Summer Skin Care Routine

Hey y’all! I’m not going to fake the funk: I do not have great skin. I have enlarged pores on my cheeks, hair all over my face, and a mild, yet annoying, case of hormonal acne. My skin is dry and flaky, and aged looking. Listen, I’m only in my mid-twenties. I’m at the stage of my life where eye serums, facial creams, intense moisturizers, and a dermatologist should be in my future. However, I’m one of those #brokemillennials, so I can’t afford high end skin care or a dermatologist. Times like this, I wish I was an esthetician already. Anyway. I’m here to share my skin care routine for the summer, as I am actively trying to get my skin under control. From my face to my toes, I want luscious, beautifully melaninated skin, and now is the time to start. Let’s get started.
Keep on reading!

My 2016 Skin Care Routine

Hey y’all! 2016 is the year of skin for me, so I thought it would be a good idea to share with you all the skincare routine I began in late 2015 to figure out what my dry skin likes and dislikes.  As I dive deeper into finding my perfect routine, I want to share with you all my progress and findings. So, let’s get right into it.
Keep on reading!

REVIEW: Valentia True Glow Eye Cream [SPONSORED]

Disclaimer: I was given a steep discount on or received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All experiences reviewing this product are my own and are not inspired by the nature that I have received this product. Trust me, no one is paying me to say anything. You’re getting the real when I’m reviewing something.

Hey y’all! Happy New Year! How did you enjoy your holiday season? Mine? I gained weight from eating too much, but it was very happy holiday season. For the past month or so, I have been testing out a new product from Valentia Skin Care. If you look back a few posts, you will see that I reviewed their serum in the past (that I still use), and I was eager to review their new eye cream. As always, here is a little literature about the product:

“Valentia True Glow Eye Cream – An illuminating antioxidant rich eye cream that helps lock in moisture, repair and tighten skin for a youthful looking glow around the eye area.

This Corrective Eye Treatment Will:

  • Diminish fine lines & wrinkles
  • Nourish & hydrate
  • Tighten the under eye area
  • Brighten dark circles
  • Reduce puffiness
Specially selected ingredients work together to achieve optimum results.
  • Astaxanthin: A powerful antioxidant that increases moisture levels, smooth fine line and wrinkles, and restores elasticity to the skin.
  • Resistem: Natural plant stem cells repair and protect the skin from harsh environmental pollutants and stress related aging.
  • Vitamin C: Leaves the skin smooth and visibly brighter for well-rested and bright eyed look.
  • Organic Rosehip Oil: Provides intense hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Arnica: A key anti-inflammatory agent to the restorative process that works to diminish the appearance of dark circles.
Directions for using Valentia True Glow Eye Cream:
Apply twice daily, morning and night, after cleansing skin. The under eye area is delicate so eye cream should be applied gently. Using your ring finder, gently dab eye cream in using a patting motion going around the orbital bone and working inwards toward the bridge of your nose.”
I received this product on my doorstep on December 6, so I have been using this just shy of a month. I really like this product. Remember last year how I was all like, “I want to take better care of my skin?” Yeah, that still stands now. I mostly use this product once a day, usually at night because that is really when I wash my face. I apply this eye cream after toning my skin and using Evian Facial Spray, but before moisturizing my skin with whatever moisturizer I want to use that night. I have noticed that my skin is very soft around my eyes, which is a huge change from the typical dryness I experience. I just touched my under eye area and it is still soft from when I applied the cream to it this morning. One pump of product is enough for me to apply product to both under eyes and a little at the outer corner of my eyes.

Being honest with you, I am really enjoying using this product. Seriously. I’m even forcing convincing my fiance to try this out with me and I have noticed an improvement to his under eye area as well. On me, my dark circles don’t look so dark, but I don’t know if that is because I am drinking more water, or because of this product. Maybe they are working hand in hand. I have also noticed that my under eyes don’t look so puffy throughout the day, and that this cream soothes my skin when I apply it in the morning. It’s a nice product all around for me.

For you skin care lovers, I’d recommend this if you’re looking for an eye cream. You can purchase this off Amazon for $24.99 (free two-day shipping if you have prime!). Here’s the direct link to the product: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014DH4FTC

I hope this review was helpful for you all! Let me know if you have any questions about the product, and I’ll be sure to answer them for you. I’ll talk to you all again soon!

Hasty Hair Decisions: My Dilemma

Hey everyone. How are you? Me? I’m just sitting here, bouncing my legs and staring at my hair shears. Let me admit something to you all; I haven’t had a relaxer in a year. No, I’m not going natural…but I am transitioning. I want texlaxed hair. I’m not a fan of straight hair anymore; at least not my own. I believe that relaxed, texlaxed, and natural hair can flourish and be beautiful. With everyone transitioning to natural hair or big chopping (congrats ladies! I’m happy for you!), it’s becoming a little harder to find relaxed or texlaxed ladies on the inter-webs. I’ve been on my hair journey for six years now. I’ve had hard times with my hair…but I’m ready to reclaim my hair.

With this new transitioning stage in my life, I am ready to accept new beginnings. New hair, new life, new everything. For those of us relaxed ladies that are left, I want to be a source that you can come to for styling tips and researched info. I want to be a sister and friend on this hair journey. I want to be able to show everyone, that no matter how I decide to style my hair, that I am beautiful no matter what. God made me a woman; not my hair.

So often here, I am sharing product reviews and what my hair routines look like. Sometimes, I may even show clothing and makeup on here. But it has been rare when I just sit down and converse with you all, and share my feelings on things that I care about. Today, my feelings are on my hair; who knows what I’ll talk about tomorrow, or the next time I post? I think I want to do more sharing who I am here, instead of having my blog littered with product reviews after product reviews. What do you all think?

So, tell me ladies (and gents, if you are here): what do you think about my journey to transition to texlaxed hair? Are any of you texlaxed? Have you been thinking about texlaxing, or is relaxing bone straight more of your thing? Let me know. Let’s chat before I take these shears to my hair, haha. I will speak to you all soon. I hope that this post finds you in love and positive spirits. God bless. Love you guys!

Christmas Wishlist 2015

My favorite time of the year is nearly upon us; the holidays. I am so excited for this holiday season, as I am every year. This year, I have narrowed down a few items that I would love as gifts and products I have just been eyeing. Please note: this post is only for fun and to share some products/tools that I have had my eye on for a while. I don’t want to come off as though I’m begging; you know how that goes. So without further adieu, let’s get into my list!

Hair

  • Q-Redew Hand Held Hair Steamer: If you have been following hair blogs for a while (especially in the natural hair community), you may have heard of this product. The Q-Redew is a hand held hair steamer that I have seen many naturals use to restyle their hair from stretched states, to refresh their curls, and to impart more moisture into their hair strands. This steamer has quipped my interest, mainly because I have been wanting to try out a hair steamer for a long while. While I was in DC years ago, my cousin and I went to the Dominican salon, and I got under the steamer; I was in heaven lol. I want to give my hair that softness that I know steam can give me, especially when paired with a great deep conditioner. Now, I know I have seen naturals use it, but not too many relaxed manes have used it (from what I can tell). This is my main product wish for the holidays.
Makeup

  • Highlighters: I just want all of the highlighters. All of them. Recently, thanks to Instagram and YouTube, I have become obsessed with facial highlighters. Right now, I am HEAVILY eyeing Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighter in Peach Nectar, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed highlighters in Blushed Copper and Rose Gold, and the Laura Gellar Glided Honey highlighter. I love highlighters right now; so much so that I went out to purchase the Becca x Jaclyn Hill “Champagne Pop” highlighter, and another one from a company that shall not be named. If I convince at least ONE family member to purchase one of these highlighters, my little makeup heart will explode happily.
  • Coloured Raine Matte Lip Paint: Y’all. Did you know that I’m into this whole lip paint thing? I have like five from ColourPop, and one of the most popular shades from Coloured Raine called Raine Fever. I love these lip paints, and I want at least two more for the holidays. Right now, I am eyeing Cherry Blossom and Truffle Raine lip paints. This season, browns, purples, and reds are my go-to fall shades, and I need these two to really round out my lip products.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask: Let’s just be real here; I’m going to purchase this before the holidays. I have very dry lips and it is not cute. Although I wear lip balm throughout the day, my lips really take a beating at nighttime because I sleep under two fans, and I’m not as hydrated as I need to be. This lip mask from Bite Beauty is one of my favorites, and will be necessary for my lips during the winter time, I hate the packaging that it comes in (the black covering of the tube begins to chip off and it gets everywhere) but that will not stop me from purchasing this mask. You apply it on at night and sleep with it on, much like you would Vaseline. In the morning, I find that my lips are softer and much easier to exfoliate. This is essential before wearing lip colors, especially the matte lip colors I have been rocking so far.
Technology & Video Games
  • iPhone 6s in Rose Gold: I am a big fan of iPhones. I have had every iPhone since the 3g. I’m not about to get into the #TeamiPhone or #TeamAndroid debate, but I do want the new iPhone. Rose Gold holds a special place in my heart right now. I don’t really go so hard for iPhones,but I’m going to find a way to get this phone. Trust and believe.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: For those of you who don’t know, I love video games. It is one of my favorite past times and bonding activities with my fiance. I am an owner of the PS4 (#GreatnessAwaitsYou), and unfortunately, this game will not be in my possession until next year. I played the first Tomb Raider game (the remake, of course), and I’m ready to get this next installment into my possession. Xbox fans, enjoy it while you can. Don’t post spoilers.
  • KINGDOM HEARTS 3: Until this game comes out, expect to see it on every Christmas wish list until I can grab this game and hold it close to my heart, never letting go. I cannot begin to describe my love for this series. Disney + Final Fantasy = Get Cho Life. Just watch the trailers. Pick up Kingdoms Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 and experience something great. You’re welcome.
So far, I think this is everything I want for Christmas. This holiday season is sure to be a whirlwind, as always. What’s on your Christmas lists this year? Do you plan on purchasing your gifts for yourself, or will you calmly slide your list to family members like I’m going to do? Let me know in the comments below. I will have more posts up for you guys soon, so keep checking back for them! I hope this post finds you all in love, good health, and happiness. I will talk to you all soon!

Fall/Winter Hair Routine 2015

Hey everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since I have penned anything about my hair. I’ve been swamping you guys with these sponsored reviews, and I’m pretty happy to say that they won’t be as frequent as before. It’s time I put up content that is more like me (though I do love doing reviews), and is focused more on my hair care and other areas of interests. Today, I want to discuss with you all my plans for the fall/winter time. I try to have a regimen that will benefit my hair with the changing of the seasons, and that includes changing my products around and incorporating new products into my routine. Before I get into my routine, let me give you a little background on my hair so far:

Hair Update
So, I have not had a relaxer in my hair since November 24th. That makes almost 10 months without a relaxer. I honestly do not know how I always let myself stretch for long periods of time. I don’t like to stretch past 4-5 months personally, but I always get super lazy on my hair care routine during the summer. Lately, for these past ten months, I have been rocking various wigs and crochet braids to get me through this stretch. I have cut off about 2 inches of hair within five months, to keep my ends looking fresh. My hair hasn’t been too much of a hassle to deal with though, so that is a plus. I contribute that to deep conditioning. Deep conditioning works, y’all! I have so many deep conditioners here at my house that it’s a little ridiculous, but I love trying new deep conditioners. As the fall and wintertime rolls around, I want to go back to deep conditioning twice a week like I used to in the past. I have a lot of hair repairing to do thanks to the summer heat, and it’s important that I brace my hair for what is to come. Since I want to deep condition my hair twice weekly, I have to give up installing crochet braids. I’m going to try to make a wig out of the crochet braid hair I have, so that I can still rock my hair how I want, but will be able to put my regimen in place like I want.

I have also incorporated some new products and tools into my routine, which I think helped me stretch for this long as well. I am still wanting to purchase a hair steamer and a salon style hooded dryer like I talked about in the past, but I think I am doing pretty well right now with the products I do have. I’ll be sure to list them below, right after my hair routine for the rest of the year. I’m taking this hair growing process very slow, and I don’t mind it. I’ve been on my hair journey for five years now, and I am determined to learn all I can about my hair. If it takes me ten years to meet my goals (five years of slacking and research for five years of healthy, strong growth), I’m up for it.

Hair Routine

  • Pre-poo treatment with either hot oil or protein. I find that pre-poo treatments during the cooler months set the stage for the whole wash day for me. If my hair is feeling overly tangled or just won’t cooperate with me, hot oil treatments help my hair soften up, and impart my hair with nutrients before I shampoo my hair. I also enjoy doing protein treatments first on my hair, especially if I plan to shampoo and deep condition with moisturizing products within my wash day. It is important for me to have a balance in my hair to keep it growing strong and feel the best that it can. I’ll do a blog post dedicated to hot oil treatments and protein treatments at a later date.
  • Shampoo with a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo. I have a few shampoos that I love to use on my hair, many of them from Shea Moisture. But I have to admit that I also enjoy the lather and clean feeling that the Creme of Nature Moisture and Shine Shampoo. Those will be my primary shampoos to use on myself and others in my household.
  • Do a rinse out conditioning after shampooing but before deep conditioning. Typically, I skip this step. I want to begin doing this in my hair so that I can detangle my hair thoroughly in the shower before tying it up in a towel and deep conditioning. It is important for me to detangle in the shower, especially when I have so much new growth to fight through. I have natural 4 category hair as new growth, so any softening conditioner I have will be used to not only soften my new growth, but help my comb glide through my hair with added slip. I typically use the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner, but I also want to use the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner to detangle my hair with. I’ve tested this product and I like the slip it gives.
  • Deep condition. As stated above in the hair update, I want to deep condition twice weekly. I want to repair my hair from any damage, as well as prepare it for upcoming relaxers by making sure it is strong and healthy before, during, and after relaxing. The deep conditioner I choose depends on what I want to do with my hair during that time. I have a range of deep conditioners to choose from, and discussing them here will be a whole blog post alone. I will say that I think I have a pretty good mix between moisturizing, protein, and balancing deep conditioners for the year. On days that I will not be shampooing my hair (leaving that for once a week), I will do a light co-wash with the rinse out conditioner of my choosing. On co-wash days, I typically deep condition on dry or slightly damp hair, similar to how I would do a hot oil treatment.
  • Rinse hair with cool water. I find that this step is important for my hair. It has taken me a while to get here, but I have found that my hair is a little more manageable when I rinse it with cool water, as the cuticles are now closed instead of open. I want to do this step before deep conditioning, as well as after deep conditioning. It may be a little counter-intuitive to close the hair shaft before deep conditioning, but I feel like this helps my hair. I rather open the hair shaft gently with high heat, low speed than to leave the hair shaft open and more prone to drying out before I even apply the deep conditioner to it.
  • Style. I want to wear my wigs this fall/winter so I will be braiding my hair up. I find that I leave my hair alone when it is braided, so the manipulation factor is lowered throughout the week. On weeks 1-4 after a fresh relaxer, I may roller set or straighten out my hair to give the braids and wigs a break, but that depends on the weather. I will also moisturize and seal during this step, depending on how I plan to style my hair. 

As promised, I want to share with you all the new tools and products I have for my hair this year. I won’t go into too much detail right now about the products, as I want to dedicate specific reference posts for them. Here are my tools and products for this year:

  • Andis Professional Bonnet Hair Dryer
  • Hair Sense Bone Combs (Shorter Detangler Comb, Super Detangle Rake Comb, & Handle Rake Comb)
  • Bon Bon Cheveux Boutique Bonnets (Upside Down Cake Basic Bonnet & Basic Hard Candy Bonnet)
  • Denman 5-row Brush
  • Creme of Nature Moisture and Shine Shampoo & Intensive Conditioning Treatment
  • Shea Moisture 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque, Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque, and Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque
  • Silk Elements Kera Minerals Smoothing Deep Conditioner
  • Organic Avocado Oil
  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner

I will make specific reference posts for the tools (Andis Bonnet Dryer, Bone Combs, and treatments) at a later date. Expect to see them up by the end of this month, heading into October. I want to make sure that I have those posts out right around the time fall comes. I will also do a blog post about the dos and don’ts of my hair care routine during the fall and winter time. I hope you all found this updated routine helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope this post finds you all in happiness and love. I’ll speak to all again soon. Bye guys!  

Africa Imports I’ve Been Carded Black Soap Facial Wash Review [SPONSORED]

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Product shots are some of my favorites =)

It’s been a while. I feel like I always say that. My reviews have slowed down considerably as life has taken over and not in a way I’m happy of. Typically, I do not like to start reviews off like this, but I feel I owe you guys, as well as the companies I needed to write reviews for an apology. Life is hard, but my God is stronger, and through Him, I can find my strength again. So, I am going to finish up these reviews so that I can keep this blogging ship sailing smoothly. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let’s get into the review.

Disclaimer: I was given a steep discount on or received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All experiences reviewing this product are my own and are not inspired by the nature that I have received this product. Trust me, no one is paying me to say anything. You’re getting the real when I’m reviewing something.

For today’s review, I have a new skincare product to talk to you all about. I was contacted to review this black soap for you all and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I recently purchased the Shea Moisture African Black soap bar to use on my face. I have heard good things about the Shea Moisture soap, but I found it a little too bothersome to use it on my face. This is where the I’ve Been Carded Black Soap Facial Wash came to the rescue. The I’ve Been Carded Black Soap Facial Wash comes in a 2 oz. jar, with the product packed in. Here is the product description of the product, as taken from the website:

“Rewind the clock with this youth-renewing black soap facial treatment. Made with powerful African ingredients, this natural treatment deeply nourishes each pore, leaving you soft, tone, and fresh. 2 oz. DD-104.

How I’ve Been Carded Black Soap Treatment Works:

  • African black soap is bursting with antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage, which the main cause of premature skin aging, wrinkles, and facial lines.
  • Black soap also helps to even out and fade age spots and discoloration.
  • Black soap is rich in Vitamins A and E. Vitamin A helps promote collagen production which makes your skin softer and more youthful, filling in lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E helps to heal tissue structure and improves the texture and tone of the skin.
  • Shea butter works to soften and smooth skin while firming up skin that has gotten looser with age. It also works to heal scarring.
  • African coffee exfoliates your skin while the antioxidants in coffee help to cleanse and nourish. The caffeine in coffee is also known o tone and tighten the skin while increasing circulation.
Ingredients: African black soap, shea butter, African coffee, fragrance.
Shelf life is 5 years.”
Now that you know the claims of the company, the ingredients of the product and how long it should last you without going rancid, let’s get into how I use the product. Typically, I use this product interchangeably with my Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser. The black soap is my favorite to use when I need to exfoliate my face. My nighttime facial regimen includes:
  1. First, if I am wearing makeup of any kind, I wet my face with warm water and remove it the Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme facial cleanser. I use a facial brush to work the product into my skin to break down the makeup and wash it mostly from my face. I then remove my eye makeup with the OcuSoft Lid Scrub that I did a review for here: http://www.beautybyshunarae.com/2014/06/ocusoft-lid-scrub-review.html
  2. Next, I will use my Spa Sonic facial cleaning system to wash my face thoroughly. After applying a little of the African black soap cleanser and working it into the bristles, I wash my face for about three minutes. It is important to me that I get off all of the makeup I can before toning my skin; this is the reason why I wash my face twice. I rinse my face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.
  3. I apply toner to my skin (apple cider vinegar and water mix) using a cotton round.
  4. After toning my face, I apply my eye cream, my vitamin C serum, and my nighttime moisturizer. I am prone to dry lips, so I also apply a moisturizing lip product to my lips before going to bed.
I don’t use my derma roller right now as I am having breakouts due to hormones imbalances. I will begin using my derma roller again once my skin clears up a little more.
All in all, I like this cleanser. Not only does it have a great lather, but it has exfoliating coffee beans in it that is sure to help pull out all of the gunk in your face, especially if you wear makeup. This cleanser leaves my skin soft, but clean feeling before I continue on with my nighttime routine. I have used this cleanser with and without my cleansing brush and I find that I have better results with my Spa Sonic.
This cleanser can be purchased at www.desireddiva,com, for $15.90 for the 2oz container. I will post the direct link down below, right after the photos. I really like this product, and if you have the money to splurge on it, I say go for it. With a product that lasts 5 years, and one that you only use a little bit of to wash your face with, it is quite affordable. I can see myself purchasing one for myself, as well as family and friends.
I hope this review has been helpful. Please check out the links I have posted for you. I hope this post finds you in happiness. Thanks for reading guys! I’ll talk to you all again soon.
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 Have I mentioned that product shots make me happy?
Direct link: http://www.desireddiva.com/ive-been-carded-black-soap-facial-wash/

REVIEW: Ultimate Smile Professional Teeth Whitening [SPONSORED]

DISCLAIMER: I was given a steep discount on or received this product for free to review. The thoughts, opinions, and decisions on how to use this product are my own. Free or discounted DOES NOT EQUAL instantly great. This review will be treated as all my reviews are, whether I paid for my product or received it for free.


Hey guys! Today, I have a review for you. I am reviewing the Ultimate Smile Professional Teeth Whitening system. Keeping my teeth white is important to me, so I was eager to try out this system.  I received two gel filled syringes, two impression guards (to mold your teeth into) and holding case for your impressions. You also get an instruction sheet.

With the impression guards, I have to warn you: DO NOT DROP THEM INTO BOILING WATER!!! The impression guards have tabs on them to hold onto the water for a few seconds. Once the impressions begin to soften, take them out and put them in your mouth, biting down so that your teeth can mold into the trays. Trust me, you don’t want to just drop them in; I ruined my pair doing that.

Thankfully, I have a mouth guard from other teeth whitening system I have, so I was still able to test the product. For me, because I have sensitive gums, I wished the kit came with Viramin E Q-tips to either prepare my gums before or soothe them afterwards. I left the product on my teeth for 15 minutes per the instructions, and rinsed my mouth thoroughly with warm water.

I used this product once at the end of the week unless my teeth and/or gums were feeling extra sensitive. I must say that  I am impressed with my results. My teeth look a little more white compared to when I add activated charcoal to my toothbrush. I would have to test this out longer (for me) to really see the results that I want.

You can purchase this on Amazon for $24.99 (the last time I checked). Would I recommend this? Yes and no. No, if you have super sensitive teeth because I wouldn’t want you to hurt your enamel. Yes, if you can handle whitening treatments and want to try out a new system.

This review is a little later than I wanted to have it up, but I hope this helps you all. I hope you all have a great day and that this post finds you loved, healthy, and in a good place. Be blessed, boos!

REVIEW: Beautify.me Derma Roller [SPONSORED]

DISCLAIMER: I was given a steep discount on or received this product for free to review. The thoughts, opinions, and decisions on how to use this product are my own. Free or discounted DOES NOT EQUAL instantly great. This review will be treated as all my reviews are, whether I paid for my product or received it for free.

Raise your hand if you like needles of any kind. What? I know you’re not expecting my hand to go up. Listen, we’ve built this relationship on trust, and trust me; I hate needles. So just imagine how hard I kicked myself when I anxiously accepted the offer to review a derma roller. My mindset: “Well, Shuna Rae. You’ve been wanting to try a derma roller for a while. In the words of SpongeBob, BE A (WO)MAN!” Yes, my pep talks center around SpongeBob and his encouraging words of wisdom. I have been wanting to up my skin care factor, and what better way to do this than with a derma roller?

The Beautify.me Derma Roller is my first derma roller. The needles are 1.0 mm, a little longer than I wanted to start my beginning stages with derma rolling with. Before we get too involved in my review, let me first give a brief definition of what derma rolling is:

“A derma roller is an instrument consisting of a heavy duty plastic roller head covered in high quality titanium needles. The needles are designed to penetrate the stratum corneum, conium the hard outer surface of the epidermal layer of the skin, body, or scalp. Hundreds o tiny channels are created through the stratum corneum, which facilitate the passage and absorption of your skin care product, or minoxidil for hair restoration into the dermis, to maximize its absorption” (Derma Rolling Q & A, Derma Heal).

In a nutshell, derma rolling is the act of using a derma rolling instrument with many needles on it to micro-pierce the skin, in order to signal the body to heal those micro-tears and boost collagen product into the face. This also allows your skin care products to seep deeper into the skin, which is why it is important to use natural products on your skin while derma rolling.

As stated previously, my derma roller has 1.0mm titanium micro needles. The derma roller came in a nice box, which held the derma roller in its hard plastic container. Before you use your derma roller, it is important that you sanitize the tool with at least 70% alcohol (I use 90%) and warm water., You should sanitize it again with the lid off for an 1 hour for the tool to dry completely before replacing the top. The derma roller container box comes with directions on the side of the box, informing you of how to use your new derma roller. Here is my routine:

  1. I wash my face with Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Cleanser with my Spa Sonic facial brush.
  2. I pat my face dry with a paper towel. I do not tone my skin before I use the derma roller. I sanitize the tool at this point.
  3. Starting at my cheeks (typically my right one first) I move the derma roller over my skin horizontally, with even pressure, back and forth for a total of five times.
  4. Lifting the derma roller, I then go over my right cheek vertically, five times as before.
  5. Lifting the derma roller, I go over my cheek on a diagonal, five times to both the left and right sides of my right cheek. You should go in the pattern of an asterisk (*).
  6. I repeat this process on my left cheek, as well as the rest of my face (be careful around the eyes) continuing to use an even pressure all over. Choose a pressure that is consistent and to your comfort level.
  7. After I complete my derma rolling session, I tone my skin with Thayer’s Alcohol-free Witch Hazel, and I continue on with my night time routine of applying my Vitamin C serum and my Sea Buckthorn night cream that I have recently reviewed.
  8. Last step is to sanitize the tool again, and let it air dry before replacing the top on it to keep bacteria from collection on it.
I bet you’re thinking, “Shuna Rae, how’s the pain for someone who hates needles like you do? What was your experience with it?” Well, I thank you for asking your unspoken questions! At first, derma rolling seemed intimidating. I was in the mindset that it would hurt like hell, and that I would forever been be a wuss for agreeing to do something that could hurt me. It didn’t help that my first time derma rolling, my fiance looked at me with a look of horror written on his face. But, in all truth, it wasn’t that bad. It felt like tiny pricks going against my skin. I did not, and do not try, to draw blood as I derma rolled. I used a gentle pressure over my face that was strong enough to leave my face red and slightly irritated after rolling, but not hard enough to cause my face to pour blood.
I try to derma roll at least three times a week. I have noticed that in the morning, my face is softer and I feel as though my products are really entering into my skin and healing it from the inside. The stinging irritation and redness I receive from derma rolling goes away at night, and my face is clearer in the morning. I have to get into the habit of preserving my “new skin” by wearing sunscreen, something that you should be doing too, especially when your skin has been exfoliated in any way! Derma rolling is slowly making its way into my skin care routine, and I have to say that I am enjoying the process so far. A few tips I have for you all:
  • Do not roll to draw blood. Unless you plan on using a numbing cream, it will hurt. Because I have the 1.0mm needles, I believe that my needles go down into my skin further. If you want to try derma rolling, try using the 0.5mm or 0.3mm versions first.
  • Do not roll on broken or already irritated skin. This could cause your face to become more inflamed, as well as spread bacteria around. Sanitizing helps, but don’t make it a point to spread the bacteria around.
  • Do not derma roll every night. Your skin needs time to heal. Give your skin a break and derma roll every other day, or as much as 2x a week if you feel that derma rolling is too harsh for your skin starting out. Derma rolling once a week is a good way to get into the groove of derma rolling, as well as learning your tolerance to the pain of derma rolling.
As of right now, I do not have a working purchase link for you. But hopefully, this review helps you make informed decisions about derma rolling using any of the other derma rollers you can find on Amazon. I have added the link to the Q & A about derma rolling if you want to read more about the concept and benefits of derma rolling, but also remember to do your own research. Talk to your dermatologist about adding any new skin care tools to your skin care regimen if you have problem skin. I hope this review finds you in happiness and love, as well as helped you. Have a blessed day, guys!



Extra Reading
Derma Rolling Q & A: www.dermaheal.com/c72/derma-rolling-q-c108.html

Protective Styles Chronicles: Just Call Me Barney

Hey y’all! If you have been a follower of my blog for a while, you know I am partial to big Afro hair. Crochet braids are my protective style of choice, because the hair is usually lightweight and I feel like a diva when I have big fro’ed out hair. This crochet install is no different. I’ve experimented with color before, but not like this. Behold, my new install:

Get. In. To. It. Honey, I am LOVING this color. Purple is not only my second favorite color, but is also my birth stone. Purple represents royalty, and baby, I feel like a QUEEN with this hair. Here are the specs:

Brand: Isis
Type: Afri-Naptural Mali Bob
Colors: 1b in back, 1b/Purple in front
# of packs used: 1 1/3 1b; 1 1b/Purple
Price: $4.99 at time of purchase
Braid pattern: 12 small braids in front, bridge braid at crown, 7-8 bigger braids in back, feeding into each other.
Total Style Time: ~5 hours (2 1/2 prep; 2 1/2 install)
I tried a new technique this time around for my hair. Instead of doing the 3 loop method, I only looped this hair once. There are a few pieces that I looped twice around the bridge braid (to bring down the puffiness and make sure it was thoroughly secured), but for the most part, there are no knots in my hair. This made install extremely quick for me. I did not pre-soak this hair (big mistake), but I will be doing that soon. I plan to soak the hair in ACV while it’s on my head, to not only remove the alkaline film from the hair, but to treat my scalp as well. I will rinse under cool water, and sit under my hooded dryer with cool air until my head is completely dry. I will also finish up with a nice helping of coconut oil or jojoba oil on my scalp to rehydrate my scalp.
This hair was easy to separate for installation, and the hair comes short. This saved me plenty of time because I did not have to cut this hair to a shorter length. It was the perfect length for me to install right out of the pack. I’ve had this hair installed for three days so far, and right now, I’m not having any problems with it. I’m going to try to keep this hair in until August. Right now, I’m enjoying it in its beautiful, huge state, but I may dip it in hot water for beautiful curls as the hair gets older.
I sleep with a huge satin bonnet at night, so it’s easy for me to just stuff my hair inside of it and go to sleep. I take it off in the morning and shake my hair, and I’m good to go. I am still experimenting on how to preserve this hair without knots. So far, I have been twisting the hair and that is not working for me. So far, just stuffing the hair into my bonnet, or pineappling my hair before head seems to work well, so I may continue doing that.

To moisturize my hair underneath the crochet hair, I am using a spray moisturizer, and sealing in the moisture with coconut oil. It’s hot outside, so coconut oil is back in daily rotation. For my edges, I am using a mix of regular castor oil, Wild Growth Oil, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil to help keep my edges and nape thick and healthy.

If you have any questions about my install, please feel free to ask them. I hope this post finds you in good health and love. Have a blessed day everyone!