Having A Natural Option

There are many reasons to go natural. If you didn't know before, one reason is the extensive damage that relaxers a.k.a Creamy Crack can do to our hair over time. One of the main ingredients in relaxers is Sodium Hydroxide, which with repeated or prolonged use/skin contact causes drying, cracking, and inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). Sodium Hydroxide robs black hair of it's natural protein.

The protein that is needed for healthy hair growth and natural moisture. Black hair produces less protein compared to Caucasians and Asians as it is. This often is why black hair stylist advise a once a week hair washing regimen versus daily one. Daily washing would rob black hair of naturally occurring and vital protein. Sodium Hydroxide literally depletes any remaining protein. This why we resort to protein based moisturizers and conditioners to gain that protein loss back.

Making the decision to go natural can be hard decision to make. Some reasons for hesitation can be: That many feel it's a lot of work or we often we think being natural does not provide many versatile options or looks. However, take a look at how my baby sister switches things up a bit with her natural looks below:

1. loose twist out with hair band

2. two strand twist starting from roots for a shorter look

3. Mohawk look achieved with banana clip

4. hair air/blow dried & flat ironed at salon (front)

5. hair air/blow dried & flat ironed at salon (back)

6. braids ext.

7. natural looking half wig

So, go ahead and consider going natural, be versatile. Protect your crown and glory while being beautiful and naturally you!

Argan Oil, A Beauty Regimen Must Have

Bargainista Beauties have you heard of Argan oil? It is new addition to my beauty regimen. Argan oil is a Moroccan oil made from the nuts of the Argan tree. It grows almost exclusively in Morocco. This oil is said to have restorative as well as age-defying effects. It is remarkably higher in vitamin E and essential fatty acids than most vitamin E based oils. Argan oil is believed to cure skin conditions such as dry skin, acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles. It can be used on the hair and scalp as well. Argan oil contains phytosterols, which are excellent in healing scar tissue.

I like Argan oil because it is lustrous and rich. It absorbs easily into the skin. I have seen improvement in my skin overall, visually and texture wise. The only drawback about Argan oil is that pure Argan oil isn’t economical like other vitamin E based oils. However, a little does go a long way and should last you for some time. I feel it’s a bargain compared to high-end moisturizers that we are not sure what the results will bring.

Tip: Once I find out that an ingredient or product is good, I look for the pure concentration of it. I tend to stay away from store products that claim to have the ingredient in question included. Reason being, is that it often has a minimal amounts included. Basically it’s not enough to get the results that we are often seeking.

I got my Argan oil at Whole Foods. I brought my 3.38 fl. oz. bottle of AAA Sh AAA Shea Butter’s organic virgin cold pressed Argan oil Shea Butter’s organic virgin cold pressed Argan oil for $24.99. Try it out Bargainista Beauties and come back and leave a comment telling what you think of this amazing oil.

A Return to Ones Natural Roots Part II

cont. from A Return to Ones Natural Roots Part I
For the most part I use 85% natural products on my hair. They just seem to respond better than store brought products. Trust me; I have tried just about everything. What works for most don’t seem to work for me. I like to wash and condition my hair with:

Shampoo Conditioning Regimen
-Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo (not all natural but nice)
-Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner (not all natural but nice)


-KeraCare’s Dry Itchy Scalp Shampoo (not natural but stimulates scalp)
-KeraCare’s Humecto Crème Conditioner (not natural, extreme moisturizing)

In order to keep my scalp moisturized I make a hair cocktail which consist of a mixture of:

Scalp Moisturizing Regimen

-Shea butter
-Castor oil
-Avocado oil
-Coconut oil

I use this mixture to condition my scalp. I also like using Haitian Castor oil (L’Huile Mascreti).I use this when ever I can get some from my Grand-mère Lily or when someone is coming in from Haiti. Many don’t like the smell but it has been used in Haiti for many years to grow hair and is also used as a healing massage oil as well. I don’t mind the smell it is nostalgic for me. I use either concoction whenever my scalp begins to get dry or is needed.

Moisturizing along with protective measures is really the key to growing our hair. Some women of color have hair that creates natural oils, so not as much moisturizing is needed. Many women have naturally thick strong hair that withstands chemicals and heat, while others like me have hair that’s more fragile and prone to breakage. For a deep conditioning I like to use this natural concoction every 2 weeks or once a month:

Deep Moisturizing Regimen

-1 Raw Egg
-3 Table spoons of Mayonnaise
-1 Table spoon of Olive Oil

Next, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Apply to hair and put a plastic conditioning cap over your hair for (30 min, 1 hr or overnight your choice) then wash and condition your hair as usual. On the last rinse use cold water to close the cuticles (another tip my Sis Monique gave me). Massage your scalp with the Scalp Moisturizing Regimen noted above. This will help with blood flow and good circulation which aids in hair growth and it really relaxes you at the same time.
(Alt.) Sometimes while my hair is wet, I sometimes like to gently rub IC Hair Polisher (with Aloe) or Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Oil. It smells great, leaves my ends soft and it has a self heating effect (added conditioning).

Final Tips

Comb natural hair when it’s wet and with a wide tooth comb
Starting from the ends first then working towards the roots last.
Avoid unnecessary heat like blow dryers simply air dry hair.
Avoid products that contain petroleum/mineral oil as they clog pores.
Use protective styling like: braids or a loose bun if your hair is long enough.
Sleep with a Satin Bonnet to protect hair.

A Return to Ones Natural Roots Part I

I covered this in My "Verve of Reflections" blog previously. However, I felt the need to share it here with my Barginista Beauties that are possibly may be in need of a good hair care regimen. This hair care regimen mostly consist of natural products as well a salon products. It can be used on both natural and chemically treated hair.

Being a woman with a Caribbean heritage and just like any other woman of color, our hair is truly our crown and glory. It allows us to express who we our and put a spotlight on our natural beauty. Since I often use my hair to creatively express myself why not share my hair transition journey on “Verve Reflections”.

My first Beauticians were My Mom, my sister Monique (who both are wonderfully skilled and licensed) and me the Kitchen Beautician. I experimented with color, cuts and styles that I often picked up from watching them and style magazines. My final obsession was my addiction for hair extensions. I just simply liked the dramatic "Diva" effect it instantly gave me. It also appeared to be an easy solution for me, so I thought. In the end my hair paid the price. So to a semi weave rehab I went (will explain later).

My chemically treated hair was always dry yet coarse and soft at the same time thus, leaving it an extremely fragile type 4. My hair grows pretty fast, that was not the problem. It was after perming, coloring and weaving my hair would break just as fast as the new growth would come in. So therefore, I would never be able to retain any real length for long. Here I am now in my 30's I decided to go natural, I did the big chop and chopped it all off February of this year. It's growing nicely; visually you can't tell much because with natural hair you tend to have a lot of curly shrinkage. I have a little bit more than a teeny weeny Afro.

Moving forward, I am quite surprised by the condition of my scalp no more excessive dandruff. My hair that was always so dry no matter what product I tried now retains moisture. My hair that I thought was so coarse is starting to develop an interesting soft curl pattern (as long as I keep it moisturized).

Maintaining natural hair can be a lot of work in the beginning for some. Basically until you figure out what works for you. As time goes by it becomes really easier and less expensive than your once before chemically treated hair. Now, to explain my semi weave rehab, I still happily sport a nice curly hair ext or half wig now and then while I'm in my hair transitioning or transformation stage.

In the post to follow I will share my hair care regimen......
In the post to follow I will share my hair care regimen......

Back to the Basics Skincare with iherb

Keeping yourself beautiful comes easy for some and requires a bit effort for others. Whatever may be the case, we all require proper maintenance to upkeep all the gorgeousness. We can project that flawless type beauty by following a proper diet, proper skin care and all around upkeep from head to toe. A beautiful truly woman knows how to take care of herself emotionally, internally and externally.

First and foremost keep stress levels down. Stress can cause premature aging, weight gain (especially in waistline region) and other health issues. A true Diva knows not to sweat the small stuff and will not let anything or anyone rain on her parade or stop her party.

Second, make sure you take multivitamins and try your best to eat the fresh fruit and vegetables daily. It really does wonders for your energy levels, your complexion, your mood and not to mention help with maintaining your health and figure.

Third, it is never too early to start a skin care regimen that will pay off in years to come. Remember the more natural the products the better. Better because, chemicals do have an effect overtime. Better because, when something is natural you get a concentrated dose of its antioxidant benefits. A lot of expensive brands only have small doses of the actual items that have real benefit. Here are just some natural things I like to use:

100 % pure vitamin E (on my skin/hair as a moisturizer).

100 % Avocado Oil (on my skin/hair as a conditioner/moisturizer).

100 % Vegetable Glycerin (on my skin/hair as a moisturizer).

100 % Castor Oil (on my hair as a moisturizer).

As a first time customer and a Bargainista Beauty reader you can save $5.00 0ff your first order by using code SOH063 when you order. This special does not expire. $5 savings off your first order. iherbs.com has top brand name products, huge selection, expedited shipping and easy re-ordering. I like iherbs.com because they always have great prices, free samples and the opportunity to earn money towards your next order by simply telling others about them.

Miss Jackson Is Going Bazaar

Janet, the baby sister of the Jackson family is taking control once again. She is back in the studio, recreating an old formula that seems to work for her by joining up with Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. She took part in a amazing tribute to her late brother Michael Jackson at the MTV awards tonight. She looked very much like the Janet we all know and love. In the September issue of Bazaar Magazine Janet brings old Hollywood and Glam back in this photo shoot. I'm just loving the style and grace!

New Music From Keri Hilson

Hi, Bargainistas! As you know fashion goes hand and hand with some good mood lifting music. Music, that puts you in the right frame of mind to get you inspired and do big things. So I thought I would share some new music from:



Produced by: Timbaland

Preview & Download Link:

Brow Definition for a Flawless Look

As a true Diva it is always important to make sure that you are on point from head to toe. How you present yourself is key. Keep in my mind your perception of yourself can often be a little different than how others perceive you. When you wear your make-up, style your hair and put together your look for the day always make sure everything is together no matter what your given style is. Whether you are going for a glamorous look or a casual laid back look there is no excuse for not looking your best.

When it comes to a make-up option I can’t seem to simply go without, it is shaping and enhancing my eyebrows. Shaping and enhancing my eyebrows instantaneously improves the way I look and gives me a clean put together look. Without this self induced enhancement one can often appear pale or even sick.

Beautifully shaped eyebrows are equivalent to adding an elegant picture frame to a nice picture in my opinion. When brows are shaped and enhanced correctly, they frame the eyes flawlessly. Many do not realize that the first thing that people notice on the face is generally the eyes and the brows surrounding them. Take a look at the before and after pic and see the difference for yourself.

• Use black/brown brow shadow for a softer, natural look.
• Angled brushes work best at achieving a professional look.
• Apply brow shadow dry or wet brow brush for a darker finish
• Thinner shaped brows look more natural, be sure not to go too thin.

The diagram shows the accurate measurement of how one should create the perfect brow line, along with the shape options. If the brows are arched and colored in the wrong way it can give you a pre-define mood. Avoid arching eyebrows that give the appearance of an angry brow shape. Avoid brows that give you an instant clown/Ronald McDonald look.

Never shave off your eyebrows in order to draw them back in. If you have thin or very light colored eyebrows then you may want to enhance the appearance by using brow shadow. If you have thick eyebrows simply shape them according to your desired shape.

There are many hair removal methods that you use to shape your brows. Removing the entire hair follicle from the root is always best and last longer with methods like: waxing, sugaring tweezing and threading. If either of these methods is too painful, you can use a more short term method like brow shapers. Brow shapers require more maintenance because the hairs grow back fast. The most beautiful women have well defined brows. The right brow shape can dramatically make a difference in the way you look. So keep it fresh and flawless everytime!

Bargainista Best on E.L.F for Sept.

E.l.f. has some amazing deals for September. E.L.F. always have tons of beauty options for less. There is no reason why a Bargainista should skimp on beauty as E.L.F. is around. Below are this month's deals that you can click on for added savings. Hurry while the current deals last.

Click above for $2 shipping site wide, use code 2ship with any order of $25

free flip flops
End Summer with a bang and get yourself a pair of free Flip Flops & light pink nail polish with any order clicking above and using coupon code: Flops

Do you love Mineral Make-up?E.L.F. has 25% off their line. Click above and use code: EGMINERALC with any order of $25

Buy any eyeliner and get a Duo Eyeshadow Free! Use code: Liner *for a limited time only

Spend $15, and get 2 sets of false eyelashes & 1 black liquid eyeliner free! click above for offer code: Spooky *for a limited time only

Dot's Sale & Virtual Fashion World Preview

Dot's has a Buy 2, get 1 FREE Sale going on now! For more details click here. While you are there be sure to check out Dot's fabulous virtual fashion world. Dot's now allows you to become your personal Stylist/Designer at Dots.com. You can do so by signing up for your own personal Dots Lookbook. With a passport to Dot's online Lookbook you can put together a look that's fierce, fashionable and affordable with just a touch of a keystroke.
"Design the ultimate pretty party look, or go cute and casual for a day of shopping with the girls - whatever, wherever, however you want". -Dot's

You can create an ideal virtual dream closet with Dots.com. You can peruse through the new collection and select the appealing pieces that just speaks to you. Select your must haves and put it together on your blank body form and voilà! Put together a style and signature look from head-to-toe. A look that you can select on your own or get inspired by viewing Lookbooks created by other Fashion Bargainistas like yourself. You even have the option of letting the fashion critic in you come out by rating the Lookbooks of others as well. So go ahead, visit Dot's where there is always an open invitation for a Bargainista.

Getting in the Minx of Things

Your Bargainista Afficionado is here to update you on the latest nail rage called "Minx Nails". However, before I get into that let me define what a Bargainista Aficionado is: A Bargainista Aficionado is a person who likes, knows about, appreciates and usually has a fervently pursued interest or activity in finding bargain fashion. Like a "Devotee" to style. One that's all about looking her best for less.

Now that we have cleared that up; back to the hottest nail rage "Minx Nails". These nails are what every woman who knows about style is wearing or trying to wear. Celebrities like Beyonce, Rihanna, Solange, Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga are just a leading few who seem to adore this current nail trend. I have been seeing this trend for a minute now and wanted to blog about it but remembered to do so when I saw Sherae from (RHOA) Real Housewives of Atlanta getting hers done.

The Minx nail overlay comes in over 171 styles from what I can see on their website. Minx nails are considered the ultimate fashion accessory because they can easily coordinate with your look right down to the actual pattern. Apparently the cost ranges from $55-$80. That can appear to be a little steep for a Bargainista.

In actuality when you weight the cost of repairing a chipped recently polished manicure versus the longer lasting heat application of Minx overlay it may actually balance out. Check out the videos below and note that it generally must be applied by a Professionally Minx trained Manicurist.

To find out where you can get Minxed in your town click here: get Minxed
or click here for main site Minx Nails.

Bag, Borrow or Steal Your Next Look

For those of you, like myself who saw "Sex In The City" the movie, there is a particular scene I want you to recall. Do you remember when Carrie Bradshaw's assistant, Louise (Jennifer Hudson) who was a true handbag Fashionista, constantly left her boss Carrie wondering how she afford these expensive handbags on her salary.

Carrie finally got the nerve to ask just how. Louise revealed her sources like a true Bargainista Beauty. She revealed that she frequently swaps designer purses through the Bag Borrow or Steal program. How does Bag Borrow or Steal work you may ask? At Bag Borrow or Steal the make it simple for you to rent authentic designer handbags, jewelry, sunglasses and watches - so you can always enjoy the very latest and most popular styles.

1.First decide if you'd like to become a Bag Borrow or Steal member OR just simply rent as a Guest. (Members enjoy their lowest rental rates plus other privileges)

2.Browse through their wide selection click the (borrow button) for the items you'd like to rent.

3.You can rent by the week, the month or as long as you prefer.

4.When you're ready to swap out for a new item, just return and select a new item.

- There's never a late fee.
- Special savings when you borrow for 3 months at a time
- Borrow more than one item at a time

Lastly, if you find you cant seem to part from your bag, you can do what's considered a "steal" from them by buying what you have been renting. For more details visit their FAQ page. Just read this here taken from their about us page.

"Why should women have to endure the emotional and financial sacrifices that accompany the endless search for the "right" accessory for every event, wedding, and dinner party? Why should celebrities, fashion editors, and socialites be the only ones allowed to borrow fashion accessories? Why not give everyone access to the perfect accoutrement for every occasion?"

I just love Bag Borrow or Steal's slogan "Let's Be Honest We All Want The Good Stuff". Well, I say ain't that the truth!