Sunday, 13 April 2014

Not just any nail polish!! It's UV or LED cured...

I apologize, this post should have been out a long time ago, but I'm hoping that there there are still a couple of you that might find it useful.

So the craze, for a while, in the nail industry has been UV or LED nail polish.

What is it: a soak-off long wearing gel/nail polish that doesn't chip, doesn't peel, is quicker than normal gel to apply, and lasts for about 2-3 weeks! It is applied like nail polish but has the strength of gel.

What are some of the benefits: there is no damage to the natural nail when applying or removing, maintenance free for the 2-3 weeks, dries instantly, wide variety of colours to choose from and you have perfectly manicured finish.

Why UV or LED:
UV (ultra violet light) which has had a bit of controversy in terms of safety ie. the light may possibly cause skin cancer, but nothing has been conclusive... and LED (Light Emitting Diode). I will not go into depth in terms of comparison of the different brands and whether they use LED or UV to cure and why etc.. I think it is more of personal preference so give the different ones a try and see which suit you best.

Different brand options:
Some of the most common professional brands are Gelish, CND Shellac, Gelaze...

Here is a quick video ~ watch to the end to see pictures of a few simple creations.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sans Soucis 10in1 BB Blemish Balm Review

I seriously think that I may finally have found the one!! After a long search for a good quality BB cream, I have finally landed on a winner. If you would like to know what a BB cream in please click here.

Sans Soucis 10in1 BB Blemish Balm...

What the 10 in 1 stands for:

  • Covers pigment spots and skin redness.
  • Conceals skin imperfections and signs of fatigue.
  • Adapts to skin colour.
  • Adds moisture to the skin.
  • Helps improve fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improve skin's firmness.
  • Protects with SPF 15 against harmful UV rays.
  • Acts against free radicals.
  • Helps prevent the skin from premature aging caused by the environment.
  • Gives the skin radiant complexion.
My thoughts:
I love, love, love this product! The BB cream has a light smooth texture and glides on so easily - I apply it with my fingers just like i would any other moisturizer. I am not one for wearing foundation on a daily basis, so I enjoy that I can get light coverage with the combined properties of a great skincare product.  It gives my skin a smooth even appearance and the illusion of having used bronzer, as the golden pigments illuminate beautifully on the high-points of the face. 

I highly recommend this product. If you are lazy, or find you don't always get time for full on makeup... this is what you need to give you that "done up" look without much effort. It contacts light refracting pigments, vitamin E & Spring water from Baden-Baden.

The cons:
Like with most BB creams, the colour range is limited to two shades, natural and bronze. I have been using the bronze, it goes on a little pale and within 10 minutes gradually adapts to match my skin tone. I am yet to test it on an even darker skin tone than myself, so keep an eye out for a pictorial update.

Have you found a BB cream with all the properties your require in a good moisturizer? Please share..

For more information on this product, checkout their facebook page: here.

Monday, 31 March 2014

My top 10 winter must haves!

I don't know about y'all but if you're in Southern Africa, you are possibly smelling winter in the air! I'm one of those that likes to plan ahead, so I've been shopping around for my winter "stash" already!

Below are my top 10 must haves, in random order, please be sure to let me know what yours are...

Those of you that know me know that this is my number 1 weakness, tea.. cafe mocha..

I always switch from a lotion to a butter in the winter, I find because they are thicker, they keep my skin moisturized for longer.

Keeping my neck and face warm.. great for those windy days when you need to keep the chill from stinging your cheeks!

For sealing the moisture in my hair, I use either olive oil, coconut oil, or which ever other oil I prefer at the time.

Must have that sun-kissed glow in the winter.. totally love my Regima bronzer, makes my skin look radiant all the time!

Nobody like dry, cracked lips... right?!

A good and timeless staple for any closet...

My absolute favorites, can't get enough of these, they have lasted me long & served me well!

 See no evil, hear no lies...!

Cannot do without this product, gotta protect my skin from "the elements!" 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Natural Hair Feature...

I decided to do something a little different, and please tell me if you enjoy reading about other people's "hair journeys"..

This is a feature on one of my long time friends' Nickypops!

When did you decide to go natural and what made you do so?
I decided to go natural in 2012, I just really wanted healthy thick hair and I know that it might sound cliché but going natural to me genuinely instigated my journey to self-acceptance in all avenues of my life.

It challenged me to accept who I am 100 % , 100% of the time.

What do you enjoy most about being natural?
I have endless styling options , except where sleek do’s are concerned, obviously, but for those who love thick and curly it's great.

What is your regimen?
My regimen has changed as I've become so busy and have less time to manage my hair, where as before I used to wash and condition my hair then do a protective style, and I would make time to do a conditioning treatment once a week, I now blow out my hair once a week and generally braid it.

Do you have a favorite hair product, what is it & why?

I love Shea butter in my conditioner, as a conditioning treatment, and because it is an oil that is absorbed into your hair as opposed to just coating it.

Whats your "go to" hairstyle?
Braids, braids and more braids

Do you have any hair rules/must do advice you could give other people considering going natural?
For those who want to go natural, you must realize that it takes a while and requires lots of "tlc," so just have patience and remember kinks need moisture!!!

What's your most awkward natural hair story/comment you've received, and how did you handle it?
I can't recall a specific incident but on several occasions I've been asked "Where do you buy your hair piece?" and I remember a time when I still had a twa, I had it in a two-strand twist style and someone asked me if I'm growing dreadlocks. Had a lot of laughs, but don't regret the change one bit!

Enjoy the below evidence of the versatility of natural hair ~ worn straight, curly, with colour, protective styling... the list is endless!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Skin Scanner... with a difference!

I'm really excited about this new "contraption" I was introduced to today!!

How fancy is the name... Biophotonic Skin Scanner?! hmm... I will make it as simple as possible to understand what this technology is and what it can do for you! For me personally, if it can truly deliver on it's promise, then this is an life changing technology and I'm glad I got to know about it!!

So consider this my initial review...

What are anti-oxidants? 
I've discussed this in a previous post, but if you need a recap click here.

How does this scanner work?
The biophotonic scanner, is the world's first antioxidant measuring tool & uses a non-invasive method (laser/light) to measure overall carotenoid antioxidant activity. Let me try to break it down in simple terms: remember antioxidants are what you need in order to keep your body's cells healthy and functioning properly, also remember your body's organs/tissues are made up of cells eg. your liver, heart, kidneys etc... if these are not functioning properly it means you become more prone to sickness/allergies/diseases... so this scanner measures your level of protection. It was referred to as the "lie detector" test for your health!!

How are the results translated?
So there are different levels of protection, ranging from non-existent antioxidant activity (where they recommend you be checked by your doctor) to a high level of antioxidant activity (which is where we ideally want to be). Your current level is recorded onto an electronic record and kept with all your details, an scan card is also given to you to take home..

What next?
Depending on the category you fall in, supplements (that your body will actually absorb, as opposed to having 'expensive wee,' and with access to well researched data), as well as a healthy lifestyle, are discussed and recommended. These will give you a noticeable feeling of good health & well being - physically, mentally and sexually. 60 days later, you go back for a re-scan and their guarantee is your score will have increased.

There is so much to say on this scanner, but I have summarized it the best I can. I was sold upon hearing and seeing my scan scores, which were sadly very low.. I will definitely be trying the supplements out and after a 30/60 day trial period, coming back with an update. .... if I can get even the slightest shift in a positive direction, then I too will become a agent!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Fragrance Frenzy!

So we all like to smell good, right? I thought I'd share some of my favourite fragrances. I'm a rehabilitated hoarder when it comes to this, I used to love perfumes so much that I would know which one has been launched, where, by whom, how and by which brand...!! 

I tend to wear different fragrances depending on my mood or the season. What I have learnt though, before committing to a purchase, is spray the tester on my wrist enjoy the top notes and smell it again after a few hours, if I'm still enjoying it then it's a winner, next day I'll go in and buy.

These are some of the fragrances that I enjoy, and yes there is a hint of hoarder tendencies in me still, as i have not managed to get myself to open some of them! Tell me some of your favourites and how you choose them, is your wearing them dependent on your mood or...?

Here is an interesting fact about fragrances, that might be of help you when making a decision about which one you like best: they have a top note, middle note and a base note...

Top note:
This is what you smell immediately when you spray the fragrance on your skin. This creates the first impressions you have about a perfume and last on average about 10 - 15 minutes.

Middle note:
This is what you can smell after the top note has evaporated and is normally what is used to classify the fragrance eg. floral, fruity, etc.. and this last up to an average of about 45 minutes.

Base note:
This is the foundation of the fragrance. This is what helps keep the top and base note from evaporating quickly, and depending on the concentration of fragrance (eg. EDT, EDP) can last for up to four hours or longer. Some of the most common base notes are musk, ylang ylang, cedarwood, vanilla etc.

Lastly, remember, what may smell good on your friend, might not necessarily smell good on you - your body chemistry is not the same - genes, diet, pH levels, number of pores etc.. all play a big part, we are each unique, so go out try a few different fragrances and find your own signature scents!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Fighting with food...?!

I have always been one to procrastinate and find excuses particularly when it comes to my health. Lately, I have been inspired and somehow motivated to do something about it.

I have been doing a bit of reading and research on different recipes/foods that one can incorporate into a healthy eating lifestyle. Yes, i studied nutrition as part of the curriculum in the career path I've chosen, but there is always that one hiccup, that one can never put a finger to, when it comes to "diet" or "eating healthy"... I have really been making an effort to find a way to make it a lifestyle, to make it a permanent and yet not painful change in my day to day eating habits.

Of all the articles I read through, what seems to have stood out big and strong for me was planning!

I figured baby steps was the way to go! I would start by planning my meals, for the week, ahead of time starting with breakfast. Now breakfast was a meal I would not ordinarily eat, my excuse being "I can't eat early in the morning"... true translation "I can't actually be bothered to get up early enough to make or figure out what to eat, and will deal with it when the hunger strikes ie. buy some form of convenience food."

So, on Sunday past, I went through my kitchen cupboards to see if I had enough containers to prep my breakfast for the week.. thought about what would be a good start to my day, health and energy wise and concluded on Oats. So oats it would be for the breakfast for the entire week - now luckily I love oats so getting bored was not something I needed to worry about. I also had a back up plan just in case - eg. mixing in frozen berries, cinnamon, cutting fresh fruit into it etc.

I found some baby food containers that I had not used and they were the perfect size. I precooked all my oats for the week (the stove kind, will be looking for steel cut oats in the the health shop).. served it out into the containers and popped it into the fridge. This is was experimental, note, as I was not sure if it would last 5 days without going off... and it didn't :). I got up each morning, popped it into the microwave for a minute to reheat, picked up a different piece of fruit each day, had a cuppa tea on arrival to work and that was breakfast.. done!

Hoping that I will inspire someone else who has been struggling to make some changes, to walk this journey with me, I've found that it's a lot harder to try and change everything overnight, but doing it gradually may just be the key to success.

This weekend I will work on my lunches (although I made and took a salad everyday this week, I feel that possibly adding a bit more variety as opposed to the same salad would be an more appealing option), I will be posting a lunch update soon.

If you are not a morning person, like me, or just pre-plan your breakfasts as a general rule, please share what else you've made ahead that lasts all week... I would love to know and start looking at variety for the near future.