2017 for the Struggle Bus Natural.

About the last one for the year y’alls.

I’m gonna look at hair stuff.

SOoooo y’all.

I had intended to make this big dramatic post, patting myself on the back and twerking in joy because I found a braid extension that doesn’t involve cornrows and that I can do. If you are interested see here. If you want to learn how to do cornrowless crochet braids of any type, seriously sub to Jazz Nicole and learn. Her videos are easy to follow and even I COULD DO IT.

So I practiced. And Sunday I got started.

First thing what had happened was-

I had some MAJOR knots down at my goddamn scalp. I could feel them. Getting them out was traumatic. Because I’ve been mainly finger and wide tooth comb detangling, I’ve avoided a lot of breakage buuuuuuuuuuuuut them little evil ass gremlin knots slipped through the big comb and I damn well know that gliding my fingers from scalp to ends is a no go. SO that was, fucking terrible.

Y’all.

Y’ALL.

Because I don’t heat style more than maybe once a year, I had to fight them knots. I was very gentle but about a quarter of the way through, my scalp started to hurt really badly. Just, sore and bruised so I stopped and resumed on Monday. When I was almost in tears because my whole goddamn head was hurting like I got hit, I should have stopped but………..I did not.

Listen to your Auntie babes.

If your body is saying. HEY NO PLS WHAT THE FUCK STOP NO FUCK U BITCH! Listen.

However, after a few maybe scissor happy trims my hair is doing very well. It is juicy moist, soft. Everything I want and I’m retaining length. That is huge for me because I’m going for booty length hair and I can’t be losing my inches to bullshit.

 

 

The evolution of oh noness. First pic, doing the first section. Holding my hair out I was feeling myself. Second photo, me feeling myself HUGELY. My pretty little braids were soft and shiny. Swingy. Third photo, hours later this is the sweaty face of defeat. That was the point I decided to just give up.

So defeat.

But! Good news.

I have added a new layer of understanding about my hair.

I need a hard all the way down to the scalp, tiny ass comb detangling at least once a month.

My current routine is working out very nicely. Here’s how I get down.

I am hardcore protective styling. I’m wearing wigs.

Doing the LOC method regularly works for me. My hair still loves a heavy ass butter/oil PAPOW combo. When I’m on my game, I only really need to moisturize after washing, then two days later. Then again on wash day.

Now let’s talk about some products I like.

For moisturizing. For a non handmade cream I like some few brands.

Asiam Double Butter Cream. Not bad. It is nicely moisturizing, has good stuff in it and is pretty easy to find.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. WITH a caveat. Cantu products are VERY proteiny. Use with caution especially if your hair is protein sensitive. That said, it is a great one to use if your hair is feeling a little weak. Not a lot, a little goes a long way.

Really for me if something has a good base of shea butter AND has oils, it’s gonna be great.

Oils:

Commercially blended oils.

This one does have a silicone but it’s not a biggie for me. My hair isn’t mad about cones. Hot 6 oil. I love to use it as a base for other stuff.

I like to mix in:

Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Always a fave of mine. My scalp LOVES this shit and when I have an itchy spot it does it for me.

I will also drop in a little bit of peppermint or tea tree oil.

For commercial oils, what you want is to make sure they don’t have mineral oil and if you’re sensitive to silicones skip it.

Oils from the grocery store.

Coconut oil. Y’all do not get fooled into paying vast amounts. Go to a hood grocery, buy a jar of coconut oil. I know it isn’t the big thing anymore but my hair loves it.

Other kitchen oils: olive oil is amazing. For me I like my oils a bit heavier but olive is great and no it doesn’t have to be the fanciest most extra virgin olive ever. Plain ole olive oil, just check the label to make sure it is pure olive oil.

If you live where you can get to a brown folks grocery, look for palm oil.I’ve used it as a hot oil treatment and it was GREAT. Also avocado oil but it is expensive where I live so I tend not to use it.

For ultra softening get a good fatty ass oil.

Non eatin oils:

I LOVE light castor oil and buy one or two bottles a year. My brand is NOW Solutions Castor Oil. Y’all. This is so great to have on hand. I use it to boost conditioners, I use it when I have dry scaly spots on my butt. Honestly that one is my one true love. I’ve used others, jojoba etc but my hair likes it heavy.

Leave ins:

I bounce between two primarily.

My first love is the Oyin Juices n Berries. I am a ride or die og Oyin fan. They make my FAVE whipped butter.  I love the light mist and the scent of juices and berries. This is great for me. It does have glycerin in it so I alternate it with another leave in.

Creme of Nature with argan oil – Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner. I LOVE this product. It is a bit more of a heavy spray but gives some excellent slip. Really great. I love this one.

Plain water is great. Occasionally I like to do water mixed with a sploot of oil.

The biggest thing I’ve learned this year about my hair is that I really need to just do me. I LOVE learning about the big wide diverse world of natural hair, I just gotta remember not to try EVERY DAMN SHINY THING ON MYSELF.

Also y’all, I had some setbacks didn’t make my goal length and I am so happy. I love my hair so much.

Coming up in 2018 I’m planning on going HARD on the protective styling. What can I say, I want mermaid hair.

There will be more wig reviews, maybe some struggle bus how to basics?

I dunno.

Happy new year y’all.

2017…look back at it Make up Edition

2017 hot garbage we know.

SO let’s talk about make up that rocked my lil world. *Again affiliate links, y’all know.

Foundation:

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Total Control Drop Foundation. – Y’all. Y’ALL. 14$. The MOST adjustable coverage. I love this foundation. For drugstore, it is my holy grail even though it isn’t technically matte or long wear. A++

L’ORÉAL Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation. Honorable mention. This was my ride or die for a long time but, unfortunately when my skin cleared up it stopped being quite so awesome. Still HELLA good though.

Powders:

The Fiona Stiles INVISIBLE FINISH LOOSE SETTING POWDER is great. Not 26$ great, I picked mine up on super clearance at ULTA in the shade Sorrento. Finely milled, no flashback. Nice velvety finish. Ulta doesn’t carry it anymore but if you can find it discounted on Ebay yes. I’ve been using it under my foundation (we’ll talk about that later) and it is a very nice powder.

MAYBELLINE Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder. I picked this up in deep IN A DRUG STORE NEAR MY HOME, y’all that shit was amazing. So the powder is very finely milled, very soft and smooth. I’ve used a lot of loose powders and this one is right up there with my beloved Cover Fx matte powder. Even when I wear a satin finish foundation on occasion it keeps my face more matte than not. Even in the middle of the  period skin freak out, my face didn’t lose coverage or grease up. I def. recommend also it comes in a good variety of shades.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but I spend a lot of time looking for a pressed powder that works for me somewhat close to Mac Blot Powder (holy grail powder) and this year I’ve gone through a few. My current go to fave with notes is the Wet N wild Photo Focus pressed powder. Okay first impression I found it a little hard to manage. It added coverage and is very easy to cake up in a bad way. Also the compact has no goddamn mirror.

HOLD UP.

HELLO ENGINEERS. Yes the little dome packaging is sleek, it has a weight in the hand that doesn’t say, this is cheap shit. BUT, do you know how hard it is to hold your phone up to your face, palm your powder AND put it on. Nah son.

That said, I used a super fluffy little kabuki rather than the puff and made sure to blot before powder and the finish is lovely. Velvety. Very pretty. I recommend this one for folks who wear little or no foundation. It will add a bit of coverage and keep you lookin smooth.

NEXT ONE (I KNORITE, powders and lip products man.)

Honorable mention: MAYBELLINE Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder. This is the pressed powder and like the wet n wild can do you dirty if not applied carefully. That said it does give that silky velvet matte finish. Also super affordable. This one I don’t find in drugstores so much in my color.

Mascaras:

So I usually have a rotation of four or five mascaras depending on how I want my lashes to look. In the last few months I’ve been using ONE.

Rimmel Volume Accelerator Mascara, is a fucking ALL STAR. On the face of it, I thought I’d hate this mascara. This version has a huge brush, is very wet but y’all. First of all, it gives my lashes a lengthened fanned appearance. Also, I think it has indeed accelerated my lashes. I didn’t do before photos because I didn’t think I’d get effects. Even the Uniballer noticed my lashes look fuller. I want to try the serum too.

Wet N Wild Lash Renegade. It has a weird spiky brush with a wand and once I got the hang of it, I am very into the look. I like to wear fourteen pounds of mascara and I can with this without it getting too messy. WNW is cruelty free if that’s a thing you are into. It is cheap and hugely available. The only reason it isn’t my go to is because I have shaky hands and sometimes I can’t be having a spiky thing near my eyeballs. Love it. It is super good on the lower lash line for me, my bottom lashes are stumpy and this brush grabs them without being messy.

Lips:

I am a lip product FANATIC. Lipstick, lipgloss, balms, tinted balms YOU NAME IT! I love it.

First some all star balms. I suffer easily dehydrated lips. I have allergies and sometimes I mouth breath in my sleep and my lips crack.

A new favorite balm is the Badger Creamy Cocoa Cocoa Butter Lip Balm. I grabbed it on a whim and am very pleased. It goes on nice and thick, the cocoa butter melts right into your lips and they are very soft. It isn’t strongly flavored, it smells/tastes like unrefined cocoa butter. Also it makes an amazing matte lipstick remover and after scrub balm.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Quench Lip Balm.  Another newer fave. I love this one for nighttime under a heavy thick product. Nothing weird in it, it doesn’t taste/smell super strongly. This is a great balm for people who don’t like a beeswaxy or thick balm.

Gloss next. I don’t mind a matte lip but at heart I am a gloss person. I love a wet look shiny lip.

First up a brand new fave. The Milani Stellar Lights Holographic Lip Gloss. Y’ALL. I haven’t been looking at make up for a couple of months since we’re moving/saving dollars. However, to celebrate my little poetry book coming out I snagged this on a whim because it was blue and shiny. YO. First of all, how DARE they come out with a duochrome gloss that is also hella sparkly. Second of all, the depth of sparkle in it is gorgeous. This is the holo/duochrome I’ve been DREAMING ABOUT. The color shift is visible on naked lips and it’s just amazing. I will be buying all of them.

Pro tip for brown babes especially those with dark or not red lips. Glosses like these are AMAZING on non red lips. If you want more of a nude sparkle, go for a goldenish tone version. For real.

I’ve gone through two tubes of the BURT’S BEES Lip Shine this year. One in pucker and one in the brownish shade. I found the coverage to be buildable from totally sheer to tinted. This is another one in that browny shade if you have brown or dark lips is !!!. A tiny bit sticky which I don’t mind. It is very moisturizing to me. And shiny.

For high end, hands down my pants Mac Lipglass is my shit. I buy one probably once every couple of years for at least ten years now? My favorites are the kind of milky shades, the nudes. The high sparkle ones. My favorite of the last few years came from their Star Trek inspired collab. MAC Star Trek Dramatic Color Lipglass (Warp Speed Ahead). Not the best feeling but it is so pretty I don’t even care.

Shout outs to the two dollar store glitter glosses I have that have more glitter than the more expensive ones. Don’t sleep on the dollar store y’all. Especially for small things like glosses and nail polish.

What else?

OH I have bought and used concealers and primers. Normally I don’t do all that but sometimes I like to have them on hand.

For my brown folks with the blue toned hyperpigmentation. Baby, come here. Closer, listen to your Auntie. This shit right here. WILL block that blue/blackness so you can be great. My favorite color corrector of ALL FUCKING TIME. L.A. GIRL HD Pro Concealer 

Y’all. If you are brown you want the orange. Start with a wee bit and play with it. SHIT WORKS. If you are tan down through medium beige, get the peach. If you are medium beige to very pale, get the peach and the white and mix them down.

To do undereye non hyperpigmentation things, I use NYX Professional Makeup Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand. I grabbed it on sale and it is creamy, easy to blend for concealer noobs and is amazing.

Okay my loves. I will calm down. These are my absolute stand outs for new/recurring make up faves. Next it will be hair stuff.

Stay tuned.

Auntie loves you.

2017…..looking back.

2017 has been a giant trash fire.

So….yeah nope.

That said let’s talk about some of my favorite things.

Skincare up first. *Most of these will be affiliate links, Auntie needs coins cause bitches gotta eat.

Cleaners:

L’Oreal Pure Clay Cleanser Detox and Brighten. I am on my second tube of this and I really love it. Leaves my skin nice and clean, it lathers up nicely. It is a bit too perfumy but overall it does me good.

Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser Sensitive Skin. Y’all know (I will do a new reggie post soon) I double cleanse my face. I picked this up and am about done with a tube. It removes make up really nicely. I use this first. It is gentle enough that my skin stays moist but it does a good job on my long wear foundation. If you don’t wear fourteen pounds of mascara regularly, it gets off mascara well too.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser. SUCH a great mid/low Sephora type price cleanser. It does in fact deep clean but doesn’t leave my face stripped. This one is in heavy rotation I use it at least twice a week. It is nice and thick, has a great texture on the skin.

BIORÉ Charcoal Acne Cleanser.  This one is a winner with a few caveats. First one, my personal face is very suspicious of salicylic acid. I don’t use it a lot because my skin will get mega dehydrated. That said, I keep this cleanser on deck for hormonal breakouts. Or if my face just feels grody. It will clean the shit out of your face. Great low cost deep DEEP cleanser to have on hand.

GARNIER SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover.  When I first got this, I kind of hated it. I felt like it leaves a film, took WAY too much work to get my make up off because I wear a shitload. HOWEVER, it is really great to follow the make up removing lotion and it will get off ALL my seventeen pounds of mascara and liner without scrubbing. It is great to just get off any missed make up and I’ve been using it daily. If you have dry skin and don’t wear a lot of make up, this might be amazing for you.

Toners:

Now I am a relatively new convert to this step. That said. I’ve been trying some.

I use a 50/50 mix of Bragg USDA Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, With The Mother  and filtered water. I actually feel personally attacked by this. Y’all. I HATE HATE HATE the smell of acv but, it works so well on my body. It works so nicely it makes me ANGRY. I legit get mad. The toner, balances my face and my skin just feels better using it. I used it for three months, took a month off and absolutely noticed a difference in the feel of my skin. I haven’t been able to do a shot of it a day but, baby steps. We’re gonna revisit it.

Moisturizers/serums/oils.

First up Vitamin C serums. My two favorites are Claire-ity 25% Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E – Anti-Aging Tropical Facial Serum by Umber.  They are almost identical. The Umber serum is a tad bit more liquidy but they perform the same for me. I like having my hyaluronic acid in with the vitamin C. This is another product I questioned the efficacy of. After I ran out of the Claireity I went without for a couple of months and yeah. It matters for my skin. Using vit c serum absolutely helps keep me from developing new hyperpigmentation, my skin is more even toned. Also my current hyperpigmentation smooths out way faster.

THE ORDINARY Buffet. I was on the fence about this one but stopped using it for a while. When it joins with all the other shit I put on my face, smoother skin. Plumper skin. Hydrated skin so I really do love it.

My FAVORITE facial oil isn’t available online. I use a CVS house brand brightening oil. Y’all. It is the SHIT. I was underwhelmed with Argan oil for my face, I honestly grabbed it on a whim and I am very impressed. I’m not sure about the brightening powers but, using it has absolutely upped the general moisturization of my face. HA WAIT I lied. Find it here.

Masks:

Get a snack this is taking a while. For masks I keep quite a few on hand depending on what my skin needs. Some are interchangeable some not so much.

I use sheet masks a lot. I picked up this multipack and y’all. I especially recommend using these after any deep cleansing, deep exfoliation or peels. Mostly, I use them for the hardcore moisture. Also it is just relaxing.

Next up some hardcore ride or dies.

FORMULA 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask. This is marketed for teens and if you’ve been  here a minute, y’all have seent it. This brand is marketed for teens but I bust it out when I’ve got hormonal breakouts or my skin is just trippin. I love it.

Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask. For surface scrubby exfoliation (for me it helps with my peely scaly ass face) this is really great. Not too gritty, leaves my skin soft and fresh. Also the price!!!

Another OH SHIT MY FACE mask is the ORIGINS Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin. Y’all. Y’ALL. This shit right here is reserved for my OH FUCK OH FUCK WTF IS THAT SHIT moments. It is powerful and not for the sensitive of faceballs. It is intense enough at drying up pimples that now that my skin is generally clear I reserve it for spot treating bumps, mainly anything with a whitehead, or those shitty under the skin bumps. It works. It will make your eyes water.

I use other masks mainly for relaxation. For instance those packet sauna masks and shit. The Montagne Jeunesse Red Hot Earth Sauna Masque is one of my favorite things on earth. It doesn’t do  much but I love the sensation of self heating so much I will buy them by the handful for strictly relaxing purposes.

Moisturizers- eh none this year have blown my socks off.

So let’s stop there cause I got more and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Come back probably Monday for body stuff!!

What are your faves?