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♡ Hey loves! I just wanted to share a piece of my summer with you so come with me to the beach and watch me cut all my hair off!
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*I want to extend apologies for the quality of this video, it was footage that I lost and this was my initial save which I recovered*

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Music: Palm Trees – Ehrling https://soundcloud.com/ehrling/ehrling-palm-trees
Camera: Nikon Coolpix P520/iPhone 6s
Editing Software: iMovie

♡ Contact: theoxoratv@gmail.com
@theoxora

You’ve probably seen these gels somewhere – in a retail store, a friend’s snap story or used by natural hair enthusiasts for styling. I do not generally use gel but I was curious to see the results on my new short-medium length hair so I purchased a couple of the popular Ecoco Eco Style gels from Paradise Beauty, in Sheraton Mall, Barbados. (Yes – I got the Coconut Oil gel in Bim!)

I grabbed the NEW! Coconut Oil gel first because it caught my eyes instantly. My photos unfortunately do not do any justice to how pretty the mini sparkles in the gel are. I wanted to have another one in case the Coconut Oil failed to impress me, based on reading numerous negative reviews and watching my favourites hate on the product on YouTube. I eventually decided on the Olive Oil gel, which is usually reviewed positively and boasted similar features to the Coconut Oil such as:

  • For All Hair Types
  • Alcohol Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Sulfate Free
  • “No Flaking”
  • Anti-Itch
  • All Day Hold –  MAX 10

The consistencies of the gels are pretty similar, with the Olive Oil being a bit thicker yet sleek compared to the “gunky” feeling of the glitter in the Coconut Oil formula. I personally disliked the scent of the Coconut Oil gel because it seemed fake or plastic but that’s probably just my island-girl bias and thankfully it fades quickly after drying. My preference is the Olive Oil scent (I got it in my nose trying to sniff it)  and I would describe it as very crisp, however as mentioned previously the scents are only noticeable during application.  

To test which product I preferred, I did a “spritz and go” style by soaking my clean (dry) hair with water using a spray bottle and following with Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream for definition and moisture followed by the gels. I did one half of my hair with Coconut and the other with Olive. I wanted to include some other opinions so I took to my awesome Snapchat fam and asked you guys to vote on which you liked more (which I’ll share at the end).

Eco Style Coconut Oil Wash and Go | DAY 2
Eco Style Olive Oil Wash and Go | DAY 2

I started with the Coconut Oil and loved how it defined my hair, however after using the Olive Oil it was clear that side was going to be more defined seeing it was much heavier and had more shrinkage. I slept with a Satin Bonnet (mentioned in a previous post here), without manipulating my hair in any way and stretched it in the morning to achieve the above results. Pictures are worth a thousand words so I’m sure from my photos it is evident that the Olive Oil not only defined my curls and reduced frizz more effectively than the Coconut Oil but also allowed for increased shine. However, the Coconut Oil had a much stronger hold for updos and laying edges.

Conclusion: 
Coconut Oil
7/10 – Wash and Go | 9/10 – Edges
Olive Oil (Snapchat’s favourite)
10/10 – Wash and Go | 7/10 Edges

Thanks so much for reading and for being so patient on this review! Have you tried these products? What do you think?

 

“Where fashion and music meet on the runway…”

I had the opportunity to attend BIMHAUS (pronounced Bim House) on May 6th, 2017 and to share the event and experience with my lovely readers! The venue was the beautiful Port St. Charles Yacht Club, facing the white sandy beaches of the north-west coast of Barbados.

The venue’s ambiance was undeniable and there was enough time before the start of the show for drinks, shopping around the adorable displays and mingling. It was so refreshing to be around so many creative minds and welcoming faces. Cocktails were served upon entrance but I opted for a small glass of Prosecco, which definitely amped up the vibe emanating from music by DJ D. Luxe (founder and curator of the event).

Seafrina
Island Bags
Something Samarah
Something Samarah

The host gently commanded the attention of the crowd and everyone took their seats or found a perfect vantage point to watch and snap photos as the beautiful models of every shade graced the “runway” in the golden evening sunlight.

Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy

I absolutely love these two-toned sunglasses from luxury eyewear brand Peoples from Barbados, designed in France – trés chic! I must also note that not even a single one of the designers or boutiques were a disappointment and the styling was perfectly suited to each model! In a short intermission, patrons had the chance to strut their stuff to the crowd’s praise. My friends encouraged me to get up there myself but shyness got the best of me and I was having enough fun cheering on the likes of Reco Moore, my rootsy print twin for the evening!

Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy

The models effortlessly displayed the pieces and the combined mix of music and design was captivating, I could not help but dance along to all of my favourite songs and hear and share comments about the exhibit. Performances by Mahalia and Teff continued to keep the runway lively and bring bright smiles to attendees, accompanying the  “wows” from the crowd.

Photo by @shalainajoy
Photo by @shalainajoy

Of course I had to step into the spotlight for a few minutes! I wore a design by Kesia Estwick in this amazing African/Rastafari print and a DIY handmade seed bead wire necklace in similar colours.

I’d like to express my gratitude to the founder of the event for extending an invitation and to Shalaina Joy (who can be contacted at shalainajoy@gmail.com) for assisting me in capturing the essence of the evening! Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment or contact me at thdrhinds@gmail.com for enquiries!

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to collect clutter? I’m the kind of person who really hates to litter because I know how precious our environment is not only to human survival but generally. I consciously collect the day’s bottles, candy wrappers, receipts and other odds and ends in my handbag so by the end of the day, I always have a lot to offload. It feels like a similar thing is happening in my mind sometimes. A mass of thoughts, often negative, being held onto that I do not need. My favourite place to “offload” is the beach. Going to the beach used to be ritualistic for myself and my family, we went every day before my brothers and I started school and then once that got in the way we went every Sunday without fail. It’s always been an escape to me.
I’ve recently accepted my battle with anxiety and panic disorder (something I hope to share more on once I win it) and a relaxation technique that I’m always advised to try is visualization. I’m sure it’s something you have all heard before (even if referenced in a movie):

“Imagine yourself on a nice relaxing beach… “

Here in the Caribbean, we are blessed enough to not have to imagine. In Barbados, a public beach is almost never further than 30 minutes away by bus. We neglect the most natural relaxation technique. I’d like to share  a few relaxing things to do at the beach, that you could do alone or with a friend:

Swim – I mean, obviously. It’s great exercise and extremely refreshing on a hot day. You should never go swimming at the sea alone, because even the best of swimmers can never predict the volatility of the ocean. Even if you’re not a strong swimmer, just dipping your legs in the water can be extremely relaxing.

Observe – Do you remember what it was like as a child? When the crash of waves were scary, finding blue pieces of glass along the shoreline was the most exciting thing and you could run for hours chasing the edge of the water. Growing up somehow makes you lose that bright-eyed wonder (and all that energy). This is why at the beach I prefer to occasionally just sit and watch the beauty unfold before me. 

Beauty Treatments – Nope, you did not read that wrong. I love to use the soft west coast sand to exfoliate my legs and feet. Simply rub it all over and massage gently, I’m usually wearing coconut oil (natural SPF 4-5) which allows the sand to stick more effectively and give a good scrub. I also like to walk with a leaf of aloe vera to the beach and I use it in my hair as a shampoo/conditioner. This is also the method my father and brothers use to cleanse their dreadlocks. Just make sure you rinse your hair with fresh water after returning home.

Read – This is something I myself need to work on. Reading opens the mind, and is accompanied perfectly by gentle crashing waves and the sound of birds and children’s faint laughter. If you like to read, and have never done it at the beach…. what are you waiting for!? Just remember to bring water and a snack, a nice comfy beach towel/chair and find somewhere shaded!

Soak Up Some Sun – I love my skin when it has that extra radiance of a tan, it makes my feel more confident and look extra defined in photos! I also find it very therapeutic. It’s important to minimize damage to your skin while tanning so make sure to apply SPF 30+ sunscreen or tanning oil, stay hydrated and avoid the most intense sun between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

Dig A Hole – Yeah, I know it sounds silly but you would be surprised how relaxing this or building a sand castle can be! It’s something my brothers and I did a lot as children with the goal of digging the hole deep enough to reach water. It’s actually also an amazing upper body workout!

Thank you so much for reading and I really hope that everyone takes a step back from “life” and uses some of these if not other techniques to relax. You deserve it!

These photos are un-retouched and were taken at Gibbs Beach, Barbados by an old friend Kashif who is based in MD, Unites States. The products I used to achieve this makeup look can be discovered here! 

 

 

I had to do my own makeup for a photoshoot this week so I thought I would share the “naked” look I went for.

The photographer requested a natural look with no bold colours so I instinctively reached for my Urban Decay Naked3 Palette and used “Strange”, “Limit” and “Nooner” to create the rose-hued neutral eye look. My brows are just a random brown eye pencil, but I like to go over the hairs of my eyebrows with my MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara for extra definition and I concealed with LA Girl HD Pro Conceal in “Warm Honey”.

I’m awful at applying false lashes so excuse me, and it completely slipped my mind what style these were but they are from JLASH (one of my favourite brands because of affordability).

My lip colour is Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in “Creme Bulee” for a soft buttery sheen and I used BH Cosmetics Wild and Radiant Baked Illuminating and Bronzing Palette to highlight (which you can read my review on here! )

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this quick Makeup Of The Day and please feel free to comment with any questions! I also want to apologize for the low quality of the photos as I only had my selfie camera to work with!

Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow! 2016 was basically the “year of the glow” where everyone mentioned their “glo up” and highlighters became increasingly popular. Often seen on cheekbones, the cupid’s bow and along the brow bone, their purpose is to attract light, creating the illusion of brightness and height and the trend has no signs of slowing down! This is just a short post, I wanted to share with you the highlighters I use most often and a few swatches of them.

Wild & Radiant Baked Illuminating & Bronzing Palette

This palette is gorgeous and offers four highlight shades in pretty packaging with a nice sized mirror. I always find myself reaching for these whenever I want that little bit of extra glow or to highlight my collarbones for photoshoots (such as this one).

The shades I have are Twilight and Moonlight and I love them so much that on my next trip to Bridgetown I’ll be sure to purchase a third shade (White Goddess, perhaps!). These highlighters are extremely comfortable to wear with a lightweight velvet feel. I start with a gentle brush of the highlighter on my cheekbones because it is easily blendable and creating layers is effortless.
Tip: Create a “blinding” highlight by dampening the brush you use to apply with a small spray bottle of water or MAC Fix+.  

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Gold Deposit

My first “highlighter” and my everyday golden bronze go-to. As you can see from the swatches, this product is not as pronounced as the others which makes it perfect for everyday wear (even without makeup). I had to swatch this one twice because there’s a significant difference when using a dampened brush.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog, feel free to leave a comment because I’d love to hear what YOUR favourite highlighters are (spill them deets, girl!).

I was blessed with the opportunity to share my jewelry designs with the lovely ladies who attended the Girls Night Out Barbados Mix & Mingle on Saturday, Feb 18th 2017. I bet you’re wondering “What is Girls Night Out Bds?” Essentially it’s a female empowerment movement that addresses emotional issues/scars in women and” connects them to their purpose.” The event was a lovely experience where amazing women shared their short stories, empowerment and creations in a safe environment. All ages, all shades and all hair textures with one commonality – being a queen.

 

My first experience with GNOBDS was when empowerment advocate, Jalisia, approached me about sharing something personal I’ve struggled with on their snapchat. I chose to keep things light, addressing the difficulty of being in a long distance relationship and answering any questions the followers had about the topic or anything else.

I met the most amazing women, shared hugs and advice and enjoyed some cupcakes during the “mingle” intermission.

Myself and the darling Chloe  of Naomi ‘N Doll, who took some of the photos I used in this blog post. Thank you so much, dear! Please go show her blog some love.

I prefer to keep the content of the Mix & Mingle private, as the women who shared their stories deserve mutual respect. However, I look forward so much to the next event and I invite all of my readers to follow the @girlsnightoutbds Instagram page for more information on the next date. Thank you so much for reading, islandmysters!

Photos by A.B.I Productions and Chloe of Naomi ‘N Doll.

A beautiful Wednesday morning, birds shattering and the sun blazing brightly. And I can’t find anything to wear.
I’ve experienced this way too many times and addressed it the same way I always do, by “borrowing” something from one of my little brother’s closets. I found a simple white fishnet vest (similar here) and grabbed a pair of scissors to transform it into a crop top that I paired with a simple strapless black bra.

I wanted to emphasize the “ripped” look of the fishnet mesh so I cut a strip from the bottom of the vest and tied it around my neck comfortably as a quick DIY choker that perfectly matched my top!
I’m also wearing a white ToyWatch (available on Amazon here) and one of my handmade waist beads (available here).


I met up with photographer and friend Alex Alleyne to take some nice shots in Bridgetown, chill a little and grab a coffee and cookie from one of my regular stops Italia Coffee House.

Thank you so much for reading, let me know if you try a similar DIY choker! All photos are by Alex Alleyne who can be contacted at alex.alleyne23@gmail.com.

 

Everyone at some point feels blue around holidays, whether it be recent loss or just simply disinterest. Personally, this Christmas season I had a really difficult time even accepting that it was the holidays. Being in a long distance relationship, holidays are very muted for me and I usually spend the time with the people who make it easier – immediate friends and family. Valentine’s Day is a whole other story! Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” A day literally dedicated to celebrating  love – exactly what someone who’s significant other is 2,000 miles away needs! HOWEVER, as much as I love my partner, I love a lot more too and that’s why this year I’m making these my Valentines:

Myself21 years wrapped in a beautiful curly haired package. A student who tries her hardest and never gives up, a woman who aspires to inspire and someone I’m learning every day. Someone who loves to create, who binge watches television shows you probably don’t know exist. Zany at times, introverted at others. I love me and I’m going to start expressing it more! Starting by buying myself something nice this Valentine’s Day!

The Beach
My escape. I’ve honestly been neglecting my love for the water! As a child growing up, I made it to the beach with my parents every single week and every day when school was out. I guess as with everything, life got in the way and now I only find time to go to the beach maybe once a month with a few friends. This Valentine’s day and month, I’m going to make an extra effort to visit one of my first loves – the beach! 

My Family

Enter cheesy vacation photo from 2007! Although my brothers and I haven’t always been close, they have always been in my life and there for me and so I want to make sure I fully appreciate them by mentioning them. My parents as well always have my back, my mother especially who is my best friend. Thank you for everything, Hinds’! This Valentine’s Day I’m going to buy some small gifts for my family members just to show them they’re appreciated.

My Friends

It’s impossible for me to use a photo or call names to represent all the people I appreciate and love in my life. I know they know who they are and how much they mean to me! For Valentine’s Day I’m spending some time with two of my friends who recently got out of relationships, because I know how hard it can be to be alone on a day celebrating togetherness.

Netflix

Every night I fall asleep next to you and you’re always there in the morning to remind me “Are you still watching….?”.  Thank you for never letting me down. Maybe I’ll do a blog post on all my favourite Netflix shows, leave a comment if you’d be interested! For Valentine’s Day, I’m going to finish an entire season of a Supernatural on Netflix.

Essentially what I’m trying to get across with this post is that although very often holidays may make it feel important to have someone to share them with, you are enough. Loving yourself unconditionally and surrounding yourself with all the things that make you happy should be your goal this Valentine’s Day, with or without a significant other! Enjoy your day loves! ♥ 

Face masks, the most underrated step in skincare. Masks can be used to moisturize, detoxify, increase circulation and replenish nutrients. Today I wanted to share with you three of the masks I’ve been using recently and a few of my thoughts about them!

Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque 
I had to mention this one first because it’s my absolute favourite and I have not even a single complaint after three years of using it! Definitely recommend! This mask works wonders on my oily, acne-prone skin.
Using it is so relaxing because a gentle lingering tingle and mint ice-cream fresh scent is perfects for Barbados’ warm climate. I like to use the mask twice a week, either if I notice a break out or if I’ve been wearing excessive makeup. This is because of the naturally active ingredient, bentonite, a natural clay known to unclog and shrink pores, draw toxins from the skin, reduce the appearance of scars and prevent the overproduction of oil.
Tips: I like to leave this mask on a little longer than recommended. If I find an an emergency pimple, I use a tiny amount on the affected area and leave it overnight to reduce inflammation.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser/Mask
The main reason this mask is my favourite is because it’s a duo – a cleanser and a mask – and I use it as both. I use it to cleanse sometimes in the morning, or as a mask on days where I’ve decided not to wear makeup and want to remain as shine-free as possible!

Queen Helene’s Mud Pack Masque 
This one is new to me because I figured after so many years of loving the Mint Julep masque that this one would most likely not disappoint – and I was right! This mask contains Kaolin clay which absorbs oil, detoxes skin and soothes irritated skin (acne, rashes, soreness from excessive rubbing). Not much different from the Mint Julep in terms of consistency, but this product does dry on your face a lot faster. This is why I often use it in the morning, when I don’t have much time to spare but really feel like my skin needs revitalizing!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to read and feel free to let me know how using any of these products have worked out for you, or if you also have any holy grail recommendations!