While I was looking for cruelty free tanning brands, I read that St Tropez is one of them. I've tried lotions, I've tried mousse, so now it's only right I try a dry oil -right?

This is how St Tropez describe the product : "Our most luxurious tan yet, for the ultimate natural, golden glow that lasts for days. This Brazilian inspired dry oil with added hydration, creates healthy looking skin, with a glamorous shimmer on application. For best results, apply using our Tan Applicator Mitt."

Ingredients : Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Dihydroxyacetone, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PPG-15 Stearyl ether, BIS-PEG-15 methyl ether dimethicone, Mica, Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil Nut) seed oil, Citrus grandis (Grapefruit) peel oil, Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass) oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter orange) flower oil, Dimethyl isosorbide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium sorbate, Limonene, Citral, Caramel, Linalool, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Geraniol, Tin oxide, Farnesol, Citronellol, CI 77491 (Iron oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium dioxide).

As with most tans, they suggest you exfoliate 24 hours before try this Korean Spa Magic Peeling Mitt. After my shower, I let my skin dry and it's time to get to work. You need to give the bottle a good shake to mix up the mixture. Using a tanning mitt (I didn't have the st tropez tanning mitt, but I've got several from other brands)

Before all application, I moisturise with a cream on the typical drier areas, such as the feet, ankles, elbows and hands.

The bottle has a stopper with a hole, which gives more control of the oil, instead of an open mouth just pouring out. Giving it a few shakes onto the mitt and I've got enough for application from my ankles upwards. I honestly couldn't see too much of a colour indicator but I am browner than others who typically tan but what can be that indication is the traces of gold shimmer as you apply this but you need to be in direct light. The way I've learnt to do my feet is once I've finished one leg, I'll run whatever product is left over that legs foot. The same application goes for the hands, making a claw shape in the hands so the tan doesn't just sit in the lines.

While applying I was impressed to smell this, there was none of that tanning scent that many of us can't stand and is that high indicator of self tanning products, there's an almost fresh/floral scent but what I noticed as it began to develop some hours later, that tanning smell kicked in. Yup! It's alive.

Application is pretty simple and quick while the trick to do my back, turn the mitt back to front (the side you're using is now resting on the backside of your hands instead of palm side) was easier than I thought. You can get dressed once it's dried, I found it dried on me within 10 - 15 minutes if that. The skin didn't feel dry as I would've expected it too, it's not WOW moisturising but it's bearable for me.

I applied the tan around 2pm and washed it off gone 9pm, St Tropez say to wait 4 - 8 hours before washing the tan off. I washed it off and I could still smell that tan smell and I always when washing off a tan use my exfoliating mitt and shower gel, just to give a clean removal and get rid of that tanning smell. There was a change in colour on my back in comparison to my bum as I didn't tan there -Unfortunately my before photo of the tan was deleted with other images I needed - it gave a nice brown shade but of course the next day was going to tell more. During the night, there was no tanning marks on my bed and it would be easy to tell as the sheets are white but I could still smell that biscuit stench. I repeated last night's shower routine and there was more tan coming off with the suds not much if honest and my tan was still there, on the legs it looked as if there was an orange tinge.

But a couple days into my tan my skin started to constantly feel itchy, on my back, legs and arms and this would be before and after shower and exfoliating, I'm not sure if it's down to the tan but I've changed nothing in my routine besides this and if it is this, that's making me itch, then no bueno. So I'm currently on the fence with the product.

Purchase: St Tropez Self Tan Dry Luxury Oil

St Tropez Self Tan Dry Luxury Oil

So now I'm on my last Neom Happy week womp womp wommmmmp but here's a brief recap of last week.
15th - 21st February.

15 · 02 · 16
Okay I kind of already started my to-do list last week but continuing this week. 3 things to complete this week? Donating more clothes & products, that's right, more! Clothes are thing we really hang onto through the years, for whatever reason sentimental, cost, forgotten about but they sure take up a lot of room and can be a headache and overwhelming but there are a few techniques & ways for getting rid of clothes. Last January I downsized my nail polish collection - & it's only got smaller. Always feels good to get rid of things that aren't loved or wanted anymore! I had only got rid of things at Christmas. Ticking off this to-do list like a G!

16 · 02 · 16
As I've been sleeping funny, right on my shoulder & sleeping corpse like, it's highly uncomfortable but this morning yoga routine helped really stretch out that tightness I had. I've felt my mood really start to uplift today. Positive. Later on, I meditated and had a new mantra.

"Just Breathe"

17 · 02 · 16
Finances, finances, finances. Ugh! The thing I don't like to do but surprisingly keep on top of regularly. Mid month is bill time for me, paying out, create & send out invoices for paying in. I use Debitoor for that. I've also not been to the gym in a couple months - uh - that's money being wasted so I'm going to freeze payment for the month and see if I get on better at home. Was good to have an actual day assigned to the task, I think that's something I will do regularly.


18 · 02 · 16
Today it's about giving 10 minutes of time, if helping bring in and unpack the shopping includes in that, I gave more than 10 minutes but also I have previously signed up for volunteering work which I'm waiting to hear back from, if it goes through, this'll be very rewarding in terms of volunteering. Ugh, I've also seen the backlash of the MAC instagram over a black woman's lips. Can say this is the first thing to irritate me and bring a lot of things home in this beauty world.

19 · 02 · 16
Friday!! All about making time for myself. I seem to be a master of that if honest. My time was spent searching for my epilator and laser hair removal device so I could get rid of my patchy leg hairs.

20 · 02 · 16
Today was all about getting clever in the kitchen, I cannot stand cooking lol. It's my least favourite thing to do so and now I'm back on the juicing wagon, it was easier to give food a miss today.

21 · 02 · 16
Switching off the technology. Oh believe at times today it was needed. I don't walk around with my phone in the house if possible, I normally leave it in my room and it's 99% spent on silent. I'm continuing to get through my book so disconnecting from technology isn't a bad thing at this point.

Overall
This week went fast but felt slow, I know, how? But I felt relaxed and content in just doing what I needed and wanted to do. Reminding myself to just breathe and not rush through things just have some balance! My tiredness has ceased and it was down to lack of iron, so since I've been back on my vitamins, I've felt more alert and lively and productive. Go figure.

Purchase: Neom Happiness Programme Kit


Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.




Samples.

The Zenuary Diaries #NeomHappy100 Week 3

The first TheVeganKind beauty box of 2016 and it's a gorgeous box. Has a variation of items and I love, love, love. From skincare, to makeup to the mind and soul. Probably my most favourite beauty box yet.

Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash
Natural plant and botanical extracts leave this free from chemicals, making it good for all skin types and especially sensitive skin that can be prone to reactions. Even though this says morning clear, it can be used day or night. With a 15% moisturising formula the skin won't feel tight or dry after use. This has Mayblossom and elderflower that'll help to control oiliness and prevent blemishes. The orange blossom and raspberry tone and refresh. The consistency is thick like a cream, it's not a fluid. It's gentle on the skin and definitely didn't leave it feeling dry, has a refreshing scent to it, I can smell the raspberry quite a bit, not a bad thing.


Saturated Colour KISStick
Creamy but pigmented lipstick, this shade is called Passionate Peach it has a nice, with yellow undertones making it great for warm undertones - hello perfect! Apply with a lipstick brush for precise and a buildable application.
Kiss Cosmetics is changing their name to Saturated Colour and also this KISStick will be changed to LIPSStick. Although this is still carrying the previous names the brand is letting you know that the products will remain the same! I've never tried anything from Kiss Cosmetics and another affordable brand with most things being under £10, it'll be interesting to see the brand grow.
Barry M Radiant Rod Highlighter
Who doesn't like to be a golden goddess and I think I need to pay a lot more attention to the Barry M brand being that they're cruelty free & majority vegan. This smooth, creamy and dewy highlighter is soft and easily blendable, as it's blended out there's little flecks of glitter. God I can't wait to break out the tan and sparkle and this affordable highlighter is a recommended addition.
Sacred Elephant Sandalwood Incense
With candles being vegan, I never thought about incense sticks. I love incense sticks and these are made using only natural essential oils and resins, with various scents - I've got one of my favourite scents Sandalwood. Also knowing that these are made by hand from the production of the scents to the final rolling of the sticks. It's quite personal in that sense and it looks pretty nice in this floral engraved wood incense holder. Btw did I mention that it's owner is a former monk of 18 years.

I liked this box, it had key things in it, lipstick, highlighter, facial wash and some incense sticks. The shades are ideal for the upcoming months. The incense burns beautifully and roughly last 40 minutes but the smell lingers and is uplifting, so anyone that knows me, you know what you're getting for gifts this year, right?

Purchase:The Vegan Kind Beauty Box


Samples.

TheVeganKind Beauty Box #6

Last Wednesday MAC Cosmetics posted an image of Ugandan model Aamito Stacie Lagum lips coated with the shade Matte Royal & with over 30k comments on just this one Instagram photo, you know it was the racist/jealous people just having to stop by with their comments, letting MAC know they're unfollowing and even leaving derogatory comments such as 'nigga lips', 'fish lips', 'Holy nigger lips, Batman! What is this color called? ... Grape Drank?' While one user wrote :
"Black women will never be as beautiful as white women. The only argument blacks have is they have more melanin like that matters. Yes white women can get injections and when they do, they are basically flawless. You don't have any thing over them anymore and that's why you get so pissed off. Keep lying to yourselves thinking your dark asses look better. Don't even come at me with the "all white features were first started by blacks". Even if that was true, WHERE THEY AT THO? Keep projecting your jealousy on white women though, Id rather be a cracker with injections than look like the majority of you oily yet ashy at the same time people. Acting like you don't bleach your skins, get nose jobs, get contacts, and dye your hair blonde."

But rewind...

A couple years ago, people fell for the trap that Kylie Jenner managed to get a 3D pout using MAC lip liner and sold out the product in the hopes of getting voluptuous lips. The #KylieJennerChallenge, had people breaking glass jars & their lips in the process to enlarge their lips, lip fillers became the thing, but now this past week something else occurred that cemented the fact that, predominantly black features on black women are not 'as appealing'. While most women who aren't blessed with such features pay for them and get praised and become the next IT thing, those who are naturally blessed with such features are taunted with racist abuse. Don't get me wrong, what a woman wants to do with her body & with money is her prerogative and beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. My issue is that the incident is another reminder that our features are often celebrated on other races (e.g. Angelina Jolie who has naturally plump lips to those enhanced like the Kardashians) but not our own and how much outrage it causes to be who we are.

Or when Allure published the article "You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro" accompanied by a white woman who had tightly curled hair, now this is the texture, society would love for us to have more than our natural hair. Hell, my natural hair isn't as tightly curled as some but I get some real stupid comments when I wear my hair naturally or questioned over my hair routine due to that person's lack of knowledge which then stems into ignorance. Women with natural hair are sometimes told by employees not to wear their hair in it's natural state or in braids but a magazine will then publish an article for european hair for them to create this hair - huh!?
Lagum had this just to say "My lips giving you sleepless nights. On @maccosmetics IG. Thankyou @maccosmetics for this killer color and to that makeup artist .ama get me 3 of these."

Just like Beyoncé said "Best revenge is your paper!" & Lagum since winning Africa's Next Top Model has walked in the catwalk shows of Lacoste, Marc by Marc Jacobs, J. Mendel, Rag & Bone, Giles, Jonathan Saunders, Paul Smith, Bottega Veneta, Lanvin, Dries van Noten, H&M, Giambattista Valli, and Hermès. She opened Balenciaga in Paris, and was the first black model to open the show under Alexander Wang. Lagum has also appeared in magazines such as i-D, Interview, Love, W, British Vogue and Vanity Fair.

MAC Cosmetics have been working to delete racist comments while letting their followers know they are a brand that is "All Ages, All Races, All Sexes" - Can you be cruelty free again too?

The Voluptuous Lips Causing The MAC Cosmetics Controversy.

Vegan Exfoliating Peel for Pigmentation.

Pigmentation is something I suffer from and that I've always got to keep on top of as any little spot leaves pigmentation but finding alternative methods that are safe and legal can be a pain. Eminence Organic Skincare have a gluten & nut free and vegan product that might be my answer. "A results-oriented peel solution with cotton round pads that reduces the look of uneven pigmentation. Lactic and mandelic acids gently exfoliate dead skin cells while licorice root and our Natural Hydroquinone Alternative from African potato and tara tree brighten the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation."
I've long heard and read that licorice is good for pigmentation, I've never found a way to incorporate it into a D.I.Y skincare routine but alas this exfoliating peel has it already. I was excited to try it as I have a fair bit of pigmentation lurking around, nothing too bad. I was using the peel on my face, it started to look clearer, a little more even until I scratched the skin in between my eyebrows and disturbed skin got ripped by my nails - way to go! After cleaning the wound, it needed time to heal & I didn't want to use this peel on a fresh wound but as it started to heal up, it was the perfect time to start to really see how this works.

The Product
Key Ingredients:
Licorice Root: promotes skin elasticity, brightens the appearance of pigmentation, fights the look of wrinkles
Daisy Blossom: cleans skin, brightens the appearance of pigmentation.
Lactic Acid: exfoliates, accelerates removal of dead skin cells
Natural Hydroquinone Alternative: a natural brightening agent made with African potato and tara tree for a smooth, radiant looking complexion
Azelaic Acid: antioxidant, reduces the look of inflammation
Baobab: antioxidant, brightens and tones the skin, moisturizes, reduces the look of inflammation
Mandelic Acid: gently exfoliates, effective at treating the look of fine lines and redness
Clary Sage Oil: calming; balances oil production

It's a 50 ml tub with a pump top, I've never had a product like it before, the circle in the middle dispenses the product straight onto the cotton pads supplied. Simply lay the pad on top and it's a pretty accurate fit and pump a couple times and voila. No spillage, no excess product, just simple.

The 35 cotton pads that are supplied are handy, they have two different sides - one side is soft & quilted for sensitive skin and the other side which is more of a waffle knit is for deeper exfoliation - where do I get these for future use Eminence? It is noted that this can be used daily if there is no sensitivity when used.

My Experience
Once I've cleansed my skin, I prefer to use this at night, just in case there's any reaction/sensitivity - I've not experienced any. I use two pumps onto the pad and depending on where on my skin I'm gliding this over, I switch sides on the pads, some days I may use one side all over, others the other and with circular motions apply to the skin. It's just going off my personal judgement on what my skin needs and can tolerate. There's no chemical smell, it smells a little sweet and tolerable, I like the smell, it's pretty calming. I feel no stinging but the skin does feel clean and dry (it needs moisture!!) I don't think it's down to the peel, it needs moisture!! It dries quickly, it's to be left on - not to be washed off - and your skin routine continued, for me that's serum, cream and oil - beauty sleep.
The mark incident happened about the 6th of February, it healed quickly but the mark was inevitable. Over the fortnight I randomly took pictures after doing my skincare routine, it's doing nicely lightening up and the skin itself hasn't changed in texture making me feel more confident within the product. As I previously said I go by my skins judgement, sometimes it needs a rest from things this can be used up to 3 times a week, I've actually been using it every other day. You also want to use SPF which you should be anyway people *wags finger* as the skin will be more delicate to sun.

It may be pricy at £55 for 50ml but with it having no harmful ingredients and also vegan, it's not bad. I've got more hopes for this product being nearly 3 weeks and good improvement, it's a highly recommended from me.

Purchase:Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel
Upon purchase of the product there's a promise that Eminence will plant a tree for every product sold.

Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel

This Works

Are a natural ingredient brand, not tested on animals, organically grown plants when possible,fairly traded ingredients & free of phthalates, sulphates, synthetic colours and fragrance, parabens, GMOs, mineral oils, petrolatum, propylene glycol. The launch of This Works Light Time unique skincare range has been designed to tackle the physical effects of sleep on the skin. A good night's sleep can have such a positive effect on our skin as well as a bad night's sleep can have a negative effect. This range is designed to help reverse those restless, disrupted night's effect that our skin can have. Puffy, lined and drawn, fatigued skin can now be allowed to look bright and energised with these products and where is the most tell-tale sign - The Eyes!
Light Time Open Eyes within this cream are potent algae-derived extracts that are rich in Vitamin C and B12 which promotes an instant tightening effect which is supposed to leave the eyes feeling more awake and works to support and stimulate the skin's collagen to promote anti-ageing.
This 15ml tube has a unique metal applicator tip that stays cold, as you press the tube under the metal tip the cream slowly dispenses, it doesn't come out heavy, it's easily controlled and it might be because there is a pin sized hole. The cream has a soothing aloe vera & comfrey root help to depuff the eyes, honestly I don't have issue with puffy eyes, but tired & tight yes. Also Argan oil, high Hyaluronic Acid and a sugar based wheat active (which is?) aid for deep hydration tightening lines and wrinkles caused by dehydration. Crambe oil provides moisturising and protective essential fatty acids for a plumping effect while Persian silk tree extract detoxes the skin which reduces any signs of fatigue.
The cream is full of natural active & extract ingredients, some I've never heard of before. Looking more at the ingredients it's got shea butter, jojoba, candelilla, rice bran, extracts from coconut oil & glycerin which are good for replacing the moisture lost in skin. I think the best thing about this eye cream is the metal applicator, in the mornings during my routine, I will squeeze some of the cream out and use the tip in circular motions and onto my upper lid and do soft wiper motions. The cooling of the metal is a moment for a sigh of relief when the eyes feel so tired. I will then tap with my ring finger to absorb the cream more and let it sink in, it's not heavy or oily. Ideal for daily use as most days I'm not wearing makeup I couldn't say how long before makeup application but my eyes do feel revived and awake after this, could it be the combination of the cream & metal tip, maybe so it certainly helps out more.

Saves time putting the spoons in the fridge, such an oldie but goodie, don't you agree?

Purchase:Light Time Open Eyes

Shop The Post

Sample.

From what I've gathered online, This Works do not test on animals, or associate with companies who do, their products are shipped to China but are not distributed in stores, products are despatched orders from customers placed on their website to China but there's nothing official as in on their site or on their packaging to let you know.

This Works Light Time Open Eyes

Zenuary Diary
Onto week 2, I'm hoping for a productive and energising week, not just from the programme but overall. I'm needing space, energy and a creativity boost.
8th - 14th February.
08 · 02 · 16
Today we're boosting that brain power, I decided to try a new language, I love Italy, I love Italian men, Pizza has my heart so duh! Italian was the obvious language, being directed to one app that allows you to do this daily it's been interesting and quite fun that I went past the 6 minutes as I continued it throughout the day.

I decided to adapt more to not giving unsolicited advice or help, most people don't appreciate it. I've found some of us can complain about situations but we never do anything so when advice is given it's unwelcome because those people don't want to change, I've got to let people just get on with life as I am mine. I know I've done it, bitch & complain to people and when they come up with a suggestion or help I've dismissed it because I'd rather just complain. Have to be open to sacrifice

09 · 02 · 16
Mantras. What is a mantra?
(originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
A statement or slogan repeated frequently.

Today it's about finding that mantra to chant repeatedly. "I am.", is one that is simple, add on positive words as I have done above and chant some positivity.

10 · 02 · 16
Hello cycle! I've had such a headache today along with backache, wow it's so intense, so repeating this from last week was perfect! I just laid back for 15 minutes and listened to a meditation track on YouTube and lighted candles all around. I also continued my Italian, you're meant to do it daily, I keep getting reminders and it doesn't take long and this app doesn't let up until you get it correct!

11 · 02 · 16
I had a peaceful sleep last night after that bath and meditation, my niggling headache has gone.
Smoothie Bowl? Okay I can't put something in a bowl, that I would typically drink - just a mental thing. I'm not huge on Blueberries although I had them in my juicing detox, there not my favourite so I decided to switch it up and had a juice, not sure if it was a mental boost juice but I felt super good for the juicing that I've been doing again lately.

12 · 02 · 16
Rise and shine 10 minutes earlier? I ended up being up nearly a half hour earlier, not by choice just because of noisy neighbours but all the same was up earlier so I took that time to meditate and think what I needed to start today, I had a few things that needed doing throughout the day, sorting papers out, wash my hair, cook vegan burgers it was going to really occupy my day. My papers are strewn everywhere and I've got a blog post about organising coming up regarding that, also I continued to downsize my beauty drawers and boxes - ugh when can I just be minimal and practical! My hair got a deep condition, not as thorough as I use to do it but it got a shower cap steam and into the kitchen to prep these vegan sweet potatoes and quinoa burgers! Productive day.

13 · 02 · 16
I woke up from a dream about the Apocalypse last night to fall back asleep roughly 15 - 20 minutes later, straight back into this dream, which signalled something to me, I very rarely if ever fall back into any dream. It prompted me this morning to see what it means.
"When a person dreams of the apocalypse, it surprisingly has a pretty benign definition most of the time. This usually relates to change."
The past couple weeks have been leading up to change, having more space to think and not feel frustrated or negative around / with people gives me a clearer outlook.
"Of course it usually relates to big changes that may even be life altering, but the apocalypse dream does not say one way or the other what the outcome will be, whether positive or negative. It simply says that a big change will occur. Usually this is indicative of something that you already know."
Meant to have a date night, okay well that was out the window.

14 · 02 · 16
Time for a massage, I often massage my scalp when I've just greased it,every other day to help stimulate, so throw that head over and for a couple minutes soothe the scalp. I even put together a blend above (larger here) that will be good for the body and senses. Today I also managed to get a head start on next week's to-do list - bonus.

Overall
This week I can't deny I felt quite lethargic but it's most likely my cycle more than anything that has dragged me down physically & mentally. I've been quite clear mind wise besides the odd deep thoughtful days. I hope this lethargic feeling passes, I need a huge pick me up as I'm sleeping well and I'm not getting too much or too little but I still have very little energy. My skin hasn't acted up during my cycle as I've probably felt less stressed out and started to eat more clean, now to tackle that problem *yawns*. I've definitely got more stuff done this week, always a bonus but when is my clear-out going to end!?

Purchase: Neom Happiness Programme Kit


The less you respond to negativity, the more peaceful your life becomes.




Samples.

The Zenuary Diaries #NeomHappy100 Week 2 + D.I.Y Natural Massage Oil Blend

I've only used teeth whitening products, once before last year and I had good results so when I was approached by Crystal Smile I wanted to see if I'd have positive results. I was sent two different products to see which one I preferred which was nice of the company to let me choose an overall preference. First is the Crystal Smile Professional Teeth Whitening Deluxe Home Kit and also the 28 Crystal Smile Professional High Grade Teeth Whitening Strips (Peroxide Free).

This kit includes :
2 x 10cc Crystal Smile Peroxide Free Whitening Gel
Pro-White Stain Remover with applicator tip
2 x Thermoforming Mouth Trays
Gum Tray Storage Box
Cool Blue LED Accelerator Light - comes with two batteries
Crystal Smile Instruction Manual

This is enough for 20 days of application, it's also suggested that you use it for consecutive days to get the desired level of whiteness. Then use every 3-4 weeks to keep on top of the whitening.

Experience
My teeth aren't yellow yellow but they are stained and can always be in need of a little whiteness, who doesn't want pearly whites? Being that Crystal Smile is pretty affordable how did it hold up?

I wasn't a fan of those thermoforming mouth trays, I find those come with most teeth whitening kits and I'm not much of a fan regardless of who the company is, I ended up using other trays I had that were moulded to my individual teeth. I would put the stain remover on my teeth beforehand, it also doubles as a desensitizer to help those who have sensitive teeth.

Apply the whitening gel into the trays and place them onto my teeth - easy enough. You don't want to get the gel on your gums as it may give a reaction. Although I've never had this issue as I don't keep it on my gums to see if that'll occur. I put the LED light to rest on the trays and keep it on for 10 minutes and leave the trays in for another 40 minutes.

Once finished I'll rinse my mouth out, the teeth look a little whiter, I've not experienced any blotches with the results but I noticed in the morning the teeth have reverted back to the prior colour. I feel as there's no peroxide it won't lighten the teeth to a huge degree on the first try but it does give it a lift. I can't say that you'll not experience damage to your teeth or gums because I haven't. Everyone has to use these products at their own discretion. Although the warning is Do NOT use if you suffer from gum disease, gum irritation, inflamed or irritated gums, bleeding gums, oral infection or tooth decay. Even though there's no peroxide and I had no visible side effects I couldn't bring myself to use it daily, I thought it was too much, maybe every other day is suitable. It's another addition to a routine but it could be something done before bed, I think this will be suitable for me before having to go to an engagement or something as it seems pretty temporary.

I've not tried the strips just yet when & if I do, I will update.

Crystal Smile Teeth Whitening Kit

After getting my nail polish collection down and sticking to essentials I've noticed colours that I have in rotation quite often so it made more sense to stick to certain shades. With Essie nail polish, I've had a few of their nail polishes before but I've warmed to the brand more in the past couple of months and I've ended up with a handful of favourites.
I normally stick to white for my toes and I was previously a devotee for OPI Alpine Snow but I noticed I could never finish a bottle before it's goes sticky/stringy and unusable for me. I made the switch to Essie Blanc where I get more use from a bottle. It might be the formula, I'm not sure.
On my fingers because I've decided to keep my nails at a medium length - if the length will keep. I do like a sheer wash of colour sometimes and a pink like Limo-Scene or Sugar Daddy is good for that. These are also colours that can be used together to get another colour out of. For those days when I just want that baby pink, Fiji is perfect.
Shades like Sand Tropez, Spin The Bottle & Lady Like I like to wear a lot when I'm wearing beige or black - when am I not in black? The shades I'm using are good enough for me to transition from season to season for my personal taste which is a win.
Blanc pure snowy white / Limo-Scene sheer pastel pink / Sugar Daddy sweet and shimmery pink / Fiji opaque, creamy pastel pink / Not Just A Pretty Face naturally pinkish nude / Spin The Bottle semi-sheer nude / Sand Tropez soft sandy beige / Lady Like soft mauve.

Purchase: Essie Blanc, Limo-Scene, Sugar Daddy, Fiji, Not Just A Pretty Face, Spin The Bottle, Sand Tropez, Lady Like.

Unfortunately Essie isn't cruelty free.

My Essential Essie Collection.

#NeomHappy100

Last year several bloggers (100 I believe?) were asked if they wanted to participate in the Neom Happiness Programme, being one of them I felt immense gratitude because I love the Neom Organics brand but more importantly it's a time to be reminded daily to take care of mind, body and soul and while using Neom products to help aide this and a monthly calendar with tips and tricks daily. These days can be swapped to accommodate plans / lifestyle so the daily Zenuary has started. I dubbed this month Zenuary as that's what I'm practicing and looking to reach. The end of January I was really bummed out, anxiety on high, I spent 3 days in bed as I had a very low period of depression, I felt very alone but I decided to start to gradually limit contact with people, I tend to work and feel better with less conversations of negativity surrounding me.

Zenuary Diary
1st - 7th February.
01 · 02 · 16
Sarting off everyday with the Great Day Body & Hand Wash, there's a generous lather, beautiful smell - having pleasant smells in the bathroom to start the day is the best way. I tried the NEOM Great Day scrub today & woah, you've now become a favourite of mine. The uplifting smell, the effective sugar scrub is dope, the oils that are within the scrub leave the skin feel extremely soft and hydrated and this was before my leg shave day. I didn't feel that I had to cream afterwards, I still did of course, I used jojoba oil on my skin as it's light enough. I didn't go for a walk, I wasn't feeling to battle that cold and wet today if honest. I did my boost on the mat. The Neom Mood Lifting Mist is so nice, it's powerful but gentle, I can spray this before I go in the shower in the morning and come back and still have the scent settling in my room.

02 · 02 · 16
Pretty much a calm day, I had a good stretch out with a morning yoga routine, I'm probably going to need to do that daily and find a mantra. Soaking in the bath with the candles, is one of my favourite things to do, I do a DIY bath soak that includes epsom salts and bath milk mixed with essential oils and use my Headspace app to tune out for 10 minutes.

03 · 02 · 16
While soaking in the bath, one thing I've really noticed is that the start to my days are the most important, how I start the day is how my day will lead on but one good thing is. It's like they say if you wake up and think today's going to be a bad day, it most likely is going to be one. Gotta have that positive mental attitude - right? I got back to juicing today - wahey!!

04 · 02 · 16
I can't work out why I feel so tense in my neck, shoulders and arms. I did yoga this week, in the morning & I would have a stretch out at night, I felt pretty tense in my lower back and shoulders the first couple of days and when I'd awake in the morning - tense. I swapped day 5 and 4's to-do as tomorrow it's my mum's birthday & she's asked me to go shopping with her so what better way to do the Get in Touch. So today as I sit with my protein hair mask on under the hooded dryer, I'm compiling my Power Playlist. I'm no doubt going to always be amending this playlist. My mood normally reflects what I'm listening too and sometimes everything is one big mash-up party for the ears. My taste is very eclectic and it's always been that way a school friend's mum use to say to my friend how I was very eclectic in my taste and eccentric in my behaviour - don't think that's changed much and it's definitely not a bad thing although others may say different but who are others?

05 · 02 · 16
I took my mum out for her birthday, well I accompanied her shopping and we had such a good laugh and talk today. Was so nice, me and her aren't big shoppers, we're more the type of know what we want and go for it, I don't like to aimlessly wander. One thing that didn't occur much was me having to take my phone out, it found it's way to the bottom of my bag and stayed there unless I needed to look at the time. I think that's one habit we have, having to capture each moment or talk to others on our phones while out and looking at it, it's pretty rude. The conversation is still going to be there later. No photos were taken from my day today because I just enjoyed being in that present moment with who I was with and creating a moment.

06 · 02 · 16
Today should of been a brunch day with some mood boosting foods, avocado and eggs but I ended up with some guacamole and breadsticks as a snack and for the rest of the day, I decided to watch some documentaries on meditation, The Hare Krishna's and started a mind provoking conversation with a friend of mine about growth, consciousness & meditation. At the end of the day I'm just thinking a lot more about the present life.

07 · 02 · 16
Trying to still finish 'Beautiful Bad Girl' but certainly a lot further in the book than if I did just leave it on the shelf. Whilst continuing my conversation from the day before and realising having to really just be me and distance myself from those who seem to dampen that with their jealousy & insecurity & this is where I am failing because I'm not being true to myself which is limiting my happiness. At the end of the 7 days I'm left in a place of feeling lighter but conflicted.

Purchase: Neom Happiness Programme Kit


Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.



Samples.

The Zenuary Diaries #NeomHappy100

Growing up, greasing the scalp was just as important as anything else in the haircare routine. A few weeks ago a stranger stopped me to talk about my hair, I had simply washed my hair the night before, wasn't feeling the results and it went into a loose top bun. She asked if it was my natural hair colour and after an explanation that from my roots until 3/4 of the way down it was. She complimented my hair and asked what I do to my hair, I began to tell her that I try to keep it simple but I use a lot of oils and I told her about Sheabutter Cottage where I get the majority of my ingredients for my hair D.I.Ys. I told her how at least 3x a week I will grease my scalp and also seal my ends with one mixture I've used since about last October I've been using an oil blend for the scalp using the following oils, black castor oil, black seed oil and rosemary essential oil.

Black Seed Oil is an anti-inflammatory it'll help soothe any irritations, flaking and sensitivity. Also it kills viruses and fungal infections while encourages hair growth and helps against hair loss. I also read that "It can also fix hair that has been badly damaged either by styling or coloring. Damaged hair can grow back healthy and shiny from the roots down." Black Castor Oil is another that'll help promote hair growth and help to thicken the hair. Rosemary is also another stimulant for hair growth but at the same time it'll turn down that burnt smell that can be present in the castor oil.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup castor seed oil.
1/4 cup black seed oil.
1/2 tsp rosemary oil.
Peppermint oil is optional sometimes I may add it to the blend also but will do about 10 drops.

Method:
Mix all into an applicator bottle, give it a little shake & it's ready to use.

As previously stated I've used it since October and I've trimmed my hair where needed but I've had remarks that my hair looks to of been growing but I'm more concerned also on the conditioning of my hair and getting more thickness. I have fine hair but a lot of it. My ends at the moment need the most care and attention.

Purchase:
Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Castor Oil
Black Seed Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Applicator Bottle

Natural Hair Growth Oil Blend

First time I read about the castor oil pack was in 2014, I'd been meaning to try it but never got round to it. Last month I decided to give it a try while I was doing my Champneys Detox. Using castor oil to detox the body isn't a new age practice. Taken internally it's a great laxative, my nan told me how she used it growing up in Jamaica - alongside another laxative treatment they were given in school!! There's a couple of ways to do this castor oil detox but let me explain to you why, it's a good thing to try.

"Castor oil packs are an economical and efficient help the body detox. When used properly, castor oil packs stimulate liver detoxification. “The castor oil pack is specific for non-cancerous uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Other conditions which seem to respond well include headaches, liver disorders, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation or stones, conditions with poor elimination, night time urinary frequency, and inflamed joints. It is not to be used during pregnancy, heavy menstrual flow, or the presence of internal bleeding.” Biodynamic Wellness.

The main aim for this castor oil detox is our liver and why? Our liver is what keeps everything junk-free & clean. It'll help to digest fats, detoxes our blood, stores energy, regulates hormones and also this pack will help to release any suppressed anger. We will benefit by having well balanced hormones and blood sugar levels, better digested and improved immune system and cleaner bowels. Ideally this is done before bed and 2 hours after your dinner. Something that you've got to make time for!

I felt a lot better after the pack, I had a stimulating bath and a good night's sleep. The next day my body got rid of everything and anything bad. There's a reason also why I choose to do method #2 because who has black castor oil to pour out over towels like that? If I was to do method #1 I'd use the cold pressed castor oil that I have, it seems to be the one most people use. Method #2 I heated the black castor oil and applied it to my stomach instead but read on and you'll see what method you'll prefer to try.

Method One
Castor Oil (Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Cold Pressed)
A sheet of plastic (a black bag is ideal)
36" x 18" piece of cotton flannel
Old towel
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Pillows/Book/TV.

‣ Warm the castor oil up - the way I always do it, is to boil a kettle and put the water into a bowl and place the castor oil bottle in there to warm it up.
‣ Lay your plastic sheet wherever you're deciding to lay down for the next 45 - 60 minutes.
‣ Fold the cotton flannel into 3 and place it into a tray and pour the warm castor oil over the flannel until saturated.
‣ Lay down and place the saturated flannel over your abdomen and liver - located underneath the chest on the right hand side - your stomach is on your left.
‣ Place the old towel over that flannel.
‣ Put your heating pat / hot water bottle on top.
‣ Lay back, pillows helping to prop you up and keep comfortable. Stay there for ideally up to an hour.
‣ Wash off in a warm shower or bath.


Method Two
Castor Oil (Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Cold Pressed)
Cling film or Body Wrap
Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Pillows/Book/TV.

‣ Warm up the castor oil.
‣ Apply all over liver and abdomen.
‣ Wrap stomach with cling film or body wrap.
‣ Apply heating source.
‣ Relax after about 60 minutes wash off.

This can be done up to 3 times a week or however regularly you like & remember with any detox keep hydrated! Water or herbal teas only.

Castor Oil Detox

The Super 18!
It's not a secret that I love - love - love oils. That glide, the glow, the benefits. Some oils can be heavy but you should use oils according to your skin type but what about an oil blend that has 18 naturally sourced oils. Brilliance Facial Oil is that one...18 oils infused with 3 patented activities to give a more radiant, visibly smooth and firmer feeling skin.

Oils included:
Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rosehip Fruit Oil, Argan Kernel Oil, Passion Seed Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Kahai Seed Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, Neroli Flower Oil, Lavender Herb Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil & Carrot Seed Oil.

This plant oil blend is super rich in vitamins A, C and E. Giving the skin a lot of protection and benefits. The Omega 3, 6 and 9 is going to help the skin retain its moisture levels meaning that your skin will be soft, supple and hydrated. With the Vitamin A, you're getting Retinol in the skin which is that old age ingredient to help eliminate ageing. Neroli, lavender, bergamot and patchouli will leave the skin delicately scented.

With all those benefits and oils, it's hard to say anything but good. The most surprising factor is the blend isn't heavy in the slightest. I find I don't need a lot of the oil, it advises you to use 1 to 2 pumps but for me 2 is way too much. With the one pump I use my right hand and tap my fingers into the oil and gently pat it on my skin & the remainder I use on my neck and then work my way from the base of my neck upwards, massage and work the oil into the skin.

The scent is light and there's a very nice healthy glow afterwards. I've not broken out while using this but I've also taken a different approach to my skincare as of late. We all know pigmentation is the devil to my skin so any little spot, results in pigmentation and more aftercare but I'm learning less is more and of course diet comes into play but this oil also helps pigmentation with the various oils that help pigmentation. This oil being light, could be used twice a day, I've used it in the morning also. I could see it benefiting different skin types as I have combination skin, normal but oily and we all know oil can battle oil, this miracle blend is welcome.

Layer Your Skincare
Rule of thumb :- Apply light to heavy.
I prefer to let each layer especially at night to have time to sink into the skin. Otherwise I personally feel it's just one slick oil patch on my face. Giving it time to absorb by either watching something for 5 minutes, have a drink, watch snapchat videos (Snap ID: CookieCaine if you're on there).

Plus make sure your hands are always clean & sanitised, I keep a sanitiser on my dressing table. Germs be gone.

Morning I wash & tone my face and will use a light moisturiser with SPF (Fade Out Day Cream SPF 25) sometimes I add the Brilliance Facial Oil.

But at night it differs as I want this time to let my skin work & repair.

Nighttime If I've got makeup on (rare), I'll use an oil to take it off (L'occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil or just Jojoba Oil) and proceed to wash & exfoliate. Toner or Treatment - currently using Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel. Serum - MooGoo Vitamin C Eye Serum. Moisturiser - Dr. LeWinn's Even Tone Lightning Cream (discontinued) or Fade Out Night Cream. Eye Cream - MooGoo Vitamin C Eye Serum. Oil - Brilliance Facial Oil (never to the under eye). Lip balm - Lucas Pawpaw.

Purchase:Brilliance Facial Oil

Do you use oil in your skincare routine - if so which one?


Sample.

Oilixia Brilliance Facial Oil