Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Product review: Hair One Tea Tree Cleansing Conditioner

A few months ago, my mom was ranting and raving about a product that she had discovered at Sally's called Hair One. It is supposed to be Sally's version of Wen. I had seen the infomercials for Wen, a glorious new product that combined shampooing and conditioning into one easy step and left hair silky and soft. I didn't want to cough up the $29.99 for Wen, so I was happy to hear that Sally's had a similar product for $10.99.

I headed straight over to Sally's and picked up a bottle of Hair One Tea Tree Cleansing Conditioner (there are 4 types of Hair One-- the tea tree version is for dry scalp).

According to the directions, you work the product into wet hair, let it sit, then rinse it out. No conditioner is needed. It can also be used as a leave-in.

After the first use, my hair looked great. It was soft, shiny and bouncy. The product didn't do anything for my dry scalp. The next use, still soft, shiny and bouncy, but a little less so. I thought to myself that I must have done something wrong because I didn't get the same results. The third time, my hair was looking positively dull and lack-luster. I called my mom to see if she had the same results. She said that she stopped using it as leave-in and thought that could be what was making my hair look dull. The next time I used it, I used a regular leave-in. This time, my hair look completely dry. I panicked. Dried out hair is only one step away from the nasty b-word. Breakage!

I called my mom again. She suggested that I switch over to Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner because it is for dry and damaged hair. She also said that she started using conditioner after using Hair One for added moisture.

I started using Hair One as a conditioning shampoo instead of as a standalone product and my hair finally started getting back to it's normal healthy state.

The Verdict: Hair One Tea Tree Cleansing Conditioner works well as a conditioning shampoo, but I strongly advise against using it as a standalone product, especially if your hair is color-treated and relaxed, like mine. This product is absolutely useless for dry scalp. If you have dry scalp and dry hair issue and want to try one of the Hair One products, skip this one. You'd be better off using a good dandruff shampoo on your scalp followed by the Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner, then finishing with a good moisturizing conditioner. I have not tried Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner, but I plan on giving it a try after the tea tree runs out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pretty news: Chris Rock's Good Hair out October 9

I've heard so much buzz this past year about Chris Rock's upcoming documentary, Good Hair. Chris Rock delves into what black women go through to transform their hair from naturally curly to poker straight or "good hair."

Good Hair is scheduled to come out in limited release on October 9. There is no current schedule for wide release. I don't live in a big city, so I'm really hoping that it comes our way.

I just watched the trailer and it looks both hilarious and sad. It also looks a bit scary after seeing what a relaxer can do to a Coke can. Yikes! Even with the scary footage, I'm still not going to stop getting a relaxer. I'm just going to make sure my stylist washes it out real good. : )

Here's the trailer, in case you haven't seen it:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Look: Simple summer shimmer-- Part 2

Here's part 2 of Simple Summer Shimmer, where I'll focus on cheeks and lips:


On my cheeks, I use these products:

1. Minerals Blush Powder Blush, Sunset Beach ($5.99)
2. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer Blush & Eye Shadow, Malibu Strip/Pink Sand Bronzer ($11.95)

1. I sweep on 1-2 layers of Milani Minerals Blush Powder Blush. I start out light then usually add another layer to increase the intensity.

2. Then, using the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips, I dust the Medium shades across the apples of my cheeks. Then I dust a little face powder on my cheeks so that the glow looks like it's coming through my skin instead of looking like it's sitting on my skin. Much more natural.


On my lips, I use these products:

1. L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner, Nudes for Life ($8.48)
2. Revlon Matte Lipstick, Cocoa Craving ($7.99)
3. Sephora Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss, Bronzed Beauty ($10)

1. I line my lips with L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner. This shade is great because it blends in perfectly.

2. Next, I dot on the Revlon Matte Lipstick and blot. I find that a light lipstick base works best with a gloss.

3. Finally, I put on a coat of Sephora Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss.

All done!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Look: Simple summer shimmer-- Part 1

OK, I know that summer's coming to an end and everyone is starting to focus on fall make-up, but I still wanted to share my weekend look for summer. Besides, I live in the South and we've got at least another 2 months of warm weather (yea!).

My summer weekend look is super simple. I usually wear eyeliner year round, but this summer, I decided to lighten things up and go for a bronze-y look.

Here's what the finished product looks like:

I started writing this post and it was getting super long, so I decided to break it up into 2 parts. For part 1, I'll focus on the eyes. For part 2, I'll do cheeks and lips.

Here are the products that I use for my eyes:

  1. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer Blush & Eye Shadow, Malibu Strip/Pink Sand Bronzer
  2. L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara, Blackest Black

Before getting started, I prep my face with primer, concealer and powder. I also fill-in my eyebrows and add highlighter to my brow bone. At this point in the process, my face looks like this (remember, it gets better!):

1. I start out by sweeping the Dark shades of the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips across my entire lid.

2. I blend the Medium shades into the crease of my lid.

3. Next, I dab the Light shade in the corner of my eye.

4. I finish with L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara. I usually do 1 coat of the Magnifier (white base), followed by 2 coats of the Extender (mascara).

Voila! Simple summer shimmer! I know it looks very subtle in the photos, but I wanted to go for a glow-y, sunkissed-look.

During the work week, I add black liner to my top and bottom lid and smudge the line on the top lid (applied before mascara) to dress it up a little:

For my next post, I'll finish up with cheeks and lips.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hair regimen: Week 1

As promised, here is week 1 of my hair regimen.

Week 1 starts the first time that I wash my hair after a relaxer. I am currently using the following products and tools:

  1. Castor oil, currently using Home Health Castor Oil
  2. Clarifying shampoo, currently using Neutrogena Clean Replenishing Shampoo
  3. Strengthening conditioner, currently using Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Breakage Defense Conditioner
  4. Moisturizing conditioner, currently using Motions at Home Moisture Plus After Shampoo Conditioner
  5. Leave-in conditioner, currently using Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner

  1. Plastic cap
  2. Terry cloth turban
  3. Rubber gloves
  4. Microwaveable bowl

  1. To get started, I fill a medium-sized glass bowl with water and pop it in the microwave. My microwave is very very old, so I set the timer for 4 minutes to make sure the water gets nice and hot.
  2. While the water is heating up, I work Castor oil into my hair (I started using Castor oil because my hair was looking very flat and it's supposed to make your hair thicker. FYI, the texture is a bit sticky. I wasn't expecting that when I first got it).
  3. When the water's ready, I slip on a pair of rubber gloves and pour the hot water over the terry cloth turban and squeeze out the excess water. I use the thick rubber gloves used for cleaning so that I don't scald my hands with the hot water.
  4. I put the turban put on my head then cover it with a plastic cap. This whole technique with the turban and plastic cap is a modified version of a steaming treatment that I found on the Long Hair Care Forum (LHCF).
  5. I let that sit for at least 15 minutes before shampooing.

Shampoo, deep condition and leave-in
  1. I shampoo my hair with the shampoo listed above. Nothing special there.
  2. Next, I get out of the shower and mix a strengthening and moisturizing conditioner together in a bowl and make sure to slather it on super thick from root to tip.
  3. Then I do the whole steam turban thing again and leave it for at least 15 minutes.
  4. While rinsing out the conditioner, I comb my hair out under the running water with a wide tooth comb to help prevent breakage. This is another tip that I picked up on LHCF.
  5. I finish up with a good leave-in and style.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hot tip: Apply make-up in natural light

Photo credit: backstagebeauty

I was flipping through a stack of my Mom's Harper's Bazaars, when I came across an interview with Linda Evangelista. She's 43 and still looks amazing. During the interview, she said that her #1 beauty tip is that she always applies her make-up in natural light. I thought to myself, "Yeah, yeah. Heard that one a million times." But I've never actually tried it. A few days later, I decided to give it a go. The end result was beautifully flawless make-up. It's so simple. I'm shocked that I never tried it before.

The next time that you're about to get dolled up, grab a handheld mirror and get next to a window. Try to avoid standing in direct sunlight (it's much too bright and you'll end up putting on more than you need). I guarantee you'll walk away looking lovely!

If you give it a try, let me know if it worked for you.

Visit Grazia magazine for the original interview with Linda Evangelista.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Awesome or Awful: Yellow polish

I decided to try out one of the summer's hottest trends before the season ended. I usually reserve more daring shades for my toes and it was time for a polish change. When I got to the salon, I made a beeline for China Glaze Solar Power. Here are the results:

My thoughts: These yellow toenails ain't doing me no favors. I think my mom summed it up best when she caught a peek at my feet and said "What in the world!?!" I was going for edgy and cool, not shock and disgust.

To make matters worse, they look god-awful with gold sandals.


On the flip side, they have more of the cool edgy vibe that I was going for when I wear my snake skin sandals.

Yet, at the end of the day, I can safely say this is a not a trend I will repeat. I think they are AWFUL.

What do you think? Are they AWESOME or AWFUL?

If you have tried yellow polish and it looks amazing on you, send me a pic and I'll post it on the blog. Make sure to include the brand and color name.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8 tips for retaining length for relaxed and/or colored hair

Sometime last year, I decided I wanted long beautiful tresses. You know, like Beyonce's, but real. I knew that I was facing a challenge because of daily flat ironing, bimonthly relaxer and semi annual highlights. After some digging, I stumbled across the Long Hair Care Forum (LHCF). This site is amazing, but proceed with caution. You'll spend hours pouring over the information.

I also found Healthy Textures, a blog by Macherieamour (a LHCF member). On this site, I found an awesome hair challenge that gave me the roadmap to growing my hair to great lengths. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the page again, but I can share my version. The original version uses lots of Mizani products. I'm sure those products are lovely, but I swapped them out for drugstore products and made some additional changes to suit my hair needs. With or without the Mizani products, I've seen significant growth.

Over the next several weeks, I'll share my weekly hair regimen. It does take a bit of work, but the results are so worth it. In the meantime, here are some of the tips that I've picked up that have really improved the health of my hair:
  1. I never dry my hair on a high setting. Medium is a lot less damaging. Cool is the best, but I have no patience for the extra drying time.
  2. The best way to dry my hair is under a hooded dryer or air drying. Again, this is a lot less damaging. I will blow dry my hair on medium to straighten it, but only if it's 80% dry from air drying.
  3. I restrict flat ironing to once every 1-2 weeks.
  4. I always wrap my hair at night. This one's a no-brainer, but totally essential.
  5. I try to do a pre-shampoo with oil and deep condition every time I wash my hair.
  6. I try to "stretch" my relaxers, meaning that instead of getting my hair relaxed every 6-8 weeks, I try to stretch it to 10-12 weeks.
  7. When my roots start to get fuzzy (7-8 weeks post relaxer), I usually do a braid out. This means that I braid my hair in sections and either dry it under the hooded dryer or allow it to air dry overnight. This technique lets my hair rest for a few weeks, which really helps retain growth.
  8. About 6 months ago, I started moisturizing my hair with a creme moisturizer followed by oil. On LHCF, this technique is referred to as sealing because the oil helps to seal in the moisturizer, allowing it to better penetrate the hair.
I'll elaborate on some of these topics in the coming weeks, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg (I'm not nearly as hardcore as some of the members on LHCF).