A Black British Beauty Blogger

Monday, 24 December 2012

Russian Cossack: Mini Tend in London

Russian Cossack: Mini Tend in London
Russian Cossack: Mini Tend in London by blkmimildn featuring faux fur hats

I have become OBSESSED with these hats recently! 

Normally found on the heads of women frequenting popular haunts in Mayfair, the advent of these hats being copied by stores such as Primark has signaled the wider acceptance of this accessory. I have a tan one, but am searching for both a black and white version to add to my winter wardrobe. 

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Guide to surviving the sales (Pt2)

So you decided to venture out and hit the shops. Hopefully you  have read part one of my guide and made a list.

First things first, you will need to do the following:

Wear comfortable shoes
If you're anything like me, expect to cover a lot of miles when out and about. Go hard or stay at home!

Eat a good breakfast
You will be exerting a lot of energy walking, running, queuing etc and you don't want your hard won booty to be prized from your hands as you lay prone on the floor after fainting from low blood sugar.

Carry water / sugary drink with you
The stores get so hot so have a bottle on hand to re-hydrate you as you stand in line to pay.

Wear Clean undies- it is a must
Your Nan was right, wear clean underwear as you may be forced to use a communal changing room or the mirror outside if it's closed.

Make sure your phone is charged and the bill paid
I have gone shopping with friends, each armed with an extensive list and an area of the store to cover. You will need to remain in contact with each team mate -updating them on your progress and striking items off as you get them. Valuable time can be wasted by members searching for the same item or inefficiently working the queue.

Work the queue= one joins the other goes off to shop, you must, I repeat, must be back in time before you reach the front or all items risk self destructing or face the wrath of other shoppers behind you.

Remember your manners and observe local etiquette
Now ladies, we should not need to debase ourselves in the pursuit of a bargain.

Common gripes:

  • If  you're gonna leave the queue, tell the person behind you - thank them upon your return and offer to do the same should they too wish to leave (do not do so more than twice). 
  • Bump someone, stop and say sorry
  • If you both reach for the same item under no circumstances are you to engage in any fighting, back away and chalk it down to a loss. Karma is real y'all!
  • Leave the baby at home (know this is controversial but it has to be said). Pram rage is ugly and ramming your pram against me will cause me to call the Social on you for abuse!
  • Haggle gracefully. Please note that if the sales assistant / store manager / area rep has said no to your wonderful offer of 99% off, STOP trying to haggle and pay the price. Your holding up the queue and disgracing us all.  

On a side note, I'm slowly tuning into a online shopper. I can do it from the comfort of my own home (bed) and can quickly compare the price among other retailers.

Feel free to let me know what tips / strategies  you deploy during the sales.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Guide to surviving the sales (Pt1)


It's that time of the year when we all start to count down the hours until Christmas, obviously we are all excited at the prospect of spending time with family (right?) but it's the anticipation of the bargains that Boxing Day promises to provide that really gets the adrenaline pumping. 

I thought it might be wise to impart some helpful tips  

Plan ahead - Get an idea of what you want
Those of us who worked in retail know that Christmas eve is the time to start slyly moving items due to be reduced together. The savvy shoppers among us will have already started to stalk out potential hunting  grounds. I'm a big fan of these missions - trying on items to gauge  a coveted items fit,  determining if alternative sizes  are an option should your preferred size get snapped up etc...  

Know what you are prepared to pay 
I've made the mistake of buying an item in a sale only to get home and discover that it's only been reduced by £5. To avoid  this, I now make a point of finding out what the original selling price is and  will mentally start to mark out how much i'm prepared to pay - it's got to be half price or less for me to consider it. 

Forget trends
Ever wonder why the stores look like a jumble sale? Always remember, sale time is a way for stores to get rid of OLD stock and make way for new items. I tend to shop for classic or basic garments I am confident will fit into my existing wardrobe without any fuss. Neon / Pastels /Floral  may have been 'in' this year but there was a reason why you didn't purchase the neon perspex daisy chain bangle a full price. This year I'm low on underwear and bottoms so will make a point of seeking these items out. 

Cash is King - Know how much you can afford to spend BEFORE you start
Make a list of what you need or want to get before hitting the shops or loading up your online basket. If you find an item but it needs any alteration -leave it. The cost of making repairs will eat into the initial bargain.

Cost per wear
How many times will I wear it, will it fit into my look comfortably. Carrie might have worn a tutu in New York but how many times are you gonna be able to rock that dalmatian yellow version? 

Money too tight to mention?  Go Thrifting
Shake off that outdated image of the charity shop and head down to pick up an item that will not be instantly recognisable to all. Laugh at everyone queuing outside the department store and take your time searching for that unique item at the faction of it's original price. Make sure you bring a bag of your own unloved pieces that have been languishing at the bottom of your wardrobe!

Quick fire questions to ask: 
Would I buy this at full price if I won the Lottery? 
Does it suit me?
If I didn't see that woman pick it up first, would I still want it? 

Stay tuned for part two of my guide...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Why I wear my Red Ribbon with pride: World AIDs Day 2012

1st December =World AIDs Day


HIV= Human Immunodeficiency Virus - A Virus which attacks the body’s immune system. It can be passed through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment[i].

The Red Ribbon is the international symbol of awareness and support for those affected by HIV/ AIDs; the first of the now ubiquitous ribbon symbols.  I try to make a point of trying to wear a Red Ribbon all year round as I feel so strongly that more needs to be done to promote prevention of the spread of this virus and work towards securing a cure that is free to all. 
I was fortunate enough to attend a girl’s secondary school that repeatedly impressed upon its pupils the importance of taking a loving approach to our bodies, making it their mission to teach the very real realities of HIV and AIDs to its students. With stats such as HIV being the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age[ii], I am grateful that prevention, as far as possible, was drummed into us. However, conversations with others have forced me to accept that this was not the experience for the majority and  that subsequent generations who, like me, arrived after the hysteria of the TV ads in the late 80’s - early 90’s have become almost reckless with our health. I am left saddened by the comments from people that mistakenly believe that the worst situation that their inability to practice safe sex will be an unwanted pregnancy or the “inconvenience of herpes’”!  

What is often confused with being a ‘cure’ is the fact that here in the UK, our beloved NHS (National Health Service) affords us with free access to [sexual] health provision (contraception, testing and treatments) and life saving  medicines for the treatment of HIV/ AIDs.  Unfortunately the UK remains one of the few countries to offer its citizens free health care; people living with HIV/ AIDs in other parts of the world are forced to make hard choices surrounding access to life saving drugs and tools for self protection (condoms, financial self sufficiency).

Nearly half of all new diagnoses were acquired heterosexually (2,990; 48 per cent). Of these, over half were probably acquired in the UK in 2011, compared to only 27 per cent in 2002[iii].

Perhaps, as we see more people live longer with the illnesses, we will eventually find a cure but for now I hope you will all join me in promoting the World Health Organisation’s ‘Getting to Zero[iv]’ campaign: Zero deaths from AIDs related illness. Zero discrimination.

How to reduce your risk of getting or transmitting HIV or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)[v]

  • Always use a condom correctly and consistently when having sex with new or casual partners, until all partners have had a sexual health screen.
  • Avoid overlapping sexual relationships and reduce the number of sexual partners.
  • Get screened regularly if you are in one of the higher risk groups:
    • Men who have sex with men should have an HIV and STI screen at least annually, and every three months if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.
    • People from the black African and Caribbean communities should have an HIV test, and a regular HIV and STI screen if having unprotected sex with new or casual partners.

[ii]  Source Durex via   http://www.1share1condom.com 01122012
[iii]  Source Health Protection Agency Press release 29112012
[iv]  Source United Nations http://www.un.org/en/events/aidsday 01122012
[v] Source Health Protection Agency Press release 29112012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Casual Oufit: Fall 2012

Casual Oufit: Fall 2012 

Sometimes I don’t want to dress up and love the casualness of this outfit. 

Perhaps it is because of the change in the leaves,
but I find Tan is such a  timeless autumnal (Fall) colour. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sleek MakeUp Be Beautiful Balm (Review)

The announcement that Sleek MakeUp had decided to enter into the BB (Beauty Balm) market left me excited. As a Woman of Colour I was miffed that many of the cosmetic companies had largely ignored my skin shade and the entry of a product from Sleek was sure to make up for this, right? 

Hmm, well sort of. 

There are only four shades of the Be Beautiful Blemish Balm: Fair, Light, Medium and Dark.
As Sleek MakeUp create over thirty different shades in their  foundation range, I found it hard to understand why they felt that they could try to fit us all into only four shades in their BB range.

 My shade in Sleek’s foundation is Hot Chocolate which, at three shades from the end, is on the darker end of  their spectrum. I naturally reached for the ‘Dark’ box but found the shade far too red for me; the Medium shade was on the yellow side but blended in enough to convince me to buy it.  

  • I loved the fact that I only need a small amount and a decent coverage was produced.  
  • It was light enough to be used during warm weather and so will be my go-to base for holiday looks abroad.
  • Love that it contains SPF (protect your Skin!)
  • Price - glad that they kept the range afforable.
The only negatives for me were:
  • Oily finish- something I think anyone with an oily T-Zone will always encounter with these types of products.
  • Lack of shades- I adore Sleek but feel that they have missed a trick in not expanding their range, particularly on the Women of Colour shades.
  • Chemical Smell- took me a while to get used to. 
 What do you think of BB creams, over hyped or useful?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Beauty Blender Dupe(s)

Beauty Blender quickly became the cult ‘IT’ product of 2011 for me; I watched countless vloggers espoused its greatness, read reviews galore that waxed lyrical about the seamless finish it provided and I really wanted one. However every time I went to make a purchase there was always a problem with delivery / stock. Due to the difficulty in purchasing the product I wish to make it clear that I am making a comparison on the concept of the sponges! 

Beauty Blender – What is it?

Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks.

Beautyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odour free.
 -Excerpt from Bleautyblender website

I purchased these sponges from a seller from EBay, the cost of P&P and the items total less than £5. The items arrived after two weeks (normal for items from China) and I quickly put them to the test.  
Waterbottle shaped Beautyblender dupe

I deliberately ordered two different shapes (egg & water bottle) as I was keen to see which of the two was easier to use. I found the water bottle was easier for me to use initially as I struggled to get a firm grip, I was able to graduate to the egg once my confidence grew.  The sponges worked well wet - slightly damp, not dripping, and I found it easier to adopt a stippling motion to use with my Sleek Cream to Powder foundation.

Egg shaped Beautyblender dupe
Overall I was extremely pleased with the products; the sponges were excellent value and easy to use.
My foundation was seamless and I think these sponges offer a viable alternative to those of us who hate using fingers to apply makeup. I have large pores around my nose and noticed that the finish the sponges provided helped to mask this. I have already made a repurchase from EBay and so thought a review was overdue.

What are your thoughts, have you purchased the orginal Beautyblender?