SPF Frustrations : Follow Your Instinct

I’ve had a frustration revolving around SPF as of recently. I’ve been listening to people who have the education to back up their advice to people. Estheticians who know more than I do. I trusted them. And I still do. But SPF seems like it’s such a tricky area. I’ve been told ‘SPF 30 or 35. No more. No less. And make sure it has Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.” I follow this advice. Then it doesn’t work. Some people can’t tell when their SPF is working. But I can see the difference with my skin. I end up getting freckles underneath my eyes and above my lip. My skin becomes more flushed. And it becomes darker. Not tanned dark. But red dark. That’s not my natural skin! My skin is naturally very fair. The shade “Snow” from Honest Beauty is still too dark for the skin I have. I was scratching my head. I wasn’t getting these freckles or darker skin when I used a higher SPF. I’ve bought different SPF’s all from the suggestions of professionals.

Devita SPF 30

Suddenly, I look on youtube and am seeing different information from different professionals. Suddenly SPF 15 is perfect? WHAT?!  Suddenly the skin on my chest is darker as well as the tops of my arms and face. I was frustrated. And I still am. I’m listening to these professionals and nothing is working. I wasn’t having this issue when I was using SPF 60! I told this to someone over the counter who was a certified esthetician. Her response ‘It’s good to have colour in your skin.’ SERIOUSLY?! I don’t care about being tanned. I like my pale skin. SHITTY ADVICE! At this point, I’ve given on up listening to professionals in this area. Since I started going off the suggested path for skincare I stopped breaking out, I don’t have bumps on my face anymore and my inflammation has gone down significantly.

mario badescu SPF

But here is a tricky question. Is it bad not to listen to professionals? I’ve had that circulating in my head constantly. Am I saying all trained professionals are wrong or bad? No. I can’t stress that enough. I think I’m just one of those unfortunate folks that fall into that small percentage where the skin products that help a large number of people does fuck all for me. At this point, I’m going back to using high SPFs. I recently got wigged out seeing a few older individuals who had fair skin but sat in the sun a lot and had severe sun damage to their chest, shoulders, and arms. I see nothing undesirable about being pale. And I accepted my pale skin years ago. I have zero desire to be tanned.


Word of advice, just go by your instinct if nothing is working for you. I spent…fuck. I don’t know. Must be a well over couple of hundred on trying to find the perfect SPF over the years and me having to listen to constant conflicting information. To any professionals out there who may read this, please bare in mind I really and truly tried. Inexpensive, expensive, eco-friendly, mainstream, so on and so forth. I really tried. But my skin has only been fucked in the process. I have nothing but respect for work that’s put into what you do. But I just cant follow b whats been suggested to it.

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TAG! 10 Random Beauty Facts

Tag! You’re it! We all insert random beauty facts in a few posts here and there. Whether it’d be in a review or a haul. But there is always some stuff that people don’t know about you. Do you have a pet peeve when it comes to makeup? Do you detest a certain style? Do you have certain rituals that are unique that you have not heard someone else mention in a video or blog? Here is where you mention it. I tag anyone who wants to do this blog or even in a video. I’m not sure if this is a unique tag. But I’d be interesting to see your posts on it. 



I Don’t Like Dying My Hair ▸ I actually stopped dying my hair nearly three years ago. And I ended up loving my natural hair colour. But recently I made the mistake of going back to black. And I became super depressed. I’m pretty close to my natural hair colour again. But I have no plans on dying it any other colour ever again.

I Buy Only Cruelty-Free Products ▸ This is a personal preference. I’m not pushy. But I decided to buy non-animal tested products a couple of years ago. Everything from my body washes down to my mascara is not animal tested. I also make the effort to buy vegan products. But I’m not strict with it. But avoid it when I can. Just as long as it’s cruelty-free, I’m content.

I Never Fake Tan or Sunbathe ▸ Everyone either has the patience or looks good with it naturally. But I am naturally pale. And I’m happy about that. I’ve tried two-hour tans before and gradual tanners. And I am not only bad at it but also feel happier with pale skin. I salute you babes out there who have the patience to do it. Because I just sit there and say “fuck this” and always miss certain spots or it becomes patchy as hell. Not to mention, I don’t see what’s so unappealing about fair skin.

I Don’t Like Lip Products ▸ I’m a bit of a weirdo on this one. It takes a very special lipstick or lip gloss in order for me to enjoy it. I do own a few lipsticks and lip glosses but outside I’m just not enthusiastic about lippies, in the same way, the rest of the world is. I’m rather happy with just lip balm or at my fanciest, tinted lip conditioner. I just don’t have the patience to deal with the maintenance of it and deal with the discomfort I often feel that comes with lip products.

I Never Contour ▸ I’m bad at it. I look stupid with it. And I just don’t see it as a necessity for everyday life. Out of all my makeup products I own, I have no intention of ever owning something to contour my face. It’s a chunky face naturally. Contour won’t fool anyone.


I’m Too Picky with Cleansers ▸ I don’t know what on earth made me become so obsessive and fickle with cleansers. But everyone always emphasises how important it is to cleanse. And I still have yet to find ‘the one’. Everything either feels too drying, leaves residue on the skin, aggressive with exfoliators in the formula, or unnecessarily expensive.

I’m Obsessed with Sheet Masks ▸ Through ’em at me! I love sheet masks. I used to think masks were not effective and a waste of money and time. But now that my skin is more so leaning towards the dry side, I feel like sheet masks are very effective for dry/dehydrated/sensitive skin. Depending on the formulation. And I almost feel like I can’t live without them now.

I Don’t like Heals or Dresses ▸ I do very much consider myself to be feminine. I like playing with my hair and makeup. And I do like flattering clothing. As many do. But I just can’t stand heels and dresses. Then again, you’re reading a post from someone who doesn’t wear shoes ninety-five percent of the year.

I am Very Skincare Focused ▸ I honestly feel like I can live without foundation and concealer if I can resolve those issues. I’m not someone who deals with even mild acne. And I don’t have scars. My dark circles are not something I inherited from my father or mother. They weren’t there naturally. If I can find a skincare or nutritional solution where I can avoid things like foundation, concealer, and brow makeup, I will put in the effort. In the meantime, I use all these things sparingly.

I Have a Pet Peeve for Cutey Pootsy Packaging ▸ Again, it’s a pet peeve. It’s minor. But I’m just not into makeup or skincare packaging that’s overly decorated or has little kid like art on it. Like hearts. Flowers. or even if it’s just obnoxiously bright pink. I don’t mind the subtlety of pink. Like what Honest Beauty has. But one of the reasons why I rarely buy from Too Faced is because their packaging just eats at me. Some people love it. But I just can’t do it. But it’s personal preference. Some people love pink, hearts, bows, butterflies and such. I love blues, blacks and whites.

The Warmth of Autumn ☉ Featuring Lavanila Fragrance

I miss the autumnal time of year. I miss the smell of pumpkin spice everywhere. The warm colours of red, gold, orange, and caramel browns. The leaves crunching underneath my feet. The air having a chill but just enough warm to step out without a jacket. It’s a season of peace for me. A time where I enjoy the transition of seasons and of course, the start of comic con. But I begin to miss it more when I smell this perfume by Lavanila. The warmth of the vanilla and sandalwood and blending with the sweetness of something such as goji berry, guava and peach nectar really makes for a unique perfume. It’s not terribly or typically sweet like candy floss body sprays you can get for cheap in drug stores. And it’s not overwhelming with a musky note. Like when you think of a senior citizen that overkilled it. Trust me. I’ve had that occasion sitting behind one of my grandmother’s friends in church. The headache was real.


Perfume holds a special place in my heart. Both my mother and grandmother were always gifted perfumes for either birthdays and Christmas’s by their husbands.And always Estée Lauder.

My husband started doing the same the first Christmas we were engaged. I loved my Sensuous Nude. But it was time to break the tradition once I went cruelty-free. I choked up using the last spritz. I didn’t think I would love another perfume the same way again. I tried many others. But it wasn’t the same. It’s like a relationship. Either it works or it doesn’t. Once I discovered Lavanila I wanted to jump for joy. Lavanila’s perfume is both cruelty-free and vegan. I find it if you’re like me where you don’t want to smell like dear old nana or smell like you went back to middle school days. It’s mature but still youthful. And according to the description, utterly desirable.

Perfume is a unique product that can either appeal to our senses and works with everyone’s body chemistry very differently. While this scent works for me, Lavanila has various other scents available.

Minimalist Foundation Routine ☲ Alima Pure

You Want to See if I’ve Got the Minerals?!

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets the ‘Snatch’ reference? I couldn’t help it. 

I’ve come to realise that when it comes to my base products, the less the better. Not even just the amount of makeup you wear, but the ingredients within the product. Mineral has shown me that it’s both convenient and non-turbulent to my skin. I’m not against wearing any other form of cover. But once you start learning how to wear mineral products, it becomes just as comfortable and easy to wear. Alima wasn’t the first brand I had tried for mineral products. But I’m now rather dedicated to the brand.



║Note║  I have normal to dry skin that is very sensitive and mildly acne prone



The best advice I can give before wearing mineral foundation is to apply moisturiser ages before you apply foundation. If you still have a very moist layer of moisturiser from either a cream or an oil, it’s only going to be a patchy mess and start to change the colour of foundation you’re wearing. So take your time unless you’re in an utter rush. Also, apply a nourishing concealer underneath your eyes before applying foundation.


Pearluster Eyeshadow with Protective Plug Stopper that Prevents Mess

Though I do notice the brand is starting to develop pressed products, like foundation and eyeshadow, the loose mineral products would be more beneficial for you who deal with celiac disease. If you’re on the high end of severe with your celiac disease, then stay away from the pressed products. Also if you’re someone who wants to keep the ingredient listing as short as possible like me. 


I want to point out that all the products I listed above are vegan-friendly. I read through the ingredients. No carmine. No beeswax. No silk.

Alima Pure Lip Tint’s

I thought I would mention their lip tints for the sake of being consistent. Alima was throwing in their lip tints for orders over $30. I personally prefer tinted lip conditioners over every cosmetic lip product on the market. Comfortable. Low maintenance. And nourishing. So first order they chose Paprika for me. Second I chose Blackberry.

Paprika ☲ Described as a terracotta red

Blackberry ☲  Described as a sheer merlot

Though I very much love these lip tints, the only thing that prevents these from being perfect is the use of beeswax and carmine in their formula. I’m hoping at some point in the future, that they find an alternative to beeswax and carmine without it compromising the hig pigmentation, nourishing and smooth formulation

To sum it all up, I feel that Alima Pure is one of the better mineral makeup brands out there. I feel like I can effortlessly build coverage, not irritate the skin, and completely avoid the animal testing while having a high end feel to the packaging. 

Healthy Powder Mixes ≣ Energy ◌ Anxiety ◌ Hydration

I only started experimenting with mixed when I tried a hydration powder from a different brand and saw a difference with how I felt. Then I heard about magnesium powder and a few other things. I thought ‘why not’. These powders have been really helpful for me. And I really want to suggest them to you guys.


Natural Vitality Natural Magnesium » I usually don’t like to get detailed about my mental health publically. It’s something I feel uncomfortable with. Anxiety has been apart of my life for a long length of time. But since the start of 2016 I’ve been dealing with panic attacks. Even when I was trying to fall asleep in bed. My head often circles around the worst things possible and that’s no way to live. Does this replace medication? No. But it helps a lot if you need to get to sleep because of your anxiety or if you can’t concentrate.

Remember that when it comes to anxiety or whatever else you are dealing with, it’s not a replacement for therapy, medication or anything else that may provide you some ease. I’m a firm believer in options. The Natural Magnesium is just another option. 

MegaFood Daily Energy Nutrient Booster Powder » I have this really bad addiction to caffeine. Coffee and fizzy drinks are a nightmare for me. I hate relying on things like coffee. Especially since I usually use things like coffee creamer in order to enjoy it. I want to get energy the healthy way. Through my food. The best part about this is that you can mix this in with juices and smoothies. You won’t get an overly potent taste when mixing this in with your stuff. Not to mention you’ll get a healthy dose of antioxidants from the green tea and B12.

Ultima Health Products Replenisher Balanced Electrolyte Powder » I’ve been dealing with chronic dehydration since I was 24. Not sure where it came from. But I’m dealing with it. Sometimes the recommended amount of water daily does not cut it for me. It affects me in many ways. Dry skin. Bloodshot eyes. The headaches are the worst part of it. Adding this on top of my recommended amount of water to consume daily helps to ensure that it keeps my electrolytes balanced and prevents me from getting those bloody headaches. If the flavour of the mix doesn’t tickle your fancy, they do have others to choose from. But I personally enjoy the orange and add in lemon juice.


I have to add in another reminder. Please remember to drink water. I think even when people hear beauty guru’s say to drink water that they either shrug it off or find it interesting because water has no real appetising taste. Even if it’s fruit infused water. We are made up of mostly water. And it’s important to remember to drink it. Whether you have acne, dry skin, or headaches. When you drink water your health can improve by a good mile. Whether you see it or not. 

Nice to Mint You! Peppermint Delights ❦

How delicious is peppermint! Sure. It makes your breath smell nice. But there is something so satisfying about the taste of it that other products don’t have. Why? *shrugs*. All I know is that I’ve been addicted. Let’s look at a few fast facts about the benefits of peppermint in your diet. I won’t get all technically with these huge words and phrases on you guys. Let’s keep it simple. 

╣ Anti-Microbial ╠ It’s a fancy way of saying it’s one of those oils that helps to stop the growth of a lot of nasty bacteria developing and helps to prevent certain fungus from progressing any further.

╣ Breathe Easy ╠ If you have asthma, or general breathing issues (admitted snorer), peppermint has a certain substance that is beneficial for those with nasal symptoms.

╣ Digestion ╠ Peppermint has been said to relieve issues revolving around your stomach. If you have indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (lovely), you may very well wanna try this out. Apparently peppermint can soothe the muscles that are around the intestines that prevent it from getting all wonky.

I think those three are enough for me to want to continue with my favourite tea and chocolates. I didn’t even know peppermint had vitamins like vitamin C, manganese, and copper. That kinda threw me. But it’s a good enough reason. 

So, what can you have that has peppermint in it? Not those red and white swirling hard candies. And not those York Peppermint patties. A lot of that stuff not only has a ton of sugar but also egg whites, and corn syrup. Which kind of ruins the health benefits that can come from the product. So let’s get to the good stuff.


Wei Chocolate ║ Wei Beautiful is one of the many flavours that this brand carries. Wei Beautiful is the recipe that carries peppermint in the ingredients. And it’s absolutely delicious. I discovered these beauties from Sarah Nagel AKA HolisticHabits on Youtube.

  • Vegan friendly
  • Gluten free
  • Soy Free
  • GMO free
  • Organic
  • Fair trade

It is also made with organic coconut blossom sugar instead of the standard cane sugar like we can be used to seeing. So it’s lower in glycemic. If you’re diabetic, I don’t think you’ll have a lot to worry about with this brand a tall. Not to mention the benefits of the cacao in the ingredients. Which is a whole different blog post.


Traditional Medicinals Peppermint Tea ║ Though I am more so fond of the loose leaf version of tea’s, this is the one brand that is available pretty much everywhere I shop. Even my local petrol station’s mini mart. Yep! No joke. It’s been something that I can easily get a hold of if I can’t make an order online. For something that is organic, and even made with unbleached tea bag material, this is a pretty amazing product. I always end up putting two bags in my cup. I like potency.

The list of bonus’s from this brand are never ending…

  • 98.9% percent of Traditional Medicinals are botanical raw ingredients certified organic
  • 100% of the teas they have are non-GMO verified 
  • Fair trade

Let me know if you try Wei Chocolate or if you drink peppermint tea. If so, what brand? Loose leaf or bagged? Also if you have been using it either to eat, drink, or applying topically, let me know what you use it for. I have been using beauty products with peppermint and tea tree as of lately. I will discuss it in blog posts coming up.  ت

The Demand for Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Northern New Jersey

I will first mention that I have an appreciation for the fact that my local grocery store has improved with their selection of organic, gluten-free, vegan options. It’s made life a bit easier for those who choose to live a plant-based and green lifestyle. Or for those who have celiac disease and a gluten intolerance. So I will give no disrespect to that what so ever. But with the growing selection of these items in stores like Shoprite, Weis, or Stop and Shop seems to come a new addition to the cluster of fast food places. I personally don’t appreciate walking outside of my local grocery store and seeing a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Dunken Donuts right on top of each other. Am I saying get rid of them? No. I’m not going to be the asshole who sits there and says that something should be bulldozed or be made illegal. People should have the options available to them. No matter what lifestyle they live.

Orgain Organic Almond Milks

But if people who enjoy fast food get to have their options, why can’t I have my favourite brands available to me in my own lifestyle? My closest Trader Joe’s is a half an hour away from where I live. My closest Whole Food’s approximately almost an hour! Sure, I can get almond milk, soy yoghourt, and even coconut whipped cream from my local store. That’s absolutely fantastic. Again, that’s not my complaint. My complaint is the lack of options and the price pain I have to deal with as alternatives to having to go to the actual store that is a long distance drive. Let’s analyze this a bit with the question’s I have been asked.

“Why not just bite the bullet, drive, and buy in bulk” ≣ Good point. And I have done that. But it’s still irritating to have to pay a whopping amount in gas to drive an hour or even a half an hour to a supermarket. Some say it’s worth it. And I would agree if I didn’t use these specific item’s up so fast with my cooking. So that bulk that people say to buy goes rather fast. Especially when you’re cooking for more than just yourself.

“Just buy it all online then!” ≣ Seems simple. But still costly. I love Vitacost, and LuckyVitamin. But there is still a high cost to these products. Though I have not bought from VeganEssentials yet, I still have to pay extra to make sure that my imitation cheese that is not available in my local market is not going to go to waste in the process of shipping. So I have to pay even more to make sure it gets to me and not go off on me. Also don’t forget that they don’t always carry what you’re looking for online.

Are you with me on this? Adding the shipping costs, sometimes sales tax, and the product itself (which can cost more than what it’s priced for in stores) adds up to a huge fucking amount. 

  • UPS Ground (3 Business Days in Transit, $10.99)
  • UPS 2nd Day Air (2 Business Days in Transit, $24.99)

Mind you, when I saw my favourite cream cheese on VeganEssentials.com I was thrilled till I saw it costs more on the website than it does in stores. $8.79 for a cream cheese online or $5.99 from inside whole foods. Hmmm! I wonder which one makes more sense. I’m not sure how much Kite Hill cream cheese costs near you, but for my grandmothers local Whole Food’s it was just $5.99. Which seems expensive to people who just prefer regular old Philadelphia cream cheese. But to people like me who enjoy something dairy-free, and gluten-free, that’s pretty fucking cheap. 

“It costs that much for a reason” ≣ Yeah. I imagine it does. But when you don’t want to spend more than you have to, does it really make sense? Do I really have to? No!

I have a special appreciation for Trader Joe’s due to its affordability and wide variety. Though organic isn’t a priority for me, it is for some, and dairy-free and gluten-free is a priority. I know a few people who have an appreciation for Trader Joe’s because of those reasons. but when I messaged Trader Joe’s twice in the past two year’s I am met with a very dismissive automatic message that say’s

Aloha and thank you for your interest in our stores. Emails have been flooding in with suggestions for new store locations in neighborhoods all over the U.S. We love that!

Rest assured, every email is read and your recommendation will be passed along to our real estate folks.

The best place to find new info concerning which neighborhoods we’ll be in next is the Trader Joe’s Locations page at http://www.traderjoes.com/stores

Call me a princess for acting a bit upset about this, but am I the only one who get’s a bit annoyed at these messages when you email customer service? This is the same email I received last time I messaged them about this concern! I pretty much feel like I am being ignored. “every email is read and your recommendation will be passed along to our real estate folks”? Seriously? How am I sure you’re going to do that? In all seriousness. I would be less insulted if someone called me and told me “Listen, we can’t find the kind of property that we’re looking for in your area”. I’d rather be disappointed by that news than be absolutely infuriated by a message that basically says “Yeah. That’s nice. We’ll look into it”. It’s the equivalent to have someone hanging the phone up on you when you’re trying to get information.

Again, I know I sound like a princess when it comes to this issue. But my area isn’t exactly booming with healthy restaurants like New York City. We won’t have a Candle 79 in Sussex county at any point soon. When I go to my local grocery store, I can’t even get a full fresh pack of bloody strawberries with a good percentage of the pack being rotted. This is an example…


Yep. That’s right. MOLD! I swear, sometimes I think the people try to hide the mouldy ones so that way it gets sold. This isn’t the first time. It’s nearly EVERY TIME! I’m trying not to act like a diva about this. But I kept my frustration held back whenever I kept thinking to myself “If only a Trader Joe’s was closer”. I kept thinking that I was being a spoiled brat. But at the same time, when I go to my grocery store and I see I only have one option of imitation shredded cheese, but the rest of the more conventional shoppers have more than five, I feel a bit annoyed. I feel like those who are in the Sussex county area should have the same wide range of options the same way conventional shoppers do. I don’t want to have to pay $11.99 for coconut oil when I can pay $6.99 for Trader Joe’s.


I might live in a small area of New Jersey. But that doesn’t mean I should be limited with my options. And that doesn’t mean I should have to accept the fact that I would have to spend a total of more than an hour driving back and forth to a Trader Joe’s, or more than two hours to drive to a Whole Food’s to get the dairy-free, gluten-free, or even organic self care items for myself. Remember this is not counting traffic. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate either of them at all. But I would rather have one or the other then have another fast food joint like Checker’s, or Pizza hut. We have so many empty properties in our area that has yet to be taken up by anything worth customer attention. A lot of the empty spaces that could be taken by Trader Joe’s are not being taken at all. For what purpose? I don’t know. I’d like to be informed by a human being rather than a machine at this point.

If anyone from Sussex county, New Jersey feels my frustration on this matter please let me know the comments section. I wanted to address this rather than accept it at this point. It’s either that or not nothing get’s done at all. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, organic, or even have celiac disease at this point. I know many people who are none of these things but enjoy the selection that is provided by both of these stores. I don’t know if anyone else has kicked up a fuss the same way I have, but I’d like to know people have my back on this.