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DIY lipstick repair

21 Nov

thalia nyx cosmeticsIf you watched my Update/2013 HG vlog, then you know that this year I fell in LOVE with NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Thalia. It’s a brownish-pink shade, with a satiny finish. It can be applied sheerly with a little bit of gloss, or layered heavily for the full impact of the color… whichever floats your boat.

So one fine day I inadvertently left Thalia in my car. I took it out & allowed it to “rest” for 24 hours before using it again, hoping that it would solidify at its base. No such luck. A few days later, it broke off mid-stoke. Fortunately for Thalia, I  was able to catch her before she fell to her doom. And because I love her so, I continuted to use her BOOTLEG & ALL. Then a few days ago I decided enough was enough & I had to do something different.

Now I know what you’re thinking… “Sham Thalia costs $4.00, just buy another one!” And if I didn’t live 45-60 minutes away from the nearest Ulta, I probably would have. Instead I decided to salvage the remaining lipstick by de-tubing it, placing it in a jar & being applying it with a lip brush. Until I remembered that I already owned a color almost identical to Thalia. *SMH… this is a PJ moment* Seriously though, do y’all remember Trendy Mauve by Lancome? I reviewed it here last year. Well Trendy Mauve & Thalia are… TWINSIES 😉


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She wants it all…

6 Jan

I have found that using oils, butters & creams right after a shower/bath, is the most effective method of locking moisture into my dry skin (primarily my legs & feet). Products I have tried & liked include (but are not limited to) shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, Eucerin moisturizing creme, Equate moisturizing cream, Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil gel, Vaseline cocoa butter vitalizing gel & Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil. However I cannot use the aforementioned products on my upper body for one of two reasons: A) they’re too darn greasy for normal skin OR B) they just don’t smell good. I have yet to find a lotion/oil/cream that embodies both of the desired attributes. If you feel the same way I do, here is my suggestion to you…

Pour the scented lotion(s) of your choice into a bowl with your favorite oil/ butter/ cream(s). If you’re using a butter or heavy cream, you will need to melt it before adding to the mix. Stir this mixture until blended well.

Once the product is fully incorporated, use a funnel & pour it back into the lotion bottle. You will need a few extra bottles, depending on how many different products you added to the mix.


  • Use products that you’ve already tried & know that you like.
  • I mixed this batch last summer (hence the lighter products). Save heavy creams & butters for use during the winter.
  • There’s no exact measurement of product. I just use my arm to test out the level of greasiness during the mixing process. If it’s too greasy I add more lotion & if it’s not greasy enough, I add more oil.
  • If you plan to use more than one scented lotion in your mix, then be sure that the fragrances compliment each other (like coconut & lime, lavender & vanilla or jasmine & rose). Otherwise you’ll end up with a bizarre smelling lotion & that defeats the purpose of your efforts.
  • This method will produce a TON of moisturizer. One batch usually lasts me three months.
  • Sometimes the oil will separate from the lotion after it has been sitting on the shelf for awhile. Just give it a good shake before use.

Have you ever tried this method? What products did you use?

Whatchu say girl… custom palettes?!

20 Dec

You have no idea how many individual palettes I’ve accumulated over the past few years. This is an awesome idea! *WHEELS TURNING*

Death to SSKs

15 Oct

I am one of those people who constantly plays in their hair. I can’t help the fact that my curls feel… well, HEAVENLY! Last week I was on the phone with a client, twirling a lock of hair, when I felt a tiny bump towards the end of the strand. What was that?! Upon inspection, I determined that it was indeed the dreaded SSK. So I did what any reasonable person would do… I grabbed my scissors & cut that sucker off! My coworkers thought I had lost my mind. I kept finding them, so I began conducting daily search & destroy missions 😦 *cue waterworks & violins*

Single strand knots (also called fairy knots) are just one of the many varieties of split ends. They can be caused by:

  • Thermal stress (heat styling)
  • Mechanical stress (excessive manipulation)
  • Chemical stress (hair color, relaxers, etc)
  • Lack of moisture (damage from the inside out) Continue reading

Something new: DRY twist out

7 Sep

I painstakingly washed, deep conditioned & roller set my hair on Saturday afternoon & enjoyed this coiffure for only TWO DAYS… 😦 then the rain came & destroyed all my hopes & dreams. Dramatic much?! Yeah, I know… but I need a meteorological break from precipitation & humidity *insert deep sigh* Dear Autumn, please hurry up & get here!!! It’s been awhile since I tried a new do & I had to do something with my frizzy, curly afro. All summer long, CurlyNikki has been raving about the awesomeness of dry twist sets & while I am no pro in the twisting/braiding dept, I decided to throw caution to the wind & grab Giovanni by the horns!

Section by section, I detangled my hair using my fingers & a wide-tooth comb. Then I applied a generous amount of Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk & twisted it. To form the twists, I twirled 2 pieces of hair around my fingers, then twisted those pieces together. I ended up with a total of 18 twists.

I used a bit of the curl & style milk to brush my edges back before tying them down. Then I put my scarf & bonnet on & went to bed, allowing my hair to air-dry while I slept.

This morning I separated the twists & fluffed my hair  to blend the parts…

I was pretty traumatized by my 1st [wet] twist out (we’ll discuss that debacle some other time) & had no intentions of getting back on the horse, but I was pleasantly surprised by the dry twist out. I am a fan of this process for the following reasons:

  • dry curls are sooo much easier to wrangle than wet curls
  • it only took me an hour to detangle twist my entire head (instead of 2.5 hours)
  • you can do fewer twists with dry hair, which yields a less “scalpy” finished product, without sacrificing curl definition
  • it’s easier to gauge the proper amount when applying products to dry hair
  • no heat is required to dry your hair in a timely manner

Have you tried a dry twist out? What did you think?

Find me on FB!

18 Aug

S.I.A.G. now has a Facebook page!

Follow the link & click “like” to add it to your favorites 🙂


Giovanni’s Emergency Kit

12 Jul

FACT: Curly hair is unpredictable.

IDK about you, but my hair (otherwise known as Giovanni) always seems to go H.A.M. when I actually care about my appearance… i.e. date night, picture day, when I’m scheduled to attend a formal function, you get the picture. Conversely, I seem to have near perfect hair days during blockbuster nights or lazy Saturdays @ my mama’s house. *Behold the mysteries of the universe* Other factors that affect Giovanni’s behavior include: the temperature & relative humidity, barometric pressure, phases of the moon, my mood, my menstrual cycle, your menstrual cycle, how much I like the person sitting next to me, and of course my blood pressure… LOL

For these reasons I carry the following items in my purse at all times:

  1. Several bobby pins
  2. A few ouchless elastic ponytail holders
  3. An ouchless elastic headband
  4. A hard plastic headband

THE BOTTOM LINE: No woman knoweth the day nor the hour when a bad hair moment will strike… Be ye ready at all times, Boo!

Brush Talk

19 Jun

My thoughts on cosmetic tools & the storage/ maintenance of cosmetic brushes

Tutorial: Hot curling

13 Jun

After having worn a fresh roller set for a day or two, I usually hot curl my hair. Why? Because the heat from the curling iron helps to press my roots & straighten my hair, without losing my existing curl. To maintain the style overnight, I alternate between wrapping & (dry) rolling my hair.

Tips for heat styling your hair:

  1. Deep condition your hair as often as possible so that it is properly moisturized
  2. Do protein treatments (as needed) to strengthen your hair
  3. Seal your ends with oils/butters to lock in moisture
  4. Use a thermal protection spray or serum before applying heat
  5. Ditch alcohol-based spritzes that will dry out your hair!!! Instead, use a setting lotion or wrapping foam on your hair ( while it’s wet)… it will have a similar effect without the excessive dehydration
  6. Use the lowest heat setting necessary to achieve your style. If you hear the curling/flat-iron sizzle & pop when you pass it thru your hair… IT IS TOO HOT! That sound you hear is the water literally boiling out of your hair shaft… NO BUENO!
  7. Limit the use of heat styling tools by using heat-free maintenance to preserve your style. If you wrap or roll your hair at night, you won’t have to re-do it everyday.
  8. Do not curl/flat-iron dirty hair.
  9. Clean your curling/flat-iron after each use… If you have burnt product residue on the surface of your iron, you’re reducing its efficiency & getting old nasty products (or dander) on your clean hair… EWW!

If you have any additional curling/flat-ironing tips, please share them by commenting on this post…

On setting hair goals…

25 May

I’ll keep it real with you, the journey to natural is NOT an easy one. But as with any other challenge in life, you can succeed by setting attainable goals.  During most of the first year of my transition, I blew my hair dry, pressed it with a flat-iron (to tame the frizz) & then curled it (to add body & style). What on earth was I thinking?!?!? I was probably thinking I could make my hair behave the way I wanted it to… or that my styling skills were so dope I could catch the “WG flow” sans relaxer. Silly rabbit… Tricks are for kids!  At some point I realized that the excessive direct heat was negating the positive effects of not relaxing my hair. Oprah calls this an “Aha! moment”… I realized that simply not perming my hair wasn’t enough & that I needed a hair goal. Enter Tracee Ellis Ross…


Check out her wig… it’s voluminous, shiny & everything a curly fro should be! Why is this an appropriate hair goal for me? Simply because Tracee’s hair texture is similar to mine (meaning this look is attainable), but the length & width of her hair are greater than mine (giving me something to strive for). Any worthwhile goal will take you outside of your comfort zone, but that’s alright… it promotes personal GROWTH! Speaking of growth, human hair grows at a rate of about half an inch per month (this is an average statistic), so obviously mine is a long-term goal. What am I doing in the short-term to make it happen?

  1. Maintaining a healthy scalp (by using tea tree oil, cleansing as often as needed & keeping it free of debris)
  2. Deep conditioning twice a month
  3. Doing protein treatments every other month (6-8 weeks)
  4. Using a hooded dryer (indirect heat at a lower temperature) instead of my blow dryer
  5. Trimming my ends every 2 months (Remember I’m slightly past a year & a half into my natural transition, so there are still a few permed ends… PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE)
  6. Limiting the use of heat tools (namely my curling iron & flat-iron) to hairwashing day
  7. Using thermal protection spray & leave-in conditioners to style my hair
  8. Using coconut oil (or shea butter) to seal my ends after hairwash

Although I have seen a tremendous improvement in the condition of my hair & reasonable length retention, I could be doing more… Wanna know what I should be doing?

  1. Attempting low manipulation hairstyles. Why? Because they limit stress & minimize breakage. BTW, roller setting is highly manipulative *WHOMP WHOMP*
  2. Keeping my hands out of my hair… Yes, I’m a curl twirler… So sue me!
  3. Throwing away my motions pomade… It gets my edges SUPER SLICK! but it’s full of synthetic crap 😦

What can I say, I’m a work in progress…

What are your hair goals & what are you doing to achieve them?