Shockingly Good Drugstore Finds

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What product have you found for cheap in the drugstore that you are just shocked about how great it works? A long wear lipstick, amazing foundation, perfect shampoo….What low cost item just BLOWS your mind?

I have to say that I am in LOVE with V05 conditioner, that would be my holy grail drugstore purchase. Will you believe that it is only $.79??? 79 CENT ya’ll!! And NO other conditioner makes my curls as defined or so easily able to be detangled.  Another drugstore find that I adore is Covergirl Lash Blast. Good price and makes the lashes pop in girly beauty!  My last ultimate find is the Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat.  For around $5, it makes my nails dry in about a minute and provides pretty shine!  Can’t beat that.

Cover Girl 805 Lash Blast .44 OzProduct Image

We all have our designer makeup obsessions, spa grade skincare loves, and expensive organic haircare buys, but right now it’s time to give a little nod to the drugstore faves….LET’S HEAR IT! Dish dish dish, share your low cost secrets 😀

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Post Braids Healthy Hair Regimen

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A few days ago I took down the cornrows because they were a bit back heavy and giving me a headache.  No good, right?  Especially seeing as to how I started a new job (YAY!!) and needed to have my wits about me, not worrying about an aching head.

A good start that I followed so as not to have tangles from dead hair build up and dirt from the braids was to comb through with my fingers and then a wide tooth comb as I took down every braid.  This is VERY important to do BEFORE washing your hair post braids because let me tell you, it is NOT fun or a pretty sight to step into the shower and get the hair wet only to have it turn into massive dreadlock -type balls of tangled hair, dirt, and product build up.  My mother had braids for the first time a couple of months ago and she did not detangle well before getting in the shower (I wasn’t home to tell her this vital step, she thought she could just hop into the shower and wash her hair as normal) and let’s just say her thoughts about doing a big chop and going natural like me became a reality a LOT quicker than she’d imagined.  She emerged with matted clumps of hair that even her stylist couldn’t detangle, so chop chop and now my mama is officially a natural diva like yours truly.   It just so happened that she had a somewhat short haircut anyway, likes short hair and planned to chop at some point, but BE CAREFUL because there won’t be that silver lining for you if you had no plans to cut your hair and then NEED to.

Mama's new haircut

After detangling well, I deep conditioned to soften my hair by applying Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, olive oil, and coconut oil for approximately 30 minutes.  This step is great because it pampers your hair after being tucked away for a while, moisturizes, and like I said, it makes it soft and lush for the washing aspect.  This was followed by Trader Joe’s Tingle Tree shampoo because I wanted to get my scalp all invigorated and clean.  I love the fact that it actually does make your skin tingle!  Wash well to get any residue from having those braids and then smooth lots of conditioner through the hair (I used a combination of Aubrey Organics GPB and Suave Almond and Shea Butter).  Let this work its magic while you shower as normal and maybe do a body polish/scrub.  Use a shower comb and gently comb through while the conditioner is in the hair to make sure that there are no matted or tangled bits (there shouldn’t be any if the other steps were followed correctly; my hair was so easy to handle by this point).

Voila, soft healthy hair post braids!  No need to chop off sections or cry because of the nightmare of trying to detangle a matted ball of curls. Just diligently work with it as you go and then there’ll be no horror movie ending for your tresses.  I then dried my hair some by plopping a t-shirt on my hair to soak up some of the water so that I could twist my hair while damp and not sopping wet.  Using Qhemet Biologics Olive and Honey balm, I made small twists all over my head as a protective style.  I left these in for a couple of days, pinning back the front in a cute style for work and then untwisted and fluffed for the weekend (I can wear my hair in a twist out for work, I just wasn’t going to untwist them that soon since it takes me a while to twist because I have bad shoulders).  Easy peasy, hair is healthy and growing.

Hopefully this is helpful for those who are thinking about getting braids!  These steps made the post-wash and detangle session a breeze.

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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

Sucked in by Honeysuckle Rose

Okay, count me IN on the honeysuckle rose bandwagon!  This stuff is LUXE, so rich and creamy and smells delightful, not overpoweringly floral like I feared.  It smells like sweet candied roses, lol, whatever that would smell like.  I hate floral scents, so if I’m loving this, then it definitely is good!  lol

the great, natural ingredients are: coconut fatty acid cream base, aloe vera, shea butter, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, honeysuckle oil and a host of other natural yummy for the hair things 😀    I added olive oil as well and sat with it on my hair under a shower cap for an hour while I watched something.

When I took the cap off, holy sweetness, it was so soft and lush!  Definitely definitely definitely like this conditioner!  Hopped my happy self into the shower to rinse it out then cowashed with my organix coconut conditioner.  I’ve been finding that when I rinse it out with water as cold as I can stand, that it really does make curls pop more, so I did that.  Applied Kinky Curly Knot Today and coconut oil, then sprayed with concoction that I made and talked about in previous post.  After that, it was experiment time where I tried out the new technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx9WhK-NY00

Results:   well, I don’t know….it’s okay.   Pretty much figured out that she and I don’t have the same type of hair, lol!  Mine does not look like hers, but ya know at least I tried something different. Pretty much an afro with some curlies popping somewhat, decent look, but I’ll stick to my twist outs or roller sets.  Just more my speed!  I used Fantasia IC gel instead of ecostyler and am glad that hair isn’t crunchy even though i used a truckload of gel.  I’ll probably wash this out in a couple of days and maybe roller set my hair since I bought new rollers today.

edit:  i look all of 12 years old in these pics, lmao….i swear, i’m of age and legal, for all you who may have naughty thoughts looking at me and my fro goodness and glasses 😛   It looks different in real life, looks better….i dont know why hair never shows up right in pics for me!

Trying new things

See this pretty hair here??  It’s going to be mine very soon 😀  It’s a WIG and a very very good one at that…..Looks awesome and real to me 😀  woot, can’t wait!  Debating if I should get dark brown or jet black.  decisions, decisions.  I’ve had plenty of wigs before, but never curly, always straight.  Well, one was a bit wavy, that I talked about in my Halle Berry hair post, but mostly just straight wigs.  I’ll do an impromptu photoshoot with my new powershot when i get the wig! 😉

Did my hair today, twisted my whole head by myself 😀  goooooo me!   I first washed with my Pure Life Aloe shampoo/conditioner, saturated my hair in olive oil and my new BWC Moisture plus conditioner, then used the Giovanni leave in conditioner and coconut oil.  Twisted the hair with blended beauty and sprayed with the Qhemet Karkady tea mist.   Whew!  I didn’t do it in any special neat way, just grabbed hunks of hair and twisted.  I’m not planning on wearing my hair like this, want to do a twist out tomorrow with my sparkly happy new year head piece!  For now it’s just under my satin bonnet saturating in moist goodness 😀

Okay, reviews:

BWC moisture plus conditioner:  Not impressed, honestly.  I absolutely HATE the smell.  Oh my goodness, I was in the shower just suffering, and I have a MASSIVE bottle of the stuff 😦  For all of you people who enjoy floral scents, you may like it, it’s like straight lavender scent and I can not STAND floral scents, just NO.  DO NOT LIKE.  😦  Wasn’t much slip either, so really no reason to stock up on it.  I mixed with the olive oil and it turned out pretty soft, but I’m not super impressed with the conditioner.   Overall Grade: C-

Karkady Tea Mist:  No strong scent, just wet good moisture!  I give it an A, it does what I want which is spray moisture onto my hair.  I like it enough, but I’ll probably just use the bottle afterwards for water to resaturate my hair when I am styling it and stick to Oyin juices for moisture simply because I love the scents of them 😀  Both are same price, $11 so no biggie.  It’s great for having in braids though, easily moisturizes the hair and the nozzle is boss!

Giovanni leave in:  also not impressed.  It just seemed to sit on my hair, white and wet with the water.  Maybe if my hair were more dry?  I used it instead of the Kinky Curly Knot Today because kckt didn’t seem to play well with my blended beauty cream when I tried to do fingercoils.  Didn’t feel all that moisturized with it either 😦  Hair felt dry when I had to keep rewetting to twist.  So….I guess this gets a D until I try again.

Here’s pics after the twist job.  I just grabbed and twisted, so some places have bigger patches of scalp showing, i’m not balding! lol

Hair is growing nicely, I stretched one lock at back of head and here’s were it’s at:

New Products, New Year Plans

Bought more products :blush:   I know I know, like I don’t have enough products already!  I have more products than hair, lol.  Today I stopped back at the health store and was saddened to see that the Qhemet amla and olive heavy cream hadn’t been replenished, so I couldn’t get cream that I wanted AND the Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose was out too, which I really really wanted since everyone raves about it in the natural community and my hair idol, Chime, swears by it 😦    Oh well, they should restock in the next week or so, and I’ll be back for both products.  It’s literally 5 minutes from my house, so not out of the way or anything (unfortunately, for my wallet, lol)

You know I didn’t walk out empty handed though, that just would not be right!  😉  I ended up with some Qhemet anyway, decided to purchase the  Karkady tea mist since my beloved Frank Juice only has a 1/3rd left to the bottle and I wanted to try out Qhemet anyway.  But I’ll be buying some more Oyin juices, will try out the Greg and Juices and Berries since I love the Frank juice so much.  Also bought two new conditioners, BWC Moisture plus conditioner and Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner so that I can deep condition for some protein.  I bought the tiny bottle just so that I can test it out and know that my hair isn’t against protein, if it likes, I’ll buy the bigger bottle!  If I like the moisture plus BWC conditioner, I’ll want to try the  Rosemary-tea tree-mint conditioner, that sounds like great ingredients.

Was just reading the back of my Organix conditioners, the coconut and the shea butter ones, and they have cones in them 😦  (silicones)  I didn’t know that at first and hear that cones aren’t good….I’ll have to do my hair without using either of those and see if I notice any difference.  I love the smell but if silicones aren’t so good for our hair then I won’t keep them around for fragrance alone!  But if my hair isn’t having adverse affects from them, then I’ll use anyway, because what’s bad for one person may not be bad for someone else, right?  We’ll see and I’ll keep you updated!

After January 1st, I want to get cornrows so that I can have a nice protective style in this winter wonderland also known as Chicago that I reside in.  So cold and snowy and windy lately, and the last thing that I want is for my hair to break off or dry out from indoor heating and icy cold outdoors.  I’ve been pampering it and keeping it moisturized so that I can try and counteract the effects, like spraying my frank juice, using marula oil spray, olive oil mix, patting on my coco light .  Hopefully my precious hair can hold on to moisture until I get it into some cornrows.

hair hero of the day:   I adore her hair!  I want mine like that

Yay! New things galore

I’m a happy girl 🙂  Got the mail and my check was inside!  That took a weight off of my shoulders, can finish my little bit of xmas shopping and now have enough for my student loan payment Jan 4th…WOOO.  Not only that, of course with each check I have to go out and to the health food store for more hair products! lol, it’s a sickness, I know.  Bought $30 worth of stuff, 3 items:  Virgin coconut oil, Joie African Shea Butter Superlite, and Giovanni Direct Leave-In organic conditioner.    I will give product ratings once I try them out, will wash my hair on christmas eve so that it’s pretty and fresh for the holiday.

Then I got home and was relaxing, doorbell rang and VOILA, my beautiful accessories from forever 21!!!!  Yay, they all look so pretty 😀  Some of the headbands, well the sparkly silver one in particular, is so tight on my temples…will have to try to stretch that out a bit, can’t get a headache trying to be cute!  no ma’am, not this girl.  Here’s a photo show of my hair accessories like I said I would update 😀

First cowash only and finger coils

I decided to cowash my hair only and not use the shampoo, see if that made any change.  My hair didn’t feel much different, I think because that shampoo is SO mild, such natural good ingredients.   Anway, just cowashed by smearing in the shea butter conditioner in and massaging my scalp a bit.  Rinsed that out, poured in some olive oil and added coconut milk conditioner to that.  Let that sit and marinate while I did normal showering, rocking out to the always present iPod on my handy ipod stereo.  Michael Jackson, Gucci Mane, Duffy, all fun shower buddies, lol.

I think that I used more olive oil last Sunday when I washed my hair, it felt more silky then.  I’ll have to try that, not be stingy with the extra virgin olive oil.  I’m looking at the bottle now and it doesn’t look like I even used any, dunno why I’m acting like I have to hoard it, we’re in a recession but I think I can manage to stay out the poor house if I use a little more oil 😉   Rinsed that out, finished and finger combed Kinky Curly Knot Today through for softness and as a leave-in conditioner.

Faced with the wet mop on my head, I decided to finger coil the front half again with fantasia ic gel. Sprayed with Frank Juice afterwards.  I don’t know why, I try to do them tightly, but it never sticks tight at the roots 😦  womp womp!  So it appears puffy at roots but smooth spirals the rest of the way.  I’ll have to figure it out next time

bought fun new headbands from forever 21 online !! can’t wait until they get here, will post pics wearing the headbands when I get them, but here’s what I bought:

clip for side of hair

hair hero:  this great style is awesome! I want to rock it one day

Organix Shea Butter Conditioner

Organix Shea Butter

This stuff smells like caramel cake, I swear!  It’s absolutely orgasmic, I was in love in the shower 🙂  I bought this and the coconut conditioner buy one get one free at Walgreens and must say, best $6.99 I’ve spent in a while!  Organix Shea Butter conditioner is pretty nice on it’s own, but I especially loved how my hair felt last time when I added olive oil to my hair along with the conditioner, so I will do that on any further washes.  Hair felt so soft and moisturized then.  It’s pretty fluffy and okay now that I used JUST the conditioner, but last time it felt amazing.

I still shampoo’d with my Pure Life soap co aloe 2 in 1 conditioner, next time I’ll just try co-washing alone, just the conditioner.

overall I really like it, mainly because of the smell. I’m a sucker for sweets, baked goods, so a conditioner that smells good enough to eat is just FINE by me!

I did a wash n go, just letting it air dry and do it’s own thing, but I much prefer my hair last time, when I did the finger coils and coil out.  I’ll be co-washing in a couple of days and will be sure to either get my mom to add some flat twists or braids to the front or to finger coil it myself, SOMETHING to give it some flair and oomph.

hair hero of the day: tracie thoms

Braids out, Fro in

Spent all day taking my kinky twists out yesterday…whew, feels good to get those suckers off of my face and everything 😀  I thought I wouldn’t like my hair when I cut it a couple of months ago, but I must say, it’s nice not to have ish on my face that I just have to pull back anyway.

Woke up today and followed the oil rinse steps here: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/showthread.php?t=59556&highlight=Oil+rinsing which is basically to do the following:

1. Rinse (or shampoo) your hair (I used my new Pure Life soap co aloe 2 n 1 shampoo/conditioner.  Smells really good and is nice and creamy.  Felt nice and rich.  Amazing ingredients, not harsh at all)
2. Coat in your favorite oil (I used extra virgin olive oil and my hair felt the most soft that it ever has in LIFE)
3. Apply conditioner (I used my organix coconut conditioner and went to heaven.  smells like coconut cake, I wanted to stay in the shower all day with that delicious smell.  Hair felt soft and lush still because I let conditioner soak with the olive oil on my hair.  Definitely will do that everytime I wash, mix the conditioner and olive oil.)
4. Rinse with cool/cold water

5. Apply leave-in (I used kinky curly knot-today, also smells great 🙂 )

I also did a tea tree cholesterol after the conditioner, but I’m not sure that my hair liked that.  It felt softer and stuff without, so I think that I will do all of the steps next time without doing the cholesterol.

Hair smelled and felt terrific, sniff sniff 🙂  here’s my wet and extra curly hair (I snipped some of those straight ends that can be seen in the pic, I realize that the beautician didn’t get ALL of the straight pieces when she did my big chop)

curly wet hair

went by the steps in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjdcJIKIRjg for finger coils, no way was I doing my whole head, would have taken forever!  I did the front because I unfortunately think that I heat damaged my hair when I had a sew in a couple of months ago when I went to New York, not knowing all of the hair info that I know now about heat settings and flat ironing.  Stupid me, so the front isn’t as curly as the rest 😦  😦    I did the front half of my hair with the coils with fantasia IC gel and let the rest be the curly mop that it is.  Love that gel, it’s not stiff and smells AMAZING.  I’m glad i got a HUGE tub of it for $4

finger coiled front

I then sprayed Oyin Frank Juice all over and sealed with an olive oil mix.  Come tomorrow once it’s all dry, I’ll undo the coils and toss on a headband 🙂   These pics don’t do it justice, it’s full small spirals and quite cute, I wish that I could make the images look like real life.  oh well!

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