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 ? 🙂

There’s a reason why they call it BEAUTY sleep

29 Apr

Sleeping Beauty

Doesn’t she just look so peaceful and youthful while she’s lost in her own little world?

Don’t you just wish you could look as rested as Sleeping Beauty herself?

Well believe it or not,it’s possible! I mean you certainly won’t look as animated as she does, but you can indeed look more rested and  youthful with the right amount of sleep.

Personally, I never have to force myself to bed, it baffles me why anyone who isn’t in school does because like water, sleep is a natural source of beauty; when you sleep, your whole body goes into repair mode which is particularly good for your skin because it means that your skin renews itself by replacing older cells with newer ones. I mean it’s a bit of a no brainer really, if you get rid of something old and replace it with something new it’s only going to make it look better right?

Maybe I should get a little bit more technical than that.

When you deprive yourself of sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol in your system can break down the protein that keeps your skin smooth as well as elastic, and this may cause fine lines which lead to wrinkles. Also, a lack of sleep causes your blood vessels to dilate and as a result , it gives the appearance of dark circles.

And for those of you who suffer from break outs every now and then, you should really know that  not enough sleep directly causes acne through inflammation so believe me when I say that it’s worth skipping The Late Late Show over this, just think of the effects that staying up will have on your skin the following morning.

But as usual, every cloud has a silver lining! And the good thing about sleep is that it helps recover your skin fairly quickly which means that if you get your 7-8 hours of sleep on one night alone, it will instantly show on your face the following day and if you get a good night’s sleep tonight, there’s no doubt that everyone will notice it tomorrow: you will look well-rested, energized and on top of that, your skin will glow!

I mean who needs a face-lift when you have a good sleeping habit? And after all, Sleeping Beauty did nail a price after 100 years of being in a deep slumber, surely all that sleep had something to do with it!

Hope you get all your hours in tonight, but, if you happen to wake up with baggy eyes, just check out one of my previous blog posts!

Thanks for reading! feel free to share 🙂

Bobbi Brown, Extreme Party Mascara or Rimmel, Scandel Eyes?

20 Apr

Bobbi Brown, Extreme Party Mascara

A lot of you may think that the answer to this is a given, but believe me, you will soon be very surprised when I give you my feedback on each mascara. I know I know, how dare I compare Rimmel to this world class makeup line, I mean how could I even put them both in the same sentence right?

Rimmel, Scandel Eyes

Well the reason why I chose these two in particular is because  one  is my daily mascara while the other I use for nights out and you might be a bit shocked when I tell you which.

When I first got Bobbi Brown, Extreme Party Mascara I was more than excited to use it for a night out, I mean let’s face it, the name ‘Extreme Party Mascara’ really does make you want to just let your hair down and get all dolled up! So that’s exactly what I did!

To my surprise, and I feel almost guilty to have to say this, but after a few hours of applying this mascara, my lashes were flat. My lashes were lifeless. And a lot of the product had  smeared off leaving flakes under my eyes.

The Rimmel, Scandel Eyes which I initially bought for an everyday use really took me by surprise as it did absolute wonders for my eyes! I instantly saw a difference in my lashes after applying this mascara as my lashes were fuller,longer and the product stayed put until I washed it off.

So which should you choose?

Honestly, it all comes down to what exactly you want your mascara to do I mean Extreme Party is a misleading name because it’s pretty much like any typical mascara. So if you’re looking for a natural curl and nothing too dramatic, I’d recommend you get something cheap and cheerful in your local chemist because Bobbi Brown, Extreme Party Mascara isn’t worth the money for it’s performance!

If you want something that adds extra length/volume to your lashes, something that  really IS waterproof and doesn’t come off until you want it to, then go for Rimmel Scandel Eyes! I know the packaging isn’t great and if you happen to fall asleep with this mascara on, it will hurt, but after all it only costs about 6 euros and I think it’s priced exactly where it should be!

Have you tried these products before? If so, did you experience the same things that I did?

The perfect eye makeup remover!

17 Apr

An affordable multi-purpose oil

A lot of people get startled when they see olive oil in the toilet, they think that olive oil is something that should be ”kept in the kitchen and no place else because it is used for cooking and nothing else”

Boy are they wrong…..

I woke up one morning and found it quite odd that I still had a bit of white eyeliner on my waterline from the night before (the excitement of trying on new makeup!) I found this pretty strange as I’m usually pretty good at getting all my makeup off before going to bed and up until now, Boots Essentials Cucumber Eye Makeup Remover Gel has never let me down.

It then occurred to me that white eyeliner would probably need a little bit of extra care when trying to remove it, especially for my skin tone and that since the liner was the complete opposite of my skin color, even the tiniest of makeup residue would still be visible!

So I searched and I searched and I searched some more, until I finally had a breakthrough and discovered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the perfect eye makeup remover had been sitting in the kitchen press just waiting to be used.

After I saw how effective it was, I quickly went out and purchased a 100ml bottle of Olive oil in the nearest chemist and decided that from that day on, it would be the only eye makeup remover to ever touch my eyes. (dramatic much?)

50ml, 100ml, 500ml

Perhaps I am a being a tad bit dramatic, but it’s excusable, and here’s why:

1. A drop or two of  extra virgin olive oil  and water on a cotton pad instantly removes any eye makeup without irritating the skin.

2. It has a lipid profile very close to that of the human skin meaning it is suitable for all skin types when mixed with water.

3. It helps smooth wrinkles that can form around the eyes.

4. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality of its class as it has the added advantage of providing strong antioxidants like vitamin A and E that help repair and renew damaged skin due to sun exposure.

Besides all the technical stuff, this product is very cheap to buy, it lasts a lifetime, and it conditions your lashes leading to possible eyelash growth! I would highly recommend it to everyone, and even if you aren’t sure about going out and buying a bottle just go to your kitchen and give it a go before making such a ”huge” commitment.

For those of you who would like to take a leap of faith, here is a link to where you could but it now:

http://mccabespharmacy.com/shop/beauty/skin-care/olive-oil-pharmacy-brand-ireland-4645.html


Thanks for reading such a long post! Comment & Share plz 🙂