Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my wish list

i'm making all this money from freebie trading...well, that and it's almost xmas...so i can get back on my PJ hustle now =)

1) this dryer - i'll take a Pibbs knockoff if it does the same thing. and it got good reviews on LHCF, so...

2) hair products - shescentit, hairveda, hawaiian silky 14 in 1, and GVP products...maybe some more kenra mc, AV juice...

3) a UPA clip and a drawstring pony puff - a really BIG one though. i am going to start bunning more come 2009. my hair is getting kinda big now and i wanna keep it all.

short list, i think. i could get some of it for myself, but what would be the fun in that?

Friday, December 12, 2008

stick with what you know.

i DC'd tonight with kenra mc/jojoba oil/honey and my hair came out well moisturized, which is more than i can say about other recent attempts at DCing. i don't know why i continue to experiment when i know what works for me.

but that's just it - i WILL continue to experiment. after all the "petrolatum is the devil" threads on LHCF someone realized that maybe it's not as bad as we think, and i tried it tonight on my hair after the DCW. my hair is still moist...but i pull back a little vaseline every time i touch my hair. weighing the pros and cons here.

shoutout to curlynikki - that curlynikki bun is AWESOME. i bunned all last week with that method - cowash and a high ponytail twistout tucked into a donut bun. even greater news...my donut is so small i had to make another one. something's obviously working!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

i hate the holidays.

not really, but they do mess up my regimen something awful between all the traveling and relocating and figuring out what is "essential" to take home and all. i washed my hair at home with some motions shampoo and it's not a tangled mess so i guess all's well that ends well.

anyhoo, i just finished a 30 min DC under the dryer with kenra mc/EVOO/jojoba/salt. after this i suppose i will megassage and twist it up in some chunky twists, my current favorite hairstyle.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

sticking with it!

i told myself i was gonna DC this weekend and i'm actually doing it. shocker. what's more is i am actually doing the kenra mc + clear glaze DC (i added some jojoba oil just to kick it up)...this has to be a milestone for me, saying i am gonna do something and following through with it.

here's the rest of my regimen for the evening:
1) sit under dryer for 45 min - i'm doing this right now.
2) ACV rinse in the shower
3) megassage, then moisturize with coconut oil
4) braid it up in 6 big braids

whether i sit back under the dryer or not is TBD but i probably won't. i hope this turns out ok.

fotki updates!

yes, i know...it's been a while. something like 2-3 months...but a watched pot never boils, and i am boiling now.

click here to see them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

back on the wagon

oh my goodness, it's 11/13. it's been a month since my bday...and five since the BC.

i'm in serious "get to APL by december" mode again, mostly for selfish reasons - like seeing the look on my ex and my cousin's faces - but nevertheless i want it, dammit. I megassaged again sunday, then tuesday night i DC'd (with heat, 30 min), cowashed (trader joes + STC), and ponytailed it up...but the interesting thing was my DC mixture. i love throwing in random crap, so i added NTM mask, coconut oil....and STRAIGHT MT! i have heard about some people on LHCF using this stuff to DC (apparently it does wonders to stop breakage) so i gave it a whirl. my hair felt kind of tangly when i was rinsing so i got scared, but there seems to be no harm done. i will only be doing that at max twice a month though, don't wanna overdo it. the funny thing is it's 24 hours later and the middle of my ponytail is still damp, which means it's still moisturized, something i seem to have trouble with when i wear my everyday puff. this ponytail thing might be something to look into.

for those who are wondering...yes i tried a bun. no i didn't wear it out in public because it made me look like an alien.

i'll try megassaging again thursday night and i'll throw in the classic kenra mc + clear glaze DC this weekend. no better recovery than to get up and start running again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

mission: impossible

NOTE: this is before the intensive reconstruction coconut oil did on my hair...but i didn't take pics after all that. deal with it!

i finally got my friggin' camera to work...something was messing up the upload ability but i deleted some stuff and got it to work. anyhoo, here is my goal check-in pic. as you can see i didn't make it, but what KILLS me is i could have made it if i had kept up the megassaging...i hate being lazy sometimes. oh well, there's always the default - good ol' fashioned WAITING. my new goal is december 13, which coincidentally will be 6 months from my BC. i really like the difference the miss jessie's stuff is having on the overall moisture level of my hair, so i will stick with those and see how it goes.

speaking of the fact that i'm back to being a curly girl after flat ironing and bunning for a week...ok i wasnt really speaking of that, but whatever...this girl in my class told me today that my hair makes her happy! yay! the first thing she said when she came in the room today was "yay, it's curly again!...your hair makes me so happy. it's SO cute." i was taken aback...it's a freakin' pony puff for cryin out loud...but it made my day as well. yay for curls! lol

Monday, October 27, 2008

finger coils


i did this for the jay-z concert i went to on saturday. i got lazy and decided to only do the front/sides and top, but you get the idea. i washed with organix coconut milk shampoo, cowashed with Vo5 champagne kisses, rinsed it all out, and coiled with miss jessie's curly pudding.
Posted by Picasa

i can't believe i did that...

i am CLEARLY in need of a detox since i can't seem to keep with the wednesday fasts...it's manifesting on my face and in my bowels. (you didn't wanna hear that.) so i oil pulled tonight...i actually lost track of time and made it to 25 minutes...miraculous since i just KNEW i was gonna gag. we'll see where this goes.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

luxuriousity

yeah, that's not a word. but i take back everything i was lamenting about a few days ago - i'm not gonna claim APL, but i will claim soft and silky hair. coconut oil will CHANGE YOUR LIFE, i tell you. i'm sealing with this stuff at night before putting on my silk scarf, and again in the morning before bunning it up (who knew you could get so many hair complements just from doing the southerntease bun) and i keep touching my hair! it's amazing! GO GET YOU SOME!

Monday, October 20, 2008

mission: impossible...?

being that my goal check-in was SUPPOSED to be a week ago, i feel kind of bad about the fact that i didn't straighten my hair till yesterday, and i only did it because i was bored. i tried to judge the outcome before i finished straightening, but the only thing i could say is i upgraded from the tan rollers to the pink rollers. i think i can use the purple rollers on some of my hair, but i didn't try. i've had to look at the picture a few times to see if i made APL, and i'm not sure i want to claim it. when i don't stretch my straightened hair, it's SL, but when i do it's riiiiight at APL. (i'll post it once my camera stops trippin'.) i did notice that what someone on LHCF said is really true: even if i am APL, my hair does not feel long at ALL! that paranoia about my hair breaking off was setting in too...thank goodness i have some cute hair clips and coconut oil!

my hair isn't silky like it was last time, although it is incredibly soft - it could be the temp of the flat iron that controls that. i also can't shake this dryness thing. it could be because i stopped DCing 2x a week so i will go back to that then straighten again in a few weeks. i DID tell myself i was gonna start doing that once the fall came, and it's definitely supposed to be a little on the cold side tomorrow. in any event, i'll enjoy my hair till i get sick of it.

straight hair regimen:
  • conditioner wash with organix vanilla silk; detangle with shower comb and denman (my hair has been really tangly lately - maybe another sign that i need to DC more?)
  • DC with NTM mask for 30 minutes with heat
  • apply sabino mb and ponytail rollerset; sit under hood dryer for an hour or so
  • flat iron with solia on 370 using comb chase method
  • run coconut oil through hair, focusing on ends, every night till i wash again
this time it only took me about 30 mins to roll my hair, which is a big improvement over the hour it took last time! next time i will use my nexxus emergencee and do the keratin treatment like southerntease suggested, because i feel like my hair is breaking for some reason. i have some wispies on the left side, although the right side reaches all the way back into my hair clip. i definitely need to step my hair game back up, because i have been having some issues that i need to correct, such as the dryness and the difficulty detangling. now that i am at my first goal i can focus on health before length!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

get this: wet n wild ultimate expressions (paradise cove)

i know what you're thinking...it's not mac. but it ROCKS! the big fall trends seem to be purples, plums, and browns, and this palette has it all. i use the heck out of the browns in the middle, the light purple on the left, and the brown in the top right corner. here is a better pic...and because i am not a thief, i found it at shimmer kisser by way of makeupalley. (not the lipstick and the mascara, obvi.) i use this thing all the time...not bad for about $5. btw, shimmer kisser has a few looks using this palette, and a much better camera than me.

is it that serious?

i've gotten a plethora of comments on my hair in the past few days, most of them on thursday in the span of about an hour. first i saw my friend's roomie - maybe i should point out that this is a girl whose hair i have admired since first year...and she was in awe of my hair. as in she was touching it, asking me how i get it to "do that", and sighing because she wants to go natural, or something like that. wow, what a feeling. second, my TA said something in class related to the fact that when my doctor sent in an email last week to get my absences excused, she knew it was me because she couldn't look at my hair the class period i was out. i got another comment later in the day...and rats, i forgot what it was about. today i was at a community service event in richmond and a friend of mine asked me why i was natural. i mean, just out of the clear blue sky, like she had been thinking about it all morning. once i explained it, we got into a LONG discussion about hair. i've known for a while that she does her own hair, and two of her roomies run a pseudo-beauty shop out of their apartment, and while her hair doesn't necessarily look damaged, talking with her made me realize that maybe i'm not looking at the bigger picture.

our conversation mainly revolved around her 4th roomie, who is natural (and coincidentally, a friend of mine on fotki). she spent a long time ragging her hair, saying things like "why do you have all that hair and not do anything with it", "she always gets long straight tracks although she could just do that to her own hair...so she must not really want to be natural", "i don't understand why she washes her hair every day cause that can't be healthy", and a lot of other things that made me go...uhhhhh....and after a while, i started feeling like captain-save-a-head when i was forced to interject with my opinion. what's worse is the other girl at the table with us is actually going natural (which i didn't know), and she had questions she wanted to ask me, but couldn't because of motormouth making her feel uncomfortable. girl b (just seems like a good thing to call her) has kinky twists, and i was able to ascertain that she wants to BC in december, her mom has been natural for 2 years, and she is scared but excited to do it. she was subsequently discouraged from going for a long transition by girl a since "it's bad to have two textures", and of course since i had a 12-month transition i let her know what the deal was. i guess all-in-all it wasn't anything i've never heard before, so perhaps it's who it was coming from...i just thought she knew better than to say some of the things she was saying. oh, and of course when she mentioned her roommate "has so much expensive hair sh*t cause she goes on these natural hair chat sites"...yeah she was talking about LHCF...i almost lost it. luckily i realized it wasn't really a big deal, and i simply said i look on the internet for help as well, not to mention i have more hair products than the ethnic aisle at wal-mart. then i laughed it off.

wanna know the icing on the cake? "i want to go natural, but..." i won't even bore you with the rest. just know that it's along the lines of my-hair-won't-grow. ohhhh how the tables have turned.

let's lighten the mood with a FOTD pic or two. believe it or not, that's the same eye in two different lightings. in real life, it's a purple smoky eye i copied from DRBrooklyn's creamsheen haul vid. excuse my crappy camera till i get a new one for my bday by using your imagination.

face: select cover-up concealer; SFF; true romantic blush; MSF in light flush
eye: wet n wild paradise cove palette (see next entry) - light purple on inner half, brown on outer half and brows, light tan highlight; brown HiP cream liner; too faced lash injection mascara
lips: NYC ultra moist lip wear in petal; ulta super shiny lipgloss in goddess

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

back to business!

i guess there's really no way to do it but to jump back into it...i'm back!

i had all these really great blog ideas over the past month but the inconsistent internet access made it kinda hard to put em into words...but no worries, everything is great now. i'm starting to reach my goals: my skin has cleared up dramatically (now it's all about tackling battle scars), my hair is just about SL unstretched, and i am still thinking i can make APL by my birthday! (well...if not...oh well!) i feel great, despite the fact that my sickle cell reared its ugly head last week and i was out of commission for a whole 5 days. friends (and a new godson - welcome, jordan!) do a world of wonders.

but that's not what you wanna hear...you wanna talk hair, makeup, skin care, fashion. i've officially become a mac-head after staying on youtube with the limited 'net access i have...it's all due to fafinettex3 and the beautiful DRBrooklyn730 - these girls always give me great ideas and product suggestions! my current mac stash is pretty small, but ever since i discovered there is a cosmetics company outlet (CCO) in the prime outlets at williamsburg it is a W-R-A-P on that. it accumulated pretty quickly, and my intent is to review it all:
  • mac studio fix fluid, NC42
  • mac select cover-up concealer, NC42
  • mac beauty powder blush, true romantic
  • mac beauty powder blush, feeling
  • mac mineralize skin finish, light flush
  • mac 187 brush
  • mac fix+
  • mac paint pot in rubenesque
no eyeshadows yet, but only because a) i want to use up what i have first and b) i have an addiction to HiP shadow duos. i haven't even opened the gunmetal one i bought last month, and HiP is BOGO at CVS this week, so i anticipate adding some more of these bad boys to my collection. another discovery: the creme liners are superb, especially since i bought an art store brush and ditched that crappy thing they call a brush that came with them. oh yeah...guess i'll be doing an entry on my brush collection too, if for no other reason than to plug my 187, the brush of all brushes. i'm so excited about this thing and i've had it about 2 or 3 weeks now...yes it's that serious. (in the meantime, here's a hint: get it from the CCO! it's so much cheaper!) i am in a state of makeup bliss, and i hope i can get the hang of this pic thing and post some EOTDs or FOTDs. i was especially pleased with the one from today - err, yesterday - so if i can get better pics i'll put those up to. now i'm off to check for blog and YT updates....i mean, go to bed so i can wake up early and study.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

back on the grind

i'm back at school where the air is cleaner, water is softer and organix hair care products are BOGO (kmart)...yay! but fair warning: internet in my apartment complex is shoddy right now, to say the least. posts will be limited till management gets off their butts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

garlic: bread, biscuits and...hair?

because of MT, my hair has been shedding like a small animal lately. i thought i would just ride it out but i really can't take it anymore. i dont feel my scalp or anything so it's not bad in that sense, but seeing all that hair still freaks me out. garlic is good for stopping shedding, among other things, so i tried a garlic paste concoction last night. i smelled like spaghetti night for a few hours but i thought it would be worth it...but i was rinsing it out and still pulling back hairballs. i wanted to cry but instead i hopped on LHCF and read up on garlic supplements, with the prior knowledge that they can stop shedding in 2-3 days. wal-mart has a twin pack of garlic tabs for less than 6 bucks so i hopped in the car (at midnight) and went straight to the pharmacy section. they are 1000mg each so i took two as soon as i got home, then cowashed again this morning...and you know what, the small animal that was living on my scalp left a hairball BUT THATS IT. i mean, before last night i couldnt even run my hands across the TOP of my hair without pulling back about 5 strands. detangling was a joke, even with my shower comb...but i fingercombed and then detangled this morning and my shedding was down to about 1/4 of what it has been. idk whether this is a coincidence or what, but...i'm not complaining!!! maybe in a few days it will be gone altogether! what a great discovery.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

oils > butters, dang it

i am STILL looking for a moisturizer for my rollersets even though it is long gone now. i have been experimenting on my 2nd day puffs, and unfortunately had to come to the conclusion that my hair hates butter. i tried putting shea butter on my ends - they were dry as crap. i tried it in my DCs - dry hair under the showerhead. i even baggied overnight with the stuff - how did i wake up to a dry puff under the baggy?! of course i'm frustrated being that i bought 8oz of the stuff and have yet to use about 4-5 oz of it, but it's making me wonder what i CAN use on my hair. i know it loves oils, especially castor oil and my beloved africa's best herbal oil, so i guess i will have to break down and get some coconut oil like i keep on saying...this is a sad sad day but at least i pinpointed what it was that i added to my DCs that kept them from working their magic.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

the ups and the downs

the up: after 9 weeks on RAM and one week on MaMa lotion, i finally feel like i am getting to the point where i am happy with my skin. i keep catching a glimpse of my face in the mirror and for once i'm not embarrassed to look; the chronic patch of small bumps on my left cheek is going away very rapidly and the acne scars are fading too. that picture that made me almost break out in tears a few weeks ago now brings me joy, cause i almost have the skin of my 12-year-old self again. i expect to be fully satisfied in a few weeks, right on time for me to start school makeup free. (well, concealer free...i like the other stuff too much!) right now i have one active blemish on my very resistant forehead, and a red spot on my left cheek. i got the RAM .1% the other day and i actually think i like it better; it is making me peel more like the derm said but underneath the peeling is flawless skin. i took more skin pics tonight and i am still keeping track of what is going on. even my pics from august 8th look worse than the ones from today and that was only a week ago. i'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that i'm not seeing things.

the down: ugh, my hair is breaking and shedding like crazy. i am pretty sure it is the MT making me shed like an animal, but where the breakage is coming from has me dumbfounded. i DC'd tonight with kenra mc for a few hours (half an hour with heat) and when i was rinsing it outm y hair felt dry...it was weird. then i did a 2 min aphogee treatment hoping to work things out and that didn't help either. i was running conditioner through my hair and pulling back hair balls, the most distressing thing ever. i sighed, put some suave tropical coconut in my hair and slapped it in a wet bun (hey i can do a wet bun!), and tried to figure out what to do. the rollersetting/flat ironing i had planned for the rest of this month is defintely out, cowashing is back in, and i will have to do a garlic powder/EVOO treatment, once i get the recipe out of the MT thread. that should take care of the shedding; as far as the breakage, guess i'll have to peruse Supergirl's breakage thread. i just don't want to lose all the progress i have been making this summer.

another up: it's been two months since my BC! yay! and that means there are only two months left till my birthday...and my APL goal check-in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

flat ironing success!

*i know you want pics, but i have none. i'm just as sad as you are...lol

two days after i rollerset my hair, my mom came to me and told me she wanted her hair straightened. i offered to rollerset hers as well but she has a strong aversion to hood dryers, the same fear that kept me from DCing with heat all summer, so i had to find another way to do it. i suggested flat ironing - and she agreed - so i did it.

i prepared by DCing her hair with kenra mc, no heat of course. after that i put sabino mc in her hair, and i'm pretty sure i skipped the giovanni direct for whatever reason. instead of putting it on rollers i put it in the ponytails like i did with mine and i braided them up till the next morning. i thought i was doing pretty good, being that i had already perused LHCF for straightening tips and added as little product as possible, but for whatever reason her ends came out horrible. yeah her hair was straight, but it looked dry, and her ends looked horrible despite the fact that she BC'd just over a month ago. thank goodness the next day she got caught in the rain.

for round two, i used ElleDoll's tips for "lightweight, silky flat ironed hair" (found here) minus the chelating part, which contrary to what i was told this weekend suggested blowdrying then adding the heat protectant. well i tried it...and i dont know if it was that or the blowdrying but her hair came out BEAUTIFUL, relaxer straight and just so shiny. even her ends looked fabulous, the way they were supposed to look. we both sat and thought as to what made the difference; while i think it is the heat she thinks it was the longer DC time. here is what i did this time:
  • DC'd with lustrasilk for an hour and a half, no heat.
  • rinsed and applied giovanni direct.
  • plaited into sections and blowdried each on medium with my cheapie ionic hair dryer. once again i used pinkskates' tension method, holding the ends with my denman.
  • got scared cause her hair was really big.
  • parted her hair into 5 sections (half mohawk at the top, two sections on the sides, and two in the back).
  • applied sabino mb to the first section (i started in the back) by covering the bottle opening with my fingers and tipping it upside down. everytime i poured it out i got too much so this worked well.
  • flat ironed small sections using the comb chase method.
  • repeat with other 4 sections.

her hair just curled up so easily with just a bend of the solia - so i knew i had a winner on my hands. i was just going to wrap it but i decided to try pin curling her hair instead, and the pin curls just looked so silky that i just kept complimenting her. this might sound petty...but i can't wait to hear my stupid cousins' mouthes when they see her hair. i'm so happy, and the important thing is she is too! i was planning on waiting until september to flat iron my hair, but who knows, i could end up doing it a lot sooner if i keep looking at her hair.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

skin update

not to sound vain, but i've been watching my face like a hawk. i guess it's me believing in the power of topical retinoids, but i also think part of it is being bored to death. every few days i sit and think about how my skin has gotten better or worse, and i guess that's a good thing cause i was very well prepared when i went back to the derm today. for the past week i have been getting less of those gawd-awful cysts...thank goodness cause if it was a permanent thing i would probably shoot myself in the foot. at one point thursday there were actually NO active blemishes on my face for what i would say is the first time since my 9th grade year. two or three swelled back up later on friday but they were still smaller, and i gotta take progress for what it is. i have used my MaMa lotion twice so far - once thursday night and once sunday night, and lucky ol' me woke up to peeling skin on monday. ah, the joy of "results". it's ok, i went to walgreens today and noticed that their offbrand cetaphil moisturizing cream is even cheaper than wal-mart's, so i will definitely be going back tomorrow for that (and some AHA body cream, but that's another post). if you have never worn mineral makeup, let me be the first to tell you that it will make your flaky skin look even worse, and no amount of blending will fix it, so i stepped out today wearing nothing but mascara and sunscreen. no wonder they still make liquid foundation.

anyway, i was nervous while waiting for the derm to call me back so i made a list of things i wanted to ask:
  • my cheeks and chin are clearing up, so why does my forehead hate me? it must be because i have called it big for so long.
  • why did the blackheads on my nose come back?
  • if i switch from RAM .04 to RAM .1 will i go through an IB again? that thing was bloody hell.

not to say he quite answered them all...boy is he a fast talker...but i did get an answer to the most crucial question, and he told me that .1 would work the same but make me peel more. not exactly the answer i wanted to hear on a day like today where it looked like my face was seconds away from falling off, but he did offer me about a month's worth of samples so i can see if there is a difference. i used the first one tonight, and i am crossing my fingers that my nose doesn't peel off before i can get to walgreens. he also put me back on an oral antibiotic since my face did so much better when i was on doryx, except he wrote the prescription for doxycycline 100mg. i have no idea what the difference is, but that's what the acne.org message boards are for. gotta love the internet. so here is my new regimen, as of today:

AM: doxycycline capsule // wash with johnson's head-to-toe // clindamycin pad // eucerin EP with spf 30 // mineral makeup if i dont look like a mummy

PM: remove makeup with baby wipe or EVOO // wash with johnson's head-to-toe // wait 30 mins and apply RAM .04, RAM .1, or MaMa lotion depending on the night // selectively moisturize where needed // meditate, relax

in with this are the mint julep mask once a week, 100oz of water a day, and the hair/skin/nails vits and flaxseed oil geltab. once i get back to school i'll throw in a healthy dose of exercise. reassessing, i am aiming to clear up as much as possible by august 30th. if i'm not at 100% by then i am cool with that. i took new before shots last week so i have something to compare.

p.s. scored another doc connect..."you need to hurry up and finish school so you can come work with me." the downside? " but you gotta go straight through no stopping - i can't wait too long, i'm getting old." so much for that year off on the dr. fuller plan.

love it or hate it: queen helene mint julep masque

ok...so i have still been looking for a good mask since unfortunately the whole indian healing clay thing didn't work out. i mean, it went on fine and all, but i got tired of mixing it and the BURN was so unbearable. it probably doesn't burn regular thick-skinned people, but RAM is a killer and i am forced to accommodate. i've heard a lot of things about the queen helene masks lately, specifically the mint julep and mud masques, but i never really bought into the hype. that is, today when i went on a store run to walgreens and ended up spending 45 minutes perusing the makeup and skin care aisles. (yes, you know i stopped on the hair care aisle too.) i saw a lot of things i have been wondering about, including amlactin, neosporin dry touch sunblock, and the walgreens-brand AHA cream and knockoff cetaphil cream, but when i ran across the masques on sale BOGO i had to jump. i figured best case i can give one to my brother, worst case i can take them back, cause i always keep my receipts.

i decided there was no time like the present to try it, so after an early evening nap i swiped off my makeup with a baby wipe and washed with the johnson's head-to-toe before screwing the top off the mask tube. i really thought it would be a squeeze type flip top thingy, but whatever. i had to squeeze kinda hard and when i saw the stuff i was taken aback. it was...green. i know that it is "mint julep", but i didn't think it would be green! i shrugged and put it on my face, and immediately felt a sting. it was so bad that i wanted to stop applying it halfway through, but then i remembered that earlier today i wiped the extra glitter from the dream matte mousses i got on clearance off my cheek with a baby wipe and it stung when i reapplied my eucerin moisturizer, and that stuff NEVER stings. i really think it was the baby wipes, so i am glad my sister has been sneaking them to use when she changes my baby cousin's diapers. on MUA i heard that simple wipes are good, so maybe i should find out what those are next. back on topic...i survived the pain and then the stinging went away. there was this strong smell of mint, but it wasn't overpowering; it smelled like i was putting doublemint gum on my face. it actually made me smile a bit. the instructions say to leave it on about 15 minutes, but with my sensitive skin i planned on cutting that down to ten...then my boyfriend called and i got on the phone. uh-oh. twenty minutes later, i put him on hold and raced to the bathroom to rinse it off, fearing the worst - but unlike the indian healing clay, it did NOT prevent me from moving my face and it DID come off easily. score! i waited a good 15 minutes waiting for some extra burning, and it never came...so i took the other bottle out of the bag and threw away the receipt.


so...love it or hate it? love it. it's a good clay mask, very inexpensive, already mixed so it's foolproof, and it actually did what it said it would do and gave me a good deep down clean. i will reassess in the morning to see if this blemish on my forehead has cleared up any, and if it has then i will also have an excellent spot treatment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

love it or hate it: johnson's head-to-toe baby wash

it's no secret that i have skin problems, some of them simpler to solve than others. i decided to attack one of the easier-to-fix ones by switching my face wash from basis sensitive skin bar to something else. i really thought i had a winner with this (being that it was less than $2) but boy was i wrong. my skin was so DRY after washing with this stuff, and i think it clogged my pores and made me break out. i have some wal-mart brand clearasil that i was using a few months ago, and it didnt leave my skin AS dry so i used that in the meantime. while browsing various boards (MUA, acne.org, LHCF) i noticed a lot of people raving about johnson's head-to-toe baby wash, and since i am dumb enough to become desperate i pilfered the travel-size bottle my brother has and tried it out. definitely a lot watery in consistency than the soaps and washes i am used to, but this may be because it's not full of fillers. it wasn't really thick on my face, but that's ok, i just wanted it to get the job done. i felt like i had to use more in the shower cause i couldn't tell if it was on my face, but over the sink this was not a problem. the real test came after waiting 10 mintes after washing to see if my skin felt tight...and surprise, it didn't! even better was the price; the wal-mart version of JBW is $1.18 for 15oz, so it is wayyy cheaper than the eucerin i was considering and even cheaper than the basis i got to be economical.

so...love it or hate it? so far, love it. i will use it for another 2 weeks to see if it breaks me out, but i really dont think it will. i love being able to simplify my regimen.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

all straightened out

ok guys...i am going for it. after 2 months of nothing but the curls i have rollerset my hair. i am sitting under the dryer as we speak and though i have had plenty of rollersets at the dominican salon this is my first time doing my own. i used pokahontas' ponytail rollerset method cause i am deathly afraid of puffy roots, and i probably won't feel like flat ironing a THING after going for so long without heat on my hair. so here is what i did...
  • prepooed with an old bottle of pantene R&N intensive moisturizing conditioner that i have not thrown away. glad i didnt, i read the ingredients and this stuff has jojoba and coconut oils in it. wow, pantene.

  • rinsed out with trader joe's nourish spa conditioner. i guess i should have used this as a regular cowash condish first since i still have to do a love it or hate it on it, but so far so good.

  • added 2 quarter sized amounts of sabino MB to wet hair.

  • grabbed supplies...and made 9-10 ponytails using cloth bands, cause i dont have enough nylon ones. this reminds me i should go looking for them this weekend...and next time i will soak them in oil prior to use.

  • rewet the ponytails with water (well there was a little suave tropical coconut in the bottle, since i refilled an almost empty bottle) and smoothed hair with a denman and a rattail comb.

  • rolled em. i used the turquoise and the tan colored magnetic rollers. dont worry, pics are forthcoming.

  • i have been under the dryer for about 20-25 minutes; i will stay under for about an hour more. or until it gets too hot...lol

CROSSING MY FINGERS! learning to rollerset is one of the things on my "things to do before you go back to school" list, and if it comes out right i hope to use this as a staple style during the colder months. i will update when the rollers come out.

UPDATE: after the 1:15 i spent under the dryer, i took out the rollers and blew JUST my roots a little straighter using pinkskates' tension method. then i just enjoyed my curls. no swang but i'm not sure if i could get that without flat ironing...either way i love my hair. the next morning i flat ironed my roots on low to smooth things out in the front. definitely a keeper.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

fasting is NOT just for buddhists!

i am thinking about adding a one-day-a-week fast to my skin care regimen. well i guess it would just be something to add to my life to make me healthier, but perhaps the effects would be seen in my skin. i have never fasted before, but if i am looking into doing a raw food detox later this month i guess it would make more sense to do it for at least one day so i know what i am getting into. i also planned on adding healthy fridays into my routine, where i add a new health goal for the week in every friday, but doggone it i keep forgetting to post on fridays! i will just make a list of what i am currently doing and *see* if i remember to add to it this friday, which is highly unlikely because i think i will be too busy out enjoying the sunshine. i get to get out of the house again, yay!

what's going on now: hair/skin/nails vits, flaxseed oil tablet every day. (i am thinking about switching to a regular multi and omegas when these two are gone.) 100oz water every day.

UPDATE: i made this thread in the LHCF health and fitness forum...and apparently my question has become a challenge. yay! i unofficially started this past wednesday, so with my 100oz of water i also had a small salad, a few saltine crackers, a plum, and a celery heart. it went great, but next week i will try to have more fruit and teas on hand.

Friday, August 1, 2008

let's hope this works...

after hearing lots of rave reviews about MaMa lotion on acne.org i bit the bullet and purchased it tonight. it was $44.50 on skincarerx.com but i had a 20% off coupon and there is free shipping. (told you i hate paying for shipping.) hopefully it will arrive by wednesday so i can get a few uses in before my august 11th derm appointment. here's to brighter skin, i guess...

now for some PROGRESS

i didnt make my skin goal. boo hoo. on the positive side, i have seriously cut down on the skin picking...i feel uncomfortable talking about it but reading up on it made me realize it's an actual psych thing, kinda like trichotillomania. my brain hurts from all the willpower but my face looks better so i can live with the headaches. other goals i accomplished yesterday:
  • i got my 100oz of water in! four and a half 24oz glasses of water (nalgene was dirty) along with some ice in the evening.
  • i made baked ziti for dinner...no pics, they ate it too fast. (yay i'm learning to cook)
  • i DC'd in my cornrows...3 hours, no heat with lustrasilk olive oil cholesterol. as a result i megassaged twice...once this morning then again after the DC. highly unusual but whatever.

it's the little things that i do that make me happy. almost like baby steps towards a happier, less stressed life. this will be my year (academic year, so aug-may) and i am starting NOW on making it all that.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

flawless!


oh i need this look. i'm locking myself in my room till i get it right. i sure hope i have a coppery eyeshadow on hand...lol!

megatek deserves a grammy.

and an emmy, and the nobel prize, and everything else. i did two-week measurements, which were perfect cause after the 27th my head felt so gross from the looseness of my twists. i took them out, gently detangled, and took a few pics, the majority of which are now in my fotki. after the takedown i was afraid of matting but none occurred. YAY! i prepooed/DC'd for a few hours with kenra mc and EVOO, and when i attempted to add an egg it just effed up the whole thing so i had to redo the mixture. after that i washed with CON and used more kenra as a leave-in, then airdried under the fan. it felt SO GOOD, and my hair was very soft. i truly believe in hairapy, cause i was in a very good mood for the rest of the evening. i got my cousin to put cornrows in the next day, and boy are they tight as hell...hope my edges survive this. i am trying to keep them in another two weeks so i can do another length check right before the 13th. here is a pic of my current length off to the left...i am still hovering at right past SL but my hair is thicker, so i guess i should be full SL by the end of august/beginning of september if i can keep this up. is APL by october still realistic? probably not...but i sure am having fun trying to make it. i mean...look at my bangs!!!

mission...IMPOSSIBLE.

one of my goals was to whip my skin into shape by 7/31...looks like that's an epic fail. this retin-a just isn't working as fast as i thought - that 6 weeks crap was BS. through my own exhaustive research (meaning LHCF and acne.org) i found out that most people say give it at least 9 weeks, if not 12, to see results. this must be right cause i am in week 7 and i have cystic acne for pretty much the first time ever. i'm beyond frustrated, and when i get frustrated i touch my face, which makes things even worse. my main goal for now is to stop doing that; i seriously cut down in the last 4 or so days and my face looks better (less redness) but a 75% reduction isn't enough for me. did you know skin picking can be a symptom of OCD?! i used to joke about that since i sort my skittles and m&m's, but wow. well i refuse to go on medication for anything else, so cold turkey seems to be my best option.

-sigh- ok, next goal is 8/31. i go back to the derm on august 11th, so i hope i will have something fruitful to add then.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

love it, need it, can't live without it

i love to talk about makeup...yeah, even though my makeup game is NOWHERE near where it should be - but even though i am a minimalist there are a few things i cant live without. ever since i started wearing concealer, powder, mascara and gloss everyday i just feel so much better...catching myself without mascara is just really weird sometimes.CONCEALER/FOUNDATION (sometimes) - bareminerals SPF 15 foundation in medium tan. i love this stuff - it really does what it claims to do, gives me the amount of coverage i need and looks totally natural. ok, so i probably need to switch to one of the medium shades cause the tan is darker than i thought it would be, but i can't bear to part with them. frankly, they cost too much. LOL! i'm just kidding, next time i get out of the house i will stop by ulta and play around with some shade swatches.



POWDER/VEIL - bareminerals mineral veil. love it as well; i can tell a difference when i wear it and when i don't, cause it makes me look like my complexion is more even than it really is. also keeps the shine at bay...cause this retin-a makes me reflect some serious light.

MASCARA - diorshow blackout. i have so many tubes of drugstore mascara that i used to love, until i realized the only reason i liked them was because i liked the price. i bought lash exact by cover girl and liked the definition, despite the lack of volume, so when volume exact came out i started to buy it but changed my mind. figured it would lack something as well. i have a friend who swears by great lash but instead i picked up maybelline xxl and it was ok...but it was kinda flaky or feathery or something i really cant put my finger on. i saw a few magazines and ads talking about diorshow blackout, so when i went to times square back in march i figured there was nothing to do but stop by sephora and try it. did it, loved it. the sales chick said it was good for making it look like you are wearing falsies and i agree. now i have a set of falsies and don't even want to apply them when i get the urges to put em on, cause its so much easier to swipe on some mascara. yes it is $25; no i don't regret buying it. seeing that double pack of great lash at wal-mart the other day for $4 made me swoon, but i realized it would probably be a waste. not swaying on this one.
LIPGLOSS - victoria's secret beauty rush (assorted); HIP gloss in adored. (no need to post pics cause there are a lot.) i switch up glosses a lot but these are my current faves. they are shiny, although i think the VS ones are a bit sticky. still looking but these are ok. i sooo want a mac lipglass, or at least a nice bubblegum pink shade of something quality.
uh....yeah thats pretty much it. i like the mineral makeups because they feel so LIGHT, but maybe i will dabble in liquid once i get MAC money. i know summer isn't the time for it though so i dont really worry. being easy breezy is fun...makeup + a WNG makes my life complete.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"you have to stop using suave..."

what kind of nappyheaded (excuse the language) buffoonery do we have here? i was on mahoganybutterfly reading a great article on jennifer hudson's new album cover when i realized that this site is not only a blog but a community of sorts for black women. cool, i said, and i looked for hair care stuff, just cause that's what i do. when i saw an article entitled "Best Products to Manage and Grow Our Hair" (link here) i got excited. (oh come on, if you have read anything i have ever typed you are NOT surprised.) i began reading with a smile on my face...and boy did that sucker disappear in 6.3 seconds. i got to this...

"You have to stop using Suave, Salon Selectives, Motions, and Alberto VO5, because although affordable, hey will leave your hair type dry and brittle..."

and i felt one of my curls drop. ok so i have kinky twists, but you know what i'm saying. it is no secret that i stan for suave and VO5 like a teenybopper loves B2K (moment of silence for my adolescence); see my previous posts on these two darlings. i do agree that making a regular habit of using the shampoos is hazardous to your hair, but i admit that i love the suave daily clarifying shampoo when i feel the need to lose some weight on my scalp. what gives? i will admit that i know nothing about salon selectives, and motions is garbage to me (anyone want a tub of the moisture plus conditioner? how about the 32oz shampoo?) but not my babies! oh lawd not my tropical coconut!!! i seriously hope whoever wrote that article got paid by ojon, cause while i have heard nothing but good things about that restorative treatment - yes it's on my list, i'm a PJ - that doesn't mean they have to bash strawberries and creme! that's like comparing apples and oranges...like saying pink oil moisturizer has nothing on kenra mc. uh hello, cowashing conditioners and the ones we use for DCing are completely different. the brands they mentioned are not bad, but i refuse to believe that "there are only two hair care companies on the market that will leave your hair in salon quality condition" (direct quote). puh-leaze, spend five minutes lurking on LHCF and you will find so many product reviews, rants and raves, and general questions about so many brands your head will spin. shescentit, hairveda, and miss jessie's make equally splendid products, most of them in the same price range if not cheaper. so gimme my strawberries and creme, thank you very much, my hair is doing just fine.

teyana is that YOU?

peeped this over at blogxilla; while guys may ogle for different reasons i am really feelin' her hair* and her abs. (the shoes ain't bad either.) chalk it up to the "that girl" aspirations.


*yes i know it is a wig; this is where "fake it till you make it" comes in. you think her wigmaker has AIM?


she did what?

i am really struggling with this not-being-able-to-DC thing...i have a cast on my leg so rinsing in the shower is out, and it takes a lot of effort to stand at the kitchen sink. -sigh- i know i need to though...all this MT in my hair is driving me crazy thinking about it. i went from washing everyday to TRYING to get it in once a week...argh!!!

while i try to figure out something...i DC'd my mom's hair the other night with kenra mc and EVOO, then she decided to BC on me then that afternoon...

next was my sister. i got her to mix up some DC for her twists. i literally said to her "lets see if you can mix up a good DC" and 10 minutes later she was back with the creamiest looking concoction of kenra mc, honey, and EVOO that i have ever seen. i mean, i do these mixes a lot, but while mine look lumpy hers looked exactly like vanilla pudding. i was shocked and i told her so!!! i applied it to her hair (mainly the first 1/3 of her twists of course) and then she watched MTV with a plastic cap on till about midnight (3 hrs)...and all i could do is look at her and smile. i love LHCF not only for what it has done for me but obviously what it has done for her as well. i wish i was doing that at 18, much less 13!

i'm thinking i will henna with her when i get to APL...it sounds so interesting and justkiya from nappydelphia makes it sound so easy. here is a link to the recipe that she posted in the OCT thread on LHCF...i have no idea how expensive henna is but i recently found out that the shikaikai shampoo bars all the ayurvedic nuts rave about is like a dollar...so i am hoping henna is around the same price. now i have one more thing to look forward to - COLOR!

Monday, July 21, 2008

perfection

for motivational purposes, i believe that everyone with a goal in mind of what they want to look like - be it a dream body, dream hair, whatever - has to have a picture of this goal that s/he can look at on a regular basis. just like dr. wendi had us make those "hello my name is dr. ____" name tags during my first year of college, visualization is key.


well with that in mind...here is an inspirational pic i ran across while reading nappydelphia this morning. who cares if its not my skin tone...and who cares if she is a model so its her job to look flawless...i think this makeup look and the sleekness of her hair are pure perfection. i think i read on maneandchic that this is jordan richardson, who shock of all shocks is natural, and i really don't mind that i am seeing her everywhere. she's got a great look...and interestingly enough kinda reminds me of my half-sister nicole. i think it's her lips. or her eyes. -shrug-

the dream body pictures are coming later. i got some things i have to work out first...namely getting back into the yoga groove. i have been preoccupied lately, but it's only on hiatus...i got enough episodes tivo'd to last me at least until the semester starts back up.

what's done is done!

ok, so my BC was june 13th; my sister's was a week after that, and now we can add my mom's to the list. i was washing her hair (post-DC with kenra mc, EVOO and castor oil) and when i asked her what she wanted me to do with it, i expected her to say flat twists like it has been lately but she told me to just cut it off! i was a bit taken aback, but i did it...so now all three lovely ladies in my house are natural. i am still trying to persuade her to let me take a picture of it, but fortunately for her my batteries died tonight...but it's on when they charge up tomorrow! her texture is interesting...it looks very 4a-ish and maybe there is a bit of 4b but it is all very very soft and fine. i think i'll wait for the pics so i can get a more expert opinion.

Friday, July 18, 2008

my twists...

...are loose. i did not apply megatek last night, and my twists are loose. my scalp is definitely itchy too. the skeptic in me is saying that this is just a result of me tossing and turning and that it's not new growth. i redid one twist in the back and my hair felt a bit longer but i'm not getting my hopes up!

that's all...i am in serious pain from this procedure i had done yesterday so i'm off to lalaland with my friends tylox and valium.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

it's here!

wait wait wait...before i write anything i wanna say thanks to everyone who left comments lately. i logged in and was like YAY...people care...lol! when i am surrounded by people who look at me like i am speaking another language ("what the hell is cowashing?!") it's nice to get product recs, likes/dislikes, and suggestions from all of you. i got a long way to go before i reach my hair goals so of course i'm gonna have a lot of questions along the way!!!

ok, back on track. i finished my sister's kinky twists tonight...i'll take pics in a minute for the fotki...but more importantly my megatek came today! my brother woke me up asking me if i had been expecting a package and i knew exactly what it was...it was in a box letting the world know it had pet supplies in it, so i'm so glad he wasn't nosy as usual. i ripped it open and BAM! i tell you, the bottle was bigger than i expected, but that is definitely a good thing. i went and bought that applicator bottle - i got the $1.69 one cause it has a cap on it - and added 4oz of MT and about 20 drops of africa's best oil to it. it's on all three of our heads now, and now the anticipation has begun. i hope i don't have any crazy dreams about waist length hair or anything now, cause i can't wait till my twists are sitting on a mountain of new growth. i'm crossing my fingers on this one!

so maybe you've noticed i can't enter a store and buy just one thing...so in sally's i ran across ion swimmer's shampoo on sale for $3.99, which i plan on using not only for my sister the fish but also for me as a chelating poo. all this stuff i'm getting and i can't even use it till like next month...grr. but at least i have it. i also got the small bottle of porosity control for my mom, cause i have got to get this shedding and breakage under control. i'm pretty sure she's not retaining length, so what good will all that growth do if she loses it cause her hair is weak? i just put some flat twists in her hair last night after washing it, and she's still not up on washing her hair more than once a week, so it looks like it will have to wait for next weekend. i hope it works; littlegoldlamb has a great review of it in her fotki (btw, if you are on the fence about buying something, check out her album - i swear she has reviewed every hair product out there, even the ones that were not intended to be used for hair) so i feel pretty good about buying it. besides, it was less than 2 bucks. no big loss if it doesn't work.

i have to speak out on my skin now - i had a really bad peeling episode yesterday on the road going to virginia tech. we left at 9am and i woke up early to do my skin routine - wash with basis sensitive skin bar, dry and use a clindamycin pad, dry and use johnson's baby lotion to moisturize, followed by maybelline mineral power concealer, bareminerals mineral veil, and maybelline MP bronzer - and i looked pretty good, but for some reason by the time we got to VT my skin was JACKED. i happened to glance in the mirror and the whole right side of my face was peeling, and i had nothing i could put on it! i toyed with the idea of putting my hand across it or something, but i need to keep my hands off my face so that didn't work. i covered it with my hair as best i could, and got home that evening so embarrassed. i had messaged a few ladies on LHCF about a good moisturizer since retin-a is hell on your skin, and i got a few recommendations, such as cerave and cetaphil, but i wanted something with SPF in it since that seems to be my problem in the first place. aveeno was too much (sorry but i can't see spending $15 on a moisturizer that i may not be using in a few weeks), so i got the eucerin moisturizer with SPF 30 for $10. not much of a difference, i know, but it is formulated for sensitive skin and has SPF so i went for it. when i put it on today it didn't burn like my other moisturizer with SPF, so i took that as a sign and applied my makeup - however, i skipped the maybelline and used bareminerals foundation in medium tan as a concealer followed by the mineral veil. lighter coverage, so this one area on the right side of my mouth looked kinda gross, but my face didn't burn. that is the worst feeling ever. NO PEELING! i would recommend the JBL to anyone with sensitive skin that doesn't peel, but for me it was a no-go. i am still looking for stuff catered to sensitive skin (acne.org has some good reviews), but my situation is weird: it's oily and shiny, yet dry and sensitive? and i have never had body acne, so it's just from my chin up?! i don't get it. i go back to the derm on the 22nd, so maybe he can shine some light on what the hell is going on. in the meantime i'm going over to target to get some origins vitamin e oil, which i heard is great for nighttime moisture. whether or not i'm using the cleay mask tomorrow night is up in the air, cause i'm kinda annoyed with my skin right now, and i feel like being like a mom who doesn't give candy to her kids when they act up. is that weird? LOL!

ending on a positive note - HIP is BOGO at walgreens this week! i kinda regretted not getting more at the rite aid sale so this is perfect. i still limited myself, but i got two eyeshadow duos: showy and flamboyant. now i shall bombard youtube and the LHCF makeup/skin care forum looking for tutorials on these two, cause they are HOT!


oh wait, here are a few tutorials:
thanks google.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

sunday the 13th.

well it's been a month since the BC...and my fotki is now open to all inquiring minds. click here to see my updates.

i finally made that new moisturizer i have been dying to try. instead of rolling with the vegetable glycerin, every store i went to hooked me up with the dumb salesperson so i went to walmart and got the glycerin over in pharmacy. less than 3 bucks means i am hoping it will work. i mixed that with an equal amount of AV juice in a small spray bottle so i could test it out, and i really like it. my hair actually feels moisturized under this dry-ass synthetic hair. yay!!! in addition i was meaning to buy some infusium 23, but i never made it to rite aid this week where it was on sale for 4.99 (and apparently there was a $3 coupon in the paper?!) and it was damn near 8 bucks at walmart, so i said screw it. we have a bottle lying around the house of the original stuff, you know the kind in the white bottle, so maybe i'll risk it and use that after i shampoo my hair later this week. i'm still getting over the excitement of the fact that i did these things myself. me? the chick who can't cornrow?! YES I DID, and my sister is due for a new set of twists monday. i will use the leftover pack of hair to do hers, and try not to buy any more. keyword is TRY - the washing/base removal process was tedious. (ok, not really.)

now what i am thinking for the MT is that i will just spray my scalp/roots/whatever with this stuff, then apply the MT straight. i want the maximum results and i am kinda scared that if i cut it i will miss out on some growth. well i have three heads to try it on, so we will see. now i just gotta get that applicator bottle...i am going up to virginia tech tomorrow so i will try to get it monday.
ooh, update on that mini-haul from walgreens: i hate that smart shade so i am gonna try to take it back. it went on gray and made me feel like my skin was ashy, but when i swiped it off with my baby wipe it was the same color as my other foundations. cool...but something about it struck me as a "hate it". i think i am just gradually becoming turned off to liquid foundation. i am crossing my fingers that as this acne medication works deeper i lose the love for any types of foundation or concealers. there is something so refreshing about just throwing on some mascara and lipgloss, but i ain't there yet. till then...guess it will continue to be mineral power concealer for the blemishes + bareminerals mineral veil for the shine, with the occasional sweep of bronzer for color.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

love it or hate it: aztec secret indian healing clay

it has been about 4.5 weeks since i went to the derm and my skin is looking so much better that its unbelievable. consistency must really BE the key, cause for the irst 4 weeks i was going like "when is this stuff gonna kick in?!" but when it began to show visible signs of working last week i was shocked. my cheeks have almost completely cleared up, my chin has cleared up, and the rest of my blemishes are getting smaller. i'm gonna wait the whole 6 weeks to take pics and/or get really excited, cause i'm still a bit skeptical. in the meantime, i wanna rave about this mask i posted about yesterday.

i bought this healing clay from the vitamin shoppe yesterday, and after reading up on it a bit more on the makeup and skin care boards i gave it a go. i initially mixed it with water, but apparently there are other things you can mix it with, with ACV, rosewater, and lemon juice being just a few examples. i think i left it on too long for my sensitive skin, cause it was really rough getting it off, but my brother left his on 15 minutes instead of 20 and his came right off. oh yeah, i cant believe i let him try it, but i wanted to compare our results. anyway, when i did get it all off, my face burned, but it was SO SOFT! i kept touching it, which i know is bad, but i really liked it. it was a bit red but like the container said that disappeared after about a half hour. the real test is that when i woke up this morning my face was really really smooth. i was in shock. i mean, lately i have woken up and when i look in the mirror my blemishes are smaller (i wonder why that is), but after a few hours they return to their normal size. sucks, but maybe that will stop. the key difference is my face was also less oily...i hate waking up looking like i spilled vegetable oil on my face. i looked up bentonite and it is a key ingredient in a lot of expensive cleansers for oily skin, like the dermalogica dermal clay cleanser, but luckily for me this stuff was only 7 bucks. sweeeet...now my task is to search for rosewater so i can get a really moisturizing mask. since i bought AV juice i will try that first, since it is known to be a good moisturizer. the next try will be monday or tuesday night so maybe i will post then.

verdict? LOVE IT. go buy it. now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

why did i buy this?

on a whim (cause thats the way i like it) i went to trader joe's looking for a garlic supplement (megatek shedding prevention), glycerin, and aloe vera juice. i came out with a bottle of nourish spa conditioner and nothing else. read reviews of it here. something else i have heard great things about, but the problem here is I HAVE A HEAD FULL OF KINKY TWISTS. i don't even know the next time i will cowash. i may take it back cause it's not doing anything but taking up space on my shelf; its not like it cost a lot so i will sleep on it and decide tomorrow.

after i saw that gallon of AV juice at tj's, i decided to give the vitamin shoppe a try...i just cant commit to a gallon of anything i have not tried. the smaller size was less than 4 bucks there...sweet. while looking for glycerin i came across indian healing clay, which was about 7 bucks. it is supposed to make for a really good deep cleansing facial mask so i said what the hey. maybe i will try it tonight. i also contemplated getting jojoba oil but it was cheaper at tj's...and plus i will save that chapter of the skin experimenting for AFTER the medication from the derm is gone. never found the glycerin - the manager looked at me like "huh?" when i asked where it was, even though it is on the website clear as day. oh well, i will keep looking. either that or wait till monday when i can go up to charlottesville to whole foods.

FINALLY finished.

ick, halfway through (4 hours in) with the kinky twists and i decided that i did in fact want to cut the hair in half cause it was too long. i had to take them all out. i also realized i should have put my hair in two-strand twists before i did them (i do this to my sister's hair but was impatient) but luckily she was there to do them for me while i redid the aforementioned half head of twists. i also took frequent breaks...rolled all the finished twists with blue perm rods THEN took them out so i could sleep...man i did so many things wrong, but at least they are DONE and my hair looks pretty good. i did a few too loose and a few too tight but it is easier for me to search and correct now that there aren't duckbill clips all over my head. whoo hoo! here are a few pics...sorry about the mirror, didn't realize it was like that till after i uploaded the pics. oh, there will be more in my fotki on the 13th (my one month BC anniversary!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

i ordered my megatek!

$24.99 at kvvet.com; use coupon code 054 for $5 off and there is free shipping too. i can't wait till it arrives!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

going kinky!

i had to get up early this morning and when i have to do that i try to make my day as productive as possible. i stopped by 3 BSS's this morning looking for SOFT 100% kanekalon hair so i can finally put in my kinky twists and while i couldn't really find soft (the store with the femi sign didnt have any...wtf) i did find the janet marley braid hair for $5.99, so i got three packs in T1B/33. i hope the color is ok but we will see. i was looking for something with a little red in it but their selection was limited...booooo. right now i am DCing with kenra mc and EVOO to prep my hair, and to prep the extension hair i am soaking it in a sink full of water with 1 cup of ACV added as advised on growafrohairlong.com (they have really good braiding/extension care tips; click here). i will moisturize daily (hopefully i will be getting megatek so i can do that!) and wash once a week with diluted shampoo then use this bottle of infusium 23 as a leave-in. no daily cowashing is gonna make me feel dirty but i think after a week or two i will be relieved. now i gotta figure out how to DC in these things...

BOGO suave!

if you have been reading my blog (wait, let me stop and say T-H-A-N-K-S to you) then you know that i am cheating on VO5 strawberries and creme with suave tropical coconut. it is a steamy affair but i looooove this stuff. it's so thick and i still can't get over the fact that it contains biotin AND SAA! i went to walgreens today to refill a prescription and while perusing the salespaper i saw that *suave products are buy one get one half off!* i was even more shocked to see that they are the family size bottles with 33% more free! what a great deal...i limited myself and got only two, and it worked like this:
  • they are normally $1.79 or 2 for $3, with the second ringing up $1.21
  • this gives you a 60 cent discount on bottle #2
  • so 1.79+0.61=2.40 for two 30oz bottles of conditioner....SWEET!
i will search the other stores for suave humectant tomorrow so i can do another love it or hate it. a cheaper and just as effective version of nexxus humectress always scores brownie points with me.

ooh, i also picked up some makeup: almay is BOGOF, so i got the smart shade foundation in medium/300 (hope it looks ok on me!) and the line smoothing concealer (i went from oily skin to dry skin due to the retin-a micro and clindamycin). i may trade the concealer for another one since i think it is more for under-eye spots than blemishes; maybe the blush. they also had HIP on clearance (all the stores do but i never find any) so i got the brilliant shine lip gloss in adoring. i was afraid the color would be too dark but i put on some vaseline (this medicine gives me the worst crackheadish looking lips) and the gloss and i was fine. mini hauls like this always brighten my day.

Monday, July 7, 2008

jumping on a new bandwagon.


megatek!!!


yes it is a horse product...so dont look at me like that...but yes it is cleared for human use and YES IT WORKS!


i was browsing the 2nd half of the OCT/MegaTek challenge last night on LHCF; i was led there by some wayward post about OT (Ovation Cell Therapy) being the truth. it's about 80 pages long but the info in there is damn good. what's more is i'm convinced - it is possible for me to get to APL by december, and with MT maybe even by my bday, so i gotta get crackin! upon comparing OCT and MT, i discovered that MT is wayyy cheaper (20 dollars compared to 60), so it is perfect for my college sized pockets, and very easy to use - all i need is an applicator bottle. if i get it - no when i get it, i will cut it with oil to make it last longer and to get extra moisture and let the growing begin. it is so bad that i was thinking about it all night, and woke up ready to cowash so i could begin megasaggin' (not saggin like sag your jeans, but saggin like massagin) till i realized....uhm, loser, you don't have any. i am still contemplating whether or not this is something i should run past mom since she has more money than me, but she will probably say 1) wtf do you want a horse product for and 2) we have that stuff from the dominican salons. this is true but i know of no one else using it (i need PROOF) and megatek is cheaper. we paid 35 bucks for that stuff. i think it would be mean of me to get the megatek and use it while making her use the dominican stuff. while i make this decision, i am going back over to look at before and after pics scattered throughout the thread(s) and look up pricing/shipping info.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

love it or hate it: VS so sexy balancing conditioner

i love testing out new products and this is one that has been on my list for a while. i have been talking about all the great things i got at the VS semi-annual sale...and on the beauty side of the store this is one product i wanted but did not buy. must be a sign, cause a week later i found someone on LHCF selling the travel size bottle for half price. this made it the perfect time to try it...and i am glad i did.

i opened the package and was hit by a cloud of perfume. ick, right? one thing about my VO5 and suave that i love is that the smell is subtle...i catch a whiff of my hair when i fluff it, or when i shake it, but not all the time. i was put off by that and thought that maybe this wasn't something i would wanna try, but i did it anyway. i must admit, VS made the bottles really cute, and this is something i can sit in my shower or even on my dresser and people cant even tell what it is till they read the bottle. so cool! after this analysis, i pushed my thoughts about the smell to the back of my mind and hopped in the shower.

i used this conditioner following my first ever overnight DC; i used kenra mc, honey, shea butter, and EVOO and left it in about 12 hours while i lollygagged on LHCF, went to bed, woke up and took my brother to work, and came back home to some yoga. my hair felt pretty good, but there is something in this mix that is not working, cause i get a better experience with just plain kenra mc. it felt like my hair was drier than usual under the showerhead, and it was tangled. i was using my shower comb and took out more hair than normal. gotta figure that one out...but after i rinsed it all out i used the VS conditioner. it has a very thick consistency, almost like a deep conditioner, but i will not be using it for that anytime soon. i worked kinda hard to get out a quarter sized dollop and ran it through my soaking wet hair before detangling with the shower comb. again, the smell was kinda overpowering, but once it was in my hair it went away some. in other words, i wasn't choking. they didnt lie when they put something about "a burst of ultra-feminine fragrance" on the back of the bottle.

after my shower, i squeezed out the excess water as usual (although there seemed to be less water in my hair) and looked in the mirror. my hair looked really fluffy, which isn't a bad thing. i also decided to plop my hair with a t-shirt, and my drying time went WAY down. my hair was dry about an hour later....oh i took the t-shirt off my hair about 20 minutes after i put it on, btw. instead of leaving it down today i used my nylon ponytail holder to smoosh my hair into a pony puff. i love the way it looks so full, and i cant wait for my ponytails to look like this. -sniff- there goes the smell again...i am sitting under the ceiling fan as i type and every few seconds i smell my hair. thank goodness i have gotten used to it by now. it's not a bad smell, it's just that i am used to fruity smells more than this perfume-y type deal. i will continue to use the bottle...but it's not something i will stock up on. this will be my night-on-the-town conditioner more than anything.

so....verdict is in. i like it. too much fragrance and not enough moisture.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

thanks for the compliment?

i knew i could change my bf's mind about my hair...despite the fact that his idiotic brother-in-law asked me if i fell in the pool...oh, not to mention we watched "meet the browns" and i had to sit through that dumbass part where vera talks about the little girl's dreads. ("you know how to spell dreads? n-a-p-p-y...." ugh. i know she wont talkin with those stupid wigs. but i digress.) i said i would get him to change his mind, and i did. a strapless dress changes everything. i threw a nylon elastic around it and made it into a large pony puff, and when i walked towards him he told me i look like "a younger, light-skinned, skinnier jill scott. i like that on you, baby." so basically i look nothing like her. thanks, babe.

Friday, July 4, 2008

he no likey.

EDIT: the pj list is forthcoming. had to take it down for a little bit but it's coming back.

i've really enjoyed people's reactions to my BC, from the complimentary (my cousin, who is and will always be pro-"perm") to the crazy (a guy friend of mine said i look jamaican???) and everything in between. the usual reaction is "oh you cut off all your hair" which i dont mind...then of course i stretch a curl to show them it's not all gone. the one reaction i was really waiting for was that of my SO, being that he was the first person i called after i did it. i haven't seen him since the day before memorial day, when my hair was straightened to an inch shorter than APL, just the way he liked it. yesterday when he came back to town for the weekend, i showed up with my staple do, freshly cowashed and airdried to perfection, and i really liked it. his mom was the first to see it, and she had the normal reaction - "oh you cut your hair!" -touch touch- so i stretched it, yadda yadda, and she asked me if i had a straw set. when i told her that my hair was naturally curly, i got the response that i have always asked myself but have never heard from anyone but my mom: "why were you getting relaxers in the first place?"

then it was his turn. i saw that smile on his face and i thought that maybe it was his way of saying he didn't like it without hurting my feelings, just like he tried to do when i dyed it blonde and cut it into a bob. well i was right...i knew he was a fan of long hair but i didn't know that translated to long straight hair. luckily it takes a lot to hurt my feelings and i told him to get used to it. (assuring him that i can straighten it easily didn't help either.) not quite the reaction i expected but at least he didn't beg me to get a weave or something. i still think it will grow on him...especially when i show up tomorrow for the 4th of july cookout in my purple strapless sundress with a flower in my hair.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

like another hole in my head

well i'll be...guess part of it saved after all. here is the blog i meant to finish earlier in the week:


i can tell that i am a pj cause i am a few days off the buy nothing challenge and the list of wants is ever growing. to appease this beast in me i have decided to make a list of the shampoos and conditioners i want to try. (let's not get started on the glycerin, AV juice, sweet almond, coconut and avocado oils, and the honeyquat...blahblahbleeblahblah)

SHAMPOOS

  • kenra clarifying shampoo. i have the suave daily clarifying shampoo (which i do like, dont get me wrong) but i love kenra mc so much that it really makes me want to be one of those people who is line-specific. i know that wont help with the cowashing (i am a slave to vo5 and suave) but at least when wash day comes around all my bottles will be silvery and matchy-matchy.
  • kenra moisturizing shampoo. i have no idea what a moisturizing poo does; i mean cant conditioner wash your hair just as well if the purpose is to get it clean without stripping it? it's kenra though and you know how i am. read the above if not.
  • ORS creamy aloe shampoo. it's a clarifier and chelator all in one, and i do need a chelating shampoo cause this water is hard as rocks. why not go the cheap route? it's five bucks at all the major stores, and that means it's also easy to pick up while i'm out and about instead of making a special trip to the mall to go to trade secret.

COWASH CONDITIONERS

  • herbal essences long term relationship. i already have and love the leave-in (too bad i discovered VO5) so why not? i have heard good things about it and i am a sucker for stuff that makes my hair smell fab.
  • herbal essences hello hydration. same deal here...it's relatively inexpensive...and smells like coconuts from what i have heard, just like my suave but souped up.
  • organix vanilla silk conditioner. a really lavish conditioner to add to my cowashes. supposedly gives amazing slip and has a nice smell. also contains SAA so i dont have to buy any.
  • organix coconut milk conditioner. sensing a theme with the coconut here? has eggs and coconut milk...so i can get the benefits without the mess.
  • VS so sexy conditioner. *i actually got this one* (2 bucks for the bottle on the exchange forum!!!) so i can post a review this weekend...yay! scent "lasts all day and evening" according to an amazon review, and while it's a bit expensive for cowashing (not this bottle, but the regular stuff) i still cant wait to smell it.

DEEP CONDITIONERS

  • hairveda sitrinillah hair masque. i am a sucker for deeply hydrating treatments that happen to make you smell like orange creamsicles. sue me.
  • aveda brilliant conditioner. aveda products are ridiculously expensive and i am hoping that it would do well for me like it does for so many other people. like, is it really "brilliant"?
  • redken smooth down butter treat. i have heard a slew of good things about redken...and since i am waiting on more reviews of the real control line this is something that i'm sure i can't go wrong with.
  • pantene relaxed and natural mask. a cheap staple for many people. i hate the regular pantene r&n products but perhaps the mask will help redeem the pantene image in my mind.
  • ORS hair mayo. i think this is still on my list from when i was transitioning, but just to keep my moisture/protein levels in check i need a good yet inexpensive protein DC.
  • joico moisture recovery treatment balm. again with the expensive miracle products...i need some moisture recovery right about now since i am slacking on the DCs this week. oops.
  • joico k-pak intense hydrator. another one that supposedly works miracles. i want to be the judge of this.

i plan on doing another list on leave-ins and styling aids...but no time soon. this is good, right? keeps me away from the BSS.

Monday, June 30, 2008

two more weeks...

...till i update my fotki. here are a few snippets to tide you over -roll eyes HERE- so enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

body beautiful

i decided a little while ago that if i'm ever going to be one of those people who is 100% satisfied with her body, there's no better time than the present in which to start. i'm getting the hair together, my skin should be finished turning around in another 2 or 3 weeks, and my summer mission to have people asking "what's that smell" (in a good way, LOL) is on a roll - bath and body works' pearberry and victoria's secret's a slice of heaven are to DIE for. damn sales. anyway, there are a few flaws i'm not too worried about - i can't really do anything about my effed up eyesight, my stretch marks are fading over time and i'm lucky enough to have a guy who likes them, and i'm not overweight (or underweight for that matter). the problem is...i'm out of shape like hell. when i was younger my mom always thought the fact that i have sickle cell would keep me from playing sports and partaking in any kind of strenuous activity, but i proved her wrong when i cheered and did gymnastics in high school. i was in the best shape ever during cheerleading, but i kinda took it for granted most of the time. now that i am in college i feel so blah. i think i have gotten bigger from being on depo-provera, but the weird thing is my weight has only fluctuated about 5 lbs between now and my senior year of high school. i can look and see it though; my butt and thighs are a bit bigger, but i (we? ha) don't mind that nearrrrrly as much as my belly! i am 5'5" 123 with a GUT! it's soooo disgusting! not to gross you out, but i can literally grab my belly. this is the part where everyone goes "wtf are you talking about" but i know it's bad when my bf comes home from school, wraps his arms around my waist, and says "baby, what's going on here?" believe me, if i could suck the fat from my tummy and put it in my ass i would, but that costs too much and i've got things to save for, like a new car and other material things that i probably don't need but buy to make myself feel better. i'm trying to do something about it - i bought this really great baby phat monokini (shoot me) and i want to lose the belly before it makes its debut.




here comes the problem...i have no idea where to start. i thought back to my cheerleading days and i realized that most of what we did was cardio, but i haaaaate running and i don't have access to a track right now anyway. (you are out of your skull if you thought i was gonna run outside when it is 95 degrees every day.) i am working on the things i can change - my diet and indoor activities.


dietwise, it's simple; i stopped eating fast food and drinking soda as a new year's resolution and i've only cheated maybe 4 times since then, and i recently adopted a nalgene to make damn sure i'm getting my 64 oz of water a day. along with that, i have begun eating even healthier, virtually eliminating all the prepackaged foods that have been a staple of my college lifestyle. i also bought a bunch of fruits and veggies, like broccoli, carrots, celery, salad mix, peaches, strawberries, bananas, and apples. i snack a lot so i'm trying to snack healthier - oatmeal or a slice of cinnamon raisin bread in the morning, the veggies and a little ranch dip for something to munch on in front of the TV, a slice of cheese melted on some nature's own 12-grain bread if i need something cheesy (this stuff is good but usually costs like 3 bucks...can you believe i found some at dollar tree?!), pretzels or popcorn (just not the whole bag anymore) for salty cravings, and jello with whipped cream for my sweet tooth. it's working really well as of now, and there is enough variety there where i can go for a while without repeating anything. i HATE eating the same things over and over again!


i haven't done too much about my activity level, since what i really want to do is hit the gym and get on the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes. i have those available at school, but home is a different story. therefore, i will be doing yoga till august. perhaps by now you have realized i am way too cheap to be paying for yoga, but i came across this great channel that apparently we have had all along called FitTV, and they have yoga for free. (there really is something on TV for everyone.) namaste yoga is a half-hour long show that i have been working out along with for a few days now and i really like it. i am slowly regaining my flexibility, which i discovered i lost when my thighs started burning, and it's a great relaxation technique, which helps when i am super stressed. sure, some of the poses are hard (that crane is a bitch and a half), but i am a beginner in every sense of the word and i expect that they will get easier, just like doing all that running did back in high school. it's a low-impact way to get back in shape, and i'm so happy i discovered this cheap but effective way to get my body back.


hopefully i will be able to say in a few weeks that i see some semblance of a six-pack (three-pack?) coming back. if not, at least i will feel healthier. that's a start, right?