In search of the perfect nude/natural lipstick- Kleancolor/Laval/Nicka K


It is often very difficult to get a nude/natural lipcolour, if you’re black/dark skinned. The range of colours out there aren’t great and at a lower price point nigh impossible. Too beige, too pink ( you end up looking like you’ve dipped your lips in flour) and for me, someone with dark pigmented lips, plain odd looking. I searched high and low and found my holy grail! Nicka K lipstick in Almond. Looked nice and natural,  brightened me up and low and behold, it was discontinued. *can we please have a moment of silence?*

So i’ve been looking high and low and though i haven’t found a exact replica i have managed to mix and match the below swatches to some degree of success. For anyone looking for a nice nude, check it out

 

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From Left to right- Kleancolor Cocoa malt, Kleancolor Brown, Laval  Voodoo, Kleancolor Shimmer Brown and Nicka K Almond

Kleenex facial cloths


“softer than cotton wool pads”

“cleanses skin better than cotton wool”

I spied, these facial cloths in asda while shopping and bought these along with their oil blotting sheets. I use a modified version of oil cleansing TO cleanse (i don’t use a facial wash cloth to remove the oil, i use cotton wool) so i decided to pick these up.

They do work much better than cotton wool. They cleanse more of the skin in a shorter time. They remove makeup and dirt excellently. They are also much softer on the skin.

The only problem is their weird composition. Water seems to “bounce” off them, also once you clean one side of the skin with the cloth the dirt appears on both sides, so you’re Not sure if you’ve already used it. This creates more waste since you use more cloth. Once you get the hang of it, its OK.

I really like these and will continue to use these. I think that they are great for removing makeup, with a cream/oil cleansers and also nail polish removing. I think Kleenex have produced a really good product and i hope its not discontinued. If i can recall correctly they are £1.80

A bit grubby soz

Guilty Pleasure:Spell Magazine

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Spell magazine is a mini magazine that is available in Pride magazine and black beauty and hair magazine. It’s only a few pages long. Its published by Feme Ltd- the makers of hair extensions/wigs like sensationnel. So it is in essence a giant advertisement? Yes, yes it is. But Oh they do so, so well.
Yes it is covered in their hair brands but they give good makeup advice, glossy high res quality photographs and have some good articles and industry insight.
It may just be one bright and colourful advert, but so are all the major black beauty publications in the UK and at least it doesn’t look dated and is actually relevant.
It’s some bubblegum pop fluffy read, and I love it.

You can read issues here and for free
http://www.spellmagazine.com/

What can I say I’m a sucker for pictures and I like seeing images of women of colour.

Sleek Blush in Suede. Nude collection, on Dark skin

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I really wanted to like this blush. I really wanted to. I adore Sleek Avoir La Peche Collection Pan Tao Blush and I had seen some pictures of Suede on the interweb and I was excited. I love browns, neutrals whatever you want to call them. This collection would be for me!
But Alas ’twas not to be.
Umm yeah, it’s not nude really for darker skinned folk. Its more a light pink mauve. Oh and kind of…ashy.
I really actually packed a lot on my brush several times on the swatch on my arm. It just does not show up well on my skin.

This is the second time I’ve been duped by sleek blushers!!!! ( Side eyes sunset)Well it was my fault, I swatched it in superdrug and valiantly thought it would magically change colours at home ( because y’know the store lights distort colours)
Basically if you’re my complexion or darker than me it’ll leave you a chalky mess IMO. It just won’t show up. I might try it over/under bronzer , and its ok as an eyeshadow. Oh well you win some you lose some.


( do you see how i thought i was going to get something BROWN. Sleek Y U lie to me?)
I took a look and a swatch of the Nude palette. The first six shades ( the lighter side)would take an act of god to show up on my skin or look in any way shape or form attractive. However the latter 6 shades had two or 3 nice shadows, there was a nice dark gold number that caught my eye. However i just think its wasteful to buy a palette and then not use half. So i bought a dress instead.

SO yeah all in all Sleek’s nude collection looks really nice. But NOT IF YOU’RE BLACKkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Its ok Girl, maybe they’ll be something for us in the next collection)

Smooth ‘N Shine Therapy Silk fusion sixty second critical repair review


Oh wow that name is long.

Anyway its been ages! Where have I been??? Worst blogger ever.

Anyway friends, romans, countrymen lend me your ears.  I come bearing the gift of  conditioner.

Now if you head over to the natural haven ( cry’s tears of joy for how good the blog is), look at the post on coconut oil.

http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/2009/04/coconut-oil-knowledge-from-our.html

1. Coconut oil penetrates into the cortex (Journal of Cosmetic Science pg 169-184,2001).Why should you care? This oil can help condition, moisturise and strengthen your hair!

2. Coconut oil reduces damage to hair cuticle during combing especially wet combing that many naturals (not me) are fond of (Journal of Cosmetic Science pg 327-339,1999).

3. Coconut oil reduces swelling of the hair shaft when the hair is immersed into water, protecting the hair from hygral fatigue. (Journal of Cosmetic Science pg 169-184,2001)

Say what now?????

So since then I’ve been trying to use coconut oil in my hair prior to washing. The trouble with me is that i am a messy person. The oil gets everywhere running down my neck, just everywhere. Again my hair is very dry so when i add oil onto already dry hair it just feels horrid.

So I’ve been incorporating conditioners with coconut oil in them.  I have found one i love.  Coconut oil is the second ingredient. Yay!  Also no silicone’s.  This can be used as a regular conditioner or a deep conditioner since its so thick. The instructions say to leave on for 1 minutes but i do usually leave it on for longer.

It makes my hair feel so soft. I am a sulfate shampoo lover ( boo!hiss!) so obviously my hair feels drier after washing and this just restores softness totally. It’s thick it smells nice and makes my hair more manageable.

There is one slight very slight downside. Glitter. No not the Opus of Mariah Carey’s career, but glitter particles. I don’t know if those who formulated the product were 10 year olds high on sherbet dip after a frenzy at claire’s  accessories  or Kesha, but this deep conditioner for some bizarre reason contains little pieces of Glitter.

The good news is they do wash out totally. ( well i found one staring back out at me when i looked in the mirror)

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyquaternium-32, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Glycerin, Pearl Powder, Silk Amino Acids, Panthenol, Biotin, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Acrylates Copolymer, Ethylene/VA Copolymer, Maris Sal (Sea Salt), Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfum (Fragrance), CI 15985 (Yellow 6).

So it contains no silicone’s, but it does have mineral oil.

What they say:

Indulge your hair with silk proteins and pearl extracts that will condition, reconstruct and transform damaged hair into manageable, healthy and lustrous tresses. The luxury of silk and pearl extracts will leave hair glistening with luminosity, just like perfect pearls.

This conditioning treatment will moisturize, repair, and protect damaged hair. This formula is light enough to use daily and moisturizing enough to use as a weekly treatment.

Purchased for £3.99 for 12m.

Also comes in sachets.

Boots 17 Photo flawless Lashes mascara


Since my beloved Wet and Wild mega  wink dried up and is now discontinued, i’ve been looking for a mascara alternative.

Like looking for life’s one true love finding a good mascara is difficult. The amount out there is overwhelming and it is a vital makeup tool, even those that proudly proclaim they don’t wear makeup have a mascara somewhere.

Anyway i had seen good reviews for this mascara ( ok a grand total of 2) and i thought hey this will work for me and its affordable!

Well there was a catch, it does and it also doesn’t.

I was so upset when i first used it. I found the brush practically submerged in gunk, it was hard to use, clumpy, the brush was too big and mascara got all over my eyelids.

As time went on i had to modifiy the way i used it. Its not something i can just brush on quickly, i have to look in the mirror downwards, make sure to go slow and steady and try not to come out with black stuff all over my eyes.

It comes in several different “pearlescent colours” as the brochure claims, i bought black/green- it does nothing to brighten my eyes as it claims too. The black/gold is for brown eyes but it wasn’t in stock at the time.

It does lengthen my lashes and makes them look good, however it is far too cumbersome for me and when this finishes i will not be repurchasing.

Queen Helene Smoothing Conditioner with cocoa Butter

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Generally I don’t really like Queen Helene products of any kind. I find them to be far too watery and thin for my liking and generally ineffective. But for some reason my eye was drawn to this.

What the blurb says:

This one-of-a-kind conditioner drenches your hair with the rich, replenishing moisture of cocoa butter and the natural, nurturing benefits of shea butter.

( aww bless, feels almost like you’re in the womb again)

Tames frizz and makes it easy to blow dry curly, dry or coarse hair to a smooth, sleek style. Helps soften hair texture and protect against dryness and the effects of sun, wind and humidity. Leaves hair easy to comb and beautifully manageable with a dazzling, healthy shine. Paraben free. Safe for color-treated hair:

Ingredients:Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Caster oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao( Cocoa) Seeed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii( Shea butter), Stearalkonium Chloride, Polyquatermine-39, Tocopheryl Acetate(Vit. E), Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium sorbate, sodium Benzoate, Parfum.

It’s an ok conditioner, it’s not life changing but its a cone free, paraben free cheap conditioner that does its job.  After washing i felt my hair did feel slightly softer but it was nothing dramatic.

It does smell like shampoo (?) but it’s not a horrible smell but it is quite powerful. It’s a little thin and I’m natural with type 4 hair and i do prefer thicker however it’s not too runny or anything. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and  I think I will continue to do so.

One for the “It’s ok files”.

Learn your lines


This is a review of Laval Dip Eyeliner  in Black.

My favourite liquid liner. It is also not very easy to get. I have to use Ebay to find it.

Now Laval are a company based in Warrington, that are export only. However you can find laval products on discount websites, eBay and market stalls. I bought my first liner from a market stall and it lasted a good while and when i went back there were no more! Laval also have another liquid liner, but although the formulation and staying power is the same, the brush is different.

The laval dip eyeliner has more of a nib tip like a pen that gives me more control, whereas the other liquid eyeliner ( that comes in a cylinder form) is more of a teeny brush.

I love this liner because it is very black.  It’s often hard to get a black liner that is really black.  It does not dry shiny ( like some other brands *cough Doris michaels*) and it doesn’t flake or get that weird crackling effect that can often happen with cheap liners. Oh and its also very cheap. Its most valued aspect however is that it lasts. It has lasted me until the next day( yes i didn’t wash my face before going to bed and yes I’m aware I will be doomed because of this) with out a smudge. I don’t know whats in it but it won’t budge. surprisingly it’s not difficult to remove.

Its con is, that it’s not available on the high street but if you poke around Ebay long enough you can find it. It’s usually under £3 and for that price its fantastic.

UK Afro hair guides on the Web. A mini review

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Elle UK’s expert guide to Afro hair

http://www.elleuk.com/beauty/hair/hair-features/%28section%29/the-expert-guide-to-afro-hair

We have a picture of the fab Jordan Dunn to guide us through our magical journey. It starts off like this. Badly

If you’re blessed with afro hair, you’ll know that it varies as much as Caucasian locks. “Afro-Caribbean hair is lightest in texture; Brazilian hair is drier and denser; next Arabic hair is extremely thick, course and curly, and ultimately, African hair is the biggest – the most thick and curly” explains Errol Douglas, celebrity hairstylist and three times winner of the Best Afro Hairdresser of the Year award

I don’t even know where to start with Mr Douglas’s frankly bizarre assertions, and so as not to turn this into a gigantic race/ethnicity/anthropological rant, i’ll just say” No sweetie. Just no” *Pats Mr Douglas on the head, leans back in rocking chair and hums swing low, sweet chariot to self*

Thank goodness it gets better. Trust me.

Subrina Kidd, Artistic Director and Afro Specialist at Toni & Guy says “most types of afro hair have a tendency to be more vulnerable, dry and porous than Caucasian types”.
The key to the perfect afro is to add moisture and lock it in to your hair

Go Ms Kidd! Dazzle them with science!!!!!!!

We are then told to buy some expensive shampoo’s and conditioners( hey, i’m sure the editor of Elle has to eat), no suprise there. But at least they throw in some Organic Root Stimulator for us po’ folks.

Uncle Errol then again gives us some bizarre advice on how to shampoo our locks( I want whatever Uncle Errol’s having) but then does make sure to advice us to concentrate our conditioner on the ends of our hair.

Oh what a suprise conditioner washing is mentioned, of course its not called that, but nonetheless conditioner washing it is. Then on to leave ins.

We move on to Relaxed hair focus and here good advice to stretch your relaxers are given( 8-10 weeks). We are of course told that :

Relaxing is great; it creates styling versatility” says Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist.

Wait. Halt. Who said that? Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist Come again who?  Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist

Man i really want my hair to look as luxurious and healthy as rihanna’s. Yes sirree, I’ll be taking that right on board.

Moving on to weekly deep conditioning. Yayyy! Expensive products. Boo!

We move on to the benefits of oil. Good stuff. Uncle Errol tells about Mango oil. I’ve never heard of Mango oil, but i’ll be looking it up( I’m not actually being sarcastic)

We are advised to air dry our hair, but due to time constraints/preference a list of blowdriers/blow dry technology is given. Oh and always use heat protectant. A very good tip. Very.

Serums and shine sprays, sun protection then hair tools( this page is quite good.)

What uncle Errol says about dry hair shampoo on afro hair.

it sits on afro hair, “if you spray it in, it hits afro hair which is oilier and goes flaky”, according to Errol Douglas. “I use talcum powder on the hair to suck up excess product between washes. Give your hair a good rub with the talc and it goes translucent, then brush it out” says Errol.
His other trick is greaseproof paper, which you can use like blotting paper on the hair to take out any oily deposits. Genius!

I never knew that. Thanks Uncle Errol!

All in all, for a mainstream publication not aimed particularly at those who posess Afro hair i think they have done quite a good beginners guide. The only faults i could point out is that the products are expensive.  In most cities there are afro hair shops/BSS’s, that is where the majority of women buy their products and so a  few more of these type of  products would have been more sensible, or even the various UK afro hair internet entrepreneurs like Anita Grant, Akuawood and crown natural products  et al. But i do understand that magazines are run on advertising money so it cannot be.

Also it didn’t go into the science aspect of hair, some of the comments by “experts” were  totally wrong and myths weren’t addressed  however i’m not going to nitpick all day. I give it a solid  7/10 as a beginners guide, also i’m very glad that something that addresses the needs of  afro hair is in a popular mainstream magazine( we usually don’t get anything)

Uncle Errol