Category Archives: Hair

♥ | Shea Moisture: Curl Enhancing Smoothie [Natural Hair Product Review]

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Big Chop Jul 2012

Ever since going natural the last week of July 2012, I’ve spent the past 10 months discovering the quirks of my hair, the coils, and what my products my hair loves and hates. That moment when I first did the “big chop” I figured I’d have a lot of time to do the wash and go without worrying about too much product, but since (considering the growth) I realized that I need to find a good regime that works for me. And I have!

I’m not really an active member of the natural hair community, ya know all those bloggers and Youtubers that seem to only talk about their hair. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very helpful, but exhausting after awhile. But I digress. My point is, every now and then I’ll have a comment on products and like to share. For me, being natural is not apart of this big “movement.” I just got tired of perming my hair and styling it, so I cut it off. Simple, no biggie. So with that being in mind, here are my brief thoughts on Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

My Um…Regime?

Normally I’d co-wash (or just wet it,) then apply some random olive oil leave-in conditioner, and top it off with Jamaican Black Castor Oil. But I found that my hair was having issues retaining moisture throughout the day. The olive oil leave-in wasn’t getting the job done, so after several hours of research and spending a good hour at Sally’s, I decided to finally give Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie a shot. And guess what? It actually works!

lengthcheck
Right out the shower, no product in hair. Length check!

My hair type is really coily and I have a lot of shrinkage, which explains why you can’t see most of my length. With that being said, I needed a product that could enhance my coils, keep them soft without frizz, and just hold in the moisture all day. And Shea’s Moisture’s products (especially the shampoo) tend to do that, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

Work It Through Ya Hair

Not only does the Curl Enhancing Smoothie keep my hair nice and soft all day, but it smells pretty good and it’s packed with some organic ingredients that are beneficial to the naturally inclined.

Here are a few benefits of Shea Moisture: Curl Enhancing Smoothie

  • Coconut oil: Hydrates and protects hair from heat and chemical damage
  • Silk protein: Reduces breakage, strengthens hair, adds smoothness and silkiness
  • Neem oil: An age-old ayurvedic oil that strengthens hair and provides brilliant shine
  • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, or animal ingredients

Style Time!

 

So, my final thoughts? It’s a great product that is affordable and worth giving a shot. I’m a big fan of the Shea Moisture product line, so next time I go to Sally’s I might even check out some of their other products. Feel free to share your thoughts and regime below. Has it worked for you? :)

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Afros x Curls | My Second Time-Around Going “Natural”

In 2009 I made the decision to go natural, but due to my impatient personality and moments of “identity crisis,” I decided to rekindle my addiction to the creamy crack — the relaxer (perm.)

I regularly relaxed my hair up until July 2012, but one day before taking a trip to NYC, I decided it was time to cut my hair off. I just got tired of all the work it took to keep it straight, and I briefly “dated” this guy who always made me feel bad because I didn’t go and get my hair “done.” Over and over again, he always reminded me that I’d look good if I got a weave or my hair cut into a fancy style (which would of course wash out the moment I worked out.) Well, he’d look better if he lost 75lbs…but I didn’t make him feel bad about it, but he just wouldn’t shut up about my hair. SMH.

Big Chop to Now
Big Chop to Now

So, fueled by my irritation of his constant rants on what makes a Black woman beautiful (weaves and long hair, in his opinion,) I made the decision to no longer feel like I had to wear my hair that way.

I cut it. I had my mom just chop it all off. I told her it was the last time I’d ever have to force those scissors into her hands and beg her (even though she was willing) to help me make the transformation.

I made my first big chop in 2009, so July 2012 was the last time I’d have to say “I’m Going Natural.” Since then, I’ve been “natural.” I put it into quotation marks because I’m not 100% natural, considering the purple/red tint to my hair. But as far as the texture of my hair; as natural as it gets.

Even now and then I’ll rock a fro on my Black Power days. I get into an Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) mood and just love having a 70s vibe. I even had a guy tell me, “You’ve got a 1970s beauty.” Wow, such a cool compliment! He then preceded to tell me that I reminded him of a Black Hippie…yet another compliment I gladly welcomed. :) I love having different looks that I play around with. And the beauty of it is that I’m just doing me. I’m not even sitting their knocking girls who wear weaves, wigs, or their hair straight. Werk it and be fabulous! It’s just not for me…and you know, that’s okay.

curls

I’m always on the hunt for new styles as my hair grows. Rock the fro, don’t rock the fro. It changes. Other days you’ll find me playing with my curls. Ihave a lot of shrinkage, so my strands are tightly coiled together, resulting in moments of pulling curls and smiling with excitement as they spring back into their place. I was never able to do that with my straight hair! Twirling my strands where fun, but pulling them and feeling the bounce is even better. :)

As my hair continues to grow, I play around with new products and of course, constantly feeding my natural hair inspiration database. Product wise, I keep my routine simple with Leave-in Conditioner (Motions) and a Gel (using IC Fantasia right now, but want to switch to Eco Styler). 

In need of some natural hair inspiration? Check out my favorite site to visit inspiration: http://ohh-yo-fro.tumblr.com/

Awesomesauce | An Epic Beard Punch

Whew, I’m so glad the weekend is finally here. This week has just been so hectic, and I only have one left week of vacation before classes start up. I have a lot on my plate this semester, but summer session should be a breeze. Hopefully it goes by quick so I can finally graduate college at the end of July and move on with my life.

I’ve just been chilling out trying to relax before classes start, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped my hunt for finding cool things.  Oh, before I forget. Tonight is a new episode of  Saturday Night Live with Charles Barkley, so be sure to tune in. If not, then as usual I will post the funny videos tomorrow morning. Just had to put that reminder in there.

Anyways, so the other day I was perusing a blog I like to read and ran across this video called Beard Punch. When I first saw the still image for the video, I was curious what exactly the video was going to entail. Of course I had an idea it was going to be about a beard and someone being punched, but I had no idea that someone would actually punch the beard off. Crazy, right?!

Its a short hilarious video about this girlfriend coming home and finding that her man still hasn’t shaved his beard. So they have this mini-epic battle, and in the end…well she punches his beard off. Maybe next time he’ll remember to shave. Haha, it’s a mess. His beard actually didn’t like too bad, and I don’t mind a beard on a guy, but I prefer a Rico suave mustache.

Ladies, perhaps you’ve had those moments where you wished your man would just shave his beard off. Well, hopefully you didn’t have to resort to drastic measures and enact an epic beard punch. But apparently sometimes you’ve just got to take matters in your own hands and knock all the hair follicles off someones face.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Less Is More

The other day I watched ten minutes of Ultimate Merger with Toccara. The show and her personality was blah but the hilarious moment was when her foundation rubbed off onto his guy’s white mask. She had them dancing with her wearing white masks and the moment she got close to his face, she pulled away leaving a big brown patch on his mask. Seriously? At what point do you realize you’re doing way too much. Um, a little too much makeup!

I’m always having these conversations with my male friends and guys I go on dates with. I love discussing the topic of natural beauty and how some women are doing way too much. Your beauty starts on the inside and then its outward. If you cake layers of foundation on your face, then how do you expect someone to reach the beauty inside?

Caking on so much makeup can be a distraction from your true beauty. A lot of guys may love looking at those girls that are dolled up 24/7, but actually being close to them comes with so many stipulations. You can’t kiss her cheek because it took her hours applying foundation (exaggerated, but you get the point.) Perhaps you want to run your fingers through her hair, but she just got her tracks tightened and her weave is meant to look flawless; you can look but never touch.

I think it’s hilarious when most Black men are often timid when it comes to the subject of touching a woman’s hair. They usually have to ask first, make sure the territory is safe, then gently touch. I’ve met quite a few men that are often shocked when I say they can play with my hair and do whatever they want. I don’t care, it’s just hair.  Seriously, it’s not the end of the world if a man touches your hair. But if you have tracks, then it probably is a touchy subject( haha, touchy…the irony!) I don’t have tracks, extensions, and I don’t wear a wig. My hair is growing out of my scalp and it’s perfectly okay to touch, no permission needed if we are cuddling or hanging out. It has a lot of different natural colors in it and it’s growing nicely, it’s my hair. I love the feel of a guy running his fingers through my hair, it just feels right, natural….ya know?

I can see why a guy would be reserved when attempting to touch a Black woman’s hair, but the issue of wearing too much makeup is a universal issue. So many women are obsessed with flaunting a flawless and glamorous look 24/7, yet the fact it can easily get smeared or rubbed off is far from “flawless.” I understand wanting look fabulous. But all that foundation and makeup you see on celebrities and models is due to the fact they are in the spotlight. They have to portray this image of being flawless role models, the epitome of beauty.

The women I see on television and fashion advertisements are beautiful, but it’s not something I strive for. I’m just not going to put a lot of time and effort on putting foundation all over my face, blending it to match my complexion, then having to worry about not hugging a guy wearing a white shirt or laying on white sheets. Yet some girls truly live and breathe by their makeup bags. Some girls know how to have balance and make it look natural, but why not just rock a natural look anyway. Let your pores breathe! True beauty should be effortless. A beauty regime shouldn’t be a circus act. Wearing too much makeup can become a nightmare. Who wants to look like Lil Kim? Not a good look and definitely not sexy.

When I wake up in the morning, I take a shower, brush my teeth, and then wash my face. If I’m going out I’ll apply lipstick (if I’m in the mood) and I’ll dab on a little eyeshadow. That’s it, nothing fancy. The most you’ll ever see me in is perhaps a brighter shade of lipstick, but that’s only if I’m in a bright vibe. I’ve tried foundation in the past and didn’t like wearing it. I’d rather have a great skin-care regime and keep my skin soft. If a guy kisses my face, I will feel his soft lips against my smooth skin; there won’t be a layer of foundation blocking the full effect of the kiss. I won’t be a slave to foundation, never!!!!!

Keeping it simple is my makeup motto. I’ve tried to put on a lot in the past, but it doesn’t work. I love the radiance of my natural skin and it brings out my inner beauty. I’ve seen so many makeup tragedies and all I can do is shake my head. A lot of women would be a lot more beautiful if they stopped putting on sooooooo much makeup. There’s nothing wrong with rocking makeup, but ladies, stop going overboard. A man shouldn’t feel like he’s dating a porcelain doll. A man wants a woman to be comfortable around him and let her natural beauty shine. He wants to be able to gently brush your face and leave soft kisses on your cheeks. You should be blushing naturally, not because you put a bunch of blush on your cheekbones.

The natural beauty of being a woman is phenomenal. Every woman has something about her that makes her beautiful, even if one man finds her beautiful and not hundreds. I don’t strive to be a porcelain doll, but a real woman that you can look at and touch. A man shouldn’t be worried about ruining his brand new shirt if I snuggle up close for a hug. He may pretend like it doesn’t bother him, but trust me, it does. A guy loves eye candy but he also wants a woman to feel and look real. She can dress up and look like she just stepped off the runway, but she can also be sexy in some shorts, tank, and flip-flops (I rock that on chill days.) Next time you think about trying to impress a guy, think twice before caking on layers of foundation. Less is more, literally, use less makeup!

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

The Reinvention

I was scrolling through my pictures earlier and ran across this photo to the right. That’s a picture of me attempting to look sexy cute at the age of 14. It was that time of life when I was growing out of the girl playing video games and realizing that I could attract men for my looks and personality; it’s not all about trying to impress guys with video game lingo. Yet, with that being said;I am and will always be a female gamer, but it’s time to sort of grow up.

I’ve reached that point where I’m beginning to realize that I have the body of a woman( especially since I’m losing weight, things are starting to look a lot more grown and sexy lol) and I need to rediscover my passion for fashion. Being a college student and focused on making sure everything is right so I can graduate in Spring 2012,I’ve neglected my desire to show off that grown and sexy side. I used to collect every issue of Vogue and dreamed of working in the fashion industry, but then I discovered my passion for writing about topics aside from fashion. I may have let that dream of working in the fashion industry go, but that doesn’t mean I can’t revamp my style and feel fabulous.

The more time I spend alone and not distracted by a relationship, I begin to realize that I’m still not the woman I want to be yet. I’m happy with my personality, my curvy body, and my pursuit of knowledge; but at times I feel as though I could be doing more in the looks department to bring out the best of my beauty and feel fabulous. I have good fashion sense and know what accentuates my curvy figure, but I need to upgrade my color palette and choices. Now more than ever is the best time to reinvent myself, because that gives me almost a year before I enter the professional workforce, get my own apartment, and begin my wonderful grown and sexy life.

The more I grow into the fabulous woman I want to be, I also know for a fact that I’ll attract the type of men I like. I’ve been slacking lately with my style and wearing clothes from last year of college (which are too big now,) the more I just throw outfits together, the more lame and sloppy guys I attract. They may be attractive from an aesthetic standpoint but their clothing swag needs a major upgrade. But the worst guys are the ones who have terrible style and don’t bother trying at all. At least my college clothes may not be grown and sexy, but they still are by all means cute outfits. But I don’t want to aim for cute at this point, I love that feeling of looking: gorgeous, fabulous, sexy, mature, classy, and looking like a beautiful woman.

This reinvention process I’m going through is ultimately a journey of self discovery. I’m discovering my passion for vibrant colors and accessories, while learning the type of men I find attractive and what turns me off style wise. Everything isn’t about looks, but dressing nice and looking fabulous can say a lot about someone’s personality, profession, self esteem, and their level of maturity. I’m growing out of the days of just wearing leggings and tunics to show of my figure. It’s time to step up my game and embrace my desire to wear pencil skirts, blouses, more lipstick (I wear it everyday, but want to play with different hues,) and heels. I’m always ashamed to wear heels because of the nagging complaints I hear from incompetent short men who make my height an issue. Well I’m at this point where I’m so over it; I’m going to wear heels and not be ashamed of my long legs and height.

I’m not going to be ashamed to explore being a beautiful and fabulous woman. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and realizing “Hey, I need to grow up.” I’ve already begun my transition into the professional world, yet until I graduate I still have that time to mold myself into a beautiful classy woman. Everyone woman and man at some point in their life realizes they need to upgrade their look. You get what you put out there, and if you’re dressing like you don’t care…then most likely you’re going to attract people that don’t take pride in their looks either. It’s about loving you and not being so caught up in a relationship, that you forget to work on you and become the best person you can be. Being single is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I’m so happy I’m taking this time to enjoy the journey.

Each day I’m blossoming into the mature woman I want to be and I find myself discovering the type of man I’d eventually like to get to know. I love a man that dresses nice and takes pride in his look. You don’t have to possess millionaire swag to get my attention, but you sure can’t be wearing Walmart t-shirts with South Park logos and overly baggy jeans each time I see you; that’s not going to cut it in my book. If you’re just getting to know someone you have to remember that first impressions count, don’t pull out the sloppy clothes until farther down the road. Even then, you shouldn’t just let yourself go and not care anymore because you’ve snagged the one. I care about how I look because I love looking and feeling gorgeous; if I happen to attract men in the process, then that’s just a perk of taking pride in my looks.

It’s not about trying to be the most flashy person out there based upon the images we see in media, but its about you loving yourself and being the best person you can be. This process of reinventing myself is honestly way overdue and it’s a journey of becoming the true person that has been hidden away for the past few years. I’m not changing my personality at all, but rather letting my clothes and accessories reflect the intimate details of my vibrant personality. Be yourself, be free, and take a chance on enhancing your true beauty. So to all the single girls and guys out there reading this blog, don’t forget to appreciate the time you have being single and becoming the person you want to be. If you take the time to find yourself, then you won’t have to worry about getting caught up in a relationship and forgetting who you are; your security and confidence will have had the time to grow prior to the relationship. So have fun, be fabulous, and never apologize for wanting to bring out the best in yourself.

©Jasmine McGee

ThinkSoul25

http://thinksoul25.com

Fierce, Fabulous, Cool, and Sexy

TWGJ5489_GraceJones2

I’ve been busy working on articles today and finishing up a painting, but I started off the morning in a Grace Jones mood. Today I was feeling so creative and liberated, so I began my workout routine by jamming to Grace’s classic hit “Pull Up to the Bumper”.  That is one of my all time favorite songs, it is truly a classic and sexy hit. You can’t help but dancing when that first beat comes on, it just takes over your body and sends you into a state of euphoria.

Grace Jones in my opinion is truly an iconic Black woman that stands out in the Studio 54 and early dance music era. She is one of the only women I’ve ever seen that can rock a fierce hightop with a fade, she is the original woman to make a statement with that style, mixed with her chocolate skin and sexual freedom. I know some women that have tried to rock that style, but I truly believe that Grace Jones is one of the few women who have successfully pulled off that style.

I’ve always been a huge Grace Jones fan, especially considering her contributions to the dance music scene. Her music is sexy and tantalizing, it just moves your body and makes your mind get lost. I’ve always looked up to her in this weird yea explainable way. Even though I’m not a dark skin woman, I appreciate how she brought beautiful chocolate women to the forefront in white media. Her role in “Conan the Destroyer” was fierce and sexy, showing that Black women can kick butt too!xiJkrHypek4f1ut6woDorpEso1_400

I think aside from the music, the swirl (she was engaged to Dolph Lundgren), and the hightop fade, she was also known for her body. Everyone knows that Grace Jones exemplifies the definition of sexual freedom, she showed off whenever and wherever yet in an artistic way. Her body was athletic, toned, and still had the curves that make us black women beautiful. She may have been on the wild side with always showing up naked and being labeled a “sex machine”, but she had a carefree creative approach and dared anyone to knock her freedom.

Grace JonersIt’s funny how I’ve been talking about Grace Jones all day and I just found out that her first album in 22 years is going to be coming out in the near future. I look forward to hearing some of her new music, I’m sure she doesn’t still look as fierce as she did when she was younger, but her music is still classic and her style is still very cool. I’m a huge Grace Jones fan, I may not duplicate her icon pose, but she does remind us how sexy and fierce black women can be.

fat_grace_jones-400x378P.S. I think this picture to the left is so hilarious! So many people try to duplicate her iconic pose, including Amber Rose and this fat guy to the left. Hilarious picture!

Anyways, I just felt like posting about Grace Jones and how I love her bold style and music. Life doesn’t have to always be so uptight and serious and you have to take the things others may not like and make them sexy. Some people often thought she looked like a man, yet she made millions of dollars off her music and showing off her body. She sure did show the haters! LOL….just be yourself and it’s okay to be daring and confidently sexy! You may not be able to pull off the hightop with the fade, but that’s alright. Find your best attribute and make it work for you. Be fierce and fabulous!

Pull Up to My Bumper

Pull Up to My Bumper (Funkstar Deluxe Remix)