Hey Girl, Your Phone Is Draining Your Battery

I’m addicted to my device, and it’s killing my mental health.

My phone gives me serious anxiety. When I’m on it and scrolling through social media I feel like I’m not good enough. All of these amazingly dope people I follow are out here killing it with their amazing style, loving husbands, and frequent sponsorships and here I am being average. Every time I get a news alert I heart sinks as I read about politicians in this country who continue to put their personal interests before the well being of their constituents, Even my damn health tracker makes me feel inadequate by reminding my that I have not taken the recommended ten thousand steps that will help me reach my goal weight. It’s exhausting. It’s draining.

IMG_5774.jpg

If I’m being completely honest, I spend several hours per day on my phone and the actual value that it adds to my life is zero to none. In an effort to get my life together and feel better I’ve set some ground rules for screen time. Here are my tips to live your best life and treat your phone more like a resource and less like a necessity.

Choose Who You Follow Wisely

I recently cleaned my social media feed and I feel so much better for it. If a person’s posts and content doesn’t inspire me, make me laugh, or make me think, I hit unfollow. If a person’s posts make me feel bad about myself, I unfollow. If a person’s posts bully or demean others, then I probably wasn’t following in the first place. It’s simple. Social media is meant to connect people so we often think of the people we follow as friends but if is a friendship is toxic it’s best to end that relationship.

Designated Phone Free Times

The first half an hour after I wake up and the last half an hour before I go to bed are not for checking social media. This makes for a more peaceful morning and an easier and more restful sleep. I also place my phone face down when interacting with friends and stay off of it while at the movies. Actually enjoying the time spent with the people in front of me has made me realize that I need to be present in my day to day interactions with others.

Check Your Intent

This one is for the influencers and bloggers! Social media is a tool that we all use to promote ourselves and our message. We have all gotten caught in the numbers game. We wonder why we don’t have the followers that would reflect the quality of our content and it can be crippling. It stifles creativity and the content that we make is curated to gain more followers instead of engage the people who are already interested in what we put out there. At this point, you should ask yourself, why am I here? Am i serving a purpose or just playing the numbers game? If you’re only interested in numbers then continue on but if you’re looking to grow organically, stop stressing about it! Keep putting out quality with consistency and stop looking at what everyone else is doing with their feeds. Focusing more on me and what I’m trying to do has relieved so much stress.

Am I a perfect example of how to unplug? Absolutely not. I’m still guilty of getting on my phone to look up something on Google and then find myself scrolling down Instagram’s explore page an hour later but I’m working on it and feel much better for it.

Do you need to unplug? What are your best practices for taking a break from social media?




How To Be Basic

Because slaying all day is getting difficult.

Let me count the ways in which I do not slay on a regular basis.

Let me count the ways in which I do not slay on a regular basis.

I could get caught up in trying to live the perfect IG life OR I could actually live.

I could get caught up in trying to live the perfect IG life OR I could actually live.

Oh, you know, just over her not doing the most.

Oh, you know, just over her not doing the most.

Hi, I'm basic. That's really all. I'm not snatched 24/7. My closet isn't a revolving door of Fashion Nova pieces and other fast fashion boutiques (although they DO have some cute clothes). I wear makeup maybe once a week and more often than not my eyebrows look like distant cousins. I don't wear waist trainers because I like to breathe and most importantly EAT comfortably. Sometimes I wear the same shirt three times in a week because washing machines exist. I don't "slay all day". I slay about two percent of the time. I'm pretty okay with that.

Dress | Shirt | Shoes

So You Have A Bald Spot, Now What?

You may not be your hair, but it's pretty damn important.

A few days ago I was doing my normal detangling routine in front of the mirror when (cue the horror music) I discovered a small, but noticeable to me, bald spot. I had a quick moment of OMFG, what do I do, CLEARLY I'm dying, and then I took a few deep breaths and followed these steps.

What do you do when you find a baldspot in your otherwise healthy head of hair?

What do you do when you find a baldspot in your otherwise healthy head of hair?

Don't Freak Out | I know, I know, I freaked out a little teeny tiny bit. But then I stopped. Honestly, there's no reason to have a full meltdown until you know exactly what the issue is.

Get To the Doctor | We (I'm looking at you skin fo) often ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us when symptoms such as hair loss occur. Quite often this is an outward expression of minor problems such as a vitamin deficiency; however, there is a chance that there is a more serious underlying issue. Going to your primary care physician and getting your bloodwork done can rule all of that out.  

The vanity planet shampoo brush and Remi Restorative treatment are helping me get back on track.

The vanity planet shampoo brush and Remi Restorative treatment are helping me get back on track.

Care for Your Scalp | Now that you Know what's wrong, you can start taking care of your scalp. I was sent the life changing (no exaggeration here, it's actually life changing) Groove Scalp Massager by Vanity Planet and I have been using it on wash day and in between wash days. Not only does it feel great, it also encourages blood flow to the scalp which helps hair growth. I have already seen hair starting to grow back in a short period of time.

Use Healthy Hair Products | In addition to using the scalp massager, I am also using Vanity Planet's Moisturizing and Restorative Hair Treatment. It's great for my scalp and hair because it is nothing but healthy oils for my dry and frizzy natural hair. I massage this product in with my Scalp Massager and let it sit for about 15 minutes before continuing with my normal routine. The oils help nourish my scalp and protect my hair from the harshness of shampoos.

I'm confident that in the next few months that my little bald spot will be flourishing again.

Interested in Vanity Planet Products? Make sure to use these discount codes to save big!

70% off Make-up Brush Palette (http://bit.ly/2qfBrAH)
Code: BBPalette70

50% off All Makeup on the site (http://bit.ly/2p4A7TE)
Code: BBMakeup50

70% off Spin Products (http://bit.ly/2q8D46W)
Code: BBSFPS70

25% of Hair Products (http://bit.ly/2oKblEZ)
Code: BBHair25

*Products were sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own.*

3 Ingredient DIY Detox Drink

In with the good, out with the bad.

This simple DIY Detox Drink will remedy a few days of bad decisions AND the common cold.

This simple DIY Detox Drink will remedy a few days of bad decisions AND the common cold.

Mondays are always a kind of day or reckoning for me: my gut and my bank account are there to remind me of all of my bad decisions. Fortunately, I have a remedy for at least one of those problems that costs under five dollars (if that) and gives me tons of energy.

I like to drink this first thing in the morning if possible and maybe again mid day. While this does encourage a healthy "movement" it's nothing like the "flat tummy teas" that you see everyone hawking on instagram.

3 Ingredient Detox Drink

Ingredients

1 cup of water

Juice of Half a Lemon

Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger, Sliced

Honey, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

Combine water, ginger slices, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and turn stove on to medium high heat.  Let the mixture come to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Pour the heated water into a strainer over a cup (unless you like particles touching your mouth while you drink, I don't, it's gross) and add honey. Enjoy!

Every time I drink this, I immediately see a decrease in bloating and feel an abundance of energy.

What do you do when you need to get back on track from a few days of bad eating choices?

My Fluffy Puffs Natural Hair Product Review

Ya know, just business as usual over here...

I'm not going to lie, this feels weird... BUT here we go..........

I have to recommend that you guys try these products. They are definitely dope. Support #blackgirlmagic

A few weeks go I posted a picture on Instagram (join the fam and stuff) and the owner of the hair care company My Fluffy Puffs contacted me and asked If I was interested in trying her products and after an online investigation and seeing how cool these product looked I had to say yes. These aren't my normal shampoos and leave ins that I get at Target: I have actually never tried a  real shampoo bar OR a product with Biotin in it so I was pretty excited.

I started off with the Rhassoul Clay Shampoo and Body Bar and I have to admit that using it was a strange experience for me. I'm used to liquid shampoo in a bottle and while I have used Bentonite Clay before I've never experienced Rhassoul Clay (Although I have heard amazing things). I started by sectioning my hair off and realized that was a mistake. I feel as though the purpose of a shampoo bar is to cleanse the scalp deeply.  The first round of cleansing I saw a lot of dirt coming out of my hair/scalp however because my hair was dirty from sweat and product there wasn't a ton of sudsing going on. But that second wash though? Suds galore AND the curls were popping.  The shampoo bar left my hair feeling squeaky clean but oddly enough not stripped. There was no matting, tangling, or brittleness.

The Bottom Line | GET IT! It's the bomb.

To moisturize my situation I picked up the Tropical Mango and Monoi Whip. The smell of this is amazing and left my hair easy to style. Any girl with thick, coarse, type 4 hair, knows that's no small feat. I think that this hair product will great for me when it gets ridiculously cold and dry outside. That being said, I'm going to store it for about a month or so. This isn't so much a reflection of the product so much as it is me knowing my hair. Shea butter and other heavier oils don't like me unless it's super cold and my hair is in a protective style.

The Bottom Line | I know this is about to be my boo in about a month so I know I'll update you then.

Lastly, I used the product I was most curious about, the Twist Frosting with Biotin. I've never actually tried a product with Biotin in it and while I could not find any research that says Biotin applied topically will help your hair, I'm sure it couldn't hurt. Full confession, I didn't read the directions before I used this for the first time so I did a twist out on completely dry hair and apparently you're supposed to use the Twist Frosting on damp hair. Take two, I applied the twist frosting on about 75% dry hair so there was a little dampness after I used my normal leave in conditioner. Initially I was nervous as there appeared to be some white flakes popping up meaning that my products didn't play well together. To my surprise the flakes dissipated and I was left with juicy twists and an even more bomb twist out (again, join the instafam). 

The Bottom Line | Yasssssss. Do it.

I hope you guys check out My Fluffy Puffs! If you do tell me what you think,

Black Owned Business Spotlight | Caribbean Secrets Curly Creme Conditioner

Because we should not only celebrate, but also patronize, black owned businesses.

I always marvel at young black entrepreneurs: the sheer determination it takes to start your own business simply astounds me. Furthermore, as an aspiring entrepreneur who also happens to be black, one can face a multitude of obstacles. Which is why I was absolutely delighted when I was contacted by Pierre of Caribbean Secrets to try out their Curly Creme Conditioner.

Caribbean Secrets was started by Calvin (also known as Pierre) about three years ago while attending Howard University. Calvin saw that so many young black men and women were skin and hair obsessed and saw the need for an awesome product that we could use to care for hair and skin needs.

The Caribbean Secrets Curly Creme Conditioner was created specifically for natural hair and I have to say it is amazing. The first impression that I had was the wonderful but not over powering smell. You guys know that I'm not a fan of strong or artificial scents and this product has neither of those attributes. The texture of the conditioner is thick and creamy which my hair immediately soaked up. I used this product as a co washing product and a regular conditioner after shampooing and in each capacity my hair loved it. Because of the creamy texture of this product I thought that it would cause extreme build up and greasiness but it did not. After using it as my co wash several times my hair was soft and light and did not have a bunch of gunk coming out of it after my shampoo the next. I thoroughly enjoy using this product and it comes highly recommended on my list. My only con is that the product does not have a ton of slip which I like for my conditioners to have so I can detangle.

To purchase this product check them out on amazon!

Ingredients:

Water

Raw Whole Flaxseed

Organic Coconut Oil

Shea Butter

Avocado Butter

Olive Oil 

Cranberry Seed Oil

Haitian Castor Oil

Organic Coconut Milk

Coconut Cream

Emulsifying Wax

DL-Pathenol (Provitamin B5)

Potassium Sorbate

Fragrance

 

Product Rundown and Review | B&HF Extensions Hair Crush Products

All products were sent to me for use and review however, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

A complete rundown of all the awesome products by B&HF Extensions.

A complete rundown of all the awesome products by B&HF Extensions.

As you guys have probably noticed my hairstyle has been very different as of late. If you follow me on YouTube or Instagram then you probably saw that I have been working with a pretty dope company called B&HF Extensions. B&HF Extensions is a small black owned business based in Georgia that exclusively supplies Premium Peruvian Hair. I have done several reviews and tutorials of their hair on my channel but today I want to showcase their awesome hair care products.

B&HF Extensions has a full line of hair care products that are great for your own hair AND your hair extensions. 

First and foremost I have to say that all of these products are salon quality. You will not find anything similar at the drugstore or Target for a similar price. The line ranges from your shampoo and conditioner (as well as a co wash) to heat protectant and a life giving shine serum. Everything smells amazing but the scent is not over powering and when using the products all together you will not smell like you dumped a bottle of perfume on yourself. The shampoo, co wash, and leave in conditioner have worked wonders on my natural hair and I have found myself rationing the product to hold on to it for a little while longer.

The products that I have been using mainly for my hair extensions are the Blowing Kisses Heat Activated Thermal Protect Spray, Kandy Kisses Spray Laminate, Silk Nectar Shine Serum. These products have kept all of my units looking fresh and helped protect the color that I applied.

My favorite products from the line are the leave in conditioner (which says quite a bit seeing as I normally don't like spray leave in conditioners), the Incredible Moisturizing Shampoo,  and the shine serum. That being said, all of the products are simply amazing and come highly recommended by mw. If you would like to purchase the products check out the B&HF Hair Extensions site here.

Let me know if you guys are interested in trying these products!

Joelle

How To: Go Blonde Like a Pro

Going blonde is simple; all you need is time, patience, and a ton of product.

How to go blonde, step by step

How to go blonde, step by step

First and foremost, I will say that I do not suggest doing this on your own hair. The hair that I lifted and colored is from B&HF Extensions. I lifted and colored three bundles and one closure of their Premium Peruvian Loose Wave Hair prior to installing the hair to create a wig. The entire process took me about 8 hours which was spread out over several days. I would suggest doing this over several days so as not to over stress the hair.

In order to complete this look you will need the large bucket (yes I said bucket) of BW2 Pure White Lightening Powder, 20 and 30 Volume Developer (I used the Clairol Flare 20 Volume and a generic 30 Volume from my local beauty supply store), and hair color to be used after you lift the hair to tone down the brass (Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and 9 A and Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum). You will also need a mixing bowl, a baby whisk (I'm pretty sure that's not the technical name but this is my blog and I do what I want), a color brush, hair foils, and something to protect your tables/ floors like some old news paper or plastic bags.

To start this process off I mixed three scoops of the BW2 lightening powder with about three and a half scoops of the 30 volume developer and mixed it together with my baby whisk. The cream should have the smooth consistency of pancake batter.

Quick Tip: Wear long sleeves and pants so as not to irritate your skin like I did and be sure to wear clothes that you don't really care about like I didn't. Basically do as I say and not as I do.

I started with the bundle that I wanted to be the darkest which would be on the bottom layer of my hair. I applied my mixture to the hair starting from the ends working my way up to the weft so as not to create an uneven color. After I was finished applying the product to the entire bundle I wrapped the hair in foil (not kitchen foil, go ahead and spend the coins at the Beauty Supply for actual hair foil) and let it process for 10 minutes. The result should be a very pretty and rich dark brown color.You will now need to rinse, shampoo, and condition the hair.  At this point you can blow dry the hair or let it air dry in preparation of the second process. for the second process I wanted to create some highlights and an ombre effect. Why? Because I'm extra. Y'all know this. I mixed together my lightening powder with a twenty volume developer this time and pulled aside some small and random pieces where I wanted the hair to be highlighted. After applying the product on my highlights I brushed the creme about halfway up the remainder of the bundle to create an ombre look. I let this hair process for about twenty minutes before rinsing, shampooing and conditioning.

Quick tip: To create a natural looking ombre as opposed to a straight across line you can either slightly tease the hair or apply the product in upward strokes.

After washing and conditioning the bundle I used a deep treatment by Doo Gro to revive the hair.

I repeated this process on the remaining bundles but I let the hair process for about 30 minutes for the first process and I used 30 volume developer when lifting for the highlights and ombre. This made the bundles much lighter than the first one which was what I was going for.

In order to remove any brassy tones from lifting the hair, it's necessary to tone OR deposit a color on top of the hair. I chose to put a color as toning needs to be retouched more often the color. For the darker bundle I used the Loreal Preference 8 1/2 A and left it on for about 40 minutes. For the lighter bundles and closure I used Loreal Feria Absolute Platinum which I placed on the ends and applied to certain strands to get MORE highlights (again, I'm extra). On the remainder of the hair I used the Loreal Preference 9A. This created gorgeous highlights and an amazing ombre as well as a beautiful overall color. Using the three bundles and a closure I created a wig unit.

As I said the entire process took be about 8 hours over a period of four days. It is extremely time consuming but well worth it in my opinion. The hair from BHF Extensions lifted AND colored beautifully and I'm extremely happy with the results.

I hope this was helpful for you guys!

Kisses,

Joelle

Why You Should Slather Yourself in Coffee

Drinking coffee may give you the bubble guts, but rubbing it on your body has a few benefits.

O I already over shared a little bit in the opening but seriously coffee wreaks havoc on my stomach. It's awful. That being said, coffee has some amazing skin benefits you should probably know about. 

Learn how to make you own coffee body scrub here!

Okay so now that you've seen mellow like a contestant on naked and afraid AND learned how to make your own body scrub let's talk about why this stuff is awesome sauce.

Coffee has some amazing skin benefits. First and foremost it is a great and gentle exfoliant. Exfoliation is so important especially if you want to look younger and brighter but you want to make sure that you're not using something that is too rough on your skin. For me, coffee is the perfect middle ground and I definitely look brighter after using it. The caffeine in coffee also promotes cell regeneration and circulation. It's an all around win!

Now let's talk about the olive oil. The Holy Grail (after coconut oil of course) enhances exfoliation so it's a dream team when combined with coffee grounds. And after use, you won't have nasty clogged pores just beautiful glowy skin.

I really just added coconut oil because I like it but it also has properties that will enhance your natural beauty. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer which will leave your skin nice and hydrated. BUT be careful not to use too much because it can clog your pores and cause acne. Coconut oil is also a natural antibacterial which will help your scrub keep longer if you don't use it all at once.

Random: I once went on a date with a guy who had an obsession with honey. I knew as soon as he told me that that he was not The One. Weird food fetishes aside, honey is pretty great for you skin. Honey is actually a natural antibacterial as well and can help prevent acne. Along with all of these other ingredients, honey helps to give you a natural and youthful glow.

Hopefully I've convinced you to start incorporating a coffee scrub into your beauty routine! Now tell me, what is your favorite beauty ritual?

 

 

Bad Girls Do It Better?

Why am I holding on to this wall? I don't know

Why am I holding on to this wall? I don't know

Bloggers love to look at their feet

Bloggers love to look at their feet

I recently did a video collab with an awesome Youtuber named Jennyfer Ross. By recently, I mean today, as in it just went up. I'll have the video down below. Because I love ya. Any who, Jennyfer had the awesome to do kind of a bad girl look and I loved it! The idea is a bit of departure from my style because I generally have a more subdued style. I occasionally am afraid to play with different aesthetics because I already know what "works" for me. But why not step outside the box and have a little fun? What do you guys like to wear when you want to cut loose and change it up?