health, Lifestyle

The Pros & Cons of SNS Nails

You may be here because you’ve never heard of SNS nails. Most recognize this type of manicure as nail dipping. This means when you get a manicure there is no ” nail polish” smell. What won me over  is the fact I didn’t have to wait for them to dry.

I have naturally beautiful nails. I don’t know why they grow so long because I don’t do anything special to them. I belived because I didn’t have them manipulated by nails techs for many years helped them to grow.  Somethings are better left alone. My nails are my pride and glory. I’ve always  personally kept my natural nails well groomed. During the coming of the computer age, I started looking up tips on how to make them look like I went to a nail salon. I learned to polish like a pro.  Whenever I’d go to Ulta I’d always  rummage through the nail polish isle before I leave.  I use to like all the odd shades: yellow , green, blue and so forth. Now I like neutrals and pink shades. It is one of the fun things about being girl. I get to enjoy all of the wonderful shades and I can change as much as I like. untitled-0065-1.jpgI’ve thrown many bottles away because they don’t go over the nail as well once it gets down to the last bit  of the lacquer . Although I know the little trick ( pour remover in it) to stretch it and get the remaining polish from the bottom . I opt to throw it away.

At some point I grew tired of manicuring my own nails. Therefore, I chose to visit a nail salon as a treat to relax and let someone else do the work. I didn’t know that this would come with a price more than the cost of the service.

One thing that stood out in my head the most is no one washed their hands in between clients. I usually wash my hands upon arrival, but it doesn’t help much if the tech hasn’t washed his / her hands. Then I opt for my hand sanitizer to add as a barrier to the nail tech dirty hands. I’m not sure if this works, but I didn’t want to seem rude by asking if they’d wash their hands as well.

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Polish will last 5 – 7 days
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A safer polish without formaldehyde 

After all of the things I’ve tried at home I decided to try SNS nail manicure. This is somewhat of an expensive nail service. I’ve received this type of service  for 4 months to date. The price for the service averages about $40.00. I usually pay around $46.00 that would include the tip.

Pros of SNS Nail Manicure:

1. No smells from nail polish

2. Last longer than a gel manicure

3. SNS will last 4 weeks

4. It will not chip or fade

5. You do not have to use a UV light

6. They are dry as soon as the service is complete ( No wait to dry)

7. There are many dip powders  ( colors) to choose from 

8. You don’t have to use a drill to get it done

9. Claim to be less toxic 

10. They are soaked off with acetone 

Cons of SNS Nail Manicure:

  1. SNS thins the nail bed
  2. Nails become sensitive to slightest touch
  3. Nails split and crack
  4. Your nails are dipped in a powder behind other people
  5. Some nail techs remove SNS with a drill  ( Not necessary)
  6. It’s a pricey nail service
  7. It grows out quickly 
  8. The SNS lifts at the cuticle of the nail and snags on things  ( clothes)
  9. Cracks and splits the nail base
  10. The lifting can hurt
  11. Can get an infection from dipping
  12. Can cause cancer 
  13. Makes natural nails look hideous and unhealthy.

I removed the SNS with acetone. It took about 20 minutes and it easily came off without any drills.  Before SNS my nails were hard, long , healthy and beautiful. I had to cut them down because they were severely damaged. My cuticles look horrible and my nails are split in a place were I can’t trim them. This is my nail bed. I stopped using SNS, because I noticed how sensitive my nail beds have gotten. They hurt to the slightest touch. This probably came from the drilling. It was minimal but it still caused an issue. I was told a drill isn’t needed at all. It depends on the nail techs patience. The nails techs  always  seem to be in a hurry to get as many clients as possible. Perhaps they work on commission.

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The deep lines are actually split and will lift

I will have to nurse them back to health. My nails are an extension of my skin. Since I use nail polish so much I am seriously thinking about throwing out my old and starting over with polishes that are free from formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl. These are three of the main toxins used to make nail polish.

 

The tools I used to try to make them look better, while they grow back to health:

  1. Crystal nail file
  2. Nail clipper
  3. Buffer
  4. Base coat
  5. 5. Top coat
  6. Clear glitter nail polish

The clear glitter polish helped camouflage the imperfections.

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This will have to do for now

I can’t do too much manipulating. They are sensitive. My nails are so soft and they bend up against anything.  I regret doing  this to my nails.  When I see the results of getting my nails done at the salon it is enticing and addictive.

Precautions:

Take precautions if you insist on going to a nail salon. Perhaps buy your own SNS to use  exclusively.  Insist on bringing your own tools. This will curtail the germs, and bacteria that could make you sick for the rest of your life.

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health, Lifestyle

Meatless Monday

Let me start by saying 30 years ago I was very young when  I decided on my own to give up red meat and never looked back. My decision was prompt by red meat being one of the leading causes of  cancer , hypertension and high cholesterol. Ok, I’m being nice. Although this discovery is true, I quit because I’ve always heard that people of color are predisposed simply because they are people of color. That didn’t set well with me. Therefore, I decided to challenge this.  I’m not a Physician but I strongly believe  you are mainly what you eat. There may be some findings on it being inherit but you are what you eat.  Take for instance Morgan Spurlock , from the documentary Super Size Me, 2004. He ate McDonalds exclusively for 30 days. As a result he gained weight, increased his cholesterol ,experienced sexual dysfunction , mood swings and fat accumulated  in his liver.  This is one example of why I feel most of your health problems can stem from what you decide to eat.

My diet of meats consist of salmon, chicken and turkey with chicken being my least favorite.  Often times my meals do not consist of any meat. I find it harder  in the summer to eat less meat because I love chicken and fish on the grill . Yet, I can do it as long as my meals are prepared ahead of time. The best time to cook is when you’re most energetic and not hungry. For me, I am most energetic in the morning. Along with making breakfast I start cooking my lunch. This will prevent grabbing quick unhealthy food to nourish my  appetite.

If you are thinking about giving up meat, it’s best to start out small. Don’t go cold turkey and quit eating  meat. Eat less meat in a day with smaller portions and fill up on veggies. Then start meatless Mondays. This is a global movement to consume less meat and eat more of a plant based diet. Dr. Kritsti Funk recommends a plant based diet to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.  I’m sure the fear of the ” Big C” resonates with everyone. We all have known someone are have experienced  the ” Big C” in some form of our life.  The thought of a doctor having to tell me this is scary. Yet prevention by trying to reduce the chances is imperative. Many years ago I started having meatless Mondays. Let me tell you, when I say you become creative. I think of all types of dishes to make. It funny how most is such a large part of most peoples meals until the side items aren’t as important. Trying take that meat from the table and watch how much you feel better. I’ll admit, its weird in the beginning. You feel as if something is missing or you just ate a snack instead of a meal. To think too hard on it. Prepare your meals as usual, but exclude the meat on Mondays. If you find it too difficult to eliminate meat for the day; try   eliminating meat on Monday by skipping it on one of your meals. Anything you do to reduce your meat intake will be a good start on better health.

Here’s a great dish I’d love to share with you for meatless Mondays. It’s black beans and rice.  No, it’s not your Mama’s black beans and rice. The black beans has proteins in them. It’s funny how meat eaters ask, ” How will I get my proteins?” There are plenty foods with proteins. You have to do your research and create yummy meals that are more plant based.

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 34cup uncooked white rice, ( Brown is healthier)
  • 1 12cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 12teaspoon cayenne pepper

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I had to cheat and chop my onion and red bell pepper in this chopper, to prevent tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

health, Lifestyle, photography

Who I am and Why I’m Here.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, with both of my biological parents. I have two brothers  that are younger than I am. Yet somehow I’m still considered the baby. May be because I’m female. Yes, I think that’s what one of my brothers told me.

At the age of nine years of age I grew up loving and fixated on a camera and it’s components. Not only did I want to learn how to shoot a 35mm film camera, I needed to know how the camera worked technically to create images. As a teen, I became the appointed family photographer . There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t shoot if I thought it would leave a piece of history.

Now that I’m older, not only do I want to photograph women, of all races, sizes and ages to promote self love.  I want to be more of a positive advocate for women.  In nearly all facets of my life I have experienced women with low self esteem and noticed how females aren’t as kind to one another as they should.  I want to be the face of self love and positiveness to all women.

You’ll find blogs regarding healthy eating, self love, beauty tips, product reviews and some lifestyle as well. Hopefully some of my blogs will reflect that I’m human and I share  challenges sometimes. I’m not just a face behind a computer. Vibe with me. Share and leave comments. I would love that.

While I enjoy blogging on various topics of interest. My main focus is the lovely women  over 40. When your a woman that’s over 40, you face new challenges in life. There’s how society views women over 40, health challenges and the desire to feel  accepted and  beautiful as your body changes.

Ageless Beauty: As We Get Older Our Skin Becomes Dry

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fashion, health, Lifestyle

Yes, You Need To Wash Your New Undies.

I won’t kid around with you, I hadn’t always thought this way. As a child until I was a young adult. I’d always put the undies on without washing them. My philosophy then,” if they are new; they’re clean.” Well that’s partially true. New undies should be washed before you wear them. It isn’t always about them being new.  They should be clean, they are new. Right? Let’s take this a step further.

Here are reasons why you should wash your new undies before you wear them:

  1. Women try on underwear before they purchase them
  2. The dyes can transfer to your skin   ( Especially dark or bright)
  3. Formaldehyde is found in fabrics
  4. So many people have touched them with their bare hands ( The factory workers…ect.)
  5. The paper liner may not be fresh
  6. Menstrual blood may be present
  7. Chemicals used to make the undies ( There are 8,000 chemicals used)
  8. Germs can live on cotton from a few minutes to 6 months
  9. Cotton is sprayed with pesticides
  10. Coated with fire retardants for transport

Have you ever gone shopping and felt sick  a few days afterwards?  It can come from a women with staphylococcus ( Stomach flu) , which can hang around in a persons body a few days after vomiting and diarrhea is over. For instance the woman feels better and now she’s gone shopping. Guess what! She tried on the undies that you ended up buying.

I hope I made you think the next time you decide to wear, before you wash. It’s certainly changed me.

Wash Before You Wear
Photo by: Daralynn
fashion, health

Don’t Use Hair Extension Glue On Your Eyelids.

Every since my wedding photos were taken, I have gotten so deep into eyelashes. When I tell you it completes the look, I mean that literally. There isn’t anything that can take the place of  beauty enhanced eyes! I don’t mean your eyeballs. No, leave them alone. I don’t want you messing with those. You need to see. Right?

Ok where do I start with this exciting blog. See, I hate when I get too excited to write, because I began to fumble my thoughts. I just want to hurry and get the words on paper. Help me Father! Ok, Ok, here we go. As I get deeper into all types of eyelash extensions, I began to do research on different types of adhesives to use. one type doesn’t fit all for sure. There is white, clear and black adhesive . I’m not sure why anyone would want the glue to cure to a white finish, but it’s yours for the taking. There are so many brands. Revlon, Duo and Kiss and Bella Lash to name a few. They are formulated  specifically  to use on the eyelids.  There are some adhesives on the market for sensitive eyes.

This is great but this blog is more about using hair extension glue on your eyelids. Is it safe? I’ve read so many blogs, forums and comments on social media regarding it’s safety simply because they’ve used it for before and it didn’t have an adverse effect on them. But does it mean it’s safe because you didn’t noticeably have any effects? It’s like smoking a cigarette and saying it didn’t bother you.

My take on it  is, hair bonding glue is for hair and eyelash glue is for the eyes, for a reason.  For instance, Salon Pro 30 seconds hair bonding glue, states in the  ingredients: Do not use on hair that is damaged. Keep out of reach of children. Keep out of eyes, if contact occurs, wash thoroughly with water. Ingredients: latex, water (aqua), sodium polyacrylate, dimethicone, quaternium-15, ammonium hydroxide, fragrance (parfum), may contain CL77262422.  Do you know what CL77262422 is?  It is chlorpyrifos which is used in pesticides.  Possible side effects:  Mild poisoning can result in eye watering, increased saliva and sweating, nausea and headache. Moreover, it may lead to muscle spasms or weakness, vomiting or diarrhea and impaired vision. Symptoms of severe poisoning include seizures, unconsciousness, paralysis, and suffocation from lung failure.Why would you want that near your eyes? No adhesive is meant to put directly in your eyes, but with something used near your eyes, it could possibly get in your eyes.  Plus when removing your falsies one’s real lashes  are very likely to come off. Amen?

Some would say, eyelash glue doesn’t hold as well as hair bonding glue. It’s not supposed to hold for 30 days. Your eyes are precious . If you’re not removing the eyelashes daily before bed, shame on you. If  eyelash glue is applied to the lash band properly you can get a great all day hold with something like Duo clear. I’ll admit the glue looks clear depending upon the lash band. If you’re using lashes with the clear plastic band, it can have the tendency of looking like  build up from the glue. I’ve had so much success with Duo. My lashes remain in place until I gently remove them. There isn’t any hair loss in the process.

Throw away the hair bonding glue. It’s just not worth it.  Give these a try. If they don’t work out; there are various options that are far safer than hair bonding glue. DSC_4866.jpg

health

The Dangers of Counterfeit Makeup

Makeup has become such a trend now. In my opinion it’s because of all the beauty influencers on Youtube. Beauty influencers get paid to review a cosmetics and skin care.    Makeup brands  have become a high commodity.  Makeup lovers on Youtube will watch makeup reviews and run straight to Targets  cosmetic section.  This can be a bad habit of buying  one variation of the same thing, simply because you saw it on Youtube.

Another problem that stems from buying makeup because of beauty influencers is feeling the pressure of buying  high end brands. The high end brands are pricey. If the brands are out of your budget, you may search  for other avenues to get the same look for more of an affordable price.

This is where the nightmare begins. For instance take at look on  Ebay’s website and look up Just Peachy Too Faced palette. What do you think is in the ingredients to be able to sell this palette for the price it sells for on Ebay? Your first thought wouldn’t be that it could harm you. Right?  The Just Peachy 12 matte shades sell for $45.00 on the Too Faced website. It is gluten, paraben and cruelty free. Not to mention this palette smells like peaches. Imagine that, your eyeshadow smells yummy .

What I’m getting at is don’t be swooned by low prices for high end  cosmetics. It can be fatal to your health . A beauty influencer on Youtube by the name of Tanya Arguelles, experienced the downside of buying counterfeit makeup. You’d be surprised of some ingredients of the ingredients found in counterfeit makeup.  Check out this video for more details. Let me know if you think counterfeit makeup is worth it.

 

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I make no claims to this photo.

Photo by: Tanya Arguelles

 

health, Lifestyle

Happy New Year!

To piggy back off of Gabriela, from Cooking With Limits blog post, finding what you love is essential to a healthy life.  It makes no sense to continue doing the same thing and expect a different result. Sure it’s a cliche, but you know it’s tried and true.

I never make resolutions, but I hope for a better year every year. There are so many things I want to achieve. Disturbingly I will never be able to do them all. Therefore, why list them. I take one day at a time and work on anything that is in my control based on the order of importance. Does it sound boring? Yes, it can be, but that’s where patience come into play. They say life is what you make of it. I think life is how you handle it. It may be the same meaning, but it sounds better to me.

Gabriela, learned more about wines in 2017. She discovered the difference between a bad wine and a good one. It’s great to find a passion or calling in this world. It’s so great for the soul. Check out Cooking Without Limits blog. I’m not afraid to promote her blog. She has awesome content and they’re is enough love and opportunities here for all. She’s one of the best food photographers I know. Well, I don’t know her personally, but you get the gist.

For me, I’ve learned to use my past experiences to teach self love to others. I used my Youtube platform to show women that we’re all beautiful and have special talents. I took this to a level where women of all ages, and races reach out to me almost daily to say,  “Thank you for your kind words.” Sometimes all it takes is a compliment to lift another woman’s spirit.   Some of the most beautiful women in the world lack drive, because of the media’s unrealistic standards of beauty.  This is why I have adopted this movement that I believe is incredibly important.  Self hate causes low self esteem, suicide, eating disorders , isolation , mood swings, hatred towards others. I believe I call it catty. Moreover, it can effect your job performance, family relationships and more. It starts with loving yourself first. After learning to love myself for who I am.    It’s truly been gratifying to know that I’ve partaken in something that may seem  small to others, but a huge part of making a difference in someone’s life.  Self love was my mantra in 2017. I think I’ll stay on that path.

Do you make new year’s resolutions?

Happy New Year!untitled-1913.jpg

 

fashion, health, Lifestyle

When to Throw Away Makeup

Very few people think about the expiration on makeup until it effects them in a harmful way. Especially makeup that someone has paid a pretty nickel for. There is this persona the more it cost the longer it last.

As a matter of fact all makeup has the same shelf life. Some may react to your skin or show signs of expiration more-so than another brand. For instance e.l.f cosmetics is climbing up the popularity charts; with it’s clean black and white packaging.  It is inexpensive, but it offers a nice look for the money. Some of e.l.f’s products may not stand up to  it’s predecessor, but overall it’s doing ok.  It isn’t the worse makeup on the market for sure.

The cream eyeliner in a pot is a great product. Generally it should be replaced every 3 months, which makes more sense to purchase the e.l.f cream eyeliner. It’s only $3.00 and the shelf life is the same as any gel, cream or liquid ( high-end as well) liner.  You get a lot of bang for your buck! It is bold, defining and easy to apply with the small angle brush that came with it. The cream eyeliner is encased in a 17oz. pot. Once it dries, you’ll find that it’s smudge proof, water resistant and coverage for an all day wear. May I suggest you try this liner with Ardell #135 faux lashes or for a more glam look, try Ardell #205. I haven’t tried any of e.l.f’s faux lashes. Perhaps I’ve give them a whirl.

Watch this video to see me speak in detail about this cream eyeliner.ELF_Studio_Cream_Liners

food, health, Lifestyle

We Have a Love Hate Relationship.

Have you ever loved something so much, you couldn’t dream of being without it? What about the old saying, “All that looks good isn’t good for you?’ Such a cliche, but I hate to tell you it’s true.

Why is the world so full of things that aren’t good for us, God?  Yeah I’m talking to you, but make it known I’m not yelling at you. You’re the almighty.  It’s frustrating to say the least. You allow others to make so many guilty pleasures and the we have to make a choice. Think of the outcome. It sounds to much like life. We have choices; to either choose door number 1 or door number 2.  Besides life is what you make of it. Right?

It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve been clean. I walk pass them all of the time, sometimes I contemplate having them in my life just one more time. My mind tells me it will not hurt, but my blood says , no. I can think better, have more control and I am worrying less about my well being. Sure, it makes me feel good for the moment.  That’s what hurts so good. No more hiding and indulging with you.  I have comfort and control on a dreary night.  No more  guilt, I’m no longer sluggish and my body doesn’t has to work harder to eliminate it.  I owe my kidneys an apology.

I love you, but I can’t keep doing this to myself.  The longterm affect isn’t worth the doctor visits. When I see you, often times I opt to go the other way. Everything that looks  good isn’t good. I’m sorry but I can’t …

images

health

Makeup Remover Wipes Can Irritate Your Skin.

Makeup wipes are quick and convenient but they aren’t an option for skin health. I learned that quickly after purchasing Pacifica Essential makeup remover wipes. Actually is was the confirmation I needed, because years ago I tried ( forgot the brand) another makeup wipe remover and it irritated my skin. However, it didn’t burn me like Pacifica did.

Most people dread taking the time before bed to remove makeup . For me it is all about getting the least amount of makeup from my white wash clothes as possible. It is sort of like using a baby wipe on a babies butt. You want to get the most off with the diaper and leave the rest for the wipe. Therefore, you’re using less wipes. I hope you liked that analogy. Can you visualize poop now?  Ok, I used a Pacifica makeup remover wipe on my face to remove foundation. I also had mascara on. I used the wipes on my lashes to soften the mascara. In less than a second my skin and eyes began to burn. My skin never calmed down until I took a wet wash cloth with cold water and pat my face. I had to literally splash my eyes with water underneath the faucet. My bloody word! It was horrible. I rubbed it down my neck as well to make sure there weren’t much makeup on my neck and it began to burn as well.

After my face cooled down and my vision wasn’t obscured  from the burn I read the ingredients . I noticed it read Common Sense Caution: Avoid contact with eyes. This should have been mentioned on the front of the package . It only states makeup remover wipes on the front . If it’s vegan , cruelty ,paraben, (SLS) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and petroleum free then why the heck does it burn? Natural products should harm your eyes. That is like making baby shampoo to harm a babies eyes. What the heck!! wipe.jpgWhile makeup wipes are supposed to be a Godsend. Do yourself a huge favor, get Huggies for sensitive skin in the green packaging . Wipe off the top layer of your makeup to avoid having so much  in your wash cloth. Then take your normal cleaners and wash your face as directed. Make sure you splash the tepid water on your skin to avoid irritation ( If you have sensitive skin like mine) and wipe off the remaining makeup with a white wash cloth. The wipe will remedy the dyes getting into your skin from colored wash cloths. DSC_4741.jpgTake these bougie makeup wipes and clean your light switch with them or something. Keep them away from your face! Don’t let this pretty packing fool you.  A baby wipe has never hurt my eyes.