If you’re a curly girl like myself, you’re probably associating the L.O.C method with Leave-In, Oil, Cream. But my new version is a little different. L.O.C = Latina Owned Cosmetics. I was inspired by watching MakeupShayla’s B.O.M.B|Black Owned Makeup Brands Tutorial on Youtube. She explained in the video how something like this was long overdue and it made me think… I know there has to be Latina Owned Cosmetics out there, but where? And on top of that, I thought this would be a great post to end Hispanic Heritage Month! So during my month long celebration, I have been researching and trying out Latina Owned Cosmetics. Here are my faves so far:
Kat Von D Beauty
The first Latina Owned Cosmetics brand I thought of was Kat Von D Beauty. You probably know this face and name from her TLC TV show, LA Ink. But what most people don’t know is that she is a Latina. Born in Mexico to Argentine parents, Kat von D was approached by Sephora in 2008 to create a makeup line. She originally had her heart set on creating four of the most perfect shades of red lipsticks. Little did she know her line would be such a success. On top of her accomplishments, Kat von D cosmetics are cruelty free and is something she is (and should be) extremely proud of!
Okay, so I was SUPER surprised/ecstatic/hyped when I found out that the beautyblender was created by a Latina! In 2002, Ree Ann Silva made it 10x easier for us to blend out our makeup. The idea came to her while she was head of the makeup department for CBS’s Girlfriends and needed a small, light tool for makeup touchups for the cast. She invented and sold the beautyblender right out of her garage and used the funds help pay for her daughter’s college tuition! Today, seventeen beautyblenders are sold per minute and can be seen in tutorials all over YouTube.
Inspired by the telenovela Rosa Salvaje, Regina Merson created a cosmetic line for women that celebrates both the beauty of her Reina (Queen) and fierceness of her Rebelde (Rebel). Regina started this line to celebrate her Mexican roots and to pay homage for her love of the beauty routines of telenovela stars. She describes her brand to be reflect her “complicated identity as a Mexican woman embracing an amazing American existence.”
With roots from Argentina, Gabriela Hernandez immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve and once she graduated college, developed a beauty brand rich in historic details and romance. Her main goal was to help women feel passionate about their beauty routines again. Gabriela’s beauty brand is full with timeless shade and is inspired by Los Angeles’ golden age of cinema, which is why all shades of her products are named of years between 1920-1970.
Last, but not least, skin care is the most important part of beauty. Straight from Baranquilla, Colombia, Tata Harper developed a 100% natural, non-toxic skin care line. Her motive comes from her father who was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005. Tata takes the time to build her line of all natural formulas from scratch while practicing environmentally sustainable practices at her farm and facilities in Vermont.
Of course there are plenty more Latina Owned Cosmetic brands out there that deserves more recognition! There are also many Latina Beauty Influencers that have brought these products to the light for me. In the end, I just hope to see more L.O.C Brands that I can add to my makeup collection and represented all across the board!!
Until then, PA’LANTE! And Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
Growing up, I despised my big, curly hair. I had so much hair and no one in my family really has hair like me. No one knew how to take care of it, so I pretty much gave up on dealing with it myself. I’ve spent countless hours sitting on the floor between my mother’s legs while she detangled my hair and during my summers in Puerto Rico, it would be my grandmother dealing with my tresses. After spending an entire afternoon in the pool, she came across a huge knot in the back of my head. Tempted to cut it off, my abuelita drove me to a salon on the island and at just 7 years old, I got my first perm. Since then, I permed my hair every 6 months like clockwork.
I loved the idea that this “treatment” would make my kinks straight. At such a young age, I associated straight hair with beauty. People would tease me about my hair, saying that it resembles a brillo pad or a bush. Latinos, even the women doing my hair would say that I had “pelo malo” (bad hair). Then I would have older Caribbean women tell me how much they wished to have hair like mine. At the time I had no idea why anyone would want my kinks and curls. While I was trying to get rid of them, women were striving for them.
For years, my hair was never growing, never shiny, always begging for moisture and still I strived for straight hair. I never left my house without my hair being bone straight and absolutely refused anyone to see my hair in its natural state. My curls weren’t curls anymore, but I didn’t care. I felt beautiful with my straight hair.
When the flat iron was my best friend and wash and sets were my go-to.
When the flat iron was my best friend and wash and sets were my go-to.
It took me a long time to fully understand the damage these perms were actually doing to my hair. Today I would say that I was in denial about this treatment. By my sophomore year of college, I’ve decided to stop perming my hair but refused to give up the heat! I was still using my flat iron every single day, making sure there were no curls in sight.
I’m not entirely sure why I decided to ditch my flat iron, other than the fact that summer time was approaching and straightening my hair would be pointless with all the humidity in NYC. I went the entire Summer Sixteen without straightening my hair. Just with that, I noticed some length and my curls slowly coming back. I tested out products that my hair loved and products that my hair hated.
There was a lot of trial and error and it took me forever to love my hair. Now that I’m older, I understand what it means to be satisfied with what was given to me and why all these women were dying for my hair. I can do pretty much anything with my hair. I can choose to do a wash and go and wear it naturally curly. I can do twist-outs or buns, big or small. If I want a change, I can straighten my hair and if I get tired of it, I can just go back to curly!
Don’t get me wrong… There are still days when I just want to shave my head off or go to the salon and get a wash and set! But I just put a little leave in conditioner, put my hair in a bun and conquer my day. Going natural, I had to accept that not everyday is going to be a good hair day. I had to accept that I have different textures in my hair. I’m going to have frizz. Some curls are going to be coily, kinky or loose. But the best part is seeing the transition. My curls are making a come back and I’m finally getting some length and hydration.
So if you’re thinking about going natural- DO IT! Love the crown you have. It’s irreplaceable.
Being a curly girl requires plenty of trial and error. Sure, we didn’t ASK for curly hair, but it’s what we got and we have to take care of it, right? Right. Throughout my transition, I’ve tried multiple products from brands that claimed to work with all typed of curls. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t fall in love with anything. There are some products that worked really well for my hair type (3C/4A), but I always knew there was something better out there for me.
And of course, I was right!
I first heard about Curls while watching my favorite talk show, The Real. Mahisha Dellinger, CEO, was a guest on the show to talk about Curls’ new Blueberry Bliss line. Then one day while I was at Face Values, I took a look at the natural hair care aisle and saw a couple of the products from that line on the shelf. Each product from the line is less than $25. I bought 5 products and after my first use, I immediately fell in love!
The entire line smells AMAZINGGG! Like, good enough to eat, amazing. The Blueberry Bliss line is designed to soften and hydrate the driest curls and help promote growth. This line of hair care includes products like a leave in conditioner, hair mask and growth oil. Even though I didn’t try everything from the line yet, I’m sure I will love the rest of it. But in the mean time, let me share with you what I did try.
Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave In Conditioner
For the longest, all I ever wanted was a leave in conditioner that wouldn’t make my hair feel weighed down the next day. This reparative leave in helped me to achieve just that. On wash day, this is the first (and sometimes the only) product I put into my hair after cleansing. And when I have day 4 or day 5 hair, my curls are still soft and I can always add more leave in into my hair for moisture. I also love using this leave in to detangle my hair. It makes combing less of a hassle, making my comb and fingers run through my hair smoothly.
Blueberry Bliss Twist-N-Shout Cream
I’ve just started doing flat twists to my hair and I have been liking the results before I tried this product. I never used anything special in my hair specifically for my flat twists… until I found this cream. Typically, I let my flat twists sit over night, or if I’m in a bit of a time crunch, I let them sit for a couple of hours. On the packaging it says to use the cream and release your flat twists once your hair is completely dry, but I find that I love my results if my hair is damp.
Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of using gel in my curls. I only use gel if I’m doing any bun hairstyles. This jelly definitely defines my curls and controls my frizz. It is super lightweight and doesn’t feel sticky or leaves white flakes. Once I’m done putting all my products into my hair, I finish off with this for my go-to wash and go style.
Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash
I never really had a go-to shampoo for my curls, only because I never really found one that really cleaned my hair. So that’s why I decided to give this one a try. Usually I’ll wash my hair twice. The instructions on this bottle said to work the shampoo into the scalp and during the second time, to comb through the hair and leave it in for 10 minutes. I’ve never combed my hair with shampoo so I was skeptical to try it. It was a little hard the first time because with the shampoo, my hair has no slip. But once I rinsed my hair out, it felt so clean!
Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Mask
This hair mask is meant to be used as a conditioner but can also be used as a deep conditioner. I’ve mostly been using it as a deep conditioner and it has been working wonders for me. Already, I’ve seen a small amount of growth and the driest areas of my hair are loving the hydration!
Long story short, this Blueberry Bliss line by Curls is the truth! It smells good, works phenomenally and definitely gives great results. Check out curls.biz where you can find products for all curls, kinks and waves.
Just like my hair, my makeup brushes have a wash day. I wash my brushes once a week, but if I’m feeling lazy, I can stretch wash day for 2 weeks. But I do not recommend doing that! Washing your makeup brushes is a tedious and time consuming task but it has to get done for flawless application. So, put on some music or listen to a podcast and let’s get to work!
Why do we need to clean our makeup brushes anyway? Aside from poor makeup application, when you don’t wash your brushes, you are contributing to bacteria build up. You’re hoarding all the eyeshadow, foundation, concealer, etc., in your makeup brushes. Dirt, oil and dust can be found in them too, which can and will lead to breakouts and irritable skin. AND… If you happen to share makeup brushes, whether it be with your sister, mother or roommate, you are now making yourself prone to viral infections. If you are going to share makeup brushes, please, please, please, be careful! Taking care of your brushes will increase their lifespan and each fiber on each brush will surely thank you!
There are many cleaners out there made specifically for make-up brushes. I’ve tried a couple of them but haven’t found one that I really loved. I happened to be talking with a freelancer at Sephora and she told me she washed her brushes with baby shampoo. My initial reaction was, “Baby shampoo?!”. But then it really all made sense in my head. There are no parabens, no alcohol and if this stuff is safe to use on babies, it sure is safe to wash my makeup brushes. There is sulfate in it, but that’s totally fine since we need to clean all that makeup build up.
A bottle of baby shampoo would last me about 6-8 washes and leaves the hairs of my brushes feeling super soft and looking good as new. Since using baby shampoo, I find that my brushes last longer throughout the week. In addition to using baby shampoo, I also use a brush cleansing palette by Real Techniques. It has textured surfaces to clean in between brush bristles for a deep cleaning. The surfaces on the palette are made to thoroughly clean small, medium and large brushes. I purchased my palette at FaceValues for $14.99 and it can be found anywhere Real Techniques is sold.
You can use the original baby shampoo too. I just prefer the scented ones
The package comes with 2 free samples of their brush cleansing gel
Here’s a closer look at the palette
If you have any beautyblenders or makeup sponges, run them under water and scrub the shampoo into it. Keep adding shampoo if needed and squeeze it underneath running water to ensure that all the makeup and shampoo suds are out of there. Do not use the cleansing palette for your beautyblenders, as this can ruin them.
For brushes, rinse them under luke warm water first, then add a drop of baby shampoo to your brush cleansing palette. Repeatedly, make circular motions on the palette using the textured surfaces according to your brush size. Squeeze out all the suds and excess water. If you see the water coming out of your brush is not clear, keep scrubbing until it is! Once all your brushes are clean, lay them flat to air dry on a towel overnight and when you wake up, your brushes will be all dry and ready to go!
What’s your method to washing your makeup brushes? Share in the comments below!
Over the years, I have slowly grown to love my natural curls. It took a lot of TLC to get my curls to where they are today, but I want them to be better! Last summer, I did a no heat challenge for 3 months and I noticed that my curls were getting tighter and best of all, I was finally seeing some growth. However, once I started straightening my hair again, (maybe only 5 times the past year), I really neglected my hair’s health.
After much research, I finally found an all natural restoration hair masque that works great for my hair! This is a protein packed hair masque, so you should only use this if your hair is super dry, brittle and if you experience a lot of breakage. Too much protein in your hair can cause your hair to seem limp and straw-like.
Here’s the ingredients you need for this protein packed hair masque and the benefits of each:
1 Avocado: Rich source of proteins, amino acids and vitamins and helps soothe the scalp
1 Egg: The best source of protein for your hair and helps prevent hair loss
1 Banana: Contains a great amount of potassium that helps soften the hair, prevents split ends and breakage
Coconut oil: Adds moisture, healthy fats with protein and antioxidants that deep conditions, heal and promotes hair growth
Castor oil: Carries Omega-6 which accelerates blood circulation in the scalp resulting in hair growth
Honey: Helps regulate and retain moisture
I start by whisking my egg in a bowl and smashing the banana so that it has a mushy consistency. I find that doing this to the banana helps it mix better into the masque. I combine the egg, banana and avocado into a blender and use the ‘Puree’ function and let the blender do its thing for about 45 seconds. Next, I’ll add the coconut oil, castor oil and honey into the blender. I didn’t put any measurements because it truly depends on what you feel your hair needs. This time, I use ‘Liquefy’ until everything is smoothed out.
The actual application may be a little messy, so I suggest using an old t-shirt. Part your hair however you’d like, (I usually part in fours) and begin with the section where you feel needs the most care. Apply the masque from tip to root and once you get to the root, massage the section to stimulate your hair follicles. Once the masque is in your hair, leave it in for an hour and be sure to thoroughly wash your hair, then style as usual.
After using this masque, I noticed how much softer my hair became, the definition of my curls and how they appeared to be less frizzy. I’ve been using this masque about every 4-6 weeks and I know it’s going to take me a while to get my hair where I want it to be but regardless, I have been loving the results so far. I hope this masque works out for you too!
I’ve recently took a Spring Break trip to the beautiful South Beach, Florida. While it was about 40 something degrees up north in New York City, I was having fun in the sun. Unfortunately, the heat and the sun dried up my skin by the time I made it back to NYC. So, I wanted to share with you how I used African Black Soap products to restore my skin back to greatness!
First off, if I’m wearing a full face of make up, I like to make sure that I’m removing ALL of it. I use Neutrogena make up remover wipes to take off my make up after a long day but I always feel like it never cleans beneath the surface. So to get a deeper clean feeling, I use Garnier SkinActive’s All-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water, which not only cleans the make up that was left behind, but it takes away dirt and oil on my face, leaving my pores feeling refreshed!
Something else that became part of my skin routine is Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Acne Prone Face & Body Bar with Shea Butter. This soap has really helped control the oil in my T-zone and the clinical acne I used to have on my forehead. I rub the soap over my face in circular motions about 3-4 times week and rinse it with cool water.
For a mask, I absolutely love Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Facial Mask with Tamarind Extract and Tea Tree Oil. This mask hydrates my skin and again, controls the excess oil in my T-zone. And even though the packaging doesn’t say it, I really feel like it helps lighten my dark under eyes. I use this mask only once a week and I apply it with a flat foundation brush. I leave it on for 15 minutes before I rinse it off with cold water.
And of course, last but not least, moisturize with your favorite moisturizer. At the moment, mine is Ahava’s Time to Hydrate Night Replenisher. This lotion is on the pricier side at $51, but for a drug store brand, my favorite is Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Lotion.
Black soap is a gentle cleanser and is commonly used by people that suffer from rashes, dryness and other skin conditions. Here are some of the great benefits of African Black Soap:
Improves skin tone
Helps heal problem skin
Reduces inflammation and skin irritations
Improves skin tone
Acts as a deep cleanser
There are many other uses for African Black Soap. What do you use it for and how has it improved your skin? Share in the comments below.