No skin care regimen, natural or otherwise, is complete without a deep cleansing mask. In keeping with natural yet effective, I love Indian Healing Clay by Aztec Secret, available from the Vitamin Shoppe (aka my new Sephora).

You can feel this working as it dries—gently pulsating your skin clean! It’s also super easy to make! Mix 1part clay with 1 part water OR apple cider vinegar (guess which one I use…), mix well and apply to desired area (it’s also a great body mask!!)

For my face I use about 1 tablespoon of clay with 1 tbsp of raw, organic apple cider vinegar for added astringent benefit.

Happy deep cleansing & facial pulsing loves! Stay pretty today & do something good for you!!
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My take on whipped Shea butter…

Over the weekend I made my own, simpler-than-what-I’ve-seen-on-YouTube version of whipped Shea. I wanted to add some more emollient ingredients while maintaining its nutritive properties and keeping it good for my skin and all non-comedogenic :-)

What you’ll need:

High quality raw shea butter

oils of your choice (again, my skin is oily/acne prone so I chose Jojoba and grapeseed oil)

Aloe Vera

Double boiler

water

stove top

essential oil for fragrance (optional)

a whisk

maybe a mixing bowl, but I didn’t feel like transferring my mixture to one so I didn’t…

What I did…

Over low heat I heated the water in the bottom half of the double boiler. I emptied my container of shea into the top portion. Shea melts VERY FAST over little heat so it was really hard for me to understand why anyone would heat it for 20+ minutes, and claim certainty that they had not destroyed all vitamins and nutrients. After about 2 minutes I wasn’t sure so once it melted down I stopped. Next time I will consistently stir/whip while it is melting to further reduce heating time.  I removed the Shea butter from heat, and added about 1tbsp each of Jojoba and Grapeseed oils (I promise to do a better job of actually measuring these things out next time lol) and mixed well with the whisk. I then added 2 oz of the Aloe Vera gel and whisked well. After, once the mix was room temperature, I added a few drops of Lavender Essential oil (because it is one of my favorite scents!).  Then I whisked some more until all ingredients were blended smoothly and evenly. I placed it in the freezer, taking it out a few times to whisk it to be sure nothing settled, then placing it back in the freezer over night so it would be ready for joyous use in the morning.  

The results? It melts in my hands to a luxurious lotion-y creme and goes into skin great! It is not grainy, as some of the other folks who have made whipped Shea said they had experienced, but feels really smooth and smells great. It does not require refrigeration to remain solid, as I learned after trying to keep it refrigerated and found this made it waaaay to difficult to remove from the jar and apply to my skin lol. Keeping it out of the fridge is just fine and it does not liquify. 

The only drawback? In my past experience with Aloe Vera as a standalone product, I know that it initially feels moisturizing, but then overtime, actually makes my skin sort of dry. As a result of this, I have a similar effect by the end of the day with my whipped shea which I did not have before with Shea & Oils alone. However, Aloe Vera is largely responsible for the texture of it….sooooo in my next batch, I will go with a ratio of 1oz Aloe Vera to 8oz Shea butter and see how that does me.  Once I make the next batch, I’ll let you know how it goes!!  Next time I will be trying raw, organic, Ivory Shea from Cleopatra’s Choice to buy in bulk and save a bit of money over the Out of Africa Shea Butter brand.

If you have questions about anything I did, or have made your own Shea concoction and have feedback, please let me know!

Until next time, Stay Pretty! 

The first thing I tried from my February Julep Maven box was the Oxygen Nail Treatment. Our nails need a break from polish, even though we may despise a bare nail! I like this oxygen treatment because it doesn’t look entirely bare, but it also is good for our nails!

Things to know if you plan on trying this…it is THICK and dries slloooow. I tried 2 coats out of habit, but the next go round I will just use one!

I sent in a question to Julep regarding their recommendation for 2 coats vs 1 and how many days to leave on before starting over with the treatment (for those of us who want to use it twice a week instead of once). Will let you all know what I hear!

To learn more about Julep and to become a Maven visit http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/96477/

Until then…stay pretty!!

New hair product love!! In the beginning I used EcoStyler Gel…it was alcohol free, held my curls for a good long while, but as my hair got longer the dry time for gel became too much to deal with during the course of the day. I also wanted to use something in my hair that was moisturizing—sure Ecostyler has varieties that have “oils” but how much oil? What’s that artificial coloring added in there? Why not just use my own oil? Well the problem with that is mixing products that don’t actually mix and having your hair look all gross.  

Next I tried Dark n Lovely Curl Defining Creme Glaze.  It was ok but didn’t offer the definition or hold I had come to love from EcoStyler. Great for days I want super duper big hair (yes, larger than in the picture) with minimal curl definition as it dries. I had a sample of Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding  so I decided to try it. I LOVED the moisture it provided and the definition…but the next day…I looked out of a scary movie. It didn’t do anything for my hold and when I added more product for a touch-up…well that didn’t go too well either. Despite this, I Went to the store to purchase more Miss Jessie’s curly pudding, resigning myself to wetting my hair more often (it dried quickly!!), but they did not have any. They did have Curls Unleashed and I needed something (it was almost midnight—my store options were very minimal AND I had to be at church at 7AM, hair done and all) so I decided to give it a try. The verdict?? LOVE!  This product is paraben, mineral oil, and petroleum free. The label does not point it out, but I also did not see any sulfates in the ingredients list. It holds my curls for days and when I needed a bit more product for a little more control, it goes in nicely without any disruption to the curl pattern—simply enhances it. My hair feels very soft and moisturized. I used the conditioner as well and loved it. Will likely use it as a co-wash.  For my deep, once a week conditioner I still love Miss Jessie’s Rapid Recovery Treatment (note: go for the unscented version). My only dislike about the Curls Unleashed is the fragrance…it reminds me much of the smell of Dimetapp. Yup the cold medicine. Hated it then, hate it now. But it dissipates quickly and the product is so wonderful in all other ways I’m willing to over look that fact. Take Command Curl Defining Creme is available at CVS and other retailers for about $14. What products do you love for your curls? Have you tried Curls Unleashed? Will you consider it? If so let me know what you think! 

Stay Pretty, lovelies! 

Note: my hair is not oddly flat in the middle. I had shades on top of my head in this pic, and yes, as always, the funny face is 100% necessary. At all times even ;-)

I’m a Beachbody Coach. As a coach I make recommendations for fitness programs & tools that will work to get you into shape. Its the time of year that we’re all making resolutions to be in better shape, and I’m here to help you get started, and more importantly TO FINISH! I want everyone completely confident and fabulous for summer :-). I’ve got the tools you need so let’s connect. Browse the site, formulate your questions, then contact me to get started.  2012 is around the corner. Don’t be the same you in June. 

I’m starting P90X, Insanity, and other challenge groups in January. Don’t miss out!

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African Black Soap saves lives (and skin!!!)

So I found a very effective, rather nourishing soap that does not contain sulfates to use on my sometimes dry, sometimes oily, acne prone skin (body not face I know…tmi but true). 

I tried at first the the Nubian Heritage African Black soap, pictured bottom right, but did not like it because it has coconut oil, which is an enemy to acne-prone skin.  I found Dudu-Osun online (www.cleopatraschoice.com) and am in love after my first bar. It does not have Coconut oil and the change in my skin has been great. It is calmer and I believe my blemishes are fading which is an ultra plus with summer coming up!

The one concern I have is that it has lime juice…and I can feel the tingling if my skin is sensitive at the time, so I know its got a good amount. Lime juice isn’t bad…but it can make your skin more photosensitive, not what you want when fighting hyper-pigmentation  After I’ve finished up my Dudu-Osun black soap, I will be trying the Cleopatra’s Choice brand, which is less processed. It does however have coconut oil (that stuff is really hard to escape—the price you pay when you don’t make ALL of your own skin care), but I am happy that the coconut oil is one of the last ingredients (meaning less of the stuff). If I do notice an increase in breakouts, I have a few other tricks up my sleeve to address them, but I think I will be OK because of the prior use of the Dudu-Osun and the great feedback people have given the Cleopatra’s Choice black soap in relation to treating their acne. As always, when the shift happens I’ll keep you posted!!

Also pictured here:

Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Why is this important? It is a great, inexpensive, exfoliating toner that tightens pores, keeps’em clean and helps even skin tone.  The best toner I’ve ever used…. or that you’ll ever use, if you’ll give it a try! Please let me know if you do…or if you don’t and maybe there’s some compelling reason that I shouldn’t ;-)

Until next time, stay pretty, lovelies!! 

My February Julep Maven box is here!! This month I got the Bombshell style profile box with the colors Ginger & Laura.  Mavens are the first to get to try out new products and this month Julep sent us Freedom Polymer Topcoat (dries like a gel under natural light, but goes on & comes off like regular polish) AND the new Oxygen Nail Treatment to condition and strengthen nails with a hint of color ;-) 

Julep also included a nifty eyelash curler and two chocolate hearts <3.  The box is neatly packaged with a card that talks about the theme of the month (February is A-List Glam) and the colors included. They package it like a gift, giving me confidence that if I chose to forward to a friend one month that they would receive a neatly packaged box, special for them!  

I opted to take advantage of the opportunity to add some add-ons to my box. Julep gives a choice of a few items you can add to your box at a really awesome discount. I added Helen from the Classic with a Twist profile for just $4.99 as well as some swatch me stickers & some on the go polish remover pads. 

This box is valued at $64 for non-Mavens and $50.40 for Mavens if not purchased as the monthly Maven Box. The Maven box costs just $19.99 with Free S&H :-) I <3 Julep & being a Maven because I love a good deal on things I love!  To learn more and become a Maven visit http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/96477/

Until next time…Stay pretty!!!

Oily skin be gone with Oil!

So after much skeptical thought, I have decided to use the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) to clean my face, in particular to remove my make-up at night. I have friends who swear by it, I’ve seen YouTubers rave about it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsBpXKVcst8), and of course got some good, easy go to instruction from Crunchy Betty (http://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method).

I have fought the battle with my oily skin since my teen years and I have finally come to the conclusion that major cosmetic companies don’t want my skin to be balanced and healthy—they want me dependent on their expensive products and neither my pockets or face want to put up with it any longer. So as part of my natural skin care conversion, we’re trying oils to cleanse & remove makeup :-)

Keeping with the theme of…your skin is your skin, but there are things you can do to make it better, know that ALL OILS ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY!! So let’s talk about some of the options you have to oil cleanse, particularly if you’re an oily-skin having chic like me…

1) castor oil—a must have base oil no matter your skin type. Castor oil is the magic in OCM. It really digs into pores and removes dirt and oil. It is also slightly drying (yes an oil that dries!! a win for the oilies!) so if your skin is combination/dry, you’ll want to choose other oils that are more hydrating (ie avocado or olive oil) to mix with your castor oil

2) Oily skin friendly oils are a must!! I like jojoba because it is light and very closely mimics skin’s natural sebum. This is important because instead of stripping my skin of oils, cleansing with jojoba removes dirty, make-up & toxins of the day filled sebum, and replaces it with a nourishing, clean oil that prevents my skin from going into overdrive to replace oils as a result of stripping its natural oils with harsh, soap-based cleansers.  

3) another oily skin friendly oil—grapeseed. if you’re going to get all oily with it, may as well mix in as many awesome for your skin type oils as you can! Grapeseed oil is VERRRRY light, can be used as a moisturizer for oily skin, and has regenerative properties to help renew and even your skin tone!! It packs a wollop of skin benefits and my brand has vitamin E as well for an added benefit :-)

4) tea tree oil—not really an oil by texture, and not an ingredient i use for the OCM per se. It’s a throw in I add because of it’s antiseptic properties. My skin is still transitioning from harsh chemicals to the OCM. I like adding a few drops of tea tree to the bottle I use to make my oil mixture to help calm my skin and give the castor oil a bit of help with cleaning out these pores!! Tea tree oil is a very potent essential oil. USE VERY SPARINGLY to prevent an all out revolt on your face. A 5% mixture is enough for most folks. 

In the few weeks I have used the OCM I have found that my skin has been less oily. I blot about 1x/day , and sometimes its sheerly out of habit, but not because I have an oil slick brewing on my face.  In the last week, my breakouts have subsided immensely so it seems my skin is adjusting nicely.  I plan to continue this and have gotten rid of my salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide cleansers.  I still have some traditional moisturizers I’m wrapping up (can’t throw away everything! This is about transitioning AND saving money so when products aren’t likely to do more harm than good, I’m finishing them out. The soaps would confuse my skin, so they had to go. A moisturizer is not likely to have this effect) and will eventually move to grapeseed oil as a moisturizer, perhaps with a hint of olive oil.  

The mixture I came up with (castor oil, grapseed oil, jojoba oil, lavender essential oil & tea tree oil) is about 1 part each of the 1st three, and just 5% tea tree oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil, which is also calming and antiseptic. It is actually a tad bit drying so I will add just a FEEWWWW drops of olive oil in the palm of my hands, rub them together, then pour a teaspoon or so of the mixture of my other oils into my hands, warm them in my hands and smear them all over my face, giving a good massage.

After about 2 minutes of good oil rub-in, I take a clean washcloth, run it under hot water, then place it on my face for a few to reaaally open my pores before I use it to wipe off all the makeup.  Repeat a few times to clean all the makeup off, and moisturize with a bit of extra oil (again, I like just plan grapeseed or a moisturizer for this) and VOILA all clean :-) 

Happy finding-the-mixture-of-oils-that-works-for-you and glorious natural skin cleaning!!

The pic shows the oils I use and a small travel bottle where I mix them up for quick use each evening without having to mix by hand every.single.night. Plus, having them mixed in a bottle makes for much easier, safe, and accurate tea tree oil dilution!

New Year, New Foods, New Use

Many of you know I am a totally sold out slave to cosmetics and just about all things beauty.  I am also officially entering my 30s, with no going back so its waaay past time to be more fiscally responsible and I’m spending waaaaayy too much on skin care products.  A friend of mine suggested I try using baking soda as a way to cleanse my face (she actually recommended a mixture of cetaphil cleanser and baking soda). I thought about it for WEEKS and finally tried it. I LOVED the results. It has been more effective in softening my skin and cleaning out my pores than many of the much more expensive facial masks that I have purchased (Clinique and kate somerville come to mind as examples).  So I started just using a paste of baking soda and water (I really don’t enjoy the cetaphil gentle cleanser and the way the formula feels on my face. Try it both ways though, you may like it and her skin always looks amazing!) a few times a week to deep clean and exfoliate :-). I feel it working (I am not convinced that things are “working” to exfoliate if there’s not a lil sting involved lol) and there are noticeable results each time I finish with it. 

Using baking soda as a facial cleanser/scrub (at the whopping cost of about $5/box) saves me TONS OF MONEY on facial masks and exfoliants. I also like that unlike many of the exfoliants found at CVS, there are no shells, or nuts in baking soda.  The scrubs can actually create small scratches in the surface of your skin and lead to more breakouts.  I will post pics with the baking soda the next time I use it. I’ve also branched out to other methods of natural skin care…Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner…raw honey as a face wash..using the oil cleansing method to remove make-up. The plan is to phase out most of the cleansers/scrubs and perhaps even moisturizers, and replace them with kitchen friendly items :-). Stay tuned!!

Bondi Tavern on the. This color surprised me as I tend to shy away from greens. This one I can do and will keep it in my fall color lineup. I really enjoy the application of Bondi and the rich creme formulas. This was actually a day 3 mani pic with a little tip wear but no chips. Fantastic for me !!! The only drawback to the formula is that it takes a really long time to dry. I have myself an hour before bed, used Zoya fast dry drops, but still woke up with sheet marks. This is a young company with lots of fresh ideas. I love the color and that the formula is 5-free so I’m definitely sticking around to see if a fast dry top coat is in our future ;) in the meantime, I’ll just start painting in the afternoon lol.

Until next time…Stay Pretty!!

Yes, it’s my 3rd maybe 4th polish change this week. So. I like to get things right and help other polish junkies with swatches. I’m going to try keeping this mani til Monday…by then I’ll have my Zoya remove+ so at least I can be good to my nails while removing polish ;) happy to report the peeling and chipping has stopped despite the frequent polish changes. I credit that to a daily dose of Julep Reveal & using Julep Nail Therapy Base Coat, a must have for me! Oh…the color in the picture? That’s Julep Glenn.

Until my next mani post, you kno what to do ;)

Stay Pretty!

To become a Julep Maven, get free shipping, and discounted prices on all things Julep click here: http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/96477/

While searching for Shea Butter, I saw this product at http://www.cleopatraschoice.com/?pdRewardsRef=RCYBLD.  The product information on the site begins “We highly recommend this cream for any one seeking relief from Psoriasis, Eczema, rashes or other skin conditions. If the name seems silly - believe us, try it and you’ll know why it’s called “magic cream”. This cream has received highly positive reviews in many magazines, on “The View” and by many blogs and online reviewers. It works great on hair as well as skin and is overall a very effective product.” Based on this and reading the comments in the various articles and recommendations by celebrities I had to give it a try!

At first glance I loved the simplicity of this product—just 6 natural ingredients!  I was a little taken back that a good portion of the ingredients in Egyptian Magic are some bodily excretion of bees (Royal Jelly and bee propolis namely…but once I got past this, and realized how amazing it is for soothing my skin, I actually started thanking those busy lil’ bees!  ;-)

I also read some of the customer reviews at www.egyptianmagic.com and was hoping that it would be as effective at clearing up my acne scars and acne as it had been for some of the other users, but that has not been my experience.  However, I have found that EM is GREAT…no,  PHENOMENAL even, for dry skin and eczema, which I have occasional patches of on various places. 

As soon as I used it on my eczema patches, it was IMMEDIATELY soothing, working to provide relief much sooner than even my prescription strength cortisone cream.  It also resolves the eczema much faster than my prescription. The only thing the cortisone does that the EM does not is help to heal/fade the resulting brown mark from the eczema flare up.  The relief is worth it though. I recommend this product for anyone who has skin irritations and/or is curious about the other uses discussed on the EM site. I like it as a very replenishing, hydrating, protective and restorative night creme for my face and also use it to hydrate other parts of  my body that may be dry. It is well worth the price at $36.95 (on sale now for $29.95!!) for 4 oz. A little of this product goes a VERY long way and it is less than other creams that are not nearly as versatile.  It is also available at Whole Foods stores for those of you who do not want to buy online!

I’m almost out of my 1st jar (it lasts a while—bought it in January) and am very excited to see it’s on sale at Cleopatra’s now! whoo!

After some confusion with my front desk folks…we won’t go there…I finally got my Maven Box yesterday (which was available to me on Saturday apparently—please excuse the late reveal).

This month I went with the “Classic with a Twist” box as the other style profiles were a bit too bright for me. I really like Simone (pictured above with a Harley stripe). I have not tried Debra yet….will post when I do!

I tried a lil something different with the stripe that I saw and posted about yesterday…clearly I need nail tape (and to pay more attention! The stripe in yesterday’s mani was at the edge, not away from it!!) to really pull this look off, but it was worth trying something different and will get me through the next few days until it’s time to paint again!

This box also came with Julep’s new Rock Star Hand Creme. I like the mess-free twist top, and light fragrance of this, but I’m not overly impressed with the creme itself. My hands get pretty dry in the winter so I’m not sure it’s up to the challenge. For late spring and summer….I’m sure it will be perfect! After I finish up my current hand creme, I’m definitely tossing the Rock Star in my purse!

I also received a Strawberry Mint flavored lip balm. I found it to be very moisturizing and highly glossy. Its also got a good amount of flavor if you’re into that ;-) No add-ons for me this month, so as usual the standard box included all pictured in the top pic for just $19.99, a great discount off their regular prices ($54 for non-mavens, $42.80 for Mavens)

Any questions about any of these products let me know! I do not work for Julep or represent them in anyway but I’m happy to share my experience with you.

I got way too excited when I first became a Maven (just in December) and took advantage of just about every sale that I could so I have lots of polishes to swatch and share with you guys…

Please stay and DO something pretty today!!

Click here to learn more about the Maven program and to sign up! Get your first box FRE

E with code FREEBOX.  Thanks for using my link, I appreciate the referral :-)

Julep Cupid Mystery Box!
Colors from left to right:
Glenn, Sienna, Sarah, Hermione (white crackle), and Poppy lip vernis. I also got a promo code for a free nail color :)

Although the lip gloss is not my shade, and I’m not too sure about the crackle, I do love Glenn & Sienna and a code to choose a color I’ve wanted for a while. Well worth the $19 & taking a chance! Looking forward to the next mystery box!

2

Julep Colors of the Week & the FREEDOM Polymer Top Coat

Heather & a Mystery glitter accent :-) Topped off with the new Freedom PolymerTop Coat.

Lately the expression “yayaya is everything” has been said about things often and I never really understood the passion behind the given topic that would cause a person to say that it is EVERYTHING. I mean, everything is well…everything, encompassing all things, but in these cases, with an emphasis on the most wonderful and delicious things that are a part of everything. Well I have met my Julep EVERYTHING. And it is this FREEDOM Polymer Topcoat. Why? It is everything they promised. It gives a fast drying result in just 2 minutes under a 60 watt bulb. Better than any other fast drying topcoat and Quick Dry Drops I’ve ever used, this top coat is my EVERYTHING and I now never want to be without it! More to post later about whether it is indeed longer lasting than my manis with other top coats, but for now I’m impressed enough that after applying it and sitting with my nails to a light for just 2 minutes I was FREE to do whatever I wanted and have SMUDGE FREE, DISASTER FREE, PERFECTLY PAINTED NAILS! My manis have been delivered from the evil of pre-mature imperfections. Thanks Julep. i <3 you guys for giving me my EVERYTHING top coat.

To try it for yourself at the discounted rate, with free shipping, considering becoming a Maven. I’d be so grateful if you used my referral link! 

http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/96477/

Get you first box free with code FREEBOX

Stay Pretty folks (and do it faster and more confidently with this top coat!)!

3

Trading Palmer’s Cocoa Butter FORMULA for Shea Butter…

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula has been  a staple in my life for fighting ashiness and providing deep moisture since I was a child. The transition to natural skin care has me really carefully looking at labels.  I’m kind of appalled that the Palmer’s cocoa butter I used to love, is a FORMULA and not simply cocoa butter.  NO MORE FAUX-COA BUTTER FORMULA FOR ME!  Natural, pure cocoa butter is a great, vitamin rich moisturizer.  Palmers is some cocoa butter extract, a hodgepodge of inorganic ingredients and MINERAL OIL—a petroleum (as in gasoline…yup car fuel) byproduct.  The safety of mineral oil is debatable, but just the fact that its a part of gasoline, which fuels my car, is crazy flammable, and has carcinogenic components is enough for me to to say “no, thanks” to mineral oil containing products. 

I currently use a mixture of 100% pure Ivory Shea Butter (Out of Africa brand) & jojoba oil to nourish my skin. I prefer Shea over cocoa butter because cocoa butter can clog pores in some people with acne (like moi—especially when combined with mineral oil!!) and because shea butter has been found to be richer in numerous vitamins than cocoa butter.  Shea butter is also a natural sunscreen, unlike cocoa butter so I’m getting additional uses out of it.  I mix my shea butter with jojoba (which I also use in my hair and as part of my oil cleansing) to help it be easier absorbed by my skin and for some additional skin benefits. Right now I’m just melting the butter into my hands  by rubbing them together then adding a few drops of oil, rubbing again and applying. Sure it takes a little more time than a few pumps of lotion, but my skin is much happier as a result of the extra effort. Eventually I’ll mix butter & oil together by melting the shea butter, adding my oils and placing into a jar :-) I love that I can customize my natural products to meet my skin’s needs and personal preferences! 

I’m ecstatic about the change now, but admit that initially my skin FREAKED OUT from not using Aveeno, Cetaphil or Palmer’s…..it would be all super itchy by the end of the day. Transitions are not always easy and your skin may go into shock.  I’m glad I stuck with it, because after about a week, my skin is softer, I’ve noticed marks I’ve had for years getting noticeably lighter, and my skin isn’t going through chemical withdrawal anymore—no more night time itchies!! So far all shifting my skin care to natural products with ingredients I can pronounce and obtain at Vitamin Shoppe is going well. Post to come on the fun of making my own shea butter mixture! I’m here to answer any questions you may have!  Toodles for now!

5

I am all about my natural skin & hair care…but I also love cosmetics. Nails are an accessory that need care and can be shown off!! I love experimenting with different polishes and have found Julep to be my favorite brand!

What’s so awesome about Julep?
1)It is 4-free (toulene and some of the other bad stuff in other polishes won’t be found in Julep!) Go natural cosmetics!!

2) They have an AM-AZ-ING referral program! Each month you get VIP access to their newest colors. They will ship you 2 NEW colors AND a new full size product PLUS samples at a DEEPLY discounted price!! You will have an opportunity to add even more things to your monthly Maven at a great discount. Don’t like commitment? Don’t want new polish every month? You can skip it or send to a friend! For details & to let them know you heard about it from me go here!!

2)They support organizations that support women with part of the proceeds. I love when doing something good for me goes to do something really good for someone else!

3) they have amazing colors!!!!! that last longer than any brand I’ve tried at home on my own (yes, this includes OPI and Essie).

I’ve attached a few of the many I have so far lol. I catch their amazing sales…and the Secret Store that is only open to Mavens!! I got the Oprah’s Favorite Things 2012 set in the Secret Store for over 60% off!!!!!

Pic 1: Ivy

pic 2 (middle left): Alfre

Pic 3 (middle right): Vivien

Pic 4 (bottom left): UPDATE!!! the color is Dakota

Pic 5 (bottom right): Ivy (up close!)

I’ll post pics as I go through the colors I have as I try them. Just signed up as a maven late last year so I’m getting my first Maven Box in a few days! Can’t wait to share it with you! Until next time…

http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/96477/

The Post Lent-Update

Firstly…I am aware I suck at regular updates. I’m not prepared to promise to do better. It’s my blog and I’ll post when I wanna.  SO….The no fast food for lent thing…besides a few hiccups went surprisingly well. I cooked more, ate crap less, wanted crap even less, and now that I’ve had crap (post lent) felt like crap and now want crap EVEN LESS. nearly killed myself trying to do a workout after eating some foolishness. Workout not done, I ended up asleep by 8PM like some hobo sleeping off a hangover, and am now 1 day further from reaching my fitness goals. That’s not what’s hot. AT ALL.

So, I have learned to put emphasis on preparing my foods at home, being prepared with healthy snacks, and to say NO to crack donalds in the best interest of having the best body possible for summer…and not to feel hungover and in bed before my grams…b/c…that’s not hot…and I don’t drink :-(

The Secret to My Hair

I wear my hair naturally, usually in some partially wet, curly fro. Why partially wet? Because water makes the magic of my curl happen, and gel holds it. I just let that junk air dry…no heat needed.

Anyways…I’m always being approached about what magic ingredient I use in my hair, or whether or not its processed, or just how I get it to curl like that.  People sometimes want to touch it, and they always approach me with this childlike curiousity…there’s no magic, no hair mojo. It’s just natural.  This is the texture that I got and I work it how I do. I encourage anyone who’s going natural or who is natural to take on the same attitude…but on to this mornings adventure…

I get on the shuttle bus to the hospital where I work.  Lady sits behind me and *whispers* “excuse me”. She was so quiet that I thought maybe she was saying excuse me b/c she’d belched or farted…hearing or smelling neither, I turn around.

She’s leaning over, peering thru the small space between the seats, staring at me intensely.  She whispers…again…”swwwh sswwhh shww, your hair…swwh swwh”. Me “excuse me?” and I think to myself…is this chic sick? Maybe she can’t speak audibly b/c I certainly can’t hear her…

she continues “shwwwsh, shwwhsh…use in your hair?” Oh! I wet it and put in this Fantasia Hair Polisher Gel. 

Now of course I’m sort of whispering now b/c she’s whispering. Still not sure what the secret is though… she goes “shhwsshh shshww?”

Now I’m beginning to feel like this is more of a conversation about buying weed on the way to work than it is about hair products. I say “huh?” She says “so what’s the name of the product” and I repeated it to her, adding that she could find it at CVS.

It occured to me that this chic was not ill, she just had a bad case of “Baby-Voiced Darius” (c) Awkward Black Girl www.awkwardblackgirl.com check it out if you don’t know….

Probably the most strange interaction I’ve had abt my hair…whispered on a shuttle in the space b/w the two seats in the row I was seated on this morning…hmm

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