Sticking To Your Plan A

Attending GT Fashion Weekend has been a goal for me for a while, scratch that, attending a fashion show has been high on my priority list for several years now; most especially backstage at a major/global one. So, being at GT Fashion Weekend well, over the weekend, has literally been my dream come true. I got invited for the last masterclass of Day 1 and it was anchored by Kahlana Barfield Brown and she talked about Sticking To Your Plan A.
For me, this was confirmation on so many levels. I felt somewhat of a kinship as I could relate to a good number of what she talked about.

A few nuggets I took away from the masterclass that resonated with me strongly are
– Love what you do; this was proof (all over again) that I’m not entirely crazy and that my dreams and achieving them is valid. Kahlana Barfield Brown is another person on my list of people that get paid heavily to do the things they absolutely love.
– Self-promoting isn’t so negative; this is an area I find myself struggling with especially on social media. I’ve worked so hard over the years getting international and professional certifications AND acquiring experience in my field but most times I feel I don’t have to throw it in peoples’ faces so much. Watch out folks, I’m on a rampage now. 😄
– Keep being authentic as a brand on social media; to a certain extent, I believe I’ve got this locked down. I do know what I stand for and I choose not to deviate from it (even when it’s not so popular and doesn’t make as much sales) especially when it has to do skincare.
– Collaborate with brands that are true and genuine to your brand. Be selective if you must; for me this is absolutely true. When I first started consulting for skincare, I would recommend products and have my clients pick it up from wherever they wanted, but then I would get complaints of how the second or third bottle they got from a certain place seems not to be the real deal. This has led me to partner with one or two skincare companies with amazing products at affordable rates, thereby giving my clients a certain guarantee on the authenticity of any product I recommend and that they pick from me.
– Success comes after a lot of hard work and sacrifices has been made; I honestly can’t stress how much this spoke to me. Being that I overhauled my business about 3 years ago after taking a leave for about 18 months, I still find myself putting out much work to get things established to the standards I wish to have. The perks can be quite inviting but don’t be deceived that it’s a smooth sail.
– Colorism; I thought I had died and gone to heaven when she mentioned this. I honestly believe this nugget deserves a post all by itself so I won’t dwell much on it here.

Do share with me what your plan A is and how far you’ve come in achieving it.

Pink lips or not?

Whenever I’m headed towards Ikeja axis I seem to find an excuse to pass under the bridge around the mobile phone market, maybe because my favorite book vendor stalls there. On almost every occasion I do notice people, especially young men, with little white containers in their hands. These young men are not your regular ‘memory card’ and ‘ear-piece’ hawkers which should be conveniently associated with a place called Computer Village. No! They let out a shrill whistle to get your attention and when they do, next is “pink lips”. Yes! Pink lips are for sale.
From my observation, those with naturally-occurring (as if there’s any other way it should occur) ‘pink lips’ (which is not necessarily pink, but several shades lighter than ones skin tone and quite noticeable in people of color) always have their tongue swiping over the erring lip or even have it trapped in their mouth really often. Sometimes as often as twice a minute especially if they are not talking or are trying to concentrate on a task. This has been their default lip position for years, yes, years.
A good number of people seem to find this ‘pop of color’ quite attractive and believe that their level or scale of appeal would be increased should they have it themselves. What they don’t realize is that with ‘pink lips’ comes really dry lips, and with dry lips comes the need to moisten them again: a vicious circle that becomes a habit and tends to last a lifetime. Imagine having to wet your body twice a minute for approximately 12 hours a day……. Exactly!! But how would they know? Theirs is a 7-10 days’ cosmetic acquisition.
Whichever way you feel about this, naturally-occurring ‘pink lips’ is reversible. Once the lip(s) and the tongue don’t find their way to each other as often as before, the pale color fades and the default shade is restored without any side effects. I’m afraid the same cannot be said for the content of that little white container, considering most of them don’t declare their list of ingredients.
Do tell me; pink lips or no?

Most underestimated skin care products …contd

We started talking about my 6 most underestimated skin care products on the previous post.

Here are the remaining 3

Night moisturizers: this is one of my absolute favorite product. I cannot begin to tell you how important a moisturizer is; it is such that you should apply it at least once daily.
A good night moisturizer is tailored to continue from where the day moisturizer stops. Most day moisturizers are made to protect the skin from the hustle and bustle of the day; from the sun to air pollutants and oxidative stress. But the night moisturizer helps to rejuvenate the skin, restoring whatever damage that may have been caused earlier, while one is asleep. This gives the skin a fresh start every morning.
Allowing your skin a fresh start every morning is indeed a good way to stall any visible signs of aging.

Hand and foot creams: our limbs have some of the toughest layers of skin; our palms, soles and nails. We handle objects, hot and cold, wet and dry, slimy and solid, with our palms. We subject our feet to tight enclosures, called shoes, sometimes on a daily basis. Some of us work on our feet all day long. Our nails are scissors, knives, peelers and any other tool in between. It’s just befitting that adequate care be given these unsung heroes.
Adequate care for the hands and feet is a post all on its own and would be addressed later.
Wash hands and feet before applying this product generously, preferably right before going to bed.

Masks: this product has a wide range of consistency; from clay to mud to cream to marine and even peel-off. These consistencies also give varying results. Some of the results can be
– Getting rid of white and black heads (exfoliation)
– Firming the skin
– Hydrating the skin
– Drawing out impurities
It’s best to find out exactly what your skin needs and tailor your mask to suit it.

 

Do you think I’ve missed any underestimated skin care products in this line up?? Let me know in the comment section.

My 6 most underestimated skin care products

Many a time, when breaking down skin care routines to clients, some products seem to be misunderstood and termed irrelevant.

Here are my 6 most underestimated skin care products.

Toners: this product is a must have in any skin care kit. I’ve had many clients go from cleanser straight to moisturizer because they don’t understand what exactly a toner does. A good toner actually has about 3 functions unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer. Such functions include
– Further cleansing; beyond what your cleanser already provides.
– Calming the skin; which is why it is usually used after scrubbing.
– Prepping the skin; just before applying a mask or your favorite moisturizer.
While choosing a cleanser, do put in consideration your skin type. Also make sure it’s alcohol-free.

Eye makeup removers: this is an essential product for every makeup lover because, in the bid to have longer lasting makeup, most of us use water-proof products and then have a really hard time removing them. Some of us scrub so hard around the eye area, we end up with scanty lashes.
What I love about the Eye makeup remover is that it’s quite gentle and it also works on ALL water-proof makeup products; this includes the mouth region. Simply dampen a Q-tip with this product and reach into sensitive areas like the water-line for a quick wipe.

Eye creams: some people say they are born with bags and/or dark circles around their eyes. Agreed! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make any effort to make it look better. Personally, I think it’s better to brighten up the area and reduce the appearance of bags and puffiness than to layer it with Concealer.
This product almost always comes in a little container but it packs a punch. It is best appreciated when one is stress-prone; the ‘eyes’ always have it!

Before I let you in on my remaining 3 underestimated skin care products, do tell me: which skin care product do you deem irrelevant and why?

Which are you? Natural or Negligent?

I met a lady a few days ago at my daughters’ open day. Our kids are actually in the same class and typical me, I struck up a conversation. Before long, we were talking skin care (which I’m quite passionate about) and she was quick to tell me she’s a natural person and doesn’t apply anything on her face.

Let’s clear something up here: being natural shouldn’t mean being negligent!!

Don’t get me wrong! I understand that a good number of people don’t have the discipline to maintain a healthy skin-care regimen and many of them believe they don’t even need it. But lack of discipline or ignorance shouldn’t be mistaken for being natural.

Your skin is the largest organ your body has; it’s the first thing people see when they look at you. Little wonder people are most particular about their faces which leads one to believe that ‘skin care’ is all about the face.

Did you have your bath today? Skin care
Did you shave any part of your body today? Skin care
Do you shampoo your scalp/hair? Skin care
Do you mani and pedi? Skin care
Do you indulge in massages and spa treatments? Skin care

All of the above procedures and a whole lot I didn’t include are measures we take to appear properly groomed and as such is not limited to females alone. Neither is it for people that are ‘not natural’.

I’m just in my early 30’s but believe me when I say that my skin, especially my face and scalp/hair, is not what it used to be. Maybe its childbirth, maybe its hormonal changes, blame it on what you want, but my skin care regimen helps me cope with the visible signs of aging.

It allows me to remain confident even without makeup; which is what ‘being natural’ is all about.

Share the steps you take to better take care of your skin/nails/scalp/hair.

How well do you know your nails?

How well do you know your nails? Believe it or not, your nails say a lot about your general state of health. They can tell when you are affected by disease or when you are malnourished. They signal you when you are having health problems or not taking care of them properly. Question is: Are you paying attention???

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems make 10 percent of all dermatological conditions. So, it is wise to closely evaluate the following when attending to your nails.

Appearance: Do well to always observe the color of your nails. Healthy nails should have consistent coloring and appear smooth. They shouldn’t be split or cracked especially in younger people. The skin around the edge shouldn’t appear puffy or swollen.

Texture: If you are not suffering from psoriasis and/or eczema, your nails should not be pitted. And unless you have been infected by fungi or bacteria, your nails should not be thickened with colors ranging from white, yellow, green to even black.

Do you have healthy nails?

With regards to topical applications, your nails may be the first to indicate the quality of products you may be using. Sometimes, just for fun, I observe peoples’ nail color and texture and later, I ask questions. 85 percent of the time, they are using unreliable products; Half of that time, they are not aware of the active ingredients in their body and/or hand creams, thereby causing damage to the skin and nails and the other half of the time, they trust unprofessional nail technicians who use nail polish, nail glue and nail polish removers made of really harsh chemicals OR are quite over-zealous with their manicure techniques.

The importance of nail care in relation to great health cannot be over emphasized. For some of us, beauty is all about what the eyes can see, which pushes a lot of women to cover up their un-healthy nails with polish or artificial nails. But in reality, beauty goes way deeper than that.

I like to believe that being beautiful is first, being healthy.

 

Have I left out a key point to knowing your nails better? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.

 

 

 

Skin Conditions 3

Psoriasis is a skin condition that so many people (1 in every 50 persons) are not aware they suffer from, especially dark-skinned persons.

Skin cells on the surface of the body usually get replaced about every 28 days by underlying cells. In people suffering from psoriasis, what would have taken 28 days happens in 4-6 days thereby, piling skin cells on the surface of the body. These skin cell piles cause thick red and purple patches in light and dark-skinned persons respectively. These patches which can be found on the scalp, face, elbows, knees, palms of the hand, soles of the feet and other parts of the leg, can get itchy and sore, sometimes they become scaly, swollen and painful.

Just like eczema, psoriasis has a genetic link to it, in other words, it can be hereditary. It can also be aggravated by stress, smoking, infection (misdirected immune intervention) and changes in the weather which may dry up the skin.

Psoriasis has no known cure but it can be managed quite well. It is not contagious!! It is not sexually transmitted and it is not as a result of poor personal hygiene!!

To properly manage this skin condition, the following should be considered;

  • Stop smoking!!! That is if you do smoke, of course. 😊
  • Supplement diet with vitamins A and D as these may be deficient in psoriatics. One can also consider sunshine or UV exposure. In moderation of course.
  • Essential fatty acids especially omega3 is vital.
  • It is important to regulate cells, repair the skins barrier and retain water, so using topical treatments with plant derivatives should prove effective. Aloe Vera, Curcumin (derived from turmeric) and Marigold extracts work well. Using moisturizers with these extracts as often as possible is a step in the right direction.
  • Work towards being stress-free.

It is wise to basically avoid any situation or environment that could trigger a psoriatic flare. If such measures have been taken yet reactions still persist, do well to consult a dermatologist for detailed examination.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from this skin condition? How do you (they) manage it?

 

Save most on finishing products

It’s really so easy to fall for makeup advertising campaigns. They come up with all kinds of reasons why their makeup brands are better than the rest. Whilst some claims may be true, there are some products that seem to have the same ingredients and work the same way from brand to brand.

 

Most of the time, the difference is the price tag.

 

Here, we will be discussing products that every makeup artist or makeup lover should possess but doesn’t necessarily have to lose an arm and a leg to acquire.

Mascara: with a shelf life of just 6 months (unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer), why would one want to spend a fortune buying a mascara? Besides, with a good wand, one can achieve a wonderful single or double coat before layering with false lashes.

Blush: just a hint of color is what is needed to achieve a good blushing look, so the price tag shouldn’t be exorbitant. Having a palette with at least 5 different shades can serve for any skin tone as long as you are good with mixing and matching.

Pencils: what’s most important is that they should give off color and remain sharpened. Even the cheapest of eye or lip pencils can give off a good hue. If you feel the colors aren’t popping enough, you can add a little bit of shadow (for eye pencils) or lipstick/gloss (for lip pencils) in the same shade to accentuate it. This is also true for eyebrow pencils.

Liquid eye liners: these are just like mascaras. They have a fairly short shelf life and when applied properly, no one can guess they are drugstore.

 

When a makeup look is complete, you would see that the above products are more of finishing products. They help bring together and complete the work started by the ‘splurgers’. On their own, they CANNOT wreck a look COMPLETELY compared to the ‘splurgers’.

And this is another way of making sure that there’s some change left in the bank. Save most on finishing products.

Do you agree?

Do you think I missed a product?

Let me hear you in the comments.

Let’s save money while we splurge

In the previous post, I outlined 5 products that every makeup artist or makeup lover is expected to splurge on. This time, I’ll be letting you know how you can save money even as you splurge.

Palettes: most professional makeup brands have palettes. In fact, top professional brands have palettes for each of the products we mentioned previously. They understand that one may not be able to purchase so much products individually, so they put together some items and sell it at a discounted rate compared to individual purchases. So instead of buying 5 separate Concealers, you can pick up a Concealer palette complete with a color wheel. They even make it compact so it doesn’t occupy so much space.

Mix and match: This is one of my favorite things to do, especially with foundations. I absolutely love the Mary Kay TimeWise liquid foundation but I don’t own every shade. Instead, I buy alternate shades and mix them for the shades I don’t have; this is to say if I want a Bronze 4, I can mix Bronzes 3 & 5 to get it. Mind you, this may not work for all brands, but where’s the harm in experimenting? I also mix lipwear to give me a completely different color. So, with a few good quality products, I can save money while I mix and match to get what I would have ordinarily paid for individually.

Join a pro discount group: I honestly don’t know how well this works in Nigeria, but as a professional makeup artist from a reputable academy, you can apply to makeup brands for a pro discount. This allows you to sample as many products as possible and eventually recommend them to your clients, which puts more money in the brands’ or manufacturers’ pockets. At the moment, I shop at a 40% discount on ALL products from Sigma Beauty, and this is just one amongst many brands. You are strictly forbidden from retailing their products and purchases can be restricted for regulatory purposes. However, you would have to meet up with their requirements to enjoy such discounts.

 

With these ‘save money’ tips, you find that you won’t have to spend so much money, but you’ll get pleasant results as if you did. Your makeup bag won’t be full with items you hardly use or expired products.

 

So, what about the products that you don’t need to splurge on?

 

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Makeup products you can splurge on.

Every professional makeup artist or makeup lover would bear me witness when I say that makeup is pretty expensive. There are a lot of needs to be met on the job that one has to be prepared for at any given moment. Take for instance, foundation: because of differing skin types and tones, one may have to invest in multiple bottles, but same shade in order to meet with clients’ needs. I, for one, know that Mary Kay TimeWise liquid foundation comes in Dry/Normal and Oily/Combination, so if you have a client that uses a Bronze 3, then you must have that shade in both combinations in order to provide a flawless and long-lasting look tailored to the clients’ skin preference.

If one has to make such extensive investments, then how can one save some money or better still make most of what is available?

I’ll tell you how: Splurge on some products and pick up the rest from any drugstore brand you please. Yes, you heard me right: not all makeup products must be ‘branded’ for them to work just fine.

Spend money on those products that would directly affect the ‘flawlessness’ of your makeup look.

Products like;

Foundations: if something is wrong with your foundation, believe me your client would be mistaken for their village masquerade for as long as she wears that look. Do yourself a favor, when your vendor asks you to jump while selling you foundations, simply ask ‘how high?’ and do your best to attain that height. Pay for the product now or pay for the consequences later.

Powder: it’s important that any powder used to set your foundation is of great quality. This is in order to give the foundation the semblance of skin. If after applying powder, you can still tell where skin ends and where makeup begins, then there’s a problem.

Lipstick/gloss: have you ever seen people wearing feathered lipwear? Honestly, how does it look? Would you patronize the makeup artist in question? Good quality lipsticks cost some money, getting them is an investment.

Eye shadows: I remember owning some eye shadows well over a decade ago. I had purchased them for N350 which as far as I was concerned was a good buy. But for the life of me, I couldn’t get the colors to be as bright on my eyes as they were in the palette. This is because they are not professionally pigmented. Professionally pigmented shadows not only cost more than their talc-based counterparts, they also read better on skin: a little goes a long way.

Concealer: as far as I’m concerned, good-quality concealer is worth its weight in gold. With just a little squeeze, you can cover a wide area. No wonder they come in very little containers.

OK! 5 products to splurge on!

Do you think I missed a product?

Would you like to know how you can further save money while buying these 5 products?

Let me know in the comment section below.