Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Discovering – Little Soap Company

One good thing about all of the big brands selling out is that smaller, independent brands get chosen by shoppers instead. I found a soap from the Little Soap Company for sensitive skin which my face and body love!

Little Soap Company was created ten years ago by Emma Heathcote-James who wanted natural, organic and cruelty free soap to be available to everyone when doing their normal weekly food shop. Her soap is available at Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and Sainsbury’s.

Their products are recognised as Vegan, Cruelty Free and organic are free from:

  • Detergents
  • SLS
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Sorbates
  • Silicones
  • Sulphates
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Synthetic preservatives

The companies products include:

  • Bar soap
  • Liquid soap
  • Soy candles
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Gift sets
  • Pet shampoo
  • A Mum and baby range
  • A range especially for men
  • This has come at the perfect time for me as I want a British, independent brand where I can shop online for simple blocks of soap and natural shampoo and conditioner that are reasonably priced.

    What’s one of your favourite natural skincare/haircare brands?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Yaoh! Mini Haul

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    I use Yaoh! because their products are hemp oil based, which really conditions my skin and my hair, they are BUAV (leaping bunny) approved, they don’t use palm oil and are affordable on a budget; the perfect brand in my opinion!

    The Coconut and Lime scent of the Shampoo is as wonderful as the shampoo it’s self. It leaves my coarse, frizzy hair so soft and shiny it totally transforms the texture. I don’t need to add hair oil afterward either, just curl cream. I’ve bought the body butter to match and I’m going to get the shower gel too next time.

    The Mango Lip Balm is hydrating and adds important oils, while smelling like a Mediterranean cocktail. It’s nice and thick but it does sink in, unlike other brands that are too heavily wax based.

    I decided to try a Tropical Fruits Body Butter (not shown) as the scent sounded lovely and exotic. The body butters feel light on the skin and sinks in easily but it’s still incredibly hydrating. The scent isn’t as strong as I’d prefer but it is pleasant.

    The Tropical Fruits Moisturiser barley has any scent, which I prefer. It sinks in quickly but I think this would be best for dry or possibly combination skin as it is rather rich. Considering it’s slightly scented and rich, it doesn’t

    Because I’d bought 4 items amounting to £25 I got the face moisturiser free!

    Rating 5/5 for everything!

    Chrissie

    The Body Shop, Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner

    Made from Community Trade Shea Butter from Ghana Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner (£6.50, 250ml) promises to leave hair nourished, less prone to breakage and less frizzy.

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    I have thick, coarse shoulder length hair which is excellent condition but looses it’s natural oils easily, even after using very gentle, natural shampoo.

    I like the mild nutty scent and how creamy this conditioner is. My hair was left feeling incredibly soft and replenished. It was still a little frizzy but then I would never expect conditioner alone to sort this out. I always need to add hair oil after lightly towel drying my hair, no matter what conditioner I use.

    The only problem for me is the size and the price, it’s either too small or too expensive. I can appreciate that the people who produce this in Ghana need a fair wage but maybe The Body Shop could take a little less profit? I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s too dear for me to use regularly with my thick long hair, even though a little does go a long way.

    Rating 4/5

    Chrissie

     

    Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

    Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

    Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

    Rating 5/5

    Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

    I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

    Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

    Overall

    My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

    For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

    Chrissie

    Turning Coarse Frizz Into Shiny Waves In Just 4 Steps – Without Heat Styling

    Bit of a difference eh?

    This is a great way to keep your hair healthy and natural looking, whilst weather-proofing it against wind, rain and humidity.

    Using these four products only and no heat styling tools.

    1, Shampoo

    If you find a shampoo and conditioner that are full of natural oils and butters then you shouldn’t need any hot oil pre-wash treatments. Choose products which are gentle and, ideally SLS free so they won’t strip your hair of it’s own natural oils. Use the mildest products first and then get tougher ones, only if your hair really needs it.

    I add a blob of shampoo to a plastic beaker and then fill the rest with warm water and stir it with my finger. I then wet my hair through and poor it over the places I most need it. It’s a great way of spreading shampoo through thick hair without over-doing the amount you use.

    I’m using Faith in Nature, Brave Botanicals Shampoo

    2,  Condition

    Very gently squeeze out any excess water and spread conditioner through hair from roots to tip. Rinse after a few minutes and then when hair is still very wet add a little more to mid-lengths and ends. Leave for a few minutes before gently squeezing out any excess water/conditioner residue.

    I’m using Noughty, Intensive Care Leave-in Conditioner

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    3, Oil

    A lot of people think only people with afro hair really need to oil it or it’s only to be lightly used as a finishing product. Wrong. If you have thick hair that’s coarse or frizzy/fluffy this will be like a drink in the desert for it!

    You want hair to be as wet as possible, without it actually dripping. Gently pat or scrunch hair dry with a short-pile towel or t-shirt, depending on the porosity of your hair (how much water it holds). Either poor hair oil onto palms, rub together and spread through hair or if you have fine hair mist all over with oil from a spray bottle, paying special attention to the ends.

    I’m using Pierre’s Apothecary, Argan Renewing Hair Treatment Mist or olive oil when my hair is freshly bleached or very fluffy as it has a thicker consistency.

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    4, Style

    Let hair absorb the oil for a moment but don’t let it get much dryer and then apply curl cream. If your hair is wavy – rather than curly – gently scrunch or twist to encourage shape and definition. If you only have very slight waves in your hair you might want to use a salt spray to encourage texture and movement instead. Remember, the more you touch hair as it gets dryer – the more it will freak out and frizz up.

    I’m using Amika: Curl Defining Cream (since re-packaged) throughout my hair. 

    Now just leave your hair alone to air dry!

    …………

    My hair journey

    Between the ages of 13 and 18 I used to think my hair was wonkily wavy but mostly just unruly fluff. I couldn’t do anything with it. So I permed it to get more definition (wow, did that take!) and then years later I used straighteners to get it straighter (which lasted a few hours at most). In my twenties I went to multiple (Caucasian) hairdressers who would straighten it “To calm it” ( even though they’d freaked it out in the first place) and then they’d tong “Proper” waves back in. WTAF!? All that needed doing was gently drying and styling in a way that encouraged – rather than ‘corrected’ it’s natural shape.

    ………….

    I really hope this has helped some curly girlies and the wavy wenches out there to appreciate and to style their natural hair. Let me know in the comments.

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    🌟

    July Monthly Blog Round-up

    Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

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    Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

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    I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

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    Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

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    I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

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    When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

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    After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

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    I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

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    I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

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    This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

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    Chrissie

     

     

    The Perfect Shampoo & Conditioner For Combination Hair

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    Everyone has heard of ‘combination skin’ but many people also have ‘combination hair’ too. Y’know, greasy at the roots, average or coarse in the mid-lengths and dry or fluffy toward the ends. Most generic shampoos for greasy hair strip roots of ANY oil but pre-shampoo conditioning masks or oil based leave-in-conditioners can often only be used on ends. It can feel like a crazy balancing act with too many specific products, time and money.

    Here’s my hero duo…

    Faith in Nature – Brave Botanicals, Shampoo (£4.50, 250ml) Shampoo which cleanses greasy roots, while Demask rose and Argan tame frizz and replenish important oils, to give hair strength and shine. Certified vegan and Cruelty Free Internal/BUAV approved. This also quite kind to coloured hair I’ve noticed.

    Noughty Intensive Care, Leave-in Conditioner (£6.99, 150ml) One of the very few leave-in-conditioners which doesn’t leave roots feeling flat or heavy. Argan oil, Shea Butter and Natural Source Vitamin E leaves hair naturally balanced and healthy. Oh, and I’ve just noticed this conditioner has won multiple awards and is certified vegan.

    If your hair is long and combination like mine, this duo will reduce your shower time dramatically and save the strength in your arms for styling!

    Chrissie

     

     

    Monthly Round-up June

    Style

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    Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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    I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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    When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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    I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

    Food and Drink

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    Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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    The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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    We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

    Beauty

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    Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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    These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

    Lifestyle

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    I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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    I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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    I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

    I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

    Chrissie

    Hair Styling Essentials from Hemp

    Finding beauty products that aren’t animal tested is fairly easy these days but finding cruelty free hair styling products – especially one’s which work on natural, coarse, wavy hair – is almost impossible.

    So I was thrilled to get a chance to try some of Hempz Herbal hair styling range, which include nourishing hemp seed oil and also smell so good, that if they were a cocktail, I’d be ordering three of it.

    Instant Dry Shampoo

    This changed my hair from greasy, split mess to fairytale-like tresses. I just spray it on (with no powder residue) and gently brush my hair through with a paddle brush with thick plastic bristles. My hair looks clean and shiny and smells of pineapples!

    Rating 5/5

    Workable Hairspray Medium Hold

    I have a love hate relationship with hairspray; I love that it holds my wild hair in place but hate that it makes  tangled mess when I try to brush it out. Hempz hairspray is tough on holding a style but fairly easy to brush out and leaves hair feeling soft and looking shiny. Then there’s that uplifting pineapple scent again, so you don’t even have to leave the room for a moment, after you’ve used it. I wouldn’t say this could hold a large volume of hair in a gravity-defying style but then it is only supposed to be ‘medium hold’.

    Rating 5/5

    Flexible Styling Sculpt

    My fringe is a cartoonishly-big, frizzy canopy when freshly washed but using this made having a fringe enjoyable, rather than a chore for the first time, ever! I can absent mindedly shove it into a quiff off my face if the weather is too hot and then just spread it out again into smooth waves when I want. If I want a glam look, I can sweep it into a low side parting and it just stays there, looking effortless. It’s also useful as a curl cream if there are unruly strands that hair oil cannot shape and tame. Just for example: Here is my hair before I’ve oiled it, with the front strand covered in Flexible Styling Sculpt and gently twisted.

    Rating 5/5

    Chrissie