Sunday, 27 November 2016

Autumn is MOT Season: Networking, Bonding & Finishing 2016

 Winter is for hunkering us down and shedding everything. Even with sub human temperatures, grim skies and very distant pay days, there’s a sense of optimism, of a fresh start and obviously the sense to get the year right as everything decays around us.  Before winter hits hard in February, with too many cocktails in your bloodstream and the promise of turkey and mince pies, I refurbish everything. I seek new relationships, have my eyes and teeth checked, and spruce up my running shoes because there’s nothing like the crunch of fallen leaves in that semi cold golden hour. I network more and this season, I have been inclined to seek out faith-centric avenues because I have gorged on all the crazy in the media and I wanted to reconnect with the child-like wonder of the work and the fearlessness I had in my heart as a preteen. I have been losing that with adulting and right now, I need to be plugged in because I am going to be killing it in my career within the next 5 years and there’s no room for doubt to grow.

My first networking opportunity of the season was a private group hosted by Louisa of AfroBlush where a bevy of intelligent chocolate and curvaceous women continued the never ending conversation about our melanin, our tresses and the inclusion that is lacking in the beauty industry. I have developed a mild form of apathy for this lack of inclusion and will joyfully purchase from those who whip it up in my shade than bang on the doors who could but haven’t. I am over you and the fact that you think I am one of 3 shades. No and boy bye.

I fell in love with Magnify Magazine early this year.  Ruth publishes a beautiful and sophisticated magazine is on faith, fashion and feminism. I have collected on 3 and will keep them till my shelves buckle under. On this cool autumn night, we met in the cosy Kahaila Café in Shoreditch and had a master class entitled Is Success worth the sacrifice? We spoke Gracie Christie (Head of Talent, BT Group Functions & People Development for Finance and HR) and Fioye Laniyan (Co-Founder and Operations Director of Virgos Lounge) highly motivational to hear them talk about the anchor of their faith and how following this path as Christians is a plus in so many ways in a world where religion is now a dirty word. There was so much more to the night and the launch of Issue 3 of Magnify magazine with the message

‘Be a Voice, not an Echo’. How apt for such a time in our lives.

The next time I spent with faith-led ambitious women was an absolute treat and with all that I have experienced this season, I am full and ready to take on whatever is in my path from henceforth with prayer and grace. Women in Leadership Networking popped up on my Instagram feed early this year when my friend Dija attended a brunch session they had organised. This triggered my autopilot response on Instagram i.e. double tap, click to bio, follow and set up notification for latest posts.

Their last networking event which was an Inspire Event in Creative leadership held at The Brompton Café and Bookshop in the HTB Church. The space is just…you just have to walk in yourself and let me know what you think. On the panel were Stu Hazeldine who’s directed the movie for the cult classic The Shack which will be staring Octavia Spencer! (Absolutely love her), Sam Worthington and Tim McGraw. Apparently we need all the tissues we can gather for the emotional snotfest when the movie is released in March 2017. I need to read this book! His Christianity is a boost to his directorial career and as a man of faith in Hollywood; it is interesting to see a thirst for faith-based movie post-The Passion of the Christ. Persia and her best friend are the duo behind blog Addictive Daughter and what resonated with me most is her saying ‘as actresses, I thought I wanted to be on stage and be seen but all I wanted was a voice, my voice to be heard and it can manifest in so many ways’ and their recently published book ‘The Inner Fix’ is the antidote to all millennials trying to navigate breaking the internet and remaining true to your values. Taylor is 2 years out of University and has joined Magnify in bringing as Clarity; a faith based magazine talking about everything from sex, depression, grace and love.

What I took home from her was that God was the first creative bringing excellence in his work from the heavens and the earth and the human body so as Christian subpar shouldn’t be enough. She received the message to wait on bringing together a team for creating the magazine and even though you may be able to do it yourself, you may be not excellent at it and thus need to be willing to let it go and have someone else take care of it. We are all parts of the body of Christ and together we make the whole work.

I have one more work related networking event to go to before 2016 takes off into memory and till 2017 rings in, it is time to do the work. You can talk about it, but you need to show you are about it and do the darn work. Happy networking and I hope you are refilling this season  with strength, love and a whole lot of grace. Tell me what you’re up to, on Instagram, Facebook or right here in the comments.

Until later,


Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Lip Finish | My Beauty Encounter with Kiko Cosmetics Milan.


My name is Vesta and I am a beauty junkie without the budget to currently indulge in 3 Ikea Alex drawers full of make up. Also,  I am kind of a minimalist so I need to go Mari Kondo on my purchases. They have to be worth it and I know better.

Kiko Cosmetics Milano has been taking over our high street over the past few years. They warmed their way into our hearts with an amazing range of nail polishes and now they have the whole kit. I am a chocolate skinned gal and most days my complexion is not part of the selections found in beauty shops. So I am looking for chocolate shades on beauty counters, doing a little research on all the make up brands on the high street and in our department stores. One face beat at a time, I will be matched and slayed for the gawds by in house makeup artists. Photographs will be taken by my creative director and we will show you if I get matched or not.

Of course, the lips will finish the look and that will be brought to you in a unique way.

Here's my experience and beauty shots in Kiko's Covent garden space which has a dedicated makeup room downstairs which when pre-arranged(I will) can get you ready fora night in the West end!

My skin was cleansed and moisturised with their in house skincare range, I had no idea they have skincare. Cleansed, toned, moisturised, Silvia matched me to Ebony in their Mat Mousse Oil Free foundation, followed by their invisible touch face fixing powder. I have never been so matte in my life, it was unreal.

She continued by highlighting my cheekbones and giving me a little dramatic Cleopatra eye for my night on the town. It was very simple yet beautiful and something I can try at home. A bit of gold pigment on the centre of my lids was all that was needed to make my eyes pop. So simple and very glam too

My lips were lined with a lip crayon in the shade 315 and topped up with lipstick shades 923 and 914. As you can see I am feeling myself. What do you think of my look? I love it!

Until later,


Monday, 19 September 2016

Happiness with Tsaka Beauty

My theme for 2016-2017 is to push through, actualise your brilliant thoughts and all the genius ideas. Ideas that could change the world, or just change the world you live in. I am in a perpetual state of finding, absorbing doers and how they ignored the voices in their heads and conquered those around them too to bring forth what they thought they could.

In this instance, it is Celmira  Amade of Tsaka (pronounced Saa-Ka, meaning Happiness in Ronga a Mozambican dialect), who I am going to follow as closely as events, social media and possible friendship would allow. When someone who’s ‘doing’ calls you out on you not doing, because they feel you but can’t grasp your reluctance, then we are going to be friends.

Celmira moved to England to study in Royal Holloway University in 2010 and everyone from a warmer climate will tell you, when the autumn winds start cooling off into the freezy winters, your skin and hair get angry. Angry that the sunrays and warmth aren’t here to bring life to your skin and hair and then there’s dryness and break outs and hair that just breaks off. It is incredible too that after years of co-existing in a society like London, remedies from top chemist shops all provide remedies for things like redness. Gurl, do you see redness in this melanin? Like how, for real? Where? It is also a pity that the most you can get from a sales assistant is just go try this, when your skin is causing you to slather on makeup to hide spots and hyperpigmentation which you are totally unfamiliar with, in a place where your issues aren’t part of the solutions thought off and we are subject to cocktails that promise to lighten it out. Hydroquinone unregulated in all its foolishness against a backdrop of racist innuendos.

But that’s not what the first product of the Tsaka range is here for. Celmira went home to Mozambique and remembered that as a child her grandma used to mix and apply her own recipes for any hair and skin issue from her environment. She asked her family to confirm what the ingredients were from what she remembered and she brought a pot with her to heal her skin. It worked, calmed her skin and gave her room to treat her hyperpigmentation. Years later, school’s finished and the only thing she noticed had changed in the chemists was that a few more shades have been added to the 2.5 shades of dark in 2016 and there was still nothing she could see that would help with her problem. So one day (I assume, lol) as she dipped her finger into her creation, she thought of you and me, with our chocolate skin, dreading the bristling brush of winter winds and decided to bring us all her magic, this pot of happiness, plant based, vegan face mask that had her out here confidently foundation free in the photo for her press release.

She sources her miracle ingredients with her local community of farmers, who know how to wildly harvest the plant, allowing it to replenish, promoting sustainability and now she is fine-tuning the formula to a face serum and natural lipstick which can be layered into varying shades of one colour.

May she do them all and so much more because after years of ‘independence’, our story is still been told for us and our ingredients are touted as miraculous and new, even though our grandmothers have been massaging them into our blood and brewing them in our tea for centuries. 

Go and do what you said you would, let’s tell our own stories, work with our own communities like Tsaka is doing.

 Support our friends who do. Shout it out and push through. Find Tsaka, find your happiness too


Until later,

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