Wednesday, 26 August 2015

New Store Alert: Luxy Locks

Calling all my fellow weave fans, a new store has opened up in SA.

Luxy Locks is a Joburg based online store offering a premium range of Virgin Remy hair. Whether your preference is Peruvian, Brazilian, Indian or even if you're a clip-in kind of gal, Luxy Locks has something for you. They stock a variety of styles with lengths ranging from 14" - 26".

Committed to community social upliftment, Luxy Locks gives a percentage of every sale to a fund which, once it reaches a threshold, is used to treat someone in the community to a free installation and styling of Luxy Locks hair. 

Find out more about Luxy Locks by following them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Luxy Locks offers free delivery anywhere in South Africa and is currently offering a 15% discount off all of their products. Just use the code LUXY<3LOCKS at the checkout.

*This post was brought to you by Luxy Locks


Friday, 21 August 2015

Right Now I'm Lovin': August Goodies

Clockwise from top left: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk, NYX HD Eyeshadow Base, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Soufflé, Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream, L'Oréal Miss Manga Meda Volume Mascara, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

Is it weird that I was so excited to write this post? Yes? Well, small things make me happy! And this monthly beauty goodies segment is fast becoming a fave of mine. I kinda feel like these days many products claim to do certain things that they actually don't. And by the time you've tried it it's too late as you've already spent your hard earned cash on it. Huge let down. So when I come across fab things, or great deals, I love sharing it with...everybody. My friends, my family, ladies I meet on the bus. And of course: you. Here they are, some beauty finds I've been loving and one I'm not loving so much. 

L'Oréal's Miss Manga Mega Volume Mascara - R145

When I wear this mascara, I get asked by strangers what false lashes/inserts I'm wearing. At first, the wand is a little foreign looking. It's not the normal chunky wand you're used to getting with many mascaras so I was a but apprehensive because it has thin bristles. But after the dramatic difference in my lashes after the first swipe, I was hooked. I use it everyday on my top and bottom lashes for a statement look. One coat would be enough for the everyday makeup kinda gal but I love drama. So two coats it is. Great buy.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Range - R265 - R285

lf you follow me on Instagram you'd know I've fallen head over heels for this range. Firstly, they smell delicious - sweet and fruity. I usually steer away from strong smelling hair products because of how they mix with ambient smells isn't ideal. But these seem to play friendly with other smells so it's forgiven. I've been using the entire range with my Daily Spritz exclusively for the past month and Fro is loving me for it. My hair is soft, bouncy and is showing off lil' coils I never knew existed. They're a bit on the high end price-wise but I really believe they're worth every rand. You can get Shea Moisture in South Africa from Tender Loving Hair.

Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream - R535

l hardly wear foundation, only on special occasions. So my everyday routine consists of moisturiser with SPF, a BB Cream and powder to get a fresh look. When BB Creams first came out in SA, it was slim pickings for us brown girls with only two or three brands offering shades to suit us. Now it seems everyone has one so I've been testing a few out. This new BB Cream from Kiehl's wins hands down for me. It's so concentrated you barely need more than two drops for your face. It blends in nicely and gives the right amount of light coverage I'm looking for. My favourite thing is how right they got the shading. It doesn't leave my skin looking that horrible ashy-grey or oily. Love.

You can get Kiehl's from selected Edgars stores nationwide.

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base - R135

I'm so surprised when I see some women haven't clocked on to the amazing power of eyeshadow primers. Or if they have-still don't use them. My friend in uni introduced me to a particular one that is sadly unavailable in SA. So when it finally finished I made it my mission to find one just as good. After a vigorous search, in came NYX's HD Eye Shadow Base. Don't be fooled by the pale colour, its creamy formula sets quickly and leaves your lids smooth while blending in with your skin tone easily. Then you're ready to layer on the shadow, liner etc. I put this on and don't worry that my oily lids will leave that dreaded crease mark. It lasts the whole day, even in summer and back home in Tanzania where humidity is real. A product that I can't live without.

Womp womp: 3 Sisters of Nature

I didn't list individual products above because, well, I didn't like any of them. Yes, the entire line - Fro is not a fan. The scent of all of them is way too sweet, the kind where someone could smell my hair first before my perfume. And unfortunately none of the products did what they say they would do for my hair. The shampoo dried it out, the spiral pudding was very gunky and the co-wash didn't cleanse. The worst was that the products didn't play well together (which I find odd in a line) and left a white film on my hair. Not a fan at all.

Unless otherwise stated, you can get the above from Clicks or Dischem.

What are some of your current beauty faves?


Monday, 17 August 2015

Natural Hair Stores in SA

Let's face it, sometimes we African naturals feel short changed with products that are made and marketed for natural hair. We see them all the time on blogs overseas and being praised in videos from international vloggers. But where do we get them? I get asked this all the time as I'm currently using quite a few products that aren't readily available at your local Clicks or Dischem. When I first went natural four years ago,  I prepped myself by watching thousands of videos and taking note of all the delicious sounding products and tools all of these beautifully haired women were raving about only to...not find them. Anywhere in Joburg. Since then I've come across quite a few stores (albeit online) that can scratch our itch for products and tools for our fros - local and international. Here are seven sites that offer natural hair goodies based right here in South Africa.

1. Ruutos -

Notable products: Ruutos Moisture Collection, Havana Twists extensions, hair tools, weaves and wigs.

Ruutos is a locally based, locally made brand that focuses on natural hair. Even if you're not natural, Ruutos offers a wide range of products to help you with moisturising and styling as well as protecting your hair with their weave and wig collection. Owner Lucy is a 4C natural haired woman who tested the products on her own hair and can give advice based on her experience. You can order online or visit them at their salon/store in Randburg.

2. Tender Loving Hair -

Notable products: Shea Moisture, Sunny Isle Jamaica Black Castor Oil.

If you've been doing your research, you'd know that almost every natural online raves about Shea Moisture products. And now that includes me. As you know, it's not easy to please me when it comes to hair products as I've found that there's always something not quite right about them. The past few weeks I've been using only Shea Moisture's Coconut and Hibiscus line (that I got from the site and my sister in the US) with my own daily spritz and Fro has been ecstatic. Tender Loving Hair is a South African duo based in Joburg and offer a wide selection of most Shea Moisture ranges online.

3. Mzansi Fro -

Notable products: Nubian Nature, Aunt Jackie's 

Many of you know about the blog Mzansi Fro but did you know they now sell products on their online store? What's nice about this collection is that it's mostly local brands so the prices are very affordable. The store also sells other beauty products and has a monthly subscription beauty service called "The Noir Box". So you can get a treat for your hair and for yourself too.

4. Earthy -

Notable products: Earthy, satin scarves and satin pillowcases.

Another locally made brand, Earthy sticks to the basic essentials for healthy natural hair which is especially useful for the newbie natural or the woman who likes to keep it to just the essentials. It also stocks satin scarves and pillowcases - a must have for all women, natural or not. And they're the pretty ones. Owner and founder Mummy rocks some luscious natural hair herself and gives personal advice to her customers. Give one of her pop up stores a visit, she's great fun. 

5. Obulunji -

Notable products: Jane Carter, Cantu Shea Butter, Eco Styler Gel, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, afro kinky hair extensions.

Possibly one of the widest selections of raved about natural hair products I've seen online, Obulunji boasts not just products but a selection of afro kinky hair pieces including marley hair. I used their marley hair last year and did a style challenge with it, and now I finally have a local place to get my Hello Hydration conditioner for my Daily Spritz!

6. Niche Hair Care -

Notable products: T444Z, Design Essentials

Women all over the world swear by T444Z. And if you've attended any of their events, you'd know why. I can't personally vouch for it but a believable number of women use it exclusively and have recovered their hair lines as well as had a surreal amount of hair growth with it. I believe Niche Hair Care is the only distributor of T444Z in SA as well as of Design Essentials which is raved about by US bloggers and celebrities alike. They have a wide selection of Design Essentials as well as their new Coconut Monoi line.

7. Faithful to Nature -

Notable products: Unrefined shea butter, coconut oil and butter, essential oils.

l just bumped into this site last week! I'm so excited about it because basic goodies such as shea butter seem to be harder and harder to find in Joburg. The last two batches I've gotten were from abroad. Based in Cape Town, Faithful to Nature offers so many products good for not just our hair but skin too and at decent prices. Have a look at their selection to find some sulphate free shampoos, preservative free butters, handcrafted goods and more. Very excited to give them a go.

Happy shopping!

*Please note: I'm not associated in any way with the above sites nor endorse their online services. This is a post intended to provide information.


Friday, 14 August 2015

I love This Perfume: La Vie est Belle Intense by Lancôme

Elegant, soft and glamorous. Those are the best words to describe this feminine  fragrance. I'm not easily impressed by perfumes because I honestly think that many of them smell alike. There are very few ones that make me feel like I'm wearing something unique. So when I received Lancôme's new version of La Vie est Belle a couple of weeks ago, I was intrigued because of my Lancôme bias (one of my all time favourite scents is Miracle). La Vie est Belle Eau de Parfum Intense is a new composition of the already known and loved La Vie est Belle. It's hailed as the third top-selling women's perfume in the world, and now I know why. It has top notes of bergamot, pear and orange which gives it a zesty spark. The two additional accords of hazelnut and tuberose are the main differences between this and the original scent. Overall, it's a more intense version of the original (hence the name) without it being overbearing.

I love the little detail of the organza bow around the bottle neck. It was the first thing I noticed as it's reminiscent of a lady's scarf. I think that the bottle itself is a bit clunky, especially for such a dainty fragrance. I would've preferred a lighter bottle but that's just my preference. I've been wearing it since I tried it a couple of weeks ago and I'm always complimented. Elegant, soft and glamorous. Love!

La Vie est Belle Intense will be available in stores from September at selected Stuttafords, Edgars, Woolworths, Foschini, Red Square and Truworths. R1,300 for 50ml, R1,700 for 75ml.


Monday, 10 August 2015

3 Habits to Adopt After the Big Chop

Newbie natural! This one is especially for you:

Many of us have been there. You just chopped off your hair and are now 100% natural…now what? Firstly, don’t panic! Here's a round up of my top three habits to adopt once you go natural:

1.     Moisturise: Our hair is naturally dry. It’s bendy, curly and coily so the oils our scalp naturally produces doesn’t reach the entire hair shaft. So when our hair is dry, it’s brittle and that's when it's most likely to break and breakage doesn’t allow you to retain length. To help you along, you can try the LOC method. Many naturals (including myself) swear by  it.

Liquid - apply water. It’s the best form of moisture your hair will ever get. A water based leave-in conditioner is also good.
Oil - apply your favourite oils to help seal the water moisture. Natural oils are king; coconut, avocado & olive are good and easily available from your local supermarket.
Cream - apply your cream or butter of choice. It’s usually something heavier than the oil. Shea butter is great to use at this point.

2.     Change: Don’t treat your natural hair the same way you did your relaxed hair - relaxed hair is not the same as natural hair. You need to do a 180. Don’t practice the same techniques you did when relaxed and expect them to work on a completely different texture of hair. From the products to the tools, you need to do research and re-learn how to care for your natural hair. The quicker you’re able to do this, the easier your natural hair journey will be.

3.     Wrap: I always say this. Make prepping and wrapping your hair at night with a silk or satin headscarf or bonnet a habit you have to do just like brushing your teeth. Cotton scarves soak up moisture so they'll dry your hair out. Braid, twist or cornrow your hair to prevent it from matting during the night. If you want to look super cute and don’t want to wear the scarf look to bed, sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase. Your hair will love you tomorrow.

Most importantly, listen to your hair. I know, this sounds a bit...cryptic but it’s most honest thing I can tell you about my hair journey. At first, I didn't get it but it's this simple: if your hair is dry, moisturise it. If it doesn’t react well to a certain product, stop using that product. Before long, you’ll be a master of your new fro ;) 

For more newbie natural blog posts, be sure to check out my Newbie Natural page for tips and advice.

*NB: I originally wrote this post for Beauty Bulletin. Check out my product reviews and other artcles there. It's a great local resource for the beauty junkie ;) 

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