Several weeks back I suggested that in order to keep money flowing in our community, we should consider purchasing our needs [and wants] from our own people who are experts in their respective fields. Well the following commentary is all about my discovery in my own experience.
Ever since I made the decision to wear my hair naturally eight years ago, I've supported black hair groomers but not manufacturers that create grooming products. Until now I was completely unaware of the many options that we have to turn away chemical straighteners forever and embrace the diversity of our natural kinks, curls and waves.
To replace my favorite corporations like Bath and Body Works, Sally's and Sephora enclosed is a list of small businesses that I'm supporting. Caveat: I have no monetary interests in any of these companies. Just like Oprah, I'm simply listing a few of my new favorite things. Oh how I wish that I could have promotional samples available for you. Maybe in time but for now you'll have to take me at my word. And if you see me in person, I'm a walking example of varying degrees of all these products. So just ask and I'll be happy to whip out whatever products I have in my purse at the time.
- Karen's body beautiful - Mango sugar body scrub, fantastic scent and no more post shower hydrating. The essential oils in this product takes the place of lotion. However, it does leave the floor of your shower slippery so you must be very careful. Rosemary hair growth serum (with essential oils). This product makes your scalp feel like it's had a mint LOL. This leaves your scalp with a nice tingling feeling as it penetrates your scalp. Cranberry cocktail soy candle. The oils from this candle gives off a nice sweet fragrance to any room without lighting the wick. Once you are ready to light this candle, the fragrance never diminishes.www.karensbodybeautiful.com
- Valana Minerals - natural organic mineral make up - blended to match my unique skin tone to cover blemishes until my skin corrects itself. Mineral make up can be a tad pricey but sometimes beauty costs :-) I met with the owner of this company, Valerie, she is completely lovely and passionate about appropriate products for women of color. Matching your unique skin color is one of her passions. And necessary since there is no one template match for us. She gives you one on one attention and encourages you to sample all shades of foundation as well as her other products. She even answers the phone when you call the toll free number. She embodies the pinnacle of customer service. www.valanaminerals.com There are several vegan/natural mineral make up manufacturers around now thanks to the power of the Internet. I'm promoting Valana since I have had the one on one personal experience and because I like and use the product.
- Oyin Handmade **- (This shipment hasn't arrived yet.) After researching these organic products on their site, and reading the customer feedback (both positive and negative) I'm very excited. Honey sticks to replace drug store chap stick [too many toxins in that product] my health and wellness coach approves due to the 100% natural ingredients of cocoa & shea butter,castor oil, beeswax, pure honey and vitamin E. Head to toe Honey wash an all in one fragrant cleansing product. This all in one is for your hair, face and body. Natural all in one products save us from having to spend lots of money on several toxic products: shampoo, conditioner, soap, face cleanser,toner, shower gel, lotion and Vaseline/petroleum jelly. After bath blended fragrant bath oil. Since I've been using sugar scrubs containing oils I've become accustomed to not using lotion on my ashy body anymore. The oils combined with the shower water keeps my skin hydrated, smooth and soft without being greasy like when using baby oil. This may sound crazy but it's nice to not have an additional step in my morning ritual. I leave the house sooner and my clothes are not covered in oil. My skin absorbs most of the oil during the pat dry step. Why spend the extra time drying and hydrating when I can shower and oil my body in one swoop? Besides it's pretty cool to exit the shower clean and oiled. All I have to do is blot dry and get dressed. Also, I can not lotion my right arm properly since my left hand does not function properly. I used to have one moist arm and one ashy arm LOL. NO MORE! I've either given or tossed away most of my lotions. No more need for the product or the expense! Funk butter/ natural deodorant. There is a difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant. Sweat glands are necessary for purging however we don't have to smell while it's happening. Plus I hate to offend. If I can smell me, I'm certain that others can too. www.oyinhandmade.com
- Ancient Treasure - All in one: all over body/skin, hair, face moisturizer. I currently use this product everyday on my face, elbows, feet and hair. It comes in a small 2 oz. jar but you don't need much of it. I think it smells great it contains (Shea butter, beeswax, sunflower oil and frankincense and works better than any department/drug store product that I've used in years. I was introduced to this product at a "New World" fair in Pasadena a few weeks ago and I'm as happy as a pig in mud. I love all-in-one products because not only are they great for my budget, you don't have to use much product at all to see/get great results. A)Skin: moist all day without being/feeling oily. B) Feet: no need to reapply the product to ash prone zones (heals of feet, ankles, the web space on your hand between your pointer and thumb, cuticles and knuckles). Hair: softens my kinky hair into a shiny natural curl without weight and it smells kind of like baby powder with a twist of two essential oils. A very light, not overbearing, fresh scent. I should be embarrassed to admit this next fact but I'm not. Since using this product, I smell my hands several times a day after I use it. I also like to touch my face hours later because I can't believe it still feels like a fresh application of product: supple, smooth and moist in a non greasy way. The manufacturer offers a list of 40 different powerful uses for this product upon purchase. www.theancientreasure.com. This web site is still under construction, so a phone call or email is necessary to make a purchase.
Ordering these products on the Internet is more cost affective than purchasing them in a department or drug store. If we support them enough one day we just might find them in local flagship stores. The price points seem to be slightly above cost and the shipping charges are low. Some offer incentives like free shipping and bonus products if you order a certain quantity of items. Why pay ridiculous retail prices for toxic products when you can save 30 to 40% by buying natural/organic products that produce better results?
Thank you for indulging my beauty rant this week. When I like something and it works, I can't talk enough about it. To my loyal male followers my apologies if you found nothing of interest or value in this weeks blog.
Always keep your overall health, wellness and pocketbook in mind :-)
** Will post a beauty blog after I've tried all of these items on my skin, face and hair.
*** For those who are sensitive to fragrance, many of these manufacturers have fragrance free products.