On My Other Blog: Pretty Things

love my part-time job as a sales person at a clothing store. I feel like I shouldn’t, since I am still paying for my college education – but I do.

More here.

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Late Night Floor Scrubbing

Also known as some of the best thinking I’ve gotten done all week. How long with this floor stay looking like this? Hmmm…..


Cheap Makeup I Love

My flirtation with makeup continues. I’m now pretty much up to what you’d allow your 13-year-old to wear to middle school.

Like I said before, I am a pretty simple girl when it comes to my appearance. For everyday wear, I like to keep my lips simple and glossy and play around a little bit with my eyes. I really love the eyeshadow pictured. It’s Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Wild Orchids. That dark plum shade at the very end has these gold undertones that I think are so pretty. Honestly, I haven’t even tried the other colors, although i’m hesitant about the lighter shades cause I think they might come off as too ashy on my skin.

Also, since I don’t have too many skin issues that I have to worry about, I’ve been using a little bit of NYC’s Sun 2 Sun Bronzing Powder to help warm up my skin tone just a little bit.

I’ve been playing around with liquid liner, too. You may note that there are no pictures of that. That’s for a reason. Ahem.

I’ve been sticking to drugstore brands because they’re easiest for me to get without triggering my (probably legitimate) fear of taking my children into a classy joint like Sephora. At some point, though, I’m going to ditch them and plan on girling out. Make Up Forever – you will be mine!


The One About Natural Hair – Part 2

One thing I’ve noticed is that people who tend to not like their hair in its natural state don’t understand that black hair needs moisture. This goes against everything we’re typically taught about our hair. We are taught to run from the rain, to avoid swimming pools and to slather our hair and scalps in “grease.” But, I’ve found that  giving  your natural hair makes it flourish and brings out all of its natural beauty.

So in your quest for moisture, you might find yourself considering sources you never thought to consider before. The first thing I had to change was switching out hair grease for products I always thought were for white people. This opened up the door to all types of shampoos and conditioners I never thought of before. I was trying to stay affordable and easy to get, so my products or choice were (and still are)

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Conditioner

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner

Trader Joe Nourish Spa Balance Moisturizing Conditioner

Aussie Moist Conditioner

All of these were good, basic, extremely affordable conditioners that helped me keep my hair from getting dry and crunchy.

Now that I’m no longer dealing with the demands of raising a newborn, I’m starting to branch out a little bit. I love Shea Moisture products and have recommended them to anyone who asks. They are mostly in the $10 range, which I think is pretty cheap when you’re looking to experiment with products and find out what works for you. And, since they have good ingredients, I feel good using them on Cameron and Grace. For styling, I use the Curl and Style milk, Deep Treatment Masque and Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I’ve used both the Curl and Shine Shampoo and Raw Moisture Retention Shampoo with good results.

Oh – two other things I use to keep my hair moisturized aren’t even really “products.” Raw coconut oil and raw shea butter. I’ll usually mix the coconut oil with the shea butter (it makes the shea butter smoother and easier to work with) and use that to twist my hair. I’ll also use the coconut oil on my hair or the kids’ hair by itself.

Part 1


The One About Natural Hair – Part 1

Once I had my son back in 2008, I knew I had no inclination to be sitting in anybody’s hair shop any more. I’d actually been toying with the idea of going natural – i.e. giving up the relaxer – since high school, but didn’t know how to go about it. Relaxing your hair is kind of a vicious cycle. Once you start, it’s hard to stop – especially if you don’t know any better.

After an unfortunate incident involving leaky boobs and a five hour hair salon visit, I went online started doing some research.

Dude.

I had no idea there was such a wealth of information in the computer! First I discovered Afrobella, then Curly Nikki, then, I think, various YouTube people. If you have kinky/curly hair and are not on the internet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

I read and read and scoured message boards and watched videos. My husband thought I was crazy. I learned all about high-end products and fancy hair equipment, but I knew that none of that stuff was an option for me. I wanted my transition from straight to curly to be simple and as inexpensive as possible.

First, I figured out that I was not using heat. I am no hair expert and didn’t want to end up burning all my hair off. Also, I knew that was only delaying what I needed to do, which was learning all about this foreign matter growing out of my head.

I came up with a plan. I’d attempt my own variation of Curly Nikki’s twist n curl and that would be my go-to style. At night, I would wash (or co-wash*) then flat twist my damp hair and put rollers on the ends. I’d wake up with dry, curly/wavy hair. In the event that my hair looked a hot mess, I’d pull my hair back into a bun or pony tail. I knew that I’d do this for about a year and then I’d cut off all the straight parts and have a head full of natural hair.

And I did. It’s been interesting. It’s been mostly successful. It’s been…a process.

Later this week, I’ll have another post outlining products that I love and that are pretty inexpensive. Then I’ll talk about ways to save time while caring for your hair. Because that’s what is the most important thing — natural hair is fragile and needs LOTS of TLC.

For now, I’m leaving you with a list of links with good information about natural hair 🙂

Alice in Nappyland

Natural Selection Blog

Naptural85’s YouTube Channel

Mane and Chic

Long Hair Care Forum

*Co-wash = Conditioner Wash – washing with no shampoo, just conditioner


Unsolicited Parenting Advice: Sally Hanson Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color

I’m putting this nail polish in the parenting category because the reason why I love it directly relates to my children. I can put it on and keep it moving.

I never wear anything but clear polish on my finger nails because I’m always washing something or wiping somebody, but I love having color on my toes. I don’t have the spare time or cash to get regular pedis *weeps softly* but this gives me a pop of color to keep me feeling like I at least put in an effort.

It actually does dry very quickly. Also, the color goes on thick so you only need one coat and it doesn’t run and bleed all over the rest of your foot.

The color I have is Rapid Red, but here’s a complete list of the shades.

***It should probably be obvious, but in case it’s not – no one is paying me to endorse this product.


Makeup! Squee! Girly Stuff!

I’ve been playing around with makeup lately. Even before I had kids, I was never a big makeup girl. But, lately, I’ve been making more of an effort to, uh, look like I’m making an effort. I got all crazy on a trip to Target and got myself some lip stain, eyeliner, bronzer and even some eyeshadows (oooh! fancy!).

My rules for makeup purchases are pretty colors and the best possible quality for very little money. I like simple little pops of pretty color. Today was grey and rainy, so I put some color on my lips via my Maybelline ColorSensational lipstain in Cranberry Crush with Yes to Carrots C Me Shine lipgloss in Red Hot (Yes to Carrots’ lip gloss is awesome, by the way). I also wore a teeny bit of gold shadow on my eyes and a little mascara.

I’m not even gonna try to go all makeup blogger on you. There are plenty of people out there doing that way better than I could. But I’d love to hear your ideas about simple ways to play with makeup so that I don’t feel sad and raggedy.