As promised here’s part dos of the review. The leave-ins are the real stars of this line for me.
They also behave dramatically depending on whether you’re a curl scruncher, comber, or just let them be. How do you do your curls?
Confident Coils Styling Solution (16.95 / 8oz): The claim? Defined but not enhanced, beautiful and touchable curls. Totally true! It’s really surprising to me when a product actually does what it claims. But both these leave-ins do exactly that. I love this one. It reminds me of an Aveda product I’ve mentioned in the past that my entire family was once hooked on. It’s consistency is light and a bit sticky, which is really good for curls. It kind of just makes your existing curls their best selves. If you’re like me, sometimes you comb through and scrunch your curls for more bounce, while other times you finger-comb or don’t touch them at all. This responds well to both, and can also be used with…
Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion (16.95 / 8oz): The claim? The tightest, most coiled version of your curls without giving you “ramen noodle hair” according to the site copy (hilarious). When I was kid we called these bottle curls, and it’s not a look I usually rock out on a Tuesday. But, again, because this product actually delivers I discovered that it’s pretty fun to be able to suddenly have a ringlet head. When I used this product and did a traditional towel scrunch, I easily lost two inches in length and gained a veritable helmut of ringlets. One day, even a friendly construction worker guiding me through a barricade called to me through his window: “Go on through here, Shirley Temple!”
Awe Inspiring Spray (16.95 / 8oz): I’ve never really been one for sprays, other than the Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing one (still a fave). But this is not a hairspray like that—this is more of a curl refresher. It’s perfect for mornings when you don’t want to jump in the shower but your hair needs a little wakeup. Or maybe in the evening after a long work day before you head out for dinner. It’s got aloe and a little jojoba in it, so it’s hydrating with just the tiniest bit of control. Very convenient.
I’m also curious how these leaves-ins would work on straighter hair. I feel like they could be a real boon on a humid day for any hair, especially because they’re light. Have any of the straight girls tried curl-geared products in the past? Let us know, and happy Friday!
P.S. We are completely floored by the amazing applications we got for the assistant job. We have no idea how we’re going to decide yet, but a huge thanks to everyone who applied—we’ll definitely put up a post to let everyone know when we’ve decided!
Sometimes having curly hair can feel like having a pet (that you never asked your parents for). It needs constant love and attention, petting, fluffing and calming, and you can’t just leave it out in the rain and expect it to behave.
Then one day you discover that, in fact, it’s not as needy as you thought. It actually wants to be independent, and if you just let it do it’s thing and don’t coddle it like a crazy person, it might actually be able to survive in the wild.
K, this is a weird metaphor. But it sort of sums up what happened to me and my curls and I went clean. The constant monitoring, treatments, and loads of leave-ins proved to be a bit moot once I just learned to let it be, not wash it much (or ever), and use a good, thick, natural conditioner. Suddenly: Nice curls, responsive to heat if I wanted to style it, and I could even sleep on them and not look like a total animal in the morning.
For a while there, I flat-out lost my taste for hair products, because it was such a revelation not to need them. But these days, I’m working my way back to the middle because—as I almost forgot—the right products can do a lot for a curl. It can make it springy and tight, or loose and lovely. And this line does it all.
Who is Jessicurl? Some quick reading on their website says it’s a brand started by a woman (Jess) who grew up fighting her curls until one day she discovered a natural and DIY approach to haircare and learned to love them. Sound familiar? Cut to: Ten years later she has her very own line with very nice people working with her. These folks were kind enough to send me their entire Rich and Radiant Collection, which I’ve now thoroughly tested.
Note: There are a few ingredients in the line that aren’t perfect. The last two ingredients in the conditioners and leave-ins get a question mark on SkinDeep (4-6), though I’ve never heard of them (have you?) and the cleansing cream contains a PEG. While that gets a low hazard score, if memory serves PEGs run the risk of being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane—which is really bad stuff. I have not emailed the folks at Jessicurl about any of this yet (feel free to post in the comments, guys), but given how clean the rest of the line I’m feeling a bit forgiving about it. Especially on the products that I’m obsessed with. :)
OK, let’s go through it!
Hair Cleansing Cream ($16.95 / 8oz): Touted as an alternative to shampoo this product foams just a little, featuring gentler surfactants. As promised in the description, your curly hair will actually look great on the same day as washing (on the rare occasions I wash, I’ve found this to be true with most good natch, and non-stripping, shampoos). Remember when your curls were absolutely destroyed by hair-washing and you had to wait several days for them to get back into their groove? Man, those days sucked.
Too Shea! Conditioner ($16.95 / 8oz): This is a really nice hydrating conditioner that leans more towards the sticky than the greasy side in consistency. I’ve been using this most days as my conditioning cleanser and it’s absolutely great. The whole lines smells good too, in a natural good way, and the presence of peppermint in this conditioner makes it perfect for waking up in the morning shower. This conditioner gets my solid stamp of approval, and I think it would work especially great for women who don’t want their curls weighed down. I, on the other hand, also happen to enjoy a really heavy conditioner too… Which is why I use it in tandem with…
Deep Conditioning Treatment ($16.95 / 8oz): This conditioner is the bomb. It’s so thick that it’s almost tough to squeeze it out of the bottle. Heavy and rich, it literally seems to detangle curls on contact. Funnily, it has almost the exact same ingredients as the previous conditioner, but the proportions must be totally different. According to the description, I’m not the only curly girl obsessed. While it was once marketed as a weekly treatment, so many women started using it daily. That’s what I’ve been doing, and the results are GREAT.
OK, that’s a wrap for now. Tomorrow I will cover the three amazing styling products that came in the set. But tell us, curlies and wavies: What is your washing and conditioning curl ritual? Have you heard of JessiCurl?
I’m about to write a pretty girly how-to makeup post. It would almost warrant a YouTube video—if it weren’t simple enough for a monkey!
Two completely random events conspired last week for me to come up with a whole new makeup look (just when I thought I’d tried it all). 1) A 100-degree heat wave hit Los Angeles for two days putting the entire city in a sweat. And 2) I ran out of my favorite dirty mascara.
And so, the look that I’m calling “night-for-day face” was born. All you need are two products that you likely already have: bronzer (or blush if you don’t do bronzer) and a pencil eyeliner. It’s night-for-day because I like to wear eyeliner (with mascara) and bronzer for evenings out in the summer. But, while the eyeliner gives this look a touch of evening edge, it’s so light that it passes as polished without being too much for daytime wear.
The absolute best part about this face though? It’s 100% weather-and-activity-proof. There’s no leaks or smudges or runs. And it’s really really easy to reapply during the day. Also, it’s super liberating to not wear mascara but still have a little eye happening! Here’s what I do.
Prep: I’ve been using the Marie Veronique face oil, which smells and feels amazing. (Would I pay the $110 for it? Nope, probably not, but I got this bottle gifted.) The oil really helps the bronzer apply nicely though your usual moisturizer will likely do the trick. My skin has been pretty clear lately so (knock on wood), I’ve been using minimal concealer.
Apply: Bronzer with my finger (love the studio 78 one) under my cheekbones and slightly up around the contour of the bone. A tiny bit along the bridge of my nose as well as my eyebrow bone. Then I very lightly line the inside of my eye with a black pencil (Jane Iredale or HoneyBee Gardens). Very very lightly though, so that it’s more of a translucent gray than black if that makes sense. If you go too dark without mascara your eye will look small, but somehow that doesn’t happen if you do the line barely there.
That’s it! You can add some lip gloss or a touch of color on the lip, but the trick is light touch with everything or else you just look made up.
What have you been doing with your makeup these days??
Don’t hate, anti-soy set, but I’m on team tofu.
Soy’s merits and pitfalls are hotly debated. But, as with most foods, I think everyone needs to listen to their own body. My body seems to like tofu. I went for a long time not really eating it, and my hormone health was worst then than it is now. Not saying that’s at all causal, just sayin’: It doesn’t seem to be doing me harm in that department (periods, skin, mood and so on).
In general I believe that if something makes you feel good when you eat it, it’s probably OK. Plus moderation! Here’s my deal:
Dietary leanings: Heavily plant-based, with one serving of some sustainably-sourced animal product most days.
Ingredient: Tofu! The stuff I survived on as a teenage vegetarian is back in my life, and tasting better than ever.
Known health benefits: Lots of protein, basically no saturated fat, and other good stuff like calcium, magnesium, even iron. For more facts, I love this tofu vs chicken chart from Prevention.
Also, it seems worth pointing out that the healthiest population on the planet (I’m looking at you Japan) has a tofu-heavy diet. But Japan also has much stricter laws around GMOS. Here virtually all soy products have been genetically modified. Sad face.
Does anyone know of a non-GMO source? There seem to be some loopholes in the labeling around this stuff.
How I Like To Eat It: So many ways! In soups, in scrambles, on my toast… I’ve listed some of my best super-simple recipes below.
I’m absolutely wild about the organic one in the picture from Trader Joe’s because it tastes amazing and doesn’t ever give me a tummy ache, even when I eat it raw.
And that’s saying a lot for a girl who basically bloats at the site of raw vegetables. Onto the recipes…
Tofu Spread: This is so easy, it’s nuts. I take a chunk of aforementioned TJ’s tofu and mash it in a bowl using a fork. I add dijon, olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever else is around: fresh cilantro or Italian parsley, green onions, garlic powder. Then I spread it on my toast with tomato and/or avocado. Delish.
Under The Broiler: Do you like your tofu crispy? Me too. Here’s how to do it without a deep fryer. Toss your tofu cubes in a teaspoon or so of roasted sesame oil, a teaspoon of olive oil, and some tamari. Again add garlic and green onion if you like, or a bit of siracha and a little rice vinegar for sweetness. Now put it in an oven safe pan and stick it right under the broiler totally uncovered. After about 5 minutes, or whenever its brown, flip the pieces. The whole shebang takes about 10 minutes, and the results are mouth-watering. Serve it to friends in lettuce cups with some fresh cilantro, Sriracha vegan aioli and a squirt of lime. Mmm.
In Your Vegan Cesar or Ranch Salad Dressing: I haven’t done this often but I think it’s such a clever idea, especially if you have a finicky eater in your house who can use a secret protein kick. All you do is blend the tofu into your favorite creamy salad dressing. It’s a great textural substitute for mayo.
Do you eat tofu? Please share your favorite recipe in the comments.
The other day we got an email from Elianna, a reader with an incredibly frustrating problem: She doesn’t know what’s going on with her skin. She’s suffering from constant breakouts that seem to have appeared out of nowhere—and now they won’t stop.
Elianna appears to be doing most things right from a health perspective, isn’t particularly stressed out, and doesn’t have a whole lot of money to spend on products or alternative practitioners.
We are not doctors on this site, far from it. But I’m compelled to try to help Elianna figure out what’s going on with her skin. My mind jumps to a few possible culprits:
—An allergy or intolerance to something she’s eating or putting on her skin (even clean products can cause reactions—perhaps it’s a reaction to mica?).
—A chemical sensitivity to something in her environment. She just moved back to her native Florida, but chemical sensitivities can develop suddenly even if we were previously immune.
—An internal imbalance caused by an earlier stress or trauma that’s manifesting now.
—Hormones. But see above.
In the hopes that someone here has some insight, here’s the email exchange:
So I had a question, I’m not really sure where to start. I recently just moved back down to Florida after being in Westeren New York for the past three years and my face has been severly acting up. I use to have clear skin until around last year and it began to break out in a rash and acne like form and nothing seems to be working. I use Korres mineral powder for foundation, I wash my face with a very well known clean brand cleanser, exercise, eat right for the most part, take vitamins, and use nightly oils. So my question really was is there anymore advice out there that can be given to me. I heard of an organic brand from Hungary called Eminence Organics but they are to expensive on my student budget. I’m desperate at this point, my face makes me so self concoius that I don’t even think to have a boyfriend for fear that I’ll get rejected more often than not. I know, it sounds silly. But thank you for reading this and any help would greatly be appreciated.
I wrote Elianna back asking her to further describe her situation and what her breakouts look like. I inquired about allergies and whether she would be open to seeing alternative practitioners. I also asked her if I could share the exchange with you. Here was her response:
I do not mind at all :) and I would love to see a Chinese practioner or ayuverdic however I know they are expensive. I am only allergic to peanuts, at this time. I was told that was the only problem I have with allergies. I did just move back to Florida from New York so that might be the high stress but I’m not stressed personally so I didn’t know that stressed out skin could still happen without the person being emotionally stressed. The breakouts come in clusters sometimes, they feel flat and look mostly like a rash, red bumps.
Have you or someone you know had a similar experience? What do you think might be causing this? What steps would you take if this happened to you?*
*I feel compelled to remind everyone that nothing on the site is a medical recommendation! We are just women trying to help other women through anecdotal experience. :)