Struggle Bus Naturals- CoWashing What?

Hello my fellow struggle bus naturals.

Today let’s talk about cowashing.

For those who don’t know cowashing is using a conditioning formula to cleanse your hair. There are a ton on the market and I’d like to talk about how I figured out making it work for me.

When I first went natural cowashing was really just getting on the map in natural hair care. (These will all be amazon affiliate links) I purchased a bottle of Wen conditioning cleanser. .

First thing is that stuff smells amazing. Second up, I have stuff I need to work around.

  1. My scalp can get kind of crapped up. Off and on my scalp gets dry and flaky or just kind of gunky. It always has.
  2. My hair even at that point when it was about 5 inches shorter, is very dense. I need a lot of product to coat all my strands.
  3. That shit is expensive.
  4. My hot water heater is not mighty enough to do ALL my wash in shower.

Now, while the Wen was nice, my hair didn’t feel conditioned enough to me and my scalp still felt a bit dirty.

The brands I liked better were:

The As I Am cowash is really nice. It smells nice, it has a good amount of slip, it left my hair feeling quite nice. However it is in a freaking jar…A JAR. So the first one I got I wound up spilling half of it because my hands were slippery and it went whoopsie. Also again, I ran out of hot water. That said, if your hair isn’t super dry or very dirty this works really nicely and it’s affordable if you’re not using a lot.

The next thing I tried was straight up V05 Moisture Milk. While I do love that product for detangling it did not work on it’s own for a cowash for me. Also, do not buy it from Amazon go to the dollar store.

So I figured out a few things.

My hair thrives on low poo but not no poo. Cowashing is pretty great but I had to get a formula together.

Here is how it goes down for me.

I take a plastic bowl and spoon (usually empty butter containers or whatever) and gather my conditioners.

Yes, plural.

I usually buy conditioners by the liter. First, you want a base conditioner. Use one that’s got some heft and thickness here are the ones I like.

Aussie Moist  is my jam. It has a great amount of slip, is very moisturizing by itself and has a nice bit of body to the formula.

Tresemme Naturals Flawless curls hydrating conditioner. This is another classic for me. It’s not as moisturizing as the Aussie but it’s pretty great. The other great thing is often at drug stores it is on sale for the giant size. I also like this formula and this one as well for my base.

For my base I like it to be about a quarter of my overall mix.

Next up, you’ll want to add something for that extra slip. Aside from the mentioned V05 I will use, Suave Naturals line. My fave is coconut. This is another one I say do not buy this shit from Amazon it’s like a dollar everywhere else. The Organix line is also pretty great. I’ll add some of the Argan oil one for my slip. Basically you want something that’ll help ease your detangling.

Next I add a few squirts of something with some protein. Generically speaking, look for stuff that says anti breakage. I religiously use Garnier Damage eraser. My hair is protein sensitive and I’ve found that using a bit of this in my mix regularly has made a nice difference.

Now you can skip to my cleansing element here or if you are protective styling you can do this.

My hair LOVES friggin oils. I am protective styling so I add oils to my cowash. My number ONE oil to add to anything is light castor oil. It’s light as in color. This one (the bottle is UV protected) I’ve gone through four bottles and it’s lovely. I like a good heavy oil. You can also experiment with lighter oils like EVOO, Jojoba etc.

The other things I add are a few drops of tea tree oil for my scalp. Also a word of caution. Check with your doctor if you’re pregnant before you try essential oils. And, less is more. If you’re using the tingly oils (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary) start with only a few drops. They can all irritate skin and you need to be careful.

The other thing I add (that I hate) is a few spoons of apple cider vinegar. I don’t know why, but it just makes a huge difference in detangling, my hair feels smoother and better moisturized when I’m done. It’s gross and will give your mix a slightly chunky feel, but it works for me.

Now for my super secret.

I add gentle shampoo. Not a whole lot. Only a little bit.

My favorites are: Moisture Retention from Shea Moisture. If my scalp feels itchy, I use the Organix Tea Tree shampoo.

Sometimes I use my liquid African Black soap or even baby shampoo (only a TINY bit of that).

I recommend only adding a small amount of your cleanser to begin with. See how you like it.

I know it sounds like a lot, but, once I figured out how to eyeball the ratios of stuff my hair likes it only takes me about five minutes to mix it up. I priced it out and even with the extra stuff I use, it’s far more economical to use and I’m able to asses what my hair needs batch to batch because I make it right before I use it.

Now the how.

I don’t wet my hair first. I always pre-treat my hair with coconut oil whether I’m cowashing or shampooing. My hair responds super well to coconut oil so it is a staple.

When I get ready to cowash my hair is already sectioned and partially detangled. I saturate each section heavily and focus extra product on my ends. Then I hop into the shower and start with lukewarm water. I get each section wet, use the pads of my fingers on my scalp and once I get a bit of a lather, then I start detangling with my shower comb.

How do you know if you like your mix?

Before you moisturize your hair, let it air dry for a bit when you’re done washing. How does your hair feel? Is it soft? Fluffy? Does your scalp feel dirty? If you’re forgetful jot down your feels and work out what you need more of.

When I need extra moisture I will add a few squirts of the Shea Moisture manuka honey conditioner.

So that’s the secret, or my secret, at least.

Like most things with my natural hair, a lot of the blogs and stuff can only tell you so much. I’ve found that gentle experimentation and sticking with what my hair responds well to has been key.

And to end, a photo of my shrunken up super moist hair post cowash:

shrunkenhair

[image description] Photos of a brown skinned Black person. Their hair is curly. 

This was also just after a pretty intense trim. I had to get rid of some super raggedy ends. Next time I’ll talk about why I love protective styling so much and how I got to the point of figuring out how to get and keep my hair healthy and move towards focusing on length retention.

Some More Brown Femme Goodness

I’m still kind of depressed about poor folks stuff so how about I do some quickie links/short reviews of beauty stuff?

Yes.

OH wait before I start, no your eyes are not deceiving you. I did a little redesigning today. If you click in, I’ve moved some of my affiliate stuff down to the left, and up top you can see some of my linked pages. Let me know about the color, the stark white actually makes my head hurt, but if it’s hard for y’all to read holler at me.

OKAY NOW.

Brown Femme goodness.

Okay, can we start with how ass over tea kettle I am with Nyx Cosmetics right now? Recently a CVS opened in my neighborhood and they carry ALL the fuckin Nyx. Like….y’all the first time I went I totally freaked out.

So the major thing I love about Nyx beyond affordability is that they make enough of a range of things lip colors, that you can really stock up (especially those kick ass CVS sales) and experiment without being out like 18$ to find out you hate something.

Let me show you what Nyx lippies I’m loving right now.

First off, I LOVE their Butter Glosses.Since I’m suddenly SUPER into nudes, this shade called Ginger Snap is my current fave shiny nude. Honestly, it is almost the exact color of my face when I put it on my lips.

I’m also a HUGE fan of the Nyx Lingerie lips. As far as liquid lipsticks go this is the most comfortable one I own.

I also love their lipsticks, all of them.

And let’s talk about some tips.

In terms of make up, if you’re not ready for extra eye looks yet, lipsticks are a fantastic way to feel a bit more edgy and let’s talk about some ways to find stuff that is adventurous and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

The Nyx Cosmic Metal Lipcreams look AMAZING to me. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m desperate to. And also if you can’t wear a metallic blue lip at work, pack it in your bag and put it on when you go.

I’m also really impressed by the Maybelline Color Sensation lipsticks. I have two and the Grey about it one is a GREAT griege nude for brown folks. You’re not gonna get like, high end payoff, but they are super great for folks just getting into wilder lips.

Next up, JCat Wonder Lip Paints. I was immediately obsessed with the OCC Lip Tars when they first came out. Those are expensive AF. These are not and honestly, pro tip. If you can find some containers you can split them with your Femme friends and not really run out. It’s a huge amount of product for very little money. Also the Jcat Soft Matte lip stuff is really pretty. Messy to apply at first, but so gorgeous.

What other stuff?

OH okay if you’re like me and don’t really do all the highlight and contour let me tell you a secret. One of my secret make up weapons is a couple of good bronzers.

A couple of bronzes can do wonders for your makeup wardrobe. A little on the cheeks, nose, forehead and you’ve got a little bit of a glow. Use it for nude eyeshadow looks.

For oily skinned folks, I do not recommend using, the type of bronzer with a lot of sparkle. When your face starts to grease up, it can make it look weird. Ask me how I know (tragic day of looking like a greasy disco ball and not ina fun way)

I have two of these Rimmel London Natural bronzers. They are old and are very pretty. Sun Bronze warms up very nicely on my skin and gives me that slightly accented glow type look. It is really subtle on me and buildable.

I also REALLY love the Nyx matte bronzers. I have the second to darkest one and I need a new one soon. It is perfect for me when I’m not doing my whole super matte creepy fake looking dolly skin look.

To apply I use a very big very fluffy brush. I like my bronzers to be pretty diffuse and not very concentrated. I can’t find a link, but it’s like an overgrown Kabuki brush. Stout handle and big very fluffy brush head. I think I got them in the clearance bin at Big Lots.

Lately, I’ve had a hankering to recreate some 90s looks I wore when I was a teenager/young adult. There is glitter involved and I’m kinda hype for it.

The weather here has been pretty hot so I’ve mainly been wearing a lot of dual colored cat eyes and hot lippies. My face is greasy as all get out but I’m trying to roll with it until the weather gets cooler.

I’ve also gone back to the L’Oreal Pro matte. My color is Soft Sable. It’s just the teensiest bit too light, but the only other brown shade is way too dark. That makes me super angry, but it is the only drugstore foundation I’ve been able to wear for the past year or so.

I’ve tried  a few others, but as lots of beauty bloggers have said before me, a lot of drug store foundation is really pink. I am not. Even though my cash situation is not great, I still daydream about the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. I KNOW some of y’all are like bitch what? But, with powder and a good primer y’all, I had a big sample of it and it is just so gorgeous. It made me feel like a baby doll.

For a while I was a devout user of MUFE Matte Velvet. UNTIL I went to an event and had a flash photo taken and OMG…the ASH IT WAS REAL. I was mortified, though to be fair not a soul noticed even when I showed them. But yeah. It broke my heart. I’ve been eyeballing the UD All Nighter foundation, but their shade range… I am not sure I will have a good match. I might go grab a sample.

Right now I think I’m mostly daydreaming about having a perfect dolly face. Which means I’ll have to buy color corrector AND new concealer. But y’all know how it is.

Coming up soon I’ll review the pastel lavender wig I was wearing, we’ll have some struggle bus natural talk AND I’ll show y’all some of the stuff I use/wear that I will pay the extra coins for.

I love y’all.

Summer Brown Femme Goodness.

Okay I’m not super into revisiting my previous post.

Instead let’s talk about stuff your own Femme SparkleQueen loves for summer.

Now I know that matte lips are still super in but as much as I love them, I love a big ole shiny lip even more. Especially because the AC is kicking where I work and my poor lips suffer.

Most of what I’m gonna show you are some individual links(most are affiliate links) that I love on my own dark lips. My lips are brown and red and some of these won’t give full coverage but look really pretty on lips that aren’t necessarily all red or all pink. I’ll put everyone on a pin board y’all can check out at the end too for easy access.

First up drugstore faves.

First up the Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lipgloss. I picked two of these up a while back on a pure whim and omg. Y’all so pretty. My favorite is the shade A Wink of Pink. The sparkles aren’t chunky and it is shiny and the wear is very nice. I’m also a fan of the just a glimmer color. It is pretty and on more purple toned lips absolute magic.

For some POW color, the Nyx Cosmetics Intense Lip Butters mother fucking deliver. I probably have five of them at this point and they are stunners. Soft on the lip and SHINY. BLAM.

Next another constant favorite. Like, y’all. These are honestly some of my thow in my bag go to for the gleam glosses. L’oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss. Now these aren’t opaque on my lips, but, but the shine and the tint. I have several an a few that were discontinued. Brown lipped folks, that Chocolate Obsession is a really beautiful glossy brown that will highlight your natural lip color.

Let’s move on to lipsticks. I’m a lipstick fanatic. I’ve been known to have a legit meltdown over a great lipstick.

Nyx Round Case lipstick. If you are experimenting with colors, are poor or don’t want to spend a lot these lippies are great. Gorgeous colors, soft, shiny texture. I have had many many of them. Great for those just starting out trying to find colors you like to wear. Remember, we don’t have to spend it all to look fabulous.

Another Nyx lippie I love. The Butter lipsticks. Creamy and gorgeous. The shade Hunk is hands down one of my favorite lipstick shades EVER. Amazing on brown skin.

I SWEAR I’m not a rep for Nyx or anything. I just really love their lippies. A couple more.

My current favorite lipstick is from the Nyx Wicked Lippies line. If you’ve been dying to try out some wild ass colors, this line has some wild ass colors. I have the dark grey and the purple and they are so pretty. Neither of those looks to be available right now, but have a look anyway they are great.

Next if you like a vampy lip, I feel like these are a MUST have. Every single one looks great on brown skin and just UNF so good. The Nyx Simply Vamp Lip Cremes. This is one line where I feel like if I had them all I would in fact wear them all. I do love a deep dark lip and these are just gorgeous.

Other brown femme stuff.

If you like a kind of all purpose kind of thing, let me give you one of my fave protips.

For a cute, glowy mega easy look here’s what you need. Do your face how you do. I do full coverage foundation. You need a mascara that makes your lashes go POW POW POW. And you need a bronzer.

For this multi use you want one that is only one shade darker or lighter than your skin and has some shimmer. Shimmer at your own discretion.

Here are some bronzers I have used for the multi purpose and like. Now these are not for highlighting/contouring. If you follow me on Insta you know I don’t really do all that.

Rimmel Natural bronzer. I’m pretty brown so I have the dark one called Sunbronze.  

Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Brick. UNf both of these. I actually killed a rose gold one and need a new one.

You’ll also need a couple of different brushes depending on how you like to do your make up.

When I go for the eyes, I use either a fluffy brush like this or if I want to pack in the bronzey shimmer I use one like this. 

Now take your bronzer and apply it to your eyelids, cheeks, tip of your nose, cupid’s bow where ever you want a bit of that extra glow. Fluff up your lashes.

And then top it off with a stellar lip color.

If you don’t fucks with make up a lot, this is an easy put together beautiful look. Trust me. If you are afraid to do too much, you can have an easy eye, glowy skin and BOOM LIPS.

I did it today and couldn’t get a good photo. OF COURSE but it’s a go to move for me.

Next beauty post, we’re gonna talk about foundations and my undying love of a matte matte MATTE, beat face.

What are your go to looks?

What lippies do you like? Come on tell Auntie. OH also I may try a real tutorial so…..stay tuned my homies.