Sunday, June 26, 2011


On Day Four of my post-Jessner's Peel, I think I've completed most of my peeling stage. The bulk of my skin peeled off on Day Three, leaving pink tingly patches of new skin underneath. I was a little concerned, but this morning, I don't have tingly pink patches and my skin looks fine and is super soft. I still have a few patches of dry skin, but nothing like compared to yesterday. A co-worker thought I had food on my face my skin was peeling so badly. I just didn't have the energy to explain the chemical peel process, but for those of you who don't know what it is, Google it!

I also noticed that my accidental conditioner made from coconut cream concentrate curdled! So, I won't be using that anymore (I don't add preservatives to my homemades) and now I'm wondering if my jar of coconut cream concentrate has curdled too.

I also won't be using Milk of Magnesia on my face anymore. Yes, it dried up the oil on my face, but it doesn't work too well under makeup...and the reason I have breakouts in the first place is due to dry skin.

But, I've found an alternative cleanser and moisturizer that I love! Skin Obsession's Face Peel cleanser and moisturizer are $5 each and they're amazing! The cleanser looks like gel, but foams up really well (pardon the little rhyme there) and removes my makeup in one swoop! Granted, I've switched to Mac Cosmetic's concealer and Studio Fix powder/foundation compared to Maybeline Dream Matte Mousse which takes some doing to wash off, I'm very pleased with this foaming gentle cleanser. I'm also digging the moisturizer as it happens to be comprised of coconut oil! Once I'm done peeling, I won't be using it under my makeup anymore, but I will definitely use it at night. I'll just use E.L.F.'s primer under my makeup as it prevents oil buildup and makes makeup application very quick and smooth.

Just four or five more peels to go over the next six months and I won't have to use concealer anymore!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Battin' Two for Three

Hair, weight and skin are three things I've been wanting to improve over the past few years. I tackled my hair last summer and beat that monster, hands down. This spring, I embarked on the battle of the bulge. I initially made some headway, but fell off the wagon so hard around Memorial Day, I might need a step ladder to get back on. But, for the past 10 years, I've been plagued by skin issues-the dreaded adult acne!

In a decade's time, I've all but ruined my face. After walking out of the office of a dermatologist who wanted to prescribe Accutane, I've haphazardly sought and destroyed every possible OTC acne no avail. Quite a few years ago, I took a gamble on an eBay product and it worked. The downside is I didn't continue using it, mostly because my second go round was a failure-I literally burned my face.

Now, older and wiser, I'm going to try this product again. So, next week, courtesy of Skin Obsession, I will be using the Jessner Peel.
I'd contemplated going to day spa for this treatment, but the DIY version is only $29.99 versus $100 or more a pop for what probably will require four to six treatments. Granted I'll resemble a Stonefish for a few days, I don't mind as this will yield permanent, long-lasting results.

As part of my preparation, I also stumbled upon Milk of Magnesia as a potentially powerful weapon against acne. For just $4.49 a bottle (about $2 cheaper than the Philips's brand but with the EXACT ingredient and milligrams), I'll be dabbing a bit of this on my face to keep the oil at bay and detoxify my skin. 
If this sounds far-fetched, trust me, I thought so too while watching a YouTube video about Milk of Magnesia and acne, but check this out... think it holds some merit and is worth a shot at such a cheap price. It's not like any other OTC acne products have worked, so why not try this one too? After all, you can't beat the price!

And, for added measure, I created the most amazing facial cleanser and makeup remover with this!
Any coconut oil will do, but I have quite a bit of this around the house. Coconut oil contains capric and lauric acids, and Vitamin E. The acids are great for killing the bacteria that cause acne and Vitamin E oil is powerful at fading blemishes. And the smell...only one other scent in the world is better than coconut!

The oil is incredibly light and doesn't leave a thick, greasy film on the face. And it's the best makeup remover I've ever used! I've tried tons of facial cleansers over the years, but this is my absolute favorite. Simply put a little in the palm of your hand, massage into the skin, and wipe off with a baby wipe! For good measure, I apply the coconut oil twice but my second baby wipe is always spotless. Coconut oil removes all of my makeup (lipstick, foundation, concealer and mascara) in one fell swoop WHILE disinfecting AND moisturizing my face!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bye Bye Hello Hydration!

I've had the most delicious little curls all week so I really debated washing my hair this weekend until I remembered I had two new items to try out.

My first test item was a so-called shampoo I made earlier this week. In a nutshell, I added coconut cream concentrate to my homemade creamy Castille shampoo. When I rubbed a sample into my skin, it felt so luxurious I couldn't wait to try it out. Sadly, my "shampoo" was masquerading as a conditioner. I was a bit disappointed at first, but as I have yet to perfect a conditioner, I ultimately was quite pleased with the final results. So, two coils up for my new and VERY accidental Creamy Coconut Castille Conditioner! While it has no scent, it is perhaps the most moisturizing conditioner I've used thus far. And, while it also has not a lick of slip, given how soft my hair felt after using it, I think I've broken my slip addiction!!!!! I'm thinking this could be the new "Creamy Crack!"

As yummy as my hair felt after accidentally washing it with my new homemade conditioner, I couldn't resist trying Jungle Conditioner from LUSH. To be fair, I did wash my hair with my homemade African Black Soap/Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo prior to giving Jungle a test drive-I've been waiting almost a whole week for this!
LUSH's Jungle Conditioner is a solid conditioner bar, but I diluted mine in aloe vera juice last week to make it easier to use. It took a while to dissolve, but next time (and there will be a next time), I'm putting it in a 16 oz. bottle versus an 8 oz. bottle. Dissolved Jungle is so thick, I could hardly get it out of the bottle to use it! Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with words adequately describing how Jungle smells and feels. As for the results, OMG, Jungle had my toes curling it's so good! My hair was super soft and smelled amazing! This most definitely is a keep and gets two coils up.

So au revoir to Hello Hydration conditioner. It was good while it lasted, but I'd be a fool to continue using a product that has all the icky things we naturalistas try to avoid now that I have TWO totally organic conditioners...and one I can even make right in my own kitchen!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do Your Civic Duty!

It has come to my attention that the United States Air Force has a regulation, AFI36-2903 DRESS AND PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF AIR FORCE PERSONNEL, which in part, discriminates against African-American women serving in the Air Force. The code was recently updated to include a bans on a common natural African-American hairstyle, which the Air Force has called "dreadlocks". Female personnel with neat, clean, professional well-kept hair are being forced to choose between cutting their hair and treating it with chemicals to conform with this regulation which I feel unfairly and unnecessarily discriminates against African-Americans. The regulation itself does not define "dreadlocks". This leaves women with hair that is in no means a distraction or a detriment to their duties, subject to disciplinary action.
While it is certainly reasonable that the Air Force require its personnel to wear their hair in a neat and professional manner, blanket regulations against a loosely defined manner of wearing the hair is causing undue hardship on a number of women in the Air Force. There appears to be an ignorance of the needs of African-American hair and what can be done in the way of styling the hair without either cutting it off or subjecting the hair to chemicals. Wearing the hair in a "locked" style is the only way many African-American women can wear their hair, with any length, and without having to chemically treat it or wear a wig. As long as the styles are neat, professional looking, not distracting and not hindering their ability to perform their duty, there is no reason the Air Force should require women to change their hair styles. I think the code was fine before the addition of the ban on "dreadlocks" and the addition of that ban is unnecessary. The code already states that hairstyles cannot be "faddish" and must be professional. Locked hair is not necessarily faddish nor is it necessarily unprofessional.
I would like to request that you look into this regulation and ask the Air Force to reconsider the ban of neat, clean and professional hairstyles worn by African-American women.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trio of Reviews!

All week, I've been anticipating washing my hair with my new finds so I finally got to take the plunge and try out three of my newbies. I initially wanted to try a fourth product, the Jungle conditioner bar from LUSH, but it's not quite ready. (You're supposed to rub the bar into your hair, but I didn't think that'd be conducive for me as I have a lot of hair, so I cut it up and crumbled it into a bottle of aloe juice. It's still dissolving but looks promising!)

If y'all know a little bit about me, I always steam my hair with a deep conditioning treatment prior to washing. Instead of my usual concoction of aloe vera gel, moringa and Vatika oils, and cholesterol conditioner, I decided to try LUSH's Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze.
While the small container is a tad pricey, I couldn't help giving this a spin. Chock full an infusion of red henna, and almond, Brazil nut, coconut and jojoba oils-just to name a few-I figured I couldn't really go wrong and I figured right! This stuff is AMAZING and it smells delicious!!!! I was concerned I'd have to use a lot, but it's kind of thick so I only used about a third of the jar. After my steam treatment, my hair was baby soft. It was a lowdown dirty shame to have to wash this out of my hair! LUSH really needs to create a leave-in version of this product. Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze is now on my staples list and gets two coils up!

This week, I washed my hair with Oyin Handmade's Honey Wash. Touted as a hair and body wash, the smell is intoxicating and I love the creamy Castille base. A little bit definitely goes a long way and the suds are moderate to generous. As much as I desperately wanted to fall in love with Honey Wash, it just didn't do a thing for my hair. My hair didn't feel stripped or as if it had build-up, but it didn't feel moisturized either. It literally felt like wet wool. Sadly, I can only give Honey Wash one coil still deserves a coil for the amazing scent. I'll continue using it, but probably won't buy it again...smh...sadly.

During Memorial Day weekend, my honey and I went to the Burley Park Flea Market and to my amazement I found a man selling soy candles and handmade hair products made by his wife. I decided to try the No More Knotty Kids Detangler in the Pink Kisses scent. And, OMG, this stuff is the bomb! Not only does it have a delicious smell, but it's filled with everything I would use were I to make my own detangler! And, it works!!!!! I've used a plethora of detanglers, but they're either too thick and goopy, leaving buildup or they're akin to water and don't do a thing to my hair. I'm sold on No More Knotty Kids, but I do wish the bottle was round. Wet hands and an oval bottle are not a good combination. For a split second, I also wondered where and how to buy replacements, but the mixtress provides her email on the bottle and I happened to find her shop on Etsy. This one definitely gets two coils up!

Stay week is LUSH's Jungle conditioner!!!!! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Exciting Weekend!

I swear, y'all, I'm not a product junkie. I still make my own shampoo, moisturizers and sealants...and am STILL working on a conditioner. But, every once in a while, especially if there's a sale, I can't help wanting to try a few things.

This week, I'll be trying LUSH's Jungle solid conditioner bar and Jasmin and Henna Fluff-Eaze, both of which smell so delicious!!!!! I'll also be using Oyin Handmade's Honey Wash and Honey Water. Two more "scentillating" scents I can't keep away from my nose!

I just hope these products work half as well as they smell!!!!