Featured

I see you 2021!

Happy New Year! We made it to 2021! I’m sure everyone’s so excited that 2020 is finally over. The beginning of a new year feels like a clean slate, another chance to achieve the big dreams we’ve always wanted and become better versions of ourselves.

As I worked on some upcoming blog posts last year, I noticed some things about myself. For one, I love to know the meaning behind why I do things. Having purpose is very grounding for me; it makes me feel aligned with the content I put out because I know why I’m doing it. Purpose is also one of the themes that I’m really focused on this year. It’s also made me realize my why behind my blog has changed.


I initially started blogging to share my journey as a natural and product reviews. Eventually, I added makeup content to the mix and had the hopes of getting into skincare too. I came to realize I just wanted to talk about anything beauty related. As I was writing a blog post about my makeup journey, I’ve learned why beauty is so important to me. Beauty was the first experience that taught me self-love. Taking the extra time to put effort into my appearance was the beginning of teaching myself about self-care, finding my self-worth and putting myself first. I can’t believe this all started with my first trip to Sephora when I was 18, 6 years ago, eventually leading me to go natural 3 years ago (as of February 2021), and I can’t wait to begin the next part of my journey which I look forward to doing some time this year!


This realization has made me shift the purpose of my blog. I want to share content that empowers women with the tools to indulge in self-care. Having beauty rituals is one part of that, but I’d also like to talk about other things that have to do with wellbeing. Self-maintenance is essential, but self-care also means doing the inner work. This isn’t always pretty but is definitely worth it. The best part is it helps you to grow as a person.


It took me a while to understand that taking care of myself isn’t a shallow act. It’s not selfish to put yourself first. Giving to others before you give to yourself is a selfless act. For the most part, you’re harming yourself more when you give to others at the expense of your own needs. Ever heard of you can’t pour from an empty cup?


We also can’t be the strong person our loved ones depend on if we haven’t made sure we are good first. I believe that we have to give to ourselves first for us to give our best to others.


This year on my blog, I hope that me understanding my why behind this blog will keep me motivated to put out consistent content for you guys. I hope my posts inspire you to if anything, take a little time out for yourself to understand who you are and what you need to be your best possible self.


To close out my blog post, here is a picture I found on Instagram. I think it’s good if you’re unsure what your goals for 2021 are or want a mantra for 2021. I got Creation, Gratitude, Purpose and Breakthrough. I’d love to know in the comments what words you got.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and I hope you’re 2021 is full of tons of blessings.

Ruth

Featured

Makeup Tips That Have Nothing To Do With The Products You Use

If your on the beauty side of Instagram, I’m sure your timeline and explore page is filled with many pictures, igtv’s and reels of so many beauty products. It can feel like you’re left out if you don’t have the latest product. I used to believe the products you used were really what made your makeup good. But I’ve come to realize that products aren’t the only thing that make your makeup and pictures come out great. Here are 5 makeup tips that have nothing to do with the products that you use. 

Picture from @seattlemuarenee

Do your makeup in good lighting

Lighting is probably one of the most important things when it comes to makeup application. Bad lighting can really hinder how your pictures come out because they can be unflattering and applying your makeup in bad lighting can throw off how your makeup comes out as well. Natural lighting is one of the best options because it shows the truest tones of the colours you’re using. Taking pictures in natural lighting also come out really nice as well, it’s my personal favourite. Another good option is a ring light. I personally haven’t used a ring light before. I recently bought a ring light on Amazon and I’m waiting for it to get here in the mail. But I have heard that it can be good for taking photos when you don’t have the best lighting.

There are also other lighting systems that vary in pricing. One of them being Glamcor which is on the higher end scale.

Tip: taking pictures during golden hour is also one of the best things you can do. Pictures come out really nice and golden light really helps to make makeup look smoother and is especially flattering on deeper skintones. 

Take your time

I know for me, I noticed that I would rush my makeup application because I had a self clock that I wanted to beat. When I look back at those photos there were minor mistakes that I could’ve been eliminated had I taken my time and really paid attention to what I was doing. That’s why my second tip is take to your time when applying your makeup. You’ll be able to see what needs more blending, where you can add a little more or take away less. The best feeling is when you put time into something and the result comes out amazing. 

Make makeup application a self-care ritual

Applying makeup as a self-care ritual gives you something to look forward to. Sometimes it’s not just about the products you use but the extra time you spend on yourself can really elevate your mood and make you feel like you can take on the world. Using makeup as a self care rituals should include you focusing on something positive while doing your makeup. I used to love listening to audiobooks while I applied my makes up. It helped me reach my goal for how many books I’d like to read in a year and it was nice to do two of my favourite things at the same time. You can also listen to a church sermon, empowering music or music that makes you feel good, get ready with your favourite YouTuber or even listen to affirmations. For example, if you’re trying to attract abundance into your life, you can find some on youtube.

Do your makeup on your phone

 I know what you’re thinking, why would I do my makeup on my phone instead of using a mirror and here’s the reason why. If you want your pictures to come out bomb, doing your makeup on your phone allows you to see how your pictures are going to look ahead of time. So if you like the look of what you’re getting on your phone, there’s a 100% guarantee that your pictures will come out great. Another good tip is to use the back camera to take pictures instead of the front. iPhones always have a better back camera because there are more mega pixels in the back camera than the front which makes for better quality.

Focus on techniques 

Don’t get me wrong makeup products do make your makeup come out better. But not everyone wants to spend an arm and a leg on makeup all the time. This is why you focus on how you apply your makeup and finding the best techniques for you. Your technique can really make your face look like it’s worth a million bucks. I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve seen a thumbnail on YouTube, click on the video to find out the person only used drugstore products. I’ve also seen people use very high-end products and their makeup come out trash. This is why you really want to focus more on techniques because if you don’t know how to apply it, it can end up working against you. I think if there’s anything you want to invest in, it’d be good brushes although you can find affordable brushes that apply makeup really well too. A good recommendation is Morphe which has every brush that you could ever need for makeup application and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Nyx too. 

So as you can see, amazing makeup application isn’t just about having the most expensive makeup bag. Other things contribute to your makeup coming out fire! What are some of your makeup tips that don’t have to do with buying new products?

Featured

Neutral Palettes That I’ve Had My Eye On

When I first got into eyeshadow I was always looking for palettes that would show up on brown skin and looks that were easy. The most common recommendation were neutral looks. The more youtube videos I saw on neutral color looks the more I thought this look wasnt for me. Neutral looks felt like looks that wanted to blend in and not do too much and I loved color because it was fun, it gave vibrancy and I guess when I think about colour it just makes me happy. But recently I’ve noticed that I’m having a change of heart towards nudes. Probably because, I’m loving the warm-toned colour story, I love nudes that are bronzy or peachy and also nudes can create a nice sultry eye which I love. 

A popular recommendation for neutral palettes are Morphe palettes because you’re getting multiple shades of brown for $30 specifically the 35O palette. The more that I looked at the palette, the more confused I got because the shades looked so similar to me. Even though the palette was only $30 I couldn’t get the sense in buying a palette that I felt didn’t have much variation. I did feel differently about the 35O2. Probably because the palette has a lot of warm-toned neutrals. 

In this blog post, I wanted to share neutral eyeshadow palettes that have caught my eye. 😉 

Natasha Denona Biba Palette 

The Biba palette was the first time I saw a neutral palette and I actually wanted it. The palette has 15 shades and I felt the brown shades in the palette had a good variety of undertones. I’m not someone who gravitates towards cool tones such as greys, but I liked that there was one matte grey shade and one shimmer. Also, I liked that the palette wasn’t a variation of gold tones. The palette has more matte shades than shimmery shades and I gravitate more towards mattes. The black shadow is a creme powder formula that is great to use as an eyeliner or as a base for shimmery shades. I think this palette would be a good palette to have in your kit as a makeup artist because it’s so versatile. You can pair these shades with other palettes for colourful looks that need to be toned down with a neutral and also there’s a nude for every skin tone.

Artist Couture Supreme Nudes Palette 

What really drew me to this palette was the shimmery green shade because it made the palette unique. There are 8 matte shades and 4 shimmers. The shimmers don’t look similar to one another and there are different tones. There’s the green shade, peachy shade and 2 variations of gold, one more on the yellow-toned side and the other looks more bronzy. I love the size of this palette because it looks great to travel with.

Natasha Denona Bronze Palette

This summer is the summer for bronze. Too bad we can’t go outside. Mac came out with their bronze collection and Natasha Denona came out with a bronze palette. Apart from the shades in this palette being beautiful, I love how she put a purple and a black. I think this palette would be perfect to create sultry looks and it’s very versatile. I love that she has copper tones as well as bronze tones in her palette.

Juvia’s place Neutrals Palette 

Juvia’s place came out with 4 mini palettes last year. I have the violet one but I’ve had my eye on the chocolate one and the neutral one to a smoked out cut crease. The nude matte shades look a little light other than to put them anywhere but on the lid.(At least this is for my skintone) But I think if you have a lighter skin tone, you could get away with using the entire palette for a whole eye look.

Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions

This has to be my favourite thing Huda Beauty has come out with. I thought it was innovative that she came out with 3 palettes for different skin tones but also your not confined to one palette just based on your skin tone. You can get away with using other shades from each palette. My favourite was the Nude Medium because it has mauvey colours and I’ve wanted to do a mauve eye for a while but couldn’t find the best mauve shade for my skin tone. I received her Nude eyeshadow palette as a gift a few years ago, hoping to use it for a variety of pink looks but most of the lighter colour blend out as transition shades for me. I could only really use Love Bite to deepen the crease.

Honourable mention: The Metropolis Eyeshadow palette 

The Metropolis palette is not a neutral palette but it has a lot of neutral shades with pops of blue, orange and green. I would say that it’s a very everyday friendly palette. I fell in love with this palette when I was window shopping at Sephora and they had this palette on display. This palette just gives me very cohesive vibes. I love the bronzy shades, the greens and the navy blue. I think this would be another palette that would be good for a makeup kit especially if you have clients that want neutral looks. 

Neutral palettes are nice for every day or to make coloured looks more subtle. There are so many variations of neutrals that are meant for different skin tones and go with just about any look. What’s your favourite neutral palette and do you prefer neutral tones or colour?

The Products I Bought Once The World Started Opening Up-September Product Favourites

September is the first month of fall and for the first time, I’m actually excited. I typically don’t like any season outside of summer because I don’t like cold weather. Maybe it’s because I’m looking forward to Holiday season like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or maybe its because after being locked up for 4 months  I’m excited to get out and see what this fall season has to offer. This month, I had a lot of products that I loved and can’t wait to share what products I thoroughly enjoyed in Septemeber. 

Nars Soft Matte Foundation

When I found out that Nars was coming out with a foundation this year I was super excited. I’ve tried their Natural Radiant Longwear foundation and loved the formulation but the finish wasn’t for me because I have oily skin. Since then I’ve been patiently waiting for Nars to come out with a matte foundation and 2 years later they did!

This foundation is the best foundation I’ve ever tried. Apart from it being matte, it is very smoothing on the skin which is the major reason I love it. It also doesnt feel heavy on the skin and only $53 compared to Natural Radiant which is $63 and you get 1.5 oz compared to the 1 oz you get with Natural Radiant too. So you’re getting more product for a cheaper price. 

I also love that it’s a matte foundation that is workable because it doesnt dry down right away. Overall, if you want to look flawless, I’d highly recommend this foundation. My only issue is that the shades aren’t exactly the same a Natural Radiant. Natural Radiant is darker than Soft Matte so the shade can look a bit off. My shade is Marquises and I noticed it can look light although in pictures I love it! 

A picture of me wearing the Soft Matte foundation

I also did a review of this foundation on youtube, to see for yourself!

Tower 28 Beauty Bronzino Illuminating Bronzer – Best Coast

The Nudetsix cream blushes have developed my love for cream products. This is my first cream bronzer and boy do I love it. I’m actually surprised I like it because it has shimmer in it and can be quite messy but this bronzer looks beautiful on the skin. I wish I had this during the summer because it makes your skin look sunkissed. I love the tone of this bronzer, it’s very warm and looks super subtle on the skin. If you have dry skin, I would highly recommend it because the finish is very glowy. I’d also say not to be too heavy handed because it can enhance skin texture. 

Laura Mercier Setting Powder in Honey

When I saw Laura Mercier was coming out with a new setting powder on Trendmood, I didn’t really care to buy it because I already have so many setting powders that I know I won’t be finishing any time soon and thought because it had a yellow undertone it wouldn’t be for me. Also I had used Laura’s original powder years ago and couldn’t remember if I loved it or hated it, so I just bought the mini. After I tried the powder I wondered, why did I stop using this powder again? The powder is very smoothing and I was wrong about the shade too. It’s very brightening for my skin tone. I guess I now understand why so many people say this is a holy grail for them. 

Rose Water & Ivy Bath and Body Works Candle

Being in quarantine has made me realize how obsessed I am with scent. I’ve bought so many body butters, soaps and also candles. But my favourite scent has to be Rose Water and Ivy from Bath and Body Works. I got introduced to the candle one day when I noticed the candle in my mom’s room. The scent is a sweet floral scent. When outside opened up, I went to get this scent as a candle and wanted it in body care as well. I got the shower gel, wallflower and spray but I couldn’t find the lotion. Eventually, I found out the line got discontinued and I’m kinda disappointed I didn’t stock up more on at least the wallflowers when they had them for 5 for $25. I’m sad I discovered this scent way too late. 

But while I was shopping for candles during their $16 sale I found a new scent called Georgia Peach. I’ve been looking for a peaches and cream candle and this is what i would imagine it smelling like. It has a soft peach scent and has just the right amount of sweetness to the scent.

Laneige Lip Balm and Sleeping Mask

A few months ago, I realized I didn’t just have a plain, simple lip gloss. I bought the Bite Beauty Lip serum because I needed a lip balm with a wand and I love the texture of serums and assumed it would have a thin consistency and I could use it as a lip balm and primer. Was I ever wrong! The serum just sits on your skin, it doesn’t moisturize your lips at all. I still had dry cracks on my lips and I remember it being very slippery with no shine. I paid $29 for it and just couldn’t see the benefit in keeping it so I exchanged it for the lip sleeping mask from Laneige. 

I tried the lip glowy balm from them in the Gummy bear scent and loved it. I mainly bought it because it’s in my favourite colour, purple. The consistency is thick and has a slight purple tint. It leaves your lips very moisturized and smells amazing. I thought it smelled like gummy bears but other people I’ve asked said it reminds them of grape. 

The main difference between the mask and lip balm is that the mask is 0.7 oz of product whereas the balm has 0.35 oz. The mask has a thinner consistency and lasts longer on the lips because it’s meant to be an overnight mask, lasting you 8 hours. 

Camille Rose Coconut Water Penetrating Deep Conditioner 

I tried this product after seeing quite a few people saying they loved it. This is the most I think I’ve ever spent on a deep conditioner. It was $30 at the beauty supply store. But it definitely is worth it. First of all, this deep conditioner doesn’t smell like coconut, it smells like banana’s which is a win for me because I love the scent of banana’s. 

It’s super moisturizing and I noticed detangling with this deep conditioner was super easy. I noticed my twists looked super juicy with this product and my hair was really soft after taking the twists out. 

Because I loved the deep conditioner, I wanted to try the whole line. I bought the leave-in conditioner and style setter and loved the style setter more. My main issue with the leave-in conditioner was the consistency is very thick and was difficult to get out of the bottle. But I still want to see how these products perform with a wash and go. I’m definitely going to keep an eye on if these products go on sale to stock up. 

Texture ID Exfoliating Shampoo + Scalp Scrub

I bought this shampoo during one of Sally’s Beauty 4 for $25 sales. This shampoo feels so good on the scalp. It has exfoliating crystals that feel so nice as well as Eucalyptus which gives your scalp a cooling feeling. I would highly recommend this product for a self-care day because it feels so relaxing. 

Becoming by Michelle Obama

My reading choices can sometimes be influenced by the mood I’m in. At the time, I wanted to be inspired. I looked for a book that would be for me what More Than Enough by Elaine Weltroth was. I can really say I was hooked on this book from the first page. Michelle is such a good storyteller which doesn’t come as a surprise to me because she’s a good speaker too. I’ve never read an autobiography written the way Becoming was. I left the book realizing that I didn’t really know as much about the Obama’s as I thought. I think it’s also interesting to learn about someone from the point of view of people around them and I liked learning about Barack from the point of view of Michelle’s. From reading the book, I got to see Michelle’s contribution to America when Barack was president and how much the Obama’s really cared about people. Barack’s book called A Promised Land is coming out in November and I can’t wait to read it as well. It’s supposed to be about the first term of his political run as president. It’s on sale right now for $41.25 at Indigo and 768 pages! I wonder how long it will take me to read that one.

Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator

As you can probably tell, I love exfoliating. I think it has a bunch of benefits for every part of your body and the extra step in a body care routine just makes for a good self-care day. 

I saw Nécessaire all over youtube and really wanted to try it because of the scrub and body serum. I had never heard of a serum for your body before. They finally launched at Sephora in Canada and my favourite product would have to be the scrub. I got the scent Sandalwood and although I’m not a huge fan of the scent because it doesn’t smell like Sandalwood to me, I’m a huge fan of what it does for my skin. It has AHA’s which visibly smooth the skin and BHA’s which go deeper into the skin to exfoliate. I searched very long and hard for another body exfoliator with BHA’s and couldn’t find one. 

I really like that the product comes out as a thick liquid with scrub beads but when you rub it on your skin, it lathers which means you could use it as a body wash as well. Nécessaire is also a clean beauty brand at Sephora, so it should do well with sensitive skin. I’ve been going back and forth on if I should do a review of the other products I’ve tried from Nécessaire.

My list of favourites were much longer than this for September but to spare you a lengthy blog post, I minimized it to my top 9. Let me know in the comments what products you loved in September and if you’ve tried any of the products I’ve talked about above.

Should Transparency on Social Media Be a Law?

I saw this post on social media a few days ago and immediately saved it because I wanted to discuss it with friends eventually. 

The post did make me laugh but I decided to do a little more research on this law to find out how serious this was and if it had any chances of coming to the west side of the world. 

As I did more research, I found the UK has proposed a law to have edited photos labelled on social media. Edited posts have a negative impact on young girls’ self-image. Considering that there are a bunch of filters and editing apps that are used in efforts to fit in on social media. This law is supposed to curb mental health for young women and show them images on social media aren’t everything that they seem.

This is already a thing in France. Where advertising companies have agreed to disclose editing on photos and could face a fine of up to 30% of advertising costs. 

This will be another thing that influencers have to add to their posts. This and that their posts are ads. I remember this being a big deal when it came out too. Some influencers were’t for sharing that their posts were sponsored.  In one article I saw a few influencers were disappointed and felt they shouldn’t have to share with their followers that they edit their photos because they too battle with insecurities and editing their photos makes them feel better. 

Editing photos has been around way before we had social media. Think about billboards or commercials, all of those photos are edited. But I think social media affects us more because we can feel bombarded with images of perfection when in actuality it’s a professional editing photos and on top of that an influencer can have unnoticeable surgeries for example fillers. 

I follow a lot of makeup artists who’s work I look up to because I like to keep up with makeup trends. I also check out celebrity makeup artists’ Instagram pages from time to time. I aspire to be the best at what I do so why not follow the best too. These images can come off as pure perfection, poreless skin, no acne, perfectly placed blush. To a not so trained eye, all of this can look like perfectly executed makeup. When in reality, it’s a lot more than being an exceptional makeup artist or having many years in the game. There’s lighting, skin treatments, photo editing and filters. I didn’t realize this until they would post a video of their makeup, or they would post the client outside of the studio where they don’t have access to the same lighting. One influencer I follow posted pictures of herself from a photoshoot jokingly saying she knew her makeup artist was going to alter the picture even more. When she showed a side-by-side comparison, you could tell there was a filter and probably some photo editing because her features looked different. 

The other day a friend and I were discussing the WAP music video. She said Kylie Jenner’s face looked different in the music video than she did on Instagram. I think it’s because her pictures are heavily edited on Instagram as well as using filters. 

Using filters in Instagram pictures is something that everyone does. And tbh on the app, its really rare to take pictures without using filters because it’s like that camera picks up on everything, probably on purpose for you to use more features in the app. I personally haven’t found my favourite filter on Instagram because they are a bit overboard for me. But I find it difficult to post a picture without going on another photo editing app first to at least smooth out my skin. Take for example last week, I had done a no-makeup makeup look and loved how it turned out. But my pores looked large and you could see a few breakouts on my forehead. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable posting the picture had I not smoothed out my pores and removed my acne. 

Seeing heavily edited photos erases the fact that acne is normal, everyone’s skin has good days and bad days. Sometimes you take a picture and you have a good skin day, sometimes you’re skin is breaking out. Everyone’s skin is different, I know for myself that my skin is prone to texture and enlarged pores because I have oily skin.

Social media editing makes an unrealistic expectation of what we want to look like. We follow these pages to feel inspired unknowingly that just practicing our makeup skills, using filters and applying makeup is never going to get us there. Regardless of how we remind ourselves that we don’t have access to the same things influencers do or taking time off of social media we can’t get away from seeing these images on our feeds. I think if this idea goes past the proposition stage it would be a good law to pass because it would allow people to have a better idea of what it takes to create a picture like that and understand that it’s a little more than just a filter and some makeup. 

But let me know, what’s your thoughts on this topic? Do you think there should be a law that edited photos should be labelled? And do you feel like influencers and brands owe it to their followers, to be honest about what really goes into making the perfect photo?

A thought piece on Race, Police Brutality and Accountability

The video was circulating on instagram but I couldn’t watch it. George Floyd was murdered by a villain named Derek Chauvin. Chauvin sunk his knee into George’s neck, due to a racial profiling incident that George was using counterfeit money at a corner store. It seemed like the more George gasped that he couldn’t breathe, the more the predator sunk his knee deeper into George’s neck. There were 4 other officer’s on the scene. These were the assistants of the murder. They made a wall around the scene of the crime. 8 minutes later Chauvin got off of George’s neck. 2 minutes later George’s life was gone.

George was a football and basketball athlete in high school. He was a father, brother and grandfather. He was a bouncer at the Conga Latin Bistro where his murderer also worked. He was an advocate against gun violence, god-fearing and known as a man who loved people.

I didn’t even get to mourn George’s death properly when I heard about another police brutality incident in Toronto, not too far from where I live. The police had pushed Regis Korchinski-Paquet off of a balcony at a High Park apartment building. She was having a seizure, her mother called the police for help to calm her down and she ended up dead.

Just last week, we heard about Armaud Arbery getting lynched while on a jog, a few days later a white women falsely accused a black man of trying to assault her in Central Park, George being murdered with the assistance of 4 police officers and Regis being pushed off of a balcony.

Where is the accountability for taking black lives?

These incidents made me feel as a black person, I just wasn’t doing enough. I have been educating myself on black history for the past 5 years because I refused to believe that all the negative and horrible things, I heard about blackness could be true. But I’m just not involved on a community level nor am I educated on police brutality and how to fix it.

These police brutality incidents have embarked rage on black people all over the world. Black people are commonly labeled as #angry. But nobody stops to think why are we mad. We loose our father’s, mother’s, sister’s, brothers and the world wants to shove it under the rug. We are constantly made to look like “thugs” by people who refuse to unlearn racist ideologies that have been in affect for the past 400 years. We hear that “we choose to be slaves” and “being stuck is our own fault” when nobody considers the slaves that tried to fight back, and the years we were rejected from opportunities because of the colour of our skin.

Our feelings are constantly invalidated by oppressors. Sadly enough, this isn’t a relationship that we can just leave. We’re forced to live in a world that no matter where we go, there will be racial bias against us.

Black children are bullied for not having their father’s in their homes and being raised by single mothers, blaming the children for choices their parents make. What about the children who’s parents are killed by the police or get pulled into the prison system which is modern day slavery? George had a son and a 6-year-old daughter that he will never get to see again. His life was cut short by villain’s who believe they had a right to treat black lives as if they are worthless.

As much as there are many people advocating for black lives, I noticed some of my favourite influencers continued to post about lifestyle and ignore police brutality. Some of them even got called out by their followers and they decided to not take responsibility for their actions and gaslight their followers. They told them how they didn’t want to just use another hashtag but ignored the fact that, they have a platform to inform their followers on where to donate, sign petitions or offer other ways to support. Worse yet, these influencer’s were black women. Maybe they didn’t feel the same rage as everyone else because they are married to white men.

A positive to what is going on is to see the amount of allies on social media. It’s awesome to realize even though there are oppressors, we still have people who care about the lives of black people and will make a stand against racism. Some of my favourite brands used their platforms to educate their followers on ways to support. Nudestix put out many swipe up links in their instagram story for donations and petitions to sign. They even created a scholarship called Beauty Be the Change for POC in oppressed and marginalized communities and a fund for POC content creators and makeup artists. Sephora’s CEO wrote a statement that they support black lives. They said and I quote; “Our stores can always be repaired and reopened. Your safety is our most important priority. We will continue to monitor the situation and will ensure employees in any impacted stores will be paid and receive benefits as planned, as well as access to counseling and support resources. “

A lot of people called out for allyship saying they want non-black people to offer their support. Some were upset that people decided to stay silent during everything that’s going on. I do believe that allyship is very important but I think genuine allyship is what is needed. We need the people who aren’t just bandwagoner’s to this movement. We need the people who genuinely love black people, to speak up for us because their voices can sometimes get further than our own. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s very disappointing when you have people who fetishize black people and culture for their own selfish gain, not speak out about these injustices. But I guess it’s about learning that these people are leaches to the culture and it’s time to disassociate from them. We have to start being more particular on who we allow to the cookout, not just the people who claim they “love black men”, “want a mixed baby” and “can twerk”.

The so called president of the United States aka Hitler Jr. has been the worst at this time. He called protestor’s thugs, wanted to instill a curfew and bring the military out to control protestors basically instilling martial law and he got the police to violently move protestors so he could get a photo op. I never like talking about Trump because I never have anything nice to say about him. He has no regard for people which is sad considering that’s a major part of the president’s job. Instead of creating a compromise, he went into hiding. He’s made things worse with his ignorant statements and bringing in the military. He’s ignored the fact that a lot of the people ruining businesses are white people who are taking advantage of protests and the police.

If you think I’m an angry black women, that’s fine. I’ll continue to be an angry black woman until my brother’s leave the house, and my mother doesn’t have to worry about where they are and if they’re safe, for the fear that they could be in danger by people who feel like their lives are less than others.

Beauty Essentials during Quarantine

It’s been 2 months since the world shut down. Quarantine has been a very interesting time and everyone has been dealing with it in different ways. I’ve found staying positive and being creative with my time has helped to make this experience better. Another thing that has helped me deal with being in Quarantine is keeping up my beauty regimen. It’s made me feel better about starting a new day. I wanted to share with you some products that I’ve loved during quarantine.

The Body Shop Banana Body Butter

This body butter was a limited edition product. The thing about limited edition products is that you can feel like you didn’t buy enough even when you stock up on products. This was the case with this body butter for me. I bought it almost 2 years ago for $5 and I remember buying about 3 or 4 and here I am, trying to use this product sparingly because it’s my last one. 😦 I love the scent of banana’s because I find it rare and it reminds me of jello’s banana pudding. Other than the limited edition scent, The Body Shop body butters are cruelty-free and very moisturizing.

Gourmand Perfume in the Scent Coconut 

I usually stay away from anything coconut because it clogs pores but this perfume has changed how I view coconut scents. The scent is very light which is probably because it is a Parfum en l’eau. This perfume is limited to Urban Outfitters store so unfortunately it can’t be bought online. I have been combining it with the body cream from the body shop and the scent is amazing. The scent of coconut and banana’s reminds me of tropical vacation.

Biore Sunscreen

I never knew Biore made sunscreen until I saw a makeup artist recommend this sunscreen on her Instagram live. I love this sunscreen because the consistency is a gel which causes it to feel very lightweight on the skin. The sunscreen doesn’t give a white cast as long as you use it sparingly. So I think it would be great for POC. The sunscreen also has hyaluronic acid which is good for hydration. I bought this sunscreen from Amazon and I believe it ships from Japan which probably explains the PA+++ rating. PA rating was created in Japan to show how sunscreen protects against UVA rays. So by Japan’s standards, this PA rating is pretty high. I would say that this product was also good for diminishing dark spots. I think this has to do with the PA rating and just using sunscreen in general.

The Ordinary Makeup Remover

This is one of the best makeup removers I’ve ever used and I love the fact that it’s super affordable. It comes in a tube which is convenient and not messy. The consistency is thick but turns into an oil when you rub your hands together. I like that this product doubles as a cleanser and makeup remover. After double cleansing, I find that there is no makeup left on my face. 

Mega Foods Blood Builder

Blood Builder by Mega food is a vegetarian vitamin. I use it as my iron pill but I like that it doesn’t just have iron but other vitamins as well such as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C. My doctor’s recommended that I take orange juice with iron so that my body would absorb the full benefit of the iron but the Vitamin C helps to absorb the iron for you. So I can just take this with water instead. The pill also doesn’t make you constipated like most iron pills.

Texture ID Multi-Mousse

The Texture ID brand is new to me. I saw a few youtube videos on their styling cream which people used as a styling gel for a slick ponytail. It didn’t give me the hold I needed to but I love their muli-styling foam. I love this foam because it gives me styling options. It can be used as a heat protectant, wash and go, braid out or twist out. I’ve only used it for a twist out and heat protectant. It did a good job as a heat protectant, a little bit went a long way. Although the style only lasted me about 2 days, I really loved it for a twist out because it gave a lot of volume. I think this foam would provide a lot of definition for a wash and go but I don’t think it would make the wash and go last the whole week because it has a light hold.

A twist-out I did using the Texture ID foam

The Universe Has Your Back

I’ve been meaning to read this book since last year but I thought now was a good time to read it considering I needed something that would give me some hope during this time. It felt like everywhere I turned there was negative news about the virus. I liked the title of this book because I anticipated that the book would make me feel supported and everything would be just fine. (Lmao corny, I know) I feel like when I read this book I should’ve had a highlighter and pen because Gabrielle gave some really good advice on positivity that I would like to apply more of in my life. This book also touches on spiritual awareness and having faith. I think it’s a good book to refer to when you have a bad day or your having a hard time.

There was a chapter in the book where Gabrielle talked about being guided by the universe. She used a personal example of a time when she and her husband wanted to purchase a house that was right for them. A spiritual adviser told them to look for a sign and Gabrielle used a butterfly as her sign to know that she was choosing the right house. While driving home from an open house, Gabrielle saw a butterfly in the rearview mirror of her car.

Her story inspired me to try when it came to my career. I have a few career fields that I’m interested in but I did not feel confident in my choices. I decided that I wanted the universe to let me know if I was choosing the right things and I used an elephant as my sign.

But then I started worrying.

How was I going to see an elephant? We’re inside, the only time I get to be in contact with nature is on my daily walks and I live in the suburbs. I don’t even follow animal pages on my social media.

Two days later, I was on the discover page of Tik Tok and randomly pressed on the first video. The video below was what I saw.

An Elephant Sanctuary

And then I also went on instagram right after and saw this post on my time line.

This made me realize that I really had nothing to worry about especially since my sign showed up two- fold.

Kate Somerville Bio Mimicking Peptides Serum

I tried this serum when it came in my Boxy Charm box for February. This was my first time trying a serum but it convinced me that serums are definitely something I should add to my skincare routine. I saw a difference in my skin within the week that I started using it. I have very textured skin and it made my skin really smooth. As I was doing more research on the serum and realized it was $129 on Sephora, I saw that it had some really good ingredients such as Chicory leaf extract which is an alternative to retinol. One of the benefits of the chicory leaf is it’s good for pores and skin texture. 

That’s the end of my list of beauty products that I’ve enjoyed during quarantine. Let me know, what products have you been loving during quarantine? Has being in quarantine introduced you to any new products? 

Salon Quality products at Drugstore Pricing-Review of the Mo Knows Hair Products

Last year, I was super excited to hear that Mo Knows hair was coming out with her own product line. Mo Knows Hair is a pioneer in the Natural Hair industry. I’ve been watching her videos way before I became a natural myself. As a lover of anything informative, Mo has been one of my favs because she talks about hair care but from a scientific point of view. Whenever I got a recommendation from Mo, I had great confidence in her because she studied Hair at Aveda and sis really does know hair! Mo’s hair care line promised a salon feel at home through the high quality ingredients and pleasantly relaxing aroma. 

Here’s a video that I found really helpful by Mo

What hair products did I buy?

I initially bought these products online at Sally’s eventually realizing I bought it from their American store so the prices were in USD. But the hair line is sold in-store in Canada as well. The line had a total of 8 products but I chose to buy the items I was most likely to use. Here is a list of the products I bought from the line and their Canadian prices.

Scalp + Curl Clarifier $14.49

Curl Hydrator Shampoo 15.99

Curl Restoring Treatment 17.39

Curl Smoothing Pudding 17.39

Curl Setting Gel 15.99

So, how did it go?

Clarifier

I was pretty ecstatic when she came out with a clarifier because it’s something that I don’t seem to find in a lot of hair care lines out right now. I thought this was a good thing to have in a line because natural hair tends to use a lot of product and is prone to scalp build up. 

Clarifiers are also good for people who don’t use shampoo and only co-wash, or dont use clarifying shampoos regularly. It goes from an oil like texture to a lather quickly. I have noticed a reduction in my itchy scalp while using this clarifier. I think it is a good step to have in any natural hair regimen because it will help to remove build up throughout the week

Shampoo

The shampoo was the first indication for me that this product line was potent. A little of the shampoo went a long way.The shampoo has this ingredient called marshmallow root which is usually used in conditioners because it provides slip. This probably contributed to my hair not feeling stripped after shampooing

Deep Conditioner

I really liked that this deep conditioner has a balance of protein and moisture because I feel like I’m knocking out two birds with one stone. The protein to help with strengthening my hair and reducing breakage and the moisture to provide nourishment to my strands. Usually my hair has minimal definition after deep conditioning but after my first time using this product, I got a lot of definition. After using this product numerous times, I noticed a difference in my curls. For one they seemed elongated and gave curl bounce back. I also loved that the deep conditioner only has to stay in your hair for maximum 10 minutes. This really helps cut down on the length of wash day. I would recommend that your hair is saturated with water while using this deep conditioner so that it makes it easier to detangle your hair. The deep conditioner was my favourite product in the product line.

Curl Smoothing Pudding

The consistency of this styler felt really light weight on the hair. I used it for a twist-out and as a cream for styling my ponytail. When I used it for a twistout I got a lot of definition and shine. This is the most defined my hair has ever been. 

Comparison between a twist out in February 2020 vs August 2019

Gel

I was most apprehensive to buy the gel because gels are the last step of the styling process for me and it has a huge impact on how my hair will look for the rest of the week. I typically go for gels with a strong hold that are good for smoothing but this gel has a light-medium hold. I used the gel for a sleek ponytail and it didn’t make my hair feel hard like eco styler or wetline. I also liked that it had a quick drying time. I would say I still had to go on top of my hair with edge booster just to provide a stronger hold. Also The style was able to last about 2 days which is understandable because of the medium hold. 

This is my usual style of a slick ponytail. I used the Moknows hair gel and edge booster edge control.

Final Verdict

I really liked the Moknows hair line. I think the pricing was pretty good and all the products are good for making a healthy natural hair routine. I noticed that it made my hair look shiny and feel soft. My favourite product from the line is the deep conditioner because I could see over the few weeks how it improved the definition in my hair. I think these products are affordable especially if you catch one of the 4 for $25 sales at Sally’s. I do want to caution you about the fragrance. It’s a pleasant fragrance but really strong. So throughout the week I did get headaches because I am sensitive to fragrance. But other than that, I would recommend the line. 

A stretched twist out using the curl defining cream

Is it Curly hair friendly?- Review on the Amika SuperNova Moisture and Shine Cream

Styling cream

I recently signed up for Boxy Charm and this month I got a primer from Pur Cosmetics, a set of makeup sponges from Luxie, Moda Brushes eyeshadow brushes and a styling cream from Amika.

I was first introduced to the Amika brand on the Sephora app and the packaging caught my eye. I was browsing the app for scalp scrubs since I learned last summer that exfoliation is good for the scalp. I found a cleansing oil and exfoliating shampoo by Amika but didn’t get the chance to try them.

When I received the styling cream in my box this month, I wondered if this product would actually work for my coily hair.  When I went to the brand’s website I was more apprehensive because there was a minimal representation of black women. Another reason why I was hesitant to think this product would work for me is because of the size. It’s a 100ml tube and if the product isn’t moisturizing then it will probably just be good for one wash day, two if I’m lucky.  But I decided to still give the product a try because one of the product claims is definition and frizz control and those are things I really look for in my hair products since I’m still trying to find products that can give me a defined curl. 

A little more background about the Amika brand

The Amika brand is about individuality and self-expression and not conforming to the rules. The packaging is reminiscent of the late ’60s-’70s when the Hippie movement was going on. The brand is also cruelty-free, sulphate and  artificial colours free too. They include this superfruit in all their products called sea buckthorn berry which is good for shininess, smoothness and strength. It isn’t just good for hair but can be digested as well and good for the liver, heart, diabetes and the immune system (take that coronavirus!)

How the Styling Cream worked for me

I used the styler in my hair for a twist out. The consistency wasn’t runny and had a lightweight feel. I really liked that a little bit of this product went a long way. The scent of the product reminded me of a gingerbread cookie. The results of my twist outs were fluffy but still defined. Since it was fluffy, I redid my twists whenever I wanted a more defined look.

This is first day hair of my twist out. This is after I seperated my hair
I decided to go with a high puff and twisted bangs for my style that day.
This is 2 days after my initial twist out. As you can see the defintion I had on day one is minimal.
This is my twist-out done on wet hair. My hair isn’t extremely defined but I don’t mind because I’m getting volume as well.

The Verdict- Is it worth it?

I did like the result of the cream. It gave my hair defintion and volume and the scent of the product wasn’t overbearing. But I don’t think this product is the most reasonably priced for someone with natural hair—a 100ml bottle costs $33. I got about four uses out of the product which didn’t last me a month. Let’s say we compare this styler to a more popular styler, the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie which is on sale right now for $12.96 for 325ml at Walmart. That’s three times the product for less than half of the price. I don’t think this product is meant for curly hair but it did produce good results and I would repurchase it for times that I’m feeling for a very volumized twist out. 

Have you tried anything by Amika and would it be a brand that you’re interested in?

SN: I found the cream on Amazon for $25, so you’d save $10 if your bought it there instead.

Products I loved in 2019

Buff Her Exfoliator

Why I loved it: I loved this exfoliator because it really helped with skin texture. The exfoliator is made with rice powder which is a gentle for the skin. Aside from the product, I love that the product is hand made, black-owned and the brand has multiple flavours to choose from and for multiple skin types

Dermologica Exfoliator

Why I loved it: I’m someone with really oily skin. I noticed after using this product for sometime that my skin was less oily. It also helped to reduce skin texture and reduce the size of my pores. The top of the packaging has a small opening which is very convenient because it allows you to control how much product you want to dispense at a time.

Fenty Beauty Bronzer

Why I loved it: I’m a die-hard fan of Fenty beauty! I always look forward to the products they come out with each year and they never disappoint. Last year, the bronzer they came out with was a winner for me. The octagon shape is theme in Fenty beauty’s branding. I use the shade Coco Naughty. I love this shade because it has a neutral undertone.

Jackie Aina x ABH palette

Why I loved it: I have to say, this, is my favourite product of 2019 or probably this decade. An actual eyeshadow palette that is formulated for black women, I stan! I love this palette so much because other than the fact that I’m a huge Jackie Aina fan, the colours she choose for the palette are very wearable. It has a good mixture of colours that can be worn for an every day look and pops of colours such as the purple, pinks and reds. Overall, I think it’s such a beautiful palette that definitely gets a lot of love in my collection.

Huda Beauty Nude Palette

Why I loved it: Before the Jackie Aina Palette came out, I was always reaching for this palette. I’d been really wanting a palette with a pink colour scheme and the nude palette did just that. I loved that the palette has a variety of textures from mattes, shimmers, multi-reflective shadows and glitters. My only thing with this palette was that I wished there were a few deeper shades for darker-skinned WOC.

Velour Lashes Lash Glue

Why I loved it: I’ll admit, I’m not the best lash applier. I put on the glue and then try to get it on my lash as fast as I can. Eventually, the corners start to pop off at the ends or I just can’t get it exactly on my lash line. The Velour lash glue has been amazing for me. The applicator makes it easy to apply on the lash and it’s easy to clean my lashes. It also lasts a pretty long time because it has a lot of product.

Laura Mercier Concealer

Why I loved it: This Concealer worked really well for me. It’s described as a medium coverage concealer. I like that because I enjoy building up the coverage. It also was easy to blend out and gave a smoothing effect to the fine lines under my eyes. I also liked that this concealer has a natural finish which is good for not drying out the under eye area. I do think that the shade range could be improved to include darker shades for different undertones.

Mac Lipglass

Why I loved it: My favourite Lip gloss is the MAC x Arianna Grande gloss that they made a few years ago. I’ve been hoping that MAC would relaunch it. The closest dupe that I’ve found is the colour Spite which is just a bit more opaque and a little darker than the Arianna Grande one. I also found a few other lip glosses from Mac that I loved such as Dangerous Curves and Primordial. I like the MAC lip glosses because they are opaque and the formula is thick which makes it long-wearing.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish

Why I loved it: One day I was scrolling through Instagram and fell upon @courtneybbeauty ‘s page. I really wanted to know what bronzer she used and saw that it was Sunpower by Mac. Ever since I’ve bought this bronzer, it’s been another fav for me. I love the warmth this bronzer gives my skin tone. Mac describes it as a natural dimensional finish and I’d have to agree.

Mielle Organics Deep Conditioner

Why I loved it: I used to be convinced that the thicker the conditioner the more moisturizing it is. The Babassu Oil and Mint Deep conditioner proved me wrong. This deep conditioner has a lightweight feel on the hair and is very moisturizing. I love that the deep conditioner also has protein to strengthen the hair too. The price of this product is also on the steep side but a little goes a long way. I’m always waiting for this product to go on sale.

Edge Booster Edge Control

Why I loved it: This edge control has really raised the standard. When have you ever heard of an edge control lasting 2 days??? I’ll wait! I remember the first time I used this edge control and tied my head up for the night, the next day my edges were still intact! I’ve never experienced this with an edge control before! I love that it’s a water-based edge control and it comes in at least 15 scents, so there’s a scent that everyone will love. I saw on instagram, they have a styling gel as well but unfortunately, it’s not available in Canada. I hope one day it is.

As I am Twist-Out Cream

Why I loved it: No matter what I do, I always get frizzy hair. I’ve learned to accept it but if I find a product that gives definition, I won’t be mad. The As-I-Am twist-out cream did that for me. It gave me nice definition for my twist outs. It’s also very affordable which is a bonus because it’s pretty difficult to find affordable hair products that use healthy ingredients for your hair in Canada. 

Juno & Co Sponge

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vkHJoBJo0/

Why I loved it: I really liked the Juno & Co sponge. It’s super soft and blends out product well too. I also love how it does a very good job of smoothing out product for my under eye area. It’s very affordable with 4 sponges for $22. I never thought I would find something that is comparable to the beauty blender but these sponges come pretty close. 

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started