More on skincare...

So, I just wanted to update you guys on my "everyday" skincare routine.  Well, basically fill you in on the products I use.  I use the word "routine" loosely, as I won't even pretend like I have some day and night time ritual that I follow religiously.  I don't.  If follow it about 75% of the time, I'm happy.

Anyway, the picture above basically what I use on my skin on a daily (or almost daily) basis.  I'm all out of the face wash that I've been using the most recently, which is this one.  So, I've been using a liquid African black soap that I'd gotten at my local health food store.  I use the facial cleanser with my Clariasonic Mia 2 once or twice a day.  After cleansing my face, I use this Valentia Even Glow Vitamin C serum that was sent to me months ago to try.  This serum is suppose to even skin tone, increase glow & radiance, and reduce fine lines.  I can't attribute all my skin improvements on this Valentia serum, but I can say that it has done well as part of my line up.  So, after the serum, I apply a moisturizer to my face, neck, and decolletage.  At night, I apply the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair moisturizer--of which I can't rave enough about.  This stuff works WONDERS!  Seriously, if you're over 30 years old and are not using a moisturizer at night that contains retinol, you are doing a disservice to yourself.  It totally makes the skin look younger, gives it a glow and definitely reduces fine lines and wrinkles.  This is the one product that I do make sure to use almost every night.  Now, in the mornings after cleansing my face, I moisturize with the Neutrogena Oil-Free moisturizer that has SPF 35.  If you do use a moisturizer that contains retinol, it is imperative that you use a moisturizer during the day that has at least an SPF 30.  I won't go into why here.  Just trust me on this.

Non-edited photo.
Oh and I've still been using the Exuviance peel about once every couple weeks.  This has made a big difference in the texture of my skin as well.

So that my friends is my current skincare routine in a nutshell.  Feel free to ask me any questions if you have. Be sure to check out more Valentia products HERE.

Have a great weekend!

This is a sponsored post. Vitamin Serum provided by Valentia.

Exuviance #PeelChallenge

I get a lot of questions about my skincare regimen. I haven't really shared much, because I hadn't had much of a real regi.  I'm pretty lazy with it actually.  BUT, I've been on a quest to step it up.  I never had skin issues as a teen, nor when I was in my 20's.  Things have been a' changing ever since I crossed that 35 yr mark, however.  I've notice changes in my skin's texture as well being prone to minor breakouts more often.

So when I got the sample Exuviance Performance Peel in the mail, it was perfect timing.  I'd been doing research on light at-home peels and have had a couple sitting in my cart on Amazon for a little while.  I've kept postponing because there are so many to choose from--TCA, glycolic, lactic acid, AHA, etc.  Since I had the Exuviance Performance Peel in hand--I thought "why not?"

I'm not going to go over the details of the peel.  All the information you need is here.  I just want to report back that it works. No lie.  I even had to go buy more for myself, so that I could try it a second time. The sample I'd gotten was only for one application.  All I can say is the second application was the charm for me.  It erased some really fine lines I have on my forehead, and tiny laugh lines. I'm not on needing-botox-level with the fine lines yet, but I'm all for trying to prevent them and prolonging the inevitable for as long as possible.  It is recommended that you use the peel up to twice a week.  I'm using it once a week for now, and will reduced that even more after about a couple more weeks.  I've been having an issue with whitehead breakouts on my forehead recently. They've been totally cleared. 

So, aside from that, I've tried to be more diligent with my skincare regimen and even bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 face cleansing brush.  I will be doing a post on that soon as well. 

#peelchallenge Exuviance Performance Peel

I suggest if you are having some minor skin issues, like like acne, blemishes or fine lines--give a gentle at-home peel a try...even if you don't try this one.  Just do your research first.  It has made a big difference for me!


This is a sponsored post. I was provided free samples to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hask Hair Care Products

Have any of you heard of HASK hair products?  I hadn't, until I received a nice little care package from them to review.  I have to say, I'm very impressed and I will continue to buy some of these products.  I promise I'm not just saying this because they were gifted to me, either.

hask shampoo conditioner

I've been on a quest for a little while to find a hair care line for my natural hair that I could stick to using and love it enough to use all/most of the products to keep it all cohesive.  I'm kind of over mixing-and-matching products, i.e. this brand's shampoo, that brand's conditioner, that other brand's deep conditioner, etc.  I'd like to feel like I can depend on a single line/brand.  I think this may be the first brand I give a try to and see if it contributes to my hair's health!

As you know, I cut my hair drastically.  I did it mostly because I needed a change, but I also wanted to get rid of some of the double-processed, bleached ends that I'd had.  I'm planning to grow it back out, this time with no hair color, except for henna maybe.  I say maybe because henna is a hassle, but I do believe in it's awesomeness for making hair stronger.  Oh, did I mention I found my very first gray hair???!  I plucked it, which they say you shouldn't do.  I'm thinking if more are to come, I may use henna to turn those suckers red.  We'll see.

Back to Hask...they have a "Keratin Protein" line and an "Argan Oil" line.  Both come with sulfate-and-paraben-free shampoos & conditioners.  That's kind of a big deal.  Even though I don't wash my hair with shampoo super often, I'd like to know when I do that it will be gentle (no sulfates).  The conditioner for the Keratin line boasts that it "softens and renews", while the Argan Oil conditioner says that it "strengthen and restores".  I have used both shampoos and conditioners and I have to say they both left me with super soft hair, and the conditioners gave good slip!  I haven't decided which one I like best just yet.  I plan to use them both for a while before deciding.

Each line also comes with it's own intense deep conditioning hair treatment and a smoothing shine oil.  I haven't used the deep conditioners as of yet, but the oils I do like.

hask argan oil shampoo conditioner

I definitely recommend getting these products and trying them out for yourself.  I will also update you guys on my thoughts on them as well as my hair progress in another month or so.  If you're interested, you can get more information and/or buy the Hask products at

By the way, I'm still loving my generic "curlformers"!  I've actually bought more, so I now have all 3 sizes--wide, extra-wide and narrow.  Stay tuned for more reviews on those as well!

Have an amazing weekend!

*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.


So, I've finally given the infamous Curlformers a try.  And by "Curlformers", I mean a generic brand bought off of Amazon for a third of the price.

Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle

There are a plethora of tutorial videos on how to use Curlformers for us natural haired chicas, so I'm going to just skip that part and just give my review of them.  The pack that I'd ordered from Amazon came with 40 Curlformers and the wand.  I used ALL 40.  After the fact, I realize that I would prefer to not to have to worry about separating the curls so much by hand (which is a chore if you're doing it correctly), and ordered another pack.  So the next time I use these, I will probably use about 60.


Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle

I was blown away with how silky straight (in the curl) my hair came out.  Just for the record, I didn't use these on wet, freshly (co)washed hair.  My hair was already stretched from air drying in a bun.  I then re-wet each little section prior to putting the Curlformer in.  I did this purposely because I figured it would prevent the curl from being too tight of a curl, than if I would have started out with soaking wet hair.

As you can see, I had perfect "Shirley Temple" curls, but I wasn't really feeling that look--I felt like I'd need to play with it a bit more, and at the time I was getting ready to leave my house, shortly.  So I pulled the curls back into one big Bantu knot, hoping to stretch and messy up the curls a bit.

Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle

Above is the result.  It was actually really cute like this.  At the very last minute before I left the house, I decided to pin the sides back.  I really liked the look.

Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle
Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle

Curlformers NikGLifeAndStyle

All in all, I will say that "Curlformers" are winners for me.  I will be using them regularly.  I don't plan to use them only to wear my hair curly.  They definitely give a good "foundation" for other styles.  I feel like these give me perfectly "stretched" hair that I can style a lot easier, especially in protective, pin-up styles which will contribute to my hair's health

I bought my mine HERE.  (Make sure you buy them with PRIME shipping, so that you know that they are coming from Amazon and not from China, as they could take weeks to arrive if the latter happens).

So have you tried Curlformers?  What did you think?

Hair Tutorial Video

Hey ya'll!!  As you may (or may not) know, us Midwesterners were hit with a big snow storm this past Tuesday.  We got a whopping 12 inches of snow!!  Well, the cabin fever had gotten to me and apparently gave me a little extra motivation to get something up on the blog.  I decided to make a video tutorial on how I wear my now shoulder-length hair the most.  By all means, take a looksee!

Let me know if you find this video helpful and if you'd like to see more!

Have a great Thursday!

P.S.  Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube page!  I'd greatly appreciate it!

Natural Updo

naturalhair natural hair braidout updo

Real quick...I tried out a new hairstyle this past weekend.  I found the style on Pinterest and it looked easy enough, so I gave it a go!  I started mine out with an old braidout.  I really liked the look, and this now has me wanting to explore other styles.  This is definitely a way to get another day or two out of an old braid/twistout!

Photo via Pinterest

Happy Monday!


Hair Babble: A little update

#naturalhair natural hair #teamnatural

Just thought I'd give you guys the latest on my hair.  Well, a couple weeks ago, I cut a few inches off of it (again).  With all of the heat and humidity--I couldn't take my hair "touching" me!  So when curly, it is well above my shoulders.  When straight, it's back to armpit-length.  I like how I can go from having "short" hair to "long" hair at a moment's notice.  Although, I haven't worn it straight yet, and I don't intend to any time soon.

Also, with this latest trim, the layers are gone, so it's in a cute "bob" style and I love it.

#naturalhair #twostrandtwists two strand twists

I've also been wearing two-strand twists here and there more often.  It's just so easy, and I've been figuring out little styles that make them more cute and wearable.  By the way, these only take me about an 1.5 hours to do.  I DO NOT do the "mini-twists" that some do that take like a whole day to put in.  Ain't nobody got time fo' dat! (More power to those who do!)

#naturalhair natural hair #teamnatural #twostrandtwists two strand twists

So that is what the hair is doing at the moment.

Enjoy your Thursday!


Taking it back to the old school

I've been wearing wash-n-go's consistently lately.  Basically alternating between that and buns.  Oh, have I mentioned that I've decided to grow my hair back out?  Indeed, I am.  I'm missing those inches I chopped off and have decided to grow it back out to mid-back-length or maybe even waist-length.  I'm really missing the inches because of my new found love of the wash-n-go, and I wouldn't mind it hanging a bit longer.  Shrinkage is real, ya'll! So I've decided that I would start bunning my hair again consistently and just give it a rest for stretches at a time.  My plan is to bun during the week, and then wash-n-go on the weekends.  Of course, if something comes up and I need to "get cute" during the week, I will bust out the wash-n-go then as well.

I've been able to get 3 days out of one wash-n-go by preserving it the same way I preserve my braidouts/twistouts---putting in about 5-6 large twists at night.  This also stretches it, which makes 2nd day hair my FAVORITE.  I could probably get even more days out of a wash-n-go, but I think 3 days is more than enough.  I've also been pulling my hair into an old, tried-and-true puff.  I haven't really worn puffs in YEARS.  It's kind of nice to take it all back to things I did when I first started out in my hair journey.  Hopefully, I can stick to this new and simple regimen.  Wish me luck!

Curls baby...

Hey ya'lls!  I haven't posted in a while, and so I decided to conjure up something to post about.  The quickest easiest posts to posts!


I've been wearing wash-n-go's a lot lately.  This is a big deal because I'm someone who hardly EVER wears them.  Well, lo and behold, I stumbled upon this natural hair vlogger and tried out her method of wash-n-go.  This method works!  It just works!!  I don't know why all of this time I haven't tried to apply product in sections.  I've always been under the impression that it's better not to disturb the curls once out of the shower as it can hinder the "clumping".  Well it doesn't, and because every single hair actually gets some product on it--the clumping snaps right back!  

I suggest you check out this wash-n-go method video and give it a try.  For the record, the products I used were: 1) My oil blend (coconut, almond, olive, castor), 2) Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and last 3) Fantasia IC Gel, in that order with each section.  I didn't use as many sections as she did in the video.  I say experiment and do what works for you.

By the way, while trying to take pics of my hair, my youngest insisted that I pick him up so he could take pics too.  Who am I to deny him?  

Have a great weekend!

P.S.  Please disregard the mess in the background--when I get inspired to take pics, I just have to go with it. :)

It's Spring!

Since I don't have any spring-like pictures to post, I just thought I'd show you guys a glimpse of my straight hair with the new color.

Yep, I finally flat ironed my hair.  I just needed a quick change, I guess.  I plan to do an outfit post soon, so you will get a better view.  Stay tuned!

Hope you've enjoyed this beautiful spring day!

P.S.  I'm not going to do a "Google Reader is leaving" post--I think others have covered that.  So just...

Follow on Bloglovin

Hair Babble

Let's talk hair, shall we?  Just wanted to update you all on the relationship I'm having with my hair these days.  If you've noticed, in the last several posts on this here blog, my hair has been curly.  I haven't straightened my hair at all this year.  One of my resolutions for 2013 was to not straighten my hair nearly as much as I did last year.  I realize that I was straightening my hair because I was getting exasperated with it in it's natural state, and I still wasn't loving it straight!  I felt when I wore my hair in a braidout, twistout, or wash-n-go that it was just sort of there.  Because my hair was a blunt cut, it made my hair look outstanding straight--however, it was just boring when curly.  So I decided that I would do whatever I needed to do to love my curly look again, because it is actually my favorite way to wear my hair.  For quite some time, I had been resisting changing the cut/shape of my hair for fear of how it would look when straightened, but straight was how I actually wear my hair the least.  It just didn't make sense to let that keep being a factor into how I styled my hair.

So the first change I made was to lighten my hair up some.  I'd been wearing black hair for a while, but I actually think curly hair looks better lighter (or highlighted).  Black hair tends to look like one big mass, whereas if the hair is lighter or has highlights, you can see some of the curl pattern and it gives the whole look more definition.  Second, I slightly layered my hair--nothing dramatic at all, but it makes a difference in the look.  Finally, I just recently cut "bangs" again.  I put bangs in quotes because if straightened they are below my chin, but while curly it makes my hair frame my face really nicely.

So now I'm back to feeling like me again.  The pics above are before I added the bangs, but I will be posting an outfit post shortly that shows them.  They are still fairly long while curly too, so maybe I shouldn't call them bangs, and instead call them face-framing-layers.  Tomato, tom-ah-to.  Either way, I'm a lot happier.

BTW, don't forget to enter the giveaway!

And just that fast...

...the curls are back.

This is actually my hair airdried to about 80% in one braid, and then taken down to airdry the rest of the way.  Only products used were coconut oil, and Fantasia IC gel (clear) for slicking the bun down.  Who says you have to use a million and one products to get a great look? 

Though, I will admit, if I knew I would eventually take it down to wear out, I would have used maybe one more product to get a bit more clumping.  A cream based product like one of Shea Moisture's hair lotions, etc.  Nevertheless, it was just fine like this!

Have a great one!

Killer hair

Well, not really the hair, that's killer.  Currently in love with these studded hair combs I picked up at Forever 21.  They were only $2.80 a piece.  I'm sure this could be a pretty simple DIY as well.  Go get your "bad ass" on!
 P.S.  They are no longer available online. You must get them in store! :(

Hair Babble: Update!

So for the past few months, I've been slowly taking inches off of my hair.  I've been pretty unhappy with my hair (a) because the detangling was just getting too hard to manage, (b) whenever I wore curly styles I just felt like it was too much hair and hated that I could feel it "touching" me, and (c) when straight it just felt pretty boring.

Welllll, I eventually made one last trim and am now (what the hair boards call) APL (arm-pit length).  I am so happy!  I feel like I have new hair!  It looks thicker, has lots of body when straight--and curly it's right above my shoulders and is no longer touching me!  Detangling is snap too.  It's amazing the difference 4-5 inches can make.  Oh, and when I put my hair in a ponytail--my puff looks a little more like a real "puff".  So for now, I am happy. :)

This is the length straight--shortly after I'd cut it.  For reference, my hair use to cover the boobies.

This shows the length curly:

I'm happy about the curly "bob" look!  Who knows, maybe I'll let it grow back as the weather gets cooler in the Fall, for now I'm sticking with this!  Anyway, have a great week!

Best Wash-n-Go EVER

Lets talk hair.  Shall we?

After my trip to Negril, I flat ironed my hair and proceeded to trim about 2 inches off of it.  Which is why you see my hair is straight in the Memorial Day weekend photos.  I just felt like my hair took a bit of abuse while on vacay, and just felt like my hair could use a little "refresher".  While on vacay, I ended up wearing a lot of wash-n-gos which was even surprising to me. One, being that I'm not really a fan of wash-n-gos on myself because of the tangled hair, but also because I usually don't really like the way my hair looks, and two, as much as I love the beach and hanging out by the pool, I don't usually get my hair wet.  I don't not get my hair wet for my hair's sake.  I'm just not really the type to be in the water all swimming and ish--I tend to get in and just chill, wading with my drink in hand. haha  So I figured I'd pretty much wear a braidout the whole time.  Well, surprise surprise, I did end up swimming and ish, playing pool volleyball, etc.  So I said eff it and wash-and-went the whole time.  This caused me after I returned home to maybe rethink my wash-n-go stance.  Maybe, just maybe, it is possible to get my wash-n-gos to look the way that I'd like....which is more defined.  I feel like in the past, for the most part it starts out looking defined, but ends up in a frizzy mess by midday.

Well ya'll, there is a new sheriff in town.  And by sheriff, I mean a new combo of products, and I now believe I have established the wash-n-go of CHAMPIONS.  This just might end up being my go-to style for the summer. (Don't hold me to that.  Matter of fact, I'm sure you've learned not to hold me to anything when it comes to my hair.)

Pics with the shades are the first day. Brown dress is second day hair.

Products used:

-TRESemme Naturals Radiant Volume Conditioner (it's silicon-free, and shout out to Sophia of Kiffe Coco of whom I bought this after she mentioned it on her blog)
-Coconut Oil
-Flaxseed Gel (Yep, I made some myself.  Thought I'd see what all the hype was about.  I think the hype may be warranted.  Not totally sure though if my definition was mostly from the conditioner or this.) Tutorial on how to make your own found HERE.

What I did:

I co-washed my hair in the shower with a random cheapo conditioner, rinsed it out and then applied the TRESemme conditioner to my hair and pinned it up with a clip as I showered.  Before I got out of the shower. I let down my hair and wrung my hair out  REALLY well to get out excess water and conditioner. I DID NOT rinse the TRESemme out.  I then clipped my hair back up so that I could rinse the conditioner I'd squeezed out off of my body and then got out of the shower.  I immediately applied coconut oil throughout my hair and last applied my homemade flaxseed gel throughout my hair.  Because my hair was still dripping wet, I pulled it back into one big twist, clipped it up and wrapped it in a towel for about 15 minutes.  After removing the towel, I'd let it air dry to about 75% dry and then I diffused it the rest of the way.

All I can tell you is that this is one of the most defined wash-n-gos that I've ever had.  I don't even think the pictures are doing it that much justice.  I know many naturals use regular conditioner as a styler, but I've always been somewhat reluctant to do it.  I've tried it a few times, but not with results like this.  I even pulled my hair up into a ponytail at one point and then let back down a while later and it fell right back into place--curls still defined!  I ended up wearing the initial wash-n-go for 3 DAYS and it could have gone longer if I wore a puff.  I'm sold!

Just thought I'd share!