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Essence Semaj Henley

Essence Semaj Henley

5 Essential Oils Recommended for Hair and Skin

VIDEO: Beauty expert Essence Semaj gives her recommendations for essential oils for beautiful skin and strong and healthy hair


Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil is the liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant, a shrub, which is native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil is not very oily and is ideal for healthily hydrating skin and hair because it mimics the natural oils our bodies produce.

Castor Oil

A thick pale yellow oil obtained from castor beans, castor oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio appears to make castor oil beneficial to skin and hair.

A thick pale yellow oil obtained from castor beans, has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio appears to make castor oil beneficial to skin and hair.

Additionally, castor oil has traditionally been used topically for acne and other skin conditions, as well as hair loss, rashes and more.

You can thin out castor oil by mixing it with another oil, such as mint, rosemary, or jojoba oil.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant and has a history of use dating back thousands of years to the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

In addition to its uses for heart and brain health, hemp seed oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness to alleviate itching and irritation. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin.

When choosing a source of Hemp Seed Oil, you want to be sure it is derived from organically grown hemp that is GMO-free (not genetically altered). It should be first cold-pressed, and produced in low-light and a low-oxygen environment, as heat, light, and oxygen destroy many of its natural attributes. It should also be stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and prevent rancidity.

Hemp Seed Oil, a quality oil appropriate for nutritional, cosmetic, and medical uses, should have a dark green color and a rich, nutty flavor, and should always be packaged in a glass container, never plastic.

Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient for controlling moisture of the skin. Light and thin, grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over skin, when used as a carrier, oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils.

Grape seed oil is also used as a lubricant for shaving and as a growth and strengthening treatment for hair.

Tamanu Oil

Tamanu oil is derived from the large, blonde nuts of the Ati tree found in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Tamanu is considered to be one of the most effective agents in promoting the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and the growth of healthy skin.

What about coconut oil?

Coconut oil is making a huge comeback and many people find coconut oil to be very useful for hair and skin. However, Essence recommends coconut oil for hair and body, but not for the face because of coconut oil's tendency to clog pores. She also recommends creating your own personal oils by mixing and matching essential oils to match your personal needs.

3-D Nail Art A Passing Fad or Here to Stay?

3-D Nail Art Takes Nail Artistry to Another Level

A new 3-D nail art has taken social media by storm for its bubbly form. If you're obsessed with shaking snow globes then you're in for a treat.  

Yes, the nail bed is in fact layered with extra acrylic powder or gel then shaped into a round bubble. The 3-D nail art shapes the nail to resemble mini igloos.

If that wasn't enough, an even more funky fashion has spread through the web recently.

Nail technicians refer to them as "aquarium nails" or "water nails". The intricate 3-D nail art designs bring nail art to a whole new, constructive level. The process involves the nail technician inserting glitter, sequins, and water into clear nail tips sealed with a mixture of the powdered polymer & liquid monomer, according to Surprisingly, the aquarium nails I've seen look cute unlike the bubble nails.

3-D-Nail-Art Aquarium-Design Fashion-mouse-com Aquarium designed 3-D Nail Art Design. Photo Credit:

The bubble nails just have to go. Bubble nails look like a deformed growth from the nail bed and remind me of knob fingertips.

3-D-Nail-Art Bubble-Design Meme I-dont-get-it Examples of 3-D Nail Art Bubble Design

I could try the water nails. However, the water nails are perhaps not the best option because it would be a distraction by wearers who constantly move the glitter pieces around like a snow globe. And, I can already picture myself waving my hands every chance I get.

The water globe nails originated from South America, which is known for unique acrylic nail designs. I thought that acrylic flowers and butterflies applied to my nails were special and groundbreaking. Apparently, aquarium nails have brought the term "wacky nails" to a whole new level.

As for the price, a set of nails will draw your wallet back about $500 a year from $40 worth of upkeep per month.

3-D Nail Art Aquarium Design Wearers Beware

The water suspended, nail embellishments are fun and daring. It should be looked upon as a treat and worn for a short period of time. Since bacteria and fungus grow in water and the aquarium nails contain the H2O, I would be careful not to wear a set of nails for too long. Wearing a set of water nails for a short period of time could prevent certain nail diseases developing.

Since, a good number of people will not get the "memo" and others will probably ignore it, I see this type of nail art being a short-term fad, as people get sick, the regulators will not be too far behind.

So to the responsible people, have fun!

Women Ruling Runway at New York Men's Fashion Week

Males weren't the only models found on the runway at this year's 2015 Men's Fashion Week NYC.

Last week, after several years of a hiatus, the 2015 Men's Fashion Week NYC took place over four exciting days. A new vibe was brought to the streets as fashion bloggers; editors; models; buyers; stylists; and fashionistas attended each show. The focus was finally on the men's fashion, a change from large crowds driving the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, which features primarily women's fashion.

Buyers and press had a taste of the beautiful male, female, and celebrity models on the Men's Fashion Week runways. Several models projected androgynous and co-ed looks.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell strutted in a skimpy black bikini, and thigh high boots, paired with a blazer for the Givenchy show. She turned a man's blazer into a sexy piece that any man would overlook as her own. It seems that will most likely be the case for now since the unisex style is trending. Men, brace yourselves, for you might find your significant other rummaging through your closet before work in the morning.

Using female models enabled the designer to show more pieces in one show. Models styled in co-ed clothing makes the clothing line more versatile and mysterious.
The gorgeous Kris Gottschalk blended seamlessly in Public School's Spring/ Summer 2016 lineup. From a glance, you would've thought she was one of the guys, rocking a short haircut with a tomboy style.

Jeroen-Teerlinck Kris-Gottschalk Courtesy-of-Theory 600x748Jeroen Teerlinck & Kris Gottschalk Photo: Courtesy of Theory

Gottschalk said about the co-ed fashion trend, "I've heard people talking about the new gender ambiguity. You see it, now a lot of the guys have very long hair, and then I'm in there with the short hair. It's interesting. Since fashion is such a creative industry, I think people like to play with perceptions and expectations."

Kris-Gottschalk Photo-Courtesy-of-Public-School 590x782Model Kris Gottschalk. Photo: Courtesy of Public School

It's not surprising that fashion is moving towards gender ambiguity. Models will be given a broader spectrum of work. With the less conservative approach towards fashion, people are breaking boundaries and wearing what they see fits. Isn't that what fashion is all about?

This evolving world creates new practices and less tradition every day. More people are open to being who they truly are. Caitlyn Jenner formerly known as Bruce Jenner is a prime example. Jenner's move into the transgender world has made her a popular figure in the LGBT community for becoming a transgender. Some schools are now promoting LGBT clubs to help make LGBT people comfortable with who they are and to show that the environment is accommodating.

Acknowledging different sexualities gradually forms a custom of acceptance by many people and an influence on some.

When it is all said and done, fashion is a reflection of you. It should be exactly how you want it, no matter if your feminine, or a tomboy. Remember to stay true to yourself, regardless of what you see glamorized in the media.

The Best Summer Hairstyles For Ladies With Curly Hair

What's a curly haired girl to do to stay fabulous in the summer?

Just because the summer air is filled with heat and humidity, doesn't mean it's time to let your self-presentation go. The summertime is no excuse to look lazy or have bad hair days. There are many ways to for your hair to look presentable, no matter the weather, season or place.

Curly-haired women, and especially Black women, worry about their mane in summer weather because the humidity and heat can cause their textured or natural hair to become tightly coiled or frizz out of place. Many a woman has left home with a perfectly styled hair-do only to get to her destination with a horrendous mane.

There are many hairstyles that will help you keep your self-assurance and have you light up any room. Instead of walking straight to the bathroom when you get to an event, you can walk straight onto the main floor and mingle. There's no need to constantly ask your friends if your hair is frizzing up or sweating out when you have the perfect summer hairstyle.

Get a Weave

No problem! There's nothing wrong with a weave, as long as you love your hair without it. If you are psychologically attached to a weave then perhaps, there may be a self- esteem issues if you don't feel good without it.

A weave is a great way to protect and aid in hair-growth through the summer weather. There are unlimited textures and colors to play with. It is also an opportunity for women with curly hair to experiment with straight hair without the potential harm of chemicals or straighteners.


Weaves can also be of benefit to women with straight hairstyles by allowing the straight hairstyle to last longer than 2 weeks. Closures are great for styling with a weave because you don't have to worry about your edges sweating out or curling up. A weave can also limit the amount of heat damage to your real hair and avoiding the over-processing of your hair.

Braids Galore

Braids are easy to keep for the summer especially if you sleep on satin sheets. If you don't have satin or silk sheets wear a hair tie that's close to these materials. Covering your hair at night prevents split ends and dry, frizzy hair. There are many braided styles to choose from: fish tail, plaits, box braids, plaited twists, and twist outs. Braids are also good styling techniques for curls or wavy hair because when you unravel them they look fabulous, darling.


The How To: Twist/ Braid-outs

Wash your hair. Then deep condition your hair, keeping a cap on for at least 20 minutes to fully penetrate the hair follicle. Next rinse and apply a leave-in conditioner for extra moisture, smoothness, and shine. Braid or twist your hair however way you want your hair to fall when it's unraveled. Sleep with a silky hair tie.

Lastly, gently unravel the braids and fluff out to your desired fullness. You can spritz hair sheen after styling. Braid-outs last long from the conditioned hair being gathered into a pattern. When you are out enjoying a hot summer day, your hair pattern will stay longer than if you were to do a wash and go.

Essence-Semaj-photo-of-braid-out 600x600

So, don't sweat it, follow these tips and allow your hairstyle to stay "on fleek".

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