From Gray to Dark Brown Again!

Remember this?  Going, Going, Gone Gray 

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I am happy to say that I handled that gray hair situation like a champ.  And by handle it I mean I went to a lovely, talented stylist and she put this lovely rinse on it.  I didn't tell her that I fully expected to break out from the rinse since that is what happened the last time I tried a rinse because I'm already her problem patient and I didn't want to add to her side eyes in my direction.  LOL!

She used the Wella brand hair rinse in a dark brown and put me under the dryer of death with a conditioning cap.  I loved the results when I left but I was wary for a day or two waiting on a bad skin reaction.

NONE!

*INSERT.CABBAGE.PATCH.HERE*

Now I look normal again!  GO ME!  She says it is mild enough that I could get it every two weeks if it washes out quickly.

I'm braiding it up again tomorrow for two weeks so after another wash, I'm sure the gray will be on and popping again but I will just trot my happy azz right on back over to Ms. Julia to get it re-done with the swiftness.  I am SO.HAPPY with the color it is ridiculous.  She refuses to do anything other than a rinse on my hair and hey...I can't blame her.  I know me and I know I'm special.  See...ya gotta own ya coo-coo.  LOL!

It even looks good when I'm pissed!  LOL!  Or pretty damn pleased with myself!  

Okay...I'm just being silly now.  Sowwy...

Do you do anything with your gray?  How often do you get a rinse if you do?

Black Knees and Elbows...NO!

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When I'm refinishing furniture, I kneel and lean a lot.  You have to get in there deep if you're as thorough as I am since I refinish inside and outside for a completely clean slate.

I rounded the corner and saw my knees in a mirror and was like...um...that's not cute and was mad.about.it!

And yall know I have knee pads, right?  Right.

So I went old school on them and started using the loofahs I use on my face on my knees and elbows whenever I shaved my legs and armpits.  

Face Loofahs

I just gently rubbed them and probably within a month...I was back to normal.  There is no reason for your knees and elbows to be black as this is something so easy to fix.  And don't go crazy either or you're going to scratch yourself up and cause even more of a mess.  Just rub gently and it will work.  If you have a really bad problem, use lemons too.  That's what an Elder told me and well...she's normally right and has perfect skin.

I love those face loofahs for weekly exfoliating my face too.  Just put your face wash on and GENTLY rub your face with a wet one.  Make sure you rinse the disc well and let it dry all the way so it doesn't start growing fungus.

Going, Going, Gone...Gray

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I have been going gray for a minute now and I stomped all up and down declaring that I was just going to let it go until it is all the way gray and be a gray head rockstar looking all super sleek and whatnot.

I saw myself looking like this:

Just all one-dimensional amazing with some banging natural silvery highlights.

All regal and what not ya know?  QUEENLY!  I planned on wearing a lot of purple. Rich silks with like...some braiding on it or something.  I'm talking straight up Egyptian royalty in the house!  (Great...now I can't get "Egyptian Lover out my head...UGH!"

Yall...I was ready to wake up already LIT!  

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The reality of it, however?  It's gon' take a minute and I am struggling so much so that I think I'm going to have to do some temporary stuff in the middle of it all so I don't walk around here looking like someone without mirrors in her home.

This is my hair air dried and without heat or moisturizer on it to give it some semblance of a cohesive color and tame it.  This is my natural hair color and I am convinced God doesn't want me to live like this anymore.  Whenever He looks my way He probably shakes his head and says..."Oh no, baby...what is you doing?  I have given chemists the ability to create hair color so that you can handle that situation!  WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY???????"

I've tried everything to keep it contained.  I even had box braids for three weeks (I couldn't get used to all that hair and I promise my neck was tired holding up that hair.) and after seeing my little cousin with Dutch Goddess braids, I even did a version of it on my own using braid hair and French braids (cuz I can't do them dang opposite braids to save my life) and they were okay but only last a good week for me because my exposed hair starts looking too fuzzy.  

And it totally doesn't help that this guy I'm married to looks all distinguished gentleman and whatnot rocking his gray.  (So unfair and honestly...just rude...)

I'd like to find something between the two different braid styles using braid hair to keep it under wraps until more of the gray transition has happened.  Something that covers more of my hair but doesn't have to use so much braid hair.  I'm serious...I had for real, serious neck pain with all that hair and I got sick of wiping oatmeal off strands every.single.morning.  That's just gross.  I wish I could have kept them in longer though.

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So I'm back to considering color but don't know where to start.  My funky red/brown/gray color is just odd as heck to me.  My hair is low-porosity so by the very definition it's more difficult to color and it's as healthy as relaxed hair can be and I don't want to sustain any damage with keeping color on longer during the coloring process.  Oh...and those temporary colors just slide off onto my pillowcase anyway so...

*sigh*

If anyone has any tips...holla atcha girl.  I'm desperate.  

Luxe Therapy Scalp Soother

Luxe Hair Scalp Soother

A friend brought this to me from Essence Festival and I opened it while talking and then used it while still talking...

Then I stopped.

OH.MY.GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!

BEST FEELING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE?  WHO KNEW ABOUT THIS AND DIDN'T TELL ME?  WHO?  WHAT?  WHEN?  WHERE?  WHY???????  I NEED MULTIPLES BECAUSE MY SCALP ITCHES SO BADLY I WANT TO SCRATCH IT SO HARD IT BLEEDS!

WHEW!  YES.PLEASE!

Anyway...you should consider it.  Seriously it's the best thing ever.

Good Skin: At Home Steam Facial For Gorgeous Skin!!!!!!

I do the things my mother used to do to her skin.  She had GREAT skin and it was always so soft and lovely to touch and kiss.  I used to love kissing her cheek and would always smile halfway through the kiss.  

I always tell people I don't really do much to my face because, to me, the things I do are non-things because I've always done them.  It's like brushing your teeth or working out...you just do it because you have to.  But when you are discussing it you realize that you kinda do do extra stuff that a lot of people might not do.

Once a week I hit that Zombie look with a mask.  I normally do it on Sundays.  Once a month, I give myself a full steam facial.  Right here at home.

Step 1:  Wash face.

Step 2:  Use baking soda and water to exfoliate face and neck.  Pat dry.

Step 3:  Put three drops of essential oil into a glass bowl bigger than your face and pour in a tea kettle full of hot water. (Use whatever you want.  I tend to use lemongrass mostly because I don't really use lemongrass oil for anything else and have a lot of it.  My mommy used to use rose.  I remember the smell.  Secret however...YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE ANY OIL!!!!!  Oh...and be careful with the hot water.)

Step 4:  Drape towel over head and bowl once you can breathe comfortably for 10 minutes.  IT WILL GET DRIPPY!  LOL!

Step 5:  Rinse with cool water.  Pat dry.

Step 6:  Use mask to reclose pores.  Follow your mask instructions.  (Mine stays on for 20 minutes.  It's a mud mask Rebecca bought me at some fancy spa and I loved it so much I call and order 6 at a time.)  Rinse.  Pat dry.

Step 7:   Moisturize.  These days I use one capsule of this:  

And voila!  Instant facial awesomeness that doesn't hurt your skin or your pockets!  Get you a regular routine of this going and you'll be happy you did!  DRINK WATER!!!!!

Do you do one too?  What oils do you use?  How often do you do one?  

Essie Gel Setter Review (Don't die Bethie!)

Can we talk manicures for a second?  I mean...I know there is a lot of really important things going on in the world but I'd really like to talk manis right now.  Namely...MY manicure.

I'm not a gel set chick.  They scare me.  They scare important doctor people too so there's that.  But I will admit that gel manicures look gorg-e-mous!  

But I don't want another battle with cancer.  No way...no how.  It's funny how most of the things in my life center around not wanting to get cancer again.  LOL!  (Don't die Bethie!)  

I bought this product, Essie Gel Setter, when I first saw it.  The majority of my nail polish is Essie so I tend to look around there often.  I bought this when it was first released and I've been testing it ever since.  

Normally my manicures last about a 4 days with a normal Essie top coat.  I'm on day 6 of this manicure and I'm over the moon with the results.

AND I WON'T GET POTENTIALLY GET CANCER!  

My manicure has a high gloss with that professional look which probably came from the fact that I rub the edges with tipped cotton applicators dipped in nail polish remover.  

The colors I used for this manicure (I put polka dots on my ring finger...GO ME!) were Marshmellow, Muchi, Muchi and Watermelon. 

I think it's going to last a minute and I'm excited about it!  I'm not crazy about going to get manicures.  I'll go get a pedicure but never a manicure it seems so I'm so excited I found this product so my manicures last longer and look for real professional!  GO ME!

What top coat do YOU use?  Do you get gel manicures?  Do they concern you?

Beauty and Fashion Randoms of an Over 40 Blogger

I needed something to wear to an event and got excited.  See...I'm not fashion or beauty obsessed although I tend to keep up with what is necessary for me to know in both departments.  I tend to buck trends and pretty much wear exactly what I want to wear.  The good thing about being over 40, is that I can pretty much get whatever I want to get.  You know...if I want it.

The older I get, the more I'm into comfortable shoes.  I own lovely heels, of course, but they are never my first choice anymore and I tend to plan an outfit around the shoes I want to wear.  I'll never get too old for a funky pair of Chucks and I will never pass up the opportunity to buy something others might consider outrageous if it makes me smile.  LOL!

I just recently bought some leather and glitter sneakers that make me smile.   People look down at them in surprise and then back up to my face quickly.  LOL!  I SEE YOU!!!!!!!!

I'm not into homely clothes and love to rock figure flattering pieces that aren't hoochie.  I don't like too tight pants so all my skinny pants have a good amount of "GIVE" in the material.  I have a crazy knack for picking out a funky and fun top and I have a wall filled with funky tops that I pair with jeans, shorts, sandals, ballet flats and sneakers.

I think I have skinny legs so I don't wear shorty shorts but I do wear fitted shorts if that makes sense.  (Odd I know.)  I still stick to the principle that if you only BUY things that look cute on you, you will only OWN things that look cute on you.  I don't like matchy matchy and I adore mixing super cheap pieces with pricey pieces.  My normal every day shorts are cargo shorts from the boy's department cuz you can't find cargo shorts for women with a good length for women anymore it seems.

My day-to-day wear would probably be considered tomboy chic or sporty luxe and, even though I feel I could wear some of the latest trends the younger people wear...I don't. And I don't consider jeans, t-shirts and Chucks to be young people clothes.  These things are ageless.  LOL!  And yes...I will probably be 80 rocking some fly glasses and some fresh to death glitter Chucks.

I pay attention to my "More" magazine and I check out the new stuff regarding makeup etc.  I'm not really there yet regarding makeup and am just now starting to play with different stuff when I do wear makeup which is still...HARDLY EVER.  In lieu of makeup...I will rock a pair of hot sunglasses or a hat.  LOL!  And my lips stay fresh with some good old Aquaphor which I pretty much use all over.

The only thing I have really started focusing on as I age is exposure to the sun.  Especially on my face and neck.  I'm not trying to hide from the sun but I also don't want to have to get to the point where I HAVE to wear makeup in order to have good looking skin and I have been known to have odd breakouts when in the sun at random times.  UGH.

I don't like my hair these days as the grey is something I guess I'll have to take action on eventually because it's getting more and more grey and, insultingly, all around my hairline waving and ish.  I can't find a stylist that I love locally so weekly appointments to make my life lovelier is out of the question and the drive to the one who makes it look right is too far for weekly maintenance.  

My dentist keeps asking if I want to whiten my teeth and I keep telling them that I think it's creepy when folks' teeth are whiter than their eyes and that I would spook myself in the middle of the night during a bathroom run in the dark.

I still do my level of workouts which maintain what I'm working with and well...I'm unwilling to do much more if I don't have to.  I don't want to be the fittest looking girl in the room...I just want a flat tummy and a nice butt.  I was working out with a guy who was really kinda harsh with it and well...I thought it best if I didn't continue going over there.  You know...getting yelled at and whatnot.  I have to figure out something, however, because for the past two days it has been too hot during my normal 30 minute morning walk and sprint session to get a good workout in without saying...um...no.  Too hot.  I hate germy gyms but I'm going to have to do something and have access to a treadmill soon cuz this heat is going to kill me and the way my heart murmur is set up...

When I'm looking to wear something special, I tend to visit a few of my favorite beauty and fashion blogs for and by women of a certain age.  See...they get me cuz they ARE me.  They are fly but no longer 20 and each one of my FAVES has the type of style that shows they know THEIR style THEIR way.  They aren't trying too hard to be sexy and they generally have smiles that reach their eyes which makes me smile.  I know...clearly I have simple criteria but it's so true.

 

Extra Petite - She's the youngest on this list.  I like her style though.  She does tomboy to girly girl right.

Style Pantry - This should be a DUH as she is probably on all of our lists.  I mean...she is like the Diana Ross of fashion to me.

Lady of Style - I get a lot of good ideas from her on how to mix up things I already own.

Erica B. - Another DUH...I mean hey...it's our girl.

J'Adore Couture - I get diva brunch outfit ideas from her.  

Fortyfied Beauty - She doesn't just stick to clothes and I like that.  She's pretty simple too.  Enjoying cute comfort.

Style of a London Tall Girl - Tall girls have problems other girls don't.  She owns her tall girl style. 

Forever Amber - Super cutesy clothes.  Ideas for weddings, nice parties, etc.

The Coveteur - I just look over here.  LOL!  I can't afford NOTHING June Ambrose deems rock worthy but I love pretty pictures of pretty clothes.  Oh...and her blog is more about lifestyle too.  She has a great cocktail series going on over there.

What about you?  Where do you get your inspiration from when you're looking for something special to wear?  Who are your goto fashion and beauty bloggers?  Do you generally like fashion blogs by women of a certain age too?  How would you describe your style?  

Is fashion a THING for you?  Or do you just like to look nice?

Safe, Easy and Cheap Face Exfoliation!

I used to exfoliate my face once a week but now I do it two or three times a week.  The reason?  I'm not worried about the chemicals I'm using in the exfoliation product I'm using!  

Once again, an Elder tipped me to some goodness.  I  noticed a small bowl on her bathroom counter and asked what she used it for.  After a lecture about being all up in her business (Dude...it was on the COUNTER!) and my ignoring her because she's always holding on to some good info she knows good and well I'd appreciate, she told me that she makes a paste of baking soda and water to scrub her face.  She told me that the humidity out here makes stuff stick to your face more and that pollen is a tricky fool.  (ROFL!)  Said that all you have to do is make a lil paste with baking soda and use that to scrub your face.

I couldn't get an exact measurement out of her because she just eyeballs it, but I find that a ratio of one part baking soda and three parts water is pretty good.  I've been using it because she's right...that pollen is a tricky fool.  LOL!  I've been doing it now for about three weeks and I don't have any irritation.  My skin feels and looks clean and smooth.  GO ME!  I could even use it on my skin in the shower too!

A box of baking soda costs little of nothing and it will last a long, long time.  She also told me that she uses it to brush her teeth sometimes too.  Says sometimes your teeth can feel a bit gritty and baking soda helps polish off the grit.  Makes sense.  

How often do you exfoliate your face?  What do you use?  Have you ever used baking soda?

Humidity and Dry Skin

As we're adjusting to being down South again, we're finding that some things really surprise us.  A couple of months ago we started noticing how dry our skin was.  We had patches of dry skin on our face, in our noses, etc.  The bags under my eyes are hereditary so I can't do much about them that I'd actually DO to them...but they were looking way bigger in the mornings.  Aquaphor became my friend big time to use on my face.

Someone asked if we slept with a humidifier and I said no, remembering that I'd been meaning to replace our old one with one that you didn't need to use a filter with because the filters grossed me out.

I bought this humidifier and this humidity monitor.  When I first set up the hygrometer it almost screamed it me because yeah...the humidity was super low.  

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I chose the humidifier I chose for a couple of other reasons too, I needed a small one and I wanted something I didn't have to take apart in order to fill with water.  You just pour the water in the top of it.  I fill it with the water from the Brita pitcher and filled up it lasts for about three nights of sleeping (using the lowest setting).  I generally turn it on as soon as we head to the bedroom at night.  I had to play around with it to get it right because initially I was using it full blast.  LOL!  Seriously...I got carried away!

I feel like it even helps Jaru be less itchy and I know without a shadow of doubt that my skin is much less drier than it had been in this house prior to buying it.

Do you sleep with a humidifier?  Do you find that it helps?

Why I Use Baby Towels on My Face!

A while ago I was having issues from an allergic reaction to something.  AGAIN.  The dermatologist gave me the meds which normally gets everything on track.  The most uncomfortable thing is the itching when I'm having the reaction and it drives me crazy.  I don't scratch because I don't want to touch it, of course, so I have to take some Benadryl too in order to help with the itching.

Basically I just walk around in a fog for 5 - 7 days.

The problem with my allergic reactions is that I could randomly touch anything and then touch my face and bam...here it comes.  

THAT'S THAT BULL!

And I baby my face.  Stay out of the sun, be uber gentle to it...all that.

I used a hand towel so roughly once to "scratch" the rash and ended up having to deal with a strawberry burn-ish kinda thing on the side of my face.  NOT.CUTE.

I told an Elder and she told me that I should use baby towels on my face because they are super soft for babies.  I'd never thought of that so off to the store I went and picked up a 6 pack of baby towels.

I now use them all the time on my face.  Super soft and not rough at all.  I'm always wondering how it is that some of my Elders are aging so gracefully and then I ask questions and they answer.  Imma need them to stop waiting until I ask hell.  Just give up the goods!  Sheesh!  

Doesn't that sound like good sense?

Current Hair Struggle

I went to the hair salon Friday before last.

I normally wash my hair once a week.

"House of Cards" came out so there was no way I was washing my hair last Friday.

I had to pick up one of my Elders on Saturday morning so there was no way I was washing it Saturday morning and risk being late.  (I don't want no trouble.)

Got home late Saturday and well..."House of Cards."

Sunday morning I had to get organized for the week right quick and then ran out of time because, again..."House of Cards."

Mondays are my off days and I simply didn't feel like it since I wasn't going anywhere, seeing anybody, doing anything.  ('Cept I ended up taking Jaru to the doctor in the rain.)

Today?  I'm actually for real working.  Not happening unless someone comes up in here and does it for me.

Tomorrow doesn't make sense because it's Wednesday and I have a hair appointment first thing Thursday morning.

Buns are my friends.

TELL ME I'M NOT THE ONLY PERSON THIS KINDA STUFF HAPPENS TO SOMETIMES!!!!!!  PLEASE!  I REALLY NEED TO FEEL NORMAL RIGHT NOW!

Size 22 Model

I overheard a conversation yesterday about the Sports Illustrated first plus sized model.  They said she was a size 22.  I just asked Mr. Google about it and turns out they were wrong.  The plus sized model in Sports Illustrated is NOT a size 22...it's this chick:

Her name is Robin Lawley and she's a regular size 10 person so yeah...I'm confused that she is considered "plus size."

o_0

I think they were talking about this model, Tess Holiday who is the first sized 22 model to sign with a major agency.

I kept listening to the conversation unchecked and overheard a guy say that whenever an anorexic model is shown, people lose their shit so why should it be any different with a size 22 model since they both have unhealthy bodies.

I didn't join in on the conversation so I didn't say anything but I've been thinking about what he said.  I just had the conversation with someone and they had some interesting things to say too.

What do YOU think?  Overweight people can be perfectly healthy right?  But anorexic people never are.  Are all versions of what folks consider extreme as it relates to weight...unhealthy?

Overweight people exist so why shouldn't there be models to represent them in the fashion world?  We all wear clothes right?

THOUGHTS?????