Dress: Missguided [Buy here]
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.
3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF10
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.
4. 100% Unrefined Whipped Shea Butter
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.
5. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray
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.
Love and light x MC
Hi guys, I think this is my first post of 2018 so happy New Year! If you follow me on Instagram (@metiyachique) you will see that I’ve been doing quite a bit of Miami reminiscing, of which this post is a result of. My last post was about the highlight of 2017 for me which was my birthday in Miami. That would not have been so awesome had it not been for the perfect venue we stayed in – The Mondrian South Beach Hotel. We didn’t have a huge list of criteria for our stay, but one thing we did want was to stay on South Beach.
When our uber pulled up outside the Mondrian Hotel, the first thing that hit me was luxury. The building is magnificent and has some exquisite details on the outside including pillars, flowered gardens and lots of instagram-worthy greenery. The hotel is conveniently located opposite a Whole Foods Market which was so ideal to grab a green juice in the morning and some lovely natural hair products when needed. It also had a Walmart close by and several cafe’s and restaurants along its street. It’s located about 15 minutes walk from the beach/ Lincoln street which made for the perfect afternoon stroll.
Moving on to the inside – the first thing that grabbed me was the decor. The interiors are very well designed with a huge lobby that provided some chilling space, an indoor bar/restaurant and an exit to the pool area. It had a grand spiral staircase leading up to the floors which was perfect for evening photos in our night gowns. There were three large lifts leading up to the rooms (although one of them was almost always out of service) but we were only on the 5th floor and the packed lifts made for great friend-meeting.
Our room was massive. It had a large private bathroom, with a strong shower that had a full length mirror inside. It was big enough for two to shower together – so quite ideal for couples, if thats your thing 😉 Then there was a little dining table next to a kitchenette with basic facilities – sink, toaster, microwave. The room was beautifully decorated with stunning wallpaper and wall mirrors opposite the beds.
The room had glass sliding doors that led to an outside balcony with the MOST exquisite view! We could see the Biscayne Bay and the Miami Skyline and also look down onto the pool area. This was the best part of the room for me, we would just chill on the balcony and have our breakfast, or do our nails and just relax on our loungers sunbathing. Watching the sunset from here was the most fulfilling experience.
Swimming Pool Area
Finally, the swimming pool area. This is one of the things that the Mondrian Hotel is known for. The pool area is beautiful! There was always a great and lively atmosphere with music playing and a wide choice of seating available. At the weekends there was a pool party which saw several people come by the hotel and a DJ spinning the hottest tracks while we chilled by the pool. IT WAS LIT!
Overall, the customer service was really good and I would definitely return to this hotel again. I recommend it to anyone looking to visit Miami South Beach and would rate it 8/10 of the hotels I’ve stayed in so far. Check it out for yourself on their website and share your thoughts in the comments! x MC
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
African print chitenge suit designed by me| Handmade in Zambia| Preorder here.
Hello happy Sunday – if you are reading this on Sunday. It’s a beautiful morning where I am; the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the garden – maybe speaking, but it’s a wonderful sound. You know days like this make it easier to be optimistic, but I want to talk about less bright days, tougher times and challenging periods of our lives.
I recall a period of darkness when things where so muddled mentally and emotionally that I couldn’t even describe it. My best friend would be like ‘how are you?’ And all I could do was make this sound like ‘Pfffffffffzzzzzgghhhhtttt’ and the most frustrated face. And she just knew then that I was about to cry, because I felt trapped.
The last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about not thinking. Basically, about doing. Turning your thoughts into actions without excessive thinking. I admit I am a overthinker, it’s what I do, but its crazy to me that I get so frustrated about the same things I was frustrated about in 2010. How do you justify inaction on ideas you’ve had for over 5 years? I mean something has got to give right? Clearly there is an issue with your method that is affecting your results.
The only thing I knew for a fact regarding my desires, was that I over-think and I over-plan. So this month, when November came round, I made a choice – let me say it again for the people skimming through; I MADE A CHOICE to stop thinking and start doing. I threw out planning and focused on doing – literally making a way through making a way. I said what do I want? And decided to have it. Why am I not happy? What would make me happy? Things like:
- I need to be fitter physically
- I need to value those that value me
- I need more sleep so that I feel less tired and get more done in the day
- Girlllll I need to get this natural hair in check!
- I need to define what success is for me and how to achieve it
So here is what I CHOSE to do:
- I signed up to the gym.
- I removed
anyone anything that did not add VALUE to my life.
- I went to bed before midnight.
- I started to separate the front area of my crown for moisturising, washing, everything (because I have experienced breakage here)
- I became INTENTIONAL about my success.
For every thought I have now, I try to match it with an action. It could be something as simple as saying ‘I want to be a better friend’, so I pick up my phone and call my girl. Or I pick up something in the shop that she would like. You don’t need to wait for 2018 to start working on what you want, from life and mostly from yourself.
You are a star baby girl/baby boy. This is your world and you have the power to make it what you want. So what resolutions do you have for 2018 that you could start working on right now? What choice are you making about your life today? Share with me in the comments, let’s glow up together and step into next year shining like the diamonds we are.
Love and light x MC
“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Oprah
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
I’m a woman
– Maya Angelou
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” ― Michelle Obama
If you’ve been following my posts for a while or even taken a browse of my blog, you’ll notice that there is a destination that appears here more than the rest: Faro, Portugal. Mum and I travelled to Portugal for the first time in 2014, we fell in love with the Southern coast and have visited the same place in the Algarve every year since then. In all the different places we’ve stayed in Faro, nothing has beat this hotel.
Epic Sana Algarve is a 5-star Resort luxury beachfront Hotel in Albufeira, with private access to Falesia beach. It’s surrounded by acres and acres of pine trees. The hotel has 5 outdoor pools (not that I was counting, I had one pretty much to myself!) and a spa and wellness centre. It is built to be the ultimate relaxing spa break.
So what made this place such a wonderful experience for me?
Well let’s start with the location. It’s literally on the front of Falesia beach, you can wake up on a morning (or afternoon if you’re like me ????) and get down the private stairs to the golden sands. Yes.
Then the greenery. There are so many pine trees around the hotel that you subconsciously start breathing deeper,more properly and with pleasure. This is great for morning or evening walks and also makes for plenty of outdoor workout space if you want to take your exercise outdoors. If you do prefer to stay indoors, there is so much space in this hotel and it has all been designed to help you reach your ultimate relaxation from the calm colour selection to the decor.
3. World class facilities
Another aspect I enjoyed during my stay was the Spa and Wellness centre. I’m not usually into working out while I’m on holiday – even packing a pair of trainers takes real effort. But I’m glad I did on this trip because there is SO MUCH to do! Every morning an activity sheet is posted through your door with activities for the day. Daily group exercises are open to everyone and range from walking to zumba and yoga.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing Europe beach break away from all the hustle of city life then this is the ideal spot. You will lose yourself in the beautiful nature and tranquillity of the place. For me it was a 9/10 and the ultimate relaxating getaway. It put such a great smile on my mum’s face and we both left feeling much more at peace.
Find out more by visiting their website Algarve Epic Sana and get planning your wellness getaway!
Thanks for reading guys, have a great week and leave a thumbs up below if you’d like more of these reviews. Love and light x MC
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Top: ZARA | Skirt: Handmade by SUWA designs | Heels: Quiz| Clutch: Mango | Photography: Hinywi
“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” – The Traveller.
This post is continued from the first post [here].
My first weekend in Lusaka was fabulous! I put on my playsuit and dancing shoes, and headed off for the night with my childhood best friend B. We went to a spot in the capital called Sky Bar (it took me two more visits to realise the reason its named this is because it has a massive outdoor balcony area with the perfect sky view. It’s worth a visit for the view alone.)
The place was vibrant and filled with music and people. It was arranged in a bar setting with a large dance-floor space in the centre. Tables were scattered around the edges and the big guys sat around these and smoked cigarettes while the ladies adjusted their heels on the seats. Popular music filled the room lending its energy and rhythm to the crowd in the bar, and my eye was drawn to a group of young friends in the corner engaging in what appeared to be a dance competition. I watched them for a short while, their energy was contagious and their dance moves captivating. The rhythm flowed through their bodies to their feet as they mixed traditional dance with modern moves. I was excited watching them and could feel my body catching onto the rhythm too. My hips began to sway side to side and my waist rotated to the music. I took it all in and gave myself to the moment. Every time I looked around, a sense of immense happiness overcame me. Here I didn’t have to explain or search or wonder. I saw myself reflected back in every face on the dance-floor and my body in every beat of the rhythm. I smiled at the beauty of life. I was home.
B made arrangements for after-party chills. She took me to a chill spot at one of the city’s 24 hour malls where a small group of people had gathered. We introduced ourselves and began settling into the group conversation. As I sampled the different conversations happening around us I caught onto a young man sat opposite me talking about racism. He was a tall, white, Australian guy talking about how he witnessed South African farmers being racist towards black people on his trip there. I was immediately interested. This white guy a stranger, had something to say about his observations on racism in Africa. What were they? Who was he? I turned to listen to him finish his story.
I found out the traveller was born in a small town in Australia and had left at quite a young age to discover the world. He talked of his adventures to Pakistan and India. He told us about the countries he had visited in Africa – Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and others. He said he didn’t need much to travel, he carried a backpack with all his belongings and worked odd jobs whenever he could to support his livelihood.
I was fascinated by the freedom. Imagine, to pack one’s bags and set off for foreign land with no fear at what was left behind nor hesitation at what lay ahead. What a dream! I asked The Traveller his opinion on the different countries he had visited and whether he was ever afraid during his voyages. He said that he had learn’t one thing across his travels, that no country was as bad as they said it would be and every country had as many ups as the perceived downs. I asked if he missed his home. Although I could begin to grasp some understanding of physical freedom, I was struggling to understand emotional freedom – the idea of not being attached to anything or anyone enough to live without them. Surely that was difficult?
The Traveller took a moment before responding, then he said that he knew his mother missed him, with guilt in his eyes. He added that he would be visiting her later in the year, but he could not stay. The people in his small home town could not grasp the idea of life let alone joy in ant of the places he had been to. Their minds did not see beyond their own comfortable, safe white walls and this is something The Traveller could not cope with.
I couldn’t help but notice the privilege he had to enable him to live and travel around the world in the manner in which he did. I said to him: “As a black woman, I cannot imagine travelling to half the countries you have mentioned, hitching rides to my next stop and stopping locals for odd jobs to fund my meals.” I mean it’s a struggle just walking home in England from the bus stop after a certain time of night, I still have the rape alarm mum gave me at 15. He agreed that it would be difficult for me as a woman AND as a black person to travel in the style with which he did without an increased fear of safety. So we went on to discuss white privilege.
I don’t believe in coincidence, I never have. I believe this trip had been ordained and planned out for me from y breakdown before arrival, to my meeting with The Traveller on my first weekend. I grew up in a small town in Yorkshire, England and have been surrounded with racism in one way or another since I can remember. I’m highly sensitive to my environment, so it does still affect me, and sometimes it builds up to this heap of helplessness that entraps me and my blackness to a silent acceptance. But let me make it clear that I do not NEED a white person to reaffirm my view, experience, or a societal condition I know to exist. BUT nonetheless, it did something for the wall i had built inside to hear this young white man acknowledge the existence of white privilege and further go on to add that he had personally witnessed it in Africa.
The traveller described a trip to South Africa where he had worked on a white farmer’s field and the farmer would openly express his hate of black people. He described the internal conflict he experienced, disagreeing with the farmer but having to stay for his keep. I let him continue, looking back on this conversation, perhaps it was as much therapy for him as it was for me? Anyway he opened up about his love life to me, he said that most of his friends had labelled him as ‘the guy who likes black girls’. He said they didn’t understand that race was not the preference but humanity was. When they talked about his ex-girlfriend who was black he would tell them:
“I don’t like her because she is black, I like her because she is beautiful.”
At this point, most people around us had left for home. It was the early hours of Sunday morning and we had been talking for hours. I broke the intense focus and realised almost everyone I knew was gone. So I stood up to leave as well and The Traveller walked me to my transport. We had both got more than we could have asked for with our meeting. If the universe saw it fit to bring us together once again then we would accept it. We didn’t exchange any details not even our full names. As we walked away from one another he stopped and said to me :
“I hope you find what you are looking for.”
To which I responded:
After all, we were both just nomads looking for home.