Updates and Reviews

Starting Weight: 186

Now Weight: 184

I have a gym setup in my house that includes weights, an elliptical, an ab lounger, fitness quality jump rope, and dvds such as hip hop abs and celebrity bootcamp, so those will be the main things that I utilize for workouts and mention on the blog.  Since dedicating to getting healthier on Saturday, I used the elliptical for 30 mins and the ab lounger for many repetitions , all while watching Law & Order to distract me from the fact that I was doing a dreaded workout 😛  I find that music is cool to work out to, but watching tv DEFINITELY makes the time go by much more quickly.  Which do you prefer, music, television, reading, silent meditation,  etc while working out?

A good resource that I’ve come across for tracking your progress while losing weight, getting healthy  is the website http://sparkpeople.com/ It tracks calories, progress, fitness, and gives good tips so I would highly recommend it.  Just remember to keep it updated!

On to beauty and hair product reviews 😀  I know that’s what you want!

Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme - Hand Cream - Burt's Bees

I have found the key to satiny soft hands!   Burt’s Bees Almond Milk beeswax hand creme is pure heaven because it smells good, feels like lush creamy goodness, AND garners awesome results.  My hands take a beating in the winter because of the harsh cold winds of Chicago, so it’s nice to pamper them with something that leaves the skin feeling healthy and moisturized.  Wish that I’d had this for the winter!  A+ for this product all of the way.  I purchased mine while at the Cracker Barrel waiting to eat, but it can be found online or anywhere that Burt’s Bee’s products are sold such as Walgreens.

Since my hands are looking and feeling so much better, I’ve been on QUITE the nail polish kick, changing the color practically every other day.  Part of that changing so often is because of my general restlessness with one look, but another is the annoying fact that so many polishes chip if you happen to even LOOK at your nails the wrong way.  So annoying, right ladies?  Well, Sally Hansen has created a godsend for those of us who may want a nail look to last for more than half an hour.  Their new Complete Salon Manicure really does have the effect of a base coat, rich polish, and top coat in one.  This stuff LASTS!  So far I’ve purchased in Choco-latte and Hidden Treasure.  Hidden Treasure is fun because it’s clear with flecks of grey, pink, gold depending on how you look at it and works wonders when used as a top coat over something else.  When I went to Jamaica last week, I put on a cream colored base coat with Hidden Treasure on top and it lasted the whole trip of 4 days and beach fun.   Definite A+ on this line of products as well and I WILL be getting many more of the colors which can be seen here: http://www.sallyhansen.com/product.cfm?product=385

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish, Choco-Latte

Remember when I posted about starting to take biotin to help my hair continue to grow?  Well dear readers, I am one of those people who had the unfortunate side effect that they say can happen, which is broken out skin 😦  I’ve curtailed my usage of the supplement because it has caused a massive slew of bumps along my jawline and on my cheeks.  NOT a good look, especially when my hair has been healthy anyway and not really needing the extra help.   So I just wanted to give the update that Biotin is not the route for me, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you because different bodies react differently to it 🙂

Now about this huge head of hair I am growing.  My beloved Qhemet’s Amla and Olive heavy cream is running low, so of course I had to go to the health foods store and replace it.  While there, I happened to notice Qhemet’s Olive and Honey Hair Balm and a light bulb went off.  I’d spoken “here” about wanting to incorporate honey into my summer program because honey is a humectant and therefore takes moisture from the air and imparts it into the hair!  So when I saw that, I bypassed the heavy cream which may be a bit much for the summer humidity and grabbed up the olive/honey balm.   Can I just say, this stuff is divine?  PARTY time, I LOVE Qhemet’s 😀  Hair is soft and pretty and smells nice.  So far I’ve just added some to dry hair that was in an old twist out, but when I was my hair tomorrow, I will use it out of the shower for a wash and go and see how that works and to do some two strand twists.  I have high hopes on it’s moisture potential!  😀

hair hero: Singer Nneka (Check her out here: LOVE this song – Heartbeat)

Biotin Supplements

I’ve decided to start taking a biotin supplement in order to help my hair continue to thrive.  Any of you ladies take biotin and if so, what dosage?  The pills that I’ve acquired are 600 mcg, which I figured was a good number.  They had 1000mcg and 5000mcg, but that seems a bit high to start off, right?  When choosing new supplements, it is always good to start low and WORK up to a higher dosage than to start high and feel sick or have an adverse reaction.  They are Solgar Biotin tablets that I will take once daily and maybe double if I find that they work well and that I have no side effects.  Biotin is said to aid hair and nail growth, so the results should be quite interesting in the beauty realm of things.  Article on biotin found here. Please be sure to leave some comments about your experiences with the supplement!  I’m curious 🙂  Jenell of kinkycurlycoilyme has been raving about it and I’d heard good things before, so please share your experiences with it as well!

It is suggested that a good multivitamin also be consumed with the biotin and I’d run out of my multivitamin anyway, so I purchased Rainbow Light multivitamin/mineral daily pill with probiotics.  I’m bad with my nutrition, so having a good supplement for it is always a plus.  I know that it’s just that, a SUPPLEMENT aka addition to proper diet, but will work on improving my food diet.  This one is supposed to support digestive health, has nourishing hormone balancing herbs for women, and contains vegetable juice complex.  Sounds like win all around!

Washed the hair with Trader Joe’s Tingle Tree Shampoo for the second time tomorrow and must say that I find the tingly scalp feeling after the wash to be highly invigorating.  I’d allowed some lady to put a pomade on the side of my hair while at the Proud Lady Beauty and Hair show and it turned white and felt ENTIRELY too gummy, so I needed more than a cowash to insure that my hair would be clean and healthy.  This shampoo did the trick!  Felt clean and smelled deliciously of peppermint 🙂  I give the product an A and ingredients include rosemary, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil for clean smelling yummy hair.  I could see this feeling DIVINE in the summer after a hot/humid day because it’s so cooling and tingly, like a minty mojito for the scalp 😀

To follow up the shampoo, I used a moisture replenishing combination of the new rich and thick Suave Almond and Shea conditioner.  For the low price of about $3, you get a HUGE 32oz bottle of creamy goodness.  It felt nourishing on its own, but i added olive oil while in the shower so that I could make sure to impart enough moisture into my hair since I washed with shampoo and didn’t just cowash.  The conditioner contains no ‘cones and has ingredients like Shea butter, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, and sweet almond oil.  Nom nom!  I’ll update when I do a cowash with it so that you know how it fairs on its own 🙂

Hair Hero: the beautiful Tracie Thoms

Making my curls POP

Apparently my curlies LOVE them some protein 😀  I used V05 Passionfruit smoothie conditioner with soy milk proteins for the first time and WOWZA, I knew my hair was curly but I’d never had them all pop out and be so defined with NOTHING but a cowash.  Matter of fact, I’d never  had them that curly and defined EVER.  And this conditioner only costs about .70 cents, so really, can you go wrong??  I purchased at Walgreens.

edit: In my excitement, I forgot to post ingredients!  Thanks to JenellyBean for reminding me in the comments 😛 No ‘cones for the curlies who don’t like those, includes biotin too!  Even though that’s the last thing on the list so not sure how MUCH is included.  It’s slippery and more on the thin side, so I wouldn’t use as a deep conditioner since I prefer creamy thick ones for that, such as any Aubrey Organics conditioner.  But this is great for a cowash sometimes!  I also wouldn’t overdo it because of the protein and not wanting a protein imbalance 🙂  But it’s great for maybe every other week.

ingredients list: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Glyceryl Stearate, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Orange 4, Red 4, Polysorbate 20, Red 40, Propylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth 21, Tocopheryl Acetate, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Panthenol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Niacinamide, Biotin (Vitamin H)

I have 4a hair mainly with 3c in a patch directly in the center of my head.  The 4a curls often just fluff into an afro unless coaxed into a curly pattern, so while it generally looks like a regular ‘fro, the coily curls are there if I actually work to define them, just letting you know what type of hair I have so that you can decide if you want to try the conditioner 🙂

Pics of my hair straight out the shower, no product but the Vo5 used:

The conditioner smells super nice, fresh and fruity.  It’s really like a fruit smoothie, so definitely an A on the scent.  A for the curl definition and I’ll probably leave some in as a leave in conditioner the next time that I wash my hair with it.  Give it a go, girls 😀

Hair Hero of the day: coily curly girl Sophie Okonedo

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