Showing posts with label Hair. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hair. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

5 curl defining products which actually work


I'm constantly asked "What hair products do you use?" and any curly will know that finding the 'perfect' products takes a lot of trial and error. Achieving defined curls in particular was something I used to struggle with and I've tried so many gels, creams and mousses in the past which don't work well for my hair at all that I thought I'd share what does.


All have pros and cons but these are the products which always deliver for my hair which is mostly closest to 3c in texture (see Naturally Curly chart). How I prep and care for my hair for definition is key and I've detailed my full process in post but the most essential part is having clean, wet hair first. I've found that gel-based stylers and creams are most effective for me and I don't tend to use any of these products together as I've found they work enough on their own to provide the kind of hold I'm looking for. The definition from each product usually lasts for a couple of days before it wears off and I can usually get away with spritzing my hair with a light moisturiser or water to revive the product between washes.


The Gels 
I currently rely on the  (£14.99/227g) most. It was originally gifted to me by the brand last year and I've been buying it on and off since as it's not always easy to get hold of and I've confused it with the As I Am Coil Defining Jelly so many times which performs entirely differently. The Curling Jelly is a gel-like liquid texture containing Aloe Vera, Beetroot extract and Vitamin E. You don't need a lot of it for definition as the hair can look a little crispy if you use too much. My hair needs to be well moisturised with a leave-in before applying but my curls always look beautifully defined with this. I just rake in small amounts in sections and let air dry.

I also love the (£9.50/340g)* which contains Aloe Vera, Sunflower Oil, Marshmallow Root and Coconut Oil. It's much thicker than the As I Am Curling Jelly but I can go heavier on application without the hair looking coated and the hold is natural-looking. I've found the Design Essentials Gelée works best with other Design Essentials products (posted here) as I've found it can go a bit flaky or leave a residue when I've used it with some of the other leave-ins I have - a good way of testing out whether products will work together in your hair is to rub a little of each of them together in your palms before applying.

One of my other favourite gel-like products is the (£10.99/326ml). It's the easiest product for me to get hold of as it's available from Superdrug or Boots, tends to be on special offer a lot and the product lasts me a long time too. You only really need a small amount for hold as too much can also make the hair sticky. Like the other products it contains Aloe Vera (I'm starting to sense a pattern) and I'm convinced the Agave Nectar inside (a humectant which provides hold) makes this product so good at giving my hair definition without drying it out.

The Creams 
I love to use creams too as I've found they provide a more hydrating, natural hold than gels in general. The two cream products I use most are the (£21.50/200ml)* and the (£24/250ml). The Aveda curl enhancer contains Aloe Vera and Marshmallow Root like the Design Essentials Gelée but the texture is quite runny - it feels and looks like a light conditioner. The Bb Curl Creme is much thicker and needs to be smoothed and worked into my low porosity hair for definition and it contains Babassu Seed Oil, Brazil Nut Seed Oil and Beeswax. Both also contain 'cones' which can build up on the hair if overused and not shampooed out thoroughly so I tend to apply small amounts of either of these products on wet hair after conditioning. I've found that I mostly use these when travelling as, unlike the gels, they don't require a leave-in to be applied beforehand. 


These are my favourite products to use but this is not an exhaustive list. I've always made a point of trying as much as I can to find what works best and with curly hair experimentation is key. If you're struggling with styling try the products you have in a different way or add something new. It definitely took me a while to figure out my hair so don't be discouraged if you haven't figured out yours yet.

*samples - read my disclaimer here.

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 24 July 2017

Hair | Braid maintenance


Braids are a great protective style and every Summer the humidity has me itching to try them again. I had my hair cornrowed at Salon* recently (see my last style here) and it's been good to give my natural hair a break from daily styling. The fro is back now, but my hair feels so much better after being tucked away for a couple of weeks. I don't change my routine massively but I've outlined a few ways I care for my hair whilst it's braided up below.


Keep styling light
Hair that's braided doesn't tend to need as much moisture as when it's left exposed to the elements. When using products I find it's best not to oversaturate the hair or use heavy products as this only results in build-up. A little of a light moisturiser spritzed over the hair daily is usually all that's needed to give the hair moisture - look for milky rather than creamy products so it can be absorbed easily by the hair. I've been using  (£9.00/236.5ml) * or (£26/100ml)*. Both make my hair feel refreshed and I only need to spray a little over my braids. You can also just dilute your usual moisturiser or conditioner by adding a little water to it in a separate spray bottle. The idea is to give your hair a boost without overdoing it. I also like to apply a little of the (£6.99/120ml) with a toothbrush to smooth my baby hairs/edges but again I don't overdo it to prevent build-up.

Protect 
Cotton sheets tend to soak up moisture and can cause friction on the hair as you move about whilst you sleep. To keep braids as smooth as possible whilst I sleep I'll protect them with a satin or silk scarf or pillowcase as these materials are gentle on the hair. I purchased most of my satin pillowcases from H&M but you can pick them up in a few places and scarves/headwraps can be bought from most Afro/Caribbean haircare stores.

Avoid scratching
Sometimes that itch creeps in and getting my hands up in my scalp for a good scratch is so tempting but it will cause braids to loosen and could damage your scalp. Instead gently pat or try applying a little of a natural oil or an oil mix into your scalp for relief. I like to massage in a little of the  (£7.60/120ml) or  (£21.50/30ml)* following moisturising.

Dry Shampoo
As a curly I've been engineered to be wary of both of these words so I avoided using dry shampoo on my curls for a long time. The right dry shampoo can refresh when you can't wash - look for one that's moisturising and doesn't leave residue. I've been using (£4.49/200ml)*. I spray a small amount throughout my roots and gently massage in. It smells so good and gives a quick refresh.

Deep cleanse
Cleansing with water too frequently can make the style loosen quicker - especially if your hair had to be blown out or straightened to braid in the first place. I'd much rather be comfortable and have a clean scalp so I'll remove any buildup after a few days but it's up to you how often you cleanse. I don't use any special shampoos or conditioners for my braids, only what I use normally - but I dilute everything I use with water in a separate spray bottle before applying as this makes it easier to remove from the braids. I tend to only concentrate on my scalp so this is the only area I'll get wet and then I use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue / build-up on the length of the braids.

*samples and complimentary hairstyle - read my disclaimer .

How have you been styling your hair?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Thoughts on one year natural


Last month marked one year of me being fully natural. In the past I've put together 'hair updates' to mark any differences or goals reached but what I've noticed is my hair hasn't dramatically changed in the past year. What has changed though is me - how I feel about myself and my attitude - and having natural hair has been a huge part of that.


The change I've seen in myself as you'd expect didn't happen overnight. When I initially chopped off the last of my chemically treated hair back in May 2016 my feelings about my natural hair were mixed. I'd never been totally satisfied with my hair throughout my life and as I've always adored curls on others I thought I'd love my natural hair. In reality I felt ugly initially and I worried whether people would accept the natural me.

With big hair you instantly stick out and being an introvert has always made me want to blend in. My instinct was to hide my hair - which I've done as both relaxed and natural. I'd take select photos of my hair to post online mostly as I felt it was a safe space occupied by fellow curlistas where I could be my natural self. In person however I mostly tucked away my bushy curls from friends, family and my boyfriend by always wearing it up in a neat bun.

As the months went by blogging and working with brands which celebrate individuality and diversity (particularly freelancing with ASOS) encouraged me to wear my hair out more in person. I've found my boyfriend, close friends and family to be nothing but supportive about my natural hair too which made me wonder what I was so worried about. Complete strangers also regularly stop me in the street and on public transport to compliment me on my curls. I'm still stunned every time it happens. I never, ever expected that sort of reaction and I realised most of my anxieties and insecurities were in my head.

The takeaway? I view my negative feelings about my hair as an expansion of how I'd felt about myself for years. I've always been my worst critic and it was truly stifling. I knew I couldn't continue that way and I needed to accept myself as I was (frizz and all). I've stopped pursuing perfection - it's not attainable anyway and my flaws don't need fixing - and this belief has helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin however I choose to wear my hair.


It feels bizarre saying it but the Coco Chanel quote "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life" has never rung truer for me than it has in the past year. Cutting off the last of my relaxed hair has led to me gaining so much more than a new a hairstyle. It forced me to accept and love things I previously didn't like about myself. It's given me a new lease of life.


I hope you all know what beautiful women (or men) you are already but just in case you feel like I once did know that you are enough as you are. 


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 29 May 2017

Glowwbox | May 2017


This month have teamed up with for a limited edition box including several products from the Coconut & Monoi collection. I've featured Glowwbox a number of times on my blog before but for any new readers, Glowwbox is a monthly beauty box subscription service (£15 + P&P)* aimed at women with darker skintones.


Inside the May edition I received the (£7.95/225g), (£8.95/266ml), (£9.50/118ml), (£9.50/340g) - all full size - and 2 sample packets of the (full size £9.50/340g). In the Glowwbox magazine included with every box it mentions 6 products inside the box so there may also be a sample of the (full size £9.50/266ml).

As the temperature heats up our hair can get drier so this month's box aims to quench our thirsty strands. Each product is stated to be loaded with moisture, containing ingredients like Coconut Oil, Monoi Oil and active botanicals to keep dryness at bay. I've only had the box for a few days so I've definitely not had enough time to fully review these products. So far I've only tried the Coconut Milk Nourishing Shampoo, Coconut Milk Leave-In Nourisher and Curl Defining Gelée once. The shampoo is sulfate-free and cleansed my hair without leaving it dry. The Leave-In gave my hair a moisture-boost without weighing it down and the Gelée defined my hair well but I found it didn't mix well when used with other brands/products I have already. As I'm still experimenting with these products I'll review them fully at a later stage.


You do get quite a lot of products for the subscription price so if this is something you're interested in you can grab this box until the end of May from


*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried a beauty box subscription?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

How I get defined curls


I'll be honest my hair isn't always defined. Some days it's a big ball of frizz and I've learned to love it either way. That said, I do have my method down for when I want definition and here's a few things which work best for me...


Wet hair 
My hair lacks definition if it's dry (like most curls) and for best results I'll apply any and all leave-ins whilst in the shower. I've tried applying on dry or damp hair but I always end up having to re-wet sections to really see definition. My hair is low porosity too so the water gives my hair moisture and the heat from the shower actually allows it to penetrate instead of just rolling right off. Product then also has a chance to absorb and as my hair is wet I don't have to use a lot.

Leave-ins 
My hair doesn't stay curly on in it's own and is naturally frizz-prone so I'll always rely on leave-ins. I tend to start with a leave-in conditioner like  (£5.75/240ml) or (£10.99/236ml). Both are pretty similar in terms of results so I usually rely on one or the other and once applied that's when I go in with a defining product. Not all defining products are made equal so if you've found one you absolutely love stick with it. I've found these types of products can be hit and miss - many giving me crunchy or limp strands with the definition only lasting a day. As a result for months I rejected these types of products altogether and just used a moisturiser but I have settled on a few favourites. I love  (£23.50/250ml) most as it doesn't weigh down my hair. It's pricey but as I apply wet I don't use a huge amount and I can usually get away with just rewetting my hair the next day to reactivate the product if needed.  (£10.99/340ml) is another favourite as the definition lasts but this can make the hair a little sticky if you use too much.

Scrunching, smoothing and finger coiling 
I'm really lazy with my hair so most days I simply apply the product and smooth or scrunch into the hair. I very rarely use combs or brushes so I tend to work in the product or rake through with my fingers. I see the best results when working in really small sections so I'll start at the back and slowly work my way up. When I've got more time (and patience) I'll coil tiny sections around my finger to make my hair more spring-y.

Air drying or diffusing
My hair and blowdryers don't seem to get a long so I prefer to airdry which means on wash days I tend to run around with wet mop of curls and a microfibre towel draped over my shoulders. Not ideal I know, so if airdrying isn't an option I'll reach for my blowdryer and use with a diffuser. Diffusers gently dry curls without disturbing the pattern too much and using these on cool or low heat will limit damage.

Pineapple(ing)
Piling all my hair into a loose ponytail on top of my head (like a pineapple) is the only thing I do to help my curls last past the first day. I try to make sure my hair has dried fully first (otherwise my hair can look a little like a mushroom when I untie it the next day) and I'll use a  (£4.75) or similar as these don't leave a noticeable dent in the hair. Sometimes I'll use a satin scarf but mostly I sleep on a satin pillowcase to stop my hair drying out. The next day my hair usually just needs a little shake and it's as good as the day before and I can usually do this for a couple of days before needing to start the process again.


Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 27 February 2017

TreasureTress | February 2017


I'm no stranger to beauty boxes though I haven't tried anything specifically curated for naturally curly and kinky before. Cue TreasureTress, a UK-based monthly subscription box, unique in that they provide 3 different boxes each month for young children, teens and adults (Mini Me, Tween and Qween) all priced at £20 + P&P.* You simply pick a box according to your age and the idea is that both mothers and daughters can try out a range of new hair products tailored towards their hair. 


I received this month's Qween box which contains Palmer's products mostly from the Manuka Flower Honey range which I've not tried before. Inside was the Manuka Flower Honey Strengthening Shampoo (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Nourishing Conditioner (£6.99/350ml), Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack Deep Conditioner x2 (£2.99/60g), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Spray (£5.99/250ml), Manuka Flower Honey Leave-In Cream (£6.99/190ml), the Olive Oil Conditioning Spray Oil (£4.69/150ml) and a useful card containing information about the products and a few tips.

With all beauty boxes the main selling point is that you can try something new for a snip of the usual RRP and you do get quite a lot of products in this box. This is really ideal for those who haven't quite found the right products for their hair yet. The subscription cost is worth it providing you like the products inside and where most beauty boxes fall down is that you don't actually know what's in the box until it arrives. Currently you need to have started your TreasureTress subscription before the 5th of each month to receive that month's box and there's no hints about what might be inside. I think it's quite a lot of products to receive each month too but it is handy to have full size products so you can really get an idea on whether you like them. The subscription can be cancelled at any time too and there is the option to skip the next month when you open an account.


I've had these products for almost two weeks but I usually like to spend a couple of months using hair products to really get a feel for them so I won't be reviewing these in detail here. As you can guess from the name, the Manuka Flower Honey products all contain Manuka Flower Honey as well as Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Amla Oil. The products are also formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and dyes and are stated to be for all natural hair textures. The products are scented, and whilst I don't love the scent, thankfully it isn't too overpowering. 

So far the standouts at the moment are the Nourishing Conditioner and the Leave-In Conditioner Spray. Both leave my curls feeling really soft and hydrated and I'd buy the conditioner to use as co-wash. The Leave-In Conditioning Cream I had less success with. It's really thick and, whilst I followed the instructions which suggest applying to clean dry hair, my hair didn't really absorb the product - it just kind of sat on top and made it feel a little sticky. I tried it again the next day but this time with my hair still wet first and the product seemed to work better but I have other hair creams which I'd reach for over this. I haven't yet tried the Protein Packs or Shampoo. The Olive Oil Spray works great for added shine but I don't tend to use these types of products often when styling as I only really use oils or oil-based products when I'm conditioning.

Overall this month's Treasure Tress box was a great introduction to Palmer's haircare products and as someone who's tried a lot of products before it was great to experiment with a brand I'm not familiar with already. I'll continue to use the products to see how they work for me over the next couple of months.

If you're interested in subscribing check out the TreasureTress website

*sample - read my disclaimer here.


Have you tried TreasureTress?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Andre Walker Hair Launch


Last month Andre Walker, the man behind Oprah's locks, launched his haircare line in the UK. As I've already tried and love the Andre Walker Hair TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner (reviewed briefly here) I've been keen to get to know the rest of the range which is pretty streamlined. The Andre Walker Hair line contains simply a shampoo, a deep conditioner, a hair oil and a leave-in each for curly, kinky and straight-styled hair which all retail from £10.99 each*. When it comes to styling Andre's products are designed to be used alone (with a philosophy of no more 'cocktailing').


Prior to the launch event I was styled by Andre himself, starting with a thorough cleanse with the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and conditioning with the TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner. The conditioner was rinsed completely from my hair and Andre applied the Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee and a little of the Quench-Essential Oil. Having my hair styled by Andre was absolute pleasure. He was so welcoming and he gave me lots of tips and tricks on styling and caring for my hair. He also advised me that my hair was more on the kinky side and suggested it was type 4 of his hair typing system (see his hair typing chart ).

(left to right) Ebony modelling styled Type 3 hair, Kiyarni modelling straight styled hair, Andre Walker and me. 
Photos provided by Glen Nuñez, 

I've tried to stick to just using this line for the past few weeks to get an idea on how the products work for me so far. I still absolutely love the TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner (£15.99) and I'm now on my second tub. It contains Aloe Vera, Keratin and oils such as argan, avocado and mongongo. This Conditioner does also contain dimethicone but I've never really had an issue with 'cones' so this is definitely at the top of my list to purchase when it's finished. I have so many shampoos on hand that the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo (£10.99) comes up against some pretty stiff competition. It is gentle but I have far gentler shampoos which cleanse just as well.


With styling I found that the Beautiful Curls Styling Crème (£15.99) works well for me, despite it being designed for type 2 and type 3 hair. It's a smooth consistency that's just so light it moisturises without weighing down my low porosity hair. Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee (£15.99), which is designed for type 4 hair, is much creamier and thicker in consistency and it gives my curls a lot more hold than Beautiful Curls. Both products are conditioning but are very different in terms of the main ingredients. Beautiful Curls has Aloe Vera, Ginger, Sea Kelp and Acai Fruit Extract whilst Beautiful Kinks contains Shea Butter, Avocado oil, and Jojoba oil. The products are designed to be used alone depending on your curl type, which I've tried, but I actually prefer using them together. I concentrate Beautiful Curls on the looser areas of my hair at the bottom and Beautiful Kinks towards my crown and edges where my curls are much tighter. I have a habit of layering product and I'd say that hasn't really changed though if I had to I could just use Beautiful Kinks by itself. Each time I've styled my hair with these products my hair has been staying moisturised and defined for at least 2 days before I need to rewet my hair and add a little more product.


I've not used a lot of the Quench-Essential Oil (£15.99) but it looks and feels very similar to a serum with cyclomethicone and dimethicone as the main ingredients. It also contains Mongongo and Argain oil and my hair feels smooth and less frizzy when I use this. I very rarely use heat anymore so I haven't tested out the Get It Straight Styling Crème (£15.99) yet but I scanned the ingredients on the bottle (twice) and they are listed exactly the same as the Beautiful Curls product. The same is true of the ingredients listed individually on the brand's website. It could be a misprint, but both products look and smell the same. The only physical difference from what I can tell so far is the packaging. I'll be using both together soon to see if there really is a difference.

Overall I love the simplicity of this line as I am trying to generally use less on my hair but I haven't quite given up 'cocktailing' yet.

Andre Walker Hair products are currently only available through  in the UK and from the brand's website or Target in the US. 

*samples - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried Andre Walker Hair products?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Conditioners


I've always had such good success with the Shea Moisture conditioners I've tried so I've been itching to get my hands on the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line. I couldn't find it in a lot of the shops I usually buy Shea Moisture products from but it is stocked in a few places online. I picked up the Intense Hydration Conditioner and Masque from  back in September and I'm in love.


There's only 4 products available in the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil line - a shampoo, conditioner, masque and a treatment oil. I have so many shampoos and oils on hand currently I only really needed the conditioners. As you can probably guess from the name the star ingredients in this line are Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil which both help keep the hair hydrated. Mafura Oil has long been used to nourish the skin and hair in Africa but I haven't seen it used in many hair products available here. Other ingredients include Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, African Rock Fig, Baobab Oil and Rice Protein. Like a lot of the Shea Moisture line these conditioners are also formulated without sulphates, parabens and mineral oil. With such an impressive ingredients list it was hard not to have high hopes for these products.

Both of these conditioners really deliver on injecting moisture into dry strands and I've had consistent results with each use. My hair is prone to (a lot of) tangling too and lately these are amongst only a few products which I can rely on to melt away the knots. I tend to use the conditioner as a co-wash and the masque with a steamer after shampooing. I found these products really similar to the Superfruit Complex line (conditioners reviewed here) in terms of the scent, texture and ingredients but I find these slightly more moisturising. There's not much between them though and I'll probably continue to buy from both lines. Overall these are definitely winners for me. It's a shame there aren't any Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil styling products as I would definitely buy these too.

Have you tried anything by Shea Moisture?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 31 October 2016

Hair | Keash Braids


It's been a while since I switched up my style so on Saturday I had my hair braided in two simple cornrows with ombre extensions added at the pop up in Hackney (Manchester). I love this style so much and it's great to have a bit of variety from my usual messy bun. I really need to learn how to cornrow properly myself so I can try this more often!


*complementary hairstyle received - read my disclaimer .

What styles have you been doing lately?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Glowwbox | October 2016


It's been a minute since I reviewed a box from beauty subscription service Glowwbox so I thought I'd share what's inside October's 'Dark and Mysterious' edition (£15+P&P)*.

Inside this box are two new launches to the UK - the Andre Walker Hair TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner (£14.99) and the Mixed Chicks in the Mix Dual Quick Stick Foundation (£16.99). Also inside is Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Scarab Sapphire (£15), Lucy Annabella Date Night Organic Bath Milk (full size £43) and Saturated Colour Multitasker in Seductive Damson (£3.50) and there's one of three products - Benecos Natural Quattro Eyeshadow in Beautiful Eyes (£6.95), PHB Ethical Brightening Moisturiser and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula (£18.95). In my box was the Benecos eyeshadow palette.


The star of this box for me is the Andre Walker Hair TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner which launches officially in the UK next month. Creator Andre Walker was Oprah's personal stylist for over 25 years, styled Michelle Obama and created Halle Berry's signature pixie cut. I received the TKO Conditioner from Glowwbox a few weeks ago and I just love it. Deep conditioners are my favourite hair products to use and this is up there with my all time favourites. It has a really thick texture, actually the consistency is probably the thickest I've come across and it's quite hard to spread at first but once it's applied it melts into the hair and makes it feel so hydrated. It's made with Mongongo, Argan and Avocado oils as well as Aloe Vera and keratin. I've been using this product both as a deep conditioner and a styler. I usually apply to damp strands after shampooing, leave in for 20-30 minutes and then lightly rinse it out so there's still a little left in my hair. My hair feels gorgeous when I use this and seems to stay moisturised for longer. I can't wait for this to launch officially but it's available exclusively from Glowwbox until the end of the month.


I was also sent a few of the Mixed Chicks In the Mix Quick Sticks to try. It's a dual ended product with a cream foundation on one end and a bronzer on the other. There's 5 shades altogether and one shade is included in this month's box. Since I last reviewed Glowwbox they've introduced a way of tailoring the box to you as you can now fill in a profile which takes a few details about your skintone, skin type, hair type and the kind of products you like. Glowwbox will try to select the best shade for you based on your profile details. There are only 5 shades however which is pretty limited but Mixed Chicks state that you can mix and match between the shades to get your perfect tone. For years I've had to mix foundations together to try and get them to work for my skintone and I think the brand has missed a trick by creating such a small range of shades, especially as the lightest shade Sultry Sand (which has been created for fair to light complexions) is too dark and quite orange for me. Perhaps they'll add more shades a later stage but as they didn't work for me I gave the shades I had to my mum (who is much darker than me) and she absolutely loves the dual function of the sticks. The shade Timeless Tawny (created for fair to light complexions with a golden undertone) is pictured as I didn't have the other shades available when taking these photos but hopefully the swatch can give you an idea on whether this shade would work for you.

I've not yet tested out the other products included in this month's box but have included swatches here of the cosmetic products. I very rarely take the time to indulge with a nice bath but I'll reach for the included sample of Lucy Ananabella Bath Milk when I do. It seems quite luxurious and you can really smell the essential oils in this product.

(swatches top to bottom) Saturated Colour Multitasker in Seductive Damson, Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Scarab Sapphire, Benecos Natural Quattro Eyeshadow in Beautiful Eyes and Mixed Chicks in the Mix Dual Quick Stick Foundation in Timeless Tawny (bronzer and foundation)

You can join Glowwbox  and if you're interested code 'FRESHL' gets you the October edition and 2 lace chokers like the one below (whilst stocks last) 


*sample - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried a beauty box subscription?

Christine Stewart x

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Saturday, 3 September 2016

It's My Hair Tag collab with Kay Amoah [Video]



It's been a while since I did a tag and I think it's such a good way to know a little about me without me rambling on randomly in a video or post. I usually get a lot of questions about my 'hair journey' so the 'it's my hair tag' which was circling a couple of years ago seemed a natural fit. This video is also my first collab with Kay (find her channel ). We've become friends recently and I just love her energy and warmth so we're planning to make videos together in future.

The Video
Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wash Day with Briogeo & Antidotestreet [Video]


It's been a while since I've made a wash day video so I've gone back to basics and show how I shampoo and condition my curls here. This video is sponsored by , an online retailer for black hair and skincare, and they've kindly provided the Briogeo products used in this video.* I've been using the Briogeo Rosarco Reparative Shampoo & Conditioner for the past few weeks and they're great for adding strength back to limp curls. Check out the video to see exactly how I use them.


The Video 

Both Antidotestreet & Briogeo have also provided discount codes if you're interested in trying these for yourself.

UK & Europe

Code: LESLEY15
Discount: 15% off
Excludes Big Hair No Care and Hair Consultations

US

Code: FRESH
Discount: 20% off all products
Term: 08/17/2016 - 09/17/2016

*This is a sponsored post - read my disclaimer .

What's your wash day like?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hair Update | August 2016 [Video]



It's been a while since I sat down for a quick chat on my YouTube channel so I filmed a hair update recently. A lot of you who follow me on Instagram () know I've been fully natural since May so this video is really for those who wanted to know what was going on with my hair and whether I was still relaxed/texlaxed. My journey to natural has definitely hasn't been a straight road, there's been a few zigs and zags in there (no pun intended) but I can honestly say I feel a lot happier with my hair now. It feels so freeing not having to worry about the hair growing out of my scalp not matching the lengths! Odd I know but when you've had chemically-treated hair for most of your life it's quite novel accepting (and enjoying) what comes naturally.

The Video

As ever if you have any questions let me know in the comments.


What have you been doing with your hair lately?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Review | Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque



If you've followed my blog for a while you'll know I'm a hoarder of many products but deep conditioners in particular. I feel uncomfortable having less than 3 on hand at any given time (weird, I know) but there is one I've been reaching for over the others recently - the (£12.99).

I bought this beauty back in April along with a couple of other Shea Moisture masques (thank you Boots 3 for 2 offer) but I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I asked a few of you on Instagram and many claimed this was one of their 'holy grail' products whilst others were less impressed, preferring some of the other Shea Moisture conditioners. This masque is formulated with damaged, transitioning hair in mind but don't let that put you off if you have all natural or relaxed hair. Apart from some pesky split ends, my natural hair has been thriving lately but I knew this product would keep the protein and moisture balance in check.


It's a very thick, buttery consistency with what I can only describe as a faint scent of the sea. The strange scent must be due to this being made with sea kelp which admittedly I Googled as I wasn't entirely sure what it was or how it could be beneficial to hair. Sea kelp is a brown algae rich in minerals and said to be good for hair growth, though this doesn't appear to have been proven. It's supposed to give a smoothing effect here. The formula of this masque also includes ingredients such as castor, olive, carrot and argan oil with a hearty dose of shea butter. What I did notice is the formula of the US version of this product is slightly different (see ), with some ingredients in smaller quantity (shown nearer to the bottom of the list) or omitted entirely for the UK product (see ).

Without trying both I'm not sure how much of a difference this actually makes but with one use I noticed good results - soft and moisturised curls - and that has continued with every use since. I had best results when used with my (as with most deep conditioners I have) but if you don't have one covering the hair with a plastic cap will do the trick. I only have a very small amount of this masque left now and I would definitely buy this again.

Have you tried any Shea Moisture products? 

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Review | 3Thirty Salon



I must be getting more comfortable with being back in a stylist's chair as this year I've frequented salons more than I have done in the last decade! Blogging has been the primary reason I've been able to of course which I'm so thankful for. If you've followed my blog or YouTube channel for a while you'll know if been dying to get a professional cut so it was perfect timing when Shoreditch-based Salon reached out to me.

I've been cutting my hair myself for the past few years partly as I didn't know where I could get a good cut and also as the goal until recently was to slowly cut off all of my chemically-treated hair -which made forking out for a decent hair cut pointless in my eyes. With my hair naturally curly my main goal was getting a cut that gave my hair a good shape and was tailored to my curls as I have no plans to wear my hair straight in the immediate future.



I met with Tiff J, owner of 3Thirty Salon, recently and after a consultation she recommended one of her custom blended hair treatments and a cut (£87)*. She focused on adding moisture so after washing my hair with , she applied a mix of and . My hair was then wrapped in a plastic cap and left to infuse under the dryer for 20 minutes. My hair felt so soft afterwards and it was good to note a couple of products I'd used in the past on my relaxed hair still worked as well for my hair in it's curly state too.

Whilst still damp, Tiff meticulously cut my hair small sections at a time, taking care to ensure an even cut based on how my curls fell. I can part my hair anywhere and she took so little off the ends. For me it's night and day - my hair has more movement, looks more even and allowed me to wave goodbye to some pesky split-ends. After cutting, my hair was styled with , diffused and finished with a little . I only had my phone on me to take a few snaps in the salon but restyled my hair the next day at home so you can see how the cut looks in the first picture above.

The salon itself is gorgeously decorated and pretty convenient for me to get to. The cost of the services I received is a lot if you're like me and you're used to doing everything yourself. I have created my own DIY salon at home in lieu of frequent visits to a professional but I'm the first to (reluctantly) admit I can't do it all. I just loved the general aura of the salon too and I could see it as place I'd be returning to. Tiff explained that the cut she gave me should last 4 months but when I need another I know where to go.

*complementary treatment received - read my disclaimer .



Do you go to a salon regularly?


Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

How To | Hot Oil Treatment [Video]



Hot oil treatments are the only thing that seems to help keep my hair from frizzing as much so even though it's warmer I've been relying on these treatments almost every week. I last made a video on hot oil treatments back in 2014 so I thought it was about time I did an update. In the video I take you through the two ways in which I do a hot oil treatment. Both methods are so easy and hot oil treatments can work well on all hair types, you may just have to adjust the oils you use or where you use them depending on your needs.

The Video:



Do you do hot oil treatments?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Hair By EbonyB


I very rarely entrust my hair into the hands of others (my paranoia stems from one too many bad experiences in the past). Whilst I've gotten used to styling my own hair I'm the first to admit that there's a lot more styles I'd try if I had the skills to do them. One thing I've never been able to do well is braid and I've been itching to try another cornrowed style.


I've been in contact with Zuwena, owner of , for the past few months and I met with her for the first time yesterday. The salon is located in North Manchester which is a bit of a trek from my neck of the woods but it was fairly easy to find. After a chat about how I generally care for and style my hair Zuwena suggested a braided style. My hair had only been washed the day before so she blowdried my hair before cornrowing with extensions. She was so gentle with my hair and I absolutely love the result so expect a few snaps of how I'll be wearing this style to pop up on my  page soon.

This style usually costs from £35* and if you're interested in trying it too you can get 10% off by quoting 'Hairstyle Design' when booking between 7th - 21st June.


*Complementary hairstyle

What hairstyles do you like to do? 

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review | MIZANI True Textures


Earlier this Spring salon-exclusive brand MIZANI (a division of L'Oreal) unveiled the new look for their True Textures range targeted at naturally curly, coily and wavy hair. I've tried a few MIZANI products before but mostly when my hair was straighter (relaxed/texlaxed). I recently cut off the last of my chemically-treated hair (see ) and now my hair is au naturel it has been interesting to dip into the wealth of products now available for curly hair. I was sent a few True Textures products, but the Cream Cleansing Conditioner (£13.80/250ml)* and Moisture Replenish Conditioner (£14.30/250ml)* are the ones I've been using most.


Both of the products are paraben-free, have a subtle floral scent and are infused with coconut, olive and marula oils. The Cleansing Conditioner is essentially like co-washing. It's sulphate-free but the formula does foam a little. I've been applying the product throughout my hair before massaging in and then rinsing as per the instructions. I have to admit though whilst it's in your hair it doesn't feel like it's doing anything. In fact, it feels like my hair is quite dry but after rinsing it's a different story entirely and the softness appears out of nowhere. Gentle cleansing is so necessary for my thirsty hair so I rely on co-washing or mild shampoos weekly, I'll continue to use this until it runs out.

Though technically the Cream Cleansing Conditioner is designed to be used alone, I've almost always used it with the Moisture Replenish Conditioner. As much as I've become more comfortable with a one-step washing process lately I still can't escape my impulsive need to do extra conditioning. I find it difficult to proactively moisturise my hair during the week, so the more conditioning I do, the less I tend to need styling product. The Moisture Replenish Conditioner isn't technically a deep conditioner but I've been leaving it in my hair for about 15-30 minutes and the results rival some of my favourite hair masks. The main downside however is I got through the now empty tub in 4 uses even when using sparingly.

Both are great products though a little out of my budget currently. When am able to splurge I'd definitely pick up the Moisture Replenish Conditioner.

The new MIZANI True Textures range is available from MIZANI appointed salons nationwide which you can find through their website .

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

What hair products have you been using?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 24 April 2016

How To | Smooth Edges [Video]


I've been smoothing my edges down using pretty much the same method for a couple of years so thought I'd dedicate an entire video to it to show exactly what I do. I'm definitely looking to be more active on YouTube now as I've finally got the hang of making and editing videos so if there's anything specific you'd like to see next let me know in the comments.


The Video:


How have you been styling your hair lately?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Fluffy Twistout Tutorial [Video]


It's been a really long time since I've tried a twistout on my hair surprisingly as this used to be my go-to style. I stuck to only creating a few twists on wet hair and the result was big fluffed up curls. See the video below for how I did it.


The Video: 

How have you been styling your hair lately?

Christine Stewart x

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