REVIEW | Camille Rose Lavender Collection Aromatic Growth System

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Whenever wash day comes around, I consider it a full self-care experience -- aromatherapy with essential oils plays a huge role in my lineup especially depending on my mood. Typically when I want to relax before bed or destress, lavender is an excellent choice. Not only is lavender known for its aromatherapy benefits, but there are also amazing results for hair and skin.

When Camille Rose initially launched The Lavender Collection last year, it only consisted of three stylers: the Shaken Hair Spritzer, Crush Defining Gel and White Clay Edge Custard (now renamed Edge Glaze). Honestly, all of the products were huge game-changers for my 4C hair, but it was an in-and-out collection at Sally Beauty and ever since was sold sparingly on their site. Now it's back as a full "Aromatic Growth System" with everything from cleanser to edge gel! Last year, I filmed a twist-out tutorial and review on my YouTube channel, so decided to give an update on my thoughts here and share the very first wash & go video on my channel. 

Fresh Cleanse

This cleanser kind of reminds me of the Clean Rinse from Camille Rose, but with all of the benefits of lavender, jojoba and black elderberry. It lathers a little bit and leaves the hair/scalp feeling super clean without stripping the strands or dryness. Like other Camille Rose cleansers, I noticed that I could easily detangle while working Fresh Cleanse through my hair and I love that! To me, there's nothing worse than feeling dry and detangled after using a shampoo.

Quench Deep Conditioner


Deep treatments are always so fun and therapeutic to use -- Quench Deep Conditioner is no different! There is a little bit of menthol in this treatment, so a slight cooling sensation can be felt on the scalp with use. I've seen some reviews where they felt the cooling sensation was too much, but others (like myself) either didn't feel anything major or didn't find it intolerable. Quench Deep Conditioner is a great, creamy conditioner that any hair type can use as well as low- and high-porosity hair.

Whipped Cream Leave-In

I never really like moving on to a gel without a leave-in conditioner, so I'm really glad that Camille Rose added Whipped Cream Leave-In to this Collection. Last year, I used Shaken Hair Spritzer as a liquid leave-in (which was okay), but sometimes my hair needs something thicker and this is it! In my opinion, Whipped Cream Leave-In acts as sort of a nice "primer" for the hair before adding Crush Defining Gel to style. However, cream leave-in conditioners like these can be so difficult to squeeze out of a bottle without a pump, so I hope they add one in the near future.


Crush Defining Gel

Being a natural with 4C hair, it has been incredibly difficult to find the perfect defining gel. It always seem like most are better with looser curl types and don't have nearly enough hold to keep my kinky coils prominent and defined. I've been waiting on the return of this collection specifically for the Crush Defining Gel -- the other new products are certainly a bonus, by my gel has been long gone for many months. Luckily, I do not experience any flakes or residue when I use this one like I have with others. My coils also feels soft rather than hard and crunchy. Wash-and-go's have never been as amazing as they've been with Crush Defining Gel. 

Curl Maker vs Crush Defining Gel

There is quite a bit of difference between the two defining stylers from Camille Rose, Curl Maker and Crush Defining Gel. For me, it's more difficult to achieve a wash-and-go with Curl Maker, and when I do use it, I have to use Fresh Curl (my hair's absolute favorite Camille Rose leave-in). The hold is lighter whereas Crush Defining Gel has a much stronger hold that is perfect for naturals with type 4 hair who may be feeling discouraged in the wash-and-go department.

Shaken Hair Spritzer

Last year, I used Shaken Hair Spritzer as a leave-in conditioner during my styling process and a refresher during the week to make my style last. Now that there's an official leave-in cream, I only use this product to refresh and add shine to my hair before/after fluffing or separating my coils. No matter how I use it, Shaken Hair Spritzer definitely makes my hair even softer and adds moisture when it's feeling dry. As Camille Rose's first liquid refresher, I hope they make this in a smaller, travel-sized bottle one day so I can keep it in my backpack...but the fact that there's a new locking nozzle will hold me for now!


Edge Glaze


I can't seem to keep Edge Glaze in my possession because my mom loves it just as much as I do! Edge Glaze is a strong hold gel that can be used on the edges and/or to hold styles in place. While I can semi-appreciate EcoStyler for it's lighter hold, it just hasn't always done the trick for my kinky edges. Lavender as an ingredient also helps promote hair growth just as it does with the entire collection, so if you're experiencing thinning edges, this might be worth a try. I'm a little heavy-handed with edge control products and use quite a bit when I do, so I'll be stocking up once the collection is available individually. 

Watch My Tutorial:

Shop the Lavender Collection on Camille Rose's website

Photography by JaleesaCharisse

How To Achieve the 'Perfect Pout' with Sara Happ & Review

Last Saturday, I spent the afternoon with Sara Happ at Nordstrom (she's seriously the sweetest) -- I've wanted to try her products for a very long time, so I bought a few treats for my lips! While skincare has become one of my greatest topics on this platform, there are still areas of it that I'm interested in exploring more. Lip care is one of them. I've had an opportunity to try all of these products several times this week, so I want to share my thoughts and how I used all three to create the 'Perfect Pout'.


The Lip Scrub


When I sniffed the Sprinkles Red Velvet Lip Scrub, I absolutely had to have it! First of all, it smelled delicious. Second, I love to eat...so why not? Everything about this lip scrub was spot-on. While I've only owned this lip scrub for one week, I've used it about every other day and can totally vouch for it. It gently rids the lips of dead skin while moisturizing it with natural oils such as jojoba and grape seed. The texture is also much different than other scrubs I've tried -- many (like Lush) tend to be extremely dry or end up drying out quickly. I immediately noticed that Sara Happ's lip scrubs have a creamier texture and I could tell that the formula is packed with beneficial ingredients for repairing and nourishing lips. 

I also have Brown Sugar, but neither my sister or myself have dabbled in it yet; however, the ingredients are fairly identical aside from the flavor/aroma.


Sweet Clay Lip Mask

This little pink lip mask has made its way to my "Beauty To Try" Insta bookmarks probably every time I see it posted. Needless to say, I've wanted to try this particular product since it was released...and now I've finally tried it! 

In my opinion, good lip treatments that aren't just a bunch of hyped BS are really difficult to come by. Even I've been fooled by fancy marketing. *shrug* I once spent about $50 on a treatment and was highly disappointed with the results...or lack thereof. Sitting at a retail price of $32, I will say that I initially hesitated to purchase it because there are so many cheap little gel lip masks out there. Sweet Clay Lip Mask is pretty unique with it's frosting-like texture and ingredients such as bentonite clay, shea butter, and Swertiamarin which helps heal and regenerate the lips. According to the instructions, you can apply a generous layer to the lips for 2 to 20 minutes (I admit that I could be using more) and it does not dry down or crack. As of now on the market, I don't think you're going to find anything like it on the beauty shelves. I would definitely recommend if you want to add something new to your lip care routine for extra benefits.

Lip Slip One Luxe Balm

When it comes to lip balm, I'll use pretty much anything I already have if it contains natural oils, doesn't quickly rub away and won't leave my lips feeling tacky/sticky. This balm definitely fits that description and there are no weird tints, so any skin tone or complexion can use it. I maybe only have a few lip balms (not glosses) that I use on a consistent basis. It sort of reminds me of the translucent pink Jouer Lip Enhancer which I do use often alone as a gloss and under lipstick -- between the two, I noticed that Sara Happ additionally includes macadamia seed and sweet almond oil which are both great ingredients for lips. I also spotted copolymers which I believe help the product last much longer. If you're on the hunt for ONE good lip balm that you can use consistently in an everyday routine, then I would recommend this. It is also available in a tube like Jouer for easier application on-the-go. 

Watch the tutorial:

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Morning Skincare Rituals with nyakio | Demo + Review

As a beauty blogger, I receive TONS of emails to try new brands -- especially skincare products. Recently, I was given the opportunity to try nyakio™, a skincare brand that I learned is under parent company, Sundial Brands (i.e. Shea Moisture, Madame CJ Walker Beauty, Nubian Heritage).

I'm fairly picky about the brands/products I try and absolutely have to have some type of interest in order to accept them for potential review. When I researched the brand, there were a few things that ultimately intrigued me:

  • The brand is founded by a woman of color, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco (first-generation American of Kenyan descent). A large percentage of my readers/followers are black women like myself, so I always love when I can support a sista.
  • nyakio™ is available exclusively in Ulta stores and online -- something I didn't even know and I spend a lot of time wandering the store looking for new things to try! 

  • I appreciated the brand's focus ethically and sustainably sourced indigenous ingredients (I'm all about what's in my products) as well as philanthropy through non-profit organization, Girls Inc. 

  • Each product in the nyakio™ line has a story that ties to Nyakio's childhood and family traditions

Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm


I love a good melting cleanser/balm. A few that I've tried are: YesTo Coconut Melting Cleanser, Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm and EVE LOM Cleanser. However, none of those are quite like the nyakio™ Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm. When I first opened the jar, I noticed the rose color and slight glowing shimmer in the light. It was gorgeous, yall! Plus, I love pink.

How To Use: The texture was smooth, simple to scoop and quickly melted from balm to oil from the warm touch of my fingertips. A small amount goes a long way with this balm. I massaged the Cleansing Oil Balm on my skin in tiny circles for approximately two minutes before placing a warm washcloth over my face and wiping away. You can also use tissue to remove, but I prefer a regular washcloth or muslin cloth.

The Results: After removing the balm, my skin felt baby soft and smooth from the nourishing sweet almond oils sourced from Spain. It is extremely conditioning! I didn't have makeup on the first time I used it, but these types of formulas are usually excellent for breaking down makeup and the Sweet Almond Cleansing Oil Balm is one of them. 

Kenyan Coffee Face Polish


Exfoliating a few times a week is über important! I'd say two to three times depending on your skin is sufficient. I've been on the hunt for new exfoliating treatments to try out and this one combines antioxidant-rich Kenyan coffee beans, jojoba oil and shea butter. Initially, I assumed the formula would be a bit rougher, but it's actually quite gentle and creamy to have coffee grounds blended in it. It also doesn't have a strong coffee scent as I expected which wasn't exactly a negative thing whatsoever.

How To Use: Be sure to shake the Kenyan Coffee Face Polish before using it! When I squeezed my first bit out, it seemed that there was a little bit of settling or separation while it was in transit causing a runnier consistency -- nothing a quick shake couldn't fix. A quarter size of this exfoliator was just enough for a light layer over my entire face. I massaged in small circles and really focused on my nose, cheeks and forehead because those are the areas that tend to become the roughest and produce the most oil. After a few minutes, I rinsed the Kenyan Coffee Face Polish with a warm washcloth. 

The Results: Upon rinsing, I noticed a difference in my nose. No more roughness due to daily impurities, so it definitely did the job!

Tamanu Firming Face Balm


No matter whether you have dry, combination, sensitive or oily skin, moisturizing is a step that none of us should skip. Since it's summer, my Tamanu Firming Face Balm was melted upon arrival; however, I always pop my completely melted products in the fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes or until solid again. This will help the product return to its natural smooth texture rather than crystalize and get lumpy.

How To Use: While the packaging states this moisturizer can be used for day and night, I recommend it for night if following an oil or serum. Whenever I did use it in the morning, I skipped my serums and oils so my face wouldn't be too oily and I could jump into makeup without having to wait for my skin to absorb all of the product I'd applied. For this balm formula, remember that a little bit goes a long way

The Results: The nyakio™ Tamanu Firming Face Balm's consistency reminded me of shea butter, but with tons of extra beneficial ingredients. Actually, shea butter is the very first ingredient of this balm, so it really provided and locked in all of the moisture. It's pretty intense unlike some formulas that are more water-based. Provided a tiny amount is applied, it can definitely be used prior to makeup.

Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye & Lip Cream


I though the Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye & Lip Cream would be really cool to try because I've never seen a cream for both the eyes and lips. I don't really have lines or wrinkles in those areas, but it's never too early for anti-aging products, so I'm always down to use a good cream to help prevent or reduce those things especially with the benefits of red ginseng. 

How To Use: This works just like any eye cream where you press into the skin under and around the eyes, but it can also be use around the mouth area as well.

The Results: I can't say I noticed a difference or improvements for lines because I don't have any but, as I mentioned, I still use eye creams. Since I'm always using refrigerated masks to reduce puffiness in the morning because of tiredness or allergies, I'd like to try the Quinoa De-Puffing & Firming Eye Cream and see how that actually works for me. I will say that I can feel that it's hydrating which is huge plus because when allergies/itchy eyes kick in, the constant rubbing can cause dryness and the skin around our eyes is already very delicate.

Have you tried nyakio™ skincare products from Ulta before?

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Wakanda-Inspired Bantu Knot Style with Eden Body Works

Wakanda forever! Black Panther has definitely been such an inspirational film this year from the messaging to the intricate hairstyles. As a naturalista, bantu knots are not new to me at all, but I was so fascinated by Nakia's beautiful head of textured knots. I'm a twist-out queen, but wanted to try and share something different!

For this style, I used Eden Body Works Coconut Shea Natural Pudding Soufflé to achieve a perm rod set and bantu knots on blown out hair and the Edge Glaze to lay my edges.

I added embellishments at 12mm, but definitely could have used smaller ones -- however, I  decided to work with what I had. Enjoy!

REVIEW | Camille Rose Leave-In Collection on 4C Stretched Twistout [Updated 2018]

A few years ago, I did a review of the Camille Rose Naturals Leave-In Collection and I loved it! Since it's been so long, I decided to post an updated video and blog post talking about my experience using the collection over the years and some new uses I've found for each of the leave-in conditioners.

Watch my stretched twistout method using the Grace Eleyae satin-lined cap:

Let's talk about the triple threat...

The Leave-In Collection features three leave-in conditioners: Honey, Latte and Herbal Tea. I've heard from many other naturalistas that they're not quite sure how to use the products and there isn't , but there's such a freedom to use the products however you'd like. 

I like to use all three as a LOC (or LCO method), so I use Honey to hydrate after I get out of the shower, Latte to define my texture before styling and then Herbal Tea as an oil to seal. 

Here are the details about each leave-in conditioner:

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Photo by @JaleesaCharisse

Honey | This one is fairly thick, but blended with several oils. Some people say it's too thick and sticky for them, but if you have kinky/coily hair like mine, then it's like food for the coils. The consistency is just like honey and I LOVE honey as an ingredient in beauty products! Personally, it's my favorite of the trio because of this. While I feel like it deeply conditions my hair when I let my twistout form overnight, I also think Honey could also use this as a rinse-out hair treatment during the washing process.

Latte | As more of a lotion-like consistency, I've actually heard a few people say that they've use this one as a lotion on their skin in addition to using as a defining leave-in conditioner. Latte isn't really my favorite to use alone, but when I do use it I like to pair with the Honey leave-in (hydrating) or Almond Jai Twisting Butter (super defining). Some can use this alone to define their hair, but it doesn't work that way for me -- I need at least one other defining product.

Herbal Tea | There are so many uses for Herbal Tea because it has an oil-like consistency. I've used this leave-in conditioner in the following ways:

  • To massage my scalp occasionally
  • As the "oil" step in the LOC method
  • To coat my fingertips before manipulating my hair in the morning (ex. unraveling twists)
  • A few drops in the bathtub with The Body Collection for a soak
  • All over my body after a nice shower or bath

Because the collection is so coveted, you may not be able to find all of the blends to purchase at once since they're sold separately now on Camille Rose's website, in select Target stores and Target'e site. It's great to the entire Leave-In Collection, but I think it's important to think about your own hair and what types of consistencies work best for you. My 4C hair drinks these products up, but you may feel that you need less or a different combination. Want to try out some of the Camille Rose blends I mentioned? 

Shop the Routine: