A couple of weeks ago, my ancient AC unit finally gave up.  The worst thing that could happen was being without AC in the middle of July.  Part of me contemplated enduring a hot summer without the modern necessity of cool air, but then I thought of how the sweltering temperatures would affect my beauty & nutritional items.

Needless to say, I gladly made the hefty investment so I could survive the summer while preserving my favorite products.  I thought I was doing my part.  But then I came to realize that some serious beauty enthusiasts have really taken their beauty regimens seriously.  Believe it or not, some even go as far as to procure mini-fridges to keep their valuable beauty stash at optimal temperatures.

I'm not gonna lie, I contemplated getting a mini beauty fridge but the lack of space prevented me from moving forward.  If I ever get my dream house and huge bathroom, I'll definitely revisit this concept.  The very least I could do is ensure that I store my current products in the right place.  Part of this weekend's agenda includes tossing out old bottles of condiments so I can make room for my most beloved beauty favorites.
Because space is limited, I plan on making sure that I only focus on the products that will thrive in cooler temperatures.  Here's a short list of what I have so far:

Sheet Masks
I'm kinda on the fence when it comes to sheet masks.  On the one hand, sheet mask warmers were invented for the purpose of heating our masks so the product is better absorbed by our thirsty pores.  On the other hand, placing sheet masks in your fridge prior to use can help close pores while providing a wonderful cooling sensation. So which one is better?  Both.  Let's say, for example, that I've stepped out of the sauna and want to indulge in a sheet masking as part of a full spa day experience.  That's when I want to reach for a chilled mask (post cleansing).  This also holds true if you do a steam facial that day.  But, winter months, a warm sheet mask might make more sense so the product is better absorbed.

Facial Rollers
All of the face rollers I own have now found a new home.  And that place is the freezer.  We've talked briefly about how well the face responds to cold temperatures.  All of that added blood flow and increased circulation does great things.  In the mornings, I like to grab my giant "ice roller" and sweep it across my face and cheeks.  Then I grab the smaller jade roller to deal with puffy eyes.  Finally, I reach for my micro current facial roller to finish off the routine.  I also keep it in the freezer because it feels so invigorating when it first touches the skin.  I'm hoping it tightens my pores as it firms the facial muscles.  What more can one ask for?

Leave-In Conditioner
Back in the day, I used to keep my leave-in spray in the fridge.  We all know that it's highly recommended to conduct a final rinse using cold water. It helps to close the cuticle layer.  But, sometimes I was too chicken to deal with the frigid temps so chilling my leave-in was the next best thing.  I haven't done this in a while but I'm definitely reinstituting this practice ASAP.  Humidity levels are at an all time high and I need all the cuticle sealing help I can get.

Eye products
The next group that will be migrating to my fridge are all of my eye products.  This includes, but is not limited to, eye creams, serums, and eye sheet masks.  Not only will my eyes be experiencing maximum hydration, they'll be less puffy as well.

Let's also add any product with vitamin C to the list of beauty items that benefit from being stored in a cool environment.

Facial Spray
Lastly, I'm keeping at least 1 bottle of facial spray in the fridge.  Here's what happens.....I spend precious time applying makeup only to break out in a sweat once I sit in my car.  We all know that warmer temps make us sweat but the worst part may be how hot weather ignites oil production.  That's the last thing we want, especially after just applying makeup. So my plan is to lightly mist with chilled facial spray just before leaving to keep my skin cool for just enough time to allow my car AC to kick in.  Hopefully, my plan works and I can avoid overly greasy skin this summer.


The other day I picked up a bottle of vitamin D capsules at a local grocery super store.  For a couple of years, I've talked about the benefits of ensuring that we have enough vitamin D in our diet.  Because of our melanin, most of us might actually be vitamin D deficient.  For the past couple days, I've noticed a renewed sense of well-being. Not sure if it has to do with the vitamin D intake or if it's a residual effect of having just returned from a much-needed vacation.  Since incorporating B vitamin shots and, now vitamin D, I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

A few years ago, I took a bunch of vitamins every day and it really made a difference.  Since then, I've fallen off the wagon. But as I get older, I realize that my body isn't as efficient as it used to be.  Plus I'm not eating as great as I should.  It's time to take my nutrition seriously again. So I started to browse around Amazon for other vitamins that I could incorporate into my daily life.  While there, I somehow stumbled on vitamin A.  Whenever I research a product on Amazon, I always go to the reviews and do a quick search for the word "hair" or "skin."  I do this to discover products that positively impact our hair & skin.  That's how I stumbled upon hyaluronic acid.

When I did my customary search under vitamin A supplements, I uncovered a little-known hair growth secret that Brazillian women swear by.
These crafty women of Brazil somehow determined that mixing a little liquid vitamin A to their shampoo could somehow stimulate hair growth.  They call this concoction shampoo bomba. It began when these ladies experimented with combining a liquid vitamin A, primarily sold in veterinarian's offices, with shampoo.

Somehow, adding vitamin A topically to the scalp made a difference in the hair growth rate for some.  I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first.  But then I remembered the time I visited a salon in L.A. that boasted of special treatments consisting of vitamin enhanced conditioners.  Honestly, the idea of infusing conditioners with vitamins seemed a bit gimmicky.

That was then...

Since launching my own vitamin based hair enhancer, I've changed my tune.  I notice a difference when I add vitamin B enriched bamboo extract to my conditioner and others do as well.  The idea of lacing my shampoo with vitamin A really peaked my interest.  At the very least, I'm sure my strands would feel healthier because of the process. And, maybe I'd even experience a positive benefit to the growth rate.

Take a look at what one reviewer had to say after making her own "Bomba Shampoo" at home:

on September 22, 2016
People... attention... this is the purest vitamin A I found in America... and is the " key " secret to make the famous " bomb shampoo " in South America.
I have no words for how it works... my hair grows ultra fast.
You can give it a try.
Take a picture of your hair after mix in you shampoo without sulfate.. and compare 15 days later.... it's extremely insane how it works... plus, when you wash your hair the vitamin A runs on your face and body, making your skin baby soft ".
It's like a magic potion for being young again...
( mix all the bottle with half gallon of shampoo without sulfate)
You can do the same with conditioner and some body lotions...THAT'S MY SECRET


Here's another one:

on July 9, 2016
I bought this to use on my hair. Let me explain.
I use a lot of chemicals on my hair by coloring it every 3 months.
I started to lose all my hair. It also started to become very dried and fine. Someone told me vitamin A was great for hair growth. As I was searching Amazon I was looking for something that would make your hair grow with vitamin A. I came across this Pure vitamin I didn't really read the description where it said it was a supplemental vitamin and to take one drop daily. I was so worried and horrified about becoming bald all I wanted was a vitamin A for my hair. The one everyone was talking about was supposed to be an oil, not this liquid pure vitamin.
Funny thing when It arrived I opened it and was laughing very hard at myself, then I went to read the description and was like "" Ohhhhh ""
I decided to add this bottle to my shampoo anyways. I figured either it will be good or I'll just buy a wig.
I bought a deeply clean Pantene shampoo and added the vitamin to it.
Mixed it well and started to use it on my hair 3x a week. I would wash my hair leave it in for 3 minutes and wash it out.
Condition with regular conditioner and style as I regularly did.
Now before I did this I measured my hair and it was 16" long ( straight )
That was 2 months ago in May
Today in July I measured my hair again as my shampoo ended ( yes it lasted that long because I used a very small amount )
My hair is 18" long and it's healthier. I'm loving the results
I do have a photo but not of the final measurements sorry.. hope this helps.
I do recommend this vitamin for anything I guess, it is 100% pure and it works for whatever your needs are.

Ok, so here's what I got from the first review.  Obviously, this vitamin A treatment worked well for her.  She actually noticed a boost in her growth rate.  She urges us to make sure we use sulfate free shampoo.  Chemical heavy shampoos will interfere with the effectiveness of the vitamin A.   My favorite part of her review is how she lets us in on a secondary benefit.  Apparently, the vitamin enriched water run-off will nourish our skin as well.  What could be better than that?  And, just like Beautifully Bamboo vitamin extract, she mixes a little vitamin A in her conditioner and lotions.

 If I had acne prone skin, I'd play around with adding a little vitamin A to my skin moisturizer to apply at night.  A lot of the popular, professional strength,  acne treatments on the market incorporate vitamin A as a main active ingredient.   I'm not saying this will work, but I'm curious about the potential.  There are a bunch of videos on Youtube reviewing this vitamin A + shampoo combination. Unfortunately, none of them are in English. But most of them have impressive progress pics as their thumbnail pic so one could assume that they're experiencing positive benefits.  As with any concentrated treatment, less is more.  Don't go overboard with the vitamin A because this is somewhat of an experimental strategy.  One person in the comments of a video recommend 1 ml of vitamin A concentrate per 100 ml of shampoo to start with then increase to 2ml per 100 ml if you don't experience any results.

Start with a little and see how your hair or skin responds.



The other day I picked up a bottle of vitamin D capsules at a local grocery super store.  For a couple of years, I've talked about the benefits of ensuring that we have enough vitamin D in our diet.  Because of our melanin, most of us might actually be vitamin D deficient.  For the past couple days, I've noticed a renewed sense of well-being. Not sure if it has to do with the vitamin D intake or if it's a residual effect of having just returned from a much-needed vacation.  Since incorporating B vitamin shots and, now vitamin D, I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

A few years ago, I took a bunch of vitamins every day and it really made a difference.  Since then, I've fallen off the wagon. But as I get older, I realize that my body isn't as efficient as it used to be.  Plus I'm not eating as great as I should.  It's time to take my nutrition seriously again. So I started to browse around Amazon for other vitamins that I could incorporate into my daily life.  While there, I somehow stumbled on vitamin A.  Whenever I research a product on Amazon, I always go to the reviews and do a quick search for the word "hair" or "skin."  I do this to discover products that positively impact our hair & skin.  That's how I stumbled upon hyaluronic acid.

When I did my customary search under vitamin A supplements, I uncovered a little-known hair growth secret that Brazillian women swear by.
These crafty women of Brazil somehow determined that mixing a little liquid vitamin A to their shampoo could somehow stimulate hair growth.  They call this concoction shampoo bomba. It began when these ladies experimented with combining a liquid vitamin A, primarily sold in veterinarian's offices, with shampoo.

Somehow, adding vitamin A topically to the scalp made a difference in the hair growth rate for some.  I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first.  But then I remembered the time I visited a salon in L.A. that boasted of special treatments consisting of vitamin enhanced conditioners.  Honestly, the idea of infusing conditioners with vitamins seemed a bit gimmicky.

That was then...

Since launching my own vitamin based hair enhancer, I've changed my tune.  I notice a difference when I add vitamin B enriched bamboo extract to my conditioner and others do as well.  The idea of lacing my shampoo with vitamin A really peaked my interest.  At the very least, I'm sure my strands would feel healthier because of the process. And, maybe I'd even experience a positive benefit to the growth rate.

Take a look at what one reviewer had to say after making her own "Bomba Shampoo" at home:

on September 22, 2016
People... attention... this is the purest vitamin A I found in America... and is the " key " secret to make the famous " bomb shampoo " in South America.
I have no words for how it works... my hair grows ultra fast.
You can give it a try.
Take a picture of your hair after mix in you shampoo without sulfate.. and compare 15 days later.... it's extremely insane how it works... plus, when you wash your hair the vitamin A runs on your face and body, making your skin baby soft ".
It's like a magic potion for being young again...
( mix all the bottle with half gallon of shampoo without sulfate)
You can do the same with conditioner and some body lotions...THAT'S MY SECRET


Here's another one:

on July 9, 2016
I bought this to use on my hair. Let me explain.
I use a lot of chemicals on my hair by coloring it every 3 months.
I started to lose all my hair. It also started to become very dried and fine. Someone told me vitamin A was great for hair growth. As I was searching Amazon I was looking for something that would make your hair grow with vitamin A. I came across this Pure vitamin I didn't really read the description where it said it was a supplemental vitamin and to take one drop daily. I was so worried and horrified about becoming bald all I wanted was a vitamin A for my hair. The one everyone was talking about was supposed to be an oil, not this liquid pure vitamin.
Funny thing when It arrived I opened it and was laughing very hard at myself, then I went to read the description and was like "" Ohhhhh ""
I decided to add this bottle to my shampoo anyways. I figured either it will be good or I'll just buy a wig.
I bought a deeply clean Pantene shampoo and added the vitamin to it.
Mixed it well and started to use it on my hair 3x a week. I would wash my hair leave it in for 3 minutes and wash it out.
Condition with regular conditioner and style as I regularly did.
Now before I did this I measured my hair and it was 16" long ( straight )
That was 2 months ago in May
Today in July I measured my hair again as my shampoo ended ( yes it lasted that long because I used a very small amount )
My hair is 18" long and it's healthier. I'm loving the results
I do have a photo but not of the final measurements sorry.. hope this helps.
I do recommend this vitamin for anything I guess, it is 100% pure and it works for whatever your needs are.

Ok, so here's what I got from the first review.  Obviously, this vitamin A treatment worked well for her.  She actually noticed a boost in her growth rate.  She urges us to make sure we use sulfate free shampoo.  Chemical heavy shampoos will interfere with the effectiveness of the vitamin A.   My favorite part of her review is how she lets us in on a secondary benefit.  Apparently, the vitamin enriched water run-off will nourish our skin as well.  What could be better than that?  And, just like Beautifully Bamboo vitamin extract, she mixes a little vitamin A in her conditioner and lotions.

 If I had acne prone skin, I'd play around with adding a little vitamin A to my skin moisturizer to apply at night.  A lot of the popular, professional strength,  acne treatments on the market incorporate vitamin A as a main active ingredient.   I'm not saying this will work, but I'm curious about the potential.  There are a bunch of videos on Youtube reviewing this vitamin A + shampoo combination. Unfortunately, none of them are in English. But most of them have impressive progress pics as their thumbnail pic so one could assume that they're experiencing positive benefits.  As with any concentrated treatment, less is more.  Don't go overboard with the vitamin A because this is somewhat of an experimental strategy.  One person in the comments of a video recommend 1 ml of vitamin A concentrate per 100 ml of shampoo to start with then increase to 2ml per 100 ml if you don't experience any results.

Start with a little and see how your hair or skin responds.



I'm on a constant quest for new, innovative ways to enhance my non-existent lashes.  For someone who has tiny lashes, like me, every bit of advice helps.

Today, hubby and I stopped by a popular taco restaurant for lunch.  While waiting for our chips and salsa to arrive, he leans over and tells me that my lashes are getting longer.  Truth is, my lashes are the same pathetic length they've always been.  The only difference is a new lash application technique that changed everything.
This technique is so simple, I'm wondering why I hadn't tried this before.  Best of all, it didn't require me to purchase any new lengthening mascaras.  In fact, I used the same exact mascara the day before but didn't receive any compliments.  That's when I knew that this method was a keeper.

What I'm about to share with you is somewhat reminiscent of Pat McGrath's spider lashes technique.  Her spider lashes method required us to "paint" our lashes with mascara in layers.  Once  our lashes are coated with one layer of mascara, we paint our lash with a second layer of product.  This second layer is what gives our lashes a more dramatic effect.

The only problem is that if we don't have enough product on the wand, we can't truly paint our lashes in a proper way.

This new method that I'm about to share takes care of that issue altogether.

Here it goes:

When we typically use mascara, we remove the wand from the tube in a way that removes excess product from both sides of the brush.  When the bristles contact the sides of the tube, a majority of the product is removed from the bristles.  We apply the mascara, but most of the product has been scraped off the wand.

Here's the difference with the new method.  Instead of removing the want the old fashioned way, we remove it by scrapping only one side of the wand.  So instead of removing the wand from the middle of the tube, we remove it by scrapping it against the left OR right side as if we're trying to remove all the product from one side of the wand.

If you do this correctly,  one side of the wand will not tube the tube. The side that doesn't scrape against the tube has 100% of product still on the wand.  This is the side that we use to coat our lashes.  Which makes the "painting method" much easier to execute.  This will make a huge impact to the look of your lashes.

It's such a simple shift but it creates a real difference.  I wear mascara pretty much anytime I go out to eat, but this is the first time I've ever received a compliment on my lashes.

Coincidence? I think not.
I'm back with another Instagram Beauty Routine reveal.  This one's special because it's more of an update.  You may remember when I once featured Simone a.ka. @cocoaflowerr's favorite skin products.

I'm pretty sure the girl is inundated with comments and requests to share the items responsible for her amazing skin.  Luckily for us, she's pretty accommodating.  Just recently, she posted a few snaps with her current line up.  The first thing I noticed is that a lot has changed since her last reveal.  Perhaps she's switched up her routine to stay flawless for summer?

Let's check out these quick vids as Simone pays homage to the products her skin loves.


I wasn't at all surprised to learn that her favorite cleanser contains activated charcoal.  It makes perfect sense because, as we all know, charcoal has phenomenal deep cleansing properties.  I already have a cleanser that I love so instead of picking up a new one, I laced it with a sprinkling of activated charcoal.  I noticed a difference.  You can read about my entire process here.  But if you want a more convenient option, you can try out Milk's Charcoal Cleanser or Biore's budget friendly option. 
Here, Simone is showing off her favorite exfoliating scrub by Mario Badescu.  Y'all, I don't know anyone with pretty skin that doesn't believe in regular exfoliation. It's a must.  She informs us that exfoliating every other day is what works best for her.  The exception is that she ALWAYS exfoliates post workout. Sound familiar? 
Next up she rehydrates using Mario Badescu's rose water toner.  I've been meaning to grab a bottle of this rose-scented facial mist but since I've been on a DIY kick lately, I've been experimenting with making my own rose water at home.  More on that in a follow-up post. 
Next up is her favorite serum.  This is a oil based serum loaded with a bunch of natural extracts and vitamin E.  The product description encourages us to "Glow up and Slay" with the help of the contents of this little black bottle.  Slay is fortified with MSM and DMAE which claims to help promote smooth, balanced skin with a youthful glow.  Simone seems to be happy with it.  Just look at her glow. 
No facial routine is complete without the help of a moisturizer (preferably one with SPF).  Simone's current go-to is Olay's Complete.  As we know, sun protection is a little-known ally in the war against skin discoloration.  If you strive to achieve perfect skin, sunscreen is your very best friend.  
Lastly, once all of her products are applied, Simone wraps up by applying a light makeup to finish her routine.  She keeps her makeup routine fairly simple.  Just a little highlighter from BECCA followed by Tarte's Light's Camera, Lashes, and she's done.  She has no need for foundation because her skin is #goals.  

A couple things I took away from Simone's regimen is that I need to start adding charcoal back to my daily routine again.  Also, I don't really use a hard-working serum that perfects my skin with each application.  I need to get working on that ASAP.   I want to include a disclaimer that Simone also eats pretty healthy.  If you recall, she starts her day with a cup of antioxidant-rich green tea and she tries to eat pretty clean, for the most part.  Like all of us, she indulges, but it's obvious that Simone enjoys eating naturally healthy foods.  

In the first video, she mentions the reveal would include her favorite skin & hair products.  I captured pics of her current hair care routine.  I'll share that in part 2.