Back in November 2017, I saw an Instagram post of a stunning little brown girl and I was so in awe that I went about searching for the source and lol, I came across @creativesoulphoto (the creative team behind the photoshoot). Needless to say, there were even more stunning photos of little brown girls & boys which left me totally speechless and proud. 

The depth and creativity shown through all the photos with the girls & boys looking so confident and radiating were just out of this world. It made me wish something like this was available when I was younger to help me feel more confident in my own skin as a brown girl then and even now, I see myself still trying to have more confidence in my beauty and ability as a woman of colour which is improving for me in this new season. 

For years, out in public, I walked with confidence but behind closed doors, I lived with such a big insecurity, ashamed of my brown (melanin) skin. Inwardly competing with my light-skinned sisters who got all the attention from the brothers and the world in general who saw them as the preferred type of what a Black person should be.

You see I was this skinny, lanky dark-skinned girl who was so conscious of not being pretty enough or sexy enough to be looked at. In school, I was forever skinny and this distressed me so much that I started breaking out in acne that carried on till my early adult years, and built a huge insecurity that grew to greater heights. I felt I had nothing within to use or gain popularity amongst the opposite sex. Then as I got older, I realised that I had the one power to attract the men which were my sensuality which worked well on them. But even though it worked on men – I still was in my feelings over my skin acceptance of being the ‘unattractive’ dark-skinned girl.

Then in college, I started dating a young man who happened to be a top black male model (at the time) and was constantly being ogled by other ladies. And even though, he was so into me, I was still conscious of all these light-skinned sistas wanting him; thus I ended up having this feeling that I was not good enough to be his lady. At this time, I had also added some weight and so went from a size 6/8 to a size 10/12 and was getting comfortable with the idea of now having flesh and liking cloths properly fitting. I loved that feeling of having curves and being admired for it. But still, behind the changes, the insecurity persisted.

One day, my then-boyfriend had a photo-shoot which I attended and when asked if I was a model by one of the photographers, he laughed and responded: “…no-one will ever have her as a model now, will they‘.” That comment triggered the insecurity even more that I swore to show him that I was also worthy of being an attractive brown-skinned girl that can model and so the journey of turning myself into that began. I walked into the ‘Laura Small Modeling Agency & Academy’ (back in Statford, London) and got hired onto their books. But to be included or selected for jobs, I started starving myself of food to fit into the norm of what agents and companies wanted. My starving eventually ended up with me being bulimic (which was one of the symptoms of models in the fashion industry)  and was a way I could maintain the required weight. (Thankfully, I am cured of that ailment and classify myself as a healthy eater now). But this was a way of life for me then and I could not shake it off as I had a point to prove. You see losing or failure was never an option – I needed to show him that his views or opinions did not matter and I was ready to damn any consequence that it might bring.

I ended up becoming a fashion and beauty model who was sought after but that came with even more insecurities. The tales of not being too slim or being too heavy or being too dark or not being the lighter complexion needed for that job. The list goes on and competitiveness to win a casting was the name of the game. Aww, the perils of wanting something but never truly enjoying it was torture. Do not get me wrong, there were huge perks with modelling like ‘money’, ‘gifts’, ‘being recognised’ amongst others but still, my insecurity of being brown-skinned and not attractive enough persisted.

Well, after so many years of disliking my skin, I met an amazing person who taught me to open up and accept Me for who I was. He made me see my SELF_WORTH. I was his Queen and he ensured that I heard it daily. I would also see women like myself, who were so confident in their natural beauty; and honestly Black women all around the world who do not allow, whitewashed beauty standards to curve their confidence!  Eventually, I grew into the notion that I am uniquely created with this precious ‘melanin’ that is sought after by others. My melanin skin glistens in the light and sparkle like diamonds, so why would I want to change to fit a norm. I was and still am GOOD Enough!

I feel like I had to unlearn a lot of things in my life to feel fully confident in my beauty. So it’s refreshing to see young Black girls and women embody what it means to feel confident at an age when I suppressed my own and this is extremely beautiful.

The moral of the story is: Be comfortable in the Skin that you were BORN in … It’s YOURS to carry with Care & Pride!

So here’s to you, @creativesoulphoto: thank you for allowing little brown kids see the beauty in themselves, through the lens and allowing us to appreciate that even more.

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

 

As derived from the title of one of Drake’s songs (clean version): “started from the bottom, now we are here …

This is true to my stance on life. You see, starting any project from the bottom-up as is humbling as it takes one back to their original beginning. True Lessons Learned: once you start anything from the bottom-up, you can never go wrong as those initial memories tend to keep you focused and on track ??.

So my Beloveds ❤️, keep your eyes on the goal and always remember to smile through it all ?

?: @thetravelingafrican (follow him on Instagram)

#lifechanger #purposedriven #womenoffaith #lifestyleblog #motivator #mylifemystories #deepthinking #Faith #dailyencouragement #instapost #instaphotos #PositiveThinking #Influencer #IntentionalLiving #lifestyleblogger #blogger #londonblogger #lifestylebloggers #bloggerlife #ukblogger #bloggerslife #africanblogger #melaninpoppin #blackbloggersunited #bb_blogger #browngirlbloggers #nigerianblogger #blackgirlswhoblog #savvyblogging #therenaissancelady

Do stay in touch and like, comment plus follow my BLOG for upcoming posts.

Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©

I have often wondered on the fascination with most skin experts I have encountered and fruits peels as I have always derived pleasure in eating the peels of most of those delicious fruits amidst the odd look of ‘urgh’ Yvonne stares I get from friends but eh who cares! There are meant to be eaten, aren’t they? And besides, I have always been told that the skin or peels of most fruits are nutrients, healthy for the body…. That’s my truth and I am sticking to it!

Being surrounded by fashion bloggers, skin care addicts and much more (I feel I can never depart from that world but who can blame me eh – once a model always a model), I have now been drawn into the benefits of using fruit peels on my skin. When I was younger, I had horrible skin outbreaks (but still looked fineeeee) partly due to not taking extra care of my sensitive skin like I should have done and also due to a bad eating disorder (yes I was bulimic – blame the modelling world on that) but eventually, my skin started getting much better when I discovered a beauty regime that was perfected for my skin type (my secret and not to be shared). Part of my 2017 Manifesto was to take even better care of my skin and body ‘cause looking  this good as a young  woman (sigh) is not easy.

As derived via curejoy: instead of tossing fruit peels, reuse them for Skin Health and also in the Home.

Orange and lemon peels can fight acne by killing bacteria and controlling sebum. You can also tone the skin and prevent wrinkles with peels from oranges and mandarin. Dried peels can be turned into an exfoliating powder, while banana and avocado peels will moisturise the skin. At home, citrus peels can infuse vinegar and be made into pot-pourri. Banana peels are perfect for adding extra nutrition to plant water.

Eating fruits is one of the tastiest parts of healthy living. But when you’re left with a pile of peels, it’s tempting to head toward the compost. Not so fast, though! Those leftover peels have mind-blowing uses for both your body and home.

These fruit peel uses will also be a game changer for your health. You’ll be dealing with less chemicals, preservatives, and mysterious ingredients. Finally, you can wave goodbye to expensive products. Check out these nine ways you can benefit from reusing fruit peels.

SKIN HEALTH

Orange and Lemon peels fight Acne: Say goodbye to acne by using orange and lemon peels. Their extracts have the same abilities as antibiotics, so these can fight pimple-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). You’ll be less prone to breakouts, without having to use harsh acne medication. Inflammation will be less likely, too. Beyond pimples, orange and lemon peel uses extend to fighting staph infections of the skin.

Orange Peel controls excess oil In Skin: Do you suffer from greasy skin? Use orange peel on the face to control excess oil. It has a flavonoid called nobiletin, which prevents sebum buildup in the pores. This compound also stops pores from getting bigger so that there’s less room for oil. P. acnes will also be less likely to thrive in your pores, proving that orange peel is amazing for acne.

Orange Peel Tones and Strengthens Skin: If you love to get facials at the spa, you might want to learn how to use orange peel on the face. It has compounds that can perk up the skin tone, making it look healthy and young. Those compounds also strengthen the skin, so it’s a great natural remedy for cellulite. Peels from similar fruits like mandarins also have toning abilities.

Mandarin Peel prevents Wrinkles: Like facials, anti-wrinkle creams can get expensive. But this is where the awesome uses of mandarin peel come in. The peel’s high antioxidant content reduces collagenase, the enzyme that breaks down collagen. This maintains the skin’s collagen level and therefore, stops wrinkles from forming. So if you want to keep your skin firm and wrinkle-free, consider adding mandarin peel to your beauty routine.

Orange Peel exfoliates Skin: In powder form, orange peel makes an amazing exfoliator. The coarse texture will scrub away skin cells while giving your skin healthy nutrients. If orange peel powder is too abrasive for you, mix it with a small amount of milk, coconut oil, or honey. This technique can also be used with sun dried lemon, lime, apple, and banana peels.

Banana and Avocado Peels moisturise Skin: Banana and avocado peels double as amazing moisturisers. Simply rub the peels all over your body and face for instant soft skin. This will lock in your skin’s hydration, especially after exfoliating. Another idea is to mix fruit peel powder with your favourite natural lotion.

How to Use: To use fruit peels on your skin, just rub it on with the flesh side facing in. But if you want to make a powder, you’ll have to dry them first. Leave them in the sun until they wrinkle up. Finally, pulverize the peels in a food processor or blender.

HOME LIFE

Citrus-Infused Vinegar: Vinegar is a big part of green cleaning. It’s simple, cheap, and free of nasty chemicals. And thanks to its antibacterial properties, you can keep your home squeaky clean. But what if you can’t stand the smell? Add fruit peels.

Infusing vinegar is one of the most amazing uses for citrus peels. Just drop them into a large container of vinegar and wait a few days. Over time, the sweet and pleasant scent will mask the vinegar. You’ll even get an extra dose of antibacterial action. This can be done with the peels from oranges, lemons, limes, grape-fruits, mandarins, tangerines, and pomelos.

Banana Peel as Plant Food: If you have a green thumb, use banana peels to infuse plant water. This will add extra nutrients and make it a real treat for your plants. To do this, simply cut a banana peel into several pieces. Add them to a bucket of water and let them soak. After a few days, the water will be ready for your plants.

You can also use this technique with avocado and apple peels. However, always make sure that your fruits are organic and free of pesticides. Otherwise, you might run the risk of contaminating your botanicals with chemicals.

Fruit Peels To Freshen Your Home

  • After you eat a fruit, the peels stay fragrant. So why not use them to make your home smell fab? To make potpourri, dry peels in the sun until they shrivel up. Next, place them in a cloth pouch or a bowl.
  • Another technique is to make stove-top potpourri. Start by simmering vegetable oil or apple cider over low heat. Add fruit peels, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla extract. Your home will smell divine.
  • You can also use orange peel as an air freshener. Just cut an orange in half and scoop out the insides. Pour baking soda into the orange ‘bowl’ and place it in your bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom.

Now you know all about the versatile power of fruit peels. They can transform the way you deal with skin health, cleaning and green living to enable us live in a much safer environment! 

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © – Follow my blog with Bloglovin

lupita-nyongo-lancome-ad-beauty-campaign-teint-idole-ultra-24h-foundation-pret-a-poundoEver since I saw the pictorial of Lupita Nyong’o in the 2014 Lancôme Campaign as their latest Brand Ambassador, I was relived to see another brown skinned girl like me breaking boundaries and set out to discovered one of their much talked product: Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation.

Well I must say that I tried it on and nothing else has ever come close to making me feel so natural in make-up. I have never fallen in love with a foundation like I have with this one that is like a perfect match for my skin tone. The coverage is amazing and it doesn’t feel heavy and it gives a perfectly even flawless complexion.! This liquid foundation is long lasting and provides full coverage without feeling cakey, leaving skin feeling comfortable all day. With great staying power, this 24 hour foundation allows one to go out and be their best without needing to retouch on the go. Teint Idole Ultra Wear is transfer free and smudge free, giving one the confidence to carry on with their day and maximise their power. 

You can imagine back in January when the shop attendant at Lancôme told me that my shade of the Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation has been temporary discontinued due to more shades being added to the collection and that it will be relaunched in February. All I remember is going to every single Lancôme counter in the shopping mall like a crazy lunatic only to get the same response and I almost passed out. Well, this meant that I had to deliberately minimise the current foundation I had and patiently await the relaunch. If you know me – patience and Yvonne don’t mix! Well, I am glad to say that when it was relaunched, I quickly rushed and bought 4 of the foundation packs which had now expanded to shade 13 (Sienne) because I never want to run out and be stuck like I was. Sad times of an addicted make-up fan eh.

shades-of-lancome

Back to my story – so to celebrate the re-launch of their best-selling Ultra Wear foundation in 40 beautiful shades, Lancôme have found one inspiring woman to represent each skin tone and I was pleased to see about 17 women of colour (WoC) in the campaign. Within the 40 new shades, the wearable shades for women of colour are limited to the following shades listed across:

40 SHADES OF FOUNDATION; 40 INCREDIBLE WOMEN (for more about the Lancôme campaign, click here)

bellanaija-lancome

 

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“My Power is Empowering: My Shade is 13 (SienneLancome Post.png)”

Well, what is Your Power and what is Your Shade?

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © – Follow my blog with Bloglovin