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! 🙂

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Big Lip Bih

I have big lips. I have a big mouth. I have big teeth. I love them.

Like most things that people consider flaws, I was not aware that the nether regions of my face were larger than normal until people ridiculed me for it. There was always a joke being told about how my lips poked out or how my two front teeth made me resemble Bugs Bunny. Older women would always tell me that I would have no need for lipstick (or high heels because I’m tall) when I grew up. As a kid, things like that weigh on you. You somehow become convinced that looking different and being different is synonymous with being wrong in some way. For a long time, I believed there was something wrong with me. I shied away from makeup and anything that I thought would make my lips more noticeable. 

In 2011, I saw a Youtube video by a young black girl who, like myself, had huge lips. They were round and seemed to have a personality of their own. They added character to her face. They seemed to be in perfect coordination with the sound of her accent. Although we looked nothing alike, I saw myself in her. The title of the video was Are Your Lips TOO BIG!?. Her name is Jaleesa Jaikaran and til this day it is the best lipstick tutorial for ladies with lucious lips that I have ever seen! In it she makes fun of the things that women with plump pallets often say about why they stay away from bright colors or lipstick in general. She also has a point in which she says “this is the way you were made”. That was enough to inspire me!

Afterwards, I tried my very hardest to recreate her effortless and flawless lipstick application.  I worked to find neutral colors that made me feel comfortable but the only ones I was really drawn to were always bold and shiny. I simply couldn’t deny myself! LOL! Its been years of practing, purchasing and a few (hundred) pep talks to leave the house with a wild color that I know people will stare at all day long. I am grateful to Ms. Jaleesa and her wisdom.My lips are usually the focal point of my face. They pull together my makeup and make me feel extraordinarily beautiful. I love when they shine. I love when people take a second look at me because my new color caught their attention. It’s my own little way of playing dressup every day!

Me, November 2016

PSA: Beware of Nair 

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair 

If you have in your adult life used Nair hair removal products, you are making a major mistake. A mistake that could easily be avoided. A mistake I spend my professional and personal life trying to prevent unknowing women from making. Often times, they are lured in by the promise of smooth skin, no ingrown hairs and no razor bumps. What they fail to tell you is that you can suffer chemical burns and far worse from this product. Nair is in no way good for your skin or body- especially when used in reproductive areas!  

Lye is one of the active ingredients in Nair. It loosens the hair from the follicle by distrusting (raising) the pH levels of the hair. It literally is dissolving the bond. Lye can cause serious chemical burns and blindness. If you’ve ever seen the Malcolm X movie starring Denzel Washington, lye is the shit that made him stick his head in the toilet. 

Lately, I have been seeing a trend on social media among young and I assume unprofessional makeup artists/hobbyists doing their eyebrows with Nair. As previously stated lye can cause blindness. Putting Nair on your eye area is dangerous af! The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of the skin on your face (besides your lips) which means those harsh chemicals are not only going into your pores but they are wearing away at the already thin skin around your eyes. Many of the girls can be seen on Instagram with redness and lots of irritation in the eye area. These are burns and allergic reactions that they will then cover with makeup. 


At work, I see many women who suffer from severe chemical burns in their vaginal areas, legs, stomachs and underarms. Most of the time, they sum it up to ingrowns or razor burns. My first question is usually “Have you used Nair?”. Their answer is usually Yes. The burns are usually irreversible and you are also left with worn skin that is unhealthy. That increases your risk for sun damage and makes your skin more sensitive to pain.

For the safety of your reproductive system, sweat glands, skin, vision, hair health and overall wellbeing, I beg you ladies … please do not use Nair!