First Impressions with imPress Press-On Manicure
Over the last few years I would get my nails done about every 4-6 weeks because anyone who gets their nails done knows, that once you start it's the most difficult thing to stop.
But, in the interest of adulting, and saving some extra cash I had to give it a rest and this is where I started exploring the use of press-ons. This was November 2019, and then early this year (2020) Covid-19 happened, all nails salons were closed, retail stores were closed but as it goes, sometimes you just want to dress up, get your nails done and this is where the imPress Press Ons came in perfectly.
Choosing my nail designs were super simple since I'm partial to neutral colours and not very flashy designs and I wanted sets that could easily match with any outfit, any day at any time(given we've been inside for a few months now). My selection process was pretty simple, I just hit the 'Shop All' tab on the site and chose what immediately caught my eye, as well as what I haven't seen yet from the ImPress brand at any shops in my area. With that being said, I decided on these 4 sets from the imPress website.
I was ecstatic that the nails look exactly as they did on the site, they're on trend with shapes like almond, oval and square, they're sturdy (as they were on for more than a week and didn't flinch) and so easy to apply.
'So Unexpected' was the first set I tackled since purple is definitely my favourite nail colour to wear! Each of these sets come with 30 nails that have adhesive backing so there's no need for glue, a prep pad, a mini nail file and a wooden (cuticle) stick.
Getting these nails on went a little like this:
- Size the nails to fit my fingers since there's 30 pieces also including some super gorgeous accent nails.
-My nails haven't been done a while so my cuticles had to be pushed back and some clipping involved.
-Then using the Prep Pad, I cleaned each of my nails so that there was no residual oil or dirt to prevent the nails from not sticking properly.
-I also did a quick filing of the my nails so that the nails stuck properly and would last longer.
I was super satisfied when completed because of how much they looked professionally done and took me only 20- 30 minutes to apply. They also lasted a week and a half before I manually popped them off so its safe to say they don't budge.
Here's how I'd rate it (out of 5 stars):
•Ease to Apply- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
•Nail Design- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I think next, I'll be trying the imPress Pedicure Collection since its only right that my toes look stylish, trendy and professionally done, just like my hands!
You Glow Gyal!
Ah yes! That time of year is here again, the sweet sound of soca is in every direction, every street corner, bar, savannah and pan yard is ripe with bacchanal, and, our rich culture is on display for the whole world to see. Yup!It’s Carnival time in Trinidad & Tobago!
By now, you’ve collected your costume, tried it on, began practicing your ‘candid’ poses so that even in the revelry you could get a dope picture, and have been scouring makeup looks to send to your MUA so that when you sit on that chair at 3am on Tuesday, she’s prepared. BUTTTTT, there’s one thing missing, that one small detail to highlight your entire season- It’s Body Shimmer!
Not to worry though, check out these Trinbagonian brands bringing you that glow life!
•Nude Collection– Like Skinny Fabulous said “Ah want to get nakedddd.” Okay, maybe don’t get completely naked in the streets but, cover yourself in some Nude Collection shimmer!
•Shaded by Shonda– At the end of the day, the stage might not be good again but your glow will be well in tact!
•TropShop Co. – They could mash it up, shell it dong or tun it over, you’ll stay 24 Karat gold, a Bronze babe or Winter Rose in your TropShop Co!
•Nuba Caribbean– How to cause Rukshun this season? Just use “The Jouvert Body Glow Oil” in Top Striker (gold), Ash Wednesday Blues (blue) or Jouvert Morning (pink).
•Pink Craze Cosmetics– Boss lady! Yuh come for this glow? This comes in 3 boss shades- Girl Boss, Glow Getter or CE0,000,000.
•Amara Organics– How meh skin lookin? LUMINEUX!
•Pewt’s Always Organic – Time to gih dem hell on the road while you glow and glisten!
•Candice Beauty Secrets – Its not a secret that Yuh bad, Yuh cute, Yuh bess inno (and you’re glowing too!)
Ready to give up the matte life for some shimmer???
My Thoughts: Suave for Natural Hair line
If you follow me on IG then I'm sure you've seen my recents posts (and exploration into video content) featuring the newly released Suave for Natural Hair line. Infused with coconut and shea butter the line is formulated especially for those of us with wavy, curly and coily hair types and comprises 6 products that I've been using for the last 2 1/2 - 3 months.
As everyone with natural hair knows, the road to finding products that work for you is long, filled with potholes and expensive AF!
Which raises the first point, how AFFORDABLE the line is. At Pennywise each product is about $40- $70, a Superpharm or other drugstore might run you up to $80 but I promise you it doesn't get more expensive than that.
My hair is quite frizzy and has a lot of trouble retaining moisture, it can also be categorised as:
•Thick individual strands
•Has a mind of its own
Now let's chat about how each product worked, and what rating I gave it.
Sulfate-free Cleansing Shampoo- ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
According to Suave's website, this shampoo:
•Gently cleanses and moisturizes
•Ideal for curly to coily hair
And they're right, it is super gentle and doesn't strip your hair to the point where it feels like dry and hay-like. However, for me, it took about 3 shampoos in one wash session before my hair felt as though it was clean. Now I'm not a person who typically uses a lot of products in my hair and I wash weekly so there isn't time or product to have buildup. It took quite a bit of work for the shampoo to feel as though it worked and because of this I had to give it three stars. (But it did make finger detangling easy)
Moisturising Curl Conditioner -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
For the conditioner, it:
•Deeply moisturizes and provides maximum slip
•Detangles and softens curls
•Tames frizz while enhancing shine
•Ideal for wavy, curly and coily hair
If you comb your hair out in the bathroom then you'd surely enjoy this conditioner like I did. There's a lot of slip which made combing my hair out super easy and immediately afterward my hair did feel softer and remained manageable and untangled before I began the next steps of adding leave-in, curl defining cream and gel and that's why it gets a 4 from me!
Nourish & Strengthen Leave-in Conditioner- ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
•Deep treatment for nourished coils
•Works to help protect from styling damage
•Ideal for coily hair
After conditioning I applied this to my wet hair and one thing that's absolute is how soft my hair felt after applying. It also didn't weigh my hair down like other leave-ins I've used and the scent is really light (because as you all have heard a million times before I really dislike heavily scented products). The main reason I gave this product a three is, it didn't have a lasting effect on my hair, so while it remained soft, it didn't remain quite moisturised. ( But like I said, my hair has a major problem retaining moisture so this wasn't going to be fixed overnight)
Cream Detangler Spray- ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This works by:
•Detangles on wet hair
•Calms frizz on dry hair
•Ideal for wavy, curly and coily hair
Since I usually detangle in the shower, I used this product to revive my hair and tame the frizz. It worked quickly to help detangle but I did need a lot of it given how stubborn my hair itself is. Given how much of the product I had to use to get it work is what made me give it a 3.
Curl Defining Cream- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
The Curl Defining Cream:
•Enhances natural curl pattern
•Ideal for wavy to curly hair
•Adds softness and shine
Undoubtedly, this is my favourite product in the line. And, coupled with the Define & Shine Serum Gel, made my morning hair routine quick and easy. It did help my hair feel moisturized and in terms of enhancing curl pattern worked best when used with the serum since I did try using it alone a few times and that didn't work out too great as my hair became frizzy in a few hours. In spite of the frizz those few times, the one constant with this, and all of the other products, my hair was super soft so it gets a 4.
Define & Shine Serum Gel-⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
•Locks-in moisture for touchable curls
•Holds curl shape with brilliant shine
•Ideal for wavy hair
Due to wash and go's being my forte, a defining product is the secret weapon in my arsenal. And the Suave Define & Shine Serum, helped give me major definition but without my hair feeling heavy or getting crunchy which happens with regular gels. Like my comment above, it worked best with the Curl Defining Cream for a more defined wash and go and that's a 4 from me.
Collectively, for the price, product sizes (only the serum is 4.75oz, the others are 12-16oz) and the fact that through using all of these products my hair retained softness, it's a great buy especially if you're still learning what works and what doesn't for your hair. It took my hair about 3-4 tries before warming up to these products so it may be a matter of your hair has to get used to the product and its ingredients and definitely this lined worked perfectly together as I did try in between to mix and match with some other products.
Have you tried this? Tell me how it went for you?
(Please note I received this line from Suave to review)
Caribbean Makeup Brands To Know
Once something Fenty Beauty drops we go crazy, we have to have it, we wait online and click refresh until its available and don't get me wrong, I stan the Queen- Robyn Rihanna Fenty just as much as anyone else, but if I ask you to name other Caribbean owned beauty brands...what would you say?
Don't worry, my job here is certainly not to judge, it's to let you know that we've got lots of other Caribbean makeup brands that we should should definitely look out for! A couple of these brands I have used before, a couple of them are on my radar (but you know bills and adulting and that boring nonsense). So here are some Caribbean owned makeup brands to get familiar with:
- Island Beauty Cosmetics (Trinidad) - IBC's aim is to empower women through beauty . And, her line of liquid lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes and eyebrow pomades perfectly complement the Caribbean women so that she feels beautiful, motivated and empowered at all times. When it comes to pricepoint, the lipsticks go for $65TTD which is around the average locally you might pay for a Colourpop liquid lipstick, but, I can assure you IBC's is 175 times better. On a day out I wore the pinkish red shade 'Hibiscus', I had a burger, I think a beer, coconut water straight from the coconut and the lipstick didn't move. The colour also went on evenly and rich in one swipe and didn't dry out or flake off like my friend Colourpop over there. So if you're looking to add some local to your stash, especially lipsticks, Island Beauty Cosmetics has my full stamp of approval.
(Lipstick image from @makeupbymelanyy, brow gel image from @island_beauty_cosmetics)
- Pout Makeup (Barbados)- Setting Sprays, Finishing Sprays, lipsticks and lashes, if you're thinking about something, Pout surely has it! With a steadily growing collection of products (as I peeped a lip scrub released just days ago) Pout is ensuring that she'll be another Bajan force to be reckoned with when it comes to the beauty industry. Pout's offering of complexion products such as the shimmering Finishing Sprays were made to enhance the natural skin tones of our Caribbean women as opposed to overpowering us and making it seem as though we rolled into a bag of glitter. I'm yet to try this brand out but I've been eyeing it for some time now (try over a year) and trust me, when I do, you guys are gonna know about it!
(Images from @poutmakeupbarbados on IG)
- HijaabiXslay (Trinidad)- After seeing this brand pop up on my feed with highlighters, I just had to follow. (If you know me you'd know that highlighter is my one weakness when it comes to makeup- ok lipsticks too). Available in two shades, Ari and Lyba, its guaranteed that whether you're warm or cooler toned you'll be glistening in the sunlight. It's clear that customers and MUA's alike are loving this product since there are customer pics on the daily I can admire. I think it's safe to say I'll probably be adding new higlighter to my already large stash soon.
(Images from @hijaabixslay on IG)
- Gaelle Cosmetics (Jamaica)- This brand was "Born out of a longing for beauty products representative of Jamaica’s diverse culture and rich heritage", clearly reflects this sentiment in each shade name and each super stunning model that appears on the Gaelle website and social media pages. Another brand I'm yet to try that's doing lipstick and glosses in pretty much any shade imaginable. With an impressive 50 shade range in matte lipsticks, my alarms are going off because lipstick might be an obsession of mine. Not ignoring the exciting but not messy packaging that they come in, and sleek shape of the tubes, they remind me of brands that have been killing the beauty industry for years so I think Gaelle is going only up from here.
(Images from @gaellecosmetics on IG)
Do you have a brand you think I should know or even write about? Then send me a message!
My Night Time Skin Care Routine
Self care entails many different things, for many different people. For me, a daily skincare routine just before bed is the peace and comfort I need just before I drift off into dreamland. It also pays to know what skin type you have so finding products/ a routine that works for your becomes a little bit easier.
For me, my forehead tends to get oily, but everywhere else is a dry mess, so, most of the products I use give me loads of hydration and moisture and keep me that way all day!
Currently, I’ve employed the Korean 10-Step skin care process which for me , goes a little something like this:
1. Oil-Based Cleanser– this step really helps with removing makeup and other impurities. For me, I hardly wear makeup so I tend to use some coconut oil on a cotton pad to remove mascara especially. Grapeseed or Jojoba oil are also really great to use if you’re not getting a cleanser and just need help loosening that makeup.
2. Water-Based Cleanser– this breaks down dirt and sweat and picks up what the oil cleanser might have missed. I use the Epielle Micellar Cleansing Water that I pick up at Pennywise for around $20. I also use it for when I spot conceal since that’s usually not heavy makeup so it comes off easily. Apart from the great price, I have sensitive skin but I’ve zero problems with it- no burning, no breakouts, nothing. I also love the pump used to get the product out making life so much easier.
3. Exfoliator– this step is super duper important if you want clean, clear skin. It removes dead skin cells that tend to make you look patchy, or causes breakouts. Also, when I apply my exfoliatiing product, I massage it into my skin for about 60 seconds to make sure I get all the yucky stuff OUT! My favourite exfoliating products is the Freeman Apple Cider Vinegar Clay Mask & Scrub. It’s gentle, smells great unlike raw apple cider vinger and truly leaves my skin smoother and brighter. I also get this at Pennywise for between $30- $35.
4. Toner– now what Toner does is balances your skin’s moisture levels and restores the pH balance that all that cleansing and exfoliating threw off. My favourite product at the moment for this is the Cara Mia Toner (pictured at the centre below). Some toner’s I’ve used in the past left my face and red and itchy, but I’ve none of that with this toner. Some have also left my face ridiculously dry to the point where I could strike a match on my face, but not with this. And well my favourite part, it’s less than $30, more like $24 at Pennywise.
5. Essence– these are light and pack a punch of anti-aging, hydrating, brightening or other fixes for your skin. For me, as a dry skinned gal, I chose Hylauronic Acid, to allow my skin to remain hydrated, better. This BreyLee Hyalauronic Acid I got on Amazon for around $10 or $11 (see homepage for the link) and though I find the bottle really small (.53 fl oz) it only take about 3 to get your entire face covered and super hydrated for hours. I also use it on makeup for some extra help to not get dry patches for my foundation to cling to.
6. Treatments– this step is used to pinpoint certain problems you might have, like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne and so on. Though only 26, I’ve enlisted the help of The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid to fight any signs of aging that even think about appearing. They say that anti-aging care should start once you hit your twenty’s and I’ve taken that to heart just to be on the safe side. Locally here in Trinidad I’ve paid $80 which for this product. Now though I use it sparingly, sometimes it does in fact have a burning sensation at the sides of my nose, but lasts for all of half a minute and it’s done.
7. Sheet Masks– these allow your skin to absorb concentrated essences, serums or treatments by leaving on your face for some time. It also forces you to just relax and meditate while it does it’s job. Because I actually sell this type of product (see here), I’ve amassed by own personal stash which I love. My favourites are of course the ones that add moisture, hydration and leave me feeling renewed.
8. Eye Cream- the skin around your eyes are thin an delicate and so must be delicately taken care of. only recently I’ve introduced this step into my routine by way of the Olay Ultimate Eye Cream which I love so far because how thick, but not heavy it is. Under my eyes feel moisturized when applied, but not like there’s a thick layer of product on it.
9. Moisturizer– I’ve probably been using this product since university, but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it right?! Moisturizer comes in many forms, creams, gels, sleeping masks but they all have the same job. To seal in moisture and plump and smoothen skin.
10. Oils– Oils can penetrate a moisturizer, but not the other way around. So adding it after adds that extra layer to ensure you LOCK IN that moisture and your skin remains softer and more suppler for longer periods of time. For the last few months I’ve been using The Organic Essence by Mel – Rose Gold Facial Serum. It’s $100 TT and all I really need to is 2 drops to cover my entire face and I am absolutely glowing and well oiled.
I know it seems like a lot, but you’ll see a major difference once you’re consistent and have found the right products for you. It’s been about 4 months now I’ve undertaken this entire routine and surely I’ve seen change, just peep the pic below (that’s with only my day time products on-routine for that soon come). But if you have any questions feel free to inbox me, email me, DM me etc. I’d be happy to help!
6 Trinbagonian Skincare Brands To Know
Skin care products are available by the hundreds or even thousands. Dry skin, oily skin, aging skin, acne prone skin and the list seems infinite, it's difficult to make a decision on what works for you. It gets tiring especially when we're offered a barrage of chemicals way too harsh for our skin, leaving us with more problems than when we started. Worse yet, they're high end brands that seem to charge you per sq foot of skin you have.
But, what if I told you, there's local brands using all natural ingredients that consider both your skin and wallet?
Read on to get to know 6 local skin care brands hand- making organic products made for our skin AND climate, because well, they understand just how much TLC our skin really needs.
Ever dreamt of covering yourself in chocolate? Say no more fam- PG is here to make dream that a reality with their line of cocoa infused scrubs, body butters and soaps. This line of products inspired by matriarch, Philippa has such a strong connection to family that getting a hold of it releases nostalgia of your mum or grandma slathering you in coconut oil as a child. Alas, this isn't grandma's coconut oil but skin care to enrich both the soul and skin, and to make you call up those cousins you haven't seen a while.
Cover yourself in chocolate by clicking right...here
Skin care isn't just for women! (I mean, we all have skin right). But to make the guys feel special Nell is doing skin care for you too! Most popularly for the men she's doing body oils and foot soaks because let's be honest, ashy only looks good on chimneys. For the ladies, scrub, butter and mist your way to your most radiant skin and you can share with the beau or just get him his own.
Get Yo Man nice and moisturised rightttt here
Vin Natural Cosmetics
Dry, Flaky, Crusty. I didn't say what but you already know what I'm talking about- LIPS. You've been wondering why matte lipsticks look so wotless on you but so amazing on everyone else, it might be because those lips need divine intervention, ie, Vin and her lip products. With a Beet Root Balm crafted to remedy darkening lips and scrubs to stay eternally kissable, people might start speculating that you've had some work done.
To stay kissable, click here
Beauty Paradise by Ann
Ann already has a#1 skin care best-seller with her Tumeric & Lemon Peel Scrub (the tumeric is hand picked btw) formulated to say bye-bye to those dark marks and large pores. Scratch making and hand-picking is a clear sign that all her love and attention goes into moulding each individual product so that it's made just for you.
Get the coveted scrub right here
Anthea's Treasure Trove
Picture this, you're sipping a mango mojito by the beach, wind in your hair, the sound of crashing waves. Now imagine that feeling but packed into a container of body scrubs or body butter and you've got ATT. Based in Store Bay, Tobago, uncovering a jar of Sorrel & Pomegranate body scrub, or lathering up with a Caribbean Spices soap bar, you're instantly transported seaside for a full tropical skin care experience. Sunblock included! ATT combinations are nothing short of a Caribbean getaway neatly packaged and less expensive might I add.
Lather up here
Carefully concocted to create skin care mastery, Wholesome You just does what it says provide to tender-love&care. Whether you're masking, exfoliating or moisturizing your skin's best interest is at heart from the start to finish of your skin care routine, and from head to toe. Each product sounds like a potion (Egyptian Vanilla, Calendula & Sage, Cucumber & Geranium, just to name a few) designed to give you a magical outer glow and the most enchanting skin in all the land.
Become an enchantress here
A few of these brands and products I'm yet to try so look out for reviews!
The Glow-Up Is Here
My dear friends, we are gathered here today to shine the light on my absolute favourite makeup product: Highlighters✨
My closest friends know I wear makeup about 1.5 times a month, but that doesn't stop me from buying all the highlighters from golden tones to peachy shades simply because I have a problem (one I've come to terms with). Local cosmetics brand- Amerie Beautie is giving us all the highlight we need to successfully achieve the ultimate glow , I could already hear the makeup addicts in the distance shouting ' Yaaaaaas'. Handmade in pressed and liquid for every skintone and a million percent WOC friendly, totally coruscanting is unavoidable.