Deva Curl Styling Products: A Review

Hey everyone! I have another product review coming at all my curl hair chicks!

About a month after receiving a Deva Curl product from Influenster, I was asked to joing the Deva Curl Social Media Influencer team! It has honestly been a dream to work with a brand I whole heartedly believe in. With that being said, every product is not for everyone and everyone is not going to think they are great, and that is okay! I also want to preface this by saying that I have 3B hair. My curls are decently lose, the width of a small grape and my overall hair texture is not very coarse.  Before using these styling products, my hair product list started and ended with a bottle of olive oil. My hair screams for moisture and the olive oil does just that and leaves it looking shiny and healthy. I can only speak from my experience with my hair type, but I hope my descriptions will help you decipher if it could work for you!

Anyways, Deva Curl was kind enough to send me a few of their products and over the past couple of weeks i’ve been trying them so that I would be able to report back to y’all. Lets get started!

Bottles

A. Coconut Curl StylerThis product is good if you don’t think you need something strong to hold your curls under control. It is light, but still provides some moisture. I applied it while wet, but after it dried my hair looked a dry, and lacked the shine I was looking for.

B.  Curl Boosting Spray Gel— If you’re looking for that beachy, textured waves look, this is for you! This is a “Texture & Volume” product and I think it is best utilized on 2nd day curls. It is a lightweight spray gel and it works well just by spraying and re-crunching during your morning routine. Also a good product to help lay down those fly-aways.

C.  Strong Hold Ultra Defining Gel— This is the one product they sent me that I have used before. It is your typical gel and if you apply it evenly it won’t be crunchy. Evenly is the key word because if I don’t take the time to apply it in sections I find some parts are shiny, and controlled while others are frizzy and dry. If you are looking for the strongest hold and most control, this is your product.

D. Lightweight Body Booster— This product is classified under “Texture & Volume” so if you are looking for a one stop product to control curls from gradually increasing in size throughout the day, this isn’t it. I think this product is best used in addition to something that provides a better hold. So maybe the Ultra Defining Gel or even with the Coconut Curler where it would also help you get the shine you may be lacking. I personally tried it with my olive oil routine and that was very promising. Sometimes the olive oil leaves my hair a little flat and this really livened up my curls and provided “controlled shape”. It is great for frizz-control and it comes out in a fun foam!

E. Build up Buster– See my whole post about this product here. It is a once a week shampoo that helps break down product build-up, or build-up from hard water use. I think it is a game changer. You should give it a try. shampoo.jpg

F. No-Poo Decadence– I have used Deva Curl’s normal shampoo (no-poo) and conditioner line, but the Decadence line is something amazing! The amount of moisture it provides is great for my curls who crave moisture. Like their other “shampoos” it doesn’t provide a heavy lather so that it doesn’t strip your natural oils away.

G. One Condition Decadence— I think this conditioner is equally amazing. It provides the good condition every curly girl is looking for and if I let it sit in the shower the de-tangling process is a lot easier. Both the shampoo and conditioner have chufa milk and quinoa protein to strengthen and moisturize those curls!
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Deva Curl Hand DiffuserA diffuser is a must for curly girls. Normal blow dryers blow your curls around disrupting their shape during the drying process. A diffuser provides a controlled space from them to dry. I especially love the Deva Curl Diffuser for it’s unique hand shape. It allows for you to get right up to the root, then you can work towards the ends and back up to the root to “scrunch” the curls into shape.

I know this was long, but I hope you see a product that might work for you! If you have questions, please comment below or shoot me and email and I would love to help. For the products I definitely believe in the idea of making your own cocktail of products, mix and match and find what works for you!

*All opinions are my own*

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Sephora Splurge: A Review 

Hey! I’ve been preparing for this post for a while now and I am so excited to share with y’all. One of my best friends gifted me a sample pack of Sephora Beauty products and she specifically told me “it is something you can blog about!” So here it is. If you’re looking to step up your skin care game this is a great place to start. Below are 9 different products I’ve been experimenting with over the past month, see what may work for you!

I do want to preface that some of the regular size bottles of these products are pretty expensive..like very expensive. Look for the ones that offer various sizes, then try the smallest one first to see how you like it. Some have an unrealistic price tag and I will probably never buy it again, but those that I really like I think I would make the effort to save for. You get one face, so invest in it! 

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Cleanser

A. Philosophy Purity Face Wash— A month ago I tried a new bar soap and swore I would never use anything else on my face every again. Then, I tried this Purity Liquid face soap and was so so impressed by the texture and how effective it cleaned my face. The soap feels soft on your skin and it leaves it feeling moisturized and clean instead of dry and or sticky like other soaps I’ve tried. 9/10 recommend. 

Moisturize 

B. Origins Drink Up-Intensive–Y’all this is nectar that fell from the heavens. I’m so serious.  First, it has a light fresh avocado fragrance and second, it is perfect for the cold winter months that are so hard on your skin. The bottle says it is a “mask” so I was confused if I was supposed to wash it off, or what. But really it is just a thick lotion that will keep your face moisturized overnight. 10/10 recommend. 

C. Caudalíe Moisturizing Cream–This was not my favorite. It is particularly made for those with oily skin and is supposed to be good under make-up. Personally, it wasn’t moisturizing enough for me. But if you do have oily skin it might be worth a try. 5/10 recommend. 

D. TarteGuard–This is a pretty nice moisturizer for under your make-up or for those days you go bare faced but still need some moisture. It is SPF 30, light, breathable, and non-greasy. Overall, it works and I like that it has the SPF, but I wasn’t overly impressed. 7/10 recommend. 

Mask

E. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate–Out of the two masks I received, this was my favorite. The exfoliation sediments are very very tiny. I applied it all over my face and rubbed it in small circles to ensure I covered my entire face. After washing it off I felt like I had effectively exfoliated the dead skin, and it left my face looking bright and blush. 8/10 recommend.

F. Boscia Peel Off Black Mask–Y’all, this is the mask you’ve seen all over Facebook and Instagram. The one that looks cool, but in theory hurts when you peel it off, and doesn’t extract all the things you hope it might. You have to apply a somewhat thick layer, so if you use the product consistently it won’t last long. It takes about 20 minutes to dry then you start the peeling process. I start at my chin, but as soon as I reach my upper cheeks it really starts to hurt. If you get it too close to your hairline, its game over. Tears start rolling. I inspected the removed mask and no blackheads were removed, maybe some small little white things but that is all. If anything I think it would be good for those with oily skin because it does absorb a good amount of oil. Otherwise, it is just not worth it. 4/10 recommend. 

Luxury

G. Shiseudi Wrinkle Resist— It is never too early to start fighting against wrinkles! Before this I had used a Clique under eye cream, but this one is far better. It is a thicker consistency unlike a cream or a lotion, that makes it feel more expensive for one, and two it feels more hydrating. I don’t have wrinkles, but I do think it has helped what my doctor calls “allergy eyes” or dark circles. If anything, it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my future self. 8/10 recommend.

H.Caudalíe Sérum–When I first got this I didn’t understand the purpose. A serum? Is that like a lotion? Do I put it all over my face? After reading the Sephora page I learned that it is for dark spots, acne scars, and dryness. Perfect for me! Now that I’ve stopped trying to smear it all over my face I understand how it could be beneficial. I’m not sure if it actually works, but I apply it to my acne scars at night under the Orgins Intensive Mask, and again in the morning. Previously I was using Bio Oil on my acne scars and I think that stuff is magic, it also has a better price tag ,sooooo.  6.5/10 recommend. 

I. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light–Finally one of my favorite products out of the bunch. It is pure argan oil and comes in a small bottle with a droplet top. Once in the morning and once before I go to bed, I drop a little bit over my cuticles on both hands. It has worked wonders so far. I hate when my cuticles look dry and I start getting hangnails (boo winter) but this stuff has significantly help and makes my manicure look fresh longer. I have also used a few drops on various dry patches I’ve found on my legs, elbows, and knees. I’m sure their are a 1,000 more uses too, I just haven’t found them yet! 10/10 recommend. 

xoxo,

Lysse

Deva Curl Buildup Buster: A Review

UPDATE: If you’re interested in more Deva Curl products I have a full review over 5   products HERE!

I received another product in the mail by Influenster this week, and it may be the most exciting one yet. It is the newest DeVaCurl product called Build up Buster, not yet available in stores. The website says:

“We’re the first to bring Micellar Water to haircare! Micellar Water attracts dirt like a magnet to gently remove buildup from the hair and scalp. Unlike traditional clarifying shampoos that contain harsh ingredients, this powerful cleanser won’t strip the hair. Plus, it contains abyssinian seed oil and jojoba to deliver moisture, shine and head-turning bounce.” 

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Deva Curl Buildup Buster

The bottle top is a point that you screw open and the instructions tell you to focus on the scalp first and then move down toward the ends, rinse, then finish up with a conditioner. I used the product this morning after not having washed my hair for at least 8ish days. Going this long without washy for me means my curls are matted together, they are lifeless, flat, and very dry, with a slight fragrance of leftover coconut or olive oil mixed in. Knowing that this was the current state of my hair I thought this was a perfect time to test the effectiveness of the product!

The consistency of the product is gel like, but not sticky and it has a fabulous fragrance. If you have used any DevaCurl products you know not to expect any visible suds, and that was pretty much true here as well. I ran the tip all throughout my scalp, focusing on the back half of my head then worked some into the rest of my hair. I scratched around for a while before rinsing and conditioning like normal.

I’m not sure I can say that it “decreased any buildup” but I did feel like my hair was clean yet not striped of its oils like other shampoos do. To my curly girls, have you tried any of the DevaCurl products? Did you like them?

If you’re interested in my experience getting a DevaCurl Haircut, you can read about it here.

I’ve tried a few other products of theirs. The No Poo, One Conditioner, and The Ultra Defining Gel. I believe there is a level above the No Poo (like a little more “poo”) and I think I would like that better. Same for the Defining Gel, it was a little too crunchy for me.  The One Conditioner is awesome though!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Marc Jacobs Lip Créme: A Review

Hey y’all!

I think it is about time I add a beauty section to my blog because here is another make-up review! Influenster.com sent me a complimentary Marc Jacobs Lip Créme lip liner and gloss to review. By habit I call anything that comes with a brush and a tube “gloss” but they call this a lip créme.

I have mentioned before that I don’t care too much about brands and labels when it comes to most make-up, unless it is for my lips. NARS is my everything, and I will gladly pay the ~$32 for it. In the past I have been sent lipstick by Make Up Forever and while I liked it, it didn’t compare to anything I’ve gotten from NARS. I have also tried the tried matte lip “gloss” from ColourPop and while I wanted to believe in the hype, it just dried my lips out and it was all around bad (I have two that I don’t use so holla if you happen to want them). So, when I got this product I was a little skeptical, but in the end, pleasantly surprised!

First, I have never used a lip liner before so this was a new experience. Normally I just line my lips with the lipstick I am using then color in between the lines. The liner was a perfect color match and I really think it did its job–300 (Nude)ist. Though when I received the product the twist aspect had the liner pushed all the way up and it didn’t feel stable within the pencil. While I understand why a lip liner may be necessary for a liquid lippie like this, for $24 I’m not sure it is something I would purchase on my own.

Next, I applied the the actual lip cremé–450 Hot Cocoa. It went on smooth, the color is quite pigmented, and it didn’t immediately dry out my lips. It has a satin/velvet finish and I think this natural nude color complimented my skin tone nicely. In addition, the smell of some liquid lippies bother me, but it wasn’t a problem for this product. The real test for me is how long the wear is. I applied it around 11:30am and it still looked good after my 5pm workout! This is a product I would definitely purchase on my own. I’m looking at the creamy nude rose or peach nude shade next!

The Lip Créme retails at Sephora for $28. The Poutliner Lip Liner retails at Sephora for $24. 

xoxo,

‘Lysse

 

Flawless VoxBox: What I Got

IMG_0608.JPGHey hey my Sun Shining Friends!

I got a new influenster box in the mail and I’m excited to share my opinions of everything. (Spoil Alert: it is mostly good) Last time I got some amazing Make Up Forever Lipsticks, this time it was a variety of products. See below:

Simple Make-up Remover Liquid &Wipes-I have been using Simple Face Wipes already, but this was my first time using the liquid. It’s great! It doesn’t dry your face out and it feels light, not oily and v refreshing. FullSizeRender.jpg

Covergirl So Lashy Mascara– The brush is so fun! It has bristles all around but on two sides it is like 3D (see picture). Also, the brush has a little ball on the end that helps you get to those little hairs in the crease of your eye. I’ve been committed to a mascara from Clinique that also has a very unique brush, but I think I could get used to this new one.

Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt-I have also used this product before and it is quite effective. In my younger athletic days I frequently came home to soak in the tub full of epsom salt. It is great for easing the pain of achy muscles. Fun fact: as a middle schooler I gave away lavender and peppermint scented bath salt to all my friends and teachers simply by adding essential oils to small containers of epsom salt.

Harvest Pea Snap Crisps-This is a healthy snack. So if you know me…you know I wasn’t a big fan. They aren’t bad, just a little plain. Maybe more salt could help? I do like the fluffy air filled texture though.

Kylie Jenner Sinful Colors Nail Polish-Alright y’all, so when I started putting it on I was like hold on why does it look like this?! When I actually went back to look at the bottle I realized it was matte….ew. I’m not a fan of matte at all. I added a top coat and that fixed the problem. It did dry incredibly fast so thats a plus. Now I gotta wait and see how long it lasts.

Yogi Tea- I was given Honey Lavender Stress Relief and Rose Hibiscus Skin Detox. I’m already a huge fan of Yogi Tea but this was my first time trying these flavors (I don’t buy new things if I don’t know I already like it, haha). The Rose Hibiscus was really nice and light. Not too fruity or flowery. I think it would be great to make in bulk for a refreshing sweet iced tea! It reminded me of my favorite Teavana Tea, Rose Champagne. 

Have you ever tried any of these products? What did you think about them? Let me know below!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

How I Addressed my Acne

I’ve seen such an improvement in my skin over the past 6 months, and I’m excited to share what I’v been doing. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and I have seen many many dermatologists since 6th grade, so if acne is a problem for you I advise you see a doctor too. Your skin is an organ just like other parts in your body, and if something is wrong you should seek help from a doctor. I’ve stopped taking pills I got from the doctor, and I rarely use the ointments given. It’s the other changes I’ve made that I think have led to the most improvement.

Get rid of toxic-stressful people in your life

Y’all this is the number one thing! Stress is not good for your body and for some people like me, it shows on your face. As soon as I stopped interacting with toxic people, and was  consistently more happy, my skin cleared up. It seems crazy, but when I first started dating my boyfriend I got many many comments that I was “glowing” and that I “had great skin.”

Use Bio-Oil & Aveeno 

Because I’ve had acne since 6th grade, and I’m slightly addicted to popping them in front of the mirror at 10:00 at night, I have been left with many scars. I’ve tried every face wash in the drug store, and many prescribed from the doctor. But for the past 4 months I have been using Aveeno brightening face wash, and Bio-oil as a moisturizer at night and it has greatly reduced the apparent scars. Honestly, I think the Bio-oil is what is making the difference and a little goes a long way so it might seem expensive but it will last.

Drink A LOT of water

It’s simple. Drink water. A glass right when you wake up in the morning, then half your body weight in ounces throughout the day. If you workout or drink obnoxious amounts of coffee you need more.

Birth Control

I wanted to include this on the list, but I’m still unsure of what the long term effects are. I recently visited a new gynecologist and she advised I start birth control to regulate my hormones. She was very surprised that I had visited many other doctors and no one had every recommended birth control for my acne before. I’ve only been on it for a little over a month, but I’m hoping this really ends up being the solution I’ve been looking for since 6th grade.

Do you have any magical solutions? What’s your acne fighting routine?

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Make Up Forever Lipstick Review

Hey friends! Today, my Make Up Forever Lipstick samples came in the mail! I’ve known that I was getting it for about a week now so I was v pumped to see if on my front porch after getting home from the gym. #gains

It was in an all black box with this simple packaging on the inside. Nice and sleek, right?! 

Before receiving the samples I did not know what colors I was going to get, out of the 45 colors in the entire collection.  My immediate reaction after looking at the packaging of the individual boxes was oh gee I got all red…

Fortunately that was not the case! I received:

  1. Artist Rouge Mat M401
  2. Artist Rouge Creme C600
  3. Artist Rouge Creme C211

Here are swatches on my hand that should give you a better idea of the color. From the bottom up:

Artist Rouge Mat M401

Surprisingly, this red looks really great on me. It’s not too too bright and crazy, but definitely gave me the Tracee Ellis Ross or Jurnee Bell bold lip goals I’m always going for. Definitely a win! The other two colors were creme, but this was a mat texture. I almost liked it better than the others and I didn’t feel like it dried out my lips at all!

Artist Rouge Creme C600

So it’s white. Realistically, I’m not sure if I would ever wear it on its own, but if  I wanted to get really fancy I think I could mix a color with it and be v DIY if I really wanted to. It has a nice creamy consistency and is very moisturizing. (If you’re one of my real life friends and you want this lipstick, its all yours!)

Artist Rouge Creme C211

After opening this color I got really excited because it is close to my all-time fav lipstick, which is the Pigalle shade by NARS (see comparison below). This Artist Rouge shade has more berry tones to it, as opposed to the brown tones my NARS color has. I did enjoy the creme texture but less is more is definitely the motto for that. Another win in my book!

After trying these colors out, I googled to see that the retail price is $22 each. I paid $32 for that NARS color so the price is also a win! If you like these colors, or want to look at the other 42 colors in the collection, you can get yours here! Comment below if this was helpful, or if you have any more questions about the samples I received!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes*

xoxo,

‘Lysse

4 Tips for Curating Your Ideal Closet (On a Budget)

I would say 87.3% of the clothes I wear come from J. Crew, and a lot of people ask me how I afford to shop there so often. These people are often surprised when I tell them that I VERY RARELY buy things full price. I pretty much have shopping on a budget all down to a science by now and I thought I could share some tips for how you can afford items from J.Crew, Anthropologie, Lululemon, and the likes.

Wait Yup, I know waiting can be annoying. But the item you see on the front of the website will go on sale in about a month (at least at J.Crew). So wait a little bit and check back. This is also helpful in deciding whether or not you really need this item, or if you just wanted the satisfaction of buying something.

eBay– I know eBay scares a lot of people but after you get the hang of it, it becomes a real gem. I have bought quite a few out of stock J.Crew items and Lululemon pieces from here. Most of the time I buy them “brand new” meaning they have never been worn before, but a little bit a wear definitely makes it more affordable. The bidding aspect can become a little addicting at times (the endorphins from winning a bidding war is crazy!) but that is honestly the cheapest way to do things as some of the “buy now” prices are more expensive.

Make a list– Categorize your closet and look at what you really need. Then when you actually get to the store you have specific knowledge of what you actually need and not something that is just “cute.”

Buy in opposite seasons– Clothes tend to go on sale when they are not in season, so this is a great time to stock up. Think things like shorts and dresses at the end of the summer/beginning of fall season and sweaters and jeans at the end of the winter season/beginning of spring.

Current Sales:  

J.Crew: 50% off sale styles 

J.Crew Factory: 40-60% Off and extra 40% off Clearance 

LOFT: 40% of Everything 

Banana Republic: 50% off Sale

Lululemon: “We Made too Much” 

Anthropologie: 50% off Sale 

Old Navy: 30% off Clearance 

It takes time to curate the closet of your dreams but be patient, shop the sales and it can happen!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

 

My DevaCurl Haircut Experience

If you know me in real life you know that I have been talking about this haircut for a good three months now, which also explains why I had so much cut off, but we will get to that. For those who don’t know, DevaCurl is a brand that makes hair products specifically for those with curly hair and they also train stylist to cut curly hair. There is salon in town that has DevaCurl certified stylist (find a stylist near you), but I kept putting it off. When I went home over break my mom kept telling me that I should just get it done there, but I was too busy basking in the fact that my hair was currently as long as it has ever been, despite the fact that my ends looked #raggedy. So, when I got back to school I stopped second guessing myself and made an appointment.

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Alright, so here is the length of my hair before the cut. This length was super nice when I straightened my hair, but while curly it just added weight and straightened out my curls. (also not a great picture but bear with me)

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The DecaCurl cut is a 3-step process. I sat down in the chair and we had a little consolation about what I wanted. She asked if I wanted to keep my length, with which I answered yes, but I understood that my ends were bad and needed to go. So with that she starts cutting!

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After the initial cut I was sent to the back to get shampooed, using the same devacurl products I use at home. I thought the shampoo in general wasn’t that great as they completely ignored my scalp..but oh well. After the conditioner they had me flip my head over and they applied the ultra hold gel while my hair was sopping wet. They patted it dry a little bit with a microfiber towel, then sent me to the dryer. (There were two women working on my head during the shampoo, so yes, “they”)

Okay so the dryer, something we are all familiar with. They stuck some clips at the top of my head in order to give me some volume, but otherwise thats it. I just sat.

Here is the finished product! After the dryer I sat back in the chair and my stylist finished off the cut giving me additional layers and making sure everything was even. While she was finishing the cut I just went for it and had her take more off then originally intended, but I really like it! The length is not bad and it just looks a lot healthier in general. Honestly, I am just waiting for my color to grow out because it has really messed with my curl pattern but that is another story.

I hope to get back on a normal schedule regarding trims and then when all my color is gone I’ll probably resume trying to grow it out again, but this time I will try to do it the healthy way. All in all the haircut was $80 dollars, which may seem a little pricey but its only a little more than what I used to pay for my hair appointments once a month.

Have you ever had a DevaCurl cut? Do you use their products? Which is your favorite?!

 

What I Wore: Blazers, J.Crew & Magic Jeans

Gee wiz this blazer makes me feel powerful so I’m going to put my hands on my hips but I’m Alysse so I can’t be too serious so here is a huge smile!

So in case you didn’t know I have officially transitioned my mind and my closet to Fall! Besides the beauty of the leaves falling and the crispness of the morning air, my favorite thing about Fall is the various outfit options that are now available!

When I woke up Monday morning and saw that the current temperature was 48 degrees I knew today was the day. Today was the day I would showcase the J.Crew blazer I purchased 3 months back! This blazer retails at about $178 but I got it for a STEAL at the Lynchburg J.Crew “Warehouse” store for a whopping $60!!

During the same shopping trip, I purchased a pair of jeans (for $30!) that fit me like a glove. You might have heard me refer to them as my “magic  pants.” I’m not exactly sure how this store can sell seemingly perfect items for so cheap when the same items are still selling full price
on the website….but I’m not complaining! To make the J.Crew inspired outfit complete I went with one of my go-to striped tops. All J.Crew Errrrything!

The next day I got to wear another new outfit! Crazy how that works huh?Last weekend, one of my friends won a contest at a store here in town and we got to go in after hours and shop with an additional discount. I purchased this lovely grey dress which is just on the border of being outside my comfort zone but at the same time is very typical of my normal outfit choices(simple cotton, usually striped). Not pictured is the rather large “V” cut in the back of the dress. That, along with the fairly short ( in my opinion) length of the dress, and the lack of shape, I felt somewhat exposed. I have to admit though, I really enjoyed pushing my own style boundaries a little bit. 

It’s been a solid two days of style here in Lysse’s life. I’m not exactly sure what I’m wearing the rest of the week, but I think at least one pair of my cowboy boots deserve to make an appearance!

P.S Something slightly related, last week I ordered 4 shirts from Old Navy, for only $42! The sale ends the 19th, so check it out ASAP!