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Hello Lovely,

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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.

How To Get My Back to School Hairstyle

Hello Lovely,

Going back to school is a HUGE event! The uniforms, the snacks, the traffic! AHHHHHHHHH! It's a nightmare. This year I changed schools so I had a lot of anxiety to deal with. Of course, I wanted to make a great first impression, so I needed the right back to school look. It took FOREVER to plan the right outfit, but with a lot of strategic pre-planning, I survived my first week on my new job! YAY!

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One of the ways I pre-planned was with a new protective style. I fell in love with this style when I saw it on Tamera Mowry on Pinterest, and thought it would be beautiful but simple! When I told my stylist she was super excited and immediately onboard. The sides are straightforward: two braids that join at the end. We weren't completely sure about the front middle section so I allowed my stylist to freestyle and she did not disappoint! I only expected this to last the first week of school, but it's still holding up pretty well thanks to my awesome stylist!

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This hairstyle is inspired by a hairstyle Tamera Mowry rocked. I scoured the internet looking for other angles of this hairstyle but found none so my hairstylist had to improvise just a little. She always gets my vision and I love her for that! After a wash and deep treatment, we stretched my hair, then started styling. Check out the video below to see the full details on my back to school hairstyle. It's super easy to do and would be perfect for semi-formal functions. After all, what's classier than a high ponytail?

HOMEMADE NATURAL MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER

Hello Lovely,

Do you clean your makeup brushes? 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never thought about cleaning my makeup brushes. I mean, I knew I was supposed to clean them, I just never made the time to do it properly (often opting to just rinse it with soap and water). Big mistake.  As it turns out, cleaning makeup brushes is a pretty important task that can prevent bacteria from spreading on the skin.

Bacteria = breakouts.

Breakouts = makeup brush contamination.

Makeup brush contamination = more breakouts.

It’s a nasty cycle.

I had bought a bottle witch hazel during my last shopping trip in Miami because I heard about all of the amazing benefits of it with beauty products. I also knew that castille soap is like the coconut oil of bases (holy and highly revered). There are a number of store-bought brush cleaner options, and there are also a number of DIY tutorials on Pinterest. Most of the ingredients used in both the store-bought and “homemade” versions are far from natural, so I took what I learned and started experimenting. After all, how hard could it be, right? With a few basic ingredients, which I already had on hand for DIY beauty products, I was able to easily whip up a natural solution.

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To say that I’m now a brush cleaning advocate is an understatement.  Trust me, just try it once–dip your makeup brush in a few simple ingredients–your beauty routine will forever be changed. From what I’ve read, most makeup professionals recommend cleaning brushes daily, particularly the ones used for foundation and blush. But considering I don't wear makeup every day (special occasions only) I'll stick to cleaning them after every use.

My homemade brush cleaner recipe works for any cleaning schedule since it makes enough solution for soaking sessions (my preferred method of cleaning) or daily spraying. Whichever method you choose, go with something that’s doable for you.

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Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner

 Servings 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 2 tsp baby mild castile soap
  • 1 tsp skin-nourishing oil like olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil., optional
  • 1 cup distilled water

Instructions

  1. In a bottle or mason jar, combine all the ingredients in the order listed (the recipe). Shake the bottle.

  2. Swirl makeup brushes in the mixture to clean.

  3. Carefully blot brushes to remove excess dirt and oils.

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I Made My First Wig!

Hello Lovely,

I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE PERSON TO WEAR WIGS! I always grew up with the belief that if you want it, earn it. That applied to my finances and my hair. It was only when I began working after college that I began to experiment with extensions. I first got into it when I bought coloured extensions, and hot glued the tracks to the comb clips so that I can slip them in and out. I'm very non-commital with hairstyles, hence why I don't have locs. When my hair was permed, I liked using the coloured extensions and soon matching extensions that I used to add length and thickness to my hair. I went from have 14" hair to about 18".

Since then I've worn extensions with braids but stayed away from sew-ins, glued in tracks, and whole wigs in general because I found they were too tight. One of my best friends has a wig collection and it's always fun seeing her instagram posts wearing the various wigs, so one day a light bulb went off in my head and I wondered how hard it would be to make one of my own. Although I knew wigs could be costly depending on the type of hair, to be honest I don't know Jack Squat about weave. But that didn't stop me from having a ball wig shopping with one of my bestie's! I've made two wigs so far and I've had so much fun making them. I definitely have room for improvement so I'm going to try again with my last wig. I'm making these wigs to wear whenever I'm having a bad hair day or if I don't feel like fixing my hair. So on my mission to that I decided to experiment with my hair and I really like the results so far!

Don't forget to follow me on Youtube as I will slowly start putting out videos on that platform. I'm thinking about making a video every two weeks. What do you guys think? Do you like following my adventures? Share your reactions to my first two wigs in the comment section below! I love hearing from you.

I Tried Fenty Beauty This Weekend and I Think Its...

Hello Lovely,

I am in no way a makeup fanatic. My idea of daily makeup is literally just lipstick, and a liquid eyeliner if I feel like it. If I'm going somewhere or doing something special I literally wear a full face of concealer. I'm sure I just made make up artists and enthusiasts every where cringe just now. But that's just me. Less is more. I like the natural look and I do not have the patience for contouring, highlighting and all those other techniques. I also hate to get makeup stains on my clothes, so my solution is to stick to lipstick.

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So how did I end up trying Fenty by Rihanna?

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launched into stores on September 8, 2017, and the line has already made waves in the beauty industry. Not wanting to be left out of this trend, Mr. Ship It teamed up with local Make-Up Artist (MUA) Guru, Lucy Lu, to bring Fenty to a few select ladies in The Bahamas this past Friday. The exclusive event was by far one of the best put together I've ever attended.

With a live DJ, The Natural Empress as the host, waiters serving appetisers and signature drinks, the atmosphere was amazing! Of course everyone enjoyed the live makeup demo by Lucy Lu on a lucky guest. I actually learned new things about highlighting and contouring. I can't guarantee that I'll be able to do it myself but I did feel a little more inspired to try. Lucy did a great job answers questions from the audience and her make-over was gorgeous! The ladies were lining up to try and buy Fenty before she was even done!

Prizes awarded at the end of the night included Fenty beauty products and a full makeover by Lucy Lu.

I was able to try it at the end of the event once the guests cleared out. I tried the 450 foundation but was told a 440 would suit me better. I also tried the Rum Highlighter. So what do I think?

*Drum roll please*

IT'S GREAT! As I applied the foundation, it felt like I was putting water on my skin! Even after applying, it felt like there was nothing there! I had no smudging, no heavy feeling and it was very easy to forget I was even wearing makeup. I loved it! But before you head off to stock up on the shimmer sticks or find out more about the foundations, here's what you need to know about the diverse new line.

1. What is the meaning behind the name Fenty Beauty?

It amazes me that people don't know that Rihanna's real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. So I think that clears up the mystery.

2. Is Fenty Beauty cruelty free?

Yes, the entire line is 100 per cent cruelty free.

3. How much does Fenty Beauty cost?

This is where I checked out. The conceal, contour and highlight trio is going for $75! $75!!!! Who has $75 to spend on makeup? Foundation and highlighters are $50 each, skinsticks (not sure what these do) are $35, brushes range from $35-50 and lip gloss is $25! There's even something called blotting paper with goes for $23 with refills at $15. Remember this is coming from someone who really isn't that into makeup. Everyone I spoke to about the price said the same thing, "It's not that serious." To make matters worse, I'm not even a Rihanna fan, so I feel in no way compelled to support her.

THE FINAL VERDICT: So while I believe it's a nice product because it feels great on the skin, it loses major points for me in the price department! I can't afford to spend that kind of money on something I just wouldn't use. So unless you're a makeup enthusiast or MUA, save your money for important things like groceries or your new Fall wardrobe.

Have you tried Fenty yet? Do you have any reservations or are you all in? Sound off in the comment section below and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more updates!

This is The Best Way to Increase Hair Growth

Hello Lovely,

Everyone is looking for the secret to hair growth. If you're like me, you've probably tried and tested over a dozen myths for stimulating hair growth. Whether it's brushing your hair 100 times a day or standing on your head to increase blood flow to the scalp, I'm sure we've all done something silly thinking it'll make our hair grow faster. But has anyone ever thought of simply eating well and exercising? While most people work out in order to lose weight, get fit, or relieve stress, many fail to consider how exercising can affect your hair health. There's still a lot of untruth out there but there are a few undisputed facts.

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Stress Reduction

An element that most adults can benefit from, stress reduction is important for every healthy, well-adjusted adult. A fairly well-known fact, exercising regularly has the ability to improve one’s mood as well as keep mental disorders such as seasonal depression at bay. Moreover, given that an abundance of stress is said to cause hair shedding, by reducing your stress levels, you will also be inadvertently reinforcing your natural hair health. Stress is stressful for your hair. When you are stressed, your body produces stress hormones (cortisone). Stress hormones affect your whole body, and may also cause hair loss. 

How important is exercise for healthy hair?

Exercise is one of the Important Key for good health and good hair. When we exercise we sweat. Through sweat, toxins and waste substances are flushed out from the skin pores, giving us a fresh and radiant skin. Likewise, when we sweat from our scalp, it helps to unclog the hair follicles, giving enough space for the new hair to grow. Exercising also increases blood flow to our muscles, skin and scalp. The increased blood flow brings with it more nutrients and more oxygen. This provides nourishment to the hair roots, and thereby promoting healthy hair growth. Some of the effects of exercising are comparable to effects of oil massage. Both exercise and oil massage can increase blood circulation, open clogged pores and has relaxing effect over all. 

The effects of exercise are not just limited to hair, but your whole being will feel happy and healthy. Plus not exercising and eating healthy is like applying oil on the scalp and leaving it on without massaging. Its doesn’t help much. So even if we may we eat healthy, by not exercising we deprive our muscles, skin and scalp of effective nutrients exchange. The result is lifeless skin and hair.

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People generally think exercising is very time consuming

There are lot of myths associated with exercise. Firstly you don’t have to go to gym and exercise for hours. You can exercise at your very home or nearby park or ground. You can start with 5 minutes of brisk walk and then gradually build up on that. Secondly shun the stereotypes and find an activity that you enjoy like dance, martial art such as Taekwondo, Tai Chi, or any sport or physical activity. It’s all about reprogramming your thoughts and having fun with it.

Hair growth is affected by many different factors but in the end, there is still one universal truth: Exercise is beneficial for all-around growth. So get active and watch the changes!

VANILLA CLOVE DIY BODY OIL SPRAY

Hello Lovely,

I always thought it would be cool to make my own scent. When I went to the VIVA conference, I did that but forgot to take a particular ingredient out and it ended up tainting the entire scent making it useless. But when I did make it, it was a delicious spice scent that kind of reminded me of cookies baking while you admire a fresh pot of flowers. (Weird combination I know). So after that epic fail, I decided to try again with simpler ingredients that anyone could find in their kitchen pantry (minus the sweet almond oil base).

Even my brother admitted that he liked the smell of this and he generally ignores my existence. So I think we have a winner!

I plan on gifting this to my sister-in-law as a thank you for everything she's done to help me out these past two years. I also plan on buying more sweet almond oil from Whole Foods so that I can make more of this over the holidays to bring back for friends. Here's how you can make your own.

CAUTION: You just might attract that special someone to meet you under the mistletoe if you wear this!

Vanilla Clove DIY Body Oil Spray

  • 1/4 cup almond oil (walnut or jojoba oil would also work)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can also use vanilla essential oil.
  • 2-3 drops clove oil or 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • A small spray bottle

Combine all of the ingredients. I prefer to let the whole cloves sit in the mixture for about 5 minutes, just to infuse the scent. Remove the cloves and pour into a small spray bottle (you should definitely use a funnel for this, I ended up spilling some of mine). If you’re not smelling enough vanilla, go ahead and add a 1/2 teaspoon more.

My hand was a little heavy on the vanilla extract, so this smells very vanilla-y. I hope that's not a problem for her. If you go heavy on the vanilla, use the spray sparingly because a little goes a long way, trust me! I was really tempted to keep this one for myself. Who would you gift this to? Share with us in the comment section below!

3 Tips for Protecting Your Hair at Night

3 Tips for Protecting Your Hair at Night

Caring for your hair as you sleep is just as important as caring for it when you’re awake, and even more-so because what you do before bed can be the difference between your curls being on point and being a big matted mess in the morning. Whether you’re rocking a TWA or waist-length Locs, it is important to protect your hair as you sleep in order to retain moisture and preserve your style. 
 

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