This year I've been very quiet on the social front, with no regrets. I'm learning a lot and getting everything needed in order, which feels so good. I'm losing people but gaining strength in the loss. Being more in tune with my mind and the people I allow into it, is important. I decided to write this post on letting people go and growing as a person to be more positive.

“I pick my friends like I pick my fruit.”
-Being selective in who I befriend. Picks friends of good quality, as you normally would with fruits.
Here’s the deal, in life there are things we can choose and things we can’t. Family being a thing we can’t and friends being the things we can. In short, friends are the family we choose for ourselves, we spend maybe as much or more time with them than family & more information. Over the past few years’ people have come and gone, they go as quickly as they come because the friendships weren’t built on anything solid. As I get older I realise I don’t need a squad of people around or to talk too. I rarely try with people so when I do, it’s a sign of me making an effort but as soon as someone disrespects and disregards all I’ve done for them – I’M GONE! People eventually show their true colours, whether it takes 5 days, 5 months or 5 years. It might sound as if I just friend & dump people but it’s not like that. I speak to people but there has to be boundaries before you let someone in completely. Earn each other’s trust, unfortunately some can earn your trust and still do you dirty cos anyone can. Although how many times can you give someone a chance if they don’t change? Why repeat the past if you want the future to change?
"Cut ‘em out. If they aren’t right."
-If someone isn't doing right by you, let them go.
Our brains are one of the most powerful but misused organs we have. It can be taken for granted, our thoughts manifest into things and that’s why I’ve not felt guilty or sad that I’ve cut people out for misusing me because their negativity isn’t to be focused on, focusing leads to manifesting – that negative downfall isn’t what I want or need in my life. What other people think of me is none of my business. If you don’t want something in your life STOP thinking about it, focusing on it & allowing your emotions to be involved in the creation of it. Direct your attention away from the thing that you do not want in your life. In order to find peace, you must manifest positivity in all you do ... the universe gives you what you give it. Trying to get my mind right is a continuous battlefield and when I come out of the other side of the battle, I always have my truest ones there. Sometimes I wonder why cos when I’m going through my battles whether alone or with them there, I often ponder, why do they stick it out, be patient, wait for me to come around? But it’s probably because there’s understanding, a solidarity and a mutual ‘I want my friend to win in life!” But the winning starts with your own mind – winners don’t see themselves losing. Unfortunately, with every one person trying to win, there are more not wanting to see you win.
“Accept Yourself as You Are, Even When Others Don’t”.
-When you learn to accept yourself, you're likely to find that others will accept you too.
At times, myself and others can find solace in the fact that others like who we are – through good or bad but sometimes we can be pretty hard on ourselves and start to pick on the things that others may have commented on about our personality, maybe even our looks. Focusing on the negative does nothing but pollute our way of thinking of ourselves, so when we look at the reflection of ourselves our mind is continuously telling us all the negatives. We become what we think we are. You can't have a negative attitude towards yourself and see yourself make something positive out of your life. Positivity with the mind, body & soul starts and ends with ourselves. It’s nice to be complimented but the everlasting compliment is from ourselves, instead we should believe that we’re unique, irreplaceable, beautiful, smart, blessed & much more even if others do not see that. Kill them negative thoughts with kindness & remember what other's think of me isn't my business!
"Grow from The Dirt They Left You In."
-Like a lotus that grows out of muddy water; stand above it pure and unsoiled.
But no matter what, try to keep positive towards others who did you wrong or not. Send them positive vibes because they need them just as much as you. Grow and be better, staying positive takes a lot of work & we've got to remember to be good to ourselves as well as others. No matter what's happened to you, it's trying to find the positives in your life & not focusing on the negatives. Even if it's waking up and writing down at least 5 things you are grateful for in a notebook, look for the good. I saw this journal by Natalie Fox I want to get - think that'll help immensely.

How do you stay positive & deal with negativity?

illustrations from Regards Coupables

Thoughts are Things.

One of my favourite Embryolisse products has been the Embryolisse Hydra-Mat Emulsion for it's lightweight but moisturising elements, amazing for a makeup base but I've not ventured deeply into the Embryolisse range as much as I'd like too. Here are two products from their Artist Secret range, help to combat tired, skin and eyes. Normally for me water and sleep is enough but sometimes even the most faithful to the two need a pick me up now and again...
Radiant Eye
These two products are from the Artist Secret range, Radiant Eye Radiant Eye is good for all eye types but what I found to be a good selling point, is the constant coolness that this soft stick cream provides. It helps reduce the visible effects of fatigue, by using an invisible firming film. The cooling effect relieves the congestion of tissue to reduce puffiness, soothing the eyes. It can be used anytime of the day, best first thing in the morning. I like to use it if my eyes feel tired and need a little wake up or when I've removed my makeup to moisturise and soothe my eyes and gently rub in the remainder, there's no residue and absorbs effortlessly. It's easier to have when travelling or out because it's small and keeps cool (btw it can be put into a fridge for an extra cool sensation) opposed to carry an eye mask around.

Smooth Radiant Complexion
If you suffer from skin that's lacking hydration & suffering from fatigue, this can go hand in hand with the radiant eye stick. The aim for this cream is to give an instant plumper, smoother, feel & appearance. Hyaluronic acid is a moisturiser based on biotechnology that saturates the skin with water. "the oat extracted natural sugars leave a tensor and lifting film over the face; the skin is smoothed out, fine lines are erased, the features are rested, allowing a better capture of the light." It also contains mother-of-pearl pigments to give a natural blur to give the skin an enlightening appearance with radiance. It can also be used to diminish puffy eyes and dark circles. The addition of vitamin E protects the skin from UV, pollution and fatigue. It's a gel-cream, quite cooling also, a little pump spreads to a lot of product. It even gives this gold glistening appearance, which is what I put down to make it look radiant. I like. I had a late night and early morning and this was needed for my skin to feel more alive, I don't favour my skin after a lack of sleep. It looks dull but I found this and a combination of oils on top make for a good combination. I was quite surprised. It makes a good smooth base for makeup and my skin looked brighter, can't say it really helped the dark circles which I would've loved to see.

How do you combat fatigued skin?

Purchase: Embryolisse Smooth Radiant Complexion, Embryolisse Radiant Eye



Samples.

Embryolisse Smooth Radiant Complexion & Radiant Eye.

ASOS Power Beauty Player
Benefit Exclusive Contouring Kit, this 5 piece kit has a 33% discount against the total cost of what you would pay if you purchased these individually. Included in the contouring set are 2 boi-ing concealer in shades 01 (light) & 02 (light/medium), Dandelion shy beam liquid highlighter a nude pink matte radiance. Hoola Bronzer, matte bronzing powder & the POREfessional PRO Balm, sample size.

I've tried two of these products previously before such as the Hoola Bronzer & the POREfessional, which I like for places that my pores are slightly larger, that being my nose and my cheeks sometimes. Hoola bronzer is becoming it's own cult, I like it for a subtle contour on the forehead and cheekbones. The boi-ing concealer is very creamy, needs warmer up using the fingertips for better application so that it glides on. Benefit say it's crease resistant and conceals dark circles & blemishes, the two shades unfortunately are too light for me and I think there should be more kit options with different concealer options as it only makes it useful for those with lighter skin tones. I like the Dandelion Shy Beam, I've got other Benefit highlighters that are on the bronze / gold side this being on the nude pink side, gives it a softer appearance on the skin.

I used all of the products but the boi-ing concealer in the look above. For a subtle, daily daytime look.

On the nails Roxanne Campbell - Nude Tights

Do you use Benefit?

Purchase: Benefit ASOS Contouring Kit - Exclusive £43


Samples.

Benefit ASOS Exclusive Contouring Kit


Roxanne Campbell is a fashion manicurist. She's worked on New York & London Fashion Week, models such as Winnie Harlow, Jourdan Dunn & so many others in her credentials. Roxanne has now branched into launching her own nail lacquers - Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer.

" Dedicated to perfection, Roxanne draws on fashion icons and season trends, transforming her vision into a unique range of colours, some subtle, others flamboyant; each designed to enhance, inspire and uplift.....Using the finest quality nail lacquer, Roxanne’s customised formula provides a smooth, even application and a high gloss finish. "

I love a white & nude nail polish. Perfect for every occasion for me, so I requested: Nude Tights & Snow Fight.

Please keep in mind, I'm no nail professional I'm just giving my views & if you've have feedback please do let me know!

It comes in a 12ml bottle, made in the UK & it's cruelty free - erm, winner! The formula with this nail lacquer is thick and it doesn't drip or run very easily which to me means less product is used or wasted. This was my first experience with both, I applied my nail strengthener as always and allowed to dry before shaking the bottle vigorously and applying my first coat, as I've already mentioned it's quite thick so I did remove some excess product on the bottle rim before applying. I continued for both hands and went back for the second coat and I found 2 coats was all I needed as it's pretty opaque but as it dried I noticed bubbling. This happened with both Nude Tights & Snow Fight.
So round 2, I decided to leave it to dry and cover my nails as much as I could with the first coat and it didn't matter if it was streaky as the second coat would finish that off. Which is what happened. I did shake the bottle in between both hands and coats and I got a happy nail lacquer finish. I'm going to swatch Nude Tights - which I love for a future nail post. I think it's the perfect nude especially for women of colour.

The collection launches August 1st for £10 a bottle.

What are you currently wearing on your nails?

Purchase: Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer

Samples.

Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer

I rarely now blowdry my hair because sometimes I feel my hair benefits without the heat but occasionally my nan likes her hair to be blowdried sometimes so the perfect opportunity to try this primer. It's an innovative formula that works to strengthen & shield from breakage while allowing you to use heat up to 230°C while deliver

They say it's good for all hair types, dry, thick or coarse. My nan's hair is quite similar to mine but it's quite fine, so the less product the better but it needs moisturiser. It's a non greasy cream, quite lightweight and it easily absorbs into the hair and I sectioned it as I apply to get an even distribution of cream. Before I blowdry I always apply hair grease too so the hair doesn't dry out while I apply heat, with the hair being slightly damp, about 80% before I started the process of the cream & styling...I didn't find that it made the hair sticky or dried out the hair to the crispy state at all which I don't like about these blowdry primers that help speed up the drying process. They also state that it'll help prolong the blowdry outcome of your hair so you'll get voluminous 2nd day hair.

I would recommend this if you like to have something to help protect the hair while helping it speed up the drying process.

Do you use any hair primers or speed dry products?

Purchase: Redken Pillow Proof Blowdry Primer Cream



Samples.

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry

The sun is finally shining and with the weather set to be good for the rest of the week, skin is in and out. Keeping the skin glowing and looking healthy by the sun is always a nice option but in the long term maybe not the best solution. I've got 4 products as a suggestion to get a glow and keep you cool! With the debate over DHA lately but with a lot of jurors still out, I've got you covered if you prefer DHA or that you'd like to avoid the ingredient (think the paraben debate)...

Hand Chemistry Glow Oil, this is DHA free, you may know that DHA is a sunless tanning agent that is safer for the skin but this Glow Oil is different and contains none of that instead it's developed it's own a raspberry-based keto-sugar, it develops a gradual golden glow to the skin that's meant to be more healthy looking than a deep bronzed tan from Hawaii. This is a dry oil, with invisible golden prisms within the formula that needs shaking up. This is to be used up to twice daily and then cut back to once daily to maintain the look or desire appearance. It can be mixed with moisturiser if you don't like the feel of a dry oil but I found that give it at least 5 minutes and it starts to absorb well into the skin. I find it smells similar to it's Retin-Oil, a nice watermelon smell which makes it better although the next day I started to smell that faint biscuit smell, which I was disappointed with, I don't know if I applied too much of the oil or this is what happens. On day 2 the smell had disappeared as I didn't top it up the night before. I notice very subtle change to my skin, I apply this to my arms, legs and chest. I don't see any shimmer after application or in the sun but I used it on my nan who's about 3-4 shades darker than me and she was left with a golden glow to her arms that gradually faded. As the days go by, there's a nice colour appearing and it's fuss free, non-drying and no mess! On the 2nd day maybe it was the combination of the sun and the product but people were giving me compliments on how good my skin was glowing.

Image below was on the first day applying the dry oil on my inner arm.
Hylamide Glow Radiance Booster, another DHA free product with Keto-Sugar, Reactive Glutathione, Melanin Peptides and Radiance Peptides...This is another gradual tanner for the face please be aware of that, it's not a wash off product, this'll build up a glow for the face in 2 - 3 days so if you do use this please remember to take it down onto your neck so you're not left with any sudden lines on your jawline. It helps lackluster, uneven tone and dull skin all in one. Since I've been using it, there is no jaundice look which I worry about. It has an ingredient I've never heard of before but as soon as I see the word Melanin - I'm down. Melanin Hexapeptides is the first ever peptide technology to target melanocyte function (to produce and distribute melanin ), that'll encourage a glowing, natural radiant colour. I don't know how I'm going to do without either of these products now...

If you prefer DHA products Sukin Sunless Bronzing Gel is a vegan product, this can be applied daily to clean skin for a gradual glow. I like that this product hasn't got a bad smell which is what puts me off with products included within the ingredients are Australian lemon myrtle and lime oils which helps the scent within this bronzing gel. The active bronzing ingredient is dihydroxyacetone (Stainers) more commonly know as DHA, this is the most commonly used ingredient because you don't need the sun to activate it. DHA, is a colourless 3-carbon sugar, when applied to the skin it causes a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the surface cells of the skin, thus producing a darkening effect. Within this product you'll find NO parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrances, animal derivatives, harsh detergents, propylene glycol, artificial colours, triethanolamine, mineral oils & EDTA. Making it a brilliant choice for people to get the benefit without harming the body inside and out, it's good for all skin types and for face and body.

Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner, is another Sulphate and Paraben Free product and also alcohol free. Alcohol free toners are what we all should use, takes me back to American Psycho when Patrick Bateman says to never use one with alcohol because it dries out and ages the skin or to quote "with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older." I like to use this to spray throughout the day also because it's very light mist, smells fresh and uplifting and I put that down to the Rosewater & German Chamomile. Chamomile is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant, making it good for those who suffering from redness or irritated skin. Chamomile does a good job of keeping our natural oils from over or under producing making the skin balanced. Because it has emollient properties it helps the skin to maintain moisture while working perfectly with natural oil production of the skin to perform at high levels.


What would you pick? Are you fussed about DHA in your sunless tanning products?

Samples.

Sun Free Glow.

I've read and heard all the buzz about green tea before & I'm sure you have too but the one time I tried green tea, I wasn't keen on the taste, at all! Which is a bummer being that I enjoy most herbal teas. I was contacted by Dragonfly Tea and in the email they mentioned how most find it bitter which had me feeling not so isolated with that thought but they gave some reasons as to why :

• The reason that most people believe green tea is bitter is because more often than not the leaves are poor quality (true of much green tea available here in the UK). The bitterness is then masked by adding overpowering flavours to make it more palatable.
• Even the greatest green tea may taste bitter if brewed for too long or with water that is too hot. Boiling water can scald the delicate green leaves making the tea taste bitter, so try letting the kettle cool for a couple of minutes before pouring.
• Truly quality green teas correctly brewed are remarkable; fresh, smooth and delicately complex with a full aroma and naturally fragrant sweetness.
• In true Dragonfly Tea spirit, instead of disguising a poor quality green tea with overpowering flavours, they decided to use the very highest quality, premium green teas and subtly infuse and enhance them with delicious complimentary notes. Dragonfly Tea spent over a year developing their new green teas and they have tasted dozens of different versions along the way.

What's the big deal?
Bioactive compounds in tea leaves have a large amount of nutrients but a lot of these do not make it into the final drink. Flavonoids and catechins are powerful antioxidants, just like in our skincare it can help reduce free radicals from forming in the body, protecting cells and molecules from any damage...which means slowing down aging and diseases.

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is a powerful antioxidant it's been used to treat various diseases & possibly the reason as to why is has such amazing medicinal properties.

Green tea has been touted as an aide for weight loss, which was one reason I wanted to get into regular green tea drinking as it helps you to lose body fat. Lowers the chances of strokes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes. It kills bacteria meaning that your dental health will improve and lower risk of infections. In the long term it can help protect the brain, lowering risk of alzheimer's & parkinson's. In the short term it keeps you more awake & smarter thanks to the caffeine that it contains (not as much as coffee) because it's a stimulant.

...I was sent 3 boxes, different flavours Pure Green, Citrus Green and Berry Green. Pleasantly surprised to see the Citrus Green it was the first I tried and I liked that you got that hint of lemon through and the few ingredients of 'green tea, natural lemon flavour and other natural flavours, natural oil of bergamot' blended well together that it didn't take me long to finish a cup. So I decided to true the Pure Green & you can guess the ingredients are just that 'Pure green tea', the taste was smooth, certainly no bitterness which was a relief, not as refreshing as the citrus as that had more flavour but this has converted me to this brand's green tea. Berry Green has a blend of 'Green tea, rooibos green tea, natural flavour, natural vanilla extract', I'd say this really carries a berry smell & a fruity taste.

I was pleasantly surprised, it can take a brand to just change my mind and help me to like something and thankfully Dragonfly Tea has done that, so I'm grateful to them for that & I hope with the addition of green tea alongside my water addiction I'm going to see long term benefits.


Do you drink green tea?



Purchase: Dragonfly Tea - Green Tea collection £1.65 for 20 bags


Samples.

Dragonfly Tea - Green Tea.

Create Your Look From The Hair Down
When Summer swings round, it brings familiarity with hair & make-up. Festival looks, brighter lipstick, facial stickers and beach waves, dip dye ends and balayage. TONI&GUY are encouraging you to create your look from the hair down and with these ultimate holiday essentials. I personally don't use a lot of their products because not everything my hair loves and it's pretty contented as am I.

I did like to see the Radiating Tropical Elixir, I mentioned it last year in a previous TONI&GUY post, it smells intoxicating, it's light and great to just rub in the hands and run through the hair - especially while straight. Gives it a shine boost while protecting hair from UV rays, perfect all year round especially during the hotter months. Dry shampoo, I've started to get use too, being natural, everyday isn't wash day so I find if the hair needs any oil or sweat absorbed from the hair and needs a little refresh here and there - dry shampoo is a good option. A few spritzes here and there, don't harm nobody & certainly doesn't harm me but I don't rely on it.

Sea Salt Texturising Spray, always an option to get hair beach wave ready, it'll hold the waves for that carefree beach look. Honestly I don't ever recall using sea salt in my hair, I've always felt it'll dry out my hair plus with it being a mix of waves and curls already seems pretty pointless. I do get concerned when I see sodium chloride in ingredients as it's basically table salt, I did read... "when it is placed in a liquid, it dissociates into charged sodium and chlorine particles. It's probably in hair products to attract other ions and pull them out of the hair." I love the way it smells, reminds me of hair salon.

TONI&GUY have teamed up with Superdrug to design a beautiful & bright tote bag that you get free when you purchase two TONI&GUY products until 28th July.

Have you used TONI&GUY products before?

Purchase: TONI&GUY at Superdrug.com


Samples.

TONI&GUY Create Your Look From The Hair Down.

Just like I don't support testing on animals as much as I can, I won't be supporting businesses/business owners who are outwardly racist or bash women in the past or now. I loved Jeffree Star Cosmetics and have purchased so many liquid lipsticks from the brand but after the mess the other month - that's no more. I've read how people said you've go to separate the brand and the person behind it. Fuck that! Be more consciously aware, in a “satirical” video that was done 10 years ago, keep in mind he's a young adult, who understands racism and the fact that doing any video with someone in blackface isn't funny and highly offensive but it's ok doing something for shock value...racism for shock value, cos it's funny to joke about black lives, black skin was and is still hunted like a sport by white supremacists, black face / minstrels is racist and all the pain that lies behind that, he's aware of what he's saying and doing, no young & dumb BS. If you've got respect, shock value to make fun of others wouldn't even come to mind. Social media from even then got people showing their asses. In the video he said how they should send over their sister because she's only good to mop the floors and that he'd throw battery acid on a black woman to make her skin lighter so it'll match with her foundation.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."

Why would I want to give money to someone like that? With everything going on being more aware who is getting your coins should be a priority, not giving a misogynoir, elitist, racist, coins to live lavishly. He feels he's done a lot for women of colour in beauty, it takes a lot more than making shades friendly to be 'doing a lot'. Forget the fact that his assistant or whoever is black, that don't mean shit. He not only bashes black women by calling them degrading names & threatening to beat them up ( Just because you wear makeup as a male doesn't make you a woman...) but women in general, it's more than a race issue, it's a sisterhood where's the stand if you fall for a lipstick shade, highlighter & bonus, the IG like? For that, I'm going to use what I've purchased but won't be giving the brand another coin or others with questionable policies. Like I try my utmost not to purchase from brands who treat animals like they have no feelings and aren't worth the life they were given for my own personal use the same with businesses like JS Cosmetics.

I used the image above because to me these are people who stood for their beliefs and were conscious as to where they placed their money, business and politics. Because they stood for something and wouldn't feed back into the system oppressing them.


How do you personally feel about brands with questionable owners? Are you able to separate brand from the brand owner?


NOTE: You may see certain brands featured because it's a 'use up, what I've got' situation.

Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything.