Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Curl Junkie + Mixed Chicks

I had ordered March 2009's Pretty Pink Box with my main motivation being the Curl Junkie products. When I received it, I didn't have any Curl Junkie products. I wasn't sure if I was missing them or if that was just the way products were distributed among the boxes. I asked Linda, who operates Pretty Pink Box, and she replied that she usually tries to distribute the products evenly among the boxes but, each box is different. She kindly offered to check if she had an extra Curl Junkie products, which she did, and sent them to me.



On the same day I received the Curl Junkie products, I received a package from Mixed Chicks. They had sent me a box full of samples of shampoo, deep conditioner and leave-in conditioner to review.

For my first experiment, I tried Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing shampoo then conditioned with Curl Junkie Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair conditioner. The cleansing shampoo lathered up more than most sulfate-free shampoos which was a plus because sometimes I do miss the suds. The moisturizing hair conditioner was light but still moisturizing. I knew my hair was going to squish when I applied products after my shower.

The only product I used after my shower was the Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner. I didn't use any other gel, creme or mousse with it and was happy about the results. It gave me pretty good clumping and hold without any crunchiness. It was so easy to only have to apply one product too. My hair was still slightly wet when I took these pictures.
My second experiment was with the Mixed Chicks shampoo, deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioner. This shampoo does contain a sulfate so I was expecting the suds. The deep conditioner was very moisturizing also but, I would use it solely as a deep conditioner not as a rinse-out conditioner. I'm really liking this routine of only having to scrunch in one product after my shower. Once again I used only the leave-in conditioner and no other products.
My hair is completely dry in these pictures. I don't like the way my hair looks as it's drying but, I'm too lazy or don't have enough time to diffuse my hair and would rather let it air dry.

Ingredients for Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo:

Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, CocamidopropylBetaine, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, PE G-150 Pentaerythrityl tetrastearate, PE G-6 Capric/Caprylic Glycerides, Laureth 4,Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Panthenol, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elder) Flower Water, Quaternium-79 Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Sodium Chloride (Dead Sea Salt), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Oil, Brown Rice (Oryza Sativa) Powder, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA ,Tocopheryl Acetate.

Ingredients for
Curl Junkie Curl Theory Moisturizing Hair Conditioner:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Panthenol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Matricaria Recuitita (Chamomile) Flower Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elder) Flower Water, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA. *Vegetable derived

Ingredients for Mixed Chicks Shampoo:
Water, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Tea Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, Glycol Disterate, Panthenol, Avocado Oil, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Ginger (Zinglber Officinale) Extract, Malvasylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil, Cinnmidopropyl Trimonium Chloride, Polyqatermium 10, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6.

Ingredients for Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Octamethylcylotetraxiloxane, Safflower Oil, Cetrimonium Chloride, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate and C14-18 Perfluoroalkyethyl Thiohydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride and Benzoic Acid and Glycereth - 2 Cocoate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance

Ingredients for Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner:
Water, glycerin, Amodimethicone, emulsifying wax, hydrolyzed wheat protein,/pvp crosspolymer, methylgluceth-20, hydroxypropyl trimonium choloride, octyl methoxycinnamate, hydroxyethyl celloluse, jojoba oil, safflower oil, primrose oil, wheat amino acid, crosilk, hydrolyzed collagen (marine), phenoxyethanel, methylparaben, proplyparaben, butylparaben, FD&C red #40, FD&C yellow #5, fragrance

You can order Mixed Chicks products from http://mixedchicks.net/ (make sure you go to .net NOT .com. Dot com will take you to a much more different website) or from http://www.curlmart.com/

I liked all of the Curl Junkie and Mixed Chicks products that I tried but, the Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner takes the cake for me (you know I had to throw in a food reference). I like how it's like a curl creme that encourages clumping and gel all in one but without the crunchiness. Both of the Curl Junkie products listed above do NOT contain silicones or harsh sulfates for those following the Curly Girl Method. The Mixed Chicks Shampoo is NOT sulfate-free. Both the Mixed Chicks deep and leave-in conditioner contain Amodimethicone which is a slightly soluble silicone that some have found a cowash can remove.

All the products had subtle fragrances. I remember liking them but, can't remember exactly what they smelled like. When I get a chance I'll have to take a whiff of all these again and edit this post.

I think it's time for a haircut too. I can tell my ends are getting a bit stringy.

P.S. I finally ran 5 miles yesterday and was only in a slight bit of pain so I was happy about that. I bought some of those shock absorber insoles which seemed to help. I'm still waiting on my Kinesio tape. I've been taking a break from running for the past couple of weeks so it felt really good to finally run almost pain-free.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Carol's Daughter - Straight Version

Just as I suspected, Carol's Daughter products worked well with heat styling tools. I shampooed with Giovanni Invigorating Tea Tree shampoo (I meant to cowash instead but forgot) and conditioned with Carol's Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie. I used Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray and Carol's Daughter Hair Milk. I blow dried with a round brush and used a big curling iron to straighten it a bit more. I was going to add Carol's Daughter Lisa's Hair Elixir but, found I didn't need any more moisture after I was done. In fact, I think I may have added too much hair milk. Once again, a little goes a long way. My hair did not feel dry after and looked smoother than it usually did when I would straighten it.
The first picture is a weird angle but, it was the only way I could really get a shot of my layers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We are Family..I got all my sisters with me

I'm a sister of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated. This past weekend I had a mini reunion with my sorority chapter sisters. It was just nice seeing everyone. I haven't seen some of them in years. There was also a stroll competition held by United Council of Fraternities and Sororities (UCFS) that we attended. I know I'm getting old though because the one day and one night I was actually at my alma mater wore me out. The 5 hour drive tired me out too. I got home and slept for more than 12 hours and was still tired when I got up.

One of my sisters was the host for the stroll competition










Some of the participating Sororities and Fraternities



Third Place










Second Place










First Place











This was one of the highlights of the stroll competition for me. If you can't really hear the music, it's Beyonce's Single Ladies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Carol's Daughter

If Sephora is your second home like it is mine, you would have noticed Carol's Daughter products. I've wanted to try them since I've experimented more with silicone-free and natural products so this is actually perfect timing. I've been lucky enough and very grateful to test out and review some Carol's Daughter products. I felt like I received an early birthday gift stuffed with Carol's Daughter Hair Milk, Tui Hair Smoothie, Lisa's Hair Elixir and Lip Butter. The first thing I noticed was the strong fragrance of all the products except for the lip butter. If you've ever smelled any Ojon products, it's pretty similar in scent strength.

I used all three hair products together. I shampooed with Giovanni Tea Tree Invigorating shampoo. For my rinse out conditioner I used Tui Hair Smoothie. On the container it says you can use it as a rinse out or deep conditioner. I think with my hair type, using it as a rinse out conditioner would be too heavy but, definitely moisturizing enough as a deep conditioner. The hair smoothie smelled a little bit like the yellow Brach's Butterscotch hard candy. You know I like to eat so you'll have to get used to me using food as a point of reference. I can tell if a conditioner is moisturizing enough by how my hair feels after I rinse out the conditioner. I mentioned before that I can tell a conditioner isn't moisturizing enough if my hair doesn't make a squishy sound when I scrunch in products. It's like the back of my hair dries really quickly before I can even add in products, which I like to do soaking wet, if my conditioner doesn't do its job. My hair definitely squished when I was adding products to it after my shower. If your hair is crying for some moisture, this is the product for you but, may be a better deep treatment conditioner as opposed to an everyday (or whatever day you wash your hair) rinse out conditioner.

Ingredients for Tui Hair Smoothie
Water, Corn Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Soy Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Wheat Germ Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Fragrance, Chamomile, Marigolds, Lavender, Nori and Vitamin C, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl, Water, DMDM Hydantoin and Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate and Phenoxyethanol. Paraben Free. No Petroleum, Mineral Oil, or Artificial Colors.

I scrunched in both Lisa's Hair Elixir and Hair Milk upside down. I think I was a bit excited and put too much of both the Elixir and Milk. When it comes to these two products, a little goes a long way. That's a plus for the wallet.

I skipped the gel because I wanted to see how the products would work alone. I noticed that the three products mixed together produced a piney, woodsy, minty, creamy, milky scent. Yeah, took me half a day to figure that out. It reminded me of the way a Girl's Scout Cookie aka Thin Mint shooter smells like. The scent though fades away and you get a subdued version as the day goes on which I prefer. I tried these 3 products with gel the next day and didn't like the way it turned out. I think your hair looks better as your hair dries when you use these products but, if you add gel it kind of freezes the way your hair looks in the beginning.

Ingredients for Lisa's Hair Elixir
Soy Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Corn Oil, Essential Oils Of Peppermint, Sage, And Rosemary And African Gold Fragrances. Contains No Mineral Oil.

Ingredients for Hair Milk
Water, Soy Bean Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Apricot Kernel Oil, Beeswax, Essential Oil Or Lemongrass, Fragrance, Jojoba Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Vitamin C, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Tetradibutyl Pentaerithrityl, Hydroxyhydrocinnamate. Paraben-Free.

This is how my hair turned out with the products and no gel.













I know on some days, curlies out there with real tight curls prefer wearing their hair in looser waves. These products would help you achieve that looser wave pattern.

If you're looking for moisture and soft, touchable waves this is for you. If you're seeking more clumping, this won't do the job.

For those of you trying to follow the CG method, the Hair Milk, Tui Hair Smoothie, and Lisa's Hair Elixir are silicone-free.

I'm excited to try them out when I use heat styling tools. Heat styling tools dry out my hair but, I think these combination of hair products would give me better results. I'm hoping to try that out later this week.

By the way the lip butter is GREAT. I have very sensitive skin and eczema so I'm always wary of lip products I haven't tried before. Even some of my favorite brands, such as MAC, will give me a reaction if I overdo it. I've been using the lip butter continuously since I received it. I wear it all day and over night. It's light weight but very moisturizing. It has a slight scent but, not very noticeable. I LOVE this lip butter.


Images courtesy of:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/candywarehouse_2041_192920616&imgrefurl=http://www.candywarehouse.com/brachsbutter.html&usg=__P6V0vIi5yruVOaZD38aguk8O8T0=&h=138&w=200&sz=10&hl=en&start=10&um=1&tbnid=EWhhryGDa8E7hM:&tbnh=72&tbnw=104&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbrach%2527s%2Bhard%2Bcandy%2Bbutterscotch%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26um%3D1

Friday, March 20, 2009

Knock, Knock

Knock, Knock
Who's there?
Irish?
Irish you a Happy Birthday!

This was on one of the cards for Christle's gift. I thought it was the perfect card for her since her birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day.

We celebrated her birthday at this seafood restaurant Rockafellers. I liked the location where it was. It wasn't off the strip but, it was near the water. It's probably nicer during the summertime when you can actually eat outside.
Image courtesy of http://www.vbrestaurantguide.com/images/Rockafellers1.jpg

My boyfriend and I split everything so we wouldn't overeat but, then we ended up hungry by the time we left. We had split some calamari and a steamed bucket. We got some McD's fries and a vanilla cone after we left haha. Anytime we go to a restaurant we've never been to before we always try the calamari if it's on the menu. So far my favorite calamari has been Shucks in Norfolk and Red Star Tavern.

The product experimenting carried on. I used Giovanni Invigorating Tea Tree Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner mixed with L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri-gloss for medium to long hair curly/wavy hair, and a little bit of Generic Value Product Matrix Bioloage Conditioning Balm. I didn't do the upside down rinse.

I scrunched in Goldwell Curl Definition Revive Cream - Intense and Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling gel upside down. The Goldwell Curl Cream doesn't really give me any definition just softness. It's one of my products that I use when I know I'll just be staying at home but, don't want to leave my hair product-free. The first time I tried Giovanni gel I thought it didn't have enough hold. I thought the same thing again today. When I got home, it didn't look like I lost some wave. If you already have this product, I think mixing it with something that has a bit more hold like Biosilk Rock Hard gelee or Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel would work better.

I think the Biosilk gelee would actually be perfect to mix with the Giovanni gel because Biosilk gelee has too much hold for me. The first time I used it I used to much and I felt like my hair turned to glass.

After I applied all the products, I plopped to get my hair off my back, and diffused my hair until it was completely dry. While I was diffusing I could tell the Giovanni gel didn't really have much hold and felt like the back was getting a bit frizzy.
You can kind of see parts of my hair where it's frizzy or where the wave is falling. You know I had to bust out the green dress for St. Patrick's Day.

I'm hoping to go for some longer runs outside since the half-marathon I'm running is less than a month away now. I'm nowhere near where my training schedule says I should be. My shin splints were really bothering me and now they're manageable so I don't want to overdo it and be even more hurt closer to the race. I find that my shins hurt me when I run on the treadmill or pavement so I've been trying to run only outside but, we've been having some rainy weather lately.

Ice works miracles too. If I feel like my shins are hurting, I ice them when I get home while I'm watching The Wire (which I'm currently addicted to but, that's another post) and the pain really goes away.

I ordered some Kinesio tape two weeks ago and still haven't received it. I finally emailed the company and they said they were back ordered and expected date of shipment is April 1. I'd be more annoyed if my shins were hurting me more but, since I'm managing now I can deal with that shipment date.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And the winner is.....

Congratulations to Inna! She is the proud new owner of a set of Curls Like Us curl cloths. Please email me at mamendoz@gmail.com with your mailing information. Ironically, Inna was the first person to leave a comment (which had no influence on my decision).

To pick a winner, I used the highly advanced technique of putting all your names in a box and drawing out a winner. Thanks to everyone that participated.

I already have another giveaway in the making so ya'll come back now ya hear!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And the product testing goes on..

I went to a Christening reception for my coworker's daughter's baby. It was at this Japanese Sushi Buffet that I've never been to. I definitely went over calories that time. (Remember I'm using my Iphone Lose It app to lose weight?) It was worth it though. I have a new ice cream love now - Red Bean aka Munngo bean aka Mung bean ice cream. For those that have tried halo-halo, it's the same red beans that are in that. I've seen Red Bean ice cream at the Asian stores before but, never found it appealing. Now that I'm on the hunt for it, I probably won't be able to find it anywhere.

I'm still experimenting with products that I already have. To get accurate results, I should actually be only changing one product at a time instead of using all different products everytime I do my hair.

I decided to use Suave Naturals for cowash, L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri-gloss for Medium to Long Curly/Wavy Hair for rinse-out conditioner, Garner Fructis Sleek & Shine leave-in, and L'oreal Vive Pro Glossy Curls spray gel. I didn't do the upside down rinse this time either.

For my rinse out conditioner I usually use the L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri-gloss mixed with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner. This time I only used the L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri-gloss conditioner and didn't like the results. My hair didn't feel as moisturized so I ended up having to spray my hair with a spray bottle that contained a little less than 1/4 of Suave naturals conditioner and the rest water (well mixed together) before I applied my leave-in and gel.

If my hair doesn't make a squishy sound when I scrunch products in, my hair isn't conditioned/wet enough. My conditioner/water concoction comes in handy for times like that. This has only happened to me when I used L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri-gloss by itself and Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious conditioner.

I srunched Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine leave-in in my hair upside down. I scrunched in the L'oreal Glossy Curls spray gel upside down too but, instead of spraying it directly into my hair, I sprayed it into my hands then scrunched it in. I'm sure that defeats the purpose of a spray gel but, I wanted to make sure the gel was distributed evenly.

I plopped with my microfiber towel until I was done putting on lotion. I currently plop not to achieve better clumping or waves but, to get the hair off my back while I'm getting ready. All my life I've had my hair twisted up in a towel while I got ready and can't seem to break the habit. I figure plopping is better for my hair than just wrapping it up in a regular towel.

After I was done getting ready, I removed the microfiber towel and scrunched out excess water with the same towel. I don't plop for that long so there's still a lot of water in my hair. I diffused both upside down and right side up for about 5 minutes then got bored and just let it air dry. The spray gel dried a bit crunchy and you couldn't really scrunch out the crunch. I've had worse in the past, though, when it comes to some crunchy hair.
Once again ignore the expression. Once I get a semi-okay picture I'm like OK that's it...tired of picture taking..this will work.

If you plan on using Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine leave-in, keep in mind it has Amodimethicone. It's one of those silicones that people are iffy about when they are CG. Some say it washes out with a cowash or low/no poo and some won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. My own personal experience? I haven't had a problem with it and will continue using slightly soluble silicones.

The L'oreal Glossy Curls spray gel does NOT have silicones.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Totally Twisted

I've been neglecting my hundred other products and sticking to my Kinky Curly hair stuff so I decided to switch it up today.

I used Giovanni Tea Tree Invigorating Shampoo, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner, Giovanni direct leave-in, and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted curl boosting mousse. I decided NOT to rinse upside down since my hair got tangly (is that a word?) doing that the other day. I still left my hair sopping wet before applying products. I scrunched in Giovanni direct leave-in and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted mousse while my head was upside down. Then got most of the water out of my hair by scrunching upside down with my microfiber towel. (I'm hoping to buy one of the curl towels soon to help with the frizz.)

After I finished my hair, I fell asleep while it was still wet. Yup, took me a nap right after I finished doing my hair. I tried to position my hair so that it was all above my head and I didn't flatten it while I slept. It was kind of messed up in the back when I woke up but, not that noticeable. After I got up from my nap I didn't really have to mess with my hair.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Strayin'

The company my boyfriend works for had an employee appreciation dinner the other night. It was at Otani's, the same place his Christmas Party was. We got lucky and had the best entree that comes with shrimp, steak, and lobster and of course fried rice and vegetables.
I mentioned in earlier posts that I have no kind of picture taking skills when I know my picture is being taken i.e., driver's license pictures or if I'm taking a picture of myself. I can only seem to take candid pictures.

Here I am practicing with a smile then a no smile.
I did the upside down rinsing technique again with the usual products: Suave Naturals (cowash), Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner and L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss conditioner (mixed together for my conditioner), Kinky Curly Knot Today (leave-in conditioner), Kinky Curly Curling Custard and Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel (gel for hold).

Some parts of the back of my hair were tangly, probably from going back and forth between upside down and right side up.

I tried to part my hair differently this time. Next time I get my haircut I might get some shorter, angled layers in the front.

I'm also wearing my favorite lipstick at the moment - MAC Hello Kitty Strayin'. I don't like Strayin' by itself. I always mix it with MAC Prrr lip gloss or Sonia Kushak Lip Glossing with No-Feather pencil in Vivacious (from Target).
Prrr is on top and Vivacious is on the bottom. In the picture above, I'm wearing Strayin' with Vivacious (my fave combo at the moment). Vivacious looks kind of bright but, it actually tones down bright colors and makes them more wearable. Vivacious is a pretty color to wear alone too. The no-feather pencil connected to the other end of Vivacious doesn't really do anything for me. I don't ever use it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Curls Like Us Give-away

Contest is now closed. Winner will be announced by Friday, March 20, 2009.



Curls Like Us has graciously donated a set of two Curl Cloths (retail value of $24) that one of YOU lucky readers will be able to win.


The Curls Like Us™ Curl Cloth™ is a smooth-textured styling cloth designed to gently wick away excess water from hair while encouraging “curl clustering™” for beautiful definition, without the frizz.


Features


  • The smooth texture wicks away just the right amount of water and sets curls, without introducing frizz

  • The ergonomical, tubular shape of the Curl Cloth™ makes it easy to rotate during use

  • The brown color does not become discolored by residual hair dye

  • Includes a convenient loop for hanging

Benefits


  • Makes your favorite curl-friendly styling products work better

  • Sets curls and encourages “Curl Clustering™” for improved definition while reducing separation

  • Unlike terry cloth, they do not introduce frizz or cause split ends and breakage
  • Great, earth-friendly alternative to using paper towel.

Competitive Advantage


  • The inherent coarse texture of terry cloth roughens up the hair cuticles causing split-ends, breakage and ultimately frizz

  • Although paper toweling is frequently recommended by Curl Experts, most women prefer using an earth-friendly alternative

  • While an old t-shirt certainly works , it’s not nearly as user-friendly or as aesthetically pleasing


“Don't dry your hair with a terry-cloth towel --the fibers can roughen up the cuticle and cause frizz.” – USAWeekend.com


“Dry your hair with a T-shirt or paper towels in stead of a bath towels, which can cause frizz”, Caring for Curly Hair March, 2007 – Real Simple


“Stop drying your hair with a towel. The nubs tear apart the curls. Instead use a smooth surface like a paper towel or t-shirt.” -Lorraine Massey, author of Curly Girl, The Handbook (Workman 2002)


“The Curl Cloths do exactly what they promise. They wick away excess water, curls clump together and hair is not left frizzy at all. -Feedback found on NaturallyCurly.com CurlTalk Forum



Every Curl Deserves to be Happy!


Contest rules:
1. Any reader that posts a comment is automatically entered to win a set of Curl Cloths.
2. Winner will be chosen randomly.
3. Contest ends at 2:30 PM EST on Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Totally Random Question of the Day


Usually questions come to my mind and first thing I do is Google an answer no matter how ridiculous the question is.

I had to go to the ATM today to withdraw some money and wondered how come the bills you get from the ATM are always fresh and new.

Do they get the bills straight from the US Treasury/Mint? I know you can't just just make bills without monetary backing (don't know if that's the right word) because it would be as worthless as a regular piece of notebook paper. So are bills destroyed before they are manufactured? Are new bills made just for ATM/bank use?

I tried to google this topic and could only find the history of the dollar bill.

Image courtesy of: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse.jpg/800px-United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse.jpg

And here is your random picture of the day. My boyfriend and I tried this restaurant Finn McCool's in a relatively new shopping center. It's an Irish themed restaurant. I bet it'll be crazy up in there on St. Patrick's Day. After we had dinner we went into this store next door that sold mainly spices but, also had some out of the ordinary stuff too. It's a neat, quirky store. One of things that caught my eye was this coffee. For those who aren't morning people, this might help you out. (I censored the picture but, the actual bag is not in case you were wondering.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Uh uh..you know that has to hurt..

That's just one of the things that I overheard while I was getting my eyebrows threaded. Along with "Oh my gosh, that's so crazy. I'm just going to stick to waxing" and "Do you think her eyebrows will come out okay? to "What in the world is that?" A mall near me finally got a threading booth so I was excited to try it. The booth is in the middle of the mall so of course curious crowds were expected. There were 2 girls ahead of me. I waited about 15 minutes for my turn.

I asked my boyfriend to take my picture while my eyebrows were being threaded. Being the comedian that he thinks he is, he took a bunch of unflattering armpit pictures and like two post-able pictures.

My before picture. (I never noticed how bushy my eyebrows were. Plus I was waiting to get them threaded so I was letting them grow out.)

Caution: This is a mega close up picture.

BEFORE:














DURING:












The lady who did my eyebrows had the thread tied around her neck. In the Youtube threading videos I had seen, the lady held the thread in her mouth. That seemed to be the only difference from the videos and what the lady actually did.

AFTER:

The whole process took about 10-15 minutes. She was very supportive of me taking a "before" picture. When I told my boyfriend to take a "before" picture, she said "Oh yes, yes definitely, yes go ahead, it will be a very big difference." She seemed eager to dig into my eyebrows. The lady had to break out all her tools - thread, comb, tweezers and scissors.

You know what's kind of ironic. A couple days ago I posted that I was planning on getting my eyebrows threaded. And included this clip art:
I said I hoped after I got my eyebrows threaded I wouldn't look like this. The ironic part is that I look like this anyways because my left eyebrow has always been higher than my right eyebrow. No kind of shaping can change that but, I'm glad as it's not as drastic as my clip art friend here.

Pros:
- Not painful at all. I heard mixed reviews on how much threading hurts. I found it did not hurt at all. There were a couple hairs where I felt it more but, still not painful to me. I think waxing is definitely more painful than threading.
- Achieve a better eyebrow shape/arch than waxing. You saw how bushy my eyebrows were before they were threaded. I guess because waxing is done in strips, you can't really precisely control which hairs you want to remove like you can using thread.
- No allergic or after waxing reaction. Sometimes when I get my eyebrows waxed I get bumps after. I'm not sure if this is a reaction to the wax or not. With threading, you don't have to worry about any chemical reacting with your skin. They also recommend threading to those suffering from acne. Waxing and laser hair removal is not recommended while using certain acne medications. Threading is also good for with sensitive skin, such as those suffering from eczema, which I have.
- Longer lasting results. This I can't vouch for quite yet. Supposedly, threading lasts longer than waxing and tweezing. I'll keep you posted.
- Inexpensive. Cost for eyebrow threading was $12. Not too bad, especially if it does last longer.
- I only got my eyebrows done but other areas you can get threaded are your chin, sideburns and upper lip. I'm guessing if it hurt less than waxing my eyebrows, threading will hurt less in these areas too.

Cons:
- This con is more specific to the booth I went to rather than threading in general. Because it is a booth in the middle of the mall, you'll definitely get a crowd like I mentioned. Plus, it's a new booth so a lot of people still haven't seen it and are curious when they pass by. My eyes were closed when my eyebrows were being threaded but, I could hear everything. I felt like I was having surgery awake and people were hovering me making comments like I was asleep.
- You have to hold your eyelid down and forehead up while your eyebrows are being threaded. I'm assuming (even though you know what they say about assuming) this is being done to spread out your eyebrow area making it easier to thread. Don't spend a lot of time on your eye makeup if you plan on getting your eyebrows threaded because it will get smudged.


I'm excited to try threading again. This might be my new go-to method for eyebrow shaping. The cons really weren't that bad. It was the only cons I could think of. My first threading experience was definitely a positive one.

I felt like I looked different after. It took me about a day to get used to it. Kind of like getting used to a haircut.

Conclusion: I definitely like getting my eyebrows threaded better than waxing or tweezing. If you want to try a different way to shape your eyebrows and you have a place that does threading near you, I say go for it. Two thumbs up for threading.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Upside Down Rinse Take Two

A couple of posts ago, I talked about this new technique I learned - rinsing your hair upside down. I had the opportunity to try it again tonight and this time I let my hair completely air dry. I didn't even have to scrunch out the crunch. There was no crunch at all, just soft waves. I usually like my hair better when I diffuse it but, I actually like the definition I got tonight without diffusing my hair.

I'm still not satisfied with the front of my hair. I don't know what I want - maybe bangs or more layers. I feel like the front of my hair doesn't suit my face. I always like the back of my hair better than the front. The picture below on the right is the same as the left but a close-up. I dyed my hair dark brown with one of those dyes than rinse out in 28 washes. My highlights that I was trying to cover up were coming back and about every 6 months I have to dye it until I grow out my old color. The color lasts way past the 28 days it says on the box.

I feel like my hair looks different in pictures than what I see in the mirror. Probably the same issue as makeup bloggers that feel their makeup looks washed out when they take a picture of their FOTD (face of the day).

Products I used were Suave Naturals (cowash), Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner and L'oreal Vive Pro Nutri Gloss conditioner (mixed together for my conditioner), Kinky Curly Knot Today (leave-in conditioner), Kinky Curly Curling Custard and Herbal Essences Set Me Up gel (gel for hold).

I wish everyone a great weekend. I'm so excited because we're supposed to be having weather close to 70 degrees.

My plans for the weekend include:
1. Get my eyebrows threaded
2. Hike and enjoy the beautiful weather
3. See the movie Watchmen

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Unibrow Be Gone

eyebrows

I don't have a unibrow quite yet but, the eyebrows are getting a bit out of control. I'm waiting until this weekend to get my eyebrows threaded at the mall. Most of the places that thread eyebrows are a couple hours away from me so I'm glad there's one finally near me.

I don't know anyone yet that's gotten them done there. I hope my eyebrows don't get messed up and I end up looking surprised for a month and a half.

Or like this.













I don't know if they want credit for it but, images courtesy of:
http://scubadate.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/ugly-unibrow.png

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee236/Forseye/Eyebrows.jpg
http://www.clipartof.com/images/clipart/xsmall2/19284_pleasantly_surprised_yellow_smiley_face_man_smiling_and_raising_one_eyebrow.jpg

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I want to be in the doghouse if ...

I've been looking for a new type of towel. The microfiber towel I currently have does dry my hair quickly but, tends to make my hair frizzy. I had to of course check my favorite store Bed, Bath and Beyond. I found that they do carry the Curlease towel (pictured above). The other brand I'm looking for is Curls Like Us cloths but, I'm still searching for a store that carries it. (Remember I hate shipping costs.) From the feedback I've researched, both brands are gentler on wavy/curly hair which reduces frizz.

On the Bed, Bath and Beyond website, I came across some interesting furniture and such. I want to be in the dog house if it looks like this.
According to the website, your dog will love this "adorable dog house ... constructed by aligning half logs together giving it that great, rustic look. When you add the porch, your pet will not only have a place to seek shelter, but also a spot to relax in the sun." I wouldn't be surprised if the house had hard wood floors too.

The extra storage underneath the dog bed will come in handy when Korina's dresser becomes too stuffed with her current wardrobe, toiletries, MAC makeup, curly girl method products, etc.

Images courtesy of:
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&sku=118269&
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/Product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=16482617
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=14166831


Special thanks to Korina for modeling, at location, in the dog house with porch and dog bed.