Category Archives: Beauty

Votary Facial Oils

Arabella Preston

Arabella Preston

It’s always wonderful to see people you know find their passion and become successful doing it. This can be said for my friend Arabella Preston who used to assist me. Now a successful make-up artist in her own right, Arabella is also the co-founder of Votary, an exclusive line of high quality facial oils.

Having used only oils to prep her client’s skin as well as in her own skincare routine, Arabella’s kitchen table began turning into a make-shift apothecary as she experimented with the different effects oils could have on the skin and also, the myriad of ways in which essential oils affected mood.


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New African Woman

Love Thandie.

Kay and I had a blast shooting our cover story for New African Woman. It all started with our dear friend Noella Coursaris , who felt that a collaboration between me and the magazine would speak volumes about modern Africa. A month later, and we were in Malibu California with Jackie Dixon managing to turn the optimism and excitement into photographic art.

I’d been feeling similarly inspired by designers of African descent surfacing in fashion. In the same way that I love to wear, and fly the flag for British talent, I also love to do the same for the other side of my heritage.… Read more...

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Clarisonic ‘Smart Profile’

Posted by Kay

Whenever people ask me about ‘favourite beauty products’ or ‘best tips’ or ‘products to look better fast, I often feel that my answers sound a little dull..

That’s because people expect me to wax lyrical about the latest, exclusive and glamorous make-up items that I have the privilege of having access to. But in truth what I actually think makes the most difference  (apart from the typical-yet absolutely vital healthy diet/exercise/plenty of water) is good old fashioned cleansing and moisturising.

We’ve talked a lot about our favourite moisturisers but in order to get the whole beauty gamut I must extoll the virtues of EXFOLLIATION!… Read more...

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Ayo – Salute the Sun

Pampering our skin isn’t just about relieving dryness. It’s also the contact we give our bodies – the massaging strokes, the warmth of our hands smoothing nourishment into the skin suit we carry our bodies around


I love that Ayo describe their products as a ‘polishing ritual to renew your spirits, revive your soul and polish your skin’.

The care we give our bodies when we moisturise might be the only time in a day when we lavish physical love onto ourselves – so it makes sense that we do it with an elixir that compliments our intention.

I started with The Body Polisher (a gift from Wilma May Basta from The Gathering Goddess, when I gave birth to my third baby).… Read more...

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Kerry Washington’s Power Make-up

Lucky me got to finally work with the divine Kerry Washington recently while she was in London to pick up her ‘Woman of the year’ Glamour award. Her role as crisis management’ lady boss Olivia Pope has ensured Kerry a firm foot in the door of many a home’s consciousness and making her up got a chorus of ‘Ooh I love her‘-s from women I mentioned it to.

Olivia Pope

Loosely based on Judy Smith (George W Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary), Shonda Rhimes created the first lead role for an African American woman on a primetime network drama since Diahann Carroll in 1968’s  ‘Julia’ and Teresa Graves starred in ‘Get Christy Love’ in the early 70s.… Read more...

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My body is not an apology: Race, Representation & Beauty by Emma Dabiri

Post by Thandie and Kay.

Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian PhD researcher in Goldsmiths, and teaching fellow in the Africa Department at The School of Oriental African Studies. She also works as a commercial model. Thandie encountered her when she read an article Emma wrote for The New Statesman earlier this year. They struck up a Twitter chat, and the rest is history – as written by @TheDiasporaDiva. Welcome to her 21st century world.


I recently got caught up in an online debate about a black celebrity who has completely transformed her face, arguably to make it look more European. While the jury was out as to whether or not she should have had plastic surgery, the conversation was largely framed around whether or not the surgery was successful.… Read more...

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Pink Pamplemousse

Love Thandie.

Pamplemousse – aka grapefruit. Since my school days I’ve always loved the french name for it.

Known as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Barbados’ – it’s actually an accidental hybrid between an orange and a pomelo. When it was discovered it was nicknamed ‘The Forbidden Fruit’. How very ThandieKay of them – a hybrid that is forbidden –  and I thought it was just the taste that I loved!

Pink Grapefruit is definitely having a moment. I was a bit snooty at first – growing up in working class England, where a half grapefruit eaten at breakfast was just about the naffest thing you could serve up (and it took a pile of sugar to make it edible).… Read more...

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Inika Organic Lip & Cheek Creme in Rosehip

Posted by Kay

Thandie and I will often be found in natural foodstores, we love unprocessed food and you’ll often find us in the kitchen-the best room in the home!

This is how I have chanced upon many natural brands such as Antipodes Skincare, Giovanni as well as Jason’s Haircare, John Masters Organic Haircare (we’ve featured these before), Lavera, Weleda and many more.

So the other day while I was stocking up in Planet Organic in London’s Westbourne Grove I discovered another lovely brand full of non-petrochemical suprises called Inika.

Organic Lip & Cheek Creme in RosehipIniko Organic Lip & Cheek Creme in Rosehip

I loved this Rosehip blush so much that I bought two: one for my make-up kit and one to try on Thandie- cream blush is a staple in her kit and for us, dewy-looking cheeks are healthier and more vibrant looking than flat matte.… Read more...

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Stealing Beauty

Love Thandie

This morning I found my orchid naked. All her blooms were scattered at the base – perfectly intact.

That’s the way of the orchid right? She drops her babies when she’s ready.  I knew I had to make the most of these dying beauties – my first thought? Hair accessories!

The fact that today is a day off from shooting; a laundry day, a clean the crud out of the cracks in the high chair day – I still had to use these gorgeous blooms. So, I’m in cut off denim shorts and a shirt, rocking a row of fresh found orchids in my braid out.… Read more...

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Dr Perricone’s ‘No make-up make-up’

Posted by Kay

“Beauty is health, health is beauty’  Dr Perricone MD.

Nicholas Perricone is a board-certified Dermatologist, world renowned healthy aging expert who became known from his research into inflammation being the leading cause of ageing and disease- which is now part of mainstream thinking.

Illustration by Ripley Parker

Illustration by Ripley Parker

He pioneered the idea of utilizing nutrient antioxidents into ‘cosmeceutical skincare’ and created a successful brand based on his discoveries.

I came across his ‘no make-up make-up’ recently so I brought it to LA to try on Thandie..

Look at the results! That perfect ‘something but nothing’, ‘you but better’ look that screams ‘what’s not to love?’ and ‘who needs photoshop?’

Thandie No M-Up M-up800

No Make-Up Make Up!


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