Natural Beauty: Making Black Cocoa Shampoo

[Editor’s note: This is a re-post from my natural hair blog Loc Rocker. The information was just too grand to limit to just one blog. Very rarely do my blogs cross paths but in this instance…it was inevitable. For all things natural hair, Loc Rocker (and the fabulous blogs on the site’s blog roll) is the place to go.]

While I like to travel nationwide for beauty industry events, lately I’ve been wanting to be more active in the Greater Orlando community. It was at one of my Urban League Young Professionals meetings where I met Karen, the founder of Peace and Beauty Project. Karen’s passion for helping young girls and natural beauty fell in line with so many of the things that I am trying to do. I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with her.

Two weekends ago I asked Karen if I could help with her Natural Beauty Lab event. I helped with the preparation and took photos. O.M.G….the event was a HUGE hit.

The event was hosted in the dining hall of a beautiful bed and breakfast in downtown Orlando.

 

The first thing we blended was a Black Cocoa Butter shampoo.

And yep, it smells and feels as good as it looks. We started off with unscented castile soap.

We then funneled a bit of black cocoa butter.

We dumped in some aloe vera…

And at this point, we were able to scent it however we liked. Cocoa Absolute was a huge hit among most of the ladies.

….I ventured more to the mint essential oil, instead.  I just LOVE how mint feels on my scalp.

And bam! A homemade organic black cocoa butter shampoo…

I haven’t washed my hair yet (ironically I washed it the day before, womp!) but the next time that I do, I will be using this. Can’t. wait. In the meantime, I’ve been using it as a hand soap and has been leaving my hands incredibly smooth…a rarity when you use castile soap solo.

We made other products but I don’t think I took enough pictures of everything. I volunteered to be photographer but somewhere between laughing it up with everyone, live tweeting and mixing, I forgot.

Check out the darling baby beauty in the house. She is the daughter of a fellow blogger, Scottie…over at The Basics. Also in the house was Ortancis from The Orlando’s Natural Hair meetup group and Fara from Pure Essence Body Care. I’ve raved about Pure Essence before when I discovered them at Whole Foods’ farmers market. And Fara’s locs…O.M.G. I’ll be featuring her soon. On Loc Rocker, of course.

If you are in or around the greater Orlando area, shoot an email to Brittany@LocRocker.com.  The Peace and Beauty Project will be having more events. And did I tell you about Orlando’s 1st Beauty and Natural Hair show? That’s a post for another day but I am beyond excited.

Peace, y’all. And beauty.

Amor de Lacquer: Diamond Cosmetics’ Fall Collection

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

Anxious to see what our favorite affordable and big 3 nail polish brand has for Fall?


Classic Pink


This is my absolute favorite of the bunch. This most mimics my beloved N.Y.C. Cosmetics’ Love Letters and Orly’s Confetti. It was opaque at three coats and dried under 5 minutes. Loves it!

Sunset in Sedona


Is this terracotta? I’m not sure but I LOVE this burnt orange. It is indeed a fabulous Fall color. It almost reminds me of sweet potato pie. But that’s just the Southern girl in me. I could eat sweet potato pie every day until I die. No lie. Hahaaa!

Private School Girl


I went to a private school, charter school and public school. Random B fact for ya. And I wasn’t even allowed to where red polish until I was practically in high school. This is a true red. Nothing you haven’t seen before.

It’s Nothing To Wine About

Totally love the name of this polish. It’s a burgundy that requires at least 3 coats to get complete coverage. I found it to be a bit streaky but it reignited my love for burgundy polishes. It’s been awhile since I’ve sported one! 

Under The Willow Tree

O.M.G….what a stunning green! Perfect for fall! From far away it almost looks black. But when the light hits it…

…it’s a smoky gray green. Gorgeous!

Go Diamond Cosmetics! I like this collection. The more I review their nail polishes, the more I like them. The collections are stellar and the formula is great. You know what’s missing though? Awesome packaging! I’d love to see Diamond Cosmetics nail polish bottles in the shape of diamond…or somethin’ like that. Who knows what the future holds. :) Click the photo at the bottom to start a shoppin’!

Diggin’ any of these colors?

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

Green Beauty: Lavanila healthy fragrance and body butter

I’ve had my eyes on Lavanila products for quite some time and I am so glad to finally be able to share them with y’all. But first, the etymological nerd that is me hasto tell you about the name LAVANILA. It comes from the country of Madagascar. Their native word for vanilla is lavanila. Apparently the best vanilla comes from the island of Madagascar. Pretty cool, uh?

The brand was started by Danielle Raynor and Laura DiGirolamo, both beauty lovers who were frustrated with the perfumes that aggravated their allergies.

And so together (with the help of chemists, of course) they birthed a healthy fragrance.

Call me crazy, but I wasn’t aware of all of the synthetic ingredients that were put into fragrances. It’s amazing how divine a fragrance can smell using Mother Earth’s treats.

The Healthy fragrances are come in 4 different scents and they are all formulated without

Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petro-Chemicals
– Phthalates
– GMO
– Triclosan

Lavanilla Lavender has notes of vanilla, lavender, rose absolute and violet leaf. Mama Clumps would fall for this as she loves anything with lavender in it. A 1 oz bottle of eau de parfum spray will run you $38 and the 1.7 oz bottle goes for $58.  While the vanilla scent does seem to be a little overpowering, I will say that Lavanilla has turned me into a perfume snob. I don’t think I’ll be looking at mainstream fragrances the same.

And then there are their body butters.

Oh la laaaa….

I don’t usually pull out body butters until the weather gets cooler, but I’ve been making an exception for this kid.

These are perfect after a warm shower or bath as they melt right into your skin.

They are divine, I tell ya. Non-greasy and the scents last. And just like their big sister, they are formulated without all of the nasty stuffs.

The body butters also come in the same 4 scents as the fragrances. Retailing at $12 for a 2.75 bottle and $25 for a 8 oz bottle, I don’t think it’s a bad steal for my ladies who prefer to use products free of synthetic ingredients. And you have to be a lover of vanilla because all of fragrances and body butters have strong notes of it. I have never been the biggest fan of smelling like a cookie but it is starting grow on me.

Lavanila will see me again as I totally plan to try their healthy deodorant and healthy sunscreen. Loves it!

Have you tried any of their products? Whatcha think?

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

Amor de Lacquer: China Glaze Ingrid

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve featured a just ONE nail polish in the Amor de Lacquer series. But Ingrid is one of those colors that I feel needs a post on her own. Truth is, I knew I wasn’t going to be the biggest fan of this polish but I purchased it. Because for whatever reasons, I kinda dig weird colors on my nails. And if this ain’t weird, I don’t know what is.

Ingrid comes from China Glaze’s Vintage Vixen Fall 2010 collection. It was the one color that stood out to me. It’s like an ashy brown with gold flecks. At least that’s what I see. China Glaze’s description says that Ingrid is a light brown with copper, pink and green micro glitter.

It is such an interesting color and even if I don’t wear it often, I’m glad to add it to my collection. I’ve featured brown polishes before. Remember Nubar’s Chocolate Truffle collection? And then there was OPI’s higly coveted You Don’t Know Jacques. Which, I STILL don’t like. But there’s something to say about Ingrid.

I think it works with my skintone. And it applied flawlessly! More shots of Ingrid around town…

How is this for a design fail?

Uhh, I’ll stick to perfecting konad and simple strips and dots. I purchased this gal from transdesign.com for $2.99. So what do you think? Would you rock Ingrid? Have you snagged any of the other polishes from the Vintage Vixen collection?

Oh! And I picked up Sephora by O.P.I’s Studs & Stilettos, another brown polish. I guess I’m goin’ through a phase, y’all.

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

Beauty Review: SinuCleanse neti pot and giveaway!

Very rarely do I have to do disclaimers on my posts but for those of y’all that are squeamish about liquid going up and out of the nose, you may not want to read any further. I have pictures showing it alllll.

Yep, I love you too. :)

For those of y’all that have hung around, allow me to share with you the power that is the neti pot.

Looks like Aladdin’s genie lamp 2010, uh? While an actual genie won’t pop out and grant you three wishes, the neti pot does provide an insane amount of nasal and sinus relief.

I know what you’re thinking…WHAT in the world does this have to do with beauty? I’ll tell you what’s not beautiful, sinus migraines and under eye discoloration; two things that regularly using a neti pot can alleviate. Follow me as we take a journey up my nose. Literally.
So how does a neti pot work?
For starters, nasal irrigation or the flushing out of mucus and debris from the nasal cavity and sinuses is not a new concept. Its origin began in India and South East Asia and has been around for centuries. (source) The concept is simple. Using warm water and saline solution in your neti pot, you simply tilt your head and allow the solution to go up one nostril and out of the other.

Looks weird, uh? Wellll OBviously, it’s not done at the dinner table on a date but as needed in the comfort of a bathroom.

Saline solution comes with your neti pot and they can also be purchased separately.

But don’t be cheap like me and try to use half a packet of a saline solution. It burns like the dickens! I was screaming for Mommy and Daddy when I accidentally did that. No bueno.

Neti pot instructions….

OMG, what if I choke?
You won’t. Unless, of course you panic. But then again, the same could be said for drinking a glass of water. The key to using the neti pot is to relax. Don’t rush, don’t hold your breath and don’t swallow 4 times in one second. I find that making the K-sound (as in kite) really helps me from accidentally swallowing the water.

Uh, what comes out of your nose?
Boogers. LOL, I’m kidding. Once the saline solution travels from one nostril, through your sinuses and out of the other nostril, you won’t see much of anything except perhaps mucus and saline solution. I’ve seen lint (maybe from a towel or pillowcase) before.

Wait, what’s the point of this again? Who can benefit from using a neti pot?
Anyone! We brush our teeth, clean our ears and bathe on a regular, why not clean out the nasal passage every now and then? It has also been said that using a neti pot can help diminish under eye circles and can alleviate stuffy noses. I’ve used my neti pot with stuffy noses but it doesn’t seem to work. If one nostril is all stuffed up, the water has no where to go. Opps! And while I don’t have allergies, I can only imagine how golden a neti pot would be for allergy sufferers. As a chronic sinus headache suffer, the neti pot has changed my life. I always look at holistic, herbal and homeopathic remedies before OTC and prescribed medication so the neti pot is right up my alley.

And you shouldn’t use it every day. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I use mine at least 3 times a week.

I want one!
You can get the SinuCleanse neti pot at most drugstores and natural food stores. They are super easy to find and will run you about $11.99 USD. Aaaand, you can try and win one from me. I love my neti pot so much that I decided to give TWO readers a chance to snag one of their own.

Here’s what you have to do:

 

Leave a comment telling me why you would like a neti pot
 AND your email address in THIS POST ONLY. You must be following
Clumps on either Facebook or Twitter to be eligible.
Zee Rules:
-For U.S. readers only
-Contest ends  Monday, August 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm EST
-Have you won a giveaway within the past 6 months? Give someone else a chance, homie.
-Winner will be selected at random
-Family members/personal friends of B are not eligible
-In the event that a winner does not respond in 3 days, another person will be selected

 If you have any questions, email me at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com. Good luck!

 

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy her

Beauty Review: COVERGIRL Queen Natural Hue concealer

Y’all know I love concealers, right? When I find a good one, I hold on to it for dear life. Because I’m not the biggest fan of full coverage foundation, I have to have a good concealer. One that provides me light coverage, won’t clog my pores and won’t evaporate in Florida’s insane humidity.

That said, I was SO happy to hear that the COVERGIRL Queen collection released concealers that are brown girl friendly.

 Hallelujer! Drugstore concealers for brown girls? “Where dey do that at?” Peep this…
This lightweight non-acnegenic concealer comes in 4 shades; Light, Golden, Terra and Cocoa. The sponge tip applicator takes some getting used to.

I never know how to use this. Do I dab it on my hand and apply using my fingers or a brush? Or is it okay to simply swipe the concealer directly on my cheeks? What is your preference?

Either way, I find it to be smooth and light. My best shade for me was Cocoa. For reference, I am NW45 in MAC Cosmetics.

It blends right on in and gives me the day-to-day coverage that I seek without looking “too made up.”

I am able to dust a translucent powder over my cheeks and I’m good to go. And somehow…it manages to last ALL day. I’m impressed! Not bad for $8! You go, COVERGIRL Queen!

Whatcha think? Are you a concealer wearer?

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

Amor de Lacquer: Nubar Venetian Glass collection

Welcome to another post of Amor de Lacquer….the series all about nail polish and nail care! Send me your requests, suggestions and ideas to Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.
Oh la la! Nubar does it again!
What Nubar says about this collection, “Inspired by traditional Venetian glass, nubar’s Venetian Glass Collection captures the brilliant colors and flawless craftsmanship of the ancient traditional handmade glass of Venice. With vivid hues, a strong glass-flecked shimmer, and rich color saturation, these shades are as memorable as their inspiration.” (source)



I was so excited to try this collection. The colors are just so rich and Fall appropriate! 

Verde means green in Spanish. But of course you knew that, right? Verde is also the name of the one of the most unique greens I have ever seen.

In darker settings, it looks like a dark forest green but when the light hits it…
….whoa mama!
Oro reminds me of Zoya’s Penny. I don’t wear golds often but when I do, I prefer them bling-y with nice orange undertones to them. And for that reason, I can show Oro lots of love!
Vaso is a purple that I’m surprised that I like! While purple polishes are my favorite, I don’t really like lavendar-esque type polishes. But Vaso is pretty! It adds a certain kind of sparkle to this collection.
Arencia is my favorite of the bunch. I just LOVE orange polishes and this may be my absolute favorite one. Nubar says that this orange “glows” and they ain’t lyin’. I can’t stop looking at my nails when I wear this.
…and I love how it looks with konad designs.
Caramello is a little warmer than her sister Oro but it still appeals to me. The application was a little funky. I applied 3 coats and still struggled with opacity. What’s that about yo?!
Vino is probably the most Fall color of the bunch. It’s deep and looks like it’s infused with dark cherry juice. Beautiful!
Bronzo is a burnt orange with a ton of bling.
Rosso is probably the most ordinary of the bunch. I think I have several reds that look like this. Still beautiful nonetheless!
I was totally wow-ed by this collection when I first laid my eyes on it. The finishes are fantastic. They have mico-glitter specks in them so while removing isn’t as bad as regular glitter polishes, it still requires some work. And by work, I mean a simple swipe won’t do it. I find that soaking a cotton pad with nail polish remover and placing it on the nail for a minute or so is the best route to go.

Arencia and Verde are the winners in this collection so if you don’t want to haul the entire collection, you just HAVE to take home those two. 

You can buy the collection for $49.95 or purchase them individually for $7.49 here.
Other Nubar collections I’ve reviewed:
Your fellow nail polish junkie,

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.

My page on hellocotton

Beauty Review: BH Cosmetics 120 eyeshadow palette, 3rd edition

Prepare to be mesmerized. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many tiny eye shadows in one sitting. BH Cosmetics have recently debuted the 3rd edition of their 120 color palette.

No need to adjust your computer’s settings. I waited for a super sunshine-y day here in Central Florida to photograph these shadows so that I could display their true awesomeness.
 While I haven’t tried the 1st and 2nd editions, I think the main difference are the color options. The 3rd edition has bright AND neutral/night time color options whereas the 1st and 2nd editions seem to fall moreso on the brights side.

What BH Cosmetics says about the palette:

• One 
palette 
contains 
2 
layers,
 which 
are 
portable 
and 
convenient 
to 
use

• Long
lasting, 
easy 
to 
mix
 and 
match
 for 
hundreds
 of
 different 
make‐up 
styles

• Super‐fine
 powder
 produces 
even, 
long‐lasting 
makeup.

• Feels 
light 
and 
soft

• Easily
 create 
clear
 and
 brilliant 
eye
makeup 
finish

• Includes 
matte 
and
 shimmer 
colors

• BH
 Cosmetics 
case
 size 
is 
9″
x
6″


Allergic to talc or mica? This is not the eye shadow palette for you as these shadows contain both.

Bottom line? I’m impressed! This palette is truly the best of both worlds. Every color you could ever need would be here. The mattes are rich and pigmented and the shimmers are adhere beautifully to skin without looking washed out.

The palette contains two plates that sit on top of each other. To reveal the one at the bottom, simply locate that little purple ribbon…

And gently lift…

You won’t damage your shadows with this simple action, but over time, I can see an accident happening. I think I would much prefer a flipping action…you know, kinda like a book. That way both palettes are in place and can be moved with ease. By removing one palette, my clumsy self is liable to accidentally knock it over. Which has happened one too many times in my beauty life.

*moment of silence for products that fell from the bathroom counter and died*

Other than that, I find myself dipping into this palette more than any other palette in my stash. The neutrals are perfect for work and the brights allow me to channel my inner rockstar on the weekends. Yeahhh baby! The shadows fit snuggly in their spots, so if you’re a depotter, I don’t think you’ll have much luck with depotting these kids.

Pics of the palette in natural lighting.

Indoor, no flash…

Some random swatches from the brights…

Not bad for a single swatch and no base, uh? A few of the mattes are frosty, but nothing that a good solid creamy base can’t take care of. I love that for every other matte shadow, there seems to be a similar color in shimmer. Such is the case with the two reds that are in the palette. One is a matte and the other is a shimmer. Genius!

From the neutral/night time palette…

I know, I know…neutrals and night time shadows are on opposite ends but this palette seems to cover all such colors. It goes from the matte browns that I love applying in my outer-V for work to the rich and highly pigmented chrome-esque shadows perfect for smoky eyes. Very well thought out, BH Cosmetics!

But you know what I would have liked to see? A mirror. All of their other palettes seem to have one. I tend to take palettes with me when I travel and when you’re fighting for a mirror with 3 of your sisters, a mirror attached to a palette is a necessity.

The palette retails for $34.95 and you can snag it from the BH Cosmetics website here. As far as getting bang for your buck, I think you’ll get it with this palette. I know that over $30 may be a little steep for some, but considering that you’re getting 120 shadows….it really isn’t a bad deal. Especially if you’re a newbie to the make-up world or just itching to find some inspiration.

Of course I’ll be cranking out several looks with this palette. I’m also going to do a video review so brace yourself for that. Y’all know how I am when I do videos. HA!

So what do you think?

Your fellow nail polish junkie,

Check out the blues look I did using my BH Cosmetics palette.

This review contains a sample product sent for post consideration. Read our disclosure policy here.