoid coconut oil at all times, and I needed to avoid glycerine for the press.  Bingo. I out my hair in 8 big twists and let it dry about 80%. It seems like a very moisturizing leave in.

The next step was to roller set it.  I skipped the oil/beeswax this time and instead used my regular Nubian Heritage Heat Protect Keratin Wrap mouse (a foam). AND I used Neutrogena's Triple Repair Fortifying Leave in on the ends.  I love, love love this stuff.  It is a very thick cream. It protects hair up to temps of 400 degrees.  I set it on the Orange hard plastic rollers and it dried in an hour.

Here were the results!
I was actually able to wrap it without pressing it further! I wore the roller set hair to work the next day, but since I'd brushed it all out I realized I would not get the longevity to make it to birthday weekend, so I decided to continue on with the press that evening.
 Here is the pressed result.  I used a dab more of the Neutrogena leave in for each section, and when I was done I applied the beeswax pomade all over:
As you can see, most of the lighter ends from a year ago are gone now. It def grew a lot, though it's about the same length now as it was late last year.

So here was my birthday look:
My guy took me to dinner and then, somehow he'd retained the fact that Amel Larrieux is my favorite artist and surprised me with the late show. A great v-day/b-day :D

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