Glow Therapy: Candid Conversations With A Skin Specialist

So I’m having an event in NYC! Think of it as a TEDtalk for all things beauty and wellness related. I’ll be breaking down the functions of the skin, how you can get the most out of your seasonal skin care routines & much more. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me any questions you might have about beauty (even professional questions). The best part is you will receive a free skin consultation from me as well! I hope to see all your beautiful faces there ❤ I’m so excited to meet you!

Here’s the link!


The Pu**y Peel

As you may or may not know, vaginal care is important to me. Why? Because myself and some of my favorite people have vaginas. They’re pretty awesome but having one is like having a part-time job you never applied for but keep just because you need to make ends meet. Between GYN appointments, waxing, shaving (yuck!), periods and child birthing… it’s like WTF?! When does it end? Not today.

I did some extra shit to my vagina earlier that was amazing and you need to hear about and/or experience! I got a chemical peel on my vag to help with ingrowns, exfoliation and brightening. I have tried a few different brands of peels on my face. All of them were busts. I did not like the tingling/burning sensations or the weeks of dehydrated skin that ensued. The reason I was willing to try again with my vagina was because my ingrowns have gotten worse due to the cold season and the fact that my waxing schedule has changed.

Fortunately for me, one of my very best esthetician friends referred me to Baire in Hell’s Kitchen. They use PCA chemical peels, which have been around for over 20 years. PCA is a science based brand complete with pH balanced products for every day and professional use. They are very education oriented. I love the company philosophy mainly because they offer so many options in peels that otherwise can be very harsh and intimidating.

My appointment was with a lovely woman named Marina. She was pleasant and gentle. We chatted about our shared reservations regarding other brands of peels and direct acids. Because I am completely comfortable busting it open on medical tables, my service was quick and easy (about 25 minutes). Although I did not experience any discomfort, burning or stinging, it is a possibility with others. Luckily for me, Marina was nice enough to check in and make sure I was okay.

So far, my bikini area feels smoother and softer. My ingrowns are a bit more apparent and I am trying my best to not pick them out just yet. The bikini peel service is priced at $75 and recommended to do every 4-6 weeks. I will most likely be doing 6 sessions so that I will see desired results. I want my skin to be completely recovered from all those years of shaving!

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

What the pHuck?

Everyone from doctors, dietitians and beauty professionals are mentioning the importance of pH levels. Usually, people just smile and nod as if they know what the hell is going on. So what exactly does it all mean? Let’s say you had a garden and you wanted to create the best possible conditions for said garden to thrive. You would probably provide top of the line water, air and sunlight. Maybe even talk to it a little bit because you read an article once that plants liked that kind of stuff. My point is, you would facilitate a proper place for growth to take place. Your hair, skin and insides are similar to your (metaphorical) garden in the sense that they all require proper environments in order to thrive. Part of your wellness mission is to achieve and maintain the proper pH for your body to thrive.

Let’s get technical for a sec… pH stands for Potential Hydrogen and describes the alkalinity or acidity of a product/substance. The pH scale goes from 1-14. The higher the number, the more alkaline the substance. Just in case I’m losing you, here’s a chart!

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pH for hair: scalp should be 4.5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for skin: acid mantle should be 5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for body (internal): 7.5> – to maintain this, the foods in your diet should be as alkaline as possible (more than 7) *this includes a healthy vagina*

Usually, when shopping for any kind of beauty products, you can find the pH level listed on the website or can just research them online. pH level is especially important when it comes to shampoos and face cleansers because of the stripping of vital oils that may occur. When certain oils are removed, the pH of the skin is disrupted.

So stay balanced!

Water your gardens with the finest alkaline beverages

Keep your body clean

Stay away from bad products, bad foods and bad men! lol 

Coming Soon: Mask Mondays!

You know what pisses me off? Seeing tutorials and skin care vids of women with beat faces sparingly applying mask products to their face. As if they are completely unaware that the skin around their brows, mouth and eyes also needs to be tended to. After providing these women with one too many views, I have decided that I will begin a weekly Periscope broadcast featuring myself and some of my fav masks and other products. Those tuning in will be able to ask me health, beauty and wellness questions. So you’ve got a week to download the app and follow. Can’t wait to see you there!

Not into livestreams and such? No problem! I’ll bring the best questions, suggestions and ideas here for your consumption.

Healthy Hair Journey

One of my Beauty Resolutions of 2017 is to take better care of this hair of mine! My healthy hair journey is a little more complicated than most. I used to have shoulder-bra strap length (relaxed) hair for most of my adolescent, teen and early adult years. Due to my anxiety, I would pull at the hair in the back of my head constantly. To the point where i developed a bald spot. A little over a year ago, when I made the decision to cut off all of my hair, I was mentally in a place where I wanted to break my bad habits and start fresh. Having no hair freed me from the pulling. It made me feel beautiful. It forced me to face the issues and stresses that caused the habit in the first place. I began to work on creating the life I wanted. A life that allowed me to deal with my anxiety in a more healthy way.

Fast forward to the present. I am a fuxking mess lol. I’m dealing with imaginary stress I put on myself combined with real life stress and emotions. From loss of sleep to not being as strict with my diet as I would like to, my anxiety is pretty high these days. As a result of this, the pulling of the hair is at a disastrous level! People with anxiety tend to take part in self mutilation as a way of coping in times of emotional distress. This can be nail/skin biting, severe scratching and of course pulling of the hair.  So basically, I’m trying to have a luscious and luxurious afro but anxiety won’t let me be great!

Due to this, my TWA (teeny weeny afro) is damaged and uneven. But since I am always up for a challenge… especially a beauty related one, I’m going to fight this! I used the wonder that is the internet to look for a salon that suited me. I wanted one that specialized in natural hair, had a good product line and a treatment that offered steaming services. I found my perfect match in Ebony Styles Beauty Salon. The service I chose was called the Rescue Treatment which consisted of a Pre-wash condition, shampoo and deep condition under the hair steamer. I wanted a treatment that would help soften my hair and allow it to retain moisture.

I was taken care of at the salon by some lovely stylists. One of them being Ms. Merna, the owner of the salon. It has been around for over 15 years yet they maintain a standard of professionalism and artistry that businesses sometimes lose overtime. The patrons were women of all ages and backgrounds. The conversation ranged from legislation to self care. Ms. Merna was extremely understanding when I told her about my hair pulling. She offered me some helpful tips to overcome it. We also came up with an action plan moving forward. Even better, I am sooooooo so happy with the results. She trimmed the damaged ends and made my hair more even to promote healthy growth. It’s so moisturized and soft that all I want to do is touch it… but I won’t! lol

Hair Steaming Tip!!!

I am a big big fan of hair steamers! I once had a service at this posh salon in Buckhead, Atlanta where the stylist put me under a steamer and it changed my life! My hair was so much healthier following the service. No other salon I have visited since then had one so finding Ebony Styles Beauty Salon was a big deal for me. Hair steaming opens the cuticle of the hair, enhances curls, strengthens the hair and makes it more manageable to style. AKA everyone needs to get into this!

PSA: Beware of Nair 

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair 

If you have in your adult life used Nair hair removal products, you are making a major mistake. A mistake that could easily be avoided. A mistake I spend my professional and personal life trying to prevent unknowing women from making. Often times, they are lured in by the promise of smooth skin, no ingrown hairs and no razor bumps. What they fail to tell you is that you can suffer chemical burns and far worse from this product. Nair is in no way good for your skin or body- especially when used in reproductive areas!  

Lye is one of the active ingredients in Nair. It loosens the hair from the follicle by distrusting (raising) the pH levels of the hair. It literally is dissolving the bond. Lye can cause serious chemical burns and blindness. If you’ve ever seen the Malcolm X movie starring Denzel Washington, lye is the shit that made him stick his head in the toilet. 

Lately, I have been seeing a trend on social media among young and I assume unprofessional makeup artists/hobbyists doing their eyebrows with Nair. As previously stated lye can cause blindness. Putting Nair on your eye area is dangerous af! The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of the skin on your face (besides your lips) which means those harsh chemicals are not only going into your pores but they are wearing away at the already thin skin around your eyes. Many of the girls can be seen on Instagram with redness and lots of irritation in the eye area. These are burns and allergic reactions that they will then cover with makeup. 

At work, I see many women who suffer from severe chemical burns in their vaginal areas, legs, stomachs and underarms. Most of the time, they sum it up to ingrowns or razor burns. My first question is usually “Have you used Nair?”. Their answer is usually Yes. The burns are usually irreversible and you are also left with worn skin that is unhealthy. That increases your risk for sun damage and makes your skin more sensitive to pain.

For the safety of your reproductive system, sweat glands, skin, vision, hair health and overall wellbeing, I beg you ladies … please do not use Nair! 

The Good Brow

Everyone has that one eyebrow that never lets them down… the one that doesn’t misbehave and let’s you fill it in perfectly (even on the days when you’re running late for work). Well this is an appreciation piece for that good brow. Let us take a moment to identify areas in which our not so good brow can learn and grow from the example that her sister (not her twin) sets. Let us learn to love and appreciate them as the individuals they are. Understanding that we must do our best to allow them to be themselves and not shape them into arches they are not meant for. This is not only unflattering to them, but also to the pallet that is the face. But in all seriousness-shout outs to the good brow! 

Here are a few tips for you to create the brows of your dreams:

1. Find the appropriate color and medium for the brow you want. For example, those who want a natural look should use a brow pencil as opposed to a powder or pomade. It creates subtle strokes that look like hairs as opposed to a harsh line. For more bold, dramatic brows, you should use a pomade to outline and the desired shape and a powder to fill it in. Some of my go to brow products are the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade and Duo Brush #12. The angular brush helps me to create any shape I desire (bold or natural). Also, I could probably never do without my European Wax Center “Sucha Tweeze” Slant Tweezers. The quality and shape of the tweezers allow a more precise and effective grip. 

2.The most common thing I hear from my clients is their desire to grow out their brows. The best advice I can give for this is leave them alone! This means you’ll go through an ugly duckling phase when you have sparse little hairs that won’t look as polished as you’re used to. That’s part of the growing process you have to live with. Also, try to avoid putting heavy oils that you heard will help grow your brows back. They usually just create congestion and ingrowns in the brow area.

3.If you want good brows, see a professional. Every woman has an eyebrow horror story. Whether it was themselves or another (unqualified) individual who messed them up, it could’ve been prevented by simply booong an appointment with someone who can give you a proper consultation about the state of your brows and where you’d like to go with them.