27 Jul 2013

Not So Fun In The Sun

In my previous post I mentioned how my skin tone changes so I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how I now protect myself from the sun and how dangerous I think it is.

I have always been slightly anaemic which basically means I never have have enough blood running through my veins especially at particular times of the month so it is mostly a result of menstruation and possibly not leading a healthy lifestyle. This sometimes makes me tired, depressed, and unmotivated. It also makes more more susceptible to changes in the environments temperature. I don't cope very well when I walk from a hot room into a room that has the air con being blasted away. I'm okay with still air and I could happily walk into a fridge. It's cold winds that I don't like and hot humid weather.

The fastest I've noticed a tan developing was after just two hours of walking around in the sun. I now have an awkward line where my feet are golden brown but my toes are pale yellow thanks to my ballet flats. Being mixed with black and white means I can almost instantly go from being Casper the friendly ghost to a Brazilian beauty in just a week or so. This however isn't always the case and usually requires prolonged sun exposure in somewhere like Spain. In England I have laid outside for four hours and got nothing but a light case of heat exhaustion and purple legs that looked bruised all over which developed into a pathetic excuse of a tan afterwards.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke is no joke, I felt like I was slipping away and I couldn't move or even speak. This was because I was attempting to tan for a straight four hours at the worst time of the day (between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its peak). I'm lucky nothing serious happened which was probably because I am half black and therefore half built for hot weather. If this was anyone else I think it would have been more serious. The sun exposure that burns some people only gives me the faintest tan. I have never been sunburnt in my entire life therefore I have never seen the sun as a danger and only a nuisance for it's prickling heat and giving me tan lines where my T-shirt has been. My dad is has darker skin than me but still peels all over his hands.

It wasn't until my little sister was confirmed to have a particular skin condition that I began to realise how harmful UV rays can be. My little sister is allergic to UVA and UVB rays therefore she is pretty much allergic to the sun. She has to wear factor 50 sunscreen and protective clothing other wise she comes up with a rash across her nose and cheeks that looks like chicken pocks but forms water blisters which then crust over. It mainly appears on her face but sometimes on her ears and lips. I would put up some pictures but they are gruesome and I don't think my sister would be happy with me doing that anyway.

Death and Tanning Taxes

Seeing how even stepping outside for 30 minutes affects her skin has made me realise just how prevalent UV rays are and learning about them in University has also taught me how destructive they are. If UV rays are used to obliterate bacteria then think of how harmful they are to us. I don't think anything would more harmful and unstoppable if it wasn't for the ozone layer around the earth protecting us. This however is slowly, or should I say rapidly, depleting thanks us humans. It makes me angry that everyone on earth including myself is making my little sister's skin condition worse.

Tanning beds and cancer risk

So until I figure out a way to control humankind and stop killing the ozone, I'm concentrating on protecting myself from the rays of death. I have been on the hunt for a sunscreen that doesn't have silicones or parabens etc. and after almost giving up I stumbled across this in discount UK (where I seem to find everything strangely enough). It's also available in body care for around £4 which seems pricey but its a spray bottle and a little goes a long long way.

It comes out as an almost clear liquid that is easy to spread unlike most traditional sunscreens. It's a teensy be greasy and makes my skin shiny but by the time I've gotten ready and drove to work its mostly sunk in and my skin just looks a bit glowy which I don't mind at all. It doesn't smell horrible but it isn't my favourite scent.

Usually sunscreens prevent me from getting a tan so I am yet to test it on my pasty legs. I am hoping that this will be good enough for my sister. She gets her sunscreen for free on prescription but it's a different brand. It's made in Australia and I think I can trust them to make excellent sunscreens that do the job. Australia is well known for advertising the importance of sun protection, however my sister complains about her sunscreen being too greasy and I think that's because of the silicones, not to mention it has parabens too. if she could get this one on prescription then that would be great, i's also made in the UK so less air miles :)

It's also hay-fever season, which means endless nights of blowing into tissues and puffy sore eyes. My eyes don't exactly go all puffy but they do get red and sore. It's my nose that really suffers, all blocked and sniffling, I can barely breath at night. In my ears I also start to feel a horrible prickly feeling right at the core as if someone is poking my brain with needles through my ear canals. I usually use Vick's for colds and it does an okay job for about 2 hours, then the effects wear off. I had no idea it could be used for hay fever until I bought a little pot out of desperation and read the info leaflet. This helps me sleep all through the night with no troubles and does a better job on my hay-fever than on regular colds. 

I also bout a nasal spray from Vick's as well but since I haven't used it yet I couldn't be bothered to take a picture and put it up on here. I usually take hay-fever/allergy tablets and they work wonders on my cat allergies but do almost nothing for my hay-fever. luckily its gotten better now that this heatwave is coming to an end.

Remember.... Slap, Hat and Splat!!! 

or was it the other way round???


26 Jul 2013

Recent purchases & Belgian blokes

Oh yes,

This is gonna be a long one but I'll try to keep each bit short and sweet but no doubt I will find a way to ramble on and on and on and.............

The sleek crème to powder foundation tester kit. Bought on-line from Amazon for I don't know how much but it was less than £4/5. Depends on who and where you buy it from but you can buy directly from the sleek website.

 I have been struggling for well over a year trying to find the right shade for my skin tone. I am mixed raced and have this lovely unique pale yellow skin tone that is damn awkward to find the right foundation for. I also have oily skin and after suffering from acne for a year I am left with tiny scars all over my forehead. Finding the right colour/coverage has been an emotional and financial nightmare after throwing and giving away so many bottles/tubes. However this tester kit has solved all my problems. 

These foundations are definitely creamy and I don't know if it's the heatwave here in England but they seem to slide off at the end of the day so probably not suitable for oily skin in the summer. I am yet to try them with some primer but the Idea of  testing the different colours Is genius to me. I hate swatching things whilst the staff in the drugstore are staring at me and other people are getting in the way. I like to try things in my own time and not worry about other people's grubby finger's touching the same tester that I'm using. I also prefer to to test things on my face as my mixed raced skin tone likes to vary like a rainbow all over my body. The back of my wrist is way paler than my face and that back of my hand is much darker so swatching seems pointless really. I think sleek specialise in ethnic skin tones because they have got it just right

This is the lightest palette so I don't think there is much choice for Caucasian skin tones lighter than mine. My skin tone Is different all over my body, even during the winter. My face is always pale and although I seem like an orange in the mirror, I can look like a ghost in photos especially when the flash is on. During this summer my varying skin tones get even worse and I could possibly have a whole spectrum on just my body. My face has a gradient of light and dark all over which I think looks lovely bare and natural but I have to cover up my blemishes.


These are the best pictures I could take considering the lighting I had. I can never see myself using the colours shell or latte unless I was really pale in the winter or went on holiday and got a deep tan. The palette goes from lightest to darkest from left to right. 

At the moment I am using sand on the dark circles under my eyes, and then going over it with calico or bamboo to put some tan/colour back into my skin. For the rest of my face I use either calico or bamboo to cover up blemishes depending on the tone of my skin. For example the bottom half of my face is lighter because the sun always hits my forehead and nose first so I would use calico for blemishes on my lower half and bamboo for blemishes on my upper half. If I had to cover up my entire face I would probably use either bamboo or calico depending on how tanned I am throughout the year. However these foundations are creamy and I prefer to use them as concealers where needed and let the rest of my face breathe.


I also have samples of there liquid foundations (the new revive collection) so I will see how those work to cover up my entire face. After years of struggling with my skin tone these tester kits are a godsend and I would definitely repurchase being as though my skin tone likes to change and maybe have a full size one of the colour that suites me most all year round. They would also be spectacular for travelling, especially on holiday where your skin tone is likely to change rapidly as you develop a tan in just a few days. 

Got this free with a July issue of glamour magazine.
It's natural and is full of good ingredients.

It does somewhat feel a little like a lip gloss but it's main purpose is to moisturise. I can see glittery bits in the tube but it doesn't give any where near as much shimmer or moisture as my blistex brilliance lip balm. It also doesn't have any taste either and for a retail price of £12 I definitely won't be buying it again if I have to use it within 6 months (most natural/organic products have a short shelf life due to lack of preservatives). I'm trying to get into the habit of wearing lip balm everyday but after half a year I'm no where near finishing or even halfway through most of my lip products. This one was okay but it isn't amazing and it also doesn't have any SPF in there.

For a while I've been needing a face scrub for deeper cleansing but until recently I have been managing with the simple gel wash cleanser. It's very gentle but sometimes I feel like it doesn't clean deep enough into my pores. I can't say weather or not this is doing a good job because I haven't had it very long but it smells lovely and doesn't dry out my skin.

I bought it from a website called beautynaturals.co.uk. It does free delivery to anywhere in the UK and has a whole range of natural/organic product that are free of parabens, sulphates and silicones. This facial scrub cost me £4 which might seem a little pricey but 150ml of my simple cleanser has lasted me yonks so I'm not worried about using this bottle up quickly. I only use it at the night before bed since my pores will have collected dirt throughout the day. In the morning I cleanse with the more gentle gel wash cleanser.

So far I have only found 3 deodorants free of silicones or aluminium chloro-hydrate:
The limited edition lynx for girls which I can't rely on to be around forever
Fem-fresh feminine deodorant
And this one.....Vanderbilt, don't remember how much I bought it for but it was from bodycare so it had to be resonantly cheap. Non of these prevent sweating or odour as well as the dove deodorants or roll-ons but the last one is the best out of the three for underarms. Funnily enough the fem fresh deodorant works best for the place it was originally designed for so it stays in my wash bag next to my bag of tampons and what not. As for lynx, well it just smells nice, In fact it smells the best out of all three. The fem fresh is fresh but doesn't smell very feminine. As for the Vanderbilt deodorant, well it's almost an old woman's scent but is a middle-ground/compromise of the previous two.

The container is also very pretty and makes it look rather expensive for a deodorant :)

Now I've been going through a lot of stress recently which is why I haven't been blogging as much over the past month. If you ask me how I de-stress I would usually tell you that I go for a walks, exercise, do yoga, draw, colour, paint or something productive/relaxing. But certain circumstances and a busy schedule have meant I have been unable to do any of those for a long while. This lead to me comfort eating and slowly gaining weight over the past year. 

In an effort to stop snacking I am going back to my all time love and slight addiction of hot chocolate. You may think that with this heatwave going on in Britain this isn't such a good Idea but it helps me relax and unwind so I don't mind a hot beverage as long as I'm indoors. A hot drink will have the same amount of calories as a biscuit but it would have less fat and more water. It also fills you up way more than a digestive leaving you much more satisfied, especially if the flavour is rich enough. 

I have tried quite a few well known brands of hot chocolate; Cadbury's, Aero, Galaxy, Nestle (Milo), most supermarket brands. So far I think galaxy and Cadbury's are the nicest. I've even tasted the difference between making hot-chocolate with milk or using the instant ones with water. Generally hot-chocolate made with milk has a better texture but is also more fattening. The coco powder designed for milk-made hot-chocolate tastes terrible when made with water. My mom says it makes the powder last longer But I just can't stand it. 

If you've ever tried this and liked it you can see why I have given This hot-chocolate a place of honour on my dad's fancy dining table

As a child I have always been brought up on the instant hot-chocolate made with water and I have never had any added teaspoons of sugar. If I'm having a hot-chocolate I want to taste chocolate and not sugar, this means that the brand with the richest flavour is the best and so far that Is the Options Belgian choc. I've tried the Belgian choc mint version and it was almost like drinking milk chocolate after eights. However after a while I got bored of the mint and switched to just the chocolate flavour. The Belgians definitely know their stuff because this hot-chocolate unwinds me like a videotape. After all it is scientifically proven that there is a chemical in chocolate that makes you feel like you're in lurrrrve <3

I faintly remember when this brand was first advertising on the telly. Each flavour had its own version and in each version a woman would drink the hot chocolate after feeling a bit stressed and a hot guy related to that flavour would appear out of nowhere. For example, in the mint choc advert a hunky guy with supposedly *mint* green eyes appeared out of nowhere. I also remember there being a orange flavour but I haven't tried it. I think the Turkish delight flavour is still about but I'm not sure how well that would go down. If I could somehow find  hot-chocolate that was strawberry flavoured.....THEN we'd be talkin'!!!!!

And for only 40 calories this is just too good to be true (obviously made with just water, I always add a dash of milk for a more creamy texture which would increase the calories). Now if only they could get the price down then this would be a gift from heaven.

I may do a post one day on all the restaurant/shop bought hot-chocolates I've ever had, I'm telling you I'm totally obsessed with the stuff. I've even ordered it with pizza at the pizza restaurant Zizzi's and it was the richest hot chocolate I have ever tried in my entire life, maybe a bit too rich because It smelt like pure cocoa powder. In the meant time I will enjoy my options and hunt for some solid belgian chocolate for a comparison,and if a hot Belgian bloke appears out of nowhere, that would be nice too ;)


2 Jul 2013

Inecto pure coconut glossing spray

I was just browsing in Superdrug when I came across this amongst a whole load of other products based on coconut oil and the like. I recognised the brand name Inecto from searching for products on Amazon but they, or the delivery costs were too pricey and I couldn't find out the ingredients. Turns out I wasn't missing out on much as most of them had a risky preservative or silicone somewhere.

However I saw this and thought oooohhhh coconut oil in a spray bottle how convenient. I don't know what it is with me and natural oils but they all have this rancid smell that I can't stand. But this was on the pleasant side of coconut fragrance. It smelled like the batiste tropical dry shampoo which is divine and since this actually has coconut oil in the ingredients I can feel the benefits.

It doesn't take long to absorb into the hair

I don't know if all the ingredients are friendly because I'm to scared to find out :S I know it's silly but as long as there's no silicones, sulphates or parabens or whatnot it's good enough.

Like any oil it adds shine, protects, conditions and helps to de-tangle my hair. However the effects are short-lived as my ends are dry and naked again by the next they. At least I don't have to worry about build up but it would be nice if the effects were a bit more long lasting which is something usually only achievable with silicones.

I am yet to try this spray on my own flat-ironed hair but so far it adds shine to my curls in a way that looks natural. On my sister's flat-ironed it helped to smooth down her frizzy and terribly split ends. It looks greasy at first but absorbed in no time. The Naked shine conditioner makes my hair look like a magpie magnet but this spray is good enough for me. I like it more-so for the benefits of the coconut oil, so the added shine is just a bonus.

the bottle hasn't lasted me very long. I've tried to use a little as possible but when you have thick hair that needs de-tangling I can just see the volume going down down down to the bottom of the bottle :(. It was around £3.00 in Superdrug which a bit pricey for such a small bottle (100ml) but as I have no other option and there is coconut oil involved I am happy to buy this again as it gives good results. Will be straightening my hair soon with some new tools and products so will probably have a post on that and might mention how this spray works on my flat ironed hair.