Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Motivation | Why #goals might be a recipe for failure.

ismail Alminda | 8:19 AM
The other day I attended a social gathering comprised of aspiring entrepreneurs.  Midway through the event, some of us were asked to share our goals for the upcoming year.

When the question was asked of the group, I thought about how the meaning of the word "goals" is slowly changing.  Whenever I come across an aesthetically pleasing image on social media, I'm almost certain to find a comment where someone classifies the situations as #goals.

It seems like labeling something we aspire to as "goals" is commonplace.  There's nothing wrong with that, but I feel like this newly evolved definition is possibly setting us up for failure.
In the corporate world, planning for the new year typically involves creating objectives. There is a clear difference between talking about our future goals versus creating objectives for the following year.  Goals are aspirational in nature.  It's like something we wish to experience.  Another thing I notice about the goals we set for ourselves is that they rarely come with any additional details on how this goal will be achieved.

During End of Year planning, in my previous role, we would create clear objectives for the upcoming year.  Under each objective, we'd list out several actionable steps that would allow us to reach those objectives.  In some cases, we'd write down milestones to demonstrate that we were on our way to achieving those goals.  While developing our objectives, we were setting clear expectations for the following year.   And did everything possible to ensure that our objectives would be met.  

If for whatever reason, they weren't met, we could expect to have a tough conversation with our supervisor on why we fell short and what we would do differently to prevent this from happening again.

I can't honestly say that every goal I set for myself is viewed as an expectation.  It's more of a wishlist. There's nothing wrong with seeing something aspiring and labeling it "goals."  I just have to remember that there's a difference.  If I want to experience that outcome sooner than later, I need to redefine it as an objective and adjust my actions accordingly.  From there, I can begin the process of writing down clear, specific actions and milestones that demonstrate that I'm on the right path.   If I don't follow the process of identifying clear objectives, then I'm probably never going to experience those #goals is real life.
 "If I want to experience an outcome sooner than later, I need to redefine it as an objective...."

To me, it's like the difference between putting an item on a wish list versus placing it in the cart.  I've had some of the same items on my wishlist for years.  I'm interested in them, but not interested enough to make a move.  But once it's in the cart, there's a clear expectation that I intend to purchase. As I plan for the year ahead, I'll have to make a clear distinction between my goals & objectives.  The goals are the outcomes on my "nice to have" list while my objectives are the absolute "must haves."

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True Life: I’m Living a Double Hair Life And I Am Not Sure What To Do

ismail Alminda | 7:02 AM

african-american business womanI’ve been natural for almost 4 years now, and I decided to invest in a high quality lacefront wig at the end of year 3, and it was one of the best hair investments I’ve ever made. I used to be addicted to getting sew ins during my relaxed hair days, and I cringe thinking […]

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition

ismail Alminda | 4:01 PM
Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Y'all are in for a treat. Curls Dynasty is that JAM!
It's the 4th of December, and I'm here to let you know one thing - this month is gonna be NUTS. Like, bananas. Cray cray. Loopy. It's finna be wild, B.

Just thought I'd warn you.

This month alone, I'm gearing up for a ton of reviews on brand new products, hair growth challenge updates, holiday style inspo, and of course - Christina's Choice 2016. Yup, the best of the best is coming. And this year, it's gonna be epic. So get ready!

But today, I wanna titillate your inner product junkie by deep diving into some new-new, Black owned, hair-lovin' goodness: Curls Dynasty.

I came across Curls Dynasty in preparation for my Ultimate Sale Guide, and I knew I'd be kicking myself later if I passed up the opportunity to review two of their top products. Let's dive right in:

Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque
Cost
$16 for 8oz

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Pumpkin is EVERYTHING this season!
Where to Buy
www.curlsdynasty.com

Active Ingredients
  • Organic Aloe Vera Juice: Acts as a natural conditioning agent that restores the hair's sheen, luster, and shine. It not only makes the hair soft, but it also enhances strength and suppleness.
  • Extracts of Peppermint, Yucca, Horsetail, Nettle, and Melissa Leaf: Herbal blend that stimulates scalp circulation and nourishment while strengthening hair at the root to prevent breakage and shedding.
  • Soybean Oil: Carrier oil used to lubricate and nourish the hair, providing softness and shine.
  • Red Palm Oil: Less processed palm oil rich in vitamins E, D, K, and beta carotene - all which help boost scalp health and hair growth by nourishing and promoting cell growth. Contains essential nutrients to reduce breakage, shedding, and dry itchy scalp. 
  • Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil: Pressed oil of the seeds of pumpkin that naturally contains DHT-blocking elements, suppressing hair loss and supporting hair growth. Studies show that after 24 weeks of use of pumpkin seed oil, patients had a 40% improvement in hair count.
Protein Free?
No - contains keratin and wheat proteins.

Curly Girl Friendly?
Yes!

The Good
Have you ever just looked at a product and knew it was gonna bless your tresses in a mighty way? That's the exact feeling I got from the Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. The fragrance is minty, yet cocoa-buttery, if that makes any sense. The consistency is thick and smooth, like cake icing almost. I love seeing the flecks of allspice and nutmeg - there's just something oddly gratifying about it. But performance-wise? LOVE. Not only was the Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque super easy to spread and work through my hair (hey slip!), it was almost like it melted right in. I was super generous in my application on hair and scalp. Yep, I even made sure to hit my scalp with it. Why? Because. Pumpkin. Seed. Oil. Is. The. Bomb. But we'll touch on that in another post. Just know that when I put the Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque on my hair and scalp, it went on smooth and fuss free - and thanks to the thick, creamy consistency, there wasn't a mess in my shower. I followed the instructions to a tee, and sat under my brand new Modern Elements hooded dryer from Sally's (worth every penny, and definitely a game changer!) for 20 minutes.

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Can't you just tell it's delish?!
And when I rinsed it out? 👏LET 👏ME 👏TELL 👏YOU 👏 the heavens shined down on my curls. Soft. Moisturized. Beautiful elasticity and strength. Smooth like buttah. Overjoyed is an understatement. I was in the shower like

No, but really.
No but seriously. I was way hype and suuuuuuper impressed.

The Bad
The hardest thing for me to do is look for something wrong with a flawless product. Even with my overzealous application, I can easily get at least 4 more uses out of the jar. And that's with me piling it on. I guess at this point, the only fault I can find is that I can't find it on my local Target store's shelf. But other than that, I got nothin'.

The Bottom Line
Dry hair? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Frizzy hair? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Breaking hair? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Thinning hair? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Bae trippin'? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Navient payment due right before Christmas? Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque. Seriously, this deep treatment is BOMB and right on time for EVERYTHING you could imagine. It's perfect for natural, color treated, transitioning, damaged, healthy, kinky, curly, and everything in between. 20 minutes under a dryer with the Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque just might change ya life.

Would I Buy it Again?
In a heartbeat. Without reservation. Indubitably.

Twisted Definition
Cost
$15 for 8oz

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
For all you moisture loving, creamy leave-in/styler fiends!
Where to Buy
www.curlsdynasty.com

Active Ingredients

  • Organic Aloe Juice infused with Organic Marshmallow Root: Acts as a natural conditioning agent that restores the hair's sheen, luster, and shine. It not only makes the hair soft, but it also enhances strength and suppleness. Marshmallow root adds slip, sheen, and extra conditioning properties.
  • Castor Oil: Thick, highly viscous oil with antibacterial, antifungal, and humectant properties. It is also a great moisture sealant, and promotes hair thickening and growth.
  • Shea Butter: Emollient fat from the nut of the East or West African shea nut tree used to moisturize and soften hair.
  • Manuka Honey: Honey variety native to Australia and New Zealand touted for it's low pH (4.5) making it an excellent conditioning and pH-balancing treatment for hair. Manuka Honey is also used to relieve dry scalp, promote hair growth in thinning areas, soften the hair, fight frizz, and add shine.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: Gentle surfactant made from non-GMO rapeseed (canola oil), and is one of the mildest detangling ingredients out there. It doesn't cause buildup or irritation to the scalp.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: Considered "fatty alcohol" -- NOT to be confused with drying alcohols such as ethyl. Acts as a lubricant, thickener, and emollient. Also gives conditioner its velvety feel without making hair greasy. Is additionally used to keep product ingredients from separating.
The Good
Where do I begin?

I teased a few photos on Instagram and Snapchat, letting my peeps know that I had tried a new leave-in under my styling gel. Perhaps leave-in was a misnomer – it was definitely a cream. I just treated it like my leave-in. Well, in case you were wondering – I was talking about Twisted Definition.

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Teaser from Instagram
Listen.

Like, lean in and listen.

This stuff is LIT. And I wasn’t even expecting it. Normally, I don’t get hype over leave-ins and creams, because when it comes to styling, I’ve always felt like gel was the star of the show. Surely, I preach about the importance of a great leave-in in terms of moisture retention and capturing the curl pattern – which always holds true. A bad leave-in will yield bad styling results. But deeeeeeep deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep down inside, I always felt like on some level, most leave-ins and creams are the same. But if 2016 has shown me anything, it’s that what you put under your gel can make ALL the difference. Some leave-ins and creams don’t moisturize as well, or for as long. Others will cause your hair to frizz more quickly. And still there are others that hit all the marks and will have you in the mirror like whoa – this is gonna be a GREAT hair day.

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Yasssssssss!
Twisted Definition is just that.

I styled my wash and go per usual – applying Twisted Definition in 4 sections on soaking wet hair. I applied it generously – but I didn’t go overboard. I absolutely LOVED how it absorbed right into my hair and added weight to my curls without feeling greasy or oily. In the quest for definition and style longevity, heavy products are my friends.

And then, I applied my Eco Styler gel, per usual. And the results BLEW me away. Did you ever look at your wet hair results and just know it was gonna be bomb? Yep, that was me. Twisted Definition even kept my unruly crown in check. Eco Styler alone never does that – I always have to re-apply. But here I am, with my crown on its best behavior.

Twisted Definition did not disappoint whatsoever. Thick, but not too thick, super creamy, buttery smooth, and full of moisture without a greasy feel. A total win in my book

The Bad
Do y’all ever get tired of me saying there’s nothing wrong with a product? I wonder sometimes if you guys think I’m lying. I promise, I’m not. Twisted Definition is BOMB. I don’t know what else to say. If you’re looking for a pitfall, you’re looking at the wrong product!

The Bottom Line
Christina’s Choice 2016 is coming up, and I’ve got some tough decisions to make. But in the meantime, if you’re dealing with dry, frizzy, unruly, easily dehydrated, difficult to define curls – Twisted Definition is definitely worth a try. Me and Twisted Definition are getting reeeeeeeal cozy this December.

Would I Buy it Again?
Yes, yes, yes, and more yes. This definition says it ALL:

Review: Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition
Day 2 hair. 100% dry. Defined as all get out. Yessssssssss!
Have you ever heard of or tried Curls Dynasty? What products are on your “to try” list in 2017? I’m definitely ordering more Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment Masque and Twisted Definition. I’m also convinced that I need the Kalahari Smoothie Leave-In in my life too.

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Avoid The Upsell! – Tips On How To Stay Within Budget At A Salon

ismail Alminda | 7:07 AM

SalonGoing to the salon for a fresh, new hairdo is lovely. Who doesn’t like to go in the door looking busted and come out feeling like a Beyonce-worthy background dancer? It’s a great feeling. Many stylists talk about the most rewarding parts of their job coming from being able to make ladies look and feel […]

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

What Is A Chelating Shampoo And Do You Need One?

ismail Alminda | 7:02 AM

woman-in-the-showerBy now we have all heard the warnings of using harsh shampoos which can strip our hair of its natural oils. The main culprits in shampoos that have been labeled as harsh are sulfates. Sulfates cause lathering, but they are known to be stripping when used too frequently. Unless you have an intentional moisturizing routine […]

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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Quann Sisters Featured in Glamour Germany (December Issue)

ismail Alminda | 5:01 PM

Cipriana Quann and TK Quann aka “The Quann Sisters” are Glamour Germany’s December issue feature. Shot by HERRING & HERRING in the heart of New York. Scroll below to view the full editorial.
 
 
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The Go-to Skin Treatment of Victoria Secret Super Models + How to replicate it at home.

ismail Alminda | 11:28 AM
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show just wrapped up.  Usually, around this time, journalists scramble to interview the models to discuss their pre-fashion show beauty routine.

One of the long-standing traditions is for the supermodels to all receive oxygen facials.  Those of you who familiar with the blog know that oxygen facials are one of my favorite beauty treatments of all time.  When I treated myself to this celebrity beauty secret, my skin glowed for days.  It's no wonder why oxygen facials are considered a pre-requisite before their public appearances.

You guys know that I love experimenting with do-it-yourself (at home) versions of the most effective treatments. But, I haven't yet been able to replicate oxygen-facial-like results at home.  At least not yet. But I have stumbled upon a DIY process inspired by the infamous oxygen facial treatment.
The whole premise of these specialized facials is to infuse the skin with oxygen. There's also an exfoliation component to the facial as well.  Oxygen is delivered to the skin using a device similar to an airbrush pen.  I can do a decent job of exfoliating using a mild acid peel. Oxygen facials are notorious for their hydrating potential.  We can simulate this with a sheet mask. But what about the oxygen infusion?

Exposing the skin to pure oxygen may be beneficial to the cells.  When our cells don't receive enough oxygen, they die off.  If our skin is drenched in pure oxygen, we're simulating the effect of increased blood circulation. And increased circulation is the key to life.

I think I've found a low-tech alternative to delivering oxygen directly to the face.  The method I speak of is known as the carbonated water facial.

In Japan & Korea, the carbonated water facial is quite commonplace.

The premise is that the carbonated bubbles deliver oxygen directly to the skin.  The bubbles are also believed to scrub and stimulate the skin while purifying  the pores.  The actual method is simple.  Just mix equal parts of carbonated water and "normal water" in a bowl.  Some prefer to dunk their face in the water for a few seconds while allowing the bubbles to work their magic.  Others splash their skin with the sparkling water.

I've also heard great things about using carbonated water on the scalp.  Apparently, rinsing with carbonated water has a mild clarifying effect.  Again, the bubbles could have a stimulating effect on the scalp, helping to increase blood flow.  Increased blood supply to the scalp is so good for healthy hair growth.

This past summer, I spent lots of money purchasing countless cases of flavored carbonated water.  Now, I think I'm ready to graduate to owning an at-home water carbonation machine.  Not only will I enjoy drinking an endless supply of fruit-infused sparkling water, I'll also experiment with incorporating carbonated water into my beauty routine.

Once the sparkling water facial became popular a few brands developed products that we can use at home.  Basically, you add these powders to a bowl of plain water, and voila, you've created your very own oxygenated mineral spa water. From what I read online, the pre-packaged carbonated facial products are pretty strong. So if you have sensitive skin, better start with plain carbonated water and graduate to the specialized products if you like the results.


Here's the video she's referring to with before and after pics of the scalp after using carbonated water.





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