High maintenance natural hairstyles in South Africa? DIY skincare? Super Naturals is our new interview series featuring super women talking everything from hair care to self care.
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MULALO DAMA, INTERIOR DESIGNER
“I feel like Solange really embodied the black woman. I know it sounds bad because that would mean Beyonce isn’t, but I think Solange is unique in her approach. She’s very effortless with her uniqueness. Nikki or Rhianna? Rhianna is an amazing fashionista, icon, everything. She’s a bad bad. She has Fenty beauty. Between Nomzamo and Bonang, I would choose Nomzamo. Not that there’s anything wrong with Queen B, but from Nomzamo’s acting to to her charitable work, her just bubbly character and personality… she just resonates with me. She seems more approachable.
With braids, I make sure it’s moisturized because sometimes they use a moisturiser I don’t like. My spritz which is Moisture Me, I love it because of the smell. It smells so good and it has this mentholly kind of feel to it when it’s in my hair, which makes it tingle. I also use olive oil and that’s about it. I don’t use the oil every day, but the spritizing I do every day because it just keeps that moisture in.
If I was stranded on a desert island, I’d take conditioner with me. I love conditioner because it just brings my curls back to life. I do the whole apple cider vinegar thing, but if I can’t make my own conditioner or I don’t have the time, then I use Tresemme or Olive Oil Organics conditioner which is also good. My go to protective style is thick braids, like box braids. When I go the salon, I make sure I have data, a charging port and earphones. The hairstyle that I’ve hated the most is a tight wig that I couldn’t really work with, it was giving me a headache the whole time. It was for a wedding, and had to pretend that everything was okay, but it was really just too tight. That was last week. For a wedding, a hot wedding.
SKIN CARE ROUTINE
I have very sensitive skin so I try to stick to one thing that works. I use daily essentials by Nivea. It’s something light to use. I make sure that I moisturise it with Epimax because I don’t like scented smells, because I’m just every sensitive. At night, I drench my face in coconut oil and that helps me to retain moisture. In the morning I start the whole routine again. I do exfoliate though, once a week, with activated charcoal, bicarbonate of soda, lemon, if I have and olive oil. My secret tip for healthy skin is water. [Laughs] Drink that water.
Shea butter for natural hair saved my life. It’s a butter that’s what I love about it, it’s like this thick protection over your hair, over your skin. It’s amazing. As soon as it came out onto the market, I was like all hands on deck.
On a casual day, which is most days, it’s a nude lip, but I like exploring different kinds of nudes. It was very hard at first to get the right nude because I always looked hungry [Laughs]. I couldn’t get that right look. There’s this Mac Chestnut lipliner, which I like. I also definitely love a popping red, matte specifically with a dark lipliner just to bring my lips out. I have big juicy lips so I love to bring them out. It gives your makeup more jouze. Highlight is life. I say use highlight over foundation. I’m not saying paint your face gold, please don’t. Just accentuate the high points in your face.
I’m still exploring when it comes to foundation. I’m waiting for Fenty [Laughs]. Right now I’m using Clinique’s Even Better and the shade is amber.
For fragrances, I love Black Excess, but I’d love to try Chanel No 5. I wish someone could sit down and explain it to me, I wanna understand all the hype around it.
I had friends in architecture, friends in interior design, but I always thought I couldn’t be a designer because I studied something completely different, psychology. Until I threw myself in the deep end. I did a course and ever since then I haven’t looked back. I asked people to help me, I went to expos, I made sure I got to understand what design was really about. You musn’t be afraid to travel. I’m speaking to myself [Laughs]. There’s a lot of beauty in seeing how other people live their lives, there’s a lot to be gained. A lot of humility too.
Design keeps me inspired. I think something that makes your heart skip a beat, that’s what you should keep pursuing and keep fighting for.
When I experience disappointment, I literally look at myself in the mirror and I tell myself, “Look, what’s done is done. You’re smart still, you’re beautiful still. You still have two hands, two feet, let’s do this! I pump myself with words. First you hate it, but all of a sudden you just have this internal confidence. Before long, people will be telling you all the things you’re telling yourself and you’ll just be like, oh, yeah, thank you. You won’t be yearning to hear those words like someone who wouldn’t tell themselves that. Self-care is knowing who you are and being around positive people.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year is to be consistent. You don’t see what’s happening underground before it germinates, I’m really learning this lesson now. Plant the sees, water it, garden it. To my 20 year old self I’d say, don’t be so hard on yourself. I think back then I had too many self-esteem and identity issues. I would’ve told myself , “Look man, enjoy your young twenties, before adulting comes.”
I’m watching Insecure right now.
Please read. There’s so much wealth in reading. People who read are a dying breed. Right now I’m reading Golddiggers by Sue Nyathi which is a fiction book about people coming from all over Africa in search of growth and gold.”
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