Hair Talk: Pantene for Natural Hair

Did I tell you gals (and the few guys that read Clumps) that I chopped off like 6 inches of my hair a few weeks ago? Yah. I’ve been itchin’ to do it for about a year now and I finally took the plunge. My friends aren’t even surprised at this anymore. They were all like, “Oh, you cut your hair off? Again? Cool.” I’ve done huge chops THREE times. It ain’t a big deal but it’s necessary. I love going from long hair to short hair in seconds. It’s so euphoric.

And let’s face it, nooooobody has time to be bothered with hurr when I’ve got to get me and Baby Clumps out of the door in the morning for work and daycare. Naw. Hair is basically a luxury.  And since I have shorter and less complicated hair, I’ve been able to play around with more products. Through Glam Media I was sent these 2 kiddos…

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Okay, so I knew Pantene had a natural hair line but I didn’t know that the Clarifying Shampoo was paraben-free. Um, wow! That’s a huge deal.

 

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I was actually a fan of both the shampoo and conditioner. I used both of them continuously for a week and here’s what I thought…

The Clarifying Shampoo

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I NEED a clarifying shampoo. Whether I’m rockin’ locs or the short fro, my hair tends to really hold on to product.  This is good for styling but when it’s time to wash my hair, I want it to be super clean. And not in a stripped kind of way. This clarifying lotion was really effective at not only cleansing my scalp and hair but keeping that moisture in too. After rinsing, I didn’t didn’t feel like my hair was crunchy! And trust me, finding a clarifying lotion that isn’t crunchy is beyond difficult.

The Deep Conditioner

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As far as deep conditioners go, I don’t have too many requirements. I just like for them to leave my hair moisturized and soft. In fact, I’m a big fan of co-washing and could easily use a deep conditioner a few times a week. This one works nicely for me. It doesn’t weigh down the fro and I’ve actually been using it as a leave-in conditioner. It’s niiiice!

Good products = a happy fro. 

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Truly Relaxed and Truly Natural – Two collections From Pantene for healthier hair* no matter what your style. *Vs. non-conditioning shampoo

 

 

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Pantene via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pantene.

Win A Suave Naturals Prize Pack + $50 Walgreens gift card!

Guess what? I’m taking showers now! Laugh if you want but no one told me that mothering a newborn may mean that you don’t get the chance to bathe as often as you’d like. I’m not even kidding. The first month Elle was born, I probably took a shower like…once a week. Yep. I smelled live divine regurgitated breast milk 24/7. Sexy, uh? Showers have become luxuries so I take ‘em when I can get ‘em. Luckily I can get them more often these days. Meeting me in those porcelain walls these days is this kid…

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I was sent this body wash to review and I gladly obliged because I love me some Suave products. Especially their conditioners. But that’s a story for another day.

There’s a reason why Suave’s products have been on the shelves for so long. They are affordable and cheap! And they are always coming out with something new that you feel like you HAVE to have.  Like this Rainforest Fresh Body Wash ($2).

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It smells so so sooo…fresh! I’m serious. I’ve placed this in the guest bathroom and Sticky Fingers Esposo snagged it and put it in our bathroom. He’s that enamored with it. Which says a lot since he’s a no fuss kind of guy when it comes to beautification. I find the scent to be a bit on the strong side so I can only use a little bit at a time but I do like the burst of tropical freshness.

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If you’re all annoyed with your current body wash, I totally recommend giving this one a whirl. And you’re in sweet luck, darlin’. I’m giving away one Suave Naturals prize pack to one lucky winner, which will include three Suave Naturals Body Washes and one $50 Walgreens gift card!

To be eligible to enter, all you have to do is let me know in the comment section which body wash you are currently using, and if you think Suave Naturals New Rainforest Fresh Body Wash would be better for you! Also, to be able to qualify make sure to use hashtag #SuaveScents on Twitter, letting me know you commented below!

I will be picking a winner on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013, so get commenting! Good luck to all those who enter!

Give the Rafflecopter a chance to load and enter.

Buy Suave, Get Rewarded!

During the month of April, Balance® Rewards members get 2,000 points when you buy 3 Suave body wash products at Walgreens. Offer valid 3/31-4/30/13. Points add up quickly and can be redeemed for dollars off future purchases.

Not a Balance® Rewards member? Join today. It’s FREE! Learn more at bit.ly/WalgreensBalance.

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Event: Meet Me at Naturals In The City!

Hey girls…hey! It’s my first speaking engagement of the year. Woot! I haven’t done a local event since last November so I am super excited to be hosting and sitting on a panel at the Naturals In The City event in Tampa, Florida.

Loving My Natural Self VIEW

Focused on natural hair, beauty, fashion and wellness, this is THE event to be at this season. Tickets are only $15 and you’ll get to check out several vendors, listen to panels regarding beauty and hair and have a great day out in the beautiful Tampa Bay area. If you think you’ll be in the Tampa area, purchase a ticket and meet me out there. I would so love to see you! For more information, visit the event website.

Mascara Monday: Clinique High Impact Waterproof mascara

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Look who has a new mascara! And a waterproof one at that. Just in time for summer, the folx at Clinique were so gracious to shoot me this mascara to test drive. I plan on doing a ton of time at the beach this season (yes y’all – I am a total beach babe) and I’m hoping that I can find a mascara that can accomodate my obsession with boogie boarding self.

Let’s see how this one did…

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Price: $16 at Clinique counters and at Clinique.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Instant volume and length that resists flaking, clumping, smudging. Our waterproof version of High Impact Mascara can stand up to heat, humidity, an active day. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Ophthalmologist tested, too.” (source)

The Truth: Decent brush, okay performance but waterproof? Meh.

What I Loved About It: The formula is pretty groovy.

What I Didn’t Like: It was far too flaky for a waterproof mascara.

Overall: FACT: Clinique usually has pretty decent mascaras. And you wouldn’t know it unless you were a Clinique fan because this brand always comes off as being so modest to me. Other brands love to brag about what they do well, but no, not Clinique. I was all kinds of excited to try this mascara because I usually have great experiences with their mascaras. Well, I hate to say it but this one wasn’t so hot.

And it wasn’t the wand’s fault because the wand is actually the best part about this mascara. See…

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Yep. It’s a nice one. It does well at getting those smaller lashes and bottom lashes. It isn’t the most ideal mascara for volumizing but we don’t care about that because this is a waterproof mascara. All we care about is waterproofness. And that’s the thing. It just isn’t there. And that makes me sad.

Formula-wise, the mascara had a bit of glossiness to you. I liked it. It went on well and I didn’t have any issues with trying to get it evenly coat the lashes. It’s a lightweight formula and I didn’t notice any significant boost in my lashes’ appearance. Very little volume and not much length. Like I said, none of that really mattered. But the mascara totally disappointed me in that it didn’t really seem like a waterproof mascara. It flaked a bit throughout the day and after a few splashes of water in the face tests, it seemed to just wipe away. Nooooooo!!

I’ve tried better waterproof mascaras. This one isn’t horrible but I know that Clinique can do better than this. The mascara is still fairly decent because you do get a liiiiittle length.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Meh. Only if you realllly need to try something new. But don’t expect anything spectacular from this one. Your lashes may get a bit of added length but that’s about it.

 

Have you ever tried any mascaras from Clinique? Doesn’t it suck when a waterproof mascara really isn’t waterproof? Grr!


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 83

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

we heart this – has an instant win game for you; Beautisol self tanning mousse and their FAB applicator mitt. It’s like a beauty lottery scratch off card, you could win in seconds!

Beauty Junkies Unite – With each season, I fall more in love with the exclusive beauty brand, jouer Cosmetics. See what really got me going for spring!

Clumps of Mascara – is giving away a SensatioNail gel nail starter kit. She was a skeptic when it came to at home gel nails but this kit is some kind of awesome.

EauMG – Want to know what an angry rose smells like? Check out this review of the newest addition to the Juliette Has a Gun family.

Gouldylox Reviews – Would you consider letting a medical professional stick your face with hundreds of needles if it mean fewer fine lines and scar indentations? Check out my results (and gnarly after photos).

Lipglossiping – puts the new Kiehl’s BB Cream under the microscope. Will it out-perform her favourite (now discontinued) Kiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer?

My Beauty Bunny – has a look (and swatches!) at the new Spring 2013 colors from cruelty and Big 3 free Sheswai Lacquer. Wait to you see Ladylike – it’s my new favorite polish!

Nouveau Cheap – The new Hard Candy All Lid Up créme eye shadows have inspired me to break out of my browns and taupes and bring more color to my springtime eye looks.

Pink Sith – shows you a highlighter from Lancome that has been discontinued. But do not fret. She is giving one away to one lucky reader. Maybe you! Enter today!

Prime Beauty – tested out Olay Regenerist Micro-Scupting Cream and found the claims are true! It performs like luxury skincare products four times the price! Look your best with Olay and enter to win 1 of 5 jars of Olay Regererist Micro-Sculpting creams from Prime Beauty!

Phyrra – shares her tips and tricks for the best photography and video equipment for beauty and fashion bloggers. From handbags to cellphones and lights, she’s got you covered!

Vampy Varnish – love sparkly eyeshadows but prefer more “refined” sparkles? Check out the new Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow for spring! I predict you are going to lust after Zodiac…

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by we heart this – We’re always blown away by The PolishAholic; from her flawless manicures to her amazing photos, Jen’s got skills! Plus, she always introduces us to new indie brands like the LA based wHet.

Question of the Week:

When it comes to haircare, what types of styling
products do you use on a daily basis (if any at all)?

B says, “I use Oyin Handmade’s Greg Juice for some pick me up.”

What about you? Do you put anything on your hair each day?

 

 

Target Beauty – Pixi’s How To Video

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Look! It’s a gorgeous Pixi eyeliner! You’ve played around with the brand Pixi before, haven’t you? Sold exclusively at Target stores, this is brand that really doesn’t need much of an introduction. One look and you’ll be hooked. For serious. Target have these awesome Beauty How To videos floating on their website but I am head over heels in love with the Pixi look.

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I am all for fresh faced “natural” look. I mean, yesssss! The products used in that video can all be purchased at Target. I am most in love with the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen. First of all, dear Pixi, how do you stay on all day without budging? I mean, seriously…what’s your secret?

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I play around with many eyeliners but I have never seen one as silky and long-lasting as this one. Priced at $15, it’s on the expensive side for an eyeliner at Target, but you are totally getting your money’s worth. Of course I’m no professional so I couldn’t crank out a look as gorgeous as the one in that video. But can I smudge this liner with some blue liner on the water line? Why yes. Yes, I can.

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Not too shabby for an unprofessional, uh? My love affair with Pixi will be continuing year around.

It’s Time for Springtime.

 

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

The Secret Life of Exclusively Pumpers

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Since pumping is an enormous part of my life, I figured I would do a post on it. In the baby feeding community, there are 2 kinds of mothers. Those who breastfeed their babies and those that formula feed their babies. Prior to having my own child, I was vehemently against the idea of giving my baby formula. Breast milk isn’t only the best milk but it’s free. There’s no bottle prep. It’s just…there. It’s the easiest option, right?

Wrong.

Breastfeeding is the the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. 9 months of pregnancy and having a natural childbirth was waaaaay easier. I could point my finger at many factors as to why breastfeeding was so difficult for me.

-Lack of knowledge.
-Very little assistance at getting Elle to the breast the hours and days after birth.
-Elle being born 3 weeks early.
-My huge boob + Elle’s small mouth = difficulty.
-Ineffective guidance from a lactation consultant.

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And it wasn’t like I didn’t try. My child had a poor latch. She made plenty of efforts to breastfeed but they didn’t result in her getting enough milk to be satiated. When she did latch, she would not only chew my breast into bits but she would erupt in tears every time. Which only devastated me. Talk about feeling inadequate. Here I am, a new mother, and I can’t even effectively give my child food. And lack of milk wasn’t an option because I was flowin’…

So I decided to enter the Secret World of EP’ing. I call it a secret because you don’t hear many women talking about it. It is perhaps the most difficult track to take when it comes to feeding newborns and infants. With breastfeeding, you just whip out a boob and feed baby. With formula feeding, you (or someone else – BONUS!) prepare a bottle and give it to baby. With exclusively pumping, I have to juggle between not only pumping to get milk but then I also have to find time to feed the baby. It’s a juggling act, really and it was the #1 reason that made the first weeks of motherhood difficult.

In order to keep my supply up, I have to pump to Elle’s schedule. That means I need to pump around the time that she would be eating or more. BUT – since I am back to work, I’d like for her to continue to receive breast milk while at daycare. And so I not only pump enough for her to eat, but I pump enough to freeze. Breast milk stored in a deep freezer has a shelf life of 6-12 months so that means even after I return to work and Elle goes to daycare, she will continue to get breast milk.

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I produce quite a bit of milk so what can’t fit in my freezers is donated to other mommies. That’s right! Thanks to the great community of Human Milk 4 Human Babies, I was able to find 3 mommies who were looking for a donor. These moms have adopted newborns or foster babies that had issues with formula but are thriving off of my breast milk. Some find it to be gross and unsanitary. I think not. In fact, Elle’s first few days of milk came from another mommy who had donated her breast milk to my birthing center.

So let’s rewind…

PRO’S of pumping
-I get to feed my baby breastmilk. I’m very grateful for the electric pump technology.
-I can SEE how much she’s getting and deliver that info to my pediatrician.
-Someone else can feed her which is awesome. Mama needs a break too, yo.
-Unlike formula, a bottle of breast milk can be left out for hours. HUGE pro.
-I can donate to other babies.
-I burn an insane amount of calories and pumping has lead to me being smaller than my pre-preggo weight.

CON’S of pumping
-The judgement I get from exclusive breastfeeders (Why don’t you try harder to make her latch?) and formula feeders (Why don’t you give her a formula bottle?).
-Very little sleep. I have to pump every 3-4 hours and haven’t slept a straight 3-4 hours since Elle has been born.
-It makes social outings difficult. If I will be out for more than 4 hours, my breasts become engorged and painful. I also risk a chance to getting clogged milk ducts which can turn into mastitis which I hear sucksssss. So yeah. My boobs are always on a ticking clock.
-Never-ending bottle washing.
-Pumping can be very lonely. You’re up by yourself in the middle of the night or have to excuse yourself to pump.

Why don’t I just give her formula? It’s simple. I don’t want to. I want her to have breast milk so while pumping is extremely difficult, I plan to only do it for a year. And I’m hoping I can make it to a year because I think about quitting every single day. But hey, everything happens for a reason and while I go through moments of being sad that I couldn’t breastfeed Elle, I am grateful for my abundant supply of milk. I’ve pumped over 31 gallons of breast milk that has nourished 4 children. It feels kinda awesome.

Feel free to drop questions in the comments. And lots of love to my fellow EP’in’ gals for motivating me to write this post!

SensatioNail Color Gel Polish Review + giveaway!

Welp. It’s official. I am definitely on the gel nail train. It took a minute, uh? But honestly – as someone who adores nail polishes, it’s reallllly hard to get me to try a product that means I DON’T have to change my nail polish for a few weeks. It’s practically torture. I thought I’d always have time to polish my nails daily. Or at least every other day.

And then I had a bebe. And as darling as she is, my girl could care less about my desire to polish my nails daily. No new mom (or insanely busy mom) has time for such shenanigans. And that’s when I knew it was the ideal time to try gel nails.

Say hello to the SensatioNail Starter Kit.

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Priced at $50, this kit contains everything you’ll need to do several gel nail manicures at your own crib. I’ve reviewed a gel nail kit before, but after using it on my sister. This time around, I am the guinea pig and having applied, rocked and removed this manicure – I’ve got somethin’ to say…

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Color me impressed! Yes, seriously. After 2 weeks, I had little to no chipping.  But first, let’s talk about the details and application of this stuff.

Starting Kit includes:

Gel Cleanser
Gel Primer
Gel Base & Top Coat
Color Gel Polish (additional nail polishes only $9)
Pro 3060 LED Lamp
Wood Manicure Stick
Lint-free Wipes
Double-sided Nail Buffer

How to apply (information from press release)

  • Prepare: Apply our exclusive Gel Primer to clean, dry nails. Then apply Gel Base & Top Coat – Cure for 30 seconds
  • Laquer Up: Sweep on your  favorite shade of SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish – Cure for 60 seconds
  • Protect: Seal in color with Gel Base & Top Coat – Cure for 30 seconds — Wipe nails with Gel Cleanser – you’re done!

* SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish can be removed by soaking in 100% pure acetone

Application is really very easy. Formula-wise the polishes were nice and thin and I didn’t have any issues with bubbling. The key is to use thin coats. I struggled with this because I’ve always been one to apply relatively large coats of polish. The thinner the coat, the better. The good news is, even if you apply thicker coats, it won’t affect the longevity of the polish. Will the tips look a bit heavier? Well, yeah…but no one can really notice that from a distance. Also, be prepared to spend a good hour on the initial application.

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Le wear is very impressive. I didn’t get ANY chips the entire 2 weeks I had the polish on. As with all nail polishes, I’m sure this will vary from person to person. Some of us are harsher  on our nails than others and so the nail polishes wear differently. But overall, I thought the wear was exceptionally better than most gel nail systems.

My nails immediately after application…

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See how thick the gel looks? The gel on my pinky is especially coated on. It ended up chipping soon after and I’m pretty sure it was due to my packing it on. So yah – definitely user error.

Removal  took forever but that was to be expected. Luckily, SensatioNail has a nice removal kit that helps aid in that. I found that regular acetone and a ton of patience did well enough for me. It took a good hour for me to completely remove all traces of the gel nails. I didn’t notice any damage on my natural nails either.

Variety & availabilty: I’ve spotted at the set at both Target and Walmart and many of the polishes are sold there individually too. Score! I was thisclose to picking up Blue Yonder, a fabulous navy blue polish. The price for the kit is around $50 with the polishes between $9-$10. This is a HUGE deal for those who regularly do gel nails at a salon.

Nails 2 weeks after application…

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So yah! I am veryyyy happy that I gave these a whirl. SensatioNail’s gel nail system seems to be one of the more popular ones and I see why.

I’m giving away a set!! The Rafflecopter will take a few seconds to load but when it does, enter for a chance to win a starter kit and 2 additional polishes.

Any gel nail lovers in the house?

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