Did you get engaged during the holidays? Here are a few plus size bridal tips for your wedding planner or journal!
This year, homegirl will be 34. I have actually been embracing this, already telling folks 34 when they ask me. It is odd, this age thing. I remember being 18, thinking that 28 was sooooooo old… hahaha. Ignorance at its finest! But as I get older, settled in my being, I welcome it and as I become fully settled in me, I noticed that there are some things, beauty wise, that I have learned and have fine-tuned! So I thought I would share a few of these with you, especially after being inspired by Mattieologie’s 20s list!
Water is Your BEST Friend
In my 20s, drinking water was one of those things that you would get around to, for me. I did it, but not as much as I should, not as often as I should… HOWEVER, NOW? I keep a case of Smartwater or Aquafina, or whatever in my house. While I could still up my water intake, I am more consistent on my intake and man does my skin, face, and hair love me for it!
Hormones, Breakouts, and Skin Care- Oh My!
As sooon as I turned 30, my body, hormones, and skin started changing too. I was NOW sensitive to certain products and I would breakout. UGH. Quickly I learned, read, and studied on which products would assist me on this thing called aging. Now that I have them balanced, I have new cleansers, serums, and skin products to help me weather the changes!
Less is More or What Works For Me
I look at older pictures of myself and the layers of makeup I wore? Whoa. Dark brows, four eye colors and a liner, blush, and lip gloss… man! I was doing five much and looked so much older! I have found that as I have gotten older, less is more for me, allowing my natural features to be amplified or enhanced- NOT CONCEALED. So now, I hardly wear eyeshadow, if I do, it is a neutral hue or shimmer. I do a light blush just to give the cheeks a little pop, and my day to day application is minimal. For special occasions and events, I may go a little bit more on the eyes or lips, but even then, I keep it simple.
The Wonder of Jamaican Black Castor Oil
This has been a hell of a find. I use this religiously on my scalp, edges, eyebrows (because in my family, we were not blessed here) and oftentimes, on my skin if I have a dry patch. I have played around with various brands, but I do find myself always coming back to Tropic Isle JBCO.
Serum and Treatments are Your Friend
I am from the school or prevention and maintenance to keep things up to par. Meaning, if I take of my skin and face now, I will not have to resort to drastic things later… For me, I have played in a variety of daily and nightly serums for extra treatment and protection and my current fave is from AHAVA! I have also played with Skinceuticals and Oil of Olay! Those are my faves, but allow me the chance to prevent, correct, and to treat discoloration, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation!
Exfoliation is Key
I am about to make my way to Jeju for the ultimate body scrub. I cannot wait to slough off the dead skin all over my bawdy. I have played with scrubs off and on, both for my body and my face. And as I have learned more about its benefits and have used them more, I have become appreciative and an advocate for a great exfoliation. For my face, I cheat a bit with my Clarisonic or whichever type of facial brush thing I am using at the time to help keep my face in tip top shape!
Stocking Up On the Essential Oils
I used to be all about Baby Oil, Neutrogena Body Oil, and as I got older, have been blogging; I have found that the natural oils are my best friend. Coconut oil for the face, body, and for oil pulling! Shea Butter and JBCO for more pointed matters. Next to my water intake, I try my best to ensure my skin has its proper oils! Plus, I loathe being ashy! LOL
From Nude to Red Lips
I used to shy away from red on the lips. I was scared, unaware of how to make this work, and felt it was too fussy (I was thinking the reapplication and bleeding of the color). But then as I saw more and more fabulous blogger buddies rocking red, I tipped my toe into lip color and have found that red does agree with me and if I want to rock or make a statement, red lips help with this! Now? I find myself playing with all types of shades, pinks, oranges, and purples!
SPF Rules Everything Around Me
As a child, I grew up on islands. Both Hawai’i and Okinawa showed my skin extra love as I look back at how chocolate I was as a child! Hehe. But because of this, I now have sun damage in my eye and am hyper vigilant on coverage, yes, even as a black woman. L’Oréal and Skinceuticals have options that do not break me out and I even love the makeup that includes it.
Newfound Surprises: Is That A Mole?
Look. Because I tend to be all in my face, right at 30, I started noticing moles start to pop up on my face. It was odd, funny, and it felt like a rites of passage for me. Growing up, my aunts had these and when I started to get them, I felt like I was now grown. Now I look for BB creams that are sheer enough for light coverage, but that let my moles shine through… I love them and am curious to see how many more will pop up!
Waxing and Other Hair Concerns
I have toyed with this. Even wrote a hilarious experience of my first time waxing. Well, I have tried once more to situations even more hilarious, but I digress. As I get older, I have come to the terms with my hairy body, and if I choose to wax, it is okay and if I do not, it is okay too… my body hair does not determine or define who I am, it is only out of fear of ingrown and irritated skin that I realize this may be a better route for me.
The Silk Scarf Saves Lives
Or at least I like to think it does… Especially for my hair and pillow’s life. With the oils I put in, the protection of my hair and or weave, I opt to sleep in a silly scarf along with having a fancy pillow to protect it all. My hair loves me for this. And the days I may forget or am too tired to wrap it up (which is rare) my pillow still looks out for me.
I Do Not Play With My 7-8 Hours of Sleep
Mannnn. I am good for being in bed between 9 and 10 pm. Even if I do not get to sleep until after 11, my body tends to regulate life for me with giving me my full 8 hours of sleep. Girl, I feel rested, ready to take on the world, and I question, how did I live on four hours and a red bull in college? My sleep does not play as I get older, early to bed, early to rise… what do they finish this with? Oh yeah, “makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” I do not know about all of that, BUT I do know that I can function without always needing a nap! Although there are times when it is needed.
How To Do Your Own Manicure
I keep a little kit and set handy at all times. Even in my traveling kit, because you never know. Because I like to save a dollar, I learned how to do a generic manicure and how to maintain healthy nails! When I didn’t have my nails done, I oftentimes would dedicate time to care for my nails, from pushing back the cuticles, shaping the nail, and applying a hand scrub to exfoliate. And then if I wanted to, I would play in those nail polish stickers from Sally Hansen or whatever brand that had a cute design and voila, nails done.
Perfecting the Night Time Regimen
Ugh. I used to really hate it, but now? It is SOOO necessary. Removing the makeup and dirt, serum, ad nighttime moisturizer. Oiling of the scalp, edges, and sometimes brows. Nighttime showers feel like bliss and I notice I sleep better with them vs early morning. Lathering on the shea butter for the skin care is the perfect treat, especially by Belle Butters! OMG her products are like bliss for the skin, I promise.
The Body Wash
I have always been a body wash type of gal, rather than the bar soap. The way my skin feels after, the scent options, and the levels of moisturization are different for me. I have played around with a few, but because I ALSO have a tendency to break out like crazy on my back and chest, I have to be mindful of what I use. So I alternate between Oil of Olay, AHAVA, and Mario Badescu for my body wash.
Supplements Are My Friend
I have a few that I play with especially as I get older and my body needs more specific nutrients. From Super Food from Dr. Schulze to my Toji hair and nail supplements, I stay up on these. Now that I am working out and trying to get my diet in order (I do not eat enough in a day), I am also going to add more to my diet. It is important to make sure that I get the vitamins and minerals I need!
What? Facial Hair!
I was not prepared for this. Man between the lip and chin? I have become so frustrated and proactive about maintaining this, because I cannot have a mustache and a beard. I have had to be more diligent with my hair removal practices, because if I were to shave it off? Thicker and coarser it becomes. But then this just means, I have to be more diligent about my waxing appts. There goes more $$ well spent.
Let the Pros Handle It
In my late teens and early 20s, I learned how to weave my hair, dye it, perfect my manicure, apply nails, and quite a few other things. But now? After failed attempts, low tolerance for time or product wasted, and because I do not WANT to, I now leave the hair color, installations, and quite involved services to the pros- even facials. There are some things that are better left to them and I am NOT trying to pay THAT price for trying to cut a corner.
What to Splurge and Save On
Everyone has their own budget constraints and views on budget. For me, I find that playing in BOTH Sephora for the fancier finds, like my brow dip pot from Anastasia Beverly Hills and CVS for my L’Oréal Infallible matte powder and foundation works for me. I have had the more expensive foundations as well as the drug store variety. Depending on my coverage, matching, and finishing needs, I find that L’Oréal foundation suits me best. For my highly pigmented liners and lips, it is a tossup! I find that by playing around and choosing what works best for you is key. I do not need to have a MAC counter or the CVS Beauty Club in my bathroom. A mix of high and low works best for me.
The Eye Popping Mascara- A Few Coats Please!
Mascara makes all the difference for me. I may not have foundation on, but mascara? YES. With or without makeup, just a bit of mascara can change your life, honey! Let me tell you I have the curliest lashes. I have to be careful with what mascara to play in and I think I have learned the balance! I have played with so many, but my fave is a drugstore find by NYC and I keep it stocked!
Keeping Those Brows on Fleek
I learned how to do my brows when my mother put me in etiquette classes many moons ago. As trends came and left, I have always had to keep the bows uber filled in, because well I do not have thick brows. My hair is fine and thin up there, thanks to my mother… But I have bounced between Benefit’s Browzing and Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Dip Pot to keep them in line. Never underestimate the look of a great brow. A great brow will have you looking refreshed, awake, alert, and polished!
The MUCH NEEDED Makeup Remover
I looooove me a great wipe, especially if I am feeling lazy after a long day or night. My current faves are by Say Yes to Grapefruit and Simple Skincare. Both have a textured and smooth side to thoroughly remove makeup AND treat your skin at the same time! I do love a great dual action product. I used to go to bed with makeup still on my face decades ago, but now? NOPE. Gotta keep it clean! Sometimes, I will keep them in my nightstand, if it is THAT bad. LOL, IJS. Oh! And Mattie shared a tip to warm your remover for an extra special treat to yourself, I WILL TRY THIS!
Color Can Be and Usually Is Your Friend
For the longest time, I kept my lip gloss clear, my hair black, and my nail polish natural. However as I am at a playful and self-exploration stage in my life, I now have red hair (which I love hard), gold bold in my nail polish with fun patterns and hues, and play in bold reds and pinks on the lips! There is something quite exhilarating about color and the life it can breathe into your look. I have found that color agrees with me and tends to be reflective or can enhance my mood!
How To Stretch Out Your Pedicure
Sometimes either life or your budget can get in the way of the keeping the toes done. Over the years, I have learned how to make it work and how to keep my pedicures lasting. Even if I have to remove polish to apply those nail polish stickers (which last eons on your toes), I also use a pumice stone, apply shea butter and slip on socks to force moisture to the toes, and make sure that the cuticles are in tip top shape!
A Little Blush Does Wonders
I have always been an advocate of blush. However, over the years, the application of it has changed. I now only apply just a bit to warm the face, letting the cheekbones pop. Nars in Orgasm is my fave to do this, but there are a few other hues I play with. I hardly go out with a slight amount of blush, especially if I have on foundation, I want to look a little lively! A little bit goes a long way here!
Finding Your Signature Scent
Every few years, I go through this search or hunt to find an additional scent to add to the arsenal. It is funny how my mood, vibe, or feelings change with a scent added to the mix and in this case, it is Calvin Klein Euphoria and Swarovski’s Signature scent! It has evolved over the years, and I have found it nice to have a scent that works for you- to turn up or for everyday!
Paying Extra Care to Your Chest, Neck, and Hands
Man, nothing is quicker to tell your age than these places. Interestingly enough, I am also quite sensitive here, so when I am exfoliating, applying product, or in my day to day stuff, I am also making sure that I pay special care, using up and outward motions to protect and to care for these areas. I have my AHAVA hand cream, when I apply my serums and moisturizers, and SPF; I apply them here as well. I do not play.
Indulge In a Few Things
As I have gotten older, the things I used to scoff at are now a few of my little pleasures when it comes to beauty. I will spend a bit more on my lotions, and while I may not use them every day, there are moments that I want to treat myself and my skin. I may spoil myself with a new lippie from a luxe cosmetic line, out of curiosity and personal delight, or I may head to a day spa to unwind, pamper, and treat my skin. All of these are ways that I spend a little time and love on myself and while I may not do this every day, taking the time to do it every now and then puts a smile on my face and my body thanks me for it.
I am still learning about colors, products, and options that I have to play with when it comes to my beauty options. I am excited now more than ever, as I endure my own transitions with fashion that I also find myself playing around with more in the beauty world as well!
What about you? What beauty tips have you learned? Which ones played a major role for you as you have gotten older? Do any of these resonate?