Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Beauty matters

I don't know if ya'll can tell but I have oily skin. It drives me crazy and I never go anywhere without pressed powder. I am constantly checking myself out in the mirror for excessive shine that I am sure people think I am so vain! It gets awkward! I am finding that I have to cake on a lot of makeup to try to mask my skin's imperfections. So like all the other things I am droning on and on about, I have to make this work and change this oily situation.

Been doing some research and this is what I have come up with:


Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands that are affected by a variety of stimuli such as hormones, humidity, heat and even stimulation by aggressive scrubbing or washing. The body naturally produces oil to keep the skin moisturised and healthy, however, too much oil can cause breakouts and blemishes, yet stripping the skin of all oil causes the body to overcompensate and produce more oil. Oily skin is an internal problem, so there is little that can be done except for treating it externally with a variety of cleansers and topical products.



Many people with oily skin are actually combination skin types with the forehead, nose and chin areas oily and the cheeks normal or dry skin, this can make cleansing the skin complicated. How oily your skin is will determine the types of cleansers you choose. Some dermatologists suggest using a cleanser and toner that contains salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or beta-hydroxy acid. You will have to find the combination that works best for your skin.
Some tips for cleansing: 
  1. Always wash hands before cleansing your face to protect your skin from bacteria
  2. Use a gentle pH balanced gel-based or cream foaming cleanser 2 to 3 times a day
  3. Use warm water to rinse — not hot — as hot water will increase production of oil
  4. Use an alcohol/acetone free toner on the oily parts of your face
  5. Moisturise — oily skin needs moisture just as much as any other skin type. Use a light, oil-free moisturiser
  6. Use an Alpha hydroxy (AHA) facial mask once a week
  7. Use a clay facial mask once a week to tighten pores
  8. Be consistent with your routine, you can't skip even one night!



Like all other skin types, oily skin needs protection from the sun. Unfortunately, traditional sunscreens can cause havoc on oily skin, blocking pores and causing breakouts. Instead, try using a sunscreen gel or one of the new oil-free sunscreens. It is recommended that all skin types use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15, however using SPF 30 or higher is preferred.



When choosing cosmetics for oily skin, you have to be careful to stay away from products that contain oil. Use a mineral-based powder foundation or, for liquid makeup, look for the ingredient dimethicone, which is a non-oil-based moisturising agent that helps keep the product smooth. You can also look for makeup which contains small amounts of salicylic acid which is anti-inflammatory. Serecite is another ingredient to look for that will help reduce pore size and absorb oil. Be sure to choose a foundation that is one colour lighter than your actual skin tone because the oil on your skin will darken the makeup. Matte cosmetics for eyeshadow and blush are best for oily skin.
The trick to having a smooth makeup finish is to prepare your skin before applying. Use an oil-free toner and light moisturiser for the base before applying foundation.




Eating a healthy diet is good for your entire body and may also help the appearance of your skin. Eat a diet rich in antioxidant foods like blueberries, spinach, carrots, and other brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Include foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts to improve skin texture. You should reduce foods high in fat and sugar and increase proteins and complex carbohydrates. Also, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. I also think that getting enough sleep is also important.

I am not the biggest fan of H2O and I find a lot of people with oily skin, some even with acne, drink a lot of water but I don't see any significant difference, I will give it a shot.

So I am on a mission and I pledge to follow all the cleansing tips I found and I will document the results.



New Look

Hi everyone, I won't lie, I have been agonising over my Big Chop! I am a little undecided over whether to just chop off all my hair or to transition and cut off the relaxed bits. I took out my weave last weak and I was holding my hair back to give myself an idea of what I might look like with all my hair chopped off... lets just say I wasn't to pleased with the results! I was loving my puffy hair but not so much the short, short hair so I am moving towards transitioning now. 
I haven't built up enough proper growth quite yet hence I am quite keen to see what will happen in December but in the interim I am sporting a new do. No one in my team recognised me with it which made me laugh and made me mad at the same time!  Apparently I change my hair so often they can't keep up with me!

I am still all about bright lipstick and I can't get enough of this shade of red lipstick.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Go Bold or go home...

This weekend one of my missions was to score some discounts on makeup, payday is far away so I had to make this work! I managed to do just that and bought two very bright lipsticks, green eyeliner, shimmery blush and mascara. Seeing as I am going to be chopping off all of my hair I have been checking out how to rock my natural hair. It seems pretty clear that your face becomes the centre of attention so why not add some sparkle to it with some bold lipstick or dramatic eye make-up. I even got to experimenting with a few looks.

Bold in pink!
Take note of how kinky the top of my head is, some good growth is happening Yay! 
Without getting into the dark skin versus light skin argument, as a dark-skinned girl, I was always told that I could not get away with wearing bright lipsticks or dramatic makeup because it did not suit my skin. For the longest time I believed that to be true and I would stick to neutral colours and would only venture into colour lip glosses steering clear of lipsticks altogether. I thought that wearing pink lipstick gave me a throwback Sophiatown look but not in a good way!
I am coming into my own more and more the older I get and shaking off the opinions of others, granted not everyone will agree with my new look, but I think the only thing that should matter is how I feel about myself.
Speaking of opinions, I spent the day hanging out with my mom telling her about my plans to chop off all my hair and she looked at me like I am crazy, asking me all kinds of questions like why do I want to cut my hair, how short do I want to cut it, do I want to go bald and even worrying about how she will be able to look at me with a TWA! I laughed it off because I know my mom, she is from the old school and still rocks a "Diana Ross and the Supremes" style weave so I wasn't offended or put off by her opinions. If anything I am even more keen to go through with my BC!

How cute is she? Plus this pink lip and neon green combination is fire!
Life is for living, I don't believe I was put on this earth to live a plain, safe, boring existence. It may just be lipstick and some shimmery eyeliner but I really feel confident and excited about who I am and the woman I am growing into. Life is too short to not wear bright pink lips!


Friday, 16 August 2013

Chasing my dreams...



I have a strong love for fashion as most of you may already know from The Black Diamond Series. It has always been a dream of mine to be involved in fashion in some way. I remember being 11 years old and drawing pictures of what my prom dress would look like. I have a dream to one day own my own fashion label that is 100% authentic and 100% me, from the actual design process right down to moment the garments hit the runway. For fear of intellectual property theft I won't expand too much on my exact idea. 
I would really love to study fashion and learn how to create a garment from scratch, ideally in the fashion capital of the world, Paris. I have been toying with the idea of going to design school and doing some research on design schools but a lot of them are so expensive and require a lot of committment time-wise, not ideal for a girl like me with a very demanding full-time job. I even started toying with the idea of getting a scholarship to study for my Masters in Paris in Banking Law in the hopes that I would be able to squeeze in a fashion school stint on the side, not very feasible!
I have designs literally coming out of my head, when I am bored and start doodling there is a 99% chance that my doodle will be a dress of some kind or a jacket or a pair of heels. I have been asked many times what I am doing working at a law firm and my response has always been that I love the law too. We live in a society that allows for people to have several career choices running concurrently, the so-called slashies, Singer/Actress/Dancer. I don't know if its possible but I would like to be lawyer/designer/stylist/life-coach/community-developer/noted photographer/writer/ famed blogger/business mogul!
I have been having some serious conversations with myself about how serious I am about this fashion dream and how badly I want it. The last two years have not been conducive for me to pursue my other interests and as a result I have put a lot of my plans on hold or shelved them altogether. I am taking my life back and breathing back life into my dreams and ambitions and I have decided that next year I am going to enrol in some basic design courses and at least just start.
I found a school that allows part-time studies and teaches beginners design skills including how to work a sewing machine, how to cut fabric, how to work with measurements. It's not too hard on the pocket and I can do it over weekends. Fun, exciting stuff!
I am setting myself a deadline to report back on any further information as well as when I plan to register for the course. By 1 October 2013, I will have an update on this. 


My crowning beauty...

As I said in my previous post, I am going to be cutting my hair and going natural. This is a big deal in the black community because so much of the constructs surrounding "black beauty" are pinned to hair. "Good hair" has always been defined as long, straight, fully chemically treated hair or a really lush expensive weave. I have done it all, weaves, wigs, braids, relaxer all of it!

I am sure you get the point, that when it comes to hair I have done everything... except dye it and cut it. 
I have made the decision to cut my hair, as in all of it off on the 7th of December 2013, natural peeps call it the BC, the big chop. I have two reasons why I picked that date the first reason that I am a bridesmaid in two weddings in November and December and I don't want to have any upset brides should I not photograph well with my new hairdo. The second is that I want to end this year and start next year, afresh, so new hair, new look, new job. At the moment I am transitioning to natural hair and I have not put any chemical treatments in my hair for about 4 months.
This is the look I am going for and will be sporting for most the summer...

Yes, I will be rocking a TWA, a teeny weeny afro! I won't lie I am a bit scared and nervous but I really want to get it done. Without getting too emotional, the last two years have been really tough and so challenging and I just feel like I need to purge myself of the things of the past and I think cutting my hair and having a whole image makeover is exactly what I need.
I am trying to do as much research as I can on natural hair, how to look after it, what are the best products to use and where to get them. I am not under any illusions that looking after natural hair will be easy, I get that it is a lot of work but I am up for the challenge.
First things first, recovering my hairline! All that weaving can most definitely take it's toll on your edges. So I have been given some great advice that I should apply castor oil to those patchy bits. 
Wish me luck!

A weighty problem...

Ok so here goes... I have always had this up and down relationship with weight since I turned 16. At 16 I was quite the chubberoo, I don't have any pictures of this time because I think it was an awful period in my life and I just looked terrible! I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life at that point and all who knew me took it upon themselves to call me out on this whenever they saw me. I lost the weight literally through starving myself and I felt much better about myself. 
In college I got skinnier and skinnier and I looked like this at some point...

Today I look more like this and this is literally the heaviest I have ever been...


I know its not a massively huge difference but right now I am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole life, no joke! I am currently sitting at 61kg and I am 1.59m so those extra kilos are really evident on my face and arms and don't get me started on my booty! I love my curves however I would like to tone up and slash off some of the weight by dropping about 5kg.
I picked up most of the weight these last two years and I have been on all kinds of crazy diets and eating plans with no substantial results. One of the consequences of my new body is that some of my clothes don't fit me anymore. I have had to say goodbye to at least four pairs of perfectly good jeans because they simply couldn't zip up!

The breaking point was this dress I bought just last year.

I scored it on sale at Forever New and it used to fit me hand to glove, I felt like it was made just for me. The one time I actually wore it was for a photoshoot I treated myself to as a birthday gift to chronicle what I looked like at "26". At that point the dress was starting to become a tight squeeze but I managed to hold it all together...only just!
Today this dress doesn't fit me AT ALL! I can't get it to zip, I can't get it over my hips, it's simply too small for me! I tried it on a few nights ago wearing two pairs of spanx and even that couldn't do the trick! It makes me really sad seeing as I love this dress and I only managed to wear it once!
I have a wedding to attend in a couple of months and I really cannot afford to buy a new dress. Most of this year has been tough financially because of my wreckless spending on my credit card, it has taken me 6 months to clear most of the debt but I am literally cash strapped all the time. In light of this I am really keen on wearing this dress. I have the whole outfit planned in my head... this dress, a bright pink clutch to match my bright pink lipstick and some strappy heels... if only I could get the stupid dress to fit.

The wedding is in a month, 14 September to be exact, my finances won't change within a month, which can only mean one thing... I have to lose at least 4 kilograms this month in order to get into that dress! Mission impossible? We'll see!
I am going to work out a diet and exercise plan and post it on the blog as well as my progress each week, leading up to the wedding. Wish me luck!