LIHA Beauty Inspired By West African Skin Care Traditions

We have gone through a cold snap of late, the icy winter winds contrasted with the drying effects of central heating leaving skin feeling skin a bit distressed. Whether you are in a cold or hot climate, it is important to protect your skin as each season comes with its own set of challenges that can be harmful to exposed skin if you go not care for it properly. And with more of us shunning chemical laden products in favour of natural skin care ones it can be tricky to find natural products that are what they say they are. So had to share when I came across LIHA, a natural beauty brand made in Cheltenham and Hackney. The brand focuses on producing small batches of natural skin care products, inspired by the age old West African skin care tradition of making beautifying oils, soaps and lotions from the local nuts, tree bark and plants that grew in abundance; a skill that was traditionally learned by all young women.

 

[Main credit:  LIHA Skin Care collection]

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Afro Hair Specialist Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Hair Care Products

 

London hair stylist and Afro hair specialist Charlotte Mensah recently debuted her first range of premium haircare products. The Charlotte Mensah Manketti Haircare collection features three products a Shampoo, Conditioner and an Oil that all feature Manketti Oil, a super hair ingredient that helps gives weightless moisture, shine, softness and definition to curly hair types.

 

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Monaa Luxury African Inspired Shoes Made In Ghana

Monaa - Luxury African footwear made in Ghana
Nothing says summer more than a pair of comfortable, yet chic sandals. And, with the summer holidays having officially started in this part of the world, many a pair will have been tucked away into luggage bound for sun soaked destinations. And, whether or not you are going away for the holidays, every wardrobe needs a pair or two, or three… So just in time for summer, July has seen the launch of Monaa, a stylish collection of luxury African inspired shoes comprising leather sandals and slippers made in Ghana.
[Main image credit: Princess Slipper in blue – Monaa]
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A A K S Luxury Hand Woven Made In Africa Bags At Anthropologie

Happa Bag - A A K S
Made in Africa Luxury accessories label, A A K S was founded in 2014 by colour-obsessed designer, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, whose passion for all things bright led to the creation of a chic range of handbags handcrafted in Bolgatanga, a region in northern Ghana famed for its longstanding basket weaving traditions. Through A A K S Akosua intended to capture the spirit and durability of this heritage, showcasing the hand weaving techniques to a global audience and in the process help support the artisans and communities the company works with by creating local jobs. A A K S works closely with groups of local artisan weavers who skillfully weave colourful piles of raffia into the stylish products that combine modern style interpretations with traditional methods.
[Main image credit: Happa Bag – A A K S]
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Uplifting African Home Accessories And Furnishings

The New Year brings with it good intentions to think, do and be better mentally, physically and spiritually in work and play. Get of to a good start by surrounding yourself with inspirational quotes and ancient words of wisdom to help you along your way courtesy of Bespoke Binny, a London-based creator and retailer of uplifting African home accessories and furnishings.
[Image credit: Wax print and African Proverb Cushion Collections – Bespoke Binny]
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Defining Luxury African Fashion Buki Akib Design Indaba Interview

Buki Akib’s luxurious style, influenced by West African textile traditions captures the imagination. The textiles and fashion accessories designer is defining Luxury African fashion. I recently caught up with the highly experimental designer to glean further insight into her work and inspirations. The full feature can be read on Design Indaba.
[Main image credit: Buki Akib Menswear]
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Ohema Ohene Geo Africa Fashion Design Collection

[Image credit: Ohema Ohene, Laura Cape Dress – Oh! Printex Collection]
In a departure from the colourful African print fabrics that usually define their collections, London-based fashion label Ohema Ohene’s recent geo Africa fashion design collection saw the adoption of a striking monochrome palette. Launched in July, the limited-edition capsule collection was produced in collaboration with textile company, Printex Ghana. Entitled OH! PRINTEX the collection celebrates Printex’s history of black and white prints through fun, wearable designs for both men and women.
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Stylish Heels MO SAÏQUE Luxury Handcrafted Footwear

Afua Dabanka is a woman after my own heart, she just loves her some shoes, with the difference being that whilst I just drool over whatever fabulousness comes my way, she gets to design and make them under her luxury handcrafted footwear label MO SAÏQUE. A banker turned footwear designer, Afua was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents and now resides in London, where MO SAÏQUE is based.
[Images Credits: Hakuun, Miami Beat Collection – MO SAÏQUE]
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Shea Mooti Organic Baby Skin Care Products

[Image credit: Pampered Baby Sleep Kit, Gift Set – Shea Mooti]
Based in London, Shea Mooti founder and former nurse, Violet Reid started making her own baby skin care products to treat the dry eczema-prone skin of her newborn son. Having found that baby skin care products, even if labeled natural and organic, often made her son’s skin condition worse, and Violet realised that the only way to ensure the products she used were pure was to make them herself. Violet enrolled in a natural soap-making course in 2007, where she learnt about the effects of certain ingredients; and more importantly discovered the benefits of natural Shea Butter. Creating formulations with Shea Butter and the purest natural ingredients and oils she could find, Violet soon noticed a marked improvement in her son’s skin.
[Image credit: left, Mama’s Belly Rub Stretch Mark Oil; 
right, Mama’s Nourishing Body Cream – Shea Mooti]
Expecting her second child, Violet began to make oils and butters in preparation for the new arrival, doing the same with her third child. Violet eventually started sharing her baby skin care products with friends and family who would recommend them to others, and gave her the encouragement she needed to start a business. Since formally launching the business, Shea Mooti has grown to encompass a range of pampering pure, natural skin care solutions for babies and mums; including a Pampered Baby Sleep Kit, Baby’s Pure Shea Butter Soap, and the multi-award winning Mama’s Belly Rub Stretch Mark Oil. All Shea Mooti products are made in the UK, and do not contain parabens, silicones, phthalates, EDTA, synthetic colours, additives or fragrances, and are not tested on animals.
[Image credit: left, Baby’s Pure Shea Butter Soap; 
right ‘Give Mama a Break’ Relaxing Candle – Shea Mooti]
The name Shea Mooti references; Shea, the butter used, which is ethically sourced from Afrikids’ Daughters, a Shea Butter producing multi-cooperative based in Northern Ghana; and Mooti derived from the Shona word Muti, which means tree, and also refers to medicine, and is a reflection of Violet’s Zimbabwean heritage. Stocked in independent retailers and boutiques, Shea Mooti can now be found in Selfridges, the UK’s iconic department store.

Additional details:
Shea Mooti products priced from: £4.99-£59.99
For further information about Shea Mooti and to purchase visit: www.sheamooti.co.uk
To purchase from Not on the Highstreet visit: www.notonthehighstreet.com/sheamooti
For further information about Afrikids’ Daughters visit: www.afrikids.org

[Image credits: The images shown belong to: Shea Mooti. If downloaded and used elsewhere must be credited accordingly]

Architect David Adjaye Furniture Collection For Knoll

‘…unless I truly loved it, there was no point in my doing it’, words that formed part of a pitch for the resulting David Adjaye furniture collection that saw London-based architect David Adjaye turn his hand to furniture design, producing his first collection in collaboration with iconic American furniture and fabric brand, Knoll. Currently celebrating 75 years of pioneering design, to mark the occasion Knoll sought to persuade two of the world’s leading architects; British-Ghanaian David Adjaye, and Dutch-born Rem Koolhaus into taking a brief detour from their usual work of redrawing skylines and taking on a spot of product design. Why the need for persuasion? Both designers had initially expressed no desire to explore ‘designing a range of small-scale domestic objects’. That said, in coming round to the idea, these two collaborations have been deemed Knoll’s most important since a collaboration with renowned Canadian-American architect, Frank Gehry back in 1992.

[Image credits: Washington Corona Bronze Coffee Table – Knoll] 

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