Um, what happened?? I was basking in the lovely fall temperatures with its sunny, crisp days and mellow dewpoints…only to be cruelly taunted for half a week when 90+ degree weather reared its ugly head. Honestly, can the weather please make up its mind??

I’ve been chugging along with ecostyler krystal and chi infra gel and the combo has helped me keep hair sanity throughout the fluctuating temps. The only variables throughout the past two weeks have been conditioners and leave ins. In hopes of pleasing the fall gods with harvest scents, I recently pulled out my bottle of healthy sexy hair pumpkin conditioner and sought to give curls by sister smith’s wet set hair pudding one last shot. So far, the deliciously scented pumpkin conditioner has been keeping my waves pretty happy and it seems like the weather gods were pleased by my offering as the forecast for the rest of the week, today being the only exception, looks like the we’ll be in the low 70s. Huzzah!

Unfortunately, I’m just not getting along at all with WSHP; it leaves my waves stringy and somewhat dry yet oily at the same time. It’s tolerable enough for stay at home days but it just doesn’t hack it as a leave in or styling cream.

I’ve been using and liking CHI’s infra gel so I was pleasantly surprised to see bottles at my local TJ Maxx. My PJ was kept in check by my ever-so-watchful SO and my own guilt, so I only purchased two bottles at $7 each! Since it retails for about $12-14 at local beauty supply stores and can be somewhat hard to find, I was a happy camper. Beat that Amazon.com deal! CHI isn’t really discussed much on the nc.com boards but I did find two threads that liken it to the old formula BRHG. I’ve never tried the old BRHG so I can’t really compare but compared to the BRHG I have in my arsenal, CHI is thinner and more application friendly since it isn’t as thick. 

I bit the bullet and chucked my 85% full tub of GoW’s rose clay cleanser into the trash. I debated keeping it for evening use but after using CR’s goat milk mango beauty bar and seeing my skin purge as if by magic, I knew that the clay cleanser had to hit the waste bin ASAP. Unfortunately, the goat’s milk mango bar isn’t available for purchase on the Camellia Rose website; I was lucky enough to score one as a consolation for such a late order.

As for Camellia Rose’s facial elixir, my skin wasn’t bowled over. It performs as well as any of my skincare oils but is pretty concentrated (1-3 drops should do it). I have two gripes about the elixir which land it on the “In a pinch” list: 1) it doesn’t perform any better or worse than my other skincare oils, and 2) it’s a hassle having to shake the bottle to put the sediment back into solution.

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I love me some Garden of Wisdom skincare products. There really aren’t very many products Markey makes that I can’t stand. Unfortunately, her rose clay cleanser is one of those items. The benefits listed sound good enough:

* nutrient rich
* clay draws the toxins to the surface of the skin lifting impurities away
* easily rinsed clean with warm water
* deep cleansing
* helps to regulate oil production 
 

but unfortunately, the ingredients themselves aren’t playing with my skin very well. I’ve used my fair share of clay masks before and am a big fan of the ubiquitous Queen Helene mint julep mask. I was expecting the rose clay cleanser to have somewhat the same consistency as the mint julep but was sorely mistaken; with an almost butter-like texture, I found the clay cleanser quite difficult to spread on my skin. I’ve tried it as a regular cleanser rinsing off after swirling around on my face, and as a mini mask allowing it to sit for a minute or two before rinsing and neither one has really blown my mind. If anything, I found it difficult to rinse off and messy, and it sometimes seemed to discolor my skin. At first I thought it was a skin reaction but my skin didn’t feel irritated, it was just the same color as the cleanser and it stayed that way for half an hour or so. It does seem to clean to a certain extent since there wasn’t any makeup residue on the cotton pad after I swiped with toner, but I’ve noticed a few clogged pores and my skin just doesn’t feel fresh and clean like it usually does.

DHC after bath emulsion – I’ve been using this as a leave in under ecostyler and a hard hold gel and don’t find it to be anything special. I’ve had this bottle for quite some time but, of course, have never gotten around to actually trying it. While it pairs moderately well with the ecostyler enough to give me waves halfway similar to ecostyler+kbb milk/super silky, I feel like the moisture content compared to the kbbs is sorely lacking. Upon application, it’s as if I hadn’t applied any leave in at all. In terms of consistency, it’s similar to GDLI. The ingredients aren’t anything to write home about (water/eau, butylene glycol, glycerin,  class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>cetearyl alcohol, diglycerin, behentrimonium methosulfate, bis(C13-C15 alkoxy) PG-amodimethicone, steartrimonium chloride, hydroxyethylcellulose, phenoxyethanol, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, steareth-5, steareth-15, barley extract/extrait d’orge à deux rangs, glyceryl stearate SE, sodium citrate, tocopherol, santalum album (sandalwood) wood extract, phellodendron amurense bark extract, fragrance/parfum, polyquaternium-61, citric acid, PCA ethyl cocoyl arginate) and at $14 for 5 oz, I can think of other products I’m willing to pay S&H for.

Curls by Sister Smith Wet Set Hair Pudding –  Yes, it’s cheap at $5.50 for a whopping 8 oz but for the ingredients list (glycerin, aloe vera, olive oil), I feel like I could just make it at home. It doesn’t truly feel creamy or moisturizing and when used under ecostyler (man, I love this stuff!!!) it did give me decent waves but again, nothing to write home about.

The holidays have been hectic for me – what with family drama and moving over the holidays. Yes, MOVING OVER THE HOLIDAYS. I got the key to the new house on the 2nd finished moving everything late that evening with the help of my AMAZING boyfriend. I swear, next time I’m seriously renting that Uhaul.

Suffice to say I now have no Internet and everything is still in boxes so I’ve been using what I can find. Unfortunately, that means really crap hair days. I don’t understand what all the hullabaloo is with Tigi MM. I’ve been using it for the past month or so and there are days where I don’t think it’s all thatbad mixed in with days where I just want to chuck the bottle into the trash. Today is one of the latter. Sure my hair feels all smooth and silky with tons on slip under the shower head, but once its out of the running water, strands start to repel one another and it’s a feat to run my hands through my hair.

My waves are starting to act like they did with the B2B jasmine curl conditioner.  I’m halfway through the 16 oz. bottle and considering just relegating it to a shaving cream rather than suffer another month of horrendous hair.

Today I used my bay rum bar, an ACV/honey rinse, tigi mm, gvp pm the cream, curls by sister smith wshp in brown sugar, and gvp pm extra body sculpting gel and my hair is NOT feeling it.  The GVP PM the cream makes everything too soft and results in killing any super strong hold from a gel. The WSHP does smell great but my hair feels dry and it’s stringy.

On the website, the WSHP instructions are to “apply to wet hair to maintain your curls and coils all day. Wet Set offers a non-greasy, light hold, so that your curls “POP” without feeling hard or crunchy.” The ingredients list contains just three items: glycerin, aloe vera, and olive oil. And it comes in a variety of scents. I sampled the WSHP from kathymack and I must admit that I’m glad it’s just a sample.

I’ve tried the WSHP with and without a leave in underneath, as the top product without a gel, and as the top with a gel and neither of them really work. My first go round with the WSHP, I used it over GDLI and was pleasantly surprised to see chunky waves after scrunching it into my wet (but not dripping) hair. Unfortunately, the happiness with the WSHP ended by the end of the day. My hair wasn’t frizzy per se, there just wasn’t much definition and it was as if my waves were weighed down and pulled out. I’ve been using it every day in different combinations and I still remain ambivalent about it. Sure it smells great and it’s definitely cheap if I were to buy a full size, but I think my hair just doesn’t like aloe vera in large amounts. I can’t use aloe vera gel because it makes my hair feel rough and undefined, and it pulls out my waves. Hm…lightbulb moment. Maybe that’s why I can’t get the WSHP to work for me. No matter how many times I’ve tried AVG with/out a leave in, under or sans gel on top, for the life of me I can’t get it to work. And considering the WSHP is 1/3 AVG that must be why my hair is spazzing out on me.

In other news, I’ve found that I much prefer my hazelnut/pomegranate conditioning oil mix over the babassu oil I’ve been using. I was afraid that my skin would react to this new combination of oils but instead the fine lines are disappearing and my skin feels ridiculously soft. The properties for the pomegranate oil are definitely true: “anti-bacterial (acne); hydrates; moisturizes; nourishing; restores the Ph balance of skin; smoothing; anti-wrinkle properties and smoothes fine lines!!”  Hazelnut has the following properties: “slightly astringent, toning, fast absorption.  Tones and tightens skin, helps maintain firmness and elasticity of the skin. Helps to strengthen capillaries so might be useful against thread veins. Encourages cell regeneration while stimulating circulation.”

It’s unfortunate that the pomegranate oil is a bit more solid than the other GoW oils I own. Since I freeze all my oils to extend their shelf life, I sat both oils onto the kitchen counter to get to room temperature. The next day, the pomegranate oil was definitely thawed but it didn’t have the consistency of regular oil. It was somewhat chunky and there seemed to be fibers in it. Nevertheless, I spooned out a little 1/2 tsp sized chunk and mixed it in a amber glass dropper bottle 3/4 filled with hazelnut oil. This mix is great because it sinks in fast and doesn’t solidify as easily as my babassu oil did. The smell is a little tart due to the pom oil but definitely something I can live it with for great skin.

I’m also loving this GoW immortelle HA serum. It really does work fast to heal irritated skin and it provides a good amount of moisture.