In the world of Fashion and Beauty some things come across pretty standardised and impersonal. So it's always good to know that there are brands out there that carry alot of personality , and truly do have their end-consumer in mind. The last 5-10 years have witnessed this growing trend of sustainability and social responsibility. Brands that tell a story, one personal to the creator, are definitely winning in my books. These are brands made with love.
So in no particular order -
1. Keji Victoria Designs - a bespoke and Ready-to-wear collection by yours truly, is inspired by my cross-cultural journey between Africa and the West. The latest collection, #madewithlovebykv draws inspiration from the names of locals in Northern Nigeria; as well as pays homage and solidarity to local businesses in that area.
2. Shea Moisture - a hair and beauty brand that has a family history and African heritage: shea butter, a rich home-grown plant is the selling point of this kind-to-the-hair brand.
Sofi Tucker was the forerunner to selling shea butter (that inspired Shea Moisture); and the grandmother to one of the brand's co-founders.
3. The Honest Company, founded by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan, makes pure and harm-free baby products their priority. Once again, the most cherished brands are ones who the owners are also proud consumers of the goods.
4. Alex and Ani - an eco-conscious accessory brand that exists to give back to the planet. What I love about this brand is the recycle qualities in its manufacturing processes. The accessories are made with some recyclable elements, and the aesthetics are not compromised.
5. Studio 189 is a fashion social enterprise founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah. The Ghana and New York based platform works with award-winning artisans in Africa. 'Fashion Rising' has been notable campaign of the brand, which uses fashion to create more opportunities and empowerment for communities particularly in Africa.
6. Two-Thirds clothing brand - takes its brand inspiration from the ocean, which is known to take up two-thirds of the planet. Every collection is designed with lovable sea creatures and donations are made towards keeping our blue seas clean and safe. How lovely!
Can you share any brands in the industry that exist to help their community and make a difference?
Beauty marks can sometimes result in people suffering from low self-esteem, as they may feel quite self-conscious about a mole or dark patch on the skin. If you have a beauty mark you would like removed, it might be a comfort to learn you’re not alone.
According to the BBC, the number of people requesting mole removals roses by an incredible 127% in 2015 in the UK alone. In fact, some of the world’s most beautiful celebrities have also embarked with mole removals, including Madonna and Enrique Iglesias.
However, instead of embarking on invasive cosmetic surgeries, we are here to show you how to remove beauty marks using natural remedies.
A Natural Removal
While it is not backed up by scientific evidence, it is believed that the acid in apple cider vinegar can prove successful in the removal of a variety of beauty marks, such as age spots, moles, warts and birthmarks.
If you would like to try the apple cider vinegar removal, simply soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and then place this on the mark. For an effective result, you could always secure the cotton ball using a bandage, which will allow the vinegar to go to work on the birthmark overnight.
Once you wake from sleep, simply remove the bandage and cotton ball and repeat the process later that night with a fresh cotton ball and bandage.
You may find the birthmark starts to scab; however, it is recommended to protect the skin with petroleum jellies, such as Vaseline, or almond or coconut oil. Never pick a scab or you could end up with an unsightly scar.
Lemon juice could also prove effective in lightening a beauty mark. The acid in lemon juice has lightening properties that could help reduce a birthmark’s shade.
It is unlikely the lemon juice could remove the birthmark altogether, but it could make the blemish less noticeable on your body – which will most likely be a comfort to those who are self-conscious about their beauty marks.
If you would like to try the natural method, simply squeeze the juice of a lemon and rub it onto the beauty mark twice per day. Do not expect to see immediate results, as it will take time for the lightening properties to take effect, but the skin could lighten gradually if you perform the routine daily.
Lemon, Baking Soda and Sugar Face Scrub
So, we have told you all about the benefits of lemon juice, but did you know sugar and baking soda could also help you successfully reduce darker spots or skin blemishes?
By making a lemon, baking soda and sugar face scrub, not only will you have beautifully exfoliated skin, but your face will be free from bacteria and dust that can become trapped inside your pores. Plus, thanks to the lemon, you can lighten up any beauty marks denting your confidence.
A Coconut Oil and Olive Oil Massage
It seems the whole world and her husband have fallen in love with the many benefits of coconut oil, and it appears it is a gift that keeps on giving. That’s because both coconut oil and olive oil are jam-packed full with vitamin E and K, which can remove sun spots and dark patches, as well as improving your skin’s elasticity and tone.
For the ultimate massage oil, simply mix equal parts of coconut oil and olive oil, before applying to the skin and massaging it onto your desired area. Perform this massage for between 4 to 5 minutes, rubbing the oils into the skin in a circular motion.
Tomato and Honey Facial Cleanser
It might be a little unusual to add tomato and honey onto your face, but it could be the very thing you need to do to say goodbye to those beauty spots affecting your daily life. The cleanser is thought to not just lighten dark patches, but to remove pigmentation marks and clear your pores.
To create the facial cleanser, simply grind a tomato in a mixer, before draining the juice into a bowl and adding two teaspoons of honey. Stir the ingredients well and your facial cleanser is ready and waiting for you to use – and it’s perfect for your everyday skincare regime.
You might have heard about toothpaste having the power to remove pimples, but did you know it can lighten dark patches on your skin, too? That’s because it contains bleaching and antibacterial agents that can reduce spots and make darker areas of the skin much lighter.
If you would like to try this method for yourself, simply apply the toothpaste to your desired area using a q-tip. The toothpaste should remain on your skin for up to 30 minutes and then simple wash it away with cold water. If you perform the toothpaste trick twice per week, you may soon notice a difference.
Cumin Seeds and Rice Water
If you thought lemon juice and toothpaste were strange ways to lighten up dark spots on the skin, you must hear about cumin seeds and rice water. This effective natural remedy could be all it takes to remove a beauty mark from your face.
So how does it work? Well, cumin seeds and rice water contain skin cleansing and lightening properties, which not only helps to remove dark patches, but can banish acne marks and pimples – so it’s great as part of a skincare regime, too.
Simply boil two tablespoons of cumin seeds in two cups of water. Once you have done that, drain the cumin seeds’ water into a bowl and add one cup of rice water, stirring thoroughly. All that’s left to do is pour the water into ice cube trays, freeze and then rub an ice cube on the area for just three minutes.
Sandalwood, Turmeric and Milk Face Mask
What woman doesn’t love a face mask to feel beautiful? Well, if a mole-like mark is making you feel less than beautiful, you should consider creating the sandalwood, turmeric and milk face mask.
Sandalwood has anti-ageing and anti-blemish properties, which is ideal for those wanting to say goodbye to pimples or age spots; whilst turmeric is one of the most natural products that can be used to lighten skin. Also, those who want to prevent skin pigmentation should consider adding milk onto their skin, too.
If you would like to create this effective facial mask, add two tablespoons of Sandalwood powder and a pinch of turmeric to 3 tablespoons of fresh, thick milk. Apply the paste onto your face and allow it to dry naturally for approximately 20 minutes. To remove the face mask, wash your face with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry.
BIO: Ella Allan is a blogger at Beauty Blog - Allbeautytoday.com
Violets are Blue Roses are Red, it’s almost that time of the year again, Valentine’s day. Get your gift shopping, for your love-one done early with these great early bird deals from the Fragrance Shop.
For your pleasure and to fit your pocket after the January Blues, the Fragrance Shop is offering up to 60% off on selected fragrances as part of their early Valentine’s Day Event. With a great selection for him and her across their designer brands like Burberry, Roberto Cavalli and Tommy Hilfiger. Get online at www.thefragranceshop.co.uk or shop instore and get yours before the big rush.
Burberry Touch evokes feelings of intimacy, sensuality and sophistication. A luminous and airy oriental fragrance. The perfect gift to spice up your special night.
Fantasy is for the girl that likes her bling with a bottle that is adorned with Swarovski crystals and interlocking rings that represents everlasting love. You will cast a spell on him with this light feminine scent that explodes into a lingering scent of creamy musk and sensual woods.
Mesmerising and exhilarating from the first contact with its scent of amber florals, this fragrance is addictive. Exuding strength and sensuality. You will love and he will melt in it.
Match him as an equal in intimacy and sensuality for and explosion of strong emotions for a fiery night of passion.
A classic fragrance for a classic man, that is not afraid to show his modern flair and sophistication. With its woody citrus spicy scent, it is a bottle of contemporary elegance.
Crisp, clean and refreshing Tommy by Hilfiger, is for the man that is energetic and passionately lives out his dreams.
Let him arouse all your senses with FCUK Friction for Him. A masculine fragrance that is seductive and alluring and just one whiff of it will leave you begging for more.
Make Valentine’s 2017 a night to remember!!
The 60% Off, offer is valid in-store and online between 20th and 31st January 2017
To shop now visit www.thefragranceshop.co.uk/valentines-shop.
Each- and- every new year we wow to do better and take on new challenges, promising ourselves that this year we are going to do better than the year before. But come mid-year, and we start to take stock of all our set out intentions to move forward and out of our comfort zones. We realise that we have not achieved half of it. So, the question remains, how do we go about achieving our set out intentions? Personally, I believe that the key to that is Confidence.
Read on to discover my personal tips on achieving New Year Confidence.
Take care of yourself
It is amazing how much of a difference a new hair colour or smelling beautiful and glowing skin can have on your self-confidence. Looking good and feeling great is a fantastic boost to your self-image. So, take the time to take care of yourself indulge in those small things like a new lipstick or trying a new eye-make look. It will turn your mood around from feeling glum and grey to bright and sparkling.
You cannot look all pretty and not be dressed nicely, if you dress nicely, you’ll feel good about yourself. A nice dress or a pants suits will make you feel successful, presentable and ready to tackle whatever the day hold and brings. Invest in good quality items and build your capsule wardrobe with pieces that will make you feel confident when going for that all important meeting or interview.
Re-brand your self-image
Our mental picture of who and what we are, so often determines our confidence. If we feel good or negative about ourselves, we reflect that outwards. In the way, we carry ourselves and how we allow others to interact with us. Let 2017 be the year where you make the choice to re-brand your self-image. Make small changes, like having a mantra, my favourite is, I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM WORTHY, I AM CONFIDENT, I AM CAPABLE, I AM NOT LESS THEN OR BETTER THEN THOSE AROUND ME, repeat this every morning in front of the mirror and with time you will start to carry yourself in that manner and not allow yourself and others to make you feel small and worthless. Remember, who you want to be and how others perceive you, is your choice. So, choose to show you true worth.
This is an important part of re-branding your self- image and building self-confidence. Positive thinking can open- up new opportunities. It is all about the energy you bring into a situation, so if your energy is positive you will be more open to feel good about yourself and to become the best version of yourself.
A smile lights up your face and will instantly make you feel better and it will help you to be kinder to yourself and those around you. A small but beautiful thing that can have a wonderful chain reaction. Your smile is one of your best assets so use it well this new year.
Good posture will make you feel taller and more confident. If you stand tall and walk with confidence into any room people around you will take notice. Stand straight and pull your shoulders back and stand tall and walk talk and be proud and have confident in yourself, your beauty and that gorgeous smile.
Have a wonderful 2017 and may you achieve at least one of your set out intentions for this new year.