March 28, 2013

LatiDoe Featured on Ceen By Anna C.

"Dora’s earthy personal style is expressed in all of her products. Made from old pieces of fabric, unused cloths and minimal manufactured products, everything Dora makes is sustainably chic. Most of the items in her Etsy store are under $10 and she is happy to do custom orders based on your favorite fabrics." - Anna C.

March 27, 2013

The Powers of Black Soap

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap, $4.99 @ Whole Foods 

I've been on the lookout for black soap for a while now and found a bar at Whole Foods the other day. They have an assortment of black soap based body washes -- which looked amazing, but I was on a mission for a new facial bar. They only seemed to carry this one brand. It's the Nubian Heritage African Black Soap with Oats, Aloe and Vitamin E. This bar is said to have "anti-blemish, detoxifying, and healing" properties. I've always heard great things about black soap but never actually tried it. 

My skin hasn't been at its best lately so I wanted to switch up my facial regimen  Since using this product I've noticed my skin has cleared up a lot and fast. I've only been using this for a few days and I've already noticed results. 

I do oil based scrubs from time to time, and this soap is strong enough to remove oil. It is also gentle enough that it leaves the skin soft -- probably because of it's high content of natural oils and butters. A lot of people are terrified of the idea of putting oils on their face. In actuality, natural oils can do good things for your skin. Oil dissolves oil. So if you have oily skin, oil based scrubs are great for removing dirt and oil from your pores. Oil bases are also best for make up removal. I find African black soap to be perfect for washing off oil bases (make up remover, oil scrubs...and the like) because it doesn't completely strip the skin of oils like harsher soaps do. 

100% Vegetable soap: African Black Soap Base, Soap Base, Organic Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Oat Kernel Meal, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Plantain Extract, Vitamin E, Vegetable Glycerin, Mineral Pigment or Vegetable Color, Essential Oil Blend.

General benefits of black soap:
  • Sooth/heal/reduce acne scarring
  • Sooth irritated skin
  • Moisturizes
  • Helps regulate oily skin
  • Make up removal
  • Multi-purpose (useful for body, face, and hair) 
  • Exfoliates 
  • Supports global economies (black soap base is usually imported from Africa) 

March 25, 2013

Shingling Method Using Curls Unleashed Curl Defining Creme

Yesterday I went to Target and Whole Foods for a mini product buying spree with campus group Naturally Yours. I was very tempted to pick up a jar of the Kinky Curly Curling Custard because it is tried and true and always delivers beautiful results for wash-and-go type styling. It is hella expensive though and I figured I should try something new. I wanted to find a product with significant hold that could be applied without being coupled with a heavy leave in conditioner underneath. So basically, I wanted a gel and moisturizer in one. 

I decided to go with the Curls Unleashed Take Command Curl Defining Creme. According to the label, it is ideal for multiple different styling techniques, curl definition, and fighting shrinkage -- all things my hair needs. I debated between the creme and the jelly and decided to go with creme, assuming creme is a little more moisturizing and softer. 

The Product: Curls Unleashed Take Command Curl Defining Creme

$14.99, 16oz, @ Target

This stuff is very very creamy and very very thick. If you flip the jar upside down, the product doesn't move. It has a light, flowery, tropical scent which I actually really like. It's not sticky at all but feels like a buttery lotion so the application is smooth and easy. Overall, I like this product. It is a very heavy moisturizer, so people with thin hair or people who don't like their hair being weighed down a bit might not like this. Also, people who stick to all natural ingredients may not love this. There are a few different cones and some unpronounceables. 

It DOES leave my hair soft and defined. It also helps reduce shrinkage, but does not necessarily elongate curls. They will still shrink up a bit and clump a lot. I still felt the need to fluff out/stretch my curls with my blow dryer. My hair was very moisturized, so I don't think there is any need to use a moisturizer under this product. 

It DOES NOT flake or crunch. I didn't feel the need to scrunch out the crunch with any oils. It feels as though this product has enough oils in it on its own. It doesn't add to the dry time, either. It took my hair the usual amount of time to dry under my bonnet dryer, and I used a generous amount.

The Hair I Started With:

The Hair I Ended With:

The Process:

1. Moisturizer

I wanted to use a very light, minimal moisturizer to really test the product on its own. I just used a small amount of aloe vera gel (99% pure aloe gel, $3 @ Trader Joes) and spread it evenly throughout my freshly washed, wet hair. 

2. Sectioning

I then parted my hair into 5 workable sections, two on each side and one larger section on the top. 

3. Detangling 

I detangle each section with my Denman brush working from the ends up to the roots, re-saturating with water using a spray bottle. To speed up the process, I just detangle the sections as I apply product. You can also detangle your entire head and then resection after to apply product. 

4. Shingling Method

After the section is detangled, apply a generous amount of product and rake through hair. To stretch the curls a bit using the shingling method, split into smaller section and smooth/straighten out using your fingers or a brush. Then allow curls to gently reform on their own as you move on to other sections. 

5. Re-Spritz with Water

After completing all of the sections, I re-spritz my hair to accentuate my curl pattern even more. This is how my hair looked wet with product. 

6. Diffuse/Hood/Air Dry

To dry my hair, I sat under my hooded dryer for around 35 minutes on high heat. This is how my hair texture looked when completely dry. There was a slight crunch at first but it went away quickly after stretching the curls a bit. 

7. Stretch Curls 

After curls are completely dry, I resectioned my hair into three large sections. I would take out a smaller strand of hair from each section, pulling it taut while tension blow drying. I focused the dryer mostly at the roots and then briefly down the entire strand. Don't hold your hair against the heat very long or you will blow out/straighten your hair. 

The Final Look: