Beauty with a Purpose: Heritage 1933 (Review)

heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

I am in love with this brand and it’s products but it is the mission that won my heart.

When I discovered Heritage 1933 on social media, I fell in love with their aesthetic, dope product names, and beautiful packaging. This BLACK OWNED beauty brand (with gorgeous flat lays) was making it’s way all over my feed and I was intrigued by every single product they advertised. When I caught wind of a sale, I ran over to purchase a beauty box and decided to read up on the backstory of the company. As I learned that founder LaToya Thompson made a promise to give back to help women and children in local shelters with every product purchased, I knew I HAD to tell her how she touched my heart. I have such a heart for giving and helping, and I’ve been eager to see opportunities like this arise in my community. Seeing this spoke to me.

I reached out to her to tell her that I loved her story and where she is heading. Not fishing for anything or asking for free products. I’m truly inspired by her work and her mission, and I wanted to reach out and let her know that she has my support.  Genuinely from one black creative to another. Graciously I was offered an opportunity to introduce you to the products below (which I chose out of genuine interest to try and review) and I couldn’t be more excited to share them with you! (Keep reading for a fun coupon code!)

Friends, I want you to get to know Heritage 1933.

O.M.G Seal & Moisturizing Oil

Heritage 1933- Black owned- natural hair blog- natural beauty- the little in jen that could blog-omg oil
Photo credit: Heritage 1933 on Instagram

The name of this oil is completely fitting. My scalp rejoices after every use because this oil is lightweight, moisturizing, and SO invigorating. If you’ve read previous posts about my favorite oils, you know how I feel about jojoba (liquid gold) and almond oil in my skin AND hair care regimen. The OMG oil contains these two, in addition to other gems like olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and castor oil (to name a few). Heritage 1933 has created an oil dream team right here.

I’ve been using my O.M.G. oil for scalp massages since transforming my pre-poo sessions into opportunities for “pampering time”, and BAY-BEH. Instant vacation. With the help of it’s herbal extracts like peppermint oil, tea tree oil– and even rosemary needles– it stimulates blood circulation, helps relieve my (often) dry, itchy scalp, and really makes my hair SHINE. Of course I’ve found a way to incorporate this oil into my skin care regimen too, by way of face massages and occasionally removing my makeup. I’m considering buying several travel sizes of this oil and gifting them to my family because it is THAT good. I can’t keep this to myself!

heritage 1933- black owned- beauty- the little in jen that could blog-omg oil
Pictured here is the travel size OMG oil from my Beauty Box purchase. Do you see those beautiful herbs at the bottom? So dreamy!

 

And I Don’t Care: Whipped Hair and Body Moisturizing Butter

I spilled the beans about this amazing butter in an Instagram post recently. I couldn’t help myself. This butter is without a doubt one of the best body butters I’ve used on my skin. I look forward to having my relaxing showers and calming baths, but as of late I’ve secretly been enjoying them SO much more because I know this treat waits for me at the end of them. (Yes, I use it every night!)

body butter close up, heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

Light and airy, this butter is whipped so it’s super easy to apply and massage into the skin. The texture is uniform which makes it easy to apply without having to worry about flakes or chunks of solid pieces left in certain places.

body butter texture- heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

I love the feel of this butter just as much as I love it’s tropical fragrance. If a mojito and a mango Pina colada had a baby, it would be this heavenly concoction! Ironically, the initial scent is that of eucalyptus, reminiscent of Noxzema (which is super nostalgic for me because I have always LOVED that classic scent). Once I applied it to my skin, however, the fragrance transformed and really won me over!

 

Me Time: Dead Sea Salt Soak

I really wish I could get lost in a good soak more often. I’d love to take advantage of candle lit baths and get through a few chapters of a great book while I soak my sore muscles or meditate and plot on ways to take over the world. Realistically, my bath to shower ratio is embarrassing these days. I am working on that, and this bath salt is going to help me get there. It is just what I’ve been needing on those days when I have more on my mind than time to let it out. I’ve literally been laying in this tub of eucalyptus /lavender scented water, loving how awesome it makes my body feel.

me time- heritage 1933- black owned- beauty- the little in jen that could blog

sea salt texture- heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

If you’re worried about the size of the crystal-like salts, don’t worry– they do dissolve. If you are still skeptical, I would suggest using a cheese cloth or tea diffuser to contain the salts in one place. This method makes for an easier clean up too.

If you have long days like I tend to, this soak is the perfect way to end your night peacefully. Romantically. Trust me. Lord knows I need this detox and stress relief more often.

Heritage 1933 has proven to be one of my favorite Black owned AND all around beauty brands. There are times when I praise social media for introducing me to such awesome brands/companies and people that truly bring value and positivity to our community and this is definitely one of those times. A BIG thank you to LaToya and the Heritage 1933 family for this opportunity!

To shop these products and the rest of the Heritage 1933 products, please check out their website: http://www.heritage1933.com/ I’ve even got a special discount code for you boos– Use code ” JENISALLWRITE ” to save money on your purchase!

Xo.

heritage 1933 beauty box- heritage 1933-black owned brands-beauty-the little in jen that could blog

(Note: The photo above is of the beauty box (#2) that I purchased before being sent these products. Look at how beautiful the packaging is!)

 

This is a sponsored post but let’s be clear. I ONLY recommend brands that I genuinely like and use myself. This is absolutely one of them.

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All Hail! The St. Ives Coconut Oil Scrub is here! (Review)

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st ives scrub, coconut oil scrub, st. ives scrub review

When I was given the opportunity by Influenster to try the St. Ives Coconut Oil scrub before it hit the stores (in early January 2017) I was super excited! A fan of the popular St. Ives Apricot scrub (since probably high school?) I love that the brand decided to expand and offer not only a new fragrance/ingredient combination, but a new consistency that also offers all natural ingredients!

It promises:

Suitable for all skin types

Dermatologist tested. Paraben free. (Yaay!)

Does not contain Animal Ingredients

Made with 100% natural exfoliants

Non-comedogenic

Boasting “soft, smooth, radiant skin,” the Exfoliate and Nourish scrub is a gel with gentle exfoliating particles (of coconut shell) that polish your skin as it cleanses. In comparison to the original Apricot scrub, this exfoliant is definitely more gentle. (Check out the texture differences below.)

st ives scrub, coconut oil scrub, st. ives scrub review, texture closeup

st ives scrub, coconut oil scrub, st. ives scrub review

I love that this scrub gives you the feeling of exfoliation without feeling harsh, abrasive or drying. As grapeseed oil is the first ingredient in this scrub, it is such an incentive– and just as the name implies, it DOES nourish your skin.  Upon rinsing I was left with clean, supple skin and a beautiful healthy glow. This would ideally be the place where I would insert a photo of my skin after using it, but of course I was too captivated to remember to do so.

TIP: The directions suggest applying and massaging onto DRY skin, then adding water to allow it to emulsify. The scrub turns a white, creamy color and consistency. I’m usually bad with reading directions but in this case I’m happy I did because I imagine I’d have a different experience otherwise!

I’m happy to add this to my current favorites for a healthy skincare regimen. I do however, think it’s equally important to note that this has not replaced my face cleanser. Though I’m sure that this scrub is gentle enough for daily use, I plan to use it a few times a week!

Boos, have you seen this scrub in your local stores yet?

 

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Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel: Review

Friends, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite gels for sleek edges and a super defined (but soft) wash and go. Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling gel is one of the best gels I have used on my curls.

Aunt Jackie's flaxseed gel, natural hair blog, aunt jackies curls and coils, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair

Pros

Enriched with flaxseed which is best for helping with thinning, shedding, and hair breakage, this gel is one of a kind. The texture is beautiful– not tacky or sticky– and it leaves my hair super soft, moisturized, and full of volume. This is a big deal for me because as a natural with fine hair, I run into so many products that weigh my hair down and leave my curls looking like dried out spaghetti noodles. I love the body and movement that I’m able to achieve using this gel, and though I may experience a bit of frizz (due to the high glycerin content) I embrace every bit of it because my hair really looks beautiful.

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sear and mommy, Aunt Jackie's flaxseed gel, natural hair blog, aunt jackies curls and coils, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair, curly hair

I use this gel on my hair and J’s hair, and I feel comfortable doing so because it isn’t heavy or harsh. I haven’t experienced flaking, and when I use it for my edges, my hair is actually pliable/flexible the next day. Have you ever had edges that looked like they were superglued onto the side of your head? Not cute.

As with many of the Aunt Jackie’s products I’ve tried, this gel smells delicious (like fruit punch) and is pretty inexpensive at  $9.99 for 15 ounces.

Cons

The high glycerin content (it is the second ingredient) is forcing me to use less of this gel during the cooler, dryer months so I haven’t been using it as often as I’d like as a “winter” wash and go styler.  I also wish I could rely on this gel as the styler for my dry, stretched styles but I’ve only tried it once and I lost my style/shape once it met the Florida humidity.

 

The Truth

This gel has helped me see my hair in a way I didn’t think was possible because of the experiences I’ve had with so many other products. Though my hair is super coily and shrinks up to more than half it’s length, I get a crazy amount of elongation, or “hang time” when I use this gel and I can’t get over how many days I can stretch a wash and go! Hallelujah! By the way, have you seen my sleek low bun tutorial? Guess what amazing product I can credit for helping me slick those curls down? Yep! New boo. I’m so in love.

I’d like to thank Aunt Jackie’s for gifting me with TWO jars of this gem. Of course I’ll be replenishing when I start to run low because I’ve already added this gel to my list of favorite products!

Talk to me, what is your favorite styling product?

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TGIN Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner Review

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TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo

This shampoo? This one takes the cake. After my first use, I knew I had to add this awesome product to my staples list. I cannot get over how incredible this shampoo smells, in addition to how fluid and silky smooth it felt in my hair. I just want to emphasize that. The slip is out of this world! As most shampoos leave my hair dry, parched, and feeling stripped, this moisture rich shampoo left my hair feeling clean but hydrated. I love the fact that I’ve cut down on my wash time because I don’t have to wash in several sections to prevent tangled, matted hair. (Yes, the slip is THAT great!)

 

TGIN Moisture Rich Replenishing Conditioner

The moisture rich conditioner wasn’t a love at first use experience for me. Well technically it was upon my first use, but when I initially saw how thick it was, I wasn’t interested in proceeding. I had run into this problem before with a lot of natural hair conditioners where it was so thick that I wasn’t able to thoroughly detangle my hair or get a good “lather”. I was afraid this conditioner would fall into that space, falling short of it’s promises.

Thank God we are taught not to judge a book by it’s cover.

This conditioner is a bit deceiving at first because it definitely takes a bit of work to get it out of the bottle. Immediately upon rubbing it between my fingers– and eventually in my hair– I noticed how slippery and creamy but LIGHT it was. Another delicious smelling product from the line, I loved taking in the fragrance as I took the time to work this product in to detangle my curls. It won me over for having excellent slip as I was eventually able to detangle my hair with ease, but even more so because of how soft, shiny, and mobile it left my hair. Mobile? Yes, my curls were blowing in the wind. My curls were hydrated and moisturized but they weren’t weighed down or coated. My hair felt… happy. (Peep the video below for a look at how bouncy and happy my curls were.)

natural hair, tgin, tgin moisture rich, the little in jen that could,

natural hair, tgin, tgin moisture rich, the little in jen that could,

I’m kicking myself for not trying TGIN sooner. I can’t believe how beautifully they performed in my wash day routine! These two have brought so much spunk and LIFE to my curls, and I’m so happy they are a part of my staples family now. Welcome home boos.

 

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Post Partum Shedding on Natural Hair: How I Survived (and you will too)

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In July I posted about my experience with post partum shedding, in which I vented about losing my hair after having my son.  Now that THAT ship is farther off in the distance, I thought it was absolutely necessary for me to share my advice on pushing through such a trying time.

 

1. Don’t panic. Post-partum shedding is completely normal. The rapid hair loss, shedding, and thinning are frustrating. Shocking. Scary. Embarrassing– and a slew of other adjectives which should be followed by a series of exclamation marks. Please promise me you won’t make any rash decisions or take drastic measures out of frustration. The last place you want to find yourself is on your closet floor having a meltdown at 4am because you just hacked off all of your hair because it wouldn’t stop falling out. (If we were playing a game of “Never Have I Ever” this would be my opportunity to take a sip because that was totally me.) Your hair is taking it’s normal course of adjusting to the changes of your body and hormones over the past year (pregnancy and postpartum) and it’s expecting you to make that transition easier. I know it is so much easier said than done, but try your best to stay CALM. Now is your opportunity to delve into a bit of research, speak with a health care professional, and/or make a few changes to make the next few months easier to tolerate.

2. Take care of your hair. Then leave it alone. During this transitional period, your hair is exceptionally fragile and vulnerable to breakage. The last thing you want to do is create bigger problems by over manipulating your hair or not allowing it to rest. Don’t neglect your hair, but don’t smother it. Baby your hair. Opt for low manipulation hairstyles and avoid styles that cause stress and tension to your edges and the length of your hair. Wash, condition, deep condition, style, and keep it moving. (I relied on a lot of twists and head wraps/ turbans to keep my hair tucked away and my mind off of my hair.)  Continue taking your prenatal vitamins, drinking plenty of water, and keep your hair happy– but leave it alone!

3. Time heals all. Research has shown that post-partum shedding typically lasts an average of three months. When you are dealing with something as traumatic as hair loss, that seems like FOREVER. Trust me, I know. As cliche as it sounds, you have to remember that this is only temporary, and that the worse of this phase will NOT last forever. Continue following your healthy hair and lifestyle routine and TRY to focus on taking care of yourself rather than counting the hairs on your head. Before you know it, your hair will be back and those edges will be LAID.  Remember: “It will all get better with time.”

These truths probably would have saved me a lot of grief when I initially fell into the dark hole of “post partum shedding.” I hope this has helped you in some way, and I wish you the best of luck on your journey of growth and self care. Above all else, remember that you just made a beautiful human and that alone is worth all the love and care in the world!

July 2016

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 November 2016

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Did you know I have a YouTube channel? Here is my video about surviving postpartum shedding:

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Shimmer and Shine Dress Up/ J’s Halloween 2016 look

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J and I had so much fun creating AND editing this Shimmer and Shine inspired video together. This is BY FAR my favorite video to date.  I just thought I should also mention that this comes with no coaching, practicing, or leading whatsoever. We totally freestyled and this is our first AND ONLY take filming. I loved watching J take the lead, I love my little muffin so much!

We hope you enjoy and thank you for watching!

Xo.

 

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Retaining Moisture for Fine, Low Porosity Hair (+ How to Win at Protective Styling)

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How To Moisturize Fine Hair

Retaining moisture for fine, low porosity hair can be tricky. We seek hair that is healthy and moisturized, but not weighed down and coated. Some products are barely there and do nothing at all, while others just sit on top of our hair and cause it to dry out. Some methods are confusing and some are flat out counter productive.

I’ve realized that the key to retaining moisture in fine, low porosity hair is LIGHT layering. I can’t stress the “light” enough. You want to use products that are moisturizing, but will not coat your hair strands and lead to product buildup. As you can imagine, moisturizing your hair is challenging when it is coated because the products act as a shield, preventing your hair from breathing and of course taking in additional moisture. The result is dry hair, which of course can lead to bigger problems (like breakage and shedding) if left untreated.

My fine haired curlies/naturals, we cannot use heavy products in every step of our styling regimen. Our hair will not thrive in these conditions. In light of this, I have to consciously think about which products to use and when, before styling my hair. If I am using a thick leave in conditioner, I will style with a light gel. If plan on using a heavy styling cream, I’ll opt for a light leave in conditioner. If oil is being added to the equation, it HAS to be a light oil such as jojoba or almond oil.

Some things to consider to help with moisture retention for fine or low porosity hair:

  • Apply your leave in conditioner to wet/damp hair; Styling products to damp/dry hair.
  • Work in sections. I’ve found it best if I work in sections no larger than the palm of my hand. If I can’t fit all of the hair in my hand, I’ll separate and make it smaller. Working in sections is best because it helps ensure your products are evenly distributed (not clumping anywhere) and calls for greater volume when styling.
  • Choose where your “heavier” product will go. Want to use a cream styler? Use a light leave in. Is your favorite leave-in conditioner thick? Opt for a lighter gel to seal it with. Trust me, your hair will thank you for it.

Protective Styling Like a Boss

Keep your light layering technique in mind and install the best style for your lifestyle.

The BEST piece of advice I can offer is– if possible–  work on dry, stretched hair. Although I love my coils, working on stretched hair for styles like twists or braids is optimal because my hair is already detangled and stretched so I’m not fighting against curls and tangles as I work. It also makes for more a more defined style because you’ll only have one curl pattern once the style is complete, not a twist out that coils at the roots or goes in different directions. Unless of course, that is the look you are going for.

Though I once doubted the efficiency (and practicality) of protective styling for my hair, I have to say that because of these tips, I’m a believer. Since I’ve found the best way to keep my hair moisturized while in a protective style, and found the best way to install specific styles for my hair type, my hair journey has reached new levels. I can rock a twist out, ya’ll. This is a big deal!

Did I miss any tips on styling and profiling for fine or low porosity hair? Share your do’s and don’t below!

 

 

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My Simple Skincare Routine and Natural DIY Hacks

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I get a lot of compliments about my skin “glowing” or looking “flawless.” First of all, it isn’t exactly flawless, but THANK YOU. I’ll have to admit, it has been a very long time coming. At one point it got so bad that when I first started dating Nick, his mom went to Sephora and was about to buy a zit zapper for me, but settled on suggesting Proactiv and “advice” on clearing the bumps on my forehead.

I’ve made it through burning my skin using super harsh chemicals, I’ve tried just about everything on the shelves, and I struggled with my confidence for so long because of it.

I’m proud of where I am now, but I’m even happier because my regimen is super simple, cost effective, and HEALTHY!

Remember what we learned when we were kids? Keep it simple, right? Well, that’s exactly how I keep my skin happy, healthy, and CLEAR. Here is my regimen:

1. Oil as a makeup remover. I’ve saved so much money with this simple hack, not to mention it’s super convenient, and all natural.

2. Wash with a gentle cleanser. For the longest time I was convinced that I needed something with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid because of my skin concerns. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with J (and switched to something less harsh in fear of chemicals being absorbed into my body) that I realized my skin could flourish with something gentle. Granted since I’ve gotten older, so much has changed in terms of the way I eat and my water intake now, but it does make me wonder if the skin concerns I had were agitated from my own doing.

3. Apple cider vinegar makes for a wonderful toner/astrigent. Don’t forget to dilute it with water so it isn’t too acidic for your face.

4. Use a lightweight moisturizer. While many use products that contain natural oils, I have found that as of now, an oil free moisturizer works best for me for daily purposes. I also look for a moisturizer that is fragrance free and contains SPF. (Always wear your protection peeps, skin cancer is real!)

5. Aloe is one of my best friends. No lie. Aloe is always there for me. Among other things, I love it’s anti-inflammatory properties which is why I apply it to my face at night, concentrating on problem areas like redness or blemishes I may have. Nine times out of ten I will awake to the problem significantly smaller if not gone completely.

6. Have you been introduced to the magical goodness that is jojoba oil? It is liquid gold, I tell you. I rely on jojoba oil as my first choice makeup remover, a moisturizer for my hair, and I’ve used it on my skin as well (for dry patches, for example). This is without a doubt my favorite oil, and probably the oil I feel MOST confident in using on my face because it is non-comedegenic so it does not clog pores. I will definitely be creating a post of it’s own about this one.

Another one of my favorite tips (not mentioned) is using milk of magnesia as a makeup primer. This is another LIFE CHANGING hack. I’ve never had an issue with my skin breaking out or having an adverse effect, and my makeup really stays put with this primer. I would caution to apply a THIN layer to your face (or just oilier areas), as it is super mattifying and may leave a bit of a white cast on your face. If you are someone who prefers a light to medium coverage, keep this in mind so you can don’t break your arm blending it all in.

I would LOVE to hear your healthy skincare practices. Share below so we can drink from the fountain of youth together! 😉

 

 

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