Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tia Mowry Big Chops!!!

Growing up watching Sister Sister I fell in love with Tia and Tamera, as most of us did. Most recently I grew to love her and her acting skills even more as one of the stars on The Game. She has since increased her dopeness level even more (in my book) by BIG CHOPPING!!! Check out her gorgeous pics.

Did you big chop or transition? What do you think of Tia’s new look? I love it! Please share below.

150 Subscriber Giveaway *Winner*

It feels like I just announced the Curls and Mo 150 Subscriber Giveaway for a Shea Radiance Deluxe Spa Sampler. It was such a huge milestone for me that I can’t believe my readership has doubled since then! I am so thankful.

Congratulations, Juliette, and thank you for supporting Curls and Mo! Juliette was gracious enough to answer a few questions for Curls and Mo. She offered some great tips. Check it out!

1. What is your favorite spa service? Korean day spa at King Sauna in Palisades Park, NJ. It’s a multi level spa with sauna huts that offer different healing benefits.  People get lost in this place for hours on end. Some never leave — it is open 24 hours and there are several sleeping rooms available. It’s incredible how lying in a hot room completely relaxes my nerves instead of leaving me hot and flustered. My hair likes it too! To protect my hair from the heat, I slather my tresses with deep conditioner and don a plastic cap — which essentially kills two birds with one stone. I’m protecting and deep conditioning! Nothing relaxes my mind and body (and hair!) more than this place!

2. How did you hear about curlsandmo.com? Facebook.

3. What is your favorite “ista” category? Why? Frugalista. If it’s not on sale, I’m not buying. This prevents impulsive purchases, which ultimately helps to keep the clutter at bay. It’s amazing how much saving 50¢ here and there can really add up at the end of the month. I love when there’s surprise extra money in my checking account. It goes directly to my Vacation Fund. 😉

I love Juliette’s thinking. Smart woman! And, did you catch the tip about deep conditioning in the sauna? WHO KNEW?! What’s your favorite spa service? Have you ever tried dc’ing (deep conditioning) at the SPA??? Please share below.

Recap – New York Fashion Week: The Curly Edition

Pictures. Pictures. Pictures.

New York Fashion Week is one of the most highly anticipated fashion extravaganzas in the world. Designers, models and fashion connoisseurs from around the world come here to view the newest fashion trends. I’ve never been interested in NYFW (although fashion does interest me) but this year I decided to hit the town. I hit three events – none “fashion” per se but I had an amazing time celebrating NYFW the curly way.

NYFW is officially kicked off by Fashion’s Night Out. There are tons of events and parties in the city. High end department stores are known for their huge parties and celebrity guests. Kim Kardashian celebrated at Lord & Taylor this year and last. And, Solange (my and every curly’s hair and style icon) was on the 1s and 2s at DVF.

FNO – 9/6 | Natural’s Night Out, Chic N Kinky

On Fashion’s Night Out, I attended Naturals Night Out hosted by Chic N Kinky. I was supposed to attend two other events that night but it didn’t happen. *shrug* While I didn’t make my other events I did enjoy this event because I was able to mix and mingle with other naturals including two college friends and some other naturalistas I’ve met at other events throughout the city. Everyone was definitely fashionable. I was glad I broke out the neon! CharyJay and Jenell were special guests and a few other bloggers and vloggers were there, too.

What I Wore: Black Peplum Top – Target, Neon Green Pencil Skirt – Target, Leopard Print Belt – F21, Snake Print Heels – Zappos, Black Quilted Leather Purse – Burberry, Julep Maven Nails – Gloria, Hair – Chary Jay Inspired Textured Updo.

9/7 | Natural Blogger Meet & Greet, Jenell & CharyJay

That Friday I attended the Natural Bloggers Meet & Greet hosted by Chary Jay of Chary-Jay.com and Jenell of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com (both ladies are also on YouTube). The event was a lot of fun, the hostesses kept us entertained with a scavenger hunt, awards for best hair, outfit and accessories and tons of giveaways (of course I won one). I had a great time with my gorgeous fellow BLMGirl Cherrie of cherrieamore.com. Each attendee left with samples from Shea Moisture, Entwine Couture, Original Moxie, Nothing But and Karen’s Body Beautiful. Special Guests: Sunshine of SunshinesNaturalandLovingIt.com, Julian of Bella-Kinks.com, Jonna of NaturallyGlam.com and Sherry Blossom of SherryBlossomBeauty.com.

What I Wore: Hi/Low Red Ruched Top – Target, Black Shiny Leggings – American Apparel, Leopard Print Sandals – Beverly Feldman, Julep Maven Nails – Gloria, Black Quilted Leather Purse – Burberry, Hair – Pinned Back Twist Out

9/12 | Ready-To-Hair, curlBOX at Ouidad NYC

I ended my Fashion Week festivities with the curlBOX invite-only private event at the Ouidad Salon the following Wednesday night. I am so thankful to Myleik for thinking of me! When I got the invitation I knew I had to take my mom who’s transitioning. Ouidad debuted two of their new products: Curl Co-Wash and Mongongo Oil. Each attendee got a one-on-one personal hair consultation with a Ouidad Stylist. There were passed hor d’oeuvres, champagne, wine, desserts and a wonderful vibe and atmosphere. As if all of that wasn’t enough, each guest received a full size bottle of both Ouidad products as their parting gift. Amazing night. Amazing company. And, amazing way to end my first NYFW.

What I Wore: Black Lace Dress – Target, Black Stockings, Navy Blue Suede & Black Patent Leather Ankle Strap Pumps – Me Too, Black Quilted Leather Purse – Burberry, Sally Hansen Nails – Green with Envy Hair, Twisted Updo.

Click here to view **pictures** from all three events! Did you curlies attend any NYFW shows? If so, which ones? Please let me know below.

The Co-Wash Queen: Choosing the Right Conditioners for You

Ever since I discovered co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner) its effectiveness has been debated amongst naturals. I think it’s great because it allows you to retain as much moisture in your hair as possible while cleansing.

Many naturals are skeptical because they don’t believe hair can be cleansed using only conditioner. However, because conditioners contain cleansing properties you can cleanse your hair with only conditioner, which many  are unaware of. Some conditioners are even formulated specifically for purifying (cleansing) AND conditioning the hair (see, video above for my favorite purifying conditioner). While I love co-washing I do shampoo my hair every few weeks, especially when my hair has product buildup or my scalp is really itchy (which it has been the past few weeks because I’m doing the Castor Oil Challenge).

My Current Conditioning Staples:
Cleanser: Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Purifying Conditioner
Detangling/Conditioning: Tresmme Naturals Conditioner
Leave-In: Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia
Deep: Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask
Styling: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Conditioning Milk

Below is a chart from Essence magazine I re-created for those of you who don’t have the issue. If you’re looking for new conditioners, it may guide you in what to look for.

RIGHT CONDITIONER FOR YOU*

 

RINSE OUTS

LEAVE-INS

OILS

DEEP MASQUES

PURPOSE

Instant restorer of your hair’s PH balance, which goes out of sync after shampooing with sulfate-based cleansers. Smooths cuticle layers, seals in moisture and protects against dryers and irons. Liberator of hair’s natural sheen, oils penetrate cuticles faster to deliver instant moisture and shine. Savior of fragile, breaking strands. Also the BFFs for chemically processed hair, they deliver what it needs at a more intense level.

BEST FOR

Normal, dry, brittle and damaged hair types. Natural and relaxed hair from normal to dry, or brittle and damaged. Dry, dull and/or chemically processed hair. Damaged, dry and relaxed or colored hair.

SELECT

Two-in-one shampoo conditioner systems for normal and fine hair; hydrating for dry hair and keratin for damaged. Lightweight and liquid formulas for fine hair and locs; creamy for medium and thick/coarse hair and naturals; use silicones if heat styling. Essential oils like jojoba, sage or lavender; they have strong healing properties. Shea, coconut, olive, Moroccan or Argan oils also provide protection. Moisture or protein formulas, based on what your hair craves. For example, just relaxed hair needs moisture, but brittle breaking hair needs protein.

USE WHEN

After shampooing. Let sit for 5 minutes mad. Or use instead of shampoo, after gym or between salon visits, to cleanse and moisturize hair. Hair is wet, right after you’ve shampooed (and used a rinse-out) to “lock-in” natural textures, or before blowing hair dry. Hair has lost luster or is extremely dry, and when it’s most porous right after a relaxer or coloring. Loc wearers should add hot oil treatments for best penetration. Hair is overprocessed; after removing braids, weaves or a lace-front wig; or if hair’s been damaged by a health related problem.

*Essence: Special Issue – Hot Hair Fall 2011, “The Right Conditioners” pgs. 101-102

As always, if you have questions about technique, tools or products please feel free to email me at curlsandmo@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

Do you have a favorite conditioner? Is it a staple? How long have you been using it? Please share below.

Which Beauty Subscription Girl Are You?

Beauty Subscriptions have become very popular recently and a new one seems to pop up every few months. Beauty Subscriptions are a service for which you pay and receive products monthly, the type of products you receive depends on the service you sign up for. These Subscriptions are great because they allow you to try different products without having to pay full price to try products you may not like. And, if you’re a novice like me you can also try products from companies you are probably unfamiliar with. An added bonus is that the value of the products each month is usually greater than your monthly fee so you get more “bang for your buck”. Another great thing is that you’re not bound to purchase a box each month; you can skip any month you want, cancel anytime and even gift a month to someone else.

I currently have a monthly subscription with Julep Maven, a nail polish subscription service. I’ve been a member for seven months. I love that Julep Maven is “4-free” (it doesn’t contain carcinogens formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene or DBP), the polishes are really creamy and smooth and a portion of all proceeds goes to organizations that empower women. I also love that my first box was a PENNY and I can cancel or skip any time. If you’re interested and want to get your first box for 1¢, click here and use the code PENNY.

Other Cool Subscription Services :
Beauty Army, $12 – Discover the best beauty products for your needs. Beauty Box 5, $12 – Receive 4-5 monthly samples of your favorite beauty brands.
Birch Box
, $10 – Hand-picked beauty and lifestyle samples, delivered to your door.                                                                                                                                                 Birch Box Men, $20 – Receive trial-size grooming and lifestyle products each month. (Great gift for a dad, partner, brother, friend, etc.)
curlBOX, $20 – An exclusive, affordable & effortless way to experience products for curly hair.                                                                                                       Eco-Emi, $15 – You will have the luxury of trying out the green world in the comfort of your own home.                                                                                               Glossy Box, $21 – Receive 5 beauty products from international brands and have exclusive access to global trends.
Green Grab Bag, $15 A surprise eco-friendly bag of natural beauty products delivered to your door every month.
Ipsy, $10 – Receive deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products each month. (Formerly known as My Glam Bag)
Nature Box, $19.95 – 4-6 full-sized healthy snacks delivered each month.
Kara’s Way, $15 – Receive 5-10 natural eco-friendly beauty products each month.
My Shade of Brown, $10 – 4 or 5 premium sized samples tailored to women of color delivered monthly.                                                                                        Popsugar, $35– Receive over $100 worth of full-size and premium hand-selected items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food.                  Sample Society, $15 – Receive 5 deluxe-sized samples, a $15 gift code to redeem on a $50 purchase, expert beauty advice to accompany your samples from the editors of Allure, a one-year subscription to Allure magazine.         Starbox, $15 – Try entire makeup line for $15. They ship internationally.                                                                                                                          Total Beauty, $15 – Get 4-6 deluxe beauty samples of cosmetics, hair, and skin care products. Quantities are limited, so you have to sign up to be the first to know when a Collection goes on sale.

Check out my Julep Maven Review here on YouTube!

Are you a Beauty Subscription girl? If so, which one(s) are you subscribed to? Do you love it? {Post Image courtesy of Danielle Devay}

Birthday Freebies!

 

One month ago today I celebrated my birthday. 😀 I received some great discounts and freebies from several stores.

Here’s What I Got:
Starbucks: Free Drink Coupon, any size, hot or cold. (Must be used within 5 days or your birthday.)
How? Register any gift card and become a Gold Card Holder through Starbucks’ free rewards program.
Dunkin Donuts: Free Medium Drink Coupon.
How? Must be an email subscriber.
Victoria’s Secret: $10 Off Coupon, no minimum purchase.
How? Must be a VS Credit Card Holder.
Sephora: Free Product, varies. I received a Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo. It’s automatically linked to your card. Go into any Sephora the week before or after your birthday, present your card to any cashier and they will give you your free treat in a cute little Sephora bag.
How? Sign up to be a Sephora Beauty Insider through Sephora’s free rewards program.
Anthropologie: 15% off any purchase during your birthday month.
How? Must be a member of Anthropologie’s free rewards program, sign up in any Anthropoligie store.
Michael’s: 20% off any purchase during your birthday month.
How? Must be a member of Michael’s free Rewards Program, you can register when you check out at any Michael’s store.

A few days after my birthday I also received an invitation to join the CVS Beauty Club which has some great incentives including coupons and ways to earn Extra Bucks. Sign up here! I took advantage of most of my rewards and it was great! I received other coupons via email, too.

*Tip: If you have a favorite store or one that you shop at frequently, the next time you’re there ask them if they have a rewards program!

Do you take advantage of retail birthday freebies? If so, please share below.

Black Girls Workout, Too! {Part 3 of 3} – What Do I Eat???

This is the last and final installment of the 3 Part Series “Black Girls Exercise, Too”. In Part 1, I discussed why I run and how I started my current workout routine. In Part 2, I discussed how to stay motivated and exercise tips. In this Part I am going to discuss what I eat. I try to pack my lunch and snacks every day to save money but more importantly so that I have healthy food options when I’m hungry.

My diet changes were gradual. I started by cutting down my caffeine intake. Last summer I was up to 3-4 cups per day. I was putting in long hours professionally so I thought I needed it, but caffeine is NOT a sleep substitute. Do NOT rely on caffeine to keep you awake. For starters, it prevents you from losing weight since sleep aids in weight loss. (Did you know that?) Studies show that our bodies automatically burn fat while we sleep, so the less you sleep the fewer calories your body is burning…but, I digress.

Below is a typical list of the meals and snacks I eat daily and some options/tips that have worked for me.

Breakfast – Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich w/small Coffee (skim milk, sugar)                                                                                                                                         We all know breakfast is the most important part of the day. I start my day with a pbj sandwich and usually a small coffee (my ONLY coffee for the day). I don’t know about you but I love the caramel syrup Dunkin Donuts uses in their iced drinks so I would add it to my iced coffee in the summer and my hot coffee during the winter…um WHY did I think that was okay? I realized that the calories in that caramel syrup are empty calories and not good for me. (Read about empty calories here.) I stopped adding the syrup to my drinks and stick with sugar, preferably raw sugar. There aren’t many differences between regular white sugar and sugar in the raw, but you can check out this this article to read about the differences in the process to make both. Personally I prefer unbleached sugar (and food). Thanks.

Snack 1 – Greek Yogurt with Honey & Almonds                                      I like yogurt. It’s a quick easy snack, especially on the go but the sugar can add up so you have to be careful. When I heard about Greek yogurt I was sold. Not only is it also convenient, but each cup is packed with FOURTEEN grams of protein. My favorite brand is Fage because it comes with a little attachment of either fruit or honey. I buy the honey because even though sugar is not good for you honey is the lesser of two evils and I have a serious sweet tooth. If you love sweets, too, choosing honey or agave, which are both natural, is a much healthier alternative than regular sugar or syrup.

Lunch – Salad                                                                                                  I buy two bagged salads per week. I dump both bags into a huge bowl, add a sliced cucumber and tomato into the bowl. This makes packing lunch quick and easy during the week. Every day I fill a bowl with this mixture then I add low-fat croutons in the corner of the bowl (try to keep them restricted to one side so they don’t get too soggy during the day). Next I add protein; I usually add dry tuna (1 can is usually enough for 3 salads). If I have chicken left over from dinner the night before I’ll slice up a piece and add it cold. I bought a tiny Tupperware bowl on ebay for salad dressing so I take about 2 teaspoons of my favorite low-fat dressing with me. I also add a sliced egg sometimes. This is a BORING lunch and not the tastiest but it fills me up, it’s quick and it’s relatively healthy.

Snack 2 – Fresh Fruit                                                                               This summer I’ve been loving strawberries and cherries so I’ll usually wash a few, throw them in a bowl and take them with me for later. Sometimes I take bananas to work but you have to be really careful because they bruise easily during the commute. Of course apples come with me, too, sometimes.

Dinner – Protein, Starch & Veggies                                                 Protein: I’m not a big meat-eater. I don’t eat pork and rarely eat beef. Poultry and seafood are my proteins of choice so one of these two will likely be on my dinner plate. I’m thinking about phasing the poultry out and becoming a pescetarian again but I haven’t made the leap yet.                                                      Starch: I usually add brown rice, whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread to the mix. I’m looking forward to experimenting with quinoa and couscous in the near future, I recently purchased both. Also, sweet potatoes are the business!                                                                                                                                   Veggies: Sometimes I eat my bagged salad mix if I don’t have any other fresh veggies to saute or steam. Otherwise I’ll heat up a can of veggies from the market. But, BE CAREFUL, canned veggies can have a lot of sodium. Make sure you get low sodium and check the label before you purchase it.

Snack 3 – Oatmeal                                                                                      My “midnight snack” is oatmeal. Oatmeal provides a balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein, so it’s a healthy choice day or night. It helps prevent heart disease and studies have shown that Oatmeal can help lower cholesterol. It also keeps you full for a long period of time because it’s packed with fiber. Again, make sure whatever brand you buy is low in sugar, if it has any at all. If it doesn’t have added sugar you can add cinnamon, honey, agave, fresh fruit, nuts, etc. for a little extra flavor.

Tea – Varies                                                                                               Right now my nighttime tea of choice is Get Clean which I bought from Whole Foods.  This caffeine-free herbal tea claims to help stimulate the liver, one of the body’s natural cleansing mechanisms. It’s light and doesn’t have much of a taste. I don’t add any sweetener, I drink it plain. I also love peppermint tea, green tea and ginger tea.

This article, Save Over 300 Calories with Simple Winter Drink Swaps, has great examples of small ways you can cut down your caloric intake. These tiny changes will help you live a little longer and feel better.

Have you made any diet changes lately? What made you change your diet? Please share below and hopefully you can inspire someone.