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hair

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Ahh, seasonal routines. I actually love all of the little seasonal shifts that I make in my beauty routine. It’s sort of like a quarterly New Year — four annual opportunities to start fresh and reboot everything. With the start of Spring, I typically make several changes to my beauty routine. For my skin, I cycle off all of the super active ingredients (like retinol, glycolic, alpha hydroxy acids) I’ve used all winter. I know my skin well enough to know that I need to switch to calming products for Spring/ warm weather.

Similarly with my hair, Spring is the time to be a bit more relaxed and not rely on heat styling as much. Yep, it’s time to embrace my natural curl and flaunt my God-given coils.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Get into Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair!

In preparation for Spring, I’ve recently transitioned to Biolage CLEANSING CONDITIONER, a low lathering all-in-one cleansing product and conditioner. The 5-minute treatment (which is all the time I have with a 20-month old demanding my undivided attention) cleanses my coarse, coily curls without stripping my hair of natural oils…or leaving a weighed down feeling on my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Genius! A formula specifically for curly hair…

If you’re new to cleansing conditioners, I highly recommend that you get involved. The formula is suited for most hair types… there’s a Cleansing Conditioner formula for every hair type: fine, medium, coarse and curly. What I like most about Biolage Cleansing Conditioner is that I’m able to match the formula to my hair type and texture. Prior to trying Biolage, I’ve certainly tried other cleansing conditioners in the past, and I must say — having four different formulas to choose from is a major point of difference that impacts your end result.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The texture is creamy and nourishing without feeling heavy.

If you’re new to cleansing your hair with this type of product, there’s a small learning curve…but after one wash session, you’ll be a pro. Here’s how I use Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair: I wet my hair from root to tip. Apply Biolage Cleansing Conditioner from scalp, to hair root, to hair tips. I use between 6 to 8 pumps.  I massage gently and give it about five minutes for the conditioning agents to nourish my hair.

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
The pump makes a world of difference in the shower…

After five minutes, I rinse. It’s at this stage that the cleansing conditioner transforms into a soap-free cleanser. As I rinse, dirt and build up goes down the drain. With my first use, a few changes in my hair were immediately apparent:

– My curls were springy-er. The formula definitely awakens my tightly wound curls and coils.  I rarely wash and go, but Biolage Cleansing Conditioner makes my curls feel that FIERCE!

– My hair feels more manageable. I’m able to finger comb and detangle without drenching my hair with a separate detangling product.

– My hair feels deeply nourished and hydrated …as if I’ve done a deep conditioning treatment. But really, I’ve only invested 5 minutes — amazing!

Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair
Curls are so springy!!

I’ve been a fan of cleansing conditioners for quite a few years now…so trying Biolage Cleansing Conditioner was not a hard sell for me. But what intrigues me the most is being able to pair a cleansing conditioner formula with my specific hair type. That’s a first for me!

So, is Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for you? Well, if you have fine, medium, coarse or curly hair — there’s definitely a formula for you! If your current hair wash routine leaves your hair dry and brittle, perhaps it’s time to make the switch to a product that’s a lot more gentle and hydrates as it cleans (seriously, who needs the extra steps?)

I’m hooked! I love the ease and I certainly love the results. After months of blow outs and lots of heat styling, it’s nice to go slightly low maintenance for Spring with a product that gets the job done and also makes my natural curls feel incredible.

LEARN MORE HERE: https://www.youtube.com/matrix

The title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” is actually a real question…one that I’ve asked myself for at least a year. The product is actually not new…it first launched in January of 2014. And as a brown girl with natural hair…(natural hair that took over a year to grow out my relaxer)…I am immediately skeptical of any “straightening kit” that comes in a “box” — Uhmm, I like my curl pattern very much, thank you! And I don’t want a “straightening kit” to irrevocably change the texture of my natural hair.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit

So….having said that — when Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit first launched, I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon to test it out. But, earlier this year, I had the opportunity to spend time with Strength of Nature, the parent brand behind Beautiful Textures (and about 11 other brands dedicated to consumer hair care education and products for Women of Color).

Felicia Leatherwood

In learning, first hand, about Strength of Nature and the brand’s DNA, I was immediately intrigued and suddenly felt more drawn to the line of products. I also had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with Felicia Leatherwood, Beautiful Textures’ Brand Ambassador, Celebrity Stylist and Trainer. During our talk, I got to ask all of the important questions:

– Girl, is this kit going to rob my curl?
– But how does it straighten without damaging my hair?
– Will I end up bald?

Laugh if you want, but I’m a 40 year old black woman who grew up in the era of bone straight hair….I KNOW what a straightening kit in a box can do to your hair. Shoot!

Thankfully, Felicia graciously answered all of my questions and explained that the straightening kit, enriched with Enriched with Aloe Vera, Coconut, Olive, Soy, Argan Oil, Shea and Mango Butter, temporarily relaxes the curl pattern without reversing it. There are no harsh chemicals involved.

Well, I decided to take the plunge for a variety of reasons:

1. Felicia definitely enhanced my comfort level with her thorough explanation of how the product works
2. I was so impressed by Strength of Nature as a brand that truly cares about the hair care needs of women of color, that I really truly wanted to try more of their offerings and share with my readers. With 12 brands under the Strength of Nature umbrella, and all very value-based, I wanted to shed light on products that are both affordable and effective. Hair is such an important part of the daily routine…every woman deserves to have great hair products without compromising other aspects of her life.

Ok, so let’s get into my experience with Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit ($8.99):

beautiful-textures-texture-manageability-system-ThisThatBeauty

The 4-Step Process Is Pretty Simple:
“This system allows you to go from curly to straight styles, without harsh chemicals and without permanently changing your natural hair texture.  Go back and forth between natural and straight styles with unparalleled touchable softness, movement and shine.”

1.  I cleansed with the Gentle Cleansing Shampoo. Nothing earth shattering there. I will add that the shampoo is totally pleasant and doesn’t smell offensive in any way.
2. I applied the Inner-Active Leave-In Conditioner from root to tip. I was told it’s important to not over saturate.
3. Next, I blow-dried. I use (and LOVE) this dryer for super thick, coily hair like mine!
4. I flat ironed with my trusty Sedu (we’re going 4 years strong!).

NOTE: Since the initial application, I’ve followed up with the Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Shampoo and Humidity Defense Anti-Reversion Conditioner.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit - Anti Reversion Products

Here Are My Observations:

See. This is why my reviews take so long…I really truly need to try, wait, watch, observe then report. And in doing all of that, I must say – my loss-of-curl fears were unfounded. Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit helped me to achieve a super smooth blowout like I love, but it did not permanently change my natural curl pattern.

Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You

In fact, my natural curls now appear a bit more defined.I love that this system allows me to go from curly to straight, without horrible chemicals or unwanted changes to my natural texture. The results last for 4-6 weeks….if you maintain with the Anti-Reversion shampoo and conditioner included in the kit.

Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit  x  ThisThatBeauty

Bottom Line:
To return to the title of this post, “Is Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit For You?” – Yes, if you desire hair styling flexibility without permanently reversing your hair’s natural texture. I think this product also works well for women who are transitioning from a relaxer to natural. Dang! I wish Beautiful Textures Texture Management Kit was around when I was transitioning. If there’s a woman in your life who’s transitioning, I’m sure she’d appreciate you sharing this post!



When your mom is ThisThatBeauty, the bar’s set pretty darn high. I’m super discriminating when it comes to products that I use on Phoebe….particularly skin & hair. So, when I heard of the new hair care line, SoCozy, a salon-formula hair care line for kids, I perked up!

SoCozy

As I further explored (and researched the line) I learned that the formulations are non-toxic, meaning: free of the stuff that you generally don’t want anywhere near your kid. SoCozy is free of free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol…also gluten, wheat and nuts (if allergies are an issue). Available exclusively at Target.com, SoCozy is new to the marketplace this Spring…so I had a hard time finding product reviews online. So, I did what ThisThatBeauty ‘would‘ do — I purchased a handful of products to try out. Below are my favorites, but the entire line includes:

SoCozy x ThisThatBeauty

Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner Instantly detangle without pulling or tugging
Behave Styling Mousse For extra volume, bounce, and smooth shiny hair
Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash Nourishes and hydrates hair with keratin, soy protein’s and kiwi fruit extracts
Behave Styling Cream Keeps every strand in place, smooth and silky
Boo! Lice Prevention Spray and Shampoo Gentle enough for everyday use to help prevent the dreaded lice

Phoebe in SoCozy

I cannot stress enough how challenging it is to photograph a toddler – Lord! It’s tough. But here’s Phoebe immediately after using Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash. First of all, I love that this product is a 3 in 1…because, if you think it’s tough to get a toddler to sit for a photo, try getting the same toddler to sit for a bath while you incorporate product, after product, after product. Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash is really light, which is perfect for my toddler’s needs. The product lathers quickly and rinses with ease…..a major PLUS, because, again – toddler’s have very little patience. As for how Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash performs as a body wash — It got Phoebe clean and it didn’t irritate or dry out her skin. Honestly, that’s all I ask for in a body wash. The real strength of Cinch 3 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner + Body Wash  is as a shampoo and conditioner because it gets the job done with very little effort. Phoebe’s curls are so soft after bath time!

I also tried out Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner. Much like the 3 in 1, this product is also light. Thanks to the efficacy of the 3 in 1, I actually need very little Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner post-wash because the 3 in 1 wash leaves Phoebe’s hair rather tangle-free. But where I find Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner performs best, is as a daily refresher. It’s a really nice way to wake up baby bed head. So I use Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner daily as a conditioning boost and a curl reviver. I should note that it dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about sending your little one out the door with wet hair.

SoCozy behave styling mousse

We also tried out Behave Styling Mousse, a finishing product for volume and shine. This is good for defining Phoebe’s curls…but probably better suited for little ones with fine hair. Phoebe’s hair is short, but voluminous (translation: fro), so I don’t necessarily use this product for her on a regular basis. But definitely consider this if your little girl or guy has fine strands.

BOTTOM LINE:
SoCozy is totally worth your time and attention. The line is multi-functional, super effective, and non-toxic. I’m all about products that make my mom-life a little easier…while being safe, smart, and easy to use. As with all things in our modern world, good-for-you products (and food) tend to come with a slightly higher price tag (sigh, but crappy fast food is oh so cheap!). SoCozy’s line starts at $11.95, so it’s an investment…but one that’s well worth it. SoCozy Value Sets are a great way to experience the line and save a little. And, SoCozy Stylers is a free loyalty program that rewards you for social sharing. Hey, every little bit helps!

Want to learn more about SoCozy, visit Twitter at @SoCozy_ & Instagram and Facebook at @SoCozy #SoCozyatTarget

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BeautyStat. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor. Please read my Disclosure Policy for additional information on sponsored posts.

Keeping moisture in my very porous naturally kinky curly hair is no small feat.  While I want my hair moisturized and manageable, I don’t want products that will weigh my hair down or irritate my scalp.   Hair that is properly moisturized is less prone to breakage and tangles.  During the most epic winter ever (I exaggerate a bit) these three products were instrumental in adding moisture (and shine) to my dry hair. Hopefully they will do the same for you.

Acure Moisturizing Root Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, Argan Stem Cell + Mint

Acure Moisturizing Root Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Long name, great results. This conditioner is formulated with a host of organic botanical ingredients including acai berry, blackberry pomegranate, rosemary oil, argan oil and cocoa butter.  It is described as an acidifying treatment that will protect the hair cortex by locking in moisture and color. It uses Argan stem cells to strengthen, nourish and regenerate hair at the root. This conditioner feels great on my hair. While it doesn’t have great slip, it conditions my overly dry and coarse hair in minutes, leaving it feeling soft. I was a little skeptical to massage it into my sensitive scalp but I did and there was a slight tingling sensation but no irritation. Acure Moisturizing Root Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, Argan Stem Cell + Mint is available here and retails for $12.99

Organic Coconut Oil

It seems I can’t write a hair care story without including Organic Coconut Oil.  For me, it is one of the best conditioners for natural hair but it all comes down to how I apply it.  I apply a dollop to damp hair, work it in from roots to ends then cover with a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 15-20 minutes. I then wash once with a gentle shampoo and condition as usually would. I follow up with a leave in condition and an oil like Optimum Amla to seal in the moisture.  Read more about coconut oil here and here.

ALTERNA Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-in-Conditioner

ALTERNA Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-in-Conditioner

(Long names seem to be a trend) This product is formulated to provide moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV protection, manageability, and strength. Phew, that’s a lot! I like it because it provides lightweight moisture and enough protection that I can blow dry and flat iron my hair (up to 400 degrees) without any noticeable heat damage. I can also layer other products over it as needed without any flaking or product build-up.  ALTERNA Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-in-Conditioner is available here and retails for $25.

 What  Products Do You Use to Add Moisture to Dry Hair?

 

I’m often asked lots of questions about my naturally curly hair:

“How do you go from curly to straight?

How do you keep your hair so sleek?

How do you prevent heat damage?

Amla Oil Spritz

And the truth is — there’s no one magic thing that I do to keep my hair healthy and amazing. It’s actually a collective effort of many things:

1)     Regularly using the right hair care products for my hair type

2)     Minimizing the amount of heat styling

3)     Caring for my hair in a way that encourages health and growth

So you see, there’s no ONE thing. But, since most of my readers are looking for advice on the first steps to happy, healthy hair, I’d say – start with good products with good ingredients. And while I love luxe as much as the next girl, I’ve come to realize that high quality hair care need not carry a luxe price tag.

Amla Oil

Everyone’s talking oils these days…and for good reason. Oils multi-task a myriad of skincare needs from head to toe. An Oil that I’m particularly into is Amla Oil, a natural hair conditioner that visibly (and immediately) revives and rejuvenates hair upon application. First discovered by Indian women thousands of years ago, Amla Oil is touted as the key to unstoppable length, enviable fullness and super glossy shine. Rich in vitamin C, proteins, minerals and anti-oxidants, the super fruit Amla Oil is hugely beneficial to not just hair, but scalp health as well.

Hair with Amla Oil

Think you have to travel to India to experience the wonders of Amla Oil? Think again! Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil brings the power of Amla Oil to your boudoir…or wherever you do your hair (I admit to washing in the kitchen sink sometimes…eek!). Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is my daily go to for treating, protecting and styling. If I’m doing my hair, I’m using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil. Shampooing my hair? I add a few drops as a pre-poo. Blow-drying my hair? I add a few drops to damp hair as a nourishing drink of moisture. Flat ironing my hair? I apply a few drops as a heat-protectant. Styling my hair? I rub in a few drops for added shine. Prepping for bedtime? You guessed it!…I apply a couple of drops and reach for my super sexy (not sexy at all) satin bonnet.

Amla Oil

Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil is formulated specifically to address the concerns of dry and damaged hair…. which makes it perfect for winter (when EVERYTHING is in need of more moisture). I’m no oil newbie. I’ve tried them all – For hair care, Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil definitely outperforms other popular oil extracts like Olive Oil or Argan Oil. Its do-it-all abilities (pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, finishing treatment, scalp treatment, shine booster) make it the clear winner in my book.

 

Amla Oil Many Diff Styles

And as you can see from my pictures (I’ve been using Optimum Amla Legend Rejuvenating Oil daily all year) my hair is able to go from curly to straight and back to curly again, without missing a beat. So as for the Amla Oil hype, I say – believe it!

Want to see my shoulder length hair transform into an amazing Faux Bob? — THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL IS FOR YOU

Want to learn more about Optimum Amla Legend ? — www.optimumsalonhaircare.com

Also, follow @Optimum_Care on Instagram for a surprise giveaway happening soon (very soon) !!

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With the start of a new season, all a girl wants to do is shake things up! Maybe a slight tweak “here” or try something new “there”…and often, hair is the first ‘personal accessory ‘ we can’t wait to change. Well, this Saturday, July 12th at select Walgreens, Beauty Advisors will be on hand to dish on the latest trends for hair and to help you customize your look of the season that matches your personal style.

Toni and Guy

 

HERE’S THE SCOOP:

Come to select Walgreens on July 12th, 2014 from 10am-5pm to get expert advice from Walgreens’ Beauty Advisors and learn how to achieve on trend looks with Toni&Guy®. You’ll also receive $3 off coupons for Toni&Guy® product.

CLICK HERE to find the participating Walgreens near you!

MORE ABOUT TONI&GUY® AND TONI&GUY® COLLECTIONS

TONI&GUY® has a cutting edge range of hair care and styling products from one of the most innovative salons in the world with years of experience creating trends backstage at international fashion shows.

Just like in fashion, how you wear your hair speaks volumes about your style. So when it comes to looking good your hair is your best accessory. Whatever look you’re going for you’ll find the right products to achieve a unique style from the head down.

• The Casual Collection: For the girl who loves to look effortlessly cool but still sexy. Use these styling products to create loose, textured and carefree looks with a lived-in feeling.

• The Classic Collection: Being polished, but not prudish, is the sign of a Classic girl. Use these styling products to create sleek waves, perfect ponytails and simply straight bobs.

• The Glamour Collection: If you like to grab attention with your head-turning, red carpet style, then the Glamour collection is for you. Use these styling products to get cocktail party looks with ultimate hold and powerful body that ooze style and sophistication.

Have you tried any of these Toni&Guy products? Visit Facebook and leave a review!

Disclosure: Sponsored by Lunchbox , all opinions are 100% my own.

SummerGlowSalon

 
Prepare to fall in love with Target all over again!

If you haven’t visited the beauty aisle at Target lately, prepare for a jaw-dropping, OMG, how-the-heck-did-they-do-that experience. The cosmetics aisle has been majorly revamped, and honey — it is fabulous!
#SummerGlowSalon

Complete with crisp, bright lighting (selfies, anyone?), backlit shelving and beauty signage that truly makes you feel at home, the newly renovated beauty department at Target is quite the destination for all things skin, hair, makeup, fragrance and more! The new set-up is truly innovative and ground breaking in its design…. everything feels so luxe & inviting — a girl just wants to camp out and test product all day long.

In addition to newly revamped aisles, the beauty department now features new BFF’s…or as Target prefers to call them, “Beauty Concierges”. These guys and gals are truly going to become your BFF’s (Beauty Friends Forever) because they know the aisles and products best. You can lean in real close and ask, “Girl, will this really tame my frizz?”…and your Beauty Concierge will lend insight and advice to help you make your purchase (and tame your frizz!). These highly trained Beauty Concierges are well-equipped to offer personalized, detailed and unbiased information about beauty and personal care products offered at Target.

I’m so impressed with the newly designed beauty aisles and the MAJOR elevation of super cool brands, that I was inspired to showcase a few summer trends and highlight the incredible products at Target to help achieve the look:

TEXTURE/ LESS HEAT STYLING
Stop fighting with your heat styling tools and embrace your hair’s natural texture. Or, at the very least, extend the life of your blowouts.

Pantene

Pantene ProV Blowout Extend Dry Shampoo
• Instant, WATERLESS refreshment to help EXTEND your blowout.
• Also great for adding bed-head texture to hair.

HALF MOON MANI
COVERGIRL
COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss
• No topcoat needed! Color with built-in topcoat. All you need is polish and reinforcement tabs as a guide to create your half moon shape.
• Glossy color lasting as long as a week.
• Choose from 45 brilliant shades.

FLAWLESS SKIN
Who are we kidding? Flawless skin is always in!
OLAY
Olay Fresh Effects Dewey Gel
• Sheer, breathable formula leaves skin feeling silky and smooth
• Formulated with a powder, the lightweight gel makes skin look less oily
• Claim: 24-hour hydration that just won’t quit.

The newly renovated Target beauty department has so much to offer and I’m beyond excited to be able to share with you! But you need to hightail it to Target and see for yourself :) And here’s an extra incentive just for you — major savings on Olay, COVERGIRL AND Herbal Essences.

SummerGlowSalon

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT–

Last week, in NYC, we brought the Target beauty aisle to the Flatiron Plaza and hosted #SummerGlowSalon, a full day of manicures, makeovers, blowouts, braids, and ME! Check out my pictures!

 

SummerGlowSalon

 

Target 2

Olay Hydration Station

 

With CollegeFashion

Selfie

 Disclosure: This post is sponsored by P&G Beauty and Style Coalition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ever the thrill-seeker, when traveling abroad, I embark on a hunt for new discoveries….an obscure scent, an innovative beauty tool, a skin-perfecting cream. You know, something extraordinary that I can’t find in New York City. And I have to tell you — In this digital age of unlimited information and far reaching access, it has become quite challenging to discover new, game-changing beauty.

During my recent trip to Paris I visited the LEONOR GREYL Institute. If you’re not familiar with LEONOR GREYL, it is a family owned range of hair care products made from 100% natural ingredients. The brand’s passion for healthy, nourished hair stems from of its founders, husband and wife team Leonor and Jean-Marie Greyl. They had a simple idea: Healthy, natural products = healthy, beautiful hair. Caroline Greyl, daughter of Leonor and Jean-Marie, proudly carries on the tradition of high-quality, environmentally-safe hair treatments using only the best natural ingredients.

As most of you now know, I’m a mommy-to-be, so I find myself more carefully reading labels these days. Quite naturally, I am drawn to products with as few chemicals as possible.

While in Paris I experienced a LEONOR GREYL hair treatment that was so incredible, and the results were so dramatic, that it has forever changed how I care for my hair. Obviously, if you live in Paris, you should check your calender and schedule an appointment ASAP. But if you’re in the states, like me, read on as I explain how to achieve LEONOR GREYL salon quality results at home.

To replicate my salon treatment you will need a few things:

Huile de Palme
LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme

STEP 1

LEONOR GREYL Creme aux fleurs
LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs

STEP 2

LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense
LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense

STEP 3

Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer
Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer

STEP 4

And for the most amazing hair of your life…no, seriously — most amazing hair ever…follow these steps:

STEP 1: Beautiful hair begins at the scalp. Apply LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme to scalp and ends of hair. This beauty-enhancing oil begins the process of detangling, softening and protecting hair from root to ends. I cannot stress how crucial this step is. In order for hair to properly receive the application of treatment products, it must be well-prepped. LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme’s restorative oil blend can be left on hair for up to 10 minutes, or overnight for more intense penetration. Once applied, massage throughout and brush through to ends if needed.

Leonor Greyl Institute Paris

STEP 2: Further layer the treatment and apply LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs to the scalp. This washing cream is a MUST!…particularly for very dry, color-treated and/ or frizzy hair. You do not need to wet the hair just yet. Simply apply LEONOR GREYL Creme Aux Fleurs to scalp (after you’ve applied LEONOR GREYL Huile de Palme). Leave on for about ten minutes and gradually emulsify by adding water little by little.

** NOW HERE’S THE PART THAT I FOUND LIFE-CHANGING **

DO NOT RINSE…just yet

STEP 3: Lastly, apply LEONOR GREYL Masque Quintessense to ends and massage away.

Leonor Greyl Institute Paris
Leonor Greyl Institute Paris

STEP 4: To seal the deal and truly reap the benefits of the abundance of good-for-you ingredients, sit under Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer for roughly 30 minutes. Obviously, this is not the steamer used at LEONOR GREYL Institute, but for those of us not in Paris, Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer is the perfect at-home alternative. After 30 minutes under Huetiful Hair & Facial Steamer, rinse hair thoroughly…emphasis on “thoroughly’. Spend more time rinsing than usual. Afterwards, style hair as desired.

***

Feeling like amillion bucks after my LEONOR GREYL hair treatment!!
Feeling like a million bucks after my LEONOR GREYL hair treatment!!

Immediately following my salon hair treatment, I noticed that my hair felt stronger, fuller, and more lush. My scalp felt clean, yet not stripped.

Here I am at lunch with Caroline Greyl...showing off my amazing results!
Here I am at lunch with Caroline Greyl…showing off my amazing results!

I was able to go over a week before my next wash. My hair never felt, heavy, weighed down, or greasy. And when I returned home & replicated the treatment process outlined above, I achieved the same results. SOLD!

I love the idea of an intense treatment prior to washing…and I especially love that I can achieve healthy, full, glamorous hair without having to over-wash….which can lead to dryness and breakage. Ever since returning from Paris, I have continued to treat/wash my hair in this fashion — and let me tell you: I can’t imagine going back to the old way of washing.

If your hair type is similar to mine (dry, coarse, prone to frizz), the above treatment recipe should work for you. If your hair type is not similar to mine, visit the LEONOR GREYL website and customize a treatment plan for your specific needs.

In the US, LEONOR GREYL products are available at LeonorGreyl-usa.com, Nordstrom, AmazonFolica, and these online retailers. To locate a salon near you that offers LEONOR GREYL treatments, click here.

Click here to read more about my Beauty Tour of Paris

For a look into my world and my time in Paris, peruse my Instagram feed and search using #TTBinParis

Follow my Paris videos on Vine (@ThisThatBeauty)

Chat soon!

 

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I recently had the opportunity to visit the Phyto hair care headquarters, or as they call it the, Phytouniverse, to learn about the brand and try out some of their new products and cult classics. Known as one of the first botanical hair care brands, the company focuses on bringing “highly concentrated, plant based solutions” to help all hair types reveal their natural beauty.  With formulas that contain over 500 botanical active ingredients and are overall 95% botanical, I was intrigued  by their efficacy claims.  After being introduced to the line and taking home a few products to try, I saw a difference in my hair almost immediately.

Phytodefrisant

The first product I used was their cult classic – Phytodefrisant – a product I had been introduced to by a hair dresser more than 10 years ago.  Since then I had forgotten about this miracle straightening balm, but after just one use, I was reminded why I had fallen in love with it years before.  Lightweight and easily absorbed on towel dried hair, this made my routine blow dry effortless.  What normally is a quite unpleasant experience each morning trying to tame and straighten my unruly (see frizzy) curly hair, became an easy process that left my hair smooth, sleek and super shiny.

Phytovolume ActifThough my hair has quite a bit of curl, it still lacks the body necessary to really give me a glamorous look for a night out.  I recently decided instead of going for sleek, I would try to add some volume back in and pump up my look.  I used the Phytovolume Actif on the roots, and then went about my normal blow dry.  I instantly saw a lift in the volume, but the true test would be how it would wear throughout the night.  I am ecstatic to report that after a full night out of dinner and drinks (by drinks i mean one glass of wine. i’m a super light weight,) my hair was still full and maintained a significant amount of volume – truly a miracle in my book! Phytodefrisant Secret de Nuit

While most of the products I tried were geared for a style to wear during the day, I was most intrigued by their newest launch – Secret de Nuit – a hydrating regenerating night treatment.  Applied to damp or dry hair, focusing on the ends, this treatment is designed to help replenish the hair fibers deep down and leave the hair soft, supple and manageable the next morning without needing to be rinsed.  Since I struggle with an oily scalp, I was hesitant to let it stay on my hair all night and then just wake up and style it as I normally would.  But to my surprise and delight, my hair did not feel weighed down and was easy to style.  After a few weeks of using it, my hair looked healthier and was handling the daily heat gauntlet I run it through quite well.

Have you tried any Phyto products?  Which ones are your favorites?

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New Hair Product Alert!! And this one is strictly for girls like me who are naturally curly but prefer straight styling (most of the time…I made exceptions in the summer). Motions is preparing to introduce  STRAIGHT FINISH – A Revolutionary Heat Styling System for Natural Hair Textures.

Motions STRAIGHT FINISH

According to Motions’ research: One in four African American women with natural hair would like to straight style their hair, but only if their curl pattern would not be compromised.

You can’t see me, but I’m at my computer, nodding in agreement. While my hair generally has pretty good “snap back” to curly after I straighten it, I have lots of friends who haven’t been as lucky. This really is a chief complaint amongst black girls with naturally curly hair who decide to temporarily straighten. Motions® new 3-step system claims you’re able to go from curly to straight and then “snap back” to your natural curls without any curl loss. What they’re calling their “Bounce Back Formula”, is a prep and protection system that seals your hair so that it will return to its natural curly texture after one wash.

TTBMotionsGiveaway

*Flat Iron pictured may be different from the one the winner receives.* 

Well color me intrigued!

And I bet you’re intrigued too….so of course I want to offer you an opportunity to win the Motions STRAIGHT FINISH system as well as  Proliss iso professional Tourmaline Ionic Straightener to help you achieve your desired style.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now I haven’t tried Motions STRAIGHT FINISH just yet, but I plan to soon….In a couple of week’s I’ll be attending a launch event and Rihanna concert to learn more about the line. …so full review coming soon!

Good luck!

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Copy this link: http://bit.ly/ZtguCz

Walgreens Sample Box

I’m all for upgrades. Like getting bumped up to first class from coach. . . or when the wait at Starbucks is unusually long, and the nice barista rewards my patience with a grande, instead of my frugalista-friendly tall. See, upgrades are nice. Well how about a beauty upgrade from the helpful folks at Walgreens?

Walgreens Beauty Advisor

Yes, your ears do not deceive you — Walgreens. If you’ve visited your local Walgreen’s lately [heyyy, Pat, my favorite cashier, at my local Walgreens on Ferry Street in Newark] you’ve likely noticed some major upgrades up and down the cosmetics aisle. I’ve been a Walgreens customer for years…so when Walgreens & Style Coalition approached me to share my thoughts, I was delighted. Not only are Walgreens beauty displays more vivid and illuminated to showcase the very best of drugstore beauty, the beauty areas now also have dedicated Beauty Advisors on hand. So if you’re wondering if you can pull off this season’s it color [Emerald] or have questions about the best skin care formulations for your skin type, there’s a trained Beauty Girl [or Beauty Boy] in-store to help with your beauty needs.

Walgreens Sample Box

And here’s where Walgreens really plays to my beauty loving heartSample Boxes. In Sample Boxes you will find Smart Tips from Walgreens Beauty Advisors, seasonal care secrets for skin & hair, beauty trend tidbits, money-saving coupons, and most of all – SAMPLES! And beauty boxes aren’t a random mish-mosh of throwaway product…no ma’am. The cutely curated boxes are theme specific and focus on specific areas of beauty. To learn more about Sample Boxes, click here. A world of beauty discoveries await [while supplies last…so get yours now]!

If you’re not making Walgreens your drugstore beauty destination, you’re missing out! Want to discover the season’s best beauty at Walgreens? Well here’s your chance to win a $30 Walgreens gift card? Leave a comment that fills in the blank: My favorite Walgreens beauty buy is:___________ [and briefly explain why]

I will select one winner at random.

Good luck!

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Science and technological innovation is often  first and foremost behind skincare brands – offering the latest and greatest in ingredients and results. But sometimes hair care can be a step behind. So, when a brand comes along and puts forth both DNA science and advancements in bio-mimicry (translation: mimicking the peptide chain needed to repair and protect hair,) it can create quite the buzz. Joico is a brand with over 35 years of firsts, such as pioneering the use of Human Hair Keratin Protein and becoming the first hair care company to make the EPA’s top 20 on-site generation list. It is again leading the industry in innovation with the introduction of its Bio-Advanced Peptide complex, a powerful hair repair technology.

This complex will not only repair current damage, but will also prevent future damage by “creating a shield of protection around the hair structure that lasts up to 25 shampoos”.  Now all this fancy technology talk means nothing if the products don’t actually GIVE the results they claim.  So I accepted this mission and put my hair through the paces – trying out shampoos, conditioners and treatment products all so I can bring you, dear reader, the truth. Selfless, I know.  Queue drums —  I am happy to report that the results are worthy of all those great claims.

As someone who struggles with oily hair mixed with dry/parched ends, I fell head (har har) over heels in love with the Moisture Recovery line.  Designed to deeply quench dehydrated hair and help increase strength and reduce breakage, I was hesitant to use it for fear that it would leave my hair heavy and limp, but it did just the opposite.  My hair felt more balanced and for lack of a better term – bouncy, almost weightless.  And the dreaded frizz that develops as the day goes on was a thing of the past after using this shampoo and conditioner.  In addition to this line, there are also 3 others that target common hair issues; such as color protection (Color Endure), adding volume (Body Luxe) and  balancing hair (Daily Care).

Not one for using styling products daily, I reluctantly decided to give a few of them a go since I had such luck with the Moisture Recovery line.  As it turns out, the products delivered the same smile-inducing, hair-happy results.  The Humidity Blocker became a quick favorite, helping to tame frizz and smooth my hair after blow drying.  Since I only wash my hair every other day, I used the Sculpting Gel to keep my pony tail slicked back, keeping all my pesky wisps of hair that often break free throughout the day in their place.  And as my husband is always poking around my stuff asking what I have brought home for him (a bit of a swag junkie at this point) – he was gifted by yours truly, the Matte Clay which he uses to help style his hair each day while still allowing for movement and texture without making it rock solid. 

To discover the entire Joico line and find your own perfect combination, visit their website at joico.com.

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I bet most you you are a lot like me. You walk into Target, expecting to pick up paper towels, dish liquid, and the like — but somehow, miraculously, through the magic of Target, you exit with an armful of unintended items — you know: those floral print jeans you just had to have…or those glittery smoking shoes that look just like the one’s from brand X, but cost 80% less. Ahh, the magic of Target.

As a card carrying Beauty Girl, the haircare section at Target is a bit of a wonderland. I mean, it’s awesome all on its own, with rows and rows of the latest products and tools. But here’s where Target wins major cool points in my book — Multi-Ethnic Hair Care

Target now offers a vast selection of hair care products specifically geared to meet the needs of girls like me, with ethnic hair. The offerings (starting at $2.69) include both established and indie brands, so you can stock up on your favorites or discover something shiny & new. Go on, explore!!

Curls
Curls – a premium, ethnic hair care line – is specifically for biracial/multiracial women and girls with naturally curly hair. Curls products contain an exclusive blend of certified organic ingredients, natural oils and exotic extracts. Products in the collection are $17.99 each.

Camille Rose

Founded in 2010 by Janell Stephens, a mother of five and dedicated vegan, Camille Rose is committed to developing natural products that provide the ultimate path to health, wellness and beauty. The collection includes body and hair care products ranging from $14.99 – $22.00.

Shea Moisture

Founder Richelieu Dennis brought Shea Moisture from Sierra Leon to the streets of New York, selling raw shea butter products made by his family. Today, the collection includes a range of natural and organic personal care solutions including shampoos, conditioners, treatments and body products. Natural ingredients such as organic coconut, hibiscus, shea butter and yucca target hair needs, while lavender, lemongrass and sage soothe the body. Prices range from $9.09 – $11.99.

Grisi

Created by one of the leading pharmaceutical company in Mexico, Grisi is dedicated to the development of natural health, beauty and hygiene products. The Manzanilla hair care collection contains natural chamomile flower extract which lightens the hair gradually and protects naturally. Prices range from $3.29 – $3.99.

Kinky Curly

Kinky Curly hair care products are specifically designed for curly hair. All products are formulated to add moisture, give hold without drying hair and offer protection from environmental elements. Prices range from $11.34 – $21.89.

Mixed Chicks

Mixed Chicks is a natural, cruelty-free and vegan hair care brand specially formulated for multi-textured hair, with products for women, men and children. Mixed Chicks Kids is specially formulated for a tear-free, natural product experience. The brand was created in 2004 by Wendi Levy and Kim Etheredge and offers products that are effective for all ethnicities with multi-textured hair. Price ranges from $4.99 – $19.99.

Moco de Gorila

Moco de Gorila is a line of maximum-hold hair gels made in Mexico that leave no residue or flakes on the hair. It is available in three hold factors including “Punk” (yellow bottle), which has the strongest hold, “Rockero” (red bottle) which has a medium hold, and “Galan” (green bottle) which has the most flexible hold. Products range from $2.69 – $3.09.

The Jane Carter Solution

Natural-based products that work effectively for every hair type, The Jane Carter Solution product line was specifically designed for dry hair including curly, wavy, straight, relaxed, natural and color treated hair. The products feature ingredients derived from nature, such as natural butters and certified organic essential oils, and add vibrancy and shine to hair. Prices range from $9.99 – $19.99.

Tio Nacho

Tio Nacho is a complete line of products based on royal jelly, a natural ingredient that nourishes hair and helps keep it healthy and silky. Products in the collection are $7.39 each

It’s the new year, and along with personal resolutions (go to the gym more, stop and smell the roses, blah-ba-dee-blah) my beauty resolutions are paramount to this commitment. One of the areas that can always use work for so many of us heat-styling addicts is better, healthier hair.  Since my hair is naturally curly, a morning blow-out is necessary 4-5 times a week for me just to emerge looking presentable.

Finding products to help me repair my hair after all the daily damage that blow-dryers, curling irons, flat irons and overall environmental aggressors do is a constant mission for me.  When I was recently invited by the Fekkai team to experience their new PrX line at their Soho salon (and get a fun blow-out – bombshell for me, complete with bejeweled hair accessories,) I jumped at the chance.

While getting the royal treatment in the ultra-relaxing massaging shampoo chair before the blow-out, my stylist began talking to me about all the great benefits of this new PrX line.  The line contains PrX Reparatives Shampoo ($30-$49), PrX Reparatives Conditioner ($30.00 – $49.00,) PrX Reparatives Intensive Fortifying Mask ($49.00) and PrX Reparatives 3 Day Transformation ($100.) All four products are designed to transform “dry, unmanageable strands into soft silky hair with movement.”  My initial impressions was that my hair felt smooth and soft immediately following the shampoo and rinse, so, I knew the best was yet to come.  After I emerged with clean hair, my hair was styled in loose, bouncy waves and decorated with a gorgeous Jennifer Behr headband.  Take a look at the transformation below.  First picture – sad, boring ol’ bun.  Second picture – glorious big bouncy hair and a stunning bejeweled headpiece to adorn my shiny tresses.

In the weeks that followed, I was amazed to see just how much repair this system did for my hair.  The dual action technology in the PrX line “helps to protect against keratin loss while helping to prevent future damage by conditioning and restoring smoothness.”  Using the shampoo and conditioner every other day has given me softer and smoother hair, but it was the mask and 3 day treatment that was truly the piece de resistance.  After my first use with the mask, I saw a dramatic difference in the texture of my ends and significant reduction in frizziness.  There was a sleek-ness that had not been there before and my hair looked very healthy.  Over the course of a month, with regular use of the mask and the 3-day intensive treatment, I have seen less breakage from blow-drying and my hair seems stronger and easier to manage.   With results like these, this is a resolution that will no doubt be easy to keep.

Fekkai PrX products are available at fekkai.com and retail from $30-$100.  Jennifer Behr hair accessories can be found at jenniferbehr.com.

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