Guest Post! Where the Beautiful Black Women of Paris Shop!

Hi all!

Here is my 3rd guest post of the week!

 I love the virtual world of social media, the fact that it knows no boundaries and that you can make connections with like-minded people in the far-flung nations of the earth!  Well, you will not be travelling to far today…just to gay Paris!

The fabulous Miss B Beautiful (whom I connected with via Twitter…really, if you are not on Twitter, you are missing a trick!!!), is a Parisian Black woman with a passion for hair and beauty and is the author of the blog  blackandbeautiful.fr  (which she writes in 3 languages!!! Very clever!).

I  asked Miss BB (as she is affectionately known), for the lowdown on where the chic Black woman of Paris shop for their hair and beauty items.   All I can say is that her shopping escapades made me want to book a Eurostar ticket straight away!!

Here is her account:

Hello Black and Beautiful Ladies,

There are many places in Paris to buy beauty products for black women.

Thanks to my blog I have had the opportunity to discover and explore the best of these.

And here they are:

PLACES TO BUY MAKE UP

Make UP For Ever Boutique

Make Up For Ever is a French professional make-up brand that has a range of make up for all skin tones.

I love their eye shadows, which are very iridescent.  They also have a waterproof liquid liner called Aqua Liner, which comes in an array of rainbow colours.

Their cream eye shadows are also among my favourites.  Their boutique in Le Marais is really nice.  If you go there on a Saturday, you can meet a make-up artist that will give you all the advice that you need!

Boutique MAKE UP FOR EVER

5 rue de la Boétie

75008 Paris

MAC Boutique

MAC is my one of my favourite make up brands. I love everything they do!

They have a stunning boutique in Le Marais. Their make up artists are the best!

 

Boutique M.A.C

13 rue des Francs Bourgeois
75004 Paris

PLACES TO BUY HAIR PRODUCTS

 Univers Phyto

Univers Phyto is a hair institute where you can receive intensive hair treatments, and superior styling and they also have a sophisticated machine that analyses your hair, prior to the treatment.

You can also buy all the product from the brands Phytospecific and Phyto.

Phytospecific? C'est magnifique!


Univers Phyto

109, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris


Nayenka

Nayenka is a boutique that specialises in Black beauty. They opened one year ago.

They have the best haircare products such as Miss Jessies and Kera Care and some good french brands such as TRUE COLORS Paris, a cosmetics  brand for women of colour.

French brand TRUE COLORS Paris

 

Boutique Nayenka

9 rue du Turbigo

75001 Paris

Merci Beaucoup Miss BB!

Follow Miss BB on Twitter

Like Miss BB’s Facebook Page

Follow Miss BB’s Blog

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Guest Post – Event | Gidore Multi-Textures Hair Workshop with Felicia Leatherwood – The Inside Story by Fiona Onanuga of Love Your Tresses

I really love London!  There is SO much to do and see in this fabulous city.

An event that I reall wanted to atted was the Gidore Multi-Texture Hair Workshop that took place last Saturday, however I was unable to attend.  I didn’t want my lovely subbies and followers to miss out on what I knew was going to be an awesomeevent, so I asked Fiona of the brilliant blog, Love Your Tresses to write a guest post for me!

Here it is!

Enjoy!

The Saturday ‘Multi-Textures Hair Workshop’ hosted by Gidore was superb to say the least. It was my first large-scale UK hair event, and I definitely left feeling even more inspired and encouraged to strive on with my healthy hair journey and transition.
Highlights of course were many! For one, I got to meet the effortlessy beautiful Lukwesa Burak, founder of Gidore and our favourite face of Sky news, as well as finally meeting Pelumi of Care For Your Hair, Akua of SheaButterCottage, Miss Laila J of Fusion of Cultures, Crystal of United KinKdom and Joycelyn of Afrocenchix – a fantastic group of women who have and continue to make progressive steps in encouraging healthy haircare practices in the UK. It was also lovely meeting some LYT Blog readers [whoop whoop]! My younger sister trodded along and it made my day knowing that she genuinely enjoyed it!
The main part of the workshop was taken and led remarkably by natural hair specialist & celeb stylist Felicia Leatherwood, who despite having spent most of the past few weeks on planes, still shared her chunk of hair knowledge with smiles. She discussed hair topics spanning from how to wash hair, right down to the pros and cons of weave wearing and child haircare. What I enjoyed most was the fact that we were reminded over and over again of how much versatility there is with natural hair care and that most importantly, however you chose to wear your hair, you should do so with ‘loving yourself’ as the focal point. The second half of the event was taken by Jane Carter and KeraCare who gave demos on how to use their products- the queues to buy some of the demoed products were ridiculous!
As for note taking, here are some of the interesting points I picked up…
* Good way to trial which conditioner works best for you is to part hair in 4 sections and try
4 different conditioners per section, and see how your hair feels afterwards
* Soap residue from facial washes can cause issues with your hairline. Check that your
face has been rinsed thoroughly after washing
* Avoid any products containing Phylates  whoopsie I mean Phytates, they manipulate hormone levels in females
As for my hair, you will see in the pictures below that I wore an oddly messy bun! My curly bantu knot up do completely backfired on me so this was the last minute fix I decided to sport.
All in all the event was fantastic and definitely needs to take place again. There is so much to learn and unlearn with regards to everyday hair practices, and this truly was a learning experience. Thank you Gidore for your hard work and efforts in making this possible! Oh and of course for our yummy goody bags from your sponsors too!
Miss Leatherwood in action and the buzz in the hall!
Jane Carter and KeraCare product and styling demos
Moi and the beautiful Laila & Joycelyn
After many months of talking I finally got to meet Pelumi!
Crystal [such a sweetheart] & Fiona
Isn’t her fro so spicy! Wunmi of Woman in the Jungle
Any thoughts Nubians? Laila & Kaila – stunning as ever
Kulchicbeauty – a friend of a friend newly discovered!
Made my day finally meeting Akua from SheaButterCottage
Joycelyn, Ayo & I
Photo owned by naturalselectionblog
Photo owned by naturalselectionblog
Goodies!
For future hair events check out Gidore and Loving Your Hair With Natural Care 

Hair we go again…

Being the First Lady of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth cannot be easy, with the eyes of the world on your every move – but does being the first Black First Lady come with additional pressures?

Illustration by Nicole Fineman for Time (2009)

Like most females that hold positions in public office, Michelle Obama is scrutinised from head to toe on her choice of attire, whether she should bare her arms or not, which designer she was wearing etc etc – but where the similarity ends with her peers in the political class, is with the attention that her hair has garnered since her husband took office, and it shows no sign of abating if the reaction to the image below  is anything to go by.

I am not my hair... no really I am not !!

The image hit my Twitter timeline mid -week and since then the gained momentum and has gone viral – I have seen the image featured on the Twitter and Facebook timelines of friends and followers from America to Africa, Europe to East Asia!!

The image is courtesy of the powers of Photoshop, and it seems that the originator has yet to be identified….

Before and After (well sort of...)

…and the plot thickened when the photo in question came to the attention of blogger Maeling Tapp, author of Natural ChicaEssence.com reported that Tapp’s Twitter followers began sending her messages saying that Obama’s hair looked a lot like her own…and upon further inspection it does seem to be the case.

Tapp states in the Essence piece:

“A lot of people who follow my blog said, ‘I had a feeling that was your hair,… It’s kind of surprising that other people recognize my hair so well.” 

Hair today, gone tomorrow! Mrs O wears the blogger, Maeling Tapp's hair well.

Like Mrs Obama, I can relate to my hair being of extreme interest, especially in the professional and corporate environment.   This Time.com photo essay is a case in point – an international current affairs magazine painstakingly documenting the evolution of a First Lady’s hairstyle??!!  This is crazy!

My issue is not whether Mrs. Obama wears her hair curly or straight,  but that, in my opinion, her hair garners so much attention due to the fact that Black women in a prominent position is still a novelty.

In one sense, you can understand the fascination that people of other ethnicities have with our hair – I am currently working on a project that is addressing this particular issue, and  it has become apparent that our hair is a complete enigma – and  most questions and queries, to which one could take offense, are really asked out of sheer curiosity.

I have worked in the fashion and beauty industry for some of the world’s leading brands, and even here in London, one of  the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, I was often the only Black person, and almost certainly was the only Black woman working in the head offices of these brands.  Even within the beauty industry – which I expected be more enlightened – I was always being asked about my ‘ever-changing’ hairstyles, if my hair could be touched and how is it  that my hair grew so long over night!  

The long and short of it is (no pun intended)  that I and women like myself are still all too absent in many sections and areas of society.

We have no presence in countless offices  across the city, thus when we do make an appearance it can take our colleagues and peers a while to adjust to our normal hair and beauty routines…but in most parts adjust they do, and they come to the realisation that we have much more in common than that which makes us different.

Judge, Baroness, Entrepreneur...will you be next?

As more and more Black women secure positions of leadership, face the media and take their place in mainstream society, I am looking forward to the  focus being on what is in our heads as well as what in on it.


It’s Me! Black beauty & hair magazine’s Blogger of the Month!

The latest issue of the UK’s ‘best selling Black magazine’ , Black beauty & hair, hit the shelves today…..

….. and yours truly is the blogger of the month!

How cool is that??!!

🙂

Thanks to all of my followers, both of my blog and on Twitter!  I love writing my blog and I love interacting with you all!

Do grab a copy of the magazine and let me know what you think….

…and if you are thinking of starting a blog, but are stuck as how to begin, my advice to you  is to JUST DO IT (you know – like  the Nike ads)!

You do have something to say, a unique point of view,  a valued opinion – so share it with the world!


Afro-tising

I was browsing through the current issue of Marie Claire magazine and I came across the latest Marc Cain  SS12 campaign ad.

Image

The model’s afro-esque hair style really caught my attention.

The next day I travelled to central London and as I was exiting Oxford Circus tube station, the new Benetton SS12 ads also caught my eye – again beautiful models – black and white – sporting afro-inspired hair!!!

Image

Image

Here are some more images from the lighthearted, playful campaign, that has the signature Benetton look and feel – young, fun and fresh!Image

Image

Natural, afro hair is on the up and up and is being fully embraced by women of colour in droves  Recent research conducted by the market research agency Mintel, showed that the natural resurgence in the US has resulted in sales of relaxer kits dropping by 17% over the last 5 years (Black Hair Care US- August 2011, Mintel).

Many African – American celebrities are staunch advocates of wearing their natural hair and Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis’ natural style garnered numerous column inches and commentary as she steeped out onto the red carpet at the recent awards ceremony.  My Twitter timeline went CRAZY!!  Tweets and retweets flew across cyberspace as natural hair bloggers and vloggers, beauty critics and others commented and congratulated the actress’ stylish mane.

Viola Davis wearing Vera Wang...and her natural hair! Stunning!

One thing I love about being a black women, is the many choices we have in how we can wear our hair – be it chemically relaxed, in its natural form or accentuated with weaves and extensions.  For me, what is more important is the fact that we have the CHOICE to express our individuality, personality and sense of style in the way that feels right to us.

For the month of February, another poster child for the Naturalista’s,  Solange Knowles, was British Vogue’s ‘Today I’m Wearing…’  Photo Blogger of the month.

Two of my favourite looks of the month are shown below – her unique, individual style is the epitome of today’s empowered black woman.

I love!!

Preview


GloCal Beauty – Jamaica on the Map

The leading Jamaican newspaper,  the Jamaica Gleaner (of which I have fond memories, my mum used to order her copy  from the local newsagents every week… back in the day!) announced earlier this week that  four of the island’s most well-known women have been selected to be L’Oréal ambassadors in Jamaica. 

The leading ladies (L-R) Joan McDonald, Paulette Mitchell, Sara Lawrence and Kacis Fennell, L'Oréal ambassadors. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

The four women include:

Former beauty queens Joan McDonald and Sara Lawrence.

 

Joan McDonald: Miss Jamaica World 1978 (Image:Miss Jamaica World)

Joan McDonald is widely known as the first Miss Jamaica World, having won the inaugural beauty pageant in 1978.  She represented Jamaica at the Miss World contest in the United Kingdom.

She has also served her country as a cultural ambassador in Europe and in the United States of America.

McDonald has distinguished herself in public service by working with many community groups and non-governmental organisations. She has been a branch director at the Jamaica Red Cross and was a director and public-relations officer of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica and a trained facilitator for Restorative and Community Justice Practices.  She is still deeply involved in the beauty pageant that launched her career and has been a grooming consultant for Miss Jamaica World Pageants and Miss Festival Queen competition.

 

Sara Lawrence was the representative for Jamaica in the Miss World 2006 beauty

Bring on the Reign! Sara Lawrence 2006 (Image: Miss Jamaica World)

pageant. In March 2007, she relinquished the Miss Jamaica World title upon announcing her pregnancy, becoming the first winner in the Jamaican contest’s 23-year-history to do so. (Source: Wikipeadia)

Lawrence was born in Kingston, she went on to  graduate from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she majored in biology with an emphasis on pre-medicine.

After winning the Jamaican title in August 2006, Lawrence placed in the first six at the Miss World competition held in Warsaw, Poland, where she was also named Miss World Caribbean.

Upon relinquishing her crown in March 2007, Lawrence said in a statement that she had “taken a deeply personal decision to face up to my responsibilities as one who expects to become a mother later this year. I believe with all that is within me that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and follow what I believe in my heart to be right.”

 

Lawrence, however, received overwhelming support from the Jamaican public for her decision to have her baby. She received the backing of the Miss World Organisation and was allowed to retain both her crowns for the full duration of the reign.  I am pleased that she is to be one of the faces of the new campaign…beauty isn’t perfect, we all have had challenges that we have had to overcome in life and we all deserve a second chance from time to time!

The other two women are economic consultant Paulette Mitchell and student Kacis Fennell.  I couldn’t find out much information about these two women – but I am sure we will get to know them better as the campaigns unfold.

The announcement was made at a glittering event called ‘L’Oréal Live: Bringing Beauty to Life’ and was hosted by the Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Limited (PMD) – the local distributor of both the L’Oréal and Garnier brand of products . (Source: The Jamaica Gleaner).

In presenting the concept behind the L’Oréal Ambassadors programme in Jamaica, director of PMD, Winston Barrett, said “PMD was seeking to emulate one of the most innovative programmes adopted by the international beauty-care manufacturer. The Jamaican L’Oréal ambassadors will be the faces of the brands both locally and in the rest of the Caribbean”.  This marketing strategy, often dubbed ‘Glocalisation’ is a key tenant of the make up giant’s plans for future growth.

Going Glocal

Glocalisation serves as a means of combining the idea of globalisation with that of local considerations.  In a recent interview with Beauty Inc (part of wwd.com), the CEO of L’Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon, stated that this  “new concept” essentially moves “beyond globalisation” and forms an essential part of the firm’s efforts to add 1bn people to its customer base.

“In order to conquer and loyalise these consumers around the world, the idea is to build from the brands that we have,” he said.

Jean-Paul Agon in L’Oréal’s labs outside of Paris. Photo By © Stéphane de Bourgies for L’Oréal (courtesy of Beauty Inc.)

“The second step is to make sure that these brands, in every part of the world, have ranges of products that are completely specifically designed, formulated and adapted to the needs and demands of the local consumers. The L’Oréal Paris brand is the same brand in China that it is in the USA or in Europe, but the products are different.”

Agon also argued that such an approach could come to define the next ten years, when 2bn people globally will enter the middle class for the first time.

Agon is building upon the transformation the business underwent when former CEO Lindsay Owen-Jones was at the helm.  He led the Parisian company for 20 years (and guess what..he is from Wales!!)

I remember reading about Owen-Jones in Time Magazine back in 2004 (yes, I have been on this beauty thing for a LONG time…), where he was named as one of the 100 most influential people on the face of the planet.  He was being recognised for his ambition and success in creating a truly global beauty business that set out to meet the needs of women from across the globe.   L’Oréal purchased the hair care brands Soft-Sheen and Carson in 1998 and 2000 respectively and merged the two brands to create the Soft-Sheen-Carson division we know today (brands such as Dark & Lovely belong to the division…but you all knew that right!!)

In 2003 the L’Oréal Institute for Ethnic Hair & Skin Research,  a R&D research laboratory that was dedicated to understanding more about Black, Asian and Hispanic hair and skin was also unveiled ….although it now seems like the facility is no longer functioning…I scoured the L’Oreal website for more information…but to no avail.  😦

Despite this, I am really excited that these beautiful Jamaican women will be joining  L’Oréal’s diverse  global spokespersons such as veterans Beyoncé, Frieda Pinto, Kerry Washington and the latest women of colour  to join the roster, Ethiopian born model Liya Kebede.

Liya Kebede for Liya Kebede for L'Oréal Paris AW 11

I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for the initial campaigns!