Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How I Prep My Skin & Hair for Winter

Winter's not only around the corner, it's knocking on our doors. So when this time of year comes around, I (like many clothes-loving women) put away my light, colourful summer clothes and bring the heavy, chunky winter clothing out of storage and into my main closet. It's something I've been doing for years but almost on a subconscious level; I swap my main beauty products too.

Winter wreaks havoc on our hair (hence the increased presence of braids and weaves) and our skin so for many of us, we need to edit our beauty habits to accommodate the dryer, colder weather. Here are my key beauty swaps to help my hair and skin be winter-ready:

In general, the key for me is to swap lighter items for heavier ones, just like I do for clothes. 

Shower: In the summer, I like using the lighter variants of Nivea's shower gels. But in winter I find my skin needs some more help to combat dryness so I switch it to one that has a cream or oil added to it.

Skin: I love Nivea's Irresistibly Smooth Shea Butter lotion for dry skin but it doesn't do much for my skin, especially on my feet in winter. So I swap it for a heavier butter rather than lotion. I've been experimenting with different ones, trying to find the perfect one that make my feet happy (they get ridiculously dry in Jozi). Right now I'm trying Palmer's Shea Butter Body Butter and I love everything about it except the scent. It's not as sweet as I thought it'd be and kinda reminds me of old school hair food lol.

Hair: Apart from protective styling, the main change my hair goes through in winter is less shampooing and more co-washing. So instead of washing every week or every other week with shampoo, I'll wash it with conditioner and shampoo it once a month. I've recently edited my routine since last winter so I'm not sure yet how often Fro would be shampooed. I'll update you on that later. I love Mizani's Curl Cleanser but I've run out of it so the next best thing for me is Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. Sometimes I add a little oil to the conditioner for an extra boost.

Face: As you know, I love Johnson's products for my face. So when winter hits, I still use them and swap my normal daily lotion to their Hydrating Day Cream. It's heavier in texture but doesn't leave my face feeling greasy or looking oil. It fends off the dry patches that appear on my skin if I continue to use the summer moisturiser.

Hands: It's not a swap necessarily but in the middle photo, I've included my current hand lotion I got from Clicks. The skin on hands is especially sensitive and gets dry as we wash them more often. So I make sure to carry a bag friendly lotion with me to top up after washing my hands to avoid the dreaded dry knuckle look.

What are your key winter beauty products?


Friday, 22 May 2015

Budget Beauty Buys: The 2015 L'Oréal Sale is On!

Well, it's here again: the L'Oréal sale is happening today and tomorrow!

Ladies, it's coming at the perfect time. It's almost end of the month and payday is around the corner so it's a great time to stock up on goodies. You all know how much I love my L'Oréal products. And the reason why I was converted was because of the first sale I went to a few years back. It's where I met my lippie love called Infallible Forever Fuschia and a bag load of other goodies I still use now. It's all real deal L'Oréal and L'Oréal owned companies' products (Maybelline, Garnier, Dark and Lovely) at a fraction of the retail price. What's great about this sale is you can try quality products without breaking the bank.

How it works: arrive, receive a big bin bag and...SHOP! Maybelline Mascaras as low as R20, Color Show nail polish R10, lippies for R30. The list goes on. Make sure to bring your debit or credit card as no cash is accepted. I was quite civilised this year compared to the others, here is my haul:

The only issue I have with the sale? Getting hooked onto the products then having to pay full price when I run out. But I guess it's better to know you're spending that money on something worthy right? 

The sale is happening at the L'Oréal offices in Woodmead, Johannesburg:

The Woodlands Office Park, 
Cnr Woodlands and Kelvin Drive, Woodmead

Friday May 22nd: 9 am -7 pm  & 
Saturday May 23rd: 9 am - 3pm

You're welcome �� 


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

My Current Fro & I: Products

Many factors contribute to you changing up your routine or product choices. It could be hair growth - as your hair grows into different length stages, it needs change. It could be time - the amount of time your have or want to spend on your hair can effect what you do to it and how you style it. It could be financial - if you can afford to get it maintained at the salon or the prices of the products you buy. Relocation, new responsibilities, so many things. For me, I think it's been a mix of most of the above really. The biggest being hair growth. As my hair's grown, it's reacted differently to some products. A little while ago I shared what I currently do to my hair. So this is an update on the products that I use on a regular basis as I've edited it over the years. For my actual routine, click here.

Well in short, I've gone back to basics and my old faithfuls. There was a point when I became a product junkie and was just keen on trying everything out there that is targeted to natural haired women. One of the first things I did when going natural is I made my own hair spritz and butter. Mainly because I couldn't at that time find anything that I believe worked on my hair. Since then until now, I've tried a myriad of different products. Some I've added some to my mix, and others I wouldn't let touch my hair again. I even substituted my daily spritz for other leave-in conditioners, or mists that promise moisture. Yet after using these products for a few days, my hair would cry for the spritz and I'd get back to using it. And on it went with the same back and forth happening with my hair butter, until last year. It hit me that at the moment my hair seems to be happy with certain things so why not stick to them? Not to say I'm not ever going to try new products, I still experiment, but I know now that the following are what my hair loves for sure.

Left to right: Vatika Intensive Nourishment Deep Conditioner, 
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, 
ORS Lock & Twist Gel, Homemade Butter, Homemade Daily Spritz

What I Use:
  • I wash my hair every two weeks - alternating with Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and with conditioner as a co-wash. At the moment, I'm not married to a particular conditioner but I do love Mizani's Curl Cleanser and can also vouch for Tresemme Naturals Conditioner and Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner.
  • I deep condition with Vatika's Intensive Nourishment Conditioner. I. LOVE. THIS. The scent is quite strong which is unlike me but I forgive it because the slip is amazing and it almost detangles my hair for me. Detangling with my fingers or wide tooth comb is made much easier with this on.
  • I use the ORS Lock & Twist Gel to help lay my hair down for slicker styles. It's the best gel I've used because it doesn't flake and it has a nice moisturising feel to it. A little goes a long way.
  • I spritz my hair twice daily with my Homemade Daily Spritz - once in the morning before I take down my twists/pigtails or braids. I make sure the spritz is not longer wet before I take down as this reduces shrinkage. I spray again in the evening before I set my hair for bed, or depending on the style I want I prep my hair dry then spritz.
  • I use my Homemade Butter on my hair to seal moisture after I've washed, deep conditioned etc. I also use it every other day on my scalp too or whenever I feel my hair needs to retain moisture during the week. I use it on my edges to soften them if I'm taking a break from using gel.
Where to Get Them:
  • Shea Moisture products are available in SA from Tender Loving Hair. The prices are a bit steep so alternatives I can recommend is ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo and Replenishing Conditioner.
  • Vatika products are available from Indian beauty stores. In Tanzania, I get them from Shopper's Plaza.
  • ORS Lock & Twist Gel is to mystery for me. I've been trying to get a hold of them in SA but they've disappeared from the shelves. So I get my stash from Tanzania when family or friends come or when I go to visit. My alternative for when mine runs out is Isoplus Styling Gel you can get from Clicks.
  • Homemade Butter recipe can be found here. Play around with the amounts you put in until you have a consistency you and your hair likes. You can get the shea butter for this from Windrose
  • Homemade Daily Spritz recipe can be found here. Some ladies have said it's too oily for them or their hair doesn't like glycerin etc. Again, play around with the ratios of ingredients until you find something you and your hair like. My fro and yours will not like the exact same things so it's up to you to experiment and find a happy medium. I get all of my ingredients for this spritz from Dischem.

It's a bit unfortunate that some of the above products aren't easily available in SA. That's why I've listed some alternatives that I also like to use when my stash is low or finished. I'm still keen on having a completely South African line up in my products. So, watch this space for my next update ;)


Monday, 18 May 2015

Watch the Garnier #BeSensational Makeover Winners!

The Garnier #BeSensational makeovers are here!

In March, two lucky My Fro & I followers won the #BeSensational makeover with Garnier. Now you get to see their before and afters and win something for yourself too. I'm soooo excited to see how Tlotlego and Loyiso (along with their gorgeous fros) were pampered and treated to a new look, just in time for winter. Catch the behind the scenes on SABC3's Expresso Morning Show every Tuesday morning between 6.00 - 8.30am for all of the winners. Make sure to especially look out for the fros in the mix:

  • Tune in on Tuesday 19th May to watch Ttotlego's fab makeover.
  • Tune in on Tuesday 23rd June for Loyiso's gorge transformation.
You could also WIN a hamper of Garnier goodies to spoil yourself. Simply click here for the details :)


Thursday, 14 May 2015

#todaysfro Tutorial: The Back Tuck

Live on MyFroandITV:

Voted by you, styled by me, April's winning style is a smart and office-friendly style to wear. Wear it with a parting down the middle - or not, accessory - or not. It's a fast way to chic.

You've voted, now watch and rock your version!

Thank you to all of the ladies who shared their April Fluff in Front style versions with me. If you'd like a chance to be featured on my Instagram or Facebook page, tag me @aishaandlife and #todaysfro in your version of the Back Tuck.


Monday, 11 May 2015

Fro & I Don't Fight No Mo'

I believe Fro and I have called a truce.

Looking back, it's actually been awhile since I fought with my hair. I wanted to wait to see if it was a phase before letting you know. My hair journey hasn't been smooth sailing and I've documented that with you over the years. But at this point, I can honestly say that I love my hair. Sometimes, when I have a protective style in, I look over my old photos and the past couple of times I've done this, I'd get hair envy...of my own hair. Yes, I just said that. Is it narcissistic? Ummm, I guess so. But I don't care. There are many people out there who don't love my hair, my hair type or discouraged me to go natural before I big chopped, and even after I did. So for me to love my hair is a huge achievement and I'm proud to share that love with you.

The first couple of years after fully being natural I went through days where I'd curse my hair in the mornings. Sometimes every morning especially when I tried to emulate a style I saw the other day and Fro says a big fat NO. I'd joke about it afterwards but it was incredibly frustrating because in my mind I was doing everything right and didn’t understand why my hair wasn’t on board. I don't know when it happened exactly but these days Fro and I are getting on swimmingly. 

Here are some 'tricks' I believe help me avoid the morning battles...

  • I prep my hair every night. I know my hair hates being left alone to its own devices and without TLC the night before. So if I don't spritz it then twist or braid it the night before, I wake up knowing there's a fight on my hands for me. Fro being dry, matted and knotted equals a fight. So I don’t play those games. And once in a blue moon I do but at least I know the next morning that Fro’s not going to be happy so I’m prepared for it. I take it as seriously as going to bed with make up on – no no.
  • I’m a recovering product junkie. For a long time, I was on the search for the perfect set of products only to recently acknowledge that there is no such thing but I do have old faithfuls that Fro loves and has loved since the beginning. So I listen to my hair much quicker these days. I can tell almost straight away if a product doesn’t get on with Fro and I leave it. I’m still open to trying new products, because you never know. And as I said, there’s no “perfect” product. But my experimenting has definitely slowed down compared to the first couple of years.
  • I let Fro do its thing. These days it takes me less time to do my hair than it does my makeup. I used to style my hair trying to copy a style I saw somewhere online of a woman with longer/curlier/insert any other adjective here hair than mine. But in the morning my hair's stubborn as hell and won't budge or do that thing her hair did in the video. So now, I let my hair's state dictate the style I end up rocking. I usually have have an idea of what I'd like but it’ll only be confirmed once I undo my twists or braids or pigtails. I unravel, play with it and do something that'll work for it. And whatever that is I accept and I work with it. Many people don’t know how many ‘bad hair days’ I could’ve had and accidental styles I create.
I love Fro because it's the most me than any of the hairstyles I rock. Every time I change my hair and have extensions installed, I always have someone come up to me and say "this suits you so much!" "I love this style on you, you should always wear it" and I smile and say thank you but deep down I know that it's temporary and my beloved Fro will bounce out of protection eventually and we'll be reunited. There's just nothing more amazing than feeling my own hair. I don't play with my weaves or braids but when Fro's out it's all I do (um, bad habit I know but I can't help it). And four years on, it continues to surprise me.

So I'm saying it, to the world and all. I. LOVE. MY. HAIR.
I hope you love yours too! 


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Right Now I'm Lovin': Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils

Winter is round the corner and many of us like to wear darker colours in both clothing and makeup to match the cold weather. So I wanted to share with you some summer colours before you think you should put them away. But if you're a color lover like me, we can also wear them all year round.

I stumbled on Maybelline's Color Drama Intense Velvet pencils when I was on the search for the perfect orange lippie. After trying so many different swatches (and consequently leaving Dischem looking like a kid in an art store) I finally found it. Maybelline's Color Drama pencil in Fab Orange is so far my favourite orange lippie. I loved it so much I went back the next week to buy other shades. I got myself psyched because when looking online for them, they had so many other gorge looking colours. Unfortunately I haven't found such an extensive range in Jozi. So my collection consists of: Red Essential, Fuschia Desire and Fab Orange.

What I love:
  • They're pencils so you can wear them a variety of ways : as a lip liner, as a full on lipstick and even as blush (yes, blush, I encourage you to be resourceful like that). They're so versatile, they were the main stars of my honeymoon beauty bag contents.
  • They're highly pigmented so they're true to their colour. I've found that many lippies look one colour then when you finally put it on, the colour fades. These are as pink, orange and red as you see them. To get bolder colour, I layer my applications.
  • They're matte finish but don't go on chalky. I have an issue with many matte lippies because my lips are naturally dry and most dry them out further and aren't smooth to apply.
  • So my only gripe with them is the colour options. I've only seen the above and 3 other shades in store that are a bit too pale for my skin tone. I'd love to try their Berry Much, In with Coral and Keep it Classy. I think they'll all look fab.

I hope they'll extend their colour options in SA soon 'cos they've fast become a staple of mine.

I got my pencils from Dischem for approx. R79 each.

Have you tried these goodies?

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