Saturday, 6 June 2009

What am I Using Now?

I got more than a little bit excited when I was tagged by Ondo Lady to do a beauty post. Unbeknown to many, buying, trying and lusting after beauty products used to be one of my favourite pastimes. My fascination started when I was a kid. Whenever I could get the opportunity to have a nose round my mum’s bedroom I’d rummage through her make up bag and plaster my lips with her fire engine red Fashion Fair lipstick and orangey brown loose face powder (speaking of which, Fashion Fair have seriously upgraded their range, check them out). Then I'd top it off with a spritz of her Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume. Next I would take a bath, and douse myself in mum’s treasured Jean Nate after bath splash (wow that took me back, had to resort to Googling it as I’d forgotten the name). Now who remembers the green liquid with the pungent perfumey smell? To me the product sums up the gloriously decadent 80’s. I would use it and instantly feel all glamorous and sophisticated like the iconic Alexis Colby. My penchant for luxury beauty items would occasionally get me into trouble though. I can recall when I was probably around 13, my mum sent me down the road to buy shampoo. Now ordinarily she’d buy a cheapo brand like Vosene spefically catered towards European hair that cost a couple of quid. But I’d since discovered products for black hair in mags like Essence and Ebony so took it upon myself to use £3.99 of her £5 to buy a shampoo by Dax. Funny that, I thought she’d be appreciative of the gesture. But lord did I feel her wrath when I got back home and received a thorough cussing. And trust me, my mum was/is no shouter. So me being me decided to get a job (working for my mum ironically) so I’d be able to buy my own damn products. Then years later I got the upgrade - a Saturday job in Superdrug in Lewisham. Wa-hay! Believe me when I say I thought I had died and ascended to beauty heaven. These days I’m not as obsessive as I used to be, but still have my favourites. Check out my current hot list:


Shampoo - Organic Root Stimulator Uplifting Shampoo - I’ve been using this for a few years now and it really works for me. Leaves your scalp feeling squeaky clean, and it’s not drying either.

Conditioner - Organic Root Stimulator - Hair Mayonnaise - Every black woman should have a jar of this in their bathroom. I’ve got natural hair so my hair has a tendency to get really dry and needs regular deep conditioning. For best results, I leave it on for a few hours and when I wash off my hair feels super soft and tangle free.

Styling products – Carol’s Daughter - Hair Milk. I read about this product on the fabulous Afrobella blog. As Carol’s Daughter is no longer available in the UK I had to ask my friend to cop me a bottle when she went to New York last year. Trust me ladies, it’s worth the hype. My hair absorbs moisture like crazy, but Hair Milk leaves my hair feeling silky smooth for days. 


Cleanse – Raddox Shower Gel 
Moisturise – I used to be hopelessly devoted to Palmers Cocoa Butter, but as my local beauty supply store are getting too outrageous with their prices (I really am my mother’s daughter, right?), I’ve now made a switch to the worthy and much cheaper Queen Helene’s Cocoa and Mango Butter. Smells good enough to eat too, yum. 

Deodorant – Really not that fussed about brands, but at the moment I’m using Palmolive Soft and Gentle Aromatherapy Sensual: Jasmine and Rose Orchid extract. 

Sun care – "None at the mo but I guess I should get on it" - ditto! 


Cleanse – I used to be able to use anything on my face until around the age of 19 when my skin became hyper sensitive. So as you can imagine, once I find a product that works, I use it for a long time. At the moment that product is Neutrogena Visibly Clear: Gentle Exfoliating Wash.

Moisturise – Dermatological E-45 Cream

Mask - Again, likely to cause a break out, so I don’t use. 

Lip Balm - Shevelle, my beauty Ed buddy always winces when I say this, but for me good old fashioned Vaseline does the trick. 


Primer – MAC Studio Fix powder NW45
Eye Shadow – Don’t really wear eye shadow anymore. Takes too much time. 
Eyeliner - Revlon
Lip gloss – Shev blessed me with a beautiful gloss recently called Candy Shop Mocha Mania. Gorgeous finish, stays on forever and smells like coffee too. Mmmm. 
Mascara – No preference for any particular brand. 
Nail Polish - I’m impatient so tend to buy Rimmel’s 60 Seconds polish. 

I tag Disney Rollergirl, K Hart, Kwana Writes, Adenike's World and Waltzing Matilda

I'd also love to hear about your favourite beauty buys and beauty stories. 

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.