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MY 2 CENTS ON THE MOVIE "NAPPILY EVER AFTER"

October 01, 2018

It was a split second decision. After turning on the hair clippers, half drunk and incredibly tired, Violet proceeds to start cutting her bleached blonde natural strands. The relief is immediate. While the clippers are gliding through her curly roots, tears are streaming down her face because she finally experienced the moment of pure freedom that she was longing for her whole life.

First of all, if you didn't have the chance to watch the movie "Happily Ever After" by film director Haifaa al- Mansour and based on the namesake novel written by the talented Trisha R. Thomas, you're wack. 
The movie tells the life of Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan), a gorgeous promising and talented black woman. Violet seemingly has everything: a beautiful house, solid relationship with a soon-to-be doctor, great job and a loving circle of friends and family. Violet is used to take care of herself. She likes to follow the latest fashion trends, always well dressed and with long, flat ironed hair.

Everything seemed to be going well up until Violet's birthday. She's been in this relationship with Clint for the past two years. She's ready now to be engaged, get married and create a family. After founding a small box in her boyfriend's jacket, she can already taste the victory in her mouth. Her whole world crumbles when she discovers that in the box there was no ring, but just a name tag for her brand new Chihuahua as a birthday gift. After asking for clarifications, Clint tells her that he doesn't know the real Violet, that in the past two years she always appeared perfect and didn't show her true colours and let her hair or guard down. 
During the next few weeks, we will see Violet having an unexpected Big Chop after having too many drinks, rocking a TWA and flat iron her hair when seeing the future in-laws.

I do believe that the story per se is not groundbreaking nor special. Violet is going through a breakup after an important love story and she finds a way to rediscover herself before starting a new relationship. I get it! What I loved and found different from the usual movies out there was the fact that a link between the mental state of a black person and their hair was explored and took into consideration.
For the Black community, hair is a delicate and complex matter
As a black woman who did a big chop, had TWA and is now sporting natural afro hair for the past 5 years, I could be Violet. Her every day relationship with her partner, friends or family are all deeply tied with her personal relationship with her hair. If her hair are laying down in the right way, everything is fine; if not, everything is a disaster. We don't want to admit it but the same thing, happen to most of us curly afro heads.
Small details like checking the weather forecast before leaving the house, having her mom retouch her roots as soon as they got too unruly, dodging the hot steam coming from the dishwasher, using just certain poses during intercourses and waking up earlier to "fix her hair" are just some of Violet's hair worries before the Big Chop. After cutting all of her hair off, she realises that there's more to life than taking care of her hair. I started bawling my eyes out because I had the same experience when cutting my relaxed strands. It was a relief and a surprise to being able to put myself in somebody else's shoes and say "I did that!" or "that's happened to me as well". 

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and would recommend any natural curly head out there to watch "Nappily Ever After". You won't be disappointed!


NO SHADE | FILM UK

June 22, 2018

Colourismprejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

As you may know I grew up in Italy. I don't look like the typical Italian, but I do identify as Italian. The friends and acquaintances that I was used to have around when I was little were mainly Caucasian. I've had very little episodes of racism and discrimination, little to none. I was lucky. 
 I am a black person, not too dark and not too light. I know that my skin shade can help me out in certain situations were a person darker than me would suffer more injustices.  

Wanting to deepen my understanding about the experiences and struggles of darker black people, I bought a ticket for the screening of the docufilm "No Shade" by Clare Anyiam-Osigwe. 
This refreshing film was screened at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. No place was a better choice than this. It was a fairly warm day. Thankfully I do live in South West London, not too far from Brixton so I didn't have to travel too long to reach my destination. Once I made it to the venue, I noticed that there was already a queue of adult black women with their tickets ready. While glimpsing at each other, we shared a brief  welcoming nod of the head or smile. Once the tickets were checked, we reached the actual viewing room upstairs were Clare was patiently waiting. The seats were nearly all taken. I made my way to a corner of the room and had a look around. There were different styles, skin shades and sizes of women. I saw people much older and much younger than me already sitting there. I loved the diversity of the audience. 

The story of the movie is very simple: "Jade, a successful freelance photographer is hopelessly in love with her best friend of 10 years, bar manager Danny. She discovers through several challenging encounters both personally and professionally that the one thing keeping them from happy ever after is her inherent beauty - her complexion and skin tone. Her shade."
This film was the first production of dermatologist and filmmaker Clare Anyiam-Osigwe, a fearless and talented black woman that I had the pleasure to collaborate with few years ago. The story of Jade is loosely based on experiences and encounters that Clare had when she was younger. Few times during the screening there were some outbursts from the public as a reaction of what was seen or said on the screen and I couldn't help but giggle.  
I'm pretty sure I had a similar experience while watching "Black Panther", were the majority of the audience was black and sometimes you could hear the funny commentary from somebody sitting at the far back. Black people just makes everything funnier!

After the screening, as audience had the chance to ask questions to the film maker and writer Clare and the two main protagonists, Adele Oni and Kadeem Pearse.
I had the pleasure to listen to structured and very intelligent answers on colourism, skin bleaching, interracial dating, self doubt and black family dynamics. 
Everybody was represented in this movie and that's what I loved most. 
I think the movie was brilliant. Just the topic of this movie was fresh and hardly spoke about in every day filmography. We all know somebody who has a problem with their skin, probably because of bullying and self doubt but we do need more films like "No Shade" to start talking about this topics in order to HEAL and MOVE ON.

Bravo Clare!
#SupportBlackBusinesses #NoShadeFilm

HOW I PAMPER MY AFRO HAIR IN JUST 10 MINUTES

April 28, 2018

When it comes to hair pampering, I've always wanted to be one of those natural people who can ALWAYS find some spare time to have some me time and take care of my tresses. 
Unfortunately, since I have the LPS (Lazy Person Syndrome) I can barely find some time to do some weak braids after washing my locs. 
Last week I wanted to break the chain and do something special for myself. Last Thursday, after reaching home, I finally realised that I didn't have any specific plans for the night. Just me and my dry-as-the-Sahara tresses. After quickly realising how empty were my fridge and kitchen pantry in order to create an all natural concoction, I looked into my toilet cabinet to find the golden product that could resuscitate my afro hair.
Behind all the various combs, face creams, face masks, Shea Butter body lotions, tampons and nail polishes abandoned in there, I reached the far back corner and saw something familiar. 
I've used Creme of Nature products for ages and for a brief period, I was obsessed with them and bought many many many products.


The Creme of Nature Strengthening Milk Masque was the perfect product at the perfect time. The consistency is resembles a lighter consistency of an hair pomade so a little goes a hell of a long way. This jar is packed with repairing nutrients from a butter blend of argan oil and goodness. This essential deep treatment is formulated for all curly types to strengthen, restore and hydrate distressed hair, helping to prevent future damage.

The smell, in my opinion, is the best part of this masque. If you don't like lingering smells and odours, this product is definitely not going to be to your liking. On the other side, if you are a little bit like me and love to leave a scent wherever you go, this little gem will do just fine. 

It is highly recommended to apply the masque to clean wet hair from roots to tips, making sure to concentrate your attention on the drier areas. Once you applied this beaut, it is suggested to leave it for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once you wash the masque out of your hair, style those nourished and wonderful hair as you please. I usually apply just a touch of argan or castor oil to my hair and make small to medium size braids.
PRO TIP: use a shower cup or a hooded dryer in order to raise your hair cuticles and make sure that the hair can get the most of this quick & simple treatment. You won't regret it, I promise you!

Did you ever tried this product? If yes, did you notice any particular change in how your hair felt?
 Share with us your experience in the comments down below.

3 GREAT DEFINING PRODUCTS THAT YOU SHOULD TRY ON YOUR 4B/4C HAIR

March 12, 2018


What I love about my hair is that defines gravity and laws of physics. Once you create a bond with your hair and religiously take care of it, you get to know what does and doesn't work for your strands. Every hair is different. 
I discovered that if I want to obtain a defined and shiny mane, I need to apply some type of defining hair products on soaking wet hair. Since is fairly tiresome to find the holy grail products who will give you the right results, I compiled a personal short list of 3 products that do wonders for your hair.


I've had this product since forever and it was probably my first defining custard. The consistency is fairly smooth so it is really easy to apply. The Define & Shine Custard reduces hair bulk, elongates curls and provides enough hold for long lasting styles that stay. perfect to be use for twist or braid outs. I do like to add few drops of argan or castor oil to it before braiding my hair just to give it an extra help and extra shine.

The thought of having to make my own aloe vera gel always intrigued me but I never got the chance to actually do it because of my busy schedule. Aloe vera gel does great things to afro hair by moisturising it, making them soft and shiny. If you don't want have time to make your own aloe vera gel and want an organic alternative, Seven Minerals got you covered boo! 
The texture of this product is a mixture between being liquidy and lumpy since is a natural gel. I do love to use this gel with my trusty Tangle Teezer to create the perfect Wash & Go.

Last but not least, is the Coil Defining Jelly by As I Am. I am obsessed with this brand ever since I tried the Leave in Conditioner. After few trials, I do believe that I have the best results if my hair are not completely wet. Blotting my hair with a t-shirt first always gives me better results. 
The texture is really smooth, a little goes a long way and the smell is fantastic.


What are your favourite styling products for your natural hair, the one who never let you down? 

THE CHALLENGE BLACK PANTS

January 25, 2018

I never had particular problems finding high waisted jeans for some reason but finding some pants long enough for my height has always been a problem. 
A while ago I got offered the opportunity to collaborate with Tobi.com, an international fast-fashion online retail destination serving young women over 100 countries worldwide. I wasn't really sure what to get because of the vast selection of clothes but quickly changed my mind when I found bae aka this perfect pair of high waisted pants aka The Challenge Black Pants
The Challenge Black Pants are vampy, sassy, fit perfectly and easily accentuate my natural curves.
It is an article of clothing perfect for a classy and formal evening paired with a long sleeved blouse or a backless top. 
I decided to showcase this staple item by pairing it with a senape off the shoulders. Since I didn't want to take the attention off of the pants, I decided not to wear any bags or big accessories. 
I snapped this picture before going to the Afro Hair & Beauty Show, a spectacular event full to the brim with natural hair products and samples, make up for melanin skins and activities. 
During the day, I felt absolutely comfortable and got a lot of approving nods from people peeping my outfit.
What can I say? When the style is too fly, autographs you won't deny!

PALMER'S SHEA FORMULA - REVIEW

January 18, 2018
It's time for a new review babes! I finally had the chance to write a review on some Palmer's products and I couldn't wait to share it with you. Here's the detail processed of how I achieved those gorgeous curls that you can see in the picture above!

The first thing that I did was prepping my hair by creating four chunky sections. You don't have to create sections before applying shampoos or using soaps but I found that creating sections helps saving time and cleaning my locks better. 
After the sectioning bit, I've lightly rubbed the Black Soap Dudu Osun in my hands to create some foam and I've applied the soap on my scalp. Because I normally use oils as styling products on my hair, I like to cleanse my hair once in a while with black soap. 

Black soap is full of natural ingredients so it doesn't dry my curls out completely and natural hair products can truly work on my locks. TIPSA general guideline is to always avoid scratching the scalp with nails. Always use your fingertips and you will avoid creating unnecessary microscars.

The Shea Formula Curl Repair Moisture Conditioner is the product that I used next. I've purchased this conditioner ages ago when I partecipated to the Curlytreats, an afro hair & beauty event that takes place here in London once a year. Most of the hair event that I had the pleasure to go to always give you the possibility to purchase natural hair products at a slightly cheaper price than retail ones. I remember spending around £5 for it and being super excited to try a new product. 
I've never used Palmer's products before that day so I didn't really know what to expect. Since the first application though, I remember my hair feeling very moisturised and supersoft. It does contain shea butter, which is an absolute staple ingredient in my house. After years of tribulations, I finally came to the conclusion that my hair need heavier products in order to thrive. I need me some shea butter or castor oil to saturate and satisfy my locks. After checking the list of ingredients, I knew that the chances my hair wouldn't like this holy grail were very slim. The consistency of the Palmer's conditioner is fairly thick so it does coat my hair without trouble and a little goes a long way. What else could a girl ask for? 

TIPS: place a third of the product in a spray bottle and dilute it with some warm water. Shake the bottle and voila! You can now evenly spray your curls from root to tip. 
I easily combed out most of the knots just in one go when using my Tangle Teezer brush so I couldn't wait to use the next product as the cherry on top.

I was fortunate enough to have some spare samples of the Shea Formula Curl Repair Whipped Cream from the same event so I thought I would put them to good use and finally try them.   

After applying the whipped cream from roots to tips, I've brushed a portion of slightly wet hair with my Tangle Teezer and braided it. Since I didn't trim my hair in a while and my ends were feeling damaged, after braiding my hair I snipped nearly 1 cm off. 

TIPS: when creating a washing routine, try to utilise products from the same brand instead of "mixing and matching". I always thought that brands were suggesting to use just their products for our washing routine (i.e. shampoo, leave-in conditioner and oils) because they were trying to up sell but there is actually a scientific reason behind it! Most of the products from a specific line are created to compliment each others pH. When we end up using a shampoo from Cantu, the conditioner from Design Essentials and the curling cream from Taliah Waajid, we are not sure how these products will react with our strands and between each other. 

All in all I very much loved the products that I used. As you can see from the picture at the beginning of the post, my locks are defined and shiny. My hair didn't dry out the following day and I didn't have to wash my hair immediately. The Palmer's conditioner is already a staple in my home and I was glad to pair it with other products from the same family. 


I hope you found this review helpful girls! Have you ever tried products from the Palmer's line? If yes, state your favourite product in the comment section.

Have great rest of the week peeps x



HEADENOUGH for GLASSESSHOP

December 18, 2017

Glassesshop.com strikes again! Few months ago they kindly sent me a pair of fabulous eyeglasses to celebrate my birthday (check out the blogpost by clicking here). Since the last time was so fun to choose glasses and showcase them, we decided to collaborate again and for me to review a brand new pair of their fantastic eyeglasses. When it was time to choose which pair I would rock this time, it was fairly difficult because the variety of the glasses frames and materials you could choose from is infinite. 
This time I wanted to get out of my comfort zone so I took a leap of faith. Did you know that Glassesshop offers prescription sunglasses? Girl, BYE!
I couldn't pass the opportunity! I got me some Cary Aviator in gunmetal. 
Since I wanted to be extra and cheeky, I asked if I could also have yellow tinted lenses and they agreed. Not only I have prescription badass sunglasses, but I have them with yellow lenses: can it get any better?
   Glassesshop.com has some other incredible offers like get your first pair for free or buy one get one free.  
If you want to try out this amazing site you can also use code GSHOT50 which is 50% off for all eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses, with the exception of sales frames.
Hope you love the pictures. I collaborate with an amazing and very talented photograper. Thanks Alessia! I'm sure this is just the start of many other collaborations.

Treat yourself and grab a pair of lovely glasses. I'm sure you will love them just as much as I did!
Question: have you ever owned a pair of prescription sunglasses? 
Let me know what do you think about the glasses in the comments below.
Have an incredible start of the week peeps!






BLACK GIRL FESTIVAL | THE UK'S FIRST

November 05, 2017
After 20 minutes or so on the Northern line, I reached my destination: Old Street. When I arrived at the venue, the queue was fairly impressive for a Sunday evening. 
The festival was taking place at the Kachette, a raw warehouse space with beautiful lights and vibes. As soon as I got in, I really felt like I stepped into music videos like "Finders Keepers" by Mabel or "Fall in Love" by Gold Link. The main room offered many original outfits, protective styles and melanated people. This festival was designed to celebrate and explore what it means to be a Black woman in UK. Art, magazines, books, toys, food, beauty & hair products were laid on the tables while inquisitive eyes passed by. 

The day was filled to the brim with workshops and panels. 
Some workshops included Black Motherhood Workshop, a place where they explored the misconceptions of Black Motherhood in the media as well as personal experiences of motherhood within the black community; 
Our Naked Thruths, a live life art session for all those who identify as women to draw, paint and sketch. This will be paired with conversation about how we can redefine the beauty of the Black Feminine Narrative and exploring core issues that affect how we identify with ourselves; 
Natural Hair Panel, a talk will explore the natural hair movement, its political roots and its significance to black women.
This panel was chaired by The Slumflower, award-winning blogger, speaker, creative director of Innclusive & presenter for The MOBO Awards.
Panellists included:
Jay & Tri from CURLture, natural hair bloggers 
Klerissa McDonald, founder & creative director of Curly By Nature
Shay Sade, Reprezent radio presenter & music editor for GUAP.

And finally Mental Health & Self - Care Panel, a talk that highlighted the importance of discussions of mental health in the black community and the significance of acts of self-care.
This panel was chaired by Grace F Victory, award-winning vlogger, presenter & author.
Panellists include:

Munroe Bergdorf, model & social activist

Guilaine Kinouani, intersectional feminist, equality consultant, therapist & writer
Tobi Oredein, founder of Black Ballad
Danielle Dash, writer, director & producer of award-winning series ‘Dear Jesus’
Laura Kirwan-Ashman, writer, screenwriter, filmmaker & co-founder of Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah


The atmosphere was electric and full of talented women. It was a great opportunity to mingle, open up, learn and grow in an environment where I felt completely accepted. 

MATA LABS

BONITA IVIE PRINTS




NDRIKA



GAL - DEM




BLACK FLY ZINE


EMMANUELLE ROSE CO


DORCAS CREATES

FUNKY N CHUNKY


Have you ever partecipated to an event similar to the Black Girl Festival? If yes, let me know in the comments below.
 
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