Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

How Not To Be Late All Of The Time

  • I’ve struggled terribly for years with keeping track of time, planning my time and executive functioning (getting around to doing tasks). For me, this is due to my Autism and Dyspraxia but I know it’s a general problem for so many people. Do you often get so (hyper) focussed on doing a single task that you loose all sense of time or often get too distracted by irrelevant tasks?
  • Here are the coping strategies for being on time, that I’ve learned over 30+ years:

  • Get everything ready the night before by putting all of the essentials in your bag or together in a pile (which you have to walk past on the way out).
  • Plan your outfit and/or make sure your shoes/bag/coat are clean and presentable beforehand.
  • To figure how long it will take to get ready break down your daily routine into tasks, then assume each task is going to take a few minutes longer than you would think.
  • At the start, factor in ten extra minutes for zoning out or hyper-focussing on something or for one of those ‘Oh crap, I’ve properly arsed this up’ sort of moments.
  • If you are able, get into the habit of agreeing on a time to meet up a bit later – even though (in your head) you are still aiming for the original time – to give yourself a margin.
  • Set an alarm or a timer to go off half way through the time you have left to get ready, to give you some perspective on how you are doing.
  • Don’t rely on public transport/a lift/taxis to be on time either and allow for rush hour traffic.
  • Now you should fall into the middle of the time slot you’ve mentally and socially allocated yourself.
  • If you are still late sometimes? Try not to stress. Shit happens.
  • πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€
  • Cutting My Own Hair & Bringing Out Natural Waves/Curls

    Before

    As you can see it has an undefined frizzy shape and then it’s gone crazy at the bottom where it’s been twisted up overnight. As it’s thick and long, it tends to sit around my shoulders like a very warm cape.

    Cutting My Own Hair

    I used a technique for cutting your own hair by Brad Mondo, which is simple and effective. Basically, you divide your hair into quarters, two at the front, two at the back and put little hair bands at the length you want to cut. Do not lift or pull the hair at the back around to the front when cutting, instead keep it straight and behind your shoulder. Cut below the hair band. Please do watch the vid, don’t take it from me!

    The sensible style

    I look so much like my Mum here, it’s uncanny!

    The 2000’s Bone Straight Style

    I used to wear this style to look a bit edgy for clubbing (so much product) but then that flat, straight look became the norm!?

    After

    Big chunky waves and curls!

    The easiest way to bring out natural curls & waves

    1. When you come out of the shower, tip your hair upside down and gently scrunch with a flat pile towel or thick T-shirt to remove excess water.
    2. This also lift the roots of your hair allowing for more movement.
    3. While hair is still very wet (but not dripping) and your hair is still clumped into curls/waves apply a lot of curl cream. Don’t rake it through but squish it into the individual curls/waves.
    4. Warning: If you let it get too dry before applying products, it will split and go stringy and/or frizzy. Then you have to soak it all over again.
    5. Apply any hair oil afterward. Oil acts as a barrier and will seal in the moisture you just added.

    Would you/have you cut your own hair? Do you think you could bring out any natural movement in your own hair? Let me know in the comments!

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    My Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Skin

    A few months back I set myself a challenge to get healthier skin in just one month and I achieved it! Here are some general lifestyle tips, which have helped me to keep my skin healthy (along with that skincare regimen) since.

    πŸ–€ Cutting right down on foods which don’t agree with my digestive system for better gut health, like dairy and gluten (making sure I found suitable replacements).

    πŸ–€ Imagining I’m a big pebble in a river and letting the water (life’s stresses and problems) pass around and over me, while I remain stable and steadfast, rather than shaken up and disturbed. There’s a certain amount of ‘ What will be, will be’ attitude to this in order to not worry about or wring yourself out trying to get the ‘perfect’ outcome. The deep furrow in the middle of my forehead has actually relaxed and I don’t get indigestion from stress or feeling anxious anymore.

    πŸ–€ Keeping up my water intake and my salt intake so my body absorbs and uses the water properly, rather than it going straight through me.

    πŸ–€ Using a gentle cleanser (at least once a day) which includes T-tree oil to balance my skin and keep any blemishes at bay.

    πŸ–€ Realising when my skin is de-hydrated and needs moisturiser or dry and needs oil.

    πŸ–€ Still getting takeaway but from places that use a large range of freshly cooked ingredients like Eastern/Asian takeaways or including healthy mezze/tapas/a big salad with any junk food type meals.

    πŸ–€ Keeping my hair fastened back off my face when the front pieces are dirty or oily. Not touching my face and fringe as much. Washing my hands more often.

    Simple but affective! What do you think?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

    TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

    1. Recycle/Upcycle
    2. Reuse/Repair
    3. Buy organic
    4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
    5. Avoid single use plastic
    6. Support independent companies
    7. Buy local produce
    8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
    9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
    10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
    11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
    12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
    13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
    14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
    15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
    16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
    17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
    18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
    19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
    20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

    Just do your best and don’t stress!

    πŸ’šβœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ’š

    If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product…

  • It would have to be the Comfort + Hydrate MICELLAR CLEANSER from Neal’s Yard Remedies!

    Why?

    • Easily removes makeup and cleanses skin.
    • You don’t have to rinse it off if you are in a hurry.
    • It’s certified organic
    • Packaged in an easily recycled glass bottle (I love the look of them lined up on the window ledge).
    • Kind on sensitive skin
    • Skin is left feeling soft and replenished
  • What is your hero skincare product?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Black Owned Brands & Bands inc. Rock, Hip-hop, Alternative Apparel & Cruelty-free beauty

    πŸ–€ Black Rock/Metal Playlist by Nova Twins

    πŸ–€ I personally recommend the whole back-catalogue of Skunk Anansie

    πŸ–€ 2020 – 2021 Black Rap and Hiphop Playlist by Red Music

    πŸ–€ General Black Owned Business Directory

    πŸ–€ Cruelty-free, Vegan Beauty and Lifestyle List by Vegan Beauty

    πŸ–€ Cruelty-free Beauty and Lifestyle List by Logical Harmony

    πŸ–€ Hair and wellness family owned brand. Cruelty-free and vegan,

    πŸ–€ Alternative Style and Makeup

    • Glam Goth Beauty
    • We Are Unapologetic
    • Gothic Lamb
    • Coloured Raine Cosmetics
    • Jada Le Bour
    • Pocky’s Shoppe
    • Hooked On Ariel
    • Via Shea
    • A Whole New Witch
    • 6t9
    • Candles With Purpose

    πŸ–€ Kawaii and Alternative Styles

    (compiled by @foxxtailz on Instagram)

    • Otaq Apparel
    • Polka dot Cute Shop
    • Magical Boys Club
    • Dragon Dandy
    • Teal Teacup
    • Moshi Melon
    • Plushii Kawaii
    • Hard Decora
    • I Puke Kawaii

    (compiled by @yasminesumman on Instagram)

    • That’s So Kitschy
    • Default Club
    • Charmin Darlin
    • Hissyfit Clothing
    • Maurio Kart (death metal shirts especially)
    • House Of Bats

    Happy shopping and listening!

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

    I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

    I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

    Lifestyle

    (Clockwise)

    Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

    Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

    Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

    Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

    Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

    Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

    Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

    Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

    (Centre)

    Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

    As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Trying to Get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 4

    Products

    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
    • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
    • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
    • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
    • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

    On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday. Read previous weeks routine and diary

    Monday

    Did full skincare routine. Forgot oil before bed last night but still looking quite radiant this morning.

    Samosa for dinner and big bowl of Daal (lentil curry) and oat cakes for tea.

    Tuesday

    Used The Ordinary Lactic Acid, moisturiser and lots of oil today.

    I woke up feeling so thirsty and wanted hydrating foods so Saag Aloo (spinach and potato) with rice for lunch and aubergine curry for tea (and a random samosa for super).

    Wednesday

    When I woke up my skin felt and looked like I didn’t need to do any skincare at all! Still did my routine though. My lips are really smooth and nourished as well (I think it’s the oil).

    Had four beers but hydrated before and after drinking.

    Thursday

    My skin was dry, so more inside and outside hydration was needed.

    Had a salad for dinner with shredded carrot and beetroot, cucumber, ice berg lettuce and seeds and cashew nuts, had mushroom Satay for tea.

    Friday

    My skin felt quite grainy and looking quite matte so I applied Pixi Glow Tonic, left it on for 15 minutes, rinsed it off with a wet face pad and then moisturised. Much better!

    Having a drink again tonight so I’ve eaten a big salad and replaced my coffee with a nut milk protein smoothie instead. Left my Rosehip oil by the bed to remind me to use it.

    Saturday

    Considering I ate a huge bread crumb coated veggie burger with spicy curly fries (certainly not wheat free) I’m impressed with how I look just after waking up today. A bit pink, rather than red, my skin isn’t really dry and I don’t have loads of water retention at the side of my nose, chin or eye bags, like I normally would after drinking and having wheat. Draining massage everyday when applying skincare really does work!

    Sunday

    Here I am (with no product on my skin) in the one bit of week sunshine we had that day, before it disappeared behind clouds again. My skin would have needed a filter to look anywhere near this smooth and radiant a month before!

    The Conclusion of my Month Long Challenge

    Positive Changes

    It feels great to just be able to casually take a no-makeup selfie, without reaching for the foundation and even then, deleting so many rubbish shots. I also leave the house bare faced now and with confidence because I know people won’t be staring at my puffy, blotchy face anymore but wondering instead how I look so glowy, when it’s not even sunny!

    What I’ve Learned

    • Oil can balance oily skin as long as you find the right oil for your skin and use it at the right time of day/night
    • What you put inside of your body has a huge effect on the outside, it might just take several days or weeks to notice, which can be confusing so keep a diary.
    • Before you touch your face for any reason make sure you wash your hands first. I always forget this when applying makeup, usually because I’m in a hurry or being spontaneous.
    • Yes, you should cleanse your skin in the evening but don’t beat yourself up if you forget now and then.
    • Get used to you! Your face maybe having a bad day but that’s life and you’re still you behind it. After all, it’s your personality that’s he point!
    • All of this facial massage and staying hydrated and getting enough sleep advice actually does work, if you stick with it.
  • The Realistic Road to Success

    If you don’t have, or are already on top of a medical/allergy related skincare concern (for me it was spots, oil and a huge amount of redness in the past), then yes, it is possible to get naturally healthier looking and skin in a month! It does take patience to find the right skincare routine and diet for you and the tenacity to stick to it though.

    Do you think my experiment over the past month might help you?

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    What Happened When I Didn’t Wash My Hair for 2 Months

    I hate the idea of going to the (considerable) effort of washing my hair…until I’m actually sat in the shower feeling all relaxed, wondering what the hell I was making a fuss about. Being on lock down with The Bloke who only has a bath (and Juses shower gel instead of shampoo and conditioner as he has a shaved head) was the perfect excuse. “I can’t wash my natural hair with shower gel, it will turn to frizzy straw, I’ll just have to wait.” The fact, he could have bought some from the local shop, along with the bread and milk, thankfully wasn’t mentioned.

    So the challenge began!

    Me with freshly washed hair before lockdown

    I oiled my hair when it was wet but didn’t bother to ‘twist-out’ my curls into shape so it dried into very thin wavy curls like ramen noodles. It was quite frizzy in places as I didn’t add any curl cream. That’s my natural hair after washing.

    Week 1-2

    Curls loosing any definition but turning into thick waves. Looking rather frizzy and dry but surprisingly shiny.

    Week 3-4

    Getting more natural oils back and looking nice and smooth with defined waves, apart from slight fluffy bits at the front.

    Week 5-6

    Looks and feels really healthy. Not dry or greasy in any way.

    Week 7-8

    I’ve been really pleased with how smooth, defined and healthy looking my waves have been the last month but alas, it’s getting greasy at the roots now. Could be fixed with dry shampoo but it feels heavy and it’s itchy. I need clarifying shampoo (stuff with SLS in) and a deep conditioner ASAP!

    Conclusion

    When I wear my hair down in winter, I love my natural kinky curls, which are only reactivated by soaking it in the shower. So I’ll co-wash often and then only use shampoo every three weeks.

    When I finally washed and conditioned my hair it felt smoother and silkier than I’d ever felt it! Maybe giving it a chance to reset every so often is a great idea!

    Let me know what you think in the comments.

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€