The kitchen cupboard was well alive with the abundance of colourful natural ingredients spread on the tables around the Rhum Shack at Cottons Restaurant, were our 17 guests and 5 presenters all congregated – all we needed was the beach. I began the event by making 2 facial scrubs using basic ingredients that were good enough to eat for breakfast. Using oatmeal, sugar, honey and olive oil. The second scrub was a mixture of avocado and honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Our special guest and presenter all the way from Birmingham was Kadian – Ace Your Face. She enlightened us with The Cleansing Method and advice about the importance of moisturising, toning and treatments for problem skin. In addition we welcomed a good explanation of the benefits of Coconut, Aloe Vera, oils and honey and which product are healthier for our skin and hair and which to avoid. On the day we were privileged to make her – now famous – Green Honey Juice Mask – lovely feeling on the face.
Lecon shared the benefits of Shea Butter whilst we made some amazing shea smothers with base oils and a wide choice of essential oils for that added aroma. Followed by Michelle of Naturally Nubian on the benefits of Bentonite Clay for a deep conditioner for the hair – so we all got mixing and blending with oils and warm water. She also explained the benefits of Vegetable glycerine as a hair spritz which she now makes and sells.
We were enlightened by Afiya abouthair care using herbs. We made a herbal hair care remedy/tonic using Horsetail, Nettles and Rosemary which are good hair growth stimulators and reduces hair loss. We also added Chickweed that is a good scalp relief for anti itching and dandruff. All these wonderful herbs were infused in a bottle of ACV. Although there are varies herbs that are good for our hair but these are the main common herbs that Afiya recommended for the workshop. We were advised to keep our herbal infusion on a winder ceil for 2wks, strain away the herbs and use the liquid as a final hair rinse diluted with water or alternatively the tonic can be used as a leave in conditioner. Afiya is currently on her final study year as a medical herbalist, and will be wowing us with her herbal products soon.
I informed our guests about the importance of tooth care by taking them back to my roots in Ghana having to ‘chew the sponge’ and watching elders chewing stick that was cut from the bark of a tree. We were thereafter well informed by Lecon about the medicinal purposes of Neem leaf which left a bitter taste in our mouths. We mixed to a paste some bicarbonate of soda with vegetable glycerine and a few drops of peppermint , which we all tasted – with different reactions – to like or not to like – although better for us naturally it will take a while to get used to the taste from the long term usage of conventional toothpaste.
The final workshop was making a foot scrub using dead sea salt, infused with a choice of different lovely smelling natural oils which was complemented with rose petals to add that finishing touch – Give respect to the feet! We ended the event with a competition by asking our guests to name, describe usage, ingredients and benefits of any product made. Here is the Competition winners. PRODUCT NAME: Bentonite Dynamite. Ingredients – Bentonite clay, olive oil and warm water. Instructions: Mix together. Blows dirt out of the hair, cleans hair folicals and attracts moisture to the hair to make it appear smooth and silky…….. What imaginations our guests have. I have to mention – Apples & ‘Erbz and Ashanti Rain who were runners up.
It was a refreshing day of mixing, blending, sampling, networking, fun and being educated about hair and skincare ingredients. Everyone went home with all their made products along with a Treasure Bag with samples of Bentonite clay supplied by Pretty Curls (www.prettycurls.com), traditional black soap and cinnamon and nutmeg smother from LEKAN P’ship and Neem leaves.
A well deserved pampering day for all. It was a pleasure to work along so many educational and talented brothers and sisters. Thanks to Cottons Restaurant for a delightful Caribbean buffet.
We shall be revisiting the kitchen Treasures again to see what nature has installed for us all.
Bless – THE CALABASH HUB