Unapologetically Queer: My Pride in RetrospectLooking inward to find the true meaning of Pride Month
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!It was a beautiful day in San Francisco - where I was on my way to my very first Pride. It was not your typical Sunday at the Bart station. What once was a train of empty seats, was now quickly filled with shimmery tutu’s and rainbows galore. I remember being with my close friends waiting at the Bart station, where an ample of emotions rushed through me. There was an undeniable excitement and nervousness that was present all at once. It was more than a burst of fireworks - it was a flame that completely engulfed me. I felt cosmic. Pride covered the sky with a blanket of victory. People around the world gathering together in a safe space to celebrate their queerness and love was a concept that not only inspired me - but also solidified and strengthened my spirit as well as everyone around me. I looked around and noticed everyone’s joy and laughter. I remember laying out on the grass and thought to myself, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” This feeling was something I would never dare to forget. As a young, queer man - I never felt so safe. Growing up BaklaI have always dreamed of a life that aligned with my true identity. I believe once that’s attained, not only have you found happiness, but a narrative that is unapologetically you. We’re all taught at a young age to “be ourselves” —whatever that may entail. I think we can all agree that it is easier said than done. But what if I told you that being queer was the last thing I wanted to do when I was younger? On some days, I liked being in the skin I was born with. Yet on other days, when society was telling me who I should be, what gender to like, and what toys I should play with; that is when I came to a sudden realization: Being yourself is quite harder than one may think. This is my story of unmasking my true identity, stripped away from all of the outside noise, and becoming the person I love the most today. “Bakla” is what they would call me when I was younger. This meant ‘gay’ in tagalog. Growing up as a Filipino American, this was a nickname some of my Titas and Titos would call me (Aunties and Uncles). I remember them calling me this at the young age of five years old when I picked up my first Barbie doll. I did not necessarily understand what the word meant or tried to understand because of how young I was. I wanted to be allowed to not care - but this simply was not possible. As I grew older, I began to put the pieces together. I began to notice the tone in which people were using it and how they were using it. It didn’t make me feel good or welcomed at all. It actually made me want to hide forever. I remember watching myself cry in my parents’ vanity mirror, wishing I was someone else, and in this case “straight”. I would pray to God every night hoping he would somehow alter the way I was. Reprogram me, in a sense. Design me a little bit “better.” This is also when I had the biggest awakening of my life: You cannot satisfy everyone. A Realization of Pride and SelfWhen I turned thirteen, I had an epiphany. I realized how unhappy I was trying to be someone I was not. The constant effort put into my facade started to take a toll on my mental health. I began to question my own character and how much I valued living my truth. Shortly after, the process of self-love came into play. I started to embrace the person I was becoming, mistakes and all.I would look at my reflection day by day and accept who I was when no one else would. Life is not about impressing others or toning yourself down to fit someone else’s perception or mold of you. You are unique and revolutionary. Your beauty could burn for an eternity. You are the standard and you are brilliant. Capable. Resilient. Loving the skin I was born with was not always easy, but the journey to do so has been incredibly humbling. I recall a moment at the Pride Parade where I thought about my experiences and I could not stop myself from crying. When you grow up trying so hard to have others validate you, there is a major disconnect. You begin to ask yourself questions and your confidence crumbles. I decided that my existence alone was enough. The feeling of loneliness dissipated as quickly as I first felt it. I was surrounded by people who may not have the same story as me — but understood the pain and rejection I once felt. As human beings, we yearn for connection and intimacy. We want to feel like we belong. We all want to have a voice and be heard. At the age of 25, I believe I have found it and I never stopped celebrating.
10 HOURS AGO
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Ingredient highlight: Propylene Glycol
If you search the internet about propylene glycol you may not want to use any product that contains it. They talk about this is a carcinogenic and toxic ingredient, obviously nobody wants an ingredient with those characteristics on their skin. However it is a widely used ingredient that with a good structure turns out to be non-toxic and is used in medicine, cosmetics and food. Propylene Glycol is a odorless, colorless and insipid liquid that is soluble in water. It is produced synthetically by adding water to propylene oxide, derived from petroleum products. It is a moisturizing, solvent, emollient, and preservative ingredient that helps attract water and locks it into the skin, used in creams, lotions, serums, shampoos, and other skin care products. This ingredient helps the skin absorb moisture, as well as smoothing hair. Principal functions: 🧪 Attracts water: at low concentrations it acts as a humectant. Helps give skin a hydrated, moist appearance when used in cosmetics. 🧪 Lightly moisturizes: as a moisturizer it also hydrates and softens the skin without feeling sticky. 🧪 Safe for acne-prone skin: it is a non-greasy ingredient. 🧪 Prevents water loss: as an emollient, it creates a protective barrier that prevents water loss and softens the skin. 🧪 Enhances penetration: helps the active ingredients in cosmetics penetrate the skin better and be more effective. SOL de Janeiro - Brazilian Joia Strengthening + Smoothing Conditioner Claims: a rich yet weightless conditioner that repairs and smooths for healthy hair that’s twice as strong. As I mentioned above, propylene glycol helps smooth and detangle hair, and this conditioner definitely makes styling easier. It also smells delicious. I have been using it for 6 months and I love how soft and manageable my hair is, as well as helping to control frizz and detangle it easily. HUDA BEAUTY - Yo Glow Facial Enzyme Scrub Claims: a gentle yet powerful exfoliator infused with pineapple and papaya enzymes, BHAs, and AHAs that leaves skin with a healthy glow. I previously reviewed this product and mentioned that it leaves the skin clean, smooth and glowy, some of the benefits that this ingredient gives to the skin. I have been using it for 3 months and I like the results. Skin type: combination, acne-prone. Skin concerns: dullness, dryness. Hair type: straight hair. Hair concerns: frizz.
One in a Melon🍉
A little background about thisGLOW RECIPE - Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask . It is a hydrating and lightly exfoliating nighttime mask that retails for $45 USD for 80 ml and $22 USD for 30 ml. It’s also made for all skin types. I used this mask once a week for a month and a half. My first impression was that, like most of their products, it smells so good I want to eat it. Their watermelon scent is just like sour watermelon candy and not too overpowering either. Upon my first application, I noticed that it has a very thick slip to it, similar to a facial oil. I thought this was the natural separation but even after mixing the mask, the same thing happened. I don’t think it affected the performance of the mask, but it did make washing it off my hands a little bit of a hassle. Just make sure to mix it well to minimize this! I have sensitive skin, so I opted to wear the mask for about 3 hours instead of overnight. I used a nickel-sized amount, and that was enough to cover my whole face. One feature of this mask is that it’s supposed to be pillow-proof. I haven’t tested that myself, but I can say that the mask dries down completely and no residue comes off when I tap or rub my face. If you plan to wear it to sleep, I recommend waiting at least ten minutes before coming in contact with your sheets! And unlike some exfoliating masks, this one didn’t give me the “exfoliating” sensation as it dried down. All in all, this mask is pretty comfortable to wear throughout the night (or day) and it isn’t tightening on the face. Towards the end of the 3 hours, I noticed some peeling around my inner cheek area and forehead. Glow Recipe said that this effect is normal – it’s just the exfoliating part of the mask doing job. I used a warm washcloth to remove the mask (didn’t experience the weird slip like when washing it off my hands) and saw the usual things I experience after face masks. My skin was soft and looked a little more luminescent. One difference I did see was that the pores around my chin were significantly cleared up! I usually get most of my white heads in that area and this mask totally erased them. That was an unexpected yet huge plus for this mask! For the following weeks, I went through the same process and saw similar results each time. The mask is good for upkeep in the sense that my pores stayed clean and I kept my skin cell turnover high. I wouldn’t call this mask a hero product, but it certainly is a pretty darn good one! I really enjoy the experience of putting it on and would recommend the mini size to anyone who wants to try. A little goes a long way and it’s not something you use everyday. I like mild products like this that still allows me to get the resurfacing effect I’m looking for every now and then. And it’s such a cute present to gift your fellow skincare pals :) #CherieCreator
It’s summer so I’m looking to switch to more gel and gel cream moisturizers to keep my skin hydrated but with a lightweight touch. I’ve been using the @versed dew point moisturizing gel cream for about 2 weeks now and it’s a perfect fit for my summer skincare routines. It’s packed with ingredients such as glycerin, green tea, aloe, squalane, jojoba seed oil, wheat germ oil, and sodium hyaluronate to provide the skin with a refreshing veil of hydration. This has a lightweight gel cream texture that dries down to a skin matte finish. This doesn’t pill and layers quite well under sunscreen for me. I mostly used this during the daytime as I prefer a much thicker more occlusive moisturizer in the evening. It’s a great daytime moisturizer but I don’t find that it provides a ton of hydration on it’s own since I found my skin craving for a bit more. The hydration I felt was more surface level but once I paired this with a more moisturizing sunscreen then I’m set for the entire day and my skin just feels adequate throughout the day. A small tip as to how I get the most from this is I spritz a bit of water onto my skin before applying to lock in as much hydration as possible. I found this to be the upgraded version of the neutrogena hydro boost gel cream since it contains a bit more extra ingredients. So if you like that one, you should give this a try. This is best for combo to oily skin types but I don’t think this anywhere near enough hydration and moisture for drier skin types. Oh there’s no fragrance in this so there’s no scent either. Overall, this is a fantastic summer time moisturizer for combo to oily skin types. You’ll feel hydrated but not greasy as the day goes on. It works great in the hot humid weather that I live in. I would definitely repurchase this in the future. Have you guys tried this yet? If so, any thoughts on it? Rating: 4/5 🌟 #CherieCreator #Versed
Saved my Dry Skin: Moisturizing Night Cream
I’ve been fighting some stress-induced acne lately but have never had my skin so dewy and plump since I switched to using this cream at night. This product also has an incredibly impressive ingredient list, featuring: ￼Glycerine ￼Squalane ￼2 types of hyaluronic acid ￼Antioxidant: palmaria palmata extract (red algae) These are all really great for your skin and help the moisture really penetrate rather than just resting on the surface of your skin. My skin feels slightly sweaty when I first apply this product but within ten minutes my skin drinks up all the moisture and feels soft and amazing. I just allow my skin time to do this before I use my PM oils to keep things from being a mess! This product is safe for my sensitive/reactive eczema prone skin! It has no fragrance (artificial or natural) whatsoever and it’s absolutely gorgeous in texture. I have included and unedited photo of my skin right now ACTUALLY not extremely dry for once. I can’t speak to the anti-aging/fine line reducing claims of this product because I am only 26 years old and have a lot of collagen in my “baby” face and don’t have any fine lines yet. But from an ingredient standpoint you probably aren’t going to see a ton of improvement from hydration alone. I’d recommend a retinol or bakuchiol in your routine for that (they also have one I haven’t tried that is supposed to be quite gentle). My skin is absolutely in love with this product and it’s only $19.99 USD per container (and a little goes a long way)! I continue to be so impressed with the Versed brand and how they emphasize sustainability and look forward to trying more of their products!
Your Skin Routine For: Oily, Large Pores, Acne
A highly requested example routine targeting: acne, enlarged pores, orange peel texture, and/or oily skin. These are example products, the ingredient/step focus is the idea being communicated. I made sure to name favourites that my sensitive, combo skin loves! 1. Oil/Balm Cleanser: Makeup and sunscreen can both be hard to fully get off skin, so be sure to deep-clean skin with an oil-based cleanser! The Inkey List can’t be beaten for the price and quality combo. 2. Foam/Gel/Cream Cleanser: Get off any residual first cleanser as well as whatever grime managed to survive it. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and not use hot water. Paula’s Choice has a variety of affordable cleaners but CeraVe is a skinstagram favourite. 3. Hyaluronic Acid: Skin needs hydration, but it’s easy to over-moisturizer whenever you have oily skin or congestion. Using a hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate) serum keeps skin bouncy without overwhelming oilier skin types! The Ordinary HA + B5 has a cult following but my favourite is the Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster. 4. Niacinamide: Niacinamide normalizes pores to regulate sebum production and has promising research for its acne-reducing properties. Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster helped my orange peel texture on my chin so much! The Inkey List Niacinamide‘s is my second favourite since it’s simple and effective without potentially irritating zinc like the Ordinary’s. 5. Salicylic Acid: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid is touted as a game changer for so many people I know, and me too! Salicylic acid deep-cleans pores (moreso than AHAs) and helps to decongest + exfoliate skin. A budget BHA I would recommend is The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. 6. Moisturizer: I believe pretty much all skin needs a moisturizer unless you’re the oiliest (but not dehydrated) of oily or the most normal of normal skin. A simple, nourishing moisturizer that isn’t too heavy is easy to find: CeraVe Ultralightweight lotions, Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer or Probiotic Nutrient Moisturizer, The Ordinary’s NMF + HA, and Stratia Liquid Gold are all wonderful and affordable.
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