I was contacted by a friend of a friend who does PR for Graceful Services Spa in NYC. She learned that I was expecting and thought I’d like to try and review their prenatal massage. How could I pass that up?!
I was sent a tub of Raw African Ivory Shea Butter to try from a new brand called Alo. Watch to see how I use it on my baby bump, lips and skin overall!
CALLING ALL PRODUCT JUNKIES! Here’s another event to add to your list of places to go this Fall! Un’ruly invites you to start the season off fresh by coming out THIS SUNDAY, Oct. 12th, to The Polish Bar Brooklyn for an evening of product swappage to help you clear out your cabinets, medicine chests and dresser tops. Get rid of those products that did nothing for you and hope to grab some that just might work. Interact with other naturals and chat with our host, beauty blogger Ty Alexander of Gorgeous in Grey! The event is FREE but if you plan to attend, go here to read more about how it all works and let ’em know you’ll be in the house! Look forward to seeing you there! xoxo Toia B.
As if her beauty, fashion sense and overall awesomeness weren’t enough, this happens. HA! More things to love. Who knew?! Learning about the things people did before they “hit it big”… well, actually… just learning about the hidden talents of folks in general, celeb or not, is pretty cool. Seeing a different side of people kinda keeps life interesting. I very much enjoy the fact that she loves to braid because I share that love. Yes, I love doing hair and have been doing so, here and there, since I was in junior high school. Being able to create styles and knowing that you had a part in helping a women look and feel beautiful… feels pretty good. Another plus? This art of hair braiding can actually be quite relaxing! In this short film by Vogue, directed by Austin Peters, the Oscar-winning actress demonstrates her favorite pastime with her six best friends. How did Lupita get into hair braiding in the first place and how successful was she at this “side hustle”? Watch to find out! 😉 xoxo Toia B.
It’s great to meet others who are as passionate about natural hair care as I am! After following Brooklyn-based beauty brand Amazing Botanicals on social media for some time, I finally had the pleasure of meeting entrepreneurs Asha Burton and Shelly Morant at a networking event last September. Within a few moments, I was confident that these ladies were about their business and knew their stuff! Meet these two amazing women who are doing their part to contribute to the natural hair community… When and why did you decide to return to your natural hair texture and what have you learned along the way that you can share with those who may be new or struggling on this journey? Asha: The only real reason why I returned to my natural texture was because I was tired of forcing by hair to do something it didn’t naturally. I had way too many days of trying to catch my breaking hair into a ponytail that was comprised of possibly 5 strands of hair. There was a time when I had healthy processed hair, however once I left high school, I felt the need to re-learned my hair all over again. I started that journey in 2003 and have never felt the need to go back. Shelly: I returned to natural in 1996. After years of processing my scalp couldn’t take it anymore. Tired of getting perms and having sensitive scalp were the catalyst, then I discovered I had Psorasis! The perm was NOT going to agree anymore. I went natural when it was not popular but, it was healthy and necessary. I found one stylist that helped me in the beginning, she helped me believe in the advice a good stylist. These tips last a lifetime. 1) Don’t pay attention to other peoples hair! Everyone’s hair health and body is different. 2)…
Soooo… I am ALL THE WAY here for this!! If you subscribe to Essence you should’ve already gotten yours. For those who don’t and were unaware, naturalistas Erykah Badu, Ledisi and SolangeKnowles take turns on the cover of ESSENCE’s May Beauty Issue and share with readers what beauty means to them. We know all three women to be completely original with impeccable, unique senses of style and of course, we love that they’re rockin’ that natural! It is so beautiful to see all three natural beauties grace the popular Black women’s magazine individually. This tells me that natural hair is slowly but surely becoming less and less taboo, being more accepted as a norm which, in effect, encourages women who have taken that step to keep on and says to those who have yet to do so that it’s okay. I’ve already read bits and pieces of each interview and, while they all had some profound things to say, I think Solange’s words resonated with me the most… In a saturated field like natural hair blogging, beauty blogging, or just blogging period, one’s voice can be drowned out or overlooked in a sea of many others’. What totally sets each one apart is simply being oneself. When you do that, people “get” you, they can sense whether you’re being genuine or if you’re copying. Being ‘100% wholeheartedly you’ is key in anything you do, really. This is what I strive to accomplish with ToBNatural! As I type, it’s as if I’m speaking to one of my “booboos” (as I affectionately call ’em). I really hope you all feel that. 😉 Thanks to all who have been following the blog, tagging along with me and my randomness on Instagram and elsewhere. You keep me going! ♥ So, how do you feel about the natural hair…
Ohhh… yes! The news dropped on Friday that the fashion “it girl” has signed with high-end beauty brand Lancôme with campaigns beginning as soon as September. But we knew something like this had to be coming sooner or later, no? I mean, besides the fact that her skin is beyond amazing, (as I so eloquently noted in my Lupita “love fest“ some time ago. LOL) she just has this humble presence and quiet beauty about her that is definitely worthy of this major deal. Here’s what Lupita had to say about her decision to join the brand as a celebrity ambassador: “What appealed to me about Lancôme is that they’re not dictating what beauty is,” she said. “What they do supports something that already is — and that was appealing to me, too. It’s what drew me to them. Hopefully it’s a symbiotic relationship — that I benefit from being associated with them, and they benefit from being associated with me, as well. And for the consumer at large, I think Lancôme has a range of products for every woman, and I think having me will expand people’s understanding of, hopefully, what Lancôme stands for, who Lancôme is for.” courtesy of WWD You go girl! Congrats to you! #teamlupita 😉 How do you feel about Lancôme snagging this beauty as their new ambassador? Share below! xoxo Toia B.
In this week’s edition, I thought I’d pick up from where we left off last week. Shall we? This natural hair stuff doesn’t have to be as difficult or as confusing as some might make it out to be. One way to keep from pulling out your hair in frustration is to keep a simple and consistent regimen, starting with a handful of products. In my experience, there are just a few basic things you really need to get you started on a decent regimen. Cleanser Whether you use a commercial shampoo or a natural alternative, the choice is yours. Bottom line- clean hair will lead to healthy hair. If you do go the route of commercial shampoos, it’s great to have both a moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo as well as a good clarifying shampoo to thoroughly cleanse all the random gook (gels, creams, butters) that you may have piled on throughout the week… aka product buildup. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda are also great for clarifying. Conditioner This is used to improve the condition of the hair and can come in the form of a moisturizer (to put back what you might have lost in the cleansing stage) a protein treatment or a combo of both as in the case with some deep conditioners. Generally, kinky or afro-textured hair craves moisture more than it does protein. So, protein treatments, while helpful, may not need to be used as frequently as a moisturizing conditioner. I’ll have more on all of this in a future post. Leave-In Leave-in conditioners pretty much continue the moisturizing process after washing and may even include a form of light protein to give the hair a good moisture-protein balance. I never skip this step! Oil/Butter Here’s where it all comes together. While the hair is still slightly…
So excited that my girl (yes, MY girl!) Lupita has snagged the top spot on People Magazine’s annual list of Most Beautiful folks… well, celebs. Sure, the argument CAN be made that, in a world of around 8 billion (?), there’s gotta be someone more beautiful than all 50 on this list. Hey, you may even know of one such individual personally. But, let’s be real… they gotta go by people known by most of the world and, well, those people are celebs, right? Back to our story. Are we at all surprised that the chocolate red carpet killa has accomplished this? I mean, look at her! She stole our hearts and slayed the red carpet during award season, acquired the Lancôme deal and now this. This woman is just doing it all and with such style, grace and humility, which is no wonder how she claimed the number one spot in the first place! Her beauty exudes from within. I just adore her and I swear I don’t get like this for any celebrity… ANY! To see this dark brown beauty on the cover of such a big deal magazine at the top of a big deal (to some) list is huge! Of course, she didn’t need this accolade to prove to herself or to us just how gorgeous she is… we have eyes! But, apparently, her elegance, charm and loveliness just couldn’t be ignored. We don’t see too many of “us” in mainstream/popular media so I’m hoping this sends a message to darker girls that, yes, you ARE beautiful. Is this the beginning of a change in regard to how the world at large looks at brown beauty? Only time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy this brief video where Lupita reveals herself and her thoughts on beauty……
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that #embraceyourkinks and #embracethefrizz are among my favorite hashtags when posting fabulous fros. Some of us tend to get so wrapped up in having the “perfect curl” or achieving a “perfectly defined” twist-out, braid-out or bantu knot-out that we can lose sight of what this natural hair “thing” is all about in the first place- loving your hair just the way it is. Before you come for me LOL… I’m not saying you don’t love your hair if you wear a twist-out nor am I saying anything is wrong with rocking these styles at all! Braid-outs are my thing, definitely one of my go-to styles. And when it’s all fresh and the waves are poppin, you can’t tell me NOTHING! But after a day or two, (shoot, sometimes even on that first day!) having that perfect definition just isn’t that important to me and I just let my hair do whatever its gonna do. If it plumps and frizzes, so be it. I almost always end up with a chunky fro by the end of the week- partly because I just don’t care, partly because I don’t have the energy to re-braid every night- and I’m totally fine with it. Actually, I love it! I’m still fly! And that, my friends, is what I’m trying say… it’s okay to wear your kinks and curls in their completely natural, unaltered state. You’re beautiful! I know… to each his own. No shade whatsoever to the gals who re-twist or re-braid nightly to maintain that definition. If you can do it, KUDOS! But I wonder if some of us are doing this because we don’t think our hair looks good without some type of manipulation or for some other reason. True, tangling and…