The Natural Lounge Swap Meet 6th July 2013

Hello My Cakers, Bakers and Beauties!

Sorry that this post is so late, as I explained a couple of posts ago I was having terrible “technical difficulties” earlier on this summer so I was unable to blog for a while. I went to quite a few events that I intended to write about and now my technology is sort-of behaving I will be posting about events that have happened a little while ago.

The Natural Lounge Swap meet was organised by Angel from The Natural Lounge, it was originally supposed to happen in April but some of the suppliers Angel was working with let her down so it it was postponed until July, in April Angel emailed everyone who had bought tickets (£7) and let them know that they could keep their tickets until July or get a refund. I’m so glad I decided to keep my ticket!

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6th July 2013 was a gorgeous day and I attended the event with my beautiful friend Georgia (natural newbie.)

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Georgia

Even though it took us a little while to find the venue ( Once we found it, I remembered it used to be called “Mustard Bar” back in the day when I used to go raving…) we eventually made it in and were greeted by Angel personally.  I know that it seems odd to mention that but I have been to enough events where the organisers have considered themselves too special and famous to greet their own guests, I’m delighted to say that Angel is not like that at all. Angel is really down to earth and humble.  6th July was during the “heatwave” but the bar had three sets of French style windows which were open the whole day the giving us a delicious  breeze on such a hot day.

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The Swapping Table

Apart from Angel and the regular folks like me , the event was attended by UK Product Company Afrocenchix, Author Kandace Chimbiri, Nutritionist Shaherah Jordon and nail technicians from bjouxbeauty.

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The Afrocenchix Chicks!

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Kandace Chimbiri

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Shaherah Jordan

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Bjoux Beauty Nail Technicians

The whole idea of the swap meet was for us to bring brand new or more than half- full hair products, and accessories that for whatever reason we don’t want any more and swap them for other items. For every item you brought that was suitable for swapping you received a “stamp”, you would then browse the other items, select what you want and take the stamp to the front desk to get ticked off, you could bring/swap a maximum of ten items.

I brought more then 10 items but I bundled some of the smaller accessories together in gift bags. I thought I was only going to off load items but I ended up taking quite a few items home too!

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My Haul!

Before the actual swapping began we had a welcome speech from Angel a quiz about natural hair and talks from Afrocenchix, Kandace Chimbiri and Shaherha Jordan, the atmosphere was so relaxed and I really enjoyed myself at this event.

I have already grown bored of “natural hair” events, as this year I have seen that many of them repeat the same formula as each other and I don’t benefit from attending, the same “well known” faces always pop up and pose for photos while pouting and fluffing their natural hair/wig and I personally don’t learn anything new except maybe who is a bit stuck up in real life…

When I first went natural I spent days and weeks researching how to look  look after and maintain my hair and really went deep into the science and biology of hair, even now I’m still studying and learning so for that reason I don’t really gain any useful knowledge at these events, however for newbies and people not inclined to study about hair themselves you can learn something helpful and new  at these natural hair events and it can be nice to get out and socialise with like minded individuals.

But I’ve found that a lot of these events are mainly money making schemes with a little bit of light hair info sprinkled in for good measure and as much as I support my “Sisters” entrepreneurial efforts  I’m not paying to attend any more natural hair events unless I know the organiser/s personally or I really believe that the event will benefit me or a worthy cause in some way and not just waste my time, after all I can donate money to practically any cause without leaving the confines of my cosy apartment…

Rant over, here are some more photos of the day:

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Me on the left and Angel on the right.

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A selection of the swap items

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Some of Shaherah’s healthy vegan cookies

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Shaherah’s healthy “chocolate truffles”

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The winner of the Bjoux Beauty raffle prize

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Look at that gorgeous colour!

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I brought this MASSIVE tub of Eco Styler Gel to the Swap and Ms Crystal Afro nabbed it first!

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Take Care

Luv

S

x

Birthday Celebrations, Part 1 -Curlvolution at Crowne Plaza Hotel Docklands.

Hello my Cakers, Bakers and Beauties,

My Birthday was on Saturday 25th May and I had a nice weekend of hair related and shopping events planned.

Usually on my birthday I don’t do anything much during the day, but this year Curlvolution – Curlfriends day out was held on my birthday and I thought it would be a fantastic way to spend the day.

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I wanted to get the special early bird offer three tickets for £9 each, but events conspired against me and I wasn’t able to buy them on time!

However I emailed Curlvolution on the day the early bird offer ended and explained my situation and asked if the deal was still available, I know it’s cheeky but if you don’t ask you don’t get and my slight audacity paid off as the organiser of the event emailed me back and offered me one free ticket if I bought two full priced tickets, at around £15 plus booking fee this was still a good deal so I purchased tickets for my Mum and Sister and I did receive my free ticket straight away.

The weather in London was horrible on 24th May, it chucked down with rain all day and was grey and miserable so I was dreading what I might wake up to on my birthday, but luckily the 25th May was breezy but bright and sunny. I was so glad for the sun as rainy weather would have ruined my plans for my outfit and I always feel good when the sun is shining.

My Mum and Sister met me at my place as I live closest to the venue and we used the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to get to Royal Victoria Station which is 5 minutes walk away from the venue.

On the way we saw lots of people in fancy dress, none of the different groups of people seemed to have costumes that matched each other and we were so confused at first, but my bright spark sis figured out they were all going to Comic Con! All of the interesting and some very bad costumes really made for an interesting journey, in fact we were so busy gawking that we missed our stop!

Once we arrived at the venue it was still quite early so we headed over to the Colour Riot Nails, stall where My Mum and Sister got their nails done. (I’d already had mine done the day before.)

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My Sister’s Nails Before

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My Mum’s Nails Before

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They used a combination of “gellish” and regular nail polish to create this look on my sister:Image

These women have such an amazing talent and I’ll definitely be getting in touch with them in future to have my own nails done.

My Mum had “gellish” only:

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Mum’s Nails After

While the ladies were getting their nails done, I was waiting for my make consultation with Giselle Alie, I had pre-booked my consultation via email and the area I chose for Giselle to focus on was my skin.

I’ve been looking kind of tired recently and wanted to know how to achieve a fresh faced look with make up. I know the proper way to get dewy skin is with plenty of water, sleep, exercise and fresh fruit and veggies but let’s face it some times we can’t manage all of these because we’re burning the candle at both ends or can’t always be bothered.

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My face before: (sorry I look so upset).

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Giselle looked fantastic and her hair was a gorgeous array of loose waves and curls.

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Giselle used Sleek powder foundation on me my shade is “Earth” (middle left).

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This last photo of me is my face after Giselle had finished, it was light coverage which is what I wanted,I didn’t want to look to “made up”. I really liked the look, but I have very sensitive skin and by the end of the day my face had broken out in a rash. I think I need to use a different brand of make up if I were going to try this look out myself.

My Face After the Foundation

My Face After the Foundation

(Sorry about the different angles on the before and after photos, the photos were taken by my Sister and Mother, none of us are photographers but I’m always trying to improve the content of my blog posts)

Giselle was also sweet enough to give my Mum a make up consultation, my Mum wanted to know how to do subtle but defined eyes, I think they turned out very pretty, even though my Mum does not need make up, she looks amazing even on a “bad” day!

All day people couldn’t believe she was our Mum, I won’t say how young Mum is, but she is a Grandmother!

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Look at that Face, not one wrinkle!

While we were getting prettied up the Hair Show had started but I popped my head in briefly to see what was going on, the host Action Jackson was interviewing a couple of Actors.

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I’m so sorry but I didn’t watch any more of the show until after a late lunch, so for a full run down you will have to check out other blogs. As it was my birthday I wanted to spend quality time with my family, which for us includes a lot of talking… LOUDLY and I wanted to mix and mingle with the vendors.

Here are some of the beautiful hand made items from Meen .

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The lovely Root2Tip ladies, that I had the pleasure to meet last week were also in attendance. They sneaked out of the photo this week but left their yummy Mummy to happily pose for me.

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Then I swung by the Shea Decadence stall and had a nice chat with Sharron the owner and creator of the company.

As one of my birthday presents my Mum bought me the “Kinky Girls Essential Kit”, which consists of – Jamaican Black Castor & Nilotica Conditioning Shampoo, Mineral Rich Clay Hair Masque, Fusion Finishing Rinse and Cocoa Frappuccino Leave In Conditioner.

I’ve used all of the products already except the Fusion Finishing Rinse which I will be reviewing once I’ve used it, but what I love the most about the Kit is that everything is in 100ml which makes it a convenient travel size pack, I can’t wait to take it on holiday when I go to the Dominican Republic later this year.

My Mum bought the Clay hair Masque that I love so much, she wants to try it out for herself. Sharron was kind enough to give me the Sweet Marmalade Pomade as a birthday Pressie (Thanks Sharron! x)

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We also bumped into the enthusiastic Stylist at Design Essentials, he “pounced” on us and proceeded to demonstrate their products on us, the stylist found a tuft of dry hair by my ear and used their Defining Creme Gel to finger curl it, I’m sceptical as you can probably ascertain by my expression…

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My sister has a different curl pattern, and the stylist decided that their mousse would be better for her hair.

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He showed us how to apply the mousse and scrunch to define her curls and to get rid of “frizz”.

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He then applied it all over her hair and it did immediately cut down on the frizz so my Sister bought a bottle.

Other vendors on the day included:

Naturally Nourishing, The founder – Natalie was a Curlvolution attendee last year and within one year she started her business and came back to Curlvolution as a vendor.

Natalie went up on stage in the afternoon and told her story, Natalie is so strong but humble  and was such an inspiration to me, she explained how we can achieve anything we want to even within a relatively short space of time.

Super Funky Me were selling customised jewellery, I got a cute hair accessory, I’ve never seen newsprint fabric before, I think it’s really funky and unusual, which I love.Image

Mane Diva’s were also present with their own line of hair products, as well as hair extensions for weaves and Tropic Isle Products.

Iman from Imanmade had a table too, she was selling her lovely home made products specially for sensitive skin, I’ve used some of her body butters before and I really liked them.

I love Afro were representing with their amazing natural hair product range, I haven’t tried their stuff yet but as soon as I use up some of my “Product Junkie” backlog I’ll be buying and reviewing their range.

Sheabutter Cottage and Beunique Hair Care, had their tables set up inside the main hall, Check out Belinda’s amazing hair and T Shirt!

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I didn’t buy anything from BeUnique as I’d made a purchase last week at Project Embrace and I’m yet to try it.

At this point we hopped on the Emirates Cable Car and went to the o2 for a spot of lunch.

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London’s o2 centre as seen from the cable car above.

We ate at Cafe Rouge but the meal was disappointing 😦 which is why I’m not posting any photos of the food. Normally the food at Cafe Rouge is reliably tasty but not that day.

After lunch we were actually knackered so we decided to head back over the river back to Curlvolution and watch the rest of the show.

Action Jackson was calling some of the vendors to the stage and asking them to speak about themselves and their businesses, it was so uplifting to hear so many success stories from women who are basically just like me, they had a dream, a goal and a talent and they made it into a reality.

There were several “golden tickets” that had been stuck under the chairs before the show and we were all directed to check our seats to see if we had won a prize, Mum sis and I hadn’t won anything and were feeling too lethargic to go charging round the auditorium looking under unoccupied seats but some of the audience were more dynamic than us and about 7 young women won prizes from the various vendors present on the day .

Next Jackson asked for volunteers and my hand shot up ,  even though I didn’t know what it was for, but you have to take risks sometime in life and in this instance it paid off. Jackson asked me to say a bit about myself and tell everyone what I do, so I started by saying hello to everyone, then I told them it was my Birthday , I got a massive cheer for that, then I said I bake cakes and my name is Sian and before I could finish someone in the audience shouted “The Baker” I was so shocked that someone knew who I was, and no it wasn’t my Mum or Sister! Action then told me that  I had  won this exquisite Silk eye mask  by Ayamour

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And since it was my birthday Angela Appiah the creative mastermind of Ayamour also offered me a free hair styling session, which of course I graciously accepted.

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Me and the ladies from Ayamour

There was some more motivational speaking from Action Jackson and then the Darren Scott Salon Hair Show, it started off with everyday styles and then went edgy with the finale being the Avant Garde hair creations, here are some photos.

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At the end of the Darren Scott hair show, all of in the audience were forced invited to go up on stage to celebrate ourselves and our fabulousness as we are all special, some of us were uncomfortable doing this but they actually blocked the doors and refused our exit unless we had been on stage! here are just a few samples of the beautiful and unique sisters in the procession

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Action Jackson and Bukky wrapping things up on stage…

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I missed most of the other bloggers on the day, as we were not in the main room but I spotted Ms Laila-Jean Washington a.k.a Neffy Fro Fro but better known as Fusion of Cultures of course Kaila was there too. I really wanted to speak to Laila and let her know how much her channel has inspired me, but I wasn’t able to get to her.

However I did get to meet two ladies who both, inspire me hugely and encourage me to achieve my aspirations (and hair goals) .

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Cynthia Butare on the left, the producer and director of amazing documentary Kickin’ it with the Kinks and to the right Crystal Afro the lady whose blog helped me to take the plunge and do my big chop over a year ago.

Cynthia even gave me two free “I kick it with my Kinks” badges, I wore one of them on Monday 27th at the “Kickin it with the Kicks” anniversary showing…

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but more about that in a couple of posts time!

All in all I had a great birthday and I would love to return to Curlvolution next year but as a vendor or blogger.

A big thank you to Bukky for my ticket and for organising such a fantastic event, my only disappointment is that I didn’t get a goody bag as they had run out by the time I got to the table, not sure how that happened as I’m sure there would have been enough goody bags for all of the ticket holders but then maybe some cheeky women took two!

Thanks for reading this long post.

Luv Sian

xxx

Product Review : Embellish Nails – definitely not a Caviar Manicure

Hi Everybody,

The other day I was in Primark (sorry) and even though I couldn’t find what I was looking for I found this:

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I’m rubbish at doing nails, but I’m a bit of a magpie and I’m drawn to sparkly things, plus this was cheap and cheerful.

This was really easy to do, I just followed the instructions on the back of the packet. The only thing I did differently was to add a coat of clear nail polish after the pearly beads, as I wanted to give them a chance to actually stay on my fingers.

I would definitely use this kit again and there is loads left, this was definitely value for money. Even if the beads only stayed on for one night out it would still be worth it.

I did this first thing in the morning, as I wanted to see if it could last a day on the hands of Sian the (clumsy) Baker.  To my surprise my Embellish Manicure still looks great. I showered, brushed my teeth, moisturised my skin, pinned my hair up and got dressed and only lost a few pearly bits  and to be fair I had a double layer of beads on some sections so they were bound to fall off. I found that the beads catch on the inside of exfoliating gloves and in my hair, luckily at the moment I have my hair two strand twisted so I don’t really need to manipulate my hair too much. I also went shopping and had lunch before coming home and getting along with this blog and some other internetty bits. Lunch was jerk chicken wings which I ate with my hands and got very saucy and sticky fingers but I was able to wash all the jerk sauce away even though it looked like it was pretty ingrained into the nail art, I think the top coat helped to create a finish without too many deep grooves. I would also use a much bigger and deeper tray/dish to catch the beads because when I sprinkled them over my wet nails, the tray provided had a lot of static and was so shallow that a lot of the beads bounced out and went all over the place including into the keyboard on my laptop, as I type my C, K and S are hard to press because there are beads under them… Here are some pics!

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Have a great day or night depending on what time you’re reading this!

xSx