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Curly Hair Love

Woman with Curly Hair

Having naturally curly hair can seem like the biggest blessing and the biggest curse all on the same day. I’ve been a natural curly gal my whole life, but I haven’t always been accepting or knowledgeable of my wild and unruly main. I remember struggling with my big frizzy hair as a child to the point of tears, never wanting to wear it down out of fear of being unable to tame it afterward. It wasn’t until I was about 14-years-old that I began to embrace my natural locks and attempt to learn how to “train” my hair. Every curly head’s curl pattern is unique and special to them, some are frizzier, kinkier, wavier, looser, or wilder than others, but all are beautiful. It took years of trial and error to find a great daily routine, but I finally got it down and offer it to all curly heads to try on their own:

  1. I shampoo once a week, and condition every other day using the Curl Perfection line by Pantene Pro-V, then towel dry a bit using a Turbie Towel. All of these products can be bought at any Target or Wal-Mart.
  2. I apply oil to my scalp and ends of my hair, constantly rotating the type of oil I use to make sure my skin and hair don’t get “too used to” any one particular product. My top three pure oils of choice are olive oil, Moroccan argan oil, and tea tree oil. There are many different manufacturers of these essential oils and I’ve been open to try them all. I usually find them at any Target, Wal-Mart, beauty supply store, or the beauty aisle of any local drug store like Walgreens or CVS.
  3. I use Moroccan Oil brand Curl Defining Crème throughout my entire head. I separate my hair into five parts—two on the back half of my head, two on the front sides of my head, and one section at the crown—and work two pumps of product carefully through each part, separating my curls as I go to really add long-term definition. This crème is a bit harder to find than the other products because not all beauty supply stores carry the brand, but I find mine at a chain of beauty supply stores in the East Bay called Beauty Center.
  4. I apply a handful of gel over the already defined curls in three sections—the crown being one, and the rest of my hair parted down the middle into two sections. I use a really inexpensive gel—less than $5 at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS—called LA Looks Sports Gel. I’ve used other gels throughout the years when stores are out of LA Looks and I need gel, and usually, any maximum hold gel will suffice. Tip: LA Looks Sports Gel is blue so I tend to get whichever other blue gel is available when I need a substitute.

Now I understand that what works for me might not necessarily work for all curl types, but I would definitely recommend trying all the products I mention here to every single curly-haired beauty to see what results you get. My curls are always soft, tight, bouncy, and defined for days when I complete my routine. My hair has never looked healthier or more beautiful, and that’s my wish for all my curly-haired brethren around the world.

Magnificent Moroccan Argan Oil

Making Argan Oil in Marrakech, Morocco

In the last few years, it seems like the hottest ingredient in the beauty industry is Moroccan argan oil, and let me just say I’m a believer!

I use argan oil on my hair every single day. I love the smell of the products, I love the shine and moisture it gives my constantly dried-out hair, and I love that it’s everywhere!

When it comes to hair, argan oil is a great product to calm frizzy ends, add moisture to dry hair, and add a little shine. You can apply to your hair while it is still damp for an all over treatment or apply just to your dry ends after your hair is dry.

If you’re dealing with dry scalp, apply some argan oil to a cotton ball, and dab your scalp with the oil; if the packaging is convenient, apply the oil directly to the scalp from the bottle. If you do this before bed, you’ll give the oil plenty of time to moisturize your scalp before you wash your hair in the morning. Or if you’re like me—I can never seem to get rid of a dry scalp—wash your hair in the morning and apply oil to the scalp before using your regular hair products, allowing the nutrients to seep in all day long.

Now I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of argan oil in the hair care industry, but being a believer and constant user of pure essential oils, I was interested in its effects on the skin. It might seem scary to apply a pure oil to your face, especially if you have finicky skin, but cultures have been doing just that for centuries and it’s left their skin smooth, clear, and visibly more radiant.

Products that work for the face almost always can be applied to the entire body’s skin, and argan oil is no different. You can use argan oil as a full body moisturizer, applying just as you would a body lotion or cream. Apply the oil right after you get out of your shower for best moisturizing results.

Argan oil is great to use on your hands as well, especially on your cuticles and nails if they are prone to cracking and peeling.

Basically, if your body is lacking moisture anywhere, argan oil will be your best friend. It sure is mine!

Instant Eye Lift

Eye with makeup and individual false eyelashes.“Falsies” are my favorite part of any make-up routine. I believe every woman looks better with a little eyelash enhancement. Whatever look she’s going for — natural, voluminous, or dramatic — any woman can find the perfect lashes. But with all the different brands, styles, lengths, and colors, picking false lashes can be quite the conundrum!

My obsession with eyelashes began eight years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles. A friend I met had the longest, most gorgeous eyelashes I had ever seen. I knew I wanted mine to look just like them. I asked her what kind of mascara she used, hoping to learn about a new brand, when she told me that they were falsies. I couldn’t believe it! With no eye makeup on, I figured I would be able to see the ends of the strips she was wearing. But I couldn’t. I asked her to close her eyes. Still nothing. Then she opened her eyes wide and looked up at the ceiling. That revealed a bunch of little black beads on the inner waterline of her lids. She was wearing individual eyelashes, something I had never seen or heard of before, and she told me she put them on herself. That same day she applied individual eyelashes to me and I’ve been addicted to them ever since.

Since that day eight years ago, I have been taught different techniques to achieve many different looks. My personal technique for applying individual lashes is the one my old friend taught me.

With my non-dominant hand I hold the upper eyelid up and away from the eyeball, revealing as much of the waterline as possible. Then, using tweezers with my dominant hand, I pick up an individual set of lashes, dip them in a dot of individual lash adhesive (Ardell dark glue is my favorite), and place the lashes on the waterline. I start towards the middle and first work to the end and then move back towards the inner eye. I carefully place each individual bunch apart from the next to avoid the lashes clumping together.

Applying the individual lashes on the waterline and under your actual eyelashes gives the ultimate look of naturally long and voluminous lashes. The best part about individuals is that you can make them as thick and long as you desire! Stack them close, place them few and far between, or just apply to the ends of your eyes for a sexy winged eye effect. Whatever look you want or whatever the occasion you can achieve it without harming your real lashes. And, let’s face it, any woman’s beautiful face will always look better with a little lash enhancement!

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Since I started school, my friends have been asking for my recommendations on skin products. In particular, I have one friend with acne prone skin that suffers frequent breakouts. She has always struggled for clearer skin.

I started researching key ingredients more than product lines, hoping to find an active ingredient present in many products that would help her. I found tea tree oil, which has became one of my best friends because of all its benefits on the skin and for hair. Instead of using harsh topical ointments, like benzoyl peroxide, I suggested she tries an organic remedy. I recently heard back from her that tea tree oil has helped more than any other acne product she’s ever used!

Not only does tea tree oil help with acne, but it’s also great for use on eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, itchy/flaky scalp, and fungal infections.

It kills bacteria in the skin, making it a natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil is much cheaper than speciality products, usually only costing between $3 and $10, and there are plenty of great products which contain tea tree oil as their main active ingredient. Here are a few I like:

  • Pure Tea Tree Oil
  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil line
  • Dr. Bronner Tea Tree Liquid Soap
  • Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner by OGx
  • Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment from Vitamin Shoppe
  • Tea Tree Water from Lush

Tea tree oil may not be for everyone. It can have major side effects and is extremely harsh on the skin if used incorrectly. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting your tea tree product with water.

I have had outstanding results since I started using tea tree oil products, especially treating my dandruff and dry scalp, as well as on my constantly dried-out cuticles. I encourage any one suffering from dry skin, dry hair, dry scalp, acne prone skin, and even any rash or irritations to add a little tea tree oil to their lives.