Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Rose-Tinted Toner

Lately, I've been reaching for natural skincare - the kind our grandmothers always talked about but we never really cared to try. I love flashy packaging and I think my main reason for trying any product is how it's presented but it was time to change that. The struggle of balancing finances with beauty and the environment has led me to reach for a toner that has consistently been recommended by South Asian women.

The other day I heard someone talking about a coconut oil infused hair mask and I realized that I (and so many others) was making a silly mistake. Why spend money on slathering your hair with chemicals that contain trace amounts of coconut oil when you can just use coconut oil as the hair mask? It's also a South Asian recommendation and I've written a post about it here.

But I've been making the same silly mistake with other products - buying expensive products that are enriched with rose and rose water when my family always has a bottle of rose water in the house. So my toner at choice is the very inexpensive rose water! It's great for reducing redness, cleansing and hydrating the skin. I use it in the mornings after I wash my face, wiping it all over with a quarter of a cotton ball (that's all you need - let's save the environment kids!) and letting it dry on my skin before going in with my moisturizer. The scent bothered me at first (despite not being overpowering) but it disappears after a few minutes and you're left with hydrated skin. I do find it's helped with the texture of my skin as well as breakouts and it's now a cheap, must-have in my beauty regimen. It can also (supposedly) be used as a makeup remover but I find that you need to rub it in quite a bit if you want your pesky mascara to come off. Other benefits can be found here if you're interested.

I buy my rosewater from South Asian grocery stores (serious SA love in this post!) and I haven't checked elsewhere but it's not a hard ingredient to find. If not at your local grocery store, check Arab/SA stores around you as they're a staple there!

What's your favourite toner - natural or not? Any natural skincare products you've found that make a difference on your skin? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

7 Facts about Ramadan

As some of you may know (or not), I am Muslim and today is the first day of Ramandan - the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is usually difficult while being enjoyable - it's difficult to go about your day when you're fasting (more info below) but it's enjoyable because there's just something so special about the month. I know religion is a tough subject to bring up so I thought I'd do a few quick facts about Ramadan to teach you something new or something you've been afraid to ask.

1. During Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset - fasting includes abstaining from food, drinks (including water) and sex. We wake up to eat a meal at dawn and only eat/drink after the sun sets. We also try to abstain from unkind thoughts, gossip and swearing.

2. The point of Ramadan is to detox and recharge; to focus ourselves on prayer, charity and spirituality. It's also a great reminder of the blessings we take for granted and to know the suffering of those who don't have food and water.

3. Fasting is not impossible - it can be hard during the summer months when days are longer but it's not impossible. I find that the hardest part of fasting isn't the lack of food or water but the lack of sleep - waking up early to eat disturbs our sleep cycle and the very late sunset means we sleep late too. Other than that, it really isn't so bad!

4. Not everyone has to fast - children, those who are pregnant, breast feeding or sick do not need to fast. Those who have to take medication at certain times and many with diabetes choose not to fast as well. You also do not have to fast if you are travelling or menstruating. It's not meant to punish you by any means - only those who can fast should fast.

5. The nightly optional prayers at the mosque have an inexplicable air of joy around them. I wish it's something I could formulate - it's a very specific, happy feeling and it's unlike any other. I didn't go to nightly prayers last Ramadan as they were too late and I had to go to work early the next day and it's something I regret. There's joy and excitement and a sense of community at these prayers and it's an unmatched feeling.

6. As it is based on the lunar Calendar, the date of Ramadan changes every year. It moves up by 10 days.

7. Charity is a huge part of the month. There are five pillars of Islam and while I'll delve into that later, one of them is charity. Muslims are required to give 2.5% of their savings to a charity of their choice or to people in need each year. Many opt to do this during the month of Ramadan as the blessings are multiplied during this month!

Hope this post helped you learn a little more about the holy month for Muslims! Please feel free to ask any questions or share your thoughts below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe. If I've gotten any facts wrong, please let me know!

If you see a Muslim, for the next month, feel free to say Ramadan Mubarak! It means have a blessed Ramadan :)

For more info

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Sunday Mind: Racism in Beauty

I feel like The Sunday Mind is going to be a Save the World Wednesday type series where I think out loud. I know that it's probably better for the blog that I keep it beauty and lifestyle but at the same time, this blog should represent me and I have thoughts independent of beauty that I want to speak out about. But to tie it all in, here are my thoughts on racism in the beauty industry.

I don't know if many people have realized this (not sure how many people of colour read this blog or are having this problem) but there are not many darker shades of foundation. Going into Sephora, I can see a plethora of  lighter foundations and concealers but each brand seems to have 3 darker shades. I don't understand why - if anything there's a wider spectrum of shades and colours in darker skintones but why don't more companies cater to it? Why can I only find maybe 3 brands that carry my colour but every single brand (it seems) has the exact same shade of a pink under-toned, cool, light foundations.

And it's not just foundation and concealers, I can't seem to find any shade of bronzer dark enough to contour with. Do darker skinned individuals not need to contour? The cruel reality of racism even when it comes to beauty. If anyone has any recommendations for darker or mixed skintones, please comment below! I could just be looking for them in the wrong places (though I do believe the standard of beauty is geared towards European/whites).

This is also the case for nude lipsticks (or nude anything). They may be nude for lighter skintones but definitely not for darker ones. I posted my favourite nude lipsticks a few days back - hopefully they help someone who's having trouble finding a good, darker nude (I know it took me a while to find those three).

This may seem trivial to most (especially if you don't share the same problem) but I do think it's subliminal, subconscious and subtle racism (a little alliteration for ya). The standards of beauty are very much skewed towards lighter skin tones and I think it's a shame considering all the beautiful shades of white/tan/brown/black there are out there.

Do you ever find it hard to get makeup for darker skin? Or am I looking in all the wrong places? Leave any recommendations or comments below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Friday, 5 June 2015

5 Years of Q&A

I really want to do a "What's on my nightstand"/"My night time ritual" type post but I'm currently in between nightstands. What that means is that my mom took my nightstand because she decided it went well with our redecorated living room and so now I use a chair as a nightstand.

So in the meantime, I thought I'd do a post on a night time ritual I've been doing for a few months and have really been enjoying - it's writing in my Q&A a Day journal. I have seen this journal in bookstores for years and didn't quite understand the point of it but then my friend posted a picture of her writing in the second year of this very journal on Instagram and I wanted it so badly. The previous year she'd answered one of her questions on where she'd like to travel and the question came up again and, turns out, she had travelled to those destinations within the year. It was cool seeing her change over the year and so I wanted to do that as well, hence the journal.
This journal is really interesting; there's a question each day and you have space to answer the same question on the same day over five years. It's a way of seeing how you and your answers change over time and a great way to reflect on memories of the previous years. I do it every night before bed and it's become a very cherished few minutes. I love reflecting over my day and my thoughts and surprising myself. I try to answer as quickly as I can at first because I feel like my first thought is the most honest and then write my answer down when I reflect on it. It's a calming process and I love that it's a few minutes of me-time after a usually hectic day.

Do you have a journal like this? What is your reflecting ritual? Comment below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

May Favourites

May has been a great month so far - the warm weather has opened up weekends of adventure; I've gone hiking, to the beach, walking around downtown Toronto. All things that put  me in a great mood. I've (re)discovered quite a few favourites this month though not all beauty but what's life if it's only about makeup?

My Brother, My Brother and Me has become one of the high points of my day. I listen to this hilarious podcast on my commute to work since driving over an hour everyday has made me sick of the radio. These three brothers answer questions from listeners and on Yahoo Answers for an entertaining time.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara was an impulse purchase from Target when I went to Buffalo a couple months back and it's blown me away. The brush was interesting - the short stubby bristles intrigued me as I've never used something like that but the formula was fantastic. It was long lasting, didn't smudge and gave my lashes length and volume. Only thing was that it was a little stubborn to remove - my regular cleanser would take off majority but not all of it.

I rediscovered my Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation after needing a good foundation that wouldn't make me too greasy during warmer days. I've raved about it before and my feelings haven't changed much - a foundation with great coverage, it doesn't wipe off easily or slip around and it doesn't make you look greasy. Again, the fact that it doesn't have my exact shade really bothers me but the one I've got is close enough and will probably match better once I tan.

Hey Claire is a YouTuber I've recently started watching and she is fantastic. I love her style (though I could never pull it off), how she talks and her videos. She's easily one of the more talented YouTubers when it comes to ideas and editing and she puts in so much effort in all her videos. Definitely been binge-watching her!

Last but certainly not least is my favourite primer, Neutrogena Shine Control Primer. I've spoken about this and other Neutrogena products before and you'll know how much I love this. This is the perfect summer primer as it's so absorbent without making your skin look dry or cake-y. I put this on before my foundation and I've rarely had to powder after a few hours (I think I've had to powder on three separate occasions and that was after 8 hours).

What are your May favourites, beauty or otherwise? Leave your recommendations or links to your posts below or tweet me @SundayWardrobe!