Ulta’s “Love Your Hair Campaign” Product Reviews

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My Turn! As you know Ulta is having their in-store and online, “Love Your Hair Event” all month long. Shanti and I were gifted with some products to review and as much as we hate trying new products this wasn’t so bad.

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K-Pak is a product line that is starting to get a lot of attention and for good reason. I was first introduced to this line at the Best in Black Beauty Essence Event. This intense hydrator is essentially a deep conditioner stocked with amino acids that offers immediate hydration in only 5 minutes. It leaves your hair soft, detangled, hydrated and manageable and only for $4.99. Child, you can’t be that price. Mucho bang for your buck. However, please note that this product contains silicones which are highly effective at smoothing and taming frizz but can also create product build up. So, be sure to monitor your build up and cleanse regularly if you use this product in excess.

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 Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner ended up being a winner in the end but I was skeptical. Ouidad’s claim is that it ” instantly defines and hydrates curls while keeping frizz at bay… (it) creates a “moisture foundation” by infusing hair with vital conditioning proteins. Prickly pear extract draws in moisture from the air and seals it in for superior hydration while antioxidant green tea and vitamin B5 help protect and promote shine. Arnica extract lends a smoothing touch—sealing the cuticle for frizz-free results.” 

I was initially turned off by this product because it didn’t detangle my hair well or have much slip when I applied it. I added  quarter size amount to my wet hair and began to let it air dry. About 10 minutes later I examine my strands and the product was so lightweight, I couldn’t tell if my hair was actually being hydrated or not. So, I added another quarter size amount to my hair and still it felt like nothing was applied. I couldn’t see or feel the product in my hair. When I scrunched my strands together to mold them into the ‘perfect curl’ there was no white film… no product residue on my hands… nothing. It was strange. 

So, I mentally prepared myself for a horrible hair day and got my top knot supplies ready. About 30 minutes later I looked at my hair and to my surprise, I loved the way my hair looked. My curls were incredibly happy, weightless and full of movement, body and bounce. I wasn’t mad at all.  Frizz free? No. Not really. But I don’t like frizz free hair anyway so me no care.

Overall, I like this conditioner because it doesn’t create a lot of build up and it allows my natural curl to be a little more wild and free. With that said, I would definitely recommend it to curlies looking for a weightless leave-in who have looser, fine curls like mine. This is that, ‘hair blowing in the wind’ leave-in.

*Side note*  

I just dyed my hair ombre blonde and feel like I need something  with a little more slip for the time being because my bleached strands are a bit stiff and ratchet. I’ll continue to use this product again once my hair health is restored.

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Now you already know I couldn’t resist trying out a product called Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play. This is essentially hair spray. It’s not much different from any other hair spray I’ve used besides the fact that it comes in this fun packaging. It has a lot of hold and a lot of power so if you like movement, I would use a very small amount. I flipped my hair to the opposite side in which I part it, sprayed the roots a little, fluffed and enjoyed some added body. Boom. It’s that simple. Not much to review here. It did it’s job the way I expected it to do. I do want to try their volume and texturizing powder though.  

The Results

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Natural Light

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Natural Light

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Natural Light

 
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Natural Light

 
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Artificial Light. No Flash

   
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Artificial Light. No Flash 

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To Check out more Hair Products for Ulta’s Month of May “Love Your Hair Campaign”, go to www.ulta.com/loveyourhair to see what hair products are available on sale!

Ulta’s “Love Your Hair Campaign” Product Reviews

As mentioned before in this post, Ulta has gifted Antoinette and I (my account is not working for some reason, so I am posting under her name) a bunch of products to review for Ulta’s Love Your Hair Campaign. You can get great hair products on sale at all Ulta stores from May 10-30. 

The products I choose to review were,

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Maxtrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner ” a combination of soap-free cleansers and superfruits” which “slide away dirt and residue without stripping the hair”.  For Medium hair (whatever the hell that is).

Antifrizz, suitable for color treated.

And

Ouidad “Climate Control formulated to expand in contact with moisture, enveloping cuticles to prevent frizz without altering style. When humidity lessens, the polymers contract creating natural, non-sticky curls (whatever the hell that means).

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I was super excited to try the combination due to the fact that I am looking for a new co-wash and hoping to find my holy grail holding product for this coming summer’s heat. 

My Slept-On, Un-styled Hair (Judge Your Mutha)

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After Showering Using Biolage Cleansing Conditioner

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What I loved about the Biolage was that it was moisturizing. I could feel the product cleansing my hair but it never felt “streaky” and drying. I wash and go mostly every single day. I add tons of product to my hair every single day. It was nice to have found a product that will rinse away yesterday’s residue while also replenishing much needed moisture. I can tell that the product was indeed moisturizing because my curls are well formed and “clumped” rather than frizzy and separated. 

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After adding my usual daily leave in conditioner I applied the Ouidad Climate Control Gel.  The Gel was nearly liquid which I found interesting. I couldn’t tell if I was putting on too much or too little.  The smell was great. 

**Secret Reveal** (If you have course, frizz prone curls like mine, a technique to create well defined and moisturized curls is by adding 2x more leave in conditioner and holding product than you normally would. You want to see the product between your fingers as displayed as shown above. More on that later)

I then went on to sit under the hair dryer for 15 mins. 

Results

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What Do You Guys Think of the Results?

Yay or Nah?

Got commitment issues like me?   Can’t commit?  Don’t worry! Go to your nearest Ulta and with every Thursday in-store purchase during Love Your Hair, head home with a FREE sample from some favorite brands like It’s a 10 and Sexy Hair. 

Head to your Nearest Ulta in Philly for all the “Love Your Hair Campaign” deals!

1619 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA (215) 640-9602

To Check out more Hair Products for Ulta’s Month of May “Love Your Hair Campaign”, go to www.ulta.com/loveyourhair to see what hair products are available on sale!

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Senegalese Twist Crown Up Do

senegalese twist   This video is a simple updo for senegalese twists. All you need to complete this style are bobby pins.

Keep in mind you want to hydrate your real hair while they are in the twists. The easiest way to do that is to create a hydrating mist and spray your hair both at night and in the morning.

DYI Hydrating Mist Recipe:

2-TBSP Leave-In Conditioner

1 TBSP Coconut Oil

1 TBSP Aloe Vera Juice

Remainder Water

Shake Well and Spray

*Disclaimer*

If you follow us on instagram you’ll know that while I loved my twists, they unfortunately, were not for me. My hair was far too thin and fine for them. I left the twists in for about a month and after, I did I experience a lot of breakage due to the weight of the hair and the amount of updos I wore for work. They didn’t feel too tight but at times, they felt too heavy. There was just too much pulling at my roots. Oddly enough however, the hair that was not being ripped from my scalp was pretty happy and healthy. LOL.  This told me that the  moisturizing mist worked but the weight of the twists did not. So, I still recommend them as a protective style just not for women with fine or damaged hair. You must have that real good healthy stuff to rock these. Oh well, you can’t win them all. I tried and my hard headed/big headed self will probably try again and complain about being bald when I take them out.

Whateva. At the end of the day it’s just hair. Right?

Aphrodite Xo, Thank You

I’m three years late but your video finally got to me. Shanti didn’t even put me on. I blame it on her. I hope this post reaches you and that you know you we are grateful for your support. Your post is right on time. I needed to hear that in order to get that old thing back. Back to editing I go.

Essence Best in Black Beauty Awards

As you know Shanti and I were nominated for Best Up and Coming Blog for the Essence Black Beauty Awards.  It was incredibly dope to be honored and even dope-r to get to spend some time together, dance, drank and party it up in NYC. Here are some photos from the event. Keep in mind we are sharing these because we tried to stunt on um.

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Pose for the camera. Flick. Flick.

   
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The gym has been good to me. Sidenote* Peep how I am wearing ‘nude’ shoes but they are really light pink. Melanin, why have you forsaken me?

 
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She was probably the swaggiest jawn in the building. It’s just in her. She’s ice cold.

 
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With our boo Naptural85/Whitney. Words can not express how we love love. She even marched with Antoinette in the Justice for Freddie Grey rallies the next day. #shawtywannaride

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“Antoinette your breasts are as big as my head.”- Shanti “Shanti, your head is as small as my breasts.” – Antoinette

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“Shanti, will you take my picture?”- Antoinette “Stand up straight, cross your legs and chest up.”- Shanti

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Luster’s Pink Moisturizer is apparently still around and thriving. No shade but shade. #sorrynotsorry

Thank you Essence for the recognition and thank you ladies for helping us get there. Muah

   

Ulta’s Love Your Hair Campaign = Cheap, cheap prices!

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We were recently gifted a hair care package from Ulta to help spread the word about the month of May’s “Love Your Hair Campaign”. From May 10-3oth, you can stock up on your favorite brands or try new ones without hurting your pockets too badly. 

Special Deals Include

    On weekends during Love Your Hair, be sure to stock up on one-day-only Beauty Steals from beloved brands like AG, Living Proof, Kenra Professional, Carol’s Daughter and Alterna

    Buy two, get one free on finishing and styling products from 32 professional brands including CHI, Redken, Matrix, Sexy Hair, Tigi, Wella and more!

    Love Your Hair Try Me Kits!

Check out the products below and the days on which they are on sale to get yours at Ulta!

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We were gifted hair products that are great for curly, kinky hair that we are really excited to try and share with you all from Carol’s Daughter, Deva Curl and more!

Reviews coming soon.

Which products do you want to see reviews of?

The Curl Whisperer of Duafe Salon

duafe outside The natural hair salon Duafe in Philadelphia  has been blessing heads for over 20 years now. Celebrities such as Jill Scott, Beyonce, Tye Tribett, Floetry and Janet Jackson (just to name a few) have been enjoying the twists, locs, color and intricate braids created by Duafe’s owner Syretta and her team of stylists. I have been connected to Duafe and Syretta since I was thirteen years old. After first getting my hair braided in Syretta’s mother’s house in West Philly when she was just a young, single stylist, I  have continued to  follow her career. Upon every visit, I see evidence of her growth as an artist and entrepreneur. Her salon changed from being a small attic dwelling to being in an expansive, warehouse chic building. Her clientele ranges from multimillion dollar artists, powerful politicians to regular folk, men and women, black and white. Every time I sit down in a chair at Duafe, fragrant scents, intimate conversations, laughter and tender hands knead my spirit into a softened space of comfort and care. duafe insde Syretta has been watching with smirking eyes as this “natural hair revolution” has blown up. Two strand twists, bantu knots, kinks, curls and fros are nothing new to her. In many ways, the population is finally catching up to her wealth of knowledge, finally her skills and that of her staff may really begin to fulfill the potential that has been building for years. She is ready to be of service.

remmyDuafe’s “Curl Specialist”, Rimmy

Syretta has found her salon’s curl whisperer. 28 year old Rimmy a native of Ohio has come east to Philadelphia to follow her passion for hair care. I met Rimmy recently and immediately I knew she was to be trusted and she knew what she was doing. After meeting her, I wanted to showcase her skills, I wanted to spread the word about Duafe to all the timid, first time big choppers, overwhelmed transitioners and curly haired women frustrated with salons that ruin curls with hot blow outs, lop sided, short cuts and the inability to lead and inform about healthy hair care practices.  

I found Rimmy’s muse in one of my best friends – Tsehaitu. She has been perm free for seven years but she has yet to really get into the groove of knowing and caring for her curls and kinks. She has been persuaded by the myth that you can really have the best of both worlds. You can have straight hair one week, curly hair the next and healthy hair all around. Her hair was misshapen, dry and in need of some TLC. I brought her to Duafe and Rimmy for a transformation. Here is her transformation.

 

Tsehaitu’s Hair Before 

tse front tse side tse back Tsehaitu maintains a very simple regimen of Jojoba oil and water on her hair daily. She sets it at night with 5 chunky twists and fluffs in the morning. She is not a slave to definition by any means. She actually prefers less definition. For the past 3 months she has been going to a hair salon (off and on) and getting her hair straightened. She was assured by a hair stylists that her hair can stand heat, it won’t be damaged and that with a steady trim every 6 weeks she was doing her hair some good. Rimmy looked at her hair and said “WRONG!”. Remmy explained that,  “There is no in between with straight and curly. You either commit to having healthy curls or maintaining straight hair. If you want to go between straight and curly, your going to end up HAVING to wear it straight because your curls can NOT withstand the damage of heat. Eventually your curls will retreat into stringy, porous, life-less strands.” This was the case with Tsehaitu’s hair. She had heat damage. Her natural curl pattern remains unknown to her even seven years after she has stopped perming her hair. 

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“If your hair is wet and your curl does not spring back after pulling it, if  it doesn’t have any elasticity to it, your hair is heat damaged.”

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Rimmy’s Solution

Rimmy asked what were Tsehaitu’s hair goals. Tsehaitu said she wanted manageable hair that would grow.  Rimmy was completely honest with Tsehaitu explaining that heat damage is similar to a perm in that your hair is forever altered. There is no going back. The only two options were big chopping or transitioning. The only way to healthy, happy, thriving curls was to stay away from heat. 

Tsehaitu did not want to big chop, so they agreed that the journey would be a slow and steady one. Every 6 weeks Tsehaitu agreed to come to get her damaged ends clipped by Remmy as the healthy, unaltered curls grew in from the roots. The beginning of Tsehaitu’s healthy hair journey was getting her hair shaped. 

Shaping to Rimmy is the most important aspect of healthy curls ( second to product). In her opinion,  it doesn’t matter if you have the most beautiful curls if your shape is wrong. With a bad shape, you are doing your styling potential no justice.

Rimmy dubbed the common shape of Tsehaitu’s hair – The Sting Ray. “Long on the sides with a long tail in the back”. If you look closely, you will see that the “tail” in the back is an illusion to length and does not really provide an honest representation of length. The tail had to go. Tsehaitu took a deep breath and let it go.

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thin ends“See through” ends that needed to go.

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After Cut

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Rimmy’s Styling

Due to the fact that Tsehaitu’s curl pattern is damaged, she is going to have to continue to create the illusion of a curl pattern and definition. Rimmy applied Duafe’s product for moisture and shine and began doing a variation of a two strand twist. The hair is two strand twisted down it’s length and then tucked into itself to create a loop. She then put Tsehaitu under the dryer for a short time.

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The Results After Shaping and Styling

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If you are in the Tri-state area and you are looking for a natural hair salon, check out Duafe Holistic Hair Care in Philadelphia. Check out all of their styling in braids, locs and curly hair care. Book an appointment and tell them ATWC sent you!

Dua-fe.com or call (267) 297-7636

@locsbyduafe

@rimmysparkles

For Baltimore: A Message From Malcolm

I can’t say how important it is that we tell our own history enough. Otherwise, we have “Blacks Riot in Baltimore” headlines instead of, “Cops Kill Another Unarmed Black Man.

I’ll have you know, there were plenty of peaceful protests in Baltimore but there was no media coverage. Baltimore City residents also cleaned the city streets after the 1% looted but there was no media coverage. Baltimore City residents also brought food to students who are unable to get free lunch because schools are closed but there was no media coverage.  This is not by accident.

I’m not sure if tearing shit up is the right thing to do but I do understand why some folks are at that point. Like MLK said, it is morally irresponsible of us to condemn the riots without, “at the same condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to emerge in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say, that the riot is the language of the unheard.”

“To be Black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” – James Baldwin

How I Got My Skin Clean, Clear and Under Control

Before and After

Before and After

Real rap I had some serious red/dark spots on my cheeks and jawline due to acne. I was also subjecting my skin to too much sun exposure and popping my deep under-the-skin pimples thinking I knew what I was doing. It was once so bad that I wouldn’t leave the house without foundation because of the discoloration. When you first met me, I wore makeup to the gym. SMH. But now, me no care! So, if you are suffering from acne and scaring I can help. See below:

Natural Remedies

Exfoliate- Exfoliate your skin… gently. Exfoliating lifts the dead skin from the surface of the skin which reduces clogging and reveals the younger layer of skin. Exfoliating is great but you don’t want to do it too much or too hard because it will dry your skin out.

I recommend gentle exfoliating gloves of scrubs. You can make them or buy them. See our Avocado Pit Body Scrub Recipe here.  Exfoliate once a week for dry skin and twice for oily skin. After, you must replenish your skin with a good moisturizer but we will get to that later. Keep in mind that if you exfoliate too often you may dry your skin out. Your skin will then create additional sebum and cause more breakouts so start off exfoliating slowly and gauge it from there.

Vitamin E- Vitamin is an antioxidant (slows cells damage) that occurs naturally in food and can be used both topically and internally. It not only promotes healthy skin but it also beefs up your immune system. Vitamin E attacks free radicals throughout the body and can prevent some of the damage they  may cause. It’s all about preventative care.

Water- We all know this. Water is essential in the functioning of our bodies but did you know that water is the primary way in which we moisture our skin? It also a great substitute for your favorite expensive night cream by preventing wrinkles, psoriasis, ecezema and other skin conditions. Cold water in particular, when applied topically does wonders for the skin. It reduces redness, puffiness and closes your pores which prevent them from getting clogged. Rule of thumb… Wash with warm water. Finish with cold.

Sleep- When Nas said, “I never sleep cause sleep is the cuzzin of death” he was trippin. Beauty rest is not just a phrase. Sleep is so important when it comes to the health and appearance of your skin. Without adequate sleep your skin looses it’s luster. It becomes dull, sags and even bags. Your body repairs and heals itself while you sleep. If you disrupt that healing process it WILL show. So ladies, put your phones away. Turn Netflix off and get your 8 hours. 

Purchased Products

(In order of application)

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Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Face Wash- “This acne treatment cleanser deeply cleanses and helps lessen acne-causing bacteria, while salicylic acid effectively reduces breakouts. It efficiently clears skin without irritation, leaving skin feeling completely clean and comfortably balanced.”- Sephora

I couldn’t have said it myself. The salicylic acid deep cleans and for the most part illuminates my deep set pimples. Salicylic acid does however leave you more susceptible to sun damage so make sure you use sunblock with this product. For that reason alone I use this at night and wash with regular soap and water in the mornings.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.20.14 AMPhilosophy’s Miracle Worker(found at Sephora) is product that really helped me in getting rid of my dark spots. It won’t happen over night but it definitely aides and speeds the process. This basically helps fade the spots by removing the dead skin/epidermis from your face. Much like exfoliating, but it also speeds the cell production process. New skin forms, revealing new bright beautiful skin. Seriously it works.

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Ole Hendrisken Vitamin C Serum-  is formulated with a proprietary five-source vitamin C complex to support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines, this must-have serum defends from environmental aggressors and free radical damage, leaving skin healthy and protected. It is enriched with green tea extract and sodium hyaluronate to nurture and nourish. This lightweight and oil-free formula quickly absorbs into skin while the iconic uplifting citrus scent pampers your skin and your senses. -Sephora

This product definitely has helped brighten my complexion and made my skin look more awake. I think it is a good investment to make. After all, it’s about being proactive.

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Sunscreen- YOU MUST WEAR SUNSCREEN! I can’t say it enough. It drives me crazy when folks don’t. The ozone layer is depleting y’all. Yes, a good sun kissed glow is nice but at what cost? Skin cancer? Wrinkles? Sunburn? Just put some damn sunscreen on. You also must realize that if you already have brown spots and pigmentation from acne scaring they will only get darker if they come into direct contact with the sun. So, if you don’t wear sunblock you will be doing all this good work in vein.

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Moisturize- I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion in the Summer and Nivea Skin Creme in the Winter as a moisturizer. They can be found at any drug store. It’s important that after all your cleansing you moisturize and hydrate your skin. Cetaphil is very mild and is recommended for any skin type. Nivea is thick and may clog your pores if you have oily skin. I was very skeptical about Nivea because of how thick the product felt but it has kept my winter skin hydrated all day without clogging my pores.

Find Your Regimen and Stick to It- At the end of the day it is important that you are constant. There are plenty of nights when I don’t feel like washing my makeup off but I know that my skin will suffer from it in the long run. It only takes 15 minutes to take care of yourself. Why not do it? Above is one of my nightly regimens.

antoinette henry, around the way curls, clear skin

Makeup Free!

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