Friday, 25 January 2013

How To: Managing Oily Skin


Hello Everyone,

I had previously mentioned on this blog that my skin had transformed from normal/combination to full on oily. I switched moisturisers and the new one happened to upset the oil balance in my skin and everything just went cray cray!

I have been working on getting my skin back to normal over the past three months and I think I have restored normalcy.  I'll be sharing what steps I took to control my oily skin and I hope that you can pick up one or two tips from here.

Photo Credit: www.hellobeautiful.com

SKINCARE

Cleanser & Toner




In managing oily skin, you're going to want to use a cleanser that is gentle but effective.  Look particularly for one that is "oil-free" as that would be the best for your skin type. In the mornings, I started alternating my regular cleanser Neutrogena Visibly Clear Gentle Exfoliating Wash with my Clean and Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash. The Clean and Clear wash is oil-free so it effectively targets my oil glands(on steroids). I'm not sure if it is still available in stores but other alternatives are Nuetrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (buy here ) or Clearasil Oil-Free Daily Face Wash.
For night time cleansing, I still use my Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Cleanser which is suitable for all skin types,my oily girls included. It is a cream cleanser which works to gently remove makeup and dirt whilst nourishing the skin. I cannot recommend it more.

To follow your nicely cleansed skin, you need a toner to  remove any last traces of makeup and restore pH balance. Regardless of skin type, the best kind of toners are the ones made with natural extracts. I use the Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Toner (discontinued for the Rosewater toning spritz) but alternatives are The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Toner or Clarins Toning Lotion for Combination/Oily Skin (buy here). 

Moisturiser



Many people with oily skin think that they do not require a moisturiser but this is not the case at all. If you do not feed your skin moisture, your already over active glands will only produce even more oil causing facial chaos! Use a moisturiser that is specifically for Combination/Oily Skin or one that is for All Skin Types. The Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturiser for Combination Oily Skin, Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Shine Control Moisturiser and Elizabeth Arden Matte Moisture Lotion (buy here) are great options.  For nighttime, I still use the Simple Hydrating Lotion, it's not specifically for Oily skin but it is light so it works great for me. 


Face Scrub & Mask



I alternate a scrub and a mask every week as an extra skincare measure for targeting oils. My mask of choice is Clean and Clear's Deep Action Cleansing Mask (review here). Another one I've read great reviews about and can't wait to try is Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask. For facial scrubs I like the St Ives range, either the Warming Scrub or the Apricot Scrub. 

MAKEUP


Primers/Mattifiers




Primers and mattifiers all work to increase the length of wear of your makeup by controlling oils. I don't see the need to wear them often but when I do, I use Mac's Skin Base Visage (buy here). Mary Kay Oil Mattifier is a very popular product that many makeup artists swear by that might be worth investing in.



Milk of Magnesia is apparently one of the most effective products for controlling oily skin. It is applied as a face primer before putting makeup on. I haven't tried it yet but have read tons of reviews and they all claim that it keeps oils at bay for almost a whole day. If you find that you have excessively oily skin, then you might want to try using MOM as a primer. 


Foundation




Like skincare products, an oil free foundation naturally works best for oily skin. I used to be a Mac foundation stan before my skin type change but I realised that they do nothing for oily skin. Within one hour of wear, my makeup would be slipping and sliding all over the place. Not cute at all.
Revlon Colourstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin is my favourite foundation if you haven't heard me say it about a hundred times here. It keeps my face matte for at least 5 hours before any oils start showing up, read a full review here. Other foundations that work great for oily skin are Nars Sheer Matte, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup and Lancome Teint Idol Silky Mat.

Blotters



Blot Powder
The Blot Powder is the oily girl's best friend. I do not leave my house without it, I just cannot. It helps to control shine in areas like your t-zone, cheeks and chin. It can also be used to touch up your makeup in the course of the day. Instead of touching up with your regular powder which results in the dreaded cake face use a blot powder. It is usually colourless and effective at getting rid of shine. My two favourite are Mac's Blot Powder and Black Opal's Invisible Oil Blocking Powder, the very best! 

Blotting Sheets

Blotting sheets are another must-have for me, I always carry them around. They are simply little pieces of absorbent paper that you press on your face when you start to become oily. They work to remove the oil on your face without disturbing your makeup unlike a piece of tissue for example. The one's I use are from Mary Kay but tons of brands make them. 


What other tips do you have for controlling oily skin? What products work for you? Share if you care :)


Peace and Love, 

Y.  

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Lifestyle: Ten Tips For A Healthier You



Hi Guys, 

I'm delighted to bring another guest blogger to you today. My friend Lew not only preaches the gospel of healthy living but practices. it  When she sent in a guest article, I knew it would be valuable content for this blog. She shares with us how we can be healthier in 2013 and beyond. 



Lew's Ten Tips

As we begin a New Year, many of us have made resolutions but it is important to note that a healthier you is the BEST YOU. Let's look at some tips that took me from where I was (unhealthy) to where I am today (healthier and happier,) bearing in mind that YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. 






 1. Consume a lot of liquids: Drink a lot of water, I cannot over-emphasize it's importance. I always have a bottle of water with me because it is essential to remain hydrated. To make my water less boring, I squeeze some lemon juice into it, which is also great for internal cleansing. Avoid carbonated drinks though because they contain a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Drink 100% fresh fruit juices and green tea with honey instead.



2. Make the switch from white to brown: Brown is always healthier. You can enjoy your carbs by changing from White to Brown. Eat Brown rice, Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Wheat Grain Bread, Whole Wheat Pasta or Whole Wheat cereals rich in Fiber like Fruit n’ Fiber.




3. Eats lots of Fruits and Vegetables: I loveeee me some FVs as I refer to them. They are amazing and nutritious. For great hair, glowing skin, strong nails and a balanced diet, up your FV intake. Everyday, I eat lots of Fruits and Veggies like Bananas, Carrots, Oranges,Pineapples, Watermelon, Paw Paw (Papaya) and Mangoes. 


4. Make EVOO a staple in your life: Say it with me, E V O O. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is my best friend. It is a healthier option than regular Groundnut /Vegetable Oil. Asides from cooking, I use it on my hair, my lips, my whole body! EVOO is gooooood to me and I love it.


5. Protein is a better alternative to Carbohydrate: The more protein-based foods you eat, the healthier you will be with a great figure to go with that. A wrap of Moi- Moi is more nutritious than a piece of Yam. Fish, Skinless Turkey and Chicken are better choices than red meat. If you want a smaller waist and a healthier life say bye to red meat and hello to white meat! 


6. Eat the right quantity at the right time: Breakfast is everything, never skip it. I Love me some Yoghurt with my cereal (yoghurt contains those good bacteria for your lady parts ;)). I also substitute regular milk with soy milk because it is much more nutritious and better for you.  Lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day, try to make your meal more of the good stuff, protein and veggies and less carbs.  Dinner should be your lightest meal and if possible eaten before 8pm. Have a chicken/tuna salad or eat some fruits. 




7. Treat yourself once in a while: Feed your cravings, I don't believe in completely depriving myself of the things I like.  If you want a bar of chocolate, eat it. If you’ve been fantasizing about a greasy double cheeseburger, eat it, if it is that chocolate ice cream,get it, that glass of white wine, drink it. Remember not to over-indulge, you're only rewarding yourself a little for eating right. 


8. Exercise: I don’t like the Gym. I haven’t been to one in 5years but I still manage to get adequate exercise.  Get your Moses on, Walk, Walk, Walk! Take the stairs instead of using the lift, you can even do simple exercises on said stairs. Crunches and Squats also help tone my thighs, abs and everywhere prone to fat. Once in a while, I do some Zumba. Dance, move those hips, grind, twerk, shake that thing, you’ll be amazed at the number of body parts you’re working out at the same time. 

9. Be happy: Be positive, Smile, Love, Live, Learn, Dance, Cry when it gets hard, Laugh away the pain and give the people you love hugs. 

10. Sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep so you're happy and refreshed in the mornings, no one likes a grump. 

Love God, love yourself and love life! Eat your way to a healthier and fitter you. I would love to hear your own tips for healthy living. Please share them in the comments. 


About Lew
Lew is a Health enthusiast who isn't only highly interested in looking and feeling good about herself but also wants to share her experiences with others. Follow her on twitter @ZeLew or email Lewtahhh@gmail.com

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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Video: Purple Rain Makeup Tutorial


Yo!

I hope you had a great week and you are having an better weekend.

My lovely bestie gave me an eyeshadow palette for Christmas, the Sephora Pro Lesson Palette and I fell in love with it instantly. I decided to create a dramatic look with this product. suitable for night time glamour. I even filmed a tutorial! Eeek! The video is further down this post.

If you are going on a date/partying this weekend, you might want to give it a try with any similar colour eyeshadows you have in your collection.






Eyes


Products Used


  • Eye Primer- Urban Decay Primer Potion Original
  • Lid, Lower Lash line, Crease, Brow bone & Inner Tear Duct- Sephora Pro Lesson Palette (colour 1,2,3 respectively)
  • Eyeliner- L'Oreal Superliner Carbon Gloss
  • Waterline- Model's own Kohl Pencil
  • Mascara- Maybelline's Falsies in Blackest Black




Ignore all the stray hairs on my brow bone, need to make a threading appointment :-)




Lips


Products Used
  • Mac Magenta lipliner
  • Mac Rebel lipstick (review here)

I would normally wear a neutral lip with such dramatic eyes but I throw caution to the wind and went with a deep purple lip. 




Other Products Used
  • Foundation- Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Darl (review here)
  • Under Eye Concealer and Highlight - Mac Prolongwear Concealer in NC45 
  • To Set Under Eye Concealer- Elf Mineral Booster Powder in Sheer
  • Brows- Mac Spiked Pencil and Zaron Brow Kit
  • Blush- Mac Plum Foolery
  • Contour- Sleek Face Contour Kit in Medium
  • Powder- Mac Mineralise Skin Finish Natural in Dark







VIDEO

Since it is my first makeup tutorial, It's not perfect by a mile but I enjoyed making it.. Watch it below :-) 







I seem to be leaning towards bold colourful looks these days. What are your thoughts on this one? 


Peace and Love, 

Y.
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Hairology 101: Washing Your Way to Great Hair


Hi Guys,

I have been asked by some people to do some haircare posts in the past. However, I'm rubbish at haircare and only starting to learn the ropes myself. But because I love y'all so much, I went a-seeking a hair guru, if you would like to call it that.

Our guest post today is written by the lovely Funmi who is a hair product junkie and is currently embarking on a healthy hair journey. She's joined as a permanent contributor on She Loves The Finer Things so please welcome her guys :-).


Hairology 101 by Funmi


I recently became a hair obsessed freak and would like to use this post to share some of the many things I have learnt about caring for relaxed hair. I do not claim to be a hair expert or have the most beautiful locks of hair in the world. However, I do know that reading loads of beauty magazines, online hair care forums and blogs have greatly enlightened me, and I hope this post would be a step in the right direction for those looking to commence a healthy hair journey.

I began my healthy hair journey about six months ago. Up until then, I had never been one of those girls whose hair made you green with envy. On the contrary, I always had lifeless hair that was barely there, neither long or short. The first change I made was in the way I wash my hair, which is explained in the 7 step process below. Yes I know 7 steps seem way extreme and bordering on neurotic, but trust me it’s not! J By the time you read the benefits of each step, you would agree with me that this is necessary if you want luscious silky hair that will be the perfect crowning glory to your pretty self.



Pre-poo: “Pre-poo” stands for Pre-shampoo and as the name implies, this is the step that is done before shampooing your hair. I like to do a hot-oil treatment at this stage. Some people prefer making a hair mixture with pure African shea butter, any oil or your choice and a conditioner (particularly for dry hair that requires moisture). Basically, your hair treatment should be suited to your hair type and needs at that point in time. I use different oils such as 100% pure coconut oil, African Pride’s Olive Miracle (rich in extra virgin olive oil), Organics Carrot tea-tree oil therapy by Africa’s best, 100% pure grapeseed oil, 100% pure sweet almond oil, etc. It has been said that 100% pure oils are most effective for the hair; I like to have a mix of pure and mixed oils though. These oils offer different benefits such as rejuvenating lifeless hair, stimulating hair scalp and aiding growth, stopping breakage and split ends, and moisturising dry scalps. 



I usually do a mix of 3 to 4 oils, alternating between the oils to ensure I reap the collective benefits of my oil collection. I warm the mixture of oils in the microwave for just a minute, and apply the oils first to my hair scalp and then the hair ends. I cover my hair with a conditioning cap and leave the oils in my hair overnight. You can however leave it on your hair for a few hours, depends on what is convenient for you.


Shampoo: I am sure everyone knows the basic step in shampooing your hair. The most important thing is to ensure that your hair is clean and no shampoo residue is left in your hair. I normally wash my hair in 2 or 3 cycles, depending on how dirty my hair is from product build-up. I also ensure I scrub my scalp thoroughly and not the surface of my hair. I use a moisturising/smoothing shampoo weekly, and a clarifying shampoo once every 6 weeks. A clarifying shampoo is more intense than a regular shampoo, and should be used less frequently when you want a thorough scalp cleaning. 



I use shampoos that contain natural products (like shea butter, aloe vera, olive oil, yoghurt protein, etc) that are good for the hair. These products include Herbal Essences Fresh Balance Clarifying Shampoo, Organix’s Smoothing Shea Butter Shampoo and Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo.

Tea Rinse: This step was one of the best discoveries I made during my rigorous hair search. It can be done using black or green tea. After shampooing, I put 2 or 3 tea bags in a bowl of warm water and let the tea brew for a bit. Then I slowly pour the tea mixture on my hair, ensuring it gets to my scalp and my hair ends. I wait for about 3 minutes then I rinse out the tea completely. Tea Rinses are done to help reduce shedding, stop breakage and make hair thicker. Your hair literally feels very stiff after a black tea rinse, which is why I prefer doing a green tea rinse. 



Since I incorporated this stage into my wash routine, I have seen a tremendous improvement in the amount of hair shedding. The best part of it is that it is an easy to find product in the kitchen. I use Tesco Green Tea with Lemon. Lemon has a high concentration of nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B, and phosphorous, which provides added hair benefits such as strengthening the hair and preventing hair loss. It also gives your hair a fruity and lovely scent. Any other brand green tea with lemon will work great too. 


Protein Treatment: I carry out this step once every 4 weeks, or when I feel my hair requires it. Any good hair stylist recommends a protein treatment as the first step in combatting hair breakage. This is because protein helps your hair grow thick and healthy, and is particularly advised for people with chemically treated/relaxed hair, or hair that is constantly exposed to heat. 



I use Organics Cholesterol Tea-Tree Oil by Africa’s Best because it contains proteins as well as natural herbal and botanical extracts. I’m a strong believer of using natural products for hair and skin treatments; I actually intend on mixing this treatment with raw eggs, mayonnaise and olive oil for my next wash. I massage the treatment into my scalp and hair ends, cover my hair with my cap and leave on my hair for 30 minutes.


Deep Condition: I deep condition weekly after every wash in order to impart moisture into my hair. Lack of moisture and dryness would lead to hair breakage and hair loss. Combatting this by regular deep conditioning ensures that your hair has the adequate moisture it needs and is able to grow effectively. If you do not have the time to carry out any of the above steps, try and do this particular step weekly for just a month and see the difference in your hair. A trial will convince you!  


I use Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner by Africa’s Best. It is formulated with extra virgin olive oil and promises a higher level of conditioning and moisturising, as well as strengthening damaged, over-processed and weak hair. I apply this on my hair and cover with a conditioning cap. I usually leave it on my hair for 2 hours. This is because I always had a dry scalp, which led to dandruff in the past. I have noticed that keeping my hair moisturised has really helped to reduce breakage, and I am able to retain my hair length in my bid to grow my hair longer.


Treatments: When I finally wash out the deep conditioner from my hair, I wrap a towel around my hair and leave it on for about 30 minutes. I do not comb through my hair or apply my leave –in treatments immediately after washing. This is because hair is at its weakest point when it is wet, and running a comb through wet hair would result in more breakage than when your hair is less wet. 



After waiting 30 minutes, I apply Motions’ Nourish Leave in Conditioner. It contains a blend of vitamin E and silk proteins which strengthen and protect the hair. I also use Motions’ Critical Protection and Repair (CPR) Anti-Breakage Hair Lotion. It contains vitamin E and aloe extract, which helps prevent breakage and reduce hair dryness. Lastly, I apply Organic’s Hair Energizer Hair Growth Booster with Pro Vitamin-B5 to my hair scalp. It is an intense DHT Blocker treatment which is used to repair damaged hair, boost strong healthy hair, and prevent hair loss & thinning. DHT is an acronym for Di-Hydro-Testosterone, the hormone that inhibits blood supply to hair follicles and results in hair loss. The role of DHT blockers is to suppress the formation of DHT and make the dormant hair follicles active for healthier hair growth.


Drying: After applying my treatments, I leave my air to dry naturally and do not use a hair dryer. Heat is one of the main causes of hair loss and breakage, and I have been trying to reduce the amount of heat I expose to my hair.

Where To Buy

If you're in the UK, all products can be gotten from pakscosmetics.com and amazon.co.uk
In Nigeria, Casabella Beauty in The Palms/Ikeja City Mall/Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall stock a wide variety of hair products. Blush Beauty Salon at 1388 Tiamiyu Savage, VI is pretty well stocked too! To buy hair oils online check out vanityoils.blogspot.com

Well, that’s all folks! Thanks for reading and good luck as you proceed on your journey to healthy hair.


Funmi. 


About Funmi

Funmi is a young lady determined to grow her hair to bra-strap length in two years. She will be documenting parts of this journey and any great products she discovers along her way on this blog. If you have any questions, she can be reached at funmiobash@yahoo.com. 


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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Product Review: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF35


Hi Guys,

Happy New Year! How is 2013 coming along? I hope great. I'm sorry I have taken so long to get my first post of the year up but I've been having a bit of blogger's block. I have picked myself back up though and I'm right back in the swing of things.

I bring to you a beauty wonder, The BB (Blemish Balm) Cream. These magic creams have been around since the 90s, especially popular with Asian women. They are known to have really flawless skin and many Asian celebrities have attributed this to the BB cream.

BB Creams claim to help reduce your beauty routine drastically because they combine the power of a moisturiser, primer, concealer, foundation and sunblock in one product. They are also known to possess skin healing properties i.e over time they reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as even out skin tone.

Many black women, myself inclusive were a bit wary when the fad hit Europe and America for fear of not being able to find a shade match. The earlier ones simply did not cater to Women of Colour but I'm happy that in recent times, brands have started to rectify this huge oversight. I recently bought Smashbox's own version of the BB cream after a lot of research.


Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF35 

Like other BB creams before it, the Smashbox one offers a 5-in-1 product that Primes, Perfects, Protects, Hydrates and Controls Oil. It comes in only 5 shades from Fair - Dark but I believe to covers most skin tones. I find that a range of skin tones may fall under one shade. I got the darkest shade Dark and i'm an NC50 in Mac foundations. I know people from NW45 to NC45 that also use this same Dark shade. I will suggest using a tester though to be sure of your closest shade match. 



In my opinion, this product is totally worth the hype. It really does cut my beauty routine in half. On my bare face, I rub the cream in with my hands until it's perfectly blended and I set it with my Mac MSF Natural. If you have extremely dry skin you may still want to moisturise first before applying the BB cream. 
It gives a very natural finish whilst still covering any darkness and blemishes on the face. It feels like I'm not wearing any makeup yet my face is flawless, amazing. It's also particularly great if you live in a hot climate like me, it lets your skin breathe whilst protecting it with a high SPF of 35! It offers light-medium coverage but if you want fuller coverage you can wear it as a primer and use your foundation over it. 
I did not expect it to last very long being so light, but it stayed put on a 12-hr day and I only touched up my powder once. I also found that it controlled my oils well through the day. 






Swatches

I swatched the product on the back of my hand to give you an idea of the colour match. For a full face picture, see this previous post.



Blended in 

The only drawback of this product is the price. For £27/$39 you get a mere 30ml of product. It's sold in Boots in the UK or Sephora in the US. You can also get it on the Smashbox website here
I wish it was a little more affordable but apart from that I'll rate it 5 stars out of 5. Other brands offer cheaper alternatives and I'm on the look out for something more pocket friendly. I have read mixed reviews on the Sleek BB cream and I can't wait to try it out and let you know if it's any good. 

Have you tried any BB creams? Do you think they are worth the hype or just a fad? I'd love to read your thoughts. 

Peace and Love, 

Y. 

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