Beauty Review: Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque by 7th Heaven (formerly Montagne Jeunesse)

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Before launching into the product review, I should introduce you to my skin. Make-up artists love it, but they are not on the battlefield everyday.

All skin is NOT created equal. I learned that little nugget through trial and error (mostly error). Over washing, under washing, Ceptaphil, Proactive, Noxzema, Ambi, prescribed topical treatments… I did and tried it all.

My face is basically a oil refinery, in 24 hours it produces enough oil to fill a large tanker truck. As if managing oily skin is not a feat in itself, my skin has the nerve to be sensitive too.

Moving on to the masque… I washed my face, patted it dry with a towel, then applied the masque. Twenty minutes later I removed it to reveal a super clean face. I typically use toner morning and night, but I already felt my pores breathing, so I skipped it to prevent over drying. I finished with moisturizer.

While this product worked favorably for me, remember that all skin is NOT created equal. I did not experience irritation, so I would try this product again. This review is based on a single use. The 7th Heaven (formerly Montagne Jeunesse) peel off masque fell into my lap courtesy of Influenster.

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Scent: Fresh and natural

Consistency: Similar to aloe vera

Application: Easy, but messy due to consistency

Removal: Easy peasy, like peeling off Elmer’s glue

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner

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Youtube vlogger Naptural85 mentioned Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle conditioner as one of her favorites and I stored it in my memory bank.

One product at a time, that’s how I roll. As a self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder sufferer, I dislike overcrowding. Minimal products equal more organization. When a product is finished, I add another.

A few weeks ago, two product spaces became available. During my weekly standing date with Trader Joe’s, I grabbed the tea tree tingle shampoo and conditioner.

If you follow me regularly, you know that I have recently been battling dandruff. Tea tree oil acts as an anti-fungal that terminates the bacteria causing the over production of the skin cells, which creates dandruff. Tea tree shampoo and conditioner sound like a winning situation for dandruff infested scalps, right?

Trader Joe’s boasts that, “the shampoo adeptly cleans away residue from styling products; and the conditioner smoothes your hair and helps repair damage from sun and heat.” I put the products to the test.

For three weeks I washed and conditioned with the pair. The shampoo wiped out product residue, and cleansed my scalp. It left my scalp feeling dandruff-free and squeaky clean, but my hair felt dry.

I followed with the tea tree tingle conditioner. I used a generous amount of conditioner as I finger-detangled my mane in four sections. After detangling while in the shower, I placed a plastic cap over my hair to allow extra conditioning as I cleansed my body.

Before stepping out of the shower I rinsed out the conditioner. Yes! I see why it’s one of Naptural85’s favorites. The conditioner added the much-needed stripped moisture back to my stands. Below are photos of my naked curls after drying with a t-shirt. I added zero products.

If you’re curious, the ($3.99 each) price is totally worth trying the products made with natural ingredients we can identify. I will use the shampoo for deep cleaning, not for weekly shampooing.
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Devachan Salon seemed great until my curls…

IMG_9259Sitting under the dryer

I paid Devachan Salon Culver City a visit to cash in on the Free Wash & Curl Set certificate (see below) I received months ago. Devachan washes, conditions, detangles and styles curls using its products.

Few people are allowed to touch my hair, but I decided to take one for the team and try Devachan. The possibility of hair damage seemed very slim considering the salon is all for finger detangling and anti-combs.

Upon entering, the front desk greeted me, offered a robe (in exchange for my jacket) and a glass of H2O. My stylists Stacia soon retrieved me from the waiting area. I relaxed at the wash bowl as she carefully (in tiny sections) finger detangled my hair while explaining the process and products she used in my hair.

After we finished at the princess-like canopy covered wash bowl, we went back to her chair. We previously decided to set my curls in a basic fro. I’m growing out a tapered cut from last year, so my hair is different lengths. The week before my Devachan visit ‘The Natural Hair Whisperer’ Felicia Leatherwood trimmed my ends and they were on point.

While Stacia checked on her other client who had been under the dryer, I snapped a few photos and posted one to Instagram with the caption “So far, so great”.

When Stacia returned, she placed a few metal clips in my hair to add volume while my hair dried. I appreciated that she asked which heat settings I preferred. We went with warm heat and high speed. Everything seemed great until my curls were stiff/crunchy (not fluffy) and my hair looked like blah!

I asked for more volume, so Stacia rubbed the pomade-like DevaCurl Set Up & Above near my roots. That method is not ideal for my curls. Upon further inspection there were dried white product clumps throughout my hair.

Where did we go wrong? I feel that the Devachan method did not prepare her for the variables of my kinky curls and cut combination.

Check out how I style my own curls on the kinkycurlsLA Facebook page or Youtube. I am not formally trained, but I may have been a hair stylist in my past life.

photoWash & Curl Set Certificate and Deva Curl Trial+Travel Kit Plus

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IMG_9263Devachan resultsIMG_9264Devachan results

Being A Boss In Menswear-Inspired Shoes

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“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.” -Marilyn Monroe

Boss is the first word that comes to mind when I slide my feet in these menswear-inspired loafers. I kick ass and take names. Do I feel this way because I can work in them all day without worrying about my feet hurting? Not sure, but  the average flats do not have the same effect. The surge of power is cray… I feel as if I can conquer the world in them while wearing a Pampers Swaddler and Gerber onesie.

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Running the Manhattan Beach 10K again

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Runners take your mark! Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one… Go!!! I’m doing great, pacing myself, and staying in front of the grandmas and grandpas. Yes! After about 1.5 miles I slow down, oopsie. My failure to train kicked in.

 If you remember, the 2012 MB10K was my first race ever. I trained for four weeks that year and walked (7.2 miles) to work once a week. I proudly crossed the finish line in 1:14:04 (74 mins 4 secs), but planned to do it in 60 minutes the next year (2013).

So here were are, back at the 2013 MB10K and my pace has slowed. People are passing me, too many people. Oh no! I start running again, but soon after I take another walk break. I find no joy in running, I like the challenge and the results.

Two weeks before the 2013 race, my end time goal went from 60 minutes to just beating my 2012 time. People on the sidelines were really cheering us in about 2 miles from the finish line. “You can do it! You’re almost there!” and then I heard “These are the slow runners”. I picked up my pace and anxiously crossed the finish line in 1:13:25 (73 mins 25 sec).

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Sophisticated Box Braid Updo (Bunning it up)

Braids have been in heavy rotation, because I decided to grow my tapered cut out (I want my hair back!).  Awkwardness of the awkward-length stage is more awkward when your hair is uneven, so braids have been my crutch.

Growing up, I believed that braids were not appropriate for sophisticated occasions, but it’s all in how you style them.  I attended a few events that required a fancy upgrade from the basic everyday top bun I wore.

The video above by Jennifer Olaleye inspired the braided bun i’m rocking below on the left. I added my own twist to the style by crossing a few braids from each side and clamping them with a thin metal barrette. Instead of wrapping the ponytail with hair (as shown in the tutorial), I used a hair tie for a more secure ponytail. I also used a rubber band to secure the final bun and a few bobby pins to hold the bun in place. Pictured on the right is an alternative to the braided bun, I created a regular bun by wrapping the hair in a circle, then pinned it in place.

Make sure that your braids are not pulling your hair, especially around the edges. Loosen hair as needed to stay alopecia free.

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How Much Should I Tip?

Are you confused about how much you should tip? Here’s a quick cheat sheet.

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I Reached Two Milestones This Week. It’s a Celebration!!!

happybirthday2Tuesday marked 1 year since the birth of kinkycurlsLA.com, yay (see the first post here)!!! And… Wednesday marked my 2 year naturalversary (see 1 year naturalversary post here)! It’s a celebration, I want a cupcake.

This journey has been awesome and I’ve learned so much. Kinkycurlsla will continue to evolve and improve as I grow and figure out how to better serve you guys. I appreciate you all. Thank you for your support! Please feel comfortable enough to share your opinions, content requests, and ask questions.

As for the hair… If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I cut my hair on August 31. I will reveal the reasons for the cut in a Youtube video on Monday.

Have a great weekend! Take a shot for me. xoxo