Curls Are My World

In high school, my favorite hairstyles were ponytails and hair buns. Actually, they weren’t my favorite hairstyles, but because I couldn’t manage my natural hair, they were the easiest. I started letting my hair down, so to speak, in college, but still wasn’t satisfied with the gel and countless hair products I had to use to keep my hair frizz-free for the entire day. Little did I know, those were the very same hair products that were stripping my hair of moisture and not doing me any good.

When I landed my first job after college, I encountered another curly haired woman. This was exciting to me because most curly girls I came across didn’t embrace their natural hair and would straighten it all the time. But now, I was no longer alone. Her curls were bouncy and healthy, so of course I had to ask what her secret was. She simply said DevaCurl and the “Curly Girl Method“. When I tell you this changed my curly hair outlook, believe me, it did! If you’ve never read Lorraine Massey’s book The Curly Girl Handbook, walk, do not run, to the nearest bookstore (or simply download on your ebook, haha). I don’t think you necessarily have to be a curly girl to benefit from this book. You learn a lot about the detrimental effects of shampoo, for example.

I won’t get into too much detail about the book, but I will tell you that I do not use shampoo on my hair. I haven’t in years! I know it sounds disgusting, but shampoo is not the answer to cleansing hair. The sulfate found in most shampoo products strips hair of moisture…the one thing a curly girl needs. There’s the DevaCurl No-Poo method, which you can learn more about in the book, but as I noted in a previous blog, I used egg whites to cleanse before conditioning my hair and sometimes I use baking soda as another option.

Massaging the scalp prior to washing your hair is key to alleviating product build-up. I find myself just conditioning my hair sometimes (with no cleansing method) and my hair remains nice and healthy. If you have curly hair, you don’t want to wash it more than twice a week. Again, moisture is key!

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Now DevaCurl products have “fragrance” as an ingredient, which is an ewg.org “no-no”, but I haven’t found another product just yet that matches up to the DevaCurl results. I use DevaCurl and Shea Moisture products. Stay tuned for more info on Shea Moisture in a later blog.

Aside from applying the right products to your hair, a healthy diet is also a must. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Beauty is not always what you see; internal beauty is just as important as external.

My favorite DevaCurl products:

  • One Condition
  • Set It Free
  • Angel (I’m not a big gel person, but if you follow the curly girl method and scrunch after letting your hair air dry, the results are absolutely amazing!)

Let me know if you guys have any other curly hair suggestions that are sulfate and paraben free.

Lady in Red

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick. – Gwyneth Paltrow

Red lipstick may seem daring to some, but if you’re brave enough, it can really add a classy, sophisticated look to your outfit.  Granted my “duck face” image below is anything but classy, but hey, a girl’s gotta have fun!

I’m wearing Vapour Organic Beauty’s Siren Lipstick in Bold.

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Basic Eye Make-Up

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Hope you guys had a wonderful, relaxing Sunday!

Weekends are usually carefree and fun, which gives you the liberty to reflect that in your make-up.  On the weekends, I try to wear as little make-up as possible and sometimes I just wear mascara (unless an outing calls for a more polished look).  It’s amazing what a few applications of mascara can do to give you that effortless look.

My absolute favorite mascara right now is Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara by Physicians Formula.  I haven’t tried the water-proof version yet, but two coats of this stuff and you’re good to go for the day.  No flakiness and lots of volume!  I’m a contact lens wearer and noticed my eyes constantly seemed red in the past.  I always thought it was the brand of contacts I was using, but when I switched to this mascara, the irritation went away.  It’s paraben free and does not contain harsh chemicals.  If my eyes ever feel irritated now, it’s usually due to allergies.

The Organic Wear mascara scored 1 out of 10 on ewg.org/skindeep/, which means it’s a low hazard product.  Now if you’re not familiar  with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, get acquainted ASAP.  Whenever I’m interested in a product and have time to research it before running to a store, I visit their site and search for the product.  They have a rating system to help you determine the safety of your products based on ingredient concerns (overall hazard, cancer, allergies, and more).  Unfortunately, EWG doesn’t have the funds to research and rate every product other there, but you can search over 64,000 products on their site!

Another basic eyewear product is eyeliner.  I’m definitely an eyeliner fan.  I was initially using an eyeliner from Vapour Organic Beauty, but ran out so I just picked up Sante Naturkosmetik.  Both are low hazard products, which make me feel a lot better about what I’m applying on my face.

With that said, check out your favorite products on EWG and become more aware of safer alternatives.  You’ll feel a lot better when you have safer cosmetics in your make-up bag…trust me!

Homemade Hair Protein Masque

Protein is an absolute MUST for all hair textures, but you don’t have to pick up pricey hair masques or deep conditioners to get results.  Simply grab an egg, or two, or three (depending on your hair length) and that’s it!  Protein galore!!!

After you shampoo/condition your hair, separate the egg whites and the egg yolks.  Egg yolks provide moisture, which I always welcome, while egg whites can be used to cleanse the scalp.  I also like to add about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to reap the extra benefits of keeping the hair strong and less susceptible to breakage.  Apply the egg yolk and coconut oil mixture all over your hair, cover it with a plastic hair cap, and leave it in for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Once that’s done, you can use the egg whites to massage your scalp and then use your hair cleansing method to wash your homemade recipe off your hair.

You can determine whether or not your hair is lacking protein by stretching a strand and seeing if it bounces back to it’s natural state.  If it breaks while you’re doing the “test” or doesn’t bounce back, you need to stick to a protein regimen (preferably this one) to get your hair lively and bouncy.  Don’t be discouraged!  Also, don’t go overboard with protein masques.  As they say, too much of anything is never good.

Do this once or twice a month and your hair will thank you for it!!!

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Ingredients:

1 Egg for short hair; 2-3 for medium to long hair

Unrefined Coconut Oil (1 tbsp.) – My favorite right now is the Dr. Bronner’s brand, which can be found at your local health food store.

Enjoy!

Organic Beauty Never Looked So Good

Welcome to my first post!

Like most women, I love to look my best both professionally and personally.  Yes, I have my ponytail, sweatpants wearing days, but I’ve always been amazed with how beauty products can make you feel invincible.  Apply your favorite nail polish and you instantly have a new look!

Yet, have you ever looked at the list of ingredients on your favorite lotion or shampoo and think, “How in the world do you pronounce that word?”  Chances are, that one word can signify a harmful chemical that you’re applying on your skin or hair.  Life may be challenging, but choosing safe products for your skin, hair, and every day use shouldn’t be.

Growing up with naturally curly hair, I’ve probably tried every hair product out there to fight the frizz and tame my locks.  Little did I know, ingredients in those hair products were contributing to my unmanageable hair days.  I’d have to say I started becoming more knowledgeable about safer alternatives when one of my former co-workers introduced me to DevaCurl a couple years ago (stay tuned for more details in a later blog).  In addition to hair, I learned about 3-free nail polishes and became even more passionate about finding safer alternatives to the toxic and harsh chemicals found in our favorite brands.

Granted, most (if not all) cosmetic brands include ingredients either on the product itself or online, but these brands and ingredients are not subject to premarket approval from the FDA.  Isn’t that absurd?  We’re only given one life and while we don’t want to go crazy and spend hours reading a list of ingredients, we should become more aware of what we’re putting on our skin and hair.  I mean let’s face it – beauty shouldn’t be so scary!

Now here I am, ready to share my knowledge with you.  We apply so many products day after day without even thinking about what our skin is absorbing, but rest assured, there are fun, long-lasting products out there that will make your beauty routine more manageable and safe.

This segues to a meaningful message from my Yogi tea bag:

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Enjoy!!!

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