Natural Hair – Overcoming the Struggle!

So since I last left you, I was beyond frustrated with my natural hair and almost ready to throw in the towel. Well, I am happy to report that I have overcome the tug of war struggle with my natural locks, and we have called a truce.
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I realized that all I really needed to do was figure out what my hair needs at this stage in the game is. As you go natural, there are many different stages with their own individual needs – this is true especially if you decide to keep letting your hair grow, rather than sricking to a particular style. I had to assess what my hair needed in order to thrive, and with a little trial and error and some ingenuity on my part – I found my answer.

First off, no matter what you are doing, you must keep your hair moisturized!  I wasn’t giving it the moisture love it needed. So I put together my own hair spritz, moisturizer and revitalizer into a spray bottle and went to town. I mixed 1 part safflower oil to 3 parts water, about a half dollar sized amount of conditioner and  a few drops of peppermint essential oil and shook vigorously to mix all ingredients.

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After washing my hair, I used this hair spritz all over my towel dried hair and then added my secret weapon – face primer! Sounds crazy right? But what I discovered is that Younique cosmetics “Glorious Face and Eye Primer” is a fantastic all natural protector for heat styling, blow outs, etc – as well as being a nice sealant for my hair spritz. You only need about 3-4 pumps (depending on your hair type) in your hand to distrubute evenly throughout your hair.

After I moisturize and seal my hair, I put it into several twists to dry and curl and the next day I can do my twist out. Healthy hair, better style, happy girl!

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My advice to all natural divas, no matter what stage you’re at – do not give up and don’t give in to the temptation of going back to the creamy crack if you are still desiring to maintain your beatiful natural tresses. A little extra work and time spent on your hair now,  will keep it manageable and easier to work with later. So keep at it naturalists – if my lazy butt can do this,  I know you all can!

To order Younique’s Glorious Face and Eye Primer (by the way it is incredible when used as  was meant to be as an actual primer lol) check with younique.com to find a local sales associate.

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Combating Stressed out Skin…With Oil?

This week has delivered more than its fair share of stress. I have had quite a large workload in addition to a FAST approaching menstrual cycle (ain’t it grand being a girl!) There has, however, been a silver lining to it all, because despite everything else going on – stressed, broken out skin has not once been something I’ve had to worry about. I attribute this, not to any pricey miracle skin care system, but to a few common ingredients that I always have on hand – oil.

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Yes, you heard me correctly. I actually take oil, and rub it into my face on purpose! It is really not as crazy as it may sound, for this is actually a tried and true skin care method that has been around for centuries. It is called the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM for short). There are articles all over the interweb that go into laborious detail about this routine, its history, and the thousands of oils you can use – I do encourage you to take the time to read more about it if you would like to know the technical, chemical and historical side. However, so as not to stress YOU out with tedious details, I have chosen to give you the simplified version.

The Process
1. First mix about half a tablespoon each of Castor Oil & Olive Oil (I prefer extra virgin) in your hand and massage into your face.

2. If you have a Clarisonic brush, this would replace the little facial brush shown, however both will accomplish the same thing. Use the facial brush to massage the oil further into your skin using soft circular motions. This will serve to exfoliate and stimulate the circulation in your skin and dislodge any dirt or clogged pores.

3. Take a clean washcloth and run it under very hot water from the sink faucet (as hot as you can stand to hold). Squeezing out the excess water, place the heated cloth over your face to steam in the moisturizing oil. Once it cools, simply whipe away any excess oil.

4. Your skin should feel incredibly smooth, soft, and moisturized. However, for those who have more dry skin problems, you can dab on a bit of vitamin E oil in areas that feel a little dry. I also like to use the vitamin E around my eyes and on my forehead to prevent fine lines.

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And that, dear ones, is all I do to keep my skin in good working order. I would like to point out the side by side comparison photo above from October of 2013 to the picture I took this evening. It isn’t a drastic infomercial type difference, however you will notice that my pores are smaller and my skin texture has become much smoother. Oh and did I mention my cycle starts in 2 days! (No major breakouts)

No matter what your skin concerns, I firmly believe you will be very impressed with the effectiveness of this skin care regimen that has stood up to the test of time. Suitable for all skin types, not only will it save you a great deal of money, but you can also rest easier knowing that what you are putting on your skin is something natural,  chemical free, and safe enough to ingest – if you are so inclined (Note: Castor oil is a laxative, if you do feel like ingesting any of these oils – please keep that in mind!).

Easy Breezy Weekends

Ahh, the weekend is here and I can finally exhale a bit. If no jobs are booked, Saturdays are my day to be a little lazy and sleep in, enjoy a delicious brunch, then head out to do whatever I please. It is also a perfect time to wear something comfortable and lighten up on the makeup, or forgo it altogether.

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Today, I opted for throwing a flowing silk poncho over a pair of my infamous fat girl stretchy pants (fear not, for I was working the look), adding a pair of fun dangly earrings, and donning a pair of oversized sunnies.

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I kept my makeup pretty light (for me), however, it goes without saying that no matter what level of makeup I choose, I will be drawing in a full brow – this girl must frame her face. As for the rest of my makeup, I did use a very light hand. I made my cheeks nice and rosey, using a bolder blush than I normally wear, as that was the feature I chose to highlight. I lined my eyes with kohl liner that I smudged out a bit, used a brown shadow to add a slight contour to my nose, nude lipstick, a little BB cream and light concealer – and I was ready to go in 10 minutes.

By spending less time and energy on my outward appearance, I had the opportunity to focus on spending time with the ones I care about most & the flexibility of joining in on an unplanned, yet enjoyable activity.  Which, in the end, isn’t that exactly what weekends are all about?

Natural Product Giveaway

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE getting free stuff. But you know what I love more than getting free stuff? I love giving it to random people for absolutely no reason at all! And that, dear friends, is what this post is all about. For the month of February, I have decided to share a few of my favorite natural products by hosting a giveaway contest!

This will be an Instagram contest, but I want to share it with my blog readers as well – because you are just as awesome as those instagram folks. To enter, just follow these simple steps:

1) repost the following picture on your instagram account:
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2) Follow me @faces_by_brit
3) Hashtag #facesbybritFebruary & #beauty
4) Tag 2 friends
5) Leave a comment on this blog

That’s it!

I will be giving 2 winners a beauty bag with a natural lip balm and bath bomb from Emerald Hollow and a handmade travel soap trio from Wild Herb Soap Company.

Only one entry per account name and contest ends at 11:59pm February 15th.

DIY Makeup Remover

Are you in search of a powerful makeup remover that will get rid of all the waterproof eye makeup that you pile on, while still being gentle to the sensitive skin around the eyes? Well, you needn’t look any further because I’m going to give you the 411 on how to make your own! All you need are two edible items that most people can currently find in their kitchen: extra virgin olive oil and aloe vera juice.

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First, take a bottle of aloe vera juice and empty out a little if completely full. Next pour in about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), the oil will rise to the top. Now, although I would love to make my knowledge sound more vast than it is, that’s it as far as instructions. Just be sure to shake the bottle well prior to each use and pour onto cotton pad/puff immediately while it is still mixed to remove your makeup.

Check back soon for more helpful tips like this one!

Hair Tips: “Pineappling”

Have any of you lovely ladies ever heard of the “Pineappling technique” for keeping your styles fresh while you sleep? Well, I happened across this technique on a curly girl website and I am so happy I did. The basics of it is throwing all your hair into a loose high ponytail or bun on top of your head, and wrap a scarf around the sides (optional: spritz a little leave in conditioner to moisturize) and you’re ready for bed!  (see picture below)
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By using this simple technique, you can achieve fabulous 2nd and even 3rd day hair from your initial styles. Girls, I can’t begin to tell you how much time this has saved me in the morning. All I have to do after my shower is take down my hair, fluff, and I am good to go!

Give it a try the next time you have a cute style you’d like to save for a couple of days. I would LOVE to hear how it works for you!

Respectfully yours,

Brit

Follow me on Instagram: @faces_by_brit

DIY Hair Gel!

So I have been on this natural hair journey for a while now, but only in the last 8 months have I been giving it a serious try. By “serious”, I mean I am no longer claiming to be a Naturalista while secretly using a texturizer – I’m all in this time. During this process, I have discovered many new ways to care for my hair without emptying my wallet. One crucial way has been to start make some of my own hair products. Doing this allows me to not only save money, but it also satisfies the control freak in me by letting me monitor exactly what goes onto my hair. Today, I will share with you the very first recipe I ever tried – which also happens to be the easiest to make; flaxseed hair gel.

You will need the following items:

1/3 cup whole flaxseeds
2 cups water
Small sauce pan
Mesh strainer (nylon wig cap or pantyhose without runs can sub in a pinch)
Mason jar or heavy plastic container with lid
Pot holder
Grapefruit or Lavender essential oil (optional)

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Step one: Pour water and flaxseeds into your pan over medium heat and boil, stirring occasionally. When you see a frothy egg-white consistency, remove from heat but continue to stir for 3-5 more minutes. Mixture should still be hot but not so much so that it will crack or jeopardize your container.

Step two: Place mesh strainer over the mouth of your clean jar/container. In a pinch, you could use a wig cap or pantyhose to strain, however it will be messy and hot – so I really recommend using the mess strainer if you have one.

Step three: Start to pour or spoon gel mixture into strainer. Gel will thicken as it cools, so try to do this quickly (but safely).

Step four (optional): After filling a container with strained gel, add a couple of drops of an essential oil you like to give the mixture and your hair a nice subtle fragrance. I usually alternate between lavender and grapefruit oil.

Now you’re done! Just put the lid on and stick it in the fridge. You can also refrigerate the flaxseeds you just used to make another batch. Both should keep about 15 days if kept cold.

Don’t fret and call me a liar if your first batch isn’t quite as easy as I’ve implied, it may take a little trial and error at first. However, once you find your rhythm you will wonder why you ever paid money for drying hair gels that left your hair hard and crunchy! Flaxseed gel is both moisturizing and nourishing and great for setting and styling.

I hope you have enjoyed and found some inspiration from this tutorial and I encourage you to leave a comment below to let me know how your batch turns out!