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,
“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.
“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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.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.
Duafe’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
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.
“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.”
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.
“See through” ends that needed to go.
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.
The Results After Shaping and Styling
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!
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:
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.
(In order of application)
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.
Philosophy’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.
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.
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.
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.
Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack with my lipstick unbothered and not a scratch on my crown.
I’m no model and I don’t pretend to be but I have a pair of soup coolers on me that love a good lipstick so when the The Lip Bar asked me to model for their campaign I was all the way down. To think, I was once one of those girls that was too scared to rock a lip. I feared they would draw too much attention, throw my face off balance or even worse… make my lips look bigger. Gasp. So, growing up I would apply some clear blistex and call it day. I was intimidated by my very own mouth. My mouth! WTF! How wack? How sick? How cowardly of me… If I only knew then what I know now… cause these lips right here? They’re magic. You betta ask somebody.
Just look at little Kylie Jenner. Girlfriend spent all kinds of money to have a pout like mine (ours), not that her surgery in any way validates me (us), but I certainly think it helps put some things into perspective. (Oh and if we are being honest I think her pumped up injected lips looked bangin… but I digress).
It’s interesting though, often the things that come natural to women of color, the things we are most self conscious about, are the very things that end up being bought, praised and coveted i.e. warm skin tones, full lips, wide hips, full butts and the ability to flip it, toss it, and throw it back like a boss. It seems that those things are most often admired and praised when they are adorned by women not of color. What a mind fuck! What a setup for self hate. You mean to tell me we (and I use the term ‘we’ loosely because I’m well aware that my light skin and fine curly hair put me in the ‘exotic’ category in which I reap the benefits of daily) can’t get any love? Aside from King Bey who despite my unyielding love for, is two seconds from looking like a full blown white woman (just sayin). And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the way our King Bey looks. I’m simply saying we have to peep the pattern and move in this world accordingly.
Images are becoming more and more important. Folks are all about the visual. We don’t even buy music based on the sound anymore, we buy based on the video. Just look at Instagram. We spend hours scrolling, staring, screen-shoting and sharing selfies. So be mindful of what you consume and celebrate. Images are beautiful things but they can also be used as psychological warfare. Be sure some of the images you see are of and in tune with your own reflection.
I’ll leave you with this, a dear friend of mine Kristin Braswell, once wrote the following Facebook status after Kim K released her cover of Paper Magazine where she was mimicking the iconic Grace Jones and attempting to #breaktheinternet
“What frustrates me is not Kim Kardashian herself, but the idea that this whiteness and otherness in non-Black women deserves countless think pieces and celebration. As our neighborhoods, slang, culture, music and even bodies are being co-opted, I am reminded of how important it is that we continue to uphold and celebrate whatever reinforces the truth that we as black women have always been enough”.
May we always remember that we are indeed, enough. Thank you to The Lip Bar for having and celebrating me.
I have been thinking about doing very brief, easy yet informative posts about simple beauty secrets that can be applied cheaply by all. Here is a simple yet HIGHLY EFFECTIVE way of brightening and whitening your teeth. I have been doing this for months now and I can say from experience this process yields the most consistent results with very little time or money spent.
The ProcessTwice a day EVERYDAY I use pure baking soda when I brush my teeth. I do not couple the baking soda with my toothpaste. Instead BEFORE or AFTER I brush with toothpaste, I dip my toothbrush in baking soda and I brush it directly onto my grill. The flavor is painless although the texture has a soft grit to it. DO NOT SWALLOW. It does not wear on my enamel and is safe for use.
For increased whitening you can also gargle and brush with peroxide. Peroxide is a little more harsh on your enamel but when used intermittently it is harmless just DO NOT SWALLOW.
It has become second nature in my dental care. Simply leave a box in your bathroom and you won’t forget!
Summer is slowly approaching and more skin is surely to be exposed. I am obsessed with the natural dewey, glow of sun kissed skin and I am on the pursuit of achieving it. I have done some research and I think I have narrowed it down to 3 easy practices
Exercise benefits the cardio vascular system which in result increases oxygen to the blood and helps rid the system of waste and cellular debris. The cleaner and more refreshed it is on the inside is reflected in clear, vibrant skin on the outside.
I don’t know where the hell these have been all my life but these exfoliating hand gloves are the answer to my need for glowey, smooth skin prayers. Sweet baby Jebus! They can be bought at nearly all beauty stores online and at any brick and mortar. Simply lather up with your favorite soap and scrub every inch of your body smooth with these gloves. Exfoliation is key to bright, glistening skin because it rids you of dead, dull skin cells and reveals new, younger, brighter skin.
3. Oil, oil and more oil
I know a lot of you swear by lotion but I was raised by my daddy to moisturize my skin daily with oil. Till this day, I still adhere to that practice. Unlike lotion which is water based, oil does not evaporate off of your skin leaving it to be dry again. Many people are turned off by the slick, slippery texture of it but if you want glistening, healthy, vibrant looking skin, I am positive there isn’t any other way around it. Oil is the way and the light.
The best results are when the oil of your choice is applied directly out of the shower and while your skin is still wet. Think of the two step process of moisturizing your hair. It is the same for your skin. Water, then sealing oil. Once dried your skin is supple soft and less slick.
Oil also has a lot more natural benefits to your skin than the artificial jizz of lotion.
Here are some benefits of my two favorite oils.
Almond Oil – Rich in Vitamins A, B and E. Removes impurities and dead skin cells, reduces dark circles.
How many of you have traveled somewhere (especially during the holidays) and later realized that you forgot all your hair products at home?! It happens to the best of us and this Thanksgiving it happened to me. Keep in mind my momma is white so there was no extra Kinky Curly lying around..no hair steamer… no diffuser… not even a wide tooth comb for goodness sake.
Anyway, I went home sporting my second day Curling Wand Lose Waves thinking I was going to get a day three out of them and play the shyt out of myself. I looked in the mirror on day three and my hair was not only a rat’s nest it was as dry as hay. I looked like the scarecrow. As I combed my hair with the thinnest of combs I watched in horror as my curls began to break off one by one. I sat there disheveled, cursing myself out for a) thinking it was cool to put heat on my hair three days in a row and b) leaving my ish at home. But then I realized that my mom may not be a fellow kinky curly but she is a health nut and surely I would be able to find something to restore my strands in her kitchen. I scurried downstairs and Mom Dukes did not disappoint.
2 TBLS of Agave Nectur, 1 TBLS of Organic Coconut Oil
Apply to wet hair. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash Out. I of course didn’t have my sulfate free shampoo so I used some rinky dink stuff she had lying around.
Conditioning Treatment with a Bit of Protein
1/2 Cup of Plain Yogurt (Conditioner), 1 TBLS of Mayo (Protein), 1TBLS of Aloe Vera Juice (Sealant)
Add to wet hair after shampooing. Leave on for 20 minutes. For added results, run hot water in your shower and let the steam help to lift your cuticles and penetrate the hair shaft.
Usually, if your hair is dry, I don’t recommend doing a protein treatment but because I had put heat on my hair the days prior, I thought it was necessary and would help restore/reverse any damage that may have occurred. You always want the protein content and the moisture content of your hair to be balanced therefore too much protein can interfere with your hair’s elasticity and cause it to break. This is why I personally believe that protein treatment should always be in conjunction with deep conditioners.
Non Leave-in Conditioner as Leave-in Conditioner
I don’t know what this stuff was but after I rinsed the conditioning treatment out I didn’t have any slip to my hair and it was difficult detangling it. So, I saw this little green bottle and thought, why not? I added about a quarter size to my head, let that mess dry and it turned out just fine. I really wish I would have had some Kinky Curly or Karen’s Body Beautiful with me because it would have really put the icing on the cake of my ‘Curl Restoration’ but you can’t win them all. Peep the results below.
I wasn’t mad at the results at all. Needless to say, I’m giving my beloved curling wand a break. I was too hype when I first got it and OD’d but rehab is going well …lot’s of buns, pigtails and deep conditioners.
I must admit, I really like DIY treatments. I feel like a mad scientist or something. Y’all got any DYI’s to suggest that you think I should try?
I know no one understands why that title “I got DANdruff in my hair” is so funny to me. My dad told me when he was in grade school he and his best friend would terrorize his teacher by yelling “I GOT DAN..druff in my hair!” Say it out loud. Do you see why the teacher was so annoyed by his psuedo-cursing? Isn’t that funny??!! Anywhooo, real rap I have dandruff. It happens every winter. For some reason, my scalp thinks it is doing me a favor by creating layers of dead skin to shed and keep my head warm. It isn’t severe dandruff but it is enough to notice. I have also been dealing with a really tender, throbbing head. For some reason, after washing and moisturizing my hair, my scalp will ache afterwards. I can’t figure out for the live of me what is going on but with the help of Antoinette (although this can easily be done solo), I attempted some self medication to relieve and revive my scalp using tea tree oil as the active ingredient and jojoba oil as the carrier (it can be any NON-mineral or NON-petroleum based oil).
I hate to gross you out but I wanted to provide a visual of my dandruff. It is not that bad but it is consistently shedding.
My hair was previosly washed, so I did this treatment on dry hair. I started by mixing my Jojoba and tea tree oil together in a bowl. You do not want to burn your scalp with the highly concentrated tea tree oil so make sure you are putting 5x more jojoba than tea tree. I did not measure anything but I can guess-timate that I added 1 and a half capfuls of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of jojoba.
In order to make sure that this mixture was reaching as much surface as possible on my inflamed scalp I decided to put my hair into 8 straight backs and apply the oil to my exposed scalp area. Honeychild, it felt like heaven.
I know that I will have to repeat this process about twice a week to stay on top of the dandruff because just one application does not do it for me.
I hope this helps any of the tender-headed, dander sufferers out there like me. We in this together!