August Workout Schedule

Friday, July 31, 2015


It's almost August! The months are just flying by this year, and we're almost into Fall! I am taking it pretty easy on creating workouts this month, and I'm going to make use of my favorite workout DVDs. With my Yoga Certification test coming up in September and my Personal Trainer Certification in November, I really want to buckle down and devote a lot of my time to studying. But no worries, I still have a few good workouts for you! This month, I am focusing on jump rope workouts. Jumping rope is great cardio! It actually burns twice as many calories as running, and works the entire body. All you need is a $3 jump rope (I got mine from Five Below). If you can, I recommend jumping rope for, at least, 10 minutes a day. The pounds and fat will come right off in no time!

Oh! And this month is my birthday month! Happy birthday to me!

Natural Hair 101 | The Essentials

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kinky Curly Come Clean, Giovanni Smooth As Silk, Direct Leave-in, and Deep Deep Moisture Mask
My Essentials - Kinky Curly Come Clean, Giovanni Smooth As Silk, Direct Leave-in, and Deep Deep Moisture Mask

Going natural can be daunting, but one thing is for sure, you're going to need some products to help you care for your hair. Of course, with all the information out there, it can be confusing to know what you need vs. what's just a luxury. Contrary to popular belief, natural hair doesn't need to be expensive; you really only need a few different products and tools.


Products


  • Shampoo: You need shampoo of some kind, whether commercial or homemade. It is important to keep your hair and scalp clean so that it can remain healthy. I really like Kinky Curly Come Clean because it's on the natural spectrum of ingredients and a little goes a long way. If your scalp can take it, instead of shampooing, you can cowash, or use a conditioner or cleansing conditioner, to clean your hair and scalp. While some may only need to cowash, others may find that they still need to shampoo to really clean their hair and scalp. 
  • Conditioner: After shampooing, you have to condition to soften and detangle hair. There's a lot of different conditioners marketed towards natural hair, but trust me, that's just a gimmick. Find something that works for your hair and that you really like. I love Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner. It always leaves my hair really soft and smooth. If you cowash instead of shampoo, feel free to skip this part. 
  • Deep Conditioner: Every natural needs a deep conditioner. Our hair can get really dry and needs a little extra TLC. Look for something really moisturizing like Giovanni Deep Deep Moisture Mask. Deep conditioners are also really easy to make; things like honey, yogurt, olive oil, and aloe vera juice make for great natural, homemade deep conditioners. 
  • Leave-In: In my opinion, every natural needs a good leave-in. It keeps hair moisturized in between washes helping to retain moisturize, strengthen hair, and keep it detangled. If you use a leave-in everyday, you want to make sure it's on the lighter side so that it doesn't cause build-up or weigh down your hair (yup, natural hair can be weighed down). Giovanni has a few different leave-ins, but my favorite is the Direct Leave-In. If you want to skip the commercial brands, you can make a leave-in from aloe vera juice or a mix of water and glycerin. 
  • Oil: You need oil to seal the moisture into your hair. There are tons of different oils, and you will need to try different ones to find the best one for your hair. On the heavier end is castor oil and shea butter, while lighter oils include coconut and grape seed oil. Make sure you always seal moisture into your hair after you wash and after using a leave-in. 
  • Gel (optional): Gel is optional for a natural, but many like it for wash n gos and to hold styles, like braid outs and roller sets. I can honestly take it or leave, but I always keep some on hand, especially in the summer when humidity is more likely to ruin a hairstyle. I like Kinky Curly Curling Custard, but the price point scares some naturals off. It's a great gel, a little goes a long way, and it has decent hold. 

Tools


  • Blow-Dryer: Every natural should have a blow-dryer, even if they don't like using heat. I've found my blow dryer to be a life saver when I needed to make sure my hair was dry or set. There's a lot of different blow dryers on the market, and many are a lot more gentler on hair than their predecessors of yesteryear. Do your research and look around to find one that will be gentle on your tresses. (Note: I'm on the search for a blow dryer myself, so I can't recommend anything at the moment.)
  • Curlers: Curlers include sponge rollers, perm rollers, flexi-rods, magnetic rollers, curlformers, etc. They're perfect for creating those little spiral curls and stretching hair without heat. I have all of them, but when you're starting out, you only need one kind, and if your hair is shorter, make sure that the rollers are on the smaller end. 
  • Bobby Pins and Hair Ties: This goes without an explanation, but for pinning hair in place or ponytails, every girl needs some bobby pins and hair ties. 
And that's it. The most expensive thing on this list will be the blow-dryer, and it's really something you will buy maybe every 5 years depending on how often you use it. Even with the two Kinky Curly products, I spend about $100 a year, a little more than $8 a month, on just the essentials. So you don't need much to care for your natural hair and it most definitely doesn't have to be expensive. 

Another Great Nude Lipstick on Dark Skin

Monday, July 27, 2015

Nude lipstick for black women | Nude lipstick for dark skin
I'm in love with the Cocoa!

In my quest to find great nude lipsticks for dark skin, I came across NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Cocoa (surprise, NYX again, lol). I bought it a few weeks ago during Ulta's 40% off NYX sale, and I was slightly worried that it was too light, but it was perfect. It was a close match for my bottom lip, and blended very well with my top lip. The nude color really gave me a demure, innocent look.

Nude lipstick for black women | Nude lipstick for dark skin
Innocent and demure, just a perfect look, all around!

So on the running list of nude lipsticks for dark skin women, we have

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Cocoa
NYX Voltage in Dirty Talk
Wet N Wild Mochalicious
Tropez (Since this lipstick was old, and I can't find it, I am going to cross it off the list, but I will look for another dark brown)

Oily Skin? Try Red Clay Powder

Friday, July 24, 2015

Red clay for oily skin
This is my face after being out all day. I didn't touch up anything! I know, it's that amazing!

Summer means two things, poufy hair and a super oily face. I'm thinking my hair is a lost cause, hence it will always be in two-strand twists or an updo during the summer, but I may have found success with preventing an oily face. I was going through my hair products to de-clutter and noticed that I have a lot of clay, specifically red and bentonite clay. I tried clay during my no-shampoo phase, but it didn't really bode well for my scalp, so I nixed it. I never threw them away because I figured I could use them as a face mask, but I never got around to it. Last Sunday, I was applying my makeup and decided to just randomly try the red clay. I mixed it with my cacao powder and applied it to my face with a foundation brush. It actually added a little bit more coverage than with just the cacao powder. It went on really smooth and didn't make me look pale or ashy, so I figured I would rock it for the rest of the day.

I spent a good chunk of my day out and about in DC, and if you don't know, DC is very hot and humid right now. It was almost 100 degrees on Sunday and extremely muggy. Surprisingly, my face remained matte and my makeup intact, which has never happened in this weather. I'm always dripping sweat and really oily after only 30 minutes, so four hours and still matte is beyond amazing.

I would definitely recommend red clay if you are having problems with oily skin; it can easily be found at a health food store, like Whole Foods, or on Amazon. While red clay definitely works better for black women and darker skin tones, there are a variety of clays varying in color from white, beige, and even dark brown to black, so you aren't limited. It's a great natural alternative for commercial mattifying sprays and powders, and even better, clay is a natural sunscreen. So try it and let me know what you think!

Homemade Applesauce means I'm Ready for Autumn

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Homemade applesauce

This weekend, I cleaned out my refrigerator and realized that I have a ton of apples just sitting in my crisper drawer. I wasn't in any mood to blend them, and I didn't feel like freezing them either (can apples even freeze well). So instead, I made some applesauce...which probably means I'm sick of this humidity and ready for autumn, lol. This recipe was actually really easy; it's very delicious and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup reminded me of changing leaves and cooler weather.

Ingredients:
8 apples, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup maple syrup

Directions:
Add all of the ingredients in a food processor, and on the lowest setting, pulse everything together until you get your desired consistency. Keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Style Obsession | Kimono

Monday, July 20, 2015

I have been so obsessed with kimonos for the last month. They seem perfect for summer, and great for when you want to be lazy but still stylish. I had been eyeing some kimonos on BooHoo, and of course, had to jump at the chance to purchase them when they had a sale. In preparation for when they come, I have been getting some inspiration on how to wear them on Pinterest.

UPDATE: I figured I wouldn't have my kimonos by the time this posted, but what do you know? They arrived up Saturday, and I couldn't be any happier. This kimono is so cute! I am going to love wearing it on my birthday!
FroBunni | Kimono

This outfit is just beautiful and looks like the perfect birthday outfit (2 more weeks!). I just love how this kimono flows so elegantly over the romper.
Source: www.Pinterest.com

This print is so beautiful. I love how colorful it is, and even though I can't see the rest of her outfit, the kimono alone makes a great statement. 
Source: www.Pinterest.com

I am not in love with this print, but the shorts and top are just cute, plus I have similar items in my closet, so I am already have an idea how I will wear something similar. 
Source: www.Pinterest.com

This is gossamer-like and ethereal. This makes me just super excited for my kimonos. Just beautiful!
Source: www.Pinterest.com

A Perfect Hair Day Thanks to Giovanni

Friday, July 17, 2015


It's not a secret by now that Giovanni products are pretty much a staple in my natural hair regimen. Making up 75% of my products, I own and use ten, and have, at least, tried another ten at some point in my natural hair journey. I love that their products are natural, relatively inexpensive, and easy to find in stores, and even better, and most importantly, they make great products that have kept my hair healthy through the years.

This week, I was able to try two products that I've really had my eye on for awhile, The 2chic Blackberry & Coconut Milk Repairing Intensive Hair Mask and the Eco Chic Smooth As Silk Xtreme. The Repairing line came out at the beginning of 2015, and I wanted to try it forever, but wanted to use up a few of my other products first. I have wanted to try the Smooth As Silk Xtreme for the better part of two years, but instead have been using Aphogee as my protein conditioner.

2chic Blackberry & Coconut Milk Repairing Intensive Hair Mask
First, let me say that this stuff smells amazing. It smells very fruity, but it's not overpowering. Yesterday, I cowashed my hair and deep conditioned with the Repariing Intensive Hair Mask. The hair mask helped to really moisturize my hair and defined my curls. I did a curl former set that night, and in the morning, my hair was shinier and smoother than previous sets. It's definitely a keeper!

FroBunni | Bantu knot out
Giovanni products always give me a perfect hair day! Second day hair and loving this bantu knot out!

Giovanni Eco Chic Smooth As Silk Xtreme
This product is not only amazing, but it is better than any other protein treatment that I've tried, literally. For one, I only used a quarter-sized dollop of deep conditioner for each half of my hair, and it went on smooth, softening each strand. My knots melted away and detangling took only a few seconds...and this is an entire half section of my hair. The product, like most, helped to define my curls, but when I rinsed it out, unlike other products, my curls staying springy and intact. I am actually really excited to try this for when I do a wash n go because I am thinking I may have the most defined wash n go ever!

I can definitely say that this will replace the Aphogee 3 Minute Constructor. The Smooth as Silk Xtreme made my hair feel so much softer, but it also felt really strong. And even though the Aphogee is cheaper, I end up using so much to cover my entire head. The Smooth as Silk Xtreme is a smaller bottle, but I didn't have to use that much, and it works a lot better.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Which is More Comfortable to Sleep in? Curlformers, Perm Rods, or Flexi-Rods

Source: www.curlformers.com
Curlformers, while not the most comfortable, allow hair to dry in the shortest amount of time.

On Monday night, I washed, conditioned, and set my hair on medium sized perm rods. Then I went to bed...well, I tried. With 50 perm rods in my hair, I just couldn't sleep. So, after tossing for 2 hours, I got up at 1am, took all of the rollers out, and put my hair in a bun. Needless to say, I was mad that I barely got any sleep because I spent an hour setting my hair, and another two hours wide awake and completely uncomfortable.

This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact, I often think that I can manage a perm rod, flexi-rod, or roller set overnight, only to be reminded that it ain't happenin'. In fact, on wash day, I can only set my hair on foam rollers or curlformers if I want to sleep. Everything else, is just unbearable. So, I know you're asking, Kami, what hair rollers are the most comfortable to sleep in?

Foam Rollers: This is why I love foam rollers; they give a cute hairstyle each and every time, and I can sleep on them. But what they make up in comfort, they lack in dry time. Foam rollers should not be used on wash day, they will take over a day to dry.
Extra Small Perm Rods: I did a perm rod set using extra small perm rods awhile ago, like when I wasn't even two years natural. While mildly uncomfortable, they did allow me to sleep fairly well without much effort. But, with extra small perm rods, I can expect a longer install time, plus they're going to take awhile to try. I wouldn't try this again on my current length of hair.
Curlformers: I know what you're think, curlformers are comfortable?! Actually, yes. Curlformers are much more flexible than hard rollers, and hence you can push them to one side and sleep on the other. And even better, they're perfect for wash day because my hair is always dry in the morning.
Small Flexi-Rods: Flexi-rods are hit or miss. Some nights, I can sleep on them pretty well, and other times, it's a nightmare. It's how I roll them. If I have some of the rods sticking outwards, it makes sleeping near impossible. But if I roll and fold them perfectly, it's not the worst sleep...not the best though either. And the dry time is, at least, 8 hours, but most of the time it's like 12 hours.
Everything else: This includes all of the medium and large sized perm rods and flexi-rods, and all magnetic rollers. There's not a way to maneuver magnetic rollers around your head to make them comfortable, so it has always guaranteed a poor night sleep. They work better with ponytail sets (which don't cover your head in rollers), or if I plan to use heat to dry them.

Of course, all of this will depend on your tolerance level. Chigirlmakeup sleeps in her perm rod sets, but that's just not possible for me. Everyone is different, and as always, you're probably going to have to test it out. Oh, and one more thing, sleeping on an airplane pillow actually makes it easier to sleep if you have curlers in your hair. The pillow raises your head to accommodate the curlers making it a bit easier to sleep.

Sound off in the comments, can you sleep with curlers in your hair?

Happy 6th Naptural Anniversary!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FroBunni | Natural Hair
I am having a great hair day today!

Happy birthday natural hair! Happy birthday natural hair! On July 15, 2009, I woke up around 8am and cut all of my relaxed hair off. It was a little nervous, but I knew I was making the right decision. While my big chop wasn't as happy-go-lucky as I would've liked, I can definitely say that I have never regretted having natural hair!

Protective Styling | What You Want vs What Your Hair Needs

Monday, July 13, 2015

FroBunni | Two strand twist bun on natural hair

Over the last few weeks, protective styling has been more about my resolve than my hair. Protective styling works great for me, and it is a good way to retain length. But for me, I like to show off my hair. I have internal battles each night over if I want to remove my twists, and attempt to prep my hair for a style the next day. Of course, all of this time will be worthless; the humidity and impromptu rainstorms often make the time and effort into a hairstyle pointless. It’s exhausting, but I can’t seem to shake the desire to style my hair, even though my ultimate goal is hip length hair. So lately, protective styling has been about my own internal strength and determination.

I’ve always said that the hardest part about being natural is deciding if you’re going to take care of your hair based upon what your hair needs versus what you want. If your hair needs daily moisture, and you don’t want to wet your hair everyday in hope of preserving a style, then your hair will suffer. If you want to wear your hair straight, but your hair is easily heat damaged, then again, your hair will suffer. I’ve often found that the naturals who are able to unconditionally love their hair, are the ones that can also put their wants and desires aside for having healthy hair.

And here is why I am at a crossroad. On the one hand, I must protective style to retain length and for my hair to be healthy enough to grow to hip length. And on the other hand, I feel I should be able to wear my hair out everyday…

In the end, I’ve decided that hip length is more important to me, and I’m already seeing the results of my efforts.

Trying the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 1 of the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge; this is the Citrus Breeze Green Smoothie.

On July 1st, I decided to take the plunge and do a 30 day smoothie challenge. If you follow me on Twitter, you see that I occasionally tweet about Crohn's Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that I was diagnosed with it when I was around 12 years old. Those who suffer from Crohn's Disease have periods of flare-ups, when symptoms of the disease are active, and periods of remission, when those symptoms subside. For the last 5 years, I was in remission, but a couple of weeks ago, my symptoms began to flare. I spent the week eating crackers and drinking ginger ale, and I was constantly exhausted.

While looking through my emails, I saw Simple Green Smoothie's 30 Day Smoothie Challenge, and thought it would be a good way to start regaining some level of normalcy, as well as getting the nutrients that my body was badly deprived of during that week. After work, I went to grocery store, picked up the week's ingredients, went home, and blended some fruits and veggies. I drank my smoothie, and went to bed. I was too exhausted to do much else.

In the morning, I felt a little better. I was still tired and wasn't hungry, but I forced myself to make the Day 2 smoothie. The day went a little better, and I managed to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients for pita-style pizza. The rest of the day went better than previous ones.

I've been doing the challenge for a little over a week now, but I feel a lot better. My symptoms have lessened to a point where I can go about my life. While this isn't a cure for Crohn's, nor a replacement for medical treatment (I am still going to the doctor and getting tests done), it has made my life a little better.

My Signature Makeup Look

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I've been documenting my makeup journey for a couple months now, and I am really getting the hang of applying makeup, while also finding really great brands and colors that compliment my dark skin. I've pretty much settled on my signature look - clean face, winged eyeliner, and lipstick - and I am really happy with how it's turning out. 

A couple of weeks ago, I took pictures after each step of my makeup application. I start off bare faced with no makeup and finished with my signature look. It's really simple for makeup dunces, like myself, but also really beautiful and elegant. You can easily get different looks by changing the highlight and lipstick color, and even adding a little bit of blush. 

Of course, the techniques and process are great for all women, but the colors are really complimentary for black women and dark skin women, especially the nude lipstick. So if you're my complexion, and finding complimentary make-up colors has been less than fun, definitely check out the brands I mentioned. Also, if you're iffy about the ingredients in makeup, check out my posts on cacao powder and rice flour (links below). Both are all natural, but give results similar to store bought makeup; they're great natural alternatives. 
  1. Bare Face: I washed my face and applied a mix of aloe vera gel and honey (acts as a natural primer), and lotion. No makeup has been added. 
  2. Cacao Powder: I use my cacao powder as a natural, powder foundation. It helps to even out my skin tone and blur blemishes. 
  3. Concealer: I added concealer (NYX Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette in Dark, the top right color) under my eyes, above my lip, on my chin, down my nose, and between my eyebrows. 
  4. Concealer Blended: I blended the concealer.
  5. Strobing: I did the strobing technique highlighting with Maybelline The Nudes Palette (farthest, bottom left bronze color). I applied in the inner corner of my eye, on my brow bones, down my nose, above my lip, and on my chin. 
  6. Highlight Blended: I blended the highlight.
  7. Eyebrows, Winged Eyeliner, and Rice Flour: I filled in my brows using Wet n Wild Color Icon Brow and Eyeliner in dark brown, and created winged eyeliner using NYX Super Fat Eye Marker (which hopefully isn't discontinued). I set my make-up using rice flour*, which also adds a nice glow to my face. 
  8. Finished Look with Lipstick: Here's the final look! I just lined my lips with NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Brown and NYX High Voltage in Dirty Talk
* In Cacao Powder Foundation Revisited, I said I had stopped using rice flour, but recently, I found a very fine, powdered rice flour, which isn't irritating to my skin. Rice flour is a natural, setting powder, and helps to even out skin tone and discoloration (here's a full list of benefits). Works great with makeup or alone!

Liquid Amino Acids to Prevent Frizzy Hair from Humidity?

Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids for natural hair
I like to buy the Bragg's Liquid Amino Acid

Ah, summer. I both love and hate you. I get to go to the beach, wear short shorts, and walk around with a giant, tangled frizz ball for hair...yup, I've been natural almost 6 years and summer humidity has still been the bane of my existence. I was almost to a point where I gave up and wore twists for the rest of the summer (which I may do anyways because I'm supposed to be protective styling).

The other day, I found myself in Target staring at hair products. While this is actually normal for me, the fact that I was staring at Beautfiul Textures Texture Manageability System was not. Personally, I'm against this product because of claims that it permanently straightens hair. But I also admit that I was lured in because I wanted something to combat the summer's humidity. I read through the ingredients twice, and something caught my eye, "keratin amino acids." I don't have keratin amino acids...but I do have liquid amino acids.

Awhile back, I did a post on liquid amino acids on my natural hair, and I had great results. My hair stayed straight without frizz for five days. Normally, I start seeing frizz in my roots on the second day, but with the liquid amino acids, it stayed straight. I decided to put the liquid amino acids to the test yesterday, after battling a week of crazy, poufy hair. I did my usual mix - 1/3 liquid amino acids and 2/3 water - sprayed it onto my hair, followed up with Giovanni Direct-Leave In, and sealed with grape seed oil. Then I twisted my hair and went to bed.

In the morning, I undid the twists...and hated them, and put them in a large bun, lol. I wore my hair like that for the rest of the day, and when I got home, I took my bun down and my hair was still straight and stretched. Normally, my hair would've been frizzy and tangled, even in a bun, but it wasn't.

I can't say if this will happen time and time again, but it's worth trying a second and third time. Liquid amino acids seems to be the holy grail for my natural hair problems, which is almost too good to be true.

Tri-Cardio Workout

Monday, July 6, 2015

This post is in honor of my good friend, Jenny, who challenged me to make her some workouts...of course, she asked for this over 6 weeks ago, but that's ok. Better late than never, lol. 

Tri cardio workout | FroBunni

Last week, I posted about my July workout schedule and mentioned the Tri-Cardio workout. Consisting of three different "types of cardio" - high intensity, fat burning, and cardio with weights - the tri-cardio workout burns more calories than a traditional workout because of the short, high intensity interval exercises.

Tri cardio workout | FroBunni

These two workouts help to define abs and tone the legs and butt, but feel free to mix it up and add your own exercises to personalize it (check out my list of exercises to help give you ideas).

Happy July 4th!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

FroBunni | natural hair
I thought this was a cute picture, but I've been told I'm frowning. Don't worry though, I'm happy, lol. 

Just stopping in to say have a Happy July 4th! I know I've been a bit MIA lately, but I'll be back in the swing of things come Monday. Have a good holiday weekend!