Saturday, June 24, 2017

DIY Deep Conditioning Rhassoul Clay Cubes

I tried these out about a year ago. Or more. I really liked the ones that you can buy from Anita Grant. But I don't always have Anita Grant money- the shipping combined with the pounds to dollar rates can be killer. So I decided to try and make my own. 

I actually made a bunch of different kinds the first time I tried. Ones with Argan Oil, some with Walnut, some with Coconut Oil, some with Babassu. And I actually really liked the idea of them. I sat a bunch in the fridge and found they don't really last as long as I would like and they are a little hard to get the texture right so they don't melt. So I'm still experimenting.

Also the scent was a bit hard to get right! I ordered a ton of different fragrance oils before I discovered I really loved just using essential oils. Something about the artificial scenting just didn't vibe with natural scents of the Cocoa and Shea Butter.

So on to todays experiment.

I started by adding Rhassoul and Bentonite clay. Rhassoul is a little less drying and I like to combine it with the Bentonite which is super good for drawing out impurities. About three tablespoons in all!

Then I added Vatika Oil. Which is basically enriched Coconut oil. I'm low on regular Coconut Oil. I think I added a little over a two tablespoons  and mixed it until smooth. Actually I think I went a little overboard and should have added a lot less because they came out a bit softer and meltier than they should be. Whoops.

I also added some rosemary and peppermint essential oil-because I like a little scent. I think I added five rosemary and five peppermint. It doesn't smell very strong- just a slight scent. 

Then I melted some Cocoa Butter. Probably not enough and mixed that in too. It was kind of liquidy at the time. I should have added more the clay. But I just went ahead and put in into the molds I bought off eBay. I was too lazy to clean off my little plastic spoon. You can't use metal- because metal reacts with the clay.

Popped them into the freezer for a little while. Then popped them out the molds and was left with some super cute clay hair mask cubes. 

All I have to do when I'm ready to use is add some super hot liquid- tea, coconut water, plain water. You can add some honey. Really whatever you would like. Until you have a mud consistency. Smooth it through sections of hair- you can comb through. Let is set at least an hour. 
See? All melty-but cute!

And then I have super clean, curls popping, ready to drink up some moisture hair. I think I will go ahead and use a few tonight to see how I like this particular mix.

In the meantime, if you would like you can check out my old review on the Anita Grant ones.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Too Cool For School Coconut Oil Serum Sheet Mask Review

Back to the masks! Another lovely gift from my friend Tia (hey Tia!)! I'm slowly but surely making my way through them and will keep the reviews coming!

Too Cool For School claims:
Brightening and Wrinkle improvement function. An oil+serum mask featuring ultimate hydration duo. An intensive treatment of hydrating coconut water and nourishing coconut oil. Water-textured and lightweight oil is absorbed into skin quickly without feeling oily. Translucent and light as air sheet adheres to all curves of face to effectively deliver active ingredients. 

I'm a big fan of Coonut. I've been drinking all the Coconut Water I could get my hands on. Love that stuff! And I also love Coconut Oil. I love it as make-up remover, as a hydrating body oil, etc. So I was all ready to try this out.

I put this one in the fridge too. It's hot here...and a cold mask is always refreshing. The first thing I noticed is it has a light, pleasant coconut scent. It soon faded away even having it directly under my nose. Which was fine. I would rather it fade away than be over powering.

This mask was saturated with "essence". I had enough to cover my neck and my whole upper body with extra serum. I left it one for probably around 40 minutes even though the directions advise 10-20. I figure the longer the better.

I noticed my skin looked a little brighter. And it was super hydrated. Almost too hydrating for my super oily skin and I didn't like the look of my skin for the next couple of days because it seemed a bit too dewey. But I imagine in the winter time this would be great for for dry skin or dry patches. It's just I'm impatient and need to use them all, because I MUST try them all now!

Water,Coconut Water, Glycerin, Methylpropaneidol, Niacinamide, 1,2 Hexanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-32, Cycolhexasiloxanem Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Mysristate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate. Polysorbate 60, Coocnut Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Arginine, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium  Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Ethylhexyl Glycerin Disodium EDTA, Parfum

A fun little skin treat for when you want to spoil yourself! But probably more suitable to dryer skin. Tea Tree Oil one is still my fave!  

Gil Scott Heron-Home is Where the Hatred Is

I'm not a big listener of hip hop- but every now and again I take a break from the R&B, Funk, Soul...and get into some hip hop. One of my favorite things to do is go back and listen to the original samples. I've discovered some good music that way.

This song was one of them. 

Music that tells a story. Music that makes you listen. This song is one of those songs. 

I really don't know much about the artists, but I definitely plan on getting into his catalogue and seeing what else he has.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Makeup Videos That Taught Me Something (Part 2)

I did a post like this awhile back, just showing some of the vids that actually taught me something. These days youtube is filled with people doing the same looks on themselves, or trying to sell you something with a discount code. I mostly stay away from those vids. There are a select few beauty youtubers that I love watching. Usually real working artist that have a large knowledge base when it comes to making up every eye shape, face shape, skintone, and skin problem. 

These vids in particular are ones that stand out to me that I thought I would share.

1. Monika Blunder Kerry Washington Inspired Look- I've been into watching her vids lately. She's a working artist that does everything from red carpet to television make up. The only complain that I have (I always have this complaint!) is I wish she would do more deeper toned models. This is one vid that I came across that I thought her foundation was especially we done. So many time I will see someone attempt a brown-skin model and botch it completely. She really brought out the different tones of the model's skin flawlessly. I've seen many people try to do this on youtube and there was always just something heavy and off about it. Especially the overuse of the infamous banana powder.
Check it out!

2. Lisa Eldridge's One Bride, Two Makeup Looks (Plus Vitiligo)- I'm a big, big fan of Lisa Eldridge. I love watching her vids. And especially her vlogs. If you haven't seen them they are definitely worth checking out. And so is this vid. It's nice to see an artist address skin issues that can be a struggle to deal vitiligo. I don't think it has to be covered, but if someone wants to cover it up this is a very helpful vid in learning to do so without looking all heavy and cakey. Her skin looks completely flawless with minimal product and you can't even tell she has vitiligo! Nothing but respect.

3. Robert Jones Uneven Eyelids- I feel a lot of his techniques and looks to be a little dated and formulaic, but I can't deny his color theory vid really dropped some great knowledge on me. I had no idea what this video was when I looked at it....but it was very interesting to see him give her eyes a more even look. No one's face is completely symmetrical, and I just found this video to be very interesting.

And that's all I've got for now! In the meantime I will keep watching and maybe I will do a part 3!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nars #14 Eye Contour Brush Brush Review

I was going through my brush collection to see if there was anything I might not have reviewed....and came across my NARS eye brushes. I bought this around the time they started replacing them with the newer, sleeker brushes. I really like the look of the old brushes- although the new ones are pretty cool too, there is just something about the classics. 

NARS #14

It looks very similar to the new NARS 44 brush. This brush is 80 percent goat and 20 percent pony....and soft. Yet still dense. I use it mostly like a pencil brush. So to apply and blend color on the lower lashes or to smudge out pencil liner. 

I have the MAC 219 pencil brush. And I prefer this over that. I just think it's softer and does a better job. 

It's made in China. I believe the whole line of NARS brushes are, or at least all that I've come across. As opposed to MAC brushes that are made everywhere from China, Japan, France and the US.

It's a great brush. I really wish they would bring it back- but in the meantime the #44 is similar ( if not identical) enough that there probably is really no need.

I really do need to get some more NARS eye brushes- I've loved them all, with the exception of the brow brush. 

Princess and The Frog: Yumbo Gumbo Recipe

I've been in the kitchen again. This time...making Gumbo! I love the Princess and the Frog, and the recipe that stands out the most (besides Beignets) is the one that started it all....Gumbo. Gumbo is what her dad made and jumpstarted Tiana's love for cooking.  I loved that aspect of the story. And I was too hype to try out Tianas dads recipe.

I haven't had Gumbo in years and years. Maybe not since I was little, if I ever had it at all. I just can't remember for sure. This is a simple Gumbo recipe. It is in a children cookbook after all. So the ingredients are a bit simpler-no crab and whatever else you find in Gumbo.

I did change some of the recipe....just little things I thought would give it more flavor. 

First off I browned the flour in the oven with the spices. It's a great combination of spices. I didn't have any Old Bay-so I had to go out and get some. I guess it was about time I picked up the spice-I live in Maryland and Marylanders seem crazy about it. In addition to flour there was paprika (I used smoked), thyme, and salt.

In the meantime I started cooking down the onion, celery and green onions. This was the extra bit I added. Originally you just throw it all in the broth with the sausages but that seemed wrong to me. So I cooked them down to get the most flavor out of them. 

I added the sausage.

Then the chicken stock-half homemade that I had in the freezer, and half store bought. And the browned flour/water mixture.

Then added the chicken and shrimp. 

And BAM! Yumbo Gumbo.

Pretty good. Pretty good. I would make it again if I was ever in the mood for a big ol' pot of gumbo. But for now I think I have enough to last just short of forever since it made a HUGE pot. 

I found the recipe posted online here, so I won't repost it. Check it out if you are interested in making your very own pot of gumbo.

Or share if you have an amazing gumbo recipe you think I should try.