Friday, January 30, 2009

June 9, 2009

According to this Iphone app I just downloaded, I will reach my goal weight by June 9, 2009. This app is really neat. If you are trying to lose weight and you have an Iphone, it will really help you. It keeps track of your calories consumed and burned and what your calorie intake should be throughout the day. It also lists a lot of restaurant foods and activities that burn calories, allowing for easy searching and logging of calories.

I put in what I've already eaten so far. Geez, I eat a lot. I only have 182 calories left that I can consume, unless I work out, and I still haven't eaten dinner. At least it's opening my eyes too how many calories I consume. It's so easy to keep eating and not worry about the amount of calories in each food and drink.

Find these images and others plus more information on the "Lose It" app here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 3

Beat Freaks all the way!!

Images courtesy of:

Easy to find Curly Girl Method Products

I found myself continually updating my post about CG products so I decided to just make a list on the left hand side of my blog. Easier to maintain and find. You can also cut and paste into a Word document and take the list to the store for easier shopping.

When I was checking on products on this list, I actually found differences in ingredients listed on websites and the actual physical bottle of the product I already owned. I wish ingredients on websites and on the bottles were more consistent. Sometimes you don't feel like going to a store just to check ingredients. Sometimes the products are sold in stores hours, even days away from you. If there are any products you would like me to add to the list, just let me know. I hope this list is helpful.

Conclusion to my Richmond Trip

After my Imago haircut, my boyfriend and I went to Ruth's Chris Steak House. Thanks to Christle and Christine, we had a very generous gift card to use. I've only been to one other Ruth's Chris but, I was surprised at the outside of this particular Ruth's Chris. It reminded me of the Southern type mansions from a long time ago.

The inside of it reminded me of the movie Titanic. I'm sure the interior of the Titanic was way nicer but, that's the first thing that came to mind as we were being seated to our table. Our waitress brought out some bread while we waited to order. I think what makes their bread so good isn't actually the bread but the butter. It's like a whipped butter. For our appetizers, my boyfriend and I got Caesar salad and jambalaya. The Caesar salad had these tasty crackers. Our waitress said it was actually fried parmesan cheese. I would have expected fried parmesan cheese to be softer. We both ended up ordering the Mixed Grill for our main course. It's my favorite entree there. You get a crab cake, petite steak and stuffed chicken. We also had mashed potatoes and mushrooms. Dessert was mint vanilla ice cream. I didn't really see anything I wanted on their dessert menu. I think I was still thinking about that cake from Maggiano's I had seen earlier and nothing on the Ruth's Chris dessert menu could compare.

After Ruth's Chris, we went to Chesterfield Mall because it was right around the corner AND I had seen an Ulta there too. The Ulta seemed a bit bigger than the one back home and they carried more curly hair products such as the Deva line. I ended up getting clips to pin my hair up while it dries so it wouldn't be flat on top, Back to Basics Pomegranate conditioner, and Redken Fresh Curls Curl Boost spray gel. I looove the scents of most of the Back to Basics conditioners. I'm so happy it was suggested to me by readers on when I was ready to completely go back to silicones because I missed the fragrances of products with silicones.
The Redken Fresh Curls Curl Boost spray gel does not contain any silicones but, has glycerin and PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil which may give people some problems. Actually with the castor oil, I'm assuming it may not be too bad because of the PEG. However, you know what they say about assuming. I haven't had a chance to try the spray gel yet.

The Kinky Curly Curling Custard, my current love, and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner were my purchases from Whole Foods. I also purchased Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in online. shipping costs hurt. I guess I shouldn't complain since shipping costs were $12 and I know others out there who are much farther pay 3 times that much. The Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in will be my last purchase for a while. Well, maybe - Everywhere I go L'oreal's new hair product line, Everpure, is like "bam in yo face, come buy me now".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Imago Haircut

Tonight I used Avalon Organics Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, Giovanni Direct Leave-in and my beloved Kinky Curly Curling Custard. I still can't get the front of my hair the way I like it but, the thing is I don't even know how I want it to be. I just know it bothers me. I just included the first picture because it looked kinda neat even though it was a mess up because the flash wasn't on and you can't really tell what my hair looks like.

Now that I'm looking at these pictures. I think my hair does look different. I don't know if it's the products I'm using or my haircut. I have a hard time taking pictures too. My left eyebrow always goes up when I'm looking at myself in the mirror or if I try to take a picture of myself. You can even sort of see in this picture that my left eyebrow is going up. I can only seem to take good candid pictures, not pre-planned pictures. I tried to get all artistic with the look away poses too.

Next pictures are with my daughter (yes, she's a dog) and the usual back of the head pose. These pictures were taken after I got home. It was kind of sprinkling outside so I'm surprised my hair held up pretty well and didn't end up in a frizz ball.

Richmond, Virginia

My boyfriend and I had a fun weekend in Richmond. I wish we would have had more time to visit other sites and places there. First thing we did when we got there was eat - of course. We decided to eat at Short Pump Town Center for lunch. We usually like to eat at non-chain restaurants but, since we didn't have a Maggiano's close to home and we've never eaten there, we just decided to eat there. We ended up splitting the lobster ravioli and side of fettucine alfredo. We didn't want to both get meals since we had reservations for Ruth's Chris later that night. The waiters and waitresses kept on passing by with what looked like a quarter of a huge chocolate cake and big cups of ice cream. Took all my strength not to order it. I liked the bread and fettucine alfredo but, I've had better lobster ravioli. I would still go back to Maggiano's to try a different entree and the chocolate cake and ice cream.

On the way to Short Pump, we passed a Whole Foods. I knew we were going to definitely have to make a stop there before we left to go back home. My curly cut appointment at Imago Salon was at 3PM and according to our GPS the salon was 18 minutes away from our location. After we finished at Maggiano's, I figured I could spend 20 minutes at Whole Foods and still get to my appointment on time. I was surprised at how many people shopped at Whole Foods and how big the store actually was. The parking lot was pretty packed too.
I walk into Whole Foods and look for the organic/CG beauty product section. My eyes almost fell out..I was so excited. I'm used to having a small section on a shelf of CG products when I go to a store. At Whole Foods it was a couple aisles of organic makeup and various hair and skincare products. I was also very happy to see that they carried Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Before we had gone to Richmond I made a pact with myself. I wouldn't buy new products until after the products I already had were at least half way empty. After seeing all the products at Whole Foods, I moved the pact to after I left Richmond. I ended up getting Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner and Kinky Curly Curling Custard - both recommendations from the friendly people on when I asked about CG products that smelled good. First thing I did when I got to the car was tear open the top to the Kinky Curly Curling Custard and it smelled oh so good like marshmallows and vanilla.

We then hurried to my hair appointment. We had about 30 minutes to get there. I ended up being a little bit late because Imago Salon is located in this cute little town called Carytown with backed up traffic due to narrow streets and an abundance of stoplights. You won't find any chain stores there. It definitely did not have a big town feel like I was expecting. I wish we could have explored more there. When I first heard of Imago Salon, I pictured it to be located at an uppity (is that a word?) section of Richmond. After my experience at Imago Salon, Carytown was definitely the right place to open that salon. It fits nicely with Imago Salon's motto - "Where the fun people go."

Right when I walked in I was greeted by two small Yorkies. I knew this was going to be a different experience from my normal haircuts. My stylist was a tall girl named Stephanie with a short, straight pixie cut. She was really nice and patient with me. I hadn't found a hairstyle I liked so I just asked her to suggest what would be best. She ended up cutting off 2 inches from the bottom layer of my hair because "it was getting stringy" and then just started cutting like 1/2 inch pieces randomly around my head (all while my hair was dry). That bottom layer was bothering me so I'm glad she was able to fix that.

Stephanie then rinsed my hair with water (no shampoo) and conditoned with DevaCurl One Condition conditioner while using her fingers to comb through my hair. She then made me sit so that my hair was upside down and she scrunched in DevaCurl Arc Angell gel. She told me all I really needed was gel for my styling product. I didn't need a leave-in conditioner. She scrunched my hair with an old cotton t-shirt until my hair wasn't dripping wet. Went back to her stylist chair and showed me how to clip up the top of my hair so it wouldn't be so flat. After she was done clipping my hair, I stayed under a heat lamp for about 30 minutes. She parted my hair so I had a deep part. Usually I wear my part down the middle and just move it all around.

My hair was still a little wet even after sitting under the heat lamp so she diffused it for like 5 minutes with a DevaFuser. I felt like she was high-fiving my head everytime she diffused a new section.

After being able to experiment with my hair for a couple days now, I honestly can't tell if a curly cut is any different for my hair type as a straight cut. The curly cut included cutting my hair dry, not shampooing, only conditioning, pinning my hair, drying my hair with a heat lamp and hand shaped diffuser, reading the Curly Girl handbook by Lorraine Massey while my hair dried, and overhearing a customer say "So, do you cut straight hair too?" A straight cut for me includes getting my hair cut after it is shampooed and conditioned with sulfates and silicones then blow dried straight with a blowdryer and round brush. Sometimes they run a flat iron through my hair. The two processes are different but, seemed like the end result for me was the same. Maybe my hair didn't drastically change because I don't have a tight curl pattern and my hair is more wavy than anything else.

I was still happy I got a chance to experience my first "curly" haircut (thanks again Laura Lee) with a nice stylist in a homey salon with two cute puppies running around. If I wasn't always on, I would have forgot a lot of what Stephanie taught me. She reinforced a lot of what's already said on such as not using harsh sulfates or insoluble silicones, using a microfiber towel or old cotton t-shirt to scrunch out the water or plop with, etc.

I'll post up pictures tonight of my hair since I didn't get a chance to take a picture right after my haircut. I'll also continue the rest of my Richmond adventure then. This post is already too long. I'm sure you guys are holding your eyelids up with your fingers by now. Until later...

Images courtesy of:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Curly Cut Time

I'm excited. I'll be getting my first "curly haircut" this weekend. I've never had one before but, I believe they cut your hair dry so that your cut will be more in sync with the way your curls fall when your hair is dry. Thanks to Laura Lee, I'll be getting a free curly haircut from Imago Salon.

I'm going to Barnes and Nobles tonight to find a hair magazine with a curly cut that I like. I haven't decided at all what kind of haircut I'm looking for. I've always wanted long hair and now that my hair is to the middle of my back, when it's straight, I want to cut it. Long hair just isn't me. It's hard for me to manage, sometimes I don't like the way it looks, and it makes me hot, especially at night. I could put it up but then what's the point of having long hair if it's always up. I think growing my hair long was just another challenge I wanted to complete and I've done it. I may end up with a trim or a haircut a little below my shoulder, right at my shoulder or maybe even above my shoulder. I haven't had hair above my shoulders in like 2 years.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Next on my list ..... Olympics

Well, I've done it. I just signed up to accomplish one of the goals on my "Things I would like to Conquer" list. I'll be running the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon this April. I need to start running ASAP so that I won't end up crawling past the finish line.

If anyone would like to join me, just follow this link.

I started looking for a half marathon beginner schedule and I liked the quote they added at the end.

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In case you missed the free beauty products..

Go back to participating department stores today. You may still be able to get an item for free. I was at the mall today. There was hardly any line. Their stock of products was a lot lower than yesterday but, they had Clinique moisturizer, Euphoria body wash and Estee Lauder night serum left.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get your free beauty products! Get your free beauty products!

This is true too. I just got back from the mall with my free products. Woo hoo! I love free stuff.

Welcome to the Information Website for the

In re Cosmetics Cases
(Azizian, et al. v. Federated Department Stores, Inc., et al.,
Docket No. 4:03-CV-03359-SBA)

(updated as of December 1, 2008)

As part of a class action settlement, $175 million worth of free cosmetics products will be distributed to members of the class (see below to determine whether you are a member of the class) for a maximum of seven days, while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis, beginning on January 20, 2009. No rainchecks will be issued. The products will be distributed at stores owned by the Retailer Defendants (see list immediately below).

The stores owned by the Retailer Defendants that will be participating in the settlement product distribution are the following:

  • Bergdorf Goodman

  • Bergner’s

  • Bloomingdale’s

  • Boston Store

  • Carson Pirie Scott

  • Dillard’s

  • Gottschalks

  • Herberger’s

  • Macy’s

  • Neiman Marcus

  • Nordstrom

  • Parisian

  • Saks Fifth Avenue

  • Younkers

A class member will be eligible to receive, while supplies last, a maximum of ONE free cosmetics product from one of the Manufacturer Defendants from which he or she purchased Department Store Cosmetics1 during the class period, May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003, from the list of products below. If a class member has only purchased products, during the class period, from one of the Manufacturer Defendants listed below, then that class member is only entitled to receive a free product from that Manufacturer Defendant. If a class member has purchased products, during the class period, from multiple Manufacturer Defendants, then that class member must choose the ONE free product he or she wishes to claim from one of those Manufacturer Defendants. Again, these products are only available while supplies last, and no rainchecks will be issued. If your store has run out of settlement products from the Manufacturer Defendant(s) from which you have previously purchased Department Store Cosmetics during the class period, then you may claim a product (again, while supplies last) from another Manufacturer Defendant.

The following is a list of the Manufacturer Defendants and their products that will be distributed, while supplies last, through the stores listed above:

  • Boucheron (USA) Ltd.:

    Femme Eau de Toilette (1 ounce/30 ml)

  • Chanel, Inc.:

    Coco Mademoiselle body lotion (3.4 fluid oz)

  • Christian Dior Perfumes, Inc.:

    J’Adore Eau de Parfum (15 ml)

  • Clarins U.S.A., Inc. (customers will have a choice of ONE of two products, while supplies last):

    Clarins Energizing Morning Cream (30 ml) OR

    Clarins Beauty Flash Bomb (30 ml)

  • Conopco, Inc. (distributed by Coty, Inc. on behalf of Conopco, Inc.) (customers will have a choice of ONE of three products, while supplies last):

    Calvin Klein Euphoria Bath and Shower Crème (6.7 oz)


    Vera Wang Princess Body Polish (5 oz)


    Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker Shower Gel (6.7 oz)

  • The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (customers will have a choice of ONE of two products, while supplies last):

    Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (15 ml/0.5 oz)


    Clinique Moisture Surge (30 ml/1 oz)

  • Guerlain, Inc.:

    My Insolence Eau de Toilette (15 ml)

  • L’Oréal USA, Inc. (formerly known as Cosmair, Inc.) (customers will have a choice of ONE of eight products, while supplies last):

    Lancôme UV Expert 20


    Lancôme Cils Design Pro Mascara


    Lancôme Fatale Mascara


    Lancôme Courbe Virtuose Mascara


    Lancôme Primordial Skin Defense


    Ralph Lauren Romance Shower Gel (6.7 oz.)


    Giorgio Armani ACM Shower Gel (6.7 oz)


    Lancôme Hypnôse Shower Gel

  • Parfums Givenchy, Inc.:

    Very Irresistible Givenchy Eau de Toilette (15 ml)

These are the only products that will be distributed, while supplies last, as part of the settlement product distribution. Not all products are available in all stores; rather, stores will be distributing products from the participating brands that the particular store ordinarily sells.

1Department Store Cosmetics are products which are the full range of high-end, “prestige” or specialty beauty and cosmetic products and product lines, including color products (such as foundation, eye shadow and lipstick), treatments (such as skin creams and moisturizers) and fragrances, and which are sold primarily through department or specialty stores. Cosmetics and fragrance products sold through mass distribution channels, such as drug stores and warehouse outlets, are not Department Store Cosmetics.

To Determine Whether You Are a Member of the Class, Please Read the Following:

You are a member of the class if you are currently a resident of the United States who purchased Department Store Cosmetics in the United States during the class period, which products were made, distributed and/or sold by the Manufacturer Defendants or Retailer Defendants listed below. You are not a member of the class, even though you bought the covered products during the relevant time period, if you fall into one or more of the following categories: all employees, officers, directors or agents (including attorneys) of any defendant, as well as any judge, justice or judicial officer presiding over this matter, and each such person’s immediate family.

The following is a list of the Manufacturer Defendants and the brands sold by the Manufacturer Defendants during the class period as well as the Retailer Defendants and the stores they owned during the class period. Not all brands and retailers listed below will be distributing products as part of the settlement product distribution. The only stores that will be participating and products that will be distributed, while supplies last, as part of the settlement product distribution are listed ABOVE.

Manufacturer Defendants and brands sold by the Manufacturer Defendants:

Boucheron (USA) Ltd.: Boucheron, Sonia Rykiel, Christian Lacroix, Paul Smith, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier

Chanel, Inc.: Chanel Colour, Precision Skincare, Chanel No. 1 Collection, Chanel Le Corps Actif, Allure, Chanel No. 5, Chanel No. 19, Chanel No. 22, Coco, Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, Allure for Men, Platinum Egoiste, Cristalle, Egoiste, Pour Monsieur, Technique Pour Homme, Anateus Pour Homme

Christian Dior Perfumes, Inc.: Christian Dior Perfumes

Clarins U.S.A., Inc.: Clarins, Thierry Mugler, Azzaro Paris

Conopco, Inc.: Calvin Klein, Obsession, Eternity, Escape, CK One, CK Be, Calvin Klein Color, Contradiction, Truth Calvin Klein, Calvin, Crave, Latitude Longitude, BCBGirls, Vera Wang, Chloe, Narcisse, Karl Lagerfeld, Lagerfeld Classic, Lagerfeld Man, Lagerfeld Woman, Lagerfeld Jako, KL, Photo, Sun Moon Stars, Cerruti (or Nino Cerruti), Cerruti 1881, Cerruti Image, Cerruti 1881 Amber, Valentino, Very Valentino, Valentino Gold, Vendetta, Elizabeth Arden, 5th Avenue, Blue Grass, Red Door, Sunflowers, True Love, Elizabeth Taylor Black Pearls, Elizabeth Taylor Passion, White Diamonds, Jean Louis Scherrer, Indian Nights/Nuits Indiennes, Visible Difference, Ceramides, Millennium

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique Laboratories, Inc., Prescriptives, Origins Natural Resources, M.A.C., La Mer, Bobby Brown Cosmetics, Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries, Donna Karan Cosmetics, Aveda, Stila Cosmetics, Jo Malone, Kate Spade Beauty, Laboratoires Darphin, Michael Kors Fragrances

Guerlain, Inc.: Guerlain

L’Oréal USA, Inc. (formerly known as Cosmair, Inc.): Biotherm, Helena Rubenstein, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, the Designer Fragrances, including Cacharelle, Giorgio Armani, Guy Laroche, Paloma Picasso, and Ralph Lauren

Parfums Givenchy, Inc.: Parfums Givenchy

Retailer Defendants and stores owned by the Retailer Defendants:

Dillard’s, Inc.: Dillard’s, Maison Blanche, Gayfers, J.B. White, Castner Knott, Bacons, McAlpin’s, Lion, Root’s, The Jones Store Company, Joslins, Hennessy’s, de Lendrecie’s, Glass Block

Federated Department Stores, Inc.: Macy’s East, Jordan Marsh, Macy’s West, Bullock’s, Rich’s, Lazarus, Goldsmith’s, Burdines, Bloomingdale’s, The Bon Marche, Stern’s, Broadway, Emporium, Weinstock’s, Abraham & Strauss

Gottschalks Inc.: Gottschalks, Gottschalks Inc., Harris-Gottschalks

The May Department Stores Company: Filene’s, Kaufmann’s, Lord & Taylor, Hecht’s, Strawbridge’s, Famous-Barr, The Jones Store, Foley’s, Robinsons-May, Meier & Frank

The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.: Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus Direct, Neiman Marcus Online

Nordstrom, Inc.: Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Façonnable

Saks Incorporated: Saks Fifth Avenue, Parisian, Proffitt’s, McRae’s, Younkers, Herberger’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner’s, Boston Store

Target Corporation: Hudson’s, Dayton’s, Marshall Field’s and Target

I Remember Now Why I Dislike Pigments

Happy Inauguration Day!

In honor of Inauguration Day and President Obama, Krispy Kreme is giving away one donut of your choice for free. Let's all go to Krispy Kreme, hold our donuts high up in the air, and toast to this historical event.

Image courtesy of

Monday, January 19, 2009


This weekend I was able to watch the Biggie movie "Notorious". I thought it was a good movie. It reminded me a lot of Selena which is one of my favorite movies. Of course, you knew the music in the movie was going to be good too.

The casting was done pretty well especially for Puffy and Biggie. Derek Luke aka Antwone Fisher nailed Puffy's dancing perfectly. Jamal Woolard sounded like Biggie and recreated many of Biggie's mannerisms. Angela Bassett was also a good choice for Biggie's mom.

I was surprised to find out that the actress that played Lil Kim was Naturi Naughton of 3LW (pictured on the right). Let's just say you get very well acquainted with her in the movie. I can see why Lil Kim didn't like how she was portrayed in the movie. If the movie is accurate, I really think that Lil Kim and Biggie were each other's true love. I think Biggie was infatuated with Faith Evans and did love her but, I think Lil Kim was the one he'd always go back to and never stop loving.

One thing that was sad was the breakdown of Biggie and Tupac's friendship and how the unnecessary rivalry ended. You could see how close Biggie and Tupac were. They seemed to genuinely care and respect each other as friends and artists.

When Biggie and Tupac passed away I was 16 years old. I didn't realize until I saw the movie the other night, how young Biggie and Tupac really were when they were murdered. Biggie was 24 and Tupac was 25 when they died - two tragic, senseless deaths.

Images from:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ooh la la Ouidad!

To prove once again that I have no self control when it comes to beauty products, I finally received my order of Ouidad hair products. On, I saw an ad for Ouidad saying you get two free deluxe samples with any order. When my two sides - product junkie and bargain hunter - collide, it's no stopping them. I ordered the smallest of the Balancing Rinse daily essential conditioner and received Botanical Boost conditioning and refreshing spray and Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. The driving force behind my order was actually the Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I kept on hearing a lot of good reviews on it and have been wanting to try it for a while.

I believe the Botanical Boost conditioning and refreshing spray is CG friendly. The Balancing Rinse daily essential conditioner has Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein which might give some people difficulty. The Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel also contains Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, dimethicone copolyl (water soluble silicone) and dimethicone (a silicone that is not soluble in water). If it's any consolation to those who are CG, but want to try this gel, the dimethicone falls in the middle of the ingredient list so buildup may not be as bad.

Balancing Rinse daily essential conditioner ingredients:
Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, Annatto

Botanical Boost conditioning and refreshing spray
Water, Panthenol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Rosa Canina Leaf Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Methyl Gluceth-10, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Benzophenone-4, Benzalkonium Chloride, Fragrance, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin.

Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel
Water, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Dimethicone Copolyol, Dimethicone, Polyquaternium-28, Glycerin, PG-26-Buteth-25, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PVP/DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance

So, last night we went out to dinner and I was able to try out these products. I cowashed with Suave Naturals conditioner in Ocean Breeze. Conditioned with Balancing Rinse daily essential conditioner. I didn't leave my hair dripping wet after my shower, I squeezed out some water and just wrapped it in a towel for about 5-10 minutes while I put on lotion, moisturizer, etc. I used the Botanical Boost conditioning and refreshing spray as my leave-in. Applied coconut oil to some of the drier parts like the ends of my hair. Used a wide tooth comb to comb my hair. Scrunched with the Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. I was surprised that the consistency of the gel was closer to that of a frizz-free serum than a gel. I was kind of worried that it wouldn't hold any of my curl. I let it air dry for 5 minutes then ended up diffusing it for about 10 because it was too cold outside to leave the house with wet hair.

It dried pretty quickly. I was surprised how much hold the Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel actually had without the crunchiness. I've been trying to find a gel just like this. It gave me a lot of volume too. When I was diffusing, I was thinking I was channeling Mufasa a little too much. I thought the Balancing Rinse conditioner and Botanical Boost spray were okay. I'll have to try using them again. Maybe the combo of the 3 is what actually gave me the volume. I really liked the Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. Only con is that it has dimethicone. I still see myself using this in spite of the dreaded silicone though.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I may be checking out the Biggie movie with my boyfriend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I have a hard time not rushing out to buy something when I see a good review about a product. I used to try to stay away from blogs and forums because by the end of the day I had a list of stuff I had to get like RIGHT NOW. I've gotten a little bit better and I have a wish list where I just add products that I'm curious about and maybe at a later time buy it. Sometimes I forget about these products which is a good thing financially. A couple months ago most of my must have products were makeup. Now it seems to be hair and skincare products.

Last night, instead of going to the gym, I found my coconut oil. I had found coconut oil last week at the Vitamin Shoppe but, wasn't sure if the cooking type of coconut oil was the same oil I could use for my hair. I was told it was. I even picked the coconut oil that I did - Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - because it listed cooking, skincare and haircare as some of its uses. Before I got to the Vitamin Shoppe I had actually stopped at Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target looking for coconut oil. Somehow I ended up getting two mousses, Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse and Giovanni Natural Mousse - Air Turbo Charged, after going through those stores. I wanted to try a mousse because I wanted the hold of a gel without the stiffness and crunchiness. Giovanni mousse was definitely an impulse buy. Or a "surprise" buy. I didn't know that Giovanni made a mousse and was "surprised" to see it so I bought it.

I tried out all three products last night. I used the coconut oil all over my hair, not too much on the roots. Then I used Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse on the left side and Giovanni Natural mousse on the right side. There wasn't a real big difference between the two sides. I liked the results right before I went to sleep but, I'll have to see how I truly like it when I can actually get out of the house.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bad versus Good silicones

On, I noticed there were a lot of questions about how to identify whether or not a product was curly girl (CG) approved. I looked at my old post about identifying which silicones were bad and good and thought it could be clearer. I condensed the old list even more and tried to break them down into more understandable categories.

If you are going CG, I would definitely avoid category 1 (not water soluble) because you need harsh sulfates to remove them. Category 2 is kind of iffy. Some people report buildup that is hard to remove while some say that these silicones can be removed by just washing with conditioner or shampoo with mild cleansers. If you really want to use a product that has silicones from category 2, I would just try it out and see how your hair reacts to it (if you do or don't get buildup). Category 3 has the silicones you don't have to worry about because they are water soluble. If you find these in a product, it is still a CG product even though it is a silicone because it washes out easily.


Not water soluble (Will buildup in hair)
1. Cetearyl methicone
2. Cetyl dimethicone
3. Cyclopentasiloxane
4. Dimethicone
5. Dimethiconol
6. Stearyl dimethicone
7. Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Slightly soluble (May cause buildup in hair but some have found will still wash out with cowash)
1. Amodimethicone
2. Cyclomethicone
3. Behenoxy dimethicone
4. Stearoxy dimethicone

“CG approved” Water Soluble (Will not buildup)
1. Dimethicone copolyol
2. Hydrolyzed wheat protein hydroxypropyl polysiloxane
3. Lauryl methicone copolyol
4. Silicones with PEG listed before it

Weekend update

This past Saturday I think I got 5 minutes of outside air. I woke up at around 10AM, ate some breakfast, then started watching Property Ladder on TLC. Property Ladder is about flipping houses and is usually done by people with limited flipping experience. I also ended up watching the House marathon that was recorded on my DVR the week between Christmas and New Years. There was probably about 6-8 episodes. Each episode was about 45 minutes because I fast forwarded through all the commercials. That's all I did. Watched House all day. I stopped watching House to eat twice. Then around 9 at night I got the urge for Nacho Bell Grande from Taco Bell. Any time I have a craving, I have to have what I'm craving. So off my boyfriend and I go to Taco Bell. This is where I get my 5 minutes of outside air - the walk to and from the car. Ate the Taco Bell at home and continued watching TV. It was a very slow day but, I enjoyed it. Some days I just want to sit around and really do nothing at all.

My Sunday was a little bit more active. Got up for Church, went to a chinese buffet, then a shopping adventure. I had no plans to really buy anything except for tea tree oil and coconut oil. I heard tea tree oil was good for breakouts and I've been trying to get my skin under control. Coconut oil is supposedly good for your hair and really penetrates your hair for good conditioning. I also wanted to return a Denman brush and coconut moisturizer from Sally Beauty Supply. I didn't like the bristles on the Denman brush and the coconut moisturizer contained a lot of ingredients that would build up on my hair really quickly. I should have double checked the ingredients before I left the store. When I returned my stuff to Sally Beauty Supply, I noticed a section for Elizabeth Arden skincare products. I hadn't been into a Sally Beauty Supply in a while so I'm not sure if this is something new or not but, I know in the olden days those products weren't being sold there.

I've been wanting to go this one Health Food store for a while to find some organic skin and hair products. We drove all the way there to find it was closed on Sundays. Another organic store down the street though was open. It was called "Herbal Farmacy". The outside of it is modeled after a log cabin. You walk in and you're greeted with jars full of I'm guessing um herbs and then even more shelves of herbs or herbal medicine. My boyfriend said he felt like he was in a witch's lair. We were about to leave when this one hair product caught my eye. It was called Nature's Blessings Hair Pomade. It's second from the left in the picture. It's a conditioner, restorer and rootbuilder. You apply it to your hair after you've washed your hair and don't rinse it out. Ingredients include Nettle, Rosemary, Sage, Peppermint, Thyme, virgin Olive Oil, and pure coconut oil. Pure mineral jelly is listed at the end which means there is not large amounts of it in the product. I'll still be watching for possible buildup.
After we left there, we went to the mall. I still wanted to find some tea tree oil. The tea tree oil was $21 at Herbal Farmacy for a little itty bottle. I ended up stopping at Bath & Body Works too. I got Tropical Passionfruit and Japanese Cherry Blossom body washes and Cotton Blossom body lotion because it smells like laundry detergent to me and I really like the smell of laundry detergent. They are 1st, 3rd and 4th, respectively, from the left in the picture above.

I finally bought my tea tree oil at the Body Shop. I've probably been in 3 Body Shop stores in my life. I was packing up my tiny tea tree oil when the sales woman at the Body Shop starts talking about the best way to prevent breakouts after I tell her the reason I bought the tea tree oil. She shows me this travel kit with different skin care products. She really knows how to hype up this stuff cuz I get hooked. Plus, her skin was really nice and she wasn't wearing makeup. She said she consistently used the Body Shop products. I hope she wasn't lying. So I end up buying the Seaweed skincare line travel kit. I have no will power. The kit included Seaweed deep cleansing facial wash, Seaweed clarifying toner, Seaweed mattifying day cream, facial blotting tissues and a facial brush. I started using it this morning. I'll try it out for a week or two to see if it helps any. The tea tree oil is on the left.

Other products I've recently bought, from left to right, are Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner for Perm/Color treated/Damaged hair, Sunsilk Waves of Envy Shampoo and Conditioner and Generic Value Product (GVP) Matrix Bioloage Conditioning Balm. I also bought the Sunsilk Waves of Envy Sea spray but forgot to include it in the picture.
I've always loved Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner for Perm/Color treated/Damaged hair because of the scent and it does moisturize my hair pretty well. Even though it doesn't consistently give me good curly results, it's the one shampoo and conditioner I've bought more than once.

The Sunsilk Waves of Envy Shampoo, Conditioner and sea spray moisturizes my hair well and made it softer but, provides no real curl definition. The Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner for Perm/Color treated/Damaged actually gives me better curl definition than these products. I also like the scent of the Sunsilk Waves of Envy products. I think it has a powdery smell. My boyfriend thinks it smell like carpet cleaner. I guess along with this and my Cotton Blossom laundry detergent smelling lotion I'm on my way to smelling like a very clean house.

The GVP Matrix Bioloage Conditioning Balm is a CG approved product. I've only used it once so I can't give any good feedback right now. I'll continue to use it and see how it works. This can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply.

Oy, this was too many products when all I wanted was some tea tree oil and coconut oil. Anyone know where I can find coconut oil? I saw some at the Vitamin Store but, it was for cooking. I'm wondering if it's the same kind of oil that can be used for your hair.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baby come back..

ETA: Thank you to Patti, the webmistress for the band Player's website, for pointing out incorrect information I had posted. I had written that "Baby Come Back" was by Ambrosia but, it was actually by Player. My apologies about the mistake.

I'm sure you've seen the Swiffer commercial where the mop and broom want to be used again and the song "Baby Come Back" by PLAYER is playing in the background.

Video by TheMacaroniBand on YouTube

Well that's how it's been with me concerning silicones and sulfates. I tried my hardest to stick with the curly girl routine but for the following reasons I strayed:

1. I started getting too worried and paranoid about whether or not a product was CG approved. I'd read labels like a madwoman making sure I wasn't using any silicones. I even have a note in my phone listing all silicones for reference. All the worrying turned something fun, shopping for hair products, into a task.

2. I didn't like missing out on products that caught my eye while I was shopping. When I would be near hair products and I saw one that I really wanted to try I'd put it back because it wasn't CG approved. It almost felt like I was on a diet.

3. I prefer the fragrance of silicone products versus CG products. Most CG products are organic. I can't say 100% natural because a lot of them still include human-made chemicals. I still have not found a CG product whose fragrance I really liked. The call (or should I say smell) of most sulfate/silicone shampoos and conditioners, Herbal Essences Shampoos and Conditioners especially, is just too good. The first time I shampooed my hair with sulfates, after cowashing for a couple weeks, just felt so satisfying. Maybe that's why the girl in the Herbal Essences commercials really enjoyed her "organic" experience - she was stopping the CG method and reverting to her pre-CG ways.

Video by nastyplayboy69 on YouTube

4. The whole CG routine can be a lot of work. From picking the right products, plopping, diffusing and long drying time (during which you shouldn't touch your hair). I wanted a routine where I didn't have to apply products dripping wet and I didn't have to plop. I may do the CG routine every now and then but not all the time. Even though I use silicones, I still cowash. When I feel I may have buildup, then I use a shampoo with sulfates.

Soooo..lately I have been using both CG and non-CG approved products. Today I finally came across a pretty good combination.

Shampoo: Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Shampoo for fine to medium hair
Conditioner: Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Shampoo for fine to medium hair
Leave-in: Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious curl creme
Mousse: Nexxus Gorgeous Curls Curl Enhancing Styler
Gel: Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel

I washed my hair. Combed conditioner through my hair. Continued with my shower with conditioner still left in my hair. Rinsed my hair at the end of my shower. Squeezed the water out of my hair but not handling my hair roughly and wrapped it in a towel. After I was done with my after shower routine, I removed the towel. Added curl creme throughout my hair and combed to distribute the product. I added mousse to my hair scrunching the whole time. I even scrunched with my head upside down. I let my hair air dry for maybe 5 minutes while I did my makeup. Added a little bit more of mousse while scrunching. Continued finishing my makeup then added a little bit of gel while scrunching for more definition. I actually liked how it ended up and my hair was pretty much dry by the time I got to Church 30 minutes later. My waves aren't usually as defined as this unless I use a diffuser but, I let my hair air dry the entire time. The waves held up good too. This picture is from when I got home later that night.
The products I used:
The Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Products were part of a kit that I found at the Cosmetics Company Outlet in California. I was glad I found it because I wanted to try the Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious line without spending money on full sized bottles. The kit also comes with a shower cap and instructions on how to use the products which of course I didn't follow.

When I did my CG versus non CG product experiment, I should have done more experimenting before concluding that CG products were better than non-CG products. I just hadn't come across the right non-CG products.

There are still more products I would like to try both CG and non CG. They include coconut oil, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, Beyond the Zone Noodlehead Curl creme, Redken Ringlets or Fresh Curls line, Biolage daily leave-in tonic, Tigi Curls Rock creme, and Garnier Fructis Curl Scrunch gel.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting rid of debt

As you can tell, I don't always like sticking to only beauty or hair related topics. I think that's why I frequent the Purse Forum and so much. Both forums are based on their main passions, purses and MAC makeup, but so many other topics are discussed as thoroughly as purses and MAC makeup too. I actually heard about Dave Ramsey from the Purse forum. Kind of ironic because many of the sought after purses are expensive.

If you want to find an effective way of reducing your debt, follow Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. One of the key strategies to the Total Money Makeover is the "debt snowball." Debt snowball is basically listing all your debts from lowest to highest balance. Pay off your lowest debt as quickly as possible while paying the minimum on all your other debts. After your first debt is paid off, start putting those payments toward your second debt in addition to what you were already paying down on your second debt. Thus, beginning your debt snowball. Follow the same routine with all your debts. Some may argue that you should pay down your debt with the highest interest first. The satisfaction of seeing results faster by paying off lower balance debts quickly with the Total Money Makeover is why it is so successful. When people don't see results fast enough, they get discouraged. It's human nature.

Dave Ramsey states you can take control of your debt using these steps.

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

College funding for children

Pay off home early

Build wealth and give!
Invest in mutual funds and real estate
Did I follow all the steps exactly? Of course not. I think if I followed the Dave Ramsey plan strictly, which I didn't, I would have so much money saved up but, I have no regrets on where my money has gone this year. Well, maybe some. There are some unused hair and makeup products at home that would have been better used as payments toward my debt. Even though I don't follow the Total Money Makeover step by step, I do incorporate a lot of it into my lifestyle. Because of this, I have paid off my first debt during the Holidays. I was surprised that I paid off my first debt during a time when I usually spend the most. When I started the Total Money Makeover, I wanted to pay off my first debt before the end of the year. I ended up paying off my first debt completely on December 30, 2008. Very close to my deadline but still achieved my goal.

I just can't seem to do a routine or method exactly how people tell me to do it. (MODIFIED curly girl method anyone). I think I just can't be that strict because life itself isn't black and white. So many things come up. Other things I would rather do or spend my money on. What may work for someone, may not work for me so I need to change it up so that it WILL work for me. At the same time, I still can't do everything in excess. Any beneficial lifestyle change, no matter how small, is good. Even if you can't change everything all at once, positively tweaking how you live little by little will bring you success without feeling so overwhelmed that you want to give up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Free 10 sample skincare bag from Sephora

Lately I've been trying to find the magic cure that will make my skin clearer. This offer from Sephora would be perfect. It's for all Beauty Insiders and it's free to become a beauty insider. You can sign up online or in person. If you redeem online, you must purchase something to receive the skincare bag. If you redeem it in stores, no purchase is necessary. I wish I could make it to Sephora today. If I do try to redeem the skincare bag, I would need to go today because quantites are limited. All the samples are more high-end than drugstore products so this offer is pretty nice for being free.

The 10 sample skincare bag include:

Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Purely Nourishing Facial Moisturizer (0.6 fl oz)

Bliss FatGirlSleep (0.2 fl oz)

Cosmedicine Opti-mologist Eye Cream with Light Diffuser (0.03 fl oz)

Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream (0.03 fl oz)

Fresh Soy Face Cream (0.07 fl oz)

Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask (0.07 oz)

Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 (0.03 fl oz)

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel Duo (0.3 oz and 0.17 oz)

Sephora Brand Smoothing Primer (0.05 fl oz)

Tend Skin (0.25 oz)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My New Years San Diego Trip

I am still trying to recuperate from my trip to California. I went back to work today and was tired all day. Took me forever to get through all my work emails and I had to finish writing my self-evaluation.

On my way to San Diego, I had two stop overs - one in Detroit and one in Minneapolis. All week long I was worried about my flight getting delayed due to snow. I made it through both Detroit and Minneapolis just fine but then 30 minutes before we were about to land in San Diego the pilot says our flight is getting diverted to Los Angeles because of fog in San Diego and they can't land. All this time I'm scared of getting stuck in Detroit and Minneapolis and not worried at all about landing in San Diego, the city known for its almost perfect weather. I finally get to Los Angeles and buses were arranged for all the passengers. It was about a two hour bus ride from LA to San Diego. I was starving by the way too. Even though I had two stop overs, both of them didn't leave me enough time to eat. I was rushing from gate to gate. My family kindly took me to Denny's even though it was 3AM. It was weird eating a meal with three other people not eating and just staring at you.

The next morning my brother woke me up to go to the mall. Usually the roles are reversed but, he had some shoes he wanted to exchange. We went to the mall and saw this ad on the wall of this girl happy to be carrying shopping bags. So we did what most normal people would do.
New Year's Eve was at my parent's house. It was a fun-filled night of Bingo, eating, drinking, Donkey Konga and of course throwing coins all over the place and chasing them like you aren't civilized. It's a great tradition.

The rest of my vacation included going to Church three times and a chapel once, doing limited shopping, going to Valley View casino and lots of eating. Sometimes I did both at those places, even Church. One of the times that I went to Church was for an older couple that was renewing their vows for their 60th anniversary. All during Christmas and New Years masses, I kept on hoping someone would sing Ave Maria in Church, especially someone with a more soprano voice. I was happy when it was finally sung at the 60th wedding anniversary.

The priest also said that marriage included three rings - an engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering. (Cue drum sound after joke). It was nice to see a couple still celebrate their love for each other even after 60 years.

My family went to Vally View casino twice, not for gambling but for the buffet. The first time we tried to go the buffet was sold out. You have to reserve a certain time slot and have at least one person physically stand in line for your party. So the second night we tried to go again and we were able to try the buffet. Very delicious. Just to name a few of the things I ate: lobster, 3 of them, shrimp tempura with rice and ketchup, chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese, chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, biscotti, chocolate cake and ice cream. Pictured below are a few of my conquests.
I also dominated the slot machines with total winnings of $35 dollars. Take that Valley View casino. You've been hustled.

I had previously fallen in love with the tres leches cake. Can you imagine how happy I was when there was a tres leches Oreo cake for my cousin's 13th birthday party? Why can't they sell cakes like that here?
My vacation went too fast. I'm actually feeling liking I'm still on west coast time. On the way back home, I had a red eye flight. I only had one stop over this time in Atlanta. Don't think I'm weird but, the bathrooms in the Atlanta airport smelled good. Maybe I had just come at the right time when they were just freshly cleaned. It was 530AM after all when I got to Atlanta. The bathrooms smelled more like the perfume section at a department store not typical bathroom smell mixed with air freshener.

Belated Happy New Year to everyone and I hope the Holidays were wonderful for all of you!

Not Curl Girl Today

I haven't straightened my hair in about month which is a pretty long time, especially since I always used to straighten my hair. I tried to straighten it silicone free too. I think my hair needs silicones though to look shinier. I straightened it and then used a big curling iron so that it could get straighter but not flat. When I use a flat iron it gets too straight and I don't think I look right with really, really straight hair which is probably why God didn't give me straight hair. I'll have to find a better silicone free heat protectant and try it again.