WHY "SHADES OF BEAUTY LIVE" WAS SO EPIC

There is no denying that black people are lit. 
Since I moved to London, I participated to tons of natural hair events. I love the sense of family and familiarity being in a room full of people who look like me. 
It is the perfect chance also to ask questions about other people's natural hair journeys, the efficacy of certain hyped products and to merely peep new fire hairstyles.
Shades of Beauty gave me something and more!

I remember being on Instagram and the event popped up. I immediately fell in love with the whole concept and followed the IG page. I run to the main site and saw many lovely naturalistas, dope weave-wearers bloggers & vloggers being featured. There were so many lovely people involved in the project that I definitely wanted to be part of it. Before I had the chance to purchase a ticket, the people behind Shades of Beauty reached out to ME and offered me free ticket. I love and will appreciate forever being contacted and offered this amazing opportunity because I believe that it's important for the black community to stick together, because they saw what I was offering on my platforms and they liked what I'm doing and the message that I'm trying to spread far and wide. 
I will keep repeating this: it's important to show up and support ideas and organisations that you think are important. I made clear from the jump that I was interested in an event for black people and organised by black people and the universe provided.  
 I.WAS.PUMPED!


WHAT WENT DOWN
The Royal Holticultural Halls was the spacious and modern venue chosen for this amazing get down. 
I acknowledge the fact that organising event is not an easy task. There is so much work that goes behind the scenes, so many people involved and loads of details to keep track of. Even one miscalculated step can ruin your whole schedule. 
I must admit that everything around Shades of Beauty was thoroughly planned. From the moment you walked in people greeted you, vendors were actively engaging with possible customers and there were various activities going on in every corner. Every little tiny detail was thought with participants in mind.
While walking through the crowd and checking out the stands, I've recognised most of the products for natural hair care but  I must admit that all of the make up / beauty / wig related stands were a completely new reality for me. I am used to read, scout and search mainly for natural hair products so it was refreshing and intriguing learning about another reality. 
In the past couple of years, numerous brands that sell afro clip in extensions and weave are starting to gain more notoriety. If I do want to have a protective style so that my strands can breath for a minute, I usually tend to go for twists or braids. 
I've never thought of using hair clip ins but I'll might have to start looking into that since winter is coming.
Various researches show that the number of people who discarded the Creamy Crack in the past decade is increasing so it's natural that the demand for products that resemble our natural hair is increasing as well. 

PANELS
I was lucky enough to arrive just before the terrific Sharmedean Reid (entrepreneur and founder of WAH nails) started spitting knowledge. Most of the crowd were youngins like me who were interested in how to become someone in this day and age, while being black and using social media as a resource. I got so many insightful tips from Sharmedean and realised how creating your own brand is not as difficult as we think it'd be. If you put in the work, everything is possible!  
 The other two panels that I attended were called the "Black Beauty Represented" (picture above) and "A Seat at the Table? The Beauty of Black Ownership".

The first panellists were Nicole Vassell, Dalia Dias, Yinka Bokinni, Sharmaine Aderemi and Zeze Millz and moderated by the lovely Michelle Owusu from SceneTV. All of these ladies are freelancer, beautiful and 50 shades of black. We still luck representation in the media and having somebody sharing their personal experiences was a real treat. I've had my blog for nearly 6 years now but I will never be tired to see black successful women doing their thing and showing us their results on social media. 

As a natural hair blogger myself, I love listening to every day struggle of other black women, how do they conquer fear, rejection and every day hardships. It's not easy leaving in this society while carrying all of this melanin!
Events like this one are always a great reminder that I am not alone, I'm not a freaking island and that the black community can be so powerful and valuable to keep some level of sanity up in this streets.

Thank you again Shades of Beauty for recognising my work as a blogger and for the huge possibility to listen to some British Black Excellences. You have no idea how much I really do appreciate it!

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