“It’s like the Planet Yoghurt for natural products,” she said and with that I bought into whatever she was selling. Sallinder Nyawira, marketing consultant at Leo Salon & Barber, was on the phone explaining to me the concept of their event that will be happening this Sunday. The idea of creating my very own signature DIY crème got me very excited.
Bright and early the next day, I was at the Leo Salon & Barber branch in Two Rivers Mall. There I was to meet Agnes Maganjo the founder and owner of the establishment. As her team finalised on the Beauty Bar setup, I got a chance to sit and chat with her. I was blown away by her personal life and business story. But since that’s not what I was there for, we quickly proceeded to the agenda for the day. I was taken through the process, which guests will experience on Sunday.
Stage 1: Base Butters
“You will have a choice of Shea Butter and/or Coconut Butter,” Agnes stated. “In addition you will also have a choice of 1 another butter from either Mango Butter or Cocoa Butter,” she continued. I was torn between making a basic crème for my household or to treat myself to something luxurious! Luxury won!
I chose Mango Butter & Coco Butter. Agnes quickly pointed out that butters form 75% of the crème and that I had chosen two hard butters. Since I wasn’t willing to back down on my selection she advised that we add a little Shea Butter to counter the effect. Yes! I know I broke the 2 base butters rules of which I got punished for later. Keep reading.
Stage 2: Melting the butters
In this step, the oils were put in a double boiler/bain-marie where they were to melt and mix. Thereafter, the heated mixture was allowed to cool for 20-30mins. As we waited, I continued my chat with Aunty Agnes (as her staff fondly called her).
She informed me that on Sunday the event would start at 2pm, there would be welcome cocktails. Then at 3pm Agnes will be dispensing her gained knowledge on natural ingredients. It’s here that you can learn what exactly you’ll need to create your perfect mix.
Stage 4: Carrier Oils
Once the butters cooled down, we were to add a carrier oil. Agnes explained that carrier oils help dilute and carry Essential Oils (next on the menu) into the skin. Oils in total form 25% of the mix. She emphasized this because with more than 75% of butters one would be making a pomade; and with more than 25% oils the result would be a lotion. She advised that I use Grapeseed Oil as my carrier oil. Since I was there to learn. Grapeseed oil it was!
Stage 3: Add Ons
My lovely attendant Anne (with very cute nails) mixed my butters and oils. It would be at this stage where guests can add other ingredients depending on what one wants to achieve. For the treatment route i.e. to sort acne, scars et al, there will be a selection of clove oil, aloe vera gel and castor oil.
For those who want to treat themselves to some luxury the options of honey, cocoa and vanilla essence will be available. Sadly, somewhere in the excitement we forgot to throw in my add-on. I’d really wanted cocoa in my mix but perhaps that would have been too much luxury.
Stage 4: Essential Oils
The last ingredient stage will be the addition of Essential oils. Guests will get to choose from 2 essential oils; and there will be 12 different beneficial and fragrant essential oils. In line with my luxury mix, Agnes advised that I use Lavender and Frankincense.
I was interested in why she recommended the latter and she went on to explain that it has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, digestive, diuretic and expectorant properties. It also positively affects the uterus which was key for me as earlier I had mentioned I had an infant at home. She’s quite perceptive it seems, and I was now sold into her knowledge.
Stage 5: Cooling
Once the butters, add-ons and oils are properly mixed, they will be put into a fridge for 15mins. You can use a cold ice bath to achieve the same. I enquire what guests of the Sunday event can be doing in this cooling break. Agnes shared that they can get a quickie beauty treatment in the salon e.g. shaping eyebrows. Did I mention her salon looks like a high-end spa? So spending 15mins in there should be relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time.
Stage 6: Blending
Once the mix had cooled, I was handed a blender to create the crème itself. Agnes being the good teacher she is, reached out to show me how to blend the crème effectively. Here I was trying to be delicate, yet she was going ham on that crème letting all the air into it. So here is where my earlier moment of base butter greed came to bite me in the bum!
I had put more than 75% of butter therefore what I had on my hands was a pomade. It wasn’t as nice and creamy as Agnes wanted, so she decided to fix my blunder by adding a little coconut and more Grapeseed to even out the percentages. Lesson learned, do what you’re told not what you think is cool.
Stage 7: Packaging
I was assisted to pack my product into a 330ml container, which is what the beauty bar guests will get on Sunday for the ticket cost of Kes.1,000/-. I then was treated to more time with Agnes where I picked her brain about other natural lifestyle tips. We chatted about juicing for detox using dhania (coriander/cilantro), an exciting and informative session, which I shall share another day.
So, this Sunday, from 2-5pm, make your way to the Westlands branch of Leo Salon & Barder, which is situated in Victoria Court, complex. The Leo Beauty Bar team will be at hand to help you create your own D.I.Y crème. Aim to be there by 3pm to glean off of Agnes’ natural lifestyle knowledge to help you create an awesome crème for yourself.
Photography by Paul Muindi of Wizzay Media