SKIN

Those who know me well, know that I am a skin care junkie. I mean from hoarding products to endlessly spending money on anything skin. My love and passion for skin care and grooming has grown tremendously over the years and at this point I think I am qualified enough to give my two sense.

A disclaimer before I go any further; I am not medically trained or qualified to give medical advice on any product that I mention during this post. Also be aware that whatever products have worked for me may not necessarily work for you. Be sure to do your research, consult your dermatologist or esthetician for more information or clarity. You will also notice that whatever information I share with you will be biased to folks with an oily skin type. This only because my skin is oily as well. All in all, I am just a skin care guru talking from experience and my continuous journey in battling acne and fighting my way for even skin tone, blemish free, and clear moisturized skin.

I once read that Good Skin is no miracle. Either you been blessed with good genes and your just flawless or like the rest of us you work and take care of your skin the best way you know how. Like many of us, I started focusing on my skin care during my early teens because I had the worst case of acne. Out of desperation, I tried every product on the market. All ranging from drug store brands like Neutrogena to high end like proactive and Michael Todds. It’s funny because today these products are available in most drug stores whereas back in my day, they were only offered online. I even tried the DIY skin care hacks and some natural skin care brands but those didn’t do much for me either. It was only up until I decided to see a dermatologist and that is when I began seeing improvements on my acne prone skin.

The notion and stereotype that skin care is only considered to be a woman’s “thing” and the idea of what ‘perfect’ skin looks like, which is constantly influenced by what we see in the media and from brands (pore less, super clear…etc) had caused me to shy away and hide my enthusiasm about skin care. Hence why this post took me forever to publish. Truth is, there is no such thing as perfect skin. Real Skin is textured no matter how healthy it is. At this point if you are one of the few that still hold on to such outdated views, I suggest you keep it pushing because this post is certainly not for you. But for those who are looking for tips on how to better your skin care, get some basic knowledge on some of my favorite products or just looking for a good read, you are right at home.

Finding the right dermatologist is a story for another day. But seeing a dermatologist, I was able to not only know my skin but learn how to take care of it and have the basic knowledge on what to look for when buying a product. The rest of my research I have gained for skin care has come from YouTube University. Shout Out to all the skin care Gurus and influencers on YouTube and social media.

Having an oily, acne prone skin I tend to look for products that are gel based and contain salicylic acid especially when it comes to cleansing. Anyone who has oily skin knows that this type of skin can be a little high maintenance. Apart from constant build up from oils and dead cells, we require endless supplies of products on hand at all times to get grease under control on the go. But with the right products, one can reduce the excess oil which minimizes your shine and reduces the size of your pores.

Some of my favorite cleansers are from Urban Skin RX. Whatever skin type you may have, this brand not only caters to folks with melanin, but all their products include ingredients to correct and prevent uneven skin tone which tends to be the most common concern for people of color. This is one of the few brands that I literally invest in their whole line. Cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers.

To my fellow brothers, don’t be shy if you want to step up your skin care regimen. We as men also do get insecure about our skin. I can’t tell you how many men I know use their wives, girlfriends or sisters skin care stuff on the down low. Allow me to introduce you to Ceylon Skin Care Set. It is scientifically formulated to create accessible, easy-to-use products to help men of color achieve the best possible skin through its 3-step process (cleanse, tone moisturize). This is the only skin care brand that I have come across that’s created by a black man for the black man. A brand that’s clean, cruelty free and paraben free. I personally use Ceylon products when I travel because of their easy travel sized packaging.

When it comes to toning, this isn’t a must in one’s skin care regiment, but I use this is an extra cleansing step after washing my face. I tend to go for toners that exfoliate and brightens with the use of Glycolic acid, AHA & BHA. Some of my favorite toners are Glycolic acid from the ordinary which I only use at night because of its high concentrate, The Versed Toners which I just started using recently and I am loving it so far. Last but not least, my regulars which are mild but very effective. Witch hazel and Rose water.

For moisturizers, I go for the ones that already contain Sunscreen otherwise known as SPF. This saves me time by not adding another step to apply sunscreen. Also, they must be oil free because the goal is never to look like a grease ball especially since I already have oily skin. I don’t care what anybody says but sunscreen is very important regardless of race or skin type. Since I use a lot of AHA’s & BHA’s formulated products, my skin is more prone to the sun’s UV rays that can cause skin cancer hence why it is very important to use SPF. Having darker skin, it’s been quite a struggle to find the right SPF. Y’all know what I am talking about. The white cast thats leaves you looking ghost like when using sunscreen that’s not formulated for us. Some even take it as far as calling it a dead corpse walking. So, here are some of my favorite SPF’s that I use and swear by. Supergoop, Cerave and our very own, Black Girl sunscreen

As much as I have educated myself on all these skin care products and routines, what I consume or ingest has also proven to playing a huge factor on the outcome of my skin. Being the foodie that I am, I do not discriminate but appreciate all kinds of foods. The downfall to some of these foods that I love are considered unhealthy and tend to affect my skin in a negative way. Long story short, I try as much as possible to avoid dairy and greasy foods.Consuming a lot of veggies, fruits and water has played a role in my journey to good skin care.

The world of skin care is always evolving. New products are being introduced to the market every other day. Everybody skin is different but having that foundation to taking care of your own skin is very important. I can’t stress enough on the use of sunscreen and the importance of seeing dermatologist or esthetician to better understand and take care of your skin. Believe it or not, your skin is always talking to you and its advised to listen when it does. This was only a snippet of a conversation that needed to be had. Trust me, this is a topic as whole that I can go on and on about but for the sake of time I think it’s a safe place to stop. I hope you’ve gotten a chance to walk away with something from this post.

Until then, see you Next time.

It has been about 7 months since I logged on and wrote a post. Reason you ask? I don’t have a reason that’s adequately valid. The past 7 months or so have been a roller coaster. Great highs and some lows. But never bold enough to stop me on my tracks because I still managed to galivant my way through these streets. If you know what I mean.  

2019 overall will forever be in the books. Looking back, I remember having this conversation with one of my good friends talking about how we were going to live it up. From travels, summer flings and just party like it was back in the 90’s. If I must say, I did exactly just that. My mission was accomplished and all that I had put out to the universe came into existence. Not only did I get to visit London for the second time in the same year, but I was able to attend my first afro punk festival in Atlanta. I also got to visit one of my very good friends in Houston, Texas for July 4th who I only met this year in Paris. These were the major events I had planned for, not counting the little weekend spontaneous trips that came out of the blue (Future posts).  All in all, I had a blast and I am truly grateful.

At this point I bet you are wondering what really motivated me to finally get my act together and write to yall. I’ve never really considered myself a writer. But writing/journaling has always been therapeutic. In the past, My best material have all been drafted when I am emotionally going through it. As great as 2019 has been, the best thing that happened to me was also the worst thing that devastated me and got me to a place I never knew or imagine I would be at. I finally got to taste what love truly feels and looks like only to lose it all.

Among my friends I have always been a late bloomer when it came to dating, love, sex etc. In return, not only have I have been fortunate enough to see what true love should look like, but I have also been exposed to the ugly truth of it. Falling in love was the best thing I’ve experienced in all my life. I mean, it trumps the travel adventures and even the love of food I have. It brought a different kind of joy, accomplishment and a feeling that was so strong and impeccable, words could not even describe. The best part about falling in love, was that it also looked subsequently good on me. I am naturally a lover and I maneuver through this thing we call life with my heart on my sleeve. I am now realizing I need to change that strategy.

This was a different kind of love though. Not the one you get from friends and family. It was intimate, emotional with a sense of vulnerability yet filled with passion. The love felt authentic, genuine and real. At least on my part it was. Now looking back, I guess I was just head over hills. All love songs that I had been singing and enjoying all my life in the name of Rnb, finally started making sense. As corny as it sounds, everything I had been fighting so hard for almost didn’t matter anymore. That feeling of lacking and always striving for more suddenly became a feeling of satisfaction. This new stage of my life felt so right and authentic because it was after I had one of the realest conversations with God. A prayer that I had asked God to specifically send me someone that can show me the same kind of love in human and physical form. Although being exposed to the different aspects of love from those around me, nothing could have really prepared me enough to handle my first heart break.

This experience literally felt like the show “90-day fiancé”. The only difference was that it wasn’t immigration separating me from my happiness. In just those 6 months I experienced most things in a relationship you could think of that folks have barely experienced in a 3-year relationship. Not mentioning any names. We did the long distance, multiple spontaneous trips which were basically mini vacations, Conversations about life, family, dreams, insecurities fears. Etc. Mind you, these are conversations I have had before with friends, but it wasn’t the same when your having it with a potential partner. I Went on dates that you only see in movies and furthermore a connection and chemistry that only one could get from a soulmate. For the first time in my life I felt beautiful, sexy and attractive. Somebody finally saw the beauty that I saw in myself every time when I look in the mirror. For once I was never the third wheeler or the single one of the group.

Those who know me well are aware of how vocal I am when it comes to self-love, acceptance and not settling for less in relationships. It was refreshing to showcase and represent, that with such a kind of mindset in frame, genuine love from a significant other will be drawn to you. So yeah, I was deeply in love and I felt I deserved it because I had put in the work and was patient. For those who have been in love before, I am sure you can totally relate, or you are either looking at me sideways and thinking of how dramatic I am.

I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of the situation but let’s just say I wouldn’t change a thing if I was to turn back time. Leading up to the break up, deep down I knew what the real deal was. In the words of one of my favorite artist Ledisi, “Sometimes we don’t listen to what we already know”.

I am currently at work at as I write this post reflecting on everything. Believe it or not this post has been sitting on my desktop for about a month now. Editing and finding the right way to jot down my emotions, thoughts and feelings as I formulate them into words. In this case a blog post. Although I am still grieving from this heart break, I am aware of everything good that has happened in my life even if it’s very difficult to focus on the positives.  

Falling in love has taught me a lot about myself and my relationship with those around me. I now understand how my relationship with family and friends’ impact and play a significant role when you are a building a relationship with a significant other. I saw the kind of individual I am when in a relationship and I finally understood all the work and commitment it involves when in a relationship.

Love and every aspect of it is the biggest lesson I am taking from 2019. I pray and hope that the new year will be a catalyst for me. Letting my gut and intuitions be my compass. Allowing my soul to be un-afraid to grow wings and fly in whatever direction the universe calls me. May the seeds I have planted and the one’s I am planting continue to come to fruition. Lastly but not least, may the love I have for myself and the one that I continue to discover, show others how I deserved to be loved.

For now, back to singing tunes like tori Kelly’s “dear no one”.

Come through 2019. This year started off on such a high and positive note. Y’all know that traveling has always been my thing and by the time this trip came about, it felt like I was caged for way too long.

I spent my last days of 2018 and my first few days of 2019 living it up across the pond. I was fortunate enough to make my way to London during my first Europe tour and words cannot even describe how amazing it was. Continue reading “Across The Pond 🇬🇧🌏”

Podcasts📻🎙

One thing I have learned is that the older you get, you tend to look for different things to inspire you and motivate you. You can call this part of adulting but at this stage of my life, I am always in search of things that are relatable or fall in line with where I am at currently. While reading self-help books, or biographies is the obvious go-to answer, podcasts are a good alternative. Also being the fact that podcasting is the new wave, I was very curious to check it out and give it a shot. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to an audiobook yet but I am guessing it is the same experience. Continue reading “Podcasts📻🎙”

Grown-ish

If there was a legit manual/school or even class on how to adult that one can get access to, please sign me up. I’ve heard it all. From my fellow co-workers, friends and even mentors. They say, “It never gets easier to figure it out, it only gets easier to cope and work your way through it“. Don’t be fooled by what you see online and on social media. People only want you to see what they want you to see. Most of us are struggling or just making the ‘struggle bus‘ look very cute.

We so are so used to a systematic environment from the day you start school but they don’t prepare you once your out of the system. By “they” I am reffering to the education system and institutes. Unless the system has been changed, those in my age group or older know exactly what I am talking about.

I have recently found my self going to seminars and little workshops that teach you  certain things. Like financial advising, money, paying and shopping for health insurance among many others. lets just say adulting is really hard!

Not too long ago, I ran into my high school teacher and home-girl was calling and saying it like it is (love that about her). I remember after chatting about everybody who was in my year that she kept in touch with, I dared to ask her what she thought how my life would turn out. I will not embarass my self by telling yall her thoughts but long story short, she did not hold back. According to her, I was one of the few that somewhat surprised her. Knowing me, I’ve never been predictable but it did feel good to be viewed from a different perspective.

Experiences and conversations through this journey of adulthood have definitely taught me one thing. Never compare your self to those around you. Just like in a race, those who win never look at their competitors. Everybody has their own path. Remaining humble and trusting your own process, is truly a test of its own.

Looking back, 2018 will be a pivotal chapter in my life. In a way, it’s been a remarkable yet the hardest stage of my life. The good has been really great while the bad has been some of the worst fall. Being able to balance everything from responsibilities, expectations, social life/relationships and even that self-care that’s very essential, has been a task.

Now that I have hit a quater life century, it really hit me that one has to be able to prioritize and be realistic when it comes to following your dreams and facing reality. I guess you can’t have it all. Everything comes with a price whether you realize it or not.  Yup, adulting is no joke.

For those who are in college and are really eager to finish and join adulthood, I emphasize to take your time and enjoy right now because that was once me. I would give anything to go back and maybe plan myself a little bit more and enjoy living under my parents roof. Not worrying about bills, loans or fulfilling the worlds expectations.