Sex, City And The Bananas – How To Make Magnolia’s Bakery Famous Banana Pudding

cooking

If you are older than a teen you must remember that famous scene. Carrie and Miranda sitting in front of a Magnolia Bakery, eating cupcakes and talking about boys! Actually, about one boy in particular – Aidan, who was, in my opinion, much better choice than Mr.Big but that’s not the topic of this post.

Magnolia bakery shot to fame and achieved pop culture status with less than a minute (17 seconds to be more precise) footage of Carrie Bradshaw eating cupcakes. This now famous bakery is known for their fresh bakes from scratch, such as – cupcakes, cookies, cakes, chocolate bars and their popular, signature banana pudding.

Good news is, you don’t need to go all the way to New York City just to taste Magnolia’s Bakery insanely delicious banana pudding. I mean, you can go. You should go!! But, if you are not near New York City at this moment and you can’t travel, you’ll be happy to know that you can make banana pudding in your own kitchen.

And I’m not talking about some sorry substitute for this famous pudding. Oh, no! I am talking about real, original, one of a kind Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding, straight from their kitchen and their cookbook. Yep, Magnolia Bakery is giving away their actual recipe in their cookbook.

You’ll also be happy when you find out that you really don’t need fancy ingredients to make this dessert. You don’t even have to be experienced in the kitchen. You just need few basic things and some spare time on your hands to enjoy in your pudding.

So, if you love bananas, cookies, Magnolia Bakery, Sex and the City or just want to make something sweet, you want to make this. Believe me. It’s simple. It’s tasty. It’s almost cake-like. Try it. You won’t regret it.

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 11-ounce box of vanilla wafers 
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 package of instant vanilla-pudding mix
  • 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups of ice-cold water

Method:

Step 1: In a medium sized bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the cold water. Place the pudding mix in another medium sized bowl and slowly whisk in the liquid, whisking until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Cover and refrigerate until firm at least an hour or overnight. 

Step 2: In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 1 minute until the cream starts to thicken. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip. 

Step 3: Carefully add the pudding mixture to the whipped cream and mix on low speed until blended and no streaks of pudding remain. 

Step 4: Using either a trifle bowl or a wide glass bowl with a 4- to 5-quart capacity, spread one-quarter of the pudding over the bottom and layer with one-third of the cookies [save 4 to 5 cookies for the garnish on top] and about 1 to 1 12 of the sliced bananas — enough to cover the layer. Repeat the layering twice more. End with a final layer of pudding. Garnish the top with additional cookies or cookie crumbs.

Step 5: Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Cookies should be tender when poked with a knife. It’s best served within 8-12 hours of assembling because bananas will start to brown.

How to keep bananas from browning:

The reason the recipe says to serve within 8 hours is that the bananas will turn brown as they oxidize. There are a couple of things you can do to make not brown as fast:

1) Pick bananas that are barely ripe.
2) Brush them with some lemon juice. Any fruit juice helps (pineapple, apple, orange). This can change the flavor slightly so brushing them is better than soaking them. Even water neutralizes the ph and will slow down the browning if you rinse them in water.
3) Rinse them with club soda. The advantage here is that it won’t affect the taste. Don’t use tonic as it has a bad taste.
4) Try to keep them airtight. The less contact with the air the less they will brown.

Naomi, Christian Lacroix, 80’s, and (un)flattering bubble silhouette

Fashion
Naomi Campbell wearing a Christian Lacroix ensemble. Photo by Patrick Demarchelier, Vogue UK, October 1987.

The bubble (or puffball or balloon) silhouette has a very specific and well defined style which is characterised by a voluminous skirt. The hem of the skirt is folded back on itself, fixed to the lining, to create a bubble effect at the hemline.

This style of dress can have varying bodice types including cap sleeves and one shoulder designs but one of the most common is the bustier. The length of the skirt on a bubble dress is usually quite short, resting mid-thigh or above the knee.

After an absence of about a century, the baloon skirt, with the proportions of the new century, is back in fashion at the beginning of 1950’s when Cristobal Balenciaga introduced a double baloon silhouette – jacket and skirt.

Baloon dress, Balenciaga, 1950.

After Balenciaga, both French designer Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior released different versions in 1954. and 1956. Dior’s version, a red satin bubble dress is today found in the Missouri History Museum and took inspiration from his other passion, architecture, which he blended with his love of ladies’ fashion. The bubble dress is referred to as ‘structurally challenging’ by fashion historians and it’s only possible due to the unique inner construction of the skirt itself and the iconic drapes of the fabric.

Christian Dior, bubble dress, 1956.

This style of dress made a comeback in the 1980’s, thank to the imaginative creativity of the French designer Christian Lacroix. Introducing the “pouf”, or the puffball skirt, Lacroix created the only real alternative for a feminine approach to fashion of that decade, dominated almost exclusively by the male power suit.

The success was immediate and this gravity defying concotion became famous for its inventiveness and was a staple of late 1980’s party gear.

Jane Seymor and Christian Lacroix. Jane is wearing striped bubble dress. 1980’s.
Princess Diana styled a white double-breasted blazer over her bubble dress in Cannes, 1987.

Many thought that bubble look was unflattering and this trend was very short-lived with occasional comebacks throughout the years.

What do you think? Bubble dress, hot or not?

Catcalling is Not Normal – Catcalling is Sexual Herassment

Girl Power, Living

It happened again yesterday while I was crossing the road, minding my own business. They were in a car, I think three of them, and they started to honk, opened windows and started to whistle and shout at me. I ignored them, as always, but they were persistent. “Hey beautiful, not even a smile? Turn around pretty girl, look at me!”

Immediately I started to analyse my outfit, I don’t know why I do it every time this happens because outfit has absolutely nothing to do with it. But just in case and to be sure, I started to inspect my wardrobe – black leggings, black dress with zero cleavage showing, long black oversized cardigan and black Nike’s.

How on earth is it possible to attract that kind of attention wearing totally conservative outfit? Is it my hair? Or the fact I wore some bright colored lipstick? Maybe because my nail polish was bright red? Or maybe my cat eye black sunnies sent the wrong message?

I remember the first time when it happened. I was twelwe maybe. Wearing bright yellow T-shirt and short pants. I was wearing sneakers and I looked like a child because, guess what, I was a child. But obviously not to construction workers who started to shout and scream when I passed them.

I remember the feeling. I was mortified. I was shaking. My hands were sweaty and I couldn’t wait to come home. Years later and I was still having trouble passing construction working sites because, you know, workers were shouting every time I passed them. I know it happens to other girls too. And it doesn’t matter what you wear or how long your hair is.

What is catcalling?

According to Merriem-Webster, catcalling is the act of shouting harassing and often sexually suggestive, threatening, or derisive comments at someone publicly.

Catcalling is street herassment and that is also a form of sexual herassmet that consists of unwanted flirtatious comments, provocative gestures, honking, wolf-whistlings, indecent exposures, stalking, persistent sexual advances, and touching by strangers, in public areas such as streets, shopping malls and public transportation.

Women are much more commonly victims of harassment by men. According to Harvard Law Review (1993), street harassment is considered harassment done primarily by male strangers to females in public places. According to the founder of the non-profit organization Stop Street Harassment, it can also consist of physically harmless behavior, such as “kissing noises” and “non-sexually explicit comments,” to “more threatening behavior” like stalking, flashing, sexual assault, and rape.

Worldwide, statistics show that 80% of women endure at least frequent street harassment, 45% feel that they cannot go alone to public spaces, 50% have to cross the street to find alternate routes to their destinations, 26% claim that they are in a relationship in order to avoid harassment, 80% feel the need to be constantly alert when traversing local streets and 19% have had to switch careers to escape the area in which harassment occurred.

The Canadian government sponsored a large survey in 1993 called the Violence Against Women Survey. In the sample of over 12,000 women, 85% said they were victims of harassment by a stranger. A study done in Australia shows that almost 90% of women have experienced verbal or physical harassment in public one or more times in their lives. In Afghanistan, research done in the same year indicates that the prevalence of harassment was 93%. Canadian and Egyptian studies show that the rate of incidence is approximately 85% of women experiencing street harassment in the past year. In U.S.-based research, it was reported that women experienced stranger harassment on a monthly basis (41%), while a large minority reported experiencing harassment once every few days (31%).

As you can see, these numbers are horrible but they are even bigger and they grow every day. I remember one afternoon, I was going to class at my university and a guy in a black Mercedes hit the breaks, left his car in the middle of the busy road and ran towards me.

He explained that he noticed me walking and that he likes me. I politely declined his advances and he became angry and told me that he almost had an accident because of me. I ignored him and kept walking. A few hours later my lecture was over and it was dark outside.

That’s when I saw him standing and waiting for me. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do. I got back inside and told cleaning lady was was going on but she wasn’t very interested in my problems. Luckily, three guys overheard my conversation with a cleaning lady and offered to walk me home.

I accepted, we exited the university building together. He saw me but, probably because of the three young men with me, he turned around and left. I was terrified, but that was not the first nor the last incident of that kind. What’s sad is – you almost get used to it. And you shouldn’t because street herassment is not normal, not ok and shouldn’t be tolerated or ignored.

What causes this behaviour in men?

William Castello, a professor at St. John’s University, said low self-esteem is to blame.

“There is a competition to be boldest, strongest most macho, generally driven by rampant lack of self esteem, disappointment and frustration with life in general,” Castello said. “It is a sign of a rough and rude upbringing, which lends itself to a competition of sorts among the groups … kind of a ‘oneupsmanship’ of who’s worse than the rest.”

While most catcalling men would argue that their comments are purely complementary and should not be considered a big deal, this type of harassment can easily instill fear and even leave long-lasting psychological effects, experts say.

The Women and Equalities Committee report notes, “The damage is far-reaching. Experienced at a young age, sexual harassment becomes ‘normalized’ as girls move through life.” What are often discounted as “jokes” or “compliments” can have consequences for years, sometimes even a lifetime. Growing up with our bodies as constant fodder for public comment affects the way we carry ourselves, the way we dress, and the way we navigate our place in the world. It affects our rights to dignity, privacy and autonomy as human beings.

It never occurred to me to tell anyone that a sense of shame and disgust was eating me from the inside out. I was too embarrassed — as though my body had betrayed me and brought this on itself. And who would I have told? What could they have done? Girls saw women everywhere ignoring catcalls and moving on. We thought that was our lot in life, too.
Street harassment cannot necessarily be legislated out of existence considering the challenges in monitoring, policing, and prosecuting it, and the risk of laws being used inordinately against particular groups.

Too many times women have been told to “let it go”, a phrase used to encourage women to be docile and polite instead of enraged when someone defiles their space. When it comes to body politics, none of us should simply let it go. Heatwaves like we experience in summer tend to mean a spike in harassment, but shedding layers should not mean shedding respect for women’s bodies. 

To some people, catcalling is a trivial thing – but this interpretation in effect reinforces the “rape myths” deeply entrenched in our society, that blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator. To ask, for example, what someone was wearing at the time of the incident is as common in cases of rape as in street harassment. It is a response that immediately looks for ways a woman was deserving of her assault. It should not matter what someone is wearing; it’s her body, she can wear whatever she wants. It really is as simple as that.

Others believe somehow that catcalling is complimentary. It never is, because compliments do not incite fear. Catcalls give women pangs of anxiety. I’ve never complimented someone by shouting across a street at them, or driving slowly alongside them. 

Catcalling is part of the daily life of every woman. Ask your friend, your partner, your sister; the stories they have will break your heart and surprise you.  Individually, we can do more to call out such behavior, to intervene and not let it happen to others, especially girls. But governments need also take action so that girls don’t grow up thinking street harassment is “normal,” and hiding themselves as they live silently with the consequences.

Catcalling is a controversial topic. The arguments are divided into two camps, with some thinking such behavior is a compliment and others thinking it’s sexual harassment. Many men will claim that they are just being nice, while women can’t help but feel attacked. And we are attacked. Catcalling is not nice. Catcalling is not a compliment. Catcalling is sexual herassment. Nothing less.

Interestingly, most men doing the catcalling expect the women to react a certain way. They want to capture their attention and get a reaction out of them. Yet women, for the most part, feel intimidated and harassed. What to do? To respond? To ignore? To shout back? To argue?

Stop Street Herassment suggests several ways to deal with the issue.

Among them:

  • Respond: If you feel safe enough to do so, assertively respond to the harassers calmly, firmly and without insults or personal attacks to let them know that their actions are unwelcome, unacceptable and wrong.
  • Step In: Intervene when someone else is being harassed to help them out of the situation and let the harasser know that their actions are not condoned by others. Ask them if they want help and what they’d like you to do or simply check in to see if they’re OK. Men engaging in this tactic can be particularly powerful, since men (the majority of street harassers) look to other men for approval.
  • Report to Employer: If the harassers work for an identifiable company, call or write the company to let them know that their employees are harassing people on the job and why that is unacceptable.

Street herassment may happen a lot, but this kind of behaviour isn’t “normal”. We are not born treating women’s bodies like objects; this is a learned behaviour. To excuse it as “normal” is upholding rape culture, because it tells us that it’s OK for men to feel entitled to women’s bodies.

Catcalling is not innocent. It’s not fun and it certainly is not a compliment. Street harassment, like all forms of sexual and gender violence, are fundamentally about power and reinforcing inequality. Sexualizing a woman or girl in public through street harassment reduces her to an object for others’ consumption. Meaning, she is stripped of her full humanity and instead reduced to simply a physical or sexual thing whose purpose is men’s pleasure.

And that is not ok!

* Disclaimer: I am very aware that the majority of men are not included in this group of catcallers. In fact, most men are allies and try to stand up for others. But for this story, I use the term “men” to refer to the ones who do not see a problem with objectifying women.

What I wore this summer, 5 days of fashion

Fashion

Although I do dress up occasionally, my daily uniform is comfy and casual because my whole life is casual. I don’t like uncomfortable clothes, I don’t wear heels, and if I don’t feel comfortable in something I wear, I won’t look good in it too.

Without further ado, let’s see some of my summer looks. Autumn is here (in Europe) but it’s spring in some other parts of the world. And if you are from the United Arab Emirates (hello Dubai) by any chance then you have an amazing weather all year long.

Day 1 – Black with details

My favorite black leather ballet flats worn with fishnet socks

I love long comfy and black summer dresses. They are so versatile pieces. You can add as much as you want jewelry, you can add colors and various accessories. Put on a nice little cardigan or a jean jacket on it’s colder outside and you are ready to go.

Shoes? Sneakers, flats, ballerina shoes, sandales or even heels, it’s up to you. When it comes to black dress, there is no limit in styling it. You can even add a hat!

Day 2 – Colorful Tuesday

For a long time I avoided color and patterns. I don’t know why. But few years back and I rediscovered my love for colorful patterns, flowers, and colors. And I think it looks good on me.

Day 3 – Pink and Stripes

Nothing reminds me more of a summer than stripes. I love that pattern a lot and I really don’t care whether those stripes are horizontal or vertical. It’s all in our heads anyway and you can wear whatever you like. It doesn’t matter who likes you, it only matters that you love yourself.

When I wear a simple dress like this one, I love colorful nail polish and some jewelry. Ok, let’s be honest, I always love to wear jewelry but you know what I mean. Right?

Day 4 – Is it Cranberry or Strawberry?

I love to pair dress like this one with my Converse shoes. It looks so much better to me than when I wear it with sandals, ballet flats or some other type of shoes. The bag I carried is Trussardi Jeans. I bought it this spring and it was the best buy of the whole year. Such a cool and versatile little bag but fits a lot of stuff.

I opted for gold jewelry, of course. I think it goes great with this cranberry colored dress. Few years ago I only wore silver jewelry and white gold. Now I only wear yellow and rose gold. Who knows what I’ll like next year.

Day 5 – Stripes and Biker Shorts

I couldn’t believe when I saw biker shorts back in the stores. Last time I saw them (apart from the sport shops) was back in the 90’s when this piece of wardrobe was very popular. Later, for decades you couldn’t find them for the life of you and now they are back.

At first I thought I’ll never wear them again. But I bought my first pair to go under a very short dress and was instantly hooked, of course. So now, I’m again into biker shorts, have them in many colors and can’t wait summer to wear them again.

This one is super simple combo for friday, hot day and running errands. I can’t describe you how I love to be comfortable and to wear something I like at the same time. Sneakers are my favorite type of footwear. I wear them for the most part of the year. Maybe I should do a post dedicated only to them? Let me know in the comments below.

What is your favorite look?

Relaxing Properties of Nature – 10 Reasons Why Being in the Nature is Good for You

life hacks, Lifestyle

Are you feeling a bit stressed lately? Tired? Irritable? Anxious? Maybe even a little depressed? Sluggish? It’s ok, autumn is here, winter is coming, days are colder and shorter and this year has been incredibly frustrating and strange.

Let me ask you another question? How much time have you spent in nature lately? The answer to this question may give you simple explanation of why are you feeling a bit down and under the weather lately. It’s not a myth, spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Whatever you call it , forest walking, ecotherapy, hiking, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure, humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.

The way you spend time out in nature can affect how much your physical, emotional and mental health will benefit from it. So go outside to relax, relieve stress or anxiety, focus your mind, and improve your health and well-being, you definitely won’t regret it. You will even benefit from it.

There are undeniable benefits for your mental health when you spend time in nature, like lower stress and better memory.  But if you’re usually glued to a screen, computer, TV, or any other kind, you may have forgotten exactly how relaxing in nature works.

Here’s why it’s healthy and beneficial to spend some time outdoors and hug a tree or two.

You Feel Happier

According to one Finnish study, spending just 15 minutes sitting in nature helped people feel psychologically restored. If you spend time walking in nature, and not just sitting, the mental restoration happens even faster.

Walks In Nature Help Your Memory

Taking a walk is always a good idea, but one study from University of Michigan showed how amazing nature is. Participants who took a walk in nature versus a walk in the city performed 20% better on a memory test.

You Can Concentrate Better

Taking a break in nature can improve your concentration by giving your brain a well needed break. Leave your phone behind and let your mind unwind from the overstimulation brought on by modern busy life.

Nature Can Heal

One study shows that people exposed to more natural light healed faster from a spinal surgery and had less pain. Nature worked as a natural drug for them because they also needed less pain medications.

Nature Prompts Weight Loss

Being outside and enjoying a nature is not a magical diet pill, unfortunately, but it does tend to make exercise more enjoyable. Some aspects of outdoor exercise like hiking may help you lose weight in an unexpected ways. Spending time at higher altitudes can speed up your metabolism and decrease your apetite.

Vitamin D Is Good for You

Spending time in the sun helps your body create vitamin D – a vitamin that studies have shown may help prevent cancer, osteoporosos, and heart attack.

Nature Helps You To De-Stress

Being in nature can and will reduce stress in your body. Studies show spending time outdoors can lower your heart rate, help you relax and even sleep much better.

Nature Keeps You Youthful

Want to be forever young? Or at least to age gracefully? Going outside every day may be the key. One study showed those in their 70s who spent time outdoors every day had fewer complaints of common aging pains, like aching bones and poor sleep than those who didn’t.

Nature Brightens Your Mood

Nature helps you in many ways, including mental health. Multiple studies have linked nature walks with improved mental health.

Nature Boosts Your Immune System

A Japanese study showed women who spent six hours in the woods over a two day period increased their white blood cells, which fight viruses, and the boost lasted about a week after the experiment. Imagine what happens if you spend some time in nature every day!

Do you like to spend your time in the nature?

AHAs – Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, Find Your Favorite

Beauty and Skincare

Skincare ingredients can often be very confusing and hard to understand and because of that, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics.

Let’s answer this question – what is an alpha hydroxyl acid?

AHAs are water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evently pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. If you want younger-looking, smoother, more even-toned skin, you probably need AHAs in your skincare routine.

AHAs are primarily used to exfoliate. They can also help:

  • promote collagen and blood flow
  • correct discoloration from scars and age spots
  • improve appearance of surface lines and wrinkles
  • prevent acne breakouts
  • brighten your complexion
  • increase product absorption

There are six acids in the AHA family, so let’s learn more about them.

What’s your favorite AHA?

Traditional Recipes – Bosnian Kljukusa

cooking

Even those who love change tend to enjoy the things that are familiar to them. The things that remind them of childhood, family, summer vacations, travel, friends, or earliest ways of life. This is why home made meals and comford foods are so popular.

These are the foods we grew up on, and even when times are changing, we can count on our tasty classics to carry us along. Some foods simply say “home” to us, and they always make us feel better about life. But, finding the time and energy to prepare home-cooked meals can sometimes feel like a daunting task.

At the end of the crazy and busy day, eating out or ordering in might feel like the easiest option although not the healthiest one. But cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated and can even take less time than eating out.

I believe that delicious, home made food need not be complicated nor take hours and hours. Just keep it simple. There are plenty of quick, easy and wholesome meals that just scream “comfort food”, you can cook at home in less time than it takes to travel to a restaurant or wait for a delivery.

Today I will show you great, simple and delicious recipe for a traditional Bosnian meal “kljukuša”. Kljukuša or kljukusa is a traditional Bosnian dish made with potatoes, eggs and flour. Baked until crispy and golden outside and soft inside, it’s the best summer meal when you are in a hurry and crave some “comfort food”.

Kljukusa can be described as a hash brown potato dish, and if you like hash browns this is recipe for you. Make it, try it, taste it and let me know what you think about this dish.

How To Deal With Creative Blocks

life hacks

Follow these tips next time you are faced with creative block.

Identify the Problem

Next time you get a creative block write down what may be the root of it. Then look for patterns.

Create Quick Fixes

Have a list of quick fixes that you can fall back on when you are in an unproductive mood.

Optimize Your Productive Hours

When are you most productive? Reserve that time for projects that require deep concentration. When are you the least focused? Reserve that time for simpler tasks like checking email.

Have Systems in Place

Some of my systems include waking up at the same time everyday, working in spurts of 25 minutes, and having a design community that I can call upon for feedback. What are yours?

Trust that it’s Part of the Process

Every creative goes through this. Have faith in yourself and trust that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Maskne – What Are They, How To Prevent Them And How To Get Rid Of Them Once And For All?

Beauty and Skincare

Even if you don’t suffer from them, you’ve probably heard of them. Maskne! Often referred as acne appearing under the area where the mask is worn. It mostly occurs when sweat, oil, bacteria and other debris is trapped under the mask mixed up with mask fabric friction, increased trapped heat and humidity creating a perfect breeding ground for breakouts and skin sensitivity issues. Those who are generally more blemish prone and suffer clogged pores are usually affected the most.

HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MASKNE?

Mask Fabric

– Choose natural breathable fibres (for example cotton) over synthetic fibres (polyester or rayon) as they are generally more comfortable and cause less irritation.

– Choose lighter smoother materials for masks in general.

– Look out for antimicrobial masks.

Mask Fitting

Make sure your mask is fitted properly and not too tight across the cheeks, as tight strings may cause friction and congestion around the cheek area.

Mask Replacement

– Apply a clean mask every day to prevent the build up of bacteria, oil, and makeup on the mask.

– Ensure you are washing your masks regulary with gentle cleansing agents instead of harsh detergents.

– Have 7 masks on rotation for the week to save time and effort washing midweek.

Facial Hair

Those with facial hair might want to trim it or if they are shaving to help the mask fit better they may notice some extra irritation. Keep the skin and hair clean and moisturised underneath the mask to help prevent dryness and ingrown hairs.

Clean Skin

Make sure you are cleansing your skin gently and effectively both AM and PM. I would recommend double cleansing in the evening just to make sure you are removing all traces of dirt, products, sunscreen, etc.

Keep It Simple

Avoid layering too many products especially around the mouth area as this increases the chances of moisture, debris and products clogging your skin. Stick to essentials around this area but don’t forget your SPF as most masks don’t have UPF protection.

Take A Break

Removing your mask after a few hours when it is ok to do so (at home, in your car, during your lunch break, etc) can give your skin some respite.

Hydrate And Build Your Skin Barrier

Don’t forget to replenish your skin with hydrators, ceramides, fatty acids to prevent skin peeling, dryness, and dehydration underneath the mask. Using the right replenishing moisturiser daily can prevent issues of dryness, especially if you are using more blemish control ingredients.

Use Salicylic Acid (BHA) to prevent breakouts as it is an oil-soluble ingredient that is able to penetrate deep into the pores to unclog. For specific acne prone areas, you can use spot treatments with sulfur/benzoyl peroxide/BHA/tea tree oil to prevent and treat breakouts. A face wash with some active blemish ingredients might be a gentle option for more easily irritated skin.

If you are already undertaking some treatments for your skin, keep up with it as this will help keep flare ups under control but definitely speak to your doctor for more personal advice.

Keep Your Makeup Light

It is better to avoid wearing thick and heavy coverage foundation or long wear foundations under this area. Opt for light tinted coverage, sheer, tinted moisturisers, and/or tinted SPF for some coverage instead. Avoid setting powder if you can as again, the more layers will increase the chance of congestion. If you can, avoid wearing makeup under your mask.

If you use lip products, it might rub onto your mask and back onto your skin and can cause some congestion, especially if your lip product or lip balm have comedogenic ingredients in them.

Anyone else experiencing more than the usual breakouts with masks?

13 skincare mistakes you should avoid at all cost

Beauty and Skincare

Hey don’t worry! Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. To make thing worse, we rarely learn from those mistakes and often we have to repeat them a few more times until we learn. Am I right?

Skincare mistakes are nothing new, nothing strange or unusual, and are commited by us all. Most of the time, you don’t even know that some of your habits are damaging your skin. Proper skincare is extremely important in the summer thanks to sunshine, humidity, and heat but in the winter too.

We all want nice, beautiful, and healthy skin. Sometimes we’ll do many crazy and extreme things to achieve it. We’ll spend insane amount of money on serums and creams. We’ll get botox, fillers and facials. We’ll buy expensive makeup and follow 30 step skincare regimen.

The skincare industry can be a little (a lot) overwhelming but, you know what? Getting nice skin is not as complicated as you may think. One place to start is by evaluating which skincare mistakes you’re doing and then learn from those mistakes.

Not removing makeup before sleep (and exercize)

This is a very common mistake, but also one of the worst mistakes you can do to your skin. While we sleep our skin is renewing, repairing and producing skin cells so we can look radiant, fresh and beautiful. Imagine this – if you have a layer of makeup on your skin you are making it nearly impossible for those cells to repair and renew.

The makeup also attracts free radicals, and they break down the collagen production in our skin, speed up the ageing process, and our skin becomes dull and dehydrated.

To prevent damage, remove all your makeup before going to bed, but also before your workout because sweat and makeup don’t mix well.

Using filthy bedding

Just because your pillowcase doesn’t look dirty, doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty. Sweat, oil from skin and hair, and other residues from products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair oils and face creams, linger around on your bedding. Are you even aware of what this could do to your skin? Awful things and damage.

Solution? Wash your bedding once a week. Change your pillowcase. You could also consider giving up cotton for silk.

Using dirty beauty tools

Dirt attracts bacteria. Bacteria is very dangerous for your skin. Using dirty tools, sponges and brushes not only leads to to clogged pores, but also to skin infections. If you never (or rarely) clean your beauty tools, don’t worry, you are normal but you should also change that unhealthy habit and your skin will be grateful.

Invest in new brushes and tools from time to time. Also, clean your tools regulary. Water and gentle soap and you are done!

Touching your face

Do you know what’s the biggest mistake you could make? Touching your face too often. Just think about all the things you touch and your hands are exposed to over the course of a regular day. Now, imagine all of that transferred to your face.

Every day our hands come in contact with millions of bacteria and germs. If you touch your face, everything will stuck there. And trust me, it’s much worse than it sounds. As difficult as it might be, keep your hands off your face. Also, keep your hands as clean as possible. But even when you have the cleanest hands, still don’t douch your face. It’s the biggest skincare mistake you could make.

Overexfoliating

Exfoliation is still important (in moderation). But instead of a harsh scrub, you can try a chemical exfoliant made with acids like AHA and/or BHA. It’s easy to go crazy with exfoliating scrubs, especially when your skin is feeling off or dry. But it could be doing more harm than good. Exfoliating can cause tiny tears in the skin and can impair the skin’s normal skin barrier.

Skipping daily sunscreen

You really need sunscreen every day — yes, even when it’s cloudy, raining or snowing. Sun exposure causes sunspots, skin damage and can lead to skin cancer — and you don’t have to be at the beach to get too much exposure. Use at least SPF 30.

Picking your skin

You may not even realize that you do it, but constantly picking at the skin can cause irritation, inflamed skin and spread bacteria. Going overboard with this can lead to scarring, and may even make you break out since your hands usually have a good amount of bacteria on them. If this is a nervous habit, try and break it by keeping your hands busy with something else. 

You’re mostly using face wipes

Using face wipes causes you to pull and tug at your skin to remove your eye makeup. Not good folks. Cleansing cloths should only be used for emergency. If you’re so exhausted that you can barely stand in front of a sink, then face wipes will come handy. Heck, it’s definitely better than not washing at all. But don’t use them too often and definitely not every day.

You’re not layering your products right

If you’re putting your serum on after moisturiser, you may as well be pouring it down the drain. Serums contain targeted ingredients that need as much contact as possible with your skin to work their magic. Moisturiser, on the other hand, acts like a protective blanket over the skin – which prevents the active ingredients in your serum from penetrating through.

If ever in doubt, simply apply your products from thinnest to thickest formula. This should look something like toner-serum-moisturiser-oil. “But my moisturiser is thicker than my face oil!”, I hear you cry. Well ask yourself – would you down a bottle of olive oil on a sunny day to quench your thirst? No, you wouldn’t. So you shouldn’t quench thirsty skin with a face oil.  Moisturisers contain humectants to draw water into uppermost layers of the skin, but they can’t do that if you put your face oil on first. Always pat in your face oil last, on top of your moisturiser.

Regardless of how simple or complicated your skincare routine is, the order in which you apply your products really matters. If you get your order wrong, some products won’t be able to reach your skin. This way, you will not only be wasting product, but you won’t benefit from it either.

Skipping moisturiser

There’s a huge misconception in the skincare community that the last thing oily skin types need is moisturiser. 

No matter what your skin type is, everyone needs moisturiser. In fact, using a moisturiser can actually help your skin regulate its own natural oil production – resulting in less spots overall. The trick is making sure you’ve got the right ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated, without triggering a break-out.

You are Changing Your Products to Often

I know a lot of women make this skincare mistake. It happens all too easily when someone goes out and purchases a whole new line of skincare products. They’ve likely heard all kinds of good things about it and feel amazing buying them. Then just a few days after swapping out everything their skin looks and feels worse than ever! The problem is if you change too much at once you’ll never know what is working and what’s not.

Your Morning Skin Care Routine is Non Existent

If the first thing you put on your face in the morning is makeup your skin is really missing out!! Your skin deserves more than only taking care of it before bed. While a nightly skin care routine is crucial to removing buildup, excess oil, and the like before you sleep – a morning routine is important too. 

Rubbing Products onto Your Face

When you apply a product such as a serum or cream on your skin, do you rub it in to get it absorbed? If yes, this habit has simply got to go! The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body and needs to be treated gently. Rubbing your skin can cause a bunch of problems such as early wrinkles, and skin damage. What’s more, rubbing your product in does not help it get absorbed better at all!

The best way to apply your products is by gently tapping it in. By pressing it into your skin with a light touch, your product will absorb a lot better while the tapping motion will help improve your blood circulation, leading to healthier, glowing skin.

So are you guys guilty of some of these mistakes too? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to keep an eye out for my next post!