April 29, 2009

Maxwell's "Pretty Wings"


Maxwell's part one of his highly anticipated trilogy Black Summer's Night is scheduled for release July 7th. "Pretty Wings" has really built my anticipation for his fourth album, I love Maxwell. I haven't seen him in concert as yet but I am hoping too when he goes on tour. Visit him at his Myspace here.

Suave Discontinued ...?

Recently I hit up Wal-Mart, Zellers and Supercenter in Toronto just doing my regular shopping. I don't use Suave but I am very aware of all the regular hair care product lines sold in retail stores, so I immediately noticed that Suave products were missing from the shelves of these stores. So yesterday while in Wal-Mart again I asked a lady stocking shelves in the beauty department where are the Suave hair care products. She told me they are no longer carrying Suave ... so of course I asked why? She replied that she thinks they went bankrupt! Really, wow! This recession is really going to interrupt alot of naturals hair care routine. I don't know if what she said is true but every retail store I go to I'm noticing no Suave products. If any of you have heard about this or are noticing the same thing leave a comment.

April 27, 2009

Measha Brueggergosman

Measha Brueggergosman is an accomplished African-Canadian soprano opera singer. She has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra to name a few and has gained acclaim with her many awards for her performances, to visit her go to measha.com.

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April 25, 2009

Fabness: Teyana Taylor


Teyana Taylor was spotted at Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas' Dasani Campaign celebration at the Townhouse Spa in New York City this past week with beautiful full bouncy curls and top it off in a cute outfit.
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Oprah: It's All Mine!


Who knew Oprah was a fierce natural? Oprah set the record straight on her Friday show that her hair is not weave, its all hers and it is natural ...You got to love her!

The Next Level: Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi is a young man from Cleveland, Ohio with big dreams. He has been producing, singing, rapping and mixing for a few years and his hard work is paying off, he is scheduled to release his debut album Man on the Moon summer 2009 on Universal Motown. With his unique style I anticipate his upcoming release. Visit him at kidcudi.com and enjoy!

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April 24, 2009

April 23, 2009

Do You Want Some Qhemet Biologics?



I am selling my Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm which is two-thirds full and the Honeybush Tea Soft Hold Gel which is brand new, I tried it twice to slick my hair into a bun but all I get is frizz. Hopefully these products will suite someone's hair better than mine. Contact me by e mail if you live or are visiting the Toronto area soon so we can meet up. Thanks!

April 22, 2009

SISTA!!!!

I was at work earlier this week and I had a discussion with a very nice man from Ethiopia and a lovely lady that I love to death, she is a sweet heart. We started talking about natural hair and how I love it and that as Africans and of the African diaspora we need to embrace our natural beauty and not be so consumed with relaxing our hair. I also noted that many women have no idea what their texture is. Case in point, a few weeks ago I was at work walking to the cafe and this younger lady came up to me and was like "oh your hair, wow you have curls? It's natural? ... what did you put in it?" Now I am sure that if she chose to stop wearing weave and relaxing her hair she too could achieve my curly hair-do which by the way was styled with Kinky Curly Curling Custard.
Any who, back to the discussion this week, the man agreed with me and said the more natural the better and he also noted that make up is not attractive to him, but if a women does wear make up it should be as natural and minimal as possible, I agreed. The woman on the other hand said that she needs to relax her hair because without it she feels she looks 'hard' and that straight hair makes her look fresh and radiant. Of course I was like "no you can wear your natural hair and look good." Than she pulled out a picture from her wallet from the 1970s or 80s and showed us a picture of her teeny weeny afro and than she went on to say "that was the style back than, but things changed, you'll feel the same way too." Where do I start folks ... First, I told her that my mom also rocked that style too which was hotness in the 70s to mid 80s. I also told her that me wearing my hair natural is me and that I don't want to relax my hair for nothing, I love my natural hair. She looked at me as if to say "okay." A few days later she remarked to me plainly that "natural hair just doesn't look good on me." Lord, where do I start, all I could do was say her name in amazement and I just left it alone. We were at work so I didn't want to get into it with her.
I love this woman but this is crazy, how can your own hair not look good? This is a clear example of the many generations, decades and years of conditioning that black is not beautiful, I exclaim that Black IS beautiful, and imma rock these kinks to let all y'all know I'm PROUD!!!!!!
*visit redbubble.com for more info on the image above, it is available in a T-shirt print

Places To Know in T.O.

The Big Carrot has a wide selection of products including produce, a juice bar, restaurant area, along with beauty and health care.
348 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4K 1N8 P 416.466.2129 F 416.466.2366
http://thebigcarrot.ca/
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The Royal Caribbean Cafe has amazing food, you will not be dissapointed with their wide selection of caribbean dishes that is authentic and made with love, my favourite is the Fish and Shrimp Combo Dinner.

Royal Caribbean Cafe 1127 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6E 1B1 416.651.9554



The Curl Ambassadors is a cozy salon/retail shop not far from the University of Toronto campus, The prices are reasonable and they always have a special. They carry product lines such as Curls, Carols Daughter, Deva, and Kinky Curly.

The Curl Ambassadors 159 Harbord Street (west of Spadina), Toronto, Ontario 416.922.2888

April 20, 2009

FHI Heat Nano Salon Pro 2000 Dryer


I just received my FHI Heat Nano Salon Pro 2000 Dryer that I ordered from Amazon and I am so excited to try it, I also have a FHI flat iron. I heard great things about FHI from my cousins and the many reviews online regarding the whole FHI line of styling tools. Users of FHI always say how durable their tools are and that it is better geared to kinky, coily hair moreso than CHI and Sidu and that means silkier and straighter results. My last hair dryer just died after 12 years of loyal and consistent service, it was a Vidal Sassoon hair dryer and I bought it in the shopping mall down the street from my high school ... the memories. I paid between $70 to $80 bucks at that time and I must say I really got my monies worth. I hope I have a similar experience with my FHI.

April 16, 2009

The Disaster with Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Shampoo Continues...

My hair is still recovering from my disaster with Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Shampoo, who knew that this shampoo would wreck havoc on my hair? I tried it a few times before and it stripped my hair so in the trash it went a week ago. This is the second all-natural organic shampoo/soap that did this to my hair, the first was Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap. I've noticed my hair has alot of knots and spilt ends, its like the shampoo just sucked every last drop of moisture out of my hair because the split end weren't there before. I did a protein treatment and am loading my hair with Herbal Essences conditioner every night than putting my hair into 4 loose bantu knots and tying my hair down. In the morning I fluff and put it in a puff.

April 13, 2009

Pure Genius: Ryan Leslie

If you don't know who Ryan Leslie is as yet, I suggest that you study him. He is a musical genius and I am not the first to declare it. A Harvard graduate with Bajan and Trinidadian parents he is a singer, rapper, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. He has worked with the biggest names in the industry and is only getting started. I hope you are as blown away by this young man's talent as I was, enjoy! Visit Ryan Leslie at his official site, click here.








Chloé Buckle Strap Wedged Shoes

These beauties speak so much about who I am - conservative yet sophisticated and bookish. This pair of Chloé Buckle Strap Wedged Shoes is so new-millennia-librarian, I love them! To see more details visit Browns Fashion here .

April 10, 2009

April 8, 2009

My Final Say On Sulfates, Silicones and Petro-Chemicals

I think we can all agree that maintaining healthy hair does not take a lot of products to achieve optimal health. The techniques and styling tools can make a big difference in growth and retaining length. I have had many discussions with naturals both men and women and for the most part they rely on a few products, some of which contain sulfates, silicones and petro-chemicals and yet their hair is on point. Over the weekend I pulled out Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Shampoo to cleanse my hair, not because I like it but because I'm trying to use it up, it's not at all my favourite shampoo. I must say this is the worst experience I've had with a shampoo, I had knots and split ends for days that weren't there before using the Island Naturals and had to trim about a centimeter off plus dust my ends, my hair was also very dry. My point is this - AO is all natural and organic as appose to my favourite shampoo, IC Tea Shampoo that contains sulfates but would never do my hair like that, I get bouncy soft hair every time I use it. If a product works for your hair then why stop if you have healthy flourishing hair?
Elasta QP DPR-11 has petro-chemicals in it but is by far the most effective and affordable deep conditioner I have tried, so its sticking around. And lets be honest with ourselves, every dollar counts, especially during these times. I swear by Herbal Essences (old packaging) it just gives my hair body and defines my curls nicely its $3 to $4 CAD as appose to my Nature's Gate Conditioners that can be $8 to $10 CAD, if my conditioner finishes and I need to do a co-wash I'm not going to make a special trip to the health food store to get them when Wal-Mart or Zeller's has Herbal Essences right down the street from me.
Mixing your stash with premium quality products, products found at your local black beauty supply store and at retailers like Wal-mart makes sense. Products like Hairobics do wonders and so does the DRP-11, these are both different grades of product but they deliver. The list below are products I have heard work and are readily available and some of my own that I love:

Elasta QP DPR-11 (petro-chemicals)
IC Tea Shampoo (sulfates)
Taliah Wajid Hair Strengthener (petro-chemicals)
L'oreal Vive Pro Hydra-Gloss Shampoo and Conditioner (just bought, will review soon) (sulfates and silicones)
Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil Hair Treatment with Mink Oil (petro-chemicals)
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor (petro-chemicals and silicones)
Herbal Essences Conditioner (silicones)
Motions Conditioner Nourish Leave-In (silicones)

What are some of your favourite BBS and retail products?

April 7, 2009

Model Moment: Danni Scott

Model Danni Scott is one of the new faces of Code Model Management. I expect BIG things from her. She is fierce and of course beautiful. To see more visit CODE.

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Tashkent by Cheyenne


These Tashkent by Cheyenne Peep Toe and Cut Out Ankle Boots are fierce for this Spring and summer, love them. Visit Tashkent By Cheyenne for more info and to see more beauties, just click here.

April 6, 2009

Naturally Loved: Part Six

Clutter can hold us back in so many ways in our lives. We have dreams and aspirations but are distracted by what is around us and by what we think. Clutter can appear in relationships both professional and personal, by things we keep around us and in how we view ourselves. Having the goal of growing strong healthy natural hair is just one example among many of how we can clear clutter out of our lives in order to attain this goal. This is easily said than done, having positive relationships around us during transition and beyond is of course a solid way to avoid negative views of your choice to embrace your natural hair. This sometimes means communicating to someone that may be misinformed to the versatility of natural hair. Holding on to ideas of how you cared for chemically treated hair and applying it to caring for natural hair is a losing battle, you will not win. Clear your mind of the "old way" of taking care of your hair and research this new chapter in your life. These are all distractions meant to hinder your progress. "Old way" thinking such as "My hair wont grow if natural, relaxers help me to retain length"; "Natural hair is rough and is rarely soft"; "Its normal for my hair to break off and than grow back in cycles"; "Natural hair won't look good on me"; "If I see someone with healthy looking natural hair it must be a weave or she's mixed with something." I can say so much to address these excuses but I'll say this - they are all lies, don't believe them. You will or may have already heard them from people in your life. Educate them if appropriate and keep it moving. Don't compromise from your plan and let the growing begin.
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Happy Growing,


Natalie

April 2, 2009

Product Review: Kinky Curly Curling Custard & Knot Today

The Kinky Curly Curling Custard and the Kinky Curly Knot Today are definitely going to be in my rotation. First let me discuss the Curling Custard, the custard is slimy in consistency with a sweet candy scent that is a joy to apply to my hair. It contains all organic and natural ingredients and that is a great bonus. The Knot Today also has a sweet scent that reminds me of Summer, sun and fun, both of the products actually do. The slip on the Knot Today is nothing spectacular and for kinky and coily textures of hair that may knot easily or that is thick this is not the greatest detangler. What the Knot Today does is it acts as a light leave-in conditioner, somewhat like Giovanni Direct Leave-In but in my opinion the Knot Today is better. It also assist in the curly or coily of the hair allowing it to be prepared for the Curling Custard application.
I sectioned my hair into three parts one large section at the back and two sections at the front to sides like pigtails. I usually begin in the back, make sure your hair is VERY WET but not soaking wet, first I apply the Knot Today, about a diameter of a golf ball or a little smaller and distribute evenly. Comb your hair with a wide tooth comb to help with distributing the conditioner, this technique will also cause the curls to be defined and be ready for the Curling Custard application. Than in small sections within the large section you have already secured apply the Curling Custard, you can run your wide tooth comb through the small sections off hair again before apply the Curling Custard, repeat until complete.
I am being detailed in the application of these two products because it does take trial and error before you figure out what works for you. These are a few of the techniques I tried when I first got these products that didn't work:

Trying to do a shake and go: This technique entailed me doing a co-wash and just randomly applying the Curling Custard section by section and than shaking my head and finger styling my hair.

Applying a generous amount of product: The Curling Custard is deceiving, you only need about a nickle size to quarter sized amount for each small section. I once applied this product and my hair stayed SOAKING wet for days.

Using your Denman: I compared using my Denman to detangle verses my wide tooth comb and the wide tooth comb allowed my curls to hang more and clump. Okay, so as stated above you apply the Knot Today, detangle and than apply the Curling Custard. At this stage of applying the Curling Custard I brushed my hair with my Denman and the curls kind of shrank and no longer hanged the way they did before, you can try it and see if the Denman or wide tooth comb works better for you.

Substituting the Knot Today for a drug store conditioner as a leave in: I thought of this and said "why not?", well I noticed small white stuff all over my hair and a white film that would not disappear after applying the Curling Custard on top of my Herbal Essences conditioner. I usually leave enough conditioner in my hair that I can feel a slip and if I rub my hair while wet it will start to foam, this is too much conditioner left after a co-wash if using the Curling Custard. Rinse out as much as you can.

What I Think:

Curling Custard Performance: Consistent once you know what application works best for you, I really love this product. 2/2

Knot Today Performance: This is a light leave in conditioner that really helps to define my curls before applying the Curling Custard 1.5/2

Curling Custard Price: In Canada the price can range from 37.00 CDN to 40.00 CDN for 16 oz. Their is nothing like this on the market and you really don't need alot. I wouldn't mind picking this up every 6 months because I know its going to deliver. 2/2

Knot Today Price: 20.00 CDN to 22.00 CDN for an 8 oz bottle, this conditioner is okay and does what it is suppose to do when used with the Curling Custard. The reservation with this product is that aside from using with the Curling Custard I don't need it. I would love for it to have more slip so that I could feel comfortable using it year around and without the Curling Custard if I so please. You are just as good to use your Suave, Aussie, Herbal Essences, VO5, etc. than use the Knot Today as your leave-in. Save this stuff for the Curling Custard because you wont see any real difference with your hair when using your drugstore conditioners as appose to the Knot Today. 1/2

Curling Custard Ingredients: Botanical infusion of water, horsetail, chamomile, nettle and marshmallow, organic Aloe Vera Juice, Agave Nectar Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Pectin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Natural Fragrance. 1/1

Knot Today Ingredients: Organic Mango Fruit Extract, Organic Slippery Elm, Organic Marshmallow Root, Organic Lemongrass, Cetyle alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol and Natural Fragrance. 1/1

Kinky Curly Curling Custard 5/5 & Kinky Curly Knot Today 3.5/5