Things I Learnt In My Teens| BOLU NOELLE

28 December 2016


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you're enjoying this season whether with friends, family or alone.
So, as you may have guessed from the second part of my name, I'm a Christmas baby-- I've just turned 20!
So here, I'm about spill the load of knowledge and little bit of wisdom I've gained in 7 years:

1) School ISN'T Life:
Don't get me wrong, education is important, and I believe whole-heartedly in making the most of it and working hard to achieve your full potential.
However, being a top grade student at 16 doesn't equate to success.
I realised this when, at 16, I noticed less academic friends had jobs whereas I did not.
Jobs provide money (which at that point in life was what I wanted) and ultimately is something that drives most people in the western world.
My advice is to work hard to fulfil your academic potential, because knowledge is power, and because a part of your destiny may only be achievable with a degree /high grades.
BUT! Do not sleep on yourself! Whatever your hobby or talent may be, be creative with it and practice. Don't spend all your time focused on academic acheivements- there is much more to life.
Take note of all the business owners and self employed people you know.. bloggers, photographers, musicians, sportsmen and traditional business owners too.

* Take this advice with a pinch of scotch bonnet

2) It's Okay To Let Go Of Friendships:
It's alright to allow the drifting to happen naturally. Some friendships will naturally die as you grow and glow through life. As you grow spiritually and mentally, some people's character may just not vibe with yours anymore. Besides that, even physical distance can cause friendship loss. As much as you're screaming 'squad' at 17, once you go to uni/work and you don't see those faces everyday, you'll realise which ones are there to stay.
My advice: Don't force the friendship to remain strong- you can't. You'll only end up putting pressure on something which is already dying and end up having awkward forced phone conversations when you'd rather be watching YouTube videos. Literally.

3) You Don't Need a Bae:
Stop it. In fact this learning point is rolling strong into my 20's with me. I won't be that annoying auntie that says teen relationships are nonsense because I don't believe that.
What I do believe is that a lot of girls and guys too feel a mad pressure to be with someone (especially during 'cuffing season' aka winter). Evaluate your reasoning. Why do you feel you need that? Feel lonely? Learn to love your own company. You're bored? Find a hobby and practice your talents. Any other reasons, slide into my DM's we can talk. LOL.
On a serious note, I don't believe in the idea of looking for bae; If it's going to happen (and it will at some point in life)- it will happen naturally and feel so good.
Honestly, it's exhausting looking for bae and doing a background check and full analysis of every person you encounter trying to see if they fit your desires.
And what exactly are your desires at 14? LOL- GIRL BYE.

4) No One Cares.
Honestly, truly. No one cares if you're trying, but they will once you start doing. I'm still learning this now. Less talk, more action.
I can't tell you the number of times I've suffered from anxiety or felt miserable simply because of my failure to put my lengthy talk into action.
Music, dancing, football, writing, designing..
Really, how hard is it to take that first step?

5) Like Yourself.
It is easy to say "love yourself", and to some extent, you probably already do. But do you actually like yourself? The way you think, the way you do things, the way you talk, the way you look.. the way you treat people?
You are so powerful and capable of changing things you dislike.
Things you can't change, you can't change. That's it, you actually can't. So, yeah. Stop thinking about it.

6) Do Stuff.
Do stuff and go to places. While you have less responsibilities, try new things. Not just for the sake of taking it up as a talent, but do things for the experience.

do not stay in your comfort zone
DO NOT STAY IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Do Not Stay In Your Comfort Zone
Do not stay in your comfort zone

Nothing grows there.

7) Grow Spiritually.
Life isn't just about the physical glow up.

If you believe in God, form a relationship with God.
If not, why not explore beliefs? Whatever you believe, grow and glow spiritually. It will build you up, honestly.

8) Be You
On that note, stay true to your beliefs. Be confident in who and what you are and don't be so easily swayed. Whether its whether you want to take part in something, beliefs regarding relationships, opportunities etc, be bold in your decisions.


Healthy and Moisturised | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE

23 December 2016

I used to be obsessed with growing long hair to the point I'd get so discouraged within a few weeks if I didn't see 'sufficient' growth. To be honest I wasn't really seeing that growth because I wasn't really taking proper steps to looking after my hair.

Now my mind is not as focused on growth as it is maintaining healthy hair. Really and truly what's the point of growing your hair long with split ends etc, to have to cut it short anyway? One thing I have come to realise over the years is that moisture is so important for hair, especially for kinky/coily hair. Our hair can get so dry and brittle, something that leads to breakage.

What can we use on our hair to make sure our hair is getting enough moisture? Firstly, water! I cannot stress this enough. Ladies water is not our enemy. It's actually our best friend. Water prevents our hair from snapping easily and therefore helps to prevent breakage. Get a spray bottle and spritz your hair before. Also make sure you're drinking plenty of it too! After all, we are about 70% water!

Secondly, get yourself some hair products that promote healthy hair and that are moisture rich, especially those whose top ingredient is water like GroHealthy's Shea and Coconut Range. Grohealthy's products also include Shea for roots nourishment and scalp soothing, Coconut oil for extra moisture and shine and Omega 3 to rebuild, strengthen and protect hair from the inside out. Using a moisture rich conditioner after shampooing, like GroHealthy’s  Moisture Rich Conditioner, re-hydrates your hair both for extra strength and shine.





Lastly, for now, stay away from products that contain parabens, sulfates and colourants which can be damaging to hair. That's another great thing about GroHealthy. As well as not including the previous, there is no petrolatum, mineral oil or phthalates in any of its range.




Sulphates can be found in most shampoos as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which cleans the hair but can strip strands of their natural oils.  GroHealthy's Moisturising shampoo cleanses the hair and scalp without doing so.




Whether you're starting out or restarting your natural hair journey, make sure to include moisture in your hair regimen. It's essential to keep that mane healthy!

Natalie | @pursueinspire

Favourite Christmas Make Up Looks | Natalie PURSUE:INSPIRE

21 December 2016

The Christmas season signals the end of the year and also creates opportunities for us to see family members and friends we haven't seen for a while! Some of us ladies will take the opportunity to get dolled up and I thought I'd share some of my favourite make up looks for the holidays from some beauties on YouTube:


SONJDRADELUXE





THECHICNATURAL





PATRICIA BRIGHT





JACKIE AINA




What are your favourite make up looks at the moment? Comment below and let us know!

------

Also I just wanted to say that in the midst of all the decorations, flashing lights, last minute shopping sprees, abundance of food... really take the time to enjoy Christmas. 

Enjoy your time with your loved ones. 


CHERISH each moment. 
Love, laugh and be jolly. 


Be thankful for your life and if you are a Christian make sure to remember what the birth of Jesus Christ means for the world.

Make sure also to spare a thought and pray for those who Christmas is a particularly hard time. People in situations of war and conflict, those who have lost loved ones, the homeless, broken and hurt families etc. If you're able to physically help, do so. Buy someone a hot meal. Speak words on encouragement to people. Take the first step and reconnect with a loved one you've fallen out with.


After all, it is the season of giving and family!


Have an amazing Christmas beauties!
Natalie @pursueinspire xxx











How To Save Money Going Natural | BOLU NOELLE

1 December 2016







 
Yes you are reading this correctly.
No, you do not need to go to Specsavers
And no, I am not crazy.

Going natural CAN save you money and it doesn't have to dip a hole in your shoe fund ;)
The mistake a lot of us make is becoming a product junkie.

Correct me if I'm wrong but it normally goes something like this:

-First you read a blog like this one or watch one YouTube video (or maybe 57) that ignites fire in your soul, and suddenly all you can think about is going out to the closest hair and beauty shop to collect at least 24 of the 30 products mentioned.

-So, naturally,  the next day, you go out with a pocket full of money and spend away going crazy on any product with the word natural on it.

-Then, you decide to try them all out at once, only to realise that many of them do not work for you. (Or you don't know how to use them yet). You become annoyed because now you have a cupboard full of hair products that you do not use. Not to mention you have essentially wasted a good percentage of your paycheck which could have gone towards that new handbag you like.
And now you think natural hair will always be expensive to maintain so you decide it's best to go back on the "creamy crack".



 Honeyyyy, it needn't be that way! Just follow a few simple rules and you will be whipping your kinks and curls everywhere!


The Commandments

1) Product Reviews

These can instantly help you to dismiss products that aren't likely to work for your hair. The best way to use product reviews is to watch those given by people who have your same hair type. If you are not familiar with the hair typing system, click here: Hair Type.
I have type 4 hair. I watch videos by females with all types of hair (even type 1), but I am selective of the information I apply to MY regimen.  There are girls who can do nothing and BAM, their hair grows fast. But for most of you reading this journal,  you have to show your hair a little more TLC.
Maybe also watch people with a similar lifestyle to your own if you can,  especially during periods such as pregnancy, where products and routines may change.


2) Natural Products

Okay, hear me out. Some products aimed at naturals aren't all natural, no surprise there. From conditioner to edge controls, there are chemicals and additives in many of your hair products, some less harmful than others. Not to worry, of course none of these are as detrimental as the creamy crack herself.

Reasons to use natural products
     •Inevitably, they are better for your hair. Unrefined extra virgin olive oil is better than Blue Magic Olive, which contains mineral oils, petroleum and all them devils.

     •Most of the time, they have multiple uses. Products such as natural Greek yoghurt,  mayonnaise, eggs, olive oil and coconut oil can be used on the hair, skin, nails, teeth (oil pulling) and in food! 

    •These are also more cost effective because you can use smaller amounts which will have longer effects, and so you won't have to restock as often. Also, if they don't work especially well on your hair,  you have tons of other uses, so nothing is wasted!


3) Don't Wait Till You're Desperate

Don't wait till the last minute in an awkward situation to restock, be prepared. If you are going on holiday to a place where you doubt you'll be able to find your staple products, plan before! No need to overspend because you didn't think ahead.

 P.S you get to save the $ you spend purchasing relaxer and paying the stylist! You're welcome.

That makes my three main tips. If you have any queries or extra tips, comment down below!

Peace & Afro love
 Bolu Noelle
x

Protect the braids | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE

30 November 2016




I normally like to keep my braids in for a month, (sometimes a bit longer), and have struggled at times to keep my hair looking fresh. Over the years I've come across some tips that have helped me to keep my hair in tact and still retain length:

When sleeping, use a satin scarf.

Cotton scarves rub against and tug on individual strands of hair. This can cause them to be pulled out of the braids, creating a frizzy look. Satin/smooth material glides over your hair, meaning it is not tugged and stays neater for longer. This same principal should be applied when it's just you and your mane as well.


Wear low manipulation hair styles.

The amazing thing about extensions is the rest it gives your hair. However it's probably also best to keep to one token hair style you can wear all week and leave other ones for weekends. Have you seen the white bulbs at the front of your hair after weeks or even a few days of wearing braids? Yup. Those are your hair roots. Sometimes the more we fiddle with our braids, the more we tug on our roots and they pull out, especially around the hairline.


Cream and oil!

Don't leave your hair to dry out during your protective styling season! Just like a plant it requires nutrients to stay strong and healthy. Continue to oil/treat your scalp. Make sure you're still moisturising your hair. Cream those braids girl!


Rebraiding 

This has come in very handy when I'm not quite ready to call it quits with my braids. I tend to wear my hair in a bun so when I redo a few rows at the front and back of my head, it looks brand new again! When rebraiding/braiding your hair, make sure it's not super tight. Tightening whilst braiding is another reason for roots to pop out and say hello!

_______

Have you got any tips to keeping your braids neat for longer? Share them with us. It's important that as a community we share and try tips :)

Until next time!

Natalie | Pursue:Inspire

Wash n Go with GroHealthyUK| BOLU NOELLE

25 November 2016




So, if you're a consistent Naturel, you'll know I recently wrote a collab post reviewing the GroHealthyUK Shea and Coconut haircare line. Today, I'm explaining how I use the products when I'm wearing a wash n go!

I  use almost the entire line to style my hair, and it doesn't weigh down my strands at all.

I start off with the Sulfate-free Shampoo and Conditioner to cleanse and re-moisturise. You may want to use the Growth Oil as a prepoo to penetrate your hair making it soft, silky and strong. It's a very light and aromatic blend of amazing ingredients such as Jojoba oil and Shea butter. It doesn't weigh down your curls or make your hair greasy- it's just right!

Next, on 60% dry hair, I add the Frizz-Fighter and Curling Custard to bring lots of definition to my kinky curly hair. The Frizz-Fighter smooths strands while the Curling Custard pronounces your natural curl pattern. For wash n go's or low puffs, I really love adding definition to my curls.

The next step is to add some Shea and Coconut Growth Oil to lock in the moisture you get from these products. These products are super moisturising so you can skip the Leave In Conditioner!

That's it! Leave your hair to air-dry, and you're good to go!

You can add some GroHealthy Edge Control to get those edges laiddddd. It doesn't leave any nasty residue and it provides a non-drying medium hold

For my low puff, I simply add some EcoStyler gel to the perimeter of my hair and smooth hair into a puff using a soft bristle brush.

Hope this helps you lovelies
Love and peace,
Bolu Noelle
x

Hair Products I WOULDN'T Repurchase| BOLU NOELLE

23 November 2016

HEY HEY HEYYYYY
Just before I get into this I'll mention that my hair is type 4, medium to low porosity and of moderate thickness. Don't just go by Hair Type when looking for hair models to take advice from.  Porosity is actually more important in my opinion in regards to moisturising products. 

Here are a list of products I have purchased that have not cut it. I'll do my best to give suggestions of the type of hair it may work for but I can't be entirely sure. Enjoy!

*DISCLAIMER* Of course, this doesn't mean that all the product in the range or brand are not worth purchasing (just these)


1. Aunt Jackies Quench Leave In Conditioner. It slipped and slid everywhere and did not easily absorb into my hair or make it feel soft. Basically, my hair was left feeling slippery, not conditioned. This is due to my hair's porosity and maybe just the product's ingredients too.






 2. Tressemme Naturals Conditioner. Perhaps the biggest fail of all time considering the hype. I am aware that I bought it after a formula change though. Even the packaging changed; the original had a white lid. I used this in conjuction with other conditioners as it just wasn't potent enough alone. My strands didn't feel moisturised and I'd day it just felt like a soft shampoo. The price was good for the amount, but it just didn't work for me.

 3. African Pride Shea Butter Silky Edges. Did not leave my edges silky. Haha. It smells great and is likely to work a lot better for looser curl patterns, but it didn't hold my edges for even 7 seconds if I'm honest. Bought at a decent price, somewhere around £3


4. Doctor Miracles Curl Care Strong Hold Gel. I did not purchase this product. Instead, I received it as part of a curly hair gift box. It didn't hold my edges, it didn't sleek my bun. It did not. Perhaps it would be better with a satin scarf but the consistency is sticky, and I'm trying not to clog my hair all the time before wash day so its a no no from me. (Side note- Dr Miracles Edge Control will put some respeck on those edges thoughhh)




That's it! Those are product that I would flee from if you have hair like my own. LOL. 
I hope it helps. Please leave suggestions for other blog topics down below or on my instagram page.


Love and peace
Bolu Noelle
x

Winter Protection | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE

19 November 2016

Dropping temperatures, harsh conditions and reduced air moisture can be a problem for naturals that love to flaunt their wash and go’s in autumn and winter. I know it is particularly for me and the ends of my hair as they can become more brittle and dry, no matter how much I try to add moisture. Also it does help when it’s being constantly manipulated into various styles. Therefore it’s around this time of year I take the most advantage of at least one type of the following protective styles at a time:


C H U N K Y  F L A T  T W I S T S


This is really my go-to protective style all year round. Low manipulation, easy to do, and really good for stretching my hair.


B R A I D S / T W I S T S


I learned how to do my own hair in uni so I take a day out just to braid or twist, normally using Xpressions. Though it takes ages to do, they can last at least 2 months depending on how well I look after them. I make sure to apply oils and creams to my scalp and braids just so my hair doesn’t completely dry out.


W I G S


I used to wear weaves but got annoyed and impatient with the removal process. The thing I really love about wigs is their versatility and convenience. If so inclined, I could wear a wig one day, and have my hair out the next. They also give me the opportunity to wash my hair properly with care as it’s not attached to my hair and I get to experiment with styles without chemically altering my hair’s structure.


C I N N A B U N


I stumbled across a YouTube tutorial in my early natural days and have been using this style ever since. It keeps my ends hidden and can last a couple of days, meaning that I’m not constantly touching my hair.


H E A D  W R A P


Now this isn’t really a protective style as such but I love me my head wraps! I make sure not to wear them too much depending on the fabric used as ones like cotton can dry out your hair. It’s more for a lazy day or if I want to change up my look.

- x - 

What is your favourite protective style?
Do you have any tips on how to protect your hair in the colder months? Let us know by commenting below!


Natalie | @pursueinspire

What is Beauty? | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE

9 November 2016



What is beauty?

The dictionary definition of beauty is this: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

When I read this I automatically thought of the well known saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. If this definition holds true then everyone’s definition of beauty is slightly different. To some roses are the most beautiful flowers in the world but to others it may be lilies. To one person bees may be fluffy and cute, but to someone else the most hideous thing.

So can we reach a general consensus on what beauty looks like? I mean even in the media not every woman is considered beautiful, and with that said it seems like the beauty of women change with fashion seasons. One minute bushy eyebrows are the ‘it’ thing, the next it’s thin ones. Big full lips were once a feature that many black girls were ridiculed for, but now it’s something that some women crave to the point of using make up techniques to create a full illusion or get fillers. Are we conditioned by society and media to relate to beautiful in specific ways? Is kinky/curly hair beautiful or rather hair that is straight and wavy?

Also is beauty only something that lies on the surface or is it deeper? Does it rely on Mac or Urban Decay, or has it also got to do with personality? Could a physically beautiful person with the ugliest heart still be considered as beautiful? Can a person who is not physically blessed in relation to society be more beautiful because of their inner being?

I personally feel that everyone is beautiful in their own way and your personality has the potential to enhance or retract from your beauty. However one of the most beautiful aspects of a person is confidence in who they are and owning who they are as a person, flaws and all. We can always do things to alter our physical appearance but we need to spend more time making sure we are not just beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside.

Be beautiful!

Natalie | @pursueinspire

Woman of Vision | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE

31 October 2016

There are many honourable black figures in our history, from people who paved the way during the Civil Rights Movement to those who have led countries and continents. In this post I want to resurface those who have made a huge impact in the scientific field. Why science? Because I have a Chemistry degree and hardly talk science... and I do slyly miss it.

Whilst doing my research, one lady that stuck out to me was Patricia Bath. This remarkable woman was born in 1942 in New York and graduated early from high school. She then went onto study Chemistry at New York's Hunter College, before gaining a doctoral degree from Howard University College of Medicine. That’s all good and well but why did she stand out to me so much? Because she was a first kind of lady:

Image source: Google
  • First black person to reside in ophthalmology at New York University,
  • First African American woman to serve as a surgeon at UCLA Medical Centre,
  • First to ever receive a medical patent for her invention ‘Laserphaco Probe’, used for treating cataracts
  • Founder of American institute for the Prevention of Blindness

Image source: Google


Patricia Bath’s resilience and passion for helping others led her to accomplish great things, even in the midst of sexism, racism and poverty. She had no black role models in the industry she wanted to go into, let alone women. Being a physician was a very male dominated role. In addition at that time there were no high schools in Harlem and black people were mostly excluded from many medical school and societies. Yet Dr Bath didn’t let that stop her, and her parents were her number one supporters.

Image source: Google 

I encourage you, especially as we in the UK are still celebrating Black History Month, to find out about someone new. Find someone in your areas of interest and share with others. We all need to learn a bit more.

Natalie | @Pursueinspire



Post sources:


GroHealthy Hair! | NATALIE PURSUE:INSPIRE



I’ve been searching for product that my mane will take to as I have dry, not so porous 4c hair (if we go by categories). So you can imagine my delight when I was introduced to GroHealthy’s Shea & Coconut range. These beauties came just in time for wash day and I looked forward to trying them out!

The products from the GroHealthy Shea & Coconut range are great for three reasons:

Shea
Nourishes the roots and soothes the scalp

Coconut Oil Extract
Moisturises hair, adds shine helps combat frizz and promotes hair growth

Omega 3
Helps rebuild, strengthen and protect hair from within


Also as a bonus they contain none of the nasty stuff like mineral oil, petrolatum, sulphates, phthalates, colorants or parabens.




I’ve very recently started pre-pooing and noticed such a difference to the feel of my hair. I separated my hair into 4 sections and applied the Shea & Coconut Oil to each, leaving it in for about 15 minutes. I then rinsed out the oil, shampooed with the Moisturising Shampoo and conditioned my hair in the same sections as the pre-poo using the Moisture Rich Conditioner, wrapping my hair in cling film and leaving the conditioner in for about 45 minutes. Finally I rinsed my hair with cool water and parted my tresses again into four sections to apply the Leave-In Conditioner, Flat Out Frizz Fighter and Shea & Coconut Oil respectively.



Overall I like the GroHealthy range! Each product smells absolutely lush and worked well on my hair. I tend to finger detangle whist conditioning and the conditioner didn’t have the best slip on my hair but it was still lovely. This product in particular gave a cooling sensation on my scalp which I found very soothing.




My favourite quality of the GroHealthy range is the lightness of each of the products. My hair doesn’t feel weighed down by any of the products, even with the Leave in – Frizz Fighter – Oil combo. Also I’ve found that my hair has more shine than it normally does and feels moisturised, without the build up.

Make sure you check out GroHealthy’s Shea & Coconut range. I recommend it especially if you're looking for something that doesn't make your mane heavy!

Natalie | @PursueInspire



Wash Day with GroHealthyUK

29 October 2016

I am Black | NATALIE - PURSUE:INSPIRE

17 October 2016

As it's Black History Month here in the UK, I sat down and thought about what it means to be a part of this beautiful race which can be hidden in the background. I hope the words you are about to read uplift and empower.

I am black. I am beautiful.
I am brought to life by God's light. 
I am nappy. I am powerful.
My being is filled with many wonders.

I am love. I am big lips.
My words assert authority.
I am intelligence. I am big hips.
My potential to birth something special is imminent.

I am black. I am heritage.
Respect my culture and uniqueness.
I am strong. I am shrinkage.
My ability to grow is not to be overlooked.

I am music. I am vibrance.
See my colours and sounds intertwine.
I am dance. I am confidence.
My actions speak a thousand words.

I am black. I shall not lack.
I am brainstorming. I am amazing.
I am creative. I am innovative.
I am wealth. I am health.

I am nature. I am Africa.
I am melanin. I am Caribbean.
I am universal. I am essential.
I am Gold. I am whole.

I am black.

Natalie SW - October 2016



Picture source: John Blaney 2010 - Summer of Love


Until next time, God bless!

Natalie | @pursueinspire

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