The Abnormal Beauty Story

I have been keeping a secret. For the past three months, I have been a brand ambassador for a company called Deciem (also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company). You might’ve heard of the brand by way of The Ordinary which is now carried at retailers like Sephora and Ricky’s. The company is an umbrella brand, which means it owns and formulates multiple brands. As of now, there are more than 100 products under the Deciem umbrella. This means it took me a lot of research and trying out to know for sure if I loved the brand. Since it is against my personal code of ethics to promote some shit I don’t use or love, I kept my new role under wraps.

But now, I am here and ready to share with you!

Deciem offers lines for hair, skin and body but for the purpose of simplicity, we are just going to focus on the skin care lines for now. There’s The Ordinary, Hylamide and NIOD (pronounced KNEE-odd).

The Ordinary: This line is so simple that it’s complicated for most people. It’s where you go to figure out what kind of ingredients your skin likes. Also, it helps you to get real about your skin concerns and goals. It has everything from exfoliating acids, retinoids, vitamin C, cold-pressed organic oils and other molecules for various concerns. The best part about the line is, all of the products are priced under $15. The only thing that I am not fond of about the line is that it does not have a cleanser.

Some of my fav products from The Ordinary include EUK 134, Azelaic Acid, Marula Oil.

HylamideThis would be considered the next step up. The formulations are a little more advanced and target more signs of aging. Also, the serums are a lot lighter in texture compared to The Ordinary because they’ll penetrate the skin a lot better. This line has a face cleaner, face mists and uses targeted “boosters” for skin care concerns like sensitivity and congested pores.

Some of my fav products from Hylamide include the High Efficiency Face Cleaner, SuQ Anti-Age serum, Photography Foundation

NIODOkay so NIOD is probably the best thing to come into my life in 2017. Most advanced skincare technology I’ve ever used. The line focusing on preserving the skin health for as long as possible. This explains why it is absent of things like direct acids and retinoids. It is also very special because it not only supplements what your skin is missing but it also trains your skin (via these crazy delivery systems called precursors) to create more of whatever your skin is lacking. Naturally, it is the most expensive line, but not so expensive that you feel horrible about purchasing it. It ranges from $25-$90.

Honestly I love everything I’ve tried from NIOD. It has become a staple in my daily routine (both day and night). I use the Copper Amino Isolate Serum, Fractionated Eye Concentrate, Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Acid, Non-Acid Acid Precursor, Voicemail Masque, Flavanone Mud and Mastic Must.


I know that the website can be a bit overwhelming but if you are ever in need of product recommendations or have any questions, feel free to hit me up and ask!

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Last Call for Alcohol!

In honor of the new year, let’s chat about alcohol. Not the kind that will have most of you tipsy come the stroke of midnight, but the kind that is found in our cosmetics. Any sensible esthetician or beauty professional would advise you to stay away from products that contain “bad alcohol”, but upon reading your product ingredients, you’ll see that many of them contain an alcohol of some kind. How do you know what to avoid? I made a chart (but we will get to that later).

Alcohols are part of a group of organic compounds. They can be at higher and lower molecular weights. Higher molecular weights mean they are heavier in texture and work to hydrate/protect the skin. In other words, we like high molecular weight alcohols! The lower molecular weight alcohols are the ones that are more watery in substance. They dry the skin out and can sometimes create chain reactions of damage in the skin.

Check the ingredients of your fav products to see if they contain any bad alcohols. Sometimes you may notice a small amount of low molecular alcohols in your retinol or vitamin C products. They are there to help disrupt the top layer of the skin to allow the vitamin A (retinol) and C to absorb into the skin more effectively. This means if the bad alcohol is (very) low on the ingredient list, it may not exactly be harmful to you. Just use the product sparingly!

Good Alcohols

(high molecular weight)

Bad Alcohols

(low molecular weight)

Caprylic

Cetearyl

Cetyl

Decyl

Isostearyl

Lauryl

Myristyl

Oleyl

Stearyl

Ethanol

Ethyl

Denatured alcohol

Methanol

Isopropyl

SDA

Benzyl

Happy New Year to you! Always remember to Glow Responsibly! 🙂

What the pHuck?

Everyone from doctors, dietitians and beauty professionals are mentioning the importance of pH levels. Usually, people just smile and nod as if they know what the hell is going on. So what exactly does it all mean? Let’s say you had a garden and you wanted to create the best possible conditions for said garden to thrive. You would probably provide top of the line water, air and sunlight. Maybe even talk to it a little bit because you read an article once that plants liked that kind of stuff. My point is, you would facilitate a proper place for growth to take place. Your hair, skin and insides are similar to your (metaphorical) garden in the sense that they all require proper environments in order to thrive. Part of your wellness mission is to achieve and maintain the proper pH for your body to thrive.

Let’s get technical for a sec… pH stands for Potential Hydrogen and describes the alkalinity or acidity of a product/substance. The pH scale goes from 1-14. The higher the number, the more alkaline the substance. Just in case I’m losing you, here’s a chart!

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pH for hair: scalp should be 4.5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for skin: acid mantle should be 5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for body (internal): 7.5> – to maintain this, the foods in your diet should be as alkaline as possible (more than 7) *this includes a healthy vagina*

Usually, when shopping for any kind of beauty products, you can find the pH level listed on the website or can just research them online. pH level is especially important when it comes to shampoos and face cleansers because of the stripping of vital oils that may occur. When certain oils are removed, the pH of the skin is disrupted.

So stay balanced!

Water your gardens with the finest alkaline beverages

Keep your body clean

Stay away from bad products, bad foods and bad men! lol 

Coming Soon: Mask Mondays!

You know what pisses me off? Seeing tutorials and skin care vids of women with beat faces sparingly applying mask products to their face. As if they are completely unaware that the skin around their brows, mouth and eyes also needs to be tended to. After providing these women with one too many views, I have decided that I will begin a weekly Periscope broadcast featuring myself and some of my fav masks and other products. Those tuning in will be able to ask me health, beauty and wellness questions. So you’ve got a week to download the app and follow. Can’t wait to see you there!

Not into livestreams and such? No problem! I’ll bring the best questions, suggestions and ideas here for your consumption.

Toes & Hoes: A Guide to Suckable Toes and Rubbable Feet

WARNING: IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE GROSSED OUT BY FEET AND/OR TOES, SCROLL PAST THIS ONE! 

Genetics blessed me with good feet. When I say good, I’m strictly speaking about the look of them (because they are big). I often meet guys who claim they “don’t do feet” but as soon as we are in intimate positions, my feet somehow find themselves in these young mens’ mouths and hands. Foot play was never even my thing, but there is something about having your partner love on all your parts that makes you (or just me) feel cared for and a little empowered. So if you’re trying to get your man or women or gender fluid bae to slob on your toes, here are some of my fav products and tips to preserve your feet and keep them kissable even in the colder months!

1. Baths! Baths are the answer to everything! Being able to soak in hot water and oils helps to make exfoliation easier and hydrates areas like the feet and hands (which house the thickest skin on the body). I like to add things like grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, tangerine essential oil and whatever else I have around the house and soak for about 30min before scrubbing my feet of any dead skin. If you are opposed to baths, you can invest in an at home pedicure spa thing.

2. To prevent any flaking and crusties, hydration is a must. I try to stay away from products that are too thick or greasy. A few of my favs are  ha3 Hand Hydrator from Deciem and “First Place” Body Shimmer Oil by jKo Cosmetics. Yes, I use a hand hydrator on my feet but this is a judgement free zone so no worries! 🙂 Both these products smell and feel amazing! The body shimmer is usually reserved for special occasions.

3. Pedicures are a must! We put our feet through hell (and heels) on the daily so maintenance is crucial. Some people prefer to do them at home and that’s okay but I prefer to have a professional to get all in the nooks and the crannies while i sip green tea in a massage chair. The only real advice I have about getting pedicures at salons is make sure they use plastic liners in the tubs EVERY SINGLE TIME and clean their tools BEFORE they work on you! I would have for you to wake up to nubs or deadly infections because of something like cleanliness.

Body Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I will share with you a few tips for getting smooth, touchable skin… just in case you find yourself getting rubbed down on this cold winter’s night! I will share my own beauty routine and a few of the products I use to preserve my skin. I dabble with different products but I will only be sharing the ones that I absolutely cannot live without.

As Pharrell put it, exfoliation is the key to great skin! Often times I find that people do not exfoliate their bodies enough. This can leave the skin flaky, dry and slow to accept moisturizers. That’s a huge no for me… which is why exfoliating gloves are a major part of my regimen. I was introduced to them as a child by my grandmother who called them the “Michael Jackson gloves”. They’ve been a staple for me ever since. I love that they can be used dry or wet and are extremely easy to clean. I throw them in with my laundry. They can be found in the beauty aisle at your local drug store. For the best results, gently exfoliate your limbs every day.

People love to debate as to what should come first, cleansing or exfoliating. I think it makes the most sense to eliminate dead skin cells then cleanse the skin. Some body washes/soap brands I especially love are Soaptopia (natural handmade bar soaps & body oils), HEMPZ (natural eco friendly soaps & lotions), and of course Carol’s Daughter’s Almond Cookie Collection (sulfate/paraben free body washes & moisturizers). Try to avoid any heavily scented body products because they throw off the skin’s pH.

This next body care tip may sound weird but after your shower, never dry off! Allowing the body to air dry does remarkable things for the skin and moisturizing process. More than anything, the skin loves water. This means to effectively moisturize the skin, you should first use a product that has a good amount of water in it followed by an oil/oil based product to seal it in. The brands I mentioned before also have pretty amazing lotions and oils. I really love Soaptopia’s Oil Slathers!

I hope you found some helpful tips that will help you be your smoothest, most beautiful self! And even if no one has the pleasure of touching your skin this Valentine’s Day, enjoy!

Skin Rules

Everyone always asks me my skin care routine as if they can adopt it for themselves. While there are skin care habits that generally work for everyone and ingredients we should all avoid, what works for one persons skin probably will not work for the next persons skin. Good skin habits come from knowledge of self and how your body/skin responds to certain things. For example, my skin likes a balance of water based and oil based products while some people may find that water based products leave them dry af.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself (and find the answers to) to help you come up with your own skin rules

  • What is my skin type in warmer and colder months? (this will help you to pick the best products for your skin according to the seasons)
  • How much water should I be drinking for my activity level/lifestyle? (dehydration causes dryness and wrinkles!)
  • Do I have any vitamin deficiencies ? (this can cause breakouts)
  • Am I using products that help my skin? (be honest with yourself on this one! If your products leave you with residue or flaky skin that does not feel nourished, the answer is NO)
  • Am I practicing good hygiene? (washing your face and hands are extremely important)
  • Is my diet balanced? (diet is directly associated with skin health)

 

Here’s a chart to help you get a basic idea of your skin type! Mine is “normal” in the warmer months and “dry” in the colder months. What’s yours?

 

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