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)

Skincare/Hair Products Reviews

As promised in my previous skincare posting, I am now updating with reviews of the products used.  For the most part, I am quite happy would recommend the products, but there were some blips and changes to a couple.

Kiss My Face brand citrus cleanser:

This cleanser is mild and wonderful, not much of a smell surprisingly.  I thought that it would have a strong citrus aroma (which I’d love, since I like citrus) but it’s soft and creamy without being overbearing.  Honestly, while using it, can’t smell at all and only can if I shove my face into the container.  The skin is not at all left feeling stripped or dry, in fact, VELVETY is the way that I would describe my skin afterwards.  Plush and supple skin is wonderful to have, wouldn’t you say?  I give this product an A+ I have normal to dry skin, so it works well and according to this review, it even works wonderfully for oily skin types!  Because of the wonderful experience with the face cleanser, I would quite like to try out the citrus lavender moisturizer

Invigorating Face Wash by Himalaya

This face wash has the texture of most body washes, gel type with a pick-me-up scent so it is quite invigorating!  I like it for the morning because the scent wakes me up and this too doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped.  The cinnamon is the main scent and is quite pleasant.  I give this product an A as well.  Clean skin that isn’t left dry or irritated!

Sea Tonic Toner with Rosewater and Aloe

Zia toner is pleasant, I spray onto a cotton ball and use it after either cleanser.  Skin is balanced and I can’t complain.  I also have some Skinceuticals dry skin formula, which also works well for me.  Toner can be left out of the regimen, I just happened to see the normal/dry skin formula and picked some up, but it’s really just like refreshment that isn’t necessary so don’t feel that it’s required.

Burt’s Bees acne solutions spot treatment

I give this product an F.  The scent is VERY overpowering, smells like black licorice and pine sol or something!  NOT what I want to put on the face, but then I said fine, I’ll choke a little bit if it can clear up my face.  Turns out the complete opposite happened, it broke me out and I’m not sure from which ingredient but perhaps salicylic acid and I don’t agree??  Even if I were perfectly fine with salicylic acid, the smell is bad enough and strong enough to get a huge veto.  I returned it because I wasn’t liking any bits of it.  F-

So instead, I went to buy Neutrogena on the spot Acne vanishing cream with benzoyl peroxide and that stuff is wonderful!  It doesn’t smell at all let alone overpoweringly so, is a nice cream that doesn’t feel harsh, and best of all is clearing up acne so I give this product an A+ Some products can make the skin feel tight and dry when it’s doing it’s work, but this doesn’t have that effect and I am GRATEFUL.  It promises maximum strength effectiveness while being gentle and it lives up to this claim.  Every time that I wash my face/tone,  I add some of this afterwards and before moisturizing, also sometimes if I am just sitting at home during the day.

So far it has been a week of this regimen and the only blip was the awful experience for 3 days with the Burt’s Bees.  I tried to give it a chance, thinking that maybe it gets worse before it gets better, but it ADDED acne, irritated my skin, BURNED on application, and nearly knocked out my sense of scent along with causing coughing fits.  The only thing that I feel is missing from the program is something that fades dark spots because I have many from past acne.  The products I am using now will perhaps keep the skin clear and smooth, but what about the hyperpigmentation NOW?  I need to find something amazing for that, that works for brown girls, and that doesn’t cost my first born child.

Now on to hair.  I experimented a bit this week with products, adding honey to my line-up as a pre-poo treatment before I shampoo’d with my new Trader Joes Tingle Tree Shampoo.

What is a pre-poo treatment, you may ask and it’s a valid question.  Pre-poo’ing is the process of using oils or other nourishing ingredients to deep condition the hair before washing with shampoo, which can sometimes strip the hair. Using a pre-poo imparts extra moisture and protects strands.  My pre-poo was a mixture of honey, coconut oil, and olive oil which I then let saturate under a heat cap for 40 minutes.  Upon removing the cap, I was mortified, lol!  The hair was sticky and hard with honey so I was terrified that I’d used too much and that it would have an effect like when someone gets gum stuck in the hair, so I thought that I’d ruined everything.  I hurried and hopped into the shower and you can not even imagine my relief when the water hit it and the hair became soft and manageable!  So don’t feel scared or worried if after conditioning with the honey that the hair SEEMS to be a hot sticky mess, because really it worked well.  I’d been warned that shampooing with the tingle tree could leave the hair feeling stripped and dry, but once the honey mask mixture was applied it protected the hair and there was no overly dry/stripped feeling!  Bravo 🙂  Generally, I cowash my hair which is washing with conditioner instead of shampoo because it is so moisturizing and can clean also if the scalp is paid attention to, but sometimes I like to shampoo with a mild, natural shampoo just to be sure that my scalp doesn’t develop scabs or sores from product build-up.

Skin Program Begins

In my previous post I talked about my desire for beautiful skin and the fact that I need to research into getting a glowing, healthy, even complexion.  Well readers, I went to the health store where I purchased all of my wonderful hair care items and stocked up on a new set of products aimed at completing that goal.  As I am apt to do, I spent the weekend looking into reviews and products, finding out the characteristics of my skin type, delving into knowledge about what products can aid hyperpigmentation for brown skin, and what ingredients to look for/be weary of.  Apparently lemon and lime oils can help with the fighting of dark spots, so I purchased a Kiss My Face brand citrus cleanser:

It has a very thick, rich appearance, like whipped cake frosting and smells mild and good.  Lemon, lime, and olive type of a fragrance, not at all unpleasant.  I will put a dollop of that on my clarisonic brush and use it with the hopes that it can brighten my complexion’s impurities.

Next up is the Invigorating Face Wash by Himalaya.  This wash made of cinnamon, lemon, and honey is more of a gel consistency with flecks of gold through it.  I plan to use one in the morning and other wash in the evening, haven’t decided on an order yet.  The scent is rather invigorating, I’d say….sort of cinnamon and mint I suppose I’d rate the fragrance as.

Post washing I will apply Burt’s Bees acne solutions spot treatment for any active acne that is present on my face.   It’s a liquid with a strong citrus slightly floral smell.  Not unpleasant, but sort of home cleanser like.

Last but not least, I have a Daily Essence 100% vegan Facial Moisturizer.  It’s just a basic moisturizer, creamy with jojoba oil and aloe vera.  Smells like most lotions such as Ponds, nothing stand out or bad.

Will review all of these products after I use them and keep you abreast of any progress!  Happy skin days ahead, hopefully

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