My visit back to Trinidad was everything and then some. I got to see old friends and spend time with family and revisit my past. I also got to experience new places and things, and appreciate my country and culture in a whole new way. It was a whirlwind visit and just let me know that I need to go home more often, and for longer periods of time.
While I was at home, I made sure to visit Trinidad’s beauty meccas. I went back in time to my earliest beauty experiences, and then visited some boutiques and tried out some products that represent the future of beauty in Trinidad. Allow me to share my experiences!
– Fabi Cosmetique
The lovely gentleman you see in the above photograph is Mr. Frank Blake, better known to me as Uncle Frank (we call family AND friends Uncle and Aunty as a sign of respect where I come from)! When I was seven or eight, I won a question and answer contest at a fashion event. Uncle Frank gifted me with my first fancy beauty item, a bottle of Fendi body wash. That Christmas, I helped out at Uncle Frank’s store — then located in what was known as Westmall, which is now The Falls at Westmall. Fabi Salon was the origin of my beauty story, and helping out there at such a young age shaped who I am today. It was SUCH a pleasure to take a drive down hustling bustling Ariapita Avenue, and find Fabi in a brand new location! And Uncle Frank looking well as ever!
Fabi Salon is now Fabi Cosmetique and it’s located at 62 Ariapita Avenue, Port of Spain which is an utterly brilliant location, especially around Carnival! Besides popular mainstream fragrances and cosmetics, they also offer bottles of liquor for sale, and there’s a large refrigerator with a variety of beers and beverages. It’s a store both men and women wouldn’t mind shopping in!
– Body Beautiful on d’Avenue
One or two stores down from Fabi, and right across the street from excellent, popular Trinidadian restaurant Veni Mange, is Trinidad’s new natural hair mecca. I was SO impressed by Body Beautiful on D’Avenue — click to check out their Facebook page! Fully stocked with all the popular natural hair lines including Kinky Curly, Curls, Shea Moisture and Naturalista Cosmetics, and natural body products like Tree Hut and Afrikan Republic! I stopped by and met Allison Goddard, one of the owners.
She is lovely and so helpful!! And while I was there she hooked me up with some Sunny Isle Jamaican Pimento castor oil and my scalp is LOVING it. Thank you!!
– Hair It Is
I have always loved Woodbrook and the neighborhood has changed so much! Now old timey Trinidadian residences share the street with cool local boutiques, mas camps, and restaurants. At 21 DeVerteuil Street, an old school friend of mine — the stunning and super sweet Danielle Jones — has opened a hair emporium! Hair It Is sells products for locks, weaves & everything in between. If you’re looking for high quality clip in hair, or products like Moroccan Oil and Mixed Chicks, this is where you go! Click here to follow them on Facebook!
If you know anything about Caribbean made hair products then I am sure you are familiar with Cher-Mere, the original natural hair spa and product line of the islands! Most of Cher-Mere’s products are made with extracts of aloe vera, tea tree, and rachette — NOT “ratchet” like how it’s used in American slang today. Rachette is also known as Opuntia Vulgaris, a species of cactus related to the prickly pear, that is popular in West Indian hair care (especially amongst rastas. This Black Hair Media thread breaks it down). Cher-Mere’s creator biochemist Cheryl Bowles is a family friend — I am so in love with her Aunty Joyce, she’s like a godmother to me! And I love stopping by their store in Long Circular Mall to pick up products — another beloved relative, Elsie, runs things there and is quite the expert on what products you should try. Love what they do!
– Immortelle Beauty
Immortelle Beauty is a new product line out of Trinidad, dedicated to giving Caribbean feet the pampering and love they deserve! Formulated by cosmetic chemist Kathryn Nurse, she launched the beauty line in 2008, and last year my sister and mom attended a lovely product launch she had in Trinidad. Immortelle’s foot spa products are made with Himalayan sea salt, and essential oils of Jamaican allspice, African bitter orange, and French lavender, and they smell decadent and delightful. Loving it so far!
– Sacha Cosmetics
Sacha Cosmetics is THE O.G of Caribbean cosmetics. Founded 30 years ago in Trinidad, it is makeup dedicated to the range of skintones that Caribbean skin comes in. I grew up using Sacha — my very first lipstick was Copper Rosa, and when I went home my wonderful Aunty Gemma gave me a special gift — a brand new tube of Copper Rosa! It’s just as beautiful as I remembered. Travelers to Trinidad, keep your eyes peeled for a big, beautiful Sacha Cosmetics booth just past the security checkpoint, where the departure gates are at Piarco!
Those were my greatest finds and experiences at home, regarding beauty products and places to buy them. I didn’t get out of the Port of Spain area so I hope next time to share some finds from the South and the East of Trinidad!
Trini bellas, where did I miss and where should I visit next time?