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11 Hair Ideas To Inspire Your Next Look

In hair on January 13, 2021 at 8:30 am

We’ve all been there:  You look in the mirror at your reflection and wonder what to do with your hair.   Should you cut it short or completely shave it off?  Should you color it? And if you color it, what color should it be and will you have it done professionally or will you do it yourself?  Or should you buy some hair from your favorite beauty supply store/online site and keep it moving?  Whatever the case, although you might have many questions, there are also many solutions available to you to bring some hair excitement back into your life.

There are many outlets (magazines, celebrities, social media) that provide countless ideas of hairstyles that one can try next.  Whether it’s a new cut, color, style or accessory, changing your hair is one of the quickest ways to switch up your look and put an extra pep in your step. Many hair looks, regardless of the length, texture or color your natural hair, can also be achieved with enhancements such as wigs, weaves and hair pieces, especially if you don’t want to do too much with your hair.  Keep reading to find out what hair looks, although not necessarily new, are still going strong for this season:

Bobs.  I love the various looks/styles that bobs offer.  The look can work on various face shapes since the cut and color can be customized to compliment one’s particular features.   Bobs also allow for maximum styling versatility because you can wear it bone straight, wavy or curly.  Consider a blunt cut bob, middle part, wavy, choppy or even a lob.

Pixie Cut.  There is nothing like a short haircut to show off amazing bone structure. And, with the right length, you can still have styling versatility.  Depending on the length, you can experiment with a side part, soft curls, spikes, and finger waves.  You can even experiment with accessories such as barrettes and headbands.

Middle Parts.  Although not necessarily a style, switching up a current  hairstyle with a middle part might be the way to go.  Parting your hair in the middle can lend itself to greater  styling  versatility and can work on a multitude of hair styles such as wavy styles, braided styles, bobs, braid-outs, twist-outs and locs.  If you aren’t comfortable with a full on middle part, move the part slightly off-center or just do a side part.

Braids.  Braids re-appeared in the biggest way last year.  Reminiscent of many childhoods (including mine) as well as the 90’s – think Poetic Justice circa 1993, braids have shown up and shown out in the most intricate and creative ways.  From cornrows, box braids, feed ins, crochet styles, twists and even locks: the styling options are endless. We will also continue to see intricate parting designs and bold color displayed with these braided styles, taking one’s look to the next level of slay.  To understand the significance of this craft in African and African American culture/history, start by reading this and this.

Hair Accessories.  Who said gems were just for earrings, necklaces and shoes?  Well they aren’t.  Hair accessories have been trending for quite some time and don’t show signs of slowing down.  Gem encrusted accessories have taken the lead and shows up in barrettes, headbands and hair pins.  In many cases, hair jewelry will allow you to get your bling on without breaking the bank.

Ponytails.  From high, low, and various textures as well as gravity defying lengths, there is nothing like a ponytail – the perfect choice for a sophisticated, yet sexy look.

Half Up/Half Down.  Consider this the ponytails’s cousin, a style that will allow you the playfulness of a ponytail while still allowing texture to take center stage.

Straight and Sleek.  You don’t have to just wear this style just straight down in front of or in back of your shoulders.  Have some fun with a middle or deep side part, with accessories, or bangs (try clip in bangs if you aren’t ready to commit to a bang for real). You can even have a little bit of tousled texture or wear it slicked back with bold earrings for an edgy look.

Money Piece Highlights.  An updated take on the chunky highlights of the 2000’s, money piece highlights are way less dramatic and more complimentary for the shape of one’s face and over all color of the one’s hair color.  It’s also a great way to maintain the health of your hair because the highlights are not used all over the hair – just in the front.  Those front pieces are lifted in balayage and toned separately as opposed to using foils which results in a more natural blended look.

Wigs.  Whether made of real or synthetic hair, the wigs of today come in a variety of colors, lengths, textures and styles.  Furthermore, they have become a fashion accessory for many.  They allow you to create multiple looks based on how you feel or what outfit you are wearing.

Head Wraps.  Turbans and head wraps, which date back centuries, are not just for bad hair days.  They are a look in and of themselves and are the ultimate accessory which can add color to any outfit and elevates any look.

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

On My Radar: My Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Roundup

In beauty, clean beauty, fashion, hair, skincare, style on January 1, 2021 at 8:30 am

On My Radar is a roundup of the things that I love, use, discovered or have piqued my interest that I think you should know about.

Herbivore Lapis Depuffing Facial Roller. Adding certain tools to your skin care routine can be the boost your skin needs. I have heard of the multiple benefits of facial rolling which is a technique/beauty ritual that dates back to ancient China and decided that I needed to add a facial roller to my skin care routine. I have the Herbivore Lapis Depuffing Facial Roller and let me say this is literally one of the most beautiful tools I have seen. It is double ended and has a deep blue, marble – like stone with gold accents on the handle. It has a great weight, feels nice in my hand and is easy to use. I use the larger side on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck and the smaller side around my eyes, nose and lips.

There are many benefits to using a facial roller. First, it helps to push your products deeper into your skin. I like to take my oils, warm them up in my hands and press into my skin and neck. Then I use my roller to push the oils deeper into my skin. Facial rolling helps to massage the skin which can be very helpful and relaxing, especially after a long day. Facial rolling also helps stimulate the lymphatic system which can be good for releasing toxins and stagnant fluid in various areas of the face. I noticed that when I used the roller, my nose started running. I also feel that my skin looks even more radiant after I have used it because of the increased blood flow to my face. I occasionally roll in the morning but definitely in the evening. It’s very relaxing and meditative.

Although I’m not into stones per se, I respect and understand that they have certain metaphysical properties. The lapis stone is said to have many benefits and properties which includes enhancing intellectual ability, encouraging honesty, and has various healing properties.

Intimissimi Mina Bra. New, well-fitting underwear is the pick-me-up you never knew you needed. When you have on new underwear, you walk differently. You talk differently. Your clothes seem to look and feel better too. Or maybe that’s just me. But good underwear is the stuff dreams are made of and I’ve made it a habit to edit and buy new underwear every few months. It’s really easy to buy panties and I rarely pass up a good 5 for $30 deal (hello Target and Vicki’s Secret). Trying to find good, supportive bras without breaking the bank is another story. A chore if you will. Not to talk too much about my lady parts, but lets just say I carry around a sizable, weighty inheritance from my mom and aunties. Any bra just wont do. I can never seem to be able to go into a store, grab a few bras and go on about my business. I have to plan ahead. Do research. Perform deep cleansing breaths. Do warm up and mobility exercises to prepare for all of the putting on and taking off.

I find that many bras just don’t do it for me. And those cute little lacy numbers laugh in my face. Bralettes are a no go unless I’m laying down – sleep. If I blink, there might be some type of slippage. And full coverage is never really full coverage. I always have over boob, under boob, and just a little bit of boob in the actual cup. I’ve even had to reconstruct some bras for better fit. I’m the personification of cups running over. That’s not a bad thing. I just want to keep the goods in the cups. At least in public.

For some reason it is harder to find 34/36 DDD (my usual size) in stores that don’t specialize in undergarments. And I need a bra that is going to pull me in on the sides as well as scoop, lift and sit these girls nicely in my bra. Without bulging, tugging, pulling, or digging. And with quality fabric I might add. This set of criteria costs money. Wacoal bras are my go to which I’ve usually purchased from Nordstrom. The last set of bras I purchased that fit precisely the way I like cost $85. EACH. That is fine but sometimes I’m not in the mood to pay that price for a bra.

In my recent quest for bras with hopefully a slightly lower price point, I stopped into Intimissimi at one of my local malls. It’s a store I usually roll my eyes at and walk past, convinced that nothing will fit. And before you wonder to yourself if I’ve tried Victoria’s Secret bras, they don’t work for me either. Anywhoo, over the course of about an hour, I tried on several beautiful bras that just didn’t meet my standards – spillage, not enough lift, no support at all, no pull. Then I tried on the style Mina. Perfection! No gapping, pulling, digging, sagging. Just that pull, scoop, lift and sit that I love. It fits like a second skin. And this bra retails for $49 which is nice. The day I went in they were having a 50% off sale so I purchased a few bras.

Akira. As if I need another pair of shoes. A week or so ago, when I should have been asleep, I found myself scrolling around on Akira just to “look around”. You know how you go to your favorite site just to “see” what they have going on and you lie tell yourself “i’m not buying anything” ? Well this was one of those moments, while half asleep, that I was going to just “look around”. But then, per usual, I saw a few pairs of shoes and put them in my shopping cart. But I wasn’t going to buy them. You’ve heard of sleep walking, right? Well this was sleep shopping because when I woke up the next morning, my first thought was “I think I bought something”. While going through my emails the next morning, there was an order confirmation so it was true. Oh darn (shrugs shoulders while smirking and imagining outfits to wear).

I bought these. This shoe is perfect because who couldn’t use a pair of spiked flats. Flats are a staple. Spikes put a little stank on everything. But this shoe is what got me. At first glance my thought was NOPE. NEVER. I thought the shoe was hideous. But I kept going back to look at it. I was intrigued. I still think they are hideous. Strange looking. I also think they are beautiful. The construction and quality is A1. I have a lot of great shoes but nothing like these.

Amika Supernova Blonde Moisture And Shine Cream. I like to keep my blonde super blonde. I mean who wouldn’t – especially when you go through the whole bleaching process. When it comes to maintenance, keeping blond hair true blond and not brassy is very important. I have used a lot of toning products that range from shampoos, conditioners and the purple drops that you can add into your styling products. These various products work fine but I’m always open to new products. I tried the Amika Supernova Blonde Moisture and Shine Cream on a whim and was very pleased. It is a purple leave in conditioner that keeps my hair shiny and brightens/tones my blonde immediately – no dullness or brassiness.

Speaking of colored hair, I also decided to try several Olaplex products (0, 3, 4, 5) to use after I do a color process. I don’t concern myself much about hair damage because I cut my hair frequently and keep it ultra short. It’s still good to have specific maintenance products (and routines) when you color whatever hair you have on top of your head.

Jouer Essential Hydrating Lip Oil. The only time I like to wear glossy lips is when I wear nude lip colors or just need a little hydration. Other than that I don’t care to have glossy lips. I haven’t been wearing my usual matte red lip and my mask makes my lips very dry so of course I need some type of hydration and smoothing. I’ve been using the Jouer Essential Hydrating Lip Oil. What is a lip oil you ask? Think of a lip oil as a hybrid of a lip gloss and nourishing oil. Anyway, the packaging is beautiful. When I pull it out to apply, there are lots of “oohs”, “aahs” and “what’s that?”. It has an ample oversized wand to apply the luscious formula which hydrates, repairs and gives a nice shine without stickiness.

Necessaire The Body Lotion. I tried this body lotion on my hands on yet another whim and fell in love immediately. It is unscented and vitamin (B3, C, E) and omega (6, 9) enriched. I want to transition some of my beauty and skin care products to cleaner alternatives. I enjoy this brand because it is a clean (and vegan) brand committed to delivering effective luxurious skincare at a reasonable price. The packaging simple and sophisticated and looks great sitting on my bathroom counter. The body lotion I use primarily on my hands and of course I love it on my body too. It’s rich, creamy, and leaves my skin looking radiant and feeling soft.

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

8 Popular Beauty Myths You Should Stop Believing

In beauty, hair, makeup, skincare on September 29, 2020 at 10:26 am

When it comes to things like beauty, everyone has an opinion, a trick, and a solution for every beauty need and desire. Whether it’s information that has been passed down from your grandmother, tips and tricks from your friend, or your favorite beauty guru, there are many beauty routines and regimens that we have committed to for years that keep us looking our best. Or so it seems. This is because there are many beauty schools of thought that may actually be a myth.

Now if you feel that what you are doing on a regular basis is working for you don’t change. However, it’s still good to examine our thought process and approach to many of the things that we accept as fact. Below are 8 very popular beauty concepts that we have accepted through the ages that are actually myths.

You Can Make Pores Smaller/Go Away. I totally hate to be the bearer of bad news but pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER. Also, I really wish that skin care and makeup companies would stop lying to those of us who have enlarged pores with empty promises of their magic pore shrinking lotions and potions. Now, everyone has pores. Everyone. It’s just that some people, usually those with oily, acne prone skin, have larger, more visible pores. Furthermore, pore size is determined genetically. For pores that “look” larger, they can be stretched when clogged with dirt and sebum. This is where appropriate skincare plays a role. Daily cleansing, gentle exfoliation, as well as using a detoxifying mask and things like peel pads can help pores look more refined. As far as makeup is concerned, there are certain primers have blurring effects that can also make pores look more refined. But again, pores don’t get smaller or go away. EVER.

Skin Adapts to Skin Care Products So You Have To Switch To Something New. Skin, which is our largest organ, is ever changing and evolving. What your skin needed 3 months ago may not be what your skin needs today. Think about why you bought a particular item for your skin, maybe to help with a particular concern that you had. Do you have that concern now? Not necessarily because the major skin changes might have already taken place so the results won’t seem as dramatic although the product is working the same way it always has. If you want to switch up your skincare, that’s totally fine but just know you don’t have to switch to a new product because your skin is “used” to your current products.

Wearing Makeup Daily Is Bad For Your Skin. Granted there are some makeup formulations that can irritate your skin, causing inflammation and breakouts. But makeup isn’t inherently bad for your skin. Also, skin doesn’t need to breathe because skin is not made up of tiny lungs. Now clogged pores – that’s another issue. Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oils and sweat – not oxygen. Be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly on a daily basis and use the proper skincare formulation for your skin type. If you feel like you want to take a break from wearing makeup, that is never a bad thing. Have at it.

You Can Repair Split Ends. This is simply not true. You can use products to help improve their appearance but you will ultimately have to clip your ends and be mindful of things like heat styling, having a hair care routine in place and using the proper products for your hair on a regular basis. Also hair doesn’t grow faster when you cut it. Hair growth comes from the root. Not the ends. Snip Snip.

Oily Skin Doesn’t Need Moisturizer. The oil in one’s skin is not a moisturizer, which is something ALL skin types need. When someone with oily skin does not wear a moisturizer, the skin actually overcompensates for a lack of moisture by over-producing sebum, thus making you more oily and shiny. And even with all of that extra oil, your skin is still dry. It is best to use an oil free or mattifying moisturizer to help with shine as well as moisture.

Dry Skin Causes Wrinkles. Dry skin does not cause wrinkles. Overexposure to UV rays and other elements (aging, poor diet, genetics, smoking/drinking, etc) as well as the breakdown of collagen contribute to wrinkles. Dry skin can accentuate wrinkles but is not the culprit of said wrinkles.

Cellulite Can Go Away. Well not really but sort of through – measures like surgery. Anyway, although fairly harmless, cellulite can be an annoying occurrence that appears on places such as thighs, belly and breasts. It is more common in women than in men and can become more prevalent in aging, pregnancy as well as weight gain. Even those who are fit or slender may actually have cellulite. Cellulite is caused by fat deposits pushing toward of the surface of the skin. The use of creams, depending on ingredients, can offer a temporary reduction in appearance of cellulite. There are some things you can do to improve the appearance of cellulite such as: hydrate, exercise/eat a healthy well balanced diet and possibly dry brushing. When you stay hydrated, you are helping to flush toxins and keep skin looking healthy. When you are dehydrated, skin can appear more dull and cellulite can appear more visible. Exercising can help build lean muscle and burn fat which can help cellulite appear less visible. Eating a well balanced diet with healthy fats and lean protein can help you maintain your personal healthy weight. Dry brushing is thought to help with lymphatic drainage as well as helps with the appearance of skin.

Black Skin Doesn’t Need Sunscreen. Melanin is wonderful and all but it doesn’t protect against the UV rays that lead to aging (UVA) and burning which can lead to skin cancer (UVB). Also – ALL. SKIN. BURNS. For example, if you put white bread, wheat bread and pumpernickel bread into the oven and leave it in too long, all of the bread will burn. You just won’t see the damage on the pumpernickel as well as you would the white bread. But all the bread is damaged. Same with skin. So please, EVERYONE, wear your sunscreen.

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

9 Tips And Products For Your Color Treated Hair

In beauty, hair on June 22, 2020 at 6:38 am

There is nothing more exciting than adding hair color to an already amazing hair style. Whether it’s a single process, highlights, balayage or whatever other magic hair colorists are out here creating, hair color puts an extra pep in the step and more sway in those hips. It can take you from cute to devastatingly sexy and illuminate the complexion in the most angelic ways. You find yourself giving more eye contact in meetings and with that person you’ve been crushing on. You feel triumphant in so many ways. A true winner.

While getting your hair colored is amazing and somewhat life changing, the truth of the matter is that coloring your hair can have a downside if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure that your hair color remains as vibrant as the day you got it done and that your actual hair remains healthy.

Whether you DIY or have your hair colored professionally, aftercare is extremely important. This is where many people stumble and fall and one wrong move can put you on a path of many very bad hair days in the form of dryness, dullness, split ends and even hair loss. We already know that the daily in’s and out’s of hair styling can compromise the health of your hair (heat styling, UV damage, brushing, etc). Adding hair color to the mix only makes hair more vulnerable.

If you don’t have the resources of time and money or just don’t care enough to put in the daily effort for hair maintenance, do not color your hair. Coloring your hair adds another layer into your hair care routine that you may not have anticipated, especially if you are new to the hair color game.

Some things to remember when you are considering coloring your hair:

  • Healthy hair is the best foundation for great looking hair color. Not only can coloring your hair compromise hair health, dry damaged hair will not hold onto color as well or as long as healthy hair does and that is money wasted.
  • Consider a trim when you do color your hair (or get any other chemical process for that matter).
  • If you use styling tools, be sure to turn down the heat. This also includes not rinsing your hair in hot water as that can also ruin your hair color. Use cool or lukewarm water instead and be sure to use a heat protectant before using heat tools.
  • Always use conditioner – even if you don’t shampoo. It’s a good idea to use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair.  Also consider using shampoo and conditioner formulated for your specific hair color.  Doing so can help to color correct and support the tones in the hair.
  • Air dry your hair whenever you can.
  • Although this may not be ideal, consider washing your hair no more than 2-3 times a week. Also, don’t wash your hair the day after you get your hair colored – wait 72 hours.
  • Try using a pre-shampoo or an oil before shampooing to add a layer of protection to the hair before washing.
  • Do not sleep on wet hair which can cause damage or breakage.
  • Don’t let chlorine touch your hair.

Consider the following products to help maintain your hair color:

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Need one on one consulting, customization or updates for your beauty and fashion questions and concerns, visit khalilahneals.com.

 

Beyond The Strands: Why You Need To Add A Scalp Exfoliator To Your Hair Care Routine

In hair on August 27, 2018 at 11:00 am

Think your regular shampoo and conditioner is enough?  Think again.  Scalp exfoliation is a thing and should be a regular part of your hair care routine.

You might be someone who considers themselves to have a good hair care routine and on a consistent basis you shampoo, condition, treat, moisturize, style and repeat.  You may also get regular trims (and color) as well.  While you may have this effective routine on lock, you find that there are times when your routine and styling products aren’t giving you results like before.  Your hair seems unresponsive:  more dry, less shiny, and your scalp flakier than usual.  Not liking what you see, you start searching for possible solutions and come to the conclusion that maybe you just need new shampoo and conditioner or a new hair oil or serum.  Sure, that may solve the problem temporarily but did you ever stop to consider that what you need is a scalp exfoliator?

When you think about it, a scalp exfoliator serves the same purpose as one that you would use for your face and body.  And like our face and body which becomes dry, flaky, dull, and congested with product buildup, dirt and debris, the same thing happens to our scalp.  When that happens, our beloved hair products don’t work as effectively.  Also, with more frequent use of dry shampoo and co-washing which can lead to scalp build up, it makes even more sense to exfoliate.  Healthy hair follicles mean healthy hair and when done regular basis, scalp exfoliation provides much needed stimulation which encourages cell turnover, increased blood flow, minerals, nutrients and oxygen – all the things your scalp needs to promote healthy hair growth.  Removing product build up on the scalp will also allow treatments and products can penetrate the scalp to do their job, thus making your hair look, feel, and perform better.

Try one of these exfoliating masks, scrubs, shampoos or tools once a week and be sure to use extra care is you have a sensitive scalp.

Kiehls Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment $20.00

IGK Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scrub $36

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt $53

Phillip Kinglsey Exfoliating Scalp Mask $30

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo $42

L’oreal Ever Fresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub $9.99

Aveda Pramasana Exfoliating Scalp Brush $20