Beauty Tips

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I’ve mentioned before that since Kell’s birth I’ve become quite the schlumpadinka. I decided to kick up my game just a little bit. With some pointers from the fabulous Erica B. I got out of sweats and into something a bit nicer. I needed something that I could slip into as easily as sweats, but with a little more panache. She suggested pullover sweaters, button up shirts and loafers, and she was right. It gives my look a bit of oomph, but since I bought the sweaters and shirts at Target it’s not a tragedy if something is spilled on them.

I don’t generally wear makeup, mainly because I don’t have time, but I know I look better with a little something. I needed an under 5 minute routine that would have me out the door in a flash. Afrobella did a blog post on BB creams. I’d seen these mentioned in fashion mags, but didn’t know they came in deep colors, or were available at mass retailers like Target. She suggested one by Maybelline. This is crucial for me, because anything that requires a trip to the mall simply isn’t happening. I tried the BB cream  yesterday and it is gorgeous. So my basic routine is moisturize, BB cream, bronzer and lipstick. Last night for my fourteenth wedding anniversary, I smoked up my eyes a bit and added more powder. Looked great and most importantly, it didn’t take a lot of time.

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I’ve been searching high and low for a new moisturizer. I love Hope in a Jar, but it’s really too pricey to buy on a regular basis. After googling about I found this one. It’s less than $5.00 so I wasn’t expecting much. I was amazed at the level of moisture. And I have really dry skin that tends to look drab in the wintertime and this really helps. The fragrance is a bit off-putting, and I thought it might trigger my eczema, but so far, no worries. It’s light and non-greasy. Simply awesome.

And here’s my last little. I totally love Philosophy’s Vitamin C powder, but it too is out of reach price-wise. I’ve been looking for a replacement for nearly a decade now and think I’ve found it. Actually, I already had it and didn’t realize what I had.

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I buy these Vitamin C crystals for cold season to help give our immune systems a boost. It never occurred to me to use it on my skin until I read someone else’s review. Brilliant! It’s not as finely milled as the Philosophy product so I have to dissolve it in a little water. I keep a spray bottle on my sink for spritzing my hair, so I spray a little in the cup of my hand, and then put a quarter teaspoon of this powder in. It dissolves quickly and I spread it over my face, neck and décolletage, really any area that’s looking drab including my hands and elbows. Afterwards, I slather on my moisturizer, and there you go. It’s $18 for a pound as opposed to $35 for a quarter ounce. Now that’s WINNING! Vitamin C oxidizes rather quickly, so I take it out of the bottle it comes in and put it in a dark colored bottle I use for aromatherapy. I keep the big bottle in the closet so it’s not exposed to light and we still use it for colds. I love a product that multi-tasks.

Oh, you’ll be seeing this picture of me EVERYWHERE. It’s the first picture I’ve taken in years that I actually like!

Haircare Advice From “Professionals?”

Afrobella is one of my favorite blogs. I have it in my reader and have gotten good advice there on fashion and beauty. i especially love learning about the latest nail colors there. But when I saw this post yesterday I had to respond. There seems to be this mindset that professional cosmetolgists give better hair advice than bloggers or websites. That has not been my experience AT.ALL. When I first went natural back in 1998 it was BECAUSE of piss-poor advice and experiences with so-called professionals. So the notion of them debunking ANYTHING is nearly enough to send me into hysterics of laughter.

I started getting relaxers when I was eighteen. I spent more than a decade trying to find a cosmetologist who would relax my hair as I preferred. They insisted on relaxing my very thick hair bone straight. I never wanted that look and hated it passionately. I would go home afterwards, wash my hair and let it air dry to get more texture. After some research I realized what I was looking for was a texturizer and that I also needed to stretch my touch-ups out to about four a year. When I tried to discuss this with my cosmetologist whom I saw at least three times a month, she informed me that such things were for people with “good hair.” I knew then that I’d never see another “professional,” and have not been back to a salon since.

Of course, I’m grateful now that I never got that texturizer and instead eschewed chemicals altogether. I went from having to spend hours in the salon every week to not having been in one for nearly fifteen years. I’ve saved thousands of dollars not to mention endless aggravation. From time to time I wish that I could see a “professional” for a little pampering of my natural hair, especially for color, which I hate doing at home, but I’m too vain to go gray. This was especially true when I was pregnant and was so tired, but then I remember the aggravation of the long waits and how little “pampering” was actually involved and move on. I wish, oh how I wish this was something I could indulge in. The type of beauty treatments other women can take for granted, but unfortunately I never found after dozens of attempts. I’ve made appointments over the years to get my hair professionally colored, but have always cancelled after having what could best be described as a panic attack at the thought of suffering that abuse again. This is why I don’t assume that just because someone is a licensed professional that their word is any less suspect than a blogger. I think many professionals are mostly invested in keeping you in the chair for their services, at least bloggers are speaking from their own experience. If it doesn’t work at least it has cost you nothing.

When I went natural there were few, if any, so-called professionals who wanted to have anying to do with natural hair. If it didn’t involve lye and a flat iron they weren’t trying to hear it. My only recourse at that time was sites like Nappturality, a gold-standard resource I’ll put up against any licensed cosmetologist, most of whom have received NO TRAINING on natural textured hair. Now they see what a goldmine natural hair can be and resent that women have empowered themselves and broken free of their disdain and tyranny. When I first went natural I had to make my own products from coconut oil and shea butter I bought online. I learned about ACV rinse and the power of herbs like rosemary. I learned how to two-strand twist and the glory of spending time relaxing in my own home as I took care of my hair. There are plenty of poducts available now, but I still like knowing I can take care of my own. Did I learn any of this from the so-called pofessionals? Nope. This is information I gained from Nappturality and I’ll be damned if I’ll stand idly by while these “janie-come-latelies” put that site and others like them down.