Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My foundation routine staples

I uploaded my foundation routine on my You Tube channel and thought I should do an accompanying blog post because I wanted to do a voice over style video but I encountered some technical difficulty, which prevented me from doing that.

In any case, in this video I wanted to show my very simple foundation routine. I only used a handful of products but the final result is amazing!

Before applying my foundation, my face was moisturized. 


On a typical day, I go straight from moisturizer to foundation.  But if I have an event, I will use a primer to help my foundation stay nicer longer. My favorite primer these days is the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser.  I love how it feels on the skin. It does help the foundation's application. I heard about this product from many You Tubers I follow.

My foundation is the L'Oréal True Match (shade W8). I like its consistency, which allows it to be smoothed on the skin very easily. It is not too thick but not too runny either. It gives a light coverage but you can build it to medium coverage as well. It also gives an excellent finish. And the best part is the color selection. Anyone can find a shade to match him or her. As a black woman, that part is very important.


I recently started using concealer. I haven't really felt the need before but now that I found a concealer I like, I do find myself applying it every time I apply foundation (or almost). The one I currently enjoy is the Rimmel Wake Me Up (shade medium). It's easy to apply, easy to blend, it does offer some highlight under the eyes and it doesn't crease. I heard about this product from YouTube's JustKellee101 and I really like it.

Under eye setting powder

Since I just started concealing my under eyes, I didn't really have a great powder for that task. I'm realizing that I am not a fan of loose powders. I've used this NYC translucent powder but personally, I'm ready to get rid of it. It does the job but it's messy, and I don't like that. 

My cousin just gave me a sample of the Ben Nye banana powder. I will test it out. But it's also in the form of a loose powder. I may get the hang of it... We'll see.

Face powder

I typically always set my face with a face powder. My favorite is the Mac Mineralized Skin Finish Natural (shade Dark). I lightly dust it all over my face. It gives it a nice finish. It allows for my blush, contour and highlight to apply and blend easily. I don't contour and highlight often.

Beauty Blender

This is one of my newest tools and I love it.  You use it damp and this has been my favorite way to apply my foundation for years, even with my Sigma kabuki brushes. But with the Beauty Blender it is so much better.

Face brushes

Of course, a foundation routine requires a couple of face brushes. For my under powder, I try to use a very large eye brush or a small blush brush that is fluffy enough.

For my face powder, I prefer a very soft and large face brush. The powder application is light and diffused this way.

What is one product you swear by in your foundation routine?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

8 months post BC

Wow!  I will be 8 months post BC this week. How does time really fly so fast? My next blog post was going to be about how much I am truly enjoying my natural journey this time compared to the last. I definitely am…

I love how healthy my hair feels. I love how easy it is to take care of it.  So far, I haven’t had any setbacks or any feelings remotely resembling discouragement. Of course, at this point in my journey, when I was relaxed, it was the same…  The honeymoon period lasted at least 9 months for me back then. So, we’ll see in December how my hair does. But honestly, I don't foresee any setbacks or boredom any time soon.

But really how is my hair doing?

Well, let’s see…  My hair is doing well. My hair is in the kinky category. It can curl, tight curls the size of a pencil or smaller. It grows at a regular rate. I haven’t measured as a natural but when I was relaxed, it was growing at about a half an inch per month. So this is what I’m guessing for my hair now.

For the first six months of my journey, I hardly ever detangled my hair. I saw shed hairs (quite a few) every time I did my hair. They would stick to my hands while I applied my products. Now, I detangle once a week on wash day. The rest of the week, I cowash without detangling. The little ball of shed hair is small and mostly the same size every week.

It's hard to detangle from the bottom up with my length so I am extremely careful when I do it. I use a wide tooth shower comb and detangle only when hair is wet and loaded with conditioner.  I've use the same method and shower comb when I was relaxed.

Experiments so far

In all honesty, I am pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. I have three kids and by the time I have time to take care of my hair, I am just too tired to even try anything.

I did my big chop at the end of winter, beginning of spring (last March).  It was cold then, but I managed my wash and gos easily because my hair would dry super fast when it was short. So, I did wash and gos all spring, summer and fall. Now, winter is starting and I've been trying out a few things on Saturday nights.

Perm-rod set

I don't have nearly enough perm-rods to do my whole head. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to try this style but I only did the front of my head. My first impression on this, I think I would like this style but I have a really sensitive area in my scalp (the crown) and pulling my hair taught there is difficult. If the perm-rods aren't tight to the scalp, the roots are really puffy. With shorter hair the roots show a lot. I would have to either perfect my technique or wait until my hair is longer to do it. But I did like the results on the areas that turn out good.


I did try to straighten my hair a couple of time. Both times, I just gave up after a section or two. It takes too long compared to my relaxed hair, but I am impressed. My hair straightens really nicely. I have to use the proper technique for smoother ends but other than that, it was so soft but strong. 

It is way too short for me to spend this much time on the style. I am ear length right now. I'll wait until I am shoulder length or almost there to straighten my hair for real. Oh, and I forgot to mention, no heat damage...
My hair two days after straightening the front

Twist out

I can definitely twist my hair. I am lazy, like I said before, and it seems like a never-ending task. Still, I was able to twist half my head while watching a movie this weekend. It turned out really nice. I will try it again, for real this time, next weekend. Apparently, I have to make sure I use the right products for hold to give me second and third day hair.  I will do my hair on Saturday night sleep on it, rock it for Sunday morning. And then see how long I can hold the style without doing much to it (like re-twisting).

What I don't like about my journey so far

Single strand knots!!!!!  OMG! Every time I touch my hair I feel one! I can't take it!!!!! I had never encountered anything like this as a relaxed girl. And, I have to say, I don't remember feeling them in my daughters’ hair. They plague me. They have been for a long time.

I think they are caused by my signature style, my wash and go. For this reason, I have to move on from this style a.s.a.p. Those things are a pain in my butt. I have to stop myself from pulling on my hair and ripping the ends where I feel the “ssk”. I know it’s wrong, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I'm praying I get over this really soon.

Other than that, there isn’t anything else I don’t like about my journey. It’s pretty cool. And I do love taking the time to write about it or taking a picture to document it.

I didn’t take any pics of my experiments this weekend (sad face)… Next experiment, I won't forget...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Relaxed hair journey - 1st trim since my beginning (almost 1 year) - March 13, 2010

I went to my stylist yesterday. I needed a trim (last one was April 9th 2009). He sees me like every 6-9 months (11 months this time), but he is so nice and professional and supportive. I really liked it.

So I had to trim. I knew it and I went for it. I will try to trim every other relaxer from now on. That's every 6 months approximately.

The way he trimmed, I could tell I didn't lose much length. But I asked him to take off a little bit because of some breakage I am growing out. He told me: "keep doing what you're doing and be very gentle with the area where the breakage occurred. It'll grow back. And when it's at a length you're confortable with, we'll even everything out." I love him...

The salon where he works is located near my office. They are so professional that I can drop in on my lunch break and be back to work in time before the hour is up.

I was so afraid to cut my hair, but I realize my fear is irrational. I love neat ends, always have. Plus if I moisturize and seal properly and go easy on the flat iron, my ends can stay nice longer. Every now and then, I'll shape up the look so it grows out nicely.

My pic is not a length check pic (it's curled). That is the way he styled it after the trim. I know it's a little shorter, but not that much. I'll post a comparison on my next wash day.

I got so many compliments on that 'do, I'll try to imitate it on special occasions. I love curls...

Last relaxer of 2009 - 19dec09

I went to a salon this time. I was tired of battling under processed hair. I will go back every other relaxer because she's ok. Not perfection, but I can talk to her and tell her what I prefer.

It started badly because I forgot my relaxer tub at home so I had to use what she had. I was not really worried because it was a relaxer I had already used before, but it was no lye and I started to use lye.

I told her that I texlax and I didn't want to leave the relaxer on too long. She was good about that, but my hair is straighter than when I do it. Then she rinsed and did the reconstructor.

My hair is nice, but I would not let her do my hair every week like my sister in law. I didn't want a heat pass but she couldn't help but do a blow out. I told her very lightly, but still...

She said my ends are ok, no need to trim. You tell me...

She supports people who stretch 12 weeks or more. I like that about her.

Overall I can say that I can't sit here and complain abut my visit to the salon. She did my hair the best way she knew how. She seems to be full of good intentions. It just that time are changing and more people are noticing that hair care is not what it used to be.

I treat myself to a hair salon visit 3-4 times a year at most. Otherwise, I see what I'm doing for my hair is working and I will keep at it and take care of it myself.

Good hair service overall. She used Moroccan Oil on my hair and I love it. I'll try to find it on sale...

My ends were bumped so I tried to straighten them real fast to take the pic, but they're still not straight. I'll try again later or tomorrow and post them in my length check album for sure...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Relaxed hair journey post - In retrospect - 2009

Update on my setback...

As I am writing this, I am a little sad. The setback I noticed at the beginning of this month has gotten worst. I do not know what is causing the breakage. I lost hair at the crown and going down to the nape. I just don't know why, so I can't stop it.

My symptoms : my scalp is itchier and itchier in the area in question (I never noticed itching before), my hair has a different texture in the area it feels really weird to the touch (like it's dryer than the rest of the hair even though I moisturize), the hair in the area breaks very easily, it is thinner and the care I'm giving it is not working. I also think I burnt my scalp in that very area with my hair therapy wrap.

Conclusion : Although I've been babying that area and it is still not getting better.

I know how Ateeya and FM (from Hairlista) felt. For me, this is a major setback because I really thought I was on the right track. I was hoping it would be just a small setback. I had noticed just a very small section at first, 1/8 of an inch. This is my first real setback since I started my hair journey. I am sad but resilient. I will overcome it all.

Looking back on 2009...

I am very happy that I stumbled upon Sunshyne's You Tube channel when I did. I wasn't even into You Tube back then. Learning about hair care changed my life.

What has stuck to me the most is that my hair NEEDS moisture. I moisturize and seal every day. I wash 2-3 times a week. I air dry. I stretch my relaxer to 12 weeks now. These are things that I NEVER did, not even less than a year ago.

Looking ahead : in 2010, I will...

* Prepoo, wash, DC, do protein treatments, air dry, roller set with the same regularity
* Continue stretching my relaxer 12-14 weeks (if this is not the cause of my breakage - if it is, I'll go for 10 weeks max)
* Self relax (I will only go to a stylist for 1 relaxer per year - I honestly can't trust anyone - I did try though)
* Find out the true reason of my recurrent hair loss

Mostly, what I've learned is that doing my hair myself is the best choice for me. Although I understand that I can talk to the hair dresser or stylist and tell her my preferences, it is not of any interest to me to tell them what to do every step of the way.

I understand that my journey will be filled with peeks and valleys, ups and downs. I did wallow in self pity for a couple of days. Now, I'm ready to work and solve my problem.

HHJ to me and to everyone.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hair update... December 15th 2009 (pic 11 weeks post, blow dried)

Yesterday was my last wash day before my next relaxer, Saturday... I am super excited. 11 weeks post this time. I will go to a stylist for the first time since I started my hair journey (for this service). I'm nervous. I keep telling myself my hair won't fall out even if she doesn't do it exactly how I do it. I cannot tell her what to do every step of the way. I will calculate the time it takes to apply and tell her when I'm ready to rinse. I will ask for a reconstructor ofter the rinse. I will ask for a DC after neutralizing. I will only roller set, no heat pass. I'll do my own saran wrap at home. Oh yeah, and before I go, I'll base my scalp and protect my already processed hair with oil or conditioner.

I've already tried her out, she's ok. I don't think I'll have a major problem. I will also say a prayer because I don't want to be annoyed and have an awful time.

So yesterday, for my wash day I did my pre-relaxer routine. I did a medium protein DC ( ORS hair mayo) on dry hair. I washed with a clarifying/chelating shampoo (1st lather) then another lather with Kera Care hydrating detangling shampoo (love it). Then I DCed with Kera Care Humecto (my hair loves this stuff).

What a difference. I think my hair likes high-end, expensive hair products. It likes the Chi products I had (I bought sample sizes to try out) and it likes Kera Care a lot. When I use cheapie conditioners for cowash for example, my hair tangles in an abnormal way. Also, when I have a lot of new growth my hair reacts differently to certain products. I really have to be careful.

It doesn't do that with the high end products. Yesterday, after my DC, my hair was like butter, B-U-T-T-E-R!!!! I did not use a detangler and did not lose much hair. It was a great wash day. I am willing to use high-end, but I don't think I can afford it. I wash and cowash my hair 2-3 times a week. Once a week is not enough for me.

Does this mean I have to buy more products just because I don't want to buy Chi and Kera Care regularly. I don't really feel like it... We'll see.

I ended my wash day with a blow out. I decided to blow dry on the last wash to fully detangle my hair before the relaxer. My only mistake was drying with the hooded dry before because that caused my hair to harden and tangles. I thought it would minimize the heat, but nah. I'll know for next time.

Overall, great wash day. *happy dance* :-D