My Person of the Week

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One of the reasons I started this blog is because I wanted to profile women who I think are exceptional. I am hoping to do this every week (but truth-be-told Dominican_Enigma’s schedule does get little nuts so it may be every other week or every other month lol).

The woman I want to profile is owner of my favorite salon Reaction. Her name is Chela Polanco. One of the reasons I wanted to profile her is I know that many of us women, go to the salons and beyond getting our hair done we never get to know the person behind our “do." Chela’s story truly fascinated me.

Chela came to the United States at sixteen years old from the Dominican Republic. Upon her arrival, she knew she wanted a better life for herself and for her
family than the Bronx apt they lived in. She quickly learned English and after high school enrolled in NYC’s Baruch College-graduating with a Bachelors in Computer Science. Upon graduating, she became a computer programmer working in upstate New York.

However, at this time Chela had gotten married and was working very far from her home in the Bronx, and the money as a programmer wasn’t that great. She quit the computer programmer job hoping to start her own restaurant or software company. (Don’t you love an ambitious woman?) But alas, both plans fell through. Then her sister who was a hairdresser told her that she needed to sell her fledgling salon and Chela quickly took over. She quickly changed everything in the salon around, from the decorum, adding flat screen televisions and a sectional couch to removing the cheap damaging products and adding proven quality ones. If you go to Chela’s salon, you will notice all of her products are pretty high-end. You see Chela says that she doesn’t want to just “do” your hair; she wants to make sure your hair is 100% healthy so that you can come back and bring your friends. When Chela does something, she makes sure she does it right.

Chela says that one misconception that many people have is that the blow-dryer can damage the hair. She claims that is false. She believes that the blow-dryer combined with the right products can lead to much healthier and longer hair.

One of the reasons I love Chela’s salon is because many of my friends do not use a relaxer on their hair and I’ve seen many other Dominican salons refuse to work on them. Not so at Chela’s salon. She welcomes everyone, and they all leave-incredibly satisfied.

Chela Polanco -my Person of the Week.


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Although I do love make-up, I am not the type to pound it on. I don’t believe in waking up looking like The Dominica Enigma and after applying my makeup resembling Krusty the Clown. I tried to keep my makeup incredibly subtle and natural looking. Many times people can’t even tell I’m wearing any.

Now my love for Revlon Colorstay in caramel started around 2 ½ years ago when I first began dating my honey bunn. I was captivated by him and tried to make a huge impression. So on one of our first dates, I made sure I looked perfect. I put on a sexy Betsey Johnson Black dress, some gold 3 inch stiletto heels and a perfectly made-up face (or so I thought).

Now at the time I was using another foundation, and after a wonderful evening of a Broadway play (Julius Ceasar with Denzel Washington) and a romantic dinner (Tao NY), we walked to his car. Before we got in, he reached over to me and gave me the tightest and biggest hug ever. It was amazing. My face was pressed against his perfect white shirt. I was in heaven inhaling his delicious masculine scent, and holding him so close. When we parted, I immediately stared into his gorgeous brown eyes and smiled. But then, my eyes wandered down to his white shirt. OH MY GOD, I WAS MORTIFIED!! There was a brown imprint of my face on his shirt. Literally he had hugged me and my runny foundation had left a HUGE stamp of me on his shirt!! Seriously, I was so freaking embarrassed that I was about to just take my shoes off, turn the opposite direction and begin running. But he just laughed and said it wasn’t a big deal. The next day I threw out that foundation and looked for one that wouldn’t leave traces of me when I held him again.

I found Colorstay with Softflex and have never looked back. Hands down Colorstay is the best foundation ever. I’ve used them all i.e., NARS, Armani’s (which I did love too), YSL, and Macs. However, Colorstay works for me like no other. First off when I put this on, it looks incredibly natural. I am plagued with an oily t-zone but dry everywhere else. There are two types of Colorstay; one for combination and the other for dry skin. I use the one for combination and my skin loves it. Second, this does not come off. If I apply it on in the morning, when I look in the mirror at night my skin still looks flawless. Third I am prone to breakouts but NOT WITH THIS. This does not irritate my skin at all. I love this stuff.

Loving this

The Dominican Enigma has been extremely tired lately with school and trying to take over the world so she has not had a chance to post (why the hell am I writing in the third person-ok back to the real me). Anyway, I got a really cute e-mail from someone asking me why I don’t post about any beauty products i.e., lip-gloss, eye-shadow, or blush. That’s actually interesting-considering I love them all. So I will begin posting about my favorite make-up as of next week. But as you know, I love hair stuff. I def agree with Martin Luther when he said:

“The hair is the richest ornament of women’

I wanted to share some great shampoos and conditioner that I’ve been using. The Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo and conditioner.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Giovanni 50/50 Shampoo

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Giovanni 50/50 Conditioner.

I first saw the wonders of these products on my friend Kim’s hair. Kim (who reads my blog and knows that I am writing this) had a hair of unhealthy, dry, no-shine, thin, and split-end mousy brown hair. (Kim you know I love you to death.) I often recommended products to her but she would never use them. Then one day I met up with Kim at my favorite restaurant (Tao in NY) and was flabbergasted. Kim’s once fried looking red hair, looked out of this world. Full of luster, shine and volume I was in shock. She told me her boyfriend’s mother had recommended these products. Well, ever since that night, I have used these products on a consistent basis. My hair loves this stuff. I love the smell too although I can’t put my finger on what it is. Again, it has no Sulfates, which I prefer. Everything in this line is organic and natural-no silicones or chemicals in it. It’s worth the buy. sells it for a steal.

Save your money and buy some shoes!

When I think about all the money I spent on products that promised they would make my skin look like a baby’s bottom and instead I ended up with more pimples or just irritated skin-I get soooo annoyed. Now or days, most of those products are on my dresser, half-used with dust on top of them. I can’t bear to throw out a $195.00 skin cream (Do you think there’s a market on eBay for half-used stuff?) One of them was Crème de La-Mer, which I found out was ineffecitve anyway: Here is an excerpt from Paula Begoun’s site

"The reality is that this very basic, and I mean really basic, cream doesn't contain anything particularly extraordinary or unique, unless you want to believe that seaweed extract (sort of like seaweed tea) can somehow be worth this much money, or that it can in some way heal burns and scars. According to Susan Brawley, professor of plant biology at the University of Maine, "seaweed extract isn't a rare, exotic, or expensive ingredient. Seaweed extract is readily available and used in everything from cosmetics to food products and medical applications." Creme de la Mer contains mostly seaweed extract, mineral oil, petrolatum (similar to Vaseline), glycerin, waxlike thickening agents, plant oils, plant seeds, minerals, vitamins, more thickeners, and preservatives. How expensive can it be to stick some seaweed and vitamins in a cosmetic? According to the cosmetics chemists I've interviewed, it costs pennies, not hundreds of dollars.”

Now that I gave up my job to pursue my dreams, before I buy anything, I thoroughly research it. A girl does not have money to waste. So I wanted to introduce you to my Holy Grail moisturizer.

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This moisturizer is incredible. Although I often saw Aveeno in drugstores, I never gave it any mind. Then I started reading about it in books recommended by many dermatologists. The Skin Type Solution written by Leslie Bauman M.D. highly recommends this. Then when Paula Begoun’s book, Don’t Go To the Cosmetic Counter Without Me, highly recommended it, I knew I had to try it. I have never looked at another moisturizer since. First off this moisturizer has what many of the high-end one’s don’t-SPF. Secondly it contains retinol, soy and Vitamin C which are three proven anti-aging ingredients. Soy is also effective with the removal of dark marks.
My best friend swears by the Aveeno Clear complexion. You decide.

Beauty for less

So yesterday I was in Sephora, with a good girlfriend of my mine who was complaining about the after-effect of her pimples (dark marks) and she insisted on getting Peter Thomas Roth’s 10% glycolic acid for $45.00. She claims that she heard it works wonders. I immediately advised her to step away from the product, took her to the nearest drugstore and showed her a product that was better for way less: The Alpha Hydrox 12% Glycolic Souffle.

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I first heard about this product from reading Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. This book discusses beauty products in detail and debunks all the fabulous claims of the many brands by examining their ingredients. A lot of products that claim they will "change your life," are usually ineffective, or just “nothing special” products with a beautiful packaging on them. Not so with this product. She highly recommended this. First of all, The Alpha Hydrox Soffle has 12% Alpa Hydroxy Acid (which may be a bit strong for some, so you might want to use it every other day or even twice a week). Please note: In Paula Begoun’s Beauty Bible she states that Alpha Hydroxy in percentages of 4%-10% are not effective for inhibiting melanin production and thereby will NOT lighten skin discolorations. Luckily the soufflé has a 12% of AHA. It also has a PH of 4

Now, about two years ago, after I really started my beauty regimen (nutritional supplements, moisturizer and sunscreen), my pimples were gone but the dark marks remained (brown skin women know what I’m talking about). These marks were more annoying than the pimples themselves. I was getting very frustrated, and not to mention depressed (my cheeks were covered in them). My Dermatologist was recommending hydroquinone which for some reason lightened my surrounding skin and not the dark marks (go figure). After trying the hydroquinone, and trying everything under my kitchen sink, and still having no results, desperate for change, I grabbed Paula’s book and read about this product. Well the results are nothing short of amazing. You must understand, my cheeks were covered by dark spots. I would wash my face; put the Alpha Hydrox Souffle on, let it set for about 5 minutes, and then put my moisturizer on after and of course my SPF30. After about a month, most of the marks on my face had lightened to the point where they were hardly visible, plus my skin glowed. This product is incredible, and although I don’t use it as often as I used to (every other day) I would recommend this. Only $14.99 in Drugstores, as I’ve said before, Beauty does not have to be expensive.

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