Afro hair + Beauty + Fashion + Fitness

Jul 26, 2017

Tropic Skin Care Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum, Sun Balm SPF 50, Tinted Skin Shade Facial Sun Protection and Mangosteen, Thyme and Mandarin Body Wash


Very excited to review these amazing skin care products from Tropic Skincare. Tropic skin care offers high quality skin care products which are all Vegan and Cruelty free. All of their products are free from Parabens, SLS and SLES, Petrochemicals and more (see all here). It was founded by Susan Ma who appeared on the Apprentice in 2011 and has received a 50/50 partnership from Lord Sugar.

I think most bloggers (and anyone else that has ordered online) can agree that it's a really nice surprise when a company makes that extra effort with your parcel. As you can see, along with my products I received biscuits, a to-do note pad, a pen, tea and a makeup bag- which was lovely.

Tropic Skin Care Product Reviews

Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum, £42

Tropic Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum Ingredients

The first product is the Tropic Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum. This is a a restorative serum that "resurfaces the top layer of skin to reveal a brighter, more youthful looking complexion overnight". The key ingredients in this are Lime Pearl Extract, Glycolic Acid, Willow Bark, Papaya Enzymes and Hyaluronic Acid. As my skin has been very problematic lately, this has been a great help. Acids chemically exfoliate your skin so essentially it helps you get rid of old skin quicker. If my skin has been bad and is on the way to clearing up- this seems to speed up the process. It would also work if you have Acne scarring for example or hyper pigmentation. My skin is normal/dry and a tip is to first apply an oil around the driest parts of your skin (nose or sides of nose, around eyebrows and around mouth) and then apply the serum to the rest of your skin. Use this product 1-3 times per week, less if your skin is sensitive or dry. Also- remember to use sunscreen during the day after using acids on your skin as they make your skin more photosensitive.

Sun Balm SPF 50, £16

Tropic Sun Balm SPF 50 Ingredients

Next up is Tropic Sun Balm SPF 50, described as "A highly effective facial sunscreen balm for those areas of the skin prone to burning". Unfortunately I have not been abroad since receiving these products and thus not able to try it out that much. If you're on holiday somewhere where it's extremely sunny (or if you are of lighter skin tones and are more prone to sun burn) you can apply this to areas like nose, lips shoulders or any part which might burn quicker. During the heatwave a month ago or so, I was using this on my tattoos when sunbathing to prevent fading. I love this product and I'd say it's quite unique- I haven't seen many sun balms like this in the shops and definitely not one that mainly consists of natural ingredients.



Tropic Skin Care Tinted Skin Shade Mineral Facial Sun Protection SPF 50

This one is another product which really impressed me- Tropic Skin Care Tinted Skin Shade Mineral Facial Sun Protection SPF 50. I'd say being black you'd definitely be sceptical when it comes to any form of tinted cream. In my experience, if they are dark enough they tend to have a way too red undertone making you look orange. I was so pleasantly surprised when I first tried this and saw that it was an exact match to my skin tone. It's quite rich, but blends amazingly and I would even say it gives quite a bit of coverage as well. Another thing worth mentioning is that this formula includes the physical sunblock Zinc Oxide. This is common in more natural sunscreen formulas and it is very effective- however it is known to leave a white cast. The fact that it didn't leave a white cast even on brown skin was pretty impressive.

Mangosteen, Thyme and Mandarin Body Wash, £10



The last product is the Tropic Skin Care Mangosteen, Thyme and Mandarin Body Wash. This one was actually recommended to me and it definitely didn't disappointed. Sulfate free body washes can sometimes be a bit to runny and also they might not foam as much as a "regular" body wash. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was it a creamy body wash but it was also foaming quite a lot! Thoroughly enjoyed this and I have unfortunately already finished it.

Overall I was very impressed by all of these products as the quality was amazing.

Have you tried any of these?

xx

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(*) These products were sent to me to review
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Jul 15, 2017

How to get (booty) gains after a gym- plateau


This post is aimed specifically at people who have been going gym for a while and feel like their muscle gains or just strength increase have become stagnant. If you are just starting out at the gym, all of these points will still be applicable and would also work as good starter advice. I am writing from my own experience and things I try to keep in mind in order to keep me motivated to go gym, increase and push harder. As my gym goals are currently focused on lower body- I am focusing on Booty gains, however these tips would be applicable to other types of gains too.

 Set goals

Setting goals will give you direction, keep you motivated and driven as you are working towards something. Think of a mixture of long term goals like; become more healthy, increase stamina and lose or gain weight as well as shorter more specific goals to keep you motivated, like; train x amount per week, do two leg days per week, do abs every other day, squat 50 kg by August. When setting goals it's important to be realistic and not setting yourself up for failure. If you currently go gym once or twice per week, don't get carried away and set a goal of gymming four to five times per week. Instead, set a goal of two or three. As this goal is easier to achieve, chances are that you do achieve it- and the sense of accomplishment when doing so will encourage you to carry on and do better. If you always set goals that are too ambitious, you could end up failing- which will just make you feel discouraged. Writing down your goals is important, there is something about taking the time to write down your goals and then being able to either tick a box/circle or cross them out once you achieved them! 

 Track and write down gym routines 

This is one of the more recent things I have started to do. When I was gymming on and off years ago I used to write down all my gym sessions in an app, it was tedious and didn't allow full control over how and what I wrote as it had to be typed into the app. I then tried just writing down work outs casually in my notes, something I also got tired of eventually. So this time around I spent some time thinking about what would be the best way to write down my routines. At first I was thinking note book, but the OCD in me did not like that. I wanted something more organised so I went for a day planner. There's a whole page for you to write your exercise and it's easy to go back and see the exact date of the work out. This also allows space to add comments. I add comments like "increased" or "gave good glute-burn" or anything else that's notable. If your memory is bad like mine, or you are forgetful, make sure you write down the exact routine and weights used in your phone while at the gym so that you can transfer this information into your day planner afterwards. This has helped me a lot- I can go back and look at specific comments about work outs and analyse what made a work out more or less effective. I am trying to increase weights for a few exercises, so I can go back and see how long have I been doing a specific weight or how long did I do the previous weight before increasing. 

 New gym clothes/equipment

  Get some new gym wear as motivation. How you want to do this is entirely up to you. I am sure that you have heard the advice that new gym clothes will motivate you to go gym. This is especially common with people who are just starting out, they feel motivated, buy a ton of gym clothes and think that alone will keep them motivated enough to consistently go to the gym. If this works for you, please do it this way! However, my tip is to set specific goals (as mentioned above) and then gift yourself once a goal is reached. If you're goal is to squat 100kg, note down the treat you will give yourself once you achieve this. Now you can squat heavier and you can keep increasing while looking good in your new gym gear. Brands like Fabletics offer gym wear that works well but is also stylish, which will have you feeling and looking great in the gym!

Switch up your routine

By switch up your routine I don't necessarily mean the usual "change up your exercises" (although this could be beneficial too). I am referring to changing up your reps and sets or even the way you train. Although I have been training for a few years consistently, I am not a PT or a professional so I will not list specific set and reps combos, however I will say play about with pyramid sets, drop sets, super sets and tri sets. Explanations and examples of these can be found on most bodybuilding websites. You can also try out different forms of exercises (I am personally Not good at this). If you always train at the gym, try doing classes or working out outdoors or even playing a sport.

Don't blindly trust Instagram

Now don't get me wrong, there is plenty of good advice and serious trainers on Instagram and other online platforms. However, there are a lot of people who don't necessarily know what they're are doing, but they are still giving advice. This is not a dig at them and it also isn't to say don't take their advice- but just take everything you see online with a grain of salt as there are so many different opinions and advice out there that it can get overwhelming. You can of course browse Instagram for new exercises but make sure that you double check everything you see with trustworthy sources.


Since tracking my routines and regularly increasing weights I have definitely seen some gains, but I am always looking to improve my routines in order to achieve even better results and of course, enjoy my training even more. In the past, I would do 3 gym days per week. Most would agree this is too much, so I changed to 2 days per week. This has worked fine, but with 2 days a week (not on set days) there is a possibility that one week you might do Monday and Thursday one week, and then next week you could technically do Thursday and Sunday- leaving a whole week between two leg days. This definitely will not help your gains as your training is not very regular. Therefor I have this week switched my leg day routine up to every 3 days. Every three days technically is 3 days a week (some weeks, if you are doing Monday, Thursday, Sunday) but the following week it would be Wednesday and Saturday which is 2 days in one week. I would definitely recommend planning your leg days this way as you're training consistently which in turn will help you increase weights consistently.

What do you do when your training hits a plateau?
Have you tried any of these tips?

xx


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(*) This is a sponsored post

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Jan 30, 2017

MontBleu Glass Files Review- Glass Foot File, Zodiac Nail File, Tweezers, Glass Cuticle Stick

Hi Everyone!

Today I have some really excited products to review- glass nail files and nail tools from Mont Bleu. These are all available at https://www.design-glassware.com and I was kindly sent them to review for my blog. Now I have been blogging for many years and if you have been a follower of my blog during my first years of blogging you would remember that I mainly wrote about nail care and nail varnishes. You can see all of my posts about nail care here.

I have to admit it has been a while since I posted any nail related posts and that is why I am so excited to share these products. As of a few years back, I have only used glass nail files anyway. The first one I tried was from Superdrug or Boots, then I bought one in Sweden and the last one before these was from Primark I believe. What I like about glass nail files is mainly that they're not disposable like the emery board files- they can last for a long time and you can easily clean them. All of the ones I've tried previously actually broke in the end so that kind of defeats the purpose.
My Mont Bleu files have all lasted so far- and in all honesty I've had them for quite some time as my review is a little delayed due to a hectic University schedule. So I can definitely say they are of great quality and the best quality I have tried so far. Oh and lastly- they all come in convenient and nice cases as you can see.


MontBleu Glass Files Review- Glass Foot File,  Zodiac Nail File, Tweezers, Glass Cuticle Stick

I received a generous package containing all of the nail tools above. I believe I mentioned I like purple (my favourite colour) and that I'd like the Pisces nail file and as you can see I received loads more.


Here is what I thought about each of these nail tools:

Glass Foot File, €16 "Glass foot files and callus removers. Scrapers from Mont Bleu will gently remove hard skin and calluses, without any damage to the underlying skin and no danger of cuts or bleeding. The perfect alternative to your old pumice stone and metal scraper, glass scrapers are very durable and extremely hygienic. "

Before I was sent this product I didn't even know there were glass foot files. As you can see- it's made out of thick glass with the top part being the "handle" part and the top, clear part being the file part. I believe one side is more rough than the other but neither side actually feels rough. The result with this was actually amazing! I have previously tried Pumice stones and regular foot files and even thought they can remove skin they can sometimes leave your skin feeling a little rough- the opposite to what you want. With this file my heels are super soft every time I've used it, and I also feel like I have to use it less often than I would if I used a regular foot file or pumice stone. This is actually one of my favourite tools out of the ones I tried and I would purchase this myself if it ever breaks (which I doubt it would).

Mont Bleu Glass Foot File

Pisces Zodiac Nail File, €10: "Zodiac sign glass nail file “Pisces” made with SWAROVSKI® ELEMENTS. File is 135mm/5.32 inches long and supplied in velvet sleeve."


MontBleu Glass Files Review- Glass Foot File,  Zodiac Nail File, Tweezers, Glass Cuticle Stick

3-piece Nail File Set with Crystals for Women, €27: "Set of 3 glass nail files “Comet Color” in 6 charming color variations, made with Swarovski crystals. The set includes large (195 mm/7.68 in), medium (135 mm/5.32 in) and small (90 mm/3.54 in) crystal nail files."

As I have 5 different nail files, I am not going to review them all separately. The three matching ones which are purple and pink in different sizes are part of this 3-piece set. They have a ton of different combinations, I have looked through them all on the website. As with all of the tools I receive the quality is amazing and I personally think these would make perfect gifts, and so would the Zodiac nail file that you can also see in the picture. The medium sized one is standard size just to give you a reference. The smallest one would be suitable in a small makeup bag, for travel or  to keep in your hand bag- the large one I actually haven't used so far as I tend to reach for the standard size one- but this could work well for Pedicures!

MontBleu Glass Files Review- Glass Foot File,  Zodiac Nail File, Tweezers, Glass Cuticle Stick

Glass Nail File in Hard Case, €9: "Glass nail file in hard plastic case for extra damage resistance, 125mm/4.92 inches long; Purple color. Czech made glass nail file." 

I love this one! I haven't actually seen this design anywhere else and to be honest I wouldn't have thought of it either. Glass files are great but they can be a little bit sharp and even though they are of good quality- they are glass and could break if they were damaged somehow. That's why I love this one as it has an actually case to protect it- making it perfect to keep in your handbag! I used to always try to have a nail file in my hand bag before, I don't even carry makeup in my bag or anything but I often find myself needing a nail file which is why I've kept this one in my handbag ever since I got it. Also great to bring if you're travelling! I can confirm it does get through air port checks if you want to bring it as hand luggage.

Slanted Tweezers, €4.99: "Slanted tweezers for shaping eyebrow hair, made of stainless steel, purple silicon covered for easy holding"

I am definitely a Tweezer person- I have always done my own eyebrows, by plucking with a Tweezer and I have to admit Tweezers can be a bit of a hit or miss. I like the fact that this comes with a case and of course that it is purple, however I can't say it's the best Tweezer I have ever tried in terms of grabbing small eyebrow hairs so I find myself reaching more for my other Tweezer. I tend to bring this one with me when I travel though as it's still decent.

Dual-end glass cuticle pusher for manicure and pedicure, €5.49: "Dual-end cuticle pusher made of glass. Achieve healthy looking nails in minutes with perfectly designed glass cuticle pusher. Length 92 mm / 3.62", Diameter 7 mm / 0.28"."

Here is another favourite of mine and really impressive product! I always use the wooden cuticle sticks so this type of product was definitely new to me. It was hard to get a really clear close up pictures of this one with my camera, one end is the sharp end to clean under your nails and the other is the actually cuticle "pusher". They are both of actual file material so I am a little cautious using this under my nails to clean them as I would with a wooden one. I tend to use this more to push cuticles down- the facts that it is a file material makes it more effective than a wooden cuticle stick to push down cuticles without leaving any "residue" behind.



Overall I loved these products as I am sure you can tell and I would definitely recommend that you visit their website which I linked in the beginning of their post or check out their social media accounts which are linked here: Twitter Pinterest Facebook Google+


Do you use glass nail files and how do you like them?
Have you ever seen or tried a glass foot file?

xx

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(*) These products were sent to me to review
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