Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 6

A little surprised (but happy) to see us at #6.🙂 I have not had a great week. I’ve been suffering from heartache caused by unrequited love and my computer has not been repaired yet. I’m struggling to think of some … Continue reading

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Review: Chagrin Valley Cafe Moreno Solid Shampoo

I bought Café Moreno in my last Chagrin Valley haul.

“A natural shampoo infused with coffee and cloves. Brunettes have been pouring fresh brewed coffee on their hair for centuries to help transform flat brown tones to into shiny, rich color and maybe even do away with some of those pesky gray strands.

  • Organic cloves help enhance warm tones
  • Fresh brewed organic coffee enriches brown hues
  • Nourishing oils and butters moisturize and soften dry, dull, damaged hair
  • Improves luster and manageability
  • Good for dry hair”

I experienced decent results with this shampoo. My hair felt completely clean and there was no greasy residue or slick feeling after washing my hair with this. I bought this particular shampoo because it is promoted as a possible hair color darkener. I saw no difference in my hair color after repeated uses and my gray hairs remained gray.

The shampoo has a pleasant coffee scent which isn’t overpowering or terribly strong. It did make my hair shiny and lustrous.  I experienced no rich moisture or softness from using this, but it also didn’t make my hair very dry.

Pros: Efficient cleanser for the hair, doesn’t make my hair too dry, nice coffee scent.
Cons: Doesn’t make hair color darker, doesn’t moisturize.

Grade: B-

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Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 5

One week without the computer! I still can’t believe I haven’t exploded yet. I’ve been using my tablet but it’s been a real hindrance.

I hope you all enjoyed the guest posts. I plan on publishing more in the future. Are there any topics you’d like to see discussed by the guest writers?

So how was your week, lovely? Here is what I did this past week:

1) Visited my friend in the hospital because they just had a baby! For privacy reasons I don’t think I can show you all photos, so just take my word for it when tell you that he is KEWT with a capital K! His name is Yalah and I got to hold him. 😀

2) I had brunch with my BFF and saw his new apartment. It’s beautiful. He has a small balcony and a gorgeous modern kitchen.

3) I bought Entemanns Chessmen cookies. Look, I’m not saying that I would ever rob a cookie factory but……if burglar kits go on sale all bets are off. 

4) I used a $10 coupon at Charming Charlie and got 3 pairs of earrings and one necklace for $20. I bought a cute bee-themed gold necklace I’ve been wearing since Friday.

5) My dresses arrived today from the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I got one from Vince Camuto and one from Maggy London.

The Vince Camuto Printed Crepe dress.

The Maggy London Print Wrap dress.

Have you done anything nice for yourself this past week? I recommend holding a newborn. Doing that brightens your whole week!

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A Guide to Sunscreen for the Richly Pigmented (a.k.a. People of Color)

Please enjoy this guest post from Efe.

 

Melanin is the pigment that endows we human beings with a most wondrous range of skin, hair and eye colors. People of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Native American, First Nations, Alaska Native, Indigenous Australian, and/or Polynesian ancestry tend to have richly pigmented skin. Deeper skin tones confer more protection from ultraviolet (UV) light than lighter skin tones due to the presence of greater amounts of melanin – the more melanin in one’s skin, the richer one’s skin color and the more protection from UV light one’s skin confers (Downie and Cook-Bolden).

As such, people with richly pigmented skin are less likely to experience photodamage as a result of sun exposure than their lighter skinned counterparts. Despite this fact, people of color DO  get sunburns and people of ALL skin tones are susceptible to UV-induced DNA damage as a result of sun exposure (Battie et al).  Skin cancer is far less prevalent in people or color BUT when it does occur it’s far more advanced and has a worse prognosis (Abagi, et al.). As a future public health professional and skincare addict, I implore POC, and everyone else, to wear sunscreen daily and practice other sun protection behaviors.

We’ve established that everyone, regardless of skin tone, should wear sunscreen daily to prevent photodamage. Now let’s talk a specific skincare benefit of sunscreen for the richly pigmented – defense against the dark marks (aka post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It’s well known that folks with deeper skin tones tend to be quite prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), a type of skin discoloration that occurs after an overproduction of melanin in response to an inflammatory event (acne, etc.).  PIH is more prevalent and difficult to to treat in those with deeper skin tones because of the abundance of melanin present in their skin. Lack of sun protection via sunscreen use makes PIH even more difficult to resolve (Downie and Cook-Bolden). If you’re a POC who is PIH-prone daily use of sunscreen is a must. Without it all of your valiant PIH fading efforts will be for naught.

Now that we know why everyone should wear sunscreen daily, including those with deeper skin tones, let’s discuss the nuances of choosing a sunscreen for your needs. Finding a sunscreen is a difficult task regardless of skin color but it’s especially hard to find  one that’s POC-friendly. Most sunscreens aren’t designed with the richly pigmented in mind so they can leave a ghastly white cast on one’s skin. With that said, here are some guidelines for choosing a sunscreen suitable for richly pigmented skin:

  • If you avoid inorganic UV filters (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) in sunscreen, then you’ll avoid the dreaded white cast. As such, look for sunscreens entirely comprised of organic UV filters (every other UV filter except the aforementioned).
  • If you’d like to use sunscreen with inorganic UV filters, look for micronized zinc oxide and avoid titanium dioxide. Micronized zinc oxide is very unlikely to leave a white cast – even on richly pigmented skin. Titanium dioxide will most likely leave a white cast – on any skin tone – so buyer beware.

Now that we’ve addressed generalities, we can move onto specific sunscreen recommendations. My skin is deep brown in color (shade G100 in CoverFX makeup). If a sunscreen doesn’t give my skin a white cast, then it’s probably a good option for all skin tones. The following are my sunscreen recommendations for protection from photodamage and defense against the dark marks – sans white cast:

  • CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30
    • It utilizes an inorganic UV filter (micronized zinc oxide) and organic filters (homosalate, meradimate, octinoxate and octocrylene). It’s the most moisturizing sunscreen on this list. It costs $15 for 3 ounces.
  • Devita Natural Skin Care Solar Protective Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30+
    • It utilizes an inorganic UV filter (micronized zinc oxide). It was the first sunscreen I used and I wore it daily for a couple of years. It’s lightweight, mattifying, soothing, fragrance-free and wears well under makeup. The only con is that sometimes it doesn’t play well with other skincare products. It costs $20 for 2.5 ounces.

Good luck in your search for a sunscreen that’s well suited for your richly pigmented skin! May you prevent photodamage and the worsening of PIH for the rest of your days!

Sources:

Agbai, O. N., Buster, K., Sanchez, M., Hernandez, C., Kundu, R. V., Chiu, M., … and Lim, H. W. (2014). Skin cancer and photoprotection in people of color: A review and recommendations for physicians and the public. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 70(4), 748-762. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24485530

Battie, C., Gohara, M., Verschoore, M., and Roberts, W. (2013). Skin cancer in skin of color: an update on current facts, trends, and misconceptions. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 12(2), 194-198. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377393

Downie, J., and Cook-Bolden, F. (2004). Beautiful Skin of Color: A Comprehensive Guide to Asian, Olive, and Dark Skin. Harper Collins.

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Colourpop Ultra Metallic Lip Swatches

Please enjoy this guest post from xglitterclub.

So, I have been out of the Colourpop loop for some time and missed out on the first couple of batches of the Metallic Lips. Kind of glad I did since apparently people were receiving empty tubes with horrible brushes. However, when I saw the new colors they were releasing, I loved the lighter shades and jumped on the bandwagon.

The colors I ordered were Flitter which I would describe as an iridescent coral/orange, very pretty and was my favorite once I saw it swatched. Lights Out which is pretty much just gold, Salt which is a light brown with golden flecks, and a color from the first release called Man Eater which is a rose gold.

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First off, I compared the brush to an Ultra Matte called Drive In. As you can see, the brushes are still similar, but I do find that the Ultra Metallic brush is a little shaggier. However, it hasn’t affected application in any way.

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BUT, the formula for these leaves something to be desired. They’re not overly glossy, but they’re also not soft enough for my liking. I don’t know how to describe it, but the texture is just too dry (but it never dries down completely like an ultra matte) and you have to build the color up. My skin tone is between an NC45 -50 and I will have to use a lip liner with all of these except Man Eater. I tried blending them in using NYX Toast and it was somewhat difficult because the texture is so dry. The colors are also weirdly metallicy. They look like colored tin foil on your lips. I am going to have to play with these a little. I do think the first batch was more brown skin friendly.

Here is a swatch in normal lighting.

From left to right: Flitter, Lights Out, Man Eater and Salt.

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Here they are in flash. I love Flitter.
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Overall, I think I may skip out on these next time. They’re a unique idea, but the formulation and pigments are just not enough for me.

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My First Peel : MUAC Fade Peel

Please enjoy this guest post from xglitterclub.

 

For the past few months, I have been on a quest to achieve glowy, clear skin. Th skin that I used to have. After years of not taking care of my skin by not properly washing my makeup off, using St. Ives Apricot scrub everyday (yikes!), Milk of Magnesia as an oil control primer, and then moving on to using African Black Soap everyday, my skin was in major need of moisture. It was red, dull, and my pores were huge. I started a new regimen designed to fix these issues and switched to a a gentle face cleanser by Cerave and then added chemical exfoliants from Paula’s Choice (2% BHA and 8% AHA), a vitamin C serum from Timeless skincare, and most importantly, a sunscreen.

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I started seeing results within a month. My skin was no longer red,the texture evened out a bit, but the most exciting change was my nose! I had completely cleared out my sebaceous filaments and my nose was now smooth! Originally, I had eased my way into the chemical exfoliants because for the most part, these products can be harsh. I eventually worked my way into using them every night, alternating nightly. However, at the 2 month mark I felt as if things were slowing down and every time my skin became oily my pores became enlarged and my skin still had texture to it. Being the impatient person that I am, I wanted results faster. I have very hardy skin and have never had any sensitivities to anything. I had thought about increasing the concentration of my exfoliants but instead I opted to start trying a chemical peel.

One of the peels I started with was the Makeup Artist Choice Fade Peel. I picked this one because of some stubborn spots on my face that were not going away and even though I have heard conflicting arguments about Black skin and glycolic acid, while using the PC 8% AHA, I noticed my skin would glow after using it. The main ingredients to this peel are as follows: glycolic acid 30%, lactic acid 20%, kojic acid 2%, malic acid 3%. I was told by some others that since I had never tried a peel before that this one may be too harsh. I started watching Youtube videos about peels and I was actually starting to think I had made the wrong choice and was a bit nervous about trying it.

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To prepare for the peel that was to be done on a Friday night, I didn’t use any exfoliants on Thursday night and I also didn’t use my Vitamin C Friday morning. That night I used coconut oil to remove my makeup, making sure to pay extra attention this time. I then used my Glossier Jelly Cleanser to wash my makeup off, rinsing my face and then washing again to make sure my skin was completely clear. Next, I used the pH Prep Solution on a cotton ball to completely rid my skin of any oils or makeup left over. The pH prep actually did sting slightly which made me a bit nervous.

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Moving on, it was now time for the peel. The peel itself is a thick, brown liquid that looks and smells somewhat like maple syrup. I added the peel to my forehead first, as per the instructions and then moved on to the other parts of my face, adding a little more to those spots that wouldn’t fade. It did sting slightly, and even though I had originally only planned to leave it on for 1 minute at the most, as time went by, I realized that my face was in fact not burning off  so I ended up leaving it on for a full 5 minutes. I rinsed my face off with cold water, washed with the Glossier and then added my Badger Balm Argan Oil to my face which has the consistency of vaseline. Afterwards, I had a bit of redness and I noticed when I touched my face a few minutes directly after washing the peel, there were some sensitive areas, but over all I haven’t had any negative experiences. The results from this first peel are minimal, which I expected, but I am excited to see what the future holds and  I am excited to try the Salicylic Acid peel next.

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Do You Ever Use Special Containers to Store Makeup or Tools?

I showed you all my soap dish purchase in the previous post, but I have yet to show you the second vintage item I recently bought from eBay.

I nearly always use regular baking soda as deodorant. It’s cheap, widely available, gets the job done and is natural. Until today I kept a bulky orange box of it on my bathroom shelf.

I was browsing on eBay when I saw this gorgeous purple and white floral sugar bowl.

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Isn’t it beautiful? I had the idea to use it to store my baking soda. It looks so much nicer on my shelf than that orange box, and it’s a  chance to own a vintage item and actually use it.

My question to you is, have you ever repurposed a container for a beauty job? Do you use candy bowls to store cotton balls? Do you use shoeboxes to store nail polish? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Face of the Week: Vol. 5

What I have been wearing recently:

Face: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 100+, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel (where I need it), e.l.f Undereye Primer (just under the eyes), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach under the eyes, e.l.f Undereye Powder under the eyes, Urban Decay De-slick Mattifying Powder (all over face).

Tools: Lowe-Cornell brush, Essence of Beauty Control Powder brush.

Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer, Colourpop eyeshadows in Desert and Bandit (all over lid together), a dark brown eyeshadow from the Morphe palette, Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Booting Eyeliner + Serum in Black, Buxom Mascara in Black.

Tools: Revlon Shadow brush, Smashbox Crease brush, Sephora Blending brush, Revlon eyelash curler.

Cheeks: Colourpop blush in Cruel Intentions.

Tools: Coastal Scents Angled Blush brush.

Lips: Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips in Lost.

Tell me about your Face of the Week in the comments.

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Tuesday Talk: Self Care Sessions Vol. 4

First order of business: find out who put the hex on me!

Not only is the dratted oven not working, my laptop isn’t either. I am typing this up from my tablet (bless this device). I can’t upload any photos and I can’t retrieve photos from my laptop.

Drat. 

In any case, let’s have our weekly session. I hope all of you had a better week than I did.

Things I did:

1. Bought myself the entire “Mask and the Mirror” by Loreena Mckennit. It’s on YouTube if you want to check it out.

https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=249ffn371#/watch?v=BVV7sf4QwjU

2. I found a beautiful vintage porcelain soap dish on eBay for $13. I ordered it and it arrived a few days ago. It’s been sitting on my bathroom shelf with a bar of Yardley London English Lavender soap resting in it. It’s so much more elegant than that plastic lifeboat-shaped monstrosity I used to have.

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3. My Gothic Cathedrals book arrived! It contains a lot more text than I thought it would. When I can get access to a computer that allows me to transfer pics I will update with lots of pics.

4. I’ve been reading “Suffer the Children” by Peter Tremayne. It’s not bad but I want to read it again after i finish it because I feel like I have interrupted the reading too many times to properly follow the story.

Nayirrah Waheed poem:

“You.

not wanting me.

Was the beginning of me.

Wanting myself.

Thank you.”

-the hurt

What have you all done this week?

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Use It Up: Vol. 3

Here is what’s finished in my beauty closet:

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-Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Sangria- this is beautifully rich and deep in color. It sort of fades nicely too, without leaving a ring of color on my mouth.

-Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in New York Scene- A true stain with more pigment packed into it. This is a rich berry red that works very well as a fall shade.

-L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick in Persistent Plum- A gloriously rich plum for fall. It leans a little red, but that works for me because my skin tone is very golden and the red tones are flattering.

-Wet n Wild Coverall Powder in Deep Tan- this is a very good powder for a drugstore brand. It worked pretty well for my oily skin. Plus, there was no strong fragrance or a powdery look to it when applied.

-Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate- The HPP from Bite have a better staying power than their standard lipsticks. I wore this to work consistently for months.

-Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach-  this is a staple in my beauty bag for sure. It is the best thing for my incorrigible dark undereye circles.

-Lancome Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover- got this on Ebay as a travel size. It truly does live up to the hype. It’s not just another overpriced eye makeup remover.

-Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil- This is an oil cleanser that doesn’t really foam up or transform into a soapy substance at any point. It breaks down all your makeup and sunblock and prepares the skin for the final stage of cleansing.

Items I Will Repurchase: Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Sangria, Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in New York Scene, L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick in Persistent Plum, Wet n Wild Coverall Powder in Deep Tan, Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Dark Peach, Lancome Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover.

I may possibly repurchase Wet n Wild Coverall Powder in Deep Tan if I cannot find an alternative or if I run out of my current powder and have trouble getting another one.

I won’t be repurchasing the Boscia oil cleanser.

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