These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…(Summer Edition)

Last week while I was at work, a new natural asked me about this blog.  She wanted to know if I ever posted favorites and wanted to know what my favorite items were for hair and beauty.  I’ve only done it once because my favorites are usually very consistent.  I thought about her request though, and realized that I have been using a lot of new items that I love.  I thought I would sit here tonight and share some of my summer favorites with you guys and get some of your opinions on these items as well.


 

Hair:

IMG_1343

You already know a lot of my hair favorites.  I love the conditioning creme from Renpure Organics and have been a die hard fan of it since I first purchased it.  It has simplified my whole wash/conditioning routine and added with a little Apple Cider Vinegar (which is a favorite that is not pictured), my hair thrives on wash day.  I never have issues with excessive shed, breakage or detangling.  This product is a keeper.

Castor Oil is also one of my all time favorite hair products.  My hair adores it and eats it up wet or dry.  Since the use of my Castor Oil and Vatika Oil tag team, my hair has become thicker and fuller and more manageable.  A little of this product goes a long way.  Of course, I am out of Vatika Oil, which is another favorite…that’s why it is not pictured.

hair

All of my favorites in my hair at the same time…also wearing a few of my makeup favorites with Ruby Woo by Mac on my lips.

Can you tell I love the Leave In Conditioner from Mixed Chicks?  I do.  It smells awesome and works beautifully in my hair.   My curls are moisturized and pop when I use this leave in.  I had to get the sample size because I used up my other bottle…I will be heading to Target later this week though!

…and last but not least, I love spritzing some rose water and glycerin in my hair when it’s extra dry.  The smell is very pretty and the glycerin and rose water mix keeps my hair and skin so moisturized.


Beauty:

IMG_1347

I was turned on to Lancome a few years ago by one of my good friends Amy.  She swore by their products and when I visited a Sephora in Paris, I left with a bag full of Lancome sample goodies.  Since then, I fell in love with their beauty, fragrance and skin care products.  My current favorite from Lancome is the Dual Finish in Suede 555 (C).  The lighting in my house made it look warm, but because of my neck area, cooler color foundations/powders work well with my complexion.  Since it’s hot and humid in Louisiana, I wear this when I want little coverage or when I want to make my foundation matte…which is my other favorite item: the Teint Idole Ultra 24H in Suede 555 (C).  This foundation is all that and then some.  I cannot in express to you how much I love the finish of this foundation on my skin and how it looks so natural and beautiful and matte and lasts throughout my entire workday.  These two items will be my staple from now on.  LOL.  They just look soo good on me.  LOL.

facepic

My face using the Dual Finish in Suede 555 (C) and matte lip stick from Kat Von D with a little highlight around my Cupids Bow.

I’m trying not to make this post solely about Lancome, but their products have been some of my favorites for a long time.  I picked up the Youthful Radiance Advanced Genifique Regimen Set which includes the Advanced GÉNIFIQUE Youth Activating Concentrate, the GÉNIFIQUE EYE Youth Activating Eye Concentrate, and the CRÈME RADIANCE Clarifying Cream-to-Foam Cleanser.  The CRÈME Radiance works so well and removing dirt and oil from my skin.  I love it sooo much and use it in the morning and evenings when I am removing my make up.  I also noticed that the dark puffiness under my eyes is starting to slowly fade away after using the GÉNIFIQUE EYE Youth Activating Eye Concentrate.  I love them all.  My skin is soo even and looks awesome.  When I leave the house without makeup on, I don’t feel the need to have any because I feel like my skin looks good.  I’ve even gotten complements about my natural skin from plenty of people after using these products.  They are very much my favorites and will stay in my bag indefinitely.  LOL.

becca…and of course, I cannot live without my Becca Beach Tints.  I got a few of them for my birthday and Christmas last year and they have been a die-hard staple in my makeup routine.  I love the subtle flush of color that they give to my lips and cheeks on days where I want a more natural look.  I pair this with a light application of the Dual Finish from Lancome, a not so light application of the Definicils Mascara and a thin stroke of black eyeliner and I have the perfect soft and natural look.


Other Beauty Faves:

IMG_1365If any of you follow me on Instagram or Facebook…or even Twitter for that matter, you know that I hand make my own soaps.  I know exactly what my skin needs so I usually make formulations to combat some of the skin problems that I’ve consistently suffered from.  I also love making my own soaps because it gives me a creative outlet to make something that I can share with others, sell, or gift.  I love this particular bar that I created because it has Golden Seal, Chai, honey, Patchouli, Rose Water and Glycerin…and of course Shea Butter.  These are all of my favorite things wrapped in one bar…and it feels so decadent when I use it.

miracle

tresor

Ok…so I said that I wouldn’t make this post all about Lancome, but my two all time favorite fragrances are from this company.  I love the fresh scent of Miracle.  This has quickly become one of my all time favorite fragrances.  When I wear this or La Nuit Tresor, my other favorite fragrance from Lancome, I get tons of complements.  I think I love La Nuit Tresor so much because of the Patchouli.  LOL.

naked manicure

…and last but not least…I won this Naked Manicure Professional Set from Zoya on Twitter a few weeks ago, and since then, I’ve fallen in love.  My nails are in such an awesome condition after using this set and I can verify the claims that this product “…provides intense therapeutic, long term benefits for stronger, healthier nails.” I love the Naked colors and the color correction that they provide.  The colors last a full week without chipping and you cannot even tell because they are truly ‘Naked’.  I’ve been looking for a more natural looking manicure for my nails for times when I do not feel like the bright reds, blues or greens that I sometimes tend to rock.  I’ve been embracing a more natural look lately and this set came right on time!


I hope that you enjoyed my favorites.  I know that I enjoy them everyday.  LOL.  I am a beauty junkie and collected tons of cosmetics, skin care items and hair care products.  These are the ones that I consistently go to and they give me a feeling of satisfaction when I spend my money on them and use them…LOL…so naturally, I had to crown them as my Summer favorites!  ♥

Until Next Time…

What I’m Currently Listening to…


…and

Advertisements

Product Review: Renpure Solutions Cleansing Conditioner, Sweet Pomegranate

Overall Impressions and How I Use the Product:

I really like this product. I’d been wearing my hair up for the past week and noticed that it was dry as a bone with a lot of tangles. After adding the 10 – 12 pumps as instructed on the bottle and waiting for 3 – 5 minutes, I noticed that it was a breeze detangling my hair. I never noticed any hesitation when using my detangling comb. I went a step further by rinsing the product out of my hair and adding another 10-12 pumps while deep conditioning with olive oil. I keep the product in for about 15-20 minutes and rinsed it out. I also added 2-3 pumps as a leave in. While styling, I noticed that my hair was well moisturized, conditioned and completely detangled.

REnpure2

I was pretty impressed, especially after reading a lot of reviews online that seemed to be negative. People accuse me of having good luck with every hair product that I use. I just know that I use the product as instructed and if I know that my hair needs a little more treatment, I add a little more to my routine to make sure that my hair gets the moisture and conditioning that it needs to thrive. I was definitely satisfied with the outcome of my hair after the use of this product and for the price, I will definitely make it a part of my routine.

Let me preface by saying that I only used the Cleansing Conditioner and my hair is color treated and dry. This one product replaced multiple products that I normally use during wash day. I applied the Cleansing Conditioner as a cleanser, a deep conditioner, a leave in conditioner and a detangling cream.   And of course, this product performs quite well in all of these functions. When I used the cleansing conditioner, I applied about 12 pumps of the product for cleansing. I saturated my hair with water for a few minutes, divided my hair into four sections and used 4 pumps of the Cleansing Conditioner for each section of my hair. As it states on the instructions, I splashed a little water to equally distribute the product and left it in for about 5 minutes. I used my wide tooth detangling comb to gently detangle my hair and after, I rinsed the product thoroughly, making sure that the water from the shower head massaged my scalp to ensure that my hair and scalp were clean. After, I divided my hair into sections again and finger combed 10 – 12 pumps of the product with a quarter sized amount of olive oil. I applied my conditioning cap and kept the product in my hair for 15-20 minutes. After deep conditioning, I washed the product completely from my hair and added 3 to 4 pumps as a leave in with coconut oil as a sealant.

Price:

I purchased the 16 oz. bottle of the Sweet Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner at Target for $6.99. I used less than a quarter of the bottle in one shampoo/conditioning/leave in session. The price is phenomenal since you can get a whole lot of use out of it for only 7 bucks. What also is awesome is that Renpure has an impressive ingredient list and are very conscious about animal testing and how their product affects the environment.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behentrimonium Chloride, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argan), Hypnea Musciformis Extract (Red Seaweed), Gellidiela Acerosa Extract (Red Alga), Sargassum Filipendula Extract (Brown Seaweed), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sunflower), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut),REnpure3 Punica Granatum Fruit Extract (Pomegranate), Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Pisdium Guajava Fruit Extract (Guava), Butyrospermum Parkii Oil (Shea), Sorbitol, Amodimethicone, Trideceth-12, Cetrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Glycereth-26, Silicone Quaternium-17, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

My Overall Comments Regarding My Experience Using the Renpure Cleansing Conditioner:

Since using this product, I noticed that my hair has been retaining moisture…which is something that I’ve been struggling with for the past few months. I’ve introduced a lot of exercise into my daily routine and had a time trying to achieve a good moisture balance with my hair. The way that I use the Renpure product in my regimen has helped me in keeping my hair nicely moisturized and easy to manage before my next wash day. Of course, as you guys saw in the teaser, I cut a few inches off of my hair due to damage that happened prior to the use of this product. I’ve only used this product once since cutting my hair, but I noticed that my hair is bouncier and healthier than ever. My twists are actually twisting out now and holding the twist out.

As you guys already know, I’m a recovering product junkie, so to defeat myself in purchasing tons of products, I’ve only been using the Renpure Cleansing Conditioner with JBCO, Coconut Oil or Olive Oil. I am very excited about the price for the item, the access to the item at Target and the company’s commitment to not animal test or produce products that are harmful to the environment. My only complaint about the product is the pump. The bottle that I purchased had a defective pump and I had to use a pump from another product to dispense the product properly. I’m not saying that all of the pumps are defective…but I noticed that mine had a problem.

As you guys know, my hair is different from everyone else and may react differently with this product than yours. I am providing this general review for your investigation and hopefully if you try this product, you will be as impressed as I am.

Since I didn’t use the Cleansing Conditioner as instructed on the bottle, here are the product directions from Renpure:

REnpure4

Rinse hair thoroughly.  Make sure hair is wet from roots to ends.  Apply 10-12 pumps.  Work from roots to ends.  Add a splash of water if needed to help spread.  Massage through hair for 2-3 minutes.  You can also comb through hair to help detangle.  Leave in for 3-5 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly.  You may also use a small amount after you have towel dried your hair as a leave in and detangle.

Here is a link to another review of a Renpure product…

Until Next Time

What I’m Currently Listening To…


and

Product Review: Wen the Wen Works…A Complete Review of My Use of the Wen Cleansing Conditioner

Overall Impressions and How I Use the Product:

Wen the Wen Works…

And it did. And I love it. And I just had to share my experience with you after about two months of using the Cleansing Conditioner. If you can remember before, I was pretty skeptical about Wen because at the time I didn’t see a lot of natural hair models demonstrating use of the product. Since then, I’ve tried the product, and purchased it two times. In two months of using this product, my hair maintenance routine simplified to the point of me spending little to no time on my hair at all. I get accused of having a softer texture of hair that works well with Wen. That may be the case, but during this time, I’ve researched and found reviews of other naturals with a coarser hair texture than mine who swear by it. In the end, I guess each person has her own experience. I will share my experience with you and if you feel compelled to try the product, try it out.   I am sure you will be satisfied.

Wen0

50% Blow Out using Wen, JBCO and a Heat Protectant

Wen1

My hair after a week wearing this style…

Let me preface by saying that I only use the Cleansing Conditioner. This one product replaced multiple products that I use during wash day and everyday care of my hair. I apply the Cleansing Conditioner as a cleanser, a Deep Conditioner, a leave in Conditioner and a detangling cream.   And of course, this product performs quite well in all of these functions. I usually cleanse my hair once a week. I apply about 12 pumps of the product for cleansing. I’ll saturate my hair with water for a few minutes, divide my hair into four sections and use 4 pumps of the Cleansing Conditioner for each section of my hair. As it states on the instructions, I’ll splash a little water to equally distribute the product and leave it in for a few minutes. Sometimes, I’ll get out of the shower and get myself together for the day. After, I’ll rinse the product thoroughly out of my hair, making sure that the water from the shower head massaged my scalp to ensure that my hair and scalp are clean. After,  I divide my hair into sections again and using two pumps per section, I finger comb the product through my hair and then apply my conditioning cap. I’ll probably ride out the day, hiding my conditioning cap under a wig or a hat and just deep condition using my own body heat and the heat gathered from wearing the plastic cap. After deep conditioning, I’ll take my detangling comb and detangle my hair while rinsing out the product. At this point, the comb will glide through my hair and my whole detangling experience is simplified by using just one product. Last but not least, I’ll divide my hair into four sections one more time, and apply a pump per section for as a leave in. I’ll finger rake my hair to make sure the product is equally distributed and then after allowing the product to sit in my hair a few minutes, seal everything with my Jamaican Black Castor Oil. If I blow out my hair, I’ll apply a heat protectant and then proceed. If not, I’ll take the oil and twist my hair to allow it to air dry. During the week, to maintain my hair, I’ll spray the Lemongrass Leave In from Alikay Naturals and seal with Jamaican Black Castor Oil with Amla prior to styling or prepping my hair for bed. These are the only products that I’ve been using and I can honestly say that my hair is fuller and healthier than it’s ever been.


 Price:

beso

Week Old Hair Y’all!

I usually purchase the 16 oz. of the Cleansing Conditioner from QVC. In a two and a half month period, I’ve purchased the product two times. The price that I pay from QVC is $29.99 plus shipping. I started off with the Green Tea formulation of the product and now I’ve moved on to the Fig formulation because after research, I was able to confirm that the Fig formulation was made for people with my hair type. People believe that this price is pretty steep for a product, but I can honestly say, I am very satisfied with the price. I don’t have to purchase a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner or detangler. 4 products have been replaced with this one. If you do the math, when I purchase these four products separately, I end up spending significantly more than $30 dollars. I also do not have to purchase other items to keep my hair moisturized and conditioned during the week. I only use two items which are the JBCO and the Lemongrass Leave in from Alikay naturals. Since I am only using 3 products, I end up saving a lot of money in the long run.

Wen2People often have complaints about the ‘pump’ method of applying the product to their hair because they feel as if they are using too much product. For me, it’s quite the opposite. When I poured product into my hands, I would use significantly more product than I am using now. I just purchased my second 16 oz. of Wen conditioning cream after my first purchase which was in the middle of May. A month and a half for 30 bucks seems like a deal for me. #ijs

wenpumps


 

Ingredients:

weningred

 


 My Overall Comments About My Experience Using the Wen Cleansing Conditioner:

Wen3Since using this product, I’ve been accused of wearing a weave or a wig…lol. My hair is so much fuller, it’s thriving more and I am retaining a lot more length that I was before. My hair is so much easier to manage and I average about 5-10 minutes a day styling my hair except for when I want something crazy for a special event. The bottom line is: my whole routine was simplified with the addition of one product to my regimen. I don’t have to sit there and play with tons of products to get the desired look or moisture balance of my hair that I want. My hair is prettier, bouncier, and nicer than it ever was. I am no longer a skeptic and I am so excited to use this product and keep using it for as long as I can. LOL. This means a lot because I used to be a product junkie that would roll with the best of them.

  **and wait…hold up…while writing this review, I just found out that I can purchase Wen at Sephora…and it’s at my local Sephora!!  Why didn’t I know this!?  Hey Hey Hey…Wen Par-tay at Sephora!

Until Next Time

What I’m Currently Listening To:


Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner Initial Thoughts/Review

I’ve heard a lot of things about WEN in the past. My mom loves to watch when Chaz Dean is on the shopping networks showing off his products on different hair types. She’s always put a buzz in my ear to pick up some Wen products, but I never did because I thought that it was a bit costly. In retrospect, if you compare it to products that I’ve purchased in the past, it’s not costly at all. I am in more trouble if I buy things from the infamous companies that I shall not name…SMH. LOL.

I digress.

Before I could even order sample sized portions of the Wen products, my co-worker came to me a few weeks ago and raved on how awesome the product works on her hair. Granted, she is white with a different texture of hair than mine. Her hair is also shorter. I did notice that since using the product, her hair has more body and seems fuller. It intrigued me. So when she offered me a sample of the Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner, I jumped at the chance to use it. I had no idea that I would be so satisfied with the product and here is why:

Wen

1. Wen is marketed to people who do not have my hair type. I only say this because in my research, especially the before and after photos on the website, http://www.wen.com/before-after.html, I do not see anyone with Afro Textured hair.

2. I have a thinner grade of Afro Textured Hair…especially in my nape area. I’ve been prescribed as around 4A at the top and 3C in the back of my hair. I have no idea how to type my hair…LOL. With that said, my hair is pretty thin on occasion and I’ve been thoroughly involved in a Castor Oil challenge. I had significant product buildup and was not certain if my hair would be cleansed properly by using the trial sized version of the Wen product.

3. As I said before in 1, even when I see Chaz on QVC or HSN…one of the two…I never really see models that have my hair type. Maybe I’ve missed out on the times where they were actually modeling, but that made me a skeptic.

So, last night, I decided to wash my hair using the sample product that was provided to me by my friend. My hair was full of old product—Castor Oil and my leave in—for about a week and a half. I missed wash day on Sunday so I had week and a half old hair. I finger detangled the plaits my hair was in and used the product as instructed on the bottle. The instructions are very detailed and I suggest that if you decide to purchase WEN, to take time to read the instructions prior to trying to use it. I left the product in my hair for over 15 minutes because I had to detangle my ends and I had a phone call to take (lol). I rinsed the product out, and reapplied, completing the use of the whole sample. When I walked out of the shower my hair was the softest that it’s ever been in a long time…and was full of body…let me tell you, after I wash or shampoo and condition my hair, it’s usually limp. My hair was bouncy, full and clean. I had no clue that the product would remove almost 2 weeks of castor oil, but it did…and for that, I am sold.

(I won’t go into detail about the product because I’ve only used a sample portion for one use. I will tell you that I’ll purchase it and start using it next month for a full month and give you a more detailed review.)

What I Liked About the Product?
I loved the scent. It was very enjoyable and I was mesmerized while washing and detangling my hair. I also loved the fact that I was able to cleanse almost two weeks of product from my hair and was able to get the co-wash results from a washing session. I also enjoyed the fullness of my hair after one application and the compliments I received from my wash n go (I have photos below) the day after my washing session with Wen.

I also have highlights in the bangs area of my head. All of my hair is not color treated. Both parts of my hair were equally moisturized after using this product. It’s hard to achieve moisture balance retention along the color treated portions of my hair, so this is also a plus.

What I Didn’t Fancy About the Product:

I’m so excited to try this product in its entirety. Hopefully in the future we can see more Before & After photos of people with Afro textured hair on the Wen website. This was the main reason I did not use this product in the past. I think if we are able to see something that can be used in our hair, we will try it.

A lot of us sleep on products that could work awesomely in our hair because they are not marketed to people like us. I still say, supportasista, but this was given to me and I promised a review…so I’ll of course purchase to give you a better understanding of the product and how it worked in my hair. I will not though, stop supporting my sista based businesses and completely replace my product line.

Research:
I watched a few YouTube videos from Naturals with my hair type and close to my hair type who used the product instead of solely depending on the wen.com site for information since there are no before and after photos of Afro Textured hair. I was able to make a decision to purchase the product and use for a month. I’ll let you know how it goes. I am still a huge fan of the Jane Carter Solution products, but it’s nice to be able to provide you guys with reviews of different products that I think you will enjoy.

A lot of naturals on YouTube used the Fig formulation of the Wen product because they state that it’s formulated more for our hair type. I’ll purchase that formulation first!

I’ll post videos that I watched below:


I hope that this First Impression/Review was helpful. Let me know if you’ve used this product and if you are satisfied.

Here are photos the next day after use:

Photo by Will Trahan photography

Photo by Will Trahan photography

 

Photo by Will Trahan photography

Photo by Will Trahan photography

Until Next Time…

What I’m Currently Listening To:

My List of Go To Products…At Times, You Can Call Them: The Holy Grail

So, as a Natural Hair blogger, I often get the question: “What are you favorite products?” or “What are your staple products?”.  I really do not have staple products.  I know that my hair needs moisture and I obtain that by use of water, oil and a cream during my styling process.  I also retain moisture by acquiring habits that help moisture retention such as wearing a satin cap at night.  I usually obtain what I need with any product that I use that fall into the categories that I mentioned…but I do find myself buying the same products over and over outside of my trying new things…and I guess these items are what you could call my staples…

Before I begin, I wanted to share with you what I’m currently up to this evening.  I have a hot cup of white chocolate mocha and my crochet hook.  I am working on another cute shrug.  I obtained the pattern from a book written by the Double Stitch Twins and I just happen to adore their patterns.  I will start posting a lot of the crochet work that I’m working on and try to provide you guys with free patterns.

My evening...

My evening…

So…back to business…Here are the products that I’ve been buying on a regular basis for years now:

Vatika Oil

Vatika Oil

I love Vatika Oil because it aids in the process of me ‘sealing’ my hair.  The oil is thick and works very well.  I use a little bit to get what I need out of it and I feel that it aids in conditioning of the hair.

Curls Curl Control Paste

Curls Curl Control Paste

I found a way to lay down my edges.  Prior to purchasing the Curl Control Paste, I tried Gel…Water…’Grease’…nothing worked.  I love this product because it works…always have and now that I have thicker edges, it still works well to obtain the hold that I look for.

Cantu Shea Butter

Cantu Shea Butter

I usually use this product while preparing my hair at night for styling in the morning.  I apply a generous amount to my ends when I twist before bed and I have a moisturized style in the morning.  I love this product because of the price and availability also.  What’s not to love when getting a ton of product for a decent price?

Jane Carter's Nourish and Shine

Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine

If you’ve followed me for a while, you should know that I love this product for all over use.  It provides an awesome hold to my twists…has a beautiful smell…and I also use it on other parts of my body to aid problems for dry skin.  When I wear a twist out after using this product, my twists smell fresh and are very well defined.  This product will always be one that I go to and I often buy in bulk.  LOL.

African Pride Olive Miracle Growth Oil

African Pride Olive Miracle Growth Oil

I love to Oil Rinse and if you’ve Oil Rinsed before, you know that you tend to use a lot of oil.  I decided to use a cheaper oil to do my oil rinsing with and I found this awesome oil.  I love the scent, it works well and is very very cheap for the amount that I use.

Curl Activator, Water, Satin Bonnet & Wide Tooth Comb/Pick

Curl Activator, Water, Satin Bonnet & Wide Tooth Comb/Pick

These products I use all the time because they provide the most that I need for maintaining my natural hair.

  • I love Curl Activator because of the glycerin content.  I get moisturized detangled hair when using activator.  Right now, I have Proclaim, but I usually buy S. Curl no drip, Hawaiian Silky or Carefree Curl.
  • What can I say about water that you don’t already know?  LOL.  My hair loves it!
  • I cannot sleep without my satin bonnet, even though, at times, I loose it at night or fall asleep before I put it on.  Hey…Although I blog about hair…I am human…LOL
  • …and last but not least…my wide-tooth comb/pick.  I love this combo because it aids in detangling my wet hair and picking up my roots when I want to wear a style with full body.

I don’t have a favorite shampoo/condish combo.  Right now I am using products by Barry Fletcher and they are working fine.

What are your favorite products?

Until Next time!

What I’m Currently Listening to: