Vlogmas 2018 | Week 1

SHE BAAACK!! I’m finally back to doing Vlogmas, and I forgot how fun it is! Hope December has been treating you all well. I’m equal parts stressed and excited. Anyways, there really isn’t much else to say, so if you want to watch the first week of Vlogmas, you can watch it below 🙂

💖, B

5 Local Bloggers / IG Accounts You Need To Follow!

As someone who is constantly on the lookout for new and interesting content, I have always found blogger / Instagram round ups super helpful. As a blogger myself, I love that round ups make finding other like-minded people super easy and accessible because of the fact that a bunch of profiles are curated together in one post. I decided to put together my own roundup of my 5 favourite local bloggers and Instagram profiles that I have stumbled across over the past couple of months. I’m guilty of creeping every person on this list, so if you’re looking for new people to follow, look no further! (And even if you aren’t from Calgary, I still think all of these ladies are worth checking out!)


 

Chelsea Tan – IG: @chelseadaily.co / BLOG: chelseadaily.co

I found Chelsea’s Instagram profile through hashtags (seriously, they’re the one place I would recommend looking through, especially if you’re looking for local people to follow), and I’m really glad I did! It’s also how I discovered her blog. I really love her blog because she writes about her adventures around Calgary, which makes me want to go out and explore. I also love how she keeps it real and isn’t afraid to talk about more personal things, such as her mental health. I feel like I can relate to her in a lot of ways (My favourite blog post of hers is this one, where she talks about her university experience. I relate to this so hard, and I feel like a lot of my followers might too!), and I admire her realness and transparency. It’s something I think social media (and the world in general) could use more of.

Ally Rasmussen – IG @ally.raz

My local girl crush, in every sense possible!! First of all, Ally’s feed is goals. I love how clean she makes everything look. So aesthetically pleasing! I love her sense of style, and I get so much outfit inspiration from her. She also recently went blonde, so make sure to go and comment on her pictures and tell her how much of a babe she is!!! Ally is more than a pretty face and feed though. She also does tarot card readings, with more information all conveniently located on her IG profile!

Karleen Valencia – IG: @karleensamson / WEBSITE: karleen.ca

Okay, so I don’t know if this is biased because she’s my boyfriend’s cousin (also it feels weird to just type Karleen because ya girl is a respectful Filipina ok), but Ate Karleen is just goals in general. If you’ve read my blog post about representation, I talked about how I never really had any Asian role models that looked like me. But ever since CJ and I started dating, and I timidly introduced myself to her, Ate Karleen has become one of the strong (literally), female, asian role models in my life. She honestly drips in confidence, is effortlessly cool, she’s super involved in the community, and is an all-around powerful human being.  I love the way she takes and edits her photos, and I admire how she is just always herself. Ya girl is already working towards getting on her frequency.

Dezleigh Teodosio – IG: @dezleighh / BLOG: dezleighh.com

I have actually been following Dezleigh for a while now. She was kind of the first local “influencer” I found out about. As ignorant as this sounds, back before I started learning about blogging and making money through social media, I always just assumed people who have large followings and who work with brands couldn’t be from a place like Calgary. But Dezleigh has proven me wrong (obviously). Since I started following her, she has grown her audience considerably and has gotten to work with numerous brands, which is well-deserved because you can tell she works hard and deserves every opportunity that comes her way! Her blog is more than just your typical lifestyle blog. I love her outlook on things, and that she talks about more than just beauty and outfits. Dezleigh talks about a lot of personal life experiences, and she is continuously learning and growing. You can feel her bubbly personality through her posts, and is definitely someone who is worth a follow!

Shaleza – IG: @shaleza.yyc

I found Shaleza’s IG account on my Explore page. The one thing that really made me interested in her profile, and made me want to follow her right then and there were her flatlays! She composes them so well, and her flatlays never look too “staged”. Since I’m such a sucker, it makes me want to go out and buy all her favourite products. On her page, you’ll find lots of beauty and makeup related photos, outfit inspo, some quotes to get you through the day (which I personally love and think are so cute!), and nailfies! And if you know me, you know I admire a fresh set of nails, whether on me or someone else! Shaleza is totally relatable and her IG feed, to me, is one big mood board.


And there you have it! Please give all these lovely ladies a follow, I’m sure you won’t regret it. If you have any other bloggers or Instagrammers that you think I should check out, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments! And they don’t even have to be from Calgary, I love anyone with a pretty feed!

💖, B

Go Best Friend, That’s My Best Friend!!

November 4, 2003.

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I walk into my fourth grade classroom and the first thing I notice is a big office desk placed behind all the other standard sized desks. My homeroom teacher isn’t in class yet. Everyone is talking abut how there must be a new student coming to class. I got excited. I, myself, was new to this school this year, so it would be cool and also comforting to not be the “new girl”. Sure enough, my teacher walks in with a girl following behind her. I get even more excited because my school is a predominantly white school, and the girl walking behind my teacher was asian, like me. She was around my height, also wore glasses and looked like someone I could be friends with. My teacher introduces her to the class as Chrissandra, and Chrissandra then takes a seat at the big desk at the back of the room.

Fast forward to lunch. Chrissandra is sitting with a girl that our teacher assigned to be her unofficial guide to our school. My friend and I are sitting together eating our lunch and I kept staring at Chrissandra, with one burning question on my mind. Apparently in my 8 year old mind, I really needed to know the answer to this question, so I went up to her and asked “Are you chinese?” … And that was pretty much the start of our best friendship (BTW, she’s Filipina).

15 years.

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That’s a long ass time. I’ve known Sandra for 65% of my life! Crazy. She’s been in my life longer than she has been out of it. I have been through it all with this girl. Ups and downs, phases, tears, laughs, first jobs, first cars, breakups, makeups, graduations … just growing up in general. And our insiders? Oh my gooodnesssss, all the insiders. (BLUE BUNNY!) Not only is this the longest friendship I have (and will ever have), it really is one of the truest. After experiencing so much with her, I can confidently say she is like a soul mate to me.

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I have had the privilege of watching her become the person she is today. She has always been someone I look up to because of her confidence, her independence, her resilience, her toughness and her silliness. In 15 years, we have both changed but in a lot of ways we are still the same. We don’t talk every single day, but we always manage to pick up where we left off. I’m so thankful to have someone who is always so supportive of me, who always cheers me on and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Also let’s be real, it feels great when we’re together and it feels like we’re in our own world. I never have to pretend to be someone I’m not around you, and I’m never scared that you’ll judge me.

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Anyways. This is just a short and sweet post to say how much I appreciate our friendship. It’s also an excuse for me to look through old photos and post them on here for everyone to see. I don’t know who I’d be or where I’d be if I didn’t have you to help shape me into the person I am now. You already know how I feel about you and our friendship without me having to go too cheesy. I’m so proud of who you are and who you are about to become! Thanks for being my best friend, and also for introducing me to CJ hehe. I love you long time!

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💖, B

PS: check out Sandra’s website here to learn more about her!

Fenty Beauty Unveil Stunna Lip Paint | Review

Since Fall is officially here (even though it’s been snowing here in Calgary), it’s the perfect time to transition your makeup to more warm tones. Warm tones and nudes are my true calling in life, so you know I come fully alive at this time *drools*. It’s been a loooong time since I posted a review, but I’m super excited for this one. If you’re following Sephora or Fenty Beauty on Instagram, then you saw that Rihanna launched three more shades in the Stunna Lip Paint collection. The first colour she announced was the one that I’m reviewing for y’all today – Unveil. As soon as I saw it on IG, I went right to the Sephora website and purchased it immediately (although I kinda wish I waited because the second colour, Uncuffed, is soooo pretty too and I need it in my life). Anyways, this is the longest intro ever, keep reading if you want to know my thoughts on this product!


BASICS

  • $31.50 CAD
  • Universal chocolate brown shade

CLAIMS

  • One-stroke intensity
  • Weightless, 12 hour, soft matte wear
  • Won’t feather or transfer

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Unveil is such a beautiful chocolate brown colour. I don’t have anything like it in my lip collection, and it came at the perfect time, because I think this is the perfect fall shade. If you’re feeling bold enough, you could definitely wear this as an everyday shade. Personally, this is the kind of shade I would wear for parties or special occasions!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

First of all… the packaging… WOW. I love anything geometric looking and clean lines, and the packaging is all of that. It feels like it’s made from high quality materials, and honestly looks like art. The doe foot applicator (if you can even call it that) is definitely interesting. It kind of looks like a small boot. If this review was solely based on packaging, then the Stunna Lip Paint would get an easy 10/10 from me.

APPLICATION

I found that when I went to apply, there was actually a lot of product on the applicator. It was almost too much product for me and I felt like it was overflowing on my lips. The formula is kind of watery/lighter than I’m used to. If you have full, plump lips, this probably won’t be a problem for you, but it’s something to watch out for if you have super thin lips.  I really liked the smaller applicator because I found that it made application more precise and I felt like I had more control over the product.

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WEAR

The pigmentation of this is crazy. It’s so deep and rich like actual chocolate. On your lips, it dries down a bit darker than what it looks like in the packaging, so it’s not a colour for the faint of heart. This is pretty comfortable on the lips once it dried down. It felt light, and I couldn’t tell there was product on my lips. It’s definitely more comfortable than some Colourpop matte liquid lipsticks that I’ve tried (still love u tho @colourpop). The Stunna Lip Paint didn’t make my lips look like a butt hole (you know what I’m talking about, right?!) and didn’t dry super chalky or flaky.

I did the kiss test, and this isn’t completely transfer proof but I will say that the amount of transfer is super minimal. Now, I didn’t use a lip liner and I put Vaseline on my lips before applying, so maybe that’s why I experienced a bit of transfer? Either way, it’s not a huge deal to me.

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So I didn’t wear this for 12 hours, but I did wear it for the majority of the day (about 8 hours?). It faded pretty drastically, but some things to take into consideration were that 1) I didn’t line my lips and 2) I ate with it on. I would say that’s pretty standard though, at least with most of the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried. I re-applied over the parts that faded, and I didn’t experience any discomfort or balling up of product (again, like many other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried). It lived up to the “no feathering” claim, which is pretty impressive, considering I didn’t use a liner with this. 

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After a day of wear

FINAL THOUGHTS

First of all, I love the colour and the packaging. It was super comfortable and enhances the look of my lips, rather than making them look deprived of hydration. I love the precision wand and found that it definitely made a difference in application because I had so much more control. With that being said, I think the applicator picks up too much product and if you aren’t aware of it, application could get messy real fast. I read over some of the one-star reviews on the Sephora website, and this was the number one complaint. It’s definitely not transfer proof, but that doesn’t bother me much because I expect that of every lip product.

Overall, I wanted to fall in love with Stunna Lip Paint, but it wasn’t revolutionary in the world of liquid lipsticks. It lived up to most of it’s claims and the colour looks great on my lips which is all I really need in a lipstick, but it didn’t blow me away. (I want to try it with a lipliner and see if I get different results. I was pretty bummed that it faded as much as it did). There isn’t a lot of colours in the collection, but since all four shades are supposed to be universally flattering, I don’t think that will be too much of a problem for anyone.

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If you’ve tried out the Stunna Lip Paint, let me know your thoughts in the comments! Did you have the same experience as me, or did you find it to be less than satisfactory? I need to know!

💖, B

Fighting Post-Grad Blues | 11:47 PM Update

My entire life, I had this idea in my head that after getting a degree and making my parents proud, life would just be uphill from there on out. It’s been about four months after walking the stage, and I’ve been feeling pretty confused. However, I’ve been reflecting a lot and I wanted to write my thoughts out. Despite how rambly this might be, it might help someone in my situation not feel alone. And it’s good for me to write down my emotions and thought processes so I can look back and see how much I’ve changed. I’ve wanted to become more personal with my blog, so it felt only right to post this.


As I write this, I’m snacking on mini M&M’s in a bath robe, and I have been scrolling through so many job postings, my eyes are starting to burn. I think back to how I felt graduating and walking that stage, and I compare it to how I feel now. Confused, hopeless, honestly a little bit scared. Now I’m not going to discredit all the hard work I put into graduating because I worked my ass off and finished on such a high note! But a bish is going through some post grad blues right now. Reading through the endless lists of qualifications that I don’t meet has me bummed out. I’m not asking for sympathy, because I know that a big reason why I feel the way I do is because I didn’t take advantage of opportunities. At the same time, I was doing things I didn’t want to do to please others, at the expense of my happiness. But I digress (LOL). I realized this is not what I want to be doing. Like am I stupid for thinking that there has to be more to life than working a 9 – 5, coming home, then doing it all over again for the rest of my life? Why can’t I find a job that I love and am passionate about? Why don’t I know what I’m passionate about???

In an ideal world, I want to wake up every day and know that I’m fulfilling my purpose in life. I want to help people, I want to connect with others and I want to be happy and feel limitless. I want to come home exhausted from a job that doesn’t feel like work.  An ideal world doesn’t exist, but who’s to say that I can’t create one for myself? And I want to do it without fear. How many times have you heard people who are older than you say they wish they could go back and do more with their life? Like, no one ever really regrets the things they do. They look back and wish they did more, pursued more, became moreSo much of my life thus far has been ruled by fear, and I don’t want to end up like the people who wish they could go back in time and do what they wanted to do, regardless of how crazy it seemed at the time. Fear has kind of ruined my life, but I’ve allowed it to. At least I’m aware of it now.

And it’s not even about a career either. I want to become the type of person that my younger cousins can look up to and admire because I wasn’t afraid to take risks. I want to be someone that radiates so much positive energy that it’s contagious, even to people I don’t know.

Your brain is your most powerful weapon, but it can also be your downfall. It’s time to get focussed, speak your plans into existence and go out and do it! The two main things that have really helped me thus far have been:

  • Making goal lists: CJ and I made one for a bunch of time periods in our life, and wrote down as many as we could. I found that this really helped me see what I really wanted in life, because a lot of my goals repeated over the years. Doing this helped me envision an imaginary endpoint and helped me sharpen my focus on where I want to be, and how I could get there. And it’s up to me to do whatever I can to reach these goals. I also liked doing this because CJ and I talked about our goals together and how we could help each other achieve them. I think it’s nice knowing someone is on your side, and since we know about each other’s goals, we can help keep each other accountable
    • We made goals for tomorrow, next week, one month from now, six months from now, a year from now, five years from now and ten years from now, but you obviously dont have to do that many. Set a timer for a minute, and just write whatever comes to mind first!
  • Reframing my mindset: I try to see everything as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle. When I dread going to work, I just tell myself that more hours mean more money and more learning opportunities – something I didn’t necessarily have when I was starting out. When I dread exercising, I just keep telling myself that I’m one step closer to achieving my dream body, and by making changes to be healthy now, I will be able to live a long, healthy life and be able to keep up with my future children and be there for them. Rather than letting myself stay in a state of anxiety and stress when I think about my future, I let myself feel those emotions, and then realize that nothing good comes without struggle.
    • This is not to say that the underlying message is “Stay positive!!” because let’s be real, life sucks sometimes. I think this only works when you can accept that life is not perfect and you will never be perfect. Some things are going to suck. And you’re going to hate doing them or going through them but failure is a part of life and you need to accept that in order to be successful.

If you made it this far, then wow. I hope this made sense in one way or another. I feel like a bunch of people are going to read this and roll their eyes, and that’s fine. Like, I get it. Re-reading over some of this has me sounding like an entitled crybaby. Maybe I am… But I just ask that you have a little compassion and realize that the route you are taking to navigate life is not the one I, personally, can or want to take. I might fail. But I might not. And I’ve made leaps and bounds from where I was 5 years ago, and that’s something I want to celebrate because it means that I’m changing and I have the potential to find what out what I want in life. I think I’ve come to the realization that the only way to get out of this “funk” I’m in, is to do everything the opposite of how I’ve been doing it. It makes me uncomfortable, but I’m also feeling confident. To me, that means I have nowhere else to go, but closer to the person I want to become.

To end off, here’s an uncomfortably close up photo of my face. Kinda awkward, but I’m feeling myself and my eyes say “You got this bish!!!”. Nothing worth having comes easy. I know myself, so I know I’ll figure it all out and find my way eventually. Until then, you’re all invited to accompany me along my journey! If you have any tips, or comments you would like to share, please feel free to reach out in  the comments 🙂

💖, B

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August Favourites

It’s officially the end of summer y’all. How was summer for you guys? Mine was amazing. I feel like I did so much, while also being able to experience full-time work for the first time. As much as I have loved the summer heat, I’m lowkey really excited to wear my winter parka (YES, I already know I’m going to regret saying that once Calgary hits -40C).


Influencer by Brittany Hennessy

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I found out about this book months ago, and it got released at the end of July which gave me lots of time to devour it this month. This book is all about how influencers, bloggers and the like can take their platform to the next level. Full of tips, tricks and insight on the industry from Brittany Hennessy. She’s the senior director of influencer strategy and talent partnerships at Hearst Magazine Digital Media. So she knows what she’s talking about. I loved this book because I genuinely learned valuable information that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I’ve been utilizing some of the things I’ve learned from this book, and I’m already seeing growth (mind you, it’s not a crazy amount of followers/engagement, but it’s constant and that’s what matters to me!).

I think that regardless of how many followers one has, any person who is interested in using their blog or Instagram page as a side hustle can benefit from this book. It covers everything from creating quality content, attracting followers and negotiating deals with brands. Truly valuable information.

Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser

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This is something I picked up from the Glossier showroom when I went to New York in June (If you’re interested in seeing the things I got up to in NYC, head to my Instagram! My whole NYC trip has it’s own story highlight on my profile). This cleanser is perfect for those with normal or sensitive skin. It reminds me a lot of Cetaphil, because it’s so gentle on my skin, but still super effective in the sense that it cleanses and keeps my skin moisturized. If you’re looking for something that will fight acne, or help with oily skin, this is most likely not the cleanser for you.

I only use this cleanser in the morning, and I apply it on a dry face.

Glossier Boy Brow – Black

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Another thing I picked up from the Glossier showroom! I bought it because my cousin said it was her holy grail brow gel, and her brows are ALWAYS on fleek, so I figured that this would work for me. Long story short, it made it onto my monthly favourites, so you know I LOVE this. I’m so sad I didn’t get more than one (I’m pretty sure she picked up like 3 when we went).

The thing that sets Boy Brow apart from other brow gel products that I’ve tried is that the formula is wax based. My brows literally don’t budge when I use this, which makes it perfect for a night out, or for a full day of doing errands and running around.

Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50

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My sister brought this back for me after her trip from Japan. This can be worn alone like a normal SPF, or under makeup. The formula is watery (like the name states), which makes it easy to distribute on your face, but it dries down kind of tacky. I think this is  a big plus because 1) it doesn’t make your face oily and 2) you could definitely use this as a primer!! I love multi-use products!

The Greatest Showman (Movie and Soundtrack)

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Okay, so I’m a little late to hop on The Greatest Showman bandwagon but WOW I understand the hype now. CJ and I watched it this month, and the movie had me humming, laughing and tearing up.  Basic synopsis: A guy starts his own circus, and it follows the trials and triumphs that him and his troupe go through. But it’s also so much more than that. And it’s also based on a true story.

I’m not usually into musical movies, but I loved this one. The soundtrack is amazing, and it’s constantly on repeat. (This Is Me really makes me feel like I can do anything you guys. It’s my power jam. Listen to it and try to tell me it doesn’t make you feel powerful and courageous!)

Best Shot

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This is a 8 episode docu-series on Youtube that Lebron James produced. (It just ended, so if you wanted to binge watch the series, you can). It’s follows the real story of a high school basketball team from Newark, NJ on their journey to the state championships. You learn a lot about the players and the coach, and I couldn’t help but root for them. I don’t play or watch sports, but Best Shot really took me through the motions of loving a team. Y’all, this series really made me bawl my eyes out.

This also humbled me a lot because it made me realize how lucky I am to live in suburbia in Canada. I’ve never had to worry about poverty, ending up in the streets and having my friends killed or my parents incarcerated. But it also made me respect them so much more. These people go through a lot every day, and I hope only good things come their way.

Terrace House – Opening New Doors

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My friends got me addicted to this show. The best way I could describe it would be like Japanese Big Brother, without the competitions, eliminations and prize money. It’s also produced way better, and has hilarious commentators. Six strangers live in a house together, and we watch them adjust to living together. It has drama and romance.

I’m gonna be honest, it does start out a little slow, but as you get further into the episodes, you can’t help but have favourite housemates. I’m currently waiting for part 4 to get uploaded on Netflix!


Aaaaand that’s it for my August favourites! If you would like to share some of your favourite things with me this month, you know where to leave your comments! I hope the rest of the year treats us all well. Big thank you to all the people who still rock with me, and a shoutout to all my new followers 🙂 I hope you all like it here and look forward to my future posts.

💖, B

 

The Skin I’m In

For as long as I can remember, my peer group has always consisted of mostly Filipinos. Growing up, and even sometimes now,  the one thing that everyone seemed to always point out was our contrasting skin colors. A lot of my friends had lighter skin, and I always heard remarks such as “You’re so dark!” or “How do you get so dark?” as if it was something to be ashamed of. At first, this never really bothered me because it was something that was always said to me (which is the reason we should stop normalizing toxic Flip culture and standards of beauty!!!!!). But eventually, these remarks began affecting my self-esteem and how I saw myself as a person. My skin colour became something I was hyper-aware of. I always felt a bit awkward in the summer months whenever I would be wearing shorts and tanks every day while my friends would be wearing pants, jackets or close toed shoes because they didn’t want to get dark.

The sad thing is, I’m sure my friends don’t mean anything by their comments. And I definitely don’t hold it against them! The thing is, this is something that’s almost like common sense in Filipino culture. Whiter = better. This belief isn’t a problem exclusive to Filipinos, as I know many southeast Asian cultures promote the same thing. It’s just crazy to, me that in this day and age, someone’s worth and someone’s beauty can all be boiled down to the colour of their skin… It’s not okay!!!!

Besides the women in my family, I never had a role model that looked like me. Even when I turn to Filipina or Asian celebrities that I look up to, I can’t think of one person who had darker skin. It’s unfortunate. But I think things are looking up for the upcoming generation. I’m seeing so much more movements on social media and print that are helping empower the underrepresented women (see #MagandangMorenx, or @from.label on Instagram – a label started by one of my favourite Instagrammers, Jeanne Grey!). I think exposure to these types of movements is so crucial, because as Jeanne Grey says herself, no one is really talking about these things. Unfair expectations of beauty may be something we think about, but not many people take action to make a change because these expectations have been engrained in us for generations.

As I get older, I am understanding how important representation is. For this reason, I hope to always stick up for those affected by these standards of beauty, and become an advocate for all my sunkissed sistahs and bruthas out there. No matter what, people will be stuck in their ways and still believe that darker skin is less beautiful. And that’s okay. I’m not here to change that (although I would like to!). I love talking about makeup and beauty products, but I’ve come to realize that this issue really means something to me and it’s a topic I need to speak up and out about. I will continue to use my platform to help my fellow morenas see the beauty in our complexion. Brown is beautiful, and not something to be ashamed of. I haven’t always loved my skin colour, but I do now. I love the way gold jewellery looks on me, and I think bright colours look stunning on me. And I always get a kick out of the fact that white people are envious of my “year round tan”.

So just know that you are not alone. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it also just take one person to start change! Let’s bask in the beauty that is our brown skin, and not be ashamed of it. Let’s use our voices to help build confidence in those who haven’t found it yet. Also, let’s all be more aware of the words we use when talking to other people. Don’t make remarks about someone’s appearance if what you are commenting on can’t be changed in ten seconds. Words have weight, so use them to uplift others rather than dragging them down. If you have any stories or experiences with me, I would love to hear them!

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“When you love yourself, literally nothing anyone says about you can affect you. You know who you are, you love who you are, and that is enough.”

💖, B

Does Biotin Actually Work?

Last summer, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Basically, this is a disease that causes my body to attack my hair follicles resulting in my hair falling out in large chunks. Specifically, I developed three large bald spots at the top of my head. If you’ve ever had to wait for an appointment with a specialist (in my case, I was waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist), you know just how painstakingly long the process is. I went to my family doctor about it at the beginning of August of last year, and didn’t actually see a dermatologist until the end of November. That’s three whole months of watching helplessly as the spots grew bigger and more of my hair started to fall out.

I didn’t have very many options available to me, so I decided to try biotin. My intention was to use it as something to offset my hair loss, not as a cure (currently, there is no known sure for alopecia!). I’m sure most of you know that biotin is supposed to promote healthy skin, hair and nails, or you’ve at least seen one Sugarbear Hair ad on Instagram or Youtube. Being the skeptic that I am, I wasn’t about to spend money on Sugarbear hair because I didn’t trust it. So I just went to my grocery store and bought straight biotin supplements.

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I bought the Jamieson Biotin supplements, and each little tablet contained 10, 000mcg of biotin. There were 45 tablets and I took one everyday until I ran out. Then I went and bought biotin gummies at a lower dosage (which I still have because I stopped taking them, so they kind of just sit on my shelf). And long story short, I didn’t notice any change in my hair. There wasn’t anything growing where the bald spots were, and I didn’t notice a change in the length or thickness of my hair either.

IMG_5825 But, I did notice that my nails were stronger and grew faster than normal. I normally wouldn’t be able to grow them out as long because they were usually brittle and broke easily. My nails in this screenshot may not look very long to some, at least in comparison to the claws I have now, but back then, this was considered a big achievement for my natural nails (so you could imagine how cheesed I was that I broke one of them).

From my personal experience, I can vouch for the positive effects biotin has on nails but it didn’t do anything to help my hair. Obviously, my circumstances were quite different from the average person, but I didn’t lose all my hair, so I expected at least some change to occur.

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Taken from: https://www.sugarbearhair.com/collections/popular-vitamins

In terms of Sugarbear Hair, I can’t speak on it because I have never tried it before. On their website, they do have a breakdown of all the ingredients in the gummies. They use more than just biotin in their gummies, so maybe the combination of ingredients helps to better promote hair growth. But I would still take this with a grain of salt. Keep in mind that while Sugarbear Hair says that their products are manufactured in facilities that use FDA approved guidelines, they aren’t actually an FDA approved product.

I asked my dermatologist about biotin at my first appointment, and he said that there hasn’t been solid, conclusive evidence and research that shows that biotin actually helps your hair. And I’m not going to lie, I did try to look for research articles using my school’s database (yes, I ACTUALLY researched this… old habits die hard) and I couldn’t find many articles that supported the use of biotin for hair growth. In fact, a lot of the ones I came across concluded that there is a lack of evidence to support healthy individuals taking biotin for hair growth, and that biotin supplementation is actually unnecessary in healthy individuals as the daily amount that we need is usually obtained through our food.

My hair is still in the process of growing back, no thanks to biotin, but from the Kenalog injections I receive from my dermatologist. My take on this is that I personally don’t think biotin products work for hair growth. I trust my own results and what has been presented in scientific research. I’m not trying to bash anyone that uses or wants to try biotin supplements. But if you want to try other options, my dermatologist told me that Rogaine works (don’t be fooled by the fact that there is a Rogaine for men and women, he said that women can use the men one, and it’s cheaper too), and there’s some evidence (not conclusive) that fexofenadine aka Allegra aka a type of allergy medicine, can help with hair growth in alopecia areata patients as well.

DISCLAIMER: Please use common sense, and don’t start popping allergy medicine like candy or start using a men’s hair growth cream, before talking to your doctor. This advice was given to me by my dermatologist because I was dealing with a disease resulting in major hair loss. Strong hair is nice, but health is wealth!

I hope this post has helped to open your eyes on this topic and I’m curious to know your thoughts on this. If you’ve ever tried Sugarbear Hair or biotin supplements, did they actually work for you?? Let me know!

💖, B

April Favourites!

I missed a March favourites post, but I’m back for April! How has everyone’s month been treating them? April was a busy month, but definitely one I needed for my sanity. After an intense year, I felt like I was truly able to relax and take some time for myself, while still keeping myself busy with my hobbies and side projects.

Sidenote: Wow my blog is turning 2 on May 5! Crazy! I have to give my thanks to everyone who has supported my blog, read my posts, given me ideas and creeped me on occasions. I’ve been able to do some pretty cool things since creating ALBOE, and I can’t wait to see where this next year in blogging takes me!

💖, B

Fitbit

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My sister let me borrow her old Fitbit since she never uses it (but imma borrow it so much that it becomes mine – anyone with a sister knows the drill 😉 LOL). I’m not the most active person, but I really like seeing how much steps I get in a day and how much calories that I burn. Also the neurotic Capricorn in me loves the fact that I can track so many things! I especially love the water and sleep tracking feature.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

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I don’t know if I’ve included this in a monthly favourites yet. But definitely deserves a spot in this month’s post. Yes, I know. SK-II is luxury skincare, but there is a reason why this is priced so high. It’s a miracle product (for me at least). I use this after I tone and it seriously does wonders for my skin in terms of texture and brightness. I used this regularly since I got it (in November, for the VIB sale), and when I noticed I was running a bit low, I stopped using it so I wouldn’t run out so fast. But during that time, I noticed my skin started to feel dehydrated, bumpy and dull. I rarely change anything with my skincare routine, so I have a strong feeling it was because I stopped using the SK-II essence.

I know that Sunday Riley’s Good Genes treatment is another luxury item that has really good reviews, but in all honesty, if I had to choose between the two, SK-II blows Sunday Riley out of the water. If you can afford to splurge a bit, then I highly recommend giving this essence a try. Be mentally (and financially) prepared to become addicted to it. I bought a new bottle during the April VIB sale, so I saved a bit of money that way.

Atelier Cologne – Clementine California

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I’ve been looking for a new summer scent, and after many trials and free samples from Sephora, I settled on this guy. My ideal scent is something fresh, clean and light, and Clementine California checks all those boxes for me. It’s very citrusy and fresh, but it doesn’t make me smell like a straight up orange. Great staying power, and fades away gently.

Optimal Living Daily

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I love listening to music when I’m doing chores or getting ready, but I’ve been trying spend my time consuming things that are going to help me develop more as a person. Optimal Living Daily is a podcast I discovered through one of my favourite Youtubers (Amy Lee, who actually narrates an episode!), and each episode is a narrated blog post or book chapter related to personal development, minimalism or productivity. Each episode is around 7 – 10 minutes long. I just find that this is something nice to listen to when you feel like you need a boost of motivation, or a push in the right direction!

Avengers: Infinity War

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No words needed.


Favourite Albums of the Month

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Bazzi – Cosmic

 

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Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy


Also I wanted to include this cute lil crochet top I made this month. I’m so proud of it! I’m working on a lavender one as well. They’re going to look so cute this summer!

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