Raven: Officially Hooked On It’s A 10

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It has been a while since I did a “Raven” review post and the wait was well worth it. As you know I only do these here when I find something I feel I must share with my Freaky Fanatics. I don’t do reviews on every single new thing I try and always make it worth the read. I know I have mentioned impressive hair care products in the past but I have found the holy grail and nothing else compares to my most recent discovery.

I had heard the hype and read many reviews about It’s A 10 hair care products. They were always more expensive from what I was using so I never gave them a chance.  With my recent hair dyeing process of going from all over Plum Black to a more lighter Orchard color, I knew I needed something good to replenish any loss I endured from lightening my hair. I had started using Revlon UniqOne and it was good but it seemed to be weighing my hair down and causing product buildup. I found myself washing my hair more which in turn causes your hair color to fade more quickly even if you are using a sulfate free shampoo.

So I splurged and bought a couple of It’s A 10 products once I ran out of my other stuff. I knew I needed a leave in conditioning treatment of sorts and a styling cream/lotion. Those seem to be the 2 items that my 2C hair always needs.

Due to the price being more expensive and not knowing if the leave in would work for me, I went with the 4 oz bottle of their Miracle Leave In With Keratin and then the 5 oz bottle of their Miracle Styling Cream. I was able to get them pretty reasonable from Amazon vs buying them at the store.

MIRACLE LEAVE-IN PLUS KERATINMIRACLE STYLING CREAM

I had thought that since I was growing my hair out that my natural curl/wave was just sortof growing out and losing its bounce. I was using my curling iron more often to even out pieces of my hair that were not curling like other pieces etc. Boy was I wrong. My first day of switching to these products I saw the life come back into my hair. I took a shower at night before bed. I let my hair air dry and I looked like Curly Sue ha ha. In the morning when I went to style my hair I was impressed. My bang area always seems to curl the most and I always straighten that area to be more wavey around my face. That literally was all I had to do to my hair where heat was concerned. I “water bottle” sprayed the rest of my hair to dampen it just a tad and get rid of bed head. I then sprayed a little more of the Miracle Leave In and applied a little more styling cream to some minimal frizzy spots. It dried beautifully, it smelled great and my hair FEELS amazing! My ends were so happy they didn’t get a visit from Mr. Curling Iron ha ha.

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Well I am hooked and now know why so many people love their products. I will definitely be buying more of both products and am excited to try more of what they offer!

Have a product you want me to try? Contact me and if your product impresses me enough it might just make it to my Raven Reviews!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Raven: New Affordable Drug Store Products For My 2C Hair Regimen

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So I know I did a previous raven post about Organix Curling Perfection – Defining Cream made of moraccan argan oil and claimed it to be my hairs new best friend. However I had to stop using it. It is still a great product but I have found that alot of the curling creams seem to weigh my curls down. I have 2C wavey like curls and as all curly haired girls know you can’t wash your hair everyday or it will dry it out. Build up from curling creams and oils was just too much for my hair. Not only do they cause build up but parts of my hair wouldn’t spring up and was causing me to use my heat styling tools too much to compensate. We all know that can lead to damage and our evil enemies….breakage and frizz. I also was finding that i needed to use a lot of the product to get a really well defined look causing more build up. Seeing my hair was not coarse and needing that much added moisturizer I decided to look for a new product.

I happened to be shopping in CVS with my husband Frank and stopped in the hair care product aisle to see if they had something affordable for a trial run. I had been reading a lot of reviews online about products but doing a trial with a $30 – $40 product that might work for someone else but not for me landed me in the drug store. That is when I came across Marc Anthony’s Strictly Curls products. They stood out in their bright yellow packaging and had the words CURLS in big letters on them. That definitely caught my attention of course (good job product design and marketing team). It was between the Curl Envy Styling Cream or the Curl Defining Lotion. Well seeing I learned my lesson that creams are too much for my hair and the label even said for coarse frizzy hair I was leaning towards the lotion. The consistancey of the product was more liquidy and stated it was for soft yet defined frizz free curls. Frank also pointed out how much bigger the bottle was and said “for only $8 give it a try”. The fact that it smelled like lemon meringue pie sealed the deal!

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My new regimin right now consists of washing and conditioning my hair with the Loreal Paris Repair 5 products*. I always use a wide toothed comb in the shower when the conditioner is in my hair. For those who don’t know this… that is how us curl haired girls have to comb our hair. Combing your hair while it is dry is a frizz head of extreme disaster.

*I occassionally use their Dry Oil from this line when my hair needs some extra moisture and concentrate on the ends only. I find I can’t use it all the time because the oil can clog pores around your neckline and ears. Also the Damage Erasing Balm is amazing. Great to use on curly hair once a week or after dying or miss treating your hair in any way. 

After washing and conditioning I gently towel dry my hair to get excess water out. I use a leave in conditioning heat protectant spray from root to ends. I usually use Got2B Guardian Angel. It says its for straigtening your hair (which I do once in a blue moon) but it’s one of the rare sprays like this that does what it says and doesn’t weigh my hair down.

After that I put the Marc Anthony Curling Lotion in my hands and distribute it evenly all over my hair. I either blow dry with a diffuser while lightly “scrunching” my hair or I scrunch it a little and let it air dry. I do still style my hair once it is dry and use a curling iron to fix any crazy pieces of hair that have a mind of their own. I finish off with John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hair Spray as needed.

For 2nd day hair I use John Frieda Frizz-Ease Style Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray. I spray it evenly on my curls and lighting scrunch to give them revived bounce. I use my curling iron where needed and then use a small amount of the Marc Anthony Curling Lotion on any frizzy fly away parts and use my Frizz-Ease hair spray as needed.

I do wish the lemon meringue pie smell lingered a little in the hair but I found that it was only really present when I first applied it. I am just happy to find a new product that works and is affordable!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Raven: My Hairs New Best Friend

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Let me introduce you to my hairs new best friend…….
Organix Curling Perfection – Defining Cream made of moraccan argan oil!

They advertise it as “revives and defines your curls to silky, frizz-free perfection-with an extra bounce” and they could not be more spot on. I have used a lot of oils, creams, serums etc over the years to keep my natural wavey curls from being a rats nest of frizz and this stuff has impressed me so far. I decided to try something new the last time I was in Walgreens and came across this product. I have been using it for a bout a week now and I am digging it.

My routine consists of washing my hair in the shower and then towel drying it. Then I put this in my hands and rub them together. Then I rub my hands through my hair concentrating a lot on my ends. This stuff has a heat protectant already in it so I am able to go straight into blow drying my bangs out (I am in the process of growing out my Zooey Deschanel bangs and it’s a bitch) and then let the rest of my hair air dry. Once it’s all dry I use my flat iron through my bangs to calm them down and then my curling iron through any parts of my wavey curls that look like they are out of whack. This gives a more uniformed look to the curls that are behaving themselves. The end result is soft frizz free shiney curls!

During the week when I work and take my showers at night I do everything but the curling iron part. I still flat iron my bangs as they are insane right now (growing out your bangs is so fun… said no one ever) but I let my curls air dry and leave it be until the morning to style. In the morning if I have a case of bed head (and the Mondays) I usually spray a leave in conditioner/heat protectant spray in my hair like Heavenly Angel from Got 2 Be to revive my curls before I style them. I did just recently purchase Uniq One spray from Amazon but have yet to try it. If it blows my mind I will let my Freaky Fanatics know all about it!

Stay Spooky!
LDG NIcole

Have an item you would like me to review. Contact me here to discuss. I only do reviews for products that awe me so make sure what you have is worth sending! No bad karma reviews here.. only ones I can rave about! 😉

Raven: Skin Regimen Products

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So it comes at rather perfect timing to do my first raven review post. I just got an email from a friend who told me how grateful she was that I shared my skin regimen with her. Not only is her skin softer but the dry flakey skin and redness is already starting to get better after only 3 days of doing what I do.

So for my Freaky Fanatics I am going to let you in on my secret for dry sensitive skin!

As you all already know I am a pale white girl ha ha. Some have even referred to me as looking like a porcelain doll cause of my skin and big eyes. I consider it a compliment but it also means taking care of my skin to keep getting those compliments. Some of you may or may not know that with pale skin often comes sensitive skin. I got that along with mine as well as these fun dry patches that like to make fun random appearances at the wrong times.

Well after many years of trial and error I have found a regimen that seems to be working for me. It also seems to be working for my friend after only 3 days so it might be worth sharing with all of you. You might be pleasantly surprised that these products are also easy to come by and won’t break your bank!

Facial Wash: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
This stuff is great and is by far the best facial cleanser I have ever used. It cleans your face without leaving you with that feeling of someone stretching your skin back like a Cenobite and sucking the life out of what little moisture you have left.

Body Soap: Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap
I read about this soap a while ago and decided to give it a try. Well I ended up switching to it permantly and ever since I did my body no longer get random skin rashes on my sensitive skin. I even use it to shave. Which means no more harsh chemical soaps and shaving creams for this girl anymore!

Facial Moisturizer/Body Lotion: CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion
I originally purchased this lotion by CeraVe for my body and when I realized the miracle it was doing (to the point my husband told me “wow babe your skin is like extra soft” I thought why not try it on my face. So glad I did and won’t be looking back. I literally wash my face, dry it off and then put a layer of this on. Then I move on to my makeup. Simple, easy and it works! I apply it all over my body after I shower too.


Foundation: Gabriel Organic Dual Powder Foundation
I love this stuff! I went from liquid foundation, concealer and powder to just concealer and this dual powder foundation. I literally wash my face, lotion up, put on some Physician’s Formula Conceal RX concealer (best concealer ever!) and then cover my face in this amazing powder foundation. Of course I do blush, eye makeup and lipstick but for my all over foundation this is my go to! It’s not only organic but it’s also cruelty and gluten free!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Have an item you would like me to review. Contact me here to discuss. I only do reviews for products that awe me so make sure what you have is worth sending! No bad karma reviews here.. only ones I can rave about! 😉

Raven!

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So I have decided to start a new category of sorts for my blog posts. As you all know from following my posts that the subject lines of my posts usually start with a category that coincides with my website. For instance if I post a new portrait I will start the subject with “Spitting Image”. If I post about using my art to give back I will start with “Back Bone”. Well there is a new category to the coffin and it does not quite coincide with my website categories so I wanted to introduce and explain it to everyone.

I was inspired by 2 things.

1.) Everyone always coming to me asking me where I get things, how I do this to my hair, how do I do this to my makeup, etc.
2.) I am a review-aholic. Meaning 2 things. I read a lot of reviews before I buy. I give back online by contributing reviews. This mainly is on Amazon for the time being and I just recently started a Makeup Alley account. I also enjoy blog and vlog reviews.

So I got to thinking why not help my Freaky Fanatics out. First off I am all about supporting ways to express yourself, saving money and finding good products that work! With people constantly coming to me asking me where I get things I thought maybe this might be a good fit for me to add to my blog here. Sort of something similar to the Artist Shout Out posts I already do from time to time.

So from now on if you see a post that starts with Raven then it will be a post from me about a product I fell in love with! Raven because it fits into my fun dark categories with a second meaning like the rest of them. Raven as in the black bird associated with lost souls and raving about how much I love something. So that also means no negative reviews will be posted on my page. I want to keep my site positive and inspiring like it has always been.I will keep my negative feedback to Amazon ha ha.

Some may ask me how does this have to do with art? Well it actually has a lot to do with it. One as you all know from my Skinned posts that I love makeup and find it to be a tool that can be used to create and express oneself. For me this also goes for other things like clothes, hair dye, jewelry and tattoos. I enjoy being different and whatever tools that I find that make me happy to be who I am are good tools in my book!

So stay tuned Freaky Fanatics! I will be posting my first Raven post soon about my skin care routine that is super affordable!

If anyone has a product that they would like me to try and possibly be featured on my blog please contact me via my website for more information. If the product is good and up my alley it will get featured. If I am not happy with the product I will contact you directly with my issues about the product instead.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Spitting Image: I Had Wings Once

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Well Freaky Fanatics I finished another portrait based off of my love of movies. Or more less my all time favorite fairy tale villain…. Maleficent. She has been my favorite fairy tale villain since I was a kid. Although my love of Kristin Bauer as Maleficent in Once Upon A Time is well known. Or my love of Kristin Bauer in general is well known…. I decided that since I already drew her as Pam and I have always wanted to show my appreciation for Angelina Jolie I would go a different route with my favorite villain portrait. I have always admired Angelina Jolie not only for her acting but for standing out as a unique individual. There is something I also share deeply with Angelina and that is loosing our mother’s to cancer and the void that we both feel. Her decision to get a masectomy is a very familiar thing to me. Not because I have had one but I have been asked by my doctors to decide if I should ever want to get tested to see if I carry the breast cancer gene. If so a masectomy would be the end result for me as well. I have chosen to not children and at this point have not made a definite decision if I will ever get tested, however I highly respect and look up to Angelina for her decision to do so for her children.

With that I call this one “I Had Wings Once”…..

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Prints are available in my Etsy shop!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Loves: I vote yes for Christina Ricci as Raven

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I came across this photo when googling Raven. I must say my vote is yes if they ever decided to do this. As most of you know from my fan art that I am a big Christina Ricci fan. We even share the same birthday. I was born technically on her 1st birthday ;). For those who have never seen this portrait I did of her I thought I would post it again.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole