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Just another Product Junkie weblog
Still playing catchup to what’s been floating around the blogosphere/Internet over the past few weeks due to my lack of computer. A handful of product reviews that I wanted to bang out the door are still waiting in the wings, along with a few e-mails that I have yet to respond to (bear with me!). But with no Spotlight last month, I felt it only necessary to hodgepodge this month’s finds and goodies! Small favors that I’ve been diggin like crazy, mainly because of how well they worked, how yummy they smell and how much I’m looking forward to trying out even more from these lines!
Lately, the PJ in me has dimmed ever so slightly, forcing me to race past all the Sephoras that are loitered throughout the city…all the pretty & chic boutiques that line the avenues of my neighborhood, but most importantly all the on-line boutiques that have bombarded me with e-mails proclaiming SALE 50% OFF + FREE SHIPPING! ARrrgh!!
But you know what, as frustrating as it’s been…I’ve still been good. I’m still dipping into the stash that I currently have (which is STILL a heaping mound of whatnots), and every so often I will indulge in a small treat.
One of the things I’m instantly attracted to whether it’s the dawn of winter or the height of summer is a smooth & nourishing lip balm. Since I was a small kid I’ve had a thing for their cute packaging (umm…Hello Kitty!), ability to smell like watermelon, tangerine and all the other fruit drinks I had in my lunchbox growing up. Naturally though, you begin to choose favorites and preferences emerge when your doctor uses words like ‘winter itch’, or ‘eczema’. I know! How could they. But turning this negative into a positive, I was able to explore the world of Lip Butters! I’ve found favorite vendors from Etsy, Anita Grant, Bath & Body Works, and my new favorite, Honey House.
What I like best about this line is their natural approach to producing bath & body products. From their honey filled soaps to their signature moisturizing Bee Bar, a hand and body lotion bar, all their goodies look and feel like a serious treat for your skin. I snagged the signature Bee Bar, (vanilla scented) & the Vanilla Almond Lip Butter which does an amazing job in keeping my lips smooth for hours at a time. The lip butters come in either a tube or tin for easy carrying.
Like a kiss to the lips… Pomegranate oil has been added to the Lip Butter tubes for its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory qualities. Other superior Natural Oils are Shea, Jojoba & Kukui Nut to soften, moisturize and protect. What a relief for dry, cracked lips! Other flavors are: Apple Pear, Mango, Peppermint, Vanilla Berry, Natural, and Mandarin. Try them all!
Right now I’ve got my eye on the lavendar scented Beer Bar, the Honey Blossom Soap and the vanilla berry lip butter. They have several distrutors throuhgout the northeast, click here to find a store.
My next find has been a staple in my routine for the past few months simply because it’s managed to work better than any face wash, face polish, facial scrub I’ve tried over the years. In the past I’ve sampled from St. Ives Apricot Scrub to Origin’s Never A Dull Moment face polisher and neither has left my skin as clean and fresh feeling. Zaja Natural’s Dead Sea Mud Foaming Face & Body Scrub is honestly one of the best in making that ‘at home spa’ experience come to light. I purchased this months ago during a PJ frenzy along with their Amber Sandalwood Spa Soap Bar, and could not believe how much dirt and grime it sloughed away to leave me with and oil free T-zone and a clean face.
A wonderful skin confection that you won’t be able to resist diving into. Made with pure handmade cream soap, genuine dead sea mud, camelina meal, strawberry seeds, grape seeds, jojoba oil, pure cane sugar, dead sea clay and rhassoul clay. Formulated to lather into a soft creamy texture and gently scrub away all your worries without scratching or irritating your skin.
Dead sea mud has so many minerals that are just wonderful for the skin and has been used for many centuries are part of a daily beauty regimen. Camelina acts as a skin defoliant and opens up the pores so that the cleanser can take the bad stuff out of your skin so the good stuff can go to work. Rhassoul volcanic clay contains a high percentage of magnesium plus silica, potassium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc and lithium, the wonderful elements that we need to survival and purification. Added scrubbies to gently exfoliate dead skin cells so that your skin can begin to renew itself and reveal the gorgeous skin within. Couple this with our plain unscented unrefined Shea butter or our Pure Monoi De Tahiti oil and your skin will glow and you will look and feel great!
I use the scrub typically once-twice a week before going to bed. I take a small scoop with my finger. which is really all you need to cover your entire face, and massage the mud until it becomes a frothy, creamy consistency. By then, I move in circular motions for 3-5 minutes, cold rinse and apply moisturizer before heading to bed. In the morning my face is clearer, and my pores look significantly smaller. It truly does feel like a spa moment after that final rinse because of how FRESH & CLEAN your face becomes. Zaidat, the creator and owner of Zaja Naturals has an AMAZING collection of bar soaps, butters, deodorants…and all are handmade! Soap names include the delicious sounding Coconut Cream Pie Soap & the Blackberry Vanilla Musk soap…all on my ‘get’ list.
If you’re an avid Etsy shopper, stop by her shop and DO NOT sleep on these goodies. The only problem you’ll find is the overwhelming need to buy up everything on the site because it all sounds and LOOKS yummy! You can also visit her original stomping ground @ zajanatural.com.
If you guys have any Etsy sellers to shoutout drop me a line @firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment down below, I’d love to hear any new discoveries from the handmade community;-).
Even in a city as diverse as New York, women with textured hair need to search long and hard for a salon that can specialize in their hair, or one that has a token stylist who is able to work with it. Fortunately, hairstylist Anthony Dickey has a new salon called Hair Rules New York (named after his line of textured-hair-care products) that caters to all hair types, from nappy to silky. Having worked with everyone from Michelle Obama to Sarah Jessica Parker, Dickey (who already has a waiting list) and his staff are prepped for any hair challenge. We caught up with the lovable stylist while he was putting the final touches on his first salon (which opened earlier this month) and chatted about how he hates shampoo and why people call him Dickey.
If you spotted the word(s) that helped raise the hairs on the back of my neck, you might feel me on this. You can read the rest of the interview here. But nonetheless, it’s still a smidge exciting when a Salon opens up, particularly one that caters to the needs of a marginalized group…curly/coily/textured femmes! Earlier this month Anthony Dickey, of the famed “Hair Rules” collection, opened a salon here in New York that seems to show some promise in terms of evening out the play-field, allowing more options for those seeking to have their naturally textured hair played with. According to Dickey, “It’s all about diversity. I’m for the kinkiest of the kink to the finest of white hairs that fall flat to the scalp. I’m for everything and everyone in between.”
If you’re in the NYC area:
Hair Rules New York, 828 Ninth Ave., nr. 54th St.; 212-315-2929
The blogs are a buzz….Twitter is over capacity (but what else is new), Michelle Obama’s new do has been pushed aside entirely because Solange Knowles decided to shed some pounds by using some shears. If you don’t know what the big deal is, chances are you’ve never done it, are curious as to why someone would…or envious that she looks amazingly beautifully sans hair. So, is hair really just…hair? Obviously not. For the love of all that is natural…refrain if you can from calling her, crazy, stupid, narcissistic, retarded, ugly, selfish, clueless, crying out for help…’bald is beautiful’ is hardly an argument,… it’s a given. A better question to ask is…how does it feel to be so liberated? Where can I get me some of that confidence?
I interrupt my sabbatical (hi y’all!) to bring you an ABSOLUTE must in product reviews. →Last week my wallet and I finally broke down and bought a new laptop, so my lovely bambina filled with RAM and gigabytes should be arriving in the coming days;-)!! ←But, you know what…this past week something bit me…and it was something I hadn’t felt in a good while because of my economical defunct status. My focus over the past few weeks has been to consciously use up, re-purpose most of the products I already have in my PJ stash. The goodies I’ve been able to find have really made me smile…well, half because I was finally starring at the disposition of being a product junkie, and the other half mostly had to do with the kid in me…continuing to find something new each time I dug my hands in to pull something out. A small thrill really, because I’m enjoying sampling and using these jars up, finally seeing the empty bottoms!
Anywho, ignore my will to ramble and let me bring to light the goodness I’ve found in Darcy’s Botanicals. Last week was what I’d like to call a ‘naught’ week, meaning humidity shumidity was kicking my hair from the backside, so that by Friday afternoon I had to call upon The Process a tad early. Normally my Sunday’s are set aside for this time consuming task, but my ever growing bouffant was seeking too much unwanted attention. The intent though was to keep the process shortest and sweetest by a quick wash with Chagrin Valley’s Neem and Tea Tree Poo Bar. Nixed on any DC because I was already a bit vexed about the idea of detangling my hair after a long day’s work;-). Nonetheless, the chagrin soap moisturized and cleansed my strands quite effectively…enough for me to bust through, using Darcy’s Coconut & Lemongrass Transitioning Crème, and the Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème.
As a fairly light hair crème, the Coconut & Lemongrass was surprisingly effective in detangling the knots and snarls my hair developed over the span of a week. Light, yet a little goes a long way. I’m not a huge fan of the lemongrass scent (great for stir frying, not my hair), yet the coconut made up for it. The crème comes in a sweetly convenient pump bottle, which made detangling breezy, and honestly less messy! With the enormity that is my hair, I’ve gradually developed a routine of not caring what product flies on the wall of my kitchen area or my sink…but this whole ‘pump & apply’ routine I nailed down was snazzy even for me.
I followed with Darcy’s Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème….my new ‘ohm’ product! I had a full 8 oz. jar to play with, which was plenty because again, a shmitz goes a long way. The crème is thick and smells heavenly, truly like some of the best vanilla bean goodies you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. I’m also marginally convinced there’s a hint of bourbon scent as the product site hints to, but you’ll have to be the judge.
Our hand whipped Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme is an all natural hair butter cream for moisturizing, styling and conditioning your natural coils.
It absorbs instantly into hair to replenish much needed moisture, provide softness, sheen & encourages health hair growth.
This highly moisturizing creme is very thick & concentrated so a little goes a long way. It is perfect for type 3-4 naturals:)
It has a very thick concentrated buttercream consistency with the sweet smell of gently infused African Madagascar Vanilla that is truly heavenly! Our customers love the scent. Many say it smells like vanilla ice cream, some say it smells like a sweet bourbon vanilla, depending upon how long we infuse the vanilla:)
Once you try it, you’ll be hooked!
WHAT’S IN IT?
Organic Palm Oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Madagascar Vanilla, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Candelilla Wax, Organic Castor Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil and Potassium Sorbate.
The ingredient list is 100% natural + 100% Vegan. At $12 for a nice sized 8oz jar, this styling crème is pocket friendly and will thankfully last for the better part of a few twisting sessions. Because I wanted to cut down on time, I did make fewer twists, opting still to part the hair into four sections, then continuing to twist each sub-section (about four-5 twists per section). I unraveled each twist the following morning and couldn’t keep my paws off of each well defined, moisturized coil! A good indicator of moisture, at least in my hair, is of course the feel, but most importantly a look that I’d want to describe as vibrant. My natural hair color is a deep brown that burns a bit brighter in the Summer months, and yet there was a richness to my hair after using the crème that was unmistakably due to a higher level of moisture.
And because convenience is always a factor, products from the line can be purchased directly from the site, darcysbotanicals.com or if you’re an avid Esty purchaser from there . The lovely owner, Lysandra has recently unveiled several new goodies, including a detangling Hair Milk and a Deep Conditioning Mask. To read more great reviews from this line, do check out the fab Amina over @ Coup de Coeur. One of her Spotlights was on Darcy’s Botanicals, and after her fantastic review I placed my order;-)
Here’s the only way I knew this past weekend to calm my ever ballooning halo/frizz/dry affected hair.
1. Prepoo with Suave Coconut Condish + Hairveda’s CoCasta Shikakai Oil
2. Rinse + Wash w/ Chagrin Valley Neem & Tea Tree Poo/Body Bar
3. Deep Condition w/ Aubrey Organics HoneySuckle Rose ( 20 min under heating cap)
4. Detangle + Cold rinsed, Twist w/ KBB Hair Milk under Afroveda’s Shea-Amla Butter crème.
5. Air Dry
Record time: under 3hrs.
Thankfully, my hair opted out of it’s temporary foolery and reduced the frizz significantly. Also attributed to my lack of halo was a drop in the humidity forecast (hallalujahs!)!! Before deciding to return to the basics though, my feet pandered into Sephora after work to glance at a relatively new line of products geared towards the curly girl. Living Proof.
Whether you’ve got curly cues or stick-straight strands, at some point you’ll be affected by the dreaded frizz—the annoying change in hair texture that takes you from slick to static in any humid situation. But before you crawl under that hat, meet Living Proof, your new frizz-busting BFF that keeps moisture mishaps under control. The brainchild of a talented team of hair aficionados lead by an MIT professor, the goal was to find a breakthrough solution “from a physics standpoint” and not through the standard methods of creating a typical beauty product. Instead of traditional silicone-based solutions, Living Proof set out to create efficient formulas based on entirely new molecules using advanced technology, so your toughest hair challenges are solved from a fresh, new perspective. The result is a comprehensive collection of cutting-edge, humidity-resistant formulas that work for all hair types. Whether you prefer it curly or straight, the road to silkier strands just got that much smoother—and you’re about to see Living Proof.
Sounds almost too good to be true!
Here’s what caught my eye:
What it is:
A daily treatment for optimum frizz-reduction and conditioning.
What it does:
Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining No Frizz Styling Treatment for Thick to Coarse Hair offers the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years. No Frizz addresses the two causes of frizz—humidity and friction. It provides a superior, extremely thin humidity barrier on hair while reducing surface friction. The result is the most effective, lightweight frizz fighter on the market today. This expert styling secret weapon contains a touchable holding polymer to give your waves and curls added definition. Hair is left sleek and manageable without becoming greasy or heavy.
I’m thinking….I’m thinking….@ $14 for a 2oz bottle…and my massive hair, I had to temporarily pass. Granted reviews have been more so on the positive end. Added to my product queue for sure…but for now my AOHR + KBB and Afroveda are three gems that are absolute staples my hair can count on in times of frizz.
Yep…MIA is my middle name. At least for the past couple of crazy rollercoaster days. To say that I was a bit struck by all that’s been happening in the news lately…I mean it’d be a huge understatement to say the least. Business is of course run as usual..you head to work, eat, sleep …thank the lord you’re here to see another day. Sunday was typical, wake up, head to market, wash/style hair type day…though it felt anything but ordinary. It’s hard…in the industry I work in, the buzz right now is all about solidifying on the hype of MJ. $$$., which makes it a bit difficult to cope with the loss of such a HUGE contributor to some of the BEST memories I’ve had as a child. I was never a bandwagoner of his music or life…though I did feel a deep sense of sadness watching how far he had to fall simply because he’d gotten up so far ahead of everyone in the game.
In the meantime I’ve been listening to vintage MJ, and forcing my ears shut when faced with all the negativity churned on my the press/media. I’m also still in the midst of a laptop crisis, so posting will be scarce until next week.