Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Go Away Gray!

*** Calling all Dye Bottle Divas! Calling all Dye Bottle Divas! ***

Penny needs your help! I especially want to talk to my Sisters in Beauty (SIBs) who use permanent hair color regularly. Penny is not ready to go down with the gray hair ship...I want to fight the good fight for at least another year or two. LOL! I know it comes as no shock to anyone that I have been using Bigen Permanent Hair Color (# 58-Black Brown) for the last few years because it is ammonia-free and hydrogen peroxide-free. Yes, Penny has been "going gray" for over 10 years now (the streak), but it takes work to keep that 'just starting to gray' look. Ha ha ha!  

Bigen is a simple powder you mix with water and is fairly inexpensive in comparison to other commercial dyes (about $4.99 a box), and now available in the drugstore and not just the beauty supply store (i.e. CVS, Sally's, Wal-Mart). Since I touch up my grays about every 6 weeks, I only need one box.

  • Ammonia-free
  • Hydrogen peroxide-free; doesn't strip/lift hair color
  • Leaves my hair soft; not stripped and hard like other commercial products
  • Covers 100% of my gray
  • No harsh odors
  • Does not wash out; permanent color for up to 4-6 weeks
  • Rich look
(Read full story...)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shampoo or Conditioner? Both?

Thanks to one of Penny's Posse members, Penny has a new and unusual product she's fallen for. Some of you may be familiar with the WEN Hair Care System by Chaz Dean. It is mainly sold on QVC but can also be found online at and a few other sites. I had never heard about this line until I was given a bottle of WEN's Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner to try ($28, 16oz).

FABULOUS! I love this stuff.! My hair never felt so tingly clean but most of all, my hair never felt so soft and silky. It actually seemed to work like a clarifying hair felt light like a it removed all build up. But it didn't leave my hair feeling dry. Initially I let my hair air dry and my curls were so soft they were fly away...I needed a styling cream to hold my curls together (but didn't use any). The next day I used my flat iron  (w/ CHI thermal protection spray) and my hair stayed straight from root to tip for 4 days without re-applying any heat! That is a first. I'm going to stick with the WEN products (and alternate them with the Morrocan Oil line I have also fallen in love with...stay tuned). That's right...I'm saying goodbye to my tried and true Cholesterol deep conditioner I just raved about last week. I'm a Product Princess and its my perrogative. LOL!  All jokes aside, I loved the results of the WEN cleanisng conditioner so much that I plan to try the Sweet Almond Mint Styling Cream and maybe the Re Moist Intensive Repair Hair Mask, recommended for use every 6 weeks.

What is a cleansing conditioner I asked? It turns out that this product is designed to be a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner all in ONE. Because this product is sulfate-free it does not lather, but has a creamy foam instead. This will take some getting used to because Penny likes to suds up. LOL! Sweet Almond Mint is recommended for all hair types. On I noticed different products were recommended for fine, medium and coarse hair types. The products also come in Fig, Cucumber Aloe, Tea Tree, and Lavender. I also noticed the line has expanded to bath/hair/body oils, volumizing hair treatment spray, and body lotions. I will probably make my purchases from since they seem to have a good selection of products.

Happy Holidays! Happy Hair-i-days!

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Foundation Nation

How many of you beauties have had a difficult time finding the right foundation to match your skin tone and skin type? Penny has been challenged with this herself for years. Not only is it hard to find the right shade, it is also hard to find the best formula for your skin type.  As you all know, foundations today come in liquid, cream, stick, powder, mousse (whipped), and even as tinted moisturizer formulations. Foundations also cater to your skin's needs as they are available in the following:
  • oil-free
  • oil control
  • moisturizing
  • mineral
It is important to use the formula best suited to your skin's needs. People considered to have 'normal' skin, can use just about any formula including whipped, stick and tinted moisturizer. Oil-free and oil control liquid, cream or powder formulas are recommended for those with 'oily' skin. And moisturizing liquid or cream foundation is recommended for 'dry' skin. Those with 'combination skin' can now also find foundations both with silica to help soak up oil, and lecithin to hydrate the skin. Moisturizers and oil-control primers can also be applied before your foundation to help balance the skin. (Read full story...)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hair Hazards

Hello Beautiful People!
For many years Penny had been told that "too much protein is bad for your hair" but no one really explained why. This is not a beauty myth. If used too often and/or incorrectly, protein treatments can make the hair feel dry and hard; make it feel more rigid, which is associated with breakage. However, for those with seriously damaged, process or chemically treated hair it is recommended that they ask their hairstylist about protein therapy. The hair needs protein. “The fact is, that too much of any “beneficial” styling product can have negative effects. Deep conditioning treatments using cholesterol are great for very dry, coarse hair types, but will make mildly-dry medium hair types feel oily and flat, and can make fine hair types just look greasy. Protein treatments are the same. They are meant to bolster the hair that has sustained damage, and generally are not used more than once a week in more severe cases of damage.” (

In a recent post about hair care one of Penny's favorite products was mentioned; Queen Helene's Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream. Whenever Penny shared that she used this regularly, folks would become alarmed and warn that too much protein is bad for your hair. However, not all Queen Helene cholesterol products contain protein. There is a Queen Helene SUPER Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream treatment with 'choleplex' that contains keratin protein, but that is not the one I use almost weekly. In the past I have also tried protein treatments such as Infusium 123 (leave-in treatment) and  Aphogee Two Minute Reconstructor and I too experienced “dry” or “hard” hair and thought that my hair might break off. I have not used a protein treatment in quite some time but at my next visit to the salon will inquire as to whether one is needed to help improve the condition of my hair. I still suffer from breakage and dryness but have seen improvement with the use of deep conditioners and hair masks like the cholesterol cream, Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask and Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner. Penny has also been told that it is best to 'deep condition' the hair after getting a protein treatment. It is recommended that protein treatments only be done once monthly if needed. But deep conditioning can occur more frequently. (Read full story...)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pick it? Or Plunk it?

This time of year it is hard to keep Penny from getting excited over all the new beauty products, and tools being advertised. Although Penny is no push over, curiousity sometimes gets the best of her and she will give in to the hype. So in the pouring rain, on her lunch break, Penny set out to purchase the new, and highly hyped...InStyler!  Yes, that curling iron/flat iron/hot brush contraption you see advertised every where.  A couple of Penny's Posse members had a good experience with it, so what the heck...

After reading many mixed reviews, and looking at the price of the InStyler slowly increasing on from $69 to $79 in one night ($99.99 manufacturer's price), Penny was on the fence. But with the 20% off Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon burning a hole in her pocket, Penny decided to give it a try. What's the worst that can happen?...I have to return it for a refund. (Read full story...)

Hair and There

While we're talking hair...let Penny share some product specifics. Several folks asked what Penny's regimen included, so I thought I'd share some products that I've used, and some that have been recommended by members of Penny's Posse.

Penny's Products
Mixed Chicks Shampoo
Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner (styling aid)
Pantene Brunette Expressions Shampoo (color enhancing)
Pantene Silver Expressions (for the gray...silver highlights LOL)
Head and Shoulders for Dry Scalp
Creme of Nature Detangling Conditioning Shampoo (w/ Sunflower & Coconut)
Queen Helene Cholesterol  Deep Conditioner
CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection (a must when using hot tools)
CHI Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream  (for blow drying)
Sebastian Potion 9 (leave-in treatment)
Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Roll Foam (for wet setting)
Organix Smoothing Shea Butter Liquid Glass Serum (finishing sheen)

(Read full story...)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chemical-free Hair

Penny's back with some tips for those of you who have decided to go 'au naturale' and get chemical-free! More and more Penny has been approached by those who have given up the 'creamy crack.' That's right...chemical relaxers seem to be addictive for many.  But they can also be very damaging to the hair over time. Although hair relaxers give hair styling flexibility, and manageability, women today are opting for better health in the form of natural hair and products. Not only are most women looking for ways to manage their natural hair styles...they are also looking for more natural and/or organic products to do so with. The first step to "going natural" is to stop all chemical treatments. Temporary treatments (things you can wash out) are okay. (Read full story...)