8.28.2018

SKINDEEP: August Beauty Loves.

Dewy, fresh-faced beauty. I am obsessed (to put it mildly) with skincare. For me, the perfect canvas to put product onto is well-maintained skin. Full disclaimer before we get well into some new finds for dry skin. Genetics play a huge part in regards to our individual skin issues and no two faces are alike, I am quite lucky to have had fairly unproblematic skin. I get the occasional cystic acne flare up when my period is due, as well as the odd yellow headed pustules which form when I don’t double cleanse after a night out, or if I’ve been under a lot of stress. I will *always* pop said spots with the efficiency and delight of Dr. Pimple Popper, and then mourn the polka dots of scars and hyperpigmentation left behind in their squishy satisfying wake. My main skin issues are chronic dryness, hyperpigmentation under my eyes, mouth, and chin, as well as the odd scar, clogged pores, and blackheads.  For the past couple of years, I’ve trialed many a product to give me that fresh, Parisian girl glow - you know the one, the effortless ‘I throw on some jeans, a white tee, ruffle my Afro and voilà!’
I’ve been dipping and dabbling in a few products over the past couple of months, and they’re so good that I HAD to share, my fellow dry skinned sinners, feast your eyes on this delicious lineup...
First up is a fairly unassuming product, it’s Glossier's Invisible Shield SPF. For a long time, like most black people I was of the opinion that those of us with melanin-rich skin, did not need SPF because the melanin in our skin naturally protected us from the sun, now I know better and will not leave the house without anything less than an SPF 30 on my face in the summer months and SPF 15 in the winter months. I love the serum-like consistency of the product as well as the fact that it leaves no awkward SPF flashback.

Being a certified pimple popper has left me with a constellation of dark marks, mapping my face like little stars. To tackle this, I’ve pulled out the big guns, acids. I’ve raved about Pixi’s Glow Tonic, a gentle glycolic acid exfoliant that leaves the skin looking brighter, fresher and glowy, but I needed something that would help to shift the hyperpigmentation, dry patches, and blackheads and this came in the form of The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution. This stuff can be a little offputting at first, with its consistency and colour very bloodlike and the intense tingling/burning feeling when applied, but for me the pro’s far outweigh the con’s, and I can vouch for the fact that it (as part of a strict regime with other products) cleared up my skin so well that I no longer have to use orange colour corrector under my concealer.
Speaking of Pixi’s glow tonic, I didn't think it was possible for me to sing it’s praises any higher than I already do, but I’ve been using the Glow Tonic To Go Pads when I’m in a hurry or travelling as it’s so portable and easy to use, so if you’re a fan of the original, you may want to check out the pads too as I absolutely love them. Pixi's rose caviar Essence is what I'd describe as a luxury for less product. From the scent (which *actually* smells like real roses and not at all synthetic) to the effectiveness of the product in regards to locking in moisture and boosting radiance. I use this right before moisturizing on my face, neck, and decolletage. 

A finishing/setting style spray has become part of my holy grail techniques for my dry skin. As soon as my skincare routine has finished and/or makeup has been applied, I will always spray my face with a good high-quality facial mist. Liz Earle’s Instant boot skin tonic has been my godsend in these warm summer months, creating a natural dewy finish, adding moisture back into my face and giving me a fresh-faced finish.
The LCO (Liquid, cream, oil method) has been a very popular method in which to make sure kinky coily hair textures retain as much moisture as possible by layering products and then ‘sealing’ it all in with an oil based product. I’ve been doing a similar thing with my skincare regime, sealing in all the serums, toners and moisturizes with a light oil, my sealant of choice at the moment is The 100% plant derived Squalane from The Ordinary. It’s a light serum feeling oil that leaves my skin with a dewy style glow after application and works as a breathable barrier.
There’s been hella hype about glossier in general since last year, and I can’t lie, I absolutely dig the branding, the pro skincare, minimal makeup approach, the aesthetic. But do the products actually live up to their hype? I can honestly say the products I’ve tried so far have ( I ADORE the birthday cake balm and the clear gloss). The Glossier priming moisturiser is my perfect summer face hydrator, it is lightweight, non-oily and absorbs easily. It doesn’t have a scent which I like as I can find the scent of facial products fairly overbearing at times.

So, that’s what’s been on my face lately, I’ve had so many requests for an updated what’s on my face, so I help this has been helpful! If you’re a skincare fanatic like I am, let me know and I’ll be sure to make this more of a monthly or bi-monthly thing, documenting new products or empties.


xo

8.24.2018

Sisterhood.

I am my sister's keeper. 


“black women breathe flowers, too.
just because, 
we are taught to grow them in the lining of our quiet (our grandmothers secret)
does not mean,
we do not swelter with wild tenderness.
we soft swim.
we petal.
we scent limbs and love.
we just have been too long a garden for sharp and deadly teeth.
so we 
have
grown
ourselves into
greenhouses."
'Greenhouses' by Nayyirah Waheed
Sisterhood. The womanist movement. Blackness. It is all interwoven for me, tiny invisible threads draw me to the long-limbed dark-skinned black woman opposite me on the tube, we glance at each other, catch each other’s inquisitive brown eyes and we both smile a knowing smile. She compliments my braids, a faint African accent laced with French colonialism rolls off of her tongue and into my lap, I thank her and tell her I love her colourful outfit, splashes of warm oranges, ripe banana yellows and Moroccan ochres covering her body contrasting against her dark skin, reminding me of my darling Sherida. Sisterhood. In. Passing.
I am a fierce proponent of sisterhood, at all costs will I uphold my sisters. It wasn’t always like that though, like most women I had been fed that well-worn lie that all other women were my competition, they were out to get me, to trip me out, to take, to steal. They were ‘bitches’, and I wanted to be the ‘cool girl ™’ that hung out with the fellas. I lost many a good woman-friend back in my teenage years because of this problematic behavior, and I can say I wholeheartedly deserved it, I was a toxic angry mess of a kid, ready to fight and find fault with any other girl because I was insecure and hadn't yet mastered the fine art being in control of the ghosts that trailed after me.
At around age nineteen, I realized that other women were not a threat, they were not people to put my fences up around, they were my sisters and they would be the catalyst to an exponential amount of growth in my life. All my life, beautiful, strong, funny, kind and caring black women have been consistently behind me, through the tears, pain, successes. Women like Emmy, who is the first person to book a flight to the other side of the world whenever I’m celebrating anything, the first person to call me out when I’m chatting shit and misbehaving, the one who will call me at 6am to tell me she loves me and she’s proud of me. Yossy, who is the cutest little nugget, always waiting for me with arms outstretched for a cuddle even though I hate admitting I love them (I’m hard init), her naturally sweet and caring nature remains untouched since she was my little, little sister tugging at my jumpers, her hair into two curly Micky mouse puffs, her chubby cheeks covered in yoghurt. Nellie, who was one of my first internet friends way back from my Tumblr days, warm Nellie who was the first person to bring me to the church I now call home. Kelechi who is tireless in her voicing her opinions on racism, womanism, and privilege all served with scathing humor and a barrel of laughs. Rianna who curated a safe space for black womxn around the world to discuss issues, ask for advice and post opportunities. Stephanie who forced me to see my own privileges within the black community as someone who is lighter skinned and thinner framed, her words have been illuminating, dark and partly humorous, painting a vivid picture of what life is like as a dark-skinned plus sized woman and the hardships that come with it. Sherida who was the first ever blogger I met up with years and years ago, sharing coffees over the hubbub of London, laughing and crying about our love lives and now, whispering stern encouragement and cracking up over the problematic things we’ve encountered in the week over a three hour FaceTime call. Nomali, Esmé, Misteeko and Demmie who have been constant in their cheerleading for me and my blog, forever retweeting, commenting, interacting and sending me memes, their love across the Internet has not gone unnoticed. Jen, who was the first blogger to take me under their wings, sneaking me into fashion week parties and handing me glass after glass of prosecco. Tolani and Audrey, 2/3rds of The Receipts Podcast who have provided me with laughs upon laughs and have me cracking up on my commute, my big sisters in my head. Ngoni, Zahra, and Kristabel, whose blogs inspired me to wax stronger with my own content, their constant, consistent kindness and everlasting patience awe-inspiring. Nouvella, Tina, Debbie, Christabel, Itse, Aunty Georgina who welcomed me into church with the warmest hugs, shoulders to cry on and godly advice. Alisha, and all the womxn in the black female architect's group, my safe haven in Architecture, particularly when I was dealing with difficult bosses earlier on in the year. Damola, Koyinsola, Teju, Aunty Bukky, my sisters who I have shared many a laughing on the floor crying moment (Nigerian humour is honestly the best!). My mother’s sisters, who I deem my other mamas, powerful, strong, soft and warm women, who treat me like their own, showering me with encouragement, showing all of their friends my blog’s (hey aunties!). And my Mother, a symbol of resistance, a mountain of a woman, a vessel of God’s faith and good works, the one who carried me, birthed me and raised me to be the unapologetically black. The woman who drilled into me that the world will say I can’t, but I most definitely can. The woman who reminds me every day to be softer, to smooth the rough scaly ridges of microaggressions that have found themselves embedded in my brown skin, a protective shell from a space I feel foreign in. The woman who reminds me every day that “You cannot come and die from stress, so just enjoy life! You are so young! Enjoy life baby girl!”.
All these women and so many more (I am incredibly lucky to know and be involved in the lives of so many warm kind people!). Tiny invisible threads weaving us together. Being a woman is hard. Being black is hard. Being a black woman is harder, but sisterhood, hearing stories of rebirth, regeneration, healing. It makes it easier, it makes it a pleasure, it makes it absolutely, undeniably amazing. For all the ones who paved the path before me, I salute you, for all those who walk hand in hand with me, I love you, and to the ones who will come after me, I hope I would have done you proud.
Black history month is coming up and I really want to contribute some written pieces and would love to hear your input, currently, I'm writing something on the rise of 'black excellence' and the pressures I feel to 'succeed' as a second gen immigrant. What would you like to read?

P.S Thank you for the warm welcome back!

Photography by Yossy Akinsanya

Sade xo

8.19.2018

Third Time Lucky.

In the words of Nadia Rose, "Guess who's back? But I never left". Sade's back with a bang, tell a friend, tell a friend. I'm not quite sure where to start, with this one, so please humour me whilst I simply write.

I left off back in June, shrouded in a thick, heavy veil of exhaustion (mentally and physically) after a mutual decision between myself and my directors to leave my second job, to put it lightly, it seemed our personalities were not a... fit. At the time, I was a terrified shell of myself, but something in me, something small, spherical and light like a mustard seed had planted itself into my chest and from it began to bloom, bringing it with a steady faith, hope and reassurance that something beyond my expectation was on its way. After two difficult jobs, I can honestly admit I was worried, part of me thought the issue was down to 'me' (and in a way it was, my lack of confidence gave way to people to mistreat me and not value my contributions), it was a period that was heady with a mixture of disappointment, people shaking their heads at me with pity, and dealing with the pressure to succeed and aspire to black excellence, but instead of moping at home, the seeds in my chest sprouted thick green shoots, encouraging me to take my laptop to my local coffee shop to work, pushing me to do more voluntary work and think beyond the selfish part of me, the 'me myself and I' attitude, making me reach out to friends to ask "how are you really doing?" Through all of this, the little sprouts in my chest began to shake and expand, filling me with feelings of peace, and the knowledge that what was and is meant for me will never pass me by. I was so busy doing other things as well as applying for jobs, that this time, it felt different, I wasn’t fearful because a part of me absolutely knew it would only be a matter of time before the right job fell into my lap, after all, if God is for me, who can be against me? Can I get an amen?! 
Yossy and I took a short trip to the French city of Marseille, a true melting pot of cultures with a heavy North and West African influence, it was a true delight. I’ve written a more in-depth post detailing our experience there which will be published soon. But the break was just what I needed, and it was so lovely to spend time in the sunshine with my little sister,  who is honestly one of my best friends. We ambled through the city in search of freshly baked pain au chocolat's in the mornings and sat outside drinking hot coffee and waving bonjour! To the very friendly locals. When we got back to England, I had a stack of job interviews awaiting me, I flew them all with confidence, ease, and adeptness, somehow in control of myself and filled with a sparkling confidence that nothing and no one could deny. I. Was. On. Fire. 
I got job offers from every single interview I went to. In the end, I chose the practice I’m at now, a wonderful Architecture & Design practice in London Bridge, headed up by directors who are calm, kind, seriously hard working and incredibly knowledgeable. It’s nice to say I’ve finally found my dream job after an entire year post-university searching for ‘the one’.  So that’s what I’ve been doing since July, working, working, working away, settling into my role, running to meetings, talking to contractors and clients on site and creating construction drawings. It feels like... a sigh of relief, that’s the only real way I can describe it, an overwhelming sense of peace cloaks me each morning as I sit on the 7:31 to Blackfriars, knowing that I jumped out in faith and waited for the I am that I am to catch me and meet me right where I was, and he did
Life isn’t perfect, perfection is boring anyway isn’t it? But the buds in my chest have flourished into white bushy chrysanthemums, with bright green centres, shedding their tiny petals everywhere, a representation of my hope and faith, the things that keep me holding onto peace each and every day of my life.

So now that I'm back, what is to come on this little space? Well for one, I want to get back to writing, click-clacking away and sharing my thoughts on topics such as blackness, faith, womanism, community, love, art, architecture and so much more. It'll be a little more 'organic', with more of a back and forth and I suppose with the odd sponsored post here and there (because transparency is cool). How does that sound my friends? 

Oh, how I have missed you all, but your girl is back, she is back, she is truly back.

Speak soon

Sade xo

P.S. Photos are by my darling sister Yossy.

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