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?

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.

Basic makeup hygiene 2


If you are a makeup lover like me, then you must have a wide range of products in your kit. From foundation to powder to all shades of shadows and blush and creamy and matte lipsticks. You know na !!😜 Of course, you’ll also have some favorites that you use on special occasions, you literally hoard these items so they don’t finish so quickly, maybe because they are a bit more expensive than the rest.

Be it as it may, ALL these items in your kit have a shelf-life: they do expire!!!😁 I’ve had people brag about how they’ve had an eye-shadow palette or lipstick for 5 years! What??? They say to me ‘Nwaka, this is my special occasion foundation. I don’t joke with it o! I’ve had it since 2013!’

Please read further and be properly informed. Below is a basic list of makeup products and their stipulated shelf-life unless otherwise stated.

  • Foundation (liquid or cream) – 2 years
  • Lipsticks – 1 year
  • Eye-shadow (powder) – 2years
  • Concealer – 2 years
  • Mascara – 4-6 months
  • Blush (powder) – 2 years
  • Face powder – 2 years

Have you ever wondered why certain makeup products come in really small containers? Concealers, pressed powders, eye shadows and even some foundations? The above is the reason why. What’s the point having a huge bottle of foundation sitting on a shelf in a makeup store for 6 months and making it to your kit only to expire in another 18 months because you use it only on special occasions?

So, kindly go through your makeup kit this weekend. Be honest and give your ‘dead’ and smelly makeup products a befitting burial, don’t give them out: just bury them in the Lawma container outside your gate. They’ve added so much value to your life and deserve a rest.

You’ll also be doing yourself a favor by not using expired products on your face. Just imagine how grateful your stomach will be if you constantly feed it with expired juice or milk?

Do well to rid your kit of all stains or pencil marks as you wish other products goodbye, find covers for those beloved pencils too and keep them sharpened always.

Lastly, don’t share eye pencils and lipstick and mascara wands with friends: cold sores and conjunctivitis is real. Find out how to safely share in the previous post.

Basic makeup hygiene 1

Brushes/sponges/applicators are the second tools of trade almost every makeup lover acquires. First comes the makeup itself then you need to get the best of every application by using the best tools for each product.

It’s somewhat sad that many don’t pay attention to proper care and even use of the applicators. Depending on the nature of your makeup product (liquid, crème, powder), your respective applicators have a tendency to harbor harmful germs that in one way or the other affects the health of your skin and eventually your makeup application.

If you have a personal arsenal of these applicators, brushes and tools, it’s in your best interest to wash them weekly or every other week. They are your personal belongings and it is assumed that you use them about once or twice a day so the product build up won’t be so much on them.

But if you are a makeup artist, it is expected that your tools should be cleaned in between clients. Which means that once you are done working with client A, you MUST clean ALL brushes that have made contact with client As’ skin or use new brushes and applicators for client B.
This is a lot of work no doubt, but it ensures you don’t transfer any ‘unlikables ‘ from one client to the other.

So how do you achieve this? Washing your brushes can be a daunting task especially if you have a lot of them. I love to use my hair shampoo/conditioner and a brush cleaning mat for my tools laundry.
I simply run my brush under a tap without letting water into the metal part (ferrules), apply some shampoo to it, then scrub on my mat depending on the section (eye, face, rinse, condition). I also repeat with conditioner, rinse thoroughly and place on a flat towel to dry. Same goes for sponges.

I have also invested in a brush cleaner which allows me use one set of brushes severally without washing. I simply spray the cleaner on a paper towel and wipe the brush over it again and again until no product comes off it any more. This effectively kills any germs on the brush while wiping product buildup away.
I also love to use disposables (eye liners, lip applicators, mascara wands) as this makes things quite easier. Once used on a client it doesn’t get back into the product for any reason whatsoever so it doesn’t contaminate the makeup product. And I don’t have to bother cleaning it (have you tried wiping your mascara wand on a paper towel?) Straight into the bin!!!!

So when next you notice breakouts on your face, make sure that your makeup tools are not the culprits and also insist on clean brushes/applicators and no double-dipping when next you are sitting in an artists’ chair.

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