My New Fall Skincare Routine

Hello Lovely,

For the first time (in my recent memory), we’re actually having Fall in The Bahamas. The leaves aren’t changing colour, but we’ve already had our first cold front for the season. It started the last weekend of October and it felt delightful! I love Fall temperatures; crisp cold air that makes you want to wrap up with a scarf and a hot coffee. Can you believe I was finally able to enjoy my first hot coffee since March?!?!?!?! So I can now wear longer sleeved blouses, jackets and sweater tops. Since we’re subtropical the cold comes and goes, so I’ve got to make the most of it when it comes. In addition to clothing options, this drop in temperature meant I had to switch up a few something else: My skincare routine.

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A lot of you have asked me what I’ve been doing differently with my skin so I thought I’d share my routine with you guys. I haven’t been doing these things every single day, but simply increasing it has made a difference. Since this is a time where more events are popping up and the holidays are just around the corner, I thought I’d share my updated fall beauty routine in case you’re looking for some beauty inspiration or affordable options to try. Trust me, when you find out how simple these changes are you’ll feel kind of silly if you weren’t doing them all along. Let’s break it down shall we?

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Soap

The base of this operation is the most important. I try to wash my face twice a day for healthy glowing skin. Nubian Heritage’s tropical Mango Butter Soap is an ultra-moisturising, cleanser blended with rich and nourishing Mango, Cocoa and Shea Butters to provide supple, rejuvenating moisture for the appearance of firmer, healthier looking skin.

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TRADER JOE’S ROSE WATER FACIAL TONER

Equal parts hydrating and refreshing, Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner is formulated with real Damask rose water and Damask rose oil (to bedew and moisturize), witch hazel (to balance and tone), and a bit of Quillaja saponaria (soapbark) extract (to soften and condition). Best of all, it smells exactly like a fresh, blooming rose—so you’ll actually smell the roses while you’re taking a moment to stop, relax, and… smell the roses.

I mist it on before heading out the door, for a fresh dewy look. My skin stays hydrated but I only use it on cool days, because on hot days, when sweat interacts with it, my face just looks greasy.

Night Cream/Collagen/Caviar Extract/Retinol/4 oz
Alfa Vitamins Laboratories, Inc

LAWRENS NIGHT CREAM

Lawrens Cosmetics is an American skincare line of products with more than 15 years in the market.

INGREDIENTS

Palmitate, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Cyclomethicone, Triethanolamine, EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Shea Butter, Marine Collagen, Retinol, Caviar Extract, Fragrance, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

This formula helps boosts your collagen production (reducing wrinkles and preventing fine lines), speeds cell turnover (evening out discoloration and brightening skin tone) and unclogs pores (making them look smaller and reducing acne). All while you sleep!

HOW TO USE IT?

  • Use every night

  • Cleanse face prior to applying cream or any night routine products

  • Apply 60 seconds after cleanse face or night routine products

  • Night Cream is the final product you apply to face before going to bed

  • Use quarter-sized amount

  • Apply cream evenly using the dab and tap method

  • Use smallest finger to apply under eyes

  • Also apply a liberal amount to your neck and chest area and massage gently

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I’m really lucky that I don’t have to do a lot to have good-looking skin and I don’t take that for granted at all. But having eczema flare ups is definitely a sign that something needs to change and I’m glad I listened to my skin.

Clinique 10 Day Cleanse Review

One of the things I like the most about beauty stores in the United States is Freebies! It’s one of the easiest and guaranteed ways a customer or potential customer will walk out of a store smiling.  On that beautiful Thursday, I was that girl when I walked out of Macy’s with a little bag of trinkets including a 10 Day Cleanse Kit.   Having this, I decided to skip my regular cleanse routine of natural and commercial products, to this simple 3 step process for the next 10 consecutive days.  I was nervous and excited to try this and couldn’t believe I was trusting my skin to a brand I hadn’t ever used for cleansing.

This skin care trio was specific to combination/oily skin and featured has a liquid facial soap, clarifying lotion and moisturizing gel.  Ranging in size and texture, I liked the fact that the items came in a cute little box with an instructional booklet on ingredients and manners of usage so I didn’t have to do much research on what to do.  Here is my review of the products:

Pros

  • I loved the color distinction between each item, which helped to keep things succinct

  • There was still an average of 50% product remaining in the bottle after the 10 days which was a pleasant surprise.  Although the bottle sizes did look deceiving tiny, I’m still using it many days later

  • It only takes an American dime per product use, twice per day, on my face.  

  • Each product had a smooth, texture and a pure feel

  • My skin had become clearer and retained its smooth texture during these 3 days

  • Each item had a clean almost floral scent that was inviting and gave me a little boost when I used it

Cons

  • The Clarifying lotion was the most difficult to use.  With no further instructions than use twice per day, I had to discover online that it was supposed to be used as a toner, which involved dabbing it onto a cotton ball and lightly sweeping it across the face.  I actually had a much better result of carefully placing spots of the lotion on my face , massaging in using a circular motion and allowing it to absorb in.

  • At times, the facial cleanser was not able to remove eyeliner product from my eyes, but once the area was washed a second time, it would  be completely removed

Overall Score: 4 out of 5

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with this system.  I normally don’t follow a routine of products from the same brand, and prefer to use mostly natural products, but I do understand the advantages of not mixing items.  My face felt and looked very clean in a pure way and rarely did I have to reapply.  The clarifying lotion took the place of my usual apple cider vinegar toner and did so with positive results.  I am considering buying the full size products of this system and using it as my regular routine.  I would recommend liquid facial cleansers to anyone as it can be massaged easier onto the skin, doesn’t clog pores or irritate the skin due to the lack of exfoliators.  It’s also important to always moisturize your face after it’s cleanse as this will help to rehydrate your skin.

I give Clinique two thumbs up on this one! How many steps are in your facial cleansing routine?  Do you prefer bar or liquid cleanser?  

XoX,

Strawberry Refining Mask

Hello Lovely,

Need a fun and easy way to love your face? With summer around the corner, the quest for showing off polished skin is inevitable.  Commonly we start with the area that everyone sees on first contact: our face!  Exfoliation is the key to polished skin and offer so many health benefits.  Exfoliation is the removal of dead or dry skin cells found on the surface of the skin.  By removing these, you increase blood circulation and reveal the healthy glowing skin underneath.

Exfoliation can be done twice a week at the most, for body and face.  Exfoliating too often can strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to redness or dryness.  A fun way to exfoliate your face us with a strawberry almond scrub.  It’s the right balance of ingredients as Almonds and strawberries are great for improving complexion and preventing sun damage.  Together, these contain vitamins E and C, Salicylic acid and powerful enzymes.

You can easily store this in the fridge in a 5 – 10ml sample container for convenience.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 2 almonds (thinly sliced and minced)

Directions:

  1. Place the strawberries in a small container and mash thoroughly using a fork until the berry blend is as smooth as possible, with very tiny pieces of fruit.  
  2. Ensure that the almonds are thinly sliced and minced before adding , as we wouldn’t want the mixture to be too coarse or chunky for the skin.  
  3. Apply on cleansed skin and leave on for 5 – 7 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.

Which strawberry skin benefit would best help your skin?  Do you use other fruit masks?

XoX,

 

Love your skin: Greek Yogurt Face Mask

Hello Lovely,

What’s yummy enough to eat but even better for your skin? Greek yogurt!  This invigorating commodity packs more nutrients and essentials over the regular yogurt , which your skin will love.  Its thick texture contains protein which is vital to cell growth as well as alpha hydroxy and lactic acids which dissolves dead skin cells and diminishes fine lines.  It's perfect for sensitive or combination dry skin. When added with honey, it provides a natural glow from the inside out.  I’ve used this recipe after a bad sunburn and it provided an overall cool feeling and radiance that I needed.

Greek Yogurt Face Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 (6oz) Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 med. fresh Lemon wedge


Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well.  Use your fingers or a small brush to distribute evenly on face and neck.  This can also be used on the chest area above your bust or on arms if using to relieve sunburn.  You can use immediately or place in the fridge for additional coolness.  Let the mask rest on the applied area(s) for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water to ensure the pores are tightened. Pat lightly with a towel and moisturize after.

Let us know how you like this face mask! Try it and comment below.

XoX,


 

Love your body: My Favourite Natural Soaps for Nurturing Skin

Hello Lovely,

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Being a big supporter of natural skin products, I wanted to try natural soaps.  The first time I used the Sea Salt and Olive Oil soap from Kiss My Face was in 2015. The result was smooth and moisturised skin but also a slippery tub, so be very careful when using oil-based products.  The key to selecting the right natural soap is not only finding your favourite scents (lavender, vanilla, orange) but also the best ingredients for your skin such as:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids - fruit acids which reduce fine lines and provide gentle exfoliation

  • Shea Butter - reduces flaking, redness or peeling

  • Olive Oil – a natural healing oil with vitamin E and antioxidants

  • Sea Salt - can help balance, protect and restore the skin as well as remove irritation

  • Coconut Oil – a nourishing oil that is rich in fatty acids

  • Tea Tree Oil – a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and  antimicrobial Some studies have even shown that Tea Tree Oil is as powerful against acne as benzoyl peroxide

  • Aloe Vera – detoxes you from the inside out as well as an anti-fungal

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I’m happy to say that the majority of these ingredients are found in the Nubian Heritage brand.  They have a wide collection including Coconut & Papaya, Carrot & Pomegranate as well as Raw Shea Butter soaps. The company is a firm believer in coconut oil in the majority of its soaps.  I was looking for a moisturising and nourishing cleanser for my skin, minus the harsh chemicals or dyes so I selected the Peppermint & Aloe and Goat’s Milk & Chai soaps based on the ingredients and the effect I wanted on my skin.

The Goat’s Milk & Chai was very nurturing and soothing for my skin.  Having sensitive skin, I was happy to find a soap made specifically for this skin type. The combination of rose petals, extract and water provided a light perfume scent and added a floral feeling to my usual shower.  The combination of goat’s milk, coconut oil and organic Shea butter left my skin feeling soft and supple.

The Peppermint Soap had more of a refreshing effect, with the crushed almonds providing exfoliation.  The baking soda left a squeaky clean feel as its alkaline nature acts as a cleanser and toner for your skin.  I always felt very clean and buffered after using this soap.  The soap also included Aloe juice and Sweet Almond Oil.  

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Overall these products have had a better effect on my skin than unnatural, commercial soaps and I wouldn’t turn back.  I used them only on my body, not my face. I would recommend the Kiss My Face and Nubian Heritage brands as good starters but there are many other natural brands out there.  Use the list above to help find the best natural soap for you and give us your review.

XoX,

 

 

Love Your Skin: Ground Coffee Body Scrub

 

Hello Lovely,

No matter the season, loving our skin is always in!  And what better gift to give this holiday than the gift of glowing skin? The latest body scrub combines 3 amazing ingredients that not only leave your skin feeling silky.  Each of these hold essential properties that give back to our body's biggest organ in effective ways:

 

·        Coffee -This natural bean contains Caffeine helps tighten the skin, which can help reduce cellulite and improve circulation.  This ingredient can also help reduce stretch marks and varicose veins.

·        Olive Oil –As one of the few oils that can penetrate deeply into your skin it has ultra-moisturising properties and contains three natural antioxidants including Vitamin E which is a top skin care vitamin.

·        Brown Sugar – A 100% natural ingredient with alpha-hydroxy acid, and draws moisture out of the environment and can impart it into the skin.  Brown sugar also improves area of scarring and is ideal for exfoliation.

 

This scrub is one of my favourite that I've used for years and as my husband would say, leaves the bathroom smelling like Starbucks when I walk out!

 

Follow this recipe for amazing results:

·        1/2 cup Ground Coffee (I love the smell of Folders' but any brand will do.  You can select between the grades of coffee or types such as roasted, medium, classic, etc.)

·        3/4 cup Olive Oil (This depends on the consistency of the scrub, some prefer thick and some prefer a bit smoother.  Adjust this amount based on your preference.)

·        1/2 cup Brown Sugar

Directions:

Place oil, coffee and brown sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Sample a small amount onto your hand to test texture and enjoy!  This makes a 1oz batch.

Tips to remember:

·        Remember to apply the scrub in gentle circular motions for best results.

·        The finer the coffee, the smoother it will be applied onto the skin, while the course will be used in bigger chunks as you scrub.

·        An even coffee/sugar ratio works well with gaining the best out of your scrub.

·        It's best to use a scrub once every week or 2 for best results.  Remember to rinse with warm water, pat dry and use a moisturiser afterwards.

·        Coconut Oil is also very nourishing and is my usual go-to for skin care.  Substitute Olive Oil for this.

What are your favourite body scrub recipes? How did your skin feel after using this scrub? Is there anyone you know who would love this as a Christmas gift? Share with us your reaction in the comment section below!

Winter Skin Fixes

Winter Skin Fixes

Harsh outdoor temperatures combined with dry indoor air can cause flare-ups in some skin conditions. Beat the winter beauty blues with these simple fixes. Mechelle shares her secrets for fighting dry skin, dull complexions and lifeless hair, even when she has no time to spare. Learn how small changes can go a long way toward getting glowing and gorgeous, whatever the weather.

Read More

Coconut Oil & Coffee Body Scrub

Hello Lovely,

So I LOOOOOVE coffee! I love it so much so, that when I joked with a teacher to bring me some coffee from her trip to Cuba, she actually brought me some! And another teacher gave me a baggie of coffee. I use it to cure my headaches and refuse to do work until I at least brew my coffee! And as bad as this sounds, one of the reasons I continued going to my church when I first started, was the free Starbucks coffee. Miraculously I don't drink coffee on Saturdays, but you can imagine, with me brewing coffee five days a week, that's a lot of coffee grounds being thrown away....or reused if you know what to do with them!

Yes, you can totally use used coffee grounds to make a spa-like body scrub.  Sounds crazy, right?  I recommend using 2 parts coconut oil to 1 part coffee grounds.  You want to use room temperature coconut oil, not quite melted, still solid but soft enough to scoop out.  Pour the two ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  Doesn’t look too luxurious at this point, does it?  But, just you wait!  Then use a hand mixer to whip the oil and coffee grounds together.

And this is what it looks like after you have whipped it up.  You guys, it smells so gooooooooooood. I’m not a fan of the scent of coconut but the coffee definitely makes up for it!  And doesn’t it look like Cookies ‘n’ Cream ice cream?  But DO NOT eat it.  I mean you could because it’s all technically edible, but it would be so gross.  So just smell it.  And put it on your skin.  But not in a creepy Silence of the Lambs way.

This works like any other body scrub.  Scrub it on your skin in a circular motion, rinse it off, and pat your skin dry.  Since neither oil nor the coffee grounds are shower drain friendly, don’t use more than you need to and run hot water down your drain for a while after use.  I found that my skin felt like I had just bathed in body butter, and if that’s an icky feeling for you too, don’t worry; the feeling goes away after about ten minutes, and you won’t even need to wear lotion!

If you store the scrub in an airtight container, it will last a few weeks — but toss it out at any signs of mould or mildew.  Keeping the jar of scrub in the fridge will extend its life a bit longer.  Also, if you store the scrub above 76 degrees the coconut oil will start to melt again.  If that happens just pop it in the fridge for a bit, and then whip it up again.

Make sure to check out the other DIY projects I share this week.  You might also like these previous posts:

How To Make Your Own Brown Sugar

Island Gal Themed Desktop Notepad

DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Oil

XoX,

 

 

5 Secrets To Making Your Perfume Last

My favourite perfume is Chanel No. 5. I got my first bottle 3 years ago for Christmas, and believe it or not, I can actually make a 3.4 fl. oz. bottle last 2 years! It costs $75 for one bottle, the last time I checked so I definitely do my best to spread it, wearing it only for special occasions. I’m on my second bottle now and let me tell you, when I ran out of the first bottle, it was one of the worst feelings in the world! Even worse, is when you spritz only to find that no one can smell the lovely fragrance on you two hours later! It’s the biggest bummer: You’ve treated yourself to a new fragrance, but despite several morning spritzes, the scent seems to completely disappear by 10am. Before you drown yourself in a suffocating cloud of eau de parfum, get strategic. Try these five hacks—some of which will disprove old habits—to make the most of your purchase!

1. Apply After Showering

Scents last longer on moist skin, so applying perfume after a shower or bath is optimal. Spray it on after drying off, before putting on clothes.

2. Know Your Hot Spots

Go beyond the wrists by spritzing on pulse points that generate more heat. I usually spray the nape of my neck, inside of my elbows, cleavage and stomach. Although you shouldn’t cover all these zones at once, I’d suggest spraying at least the back of your knees or ankles to start, as scent rises throughout the day.

3. Don’t Rub

The old ritual of spraying and rubbing the wrists actually interrupts the fragrance’s true smell, as friction causes heat. This speeds up the evaporation of certain notes, resulting in change of scent.

4. Layer over Lotion

As mentioned before, perfume lingers longer on hydrated skin. Apply unscented moisturizer or my personal favourite, Vaseline on pulse points before spraying to lock it in. If spraying over lotion, make sure that the scents are compatible!

5. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

As pretty as they may look next to your skincare collection, never keep your perfumes in the bathroom. Stay away from damp, humid areas and away from the sun so your precious scents don't break down. Tip: Invest in a chic tray and proudly display your bottles in your bedroom.