Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Clarisonic has entered the Anti-Aging Game with this Product Penetrating Facial Massager

ismail Alminda | 10:11 AM
I'm huge fan of facial devices.  Currently, I have quite an extensive collection of various types of facial tools.  But....like...can we ever own enough?
I thought I was good until I learned that Clarisonic has thrown its hat into the ring.  In 217, they launched a firming massage head.  This makes so much sense.  Within seconds, your deep cleansing Clarisonic brush can transform into a facial toning powerhouse.  Best of all, the price is pretty reasonable if you already have the device sitting in your bathroom. If you don't already own a Clarisonic, fear not, they're having a spring sale which could save you a ton.

When I first heard the device existed, I immediately rushed to the website to learn more.  Little did I know that Clarisonic would come through with actual before and after pics depicting the potential of their massager.

After 12 weeks of use, this woman's jawline is actually reemerging.   This 12-week transformation is quite inspiring but what I'm really interested in is preventing the sagging that comes with age.  I'm all about keeping the skin and muscles toned and firm rather than trying to reverse it.   The fact that they even did a 12-week study was impressive because they're implying real results are actually possible.

Clarisonic published a video of the device in use.  I couldn't really tell if the brush head actually oscillates or if it just vibrates.  But what I do know is that the massager also doubles as a "product penetrator" of sorts.  According to the claims, this magical brush head "boosts the absorption of your daily skin care products."  

After deep cleansing using Clarisonic's powerful brush, you simply switch heads and begin massaging your favorite serum/moisturizer deeply into the skin.  Take a look at the process in action.



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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Essential Beauty Items that Should Be in Your Car

ismail Alminda | 8:34 AM
It's officially spring.  I love bringing in the new season by removing clutter, writing down new goals and such.  One idea that popped into my head is putting together a little kit of essentials to keep in my car.

It's gonna get really hot in my state really soon, and that's a huge factor in what items I keep in the car. Warm temperatures can destroy perfectly good products and I don't want that.  But there are still some essentials I want to keep on hand in the case of emergencies.
Cleansing Wipes
The first beauty essential that came to mind are cleansing wipes.  When it's hot out, makeup removal wipes can easily double as mid-day refresher sheets.  Back in the day, I'd remove sweat with napkins but makeup wipes are far more superior.   They don't just remove the dampness, they also collect the dirt or anything else contained in our sweat leaving us feeling fresh for the rest of the afternoon.  The only concern is making sure to seal the package properly so the sheets stay nice and moist.

Hair Accessories
It never fails, I leave the house with my hair looking decent, 2.5 minutes later, humidity has ruined my life.  Worse yet, I have no hair supplies on hand to salvage what's left of the original hair style.  Not to mention how many times that my hair has popped rubber ponytail holders leaving me with absolutely no backup. This has to stop.  From now on, my vehicle will have necessary hair supplies like pins, extra hair ties, a tiny size bottle of product and possibly a satin scarf.  Back in the day, I would keep my hair tied down, (if I had a long drive) until I arrived at my destination.  By the time I got there, my hair was soft, moisturized and was protected from the UV rays.

Sun Protection
Speaking of UV rays. This year I'm going to experiment with an SPF facial spray that I can easily apply without impacting my makeup.  There have been countless times when I've left the house for an afternoon walk realizing that I'm not wearing any sunscreen.  Keeping an SPF facial spray in the car would be quite handy.  Instead of walking back in the house, I can quickly mist and know that my skin is protected.

Makeup
The only makeup I think I'll keep in the car is a liquid lipstick or gloss (because I don't have to worry about it melting) and possibly a foundation stick.  Since the stick isn't a liquid, I don't have to concern myself with it getting too hot or spilling in the car.  And, if my foundation coverage wears off, I can touch up with a stick in a few seconds.  The last makeup item I'm considering to keep in the car is a coverage or illuminating powder.   Something like MAC's mineral skinfinish or NYX's powder foundation.  Just need to have something convenient to take away shine.  Blotting sheets don't really work all that well for me so they make a suitable alternative.

Let's not forget the other essentials like lotion and a small bottle of fragrance.

I know that many of these items can easily be carried in your bag but if you're someone who switches bags a lot, this makes it a bit easier.  Let's not forget the times when you're rocking a clutch with little room to fit anything else besides your cell phone and wallet.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

How to Ensure You'll Actually Do What You Say You'll Do.

ismail Alminda | 9:34 AM
An interesting thing happened over the weekend.  At the start of the year, I established the intention to "live a lifestyle that creates a desirable weight."   Ideally, I wanted to maintain a decent weight without having to work too hard for it.  The easier it was to maintain, the better.

At this point, I'm happy to say about 5 lbs away from my goal.  With 5lbs left, I decided to be a bit more intentional.  With the weekend approaching I told myself "I'm gonna eat healthy for the next few days."

Fast forward 24 hours and I'm ordering from a drive thru menu.  The following day, I place an online order for a veggie pizza.  That was in complete misalignment to the intention that I set the day before.  That's when I deiced to take a completely different approach.  Instead of putting out a weak intention and allow things to magically happend, I changed the strategy.


That very minute I decided what my actions would be the following day.

Before leaving the house, I told myself, "I'm going to the super market to pic up a salad for lunch."  A decision had been made.  Now it was up to me to follow up and make the right choice.  I headed out to attend a Beauty Convention. By the time I arrived, I had salad in the passanger seat ready for lunch time.  

The main difference between the drive thru visit and the healthy green salad is intention.  When I'm hungry (while out and about), I rely on past actions to make current choices.  This time, I was very specific about the action I would take before the time arrived.  I knew which grocery store to go,  I knew exactly what kind of salad I wanted. It was a clear imgage in my mind and every easy to execute.

You might remember from a previous article that past actions create our default future.  If we've repeated an action enough, it becomes a habit. More importantly, it's stored in our memory for future use.  We have to break that programming.  One of the first steps to take in reprogramming is to tell yourself  EXACTLY what you're going to do in when that situation arises.  When I told myself that I'll eat healthier, my subconscious had no way of interpreting that into real action.  But when I said, I will drive to Publix to pick up a water and salad, my desires were completely understood.

Last week, I told myself which specifically tasks I needed to complete on a daily basis.  I don't want autopilot making major decisions for me.

Not yet.

Running on autopilot can no longer be an option.  Not until I've invested weeks and months making the right choices.  Until then, this has to be a very manual process.  I have to chose what gets accomplished today and how I operate.  I must will chose actions that bring me closer to my goals.   Hour by hour I have to set the intention for what my actions will be for hour or day ahead.  This will be a continous process of setting intentions and course correcting along the way.  Just because I say I'm going to do something, does that mean that I'll execute according to plan 100% of the time? Of course not, but my chances of making better choices skyrockets when I set mini-short-term intentions instead of just letting things happen.

No longer will I allow leave my choices up to chance. We have to decide the exact direction of our hour/day/life before we live it.





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Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Only Protective Style Guide You Will Need For Your Hair Journey

ismail Alminda | 10:15 AM

Contents Best Practices Twists Braids Locs Weaves and Wigs Crochet If you are on a hair growth journey one of the most consistent themes you will hear is that you must do protective styles in order to see real growth success with your hair. These days most of us understand this concept completely and at […]

The post The Only Protective Style Guide You Will Need For Your Hair Journey appeared first on Black Hair Information.



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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Struggling to lose Weight? You're Probably Missing the Obvious Culprit.

ismail Alminda | 1:11 AM
A friend and I were having a conversation the other day about our plans to slim down by summer.  Both of us started off strong and experienced decent weight loss thanks to our newly formed habits. But now, we've hit a slight plateau.

I'm sure that a lot of that is related to some backsliding in our eating habits, but there could be something else at play.
That same afternoon, I jumped on a conference call where one of my mentors takes on business questions for aspiring entrepreneurs.  The second caller introduced herself and described her business.  She was essentially a wellness coach.  She went on to detail how many of her clients struggle with being lethargic, had brain fog and couldn't lose stubborn weight  (despite working out & eating relatively healthy).

Her strategy was to address the root cause by focusing on the gut health of her clients.  Once the gut becomes balanced, a slew of symptoms seem to suddenly go away.

A light bulb flashed in my mind.  I recalled watching a video of a Youtuber who discussed her 20 lb weight loss journey.  This girl was quite slender so it was quite a shock when she shared pics of her appearing quite chubbier.  Her issue was gastrointestinal (GI).  She actually didn't plan her weight loss.  After suffering from a sinus infection, she was placed on antibiotics.

Shortly afterward, she experienced quite a bit of pain and bloat in her intestines.  Eventually, she was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome due to the imbalance of bacteria in her gut.  IBS forced her to change her diet in a way that promoted a healthy GI tract.  Eventually, the symptoms went away and so did the extra pounds.

I've mentioned the study involving overweight and obese mice.   The difference between the two was their bacterial makeup. When we eat unhealthy for a long time, our bacterial composition shifts.  Even when we go back a balanced diet, the stubborn unhealthy bacteria remains. This could be the reason why we hold on to weight or gain it right back as the obese mice did.   Basically, the study implicated that gut bacteria actually drives weight gain.  One researcher said in her presentation that "our body's metabolic rate is directly related to our gut bacteria."

This statement is huge because when we think about metabolism, we typically only think about how it related to physical fitness.  We might be missing the biggest key to a healthy metabolism.
 We rarely think about our gut health but it's a huge part of our health.  Our bodies are made up of cells but our ecosystem contains just as much bacteria as living cells.  We feed our cells with oxygen & water. We feed our bacterial flora through the foods we eat.

Unfortunately,  diet choices, stress, and even modern medicine disrupt our healthy internal balance.  The consequences extend beyond a bloated stomach.  It affects our mental clarity, skin, overall health.   Are you constantly craving sugar and unhealthy food? This could be because of an overgrowth of bad bacteria.  The worse you eat, the more they thrive.

It's critical that we make our gut health top of mind because 80% of our immune system is in our gut.
For the past several days I've binged on countless videos on the topic of maintaining a healthy gut. At a basic level, we should all add a probiotic to our supplement regimen.  Then consider adding digestive enzymes to help break down the foods you eat.  Once we have that done, we should adjust our diet to promote a healthy gut.  Increasing our fiber intake helps a ton. It's also important to include gut-friendly choices like bone broth and fermented foods.

In recent days, I've been diligent with taking probiotics & enzymes.  I've already noticed a slight improvement in my weight.  If this continues, maintaining a healthy body weight could no longer be a struggle.





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Friday, March 17, 2017

An Open Letter Apology to Sulfates

ismail Alminda | 10:31 AM
An Open Letter Apology to Sulfates
There's a perfectly good reason to add shampoo to your regimen.
 Dear Sulfates,

Over the years, you've been given a bad rep. What started out as us just wanting to do right by our natural hair, has morphed into this anti-sulfate campaign that's got the facts all twisted and distorted - while lining the coffers of some folks looking to make a buck off the movement.

Let's be honest though - you're not completely blameless in all of this, sulfates. Back in the mid to late 2000s, you were a tough pill to swallow. You were in all kinds of products not formulated for our hair, and we didn't have a lot of options. You backed us into a corner, and triggered that fight-or-flight response.

We assailed you with full steam - accusing you of causing cancer, damaging and drying out our hair and scalps, and even causing unsightly frizz and breakage. Not only did we attack you sulfates, but we abandoned you completely in favor of co-washes, clay masks, and apple cider vinegar. Heck, we even inspired everyone and their mama to create shampoos and cleansers specifically avoiding you like fruitcake at Christmas.

But the truth is, sulfates - we were wrong. Well, kinda wrong. You don't cause cancer - we conflated your issues with those of parabens. You very well may damage our hair, but so does water. And sunlight. And combing. Protein loss is protein loss, and you're not squarely to blame here. And sure, our curls may feel a little dry after using you - but that's really just the hallmark of your effectiveness in removing dirt, oil, debris, and product buildup. In all honesty, we shouldn't have expected for our hair to feel the same way it would after co-washing when using you. That was foolish of us, and unfair to you.

I for one, would like to apologize for my role in tarnishing your name. It's my fault for not fully recognizing that things, much like people, have the ability to change and grow. You've found yourself  a new life in more cutting-edge formulas that mitigate some of the things we didn't like about you back in the day - like that dry, crispy feeling and frizz, for starters. You've even got the nerve to be in some shampoos that have slip. Slip!

Sooo yeah... my bad, dawg. We cool now?

Love, Peace, and Clarifying Every 4-6 Weeks,
-Christina

An Open Letter Apology to Sulfates
I'm seriously crushing on this shampoo...and not just because the bottle is cute!
Guys, sulfates aren't the enemy. In fact, they can be a friend and your bridge over troubled water when it comes to a healthy scalp and hair. I used to make a regular habit of shampooing with sulfates - especially when reverting back from straight hair. But somewhere along the way, I stopped and got swept up into the sulfate-free hype. Now, I'm not saying that sulfate-free shampoos are bad and I'm going to stop using them. What I'm saying is that there's a valuable place in a healthy hair and scalp regimen for both. If you've been dealing with itchy scalp or dry hair, this may seem counterintuitive - but grab a SLS-containing shampoo.

You might just be surprised.

But if you still need convincing, click here to read the truth about sulfates.

By the way, the sulfate-containing shampoo that I'm absolutely addicted to right now is 180PRO Intense Reconstruct Shampoo. It's creamy, lathers beautifully, has great slip, and didn't leave my hair tangled or feeling like a bale of hay. Plus, my curls and scalp felt super clean without being excessively stripped. You can shop for it at Sally Beauty :) #notsponsored #justbeingtheproductplug

Have you had any revelations around using sulfates in your regimen? Let's chat below!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Acne Scars | The One Instance Where Your Melanin Is Working Against You

ismail Alminda | 6:44 AM
A short while ago, I watched a video of a young lady enjoying an Oxygen Facial.  Once all the steps in the process were complete, the esthetician grabbed the sunscreen.  This is a pretty normal way to end every facial. But it was what the woman said during application that peaked my interest.

As the woman was rubbing in the sunscreen, she told the happy client that the sun's harmful rays are "attracted" to dark spots.  There was no further explanation.  Once the video ended, I went on about my day like normal.  But for weeks now, her comment has stayed with me.  I had to find out if her statement about the sun being attracted to dark marks was actually based on reality.


The wisdom of the internet has allowed me to understand more about her warning.  What I learned was that scars & blemishes don't have the same level of integrity as normal skin.  There's a certain level of UV protection available in normal skin that blemished skin lacks.  Simply put, acne scarred skin can't protect itself from the sun in the same way that normal skin can.

Here's the kicker, if you have darker skin you typically enjoy greater sun protection...but that don't mean anything if you are dealing with acne scars.  In fact, your blemishes will "attract" the harmful rays even more which is why we're prone to hyperpigmentation.  If you're a woman of color, you've got to be extra diligent with sunscreen, especially if you have acne prone skin.   That's one mistake that I made which cost me lots of time and heartache in the long run.

Warmer weather is just a stone's throw away.  For some, that means increased chances of finicky skin and breakouts.  If you find yourself dealing with acne this summer, you've got to make sunscreen a top priority.  And because some of us sweat during the day, reapplying your SPF might be necessary.
When I struggled with acne, I broke all the rules. I popped pimples and barely paid attention to wearing daily SPF.  It's no wonder why I constantly battled with dark blemishes.  Now, I'm super disciplined, knowing that any active scarring is like a magnet for harmful rays.  This time, I'm armed and ready for battle.

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