21 July 2014

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen - Review

With the current heatwave raging in London this summer, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about my favourite sunscreen, which I have been using for a few years now. Right now is a great time to be thinking of protecting your skin from the sun and all the adverse effects of over exposure, like premature ageing and skin cancer. However, it is still important to protect your skin all year round and not just on the sunnier days.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time looking for a good sunscreen to wear under my make-up because apart from the obvious reasons for protecting our skin, mine seems to be super sensitive. I break out with the use of most products on my face, all natural chemical free ingredients or not, and must be very careful with my adult acne prone skin.

Sunscreen or not, I never go out of my way to sit in the sun because it causes great discomfort and I surprisingly burn up very easily. Apart from that, I love the sun but cannot stand the heat, so having layers of product on my face is definitely a big no-no.

Two things to look out for:

1. Sunscreen or Sunblock?
I wanted to try a sunscreen and not a sunblock because they tend to be heavy coverage. The difference between both being that one absorbs the rays and the other deflects. Both are effective but some prefer one to the other.

2. Sun Protection Factor
SPF count is important because it tells you how much sun protection to expect, the minimum being 15.  

As already mentioned, sunscreens tend to have chemicals that act as absorbers for the sun rays. These ingredients are - Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7.5%, Oxybenzone 5%.

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen is great for me because of the following:

Completely absorbed.
High SPF
It has SPF 70, one of the highest I have ever used and it’s Broad Spectrum too. This means that you can rest assured that your skin is getting full protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Ultra sheer
Most sunscreens are known to be heavy on the skin and almost impossible to use with makeup but this coverage goes on in such a light layer that it's perfect for wearing under makeup.

It is not oily but very absorbent when applied, and does not leave any white residue or sheen on the skin.

It is very moisturising, perfect for any dry patches on the skin and a little goes a long way.

Does not irritate my skin
I was worried that my super sensitive skin would react to the chemical ingredients but was pleasantly surprised that I did not break out with this sunscreen as I have done with other heavier versions and sunblock’s in the past.


The only con I can think of for this product is that it comes in a small 40ml bottle and you could probably get a lot more product for your money with another brand. The big question is, can you get all the same benefits as this in a cheaper brand? You only get what you pay for.

With all the benefits I have experienced so far, I would definitely say it's more than worth the price tag in my opinion. This is the best sunscreen I have ever used, and a little really does go a very long way. 

I always apply my sunscreen to clean skin, using a foundation brush to get an even spread, working in quickly as it absorbs very fast. Must be applied 30 minutes before exposure to sun.

Available on Amazon UK for approx. £12.85. Prices may differ depending on seller and location.

Would I Recommend?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for an effective sunscreen for daily use under makeup. However please note that products that work for me, may not necessarily work for you too.

This is not sponsored. All observations are mine, and are based on first-hand experience from personal use of said product.

5 July 2014

TNP Waistbeads - Summer Sale Discount Code

The TNP Waistbeads Summer Sale is now on!
Discount code is for 15% off all shop items.
From Sat 5th - Friday 11th of July 2014. 

Checkout the 2014 TNP Waistbeads Lookbooks for a taster...!

1 July 2014

Loc Pompadour/Bouffant

OK folks, so this is the second time I have ever attempted a loc style, the first being the messy bun which was featured a couple of blog posts ago. This is my 'soft' attempt at a pompadour/bouffant, and the finished result is very simple but elegant.

There is loads of puffy growth at the base of my locs which helps to give some extra volume. I found myself trying to make it more compact to reduce the size, or else I would have ended up looking like humpty-dumpty. 

As you can also see, I have a few grey hairs up in there, but I don't mind because I'm actually proud of them. Would I consider colouring my hair? Well at the moment the answer is a definite no. I don't think I would want to introduce anything that could potentially cause damage to my hair or add extra drama to my simple hair regimen. However in future, I may want to look into the various safe alternatives, in case I change my mind.

I achieved this style by holding my hair up as if in a high ponytail, then rolling the ends and tucking them under to create this shape, then finally securing with a large claw clip. This is not a tutorial, just a quick style idea for anyone out there who may be interested.

The image is part of the Self Frames project by TNP Photography.

27 June 2014

Self Frames Project by TNP Photography

I am currently working on a personal project for TNP Photography which has been titled 'Self Frames'. The series will cover a range of self-portraits that aim to capture mood and personality without direct eye contact. 

We spend a great deal of time disguising our emotions and holding our tongues, but our body language still speaks volumes. It is often said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but for this series the eyes will be covered. I have decided to use various eyewear to shield the eyes and create a focal point for these images. 

I will be the main subject for this series. It's my way of trying to get a little comfortable in front of the lens, explore the many diverse and complex sides to my personality, and to capture them as best possible. Each image will be a true reflection of how I feel on the day it is taken.

The project will be ongoing and the images will be available to view on the TNP Photography site

22 June 2014

TNP Waistbeads - New for June 2014

Chastity Waist Beads 14A19 (purple + white + dark blue)

New for the month of June is this single strand set of Chastity waistbeads, consisting of a mixture of purple, dark blue and white glass beads. Also featuring two long purple Bone beads, with two Tibetan silver lock and key charms as centrepiece. To fit sizes 22-40 inches.

This stunning piece is strung on to beading wire and includes a gold or silver plated clasp.

Available to buy online here.

2 June 2014

Life Lessons from Maya Angelou

I have always admired Maya Angelou because she was an ordinary woman like us, who amongst other things, carved her way to the extraordinary by sharing her story in words of poetry.

To be honest, I would admire any woman who has been able to speak out about her pain and shame, because it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, at the mercy of your critics. It takes a certain level of maturity to accept that your story is important enough to be heard. Your story can set somebody else free.

As the saying goes, "there is nothing new under the sun", so why do we prefer to keep crippling secrets instead of sharing the truth? Our truth cannot shock the world; it will only set you free.

In this video, Maya shares about being molested at the age of eight and how she stopped talking for six years.

In this video, she tells of how she finally found her voice.

In the final video below, Maya shares about the stigma of her dark past as a Prostitute.

I am a strong believer in life lessons, because there are so many things that cannot be fully grasped until they have been personally experienced. The experience alone will give you a deeper insight, instilling a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that will remain ingrained forever.

Maya Angelou puts it so well in this popular quote of hers:
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
It is therefore mostly irritating to note that people will always have something to say about the things that they have never experienced for themselves. They are quick to appoint themselves experts on the subject matter of your life, experiences they know nothing about and circumstances that are absolutely foreign to their own existence.

More often than not, the eagerness to know your story only stems from the opportunity to see your vulnerability, making you more human in their eyes, and much easier to knock you off your pedestal. A pedestal that they have placed you on without your permission, and is not of your own making. This pedestal is made up of people’s expectations of you, and nothing to do with your own hopes, dreams or aspirations, so we are already doomed to failure.

The majority however, will accept you just as you are, and will embrace your imperfections. Their genuine love and admiration will ease the burden, and help you on your way to making the best of what life has dealt.

The main lesson I take away from Maya Angelou's life is that, as humans we are not perfect and life itself is not perfect too, but then even the most imperfect can become a blessing. More than anything, I hope that I can begin to find the courage to speak out about my pain, past, present or future, because despite everything else I would like to be a blessing. I don't want to keep on keeping up appearances. I don't want to pretend to be somebody that I'm not.

This lesson is not for those of us who live a perfect life, and is not a call to air your dirty laundry, but is only to serve as a reality check.  We probably all have a story to tell. An imperfect story. If I cannot speak it, then I will definitely write it. What will you do?