Taking care of your Afro Caribbean hair

There are many who will look at the thick, curly afro Caribbean sported by many and wish their thin, straggly locks were like that. For those having to deal with this type of hair on a daily basis however know of it's complications, which can get easier with trial and error of course. For every girl who has the luscious locks of Kelly Rowland or Beyonce, there are hundreds struggling on a daily basis to control that gorgeous yet grumpy mass of voluminous curls. One of the most common problems with afro Caribbean hair is breakage and here are some tips to prevent this.

The main cause of breakage in afro Caribbean hair is the fact it is so dry. When it is in its natural state, the intense curl makes it difficult for the natural oils produced in the scalp to travel along the hairs. Many think that the solution of this is to straighten it, but the process of using straighteners to achieve this look actually breaks the bonds in the hair that produces the curls. So the hair is straight but the intense heat used to achieve this makes the hair even drier; a no win situation.

The easiest way to alleviate the breakage associated with afro Caribbean hair is to raise the levels of moisture within the scalp itself. A deep conditioning treatment that uses heat is the best way to achieve this as the warmth causes the actual follicle to open up and allow it to receive moisture.  This is as deep as the moisturising can go as it is penetrating beneath the scalp to nourish the root and in turn the shaft.

Do not use any kind of grease to try and moisturise your hair and stay clear of pomades. These are totally ineffective as they need water to work and hair contains no natural moisture. This is why the main ingredients of intensive conditioning treatments is water. Grease and pomades may give you a great temporary shine but ultimately your hair will end up drier than ever, so avoid them at all costs. You want a moisturising conditioner as well not a protein one as its the moisture you need to increase it doesn't need protein.

There are several brands of hair products made specifically for those with afro Caribbean locks but do your research and check the ingredients. Right at the top it should say water, but you will be surprised how many you will see that have their first ingredients listed as petroleum jelly or mineral oils. Put those back and move along, alternatively ask your hairdresser for advice if you are having problems tracking down a good, water based conditioner.

You should give your hair an intensive conditioning treatment once a week and give your hair a break from the hairdryers, straighteners and styling products which can all undo the good work you have done with your conditioner. Protective Hairstyles are usually heat-free hairstyles concealed at the ends. There has been much confusion about what truly constitutes a protective style and by default, a protective style will encourage hair growth and length retention whether your ends are exposed or tucked within your hairstyle.

Protective Hairstyles Afro Hair
Use noscrunchie.com to find yourself a hairdresser or for advice on what hairstyles to opt for in order to prevent hair breakage. If you know of a fabulous afro hair salon, add it on their website and leave a review. They will be hosting Good Afro Salon Awards 2014 next month and who knows, your favourite salon may win!


Thread Veins: Causes & Treatment

Tiny veins under the skin when become dilated can be called Thread Veins. As we grow older, our skin starts becoming more thinner and fragile and these blood vessels under the skin can start to become much more obvious.

Although not a serious condition as such, thread veins can look unsightly and can cause cosmetic concerns in most women and men who usually find it difficult to conceal with cosmetic make-up. Now they can form due to a couple of reasons such as being overweight, sun exposure, smoking, during or after pregnancy due to increased level of oestrogen or simply genetics. These are usually found on the face on legs, around the calves or thigh area and on the face, around the nose and cheek area. 

Just like dark circles, acne scars and hyperpigmentation, thread veins and spider veins can be extremely tricky to cover. Mostly reddish in colour with a blue or purple hue to them, your usual drugstore concealer will not be enough to provide sufficient coverage.

Such skin conditions would need an industrial concealer used for stage make-up and by make-up artists. One which is highly opaque, does not budge and looks natural in daylight. Vichy Dermablend, Laura Mercier, MAC and NARS are one of the few brands where one can easily find a heavy duty concealer to combat the issue of thread veins temporarily.

leg thread veins - before & after 

Having said that, you will need to have a really good hand at make-up to be able to conceal thread veins. For those amongst us who aren't particularly great at such precise and professional make-up application, there are thread veins treatments available out there which can help them disappear completely.

If you are suffering from broken capillaries and red spider veins on the face, a cautery laser treatment is now available to remove any redness. As for the highly visible thread veins on the legs, injectable treatment called sclerotherapy are available to combat the reddish blue marks on the skin. 

Overall results are complete removal of thread veins, broken capillaries and spider veins. Skin looks healthy, glowing and flawless! Perfect if you are planning to show some skin this Summer. There won't be any reason you cannot flaunt those flawless legs in shorts and bikinis when on exotic getaways.

As for the face, with age and our current hectic lifestyle, we are any way dealing with hyperpigmentation, acne scars, blemish marks, dark circles and uneven skin tone as common skin problems. The last thing we need is these pesky thread veins to deal with. Thread vein removal treatments carried out by Dermatologists in a medical setting is safe and affordable, with prices starting at £160 for areas on the face and £250 for areas on the legs. 


Laser Eye Surgery - Why you need to get it done!

Apparently contact lenses or prescriptive glasses will never be able to achieve the same precision of objects, people, nature and this beautiful compared to the naked eye. Whether you suffer from near sightedness, far sightedness or astigmatism, Laser Eye Surgery is the only corrective eye surgery that will make you see the world clearly again sans glasses or contact lenses. I personally have been wearing glasses since I was in year 8 and trust me that was a freaking long time ago. I still remember the dilemma I had as a teenager of whether to wear glasses or skip them completely when not needed.  To fool people of my vision and of course to avoid wearing hideous metal frames available back in the days. Like most people, prescriptive glasses never suited me and I resorted to contact lenses. Being obsessed with make-up and colours since that age, I had to choose myself a funky pair of coloured prescriptive lenses, which although made me look half decent, were extremely inconvenient to wear whilst reading in class for hours. 

Overtime however, I got used to contacts and glasses and varying between them quite skilfully. Up to now I do the same ritual quite religiously, depending on whether it's a long day at work or a fancy wedding. With Michael Kors and Chanel now donning my vanity when it comes to prescriptive glasses, its of course fun to wear glasses but nothing compared to how I enjoyed life pre-prescription. If you are a beauty blogger or even an ardent make-up wearer like myself, you will know how absolutely annoying it is with all that foundation clogging around the bridge of the nose where the glasses sit. The occasional slap of powder around the area does help abit but nonetheless come summer, it becomes one hot mess with the area usually being congested and suffering from breakouts. Gross but true story! As for contact lenses, I cannot fault them as much as glasses but they have triggered a migraine on more than a few occasions. 

I was absolutely petrified of and against Laser Eye Surgery until my sister got it done recently and it made me look at it through a completely different lens. When someone close to you goes through an eye surgery as such, you obviously get a much detailed account of what happened, allowing you to make a well informed decision. What I extracted from the sisters information overload was that it was slightly painful after the Laser Eye Surgery for a good 6 to 8 hours, where she was almost unable to open her eyes. Once this period passes, all's well and you return back to normal in a couple of days. As for the Laser Eye Surgery itself, the part of keeping your eyes open for long is the only part where discomfort strikes and that's about it. No pain absolutely during the surgery itself!

Of course being her overcautious self she wore sunglasses for over a month after surgery, every single day, to protect eyes from unexpected splashes of water, bouts of sunshine or sprinkling of dust. Doctors however only recommend you wear it for a week after the surgery I believe. You will have to part with a couple of grand undoubtedly as the permanent corrective eye procedure is expensive but seeing how absolutely brilliant the sister looks and feels sans glasses and contacts, it's absolutely unbelievable why I haven't chosen the convenient route as of yet. 

Laser Eye Surgery Hub is a great place to start if you are hopelessly trying to look for a good Laser clinic online. All it needs is your name, number, email and postcode. Once that's keyed it, 3 Laser Eye Surgery Clinics in your area will get in touch with you providing quotes. You can also book a free consultation to ask your burning questions and put your hesitant self at ease. Depending on how things go from there, you can get yourself booked into a clinic of your choice and voila!


Holiday Checklist: What Type of a Packer Are You?

Holiday packing is much more than only loading your suitcases and travelling bags with various belongings. In fact, it requires much more thinking, concerned with what you may take with yourself on your trip and what you may leave behind. To save yourself any probable troubles on your holiday, you might want to spend sufficient time mulling which of your belonging should accompany you.

Packers may be classified into various types, based on their attitudes and preferences. You may be a last-minute packer or an organised packer. Below stated are a few categories of packers that you may go through and identify what kind of a packer are you.

Last-Minute Packer
Do you find yourself cramming your belongings into your suitcases till the last minute before you leave for the airport? Is packing always a haphazard procedure for you? Do you always find yourself unprepared before you are to leave for your trip? If so, then you surely are a last-minute packer. Last-minute packers delay the task, as long as they can, and always find themselves unprepared for travelling.

As a last-minute packer, you may consider carrying a compact cross-body bag to bear all your essentials that you might have the chance of forgetting behind. A bigger in size holdall bag might also come in handy so that you may throw in all the items you feel you might be needing on your trip, on the last minute. you may also carry a portable Stainless Steel Callous Shaver, that may easily fit your luggage due to its small size and help with keeping feet looking flawless and smooth on your adventurous walking expeditions.

Organised Packer
Most of the organised packers find prioritising, assembling and arranging their belongings for a holiday trip much more enjoyable than a last-minute packer ever would. Packing for them is a part of the vacation that they are looking forward to.

As an organised packer, you are more than prepared to board the flight for your much-awaited vacation. It is more than probable that you might carry a pre-written luggage tag, having your name, address and contact details. Giving attention to details, you are likely to have items like, a passport cover and a travel makeup brush set with individual brushes for different purposes and a wallet with various sections containing all the required valuables, never wanting to run out of your needful essentials.

Under-packers are light packers. To them, less is more. They hate the idea of having to carry any extra luggage and travel with as fewer belongings as possible. As an under-packer, you might be more comfortable in carrying around a single bag, an even smaller wristlet while you are on your vacation and the multi-purpose Fine Pointed Tweezer with a Mirror for on the go peach fuzz emergencies. Don't pretend you've never had such an emergency before!

If you are never able to make up your mind about what items you would want to have with you on your holiday and prioritizing belongings is always a difficult task, then you are an over-packer. Never able to decide what you might be needing, you pack whatever you get your hands on and find appealing enough.

Your luggage may be comprised of a large trunk and unnecessary items like a hat and a hat bag, no matter what your holiday destination is. Your luggage may also include numerous clothing options and jewellery items like an assortment of cocktail rings for dressy evenings with the girls or a romantic night out with your other half. Fashion rings are the best accessory to take with your on a holiday as they can look chic, elegant and feminine, add a dash of oomph and sparkle to your outfit, all without doing the fashion overkill.

Finding the latest deals for Superdry!

I love Superdry as a brand! They are the more tame version of American Apparel in my opinion. Less vulgar and more appropriate for teenagers. Having said that, I've spotted quite a few young men and women of all ages rocking a classic Superdry tee so it's not particularly aimed at one particular age group on my opinion. 

Especially for Summer, I've been eyeing their women's t-shirts and swimwear, perfect for some festival frolicking and beach lounging. I personally have a lot of River Island stash in my wardrobe but that can be a bit too girly and dressy at times. Superdry is the perfect way to play it effortlessly cool on getaways whilst still looking like you've made an effort. 

It hits the perfect combination between playing it cool and keeping it looking casual and laid back. The prints on their men's and women's t-shirts are always so fresh, modern and young! With a fleet of Hollywood A-listers loving Superdry and flaunting it on their off-duty days sans make-up and dolled up hair, it's become a rage amidst the casual fashionista on the street as it's one of the few pieces of celebrity fashion that's affordable and easily accessible online. 

To find the latest deals for Superdry, click here. They also do some absolutely adorable skirts now which I have been drooling over since a while. Now, I'm not a skirt type of gal at all but the brand's range is not typically feminine or overtly Barbie like. Their prints, materials and shapes are wearable and almost tom-boyish if that makes any sense. The ones you see fashion bloggers experiment with! 

If you're a newbie to Superdry like myself and want to try out their entire range or are an ardent fan and want to update wardrobe pieces for the new season, check out this page for discounts and vouchers codes.  


Nails Inc New Releases

Nails Inc is one of my favourite nail paint brands as they never fail to impress with their quirkiness and innovation. Their latest Summer releases are again so fresh, seasonal and perfect to don at the beach, to festivals and for exotic getaways! My immediate favourite was undoubtedly the latex effect nail paint. It's matte, modern and effortlessly cool. Plus it has a gorgeous latex like effect that's perfect to pair with any sort of Summer apparel. It applies well, almost streak-free and gives a lovely opaque finish. I popped on a little bit of the floral edition on the top and it has some lovely white speckles and some graphic like floral cut outs - perfect for the girly girl, on it's own or over a French mani. I love the two in one duo containing a hot pink colour on one side and chunky polka dots on another. Lovely textures and consistencies. Must. Check. Out. Now!