The HI’s and LO’s of Social Media

Heyy !! Back at it again with a new post, been so MIA lately due to the move into university and I’ve really missed my blog so I  forced myself to put this post out which had been on my mind for soo long to do so, did I mention I was the queen of procrastination ?

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Anyways, so I stumbled across the beautiful piece of art above on the gram, you know just scrolling through your feed as you do, and it made me stop in utter amazement and wonder. The image drawn by @rokz_art shows a woman in her natural form with African beads around her waist, which if your from Africa you could relate to.

But what really hit my attention were these beautifully vibrant stretch marks all over her stomach and her thighs, now normally on a black girl you wouldn’t see white stretch marks on the body, but I think the purpose behind this was to capture the audiences attention and really try to capture the beauty of stretch marks on a woman’s body, symbolizing the changes of structure and growth that we females go through

This is why I named this post “the HI’s and LO’s of social media” simply because yes, social media is a great platform for engaging in pictures with your friends, laughing at hilarious posts and catching up with the latest celebrity gossip, however it can get really frantic when celebrity bodies and figures start appearing everywhere and the desire to emulate their appearances becomes almost impossible to avoid.

One of my main goals this year was to be happy in my skin and to accept the way I was made by God. This has honestly been a challenge for me surprisingly and I didn’t really think it was a goal that I needed to work hard for, not knowing that subconsciously I was always checking myself in the mirror, checking to see if I have cellulite or if my body is even in all the different places, yes its crazy right ?

I had to snap out of this and actually realise that I had a habit of doing so and it was slowly affecting me. Me being of 18 years and only realising this now, imagine younger teens in secondary school, where they hit the stages of puberty and the competition for the best body or best skin is on the rise, how would they actually feel and cope? I had a deep thought to myself and upon praying over the issue, I prayed over girls who were younger than me, experiencing the  battle with body image and self confidence. Even though I may not know someone personally going through this, I pondered over all the girls who are open to pages such as Instagram where bodies of women are plastered all over their explore page and wondered what they must be going through.

What moved me was the caption below the picture. ” Ladies please embrace your stretch marks… It’s a mark of strength , you are beautiful , you are gorgeous regardless, don’t think because of these certain stripes that you can’t do certain things” this message basically states that yes although we may gain these marks either through growth spurts or after pregnancy, we should, use these marks not as a reminder of a flaw that society perceives to be, but a reminder of our beauty and our growth as females and even as males too.

I urge anyone who reads this to be in love with their inner self, and to accept themselves regardless of any outer flaw that may be visible to the world, make it your mark that you are unique because of your appearance and although body acceptance may take time to full achieve, it is a beautiful journey whilst achieving it.

“you are imperfect, permanently, and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful” – Amy Bloom

Review : UNFAZEDBOX AFRICAN CLOTHING PIECES !

Heyy!

So I’m no expert at fashion but I do know that the use of African fabrics, whether it be Kente or Ankara or any other fabric has been very prominent in todays fashion. African fabrics as a whole has been incorporated into many styles from Jumpsuits to maxi dresses to even jewellery and it has taken a liking to many people including celebrities pictured in them

Its funny how it has become so widespread in terms of cultures, in the past you would never expect another person who is not from Africa or has any part of that background to be wearing such materials, however its really become popular, even when I went to a Christian Camp in Peterborough for the majority of the time I was spent there , many people where pictured in Dashikis, I was so amazed !

What I love about this is the creativity and the uniqueness it has, and the many designs you can use to make your desired outfit, after all it is a piece of material like any other that is used to make any other piece of clothing, so why has it been so long for it to suddenly be used by many manufacturers in their clothing lines?

That’s why I was so delighted when I got sent these pieces by a company called Unfazed Box , the owner , Tunde is an amazing young teen who has recently started to make her own Ankara designs with simple jewellery pieces which she asked me to review, Here are some pics:

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When I saw these pieces I absolutely fell in love with them, and I received many compliments from others when I wore them out, I was amazed at the detailed print in them and how simple they were to wear, I will definitely be purchasing more of these items and will do follow up reviews on them for you to see

You can check out their page on Instagram : @unfazedbox , or you can look at their website for more of their products : http://www.unfazedbox.bigcartel.com/

 

Dear Makeup Brands…

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Source – Instagram (nyamtang)
This is the beautiful Nyma Tang, a South Sudanese Youtuber, who has a channel with over 200,000 subscribers. As you can see she is a beautiful, dark skinned woman with skin to die for. Her inner melanin is filled with glow and sparkle and I am really enjoying her posts on her channel of recent. She is mostly famous for her series #Thedarkestshade where she reviews foundations, concealers and other products in the darkest shade to suit her complexion. This series gained fame as it pinpointed the major problem with makeup brands these days, especially affordable drugstore brands, in getting their shades right to suit all complexions from light to dark. I came across this video from NowThisEntertainment about how she explained her troubles of going to drugstore brands and finding that they don’t appeal to her complexion and often she had to go to higher end brands, which could be quite expensive at times in the US and even here in the UK

Upon watching this video above, I started to realise that for me in particular it wasn’t so much a problem, but for darker skin tones it was a major problem for them finding foundations that were either ashy looking on them or did not match their proper complexion properly. I realised it as I thought whenever I will visit a local Superdrug near me, looking at the brands of Rimmel London, or Maybelline, they would have a range of colours for lighter skin but only have 2-3 shades for darker skin girls. Therefore, leaving them to drift towards higher end brands like Lancôme or Nars who offer great alternatives, however can come at an expensive price.

So I guess the question exactly is, why don’t makeup brands cater towards darker skinned women? I can admit her skin shade would not be something you come across on an everyday basis, it’s unique in itself. However it doesn’t mean popular makeup brands should simply stop catering for their skin shades. Even looking at it from the other way round, most of the light shades still do have a tint of a tan look in them, forgetting that there are paler skin people and that not everyone prefers that tanned look even though it is what is in fashion right now.

Except for black owned brands such as Black Opal Beauty or Fashion Fair who focus on black skin mostly, many brands that are mainly advertised as being affordable for women and easily accessible should take a rise on expanding their colour ranges to suit each skin type. Especially with the rise of popular woman from Nyma herself to other youtbers such as Nikki Perkins or even actors such as Lupita Nyong’o who are gaining prominence in the spotlight.

My hope for the future is that makeup brands will continue to expand on their colour ranges, not only for foundations but other products such as blushers, highlighters and lipsticks (especially lipsticks, we need to stop looking like we have just eaten a powdered doughnut!) so that women will not have to resort to expensive brands all the time, even thought they are of very good quality

I’m no beauty expert myself, but I would really like to know why there isn’t a full range of colours suitable for all women of colour !

My Natural Hair Journey – Do I Regret It ?

Although I haven’t been strictly counting since I stopped relaxing my hair , I would say its been 3 years since transitioning and 2 years since doing my big chop (transitioning is where you stop relaxing you hair and allow you natural hair to come in, big chop is when you cut off all your relaxed hair and ends to allow your natural hair to grow )

So how has my journey been so far, and do I actually think I made the right choice by going natural or was it all just a big mistake ??

Well I guess I will just put out all the negatives first to end on a high note, this natural journey hasn’t been all that easy. I’ve had to learn so many methods and ways of keeping my hair with such a busy schedule of school and friends. I honestly do miss my relaxed hair as I was a big fan of pony hairstyles, leave outs with weave and just being able to have my hands run freely through my hair. The major lesson I have learnt is that going natural is hard, hard , harrrrrd , hard work. It takes a lot of effort and work with natural hair as you have to try many products and styles to see what and what it doesn’t like. It literally is like a baby to you, it’s your job and your responsibility to take care of it

I wouldn’t say its much of a burden or annoyance, however I realised it takes up a lot of work and honestly I really don’t have the amount of time I wish to spend on my hair, that’s why the majority of the time it’s in protective styling such as braids, twists or under a wig, just so it is hidden away from the outside world I guess lool.

Well enough of the negatives, let’s look at the positives-

First thing is I feel like I have joined a family! , with all the natural hair gurus here on YouTube I feel as if I have connected spiritually with them in a way that can’t really be explained. This year I really wanted to find out my identity more and appreciate my natural self. I had already written some posts on this (Embracing your culture post and Don’t Touch My Hair post) which can be found on my blog here. I get a great feeling once I take out my braids and see how much my hair has grown naturally, and I get to connect with other natural girls to share tips on what products to use or what tricks to use to improve my hair growth, this has definitely been a benefit for me

Also I’ve come across many staple products that have helped me tackle this 4C hair of mine that enable me to manage it well. One being my Shea Butter straight from Ghana, making sure that it isn’t processed and it hasn’t got any other ingredients inside it. I use this as a moisturiser after wash days and also to help keep my hair soft and easier to tackle. This has definitely been a favourite product of mine so far

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As well as essential oils to help with hair growth, one being Jamaican black castor oil which really helps with edge growth and scalp care. Not so keen on the smell of it though, but it’s not too daunting and it can totally be concealed with a good smelling cream or spray. These two products really do it for me as I don’t like to bombard my hair with all these products so I make it simple and neat at all times.

So overall , do I regret going natural ? Not really, it’s hard but I wouldn’t want to go back to where my hair was in terms of its volume and its health. I have to get used to the needs my new hair has, just like with any change. So far I am loving and enjoying it to the fullest ! And I would encourage anyone considering going natural to just take the plunge and do it, Best experience of my life yet.

Thanks for reading !

 

My Favourite Summer Scents 2017

Everybody loves to smell good, don’t they ? Well for me I’m all about the perfumes of recent. I love sweet smelling scents that exhume flourescene and vibrancy from people- That’s the scents I like to smell and wear myself, I believe perfume reveals a lot about character and personality from a person without even getting to directly know them !  So here are a few scents that I have been using for years and years but have really stuck out to me in 2017 for their amazing smells and designs!

1.La Vie Est Belle’-Lancôme

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I got this perfume this year and honestly it has become my favourite ever since and that’s why it has to be top on the list! This scent has a sweet smell bursting out wist strong smells that is very log lasting and absolutely perfect for the summer time – such a gorgeous scent

2.Little Black Dress-Avon

Now I wouldn’t say this scent is exactly the sweetest but it does give you an instant kick when you first smell it, I guess this scent would be perfect for a night out rather than if you were out in the daytime sun- this scent represent maturity to me which is still what I like at times and is still perfect for the summer time       IMG_2396.JPG3.White Linen- Estee Lauder

Hmm, once smelling this I thought woooo this is definitely something my Mum would wear as a perfume. It is very strong and very mature for a summer scent for teens, lool that’s the best way I can describe it. Nevertheless I actually enjoy wearing it as a saytime scent. It kind of has a edgy and vitange vibe to it which I find fascinating and feinitley a summer scent of mine for the year IMG_2398.JPG4.Si – Georgio Armani

Okay so we are back to the sweet smelling scents once again and this perfume is similar to the Lancôme one, however I would say that the Lancôme perfume is more sweeter smelling. Si however is a light scent that could be worn for everday use, even if you are not going anywhere special. It lasts long and is very easy to wear, I’m sure anyone would adore this scent –

IMG_2399.JPG5.Eternity Moment- Calvin Klein

I would have to compare Eternity Moment to Little Black Dress as it doesn’t completely have a sweet scent but it has a mature scent to it. Honsetly what attracted me to this was the bottle , I’ve really been loving things that are pink lately and I found the packaging for this so cute.!

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I got this spray in Canada from a shop called Bath and Body works ( Similar to The Body Shop or Soap&Glory) it’s actually a spray but it has a really sweet scent, I can compare it to Lucozade as it is the same flavour of Pink Lemondae and I definitely have savoured this to prevent it from running out due to it’s sweet scent- one of my favs! IMG_2402.JPG7.YSL-Black Opium

Seductive. All I could think about this Perfume really , This scent yet again has a sweet scent but has a kind of intriguing scent to it especially if it is worn lightly. This is definitely a scent to wear for a girls night out or for a romantic date at it leaves a sensual; aftermast on the skin!

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Do check out these perfumes, they can be purchased online or in many stores across London such as The Perfume Shop , if you like sweet smelling scents then these are bound to end up in your collection !

Efe x

 

Don’t Touch My Hair…

In the words of Solange Knowles herself, hair has become one of the most mentioned and most speculated topics of the past year 2016. Whether it’s about the numerous amount of natural hair gurus that are growing in numbers on YouTube or the amount of flawless transformations of weaves and braids on Instagram or simply the fury one can get over their hair rights in South Africa, leading girls as young as 13 to protest over their right to afro hair in Pretoria. Whatever it is, hair has just become more than a thing that grows out of your scalp. It’s become a symbol of personality, of identity and of self representation.

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Well for me hair has become, a more realised quality of mine as I usually didn’t really care much about it. I was always relaxed as a kid and honestly I had no choice of being to be honest. I guess mum didn’t have the time to detangle and co wash and all the other 1000 things you have to do when it comes to natural hair! On the other hand I guess I also didn’t see a problem with it. It was my hair after all whether straight or kinky and it was coming from my head so it must be mine. Or was it really ?

It wasn’t until 2014-2015 that I discovered girls were going natural. Simply abstaining from relaxers, texturizers, perming creams or whatever you want to call it! and simply letting their fros spring out and live it’s life to its fullest. Why ? I asked why was it such a big and controversial subject for girls to not relax their hair. After all it did help with looking after it. It was easier to comb and more appealing when styled. I then realised that I just wasn’t being me in a sense and was transforming my hair to avoid the tag of being “nappy headed” as they say… When researching more into this fascinating subject ,  I found out that there was a time  where girls wanted to appreciate themselves more and present themselves as black and beautiful human beings with nourishing hair. They saw themselves as having hair that was European looking and saw themselves as trying to  assimilate to the idea of long straight hair being the “beauty” of society or having straight flourishing hair, as that is what ” seemed better looking”. Honestly speaking. That hit me.

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It didn’t affect me that much as I thought what does my hair have to do with my identity? But I certainly did understand the affect it had on girls and not embracing simply the hair that grows out of their head. It’s God given and it’s natural – so why do we have to manipulate it to fit a certain societal standard? I then looked at thousands of youtbers that were going along transitioning and big chopping and thought hmm this is cool, I could do this loool. So there I went transitioned for 2 years and finally big chopped in 2016. It was a pretty good decision simply because I love the way my natural hair grows and my goal for this year is to continue to let it grow whilst inspiring more people who are afraid to wear their natural hair out in its real form.

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Hair has become more than pieces of strands that grow out of your scalp every now and then. Think of it as your child. You clean it, nourish it, make sure its well looked after and I guess you get angry when it disobeys you ha ! But its become a movement and a spiritual walk with ones self. A girl or maybe even a boy  coming to terms with their natural state and accepting themselves for the way that God had created their hair to be is something moving and self satisfying.

Well, that’s my story…

Photo Credit : Lizzie Lauchlan