Transitioning into cruelty free beauty and skincare has been fairly difficult especially with finding products that effectively work with improving the texture of my skin and my uneven skin tone. I have tried various products ranging from oils, face masks, lotions and potions both before my decision to transition into cruelty free as well as after but none of them worked as well as I had hoped for.
Many of the dark spot corrector creams I had used tended to work really well within the first few weeks of use until which I slowly begin to realise that my skin isn't responding to the product the way it used to. Do you get that feeling too with some of your skincare products? It's mildly frustrating!
I have been using the Replederm Dark Spot Corrector* for a couple of months now, and I can honestly say that so far it has been the best and most effective product I have used to even out my skintone! The cream has not only evened out my skin tone but it has also brightened my complexion with Vitamins B3, C and E that is contained in the cream. The ingredients target the discolouration and dark spots in the skin, regulating the melanin production whilst the vitamins brighten and nourish the area to produce bright and even skin!
When I first used the Replederm Dark Spot Corrector*, I was surprised at the rich consistency of the cream and the way that it felt thick on the skin when I was applying it which was a texture I wasn't quite used to. That feeling didn't last very long as the cream began to feel incredibly moisturising, and nourishing on my skin especially when I applied it on my pamper nights as I would mix the Replederm Dark Spot Corrector* and a few drops of my L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil for a surge of moisture, nourishment and brightening ingredients.
It took a few weeks for my skin to show the effectiveness of the cream and it has also helped me get into the habit of applying sunscreen everyday as I find that brightening creams tend to make my skin a little bit more sensitive to sunlight. The acne scarring I had around my cheeks has faded, more even toned and my skin is looking bright and nourished! Besides all that, one of my favourite things about the Replederm Dark Spot Corrector* is that it is 100% vegan and cruelty free!
*The products marked with an asterisk were gifted to me. Please refer to my Disclaimer for more information
We are inching closer and closer to the colder months, and I am beyond excited! As much as I am more of a sunshine and ice cream kind of girl, this summer has been unbearably bizarre with extreme weather changes from one day to the next with the hotter days being really humid and sticky! I am looking forward to the cooler, less sticky nights where I can snuggle up in bed with a hot drink and Netflix! Over the last month, I gave my bedroom a refresh, began organising myself for the start of university (this is my first week back! eep.) and picked up more hours at work!
- Get ahead on notes for my lectures and tutorials
- Create a routine (and actually stick to it!)
- Clean out the two spare rooms ... which may have turned into cluttered storage areas
- Merge my @mazrawrs instagram account into my personal account (follow me! @mazmonash)
- Set aside a MazRawrs day to photograph, film and type up posts
- Cook 3 new recipes this month
- Do my taxes on my own
I used to think that I could do it all without feeling run down and mentally exhausted - I was wrong. Over the last 6 months, I had been juggling between varying tasks, responsibilities and hobbies in which I had taken up with the vision of a successful end game. I was juggling between university, work, MazRawrs, social media marketing, obstacles within relationships, various large to do lists, attempts to make time for myself and my family alongside managing my latest adventure, Infâme Co.
In doing all of this, there was a constant muttering of "you need to relax", "you need to take a break", "you need to take something off your plate" from my closest friends and family. Of course being the stubborn girl I am, the mutterings fuelled my motivation to prove them wrong and the more I heard it the more I made sure that I could in fact manage it all. I kept it up for a couple of months, but as the new year began I started to feel a lot more physically drained which resulted in horrendous sleep, lack of appetite and plentiful headaches. Sooner or later, I started getting dizzy spells, and migraines which led to the demise of my productive streak.
This was around the time my clothing line 'Infâme Co.' officially launched so I projected all my efforts and remaining mental energy onto the launch of the company. As I worked with two of my close friends, it was a much lighter load on myself which allowed for me to rest and recuperate as well as have some very much needed time for myself. Although, I did feel extreme guilt for having to go on hiatus on not only MazRawrs but also on a few other projects that I was pursuing, I knew if I didn't do so it would have negative altercations on my health and wellbeing.
There a many of us out there who hustle, and grind without taking time out of the day or week to concentrate on ourselves. It's important to do that, before you tire yourself out the way I did. Even if it's just a 10 minute face mask, a cup of tea or 30 minutes of Youtube filled goodness! The reason behind my hiatus was for the first time in a very long time, I did it for me.
2016 was the year I learnt a lot about not only myself but those that I surround myself with and how they affect me. A reflection of the year that has past is something that I do regret not doing at the start of 2016, but here I am now! Here's to looking back on a year filled with challenges and lessons.
No. 1 Friendship
I learnt a lot about friendship over the last year, mainly from the relationships I had and the effect some of those relationships had on me. I learnt a lot about what a good friendship entails, the kind of people I'd like to surround myself with and I learnt who to trust. I used to find letting go incredibly difficult but this year I learnt that it is OK to let go of friendships who have a toxic effect on you - even if they were once cherished. I also figured out who my "squad" was and I keep them close to me.
No. 2 Goal setting
Goal setting was something that I never had a passion for till this year, it started out early 2016 when I had a fair amount of things I wanted to achieve within that month so I wrote those things down in my planner. It was a good way to have it in writing so that I didn't have to stress over having to remember the things I wanted to achieve and the motivation that I got from crossing those things out once I achieved them was exhilarating. Monthly goal setting motivated me to get more things done and definitely helped me hustle harder every month!
No. 3 I compete with the person I was a year ago
No. 4 Be the friend you'd like to have
This was something that I believed in for a long time - I remember one of my friends Jesseline (@themakerjess) introduced me to the concept at camp when I was maybe 10 years old and it stuck with me ever since. Be the friend you'd like to have by treating others the way you'd like to be treated. It's a character that I never actively tried to portray unless I was faced with a friendship hurdle or when I was advising someone else. In 2016 I made the conscious effort to make sure that it was a mindset that I was actively living by and it definitely showed me which friendships I cherished more than others because they exude the same character.
No. 5 Hustle harder
No. 6 It doesn't happen to people like me
Some of the experiences I had this year were things that personally took me by surprise due to the mindset I had at the time. "It doesn't happen to people like me" was a mindset that I had on a subconscious level, so you can imagine the shock I was in when I underwent a couple of opportunities and experiences that I didn't think could happen to "people like me". Good things happen if you work hard enough for it and bad things can happen because no one is an exception. Anything can happen to anyone, and I was wrong for thinking things won't happen to people like me.
No. 7 Budgeting
No. 8 Treasure the important things
In this day and age, it's easy to focus on how big your following is, how much money you have, if you have the latest fashion pieces etc. I got quite caught up in it every once in a while during the first half of 2016, one of my friends managed to snap me out of it (so blessed to have great friends!) and ever since, I made sure to treasure what matters most to me including time with family and friends, a roof over my head and the freedom to have a hobby that I am extremely passionate about.
No. 9 Gratitude
No. 10 Pick yourself up
I was a big advocate for throwing yourself a self pity party with a good tub of ice cream for a couple of days until you are ready to face the world again. This year however I was hustling hard and when I hit one of the biggest setbacks, I realised that yes you can cry but instead of waiting till you feel better - PICK YOURSELF BACK UP.
No. 11 Don't forget your roots
It took me a while to figure out my beliefs and values, and in 2016 I finally managed to solidify what my beliefs were but once I did, sometimes it was easier to forget what I believed in especially when you're caught in a moment. In 2016, I found that daily reflections and writing down what I really believed in helped me stay true to myself.
I honestly had a pretty great year in 2016, despite the setbacks because as I look back now, it took those setbacks to develop so many of my characteristics and helped me become the person I am today. I am extremely excited to face whatever 2017 has to throw at me because I know that I will get through it and as will you. I wish you all the very best year ahead and I highly recommend you reflecting on the past year, you'd be surprised by how much you've learnt and grown over the past year!