The fall and winter seasonal dressing can put a lot of us in a style rut as our focus turns more towards keeping warm rather than looking stylish. But there are ways to amp up our winter wardrobe, and wearing the right boots is one of them!
Shoes can either make or break an outfit. They also pose a struggle for those of us who aren’t so shoe-obsessed. There’s nothing worse than wearing a great outfit and not having the perfect shoe to match!
Here’s a small collection of the basic and classic pairs of boots to suit every wardrobe and any occasion.
The Black Leather Stiletto Boots
Probably the most desired to perfect an outfit; the black heeled stiletto most certainly is a classic. Reminiscent of the heroine-chic era, they give off an Edie Sedgewick vibe, especially if you pair them with black tights and a mini dress.
But fashion on their own, they surpass every trend and will forever be sort after by fashionable women seeking an ode to an electric memory of upper class Rock n Roll. Wether you’re feeling artsy, classy or just wear heels on the everyday, they do elevate casual outfits and punk up more mundane ones.
The Textured Brown Boots
From various shades of the brown suede boot to the more bold animal prints, they often seem as the favourite alternative to the plethora of black boots that accumulate in our closets. Brown, though just as classic as a black pair, offer a softer hue to an outfit.
To me, the shade is perfect for the autumnal season as we are less gloomy than a harsh winter cold. They slide naturally into the transitioning wardrobe and become a statement piece to your more neutral sweater weather outfits.
The Chunky Winter Boots
By far the most functional boots for winter, the ever growing trend of big black chunky boots are here to stay. Go as big as you’re comfortable wearing, because these boots are definitely made for walking, even in the snow!
For me, these are the boots to invest in, as harsh winters could lead to slippery streets and ice cold feet that need all the insulation they can get. My favourite ones are actually not the designer trend making its rounds, but a more functional pair that will last you many winters to come.
Finding the perfect pair of jeans is hard to come by. And when we do find them, you can’t get us out of them.
But wearing the same style of jeans can often makes us feel like we’re wearing the exact same outfit a hundred times over.
The trick to wearing denim every day is to purchase jeans in different styles so they create different looks.
In this post you’ll find 5 iconic jeans, all in different cuts, colours and textures to suit just about anyone and any occasion.
If you have ever struggled to look taller, then you might be missing out on a style secret for petite girls and models who just don’t look like Karlie Kloss.
These are my favourite jeans to wear when I need an extra bit of height. They easily add inches to your length and give you an elongated silhouette.
An ode to the days of rock & roll, the kick flare jeans bring back some amazing fashion memories from 70s style bellbottoms to the Olsen twins who swept the streets in these floor length jeans in the early 2000s.
Whether you’re going grungy or leaning more sophisticated, the bootleg flare is surprisingly versatile.
The 501 Levi’s
Could this be fashion’s most iconic jeans?
From the days of counter cultures of the oversized white tee over a pair of Levi’s to our current Instagram blogger feeds, the 501s aren’t going anywhere.
Proven to be denim’s timeless classic, the relaxed boyfriend fit seems to hug everyone’s bottom just the right way.
It’s more of a cool look with this pair, as their style story is one of street fashion’s oldest identity.
Everyone and their mother has owned a pair, has passed down a pair and is still today wearing a pair. And since we are in the move towards sustainable fashion, the non-stretch denim pair of Levis’s will make its way from different closets around the globe and might just end up in yours.
The High Waisted Straight Leg
Whether you’re going for that Cindy Crawford model look or the Parisian street style vibe, there are plenty of reasons why the straight leg will forever be in our wardrobes.
The classic cut lifts up our behind, sinches in our belly and the ever so slight crop at the ankles make us look taller without us even trying.
The thicker cotton adds a bit of weight which actually makes an outfit look more expensive. Not to mention, there’ll be no stretching in awkward places so the integrity of the denim will hold up over time. It’s chic, it’s effortless and it’s worth the investment.
The Mom Jeans
If you haven’t owned a pair of Mom Jeans then where have you been? They are by far the most comfortable pair of non-stretch denim.
The easy relaxed style makes for classic street style and lounging around the house. An ode to an absolute classic, think Lady Dianna, think 90s fashion, think holding your food baby into place, their comfort is what makes them fashion.
It may not be the most flattering pair of jeans and may not suit everyone’s taste, but when we feel comfortable in an outfit, that’s when we feel confident.
So go grab your classic black high neck, your blazer, your white shirt, or if you’re even remotely close to Princess Dianna, grab a sweatshirt and a peak cap and you’re on your way to becoming a style icon.
The Black Skinny
The go-to for so many of us rebelling in our teenage years, from dirty converse to leather jackets, band tees and sweat dripping the napes of our necks dancing in a crowd. From modern day punk music and absolutely suffocating ourselves in skinnies, the student life was made in these jeans.
Whether you had the life of the rebel or the life of the model (or both), I was the quiet emo girl in the corner, you could easily feel the nostalgia of youth in these jeans.
And though you might opt to style black trousers instead as you get older, you’ll always hold onto your black skinny jeans hidden somewhere at the bottom of your wardrobe, be it in an unopened drawer or stuffed in your cupboard below your ‘adult’ work attire, in an ashy tone stretched out at the knee and pulled apart at the bum, we hold on to them for the times we’ve had and the life we’ve lived.
So tell me, whichof these iconic jeans do you own?
There comes a time in our life when we just feel we need to change the way we look.
And though this feeling may occur more often in some people, a lot of us actually fear change and see it as something of a big deal.
Haircuts and hair colours are an easy go-to action that could change our appearance quite drastically but also, quite suddenly.
This could be an extremely liberating experience for those willing to take the plunge, but often comes with the risk of the dreaded feeling of regret and feeling that either the change was not what we wanted or it came too soon.
So whether you want a natural hair dye as a healthy alternative to the chemical damage you get from box dyes and salon visits, or you are looking for heathy and sustainable ingredients to add to your hair regimen, this easy DIY cinnamon and honey hair mask could be just what you need.
Benefits of Cinnamon and Honey on Hair
Cinnamon is known to stimulate blood flow all the way to the scalp. So it can actually stimulate hair growth.
The powder can also act as a mild exfoliant that thoroughly cleanses the scalp. But be careful if you have a sensitive scalp, as the warming sensation you get might turn into an irritation.
Like honey, cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and a rich antioxidant, which helps promote a healthy scalp.
Honey is a humectant, which draws moisture into your hair strands. It is deeply nourishing and is a natural hair conditioner.
Along with its anti-fungal properties, honey also adds moisture and shine to your hair.
Together, these two ingredients create a sensuous smell and shower experience. And if you’re lucky, the scent could linger after rinsing your hair.
Does Cinnamon and Honey Lighten Hair?
Cinnamon and honey can lighten your hair.
The mask adds a beautiful warm tone to the hair, thus changing the colour slightly.
But cinnamon and honey will not dye your hair blonde.
You are more likely to get a reddish brown hue to your hair than anything else.
Remember, this is a natural hair dye so the change won’t be drastic, and it also won’t be the same for everyone.
Does Cinnamon and Honey Turn Hair Red?
Yes. Cinnamon and honey can easily add a red tone to your hair.
In fact, this is probably the results you’ll get if you have brown to dark brown hair.
However, this undertone is usually stronger immediately after applying a cinnamon and honey hair mask, and can settle after a few days to a lighter shade.
In my personal experience, my hair had settled into a lighter brown shade some days after applying the cinnamon and honey hair mask. Which just shows how the colour changes and settles over time.
Natural hair dyes are known to be unpredictable so bare this in mind before you attempt dying your hair with natural ingredients.
How Long Does Cinnamon and Honey Take to Dye Hair?
It can take up to 4 applications to see results.
Again this dependents on how light or dark your hair is before doing the cinnamon and honey hair mask.
This could also depend on how much cinnamon you use in your mask. The more cinnamon you add, the more likely you’ll notice a colour change.
I only noticed a change in hair colour after the 4th application. But don’t worry, because honey has amazing hair benefits, it’s easy to incorporate this mask as a routine, and then naturally have your hair colour change over a period of time.
Cinnamon and Honey Hair Mask Recipe
Ingredients: cinnamon, raw honey, olive oil, water & conditioner.
Mix 1 tablespoon raw honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl
Let mixture sit for 30mins-1hr for hydrogen peroxide in honey to activate
Add 2 tablespoons of water to make mask less sticky
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil for added moisture
Add 1-2 tablespoons of conditioner to thicken texture and make application easier
Add hair mask to damp hair and wrap hair in a shower cap or plastic bag.
For best results, apply the mask on freshly washed hair (just shampooed, no conditioner)
Do not apply on dry hair as this would make the application of honey less slippery and more sticky.
Leave the hair mask on for approximately 4 hours allowing enough time for hair to change colour.
Cinnamon and Honey Hair Dye Results
These are my results after using the cinnamon and honey hair mask.
I’ve done about 7 applications to date and I can see a difference in my hair colour.
It definitely has a red tone to it, which was never so prominent before and it also has a lot of warmth as you can see.
But these differences are also slight in comparison to chemical dyes and is far more noticeable in direct sunlight than in shadier areas.
So what do you think of this natural hair dye?
I must say, this hair mask has really helped me to deep condition my hair every week and to keep me on my healthy hair journey.
So tell me, have you tried any natural hair dye methods? Comment below! ❤
The easiest way to repair damaged hair, is first figuring out what’s causing our strands distress, and then stop doing those things. This is how our transformation begins.
In this post you’ll find five simple steps you can take to transform your hair from dry, damaged hair to soft, healthy hair in just a few weeks.
There are no shortcuts to obtaining healthy hair, but this is a start.
It is a gentle way of caring for your hair by using methods that are more natural, more sustainable and as you can see, more effective.
Both of these photos were taken on day 2 hair, without any product in.
Now, let our hair transformation begin!
1. Stop Heat Styling your Hair
Excessive heat styling can severely damage your hair, leaving it dry, brittle and breaking at the ends.
And if that’s not enough to stop you putting down your beloved pair of straighteners, it also causes a loss in hair density.
So if you’re wondering where your lovely full & thick hair went, it may have got caught in your straighteners and got pulled right out.
The result, your hair is left feeling fragile with an array of split ends that look more like palm trees than anything else taking up floor space around your house.
2. Add Oils to your Hair Routine
Coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil & essential oils are all wonderful for getting thicker healthy hair. By applying them consistently to give back your hair all the moisture it’s lost through straightening, bleaching or relaxing your hair, oils are the perfect way to nourish your hair back to life.
Whether you use oils as a DIY pre-poo, a hot oil treatment or use them for a scalp massage, oiling your hair is a proven method to revive damaged hair.
Again, consistency is key with this product. And this can really determine how fast or slow your hair transforms. The more damaged your hair is, the more you need to use it. But that doesn’t make it a one stop shop.
Olaplex repairs the disulphide bonds that make up keratin. But it’s not in itself a protein treatment. And it is definitely not a moisturising treatment. So you’d still need steps 2 and 3 to create a balanced hair care routine, and ultimately get healthy hair.
5. Protect your Hair with a Satin Scarf
Damaged hair is prone to breakage.
It also dries out easily and quickly. Wearing a satin scarf is a simple way to lock in moisture.
Wearing it when you’re out in the sun is a great way to protect your hair from UV damage and especially wearing it when you go to bed will save your hair from friction and breakage while you sleep.
You can also opt for a satin or silk pillowcase as cotton pillowcases are known to dry out your hair, which in turn leads to breakage, loss of curl definition and unnecessary stress on fragile hair strands.
Wearing a satin scarf is an easy way to alleviate these issues. But if you insist on looking cute while you sleep, then investing in a silk pillowcase would be your best bet.
So those all the steps I took to transform my hair in just over a month. I said it was simple; I didn’t say it was easy! 🙂
*It took me up to 5 weeks to transform my hair, but that’s mainly due to the delay of the Olaplex no.3 treatment. I tried to do a full month without Olaplex so that I wouldn’t become dependant on it and that has helped me on my healthy hair journey. But you can easily transform within 4 weeks by incorporating Olaplex early on. And if you can’t get your hands on Olaplex at the moment, then know that your hair will transform by following the other 4 steps, over a longer period of time.
Remember! With healthy hair, patience is definitely a big part of it. And that’s what I need to remind myself on my own healthy hair journey.
It’s hard to say the things I’m about to say. Because I wish they were never true. But denying that Racism exists is the worst thing we can do.
And denying that racism exists within ourselves & within our homes is a great disservice towards the fight for justice, freedom and human dignity.
If you are a person of colour reading this and think you are not part of the problem, please WAKE UP.
If you are a person of colour reading this and you think only white people are to blame, please check yourselves.
White Supremecy is the Devil; but are we its little helpers?
The recent murder of George Floyd by police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao on the streets of Minneapolis has sparked worldwide outrage against police brutality toward black men, women and children and the ongoing systemic racism that plague us to this day.
It was made evident in the video footage of George Floyd’s murder, that people of colour are also part of the problem and play an active role participating in the taking of black lives.
What Thao represents in a world overflowing with black oppression and black deaths, is the reaction of the non black person of colour to the undignified treatment of black people in our society.
Thao’s role in the murder of George Floyd shows exactly how people of colour are racists toward black men and women. It shows how POCs will see racism and DO NOTHING to stop it. He shows how POCs are complicit in a racist regime if they are not the ones being attacked. He also shows how POCs think they’re innocent because they aren’t the ones tightening the noose.
But Thao is guilty. Just like people of colour are guilty. Just because you are not the white man in power, just because you are not like Derek Chauvin, just because you’re not the one who has implemented and upheld a racist system, your silence and inaction is what allows the system to thrive.
There was never a time to be silent on racism and oppression. But I’m afraid that’s what we’ve been doing,
remaining silent when we read about the unfair treatment of black people on the news, remaining silent when we see the unfair treatment of black people on the street, remaining silent when our friends and families speak about black people in derogatory terms, remaining silent when our own elders use racial slurs, remaining silent when these slurs are heard inside our own homes. We remain silent when they come from our neighbours’ home. We remain silent when we hear it at a gathering and we remain silent when we hear it in private. We always remain silent.
We’ve become so used to blaming the system for the deep inequality that exists, but are also not actively playing a part in changing it. It’s time we ask ourselves the hard questions: what is it about us that we feel is better than a black person and why are we so afraid to speak up and challenge our communities where we know racism exists within it.
There comes a time when silence is betrayal
Martin Luther King Jr.
And it’s about time we admit to this betrayal.
It’s time we face the problem that non black people of colour are also racist towards black men and women. It’s time we face the fact that we’ve been complacent. It’s time to speak up.
Start calling out racism in your own circles. Start calling out racism in your own communities. Start calling out racism in your own homes. Call out all derogatory semantics!
But know that Racism goes far deeper than this. It goes far deeper than the n-word, and the k-word in South Africa. It’s about how we feel about those who have a different skin colour than us, those who don’t look like ‘us’, those who don’t sound like ‘us’, those who don’t live near ‘us’. It’s the very separation of ‘them’ and ‘us’. Pronouns are personal. It’s used to define ourselves. And also to exclude and to disassociate.
So when you hear someone using a racial slur, derogatory tones & language, this is the outward expression of something they feel within themselves, that they are better, above, more than, another.
So when you hear racist language from anyone, from an aunt, an uncle, a parent, a religious leader, this is why you need to call it out – because this attitude is then taught and passed down to younger generations that one race is better than another race.
So please, to all white people & POC, stand united with Black Lives Matter, so we can begin making positive changes today.
Remember, the changes we can make inside our own homes, are the changes we can make in society.
The thread was posted to my social media two days ago and I thought it befitting to post it here too as so much awareness needs to be made regarding issues of racism across the globe. It’s easy for us to blame a system of white supremacy and white privilege; it’s harder to blame ourselves. As people of colour, we should really acknowledge racism in our own cultures, communities and in our own homes. Black Lives Matter.
Transitioning to curly hair can take a long time! Especially if you are impatient like me. Today I’m giving you my Olaplex No.3 review to answer one of the most talked about questions regarding the treatment, and that is, can olaplex bring your curls back? And after many trials with this product, let’s get right into it.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex hair products collectively form a bond repair system for damaged hair. It became popular as an in-salon treatment when getting hair coloured or bleached, but is now used by literally everyone trying to achieve healthier hair (mere exaggeration). There are 7 products in the Olaplex family but today we are talking about the no.3 hair perfector. The product claims to repair your hair’s broken bonds and to overall strengthen damaged hair.
How to Use Olaplex No.3 at home?
Well you can choose to follow the directions on the packaging or the advice of Kim Kardashian. According to the brand, you should apply the treatment to damp hair and leave it on for 10-30 minutes and then proceed to shampoo and condition as normal. According to the Kardashians, you can sleep with the treatment on overnight.
So what did I do?
Well I pulled a Kim K move, obviously! Jokes (but also not). And that gave me the softest hair.
Quick Tip: finger coil your hair or do a two strand twist once your hair is saturated with the product to get more curl definition.
Does Olaplex Work on Curly Hair?
Well, the short answer is, yes. The long answer is, yes but over time.
Like everything else in life, there’s no quick fix solution. Olaplex works if you use it regularly, at least a few times a month. I did see a difference in my curl pattern after using the olaplex treatment at home. And I saw a significant difference with clumping, so if you want bigger clumps of curls, then I’d recommend Olapex.
But whether or not it will bring back your curls to those very straight pieces of hair, you know the ones in front that’s so heat damaged it just hangs limp, well that’s something you’d have to gauge over time. That said, it can give you curl definition to the parts of your hair that already has a curl pattern.
Is Olaplex Worth the Hype?
Let’s get one thing straight. There’s no 10 minute miracle here, especially when it comes to really damaged curls. There was no bam!I’m Curly Sue moment.
This hype comes from online communities hyping up novel products or ingredients trying to find the next best thing.
It’s the world of advertising and more often than not we are underwhelmed by product performances due to the overwhelming amount of advertising we consume on a daily basis.
But that’s not to say that the product doesn’t perform at all, because the results I got from the treatment, was indeed healthy hair.
Should You Buy Olaplex No.3 Treatment?
Olaplex is expensive. Going through the Olaplex no.3 treatment is like going through the last week before payday; I could not help but apply product sparingly out of fear of it running out.
The 100ml bottle will not last you a long time if you have medium to long hair, have really thick hair, or not using it sparingly. Like I’ve mentioned, you’d have to use the treatment multiple times to get your desired results, which does make its steep price point a big problem for its consumers.
If you’ve tried everything under the sun and nothing has worked to bring your curls back, then yes, buy the Olaplaex no.3 at home treatment.
If you’re planning to spend a lot of money at the drugstore buying curly girl products, while your hair is still in its early transitioning phase, then buy olaplex no.3 treatment first.
And obviously, If you can afford olaplex on your curly girl journey, then definitely give it a try!
With regards to Covid-19, buy your Olaplex from local hair dressers to keep small businesses running during this time!
So tell me, have you ever tried the olaplex no.3 treatment ?
Transitioning to your hair’s natural curls is a scary and often frustrating phase of your life. Scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen; how it’s gonna look, are the curls ever going to come back and how long does this phase last. But more than the unknown is actually what we do know, and that is the frustrating waiting period for your hair to take its natural shape.
Seeing as we are living in an on-demand culture where we are so used to immediate gratification, Nature is here to tell us that that’s simply not how things work. Having your hair come back to its natural curl will take a long time.
Sure there are products on the market to help you along the way but hold off on running to the shops just yet, there are more important things you need to do before you splurge on products that wont actually work for your hair while you are in the transitioning period.
Does your Hair Feel Damaged?
Focus on how your hair feels instead of how it looks. This is where the illusion/reality game comes in to play. When we straighten curly hair, it looks super shiny (in a non greasy way) and it’s not a knotty mess so it’s easy for us to manage.
But straightening curly hair is damaging curly hair and completely breaking down your hair’s natural curl pattern.
Coating your hair with ceramic or titanium plates to give it that shine is all just an illusion of what you think healthy hair looks like. So when you begin to go natural and you leave curly hair to dry without heat styling it, without any product on it, you’ll see it’s nowhere near shiny. It’s more than likely to be extremely dry, brittle and on the verge on breaking, if not already breaking off.
We’ve been so focused on how our hair looks and not how it actually feels; we ignore the dryness, we ignore the thinning of our strands, we ignore the inability to retain moisture and we definitely ignore all the breakage from our flat irons.
Now we need to focus on the right things; it’s time to treat your hair and repair the damage.
Why Transitioning Hair Won’t Curl
This is a big mistake that rookies making when going curly. The moment you realise your hair can’t curl, you’re off to the drugstore to spend all your hard earned money on styling products; products that promise to define your curls, to give you bouncy curls, to enhance your curls and to hold your curls. And after a frustrating trial period of set products, your curls are still lacking and your hair’s all greasy from heavy creams and butters and you are back to square one.
So what’s the problem here?
Transitioning hair won’t curl because it’s still damaged.
At least not in the beginning phases i.e. the first few months. So buying styling products to help your hair curl isn’t gonna do much or anything if you are not treating the damaged hair.
Transitioning hair needs moisture to nourish the exceptionally dry strands and protein to repair the individual strands so that your hair shaft becomes stronger. If you are not focused on these to key aspects of healthy hair then you have wasted your time, your effort and your money.
Deep Condition your Hair
When I say deep condition, I mean DEEP condition as in, you leave a treatment on your hair for 20-30 minutes and apply heat to it to better absorb into your hair.
This means stepping out of the shower for half an hour (your hair’s damaged don’t be lazy), wrapping your hair in a warm towel and then getting back into a cold shower after feeling warm and fuzzy and doing a cold water rinse.
Sounds terrible? Well it is. But if you want healthy hair or healthy curls then you need to do what’s best for your hair even at the expense of your own convenience.
Transitioning hair is in all sorts of trauma; really taking the time to treat you hair is really going to make a difference.
This is where your need for instant gratification comes in, this is the part where you see results in terms of moisture, in shine, in the strength of your strands, this is what your hair needs. Your self care rituals can come into full effect on this one.
I found a lot of luck with coconut and castor oil, which is both hydrating and strengthening.
I also use the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil strengthen and restore mask about twice a month for a bit of protein.
So between the JBCO mask and my DIY oil mask I feel my hair gets both protein and moisture and this is what works for my hair at this stage.
Deep conditioning treatments have made the biggest difference in the health of my hair and this would be my biggest tip for anyone trying a healthy hair or curly hair journey.
Well that, and cutting out heat styling, of course.
DIY Hair Mask for Transitioning Hair
Rosemary Essential Oil (optional)
Heat a teaspoon of castor oil over a hot plate. Add 2-3 drops of rosemary oil. Massage into scalp.
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil over a hot plate. Apply to hair, root to tip. Comb through/Detangle to distribute oil evenly.
Wrap hair up in a shower cap & t-shirt (or a warm towel). Add heat onto t-shirt with a blow dryer to help oil absorb into hair shaft. Leave on for 30 minutes to an hour.
We are all in part causing some damage to our hair, in an effort to have luscious looking locks. We’ve all been fooled for a long time, I’m gonna go with forever, that healthy hair was shiny voluminous hair that swept and swooshed as we walked (can I use swoosh here?). So in order to achieve said swooshing hair (yup, I’m sticking with it), we’d put our own normal dull looking strands through heat havoc, bleach havoc and all other forms of havoc to make ourselves look like that picture perfect image of healthy hair.
But you know, and I know, that that image is hard to come by in reality without the serious use of hot tools (probably more than one), silicones & other styling products and of course, texturising spray, which is basically the new hairspray.
And once our strands can take no more of our constant day to day styling rituals, we’re in a rush to quick fix all the breakage and pool of broken strands that take up space all over your room, your pillow, your bathroom, your sink, the place where you dry your hair, your comb and randomly where you keep all your shoes. Have you ever noticed how hair gravitates towards one place in your room? It’s like they are all trying to escape you, so they migrate to a corner and meet there in their death.
So if our hair is dead, even before we damage it, is it possible to have it looking proper healthy? Well, I’m about to find out if I can repair my own deadly dull limp fine broken (but otherwise perfectly normal) hair throughout this year. Seeing as we have nothing else to do.
The Healthy Hair Illusion
Let’s get one thing straight; this is not healthy hair.
Yeah sure the visible signs of damage like split ends aren’t major, it’s got a bit of shine, it swooshes when I walk, it’s soft to the touch and I can run my hand James Dean style through my bangs and it would just resume its perfectly positioned place just on the brink of my brow.
But what you don’t know and what you can’t see is the amount of stress my hair goes through biweekly: swimming in a chlorinated pool, using a stripping shampoo to remove all the chlorine, not taking time to deep condition, the brittle ends that split up post shower when my hair is in its natural state, and ah yes! My favourite! The straightening iron, there to burn all your hair off (quite literally). But once you trim those split ends no-one will even notice that your hair’s damaged.
But after years of this torture, you’ll notice that your texture will change, you can go from corse strands to fine strands, from thick densely packed hair to low density fine hair and your hair will start to feel fragile and broken.
And with all the trims, and all the heat protectant, and all the shine, my hair felt like it was barely even on my head, it was so thin and fine I couldn’t believe I had damaged it this badly that it is unrecognisable to myself. And that’s when I decided to make some drastic changes and go natural.
The Reality of Hair without Heat Styling
Going au natural is not easy. In fact, it’s pretty hard.
Seeing your hair in its natural state without any product, and seeing all the damage is terrible. But hiding all of this behind hot tools is no better.
All your hair really needs is time; time without heat styling, time without stripping products, time to be nourished, time to be left alone, time to be tucked away, time to heal and time to repair.
And not having the patience to endure such a lengthy period of time to see the results we want, is what makes a lot of us ditch our healthy hair journeys and go back to the easier way of having our hair look healthy instead of it actually being healthy.
Make no mistake, your hair in its natural state will at first look terribly unhealthy because it’s damaged. But it will be healthier in its natural state, albeit looking like crap, than it looking cute (but fried) in heat styles all the time.
We’ve become such an image driven society that how your hair looks determine how you feel about yourself.
So don’t be surprised if at first you feel self conscious that your natural hair is showing and that it’s quite a different look than you had previously styled it. You might also feel a bit shit about yourself because it’s not curling pretty at this stage and that you can no longer hide the damage with irons that coat the hair and give it that lustrous shine. It’s completely normal to feel this way.
We place a greater value on appearance today that it can even determine whether we get a job or not.
I’m all about looking your best, but I also want to feel my best and I want to feel great in my own skin. And that includes my own hair texture, the hair I was born with, a heavy head of curls and knots, quite a mess if you’re a kid and don’t know how to manage it, but now I want to be able to manage it. But more than that, I want to be able to love it.
How much product does your skin really need? Lately I’ve been wondering about this very question, basically because I’ve stripped down my skincare routine significantly since the new year or maybe even late December. My skin got so dry to the touch that it actually felt as though I could sandpaper down a piece of wood with it. But not being convinced by the need for toners for quite some time I decided to cut out toners for a while. And it hasn’t been long and I’m seeing my skin clear up dramatically, which leads me to be a bit more philosophical.
Empty yourself up first, in order to fill your cup!
Here lies my December 2019 resolution. I really wanted to spring clean my self before the new year and in order to open myself up to opportunity I felt I needed to let go of a lot of things. Now I won’t get personal because this is a skincare post after all, but I’ve applied the same mindset to my skincare routine as I do to well, my life I guess. And that is, to let go of products to clear my skin instead of adding things to fight breakouts. Is this making any sense? I was always one to add an oil to help with pimples, texture and clogged pores or even a potent serum with active ingredients to kill all those breakouts taking up surface area on my face. And by applying this philosophy to my skincare routine, I not only cut out toner, but my serum step as well as my oil step. So what was I left with? Clean, clear, hydrated skin!
Start from the inside and work your way out
I can’t write a skincare post without mentioning the role that a good diet plays in all of this. And it would be misleading of me to say my results are purely on the basis of products because what we put into our bodies will always reflect on the outside. Eliminating toxins such as nicotine and inflammatory foods like dairy has really changed my skin. I think I’ve been ‘off’ dairy for 3 weeks maybe and I do feel it played a role in clearing up my skin, getting rid of tiny pimples and under the skin bumps, I can finally say my pores are no longer clogged and my dark circles appear reduced. My skin is looking spick and span for the new year and I am all smiles about that.
The 2-Step Skincare Routine
Yip! Turns out that’s all you really need. Two steps for an effective skincare routine that keeps your skin clear and hydrated. Can you imagine how much money you’re saving? I used to be a firm believer in serums and oils but honestly, this skincare routine works just as well without all the pretty fluff. so here we go…
I usually splash my face with lukewarm water as my ‘cleansing step’, mainly because there’s no oils or heavy serums from the night before that needs to be taken off. The moisturiser that I used at night will have sunk in so there’s nothing sitting on the surface of the skin that needs a cleanser to take it off. I would however use my cleanser if my skin is dry but that’s about once or twice a week. So post ‘water splashing phase’ I go straight in with my moisturiser. I know right, so simple! My most recent purchase has been the Toleriane Ultra Creme from La Roche Posay. It’s a lightweight cream that feels a bit thick when you first apply it onto the skin, but it really sinks into your skin and keeps it hydrated throughout the day. No serum needed. And step-2 is of course sunscreen. Where would this blog be if I didn’t use sunscreen every day! I think I’ve been using an spf50 every day since I was 22. I’m almost 30 guys. It works! The sunscreen I’ve learned to love is the Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence, which is a change from my beloved Missha sunblock but Korean and Japanese sunscreens are hard not to love.
Now this is where I used to slather my face with anything and everything in my skincare cabinet. And I would alternate products depending on how my skin was feeling. It’s strange to me now that my skin was changing so often that I didn’t have a set routine for a long time. Now my skin is calm and just super chilled. Can I say that? That’s how my skin feels now, super chilled. So again the 2-step routine applies here: cleanse and moisturise. The Clinique take the day off balm has been a favourite of mine for so many years I hate the brand for not having a recycling system where consumers can take back all the packaging. I collect so many of these tubs that it feels ridiculous to throw away solid packaging that the brand could reuse and recycle. But the product is really effective at removing makeup and also keeps the skin soft which is great for all of us with parched skin. And the final product…the La Roche Posay moisturiser… wow what a shocker! But this is it – my effective 2-step skincare routine for 2020! Hope you guys found this post helpful and insightful. Wishing all of you the very best for the year ahead!
For the longest time I felt plagued by the incessant need to cover up what is believed to be outward flaws in my appearance. My olive skin never quite light enough, my textured curls could never pass as straight, my discolouration around my joints pointed towards my ‘ethnic’ heritage and my prominent dark circles led me down a spiral of consumerism and blinded belief that they needed to be fixed, cured by the beauty industry’s superfluous amount of products that cannot cover your heredity ‘flaws’. The ongoing cycle of masking your face in makeup to hide something that is naturally there and then to also be questioned on why you’re wearing quite so much makeup. The cycle is all too familiar. It reminds me of a former president who addressed the public in English, a language that is not his home language or mother tongue and then gets mocked for his accent.
This consistent hound of noise from our environments, both online and in real life, which tell us we could be beautiful if we looked a certain way or we could be smart if we sounded a certain way, for me this has come in many forms starting from my childhood and continue to battle with until this day. And the confidence of age has brought me to this point where I feel personally & passionately about the fact that a social consensus of what beauty is, reads incredibly untrue, this idea that the media throws at us jarring images of what we should strive to be and will also never be.
It’s kinda funny how beauty trends in the wake of capitalist goals tell us, now you can be beautiful, when the boy beat makeup look surfaced, now your dark circles are accentuated as beautiful, when the world told you to hate your freckles, your dark skin, your kinky curls, where you came from, the way you sound, all to create a buyers market of goods to be packed on shelves. And in it we’ve discovered that this is not a mere seasonal release of fresh faces but a permanent feature in the lot of us who had no voice growing up, who had no self assurance, who had no confidence that we were born beautiful, all of us, all very differently.
And finally, with the world far more open and our eyes fall upon media that is far more diverse than a mere decade ago, with the ongoing push for representation, and the need to call the media out for what it has shoved on us, a white-washing of beauty standards filtered down generation to generation and this blank conformity that we no longer stand to accept, the aged old ideal is dying in front of those who continue to enforce it. We are now at an age when being different is the new normal and we are embracing our own unique features. And call it a consumerist tool in order for us to buy products that enhance our curl pattern, or colour palettes that match our brown skin and olive undertones, and you can even call it a trend but let’s not forget who demanded this market in the first place.
For we demanded this first from within ourselves, we accepted our own and stood for who we were born naturally and remain grounded in our defiance so that change is indeed possible. And we bow to our ancestors for through their struggle and resilience we discover within ourselves that our unruly, undisciplined and rebellious curls stand to be seen as an outward reflection of our own inner strength. And that is what makes us quite strikingly beautiful.
I feel like the world is changing faster than I can say ‘I’, with the push to a plastic free society and the move towards sustainable living, I’m sometimes wondering what happened to the days of smoking packs of cigarettes in order to look cool.
But while the global shift in a more positive direction is one to be proud of (millennials I’m looking at you) it’s also one to be careful of when it comes to advertising and jumping on trends.
I’ve noticed this shortly after the passing of the Feminist t-shirt trend (which you’ll see down below), where it was cool to be proud of being a feminist, and brands didn’t hesitate to sell you pretty fashionable pieces to muster up your intersectional feminist self as you believed you were spending your money in the way of good deeds. Too far? Haha maybe, but listening to the views of this trend of whether companies were actually supporting women in this new market was interesting.
Questions came up, like whether the designer was a woman or maybe the photographer for those campaigns, or did any of the proceeds of those sales go to aiding underprivileged and disadvantaged women in some form. And these are all good questions we should be asking, but the answers I’m afraid remain a mystery as the lack of transparency by brands is not something we’ve actively pushed for as a society. Well, not yet.
The advent of sustainable fashion brands and local designers are up & coming and will very soon be all we want to be purchasing as consumers, but let’s not purchase just yet.
Let’s think about this. As the drive towards a sustainable lifestyle becomes more fashionable, you’ll soon see more and more fashion pieces with some amazingly sourced material at a bit of an expense compared to your poly blends, which by the way I try to stay clear of, because polyester is good for no-one.
But the fact is we will and are already paying a pretty penny for sustainable fashion pieces, and as the trend gets more attention, we’ll be paying even more.
So the choice will come down to, to use an analogy, do you want that McDonald’s meal or that 1 organic vegetable because they are basically the same price. My point is this, for that one piece of clothing that is produced from ethically sourced fabrics, made in an environment where the workers are paid and treated fairly, you could probably buy the whole of Zara. Okay, that’s an over exaggeration but it probably will feel like it one day.
So before you consider sustainable fashion as your be all and end all of your shopping experience and be ahead of the trend, let’s be conscious consumers first.
Conscious consuming is a thought process.
We often define it in terms of ‘what’ we are buying, by checking the labels, finding out which fabrics are good enough, in which country the item of clothing was manufactured, all those good things. It’s synonymous with ethical fashion and maintaining a sustainable lifestyle.
It’s about being aware of your habits and knowing what’s good for you. And yes this is a good trend that has developed over recent years but because we are in such a consumer driven world, be careful not to just consume sustainable fashion just for the sake of.
We should also be asking ourselves why we’re consuming.
The idea of sustainable living is that we consume less, not that we consume tons of ethically produced items, it’s that we consume just enough to meet our needs and have those few items be of good value to ourselves and to the environment.
How Can one Become a Conscious Consumer?
Well first, just stop buying shit.
That is already an act of service to the environment and maybe even to your own mental health. We consume far more than we need to and all the clutter has a negative effect on all of us.
Get rid of some stuff too, or a lot! Send all of your unused clothes to a charity and hey you might even feel good about it. Yay for mental health!
Strip down your closet to the things you KNOW you’ll wear and styling your outfits become easier in the mornings. Yay for productivity!
This is a perfect way to shop your closet and bring back older more nostalgic pieces, even if they’re no longer on trend, if you still like it then wear it.
This is also the time to be a proud outfit repeater. If you’re pieces are lasting for years and years then you know you’ve already been making good choices when it comes to sustainable fashion (except for polyester, that shit lasts forever and will never die).
Shop your friend’s closet, or your sis/bro’s closet and do a swap. I find that as we’ve got older it’s much easier to pass things along.
This leather coat I’m wearing I got from a friend when doing a swap (jackets for jeans – yaayyy). Yes, you can fight with me about how leather is not ethically produced, but this is how we consume less of it, by passing it a long, by giving it a new home.
And lastly, do an internet search of local designers in your area, chances are that they are producing sustainable fashion pieces that is also ethically manufactured and who are making positive changes to the industry.
This handbag I’m wearing is from Mors Design who are literally crafting bags out of recycled tyre tube.
There are so many interesting and innovative designers out there that you can support when you do feel it’s time to make a new purchase, because we all know, you really want to. That’s why you’re reading a fashion blog right? Jokes!