10 Beauty Myths Debunked..

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve tried A LOT of fad beauty tips over the years, but how many actually work? Does pulling out one grey hair cause two to grow back? Wrapping your body in cling film to encourage sweating helps weight loss right?

Let’s dispel 10 of these common beauty myths.

Shaving makes hair grow back thicker.

It sounds plausible and judging by experience also sounds possible. It’s actually not true. The hair actually just seems denser and more stubbly because it has been cut. There is absolutely no way hair can grow back thicker due to shaving…

Stinging is a sign of something working.

We’ve all heard the “no pain, no gain” rule before right? If you start to experience any stinging or tingling when applying products to your skin, that’s its way of saying “I do not like what you are putting on me!” Stop using whatever it is instantly – it may also be helpful to check the ingredients to make sure your not allergic to anything in it.

Drinking water gives you glowing skin.

This one actually surprised me, as I drink so much water because of this. The facts though, show very little proof that drinking water contributes to clearer or more hydrated skin. The cells of the upper layer of the epidermis are already dead, therefore, do not absorb water from the inside. Who knew?

The sun will dry out acne.

Okay it’s half true – the sun really does dry out the skin, however, your skin will just combat this by secreting more oil which will actually clog the pores even more.

Brush your teeth after every meal.

Brushing your teeth after every meal is not only useless, it’s actually harmful. The acid that gets into the oral cavity with products eats into tooth enamel and contributes to its erosion. If you keep brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of a meal, the tooth enamel will decay faster.

Plucking one grey hair makes two grow back.

If you are going to go grey, you are going to go grey. Grey hair if formed when a follicle loses pigment. The hair grows in dry and wiry because the oil around the follicle is depleted. You can live with it or dye it; speaking of which….

Wash hair after dying it.

No! Don’t shampoo for at least two days after dying it. The colour needs to penetrate and attach itself, so if you shampoo too soon, you’ll disrupt the process and lose some colour.

Use toothpaste on spots for a quick fix!

Okay, this CAN work but it’s definitely not recommended. Although toothpaste does indeed have a drying effect, a lot of the other ingredients can be irritants for your skin so will make the initial problem worse. Toothpaste is the Russian roulette for skin.

Not sleeping well gives you dark circles.

Dark circles come from a variety of different factors – genetics is the first. The skin under your eyes is very thin and there are a lot of vessels under there. Light reflects off the bluish pigment in the blood vessels under the eyes. If you are sick or tired the blood vessels will likely be engorged which will only accentuate any existing issues.

Sweating makes you slimmer.

For real? Sweating increases our well-being but it does not make you slimmer. Whether during sports or in a sauna: the water we lose from sweating is immediately restored when we have a drink afterwards…. not to mention sweating too much depletes essential salts and vitamins from our bodies.

How many did you already know were myths? Have any surprised you?

Comment and let me know!

Getting the shot!

Whether (like me) you love the camera, or you shy away until the family reunion compulsory snaps come around; everyone knows getting that “perfect shot” can be a difficult process. Here are a few of my top tips:

• It’s all in the mouth…

Tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth ensures that there’s no “double chin” trying to steal your limelight. Also – admittedly more for men – clenching your teeth helps give your jawline more definition, and who doesn’t like a good, strong jawline?

• Know how to use your filters

Knowing which filters to use based on the shot you take, is literally, my number one rule. Sometimes a shot calls for a more relaxed, natural look in which case, less is more – don’t play with colour. Black and white is a good filter to use when the colours are not so important, for example; the shot below works in black and white so much, because the outfit doesn’t actually match. The jacket is a gold colour which looked bad against the white top – the solution; take out the colour and nobody will ever know!

• Your best angle

It is said that often that it has almost become a cliche. “Make sure you get my best side!” There is however, a lot of truth to it! Whether it’s a new spot that has appeared that day, a bit of windswept hair you can’t correct or in my case; I’ve shaved a bit heavy on one side of the beard (I do this often)! Knowing your “best side” is paramount in getting the perfect shot.

• Lighting

In my opinion, natural lighting always works best! If taking indoor shots, try to make sure you have the lighting directed toward you as much as possible. If all else fails, there are loads of apps nowadays that can artificially correct lighting for you – some are even free! The shot below, has a lot of lighting fixes.

• Eyes forward… right?

No! Not every photo needs you to be looking directly at the camera – in fact some shots are better not to! Looking away can give a more “natural pose” to the picture. Staging photos is absolutely fine, but knowing where to look can make the difference between it looking real or fake. The photo below is 100% staged because…. I don’t drive! But looking away definitely makes it look more natural.

• It’s behind you!

Literally. What’s going on behind you is just as important as the clothes you are wearing. I spend ages looking for perfect spots to take photos – it’s so annoying when I find somewhere and I’m not “photo ready,” so I make a note in my phone of the place, and decide what sort of look would go well there. I have been everywhere around my hometown looking for great photo opps, only to find there’s a church literally 10 seconds away that has AMAZING potential! Needless to say I use it a lot now!

• Have fun!

Whether you smile or not, having fun is part of every photo and it shows through regardless of the facial expression. If you’re feeling awkward and uncomfortable, it will find it’s way into the photo. Be stupid, try out new poses and don’t be afraid of who is looking. Your whole life is a catwalk – why not let some of it get caught on camera?

A Revelation

Hey guys !

So today I want to share something with you all that a lot of people do not know about me – at least not anybody that is not a part of my immediate family. For a long time – since I was around 16 – I have had an issue with alcohol. I had always liked a drink, but when I was 17 I became involved in a relationship where I was physically abused; strangled, stabbed; you name it, I lived it. My drinking slowly started to spiral from that point.

Don’t get me wrong I was never the sort of alcoholic that people imagine when that term is used. I didn’t sit on a park bench knocking back cheap cider, nor did I steal to fund my habit or hide the fact that I drank from other people. The issue, however, was still very much there.

Alcohol; for the longest time had been my crutch – my escape from the world when everything was getting too tough or when I just didn’t want to deal with all the stresses that life inevitably throws at you. It was my way of dealing with pain and dealing with my problems without actually ever having to deal with anything.

It had gotten so bad at times that I have been hospitalised twice with a condition called pancreatitis; both of these times I was told by doctors that I was drastically limiting my own life my own life by choosing to continue drinking. The second time I was admitted into hospital with pancreatitis in fact, I was told that I would not see the end of the year if I continued to let alcohol play such a large role in my life. None of this ever deterred my will to drink for some reason.

My parties revolved around alcohol

It’s important that I mention here that I was what is described as a binge drinker – I didn’t drink everyday for years – instead I would have periods of different lengths of time (sometimes a week; sometimes six weeks), where I would drink a large amount of alcohol from morning til night. I was the party guy – the guy who was always drinking but everybody just brushed it off as “he’s just enjoying himself.” After a binge like this I would then stay sober for a few weeks before rinsing and repeating the whole process again.

As much alcohol as possible

I’m sure you’re asking, why is this story being featured in a beauty and fashion blog – it has no correlation.

It kind of does in a way though!

When I would be drinking, my normal, vain, self-confident, self loving personality would disappear out of the window. Sometimes I would sit in a room drinking for days on end with no contact from the outside world, not even a text or phone call to my family.

Always with a drink in hand

It is no secret that alcohol and cigarettes affect your looks drastically – from losing hydration in your skin making it look more dull, from causing premature aging in general. Of course, when I would be drinking, my efforts towards looking good would also diminish; a lot of times I wouldn’t even have a shave for weeks. The one part of my life that I had learnt to always fall back on and rely on wasn’t enhancing my personality or my life, it was actually dictating it. I had became so reliant on alcohol to have a good time that I completely forgot the person I had been before I was introduced to my “friend.”

Ha!

Alcohol had never been my friend. It had been a dark side of myself – almost like another person I kept locked away – that I had used as an excuse to not confront my own inner demons.

I have insecurities. I have body issues. I do feel that the world let me down in many ways and I think I just became angry at not only the world, but also myself, and everybody in it.

The story has a happy ending though – maybe ultimately I’m one of the lucky ones. My sister had a child – my niece – who has shocked me back to life. My darling little baby that makes me think twice now before reaching for a bottle to solve my problems. I can’t live that selfish side of myself anymore.

It’s funny actually, that everybody says to me “she needs her uncle,” and maybe she does or will one day in the future and I WILL be there for her. Sober.

But the truth is; I needed her. I needed a reason to remember that person I had once been – before I became angry with the world, and she was that reason. A beautiful bundle of innocence, who reminds me with every passing day that there is a beauty in this world that cannot be found in a bottle. I haven’t drank for a while now, but if I do it’s ok – it’s nothing like I used to. It will be a battle I will always live with…. Today I’m a stronger person than I ever thought I could be.

So I now go against everything I have discussed so far in my previous blog posts and wish to tell you; If you want to see beauty – don’t look in the pages of Vogue or on the catwalks of Milan and Paris. If you want to see strength, don’t look to world leaders or politicians. Everybody has their own strength and beauty inside of them – it’s just learning how to rediscover it that counts.

But believe me; when you do find it, you’ll outshine everyone!

Thanks for reading x

Bargain bin vs. Bargain buy

We have been taught for such a long time with almost everything that “you get what you pay for,” and for a lot of things I do believe this is true. A cheap tin of baked beans will never taste the same as a can of Heinz. I can remember one time having to buy Asda Smartprice white bread and I have to say it was drier than the Middle East! I’m a big lover of tattoos and it goes without saying that I would never compromise quality for price.

Fashion however is not always the same rule. There was an article in the Daily Mail newspaper last year (2018) where they actually compared a plain white t-shirt made by Victoria Beckham, (which retails at £90) to five others exactly the same but with very different price tags. A top fashion consultant rated the Victoria Beckham t-shit a 4/10, whilst a £2.50 one from Primark scored 7.5/10! The moral: in fashion, more often than not you are paying for the label, and most of the time, nobody will ever be able to tell the difference.

Let’s look at both of these very standard, straight leg, light blue jeans. How much difference do you actually see? They’re both very casual, no frills, denim jeans, right?

Wrong.

Now look at them with the price tag.

Did you guess which were the more expensive ones? I’m not by any means suggesting that they are both the same quality or even that one is better than the other – I’m merely pointing out how two very similar looking items of clothing can carry very different price tags. The cheaper ones are by G-Star and were actually reduced to £40.00 when I viewed them.

Vans are very popular right now; very trendy and be incorporated into a lot of different looks. The price tag is not at all unreasonable, but with a bit of looking around you can find almost the same pair in both, for a fraction of the price.

It’s worth pointing out that Vans right now are in the middle of suing Primark because of the very obvious similarities between the shoes, so they probably won’t be around for long. However, with just a little bit of effort there will always be a much cheaper version of a much loved item elsewhere.

Before I completely lose myself in a whirlwind of hypocrisy, it is only fair for me to admit that I do very much love brand names, especially with my tops and jackets. I do, however, still look for lower prices if I can get away with it.

This Supply & Demand Helix Flight Jacket that you see here was originally priced at £70. I saw it in J.D. Sports reduced to £25!! That’s a 64% saving! At the time of writing this, it’s actually still available on the website. (That’s free advertising there JD Sports lol.) It’s one of the warmest jackets I own and it goes with so many different outfits!

Ultimately it comes down to preference and indeed the size of your wallet. Brand names are undoubtedly, very nice to own and will usually be made a lot better and of better quality.

But! If it’s something as simple as a white t-shirt that cost me £2.50 as opposed to a £90 one; who cares if it’s not made as well? Who cares if it’s only going to last me a couple of washes? At £2.50 a go, I can afford to buy 36 of them for the price of one top of the range one.

I know which one I’m buying!

10 Essential Male Grooming Rules

Back in my grandad’s time, or even in my dad’s time, a man who spent too much time in the bathroom would be met with the kind of suspicion that we looked at Theresa May’s dance moves with.

Fortunately, it is not the case these days but there is so much advice around about what you should be doing and a great deal more products with what to do it with. The truth is, you don’t need a lot of expensive products to keep a good grooming routine. Keep it fast, simple and above all else, stick to it!

Here are 10 easy habits that every man should be doing.


1. Keeping Clean

Everybody should really be aiming to shower twice a day (morning and night) and after heavy sweating. If you’re like me and enjoy a bath (I like to relax! Lol) then follow it with a quick shower after to wash that dirty water away.


2. Haircare Is Paramount

4 – 6 weeks between each haircut is about normal – any longer and it will start looking too long and messy (which is okay if that’s the look you’re going for!) It’s also good to know which styling products to use. Thicker hair can handle wax, clay and gel, whereas thinner hair should stick to a decent mousse and hairspray!


3. Open Up…

Oral hygiene HAS to be, for me, the most important part of self-maintenance! If I know what you ate for lunch without you telling me… you’re getting this so wrong. Brush twice a day (preferably with an electric toothbrush), floss, scrub your tongue and follow with a mouthwash.


4. Eyebrows, not Eyebrow

If the eyes really are the window to your soul then they really don’t need drape curtains. Keep your eyebrows at least decently maintained. It’s cool to have longer eyebrows – it even works for some people (check Colin Farrell) but there should always be two of them. One brow should NOT meet the other. Like ever.


5. Smelling Fresh

Deodorant or anti-perspirant are must haves and it’s important to know the difference. A deodorant will stop the odour of sweat whereas an antiperspirant will soak the sweat up. It’s good to try and find a combined spray to combat both. Aftershave should compliment your body and not faceplant everyone who smells it. Less is more.


6. Nails; Hands and Feet

Long, clawlike talons do not suit any man. Keep them trimmed and clean – that includes the ones on your feet. If it’s too much hassle to do yourself, go get a mani/pedi – it’s not a rare thing for men anymore !


7. To Beard or not to Beard

Whether you decide to sport a beard or not, maintenance is key. If you opt out then remember to shave AT LEAST every other day and use a decent aftershave balm. Pre-shave make sure to apply oil or shaving foam and keep your blade in warm water to ensure it glides over the skin. For those guys that have a beard; ensure it stays clean and fresh – it’s cool to shampoo and moisturise your beard (with an oil that is.)


8. Manscaping!!

Cmon guys, nowadays there really is no excuse not to trim that pubic area. It’s not only perfectly accepted these days it’s actually polite. You don’t have to go all the way – just try and get a balance between caveman and Justin Bieber and you’re good! Keep it trimmed, keep it neat. Extra little bit of advice, maybe use a different razor from the one you use on your face – think stray pubic hair near the mouth area… 😅


9. C.T.M

Easy to remember right? Cleanse, tone and moisturise. Once you get the hang of doing this everyday it literally takes minutes and can make a whole world of difference. Your skin type should help you to choose what products you need. Sensitive skin requires product with no harsh chemicals or fragrances; dry skin needs a gentle cleanser yet thicker moisturiser and oily skin types should opt for products that gently exfoliate without using heavy oils. Be sure to pay extra attention when moisturising under the eyes – not keeping hydrated here will result in wrinkles and dark circles.


10. Any Stray Hairs…?

And once again we’re back to trimming. Two areas that always seem to get neglected by men are nose hair and ear hair! Eugh! The ears may only be a problem with men of a certain age (I don’t have to worry about it yet; I’m 29), but nose hair is a big no. You can buy a nose hair trimmer for as little as a pound these days so there really is no excuse.


Share you’re stories of how you get on guys! 😅😅😅

What is fashion anyway.?

Hey guys!

Imagine this.

I’m sitting in my sisters house after a long day of shopping and playing with my niece, and I tell my sister “I’m going to try and be a fashion influencer on Instagram and start a fashion and beauty blog!” She looks me dead in the eye; a slightly puzzled look on her face and says:

“But Nico, you’re not fashionable.”

The truth is…. she’s absolutely right – well she was half right. I’m not catwalk fashionable or glossy magazine fashionable. She then backtracked and told me, “don’t get me wrong, you always look nice, but you’re not very fashionable.”

And in that moment I realised something very important in terms of fashion; it doesn’t matter!

Fashion is not or has never been about someone dictating what you should or shouldn’t be wearing. It’s not about seeing an outfit online and mimicking it to the finest detail. It’s not even about having the most expensive clothes or the finest taste. Fashion – or indeed being fashionable – is about creating your own style; being an individual.

The most important thing you can ever learn in looking good is that nothing is wrong! Of course we all have a few fashion mishaps that we see in a photo and think “never again” (I once wore a mushroom haircut!) But on the whole it’s all about having fun and finding a style that works for you.

I can’t imagine that any designer out there would want people to see models on a catwalk and copy everything you see. No, they want you to draw inspiration from the choices they have put in front of you and create your own look. To put it simple, if it works for you, it works period!

Fashion is something that everybody can enjoy and be a part of – we would look pretty stupid if we all looked like clones of eachother.

Confidence and individuality is key in being fashionable. Someone wearing a cheap pair of tracksuit bottoms and a vest top, but oozes confidence and swag will usually always look better than someone who wears thousands of pounds worth of gear, but isn’t comfortable in it.

There are of course a few classic looks that really shouldn’t be tinkered with too much – but even with a classic dinner suit you can showcase individuality in terms of what tie you choose for example, or what pocket square you choose to sport.

I want to be a fashion blogger than inspires confidence and individuality rather than one that condemns fashion choices and urges you to dress a specific way. Don’t be afraid to tag me in those pictures of you showcasing your individuality and I’ll maybe even feature your looks on here from time to time.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/monteiro_nico/

To all my readers: I implore you to think outside the box and show everyone who you are through what you wear! Confidence is what makes a look work, not how many brands you can comfortably fit yourself in to.

So to my little sister – who may I add is my best friend and I love with all my heart.

No; I’m not fashionable, and I’m damn proud of it!

😘

Thanks for joining me ! 😅

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it”

Edith Head

Hey guys!

I wanna say a huge Thankyou first of all for taking the time to get redirected to my blog – actually took maybe 5 seconds but what the hell, I’m grateful! So, this is my first blog post on my first ever attempt at blogging so maybe bare with me a little; I promise the content WILL get better lol!

So, I’m Nico! Im half portuguese, 29 years young (I know I don’t look it lol) and I’m from a little town in the West Midlands, UK. I’m very driven in all I do, and I’m extremely outspoken on EVERYTHING! I mean seriously, I have an opinion on most things and I’m never too shy to share them – whether people want to actually hear my opinion or not most of the time! I’ve just recently been blessed with a niece who I adore – she’s a little stunner! I spend as much of my free time with her as possible and have no doubt that someday she will be modelling; I think she loves the camera almost as much as I do. I said almost 😅

My beautiful niece, Wynter-Rae!

I absolutely love looking good and honestly I think I do a pretty good job at it. Did I mention that modesty was one of my lesser qualities lol? On a serious level, looking good is second only to feeling good – in fact I believe that one usually builds the other. It’s very true that “real beauty comes from within,” and “an ugly heart makes an ugly person…..” 🙄. Being a good person inside is very nice…. but why not be a nice person while sporting a killer outfit on the outside?

The purpose of this blog is to show you all that looking good doesn’t necessarily have to cost the world.

Seriously.

OK, that $3000 pair of designer shoes may look good on your feet, but so would a pair that was $200 and you have the $2800 leftover for tequila shots at the club, where you’re still gonna dazzle and take the girl/guy home 😜!

I would love to live in a world where I could shop til I drop and money was no object but the fact is that for a majority of people that just isn’t the case. I wasn’t born an heir to a multi-million pound company and I’m probably never going to win millions in the lottery. (Buying a ticket could possibly increase my chances but meh!) Don’t get me wrong I have had times where I have spent a fortune on clothes and I felt no better for it – in fact it just makes the end of the world feeling when you spill red wine down yourself that little bit worse! Nowadays I get a lot more pleasure being able to say “I purchased my whole outfit for less than £300 rather than a pair of jeans that cost double that!”

Looking good is not as simple as choosing the right outfit as many of you will probably already know. Skincare, hair care; even using the right aftershave are all things I am considering on a daily basis. I’ve had Botox a couple of times and would completely be up for cosmetic surgery if the opportunity presented itself – which is just a posher way of saying if I could ever afford it!

I’m actually right in the middle of growing my fan base on Instagram to hopefully be the go to guy on all things affordable fashion and beauty. Any discount codes I get, or promotional offers from companies will be shared with all of you to help you benefit financially too! For now I just have my Instagram posts and this single blog post but rest assured I will be making videos reviewing products and “how to’s”. From this point onwards you are no longer my followers or my subscribers; you are my friends so feel free to message me at any time and I promise I will always respond to everyone!

So thanks again for reading my first ever blog post, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Feel free to leave me any feedback. Please hit subscribe to see future content. Thanks for making these first steps with me and I hope you all stick it out for the rest of the ride – I promise it won’t be a dull one! 😘😘😘