One thing that excites me about discovering new products, is finding out that they have a new take, or an innovative way to solving a problem. One of the most important parts of my haircare routine or any routine is cleansing. Getting rid of the dust, dead skin cells, pollution from living in a big city, excess oils and product buildup that accumulate and are trapped on my scalp by my kinky coils and protective styles. Your scalp is part of the largest organ in the body and it is vital to the health of your hair. It is a living entity that nourishes your hair, helps get rid of metabolic waste from the body and can be the gateway to calming the soul. My mum often gives newborns scalp massages to welcome them into to world!
Image via Sephora
I heard the buzz about one of the newest offerings from curly hair line DevaCurl. DevaCurl is one of the OG brands that I discovered years ago specifically dedicated to the needs of curly hair. I actually never tried a product from them, but when I saw that Sephora had the DevaCurl Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum as a 100-point perk, I picked it up.
If you are in chill mode, watch the video instead – *click here*.
DevaCurl claims that this is the first micellar water to be used in haircare. There are a plethora of makeup removers and cleansers that use ingredients that form micelles as a very gentle skincare cleansers.
Anatomy of a Micelle
Basically a micelle is a ‘vehicle’ that traps oils/dirt and that gets washed by water. In the simplest of terms, think of a micelle as a bubble made up of ‘tadpoles’. Each ‘tadpole’ has a hydrophilic (water-loving) end and hydrophobic (water-hating/fat-loving) properties. When you apply the cleanser to your hair, each tadpole is attracted and attaches itself to the oils on your scalp and when you rinse your hair, the hydrophilic ends are attracted to the water, forms the micelles and then is washed away.
This product is a colourless liquid, that is not sticky are makes a very minimal foam. It is also, vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, silicone-free and is mostly made of naturally derived ingredients. This lightweight serum is supposed to be used no more than once a week so that it can gently remove excess products and debris that can weight down your curls. It also contains a bunch of botanical extracts, oils and other ingredients, including rosemary extract, hops extract, and glycerin which help hydrate, and condition the hair.
My deluxe sample comes in a plastic tube but the full size product comes in a large round plastic bottle with a pointed tip closure. I think this a great idea as it allow you to directly apply product to the scalp without having to pour it onto your hands. Since the scalp is the most important part of head to clean this makes it quite easy. This contain 8fl.oz./236ml of product, which is inline with many readily available liquid shampoos/cleansers. The lettering/labels are printed directly onto the gray/package and yellow-green and teal accent colours, which are in line with the rest of their branding.
I have a love-hate thing with Rihanna. I still don’t think she has a great voice, but her songwriters? Boss! And I love her take no prisoners attitude. She lives her life on her own terms and I can roll with that! She recently appears in a new hit, in collaboration with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller. DJ Khaled sampled a portion of the song ‘Maria Maria’ by Carlos Santana. But RiRi and crew flipped it, Caribbeanised it and made it fresh again. The video is fire! Rihanna’s makeup is fire! Reminds me a lot of a few of her other videos featuring Jamaican/Caribbean dancehall scenes. It took me a long time to figure out what she was saying – ‘Wha Wha Wha Tho’ – that’s what I heard.
This post is about one of her hottest looks.
The one with her wearing that sexy emerald green see-through ruffled dress, turquoise eyes and a red lip. This is an example doing a bold eye and a bold lip with much success. Don’t make the look too complicated or involved.
I had fun with this look. I used a mix of drugstore and more expensive makeup. And of course there is a video with the exact steps!
Look at that highlight from SonjdraDeluxe & Melanie Mills Hollywood! **Peach Deluxe**
The one product that I have used for years to protect my skin…..La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15
I grew up in the southernmost part of the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago. Two islands surrounded by deep blue seas, beaches and hot blazing sun. The last thing on anyone’s mind was sun protect. What is that? We black…..Unfortunately we did not understand the need to protect our skin for the future.
As I grow older, I became wiser and set off looking for a suitable product. Being a dark skinned person, this proved to be quite difficult. As with cosmetics, many companies have not brought out sun protection products that are acceptable or suitable for folks with some melanin. I have two main requirements when selecting a sunscreen:
It does not leave an ashy/white residue on the skin
I do not get an allergic reaction to it
This makes an already small selection even smaller. About 90-95% of the sunscreens that I try, fail one or both of these criteria. Including mineral “natural” sunscreens. I get contact dermatitis with just one application. Starts around the eyes and temples and spreads across the fact. Itching, then rash, then burning. I want to bust a myth that I see peddled out there a lot. For some reason, people have this idea that mineral or physical sunscreens are safer and better than chemical ones. The US FDA regulates sunscreens as they are considered ‘drugs’ and therefore they are more closely regulated that other cosmetics. The US is very slow in approving new sunscreen ingredients – much slower than in the E.U. and Asian countries, so that there is a small pool of approved ingredients that everyone uses. The main ingredients in minerals sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are both chemicals. They are all chemicals….different types of chemicals, but all chemicals. This is a review of a sunscreen that I have been using for years…pretty much since it came out on the US market – La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen with Mexoryl SX SPF 15
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mexoryl moisturizer review
If you want to skip straight to the video review, click here.
General Product Details
This is an opaque thick, white cream that is meant to be used as a daily moisturiser that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection at an SPF of 15. Fragrance-free, paraben-free PABA-free, tested for sensitive skin and allergies and supposed to provide 24 hour hydration. NOT vegan/natural/organic. The active sun protection ingredients are Avobenzone 2%, Ecamsule 2%, Octocrylene 10%.
Avobenzone – appears as other trademarked names including Parsol 1789. This is an oil-soluble compound that provides full spectrum protection against UVA rays, by absorbing rays and converting to another form of less harmful energy. UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are the responsible for skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkling.
Ecamsule – L’Oreal-exclusive ingredient in the US. Effective and provides additional protection from UVA radiation.
Octocrylene – Used to stabilise Avobenzone, and make it not degrade quickly, therefore making it a lot effective. It also has some emollient properties and helps the skin retain moisture. Octocrylene also absorbs UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays affect the top/outer layer of skin and is responsible for sunburns and is the biggest implicator for melanomas and other skin cancers.
Basically, all three of these ingredients provide an umbrella-like protection from UVA, UVB and free radical protection.
Glossier. This brand has been on my radar for a few months now. They appear to have positioned themselves as a minimalist brand. Products to give a fresh, just-came-from-the-gym look. Basically makeup for non-makeup wearers. You won’t find any heavy duty coverage or stuff to bake with. I have been anxious to do a Glossier review for a while.
Glossier is a New York City based brand with a showroom in Lower Manhattan. So of course your girl had to pay a visit! I still love to go into a store to touch the products. On a rainy day (which has been quite the norm in NYC these days), I made my way to the Glossier showroom on the penthouse level on Lafayette Street. A very bright space with stations where you can test out all their products.
I decided to pick up one of their best selling products, the Glossier Boy Brow in Black. This is their darkest shade and it is really a soft, grayish black with a hint of brown. I also picked up one of their newer products, the Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze. All Glossier products come in a handy, TSA-friendly pink bubble wrap pouch and some stickers.
Pouch that comes with your purchase!
For the Glossier Review: Boy Brow in Black, click here
For the Glossier Review: Cloud Paint in Haze, click here
Boy Brow is described by Glossier as a ‘creamy wax formula inspired by traditional hair pomade that does not stiffen or flake”. It comes with a short, small spoolie brush. This product contains both beeswax and carnauba wax which provides the hold, an emollient made from olive oil (Oleic Acid) that provides conditioning. It also contains a collagen derivative that nourishes and conditions the hair and lecithin which gives the formula smoothness and a subtle sheen. The Black shade is soft black and it does very slightly darken my brow hair. It also slightly thickens the hair as well.
The small brush
Boy Brow comes in a small white tube and with a short, fat spoolie. The cap has a chrome-like finish. It contains 0.11 oz which is less than your average brow gel product. Even though it has a small size, I had no difficulty using the product.
Method of Application
Use like a typical mascara/brow product. Wipe the excess product off the tip of the brush before applying to eyebrows. Use light strokes to shape and colour the hair.
On my eyebrow
I liked this product. Slightly darkened my eyebrows which made them look more pronounced without having to “draw in” or imitate brow hairs. My brows felt soft, not crunchy or stiff and they were kept in place all day. Even in hot weather. If you are looking for dramatic sculpting of the brow, this is not the product. It is a more natural effect. There is a lot of hype around this product, as a matter of fact it is their number # 1 selling item. Is this the more revolutionary, earth-shattering product? No, but it performs quite well and it is definitely worth trying out. It’s effortless and natural looking, especially in the age of the ‘Instagram eyebrow’. If there was a gripe, it would be the price. Not expensive but it is not drugstore level (it has not marketed itself as a drugstore brand). At US$16, it is priced in the mid-range and some may think its price does not match the quantity that you get. But this performed well, I don’t have to worry about my brow hairs breaking off and I will buy this again.
Cloud Paint in Haze
Cloud Paint is a gel-cream formula that is seamless, sheer and buildable. This is a really good description. It definitely has a very smooth, gel like texture and is almost translucent in quality. It reminds me of the Benefit Benetint. Especially the Haze shade. It also contains collagen which helps the skin retain water and therefore plumps up the skin. Haze is a deep raspberry colour, that is cool-toned.
Cloud Paint comes in a white, soft, flexible plastic tube with an octogonal screw cap. The brand name Glossier, the cap and the top inch of the tube is coloured in the colour of product. So Haze has a deep pink/fuschia colour. The tube opening is small but you can extrude too much product if you squeeze on the tube too forcefully. It contains 0.33 fl.oz/10ml of product. I have a preference for a needle-nosed opening/dispenser but that is totally personal.
Method of Application
Start with small amount of product. Pea-sized. I use my fingers to apply product and that works very well. The thin formula applies smoothly and melts into the skin. This makes it buildable.
Swatch – Bottom: Straight from tube; Top: Blended out
On my cheek!
You know I love a cream blush. So this is right up my alley. Haze is pigmented but the other three colours, I felt, were not pigmented enough or too ashy/pastel for dark skin which is why I only picked up Haze. Due to the formula of the product, I found myself applying what I would consider a lot of the product to get an intense pigmentation. I don’t think that is the pigmentation, but rather the texture so that it is readily absorbed, especially on my dry skin. This product would be ideal for the person afraid of blush or looking for a natural, colour-from-within effect. It leaves a skin-like, satin finish so it would be great for all skin types, including oily skin. It also is the only one of the four colours that I think is suitable for all skin tones, including very dark skin. At $US18, I think this is worth it. Quite frankly, who ever really goes through an entire blush? I have been wearing this a lot recently. I would recommend that Glossier change the colours to the other shades to make it more wearable for medium to dark POC. After wearing this all day, there was some fading but it was still visible. Try it, but if you are looking for some in your face colour, this would not be the product.
Online at glossier.com or at their NYC Showroom @ 123 Lafayette Street, Penthouse, New York, NY 10013.
Glossier Review: Video
If you want to see these products in action, here’s the video!
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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.
Sunday Riley…A name that piqued the interest of the beauty world about 2 years ago. Every blogger, every magazine, every celebrity…everybody was talking about their Luna Sleeping Oil. How skin changing it was. But this is not about the oil. This is about the Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm. Actually, its full name is the Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm. That’s a mouthful! The thing that attracted my to SR, was that the owner has a background in chemistry and you know that is really close to my heart!
With my dry skin, I try to stay away from gel or foam facial cleansers and I usually gravitate towards cleansers that are more creamy in texture. And more naturally based. So as Korean beauty continues to have an increasing influence on the industry in the US, I was interested in using a cleansing balm. I decided that, as my first step into cleansing balms, to try this one. I was pretty confident that it would not leaving my skin stripped and dehydrated after cleansing, it contained a lot of botanical ingredients and appeared to be pretty “clean” and the soft blue colour made it all exciting!
The Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm Details
The company describes this as:
A hydrating cleansing balm that removes makeup—even stubborn eye makeup—and impurities with sugar-based cleansers as soothing essential oils calm irritation. – as per Sephora.
This balm contains sugar based cleansers, Sucrose Laurate, as its surfactant/cleanser. This is the part of the balm that binds to dirt, makeup etc. and turns milky, and is washed away. It also contains Cocoa Seed Butter, Mimosa Flower Wax and Sunflower Seed Wax that contain antioxidants that protect the skin as well as condition and hydrate. The blue colour comes from both the Blue Tanzy Leaf Oil and the German Chamomile which are indigo oils that are rich in azulene, a compound that soothes and calms irritated skin. Citrus based essential oils that help clarify the skin, a note to those who have a sensitivity to citrus oils. These properties make it a great choice for both oily and dry skin types alike.