As much as it is not the most popular topic to discuss, everywhere we look we are reminded of our race, culture and it’s limitations on a daily basis. Being a black woman growing up in East London I could just about count on 1 hand the number of positive influences publicised when I was a teen. But this has all made a drastic transformation within the last few years, the community has been striving to make their mark on the world and dispel the diaspora that it is anything but sensational to be black. Across the globe, our brothers and sisters have been dominating fields they were previously cast out of. Hashtags such as #MenalinMagic, #MenalinPopping, even #BlackTwitter using positivity to wipe out the prior negative conations that were created diminish how great we are.
And this bank holiday weekend that memorandum was enforced by a new beauty expo set to widen the ideas around beauty standards, and celebrate everything it means to be a woman of colour in this society. The Shades of Beauty Live event that was created by Christina and Grace Adesina, produced a 2-day event packed with some of the most talked about influencers such as Shantania Beckford and Mariam Mussa , and mixed them with public speakers like BKChat LDN alumni Nissey Tee and Lucas and included experts in the field of Trichology and Skincare to share their knowledge and banter on a variety of subjects such as the science behind skincare, natural hair care and the strength of the black sisterhood.
Alongside the captivating chatter of the panels, the show also opened their doors to a variety of black-owned businesses such as Design Essentials, Twisted Sista, and Mynx Nails to sell their vast range of beauty, hair care, food and refreshment products. But most of all everyone’s favorite word FREEBIES!!!
Throughout the day hair care workshops were exhibited by companies such as Afrocenchix and To all My Black Girls who had enlisted some of the best hair stylists from all over the world. They offered the ever loved tutorials of how to use their products and compiled their most useful knowledge to inform goers of how to get the best out of your natural hair and just general tips on promoting hair growth. I got the opportunity to meet NuNu from BKChat who the great saleswoman and advocate for natural hair that she is convinced to embrace my natural tresses, so I purchased a bundle of her kinky curls clip-in extensions that I have been dreaming about testing out all week.
Makeup companies also pitched up their stalls to flog their lines best products providing makeovers and demonstrations to customers on how to evolve your makeup skills using their merchandise. Jacque Mcguido who was also one of the panelists and owns a makeup line in the US was in full force with her team of artists who slayed faces the whole day. During the show I was struck by every woman’s worst nightmare when I noticed one of my eyelashes was halfway down my cheek as I was walking past her stall, to my luck the person I ran into was eyelash expert Pamella who has a fantastic line of 3D lashes named Glamourpuss, and when I tell you she hooked me all the way up!!!
All in all the day was extremely informative, fun and showcased the community spirit that we are all very used to. All the speakers were warm, welcoming and far from hesitant to mingle and network with the crowd answering personal questions and taking photos with their fans.
For this being the first year of the show they definitely set the bar remarkably high. From the topics of the panel discussions to the range of products on offer, I found myself pondering throughout the train journey home mind racing with all the thoughts and ideas I was left with over the course of the day (not to mention the bags full of clobber I trudged home). It definitely inspired me to continue chasing my dreams and largely added to the amount of positive exposure that I cannot wait to see in the future.
#BlackGirlPower we are ready to take over.