Hot season survival

So it’s a little warm out, eh ladies?

Amy recently posted this on our Facebook page:

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The number of replies made me feel so much better and like I’m not alone in this hot, sweaty, frizzy boat. Plus there were some good tips shared on feeling a bit prettier when it’s 110% humidity out. (I particularly liked Amanda, Jenn and Polly’s advice to wear brightly colored earrings or headbands rather than make-up.)

On that note, I thought I’d share some of my favorite products to use in hot weather.

Tea tree oil & Mint shampoos
The one I’m currently using is a giant bottle from Sally’s Beauty Supply that’s a knock-off of Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Shampoo. It’s so refreshing and has just enough cool tingle in it to feel great. Just thinking about it makes me want to go wash my hair!

I did a little Googling and apparently you can also do hair rinses with cooled mint tea or steeped mint leaves. Add those to my ‘must try soon’ list.

5-minute facial
I’ve posted this favorite on here before, but it’s worth sharing again. Especially since the heat can wreak havoc on my complexion.

Wash your face and neck. While wet, gently scrub with about 1-2 tsp of baking soda. Rinse. Pour a little apple cider vinegar (available at CityDia) on a cotton ball and wipe down your face and neck. Your skin will be baby-soft and all dewy-fresh!

Mint body wash
Along the same lines, a good mint body wash can go a long way in making that bucket bath more refreshing. And a little poof thingy works up a good lather, which I find always makes me feel cleaner and fresher. B&BW and Burt’s Bees both make nice mint body washes.

Avon Naturals Ultra Light Moisturizers
I heard that these are discontinued, but if you can get your hands on them… It’s a super lightweight, clear liquid moisturizer that dries quickly and leaves you feeling (and smelling) lovely. I have the Pomegranate & Mango, but there’s also Cucumber Melon.

Okay, not nearly as fun or pretty smelling, but it’s a pretty effective tool for preventing and fighting heat rash. Most pharmacies in Dakar carry it.

Any other tips or products to share?


My African Heart Jewelry (Wendy Spivey)

In the past few months I have had the honor of meeting and getting to know one of the most “creative spirits”  I’ve ever met…Wendy Spivey.  She is creative, generous, and fun!  She is the creator and designer of “My African Heart” Jewelry (and what woman doesn’t love Jewelry??).

I asked Wendy to share with The Gazelle Skirt readers a little bit of her story…

I came to Senegal by way of Indonesia and Tanzania from my home in Sydney Australia, I’ve always been a bower bird of sorts, collecting beads, and anything that sparkles from markets around the world, it was during my years running a Safari Company in Arusha, Tanzania that my love of gemstones came into being, many clients wanted to purchase the spectacular “Tanzanite” the Blue diamond of Africa, 5000 times rarer than diamonds, and readily available to me because of my friendship with most of the dealers and the maasai who mined these precious stones.

 Soon I was buying and selling stones, of many descriptions, as Tanzania has an amazing bounty of Sapphires, Tsvorites and many other stones you have never heard of.

 In 2005 we moved from East Africa to West Africa, not just a massive plane trip but a totally new world, my beautiful life in Tanzania was over and here I was, with no French, sometimes coming out with Swahili words instead wondering if I would ever be happy again.

Lucky for me a friend introduced me to “The Dakar Women’s Group” which in the beginning frightened the life out of me, all these amazing capable women from all walks of life, being so well organized and raising money for women and children, I soon found my voice and started to meet ladies who had similar interests to my own. One of the ladies was an American called Marti, her house used to look as though it was in a African Gallery with all manner of beads and baskets, masks and furniture, I loved going there every Wednesday morning where I learned the finer art of old beads, and beading itself, I was soon able to wear what I had made!

Out of those beginnings I found myself (Still without any French) nosing around the markets of downtown Dakar, buying all sorts of beads and old bits and pieces, one of the little places I went to, was the shop of 2 young men, both making silver like no one else in Dakar, the new breed of Dakar I used to say, and soon I was designing and making my own pieces, using many of the gemstones collected in Tanzania, selling from my house, mostly to friends. The boys enjoyed a new found sense of their own worth, and one day proudly showed me the sign they had painted over the shop “Wendy Collection” that day I shed buckets of tears because it made me realize how by teaching them about business I was learning more myself, the old saying about Teaching a man to fish story..

Early on I decided that any profits I made through my Jewelry sales would help others, and so lucky for me, I have been able to assist with school fees for several children, paid for a computer for another, and most recently was able to assist a wonderful young lady who I had helped with her education by assisting with a scholarship to ISD in Dakar proceed to college in Atlanta GA, by paying for her air ticket and providing her with some pocket money. I am so proud that I can make a difference by using something I enjoy doing and that is creative and help others at the same time. 

You can contact Wendy and find out more about her Jewelry on facebook at below are just a few samples of her Jewelry.

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Things I’m just not cool enough to wear

1. Anything ‘Aztec’ or ‘Navajo’.

I keep seeing these Indian Native American print skirts and such on Pinterest. I just can’t. I think it’s because they remind me too much of that summer trip out West when I was 12 years old and we bought a lot of stuff that looked like this:


2. Mint green nails.

I know, I know. The Jenns and Angèles are groaning at how utterly unhip I am. I think it looks so cute on them, but looks like mold on me. Sorry kids, no can do. (BTW, Pinterest has loads of mint nails with Aztec designs. Double no.)


3. High waisted shorts or pants.

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I have a two-year old. If I were to slide on a pair of high-waisted anything, they would legitimately and immediately become Mom Jeans. That’s a big deedet waaye, my friends.


4. Chevron.

This isn’t really a coolness issue as much as I feel like, adorable as it is, it will SCREAM ‘early 2010s’ in a few years. And I have enough dated clothing in my closet already, thankyouverymuch.


5. Color-blocking.

This one I’m going to blame on pure laziness. I’ve seen plenty of how-to articles on how to color-block or putting together an amazing color-block ensemble. The truth is that I’d rather flip the page and read about that recipe for one-pot pasta where all the veggies cook with the noodles.


6. Ombre hair.

And that pretty much sums it up. Plus, how ridiculous would my pixie cut looked ombre-ed? Maybe I should consider gradient color instead. You know, brunette in the front, blonde in the back. Like the Mullet for 2013.


What about you? Anything you’ve seen around that you just can’t bring yourself to try?