Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Smell Like a French Woman

I have an aunt who is a world traveler.  She always brings back the most amazing things.  I live through her travels a little because I'm not able to jet set quite yet.  I'm a single lady with a little one, and stability is my life.
On one of her many trips, she stopped in France.  While there, she was able to visit some of the oldest perfumeries in Europe.  Good stuff.
At any rate, she picked up a lovely scent called Diamant by a brand called Fragonard and gave me a bottle.
Let me explain something.  I am typically a fan of sweet, fruity, floral scents.  I'm talking straight up cotton candy sugar candied vomit.  I like to smell like I walked out of a fantasy bakery.  This is one of the few perfumes that doesn't even fall into that category that I am absolutely in love with. It's a perfect balance of sweet florals and toned down vanilla and patchouli.  It's amazing.  It's slightly peppery and so full without being overwhelming.  It's fragrance art in a bottle.

Because this was give to me as a gift, I have no idea what pricing is like, but I recommend this.  It's intoxicating.  I will be hunting this down and storing for life.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bumblewood Soap Review

This past Saturday was International Lolita Day.  For those that are curious, just Google it and Lolita Fashion for more information.  I am so excited about soap, and I don't want to get side tracked.

At any rate, my friends and I stopped into a local shop called Pretty+Planned.  It's a lovely shop. We were lured in by a sign that read "Pretty things inside", and they delivered.  It was a shop dedicated mostly to weddings, but they happened to carry some nice skincare items.

Being a soapaholic, I picked up a bar of soap from a company called Bumblewood Handmade.  I decided on the Apple Pie bar because it is a holiday exclusive, and I am all about that holiday spirit.
As the name suggest, it smells just like a fresh baked apple pie, right down to the spices.  Delicioso. It lathers nicely and makes you feel squeaky clean without drying out the skin.  I have my eyes on a few other scents and products I would like to try from this company.  I love how they combine rustic and pretty.  It's highly appealing.

I paid $8.00 for this bar which I feel is a fair price.  One must remember that handmade soaps are expensive to produce and are considered a luxury item. It is indulgent and carefully crafted with love. It is not a massed produced item that you can just purchase from a your local department store. This soap is special. :)

If you would like to try this bar or any other items offered by this company, please click the link below.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Review

I know there are a million other people with this palette already, but I want to have my say as well.

The reality is that many makeup palettes look differently on woman of color.  We have deeper tones, and this does impact the wa that certain colors look on us compared to someone with a light to medium complexion.  So I am going to review from that perspective.

Let's just talk about the packaging for a moment.  Too Faced never ceases to amaze me with their lovely packaging.  The design team needs to stay paid, consistently.  It's cute, evocative of what they are offering, and functional.  This is not a flimsy thing.  It's sturdy.
The smell is WOW!  It smells just like chocolate.  Smells good enough to eat, but I will refrain from doing so. :)  The color concentration is fantastic.  It's build-able and goes on smoothly. I did't experience any fall out or patchiness.  Once I put them on my skin, I did realize that the lighter colors did appear true to color with building and were visible with building.  Everything is vibrant and works for me perfectly.  The browns actually show up on my skin and the pinks are pink on my skin as well, but I still use a white base for a brighter pink at times.  That is a huge plus because there have been times where I bought something that just looked like a base for the other colors I use in my makeup look.

I was afraid that I was buying for beauty and would only be using a few colors.  But I have used every single shade. This is actually my go to palette for most of my makeup looks currently.  It's versatile and so pretty.  I just can't help myself.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Etude House

I love beauty products.  I like sampling something from all over the globe when I can. It's an adventure of sorts.  Different ingredients and fragrances make taking care of m outside that much more fun.  This time, I wanted to try some Korean beauty products.  Etude House is widely popular, and the packaging is alluring.

I had been eyeing some products from Etude House for a little while and finally purchased them.  I must say that I'm rather impressed by the quality.  I will do a short review of each item.
Etude House Berry Delicious Strawberry Body Soft Milk

I am in love with this.  It spreads easily and is absorbed into the skin easily.  The scent last quite awhile.  My only complaint is how runny it is.  It's less cream, and definitely more milk.  This a actually a benefit though.  I just don't like how messy the cap can get, but I can live with that.  It does a great job on my dry skin.  Especially my hands. I plan to buy this in bulk at some point.  It's quite nice.  I got this on eBay for right under $10.

Etude Hose Belle Dress Pretty Look Shower Cologne

There are actually several scents from this line.  This is just the one that I decided to try first.  Not only is the packaging cute, but the smell is intoxicating.  It almost smells like Pure Seduction by Victoria's Secret, but sweeter and a tad lighter.  It is my personal opinion that perhaps the scent would last longer if I had used all the items from the line, but it does well.  I will be trying all the others. This is an older release, so eBay or Amazon are your friend.  I found mine on eBay for just under $9.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finishing Up

The great thing about his whole transitioning process is how much less time I spend on my hair.  The routine is easy to follow, and I can do it even when I'm busted tired.  What's also great is how I deal with my hair after the washing and conditioning are completed.

After rinsing out my conditioner, I towel dry my hair for about 10 minutes.  Some use a wet t-shirt, but the towel works just fine for me.  Next, I section my hair into quadrants and pin each section in place.  I just want to note that I don't use a comb for sectioning.  I just glide my finger along my scalp and GENTLY section the hair.  If you are using a good conditioner, your hair shouldn't be tangled. Especially if you comb your conditioner through root to tip during the conditioning process.

The next step is a detangler and leave in conditioner in one and it is my absolute favorite.
I divide my sections in half so I work with a total of 8 sections.  I apply a dime sized amount to each section and work it through root to tip.  Then I detangle with the comb going from end to root.  The reason I do this is because the new growth needs the most moisture and convincing.  This product is amazing.  It's $11.99 at Target.  It seems a a bit pricey, but you will have no tangles or frizz.  It does the job of about 3 or 4 products as well which makes it a good value.

Next, I moisturize my hair, evenly distributing the product.  

I use about a quarter size for this because I don't manipulate my hair much during the week.  So I need to make sure there is enough product to keep my hair from drying out.  Then I just seal it all in with coconut oil. This is $5.50 and available at Dollar General stores.

Once I have done this to each section, I just braid my hair.  Right now I like the goddess braids. Mainly because I can wear them just as they are or let them down for a pretty, soft braid out.  It only takes about 5 minutes to do that and pin them up.  I never use heat.  I just let my hair air dry.  I also wear satin to cover my hair every night.  It doesn't snag or dry the hair like cotton.

Sometimes a styling gel is necessary to keep wispy hairs or stubborn strands in place.  Especially the edges.  They can get pretty rough when transitioning.
This gel is alcohol free, works for all hair types, will not dry your hair or cause breakage, and it's cheap. $2.99

And that's it.  Not a bunch of products.  Not a ton of money.  Growing healthy, natural hair should be simple.  It is what you're born with after all.  I'm glad to be loving mine.  I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to get there.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Conditioning Time

My conditioning routine is simple.  I start with a scalp massage of my favorite oil (usually a blend of JBCO and coconut oil in equal parts) the night before or with a hot oil treatment an hour before washing.  Covering the hair with a plastic cap or a thermal cap really helps these things penetrate. After this, I wash or co wash and move on to the deep conditioning part.

I currently have three of them in rotation.  Each week, I choose the conditioner based on my hair needs.  I don't mix them or get interesting with oils.  I deep condition once a week, religiously, because my hair is thick and soaks up everything. These are my current favorites:
I have great success with this deep conditioner. I love the smell, the thick texture, and the lack of harsh ingredients. It does fairly well with detangling because it has nice slip.  I feel like my scalp is moist but clean after using this.  Because I am transitioning, I focus on the entire hair shaft.  My chief complaints is the price which is a steep $16.99
I only use this every other week.  It does a wonderful job.  I actually like the smell which is reminiscent of my childhood.  The texture it thick and it slides down the hair nicely.  However, this is best as protein treatment for me.  It has great slip, but it makes my hair tougher.  It does ease the detangling process quite well.  It's moderately priced at $11.99
Let me just state up front that this conditioner does contain a "cone", but it is listed as one of the last ingredients.  This stuff is magic.  It has all the slip.  It is by far the best for detangling.  I wasn't sure about it at first, but I'm in love with it.  I will be clarifying regularly because it does have cone, but this has made my life so much easier.  I picked this up at Sam's Club for $2.91

Tomorrow I will post my after wash routine which is even simpler.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Changes...Lots of Changes

It has been forever!  And rather than bore, I want to do a short update.  So here it goes.  I have decided to go natural.  I am only about 6 months post relaxer bur managing it well.
I am still obsessed with beauty products.
I am still on a journey for longer, healthier hair.  It just took me some time to figure out some things about myself.  30 came and went, and so did some enlightenment.  So here I am, loving me, living life and doing just fine.
I would like to talk about my current regimen.  It's not product heavy for a reason.  I am over being a product junkie.  It's a waste of money, honestly.  I am a sticking to something that works for my hair and helps me keep my sanity as I transition.  Today though, I will just be covering the shampoo portion.

I have a method to my madness.  I alternate between shampoo and co wash creme with one clarifying wash a month.  The reason for this is due to my frequent oil treatments whether it be for a scalp massage or keeping my scalp dandruff free. My hair is thick as well, so I use a decent amount of product.  All this has to come out and co washing isn't sufficient for total product build up removal. This is what 4 weeks of hair washing looks like for me:

Week 1: clarifying wash with clarifying shampoo
Week 2: Co wash with co wash creme
Week 3:shampoo wash with moisturizing shampoo
Week 4: co wash with co wash creme

Then I repeat.  It may seem crazy, but it works for me.
Here are the products I use:
This shampoo is free of parabens, sulfates, and other harsh detergents.  It does still remove build up like a dream.  I picked mine up from Sally for $6.99.
This is so much more than a conditioner. It gently removes debris from the hair and is gentle on the scalp.  It's affordable and easily accessible as it is sold at Dollar General for about $5.50
This shampoo is incredibly moisturizing.  It is not all natural, but it cleans without stripping my hair. The price is right as well at $4.99 for a large bottle.  It's a good staple item.  It is not paraben or sulfate free, but my hair likes it.

I will be back with information my current conditioning regimen.