Wednesday 27 May 2015

Shara Illustration: The Inspirational Woman series - Lupita Nyong'o

Hi Guys!,

This week I felt very inspired to do a series of illustration called 'The inspirational Woman', these are women who I personally admire and would love to design for. The first illustration I wanted to do was of the Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong'o. Besides being absolutely stunning, she represents girls like me, girls who have ambition and are determined to reach their goals.

When I saw the beautiful gown she wore for the film festival in 'Cannes' I was so inspired by the voluminous movement  in her dress, and how the colour just popped against her skin - I just had to draw her.

Can we also discuss how she looks amazing in literally everything she wears, literally every colour suits her skin, and she always carries herself with grace, an inner strength and a smile that can light up a room. When I saw Lupita Nyongo on the cover of this weeks issue of 'Stylist' magazine, I thought - Yeeeesssss girl! work that melanin! It made me so happy and reminded me of when she accepted her Oscar - she said -

'No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid'

 Lupita Nyong'o you are truly inspirational.


Tuesday 19 May 2015

The Textile Federation Tee - Colour Splash!

T - shirt - The Textile Federation
Treggings - TopShop
Ankle Boots - Zara (similar here)
Jacket - Matalan
Earrings - Ana IsArts

Over the weekend I attended a photo shoot at the Birmingham 'Custard Factory', for the 'Youth For Excellence' charity organisation that I am the artistic director for. The brief was to wear a casual outfit with a pop of colour, and I thought that my 'Textile Federation Tee' would be perfect for this!

I LOVE this T-shirt and picked it up in the Urban Outfitters sale where it had gone from £40 to £15. I not only love all of the bright colours, but I also love the graphic shapes and black lines in it, which makes it visually outstanding to create a real impact. I complimented the t - shirt with my huge laser cut Africa earrings by Birmingham based jewellery brand Ana IsArts.

The rest of the outfit I kept black and simple, I usually go all out with the colours, but I wanted the focus of the outfit to remain on the T-shirt. I wore my trusty black treggings from TopShop just because they are so comfy and go with everything. 

I really wanted to have fun this week, and spent most of the time jumping around for these shots,( but the jumping shots didn't turn out to well lol) The mural in the background provided the perfect back drop of colour for that care free vibe I was going for.

I made a statement with my eye shadow by using the 'Sleek' Acid eyes shadow palette by blending pink and blue together.

The ankle boots from Zara are probably the most comfortable casual walking heels I own. The block heel on them make them easy to walk around in all day, and I love the cut out details on the sides of them.


Sunday 10 May 2015

Purple Blazer & Patent Loafers

Blazer - Primark
Treggings - Top Shop 
Shirt - Charity Shop
Eye Shadow - 'Acid palette' by Sleek
Rings - LBD Gems
Earrings: Ana IsArts
Bag - Urban Outfitters

Today I welcome back my big braids, mainly because the weather in Birmingham at the moment keeps switching between hot, cold, sunshine and rain in such a short space of time, so I decided to put my hair in a protective style. Me and my little sis had to go into town to run a few errands today so I thought I'd keep it casual with flat shoes, but still fabulous of course.

I love blazers because no matter what outfit you have on, they make it look smarter. I picked up this  gorgeous purple blazer from Primark for just £15, they have these in lots of different colours, so ladies if you love blazers, I advise you get to Primark before they sell out!

My treggings from TopShop are always great to throw on if I just want to be comfortable to go about my day to day duties in, black treggings are a staple and go with everything.

This shirt is a lovely little gem that my Nan bought for me from a charity shop bless her little cotton socks. It was £2 I believe. I honestly think you can find some great clothes in the chariy shop, looking great is not about how much you spend - its about how you style and wear clothes.

I wanted a complete contrast of colour on my nails for a burst of colour so I went with this neon pink nail varnish from Primark, guess how much? - 80p! yyeeeeeeessss I know right 80p, when I saw the price I did a double take on the label, and then I bought every single colour lol for 80p you really can't go wrong.

I matched my eye shadow to the outfit by blending pink and blue together from the 'Acid' eye shadow palette by Sleek.

I went back to my usual statement rings by LBD Gems today, their unique approach towards jewellery design keeps me as a loyal customer. They always find a great balance between making a statement and wearability.

I usually love wearing heels, but I wanted to be practical today and decided on these cutesy patent loafers from Top Shop that pull together the whole preppy vibe that I'm giving off with this outfit.


Thursday 7 May 2015

Event Review: Natural Hair Week Birmingham 2015

On May 4th 2015 'The natural hair week' descended  on the Drum Creative arts centre in Birmingham. Co founded by Author of the book 'I grew it long' Diane Hall and creator of the hair & beauty blog 'Officially Natural' Vinna Best, 'The natural hair week' event has taken the UK scene by storm annually travelling to London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.

Thanks to social media platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot and YouTube; hair sensations such as 'Naptural 85', 'Mahogany curls' (and myself) who keep a hair diary are able to reach an audience of up to 500,000. Celebrities such as Solange Knowles and Teyonah Paris have also been photographed sporting their beautiful 4c hair on the red carpet. The natural hair movement is growing at a phenomenal rate, and WOC are embracing their hair like never before. They want to be more educated about the care they should be giving to their natural hair, and what better way than to do this than at the 'Natural hair week'.
Me sharing my natural hair routine and Hair care tips

 It was no surprise that when I arrived at the Drum, it was packed with the hustle and bustle of women eagerly looking at all the natural hair exhibitors from Cantu to ORS. On arrival I was greeted by a lovely lady, first impressions and hospitality upon entry at an event  are everything to me. She made me feel warm and  welcome with her infectious smile that set a good atmosphere that continued throughout the day.

Inside 'The Drum creative arts centre' & Women with their natural hair

There were hair demonstrations from local Birmingham Hair salon businesses 'De Vine Studio', to ORS giving out samples of their products.

De Vine Studio Hair Salon doing live hair demonstration

ORS Hair Products

 The 'Cantu' representatives were doing 30 minute workshops with live Q&A's and explaining when the hair products should be used. The audience also learned about different curl patterns, the importance of listening to your hair, and using products which are sulphate and paraben free. My favourite product of theirs has to be the 'Shea Custard'. A product that unlike most gels do not contain alcohol which is very drying to the hair. It is great for doing twist outs and braid outs while giving you a more defined curl. (I will do a video review of this product very soon).

There was also a hair and scalp clinic ran by Shirley Mcdonald, who people were able to book an appointment with if they wanted to have a private hair consultation and hair diagnostic.

      Live Workshop & hair demonstration using Cantu products and flexi rods

Other high lights of the day included my favourite - the fashion accessories stalls!. Hands down my absolute favourite was a brand by 'Ana isArts' OMG! The earrings were just fabulous. She had everything from Ankara shoulder bags and bow ties, to these fabulous Africa shaped earrings which of course I snapped up as soon as I saw them.

Other favourites included accessory brand 'Pieces by Keke' who hand makes pieces from materials such as wood, perspex's, clay and plastic.

Jewellery brand Pieces by KeKe

 Make up and skin care brands such as 'Fashion Fair' and 'Mary Kay' were also present, but what caught my eye was a brand called Aviela. Aviela sell a range of beautifully packaged Shea butter, body butters, body scrubs (etc). The product I most look forward to trying out is their black soap. This chemical and fragrance free soap make it suitable for it for acne, scarring, eczema or just for general use.

Overall I was thrilled with the 'Natural Hair Week' event, and bursting with pride by the time I left. I had no idea that there so many women in Birmingham with natural hair! I felt a real sense of community while I was there and felt glad that there was finally an event that celebrated afro hair - Yes! Natural hair week you will be seeing me again next year. :)

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