Thursday, September 29, 2011

MAC MatchMaster Foundation Review


Those are not crumbs on my table, that is a scratch, ok!  Toddlers boy, I tell ya!
So I went to the MAC counter last week to knock a few items off my "Beauty List".  Let me just say:  I'm not usually into buying from collections but it took everything in my power not to touch that StyleDriven collection, do you hear me? I'll be making a trip back to MAC very soon after I make sense of the things that I actually need.


Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Time for Tights: The Ettiquette (Rant)


Last year, I ventured further into the world of dresses & tights and actually wore some.  Big whoop, right?  Well, to me, that was a big deal stepping out of my comfort zone.  Dresses and tights were two things that I hated wearing the most.  Dresses were dumb and tights were pure torture.  Back in the day, tights were itchy & constricting; either the waistbands squeezed too tight or they rolled down which annoyed me more than anything else.  And let's not even talk about the tights that start off fitted and by midday you're stuck at work with the unsightly saggy knee.  The absolute worst.

On a whim last year, Chief purchased for me a pair of black tights and I'm not sure what possessed him to do it but he said they caught his eye and he'd like to see me in them (of course he would).  I tried on the tights and looked at myself in the mirror--figure flattering, nice!  Upon further wear I realized tights have changed since my days of loathing and now they're comfortable, non-itchy and super sexy.

And since jumping on the tights bandwagon, I've realized there is a certain protocol that must be followed in order to pull off the look. Before I start going off, I'll disclaim by saying that I know there are no absolute rules to fashion.  But some of these people walking around on these streets...they just kill my nerves because they are ruining a trend that I've fallen in love with.  I'm going to speak on it.

I try to keep a positive tone around here but damnit here it goes...

Tights Worn as Pants
·    Most leggings, even what you think would be the most opaque, give a peek of what’s underneath.  In certain lighting situations your goodies can and will be seen.  No one but some pervert wants to see butt cheek and thigh when you bend.
·   Tights were made to hug your body meaning it will accentuate your curves and thus, accentuate your cervices showing everything you’ve got. I don’t want to see your cooch or your “V”.

Take Heed:  Tights are best when worn with tunics, dresses & skirts.  Your bum and--as my Panamanian fam says--your "poom-poom" should be covered--no exceptions.

Panty Lines
·   I don’t think anything needs to be said here -- so not attractive.

Take Heed: Wear a pair of "barely there" or even better, a thong.

Neon is a No-No
·    Though we’re all aware that fashion history tends to repeat itself, some things should be left in the past where they belong.  Let’s leave the neon tights to the Olivia Newton John & Jane Fonda workout tapes of yesteryear.
Take Heed: Though black is better, it’s ok to venture into cool designs and color as long as the tones are not offensively bright.

So with that said about how not to wear tights, I'll close by saying that I love tights just like the next girl.  They're fun, sexy and they add a little more umph to certain outfits.  But please, let's wear them with care.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thinking of You...

It's been almost two weeks since I last posted and possibly, you're wondering about where I've been and what I'm doing.  I suppose the more appropriate question would be "what haven't I been doing?"

The days have been full and passing by so quickly that until today, I hadn't even realized it had been this long. I've been taking lots of pictures for you, however, and drafting lots of posts with you in mind.  I've been anxious for the chance to sit down and talk write to you but the time just got away.

Here's a run-down of what your girl's been up to:

1. Remember how I shared with you that I'm am excellent cook but a horrible baker? Yeah well, I've been thinking lately about how in another year MJ will be starting school and ever since I had him, I've longed to be one of those bake-sale moms (Do they still have those or is my brain trapped in the days of my own school-years?)  I've been trying my hand at baking and each time so far has been a fail but I'm going to keep trying.

2.  Chief and I went to the Buffalo Bills homeopener game this past weekend and had an absolute blast.  There was beer & cheer all around, lots of food and a little bit of puke.  Nobody we know but the offender was a footstep away, yuck.  During the tailgate I ate far more than I should have but ask me do I regret it. Nah.

3. I went on a clothing & beauty shopping spree to gear up for the cooler months as fall will have officially arrived in two days. *cheer*  I can't wait to unwrap my goodies and put them away. I'm still not finished though :-)

4. Chief and I started the second half of our pre-marital classes two weeks ago and already it's been even more eye opening than our first set of sessions.  I'm learning that in marriage you will need the grace of God to be with you  at all times along with his rod and his staff.  Ha ha!  No, but really, love is such a beautiful thing and I'm learning so much.

5. I altered my first item of clothing of many to come.  It was a sweater that I loved but there was one elements about the sweater that I hated at the same time--so I changed it.  I think I actually made the sweater better by making that one adjustment. I'll share later, of course.

In other news:

I am pleased to announce that I'm planning a few giveaways for my wonderful blog subscribers. You all just don't know how much your kindness and thoughtfulness has meant to me.  The people I've met in real life already and the people that I've become e-friends with and even those quick passersby--I really appreciate you, your presence here with me and the thoughts you've shared.  I was SUPPOSED to do a giveaway when I reached 100 subbies and also when my blog turned one but...#FAIL. They are in the works now though so stay tuned! So much love, Vee.


A question for you, my lovlies: What is it that you'd like to see more of on this blog? What are your favorite elements of my blog? What can be improved? Your feedback is much appreciated.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/2001

Ten year ago today,  I was out of class and on my way to work listening to my usual radio program.  While listening, I learned that there was a plane that had crash into the Pentagon as well as the WTC.  At first, I thought it was prank because I just "knew" that nothing like that could ever happen in my hometown.  When I arrived at work, my coworkers were glued to the television.  We stood there awe-stricken and devastated by what we saw.  It was absolutely horrific. I'll never forget it.  Never. 

3,051 Children Lost A Parent .
2,819 Lives Were Taken .
1,609 Lost A Husband Or Wife .
623 Police & Fire Men Did Not Go Home .
1 Day Changed The World .
Take 1 min. To Re-Post This For The Lives Lost
9/11

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Protective Style Week 6: Textured Banana Bun w/ Slanted Pomp


Look into a day in the life of Veronica and you'll immediately see there are two things are for certain: #1 I'm a busy & dedicated mom and #2 I still want to look cute but simply don't have time to fuss over my hair.  Creating quick, cute and easy protective styles during this PS challenge has certainly proved to be, well, a challenge.

On the weeks that I haven't uttered a word about what protective style I'm wearing, it's usually the simple roll, tuck & pin.  This style has served to be the default style when time is not on my side.  However, I don't find that particular style all that cute on me to do it repeatedly.  It's merely a means of getting by and I was sick of it so I started on a mission to figure out other styles that were cuter and also took little time to create.  For week 6 of the protective style challenge, here's what I came up with.

Here's how I created the style (with a bit of foolishness at the end lol.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Natural Beauty



[sourced from tumblr]
 When my hair grows up, it wants to be like this.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Product Review: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Product Description:
The elements of earth, wind, fire and water represent a unique combination of certified organic botanicals and incredible style.  Soft and smooth, sexy and sultry. It's how you feel when you have silk against your skin. Now imagine that same feel in your hair. Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo has a pearlized formula that glistens in your hand and transforms your hair into a silky palette that's ready for anything. Lather and glow with the flow that begins your style. Smooth As Silk Shampoo wears beautifully on you.

Product Claims: 
Luxurious lather soothes dry, chemically processed hair
Cleanses gently for manageable smoothness
Calms unruly hair to alleviate frizz
Increases shine while smoothing dry or damaged hair

My Experience:
With the natural hair world--to include myself-- raving on about Giovanni products, I thought I'd found a complete brand that did everything for my hair.  I'd gone through Giovanni 50/50 shampoo and conditioner--love.  Giovanni Direct Leave-in--keeper.  Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo & conditioner-- holy grail.  So when it came to trying the Giovanni Smooth As Silk range, I was excited to finally try it out but was left with more than a feeling of disappointment.

Needless to say, this bottle has been living under my bathroom sink for well over 6 months and I've only made it a 1/4 of the way through the product.  This past weekend, I decided to give it one more shot but there was no change in results.  Each time I used the shampoo my hair looked frizzy & lifeless and felt like hay.  When I'd follow with the conditioner it only served to exacerbate the problem by turning my hair into a huge frizzy afro.  Usually my hair lays loose and heavy when soaked with product but it was almost as if my hair was in shock trying to run from the product by standing up straight and acting out.

Upon my initial use, I surmised that possibly it was the protein in the conditioner. However, in my experience, my hair thrives on protein-laden products especially now that my hair is color treated.  I'm not sure why this range didn't work for my hair but many other naturals love it.  It did nothing for my hair but cleanse it while the mark was missed where "smooth", "silky" and moisturized were concerned.
The scent was pleasant and not overly perfumey but with the product description being as seductive as it is, I just knew these would work.  Instead of being left with soft, silky curls and tamed frizz, I had an astronomical amount in the opposite. My hair was less than silky, it felt stripped and dry. I'll stick with the Tea Tree & 50/50 ranges from now on.

Price & Rating:
$9.99 (Target)
$8.98 (Walmart)
For 8.5oz --a little goes a long way.
1 out of 5 stars

Ingredients:
(shampoo)
Aqua (water), sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, cocamide MEA, cocamidopropyl betaine, *chamomilla recutita (matricaria) leaf extract, *citrus aurantium dulcis (valencia orange) extract, *citrus grandis (grapefruit) extract, *cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass) extract, *echinacea purpurea extract, * ginkgo biloba extract, *glycine soja (soybean) seed extract, *lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, *macrocystis pyrifera (sea kelp) extract, *mangifera indica (mango) extract, *salix alba (willow bark), sodium chloride, acrylates copolymer, glycol distearate, amodimethicone, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, decyl glucoside, ethylhexylglycerin, disteareth-75 IPDI, C11-15 pareth-7, citric acid, laureth 9, glycerin, trideceth-12, phenoxyethanol, natural fragrance

(conditioner)
Aqua (Purified Water) with *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Valencia Orange) Extract, *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Extract, *Cymbopogon Schoeanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Extract, *Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, *Salix Alba (Willow Bark), *Macrocystis Pyrifera (Sea Kelp) Extract, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, *Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Extract, *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Centrimonium Bromide, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Includes Essential Oils)

* signifies Certified Organic ingredient
No animal by-products and cruelty free.
These product does not contain:
Sulfates

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Caring for Colored Curls


Already, proper hair care is paramount for non-color treated hair.  If you decide to color your hair, it's even more crucial to commit yourself to a hair care regimen tailored to colored curls.  As with any hair type, chemical hair dyes can be taxing on natural tresses so before any dye service is performed, it's imperative that the hair is in its most healthy state possible. Ends should be in good condition (no splits or knots) and the hair overall should have a proper balance of protein and moisture. 

If you're experiencing any issues with your hair (shedding, breakage, dryness, etc.) you shouldn't attempt permanent color as it could only serve to turn a mild issue into something severe.  I repeat, permanent color is drying to the hair thus intensive moisturizing and deep conditioning is required thereafter.

Sulfates, Mineral Oil & Petroletum

Sulfates not only have the potential to exacerbate problems with dryness but as well can fade your color causing it to look dull and lifeless.  Mineral oils and petroletum coat the hair shaft contributing to dryness as it keeps moisture from being able to penetrate the hair shaft. This is especially bad for those with porous hair as it's already harder to retain moisture.  It's best to either stay away from products containing these ingredients or strictly limit their use.

Deep Conditioning

Routine deep conditioning  and alternating between a restorative conditioner and a moisturizing conditioner will bring chemically dyed hair back to life.  Colored curls will greatly benefit from deep conditioning sessions each time you wash.  Skipping sessions can ultimately be detrimental to the hair as deep conditioning will help replenish moisture to brittle hair and make detangling easier while preventing split ends.
Great Deep Conditioners
Organic Roots Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner
Pantene Curly Hair Deep Moisturizing Treatment.
Curls Curl Ecstacy Hair Tea Deep Conditioner

Moisturize & Protect

Not properly moisturizing is one of the biggest colored curl pitfalls.  Dry curls are more suseptible to tangles, knotting and breakage.  Chemical hair dye weakens the hair shafter but regular moisturizing, conditioning and occassianal protein treatments can help to strengthen the hair and make it more pliable.

In order to keep your colored coils in tact, spritz it with water and apply a water-based moisturizer every 1 to 3 days depending on your hair's needs.  If your hair feels like it's lacking moisture or beginning to knot and tangle, it's definitely time to moisturize.  If you moisturize with a product as opposed to plain old water be sure that the moisturizer is water-based.

Wrap your hair up at night with a satin/silk scarf or cover it with a bonnet.  If you choose to wear a bonnet be sure that the elastic is covered with the same satin/silk fabric as your bonnet and is not exposed. The exposed elastic can cause friction around the hair line and thin your edges.  Be sure that the bonnet does not fit too snug.

Also, consider switching to a satin pillowcase in the event that your bonnet or scarf slips off during the night (it's happened to me many times).  Cotton pillowcases will suck the moisture right of your hair and can even cause breakage and split ends.
Great Moisturizers
Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-in
Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In
Giovanni Direct Leave-in

Can Heat Applances Be Used After Color?

Many say not to use heat and have completely sworn it off after going natural and especially after coloring their curls.  I, for one, beg to differ.  I've had bleach blonde highlights and every shade of red you can imagine on relaxed hair and I've bleached, colored and henna's my natural hair all without adverse effects.  I've even used heat styling methods at least once every two weeks at some points in my relaxed & natural hair journey with no issues with dryness or breakage.  It can all be done but caution & proper care thereafter must be execised.

If you're not willing to commit to an effective healthy hair care regimen that caters to your colored curls, don't color it or you'll regret it.


Coloring Rules of Thumb
1. Never subject your hair to more than two processes at any one time. It's very damaging and will result in dried out hair, excessive shedding and breakage.

2. If your hair is dark, don't try to go platinum in a single application.  You'll end up with brassy color which no one wants.  If you plan on lightening your hair color more than 3 levels, you should plan to do it over a period of time. 

3. Never, never skip a deep conditioning treatment.  Every time you wash, you should also deep condition and apply protein treatments on a quarterly basis.

{images sourced from google}