Black Girl Magic Series: Lip Bar Review

It’s a beautiful, hot scalding day here in Charlotte, where your makeup is guaranteed to slide off your face no matter how much setting spay you put on and your clothes will stick to your body! But none the less, it is beautiful, right. So, remember how I said I’m a late bloomer? Yeah right, me either. But I’m a late bloomer. I’m late th show for everything and I’m always the last to get anything. However, that doesn’t meant that I don’t research in the meantime. With that being said, let’s talk about a little Black Girl Magic, shall we? I am loving all of it and I love how my beautiful sisters are out creating and putting their passions out in the world and I’m here to support. So, my first post is dedicated to The Lip Bar Products.

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Meet Melissa, the founder and creator of the brand, The Lip Bar. If you remember, she and her partner were on Shark Thank a couple of years ago promoting their brand and hopefully gained investors to take her business to the next level. Now, I never watched  the show, but from what I can tell, you have several investors listening to business ideas and deciding which to invest. After listening to their pitch, they turned them down, but not before referring to them as colorful cockroaches. I felt like they belittled the brand, and they laughed when she said they created a Lip Bar mobile! I’m like, fashion and beauty on wheels is where it’s at!

She created this brand because when it comes to beauty, our health is always at risk with so many harsh chemicals. Also, the beauty industry only seems to cater to a particular type of beauty. So, she created these beautiful lipsticks with vibrant, show stopping colors that can be worn on ANYONE. Also, she made them in her kitchen. A few years later, The Lip Bar is a hit and their beauty mobile is awesome. Her lipsticks are in high demand, everyone is wearing them and some are always sold out. I feel bad for the investors. I don’t know her, and maybe she’ll read this, but she persevered! I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with.

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I finally got my hands on a couple (we have a budget, remember?) and I tried them out and I loved them. Each lip color was $13. I picked two colors for the summer, Boy Trouble and CurlFriend both part of the liquid matte collection. For me, orange is really hard to pull off. I either find one that is a sheer, or not pigmented or the wrong undertone. I’ve only found a couple lippies in orange that fits me, but I ran out, so I needed a new one. Boy trouble is super vibrant, bright deep orange color that is perfect for summer. Like any matte lippie, make sure your lips are good and moisturized before applying. This goes on wet and dries matte.

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Curlfriend is the everyday nude that I can wear, everyday! Because I would wear it everyday, I’m a little sad that the packaging is smaller though.  I love the fine point of the brush applicator that lets me get into the smaller parts of my lips and I love how this is a universal color.

Boy Trouble is a fiery orange that is a showstopper; someone will always ask about it. My favorite makeup look is a simple face and a bold lip, so picking this color was a no brainer. One thing I will say, is make sure you exfoliate your lips before applying because your imperfections (chapped lip, cracked skin) may show.

There are a few more of her colors I intend to try like Bawse Lady, however it is currently sold out. Overall, I love how vibrant these colors are and that they are vegan! Definitely head over to Lip Bar’s site and pick up a few for yourself.

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Newly Natural? Here are 5 things that you should be doing

The natural hair community is thriving these days and if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, LOL. Just kidding. I have love for all my cream crack sisters. I was once too a creamy crack sista. But for those of you that transitioned and decided to big chop, kudos! Welcome!

Deep Conditioning

Ask anyone. Any natural that’s been in the game for years. They will tell you. Deep conditioning is major key. It’s like the cheese to the mac-n-cheese. So necessary. This process allows you to keep your hair moisturized. Natural hair is delicate hair and dry brittle hair will break. This is what will happen to your hair if here is no moisture! The best deep conditioning method is one with some heat. You can sit under a dryer with a plastic cap, or under a hooded steamer. If you have a steam room at your local gym, those are a lifesaver! A great DIY steamer is to place your hair under a plastic cap and poke a couple small holes in it. Wet a hand towel as hot as you can get and place it on top of your head and put another plastic cap to trap the steam. Then cover your hair with a scarf, steam cap or towel. They work wonders and are less expensive!

Stay Away From the Heat

I’ve been natural for the better part of 8 years and I loved blowing out my hair after I wash it just to do a length check or create styles with extra length. After the constant frying, my hair was so dry and brittle it started to break. Don’t make that mistake. If you prefer to wear your hair curly 99% of the time, stay away from the heat. It could damage your curls. Let your curls thrive! My best friend challenged me to stay away from heat while I’m growing out my hair for my wedding and to let my hair air dry in giant braids or twists so it can stretch. I’ve been heat free since January and my curls are thriving. Just look at these photos below.

Take Care of Those Ends

Remember, our hair is delicate, and our ends are the oldest parts of the hair. Make sure you are clipping when needed and focus the deep conditioning on the ends. It also helps to do protective styles from time to time just to minimize the manipulation. You can wear wigs, crochets, and even braids. For me box braids are so easy and quick, and will forever be in style.

Scalp Massages

This is such a stress reliever, you hear? It also helps increase the blood flow in our scalp, which promotes hair growth. Now, don’t sit there rubbing your scalp all day trying to create witchcraft! This is just an added bonus. How you take care yourself inside and out plays a major role and genetics also helps. I really do think that if you take care of your hair and body, drink plenty of water, you too can grown long, thick healthy hair. Be patient though, his doesn’t happen overnight. Its great if someone does your scalps massages for you because you can relax, and you can use an oil or nothing.

 

Experiment and Have Fun!

Listen, if you treat your hair as if it is a task, or a job that you hate, you will never embrace your curls or love your hair. It probably won’t grow the way you want either. That’s some psychological stuff, but I think it true. Just like a plant, water it and it will grown. Take care of your hair and it will take care of you. Try out that  bantu style, or that flat twist out you saw on your favorite guru. Wear a wash and go and try out those rods!

Taking my Best Girls Wedding Dress Shopping & Saying Yes!

Wedding dress shopping is probably one of the most epic experiences in a woman’s life, well for me it is. Its a one time deal (supposedly, but life happens) that is meant to last so it should be done right. My shopping experience wasn’t a long, drawn out stressful situation like most gals and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I knew from the day I was getting married that finding a wedding dress was not going to bring me down, so I decided to share my experience and give you tips on how you can successfully find your dream wedding dress.

Bring your BEST Girls!

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My sister-in-law, who’s also my planner and bridesmaid

You don’t need an entourage. You don’t need every woman in your family and his. The more people you bring, the more chaos and confusion. Believe it or not, your entourage are what brings stress into your shopping experience, because you want to please them. This isn’t about them. I visited two bridal shops and I took two people each time. My first visit was with my future mother-in-law and my best friend, who is my maid of honor.

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My Maid of Honor/Best Friend
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My Future Mommy in Law 💕

I picked people who are not only supportive, excited for me, but also have my best interest. They also believed I should try on the styles I loved and also styles I didn’t think I would like and gave their honest opinion.

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Make Sure your desired Bridal Shop has your size and Try on Everything!

Now, when I say try on everything, not every dress in the store. I meant try on the ball gowns, the trumpet, the mermaid, the minimal, the extravagant dress, etc. I say this because I kept saying that my dress MUST have spunk and bling and character, everything!

Let me tell you, when I tried on a dress that was just that, I hated it. I felt like a huge disco ball. My girls laughed so hard! I tried on a mermaid, and didn’t like the way I was shaped in it. The first shop I went to only had a handful of plus size gowns so we didn’t have much of a selection, but I saw this gown.

I love the mermaid, and I felt like if I lost 30lbs, I would like it on me. To be honest, I didn’t want a dress that I had to kill myself to look a certain way in. Bye bye mermaid!

I tried on one with capped sleeves and bunches of lace and almost threw up lol! I told my fiancé this dress below is the winner and he gave me the worst look ever!

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Bestie in the background, lol

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Have fun! There’s no pressure!

There’s no pressure in finding your dress. It’s supposed to be fun! My mother in law was so funny, she kept trying not to cry and I love how she kept bringing me back to earth. “Baby, make sure you get what you want and try the dress that you want.” I love her, she’s one of my best friends. My mommy will love her. My second trip, I brought my sister in law and my maid of honor again and we spent so much time laughing. They told me to try the dress that I wanted first. I will show that to you in a moment.

When we visited the second shop, New York Bride & Groom, we were immediately impressed. It was huge. If you don’t know they are located in Charlotte, NC and they’re selection was amazing. They also offer tuxedo rentals and bridesmaids dresses as well.

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The Dressing Rooms

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We had so much fun picking dresses and I was so excited that there were more than 4 plus size wedding gowns. Big girls deserve to have the same experience as little girls. So the first dress, I tried, was a dress that I wanted. A white, princess ball gown.

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At first, we loved it. It had just the right amount of bling and I love the poofiness of it. Then after 20 minutes, I felt like white was too much and I wanted something softer and realistic looking. I looked like a cake topper. I tried several versions and I didn’t feel like a real life princess. Which brings me to my last tip:

Ask your stylist for their opinion!

Let me tell you something. It is okay to ask a bridal consultant what she/he thinks you would look great in. Face it, we don’t wear wedding gowns everyday and they have way more experience than we do. Besides, its gives them a chance to get creative because they spend their working hours giving us brides what we want. After exhausting my options I asked my consultants to pick their favorites and what they think would look good on me and I waited.

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After I picked my dress 🤗

 

Y’all, let me tell you. I ended up with one of their selections and can you say, REAL LIFE PRINCESS? I was so pleased with the pick and my girls were excited. I waited 3 months, without looking at other dresses and went back to order it! For the sake of my fiancé (he reads my blog) I will not be showing the dress, but stay tuned!!

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They gave me a sweet gift!

 

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They have an Instagram wall 🙂

 

 

A huge thank you to New York Bride and Groom for the amazing experience and looking out for us Plus Size beauties! If you are looking for an awesome Bridal Boutique, stop by!

Natural Hair Twistout Using Palmer’s Coconut Oil+Review

I’ve been using Palmer’s cocoa butter for the better part of my entire life and it’s a staple in my body care regimen. Fast forward to today and I found out they have several hair care lines! I dabbled in their protein pack and loved it.

I wanted to see if the hair styling products lived up to my expectations. I picked up the Coconut Oil curl styler cream pudding from the coconut oil formula line. This is great for dry, damaged, and color treated hair, so it’s great for me.

Lets start with the consistency of this pudding. This is a water based product with a creamy texture and you can feel the oils. I recommend using it on wet hair as I did in my video below.

It has coconut oil (obviously, lol) that moisturizes and adds shine, monoi oil for hydration, avocado oil that kills frizz, jojoba oil for definition and sweet almond oil for nourishment. Sometimes it’s hard to find a styler that has all these amazing oils in one container and they really get the job done.

I did a basic twist out on freshly washed hair and it was the only styling product I used. I wanted my hair to shrink up as much as possible so the style produces an illusion of a haircut. Needless to say, my hair was so soft and SHINY. My curls were defined and  moisturized. I’m definitely looking to trying out more products but check out my YouTube demo and you’ll be amazed with the results.

Hair Care Routine: Taking out my braids

Box braids are my favorite protective style to do. Well, braids in general. I’ve been braiding for 20 years and I love how quick I can do them. One thing that you don’t see everyday is how to care for your hair after you take a protective style down. There are levels to it, okay?

The key thing to know about a protective style is to make sure you are taking care of your hair so that means scalp massages, and keeping it moisturized. I love to massage Castor Oil in my hair and to use a spray leave in for moisture. I leave braids in my hair for about 2 months and I MAY wash my hair once. You don’t want to leave a protective style in longer than 3 months because your hair can mold due to sweat, dust particles and lack of proper care.

Did you also know that hair sheds everyday? So imagine how much dead hair you’ve accumulated in a few months.

Step One: Preliminary “de-shedding” process.

I literally made this up. Basically, what i do, is I take my favorite oil and I detangle my hair with my fingers, trying to get as much dead hair out as I can. You can also use a wide tooth comb, but I don’t recommend it if your hair is dry and brittle. One thing I always get with braids are those little dust balls between the new growth and where the braid originally started. Be very careful because you can easily pull your hair out. Check out the video on how I handle those.

Step Two: Protein Treatment

I use a protein treatment to revive my curls because I’ve noticed how limp they can get in a protective style. My two favorite protein treatments are the Aphogee Protein Treatment and my DIY eggs and oil. In the video, I opted for my DIY concoction, although it can be very messy. When applying a protein treatment, make sure you coat each strand and do not manipulate it. Once the products dries the hair is very vulnerable to breakage.

Step Three: Wash and Deep Condition

Depending on how much buildup you have, use a clarifying shampoo. This type of shampoo is not something you want to use in your normal regimen because it can strip your hair especially if you aren’t prone to build up. My favorite brand to use is the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil line. For this routine, I used the shampoo for cleansing and the treatment masque for deep conditioning. This is my favorite line and hair feels so soft and clean when I use them.

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One thing I always run into when washing is the missed dead hair I didn’t catch during step one. Do not be alarmed if you see more hair coming out. This always happens to me and my hair is still thick and full. Please watch my YouTube video on how I care for my hair and please subscribe for more videos!