Every Naturalista’s Must Haves!

If you are currently going through or have gone through the natural transition, you’ve probably become addicted to the following: YouTube and product shopping! Having gone through my initial transition 5 years ago, it has been a true learning experience. I began my transition with the keratin treatment and gradually cut the straight parts of my hair (3 inches every 8 weeks) until it was all back to my natural state finally last year. While my decision to go natural was a medical one (the relaxer was too harsh and caused very bad scarring to my scalp in addition to my hair thinning), I have truly enjoyed my journey. It has made me feel more comfortable in embracing myself as a woman and has definitely made life easier in a lot of ways! I’ve never been knowledgeable in how to manage my hair. Even when I had a relaxer, I could not even use a curling iron much less learn how to roller set! The only tool I mastered was the flat iron. By no means have I become a hair guru with my natural curls, however, I find natural hair to be more forgiving. No matter the hairstyle that you are trying to achieve, the following will definitely help you pull a very stylish look:

  • Oils: one of the most important ingredients that all hair especially natural curls need is oils! Olive, argan, avocado, shea – any of these oils are very helpful to your hair but my must have oil is coconut oil! It is non greasy and helps with scalp health, shine, and nourishment for your curls.
  • Hair ties: these should be purchased by the hundreds! For some reason, no matter how many you think you have, you can never seem to find one when you are really in need. So buy them in high quantity and keep a few in your most frequented places: in your personal drawer at work, in the glove compartment in the car, and definitely in your purse.
  • Hair pins: just like the ties, hair pins are a must. Curls tend to be unruly therefore a few pins are always needed to help secure them and help you keep your polished look intact.
  • Hair gel/ custard/ jelly: in the spirit of keeping flyaways tamed, these different types of products will definitely be lifesaving. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  • Spray bottles: use them to mix your favorite LOC method (liquid, oil, conditioner), or simply to have water easily accessible while doing your hairstyle, spray bottles are important. I also suggest having a travel size which you can carry with you when travelling to keep your hair looking fresh!

When it comes to your journey in the natural hair process, no two stories are alike. Some of us have been very fortunate to quickly learn how to effectively manage the transition while some of us may continually be conducting research on YouTube on the best methods to address various natural hair dilemmas. Here’s my suggestion: don’t worry so much about achieving a professional status within the first few months of transitioning. The first years will be tough as you will be dealing with various textures of hair unless you did a big chop. Plus if you chose to transition, you will have to pay closer attention to maintaining your hair healthy. However, a full year into being fully natural I’ve come to heavily rely on some of my favorite YouTube channels such as Moknowshair, MahoganyCurls, and Naptural85. These ladies share short videos on hairstyles, various processes for natural hair and most importantly do some product reviews which can help you make a decision when considering a new line.

I hope these tips will help you conquer your transition and no matter what, don’t give up!

Reese

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Summer Fashion Favorites

Summer is in full mode and if you live in a southern state like I do, you are now dealing with 85 degrees at 9am! Being from the Caribbean, it is naturally my favorite season and over the years, I’ve gotten the list of summer must have fashion items down to a science! While we all know that in the summer, the main idea is to have a closet that is “heat ready”, some of the items on the list below might surprise some of you!
– Sunglasses: especially if you are constantly outdoors, you will soon realize that a pair of sunglasses will no longer serve as a fashion statement but rather is a necessity. They will help shield your eyes from the bright rays of the sun and facilitate vision when walking towards it.
– SPF lotion: no, it’s not only for beach days! If you are going to be outdoors, you definitely will want to protect your skin. One should always be using SPF lotion throughout the year but in the summer time, we tend to be outdoors a little more as we travel and vacation, so be sure to put on the extra protection.
– Hair tie: if your hair reaches your neck, then you definitely will need a hair tie. You can quickly remove the hair from your face, neck and back when the heat starts to really strike midday. And if you are like me and your hair is sensitive to humidity, then you already know that leaving your house without a hair tie (year round lol) is a no no. I try to keep one in every purse along with some hair pins but if you find this to be too tedious, try keeping a couple in your glove compartment in your car or in a drawer at your desk in the office for easy access.
– Shorts: probably the biggest indicator for the warm months (if you live outside of Florida), shorts are a definite must for the summer. My suggestion to facilitate your summer wardrobe is to have the following three colors: neutral, denim, dark and you will be all set! To make sure that you have even more of a variety in your wardrobe options, be sure to select three different styles and length.
– Tank tops: can’t have shorts without the summer tanks! Lighter colors while they may be easier to get soiled, they help keep your temperature cooler. They are probably the easiest investment for the season (aside from flip flops) as there will be constant deals throughout the summer at retailers such as Old Navy, Target, Forever XXI to name a few.
– Comfortable flats: we tend to walk a lot more in the summer as most of us tend to go on vacation and travel. A pair of comfortable flats will come in handy. Be sure to select a neutral color so that you might match them with most of your wardrobe.
Overall, the idea is to be sure that you are comfortable as summer usually equals vacation for most of us. You want to be adequately prepared to face the heat and comfortable to explore any new destinations that you might decide to discover this summer!
Enjoy!

Reese

Is it worth it to DIY?

DIY has become probably the “it” word since last year. It’s the latest movement that has taken our society by storm and especially thanks to Pinterest. I’ve become a big fan of DIY and for me I’ve found the beauty products and the recipes to be my favorites. However, I’m sure that some people wonder whether it is worth it to invest the time and try to do it yourself, and I’ll share the top three reasons why I think everyone should at least consider DIY:
– It IS cost efficient: obviously, that is usually one of the first reasons that most people will think but they usually assume so under the wrong idea. It is cost efficient because you can purchase the ingredients in bulk and thus make quite a few containers, not because you don’t have to pay for the name brand. However, that is also a very big factor in the low cost.
– You are able to customize your product: have you ever found a product that you loved but only wished it came in a different scent? By learning to make the same product, you are able to reproduce it in the particular scent that you are fond of.
– It is the most natural: this is my number one reason for DIY! You know exactly what goes into your product and this helps avoid allergies.

Here are a couple of DIY recipes that I use and hope you will find useful:

Homemade seasoning:
– 3 shoots of scallions
– 3 cloves of garlic
– ¼ of a green pepper
– ¼ of a red pepper
– Small handful of fresh parsley
– 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
– ¼ cup of olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth and store in a covered container in your refrigerator. This seasoning is very popular in my culture and is also the base for many Haitian dishes. It is very time saving when cooking as you can use it to season any meat and also when cooking rice and beans; for meats, just be sure to thaw the meat ahead of time and once it is ready to cook, simply coat the meat with the mixture and let it marinate for about half an hour. The best advantage of this seasoning is that it does not go bad and thus you can enjoy it until it finishes.

Avocado/Coconut hair mask:
– 1 small avocado hass
– 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until it is smooth. Apply generously in hair and cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes. This is a good mask especially for natural hair as the avocado helps keep the shine in your hair; the coconut oil helps retain moisture and prevent dandruff and the olive oil aids with hair loss and overall scalp health.

I hope you will find these two DIY recipes helpful and maybe it will help start your DIY adventure. Feel free to visit my Pinterest page for some more DIY recipes saved on my DIY Board: https://www.pinterest.com/GlamGirlOTG/diy-ideas/

Enjoy!

Reese

Stocking up on beauty items

There is nothing worst then getting ready to do your hair, nails, or makeup and realizing that you have run out of one of your favorite products! To avoid this issue, I usually do the following to help me avoid being in a predicament where I have to make an emergency run to the nearest drugstore in order to finish a beauty regimen in progress:

  1. Always be sure to replace your products when you have about 2 uses left in the container. That ensures that you will not have to put the bottle upside down half an hour before using the product and pray that you will amass enough product to use.
  2. Take advantage of the sales!!! Places such as drug stores, will usually run a special on beauty products every month. BOGO (buy one, get one) specials are my favorite!!!! And stores like Walgreens will provide you with a rain check for a sale item if they are out of it during the sale. Always be sure to ask for a manager if they are out of your favorite product that is on sale! Be sure to check the expiration date of the rain check and all rules that may apply. Another great way of getting a good discount is with coupons! Target RedCard holders usually receive store coupons for products that you usually purchase, so after you have completed your payment, make sure that your cashier hands you the coupons that print out!
  3. Have an emergency backup product! An emergency backup product usually for me is a less expensive similar product to the brand that I am faithful to. While it may not give you the same results as your trusted brand, if you are in a bind in the middle of the night getting your hair ready for the week, you will be able to rock a decent hairstyle the next morning until you have a chance to swing by the store and replace the empty containers.

I hope these tips will help you avoid another crisis and will help you better prepare your supply of beauty products.

Happy stocking!