Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My (hair) stimulus package

I recently decided that I was not happy with my hair. It was starting to look dry and stiff and just blah. It happens to the best of us.

From President Obama's administration, I've learn that the best way to get yourself out of a bad situation is to whip up a stimulus package. But for my purposes, I needed a hair stimulus package. I needed to take dramatic and immediate action to get myself back on track.

The major component of my hair stimulus package was foreign aid, by way of the Dominican Republic. If you don't already know, Dominicans have perfected ethnic hair styling. Unfortunately, in the south, Dominican hair salons are few and far between. This means that a blow out that would cost you $20 in New York costs $45 here. Instead of coughing up $45 for a hairstyle that will last me a week, I decided to recreate my own Dominican-inspired salon at home.

I used Dominican hair products to shampoo, condition and rinse, then styled my hair by setting it on rollers, then wrapping it after it was dry. I was 7 weeks post relaxer when this picture was taken, so I had to straighten my roots. I used a mini flat iron instead of using the traditional Dominican technique of using a blow dryer with a round brush.

I will review the products and tools that I used, as well share this new regimen in upcoming posts. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pretty news: Larry King checks Tyra for tracks

I was getting my daily dose of gossip, when this little story caught my eye. Apparently, Tyra appeared on Larry King and told him to root her. "Rooting" is a phrase that I picked up from Wendy Williams. It means that you let someone feel your roots to see if your hair is real.

In case you were wondering, that conversation went down a little something like this:

King: This -- is this real?

Banks: Yes. This is me. You want to feel my scalp?

King: Yes.

Banks: Yes? It's a little kinky in the scalp. That's like real black girl hair.

But -- go -- go in there. Yes. That's -- yes. It's kinky. Exactly.

Sigh. Oh Tyra.

Would you or have you ever let someone root you in order to prove that your hair was real?

I can't say that I have. Especially when I need a relaxer. They might pull back a nub.

Source: CNN

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Awesome or Awful: Black polish

You may have remembered that I tried the yellow polish trend for summer. Now I've tried black polish, a hot new trend for fall.

I say, hot and new, but I recall this trend first appearing 4 years ago. I remember painting my nails black for New Year's Eve 2005 and one of my friends was worried that I'd gone goth. Since then, black polish has gone mainstream and looks like it will easily become a fall staple.

To be honest, I didn't go to the salon with the intention of getting black polish. I really wanted a a very deep purple on my toes, so I chose OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark. Instead of deep purple, I got black (they should really call it Lincoln Park at Midnight, but that doesn't rhyme).

My thoughts: I like the look. Very edgy and cool, but I'm not ready to make it the color for fall. I think at my next visit to the salon I might try a pretty plum or deep navy, two other hot shades for fall. But I definitely think that black polish is AWESOME.

What do you think? Is it AWESOME or AWFUL?

Are you planning on trying black polish this fall? If so, send a pic to and I will post!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pretty news: Beyonce's insta-tan on the cover of Glamour Russia

Apparently, the folks over at Glamour Russia thought that Beyonce could stand to deepen her complexion a shade or five for their June 2009 cover. The cover on the left is the original photo that ran in December 2007 for another Russian magazine, Joy. I use the term "original" loosely because B looks heavily airbrushed in that shot as well.

I think the whole thing is rather hilarious. What were they thinking? But to be honest, I think she looks prettier with the tan.

So what do you think? Was Glamour Russia wrong to bronze up B or do you like the mocha version?

Source: Coco Perez

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Product review: Olay Definity Self Repair Serum

Lately, I've been on this Olay skincare kick. I've used Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System, which I absolutely love and Olay Definty Make-up Remover Towlettes, which I'm lukewarm about. At any rate, I decided to try Olay Definity Self Repair Serum.
As always, I was enthralled by the product packaging (I know, I know. I'm a sucker for skincare product marketing): "It is designed to fight what ages you most, transforming the look of discoloration, dullness and brown spots plus wrinkles -- for luminous, more flawless, highly defined skin."

Heck ya! I needs me some of that! OK, I don't have brown spots or wrinkles, but my skin's been known to look a little lackluster from time to time. This magical new potion sounded like it would fix that in a snap (8 weeks to be exact-- according to the packaging). I happily trotted up to the ULTA checkout line imaging how I was going to dazzle the masses with my new silky smooth skin.

I decided to wedge this serum into my current skincare routine, which still consists of
Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Complete Acne Therapy System. I know what you may be thinking. Mixing acne skincare with anti-aging could possibly make a mess. If you were thinking that, you would be right. Within 4 weeks, tiny blemishes began to pop-up on my cheeks. That's all the proof that I needed to put the brakes on this little experiment.

The Verdict: I have no idea if
Olay Definity Self Repair Serum will give you beautiful skin in 8 weeks, because I never made it that far. What I do know is that if your skin is prone to breakouts, this serum could cause your skin to flare up. The serum is relatively light, but it might be too heavy if you have oily skin. In all fairness, it's probably designed for women who have already started to see the signs of aging and have much drier skin than mine, while I was using this product more for prevention.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Celebs Get Pretty: Sanaa Lathan rocking red lipstick

I saw this pic of Sanaa Lathan on YBF and just had to post. One thing that I love about this pic is that Sanaa is rocking the red lips, a major trend this fall.

I think that she looks lovely as always. I love that she went light on the eyes to balance the lips. Too much eye make-up with red lips could have made her look like the Joker.

I'm thinking of trying the red lipstick look. To be honest, I've worn lipstick before and don't really consider it a trend. It's more like a basic staple that you whip out every now and then. At any rate, I will be doing a red lipstick addition of Awesome or Awful in the near future. Stay tuned.

What do you think of Sanaa's red lips? Are you thinking of trying red lipstick this fall? Let me know in the comments!

Comments issue resolved

Hello lovely readers!

Many of you let me know about a bizarre issue with the comments section that was not allowing unregistered users to leave comments. I made some preference changes and hopefully, this issue has been resolved.

If you have further issues with the comments section, please drop me a line at

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hair regimen: Week 2

For week 2 of my hair regimen, I am currently using the following products:

  1. Castor oil, currently using Home Health Castor Oil
  2. Moisturizing shampoo, currently using Hair One Tea Tree Cleansing Conditioner
  3. Moisturizing conditioner, currently using Motions at Home Moisture Plus After Shampoo Conditioner
  4. Leave-in conditioner, currently using Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner
I normally use the same tools that I used during week 1 so that I can do a stream treatment. Sometimes I cut corners and just cover my hair with a plastic cap.

  1. The pre-shampoo is the same as week 1.
  2. I shampoo with the shampoo listed above.
  3. After rinsing out the shampoo, I get out of the shower and use the conditioner listed above. I deep condition for at least 20 minutes using the steam treatment again or just a plastic cap.
  4. I rinse out the conditioner and comb my hair out under the running water to prevent breakage.
  5. I squeeze out the access water from my hair, apply the leave-in conditioner and style.