I've got a few creative passions that I've explored over the years, but one that has stuck with me is the dress-making process and the idea of being a social entrepreneur through collaborations and empowerment. Not sure if it falls under creative passions, but I love creating awareness of girls education initiatives for the African continent. Yes, most areas push for education for all genders because we understand the power of education and the opportunities it provides for communities and nations, but there are still factors that are limiting access to education for girls (poverty, menstruation and disabilities), which I believe we can all help limit its impact.
I've just got to find a middle ground between beautiful African prints/dress, and how they can be used to empower these girls in their quest for education.
My beauty/self-care routine really ranges. My routine is as often or sparse as I need it to be. And I think it comes down to practising mindfulness throughout my day and just checking in with what my body needs to remain at its best.
I don't have a set timeline for anything as I work away from home, and for really long hours (12hr days minimum); however, the little 'routine' I have consists of long showers (sometimes it's just nice to sit in the shower and not think), hair wash-days (usually feels like it took a full day), lime and brown sugar facial exfoliate (something I recently discovered through @theotopea), getting a mani and pedi always brings me joy, going for long walks by a body of water (the sound of water seems to calm me down), beauty sleep never hurt, and my new favourite: Drinking Water and Minding my Business.
Sometimes, you'll catch me with a bourbon and coke in-front of the TV, watching cartoons; or with a coconut-lime scented candle and my goal-digger planner from MiGOALS. I find that when I put my thoughts down on paper, all seems well with the world.
I find that when I make time for the people I love (or the people that love me), my heart is filled with a lot more joy. I feel at peace and I feel valued, which I guess is my current emotional need.
On her fave products
Right now, and in absolute honesty (and very coincidental), I'm loving the Afrocenchix Seal Natural Hair Oil. The texture, the beautiful scent, the hint of lemon, hmmmm. :) I pour it into a small spray bottle and use it on my head once every couple of days.
Also loving the Creed and Colour Leave-In Conditioner range. Helps me keep a fresh set of braids without worry that my natural hair is suffering.
In general, however, I love my black soap and my shea butter moisturiser. I love Wet Wipes - These things give me life!!! I love a good pair of headphones/earphones – to tune out the world on long or short flights.
And not so much a product, but I find that having ease of access to Wi-Fi/mobile data to stay in touch with family and friends here and afar really helps me create my own calm.
On her go-to beauty rituals
I find that basic human hygiene works wonders. Clean teeth and shower twice a day. Moisturising, roll-on and a bit of perfume daily to keep away the ashy-ness, and unwanted odours. Washing hands as soon as I arrive home and bathing them in L’occitane’s hand creams. I see these things as basic necessities, but I guess they may be a ritual to some others.
On her favourite books and podcasts
My favourite teen read was the Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce and Dan Brown’s Davinci Code. Now, however, I listen through Audible to audio books because university ruined the idea of physical books for me, and I’ve been loving books read by Stephen Fry: The Harry Potter Series and Sherlock Holmes, The Definitive Audio Collection. Something about his intonations and voice changes for characters is simply magical.
On the self-help side, I loved reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson, which is a great book for anyone who is looking for a reality check on their thoughts of self, and of others.
I’ve been thinking of business possibilities and money management lately as it’s my focus for and I’m really enjoying the podcasts by Your Creative Start, Lady Startup and Your Dream Life with Kristina Karlsson (Founder of Kikki.K). Learning about money management through this free platform: Future Learn.
On her favourite music of the moment
This question had me laughing because my two current favourite songs are on opposite sides of the moral spectrum. On one end, 'God So Loved' by Hillsong Worship and on the other 'Proud Fvck Boys' by Tulenkey ft. Eddie Khae.
Where can we follow you?
I’ve found the Instagram social media platform to be a place where I’ve made many local and international friends to share ideas and for collaborations. Feel free to follow me: @Akua.Larbi