3-3

Style Feature: Nawal

What inspires your style?

My hair! I have a tendency of changing my hair to reflect my growth, attitude or change in life it's almost like physically starting a new chapter. With a different hairstyle comes a new fashion style but one thing that's never changed and will always remain the same is my love for baggy clothes. I love to be comfortable and plus I've always been a tomboy. My personality, interests and hobbies all play a part in my character which also reflects my choice of style. 

How did you get into styling and fashion design?

It was actually my teachers and friends from secondary school that noticed and pointed out that I was good at art and design. Art was always my favourite subject too. From there I stuck by it with the intention of becoming an architect. Later on whilst studying an art course in college I grew a love for graphic design, architecture and fashion. I couldn't decide what to specialize in and my tutor pointed me to the right direction and advised me to look into fashion textiles: surface print design. It gave me the perfect option to do prints for fashion or interior design and that's what I chose to study in university and I loved it!

What's one thing everyone should have in their closet?

Everyone should have a bomb-ass-go-to jumpsuit for the days where you can't decide what you want to wear and you can't afford to be late. You just throw it on and get on with your day in style. 

What's on your summer/spring style mood-board? 

Baggy jumpsuits, over the shoulder tops and anything with ruffles! I'm really loving maxi skirts and those mini cross body bags, I want them all! 

You can follow Nawal on Instagram: @neauxwal

Beauty Business Spotlight: MUD & MUSK

Recently we fell in love with a dreamy Perth, Western Australia based brand called Mud & Musk. Mud & Musk was established in March of 2016 and is the brainchild of Haweya Ismail. We love Mud & Musk because of its commitment to organic and ethically sourced ingredients. Sometimes, organic is also a synonym for expensive, but that’s not the case here. Mud & Musk is also committed to affordable and accessible DIY skincare and they ship worldwide.

The inspiration for the brand came to founder Haweya when she was an environmental student and came across a documentary about the environmental consequences the Frankincense industry was having on Somalia. After learning about the impact of frankincense over-harvesting, Haweya decided she needed to find a way to support sustainable and fair trade industry by directly sourcing ingredients. Haweya believes it is import to work with farmers in Somalia directly and support sustainable fair trade practices. Make sure to support this dreamy Somali owned beauty brand! 

Want to learn more? Check out our short convo with Mud & Musk founder Haweya, below.

In the beauty industry, it is common for companies to cut corners and use unnatural ingredients. Why is Mud & Musk committed to creating ethical and natural skincare products?

Haweya: Organic skincare is not just a hipster niche anymore; it has become mainstream. People are becoming significantly more educated on dangers of synthetic ingredients and want to have greater control over what they are putting on their skin. I think in 2017 we have the technology and information needed to empower people to safely have that control. We are committed to creating ethical skincare products because I think businesses have the greatest potential to improve livelihoods and protect the environment, and being able to create a brand that does these things have been a passion of mine for a while.

Using both qasil and huruud as beauty products is something that has been passed down in Somali families for centuries. Often, when brands take something that has been cultural knowledge and use it to create their products, they don't acknowledge where or who that knowledge came from in the first place. Why and how is Mud & Musk committed to acknowledging the traditional roots of this ancestral cosmetic knowledge?

Haweya: We are committed to highlighting the traditional roots of the knowledge to ensure those the communities benefit first and foremost. We are doing this by travelling to the region, documenting and showcasing the unique skills and traditional knowledge of locals and demonstrate the harvest and use. We conducted interviews with the harvesters, farmers and discovered how the harvest benefits the region.

How would a first time customer choose the best product for them and how would they use it?

Haweya: The HARGEISA DIY kit is a 5-step customizable kit. The first step allows the customer to select their skin type, and this guides the customer by recommending what ingredients would be suitable for their skin type in the following steps (conditioner, essential oil, extract and after care).

What's next on the horizon for Mud & Musk?

Haweya: The HARGEISA DIY kit is the first of many customizable skincare kits that we would like to make available for our customers. Over the next year we will also be expanding our selection of ingredients and tools so that eventually our customers will also be able to choose from our ingredients for their own recipes.

Bomb Hair Spotlight: Ayan Jamal (Stockholm, Sweden)

You are a bit of a style chameleon. No matter how adventurous you always manage to slay. You also play with color a lot. Who/what inspires your looks? 

I am truly a style chameleon, thank for noticing! I don't like to limit myself to a certain look. I'm not a person with a bunch of rules but I would say that is the only one. Whether it's about what kind of hairstyle, opinions or the music I choose to listen to I wanna have the opportunity to try it all or at least change my mind. 

I am all about youtube & pinterest and also, I have zero patience so whenever I come across something that I like I just try it. I will tell you now, you can never be 100% certain about anything, sometimes you win but the joy of it all is knowing you got the power to make whatever happen.

What has your hair journey been like? What's your routine or what products do you use? 

Growing up in in the north of Sweden in an almost all white community feeling weird was a state of mind. So to not make too much of a fuss I felt it was crucial that I got my hair relaxed. I didn't wanna be the fat, black, Somali, Muslim girl with the fro. So I became the fat, black, Somali, Muslim girl with Scandinavian looking hair…lol. I often look back at those days as a reminder that I will never correct myself to any standards to satisfy a norm that I will never  fit. That is the best routine I can give you. 

What hairstyle is on your mood board for spring/summer?

I will shave my head again and dye it blond and whenever i feel like something else I will just pop one of my wigs on. But definitely be bald. That saves me so much time and it will help me keep my head cool.

What advice do you have for those who wanna experiment more with their hair/beauty looks but are scared?

I would say that you should never let your looks define who you are. Take control and try different things. The blessing it that you can always change your mind and that’s okay. Go on youtube and be inspired.

Follow Ayan on social media! Instagram: Ayanjamalwarsame Spotify: Ayaaan


 

 

 

 

Natural Somali DIY Beauty Methods

 by Leyla Bile

Four years ago I had a health scare when my GP told me that my cholesterol actually surpassed beyond the extremely high cholesterol level, which is around 7.8 and mine was around 9.5. That became the wake-up call I needed and kick started my journey towards a more healthy living. I changed my diet, exercised more and gradually also started making my own natural DIY beauty recipes by watching several YouTube tutorials made by natural hair gurus such as ‘Hey Fran Hey’. I became more and passionate about making my own stuff like body creams, facemasks and body scrubs because I wanted to know exactly what was going into my body wouldn’t cause me any harm. Plus they give me a tremendous joy to make them and satisfaction I get that I made it.

The more I got into practicing self-care, the more I started to realize this natural DIY beauty culture was already ingrained into my Somali culture and that I didn’t need to look further for inspiration. I just had to look and see how my own hooyo (mother) practiced it. Soon enough I started incorporating what can found in most Somali households like qasil, xabatasoda, qaxwo banaadir and saliid macsaro.

For the following recipes I will be using the above-mentioned ingredients and more for a Somali inspired facemask and coffee body scrub. I will also go into further detail what those ingredients are and their benefits. Most of them are easily found in Somali shops or your local African and Asian shop.


Somali Coffee Body Scrub

I use coffee and sugar body scrubs at least once a week to get rid of the dead skin and to get that silky smooth feeling.

Ingredients:

•    4-5 table spoons of qaxwo banaadir (Somali coffee)

•    3 table spoons of dark brown soft sugar

•    2 table spoons of ginger powder

•    1 table spoon of xabatasoda (nigella/black seeds)

•    2 teaspoons of saliid macsaro (sesame oil)

•    2 tea spoons of xabatasoda saliid (nigella/black seed oil)

•    15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil

•    15-20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Method:

Before you start mixing the ingredients together make sure you grind the nigella seeds using mortar and pestle, called kal iyo mooy in Af-Soomaali. After that mix all the ingredients into a bowl starting with the dry ingredients and store the mixture into an airtight 400-500 ml glass jar. Use the scrub once a week before your regular body cleanser and notice the difference it makes to your skin.

Benefits:

Somali coffee

Besides the exfoliation coffee offers to get rid of dead skin, it also has another benefit: caffeine. It helps to tighten the skin, which can minimize cellulite because it restricts the blood vessels and reduces swelling and inflammation. Caffeine is also full with antioxidants, which can help us with wrinkles, sun spots and fine lines.

Make sure that the coffee grounds you use are fresh and of high quality with plenty caffeine content.The reason for using this Somali coffee mixture over the others was because it also contains cardamom cinnamon and ginger powders. By mixing all those different textures it will give that extra friction needed to create better circulation for the body and an amazing smell of those spices.

Dark brown soft sugar

Many body scrubs I have used before had hard granulates sugar, which I find too harsh on the skin. Because of that I replaced it with dark brown soft sugar, also called Muscovado sugar which contains molasses. Like most sugar it does not contain enough minerals and vitamins to have substantial health benefits but it can have a healthy impact on our skin when applied directly as a scrub.Homemade sugar scrubs softens the skin, prevents acne, whiteheads, blackheads, breakouts and other skin blemishes. By getting rid of the excessive oil, dirt and dead skin, which clogs the pores. The skin exfoliation it provides removes all those things without leaving the skin dry.

Ginger powder

Dry ginger powder contains anti-inflammatory properties that help with joint pain. Although the Somali coffee mixture already has ginger powder I think you can never  have enough of ginger powder. It is also anti-bacterial and very useful to unclog the pores.

Nigella seeds/black Seeds (Nigella Sativa)

The seeds contain essential fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acids, which can replenish your skin texture.

Sesame oil

The benefits of sesame oil on our skin are immense. It contains fatty acids, linoleic acid, vitamin E, D and B complex. They also have high amount of viscosity, which makes them good for massaging, they are capable of penetrating deep into the pores of skin and thereby regulating the circulation of blood. It prevents bacterial infections, repairs damage skin cells, slows down skin aging process and is a natural sunscreen.

Black seed oil

Black seed oil nourishes the skin with its vitamin A, B and C. It reduces clogged pores, provides moisture, prevent scarring and reduces dark spots.

Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils

Besides their uplifting properties peppermint and eucalyptus also provide pain relief for sore joint and muscles. Like most essential oils less is more and is always recommended to not use directly into the skin without it diluting it first with carrier oil. Too much of it can cause skin rashes, respiratory problems and even poisoning.


Somali Facial Mask

Lately I’ve started incorporating more of the clay and powder based facemasks into my natural DIY beauty routines. Before my mother introduced me to the Somali qasil powder I was mainly using rhassoul clay and activated charcoal as the base until I realized it was less drying and more soothing to the skin. It leaves my face looking even toned, hydrated and glowing.

OriginalPhoto-515681059.530359.jpg

Ingredients:

•    1-2 teaspoons of qasil powder (shredded leaves powder)

•    1 teaspoon of aloe vera powder

•    1-2 teaspoon of honey

•    1-2 teaspoons of almond oil

•    1-2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel

•    5 drops of vitamin E oil

•    half cup of filtered water

•    a quarter cup of rose water

Method:

Mix all ingredients in a small glass bowl, starting off with the dry ingredients. Use it once or twice a week depending on your skin type. Unlike turmeric it does not stain so it can be applied using your fingers but it is better to use a brush for less mess. Always wash your face with a gentle cleanser before you apply any facial. A clean surface will provide better absorption of the benefits of the mask.

Leave it on between 20-60 minutes again depending on your skin needs and its type. Besides the added oils will provide extra moisturize to limit the drying effects of the powders.

Wash it all off with warm water to open the pores and seal the pores again by washing your wash with cold water. Gently dry your wet face preferable with a microfiber towel or a old t-shirt. Follow it off with your preferred moisturizer. I use rose hip oil or vitamin E oil as a moisturizer. I quit using store bought facial creams the same time I started making my own natural products and I have noticed significant skin improvements ever since.

Benefits:

Qasil powder

Qasil is made of the shredded leaves of the Gob tree, which is native to Somalia and Somaliland and countries that share similar environment. It is called the natural soap due to its gentle cleansing components. It leaves the skin feeling clean and soothed.

Aloe Vera powder

In both its powder and gel form aloe vera contains anti-bacterial, anti-aging and anti- inflammatory properties. It sooths and clears the skin when applied topically.

Honey

Honey is yet another food that contains many benefits for our skin. Its anti-bacterial so great for acne treatments, is full of anti-oxidants which works great for anti-aging and it is extremely moisturizing and soothing.

Aloe Vera gel

The aloe leaf contains a gel that heals wounds, sooths skin, treats sunburn, acts as an moisturizer, treats acne, treats different types of dry skin and lessens the appearance of stretch marks.

Almond oil

Sweet almond oil can be used to get smooth, flawless skin, deep cleansing, to remove dark circle, to relieve eczema, psoriasis, treating skin rashes and to reduce fine lines.

Vitamin E oil

It acts as moisturizer, reverses premature skin aging, treats sunburn, lightens dark spots and acts as a cleansing agent.

Rose water

Besides its hydrating properties like regular water, rose water also has anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits which sooths and cleanses the skin.

Shea Luxuries is my soon to be launched natural skin and hair line, which focuses on Shea butter body whips, coffee body scrubs and soon to pretty also a self-care gift box.

For information about the product line please contact me via the Facebook page for your custom made natural products.

Style Feature: Fatima

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my fashion style to be comfortable and simple. I just wear anything that makes me feel like a queen. I love long coats and I have been wearing wide pants a lot lately.

Do you have any style icons?

I wouldn't say that I have a style icon but I do get inspired by people on the streets and social media all the time. 

What clothes/accessories do you see yourself reaching for the most this summer?

Wide pants for sure have been a favourite of mine this summer. They are super comfortable and look good with everything. I have been trying to wear more colour and yellow, red and orange have been my favourites.

What's one thing in your closet you can't live without?

I love my oversized coats! Not only do they keep me warm but they turn a basic outfit into something fabulous.

 

You can follow Fatima on Instagram: @fetabulous

 

 

Ifrah's Homemade Deep Conditioner Recipe:

I made up this deep conditioner recipe a few years ago after I became serious about taking care of my hair. I never really used to do much with my hair before that, but then, hair health became really important to me. I found out that my hair didn't seem to be getting the best nutrients from store-bought conditioners, so I decided to just make my own deep conditioner from scratch. After all, nature provides us with many wonderful gifts that can be used for both health and beauty. In the quest to make my own deep conditioner, I did some good old internet research for weeks on end in order to find out which natural foods could be used to improve hair health. There were many different options, so I decided to just put together all the most frequently mentioned foods in order to make a super-deep conditioner. The Beyoncé of homemade deep conditioners, really. This recipe has been tweaked over the years; especially as my hair length has dramatically changed. Feel free to adjust the ingredient portions to best match your hair needs. I have very fine curls that are 3A, 3B, and 3C mix. Now that my hair is short again, I only require about half of this recipe. A few months ago when my hair was longer, I needed as much deep conditioner as I could get! I encourage you to experiment with proportions until you find what works for you! Remember though, you can deep condition all you want and take care of your outer body but internal health is also really important for hair health. That means drinking lots of water, eating your fruits and veggies, exercising, and getting enough rest! When we take care of our whole health, your whole body benefits. 

Ingredients:

1 medium-large ripe avocado

3/4 can of coconut milk (make sure it doesn't have any strange extra ingredients)

3 or 4 good squeezes from a honey bottle

1 egg

3/4 cup of olive oil

1 banana (optional)

Lavender flower petals (optional)

Process:

1. Grab a ripe avocado and cut it in half. Remove the pit and squeeze the avocado meat into a blender.

2. Crack an egg and also put it into the blender, on top of the squeezed avocado.

3. Take 3/4 cup of olive oil and pour it over the egg and avocado mix.

4. Grab the honey and give 3 to 4 good squeezes of the bottle and squeeze into the blender.

5. Open a can of coconut milk and pour 3/4 of the can into the blender.

6. If you have an amazing blender, feel free to peel and throw in one banana into the blender. Also feel free to add in any other aromatic oils or flowers. I like to do lavender because I love the smell.

7. Puree and blend all ingredients until a smooth and light green hair mask forms.

8. Apply deep conditioner to damp hair; squeeze out excess deep conditioner and tie your hair into a high bun.

9. Wrap your hair in a scarf so that the conditioner doesn't drip everywhere. 

10. Let conditioner sit in your hair for 30 minutes to an hour and then rinse it out. Follow your normal hair routine after this. 

Benefits:

Avocado - This is a super ingredient. I call it a super ingredient because even using it in your hair by itself can really improve your hair health. Avocados are awesome to eat but they are as equally awesome for hair. They revitalize your scalp, the natural oils are great for damaged and dry hair, and it can give your dull looking hair a shiny boost.

Coconut Milk - Another super ingredient. Like avocados, you can use coconut milk by itself as a deep conditioner. Sometimes, if I am feeling too lazy to make this deep conditioner, I'll just let my hair soak in coconut milk and it gives it a wonderful boost. Plus it rinses right out! Coconut milk is amazing because it penetrates the hair follicles really well making it a bomb moisturizer! It also helps with hair breakage and it promotes hair growth.

Honey - Truly a gift from nature. I can just go on about its benefits. It contains antibacterial qualities, it helps your scalp retain moisture, and it is a natural emollient. It also encourages hair growth by providing nutrients to the hair follicles. 

Egg - Protein rich and can improve the strength of your hair. The ends of our hair are usually the oldest and most brittle. I use eggs specifically to help strengthen the bottom portion of my hair to prevent breakage. 

Olive Oil - This is cool because it has multiple benefits. Everything from decreasing dandruff, softening the hair, and providing extra moisture needed to keep those ends from splitting as quickly.

Banana - Great because they are rich in natural oils, are great for an itchy scalp, naturally helps add volume to your hair, and it protects the elasticity of your hair. The only downside to bananas are that they need to be blended extremely well before being put into curly hair or you'll have dried banana chunks in your hair for a few days. I'm not speaking from experience...a friend told me...I swear. If you have a shitty blender and are feeling desperate for some banana in your deep conditioner, banana baby food might be a chunk-free option.

AA Beauty List

Ifrah:

1. Jojoba Oil: I use jojoba oil for so many different things! I rarely wear make-up, but when I do I have found that it's a natural make-up removal option. Jojoba oil mimics the natural oil our own skin produces and that's why it doesn't feel greasy when you put it on. It's Magic! 

2. Mac Liquid Concealer: This concealer has saved me from perpetual dark under eyes! I normally will only use it if I am going out.

3. Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter: This body butter is the truth! It's whipped to perfection. It also leaves my post-shower skin feeling flawless, soft, and non-greasy. I am sure one could easily make this body butter, but for now I'm buying it.

4. Tropical Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil: This oil is what I like to call "blessings on blessings on blessings". I've been using this Jamaican black castor oil for 5 years now and I swear by it. It's a really thick oil. My curls suck the oil up and my hair feels so soft afterwards. My split ends have almost gone away totally and it's amazing for growth and for thickening edges. Don't be living your life on the edge, girl!


Sagal:

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance: I've never really been into makeup as I'm generally a very lazy human being but I've been experimenting with eyeshadows lately (the attempt to glow up is real) and this palette is everything. From simple daytime looks to dramatic eyes for the night, it has it all. It's the only palette I own so maybe this is cheating but I think everyone should have this. 

6. Nars Tinted Moisturiser: This is perfect for the summer (and every other season) as it's sheer, has decent coverage as well as SPF and comes in a shade that actually matches my skin tone yay! I can't wear foundation because I don't like the feel of it on my face so this is a really lovely alternative.

7. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer: I can't leave my house without wearing this. It's a gorgeous cream highlighter that makes you look like you're literally glowing from the inside. Put it on the high points of your cheeks, below your eyebrows, your cupid's bow and even your collarbones. Glow to the heavens this summer my sisters! This is the perfect highlighter for those of you who want to look dewy - not glittery. 

8. Cantu Leave-In Conditioner: I recently did a big chop (best idea ever) and have been rocking short curls since then. I used to wear Shea Moisture products on my hair when it was long but after my BC, they felt super heavy on my curls and I decided to try out Cantu products. Y'all - this line is life changing honestly. My curls are bouncy and shiny without feeling heavy or crunchy, a little goes a long way and they're usually half the price of the Shea Moisture products. what are you waiting for? Buy some! 

Bomb Hair Spotlight: Hamdi Lilah (Seattle, WA)

What does your hair routine consist of? 

Shea butter leave in conditioner.

Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise once a week!

Have you always had natural hair? 

Yes, my hair has always been naturally curly. However, I did not always embrace it because as child my hair was too wild, thick and frizzy for me. Luckily, my mother was obsessed with my hair! She brought me all the 'Dream Kid' olive miracle products. And, I remember getting my hair combed and braided every morning before breakfast. It's interesting, those products have the cutest little girls with braids and straightened-hair which was how I would want my mom to style my hair. However, my mama didn't approve of the flat-iron and she would say "that's too much heat for a child, you don't want your long hair to start breaking off." But she would put red henna which is this green powder that smells like hay and give you a lustrous shine. That was my thing! 

Future hair goals? 

Currently, my hair is under rehabilitation from black hair dye damage. Also, I'm working on getting my length back. I'm shampooing less, once every two weeks, because I feel over the years my hair got stripped of its natural oils from repeated shampooing. The goal is to keep my hair break free, therefore, I am washing less and oiling more. Also, I'm doing a deep treatment with the Organic Root Stimulator  Hair Mayonnaise once a week. Lately, my hair-style has been more big loose beachy curls, kinda like Diana Ross.

Style Feature: Warda

How do you describe your style?

I would describe my style as quite eccentric and 90s-esque.  My style is very casual even when I’m going out; I replace my converses for heels.

What's on your radar for spring/summer fashion? 

Prints, prints, and more prints! I have just come back from Africa and I have collected a variety of colourful prints that I can't wait to wear. 

What are some of your influences?

I love the 90s, so my style is reflective of that.  I love wearing dark lipstick, MOM jeans and t-shirts. My mother is another influence; she has a collection of cool outfits that she rocked from the 80s and 90s.

What's one thing in your wardrobe that you can't live without?

I think I can't live without my MOM jeans, like I wear them all the time. You can dress it up or dress it down.  

 

You can follow Warda on Instagram: @thequirkykind