Beauty sub review – Birchbox January

Hello everyone and welcome to the January review of my Birchbox items. This month was quite a good month and I was quite happy with the items I received. I received a mixture of hair care, skincare and make up items.

So with no further ado, let’s get into it.

First off let’s talk about the item with the biggest online buzz. Milk Makeup is a relatively new brand that seems to have surfaced out of nowhere. The packaging is great and the buzz is all over, so it makes sense that I was excited to receive one of their items. I wanted to find out what the buzz was all about. Quite frankly, is it worth the hype and the cool factor it holds? The simple answer is, Yes! In my opinion, the lipsticks are most certainly worth the hype.

The lipstick I received came in the colour O.G red and it’s the lipstick I wore in my most recent Instagram post. The packaging was on point, the colour was amazing, the lipstick is also long wear and goes on effortlessly. So it’s a great brand of lipstick and I am looking forward to using more products from this range.

img_20180214_132412.jpg
Milk Lipstick in O.G red

Now let’s look at the second most exciting item, the Eyeko Black magic mascara. This is another item I was excited to receive. I have heard lots about this brand and it was a welcome part of this month’s subscription. However, I was not totally blown away by this mascara. I have had drugstore brands such as the L’Oreal Voluminous Million lashes mascara, which I would give a much higher rating too. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fair seven out of ten mascara but I expected more from this mascara because of the hype this brand receives. I used this mascara in my YouTube video titled, Simple Everyday Makeup Tutorial 

IMG_20180214_132541
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

The Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator is a great skincare product. I have used Vasanti products in the past and I also own a few Vasanti makeup brushes,  one of which I received in another monthly sub, and I have to say; I have fallen in love with this brand. I used this cleanser myself as well as I tried it out on a few persons and they all loved it. My skin was so smooth and soft after just the first use. Just simply an amazing product.

img_20180214_132425.jpg
Vasanti Brighten Up Cleaner

This next product has been around for quite some time and it is marketed as a chemical skin peel in a package which is supposed to deliver results of smoother and overall improved looking skin in a matter of three minutes. Big claims, which I am not sure it delivered upon. In all fairness to the product, you probably have to have super bad skin for the changes to be noticeable. I used the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-minute Peel on my face and I saw no difference but then again, at this point, my skin has been quite well behaved. Realising this, I decided to try it on my joints, since I have some terrible looking joints; and there, I noticed some improvements. However, these improvements were short lived. The skin on my joints were smoother (the type of smoothness I get in the palms of my hands whenever I relax my hair without wearing gloves), and like the smoothness I get from the relaxer, it went away within a few hours. So I definitely don’t need for this product.

IMG_20180214_132503
Real Chemistry Luminous 3-minute Peel

Lastly I am going to take a look at the Nelson Beverly Hills Smooth Creme. This is a great product and is ideal for me. None-greasy, and smells great. Right after I applied this to my hair, I could feel the instant transformation; my hair became so soft and with heat protection, I will definitely be purchasing the full size of this product since I use heating equipment on my hair quite a lot.

img_20180214_132449.jpg
Nelson Beverly Hills Forever Smooth Creme

Thanks so much for reading guys! until next time. XOXO!!!!

ps: I started a YouTube Channel, titled Life Tips by Erica as well. It’s still a work in progress but click the link to be forwarded. I plan on uploading weekly videos on this channel. Namely, makeup tutorials, Beauty Box unboxings, product try outs and reviews and so much more. Please comment, like and subscribe.

Click the icons to follow me on social media

if_linkedin_294671if_Popular_Social_Media-07_2329236if_twitter_circle_color_107170if_Popular_Social_Media-03_2329268

Happy Valentines Guys! Remember this is a day to recognise our love ones but not the only day we should be showing our love. Make everyday Valentines Day!

Why you still look pregnant long after giving birth – correcting abdominal muscle separation.

Oh what a life changing event is pregnancy and giving birth. Your little bundle of joy is amazing and while parenthood can be challenging at times, it’s definitely time to smoothly jump into your body con dresses.

But wait, there is one little challenge, you may or may not have worked out but that stomach just seems to have maintained a bulge. Now don’t get me wrong, some of us are happy with that little bulge and to be fair, it’s a welcome souvenir for some of us. But for the gals who are not happy with that bulge, this is for you.

IMG_20180123_185806

Let me start by telling a little story. I gave birth at full term via C-section to a sweet baby boy and while I was thrilled to finally meet this little human whom I have been longing to meet; the morning after my surgery as I got up for my first walk, one of the first things I did was take a stroll over to the mirror. It was at this point I learned that it takes the uterus approximately six weeks to shrink back to it’s pr-pregnancy size. Now I did not know this, I was told this by a nurse after I almost had a “stroke” when I saw I still looked seven months pregnant. The panic in me was further intensified since I wouldn’t have been able to start working out until another six weeks.

On the bright side however, breastfeeding (while it can reek havoc on the breasts of some), it helps with the shrinking process of the uterus. My waist circumference stood at thirty eight inches three days after giving birth and at six weeks postpartum, it dropped to thirty three inches.  While I was happy to lose five inches off my waist, I still was not satisfied and at my six week check up, I got the green light from my doctor to begin working out. But at two months postpartum, I only lost an additional half inch.

It was through research I came across this fancy term: Diastasis recti or abdominal muscle separation (AMS). I then discovered my rectus abdominis had vertically separated down the middle of my abdomen. As a result, any tedious abdominal workouts with effect made my separation worst, thus causing my stomach to continue to shift forward and outward, hence intensifying my bulge. This was definitely bad news at the time because I felt like a kielbasa in my body con dresses.

IMG_20180123_175813

My way of rectifying  AMS at three months postpartum has been to exercise my inner abdominal muscles as well as my pelvic floor muscles. What this has done is that it has significantly breached the gap between my rectus abdominis (the muscles that causes six packs). It’s a great feeling to be approaching my goal of a twenty-nine inch waist circumference. At present I stand at  thirty inches, in two weeks I have lost two and a half inches off my waist and I have managed to almost completely close my ab gap.

recti

Tips for a flat stomach are:

  • Breastfeed – not only does breastfeeding help to get you back in shape but it also is great for the well-being of your baby.
  • Check for AMS at six weeks postpartum once the green light is received from your doctor and you have heeled well – this is done in a lying position with knees bent and feet on the ground. The idea is to begin to do a crunch but don’t quite get there, once the abdominal muscles have contracted place one and then two fingers at your belly button. What you look for is a ditch or gap right at that area, then move your fingers upwards toward the rib cage and down toward the pelvic region. What we are now trying to decipher is the length and width of the gap. Once two fingers or more can fit between your abdominal muscles then it’s likely you have AMS.
  • The next step is to begin workouts – Lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground, what you want to do is to flatten you spine to the ground (once we lie on the floor our backs are usually slightly arched). The next step is the compress your inner muscles toward your back without contracting your butt and thigh muscles. This is a very small movement so you’ll know your are doing ti correctly if your stomach looks dome shaped from aside. Do this as often as you feel comfortable and don’t forget to practice good breathing.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or fitness expert. This is what has worked for me so feel free to do your own research and speak with your doctor before attempting any exercises after giving birth.

See you at my next post.

Xoxo!!!

 

Beauty subscription review – Ipsy December 2017

First let me say, beauty subscriptions are amazinggg!! It allows us to be able to try products from various brands at a very affordable cost; so basically if you are really into beauty products, you will save a whole lot by subscribing.

Also, I am talking various brands in makeup, hair and skincare etc; from around the world. If that’s not enough, I will say this, “it feels like opening up a present to yourself every month”. Once we discover new brands, we discover new favourites, allowing us to perfect our look.

That being said, let’s get into the December Ipsy Glambag review. Now, I know it’s way late but let’s blame that on shipping and the holiday madness.

20180114_160253.jpg

The Makeup Bag

As an Ipsy subscriber, every month you will receive a Glambag (basically a makeup bag). December’s bag was cute, it lived up to it’s wintry theme. Lovely material coloured  in silver with a strip of glitter at the top and finished by a teal zipper. It’s simple, classy and elegant and I definitely see myself using this bag.

The OFRA long lasting liquid lipstick in Ipsy UNZIPPED.

20180117_120229.jpg

The most amazing thing about this lipstick is the 30% off code I received to use at OFRA cosmetics. Now, this lipstick reminded me of my Huda Beauty Liquid Matte lipstick in Gossip Girl. They are both rose pink, which compliments my complexion quite nicely. However, I have to say, this lipstick sadly does not live up to its long wear name tag, the Huda Beauty Lipstick does this much better. On the plus side though, it’s very lightweight, while wearing it I forgot I was wearing lipstick and the smell is great.

Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Stargazing Shimmering Eyeshadow

20180117_120521.jpg

I have never used anything from Glamour Dolls but I believe that a collaboration with Lisa Frank is a brilliant idea. It really brings the theme of glamour alive. For those of you who don’t know who Lisa Frank is, gooogle it. This eye shadow is amazing, very lightweight and super pigmented. It’s also a very good quality and there is no flaking. While I am not into single eye shadows, I will definitely be wearing this, especially at the inner corners of my eyes.  As a bonus, I really do believe it can be used as a highlighter.  Oh and this product is cruelty free.

Trestique mini brow pencil in espresso

20180117_120141.jpg

For all you brown gals, this colour is perfect for your brows. It’s a very sleek looking roll up pencil and the product has just the right density. This brow pencil makes your brows look very natural and it’s easy to apply. I definitely see myself purchasing the full size in this pencil. Now, if you already have dense brows, just pass on the pencil.

Smashbox always on gel eyeliner in fishnet

20180117_120315.jpg

Super creamy, pigmented and easy to apply.  I love this eyeliner but I don’t like the fact that I have to use a sharpener. A roll up version of this eyeliner would add so much to this product. However, it’s long wear and doesn’t smudge very easily.

Quai Hair oil

20180117_120346.jpg

I am caught in the middle with this product. While it’s producers boasted about the smell, I am not sure what they were talking about. I guess, it has a very mild flowery smell, kind of like a water nut lily. Now I gotta say, I am not too much into flowery smells, it raises my sinus. However, it really puts my hair in its place. Super moisturizing and very lightweight, this oil feels a bit like condom lubricant.

Overall, I liked my December bag and I found a favourite item, the trestique brow pencil and I’ll be thinking about the Smashbox eyeliner.

XOXO

A bientot….

 

 

 

Should you stay or should you leave your relationship?

It is paramount to recognise the importance of having a few significant elements as basis for a long-lasting and happy romantic relationship.  Many of us often find ourselves in relationships we are not quite sure of. We ask ourselves the question: Should we stay or should we leave?

However, questioning the future of your relationship is a sure sign that there may be something terribly wrong.

Here are a few pointers that should help you decide whether you want to stay or leave:

Long-term goals – while it is not necessary for both parties to have identical long-term goals, it is necessary for there to be similarities.  For example: couples should agree in areas such as:- where they want to live, whether they would like to have children, what type of house they want to call home etc.

Friendship – The initial stages of a relationship is almost always based on attraction. However, as time progresses and the passion wears off, it is friendship that will see the relationship through.

Communication – A big one! Couples must be able to talk about anything. The sensitivity of any given topic should not be reason enough to pass on a much-needed discussion. To be able to effectively communicate with your partner in a non-accusing manner is key. When you communicate, you should basically be expressing the way you feel about a particular situation or incident without casting blame. Meanwhile, your partner should be simultaneously listening with an open mind.black and white silhouette graphic arguing

Compatibility – It is often said that opposites attract but let’s be sensible. If you are going to have a long and fulfilling relationship, you must have something in common. Forever can be a very long time, so there must be activities both persons enjoy doing together other than canoodling and coitus.  

Compromise – even for the most compatible couple on earth, there will be areas of disagreements. This is where compromise plays a key role in sustaining happiness. Couples must meet each other halfway.  

Appreciation – If your partner is trying to get you to change who you are, he/she should find someone they are happy with.

Ultimately, you should be asking yourself these questions:

 

  • Do you love him/her?
  • Do you see yourself being happy with your partner for the long haul?
  • Is he/she fulfilling at least 50% of what you expect from a partner?
  • Do you trust your partner?
  • Is there mutual respect?

 

Special thanks to teestalktimeblog.wordpress.com and http://www.abtitdes.com 

14 Ways to be Happy

Psychologists have revealed that in order to be happy, one must choose happiness. Prior to the ever increasing revelations by a growing number of psychologists, it was believed that the more one tries to be happy, the more difficult finding happiness becomes.

Now I have to say, I think the latter sounds a bit foolish simply because I believe we must work to earn what we desire.

Here are 14 ways to happiness I regularly practice:

  1. Never compare yourself to others – Work with what you’ve got. We are all unique, have different desires and the potential to make our desires a reality.
  2. Be decisive – Let small decisions be just that. Don’t spend too much time deciding what to eat or what to wear etc. You don’t need to be stressed by the simplest things in life.
  3. Have a set plan for your life  – Set goals and devise a plan of action. Try finding your purpose in life; this will help you to determine a pathway to achieve the success you desire.
  4.  Accept people for who they are – Never try to change someone.  If you can’t stand the person or certain aspects of their personality, don’t stress about it, just cut them loose. Knowing when to move on is a key element to peace of mind and happiness. Often times, moving on can conserve on stress, frustration and even save a life (especially in the case of an unhappy, toxic or abusive relationship).
  5. It’s okay to cry when you are hurt – Find solace, cry, assess the situation , learn from it, pick yourself up and live you life.
  6. Don’t start drama and don’t be a part of it – Say what you have to say to whom you have to say it to, in the most tactful way you possibly can. Talking behind peoples’ backs is not only a sign of weakness and insecurity but can also add unnecessary complications to your life.
  7. Find your true self – Knowing who you really are is important. Knowing yourself allows you to be the unique person you are meant to be. Accept your flaws, love yourself, set your own trends and just do you.  happiness
  8. Never give up – Always remember everyday poses a new possibility for growth through new opportunities. Think positively ! Remember only you can truly understand your vision. Keep the negative people at bay, you don’t want people around who are going to ruin your positive atmosphere.
  9. Pick your battles wisely – If it’s not happening in your life and doesn’t affect you directly, then it’s probably none of your business.
  10. Remember no one is perfect – Try not to care so much about what others think. Their thoughts are none of your business. What really matters is how you think and feel about yourself.  Since no one is perfect, why should you care what anyone thinks?
  11. Live the moment – Try to enjoy every breathtaking moment. Drop the smart phones ever so often and try to actually be in the moment.
  12. Never run from your problems – Confront your problems and solve them. The less a problem lingers the happier your will be. So solve your problems, pronto! Remember there are always going to be challenges in life and how you deal with them is what defines you.
  13. Give the love, kindness and respect you hope to receive – This one speaks for itself
  14. Love yourself –  Only when you can truly love yourself then you will be truly capable of actually loving others. You have to look out for yourself and be there for yourself. Let’s face it, while some good, genuine and loving people may step into your life ever so often, in the end the only person you can fully rely on is yourself.

That’s all for now. Follow me on https://twitter.com/EricaWillliams  for updates on upcoming articles.

Thanks for reading.

Continue reading “14 Ways to be Happy”

When to give him the cooch?

The question has long been “when should she give the cooch?”. There is much speculation and calculated answers coming from various persons in different sections of society.

I have heard, “let him wait three months!” “Oh no, wait until he marries you!” Lets face it, it’s not ancient Rome, no judgement on those who are bent this way, and by no means am  I saying it’s wrong to wait until marriage; after all, it’s your cooch.

But for the more realistic and less conservative gals out there, we all know how times have changed and how hard it is to wait until marriage. So what must we do? Devise a plan on how to keep our integrity and find a husband at some point in our lives,  while remaining true to ourselves without completely a making mess of the cooch?

Let’s face it, this all sounds like hard work, especially since us women have needs and urges too.

Quite frankly, I urge you ladies to stop listening to everyone. I know, you are thinking, is this gal nuts? Wait, wait, hear me out.

Let’s set the ’90 – day rule’ and all that jazz aside for a bit.

For starters, a man waiting three months on your cooch, doesn’t say he isn’t getting it hot and heavy elsewhere as he appears to be waiting patiently on the golden cooch. Because of this fact, a timeline on when you give the cooch doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he is going to be with you, let alone marry you.

Now that we have cleared that up, let’s continue.  Have you ever wondered why one night stands only turn into long lasting Love Affairs  in the movies, while in reality the closest it can get to a relationship is you end up being the girl he calls late at nights ever so often to “hang”?

Ahhh….now we get to the sweet part. Ladies, your most asked question is about to be answered.

Obviously one night is not enough to allow a guy to get to know you on a personal and intimate level, so much so that he is intrigued and wants to know more. Translation;  after he hits the jackpot (cooch) then the urge to chase is gone, he is no longer intrigued. Game Over! Unless, one night is all you are looking for, I suggest you wear a chastity belt until the time is right.

So, this is what you do; you wait until the guy is so comfortable with you that he lets his emotional guard down (to a degree). This means that he shares personal stuff with you (not what he had for lunch more so, the time he stabbed a guy)…just saying but you get the idea. He shares with you, he asks for advice and he confides in you. This is when you give him the cooch.  At this point he obviously trusts and very likely will fall for you, if he hasn’t already.

The time it takes for a guy to get to this level of comfort with a woman depends on a couple of things. Depending on the individuals involved, this can take as little as a few weeks to a month or longer.  From here on, the ball continues to roll.

Check my blog weekly for more interesting posts. My next post will pick up from where we left off.  Later Guys and Gals.