Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

As curly girls, we know the amount of time that goes into maintaining and growing our natural hair. But are we taking care of our coils as best as possible, or are we doing the bare minimum because we know how tedious #WashDay can be? Check out the four indicators of healthy natural hair, and I promise you’ll never skip a deep conditioning treatment again!

Continue reading Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

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Youtuber Spotlight: Queens & Curls

Our very own president of UC’s chapter of Curly in College has her own youtube channel. Keianna, who goes under the name “Queens & Curls,” is an expert in all things natural hair related. In her latest video, which is seen above, she shows us how she uses Curls products to achieve a three strand twist out. Her other videos include tutorials, her favorite products to use, and a wash routine.

Curly in College will be sharing her videos here on the blog, but in the meantime, check out Queens & Curls for yourself, and be sure to like, subscribe, and leave a comment if you like what you see.

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Valentine’s Day Inspired Makeup

Hello, fellow readers! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I wanted to give you all some idea and inspiration on how to wear your makeup this weekend!

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The makeup look I chose to create is very simple, and can be done with little to no expertise.

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I used e.l.f Primer, shimmery pink, blue, and white eyeshadow, Maybelline Eye Studio eyeliner, Clinique Acne Solutions foundation, Miss Manga mascara, and a simple red lipstick by L’Oreal.

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I added the adhesive jewels for fun. If you would prefer to use heart shaped jewels to go with the Valentine’s day theme, go for it!

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Below are a few images that you can draw ideas from!

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All of these designs are perfect for a night out, a simple Valentine’s Day party, or just something to try for fun! Which makeup design was your favorite??

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Homemade Holiday Facial Scrubs

I have oily, acne-prone skin and I am not alone. Exfoliating works wonders for those of us with problem skin by removing dead skin cells and other impurities. Simply exfoliating with a facial scrub once in the morning and once at night helps me maintain radiant and healthy looking skin throughout the day. There is a lot to benefit from when you follow a face cleansing routine. There are many pricey manufactured products meant to exfoliate your skin but contain mysterious and often harsh ingredients that can dry out the skin or damage it, defeating its intended purpose. Luckily we can all avoid that by making our own face scrubs at home. They are inexpensive and made with natural ingredients that will nourish your beautiful complexion. They also would make a thoughtful gift. If your skin is in need of a fix after a stressful week of exams, before the festivities begin, try out these holiday exfoliating face scrubs below:

Cinnamon & Nutmeg Face Scrub

 DIY-Cinnamon-and-Nutmeg-Face-Scrub-via-missysue

Image by Missy Sue [http://missysue.com/2014/03/cinnamon-and-nutmeg-face-scrub-2/]

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Gently massage the scrub onto your face.
  3. Keep the mask on for 10 minutes (it can stay on longer if needed).
  4. Rinse the mask off with water while exfoliating the skin with your fingers.
  5. Repeat 2-3 times a week for best results.

How each ingredient helps:

Honey: Prevents dry skin.

Cinnamon: Prevents blemishes and leaves you glowing.

Nutmeg: Reduces blemishes while exfoliating the skin and removing blackheads.

 

Chocolate Sugar Face Scrub

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Image Via [http://homemadeforelle.com/10-simple-exfoliating-face-scrubs/]

Ingredients:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Lather generously onto clean face.
  3. Rub gently into the skin for 60 seconds.
  4. Allow to set on skin for 10 minutes, if desired.
  5. Rinse clean with warm water.

How each ingredient helps:

Olive Oil: Protects the skin against premature ageing and doesn’t clog the pores.

Cocoa Powder: Repairs skin cells.

Vanilla Extract: Its antibacterial properties cleanse your skin and makes it oil and dirt free.

Brown Sugar: Softer than regular sugars but strong enough to scrub away dead skin cells.

             

Pomegranate Beauty Scrub

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Image Via [http://www.homeremedyshop.com/30-amazing-diy-homemade-facial-scrubs/]

 Ingredients:

2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or extra virgin organic olive oil

2 Tbsp coconut or turbinado sugar

2 Tbsp pure honey

1 Tbsp ground pomegranate seeds (use food processor or blender)

1 tsp very finely grated organic orange peel (zest)

1 tsp rose water

Optional ingredient: 2 tsp organic cocoa powder

  1. Peel the pomegranate in the sink, in a big bowl and run cold water as you extract the seeds.
  2. Strain and rinse.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Apply the mixture while in the shower
  5. Gently massage the scrub into your skin.
  6. Continue your shower and rinse with warm water.

How each ingredient helps:

Pomegranate: Hydrates to the skin and fights acne inflammation.

Rose Water: Naturally tones your skin.

Orange Peel: Contains Vitamin C that makes your skin look radiant.

Fun Tip: You can also save a few drops of the pomegranate juice to mix with a bit of coconut oil or olive oil to make a lip stain which can also be applied with a Q-tip or can also be used as a cheek stain. (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/homemade-pomegranate-beauty-scrub.html)

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Fingernail Polish Review

I love to paint my nails. I usually listen to music while painting them because it relaxes me and keeps me calm. For this reason, I do this task at the end of the day. Although it seems to be easy, painting your nails can be frustrating, especially if the nail polish will not do right or it just does not come out the way you want it to. My biggest problem is that I will get my nails perfectly done, and then I start doing something else instead of letting them dry and mess them up. I have had to learn the hard way of allowing my nails to dry for an hour without doing anything but listening to music. However, I have also learned that it is not always my fault when my nails do not come out right, sometimes it’s the nail polish. Therefore, I have tried so many different polishes to try to see what I like the best. Here is a review on a few brands that I have tried.

Claire’s Cosmetics. I have the hot pink and dark green with glitter in it. I really like this brand because it dries fast and comes out really nice and smooth.

Finger Paints. I have only tried the lime green. It has a really smooth finish without using a clear coat.

Salon Perfect. I do not really care for this brand. The white does not go on nice. The Purple is really pretty, but does not last long and peels easily. I like the shine that the clear top coat leaves, but it peels right off leaving a matte look.

Rue 21. I love this brand. The polish goes on smooth and glossy.

Pure Ice. I like to use this brand as a coat on top of another brand. It is too transparent by itself.

Nail Lacquer. I do not like it at all. It is very gooey and peels right of after it dries.

Avon Nail Wear Pro. It only lasts a day, not even a full 24 hours. It is nice when it is first applied.

New York & Company. It is very thin but goes on well.

Parisian. This is not a good quality of nail polish. It is very gooey and sticky.

When I want my nails really decorated, I use nail stickers. I prefer Claire’s Cosmetic brand. They are really easy to put on. They last for at least a week.

Sometimes removing fingernail polish can be a challenge. I use 100% Acetone, and it comes right off. I also like Claire’s Cosmetics nail polish remover pads.

Other tips…

  1. Paint one hand at a time. Allow one hand to fully dry before painting the other. If you don’t, there is a strong possibility that you will mess up the first hand.
  2. Use a top clear coat. This will leave you with a smooth finish and your nails will last longer.
  3. Paint in thin layers. Use thinner coats rather than thicker ones for a better result.

What is your favorite brand of nail polish? Which colors work best for you?

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Stop Biting Your Nails!

If there is one feeling that sucks a lot when it comes to dealing with natural hair, one that I know too well is the feeling of your hair snagging in your nails. As an ex-chronic nail biter, my hair strands would always get caught in my scraggly nails and sometimes it would hurt. If I knew how much of hair broke due to my horrid nail-biting habit, I would probably pass out!

For all my nail bitters, I know that quitting can be a gruesome task that is easier said than done. However, if you are truly committed to taking care of your hair, you are going to have to figure our a way to stop biting your nails!  When I decided I wanted to stop biting my nails, I made an effort to start doing my nails on a weekly basis. I would keep them nice and manicured because seeing them nice diverted me from biting them. I also started drinking a lot of water and rubbing coconut oil on my cuticles. I also carried gum in my bag so if I was ever tempted to bite my nails, I’d chew on it instead!

There are a variety of other things you can also do such as using an anti-biting nail polish or finding hobbies to keep your hands busy but I knew that my nail biting was linked to my nerves and stress. With that realization, I was able to train myself to do other things so I was no longer triggered to biting my nails. Finding out what triggers your nail biting will help you greatly as you fight to stop biting your nails. Your nails will look good and your hair will thank you!

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12 Lipsticks That You Absolutely Need In Your Lipstick Collection

Anybody that knows me knows that if there’s anything I’m more passionate about than my hair, it is LIPSTICK. I love lipstick and I admit that my obsession with it is a little unhealthy, but that’s all the more reason why I thought I would share some of my fave lipsticks with you all 🙂

P.S. – these lippies aren’t listed in any particular order at all

1) RiRi Woo/Ruby Woo (Mac Cosmetics / $16) –  because everybody needs a classic matte red with blue undertones in their collection. RiRi Woo was apart of a limited edition collection that Mac launched with Rihanna (whose birthday is today, happy birthday Queen RiRi)! Although RiRi Woo isn’t available on Mac’s website anymore, you can get it on sites like eBay or Amazon for just a little more than the original retail price. Unlike RiRi Woo, Ruby Woo is a part of Mac’s permanent collection so it will always be there when you’re ready to rock some lovely red lips.

2) Heroine (Mac Cosmetics / $16) – because everybody needs a true purple in their lipstick collection! I’m quite sure everyone and their mama has this color, but it’s one of my absolute favorites. If you’re familiar with Mac and their collection some of their matte lipsticks can be extremely dry, but Heroine is the correct amount of matte (if that’s even a thing).

3) Smoked Purple (Mac Cosmetics / $16) – because if you’re into dark, bold lip colors this is the lip for you! Smoked purple is a deep eggplant purple, and it’s matte, which I think makes it that much better of a lipstick.

4) Pervette (Mac Cosmetics / $16) – because if you’re looking for a subtle lipstick with slight color this is the lipstick just for you! Pervette is a soft bright pink with violent opalescent shimmer so it gives you the perfect amount of color for days when you would like to be a little more subtle. Also, unlike the previous colors listed Pervette has a glaze finish so it doesn’t leave your lips feeling extremely dry.

5) 3 Witches (Pretty Zombie Cosmetics / $12) – because similar to Heroine, everyone needs a popping purple lippie (or 2) in their collection. I love 3 Witches so much because it’s a lip paint, also known as a liquid lipstick. Liquid lipsticks typically ensure that you won’t have to reapply your lipstick all day. Besides being a really great liquid lipstick, 3 witches is just really vibrant and it’s definitely an eye catcher.

6) After Midnight (Manic Panic / $12) – because everybody needs an electric blue lipstick. Initially electric blue lipstick sounds like a bit much, but I think it might be one of my best purchases. I normally pair it with a darker lip liner and it looks amazing.

7) Black Sesame (NYX Cosmetics / $6) – because gray is the new black. Yes, that’s right a gray lipstick! It’s apart of NYX’s macaroon lipstick collection, which is full of a bunch of vibrant colors. I usually pair it with a black liner to create an ombre look. I think it’s definitely a good change from the traditional lipstick colors.

8) Flat Out Fabulous (Mac Cosmetics / $16) – because everybody should look pretty in pink. I’m not really a fan of pink lipstick. I have always been more of a purple girl, but this shade of pink is absolutely amazing. It’s also a retro matte which makes it an even bolder, daring color.

9) Sin (Mac Cosmetics / $16) – because everybody needs a classic burgundy lipstick. I think Mac named this color Sin because it should be a sin for a lipstick to look this amazing. It’s the perfect shade for when you want to go out and get all dolled up, or even if you’re just like me and you appreciate a great lipstick color.

10) Maison (NYX Cosmetics / $16) – because every brown girl needs a beautiful brown lipstick to match her. I spent quite a bit of time searching for the perfect brown lipstick and I was like a kid in a candy store when I came across NYX’s Maison. It’s ultra matte finish makes it that much more of a personal favorite.

11) Ghoulish (LA Splash Cosmetics / $12 ) – because everybody needs the perfect nude. Just like 3 Witches Ghoulish is a liquid lipstick, and it stays on pretty much all day. It’s the perfect lip color for those days when you’re going for a subtle, natural look.

12) Chinchilla ( LimeCrime Cosmetics / $18) – because I had to end this list with one of the prettiest purple lipsticks ever. First of all, I’m in love with this lipstick simply because the casing is so cute. The case itself is purple and it has an unicorn on it, could it get any cuter than that? But back to the color, it’s an opaque lavenderish purple, so it’s super pigmented and creamy. I typically pair it with a dark purple liner and it creates the perfect purple ombre lip look.

That’s all folks, so I hope my list inspires you to go out and buy a new lippie or two!

Mwah!

 

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Makeup: How to Get Away With the Minimum

Makeup takes time. I have the patience to do my hair, but I do not have as much patience to do my makeup, so I have to settle for doing the minimum. Although I have always been around people who wake up every morning and apply a full face of makeup, I have never been a big fan of it. I really just started getting into makeup over the last six months because I felt as if I wanted to try something different with my appearance. Well, I have learned and still learning by experimenting. I have watched a few tutorials, but they didn’t help much because they are too advanced, and I am just beginning. I have decided to settle with doing the least with my makeup because of the time it takes and my lack of skill with it. I understand that you may be experiencing the same things so I am going to share my makeup routine and what I have learned through trial and error.

I use e.l.f., Mary Kay, Covergirl, and Claire’s. My routine goes as follows:

  1. Apply primer. At first I did not use primer, but it helps with the smoothness of the foundation. I use e.l.f.’s mineral face primer. I use just enough to cover my face.
  2. Apply foundation. I have two foundations, which are from the Covergirl Queen Collection and Mary Kay. They are both great foundations, but I tend to wear the Mary Kay more because it feels lighter and oxidizes with my skin tone. A little goes a long way with the Mary Kay as well. I did not like wearing the liquid foundation at first because I would touch my face and it would get everywhere. I started applying less of it and it helped.
  3. Apply cheek color. I do this step sometimes to add a little more definition to my face, but it depends on my mood and my effort level. I use Mary Kay. I usually use a darker tone.
  4. Apply eye shadow. I use Claire’s and e.l.f.’s eye shadow. I usually blend light and dark brown together. I hardly use any color because I like my makeup to be very subtle. I have not had any problems with any brand of eye shadow. Eye shadow is eye shadow to me.
  5. Apply mascara. This is my favorite step. I always put on mascara even if I don’t do steps 1-4. It makes my eyes pop. I coat my lashes at least three times to help elongate them.
  6. Set your makeup. I use e.l.f.’s makeup mist and set spray. This enhances the look of my makeup.

There is obviously more to makeup than these six steps. Not being a makeup fanatic, this is how I get away with the minimum by doing the basics. However, my makeup collection is huge, even though I only use a select few out of it. I will be sticking with the basics for a while. If I ever decide to go all out with my makeup, I will let a professional hook me up.

How do you get away with doing the minimum? What products do you use?

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“Why don’t you comb your hair?”

I love big, wild, curly hair. I always have. Watching old(er) school actresses like Tia and Tamera Mowry from Sister, Sister and Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends was probably a big part of that. But, it was not until recently that I found the courage to wear my hair that way. Up until a short time ago, I thought the only way to wear my texture hair was in a slicked back bun or in two-strand twists. Even though these women were a part of what I saw often on TV, I never thought that my hair was “pretty” enough to be let down like that. In my mind, those styles were for the mixed girls with “prettier” hair.
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It was not until my final year in high school when I started my hair journey that I was able to let go and let it out. I had been researching a great deal on natural hair; how to care for it and how our hair differs from other textures. I was also looking at different twist out and braid out techniques and saw how beautifully some of them came out. It was a couple months before I finally decided to try one.
I prepped my hair over night: moisturizing and sealing and meticulously placing the hair in chiney bumps (or bantu knots as Americans call them). Then, I took it down in the morning. It did not come out exactly how I wanted it to, but I worked with it and wore it to church. The whole time I was walking on the road and sitting in church I felt incredibly self conscious, like everyone was staring at me (mostly because they were).
At the time, the natural hair movement had not really hit my section of Jamaica yet. Many persons still believed that you either had relaxed straight hair, or you control your natural hair so it looks relaxed. I was one of the first girls in my town who did not have loose, silky ringlets to dare to wear my hair out.
After church, one of the older ladies took me aside and asked me “Why didn’t you comb your hair before you came to church?” My face fell. I was already self conscious and this lady was not helping at all. I mumbled some lame response about trying something new and scuffled away.
All I could think was “I spent hours on this hairstyle, it is combed!” I was genuinely hurt. I had gotten a few complements throughout the day about how thick and nice my hair was, but this was the only one I remembered. As much as it hurt my 18 year old self esteem, I did not try to tie my hair up to make it look more “presentable”.
For the rest of high school, I tried different protective hairstyles that I found on YouTube and more than once persons who asked me “You couldn’t comb yuh hair?” To be honest, my first tries at many styles were not too hot, sometimes they would come out frizzy or lopsided, but I was trying. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it and I felt more confident. It was worth it though, because the moisture and the new found care I had with my hair had it growing longer than it ever was before.
When I got to college, I realized that there were so many other naturals wearing their hair out and wild and I loved it. I was able to accept that my hair is beautiful and now I wear my hair out more often than not. Every now and again there is a noob that asks me why I don’t comb my hair, but now it does not even affect me. I love my wild mane way too much for that.

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A Love Song To Our Hair


So today I came across this dope music video while scrolling down my Facebook timeline. It’s called Natural Curly Hair by Benjy Cinco ft Rome D’Carlo. A Facebook friend from my fellowship program posted it because she is one of the natural haired beauties featured. Already winning points for the Bonita Applebum sample, Natural Curly Hair is a summery ode to natural hair and the beauty of black women. It provided good vibes and got me to thinking if there are any other cool songs that cerebrate our natural hair and beauty. After a little research I found a few songs that will give you hope when your naps just won’t do right and your jar of coconut oil isn’t enuf. Press play and enjoy : ).

I Dont Care (About My Frizzy Hair)- Shameless Maya & Friends

I Love My Hair- Sesame Street

Flawless-Beyonce

Beautiful Skin- Goodie M.O.B

Electric Lady- Janelle Monae

Natural- Arrested Development

The Makings of You- Terrace Martin ft. Overdoz & Kurrupt

Fallin’- Pac Div

As a bonus heres a link to a mixtape all about natural hair. What songs make you fall in love with your naps all over again?