Friday, 25 July 2014

Hair Crush Features: Noredia


It isn't so often that you come across someone who has exceptional talent, is beautiful inside and out, is hilarious, and exudes self-confidence. I have known Noredia for years- from way back in university- and even though we lost touch for a long while, I found out that she hasn't changed one bit! I am pleased that she has focused on her passion and interests and all, and another thing- she is a naturalista and a very proud one at that. So of course I had to feature her. Check it out.

Please introduce yourself! What do you do?
I'm Noredia, an inter-galactic time-travelling Karate-fighting Delta Ninja.
No, seriously :)

Why did u decide to go or stay natural, and how long have you been natural for? 
This is my 2nd round of being natural. It's a pain, but I like looking at my hair texture and seeing my hair growth. My hair is me, I guess. I'll be 2 years natural later this year.
What’s your hair type, your regimen and staple hair products? 
I think my hair type is 4C. I moisturise and my hair likes water, so we are happy to pour water on it. I usually do a deep-condition before washing with a clay soap (shampoo sorta dries my hair). I don't know if I have any staple hair products, but I do like Olive Oil, Coconut oil, ORS Replenishing conditioner (lovely smell), Emily Millionaire (support Nigeria, buy Nigerian!), Raw Shea Butter, VO5 Conditioner. I've tried Natural Nigerian's Leave-in conditioner, it's a bit light, but gosh that scent! I wish it came in body lotion.
Please share a few tips and tricks for retaining length? 
Well, I'm still learning about my hair, but I noticed it breaks more when I comb when wet. Be patient when detangling (and I'm not a patient person). Have lots of bobby pins around you. My mum told me the more you weave, the softer your hair becomes and it seems true.

What reactions did u get when u first went natural and/or what reactions do u get now? 
I was in the US when I first went natural and it was cool. The second time though, in Nigeria, meehhnnn! Not pretty. Reactions now? Well, everyone goes "oh you look like Asa" or "well you're creative, I knew as soon as I looked at your hair". And I don't get that. But I'll be honest, a lot of people are not supportive of natural hair, I'm constantly asked "why did you do this to yourself, don't you wanna get married, does this mean you'll do dada [dreadlocks] and smoke weed, cover it up na!". But then others come up and love it, so it makes it better.
How do you wear your hair to work or formal occasions? 
If it's not in braids, I pin it up with bobby pins. I like retro styles, so I just fuss around with it until I feel I resemble a 1950s schoolteacher (yay!). I sometimes do single twists. I'm not very good at styling, so I leave the creative styles to the pros. Last year, I used some sort or shoelace thread to do "kiko" style (yoruba snake threads). I got kisses and compliments from the older generation, including the lovely Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett! I felt very elegant.

What’s the best thing about going natural and what advice do you have for other wanna-be naturals out there? 
Sweetie, start loving yourself right now and gathering all the confidence you can muster. You will need it. Dress well, natural hair has been associated with unkempt for too long. In fact, once I wear a short, clingy dress, guys start liking my natural hair, lol. Embrace your texture, this is what links you to your ancestry, love that dark, soft woollyness. African hair is akin to African society: no-one understood it, so we applied as much European practices to it in the hopes that we would figure it out. That's not going to work, you need to find your own solutions. Every time I look into the mirror, I feel happy seeing my hair (knots and all). So I pray you get to that happy place soon.
Where can one find and follow u on the web? 
When I'm not flying from galaxy to galaxy, conquering planets and slaying hearts, I'm blogging at www.naijapretty.blogspot.com and www.alizarene.blogspot.com. But most times, I'm somewhere 1000 miles from Mars in my spacecraft, mapping out new constellations in pink marker.
No, seriously!



 I laughed when I read through her responses. She really is funny. Oh and did you see her art works? And her make up jobs? Yes she paints, and is also a make up artist. On her blog are several pics and details of jobs she has done for TV, movies, fashion shows, modelling shoots etc I just had to showcase a few of them in this post. Talk of multi-talent. :)

Hope you enjoyed this post!


Laterz!
xoxo

Monday, 21 July 2014

Ombre-ing your weave (lessons learnt!)

salonandspaservicesvouchers.blogspot.com
Hi guys,
I wanted to share my very "interesting" experience, when I tried to DIY-ombre three bundles of deep wavy Asian hair I recently purchased from a human hair supplier. Now this hair came in a natural dark brown shade. However I recently purchased something a bit similar in colour and curl pattern and I told myself "Hmmm how can I jazz up this hair to make it look different from the other one?...Oh of course! I could dye it! No...better still, I could ombre it! I would do it myself. I love DIY projects. This would be fun."
I remember chatting with my friend and blogger Unoma of Vieve Butterfly (you should check out her blog for great make up reviews and other cool stuff) and telling her of my plans. She warned me to avoid using bleach, and told me about her horrifying experience with it, and how the bleach over-bleached her weave and the weave was never ever the same afterwards.
I agreed with her, but I couldn't find lighter hair colour to buy, and the hair colour I had bought wasn't lightening the hair enough after I did a test on a small strip of hair. So that morning I went to a hair supplies store in my neighbourhood to check for blonde hair dye. I saw Orino bleach and I was like...."Hmmm this can't be that bad, all I need to do is to be careful. I will do a test strip. I love DIY projects. This would be fun."
So I bought Orino bleach for N600.
That's the bleach. It comes in 2 satchets of blue powder, a plastic bottle of lotion-like stuff, and plastic gloves. I got plastic bags ready for this bleaching process as well.
I wore the plastic gloves, poured the satchet contents and the lotion in a plastic bowl, used my sprush to mix it thoroughly. The instructions said the recommended timing to bleach the hair was 60 minutes.
I did a test on a small strip of hair so that I would be able to estimate the time it would take to get the bleach to lighten the hair to the desired shade. It took almost 1 hour for this to happen so I figured I would apply the bleach to the whole hair-ends for 40 mins then apply on the section above the ends for like 15mins for a graduating ombre look.
That lighter strip of hair at the middle is my test strip.
The hair immediately after applying the bleach. I wrapped each bundle up in plastic and stacked them up.
One hour later, look at what the over-bleaching process did to the hair- totally straightened it out! Here's what happened:
1. Remember that from my calculations I figured 40mins would do, so that I would apply the second stage of bleach to create a graduating ombre. Apparently the bleach gods were laughing at me and I didn't hear them.
2. Crossed my legs and started doing some work on my lappy
3. 40 mins later I stroll to the stack. Notice heat radiating from the stack. Noticed fumes, yes SMOKE, wafting from the stack. Wiped my eyes to be sure. Confirmed it was smoke. Freaked out for 10 secs.
4. Got my sh*t together and RACED to the sink with the hair like a lunatic, while thinking IT'S EXPENSIVE HAIR, IT'S EXPENSIVE HAIR!
5. Ran water from the tap on the hair and started rinsing vigorously. Noticed the ends had been FRIED. FRIED almost to a crisp.
6. Freaked out some more.
7. Continued rinsing.
8. Used Pantene shampoo to wash after rinsing and folding the hair along the weft
9. Rinsed, used Alberto Balsam conditioner, rinsed again. Applied more conditioner, oils, hair butter, every thing I could find that could moisturize hair. Concentrated these on the over-bleached ends of course. Wrapped hair in a plastic bag and placed it near the hair dryer for deep-conditioning.
10. After 30mins, rinsed hair, applied leave in and more good stuff concentrating on the ends. Left hair to air dry
11. I kept checking on the hair and sighing over the damaged ends. Yes, about 2 to 3 inches of the hair were damaged, sparse, dry, straight etc. I knew I would have to do some snipping.

Here's the hair after it was 90% dry. I arranged the 3 bundles according to decreasing degree of damage starting from the left of this pic. The snipped ends are on the far left. Even what's left is still damaged, particularly the first bundle, which of course was the very first bundle I worked on, so the bleach stayed longer on it, hence the worst damage. 
Next day, I applied some curl butter (Curl Junkie Coco-Coffee Curl Cream) that I use on my natural hair to the ends. Only then did the ends look better.

LESSONS LEARNT
1. If it is your first time using bleach, practice on cheap hair first.
2. Better still, try a blonde hair dye first and see how that goes.
3. Test strips are not true indicators of final results and timing estimations when it comes to using bleach for hair! I figure what happened was that when I bleached the whole length of hair and covered it up, the cumulative weight of the hair generated more heat and sped up the bleaching process. Sorry, I am an engineering major so I can't help sounding scientific at this point lol. But you get my point don't you? The 1 hour test strip time was OK for a tiny strip of hair, but was WAY too much for the whole hair that I eventually dyed.
4. When using bleach, check every 10 minutes! 

DAMAGE CONTROL
1. Use quality conditioners to deep-condition the ends, using heat
2. Use quality leave-in conditioner and curl butters- at worst, use shea butter and oils
3. Always keep ends moisturized.
4. Snip off excessively damaged ends.
5. If ALL the ends are excessively damaged, too bad, you are going to lose inches of hair, and if the hair is expensive, that would just suck.

So, ladies, please be careful when trying out DIY hair bleaching. That nigga called bleach is lethal! Lol.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Review: Sleek Creme to powder foundation


Hey ladies,
This is my review of the Sleek Cream to Powder foundation. I found my shade to be "Praline", as it rhymes with my neck and doesn't look ashy or dull when applied. Thankfully the sales girl who delivered the product came with a sample set so I took my time to make the selection.
I am also reviewing the Finestra lip pencil in Rose Dust, by the side.
I have been quite ill (on and off) so I look a bit weird in the pics but just focus on the review OK? lol. I have tried to take some before and after pics, as well as pics under different lighting conditions. So here are the pics below, and afterwards, more details on how I found the product.
Before: No make up. Note the acne scarring  and my natural lip colour.
After: Make up all done.
Before: No make up. Note the acne scarring  and my natural lip colour.
After: Make up all done. I did not blend my contour powder well enough! The lighting was bad in the room I applied my make up in. There is nothing like natural light when applying make up I tell you.
This pic really shows the "barely-there"-ness of my make up look that day, which by the way is my go-to, everyday look. This was taken under the shade.

Weird pic but no worries-I just wanted to show you how it looks in bright Naija sunlight.
I realized that my hair was covering my forehead in the car on my way out so I quickly took this pic. Now there is still some acne scarring noticeable, but then again I have massive scars at the moment.
The only filtered pic in the whole of this post is of course, the bottom right section of this last pic. That one was uploaded to instagram : )

My Review of the Sleek Cream to Powder Foundation
General: This foundation has many shades, which is a big plus. I love the fact that it has SPF 15, and so far it hasn't caused any break outs on my super-sensitive skin. Also it isn't too "cakey"; it actually leaves behind a slightly glowy finish; you may have noticed that from the pics, though this Naija heat usually adds its own jazz to the whole thing. In fact I was already sweating a bit when I took the car pic lol. As for blendability, the powder falls short-even though it should be quite difficult to blend a substance that is half-cream, half-powder. Finally, it's best to apply this product with the fingers which is what I do, then I use a foundation brush to blend it all out.
Coverage: I would say it gives 80 percent coverage, and as you can see from the side-view pics, it covered the small spots on the sides of my face pretty well.
Staying power: I think it was OK, even though I used a primer as a base. I only had to touch-up with loose powder about 4 hours after applying the Sleek.
Price: N2,700.
Packaging: Good
Would I repurchase?: Yes, I am sure if you have better skin than I have, you would experience even better results -my skin has issues right now that I am working on, so if I, Miss Spotty can say "I like this powder" then it must be good :)
Score: 9/10

My Review of the Finestra lip pencil (Rose Dust, 532)
General: I did an ombre look, using a raspberry lip pencil as the darker shade. I really like this lip pencil for a nude look. My lips are naturally dark-toned (thanks mum) so I always have to line the lips to make them brighter. You can check out swatches of the lip pencil in recent haul post. It was very easy to apply, wasn't hard on the skin, and was well pigmented.
Staying power: Because of the light shade, it did not last so long, but it would if you do not eat or drink anything all day haha!
Price:N500
Would I repurchase?:Yes
Score: 9/10

Other make up products used for the look:
Face: Flori Roberts Shine Away Primer, Sleek cream to powder foundation, (no concealer), Mac Studio Fix powder.
Brows: Sleek eye shadow (Storm)- black and brown, Elf Complete Coverage concealer
Eyes: Sleek Face Form contour kit- highlighter for brow bone, Sleek eye shadow (Storm)- rose for lid, brown for contouring the eyes, Love Alpha gel eye liner, Sleek Face Form contour kit for contouring the face.
Lashes:Maybelline Colossal Volume Express
Lips: Finestra lip pencil in Rose dust (532), raspberry lip liner for ombre look.
Tools: Fingers for foundation, Real Techniques, foundation brush, brow brush, eye liner brush, shadow brush, powder brush, spooly, small concealer brush for brows.

PS: Yes, I partially coloured my hair! Post on that coming up laterz.

Laterz!
xoxo


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Stay Chic in the rain!

Hi!
It's raining cats and dogs as I type this post. Of course it's been raining a lot here in Lagos and I was happy to feature this post on behalf of the online store, www.kaymu.com.ng who contacted me recently. Be sure to click on the links and pictures such as the neckscarf, jelly shoes, leather skirt etc to view more details about the item, pricing etc.

"No one likes being caught in the rain, but thankfully there are great looking fashion items that can help get you through the day! Some of our favorite items for a rainy day are: jelly shoes, jackets, scarves, and of course, an umbrella.

It can definitely be tough to dress for a rainy day because there are so many things to consider. From what type of fabric you can wear (suede shoes are a no-go) to how to stay dry without sacrificing style.

Thankfully here are some outfit ideas and tips put together by Kaymu to brighten up your rainy day.

Rainy Day Fashion Tips
Add color! Don’t be scared to wear something bright and fun like a neckscarf on a rainy day. Bad weather can be depressing, so why not go out of your way to wear something non-depressing and cute?

A cute umbrella can be an accessory. There are so many adorable and cheap umbrellas available online, so there’s really no excuse to stick to basic black. Buy a couple in your favorite colors if you live in a really rainy area and use them to add color to your look.


Keep warm with stylish blazers and cardigans. Cardigans keep you warm and fuzzy against the rainy chills. The blazer is SUCH a classic & essential piece that’s perfect for all occasions and especially rainy days.
Be careful of the materials you wear in rain. I’m sure you probably know this already, but just in case… Suede is off-limits in rain because water usually ruins it, and leather that hasn’t been treated with a protectant can easily be damaged by water as well. Don’t risk ruining your clothes – go with rubber shoes in the rain or treated leather and still take your take your selfies by protecting your mobile phones with plastic or waterproof cases.


Waterproof makeup are a must have! There is nothing as unpleasant as running mascara. A smudge proof mascara is perfect for getting dolled up and looking radiant in the rain. 

Accessorize! Accessorize!! Accessorize!!! The rain might cast its shadows, but it’s up to you to bring some sparkle into your day. Layer on gorgeous statement neck pieces on your outfits, It’ll bring the sexy into your look.

Don’t sacrifice the trend just because it’s raining. Leather is big this season and so are the acid wash high waist jeans. Why not bring out those sexy bottoms and pair with a bright and trendy blazer to stay warm and trendy".

I have checked out these items and the store in general and I find the prices to be affordable. The store also has a variety of items for just about anyone- even electronics, books, health products etc. For this selection, I am obsessing over the leather skirt which costs N5500, and trust me for a leather fabric, it isn't too expensive. The umbrella costs N780 and the iphone case is N2500. I also like the jelly shoes, acid wash jeans which are in right now, and the mint green statement necklace.

I like how online stores are springing up in Nigeria- it's about time too!

Which items do you fancy from this collection?

*Post content, links and images provided by www.kaymu.com.ng*

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Product and Makeup Haul: Face, hair, skin


 Hiya!
Hope the weekend has been going OK. 
I bought some stuff some days ago and I will be doing reviews soon! Just wanted to show you what I got, where I got them from and a few swatches.

OK starting from the top left, yep it's baby wool- no I am not expecting a child, neither do I want to start knitting. I intend to use this for stretching my natural hair, rather than using heat in form of blow dryers or straighteners. I will get to that in another post though.

I bought hair colour because I have always been obsessed with dyed hair and so I decided to colour my hair now that it has grown to about 8 inches. I did not find enough hair dye variety at Poise or Casabella and I am now thinking maybe I should have been more patient and looked for a store where I would find more variety. I got the Creme of Nature hair dye in Bronze Copper and the Dark and Lovely one in Cinnamon Brown. Now it's no joke that natural, black hair does not accept lightening dyes easily. That 30 mins waiting time can NOT work with our hair when going lighter, except if you bleach your hair, or use more developer, or wait longer than 30 minutes, or use mild heat to accelerate the process. Even then, my results were not so good I think. But that's yet another post for another day!
 I got conditioners. Every hair care freak's best friend innit? I have already tried these two and I think I am already loving the Alberto Balsam, but I will wait a while to be sure.
My most pricey buy that day: Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector. I have read a lot about this product and decided to give it a go. I have only used it for 2 days and I must say I have seen results already! I really want this to work to clear the spots on my forehead and other parts of my face. But as indicated on the bottle, I will wait 4 weeks before I do any review. Hmmm I must take "before" pics today.
 I got jewelry at the Diva Accessories store. More pics on the midi rings I bought can be seen in my former post (click here). I also bought a pack of two toe rings and I am wearing one of them in this pic. The diamante stones came in several colours and I don't know why I didn't buy the blue or purple this time. 
Then I got a pretty, girly nail file from Poise. Sometimes the teenager in me just comes back full force!

 I got a new pair of Ardell falsies- I realize that my faves are from the Fairies collection. Also got new lash glue as the old one I have from Ardell doesn't work good anymore. I really need to lay my hands on Duolash glue if I find it and if it isn't too pricey. (Spotted it once at Gifty's Daughter month's ago for N4000 and I quickly averted my eyes).
 Bought 2 coloured pencils that I already ADORE. (See swatches below). Finestra pencil in Rose Dust is a beautiful, pale pink colour that holds pigment well and is GREAT for a nude lip. In fact I have used only this coupled with a raspberry pencil for an ombre look (no lipstick) and it was lovely. I also got a Jordana retractable pencil in Purple Fusion.This one also holds pigment well and I can't wait to try it alone too.
 Finally, I got some Sleek make up I had been coveting for a while now. The Blemish Balm is one I have been asking for from the stores for AGES. Apparently Sleek Nigeria was going through some re-stocking issues many months ago and I was unfortunate to get in the midst of it all when I needed the Blemish Balm. Well now I have it, and I got it in Dark, so that I can custom-blend with the Light one I already have. 
Then I got the Creme to Powder foundation in Praline. I like the coverage, just that the blendability isn't great. I also got a lippy from the Sleek Flash a Pout collection that I first spotted on Sisi Yemmie's blog. The stuff has LED lights in it and the tube has a tiny mirror by the side. I wanted the Duke and the Naivety but only the Naivety was in stock. Then I got a call 2 days after I got these that the Duke was now available! You gotta love the Duke. It's a lovely purple/plum colour- just divine.
By the way, I got delivery of an extra N1000 for these Sleek products to my place at Maryland, from the Sleek store at Ikeja. I just called a sales rep and we worked it all out. The MUA/sales person came with samples of the Creme to Powder foundation because I told them I did not know what my shade was. After trying 3 different shades, we decided on Praline.
Left: natural lighting, with no camera flash. Right: with camera flash
Peep swatches of the lippy and the pencils: From the top, Sleek Flash a Pout lip stain in Naivety, Jordana pencil in Purple Fusion, Finestra pencil in Rose Dust.

I can't wait to do reviews on all these goodies! Except for the jewelry, lash set and nail file of course haha. I will do a post on my hair dyeing results as well.

Product Details
Dark and Lovely Hair colour: Casabella, N1800
Creme of Nature Hair colour: Casabella, N1990
Alberto Balsam conditioner: Oasis Supermarket, Ikeja, N500 -N1000 (can't recall)
Pantene conditioner: Oasis Supermarket, Ikeja, N1080
Ardell lashes: Casabella, N1000
Ardell lash glue: Casabella, N1000
Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector (30ml): Foschini, Ikeja Shopping Mall, N12,300
Wool: My salon, N100
Finestra pencil: Poise, N500
Jordana retractable pencil: Poise, N500
Nail file: Poise, N200
Toe rings: Diva Accessories, N400
Midi rings: Diva Accessories, N1,200
Sleek Be Beautiful Blemish Balm: Sleek Studio, Ikeja, N1800
Sleek Creme to Powder foundation: Sleek Studio, Ikeja, N2700
Sleek Flash a Pout lipstain: Sleek Studio, Ikeja, N1500


Laterz!
xoxo

Friday, 11 July 2014

Nailed It! 06 (Starting over)


Hey!

I got some bright-green-lime-green-glo-green nail polish done for a wedding I went for last Saturday. I really like it and the polish is sooo long-lasting.
-
 Anyways I am starting over again with my nails. I did a 5 month stretch starting in February and I believe I was able to show you guys that you can grow your own nails long (the essence of my Nailed It! posts). I believe my failure to use calcium-infused base coats has been the major reason why I couldn't get them even longer before they began to chip, so I am starting over, and this time I will be frequently using a calcium-infused base coat I recently bought.


Bright nail colour is da shiznit! I was initially skeptical about choosing this colour at first, but I am totally glad I did. I got my nails done at "Chic N Style" salon on Opebi Link Road, Ikeja. Took my mum there to get her hair done and I decided to do my nails. The polish brand was one I can't even remember though.
 You may remember that I ordered some midi rings from ASOS about 6 months ago. They offer free delivery services to Nigeria. I ranted about how I never got the package, I sent a complaint email and after being promised to get the package in a week, it just never happened! I have read accounts of some people not receiving their orders, or being charged a high fee to receive their package. Not cool at all.
Anywho, I was wandering about Ikeja Shopping Mall 2 days ago and I checked out Diva Accessories store- and I saw the exact same rings I had been drooling over for months! After trying them on to be sure they fit, I zombied my way to the counter with my Mastercard.
I am a SUCKER for jewelry. Particularly unique, vintage and sometimes plain and simple pieces. I love jewelry so much that I took a training class years ago. My mum says she noticed my love for jewelry from when I was a toddler and NO ONE could separate me from her jewelry boxes or from the tiny bangles she got a goldsmith to make for me. I still make jewelry sometimes for myself and for friends.

So yeah, I'm so amped about my midi-rings. I like the fact that I could wear it spelt L-E-O without the V, because I'm a Leo (July baby yay!). So if you want them go get yours at the store for N1200. I even saw another set that spelt "S-E-X-Y". But I'd rather have L-O-V-E. Any day, any time.


Laterz!
xoxo

PS: I feel like I rambled on a little bit too much in this post haha. *shy smile*

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Looks Like.....Lagos


 
I was born and raised in Lagos. I once had the opportunity to live in Abuja when I was transferred there from some company I worked at in 2009. But somehow, despite all the serenity and gentleness of the city, Abuja didn't quite cut it for me. Of course I was very unhappy about leaving my family and friends in Lagos and people told me not to worry, that I would make new friends and eventually adjust. Well I wasn't even ready for that. 2 months later, life happened and I had to quit that job and move back to Lagos. But I was also happy to be back home. Maybe I wasn't ready for change then. Maybe I am now more receptive to relocating - to be honest I think I have changed somewhat in that regard. But then I wonder how it is possible to prefer the hustle and bustle, stress and wahala of Lagos to the serenity and peace of Abuja.
Migrants to Lagos say "I did not come to Lagos to count bridge!". Meaning they came to hustle, make a good life for themselves and for their families back in the outskirts of Lagos. Everyone here is hustling one way or the other.
It's tough for the lower class. Manual labour. I mean this guy is carrying probably a ton of tomatoes I think, sweating and straining under that heavy load, unintentional muscle tone and rock-hard biceps forming as a result!
He doesn't have any other options...dude has gotta do what he's gotta do to make ends meet.
Sorry I am saying this again, but I don't think this guy lifts weights at the gym to have that kind of body lol. He works day and night at the mechanic shop and well I guess all that hard work has paid off for him. I bet the girls in his circle like that. Or maybe they don't even care about such things.
So in Lagos everyone is trying to make a quick buck- you must haggle for every item you buy, and yes, there is a lot of greed and dishonesty in this city.
It's tough for the average corporate worker. Endless queues at the bus stops, all that jostling and pushing just to get ahead and get to work in time.
The stress really gets to people sometimes....and on some days you just want to scream. By the way there is something funny about this screaming man's "neck bling"- like he actually has time to wear "bling" before leaving the house to start his day?! The other guy in purple is probably thinking "Whoa too much shade! I better get out of here. I have enough stress that I face everyday at the office!"
I have gotten into one of these molues once before! I was with a friend trying to get somewhere I can't even remember-and I was at her mercy because I just didn't know my way around Lagos even when I was 20. Next thing she said "Oh that's our bus" and shoved me in. It was quite an experience. The bus driver never stopped moving even when we got to the bus stop. It was by a miracle I didn't stumble and fall when we got down. I made my friend promise to let me know exactly what kind of transportation she planned for us to get into ahead of time! I was quite miffed but then again I enjoyed the experience in a way. But still I am glad these ramshackle, squeeze-boxes buses are almost totally phased out of Lagos.
 "What are you looking at?!" It seems this woman is saying haha. I like her make-shift diamond shelf for her bottles of oil : )
Oh and then the traffic! Lagos and traffic. Traffic is that monster always trying to trap you and mess you up before or/and after work. So you have to dodge, plan, strategize and sometimes even pray to avoid getting captured.
 BUT. Lagos has it's sweet moments. Many, as a matter of fact. I mean- this bowl of nkwobi is just sexy.
And yes you have to eat nkwobi or isi ewu with your hands. Some things taste better and more satisfying when eaten with the hands. Chocolate, burgers, hot dogs, isi ewu, nkwobi......
 ...........puffpuff. One of my favourite things in the world. God bless the person who invented these.
And boli.......
 I feel this fruit is only grown in Nigeria. I have asked friends who are non-Nigerians if they know about it and they have no clue what it is. I don't really like it though because it is mostly sour. My friend did some research and found out that the accepted name for agbalumo is actually Java Plum. Interesting.
And we have loads of fun in Lagos though....carnivals, shows, concerts, clubs, beach parties, restaurants, malls, meet-ups. Rewind to carnivals- I have NEVER seen a man with man-boobs so big and droopy coupled with a belly that enormous in my life. Or is it a woman? I'm so confused.
Lagos is really the biggest economic centre in Africa-I think I read that in some article. But asides that, if you know where to look, you would find Lagos to actually be quite beautiful.
 We do have some pretty sights and infrastructure going on here.
 Lots of posh places- we fortunate ones that can afford luxuries go for it when we can, don't we?
 And Lagos really lights up and shines during Christmas- there is always this relaxed mood and ambience that takes all the stress of the prior months away.
 And we have many resorts and private beaches as well......
I guess when you were born and raised somewhere, you would always find a way to make it home for you. I may find myself in another state or country in the future, but I know I will always miss the place of my birth.

All these years I wondered why I like Lagos, despite all the stress, and I finally found out the reason some weeks ago when having drinks with my friend. He said "Lagos has a soul". I totally agree.


*Disclaimer: I am sure other states and cities have their own "souls" as well. But I understand that of Lagos very well, and I am accustomed to it.*

So for those who do not live in Lagos, would you like to share your own experiences and sights? You could do a "Looks Like..." post on wherever in the world you live and let me know when you do!

***All images courtesy of  @lookslikelagos on Instagram***

wahala- trouble or stress
molue- yellow and rugged transit buses that once flooded certain areas in Lagos and were highly patronized by those who could not afford more comfortable buses or cabs, or those who could not be bothered with looking for better options
nkwobi- cow tail delicacy
isi ewu- goat head (yes, head) delicacy
puffpuffs- fried balls made of dough mixture- I think the Jamaicans call them "dumplings"
boli- roasted plantains.
agbalumo- small round fruits that are common in Nigeria at a certain season- known as Java plum


Laterz!
xoxo