Friday, 14 April 2017

Dear confused white friends

So, a huge number of people have been asking me why I cut my hair, and I've never known how to answer that question in more than a handful of words. So when people who haven't seen me in a while ask me, I will be directing you here, to this blog post.

For those that don't know, my hair has been permed since the age of about... I want to say 11? and that's a very common practice for girls with Afro-Caribbean hair. Some start doing it from as young as 5. The perm is applied, which chemically makes the hair straight. The perm is a very harsh and damaging process, and it has to be applied to the roots every 2-4 months to keep hair straight.

In black culture, perming hair has been done for many, many years. Some people will say they do it to make their hair more 'manageable' or because it gives them more styling options. I came to realize myself, that I was doing it to conform to a white, westernized standard of beauty, and I was sick of it.

I was sick of feeling that feminine beauty has to be long hair, straight hair, it doesn't! Beauty is many things, and I wanted to challenge those norms. I also wanted to stop damaging my hair so much with the constant perming and straightening and curling. I now use no heat, and my hair is in much better condition because of it.

There's something in the black hair community called 'Going natural' which essentially means you cut off your chemically straightened ends and let your natural hair grow through, people also refer to it as 'the big chop'. I did something called 'transitioning' which is where you allow your Afro roots to grow through for a couple months, and then you cut off the straight ends and you're left with a 'TWA' or Tiny Winy Afro - that's what I did, I transitioned.

Some girls transition for years, so their roots are as long as possible before they cut off their straightened ends. For me, that would just be delaying the inevitable, so I transitioned for 6 months.

Why didn't I big chop? because I was genuinely terrified of what people would think, In our society short hair, and short natural black hair at that, is not deemed pretty, not by a lot of people. I want little black girls to see me walking down the street and know that her hair is beautiful just the way it is. Now that I've had my TWA for a while now, I can honestly say that to the people who don't like my hair? Fuck the fuck off, I don't care. Its not your hair, its not your life, don't concern yourself with how I look and how it doesn't conform to your standard of beauty.

Here's a more concise list of why I went natural:

  • The damage that perms and hair straighteners inflict
  • To show people that natural black hair is beautiful
  • So that black girls see themselves reflected in society
  • Because I fucking wanted to

There you have it, I've never been asked a question more in my life. I hope this helps to clarify things for you all. Natural hair blog posts coming soon, peace out xoxo

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Beauty Review

Its been a while since I hit you guys with a beauty review. I've been out of the bloggersphere for a while but 2017 will be the year I get my shit together and be more consistent, promise! Without further ado, here at the beauty bits I've been trying out.

I've been drooling over pictures of this foundation overseas, and when I finally saw it in Boots in the UK I bought it instantly. The consistency of this foundation is nothing like the original Fit Me foundation (which I hated, made me oily) this is more fluid, and a little goes a long way. Blends like a dream, it doesn't keep me matte all day, but it takes a good few hours (if I've set my foundation with powder) to see shine, which in my books, is pretty decent.

I bought myself the whole Dr Organics rose skincare set a while back because it was on offer in Holland and Barretts. Spoiler alert: its all pretty fantastic.The night cream is thick, nourishing and plumps the skin up nicely. For something so affordable, this really performs in terms of hydration. Its packed with softening oils like jojoba, geranium and of course, Rose oil, as well as Rose extract. It smells amazing. There's a significant amount of fragrance, so if that breaks you out or your skins sensitive, I would avoid.

I haven't tried any Lush skincare in a long time, but when my friend told me this is great for breakouts I had to give it a try (my face is erupting at the moment!)  I've never used something that gave me such immediate results. This is a super potent cleanser, it looks a lot like black mud, which you have to scoop out and mix into a paste with water. Then you apply and wash off. Its exfoliating and you can literally feel the charcoal sucking the gunk from your pores. I wouldn't recommend using this more than twice a week as over exfoliation is counterproductive.

I can't believe I haven't tried this sooner, Sali Hughes has been raving about it for years and shes basically like my skincare god. This has a good level of hyaluronic acid to help flood life back into the skin, amazing on its own but even more effective when you spritz the face with a mist (or just splash your face with water) in-between steps of your routine. I will be repurchasing this forever, I can tell.

This isn't what I thought it would be, but I still like it. This is a very thin texture, and almost acts like a corrector, fantastic under concealer, but is it a good concealer in itself? maybe for people with no dark circles whatsoever... for me, its not enough coverage by itself, but for no make-up days it would suffice.

I'm in two minds about this mascara. On the one hand, I love it because it gives a mass amount of volume from the fibers in the formula, but on the other hand, it tends to clump if you're not careful and its a bit of a pain to get off. A balm cleanser/oil/eye make-up remover is definitely needed. You can get away with using a micellar water, but it will take you a while.

I've always loved the demi wispies, they're a beauty classic, but up until now I didn't know you could buy multi packs of them at Superdrug. These make you look like you have the most natural, fluttery lashes. Lightweight, a thin band and blends very well with your own lashes.

In my attempt to try everything at the NYX counter, I decided to delve into their brow section. This is a great brow pencil, its super fine, which allows you to make brow like strokes to create a natural look. It doesn't last as long as the Soap and glory archery pencil, but NYX have a wider colour selection.

I've been using this powder for a few months now and its not perfect (if you use a lot it can leave a very slight white cast - which won't be a problem for lighter skin tones) but it keeps me matte for so long that I don't care. I pack this onto the face and press it in with a large, dense kabuki brush. I then leave it for ten minutes or longer, and spray my face with a setting spray to take away the slight white cast. Its so affordable and you get an insane amount of product. Available on Amazon.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

My goals for 2017

I never understood the point in New Years resolutions before now, because I never thought I would be the kind of person who could lose weight/quit smoking/drink less etc, but I sort of accidentally did all three of those things in 2016.

This has spurred me onto wanting to achieve more things, so here are my personal goals for 2017:

Lose approximately 6 stone

Publish my novel

Move out again

Read 40 books

Go on holiday somewhere sunny

Grow my natural hair out

Meditate and do more yoga

Look at people when I'm taking to them

The last one might seem a little strange, but I've noticed that when I meet new people I don't really look at them. This makes it difficult for me to remember people after I've met them because obviously, I don't properly know what they look like. I think its an anxiety related issue, I'm working on it, but its something I've always done, I just never noticed it about myself until recently.

I encourage you to write down your goals, put in your phone, write them on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge, have some kind of physical list around that you can look at for daily reminders. Tell people about your goals too, talking about them with other people makes it feel more real and important.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

My Fitness Journey

I'm writing this straight from brain to keyboard because I can't be bothered to edit, sorry in advance if this a nonsensical mess xoxo

When I was younger, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. In Primary school I was one of the few kids to go up at lunch time - not just for seconds, but for thirds. From the age I was old enough to get pocket money, I would go down to the corner shop and buy as much chocolate as I could afford, come home, and eat all the chocolate bars one after the other. At the time I didn't think it was a big deal, I hadn't even heard of the word 'Binge Eating'. While my sisters ate normal portions, I would have double at dinner time. I used to believe that I always had to finish my plate, no matter how full I was. This caused my stomach to expand bigger and bigger, meaning it took more food to make me feel satisfied. I would snack on 1,000 calorie sandwiches (homemade - 1/3 block of cheese, 2 slices of ham, 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise) and sometimes think that wasn't enough so add a packet of crisps to that as well. Pudding was not a treat, it was a daily occurrence.

I didn't know anything about health. As I got older, I gained more and more weight (about a stone a year) I finally started to admit to my bad habits. I became one of the typical 'dieters' who would eat semi-healthy for a day or two, feel really proud, and then just fall back into bad eating. All the while I was doing no exercise, and P.E. lessons were a nightmare at school, because I found everything so much harder than the others, which wasn't surprising given I was carrying an extra seven stone more than them.

Throughout University I stopped gaining weight, but I didn't lose any either. I worked hard to eat all the fruits and vegetables I needed, but I was still eating junk, drinking a lot, and did no exercise. When I got my first full time job I started to lose weight, not because I was eating any differently, but just from doing physical activity. People started commenting"Wow, you've lost weight, how are you doing it?" and I never knew how to respond, because I wasn't trying. I joined a gym and went one to two times a week, still eating junk, I managed to lose more weight.

Once I'd lost a stone, I stopped losing weight again. Excited by the progress I'd made, I looked into nutrition, when I learned the amount of calories/fats/sugars in some of my favourite foods I was shocked, and although I kept eating them, I started eating them less, and less. The thing that really helped was getting interested in the nutrition of healthy foods, like Flax seed, Matcha powder, Kale, Spinach, Fruits, nuts, seeds etc. I learned healthy fats for unhealthy fats, the amount of protein I should have for my weight, how many carbs, the benefits of cooking your own meals vs eating processed, ready prepared food. I knew about health, so now I had no excuse.

I have a ways to go until I reach my ideal weight for my height, but I know for the first time that I will get there. The progress I've made is only just starting to show now that I'm more consistent with exercise. I can run for the bus without getting out of breath, I can lift 150 pounds with my legs, I can be on the cross trainer for almost ten minutes  (when I first got on that thing I couldn't make it to two minutes...) I've finally learnt how to motivate myself.

I will write a longer blog post on some tips and advice, but here's a little for now:
Bad eating stems from bad habits, habits take a long time to undo, so do it slowly, and congratulate yourself when you succeed. Small successes mount up to big successes. The best piece of advice I ever received on weight loss and being healthy was from my mother "Don't think of this as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change" this still motivates me a lot, so thank you mum!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Weekly Inspirations


Doctor Strange

I saw this a few days ago and it was much better than I thought it would be. I usually have high expectations of Marvel films, but knowing next to nothing about this character, I went with an open mind. This is stunning, go see it for the incredible visual effects alone. Doctor Strange is a funny, rude, stubborn kind of hero and the plot is a little different for a superhero film. I want to see it again!


Ru Pauls Drag Race

They put all seven seasons on Netflix and ever since I've been binge watching my way through all of them. For those living under a rock, the premise of the show is for drag queens to compete against each other in challenges to win the title of America's next drag super star. Not many shows challenge conventionals norms quite like this one, my favourite part (other than the costumes) is when the queens get personal and reveal the often haunting pasts they have had to deal with, and the struggle of ultimately becoming who they are with no apoligies. A must watch.


I heard this song on the Show 'Luke Cage' on Netflix and I instantly had to pause the show and look this up on Youtube. The lyrics, the rhythm, the style, everything is on point.


The Island of Doctor Moreau

A friend let me borrow this recently, I don't think I'm the fairest judge of this because I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction, however I did enjoy it. Its a very short read, about a man who is lost at sea and happens upon an island. I can't tell you much more than that without spoiling the whole plot.

Naked Lunch

I was not a fan of this. The 'plot' is really just a series of tiny stories from a lot of dfferent character points of view, mainly about drug use. There's a lot of vulgar language and graphic descriptions. Its a non-linear narrative that makes abosultely no sense, the only reason I read to the end is because some parts are beautifully written, and it takes a lot for me not to finish a book, it was bad, but not that bad.

Helter Skelter

I loved this manga! A friend got this for me a while ago but I lost it somewhere under my bed, so when I had a clear out I found it and immediately started reading. This is about a singer/performer who is what society deems 'perfect' she is the definition of shallow, as the story progresses you see the extremes she's willing to go to, so she can look perfect. The illustrations are beautiful, I already want to read the next one.