April 7, 2017

SKIN CARE REVIEW: IS OLE HENRIKSEN BALANCE LINE ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? #OleGlow




I received this product complimentary from Influenster for the purposes of testing. Opinions are based on my experience using the product.


For those of you strapped for time,the tl;dr short answer here is... YES! This line is all it's cracked up to be and then some.

For everyone else here goes...

My skin is oily and quite acne prone so I tend to approach new products with a bit of skepticism, particularly if I've found a regimen (finally) that works for me. As you guys may know, prior to testing out this product line I was completely committed to, and generally pleased with my results from the Alba Botanica Acnedote line - I'd basically found my sweet spot high-low combo of Alba and Borghese products. Now? Let's just say that I'd have absolutely no issue switching completely to Ole Henriksen Balance Line. 

You can check out my first impressions blogpost for more details on ingredients in the Balance line. Quick recap: this line is eucalyptus and peppermint scented, plant based, free of parabens, sulfates, & phthalates. Noncomedogenic. Contains a proprietary complex of botanicals called Green Fusion Complex with natural antiseptic and hydrating properties. Contains ingredients geared toward gentle exfoliation, renewal and hydration like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids. Let's hop right into my thoughts, experience and results after testing these products since March 1st.


I'm quite pleased with this Balance line, and the cleanser does not disappoint. I mean really, how much can one expect to get from a cleanser, right? This peppermint and eucalyptus infused oil control face wash is the first step in a regimen that claims to lead to clear skin; and it did just that for me. The ingredients are all geared towards gently but effectively toning and refining the skin while clearing acne, and as with most cleansers is best used as part of a system of complimentary products. 

The size of this cleanser gives extreme bang for your buck. The quality is so high that you only need enough cleanser the size of a green pea to effectively lather up and get a nice refreshingly clean face. I predict this cleanser will last me another 3 months (4 months in all) at the very least, but I think it's more likely to last for 6 months. 

What's worth noting is that after using this facial cleanser, and even after my face has dried, there isn't that tightness or ashiness that occurs when you use a cleanser that is too drying for the skin. My skin actually feels soft and supple. My skin is clearer, with acne blemishes that haven't completely gone disappearing faster with use of this line & product.

The first time you use this toner you may be surprised at how strongly the eucalyptus and peppermint factor into the fragrance. There is no denying the scent. However, what may be even more surprising on the first go is how effectively the toner lifts residual dirt off the skin without causing dryness. After my first use there was this tacky(not the most accurate word)/dewy feel to my skin that I'm not very used to with toners geared toward acne prone and oily skin. The peppermint and eucalyptus fragrance is potent here, and these two create a cooling and soothing effect, however it does not sting or burn the skin. This is a good thing! I see how this product could be easily recommended for acne prone yet sensitive skin. I think this toner will last me at least another 2 months at least. 

Even though I love my Alba Botanica, I find the toner to be inconsistent formula wise, with some bottles feeling and smelling higher in alcohol content than others.

The more I used the product the more I appreciated that this toner was not only cleansing my skin, but actually and factually infusing it with all the goodness it contains AND moisture. 

The ingredients are geared towards refining the skin's tone and texture, clearing blemishes, balancing moisture and oiliness, and brightening the skin. And it did all these things for me. 

People tend to underestimate the importance of a toner in their routine because the see it as an unnecessary or useless step. But if you think about the fact that you don't rinse toner off your skin, and it consequently is allowed to absorb into the skin, this is actually an opportunity for you to get the right ingredients in a toner and boost the effectiveness of your skin care regimen. DON'T SLEEP ON THE POWER OF A GREAT TONER TO BOOST YOUR REGIMEN, regardless of your skin type. Find the right one! Search #theregimenchallenge over at HeyAprill.com for guidance on how to find the right products for your skin.

In my experience, it can be a challenge to find moisturizer for acne prone and very oily skin. This is because most moisturizers that claim to control oil or mattify either don't last past 4-6 hours or they end up causing you to be more oily because they can't find the balance between moisture or oil/shine control in their formula. Essentially leaving us to chose between not enough and too much. 

This moisturizer has found the balance. And I'm not trying to be corny here. Within the past month, temperatures on the East Coast (I've been traveling) have ranged from as low as high 20's to low 70's ºC, and this. Moisturizer. Lasts. All. Day. By the end of the day I have a slight shine, which is more like a glow, compared to my usual (which is basically me looking like I sprayed cooking oil on my face). 

Even though the price made my eyes bulge from my head a bit given the size, I'd have to say it's totally worth it. One pump was all I needed for each use and I'm pretty sure I have at least another 2 months before I need to re-up. 

Final Thoughts:
Over the past month I've been able to go from constantly oily through out the day to barely oily at the end of the day. The ingredients have helped to also refine my texture and tone, minimized my pores, and helped fade blemishes and give me an even glow without lightening my complexion. 

I don't want to sound like an Ole Henriksen evangelical (because while I did get these products to test for free, I'm not getting paid for gushing about these products and I'm not getting sponsored with a free lifetime supply of products... although that would be nice.... SO anyone reading at Ole Henriksen, please holly at ya girl😉). But I was actually able, for the first time in many years, to go out with no make-up and not feel self-conscious about blemishes, pimples, breakouts, scarring, or excessive oiliness. 

I'm not gonna say that it was solely these products that lead to this. I've been working hard at finding a regimen that can bring my skin to a level of health that I could be happy with. I continued to include products like my BHA liquid exfoliant, Borghese Cura Forte and Equilibrio, sheet masks, clay/charcoal masks, and tried a sample of the Ole peel from Sephora. However I'd be lying if I didn't say that I noticed a definite difference with the introduction of the #OleGlow products verses my results with Alba Botanica. 

I would recommend the entire Balance trio of Cleanser, Toner, & hydrator for anyone looking for a more natural, gentle, yet effective approach to addressing acne prone and combo/oily skin. You can purchase these items on the Ole Henriksen website or at Sephora, and there is a travel set you can purchase to try out before you commit. 

Look out for a video review coming soon!

Peace,



March 8, 2017

International Women's Day 2017 #IWD2017


For the women who came before me. Known and unknown. Seen and unseen. 
The women whose existence put them in danger and rendered them invisible in the same glance.
The women whose silence was forced by hands over mouths and boots on the neck. The women who learned what a weapon silence could be if within it there only resided faith the size of a mustard seed.
The women who did what they had to do so I could be.
The women who bore strange fruit when black love was forbidden and they were not free. 
The women who learned to love themselves, the women who didn't.
The women who thought that putting everything they had into other humans would get them into heaven.
For women who did the work.
For women who did the time.
For women who did the work and never got paid a dime.
For women who did the same thing every day and put their dreams aside
For women who were worth more to you dead than alive.
Women without a tombstone
Women without a grave
Women who the history books said were not worth saving.
Women whose labour built everything around you
Women whose DNA resides inside you.
That means their pain, their hurt, their love, their dreams.
Women who hoped for you in a time only their hearts could see.
The women who came before.
Image by  Carl van Vechten

The women who are me.
The women with invisible illnesses
Women with disabilities
Women who grin and bear the pain because the price of fighting death is too high
Women who are fighting the world just to get by
Women fighting addictions including men and their afflictions
Women fighting in project hallways, schools, prisons
Women fighting in hospitals & ICE detention centers
Women fighting at jobs where equal pay is actually double the time

Women who want to get ahead but feel safer at the back of the line.
Women who march. Women who don't. Women who can't. Women who won't.
The women who take their bodies back by saying yes
The women who take their bodies back by saying no.
The women who are killed for saying either
The women who are murdered for saying neither
The women who give birth 
The women who can't
The women who raise children because it's the right thing to do.
The women who don't want to
The women who choose not to
The women who die trying.


The women you loved first
The women you hate forever
The women who survived to create you
The women who survived you to create you.
The women who survived you.
The women who survived.
The women who thrive.
The women at the intersection of life and death.
To the women who know life as a thousand tiny deaths each day
To the women who know this but still wake up everyday
The women whose intersections have intersections.
To women who chose a path that made a way for me.
To the women who keep going despite not being able to see
To the women who walk by faith and not by sight
To the women who spit razors and stay strapped because faith without work is dead
To the women prepared to die.

For the women who make much out of nothing, and greatness out of something.
For the women who spin air and water into life.
For the women who watch fire consume it.
To the women who rise from the ashes time and time again.

Thank you.

March 1, 2017

OLEHENRIKSEN x Influenster #OleGlow VoxBox Unboxing & First Impressions


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for the purposes of testing, and sharing my honest review.

Can we say EXCITEMENT?! I received my OLEHENRIKSEN x Influenster Voxbox a few days ago and I really can’t wait to see what this #OleGlow gonna be hitting for. Less than two weeks ago I was perusing the shelves of Sephora with the intention of spending these coints I was gifted for the holidays with Sephora’s name on ‘em. I mean...it was a gift card lol. Initially I went in with makeup on my mind but after being told that the shade I just knew was gonna be the perfect shade of Kat Von D foundation for me was not available for testing because there were only 2 left in stock?? *disappointed side eye*... Yeah I just wandered over to skin care.

OLEHENRIKSEN skin care was among some of the brands that peaked my interest. Some of those brands also peaked my heart beat. Fast forward to a few days later and up pops this Influenster opportunity to test out this skin care line and whaddya know, I qualified!!! 🙏  (Praises be!).

OLEHENRIKSEN IS notably very focused on including plant based, and therefore more naturally occurring, ingredients in their products. The line I received is the Balance line, which is geared toward oily/combination & acne prone skin. The tag line for the Balance line, "Why Shine When You can Glow" sets up my expectation for oil control with adequate moisture. This particular line has a proprietary combination of botanicals referred to as the Green Fusion Complex™, the main stars of which are neem oil and AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids). The complex also includes green tea, algae, Irish moss extract, natural antibacterials (very important for acne prone skin), as well as eucalyptus and peppermint. The last two power the fragrance profile of this entire line, so if minty fragrances aren’t your faves you’ll either have to put inhaling on pause when you use this or not use it at all. The fragrance is pretty strong - not a problem for me, but I’m just giving you the heads up. If you’re looking for an invigorating skin care line? Say no more.

The Find Your Balance™ Oil Control Cleanser boasts “deep cleansing action” to help “unclog and purify pores without stripping the skin…

February 18, 2017

Ginger Tea Rinse to Treat Dandruff and Flaky Scalp




It's officially winter! In case being in the middle of February wasn't a good reminder, if you're anything like me then your flaky scalp has pretty much done the trick.

The air outside is frightful...ly dry. It's really dry, and quite brisk. For someone who has trouble maintaining a consistent moisturizing/hydration regimen for their hair, Winter is one of the last things you want to add to your list of concerns *raises both hands in surrender*. The cold, dry air can take the occasional dry scalp problem into "OMG I just washed my hair last week and now when I scratch my scalp there's asbestos falling out. WAHHH😭" territory.

It's for this exact reason that I'll be sharing this DIY remedy for dry flaky scalp that can easily be incorporated into your wash routine for the rest of the season.

This Ginger Tea rinse is great for combating flaky scalp and dandruff due to the natural properties of ginger:
+ Ginger has natural anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. This helps with inflammation or bacterial concerns at the scalp.
+ Ginger naturally stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which encourages and aids in hair growth. You will definitely feel this tingle when you use any at home DIY ginger remedies. Along with the previous benefit, you may want to try incorporating ginger into your hair care routine for a few weeks if you've experienced dandruff-related hair loss.
+ Properties of ginger may help to strengthen hair from the roots, therefore improving not just scalp health but hair health as well.


February 2, 2017

The Self-Care Series: Can Black Joy Have a Moment or Nah?



So by now you've heard. You must know the news because even your transitioned ancestors have heard the news.

An oompaloompa is President! Just kidding! (Not really)

No shit, right?! But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the news that the Beyhive's lord and savior, Beysus, is pregnant with not one, but two... read it, TWO little christ childs! Too much? Ok. My bad. I meant beybies, she's pregnant with two beybies at once. She's having twins!

Bey shared her announcement with the rest of us via a lovely post on Instagram - a seafoam green tulle draped over her head, wine colored translucent bra with tiny pink bow accents, and powder blue satin undies with ruffles as she kneels before an altar of lush greenery and flowers, tenderly embracing her belly and the lives in her womb. Mother Beyonce. Resplendent! Gazing into our souls with the smeyes of a million Tyra Banks. Bey, the veritable Patron Saint of Slayage, matriarch of the house of Knowles-Carter, carries three hearts and shall give birth to twins.


Do you understand what I'm saying? The internet exploded yesterday, the very first day of Black History month.  Even for those of us who do not call ourselves Beyonce fan-atics, don't pay membership dues to be part of the Beehive, and sometimes critique or debate about Beyonce's authenticity, this was undeniably good news. Regardless of what or how you feel about Beyonce as a person (or avatar as some of the great debaters/critics suggest), you cannot deny her significance, nor can you deny her impact on the culture. And by "The culture" I mean all a dem! Seriously, where can we go in the world that at least one human being isn't aware of who she is or what she's done. And if you aren't aware, who gives a damn right? Because homegirl has got the receipts!

As the news spread and our collective hearts filled with joy, it became obvious to me that we, black people, need to have a sit down. A face to face, heartfelt discussion about why some of us feel the need to shit on the joy of others, and then take so much pride in the shitting.

I'm choosing to address us because gahdamn have you seen what's happening?? We are watching our human rights go up in flames in this house called America, and throughout the rest of the world.

Illustration from Gun Show Comic by KC Green

Somehow though, there seems to be a number of us out there who think that any energy or attention not spent publicly addressing the political tragedies unfolding before our eyes, but spent celebrating the joy of another human being's good fortune or happiness means that we are doomed.

I've heard and seen evuhrythang within the past 24 hours:
1) Black people are gullible and always allowing themselves to be manipulated by the media.
  • Let's say this is true. Have you been sharing resources to help us get ✌🏾unmanipulated✌🏾? Is it because Beyonce is a celebrated pop icon and anything pop and celebrity news is fluff that we're being manipulated? Or is it because you can't stand to see people, mostly black women, divert (even if momentarily) from an agenda that YOU think is most important for them to be focusing on? Have you ever self reflected on why your immediate response to collective black girl joy, via Beyonce, is almost always negative and critical? Is it possible that you yourself have been manipulated and conditioned to respond to the joy of black women with disgust and disdain? 🤔
2) As soon as Beyonce does anything y'all lose your minds and your focus. Beyonce is a distraction to keep black people ignorant and placated while the fascists take over!
  • Let me ask you something. Do you hold your breath while you wipe your ass or do you exhale?  Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? Do you dance or do chores as you listen to music or do you sit and watch the track time on your cd player, or watch the wheels of your cassette tape spin as the music plays? Is this 2017? Can you do more than one thing at a time? Can we have a respite from the Drumpshit for two minutes before you whip out your superiority complex to force us back into caring about what you want us to care about when you want us to care about it? You think we don't know that we're sitting in a burning room and EVERYTHING IS NOT OK? We know that. But if good news gives us a moment to breathe deeply and restore ourselves, aren't we more useful for the fight ahead? Even and especially in moments of crisis, it is important that we are able to step away and pour joy, goodness and positivity back into ourselves. That practice keeps us alive. And if Beyonce's pregnancy announcement is that for some of us, then who are you to say other wise. If there's anything that I've learnt in the past two weeks it's that there are tons of things that we take for granted and regard as frivolous. But to someone else somewhere that frivolity could be the difference between life and death, sanity and insanity, tears or a smile.
3) Y'all so dumb! Beyonce don't even know who the fuck y'all are and here y'all are acting like she care bout y'all.
  • LeBron, Steph, O'dell, Migos, Drake, and not nan player on the Man U team don't know you either... Sooooo? 
4) Y'all keep posting capitalist Beyonce's picture but you won't repost a pic of someone you know to support their work.
  • I'm not necessarily mad at this accusation. I mean we can write an entire post on this another day. I may most certainly need to dedicate a post sometime in the future to my thoughts on how we spend black dollars, on black things, with black businesses and hold those businesses to a more strict standard than we do established multimillion dollar corporations who aren't pouring back into our communities. But, again, thats for another day! I also have my beef with capitalism as an oppressive system, and what that means for black folk but right now that ain't got shit to do with me being happy for Beyonce. I can critique Beyonce within the context of capitalism, or disagree with her, but that doesn't take away from me or anyone else having a genuine positive response to a black woman just out here winning at life. But right now? Right now y'all need to take up that beef with your friends and loved ones. It may be fair to say that sometimes we find it easier to openly express positive regard for things and people out of our reach. And whether that is out of fear of rejection, jealousy, envy, or our own personal struggles with self esteem or mental health issues it's definitely something that we'll need to work on collectively. But what irony befalls us here that, we could be looking at this out pouring of love and support for Beyonce as an example of what to do in our personal relationships and how to cheer each other on. 
One of the most influential sisters alive right now is carrying two black lives within her, and they are coming into this world at a time that shakes the most hardened of us to the core. A time where black bodies, talent, culture, contributions, intelligence, art, thoughts - our existence as a whole is devalued. We are often stomped out with little regard for the gaping holes left in the universe when our lives are taken. If we can collectively recognize the power and beauty, in all of us deciding to LIVE FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY, with all that that entails at this particular time in history, and allowing our love and will to live to fill the gaping spaces... where is the harm in that?

from www.Beyonce.com


Look. All I'm saying here is Let Black Joy Live. This will be very important as part of a holistic strategy for surviving the next four years, because moments that warrant shared public joy may be forced out of the national awareness.



We need to hold spaces for each other in ways that allow our happiness and bliss to flow unbridled and without judgement. This is an integral aspect to self-care - collective self-care.

I'm not a Beyonce stan, which you probably couldn't tell from this article, but what I do stan for is our freedom to experience joy and happiness collectively. So if you were annoyed by public support for this announcement, and felt the need to shit on people who publicly expressed support, just remember next time that keeping your cynicism and unsolicited opinions to yourself is free.99. No taxes. No fees.


January 28, 2017

Don't Make These Mistakes With Your Locs (& How I Fixed Them)




HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I know, I know! January is almost over and this is my first post of the year. Shame on me... maybe, but regardless of my tardiness to the dancery I mustn't discard my manners. so before we go any further I want to wish you and everyone you love and know the best for the year ahead - health, wealth, safety, joy, love, stability and mental wellness. That last one is especially important in these political times.

This post is a public service. I will be sharing with you 5 Huge (to me) mistakes that I made with my locs. This list is by no means exhaustive as it won't include every single mistake I've ever made or that anyone could possibly make. My goal for sharing this list of mistakes that I've made is to ensure that you won't have to deal with the loc maintenance challenges that some of these mistakes will inevitably cause. For this reason I'll also be sharing with you some of the methods I used to address any damages that occurred as a result of my mistakes. Again, this won't be an exhaustive list of all the solutions I've used, or even all the possible solutions to the problems that I mention, but these solutions worked/work for me.

As you read or watch, please bear in mind that what may be a mistake for me may be something that works for you. Do you boo! I'm not here to rain on your parade. To each their own!

Watch the video and share in the comments if you've made the same mistakes with your locs, and what solution, if any at all, did you use to fix the damage. What mistakes have you made on your loc journey so far? How did you resolve the issues the mistake created? SHARE what you've learned in the comments so we won't all be out here in le struggle with our locs! 😊



  • MISTAKE #1: Using Beeswax to Retwist (1:58)


Yes, in the baby stage of my locs I used beeswax on my hair. Not Murray's beeswax, which is literally like softened candle wax. No, I used The Body Shop's Honey Beeswax to retwist my hair. To be fair, it is one of the best beeswax formulas I've ever encountered - it has mostly wholesome & natural ingredients, soft, melted into the skin (due to warmth), and far easier to work with than typical beeswaxes. However no matter how great a wax is it's still a wax, and by nature will have a greasy consistency, therefore encouraging build-up and residue in your locs.

SOLUTION: Washing with shampoo  doesn't always do the job of removing buildup caused by greasy waxes and butters. I've found that with my very kinky hair texture, greasy residue will set up shop, house, and home in my locs, and invite the lint in to stay FOREVAH *Cardi B voice*. One thing that really addresses this a warm apple cider vinegar rinse.

December 17, 2016

What Have You Done For YOU Lately?

Photo by CreateHerStock

At the beginning of the year I made a pact with myself to be more intentional about practicing self-care. It's an absolute necessity not only for my physical well-being, but more importantly for my mental health.

There is the obvious narrative of those who work too hard - women, millennials, under employed, over worked, underpaid, never a moment to catch a breath etcetera etcetera. The physical tolls of hard labor, long work hours, little to no sleep, poor diet, and sometimes completely forgetting to eat. We are clear on the physical tolls the desire to survive takes on the body. And while we are becoming more open about the invisible strain that is often par for the course, I believe we still have a long way to go with how we receive and react to openness about mental health issues and struggles in certain communities.

This is not a finger pointing post, and I intend to go into more detail about my own personal experiences at some other time. My intent for this post (and others to follow) in #theselfcareseries is to share small rituals or practices that help restore me either physically, mentally, spiritually or some other -ly. Lol.

The hardest bit is being consistent with the practice of self care. I certainly haven't been consistent, but I can give myself credit for being more conscious of when the need to take a moment to reset, restore, remove myself, or recuperate was necessary.

For some of us it's about too little time or too little energy after the exhaustion of a work week. But for all of us it's ultimately about seeing ourselves as worth the time and effort. It's about valuing ourselves enough to say, "I need to pour into me so that I can give my best self to my life, my work, my family... myself."

What I hope resonates over time with this series is that acts of self care are a way to practice and build self-love. And self-love isn't always about some grand expensive gesture like a spa day or vacation ( ballin' on a budget, anyone?) Sometimes it's as simple as reading your favorite book again for the umpteenth time, locking the bathroom door so your toddlers can't interrupt your few precious minutes of solitude while taking a shit, or netflix and chillin' by yoself in yo robe with your favorite beverage.


As I'm laying here typing this I'm struggling with feeling like I haven't been treating myself well. It's the end of the year and my diet has been shit the past few weeks, I've been battling with insomnia for over a month, there's a tangled and matted afro at the base of my locs, my anxiety is too damn high, and I really need to do some laundry. 

So today, I'm going to rededicate my Saturday to grooming: I'm tackling my hair and my really involved skin care regimen (yes, even more involved than the one I just posted). 

At this point I want to offer to you, whoever needs the reminder, that you don't need to feel guilty for feeling better when you think you look better. Society sends conflicting messages, asking us to "always look our best" in order for people to take us seriously, or respect us, while calling us vain, shallow or self involved for dedicating time to our looks, aesthetic, or physical presentation, and deriving any pleasure or sense of self from the aforementioned. You can't win, so I say fuck em and do what nourishes your wholeness.

It's currently 5:45 am as I type. I've been up since 3:20 am because insomnia. So I'm going to go ahead and carpe my diem by tackling this mess on my head, and in my head. Join me. 

What are you going to do today to take care of yourself? What have you done for *you* lately?

December 13, 2016

My Current Skin Care Routine for Acne Prone Skin (and Changing Weather)

This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review. 

Hey Love!

Are we ready for the holidays? I'm not! My sweet tooth and love of salty snacks are currently in a fierce battle, and have been even prior to thanksgiving (aka the "Inflate" setting has been on since November); I have done absolutely NO shopping as yet, which doesn't matter anyway because I have no clue what I'm getting these folk, and I just mourn every year how much of the joy I used to feel at Christmas time has evaporated.

But nothing a little Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Boyz II Men, and Songs of Blackness can't fix amirite??? Comment below with your favorite holiday song! Maybe we have some in common!

Any who! Today's post *and* video is actually about my skin care routine. I get compliments on my skin ever so often, and I still struggle to accept these compliments because, believe it or not, I've been fighting acne for the majority of my life. I have finally reached a place where I feel my skin is manageble. Finally! And it hasn't been easy, and I've had to make plenty tweaks, adjustments and complete 180's along the way in terms of methods and products.

I make changes and adjustments for weather and skin concerns, however what I share in this post and video today is the routine that I've stuck to for the past few months with what I think are good results. This is basically the routine I've been using since April. However I'd say this routine has been in effect since September since that's when I returned to the US from Barbados. The climate there is quite different, in addition to which there are natural things there that I included in my regimen that are not readily available to me here e.g. sea baths/sea water (although I could make my own with store bought sea salt😕), humidity, fresh aloe, hot ass sun, and my grandfather's bush tea and bitters.

I highly recommend watching the video as I talk about WHEN and HOW I use these products. The blog post, however, will cover the benefits I've experienced from using the products more in depth, and what they are supposed to address (the WHY). At first glance my routine may seem intense and complicated but it has become second nature to me. When you've struggled to get into a skin care groove, a basic/foundational routine that you can build upon is truly a gift. So read along here as you watch the video!



  •  CLEAN YOUR HANDS.... WITH SOAP! This is my typical morning skin care routine so no matter what comes before, I make sure my hands are clean in preparation for placing them on my face. If you inadvertently scratch your booty in your sleep this is even more important for you. No judgement... I'm just sayin'! Inadvertently touching your face with dirty hands can lead to break outs and acne. I tend to fixate on pimples when I'm stressed, so I make an effort to never touch my face unless my hands have been immediately cleaned. This has been an underrated but very successful practice.
  • My custom oil cleansing face oil has been a part of my regimen since 2013/14. Initially I used it solely for oil cleansing when nothing else worked to treat a terrible bout of birth control related acne. However, I continue to use it in my routine to prep my skin before cleansing, a part of my make up removal process, and sometimes as a night time moisturizer. The ingredients in this oil have helped to accelerate healing of my acne blemishes, and has also improved the texture and tone of my skin. Not to mention it has aided in the regrowth of my edges over months of sustained use. I tweak the recipe depending on season and skin needs.

November 25, 2016

THIS WEEKEND ONLY: ALL THE DISCOUNTS!



WE. ARE. BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE JEWELS! Short and sweet, here's all the info you need for a weekend at House of La NomRah :

BLACK FRIDAY: 
The code 'BLKFRIDAY' will get you 25% off ANY PURCHASE at La NomRah Designs

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 
For $5 off purchases of $25 or more use the code 'GIMME5'
For $10 off purchases of $50 or more use the code 'TAKE10'
*** These codes are valid through Monday

CYBER MONDAY:
The code '8BITLUV' gets you 205 off a purchase of $20 or more.


Peace & Love,
Nik

November 24, 2016

How I Deep Condition My Waist Length Locs


This post is not sponsored, however it may contain affiliate links. I may gain a commission if you shop through these links. These views and opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.

Hey Loves,

What's crackalackin'! Last week I showed you my easy peezy DIY recipe for an Avocado Protein Deep Conditioner Treatment. If you missed it, click here for the video of how I whip up this hair smoothie, and a detailed recipe and instructions.

Today I'm sharing details on my application and results of this deep conditioner. You can watch the video, read this post, or both! Whatever you do, leave a comment and let me know if you will try or have tried a treatment like this!

  • Application Prep:

First, I shampooed my hair (I recommend a minimum of two shampoos) with OGX Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo. You don't have to go out and buy this shampoo, it's just one that I had on hand and decided to try. I didn't find it life changing, but it did the job and smells quite nice. For a deep clean I made sure to really get in there with my fingers and work the scalp and the roots (where buildup tends to occur). The first shampoo is always a doozy due to oils and build up in the hair, but the second time around you should get a really nice lather. If your hair is as long as mine (waist length or longer) you may find that two shampoos aren't enough because of oils and build up in the length of the locs. So 3's often the charm.

After rinsing, I applied a Garnier Fructis Anti-dandruff Shampoo to my scalp *only*, and massaged that in until I had a nice lather. I use the Mint Cleanse version which I like, but generally find too drying for my hair so I keep it focused on the scalp. However, Garnier also makes a version of this shampoo for dry scalp (I had no idea) that I may have to try when I run out. I also focus on the scalp because this shampoo has fine microbeads that I'm weary of getting into my locs. Disclaimer: I've had this shampoo a while. The way I use it a little goes a long way, so I'm not sure if newer versions of this shampoo contain these microbeads.


  • Application:

The shorter your hair the easier, and less messy this application will be. I divided my hair into 4 sections to make application more manageable. With each section I worked with, I first divided it into two parts and applied the avocado treatment from the ends of the hair to the roots. In hindsight it probably would've been smarter for me to start from the roots. I only say that because I almost ran out  and literally scraped the bowl to have enough to apply to my roots in the last section. Despite this little moment of panic though, it worked out. I started at my ends because that"s where my hair was driest and I just wanted to bring my ends back to life.

When I was done I two-strand twisted, then wrapped each section up into a bun, ultimately ending up with 8 buns (looking like a hot mess smh) although 4 would have been ideal. Once my buns were secure I then put a plastic bag over my head and secured. Yes... a plastic bag (Tarjay, you da best *DJ Khaled voice*). Don't judge me. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle #nshit. Plus, I haven't found a shower cap that adequately covers all of my hair. YOU can however do you and use a shower cap. Whatever works! Next I wrapped a head wrap/scarf around my head just to absorb any liquid that leaked from my DIY shower cap set up.

Now ideally, letting this mixture sit in the hair  for a minimum of 30 minutes should do the job to see some results. You could even add a heating/steam cap to really help this treatment penetrate even more effectively. I was aiming for 4 hours because a) I don't have naan heating cap b) I had ish to do while this DC was percolating... BUT I also knew that is was damn near 6 pm by the time I had finished applying; I was tiahd! I took care of some chores and just went to rest my eyes a bit. Well when I woke up it was Tomorrow 😭... yes, the next day.

Look, I just went ahead and rinsed my hair out really well in the shower. You can't cry over spilled milk.  I ran very warm water (DO NOT BURN YOURSELF then come back to this blog to yell at me in all caps! Use your discretion!), and used that washing motion that grandma teaches you so you know how to wash your clothes by hand to work the conditioner out of my locs. If you don't have locs this may not be necessary, but if you do you want to ensure that you rinse this out thoroughly.

After rinsing out the DC completely I applied  Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Pure-Licious Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner to my hair. This co-wash is free of sulphates, parabens, mineral oil, and petrolatum, and it was perfect so as not to strip the hair of all the moisture I'd just put in.


  • Results:

My hair felt soft, rejuvenated and moisturized. Prior to this treatment I was experiencing dullness and dryness, and while this obviously is not a one time fix-all remedy, there was a noticeable difference with my hair. There was definitely more shine, and what I refer to as slip with my hair. A better term would probably be increased smoothness. I'm going to try this treatment again soon to see if I get similar results.

Unfortunately I did not retwist/re-loc my hair this time around, I just let my loc-fro do it's thing... something I'm sure I will regret next retwist time because I did not pull these babies apart while they were free. Le sigh.

I hope this post was helpful! Leave a comment and make sure to Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don't miss a video!

Peace!
Nik

OGX Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo: http://amzn.to/2gx8kIq
Garnier Fructis Anti-dandruff Shampoo: http://amzn.to/2f1z9DW
Creme of Nature w/ Argan Oil Pure-licious Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner: http://amzn.to/2gfF2v8




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