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The simple way I protect my skin all year: La Roche-Posay review

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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.

The number thing you can use to protect your skin and slow down the aging process is SUNSCREEN! Click To Tweet

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:

  1. It does not leave an ashy/white residue on the skin
  2. 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

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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%.

Actives

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.

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How to use: Glossier review and video on dark skin

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.

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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
  • For the Glossier Review: Video!, click here

Or just keep scrolling below!

Glossier Review: Product Details
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Outer packaging, Glossier Boy Brow

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Inspired by hair waxes and pomades


Boy Brow in Black

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.

Packaging

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Primary packaging

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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.

Results/Conclusion

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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

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Outer packaging

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.

Packaging

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.

Results/Conclusion

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Swatch – Bottom: Straight from tube; Top: Blended out

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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.

Availability

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.

How I cleanse my skin: The Sunday Riley Cleansing Balm review

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

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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.

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New Product Launches: NARS Audacious Mascara & Kohliner info and review

NARS Audacious Mascara and Kohliner

We are fast approaching New York Fashion Week and the upcoming season, so there are tons of new products coming out, which makes me very happy!

Over the past 2 years or so, NARS has been quietly reformulating and repackaging their entire lineup. And the results have generally been amazing! I love the sleekness and sophistication of the line!

So Francois Nars and his team have added to their Audacious line with a brand new mascara and kohliner. By the way, if you have not read my review on the Audacious Lipsticks, here you go! It is one of my favourite formulas ever!

According to NARS, this new Audacious Mascara will replace all their currently existing mascaras and they have removed them from stores and counters.

NARS Audacious Mascara

For the Audacious Mascara:

The wand, exclusively designed with over 200 molded bristles and lengthening hooks evenly grips and coats lashes from root to tip while simultaneously separating, lengthening, and amplifying with every stroke. Our first-to-market formula is long-wearing and stays soft and flexible, lending itself to maximum buildability. 

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I finally tried Darcy’s Botanicals Vanilla Styling Crème. Did it give me the results I was looking for?

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I have a long, long list of products that I want to try. And that list is constantly growing as I learn about new brands that are popping up specifically geared to those with kinky, curly, coily hair. Once I find something, I tend to stick with it and use it over and over. I also don’t like buying something new until I have run out of the older products.

I finished with my recently discovered holy grail styler Oyin’s boing, and I promptly headed down to Ecodermis in Crown Heights (check this place out for all your natural hair needs) and I picked up the Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Styling Crème Natural Hair Butter.

Upon opening the container, the product was filled to the brim! No air pockets so that you are definitely getting a good quantity!

The butter is vegan and 100% natural. It claims to be the best super rich moisturizing styling butter for natural twists, braids, locs and curls. The styling crème is off-white in colour and contains a bunch of great ingredients for adding and holding moisture including Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Jojoba Oil and Castor Seed Oil. This product is thick and has a very slight scent. Very thick! It has a consistency of a wax rather than a butter. It is probably because of the two waxes it also contains – emulsifying wax and candelilla wax. It reminds me of those loc butters than contains beeswax that some people use to re-twist their locs. I would recommend scooping out a small amount of the styling crème and emulsify it in your hands i.e. rub it between your palms to melt it a little and warm it up. It did not completely liquefy in my hands and remained as a thick cream. I applied this to my freshly washed hair after my leave-in conditioner. After twisting my hair, I was left with a slightly waxy texture to my strands. It definitely was not oily as some other heavier oil-based products would. I left my hair twisted for about a week and a half, only misting my hair with my Oyin Frank Juice and using some of the Styling Crème on my ends. After unravelling, I was left with an amazing twistout with an incredible hold!

My first twist out with Darcy’s! Look at the definition!

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