5 Things You Should Have Tried From the 2018 Charleston Natural Hair Expo

This past weekend, I attended the 7th Annual Charleston Natural Hair Expo, and I'd say it was a great event overall. I only had one goal in mind, and that was to walk away with products that I would actually use instead of buying things just for the sake of buying. In past years I haven't been as discerning with my spending and left with things that I never even used once I got home. The items pictured below are ones that I've been enjoying since this past Saturday, and I think you'll be seeing a lot more of them on my Instagram feed. 

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  1. Celestial Beauty Goddess Glow in the shade "Heavenly"- This body highlighter comes in a variety of shades, so be sure to check out the entire line to choose the most appropriate shade for your skin tone. We're looking for maximum glow up out here these days! 
  2. Unorthodox Roots satin-lined headwrap- This brand creates satin-lined hats and headwraps, and I thought that the one I purchased was great for giving my durags a break.(For those of you who don't know this about me, I often wear durags underneath my regular headwraps to protect my hair from the drying fabric.)
  3. The entire haircare line from Femme Noire- The packaging grabbed my attention, and the ingredients made me stick around. My hair likes most of the oils in their products already, so I decided to spring for the entire line and give it all a try. The Flower Bomb Hair Growth Oil is pictured, but best believe all of those products took a ride home in my bag. I even purchased their travel-sized products, so I'll be doing a post on how my hair holds up during my next trip to Seattle! I typically do protective styles when I travel across the country, so this will be a completely new experience for me. Fingers crossed! 
  4. Lemongrass Leave-In Conditioner from Alikay Naturals- This is an old staple from when I made the decision to stop flat ironing my hair as frequently back in 2014. The scent alone made me want to twist my hair every night, and my hair was always moisturized and less prone to breakage because of it. Add a little oil to the ends on top of it, and it's a done deal. I like this product still in 2018 because it's a nice style refresher also. 
  5. Chewies (not pictured) from Brown Sugar Charleston- Since being in Charleston, I've developed a deep-seated love for chewies. I'm not new to Brown Sugar Charleston, but I was too excited to see their table set up at this years expo! I walked away that day with my sweet tooth fully satisfied, but you should contact Brown Sugar Charleston for your cake and dessert jar needs as well. Their key lime cupcakes are my all-time favorite.   

 

Wanna know the best thing about each of these vendors? 

They actually TALKED to me and my friends, and showed genuine excitement about what they were offering! Each one beamed when talking about how they were solving a specific need, whether it was protecting my coveted strands, nourishing them, making sure my skin was extra poppin', or ensuring that I didn't have to hunt any longer for the best sweets in town. Next year at the expo, I'd love to see more of that kind of energy from all the vendors in the room. These few from my haul definitely stole the show in my eyes, and I can't wait to see them again soon! 

 

What was your #1 purchase from the Charleston Natural Hair Expo this past weekend? Let me know in the comments below! 

The Queen's Roundtable w/ Queen Quet: Africa Fashion Week Lowcountry 2017

A mean round of typical Charleston traffic couldn't keep us away yesterday as we made our way back to the Hampton House in Beaufort, SC to attend the Queen's Roundtable event with Queen Quet. Unique and I left right after work to hit the road, but if you live here in Charleston you know that we kind of set ourselves up for a rough ride when we decided to hop on Hwy 17 at 4:30 PM DURING some intense post-eclipse traffic.

Long story short, be better than us when it comes to finessing these Charleston roadways, y'all.  

From left to right: Queen Quet, Najmah Thomas and Donellia Chives. 

From left to right: Queen Quet, Najmah Thomas and Donellia Chives. 

The first time I saw Queen Quet was a little over a week ago at Cane Rhum Bar here in downtown Charleston. I went in for a dope brunch event hosted by Charleston's own Chef BJ Dennis and The Cocktail Bandits, and I could NOT stop staring at this one woman in the dining room.  

I was there with my boyfriend Devon and my girls Andrea and Chevy when my eyes kept drifting to this one woman over and over. I'd never seen her in my life, and couldn't figure out why I kept wanting to LOOK at her. When Andrea leaned over and told me that she was Queen Quet, my eyes felt like they grew three sizes.  

I wasn't going to miss my opportunity to hear her speak, even if traffic did stop my shine for a lil' bit. And LISTEN... she dropped soooooo many gems. The biggest one that stood out to me surrounded the concept of adornment. Being black people in America, so much of our existence outside the home is consumed by making ourselves more palatable to the majority. I've been thinking hard about this specific phrase from Queen Quet since last night:

"Anything you adorn yourself with, you should know what's in it."

This hit me on a personal level, because I've lived most of my life up until recently trying to do what I think others wanted me to do. My own sanity suffered because of it, because (let's be real) everybody who says they're for you ain't really for you. Ever since a health scare back in 2015, I've made it a point to cast out any interactions and relationships that don't contribute to my mental and spiritual well-being. It does still take work, but exercising that right to choose your own path goes a long way toward protecting your spirit. Don't thank me, thank Queen Quet for that one.

As an artist, activist, fashion designer, environmentalist, historian (for more in the list of greatness visit her website, because mama is EVERYTHING, in the best sense possible), the Queen Mother of the Gullah Geechee Nation spoke about the negativity she faced along her journey in the fashion world as she encouraged other black people to outwardly celebrate their culture and take pride in the heritage that we carry. All of her anecdotes still ring true today in regards to the ways some people dampen their blackness to appease others, and when she said that we were people of the sun and that people should look at us with that same excitement that they watched the recent eclipse with it took everything I had to stay in my seat and not yell out "YES!!!" 

After filling up our spirits with Queen Quet and feeling reaffirmed in the power and joys of being black, Unique and I needed to fill up our empty stomachs. We left straight from work, and dinner was calling. We were in luck through, because Donellia reached out to Mr. Jason and Jason's Seafood and Wings asking him to stick around and feed us before we went back to Charleston. 

AND FEED US, HE DID. 

I have been trying to track down BOMB lemon pepper wings like back in ATL since I've been in Charleston. Mr. Jason is all the way in Beaufort, but I'll gladly make that 1hr. 20min. drive to sit at his table and eat wings. I tasted that food and felt like I was right back at home!

I have been trying to track down BOMB lemon pepper wings like back in ATL since I've been in Charleston. Mr. Jason is all the way in Beaufort, but I'll gladly make that 1hr. 20min. drive to sit at his table and eat wings. I tasted that food and felt like I was right back at home!

Let me tell y'all. I adorned myself with those wings, and I could tell that love was all up and through them. I left that place so happy, because not only was my stomach fed but my spirit was topped off by Mr. Jason right along with that glass of sweet tea that tasted just like my mama made it. 

From left to right: Me, Mr. Jason of  Jason's Seafood and Wings , and Unique Law of  Uniquely His Productions

From left to right: Me, Mr. Jason of Jason's Seafood and Wings, and Unique Law of Uniquely His Productions

Anything you adorn yourself with, you should know what’s in it.
— Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation

 

 

We're mere HOURS away from the headlining event of African Fashion Week Lowcountry!

What are you doing to ensure that you're adorning yourself in healthy ways this week?