Shea Moisture Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Scrub Review


Shea Moisture Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Scrub w/ Shea Butter, 12oz   avg price: $10.00

What’s missing from your shower experience? My shower adventure was missing 1) a captivating, lingering scent, 2) a way to seal in the moisture, 3) the opportunity to scrub off any dead skin or ground in dust. As crazy as that last one sounds, for those of us who wear open toe shoes a lot, the dust does accumulate on our feet.

I love to walk down soap aisles, but unfortunately I have to pass all of the pretty colored bottles and bars. I’m allergic to mostly everything, and have to stick to products that contain minimal, and all natural ingredients. Now we all know the Shea Moisture Brand, and most of us have already tried the products in their hair line arsenal. Although I’m not a fan of Shea Butter on my hair, I am a big fan of Shea Butter on my crusty areas (heels and elbows only people). WE HOPE THIS REVIEW CAN HELP YOU SAFELY, AND AFFORDABLY PURCHASE A WELL NEEDED SUGAR SCRUB, ESPECIALLY FOR THE UPCOMING FALL/WINTER SEASONS.

Product Claims:
The Shea Moisture Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Scrub w/ Shea Butter claims to be “Healing, Hydrating and Calming”. This product states the following: “This soothing sugar scrub exfoliates with fragrant Lavender Buds and nourishes skin with Shea Butter and Wild Orchid Extract”.

Recommended Use: Mix Contents well. Apply a small amount to palm, massaging gently into skin using a circular motion, concentrating on rough, dry areas. As a hand treatment, rub palms together to create gentle warmth, massage gently into top of hands and cuticles. Rinse skin thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

How I Use It: I use it as directed on both my body AND face.

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Safflower Oil, Lavender Buds, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Olive Oil, Cymbidium Grandiflorum Flower Extract, Tocopheral (Vitamin E), Honeysuckle Flower…and other wonderfully natural oils.

OUR REVIEW:fashion-bracelets-photography

I was excited to see that they added yet another body product, a sugar scrub! I love sugar scrubs because they are effective, affordable (if you make your own), and tasty. I exfoliate my face with sugar (brown sugar and olive oil)….perfect. Dead skin removed, moisture sealed. You can’t beat that with a bat. The Shea Moisture Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Scrub w/ Shea Butter is targeted mostly for the body, but I have moved on to using it on both body and face. I LOVE the Lavender, Wild Orchid scent! Those of us with sensitive skin do not get a chance to play with many fun scents such as this. Oils are always welcomed, they keep me from having ashy skin. For those of you scared of breakouts (especially on the face), I have not experienced 1 pimple from using this. And if it’s not irritating to my face, then it should be fine for the body (do a patch test first). I consider myself a “litmus test” for any product’s irritation capacity.

Overall, I would recommend this as a product to place into your shower stall or bath tub. You can cover a lot of grounds with this one folks! Scent, Exfoliation, Moisture/Seal. And the price was right. I purchased this for about $10.00 at Target.


Eco Styler KRYSTAL Gel: An OFFICIAL Coily-Hair Girl Review

Eco Styler Hair Gel (Krystal)

Here’s my review:

$12.99 – 5 lbs

Product Claims:
Ecostyler Krystal Gel is a strong holding gel that is ideal for any hairstyle and/or hair color. It is weightless and provides gravity defying hold for all styles. Ecostyler Krystal Gel is water-based and will provide moisture to help maintain healthy hair.

Recommended Use: Apply to dry or wet hair. Work desired amount through hair and style.

How I Use It: (see my review for how I used it). To see my step by step coil defining/wash-n-go regimen, check out this link:

My review:
I use this curl defining gel (for a wash-n-go) on damp hair that has been saturated with conditioner and then blotted to remove extra conditioner. This helps me avoid a crazy, sticky “white mess” when gel is applied. I apply this gel in small-sized sections for full coverage, even distribution. This makes sure that there’s full coverage and minimized frizz/puff. Curl definition is immediate.

Due to the thick, glue-like nature of this product, the curls are momentarily elongated–but will return to their natural coil soon after. This product dries pretty quickly, possibly within 5 hours–maybe not the roots, though (depending on the weather, your hair thickness/viscosity, etc), and it dries with a crunch. By day 2, the crunch will be mostly gone. No flaking noted. This product does, however, sort of disintegrate with wear and tear. Meaning, the hold wears off due to the elements, any manipulation, etc.

It lays on thick enough that sometimes I rinse it little by little each day, leaving a coat on for a lighter hold. I love the fact that this product is water based, and is easy to wash/rinse out. I also like that it doesn’t leave my hair dry or without moisture. It provides a nice shine/sheen that curly haired girls like to see. I like to refresh my curls every morning with a spritz of water. That seems to re-activate the gel.

The Scent: Ehh, I don’t know what to say it smells like. Maybe a slight scent of play dough? But the scent doesn’t transfer onto your hair. I can only smell this while it’s in the container.

INGREDIENTS: Water , Carbomer , Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein , PVP , Glycerin Triethanolamine , Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate , Polysorbate 20 , Tetrasodium EDTA , Fragrance
**Note: I like to apply this product to hair dampened with water and conditioner. Blotting the excess conditioner will help to avoid the “white residue” that some consumers notice. It’s also important that the hair has been detangled and shed hairs removed prior to application of this product. Applying this to cleansed hair is important if the hair has layers of product already on it.

Coils Defined with: EcoStyler Krystal Gel

Who would I recommend this product to?
Those looking for curl definition. Also anyone seeking a slick, pulled back ponytail or hairline look.

Would I re-purchase this item?For sure, Eco Styler Gel is one of my staple hair products for defining my curls and having a sleek hairline at times.

As I Am Curling Jelly: An OFFICIAL Coily Hair Girl REVIEW

AS I AM Curling Jelly Coil & Curl Definer
$21.99 – 16fl. Oz

What It Claims:
“This superb frizz-minimizing stretch-enhancing, wonderful Curling Jelly is formulated with nature’s best moisturizers and curl boosters. Lock in precious moisture as you harmonize your coils. Whatever your hair length, your style will be distinctively beautiful and will hold it’s definition for days”.

Our Review: After I prepped my hair for this wash n goI used this orange-popsicle smelling curl definer. This is my 5th wash n go with the As I AM Curling Jelly. I even used it for a night out (check out the blue dress picture below)! I must say, I am excited. My staple curl definer is the Eco Styler Gel (clear or olive oil). The Eco Styler Gel that I use is a maximum hold product—that’s what I feel works best for my hair. The consistency of the As I Am Curling Jelly is NOT similar to the Eco Styler Gel. It is jelly like in consistency. It is not as sticky, so I believe the hold can’t be considered “maximum”. Now I realize, maximum hold is not the “be-all-end-all” when it comes to defining coils. It dries fairly fast (do your wash n go in the morning, you could be fully dried by 5pm–if the weather is right). I’ve definitely fully dried before time for bed. It dries with a little crunch, nothing major. I find that I like the crunch, as it ensures the curls keep their definition for a few days at least.

What it Did: This product was easy to apply. It goes on smooth. It does not cause sticky tangles like other gels are known to do, so you can apply it as sloppy as you need to. I applied this product ON TOP OF A CONDITIONER (Giovanni Tea Tree Conditioner). I applied it in small sections for maximum curl definition. It can be used sparingly (do not have to use a lot for curl definition), just be sure to apply an even coat from root to tip. From root to tip, each curl appeared shiny, defined, and frizz free. This product dried soft, defined, and frizz free as well. It allowed me to have 2nd and 3rd day curls (night time maintain was done).  There was flaking on day 2 when the coils were manipulated in their dry state. Moisture (a slight spritz of water) revives this product and my coils easily. WELL THEN, this product actually did what it stated it will do!!!

NOTE: Curl definers are only able to define curls/coils that are already present. They (currently) are not able to create curls.

Bouncy, Defined, Shiny Coils: Courtesy of As I Am Curling Jelly

I applied this product haphazardly (slapped it on without going through sections), and the results were very impressive (see picture below)!

As I Am Curling Jelly applied without Sectioning.

Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Pectin and Sugar Beet Root:

Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf¹ and Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root¹, Glycerin¹, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum¹, Pectin¹, Citric Acid², Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene




WILL WE BUY AGAIN? If this product is not in my hair product stash, I will be irritated. I need this as a “healthy” alternative to the “more affordable” gel curl definers that I have in rotation. Is this worth the $22.00? In my book, YES it is. The product can be used sparingly for maximum results. Also, the fact that this product does indeed promote lasting curls (2nd and 3rd day hair), means less product can be used for a 1/2 week’s worth of juicy looking, popping curls.

Coily Hair Review: Home-Made Deep Conditioner Using Avocados, Olive Oil, & More

Avocado, Olive Oil, Mayonnaise, and Honey Deep Conditioner Review

Cost: Depends on What Ingredients you Already Have in Your Refrigerator.

Why I Chose to Mix These Ingredients: Avocado: I found out that I love avocado oil. Some time ago, I purchased 4 oils together (avocado, hemp seed, jojoba, and sweet almond oils). After using each one–I realized pretty quickly that I like avocado oil the best . What I like the most about it is the “fatty” way this oil lays down on the hair. It seems to penetrate well. So that’s why I chose to put an avocado in the mix…for the fatty oil. Mayonnaise: I kept hearing about putting mayonnaise on the hair from online bloggers and other sources. Obviously mayonnaise is pretty “greasy” or oily should I say. Another thing that’s good about mayonnaise is that it never runs out in my house…we always keep back-up mayo for our sandwiches! Olive Oil: Who doesn’t love olive oil, and want to just add it to everything (food, hair, etc LOL). Last but certainly not least, Honey: I’ve always wanted a chance to put this sweet substance in my hair. This seemed like the safest way. There’s no way I’m adding honey straight up into my hair. It’s too sticky. The amount of each ingredient used varies for me. It depends on how my hair feels. Just to give an idea, for only my head of hair, I will put 2 quarters (slices) of avocado (the small hass avocado–I use a half b/c they’re so small), about 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of honey, 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I may omit the mayonnaise and add the other ingrediens to my favorite all natural conditioner for my deep conditioner treatment. Sometimes I will use a banana in place of the mayonnaise! It’s all good.

Our Review: I used this liquid consistency, but oh so oily substance on clean, damp hair. It did not smell too great, but was packed full of mostly natural healthy ingredients. Using this product served as a great foundation for styling my naturally coily hair all week long, and it left it feeling hydrated and soft. From what I saw, our hair was frizz free, had a nice sheen, and was easy to manipulate. HOWEVER, THIS CONCOCTION DID NOT SERVE AS A DETANGLER FOR US. We used a detangling conditioner after using the deep conditioner. If your hair is super tangly to start, it would be helpful to do a pre-shampoo treatment using a detangling conditioner–and detangle at that time. This concoction is a must-have for curls of all types. We especially love that it can be tailor-made for each curly individual.

DID YOU KNOW? Avocado Benefits: Use of an avocado conditioner encourages hair that feels soft and is more elastic. The high-fat content of avocados makes hair less dry, making this a great way to avoid breakage. Olive Oil Benefits: From root to tip, this oil will impart shine, combat the frizzies, some say it’s a great way to condition hair. Mayonnaise Benefits: Mayonnaise is made from eggs, oil and vinegar…all recommended for use on hair. Eggs and oil strengthen and moisturize dry hair, while vinegar is commonly used to give hair more body and bounce. If your hair is dull, lifeless, and lacks shine, try using mayo once a week. Honey Benefits: Honey is a humectant, which means that it holds on to water molecules. This is an ideal property in a moisturizer. It is also a natural antiseptic and has antioxidants. Honey is stocked with vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other super vitamins, which aid in hair growth. It can be added to conditioners, rinses and pomades. I would not venture to use it by itself, as it is quite sticky.

WILL WE USE THIS CONCOCTION AGAIN? All In all, it’s a winner in our book. This is definitely a go-to deep conditioner when we want home-made. It’s great that we can substitute and just use things we have in our pantry (such as eggs, bananas, yogurt, etc). NOTE: Those of you recognize that your hair does not react well to protein may want to stay away from mayonnaise, eggs, or other protein sources.

Sheen, Moisture Rich, Tangles Minimized, Style with Ease
Benefits of: Avocado, Mayo, Honey, Olive Oil Home Made Deep Conditioner

Wet N Wild Pink Suga Matte Collection Lipstick Review 900B

Wet N Wild “Pink Suga”

Wet N Wild is synonymous with vibrant, yummy, “look at me” colors. Their matte shades are intense and fun at the same time.

Extremely matte, you’ve got to prep your lips prior to application. Starting with brushing your lips with your toothbrush to remove any possible lip fragments. Nothing spoils the look of a great lipstick more than lip “crackles” underneath the surface. After brushing your lips, apply your favorite lip balm/conditioner. It has to be applied onto a moisturizer of sorts. Next, you will want to “dab” it on—or else it applies too unreal or obscene. You can use a liner with this–or not.

I like the Pink Suga shade for those low-key days where the focus is actually on the eye make-up. It’s a sweet color similar to the hues seen on Nicki Minaj. I had a hard time getting my hands on this shade. Everywhere I went–it was sold out. That’s common with Wet N Wild’s matte collection when a new shade is introduced. As far as the ingredients are concerned:

.11 oz.

  Made in China.


          Ozokerite, Pentaerythrityl, Tetraisostearate, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Mineral Oil, Myristyl Lactate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Myristyl Myristate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Capryllic/Capric Triglyceride, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Polysilicone-6, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, BHT, Propylparaben, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Silica, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Retinyl Palmitate, Squalane, Ubiquinone, Sodium Hyaluronate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Red 7 Lake, Red 6/CI 15850, Red 28 Lake/CI 45410, Red 30 Lake/CI 73360, Yellow 6 Lake/CI 15985, Blue 1 Lake/CI 42090, Yellow 5 Lake/CI 19140.

 If it wasn’t for the Burts Bees Lip Balm that I put underneath, my lips would be 4 times the large size than it is normally. Lots of these ingredients are toxic. BHT is one of the many ingredients listed that is stated to be linked to Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive). Not the healthiest beauty choice around.

Probably I will be tempted to keep checking in on Wet N Wild’s matte lipsticks to see what new and exciting shade is on the hot list. Priced right, you can’t go wrong with Wet N Wild lipsticks….or can you…….?

Coily Hair Review: Goody Finish Gel Cushion Brush / STEP 3 FINISH


We’ve used this tool weekly over the last 8 months or so. Purchased at Target for $9.99 or so (I can’t remember), it was well worth the money. If it gets worn out, I will quickly re-purchase. We’ve had great results, so we will share this information with you. With 3 heads full of coily hair, safe, reliable detangling tools are a requirement. This tool has provided us with just that. We hope this review helps.


Here’s the review:
Goody Finish Gel Handle Brush (Green)    Step 3                                                                                                                          
Product Claims:
Only Goody brings you the Start.Style.Finish. Collection so you can finally get the best results from your styling routine. Your hair has different needs when you start out with wet strands, when you style with heat and when you smooth and finish a dry style. Select the correct tool for fabulous results with Goody Start.Style.Finish.

Step 3: FINISH.
Ready to brush away frizz? Grab hold of the gel grip and use while finishing style to smooth hair.

Goody Finish Gel Cushion Brush STEP 3


• Ceramic – to minimize drying time
• Ionic – to help reduce frizz
• Comfort Gel Grip – for easy styling
• Tourmaline – to minimize static

My review:
I use this brush in and out of the shower on damp or wet hair–each instance with conditioner coating. I start at my extreme hair ends, and work my way up inch by inch. I do this in sections (my hair may be in 6 sections). This brush can handle  nice sized sections. I have not used it on dry hair as it seems to be intended for. I suspect this brush was designed with straight hair in mind, so it’s okay to adjust the use as best for curly/coily hair. The rubbery gel handle makes holding this while in and out of the shower very easy. Great grip. The cushion at the base of the plastic bristles allow for a nice “give” and ensure that my hair never gets torn out when it finds a knot. I also like the “give” that the plastic bristles provide. Combining the “give” from the plastic bristles and the “slip” from the conditioner, I can pull down on the brush without worry of ripping hair out. The little gray plastic ball tips are the perfect size for babying coily hair. A few times, my coil snagged around one or two of the gray plastic ball tips. No breakage was noted. I was able to remove the hair without problem or breaking. This is my one and only detangling tool for the 3 of us coily girls. It does a complete and thorough job without causing any breakage or split ends.
**Note: Detangling under running water, during the pre-poo, or even dry is completely determined by the condition/thickness/length/porosity/curl pattern of your hair. This review is to cover what this specific detangling tool was found to do for our hair. We address the detangling product, but not the detangling technique in this post. 
Who would I recommend this product to?
Transitioners that are looking for a detangling tool for both textures.  Naturals that are looking for a quality detangling tool that is flexible, has a great grip, and can be counted on to detangle each and every time.

Coily Hair Requires Delicate Detangling Tools & Technique

Arlington Court Suites Hotel REVIEW: the good, the bad, and the HILL


1200 North Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201

For those of you searching for the DC experience without the hectic DC hustle and bustle, you may want to consider checking out this spot. Minutes away from all of the scenic views, yet tucked away into a nice quiet part of town, the Arlington Court Suites  hotel has much to offer.

We stayed in the 1 bedroom suite, which boasts a spacy sitting area with a comfortable sofa and a pair of love chairs. A flat screen tv with cable, kitchen with all the wares (refrigerator, stove, plates, utensils, microwave, and even a toaster)! Even though we didn’t cook, these everyday household items came in handy since we took the complimentary breakfast “to go”. Yes, I said complimentary breakfast–daily!! Buffet style breakfast with all of the trimmings. Free Breakfast? You can’t beat that with a bat. Last But NOT LEAST, I must let you know that our hotel suite was CLEAN. That is a BIG MUST HAVE for me.

I  especially loved that my suite had a balcony. The view was not spectacular (it was of the adjoining building), but it was a nice outdoor breath of fresh air after our day touring DC. As per the front desk staff, there are more appealing views available.  Our bedroom had 2 queen sized beds that were quite comfortable. A nice sized flat screen television was in the room for entertainment. We loved the full-sized mirror–every girl loves that–great for getting dressed before a night out on the town.

Nice vanity area outside of the bathroom. Huge mirror action going on there as well. Room Service was great. They even washed all of our dishes (and we had 4 children with us at the time). The management/front desk personnel was kind and courteous. They were readily available to help.

 Ok, that’s enough with the pros. Its Nikki (co-author of b4 u spend) intervening with what I feel will be an honest, helpful input. All of what Tia said, I agree. The hotel had much to offer…. for the price. As you can tell from the pictures, the hotel is pretty dated. Drab color scheme, very old school traditional furniture, so-so lighting. Almost EVERYTHING, in my opinion, could have used an update. Also if you can avoid it, the hotel restaurant that offers room service, don’t eat there. The food straddled the fence of being horrible and the prices just added insult to injury. What i just mentioned, some may care nothing about. I did however feel the need to fully inform you of such small details, ya know, before you spend.-

Let me wrap up with an important detail (this is Tia now)….This hotel is situated at the bottom of a steep hill of sorts. Up the hill is the courthouse and a few diners (very good food by the way). You can head in that direction to access the metro. I heard that there is parking in that area for $5.00 daily. The hotel charges $15.00 daily for parking. Those are things you may want to consider in regards to transportation. The hotel offers free shuttle service to the metro (call to verify the shuttle schedule).