Friday, April 26, 2013

Intermix Peplum | Neon polish |7 For all mankind distressed jeans | Jimmy Choo Malika Sandal | Tory Burch Bag |La Gracieuse sunglasses 

I spotted pics of former Destiny Child's member LeToya Luckett and immediately fell in lust with her chic ensemble.  I'm loving the way she appears understated and dressed up at the same time.

Most days you'll find me in denim so this look is perfect. Ms. LeToya is working a pair of distressed jeans cuffed to highlight her fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo Malika sandaled heels which serves as a highlight of her outfit. Not clearly pictured above is a gorgeous Chanel Classic Jumbo in beige.  I love that she paired a beige bag with a black heels and black & white top.  My beige classic has been neglected because I feel like I need to match my outfit with my bag.  Now I'm ready to experiment a little and finally step out of the box.   This weekend look is flawless without looking like she's trying to hard.  I love it!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sharing some of the things I'm inspired by.  May you be inspired as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm sharing this post with you on one condition...... The only thing I ask of you is that you don't think of me as a complete loon after reading what I'm about to say.  Promise?......Ok, let's do this.

For those of you who aren't already aware, we are on a "drink your water" challenge.  Our intention is to drink enough water to generate benefits to our external selves (our hair, skin and so on).  What if I told you that you could experience positive internal (and metaphysical) benefits as well?  I'm not just talking about hydration, I'm referring to the ability to positively impact our water, prior to drinking it.

Yeah, I know I'm starting to sound crazy but instead of trying to explain it, I'd to share something with you.  Check this out.

So basically, Dr Emoto took samples of water and exposed them to various elements such as music, words, thoughts and intentions.  Then he froze droplets of the water and examined them under the microscope to see how the thoughts and words impacted the water.  What he found was that the water exposed to "positive" words and intentions created clear crystallized shapes while the water exposed to the "negative" suggestions were fragmented and chaotic.

What does this all mean?  Perhaps nothing.  But perhaps it opens our minds to the possibility that our thoughts and emotions have a greater impact on our bodies than we think.  If water is indeed that susceptible to our thinking, perhaps we can intentionally begin to focus our thoughts in a way that may positively impact our bodies.

There are some other videos on YouTube where people are putting this theory into practice.  In their non-scientific experiments, they prepare white rice then separate it into two containers. On one they place positive words on a piece of paper and tape it to the container.  On the other, they write negative words. They take time daily to send either positive or negative intentions to the rice.   Time passes.  Weeks later, the rice is inspected and they notice something interesting.  The "positive" rice remains relatively fresh compared to the "negative rice" which seems to mold and decay at a much faster rate.  Rice is used in these experiments because of the water content absorbed once cooked.

We too have a relatively high water water content and we're constantly walking around with negative and limiting thoughts.  Most of it directed at ourselves.  What if the words we think/speak to ourselves are actually harmful?  What if simple words of gratitude and appreciation had healing/protective properties?  I try to think about this when I drink my water and use it as an opportunity to reflect on uplifting thoughts.   I showed my coworkers the video and so they now refer to the water I carry with me as my "love water."  

So for those of you who have joined the water challenge, perhaps we can connect our water drinking as a way to reflect on  & affirm something positive in our lives.  Even if you're a bit skeptical about this whole thing, there's no harm that can come from focusing on something positive for a few moments each day.

Who's gonna try this?

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'd like to take a moment to express some gratitude.  The first four months of 2013 have been pretty phenomenal.  Several goals and intentions have manifested back to back.  Two of them has been visions of mine for years.  There's nothing more incredible than experiencing the manifestation something you imagined become a reality.

So now I'm thinking, "how can I keep doing more of this?"  "How do I re-enact the creation process over and over again with even bigger goals? And, is there a way to speed up the process?"   Looking back, I can identify missed opportunities that slowed down the fruition of some of the outcomes.

 I read somewhere that intention manifestation should be as simple as this example:

 Person A is hungry and thinks to herself. "I'm hungry, I want something to eat"  She might think to herself, what would I like to eat?  She sets the intention to enjoy a chicken sandwich.  If she has the ingredients in the fridge, she follows the steps that take her directly to her intention.  She walks to the fridge, she pulls out the ingredients, she assembles her meal, she eats.
She doesn't jump into the shower, she doesn't make a phone call to a friend, she doesn't start ironing her clothes for the next day. She doesn't make a to do list with "making a sandwich' as the top priority. She walks over to the fridge and makes her sandwich.

If the ingredients aren't readily available, she has two options.
1. She can change her intention and settle for/create a different outcome.
2. She can leave her home and go obtain the ingredients necessary to make the sandwich she desires.

I know that this example is quite simple but I think there's something powerful in seeing your dreams as easily accessible as long as you follow the path that leads you directly there.  I find myself desiring something then doing everything but the exact steps necessary that move me closest to my intended result.  I'm the girl who will walk over to the fridge, pull out the bread then go do a load of laundry.

 (seeking images to create my next Vision Manifestation Board)

As I turn my attention to my newest intentions, I'd like to take a close look at how my actions align with what I want.  If I really want to enjoy a sandwich, it wouldn't make sense for my actions to be the exact opposite.  Nor would it make sense for me to allow distractions to take away from what I really want. The year is still young and I'd like to go into hyper-focus to fine tune my creation skills.  Last year, I started (silently) referring to myself as a "master creator" as an affirmation to train my subconscious mind into believing that manifesting is easy.  I didn't just say the words, but I also focused my thoughts towards that intention.  Anytime I thought I about what I wanted, I would conjure of the feelings of having them.  Months later, I'm seeing the fruit of that consistent way of thinking.

 One action I will take is to continue this effort is to record affirmations on my Iphone of outcomes I'd like to experience and listen to them as I fall asleep.  I'll also create a written instructional "road-map" on the fastest, most direct way to achieve my intentions then commit to heading in that direction.  Nowadays, when I look at my vision board, it seems more like a collaboration of things I like rather than a collection of intentions that I aspire to.  This is why it's time to create another vision board filled with new experiences and possibilities.

Finally, I have to make sure all of my intentions are clearly defined both verbally and visually through the use of visualization.  Creating clear mental pictures of what I desire is a struggle for me but I realized that when I practice it, the images get clearer and clearer.  In my experience, clear images are critical to this manifestation process.

It feels kinda weird to create a whole new set of goals. Some of the intentions that came into existence were on my goal list for years. I think I somehow got attached to them as goals and not realities.  Now it's time for me to think differently to create a new life.  I'm up for that challenge and I look forward to it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's been a while now since I added a new product to my rotation. Recently, a new product line caught from L'Oreal my eye and has been placed into my wish want list.

L'Oreal developed a series of professional products as part of their expert line. They were developed to treat the hair's molecular structure from the core to the surface.  There are products in the lineup to help boost color, create more volume, etc.  But what I'm interested in are the "Intense Repair line" (hydrating  line that provides UV protection), the Absolut Repair Line (contains lactic acid technology for repair at the cellular level), and the Fiberceutic line which works from the inside out to provide long lasting reconstruction for damaged or chemically altered hair.

More specifically, I've got my eyes on the Fiberceutic Masque.  According to the product info the mask allegedly works from the inside out to provide long-lasting reconstruction for damaged or chemically altered hair.  Fiberceutic Masque is meant to help prolong the effects of the Fiberceutic Fiber-Filling in salon service.  The main selling point of this mask is that it's enriched with Intra-Cylane technology, which works to reconstruct the hair fiber enhancing volume, strength and suppleness.

According the the Kerastase website, Intra Cylane is the injection of material into the hair fibre.  They say that the intra cylane molecule has the power to "auto-expand" which leaves the hair looking thicker with added volume & body.  The intra cylane molecules are deposited into the hair after evaporation takes place.  These molecules reinforce the protective layer of the hair. They find the damaged fibers, revitalizing the hair.  I should mention that to fully benefit of the intra cylane technology, one would receive the  serum treatment (also known as botox for hair) at their local salon.  They call it a "botox treatment" because the serum is applied by using a syringe.  Not like a real needle, but more like the dropper used in the Amla oil billion potion.  The mask is meant to help maintain the results of the treatment between visits.

The other product that caught my eye is the is Absolute Repair Masque for dry, damaged hair.  What makes it attractive to me is the use of lactic acid as the main active ingredient.  Lactic acid is a mild acid produced by fermentation. They say that lactic acid helps with tangling and helps provide shiny, healthy hair.  Lastly, I'm really interested in the Intense Repair line that boasts of having the ability to powerfully protect the hair against harmful UV rays.  The sun has been really intense lately and it'll only get worse as the summer months roll in.

 I still haven't been able to get a hold of the ingredient list(s) yet but both are on my list of future purchases.  I'm a technology buff by nature. Anything new and interesting will certainly attract my attention.  When these babies finally come home, I'll share my thoughts in a full review.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I stumbled upon something exciting that I'm just dying to share with all of you today. Remember when mom used to tell us to eat all of our peas? Well I'm here to reiterate that message and I'm ready to back it up with science.

I stumbled upon some information which suggests that extracts from pea sprouts have demonstrated the ability to impact hair growth.  A solution of pea sprout extract was tested on 20 volunteers.  At the end of the study, it was determined that the extract had the ability to "increase the number of hairs in anagen (growth) phase while reducing the number of hairs in telogen (resting). In telogen phase, our hair is attached but not growing. When this phase is complete, the hair sheds and a new cycle begins.

After three months, a pea sprout solution called AnaGain used during the study promoted fuller, thicker hair.

  • 80% of the volunteers found their hair less breakable.
  • 95% of the volunteers noticed a slight to strong deceleration of their hair loss.
  • 95% of the volunteers noticed a slight to strong improvement in the look of their hair. 

Peas were selected for this study for their high levels of phytonutrients.  Sprouts have the highest level of phytonutrients of any plant.  Which makes the sprout much more desirable than the actual pea itself.

AnaGain will likely be marketed as an ingredient for use in hair regrowth products.  Which means that we commoners will not have direct access to the active solution used in the study.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and get to the source.  A trip to my local Whole Foods store led me to the nutrient dense pea sprouts.  I enjoy topping my sandwiches with healthy greens so I made a yummy salmon burger with honey mustard and (of course) sprouts! The taste is very mild which made it a nice compliment to my meal.  If that wasn't enough, I pulled out my juice grinder and made a green juice cocktail of bean sprouts and sunflower seed sprouts which are also extremely high in nutrients and minerals.

Although I enjoyed consuming the sprouts.  My guess is that the folks in the study applied the solution topically to achieve the best outcome. The solution they used was basically the sprout extract mixed with water & preservatives. If I wanted to replicate this process and use topically, I probably mix fresh juice water and mist my scalp in the morning before conducting a brief scalp massage to work it in even deeper.  Since I won't be using a preservative, I'd have to have a continuous access to the fresh sprouts.  At this point I have a few options:

1. Make regular trips to a health food store to purchase ready made sprouts.
2. Find a local grower who offers sprouts at a lower cost. In this case, the local grower would be my mother who has an amazing green thumb and a garden full of fresh veggies.
3. Grow them myself.  Apparently, peas can sprout all year round and are pretty easy to grow.  I have the opposite of a green thumb but even I feel comfortable experimenting with sprouting pea seeds.

Even if this pea sprout hair solution doesn't give me any noticeable hair benefits, just the act of eating and drinking it alone will be tremendous for my health.  I'm ready to try it!  Another thing I learned during my research is that I can purchase mineral solution to add to the soil which will allow the sprouts to be even more nutritious as they grow.

Check out details of the study here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm really excited about the latest version of skin care routine.  I realized that if I want to maintain clear, great looking skin, I have to take daily, consistent action to achieve that outcome.  That's when I decided that my daily cleansing routine wasn't enough and needed to be adjusted to create great skin.

Here's my entire updated daily routine.  I'm still working on my evening regimen.

I can not tell you how excited I am to have found a routine that works.  Normally, my skin starts acting up during the summer months.  My face just gets all congested and breaks out easily.  This new routine is going to combat all of that.  One thing I didn't mention in the video are the routine visits to the sauna which have been a God send.  Ultimately, my goals is to have flawless skin, making the use of foundation completely optional.  This means that I'm now targeting the last of the acne scarring.  On my action list are the following:
  • Daily sunscreen.  I'm upgrading to Skinceuticals SPF 50.  
  • Nightly Retin A product to promote cell turnover. Hopefully that means that  my old discolored skin cells are shed more quickly.
  • Weekly peels to exfoliate the top layer of my skin. 
I'll never forget something that Lady Dee told me on my last visit.  She noticed the lines that ran horizontally on my neck and told me "keep your head up."  Confused, I asked her to explain.  She went on to say, "you're walking around with your head down, keep your head up. Never walk around with your head down."   At first I wanted to dismiss her words of advice, then I realized that I was probably walking around with my head down because of being ashamed of   my skin looking the way it did.  Today it's a different story. I sometimes catch myself habitually wanting to put my head down as I pass others. Then I remember how far my skin has come and I confidently raise my head in confidence.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm so exited to bring this feature!  Most often I share inspiration stories of ladies with mid back,  low-mid back, waist length and even hip length hair.  But, along the way, I've received email messages from those who are starting their journey. They too would like to reach waist length but before then, the biggest question is how to maintain a healthy hair journey with shorter lengths.

Today we're featuring a young lady who we will call "Tam."  Our correspondence began when she emailed me a year ago at the start of her journey.  After testing various products and techniques she finally crafted a regimen that worked.  Now she's ready to take her journey to bra-strap length and beyond!  But before we go there, I was extremely interested to find out about what got her here.    Let's find out shall we?

How long have you been on your journey? I've been on my journey for one year and 1 month.

Tell us about your starting length and current length. My starting length was ear length, I am currently at neck length.

What was your regimen at the beginning of your journey? Pre-shampoo, shampoo deep condition, moisture and seal and occasionally co-wash.  I was a little all over the place in terms of products which is why I have an entire cupboard for my hair products as opposed to a shelf.

Has it changed? If so how? Over the year, my regimen has definitely changed, firstly it's more consistently and I'm more committed. I washed my hair once a week-prepoo, shampoo, deep condition with my steamer and I air dry more often then not.  I have re-introduced co-washing (co-wash Wednesday), I now baggy my ends, do regular scalp massages and ensure my new growth is kept moisturized. If I do anything different, I make a note of what I did and the effect it had on my hair.

How long do you stretch between relaxers? I have just started to stretch to 10 weeks. Previously, I relaxed every 8 weeks.

Do you use heat to maintain your short style? When my hair was shorter, I straightened on wash days only which was once a week.  I would maintain my style by wrapping at night.

Are you cutting/trimming often to maintain your look? If so how often? My hairdresser and I have a good understanding, as I'm growing out my hair we no longer cut it, we trim!  So my hair is trimmed when necessary, usually every other relaxer which works out every 5 months.

How do you wear your hair on a daily basis? Nowadays, my hair is always in a protective style. At the moment my ends rarely see the light of day.  Normally, the first week after my relaxer, I will wear my hair down for a few days after that, those ends are tucked away.  I'm loving non-bun styles and, as my hair continues to grow and I'm becoming more creating with my styling.

When my hair was shorter, I wore it out.  It was too short to wear in a bun or tie it up in any way. So for 5 months I wore my hair out.  After that time, I just wore it in a clip and used hair grips to secure stray pieces, not very exciting.   Recently though, I have experimenting with non bun styles. This includes the pompadour in the front of my hair with a french braid, braid or twist the crown and roll the back of my hair.

Have there been any struggles or set backs?  How did you overcome?  My set backs have been finding the right products, retaining moisture and being consistent and toward the end of last year, I had some breakage in the back/nape of area of my hair.  It was then I decided it was time to get serious.  I went through my cupboard and decided what my staples should be.  I made a vow to be consistent for 3 months and keep a diary.  Providing my hair reacted positively to my regimen, I would not change it until after the 3 month period.

What advice do you have for women with shorter lengths on a hair journey? Keep a record of the products you use and how they make your hair feel. It makes it easier to determine which products are working and which are not. Try to keep your regimen simple and suited to you to make it easier to maintain consistency.  Begin with the end in mind (one of my favorite quotes).  Think about what you will do to get there.  For instance, what length you want, growth aids alone won't be the answer.  You will need to ensure that you are retaining length.  Healthy hair is also about your health inside out.  Having a healthy lifestyle will be a contributor to creating healthy hair.  Research, research, research!  Read blogs, books, magazines, watch YouTube, join forums and ask questions. There is always at least one person that can offer some advice.

My thanks to Tam for sharing her journey with us.  I'm so proud of her progress and I look forward to featuring her once again in the future as she continues to reach her goals.  Even while writing this feature, I was reminded of how important a role consistency plays in our regimens.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In honor of the release of the new smaller size bottle of Gleau Argan oil blend, I've decided that a giveaway is in order!

This time I'm giving away a one 1 oz bottle of Gleau and your choice of 1/2 oz loose leaf bamboo tea or a dozen tea bags.

To enter all you have to do is drop me an email to [email protected] with the words "Gleau & Tea" somewhere in the subject line.  I will randomly select a winner on Sunday April 21, 2013.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents.

Oh, by the way, the Gleau & Bamboo Tea combo package is available on the tea ordering page for one low price for you to enjoy.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'm happy to announce a new addition to the Gleau Argan Oil Family.  We now offer a 1 oz size for those of you who love the idea of having a purse or travel size bottle of this perfect oil fusion with you at all times. 

I actually didn't plan on selling a smaller size. As part of a project I'm working on, I created the 1 ounce as somewhat of an extra large sample.   Then I realized the convenience factor of this compact bottle was and started carrying it around with me as I traveled.  So then I thought, "I bet someone else might benefit from this as well."  Or maybe there's folks out there who have been interested in trying Gleau but haven't taken the leap yet.  If any of those scenarios sound like you, then you're in for a treat my friends. 

I mentioned in a previous post that over the past few months I've neglected my regimen.  One of the strategies that I'm putting into place to get me back on track is to reapply nourishing oil to my hair several times a day to keep moisture levels high.  I especially need this because I manipulate my hair quite often.  Since I've began refreshing my hair with this light oil throughout the day, I've noticed a decrease in small broken hairs when I detangle with my hands.  Beyond that, my hair also feels much softer and healthier overall.  Years ago, I would reapply jojoba oil to my hair several times a day.  I kid you not, I never received so many compliments on my hair (from girls and guys) as when I was consistent with this practice.  Now it's back to "routine renourishings" except instead of just jojoba, I'm using a powerful blend with 2 varies of jojoba, argan oil, ceramide containing wheat germ oil, and more.

If you are dying to get your hands on this new addition of Gleau, you can do so here...(your hair will thank you)

Monday, April 1, 2013

The good folks at Optimum Care were gracious enough to send me samples from their new Amla Legend line.  I'd like to talk a little about one of those products today, the Billion Hair Potion serum. I'm pretty familiar with Amla oil.  For years it was one of my staple oils for pre-poo treatments.  Aside from the oil sold at my local indian grocer,  I never seen many commercial products on the market containing this wonderful ingredient until now.

Optimum brand came up with a serum that is meant to "promote visibly thicker, fuller hair." According to the package, Billion Hair Potion is "a formula with Amla oil, Arginine & strengthening ceramide that intensely conditions and wraps the strand to promote thicker, fuller hair.

The Hair potion comes in a 1.9 oz bottle equipped with a dropper.  Unlike other serums, this is more of a liquid than the typical silicone laden serums we're used to. Water is the first ingredient so I will take the liberty of classifying this product as a moisturizing product although I wouldn't go as far as calling it a moisturizer.  I say this because (in my experience) after the liquid evaporates my hair feels like it needs another layer of moisturizer and oil to complete the routine.

Where this product worked well for me was when I applied it to my scalp. When I rubbed a few drops in, my scalp received some much needed moisture.  Not only did my scalp benefit but the new growth as well.  I actually really liked the way the Billion Hair Potion handles my edges and new growth.  One thing that I don't have in my stash is a decent product that manages my edges and new growth. I think I may just have found a winner.

When I posted a sneak peak of the Billion Hair potion on the Facebook Fan Page, many of you shared that you have tried the product and like it.  I predict that Billion Hair Potion will be used regularly (especially when I'm stretching).  When the product runs out, I'm going to experiment by adding an oil/essential oil blend to the empty bottle and using the dropper as an applicator tool for my scalp.  Have you tried this yet? What do you think?

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