Products from Heaven: Temp Color, Perm Win.

Don’t be alarmed by the “perm” reference: it’s a permANENT win for me.

So, I’ve been graying since high school. It wasn’t a big deal and bit unique to me; my dear Dad grayed fully at 20 so I wasn’t surprised by the silver strands that started arriving in my hair in my early teens. (See this fun story about an old classmate who was thoroughly fascinated with them. ) As I got older though, coloring my hair became something I enjoyed doing, not really to hide the gray, but to have something fun when it came to my hair.

And then the pandemic walked in and made itself comfortable.

2020 became the year of no fuss for me when it came to Le Fro; I decided that I would just leave my hair alone when it came to dyes. (Really, the point was to just leave my hair alone in general; very little manipulation and only protecting it with twists.) My gray hair: “oh, yeah? The door is open? Here we come.” So they came. And came. And headed for my eyebrows. And facial hair. Goodness. But as far as the hair on this head, I remembered having seen videos on IG and YouTube about hair paint and temporary color. I had a new jar of temporary color that so, far, I hadn’t used. So, last week, I tried it out.

The Product: Ors Curls Unleashed – Color Blast Temporary Hair Makeup Wax

I washed my hair as per usual, added leave-in conditioner, and as the YT videos I watched largely advised, used the hair wax (shade: Sangria) as my styler for my two-strand twists. In other words, shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, hair wax. My concerns were color transfer mostly; I wondered if the color would get everywhere. I also envisioned parts of my hair feeling like concrete.

The Results: uh, amazing. AMAZING. The color easily washed off my hands and didn’t stain my nails (I initially tried to use gloves while twisting my hair but that became a bit annoying and weird, so off the gloves came), and there really was no transfer. My curls were super defined and didn’t feel concrete-y at all. When taking out my twists, I used a bit of oil on my fingers to decrease frizz, which is just my way of not untwisting dry–because my hair is frizzy and I really have no problem with this.

The Recommendation: if you’re looking for a fun change-up for your hair, this product is an excellent option for the strands. My intent is to stay away from dyes and chemicals for the near future, so this is going to be my way of doing that. The Ors line has plenty of colors to choose from, as well.

During a fun photo shoot with a friend this past weekend (more about that in tomorrow’s post), the curls really jumped out.

Yes, I love touching my hair.

Here’s some context; on the left is my hair pre-temp color.

You see that pesky gray eyebrow strand in the pic on the right, don’t you?

Anyway.

Definitely a Product from Heaven. (See previous ones here, here, and here.)

Bon Monday, and onwards…

Have you tried temporary color before? Tell me about it, if you have, in the comments.

African Black Soap is The Truth.

Happy Monday. So, I talked about my skincare routine here. Recall that I wanted to make some improvements to my quick routine, being that with age came crazy, random blemish bursts and also, I think my skin had become way too used to the products I had been using for years. Several months ago, I was in the store and saw a bar of African Black Soap on the shelf.

I asked myself, Self, why haven’t you gone the African route? Hello? Your blood is 100% Motherland. Of course the Motherland would have the remedy for your skin. I checked out the ingredients (I knew it wasn’t pure, raw African Black soap; that one will tear your skin apart and I needed to take baby steps towards that kind of detoxification) and decided to purchase it. Slowly, dear reader, I saw the improvements to my skin. Trouble spots, particularly on my left cheek (three pimples that were hanging on for dear, dear life) and that insane forehead of mine slowly began to fade and ultimately disappear. I started doing more research on the YouTube about black soap and decided to try Shea Moisture’s products. Even better results.

The above two are my personal favorites. I use the soap twice a day (look at your Square Peg; months from 40 and making good skincare choices) and the mask is a once-a-month thing. Here’s my new and improved skincare routine, broken up by night and day:

clayclay2Night

Day

Same routine, except I skip the toner.

I haven’t yet hit up any eye creams and serums, but the toner has been great in diminishing the dark, waking-up-at-3AM circles under my eyes.

So far, so good. I’d very much like to apply African Black Soap all over my life, but that’s entirely another matter.

Bon Monday…

Products from Heaven: Vanilla, Shea, and other Non-Edibles.

Hi. I’m in love with the following three products. Links are also provided, if you’d like to take a look at them and welcome them into your world:

Olay Ultra Moisture Vanilla Indulgence Body Wash

It’s not edible. But I must stress that when I use this body wash, it feels like I’m swimming in a pool of vanilla cupcakes, each one more delicious and dangerous than the next.olay I’ve used Oil of Olay products here and there, but not enough to develop a relationship with them. (Because we’re really in relationships with these products, aren’t we?) Anyway, after randomly choosing this body wash one evening while shopping, it’s a new favorite. The scent is dreamlicious; my skin is soft and lovely after use. Try it. Just don’t eat it.

AVEENO® POSITIVELY NOURISHING®COMFORTING WHIPPED SOUFFLE

Also not edible. And yet the combination of cocoa and Shea butter in this creamy lotion is enough to inspire you (i.e., me) to at least search for an edible version of these dual ingredients. Maybe in an ice cream? aveeno souffleGelato? Souffle? Moving on: I’ve used Aveeno products since time began, and yet I mainly stuck with their daily moisturizing lotion. But this is no mere lotion. It’s so, so creamy. As soon as it touches my skin, I inhale deeply, relax a bit, and apply just enough to prevent sliding off my bed in the dead of night.

Vanilla Whipped Shea Butter

After nearly 4 years as a naturalista, I’ll definitely say that the product junkie-ism that inevitably comes with the natural hair life has largely abated for me. My bathroom no longer looks like an aisle in your local drugstore. I have my staple products. But once in a while, I watch YouTube videos and my eyes get big and I decide to try a few (only a few) of the things I’m seeing. Regarding this particular inedible product from Black Girl Long Hair Marketplace, I saw a neat video on the many uses of Shea butter and was reminded about how versatile it is. I’ve had the raw African Shea Butter in my bathroom for eons, but honestly, the scent wasn’t giving me the I-wish-I-could-eat-you feels. (Because this is how I make decisions on skincare, beauty, and hair: whether or not it smells like my next dessert. We keep it real here at This Square Peg…) Enter the aforementioned video, enter this website, enter the word “vanilla”, enter this yummy productbglh shea butter that I use almost every day in my hair care. Whether I’m two-strand twisting my hair, or smoothing it down for a puff, or just keeping the fro soft, I love it. FYI: If you order it, and you really must, choose to have it packaged in a cool container. I didn’t, which meant that my Shea butter came to me in a melted vanilla soup form. I whipped it myself. Anyway, definitely a keeper.

Any skin/beauty/hair products you’re crushing on lately? Tell me about them, pretty please. I’m always on the hunt for new favorites…

Products from Heaven: Fits Like a Dove.

Here’s the real, no-holds barred truth about Your Square Peg: she sweats like a chocolate pig. There’s no other way to say it.

Ever since I woke up one morning a million years ago and discovered the monster known as–shudder–puberty, the sweat glands opened up, got to work, and decided to work overtime every single day. So when it comes to controlling that interesting region under the arms, I’ve been using Secret antiperspirant ever since I can remember, especially after my mother discreetly told me that borrowing my father’s deodorant (true story) was no longer acceptable. (I was 12. And it smelled nice. Strange children grow up to be sassy square pegs, so join me in embracing the strange, won’t you?)

Sidenote: I’ve long heard the conversations around me about not wearing deodorant because of all the chemicals. I appreciate it, and until I do research and find something organic and chemical free to control the sweat monster, sticking with the standard.

You know how Secret (and other antiperspirants) advertise the whole “invisible solid” thing on their products? Which should calm your fears about wearing dark clothes and not having white stains staring back at you in the mirror? Here’s a secret: This. Isn’t. True. This has never been true. You know it as much as I do. Nevertheless, I stuck with Secret through the years, wearing dark blouses very carefully and slowly, lest I disturb the Force, and kept it moving. But one gets tired of holding her breath as she pulls on her clothes. Enter Dove Dry Spray, which I happened to notice on dovedryspraythe shelf one afternoon last week. The following words on the bottle caught my eye: wetness protection. After engaging in the usual Square Peg side eye that I give any product, I decided to give it a try. It goes on dry, it boasted 48-hour odor protection, as well–why not, right?

Well, I don’t call it a Product from Heaven just because. It’s awesome. For one thing, I wasn’t lied to: this thing goes on instantly dry, it gives this chocolate square pig peg actual wetness protection, and I’ve yet to see any of those pesky white stains on my clothes. I love it so. And that scent…so heavenly.

So there you go: yet another Product from Heaven that I’ve stumbled on while meandering in the aisles of a store. Maybe I should just move in?

Ladies: care to share what you do when it comes to antiperspirant?

Products from Heaven: It’s Shea, Baby, All Shea. [The Body Edition]

shea
I make plenty of use of the three products to the right for my curly fro. I’m also now eyeing that Curl and Shine Kit.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough that I use almost every product in the wonderful and quite effective SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus line for my mind-of-its-own natural hair. I had to go and discover that SheaMoisture has amazing products for bath & body, too. (Where was I, you ask? Living under a rock, apparently. It takes square pegs some time, ok?) That said, I went ahead and fell in love with four specific products that I’ll share with you. Make way for bullets:

  • Coconut & Hibiscus Foaming Milk and Body Wash. What can I say, really? It’s foamy and milky and takes me to a coconut and hibiscus garden in the south of France somewhere. I recently purchased this product and it makes the body electric all soft and pliable and, again, I smell like an assortment of desserts. Win. [5/5 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Body Wash. I actually tried this one first. Hardly dissimilar from the first item; in fact, I first wondered why SM had two. I got the same effects from this one. And, really, the only reason that I purchased the first one and not a replacement of this one when I ran out was simply because of semantics and old age. In other words, they looked the same and I believed I was buying the same thing. (So many orange bottles.) I will say, however, that I like the whole milky/foamy aspect of the first body wash a bit more. Still a win, though. You can’t go wrong with either. [4/5 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Bath, Body & Massage Oil. Oh, are you sensing a theme here? I love that coco and ‘scus theme more than I can say. Anyway, after discovering that body oils were my new best friends, I purchased this product to see what it was all about. The consistency is heavy, yes, so unless you use the same dime-sized amount you’re cautioned to use when applying hair products–which I ignore and admit it, you do, too–you’ll learn, like me, that a little really goes a long way. (Especially after side eyeing the buckets of oil I had slathered all over me.) It’s a sweet scent, quite similar to the body washes, but can be cloying if, again, you don’t watch the amount you use. But it was also soft and yummy, so there’s that. [3-ish, close to 4 Square Pegs]
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Body Butter. All hail, basically. This product is creamy and delicious. The same aroma as the body washes, but so there’s the whole I-smell-like-a-French-garden thing, and it seriously does wonder for my dry skin. In fact, now that we’re in autumn and a month away from wintertime, I’ve placed the above-mentioned oil on the back burner while I use this body butter. With this, a little goes a long way, too, but perhaps I’m saying that because I want it to last forever and ever. I don’t know. The consistence is indeed butter like, as the product name suggests, so you may not need to slather it all over you. Really great overall. [5/5 Square Pegs and an extra praise emoji]

What are your tried-and-true or new beauty products?

Products from Heaven.

khan
Khaaaaaaannnnnnnnnaturalhairproducts!

Not pennies, but products. And if you sport your natural texture, you know exactly what I’m referring to. The search for products that will benefit your natural hair seems never-ending, not just in the beginning, but  sometimes throughout the hair journey. Add to the fact that I believe our natural roots occasionally like to play too much and change their spots–what worked in the beginning suddenly doesn’t do a thing for the strands. So even the natural evolution of our hair can often make the search for the right hair products maddening. How am I dealing with this, you ask? Well, here and there, I do look up to the heavens and scream “Khaaaaaaannnnnnnnnaturalhairproducts!” when I deal with some products. (If you got that Star Trek reference, hello, my love and fellow Trekkie. Yes, in my African household, we were raised as Trekkies.) But, by and large, I’ve gazed up into said heavens and thanked them for their sweet rewards. Yes, nearly two years into my return to natural (December will make it official!), I’m happy to report that there are certain staple products that make Her all shiny and happy. We’ll call them TSP’s Products from Heaven ™. Here they are.

janecarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mentioned this Product from Heaven earlier this week. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if clouds and sunshine were part of the ingredients. This product does so well for my thick hair. It softens it, it makes it smell so fresh and so clean clean. It does wonders. I typically use it after washing as part of my moisturizing routine, for twisting, Bantuing, taking care of those ends, and/or when my hair is just needs a pick-me-up. By the way, Shea butter is one of the ingredients in the solution, so I think that’s the key. My hair is married to Shea butter. Were you at the wedding?

detangler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Um. I don’t know what to say. This product was hiding in my bathroom one day and I decided to use it and the cream touched my hair and my hair said, “I bow to your will, my Master.” It detangles on touch. It leaves my hair soft and manageable. I use it as a leave-in, as a twisting product, as a best friend, as a confidante. Wherever you are, Ms. Waajid, thank you. Thank you.

Hair Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a sample of My Wild Spirit Hair Oil in a gift bag for a natural hair show (thanks, Toia!) and it immediately took to it (and purchased much bigger bottles from the manufacturer). Light, not heavy, lovely fragrance. I use it in my layering moisture process (the LOC method). Simply divine.

milk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took a break from this product for a bit, but now it’s back. (No real reason. My product junkie-ism has me forgetting what I have, which is what happened to The Great Detangler above. Sigh.) I’m a longtime love of Shea Moisture products, and this one hasn’t failed me. I also use it in my LOC method process (the “C”). It does what a moisturizing cream is supposed to do.

That’s all, folks! A few staples that treat my hair very well. Divine Products from Heaven. I’m still on a hunt for a shampoo that doesn’t give me wiry hair and nightmares and a conditioner with good slip. But we’ll talk about that later.

What are your Products from Heaven?