Thursday, June 23, 2011

a bit of randomness: double buns

i tried out a variety of styles last week for my natural anniversary, some kinda hot and some.....well, at least it was different, right? i normally pull my bangs back with a bobby pin or wear a high bun to prevent them from sticking out (fyu: the bangs i cut in january are past my nose and headed for my chin!), but last week i took to wearing them in a large two-strand twist or pushed to the side. how funny that a small change like that could cause a bit of a stir at work, since the lab is the LAST place people usually experiment with different hair and makeup looks!

on wednesday, i decided to go a little old-school and rock some fun pigtails. at the last minute, i folded them into buns and headed out the door. i definitely got some strange looks, but i also got lots of compliments. definitely a look i'll repeat in the future!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

three years solid!: my june length check

as some of you may know, i recently celebrated my third natural anniversary on june 13th. (yay!!) i was hesitant to do a length check since straightening with all the humidity this time of year would be pretty pointless, but curiosity got the best of me last week when i was prepping my hair for a wash and go. i had noticed in the days following that ponytail picture i posted recently that my hair was, in fact, past my shoulders when secured in a DRY low pony. this made me wonder....i mean, this didn't happen when i was BSL...could it be that i had gotten to MBL by my goal date??
turns out.....i was right! i do believe that this is the first time in all three years that i have reached a goal on time....what a great feeling though. even though i did this to get rid of the curiosity that was plaguing me, i didn't accomplish THAT goal. funny thing is, it made me want to straighten it all out even more. welp, the countdown to cooler weather begins....

it would be awesome if i could make it to waist length before the year is out. i usually set goals for the latter half of the year around my birthday in october, but i'm gonna need some wiggle room on this one. i am pretty sure i will need a 1-2" trim...not to mention that will give me time to find my almost nonexistent waist *smile*.

thanks for looking, guys!

Friday, June 10, 2011

sephora haul + diorshow maximizer lash plumping serum pre-view

i've been trying to get to my local sephora for a few weeks now, but i'm usually so exhausted after work that i don't feel like driving out of the way to walk around the mall. last weekend i ran out of mufe hd foundation and my hand was kind of forced, so on monday i dragged my boyfriend out to southpoint so i could play in makeup.

i've been dying to pick up a lash primer since my friend mina made a blog post last month on long, dramatic, way-out-there-but-still-natural-looking lashes. it featured a youtube tutorial by the fab @shannontboodram of those girls are wild, and the pics alone were enough to convince me that this was something i needed in my life. after scooping up the mufe foundation (#153 for me), i made a beeline to the smashbox lash primer. although i already knew i wanted it, i tried it on just for kicks (making sure to test it out with BE flawless definition, since that's my go-to mascara these days) before heading directly to the register. right before i made it to the line, i was distracted by a group of women getting these outrageously glam false lashes applied...then BOOM -- i was sidetracked by a salesgirl named nicolette. i generally try to avoid the sales associates because they are incredibly adept at separating me from my money and selling me something i really don't need (that, or maybe i'm just gullible), but nicolette, a pretty brunette michelle trachtenberg look-alike, made enough small talk to make me WANT to try her recommendation. after asking me why i chose that specific primer, she began talking up a discovery she made a few months ago. the next thing i knew, i had swapped out the smashbox lash primer for diorshow maximizer, a primer that is more of a serum and lash enhancer....and also $12 more.

back when i started this blog, i was a diorshow mascara freak, and although the formulas are pretty great (especially iconic), the pretty packaging is probably what kept me loyal to the brand for about three years. i switched about a year ago when i stopped being such a mascara brand whore (haha) and discovered bare escentuals flawless definition, a formula that gives me a little volume and lots of length without being too flashy or dramatic. in conjunction with the diorshow maximizer, though, i have these incredibly fluttery, thick, long lashes with just enough curl to them that i can skip the eyelash curler. seriously....they would probably brush up against the lenses of my glasses if they weren't curled! according to dior, this primer also "promotes long-term lash growth, strength, and vitality," something i didn't even know a primer could do. if what they claim is true, it'll be way more than the packaging that keeps me repurchasing this.

full review on the maximizer, complete with before and after pictures, coming soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

north carolina natural haircare expo 2011 -- who's going?

i got wind of an upcoming natural hair expo here in the triangle this coming weekend via my new twitter account....and i couldn't be more excited!

the event, which will be held on the 11th and 12th in raleigh, will have "various LIVE entertainment, artistic flare from surrounding salons, jewelry makers, lecturers who specialize in holistic health, mind, body, and spirit." the class schedule is also posted, and i gotta say the one about starting your own hair care business looks GREAT! hopefully i'll be able to get off work in time for that particular class....but if not, i'm sure i'll find something equally interesting.

interested? you can get more info, including the schedule of events and participating vendors, here.

followup to "the score: giovanni smooth as silk shampoo"

i don't like to shampoo my hair.

i tried the giovanni SAS shampoo about a day or two after i blogged about it. i love everything about it, the smell, the texture, the feel....but what i don't love is how it made my hair feel, and of course, that's the most important thing here. *big collective sigh*

my method of shampooing is to apply the product to my fingertips, then distribute it on my roots, since a) the purpose of shampooing is to clean your scalp and b) it's the best and quickest way for ME to tell how it's going to affect my hair. for those shampoos that work well with my hair, like aubrey organics gbp and kinky curly come clean, the suds will simply distribute down to my ends and my hair will feel clean, but not stripped or extremely dry. for those that we (me and my hair *smile*) can't get along with, like ALL shampoos with sulfates, organix shampoos, and unfortunately giovanni SAS, my fingers get trapped in my roots and i have to use half a bottle of conditioner to add the moisture back in. it's shampoos like these where i have a serious problem on my hands if i don't DC after washing.

before i relegate it to the body wash stockpile (or give it away), i think i'll try mixing in some conditioner as i shampoo my hair. i've heard this can cut down on the drying effect. anyone know of any other tips and tricks that can cut down on this tangling effect?

something's a little different...

if you've been around these parts for a while now, you may have noticed the new twitter feed over in the side bar. last week, i created a twitter account for my up-and-coming site....and it went live yesterday! in one day i hit 100 followers, and i couldn't be more excited. thanks so much for the support, and of course i'll keep you guys posted on the site's progress!

in the meantime, follow @NaturalHairMojo HERE!

the ever-growing ponytail + sealing

i have some super exciting news that i can't WAIT to share.....but i also have an awesome pic of my ponytail that i too last night after cowashing!

sigh.....if it only looked like this post-shrinkage...maybe one day. =)

i cowashed with tj nourish spa, used a t-shirt to soak up most of the water, added more tj nourish spa back into my damp hair, sealed with sweet almond oil and let it hang! sealing is something i struggle to be consistent with, as my long-time followers know....but i've been better with it for the past few weeks after a conversation with elle (@curlyheadedpj on twitter). we were discussing humidity, leave-ins and sealing and how the NC weather affects all of these things when i decided that maayyybbeee i'd better give it a try to keep in the moisture on these hot, hot days. since then, i've found that a quarter-sized amount of sweet almond oil is enough for my ends.

as i've also stated before, i think there's a noticeable difference between my hair when it's sealed vs. when it's not sealed...for instance, the pic from last night's blog entry shows my hair in an unsealed state (is that a word? it's fluffier, less defined and seems to feel dry faster without it. softer? yes...but i'd trade the teeny bit of softness i lose for the other benefits any day!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

sunday randomness

found this on my boyfriend's camera. not the greatest picture, but i think my hair (just a simple WNG) looks pretty great. ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the score: giovanni smooth as silk shampoo

i could have never predicted yesterday when i wrote that post on giovanni SAS that i would run across the deal i found today at my local whole foods! i made a pit stop after work to pick up some macaroni elbows and a bag of apples ( and i saw a small display of giovanni styling products near one of the registers. instead of looking through the various gels, pomades and creams as was the intention of the rack, i made a beeline for the health and beauty section, realizing that a sale on styling products probably meant a sale on the shampoos and conditioners, too. boy, was i right....everything from the tea tree line to the 50:50 products and my beloved SAS are on sale this week for $5.59 a bottle. what's more is many bottles have a $1 off manufacturer's coupon attached to them, making them only $4.59, a great buy since they are usually $7-8. while it is still more economical to get the liter bottle, i documented my troubles with that already, not to mention the smaller size lets me pick the ones i want to try WHEN i want to try them. today's pick was the SAS shampoo. although i haven't tried it yet, it sounds promising...

*on the scale from clarifying to moisturizing, the bottle claims that this product is the most moisturizing of their line.
*it contains no sulfates, an additive that I KNOW dries out my hair and skin.
*this shampoo is certified vegan and it's good for me and the environment.
*it contains vegetable protein, which the label claims "cleanses gently," "alleviates frizz," and even "increases shine."

well, we'll see if it's all that is claims to be. if not, my search for that elusive perfect shampoo will continue!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the ups and downs of trader joe's nourish spa conditioner

about a year ago, i made the (unconscious) decision to switch to all- or mostly natural hair care products. not that i have anything against my beloved VO5, herbal essences or ion products, but as part of an overhaul of my diet and general lifestyle, it just made sense to convert my hair products, too. it wasn't as hard on my wallet as i thought: i find giovanni products on sale at my local whole foods pretty often, i caught a killer sale on aubrey organics, so i'm good on DC for a while, and there is always marshall's and tjmaxx when i need a liter of giovanni smooth as silk or 50:50 (a product i haven't tried.....YET). as for some of the more "trendy" lines, kinky-curly is more expensive than i am used to, but one bottle of come clean shampoo lasts me a few months, and since i don't care too much for the curling custard and knot today, i don't have to break the bank on the whole line. jane carter, shea moisture, qhemet biologics and oyin handmade are next on my list. however, the frugalista in me loves the fact that there is a cheapie line i can turn to: trader joe's nourish spa.

while i haven't tried the shampoo (y'all know how finicky my hair is with that stuff), i believe i actually talked about tj nourish spa conditioner quite some time 2 or 3 years ago. back in the day, i couldn't decide if i liked it or not, since it seemed a little too thick for a cowash conditioner, but not quite nourishing enough to use as a DC. well....though i haven't really talked about it, the conditioner has actually been a part of my regimen for a few months now.

i have heard for a loooong time that it is comparable to giovanni smooth as silk, but since i never used that specific giovanni product, it didn't matter to me. that all changed around december of last year when i found the entire giovanni line on sale for $5 at whole foods and picked up the smooth as silk conditioner instead of the direct leave-in. as some of you may know, i'm from the "i'll try anything once" school of thought, so it wasn't a huge decision to grab the SAS instead of GDLI, especially since i was trying to decide if i liked the new version of GDLI as much as the other. long story short? it was great as a DC, but ROCKED as a cowash conditioner AND a leave-in!

now i'm not gonna lie, i'm used to getting a lot more conditioner for $5 (i believe their products come in 8oz bottles) but my hair was responding so great that i said 'forget it' and kept purchasing. i was in heaven when i came across the liter pump bottle at tjmaxx for $12.99, but being that i could only find the SAS in virginia, that joy didn't last too long. while i continued to run into the two local stores every week hoping to find a stray bottle, i decided to give tj nourish spa another go. i guess it was because i fell in love with SAS, but this time my hair responded IMMEDIATELY to nourish spa -- it stays soft, moisturized and tangle-free, and i can go longer without cowashing, too. i call it my "triple threat" since i can use it as a DC, cowash and leave-in. besides, it's got the other things on my "dream hair product" list: no offensive smell, readily available, pretty good ingredients, and fantastic portability. since i (re)discovered tj nourish spa, i've gifted it to my mom, sister and recommended it to a few coworkers as well. i mean, who doesn't need a multipurpose, all natural, CHEAP conditioner/moisturizer/styling product?

not bad for $3, huh?

ingredients: purified water, organic rosemary oil, organic valencia orange citrus, organic mango, organic lemongrass, organic ginko biloba, organic echinacea, organic willow bark, organic sea kelp, organic chamomile flower, organic textured soy protein, organic lavender, organic grapefruit citrus, tocopherol (Vit E), acetamide MEA, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, botanical fragrance

read the amazon reviews here!