Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not sure if you remember but I wrote a post a while back about the merits of pea sprout extract in regards to hair growth. A study was done where men and women were asked to apply a gel which contained pea sprout extract to their scalp twice a day for twelve weeks.  At the end of the study, the participants were asked to give their feedback on the experience.  95% of the participants noted a slight to strong improvement in the amount of hair loss they experienced compared to before the study.  85% of them said they noticed an increase in hair re/growth.  One of the astonishing things about the pea sprout extract is it's ability to keep hair in the growing phase of it's life cycle much longer.

After writing that post, I introduced pea sprouts into my diet and began to wait patiently for the day when a product would go on the market.  Well, my friends, it seems like that day has arrived.  Design Essentials has launched a product called Nutriment Rx Pea Sprout cream which is a daily hairdress that boasts of having the ability to reduce hair loss and stimulate growth.

Next we have a new product just launched called Grow Gorgeous hair growth serum which contains bio-active pea sprout, hyaluronic acid, soy sprout and wheat sprout.  This serum claims to have the ability to boost hair density by 13% within four months while minimizing hair loss which allows the hair to grow longer.   If the claims are true, I can see this product being a life saver for women who are battling postpartum shedding.  Since we are in shedding season, Grow Gorgeous can play a huge part of someone's Winter regimen. Unfortunately for some of us, Grow Gorgeous is only currently available to our sisters in the U.K. via the website.  Those of us in the U.S. have access to Design Essential's Nutriment Rx.  I'll also keep my eyes and ears open for new pea sprout based products as they come on the market.

Then of course there's the good ole fashion pea sprout.  The source of all this hair growing goodness.  I have direct access to pea sprouts by picking them up at my local Whole Foods store.   I like them raw on my sandwiches otherwise I toss them in my juicer.  While I'm certain that adding microgreens into my diet is giving me nutritional benefits, I'm not sure what it's doing to directly benefit my hair with regards to shedding.  Seems like the people on the study got benefits from topical application.  I've pondered the prospect of using wheat grass & pea sprout juice topically but never took the plunge.  Now I feel like I should finally stop being lazy and see what happens.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm thinking about adding a decadent pre-poo treatment back into the wash day rotation. I've tried it all from oils, conditioners, butters and the like.  From time to time I like to have a special product handy for those moments when I want to enjoy a more intense pre-poo experience.

I'm currently debating between two products.  One I've tried (and loved) before, and a new one which I really want to try.  Let's break it down:

Philip Kinsley Elasticizer Extreme:
Elasticizer Extreme is targeted at a very specific hair type: extremely dry, porous and very thirsty! Specifically formulated for African-Caribbean or Caucasian hair that is exceptionally processed and damaged, this product provides instant replenishment, hydration and nourishment.Elasticizer Extreme has all the moisturizing ingredients of Elasticizer, with higher active doses of the components that can really make a difference to very dry, porous and thirsty hair.
OJON Restorative Treatment:
64% improvement in the condition of dry, damaged hair after just 1 treatment*.This clinically proven cult classic is fortified with nature's powerful golden elixir, a rare powerful natural ingredient that's rich in essential lipids similar to those found in healthy hair. After just one treatment, this rich, velvety balm dramatically helps restore vibrant health and high-gloss shine to even the most damaged hair. Hair is soft, silky and manageable. Formulated without Preservatives, Water, Artificial Color and Silicones
Both products are on the pricey end and make great claims on what they can do for the hair.  One has a consistency like that of a conditioner (Elasticizer) the other is like a rich, oil-based pomade.  Honestly I want both but I have to prioritize based on what my hair needs most.

I'm leaning towards OJON because I think it could add some much needed nourishment especially now that the weather is changing & the air is dryer.  I remember the days when I'd melt some OJON into my strands at the start of my wash day routine and would finish the day with well nourished hair.  I long for that experience again.

But, at the same time, I wonder what a product with a name like "Elasticizer Extreme" would feel like as a pre-poo.

Has anyone out there tried the Elasticizer?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finally had the opportunity to take my new conditioning iron for a spin.  It looks like a flat iron, but behaves like a deep conditioning treatment.  At least, that's what it claims. There was no way that I'd pass up the opportunity to try such a novel idea, so I made my order on Amazon and waited patiently.  There were two options available to me.  The Jose Eber conditioning tool and the one made by Thairapy 365.  I chose the latter because of my experience with the Clarisonic and my Microdermabrasion machines. In both instances, I purchased the less expensive model, then upgraded and experienced the difference.  This time, I decided to get the "best that money can buy." 

The package itself only came with an iron and some safety instructions.  There was nothing in the box about how to use the conditioning iron.  So I went online and did some research.  The Thairapy website had some videos on the tool which I wasn't able to play.  Instead, I found some videos on how to use the Jose Eber iron.  I gather that it's meant to be used with a leave-in prior to styling.  But  I decided to try something a little different. 

I pre-pooed using Trader Joe's Nourish Spa. Then I jumped into the shower , rinsed, shampooed then stepped out to begin deep conditioning.  In a small bowl, I combined Kanechom Shea Butter and Silicon Mix Pearl Protein.  In went a half a capful of Pure Protein to complete the deep conditioning mix. After applying conditioner all over, I flipped the on switch and waited.  Then I was like "what am I waiting for, this thing doesn't have to heat up."  Just to confirm, I touched the plates which were glowing bright red.  As suspected, they were comfortable to touch. Not hot at all. 

So I took a section and started my first pass.  After the third section, I realized that I was using this thing like a flat iron. Meaning, I was passing it very quickly (as if to avoid heat damage) and I tried to avoid spending too much time on the ends.  I had to retrain myself to use this in a different way than I would my flat iron.  I took my time on each section and began to pay even more attention  on my ends.

When I close the iron, the lights change from bright red to a mix of red and blue. There's also a very slight 'frequency sound" as you use the iron.  Other than that, you feel like it's not doing anything.  It doesn't straighten like a flat iron although it does give a very slight straightening effect. Could be due to the pressure of the plates against the hair. 

After I completed "ironing" my hair with the deep conditioner in, I jumped back into the shower then prepared for the styling process.  I decided to pop open my last tube of Biolage Cera Repair so I can seal the ceramides into the cuticle.   Again, I used the tool in sections over my entire head.  This time, I started noticing a difference in my hair as it began to dry.  My hair seemed a little stiff.  Similar to when my hair starts behaving after a deep protein treatment.  Not sure how I felt about this. I told myself, "OK, at least I know my hair will be stronger after this, 'cause my hair absorbed the protein really well." 

I dampened my hair again in preparation for the roller set.  The amount of hair I lost during this process was so minuscule it was laughable.  A couple of months ago, I was concerned about my hair loss when I roller set.  I was going to write a post about it but thought it'd be better for me to test various solutions before sharing my thoughts.  So far, this experience has exceeded my expectations in that area.

While I was under the dryer, I thought to myself.  I think it's a good product but I'm not sure it should be called a "moisturizing tool" because my hair didn't feel extra moisturized.  Little did I know that I would be eating those words when I removed my rollers and over the next couple of days.  Indeed my hair does feel moisturized.  The stiff hair I had earlier was gone.  My hair does feel like it experienced an ultra deep conditioning treatment even though I used zero heat or steam. Based on the review on Amazon, and the information on the box, the results will continue improve over the next 30 days. 

Honestly, even if my hair doesn't continue to improve beyond this, I would still be happy.  But, since the best is yet to come, I will be a bit more intentional next time and use even smaller sections.   Overall my hair feels like my cuticles are smoother and the strands are softer.  To me, this is the epitome of deep conditioning.   I'm very happy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Today was a little cool & windy so I thought it would be fun to wear something that would look playful against the breeze.  In honor of fall, I opted for muted earth tones.  The top I'm wearing was a gift from a friend who brought it back from a visit home to Singapore.  I love the tribal print which I thought would go great with this olive green buttoned down A line skirt and a pair of  camel heels.

Tribal print top // A line skirt // Vera Wang heels //  LV Eva clutch //

Hoping to see The Best Man Holiday later and spend the rest of the lazy Sunday relaxing before I head out of town again.   Hope everyone had a great week!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

If I could have candles burning at all times, I would.  There's nothing like walking into a room and being greeted with one of your favorite fragrances.  This year I must have purchased over a dozen candles (at least). And that's not counting the ones I received as gifts for my birthday.    One issue I'm having is how much clutter they're creating.  I've got candle jars all over the place.

So, I decided to look at my obsessive candle habit and totally restructure it in a way that's much more effective than before.   It all started when I found this amazing scented candle at my local Marshall's store. It was Tangerine & Vanilla from Yankee Candle brand.  I adored the candle. It didn't take long for me to burn through it since it was always burning in my office.  "Ok, no big deal," I thought, "I'll just buy another one to replace it."  That's when I learned that my beloved candle was discontinued.

Panicked, I decided to search feverishly online for a replacement.  Finally, I came up with two options.

1.] Pay an outrageous "discontinued" price to replace my candle.
2.] Pick up the scented oil.

Of course, I picked up the scented oil to use in my oil burner.  That idea worked well until I was struck with an even better option.   I have this fascination with candle burners that hold tea lights while creating a nice glowing feel to the room.  Yesterday I decided that instead of using my oil burner,  which requires water to warm up the oil, I would add a few drops of oil directly to the tea light prior to lighting it. 

As the tea light liquefies, it sends the fragrance into the air just like a candle would.  For me, this technique actually creates a stronger scent than if I used my oil burner.

I love this method so much that I think I'll finally be able to curb my candle addiction.  Once these Voluspa candles are finished, I'm going to also use them as tea light holders.

From now on, whenever I find a scent that I love, I'll check to see if it's available as a fragrance oil.  They usually cost less than a quality candle yet these little 1oz bottles last such a long time.  Just a couple of drops was all it took to create enough scent to fill my small office.

I'm going to save a ton of space and money using this new method (tea lights are super cheap).  Plus I prefer the look of the "glowing light" versus looking at a bare candle flame. It sets a certain mood.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Finally, I reached a point where I needed something to keep my lipsticks organized, and most importantly, avoid having them take up valuable space in my makeup organizer.  Of course the logical next action was to pick up one of these gorgeous acrylic lipstick holders.

After a few moments of contemplation, I opted for one that could hold up to 24 items.  Although I don't (yet) own 24 lipsticks, I thought it best to leave a little room for future expansion.

Meanwhile, I made adequate use of the leftover space by organizing by portable fragrances and other cylinder shaped beauty items.  This organizer is perfection.  Best of all, it takes up very little counter space (smaller than my Ipad mini) & it's pretty to look at.

I didn't think it would come to this, but I suspect I'll be picking up yet another makeup organizer tower to compliment my first purchase.  Those things fill up so quickly.

The thought of owning 24 lipsticks is a big deal for me.  For years I had this complex about my lips.  I had no appreciation for them at all. They're two toned and I always believed that wearing lipstick would draw too much attention to them.  If I ever bought a color, it would pretty much be nude or look like I had nothing on.  Thank God, I released that old way of thinking. Now I'm constantly on the look out for gorgeous colors that compliment & also showcase my full lips.


One anther note.....

 After being on the road all week, I returned home to find a special surprise waiting.

Awww yeah!  My conditioning iron has finally made its way home to me.  I'm elated to give this baby a test drive over the weekend.  Be on the look out for a first impressions post within the next few days.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

We're in that time of year when the clothes are layered and the calorie-laden snacks become abundant.  Put those two things together and you have a recipe for weight gain over the next several months. The good thing is that in every situation, we always have choices.  We can chose what we want our bodies to look and feel like.  By the start of the new year, we could either find ourselves regretting the decision we make today OR we can proud of the new bodies we are crafting. 

In case some of us need some extra motivation, allow me to share several Instgrammers who are making choices every day to create the best versions of themselves.  Celebrate their successes with me and be inspired.







Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If there's one thing I wish could improve on, it would be to lengthen and strengthen my lashes.  I'm so envious of you lovely ladies who were gifted with long, gorgeous false-looking eyelashes.  So, I decided to do something about it.  Any search online about growing lashes will come up with two main options.

1.]  Purchase a commercial eyelash growing product.
2.] Go the all-natural route by applying castor oil to your lashes at night.

I've decided to try both. A year ago, I picked up two tubes of Grande Lash at the make up show.  I let months pass without using it regularly.  After running into a friend who doubled her lash length using the same product, I decided to get committed and go full force.  I saw results. Good results.

But I was still wondering what other benefits I could achieve using plain ole castor oil.  Could it be a less expensive alternative? Can I use both?

"Enough contemplating", I told myself, "I'm ready to try it".  So I bought some empty mascara tubes and plain castor oil from my local pharmacy and went to work.

Seconds later, I had my new lash treatment.  The first night I used this concoction, I noticed a difference.  Did my lashes grow overnight?  Nope.  But they did look healthier, darker and more nourished in the morning.  My Grande Lash is good but since it's meant to be applied at my lash line, it doesn't really nourish my lashes.  This does.  If the castor oil can provide length and thickness, I'd be in heaven.  The only drawback I've experienced is having to be careful not to get any in my eye. Other than that, it's a pretty sweet deal. I look forward to seeing what benefits I experience from trying this method. 

Do any of you use castor oil on your lashes?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I was inspired after seeing this pic online and immediately knew that I wanted to recreate the entire look.  So simple, yet intentional & flattering.  It's perfect for fall.

Steve Madden Satchel bag // Sole Society Bib Necklace // Shoe Cult Pump // Dorothy Perkins High Waisted Jeans //  Rag & Bone Army Jacket //

Friday, November 15, 2013

My hands are shaking with excitement as I type this post. Just minutes ago, I had the pleasure of having a first experience with my Riiviva personal microderm tool. Some might call me crazy for buying a $300.00 microderm kit when I already owned a perfectly operating one that cost less. Yes. Crazy might be the right word but, to tell you the truth, buying the Riiviva might have been the smartest decision I've made.

The reason why I chose the Riiviva is because, much like professional microdermabrasion tools, it has a genuine diamond tip. My other one has a something that looks like sand paper disc that spins.  So already, I'm winning with regards to the performance quality.  With my other tool, the tips had to be replaced fairly frequently (after 3-4 uses).  These diamond tips can be used for up to six months.  The craftsmanship of the Riiviva tool just can not be compared to the PMD.

The kit itself comes with three diamond tips in various levels of coarseness (fine, medium, and coarse).  I also realized that they have an special set of diamond tips made especially for acne scarring.  Those have immediately been deposited unto my Amazon wish list. As as novice, I begin with the fine grade on a low setting.  First I cleansed my skin using my Clarisonic Pro then I toned my skin using apple cider vinegar.  Once my skin was dry, I began.

On the lowest setting, I observed the Riiviva tool to see how it operates. The tip itself doesn't spin or anything. The buzzing sound I was hearing was due to the suctioning power.  I put my finger on the tip and immediately felt the suction.  Next I cautiously put in on my skin and began to exfoliate.  The suctioning power is consistent yet powerful.  With every pass, I could see my skin actually being exfoliated which was really exciting.

(changing the filter of the Riivia. Wearing Essie Sand Tropez nail color).

Within minutes I completed my first microderm session.  Since it was my first pass, I was overly cautious and made sure I didn't apply too much pressure or over exfoliate.  After the process was completed, I reapplied acv as a toner because my skin felt like it needed balancing once again.  I was astonished when I realized that my cotton pad was "dirtier" after toning the second time around.

Right now, my skin feels so smooth, I can barely stand it.  Every few moments I have an urge to touch my face, it just feels so nice.  Lady Dee would kill me if she knew how much I touched my face in the last 20 minutes. Overall, my skin looks fresher & healthier. I have that "I just got a professional facial" glow. I can't wait to see how my skin looks after I've applied sunscreen & makeup.   I know for a fact, that by the time I have to replace my tips, my acne scars will be much lighter (if not gone).  It's not just the scarring that draws me to this product, but my skin looks healthier overall.  Even if I had zero scars, I'd still use my Riiviva for brighter, younger looking skin.

I should also mention that I'll save hundreds of dollars by using my Riiviva versus paying for professional treatments.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to off make me a loaded smoothie so my new skin cells are as healthy as possible.    

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm writing this post as public service announcement to everyone I know.  I don't want to be the cause of people going out and buying more product, but I still feel obligated to share this message, especially after an interesting Facebook exchange I had this week.

The product I'm talking about is It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In.  I've written about this product a couple of times before but I don't think I've truly expressed how import it is to me.  It all started when I saw a video of Tia Williams proclaiming her adoration for It's a 10 after it melted away her tangles.  So I went out and got it.  What I LOVE about this product is that it does it's job.  I bought it for one reason and one reason only, to deal with my tangles.  And that it does.

Whenever I have stubborn tangles, that once before would worry me, I simply walk over to my product stash and reach for my trusty friend.  A couple of days ago, I was contacted by a young lady who found herself in a dilemma when her hair matted up after removing her braids. My advice was to try using oil during the detangling process and, if she could, go out and by It's a 10 Leave In.  Turns out the young lady just happened to have a sample size of the product handy from her birch box kit. It was sitting there, unused, awaiting this special day.

I requested a follow up report after she used the product to let me know if it worked for her like it did for me and Tia.  The next day, I received an update.  She was able to rid herself of all the tangles using her sample sized savior.  What if fate hadn't intervened allowing her to have a bottle for  this very moment?  In her earlier message, she threatened to cut her hair if the issue hadn't been resolved.  Haven't we all been there? Suffering from tangles so severe that we figure cutting them is the only way out?  I dunno about you but I have. Now, when I get extreme tangling, I smile to myself knowing that in moments, the tangles will be a thing of the past (with very few casualties).

So that is why I'm recommending that everyone have this product on hand just in case.  I don't break out my bottle often, but when I do, I'm so glad I have it.  One thing I haven't done is actually use it as a leave-in which I will experiment with next wash day.  I'm not quite sure if I should test out their "lite version" of the leave-in for my roller set or stick with the original.  I'm also wondering about the rest of the product line since I already enjoy the original and the Keratin version..  After reading that Gabrielle Union swears by the It's a 10 conditioner, I'm contemplating  if I should try it for myself.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I've been basking in the amazing glow of having found deep conditioners that satisfy my every need.  Kanechom is giving me everything I've ever asked for in a conditioner.  To be honest with you, I thought it would be a very long while before I was buying another brand of conditioner again.

But I had to make an exception because this latest purchase has been on my mind and in my heart for several years.  For years I've heard of the wonders of this conditioner but have not been able to try it.  You see, I live in a part of the country where Trader Joe's doesn't exist.  I'm familiar with the grocery chain from my visits to California.  On many occassions I've heard rave reviews of a humble little conditioner offered by the brand.  Never have I been able to get my hands on it until this week.

Luckily for me, a Trader Joe's opened a couple of hours away.  I happened to be in that neck of the woods over the weekend so I had to make a stop.  Immediately I swooped up a bottle of the Ultra Nourish Spa & Tea Tree Tingle conditioners.  Briefly, I took a moment to read the ingredient label and was blown away by what I saw.  Lots of all natural goodness like rosemary oil, sea kelp, lavender, lemon grass and more.  The best part of it all was the teenie, tiny price tag.  Not sure why, but I decided to pick up only one bottle. Little did I know that I would be making the biggest mistake I've made in a while.

Fast forward two days later and there I was ready to put this conditioner up to the ultimate test.  Just several days prior, I was stricken with a bout of laziness and decided to air dry my  freshly hair in a bun.  I know for a fact that air drying my hair in a bun is the perfect recipe for massive dread like tangles.  Somehow, I managed to convince myself that this time would be different.  Yep, sure enough, a couple of days pass and my husband literally asks me if I know that my hair is dreading up in the back.  It was that serious.

So here is this cheapie store brand conditioner being asked to do the nearly impossible....salvage my hair from the mess I created.  I got started by trying to break apart the clumps of hair that were fused together. Then I applied ample Ultra Nourish Spa to each section.  I didn't condition with heat, I didn't add protein, oil, or any other booster. I didn't even leave it in that long. I just used the conditioner in its raw form as a co-wash. Can I just tell you how blown away I was by the performance of this product.  Slip like nobody's business and with the ability to moisturize like the best of them.  I'm in love.  Today my hair's moisture levels have been restored and there is zero sign of the dry tangled mess that I've been sporting for the better part of a week. Words can't describe my current state of happiness.

Needless to say, that I'll be flooding my basket with these conditioners on my next trip to Trader Joe's (in Supermarket Sweep fashion).  It'll work perfectly for when I'm doing my strand ceremonies.  This conditioner needs to be in the homes of everyone who has hair. Everyone!  If you've never tried this conditioner, please take heed and follow my advice. You'll be so glad to you did.

Monday, November 11, 2013

When I started on my personal development track, one of the techniques I was implored to use were affirmations.  Affirmations are when we make declarations about our selves or situations in our lives that speak to an outcome we want.  For example, when I used to tell myself "I have clear, flawless skin" even though I suffered from cystic acne, I was stating an affirmation.

The premise of constantly repeating affirmations to ourselves is to impact our subconscious mind into believing the stated reality.  The reason we need our subconscious mind to believe us is because it is the primary driver in our actions.

For the longest time, I looked from the magic formula to impact my subconscious mind.  I thought  that if I stated affirmations daily, wrote down my goals over and over again, and listened to recorded messages as I slept, I would influence my subconscious.  While these actions have some impact on the subconscious, I've discovered that they aren't nearly as powerful as one specific behavior that, when repeated, can make a lasting impact on my subconscious once and for all.

I once believed that my subconscious could never be tamed.  I felt as if I were engaged in a battle that I was destined to lose.  My enemy was too great.  How many times have I told myself that I wouldn't do something and ended up doing it anyway?  I've heard it said that throughout our day, up to 95% of our actions are driven by our subconscious and only 5% of what we do is done consciously.  Basically, this means that we do the same things day in and day out based on patterns written deep within us.

It wasn't until I listened closely while watching videos on Youtube from Dr. Bruce Liption and Joe Dispenza that I came to the understanding that only one thing truly impacts the subconscious mind. That one thing, my friend is consistent action.  Dr. Bruce Lipton described our subconsious mind as a "tape player." Those of us who remember tape players understand that unless a tape was inserted, the tape player was useless.  If someone inserted a blank tape, nothing could be played. Our current actions are the result of pre-recorded messages being played by our tape player. It keeps laying the same thing over and over because it only knows one command--play recorded messages.  Bruce equated stating affirmations to telling a tape player to "play a different song."  Simply telling a tape play to change the music doesn't work (that technology didn't exist back then). If we wanted to hear something different, we would remove the tape, insert a new one, and press play.   

As far as the subconscious mind is concerned, a new action is the equivalent to inserting a new tape.  Oh, but simply taking a new action once isn't enough.  I liken it to playing a new artist for the first time.  We're not  familiar with any of the songs so it doesn't feel as natural as when we listen to our favorite artist.  Why? Because our favorite record has been played dozens or even hundreds of times before. We can sing along with every one without so much as a thought. That is why we seem to take the same actions over and over again even though we affirm ourselves to be different. We've taken the old action so much that it has become engrained in our subconscious mind. 

With that said, we must use our conscious mind to impact our subconscious.  Our conscious mind is employed in our decision making and when we make a choice to do something differently.  If we want to create a new habit ( a behavior that we repeat without putting in much thought) we must use our conscious minds to do so.  Making a choice once of twice isn't enough, just like the new songs on the album, the action must repeat itself over and over again.  Whenever we say that we're creating a new habit, we must purposefully choose to do this action day in and day out.  Soon the action becomes embedded within us and we no longer have to use our conscious mind to complete the action.  

This, my lovelies, is the true secret to impacting our subconscious mind. I'm not telling you to stop saying affirmations.  In fact, I believe affirmations are important in declaring where we are headed.  But, to make them powerful, think of one or several actions that you can pair with your affirmations to move your forward in your progress.  When I affirmed beautiful skin, I worked feverishly to create habits that supported my outcome.  If I affirm financial abundance, I will create financially sound rituals that will help me achieve it.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I realize that, at times, I get all excited when something new comes into my life. Then I move on to the next shiny toy.  So I decided to slow down a little a give a few brief updates on a few of a my previous posts to get everyone up to speed.

Beef Liver Capsules// I completed my first bottle of beef liver pills and finally added my second bottle (actually I picked up 4 bottles 'cause they were on sale).  After reading this article that shows the high amounts of copper, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, Folic Acid, B12, and so much more, I knew I had stumbled upon gold.  It's like a mini-multi vitamin but in a natural food source.  I have the sneaking suspicion that our bodies assimilate nutrients from food sources better than manufactured synthetic supplements. Which is why I prefer to include super foods like beef liver in my diet.  

 Clarisonic Pro// I had to get a little used to the power and intensity of my beloved Clarisonic.  My skin's oil production seemed to increase along with my skin's cell turnover.  I've received more compliments on my skin in the past few weeks than I've ever had in life (mind you, I still have scarring).  Then one day, my Pro's battery needed to be charged.  I thought to myself, "no worries, I still have my other one I can use."  Then I used it and instantly realized why I the pro version cost extra.  Immediately I could tell the difference in power between the two.  To be honest, I was severely disappointed after my cleansing session and couldn't wait for my Pro to charge up so I could use it again.  I've been spoiled.

 Coconut Vinegar// My hair is throughly enjoying the addition of coconut vinegar to the rotation.  I mix a little with distilled water and MSM to create a mix that I use as the first step to my L.C.O moisturizing routine.  Coconut vinegar seems to be slightly milder than apple cider vinegar while giving some of the same great benefits.  My hair thoroughly enjoys coconut vinegar which has quickly become part of my staple products.

Riiviva//  I made the plunge on the Riiviva because I think it could pay for itself in savings of getting professional skin treatments.  Honestly, I enjoy professional treatments but I'm developing a new strategy where I experiment with unique facial treatments meant to elevate the skin, not just deal with issues.  I can't wait to talk more about this in subsequent posts.

Moisturizing Flat Iron//  Yeah. I tried holding out for as long as I could on getting one of those fancy moisturizing irons I talked about a week ago.  Finally, I gave into my desires and made the right decision.  It's not here yet so I will sit cross-legged on my front porch twiddling my thumbs until the postman arrives with my new baby.

Kanechom// My love affair with Kanechom conditioners is still going strong.  There's nothing I love more than my Kanechom conditioners.  That is all.

Glam Glow//  Remember those two containers of "facials in a jar I raved about?"
Some time has passed and, I must say, that I would certainly repurchase.  I find myself using the clearing treatment (white jar) more frequently than the tingling mask (black jar) and I suspect that I'll run out of it first.  Whenever I've been naughty and not taken care of my skin, I reach for one of those little jars and all is right with the world.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Repeat after me:  "I will maintain soft, moisturized lips, all winter long."

EOS Lip Balm || Smith's Rosebud Salve || Victoria Secret Lip Polish || Fresh Lip Treatment assortment.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I got a thing.  And I want to share it with you.  It's pretty nifty and can help me in both my hair and skin care journey.  You may remember a post I wrote on my plan on dealing with my acne scars. In that post, I mentioned the use of derma rollers to promote cell turnover and the generation of new skin cells.

I love the derma roller but sometimes I'm a little apprehensive about using it. Because it actually pierces the skin, I have to be conscious of maintaining high standards when it comes to keeping things hygienic.  This means, I have to sterilize the instrument to avoid skin issues.

I wanted something different that I can use every day but with similar benefits. I find that if I have to do something every day, I'm more consistent versus if I  use it once/twice a week.  Then one day I stumbled on this video.

Tonya demonstrated the use of a roller with pins that is similar to the dermal roller except that it doesn't pierce the skin.  I instantly knew I wanted one.  My skin responds well to vigorous stimulation.  Things like facial massage, skin brushing, the Clarisonic pro, have all be well received.  So I knew that I'd benefit from this rolling pin thingy.

Just when I thought things couldn't get better, I saw this video.

Am I seeing things or did I see this woman roll a bed of pins on her scalp?  Suddenly I was filled with wonder and excitement mixed with a little caution.  I'm an avid supporter of scalp massages.  I've even shared the benefits of scalp brushing.  Could this be the next level of scalp stimulation?

Fast forward a couple of weeks and my roller with the pins arrives.  I use it carefully on my skin for fear of inflicting pain on myself.  Instantly, I realized just how gentle this tool is.  It feels incredibly comfortable as I roll it up and down my face.  I experiment with different levels of pressure.  It feels nice.  My husband sees it and inquires about it's purpose. I tell him what I plan on doing with it.  He gives it a try. Minutes later he's still using it.  After I finally have it back in my possession I carefully test it on my hair.  Fear creeps up in me as I wonder if it will get tangled and rip out an entire section of hair as I try to dislodge it from my scalp.

I gently roll it on my scalp and begin to enjoy the tingling sensation as my scalp receives the stimulation.  Much to my surprise and wonder, the tool is extremely gentle on my hair. No snagging, no ripping, nothing.  It's even more gentle then when I use a brush to stimulate.  I'm amazed.  I've used it several times on my hair without one single casualty.  I'm pleased.  I've decided to get one more from ebay so I don't have to use the same one on my face and on my scalp.  Turns out that they come in two different sizes. I bought a small one for my face. The large one will be perfect for scalp rolling.

I love the feeling of experiencing blood flow after a rolling session.  Anytime blood flow increases to an area, good things happen.  Thank you, Tonya, for sharing this amazing find with us.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How is everyone doing with their water drinking? You didn't think I forgot, did you? Just because I haven't touched on the subject lately, doesn't mean we still aren't taking on this challenge! If all of my past begging, pleading, and shouting from the rooftops didn't convince you to drink more water, maybe this will.

 Sarah, a 42 year old woman was suffering from health symptoms including poor digestion and reoccurring headaches. Desperate to try something to cure her ailments, she sought the help of a medical professional who encouraged Sarah, to increase her daily water intake to 3 liters. Sarah was willing to try anything to address her health concerns but little did she know that three liters of water would benefit her in ways she couldn't have imagined.

 The image you are seeing before is the transformation Sarah experienced after only four weeks of drinking three liters of water a day.

  • The bags under her eyes are gone.
  • Dark circles disappeared.
  • Her skin tone is even toned and brighter.
  • Her lips are plumper.
  • Wrinkles have diminished greatly. 
  • She appears almost decade younger than she did just four weeks earlier. 
If this isn't enough to keep you inspired every time you take a sip of water, I don't know what is.  Sarah also experienced improvements in her digestion, her flexibility and her headaches disappeared.  She even lost a little weight during the process and experienced improvement in her cellulite.  

Last week I traveled across the country to attend business meetings.  I posted on my instagram page an image of my water along with other necessities to maintain moisture levels.  I know the devastation that occurs when we are dehydrated.  A counterpart and I hosted the meeting for our department.  Throughout the entire 3 days, I kept a 1.5 liter bottle of Fiji water on hand from which I sipped regularly.  I didn't see her drink anything during the entire session.  On the last day, I caught a glimpse of her arms and legs which were scaly and clearly parched.  As we hugged goodbye at the close of the meeting, I begged her to start drinking more water.  The look on her face let me know that she understood exactly what I meant.  She confessed that drinking water was an opportunity for her then vowed to take better care of herself.  Like Sarah, her face showed signs of premature aging that I'm certain will correct itself if her water intake increased.  

What's most interesting to me about this article is the amount of water Sarah drank.  I have this theory that various level of water intake provide different benefits.  If we only drink a couple of cups a day (like Sarah did pre-experiment). The benefits are minimal.  We are able to stay alive. Basic functions are operating, but at the same time, our health is impacted.  Then, as we increase our water to maybe 1 liter or 2, we start feeling better. Toxins are eliminated at a faster rate. Things get better.  But when we veer into the territory that lies just beyond 2 litters (up to a gallon a day), then something wonderful happens.  Our bodies have enough resources to deal with the pressing health issues. Then finds that it can also focus on what I  call "beauty benefits."  

Beauty benefits are when your skin starts to clear up, your scalp isn't as dry as it used to be, your nails grow in nicely, your hair flourishes and you have an all over glow.  Who wouldn't want that?  I know you want that.....don't you?  

Then drinking your effin' water.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What would you say if I told you that I'm thinking of buying a flat iron that doesn't heat up?  Would you think that I'm crazy?  Or would you call me a genius?

Many of you probably have guessed that I'm a technology buff.  I love advancements that improve the way we do things today.  Well I think I just stumbled on another gem that can change the game when it comes to flat ironing.  Maybe I should clarify a little.  These new waves of flat irons are not meant to straighten the hair, they are meant to repair and promote health.  Hence, they're referred to as conditioning irons.

These irons are used for "treatment purposes" to restore health to the hair fiber and promote elasticity.  How?  They use ultrasonic, infrared technology to change the structure and of our conditioning products. This makes the ultra nourishing ingredients (along with the water particles) easily absorbable by the hair strand (directly into the cortex) without the use of heat.  These amazing irons allegedly have the ability to seal gaps in the hair cuticle and seals it creating silky, shiny hair.

Here's the detailed info on the Jose Eber Conditioning iron directly from their site.

"This is why the revolutionary Jose Eber Therapy RX iron was created. It is the leading tool to restore the moisture in your hair using state of the art ultra sonic, antimicrobial, and far infra red technology. Used in conjunction with any hair conditioner or oil, the Therapy RX opens the cuticle, breaks down the conditioner or oil into nano particles and pushes it into your hair giving your hair an incredible moisture blast. NO HEAT no damage, no dry hair. This tool is not a flat iron and WILL NOT straighten or style hair, but is perfect for hydrating, conditioning and restoring hairs moisture. Within a few uses of the Jose Eber Therapy RX, your hair will feel healthier, look shinier, and be more manageable. Damage to your hair is constant, but now you have the tool to fight back."
I like the premise of this tool because it seems like it can be a God send for those of us who want to elevate our wash routine without having to buy expensive products.  One tool could have the ability to improve our entire routine.  A while back I wrote a post on Infrared technology. A reader reached out to me via email and said that she owned the conditioning tool and really liked it.  So I checked on Amazon and found this review on a "moisturizing iron" from Thairapy 365:

"I am an African American female who relaxes my long hair. I've always had a problem with dry, tangling and breaking hair when I wash and comb it. I started using Ovation Cell Therapy about a year ago with some modest improvements in the quality of my hair. Then I started using Mizani D'tangle about six months ago and there was a SIGNIFICANT improvement in tangles after I wash my hair. I wasn't left with clumps of hair in my comb, but I still had problems with weak, breaking hair whenever I would wash it.

I purchased this product from another website because it claimed to help better condition the hair. This tool is to be used after washing and adding a leave-in conditioner to the hair. The hair is still towel dried wet. It doesn't heat up like a regular flat iron. The hair is sectioned and the tool is passed over. It is silent. Initially, I didn't think it did anything, but my hair was straighter when I finished blow drying and it did felt better. My hair was comb-able and felt conditioned for the next few days, that rarely happened before. I usually wash my hair every three to four days, more frequently if I go to the gym.

It's been about a month since I've gotten the tool and my hair feels great! It's in the best condition since I can remember and the breakage has improved. I would recommend this product."

I can already see how this tool can fit into my regimen on those days when I don't feel like breaking out my steamer.  Or better yet, after steaming to further boost the effectiveness of my conditioner.  The possibilities are endless. In the latest issue of my Harper's Bazaar, they made mention of a conditioning iron called "The White Devil."  It's supposed to be the professional level grade of these healthy irons. Stylists using the White Devil have ability to adjust the strength of the ultrasonic waves depending on their client's needs.  "After shampooing and towel drying,  the stylist applies conditioner and runs the device over small sections of the hair three to five times. The molecules in the hair and the conditioner are excited by the ultrasound waves, allowing the conditioner to penetrate to the cortex of the hair shaft, where it is sealed inside rather than just sitting on the surface."

If that isn't enough to get you excited, I don't know what is.  I tried desperately to get my hands on the White Devil but apparently, it's only available to professionals for now.  I'm not discouraged because the MicroMist is a professional only product and I eventually attracted one into my life.  In the meantime, my curiosity has taken over so I'm putting these irons on my Amazon wish list.

. Theme by STS.