All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Curly Curls · Hair Care · Products

Curly Girls! *Heads* UP!

Hello Beauties,

I guess it’s time to spit out a curly post considering “curly” is in the name of this blog!

My hair currently is an a-line bob that I am slowly growing back out. Up until about 7 years ago, I had waist length hair, didn’t know how to style it, never understood how to properly take care of my curls, and well, let’s just say it was a frizz bomb about 90% of the time. Then, a few months after I got married, I got it cut short. Still though, looking back at pictures, I didn’t get it cut very well for my curls. With my hair, I NEED layers, more the better. The more layers I have, the more my curls bounce up, literally. I even tried straight across bangs too for awhile, but eh, I was pregnant during most of that time, and I feel like my face was too round for bangs at that point.

I grew my hair out back to my waist again two years ago, this time, I knew better how to take care of it! I even figured out how to cut my own layers. With waist length hair, cutting my own layers was super easy. After my second was born a year and a half ago, I said forget this, and got my hair chopped off in an a-line lob with lots of layers. Fast forward a month and I got it cut even shorter, off of the back of my neck, and whoa boy, that was quite an adjustment!

I have done years of research on how to take care of curly hair before even narrowing it down to how to take care of MY curls. Feel free to take a look at one of my curly hair boards on Pinterest.

One of my favorite curly bloggers is Christina over at Hair Romance! Go check out her posts! I have found some of the best tips on her blog.

Anyway, when I had longer hair, my favorite curl products were cream/gels and argan oil. One specific product of oil in fact.

Marc Anthony Argan Oil Exotic Oil Treatment – Amazon

This oil is AMAZING. And the only place I’ve ever been able to find it is Amazon and every once in a while ONLINE Walgreens. It is not carried in stores, and in fact, besides Amazon and Walgreens, I’ve never been able to find it anywhere else. It is a very light oil, smells really good, and never weighs my hair down.

My other favorite cream/gel that I used all the time with my longer hair was from Tigi.

TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier – $10 Amazon
The thing with this curl cream/gel is that you don’t need much. I definitely relied on this product the most with long hair, but found with short hair it was way too much for my hair.

Now with the short hair I’ve had for the past year, I found mousse was one of the best products that worked with my hair. I hated mousse with long hair, but with short hair, not sure what made it different, it worked. Then I totally chopped up my hair a few months ago; took a pair of thinning shears to my locks, and holy cow, uhm, took WAY too much off. Que the biotin, hair growth vitamins, and strategic situating of my hair. It’s finally back to a manageable thickness, and when I was working on the personal care budget for this month, I stumbled upon a new product at Target.

A little backstory first; I’ve used Aussie brand curl mousse before and really liked it.

 Aussie 24 hr Curl Lock Mousse – $3.39 Target

This mousse has a very light hold, but does add some volume and definition. My curls are actually pretty thin comparatively speaking. The curls I do have are the only things that give my hair volume. Thanks to the hormonal imbalances I’ve been dealing with for years, and my thyroid being off, my hair is not as thick as it used to be. BUT! Having short hair definitely helps with creating that voluminous look.

I had run out of this mousse and wanted to switch back to a cream for my hair…IF I could find one that was affordable and worked. That’s when I discovered Aussie has a new line of products! Miracle CURLS!!! Needless to say, I was SOOOO excited since I already knew I liked the other curl products from Aussie. What made me most excited was that there is a co-wash included in this new line. I primarily use a co-wash for my hair nowadays, only using regular shampoo and conditioner maybe once a week or less.

And they’re all affordable!!! I grabbed the creme pudding and tried it out a few days ago. So here’s the thing, I have been wrestling with my hair trying to get the most out of my curls, and despite my best efforts, by the end of the day I washed my hair, my curls are fairly flat. I don’t really like it when a product makes my hair really crunchy, but I decided to go full bore with this cream. I thoroughly coated my curls, roots to ends while soaking wet, with the creme pudding. I immediately thought I had done something wrong and I was going to have to re-wash my hair. I kept going through because I could see that legitimate curls were forming.

Once I pulled out my hair dryer and diffuser, I really had a lot of curls going. One of the things I’ve learned over the year with my hair in particular is that I need to give my hair time to completely dry before I decide if I like it or not. The recommendation on the back of the miracle curls creme pudding is to air dry, but I always use a diffuser. This helps minimize frizz significantly, and I have a little bit more control over how my curls set.

Really quickly, before I get to the pictures of my curls, this is the diffuser I use. I HIGHLY recommend it. One of the best curl diffusers I’ve ever used. Plus! It’s collapsible, so doesn’t take up a lot of room, and you can really use it to direct the air flow and push curls up.

 The Curly CO. Collapsible Diffuser – $14.99 Amazon, $14.99 The Curly Co.

Okay, so now, here are pictures of what my curls look like!

I have some serious curl definition and even though my hair feels a bit crunchy (I’m continually fluffing the curls and crunching the molds) I have lots of volume and I’d rather have that then soft flat curls.

Overall, I 100% recommend at least trying the new curl line from Aussie. They are affordable products, and I think that warrants at least trying them.

Enjoy! and let me know what you think if you do try them! The co-wash is next on my list as my current Pantene co-wash is almost out.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Fashion · Self Care

Brain Dump, Counting Spoons, Body Image, & Strep Throat

Hello Beauties!

Ugh, so life have been…a whirlwind to put it lightly. We were in Maryland two weeks ago, came back home to our A/C being broken, and the apartment complex not being able to get it fixed right way (took an entire week of 80 degree weather, no A/C, and uncomfortable children), then both my boys got sick, my spouse got sick (possibly allergies??), and then I came down with strep throat and an absolutely nasty cold (possibly sinusitis?). I have had so many fantastic blog post ideas and things that I want to do with Chronically Curly, but have just not been able to find the energy to make them happen. But, here’s a brain dump on something that has been at the back of my mind like a busy bumblebee for the past few months.

I follow several fashion insta-bloggers (women who post a lot of affiliate/commissioned links to fashion items, skin care, and makeup that they use or have been given to test) on Instagram and a few on Facebook. I have found several good deals through those women, but there is something about them that is constantly slightly irritating. It has nothing to do with the women themselves, but more so the fact that I don’t feel like I can really relate to them. Almost every single one of the fashion insta-bloggers I follow are a size 4 or smaller. Let me make something abundantly clear here though before I move on.

I AM NOT SKINNY SHAMING AT ALL. I THINK THESE WOMEN ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB LOVING THEIR BODIES AND SHARING DEALS AND FAVORITE OUTFITS AND ITEMS TO THEIR FOLLOWERS. 

But, I am not a size 4, or 2, or even 6. I am a curvy 10, sometimes 12 depending on the brand and style. I am short, I have wide hips (my hips usually measure at 41″ around at the thickest part), and I love my body and am learning to take care of it more and more with each passing day. I struggle to relate to these fashion bloggers because half the clothes or fashion items they share or find deals on, I can’t wear merely because of the shape and size of my body. I have looked around for fashion bloggers who are more my size and shape, and quite frankly, those are very difficult to find. Almost non-existent. There is something I struggle with, and it has nothing to do with body image, I’m sure of it. I struggle with constantly scanning crowds or comparing friends around me, looking for someone who looks and is shaped like me. It’s a desire to have a role-model and stems out of never having had one when I was a young girl.

I was made fun of how I was/am shaped by my mother when I was growing up. She always made me feel ashamed of my body, and like I couldn’t love my curvaceous rear end and wide hips, and thick calves. There were multiple times I was so excited about an outfit I had found at the thrift store, went in to show my mother, and she made some snide comment about how she “guess it looks okay.” I have struggled with almost daily nausea for most of my childhood through current adulthood, I have struggled with losing a ton of weight to gaining weight because I was finally “free” of my parents’ abuse, to losing weight again, to gaining weight and then not being able to lose anything. I have often felt like I’m in a battle against my body, and felt like my body has betrayed me over and over again. I have felt completely disconnected from my body and felt like my body was no longer my own. None of these things are helpful for having a “positive body image.” All of these things means I’ve had to fight that much harder just to say I even LIKED my own body.

 

This is why fashion is so important to me. On the days when I’m not feeling well, feeling comfortable in not only my own skin BUT also my clothes is crucial. When I like what I am wearing, I feel comfortable, I feel like my clothes are a second skin, then I feel like I have the mental and physical strength and energy to face the day. But if what I’m wearing does not fit well, does not encourage or strengthen the bond I have with my body, then I spend my day shifting, pulling, and tugging on my clothes, and there goes all of my spoons or energy for the day. Think of it like this, when I feel like I look good and adore the way I look on the outside, it makes the pain, illnesses, and discomfort on the inside of my body that much more manageable.

Comfortable, affordable, cute, fashionable, and complimentary colored clothes are things I am not willing to compromise on. Living with multiple chronic illnesses means that my day to day life involves daily pain and discomfort and exhaustion. If wearing things I love and I think look good on me helps, then by all means I’ll do it! And now circling back to the fashion bloggers I follow, I love using their feeds as inspiration for discovering new styles and colors that I have maybe never tried before. Such as this adorable jumpsuit that should be arriving here tomorrow.

However, if I am struggling to relate to half of the styles they share because I know those things will simply not fit on my curvy thick body, it starts becoming depressing and discouraging.
Sooo, here’s what I want to do. I want to try to incorporate more fashion ideas for those who are the short/tall/wide curvy types. I’m sure there are other beings out there feeling the same frustration I am and I’d like to use this space here to give fashion tips and share deals I find on things that fit and work better for curvy body types. Once again, I am not skinny shaming, not at all, I merely want to create a space that’s more focused for those with curves because I know that space is still lacking. Although, I’m not even sure if I can really do this. With my health right now, it is difficult to stay consistent with anything, and frankly I quite hate myself for that. But on the flip side, I am finding more patience and compassion for myself because I know that right now the focus is on my body and health and trying to get things figured out.

What do you all think? Think it’s worth it? Is this all something you could relate to and would want to read/see on here?

Please let me know what you think!

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Curly Curls · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Switching to Natural: All Natural Dry Shampoo!

Hello Beauties!

As I’m making the shift to using more natural products, I’m researching all of the products I typically use on a daily/weekly basis. One such product is dry shampoo. Now, with curly hair, dry shampoo can either significantly increase the life of my curls, or it kills them instantly and instead of second day hair, it’s back to the shower. I have tried many brands but never really really liked any specific one. When I made the switch from long waist length hair to a short jawline brushing a-line bob, dry shampoo became something I paid more attention to. BUT! I stumbled upon several articles talking about the ill-effects of dry shampoo when used consistently. I’d rather wash my hair every day (not necessarily a good thing with curly hair) than coat my hair with dry shampoos that aren’t working or making things any better.

So I went looking for an alternative. Just something to help bring volume back to my curls after a night of smashing them flat. I found this pin on Pinterest and followed one of the links through to Amazon.

Go check out Well + Good’s article about Natural Beauty Swaps for Drugstore Prices

I browsed around Amazon and checked out the Acure dry shampoo. I was intrigued by the idea that it wasn’t an aerosol dry shampoo. I discovered that Acure has one for brunette hair as well as for all hair. Because hi, brunette here, I’d rather not have white-ish powder showing up on my roots! However, as I looked around, I stumbled upon the dry shampoo I ultimately ended up purchasing – Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo Wanderlust For Sexy Brunettes by Handmade Heroes. There is one for blondes as well as brunettes!

The ingredient list is what made me decide to get this instead of the Acure dry shampoo.

Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (brunette dry shampoo) Ingredients –

  • Rice Powder
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Charcoal
  • Rose Geranium Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Peppermint Oil

And that’s it!

I was a bit nervous about using a literal powder on my roots, but I liked that there wasn’t any extra dry shampoo residue floating in the air like when using an aerosol spray. It does take a little bit to get used to as the bottle needs to be squeezed to get any to come out. I think you could just shake it into your roots, but I’m not sure. I have used it twice so far and really like the refreshed and slightly tingly scalp feeling from the peppermint and eucalyptus oils! Besides, it’s a tiny little bottle with a large amount of powder inside! Easy to pack for travel and as far as I can tell, it does not stain clothes if it drops on your shoulders.

Let me know if you try it?

Have an awesome rest of your Monday!!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you.

All Things Beauty · Chronic Illnesses · Curly Curls · Endometriosis · Fashion · Fibromylagia · Hair Care · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Makeup · PCOS · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

The Journey Begins

 

Hello Beauties!

Welcome to Chronically Curly! I am so excited you’re here, and am very much looking forward to what I can create in this space. I have had a burning desire to learn more about makeup, hair care, fashion, and beauty for several years now. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my makeup, taking care of my curly hair, and being adventurous with my fashion and overall aesthetic. My dream is to become a makeup artist one day, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Something you will soon learn about me is that I struggle with two officially diagnosed and three suspected chronic illnesses. These are a HUGE part of my life, and during the bad weeks, I don’t always have enough spoons [more on this in another post] for doing a full blog post. So bear with me please. During those bad weeks, you will probably see posts about self-care, counting spoons, and how I’m functioning especially being mama to two young boys (ages 1 and almost 4).

I grew up very conservative Christian and didn’t get my first “stylish” haircut until I was 20. All of my teenage years, my hair touched my waist, and I often wore “modest” clothing and didn’t start really wearing makeup consistently until about 2 1/2 years ago (at 24-25 years old). I am no longer a Christian, my hair is in an jaw length curly a-line bob that is a dark brown and burgundy ombre, and I wear some sort of makeup daily. And let’s face the truth, most days I live in yoga pants or leggings and comfy, cozy tops! But! Stylish clothes are only what you’d see me in when I’m out in public. It’s all about balance, ya know?

Okay, let’s talk Chronic Illnesses quickly. My officially diagnosed illnesses are Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism. The three suspected are IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), PCOS, and Endometriosis. I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia February 2nd, 2009. Hypothyroidism was only officially diagnosed roughly a month ago on February 13th, 2018. I had surgery two weeks ago today (on March 8th, 2018) to remove my right ovary due to chronic cysts. Turns out my ovary was at least tripled in size, full of hemorrhagic cysts, and a large benign cyst. My surgeon also found a lot of scar tissue, including scar tissue binding my bowels to my abdominal wall. The scar tissue sounds a whole lot like endometriosis scar tissue, but I will have to get a second opinion about that.

Moving on!

I am short. Like 5′ 1″. So short. I wear typically a size 10/medium, but I have thunder thighs, a bubble butt, thick calves, and am short-waisted, and struggle with body image at times. When I’m in a lot of pain, or after both of my children were born, I have issues staying grounded and connected to my body. I started a habit a decade ago that each time I look in the mirror I will not leave until I have pointed out at least one thing I like. This has helped greatly with my self-confidence. That AND learning what clothes and styles look best on me and what I love and like the most <– that is important, I always tell anyone I’m giving fashion advice to, do not wear it unless you are comfortable and really LOVE it. Not just like, you need to LOVE the clothes and things you wear.

As I’m nearing 30 I have found skin care is becoming more important to me. So I will be sharing tricks and tips I’ve learned with taking care of my skin (more specifically my face). Also the makeup I use daily, the products I have found the easiest to use or cheapest, and hair care, let’s not forget about that! With my curls, I will be talking most about taking care of your own curls, so I apologize straight haired beauties! I don’t have as many tips for you as that is not something I’m as familiar with. But, I do know that several of my favorite hair care products are good for all types of hair, so keep an eye out.

Well, until next time! Stick with me as I continue to set up the blog and get it the way I want it looking. My hope is in the next few months to get my YouTube channel back up and running, but I am in need of several crucial pieces of equipment before I can start that again.

Hugs!