Friday, 31 January 2014

Review: Elf "Complete Coverage" Concealer

Hey ladies,

I promised to do a review on the Elf "Complete Coverage" Concealer and well here it is.
So I will just get right to the point. You see how I put "Complete Coverage" in quotes? That's because it does NOT offer any complete coverage for my dark pigmentation AT ALL.
Used the one on the far right. From the swatches, the first 2 colours on the palette do not have as much coverage.

As I stated in my last post, one good thing about this concealer is the packaging. I like the fact that it comes in 4 different shades for medium skin tones, and also it comes with an applicator brush. But the actual coverage for me was not quite right. Here's what I mean....

Before vs After

The left-pic shows the side of my face before applying the concealer. I am working on getting rid of this famous patch that we fair-skinned people who have over-experimented with lightening creams have. If you don't use sunscreen regularly, you get hyper-pigmentation because these products increase your sensitivity to sunlight and UV rays-and so the areas of the face that have thinner skin tend to burn up : -(  So sunscreen is A MUST for me now! The darker L-shaped mark on my face is acne-scarring- my reason for using such products in the first place to lighten spots. *sigh* my skin has seen a lot. Anyway, I digress. So, the left-pic shows my face before concealer. Right pic shows my face after applying the concealer (used the far-right and darkest one on the palette). I have even tried mixing up 2 shades just to see if I could get better coverage, but no sir. In fact I think this pic above does the concealer too much justice. I was not impressed with it at all.

I had checked some reviews online on this concealer and they weren't so great. So why did you go ahead to buy it you might ask? Well...I blame it on the lack of good stock of beauty products in Naija, lack of variety, lack of testers, lack of enough stores, the list is endless. I went out that day in search of a concealer, I went to Giftys Daughter and saw some good LA Girl Pro concealers, but alas, no testers. The store attendant only had a tester for Fashion Fair concealers and she chose a shade for me which was really good. Only that I was not ready to shell out N5,500 (34 dollars) for a concealer. So I went to Brownies world and got this Elf one for N2500. Now I realize I shouldn't have- I should have just waited, done more research...I eventually got a Mary Kay concealer 2 days ago.

So that's my review for you. I would rate this concealer a 1.5 out of 5. 1.5 points for packaging (the case is compact and comes with a mirror and brush) and the four different shades.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mini Makeup haul

Hey peeps!

I bought a bit of makeup two weekends ago and I will do reviews on them soon. Just thought I should show y'all some pictures and swatches. One of these items was a FAIL for me- in time I will do the review-probably my next post or next two posts.

So I got the LA Girl make up stick in white. I bought this to use as a base for my eyeshadow so that the colours would pop, and also to use on my waterline when I wanna go fancy.

It cost N1500 and I got it at Giftys Daughter, on Toyin Street. It does look nicely opaque and slightly creamy.

I also got a gel eyeliner from Giftys daughter, called Love Alpha. Now as expected, (rolling my eyes) I could not quite get the things I set out to get that day, and the gel eyeliner I actually wanted was the Wet n Wild Mega Eyes Cream liner. I was hoping Giftys Daughter would have it in stock since I know they sell Wet n Wild make up. But they didn't. They had NYX pen eyeliners but I really wanted a gel/cream one that I could apply with a brush. The sales lady showed me this and she even had a tester so I swatched it and liked it. I tried to check Google for reviews on it but I only found reviews for the mascara line.

I like the fact that it comes with a small brush for application. The brush has a cover which is definitely a plus. It cost N2000

The last item I got was the Elf Complete Coverage Concealer, from Brownies World. As can be seen from the 1st and 2nd pic above, it comes in four different shades, so that you can use the lighter shades in winter and the darker shades during the summer. It also comes with its own applicator brush and a built-in mirror. I made some swatches....

I got the one for medium skin tones. I noticed that the first two shades did not have as much coverage on my wrist as the last two. 
This concealer cost N2500, a price I think is a bit steep for an Elf product, but with Naija stores you can't always expect a price that is relative to the actual price in the UK or US I guess.

I will back soon!


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Liver cleansing foods

In one of my recent posts I wrote about how lemon water helps to detoxify the liver and hence give you clearer skin. I decided to compile the foods out there that help with detoxifying the liver. It is the liver that helps to purify the blood, and if the liver isn't functioning properly, it's purification work is affected and as a result, we get exposed to diseases. Our skin also takes the brunt in the long run, as well as our eyes. We get breakouts because the skin acts as a detoxifying organ and when the liver is overworked, the skin tries to help out by releasing those extra toxins. When people do cleanses like fruit cleanses, veggie cleanses (indeed just upping your water intake is a very mild form of a cleanse) etc they notice brighter, clearer skin and brighter eyes. The problem is usually the inability to be consistent. 

Anywho, here are some easy-to-find foods we can add to our diet and try to take more often. I find that the lemon water mix is the easiest for me to be consistent with.

1. Warm Lemon Water - Warm lemon water is a great way to detox your liver every single morning. This isn’t lemonade, so don’t add sugar or anything else. Just purified water and a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice. Some experts also believe that the liver produces more enzymes in response to water with lemon than to any other food.


2. Garlic - Garlic contains sulfur compounds that can help activate enzymes in the liver. It contains allicin and selenium, which are both good for liver protection. I have garlic supplements and I believe it's a very good alternative, as garlic isn't something that people like to add to their meals all the time.

3. Avocados - A Japanese study found that avocados contain compounds that can protect the liver from damage. When compared with 21 other fruits, avocados had the most promise in protecting the liver from galactosamine, a “powerful” toxin that has been shown to produce a liver damage much like human viral hepatitis. (

4. Green tea- Green tea is loaded with catechins, a type of plant antioxidant that has been shown in studies to eliminate liver fat accumulation and promote proper liver function. This powerful herbal beverage also protects the liver against toxins that would otherwise accumulate and cause serious damage. Green tea is sold in many health stores now, thankfully.

5. Turmeric - Another powerful spice from the ginger family with a long list of benefits, turmeric is said to not only protect the liver from damage, but also encourage regeneration of liver cells. In addition, it increases natural bile production and aids in keeping the body toxin-free.  Turmeric can also be found in many stores-many Indians in Nigeria buy this. Now I do not know how similar turmeric is to ginger in terms of taste, but I would advice that it be mixed with ginger or used instead of ginger for cooking.


6. Dandelion root tea: There's this tea I read about that is called Yogi Skin Detox Herbal tea and is supposed to help people that have problem tea have clearer, smoother skin. I read some good reviews about it and was even considering ordering it. Anyway I checked on the ingredients and found that one of the main herbs in it is dandelion root. It had other good stuff in there, green tea inclusive but yea it had this dandelion root and I remember telling myself that this herb must be very good for the skin. I need to look around for where I can get this tea in Nigeria.

Other foods that help with cleansing the liver are cilantro, brussel sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, leafy green veggies like spinach and asparagus, grapefruit, beetroot juice (another awesome one-check Shoprite for this, or Osata supermarket at Allen), ACV (preferably the pure kind like Braggs) and water, and walnuts. Some of these are common in Nigeria and some aren't. But do you see a trend here? Leafy vegetables as well as crunchy ones are good for liver cleansing. But then again veggies and fruits are good for just about anything! It just goes to show that we need to take our diet more seriously and eat well. It's not easy though!

Meanwhile, I was right-I did gain some weight these past holidays. I am a bit irritated at how my body can be so predictable lol. I fell off the wagon again when I fell ill some weeks ago. But I will get back on track this week. I don't care how many times I fall I will keep getting back on track! (I did not intend for that statement to sound so gospel-song-ish but it did). 


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Maybelline Volume Express Mascara (Smokey Eyes effect)


Just a quick post on how I am finding the Maybelline Volume Express Colossal (Smokey Eye effect) mascara. That's just a mouthful isn't it?! 

So this was one of my recent buys and I absolutely love it. But then again, Maybelline mascara has always been one of the best out there, in relation to price, right?

The mascara does what it says, it thickens my lashes but also lengthens it a bit. I am particularly obsessed with the "black-ness" of the mascara. No mascara could get darker than this! Makes me get the smokey eye effect claim. I really need to get my hands on a good eyelash curler, to help me curl and lengthen my lashes more.

Here is a before and after pic:





I find that one coat is sufficient for me and when I have the time and want to go the extra mile, I add an extra coat, though this second coat doesn't really make a big difference to me.

Price: I got this for N1500 or about $10. 
Longevity: It's waterproof and does not smudge at all.

I have NO complaints about this mascara whatsoever and I am not surprised at this cos, well, it's Maybelline after all! Lol.

What other awesome mascaras have you tried?


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Lemon and water detox
 Many celebrities with glowing skin as well as other people with great skin swear by drinking lemon and water every morning. Eva Green does this, and if you want me to bring it closer to home, Cassandre Beccai, a natural hair blogger who has got flawless skin, drinks this every morning.

Cassandre Beccai of
Now lemons are known to cleanse the liver and thereby detoxify the body, resulting in clearer skin. Most of our skin issues result from the liver and the colon. That is why when people do liver cleanses or colon cleanses in form of fruits, teas, colonic irrigations etc, they almost immediately experience smoother and clearer skin. I did a colonic irrigation in 2012 and my skin was glowing for so long! 

There are about 10 to 15 miracle foods that help with detoxifying the liver, and in either my next post or my next 2 posts I will write briefly on them. I reckon that if one picks 2 or three of these foods and tries to take them frequently, you would see a difference. An example of these foods are garlic (I prefer garlic supplements), dandelion root tea, avocados, beetroots (can be found in Shoprite), spinach, carrots etc. I will focus on those that can be found in this country and like I said, what is important is trying to have about 2 or 3 of these foods in our diet consistently.

I decided to write about the lemon and water because I have been trying it for about a month now. It doesn't take me 2 minutes to cut open a lemon, squeeze it into a glass, fish out the seeds, add some water, and gulp it down. Now I know I have been doing some other things to help my skin, but most of them are things I have always been doing. The major change to my regimen has been internal, and I have seen a big improvement in my skin since when I started focusing on what I put inside my body. So it is only logical that I attribute the improvement to lemon and water. Whatever the case, anything that will rid my body of toxins and make me healthier, and isn't expensive or time consuming, is a big YES for me! You may click here or here to know about other things lemon water does for you.

So give it a try will you?


Friday, 17 January 2014

Hair, skin, Lupita and other random stuff


Just wanted to talk about stuff....first, my hair. I am over 10 months natural now journey has been OK so far. They say that the 1st year or so of "returning to natural" is all about experimenting, product junkie-ism and being a natural hair blog stalker. Guilty as charged! I think I understand my hair better now and have accepted my type 4 tresses for what they can and cannot do! I have tried twist outs and head wraps as seen in my pics above, straightened my hair once, tried a blow dry once, tried rinses, pre-poos, cowashes (love cowashes) and all sorts. I get compliments when I leave my hair out, I wonder if these people really LIKE the look, or they just admire the fact that a lady can leave her hair un-relaxed and still walk around with confidence. 

I tried henna some weeks ago more henna for me! I have come to realize that my hair is very protein sensitive and the henna gave my hair this too-strong and too-stiff quality that I hate! I have tried to deep-condition and seal and do everything to get that moisture level back but it seems I am gonna have to be VERY patient. Other than that, I like the progress my hair is making in the length retention department. The hair reaches my collar bone now when stretched. I should be looking at doing a regimen post with progress pics soon. For the most part, I do a lot of protective styling in the form of weaves and braids and only leave my hair out for about a week every month. 

It's very impressive how many Nigerians are going natural now, and the book I am currently reading- "Americanah" by Chimamanda Adichie is something every natural would be able to relate to. Here's what I mean:

Snapshot from "Americanah"

I am so grateful for the blogs and natural hair communities out there! Thank God for the internet! Lol. Meanwhile, I am loving the book and you can expect a review from me very soon and a giveaway! So stay tuned...and if you got to read the last paragraph of the page snapshot, yes that guy is a jerk and I find it very ironic that some of the weirdest comments come from fellow blacks. It excites me to know that many white people today are beginning to appreciate the black race, the colour of our skin, our features, our body shapes, out intelligence, our strength and our sense of style. 

Which brings me to Lupita Nyong'o. Like you haven't seen her pics all over TV and the internet already. But I couldn't help but notice how the presenters (particularly Guiliana Rancic and Kelly Osborne) kept going on about her hair, her skin and how beautiful she is. And the fact that she graduated from Yale. Now that Yale part kinda reminds me of how everyone was going on about how Amerie (remember her?) has a Masters degree and how Nas went back to school, and how James Franco has multiple degrees...I don't think it should even be an issue. It's almost as if people in entertainment are not supposed to do smart stuff, like go to Ivy League schools and get post graduate degrees. Like it has to be either one or the other. I totally disagree.
So wanna see some pics of this sleek, nubian, sexy, new-on-the-scene-goddess-actress? OK.
She's got great style and I'm obsessed with her skin. I always tell my friends that those with the best skin are the dark-skinned ones. Which brings me to my skin care update. I haven't done a facial in a while but my skin has improved a lot. The acne scarring of the The Great Scar event I experienced from acne last year has faded and I have just mild spots left. I also have some hyperpigmentation scars on the side of my face that I need to get rid of. Internally, I have been using Evening Primrose Oil capsules-my life saver-and probiotics supplements. I sometimes take lemon and water first thing in the mornings. Externally, I have been using sunscreen a lot though I need to increase the frequency, I have been using Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash to cleanse, sunscreen in the day time and a brightening night cream at night. I scrub once a week, I use honey as a mask for the hyperpigmentation, and I use a toner at night. Here's a progress pic below:

 So that's my third planned post coming up, with more details and pics-stay tuned!

And there's this hanging upside down chandelier cake that everyone's been raving about. I really love the idea, though it's definitely gonna be a money guzzler! Kaley Cuoco had this at her wedding, and coupled with her pink wedding dress she got the whole world buzzing about the wedding.

I am always looking for unique and creative ideas for weddings and this one should def go on my pinterest board. The funny thing is that it's not even a novel idea at all, from what I read. Many couples have had the up-side down cake at their weddings before but I guess they weren't famous enough to make the news. The designer of this particular cake started feeling so superior that she even joked about getting the design patented! Just goes to show that if you want something to really SELL, put it on a celebrity.

And speaking of selling-we really really need more retail stores for products and makeup in this country! My friend Unoma of VieveButterfly blog went to look for some makeup items just last weekend and she couldn't get nothing she wanted. She ended up buying a Sleek blush, just because. And I am still looking for where to get the Sleek BB cream. It seems I might have to try or ebay and pray someone can bring me some of these things I want soon. And then I ordered some midi rings from over 2 months ago (you can use your Mastercard and get free delivery to Naija) and haven't received my order!

My order: Love heart finger ring pack for 6pounds
Aren't they just divine! I have sent an email and hopefully will get a response soon. I'm glad I didn't spend too much, just in case I never get the delivery.

OK this is probably my most random post ever!
Have a good weekend!!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Elf Liquid Eyeliner (4203) review

Hi peeps,
I promised to do a review of my Elf liquid eyeliner (4203) in one of my prior posts. I got this for N1000 I believe, (about 6 dollars) and have been using it for about a month.

I did talk about how I think it's too "liquid" for me and I would prefer something creamier, thicker and more intense. The tip is very thin which may or may not be a plus for you. I find that I prefer to use my Mac kohl pencil in black to draw an outline for my winged eyeliner look and darken it, and then use the Elf liquid eyeliner to sharpen the lines and darken further.

Exaggerated winged eyeliner so you can see it properly

I still feel like I need a more intense and creamier eyeliner, so I am looking to buy a gel eyeliner soon.

Longevity: I would rate it a 7/10 in this regard. If you have eyes that tend to water often, this eyeliner might not stay put! If you use an eyelid primer though, you should be OK. I haven't really had issues with the liner smudging though

Do you have any eyeliner suggestions for me?


Monday, 13 January 2014

Nailed It! 01

Hey peeps, in one of my former posts I wrote about how to keep your nails long and strong. Natural long nails are beautiful, because they look natural! Lol. It is easy to grow your nails long-just read my post here- and yes they will split and break sometimes but just keep going! I usually wait till 3 of my nails break on one hand, before shortening the other two to make em all equal. At the moment, the nails on my left hand are short while those on my right are still long!

Anywho, I decided to start a new series on F.O called "Nailed it!" where I can show you my progress at keeping them nails nice, long and strong and also showcasing my nail polish, nail art, DIY nail art, where I got my nails done etc. This is not a show-off series but just a way of motivating you to keep your natural nails long and strong. I am not the type of girl who changes her nail polish weekly, I try to do it 2ce a month, and sometimes I go for weeks with no polish on.

Anyway I have some pics for y'all. This first purple one below was done at a salon called "Donna Moderna" salon at 52A Opebi. I asked the lady to do some nail art on the fourth finger.

I did not remember to get the name or brand of the polish but I promise to update you with the info wen I do! Forgive me, I am new at this : -)

This one below is my absolute fave. I am OBSESSED with this colour! I did remember to check for the actual colour of the polish BUT! the print was all worn out! I think I could make out something with "jade" in it but I'm not too sure. It was Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails. I'd call it "cyan" though. Got it done at "Body Splash" salon, 9 Ogundana Street, Allen Avenue.

This one below is my least fave. First I don't think the nail technician did a neat job, plus the polish was getting gooey and clumpy during application. : - /  To be honest, it lasted longer than the other two and that's cos its Orly. Orly polish is def one of the best out there! The colour was "Forever Crimson". Got them done at "Unisex Salon" on 21, Joel Ogunnaike Street, GRA, Ikeja, some blocks away from Oh La La. This was my New Year nail look.

Do you notice how short my nails are on my left hand? I will eventually make all my 10 nails equal but for now, I am rocking the short-long look and I don't care!

So there you have it ladies. Which one is your fave?


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss (Coffee Gleam and Raison Glaze)

L-R: Raison Glaze and Coffee Gleam


Quick post on pictures and swatches of the Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Coffee Gleam 06 and Raison Glaze 10. These colours are perfect for the nude lip. I like the pink-plum-gold shade.

Disclaimer: I have natural dark lips! So bear this in mind. I used no lip liner before application. Staying power was OK, but then again you cannot expect much staying power from a lip gloss.
Revlon Coffee Gleam

Swatch for Revlon Coffee Gleam

 Revlon Raison Glaze
Swatch for Revlon Raison Glaze

Another Revlon lip gloss VERY similar to these is the Revlon Colour Burst Lip Gloss in Rosepearl. Did a bit of research on this since I found out the Coffee Gleam and Raison Glaze have been discontinued. Rosepearl also has that pink-plum-gold shade.