Finding the Love I Want From Within

Self love is a process of discovery, celebration and care.
GrayNdiayeGrayNdiaye
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Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!“I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me, with me” ~Eartha Kitt I write this while snacking on taquitos and casually swimming through Tinder, well aware that I am in the midst of a transformation—on a journey through self-love and healing. One of the constant issues I struggle with is not being in a relationship, causing me to remain unintentionally celibate. Though I desire love, I know that I am not ready for it right now. However, I am definitely not ready for unfulfilling hookups.In the past I have put myself out there and had some rather interesting encounters. From closeted church deacons to polyamorous playboys, I have run the gamut yet still felt empty. Being skinny while having a dark terracotta complexion, I’ve often been met with rejection. This is not to self-deprecate but to express my dilemma of fitting into the community that is uplifted during June. Through this journey of discovery and embracing my identity, I realized that I too have some biases to eliminate. The “Adonis” that much of my fellow gay men dream of is not real or my type. I will never be that type myself. Chasing after sex is not my ministry, I crave real intimacy and love. As I am in the midst of an awakening, I am willing to close my legs to be open to love.
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The world as we know it is experiencing uncertain times, for the month of Pride, I have chosen to celebrate in my own way. I do not honor Pride simply for the rainbow ridden parades but rather the hope that the rainbow carries. The hope and resilience it represents for those of us who are told we are walking abominations—especially my Black siblings under the rainbow. Pride is a time to reflect on how far we have come and to find the pride within ourselves. How much do we love ourselves? How much will we love others? In the midst of turbulence, we remain steadfast. Use the month of Pride to learn to accept yourself and be honest with yourself. If you do not want monogamy, that is fine. If you wish to find your soulmate then be honest about that. Nothing started progressing for me until I was honest about who I was and what I desired. Love is at the center of this month and without love of self, it is difficult to have or experience true love.
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Learn to love your unique self. When you do not fit certain standards, embrace those qualities that make you different. Continue to dive into those parts of yourself that you were taught to dismiss as you consistently remind yourself of who you are. My name is Gray; I am an eccentric Black, gay man who is a hopeFUL romantic and currently unintentionally celibate. Who are you? “Normal girl…I wish I was a normal girl...I'll never be...” ~SZA
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Best Reviews
Oily skin moisturizer awards 🤩
Oily skin moisturizer awards 🤩
To piggy back on my “oily skin still needs a moisturizer” post I thought I’d present my oily skin moisturizer awards to give a boost to three of my favorites. I wanted to start this out by stating I do have very oily skin. My main concerns are large appearing pores, uneven skin tone, dullness/dehydration. My Holy Grail Moisturizer - FARMACY - Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya If I had to pick one moisturizer to use for the rest of my life this would be it. For $38 you get 1.7oz of whipped hydration. Despite it being a whipped gel texture it’s very lightweight on the skin. A little goes a very long way as it smooths on to give your face the hydration it needs without it feeling heavy. Farmacy claims it has moringa seed extract and moringa water to remove skin impurities while papaya extract gentle exfoliates the skin. I have seen a little difference in the appearance of my pores while using this. I think the only turn off to this product is the very strong sweet smell it has. Best Moisturizer for Oily yet Sensitive Skin - CLINIQUE - Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly This is my go to moisturizer for myself when my skin is freaking out and I need to take a step back from my routine. It’s also what I recommend to customers at work if they have oily yet sensitive skin. It’s one of the best no nonsense moisturizers on the market. It’s fragrance free, dye free, sulfate free, and oil free. The jelly is super lightweight and feels very hydrating on the skin. It contains sunflower seed cake, barley extract, and cucumber fruit extract to help strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier which is paramount of sensitive or compromised skin. For $28 you get 4.2 oz of product which will last you a while. They also have iD cartridges you can put into it which dispense serum into the moisturizer. The one I have above targets pores which is a concern of mine. It helps bring my skin back to its normal state when irritated while delivering the hydration I need. Best Exfoliating Moisturizer for Oily Skin - GLOW RECIPE - Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask Exfoliation is important for oily skin! When I do take a step back from my normal exfoliators I like to use this product in its place. The texture of it isn’t for anyone. It does have a more gloopy formula but I feel like once I work it into the skin it absorbs really nicely. For $45 you get 2.7 oz of product. It has hyaluronic acid and glycerin to hydrate the skin and glycolic and lactic acid to help exfoliate. When I do use this I tend to use it every other day because I don’t want to over do it (even though it is more on the gentle side of chemical exfoliators). When I do use this I notice my skin is extremely soft and hydrated in the morning. It also smells of watermelon jolly ranchers which is amazing!
My Favorite Sunscreen ☀️
My Favorite Sunscreen ☀️
I have combination skin that is sensitive and acne-prone. I’m also someone who doesn’t like anything with a sticky feeling on my face! 🌱This is the Centella Green Level Unscented Sunscreen and it is gorgeous. ✨First of all, it passes the Not Sticky test and doesn’t leave a white cast at all. It’s basically another hydrating moisturizer for your face in the way it applies and interacts with the skin. For this reason, reapplying doesn’t feel gross or heavy and this is one of the few sunscreens I actually enjoy reapplying throughout the day which is so important! ✨This has Hyaluronic Acid in it as well as Centella to enhance the skin barrier which provides protection from ultraviolet rays and any external stressors. It also avoids things like fragrance and essential oils so it is good for sensitive skin. ✨This is $16 for 2 oz which in my opinion is great for what you’re getting. What’s your favorite sunscreen? 🌞
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
Skincare for Time-Savers – My Lazy Day Skincare Routine for Acne!
As someone that is beauty product OBSESSED – I sometimes end up with a twelve-step routine before bed. Although this is fun, sometimes I have to step back and ask myself: · Do I really need this many products? · Could too many products be actually harming my skin instead of helping? · Could I achieve the same healthy skin with less product application and significantly less money spent? A few details about my type of skin include: · European heritage · Oily-skin that is dry with the wrong products · Acne-prone skin since I was fifteen/ subsequent scarring · Fighting anti-aging and fine lines, especially around my smile and forehead. (Curse my expressive face that cannot hide any emotions!) So I asked myself – Can I get this down to three products? And voila! I selected my favorite three that I could NOT live without. When I do not feel like bringing out the entire skincare brigade – I opt for these main trusted three: 1. Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask – A bit about this product includes: a. Great for a once-per-week mask b. Sometimes I use it twice per week if I’m suffering from bad acne c. The ingredients clarify using aloe (soothing) blue tansy (redness calmer), white willow bark (anti-inflammatory), all combining for a resurfacing-effect that fights bacteria. d. Contains BHAs and Salicin (an anti-microbial that kills bacteria) e. The scent is fruity and smells like herbs/aloe f. Blue tansy has a mildly-medicinal fragrance g. The texture is thick, almost like maple syrup h. A little goes a long way! i. One bottle can last me about 6-months if I use it properly j. Price: $48.00 k.Ratings: 4.5-stars out of 200+ reviews   2. Terre Mere’s Aloe and Tea Tree Toner – A bit about this product includes: a. I only recently discovered this in my Fab Fit Fun box, a subscription service that sends new beauty products to your door once per season. b. On days that I do not mask with the Blue Tansy – I only use this toner and the oil listed in #3. (If only using these bottom two products, I would use the toner first, and then follow-up with the oil on step #3, for an even more simplified routine). You should also cleanse/wash your face between toning and moisturizing, but we’re going for basics here! c. I tend to lean towards products with aloe, very calming for my skin’s redness d. The tea tree oil offers an anti-fungal property to fight harmful bacteria that clog pores e. Infused with a sulfur compound that they claim offers a collagen-boosting effect f. Vegan g. Willow bark (now that I’m researching, quite similar to the blue tansy mask indeed!) There is a reason these ingredients are used for fighting acne – they work! h. Fragrance-free - important unless the fragrances are naturally-occurring. You don’t want to clog your skin with dyes and perfumes. i. Price: $54.00 j. Ratings: None available   3. Herbivore’s Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil – A bit about this product includes: a. I love the brand Herbivore Botanicals! It is one of my all-time favorites. Not only do I trust them for clean, vegan, and highly-moisturizing products, but they also fight my breakouts like no other topical treatment ever has. b. The prices are slightly high – however, the formulas are so concentrated. I have been able to make a bottle of this last for 6-months. That is less than $8 per month. So there is no need to see your skincare as a major luxury! c. Fights redness and dullness d. Absorbs quickly e. Great for any skin type– even oily skin. That is what it’s for! If you have oily skin, stripping it of natural oils will only reinforce oil production, resulting in more breakouts. Do not fight your skin’s natural proclivity to produce oil! Okay, queens!? f. Even if you have dry or combination skin, this product will leave you feeling exceptionally moisturized without a greasy effect. g. Utilizes a blend of cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, omegas, and adaptogens h. $1 for each bottle sold is donated to help legalize cannabis for therapeutic-use and medicinal research i. The color is as the name suggests – emerald to light green j. I use about 2-3 drops per morning and night k. I gently massage it into the places that become the most inflamed (around mouth mostly) l.  Price: $48.00 m.   Rating: 4.5-stars out of 100+ reviews I have a few other favorites, but honestly, nothing compares to these OG three! These main three products are heavily responsible for my skin having: · Reduced redness · Less inflammation and acne · A smoother texture · A brightened glow See the before and after pictures for proof of my glow-up!
Gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin 👌🏻
Gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin 👌🏻
DERMAFLASH - Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser 𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬:⁣ A two-in-one skincare device that uses ultrasonic waves at 33,000 Hz per second⁣ to unclog pores and infuse your favorite skincare products.⁣ ⁣ Dermapore offers 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐬 for a customized treatment experience: ⁣ 𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 - cleans your skin by removing dirt, oil, and blackheads.⁣ 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 - enhances the penetration of active ingredients.⁣ ⁣ 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞:⁣ 1. Press the Power Button once to activate Extract Mode which is indicated by a steady vibration and white light.⁣ 2. Apply gentle, yet firm pressure as you glide the device over your face and neck. Pay particular attention to congested areas.⁣ 3. After using Extract Mode, wipe the device clean with alcohol or soap and water to prepare the device for use in Infuse Mode.⁣ 4. Apply your favorite serum or moisturizer.⁣ 5. Press the Power Button twice to activate Infuse Mode which is indicated by a tapping vibration and blue light.⁣ 6. Using the flat portion of the spatula, glide dermapore over your serum or moisturizer—the ultrasonic vibration enhances penetration of the active ingredients in your skincare to help them work more effectively.⁣ ⁣ I have been using Dermapore for months now, and I absolutely love it. It took 2-3 runs to figure out how to use it effectively. I was honestly quite surprised by how effective this product was at unclogging my pores. I have a congested and very oily T-zone and this little charm cleans out 90% of the gunk from my nose with ease. I don’t steam my face and straightly just wet my face and it still works great. I keep a small spray bottle at hand and spritz my face to keep my skin wet throughout the process. I like to use a little pressure with the spatula as it helps push the water into the skin and in turn pushing excess dirt/oil buildup out of my pores. It’s kind of gross but incredibly satisfying and gives you the results you’d expect from a professionally done facial.⁣ ⁣ If you have very minimal blackheads or whiteheads, this may not be that worth it. But if you’re someone who has oily skin that constantly deals with comedones, this can be a game-changer for you.
The best tinted moisturizer I’ve ever used!
The best tinted moisturizer I’ve ever used!
The Beauty Counter Dew Skin tinted moisturizer is the perfect product if you want a nice dewy finish and not a heavy makeup look. It’s so easy to apply, I just use my fingers! And a 1.35 fl oz. size runs about $45. It’s currently on sale on their website by the way! It’s very light coverage but I find it to do a good job of concealing light pigmentation and just make your face look more awake. I apply it right after I cleanse and apply my eye cream and serum. You can just use it as a replacement for your moisturizer during the day. I’ve been using it for about 3 months now and would definitely purchase it again! I’m almost out of my container anyways since I use it daily. It doesn’t have a harsh smell and is very blendable. I use about 2 pumps for the whole face. I find makeup to stay on over it pretty well and it does last almost all day, even in humid conditions. Hope this reviews helps if you’ve been on the market for a good tinted moisturizer! xx #Beauty Counter - Dew Skin[products]#[FiveStars]