Friday, 25 October 2013

Goodbye Chemicals, Hello Natural hair

I remember when I was at school, the girls around me had sleek and fantastic hair. My hair was curly, thick and unmanageable. I was seduced by the lure of being able to have hair that was straight and easy to work with, I didn't want to have cornrows any more. Of course I went to an all girls school where the majority of the girls were not black, in fact there was a handful of black girls and they generally had weaves or relaxed hair.

My last braided hairstyle, pre-relaxer
So as soon as we were finally allowed to wear our own clothes to school I convinced my mum to let me relax my hair. Looking back now I think that is quite possibly the worst mistake I ever made. From then on I tended to get my hair relaxed every two weeks, my mum used to do it for me until she no longer could take the time. So then I would go and pay to have it done. I sat in chairs in salons and let the relaxer work whilst it burnt my scalp and caused scabbing and pain, but none of that mattered because my hair was straight. Unfortunately those weren't the only problems, My hair demanded time and patience and heat every single day, every hour of the day. Washing it, far from being easy, was a nightmare because it matted, tangled and generally felt stringy and lifeless.

The Trademark Bob, thank the straighteners

I put up with it for just over 4 years, but it got so bad I couldn't stand my hair being long. One summer I got it to a place where it was past my shoulders relaxed because it had been in a weave before hand. I got it chopped off to pixie crop short as soon as I could because it was even worse than before. That then had it's own pitfalls because when your hair is that short, you need to relax it even more often to make it look good. 

Short as it got

For my Mother's birthday party I had it put into a weave and left that in for a while. When that came out a while later I took a look at my hair and decided I was never going to relax it again. I was going to stop putting chemicals in it and keep it natural. That day I washed my hair, called my housemate into my room and handed her a pair of scissors. I told her anywhere she saw any straight hair she should chop it off. I also had my own pair of scissors, and believe me I was brutal. I was getting rid of the relaxed hair for good.

Attempting to make short natural hair workable
It's been just under 3 years from that point and i've never looked back. I've been learning my hair, what it likes and how to do it for myself (still working on that part). Every time I take it out of a protective style I get far more excited than I should at the length gains that it's has made. The most recent length check is in fact 9 inches long! which for my hair means that when stretched it no longer stands straight up in a crazy ass fro.

Said Crazy Ass Fro! (early summer)

I'll be posting some pictures of my current hair soon, as I decide what to do with it and how to wear it now it's out. What is your hair like? Has it changed drastically over the past few years? Let me know, comment below.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Two week update on the spotty situation

So for the past two weeks I've been raving about the FOREO LUNA Mini. I still think it's pretty good, easy to use and fast.

As I promised here's an updated picture of my face two weeks on from when I started using it. Since last week I've cut down a lot on my use of it. I no longer use it twice a day everyday because after a week and a half of constant use it was drying out my skin and giving me spots. I had a massive break out last weekend, now not so much they've all faded away as my skin has had a chance to rebalance and restore it's oils. I still use the Luna but in the morning about every 3 days or so. Which is much closer to my normal skincare regime before I started using it. My skin is much clearer and a lot brighter looking.

Whilst it dried my skin out it also gave it a crazy good deep clean so my skin doesn't feel heavy, and clogged but feels incredibly soft and smooth.

I will keep using it as I am currently and I'd still recommend it to people but not at the same rate of use that FOREO suggests.

Yarning around

So a bit of a change of pace.

Before last week I haven't been knitting for about a month or two as I just haven't felt up to it. Right now though I've thrown myself into it with a vengeance. However with more knitting means more yarn buying. My full stash and I are separated, I'm in London and my stash is in Leeds. So of course I have to buy yarn for my new projects. Nevermind that I have undyed yarn for a specific project that I haven't planned the dyeing and or started yet.

On Saturday I had a bit of an eBay buying spree with yarn. All of it from Kingcraig fabrics. Which is based in Brora in the Scottish highlands. This isn't the first time I've ordered yarn from them, but the first one was more of a test to see what their yarns were like as they are made and produced by the company themselves rather than a known large yarn brand such as as Rowan or Debbie bliss.
This time I bought some Supersoft Lambswool in a purple/blue marl 4ply. When i say some i really mean 820g of it. It looks absolutely gorgeous in person, and I can't wait to get stuck into it (even though it's not really earmarked for anything yet).
I had thought I might use it for a project I'm designing for my boyfriend, but it's far to gorgeous for that and also not quite the colours I was envisioning. I know have something else that unfortunately perfect looking for his project you guessed it, on eBay. I swear though once I get it I'm on a yarn diet with what I have here.

I can't wait till Christmas because I get reunited with some of my stash. It'll be like getting loads of new yarn!

The picture on the right it's probably the truest to the actual colour. I'm thinking I might use it in a design I dreamed up today. Though with the way my first knitting pattern design is going that likely means I'll get to it next year around now.

Whilst I still have my battleship on the go, I've decided to test knit a different pattern for SheilaToy. It's a really lovely summer style cardigan, which when I saw it I had to have it. which brings me to my next eBay yarn buy from Saturday.

Ta Dah! It's a 90%-10% Merino Silk mix in a Dark brown multifleck, again from Kingcraig. I've started swatching it already in my eagerness to get started with this wonderful knit Salt City Cardi by Sheila Toy Stromberg. Part of the reason I'm swatching is that I know that KingCraig yarns are generally oiled yarns and will be completely different washed. So I'm trying to see if I will need to wash all my yarn before I knit it. I still can't wait to get started.

If your interested in any of the projects I'm knitting or have already knitted check my projects out on Ravelry my username is Thaliya . Are any of you Knitters or crocheters? Or do you have a better idea for my Lambswool? Let me know.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Cleansing and Clearing up

There it is, right at home with the rest of my bathroom products, didn't I tell you it was cute!

My LUNA mini is pocket sized and the charge last for ages! so it's so practical to carry around if need be. This weekend I took it with me to my boyfriend's so I could continue my morning and evening regime. I'm using it with the gel cleanser next to it, Neutrogena pore & shine. Which by the way smells gorgeous, tangerine and lime beats their cucumber, and pink grapefruit versions hands down.

My 5 day verdict

Your supposed to see a difference in 3 days, and believe me I did! Those pesky spots around the top of my t-zone that dogged my eyebrows and the top of my nose? Gone! Usually when I get my eyebrows threaded I get a crazy spots around the area they've got rid of the hair especially at the top of my nose, they tend to stay for weeks. Using the Luna mini they were gone by the third day.
Every time I use it my face feels firmer as well as nice and clean, and it feels much better than using the daily scrub.

My face is still in the process of clearing up, I actually had a bit of a break out on Sunday. That though I blame firmly on cats (I'm pretty allergic, and had to spend a 3-4 hours in the same house as three of them). The bigger spots though are shrinking and you can't really see them anymore, the only way to tell they are there is to run your finger over them.

The best thing is as I never wear make-up, people can immediately tell the difference, I've had a lot of comments about how much brighter and healthier my skin is looking. I had a stonking great headache the other day and mentioned it to a friend, and she complained that I didn't look it because my skin was so fresh and bright looking.

I'll take an updated picture of my face, and post it next week so you can see what I mean.

I'm thinking of putting up post about my natural hair journey, or just my hair care in general, so stay tuned!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bzzzzzzzz.... Bare Faces & Blemishes

I've been Part of Bzzagent for quite sometime now, but this is my first campaign. My skin has been in a bit of an upheaval lately and I've been breaking out alot. So when a message came through about trying the FOREO LUNA mini I jumped on it.

This is me, currently I've got crazy spots around the top of my T-Zone and around my cheeks. You can't really see it all in the picture which I guess I'm grateful for but because I rarely wear make up (due to time, effort, and it makes me break out) having clear skin is practically a must. I'm hoping that the LUNA Mini will combat the spots and clear up my skin. I've never actually tried facial cleansing brushes before but it looked like a really great idea especially as I got it at a discount through Bzz Agent. If it works, out I'm definitely going to recommend it to everyone I know especially my brother, who also has some spot trouble.
My usual face washing routine is usually a daily wash in the shower using Neutrogena Visibly clear pore & shine daily scrub. I have previously used their other facial scrubs and also occasionally use their 3 in 1 wash and mask. They've been the best brand of products for my skin, so in terms of a cleanser to use with the Luna I'll be sticking with them.
Oh and bonus it's totally cute and very portable.

What do you usually use for your facial cleansing regimes? Have you ever tried using cleansing brushes? Let me know!