A few week’s ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Fabulous! Family Dollar event – a celebration of African-American beauty brands where you’ll learn beauty tips, hair how to’s, and insight on incredible looks for less – at the Hilton Midtown Hotel here in NYC. It was a two-day event that included shopping with Family Dollar, a luncheon and cocktail reception, but I only participated in the interactive beauty workshops, so keep reading to find out more about various hair and beauty brands specifically for women of color that can be found at Family Dollar.
My tour started with the African Pride booth, where I got to talk with hairstylist and star of Lifetime’s Girlfriend Intervention, Tracy Balan. She gave me some good tips that I had to write down, regarding:
- Medications: Birth control can break your hair; talk to your doctor about your medications and how they affect hair loss or cause weak cuticles
- Spacing out products: don’t over saturate your hair with products, reapply every 2-3 days
- Having a scalp regimen: your products should be root stimulating products as well; add cinnamon to olive oil and add to your scalp; for an overnight treatment, use a little honey to massage your scalp, then rinse out the next day
I have to admit, I was the most skeptical about the Luster’s booth because Pink Lotion has been around for decades and decades and hasn’t seemed to have changed, but I politely listened to the presentation regardless. One thing I learned is that they’ve added aloe vera to Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion, which acts as a sunblock, and the product also serves as a thermal protector. More appropriate products for natural hair include the Lusters Pink Plus 2-N-1 Scalp Soother & Oil Sheen Spray and Luster’s Pink Glosser with Shea Butter Bonus, which helps give kinkier hair a slick finish.
I quickly stopped by the Cantu booth for only two reasons. I recognized an Instagram crush, Melissa Chanel, so I went over and introduced myself. Secondly, they had champagne! Anyway, Melissa and I just chatted it up and she quickly dropped the sales pitch for the Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream once she realized I wasn’t a newbie natural and had probably already tried the brand. Nonetheless, she hooked me up with a bunch of Cantu products, and since I left the event to go straight to work, those products never made it to my place because work friends convinced me they needed them! She has such cute style so I’m going to bring her on as a featured Fashionista!
By the time I got to the Motions table, I was short on time (life of a blogger who still has a job) but patiently waited for a few women to stop fan girling over Rihanna’s hairstylist, Ursula Stephen. When it was finally my turn, Ursula jumped right into asking me about myself and my blog, rather than promoting Motions like she was supposed to be doing. Honestly, I was surprised by her warmth! We connected over my conscious choice to write with my African followers – since y’all make up a good chunk of my readership, and I know first hand that products are hard to come by – because she is the Global Ambassador for Motions in South Africa and is passionate about providing the same access to information and products for haircare to our cousins/homies/counterparts living in Africa. I did get a goodie bag and the advice to try Motions At Home Foaming Wrap Lotion for everything from blowouts, rod and roller sets, and even twist outs. I plan on using it with Curlformers Long & Wide 42 Piece Styling Kit for my Thanksgiving look in the next few weeks.
Dark n Lovely
Since I’m really familiar with the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Breakage Set, and absolutely love the system overall, I just went over to their table to thank my PR homie for the invitation and to snap a photo with Michelle Obama’s hairstylist, Johnny Wright. Literally, I just said hey no need for the spiel I already use this line, then we just sat down and I pretended to be in his conversation and laughed and smiled and felt grateful to be breathing the same air as him since he regularly breathes the same air as my first lady. LOL.
I couldn’t leave – though I was now running late for work – without getting a hug and a kiss from renowned makeup artist Cynde Watson, who was beating people’s faces at the L.A. Colors booth. Cynde was one of the judges at the Miss Harlem Shake competition that I won last month, and when she learned that I had a blog, she graciously invited me to attend this event. Though we didn’t get a chance to talk much, someone did assume that she’d done my makeup (from my mini twist video… let me know if you want a video of my makeup bc I recorded it), and I also got to take a bunch of makeup products that I know I’m never going to use – like blue and purple eyeliner and eyeshadow primer (I rarely wear eyeshadow). I did take some of their L.A. Colors Moisture Lipsticks and L.A. Colors Chunky Lip Pencils and have been using them daily ever since, and a few nail polishes since I’m trying to do the whole do your nails by yourself thing in life.