Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chemicals in Shampoo

Several months ago the headline was aimed at children's body/hair care products.
I remember thinking that if those ingredients are bad for kids, why wouldn't they be bad for everyone?

Shampoo is supposed to clean your hair of dirt and oils that accumulated throughout the day, but smelling fresh won’t do you any good if you’re scrubbing harmful chemicals into your scalp. A recently released report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use revealed that a number of companies that manufacture children’s bath products have added formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane to their formulas, both of which are thought to increase susceptibility to cancer in lab rats and contribute to chronic disease and certain disabilities. According to Dr. Catherine Karr, assistant professor at the University of Washington and director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Unit, both substances are considered to be human carcinogens, which means they're high health hazards. "It does not make public health sense to put carcinogens in children's products that will be used in such a way that repeated direct exposure will occur." Be sure to read the ingredients of your bath products carefully to avoid these harmful substances.

Hey, maybe I'm overreacting with the ingredient fixation that I have for just about EVERYTHING (I don't think so, but maybe you think I'm a nervous nelly).
Do we really want to put formaldehyde, dioxane, etc., on our skin? Ask yourself that question.

Friday, July 17, 2009


After all of the accolades, blog posts and 1 year of selling Kinky-Curly, I had my first KC return today. It had to happen sometime, right? A product can't be that perfect!
Well, it is, but clearly everyone isn't going to think so.

Kinky-Curly is very different kids. It takes time and a bit of experimentation to figure out exactly how much you need to use.

Some tips to optimize Kinky-Curly:

It is important to start out with hair that has been clarified of all previous products. The majority of products for curly hair contain silicone, mineral oil and other petroleum based ingredients. These products must be removed prior to using KC.

There are some good hair clarifiers out there - The Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo works well as well as Aveda's Hair Detoxifier and Back to Basics Citrus Sage shampoo.
Once your hair has been clarified, then moisturize, leaving a bit in the hair.

Other leave-in treatments I like are John Masters Organics Citrus Neroli Detangler and Prive's Leave-In Treatment. Gently comb through wet hair - Then squeeze out your hair until it is no longer dripping and then add the Kinky-Curly Curling Custard.

This is where the experimentation starts. Start with 1/2 of the amount of custard compared with all other products you usually use or have used in the past. There is no petroleum element to Kinky-Curly, thus it is VERY hydrating and a little goes a LONG way.
If hair feels sticky, gets hard or flaky, you have used too much. Rinse some out or use 1/2 that amount the next time.
Reactivate with water or Spiral Spritz if hair gets a little frizzy from sleeping or everyday activity.

Oh ya, as a result of all that lovely moisture your hair is receiving, hydrating those lovely curls and waves, it takes a long time to dry. Let it dry naturally or zap it a bit with a hairdryer with a diffuser on it.

Once you get the hang of it and find the right recipe, start stretching out the time between shampoos. Ideally, you won't do it more than once every two weeks. Yup, you read it right, two weeks.
You can get it wet whenever you like and you can "shampoo" with conditioner whenever you feel the need to shampoo. And you will. We have been conditioned to think we need to wash our hair all of the time; that it is dirty and oily. It does get dirty and oily from the majority of products we use because most of our products contain petroleum based waxes and oils.

If you can go longer between shampoos, please do. Your hair will thank you.

Stop by the Spatique for a sample of Knot Today and Curling Custard.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Get some zzzzzzzz's

The new Cris Notti silk sleep masks just rolled in.

They're lovely and you have never looked prettier/handsomer.......while sleeping.

Monday, July 13, 2009

At Lash

A few weeks ago I blogged about Metics RenewLash and RenewBrow. (now called LiLash and LiBrow. Links will go to new product) Nothing has changed, this stuff is fantastic - I've seen the results.
Though I am personally not using it (sorry, I think my lashes are just swell) my gorgeous side-kick Meeg is using it. More on this in a future post.

Anyhoo, I came across some info in the June edition of American Spa Magazine that I wanted to share.

At Lash by Nicole Palmieri

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the eyelashes are the curtains that enhance their beauty and give them depth. Eyelash products have come a long way since 4,000 B.C., when Egyptians relied on kohl, a powdery mix of soot and metal, to define eyes, lashes, and brows. Through the years, innovative eyelash products have been introduced to the market, but today, eyelash conditioners, which are formulated to nurture lashes and leave them with a fuller, thicker, and healthier appearance, are all the rage.

According to Michael Brinkenhoff, M.D., president and CEO of Athena Cosmetics, lush eyelashes are generally considered to be an attractive enhancement for the eyes, and they also provide a number of functional benefits. "Eyelashes protect the eyes from debris in the air and shield the eyes from exposure to ultraviolet radiation," he says. "Healthy eyelashes function optimally and look their best with the aid of an effective eyelash conditioner." There are a growing number of eyelash conditioners available today. While Allergan's Latisse is the first and only prescription treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), skincare companies worldwide have introduced their own versions of the eyelash treatment. "There is such a fine line between drugs and cosmetics in the industry," says Brian Brazeau, vice president of marketing and sales for B. Kamins Chemist, "It's a challenge when you want people to know that your product really works without actually saying it is going to speed the growth of lashes. Saying that claim makes it a drug."

Formulated to work alone or in conjunction with the client's mascara, these products are often recommended for use at night, so that the lashes can soak up the products' ingredients, revealing healthier and more hydrated lashes each morning. No two eyelash conditioners are the same, so spa/boutique owners should research their options in order to choose the best one for their clients and also to provide clients with accurate usage information.

Brittle and fragile lashes are something that many women today face due to a number of reasons, including aging and lack of hydration. Unlike the hair cycle, which ranges anywhere from six months to seven years, eyelashes have a much shorter cycle, ranging from 30 to 60 days. "By conditioning and softening the hair shaft with an eyelash conditioner, brittleness is reduced, and the hair fiber is nourished from the outer cortex to the inner medulla, thus improving the overall health and beauty of eyelashes," says Brinkenhoff. While spas continue to profit from services such as eyelash extensions, eyelash conditioners provide a more economical and less dramatic alternative for achieving a similar effect.
"People are crazy about eyelashes these days, and spas offering these products are smart to notice this incredible revenue source."—Nicole Palmieri

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Phytoceane Hydracea Skincare

HYDRACÉA for Dehydrated and Dry Skin

Balance in hydration is vital for the health and luminosity of the skin. 80% of all skin conditions are caused by dehydration. Phytocéane of France, offers a wide range of products designed to eliminate any level of dehydration and dryness.
Hydration is the heart of Phytocéane and restoring hydration to all skin types is the goal of the Hydracéa collection.

JANIA RUBENS: maintains the structure of the skin barrier, stimulates natural moisture retaining mechanisms, mineralizes, rebalances the epidermal structure, deeply and lastingly moisturizes.

Phytocéane research has discovered that Jania Rubens undergoes a special process known as calcification. This process allows the Jania Rubens to form a protective shell in which it will concentrate minerals and trace elements from seawater, including calcium, which is needed to maintain healthy desmosomes (protein bonds).
Researchers have used the mineral-rich properties of this protective shell to prevent desmosomes from breaking in the epidermis. By providing an abundant supply of calcium, Jania Rubens makes up for any deficiency of this element in the skin. This strengthens cellular cohesion, and in turn reduces the loss of water, NMF, and lipids.
The stratum corneum is restructured and optimal functioning of the cutaneous barrier is ensured.

Moisture Defense Cream - all skin types. Contains a unique ingredient: PANIOPSIS ( certified ingredient )
The southern region of Provence along the Mediterranean coast is home to a seaside plant: Paniopsis. This aromatic plant grows near salt marshes in a dry and sunny climate. To protect itself from its extreme environment, it secretes a resin that covers it’s leaves to form a natural shield.

Also contains: SWEET ALMOND OIL: softening, moisturizing
AVOCADO OIL: moisturizing, regenerating

Continuously hydrates for more than 6 hours after application.
Protects skin from harsh environmental factors.
Light, fresh and silky texture.
Subtle fragrance.
Excellent make-up base.

Apply morning and/or evening to entire face and neck to thoroughly cleansed skin.

RICH NOURISHING CREAM - dry and very dry skin.
Contains: APRICOT OIL: softening and nourishing
SHEA BUTTER: improves cellular cohesion; repairing, nourishing, softening and protective
Hydrolipidic film is restored, skin achieves long term hydration, the radiance of the complexion is enhanced.
Smooth texture brings comfort and hydration instantly and long term.
Skin is soft, supple and perfectly nourished.

Apply morning and/or evening to clean skin.

SECOND SKIN NIGHT CREAM - dehydrated, dry and very dry skin
Contains: Oleo -Hydrating Complex : (complex of three plant waxes: Candelilla wax, rice bran wax, jojoba wax) ultra hydrating and nourishing; limits water loss.
Creates a “cushion” of water over skin.
Provides natural and lasting hydrating effect, while allowing skin to oxygenate itself.
Diminishes skin’s water loss.
Soft, velvety texture.
Apply a medium to thick layer in the evening to cleansed skin. For very dry skin apply Moisturizing Serum prior to Second Skin Night Cream.

MOISTURIZING SERUM - all skin types
BUTTERFLY LAVENDER OIL: restructuring for lipidic content of intercellular cement
SHEA BUTTER: moisturizing, softening and protective

Restores hydrolipidic film.
Immediately and lastingly moisturizes and softens the skin.
Brings suppleness and a bright complexion.
Ideal for changes in seasons or during periods of intense dehydration.
Light, non-greasy texture.
Versatile product can be used under usual cream when needed to boost hydration levels, always under usual cream for extremely dry skin, or as a light day or night moisturizer for moderately dehydrated skin.

Apply morning and/or evening to entire face and neck, before or as your daily moisturizing cream (day and/or night).

Contains: SWEET ALMOND OIL: softening and hydrating
ILLIPE BUTTER: moisturizing; brings suppleness

Moisturizes and restores hydrolipidic film.
Brings suppleness and softness to skin.
Brightens complexion.
Excellent under makeup.

Apply morning and/or evening to clean skin.
Contains: JOJOBA WAX: nourishing, moisturizing, anti free-radical

Like a bath of hydration, it deeply moisturizes and nourishes.
Brings suppleness and softness.
Complexion is luminous, the epidermis is refreshed.

Apply once or twice a week after exfoliating (a medium layer for dehydrated skin and a thick layer for dry and very dry skin) to entire face and neck avoiding the eye contour area. Rinse after 10 to 15 minutes and tone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shea is Best

We all know that hydration is crucial and that drinking plenty of water optimizes the functions of the body. What some people forget is that the body needs not only to be hydrated from the inside but also from the outside. With the summer sun sapping moisture from our skin, 'tis the perfect season to introduce ultra-moisturizing shea butter.

Only found throughout the tropics of Africa in close to 19 countries, shea butter derives from the nuts of the shea, also known as karite, trees. It takes about 15 to 30 years for these trees to bear high-quality fruit that is later crushed and boiled to obtain a yellowish-colored fatty extract. According to the American Shea Butter Institute, this product, which is rich in vitamins A, E, and F, is a superior moisturizer that contains remarkable healing properties for a variety of skin ailments, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It is also used to fortify and protect cell membranes, fade scars, minimize the appearance of stretch marks and wrinkles, improve hyperpigmentation, offer natural protection from harmful ultraviolet rays, and even relieve sinus problems.

This deeply nourishing product also has a low melting point, and it penetrates quickly when it comes in contact with the skin without leaving behind any greasy residue. Shea butter's ease of use and myriad benefits have made it extremely popular and a darling on spa menus.

While shea butter is effective on the body, it can also help people put their best faces forward and be a saving grace for those with troubled skin. "It's a natural anti-inflammatory agent," says Szilvia Hickman, senior vice president at Szép élet. "It decreases any acne flare-ups while naturally hydrating the skin, hence normalizing the sebum production to avoid future outbreaks." Leaving the skin matte all day long. "Clients who receive treatments that feature this product experience an immediate pore-tightening effect with reduced inflammation and redness, and when they use this product on a daily basis, they feel mattified throughout the entire day," says Hickman.

Not only does shea butter nourish the skin but it is also used to treat troubled tresses. Apply warm shea butter to the shaft of the hair to heal, protect, and penetrate every strand to make hair shinier, softer, and stronger.

Whether used around the eyes, lips, back, body, or hair, this vitamin-packed solution to dry, chapped skin is making people believe that butter is better.

Friday, July 10, 2009

French Organic Skincare

I recently sat in on an Equavie organic skincare seminar. I've included the most important information for you. Also, new products from Equavie will be here soon!
Equavie products are certified by Ecocert®
Packaging is entirely recyclable or reusable and their boxes are made of paper from certified sustainably managed forests.
The Equavie/Phytomer production site respects the environment with its filtering gardens, a landscaped space that treats wastewater mainly with plants.
They do not test their products on animals.
Currently in the United States, there are no specific regulations on Organic cosmetic products. There are, however, strict regulations governing Organic cosmetics in Europe, specifically in France where Equavie is manufactured and certified.
CLEASING MILK - Effective cleansing and a delicate texture. This Cleansing Milk fully dissolves makeup from the face and eyes. It has a fine, soft texture and efficiently removes impurities without drying skin. Organic macadamia and sweet almond oils soothe and protect even the most delicate skin. Fully cleansed and moisturized, skin can breathe, and its suppleness and softness are restored.

• Ingredients
Macadamia oil - Containing 60 to 80% monounsaturated fatty acids, macadamia oil is the plant oil of which the composition of essential fatty acids is most similar to that of human sebum. This makes it possible to gently cleanse the skin without disturbing its natural balance. Renowned for its moisturizing, nourishing, softening and restructuring properties, it is particularly adapted to fragile and delicate skin.
Sweet almond oil - The ultimate softening oil, sweet almond oil soothes and nourishes dry and irritated skin.
Cornflower herbal distillate - Cornflower water has softening and decongesting properties that make it an ideal ingredient for cleansing care.
Virgin sunflower oil
TONING LOTION - This Cleansing Toner fully removes all traces of makeup from the face and eyes, leaving skin fresh and invigorated. Used as a primary cleansing lotion in the morning, it wakes up and gently tones skin.

Cornflower, witch hazel, and chamomile floral waters drain and purify the epidermis. Skin is soft, soothed, and ready for moisturizer.

• Ingredients
Cornflower herbal distillate - Its softening and decongesting action gently awakens the skin. Redness and irritations on eyelids and the face are soothed. The epidermis is toned and stimulated.
Witch hazel herbal distillate - It soothes delicate, irritated skin, while tightening pores & toning skin.
Roman chamomile herbal distillate - A renowned medicinal plant, chamomile also has cosmetic benefits. As an herbal distillate, it soothes, purifies and replenishes skin.
Gorse water - Gorse water has soothing and calming properties.

Ultra-gentle on the skin, it also promotes relaxation. It has the ability to stimulate the production of beta-endorphins, the “molecules of well-being” that provide soothing relaxation. With gorse water, makeup removal becomes a moment of relaxation, a true preparation for sleep.
EXFOLIATING CREAM - This 2-in-1 exfoliating cream helps soften and brighten all skin types, even sensitive skin. Both enzymatic and mechanical, it gently eliminates dead cells and impurities from the face. Its delicious cream texture, like vanilla ice cream, leaves the skin soft and clean. The complexion is even and luminous.

Equavie’s “ECOCERT-COSMEBIO certified organic” facial exfoliant with both a mechanical and enzymatic action makes it a rarity in true organic products.

• Use
On normal skin, apply a thin layer to cleansed face and neck.
Exfoliate with circular movements, then rinse. For more intense exfoliation, apply a medium layer and leave on for 5 minutes.
Dampen fingers, then exfoliate with circular movements. Rinse. On sensitive skin, apply a medium layer to cleansed face. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse. Avoid the eye area.
Buriti oil - This oil is derived from the fruit of the tropical Buriti palm tree. Rich in carotenoids (betacarotene), it is an excellent antioxidant and revives the radiance of the complexion. Also rich in fatty acids, it leaves the skin soft and supple.
Kaolin - This gentle clay has purifying and detoxifying properties. It is also an excellent cellular renovator due to its micro-exfoliating and remineralizing effect.


Papain - Derived from papaya, the ultimate tropical fruit, papain is an enzyme with proteolytic action, i.e. it digests proteins. It thus gently eliminates dead cells and impurities. The complexion becomes even and radiant.

Silica powder - Hard and transparent mineral particles that provide effective exfoliation.
Jojoba wax microbeads - These entirely natural microbeads are formed from.

LUMINOUS MOISTURE CREAM - A luscious cream with Mediterranean notes, to moisturize and bring radiance to normal and dry skin.

With extracts of olive, rosemary, and lavender this cream has moisturizing and protective properties that are essential for the comfort and suppleness of skin. Its ingredients of natural origin protect skin from pollution and everyday stresses, revealing all its beauty. Soft and radiant, skin soaks up the benefits of the ingredients and the subtle fragrance of Mediterranean gardens.
Olive polyphenols - The star ingredient of the Mediterranean region, the olive is filled with active molecules called polyphenols. By combating free radicals, generated each day by sun exposure, stress and pollution, olive polyphenols act as a protective skin shield. They limit the breakdown of proteins and collagen and help fight against harsh daily factors and premature skin aging.
French Lavender wax - Widespread in the Mediterranean region, French lavender is known as “butterfly” lavender in French and owes this name to the inflorescences at the tops of its spikes, recalling fluttering butterflies. Beyond its beauty, Lavandula Stoechas (its botanical name) has exceptional cosmetic properties. It promotes good cellular cohesion and strengthens the skin’s “protective barrier” function. The skin stays better hydrated and peels less. It regains its softness and a velvety feel.
Rosemary extract - Commonplace in the Mediterranean region, rosemary is a plant with multiple benefits. In cosmetics, due to its natural antioxidant qualities, it protects the skin from the action of free radicals, notably generated by the sun and pollution.
Virgin avocado oil - Obtained from the pulp of the fruit, avocado oil is filled with vitamins and nutritive elements adapted to the skin’s needs.
Containing unsaponifiable elements, it has exceptional replenishing and restructuring properties and is very helpful to rehydrate and soften skin.
Carrot maceration - Obtained via maceration in organic sunflower oil, carrot maceration helps soften the skin and restore its suppleness and radiance.
Virgin sunflower oil

RENEWING CREAM - A flavorful recipe containing extracts of strawberry, apple, and date, this renewing cream gives skin an immediate lifting effect. Its nourishing, restoring formula helps to prevent the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It boosts cellular renewal and provides the fruit polyphenols that are essential for skin protection. Skin is fully moisturized, more supple, smoother, brighter, and younger-looking.

Strawberry seed oil - The ultimate delicious fruit, strawberries are particularly beneficial for their nutritional properties. But their richness mainly lies in their seeds, achenes, the tiny hard seeds sprinkled on the red surface of the fruit. Rich in essential fatty acids – Omega-3 and 6 – and antioxidants, the oil extracted from these strawberry seeds exerts a revitalizing anti-aging action on the skin. It improves the structure of cellular membranes and restores their fluidity and suppleness.
Moreover, it combats the oxidation of lipids contained in the skin. This renewing oil has anti-wrinkle properties and helps to maintain hydrated and youthful skin.
Date oil maceration - Obtained via maceration in sesame oil, this maceration unites the replenishing properties of the oil and fruit. Rich in natural antioxidants, sesame oil also has protective properties. The date, a traditional fruit used in skincare in the Middle East, offers nourishing action. This maceration softens, moisturizes and replenishes the skin tissues.
Cider apple extract - Particularly rich in polyphenols, cider apples have nutritional properties far superior to those of apples used for common consumption. These qualities are enhanced in our apple extract to provide double anti-aging action: both preventive and proactive. It promotes cellular replenishment and helps skin reinforce its anti-free radical protection system, thus protecting against aging factors.
Pure sea buckthorn juice - Sea buckthorn is a small red berry particularly rich in Vitamin C. This exceptional content in an antioxidant vitamin gives it its ability to combat signs of skin aging. Moreover, its silicon content promotes the production of elastin and collagen and helps
maintain youthful skin.
Macadamia oil
Virgin sunflower

PURIFYING CREAM - A light cream that purifies and clears combination-type skin or skin
prone to blemishes.
This smooth, purifying cream moisturizes and rebalances combination-type skin or skin prone to blemishes. It combines the anti-inflammatory action of green tea with the sebo-regulating effect
of samphire, to purify skin. Extract of calendula with restorative properties restores softness and radiance to the epidermis.
Intensively moisturized, skin is enveloped in freshness and purity, giving long-lasting radiance and an even complexion.

Green tea extract - Generally known for its strong antioxidant power, green tea is also very rich in polyphenols, with anti-inflammatory properties.
They reduce the peroxidation of lipids, limiting skin inflammatory reactions. The skin stays cleaner and purer.
Samphire oil - Samphire is a seaside plant that is capable of thriving in hostile environments:
rocky and salty areas. Rich in tocopherols, samphire oil is an excellent regulator of oily skin. Its seboregulating effect has been proven to be highly significant. After 28 days, sebum levels drop by 30% and the number of acne blemishes diminishes.
Calendula oil maceration - This calendula oil is obtained by maceration in sunflower oil. It boasts antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, but also soothing and replenishing benefits. It is ideal for regulating and renewing skin subject to inflammation.
Cornflower herbal distillate
Virgin sunflower oil

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm Experimenting Again

All of this "no shampooing" (is it a hair revolution or a philosophy?) for my hair has got me thinking. Again.

If all of that soap is bad for our hair (it is), and my wavy locks and a million other curly girls are proving that fact, then is all of that soap bad for our skin as well?
I'm not talking about our face skin, we already know that soap on our faces is a no-no. I'm talking body skin.

I was in the shower contemplating that a couple of days ago.
What if I don't use soap on my body brush, but instead use my hair conditioner (this is my current flavor of the month)?
I've been washing my hair with conditioner for weeks and my hair loves it. Do my arms, legs, back, etc., need all of that soap? - Of course our "bits and pieces" need it, but does the rest of our body need it? I am no longer convinced.

I have had 3 showers of not using soap and my skin LOVES it! - I don't need nearly the body lotion afterward either.
I'm also not convinced that you can do this with just any old conditioner. Well, you CAN use any conditioner, but I'm thinkin' those petroleum laden bottles of nasty are just going to clog your pores. Gross.
You need professional, quality product.
You're worth it.

I'm going to continue this experiment. Join me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Frizz Fighting for Curls

I know that I have posted a lot about curly/wavy hair lately.
But being a hairdresser, I know that this is the one type of hair that has been the most abused - Either by hairdressers who don't know how to cut it, or by chemicals and products to tame/straighten it.

This site has some great tips.

They suggest a few must-have products and listed below are the products I love best.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Curl Solutions

I found a few more curly girl hair tips for all of you curly girls to try.

Don't forget the Kinky-Curly products!

Friday, July 3, 2009

8 oz Curling Custard

Still on the fence about trying Kinky-Curly Curling Custard?
Well, it's time to get off.
A new 8 oz size is on its way and will be here shortly. This is the perfect size to give Kinky-Curly a try.

You'll like it, we promise! You no likey, you bring it back. You've got nothing to lose.

Hey, it didn't get chosen as the HOTTEST haircare product of 2008 in Essence magazine for nothin'.

Thursday, July 2, 2009