Archive | December, 2012

Organic Skin Care Lines

31 Dec

“Lip products are inevitably ingested and foundation and powder are usually applied to your entire face and are easily absorbed into your skin,” says Eng.

While you’re examining your makeup labels, do the same with your favourite nail polishes. Nail polish should be “three-free” – free from these three toxic ingredients: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. These ingredients are harmful and can be absorbed through your nail beds. Most nail polish companies have phased them out, but scour the ingredient label of your favourite brand to be sure.

3. What brands can you trust?

The good news is that now, more than ever before, there are a plethora of natural makeup choices that are not only better for you and the earth, but are also effective and a pleasure to use – unlike the goopy, inconsistent formulas of days gone by.

Specialty stores like Pure + Simple and Whole Foods offer a wide variety of healthy makeup choices. The Pure + Simple makeup line is a homegrown Canadian brand free of chemical fillers, dyes and fragrances.

Another organic makeup brand to try is Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, which offers an amazing, high-quality line of chemical-free makeup. Specifically, the Iredale concealers provide great coverage and are available in a variety of shades.

Other trustworthy brands include Nvey Eco Cosmetics, Revolution Organics, RMS Beauty, Vapour Organic Beauty and Dr. Hauschka Skin Care.

At larger chain stores like Sephora, ask for testers of products by eco-conscious makeup brands like Bite Beauty, Korres, Tarte and Josie Maran as you hunt for your new go-to products. At the most accessible level, Shoppers Drug Mart carries Physicians Formula Organic Wear, which is worth testing out.

4. Want to learn more?
Before buying, consider checking out product ratings on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. With over 65,000 ratings, you’re likely to find out more about the product or brand you’re interested in.

With this information, you’ll be able to make educated and informed decisions on your journey to an increasingly safe, chemical-free makeup regimen. And don’t stress if you can’t be 100 per cent chemical-free: prices, availability and preference all play a factor in this transition. Even little changes can add up to a big impact for your overall health.


How To Naturally Get Rid of Tired Eyes

31 Dec

It is genetic. Even as a 6 year old, I had dark bags under my eyes that made me look sleepy all the time. As a 23 year old, those dark bags make me look older. If you are tired of having tired eyes, here are some natural remedies:


Cucumbers and White Potatoes

Most of us know it but hardly anyone has the time to do it! Do you know the best natural remedy to get rid of tired eyes or undereye circles is to apply cold slices of cucumber over them. You can also apply white potatoes as an alternative measure but cucumbers are the best. If you really want to know how to get rid of tired eyes then this is the best way! Cold cucumber has the potential to refresh your eyes and make them as they were before.


Ginger and Onion

Even though it doesn’t smell good, it can do wonders for your eyes. Yes, a mixture of ginger and white onion is probably the best mixture to apply on tired eyes. Don’t worry your eyes won’t burn because it’s white onion. The trick is simple; make a mixture of onion, ginger, lemon and honey and refrigerate it to make it cold. Before going to bed, apply it on the eyes and sleep peacefully. In a day or two, your tired eyes will be better.


Sleep Well

If you don’t have the time to make all those home remedies for yourself then the best way to keep your eyes look beautiful is to get proper sleep. 8 hours of sound sleep is necessary to give your body and eyes that much needed relaxation period. Of course, this is not a quick fix for tired eyes but it sure is a permanent way of getting rid of them.


Milk and Cotton

This one’s quite easy. All you need to do is to dip some cotton pads in cold milk and place them over your eyes for ten to fifteen minutes. This should be done early in the morning as you wake up or before going to bed.


Wear Shades

Remember, in order to avoid tired eyes you need to avoid making your eyes tired. Try to use shades whenever you are out in the scorching sun, working on the computer or passing by heavily polluted areas. If you are not habitual to wearing shades then it’s about time you should be. Just keep in mind to wear light color shades such as pink, light brown, purplish or even black. Don’t wear yellow, green or orange shades. They will only make your eyes more tired.

Natural Makeup

31 Dec

I have noticed that due to wearing heavy concealer/foundation/bronzer my skin has become very damaged with uneven skin tone, blemishes and pimples. It looks haggard and old and I have to suffer now. Wearing heavy makeup is unhealthy for the skin anyways. There are makeup brands that can help clarify these issues while still providing coverage. The solution is finding the right products for Black skin and luckily, there are a lot of manufacturers that are making face products for our type of skin.

joy-bryant-kb-media-media-1011069862Black women do not need a lot of makeup to accentuate their natural beauty. As with our natural hair, natural works best. We only need to enhance our features.

L’Occitane en Provence has a line exclusively for Black skin with Shea butter. I have tried this French brand before. It is pricey but it is a good start that they have thought about Black skin. Black Opal and Ambi are also good skin lines for Black skin. I know my sister uses Ambi and it has helped with her blemished skin, which was caused by The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil products. I scoured the Internet to find other products suitable for Black skin and found some websites like “Essence” recommending products from Aveeno as well as Aveda’s Enbrightenment Brightening Cleanser. Surprisingly, Honey Fig (a natural hair store in Toronto) did not have a lot of facial products for Black skin although they did carry makeup for Black women from a brand called Silken Earth ($12.00 for blush, not bad!)

As for makeup, MAC and Iman are known for their Black skin makeup. Unless you want skin problems like I’m suffering from now, it is best to stick to brands that make makeup specifically for your type of skin. An all-natural Black skin line is LAMIK which uses natural ingredients and has everything from lipstick to eye shadow. It is an eco-chic brand which is a clear positive! Makeup brand Black Opal is easy to find in Toronto for makeup and has a lot of variety. Ada Cosmetics is a mineral makeup for Black women that is dermatologist-approved. It would be very nice and convenient to see these brands in conventional makeup suppliers like Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

It is also good to exfoliate once a week (you can try brown sugar and lemon) and to moisturize daily. Try Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter. And if you are breaking out, put a dab of tea tree oil on the blemish (I use a cotton swab to get the spot). Being natural is more than just a hair fad–it’s a healthy way of life.



Party Hairstyles for New Years

31 Dec

It is that time of the year for countless parties, sexy silk dresses in  bright colors and photo ops. It’s time to take pictures with friends and look the most fabulous you can. But it’s also still winter–and it’s a good idea to still keep your hair protected! Here are some ideas for hairstyles to wear to your New Year and Christmas fetes.

DSC00834-1-1The Double Bun is trendy, fun and classy. Best of all, it is a protective style that keeps your ends tucked in. I wanted to try this style tonight for a house party I’m throwing for New Year’s Eve. I would recommend adding some shine serum (or some grape seed oil) and using a bit of faux hair to plump up the buns if you have shorter natural hair but still want a dramatic look. I think this look with dangly earrings is right on point!

229261437251157055_MTtqCFHF_cIncorporate a stylish, bright scarf and wrap your ends in the scarf for a hip, protective style. With fun earrings, bright lipstick and a cute dress you’ll look funky and hipster. This style is very versatile because you can tie a hair scarf in so many different ways and even leave out bangs to frame your face. You can cover all your hair, half your hair or just use the scarf to accent your hairstyle like a headband. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong pulling off a scarf!

danellelloydhairstyles_braidedfrenchplaitupdohairstyleA classy French braid chignon is a protective style that is very elegant. If you’re going to a really nice party where you have to dress up, try out this style with a front braid. Pair with extravagant sparkly earrings and frosty cheeks. This hairstyle would look super glamorous on slightly wet, very wavy hair. Try to use a styling creme that brings out your curls for texture.

Natural-Hair-UpdoIf you’re not a very creative naturalista (like me!) try using bobby pins and piling on your hair on top of your head in a casual but sexy way. Keep the hair in the middle to add more drama and leave your sides very sleek. It is a voluminous, elegant look that really shows off your natural beauty and highlights your face. I would do this style after the hair has been in a twist out for a wavy, romantic texture.

Just because we are natural does not mean we should never use hair products to help us with a certain hairstyle. Using hairspray or gel to voluminize or slick down a style is beneficial. You will have product build up but it will wash out the next time you wash/condition your hair. You have to learn to have fun with your hair. Why else are we natural, right?

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

16 Dec

Even though I mostly focus on natural hair on my blog, being natural isn’t just about the hair but the skin, face, whole body inside and out. Many ingredients that are good for you to eat is good for your hair and skin. Right now, I am using a hydrating skin masque from Balea that uses natural ingredients Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E. I wear a lot of make-up during the work week and like to give my skin a rest on my days off. I cleanse my skin with an exfoliating oatmeal soap made of all-natural vegetable oils and use a face masque once a week.

I also have very dry skin and to moisturize daily I use Shea butter, cocoa butter and I also use castor oil on very dry parts of my body like my legs, feet and elbows. Keeping your hair, skin and face hydrated and moisturized is very important–especially in the winter months. Cetaphil is also good for sensitive skin. I work a lot with my hands and using a quality hand creme like Gylsomed is a good idea to keep hands supple and soft.

Carol’s Daughter Body Jelly is also good for the skin. Even though we are ready to splurge for hair products, we have to also remember to care for the rest of our body. Aveeno Skin Lotion has cured my dry skin ASAP in winter weather and always smells great. For really dry skin, I recommend lathering the oil/lotion before bed and putting on socks and warm clothing to allow the heat to help penetrate your skin.

Remember to lotion/oil your skin and moisturize your face! You cannot have gorgeous hair and ashy skin! 😀

Dress it up–or Down

10 Dec

Now, more than ever, there is creative ways to dress up your hair. But if you’re like me, and really not much of a hairdresser, you can make your hair go from boring to red-carpet worthy with just a few accessories!



The Faux Bun

10 Dec

I finally feel like I perfected the faux bun using some kinky extension hair to make my bun more dramatic. I prefer the bun as a protective style to protect  my ends and retain length as opposed to twists because professionally, it is more comfortable for me. I detangled my hair using water, a leave-in conditioner and a wide-toothed comb (which I RARELY do….omg I lost soo much hair) but I had detangled, moisturized hair. I then added Shea butter and castor oil to my damp hair and brushed it into a ponytail. I then added some of the extension hair and created a bun using about 6-7 bobby pins and two elastic bands. I am not going to touch my hair for four days, leaving this style in until Friday night or Saturday morning depending on my social schedule.

This is a very good style to have for the cold months because you can easily put a beanie on, protecting your hair from the wind and the elements. Your hair is protected with minimal stress on the hair. I will not have to do anything in the morning like untwist my twists or put it in an Afro puff. I can dress up my faux bun with a sparkly or colorful hair band, some feathery earrings or keep it sleek by adding a little gel and some red lipstick. I love the bun as a hairstyle because it looks put together, not wild and crazy. You can really get crazy with buns–even do a bouffant, add bangs or do double buns or do something like half-bun, half-twists. I’ve seen some creative protective styling via Instagram and Pinterest but the most important thing is that your ends are protected, your hair is moisturized and detangled and it isn’t too tight.

dec2012 029Going from this, like 2 years ago where my hair was really short and thin to having thicker, longer hair with it’s own natural curl pattern has been such a great experience.

dec2012 131dec2012 223dec2012 199The best thing to do this winter is protective style but also don’t forget to take your hair down and let it breathe as well (which is what I generally do on the weekends or for 1-2 days). You have to enjoy your hair and flaunt it…but also take care of it as well. If you can figure out how to do both at the same time…all the more to you. Natural hair is never supposed to be a burden–just a blessing so appreciate what’s on your head and know your worth!