Thursday was like a holy pilgrimage for a product junkie like me. I have wanted to try Carolâ€™s Daughter products ever since Oprah gave them the big thumbs up in her magazine. Then Jada Pinkett, Jay-Z, and Mary J. Blige came on board, and they opened a big store in New York that I yearned to shop at. (Donâ€™t get me started on New York. The resources for curly-haired girls there seem to be mind-boggling. Every time I hear about a great new product or salon, itâ€™s in NYC. I want to go on an AfroBella sabbatical there, someday.) I was often tempted to just purchase the products online, but I wasnâ€™t sure where to begin. The names all seemed so intriguing and mysterious. Khoret Amen. Tui. Clarity. I wanted to smell them. I wanted to feel the texture of the product before I made a decision. Finally, Carolâ€™s Daughter products became available at Sephora. Not all Sephoras, mind you. It really annoys me that this product wouldnâ€™t be deemed universally desirable. Whatâ€™s the big demographic difference between Aventura and Dadeland Mall?
I got to Aventura Mall around 2:00. Mary J. Blige wasnâ€™t expected to make an appearance until 5. I do love Mary, but I didnâ€™t come to the event planning to meet her. I was there to meet Lisa Price. Sheâ€™s the creator of Carolâ€™s Daughter, and started making the products in her kitchen back in 1993. Her success story reminds me of black beauty products pioneers like Madame C.J Walker and Annie Malone. From the outset it was evident that this event would be different and special. Velvet ropes snaked a Z shaped line outside the store. A DJ booth was set up at the front of Sephora â€“ the first time Dem Franchise Boyz and Rick Ross was played in those scented halls, Iâ€™m certain. When I met Lisa, I immediately complimented her on her fabulous turquoise and gold paisley skirt. â€œGirl, I got this at Marshallâ€™s,â€ she laughed. That was all she needed to say. Lisaâ€™s an AfroBella kind of lady; a bargain shopper with an eye for quality.
We chatted about shopping and she gave me very detailed and honest hair advice. She is currently wearing her hair in braids, so the Clarity Shampoo works best for her, but she also canâ€™t resist the Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner (which I will review soon. But for the record, I love it!). She tends to shy away from oily products when she has braids, so as to not attract dust. She advised me to try the Mimosa Healthy Hair Butter (I plan to, someday), and to detangle my hair when itâ€™s dry. Then in the shower, wash with the Rosemary Mint Herbal Shampoo, and condition it with the Khoret Amen Hair Smoothie (which smells like I died and went to ylang-ylang heaven). She said I should finger-curl and twirl my curls when wet in the shower, then let my hair dry naturally. I plan to try these products eventually, but I started out by purchasing the Hair Milk that I had heard so much about, and also the Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner. Lisa also suggested that I comb my hair from the bottom up in the shower. I did that yesterday, and I canâ€™t believe I was combing from the root to the tip before. What a terrible idea that was! Combing my hair with a wide-tooth comb and liberally applied conditioner in the shower made the world of difference for me. No more knots, minimal pulling, and pretty, defined curls.
I stuck around for Mary J. Bligeâ€™s appearance, even though I had the distinct impression that I wouldnâ€™t get to meet her or take a picture with her. I was right. Although the end was a bit disappointing in that I was denied a one-on-one with MJB, I got to see how Carolâ€™s Daughter had affected people. All shades of women came to meet Lisa, to seek her unruffled and sagacious hair advice, and to scream for Mary. When Mary strutted in, the crowd went wild and the flashbulbs started popping. It reinforced for me how weird and uncomfortable it would be to be famous. And the consequent posts on Concrete Loop and Crunk & Disorderly did that even more. Mary looked pretty at the event, but greasy and tired in the photos. And damn, the haters had a field day. But who among us hasnâ€™t taken a terrible picture before? I know I have quite a few. Hell, even the photo I’ve posted below of me and Lisa Price is like a study between shiny and matte skin. Miami’s heat and humidity will do that to your face if you don’t use the right products (often and liberally) to combat it Both of us needed a serious touch-up. So ladies, don’t be caught looking like you rubbed some Texas toast on your forehead. Before any photo op, preserve your sexy with some blotting sheets. I wish I had. I know Mary feels the same.
It made me sad that some people were saying that they wouldnâ€™t buy the products based on Maryâ€™s appearance. Carolâ€™s Daughter doesnâ€™t make mattifier, people. Itâ€™s a line of down-home skin and hair care products made by women like me, for women like me. I appreciate the aesthetic, and I definitely plan to review more of their stuff as soon as I can.