Spa Time With Taitu’s Botanicals! (Black Owned)

Taitu's Botanicals, product review, all natural bodycare, the little in jen that could blog
Since focusing more on skincare and clean beauty, I’ve been introduced to so many amazing brands that are aligned with what I look for in an all natural regimen.  When I was contacted to do a review for Taitu’s Botanicals, I was beyond excited. You may or may not know about my obsession with skincare and body care, but I will readily jump at an opportunity to indulge in some “me time” and pamper myself with some yummy natural products. Give me all the body butters!
As I began researching, I actually grew interested in the brand’s history and desire to not only create these products, but to educate their audience about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle as well. Inspired by Ethiopia, Taitu’s Botanicals is an organic, vegan herbal body care line that offers deluxe body care, health and wellness products. This Black owned brand has been featured in a number of publications, including POP SUGAR and Beauty Undercover. I was sent two products from the Ginger Lime line– a body wash and a moisture cream (creme). Read on for my thoughts!
Taitu Botanicals, product review, all natural bodycare, the little in jen that could blog
The Taitu’s Botanicals Ginger Lime body wash combines some of my favorite beauty staples with ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, coconut oil and olive oil. I wasn’t crazy about the fragrance mixture of rosemary, lime and ginger (if you’re looking for something to wake you up in the morning– this is it!) but the scent doesn’t linger after rinsing.  Just as I would expect from an all natural sulfate free wash, it produces a nice, light lather and glides on the skin beautifully.
Taitu Botanicals, product review, all natural bodycare, the little in jen that could blog
It is light and runny so I did feel as though I had to reapply more than I normally would, but this totally could have been because I’m used to thicker body washes. I had no problems with my skin feeling dry or parched afterwards so that is absolutely a plus for me!
Taitu Botanicals, product review, all natural bodycare, the little in jen that could blog

The moisture cream/creme is such a treat! The all-star of this duo, its the perfect finisher for the spa experience because it’s rich and creamy but moisturizing enough to leave your skin satisfied.

Taitu's Botanicals, product review, all natural bodycare, the little in jen that could blog

It follows the same fragrance as the body wash, but it doesn’t have rosemary so it isn’t as pungent. This product is rightfully called a moisture cream (as opposed to a body butter) and it provides the perfect consistency for application. The incentive? It leaves your skin hydrated without a heavy feeling or leaving behind an oily residue. When I find something I like I tend to try saving it for use in small increments if possible. As much as I enjoyed using this for my full body, I’m definitely designating this as my hand and foot cream after my at home spa treatments!! Yees for this moisture cream!

 A BIG thank you Rivi and Taitu’s Botanicals for introducing me to their brand and sponsoring this post!

  I love trying new products but most of all I love sharing them with you all. Don’t forget to share the love head over to the Taitu’s Botanicals website. I already have my eye on a few of their candles and body butters!
Thank you for reading, loves.
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How To: Self Care Productively and Make the Most of “Me Time”

Hi loves,

I an important question for you. How do you take care of yourself? Here are a few of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy time with myself … productively. Please enjoy my video below. Don’t worry, my words are coming very soon!

I thank you for watching and I hope you’re able to take the time to do something for yourself, by yourself today!

 

Xo.

Jen

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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)

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

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

moisturizing fine hair, natural hair, moisture retention, the little in jen that could blog, protective styling, mini twists, twists

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

natural, simple skincare, natural skincare hacks, beauty hacks,

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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All Natural Personal Hygiene Favorites (October 2016)

organic beauty, all natural beauty, all natural personal hygiene products, green beauty, october favorites

I’m so excited to be building my collection of natural/organic products and these are some of the products I’ve started with. (Aside from my oils, and DIY practices that I’ve been using for years.) Though this isn’t a “haul”, these are true products I’ve been using to date and I can’t wait to try and share more finds!

I hope you enjoy this video loves. I wanted to keep it as light and natural as possible, in light of my purpose of making these lifestyle changes. The frightful truth is, choosing to use products laden with toxins, chemicals and parabens makes us susceptible to cancer and other serious health risks, and that is not something I am going to allow my family to be vulnerable to. I am making an effort to make cleaner, healthier changes for myself and my family because our health is all that we have. For more information about parabens and your health, I absolutely urge you to do your research, just as I’m continuing to do so.

 

 

Featured Products:

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant (Chamomile and Green Tea)

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Toothpaste

Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap (Peppermint)

 

Are you using anything natural or organic in your beauty regimen? Share your favorites with me!

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My Fall Beauty Advice is Featured on Well and Good (.com)!

step ten pic 2 -sasha obama updo-the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles

The only thing more exciting about the editor of  Well and Good (wellness website) contacting me for an interview on beauty tips, is seeing how great it all came together. I’m so excited to be featured on their website in an article geared for fall beauty. This article is packed with DIY beauty rituals from myself and two other beauty bloggers that know the power of a few great hacks to take your beauty game to the next level. Please check it out and share this one with a friend!
www.wellandgood.com/good-l…/lip-care-rituals-at-home/slide/2

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Side Swept (Flat Twist) Updo |Hair of the Day

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

September 21, 2016. No fancy pictorial or tutorial today boos, just a simple “hair of the day” post. This style came off the top of the dome, when I began styling my hair and realized how much I hated one side. Enter the side swept 80’s (flat twist) updo.

Products used:

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly by Curls

My hair was styled on an old wash and go. Previous products used were As I Am Leave in conditioner and Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles
sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

sideswept updo, flat twist, natural hair, natural hair blog, coily hair, the little in jen that could blog, natural hair styles, protective styles

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