A Black British Beauty Blogger

Friday, 28 November 2014

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer Review

I'm in love with L.A Girl Pro.Conceal HD Concealer.

Over the last year I sat back and watched as American YouTube and beauty bloggers extolled the virtues of these concealers. Admittedly I was impressed that the 18 shades within the range afforded women of colour an opportunity to indulge. Over the years I have developed a love-hate relationship with my MAC Select Cover up Concealer (creasing, oxidisation)  and was on the search for a new product to help me through a beloved friend's wedding. I knew I would be out for the whole day and didn't want the day marred by frequent touch up breaks, so I turned to the Internet for suggestions.  The overwhelming glowing reviews, coupled with its dupe like status for MAC's ProLongwear concealer made these concealers an easy choice.

L.A. Girl is a brand not readily accessible for this London gal, so I had to turn to the good people on ebay to hook me up with my bounty. Thankfully I had my goods within a week and have been completely blown away since.

I decided on Toffee as an under eye brightener. The tube has a brush applicator that I had to really work (initially) to get the product out, the consistency was thick and I took heed of the warnings to work fast as it dried quickly. The product didn't crease after being set with a light dusting of powder and has replaced my Select Cover Up as my go to concealer. 

Overall the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer is an excellent product and worthy of its Internet hype. On the negative it is not readily accessible for those of us not in the UK but this is easily corrected by auction sites such as ebay. I have already decided to purchase a few other colours in the New Year when the post settles down. I remain impressed with their colour range and the affordability of each tube - I paid less than the MAC for both products, including postage.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

H&M - Nailed it!

H & M - Nailed it

H & M - Nailed it by blkmimildn featuring a black nail polish

Nail polish is an excellent way to add a bit of drama to your outfit.
I've recently been loving H&M's Nail polish on my nails since the change of weather.

 Great colours, excellent value and decent longeivity  = winner

Sunday, 13 July 2014

ORS HAIRepair Straightening & Strengthening Treatment Review

ORS Straightening & Strengthening Treatment  Review 


Since I begun my transitioning journey I've been amazed at the  sheer versatility of my afro hair. Twist Outs, Bantu Knots, Flexi Rods, Roller Sets - I feel like I've been slowly working my way through the large arsenal of techniques to explore my hair and discover various finishes / styles.

 As the Natural Hair movement continues to breakdown barriers it seems that hair companies have cottoned on to the fact that there is an appetite among some to switch up curly hair and rock a strait style / texture for a short while. ORS Straightening & Strengthening Treatment is one such offering and I was excited to receive an invite to attend their event in  March to learn more (more on the event below). I was intrigued to learn how the process worked as my hair is fragile right now due to transitioning and I didn't want to antagonise it further.

The process 

I decided to try the treatment and made sure to read the detailed instructions twice but still ended up hacking the process!

What I did: 

  1.    I washed my hair with the HAIRepair Shampoo.
  2.    Used  (A) Clarifying shampoo.
  3.    Applied  the HAIRepair conditioner to my hair, taking care to saturate it.
  4.    Pumped out the correct amount of  (B) Foam Activator, I used three pumps.
  5.    Combed through (B) Foam Activator through my hair with a wide tooth comb. 
  6.    Covered my hair with two carrier bags.
  7.    Consulted that Processing chart and waited nine minutes.
  8.    Washed out (B) Foam Activator and the HAIRepair conditioner. 
  9.    Using a mircofibre turban dried my hair to a damp texture. 
  10.    Sectioned hair into four, applied (C) Seal & Smooth Leave- in Conditioner.
  11.    Blow dried my hair on a medium setting. 
  12.    Using my flat iron, set it to a medium temperature. 
  13.    Marvelled at how gorgeous my hair was as I passed the flat iron once through my hair . 
It really was a simple process. My hair didn't fry and I really enjoined the texture. I decided to use this product on two separate occasions before posting as I wanted to fully test the affect (if any) the product had on my hair. At each application I am please to say that I haven't experienced any adverse effects and my hair has returned to my 'normal'. In order to retain the texture I should point out that I made sure to avoid excess water, by this I mean refraining from heavy workout sessions and sticking to light oils. My scalp likes to be washed after two weeks so this was the maxim length of time I had the treatment in before washing my hair again.

ORS Straightening & Strengthening Treatment Event  29th March 2014

I was reassured by the honesty of the presentation: ORS are clear this is not a product to be used as a regular substitute for chemically straightened hair and are keen to stress this to avoid abuse by users thinking it is - going to great lengths to hammer home the number of passes on the straighteners and length of time to leave the foam activator on hair etc. The models used at the event I attended had differing hair textures and I made sure I watched the model who matched my 4A/B/C (lol) texture.I met some fabulous bloggers, many I regret not keeping in touch with after as I loved how passionate they were about what they were doing. The inclusion of the ORS Ambassadors was a beneficial as it enabled me to see how versatile the ORS's products are and their reach to everyday women in various parts of the world.

Overall ORS's Straightening & Strengthening Treatment gets two thumbs up from me. A valuable addition to any Natural / Transitioning woman's styling arsenal!

Have you tried any similar treatments?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H #13 Sienne

In February I set out to purchase a foundation and initially headed over to MAC in Selfridges for the Matchmaster; fortunately the snotty sales assistant caused me to leave the store in disgust and I found myself at the Lancôme stand in Boot's Oxford Street.

The makeup angels were with me as I have found my newest go-to foundation!

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H #13 Sienne

It appears I have missed the bus with this one as Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24Hour has been around for a while. I was quickly matched to #13 Sienne. I found that it's lightweight texture sunk into my skin, not leaving a nasty cloggy feeling I previously found with other liquid foundations. There wasn't an offensive smell; I suspect the low SPF of 5 was a pay-off for good colour coverage. Many foundations accused of being ashy or changing often have SPF of 15 or higher in them, affecting their ability to retain their colour integrity. The lovely sales assistant was so confident in the product I didn't feel that she was pushing it on me and was happy to try to provide me with a sample but she'd run out of containers. Past experience has taught me to hold off buying a foundation from a new source until I've had time to test it out in natural light. However, it was as if the Teint Idole Ultra just spoke to me, reassuring me that it would be OK and to take the chance. A believer in signs, I decided that the earlier bad service had been needed to place me at Lancôme's counter and promptly purchased a bottle.  I'm glad I listened to my gut as I love it. While the idea of wearing anything for a full 24 hours breaks me out in a cold sweat, the foundation does have a lot of staying power. I haven't had to worry about re-touching or irritation to my sensitive eczema prone skin. A damp beauty bender had been the most effective way for me to apply the foundation and I adore how easy it is to build up coverage when needed. 

Over the last couple of years I have consciously tried to shift my purchases to brands that make an effort to represent women of my skin hue. The fact that Lancôme reportedly created a Women of Colour division to tackle the problems associated with producing foundations for black women (ash, redness) had me sitting up to take notice.

Source: Daily Mail
A quick google search will show that Lancôme have featured black women in thier adverts / campagins for a while. Their recent appointment of Lupita Nyong'o further cemented my decision to continue in this manner as I grow tired of brands who either continue to ignore, or worst, pay lip-service by chosing women who are lighter than my mediterarrian friends and bleating that they service all women! With a price point comparable to other brands that women of colour frequent in droves, I'm increasingly of the opinion that if I dont start supporting brands that are clearly reaching out to me with quality, well thought out products, I can't continue to complain.

Have you tried Lancôme, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Filofax Love: Filofax Metropol Personal Organiser

Every New Year I become really excited; despite this electronic age I'm an old fashion chick who loves nothing more to write my appointments in a diary. My mother gave me my first diary when I first left for University; It was a A5 day-to-a-page and I loved it. I used to write copious notes, documenting what I did and where I'd been.

Diary, Organiser,

I felt like a change and began researching other alternatives and decided upon a Filofax. This was the easy part, deciding which Filofax style I wanted to try took me two months; keep in mind that some people have  their Filofax's for years, I knew I wanted to get this right. During this two month period I stalked the aisles of WHSmith and John Lewis, I knew I was obsessing when I began taking pictures of the various Filoxfax styles side by side and drooling over them. Eventually it was the texture of  the Metropol (Personal) that sold me and I made my purchase - not looking back since.

I have a mobile / smart phone so don't need  a diary......

There is something final about placing an appointment in my diary, I find that I'm less likely to change or flake on the event.  I have to work at being organised and find the additional inserts / side pockets help me to keep track of projects. Since having my son I've had to become uber organised due to additional doctors, hospital, midwives and other baby appointments; my filofax has been getting some serious love.

How do you organise yourself: mobile / on-line / diary?

Monday, 3 March 2014

HAIRepair Vital Oils For Hair and Scalp (Review)

Ever come across a product that you love and are surprised that it’s not been championed by others? 

ORS HAIRepair Vital Oils Hair and Scalp For Hair & Scalp is this product for me.

ORS, HAIRepair

What the company say: 

This non greasy oil revitalizes dry hair and relieves dry scalp. Formulated with a rich blend of eight oils including grapeseed and sweet almonds oils. Easily penetrates the hair shaft and soothes the scalp. It won’t weigh the hair down or clog the pores.

I'm no stranger to the HAIRepair line from ORS, regularly using the Nourishing Conditioner and Anti Breakage Creme and was happy to return home to find a few items waiting for me from their reps.  When my hair was permed it was very fine and didn’t like heavy oils at all; since transitioning this has continued to be the case. HAIRepair Vital Oils For Hair & Scalp was used by me after washing, to seal my ends and revitalise my hair weekly. The sweet smelling oil is lightweight, non greasy and extremely effective. My hair thanked me for using it by co-operating and not breaking. After giving birth I went through a period of having some serious dry hair despite breastfeeding and this was one of the products I attribute to maintaining my sanity -there is a school of thought that believes that nursing after birth starves off any of the (hormonal) changes that invariably occur to hair. I would rub a tiny amount (10p size) into my hair and it enabled me to get a comb through my hair without breaking when I wanted to create a parting. The nifty applicator provided some help to my dry looking scalp and it didn’t stain or seep through my headscarf like some of the heavier oils I have used.  

Whilst there is something to be said for having differing oils bottled separately, I am a big fan of HAIRepair Vital Oils and recommend it for my reforming product junkies tired of buying copious amounts of oils or for anyone new to moisturising and sealing who want a single product to impart the benefits / goodness oil into their hair. 

Check out my previous review on ORS HAIRepair line (Conditioner) and their response to my question on the moisture / protein balance of the line.

My thanks to ORS's reps in the UK for gifting this product to me.

What are your favourite oils to use and why?

*Feel free to check out my Discloure Policy regarding gifted item(s)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Recipe For A Valentine's Day Outfit

Recipe For A Valentine's Day Outfit

My recipe for a good valentine's day outfit.

With over ten valentines and counting with hubby, I have learnt that
men can be quite visual beings. We tend to overdo / over-think things
and - all pink outfits *shudder* so I have decided to share my'winning'
formula for valentine date nights.

What is your 'winning' valentine's day outfit?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dry Heels? Compeed Overnight Cracked Heel Cream

Dry Feet,

A recent debate at among friends left me no choice but to post how I try to avoid the dreaded ashy feet / dry heel problem. I am one of those people who use a foot cream every day! In fact, the thought of putting my feet into a any shoe / sandal / slipper without any sort of emollient on breaks me out in a sweat. I just cant do it.

Compeed's Overnight Cracked Heel Cream is one of my favourite 'go-to'. Nice and thick in consistency, its rich formula leave you in no doubt that your feet will keep the dreaded ash away. Containing the blessed Urea and Lactic Acid, over time my heel's skin changed in texture to one that wouldn't cause me any embarrassment. I found that other creams merely coasted my skin, building up a nasty film over time and loved that this cream didn't.

But I have really bad skin on my heels....
If you do then I would suggest some serious TLC. The web is littered with solutions to remove hard skin, but I find nothing beats a good soak and scrub. My favourite combination: warm water, drops of Tea Tree oil or lemon (good for antibacterial properties- excellent for people with funky toenails) and rough salt. Soak for a good 20 minutes and then, using a pumice stone, scrub the hell out of the skin - taking care not to cut the skin.  Take good care to dry your feet, slather them with a really rich, moisturising product such as the Compeed or Shea Butter. Depending on how much you want to treat yourself - I tend to do this when I'm having a night in - wrap feet in cling film, then socks after a good trim and cut the nails. Leave overnight and then enjoy the renewed skin on your feet! A good soak once a week, coupled with a good moisturising routine for badly damaged feet for six weeks should help the skin sort itself out. If all else  fails I would suggest visiting your GP / Chiropodist.

How do you keep your feet looking good?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Hat's off to ya Ma'am

I've become an even bigger fan of hats since beginning to transition 
my hair back to it's natural state. I loved the whole Saint Laurent 
(YSL to me always!) aesthetic with the wide fedoras and recently
picked up a wide brimmed felt hat from Peacocks that I obsessed 
over when I first laid eyes on it. Unfortunately for my purse I saw 
another trilby and will be going back to purchase on pay-day. I have
messed around with a few ideas on how I'm gonna style these hats 
and the results are below.

Hats of to ya Ma'am

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Baby On Board

So, you may have noticed there has been a severe lack of posts on my blog  over the last year.....

As the title suggests I was in fact pregnant and have now given birth, whoo hooo!

Whilst hubby and I were extremely happy to be expecting,this pregnancy was not without hiccups along the way: I was unfortunately severely anaemic during the majority of the pregnancy and found it hard to breathe, let along find the energy to blog. The hospital told us we were having a girl and out popped my son! That said, baby is healthy and happy so expect to see additional items on my pregnancy / motherhood on this blog, as I found reading about real life experiences to be helpful to me during this humongous period of change.

Weirdly it's like my body knew it would be going through a change, in January I made the decision to revert my hair to it's natural state from perm and so expect a few posts on my experiences (good & very bad). The regrowth has been a revelation; I feel as if I'm having to relearn how to manage with my Afro hair after fifteen plus years of having a perm! It's been hard for me style the two, very different textures without loads of hair breaking off or the teeth of my comb breaking.

Hopefully, as my son grows, I will be able to catch a few minutes to write and I plan to post on the rare days that I have off from full on mummy duties.