Thursday, May 30, 2013

Original Moxie Giveaway!

To watch the tutorial for this style click here.

I've been natural for three and a half years and I've been using Original Moxie's products for nearly two of those years. It's the only brand that I've been using that long and after seeing my results after using their products, there's no question as to why that is.

To watch the tutorial for this style click here.

In the spirit of today's Instagram's Throwback Thursday, I posted this pic of my ticket to 2011's "Natural is... Beautiful" event in NYC alongside a photo of me doing a demo of someone's hair using OM's products.

That was such a memorable experience for me. Original Moxie made my LIFE by flying me to NYC on my first brand ambassador duties. It was my first time in NYC and my first time doing someone else's hair in front of a huge crowd. Not only did I have a lot of fun at the event, but I also got the opportunity to meet and have dinner with Chescaleigh afterward. I say all of this to say it's been a pleasure to find out about a brand, love their products and then go on to work for them at different events. Rachel, the owner, has also become a good friend of mine. It's been a pleasurable experience all around!

One thing that I've always loved about Original Moxie was their focus on being environmentally friendly. They use all natural ingredients and encourage green practices. This is why I was so excited when they reached out to me expressing interest in becoming a sponsor for my 30 Day Beauty and Body Detox!

The Giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recipe: Guilt Free & Healthy Vanilla Latté

Gone are the days you stand in the long lines at Starbucks in 90 degree weather craving an ice cold latté. Well, maybe not really, but if you want to break your addiction this summer, I came up with a much healthier alternative. This is a nice and refreshing drink I made right before I started my detox. Besides the Silk Iced latté, all the ingredients are clean. If you are following a clean eating diet, I'd suggest substitute the Silk Iced latté with almond milk. It's delicious, healthy and refreshing at the same time!

I'm not just going to say this 8 oz.drink is healthy without giving you the skinny on each ingredient so lets dip into the facts first.

Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs are a good source of potassium, chromium, copper, calcium and zinc. Cocoa nibs are also a rich dietary source of magnesium, a mineral that many Americans lack. Magnesium is essential for circulation, muscle function and bone health, but it can't be produced by the human body. Read more benefits here. I purchased these at Whole Foods for $13, but I suggest buying them at your local food co-op. I visited mine a few days later and they were $7.99. Never again, Whole Foods!


Almonds naturally contain a very high amount of vitamin E, which blocks the formation of carcinogenic compounds formed in the body that can result in cancer. Almonds are also packed with essential fatty acids that promote good health and well-being. The essential fatty acids found in almonds are linoleic and linolenic acid, and they are responsible for proper functioning of the body. Read more benefits here. I love the "Just a Handful of Dry Roasted Unsalted Almonds" from Trader Joes because they come prepackaged so it cuts out the work for you. I always keep a pack in my car when I'm on the go and need a quick bite to hold me over until my next meal.

Flax Seeds

Flaxseed, which is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, is often used to support digestive health and relieve constipation. However, consuming flaxseed has many other health benefits when eaten regularly.Read more benefits here. I usually buy the milled flax seeds with dried blueberries to sprinkle over my steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. It tastes really good paired with a dollop of honey.
2 cups of Silk's Iced Latté
Approximately 12 Almonds
2 tablespoons of Flax Seeds
2 tablespoons of Cocoa Nibs
6 Ice Cubes
I'd recommend blending the ice first, then the nuts followed by everything else.

I loved this drink using both the Silk Vanilla Latté and almond milk. I even had Derek taste it and he also gave it his stamp of approval (which is rare. I'm still trying to get him to give chia seeds a try, smh!). So if you try this drink or have tried something similar, let me know how you liked it in the comments below!

Monday, May 27, 2013

And the Winner is...

Thanks so much to all those who entered! Stephanie, please email your shipping instructions to

The next giveaway will be posted tomorrow and it will feature Original Moxie products. Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cleanse Me Naturally

Before I started this detox, I knew that I'd have to get rid of some of my favorite beauty products. I just didn't know I would have to get rid of so many! It seemed like everything would be all natural until you hit the last thing in the ingredient list and there you would see that God awful word: fragrance/parfum. UGH! I was so hurt that so many of these great brands just had to use a synthetic fragrance in their products. "Lawd, why!" Those were the two words I kept screaming to the heavens as I read each label in my cabinet full of products. It was disheartening.

Fast forward to the present day and I'm A-OK! I only use three products on a regular basis for my skin and body and it feels great. Not only is a cost efficient because I'm using less products, but it now doesn't take so much time to get ready because I'm not applying a gazillion products onto my face and body daily.

If you've been following my channel for awhile, you know I've had my bout with adult acne. It seemed like it came out of nowhere last year and during last summer it reached its peak. I tried just about everything to get rid of it except going the all natural method route.

This was the first soap I used as a facial cleanser. I've since used two other scents.

In February I started using Shea Moisture's all natural soap on my face since I ran out of my Clarasonic's acne cleanser and needed something to hold me over until I could hit up Sephora to drop another $50 on the product. But in less than two weeks I realized my skin was starting to clear up with just the Shea Moisture soap alone. I was freaking out. A bar of soap that costs less than $6 was doing wonders to my skin that a bottle that costs 10 times that wasn't doing in three months!

That's when I decided to stay on the all natural soap train. I've stuck with Shea Moisture soaps since then, but decided to try my hand at Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. It's great and I love the tingly feeling it gives my skin. This soap claims you can use it seven ways. I stick to using it as a facial cleanser, a shower gel (as it lathers really well) and using it as a shaving cream.  This stuff is bomb!

My skin was so horrible last year! Thank God is has cleared up dramatically since then!
I use the V Bar to clean my lady parts (the green bar of soap in above picture). This is made by the woman who's session on the Curly Cruise influenced this whole ordeal. Her soap is all natural and fragrance free. Read more about it here.

I use the Shea Moisture's Body Scrub about once a week to exfoliate my skin. It's amazing! I've been using this stuff since last year and it always made its way into one of my favorites videos.  It's also all natural and fragrance free. It's affordable and can be found at most Target stores on the organic beauty aisle.

Moisturizer and Lotion
I've been a die hard Bath and Body works fan since forever so it was going to be a struggle to stop using my favorite scented lotions and body butters from their store...or so I thought. I knew I had racked up a number of all natural butters from various companies, however like I mentioned above, most of them had fragrances in them. I finally found one that didn't and that was the Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter.
This butter is so rich and moisturizing it makes no since. It also doesn't have the grit that some Shea butter mixes give you. My skin is always glowing and buttery. I always looked sun kissed when wearing this on my skin.

My skin was looking radiant at the Naturally FLYY Detroit Meet-Up. Look at  them legs. Owww!

Hair products
The most exciting thing about this detox is I don't have to stop doing what I love: reviewing products! I now can bring you reviews from brands that are conscious of what they're putting into their products and putting into YOUR bodies! That in itself makes me feel fabulous!

Have you tried any products that I've talked about above? Of so, let me know in the comment section below!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Earring Graveyard

Once I went natural in 2010, I became obsessed with earrings. The bigger, the better was my mantra. Fast forward to the present, I still have a love for earrings, but my size preference varies on my mood rather than the size itself. I still have a love for big earrings, but I've noticed the bigger, the more problems they seem to create. Since my earring selection has become as popular as some of my style creations, I thought I'd make a post about the earrings that I once loved, but unfortunately had to be laid to rest.

Rachel Stewart's Dwennimman earrings
I had my eyes on these Rachel Stewart earrings for the longest time. I loved how big they were and the shape of them. I just had one issue: the price! I'd never paid over $20 for earrings before, but after a long talk with myself about supporting another natural sister and small business owner, I took the credit card and did the damage.

They didn't take long to get to me and as soon as they arrived, I flaunted my latest purchase in photos for my then upcoming styling video.

Although it was a plus that they arrived quickly, it was a huge negative they broke soon after. I remember like it was yesterday. I was organizing all of my earrings in my Jewelmint boxes on my organizer. When I went to go pick up one of these earrings, it dropped out of my hand and onto the floor. "NOOOOOO!!!" I screamed as I saw the result of the six inch fall. It was cracked and one of the circle squiggly part was separated. I almost cried! I immediately went to the store and bought some Krazy glue and luckily it was repaired. Although a blast of excitement flushed over me, I was scared to wear them again, worried that it was going to break while I was out.

Fast forward three months later and I discovered they broke into multiple pieces while in the Jewelmint box. Im guessing the acrylic couldn't handle the sharp edges of the box when it shifted. While one was in perfect condition, the other is all fuxxed up lol. Oh well earring graveyard it goes.

Beads by Aree Zo Zo earrings

I'd been checking out Beads by Aree earrings every since I saw my blogger friend Melissa Chanel wear them while we were hanging out in NYC together. I finally mustered up the nerve to drop $40 on these pair of earrings. They were so unique; like nothing I'd ever seen before.

Melissa Chanel (middle) wearing her Beads by Aree earrings that influenced my purchase.
Although they are visually amazing, it's sort of a job to wear. They are very bulky and when I wear my hair down/out, my hair usually gets caught in them. They also make a lot of noise when you're moving your head from right to left a lot. It can get kind of annoying.

Storing these babies are also a problem. Forget about putting them together. They will automatically get caught together and intertwine with each other. It happened to me several times and it takes what seems like hours to get them unattached.

With all that being said, I continued to wear these earrings until they started to droop and become unmanageable. The wire began to lose its shape making them less appealing. I am reluctant to ship these off to the earring graveyard because of the price i paid, but I honestly don't have much of a choice.

Rosy Mickey Golden Jag Earrings
As some of you may now, I receive a lot of products for review, but when I head out to events, I receive a lot of other things too. I received these earrings during the World Natural Hair show last year and didn't get around to wearing them until a few months ago. I immediately fell in love with them and so did just about everybody else on Instagram.

I wore them about two more times before I realized how heavy the were. Weight of earrings are not a real problem for me. I just take them out while I'm driving or on the way to the destination and when I show up to show out, I conveniently put them back in. Ta da!

I realized these earrings demise when I got back from the Curly Cruise. They were chillin' at the bottom of purse with the jaguar was beheaded from the chain. I screamed of few expletives before I realized this could easily be fixed. I'm not sure how much these run since I got them as a gift, but I would still recommend these earrings. Although I have to repair these, it's a minor fix since some pliers should do the trick. I also like that they're heavy and durable. This one will be up and back in my arsenal in no time.

So which one of your fav pairs of earrings ended up in the earring graveyard and how? Let me know in the comment boxes below!

Friday, May 17, 2013

And So it Starts + My First Green Juice Recipe

Wednesday was my first day of my detox and surprisingly it wasn't so bad. And by so bad I mean I didn't want to say the hell with it and go scoop up a burger and fries at my beloved Culvers down the road, but rather it took everything in me not to grab the box of Cheez-It's off the fridge with full force and gorge out in delight. Nah, nothing like that.

I have a bad habit of waking up and working instead of waking up and eating breakfast like a normal human being. With that being said, I woke up at 7 a.m. and drank my first green juice a little past 1 p.m. I was starving and my stomach was growling louder than it ever have in life!

Making the green juice was easy peezy, the most annoying part was cleaning all that mess up.

7 Kale leaves
1 Lemon
5 Mushrooms
2 Tomatoes
9 Strawberries
2 Apples
1/2 Cucumber

You're probably wondering why that bag is inside the juicer. It's inside the part where the excess comes out. It makes for less clean up after your juice is prepared.

See! I just tie it in a knot and throw in the trash!

The juice was delicious. So much tastier than any green smoothie I've ever had in my life. This recipe filled two 12 ounce mason jars. I sipped on one juice long enough to gain enough energy to get in the shower and then put both in the freezer. I was hitting the road to spend some time with my family and didn't want to end up stranded without a juice to sip on.

Five hours later I hit the gym. It was hard for me to do so. I felt glued to my car seat. I didn't know how I was going to workout when I could barely move. I had literally zero amount of energy, but yet I prevailed. I did 35 minutes on the bike and 20 odd on the treadmill. All thanks to the TVs connected to each machine at LA Fitness. Law and Order: SVU is my show and it had me distracted from my pain and kept me intrigued during my entire workout.

I left the gym and headed to Meijer to cop more veggies: swiss chard and kale. I'll be heading to the Farmers Market on Saturday to get more fruit. I think I need to put a lot of that into my juices before I workout to give me more fuel to get through a workout without feeling like I'm going to pass out.

But with all that being said I completed my first day and was proud of myself. Excited for the changes to come!

How was your first day on the detox?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The 30 Day Beauty & Body Detox - Join Me!!!

WOAH! That was my reaction when I saw the support coming through via Instagram and Facebook once I posted the photo above. As some of you may know, I intended on doing this detox all by my lonesome, but my friend Danielle changed that the minute she texted me and said she was joining in and suggested I'd get others to do it too. Maybe it's weird, but I never thought that anyone would want to do it with me, but I'm really excited that so many are. It just makes the challenge so much more intriguing knowing other women are serious about their health on the inside and out. It really is inspiring.

So a lot of people are asking me what the rules are. Uh, I'm not the one to tell you that lol. All I have to say is this is a Beauty AND BODY Detox. However far you'd like to go is fine. For example, Danielle is doing the detox by eating clean, but she's still going to wear makeup as she's required to do so for her job. If you want to focus on shedding some pounds by juicing (body) and only use organic soap (body) for 30 days that's fine too. It's totally up to you! Why would I impose some kind of rule on everyone for 30 days? Who's going to take orders from someone else when it pertains to their body? Certainly not I so I wouldn't do it the same to you. We're all grown and we can do what we least that's what Beyonce said. *kidding of course.* I just ask that whatever you choose to do, let it fall in both categories: Beauty AND Body.

My plan:
I originally wanted to just eat clean and juice periodically for my body detox, however that all changed once Derek and I went to hear Joe Cross of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, speak at Rodin in Detroit. I watched the movie via Netflix a few months ago so I didn't think I was going to learn much more from him, but I was wrong. Turns out if you juice for a number of days and then start eating (even if it's a salad or fruit) your body changes from thinking it's in famine mode and goes back to being hungry because you're chewing food. The result is you eat more that usual. During Q&A a woman mentioned she'd been juicing and eating, but wasn't losing as much weight as others who were only juicing alone. He said the body kept being confused since she'd juice for a number of days and then eat. There is a way you can do both, but you have to follow a certain formula that can be found on his website.

This changed the game for me. I decided I just wanted to juice. This wasn't the only reason though. He mentioned he released so much waste that was in his body. Some of the stuff was on the verge of TMI so I won't repeat it (you're not going to blame me for the vomit on your keyboard), but it was just mind blowing. It made me wonder how much waste was inside of me and I immediately began to feel disgusted. That honestly was when I decided to do the 30 day reboot. I already have a Breville chillin' at the crib anyway. It'd be nice to put that thing to good use.

As far as my body detox goes, the same rules apply. I'll only be using products with all natural ingredients and that includes fragrances. Did you know they fragrance/parfum could contain up to 200 chemicals? No bueno. I'll also be doing my hair in protective styles during this time. My hair just needs a break so I'm bowing down to it for 30 days.

Because I know I can, I'm also going to workout each day during the 30 days. Yes, I know rest days are important, but I've read you can do cardio each day so even if I choose not to lift a dumb bell, I still can get up on that treadmill and break a sweat.

What to expect from me
I'll still do product reviews and styling tutorials on YouTube during this time. The only difference is everything I'll be reviewing will be all natural and fragrance free. The styling tutorials will be of protective styles only. I'll also share a few juicing recipes on YouTube and come with a weekly video updates on how everything is going. I'll post most of my experience on the blog as it simply is easier for me to document how I'm doing in a timely and proficient manner.

How to Join
If you're up to put your mind and body to the challenge, simply leave a comment below and tell me what changes you plan to make in your lifestyle for the next 30 days. Also, if possible, take pictures of your before so you'll have great after shots. Keep these for yourself, but of you're in the sharing mood, I'd love to share them on the blog at the end. Of course I'll post my own as well.

I'll have weekly giveaways on my blog and social media platforms of Eco-friendly hair and beauty products that I love. As of yesterday I said this was all coming out of my pocket unless someone wanted to sponsor a giveaway and what do you know showed up in my email this morning? But regardless, everything I giveaway I would have used myself and can attest to the awesomeness of the product.

If you have any comments or concerns please let me know. I'm excited that so many of you are up for the challenge! Yes it will be hard, but remember we are all in this together! If you're posting via Instagram, please include the hash tag #CharyJay30DayDetox so people can see what you're doing for daily encouragement. It's important that people not just look at me to see what I'm doing, but we can all rely on each other for incite or advice by sharing our own experience. I'm so ready!!! Are you?

Karen’s Body Beautiful Giveaway

Karen's Body Beautiful products are a favorite amongst the natural hair community. That's why it's no surprise that it caught Target's eye and became the latest natural hair brand to grace their shelves in the beauty department.

My locks have always favored their Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In conditioner since I first received it back in 2011. Since then it has always made its way into my favorite/staple product videos. I also love the Butter Love product as well. It is a great way to seal your hair after applying a leave-in conditioner or to add a hint of sheen to dry and or dull hair.

This was my first time using the Hold It Hair Gel with Argan Oil, but I have to say I loved the results it gave my curls. No crunchiness, stiffness or flakiness detected. Just soft, bouncy and light weight curls achieved. I also liked that it didn't make my curls fragile. I've slept sans bonnet and without a silk pillowcase and my curls are still standing strong three days later. I can't say that's unheard of who it comes to my hair, but sometimes when I'm not using my staples, that very well can be the case. So, yup, this stuff is a winner too!

Unfortunately the products that were sent to me for review did contain fragrance so I will not be using these during my 30 Day Beauty and Body Detox, but I have learned that if you order her products online, you can get them without fragrance, so that is a huge plus!

From Karen's Body Beautiful: 

Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner ($16; 8 oz.) This all-natural leave-in conditioner has a cult-following for transforming dry, lifeless locks into soft, shiny and luminous hair. Perfect for natural and transitioning hair. All-natural with Jojoba, Avocado, Wheat Germ and Coconut oils, Arnica, Nettle, Horsetail and Rosemary Extracts. #1 selling product.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Luscious Locks Hair Mask ($25; 8 oz.) Deep conditioning, nutritious hair treatment that repairs dry, damaged hair, restores shine and manageability, while detangling and softening.  With Jojoba and Carrot Seed Oils, Aloe Butter, Arnica, Calendula, Nettle, Echinacea and Horsetail Extracts.  #2 selling product.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Hair Blossom Moisture Mist ($16, 200 ml) Natural hydrating mist softens and refreshes hair, while reducing frizz. With Argan, Castor, Sunflower and Meadowfoam Seed Oils.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Hold It Hair Gel with Argan Oil ($16, 240 ml) Defines hair and provides flexible hold to maintain styles without hardness or a crunchy after-feel. With Argan, Aloe Vera and Marula Oils and Hydrolyzed Silk Protein.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Super Duper Hydrating Hair Cream ($18; 200 ml) An intensely hydrating hair cream and styling aid that also moisturizes and nourishes the scalp, with Shea Butter, Aloe Vera Gel, Argan Oil and Acai Powder. Ideal for twistouts and braidouts.

Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love ($18; 6.7 oz.) An ultra-moisturizing hair butter that nourishes and protects hair, while providing hold and intense shine. With Shea, Mango, Cocoa, Jojoba and Aloe Butters.

Karen's Body Beautiful products don’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, mineral oil, DEA or artificial color. The products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. Available at select Target stores and online at
To enter the contest to win the full line of Karen's Body Beautiful products, like their page on Facebook and leave a comment below telling me which product is your favorite and why. If you've never tried these products, tell me which one you're excited about trying the most. Good luck to all those who enters! I'll select the winner next week on Wednesday. That's also when I'll put up my first Eco friendly giveaway for my 30 Day Beauty and Body Detox participants!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Going Beyond the Video


A review of any product should be more than just the effectiveness of the product after one use. It should be more than just the feel and look of a product. It should just be more, but when you want more that takes more time. That means the video will be long (we're talking ten plus minutes and no one wants that), and so would the delivery of said video. That's why it pays to have a blog so I can give you updates with how products are treating me after the initial review. So welcome to my very first "Going Beyond the Video" blog post! I hope you enjoy.
Twist-Out results using the Thank God I'm Natural Moist Collection

Today were going beyond my initial review of my latest review, which is the Thank God I'm Natural Moist Collection. Like I said in the video, I'd been using this line of products for a few weeks and I'd been loving the line so far, however I didn't review everything that was sent to me. Lets get to those products first.

Shea Butter Lip Balm
I love the lip balm! It's really moisturizing and gives your lips a nice sheen. It's also all natural, which is a huge plus! I'm used to (and swear by) the CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Tints. But sometimes if you get a lil' too happy with your application, your lips can appear to drenched in chicken grease...not a good look.

Chicken Grease Lips!

So using the TGIN lip balm is a safe bet to get the right amount of sheen each time. I also love that you get a pack of three. I have one in my bathroom, living room and one in my car so I can always keep my lips pucker up ready no matter if I'm indoors or on the road.

Olive Oil Soap
I also received two bars of this all natural soap in different scents; passion fruit and lavender fields. I used the passion fruit soap first. I loved the way it smelled, but unfortunately after one use it broke me out. I got little red bumps on my chest after I used it in the shower. This is not the first time an all natural soap broke me out in the same place-my chest.

In the spring of last year I used Karen's Body Beautiful's all natural soap that was given to me after visiting her store in Brooklyn in December. I was so excited to use it as there was so much hype surrounding natural soaps and I'd never used one before. I used it a number of times in the shower and then, out of nowhere my entire chest was broken out. It was so embarrassing because it was the very beginning of spring and I was just about to break out my low cut tops. Here is a picture from a past styling tutorial as proof.

I say all that to say I'm apparently allergic to possibly a main ingredient in scented natural soaps. I've used both Shea Moisture and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap (which what I'm currently using and loving!!) and haven't had any negative side effects.

Thank God I'm Natural Book
I'm so glad this book was included in the package that was sent to me. My sister originally gave me an autographed copy of this book for Christmas when I was transitioning. I read it cover to cover and never let anyone touch it. That is until my friend who cried she wanted to go natural borrowed it and somehow never found her way over my house to return it (every time I see her on Instagram posing in her newly installed weave, I cringe). So I'm happy to have this copy to take its place!

Now to get to the hair products: