OMI Grenada – Summer Essentials

I am SO excited for my friends when they follow their passions and and launch products everyone falls in love with.

Meet Sheba Augustine. German-Grenadian Goddess. Mama. Written/Visual Content Creator. Handmade, Natural, Self-Care Product Creator. Wellness Blogger. Soul Adventurer. Nature Lover. Purpose-Seeker. Positive Thinker. Magic Believer. Friend.

Sheba Augustine

Image: Arthur Daniel

Sheba created some magical body butter in May of 2017 for the Grenada Chocolate Festival’s “Healthy Benefits of Chocolate” workshop.

Image: Sheba Augustine

She soon discovered that friends of hers were interested in purchasing the body butter from her and so her all natural, handmade “Whipped Cocoa Butter” was born. A decadent, rich body butter made with 2 natural ingredients (found naturally occurring in Grenada) and a lot of love. Sheba believes in good vibes. She infuses positive energy and affirmations into each batch of the buttery goodness.

Images: OMI Grenada

(OMI Grenada’s line of products can be purchased directly from Sheba by following her page OMI Grenada and sending a direct message to place your order. Alternatively her products are available in “House of Chocolate Grenada” on Young Street in St. George’s, “Kristoff Grenada” in Spiceland Mall in Grand Anse and Blue Haven Spa in True Blue Bay Resort. OMI Grenada also has products for sale at pop up shops island wide. Follow her page for all details on availability.)

The butter can be used all over the body and in your hair as well and it smells like chocolate heaven. It replenishes lost moisture while improving the appearance and texture of skin immediately as well as overtime. I have personally used Sheba’s Whipped Cocoa Butter on my face to help with acne, redness, inflammation and uneven texture. Even though the butter is a rich formula, it melts quickly upon contact from the warmth of your skin. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy. It is also non-comedogenic which means it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. It also assists with the lightening of hyper-pigmentation, acne scarring and uneven texture. It’s perfection and a skincare dream. I 100% recommend her product.

This line of self care products are 100% natural and handmade. Sheba prides her butters on being able to be safe enough to consume as well. That’s how clean her product is. She also insists on sustainable packaging and so her butters come in sturdy glass jars with covers and she offers product refills as well. Your jar can be reused over and over again. She also offers a variety of sizes in the product which is another great option. An added bonus to Sheba’s products is that she energizes her butters with healing crystals and good vibes and offers affirmation cards with the product.

Image: OMI Grenada

Sheba has just relaunched her brand and her line is now called OMI Grenada. OMI stands for “Only Mother Nature’s Ingredients” which is a testament to her core value surrounding her product.

Image: OMI Grenada

A new product to the line is a body scrub which made me very excited. It’s called “Chocolate Body Polish Bars“. Doesn’t that sound delicious!

Image: OMI Grenada

Skin texture is a concern of mine so I often use body scrubs. Many scrubs on the market are full of harmful, unnecessary chemicals, harsh preservatives and some contain plastic micro particles that harm our oceans. Some scrubs are made with plant/fruit granules but the size of them are just too harsh and will tear at your skin with overuse. Sheba has worked out the perfect texture, granule size and ingredients to erase texture, restore moisture, polish the skin and all with only natural local ingredients.

Image: Omi Grenada IG

I absolutely LOVE this body polish. It helped get rid of roughness on my skin. In the scorching summer months I tend to skip body creams due to the heat but to revive my skin I see myself using a lot of these bars! Its an easy way to keep your skin smooth and glistening without adding too much when the heat is on full blast.

I will always support Sheba’s self care line because her passion can be felt in every ounce of product. The love and care she puts into her products will show through your skin I promise you. OMI Grenada continues to expand and I am excited to see what’s next! OMI Grenada has my stamp of approval.

OMI Grenada’s line of products can be purchased directly from Sheba by following her page OMI Grenada and sending a direct message to place your order. Alternatively her products are available in “House of Chocolate Grenadaon Young Street in St. George’s, “Kristoff Grenada” in Spiceland Mall in Grand Anse and Blue Haven Spa in True Blue Bay Resort. OMI Grenada also has products for sale at pop up shops island wide. Follow her page for all details on availability.

West Bindi Feature – Stephanie Ramlogan

Photographers: (left) Melvern Isaac (right) Shaista Deen

We are West Bindis. Our focus is to showcase the talents and tell the stories of a group of women who are underrepresented in the global South Asian Community; Caribbean women of Indian Heritage and Indian women with Caribbean heritage. We want to show the world that we are present and doing incredible things.” – Divya Amarnani Noel: Founder.

Stephanie is a powerhouse and an unapologetic Indo-Trinidadian writer, author, poet, blogger, fashion stylist and all around COOL GIRL! Stephanie is that girl everyone wants as their best friend.

“A believer in living with style. A lover of beautiful things. A soul searcher who connects with positive-thinkers and forward-movers.

After completing my BA in 2008, I strayed well off my intended path and worked for a year in pharmaceuticals. Strangely, this was the catalyst that reignited my childhood dreams of becoming a fashion designer. I left my job to enroll in the design programme at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design in 2011. While I was there, I started interning with NY Fashion Stylist, Babatu Sparrow during his time in Trinidad. The internship aroused an interest in styling, so I  went on to pursue the field at the London College of Fashion with Polly Holman; past president of the Federation of Image Consultants.

Now, I focus on being that “No MoreFashion Victims Girl” (No More Fashion Victims Blog); helping women embrace who they are, learning to love their bodies, and to connect with their unique personalities.”

Stephanie is also a poet with her words being deep, meaningful, modern, thought-provoking yet very relatable. Check out her IG page here Stephanie Ramlogan Stories.

Also be sure to check out Stephanie’s book “The Burning House – I Fell In Love With A Fuckboy” on Amazon. The book contains “A collection of poetry, prose and letters about being desperate for love, and falling for fire.” I am sure a TON of us can relate!!

Photographers: (left) Melvern Isaac, (right) Rajiv Samaroo

I have been following Stephanie on Instagram for a while and I fell in love her courage, brazenness and unapologetic lifestyle. Stephanie is the definition of living life on purpose and on your own terms. I always admire women, especially South Asian women, who have this quality whether they possess it naturally or nurture it out of the necessity of living their life to the fullest and with no regrets. It speaks volumes to who they are as people. As women of South Asian descent, many of us are not taught to be bold and brave. We are taught to conform and accept what happens to us and around us. Stephanie has thrown all of it out the window and does what is best for her and I am a fan! Stephanie recently moved to New York City and was settling in when I reached out to her asking if she would be interested in sharing her story on our platform. She responded quickly, even though she was busy, read through the email and usual questions we send, and opted to send us audio clips of her experiences. Here is what she shared with us:

Hi Divya. First of all I just want to say thanks so much for reaching out to me. This is something that I relate to and I think it is a great initiative. I think it’s a really cool mission that you’re on and I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m going to leave you a series of audio clips just answering all the questions! Thanks for agreeing to let me do it this way.

First of all, how did I get into writing? I was actually a terrible writer in school! My dad always makes fun of me, remembering how poor my essay writing skills were, but now it’s so natural to me. I was actually very into drawing. That was my outlet for creativity. I drew constantly. That’s all I was fixated on. Writing is something that came later. I did literature in school. Language, Literature and Linguistics. My writing definitely strengthened through school. My writing style is so like how I speak. I very much make an effort to have my speaking voice translated on paper.

In terms of poetry, it’s another thing I picked up in school. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. I did language throughout high school and University, and poetry is a massive part of these type of disciplines. I was doing poetry in Spanish, French and English and I fell in love with it! When I was 15, so young it seems, my boyfriend became kind of my muse. I was learning about poetry in school and was simultaneously inspired by that relationship. It was first love kind of thing. That experience sparked me to be very creative with words, rhyme and rhythm. That’s where it began.

I didn’t write for ten years after he and I broke up. Funnily enough, it was another relationship that sparked the rebirth for my writing. Last year was a year of change. I decided that I wanted to move from Trinidad to New York which was a big, big, BIG decision! I also met someone in that transition, who was the sort of a catalyst to help me get it going. He inspired me a lot. My book is about our relationship! I turned to writing again for some reason after ten years of not really doing any poetry, like nothing serious anyway, and it just started pouring out of me. Writing, poetry just helped me understand my emotions, being able to see them in symbols and in words. And, well here we are!

As far as my upbringing goes, as a young woman in an Indian home (my great, great grand parents are from India, I am third generation Trinidadian) it’s definitely not something to be overlooked. My culture and my ethnicity have definitely played a part in who I am, how I think and how I live.

Photographers: (left) Shamiah Maharaj for Scroll Media, (right) Emma Forster for Bene Caribe

Growing up, I was always very insecure about my looks. I was very insecure about my words. I felt constantly criticized. I have a younger sister, she is lighter skinned than I am so that was always an issue of contention. I was the dark one and I was the less attractive one. They would say things to me like “you know even though you’re dark you’re still pretty” Personally I didn’t associate darkness with ugliness, but I was constantly reminded everyday that I was not pretty enough because of my skin colour. It’s something that I definitely overcame as an adult but it impacted me greatly. I feel like a lot of personal issues I have in terms of relationships with men may even stem from that. It’s like, I am undeserving of certain things and I’m lucky to have them because I’m not, as my ex put it, a “Bollywood Indian”. I am just basic.

I think it’s so important to break the stereotypes, because I have lived it and overcome it, and I am so grateful to be able to see things through different eyes. Like I wasn’t allowed to speak and express myself boldly because girls were supposed to be shy and quiet and we are supposed to agree with everything. Now I would be told “you’re too outspoken” and “you’re too bold” which are comments I get a lot in Trinidad. Mainly I should just let some things go, but I am really happy that I overcame that. I’m happy that I got a little more confident, that I got a little braver, that I could say what’s on my mind because I think I have a decent opinion and I’m very fair and full of love and empathy. I have something to say and I’m so content that I am brave enough to be able to say it all now.”

Special thanks to Stephanie for sharing her time and story with us x

West Bindi Feature – Michelle Crichton

“West Bindis was created to represent a group of women who are missing from the global South Asian community, Caribbean women of Indian Heritage and Indian women with Caribbean heritage. The idea came about when trying to find other women with similar backgrounds and not being able to connect with any on various South Asian groups either on Facebook or Instagram. We want to show the world that we are present and doing incredible things.” – Divya Amarnani Noel: Founder

Michelle Crichton was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. She works in the financial services industry and enjoys writing in her spare time.

Read more “West Bindi Feature – Michelle Crichton”

West Bindi Feature – Hannah Budhlall

“West Bindis was created to represent a group of women who are missing from the global South Asian community, Caribbean women of Indian Heritage and Indian women with Caribbean heritage. The idea came about when trying to find other women with similar backgrounds and not being able to connect with any on various South Asian groups either on Facebook or Instagram. We want to show the world that we are present and doing incredible things.” – Divya Amarnani Noel: Founder

Hannah Budhlall was born and raised in Grenada to one of the few full Indian families on the island. Her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents are all descendants of either the Indentured Labours who sailed to Grenada from India in the late 1800s, or Indians who came later seeking to invest and create better lives for themselves.

Read more “West Bindi Feature – Hannah Budhlall”

Padmaavat – An Epic Period Film Review

W A R N I N G: CONTAINS SPOILERS

(Disclaimer: The film is loaded with misogynistic messages but needs to be taken into context with the era in which the story unravels where such behaviours were common. I do not promote or condone the chauvinistic messages in this film. The end of the film shows a Rajput ritual of mass self-immolation, Jauhar, which was conducted by women to save their honour from the enemy when defeat was a certainty. The film does not glorify Jauhar but depicts it as a brave act that the Rajput women see as necessary to save their honour from abuse and rape by enemy.)

Read more “Padmaavat – An Epic Period Film Review”