Archive for December, 2008

Product Review: Donna Marie Ultimate Slip Detangler & Leave-in

donnamarieslipd 

PRODUCT:   Donna Marie Ultimate Slip Detangler & Leave-In, 8 oz., $10.00.

AVAILABLE ATBeauty by Donna Marie website.

APPLICATION:  I decided to use the Ultimate Slip Detangler as a leave-in.  After a conditioner wash with Mills Creek Aloe Conditioner, I squeezed out excess water, then applied a small amount of the Ultimate Slip Detangler in sections.  I didn’t comb through, just raked the product through my hair with my fingers.  The consistency was that of a thin lotion with a light fruity scent.  When trying a product for the first time, I prefer using it alone, so no other products were added.  This makes it easier to see how well it works on my hair.  

RESULTS:  The Donna Marie Ultimate Slip Detangler & Leave-In gave me the perfect wash and go.   I have fine hair and the volume I got with the Slip Detangler was incredible.  I also love the soft hair with llight hold the product gave me.  While styling my hair, I was able to separate coils all the way through to the ends with no tangles.  I even achieved second day hair.  All I did this morning was wet my hands and raked my fingers through my hair.  Here are the results:

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VERDICT:  The fact that I can use this product alone as a leave-in makes it a winner for me.   An added plus is I achieved second-day hair.  Can’t wait to try this with the Coco Curly Butter and as a detangler on my next shampoo.  This definitely needs to be added to my staples.

Make sure you stop by Beauty by Donna Marie’s website and check out all the goodies Ayanna creates for curly hair.  The customer service is excellent (thanks Ayanna!) with quick responses to all questions and concerns. 

This week I will also post results from using samples of Donna Marie’s Lock & Twist Pudding, Cocoa Hemp Hair Buttercream, and their newest product, Honey & Aloe Curling Jelly.

Organic Baby Products, Not Just For Babies

Baby your skin with these products from Nature’s Gate Organic Baby and Earth’s Best Organic product lines.  I purchased Nature’s Gate Organic Baby Baby Oil ($5.89) and  Earth’s Best Organic (Jason’s product) Extra Rich Therapy Creme Calendula ($6.79) from VitaCost.net because they’re cheaper.  Shipping is only $4.99 on any size order.   

naturesgatebabyoil  I use the Nature’s Gate Organic Baby Baby Oil  for both hair and skin.  It has a pleasant light orange scent and is a great skin moisturizer after a shower or bath.  I’ve also used this oil both as a hot oil treatment and a sealant.  I get fabulous twistouts with amazing volume and softness with this oil.     

Nature’s Gate Organic Baby Baby Oil IngredientsGlycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Gossypium Hirsutum Extract (Cotton), Rhodymenia Palmata Extract (Dulse), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula), Althaea Officinalis Root Extract (Marshmallow), Borago Officinialis Extract (Borage), Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract (Elder), Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Gossypium Herbaceum Seed Extract (Cotton), Hydrolyzed Cottonseed Protein, Beta-Carotene, Tocopherol, Zea Mays Oil (Corn), Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil (Safflower), Phenoxyethanol, Water, Butylene Glycol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Sweet Almond), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil (Orange), Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Lavender), Citrus Aurantium Bergamina Oil (Bergamot), Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, IIlicium Verum (Anise) Oil, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil. 1) Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International 2) Certified Organic by Guaranteed Organic Certification Agency.

vitacostjasonsextrarich The Earth’s Best Organic Extra Rich Therapy Creme Calendula is nice and thick with a light lavender scent.  What I really like about this cream is that it moisturizes so well, there is no need to reapply in the morning.  Skin stays smooth and moisturized.

Earth’s Best Extra Rich Therapy Creme Calendula ingredients:  Aqua (Purified Water), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivote, Sorbitan Olivote, Beta-Glucan, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Betaine, Glyceryl Laurate, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. *Certified Organic.

**Gossypium Hirsutum Extract (cotton honeydew).  This extract provides a protective barrier that helps to keep moisture in and has been proven to be good for both hair and skin.  We will probably see this extract in more skin and hair products in the near future.

Products available offline at Kroger, Meijer, Target, Babies R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, Vitamin Shoppe. 

Available online at Vitacost.net, Drugstore.com, EarthsBest.com.

It + Straight Hair = Kinky-Curly Hair?

So glad I can laugh at myself because if I couldn’t, I’d probably be locked up somewhere.  Seriously.  I straightened my hair this weekend for a trim and vowed to keep it straight for a week.  I used a heat protectant by Motions which did a good job of smoothing and straightening my hair.  I was done in less than 30 minutes tops and my hair turned out beautiful.  Would you believe it lasted less than 24 hours? 

Before bed, I carefully wrapped my hair and then applied a silk scarf.  After all, if I couldn’t achieve second-day hair, how was I going to make it a week?  Somewhere between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., It changed everything.  How did I forget to add It to the equation.  It always seemed to happen unexpectedly or unannounced.  It messed up everything.  Can you guess what It is?  

In the morning, I removed my scarf and unwrapped my hair in the mirror.  The left side (the side I sleep on) was visibly fluffy from the edges to the nape and, dare I say it, not straight.  It had struck again.  This was clearly the aftermath of It, a.k.a. “hot flash”.   The hair on the right side was flat, smooth, and straight.  I think I laughed a good 30 minutes before I pulled myself together.  No one would have ever guessed my hair had been straightened less than 24 hours ago.  I definitely wasn’t going to straighten it again, so I put it in a ponytail.  Looks like my straight hair won’t be making it a week after all.  Lol.

A word of advice for those going through It.  Always think about It when attempting any hair technique or process because It can produce unfavorable or unexpected results when straightening, bunning, saran wraps, protective styles, etc.

Sample Review: Sycamore Boutique

SYCAMORE BOUTIQUE

I purchased samples of Sycamore Boutique’s Unscented Shea Emoillient Cream (Winter Blend) which is a bestseller for this Etsy store.  This special blend is created for those suffering with eczema and dry skin, and includes ingredients such as  shea, almond oil, evening primrose oil, and chamomile extract.  Since my skin and hair loves aloe vera and shea, I also purchased their Aloe-Shea Butter Cream.  

**NOTE:  The Sycamore Boutique has recently added African Black Soap directly from Ghana to their inventory.  The soap bar is huge (6 oz.) and is $5.50.  Also check out Sycamore Boutique’s online shop which includes specialty soaps, soy candles, perfume oils, and jewelry.  Angela, the owner, is very friendly and quick to reply to any questions you may have.  Make sure to visit both stores.

 

a.  sycamoresheacream        b. sycamorealoebutter

  • a.  Shea Butter Emoillient Cream, Trial Size 1/2 oz. $1.00, Reg. 2 oz. size $5.00.  The Winter Blend cream is unscented and is one of Sycamore Boutique’s bestsellers.  It is currently available in 4 oz., 8 oz., and 16 oz. sizes.  A generous quantity of  premium oils like Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, and Evening Primrose Oil are added to this cream.    
  • b.  Aloe-Shea Butter, Trial Size 1/4 oz., $1.25 – This is a super thick cream/butter made with a combination of Aloe – Shea and Soy.   It is a great spot treatment for rough dry skin without having an oily feeling.  This can also be blended in your hand with your regular moisturizer to give it a boost.

I bought the Shea Emoillient Cream as a moisturizer for my skin, but especially my face.  So far it has given me the moisture I need and is very soothing.  I have super sensitive skin and have had no irritation, redness, or breakouts from this product.  An added plus is that this product is also unscented.  I really like it and I’m praying it continues to work for me.  My skin does seem smoother, but I’m not sure whether or not I can attribute it to the Shea Emoillient Cream just yet as I recently started using Vermont Oatmeal & Lavender Soap as a facial cleanser.   

I haven’t used the Aloe-Shea Butter yet, but will definitely come back and post a review for it.  It is also unscented, thick, and creamy.

ETA:  The “Winter Blend” cream is definitely smoothing and healing my skin.  The dry spots on my face are no longer flaky and the redness is gone.  This one is definitely a keeper and I will purchase regular size jar.

I finally tried the Aloe-Shea Butter sample as a hair moisturizer and it did a good job of providing sheen and softness.  The Aloe-Shea Butter was a little gritty, though, as I melted it between my hands.  I had tiny white balls in my hair after it dried which were easily removed by shaking my hair.  I will   inquire about this as I’m interested in purchasing regular size.

I’d like to add that I will ALWAYS give honest product and sample reviews.  Though it seems all my reviews are favorable, this may be in part due to the fact I tend to purchase products with ingredients I know my skin and hair likes.  If a product or sample doesn’t work, I’ll definitely inform you.

Sample Reviews: Brown Butter Soaps and Blossoming Tree

I’m currently seeking products for a dry scalp (product buildup) and dry patchy skin (eczema).  To save money, I’ve decided to purchase samples or trial sizes to try.  With this crappy economy, it’s a good way to save money, especially if the product doesn’t work as well as expected.  

CHRISTINE GANT, BROWN BUTTER SOAPS ARTISAN BATH & BODY

By visiting Brown Butter Soap’s Shop Home Page, you know the owner, Christine Gant, is very knowledgeable about the ingredients she uses in her products.   She uses 100% pure Thieves Young Living Therapeutic essential oils, fresh herbal infusions, many organic ingredients, and no preservatives in her bath and body products.  I decided to sample her  Herbal Deluxe Hair and Body Oil (see below).  This oil has been on my Etsy Favorite’s List for a little while now and I was looking forward to trying it. 

For those suffering with a dry, irritated scalp, this oil is simply amazing.  Since using it, my scalp feel so much better.  I’ve also included the Herbal Scalp & Body Butter, although I didn’t sample it.  The ingredients are fantastic as well.

a.  cgantdeluxeoil1        b.   cgantdeluxebutter

  • a.  Herbal Deluxe Hair and Body Oil, 1 oz. sample, $3.00.  Wintertime dry scalp is an issue for many and its ingredients make it an excellent product to achieve scalp health.  An added plus is that it is good for the skin as well.  Ingredients:  Infused olive oil, burdock, comfrey root, neem, chamomile, nettle, black walnut hull, calendula flowers, Thieves Young Living Essential Oil (a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary), sweet almond oil,  Jojoba oil, and castor oil.   
  • b.  Herbal Deluxe Scalp & Body Butter, sample size, $3.00.  This double-duty body butter is the perfect product for wintertime skin issues (dry, chapped, cracked skin), as well as hair and scalp care.  Ingredients:  Infused olive oil consisting of the following Organic herbs: Burdock, Comfrey root, Neem, Chamomile, Nettle, Black Walnut Hull, Calendula Flowers, Thieves Young Living Essential Oil (a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary), unrefined raw shea butter, organic unrefined cocoa butter, first cold press food grade olive oil, jojoba oil, organic sesame oil, organic avocado oil, organic food grade coconut oil, pure unrefined and filtered bees wax.

Brown Butter Soaps Artisan Bath & Body also has natural soaps, dead sea salts, and facial masques/scrubs which are all  full of skin loving herbs and essential oils.  Make sure to check her out on Etsy.

BLOSSOMING TREE

A special shout out to my fellow Michiganian, BLOSSOMING TREE, for her wonderful “Try It Size” samples.  Thanks Blossoming Tree!

The Botanical Facial Cream is a light, fragrance-free cream.  Perfect for my sensitive skin, but due to my current dry skin issues, I think I may need something  a little heavier.  Good stuff!

The Vanilla, Orange, and Clove Soap is to die for.  This soap smells delicious and definitely made my shower more enjoyable.   I loved how my skin felt and kept getting a whiff of its delicious fragrance while drifting off to sleep.   Good stuff!

The Herbal Foot Soak is a must have to revitalize those feet, especially after shopping all day in socks and heavy boots.  Good stuff! 

Blossoming Tree’s Etsy store is closed until January 2009, but you can still purchase her items on Art Fire.    Also check out her cool blog spot (one of my favorites) here.

I’ll be sampling more natural products for hair and skin.  Stay tuned.

Boots for Ladies with “Big Legs” and All

Twenty years ago, you could have never told me that one day I’d have a problem finding boots to fit my calves.  Who?  Me?  The girl with the  chicken legs?  Not anymore.  I have “big legs” and I love ’em, but finding a pair of boots that are fashionable and fit my calves ain’t easy.   To give you an idea of how hard it is, check out Nordstrom’s (3 pages), Macy’s (1 page), or J.C. Penny (nada).  These stores have 10+ pages of boots for “average size” calves compared to zero to 3 pages of boots in “extended calf sizes”.  WTF?  Um, I think there are enough ladies with “big legs” to validate a larger selection of  boots in “extended calf sizes”.  Okay?

So far my search is better online.  Here is what I found:

a.nordstromsudiniadjustableboot1b.macysstylecoboot1c.naturalizerstunnedboot1d.shoesnaturalizerboot

  • a.  Nordstrom Sudini Adjustable Tall Boot, $199.00.  Elasticized corset-style lacing in back creates a custom fit on a classic riding boot.
  • b.  Macy’s Style & Co Harvey Boot, Sale $89.99.  A tall two-textured boot for fall, from Style&co.  Elastic insets at sides and top; side zip closure; adjustable buckle at top.
  • c.  Naturalizer Stunned Boot, Sale $99.99.  Man-made stretch material. Features the N5 Comfort System.
  • d.  Shoes.com Naturalizer Jadis Wide Calf, $150.00.

One thing I’m noticing is that they’re using manmade materials for the shaft of a lot of “extended calf size” boots.  Not feeling that look at all.  If I’m going to pay my money, give me a boot made of “all leather or swede”.   This selection is okay, but I’m going to keep on searching.  Do you know of any other stores that carry extended calf size boots?