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Skin Care

Skincare Blues: Dealing with Psoriasis

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

It’s been such a long time since I’ve made a post, and I figured I should start the new year with something that’s been top of mind for the past few months: SKIN!

As some of you know, I’ve had psoriasis since I was 8 years old and I feel as though I’ve been on a roller coaster ride with my skin for a majority of my life, especially the past few years. For those of you who don’t know what psoriasis is, it’s a persistent autoimmune disease where your skin cells multiply 10x faster and causes new cell growth that produces raised scales on your skin.

Sexy right?

I know, it’s a real buzzkill when crop tops are in style but the only thing you can wear is a turtle neck..
With this most recent outbreak, my typical routine of oatmeal soap, Clobetasol, Cetaphil and  phototherapy wasn’t working. This HAD to happen during the winter time so my skin was already dry from the weather. To prep you, this blog is about healing and MOISTURIZING! There will be a ton of steps listed below, and they've all worked for me. So basically yes, I baste myself in creams and oils to the point where I look like a glazed donut before I go to bed. #Moisture  

So now onto the blog, below I’ve listed a few of the steps I made to help heal and calm my skin from the inside out.

Meditation:
For me, a lot of my psoriasis stems from an accumulation of stress so meditating has helped me to block out the drama and pressure from my everyday life. Because I know stress is a trigger, I have to do the work within myself and my mind first before any of the below steps can take an effect on my skin.  

Diet:
90% Plant based diet – Avoiding carbs and sugars is good for your (body, mind and) skin, so incorporating more greens into your diet will help to decrease inflammation.
*As an advocate for burgers and lemon pepper wings, this was the hardest change I had to make. 

Fish oil pills/Coconut oil Pills – Fish oils contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids that help reduce inflammation, anxiety and stress. Coconut oils provide moisture to your hair, skin and nails, which is really good as dry skin irritates psoriasis.

IMG_4937.JPG

Cleansers/Soaps:
African Black Bar Soap (Major Key) 
Important Ingredients:
Aloe Vera - moisturizes and calms dry sensitive skin
Lemon Balm - cleanses skin while preventing moisture loss. (And is a good source of antioxidants)
Sea Wrack - a mineral-rich soothing ingredient. Improves skin conditions like psoriasis.
Gotu Kola - helps promotes skin repair and renewal

*I purchased the black bar soap from the local beauty store for $3.99. But for more convenience I purchased the Shea Moisture liquid body wash, and while I don’t think it’s as strong as the bar of soap, it still provides healing and soothing to my skin.

Because I underwent a month and a half of phototherapy, I have a significant amount of dead skin from all the burning. So to help heal and refresh my skin, I purchased the Shea Moisture Hand and Body Scrub with Coconut Oil and Hibiscus. Below are ingredients that help the skin's surface:

Coconut Oil - Nourishes and helps firm skin with Vitamins E and K, iron and fatty acids
Hibiscus Flower - This natural emollient treats dry, rough skin and helps improve skin tone
Vitamin E - A powerful antioxidant highly effective in protecting skin from free radical damage

Moisturizer:
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – When you have sensitive skin, you have to avoid moisturizers that contain perfumes, fragrances, alcohol & lanolin. The Cetaphil cream is ideal for the dry patches of skin or psoriasis spots to keep the moisture in.

Medicine:
So yes, I do take a pill to supplement my daily routine. I am currently on a low dose of Methotrexate and while it is a very strong medicine-- it HAS to be prescribed to you by a dermatologist who has diagnosed you with severe psoriasis. And I can tell you first hand, that It SUCKS. You're nauseous, you're tired and you crave meat and carbs (See: Diet portion). but I know it's beneficial for my skin-- so until I find a better alternative, I will continue to crave tacos while scarfing down carrots. 

So to summarize: moisture, Moisture, Meditation & MOISTURE! Everyone's skin is different, so everyone's trigger for this disease is different, but to better your skin you have to make a lifestyle change. You can adjust the routine based on the severity, but this routine has helped me cope in a world filled with backless bodysuits and crop tops.                        

beauty, Review

Thicky Thick - Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick Foundation

Photo courtesy of: Hourglass.com 

Photo courtesy of: Hourglass.com 

There's something so satisfying about purchasing a new foundation, especially when you’ve found a color that matches well and provides amazing coverage. Hourglass released their new Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation sticks, and while there are a ton of new foundation sticks on the market, I was particularly interested in the Hourglass foundation stick because: 

  1. They are known for their foundation quality
  2. This foundation is meant to adjust to body temperature
  3. I don’t personally own any Hourglass foundations— so I took this opportunity to add to my collection. 

As a naturally tanned goddess, I have a hard time finding colors that match my skin tone perfectly. With 28 shades to choose from I was excited to pick out my new best friend. I want to commend companies like Hourglass and Cover FX (another classic fave) for catering to multiple skin tones while still providing maximum quality. 

PACKAGING:
Can we say sleek? This chocolate brown casing is sturdy, sleek and built in a triangle tube to provide a comfortable grip and easy application. The foundation itself was also in a triangular formation, and while that’s different compared to the other foundation sticks in the market, it made the application process precise, fairly simple and hassle free. Plus it’s easy to throw in your bag and good when you need to apply foundation on the go.

COLOR:
I matched with Golden Amber.. I know I’m a tan goddess, but HOT DAMN did I get dark over the summer. Golden Amber is a bit darker than I usually go, but the medium deep color with a neutral undertone fit my skin tone perfectly so I was juiced.

SWATCH:
Not my best swatch, but with a slight hand (and in one swipe) I was able to produce full coverage. So. Much. Pigment. sooooo. muuuuuuuch. PIGMENNNTTT!!!

FORMULA:
Don’t say I didn’t warn you :) The foundation is FULL COVERAGE! You can dilute the product with a face oil or moisturizer, but stick to skin, this foundation is THICKY THICK. This stick is meant to be a foundation and concealer all in one, so the formula is infused with double the pigment for instant coverage. 

LONGEVITY:
This product is long-wearing and waterproof, it provides 12 hour lasting power for special occasions where you need all day full coverage. The innovative formula adjusts to your body temperature to blend into the skin effortlessly. I wore this foundation to the Beyonce concert (I danced HARD ya'll) and an outdoor wedding in 80 degree heat and it didn’t smudge, or melt off. Can we say Impressive? 

OVERALL REVIEW:
Will I buy more? Yes. Will I buy again? Yes. While pricey at a smooth $46.00 a stick, you could purchase multiple colors and use the sticks for contour and highlight. Otherwise, buying this foundation for full coverage is well worth the price tag. 

beauty, Review

Jeffree Star Androgyny Swatches and Dupes!

I bought my first Jeffree Star liquid lipstick!!!!!!!!! I’ve been a fan girl of Jeffree Star (Makeup artist, musician, model, fashion designer) for a while now and I’m excited to playyyyy. Unfortunately every time I’ve been online to purchase their liquid lipsticks, every color I want is sold out or my computer gets a virus and crashes as soon as I whip out my credit card. It's almost like my laptop knows I’m going to buy another lipstick :/

Fast forwarding to now, I always thought Androgyny was a gorgeous mauve color and the coveting spirit comes over me when i see a product I absolutely love. Low and behold (Thanks to my boo thang Erika) Androgyny basically fell into my lap! I wore my new lipstick that same night and I am one happy customer :) Check out my review below.

Packaging
Hot pink, Stars and Lipstick. If I were a rock star/makeup artist/all around Glamour Diva, I’d choose bold packaging too. The lipstick itself is cased in a clear tube with hot pink and gold stars. The packaging definitely stands out in my lipstick collection and I’m not mad at it. 

Formula
Applying the product onto my lips, it felt very runny. Immediately after application some of the product ended up on my teeth, not the most convenient experience for my first try. After I cleaned the residue, the lipstick dried smooth and set beautifully on my lips. The formula feels like butter, dries matte but doesn’t feel drying on my lips. Compared to the Colourpop/Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks, Jeffree Star’s formula is silky and (while runny) dries comfortably on the lips. 

Color
Jeffree Star’s collection of lipstick colors are very different than your average lipstick collection. The colors are vibrant and unique, Androgyny being one of the more tame colors in the bunch. I haven’t had the chance to purchase more colors, but I definitely will try it out.  

Dupes
While Androgyny is a very beautiful color, it looks a lot like Colourpop’s Stingraye and Chilly Chili. The formula is clearly different, but the color is very similar. If you don’t want to shell out 18 big one's for Jeffree Star but love the color, Stingraye or ChilliChili are more affordable lipsticks with similar colors.  

Longevity
I tried had the lipstick on at around 8:00pm for an art show and past midnight (a hotdog and a few drinks later) the color did not feather, fade (with the exception of the hot dog, and even then I barely had to reapply) nor did it flake. I haven’t tried wearing the colors for more than 8 hours, but based on other reviews, Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks have amazing staying power.

Cons
Aside from the ultra runny formula, the products can only be ordered online. You cannot visit your local Namies of Nigel’s to pick up a few colors, so you’d have to rely on the swatches online to help you decide which colors to purchase. IF the colors are available. These lipsticks are always selling out! (which technically isn’t really a con but you know.. Whatevs)

Overall
Jeffree Star's formula is different from what I’ve tried in the market, so I’m happy I had the chance to purchase this product. The staying power, color pigment and non drying formula makes this liquid lipstick a winner.

beauty

#KaePop Karrueche + Colourpop Haul

Courtesy of Colourpop Cosmetics

Courtesy of Colourpop Cosmetics

Other than people telling me that she's my doppleganger, Karrueche Tran is quickly becoming a socialite in today's media. Karrueche recently released a line of cosmetics through one of my new favorite brands Colourpop Cosmetics, and i couldn't help myself to a mini haul :) The #Kaepop collection consists of 4 eyeshadows, 3 liquid lipsticks and 3 corresponding liners.  While I'm not the biggest fan of Colourpop's eyeshadows, I purchased 2 liquid lipsticks and 2 liners. Check out the swatches below.

KaePop.jpg

Of the three colors, I chose Kae and Chi. Rooch was a bit dark for me, plus i already have a few dark brown colors in my kit.  See the lip looks below: Chi and Kae with their corresponding lip liners.

I can't say enough good things about Colourpop. The formula stays on my lips throughout the day without feathering, the color payoff is incredible and the price point makes it affordable for everyone.  

The one thing that I did notice about the KaePop liquid lipsticks, is that the doe foot applicator is different from Colourpop's current applicator. See photos below. 

Colourpop's Limbo on the Left and Kaepop's Kae on the right

Colourpop's Limbo on the Left and Kaepop's Kae on the right

The Kaepop applicator has a flat rounded 'foot' compared to the current Colourpop applicator. Personally, i love this. You are able to deposit the product more evenly onto your lips, and it feels softer which is always nice.

Overall, of the 4 products I chose from, I'm happy with my selections and can see these colors being a staple in my makeup bag.

beauty

Dose of Colors Haul & Swatches

SOOOOOOOO.... we all know I'm addicted to lipsticks. I own more lipsticks than i own shoes.. i think? :) Of all the lipsticks i own, what's my absolute favorite brand? Dose of Colors. duh! IMATS was an opportunity for me to binge and splurge on my favorite brand, and i'm SO happy I did. 

I knew i had to get a few of the new colors: Mood, Desert Suede and Cork. And while i was at the Dose of Colors booth, i picked up Truffle because its such a beautiful color. Check out my swatches and looks below.

Colors: Mood, Cork, Truffle, Desert Suede

Colors: Mood, Cork, Truffle, Desert Suede

Mood

Mood

Cork

Cork

Truffle

Truffle

Desert Suede

Desert Suede

Mood, Cork, Desert Suede & Truffle

Mood, Cork, Desert Suede & Truffle

beauty

ColourPop Liquid Ultra Matte Lip Review & Swatches

Kitty Holiday Collection (5 pack) priced at $20.00

Kitty Holiday Collection (5 pack) priced at $20.00

These ColourPop Liquid Ultra Matte Lipsticks have quickly climbed up my list of faves! I personally have 15+ ultra matte lipsticks and at their price point it's pretty hard to stop collecting.

I purchased the Kitty collection for the holiday along with 6 lipsticks I wanted to add to my repertoire. Photos, swatches and reviews below! 

Full sized ultra matte lipsticks priced at $6.00 each

Full sized ultra matte lipsticks priced at $6.00 each

Packaging:
These lipsticks come in an acrylic tube with a metallic cap. The packaging looks clean, classic and fairly sturdy. I've dropped the lipsticks on hardwood and cement and the packaging stays together pretty nicely, though the metallic lettering on the tube seems to come off pretty easily. Of all my Colourpop lipsticks, I've only had a problem with 1 tube not being able to close properly, dripping product all over the inside of my purse :(

Formula:
The formula of this product is more silky than creamy compared to my Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks. The consistency of Colourpop's liquid lipsticks remind me a lot of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks, very smooth and runny yet opaque. When applied, the finish is a bit drying but it still provides enough elasticity to where its buildable, mixable and not uncomfortable.     

Color:
The color payoff is bright, beautiful and true to the website swatches. When in it's tube, some of the colors can look similar but when applied, the colors have very different outcomes. See the swatches from my purchase below. The first picture is from the Kitty collection, the second picture is from the 6 other purchases. 

Longevity:
I have never experienced Colourpop's liquid lipsticks bleeding from my lips. I typically wear chapstick or prime my lips before i wear any matte lipsticks so I've never had an issue with Colourpop running outside of the lip line. In terms of longevity, I will say that i mixed two colors for my birthday and i never had to re-apply once. On an average day these lipsticks last about 5-6 hours before I have to re-apply.    

Cons:
I have very little cons for this product, it's long lasting with a beautiful color payoff :) The only confusion i had about the holiday collection was that I had no idea that the Kitty lipsticks were miniature versions of the full sized lipsticks, so when i opened my package, I was surprised at how small they were.

Final Thoughts:
At $6.00 a piece, these lipsticks are the ultimate deal! The color selection is incredible, and I would recommend purchasing this product ASAP!

 

beauty

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit for Holiday 2015

For a Holiday product, Hourglass came out with a limited edition Ambient lighting palette pretty early on in the season. And I’m not mad at it :)

According to Hourglass, this palette is a, “Wardrobe of handmade powders, blushes, bronzer, and the debut of the new Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder". And it's, " Designed to give you everything you need to finish, brighten, contour and highlight your skin in a single compact.”

I’m obsessed with Hourglass, I never leave a makeup look untouched with their product. Each powder has optically transparent particles that help with seamless blending, especially when it comes to their blush and bronzer options. 

Now on to the review:

Packaging
The packaging is DIVIIIIINE! The 6 powders are protected in this chocolate/rose gold casing that includes a large mirror. Not only are the powders gorgeous, the packaging is just as beautiful and luxurious as the product itself.

Formula:
These powders have "Photoluminescent Technology” to help refine the appearance of your skin’s complexion, leaving you with a glowing finish. This basically means that the powders help to filter out the harsh lines on your face. AKA it’s like you’re walking around with the “Valencia” filter on your face all throughout the day ;)

Color:
The colors provided in the palette are:

Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light
Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light
Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush
Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure
Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light

The only new color in the Edit palette is the "Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light” which is meant for strobing, and I must say the product comes off very glowy and shimmery at the same time. All in all each powder also adds luminescence to every skin tone which makes it universally flattering (Which also puts this palette high on my list of faves). 

Longevity 
The day I decided to wear basically every color in the palette, it was 97 degrees in San Francisco and I forgot to set my makeup with setting spray. I was sure my makeup would melt off! Luckily for my skin, the makeup stayed in place and after 6-7 hours, the color started to dulled out just a bit. Altogether the glow lasted 11+ hours on my face in the raging heat and through date night with le boo.

Cons
The size of each of the powders in the palette is 0.049 oz. In a permanent individual lighting powder is 0.35 oz. The limited edition sizes vs the permanent sizes are drastically different. And for $80.00 per palette I would hope that Hourglass would provide more product for the price. I totally missed taking a picture of my individual lighting powder against my palette, but www.Beautzine.com had a beautiful comparison on their website, so I’ve included it below.

Image courtesy of www.Beautzine.com 

Image courtesy of www.Beautzine.com 

Overall
I'm obsessed. Although i was a bit disappointed in the product sizes, I am still very happy with the product. I love the pigment, texture, finish and most of all, the GLOW. This product is a must have in your kit because it caters to most (if not ALL) skin tones, and provides a filtered light that radiates a glow better than any powder i've seen on the market.