Thursday, October 18, 2012

Another VoxBox!!!

Hey Curl Friends!

Sorry for the absence. My husband and I went away for our one year wedding anniversary and then we had some tragic news in the family. I've also gone into protective mode (a weave), but will be taking it out next month and will be back to reviewing products. (Selene and I have not been agreeing lately so she and I decided to take a mini break from one another, lol.)

In the meantime, I just received a VoxBox from Influenster.com, which if you haven't heard of, you should take a look. They have also changed their website and have made the process of signing up to receive these boxes much easier. They also have different badges you collect and the Vox Boxes are tailored to your different interests and badges. I also like that you don't have to pay any money. I've seen some other beauty sites that have you subscribe by paying money.


(A list of the items that I received)

This is called the: Beauty Bloggers VoxBox 2012

This first thing I will go through is: NYC Colors IndividualEyes created for brown eyes.

(From L-R (top) you have the highlighter, all over lid and two crease colors. On the bottom there is the primer as well as an illuminator color. I really like that it comes with the primer.)



Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit
(Comes with everything you need to apply the lashes) 


Bath and body Works Mini Candle in Nutmeg and Spice
 (I usually really enjoy spice scented candles, however upon first smell I'm not too sure about this one. I typically don't like candles that try to smell like baked goods. I find they are overly sweet and kind of nauseating. But I will give this one a try.)

EBOOST
 (Never heard of this before, but it's really a great timing. My husband had been under the weather and I think I might be getting what he had, so this is perfect. My only concern is that it's also an energy booster as well.)

Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin
 (I have been wanting to try these for a while now)

Not Your Mother's Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream
(If you noticed on the list I could've recived the Kinky Moves Curl Defininf hair Cream. I wish I had been sent that one instead since my hair is curly and I'm not planning on using a flat iron until next June or even later. So, I'm afraid this one may not be completely reviewed by me. I may, however, do a smell and consistency test.)

Oh! I also forgot to mention that I got a gift certificate to BedBath and Beyond for any 3-Wick Candle up to $10 dollars. It expires October 28th so I have to make sure to use this soon...tomorrow is what I'm thinking.


Until next time, stay curly!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Looks like Santa Came Early!

Hey Curls,

Julian of Bella Kinks blessed me with a wonderful surprise in the mail today. (What a great treat to come home to after having my one year wedding anniversary). I'm looking forward to trying these items as well as reviewing them for you. I hope everyone ha a great holiday and enjoying their fall.

Until next time,

Stay Curly.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"Influence Organic Conditioner" a Review

Happy Fall Curl Friends!

The leaves are have already started to change where I am and the temperature is cooler and relating back to my previous post, some of you might be thinking of different ways to change your routine. Well, for my hair type and hair needs, extra moisture in the cooler months is necessary in order for me to retain the maximum health of my hair. (As well as low manipulation) So, I wanted to review "Influence Organic Conditioner". I was first introduced to this line by my stylist from the salon that I really love. She's a fellow natural and knows her stuff and she used this product on my hair.






What it Claims:

"Is made from the best organic ingredients that protect your hair and cuticles from damage. It penetrates deep into hair fibers to deliver rich, long lasting moisture without weighing the hair down. Enjoy the unique conditioning of these natural ingredients to keep your hair radiant, soft, and silky. Enriched with Vitamin E, Moisturizes & Detangles, Anti-Fade Color Protection."

All of those things sound like a 'win' to me, especially that it allows for detangling as well as color protection, since my hair is color treated.






Ingredients:

I'm not going to list all the ingredients, but rather highlight the important ones. The first being "De-ionized water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (acts as the detangling ingredient), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Olive oil, Jojoba Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Glycerin, Dimethicone (this coats the hair with an 'oil' to make hair smoother for detangling purposes", Shea Butter, Silk Protein (helps to retain moisture), Hydrolyzed Wheat protein (acts as a strengthener), Citric Acid (acts as a preservative), Chamomile Extract, Sage Extract, Ginseng Extract, Rosemary Extract, Nettle Extract, Aloe Vera Extract, Propyl Paraben (acts as a preservative: can occur naturally as well as be man made), Butyl Paraben (has antimicrobial properties)..."

I think the is one of the longest ingredient lists I have ever seen. And of course, the further from the top of the list, the fewer of those actual ingredients a product contains. I think what concerns me the most is how the product is claiming to be organic (here a a brief description of how a product can be considered 'organic') and that "It's natural". Hence all the preservatives in there from keeping it from spoiling. I feel like if anything claims that it's natural and/or organic, I only want to see a short ingredient list. The length of this one has me a bit nervous.









How it's Used:

"Directions: 1) Shampoo the hair with Influence Organic Shampoo. Towel blot the hair. 2) Massage conditioner into the hair and comb through scalp to ends of the har to evenly distribute. 3) Cover with plastic cap for 5-8 minutes (preheated hair dryer or heat cap may also be used). 4) Remove plastic cap and rinse hair thoroughly. 5) style as desired using an Influence Styling Aid of choice." 

I already see a few things that I would changes about the procedures. The first being that I do not like to use a towel on my hair. Since I don't have a hair towel, I use a t-shirt. (I really need to get on that hair towel game, but that's another story). The second thing that I don't like is the root to tip combing method. Just the thought of working with my hair like that makes me nervous. If I had relaxed hair, that would be no problem, or even a loser curl pattern could probably get away with that technique, but not I. 





Consistency:

Very similar to a pudding consistency. A little goes a long way in my hair. Another thing that I should add is that I use thicker leave ins/conditioners to help my hair stay moisturized, so this is already a positive for me.


Smell:

I can only describe it as 'chocolaty goodness'. 


Results:


My hair did remain moisturized, but I would much rather use an oil than 'cones. I don't mind protein once a month to add strength to my hair, but I hate that I had to use a sulfate shampoo in order to remove the "protective" layer in my hair. I have not noticed any fading of my color, but then again I really do my best from staying away from shampoo. Again, I am not a fan of the long ingredient list. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this a 6.5. Again, I loved the smell and the way my hair felt. Detangling was easy (but I also pre-detangle my hair with oil and my fingers before using any tool in my hair, and even then I use my denman once a month when it's an 'all-in' kind of hair day). I didn't like that I had to use a sulfate shampoo ALL throughout my hair. I really only like to cleanse my scalp with it and as it rinses to clean my hair. 

Until next time, stay curly! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Protective Wear

Hello Curls!

I want to talk about protective styling for the fall and winter months, when doing a wash n go is a no. I live in Western, NY and we get pretty cold and snowy this way, so I've been thinking about ways to preserve my hair. In the past I have done weaves and twists and have seen my hair grow. Lately, I have been thinking about adding wigs to this protective time of the year mainly because of the low manipulation of my own hair.

(My Senegalese twists...my edges are pretty thin here...too much tension)

(One of my favorite weave color combination I've had done.)


(This was taken before my belly dance performance, and I am wearing a wig...although, it's in a pony tail. I cannot even begin to tell you how many compliments I received  from complete strangers as well as friends and family.)

(I know it's not the best photo, but I really liked this one)

(It looks really blue in this picture, but in natural light the purple really comes out)

(Here you can see the purple a bit more-sorry for the funny face, lol)

(Annnnd again...)

(Head band I got from ModCloth...they actually sent me the wrong color and are sending out the correct one...and I get to keep this! They are a really great company! Anyhoo..)

In the past, I have gotten weaves and/or twists for protective styling, but I dislike how my hair has been handled. I asked on my Facebook page "Do they always have to blow your hair "straight" in order to style? (e.g. twists, weaves and the like.) Even when I had stretched my hair out in the past, they still used a blow dryer (and comb ಠ_ಠ) before styling my hair. I had to calmly ask them not to. What have your experiences been?"

My curl friend and main editor at Bella-Kinks responded with this "I have blow dried my hair a few times now... Use medium heat, an ionic or far infrared technology blow dryer and a good heat protectant. I use grapeseed oil... If you are afraid, blow dry it yourself before going. My hair is very healthy and curls right back up... :)"

I think that is great advice. I certainly trust myself with my own hair than some salons I've been to...with the exception of one salon that I found and will be going back to. (I like that she has her hair history...among other things.)  But I love having the color options of wigs, and can still style my own hair without using heat or risk tension on my edges. So what are you doing for the weather changes? Me? I'll be sticking with wigs for a while. (*If anyone is interested to know where I got that wig from I visited Krista's Etsy store. She has everything from daring to more mild, as well as some you can customize.This piece came with a wig cap, as well as scented with a conditioner of my choice. I'll be doing a separate review for this soon.)

Until next time, stay curly!








Monday, September 17, 2012

LUSH's Rehab Shampoo: A Review

Hello Curlies!

I wanted to do a quick review about LUSH's Rehab shampoo. (This was another item that I husband gave to me as a gift for my birthday.)



What is Claims:

"Hairspray, bleach, hair dye, styling products, poor health – these are all things that can really take a toll on your hair and leave it far away from its natural best. Treat your abused hair to some serious recovery time in the shower with Rehab shampoo. Rehab is about bringing your hair and scalp back to basics and repairing it with an array of nutritious ingredients. Enzymic papaya cleanses, while almond oil softens the follicles. It doesn't take long for this shampoo to restore your hair to youth and vitality. Once your hair has been put into Rehab, you'll never look back." (source)

What is Contains: 


The first thing that I noticed is that is contains Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. Typically us curlies stay away from anything that contains the word "sulfate" in it. (A number of curlies have allergic reactions as well as experience dryness when using products that contain sulfate.) So, needless to say I was a bit nervous to try this product, but I was due for my one month cleansing and I really wanted to try it. (And as you can tell from the picture up above, I did not use much of it. A little goes a long way.)

I started my routine on a few days old mini twist, twist out. I usually try and condition my hair before I use any shampoo, but I wanted to SKIP that part of my routine to get truer results. I wet my hair and after I shook the bottle, applied the product to my scalp ONLY and used the pads of my fingers to cleanse my scalp. The first thing I noticed when opening the bottle is the smell of peppermint. Which, to me is always invigorating. I also noticed there was lather, which had me nervous, but was hoping that it would not completely strip my hair. When I finished cleansing, I rinsed (and I also figured it would "clean" the rest of my hair without stripping it completely of moisture) and conditioned with Tresemme Naturals conditioner.

Results/Thoughts:

I LOVED it!! Since I only used it on my scalp to clean, Rehab did not strip my hair. Even before putting the conditioner on, my hair still felt moisturized AND clean. This is not something I would use every day or every week, but rather once a month to get my scalp clean. (I'm still looking for a decently priced sulfate free shampoo that I can use all throughout my hair for the times when I do not want to co-wash)

Overall, I would recommend this product if used the way I did. I'm a little nervous to try it on all of my hair, but I might do that next month.


Until then, stay curly!  





Saturday, September 8, 2012

L'Oreal EverCream Sulfate-Free Intense Nourishing Conditioner-Review

Hello again!

So, I've been sitting on this product for a little while now and wanted to wait to do a review after I've tried it a few times. And I have to say that I'm really loving this leave in for my hair. It leaves my hair soft, with a slight sheen and it's not too greasy...oh and the most important thing is that it leaves it moisturized! (Like, for days!)

I originally saw Jess from mahoganycurls review this product along with the gel in the same line on Youtube. I didn't get the gel, because I have the EcoStyler and Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel to go through,which...by the way goes great together. (The Giovanni Gel and this L'Oreal EverCream...leaves no strange white "balls" on the hair, but that is another review..lol!)

So, I washed my hair with Lush's Rehab Shampoo, which my husband purchased for my birthday last month. I only use shampoo once a month and I wanted to try this out.(I'll be doing a separate review for this as well.) Then I conditioned and detangled with Tresemme Naturals Silicone Free Conditioner and separated my hair into six sections. Before adding the EverCream, I applied coconut oil to each section. (I'm following the LOC method, which is Liquid, Oil Cream to keep my hair moisturized.)

 (What the product bottle looks like)

(Ingredient list-This does contain mineral oil and cetearyl alcohol)



 (The front...so shiny! Side note: I did NOT use any gel to keep my twists in place. Just the coconut oil and the product I'm reviewing)

 (Oh yeah, I have color now!!)

 (Love the way the color looks in the light..and the sheen!)

 (Close up, I didn't make exact parts. I find that when I do, it doesn't look quite so "natural".)

(And I made the twists all different sizes,but was trying to go for a chunkier twist out.)

I slept with these in overnight, with my satin bonnet of course. The pictures posted above were taken this morning. So, without further ado...here are my results!!

 (This is right after taking them out. I have not separated them with a rat tail comb, yet and I didn't need to add any extra oil!)

(From the back...love the chunkiness of the hair!)

(The side, I see a little more that needs to be fluffed out a bit)


(From the front)

Overall...I love how this has turned out! This is my first time doing a chunky twist out and I have to say that I like it better than doing the smaller size. I liked that this product had enough hold that I didn't need to use a gel to keep it twisted. I will be doing this again! Have you heard of and/or tried this product of L'Oreals? If so, let me know your results. 


Until next time, stay curly! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IberoStar Grand Rose Hall-Montego Bay, Jamaica

Hello Naturals!

So, I'm finally getting around to writing a post/review about our honeymoon...almost a year later... :-/ Oops! Better late than never,right? I wrote my original review on TripAdvisor, but I wanted to write a more in depth one on here.

We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was an all inclusive hotel and adults only on this side. (I should mention there are two other units that are designed for family vacations as well, in case you're planning on bring the little ones.) We stayed for 5 nights, 6 days in early October. Which really is a perfect time for traveling. The pool was not crowded so we did not have to compete with other guests for a spot, the weather was perfect, with the exception of the last full day we were there. 

(Our Room...please excuse our mess...we took pictures on our last day there)

 (The view from our balcony)

(The lobby piano bar)

(The grand stair cases leading to the pool area, as well as two of the many restaurants on site)

(Practically empty, it had finally stopped raining for a bit. It had rained so hard/much that while we were getting massages, the power went out and there was a little "flooding" at the base of that stair case)

(My husband's dinner. Lobster)

(I had these yummy flounder "rolls")

(The pool bar-usually pretty busy.)

(Us)

(Nightly entertainment by the "Star Friends"

(Bye-bye Iberostar! It was fun while it lasted, but we have more adventuring to do!) 

Pros: 
  • With the exception of tipping the bell hops and your personal butler...yes, your own butler, you do not have to worry about paying for drinks at any of the bars or food at any of the restaurants. 
  • You get your own butler..after my husband and I would finish with the evening activities, our evening butler had prepared a bubble bath with a bottle of champagne for us. (We're still trying to figure this one out because the water was still hot when we entered the room)
  • Friendly staff...maybe too friendly....The Star Friends, their job is to make sure you have the drinks you need when lounging at the pool, tell you the daily activities and make sure you feel welcome during your stay.
  • Excellent Service. Everyone was really friendly and really helpful and provided a list of activities for us to do away from the resort. (We did the Dunns River Tour, full day which included lunch, a history lesson provided by our excellent driver, snorkeling, climbing a waterfall and partying on the boat)
  • Lots of activities to do. If you're the type of person who likes to stay active during your vacation, there are daily scheduled activities. We did yoga on our second day and my husband played boccie on the last day.
  • Breakfast buffet that is out of the world. Fresh juices, fresh fruits, eggs made to order, different pastries, breads, milk, coffee, tea, pancakes...pretty much the works. 
  • Lunch buffet that like above was out of this world. If you go, order the grouper it was amazing every time! This is located by the pool and they specialize in more fresh seafood dishes as well as some items that we might be more familiar with. Such as pizza, Chinese type food, red beans and rice...really a good mix of items to eat.
  • Since we were there during the low season, not only was it cheaper, but we didn't have to compete to find a day bed or lounger, depending on what kind of mood we were in. 
  • There are a few pools to pick from. The one furthest from the beach is the quietest. Perfect if you want to dip in the water occasionally and relax. The second pool is a little closer to the action and is a bit more crowded. The third pool features a volleyball net. And the fourth pool, closest to the beach, has the swim up bar and is certainly the party pool. (We mainly stayed at the first and second pools, we could still have drinks delivered to us)      
  • They have an on site "grocery" store in case you forget or need any emergency items. They also have souvenir shops to pick up a gift or two for your loved ones, as well as any mementos you'd like to keep. They also have a boutique clothing shop, where I purchased a swim cover. 
Cons:
  • Since we were there during their low season, there was a plethora of staff...so much so that while trying to relax by the pool 5 or more would come over, one after the other and try and get us to join in one of the daily activities. We didn't mind them saying "hi" and ask how we were doing, but that got old rather quickly.
  • This is more weather related, but while my husband and I were getting our massages, it rained so hard that the power went out for several minutes. Afterwards, we went to the sauna and hot tubs. The sauna was nice, the hot tubs could've been, but they were all cold. (They're supposed to be at different temperatures, but they all felt the same)
  • The room service food is just alright...after our spa visit, and since it was raining, we decided that we wanted to be a little lazy the rest of the day. So, we ordered room service. 
Tips:
  • They do have a spa and salon facility, but that is extra money for those services. (However, the sauna, steam room and hot tubs are free to use)
  • Room service is free 24 hours a day.
  • The in room mini bar drinks are free and feature alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 
  • They require that you make dinner reservations on your first night there to ensure you have a seat. But really, there were extra tables and spaces.
  • If you stay at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Suites, you have access to all the other pools and dining facilities. If you you stay at the other two (family-in-mind resorts) you are limited to those grounds only. 
Overall, we loved our time there. By the end of it we felt it had gone too quickly. We met other couples who were staying for two weeks, but we felt that would have been too long at one resort. (If we decide to stay two weeks anywhere, we would move to a different resort/location to try something different) We would go back, but we also want to visit other islands in the Caribbean. I highly recommend this resort.