RIP Titi Branch, Miss Jessie’s Co-Founder

I woke up to the news this morning of the death of Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie’s hair care line.

Titi Branch

Titi along with his sister Miko started Miss Jessie’s, named after their grandmother, in 2004.  The Brooklyn sisters were some of the early pioneers in the natural hair product business and achieved wide success in their salon, where they ushered curly-haired men and women to tame and treat their tresses.  Miss Jessie’s products were among the first to reach national distribution in major retailer Target.

The news that I have been able to gather from various sources is that Titi died of an apparent suicide approximately two weeks ago on December 4, 2014 from asphyxia, she was 45.  NV Magazine posted an obituary on their facebook page and there was also this video tribute posted by director Andre Robert Lee.

Titi Cree Branch, born June 10, 1969 is survived by her parents and sister Miko. Rest In Power.

Miko Branch Tweet

Black Friday, The Aftermath

So, let’s talk about Black Friday, whether you shopped Black, shopped small or not at all.  Many of you decided not shop as a form of political protest and I totally respect that.  I did the same thing that I do every year which is Black, small and women. Here is recap of my shopping experiences this year.

  1. I’m too old to stay up late. Yep I said it mama is tired. I took a nap just so I could get up and shop like I needed to and I didn’t even leave my house, lol.
  2. There were so many vendors I planned on patronizing until I got to their websites and found these common occurrences: discount codes were not working and shipping was an abomination.  I don’t know why business owners have such a terrible time with getting discount codes to work.  They should run a stress test on the system prior to launching.  And these shipping charges are absolute bullshit. I am not paying $10 to ship for 2 products. Nope. Bro you act like USPS priority flat rate boxes aren’t free and the prices aren’t published. I abandoned my cart on several websites.
  3. Vendors need to be up and active on social media. Props to Ayo of Soultanicals who was not only available and responsive in the midst of Black Friday she helped me select which products I should purchase based on my hair needs. Just for that I ended up spending more because I was so appreciative of her awesome customer service.

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I placed 5 hair/beauty orders of the 10 I had planned. My best shopping experience was with Thank God I’m Natural. The website was simple to navigate, I had no hiccups in ordering and the product arrived by Monday, yes 3 days later, that was the best service period.  The next was with Coiffie, a gift for my mama, again easy to navigate, no hiccups and the product arrived on Tuesday I will definitely order from them again. And then there was Curls. Curls website was acting a fool and the code was not working. I was very frustrated as were many others on Twitter. Curls was completely absent from social media and unresponsive.  However the next morning everything was working, they did respond to our pleas from the previous night and I was able to place my order. My package arrived on Thursday which was still under a week. Also I ordered the salon size bottle of conditioner and my shipping was still under $10 y’all are playing with this shipping prices!

wpid-2014-12-11-17.11.22.png.pngMy remaining two orders that I have not received are from Soultanicals and Bekura (formerly BASK).  I would like to note that Soultanicals put a disclaimer stating it would take longer for orders to be received and that if you wanted products faster to purchase from another vendor that carries their product.  I actually planned on doing that, but the vendor I found sucked, website kept freezing and the discount code wasn’t working.  Like I stated before Ayo or Soultanicals was about her business so I’m willing to wait a little longer for my product.  As for Bekura I have no clue what they have going on. It was only a restock for me so I am no rush, however I would like to have my products by Christmas. We shall see.

I won’t badmouth the companies that failed.  I will just say that there are companies I have purchased from for years and was saddened by their failures. I do want to mention a company that acknowledged their mistakes and worked to make it up. The Mane Choice had their site crash and people were crying all over IG.  They have launched a Black Friday Replay sale today 12/12 40% off site wide, no coupon code required.  That is dope customer service.  Lastly, Pura Body Naturals products are still on sale thru 12/26. BOGO Free Sapote Hair Lotion, Murumuru Moisture Milk, Cupuacu Hair Butter and Chocolate Hair Smoothie. No coupon code required.

 

My Shero: Alia Atkinson

Ain’t no way I was going to let my busy schedule keep me from blogging about this lovely lady. Alia is literally living Black history, she will be on a Carl Mack calendar one day.  Not only is she exceptionally talented, but she is incredibly humble and so relatable. She is my new BFF in my head.

In case you missed it Alia Atkinson made history this past Saturday becoming the first Black woman to win a world title in 100m breaststroke. Alia represented her home country of Jamaica in the swimming competition and this was also the first win for the country as well. The look of surprise and elation on her face warms my heart. {Sidenote: can anyone guess what purple polish she is wearing in this pic, cuz I need it.}Alia Atkinson

SInce her win on Saturday I have been stalking the internet for all things Alia.  You can check out her website, facebook and twitter. I found some really cute video she did back in 2012 which gives a lot of insight into the life of an olympic swimmer as well as showcases her personality. She began swimming at the Y at age four, holds the record for being the second Black woman to win a NCAA swimming title. Alia swam in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, 2008 in Beijing, China, and 2012 in London England.

Now is Alia natural? Honestly I have no idea. My guess would be that swimming and maintaining a perm while keeping hair on your head would be damn near impossible so I would think she is. I have seen pictures of her with straight hair that could be just a flat iron. I have also seen pictures of her wet hair that imply a curl or wave to it. I don’t really care either way I love that she is help breaking the stereotypes that Black girls don’t swim.

Check out this slide show from CNN on Women Sport Pioneers, including our niece and baseball phenom Mone Davis.

Product Review: Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Masque

Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Masque

Montagne Jeunesse

Chocolate Masque 

7 oz, < $2

Available at Ulta, Walmart, Kroger and other drug stores

ing: Purified water, Kaolin clay, Illite clay, Glycerin, Glyceryl stearate SE, Bentonite clay, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Ceteareth-20, Butyrospemum parkii (Shea butter),  Theobroma cacao (cocoa) shell powder, Sea salt (Dead Sea salt), Aroma, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Citric acid, Glucose oxidase, Iron oxides.

Nourish your skin with a feast of rich and creamy delights! Rich in natural ingredients this deep cleansing chocolate mud masque will help to unblock pores, allowing impurities to be drawn out.  Coupled with the skin healing properties of Dead Sea Salt and the moisturizing benefits of Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter, you will be left with renewed, re-hydrated and younger looking skin. For normal, dry and combination skin.

Taking care of my skin is very important.  At least weekly as part of my skincare regimen I deep cleanse, exfoliate and apply a mud mask.  I regularly mix up my own mask, but it is fun to try other masks available.  This mask caught my attention because it was inexpensive and a small one-time-use amount so I didn’t have to commit to an entire jar or tube.

5 Things I Like About This Product

  1. Its smells like chocolate. I actually thought about tasting it but then I came to my senses.
  2. While it is only 7 ounces, it is more than enough for a couple or three applications. I normally apply some to my face and neck and some to Lil Prince’s face as well and there is still more left in the package.
  3. The product goes on very smoothly.  The consistency is actually perfect not runny at all but not too thick that it is difficult to extract from the packaging.  It is very creamy comparable to thick body cream.
  4. It is super inexpensive. There are so many different flavors offered and I love that you could pick up a different one for every week of the month for less than $2 each.
  5. It rinses clean once dry and leaves the skin feeling tightened, balanced and hydrated.

I have used a couple different masks from this line. My personal favorite as far as overall feel is the Dead Sea Mud Pac.  An extra tip is to place the mask in the fridge before use, it will feel so good applying the cool mask to your skin. If you have any leftover mask you can push it toward the bottom of the pack, seal in a ziplock bag and place in the fridge for future use. I have left a previously opened pack in the fridge for two weeks and it was fine.  Next time you are perusing the beauty section of the drug or grocery store pick up mask and give it a try.

Camille Rose Curl Maker [Re]Launch Party

Camille Rose is [re] launching their Curl Maker product and they are celebrating with a party on InstaGram. Saturday 9/20 from 8 – 8 EST they will give away a full bottle of Curl Maker every hour! Follow them on IG @CamilleRoseNaturals and while you’re there follow me too @HereIsMySpout Camille Rose Curl Maker Launch Party

 

Fix Your Hair

For every one of us who have ever been told to “fix your hair” or asked “when are you going to *do* something to it” this poem is for you.  I love the passion and history with which she speak.  The closing line is my favorite: You can’t fix what was never broken.

Hair by Elizabeth Acevedo follow her on twitter @AcevedoWrites

 

Lupita on Sesame Street

I absolutely love Lupita Nyong’o. She can do absolutely no wrong with me. She wears her natural hair low in different cuts and styles, she carelessly flaunts her smooth brown skin and her smile is simply infectious. It makes me beam from the inside out that Black women are being seen for different types of beauty that has not been shown in the media before. Lupita Sesame Street

Lupita was on Sesame Street to talk about skin. She educated Elmo on why people, animals, and little monsters have skin. Best of all they brought up the wonderful thing about skin is that is comes in different colors.

Another one of my favs Janelle Monae tore it up on Sesame Street with ‘The Power of Yet’ song.  Yes to brown girls. Yes to positive images.