Frustrations Over My Hair


For the past few days, I’ve been looking to change my hairstyle, in vain. The weather here is so hot at the moment, trying to keep my hair straight, well coiffed and frizz free has become something of a battlefield. So I decided I’d get it braided and keep it in a protective style for a while, because it’s driving me nuts at the moment.

First up, I found this woman on Facebook. I liked that she has some nice pictures of her work on her profile. Plus it’s a bonus that she happens to live just up the road from me. I thought I’d struck lucky! I got on the phone and set an appointment for 10am Monday and thought that was that.

Come Monday, I took a short bus ride up the road to her’s, as she works from home. When I got off the bus, with about 10 minutes to spare, I rang her as agreed so she could meet me at a nearby service station, again as agreed. I just couldn’t believe what she said when she answered her phone!

I totally forgot all about you! I have an emergency and can’t be there right this minute, can you wait for me?”

I just couldn’t believe this lady’s cheek! I mean, she didn’t even have the decency to apologise! I was getting very wound up at this stage and pressed her for an ETA. After much arm twisting, she admitted she’d be about an hour!! I asked her where she proposed I wait for her, and what to do meantime, to which she responded,

“Do you not drive?!” sounding very surprised.

I told her no, not everybody can afford to drive and yes I’m one of those people.

She then said to go back to my place and that she’d call me once she was done, and because she’d inconvenienced me, she’d come to my house. Well, my gut instinct told me she was feeding me some flaming BS, but hey, why not give her the benefit of the doubt? By 3pm, I’d still not heard anything from her, so I called her. The story was now that her poor husband had had a heart attack and she was running around getting him some medication. I pray to god she wasn’t lying, because I didn’t believe her.

NOTE: she wasn’t taking him to the doctor’s. Even stranger was the fact that she said we could still get my hair done on Tuesday. She promised to call me around 10am when I was meant to be back in from work.

Anyway, yesterday I came home around 8.30am. 10am came and went and she still hadn’t called by 11.45am. I called her only for her to say she’d forgotten about me….again! Do you see a pattern here? She was actually doing someone else’s hair, and would call me “after lunch’ to arrange for her to come round to do my hair. I couldn’t believe it!! Anyway, I was done listening to this woman’s BS, so I got up and took myself off to a hair salon, where I got my hair done in like 3.5 hours. I’m super happy with it and wish I’d just gone there in the first place.

All I can say is, this lady is going up on the Botswana Name & Shame Facebook page. She clearly needs some lessons in customer service! 

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Clothes Shopping on Saturday!


I am a self confessed shopaholic and derive a lot of pleasure from going out to shopping malls and seeing what’s out there. I know a lot of people hate being among throngs of people and elbowing their way through crowds, which often happens when you go shopping, especially in the run up to Christmas. But that doesn’t bother me at all. I actually get a rush out of it, and the anticipation of what gems I’m likely to unearth combines with all that to give me a very heady rush!

Ever since I moved from England to Botswana two years ago, I’ve never really had a proper shopping spree because money is a little tight; I have to watch every penny until we’re back on our feet. What’s more, the clothing stores here tend to be the same, and don’t always offer much variety. I don’t like wearing the same stuff as everyone else, so that narrows down my choices to almost nothing. The clothes (in my opinion), are too pricey for my liking, and the stores seldom run promotions and sales. So I sometimes buy my clothes from UK online stores, even though it means having to pay the extortionate customs duty.

Anyway, I was on the mini bus on my way to work early this week when I saw a store that looked vaguely familiar. On closer inspection, it had branding that’s very reminiscent of one of my favourite stores, TK Maxx. I just had to find out if it was part of that group, if it was any good. The more I looked at it all through the week as I went past, the more I was convinced it was TK Maxx. Probably just wishful thinking!

I excitedly told my husband about it, as he too likes TK Maxx. On Saturday, we set off to go and see what this store’s all about. The butterflies in the bottom of my stomach were almost too much to bear! On getting there, we noticed that everything screamed TK Maxx; the store lay out, the types of clothes, the fact the store sells ‘heavily discounted’ designer gear, among others. I was very excited to see the store carries a lot of brands that I instantly recognized such as Mango, H&M, Tom Tailor, Marks and Spencer, Gap and Pink Champagne. I was even happier to find the prices are reasonable and competitive compared to local prices. I bit the bullet and asked the store assistants if they got their stock from TK Maxx,; they bashfully denied it, but did confirm the stock came from the UK

I found a lot of gorgeous jeans that I really liked, which I sadly couldn’t get into! This upset me, because I clearly need to drop a few kgs! I mean, not a single pair fitted me! I woke up and smelt the coffee right that moment, and realized that I have to go very easy this Christmas and carry it through to 2016. I was able to pick up a cute boho chic dress in off white and a handful of smart tops. Everything I bought is very light and very suited to the extreme heat we’re experiencing at the moment. I can’t wait to go back with one of my girlfriends so I can take my time and not feel so rushed.

Do you enjoy shopping? Which stores do you frequent?

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Clarisonic Mia: A Review


Many of us ladies are always looking for ways through which to improve our looks in a bid to stay looking younger for longer. Advances in technology mean we have never been as spoilt for choice as we are today.

I’m a self confessed cosmetics and beauty product junkie. My husband will tell you I have way too many beauty products, but I beg to differ. I simply like to look good and like to experiment with as many beauty products as possible. I guess my love of skincare products stems in part from the fact that I lived with acne for a very long time. I started having hideous spots from early in puberty right until a few years ago, in my thirties. Quite frankly, I never thought I’d ever not have acne.

A few years ago I grew tired of having to deal with my skin problem, and decided to aggressively look for ways in which to take care of the problem. I joined a couple of skincare and beauty discussion forums, swapped notes with others in my position and soaked up as much information as I could. One of the ‘solutions’ I picked up is the Clarisonic Mia skin cleansing face brush.

I’d tried all sorts of products under the sun to tackle my catalogue of problems, including:

  • Very shiny, oily skin
  • Regular break outs
  • Large pores
  • Blackheads
  • Seriously uneven skin tone

The products worked to varying degrees, and in the end I was eventually able to get the breakouts more or less under control. However, I still had the problem of oily skin, large pores, blackheads and uneven skin tone. So in a quest to address all those, I started looking into getting myself a Clarisonic Mia. I looked into as many reviews as possible and listened to what my online friends on beauty forums were saying. Luckily, my husband was also taking it all in and got me one for one of my birthdays! He knew how much the whole thing was getting me down, and was also probably tired of hearing me moan about my skin!

So What Is The Clarisonic Mia?

In the words of the makers of the Clarisonic:

The Clarisonic Mia is a Sonic Skin Cleansing System which uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth skin. In just 60 seconds, the action removes more makeup and more dirt and sebum than cleansing with your hands alone.

The Clarisonic face brush promises to give your skin a deeper cleanse, to remove all grease, makeup residue and dirt form your skin leaving your skin, squeaky clean. By so doing, it also promises to allow your skin products to absorb better into your skin.

Bear in Mind

It is important to replace your brush head every 3 months. Also, once a week, you should gently clean it with soap and water to keep it working at its peak performance.  In addition to cleaning your brush head, it is also important to clean the base (where the brush head connects) with gentle soap and water to help prevent build up of debris in the area.

Did It Live Up to These Promises?

I wasn’t initially blown away, to be honest. The Clarisonic is definitely not an overnight solution to skin problems. It brings about gradual change to your skin, that you may not necessarily notice until people start complimenting your skin. That’s exactly what happened to me! I initially used it morning and night, but have now cut right back to once a day. I only use it at night before bed, which seems adequate. Over time, probably three months into using my Clarisonic, I noticed that my skin became:

  • A lot smoother
  • A lot less greasy, I don’t have to dab at the greasy patches on my face all through the day anymore!
  • My once visibly large pores shrank
  • Less breakouts; I still have the occasional zit but no more than that!
  • My products seem to sink right into my skin and work better
  • My makeup also sits better on my skin, and actually stays on!

I absolutely loved it and still do. I would certainly recommend the Clarisonic to anyone who wants to maintain healthy, gorgeous skin long term. It won’t be your answer to all your skin complaints, but it will certainly make a marked difference to the quality of your skin.

My Only Con

I wish the brush heads were a lot more easily accessible. When I lived in the UK, I’d order them in from Canada. Now that I live in Botswana, it’s become more of a hassle to get my hands on some. It’s also a little pricey, but it’s all worth it!

Have you ever heard of the Clarisonic Mia? Have you ever used it? If so, what are your thoughts on it?








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Do Black People Really Need To Wear Sunscreen?


There is the misguided and universal belief that darker skinned people don’t need to wear sunscreen as the melanin in their skin protects them from burning as well as skin cancer. If you ask many Black people if they wear sunscreen, many of them will readily admit to not seeing the importance. Some will even react incredulously, or even laugh at the “absurdity” of the question.

In reality, the idea that Black people do not need sunscreen could not be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the following information is more accurate:

  • It has been medically established that although the darker the person, the less likely they are to get sunburnt; the melanin in a Black person’s skin only provides approximately 15 per cent of the required protection
  • Even though Black skin takes longer to burn, all skin colours do eventually get sunburnt
  • Black skin is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation; the formation of unsightly dark spots or patches on the face. I have in fact, experienced this first hand, and have had to battle the effects over the years
  • Once the uneven skin tone has formed, it can be extremely difficult to reverse the damage. Effective remedies tend to be very expensive; and far out of reach for most people, due to financial constraints and/or lack of knowledge about options available to them
  • Regardless of skin tone, UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage DNA skin cells. This damage may lead to skin cancer including melanoma, which in turn could lead to death
  • It has also been established that people of colour have a higher mortality rate with skin cancer because they are often not diagnosed until the cancer is advanced, making it more aggressive and harder to treat

Given how intensely hot it gets in Botswana, I believe that there needs to be a drive to educate people further about the hazards of UVA/UVB rays. People need to be made aware of the importance of wearing at least SPF 15 sunscreen, and wearing a hat or using an umbrella for further protection. I personally use SPF 50. It is imperative that you wear sunscreen whether it is hot or overcast, because the dangerous UVA/UVB rays can still penetrate through the clouds and cause irreparable damage. This is why people still get sunburnt on cloudy days. Even when you’re not leaving the house, it is advised that you still wear sunscreen indoors.

Sunscreen is the mainstay of my beauty regime. No day goes by when I don’t wear sunscreen. After my first shower of the day; come rain or shine, I lather the stuff on religiously. I have read over and over that even when it is overcast, UV rays can still have damaging effects on skin. I have previously developed heavily hyperpigmented skin due to not wearing sunscreen. It causes distress, knocks your confidence and can take years to reverse, if at all. This is the reason I always preach to anyone who will listen, about the importance of wearing sunscreen.

The bottom line is regardless of skin colour, texture or type; every single one of us needs to wear sunscreen every day. It’s a very easy step to incorporate into our daily routine, yet it could very well play a huge role in saving our skin health and indeed our lives.


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Sunscreen- Do I Really Need It?


People often think that because I have dark skin, I don’t burn! Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s this widespread misconception even among black people that darker skinned people are not at risk of getting sun burnt or skin cancer. Dermatologists the world over have their work cut out for them, as they endeavour to set the record straight. Black skin may offer more protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays than light skin, but nobody is immune to the dangers caused by the sun.

Because of this, I wear sunscreen religiously and never tire of preaching about the importance of sun protection to my friends and family. You’d even be forgiven for thinking I was getting some commission for it! Sunscreen is therefore the mainstay of my beauty regime. No day goes by when I don’t wear sunscreen. Straight after my shower; come rain or shine, I lather the stuff on. I have read over and over that even when it’s overcast, UV rays still have damaging effects on skin.

My personal favourite sunscreen is of the physical variety as opposed to the chemical. Physical sunscreen; also known as natural sunscreen, typically contains zinc oxide. The higher the zinc content the better, because zinc is a natural sunscreen, and therefor offers better protection.

I would recommend Obagi Nu-Derm Sunshield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50 as it goes on matte, which all the ladies will be grateful for. It also doesn’t leave the obvious grey cast, which is very common with physical sunscreen. Not quite a good look on dark skin!

I also love natural powder sunscreen, especially lightly tinted ones. These allow you to top up your sunscreen through the day, soaking up any greasy patches without messing up your makeup. I really like them, even though they’re very expensive, they are well worth it.

I no longer use any chemical sunscreens, as I used to burn anyway. I hate that they also irritate my skin and sting my eyes. Physical sunscreen can be very light and luxurious, whereas I’m yet to find a single chemical sunscreen of a quality that compares to that of physical sunscreen.

Have you heard of physical or natural sunscreen? Do you have any you swear by that you’d happily recommend?

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