Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Current Beauty Favorites

These are the products that I have been using the most for the past month or so and I just wanted to share:

Ruby Kisses HD Gel Liner in Dark Brown($3.99, Local Beauty Supply Store)- This is the best gel liner I have ever tried. It has replaced my beloved MAC Blacktrack Fluidline and every other gel one that I have. It is creamy, smooth, has amazing staying power and is extremely pigmented. The dark brown color is also perfect for my everyday work look. My eyes still look defined without looking overly made up as it does when I use a black gel liner.

Black Radiance Perfect Blend Mineral Foundation($7.99, drugstores)- I am a foundation junkie so I am always looking for the next best thing but this is a product that I always keep coming back to. It gives me this really beautiful radiant glow. What I especially love about it is how natural it looks and how it blends so well into my skin. It looks like I'm not wearing anything at all but that my skin just has this healthy glow. This is my go-to summer foundation.

Urban Decay Dew Me Moisturizing Makeup Setting Spray($29, Sephora)- I have tried other makeup setting sprays but they all seemed to leave my skin feeling dry and tight. So when I saw this one specifically for people with dry skin I just had to try it and I'm glad I did. Not only does my makeup look fresh all day but my skin feels incredibly soft. If you are a person who doesn't have time or like me doesn't like to touch up your makeup during the day, this product is definitely worth the price.

NYX Cinnamon Blush($5.99, Local Beauty Supply Store/ All women of color should own an orange blush and this is the perfect one. In the pan it is this bright orange color but when applied it gives this beautiful natural flush of color to my skin. This is one I highly recommend.

Sinful Colors Professional Nail Enamel in Flirting Nails($1.99, drugstores)- I have always loved Sinful Colors nail polishes and this one is no exception. This is a very pretty taupish gold color with shimmer. For me, its the perfect everyday shade for work.

Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in Smoked Peach($6.99, drugstores)- I have owned this lipstick for about a month and have worn it practically everyday since. On me its this really pretty peachy pink color. My only complaint about this lipstick is that it is slightly drying, (I know it's a matte lipstick), so to give it a little extra pop I line my lips with NYX's lip liner in Brown Cafe and apply a clear gloss on top. This is a product I will be using all summer long.

Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous protection Face SPF 30 Sunblock Lotion($6.99, drugstores)- As I am starting to age, I have been attempting to protect my skin as much as I possibly can. After trying other sunscreens that made my face feel very heavy and greasy I have to say I am truly impressed by this one. It feels very light and absorbs into my skin very quickly. The best part about this is unlike other sunscreens that I have tried it doesn't leave a whitish cast on my skin so I can wear this alone without makeup.My only complaint is that it does leave my skin  a bit dry so I have to put a moisturizer on top, but that's a small problem giving all the benefits of this product.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Question Your Stylist! (What a professional stylist should be doing during the relaxer process)

How many of us have gone to the salon to get a relaxer and left everything in the stylist hands? You assume because she/he is a 'professional' they know what they are doing and your hair is in safe hands. Well, through personal experience I now know different. Approximately 10 months ago I went to a salon to get my first relaxer in 6 months. Instead of leaving with nice straight bouncy relaxed hair, (which is what I wanted), my hair was flat, stringy and dry. A few days later I discovered a nasty chemical burn and I was so upset by the experience that I have not returned to a stylist for a relaxer and frankly do not believe I ever will. If you choose to let a stylist relax your hair you must  make sure they are taking the necessary steps to protect your hair during the chemical process. In this post I will be giving you a list of important steps your stylist should be taking during the relaxer process. Remember it is your hair and it is up to you to make sure it is protected.

Step #1-Your stylist should check the condition of your hair and scalp before she begins. If your hair is weak or your scalp has any cuts, scrapes or burns she should not apply the relaxer.

Step #2-Your stylist should ask you what type of relaxer you use and then show you the actual relaxer container before they apply it to your hair. Always make sure you know the type (lye/no lye) and strength(mild/normal/super) of the relaxer being used.

Step #3-Your stylist should base your scalp and protect your previously relaxed hair with petroleum (ex. Vaseline) or some sort of heavy oil (ex. olive oil). Your scalp should always be based before a relaxer, NO EXCEPTIONS! It is also important to protect your hair past the new growth because it is almost impossible to prevent overlapping the relaxer. When you continuously relax hair that has already been previously relaxed your hair will become thinner and drier. Also make sure the base is applied to the hairline, nape of neck, top of ears and edges.

Step#4-Your stylist should only relax your new growth. Although it is not always possible to prevent overlapping, (that is why we base the previously relaxed hair), your stylist should not be taking the relaxer all the way down the ends of your hair. They should only be applying and smoothing the relaxer on the new growth.

Step #5-Your stylist should only be relaxing your hair for the length of time required for your hair type. You should not feel the relaxer 'burning". If you do feel the relaxer burning it means the scalp was not properly based or the relaxer has been on your hair too long which will result in scalp burns.

Step #6-Your stylist should allow the neutralizer to sit on your hair for at least 5 minutes before she rinses it out. Neutralizers work to return the hair to its normal pH level and in order to properly neutralize the hair, neutralizing shampoo must remain on the hair  for at least 5 minutes prior to rinsing.

Step #7- Your stylist should limit the use of direct heat (ex. handheld blow dryer or flat iron) on your hair. Freshly relaxed hair is very fragile and you do not want to damage it further by applying unnecessary heat. Your best option is a roller set and afterwards a wrap.

Remember, do not sit by and allow someone to destroy your hair. It is your hair and your money and you have the right to proper, professional hair care. I wish everyone continued success on their healthy hair journeys.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Makeup Look #2- Office Sparkle

I decided to do this look for people who work in a more conservative environment but still want to have that holiday sparkle. This would be perfect for the office Christmas party.

I just did a bronze color on the lid with a golden brown in the crease. I added lots of gold sparkle to my cheeks and nude lips. You can easily amp this look up by adding some black eyeliner and falsies.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Can Hair That Is Relaxed AND Bleached be Healthy?

This is a touchy subject amongst black women because while a lot of us believe that it is impossible to relax and bleach your without damage there are some of us who believe they have done so successfully. So who is right? Can you relax and bleach your hair and still maintain its health? The answer is yes...... and no. Because all hair is not the same, everybody responds to chemical processing in different ways.

As I was researching this topic I decided to call a few beauty salons in my local area just to get an idea of how a "professional" would handle this situation. When I called, I said my hair was relaxed and I would like to bleach it (I said bleach rather than dye because I wanted to be clear). The majority of the stylists told me to come right in without asking me any questions about the length of time I had the relaxer or the condition of my hair. One stylist asked me how long it had been since I had a relaxer because I needed to wait at least two weeks before I bleached my hair while another completely refused to bleach my hair. She told me that my hair would fall out because hair could not take both chemical processes. So again the opinion is across the board.

If you are a person who has decided to relax and bleach your hair understand that it is at your own risk and can cause irreversible damage. Black (people of African descent) hair tends to be drier than people of other races because it takes longer for our scalps to produce natural oils which provide moisture. When you relax your hair, it strips the hair of its moisture and weakens the the hair bonds. Bleaching the hair does a similar effect so when you combine the two you end up with hair that is highly susceptible to extreme damage that includes breakage and split ends. So how do you care for your hair? The key to keeping your hair healthy is moisture. I have provided a regimen which could possibly help you to retain moisture and health.

Step #1: Start a weekly hair washing regimen. Your regimen should consist of these 3 steps:
             a) Begin with a pre-poo or hot oil treatment as they provide moisture to your hair and reduce
                breakage and dryness.
             b)Wash your hair with a moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo and follow with an intense
                moisturizing deep conditioner. When applying conditioner focus on the ends of the hair
               where it is the driest and leave it on for at least 15 mins. For added moisture, put on a
               plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 10 mins to help the product penetrate in your hair.
             c)Apply a leave-in conditioner after your wash to keep moisture in your hair and seal it with oil.

Step #2: Moisturize & Seal your hair daily.

Step #3: Avoid heat styles-avoid blow drying and flat ironing your hair as much as possible. Instead try heat free styles such as roller sets, pin curls, flexi-rod sets, braid outs,etc.

Step #4: Trim your ends regularly-people who relax and bleach their hair often have dry, straggly ends, to maintain the health of your hair trim your ends every 8 weeks.

Step #5: Wait at least 4 weeks between getting a relaxer and your hair bleached to reduce the chance of damage.

Step #6: Never bleach your hair at home- always go to a 'professional' hair stylist (remember, just because someone has a cosmetology degree doesn't mean they are professional).

Step #7: Use products specifically designed for color treated hair. L'Oreal EverPure is a great sulfate-free line for color treated hair.

If you are doing all the steps above and your hair is over processed (dry, split ends, frizzy strands) than stop all chemical processing and take the time to repair your hair. Remember, everyone's hair is different and will react differently.

I hope this was helpful and I wish everyone much success on their healthy hair journey.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Makeup Look #1- Icy Purple

This is the first look in my holiday makeup series. I love purple eyeshadow and I decided to do a pretty holiday look using one of my favorite colors as inspiration.


This look is basically a light silver in the inner one third, a purple in the middle of the lid and a dark purple in the outer one third and blended into the crease. For that holiday look I added a pink sparkly highlight to my cheek bones and soft pink lips. Hope you like it!