Monthly Archives

May 2018

Posted on May 22, 2018

Top tips for protecting your skin against the sun

product review

As a nation that isn’t always blessed with a natural dosage of vitamin D from the sun, we have been pretty lucky lately. The high temperatures over the weekend almost had me wanting to leave the house in a swimsuit -not to mention the amazing weather we have today! But being the ‘conservative Irish girl’ that I am, I had to resist the urge to give in to this socially unacceptable behaviour (if you don’t get the joke, then you simply do not cyber stalk me enough, hashtag just saying).

But back to skin protection and the misconception that black people do not need to wear any – I know, zero to one hundred, how do I do it? I can imagine some pro-black melanin proud individuals reading this, and thinking ‘how dare she?’ But I’m sorry to break it to you, your melanin is no guarantee against skin cancer. We all need to protect our skin from the external environment, regardless of skin colour or tone.

If you are one of my day one followers, then you would know that I am quite an advocacte for sunscreen, even on days when it isn’t sunny (which is most days in the Great emerald Isle). I’ve spoken about this previously, so without delving too deep into the reasons why you should protect your skin from UV rays throughout the year, I’m going to be discussing some of the sun protection products I’ve been trying over the past few weeks and then give you some top sun protection tips from the experts themselves 🙂

 

Uriage Bariésun Spray SPF 50*

Uriage Bariésun Spray SPF 50+

Uriage Bariésun Spray SPF 50+and Uriage Lip Balm

“Uriage Bariésun Spray SPF 50+ is a very high protection sun lotion which has been enriched in Uriage Thermal Water which provides moisturizing and protective properties. This lotion is hypoallergenic, and designed to sensitive skins.”

This spray quickly made it to my list of must-have summer products after only one use. Unlike some other sunscreens I have tried in the past, this doesn’t leave any grease or a white hue. It absorbs in the skin very quickly and almost leaves a mattifying affect on the skin. It is super light and has a pleasant fragrance too.

  • Final Verdict: Out of all the sunscreen products I  have tried in the past, this is by far my favourite!
  • Rating: 1000% yes
  • Price: €30, pharmacies nationwide and www.uriage.ie

Payot Sun Sensi Spray Protector SPF 30*

Payot’s Sun Sensi Spray Protecteur Anti-Age SPF30

Payot Sun Sensi Spray Protecteur Anti-Age SPF30

“Payot’s Sun Sensi Spray Protecteur Anti-Age SPF30 is an airy-light, invisible, non-greasy, cooling milky mist that provides high protection against UVA and UVB rays for the body. It is water-resistant and has  anti-ageing benefits.”

This high protection sun screen is air-light, water resistant and has anti-aging properties. It provides and SPF of 30 and is best used every two hours. Unlike the Uriage spray, this payot sunscreen is used for the body only. It is a bit greasy for my skin type on my face and didn’t leave the mattifying finish I would have liked – much like the majority of sunscreens, in fairness. Thankfully, it does leave an invisible finish with no with hue at all!

  • Final Verdict: Points lost for not being face-friendly, as it is specifically designed for the body.
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Price: €32, pharmacies nationwide and www.payot.ie

Swatches !!!

One spritz of each product,L: Uriage, R: Payot

Natural light,no flash

Neither of the two products left sunscreen marks or a white residue so that’s always a win if you’re going to be out showing your pins at the beach! 🙂

Top tips from skin experts at Uriage about staying protected in the sun:

  1. Try to avoid being out in the sun when it is at its hottest. This is generally around 10.30am -3.30pm in the summer months.
  2. Use your clothes to cover-up vulnerable areas and sit in the shade if it is at all possible.
  3. Find a hat that will provide extra cover. One with a 3 inch brim can give you adequate protection.
  4. It might sound obvious, but make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  5. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin, and when doing so make sure to use a sufficient amount of product, use two layers rather than one to be safe.
  6. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving the house, and importantly remember to reapply every 80 minutes or after any swimming or sweating even if using a waterproof formula.
  7. Kids love swimming when on holiday – but make sure that after they get out of the pool or sea that you dry them with a towel and reapply sun screen.
  8. Finally, do not forget to apply to these areas on yourself and young children – the top of the head, the ears, nape of the neck and also feet!

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*Both products were gifted, but all views remain my own. Full disclaimer here. 

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Posted on May 18, 2018

The 8th Amendment: 8 pro-life arguments debunked

Uncovered

repeal the 8th amendment

On the 25th of May, the voting citizens of Ireland will be given the opportunity to make history. We will be given the chance to vote on whether we want to repeal or retain the 8th Amendment, which was voted into the Irish Constitution in 1983 and currently protects the life of the unborn.

The tension created by the upcoming referendum over the past few weeks seems to have polarised the nation, with activists from both sides of the debate playing dirty. I am aware that this topic is incredibly delicate for a lot of women and men, alike and that people have their own personal  reasons for why they will vote ‘Yes’ or  ‘No’ this day next week.

My intention is not to change the votes of those who have a firm and legitimate position in the matter, I understand that when a person’s vote is so deeply rooted in life experience, very little will sway them to the other side.

Instead, I want to help those who are unsure about the 8th and inform them on how it negatively impacts the lives of their sisters, daughters, neighbours and friends – not only when in need of an abortion, but during a continued pregnancy too.

What is the 8th Amendment?

So for those of you who don’t know, the 8th Amendment equates the life of a pregnant person to that of a foetus. It says, ‘the state acknowledges the right to life of the foetus and, with due regards to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that.’

This makes abortion services illegal in Ireland, even in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities. Irish women who need abortion are either forced to travel abroad, adding more expenses and trauma to an already emotional experience, or they can order illegal abortion pills online and risk facing a 14 year prison sentence for perpetrating a crime.

But let’s not put all the focus on abortion or forced pregnancy, the 8th Amendment also affects women while pregnant. The HSE National Consent Policy restricts informed consent and informed refusal of treatment for pregnant individuals.

It states, ‘because of the Constitutional provisions on the right to life of the unborn there is significant legal uncertainty regarding a pregnant woman’s right to consent.’

This means the requirement for informed consent is eliminated and pregnant women are often forced into procedures without the proper information or consultation. While many on the pro-life side claim to love both the mother and foetus, it is clear that the 8th Amendment favours the life of the unborn. It directly removes the person’s right to consent for any procedure during labour and birth where it is deemed to endanger the life of the foetus.

Where do I stand in this debate?

Advocating for the choice to perform an action is not the same as advocating for that action to be performed.

pro choice pro repeal

While I do have ethical opinions on abortion as far as gestation period goes, I personally believe that people in Ireland should have access to legal abortion services in their own country. For that reason, I identify as pro-choice rather than pro-abortion. I feel that being labelled as pro-abortion makes a false claim that I want women to have abortion, when in reality I want women to have a choice to make that decision for themselves. I think using the term pro-abortion places a significant amount of emphasis on the unborn and completely ignores female bodily autonomy.

When I say I am pro-choice, what I really mean is that I am pro-women having agency over their own bodies. When I say I am pro-choice, what I mean is that I don’t believe a person’s moral opinion on abortion should  override another woman’s right to choose and when I say I am pro-choice, what I really mean is that I believe the government should not get to police my body, because forcing unwanted pregnancy on any woman or girl is a form of female oppression.

I often find myself getting riled up when I get into the politics of it all, so to avoid getting overly emotional about this – if I haven’t already – I’m going to introduce some important facts, that may help swing voters make an informed decision on voting day.

With the help of social feminist group Rosa, I was able to compile a list of common arguments from the pro-life side to do some myth-busting about abortion. A massive thank you to the lovely Una for providing me with the information to share these myth-busters with you:

MYTH #1: Abortion is used as a form of ‘birth control’

Abortion is a costly procedure, making the use of contraception much easier than having an abortion. Also, there is not just one reason to have an abortion. People usually have a number of reasons for why they wish to terminate their pregnancy. It is a decision that no person takes lightly.

MYTH #2: Adoption is a better solution

Adoption is still a forced option that puts a woman’s mental health at risk. Forcing someone to continue an unwanted pregnancy affects their mental state and overall well-being.

MYTH #3: Where abortion is legal, women are more likely to be forced into it by abusive partners

Taking autonomy away from women who need abortion will not solve violence against women. If anything, the 8th Amendment causes further damage to women who are in abusive relationships and want to access abortion without the knowledge of their abusive partner.

MYTH #4: Abortions are more dangerous than child birth

Abortion is only dangerous when done illegally and in an unsafe environment. When done under the care of a trained practitioner, they are safe. In fact, the World Health Organisation puts abortion pills on essential medication list. In regards to giving birth, a woman is 14 times more likely to die during childbirth than during an abortion procedure.

MYTH #5: Having abortion increases the risk of mental health problems

Forcing someone to stay pregnant and give birth against their will increases the risk of mental health problems. In fact, 98% would recommend it to other women in the same situation, according to Abigail Aiken Study (2016, North & Southern Ireland).

MYTH #6: Abortion is used to prevent the birth of persons with disabilities

Having a baby with a disability is not an easy thing. Since the severity of all kinds of conditions vary widely, the woman and her family should be best placed to decide if they can handle caring for such a child, not the government.

MYTH #7: Having an abortion increases the risk of infertility, stillbirths and miscarriages in the future

A properly performed abortion will not impact future fertility. It is one of the safest medical interventions. Illegal, backstreet abortions performed with untrained practitioners put women’s lives and fertility at risk, not abortion.

MYTH #8: Countries that have adopted ‘abortion on demand’ legislation have seen a drastic  increase in abortion rates

The abortion rate is stable, with Western Europe having the lowest abortion rate worldwide. In fact, abortion is less frequent in countries with the most liberal abortion.

What is the bottom line?

The focus of this issue should not be on the unborn, we need to prioritise the lives and choices of women. The dialogue surrounding this debate  shouldn’t be about a person’s moral opinion on abortion, it should be about women having the freedom to do what’s best for them and their family. Just because you wouldn’t have an abortion yourself it doesn’t mean you should rob another person of making that decision for themselves.

As I’ve already expressed, people will have their own reasons for why they think the 8th Amendment should be repealed or retained. But for those who are still undecided, don’t be influenced by the false arguments being made by the pro-life campaign. Don’t make this about what you would or wouldn’t do.

It shouldn’t be about you.

It should be about trusting women to make their own choices.

It should be about women having agency over their own bodies.

It is about the continued fight for female bodily autonomy.

In the words of Claire Balding, “At the end of the day Ireland, no human in pro-abortion. But in the democratic society that we live in. we should all be pro-choice.”

Vote ‘Yes’ on the 25th of May.

Vote ‘Yes’ to repeal.

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Posted on May 15, 2018

“TERFs are trash!”| Twitter’s reaction to Genderquake

vlog

First and foremost, a massive thank you to everyone who tuned in to Genderquake this time last week. I am still so overwhelmed by the overall reaction to my contribution on the show! As expected, there was a bit of name calling. One insult in particular is still very new to me – typical lefties! But in general, the feedback was very positive and I’m happy with it!

If you weren’t glued to the Genderquake hashtag on Twitter during broadcast of the show the way I was, then be sure to check out my recent YouTube video to hear some of the truly hilarious Twitter reactions to me featuring in this two-part  Channel 4 documentary 🙂

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Posted on May 14, 2018

4 simple ways to have a whiter and healthier smile!!!

How To

Growing up, I’ve always been blessed with a white smile. If there was one thing people often complimented me on, it was my bright pearly whites. This happened so regularly that it actually made me self conscious about strangers constantly looking at my mouth.  I will admit that I was rather shy about it during that time, but I have since then learned to embrace the whiteness and I now do the absolute most to ensure my pearly whites remain, well…..white!

I brush, I floss, I mouthwash and I use a smoker’s whitening tooth powder – even though I don’t smoke!

I am aware that not everyone will have the dedication to take the OCD approach that I’ve implemented into my tooth care routine, so if you need your teeth whitening in order to resemble the stunningly white smiles of A list celebrities, one option – that doesn’t include vigorous brushing or obsession – is to see your dentist and have them bleach away years and years of stains.

However, if you’re not in the position to see a dentist for cosmetic work because professional teeth whitening  is a little out of your financial reach, then worry not! I have some fool-proof ways to help you achieve pearly white perfection.

Here are the top four most natural ways to achieve a brighter, whiter smile without breaking the bank 🙂

1. Pay your dentist regular visits

dentist docklands dental

Photo Credit: Docklands Dental

Think about it, most of us wouldn’t avoid the hairdresser for years, so why do we avoid our dentist? Many of us are scheduled to visit every six months, which is great for picking up on dental issues before they take hold but if you’re looking for a brighter and whiter smile, you need to be sitting in the dentist chair every three months! Keeping your mouth clean and removing bacteria will help keep your smile white and bright – after 3 months, any bacteria left simply takes hold again! If you’re scared of your dentist…then you’re seeing the wrong one.

2. Brush, brush, brush!

dentist docklands dental

Photo Credit: Docklands Dental

Yes, it sounds obvious – but so many adults don’t follow this simple rule! To keep your pearly whites white, you need to be brushing at least three times a day – so only a minor OCD approach! Better brushing will give you better results! Yes, you can choose whitening toothpastes that might help the process along, but it’s the extra time you take to brush that’ll get you that beautiful smile. Most whitening products that are available at your local supermarket or chemist only contain a small amount of whitening agent because there are restrictions on how much is available to the public in everyday products, so don’t be fooled by too-good-to-be-true results.

3. The importance of food and drink CANNOT be understated

If you’re hoping to achieve a naturally white smile, then you need to be mindful of what you’re consuming during the day. Certain foods and drinks erode our enamel and cause tooth weakness – take it easy on that lemon water! And as you know, that morning cup of coffee is going straight to your teeth and staining them brown. The same can be said for tea and of course, smoking. You also need to be careful when it comes to certain vegetables as well! Whoever would have thought the list could be this long? Blueberries, beetroot and even carrots contain antioxidants that can stain your teeth.

4. A simple rinse!

bright smile docklands dental

Photo Credit: Docklands Dental

If brushing your teeth after every meal seems a bit awkward, especially if you’re at work during the day or you’re just busy running errands throughout the day. Then try having a simple rinse instead. You can wash away the remnants of your meal before what’s left behind can do any staining damage. Even if you just use a glass of water, you can be a step closer to your perfect smile.

If you want some more advice on your oral health, then speak to your dentist today.

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*This is a collaborative post, all views remain my own.

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Posted on May 2, 2018

5 tips and tricks for dealing with social media trolls

How To/ Tips

While it is not uncommon for content creators to receive online abuse every now and again, I was quite fortunate to have skipped those horrible experiences for the most part of my blogging career. Fast forward a few years since launching my blog, and now the peaceful days of not dealing with online hate have become a long and distant memory to me.

Thankfully, dealing with trolls is still only a new phenomenon for me. It is one that started around the time I publicly spoke out about my experience of being hypersexualised as a Black Irish woman on dating sites. Following the publication of my viral open letter, it’s become the norm for me to moderate the comment section of my various social media platforms.

Being called a ‘darkie’ on YouTube has become such a regular occurrence for me at this point that it surprises me not to get a negative comment that is racially motivated. While I am not one to take nasty comments personally, I sometimes wonder if reading them will have negative effects on me on a subconscious level – I guess, only time will tell!

As someone who is now well versed in dealing with faceless profiles, I’ve decided to share my top tips for dealing with social media trolls 🙂

1. Stay calm and composed

If you choose to give hateful trolls the time of day, then a calm and composed reply may be a way to go! Emotionally driven arguments can only take you so far -not to mention how upset you might get after giving in to their negativity! If you keep a rational mind and reply calmly, there’s a lower chance of being dragged down to their miserable level.

2. Laugh it off

Nothing drives a social media troll crazier than seeing how little someone is affected by their nasty words and backwards ‘opinions.’ Use a bit of humour to lighten up the situation, because at the end of the day – who is this person, really? Not giving a troll their desired response will eventually wear them down and make them lose at their own pathetic game.

3. ‘Like’ it

If you’re someone who believes that online trolls don’t even deserve a millisecond of your day, then a simple liking of a comment will suffice. If it’s a Twitter troll and you’re feeling a bit generous with your time, then a retweet will show them who’s bawse! 🙂

4. Dirty tactics

I’m not one who believes in fighting fire with fire. With that said, I do believe that there are some idiots out there who deserved to be publicly named and shamed. If you ever have it in you to play dirty then take a screen shot of the abusive comment, post it on the platform where you have the most followers, tag the person (if possible), then let your fandom deal with the rest *upside down emoji*

5. Report, block and ignore

If all else fails…report, block and ignore.  I know this can be hard, but deep down most of us know that this is the best course of action to take. If a stranger is so worried about what you’re doing, it means they must lead a pathetic and lonely life. Pray for their happiness and you keep doing you.

On a final note…

If you’re really struggling to deal with online negativity, then rant to a trusted friend over a cuppa and remind yourself that even Beyoncé gets hate. I don’t know about you…..but by my logic, that basically means you’re a #kween! 🙂

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[23-04-18]

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