Dietland + Review

Dietland + Review

I love a good show. There are so many different ones from different genres that I have enjoyed watching and I am always on the lookout for more.

A while back I came across the show called, Dietland. This is based off a book of the same name. After watching all of the episodes of the show, I decided to read the book.

For this post, I wanted to talk about Dietland and give my take on it.

The premise of Dietland

Both the book and movie have the main character whose name is Plum Kettle. She is a ghostwriter for a high fashion magazine and works mainly from home or a local coffee shop.

Plum is obese and is considering weight loss surgery. As the show/book go on she meets a group of people that are all about loving and finding power in themselves as women.

There is also a group of women who kidnap and kill men who had been allegedly assaulting women and young girls. Plum eventually gets sucked into this mission, too.

The readers and viewers get to see how she handles things when she delves into both of these worlds.

Dietland topics

There are several topics that Dietland (both the book and movie) touch on. They are as follows:

  1. Body image- There is a lot of talk about character’s bodies and how they see themselves because of them.
  2. Feminism- Women’s rights are discussed a lot. The two groups that the main character finds herself getting into are based on feminism.
  3. Dieting and societal weight loss obsession- Plum’s obesity is focused on a lot. She has done many diets since she was young and still struggles with finding the right diet as an adult.
  4. Fat acceptance- Plum tries to accept her body the way it is after a while.
  5. Standards of beauty- Dietland goes into what is and is not considered beautiful in our society. It also talks about all the things that women feel they have to go through to look good.
  6. Dating/Relationships- Plum tries her hand at dating which ends up being unsuccessful due to a couple of different reasons. It highlights the fact that appearance means so much to some people in terms of getting started with dating even if they are “clicking” personality wise.

There may be other elements in the show and book but the above list includes the main ones.

Differences between the book and show

There are some differences that you will find if you read the book and watch the show. Without giving too much away, they are as follows:

  1. Character addition- A couple characters were added to the show that were not in the book.
  2. Time spent on some characters/events- A couple of the characters/events played bigger roles on the show than the book and vice versa.
  3. Character descriptions- A couple of the character’s appearances, race and sex were changed on the show.

My review of Dietland

I first read about Dietland (the show) in Time Magazine just before it was to start airing. It sounded really interesting and I was excited about it.

I absolutely loved the first episodes and was eager to watch all of the others ones whenever they were available on Amazon Prime Video. Since I like to make lists, here is a list of some specific things I loved about it:

  1. Joy Nash, the actress that plays Plum (main character)- She is such a wonderful actress! I also think she is really pretty.
  2. Plum (main character)- I find her cool and smart. I would love to be a writer like her so I could work from anywhere. Definitely not doing the same kind of writing though.
  3. The underground beauty “closet”- I do not want to give too much away but I found it to be pretty cool.
  4. The radical feminist group story line- The drama and mysteriousness of the group of women killing specific men brought a layer of tension to the story. This made it even more interesting because I was curious to know what was happening.
  5. Weight loss program back story- There is a fictional weight loss program (supposed to be like WW, I think) that the main character was on. It was interesting to hear the story (fake story that is) behind it.
  6. Female empowerment- I loved the scenes that were about finding strength within.
  7. Special effects- The show included some animation. I found that it further helped to move the story along in a unique way.

There are even more things that I loved about the show but I will stop here.

As far as the book goes, I did not enjoy it as much as the show. The book’s story was more all over the place, dry and the main character was not as likeable as she seems in the show version.

Give Dietland a try!

The show version of Dietland (available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video) was great in my opinion with its engrossing story and strong acting performances. I would highly recommend this. It can be a wonderful thing to watch as part of a self-care routine!

Have you read or watched Dietland? If so, what did you think about it?

Thanks for reading!

#dietland #saraiwalker #diets #feminism #women #weightloss #beauty #streamingservices #hulu

20 Things That May Treat Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

20 Things That May Treat Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

Hyperpigmentation and melasma are unwanted dark marks on the skin. They can range in severity but are almost always hard to get rid of.

There are things that may help lighten them that are found in some skincare products and/or sold by itself. This post is a roundup of all the possible treatments for these skin concerns.

Causes of hyperpigmentation and melasma

Both hyperpigmentation and melasma show up as dark marks on our skin. There is a difference between the conditions though. The following is a description of the two of them:

Hyperpigmentation- This is an excess production of melanin due to reasons such as sunspots, acne, wounds, cuts and from picking at the skin. These dark marks are common in people with darker skin tones.

Melasma- This is a condition that is mainly hormonal in nature. The dark marks are usually from some types of birth control or pregnancy.

When it comes to preventing dark spots, there are some things one can do. These include wearing sun protection when outside, getting acne under control and trying not to pick at your skin (if that is a problem).

Things that can treat hyperpigmentation and melasma

Without further ado, here are the options for the fading of dark marks:

  • Hydroquinone- This is a high-powered skin lightening agent. It is in a few different OTC creams at up to 2% strength. Anything over that percentage is prescription only. It may cause irritation and/or the skin to get even darker unfortunately. If one is going to use it, it should not be used for long periods of time.
  • Alpha arbutin-This comes from a plant called, bearberry. It is found in a few skincare products and can be bought in powder form. It may lighten dark spots and even out skin tones in a gentle way.
  • Aloe vera gel- This comes from the aloe vera plant. It is nontoxic, soothing and full of antioxidants. It may fade dark spots and treat acne.
  • Niacinamide- This is a form of vitamin B3. In addition to it being able to tackle dark spots, it can also improve texture and balance oil. It is found in powders, skincare products and capsules.
  • Licorice extract- This is from the licorice plant. It may also treat acne and reduce signs of aging in addition to the dark spot fading effects. It is found in skincare products, powders, capsules and liquid drops.
  • Mulberry extract- This is taken from the leaves of mulberry fruits. The extract is sold in skincare products, powders, capsules and liquid drops.
  • Korean red ginseng- This is an herb from Korea. It has compounds in it that may decrease pigmentation. It is sold in powder, energy drinks, tea, liquid drops, gummy and capsule form.
  • Ginkgo-This is a kind of tree. Extract from the leaves is used for its alleged body and mind benefits. The antioxidants it contains may also help with hyperpigmentation. It is sold in some skincare products as well as teas, oils, capsules and liquid drop form.
  • Resveratrol- This is an extract that can be taken from things like grapes, wine, blueberries and chocolate. Its antioxidant activity may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin lightening effects. It is sold in some skincare products, powders and capsules.
  • Kojic acid- This is a chemical that comes from different types of fungi. You can find it in powder form, chemical peels, serums and many soaps.
  • Papaya- This contains alpha-hydroxy acids that lighten dark spots. You can puree the fruit and use it as a mask or get it in powdered extract, serum, juice, tablet, capsule, gummy and oil form.
  • Turmeric- This is made from the root of the curcuma longa plant which is in the same family as ginger. It has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may help with acne and dark spots. You can make face masks with the powder and there are also soaps made with it.
  • Hesperidin- This is a flavonoid that comes from citrus fruits. It may help with wound healing, acne and dark spots. You can find it sold in powder and capsule form.
  • Rosehip oil- This comes from rosehips which are fruits from rose plants. They are full of vitamin C and A. Those two vitamins may help with fading dark spots, brightening the skin and fighting acne.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)- These acids are great for the exfoliation of our skin. The ones that are best for dark marks include lactic (from sour milk), glycolic (from sugar) and mandelic (from almonds) acid. Of those three acids, glycolic is the strongest. These acids are found in serums, lotions and chemical peels.
  • Beta hydroxy acids  (BHA)- These acids are a lot like alpha hydroxy acids. The difference is that beta hydroxy acids go deeper into the skin. They are best for acne and oily skin conditions but may also treat hyperpigmentation. These can be found in serums, lotions and chemical peels.
  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-This acid is related to acetic acid which is found in vinegar. It is used to make very strong peels that aid in anti-aging, fading dark marks, fixing textural issues and reading the appearance of scars. This acid may do more harm than good for people of darker skin tones.
  • Phytic acid- This is found in rice, legumes and seeds. It provides exfoliation and brightening benefits. The acid is not as well-known as other ones, but it is in a few serums and chemical peels on the market.
  • Retinol and Retin-A- Both of these come from vitamin A. Retinol is the pure form and Retin-A is the synthetic form of the vitamin. The latter is stronger which may lead to better results. They both may help with acne, anti-aging, dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Differin- This is a prescription strength retinoid that is available OTC. It is gentler than Retin-A and is FDA approved to treat acne (might be better for that purpose). Differin may also help with dark marks if they are from acne.
  • Sunscreen- This is really important as UV rays can do a lot of damage over time. Putting it on throughout the day can make sure that dark marks do not get any worse than how they already are. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended.

Other possible things that people say have helped them include cinnamon, honey and pumpkin puree. DIY face masks are usually created with these three ingredients and applied once or twice a week.

My take on all these possible treatments

My hyperpigmentation comes from skin picking, acne, cuts and scratches. The dark marks are extremely stubborn and do not seem to go away or get lighter.

I have tried a lot of things on this list over the years and it is frustrating that nothing has really worked. My plan is to make my own skincare product that uses some of these ingredients as well as DMAE for more anti-aging benefits.

Currently I am using vitamin C serum from Makeup Artist’s Choice, aloe vera gel, almond oil, sunscreen, chemical peels every week and a LED light massage wand (red and green settings).

In conclusion

There are many options available that may help fade dark marks on your skin. Only using one of them may not yield the results you want so it would be good to look for products that contain multiple lightening agents.

Have any of you suffered from hyperpigmentation and/or melasma? What have you used to treat it?

Thanks for reading!

#hyperpigmentation #melasma #skincare #acne #hormones #pcos #beauty

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum + Review

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum + Review


As you know if you read my other posts, I deal with horrible hyperpigmentation (dark spots). I try not to let it get me down too much but I definitely do want them to fade.

I have tried many products over the years to get them to fade with little to no results. This CeraVe serum product is something I have been using for a few weeks now. If you want to know if it is working for me, read on!

The CeraVe company

This company makes many products for different concerns and skin types. Everything is developed with help from dermatologists. The company offers cleansers (face and body), moisturizers (face and body), serums, sunscreens and baby products.

All of their products have three ceramides in them which help with the moisturization of the skin. They are also all fragrance free.

The Resurfacing Retinol Serum

This is a creamy serum that was created to help even out skin tones, fade spots and improve the texture of the skin. To do this, it contains the following active ingredients:

  • Licorice root: This contains properties that make it act as an anti-inflammatory and skin lightening agent. You can find it in other skincare products, powder form, liquid form and capsules.
  • Niacinamide: This evens out skin tones, fades hyperpigmentation, improves texture and helps reduce oil production. You can find this in other skincare products, powder form, tablets and capsules.
  • Retinol- This reduces signs of aging, improves texture and evens skin tones. You can find it in many other skincare products.

This serum should be used after cleansing and up to two times a day. Sunscreen is recommended.

It is sold in 1 ounce pump-top bottles for around $17.

What I think about it

Finding an effective hyperpigmentation treatment is very important to me. After I felt I was wasting my time with the retinol lotion from Belei, I decided to try and find another one that might actually work.

I came across this retinol serum by CeraVe and was excited to try it. The following is what made me buy it:

  • It has licorice root in it: I knew from my research a while back that this can really help to fade dark spots. To me, having this included with the retinol meant that it could work better than only have the retinol in there would.
  • It has niacinamide in it: I liked that this was in there because it adds extra hyperpigmentation and texture improvement power to the serum. The texture of my skin needs a lot of help too.
  • It is fragrance-free: I need products to be fragrance-free due to my husband’s allergies so I was glad this one is.

I ended up buying it and have been putting it on every night for about eight weeks now.

Sadly during this eight week time period, I have seen absolutely no difference in my skin. I do not know if it has not been long enough… but how long do I have to wait? Years, for anything to work?

It is so frustrating to me.

During this time I have also had forehead zits which is unusual for my face. That coupled with it not doing anything for my hyperpigmentation means it is not something I will be purchasing again.

Now, just because it did not work for me does not mean it will not work for someone else. It obviously works for a lot of people if you go by the reviews on Amazon.

I really wish it would have worked for me!

I need to find something else now

Right now I do not have a night-time serum with any actives in it to use. I am back to just using organic aloe vera gel after cleansing.

I will keep trying to figure out a product for the evening and not give up hope. There has got to be something out there that will help my situation!

If any of you reading this know of some products I can use to help my bad hyperpigmentation, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#hyperpigmentation #skincare #africanamerican #melanin #blackwomen #acne #pcos #cerave

Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask + Review

Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask + Review

I have tried many skin care products in my day. TONS! There have been a few hits and many, many misses.

The pumpkin exfoliating mask from Makeup Artist’s Choice is one of the more recent products I have used. This post is just a little bit about it and my opinion of it!

The mask

The Pumpkin Exfoliation mask is a popular product offered by Makeup Artist’s Choice. Even at the time of this post, it is out of stock!

It is not just a regular old mask though as it contains glycolic acid in it. This means that it can not be left on for more than a few minutes as other masks can.

Some of the other ingredients in the mask include pumpkin (obviously!), oils, various extracts, vitamin c, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Due to the benefits that these ingredients may have, the mask is said to provide an all-around rejuvenating affect for your skin.

My opinion on it

First of all, I have to say that I love the selection of products that Makeup Artist’s Choice has. There are just so many they offer which means someone is bound to find at least one “holy-grail” product from them.

I used to love doing face masks on Sundays as a part of a “spa night” routine. The homemade masks I would make always involved pumpkin and cinnamon.

I eventually stopped doing these masks because I was essentially just wasting most of the can of pumpkin as well as my money. Bummer!

A while after stopping the weekly homemade masks, I became interested in trying an already prepared one. That led me to finding the Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask. It is like the mask I made except it has extra goodies in it.

The fact that it had glycolic acid in it, sold me on it. To get my skin to change, it needs powerful ingredients and this definitely is one of them.

I purchased the 1 oz size because I wanted to be able to do at least five masks. The $22 price tag did not seem too bad to me at the time.

I love the smell of the mask! It is just like pumpkin pie. That scent is really popular this time of year so I am sure that is one thing that may attract other people to the product.

The instructions on the site say that we are supposed to do patch tests before applying the mask to our whole faces. I did not do this because I figured I would be fine (which I was).

This mask is to be left on for five minutes and then rinsed off. The first time I applied the mask, there was a little bit of tingling but nothing too bad. It definitely is not as powerful on my skin as the 65% lactic acid peel the company sells is.

Right after the first application and the next day, my skin was soft and glowing. I loved it and continued to use it every week until I finished the container (I got seven uses out of it).

In terms of hyperpigmentation, it definitely did not help. I think that is because I have such a severe case of it. Quite frankly, I do not think that anything short of setting my face on fire will remove the dark marks!

After using all of the mask up, my face went back to being dull with a not-so attractive texture. This means that for me, the mask did not change my skin for the better. I think I would have to use it weekly for a very long time to keep having that look.

Overall, I really liked this mask. I do not think I will get it again though. In the near future I want to really attack my hyperpigmentation and textural issues which means that I need something more powerful than the pumpkin mask.

Would I recommend it?

Yes! I would totally recommend it for others to try. It has a lot of great ingredients in it that are sure to be of benefit to other people. Despite it containing glycolic acid, it is still pretty light and would probably be okay for skin that is a little bit on the sensitive side.

In short, this is a great product to add to a skin care routine.

You can find the mask here:

Thanks for reading!

#makeupartistschoice #skincare #beauty #acne

I Want My Eyebrows Back!

I Want My Eyebrows Back!

I love this woman’s eyebrows!

In a previous post I talked about how I got lazy with my beauty care routine. Well, lately I have had a resurgence in feelings of wanting to try things that improve my appearance.

My eyebrows are one of the things on me that need improving. They have become rather sparse.

I had been looking into options on how to regrow them and came up with a plan. Read on if interested!

The causes of eyebrow hair loss

There are various reasons as to why some of us may experience eyebrow hair loss. The following is a list of them:

  1. Natural aging: A lot of us have thinning hair as we get older.
  2. Chemotherapy: This cancer treatment causes hair loss on a person’s head and their eyebrows.
  3. Hyper- and hypo- thyroidism:  Both of these can cause hair loss on a person’s head and their eyebrows.
  4. Stress- If we are stressed out mentally, it can have an effect on our hair.
  5. Hormone imbalances: Having wonky hormones (PCOS!) can cause us to lose hair.
  6. Medications: There are certain medications that can cause hair loss.
  7. Diet changes and nutrient deficiencies: If you are not getting the right nutrients or you changed your diet up abruptly, hair loss may happen.
  8. Trauma to the skin: If you sustained trauma to the skin on the eyebrow area, hair might not be able to grow back in.
  9. Alopecia conditions: These conditions cause hair not to grow or to grow but then fall out again after a while.
  10. Overplucking/ waxing too much
  11. Skincare products: Some products (like chemical peels) may cause hair loss or thinning if it gets in the eyebrow area.

Ways to regrow brows

There are some things people can try/use to get their brows back to the fullness they want. The following is a list of them:

  1. Eyebrow transplant: This is costly ($3000-$6000) and comes with the risks that surgeries have. It also may take up to eight months to get the full results.
  2. Just fill them in with eyebrow makeup: This is not growing them but it can be a daily quick fix.
  3. Latisse: This is a treatment for eyelash growth but people have had success using it on their eyebrows too. You need a prescription for it and $120 is the average monthly cost.
  4. Rogaine: This is marketed for the hair on our heads, but people have also had success using it to grow their eyebrows. Since it is a sensitive area, you have to be really careful with the product.
  5. Eyebrow growth serums: There are many eyebrow growth serums on the market. They usually contain peptides, amino acids, biotin, hyaluronic acids and other ingredients. RevitaBrow is an example of a really popular eyebrow growth serum. Find it here:
  6. Vitamins/supplements: Things like biotin, vitamin A/B/C/D/E, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are supposedly good for hair loss/thinning.
  7. Caster oil- Some people have had success applying this oil onto their brows.
  8. Pumpkin seed oil: This may help hair growth due to the zinc, vitamin E, Omega-3 and Omega-6 it contains.
  9. Essential oils- Peppermint, rosemary, thyme, lavender, cedarwood, lemongrass, clary sage and ylang-ylang essential oil are all said to possibly help with hair growth.
  10. Treating any medical problem that may be causing the hair loss.

None of these things listed are guaranteed to help, but they are worth looking into. Make sure to be mindful of any side effects and risks that are possible with them.

My eyebrow issues

I used to have fast growing, full eyebrows. Two trips a month to get them waxed was not an uncommon thing for me.

My eyebrows were like this until I hit the age of 26. Once I got to that age, they became very sparse on the outer portion and the rest of the area just never grew. I have not been able to get them waxed/plucked and shaped for a long time now because there is just not enough hair.

I still do not know the exact cause of why they are like this. The following is a list of possible reasons:

  1. Aging- They say that hair loss can happen when a person is in their 40s and 50s. Maybe it started earlier for me?
  2. Over plucking- The last three times that I got my eyebrows shaped, it was by my husband. He could have plucked them too much or something. It seems like they would have grown back by now though.
  3. Vitamin deficiency- Maybe I have not been getting enough of the right vitamins that are necessary to grow hair.
  4. PCOS- Sometimes I wonder if PCOS is the cause of my eyebrows thinning. It seems like it would also affect the hair on my head though too (which it has not).
  5. Skin care products- I was thinking that maybe the at-home chemical peels and other products with acids may be causing the thinning but I am not so sure about this. I have not used a chemical peel for a long time so it seems like the hairs would have grown back by now.

It is all a mystery to me! I am leaning towards the possibility of aging as being the main cause, unfortunately.

My plan for regrowth

 Since I should not be spending very much money (or any) on “wants,” my plan is to use oils for now. I already have rosemary essential oil and pumpkin seed oil on hand so I will be mixing them at a 2% dilution (two tsp of pumpkin seed oil and six drops of the essential oil). I will be applying this to my eyebrows twice a day.

This is something I will be doing for three months and then see where I am at. I do not expect any miracles to occur, but it would be awesome if even a tiny bit of growth happened.

I might have a job by the time the three months are up so at that point I will be buying the RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner. I would love to buy it now, but I need to stick to our budget.

Eyebrows are important to a lot of people

Having nicely shaped eyebrows makes a person feel and look great. Even if hair loss and thinning of the eyebrows happens, there are ways of fixing them so that one can feel confident. It will take some time though.

I will be as patient as possible on my eyebrow regrowth journey. Hopefully by the time the pandemic gets under control, I will be able to emerge from my quarantine with some full brows!

Do you have any tips for me in regard to regrowing my eyebrows? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#eyebrows  #waxing  #plucking  #beauty  #hairgrowth  #hairloss