- Connie (Wild Haired Mavens)
- April Kyte
LA Curly Girls was founded by Lydia Boyd in Los Angeles, CA. Created with bringing together the natural hair community in LA in mind, it grew to acclaim as one of the largest and strongest groups dedicated to fostering unity and sisterhood among naturals through two words: “Meet Up”. In 2012, International Natural Hair Meet Up Day (INHMD) was born to allow naturals all across the world to network, collaborate and celebrate with each other on one accord–on the same day!
This year, the 2nd annual INHMD will be on May 18, 2013 and we are excited to team up with the LA Curly Girls to offer you the chance to win tickets to attend the International Natural Hair Meet Up Day in Los Angeles!
Two (2) lucky PJ’s will win:
Restrictions: You must be at least 21 years of age to enter
1. Follow LA Curly Girls on Twitter
2. Become a part of our community and register at Platinum Product Junkies forum. Leave your screen name in the comment section below to count as your entry! So we can get to know you better, don’t forget to introduce yourself . We’ll be waiting for you.
To earn additional entries:
The giveaway is open to EVERYONE (21 or older). Contest winners have 24 hours to respond to email notification (please double check your email in the comment section).
One of the things us here at PlatinumPJ love is that beauty is one size fits all. No matter what you look like, where you’re from, or where you wanna go, beauty can be at your fingertips. To that end, we want to make your experience here FANTASTIC and among your favorites! Here’s what we’re doing to stay connected with you:
1, Bloglovin: We’ve teamed up with bloglovin to help you get the most out of your user experience with us. Know when we update and find our posts quick and easy. Of course, if you want the full scoop, it takes you straight to our main site. No muss, no fuss.
2. Google+: We love this network because not only do you get to see what we’re doing, we get a peek into your world too! Welcome us into your world– add us to your circle! You never know when you might be featured on any of our social media platforms.
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4. Instagram: Who doesn’t love pictures? Find us on instagram posting about all things beauty on the go! Tag us @PlatinumPJ so we can see your beauty finds and looks of the day. We’d LOVE it!
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6-7: Facebook & Twitter: Thank you all so much for your support thus far and we hope you’re having a fabulous time! Stay tuned for more updates, events and giveaways!
8. BlogTalkRadio: We have lots planned for you, so stay tuned for our upcoming schedule of radio shows with featured special guests. If you have something in mind that you’d like to hear us talk about, shoot us a message!
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Your social media maven,
For me, one of the skincare goals I struggle with achieving deals with uneven skin tone. From years of adult acne and repeated popping (yes, I admit it!) of these blackheads I’ve paid the price with pretty ugly hyperpigmented scars. I’ve heard of a lot of the different treatments out there, but minus bleaching creams and prescription retinoids I’ve yet to try more.
Before, I mentioned investing in some products from the Dr. Dennis Gross skincare line, but there was a reason I chose him—The Alpha Beta Peel. It’s a two step formula that’s another multi-tasker in terms of anti-aging, and anti-acne benefits, but the buzz surrounding it actually reducing dark spots fast got me excited. I ordered a 30-day supply of the extra strength version (for normal to less sensitive skin).
Ingredients (from Sephora.com):
Extra Strength Step 1:
Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Disodium EDTA, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate.
Extra Strength Step 2:
Water, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Simethicone, Octoxynol-9, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.
**This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Supplied in: 30 day, 60 day,
Cost(s): $85, $126.50
The peel system consists of two jars (labeled #1 and #2) indicating the order in which you should use them. Each jar has 30 presoaked towelettes. After washing my face, I used one from each jar, going in circular motions over my entire face and underside of my jaw line until the towelette is pretty much dry. In between #1 and #2, you have to wait a few minutes before using the last towelette. After my skin has dried I follow with the Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution and then a smidge of the Vitamin D serum oil to moisturize.
The cons: The two steps do take time to do so for the skincare minimalist you may not want a stepwise system. The peel states that for best results follow with the Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening solution OR Vitamin D serum oil. I used everything in tandem, but cost wise it may be hard to justify making that large an investment. You’ll have to decide based on your skin’s needs.
I’ll let you be the judge, but for 30 days given what I started with, this is a good result. Of course, my skin was jumping off the deep end in the before shot, so I wasn’t expecting to be completely clear in 30 days after years of skin problems. Any process takes time and dedication. Actually, when I first started using the peel it was cathartic—meaning, it drew out blackheads. I brought out blackheads I didn’t even think I had, and blackheads that were already visible or palpable it brought them to a head faster, I remember a few days when on contact with the towelettes the blackheads would pop. Now that’s strength!
My skin tone definitely appeared more even and my hyperpigmentation scarring lessened. The older scarring as you can see is harder to combat, but new blemishes (in combination with the Ferulic Acid serum) cleared rapidly. Using this system helped me not only detoxify my skin, but recover from those periods faster. I look forward to continuing to progress in my skincare journey. For those looking to try an at home peel, I’d give Dr. Gross a serious look!
Have you tried Dr. Gross’ products or similar types of facial treatments at home? Let us know your finds and successes! We love hearing from you!
Here’s an interesting hair scenario. Maybe you’ve heard it before:
“You’ve gone natural and you love it, but your friend (who has gorgeous naturally curly hair) hates her curls and hides them with blow dryers, flat irons, and buns. You want to convince her to go natural. CAN you??”
I will give you the short answer: Nope, Never, No siree bob. You can’t convince her. Sorry to say it, but that’s the real skinny.
Why? It’s simple: the motivation/decision to go natural has to come from within and not from any outside forces. To be honest, it’s not an easy decision to make and as such, isn’t made overnight. You debate; you toss and turn, and weigh pros and cons. You have some panic attacks about the big chop and you have panic attacks over not chopping right away. You also worry about how people will see you and what they’ll think of you if your curl didn’t come from a curling iron or a rod set.
What can you do? Perhaps influencing by example can help. Let me tell you my own true story:
My grandmother was exactly like most young girls growing up and hating their hair. Instead of hating her hair for 20 yrs or so, my grandmother’s perception of beauty has been influenced by 72 yrs of press & curl, perms, etc. She’s half-Chinese also, so her familial influences growing up (in addition to being West Indian) had dark, long straight hair.
Her hair isn’t like that though. It’s curly– and beautifully so with S shapes ending in ringlets. It’s a lion’s mane that cascades down her back like a dream.
It’s a nightmare for her though since it never took to the press or the perm. Her mane would just become an even frizzier hot mess. No matter what she tried, it wouldn’t ever be completely straight. It just wanted to curl and be happy. She hated it.
Instead of hiding her hair in fuzzy buns, she just wanted long, flowy, “pretty” hair. She “made” it happen for her daughters, and for me–her only granddaughter. Relaxers were the standard growing up.
So, when I went natural, she was one of my greatest adversaries. It was a total departure from what was acceptable, and of course she hated it. I didn’t listen to her– but I also didn’t judge her. It would have been too easy to do, but for her it’s not about not loving herself. It’s about hating her hair. Some folks think it’s deeper than that on a grander scale, but for most people, it really isn’t.
Anyway, she watched me struggle with my hair (transitioning twice, going CG with the Curly Girl method, etc), heckling me all the way. When I finally chopped off my long hair (heat damaged crap) I almost gave her a heart attack.
Actual comments about my hair from my Grandmother…
“Oh My God! It’s not going to grow back now”
“I guess you’re still pretty”
“What are people going to think?”
“You’re a doctor, it’s not professional.”
“Why do you need all this product crap on your head?!” (Ok…point taken. LOL!)
Despite my own hidden doubts, I ignored her and was patient with my hair. Through trial and error (and more trial), I learned how to take care of it. So when it (finally) blossomed and I was rocking this and that style, and using this and that product with success, she ALSO noticed.
This led to a slow curiosity, which over time became “Can you style my hair curly for me if I wash it?” Now, she’s curly 90% of the time and loving it– vs. the 90% she was for 70+ yrs, and hating it. Her favorite products are from Karen’s Body Beautiful and Koils by Nature. She nosily rummages through my stash on occasion and is considering branching out more this Easter when the barrage of sales comes.
So based on my experience, leading by example is the best thing you can do. Be as supportive and encouraging as you can, but you have to allow people to live as they see fit. Perhaps it will work, or perhaps it won’t. In the end, it’s all about personal happiness anyway. Happy is hair leads to a happier you!
This really made me happy though! My Grandmother’s hair is beautiful!!!
Do you have a similar story or hair struggle you’d like to pose to us PJ’s? Tell us all about it and we’ll do our best to help. We wanna hear from you!
So… you’re transitioning from chemically straightened hair to natural or past the transition, working with your curls, kinks and coils; but your hair still feels or looks “dry” to you. What do you do?
Well, the first thing that you need to know about curly hair is that it doesn’t reflect light well. Unlike your previously straightened locks, curly hair is 3-Dimensional (like a helix or spiral). Due to this, curly hair is often misinterpreted as “dry” when that’s not the case. Curly hair simply needs a little more help (serums, pomades, etc) to bring its luster through.
Alright, but what if it’s not a trick of the light and your strands are in fact, dry? If that is the case, here are some things you should consider trying to remedy the issue:
Use a thicker leave-in conditioner (LI): We often don’t realize how thirsty our natural hair is for moisture especially early on in the transitioning period because we’ve been depriving it with all the chemical processes, sulfates and silicones. For any curl to thrive, moisture has to be present. Establishing this as a base to your styling routine is essential. Now, gauging how much or how heavy a LI you need can be tricky. Only you can predict that based on your hair’s properties, but overall I would consider investing in a LI with more natural/moisture laden ingredients (Shea butter, coconut oil, Aloe vera, Avocado butter/oil, etc). Hair milks are also a great investment. They’re not just for styling, but can be used as rinse-out conditioners or for leave-in conditioning when additional moisture is needed.
Increase the frequency of your deep conditioning treatments (DC): Are you possibly skimping on your treatments? This would be a no-no, so this is something to correct right away. No matter what phase of your natural hair journey. You need these treatments to prevent breakage and help preserve curl structure. As a rule of thumb, I believe that because of the repeated stress on the hair from prolonged use of chemical processes, that anyone transitioning from those practices to natural hair should use a DC weekly. Your new tresses will thank you for it. After the transition is over, this can be tailored according to your individual hairs’ needs. Personally, when I was transitioning I used a DC weekly and after the transition, biweekly. As the years passed, and my moisture to protein balance improved, I didn’t need to lean on these treatments as much. I do them about once a month now.
Don’t overuse protein: Is every step in your hair regimen protein dominant? While protein helps strengthen and maintain curl structure, the use of too many protein-laden products (Examples: oat, wheat, keratin, and hydrolyzed proteins, silk amino acids) in succession can lead to dry and brittle hair over time. Check the labels on your products to be sure. This problem is easily remedied by scaling back on the protein and using products with more hydrating ingredients toward the top of the ingredient list. As most products contain some element of protein, try to use products where its lower on the ingredient list.
Use a product that seals: Adding moisture means nothing unless you’re willing to take that extra step to lock in the moisture. This step can be done with wash n go styles as well as protective styles. Consider sealing with non-occlusive oils such as: jojoba, olive or coconut, or even styling with butters. Depending on the formulation, butters are a great way to retain lots of moisture while lending a natural hold to your style. Examples of great butters include shea butter, mango butter, aloe butter, kokum butter, avocado butter, murmuru butter and jojoba butter. If you’re using gel, make sure that hold is sufficient enough to keep in the moisture.
Depending on the combination of products you use, the moisture in your hair may last anywhere from a day to several days. Even when doing everything right, the weather and other factors may require repeating the moisture and sealing processes. Every few days, I revive my curls with a refresher spray and follow with a moisturizer or oil.
You can make your own spray at home to keep your hair in good condition. An easy thing I do is in a spray bottle, mix in one part water and two parts conditioner with oils and use that as an all-in-one. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add aloe vera gel into the mix for even more moisture benefits.
Above all, hang in there! It really does get easier, and the benefits and freedoms you’ll experience with a solid hair regimen will be worth it.
Till then, live curly, and live free.
Dr. Dennis Gross is a NYC based dermatologist/dermatologic surgeon who has been making major waves in the skincare industry with several products that have received rave reviews. I invested some items from his skincare line during the black Friday holiday and went into major testing mode! After over 2 months of exclusively using this skincare line. I definitely felt I could weigh in and share my thoughts on what I purchased.
The Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening solution was designed to combat uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation by reducing their appearance. The combination of Ferulic Acid and Retinol (along with its anti-aging and pore reduction properties) acts on the skins imperfections to lighten them, but not beyond your original skin tone. This, Dr. Gross refers to as the skin “self-correcting”. So basically, this was made to help put your skin on autopilot to clear!
Ingredients (from Sephora.com):
-Ferulic Acid: Sun damage protection; Plant-based antioxidant that enhances properties of other vitamins for healthy skin.
-Retinol: Helps smooth wrinkles and lines while increasing moisture and elasticity.
-Bearberry Extract: Corrects hyperpigmentation and helps increase cell turnover; natural alternative to Hydroquinone.
-Azelaic Amino Acid: Helps control oil secretion to prevent formation of blackheads and whiteheads; fades darks spots and brightens skin.
Licorice Root Extract, Mulberry Extract, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Hyaluronic Acid.
**This product is vegan and cruelty free.
Size (s): 1 fl oz (30ml), 2 fl oz (60ml)
Cost(s): $85, $125
How I used this: I applied it twice daily; once in the morning after washing my face prior to applying moisturizer, and in the evening after cleansing and using their Extra Strength Alpha Beta peel. It’s a lightweight serum that spreads easily across the face. The dropper makes dispensing the product clean and efficient. Supplies of microfiber pads are included to help distribute serum more evenly onto the face. At first, I used these pads, but found that I lost more product to the pad than what actually got onto my face, so I switched to dropping the serum directly onto my skin (3 drops each section: forehead, cheeks, chin). I conserved much more serum using this method. I bought the 1 ounce size which was more than enough for 2 months of use.
My results: Within the first 10 days I saw a difference! At the time I starting using the serum, I had a fresh blemish from a recent pimple that looked pretty ugly. By day 10 that area was noticeably not only smoother, but lighter in appearance and much closer to being healed than my other existing blemishes still pretty dark 2-3 weeks after my last breakout. On early skin problems, it gets an A+. On older scars, it took a little while longer, but after the third week I needed less foundation and the texture of my skin improved by at least 60%. I also noticed another thing– I needed less under eye concealer. By a month, I needed NO under eye concealer! Dennis Gross 1: Dark circles ZIP.
However, I will say that once I stopped using it for a few weeks to test some other stuffs, my under eye darkness returned. You best believe that serum is back in the rotation!
Breakouts were definitely less severe (3-4 blackheads at the most), but the oil control was non-existent for me. My oiliness is pretty tough to control though. As far as wrinkle reduction goes, I don’t have issues with wrinkles (unless you count my minor laugh lines), so I couldn’t see an appreciable difference in that area. It didn’t do much for me in the way of pore-size reduction, but my skin did look and feel smoother overall.
Final Impressions: The formulation (Ferulic Acid and Retinol being #6 & 7 respectively in the ingredient list out of 25+) gave me faith that this product would help my skin get back on track and I was right. In the 2 months that I used it in my skincare regimen, I experienced most of the benefits this product provides with reduced hyperpigmentation, reduced breakouts, and improved skin texture. I think one of the major drawbacks for most people would be the cost, but I would have to say in the end it’s cost effective. I used it twice daily for 2 months and still have plenty left, so it balances out in my opinion. The real drawback for me would be that my under eye results weren’t permanent. They do have a dedicated eye serum though, so perhaps I will invest in that in the future, or simply stop by his office and say hello!
Have you tried or want to try this product? Tell us your thoughts. If you’re curious to see the pics of my results using the Alpha Beta Peel, click here!
Inspired by the bright and bold colors of the Spring 2013 runways, Maybelline has launched a limited edition line of lip, blush and nail colors for us to dive into! I saw the display at my local CVS and the first thing to catch my eye was this darling so I HAD to get it!
FTC disclosure: The product below was paid for with my own money. I am not affiliated with nor paid by Maybelline New York. This review reflects my own thoughts and opinions.
It’s one of the three gorgeous baked blushes of this line in Coral Burst, which is described as a satin bright orange. It’s a midtone orange with slight shimmer. Comparing this blush to what I have now, Modern Mandarin (MAC Cosmetics) is more powdery and pale, while Optimistic Orange (MAC Cosmetics) is darker, with a natural finish. I don’t know about you, but as a woman of color it’s really hard to find a good orange blush.
As you swatch the product, you immediately realize that it’s not your typical hard baked blush. It’s dense, but soft and velvety to the touch. The pigmentation is really nice where the color is buildable and blends easily. The shimmer leaves you with a flattering glow that lasts throughout the day. I wore it for about 10 hours before it began to fade.
Maybelline did a great job making an orange blush that’s not only true to pan, but builds quickly and blends out seamlessly. The blush lasts pretty much throughout the day, and doesn’t settle into any imperfections you may have. This is a blush to compliment all skin tones. It’s limited edition, so don’t miss out!. I’ll certainly be stocking up!
Size: 0.9 oz (2.9g)
Availability: Retail drugstores nationwide, Target, Walmart
FTC disclosure: This blush was paid for with my own money. I am not affiliated with nor paid by Maybelline New York. This review reflects my own thoughts and opinions.
FTC Disclosure: The hair item discussed below was purchased by the reviewer with personal funds. This review is not a paid endorsement and all thoughts and ideas expressed are those of the reviewer.
This is an amazing day because as a New Yorker, I grew up with KBB and have seen the tremendous growth this natural hair company has experienced. I work in Brooklyn, and I can’t tell you the countless times I took the bus to her then flagship store not only to haul my butt off, but to see the awesome sights and smells. No one, and I mean NO ONE can do fragrance like KBB. The selection is unparalleled in my opinion. Anyway, watching her brand grow to be a big girl rocks! Hillery already told you all the skinny about Karen’s launch in select Target stores TODAY, so I won’t gush about that. I WILL gush about what we all love–
THE HAIR PRODUCTS!
**PJ’s don’t forget we’ve teamed up with KBB to giveaway the entire haircare line on shelves at target RIGHT NOW! Make sure you check out the giveaway post here and enter for a chance to win!!!
Product: Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Blossom Moisture Mist
The premise and claims (from Karen’s Body Beautiful):
“Refresh and hydrate! Works best for thick kinks or curls, relaxed, color treated, or dry hair.”
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel, Water (Aqua), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Persea gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Panthenol, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Amica) Extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Extract, Echinacea angustifolia (Echinacea) Extract, Urtica dioica (Nettle) Extract, Equisetum (Horsetail) Extract, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Argania spinosa (Argan) Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Helianthus annus (Sunflower) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Potassium Sorbate, and Vitamin E (Tocopherol).
Size(s): 7.1 oz/210 ml
This mist is one to have for several reasons:
If you check out the ingredients:
That being said, it’s a well-rounded mist . On dry hair, I use it to refresh my Wash and go or protective style as needed, and (in lieu of water) as a wetting agent/light leave-in (LI) conditioner before adding additional product to re-twist or re-braid my hair. On wet hair, it can be used as a detangler prior to protective styling. I usually spray, detangle, add whatever product(s), and twist/braid as I go. Using this on larger sections of hair would depend on your hair properties, but this mane likes to be worked on in small sections.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention it could be used as hair perfume! OY! Who doesn’t want a gorgeous, great smelling head of hair? Word on the street is that Pomegranate Guava is the best scent and Target has it, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Once you try it, leave a comment below telling us your thoughts. As always, the forum is a great place to share the buzz!
FTC Disclosure: The item discussed was purchased by the reviewer with personal funds. This review is not a paid endorsement and all thoughts and ideas expressed are those of the reviewer.
Yours in curls,
Are you ready for a little shimmer in your future? Well, China Glaze heeds the call with Hologlam! This summer nail polish collection is comprised of 12 shades promising to deliver not only stunning color, but three-dimensional reflects that give the visual effect of dynamic color throughout the nail! So basically– you’ll be hot tip central ALL summer long!
Are you excited yet?! Here are the colors!
Get Outta My Space- a powdered violet
Astro-Hot- a soft, baby pink
Infra-Red- a warm, magenta pink
When Stars Collide- a warm maroon
Not In This Galaxy- a bright, warm coral
OMG A UFO – a warm, moss green
Don’t Be A Luna-Tic- a turquoise aqua
Sci-Fly By- a light silver blue
Take A Trek – a cool denim blue
Strap On Your Moonboots- a midnight sky blue
Galactic Gray- a warm gunmetal
Cosmic Dust- silver metal
Availability: The China Glaze® Hologlam nail polish collection will be available in April 2013 at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide,
So, whaddya think? Will you get these goodies for your nails? I think the Galactic Gray, Infrared and OMG a UFO are right up my alley. It’ll be interesting to see how everything swatches on the nail in person!