STEAMING 101

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I ordered my steamer a few years ago after seeing my sisters results. The steamer left her hair bouncy, shiny and full of life. That is when I knew this item was necessary for the health of my hair.  Steaming my hair is one of the essential steps of my biweekly regimen. It only takes about 25 minutes. I condition my hair with a deep conditioner, steam, and then wash and condition as usual. It may seen counterintuitive to deep condition and steam first, however this works best for my hair type. I notice when I deep condition after I shampoo, my hair is weighed down from the essential oils. 

Although all hair types can benefit from hair steaming, it is extremely effective for maximum hydration for curly hair. Curly hair tends to be drier than other hair types. Sebum, which is the natural oil produced from the scalp, takes longer to travel down curly hair strands. That is why steaming is especially important for curly and coily hair textures.

I steam my hair biweekly to infuse moisture and hydrate my hair. This product makes my hair softer and more manageable. Steaming conditions the hair 5 times more than letting condition sit on your hair with a plastic cap. The steam slightly lifts your cuticle allowing the essential oils and conditioning agents to penetrate the hair. I've noticed that my hair is healthier, stronger and more moisturized with less frizz.

Reminder: All hair types are different and results will vary. 
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HOLIDAY CURLS

I had the opportunity to work with our local news Fox WBIR to record a beauty segment on how to achieve the perfect holiday curls. 

How to:
It's important to alternate the curls with the barrel of the iron facing down to achieve bouncy voluminous curls. The product used for this look was Aveda Thermal Dry Condition from the Shampure line. This product instantly conditions, detangles and softens hair. Once heat is applied, the hair will have a more polished look. I completed this look with Aveda Air Control. This hairspray gives a light hold and offers flexibility with a long lasting hold. Air Control works for all hair types and textures. Thank you Jac B!

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WHAT'S IN YOUR MAKE-UP BAG?

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I am a little late getting on the make-up train. Growing up, wearing make-up was not an option in our household. Since I am in the beauty industry, I find myself wearing make-up more frequently and by frequently, I mean 3-4 days a week. I have the most basic make-up routine and it only takes about 15 minutes. Within the last few years I’ve been experimenting with make-up and I found a few staple products. One thing about me is when I like something, I typically with not deviate from that product. With that being said, the products that are in my make-up rotation are listed below. 

Dior Show delivers perfectly plush, glam lashes. The length and volume I receive from this mascara is like no other. I've tried several brands of mascara, but this is hands down one of my go-tos.

MAC Swiss Chocolate is a great transition color eye shadow.  It will work well for any season or outfit. I apply this shadow by its self or with multiple color for a seamless blend. 

MAC Cork is my favorite lip liner. I am able to wear it by its self or layer it with other more neutral lippies. This lip pencil glides on smooth, is very moisturizing and last throughout the day.

Make Up For Ever HD matches my complexion perfectly. This is my holy grail foundation! I love the consistency, it photos well, it does not cake up and I don’t have to use much. I am medium  complexion with red undertones. I have always had issues finding a foundation that's the right shade for me. This is hands down, the best foundation I've come across.

Salon Perfect eyebrow kit is an all inclusive. This compact includes a mirror with three powders to custom blend together and create individual shades (I also use as eyeshadow). It has a highlighter to illuminate the brow bone and a grooming pencil that helps set the eyebrows for a look that will last throughout the day.

NYX brow pencil is very easy to use, looks super natural has a nice buttery texture making it easy to glide across the skin. I like the precision I get with this brow pencil. The pencil has a spoolie at the opposite end to easily diffuse any harsh shading while creating a flawless and natural blend.

MAC Instigator is a beautiful lipstick color for any season. I typically gravitate towards a deeper colors during the Fall/Winter seasons. I like the versatility of this lippie. It can be worn during the day or at night and dressed up or casual. 

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THE PERFECT NINJA BUN

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Six steps to the Perfect Ninja Bun:

1. Moisturize your hair with water and seal it an oil (I use my homemade oil blend). The water will expand your hair and create a full bun.

2. Gather all your hair to the top of your head. Make sure hair is laid down smooth. Additional water may be needed around edges.

3. Secure your bun with an elastic band, pulling the hair half way through. With a smaller elastic band, secure the center of the bun and any hair that may have fallen loose.

4. Pull out your baby hair brush or toothbrush to get those baby hairs just right. I like to use Eco Styler Morroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel.

5. Tie a satin or silk scarf around your hair to absorb the moisture and provide edge control.

6. After 10 minutes, remove the scarf and you have a flawless Ninja Bun!

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SKINCARE REGIMEN

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I was told a few years back to create a skin care regimen to preserve my youthful glow. It was important for me to develop good habits early on. When it comes to establishing a skincare routine, the sooner the better. I also drink lots of water, wear minimal make-up, and regularly exfoliating. 

I have combination skin which means both oily and dry. Noxzema has been one product that has remained consistently on my roster. I've tried various cleansing agents in the Noxzema brand, however, I find the Anti Blemish Daily Scrub works best. My toner of choice is Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 4. As this toner sweeps away excess oil, it keeps my skin clear and looking healthy. For a long time, I never used a moisturizer because I didn't think it was necessary since I have semi oily skin. Once I was introduced to a gel moisturizer, there was no looking back. Since the moisturizer is water-based, it is lightweight and easy to absorb into my skin. My final step is using a Cocoa Butter stick to keep my skin smooth and blemish free. I recently added a night cream to my routine. Clinique Turnaround Overnight moisturizer is silky in texture and leaves my face feeling refreshed and hydrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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Hair coloring is a popular form of self expression. Many people choose to go to a salon to have the service done professionally and several others prefer to use box color.

Box color seems to be the go to to cut down on expenses. However, box color is very harmful to the hair. On the box it shows images of hair color at different levels and how your color will look after the process. It does not thoroughly explain the color may vary based on the natural tone of your hair, the porosity of the hair, the condition of the hair, previous color etc.

Getting more scientific, box color blasts the cuticle open, while professional color opens the cuticle just enough for the color to penetrate into the cortex. What does that mean? The less the cuticle opens, the better. The more it opens, the hair is susceptible to damage such as split, porous, dull, lifeless hair.

With that being said don't take the inexpensive route. Go see a professional or in my case, a professional in training.

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THE HANDS DON'T LIE

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The hands give away your age more than any other part on your body. Your hands are exposed to the elements on a daily basis. The most damaging is the sun. That is why it is important to apply sunscreen when in the sun for long periods of time. 

There are ways to minimize damage and protect you hands in order to have a more youthful appearance. It is important to moisturizing your hands frequently. In the beauty industry, I tend to moisturize more often since my hands are constantly being exposed to irritants. Protect your hands when cleaning and washing dishes. I wear pink rubber gloves with zebra print trim when cleaning and washing dishes. 

My favorite moisturizer is Aveda Hand Relief. This hand cream last for three hand washes and leaves your hands noticeably softer and smoother.

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HEALTHY HAIR REGIMEN

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There is no simple way or shortcut to have healthy hair. It took a complete year for me to understand my hair, figure out what products work best for my hair type. So, be patient because this process takes time. My regimen is pretty simple. The most important components are:

-Eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water. 

-Use minimal to no heat

-Keep your hair moisturized (water is the best moisturizer) 

-Use oils like jojoba, coconut and castor oil. 

-Deep condition once a week with a plastic cap.

-Leave your hair alone, don't manipulate it too much and wear protective styles often. (Braided, twisted, buns etc. styles you can wear for days at a time)

-Be patient and don't stress over your hair growth... Good luck!

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NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY

I get several questions regarding my hair and overall natural hair journey. This journey has been such a liberating experience. It takes dedication, consistency, patience and finding the right products for your hair type. I went through several phases throughout this journey.

The first phase was the OMG, Help! phase. In this phase, I contemplated straightening my hair almost everyday. I did the big chop and could not believe my hair was gone. I was unsure of what products to use and how to style my hair.

The next phase is the Product Junkie phase. Here, I spent money on products and tools that would help with the manageability of my natural hair. I learned about the porosity of my hair, I became familiar with the ingredients in products, and I used the trial and error method. 

In the Curl Control phase, I finally felt like I was getting the hang of this natural hair thing. My hair grew longer and thicker than it had ever been before. I finally became comfortable wearing my wash and go's and different protective styles. 

In the final phase Lucious Locks, I wear my curls confidently! I have staple products that work best for my hair depending on the style. I am venturing out to try other products to become more familiar with how my hair reacts to various ingredients.

This journey has taught me so much! I learned to embrace my beautiful coils and I gained a confidence beyond esthetics. My hair is now at bra strap length and I am excited about my future growth and the overall health of my hair.

 

 

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