30 April 2012

The Review: Original Moxie @ Black & Brown


I was lucky enough to be sent some Original Moxie goodies from their official European stockist Black&brown.EU. I was sent three full size products and 6 samples from the range.So far I've used Emollience™ Penetrating Moisture, 
Get Clean!™ No-Foam ShampooIntense Quench™ Deep Conditioner & Everyday Leave-in™ Detangling Conditioner

Over the weekend I use Emollience a pre-poo made up of Castor Oil, Shea Butter and Cupuacu Butter which is a rich emollient, I had a 14ml sample which I though wasn't going to do much use however Emollience spread really well and I even had a Little left over. I used it on Dry hair and left it over the night. The first thing that hit me was the strong sent of Sandalwood, which I personally didn't like very much, but once I got used to it I was fine. The Emollience is great for de-tangling your hair before you shampoo as it is the consistency of a pomade. The product rinsed out with just warm water and felt soft after it was rinsed thoroughly.

Ricinus communis (Castor) Oil, Virgin Butyrospermum Parkii* (Shea) Nut Butter, Caprylic-Capric TG (Fractionated Coconut Oil and/or Palm Kernel Oil), Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuaçu) Butter, Polianthes tuberose (Tuberose) Wax, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Cera Flava (Beeswax), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Essential Oils of Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla), Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange), Citrus reticulata blanco var. tangerina (Tangerine), Mentha spicata (Spearmint), Jasminum grandiflorum (Jasmine), Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang), Cinnamomum cassia (Cassia) Bark, Salvia sclarea (Clary Sage), Santalum album (Sandalwood), Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom). *Certified Organic

The Editorial: Ubah Hassan


Did Solange Get A Relaxer?



Miss Knowles hit the decks again this past week at the NPR event matching her lippy to her skirt and rocking another sleek hairstyle.....The rumour mill is buzzing that Solange Knolwes got a.....(this is hard for me to say!)......A RELAXER! say it ain't so Miss Knowles! SAY IT AIN'T SO!  
ok so seriously if this is true then each to their own, she has stated on many occasions that it is 'just hair' though she has been adopted as one of the poster girls for  naturalista's, she is entitled to do as she pleases.
Though I hope this is just a good blow out & press (what else will I post about? haha) but if not I'll pick myself up (from my crumpled heap!) dust myself off and say a fond farewell to Solanges fro. (this is all I can type on this as the tears are obscuring my view of the screen.....)




Alicia Keys @ White House Correspondents Dinner


Alicia Keys looked lovely in mustard smock style dress showcasing her lovely curls! I'm not keen on the belt (to big) but it is nice to see a attainable look on the red carpet 

29 April 2012

Prejudice before the Pride



Sunday’s are made for the simple pleasures in life, like the morning read of the newspapers and lazy trawl through the blogs for hair inspiration and celebrity gossip. It’s for reflecting on the week past, scrutinizing the annoyances at work, the food you shouldn’t have eaten, the gym you should have attended more, but the fun you had with the girls on that rare night out. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged with any regularity and so much has happened. I have to start by updating you on news from home and my growing obsession with London’s effervescent fashion scene, the Olympics and modern architecture. Random you say, but alas on this reflective Sunday these were the highlights of my week.
I always thought that the expression of one’s national pride to be a bit peculiar – we’re not American and frankly all that flag waving and tearful singing of the star spangled banner is a bit melodramatic and very un- British. In modern Europe that kind of carry on is easily mistaken for nationalism – in the eugenics sense of the word. I’m not sure if it’s class snobbery (the only exception being in honour of the Royal family) or my immigrant heritage, but effusing a pride in being British, when I’m forever asked ‘where are you from?’ by the virtue of my skin colour, doesn’t bode well for national pride.

OOTD: Hair Up


Necklace, Polo neck & Skirt from Primark
Lipstick by Sleek in Stiletto 
Shoes from Schuh

Girls Who Wear Glasses....



“You know what they say about girls who wear glasses...Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” 
How wrong could Ms Monroe be? OK so this happens a lot, while watching How To Marry A Millionaire I started style crushing on Marilyn as she donned a pair of diamante trimmed, black cat eye frames. I’m addicted to old movies and I fell in love with her retro frames (well not so retro then), I’ve always thought cat eye glasses look a-maz-ing but now that frames are in vogue they are no longer just about function, they are a style statement all of their own. Places like ASOS Marketplace, Retro Specs, Glasses Direct and Ebay offer a massive selection of authentic and affordable vintage frames and sunglasses but for the cash strapped Romwe has a great collection of retro frames for every taste.

28 April 2012

OOTD All Done Up


Head Wrap a gift from Lagos
Necklace from Miss Selfridge
Shirt from Primark
Leggings from H&M Trend
Boots from Zara 

27 April 2012

Solange Knowles @ DKMS Event


Solange wears her hair in a sleek bun  for the 6th annual DKMS Event, wearing a stunning Stephane Rolland gown, with barely their make up and a simple gold cuff Solange lets her dress do all the talking.

Hair Talk With Cynthia



Firstly introduce yourself? Where are you from and what do you do?
Born in Maryland, but originally from Cameroon, West Africa, I have lived in NYC for the past 15 years. I am an attorney during the day, been doing that for a little while now. Evenings and weekends I do some blogging, and because my life wasn't busy enough, I have gone back to Business school at night to kind of broaden my perspective and just be more well rounded professional.

How long have you been natural?
I was natural from the ages of Birth through age 15.
Then it was all about the creamy crack. At the time, I felt my hair was always too (whats a nice way to say it) TOUGH. So, I used SUPER or the strongest relaxer I could find. And then I finally went natural again close to 2 years ago.



If all your life what kept you from relaxing your hair?
When I was younger- my mum. When she gave permission, it was over.

If you have transitioned to natural what prompted you more from processed to natural hair?
I got tired of my hair breaking, it looked weak. I also spent so much time and money at the salon, I didn't even like the way it looked, and I was tired, frustrated and bored.

How did you transition, did you big chop?
no big chop for me. I transitioned slowly, trimming the relaxed ends slowly every week till there was none left.

OOTD: Grey & Neon


Dress from H&M
Shoes from Schuh
Bag from Primark
Necklace from Miss Selfridge
Bangle Thrifted

26 April 2012

The Editorial: Flaunt Magazine




Fatima, Cora & Kelly by David Balmere source

Esperanza Spalding @ Record Signing


Esperanza steps out again showcasing her natural curl pattern instead of her usual blown out fro. Looks like our girl is taking a break from either the heat or the brush that creates her signature style showing yet again the versatility of natural hair (amen)....I even like her goofy little 70's outfit! 

xoxo
belle

Happy Fingers


Image
Retail therapy is not to be underestimated; it’s not something women make up to mask their latest impulse buy. When we feel like crap it tends to reflect in the way we look. When I’m having a bad day I throw on grey and head out the door, when I’m feeling perky let the colour clash commence! When I’m feeling confident my style tends to get more, shall we say, experimental. Having a job where I’m often sat at a computer for the majority of my day it gives me a boost to look down and see my happy fingers tapping away. As silly as it sounds, I may not be what I wear, but I dress how I feel and looking down at perky nails makes me feel like doing jazz hands; that can’t be a bad thing.

Dry Twist Out Using Giovanni Leave-in Conditioner


So I have been harping on about my Giovanni purchase on twitter for the last week. I went on a mini spree over at British Curlies and picked up a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner(£7.98) by Giovanni. I won't have a chance to use the shampoo and conditioner until wash day but I did do a dry de-tangle using the direct leave in. 

Lust List-Prints



So the runway is highlighting the scarf print as the spring summer trend and it looks hot, but I say no matter what the weather or the trend I love to see prints and patterns, the bolder the print, the more colour clashes thrown in the better; beautiful jewel tones with autumnal solid shapes, neon paisley with a colour block blazer, whatever, clash it, set it off with a plain top, play with shapes and proportions. In fact the greyer and wetter the day the more I feel the need to combat it with colours and prints and it’s a cold wet day in London town…   


25 April 2012

The Review: Iman Made Saved My Desert Lips


I am now 19 weeks pregnant, well into my second trimester and still waiting for that pregnancy glow that everyone is harping on about. Though my hair is coming along, my skin refuses to glow with out the aid of bronzer. The worst that has happened (bar the lack of taste buds, constipation & weird crazings) has been that my lips are the driest they have EVER been (they are like a barren desert!) 
So a few weeks ago I was sharing my woes with my Twitter momma crew, crew member Iman gave me the heads up on her brand Iman Made and her shea butter lip balm and the darling woman offered to save me from my ashy lip by sending me some goodies to ease the pain! 
Iman was kind enough to send me the Iman Made Butter(£10.00) & Balm Box and a sample of Iman Made Gentle Face Oil(£5.00) all packaged in this cute takeaway box (loves it)

Broderie anglaise for less



The Spring/Summer trend of broderie anglaise, brocade, lace and silks made a huge appearance on the Spring Summer catwalks of Chloe, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, models in all white outfits contrasted with pretty feminine textures to offer interest and flirty detail.
Louise Vuitton’s jumbo broderie anglaise designs were one of the stand out looks of the season and have adorned everyone from Lana Del Rey on the cover of Vogue to Corinne Bailey Rae at the Roc Nation pre-Grammy brunch so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw these jumbo broderie anglaise pieces without the Louis V price tag.




Guest Post: Killin It


The 4Faces ladies @ nyfw


My name is Mutale Nkonde, Zambian born, British bred but my heart is in New York City. In December 2005, I packed up my worldly possessions moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn home of Jay Z, Lil Kim and Biggie to join my Harvard Law School Educated husband, who I exclusively referred to as my man. I met this black American dream while in Japan teaching school children to speak my mother tongue and fell hopelessly into the idea of being with this black intellectual Adonis. It was an instant connection that led to a public relationship that took us through time and space, ending in a 3 day Zambian wedding feast, everything was just right. I was the Claire to his Cliff, the Bonnie to his Clyde. We were black, fabulous and doing to the damn thing. One thing led to another and within 6 years I was locked in a fierce custody battle, making regular appearances in domestic violence court and I am still standing. Standing on a faith introduced by prayerful African parents and developed through my God journey with Oprah, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Tina Turner. I stand in thanks for the breakdown of my marriage and the circumstances surrounding it. I have forgiven and deeply love my ex-husband for the role he has played in my life and I am working tirelessly to ensure that my family reconfigures and not splits. My children deserve a healthy, vibrant relationship with their father and my job is to facilitate it. In short ladies my mental strength, spiritual agility and refusal to let life get me down means I am killing it. By day I work in city government and plan ways to engage and delight my two young sons and by night, as soon as my children are safely with their father, I drink champagne served by emaciated cocktail waitresses in Manhattan’s private members clubs. I am courted by the men who stand behind the man because as a woman with a job, family and clearly defined life’s purpose. I have no time for the humiliation and infidelity that comes with dating the man.  
New York City found out I was single and embraced me, providing me with access to people I thought I would never met and demanded when life handed me lemons I made Lemon Drops.


To women over 30 New York singledom is characterized by Carrie, Charlotte and Samantha 4 friends who slept their way to life, liberty and the American Dream in the early 2000’s. While our shoe game is fierce and hair appointments take on spiritual dimensions that is not the New York City of today. Black fly girls look to blogs not Vogue for stylespiration, it feels like women possess the spirit of Samantha the most sexually adventurous member of the Sex Team and so tales of the punanie clutter our Facebook and Twitter Feeds. You’re as likely to meet your friends at a rally for social justice as an Obama watch party. 

NYC Hot mama June Ambrose

Our clothes tell our personal story so if you like me believe in the power of the pussy you may have the sex collection for the those times you are trying to seal the deal. The comfort series of hanging with the kids and then the business series for when you’re in your work flow. The colours and silhouettes maybe dictated by your body and skin tone but the clothes themselves reflect the inner you, the one only your mother and God know. Those are the people who kill it, the people who you will meet month after month, who will open your eyes to what’s really going on in New York so if you should come across the pond you won’t wander the streets like a hapless tourist because you’ll understand Gotham’s flow, falling into step with the fly boys and dapper gents you’ll meet along the way. This is who I am and who, I am challenging you to be. So grab your colour block fedora and join me on my way because … we be killin it. www.facebook.com/KillinItUK






24 April 2012

Guest Post: Super-collar-fragilstic....



Hi my name is Stacey and  I'm a Shopaholic.
May I add I am shopaholic on a serious budget, I am known to thumb through endless magazines then troll the internet and markets for bargainous treasures looking for replicas at a fraction of the price.
I love to experiment with prints, colour and texture and having grown up with friend and former flatmate, Miss Belle, I have always had access to an awe inspiring array of silhouettes, prints and designs in which I could dip into and treat as my own extended wardrobe. Shopping and the thrill of a new find have always been my passion, shoes have always been my first love but my crush statement necklaces, and I’ve only one rule, BIGGER IS BETTER. Investing in accessories has updated my staple wardrobe whether it be an oversized, colour pop clutch in this seasons colours or a hot of the press pendant to give my old LBD a new lease of life.
My love of accessorising has led me to a huge collection of oversized bibs, collars and pendants but after seeing the metal collar necklace from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2011 range a new obsession was born…THE STATEMENT METAL COLLAR. One look at it and the clouds parted, the sun shone, a harp strummed and a choir began to sing. 

Here’s my season favourites for all budgets

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
The original: Louis Vuittion
The dupes: Topshop £18.50

Meet The Team

You may have noticed that the Natural Belle team is growing, it has always been my intention to have a network of like minded ladies contributing to Natural Belle.
It has taken a long time to carefully select people that can bring something different to the table to bring you quality content that I can not necessarily give you by myself.
What won't change is my commitment in sharing my hair journey, reviews and thoughts on everything from celebrity style to hairspirational women.

This post is to highlight members of the Natural Belle Team 

 Personal hair journey, Fashion, Celebrity News, Product Reviews, Interviews
Style & Fashion Features

London girl about town, London lifestyle & politics

UK natural hair & cultural events field reporter

Monthly  hair style and beauty tutorials exclusive to Natural Belle

We will also be introducing Mutale our New York reporter who will be bring us the best of the big apple from fashion week to hair trends so stay tuned for 'Mutale in New York'

And we are still not done! there are still a few places to fill we are currently on the look out for:

A Paris based Naturalista to submit articles on  life and style in Frances capital

An LA based Naturalista to submit articles on life and style on the west coast

A Africa* based Naturalista/s to submit articles on life and style in our great continent
*This may seem generic but I would like to know who is interested before I pin point specific cities or countries

If your city/country is not listed and you feel you have the finger on the pulse of where you are from please submit for consideration.

If you are interested please submit a sample of your work to naturalbelle@gmail.com with the subject line Paris/Africa*/LA (which ever applies) reporter submission.

The Turbanista: Estelle


Estelle Performed in Paris last night proving that your LBD can pop with your choice of accessories, we love Estelle's Versace print head scarf and oversized earrings.....simplement chic!


23 April 2012

Transitioning Special With Laila-Jean


KISS:  http://www.k-i-s-s.biz/profile/LailaJeanWashington 


Belle has told me she gets a lot of requests from readers who do not want to big chop like she did and asked me for tricks and tips about long term transitioning, I transitioned for two years and have shared my journey on my YouTube channel Fusion of Cultures

My first and most important tip is deep conditioning it is very beneficial to our hair in terms of imparting moisture within the hair shaft. This helps to retain moisture and therefore gives our hair more elasticity. When this happens, the amount of breakage, due to physical manipulations, will be reduced as the hair is no longer dehydrated. You should try to deep condition at least every other week. 
Products used and owned while transitioning for the 2 years... you do not need all or any of these products in order to transition. I suggest you find your product groove by trying out different things

Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil, HE Hello Hydration Conditioner, TRESemmé Vitamin E Moisture Rich Conditioner, Creme of Nature Sunflower & Coconut Detangling Conditioning Shampoo, INFUSIUM 23® - Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Treatment, Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split End Protector, Extra Virgin Coconut, Olive & Avocado oil Jamaican Castor oil, Indian Ayurvedic Herbal Powders : Amla, Brahmi, Methi, Hibiscus & Fenugreek & Henna : www.reviveholisticbeauty.com
Elasta QP Mango Butter Moisturizer, Elasta QP Mango Butter Moisturizer, Honey
Fantasia IC Styling Gel Hair Polisher For Color Treated Hair, Apple Cider Vinegar, Raw Shea Butter
Aphogee Keratin And Green Tea Re-constructor, Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier



My last top tip when dealing with two textures is not to try and get your natural hair to emulate your relaxed ends (by flat ironing ect) but to try and get you relaxed ends to emulate your new natural growth, this can be achieved by using perm rods, flexi rods, twist and braid outs ect 



Laila-Jean is the newest Member of the Natural Belle team, She will be bringing us monthly natural hair styling tutorials so please comment below on what styles you would like to see in the future! 

Check out Fusion of Cultures on Youtube 



OOTD: All Black Everything



Lipstick by Sleek in Cherry


I'm not in mourning, I just like black.
Dress from New Look
Boots from Zara
Glasses from Ebay
Bangles where a gift






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