This $16 Nail Polish Comes With a Black Diamond and Benefits Hospitalized Children

Polished Girlz and Azature Black Diamond Nail Lacquer have teamed up to create a luxury nail polish that gives back to a good cause.

Perhaps you remember Alanna Wall from our coverage of her last September in “Meet NYFW Youngest Nail Technician,” the then 14 year-old nail technician was assisting the lead nail artist at the coveted Hood By Air show. Since September, Alanna, has graduated from Steve Harvey’s Dreamers Academy 2016 class while also serving as the nail concept designer for yet another New York Fashion Week season for two collections: Paul Penaranda and Demoo Parkchoonmoo.

Wall started her non profit organization, Polished Girlz at the tender age of 10 with a mission to “polish the nails and have mini manicure parties for children with social, emotional or physical specials need including patients that are hospitalized.” Along with her Polished Girlz crew, the organization has now polished the nails of over 14,000 girls who are hospitalized. Now Wall is expanding her reach and teaming with infamous lacquer company Azature Black Diamond Nail Lacquer to benefit the Polished Girlz organization.

If the Azature brand sounds familiar, it’s because they are synonymous with luxury in the nail world. Azature was responsible for the uber luxurious million dollar White Diamond Nail Lacquer that launched in October of last year they also created Kelly Osbourne’s 2012 Emmy Awards manicure that was a valued at a whopping $250,000. In a press junket about the collaboration with Polished Girlz the designer stated, “Alanna has been such an inspiration to me for some time now and I just can’t wait to launch this color with her. Seeing the amazing work the Polished Girlz organization did last year at the First Annual Polished Girlz Ball made such an impact on me that I was moved to help.”

 

The polish, which is available now, is a glitter-packed deep blue hue, and retail for $16 exclusively on shop.azature.com. Each bottle will contain one real black diamond and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to Polished Girlz to further their cause.

Guys, Stone Nails Are a Thing

Nail artists are getting in touch with Mother Earth.

There are actually three things you can count on in this world – death, taxes and brand new Instagrammable trends. Obviously we’re only really psyched about that last one. So without further adieu we introduce you to stone nails.

No, these are not tips made out of rocks, but rather nails embellished with tiny, pretty stones, or at the very least made to look like shiny pebbles you’d find along the most idyllic, enchanted path imaginable. We’re particularly digging the varieties embellished with gems and marble-like polishes, but all of the looks are pretty frickin’ cool.

And it looks like you can go as blingy or earthy as you like with your mani style when working with stones, which means it’s a versatile nail art look if you have the time, patience and skill level to place each piece.

If you’re not totally skilled with nail art, there’s always the option of taking in a few stones of your own and asking your favorite manicurist to whip up something cool with them, which could save you a lot of frustration while delivering a super unique mani.

Did You See Kerry Washington’s Sleek Pony and Graphic Nails?

The star of ABC’s Scandal and HBO’s upcoming Confirmation is making a splash with her modern style.

Scandal, or making press rounds about her role as Anita Hill in the upcoming HBO movie Confirmation. The film is a hugely anticipated behind the scenes account of the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas SCOTUS nomination hearings.

Whatever Kerry has on her agenda, she does it with style and flair. On Instagram—as she readies for another day of press for Confirmation—she rocked a sleek ponytail by celebrity hair stylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew. Her classic ponytail is straight, long and sexy. To clinch the look she enlisted the help of Los Angeles celebrity nail artisan / manicurist April Foreman for the vamp contrast of OPI pink hue polish with edgy black traced tips.

The end result is hair and nails on fleek.

These unique floral lipsticks are making a strong comeback

Kailijumei caught beauty enthusiasts’ eyes sometime mid last year with the clear lipstick infused with tiny petals getting huge social media attention.

The lipstick made in China flew off the shelves mid last year as a lot of beauty enthusiasts who could lay hands on the pretty lipstick showed them off as much as they could.

Kailijumei Lipsticks

The lipsticks come clear with tiny petals of different hues in the middle and gold specks making the lipwear the prettiest thing ever.

Described as the ‘gold encased rose just like in Beauty and the Beast’ on social media, the absolutely vain lipwear is glass encased and contain real florets (they are still causing a stir on social media).

The lipstick glides on the lips clear and then it changes to a pink based hue according to the wearer’s PH at the time!

Kailijumei Lipsticks

The lipsticks are available in honey yellow, deep violet, blush and more and the flowers housed in the middle of the lipstick reportedly last as long as possible. They retail from $22. Would you rock those?

2 fast ways to exfoliate the lips

Exfoliating the lips regularly help remove the dead, flaky and dry skin covering the lips to reveal newer and softer skin.

Exfoliating often helps ease dry lips usually caused by changes in weather, dehydration, medications and more to reveal visibly smoother, softer and ‘cleaner’ lips.

Beauty blogger Lola OJ who also swears by exfoliating the lips recently agrees, “If like me, you wear a lot of lipstick, it’s quite important that you maintain healthy lips. Like exfoliating your face, which I would suggest weekly also, exfoliating your lips helps remove the dead skin on the surface of your lips which brings out new fresh layers making the lips soft, smooth and plump“.

To exfoliate at home, these three fast ways work brilliant.

– Use Lemon (Juice) with honey

Lemon juice works amazing to exfoliate the lips as the citric acid it contains contains exfoliating properties.

How to:

1. Cut lemon into half, take a slice and gently rub around clean lips (to get rid of dry/dead skin on the surface to reveal newer one).

2. Apply honey over the lips afterwards and leave on for 7-10 minutes. Wipe this off and moisturize as per usual.

-Use coconut oil and sugar

A blend of coconut oil and sugar exfoliate the lips well and fast. Coconut oil is also a great option for people with dry lips.

How to:

1. Put a few drops of coconut oil in a bowl and add sugar, mix till you get a paste

2. Apply this on clean lips with a toothbrush with soft bristle in gentle ‘sweeping’ motion for a few seconds.

3. Wipe this off and moisturize the lips as per usual.

How to Get 360 Hair Waves for Black Men

Getting waves requires effort and patience. You’ll need to brush your hair 30 min – 1 hour daily, and wear a du-rag every night to sleep, to get the waves you want.

11 Steps to Get Deep 360 Waves

  1. Get a short haircut and edge up. Coarse hair can wave at shorter lengths than straight or medium hair. Don’t let the barber cut your hair too low. Tell him you still want it thick—you shouldn’t be able to see your scalp.
  2. Brush your hair for 1-2 minutes with a wave-brush (get a hard, medium, or soft brush depending on your hair texture.)
  3. Add a good moisturizer to your hair.
  4. Put a washcloth in running hot water, squeeze some water from the rag, and then place hot wash cloth on top of your hair and wipe down. You can also wet a washcloth or towel and heat it up in the microwave to get it hot enough.
  5. Repeat hot water process for the sides and back of hair also.
  6. You can also brush your hair right after shampoo-ing and conditioning in the shower. This is when your hair is softest. Just add a moisturizer and skip the hot towel part.
  7. Find the point on your head where a cowlick forms, and brush out from that point to the front, sides, and back, not missing any part of your head.
  8. Brush for at least 20 strokes to every side of your head, or about 15 – 30 minutes.
  9. Place a wave cap or du-rag onto your head afterwards for 30 minutes, and brush again after you take it off. Make sure you sleep with the du-rag on to keep your waves from getting messed up.
  10. It may take up to 6 weeks for waves to appear, so try to repeat this process mentioned above daily to train your hair to form deep 360 waves.
  11. Maintain your waves through regular brushing. If your waves start going away, you’re probably not brushing enough. The waves are a result of you training your hair to lay down on your head. It takes practice and patience!
  12. Avoid washing your hair too much. Some wash once a week, or every other week even. Just rinse your hair instead.

Supplies You Need for Waves

Brush Get a hand brush (one without a handle), either hard, medium, or soft depending on your hair texture. Coarse hair, or newbies will need a hard brush.
Du-rag This is crucial. Wear it every night.
Pomade or moisturizer 360-style is popular. Use pomade only occassionally, and only when you’re starting out. Luster’s Pink is another popular moisturizer.
Good shampoo or conditioner
This is important to maintain your hair

Shampooing

  1. When in the shower, brush the shampoo into your hair with warm water, going in the direction of the waves.
  2. After shampoo-brushing your hair, rinse with cool water.
  3. The best shampoos to use for hair waves are herbal, conditioning, and protein ones.
  4. Make sure you brush your hair afterwards.

Avoid Pomade

  • Using pomades produces build-up and flakes.
  • Most pomade wave products contain heavy petroleum, which makes hair waves feel gooey and gummy
  • Also, use may clog hair pores, cause acne on the face and upper back, and cause a potential receding hairline if you frequently wear fitted baseball-caps.
  • If you use pomade, only do it sparingly and only to get your waves started.

Using hair creams that contain Shea butter and essential oils is healthier. Your wave products should feel light on the hair—not thick and heavy, which causes flaky build-up. The only time that you should brush the waves is after applying a hair cream or a moist hot rag, or when shampooing.

Guidelines for Repairing Ingrown Hairs, Discolorations and Ashy Skin

1. Ingrown hairs. While most men have suffered from ingrown hairs or razor burn, black men are especially prone to this condition because of their highly-curved body hairs. Because the hair tends to be more tightly curled, it has a greater chance of curving and growing back into the skin after shaving. This causes painful shaving bumps and irritation on the face and neck, and can only become more aggravated with further shaving.

Although it’s a common problem, there’s no need to simply accept it as a natural danger of shaving: by keeping skin exfoliated, changing your razor after 4-5 uses and following with a product with dermatologically-active ingredients, you can greatly reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs. If you find yourself suffering a great deal from these skin irritations, consider cutting down on the amount of times you shave, since frequent shaving too close to the skin will trap hairs inside the follicles. For more information on diminishing and preventing razor burn and ingrown hairs, check out A Definitive Therapy for Ingrown Hairs or Razor Bumps.

2. Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation. Dark areas can often appear on African-American skin when scarring occurs, whether from cuts, acne or burns. These dark spots and uneven skin tone (called “hyperpigmentation”) will usually fade over time, but some ingredients can definitively help even skin color and promote a smoother surface. Retinol, Kojic Acid and Vitamin C are used regularly by dermatologists and skincare professionals to fade dark areas and balance skin tone. These products often take 4-8 weeks to see maximum results, and they have been known to cause irritation in some men, so you should consult a dermatologist if you have sensitive skin or if irritation persists.

Regular, gentle exfoliation is also a good way to improve skin tone because it removes the top layer of dead skin cells and allows new, healthier cells to appear. By removing the upper layer, it also allows ingredients such as Retinol to more effectively treat the skin. When using a product such as this, make sure you protect your skin well from the sun’s rays, since sun exposure stimulates pigment production and can re-darken areas. Find ways to Improve Skin Tone and Reduce “Age Spots” (Without Plastic Surgery) in our Tips & Advice column.

3. Dry, Ashy Skin. Black men with very dry skin often have an ashy or gray appearance, so it’s important to keep skin well-moisturized and reinforced with nurturing vitamins to promote a smoother, healthier look. Because hot water can pull moisture from the skin’s surface, avoid long, hot showers and take quick lukewarm ones instead. Wash with a gentle liquid cleanser instead of bar soap (since bar soap can actually dry out skin), and put an active moisturizer on within five minutes of stepping out of the bathtub. This will lock moisture into your pores, promoting a smoother, more even appearance. Use an oil-free moisturizer that contains nutrients like Aloe, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene and Vitamins A, D, and E, and don’t forget about the delicate area around your eyes. Visit our article Daily Skin Care for Men for tips and techniques on the best skincare routines.

4. Sun Protection. A common misconception about darker-toned skin is that it cannot burn or be damaged by the sun. Although African-American skin contains more melanin (skin pigment) which offers greater protection against the sun’s rays, it is still at risk for a number of sun-related diseases. In fact, African-American men are often at a higher risk because it is often harder to detect changes in skin marks or discolorations. This means it may take longer for a person to seek treatment, by which time the damage could have spread even further.

Protecting your skin from the sun is a serious business, but it can be as easy as using a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and reapplying it often. Our article, Sun Care, offers more invaluable tips on how to keep your skin healthy and burn-free, no matter what the season may be.

5 Unique Benefits of Using Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has undoubtedly become one of the best all-purpose oils in the world. This oil has been recommended for several purposes, from hair to food, and even skin care. It is safe to say that coconut oil is a must have.

According to Dr Axe, there are over 1500 studies proving that coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world. Using coconut oil has a lot more benefits than most people realise. Here are 5 unique benefits of using coconut oil

For Hair 

Coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help improve your hair and prevent it from getting dry or even having dandruff. After washing your hair, use coconut oil as an all-natural hair conditioner.

To get rid of dandruff and to thicken hair massage, use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 10 drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp, massage for 3 minutes, then wash 30 minutes later.

Anti-Aging

According to research, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow ageing. Coconut oil works by reducing stress in the liver and by lowering oxidative stress.

Also, it was discovered by scientists that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To slow ageing, take 1 tbsp of coconut oil with anti-oxidant rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly on your skin for additional benefits and smoothing.

Prevention of Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol in your body but also help to convert bad cholesterols into good cholesterols.

It helps promote a healthy heart and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Weight loss

Coconut oil has energy creating abilities which are beneficial for losing weight. It was discovered that capric acid shows significant improvements in thyroid function, helps lower resting heart rate and assists your body in burning fat for energy.

Improves Energy and Endurance

Today, many athletes use coconut oil as their source of fuels during training and races for long distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together 1 tbsp of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.

Coconut oil is easy to digest and therefore produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism.

Love Your Wigs? Here Are 5 Ways to Ensure the Hair Beneath is Healthy

Whether you are looking to experiment with various hairstyles and/or colors, revamp your look and boost confidence; or you are compelled to wear it to hide a receding hairline or copious hair loss, there is no denying that wigs are lifesavers. Wigs have a way of cutting out the stress of styling your natural hair, and giving you an easy way to protect your hair from daily treatment and breakage.

The thing about wigs, though, is that while it certainly makes your life easier, if not worn properly, it can actually do more harm to your natural hair than good.

So, how then do you get the most out of your wig, while keeping your natural hair healthy and damage-free?

Wear your hair dry and neatly wrapped or braided under a wig
A number of people tend to neglect their hair when wearing wigs. They do not even bother to prepare their hair for the wig. They just bunch it up or fold it under the wig and go on with their lives. But the thing is, this bunching up or folding of hair can actually cause breakage and damage to your hair. Rather than do those, it is advisable to either braid or wrap your hair, so as that way you keep your hair healthy and also get a better fit with the wig.
In addition, do not wear your wig over wet or damp hair. No matter how short or scanty your hair is, allow it to dry before putting on your wig. Wet hair provides a breeding ground for mildew, bacteria to fester and you don’t want that mess on your wig or scalp.

Moisturize your natural hair and scalp daily
Wigs may be protective but they have a way of sucking up the moisture out of your natural hair- especially if they are made with cotton or nylon caps; thus, leaving your scalp dry and your hair prone to damage.

Remember to moisturize your hair at least 3 times a week. You do not necessarily have to go under the shower or drench the hair in water. Every time you take off your wig, simply spray your hair with some water or leave-in conditioner and work it into the hair. Make sure the water is not too much – no dripping down your face or neck.
You just need a little to replenish some moisture into your strands. After you have done this, allow your hair to dry before putting on the wig again. If you do not have the patience to spritz water on your hair, you can alternatively use a dropper to apply moisturising oil directly to the scalp daily, or use a light oil spray to hydrate the strands of your hair.

Massage your scalp
The scalp plays an important role when it comes to keeping your hair healthy; neglecting your scalp while wearing a wig is probably a bad move. Aside from the fact that you run a higher risk of having severe dandruff -a side effect of regular wig-wearing, the scalp receives less stimulation during wig wear. It reduces the chances of scalp circulation, as well as the eventual healthy growth of hair.

Avoid product buildup on you hair
While you want to keep your hair moisturised underneath the wig, you have to make sure you do not use too much product on your scalp. Overloading your scalp with products can lead to product buildup, clogged pores, and eventually, hair loss. To avoid product build up, you can moisturise your scalp with light oils such as jojoba or almond. If you feel that you have amassed a build up at any time, use and Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to remove the product buildup.

Protect your edges
When wearing a wig, you want to make sure the wig cap isn’t too tight and the hair clips used to keep the wigs in place is properly installed. This is so that you avoid snatching and snagging of the hair during removal, especially around your edges.
Again, you want to braid your hair for the wig; try not to braid the hair too tightly along the hairline as tight braids can lead to “traction alopecia”. You hair follicles come out at the root, and you are faced with permanent hair loss around the edges. Wear loose braids and keep your edges well maintained and moisturised with conditioner.

Can you Drink your Way to Healthy Hair?

Fiona of www.finallyfiona.com is sharing one of her secrets to healthy hair and it’s drinking smoothies, can you believe it?

There are three major things that contribute to the health of your hair and they are;

  • Genetics
  • External care (this includes manipulation, conditioning, styling etc)
  • Internal Health (what you eat and drink etc)

You know what they say… Garbage in, garbage out! So ultimately, whatever you eat or drink has an effect on your body’s health, including your hair, skin and nails. Read what she has to say about ‘internal health’ below.

Hey guys! So, I’m finally dishing the scoop on one of the most impactful aspects of my hair care journey that has contributed greatly to my hair growth and natural hair health over the past 2 years… Highly nutritious smoothies!

Today I’m sharing my tip on internal health and how what you eat and drink can impact the health of your hair. Here are 3 of my favourite smoothie recipes, rich in Biotin and full of amazing hair health-boosting vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Biotin Rich Green Smoothie (500ml)

  • 50g Chard
  • 1 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • Handful Red Grapes
  • 1 ½ Cups Almond Milk
  • 50g Frozen Spinach
  • 1 Frozen Banana

Tropical Mango & Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 50g Chard
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Oat Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 100g Frozen Mango

Highly Nutritious Mixed Berry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Frozen Berries
  • ½ Avocado
  • 50g Frozen Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 ½ Cups Pineapple Juice