25 August 2009

i won a contest! (and other updates!)

ooh, so exciting! i am seriously one of those people who have never won a contest in their lives. at least, outside of elementary school.

the lovely Mae from going au naturale was holding the cutest contest. send in your ten reasons why you love being natural or want to go natural and you could win - and how sweet is this - samples of handmade products she made with all her love and care, aw. i won the brown sugar body scrub, which sounds so delicious; i can't wait to try it. i love anything with shea butter in it and brown sugar for my brown sugar skin is just perfect. i will definitely let her know how it worked for me. :)

here's a link to the blog post with the winners: clickety!

and in other news, actually... i guess you could say i won something else. after reading nothing but glowing reviews on the ecostyler gel, i decided to buy the 8 oz to try it out. 8 oz is still a lot for this twa, but i decided i could try it and my mum likes gels, so i could always let her have it. imagine my surprise when i get home and find this huge box waiting for me... "that's a lot of cushioning," i thought to myself. i open the box to find a 32 OZ (!!) container of gel! i was so stunned, i started laughing. no way could i use all of that up. but if it's as good as everyone raves, i may find some long-term use in it. at least gel doesn't rot (to my knowledge).

so i've been arbitrarily using it these past few days and i have to say, i love the way it slicks down my edges. like nobody's business! my curls have a hint of shine and are extraordinarily defined. i'll do a full review of this soon, perhaps tomorrow when i can take picture with my hair with and without the gel in it. so excited for that! i really have a lot to say about this gel!

natural life is by far the most rewarding life. :)

20 August 2009

[daily] thoughts & mini-review

so, even though i kind of told myself i wouldn't, i've started a fotki. i suppose since i wasn't really into documenting my journey, i thought it would be too much of a hassle to start and maintain one. of course, now that i'm into it, i can see why there are so many members there. thinking of deleting my photobucket album - seems like things are way too accessible there and i don't like how it looks, lol.

album will be open once everything is set up. if things go well, maybe i'll even get into the whole youtube thing. am i thinking too far ahead? before that though, i need to get a profile picture. i'll need to get on that this weekend, definitely. i hate being anonymous like that/this.

anyway, in more hair related news, i found my miracle mix! my hair was soft, moisturized and shiny all day. again, i need to lighten up in my application. greasy hair is not cute and i can't have my curls weighted down. after washing, i applied some shea butter (from nasabb, my favorite) and then sealed with jamaican black castor oil (jbco). i was so excited. it's so fulfilling, learning my hair and what works and what doesn't. and now, i can say this is one solid thing that works for me and that i will continue to do.

also, about two days ago (the 18th) i washed my hair with a sample of black soap i got. and wow. i am very impressed (i think). it had been maybe a month since i last shampooed (the gudonya shampoo review) and i'd been hitting the gym and while i co-wash almost daily, one of the conditioners does have cones in it. anyway. i've never washed my hair with bar soap before, so i was surprised at how quickly it lathered and so rich and frothy too!

it wasn't as stripping as i thought it would be, but very strong all the same. it was because of the shampoo that i decided to use both shea butter and castor oil, two heavy products that i normally don't use in conjunction with each other and i made a great discovery out of it! and my hair was a lot more manageable and receptive to the other products because i got rid of any buildup that there might have been. my curls were nicely defined, shiny, and moisturized. :]

so there's a mini-update for now. this blog already has been so helpful in keeping track of what i do and what does and doesn't work.

16 August 2009

[monthly] i've been natural one month!

i've been natural for little over one month now and it's been absolutely wonderful. bc'ing was really the best thing i could've ever done. my natural hair care journey is exciting in such an uplifting way. :)

but one part of the learning process that i wasn't expecting, however, is taking pictures. it took me a good few tries just to get the settings right, and then twice as long to take detailed pictures. this is why i don't have many this first go-round. i'm getting the hang of it though.

i don't really take pictures of myself unless i need to (for this update, for example). but i suspect that as my hair gets longer and i experiment with more styles, i'll have a lot more reason to take pictures more often. until then, this monthly thing will be fine for me.

album: aug. oo9
pass: (curlyque)

and just in case someone is wondering... the stuff on my face is a lemon and sugar scrub. amazing stuff. :)

12 August 2009

[daily] mini buy and not-quite-reviews

i ended up buying more hair stuff (bad, i know!), but it kind of wasn't even my fault because i didn't pay for it. i was almost gonna end up with a whole new tub of conditioner, but i wasn't about to let my SO spend 25 dollars on some conditioner. so, i got little sample sizes of things instead.

i got the healthy sexy hair daily conditioner (nothing special) and moisturizing treatment. and the sexy curls curly cream. they all smell terrible. but they're sample sizes, so i'll use them up. i'm far from expecting a miracle, but the packaging/colors are just so nice and i love sample sizes of anything. i tried the daily conditioner once and wasn't impressed.

i also found the big 33.8 oz container of alter ego linange conditioner under my bed from when i bough the relaxer set. slapped it in my hair and let it sit for a little while. nothing too big to report but i did notice that my curls near my hairline were more like waves - that's never happened before. so i'll try this DC in earnest next time and report back.

also trying the HE LTR leave-in, since i hear so many good things about it. i wanted to give it another try before i give it away. so far, i am liking it, much to my surprise. i used it last night and his morning and my hair is soft and moisturized and has a very light scent. i'll see how this goes. also need to revisit the HS 14n1 before i give that away too.

so many products, so little hair...

08 August 2009

[review] trader joe's nourish spa conditioner

(picture courtesy of: here)
trader joe's nourish spa conditioner
purified water, organic rosemary oil, organic valencia orange citrus, organic mango, organic lemongrass, organic ginko biloba, organic echinacea, organic willow bark, organic sea kelp, organic chamomile flower, organic textured soy protein, organic lavender, organic grapefruit citrus, tocopherol (vit e), acetamide mea, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, botanical fragrance

i've had this since i was relaxed, but never had much to say about it until now. it worked nicely, sure; smelled nice and made my relaxed hair and new growth so soft. i had, in fact, bought it months before in preparation of going natural and saved it just for that. so when i finally did get to the bc, i was excited. i'm actually surprised that there's only about 40% of the bottle left! but i am very heavyhanded - i like to feel that every inch of my hair is coated, but i'm working on that. onto the actual review...

first off, you get a great deal. 16.9 fl oz for about $2.99 - that's a lot of product for only three dollars (I've had this bottle for at least six months now). even better - it's an organic product, and affordable one at that, so no one has an excuse that natural products are expensive. there are many organic products out there for great prices (some you can even make yourself), you just have to keep your eyes open. although, i can't help but wonder if those parabens are really necessary? those are the only few ingredients that make me look at this product a little sideways. but so far, my hair has been loving it, so i guess it's alright for now.

the scent is very clean and crisp. what's weird is that it definitely has that conditioner-y tinge to it, which can make you either like or dislike it, but you can also smell hints of the organic orange, chamomile and lavender. it definitely smells like the ingredients used, but it's not at all unpleasant. the more you sniff, the more you'll like it. very light and refreshing - good for co-washes in the morning. :) no cloying or overpowering scents and you can catch a slight whiff in the breeze that others are sure to take notice of. i like it.

i like thick products and this conditioner is thick just how i like it. it's not stiff thick, or so thick that i need to dilute it (though i could and still have a good consistency), but just thick enough for you to feel the weight of it in your hand. the formula is extremely creamy and smooth, a little like pudding almost, and i love that. thick and smooth? dream come true! it gives great slip and fills the shower with that signature clean fragrance. i feel as though my hair is really getting clean as i massage it in, and my curls are super soft and springy. i hope they never change their formula, like so many other companies do.

this conditioner doesn't make a good leave-in conditioner for me, though i'm not sure if it's because of the product itself or my chronic heavyhandedness. it does define my curls, but it doesn't leave them soft. they feel (and look) coated and when it dries, it even starts to flake a little. i may try again with using only a tiny bit of product, and if the results are the same, i'll just nix the idea of using it as a leave it.

verdict: i will definitely repurchase. this may even be a staple. :)

05 August 2009

[daily] nothing too special

so i finally got my little spray bottle and i actually don't use it as much as i thought i would. i mixed water, castor oil, vitamin e, and organix vanilla silk conditioner. at the very least, it smells really good. i've been using a shea butter mix on my hair and it stays moisturized all day. no joke. but i'll continue to spritz, just to use up what i have.

got a few sample bottles of the herbal essence's hello hydration. i loved it when i was relaxed and figure that just buying a little travel bottle won't hurt any. so happy to report my natural hair loves it too. great moisture and leaves my curls defined and shiny, but i also rinse with cold water (thinking of trying a vinegar rinse soon). if i remember correctly, though, this has cones in it, so i'll have to watch the long term effects on my hair, but i know it feels great now. i'll probably have to shampoo more often if i opt to use this condish often. i'll review this fully once i've worked my way through my other conditioners and get a full-sized bottle.

next review will most likely be victoria's secret so sexy, sometime next week.

i also learned my hair LOVES vitamin e oil. i had some excess on my hands and smoothed it onto my hair line and then went to sleep. i've never seen such a glossy, defined curl (and my hairline rarely curls up uniformly because the hair there is so much thinner - it just kind of sits there). only thing is, it's a very tiny bottle (not even an ounce) for maybe $7, though it's actually lasted me about a year and i'm very heavyhanded. secondly, it's pure (no added oils or anything) and comes at a very high IU, meaning it's THICK. my short hair can probably take it now, but not so sure about when i gain some length. i'll probably buy another bottle and mix it with conditioners and whatnot, so at least i can still get the benefits without weighed down hair. i'll keep me/you updated.

in other news, i've been exercising, so i know my scalp is getting a nice workout as well, and i know it's aiding my growth. i can feel my curls get longer every time i play with or pull on one. it'll be exciting to see the difference from my BC and the end of the summer/fall/year/whenever. thinking about going back to the bee mine (which i haven't used since natural) to maybe help speed the growth along and use the bottle up. i'll see how that goes.

loving this natural life. :)

01 August 2009

[inspo]! my fave fotkis.

just a gathering of my favorite hair inspirations on fotki.
i'm sure this list will grow, the more i look around. :)

gorgeous, gorgeous girl with thick, healthy 4A hair.

love her mass of fluffy, curly hair and cute glasses. :)

lush hair to die for - very detailed and informative albums.

Curlybear/Going Natural
one of my favorites; my goal length. beautiful girl.

love her texture. will be stalking as my own hair grows out.

again, gorgeous texture.

hair pr0n to the highest degree.

Brockstar (kisses)
such a cute face and big, lovely, curly hair.

hair to die for - it's long, thick, and healthy.

Nik Star
just beautiful. her hair is

i just love her hair and her pretty face.

[inventory] out with the old. . .

keeping inventory of the things i have now so i don't turn into a product junkie. i'm trying to use up everything by the end of the year to justify the slew of purchases i'm sure to make. :)

gudonya creme shampoo - see review.
joico k-pak shampoo 

joico k-pak conditioner
tj nourish spa conditioner - light, fresh scent. leaves hair soft.
vs so sexy conditioner - see review.
organix vanilla silk conditioner -  delicious smell, and very light but creamy. good moisture.

pantene r&n mask - favorite dc. leaves curls poppin' and incredibly soft.
lustrasilk shea butter cholesterol - smells like fluoride (nasty!). no slip while wet.
organix vanilla silk conditioner -  delicious smell, and very light but creamy. good moisture.

elasta qp mango butter - light, soft scent. makes hair very soft, i can feel the moisture sinking in.
herbal essence LTR - smells great, but too thick, sticky feeling. will revisit.
hawaiian silky 14-in-1 - need to revisit as a natural.

vs so sexy detangling spray - no need for detangling just yet; use this for the scent.
nioxin bliss thermal spray - a heat protectant, for whenever i might need it.
chi silk infusion - heat protectant.