From Cheap as chips to Expensive and Dear- Where do you splurge in your beauty routine

I had a conversation a couple years ago (?)  with a fellow beauty enthusiast (big up yuhself Jodi) who bemoaned her new found love for higher end skincare and makeup. I sympathise.  Everytime I fall in love with a department store brand I can literally see my pocket getting smaller because then I want it all. I’m looking at you Black UP.

Because I am a beauty enthusiast (and beauty hoarder in therapy)  I have tried almost all beauty items in both supermarket/ drugstore brands as well as in higher end versions.

More often than not where I feel as if must have high performance, I find the more pricey products that have been the better performers for me. For me the means for my oily skin to look its best, my liquid foundation, serums, treatments,eyeshadows, masks are the areas where I feel I must shell out my money. When I test these items in drugstore/ supermarket brands, high end brands come out on top each and every single time.

Maybe this isn’t the case with everyone, but i’m guessing if you have oily skin problematic skin like I do, that you might find your self a little less than satisfied with drugstore products in those areas as well.

In contrast there are definitely items from the drugstore that I quite love as well. In general, I find drugstore lipsticks, moisturizers and cleansers (for example ) to be good places to save  a few dollars. Occasionally I may splurge in these categories but by and large, I’m ok with the performance of cheaper alternatives.

Of course I always live in hope that I will discover more budget friendly alternatives than higher priced.. but until then I splurge where I can and cut and contrive where I can

What parts of your beauty regimen, must be high end and which parts are you ok with cutting back on?

 

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P.S

Aren’t you tired of me making promises about when I will update the blog?

Me too! unfortunately although  I still have a certain love for blogging, I haven’t been able to keep up a consistent schedule for all types of reasons.

I appreciate those of you who do read and comment (hint) and I understand if my lack of updates and consistency is a pain.

See you next post🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Random

My current favourite products- September 2015

It’s been a minute since i’ve recorded a video. I’m still trying to get the hangof filming and editing and the whole shabang.

But here I am telling you about my favourite beauty products of the moment.

See you next post.!

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Posted in Make Up, Skin Care

Question – the paradox of Dark Skinned makeup wearers in a 93% black country

I live in the island of Barbados. In fact, my blog name is directly from the colloquial name for residents of my country. I am a Bajan. I am a black Bajan.

According to wikipedia, we are a country made up of 93% Black people. Which means that the makeup wearers here come in all colours of the dark skinned spectrum.

All. 

So why would it be difficult for Black women beyond medium dark to find foundation matches here on this primarily black island?

If anything I would think being an almost 100% black country darker skinned black women should find it easier to find foundations.

Not only do many makeup manufacturers not produce foundations beyond the medium dark range (think caramel/ nc50) in many of their formulation (Loreal Infallible Pro -matte for example), but even when they do some of our major retailers do not ever stock the full spectrum of the shades!

Wait ? What?

One would think that in a 93% black country that stocking all of the dark skinned shades available in a range  would be priority! but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

I’m speaking of brands that I know carry shades from the palest to the darkest in other countries. Brands like Lancome which featured Lupita Nyongo as their spokesperson for the Teint Idole range of foundations.

Lancome Teint Idole is carried in Barbados, we have many women who have similarly deep skin, but they wouldn’t be able to find their shade match here in Barbados.

800x960xLupita-Nyongo6.jpg.pagespeed.ic.14v7IiZeDzHow? Why?

A foundation formula famed for its extensive range – Estee Lauder Double wear, again in Barbados the retailers don’t carry the full range!

How? Why?

Maybe I’m missing a step? I’m certainly not a retailer, but not catering to the majority population seems like the strangest business decision I have ever come across!

In the mean time if you are a darker skinned black woman, here are some foundations that my Facebook friends swear by.

MAC All Formulations 

Bare Minerals – (Not available in store in Barbados)

Makeup Forever HD – (Not available in store in Barbados) 

L’oreal True Match 

Maybelline Dream Mousse 

Maybelline Matte and Poreless 

Graftobian – Found In Exotica Makeup

Black Up Foundation (all formulations)

Black Opal Foundations (all formulations) 

Are you dark skinned makeup wearer? What’s your go to foundation?

If you’re in Barbados or anywhere else in the world with a similar dilemma, please feel free to weigh in below.

Why don’t retailers carry the full range?

Feel free to educate me in the comments below.

Until next post.

Posted in Make Up

Review – Black Opal True Colour Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation

I haven’t reviewed a Black Opal product in a minute! Which seems kind of wrong considering its pretty much a go to drug store staple for black women. There are very few drugstore foundations that have the colour range for black women that  Black Opal does.

The last item I reviewed from Black Opal was the Black Opal Stick Foundation here.

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Truly Topaz and Beautifully Bronze

The foundation can be found for under 29 BBD (15 USD) across  the island which  in the scheme of foundation prices puts them right on par with other drugstore foundations such as Maybelline and Loreal. The big difference is that only one formulation of Loreal has a foundation colour range to match dark skin women comparable to the Black Opal.

Black Opal promises that this foundation ‘
Helps minimize the appearance of pores, gives a matte finish , and is light to medium coverage. It is also oil, fragrance and paraben free’

The foundation applies easily to well prepped skin (moisturizer and primer). I use a half a pump of the Truly Topaz colour on the inside of my face (which is lighter and yellower) and then a little less than half a pump on the perimeter of my face (which is more red brown).IMG_1079

When applied to my skin I find it gave me a semi matte finish and an almost weightless feel. Because I am an oily girl, powdering is non negotiable, so I very lightly dusted with Black Opals loose finishing powder.
Because I use two foundation colours on my face (plus a little highlighter on the nose and forehead)  isn’t that totally matte flat. However matte foundations do give you that very flat look and this foundation is no exception.

I do have some post acne hyper pigmentation (dark spots) on my cheeks and on my chin but all of that was covered relatively easy by just dabbing a second layer on the offending spots.  However I wouldn’t suggest trying to build this foundation too much beyond two layers as it starts to crease in the lines of your face after about 4 hours and the foundation start to ‘crack’ there. I actually had a similar issue with the Stick Foundation as well. To be fair most foundations settle in my smile lines.

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at the end of my 8 hour day, still shiney, despite having blotted minutes before

Around lunch time (about 4 hours later ) my forehead and nose were definitely oily and not ‘highlighted’ but the coverage on the face remained intact, with the addition of my smile line creases. Around the 6 hour mark, my entire face was definitely more than a little dewy, and heading towards fried fish cake grease zone and I needed to blot!. The coverage had also started to break down just a bit. I began to see my hyper pigmentation peaking through the foundation.

In the scheme of things that is actually pretty decent performance for a foundation on oily skin, and I expect that it will perform even better when the days get a little less hot that the surface of the sun and we head into the ‘winter’ months.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Widely available, apply very lightly around any skin wrinkles. and great price point.

P.S. I love to mix my foundations with a highlighter. I mixed this foundation with MAC’s lustre drops and I got that lit from with in look, just full on glow!. Shoot.. A guy even said I looked angelic. Check it out. Admittedly this does slightly reduce the wear time of this foundation. However, I think it’s worth it.

P.S.S the lip gloss in both looks is one of my favourite nudes. MAC Lipglass in Love child.

Check out that review here.

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Posted in Make Up

What is the most under hyped item in your makeup collection? -Black UP EyeShadow Palettes

What is the item in your makeup stash that you NEVER hear anyone talking about?

In the age of blogs and youtube and social media hype, it seems as if there are only a select few brands that hit the heights of supreme hype. Whenever you discuss makeup with average users, enthusiasts and professionals alike iits always the same 3-4 products at any one time that everyone is in love with.

Oddly enough, although Black Up complexion products (check out some reviews here and here )  have been getting a reasonable amount of hype, (especially with their addition to select Sephora’s in the United States) I hardly hear anyone speaking about their colour products.

Which is why when I bought my first 5 shadow palette from Black UP I wasn’t expecting to be wowed!

But I was!

The first thing I was impressed with is how well thought out the palettes appeared to be! Each palette has a combination of mattes, metallics and shimmers. Which means you have enough in any one palette to give you a decent day time (minimal shimmer) to an all out night time look.  Super convenient for the average user who wants to cover most of the bases with one palette.

The second thing and the best thing that I love about these palettes. The mattes in these palettes are smooth, blendable, not ashy and not dusty! That’s actually pretty rare for most matte eyeshadows, which have a tendency to be chalky on brown skin tones and very  dusty.

Black UP 5 eyeshadow palette PAL 5 and PAL 1 alongside Black UPs Complexion enhancer.

The shimmers in the palette do give some fall out, but they’re pretty enough, and blend so well that I’m willing to forgive that single transgression.

Black up includes the typical sponge tipped applicator in the palettes for use. I’ll be honest and say that I never use those things, as I much prefer using my makeup brushes, but they can be pressed into use if absolutely necessary.

The packaging is Black Up’s typical sleek black plastic packaging, lightweight and easy to handle,

Black up is a department store/high end brand so the price isn’t the cheapest at around 48USD online. but since they have turned into my go to easy to use palettes, I dare say they are worth the price.

I currently own two and despite the fact that I have so much other makeup, I’m pretty sure I’m going to find a way to make sure I own all of them. No rush though, since these are part of the permanent line from Black UP.

What is your most under rated/ least talked about item in your makeup stash?

Hit me in the comments and let me know

Until next time,

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Posted in Random

What makeup trend are you giving a pass? – Liquid Lipsticks

As much as I love to try out new makeup products there is at least one makeup trend that has passed me by like a full bus.

For whatever reason I just haven’t been able to get into liquid lipsticks. These super matte long-lasting liquid lipstick formulas are everywhere on the market now. From the high-end to the low-end… Anastasia Beverley hills, LA Colour, Dose of Colour, Lime Crime.. like Lil Rick says you can’t call allllll!

but I’m just over here like ‘Yawn’


Maybe because most of these brands aren’t easily accessible to me? ( I think LA colour is currently being sold in beauty supplies here in Barbados). Other wise, Dose of Colours, Anastasia Beverley Hills, Kat Von D, Lime Crime etc are mainly accessible online and not in any of our store fronts which makes things a little more inconvenient for me.

Maybe because I’m super happy with the traditional matte lipsticks that are available to me?

I love MAC’s matte and retro matte formula and I enjoy the drugstore Wet n Wild MegaLast formula (see comparison review here) , Black UP’s matte formula is also fantastic, and NYX’s matte lip creams aren’t too shabby either (see review here).

MAC Retro matte Flat out Fabulous with Currant lip liner- what more could a girl want…

What ever it is, I haven’t felt the need to draw for my wallet for any of the liquid lipstick formulas.

*shrug*

So while we’re here tell me in the comments below, are you into the liquid lipstick trend ? am I missing out? School me! Where is the best place to get these brands in Barbados? What are your favorite colours?

Also are there any trends that you aren’t interested in getting into ?

Until next time.

See you next post.

PS. if you are a reader outside of Barbados, phrases in bold represent Barbadian phrases,

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Posted in Make Up

A handful of things I learnt while dieting…

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Your diet is no one else’s business

You are dieting to reach your own goals. Some people may agree or disagree. But it isn’t their business and it doesn’t give them the right to your inner most thoughts on why you are dieting. It definitely doesn’t give them a right to tell you how to do so or if to do so.

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My tea is so hipster

When you make your decision to diet consider keeping  it to your self until you are firmly on course.

I’m a firm believer in owning your decisions. Sometimes input from others, though well-meaning may shake your decision process. Make your decision. Set your course, and feel absolutely free to keep it to your self until the right time.

Your diet is no one else’s responsibility but your own.

Don’t go to other people’s special events expecting to be treated uniquely because you are on a diet. Go and enjoy yourself, and prepare your self accordingly or don’t go but send your well wishes along.

Rely on a support system

After all of this emphasis on you owning your decision it seems kind of strange that I would add this. But it’s true. you’re going to need some one you can whine too, some one who is willing to listen, offer helpful suggestions to keep you on track and someone who won’t actively or otherwise attempt to deter you from your goal. Those persons very likely already exist in your circles. Identify them.

Prepare, meal prep, prepare to fail and prepare some more

Preparation is a massive part of dieting success. Preparation will mean different things to different people though.

I chose to prepare my meals weekly aka #mealprep.

Every Sunday I packed my fridge with seven days of meals, 6 meals a day.

As I got more comfortable and understood food better, I only prepped for 5 days of the week. and sometimes for any weekend days that I would be on the road.

The days when I didn’t have meal prepared, I always had easy to cook lean protein on hand and a ton of green vegetables. It had to be easy though, if it wasn’t easy and fast to cook I was asking for trouble.

One thing I came to accept is that no one day on a diet would be the same as it relates to my hunger or appetite. So as I proceeded, I started to plan to fail. My go to plan to fail meal changed over the duration of the prep, but it was almost always a green vegetable. The only exception was tomatoes, which was close enough for me.

When I felt like I needed absolutely needed an extra meal I would pull out my tomatoes/ cucumber/ celery and get going. There was one particularly epic day where I counted that I had eaten almost 2 pounds of cucumber.

Another lesson I learnt as I proceeded was, having some extra meals in the fridge even when you don’t think you need them, will save you more times than you might ever imagine.

Portion size  and counting calories will teach you very quickly what food is worth your time. 

A friend of mine recommended a calorie counting application to me ( big up yuh self Leslie!) and it really is worth it to count calories and look at what foods are ‘worth it’.

Everyone has their preferences, but when I realized that 4 oz of sweet potato was not even equivalent in calorie count to approximately a half cup of quinoa, I was too through with quinoa! A half cup of quinoa doesn’t even scratch my navel much less fill my stomach. I was all about that sweet potato life, more filling and fewer calories.

This of course might be the reverse for other people. Also.. sodas, soft drinks, juices etc.. are rarely worth it for me..neither is alcohol.

Every day my calorie counting application showed me where I was getting the most bang for my buck! Information in calorie counting apps are for the most part submitted by its own users, so go ahead and cross reference the numbers before confirming the food nutrition.

The one I used is myfitnesspal.

My diet plan failed today. Boo hoo.. suck it up buttercup… and move on get back to building your habit

So one day of your diet went badly. Trust me when I tell you that for the most part one day or one meal of ‘failing’ at your diet will not completely put your other 6 days of the week of good habits into the crapper.

Shoot… not even two days.Ask me how I know? GO ahead ask me!

(do not ask me if your name is Lana! Sorry Boo!)

Your habits, what you do most often, are what will determine the success of a diet. not any random off days. Think about that. Think about it again. Re read the section on preparation. and build your habit!

Sometimes it’s okay to plan to give in to the craving and count it

You’ve stuck to the plan, but you still want those Cheetos though! So have them. Buy one single serving bag of Cheetos from the corner store and have them, and read the nutrition label.

Some days  I would read the nutrition label on snacks and just decide.. nah! this really isn’t worth it today. Other days I would  read the label, and I would have me some Cheetos!

Just in case you were wondering 4 oz of sweet potato and a bag of Cheetos are comparable in calories.

The diet I was on was a relatively extreme diet which was oriented towards a very specific goal for stage, but the lessons I learnt have left an indelible mark. and these weren’t even all of the lessons. I definitely look forward to sharing more with you over time.

Until next post.

P.S. sweet potato is life! and also.. cake.🙂

Posted in Random

Take Two series: ELF Studio Powder Brush – Fail

So remember when I gave you my mixed review of this ELF brush? here

Well the Jury is  in. None of my elf studio powder brushes have survived as of April 15, 2015. R.I.P.

One of the two remaining brushes I still had started to massively shed hair, leaving not strands, but clumps! of hair all over my face. Very similar to what I described in the initial review.

The other brush, the one that I mentioned that the head of the brush was loose? Well the head dropped off while I was using it one dabrush-studio-powdery, and before I could reach for the superglue (believe me I would have! ) the brush hairs also detached.

I really wish I had thought to take a photo,

So I’ve decided to give up the ghost on the ELF Studio Powder Brush. I would not repurchase this brush.

Also, when I consider I have cheaper, and less hyped brushes in my collection (Come through CALA!) that have lasted longer than these brushes, I don’t consider these brushes to be worth my time.

I do have one Other ELF studio brush in my collection, the concealer brush, which I have been loving, but based on the experience with the powder brush, I think I’ll just wait and see how long that one lasts before I think about repurchasing.

See you next post.

Bajan Beauty Blogger

P.S the Take Two series is where I give my revised opinion on products I have reviewed previously. Somethimes I learn new things along the way or find more effective ways to use products and I definitely want to share that with my audience.

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Posted in Random

When Bad Packaging happens to good products – Revlon Brow Fantasy

I’ve bought the Revlon Brow Fantasy over and over again, but I’ve decided to put an end to the madness.

The product itself is pretty great. The range carries a dark brown with grey undertones (no red undertones, hallelujah!)  that is perfect for my dark brown brows.

The pencil is a dryer formula so it doesn’t make your brows shiny and waxy which is also another plus.

The tinted brow gel on the other end of the product is also pretty decent, although not as fab as the pencil.

It is perfect to just groom your brows into place with just the lightest bit of colour for a natural brow. It does have a tendency to apply a bit too much product sometimes, but nothing too crazy.

1648084But.. the packaging is a mess.

The cap on the pencil side of this product never stays on! As a result, the tip of my pencil always breaks off inside my makeup drawers or bag when the products are shuffled around.

In the end I spend more time looking for the cap and bemoaning the loss of sharpness to the pencil than I do actually using the product. Which is a shame.

Will I repurchase: I’ve decided to let this one go. Their are other better alternatives that won’t give me so much hassle.

See you on the next post.

P.S What are you using on your brows these days? Right now I’m using a combination of gel products and powders on my brows.

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Posted in Make Up

Fundamentals of Skin Care – Serums.

So we’re back. Finally. I know, it’s been a minute since we visited this series so feel free to get up to speed on the previous posts.

So far we have covered:

The Principles

Cleansers

Moisturisers

Toners

Serums have been some of my biggest game changers in my skin care regime. They deliver results quickly, primarily due to the high concentration of active ingredients.

In terms of texture, think thicker than  liquid toners but much lighter than moisturizers. For that reason they are the step that sits between the toners and the moisturisers. If you put your serum over your moisturiser it will have a difficult time penetrating your skin.

The beauty of the serum is that the active ingredients tend to be super concentrated! Since they are super concentrated, very little of the serum is needed to see results on the skin. Literally 2 – 3 drops is the general prescription when using serums.

The concentration of the active ingredients in the serums also means that they are generally more expensive as well. I suspect this is why there aren’t many serums at the drugstore. supermarket price range. Isn’t that just how life is though?😦

However if you have any one particularly problematic area I definitely recommend making a serum a staple in your skin care routine.

As with all of the other skin care steps that I have mentioned, serums can address all types of specific concerns such as, hyper pigmentation, dry skin, textured skin, acne , anti aging and all variations in between and beyond. 1869_med_34171

When looking for a serum to address your skin concerns consider the following ingredients – All products recommended are available in Barbados.

Textured/ Acne Prone Skin – Serums high in Alpha Hydroxy Acids

My recommendation: Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate available at PureSource Barbados (Surprise Surprise check out the review here!

Anti aging / Wrinkles – Serums with Retinol and Retinol derivatives

My Recommendation – Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Aging Concentrate.images-5

Sallow skin/ Hyperpigmentation – Serums high in Vitamin C

My Recommendations MAC Prep and Prime Brightening Serum and Ren Radiance Perfecting Serum

Dry Skin – Serums high in Hyaluronic Acid –

_8074193My Recommendation – Estee Lauder Night Repair Recovery complex II (available in Cave Shepherd)

Many of these recommendations and serums in general are multipurpose and can give you multiple benefits in one formulation. I say choose one serum based on your biggest concern and stick with that one for the duration. Especially when you consider how pricey this skin care can get.

See you on the next post.

P.S What serums are you using? I’m interested in your recommendations. Let me know your recommendations down below.

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Posted in Skin Care
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