Archive for February, 2009

February 26, 2009

Updates

So, Spring is somewhat in the air…n’est pas?  I thought I felt it on a breeze or two yesterday morning while walking to work, my gloves were tucked away in my pocket so my hands were free! What can I say, I give in to hope a lot when it comes to the weather…

I’ve got fingers crossed it’ll last through the weekend though,  because I’m seriously ready to stretch my legs a bit, do some walking in my neighborhood for a change. I’ve been meaning to swing by Karen’s shop in BK for the longest, but fall back every time…again, weather is somewhat of a deterrent for me. But I have determination as my ore and will take a trip, it’ll be a shame to pass up on the sale that’s going on!

milkApparently her uber popular leave-in conditioners are on sale @ buy 2 get one free! Now this applies to her milks, hair nectar and the super silky, and you can pick and choose your scents to your liking. The top favorites across the board have been lavender vanilla & chamomile sage, but I’ve got my eye on the sultry sandalwood.  The name alone wooed me!  Also, new to me is her Fabulous Freebie Fridays…? Don’t know what’s in store but I’ll check in to see what’s up. Click here to take a peek.

 

It sucks that February is such a short month though, I feel as if I’ve been scrambling to catch up on all the good deals left during the home stretch.  But as a gentle reminder Curlmart is offering 15% off your entire purchase, (excluding kits, curly cocktails, and Wen products) until the 28th along with a $7 flat rate charge, just enter coupon code blogger15 at checkout.  I’m still eager to see if they’ll have re-stocked some product hopefuls like the Oyin goodies, but we’ll see.

 

junkieI finally snagged my Curl Junkie Rehab!! I was afraid I’d been too late for the sale because my Paypal account was acting fuddy, but alas I saved and restocked on my DC.  The Curl Theory Mositurizing conditioner is also on the sale block for $14, something I’m looking forward to trying in the future. 

 

 

creme1Another Valentine’s Special is coming to a close over at  Miss Jessie’s camp with her Creme De la Curl Cleansing Creme (originally $20) & Creme De la Creme Conditioner (originally $26) marked down to $16 bucks.  I’ve never tried either product but have in fact purchased several of their other puddings and what nots.  The reviews for both haven’t been bad, the cleansing creme is somewhat thicker in consistency than the conditioner, but apparently both still work effectively.  Again, I haven’t sampled these, nor have I checked out the ingredient list, but if you’re a fan…kudos! Let me know how they work for you.

lockandtwist2I was also able to score my  new wonder, the Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding this week.  The site is updated and it seems to be back in stock, so I took advantage like a good PJ. I also snagged up another one of her goodies after hearing rave reviews from the curly/kinky community, but I’ll vote and reveal what it is later;-).  If you’re tempted to try her products you can purchase from here, or head over to afrokinks.com where there’s a hidden coupon code on the homepage (if you can’t find it leave a comment down below and I’ll cough up).  I love this site because you can find just about the best of the best that’s out there for naturally/textured curly/kinky hair. There’s also a neat sale rack link with items at clearance prices!

 

What I’m really excited about is taking a trip over to Karen’s in BK, aside from her hair care collection, her body oils and butters are out of sight! The neighborhood is a fun and alive place to hang out if she’s quickly whipping up a batch of her special goodies, so if you’re in the area look her up and stop by, the sale applies to in-house as well but ends on March 3rd.

 

HAVE A GOOD ONE;-)

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February 25, 2009

Prelude

Summer is… 

Summer

 

…to me it’s anticipation.  It’s been a long winter and I long for cute print dresses, peep toe embroidered sandals, smelling like an almond cookie, sailing mile high on T-strap heels,  reeking of my favorite scents and oils no matter who’s next to me, carrying over sized embellished bags filled with summer reads…visiting Karen’s shop in BK for her wonderful creations…

Summer is also my time to divvy up my skin care routine, switching from heavy duty butters & cremes to light lotions.  I need my skin to BREATH in summer so I try to look for lotions that are not just light feeling, but the fragrance has to fit my personality as well.  During winter months I hardly experiment with scents,  usually I’m more preoccupied with finding a good moisturizer to combat winter dryness!  But the leeway summer offers is so enticing that I’m always inspired to try new body sprays, lotions on any given day of the week.

garnetMy absolute FAV over the years has been a lotion with the warmest of undertones, goes on light, yet moisturizes incredibly well.  Sage Jewelry’s Garnet Body Creme is hands down my go to scent for the summer because it last, last LASTS all day! You know something is worth the hype when you’re turning heads, and folks are hankering for advice on where to get.  I never worry about applying perfume afterwards, because really…I’d hate to mask the loveliness that is Amber & Vanilla!  On a whim I visited their site the other day and found a sale brewing! Needless to say I stocked up, mainly because rarely do they have a sale, and I’d be certain to kick myself later if I didn’t take advantage.

cookieMy other go to scent is another prized gem from Carol’s Daughter.  I can’t get enough of her Almond Cookie treats!! One of my new fav bloggers has been all over this line for some time and has blogged about the truly addicting smell, despite her love/torn relationship with the changing prices.  I’ll be honest, over the years the increase in price has deterred me from purchasing many things from Lisa Price’s line of goodies, but in the end I decided to pick just one item from her collection that I wouldn’t feel guilty when purchasing, and that ended up being the Almond Cookie Lotion and fragrance!  The highlight scent is sweet almond, mixed with marzipan, sandalwood and musk.  YUM!!  It’s sweet, without the over bearing smell of berries, which is why I’m so drawn to it.  I’m not gagging over the smell if I decide to slather it on, which I’ve been guilty of:-).

 

 

I know it’s early preaching about Summer, but I can’t be the only one!  What are your all time fav go-to products for summer?

 

February 24, 2009

Because You’re Lovely…

 

 

 

 

Sometimes incentive….and a good discount is all we need for those good hair days, so here’s a fantastic opportunity to save and explore on stuff over at Curlmart.com.  The folks over at Naturallycurly.com  have heard the PJ cries and delivered a special discount to ~Back to Curly~ readers of 15% off your entire purchase! With the exception of kits, cocktails, and wen products, you can indulge until 2/28/09! Use coupon code blogger15 to redeem this special offer!$7.00 Flat Rate shipping until the end of February as well;-)

February 23, 2009

Encore

curlIs it spring yet? Three more weeks doesn’t seem too long to wait…does it?  I don’t know, I’ve been missing a lot of things lately.  One being my easy and quick wash and go’s.  Yesterday I had my plate full with things do to but not enough time! Washing my hair came first in the morning, but for some reason the morning just got away from me.  Before I knew it, I was still twisting my hair by 2 in the pm! And the one thing I do hate is rushing when I’m doing my hair…basically if I rush I’m stuck with crummy results for a full 5-7 days…never a good look.  By the time my day was done I was tired and grumbling because Monday was starring me in the face….my weekend was again over.

Not sure what took so long this week.  I opted for a Bentonite treatment which might’ve done me in, but I was planning on it all week and my scalp and hair were quite thankful in the long run! Instead of mixing the clay with water, I followed the directions on the label and mixed with ACV, ironically enough to save on time, and also added a couple TBSP’s of agave nectar. 

FOOD SUGARS 2 FRMy previous go at bentonite was a mix of honey and water, but I didn’t have the heart to finish what I had left of my honey stash on my hair, so I used some agave I’d purchased from Trader Joe’s.  Agave is comparable to honey in that it too is a natural additive/emollient and can be used as an alternative sweetener.  Agave is naturally organic, has a lighter viscosity texture than honey, which makes it easier to pour and mix…AND, it has a much longer shelf life than honey so it won’t crystallize and harden like it’s fellow cousin.  There was a thread not too far back on naturallycurly.com on where to find the sweetener, apparently some local markets aren’t readily stocking. It’s still a relatively new product, only first introduced in the early ’90’s, but periodically I’ve been able to spot check a few in my local markets.  If you can’t find it in your local grocer I’d suggest asking the head honcho in charge or ordering online if it’s worth your while:-).

After sitting with the mix for 25, I was ready to rinse with my new co-wash, Giovanni’s Tea Tree Conditioner.  I applied conditioner while in the shower and let it meander for about 2-3 minutes before rinsing to get the full tingle effect. I luv this stuff! After fully rinsing the clay, my scalp had a fresher than before feel that is the absolute best!

But that was it, I didn’t DC this week due to lack of time and the bentonite really did do a good job in softening my hair.  I followed up with KCKT and detangled my hair in small sections.  To style I applied Afroveda’s Shea Amla Whipped Butter Creme.  My package arrived on Saturday, perfect timing to feed the PJ in me.  My goodies were perfectly wrapped and the sample sizes are more than generous amounts!

The butter creme has a light fluffy texture, which is a wonder because the natural base is shea.  Most products I use with shea as a base I’ve learned to apply in small amounts first, then add more only if necessary…my hair adores moisture, but too much always merits a do-over because my hair is over saturated with product and my texture remains hard and sometimes brittle to the touch.

Took the twists out this morning and was pretty happy with the results.  It’s first day hair, so it’s shrunken and my curls are a tad more compact, but I’m feeling a BIG HAIR week coming on, so either tonight or in the a.m., I’m going to tease fluff  and separate the do;-)

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

February 20, 2009

PJ News!

Dont’ shoot the messenger:-)

junkie

Hi Everyone,

We are giving everyone one last chance to try out our Curl Rehab Deep Treatment for $16 (orig. $20)! Our lightweight detangler, Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair Conditioner, is also on sale for $14 (orig. $16). There is also $6.95/$7.95 Flat rate shipping on orders over $100. Take advantage of these sales now since they won’t last forever! Hopefully this will make it a little easier to take a chance on some products you may have been considering for a while. Please do spread the word to let others know about this special as well. Remember to check out the Sales & Trial set link regularly as we will be sending out less emails to cut down on everyone’s mail! 🙂  Check out http://www.curljunkie.com to get started!

As a reminder, we have our referral program to add more temptation…refer us to a friend who places an order and you will receive a coupon code good for 20% off your next order! How it works: Just be sure to have your friend enters your name into the comments field at checkout and we will email your code to you*!

Also, if you send us a picture of your hair with Curl Junkie products (please tell us which ones) in it for use on our website, we will send you a coupon code for 10% off your next order*!

*(These offers are good for one order only, and cannot be combined with other promotions or each other.)
Best,

Marsha
Curl Junkie Hair Products, LLC

 

Patience is a virtue! Mmmmm…I think I need some Curl Rehab …

 

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND:-)

February 18, 2009

Donna Marie: Lock & Twist Pudding

Here’s an embarrassing PJ truth, lockandtwist2lately I’ve been dabbling into a world full of custards, souffle’s and puddings.  I’ve had my hands in jars of Miss Jessie’s Pudding, Curls by Sisters Smith Wet Set pudding….KCCC…Curls Souffle…Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding…and my recent get…Afroveda’s Curly Custard.

Hopefully I’m not the only one, but whenever I hear a product is whipped or puddingfied…I instantly think MOISTURE!  My head goes into a tizy and I must purchase, must sample to see if it meets my hair criteria.  Can’t be sure how long this crazy tick is going to last…but several weeks ago when I ordered Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding, I had the hopes on high because of all the fab raves throughout the kinky curly community.

I’m going to take it old school for a minute and say…yo, this stuff is ridiculous! Verbage meaning…this stuff is fantastic, crazy good! Two weeks ago this puppy contributed to one of the best hair weeks I’ve had on the books to date! I used it in conjunction with my ACV rinse and my KCKT leave-in.  My hair had bounce for days, moisture round the clock, and SHINE…a near obsolete because of winter here on the east coast.

I used the pudding to twist my hair and achieved great results.  It was the first time in a long time, after taking the hair out of the twists that I didn’t try and manipulate the final look.  My curls were well defined enough that they stood proudly on their own, bouncing from one place to the next! Basically, I had fun with my hair…couldn’t keep my paws out of my head while at work!

Ingredient List:

Deionized water, aloe vera gel, carbomer, kokum butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, glycerin, flax seed gel, hibiscus extract, carrot seed extract, burdock root extract, agave nectar extract, silver citrate, potassium sorbate, and natural fragrance

The consistency is not unlike a gel, but not unlike a creme either, so the best description is something that falls in between.  My hair absorbed this stuff up instantly, so I was forced to watch how much or how little I applied.  I didn’t get a silky, slippy feeling when applying, but my hair did seem to air dry faster than usual.  On the other hand, the next morning when unraveling the twists my hair felt silky, manageable and soft to the point where I could run my fingers through without disrupting the waves too much. 

I’ve heard positive reviews with this product across most boards, and found the only drawback to good results is the amount applied. How many times have we heard the saying, ‘a little goes a long way,’…..A LOT! And when I do hear this I take note and apply sparingly…adding more product only if necessary.  Most Donna Marie products are in fact heavily concentrated, so it makes sense to follow the tips of your fingers rather than the palms of your hands to apply. 

The way I look at it, I save money!  How do you know  a product is well worth your time and $$….exhibit A:  they are constantly sold out on-line.  I was thinking of reordering to stock up but they are indeed out of stock until further notice.  I have about half a jar left and refuse to dip into it until I get another on deck.  It’s my PJism, I know…drives me to unpractical methods of living.  But eh…No woman forgets those head turning, fabulous hair days, and I intend to see that day sometime soon;-)

February 17, 2009

The Process

curlYeah for long weekends! Monday was a national holiday which meant I stayed the hell home like a good employee;-). It really did feel like perfect timing, having that extra day to hit the streets and run the errands I’d needed to run for the past two weeks.  Nothing spells relief like finally doing your laundry after weeks of starring at a pile of crazy…!

But I digress to say that even amidst the lazy holiday weekend I did manage to do my hair…gave it it’s weekly dose of TLC on Sunday by ways of a Pre-Poo, ACV, Co-Wash and DC.  All good stuff.

giovanni_tea_tree_triple_treat_conditionerI finally restocked on KCKT last week, and while at my BSS picked up a new conditioner for my co-wash.  Giovanni’s Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner was a bit of a random purchase on my part, but my scalp missed that good ‘ol tingly feeling, you know that effervescent sensation you can only get from products that contain peppermint or tea tree? When in moderation, my scalp loves! This was my second purchase off of the Gionvanni line, the first being the direct leave in, and my kudos ranking for their stuff is growing! It worked as a better than average co-wash conditioner because it cleansed  without stripping, while leaving my hair feeling sufficiently conditioned, and low behold there’s a good reason why! Over at Jillipoo’s blog, there is a great recap on the importance of co-washing and the need for an added surfactant to ensure proper cleansing.  Some harsher surfactants are ones typically used in everyday shampoos, common ones are sodium laureth sulfate & ammonium lauryl sulfate.  But others that are less harsh and less stripping can be found in some good cleansing conditioners. Giovanni’s Tea Tree formula does carry a gentle cationic surfactant, Behenstrimonium Methosulfate, which in plain terms just means it provides sufficient conditioning while adequately cleansing the hair.  Yeah…alright, no more curl chemistry info, you can click here to learn more about surfactants.

After co-washing with the Tea Tree, I applied my ACV rinse then followed up with a mini-DC using Curl Junkie’s Curl Rehab (strawberry ice cream scent!). An added bonus for ANY DC is the luxury of using as little as possible to get the job done, and this does so in a pinch with just the right amount of slip for detangling!

oilBefore applying my ACV, I did manage to play part mixtress by adding a bit of nourishing oil to the mix.  I used something I’d had lying around for a while, but never found purpose in using. Khoret Amen Hair Oil by Carol’s Daughter was something my hair had grown accustomed to after my second BC and late last year I gravitated towards it once again.  It’s an olive oil base “infused with lavendar flowers and sage herb, then blended with essential oils of  ylang-ylang, clary sage, and bay leaf to aid in restoriing hair’s health and beauty.”  If used separately it makes for a decent hot oil treatment, and the infusion of patchouli and cedar wood helps to ward off itchy scalp and has anti-inflammatory/anti-fungal properties.  All well and good, yes…but with it’s herbal woodsy smell…it cut back significantly on the ACV odor I’ve been fighting with!

After my mini-DC (25 min under heating cap) I styled with KCKT and twisted with  Blended Beauty’s Happy Nappy creme. I untwisted my strands last night to cut back on my morning regime, and this morning am rockin the do just right! The one thing I did cut back on this weeks was my unrefined shea.  Basically there was zero need because the Blended Beauty creme has a strong shea base and I am almost certain I overmoisturized last week on my first attempt.  I think that was a good call on my part because my hair feels less weighed down and less product heavy;-)

February 13, 2009

PJ News!

dollarzI’ve been in a linear funk these past few days.  Work has been doubly stressful, shedding light on the true face of our ‘crippling economy’ …  and the simplest bottom line is that it all sucks!!

One of my biggest fears though when I do get stressed is cutting back on taking care of myself…I have a tendency to revert back to bad eating habits, prolonging my workout regime, neglecting my skin, or even scrimping on my hair purchases…seemingly trying to cut corners when really what I should be doing is taking two steps back to reevaluate the situation.  I need to refocus!

So to start… or end my foolishness, I am going about business as usual.  Continuing to invest in myself by investing in quality products, not being afraid to take chances on recommendations…but most importantly being smart and asking questions!

Last week I felt the pinch and wanted to try out a new line of products I’d heard other bloggers using with great success.  Afroveda is a relatively new line of hair care products for curly heads with highly textured strands, and  word of mouth after folks have sampled their custards and butters have been super positive!  So last week after checking out the site I emailed their customer service to ask if they offered sample sizes of their products.

The answer was no, but Mala ( the creator of the line) hinted to me that they might be introducing special sample sizes for Valentines weekend!! Low and behold, as advertised on their site,  starting today until February 16th they’ll be offering 25% of your purchases ALONG with the opportunity to sample pretty much the entire line! Here’s a link to the special Valentine’s day promotion.

She’s offering 2oz. versions of the products for a cool $3.50 a pop, so it’s wise to stock up now and see if it’s worth your time and money for the future, which is what I did.  I ordered several sample sizes of the butters and the curly custard. 

I saved $$  y’all, and it feels good! Nothing beats being in a funk all week, yet being able to salvage whatever is left with a good discount! Considering the tough times we’re in, I’m starting to believe it’s the only and perhaps best way to shop!

If you come across any sweet deals, whether it’s hair care, body care…don’t hesitate to pass it along, you could be saving others some much needed $$!

(Mala also hinted to a special Valentines Day promotion for one day only!! So if you feel like counting pennies stop by;-) 

February 10, 2009

Apropos: Nikki Giovanni

 

niki-giovanni1

Here’s a woman who hardly ever needs an introduction so I’ll keep mine short and sweet.  Nikki Giovanni is a poet, activist , author of twenty-seven books, including a Grammy Nominee and a distinguished professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg , Virginia. Last Tuesday she debuted yet another book of poetry, relative to what we all crave this month…love.

 

bike2Bicycles is a compilation of all new love poems by Nikki and just a good enough reason to make you want to smile and appreciate the loved ones that are already in your life.  I was lucky enough to snag an extra copy of Bicycles, so if you’re down for love this month, shoot me an e-mail (backtocurly@gmail.com) or leave a comment down below and I’ll happily send you a copy!

 

 

 

February 9, 2009

The Process: featuring Bentonite, Aubrey, Giovanni & a Blended Beauty

curlWho’s ready for winter to be done with? I AM!! Yesterday was my day to be indefinitely fed up with what winter brings.  Aggravation! The weather was  sort of a mixed blessing with temperatures in the mid 50’s, add to that just a hint of spring in the air.  But in NYC, if there’s even just a whisper of spring in the air, it’s almost inevitable to find the streets stocked with ppl. soaking in the feeling.

 

Two things I learned that added to my aggravation:

  1. Do not go to Ikea on a Sunday afternoon
  2. DO NOT go to Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon

I have no excuse as to why I decided to do two of those things on the same day, but needless to say…I was beyond tired by the time I reached home and realized that I had to do my hair.

I fought it…I fought it all the way to 3:30 when I realized that if I didn’t start now I’d be raising more than a few eyebrows at work with my ‘new look.’ So by late afternoon I entered my zone…

…Pre-pooed this week with Suave Coconut Conditioner, mainly because after a morning of having my hair tossed around by dry winds…it was beyond necessary! Left the conditioner in my hair for 20 min, rinsed, then on a whim sneaked a bentonite clay treatment in. 

This go-round I kept it simple, mixing the clay with water and about 2 tblsp of honey (apparently honey has amazing anti-bacterial properties when mixed with water).  I applied the clay in sections, making sure to apply directly to my scalp by massaging it in.  Covered with conditioning cap (a helpful step because you definitely do not want the clay to over harden, rinsing is much easier if it’s still moist), then after 25 min or so rinsed thoroughly.  I rinsed with luke warm water, then applied a handful of co-wash conditioner to make sure to get any chunky deposits from the clay out.  I do believe that on my second attempt I achieved success! My curls popped instantly once I applied the mixture and after rinsing I noticed my hair felt cleansed without feeling stripped…not sure about added moisture, but I’m certain I retained whatever I already had.

And for the sake of covering all bases when it comes to my scalp I quickly put together an ACV rinse, applied directly to my scalp with an applicator bottle and massaged in circular motions to get the blood flowing. I did let the ACV sit in my hair for 5 min before rinsing.

My moisturizing conditioner this week was Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, which I applied in small sections while detangling ( a bit of a chore cause this conditioner is amazingly thick and hard to get out of the bottle!). The conditioner sat in my hair for 45 min before my final rinse of  a ridiculously long process,  whew!

Totally forget to restock on my KCKT and had to call on a sub leave-in conditioner. Still had a full bottle of Giovanni Direct Leave-In and decided to use it instead of waiting for the summer to re-purpose or re-use.  But on my second go with this leave-in I was more than pleasantly surprised!! It has amazing moisturizing properties, and defined my curls before I applied my final styling product.  I still sort of prefer KCKT though because it offers a ton more slip in my opinion, making it a lot easier to finger comb..but as a last resort the Giovanni came through.

To cut back on drying time though, I did soak up some extra water with my micro-fiber towel…an amazing tool if you’re ever in a hurry and need to cut back on time and avoid frizz!

After applying the leave-in I twisted with Blended Beauty’s Happy Nappy Styles  creme.  Now, when I say this thing is rich and thick I do mean it ranks up there with some of the richest butter cremes I’ve tried in the past! I was a bit surprised, and also hesitant because I didn’t want something to weigh my hair down, I just wanted MOISTURE!  (I’ll post a full review later this week;-)

After twisting, I sealed my ends with my new fav, Coconut Oil and allowed my hair to somewhat air-dry before going to bed. Waking up this morning, I quickly applied my unrefined shea before untwisting. 

I’m still mixed on the results…the twists are well defined and my hair is moisturized, but the bounce  and shine I had last week are clearly missing.  Frustrating! I’ll have to comb over my steps to see what could’ve been missing or a step I could alter in the future.