I believe this is my second post of 2018. How you doing? I’ve made a few changes to the blog as you can see, so let me know how you like it below. I’m so happy to be writing again after so long. You guys know how much of a struggle winter is for me, and it has been. But thankfully I managed to have the opportunity go away in January to celebrate one of my fave’s birthday. If you follow me on social media you will have seen some of the posts I shared while in sunny Spain. (@metiyachique)
How ironic is life. Can you imagine that you can jump on a plane for less than two hours and be somewhere free of these Arctic winds? What a joke. But I am very grateful for it. I had a wonderful time with my girls and it’s amazing what an ocean view and some sunshine can do to clear your mind, because sometimes honestly, it’s like life is so monotonous that I can’t think here, my mind is fully blocked.
Anyway the point of this is to talk about beauty products YAY! Basically what do I use to go from drab to fab in the space of a 2 hour flight? Here are my most trusted holiday goodies which I use to enhance that glow and allow my melanin to pop further.
1. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion SPF 30
This is my GO-TO facial moisturiser anytime I am heading to the sun. I’ve been using it for over three years and it never fails to deliver. It has a light consistency which absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy. It does make my skin appear brighter too – perhaps to do with the Vitamin C (my new obsession) which is great for diminishing dark spots and promoting an even skin tone.
2. The Body Shop Shimmering Dry Oil – Honey Bronze
I have shared my love for this product before (here). It is no secret that I am a fan of the statuesque bronze look at all times! I love when skin is radiant and shimmery. Sometimes it takes a while to catch that holiday tan, and this is a great way of faking it before you make it. It is a dry oil so it actually goes into your skin and doesn’t rub off on your clothes. But it gives just enough shimmer to create an even, natural glow. A little goes a long way with this, and I normally just pour some out into a travel bottle for my suitcase.
First of all, I keep one of these in rotation at ALL TIMES! This is one of my favourite concealers of ALL time honey! But it deserves a place on this list because it is a holiday beauty saviour. I can literally dab this underneath my eyes, along the bridge of my nose and voila! Natural highlight sorted. The consistency is perfect for the sun, it does not crease and the lighting is perfect. You can wear this on its own too as it contains some SPF and is quite creamy. Have a go and let me know, my shade is 5N.
So this is another one I have raved on about (here). But guys you know when I said sometimes you have to fake it with the bronzer till you make it? Well this is MAKING IT. Using this to moisturise my skin during winter has been a LIFESAVER for me. The dryness of these Arctic winds is not holy. Let me tell you, I needed something strong. What better than this divine gift from the motherland, 100% natural AND fairly traded from Ghana by a Ghanaian queen (Hey Akua!) All her products are amazing, but seriously invest in some shea butter if you care about having healthy, nourished skin all year round. It means less work to do on your hols and soft, glowing skin for you to enjoy all year.
The only thing I regret when it comes to this product – is how LONG it took me to get on it! LISTEN when you see them YouTube girls spraying this thing passionately onto their face like it contains blessings from The Queen of Sheba, it’s because it DOES! What can I say? MAC cosmetics MVP for this one. It is perfect for a natural dewy, everything-set-in-place finish. It helps on holiday when I wear less makeup to just complete and maintain the glow for me.
And there we have it folks! My top five beauty products for those winter escapes to sunshine. I’d love to know what your top holiday products are. Let me know in the comments. I hope you are taking care of yourself and I wish you sunshine from within regardless of the weather outside.
I thought I would hit you with a mid-week post in respect of Black Friday this week. I am talking about more Natural Hair Extensions, adapted from my original post [here]
I have always been an advocate for natural hair extensions, yassss to hair extensions that give you some length or thickness or even colour AND actually match your God-given hair texture *insert black hands-in-the-air emoji here*. Back in the day when I went natural, it was very difficult to find extensions that matched my hair type. Nowadays, thankfully we have a wide array of choices for extensions that match our vast range of kinks, curls and fros and I look forward to sharing some of my favourites with you. In the beginning, I used to have to order my natural textured extensions from USA and I quickly learnt that the way to save on this to order extensions when they had sales on. So voila – Black Friday became my hair shopping day. See below the natural hair extensions on my wish list this year. Some tried, others I wish to try:
1. Curl Genetics (featured in photo above)
Can you tell why I love these extensions? Movement, curls and texture just like mine. I literally just brushed my hair down to blend it in this shot. Pictured wearing the Curlgenetics Curlygenes U-part sold here: https://www.curlgenetics.com
2. My Natural Hair extensions
I purchased some clip-ins from this company. They have lasted me a couple of years and are so useful for adding extra length and thickness to updos. Wearing afrokinky clips ins sold at: http://mynaturalhairextensions.myshopify.com
This brand has been on my list since I saw one of my favourite natural hair bloggers – Maria Antoinette, create a gorgeous twist out with them. I have not tried them yet but they are high on my list. Sold here: http://www.bigchophair.bigcartel.com
I had been following Freddie Harrel for a good minute – for her mighty fro as much as her vibrant style. So when I heard that she had released a brand of extensions that could see me emulate her lovely afro – I was ecstatic. These are great for changing up your style and trying different looks. The great thing about these is that they are synthetic so do not contain human hair and also great on the pocket! The Laid Back Blow-out weft looks perfect for adding length to a blow out. This aUK based hair wigs company too so all my UK babes can avoid those shipping costs!
I am sure this tops the wish list for many naturals. I am yet to try this luxurious buy, but it is on my list as the textures look amazing and the reviews from all who have tried it are hyping this hair! Check out their site on http://heatfreehair.com
So that’s my list. Will you be investing in some hair extensions this Friday? Or do you already have somenatural hair extensions you love? Share your thoughts below! x MC
My summer has been full of travel and dancing and high heeled sandals. Which is great, but has definitely taken a toll on my feet at times. I’ve had to up my entire body care regime and in particular my foot care. So I thought it would be good to talk about some of the products I’ve incorporated into my summer care regime starting with my feet.
I got sent these Belle Azul products at the beginning of the year. Belle Azul is a naturally-based cosmetic and skincare brand from Barcelona with products formulated from Argan oil. It’s taken me a while to actually try these because in winter my feet are always in boots and socks. So I didn’t feel the need for any extra foot care other than my daily foot scrub and nightly moisture routine. However summer came, I started travelling more, getting feet out and I noticed that my feet were not as smooth as they could be. So I looked in my beauty cupboard and found these products!
1. Spa Pedicure Kit
Hard Skin Removing Gel
Hydrating Foot Cream
Metal Callus Scraper
Double Sided Foot file
This is such a great little set. It’s quite compact so it’s easy to carry around – just be careful with that metal scraper if you’re flying! I tried all the products in this set a few times, I found the products were pleasantly scented not too strong or any specific smell.
The gel for me was not really that helpful, I think because my feet did not have that much dead skin so I didn’t actually notice that much of a difference. Rating 6/10
The hydrating Foot cream was good, where I could see my feet beginning to crack, it would sit in those spaces and just fill it in so that my feet felt smooth and hydrated. The only con with it is that maybe the formula is too thick as sometimes it would leave blue paste on certain parts of my skin. Also although my skin felt smooth to the touch, it didn’t change how they felt without me touching them. So it would have been good to have some peppermint or essential oil in this. Rating 6/10
2. Dual Foot Cleanser
This Dual Cleanser contains:
Moisturising Foot Cleansing Gel and
A pumice stone
I found it genius to have a stone and product in the same bottle. What a time saver right! Basically you squeeze out the product onto your foot and scrub it with the stone.
I found the gel itself to be a bit bland. As in it’s literally a gel, no little exfoliant or stimulating particles or scent. But I suppose that’s because the stone is attached to it and you can just use that to exfoliate. But I did like the consistency of the product, it flows easily and is quite gentle in scent so I could use it daily.
The stone is good, it’s not rough, it’s actually quite smooth. But it’s enough to remove dead skin just by massaging the sole of the feet with it. It did get rid of my dead skin and I enjoyed using it.
I love that the product is two in one, gets rid of dead skin gently and can be used daily. I would definitely repurchase this with my money for when my feet don’t need heavy intervention. Overall rating 8/10
I’ve been shopping from Shea Butter Cottage since I turned natural around 2009 and I’m so excited to share some of my favourite beauty products with you. I love this store because of the quality of the products, the great service and the ethics behind the trade – Sheabutter Cottage donates a percentage from each sale to farmer’s cooperatives thus building strong communities, helping alleviate poverty in Africa and empowering women. It’s incredible to know that I’m giving back to the motherland just by buying here! So please find below some of my favourite products
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post, all products were purchased by me because I love them. If you purchase any of the products using the link I provide then I will get some percentage of that sale which will help me to continue creating content and beauty reviews for you as I love doing 🙂
This is a lovely thick product, I use it to moisturise my skin and the ends of my hair. While my skin is still damp from the shower, I scoop out a pea-sized amount of product and rub it in my palms to emulsify before rubbing all over my skin. Yes glow! Yes moisture! This is a must for winter-recovery, I should have really used it through winter too because my skin feels so good after I apply it.
This is how the product looks. You can see it has a thick consistency but once rubbed between your palms it literally just melts into this lovely thick oil. I prefer it over coconut oil because it actually absorbs so quickly into the skin with no transfer!
This is a natural soap made from Papaya. Who else calls it Pawpaw? ( In Zambia everyone says Pawpaw, I remember being a kid and seeing a fridge magnet that said Papaya on it – I was so confused! Haha but it was the BEST, SWEETEST, MOST JUICY thing I’ve tasted… I cannot wait to visit Zambia Lord).
I decided to use it because papaya is packed with natural AHA (Alpha hydroxy acids) which are great for brightening skin. My skin was so dull and dry from the winter and from using regular chemical-filled body wash. I use this by lathering directly on my skin then rubbing it in with a cloth, or I lather it straight into my exfoliating gloves and massage it all over my body. My skin has been brighter as a result of using this soap, my mum actually uses it on her face and I can even see the difference it makes! The lather is quite mild, it doesn’t lather as much as your supermarket soap which is to be expected as it has less chemicals, but my skin does feel very clean after using it.
This is what it looks like out the pack – as you can see I’ve been using this a lot! But it is helping to get the glow back and get my skin ready for spring.
Sorry Kanye, this is the BEST OIL of all time! What can I say about this oil? It is DIVINE. The smell alone, wow, I’ve never been to Hawaii but every time I smell this it’s like I’m transported to the island, right there on the beach with a flower lei around my neck.
The oil has so many uses:
I use it as a moisturiser for my décolleté area when I need to be fancy or just to be extra sensual for those lovely summer evenings.
I also use it on my hair ends to seal my moisturiser and also for the scent – who needs hair perfume?! Seriously.
It also provides the smoothest shave EVER! I barely shave my legs but when I do, I use this to ensure my skin is left soft and smooth afterwards.
This one of my favourite products in life and I always have it in my beauty arsenal. To think, it’s all natural too!
I used this to address my dull skin issue from winter. It’s a mild and creamy body wash, I just love the feel of it on my skin. It’s quite luxurious and I like to apply it directly to my damp skin with my hands then use a cloth over it.
The Shea butter leaves my skin soft and hydrated straight out the shower and it has a lovely mild scent of lavender which acts like a natural perfume for me. You can see I’ve been using this! I will be restocking soon.
I was so excited to get this shampoo bar. I have used Rhassoul clay in my hair since my Moroccan best friend introduced me to it in 2010 (Thanks Shaz). She brings it for me straight from Morocco in big chunks that I usually crush and mix with water to make a hair mask. My hair LOVES Rhassoul- it hydrates, cleanses and defines my curls all at the same time, so I could not wait to try it out in a soap bar.
When washing my wigs, I always concentrate the shampoo more on my scalp ( less on the ends so as not to dry it out) so I do like it to lather up so that I can work it into my scalp and just squeeze out any excess lather. The good thing is this shampoo bar lathers up so good! I was quite surprised by it, but I literally take the soap and rub it directly into my scalp then add some water and go in with my fingers.
You can totally tell that the bar contains Rhassoul in it. My hair is defined just from using shampoo and it feels so clean too. I like my hair to be really clean with shampoo and I have actually used two shampoo rounds in the past, but I don’t feel the need to do so with this product. I do one wash and that is enough to give me clean, defined and fresh hair. This is one of my holy grail products now.
Hi loves, I thought it would be a good idea to share my Natural Hair BET clips this week. I had written about having the opportunity to feature in a BET International campaign for Black History Month 2016 [here] a few months back and I know some of you have already watched my clips on the channel. It was filmed at the BET International hair studio in Londonand it was my first time on television so I was a bit nervous but had such a wonderful experience. Natural hair is what got me into blogging and is definitely a passion of mine.
In this video I talk about my history of blogging, my study of Afro hair and some advise on how to maintain your natural hair:
It’s the festive season! Lights are up, Christmas carols are being played everywhere and parties are taking place. I love this time and getting all dressed up, creating different looks and experimenting with different styles, but one thing I believe must remain consistent and stress-free are your nails. A great outfit is incomplete without a perfect manicure. So I thought it timely to share my favourite nail salons in Leeds, my current residence.
As with my hair, the most important thing for me when it comes to my nails is health. I want to ensure that treatments I have on my nails do not only look good but also have a positive effect on my nails. I have struggled since forever, birth, I can remember with brittle, fragile nails. This year my nails began splitting from mid-nail bed all the way across, which was not only unsightly but quite painful too. So I have become quite choosy about what I do to my nails and where I go to get it done.
When I moved to Leeds this year, the mission was on for me to find somewhere that cared about my nails as much as I did. Not just for the style but for life *ayyyy*. So below I share some of the best nail salons in Leeds.
This quainty nail bar is conviently located right next to the train station entrance in Granary Wharf. It’s a cosy and relaxing space, with a vast menu of styles to pick from. I visited a couple of times and opted for the gel manicure. The online booking is slightly confusing so I spoke to someone over the phone about my booking and felt they were very understanding. I did like the space, while small, I found it comfortable and well arranged. My nail technician was friendly, she answered the questions I had about my nail health and offered me some advice. My actual nails came out well. I am very bad with my nails and was worried about how long these would last before chipping. Unfortunately my pinkie finger did chip within 3 days. It was only a small chip but the salon have a policy to fix chipped nails within a week of treatment.
Overall it’s a good space and I was comfortable knowing that my nails were not damaged. I would rate this salon 7/10 based on my experiences.
Here I had bio sculpture gel extensions. They were done by a senior technician which I did not request but was very pleased about. The service was great, my bestie came with me and she was able to pull up a chair next to me and we chatted it up during the entire time. They had a great nail colour selection. The nail bar is arranged quite professionally, and I didn’t doubt the wellbeing of my nails in this environment. The technician was great and achieved the shape and result I wanted. It was quite pricey for this treatment £55 in total for the application, which hurt a little but I thought it was worth having nail extensions that would maintain the health of my real nails.
However, I must admit that these nails were quite painful and they did not even last a week before one broke off. They looked so good but after breaking off within the week while I was abroad, I just wouldn’t consider them worth it for the price. My nails did end up getting damaged as so many broke off and I ended up having to trim the rest. So although I would recommend the salon, perhaps not for this treatment unless you’re very careful with your nails unlike me!
Mint Nails – White Rose Centre:
At the Mint nail salons here, I had a manicure and pedicure done. This visit was quite important to me as I had taken my mum along for a treat and some bonding mother-daughter time. The manicure was quick, not as technical as I would have liked but the service was good and we had a very friendly technician. I felt they could have shaped the nails better or paid more attention to the cuticle detail, but they made mum comfortable and that made me happy.
I had a quick pedicure which came out great! The technician shared some tips with me and was VERY patient with me picking a colour. Mum had a proper pedicure with foot scrub and soak. The lady who did her feet was called Claire and I must say she surpassed both our expectations. The girl put in a real scrub down! She was so professional and focused, it was wonderful. Mum was pleased with her feet as was I. I think I prefer the White Rose Mint Salon vs the one in Leeds city centre. But overall I would rate their salons as 7/10 based on my experiences.
This place was actually brought to my attention via wahanda Treatwell. It is opposite the Nando’s on Briggate Leeds, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has walked past it and wondered what’s it like. Amazing. That’s what. They specialise in OPI polishes and have alll the colours you want. I booked it via Treatwell but spoke to them on the phone as well. The service from the start was excellent. They took my coat without me asking and offered me a selection of drinks including a glass of prosecco if I so wished (perspective ladies). The nail technician was highly skilled, my nails were sore from a very bad nail job in London (thanks Grace!) but she managed to trim and buff without causing further pain. She also allowed me take my time with the different nail varnish, patient while I chose the right colour. This was my favourite place of all the ones I’ve visited, the service, quality and actual salon were the best I’ve experienced.
The colour came out great and my nails lasted me 2 weeks without chipping! Me?! I was convinced I had a problem with being too rough on my hands but this has restored my faith! I am a lady! *twirls imaginary skirt* 9/10
So there you have it, my favourite nail salons in Leeds. Have you been to any of these and how did you find them? Let me know if there is somewhere you would recommend me to try. The ones I have my eye on are below: