Archive | May, 2013

Summer holidays booked??? Here’s what to pack next to your sunscreen……

30 May

I’ve always thought that hot bottles were a great idea! You feel cold, heat up some water, put it in you bottle and voila! you instantly  feel warm! I thought, who ever came up with that is a genius…… and then I thought, well maybe not! why don’t cold water bottles exist?? I mean we don’t have too many options when we’re too warm, and the ones we currently have, never get the job done quite right!
Well let me tell you, that very thought escaped me ever so quickly, after having used one of the most refreshing summer products that are presently out there : thermal water
Thermal water is a miracle water which essentially soothes and refreshes your face with a single spray!  Now I haven’t gone crazy yet so this isn’t all  in my head, the reason why thermal water has the ability to do this is because it comes from the untouched waters (untouched by humans anyways) of the beautiful glaciers and lakes of France. Meaning it’s filled with essential minerals and nutrients that you would never find in still water, or better yet, tap water.
What better substance to put on your face than one that has been untouched by humans in a multi-mineral environment? 
 The debate between La Roche Posay thermal water and Avene thermal water will always be ongoing, as both French brands are absolutely amazing!  (leave it to the French to perfect something as simple as water!)  and believe it or not, but  both products are equally effective!
So why should you include this in your hand luggage?
One reason being that there is nothing worse than travelling while you’re too warm. You’re flushed, you feel like you’re sweating and you just want to shower really!  What can be worse than that? Well how about arriving  to your destination without freshening up at all!? that really sounds like a nightmare for me, one that could and should  be avoided with a travel size thermal spray.
It’s a simple solution! All you do is spray this directly on you’re face 2 to 3 times a day, especially when you start feeling warm. No rest room required, no mirror required, nada! After a few spritz and you will instantly feel your  skin coming back to life! Also, the French have soooo much respect for their wine, so you could only imagine how much respect they have for something as natural and pure as this!
For me it all comes down to packaging, I have yet to see a travel size thermal spray by La Roche Posay, so if you’re ad bad as me with kilos, then I suggest you get the travel size Avene one which is just under 7euro! If you’re willing to give this miracle water some extra space in your bag, then why not go for La Roche Posay! Just remember you will be storing this in a fridge so not too sure how good a big bottle would look in one!
Have you tried any of the three in the picture above? If so, what do you make of it?
Here are a few reviews you could check out:

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Let sunscreen be your bestie!

27 May

Before I start, I think it may be a good idea to clear the air about something…..yes I’m know that my post is about sunscreen, yes I’m aware of my skin tone, and no I’m not oblivious of the fact that that I live in Ireland! So why should anyone in Ireland, or black for that matter, even consider using sunscreen??

Let me tell you why………

More often than not, fine lines and uneven skin tone that happen to appear on our skin have nothing to do with aging, instead they’re just a result of  unprotected exposure to the sun. If you want to punish your skin, then by all means leave the house without  any sunscreen at all. But for those who are concerned with having your skin look its best. Then I suggest you start investing into a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

What is SPF?

SPF (sun protection factor) measures the degree of protection that a product has in protecting  your skin from the damaging effects of the UV rays from the sun.  There are two main types of  ultra violet radiation: UVA and UVB. Both age the skin prematurely and highly increase your chances of skin cancer.

I won’t bore you with all the scientific stuff, but these are things to consider: over 30% of the suns ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day! So even though sunny days are rare in Ireland, we still need sunscreen! And also, many black people have a natural SPF level of appx 30, but that doesn’t protect them from skin caner, I mean look what happened to Bob Marley??

So remember, when you are looking for a sunscreen, do make sure that it protects you from both UVA and UVB! Here’s a good one which I always thought was quite effective on my skin….Nivea Sun Adult Pocket Size SPF30

I’ve always liked this product because it claims (you can never be too sure)  to have  immediate protection from the sun. It protects you from both UVA and UVB rays( which is what we want)! It’s fast absorbing (great for the mornings!) and I absolutely love the fact that you could just throw it in your bag and whip it out when you’re ready to reapply (gotta love it’s pocket size) lastly……..

Not to be a bargain hunter or anything, but this product is currently on sale (from 8.48E to 4.24E)  which is a pretty good deal considering how effective it is as a cream!

Once you’ve invested in that, I think it would be worth knowing a thing or two about how to apply sunscreen…..

 1.Always clean your skin before application.

2. Apply it to cool and dry skin so make sure you use it before your daily moisturizer because when sunscreen is applied to warm skin, it can open pores and cause a rash.

3.Use the equivalent of a shot glass (we all know what they look like!)

4.Make sure to apply it twice, just in case you missed a spot!

Now that that’s all well and done, I’m off to enjoy this lovely weather (the sun doesn’t visit us too often!)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my post! 

References:

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained

http://behealthyandrelax.com/2009/06/251/

http://www.riversideonline.com/health_reference/Cancer/AN01370.cfm

http://skincare.about.com/od/sunkissedglow/a/Black-People-Sunburn-And-Skin-Cancer.htm

Buy Nivea Sun Adult Pocket Size SPF30 Half Price!!!

http://www.tesco.ie/groceries/Product/Details/?id=268128636

Not so guilty pleasure: Dark Chocolate

19 May

I never thought I’d ever see the day I’d praise something that I don’t even enjoy eating! It’s not very like me to recommend the things I don’t like, but I guess I’d have to be fair once and a while so my promise to you is that I will not impose any of my personal feelings towards dark chocolate in this post (not intentionally anyways), instead, I will just give you cold hard facts on the benefits of consuming dark chocolate!

Just so we’re on the same page, I must say that if you really want to enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate then you would have to be looking at the ones that contain over 70% cacao; the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and milk it contains and the closer it is to cacao, the secret behind it’s health benefits.

Cacao is probably one of the main sources of health benefits from the consumption of dark chocolate. The reason being that it produces neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin which are associated with feelings of well-being and happiness…..

Do you see where I’m going with this???

It’s a natural anti-depressant! So don’t be afraid to indulge yourself with a bit of 70%+ if you’re feeling kinda down!

Alright so now you’re thinking, ”it might help me with my mood and I wouldn’t feel as down if I take a few squares of it, but what about the fat? Isn’t it as fattening as all the other chocolates out there???” I’m afraid not!! The fat that is in dark chocolate comes primarily from plants so it would be a lot healthier for you. It contains the fatty acid that is also found in olive oil and this promotes antioxidant activity and also prevents heart disease. So as long as you look for a dairy-free bar (which would contain more of the bad fat),  I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about if you’re taking these in small doses!

What about the beauty benefits?

Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called flavinoid which are usually found in plants such as the cacao plant. These bad boys are associated with the anti-aging effects in the skin and the flavinoid found  in dark chocolate are greater than the antioxidants found in some berries. So if you’re feeling guilty about passing on the fruit salad the other day, you can forgive yourself!

Lastly, these flavinoids also absorb UV light which helps protect your beautiful skin from the sun. It also increases blood flow to the skin which improves your complexion and keeps your skin well hydrated.

Now that you know that dark chocolate isn’t all that bad, you no longer have to make this a secret pleasure. Just remember, the more bitter the chocolate, the higher the cacao content and the better it is for you! 🙂

If you’re not convinced, here’s a few more articles that you can read:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/benefits-of-chocolate

http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/3-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate/

http://www.naturalnews.com/031959_dark_chocolate_antioxidants.html

All matte everything!

8 May

Ruby Woo, 17E

I have recently become obsessed with the matte world…..it all started off with a  matte black manicure and it even went as far as matte black cars! (I know, I know,I went a bit matte crazy!) but I must say, the one thing that truly stole my heart was MAC’s matte red lipstick;  Ruby Woo.

It really did woo me….

For me, this lipstick is definitely a holy grail product. I think that every person (including men) should have this on their dressing room table. Even if you’re not going to use it (which I think you’d highly regret), its retro, absolutely gorgeous to look at, and if that isn’t enough, it actually smells nice! Now that’s not something you  find in a lot of lipsticks these days…..

Okay, I was messing about men having this product, I was getting a bit ahead of myself there, but, that just goes to show how much of an impact this lipstick had on me, as well as the impact it can have on you!

I know Riri woo has been out for quite sometime now, and a lot of people have been going crazy about it. I have nothing but love for Rihanna herself, so no disrespect, but I must say that only a few people can get away with rocking that lipstick, and let’s face it, not everyone is Riri.

RUBY woo on the other hand, does not raise that question, the stress of  ”finding the perfect shade” does not apply with this product at all.It’s just one of those magic lipsticks sent from above (with the help of MAC cosmetics of course) and really does suit every skin tone.

It’s classic and represents elegance in the most retro way, you really can’t go wrong!

Another thing we have to remember about this lipstick is that it is matte, so because of this it lasts the longest out of any lipstick out there. I would easily bet that this lipstick would last for days if you didn’t take it off (just make sure you use a drinking straw!) so you would only have to go for one lip touch-up when using this product.

Now everything can’t be rosey right? So just a word of precaution:

Before applying this devilish color, be sure to have lip balm on your lips because if not, u won’t embrace this product as much as I did when I first tried it!

Matte lipsticks require you put on a good bit of lip balm due to its drying nature; they are a lot more dense and contain less moisture. But sure that isn’t the most difficult thing now is it? A bit of effort can go a long way…..

Now that u know, stop reading, moisten up those lips and get shopping!

Guilty pleasure #1: Caffeine

1 May

Something tells me that there’s a few coffee worshipers out there who are now dreading to read the rest of this post. Not to worry, I’ll keep this as short as I can (which isn’t always easy for me to do, but I’ll try my best!)

We all know the list of foods/drinks which contain this addictive drug(yes it’s a drug,don’t look so surprised!). The list is endless really, to name a few, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate would be the most common sources of caffeine. Since my new respect for chocolate has motivated me to write a POSITIVE  ”guilty pleasure” post on it, I’ll leave chocolate out (For the most part anyways) and instead, I’ll focus on the other two (bare in mind that I’m a recovering coffee addict so there’s no judging here….)

Now, I can go on and on about how the consumption of coffee and energy drinks increase health problems for both male and female, how they increases blood pressure which leads to heart problems or how they both contribute to blood sugar problems. But that really isn’t my focus. (And I’m not exactly your doctor!)

My primary focus is on beauty (Surprise surprise!!) and here are the main reasons why I think you should avoid taking these products:

1.It speeds up the aging process.
Caffeine accelerates aging because it contributes to the decline in the production of hormones that are usually produced ‘in riches’ during youth. As well as this, it dehydrates your body which sucks all the water from your skin cells and as a result it causes wrinkles and sagging.

2.It affects sleeping patterns.
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it keeps you awake for longer which in turn makes you sleep less, and as Sleeping Beauty already informed us, no sleep takes a toll on your overall appearance and reflects very badly on your face.

Still not convinced? Well how about this one…..

3.Say Cheese!
This alone should be a reason to cut down! Not only is it visible on your face, but too much coffee/energy drinks reflects very badly on your teeth!! You might think that by adding milk or cream to your coffee, you would prevent your teeth from staining,but sorry to burst your little bubble there but white coffee would still contain the same pigments and acids as black so it doesn’t really make much of a difference!

Now that that’s all said and done, I’ll let you go enjoy your cuppa. After all, coffee addicts have always been the toughest to crack! Just don’t say you weren’t warned though!

Hope you enjoyed reading my post.  It wasn’t too long now was it ? 🙂