Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

There are some things in life which are held with the esteem as performance art in its various forms. From ballet and jazz dance to puppetry and geisha fan dance. In these spaces there is an expectation to innovate or clasp onto tradition. Either way the sheer visceral experience of live performances has been ultimately halted amidst openings and closings of regions and the limitations of a 25% capacity. While we have to think of the safety of ourselves and others, we are creatures who need social exchange and the entertainment of beauty in all of its abstractions.

At a recent socially distance interaction I chatted with Miss Tosh, the world-renowned burlesque performer and designer, who holds a devotional clasp on the tradition of the craft. Her presence has been one which cultivated and champions the contemporary beauty of LGBTQIA+, body positive and POC figures, while shattering the institutional white hetero-gaze which has long been so deeply rooted int the craft’s identity.

Her latest presentation The Beauty of Burlesque, has been one which celebrates the glitz, glamour, and the precision of the art, which affirms that the dimensions of the performer do not fit rigidly in the parameters of yesterday’s performancer. One thing is clear, the corsets are always gonna cinch you in, the crystals will glimmer, and the dances will knock you off your feet. See our conversation below as we speak frankly about the state of burlesque, breaking the 4th wall, and maintaining curiosity in the midst of sheltering.

What inspired you to put this event together?

The lack of authentic diversity in the entertainment industry is was motivated me to create Beauty of Burlesque. This is variatease revue starring diverse artist from around the world. As the founder & producer of the show it was very important from day one that we shine the spotlight on artist that represents diversity in talent & identity, focusing on lgbtqai+, poc, differently abled, and body positivity. 

At the start of the Covid Pandemic theaters shut down and so did live entertainment. Artist didn’t have any where to performer and especially our POC Trans community was facing so much hardship we had to come together as a community and do something to keep the showbiz flame still burning! 

Our annual halloween event is something we all looked forward to, so I created a the first ever Drive-In Burlesque Theater & Virtual Streaming Platform. The first event was on Halloween this year. All the talent donated their performances and we were able to raise funds for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute!

Do you feel like working digitally has been a helpful medium to expand in or has it be stifling?

One of the most beautiful things about artists is that they are resilient! I am so joyfully overwhelmed by the creativity admits this madness. Producing and performing in the first ever feature length Burlesque film was no small feat and comes with its own challenges. But the most exciting part is seeing what new innovative ideas the performers have. We are now able to reach a global audience, which is really incredible! Beauty of Burlesque has really brought the global burlesque community closer together during this hard time.

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

In these times of isolation and self reflection what else have you been working on?

I also have a fashion label (MissTosh.com) During isolation I’ve been able to really focus on designing new pieces, sewing everything in my pink garage. I was very lucky to have just moved in with my love right before lockdown in March. We have been nesting and having fun building furniture, painting murals and decorating our home. Im always making something.

How have you been able to maintain and celebrate yourself and your mental health?

With so much uncertainty finding a ways to cope, process and heal can be really hard. I get anxiety, and have non epileptic seizures when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Maintaining balance by just taking it day. Enjoying a bite of food, feeling the sun on my face, and trying too remain grounded and present. All we can do is try the best we can. 

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Do you have any luxuriant items that have kept you sane and well?

Luxury for me is a cup of tea, a cozy blanket with kitties and my girlfriend snuggled up by me. For the insomnia and deep stress moments I cannot express enough how much cbd/tch oils have changed my life. A few drops and its sweet dreams haha.

What is your next project?

I will continue to produce Drive-In Burlesque shows and virtual events at www.BeautyofBurlesque.com Be sure to tune into our Holiday show, “Merry Stripmas” and New Years Eve extravaganza. Creating safe and sexy ways to celebrate safely at home or at the Drive-In. You can also shop my fashion label at MissTosh.com We will be having a major Black Friday sale of our accessories, dress, and home goods. Everything is handmade by me here in Hollywood, CA. 

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

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This is a perfect picture of our Coastal Canyon life right now- random heatwaves that feel like Summer, while trying to rock Autumn looks because it’s October. This in-between weather and the stress of 2020 has me feeling dry, oily and irritable. Our Canyon vibes edit will have you glowing and beaming from within like the bohemian beauty you are.   

1. TOWEL GAME STRONG

Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel
WFP- Work from patio is life. Laying out and taking cat naps makes everyday feel like Sunday. This towel is so soft and cozy and inspiring because the hand-loomed rainbow pattern has so many pretty colors. You can also use it as a cape for zoom calls and or a blanket to watch the sunset. 

2. CLEANSE

Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash

Take the morning off for an at home spa-day to get in the zone. Cleanse your mind and your body with this yummy Bathing Culture wash that smells like you’re in the redwoods. It’s packaged in a plastic-free refillable glass bottle, made with Aloe, Shea and Guar. I love Dr. Bronners, but this makes me feel magic in the making with the natural forest scent and rainbow wave design, it’s a whole mood. More on the new Culture of Bathing from their website:

“We celebrate the simple necessity of bathing. How it bonds humanity and cultures across time and space. We embrace the power and peace of bathing. Its ability to transform and bring joy. We believe in the art of bathing, the traditions it holds, and the future it will bring.

In health and happiness. Bathe in culture.”

3. STIMULATING VISIONS

The NEW NEW AGE Mind Magic Nootropic Tonic

It’s super hard focus these days. The monotony of days at home blending together, the distractions of fly memes and all the screen time has me zoned out. This magical tea gets me back in the game. Nootropic herbs to enhance focus, mental clarity, creativity. The Ingredients are sage, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass and the tasting notes/ sensory feeling is: floral, high vibes, stimulating.  

 4. SAVE FACE 

The NEW NEW AGE Turmeric and Honey Face Mask

When your skin is angry soothe it with this super lovely ancient combo of superfoods that has been used cosmetically for thousands of years to moisturize, exfoliate and reduce redness and inflammation. It has been used to treat issues like eczema, rosacea, acne, dark spots and for softening wrinkles. I have rosacea, and most ‘soothing’ skin products irritate my skin, but the simple ingredients make this safe to use. The turmeric is certified organic & the raw wildflower honey is from the brand’s family farm and other local beekeepers in the region of Southwestern Ontario, Canada. They keep the honey in its RAW form to maintain beneficial enzymatic actions. Apparently this formula is also traditionally used by a bride on her wedding day to obtain a radiant glow. The NEW NEW Age says “the practice of combining powdered herbs in honey is called an electuary and we like to think of this special combo as an electuary for your face.” Yummy honey and radiant skin, I’m here for it.

5. AIR TONIC

Juniper Ridge Coastal Pine Room Spray

Obviously not a legit disinfectant, but this spray really helps clear the air in so many ways. The essential oils help clear the energy and refresh your scent-scape with a deodorizing natural fragrance of coastal pines and cascadia firs- evoking sticky pine needles, citrusy conifer and crisp ocean air. All of the plants are harvested with the utmost respect for the existing wild-scape. 10% of their profits go to a portfolio of Western Wilderness Defense organizations. Also try the white sage for super charged energy cleansing. 

6. BALMY AFTERNOONS

Glyph & Ivy Rose Seal the Deal Skim Moisturizing Balm

To keep your skin feeling smooth and plump after your facial try this moisturizing balm. It also has anti-inflammatory turmeric, as well as moisturizing Shrubby Sophora, soothing Licorice. This is healing, nourishing, soothing and protecting with cruelty free ingredients and made in small batches without phthalates, sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances.   

7. HIGH VIBE LOUNGE LOOKS

CALPAK Womens Relaxed French Terry Sweatshirt

Is it just me or is everyone wearing tie dye sweats on their IG rn? From Bella Thorne to Kylie, it’s a vibe. We love this set from CalPak. The fabric is locally milled and dyed. This looks perfect for all seasons, so basically never taking it off.  

10. DREAM TIME

Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask

Number 1 most important thing to remember is to get enough rest, especially during this crazy time. Have you ever noticed models always say their pro-tip for beautiful skin is resting? This takes it next level, because anti-aging. Cotton dries skin and absorbs your skin cream. This helps keep anti-aging moisture products in, cuts down on creases in your face and blocks light so you can fall into a deep deep dream and awake in 2021. Haha we wish. 

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Aliona Kononova | Masked in Fort Ross

Aliona Kononova | Masked in Fort Ross

Aliona Kononova has been a well cemented part of Los Angeles’ art and fashion scene. Frequently adorning the most avant garde of dressers around the various art openings and social happenings, is there anything more inspiring than to see Valerie Von Sobel in one of Kononova’s confections. When the pandemic hit, Kononova like the rest of the world slowed down. Focusing on fully envisioned one offs, pushing an endearing sense of more architectural engineered garments craft it out of the most rigid fabrics. It is with this strong and dynamic use of craftsmanship which she has applied into the process of her mask making. Having been anointed “Millinery‘s New Star” with the blessing of Stephen Jones, it is no wonder that her expertly crafted masks take on a whole life of their own.

A gorgeous and luxuriant product that transfers wearers to a place which almost makes one forget that it is a product of function, but rather a storied vision of art. In the time of quarantine and isolation the designer has also explored her adopted home of California. Producing shoots which showcase her designs against the alien backdrop of the many coastal towns along 655.8 miles of Cali coastline.

The pacing couldn’t have been better as she also highlighted the little known Russian homestead, Fort Ross. We got to chatting with Kononova about this project which ultimately matches her Californian dream and Slavic roots. she also provided a delectably addictive recipe for Syrniki, a cottage cheese based pancake which is dosed with just the right amount of sugar to be a tea time treat, snack or dessert.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

BJ Panda Bear: Where did you shoot these images they are completely astonishing and alien, you mentioned they were near San Francisco.

Aliona Kononova: The first part was in Sedona and around that area as well as around Vazquez Rocks. Second part was around San Francisco and Fort Ross. It was collaboration between me and my friend Yulia Kirillova who also modeled in the images.

BJPB: Yes and you mentioned there were parts that were Russian, was there a town there? I know Solvang is the one that’s all Danish.

AK: It’s really special so Fort Ross is a former Russian outpost in Sonoma county where 19th century Russians settled on the native Kashia Pomo territory. It’s not big but it’s such a nice place next to the ocean.

BJPB: How did you find out about it, I have hadn’t heard of it being from California.

AK: It was in the books In Russia we have always been curious to go and there was never an occasion. So when everything was locked down I think I saw more things than I saw in the seven years I’ve lived here. We just went to San Francisco then to Yosemite, June lake, and exploring all the things around. 30 hours of driving, but good.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

BJPB: How far was it all from each other?

AK: 2 hours from San Francisco. it was a very cool experience and it was crazy because in San Francisco in the mornings it is really cold and when we went to Fort Ross and it was crazy hot and we were trying to capture the pictures with no harsh sun which was pretty impossible. At some point you hear this church bell and I felt like I was fainting because it was too hot. There was not even one shadow it was all open so there was no shade while you’re shooting for three hours. You really get that heat I was trying to hide in the church but it was closed. We were looking for any shade with the bells it was a surreal experience.

BJPB: With the masks you have recently released they are really gorgeous what was the construction on these?

AK: I wanted something to cover your face but repeating the shape of the face that it would not squeeze your mouth as it is already so uncomfortable to wear these in general. I wanted them to be as comfortable as possible. The lining is so soft and you can adjust the ears. The whole thing can be adjusted to your face, the veil is detachable the little bird is detachable. It has three main inspired creatures: a bird a dragonfly and a butterfly.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

What is the significance of those animals to you and how they relate to the masks?

It all started with the bird, a bird can rise above the clouds and see what is going on in the bigger picture and get over it quicker in that sense. The dragonfly has this unique flight pattern which they adjust in certain situations and that’s kind of what was their inspiration. Of course the butterfly has its metamorphosis, so the idea of the transformation and to take all that moment as a personal growth, to take it towards a positive note I wanted to have these creatures on every mask.

They are so welcome crafted are they both feathers and millinery fabrics?

Depends the bird one is made of feathers, And the dragonfly is made of silk they are like little jewels.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

Photo Courtesy Aliona Kononova. Model: Yulia Kirillova.

A little happiness for breakfast to start your day in the right direction, Aliona Kononova’s recipe for Syrniki

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup of farmers cheese or ricotta

3 tablespoons of sugar

1/4 cup of flour (or almond flower for Keto)

a generous pour of vanilla extract

pinch of salt

coconut oil

1/2 a cup of blueberries (optional)

Your favorite maple syrup (optional)

Combine ingredients and portion into 5 or 6 servings, pan fry with the coconut oil and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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London Love | Frankie’s Guide to Food + Culture

London Love | Frankie’s Guide to Food + Culture

Francesca (‘Frankie’) Reddin is the Communicator // Founder of A+F Creative and Black Book. Frankie is a media consultant with a background in restaurant PR- she weaves cultural histories travels the world via ingredients, dishes and voices. She is focused on a ‘smart lifestyle’ which sits at the intersection of food, design and literature and searches for projects that share diverse stories and champion the personalities. She thrives on connecting the dots between people and the audiences craving to hear about them and mapping the journey a campaign will take. She is dedicated to engaging both traditional and digital media platforms to make the lesser-known voices heard. This is her guide to eating, drinking and being part of a cultural movement in London and beyond. 

1. Island Social Club (London, UK)

Marie Mitchell and Joseph Pilgrim have become very dear friends since I pushed my way into their lives after reading about Island Social Club online. Their restaurant and bar is part of a wider concept which centers on a space aimed at filling the void left by the erosion of London’s once thriving Caribbean social scene. As a Londoner – yes I am a rare breed, there are only few of us left – who works predominantly within the food and drink world in London, it was refreshing to see myself presented in such a culturally intelligent way that was both exciting, engaging and delicious. They brought the London vibes with a Caribbean twist, not from my parents generation, but mine. A generation that lived and breathed the capital city and by way of life experience, formed our own genre and era, if I am to be that bold. ISC hosts great parties, a supperclub series, Nyamming, that explores the diasporic community further through poetry, arts, music and collaboration, and will be popping up in the next few months with various events. If you ever get to experience ISC, make sure you order Marie’s rotis and her aubergine curry and ask Joe for something rude and naughty – usually a Scotch Bonnet Margarita or Ti’Punch. Cheeky.

2. Ombra (London, UK)

For four years running, about the same time that Head Chef Mitshel Ibrahim has been at the helm, Ombra has been my favourite Italian restaurant in London. To the naked eye, it can look a little dive bar-esque, especially in winter, which to me makes it even more precious. The Venetian bacaro and outside terrace sits alongside the Regents Canal in Hackney and serves up super sexy plates of pasta amongst other wonders. It’s the kind of sexy that is cerebral, stimulates your tasetbuds, and keeps you up until the early hours delving deeper into the wonders of textures and flavours. Mitshel cures all of his meat in house, forages for herbs locally, curates the wine list – all natural, and always greets me with a gnocchi fritto & mortadella which melts in the mouth, just like it did when I was kid.

3. Singburi (London, UK)

I was introduced to Singburi by a friend. It’s a tiny Thai restaurant and takeaway in Leytonstone – a far away ungentrified place in East London. Family run but now taken over by the son of the family who’s culinary intelligence is phenomenal. I honestly haven’t had Thai food like this in London before. The dishes are chalked on the blackboard everyday and there are some staples like the Moo Krob – bitesize crispy pork belly tossed in fresh chillies, garlic and coriander which are so so naughty and moreish – and a whole bunch of specials depending on chef Siri’s ingredient list that day. There’s no holding back with spices, flavours or ingredients. The last time I was there, it was the baked glass noodles with smoked eel and foie gras that tipped me over the edge. It’s BYOB and on Monday’s the restaurant fills with all of East London’s hot young chefs and their teams who muse over the dishes in between gulps of natty wine.

4. La Buvette (Paris, France)

I have a silly tradition when I travel: my last meal should always be a McDonald’s. I love trying each country’s ‘own’ burger and put it down to anthropological research. A few years back when I was in Paris, a city I visit at least once a year, I decided to mix things up and go to La Buvette. Long story short, I missed my Eurostar back to London. The reason? The smallest wine bar offering a list of low-intervention wines, intimate hues of soft pinks and mirrored glass, plates of bergamot-zested giant white beans doused in new-harvest Sicilian olive oil, charcuterie and wine, wine, wine. I stayed in Paris an extra night.

5. Aux deux Amis (Paris, France)

I’ve had some great nights here, the first of which I ended up meeting two household names (in France), a French rockstar and a French actor who I then had a whirlwind Parisian love affair with. It’s a great bar. 70’s décor, formica tables, crazy wine list, amazing cheeses and charcuterie if you want to enjoy your apero there. The clientele is super cool, the kind of place the people who don’t want to be seen are seen and hang out undercover in plain sight. This is perfect place to go to after dinner too as it’s usually a launch pad for the next party…

6. Mei Mei Market & Deli (London, UK)

Borough Market is one of the most iconic places in London and within it is a Singaporean food stall specialising in Hainanese chicken rice and Singaporean Nanyang Kopi – Mei Mei. Mei Mei means ‘little sister’ in Chinese, and is an ode to the chef, Elizabeth Haigh’s, Southeast Asian heritage, as well as her home of London, and brings to life the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s Kopi Tiams of her childhood memories. Elizabeth has a Michelin background, earning the restaurant Pidgin Hackney, a couple of years back, so you already know what you’re going to have is something above and beyond. There are two things on the menu here that I literally salivate over (and also have to curb my cravings and limiting myself to only one monthly visit): the Kaya Toast and the Fried Chicken. The Kaya Toast is traditionally a breakfast dish and consists of a thick layer of Kaya spread in between two thickly cut slices of sourdough, lightly toasted with wads of salted butter lathered on each side, served with a soft boiled egg that you can then dip the toast into. Honestly, I can’t explain the euphoria you feel when you have it in the morning as the first thing inside your mouth! It has a cult following of its own – cue endless reels of Instagram photos. The great news is, throughout lockdown, Elizabeth pivoted and now you can BUY KAYA JAM ONLINE. So you can feel euphoria without anyone watching.

7. Diogenes The Dog (London, UK)

Diogenes The Dog is a new-wave wine bar and shop in Elephant & Castle inspired by the infamous Greek philosopher who founded the philosophy of Cynicism. This guy Diogenes apparently questioned everything, lived his life in a huge amphorea, drank wine constantly, ate raw meat with his bare hands, while stumbling around the village naked and taunting people. Quite a guy. Of course, I had to check it out. Sunny Hodges, the owner, is perhaps not as uncouth as Diogenes but definitely has a character to match. (He’s the son of an

Olympian and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist, Graduate of Mechanical Engineering

from UCL, author, survivor, explorer, award-winning Front of House professional, and drives a motorcycle). Sunny shares the same challenging and inquisitive nature of Diogenes, questioning what we know about wine, discarding common trends and bringing to the table lesser known and better drunk alternatives. It’s here that I tasted a Hibernal 2017 from Winnica Turnau from Poland, Messina Hofs Blanc du Bois from Texas, and an Ixe Tempranillo, a grape usually found in Spain, from Tuscany.

8. Other places to visit:

CAM (Paris, France)

Au Passage (Paris, France)

La Prosciutteria (Bologna, Italy)

9. PROJECTS & COMMUNITIES

Sourced Journey’s (London, UK)

SOURCED is a public research project founded by Dr Anna Sulan Masing (my work wife) and Chloe-Rose Crabtree, both of whom are writers and academics with experience in the restaurant industry. They believe that food and drink are biological and cultural rights and want the global food and drink systems to reflect that through empathetic, transparent and inclusive practices; and they’re seeking to decolonise culinary experiences. They are dividing the year up into ‘seasons’ to focus research on specific ingredients, with reading lists, monthly tutorials, articles and commissioned research so others can have access to the learning. You can support their project and the research through their paid for newsletters at £3.50 a month. 

www.sourcedjourneys.com // @sourcedjourneys  // www.sourcedjourneys.substack.com

10. Black Book (London, UK)

At the end of June 2020, myself, Zoe Adjonyoh and Dr Anna Sulan Masing founded Black Book: a global representation platform for Black and non-white people working within hospitality and food media. With a mission to inspire and empower through enhancing visibility, equality, equity and wealth creation worldwide within these communities, Black Book will raise global consciousness of the issues affecting their ability to thrive in these industries. As a team, we will do this through representing emerging talent; offering consultancy services to companies and brands wanting to align better with a vision for a more inclusive industry; securing brand partnerships around Black Book content; and building a holistic mentorship programme.

 

We’re about to host our second series of events celebrating Black History Month, which will take place every Tuesday throughout October. There’ll be a full day of workshops, masterclasses, cook-a-longs and discussions that explore the four pillars of Black Book in meaningful and dynamic ways. You can see the full line up and grab tickets here. We’ve also signed our first client within the representation arm of Black Book – the wonderful, Elainea Emmott who is a chef and photographer. Her website is here. We’ll be launching our Crowdfunder campaign at the end of the year that will act as a springboard for our mentorship programme launching in 2021. Plus there’s talks of Black Book memberships, podcasts and global outposts… you’ll have to sign up to our newsletter to keep abreast of all the news!

www.blackbook-global.com // @blackbook_2020 // Patreon

11. Flock Together (London,UK)

I found this group on Instagram, like most things these days. But Flock Together isn’t like most things. A bird-watching collective founded in London which serves the BIPOC community, it is as much about the actual past time of bird-watching as it is about making a statement about reclaiming space. There is a destructive narrative and assumption that PoC are not meant to be seen in public and if they are, they are automatically deemed a threat. There are so many examples in the past 6 months alone that validate that. As a closet birdwatcher myself, Flock Together is a thing of beauty and a symbol of progression and power. I joined a walk in Epping Forest and after 5 months of lockdown and hardly seeing a soul (IRL), cycling up to the edge of the forest to be greeted by 50+ brown smiling faces, binoculars in tow, still fills me with all the sensations of overwhelming pride and joy. The two pioneers/founders, Nadeem and Ollie, are in the process of launching chapters globally so give them a follow on IG and read up about them here:

https://hypebeast.com/2020/8/urban-birdwatching-flock-together-london 

https://www.vogue.com/article/meet-flock-together-london-birdwatching-collective 

 

12. PRODUCTS

Liha Beauty (London, UK)

I have bought so many of the Queen Idia candles I’ve lost count. For myself, girlfriends, family, they’re beautifully scented. It’s made with a coconut wax blend with base notes of Geranium and Frankincense, top notes of Lavender and hibiscus invoking the fragrance of soft African Moss. I’m yet to try the Idan Oil which is cold-pressed coconut oil into which a Tuberose flower has been immersed, so that you have the wonderful scent of the night-blooming flower, naturally absorbed naturally into the oil, all over your body. Ultimately an aphrodisiac!  Idan is the Yoruba word for magic, and amongst the other products that Liha Beauty sells, I think their whole offering is simply ethereal. 

Golden Editions (Ghana + France) 

This is my sisters company and I am super proud of what she has created. The aim of GOLDEN is to work closely with makers to create contemporary pieces that pay tribute to timeless craft in Ghana and beyond. Sara has always wanted to create something that resonated with her childhood and her mother’s passion for crafts, who was born in Ghana. Sara’s light collection, which was the first to launch, is made by skilled weavers based in Bolgatanga in the North of Ghana. A team of which she found on her many personal travels and research trips across the country. The Lamps are carefully hand-woven using Elephant Grass grown in Ghana, dyed naturally and then hand-twisted. The shapes are evocative of colours and forms seen on road trips through Ghana; the rich red colour of the earth, pots stacked along the roadside, traditional houses with thatched roofs. Sara’s always had an eye, and her Golden Editions perfectly encapsulates her admiration for subtly, gentleness and elegance offset by her practical and grounded character.

 

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Who Are You Without Social Media?

Who Are You Without Social Media?

Over the weekend my phone and Instagram app got disabled, it was a moment of sheer shock as well as complete disbelief. My existence was no longer there… Poof, who was I. I then found myself in an interesting predicament, here I was with a holiday looming with nowhere to post and no one to look at and in all honesty, I was fine with it. I had just found myself in the ultimate holiday circumstance, detached from the rest of the world on my own island. Initial shock subsided and now the wonderment of how well I took to being detached from social media set in. 

Sometimes reading other people’s social media folleys can really uplift you like with So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson ($13.39)

I had been a person who worked in various technological industries cultivating a social experience for different brands of lifestyle, clothing, art, and everything in between. With my constant engagement with technology and social media I was always in the loop of what was relevant, but for me it was the fact that I was now shattered from having to perform an experience, which felt liberating. It was like I had finally been given a pass and allowed to press the restart button. Without social media I was finding myself free of having to deal with the societal pressures that came with interacting and submitting to these practices. All the various social nuances which I had constantly feared and interacted with were gone, those people I didn’t really want to follow but continue to out of social graces, the various cool kids that I had to pay attention to had disappeared.

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By the first morning of being liberated I found myself waking up to a grayscale, everything around me felt like I could see for the first time in a long time. I was given a pair of glasses that showed me textures and a truly great experience in which I was present to engage with the objects and people around me. I almost felt as if I was regaining consciousness, regaining an understanding of humanity. As I engaged with people I would see getting coffee or walking by with their pets my nerves felt raw of all these senses which had been robbed.

If you cleanse that gut and clear that skin, HUM Daily Cleanse Skin Supplement ($25) is a perfect way to get you to a positive moment.

By day 3 fully knowing the reality of having to slip back into the way the world works. I decided there that I would start a new account, one that was going to be on my own terms and did not contain a feed of toxic images or ideologies that would stifle the mental wellbeing that I was striving for. I wanted to not be bothered triggered and place into a position of losing this feeling of self-worth. My decision was to engage digitally as I would IRL, people I already speak to and people I would interact with would come and as they did so grew my interpersonal social media. The data dump was the only thing that mattered and I threw out the aesthetic dialog, I was on private.

On Colour… by Ian Whittlesea ($27.50) extends the theories of color harmony that Joahnnes Itten taught at the Bauhaus and describes how “through perfect control of breath and color one will eventually be able to generate a luminous cloud of such purity and intensity that it renders all inside it invisible.

I know fully well that this was a fleeting experience, that I would have to return to speaking to the world of my community but in the meantime I was finally able to let go, it was a freedom that was unexpected and an experience which brought back a sense of humanity. My deep sense of anxiety seem to be lifted from my head my crown felt lighter I’ve had no longer had to disengage with what it meant to live in modern society. My nights drifted off at a normal tense while my mornings felt rich and fulfilled. Knowing I was able to separate from the machine gave me enough insight to use it wisely.

Luxurate forever won’t you with Ourika Soap’s La Boîte N°10 ($135)

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Clean Beauty | Greatest Hits

Clean Beauty | Greatest Hits

If you’ve shopped for any beauty product recently, from lipstick to shampoo, you may have noticed new labels that call out certain products as “clean beauty.”  But what does “clean beauty” really mean? Is it the same as organic? Natural? And what are the benefits of having a “clean” beauty ritual, anyway?

It’s hard to differentiate what constitutes a “clean” product from a toxic one.  Because it’s essentially a free-for-all, companies can use many adjectives to market and greenwash these potentially harmful products—“natural,” “green,” and “eco,” for example, have no clear definitions.  Just like the foods you put into your body show on the outside, the products you put on your skin can make their way into your bloodstream.  People wouldn’t eat toxic chemicals so why would they want to put them on their body, which eventually will end up in their body? Why not feel good inside and out?  When you start paying attention to your health, you cut out gluten or shop organic produce. The next natural step is to consider what chemicals you’re using to wash your face or lengthen your lashes. 

 

I think one of the first steps in creating a clean beauty routine is to get your glow on with skin care supplements that heal your skin from the inside out. 

1. SUPPLEMENTS

Dr. Barbara Strum Skin Food
Skincare know-it-all Dr. Barbara Sturm worked on Purslane, the star ingredient in her Skin Food capsules, with a team of renowned specialists to harness its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and nutritive properties. The added Glucosamine kick-starts the bodies own production of hyaluronic acid, which turns on your skin’s internal water tap and hydrates it from the inside out.

Moon Juice SuperBeauty is the master antioxidant formula that works to protect from accelerated aging while promoting collagen production, elasticity, and cell vitality.

SkinTe A perfectionist formula made with collagen peptides, real brewed tea, super herbs, and fizz. It comes in three flavors: Green Tea Grapefruit, White Tea Ginger, and Hibiscus Vanilla.

Aime French Glow A rich formula for an hydrating cream-worthy glow from within. The skin looks healthy, redness disappears and the complexion is lit from within. You won’t need any makeup after taking these capsules.

Four Stigmatic Matcha Latte Mix Each packet features ceremonial grade matcha combined with your favorite dairy free milk plus moringa and maitake mushrooms that are beneficial for gut health. Drinking it may increase energy, decrease fat absorption, and balance blood sugar.

Vital Protein CollagenThis collagen peptides powder is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine to ensure a high quality and sustainable source of this powerful ingredient. 

Moon Juice Beauty Dust A beautifying adaptogenic blend of Schisandra, Amla, Ashwagandha, Rehmannia, Goji & Pearl that targets stress and accelerates aging, improves skin clarity, and helps protect from free radicals. 

Hum Nutrition Daily Cleanse A powerful formula of organic algae and 14 detoxifying herbs and minerals to detoxify your skin and body. 

2. SKINCARE

Face Cleanser:  Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser Tata Harper dishes out some of the best natural beauty products we’ve used, and this cream cleanser is no exception. Ever the multitasker, it cleanses, clarifies, and tones the skin for flawless results. The formula—made of 100% natural origin ingredients—rids skin of dirt and impurities while unclogging pores, softening the skin, and buffing away dead cells with a gentle exfoliating action. The smell, a fresh citrusy delight, is also to die for.

Facial Oils

BeautyCounter No.1 Brightening Facial Oil 

This is your daily radiance boost. This citrus-scented facial oil quickly absorbs and helps awaken and replenish. It is lightweight and silky smooth. This blend of oils is designed to help hydrate and improve the appearance of skin radiance. Omega-rich marula oil provides intense hydration, while antioxidant vitamin C helps brighten and even skin tone. 

Osea Blemish Balm Formulated for acne-prone skin, this lightweight cream utilizes the healing powers of algae and tea tree oil to calm and soothe skin.

Sunscreen for Face:

Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18 This lightweight, ultra hydrating, all-mineral SPF 18 blends in so beautifully it’s truly unbelievable. Unscented and infused with skin-supporting vitamins, it leaves skin radiantly smooth. It provides year-round, broad-spectrum protection and just feels incredible. 

Sunscreen for Body:

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Body Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Not only is this SPF 30 sunscreen non-greasy, it has a pretty great (and totally natural) citrus scent.

Tanning:

EcoTan Invisible Tan It delivers a beautiful, believable, golden bronze glow, contains nothing artificial and is free from synthetic ingredients. It’s made with only certified organic and natural ingredients sourced from Mother Nature.

 

Living Libations Open Sky Eye Serum This firming, toning and revivifying blend will have your eyes sparkling. It is specially formulated to nourish the tender skin around the eyes.

 

Deodorant:

Kosas Chemistry AHA Deodorant A clean, stain-free serum deodorant that features a unique AHA blend for the ultimate odor-fighting formula. Available in Serene Clean (calming, spa like scent) and fragrance-free.

Hero Product:

Living Libations Seabuckthorn Oil Silky Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever, resets skin to its natural state of luminous, sparkling wonder.  Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever is an all-in-one cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer that can be used to grace the face, tempt the nose, and make skin sing from head to toes!

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