There is no denying that New York City lives up to its nickname, “the City that never sleeps.” There is always something going on—a parade here, a protest there, maybe a street fair and a high profile political figure’s visit thrown in for good measure. It’s enough to drive anyone (even this Big Apple native) crazy.
With the mercury rising and folks enjoying the busy streets on summer vacation, New York is especially busy. Browsing the shops of Rockefeller Center can be a little hectic with all the people milling past you posing for pictures, strolling in and out of stores or sampling some “street meat” at one of the many food carts on the corner. In the midst of all that chaos is a beautiful oasis known as RAIN AFRICA. From the moment you step in off the street, you’re drawn into a sanctuary. To say in a short time that this has become one of my favorite hideaways in the city would be an understatement.
Rain Africa is an amazing boutique that specializes in handmade, African products. The store (and over all Rain Africa company) prides itself on its commitment to not only bring their customers high quality products but also products that are ecologically responsible and are ethically traded. Each item sold there are crafted from oils and other materials wild-harvested from indigenous plants sourced throughout Southern Africa and are presented in 100% handmade packaging that is recyclable and deliberately made to be multi-purpose.
Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know the staff and the products very well. Every person working at Rain is intimately familiar with each item sold, their ingredients, their properties and more. They gladly suggest gifts, products you might enjoy and their favorites—giving you one-on-one, hands on experience as they take you through the store. The staff will gladly take you through the various “stations” and tables in the store on what you quickly find to be a tour for your senses—as you touch, smell and see what makes the products at Rain Africa so wonderful.
The store is full of what seems like an endless supply of beauty, spa, home and baby items crafted specifically to tantalize. I had the pleasure of sampling a few of their products that definitely have me craving more.
Their newest collection is called BIOLOGIE and features a line of high quality all natural and organic products designed not only cleanse and moisturize but also to heal. I had a chance to try both the Shampoo and Conditioner. With natural hair (I have dreadlocks) and a very sensitive scalp, I am very particular about the products I use.
The Biologie shampoo is quickly becoming a favorite of mine because of how light, fragrant (but not over powering) and easily rinses out it is. Made with healing ingredients including Baobab Pulp, Rooibos, Rosemary Oil, Spearmint Oil (great for migraines, fatigue and stress) along with vitamins A, E, D, F and Omega fatty acids, this shampoo gently yet thoroughly cleanses your hair removing all the traces of the grime and grit from your day.
The conditioner features Jojoba, Marula Oil, Vitamin E, Sesame Seed and Spearmint Oils that adds moisture without weighing down your locks as well as soothes the scalp. As the season’s change, I tend to get very dry scalp and one thing I noticed with regular use of both the shampoo and conditioner that began to change. The Spearmint Oil also seemed to “open” my scalp up not leaving me with a tight feeling as I have experienced with other shampoos and conditioners. Both are made for all hair types, it is safe enough for everyday use. The Shampoo retails for $20 and the conditioner retails for $22.
I also tried what has now become my signature scent (sorry Daisy (the original one), you have been eclipsed after all these years)—the African Rain Mist. As many of you already know, I am not your typical woman when it comes to fragrances. I tend to gravitate to musky, woodsy smells—almost like a man’s cologne. African Rain Mist features subtle tones of lemon, mandarin, freesia and moss that are absolutely intoxicating. An example of the multi-purpose nature of Rain’s products, this mist “triples” as a room refresher, linen spray as well as a perfume—and it’s unisex. The fragrance….super sexy. As African Rain is non-pressurized and does not contain CFCs, it is “ozone friendly” and sensual at the same time. African Rain Mist retails for $24.
Rain Africa is located in the heart of Rockefeller Center at 59 W 49th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown Manhattan. Also, through the end of the year, Rain is also hosting a pop-up shop on 8th Avenue and 46th Street. Both shops are easily accessible. Stop by…tell them the Curvy Socialite sent you!
For those of you not in the New York area, you can also shop online at http://www.rainafrica.com.