Monday, 18 August 2014

Wash (And Go!) Day

1) Slathered on an abundance of Vatika Oil and left it for an hour (or two) while I put laundry in.

2) I mixed 1 teaspoon of honey, with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 3 teaspoons of rhassoul clay, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 60ml (1/4 cup) of water.

Why does apple cider vinegar make the clay mixture fizz every time?

I plonked all of this on my hair, making sure to get every strand covered but deliberately limiting how much I raked my fingers through.

This was not the moment for detangling. The mix was slightly sticky (due to the honey - I tend to limit how much food I use in hair products, because I'm mostly eating all my honey. And bananas. And using all my avocados for guacamole. Or on toast...)

I left that on for an hour while I took the laundry out.

3) Rinsed through under warm water until the water ran clear. Then conditioned heavily with Ultra Blends Vanilla and Papaya, using the slip to help me separate my hair into twisted sections. I used a generous palmful of conditioner per section and ended up with 6 twists.

4) I left the conditioner in for about five minutes while I washed the shower and then rinsed it out while still in the sections.

5) I unraveled each twisted section, clipped one half out of the way and working on the other half. Then I used Kinky Curly Knot Today as a leave in and a light detangler, before adding some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on top, before finally topping off with some Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Then I'd move on to the clipped up section and so on 'till my hair was completely done.

There was a lot of whiteness (that's not shine - it's product) going on before it dried and I genuinely didn't think it would go away...

But it did!

However, upon closer inspection, I noticed some flaking - aaargh! The white parts look like excess stuff that, hidden in the undergrowth, rebelled and refused to dry clear.

Is that what people mean when they meant to go light on the Kinky Curly Curling Custard? Or was it the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie that was the culprit? I'll have to do this style again and find out.

In general, I loved the way my hair shrunk, so it was more 'cute mushroom' as opposed to 'heavy mullet' that I got with the Olive Oil Eco Styler. And my goodness, the lack of crunch was ASTOUNDING. So soft and touchable! Heehee, will have to try this again and try and minimalise the flaking.....

Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday Fave: Island Living

Did I ever mention that I was an island girl?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Big Feet on the High Street

I remember walking into the Payless store in the States. I had on my usual walking-into-a-shoe-shop attitude on - apathy, mixed with a streak of boredom, sprinkled liberally with resentment. ApaStreborest for short?

I never found my size in real life shops - why bother?

But I did. Fabulous shoes, including a blue pair of platform sandals that made me feel 10 feet tall and some red American Eagles that served only to fuel my Mary Jane obsession.

The set-up of Deichmann, with all those boxes piled on top of each other, reminded me of that time and drew me in.

But this was not America, land of the cheap, well fitting shoe. I was already subconsciously being stalked by a cloud of Apastreborest as I drifted by the shelves, seeing size 6s on sale, 5s, a whole row of 7s on sale....I live in a town of tiny footed people. I personally don't know women here who have a foot size bigger than a 5 (European 38, US 6).

Whoa. Wait. Did that just...

Yes! A size 10 (European 44, American 11/12)! On the shelves! In real life! In front of me!

It turns out that many of Deichmann's shoe offerings go up to a UK size 9 or 10. To make it extra easy to spot them when you're scanning the shelves of shoes, they have this little 'XXL' sticker on them.

Plus, they're ultra affordable. Most of the shoes I saw were about £14.99.

Alas, if you are of the wide footed variety, like myself, I would give this one a pass, lest you are forced to do like Cinderella's stepsister and chop off a toe. I did managed to squooze (yes, it's totally a word) a foot into one shoe and it was not something I'd advise for anyone longer than 0.28 seconds. Get thee to Evans.

But for the slimmer long footed amongst us, this is a brilliant high street option. Definitely pop in if you have the chance! Or check out the range online before lugging yourself off your sofa....or out of your bed...ahem.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wash Day

1) Pre-pooed with Vatika Oil overnight.

2) Used Garnier Ultra Blend Coconut Oil Sleek Restorer to detangle and sectioned my hair into 6 twists.

3) Shampooed with Sheabutter Cottage's Liquid African Black Soap, gently massaging it into my scalp, and then letting it run over the rest of my hair when I rinsed.

4) (Deep?) Conditioned with Aubreys Organics Glycogen Protein in Lavender and Ylang Ylang for five minutes, then rinsed out.

5) I styled section by section, because I wanted to do a wash and go. I worked on each twists half, and from the back to the front, so I could keep up with which parts I'd done. I used Kinky Curly Knot Today as a leave in. First time using - first impression? I'm not a fan of the smell!

6) Then I applied Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on top.

7) Finally, I raked through the Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel.

There was a lot of white foaming residue happening so when I got over to the right side and started from the back, I switched to my DIY Interim Hair Milk as the leave in and skipped the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, just to see what would happen.

In the manner of Courtney from ThinkandGrow Chick, I twisted some sections of my hair that needed coaxing to hold a pattern of any sort.

8) I shook my head, in order to discourage the ends sticking together and causing knots.

Although my hair dried clear it. was. so. crunchy! As in, when I touched it, it felt crisp. It felt like a crisp! Except not as yummy. Every time I squished my hair between my fingers, it felt like I was crushing it.

It last a few days, but I wasn't impressed by the flaking over the next couple of days, as the gel 'softened'. The gel crunch flakes (sounds like the most disgusting cereal in the world) would be there on my shoulders every time I touched my hair after it dried, including putting it up at night and taking it down the next day.

The definition was good (probably, hence the crunch) but the shape of my hair was like a mullet.
Faster than my mullet...

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Interim Hair Milk

I use the rinse out conditioner as a creamy base, and then plump up the moisture with aloe vera juice, rose water and some ceramides to create this delicious leave-in conditioner for my hair.
It leaves my hair lightly moisturised for about 3-4 days but not overly mushy and definitely not weighed down.

It's an excellent spring conditioner for days when I don't want to get my entire head wet because it takes too long to dry but my hair is gasping for hydration.

It's quick, easy to make, and only one bowl to wash out afterwards.

Unfortunately, the weather is getting hotter, and I know I'll need something heavier for summer. Hence the 'interim' in the name. For now though, it's perfect.

The amounts below makes enough for one use. I used to double it (well, used 60ml - a 1/4 cup - and all tablespoons) then keep it in the fridge, but it dried out because my hair was so moisturised, I didn't need it any more!

It has only one flaw - it can sometimes leave built up on the very ends of my twists, where it's more 'fluffy' (*coughdamagedcough*) than the rest of my hair, though I've noticed this with some other products too. I think this has something to do with the time it takes to absorb the conditioner and how much water the hair in that area holds, I dunno.


30ml (2 tablespoons) of your favourite conditioner
1 teaspoon rosewater
1 teaspoon aloe vera juice
1/2 teaspoon wheatgerm oil

Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix until well emulsified.
Apply to damp hair.


Monday, 14 July 2014

10 Weeks

"Did you put rollers to make your hair them curl like that?"

I realise belatedly that my colleague is talking to me and - oddly enough - my hair. I snap to attention.

"Er, no. They're just like this" I respond nonchalantly. I'd stopped thinking about my hair too much in the last two months.

"That's amazing!" The colleague in question has big, bodacious curls the width of a Cumberland sausage. I grab a handful of my hair and stare at the minuscule coils lying against my palm. I think about how they never stay together this diligently when they are loose and free to play "Eh. It's okay. They're a bit fuzzy at the moment....I don't know..."

Maybe the inability to take compliments is a weird faux modesty thing I was feeling that day because I usually just say 'Thank you!' and smile when  get a compliment.

I had the feeling, however, that it was just an affirmation that I was coming to the end of my love affair with my current protective mini twist style.

Perhaps the fact that I had neglected to retwist any twists whatsoever for two whole weeks (at least!) was also another sign.

I've played various sports in them, washed them numerous time, gotten five job interviews and a new job(!) whilst wearing them, gone through a number of bank holidays and worn a ponytail more times than I would like to admit.

It's time to take these guys out.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Belle - A Rambling Review

Here be minor spoilers!

The film Belle revolves around the theme of status, which is a deliciously meaty topic to discuss and dissect in the film's context. In a place where where this matters so much,  Dido (Belle, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) literally finds herself in the middle - daughter of an English father and a mother of unknown origins (but presumably, the African continent was involved somewhat).

Her situation is further complicated by the fact that she later on finds herself an heiress. So she has the money, and she has the noble connections, but she also has the stigma of being her mother's  daughter. She lives and loves her family but cannot eat a formal dinner with them. Her cousin, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon), finds herself in a similar, yet contrasting bind - she is of noble and upbringing, but soon to be penniless.

This would not be such a big deal nowadays, but it's 1797. A woman is (almost literally) nothing if she is not married. There's a moment where Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) tries to give Dido the keys of her spinster Aunt Mary, and it's basically him saying that he doesn't expect her ever to find a husband.

 Crossed with this plotline is the fact that Dido and Elizabeth's Great Uncle Lord Mansfield  is presiding over the Zong massacre case - where a slaving ship is attempting to claim insurance money back on 142 slaves it threw overboard to drown in the sea.

Oh, and then there's the influence of a particular young lawyer on Dido....

Nomination for the next Friday Pretty: Hats 'n' Wigs Edition
The man literally has a voice so bone shakingly gravelly, it makes me think of a mountain on the move. 
Anyway, his 'radical' (we would call them normal nowadays...I hope) views on slavery start to influence Dido to reflect more on her life and social position and basically drive her Great Uncle Lord Mansfield up the wall because he feels it is driving his household into chaos.

Who will Dido marry? What will Lord Mansfield rule on the Zong massacre case? 

I went to see the film with The Wonder Thing. And it thankfully, it was good.

The moments between John Davinier (pictured above, played by Sam Reid) and Lord Mansfield after their 'break up' are possibly some of my most favourites in the film, merely for the facial expressions when they see each other. 

Since the film is based on the facts behind a picture, it makes sense that Dido starts to look for people who look like her in pictures and analyse what it means, which I thought was touching and still relevant today when we look for more representation and diversity in the media. Their placing in the pictures is always very indicative of their status - lower and in the background (or completely cut out. I'm just saying).

The portrait the film is based on

This is such a beautifully layered film that I loved watching for so many different, reasons. Remembering watching it makes my toes tingle in glee. Like, she's wearing 18th century clothing! And she is someone of colour in a film with a British/English accent!

Few more things:
  1. Tom Felton of Draco Malfoy fame makes an appearance in this, though the wig and moustache shading threw me off momentarily. He plays a not very nice character and I'm beginning to worry he will get typecast as wormy types. He played the character well in that I saw the mindset of many a plantation owner in him and I wanted to throw up.
  2. I got confused what was up with all the wet eyes in the film. I know it was hard at times, but I didn't know if certain characters were on the brink of tears or if they had allergies.

Do you need some anti-histamines, love?
I got a bit confused with the camera angles - sometimes they pulled out so far it took me a while to spot the characters in the scene and other times I wished they wouldn't focus so hard on one person's face. I mean, I live for the cuter moments like this:

Get your distance right and don't deprive me of the cuteness!

Oh, and the Wonder Thing enjoyed it too! He says he thought it was a good film and he is glad that the assault was not carried out by who we thought it would be.

In short (haha!), I thought the costumes were opulent, the actors did what they had to do, and I want it on DVD. Please go and see this film, and don't just stream it online!

TL:DR: Sumptuous clothing, British accents, thinking film, go see.