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.

New Routine Cometh

As Spring and eventually Summer approaches, I can’t wait to transition my natural hair care routine from harsh winter protective styling and thick products to light products and simple styling!  Finally able to wear my hair out without worry of cold winter winds, no hats to remember!

In the warmer weather with more humidity in the air, humectant products will come in handy.  Humectants absorb moisture from the air/atmosphere, imparting it into the hair to create lush well-moisturized locks.  Honey is a natural humectant and I am just chomping at the bit to try out Oyin’s Honey Hemp Conditioner 🙂  I’ve heard all good things about it and can say that I like the ingredients list: purified water, organic aloe vera gel, behentremonium methosulfate (emulsifier derived from colza oil), honey, virgin hemp oil, , coconut oil, vegetable glycerine, hydrolized silk, citrus essences, fragrance, optiphen (preservative).   I adore the Frank Juice that I have by them, so why not test out another Oyin product?  Have you utilized their line?  What’s your thoughts on the products?

As well, Suave makes a humectant conditioner that sounds pretty boss.  For $2.50, REALLY can’t go wrong trying that out!  May use that for cowashing and the honey hemp for deep conditioning.  I can just feel my hair swelling up with moisture as I type, just at the thought 😀

Spring also is the time for great accessories!  With our hair being out more, can rock gorgeous headbands, cool flowers, and other creative pieces.  I look forward to supporting Boutique de Bandeaux by buying up plenty of girly hair accoutrements.

Now that my hair is getting pretty big/long, can have much variety on the different looks created.  I want to try out fro hawks, learn how to flat twist, and experiment with different products for my wash and go such as curl creams to emphasize definition.  Oh the possibilities!  I love Spring, just breathes new LIFE into things 😀    What are some of the hair/looks ideas that you want to try out for the upcoming season?

hair hero:  Jordan Richardson

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