Nail Talk: Old Friend and a New Acquaintance

When I was at CVS to pick up my skincare stuff, I got distracted…by the nail polish aisle.  All the colors!  All the brands!  And then an old friend caught my eye.  Possibly one of the best top coats ever in life!  Fast drying, super shiny, pretty long wearing…what was I doin???  SMH.  But here’s the lovely product of which I am speaking.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

So glad to have it back in my collection.

I also was introduced to a new polish line, well kinda.  I’d seen reviews on the brand by one of the YouTube beauty gurus julieg713 (she’s awesome; love her vids) but i didn’t know it was sold in my local CVS.  I picked up one of their shades, seen below:

Essie Nail Color in Eternal Optimist

Essie Nail Color Eternal Optimist

A very nude color with some pop to it.  Can’t wait to try it and I’ll try to post pics when I do.

Until then…

Love and God Bless,

– T

Skin Care Update: Prescriptions and Ingredients

As I mentioned in my last skin-related post, I’m supposed to be on a dairy fast.  Key words “supposed to be”.  See what had happened was…smh.  It’s been a little hard to do that man!  Free food at the hospital, hot days leaving me craving gelato, ya know.  But I can say I’ve been doing it in moderation and I see minor differences…not very much.  But regardless, I’ve moved on…lol

Last week I finally got a chance to go get a check up at the Doctor’s office (you know, gotta set that example as a future medical professional; tryna practice what I preach), and while there I brought up the issue of my skin and she prescribed me some Retin-A (which is a Vitamin A derivative that’s one of the first line agents in topical acne treatment, meaning that’s what you apply to your face) along with Minocycline (an antibiotic that’s also a first line agent but in systemic treat, meaning it’s a pill you ingest).  Now this may sound surprising, but this is actually the first time I’ve spoken to a medical professional about my skin troubles, which thinking about it now is pretty wack, for lack of better terminology, considering it’s been plaguing me from high school.  I guess it’s one of those things where I really thought over time it would all resolve on its own…we see how well that turned out.  But anyways, I’ll definitely be keeping you all posted on how these new additions work.

Also, in talking to my physician about just general skin care, she recommended gentler products for both cleansing and moisturizing.  Nothing to harsh in my cleanser and nothing that would clog my pores or aggravate my skin, which makes sense.  I’ve already been on the right track with my Cetaphil cleanser but when I took a closer look at my moisturizers I made some shocking discoveries.  My daytime moisturizer, Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Daily Moisurizer with SPF 30, has received lots of rave reviews and has pretty much been adequate for me except for my face being naturally oily and the moisturizer doesn’t really do much to help with that.  When I took a closer look at the ingredients however, I was shocked to see that WATER was actually the very last ingredient (!!!), which usually means that it’s the ingredient with the least quantity in the product.  I mean, what the heck???  Isn’t the point of a moisturizer to keep the moisture in your skin?  How are you gonna have moisture without water?  Smh Aveeno, SMH! 

Now on to my night-time moisturizer, Ponds Dry Skin Cream (which I used at night-time).  I don’t know why I didn’t pay more attention to the ingredients when I actually bought the product but here goes.  Good news:  The first ingredient is Water.  Yay!  Bad news:  The very next ingredient is mineral oil.  BOOO!  Mineral oil, although in itself not bad, when used on the skin it can be difficult to absorb and possibly lead to clogged pores.  Needless to say, I decided to replace my moisturizers with some less expensive yet better alternatives.  and here they are.

NEW DAYTIME MOISTURIZER:
Black Opal Daily Fade Lotion with SPF 15

Black Opal Daily Fade Lotion 2 oz. SPF#15
First Ingredient = Water
Bonus:  It supposedly helps to fade dark spots (of which I have many b/c of my acne) for a more even skin complexion.  Not really counting on it, but it would be a nice bonus/surprise.

NIGHT TIME MOISTURIZER:
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for All Skin Types

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

First two ingredients:  Water and Glycerin (cha-ching!)

So yeah, hopefully I won’t have to do any more tweaking to my skin care regimen anytime soon.  Will definitely keep updating.  Ready for this next phase.  Stay tuned!

Love and God Bless,

– T

My New Fave Hairstyle: The Southern Tease Bun

Ever since I saw this hairstyle on The Feisty House, I fell in love….and have been doing it as often as I can.  It’s so easy but according to one of my friends, it looks like I put some work into it lol.  And best of all it’s probably the greatest for protecting my ends to help with the growth challenge that I’m currently on.  I’ve been doing it for a hot minute and it’s AWESOME.  Thanks to Koos for sharing the wealth!

FYI:  This style was done on an old curlformer set and the pics were taken after I worked out at the school gym and it still looks pretty good!

(Had to add my signature one-sided flat twist…lol)

Love and God Bless,

– T

My Skin Still Sucks + Dairy Fast/Experiment & Science-y Stuff (^_^)

Refer to title.  WOMP WOMP!  Now time to move on to another plan.  As per some discussions with my friends and some research done on my part, I’ve decided to try something different.  But first some background, and this is basically going to be a paraphrase/layman’s terminology based on a variety of sources and just my thought process as guided by this info.

The underlying cause of acne is due to clogged pores secondary to bacteria, inflammation, failure of dead skin cells to slough off appropriately, and primarily increased oil production by the sebaceous glands, which respond to levels of hormones in the body.  More hormones = more oil production by these glands = clogged pores and acne.  And this is one of the reasons why some women break out around the time of their menses:  because of the high levels of circulating hormones in the blood stream.  Which brings me to milk and milk products.

Now as med students, and probably the general population as well, we’ve been taught that there isn’t a real connection between a person’s diet and the presence/severity of acne.  However, the one discrepancy is when it comes to dairy.  This component of one’s diet has been shown to be associated with acne and here’s why.  Milk and milk products contain a certain level of varying hormones, including estrogens (the hormone that dominates in females), progesterone (the pregnancy hormone), and androgen-precursurs (androgens can be converted to testosterone, the dominant hormone in males) as they are coming from a lactating cow.   And therein lies my though process.

Now I know, how much I love dairy products.  Not big on straight up milk at all.  In fact, I don’t drink milk period.  HOWEVER, my vice lies wherever there is ice cream, cheese, sour cream, yogurt…etc.  See the problem?  If this theory is true, I’ve been completely messing myself up man!  So as hard as this may be I have decided to a little experiment:

For the next two weeks (4/21/11 through 5/5/11), I will be on a complete dairy/dairy product fast.

I actually don’t even know if the dairy products are the major contributing factor to my skin troubles, but considering the amount that I consume, it’s definitely a very high possibility.   By changing only that part of my daily routine, I can definitely get a good hunch.  If I see any significant improvement upon completion of this fast, I will definitely cut back on the amount of dairy in my diet, and seriously consider cutting out all dairy products completely.  *sigh*  This is gonna make going to Chipotle a bit challenging…smh.  But sacrifice is needed…lol

I will definitely keep you guys posted as to what happens.  Hopefully this helps, otherwise, I really am gonna hit up the dermatologist….

**For more info you can reference THIS ARTICLE published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology based on a retrospective study**

*DON’T FORGET TO:  1.  Click HERE to follow the blog and THEN 2.  Click HERE to enter for the BIG Giveaway!*

Love and God Bless,

– T

New Series: T’s Good Eats

Quick intro to a new series on the blog called “Good Eats”.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love food.  Anyone who’s ever been out to dinner with me knows how much I enjoy trying new places that have good food ESPECIALLY when there’s good dessert!  YESSSSS! lol.  And, you would also know that if I’m excited about what I see I really enjoy taking pictures for memories/sharing sake.  And I decided, what better place than right here on the blog with you guys!  Not really reviewing, just lots of pics lol.  So be prepared to get very hungry!  Coming up is  a 3-parter featuring some places I got to try while I was in Champaign, Illinois.  Stay tuned!

Love and God Bless,

– T

Personal Post inspired by Gretchen Parlato’s “Still”

After listening to this song a countless number of times and then seeing Gretchen Parlato performing it live last night, I just had to do a blog post on this.  The song:  “Still”.  The message:   Unconditional Love.

The song for me does two things:

1.  Reminds me of God’s unconditional love for us.  He says “Even if you do XYZ, I still love”.  “No matter WHAT you say or do, I still love.”  How awesome is that???  So undeserved….but yet He does it free of charge, no strings attached.

2.  Inspires me to cultivate that type of love.  How many of us can say “Even if he makes me cry, I still love.”  “Even when things fall apart, I still love; Even if you break my heart, I still love.”  That is a super difficult pill to swallow!  Yet that is exactly what we’re called to do in every aspect of our lives and in all of our relationships. 

Seriously, this love business, romantic and non, is something that people spend millions of dollars (I’m assuming) and countless moments of life trying to understand and we probably will never be able to fully wrap our heads around it.  Only God knows, which kinda makes sense since that’s what He is lol (1 John 4:8 – “God is love”).  And since our human minds can’t fully understand who God is….I guess it’s no wonder we find it hard to completely understand love….But that’s a whole other story.  Mercy lol.

My prayer for today is just that God helps me to keep working towards developing that unconditional love towards my fellow-man:  my family, my friends, in my relationships:  platonic and romantic; my future hubby…and even the stranger I may meet on the street.  May I whole heartedly be able to say: 

Through my joy and through my pain, I still love
Like the sun that follows rain, I still love
No beginning and no end, I still love
Love so love comes back again, I still love

Love and God Bless,

– T