24 April 2010

the reveal! *DRUMROLL*

i'll "update" with a "story" later, but here are the goods that you really care about ;)



18 April 2010

[review] the INFAMOUS eco styler! (clear)

ingredients: water, carbomer, hydrolyzed wheat protein, pvp, glycerin triethanolamine, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, polysorbate 20, tetrasodium edta, fragrance, love and pride

so... i have had this gel almost as long as i've been natural and i'd only used it once or twice before stuffing it under my bed and forgetting about it. i've only very recently unearthed it, but i've been working with it for about a week or so. i know i'm chronically "late," seeing as how almost every natural with an internet connection has been using this stuff, or has at least heard of it. but, hey, that doesn't make my review any less amazing. ;)

like i said, i ordered this last year. i specifically remembered wanting to find a small jar to test since i didn't have a lot of hair. i found a vendor on ebay who sold the cute little 8 oz jars, so i decided to buy for no more than five dollars. imagine my surprise when i come home one day to this big-ass box to see they accidentally sent me the 32 oz! holy moly! .... of course i kept it. *ahem* so i realize, these aren't the most reliable price points, so according to the website for sally's beauty supply, you can buy yourself the 32 ounce tub for five bucks (three, if you catch it during an online sale). i bought the much cuter 12 oz jar for a friend from cvs, and that joint was a little more than 3-4 dollars, i can't quite remember since it was last year.

point is, this gel is ridiculously affordable. you can snag a 12 oz jar for no more than 4 dollars tops. this is one gel you'll definitely want to skip your beauty supply store because they tend to have ridiculous markups. head to your local sally's or cvs to find this at a steal.

and if accessibility and price points weren't good enough for you... they have different sizes! yes! we all know what a fanatic i am about being able to have a few different options. you can get this in either 8, 12, 16, or 32 oz. fabulous! really - i adore sizing options. i think every company should have them.

and speaking of options... i guarantee you ecoco (the manufacturing company) has a gel for you. need a little extra protein? grab the black one. relaxed and need a little extra tlc? the blue jar is for you. want your gel to come with a bit more moisture? bam - the green gel is your shtick (the new olive oil formula, which i'm quite keen to try next). i think they even have a pink, bright yellow, and orange gel, each with a different function in addition to their standard gel duties. i'd direct you to their website, but they seem to be revamping and i don't know why, because the holding page looks like some crap and the previous site was gorgeous - simple, understated, and streamlined. but it seems like they're rolling out some new products, so i'm excited to see what they have planned. :)

as for the packaging... finally, a jar i adore! the smaller jars are particularly cool because of the top. it's your standard twist-top, but has a notable thickness that others don't. the edges are round and there's a slight bevel with the "E" logo of the ecoco company. the top makes the rest of the jar, in my opinion. there's just such an incredibly clean finish to this and it's so well made. the top of the jar just barely extends outwards to match the width of the large top and the edges of the bottom of the jar are curved as well. couple that with the sporty, mainstream orange and blue and the impact of the square font and you've got a product that's as good to look at and hold as it is to use.

the packaging on this is really something i enjoy and i wish more companies would put more effort in the making slightly more unique bottles and jars - it's part of the experience, after all. i have noticed that more expensive products do tend to have more elaborate bottles, but i'm not interested in spending money on packaging when i can't guarantee the performance of the product inside.

consistency and texture are typical of most gels - thick and smooth. and the scent... gel-y.

performance on this gel really speaks for itself - just take a look at how many naturals swear by this stuff. it's the poor man's kinky curly. i tried this in earnest on a section of my hair last week and it defined the strands beautifully. i only used a bit because this is when it started to bead up over my mozeke moisturizer. i remember that i didn't have much shine, but that's nothing a quick dab of coconut oil wouldn't fix. i haven't done a full shingle with this, but i know i could with no problem.

one thing that continually impresses me is that this gel never dries hard. i know one woman on youtube, who will remain nameless, who uses this to shingle pretty much each and every individual strand and her hair did look crunchy and stiff. but i'm happy to report that i've had no such experience. and even through the day, no flaking or abnormal frizziness. i typically just lazily run this through my hair and that leaves me satisfied.

this gel gives a great, firm hold without the dreaded crunch and you really can't beat the availability or price points. the spreadability doesn't compare to kinky curly, considering they're two completely different formulations/textures, you may need to work with it a little more than the kccc, but it doesn't present any kind of problem. it performs just as well, if not better.

i would recommend this to anyone in a heart beat and it'd be a definite repurchase. i'm not a huge (store-bought) gel junkie, but i do like trying curl defining products although i will admit i'm not as enthusiastic as i once was. while there's a lot of variety on the market, i feel like if you've tried one kind, you've tried them all. but i'll explain that all in another post. :)

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

izzy & me -- some thoughts

with my haircut just a week away, i have been doing a lot of thinking about dear izzy. we've been together for maybe nine months now (i lost count a while ago, lol) and in this short time, it has really been nothing less than a journey. we've had our ups and downs, our pretty days and our not-so-pretty days. izzy has cursed me out more than once over the winter for letting dryness get her down and she's been absolutely thriving ever since the weather began to warm up. things have been going nicely the past few weeks, but i've been really doing some thinking and i've realized...

i haven't been treating her like i'm supposed to.

far from it! somehow, my hair manages to make due with the little attention i give her but i know that my hair could be so much more beautiful that what it already is. i suffocated her with gel daily, washing sparingly in between, and she'll be lucky if she even sees a deep condition. i've been saying for months that i need to step up, so why haven't i?

i feel like after my second chop next week, i'll be able to treat izzy with all the attention and love she so needs. product-wise, i will say i am more well-equipped now that i have my staples, but i know i've made the most improvement in experience. i know what to do and what not to do.

i know i need to wake up early enough to devote the appropriate attention i need to my hair. i can't expect miracles when i have only ten minutes to re-wet, slap some gel in, and fly out the door. if i want izzy to look flawless every day, i need to give her that attention.

and even more important than how she looks, is her health. i need to treat her to a moisturizer or some oil daily, so make sure my afro stays shiny, soft, and fly. i have noticed that izzy looks her absolute best, something no kinky curly or activator will ever do, when she's fresh from a wash or deep condition, or freshly moisturized. that's my hair in it's natural state, when i'm not trying to twist a coil or conjure up a curl. when izzy is properly fed and moisturized, my curls are so incredibly shiny and touchable... so why don't i moisturize more often? i have absolutely no clue.

but in this upcoming week, right up until the shave, and all the days after, i know how i'm meant to treat my hair and i'm excited to finally do so. i see so much potential in my hair and i'm excited to know that i'll finally be able to do what i need to do to see it. i'm so excited to wash and moisturize and oil my hair everyday.

one of my biggest challenges in this journey so far has been styling. i see so many fly naturals with even less hair than me and their twa's are so gorgeous. if they can get creative, why can't i? i'm looking forward to working with my hair in all her gorgeous stages, from no inches, to one inch, to four. i can't rely on a lazy shingle or gelled up wash n go for my staple style when i don't even really pull off those styles in earnest. this time around, that'll be different. ;) i'm gonna rock twists, and coils and coil outs, cornrows and mini puffs. flowers, hair bands, beads, and ties will be a welcome accessory amongst my brushy fro.

i am so excited to get to try again with izzy. i know if i was so in love the first time around, this time will be even better. :)

[review] long aid curl activator gel "extra dry"

ingredients: water, glycerin, oleth-20, trethanolamine, carbomer 940, aloe vera gel, panthenol, hydrolized protein, dmdm hydantoin, methylparaben, fragrance, propylene glycol, ext. d&c violet #2

i picked this up about two weeks ago and i've been using it for a week, so i have a pretty good idea of how this performs, more or less. let's goooo!

i snagged this one weekend out shopping with me mum. i really didn't have much need for it, but i'd heard good things about it and i had the money, so why not? you get 10.5 ounces for no more than four dollars. i can't remember what i paid exactly, but i know it was far from expensive. you can dip into your local wally world, beauty supply supply store, or cvs and find this.

nothing special or fancy about this jar. it's your run of the mill activator jar, much like my proclaim curl activator, but with a white top instead of a blue one. and i've actually been missing my proclaim, so i'll probably revisit sometime over the summer. but certainly not next week because there will be no hair to revisit on - mwahaha!

consistency and smell is generic and not much different from your next activator gel. what i did notice however, is that this activator is very smooth and a tiny bit thinner than others. most other gels, you can see the air bubbles or the swipes you take out of it. this, the texture appears very smooth and slowly slides around in the jar, filling in any dips your finger might've left. this makes applying this to damp hair incredibly easy and even a little bit more enjoyable than usual. ;)

the smell is neutral and non-offensive, although noticeably more fragrant than other gels. this has a very clean, fresh finish, which i liked.

as for performance, i am impressed. the jar claims to "soften and condition," and i can honestly say it does just that. my hair feels soft, not coated or sticky at all.

it wasn't until i actually went to use this that i realized that i had bought the "extra dry" version (eep - got me pegged!) with the green label, with "more glycerin!" i wasn't too worried because since it's the summer, i don't have to worry about the glycerin sucking the moisture out of my hair, but i would def avoid this for the cooler months. maybe i'll go find the "original" version, with the blue label.

now. here's the "trick" for gel activators. i've learned that gel activators can do a nice enough job on their own, but to get full curl definition, you need to layer it under an actual gel (that doesn't read "activator"). of the activators i've used, i've noticed that they never dry hard, but they don't provide the full definition of a regular holding gel. well, if you're using a gel like eco styler than the crunch is gettin' ya down, an activator will take care of that, nooo problem!

i've been using this under my eco styler gel and i have to say, i am loving the combination. no crunch, no flakes, no nothing. just touchable, springy defined curls. i haven't been cowashing often in the past week, but i have been using this combo daily and i didn't experience much buildup at all, but i have been working on my heavyhandedness. ;o i think these will be my bootleg kckt and kccc (which i am still currently love/hating. grr.)

i can most definitely see myself purchasing this in the future. i am excited for this activator + gel combo. my wash n go's are gonna be fiyaaah, especially at my new length once it starts to grow out. i lovelovelove tinytinytiny afro's; we're talking less than an inch. i love shiny, juicy curls at that length (but i also adore it picked out too - too fly). i'm so excited!

if you're looking for a kinky curly alternative where you don't have to spend a grip, drive out to a whole foods, or pay astronomical shipping, definitely try this stuff out. these play pretty well with moisturizers too (especially natural butters), so if you're worried about dryness, just moisturize first and you should have no problem. i didn't moisturize for an entire week (i didn't just admit that) and used only these two products and izzy was fine. at least, she behaved and as i've learned from past experiences, izzy doesn't bite her tongue (can she do that?) when it comes to speaking her mind and letting me know that i'm slacking. so, if she's happy, i'm happy!

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

17 April 2010

[review] shea moisture deep treatment masque

ingredients: deionized water, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), argan oil, cetyl esters, sea kelp extract, panthenol (vitamin b-5), ammonium salt, essential oil blend, avocado oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and lonicera japonica (japanese honeysuckle) flower extract, tocopherol (vitamin e), hyssopus officinalis extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf and equisetum arvense extract, soybean oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil.

alright, so... to start off, listed on the target website is the "restorative smoothie," but not the deep treatment masque. however, when i went to target (and i went to three different stores), there is no restorative smoothie, only the deep treatment masque (which is what i have). i wasn't sure if these were two different products or not; i was thinking maybe shea moisture, just decided to go with a different name, but according to this website (click), they are two different products with two different lists of ingredients. but, like the entirety of the shea moisture line, if you've tried one product, you've pretty much tried the entire line, so i won't be purchasing both. besides, i don't need no dang smoothie - see my last review on that food-related note. what izzy needs is a DEEPDEEPDEEP conditioner! which she has most faithfully found in the mozeke masque, but i decided it might be a good idea to try something where i can pick it up last minute, without paying for shipping or waiting for it to arrive. so, essentially, i guess this product will be izzy's "side ho," should we run out of the mozeke.

side note: as far as i'm concerned, the restorative smoothie don't even exist, i can't find jack on it. i bet if i were to order it from the target website, they'd send me the deep treatment masque. which is what is listed on the shea moisture site (click), but whatever. enough of this rambling, onto the review!

i'd heard of the shea moisture leave-in conditioner over and over, for years, but i was just never interested. i know it's a staple for many naturals,. i did however try the shea moisture raw shea butter body wash and i did like it - it left my skin buttery soft (while the black soap version stripped my skin bare). i wasn't really excited for the actual products, but moreso caught up in the hype. i loved target, loved new things, and loved natural things, so of course i was gonna look into buying it. it didn't help that they came out with a ton of new things either, but i decided to play it smart and knock off the things i wouldn't need (like 90% of the new line, but i digress). i purchased this deep conditioner i'm reviewing, the coconut and hibiscus curl & style milk, curl smoothie, and hold & shine moisture mist. and in all honesty, i could've left the coconut and hibiscus line alone, but more on that in their respective reviews.

you get a very hefty 12 ounces of this conditioner for roughly ten dollars, which is great for anyone on a budget who wants to find both all natural products and find them locally. accessibility is a huge factor in selling a product and the shea moisture line will have no problem fitting in at target. and it's so chic to shop there, too - how could you not love target? as opposed to ole ornery, sweatshop, slave labor walmart - boooo!

anyway, these 12 ounces come in a simple, but stylish jar. i was looking at it earlier today, wondering what was so different about it and it came to me - there's a sticker on the top of the jar, in addition to the standard label that wraps around it. i think this was a first time for all of the jars i've bought - whether online, or in a store, be it a gel, cream, or deep conditioner - none of them had labels on the top. huh. this is new. and these labels are absolutely crammed with information, which i don't mind because i like reading everything on a bottle, but it can easily be overpowering - they squeeze a lot of information on that label, although everything is spaced and neatly compartmentalized. what i like about the jar is that it is very sturdy plastic and feels solid in your hand. it'll go great along with my other jars i've collected from past products. the labels are a muted brownish-yellow, which i have no comment on other than it's a unique color. it plays well into their natural, earthy marketing. i also really enjoy their logo.

much like the coloring on their packaging, the scent of these products are unique too. i can see how a lot of people might not... appreciate the smell of the raw shea butter line, but i really enjoy it. it's very different from my typical sugary sweet scents. its got a very deep, natural scent to it, with the lightest hint of some kind of sweetness at the end. it's almost musky, maybe even almost on the manlier side of unisex. it's a relaxing smell for me and i only wish i knew how to describe it better. it's not offensive in the least, although the smell is potent. i think it's either something you like or you won't mind at the least.

i love the consistency of this. very rich, almost like caramel, and just as soft. spreads easily into my hair. it's not nearly as thick as my other conditioners, but i don't love it any less. i've found this has excellent spreadability and i love smearing it into my damp hair. the texture of this makes for a very pleasant experience!

i've used this once so far and i am happy with my purchase. :) i wasn't wowed, like i was with my mozeke mask, but this restored moisture to my freshly shampooed hair with no problem. my hair was very soft and strong, and even smelled like the conditioner, which i liked. i was excited for this particular product because my hair can always use a good deep conditioner and it contained argan oil, which has been getting a lot of glowing reviews on lhcf.

the jar claims you can also use this as a leave-in, which i haven't done yet, but i look forward to trying. the consistency is so decadent and easy to work with, i think it would make a fabulous leave-in, and you can tell by the absence of reviews on my blog that i'm not a big leave-in person.

this was a great purchase and didn't disappoint. it works amazingly well for a store-bought conditioner and the fact that i can just head right up the street and purchase it is a definite plus. i can see myself using this up in the coming weeks and would definitely be a repurchase. i can see this product in a kind of "casual staple" status.

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

[review] mozeke whipped avocado cream

ingredients: distilled water, avocado butter, hemp Seed butter, BTMS (conditioning emulsifier), all natural preservative, avocado oil, honeyquat, pro vitamin B5, alfalfa powder, wheat protein, and fragrance.

mmm... yummy. doesn't the name alone just make your mouth water!? when i first came across the mozeke website a few weeks ago, i knew from jump street this would be going into my cart. we all know i love avocado butter (and therefore, by extension, all things avocado). HINTHINT: if you want me to buy anything, just stick "avocado" in the name. ;) and "whipped cream"? yep, i'll buy that too. pretty much, if any kind of name reminds me of food, i'll probably buy it (i've even tasted some of my hair products, buuut that's a post for another day, ahem!)

i stuck a 4 oz "sample" size of this in my cart for six dollars - great price point! in my opinion, four ounces may be a little too generous for a sample, but at the same time, generous samples are a good thing. you really get enough product to work and experiment with before committing to a larger size. sample sizes are also great for people like me, who love smaller versions of anything. what i really like about mozeke's products is the sizing options they give you: 4, 8, and 16 oz products, for the curious, the fans, and the fanatics. perfect! i've used my sample twice this far and still have quite a bit left in my jar (which is painfully plain by the way, and i am dying for a new cap).

first thing that caught my eye about the whipped avocado cream is the consistency. you can see here (link) just how rich, smooth, and creamy it looks! my jar, however, had little air bubbles/pockets in it, and it wasn't that mouthwatery, soft buttery yellow, so it didn't look nearly as delectable as the picture on the website, but it wasn't a big deal at all. i will say, however, that the consistency is much thicker than a cream, more of a pudding. hmm... "whipped pudding" sounds like it'd taste good too, so really, she can go with either name, haha. the texture is very rich and smooth and spreads like a dream - i enjoy using the product.

as for the scent... i had a hard time placing it, but to me, it smells like a hyped up, even more sugary version of peaceloveandsunshine's hello sweet thang fragrance. i knew it was familiar but i couldn't place it for a few days. the scent is very strong and lingers in my hair, which would be a would thing if this scent was flawless, which, unfortunately, it's not. i don't mind fragrant scents, although even i was overpowered by it sometime. the scent is a cavity-inducing whipped, buttery sugar with a hint of lemon zing to add a tiny bit of dynamic, but it doesn't quite pull it off. in fact, on an occasional whiff, it's so overbearing it just smells "producty," which is the best i can describe it. it has very clear end notes of either trying-too-hard or not-trying-hard-enough. i can easily see this being overpowering to those who possess more sensitive noses. it might do well for her to sell an unscented version of this. but so far, the scent wouldn't keep me from re-ordering.

now, as for it's performance as a moisturizer... i think it does a great job! it absorbs quickly without my strands feeling coated and the moisture lasts all day. i can feel my hair being softened as i run it through my little fro. it even defined my curls a little - which i find happens the most when izzy is properly fed and juicified (which i will be making a post on very soon!)

i will note, however, that so far, it doesn't seem to play well with my eco styler gel; at least not immediately. after applying the whipped cream, i smeared on a little dab of eco styler to a section in the front and the gel began to "bead"/leave little white flecks in my hair, so i stopped. that section did dry and when it did, i couldn't see the flecks anymore. however, when i did play with that area (twirling it and pulling at it, etc), i did get some product flaking out. i'm sure if i let the moisturizer dry a little first, i could avoid this. i applied this one night and in the morning, applied some kccc and i had no trouble with that, so i'm sure it's just a matter of letting the moisturizer settle in first.

i don't have much experience in the moisturizer market, mainly because i've always stuck to shea and avocado butter. so that being said, i think this was a great introduction! it's got a nice smell and spreads deliciously. i only need a little bit for my entire head and customer service is excellent. i can't/won't compare it to my beloved avocado butter, however, because although i use them for virtually the same purpose, they're two completely different things. i don't feel as though they're comparable or even in competition with one another, but can coexist on my noggin quite peacefully...

which gives me the idea to try the avocado butter under the eco styler... that sounds delicious too! ;P man... this entire review has been food-themed!

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

15 April 2010

review city! ha-cha-cha!

i've been thinking about reviews since last weekend and figured i needed to make a list to get my thoughts skraight. :] i'm doing another henna this weekend, and i know i can bang out a lot of reviews while it sits, so here's what's to come!

-mozeke's avocado cream moisturizer
-shea moisture deep conditioner
-shea moisture curl souffle & curl milk
-long aid curl activator gel
-oyin's shine and define
-eco styler gel (clear, but i want the olive oil)

aaaand whatever else i'm forgetting. still working with the kinky curly. i gave it a break for about a week to try the eco styler + long aid combo and i'll use the kinky curly again this week and really try to see how i can work with it, but i have so many comments it's not even funny. :/ kinky curly has cornered the market, which allows it to get away with so much, but it's still a good product. i'm so conflicted. lol.

& i chopchop next week! wheee!

04 April 2010

[review] mozeke's moisturizing hair masque

ingredients: distilled water, btms (conditioning emulsifier), aloe butter, avocado butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, mango butter, sal butter, all natural preservative, glycerin, guar gum, pro vitamin b5, and fragrance.

i have been cooking up this review in my mind since i first used it yesterday. this is gonna be such a great review. :)

the first thing i have to comment on, because it was the first thing i'd experienced, is the customer service. excellent service! i'd sent an email asking a quick question and received a reply within an hour. so far, so good. my order shipped out April 1st and it arrived April 3rd! i don't ever think i've had shipping that was THAT fast. already, i liked this company. :)

i ordered a 4 oz of the whipped avocado cream and 4 oz of the moisturizing hair masque. this size of the hair masque cost me a very agreeable 7.00. you could also purchase 8 oz for 12 dollars, or the 16 oz for 22 dollars. now, this is even pricier than hairveda's deep conditioner, but in my opinion, it is MORE than worth it.

the 4 oz jars i received aren't very decorative, but very simple. sturdy plastic jars and a basic screw top that just isn't very "pretty" to the eyes. it reminds me of a medicine top - with the little groove along the side. but the mozeke logo is very clean and neat and the font looks fabulous on the bottle. i think if they upgrade to prettier or more streamlined jars, packaging would be a thumbs up.

the scent reminds me of a kind of buttery, piña colada icing, but it is very, very light. vaguely candy-ish, but very subtle, which makes deep conditioning with it a treat. the consistency is very thick and creamy, like a custard. you feel like you're slathering your hair in a rich, decadent icing. you can see the yumminess in the image above. :P

now, those of you who bother to read my blog (and how i love you for it), know that it can take weeks for me to review a product and that's due to a very potent mix of laziness/not finding the time and wanting to give a thorough, balanced review. i have only used this once so far (and plan to use it again tonight after my henna) but it only took one use for me know this would be a staple status product!

i applied a generous amount on dry hair yesterday morning and then hopped in the shower. when i rinsed, my hair was so ridiculously soft and smooth. it felt as though my strands had been infused with a deep moisture. i've been through a few DCs, but none quite like this. i am so excited to place my next order. my hair just drank this stuff right up! i don't deep condition as regularly as i need to, but this turned my dry, thirsty hair into a lush, juicy mass of coils and kinks.

my only concern is that this might be a seasonal DC, given the ingredients of aloe and glycerin. it might not give me the same results during the cooler months, but we'll see.

would this be a repurchase is far from the right question to ask. it should be WHEN will i repurchase and i dare say, very soon. ;)

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

-- henna experience, pt 1 !

whether you're natural or relaxed, chances are, you've heard of henna. i had never really had much interest in it, for a number of reasons. although i'd heard of all the benefits: strengthening, natural color, shine, etc., i was overwhelmed by how much information there was. you could customize your mix with about a hundred different ingredients. you could use it for color or you could use it for shine. you could customize it for what color you wanted... so i just ignored it as a whole.

well, when i took out my braids and desperately wanted to shave, someone suggested that i was just bored with my hair and to maybe try some color for the spring. so, i decided to henna. i had heard a lot of great things about karishma herbal henna, so i decided to give that a try. i liked that it already came mixed with other herbs so it balanced itself out. i know in ayurveda, you sometimes need herbs to temper the intensity of other herbs. with the karishma mix, i didn't have to worry about that.

the powder was very fine and moved around easily. my first henna date, i mixed with a bit of water and silk amino acids (i heard this helped with rinsing). i also added a few dashes of indigo powder. i'm not exactly sure why, but someone recommended it. i really liked the thick, pudding-like consistency. i let the mix sit for 24 hours to allow the dye to release and i left it in my hair for maybe 4-6 hours.

i didn't get much color payoff, if any, but my hair definitely felt a lot stronger. :) i noticed little to no broken or shed hairs. i know some people claim that henna loosens the curl pattern, but i didn't notice any of that.

this time, i really wanted to go for a deep, rich red. so i bought 3 ounces of hibiscus flowers and boiled them over low heat. the water turned such a rich, red wine color - not as dark as blood, but closer to cranberry juice. i didn't let the mixture sit for the full 24 hours, though, more like 12-14, which i hope is long enough for dye release. i am hoping that with the hibiscus flowers and nixing the indigo, i'll get a noticeable color change this time. i'm sitting with it in my hair now, so i'll rinse in a few hours and i'll come back for part 2! :)

[review] oyin handmade's honey hemp conditioner

ingredients: 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)


finally, this review! i have been in love with this conditioner since my first wash. i had heard RAVES on this conditioner for years and i am so grateful for whatever possessed me to finally give it a try... oh yeah. my birthday and someone else buying it for me. lol. but i knew this was going to be a staple product after the first few washes, so i am excited to review it! let's go!

first off, price points. as with all handmade products, they will never be as cheap as store bought brands. 16 delicious ounces of this will run you 18.00, but the 32 oz (which i plan to purchase at the next bottling party), is $32, which i don't mind at all. but they do offer a 8 oz for eleven dollars and a small sample bottle, although i'm not sure as to the price.

one thing i do need to note, which is important, is that it takes two weeks for your order to ship. i don't mind, since i think it's more than worth it. however, they do have a storefront that is open on saturdays, so if you live in the DMV and are willing to make the drive, you can just go pick up your bottle, for no shipping and no wait. this is what i do, since they're but a 30 minute drive away. but the keeping the turnaround time in mind, order in bulk so you don't have to worry about running out.

the smell of this conditioner smells like their shine and define (which i might review), which is a bright, sweet piña colada vacation. piña colada is my favorite flavor anything, so this conditioner had already scored points for that alone.

the bottle is a very round, very amber bottle with a single label. very basic, very drab but i do like the label. the wording can be a bit much, since the label itself isn't very big and they provide you with a generous wording of description and the ingredients. and then there's the logo, name of the product, and their website. since i like condensed images and wording, i don't mind it but those with easily tired eyes might find it a tab bit jumbled. but i think the frosty blue of the dandelion and the rich green of the stem agree surprisingly well with the dark bottle.

the consistency of this conditioner is extremely smooth and creamy, with the perfect thickness - not thick at all, but far from loose. the conditioner itself is a basic off-white color with a light tinge of cream undertones.

now for the good part. the performance.

if you all could've seen my face the first time i spread this in my hair... it wasn't the enraptured face of ecstasy that often accompanies hairgasms, but rather one of surprise. WHY had i gone so long without experiencing this?! i felt like kicking myself for missing out on such an amazing conditioner. it softened my hair instantly, filling the shower with its tropical, coconutty fragrance. i let it sit for a few minutes as i went about showering, and when i rinsed, it felt as though my hair was even softer. my hair was clean, fragrant, soft, and strong. i really don't have the word to describe the miracles that this conditioner worked! my hair felt so healthy and ALIVE, and i don't say that about just any conditioner.

so, would i repurchase? i've already got my shopping list. ;)

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

[review] herbal essences hello hydration moisturizing conditioner

i know i have been promising this review since the end of time; literally, since the beginning of this blog and i know because i remember buying this stuff when i first bc'ed! so, since i'm waiting for my girlfriend for our henna date, i decided to finally knock this out. ;)

months ago, i purchased a huge bottle of hello hydration and i would venture to guess that i still have at least 40% left. i haven't been cowashing very often and now that i've found my staple conditioners, i use it even less. you can get a very generous 23.7 oz for five bucks, which is excellent for anyone with a lot of hair or who likes to cowash often (or both). you can get a 12 oz bottle (i think) for anywhere from 2-3$, or you can buy a small sample size for a dollar, which i LOVE because i adore sample size anything (so much so, i think i'm going to dedicate a post to sample sizes, hehe...). you can find this in any target or walmart or CVS, so its accessibility and affordability would make it an excellent candidate for cowashing staple.

the bottle is a pale, matte blue, which melds perfectly with its play-doh green cap, which you depress on one side, like most bottles. the bottle has a very gentle curve, making it very handheld-friendly and easy to squeeze. this bottle sits on it's top, so the conditioner is already settled at the bottom, waiting for you to squeeze out.

the color of the conditioner is a lighter, pastel sister to the blue of the bottle. it's a fairly thick conditioner, which makes smearing it in a delight because you can tell it's covering each and every strand. it's easily spreadable and very creamy. the scent is a very, light spring timey floral. the bottle reads "with a fusion of coconut milk and orchid," although i'm not sure if this is the scent. but it's a very clean, light fragrance. i remember cowashing with this last summer and loving the way it scented my hair.

this performs exceptionally well for a drugstore conditioner. it does just as it claims and really moisturizes well. it gets your hair clean and smooth with a light hint of fragrance. i don't have much to say on the performance, actually, because i think "it works well" describes the product fairly succinctly. it hasn't given me any hairgasms lately, but that doesn't mean i love it any less. i typically use it now to rinse out my henna, since that usually takes two or three washes to get it fully out and i don't have to worry about being heavyhanded.

would this be a repurchase? yes. but will i repurchase? probably not and that's not due to the conditioner at all, but because i've found my staples and don't have much interest in purchasing any other conditioners. but i would be quick to recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap, effective, moisturizing condish.

ftc disclaimer: i am in no way affiliated with this company. i was not paid for this review and the product was purchased with my own monies. :)

03 April 2010

a look at what's to come...

alright, i think i'm done fiddling with the kinky curly curling custard. and i've all but given up on the knot today. i was fully prepared for this to become my staple styler, although mostly for appearances. it's a popular product, smells great, and cute packaging. but my pockets can't take the price, especially when there are gels that are more easily accessible and a fraction of the price.

the review will hopefully come sometime next week, after i've finished experimenting with other, generic gels. i am thinking of making a video to augment this review, simply because there is so much to address with the kinky curly and i figured a video would be a lot more organized and comprehensive. sometimes i like to read about things and sometimes i like to watch about things, so i'll do a review here on my blog and the video. i'll begin writing down my thoughts now so when i do get around to a vid, i won't just be rambling. ;)

i also have another henna date, which i know i need to review again, so i may do that tomorrow as the mixture is sitting on my head, then a part two after i wash, so i can really comment on the color pay off.

tomorrow, for sure, however, will be a review on a deep conditioning mask i recently purchased. it is so very amazing and i am so excited to review it. it's a new business (as far as i know) and i ordered two four ounce products, which i figured were good trial sizes. i purchased a moisturizer and a deep conditioner and the deep conditioner has been a dream thus far. we're talking staple status here! i can't wait to share my thoughts on the product and the accompanying customer service, so please look forward to it. ;)

i hope all is well in your natural world. <3