Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Saturday, 21 October 2017


I went to see the Soul of a Nation exhibition at the Tate Modern museum in London. I took my cousin for her birthday (I’m trying to give experiences rather than physical gifts as a present). Soul Of A Nation showcases the work of African American artists throughout the civil rights movement, bringing their work to the forefront as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the term ‘black power’. Before entering the exhibition there are multiple TV screens displaying the pivotal moments during the movement by it’s most known leaders and pioneers such as Malcom X, Stokley and Martin Luther King. These kind of events always make me the question ‘what about the Black British History’? That is barely documented? Black British children are taught more about the American Civil Rights movement than their own history which is a shame as the experiences are different. That being said there is the Black Cultural Archives Museum in Brixton.

One of my favourite pieces of work is the What’s Going On painting featured above by Barkley Hendricks. Hendricks work was often used as a voice for the under represented black people in America during the 1960s and 1970s. He is also the artist responsible for the exhibition’s cover image ‘ My Man Superman’. The What’s Going On piece conveys variation complexions with the use of multiple mediums from oil paints to acrylics. The exhibition also includes photography, video clips and paintings that depict the time.

Try and see the exhibition before is ends!

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017


I recently posted this on my Instagram asking who knew about this Bonnie and Clyde team? I've never seen this collaboration done before on a staircase, maybe I have but I've never noticed until now. As I left the basement toilets, I had to snap these step lights and the industrial feel over head skirting  all stained and finished alongside the wooden banister in similar shades of ebony to meet the warm tones you are usually greeted with in your local Nandos. Different, but it works!

Location: Nandos, Spitalfields.

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017


I'm back with a Tuesday Throwback Track!

I heard this on the radio recently and it immediately took me back to the yesteryears of the late 90's. I remember every song by Lighthouse Family being so uplifting and just easy listening (lifted, ocean drive, you name it!). I honestly cannot believe this was released 20 years ago. Where are Lighthouse Family today?

Enjoy this blast from the past!

Enjoy Tuesday's Throwback Track #5

Band: Lighthouse Family
Song: High

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Monday, 4 September 2017


How are we into the month of September already? We are the first few days into a new month, better late than never – here are last month’s game changers.

1.     Post Truth by Matthew d’Ancona

I started reading this book near the end of August therefore I am still reading it. British journalist Matthew d’Ancona analyses the current era we live in which he refers to as the ‘post truth era.’ He focuses on how most of today’s news worthy subject matters is heavily based on feelings rather than facts. Interesting read so far.

2.     Earrings by Espirit Afrik

Everyone has a forgotten buy right? I bought these earrings at a fair in Dakar, Senegal last year. But I only re-discovered them a couple of days ago. I love all the techniques used to create this gem. Check out her Facebook page.

3.     Glow by Topshop

This little pot here is the bomb! – and I’m not even a make up fanatic! I love how you can rub the slightest bit of glow on your eyelids or cheekbones as a highlight and it does exactly that. No false advertisement here! I prefer to use it as eye shadow.

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Monday, 21 August 2017


I’ve put off writing about this for the longest time, but I’m tired of hiding. That’s what it feels like I’ve been doing, and not always intentionally.

I’m not going to whine about the situation too much as I am aware it is not life vs death, worst things are happening around the world and it is temporary (well, so I hope).

However that being said I’m not going to act as if it hasn’t affected or changed me because it certainly has. For the last five months I’ve been suffering from severe acne. What is/what causes acne? Yes, I was asking both Google and myself this very same question. It started like a joke in the month of March, I would notice one, then two, three bigger than your average pimples disproportionately scattered across my face. I did not understand why I was waking up with more and more bumps on the same area of my body. I had always associated acne with teenagers; acne being the sign of puberty for the meanwhile blah blah blah. I never had acne growing up in my teenage years so why now?? Is a question I cannot answer.

You would think the change of environment would effect your skin but funnily enough I never had any issues with my skin when I was living in Senegal, in fact I think the heat and good food enhanced my skin glow. But not long after returning back home to the UK all hell breaks loose on my skin from acne, to the return of my unwanted childhood friend, eczema. 

Perhaps my mother is right, maybe I am just allergic to home.

My friends and I tried to analyse everything! One of them suggested it may be the change of climate, another said perhaps my skin is reacting to the contrast of the water. Perhaps it was my diet? That hadn’t changed that much? I concluded it was down to my body adjusting back to its old environment that was until two to three months passed and I was seeing no progression with my face only for it to be aggravated and swollen. The doctors prescribed me Flucloxacillin Antibiotic Capsules, which did absolutely nothing.

During my second visit to the doctor, she explained to me that my pores were inflamed below the skin surface leading to the rupture of nearby hair follicles, which then leads to more inflammation across the face. Alongside this she continues that I may have a hormonal imbalance also affecting the body's estrogen, testosterone, and androgen hormone levels. This is also known as Hormanal Cystic Acne. Which explained the bumps tenderness, unable to pop/ beneath the skin nature. It’s annoying and I do not have the slightest idea at what triggered neither cause a hormone imbalance but hey, I’m dealing with it. I guess.

I think the worst part about it apart from it being painful and people asking you “what happened? (To your face)”is that it’s made me more self conscious than I am on a regular basis. However, there is a positive in every negative because the best part about this although it has been gruesome, at the very same time it has taught me self-love and care.

Here are some tips on how to deal with your acne. (Advice I would have told my self 4 months ago)

1.     Drink lots of water – If only I listen to my own advice! I do notice that I look more energized when I’ve drank more than my usual intake.

2.     Exercise – Always helps! Whether its just a quick run around the block or it’s a bit of cardio. It will take your mind off things and instantly make you feel better/healthier.

3.     Take images of yourself/selfies – As mush as I dislike the look of my face at the moment this is the best way to monitor progress and track what regime or product is working for you.

April 2017
4.     Find what works for your skin. – This might require spending some money, or putting it the time to do thorough research on both your skin type and the type of acne you are dealing with (in my case HCA).  I would suggest getting samples before buying the chosen product/s.

5.     Go out! Socialise – Locking yourself inside all the time is only going to make you feel worse about the situation and give you more time to dwell on it which will only drive you more crazy. Surely your appearance will not matter to your family and friends who care about your well being.

My skin still is still on the journey to returning to how is used to be but it is no way as bad as it was. Its a process that will take time so remain patient and try these tips.

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