Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A new, all natural, hair growth product

Today, I bought a recently released, proudly Zimbabwean, natural hair growth product called Feso.

This product is made up of essential oils and soap plant (aka Ruredzo, aka Dicerocaryum Senecioides). The main ingredient being the soap plant. It is native to Southern Africa, for as far as I know, and may possibly be found elsewhere. It is a vine-like plant, purple flowers, with thick thorns. I will share more on how it was used back in the day and it's properties in about a month's time when I do my progress update. 

Photo: Bart WurstenTwentydales Extension, Epworth, Harare

The instructions on the bottle are to spray it on the affected areas, not less than 3 times a week. And it can double up as an overall hair growth treatment.

My plan is to use it on my edges only (thanks to genetics, on my mum's side, I got super fine edges - my sisters think it's a hopeless case and will not grow, so I will stop at nothing to show them two hairs can pop up lol). I will try as best as possible to use it everyday.

My observation after use on day 1: it's a very watery consistency, creamy colour, and the scent of the essential oils is all that really comes through. It has a fresh, non-overpowering scent, so I'm super happy about that. I sprayed my edges and rubbed it in, it was well absorbed and seemed to "dry" pretty fast. There was no residue left over and doesn't have an oily feel at all - it's almost as though I wet and dried the area and that's it - no tingle, no nothing! Very different to a lot of products I've tried.

Cost R250/$20 for 200ml which I felt was reasonable, if it does what it promises. Has anyone heard or tried this product before? What was your experience? Please share in the comments section below.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Stretch Marks! What can we do about them?

Today I decided I'd try to tackle one of the questions I'm asked the most. "What can I do to get rid of my stretch marks?"

I wish I had some positive feedback, ladies, but sadly I don't...  you cannot get rid of stretch marks, but there are things you can do to improve their appearance. Here are a few things you can try:

Avoid getting them in the first place
This is not want you want to hear, but I feel I must try to throw in a tip to help the situation from getting worse. Moisture moisture moisture! You must moisturise your skin everyday to keep it soft and smooth. Stretch marks are like scars, if your skin is not in a healthy condition, then you can't expect them to heal well.

Skin Peels
Yes you can have skin peels done to the areas where stretch marks are present. These will gently lift off the dead skin, encourage new healthier skin cell production and allow whatever products you choose the apply (stretch marks serums/creams/oils) to penetrate deeper.

Laser Therapy
Yes, this is an more expensive route but even more effective than topical applications as lasers have the ability to stimulate the skin at a much deeper level. So for example, you will get lasers that will use Radio Frequency or Near Infrared technology. These produce heat which penetrates into your dermal layers, without damaging your top layers, and stimulate your body to produce collagen, elastin, as well as activate your body's healing reaction. So in the end you have tight, smooth, supple skin which in turn improves the appearance of stretch marks (another amazing benefit with this technology is your cellulite will decrease with each session too).

This involves several little needles, on a roller type contraption. If treated in an aesthetic clinic, the length of the needles can get really long, to allow for a deeper more intense treatment. And if you go for the home care range, obviously the needles are much shorter to allow for a safer treatment. So, the needles are rolled over the area, causing micro perforations in the skin, and a serum is normally applied after, this allows the serum to penetrate, through these perforations, a lot deeper than it ordinarily would. The needling also means you stimulate your own body to "wake up" and produce more collagen and elastin too. Technology is constantly involving and some of these now come with radio frequency in one!

Carboxy Therapy
Now this, can only be performed by a doctor. You have to do your research and go to a reputable establishment! This treatment involves several sessions of carbon dioxide being injected into your skin. This helps improves skin elasticity, improves blood circulation and encourages collagen repair.

Have you had any of the above treatments done and how were your results? Are there any other treatments or creams you've used successfully? Please share below.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Counterfeit Make up!

We live in a world of technology, which allows us access to products from any part of the world. Some cheaper and some more expensive. I thought it might be worthwhile share a few points on "fake" "dupe" "replica" makeup.

Yes we all love a good bargain, but it is still very important to be aware of the ingredients in the products we use. For example, the following ingredients are some of the most commonly found in these kinds of products: lead, arsenic, copper and mercury to name a few - I'm sure the list of possible cocktails is unending. These types of ingredients are known toxins to the body, best case scenario, you may just have an allergic reaction... opposite end of the scale, things like brain damage, cancer, side effects passed on to babies in pregnant women etc.

Think to yourself, yes, you want to look good, but is it really worth it to have some type of complication in the long run?

Could this be the cause of your acne, pigmentation issues, psoriasis etc?

Ways to spot a fake...
Most big and reputable brands will house their own products in their own branded stores, alternatively, you will find them in reputable department stores/stockists. For example, MAC, is a brand that has sadly been "copied" and is sold by people claiming to have bought it from other countries, or on ebay etc.. But, if you know MAC very well, you will know that you can only buy their products in their branded stores or online at their official website.

Counterfeit make up tends to be sold well below retail price, but not quite cheap enough for you to become suspicious, and double question the authenticity. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you own the original product and compare with the counterfeit one, you will definitely spot some differences. Be it different size font on the packaging, different consistency and wearablity of the product, slight differences in shade/colour, size of the applicator brush etc

So now what...
If you know you are not in a position to splurge out on high-end cosmetics, go for the mainstream/high-street ones. There are many official stockists of some fabulous high street brands. You will not only find they are good value for money, but they are good quality, reputable with long wearing benefits. All you need to do it have a look around and try new brands.

Have you ever had a bad experience after buying cosmetics that were not from an official source? Do you use "high street" or non "high end" brands and which are your favourites?

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hair products I've been enjoying lately.

I thought this might just be an interesting post I could share with those of you who haven't found products that work well with their hair, as well as those who like to experiment a little.

By the way, I am now back to having relaxed hair, and these products have been discussed on my now relaxed hair experience. Not to say that they won't work on natural or any other hair type, so please all read on and enjoy :)

The first product is possibly one a lot of people didn't expect, as I have seen some 'not so good' reviews on the range in general, but my hair thrives with this stuff...

Dr Miracle's Deep Conditioning Treatment 
If you've never tried it before, this is a protein conditioner that promotes stronger hair growth. It has a "minty" tingling sensation when you apply it, which I don't mind. I normally apply mine once a month, after shampooing, and leave it on overnight. It's not difficult to rinse out at all, and I find using a good moisturising conditioner eg. Garnier Fructis, left on for about 5 minutes, balances out the "hardness" of the protein very well. It retails for about R17 a satchet at Clicks (I prefer the satchets because everything is quick, easy and measured out for the perfect quantity I need for my hair). I love that this product really does leave my hair feeling stronger and less vulnerable.

Vatika Black Seed Oil
I can not emphasise, enough, just how much I lurve all products Vatika!! But, for this post specifically, we will stick to the Black Seed Oil. I went through a phase where I was shedding a little too much hair and decided I needed to do something quick. Ordinarily, I would use the black tea rinse method, which works really well, but because I was pressed for time, I figured it would be quicker to use an oil that I could rub into my scalp quickly at night. This oil is very light weight, doesn't have a very heavy scent and is also great for sealing (if you're one that likes to use the moisturising and sealing technique). I noticed a huge improvement in the amount of hair I was shedding within the first week. Something else I noticed was my scalp has been itching a little more than usual (not like crazy embarrassing) but I think this is possibly because there are some stimulating properties to this oil. You should definitely research this oil, the list of benefits seems endless and might just come out  handy for you in areas other than your hair. I do plan to continue to use it until the bottle is empty, and will be happy to give a progress report at a later stage, should anyone require it. This oil retails for around R100 and I get it from the local Indian shops/market.

Garnier Fructis Conditioner
I've been using this conditioner for a while now and it hasn't let me down. If you suffer from dry hair, this is a moisturising conditioner that leaves the hair feeling soft and silky, easy to comb through and detangle. I used this on my hair when I was natural and am still using it now, with the same great results, while I'm relaxed. I'm at the end of one bottle and relieved that I have a couple more in the stash to fall back on. Unfortunately, I bought this in Namibia, so I'm not to sure where you can find a regular supply in Joburg, will be sure to look around and update if anyone is keen.

Has anyone tried any of the above products or anything similar from another brand? What was your experience and do you have any staples?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Review: Midori Eco Salon

This weekend, I decided to pay Midori Eco Salon, in Sandton, a visit. I literally live two streets down from them and have just never made the time to take a peek. I had previously checked them out on their website and "stalked" them on twitter! Midori is the first eco salon of it's kind in Johannesburg and means "green" in Japanese. (And just to be random, Midori means "doll" in shona, so it works well for me both ways ��)

I went in to texlax my hair, from natural, a story for another post to follow.

I made a phone call first and was attended to by a warm and extra friendly receptionist - yes I was being my usual self, asking her to justify and explain everything first. On arrival, I was, yet again, greeted by the same lovely lady, and made to feel extra special. Free wifi, offer of anything I would like to drink and ushered to a cosy waiting area - for two minutes.

My stylist was positive, professional and welcoming. Had a consultation to begin with, she made her recommendations, which I was very happy to oblige, and the whole process began. Trust me, the entire experience gets better...

The ambience at the wash basin was unexpected. Spa music & pot plants literally transported me to "lala land" in seconds! The massage wasn't just a massage, it was a whole massage haha! A full Indian Head massage, was part of the wash & treatment process, it was so welcome as I take advantage of any chance I get to relax.

Now, if you know me, I am a sucker for all things beauty. So don't take me to get my nails and hair done, because the whole salon will know about it! I looked and felt fabulous. My hair looked and felt stunning by the time she was done. I was whipping it back and forth... literally!!

Would I go back? Would I recommend it to anyone else? You bet your cotton socks I would! I think I may have found my new go to place. If you are one for quality and professionalism, and prefer to go to people who are well versed about hair and beauty, then this is your place. i felt the pricing was quite steep, but trust me, not only will you be satisfied, but will rest assured that your needs are well met. That counts more for me than anything.

For more information on all their services, please click here.

Have you been to Midori before? What was your experience? What do you look for in a salon experience?

NB: this post is in no way biased, it is based on my personal experience, I'm in no way affiliated to Midori or in the knowing of who is who, and I paid for all my treatments out of my own pocket!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Tips to help you transition your beauty routine from autumn to winter...

If you live in Southern Africa, I'm sure you can already smell winter in the air. We're not quite there yet, but that doesn't mean we can't plan ahead! So here it goes...

It's always useful to adapt the products you use, not only for a smooth transition, but also for the benefit of your skin. So here are a few things to help you along, consider switching up:

1. Lotion for body butter/cream
Lotion has a light runny/thin consistency so isn't always sufficient to keep your skin from drying and flaking in the cold months. Try using creams/butters which tend to be thicker and richer and provide more moisture and hydration for your skin.

2. Monthly exfoliation for weekly exfoliation
Try to set up a weekly routine that involves taking a bit of time for some tlc, not always easy when it's freezing, but your skin will thank you for it later. Exfoliating regularly not only keeps your skin smooth and supple but will increase the blood circulation in those cellulite prone areas, putting you one step ahead for your summer body readiness!

3. Rose/bronze coloured blush for darker tones
It's a good time to switch up to your darker blush tones to add more life to your face. It always gives a healthier and more youthful impression to have some colour in your cheeks. 

4. Lighter summer scents for heavier scents
I don't know if you're like me but there are some perfumes I just cannot wear in summer and find they are my go to fragrances in winter. These tend to be the more heavier, muskier scents. The heat tends to make these already heavy scents even stronger. If you don't ordinarily switch up your fragrances, try paying a little more attention to how they smell in the different seasons and experiment a little.

5. Darker hair, darker nail polish
The darker hair scenario was a little new for me, but makes so much sense that you can't exactly have a sun-kissed, beach blonde look in the middle of gloomy winter. (Don't get me wrong though, this is not law, so do what makes you happy). Dark nail polish, is a very common one, colours in the plum, grey, deep red family tend to be popular.

6. Switch up your skin care products to a suit your winter skin
This doesn't necessarily mean switching from your regular brand, but choosing a day and night cream which are slightly richer to make up for the harsh, dryness of winter. It's also a good time to add some sort of hydrating serum to your regimen. Don't forget regular exfoliation and masks will be of great benefit too.

Do you have any beauty transition tips to share, please do so in the comments section below..

Friday, 27 March 2015

Cinderella! with Morgan Taylor

On Wednesday I had the privilege of attending the Cinderella movie premier, at Nu Metro Monte Casino, hosted by Sparkle Cosmetics SA and what a spectacular event it was! From the invite being delivered by a "handsome prince" to the warm welcome, from sparkling champagne to glittery decor, from manicure pamper stations to a mini dress up photo station, it truly was a scene set for a Cinderella and no detail was spared.

If you haven't had the chance to enjoy Morgan Taylor nail polish range, this is one brand you must try. The polish range is extensive, and thankfully they make life easier for the indecisive, like me ,by coming up with seasonal ranges, like the Cinderella range that's out right now. The application is smooth, dries a lot faster than most brands out there, and lasts as long as your lifestyle allows.

For more information, check out their website here otherwise enjoy a snapshot of the experience below. Have you tried the Morgan Taylor range, and what we're your thoughts? Do share in the comments section below.