Category: Hair

Review: Alaffia All Curls Reviving Tonic

Since childhood, I have been wildly fascinated by the realms of the mysterious and unknown. Could it be that my personal idiosyncrasies are shaped purely by the positioning of the stars at my time of birth? Is all of my hard work, preparation, and planning negated by whichever planet is actively in retrograde? Was a map of inescapable fate imprinted on the palms of my hands through pressure and the density of amniotic fluid while I was in utero, to inevitably be met despite my cunning and innumerable attempts to rewrite the chapters that lie ahead?

Alaffia All Curls Reviving Tonic Review

Being born with a head of thick, wavy-curly hair is something like living in a world of mystery that would lead me to believe that yes, there is undeniably a greater force at work that controls the outcome of all things, because no matter how precisely I follow a cleansing/drying/styling method, each and every time, the result of my labor is different. The consoling factor is that I know I am not alone in this battle, as this is a common complaint in the wavy/curly hair community; adherence to a process is irrelevant, as our hair has a mind of its own.

Nevertheless, some semblance of a routine advisable, as it increases the odds of snagging one of those great hair days we all try to manifest daily. In my personal experience, wash days often leave me with hair as close to what I am after as I typically come, though the many hours it takes for my hair to fully air dry can be painful. And of course, once it has dried into a shape of my liking, I naturally want to preserve those defined, voluminous coils for as long as humanly possible. There are several methods I use to keep my curls intact overnight, which I will share in a later post, but there is one product I consistently reach for come morning time, when I am in need of a little hair revival.

From Alaffia’s website:

“This lightweight nourishing tonic, formulated with Certified Fair Trade shea butter, contains calming calendula extract, vitamins, and conditioning aloe to lock in moisture and refresh your curl pattern in the morning without re-washing. Use during the day to revive and retract expanded curls and minimize frizz.

Ingredients: Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Aqueous Extract, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Butyrospermum parkii  (Shea) Butter*, Emulsifying Wax, Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) Extract, Magnifera indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Potassium Sorbate Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid. *Certified Fair for Life – Social & Fair Trade by IMO.”

I originally picked this product up in the clearance bin at a natural grocery market up in the Idaho panhandle. The price was drastically reduced (though the standard price charged for this tonic, about $10, is very reasonable) and my past experiences with Alaffia products had been purely positive, so this was a no-brainer for me. Upon first use, I was sold.

Curl reviving sprays are hit or miss for me. Some work fine, but I have grown tired of the scent of coconut, which many curly hair products contain. And others do not work at all, leaving me with either a greasy, or totally parched, head of hair. The All Curls Reviving Tonic from Alaffia rests at the sweet spot in between.

In the morning, I first wet my hands with cold water, and run them over my scalp/the front portion of my hairline. Then, I flip all of my hair to one side, give it about five sprays of the Reviving tonic, and repeat on the opposite side, as well as with all of my hair flipped forward. This leaves my hair slightly damp, and ready to be scrunched.

Depending on my hair that day, I might choose to end the process here, or, if a little more moisture is needed, follow up with a few drops of oil, or some gel, for hold. More often than not, this leaves me with refreshed hair that looks good enough to be worn loose.

In sum: the All Curls Reviving Tonic from Alaffia is the ideal curl reviver, providing just the right amount of moisture, working to redefine curls without making the hair appear oily.

What are your secrets to revitalizing your second (or third, or fourth…no judgement!) day curls? I’d love to hear from other inhabitants in this land of mystery and wonder!

Review: SunKissAlba Radiant Glow Face Oil by Derma E


DermaE Sunkissalba Radiant Glow Face OilWhile perusing YouTube for natural hair care videos several years back, I stumbled upon a lovely gal, best known by her web-handle, SunKissAlba. Her tips were solid, her skin glowing, and her personality nothing short of lovable, earning her a place at the top of my list of favorite YouTubers to virtually spend time with. Accordingly, when I learned that she was partnering with Derma E to create a multi-use oil, I was eager to see what special touches she would add, and delighted to be able to show her some support in a more tangible way.

Here is what Derma E’s site says about the Radiant Glow Face Oil by SunKissAlba:

“Shake well. For a radiant glow, massage 2-3 drops onto clean skin. Apply day and night or as desired.

Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Organic Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil *, Organic Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Oil*, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Natural Fragrance Oils.”

Right away, the ingredient lineup excited me; the blend of oils was exquisite, totally right for my skin, and the addition of a little shimmer (provided by the mica) had my heart fluttering. There is little that tickles my fancy more (in the cosmetic realm) than well-done shimmer. To look as though I have just emerged from a comfortable slumber, glimmering from crown to slipper like Titania, Queen of the fairies, is what I try to emulate daily, so naturally, products that shimmer appeal to me on a cellular level. And when a product that gleams can be applied to the face, body, and hair alike, all the while remaining natural in composition, it becomes simply indispensable to me.

Apart from the aforementioned shimmer, some shining stars in this formula are the pumpkin seed and sea buckthorn oils, both of which I love to use in their pure forms, for a number of reasons, as detailed below.

Pumpkin seed oil:

  • High in linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid that helps dissolve congestion in the pores, making it an excellent choice for those with acneic or blemished skin
  • Contains vitamins A & C, both of which aid in the decongestion and brightening of the skin
  • Rich in vitamin E and zinc, which benefit the appearance of skin tone, and work to moisturize the scalp and keep it flake-free

Sea Buckthorn oil:

  • Rife with beta-carotene, which when applied topically, is able to convert to an active form vitamin A (retinol), which is an excellent anti-ager, and may help fade dark spots and melasma (perfect for helping to fade the remnants of blemishes!)
  • Assists in wound/burn healing
  • Contains vitamins C, which acts as an antioxidant and can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and unevenness in the skin tone

Sunkissalba Radiant Glow Oil Derma E

Over the last few weeks, I have used this oil primarily on my face, where it imparts subtle, but certainly detectable luminosity, as well as on my legs, to add an enviable luster.  It sinks in beautifully without leaving behind any stain-inducing residue, and has a lovely, very faint scent. Moreover, it acts as a perfect primer for makeup, allowing foundation/concealer to glide over top, leaving you with a dewy, but not at all greasy, canvas on which to build a complete look. It also possesses the ability to elevate no-makeup days, where you do not want to add any cosmetics to your face, but nevertheless seek to look radiant.

In sum: the light, and subtly shimmery SunKissAlba Radiant Glow Oil by Derma E is a must-have multitasker. Whether you’re after the aforementioned benefits its ingredients offer, or you just want to add a bit of subtle luminosity to your look, it is a noteworthy product deserving of a place in your beauty routine.