How to Style Curly Hair

Hey curly haired beauties, I thought I’d share my fool proof styling tips to help you achieve perfectly frizz free ringlets in no time at all!

  1. In the shower, shampoo hair with a gentle, low suds shampoo like Deva Curl Low Poo Cleanser.
  2. After washing out shampoo apply a semi-thick moisturizing conditioner. For less dry hair, I love Deva Curl One Condition. It was created just for curly hair and provides lightweight but effective moisture. For drier hair, try Pureology Antifade Complex Hydrate Conditioner. Pureology products are always safe for color treated hair and this moisturizing conditioner leaves hair soft and manageable. Pureology does not test on animals.
  3. Before rinsing conditioner out, brush hair with a wide tooth comb while still in the shower. Any wide tooth comb will do, just go to your local drugstore and pick one up. In the shower with conditioner on should be the ONLY time you brush out your hair. This will eliminate tangles but still keep your curls in tack. Never dry brush curly hair or you will end up with hair larger than your own head!
  4. After combing, rinse out conditioner. Squeeze water from hair using your hands or a towel. Do not use the towel to vigorously rub your hair and scalp. Maintain your curls by merely squeezing your hair to rid most of the water.
  5. Apply a light leave-in conditioner to the ends of your hair. I like Eufora Hydration Leave-in Conditioner.
  6. Once hair is damp, remove towel and apply styling products. For extra dry hair, spray a bit of Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Moisture Mist all over hair. Paul Mitchell is a long-standing animal friendly company and all of their products are wonderful.
  7. If hair is not exceptionally dry, skip the Moisture Mist and apply a creamy styling product for curls. I personally mix a few pumps of L’Oreal Texture Line Spiral Down Crème to reduce frizz with Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer to add definition and slight hold. Aveda is also all natural and animal friendly. Use a light hand and avoid roots when applying styling products to curly hair; too much product will weigh down a style and create a greasy look.
  8. Diffuse hair. Using a diffuser on curly hair is the only way to get volume at the roots. Letting curly hair air dry is fine but hair may fall flat. I also like to walk out the house with dry, perfectly styled hair.
  9. Once hair is dry, applying a finishing cream to lock in your curls and eliminate any frizz. I use a bit Aveda Light Elements Finishing Solution to delicately scrunch curls and smooth frizz. Be careful not to separate curls or work your hair too hard.
  10. Finish with hair spray if needed.

Those products are sulfate free and designed for curly hair. The less lather there is equals less frizzing in the end. is an organic, all natural product line that utilizes the power of pure Aloe Vera gel and does not test on animals. Their leave-in conditioner is just light enough not to weigh hair down but still seals in the moisture curly hair needs. Apply 2-3 pumps and wrap wet hair in towel.

Go show off that fabulous hair!

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Best Hair Dryer – FHI Turbo Nano 1900

The FHI Turbo Nano Weight Pro 1900 Hair Dryer is the best one on the market – and the best one I’ve ever used!

I was looking for a hair dryer that would decrease the drying time of my long, thick, curly hair and that came with a diffuser to create curly styles. I decided on the FHI Turbo 1900 and I’m so glad I spent the money on it. The FHI Turbo 1900 is extremely lightweight and easy to manage, but still packs an incredible punch.

This ionic hair dryer has nano technology, which, combined with the ceramic heater, preserves your hair’s health and keeps it frizz free. The 12.6 ounce weight of the FHI Turbo belies its incredible 1900 watt motor that makes it stronger, more powerful and keeps it running longer than other dryers. There are several temperature and speed adjustment options on this hair dryer letting you go from ultra cool to hot and all ranges in between. There are turbo boost cold and hot “shots” for use while drying.

The proof is in the pudding. The FHI Turbo Nano 1900 really did knock my hair drying time down 50%. Better yet, the diffuser that comes with this hair dryer let’s me dry and form my curls with just a gentle flow of heated air so my curls come out frizz free and perfectly styled. A concentrator is also included with the FHI Turbo Nano so straight styles are also a breeze. And for all my readers, I found the FHI Turbo Nano 1900 on sale for $60 less on my favorite hair tools website, www.misikko.com. Since this professional rate dryer has definite staying power and is sure to last me for years, spending the money is worth it. The FHI Turbo Nano 1900 is both your straightener and curly hair styler in one!

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Best Facial Cleanser for All Skin Types – Murad

Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser is a foaming cleanser that is fantastic for all skin types. It’s packed full of extremely beneficial antioxidants taken from pomegranate that act as a defense against sun and environmental damages to your skin.

I love foaming cleansers because they wash off easily and Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser does not disappoint. You only need 1 to 2 pumps to cleanse your face and remove makeup so the 5.1 ounce bottle lasts a long time without any wasted product. Murad Pomegranate Cleanser goes on light and washes off clean, removing makeup, including mascara, easily.

This cleanser is particularly great for any skin type as it is extremely gentle, containing Artemia, a skin “brightener” and natural fuel for the skin that stimulates healthy skin cells, and witch hazel to remove impurities and tighten pores without over-drying. Murad Pomegranate Cleanser’s pleasant scent actually feels energizing and your skin is left clean, toned and ready for the day. You will look forward to washing your face!

Click here to see more products from Murad.

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Best New Eye Cream – YBF Correct

best new eye cream

YBF (Your Best Face) Correct Eye Cream is a fabulous new eye cream that actually does what it promises to do!

This concentrated, medium thickness eye cream goes on smoothly and provides incredible moisture that lasts all day. The benefits of YBF Correct on your eye area are incredible – wrinkle correction, brightening dark circles and firming are just the start. This is truly a one-stop-shop eye cream.

25% of YBF Correct is made up of a cocktail of peptides, those all-important ingredients that visibly plump up wrinkles, smooth the skin and actually help to prevent future wrinkles. The antioxidants contained in Correct are plentiful, including YBF’s patented complete blend along with the addition of alpha lipoic acid. Sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, delivers unmatched moisture and actually retains moisture levels throughout the day.

My favorite feature of YBF Correct, aside from the plumping that I can actually see happen, is the way it brightens my eye area and diminishes dark circles, made possible with the addition of caffeine and vitamins E and C and the light reflecting nature of this product.

YBF recommends applying Correct day and night and I agree. With the visible smoothing of the delicate eye area, daytime is the perfect time to use Correct. However, I would recommend that if you wear under eye concealer, wait until the eye cream dries completely or your concealer will not last as long as you want it too. Nighttime is a perfect time to apply a little more, especially around the upper area and sides of your eyes.

To top it all off, YBF Correct smells of YBF’s soothing signature scent of almond and nutmeg, creating an all around pleasant and effective experience.

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Best Ceramic Flat Iron – Hana Elite

I just bought the Hana Elite 1 Ceramic Flat Iron and I’m loving it! Not only is it handy but it is one of the only flat irons made of 100% pure ceramic. It comes in a neat special edition tin case which is only the beginning of this flat iron’s quality and uniqueness.

Most flat irons plates are metal with only a coating of ceramic which doesn’t make them actual “ceramic flat irons.” The Hana Elite straightening plates are 100% pure ceramic to allow for a smoother pass through your hair, more even heat distribution and it’s gentler on your hair. Better yet, no coating means no peeling and no exposure of your hair to damaging hot metal. The ceramic plates heat up evenly and ceramic actually helps to protect your hair color with little damage and fading.

I love to travel but normally lugging around all of my hair styling tools adds another bag! Not anymore- here’s a flat iron that does it all. The Hana Elite is only 1″ wide – that’s big enough for great styles and small enough to fit into any bag. It also comes with a handy travel pouch and a portable rubber mat to set the Hana flat iron down on when it’s still hot – no more worries about burning your counter!

The damp to dry styling feature of this flat iron is great. As always, it’s best to use a product that provides heat styling protection, but the Hana Elite is still very smooth and simple to use. There’s no sizzle when you use it on your damp hair and with one pass your hair is straight.

The Hana Elite provides detailed instructions on which temperature is best for you – up to 450 degrees! You can curl, straighten or make waves with this small but effective flat iron. It’s easy to hold, super light and the cord swivels around like professional tools to avoid tangling. AND, at only 38 watts this baby is energy officiant to boot!

Voted top pick by online flat iron superstore Misikko.com, the perfectly sized Hana Elite hair flat iron packs a powerful punch! Try it, you’ll love it!

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Best Light Hold Hairspray – Paul Mitchell

best light hold hairspray

Paul Mitchell Super Clean Light Finishing Spray has just the right amount of light hold without any crunchiness or stickiness. You can add more hold by spraying more of Super Clean Light onto your hair and it will still retain a soft feel. This is not a dry hairspray so for curly to straight styles I would recommend Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray, but I really like Paul Mitchell Super Clean Light as a finishing spray after styling to tame fly-aways.

Paul Mitchell has long held a reputation of making quality hair products without any endorsement or conducting of animal testing.

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Best Dry Hairspray – Alterna Caviar

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray is simply the best hairspray I have ever used. The price tag is a little high but the reason I love this hairspray is the feel and beneficial ingredients.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray is a flexible, brush-able, color safe medium to firm hold styling product. This hairspray holds extremely well with no crunchiness. The best feature is the ultra-dryness of the spray so it does not make your straight style curly and wet. It’s the perfect finishing spray to any hairstyle.

The Anti-Aging properties of this hairspray come from ingredients such as caviar that add and maintain hydration, strength, vibrancy and elasticity. Rest assured that your hair will not be damaged by using this hair spray.

The bottle is bigger than most so it does last quite a while too. Alterna does not conduct animal testing.

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Best Animal Friendly Volumizing Mascara

I had not used any Clinique products for years but after researching Clinique’s policy against animal testing I purchased Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara and I love it. Clinique products are 100% fragrance free and allergy tested, so this mascara is perfect for my overly sensitive eyes. The brush and formula is amazing and really does lengthen and create volume that I have never had before! The mascara is extremely moisturizing and goes on smoothly while the full sized applicator brush creates perfectly separated, naturally looking lashes.

If you tend to blink quite a lot or rub your eyes, you may end up with a little mascara under your eyes but it is very minimal and not really an issue. If it is a problem that I suggest using a lash primer underneath (such as MAC), but your lashes will not look as natural and light as with using the Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara alone. This mascara does not flake and continues to feel soft and natural to the day’s end. I actually look forward to putting it on and having fabulous lashes.

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Best Anti-Aging Product for Oily Skin

I recently tried a product called Defend from a new brand of skincare called YBF – Your Best Face. Defend is described as an anti-shine product that protects the skin from the sun and daytime agers with powerful antioxidants, all while maintaining clear pores and controlling breakouts. Sounds like a power product, right? Well, it is.

What first caught my attention is that YBF Defend is specifically for oily skin. I have not yet found a product that is both helpful and good for your skin that also absorbs oil. I tried this product initially for this reason. YBF Defend is a light white gel that goes on clear. Only a little (1 pump) is needed for your face. Immediately after applying, my face was matte but still felt hydrated. I applied my makeup and went about my day – and my skin stayed feeling and looking the same.

I researched the ingredients YBF Defend contains and was impressed by both their purpose and the level of necessary antioxidants. Most anti-aging products are designed for night use but YBF Defend actually helps make your skin look smoother while protecting your face throughout the day. The claimed benefits of Defend are vast; it is described as being oil absorbing, containing age-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, hydrating and light diffusing. It promises to even skin tone, heal and improve elasticity, fight bacteria to prevent breakouts, reduce wrinkles, smooth and soothe skin while preventing future wrinkles, and correct and protect the skin from UV damage. While that is a lot of promises, the ingredients speak for themselves.

YBF has chosen to use a potent level of active ingredients to fulfill the benefits they claim. Defend contains vitamin E to soothe, titanium dioxide (an ingredient in sunscreens) to defend, hyaluronate to retain moisture, nylon 12 to absorb oil, peptides (skin plumpers that reduce wrinkles with less irritation) and spin trap, which is described as an “intelligent antioxidant” that research suggests can produce significant skin rejuvenating results. There are no unnecessary added ingredients which I find refreshing and much desired in other skin care lines.

Since my skin is on the drier side, I gave YBF Defend to my husband to try. He has oily skin and loved Defend’s light feel and that his face remained less oily throughout the day. I felt better knowing his skin was protected from daytime agers (Please note, although YBF does contain ingredients that protect your skin, it does not contain sunscreen. I would advise anyone spending time in the sun to apply a sunscreen after applying Defend).

My bottom line? YBF seems to be a company whose priorities are useful ingredients. I would recommend this YBF Defend to anyone with oily skin. Dry or combination skin will find the oil absorbers too potent (Check my other posting for YBF Defend dry and combination skin).  For some, the price tag may be too high. But I do think that YBF has the right idea and that Defend fulfilled its promises.

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Best Anti-Aging Product for Dry Skin

I recently tried another YBF (Your Best Face) skin care product called Control. Control is an anti-aging product that contains a potent blend of antioxidants to correct, renew and protect your skin. Until now, I’ve had a hard time finding anti-aging products for daytime use. YBF Control can be used day and night; I find this unique as it makes for a simple anti-aging regimen.

YBF Control promises to rejuvenate your skin, sealing in moisture while allowing the skin to breathe and protecting it from environmental stress and pollution. YBF Control is also a wrinkle management product with a blend of “high-performance antioxidants”. The benefits claimed from YBF Control are that is brightens skin, deeply hydrates, diffuses light and evens skin tone. It is also said to firm, heal and improve elasticity in your skin while reducing pigmentation and wrinkle depth. It tightens pores and increases cell turnover, smoothes skin and protects and corrects UV and sun damage.

One of the main wrinkle fighting ingredients in YBF Control is called Argireline. After some research, I learned that Argireline is a patented peptide complex derived from natural proteins that studies have shown to relax facial muscles. This ingredient has been dubbed “Botox without the hassle”. A low to moderate level of Argireline is said to be most effective. YBF Control contains 26% Argireline thus making it a “cosmeceutical” facial product. Other ingredients contained in Control are alpha lipoic acid (a powerful antioxidant produced in the human body), spin trap (a blend of antioxidants found to produce significant results), skin plumping peptides, a type of hyaluronic acid for hydration and vitamins C and E.

YBF Control is a gel-cream formula that goes on clear and dries to a semi-matte finish. A unique component of YBF Control is its pleasant smell – almost like almond. The scent is not overpowering and actually made me look forward to putting in on.

I’ve been using YBF Control day and night for several weeks. I have noticed smoother skin and a more even skin tone and have been very pleased by the feel and look of my skin. YBF Control is easy to apply and one pump is more than enough to cover your face. My skin never felt dry, day or night, while using YBF Control and my makeup went on smoothly after applying it (Please note, although YBF does contain ingredients that protect your skin, it does not contain sunscreen. I would advise anyone spending time in the sun to apply a sunscreen after applying Defend).

I like this product and I would recommend it to those with dry or combination skin that need moisture and is not prone to breakouts. I breakout at times and noticed a few small blemishes after using YBF Control day and night for an extended period of time. After taking a few days off and then wearing it only at night the breakouts were eliminated. I would not recommend this product to those with oily skin because they might find it feels too heavy (Read my post about YBF Defend for those with oily skin). The price tag may be a bit high for some but it is my opinion that you should spend more on a beneficial anti-aging product with antioxidants to help your skin and scrimp on items like blush, eye shadow and mascara.

I am impressed by the YBF product line and more importantly their choice of beneficial ingredients. There are no unnecessary added ingredients in YBF Control which is important to me and tells me that YBF is a company focused on the objective of creating beneficial anti-aging products.

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