Friday, 13 May 2016

My Baby Shower

In honour of Baby O's impending arrival, my closest family and friends in SA threw me a beautiful baby shower last weekend!

My mom and sister-in-law worked tirelessly for weeks planning the entire day. It was held at my mom-in-law's beautiful house where it was decorated with cute animals and brightly coloured decor - right up my alley. It was a beautiful day, unexpectedly warm and sunny considering it being May already. But thankfully the sun stayed put for the special day, perfectly timed to fall on Mother's Day weekend :)

With my fellow bumpie friend!

As we are keeping Baby O's gender hush hush until the birth, I requested that everything was kept gender neutral. My husband and I are also not into the typical blue for boy and pink for girls thing, especially when it comes to items we could hand down to any future Baby Os. Baby registry shopping is so much harder than I thought! But we managed and received awesome gifts.

With my lovely mom-in-law and sister-in-law

My look? My entire maternity style so far has been 'Aisha, just preggers'. I really wanted to stick to my own style by feeling cute and made up, while showing off my bump. My hair is the B.E. Khulile Bespoke Afro Wig from Bounce Essential Hair in 14". I'll be doing a video with all the details on it soon :) I ordered my dress from Spree, bought my necklace from Lovisa and my shoes are old faves from Woolies.

Thank you so much to all my friends and family, here and abroad who wished us well and showed tremendous love to our growing family. Watch out for my baby shower haul video coming soon, where I'll show off all of the gifts we were spoiled with!


Friday, 29 April 2016

Adjust Your Foundation Shade with The Body Shop

I for one am so, so, SO excited to try this new product from The Body Shop.

How many times have you been on the hunt for your perfect foundation? Growing up in Europe, it was especially hard for me to find the right shade as many brands at the time weren't offering anything even close to my skin colour, let alone the tone of it. We can all be Black, but our undertones vary. I have more of a warm, reddish undertone so many foundations I try look too ashy for me. The opposite is when I find a foundation that on the surface looks great but then I see under particular lighting looks too orange on me. It's a big reason why I haven't really been much of a foundation girl. So earlier this year, when The Body Shop informed me that they're releasing a new product that allows you to adjust the shade of your foundation to suit your skin, I was immediately intrigued.

The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops

The Body Shop's Shade Adjusting Drops are so clever, I have no idea why they weren't thought of before. They're a pair of concentrated liquid foundation bottles that each come with a dropper. You can use them to adjust another Body Shop foundation or if you've got an old faithful, you can mix them with that too. They're compatible with most liquid foundations.

Our skin goes through many changes in life and we're not always the exact same colour. For me and many other women, the seasons affect me; I'm usually lighter in winter. And for some crazy reason, I usually get even lighter when I'm home in Tanzania (no idea how that happens though since the sun there is so gangster). But when I went on my honeymoon, my skin turned about 5 shades darker than my normal - and stayed that way for a good few weeks! So, most of my face products were totally unusable at that time and I had to forgo them. But buying a whole new set of makeup (concealer, blush, BB cream etc.) made no sense to me or my wallet so I just waited it out until my face got back to normal. It happens.

How to use

For lighter skin: If you've bought foundation that's a bit too dark, you can use the off-white lightening concentration to lighten up your shade. The rule of thumb is 1 drop gives you a 1/2 lighter shade. Play around with it to get your perfect colour.

For darker skin: If you find your foundation is too light but the next shade is a tad too dark, use the darkening drops to adjust the shade. The concentration is a mix of black and red pigments to keep the natural depth of darker foundations. The same rule of thumb applies; 1 drop gives you 1/2 darker shade.

My favourite part about these drops is they haven't left us brown girls out. The darkening bottle isn't a medium-ish colour - it's dark enough to create enough shades to give us a variety. You can also use them to contour your face just by creating darker and lighter versions of the same foundation.

I'll be experimenting with these drops over the next few weeks and will report back to you on how I'm doing. With winter around the corner, I'm excited to have these on hand.

You can get The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop stores nationwide for R300.

*This post was brought to you by The Body Shop SA*


Monday, 25 April 2016

Kiddies Korner: A Salon for the Little Ones

I think it's fair to say that many of our hair journeys started quite early on in life. Now as a grown woman, I can recognise that the beginning of my bad hair habits began when I was a child. Unfortunately, many salons don't actually know how to care for natural hair, never mind children's hair. So it was a breath of fresh air finding out that there is a local salon that specifically caters to kids. 

Kiddies Korner is Mbali Mncwabe's brain child and passion. She is a Bcom Economics and Econometrics graduate from the University of Johannesburg. Her graduate job made her realise she didn't like being behind the office computer, as she felt her purpose in life was beyond the corporate world. As a child she always wanted to own a hair salon because her experiences had always been terrible. The older she grew, the more she realised how much she loves kids. Everytime she was in a salon and had to watch little girls or boys cry while they're getting their hair done, it would tear her apart and bring back her own childhood memories. Passionate about kids and hair, Mbali finally decided to follow her dreams by combining the two and opening her own salon after being let go at work. 

Mbali Mncwabe

"I have always wanted to own a hair salon but because they are so saturated in the market I wanted to differentiate my salon from any other salon there is... it's been amazing ever since, meeting different little people with different characters."

Her goals for the salon is to franchise Kiddies Korner for it to be in every province in South Africa as "children deserve their own salon where their needs are met".

Earlier this month, Mbali invited me for a salon visit. With Baby O. still baking, I borrowed a friend's daughter for the day. Introducing Nahla, my friend Nthabi's 2 1/2 year old daughter. 

She was super excited to hear she was getting her first salon experience. With Nahla's hair not completely full yet, the stylist was mindful of what she was working with and Mbali suggested a simple protective stye for Nahla's baby fro. Her hair was already washed at home so the stylist gently combed it with a wide tooth comb (brownie points!) and set her style with wool and some colourful beads. They were careful with pulling her edges and accommodated her when she started getting fidgety.

A snake with an afro! Love it

The cute decor and chairs really captured my heart. It didn't look like a salon that "also does kids' hair". All of the chairs were mini, colourful and eye catching. The washing basins are built in lower. They also have a little colouring and activities table for customers to keep busy while they get their hair done. Kiddies Korner stocks a couple of natural hair friendly lines. There is a relaxer system available but Mbali will only use it if the parents insist, preferring to advise parents to go or stay natural with their children's delicate hair and scalps. So far, she says she hasn't used it once.

They even have some cute tutus and fairy wands for the little girls to feel like princesses. How cute?!

If you have little ones whose baby fros need a little TLC, pay Kiddies Korner a visit. You can find them on the first floor of: 
Northview Centre, Corner Malibongwe drive and Olievenhout Ave, Northriding 
or call them on 081 276 0090.

Thanks Mbali for sharing your space and inspiring story with us. I think it's great that more options are becoming available for us in SA!


Friday, 8 April 2016

Review: Clicks' Afri True Range

If you're a regular Clicks shopper, you may have noticed a new haircare line is available in their aisles.

I was very excited to hear that Clicks was launching their own line of hair products for Black hair. Exclusively at Clicks, the Afri True range promises to be a powerful blend of deeply moisturising Argan, Coconut, Olive and Jojoba oils that has been specifically formulated for African hair for greater growth, resilience, moisture and shine. It has more than 10 different products in the range to cover women with different hair and style choices. As I currently have a protective style installed, I've used some products from this range on my crochet braids for the past couple of weeks. 

Moisturising hair lotion – R29.95

This lotion promises to moisturise the scalp, as well as deep condition dry, damaged hair. It also protects hair from daily chemical processes and styling tools.

My two cents: I didn’t use this on my own hair but rather on my twists, focusing on the ends to help them stay looking fresh. It helped to keep them looking moisturised rather than straw-like dry which I find a lot of synthetic fibres end up looking like. I found the scent was okay, not too overpowering but not scrumptious either (you know how picky I am when it comes to product scents). The consistency was normal for a lotion and was absorbed nicely without leaving a gunky feeling. 

Ingredients: Water, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Steareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance, Diazolidinyl Urea, Acetamide Mea, Dimethiconol Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Hair Keratin, Hyaluronic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Sorbitol, Tocopherol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA.

Conditioning Growth Oil – R49.95

The Conditioning Growth Oil’s ingredient list includes argan and jojoba oils which promise to promote hair growth and reduce itching and flaking.

My two cents: I haven’t been using this long enough to be able to comment on the hair growth promise. It’s a thicker kind of oil, so you don’t need too much to apply a good amount on your hair especially your hair line if that’s your main area of concern. It applies nicely with the nozzle top which makes it easier to reach those tight areas if you have a protective style braided or weaved in, like me. I’m disappointed that mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum) is the most predominant ingredient in the formula and would have liked to see the coconut, jojoba and argan oils higher up in the list as they’re known to be great for a healthy scalp and hair.  

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Retinyl Acetate, Menthol.

Intense Oil Sheen Spray – R29.95

This spray contains Jojoba and Argan Oil to nourish hair, moisturise scalp and give intense shine, body and volume to hair.

My two cents: This worked well on my twists to give them shine. I used this every other day or so to help reduce the look of dullness. The scent was also ok and it didn’t linger on my hair for too long afterwards. And like the oil, a small spritz goes a long way. I would’ve liked to get a spray that helped with itchiness although I think they do have one available (Softening Multi Spray).
Ingredients: Butane, Propane, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance.
Overall: I initially couldn’t wait to use the products as they have all been punted as being enriched with natural oils and ingredients such as Argan, Jojoba, Olive and Coconut oils. However, when I read the full list of ingredients I saw that most of these natural oils weren’t the predominant ones, with mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum) featured towards the top and in some cases is the most predominant ingredient in each list. I have to say that I was quite disappointed with that and that’s the reason why I decided to only use the products for a short time and also mostly on my synthetic crochet braids/twists. Honestly, I would hesitate to use them on my own natural hair as I prefer to avoid heavy use of mineral oil and other ingredients the line contains (eg. Parabens). That’s me, and I know I’m a bit more particular with my product use and ingredient search than the average woman.

I think the price point for each of these products is great. It’s affordable, and the fact that it’s made by Clicks makes it easily accessible to women across the country. You can find Afri True products at your nearest Clicks store.

*This post was sponsored by Afri True.

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