Skin Care 101: The Basics

I have a confession to make: I neglected taking care of my skin for almost five years straight. In my teens I was obsessed with having clear skin, and I used Neutrogena facial wash religiously as part of my pre-school morning routine. However, by my college years I was sleeping in my makeup, neglecting to wash my face, and using any product I could grab to moisturize my skin. As a result I suffered from random breakouts, discolorations, and dry patches all over my face. After developing a love/hate relationship with my skin, I realized I couldn’t just keep using makeup to conceal the damage, and I started researching and teaching myself proper skin techniques. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of my favorite skincare essentials in hope that someone out there avoids the damage I put myself through.

 

Cleansers: My cleansers usually change with the season or if my skin is in need of a specific ingredient/formula. My current go-to cleanser is SeneGence’s 3 in 1 Normal to Oily cleanser, it cleans your skin, exfoliates, and tones all in one. I love that the product is detergent free and helps balance the skin’s Ph level.

Honorable Mentions

Lush: Dark Angels – great for oily skin

Philosophy: Purity Made Simple – great for all skin types

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Facial Scrubs/Exfoliators: Until recently, I never knew how important a good facial exfoliator is to have in your skin arsenal. In my mind exfoliating was something strictly used by professionals in day spas only. In reality everyone should exfoliate at least once or twice a week to help get rid of old/dead skin cells and leave you feeling soft and smooth. I can’t just pick one facial scrub so I will list my 2 favorites.

Fresh Sugar Facial Polish: smells wonderful and includes wild strawberries that help brighten your skin

SeneGence Facial Resurfacer: you only need to use very little of the product and it contains SenePlex complex for anti-aging/cellular renewal(more information about this coming soon).

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Moisturizers: My skin is picky when it comes to moisturizers so I keep it very simple. Shea Moisture Head-to-Toe Coconut oil is my current favorite. Coconut oil is full of antioxidants that keep your skin looking youthful.

Honorable Mentions:

Pixi by Petra Glow Mist: great to wear under makeup or to refresh your skin for a glowy look.

Alba Hawaiian Oil-Free Moisturizer: perfect for summer weather because it’s very light-weight.

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My final skin is secret is occasional visits to an esthetician. Even though I have a reliable skin routine, it’s always good to go to an expert who is knowledgeable in proper skin care services and techniques. Licensed esthetician and Youtuber Christina Hayes was nice enough to collaborate with me by filming a Q & A about her journey to become an esthetician and the benefits of visiting one.

 

 

 

 

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Product Review: Natural Heir Skin Care

This post is a partnership with Elements of Aliel featuring their Natural Heir skin care line for kids. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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My poor child inherited the dry skin trait from both of her parents. When she was an infant we struggled for months with her eczema: she would have breakouts in the creases of her arms, behind her knees, the back of her neck, and her face. Four years later the eczema flare-ups have subsided but she still wrestles with dry skin on an almost daily basis. After trying numerous ideas and products to help soothe her skin we learned that natural based products worked the best for her. This is why I was so excited when LaKeisha A. Entsuah reached out to me to use and review her Natural Heir body and skin care line, which she developed for her daughters to use from birth to their teenage years.

The Natural Heir line features 3 products: Mud Pie All Over Cleanser, Cream Pie Moisturizing Butter, and Wild Flower Oatmeal Bath Soak.

Mud Pie is an all over body cleanser made with African black soap, chamomile, and other natural ingredients. The name Mud Pie really fits this product because it has a unique consistency that still lathers well when used. I love how this left my daughter’s skin feeling smooth after her bath and the soap didn’t strip the natural oils from her body.

Cream Pie is a moisturizing body butter made with shea butter, avocado oil, castor oil and other essential ingredients. Our nighttime routine consists of bath time, lotion, and pjs. Usually I have to apply lotion again in the morning because her skin just seems to sucks up moisture, but with the Cream Pie body butter her skin was still soft and hydrated the next morning. It goes on smooth and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling after use. This is definitely my favorite product in the line.

Wildflower Oatmeal Bath Soak is an oatmeal soak infused with chamomile, aloe, and bentonite. As soon as I opened the packaging I knew I was dealing with a truly all-natural product. We love this product because it was great for itchy skin after playing outside. The Wildflower bath soak soothed my daughter skin and helped reduce some of the irritation caused by bug bites.

The Natural Heir website states:

This product line aims to be their introduction to clean/non-toxic self-care. It is also a way to teach our children to value themselves as royalty, both physically and mentally. To understand the importance of how what you put on your body affects your whole being.”

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I truly feel LaKeisha A. Entsuah accomplished this goal with the Natural Heir line. Not to brag, but my daughter is a pretty smart girl and she knows when her skin is out of whack. Having these items around the last few weeks has helped me begin to teach her the importance of using good quality natural products on her body and she actually gets it! Natural Heir is a great and affordable children’s skin care line and I’m excited to continue using the products to show my daughter the importance of taking care of her skin and body. For more information checkout their website and Instagram page .

 

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Brand Ambassador: Pineapple Clothing

Our Sunday family outing turned into a Disney dress shopping spree for this kiddo but at least we were cute  (Look at how adorable our tops are!!!)

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We’ve team with Pineapple Clothing to be brand ambassadors for their mommy and me line. If you have the time check out their website; it has tons of mommy and me outfits just in time for Easter. Get 20% off with the code: beeedw 

Shop: Pineapple Clothing 

 

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DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

February is the month of hearts, love, and flowers, but if you tend to procrastinate in the gift department like me then you’re probably rushing to find the perfect gift for your significant other. Don’t fret, because I have some last minute DIY Valentine’s gifts that your loved ones will fall in love with.

(pictures via pinterest)

Valentine’s Day Jar

Step Outin Style!

Mugs Set

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Sweet Treats

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Spa Time

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Love Notes

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Let me know some of your favorite DIY projects in the comments below and don’t forget to follow my Pinterest board for tutorials of the projects listed above.

 

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Review: Heart Street Market App

Let’s be honest, technology is pretty much inescapable when it comes to our kids. But with many games lacking educational substance or showing things not suitable for younger children, it’s imperative that parents keep watch over their children’s devices. I always select games for my daughter that help her grow as a learner, so when I was contacted by the Heart For Heart Girls company to review their mobile game, Heart Street Market, I was more than happy to play this game with my daughter and get her feedback.

 

Game Concept:

The Heart Street Market mobile game explores the lives of  Rahel, Nahji, Consuelo, and Dell.  Each girl takes you on an adventure to explore their countries and play mini games helping them collect supplies to build their unique neighborhood.

 

Heart Street Market features the H4H doll characters who represent their respective geographical regions on a globe. Within each region exists various mini games which exercises various learning skills such as pattern recognition/creation and basic math. However, I would suggest if your child is around four years old or younger that a parent or someone older play along with them as some of the games may be a little difficult. For example, my daughter (who just turned four a month ago)  became a little frustrated with a snake-like game in Nahja’s town because it was a bit hard for her to control. Once I played along with her a few times she slowly began to understand how to play better.   

 

Many of the mini games feature similar controls and functionalities but may have different gameplay mechanics and are themed for their specific countries. One example is the matching gameplay of Rahel’s raindrop game (my daughter’s FAVORITE game) and Consuelo’s bakery game. Even though they both require the player to match items on a board, Rahel’s game uses the matched raindrops to fill jars of a specific color while Consuelo’s bakery game matches pastries with a Mexican theme.

 

Outside of the games there is also a marketplace where players go to purchase mission items using the in-game currency earned from the mini games. These mission items are then used to help build the neighborhoods of each H4H girl’s geographical region. One aspect of the marketplace that was a bit confusing was the navigation. The marketplace has numerous stands where players go to purchase items, however these stands aren’t really labeled so it becomes kind of a guessing game as to which stand held what items. After playing for a while it becomes a little easier to find certain items in the marketplace but it does take some time to almost memorize these locations.

Overall my daughter really enjoys the app and as a parent I feel this is a great game for children that can help with various learning skills while also discussing culture. To download the game a one-time purchase of $3.99 is required, but keep in mind the app does not require any other in-game microtransactions to play once it has been purchased. So if you’re looking for a mobile game with a little more substance than something like Candy Crush for your kiddo, I’d highly suggest giving Heart Street Market a try.   

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You can purchase the app here:

Android 

Apple

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MommyMode: Raising a Strong Daughter

“She’s sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.”

 

The quote above describes my daughter to a T. She loves to learn, expresses herself using creative outlets, and is completely fearless when it comes to jumping off of everything she sees. In a few days my daughter Brielle will be four years old, and while I’m still processing this fact, I am extremely proud of the kid she’s become so far. From the day I was told that there was a little queen growing inside of me, I knew I wanted to raise her to be strong. With this new wave of black pride sweeping across our culture, I am more confident than ever that even after she leaves the nest, my daughter will continue to flourish as self-confident black woman.

 

I’m still learning tips and trick along the way but here are a few of my favorites I’ve rounded up so far:

 

Let her create her own identity:

As parents we often have an idea of what we want our kids to be like; from sports to clothing we low-key always want some input. But around the time Brielle turned 3 we decided as parents to start letting her pick out her clothes or choose what activities she would like to participate in to help her build her own identity. There are still situation where we step in to make executive decisions(because wearing Jordan flip flops in 10 degree weather is not going to happen), but for the most part we give her space to be herself.

Surround her with positive examples:

My daughter made me a better person, so everyday I try to be a positive example for her in return. I also make it a goal to surround her with positive images with her books, clothing and tv shows, making sure she sees people that looks like her in a positive light. Representation Matters.

Raise a free thinker:

I want Brielle to always be a free thinker. It’s easy to get boxed in to society’s norms and feel the need to do what is expected of you.  I’m raising my daughter to make her own choices,  ask questions, give her opinion, and do things HER way.

 

 

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