Being of African American descent, my kinky hair has always presented a styling challenge. Nothing I have done, bar wearing my hair very close-shaven, has afforded me the luxury of style and versatility. I love to follow trends, or at least, attempt to, but, the longer I let my hair grow, the more of a challenge it becomes. I have never been interested in wearing wigs or extensions, as I prefer a more natural look.
Over the years I have tried every sort of styling tool known to man, (or at least, known to me) from pomades and silicone creams, to chemical relaxers, to brushing and blow drying, and finally, to flat irons. The results were always less than ideal. Some products would leave a filmy build-up on my hair, causing it to look dirty or dull, others, would render my hair brittle and lifeless, while yet others, would only ADD to the frizz, rather than reduce it.
Finally, as per the recommendation of a stylist friend, I tried the Remington Wet 2 Straight Slim Plate Wet/Dry Straightening Iron. This was the first time I had actually ever used a wet/dry variety of straightening iron, and I was very intrigued by the idea of being able to eliminate the time-consuming, arduous, blow drying step.
I washed my hair, towel-dried it, and began straightening. My hair at this time was just long enough to fit the slim paddles of the product, which seemed to glide effortlessly down the length of each shaft. Within a few steamy strokes, I could see the results. My hair was taking on a new luster, one I’d never seen before. In just another few short moments, I was completely coiffed, and, flawlessly so at that. I looked as if I had just stepped out of a high end salon. I was literally stunned. I remember thinking, is this MY hair???? And, it was so simple, let alone, cost effective. I fell in love and vowed to never use another straightening product. Ever.
This straightening iron by Remington boasts many desirable features, in addition to the one step wet/dry aspect, such as a prominently displayed digital control with 26 heat settings, a compact design, (which makes for easy travel), and steam vents, which release excess moisture. Since that first time, I have used my iron innumerable times, and my hair has since grown to chin-length. I am still amazed at how well this product works, and how it has actually bettered the overall condition of my hair. I can now wear a variety of trendy "dos", and do so with the utmost confidence. While there may be cheaper products on the market, I can tell you, first hand, that none can hold a candle to the Remington Wet 2 Straight Slim Plate Wet/Dry Straightening Iron. It is an investment that pays for itself a hundred fold, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough!
When you want to boost your skincare regime, it's all too easy to reach for a cocktail of creams, serums and gels. But how many of us look at what we put inside our bodies to get amazing skin? While we all try to eat out 7-a-day and drink enough water, we should be looking more to our skin as a window to our stomach, since the two are very connected.
Since childhood we're fed with tales about food that are just too good to be true – carrots can help us see in the dark? Spinach can help us grow massive muscles? It's no wonder we rarely think of food as being any more than just something tasty to eat, without considering the side effects.
There are many foods out there that can help you get supermodel level amazing skin, such as sunburn fighting tomatoes, brazil nuts, which can help prevent acne, and of course everyone's favorite superfood kale, which is packed with more vitamins than you can shake a stick at. But have you ever considered Japanese cuisine for great skin?
The fish on top of your sushi can of course help you with all that omega-3 it has inside but you might want to look a bit deeper into Japanese food, to a little thing called “natto”. Such a cute name but unfortunately the food itself isn't the cutest. Natto are fermented soy beans that come with a strong smell and a taste that's something one needs to get used to. It's a key food item in Japan, eaten by many people for breakfast and used by many women to keep their skin in tip-top condition.
This superfood is packed with pyrroloquinoline quinone, commonly known as PQQ. PQQ is a micronutrient which has an antioxidant affect on your skin, working with protein structures within your cells. Which is a lot of words to mean that natto is a great addition to your skincare regime!
So, how can you eat this mildly smelly food to get the best effects?
Firstly, you can find natto in most asian supermarkets. It's usually sold in packs of 3 or 4 in the freezer section, ready for you to thaw them out in your refrigerator at home. One pack is one serving, and you should mix the soy sauce and mustard into the natto, then stir with some chopsticks until it is sticky. Japanese people usually eat it over rice for breakfast, but for those wanting to avoid carbs, it can be delicious mixed with other skin-boosting foods such as avocado, tomatoes and beetroot to make a delicious beauty salad! Since natto has fewer calories than even normal soy beans, you don't even have to watch your waist!
Next time you look in the mirror and wish for a little boost for your face, instead of grabbing the newest cream or serum, how about heading to the asian supermarket instead? The results may surprise you!
After years of struggling with different kinds of foundation, I decided in January that 2014 would be the year that I'd spend a little bit more money on things that matter to me – and foundation is one of these things. So many times I've bought a “bargain” foundation that slipped off of my face by lunchtime, or that came off on my hands every time I touched my face. And so, I decided to try spending a little bit more money to see if my problems would be solved.
The Chantecaille's “Future Skin” foundation was the first thing I splashed out on. It's not cheap at all but from testing it out in the store, it seemed to me to be worth the money. I have the shade of porcelain which is just the perfect fit for my tone. I hear that their darker shades are also really great at matching to skin shade as well – you've got to love companies that cater for the whole spectrum.
While I'm on the subject of Chantecaille being a nice company, I'd like to point out that not only do they not test any of their products on animals, but they also give money to different organizations that help elephants, sea turtles, coral reefs, dolphins, whales, butterflies, sustainable fishing AND honey bees (phew!) Knowing all that makes the heavy price tag a little bit less guilt inducing!
So back to the “Future Skin” foundation. The first time I’ve used it, I have to say, I wasn't impressed. The coverage wasn't as good as I hoped and it just looked cakey. I was using a foundation brush, like I have been for years. Since I was feeling pretty disappointed, I decided to look online to see if anyone else had had the same problem but it seems that everyone who had the same problem as me found that they were applying it wrong. The tip is to pat it into your skin with your fingertips – no need for any brushes or sponges! They also said that two thin layers works best.
After applying the foundation I went out for brunch with some girlfriends and they wouldn't stop asking if I was in a new relationship – they said I was simply glowing! Well, I certainly hope my luminous new face will help me find my Prince Charming!
At the end of the day I checked my face up close to see how well the foundation has stayed on my skin. It was all still there, still bright and not cakey at all. With it being so sheer and needing layers only in the places that need more coverage, it means that there's less to cake up, less to slip off and it keeps everything looking natural and pretty.
Chantecaille's “Future Skin” foundation has been a lifesaver for me. Gone are my days of bad quality makeup piled on my face. With this foundation I can be fresh and luminous every day!
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