I finally tried Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil line! What did I think?

Shea Moisture came out with the Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) line late in 2014. I wasn’t really keen on trying it out, because I have always shied away from using castor oil as it is one of the heavy, ‘greasier’ oils and has a noticeable smell.

Fast forward to this year and I was looking for something new to try. I have been using my usual routine for ages.

I ended up buying the JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore w/Shea Butter, Peppermint & Keratin Shampoo, Treatment Masque and Leave-In Conditioner. The packaging is a bright, buttercup yellow, which makes it easy to see on a shelf and all the products have a faint, butter smell that is quite pleasant. These products are formulated for natural, chemically processed, colour treated or heat styled hair. And for those concerned, the keratin in this is hydrolyzed protein which is a larger protein chain that has been broken up in to smaller pieces so that it can fit into the cracks of the hair shaft therefore strengthening the hair. The problem with the Brazilian or keratin smoothing treatments found in popular salon treatments is that there are ingredients other than the keratin that contain formaldehyde or produce formaldehyde gas when heated.

The Shampoo.

JBCO Shampoo

It is a clarifying shampoo that is sulphate-free and all natural. It contains apple cider vinegar that clarifies the hair as well as balance the pH, which in turns strengthens the hair. It comes with 25% more product (16.3 fl. oz.) than their normal shampoos. It colour is light brown and is extremely creamy and moisturizing. I was surprised at how lovely it smelled and it did not have the heaviness of castor oil. It lathered quite well, was moisturizing and it did not dry out my hair at all. My hair did not feel stripped. It contains peppermint, but I did not feel the typical tingly-ness or burning.

Click here for the rest of my review!

“Whey de lime” Fridays! The summer music edition!

Hey!

One of the things that I promised myself is to do as many activities that I can this summer and stop putting it off until ‘later’. Summer officially starts in a few days and with that NYC starts jumpin’!!

I am so excited to see Ms. Lauryn Hill at the Louis Armstrong Wonderful World Fest in Queens. I love her and I am so happy that she is back in the game! She visited Trinidad in the late 90s and she was amazing! Check out the fabulousness below!

Video via official site and YT.

Annnnnd, I am also planning to see French/Cuban/Yourban duo Ibeyi at Central Park SummerStage! Check out a vid from their debut album.

A full day of music and culture! A few weeks ago, I saw Angélique Kidjo, the African diva and she was amazing!!!

So what’s going on with you this weekend? Anything exciting?

Laters!

LOTD: Glowy, bronzed summer look!

Summer glow!

Hey! I did this simple look a while ago when I was in Trinidad. It’s the look that I also wearing in my latest video (check it out here). This is a great look for warmer weather. Let’s face it, no one wants to wear a lot of makeup when it’s hot, but you still want that glowy, bronzy, sun-kissed look!

There are a few keys to getting this effortless look. First start with good skincare and good skin. The better the condition of your skin, the less product you would have to use. Definitely treat your skin with the utmost care, start with the basics, drink lots of water and wear sunscreen. Even if you don’t have amazing skin, you can still get this look. I know the trend now to pile on the foundation and to have super heavy contouring but this is a no #cakeface look. Pick the lightest coverage that allows you to even out your skintone. If you have eruptions or texture due to acne, you can’t really cover that up with foundation without looking overtly made up. So just pick something lightweight.

Click here for the details on this look!

Summer 2015: Island Fun & Paradise Sun – Zoya Nail Polish

From PR:

Introducing two new Zoya Nail Polish collections for Summer 2015, Island Fun & Paradise Sun. All in the Big5Free* formula Zoya is famous for.

Zoya Island Fun collection

ISLAND FUN (creams)

Ready for an island vacation, these playful creams embody a tropical getaway! They are strong in color to balance the brilliance of the summer sun, with a flawless cream formula.

  • Jace– Modern tropical green in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula. A green that is more muted than lime and surprisingly wearable!
  • Cecilia– Classic teal in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Talia – True turquoise in full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Serenity – Summer purple in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula. Reminiscent of beautiful blooming irises, a harbinger of summer!
  • Nana – Deep summer fuchsia in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.
  • Demetria – A vibrant poppy red in a full coverage and densely pigmented cream formula.

Zoya Paradise Sun collection

PARADISE SUN (metallics)

Click here for more details!

When your hair hands you lemons….make lemonade!

Hey!

I recently went to The Makeup Show NYC and I wanted to try a new hairstyle. You know I live in twists and this time I wanted to try Bantu knots. I was looking for a looser, fluffier texture.

Actually Bantu knots are not new to me. Wore them a bit growing up along with canerow. Anyway, I have not tried this in a long time and this is the result.

My Bantu knot out!

Not bad, but not the best. I was looking for a smoother finish, but I love the volume I got. This was actually the second time that I attempted this. The first time was on damp hair, and even though I left the knots in overnight, it still was not dry and everything fell. The next time, I did about 10-11 knots on dry hair.

A different angle…

Check out that liner!

I will be working on perfecting this. I probably need to do this on stretched hair for smoother results.

Any suggestions or ideas?

Laters!

NTB

LaRoche Posey Anthelios SX Mexoryl SPF 15

Protecting dark skin from the sun! – Yes, we too need to wear sunscreen!

The sun!

It’s 2015, and there are still a lot of people who believe that people with medium to dark skin do not need to wear sun protection. Yes, we could sit in the sun longer before burning, but that will inevitably have a negative effect on your skin for years to come. And it has been shown that the incidence of cancerous cells occur less in people with tan or darker skin, but the cases tend to be more severe as they are often caught later.

So (I’m about to get a little technical here) what does a sunscreen do? Sunscreens contain ingredients that provide protection against two types of radiation from the sun – UVA and UVB, which stands for Ultraviolet Type A and Ultraviolet Type B. Some sunscreens are physical sunscreens, i.e. they physically block or reflect the sun’s rays, or chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays, therefore preventing it from the rays reaching the skin. When looking for a sunscreen, make sure it is labelled as a broad-spectrum or UVA/UVB product.

What do these rays do?

UVA rays can penetrate the dermis layer of skin, which is the thickest layer of skin and it protects the skin from stress. UVA contributes to premature aging, i.e. sagging and wrinkling.

UVB rays affect the upper layer of skin, the epidermis, and causes burning of the skin known as sunburn. This is the reason why sun spots or areas of hyperpigmentation appear in sun damaged skin. The skin produces excess melanin to protect from those UV rays!

Finding suitable sunscreens for dark skin is still problematic. Sometimes I think that companies really don’t care to bring out a product that works on all skintones. The first question that any person of colour asks is, “Will it leave a white residue on my skin?” Yes, so many sunscreens leave a white cast on the skin (usually from the zinc or titanium dioxide). You can stand up and rub the lotion onto your skin all day long and it will still leave you looking a little ashy. If you are going to wear a foundation, then it is not as obvious, but what if you want to go bare-faced? I even have this problem when testing out foundations that contain SPF, many of them still come off ashy on dark skin. So that’s problem #1.

I have another problem. I am virtually allergic to almost all sunscreens available in the US. I have not quite figured out which SPF ingredient or the ratio of ingredients that I am allergic to, but it is annoying. After one use, I get the red, itchy/burning sensation of contact dermatitis. Especially around the outer corners of my eyes and upper cheek/temple area. I just have to use the product ones. And I don’t even look at lip products with SPF. It turns my lips into sandpaper and it takes more than a week to heal.

Basically there are 2 products that I have found that don’t cause me to itch and that disappears into the skin. It’s my holy grail Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen SPF 15 by LaRoche-Posey.

My SPF of choice!

What makes this one pretty unique in the US is that it contains Mexoryl SX, which is the only sunscreen ingredient approved by the US FDA in about 10-15 years. It has been available in Europe for decades, but the US is very slow to adopt newer technologies when it comes to sunscreen. Which kinda sucks as there are sunscreens in Europe that I would love to try.

Anyway, this sunscreen touts UVA/UVB protection, 24-hour long-lasting hydration that is light, non-greasy and safe for sensitive skin (which I can attest to!). This is a white, fairly thick cream that leaves absolutely no white residue on my skin. It contains Parsol 1789 (avobenzone), Mexoryl SX and Octocrylene as its active ingredients. It does provide me with all day moisturization on my face, but I cannot vouch that it lasts 24 hours. The cream is thick enough that I do not need to add another moisturizer even in colder weather. My skin is left with a little sheen that I like on my very dry skin, but for those with oilier skins may prefer something a little more matte. The best thing is that I am not allergic to it!

This product is a little expensive for a daily moisturizer, but it is worth every cent for me. Yeah, I want to keep those wrinkles at bay #foreveryoung. I also wish it came in a higher SPF. It is available at drugstores and online. Also check out the other SPF products from the La Roche-Posey line, they have products that leaves different finishes, formulas or different anti-oxidant properties.

Yes, this is my recommended sunscreen for tan to dark skin. So now, there is NO excuse not to wear sun protection!!!

Check out their other products online.

Overall Grade: A

FTC Disclosure: Products were purchased by me, Noire Tropical Beauty.  All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own. I have not been compensated for this review.  For more 
information, please see my Disclosure Policy.

“Whey de lime” Fridays! Excited for this event!

It’s the weekend of The Makeup Show NYC! And it’s their 10th anniversary! Very, very excited!! Right now, I am making my list and trying to strategize which classes I am going to take. If you see me, hail me out!

Also, spring has completely forgotten us in the NE, but this weekend it is supposed to be in the low 70s.

Thankful for small victories! :)

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange 2015 starts today!

Zoya’s annual nail polish exchange is upon us, just in time for Earth Day.

This is the time that I usually chose to clean out my nail polish collection and get rid of old, dried out polishes that are way past their prime. Then I get to add some new vegan shades from my wishlist.

For all the details on how to exchange your old bottles and to learn more about the programme, click here! Act fast, as the promotion only runs for 1 week, ending April 28th, 11:59pm EST.

Image

The Christopher Kane for NARS Collection Summer 2015

 

Christopher Kane for NARS, Summer 2015

London Fashion Week collaborators since 2012, Christopher Kane and NARS share a passion for vivid colors amplified by unconventional creativity. For Summer 2015, NARS introduces The Christopher Kane for NARS Collection – NEONEUTRAL, a limited edition collection of unexpected shades and formulas inspired by the nature of neon and the nude shades that complement them.

The collection, which showcases Christopher Kane’s unexpected and edgy design aesthetic with NARS’ iconic and bold beauty philosophy, is the first fashion collaboration to feature a full line of Eyeshadows, Blushes, Illuminating Multiples, and Lip Glosses. Eyes are enhanced with iridescent rose gold, pink lilac, and violet. Cheeks are flushed with soft beige or hot pink. And lips are saturated in high-shine shades of neon pink and coral that subtly stain after the gloss is gone.

As NARS first fashion collaboration to feature a full color collection with products for the eyes, lip and cheeks, this gorgeous limited edition collection combines NARS’ iconic and bold beauty philosophy with Christopher Kane’s signature color palette and design aesthetic. The 10 item collection also includes a new blush formula and illuminating multiple formula from Christopher Kane’s SS15 runway show (Violet Atom).

The collection includes (all prices in USD$):

  • Outer Limits Single Eyeshadow, $25 – Iridescent Rose Gold
  • Parallel Universe Duo Eyeshadow, $35 – (L) Iridescent pink lilac, (R) Soft iridescent violet
  • Starscape Blush, $30 – Neon pink
  • Mezmer Lip Gloss, $26 – Sheer Neon Pink
  • Nebulous Lip Gloss, $26 – Neon coral
  • Nucleus Lip Gloss, $26 – Seashell pink
  • Silent Nude Blush, $30 – Soft beige
  • Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple, $39 – Sheer iridescent violet
  • Glow Pink Lip Gloss, $26 – Sheer fuchsia
  • *Quantum Illuminating Multiple, $39 – Sheer iridescent magenta
    *Exclusive to NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com

Available: The collection is available at NARSCosmetics.com and NARS boutiques on April 15th. 

And at department and specialty stores on May 1, 2015.

Sacha Cosmetics Intense Matte Lipstick in Wicked: Swatches + Review + Video

 

Hey!

I was finally able to pick up a Sacha lipstick from their recently launched matte collection. I grew up on Sacha Cosmetics that it was the only brand available in Trinidad and Tobago that catered to women of colour. We did get some foreign brands, but there weren’t a lot of options.Anyway, lipsticks have made a huge comeback and so have the 90s! Right now, matte lips are in and they come in a variety of forms and people are wearing darker colours all year round! Sacha Cosmetics released their Intense Matte Lipstick collection late last year and they have been popular both online and at home. Certain colours have been sold out for a while!

So I found myself, in Trinidad, at The Falls At West Mall at the Sacha store. They carry all their products that you may not be able to find at a store like Pennywise. They also have someone that can help you with colour selection. I paid TT$30 and on the website they are listed at US$10 and I bought the colour Wicked.

Sacha Cosmetics Intense Matte Lipstick

Wicked is a deep chocolate brown with a touch of red in it.  Completely matte, drying but not there is a certain creaminess to it. At least on dark skin, it isn’t your super vampy colour and I would wear it during the day. The packaging is standard and plain, not the best quality or fancy but it holds the product. There is a fairly distinct smell, and it reminds me of fizzy cola. I get almost full coverage with one swipe and it does not apply patchy.

Here are some swatches of the product.

Swatch

 

On me!

 

In a nutshell, I liked this! It is a good product and not too drying. And I am glad that we have good makeup options available. I need to pick up some of the other colours as they come back in stock. But also check out my video review (yes, finally, I’m making videos!).

Video will be available when live…

Let me know what you think of the lipsticks. What is your favourite colour?

You can find Sacha products at The Falls At West Mall, Pennywise outlets all over Trinidad & Tobago and online for international shoppers.

Laters!

Overall grade: B+

FTC Disclosure: Products were purchased by me, Noire Tropical Beauty.  All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own. I have not been compensated for this review.  For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.