Confessions of a traveling curly girl

So traveling can be a challenge for a curly girl. Wondering what the weather will do to your hair? Is it humid or dry? Will your hair frizz? Will it be to limp? I’ve come up with a few tricks to ensure that my curl looks good wherever I go.

1. This might be obvious but I bring my tried & true products with me. These are usually products I’ve bought & used in a drier climate but that also work well in the high humidity of my island home. If the products work in 2 extremes of dry & moist then they will work in most moderate climates too.
2. Layer layer layer – I layer from thinnest to thickest product allowing me to stop when I feel like my hair has been saturated enough. I like to start with a leave in conditioner,  then use a curl lotion, then finish with a curl cream. This helps to seal in the curl shape no matter the climate.
3. Speaking of conditioner – if I’m in somewhere that causes my skin to feel super tight (such as Canada, Vegas or winter anywhere other than Bermuda) then I know that my hair will be dry too. I then use the conditioner from the shower as the bottom layer of my styling. Sometimes a regular conditioner,  sometimes a deep conditioner.
4. Shower time – means no shampooing,  unless my hair gets really dirty or I try a new product & don’t like the feel of it in my hair, instead I use conditioner to finger comb my hair out then rinse. I like to style my hair in the shower with the conditioner in so that I don’t have to touch the curl when I get out of the shower other than squeezing out excess water & putting in product.

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My current travel line up.

5. I always travel with a curl/conditioning spray to re-wet sections of my curls that have died too fast & have started to frizz (the one pictured above, far left is a mixture of several different conditioning sprays).
6. When in doubt, use natural products. I’ve brought my deep conditioning hair oil that I make from all organic natural oils which I’ll use to pull back my hair into a ponytail. I’ve also brought a bottle of coconut oil which can be used when the curl is dry to break up each curl for some volume without creating frizz. I also use it as a makeup remover, face & body moisturizer.

Confessions of a Curly-haired Girl: pt 5. Spreading the Gospel

Lately I cannot seem to stop myself from commenting on other people’s hair; especially if I see that their curls are not living up to their potential.
I think it’s because it took me so long to unlock the secret of my curls. A problem I know a few of my friends with mixed race heritage have faced, which could be because our mothers don’t always have similar hair textures.
I hope that me being open about what works for my hair helps limit the years of lifeless frizz that others may suffer.

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From frizzy…

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To controlled…

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You can read my first curly confession here.

Hydrate x eight

I’ve seen tons of people on my IG feed stressing the importance of drinking enough water… But it wasn’t until I read this that my goal for drinking more water became more concrete. My newly quantified goal is to drink 2 of these

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How will I go from not drinking even 2 pints of water a day to drinking eight? By adding flavour! It all started with the fresh mint growing on my balcony, which made me crave mint tea like I get in Amsterdam.

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So I decided to make my own!

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20140503-185933.jpg I used mint & Jamaican mint sprigs, cucumber, apple & strawberries with a squeeze of lemon & lime.
I’ve become the strange teacher at school for all the weird things I walk around drinking. But some kids are super interested in trying it or eating the things in my jars (even the mint!)

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I’m going to reach my hydration goals by taking my water everywhere & by trying not to drink anything but water or my flavoured water (& a cup or two of coffee because that’s a necessity!) every day this summer (cocktails don’t count but may make some watery cocktails to cheat a bit less lol).

Homemade Hair Care

Healthy eating has inspired me to make healthier choices when it comes to my cosmetics. It helps that I have IG friends who believe in natural products & inspire me to make my own.
So this weekend I made a hot oil treatment for my hair.

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Half organic coconut oil, half organic olive oil, a sprig of fresh rosemary from the farmers market, & 10 drops each of peppermint oil & oregano oil.

My “5” face

My “5” face is where I spend 5 minutes using 5 products to give my face a fresh look.

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This little routine makes all the difference to my day. I feel more alert & refreshed (a trick of the mind after a look in the mirror), plus I can have confidence in my appearance throughout the day’s interactions.
My must haves are my Beauty Blender egg – it helps blend my eye concealer & apply my foundation. I use a sephore eye concealer pen for the darkness of the inner eye area, with an under eye concealer for the rest (usually also sephora but I’ve run out so drugstore replacement it is). I use my Blender egg to blend the under eye makeup, taking some of it up on to upper lid (as I’ve gotten older I notice the skin on my kids changing, no longer uniform in tone). Love all the new skin match foundation choices at the drugstore. L’Oreal True Match Lumi is my newest purchase & I’m digging the light dewiness it gives my skin. Some Benefit “They’re Real” mascara & I’m good to go! Some days I may finish with a touch of Bare Minerals Warmth bronzer or set the foundation with a bit of MAC powder. On my way in to work I throw on a bit of shimmer gloss in a soft pink or peach & I feel ‘naturally’ beautiful. If I have a few more minutes to get ready I will do a quick smoky eye. Like…

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Makeup is one of my most important morning rituals, donning my armor for the day.

Personal Style… Cause & effect

I decided to apply for a dream job with a blog company… Fingers crossed. One of the desired characteristics was a great sense of personal style. Which got me to thinking about my personal style & why I have been remiss in speaking about it. After all its my sense of style that organizes my plates…

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Influences my makeup…

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& the way I decorate (& redecorate) my home…

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As I get older my style becomes more and more like my mother. I’m drawn to colours that I’ve seen her wear (& decorate with).

20140130-225029.jpg my mother (circa my baby years)

20140130-225144.jpg my blue, blue/black shoe obsession! (Shoes are an addiction passed down to me by my mother)

20140130-225309.jpg my something blue on my favourite day…

20140130-225409.jpg blue shoe addict!!!

Don’t get me started on my dad. He’s fashion blog obsessed… And is so stylish he’s often on them!

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20140130-230637.jpg his Satchi Stylist look.
And don’t think the shoe gene isn’t passed down thru him because…

20140130-230742.jpg you’d be wrong, he’s also obsessed. He is in love with “dead people movies” (what we jokingly call them since they are all black & white, & all the actors are no longer living), and it gives his outfits a real dapper gentleman flair. Like a leading man…

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My wedding day was the day that represented my style the most. I had my hand in every detail of the day. Since we got married in Vegas, and we are both poker players I used playing cards as my theme. I made inserts for my floral bouquets, the invitations, the menus, and most importantly…

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I told my “girls” to pick a gray dress they loved & to wear that. No style or length restrictions. & I loved the mixed coordinated look that was the result.

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My husband is way more into things matching so the groomsmen all wore matching suits.

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20140130-232338.jpg a few years of living with my husband & I now get a real perverse pleasure in matching. There’s a real strict matching rule when it comes to shirts with ties & shoes with outfits, needless to say its rubbed off on me (as I often pick out his shirt & tie combos & and have learnt how precise it must be lol).

Style is personal, & it should be fun. Something to make you smile as you head out the door to face the day.

Halloween Manicures

Life has been busy busy busy. Haven’t had time to write anything, but I guess I also haven’t had any inspiration either. Hopefully the drought will end, I’ve been working on a bio for a new job and its forcing the cobwebs out of my brain slowly & surely.
I find when I get too stuck in my head that some time spent with a good friend will help snap me out of it. So I decided to go to a friend’s house & give her a Halloween manicure.

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I did a candy corn manicure last year, and once my friend told me they were her favourite I knew that I would do some on her. She’s a unique mix & match kinda girl so I decided to do different designs on her nails & have the hands similar but not the exact same.

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(my candy corn mani from last year)
I loved the blood effect so when I got home I decided to do my own.

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Next year I’ll be doing these nails (in Dexter’s honour lol) for Halloween.

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Got into the Halloween spirit with a coworker today. She just happened to have extra cat ears (that matched my outfit… which if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for matching) which she offered to me when I got into work. Next thing I know she has convinced me to add a nose & whiskers. Good times… purrfect times lol.

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Confessions of a curly haired girl pt. 4 – the DO NOT TOUCH method

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So I touched upon my do not touch (sorry couldn’t help myself) curly hair method the other day in a previous blog post. The above pic is a before & after, plus the product I’ve been loving for volume & texture. Top left two pics are my hair after a day of air drying, they still look tight & wet, & are slightly hard to the touch. I spray the beach spray on my hair and then scrunch the curls to give them volume. If the curls are looking a bit frizzy at the ends then I will scrunch them using a conditioning spray. Just to give you an idea of my daily curl process. Hope you are all having a good hair day!!

Confessions of a curly haired girl pt. 3 : New Faves & Must Haves

So every now and then I do a blog post about hair… as a curly haired girl I have spent my whole life trying to learn what works best with my curls. And I feel that when something works, I have to share it with the world, because who knows how many curly haired people out there are needing advice.
My current 3 hair products that are in high rotation at the moment.

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And I don’t use the word rotation lightly, I find that I have to switch my hair products every so often (every couple of months roughly) because it seems that my hair gets used to the product & the product stops giving me good curls. Now I don’t know if this is because of buildup or what, not being a scientist, I don’t really care about the reason, I just note it so that I take the right actions.

The first step to my routine is a curly hair milk or lotion – I like the first step to be very rich in moisture. This first layer is closest to the follicle (obviously) so I want it to be moisturizing to give my hair lots of softness. At the moment I’ve been loving Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk (their curl lotion is good too, and it’s a bit thinner so it won’t weigh fine hair down). It’s got a great scent and I find it makes my hair really soft! (I’ve been using the Coconut & Hibiscus foaming bath & shower wash as well so my whole body smells very tropical when I get out of the shower!).

Second step is usual a curl product that acts more like a gel, usually clear (so it doesn’t look like conditioner) and as it dries it gives my hair a wet curled look. You could you use an actual gel for this step, but I find that curl products can give you the same effect without all the drying alcohol. I’ve been loving my new purchase of Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier. But I have to say that I’ve tried this product before & did not like it then. Just proving that my hair is a fickle mistress and can change her mind regarding a product at any time! After this step the key is to NOT TOUCH your hair. I like this product to air dry – the curls will stay tight together as opposed to frizzy. I usually wait til it’s bone dry before I fluff my hair. This is usually late morning. But if I’m going out in the evening, I’ll leave my hair this way all day & just fluff it before I go out. I used to use argan oil to fluff my hair, but I’ve been recently been using a beach spray to give my hair a bit more texture which is helping to give me extra volume.

Last but not least, my arsenal would not be complete without a conditioning spray. I use this when fluffing has gone to far & crossed over into frizziness. Or if I notice a curl is frizzing up as it dries. I simply re-wet the offending curl with the conditioning spray and let it air dry again. At the moment I’ve been using Uncle Funky’s Daughter Thirsty Curl Leave In Conditioner Spray. It has a very pleasant smell and the sprayer gives a good misting to hair that needs extra moisture.

Now my curls are not like everyone else’s curls, so my advice is not gospel, you will have to go through trial & error. But hopefully my advice gives you a starting point. Somewhere to begin, or maybe gives you a thought about how to make your current routine better!

Beauty item I currently can’t live without:

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The Original Beauty Blender, purchased at Sephora (the mecca of beauty – the place I can’t help but be addicted to!!!!)
It’s shape makes it fantastic for blending my makeup around my eyes. I have dark circles around my eyes (made more prominent by lack of sleep… which happens often, &/or sickness) and I have to use under eye make up daily to look well rested. The conical end allows you to blend right at the corner of the eye, and it’s egg shape lets you almost roll out the make up to blend. This item works great with the new under eye concealer team that I bought (at Sephora as well… same day actually).

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I use Sephora’s Lasting & Perfecting Corrector (double ended cream pen – big end for under eye, small end for covering spots) on the inner corner of the eye, where I find the circles darkest and hardest to conceal (top right box of pic) then blend that out with the blender. Then I use Sephora’s Smoothing & Brightening Concealer on the rest of under eye area (bottom right box of pic) which I blend out to corner of eye and a bit on to the lid itself. & Voila! 8 hours of sleep… who needs you?!

What are your beauty must haves? I’m always on the hunt for that next best thing so don’t be too shy to share!

Confessions of a Curly-haired girl pt. 2

With curly hair you have to have “down” days. Days where you don’t expect it to curl perfectly, have volume or fall just so. These are the days when I’ll give my hair a conditioning treatment or on the opposite side put next to nothing in my hair.
These deep conditioning & no products days are important to my hair, giving it a chance to reset. I tend to do these days on the weekend when I’m not going anywhere. I find if I use the same combination of hair products day after day, they start to lose their effects. Better to switch up the combination, and to allow your hair days to do its own thing (I just make sure to carry a hair elastic with me lol)

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Think I have enough products? lol