Feelin Myself- Hair n Beauty updates

Oh hay y’all.

As we are ending the trash fire that 2016 has been, I want to end on a few good notes.

Including, stuff that I am super into beauty and hair wise.

Hair first.

I’ve been doing the L.O.C (Leave in, Oil, Cream) method of moisturizing my hair for a while now and wow does it work. It took a few months for me to figure out that my hair once it is well moisturized, only wants to have the full LOC done on it twice a week while I’m protective styling.

Now I am hardcore protective styling. I’m using wigs and I only manipulate my hair to wash it. I’ve decided to protective style until, uh, well whenever I’m done I guess. My hair is healthy enough right now that I’m focusing really heavily on retaining my length.

My current rotation of products is: (affiliate links ahoy)

Liquid-Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Moisture L.O.C. Super Quench Leave-In Spray– not bad. Not quite liquidy enough for my tastes. If you prefer a finer spray this one is good.

Oil- I use half and half of the African Royale Hot Six Hair Oil and JBCO. I added some powdered MSM to it as well.

For my cream (My holy grail is still Oyin Handmade Whipped pudding, but real talk I can’t generally afford it) Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Recipes Seal It Up Hydrating Sealing Butter. I actually bought that on a whim. A few months ago I spent about 50$ on a TON of hair care stock up and this was on sale and a big ass jar. I’ve used some of the jar and it is super moisturizing. It is also kind of heavily perfumed with a powdery scent I don’t think is stellar. The secret is to make sure hair is good and damp or wet before application.

Simple. Easy. My hair is thriving very nicely.

I have also discovered a new type of bonnet to sleep in and I LOVE IT. No irritation, no pressure on my edges. The Magic organic argan oil treated sleep cap.  I dunno if the treatment works or no but, it stays on. I sleep like a demon and used to have to tie other satin bonnets on tightly and that does not work when you get migraines. These are loose and I’ve yet to force once off and no marks on my forehead when I get up. A+.

Now let’s talk my skin.

I had one indulgence on Cyber Monday and I bought the Spin for Perfect Skin brush from Groupon.

spinbrush

I did a TON of research and decided to give it a shot. Y’all……..holy shit I’m in love with it so hard. First of all, it was 80$ off (don’t worry links in a minute) it came with: the machine, a soft brush (lower left corner), an exfoliating brush (right bottom), a body brush, and a pumice stone. I have used all of them and wow.

The soft daily face brush is very soft. This thing spins at a good clip and leaves my skin super clean and smooth. First, I remove my makeup with my Rice, Bright cleansing oil, then I put liquid African Black soap and spin away. I’m careful not to press hard and my skin has already shown some improvement. My dark spots are fading a bit faster, my period break outs are less intense. It actually works better for me than my Clarisonic.

Once a week I use the exfoliating brush with a creamy cleanser. Usually Sunday’s because normally I don’t wear make up on Sunday. Then I follow up with a mask.

Excellence. The exfoliating brush has decreased how many ingrown hairs I get on my chin and is great overall.

The body brush…….zomfg. My skin is very dry and peely in the winter. I have to have good exfoliation a few times a week and this gets the job done. After I exfoliate with a moisturizing body wash, after I slather on my moisturizers. My booty is smooth and the dry patch I have is already starting to shrink.

NOW. If you don’t already use groupon please consider using my referral link to sign up. You can find the brush here. It didn’t come with a fancy case which is fine. I sanitize my brush heads after use and it goes on a shelf. Honestly, it was a great investment and I’d pay full price for it.

Winter is always tough on my self image. It’s taken me all these years to figure out how to dress and stay warm, to have a nice coat, to have my skin in check. I’ve decided in 2017 in order to continue my glow up, I’m gonna change up my skin care a little bit. Just a few minor tweaks.

Coming up soon I’ll do a post and show y’all my little wig collection. Also, I’ll show y’all how I braid under my wings. It’s not the fleekiest method but I can’t cornrow and it works.

After new year, look for some thoughts on turning 40, hopefully some thoughts about an adventure in perfumery and some angst about underwear.

 

Approaching 40. The Glo Up is Real

Hello darlings.

I will be turning 40 in just a few months. I decided that for my bigger dollar purchases this year I want skin care.

My skin is still as I said way back in this entry the best it has ever been in my life. Overall I am more than delighted by the state of my skin. My breakouts are so few they aren’t even really a thing. I have some new things, a few stubborn blocked pores and blackheads but nothing terrible.

The frequency that my face is peeling or rashy is way way down. My face is bouncy and super friggin soft.

Currently I’m doing a multi step nightly skin care routing. I use (per usual all links are affiliate links) The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright – Cleansing Light Oil (full write up/review soon) to remove my make up, rinse well, use my liquid African black soap and my trusty Clarisonic. Rinse well. Then a few times a week I use some sort of sheet mask. I have a bunch of them. Or I use my OG ride or die oh shit my skin is trippin’ Origins Out of Trouble Mask.

A word about that mask. It is intense. If you’ve used the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask, the Origins mask is that times four. I used to use the Queen Helene religiously and then my breakouts defeated it. I picked up the Origins mask in a little gift size and holy wow. It is one of the first masks I’ve used that will dry up some pimples with a quickness. It does uh, warm a bit. Some folks say it burns. I do get some redness and my eyes water because of the sulphur in it and whatnot. I went from using this religiously once a week to now, really only if my skin is trippin. It works. Totally worth the price.

Next I use Claire-ity Skincare 25% Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. Of the vitamin C serums I’ve tried I think this is my favorite. It has a really nice gel texture and goes on nicely, is a bit sticky then absorbs. My skin definately is extra soft, my dark marks are less dark. Very nice.

I follow up with the moisturizer of the moment. Right now I’m using a sample of tarte
Rainforest of the Sea™ Drink Of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer that I picked up at a Sephora event. It’s nice. It’s nothing spectacular for me. I like the texture, it does the job of keeping my faceballs nice and moist but there’s no wow factor for me. It is not The One.

Now let’s talk about my ambitions.

I want to find the one great one in terms of facial moisturizers. I know it when I feel it.

I have some stuff I want to try. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream is close to the top of the list. I tried out this cream once and omg. So silky. I absolutely want to try it again. I’m also super interested in trying out the Origins Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins™ Mega–Bright Skin Illuminating Moisturizer. I do love anything illuminating and Origins is great in general for me.

If we can talk holy grail only if I won the Lotto I’d try this shit here. Shiseido
Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Cream. I mean that shit is 260$. Just once I’d like to put something that luxe on my face and you are damn skippy I’d use EVERY LAST BIT OF IT.

What else am I interested in skin wise?

I think I want to try some peel oriented products. I’ve got my eye on the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I tried a little jar of these and thought they were nice. I’d like to get a big one and try them out for a few months. I also want to try the Murad Intensive-C® Radiance Peel. My skin responds to vitamin c really well.

I also want to try out the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic 5-Piece Kit. Honestly I’m really just a mask junkie and those look so fancy.

To fund my adventures in skincare I’ve been saving up my Swagbucks side hustle gift cards. It isn’t the greatest, but it helps. I got a 25$ Sephora gift card last month and I’m on track to get another one this month as well. Also, I save using my Ebates as well.

On Cyber Monday I allowed msyelf one indugence. I have been stalking the Spin for Perfect Skin brush and picked one up on Groupon for like 20$ with specials. I’m totally late on the groupon but I actually have gotten some good deals there. AND they do a referral thing so if you are so inclined to sign up with my link and I’ll get some coins.  I will do a full review of it soon.

Between side hustles and my mad saving skills, I’ll be expanding my skin care slowly.

That’s all folks. Reviews for stuff I get forthcoming.

Surviving and some things.

Now for something completely different.

Let’s talk about what your fave Fine Ass old Auntie is up to?

First, let’s talk about some of my fave cold weather shit cause y’all, it is getting WAY too damn cold already for me because I am a big baby whiny cat who hates to be cold. Affiliate links, ahoy.

Skin stuff first.

For my body skin, colder weather means my butt is just gonna be itchy and dry. I’ve found that I need to not use my liquid African Black soap because it cleans too well and leaves me too dry.

A couple of winters ago when I was still getting Julep boxes, in one of them there was this super fancy shower body cleansing oil. It smelled citrusy and bubbled up and felt overall holy shit amazing. (Not an affiliate link) Lookit this shit here. It is 38 goddamn dollars. THIRTY EIGHT MOTHER FUCKING DOLLARS to wash your ass. Y’all know, I love fancy things. Y’all love fancy things but come ON BRO. Granted, using it was so great. It really made me feel silky all over and I found the scent (I’m not usually a citrus scent person) very light and unisexy.

I’ve been literally pining for something like it for a good year and a half.

Now if you’re like me and you have sensitivey dry persnickity ass skin and you like things that smell nice, this sucks. I used some Etsy whipped soaps (I’ll do a post about those) but I feel like every time I find one I love it gets discontinued or the shops close etc.

SO I’ve found some thangs y’all.

Can we talk about Ulta majorly stepping up their in house brand body stuff?

Ulta house brand body stuff is very nice to me. I really love their body butters.

My first and forever love is the Cocount Cream Moisture-Intense Body Butter. Y’all. It smells deliciously dessert like without being overbearing. It is thick and creamy. My skin LOVES this shit. Pro tip about Ulta brand stuff. They often have amazing sales that are buy 2 get 2 etc. Keep on that shit, get on the newsletter. I just got myself some new tubes because I’m at the bottom of my last one.

For cleansers, y’all. They have a bubbly shower oil cleanser. This is not a drill. I JUST got my first bottle and will report back soon.I also picked up some of their Luxe Creamy wash as well and will report back.

I even have some of their regular bubbly body wash and it doesn’t leave my skin stinging or ashy. If you have some body skin stuff happening, I recommend checking out their house brand of stuff.

So there’s hope if you have sensitive, rage prone skin and you still want to smell tasty. The important thing is to watch out for problem ingredients that don’t agree with you. My personal nemesis is mineral oil. Also pro tip. Try not using products with mineral oil like MANY of the popular and higher end drug store dry skin lotions. Over time it could make your skin dryer because it forms a layer on your skin and further moisture can’t penetrate.

Now some quick n dirty advice.

If you find yourself peely but don’t want to use an oily sugar scrub in the shower invest a few dollars in an exfoliating towel. Don’t spend more than 6-8$. Do not use this more than once a week at first. Use it with something with a nice rich lather. Work it in circles on your skin and then once you’re out of the shower, moisturize with something rich and heavy.

Another easy fix.

Are your feet not…okay? You need two plastic bags, some time, a pumice stone or other rough thing, some oil and some socks. After you bathe, scrub the dead skin off of your feet, rinse and slather them in oil. Put the plastic bags on them, then the socks. Chill out.

Remove, rub extra oil in and voila soft ass feet.

Why am I saying this now?

Y’all, shit is hard out there for a lot of us and I believe in not only surviving the bullshit, but thriving in it as well as we can. So, sometimes we gotta talk about our itchy butts and feeling good.

We may not be okay, but we gonna be as okay as we can be.

In some other side hustle news. If you check out my Amazon store you‘ll see I’ve added some new sections and stuff. With a lot of the stuff, I highly suggest googling to find better prices. So use my shop as a guideline or place to have ideas from AND shop if you’re so inclined.

With that. Take care of yourselves my loves.

 

Stuff I like for Fall

There will be affiliate links, y’all know what it is.

So I have a little stack of stuff that I’m super into right now and I want to share.

First up let’s talk beauty stuff.

I’ve been tinkering with my skincare routine and added some new stuff in the last few months.

The first thing I’m in terrible love with is the The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright – Cleansing Light Oil. I’ve been using it religiously since June. I use it to remove my make up before I cleanse. I’ve tried regular oil cleansing to remove make up before. I tried Olive oil, jojoba, sweet almond, castor oil etc. Overall using a plain oils kind of underwhelmed me. In terms of the actual effects on my skin, it was blah. But, I am into Korean beauty like a bunch of other folks and on a whim I picked this product up. Y’all………..this shit right here.

First week, here’s what I noticed:

  1. It took off ALL my make up. All of it. Even my super waterproof mascaras, forty pounds of liner, a lot of matte long wear foundation. Melted off.
  2. It does not sting my eyes if it gets in them, which it does cause I’m messy.

After a couple of months:

  1. My face is intensely soft. Like aggressively silky. I didn’t change out other products (remember I only switch one thing at a time) and wow. I can FEEL the difference.
  2. My eyelashes are in much better condition. I noticed that because of the vigor it took to remove my waterproof mascaras my lashes were starting to feel brittle and dry.

All in all, I’m very into this product. I haven’t noticed extreme brightening but, my skin tone overall started to improve and I’m for it. Love it. Also it’s super economical, I still have a good quarter inch in my bottle to go.

All summer and now into fall my ride or die foundation has been the L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Makeup, Soft Sable. For the hotter months I was wearing it sheered down the tiniest bit. The Soft sable can run a teensy bit too light but I warmed it up with a slightly dark powder. For building up the coverage I use this brush.  If I want to beat my face and go for a heavier coverag I use this brush.I’ve used a few other foundations in the past few months and nothing drugstore has given me the finish, the coverage AND the color I need.

I am not sure if I’ve mentioned this but I am a lip product fanatic. I love ALL things lips. Quite a while back I picked up a couple of tubes of Mentha shine from Bath and Body Works. Y’all. I LOVE that shit. Super shiny, tasty, tingly wonderful goodness. This is my Fall/Winter go to stuff to wear at work or whatever. My favorite is a tossup between the Cinnamint and the Peppermint.  They are a little expensive for me so when I do buy them, I snag them on sale.

Season changes really put me through the wringer so I have been switching out some of my other skin/body care stuff while I adapt to the changing weather.

My huge indulgence is this Korres Japanese Rose Body butter. I picked up a sample set on discount a long while back and I just love this so much. It’s not the richest, most awesome butter, but, it smells so damn good.

On my OH SHIT MY SKIN IS GOING ALL THE WAY LEFT list is my fave Exfoliating hydro towel. I recommend only using it once or twice a week because it will scrub your butt hard. I use mine with a creamy anti itch body wash and always follow up with some heavy duty moisturizer.

If y’all recall from my itchy baby post, remember even though a product might look good, check those ingredients. I was all hype to buy the Cerave moisturizing cream UNTIL I saw it has both silicones and petrolatum.

For me my current go to butter has just not been enough. As delicious and creamy as it is, no dice. I LOVE my Chocolate Macadamia nut cocoa butter stuff from Q2 naturals on etsy but,  I need more. My body skin is so dry and cranky. Also I’m such a sucker for having an array of super moisturizing things that also smell good I’ll probably indulge myself in a few extra butters.

Next faves post I’ll do a Struggle Bus Naturals post with some updates on products and stuff.

In the meantime, happy Fall for my Fall folks and happy Spring to the rest of y’all.

Itchy Cranky and everything.

I am in the middle of a breakout of Atopic dermatitis, eczema.

I managed to escape any breakouts for a few years. When I was a kidlet I had it often and it would get to the terrible part of scaling, scabbing, oozing.

The conflagration of aggressive fucking Sprintime, stress and I think my poor immune system battling so many colds and whatnots has led to me being itchy and dry and miserable for weeks.

That said, I’ll tell y’all how I’ve been dealing with it so far.

First thing is eczema aside my body skin has been dry as fuck. I mean, my body skin has been dry my entire life. I often walk out of the house fully brown and glowing, get to where I’m going, look down at my feet and say out loud, “WHY the fuck are you ashy?” Since about November my usual body skin care has only just kept me kinda moisturized.

This cannot stand.

I gave up my fancy smelly body washes. I LOVE having an entire wardrobe of body cleansing things at my disposal. I find having things that smell in a way to fit my mood very soothing. That said, commercial scented things can irritate my skin so I put them away.

I think I mentioned my personal dedication to the way of hydration in my facial skin care post here, but let me say again. HYDRATE!

And let me show you how I keep track without having to really keep track. I picked up this awesome water bottle with a clicker on top that goes to 3 at Safeway on mega clearance:

waterbottle

Photo of a blue water bottle with ounce and milliliter measurements.

See that? I drink about 2.5-3 of those a day. I also drink tea and coffee. Sometimes I buy the safeway brand sparkly fruit water.

Hydration inside check.

Now I have to confess that the ONE thing that would probably be the most helpful is a habit I just can’t give up. Really hot baths. It is AWFUL for your skin, but I can’t quit. To help mitigate my bad bathing habits, I often put a little baking soda in my water, a little powdered milk or oatmeal. Something to soften the blow.

I also have been cleansing with JUST my liquid African Black soap. Nothing fancy. It has helped keep my body skin a bit more comfortable.

Now (these are affiliate links in this Pin Board) here are some favorites that if your skin isn’t on the extremely (as in cracking/angry/like mine) state can work really well:

Next up, watch your lotion. I’ve found that most of the stuff in the drugstore, even stuff for mega super dry skin has the ONE thing my skin will not tolerate. Mineral oil or petrolatum in it. For me those ingredients over time form a barrier on my skin and I’m not really moisturizing just making it shiny. My skin gets drier and drier and itchy and the terrible cycle restarts.

So watch out for that.

On the pin board above, I have some easy to get lotions and butters that don’t’ have any. What works for me are things heavy in butters and oils Y’all, I grease myself and roll around like a chubby little seal.

My other superweapon is varying levels of exfoliation. I use an oily sugar scrub and here is the cheapest way to get that done and bonus you can cook with your leftovers.

  • Olive oil or other liquid oil. Edibles are great, especially if you get food benefits because you can get them that way.
  • Medium grain sugar. Not the fine stuff or the chunky. Regular sugar.

Mix them in a bowl until the texture is one you like. I like it kind of thick and not runny.

Use a pouf or your hands and scrub away boo. DO be careful. Your tub will be a greasy mess. I like to rinse off after that and I encourage you to follow with your heavy moisturizer and lounge around naked until it’s good and soaked in.

You can also use olive oil, coconut, whatever you have to moisturize right out of the bath or shower.

You can also dry dry brushing, using a bath brush on dry skin in circular motions to exfoliate. I’m a HUGE fan of exfoliating wash cloths as well.Protip for very fat folks or super tall folks there are extra long bath brushes that will help y’all be able to reach your own backs.

If your skin is dry and sensitive like mine there are some extra steps you can take to ensure your personal comfort.

Wash your drawers and bras and sheets in the least scented/most hypoallergenic stuff you can find and skip the fabric softener.

What else?

If you are itchy and don’t want to damage your skin, rub your itchy with a sock on your hand inside out. It isn’t as soul satisfying as a good deep scratch, but you won’t damage your skin.

If you are suffering a lot, raid your pantry. You can make a cool paste out of oatmeal you’ve smashed up and smear it where you itch. If you drink cow milk, a compress soaked in cold milk and put on angry red hot itchy skin is wonderful.

Other quick spot remedies. Stay stocked up on things like that benadryl spray, anti itch cream (the best one I’ve ever used I buy at the dollar store) and be prepared.

So that’s it my loves. Make sure you check out the pin board because I went HAM and put EVERYTHING I could think of on it.

Until next time, this is itchy ass Auntie Shannon wanting to live in a vat of coconut oil until my skin is better.