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Earlier this year, I made a BIG change in my life, I went VEGETARIAN! I come from a big Jamaican family and it was hard for me to give up jerk chicken, oxtail, and chicken foot soup ( I know it sounds weird but it’s sooo yummy!). A majority of people usually transition into being vegetarian by gradually eliminating red meat, chicken and fish, but my journey was quite different. I have been allergic to seafood for a majority of my life so that was easy but eliminating meats was a whole other story.

In March, I traveled to Dakar, Senegal, which was an incredible experience (CLICK HERE to watch my vlog). A majority of the food I ate was meat and during my two week stay, my body was not responding well to it at all. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted wonderful but I rather have a clean and clear digestive system. After longs nights of sitting on the toilet, I decided it was time to change the way I eat.  Since June 2017, I have not had one slab of meat and it’s been one of the greatest decision I’ve made.

I like to call myself a vegetarian with vegan tendencies. I say that because I only drink almond or cashew milk and I don’t eat eggs. Sometimes I have my dairy days by releasing my stress with a big bowl of ice cream, but I try to be a good girl. One thing I do use that is 100% vegan is my Natural Finish Foundation from CoverFX. I guess since I was changing what goes into my body, I wanted to change what goes on it as well. First, I fell in love with the packaging. It’s large enough to last me a long time but it’s small enough for me to carry on the airplane. Second, the foundation keep my skin hydrated. I’ve tried a lot of foundations in the past and they dried out my skin. Lastly, it is a FULL coverage foundation. I know a lot of companies say full coverage and they’re not, but CoverFX did not lead me a stray. The foundation doesn’t just help cover my blemishes, but it heals them. If you’re looking for a change in your makeup, I suggest taking the first step with CoverFX.

MY SHADE: G90 

CLICK HERE to shop CoverFX online. Products can also be purchased in your local Sephora.

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Ever since I was 13, I’ve always had a problem with acne. It is something that I feel self conscious about, even till this day as a 22 year old. When I was in my freshman year of college, my mother took me to an amazing Beverly Hills dermatologist by the name of Dr. Susan Evans. She was able to get rid of my acne but I was still suffering from small dark marks and hyperpigmentation. For those of you who don’t know what hyperpigmentation is, it is ” a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin” (http://www.aocd.org). Now that I am a young adult, it’s time to say goodbye to those acne days  FOR GOOD and hello to clear skin.

Many people use chemical peels or other skin brightens to get rid of their dark marks, but I tried it before and I felt it was too harsh for my sensitive skin. I also started to realize that my skin was getting lighter. When I looked in the mirror, I felt as if my skin looked like I was bleaching it instead of brightening it. I was recently in Morocco and I had a minor break out. Some pimples left some scars and I began to freak out. I thank God that I had  my True Botancials skin care products with me because it made a drastic change in my skin.

My night routine that helped with the scarring, consisted of the hydrating cleanser, toner, cellular repair serum, and the vitamin C booster. The hydrating cleanser was able to fight any recurring acne and the cellular repair serum mixed with the vitamin C booster was able to battle the scars and minor marks.  The cellular repair serum  is ” a true force of nature that strengthens the barrier function in aging skin while fighting adult acne. “(True Botanicals). The vitamin C booster ” stimulates collagen production, firms and repairs skin, fights wrinkles, evens skin tone, brightens aging skin.” (True Botanicals). Lastly, at the end of my routine I used the toner to give my skin an even complexion. I highly recommend this routine if you are looking for products that are natural. I am trying to stay away from using too many chemicals on my face or body, so I feel that True Botanicals is a great substitute.

USE CODE ” TCG20 “ for $20 off your next purchase at https://truebotanicals.com/

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Cellular Repair Serum, CLEAR

Prevents blemishes. Improves barrier function and moisture retention. Nourishes aging skin. Restores suppleness. Imparts soft, dewy, smooth skin.

Full Size (1 fl oz | 30 ml) $ 140.00

 

 

 

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Vitamin C Booster

Vitamin C in its freshest form. Stored in a dark glass shaker, it retains its maximum potency until the moment it’s mixed with a serum.

Full Size (Net wt .49 oz | 14 g) $ 90.00

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One thing that I truly love about myself is my hair. I feel like the hair that I have is like having a super power. Since it is so versatile, I can literally transform who I am. One minute I can have bone straight hair like Cher in her prime or I can become Diana Ross with my wild curly afro. As a young women, I believe that women and girls have the ability to change their look as much as possible. I remember seeing a meme on Instagram of a guy telling his girlfriend “we need to see other people” and she changes into multiple wigs (see meme below, IT HAD ME HOLLERING!).

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I genuinely love being able to switch my hair but wearing it curly and big is definitely my favorite style. When I was in Morocco, I didn’t see a lot of women with curly hair, especially hair like mine. Since my hair made such a statement, vendors at the market would yell out “Shakira!, Shakira!” since my hair is curly and I guess that’s the only celebrity reference they associate curly hair with. Obviously, the Latina pop sensation and I look nothing a like, so I know it had to be the hair. Growing up, my mom always recited two really cool quotes  about having big hair, “the bigger the hair, the closer to God” and “the bigger the hair, the more they stare”. My mom was absolutely right, I sure did get a lot of stares. Being a woman of color with a lot of hair, many individuals ask to touch it and the answer will always be NO! My hair is not a creature and neither am I. There are so many dynamics in regards to hair and what it means to a woman, but for me it means a lot. I make sure that I treat, clean, and nourish my hair using Form Beauty because it’s important that anyone with hair knows how to take care of it.

My favorite product that I have been using recently is the Multitask 3-in-1 Leave-In Lotion. I use it on my hair almost everyday because it’s great for layering, moisturizing, and styling. Whether I want to wear my hair slicked back in a puffy bun or out in a fro, this leave-in-lotion keeps my hair hydrated. I truly detest when I put leave-in products in my hair and they are too heavy or too creamy. This product is also great for braids as well. If you wear box braids, cornrows, or any other protective style, it’s important that you give your scalp and hair moisture. Why I love this product is because it’s easy and simple. All I really have to do is spray, style and go. It cuts down the time when doing my hair and it keep my hair smelling fresh. I couldn’t ask for a more fun and easy hair care product.    

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FORM Beauty

Multitask.

3-in-1 leave-in lotion

12 fl oz. – $32.00

 

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Photographed by Thaïs Martin

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If you ever go to Morocco, YOU MUST DEDICATE TIME TOWARDS BUYING A CARPET! It is nothing like purchasing interior decor in the states, it is a journey. Literally, it’s a journey getting lost in a Moroccan souk. A “souk” is a market in Arabic/North African countries. You can buy almost anything in a souk: doors, lights, furniture, jewelry, clothes, spices, and more. On my 3rd and most recent trip to Morocco, I made sure I took my friend Tori, co-founder of The Colored Girl, to experience what it’s like to search for a Moroccan carpet (scroll to the bottom to watch video).

When we entered the souk, we walked into the space where a majority of the carpets were sold and I felt like I was in heaven. We asked a vendor where the best carpets were and he took us on a long stroll through the souk. We made so many left and right turns, my head was starting to hurt, but on our last turn we made a sharp right into one of the greatest carpet warehouses. The warehouse manger and his workers were so kind, they were eager to pull out multiple carpets so we could figure out which one we loved the most. They explained how the carpets were made and what tribe they came from. They became even cooler when they offered us lunch and if you know me, food is the way to my heart. I don’t know what I was more shocked by, how kind the owner was or the variety of carpets there were. There were so many colors, textures, and designs. Here’s a fun fact, some rugs are made for winter and some rugs are made for summer, but there are also some rugs that are for both, like a 2 in 1.

I took a seat on the mountain of carpets and Tori snapped a cute photo of me (see picture above). When I looked at the photo, I realized how defined my curls were, giving off an old school Cher vibe. I was trying to think about how they looked so good and I realized it was all thanks to Form Beauty. The night before, I co washed my hair with the Moisturizing Conditioner, which gave my hair a lot of hydration. Also, before heading to the souk, I applied the Defining Curl Gel to my damp hair and allowed it to air dry. I love when my curls look defined AF. When my hair is on fleek, I feel like a kid in a Moroccan carpet shop, lol, maybe not a kid, but me. After I was done hyping up my hair, we continued to scan around the warehouse, but realized we were  almost an hour late for our lunch meeting. The best thing that I can recommend when shopping for a carpet in Moroccan is MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME! It’s not a easy process and you must figure out which one speaks to you. I call it a journey because you must dedicate at least 4 hours. You must see, choose, and barter. It takes time my friends, but if you’re like me and you really love cultural decor, it is definitely something you will devote time to.

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Photographed by Thaïs Martin

Carpet shopping with Tori

 

 

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Being in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the amazing boutique hotel, Jnane Tamsna, was an incredible experience. It was full of great food, great people, great culture and a whole lot of dry heat. It was so hot, that 110 degrees was normal. Don’t get me wrong, I loveeee the heat, but that was heat that could fry some bacon. That being said, when it’s too hot outside, I tend to wear my hair in a style that is pushed away from my face. In high heat, gel tends to feel like it is melting on my scalp. Pomade gives my hair a good hold that feels light and I always want my edges to be laidddddd, so I started to use the Form Beauty, Polish Pomade.

 

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The polish pomade is lightweight and  “uses a blend of oils to lock in moisture, fight frizz and provide a smooth look and soft feel” (www.formbeauty.com). I was able to create the hairstyle, in the pictures above, in four simple steps.

  1. Since I was going for a sleek but bushy look. I first brushed out all of my curls.
  2.  I made a part in the center of my head but I only parted it half way.
  3.  I then damped the front part of my hair so my edges and the front could be slicked down and the back could big and bushy.
  4. Lastly, I brushed down the front area down and pinned it tight. I made the back part of my hair bigger and bushier for as 70’s style inspired look.

Inspiration

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