One of the most satisfying parts about being a Beauty Editor, is finding amazing products and sharing them with others.  The most difficult, sometimes, is picking my favourites!

The Beauty Industry in Nigeria has grown so rapidly i’m like a kid in a candy store. New brands popping up,  International Brands launching, my bank account really hates me right now!

My January picks are products which I’ve been using throughout December. They literally saved my skin and my reputation while battling with the freezing weather in London and back again in Nigeria adjusting to the suffocating heat!   They are items that have been tried and tested and are officially in my MUST have stash of products not just now but probably forever.

 

BATH KANDY X LOLA OJ 

GUMMY SOAP

Joshua (4)

 

WHAT IS IT

Handmade Black Soap

 

WHAT DOES IT DO

 

The question is what dosen’t it do?

Black Soap has been around since the dawn of time. It’s recently gone under a bit of an image rehaul with lots of new brands creating their own variations.  The staple of alot of new proudly Nigerian companies surely has to include Black Soap, Coconut Oil and Shea products.

Lola’s Gummy soap is a collaboration between Lola OJ and Handmade Soap Brand Bath Kandy. It contains antioxidants to protect the skin from damage and pollution, deep cleanses, fades blemishes, nourishes, softens and has anti bacterial skin properties. There is also a secret blend of Cocoa Pods, Plantain Leaves, Palm Tree Leaves, Shea Bark, Raw Honey. It also contains a special blend of Oils & Butters and Ayurvedic herbs which promise to add that highly sought after ‘glow’.

WHY I LOVE IT

Let me be honest.  For years I avoided black soap.  I always cringed away because of the smell and texture. I was like… “Hell to the Nizzo.. ain’t no body got time for that!”  But as I said, in the last few years there’s been a huge turn around in modern versions of this old classic. I tried liquid black soap for the first time about 2 years ago and while it cured me of my aversion I wasn’t hooked.  I used it as a body wash but I was still unconvinced about using it on my face.  One of my really good friends is obsessed with the solid slushy version of black soap. She’s Turkish and has declared that she can’t go back to using normal soap. So when Lola OJ launched her own product, I just had to try it. She is gorgeous afterall and her skin is fabulous.. and it’s called “Gummy Soap” so that automatically translated in my brain that it was going to be fun and smell great!

I was right.

The solid soap is easy to use, it’s in a nice little tub so that portioning it is easy and I can easily put the remaining bit of soap back into the container if I scooped up too much.  It dosen’t really lather up and foam alot but I really like the fact that when i’m scrubbing it in I can feel bit’s of bark and other solid ingredients which have a lovely exfoliating action.   After rinsing the skin, my face dosen’t feel tight and my skin felt soft.

The first time I used the Soap, I was battling witches and wizards that had been sent by somebody’s village relatives to attack my skin.  There was no other explaination for the break out I was having.  I literally tried everything.  It was the longest and most stubborn breakout known to man. It was EPIC, the spots were everywhere and I to top it all off, I was also being left with scars. I’d almost given up hope and decided that I would simply have to get the Pastor to pray for my face when I remembered that Lola had once mentioned that the black soap had antibacterial properties.

I stand here as a living testimony to the Beauty Gods. I washed my face at night with the Gummy Soap and in the morning I screamed. What had been a living nightmare for a good 3 weeks had started to dry up and vanish overnight!  I’m not exaggerating, I’m not being paid.  It simply works.

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FROM

Online Store: Bath Kandy

36a Wole Ariyo Street
Lekki Phase 1, Lagos

Instagram:   @lolaoj  &  @luxebeautyloungeng

Retail Price: N3800

 

 

ZARON 

LIPSTICK PEN

Joshua (3)

 

WHAT IS IT

A creamy matte pencil and lipstick all in one.

 

WHAT DOES IT DO

The Zaron Lipstick Pens are a dual use product which save you time and money by combining the ease of a lip pencil with the coverage and staying power of a matte lipstick.

 

WHY I LOVE IT

This Lipstick Pen(cil) is THE TRUTH!

Ms Fumz (aka the F in the B&F Collective) once said to me “I don’t know how you ended up being a Makeup Artist” considering the fact that i’m 95% of the time makeup free.  In fact. I’m lazy. I’m beyond lazy. I just can’t be bothered most days to put on anything before dashing out of the house.  Of course I always regret it when I bump into someone I know and I think to myself.. ugh.. I should’ve done my face.

I’m a simple type of girl who owns a makeup store and has an oversize makeup trolley crammed full of products which I don’t use on myself. Unless i’m doing it for the Gramm and / or going out to an event. Other than than, i’m always in search of the perfect base essential lippys.  1. The most amazing Nude Lipstick ever  2. A killer red  3. A sultry steamy dark shade 4. A pretty pink  5. A popping Orange.

Once I have those in my bag i’m ready to take on the world and can transform from School Run Mom to Slay Mama in the blink of an eye!!

In the modern Instagram influenced world of makeup, there are now more ultra long lasting liquid lipsticks than ever. Matte is the new new. But sometimes matte can simply be too matte. Cracking lips, flaky bits leading to licking and biting to smooth it out and ending up in a marathon session of scrubbing with baby wipes and oil to get it off at night.  I love a great matte as it wears off more slowly than lip glosses and high shine lip sticks, but I can really do without the necessary drama.

I’m constantly a die hard fan of the Mist and Muse Lip Pens.  I can either wear them on their own (the colour coverage is very pigmented) or as an ombre lip using them together or when I want a bit more of a creamy finish, I top it up with either a soft gloss or a full lipstick.

I love the versitility and also the fact that Huda Beauty Contour Pencils / Kylie Kardashian Lipkits cost about a million times more.

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FROM

Online Store:  Zaron Cosmetics

Zaron Ikoyi (Head Office)

2 Alhaji Kanike Street, off Awolowo Rd Ikoyi

Any Zaron Distributors Nationwide

Instagram:   @zaroncosmetics

Retail Price: N1800

 

 

ELEMIS

DYNAMIC RESURFACING FACIAL WASH

Joshua (1)

 

WHAT IS IT

An anti aging creamy gentle foaming cleansing facial wash.

 

WHAT DOES IT DO

A daily face wash that encourages the skin’s natural cell renewal cycle, actively smoothing and refining whilst gently exfoliating away any dead skin cells which contribute towards a dull complexion. It also contains Moringa to protect skin against environmental damage.  I did an unboxing of this face wash on my Snapchat a few months ago and i’ve been addicted ever since.

 

WHY I LOVE IT

It feels so soft and creamy you wouldn’t think that it was actually also exfoliating the skin.  It’s important to use a good sun cream if you’re going out during the day after using this product.  I can honestly say it’s helped to fade scars left behind from outbreaks and also my pores look a bit smaller and the skin is definitely smoother after each wash.

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FROM

Beauty Emporium GC is an online and physical store based in Yaba.  They’re official stockists of Elemis in Nigeria.  I was super excited to find out that they had such a fantastic wide range.  Elemis has been used in Spas and is sold in high end department stores around the world.

And now they are here.

Online Store:  Beauty Emporium GC

Block B – E.B.J Complex
261 Muritala Mohammed Way, Yaba
Lagos

Retail Cost:  N25,200

 

 

ESTEE LAUDER 

ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR SYNCHRONISED RECOVERY COMPLEX II

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II The Beauty List Award Nigeria

 

WHAT IS IT

An anti aging detoxifying repairing night serum.

 

WHAT DOES IT DO

The Estee Lauder Advanced Repair range has been one of Estee Lauder’s best selling product over 30 years. The Synchronized Recovery Complex II is the latest version. It’s a targeted serum to help smooth fine lines (ok ok wrinkles), plump, hydrate and brighten the skin.

 

WHY I LOVE IT

I was never a big fan of Estee Lauder brand.  I used to work for the Lauder Bureau when I was younger and I always felt like their products were for old women. Fast forward.. I guess.. to a 14 year old I would be old right now! LOL

Truth of the matter is that this product has been popular for YEARS. There has to be a reason right?

I’ve been using it for about a month now and as an avid fan of serums I was ready to be very critical.  But I loved it.  I really hate serums that are either tacky or greasy and don’t sink into the skin.  I also hate serums that leave my skin feeling tight afterwards.  This had none of those qualities.  It feels light, smooth and smells quite pleasant. Did I mention I have a very sensitive nose?  If I smell something I don’t like you can’t pay me to put it onto my skin.

It took a few weeks before I noticed any major difference which isn’t unusual for most serums but one day I looked in the mirror and I just thought “wow.. skin’s looking all sorts of amazeballs this morning”.  You know, there are times when you are allowed to appreciate yourself, doesn’t happen that often with 2 kids and the late nights I spend working on the laptop. So when it does happen, I know that something is working right!

I’ve read different reviews on line and to be honest, it’s won numerous beauty prizes such as the InStyle Best Beauty Buy Awards 2014 Winner, Elle Beauty Awards, Allure Readers Choice and others.  I guess with all products, it works for some people and they’re obsessed with it, while not so much for other.  I have combination skin which is sometimes super dry when I travel abroad while it suffers from breakouts when i’m in Nigeria.  It’s complicated, I have issues. But I think that it suits the Nigerian climate perfectly as you really don’t want to put anything greasy on your face in this murderous heat, but you need hydration because of the AC’s and Fans your  skin suffers through the day.. and let’s not even start on the pollution.

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FROM

Nail Studio VI has turned into a Mecca for Beauty Addicts.  They’re one of the longest running Salons in Lagos and they recently opened up their Beauty Hall!!  Estee Lauder, Clinique, Smashbox .. *drool*

They don’t retail online yet but you can pop into their studio or visit them on Instagram.

Website:  Nail Studio

9 Bishop Aboyade Cole Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos

Instagram:  @nailstudiovi

Retail Cost:  TBC but equivalent to US pricing

 

 

Bobbi Brown

Skin Foundation Stick
Joshua

WHAT IS IT

A Cream Foundation in a Stick Form.

 

WHAT DOES IT DO

Designed to look and feel like skin, this award-winning and best-selling foundation features a unique transparent base and skin tone correct pigments for the most natural finish. Features 31 shades, from fair to dark.

Moisturizes or mattifies skin as needed with a combination of emollients—including Shea Butter and Olive Oil Extracts—and oil-controlling minerals.

Sweat, water and humidity-resistant formula stays put, while controlling oil and reducing shine.

 

WHY I LOVE IT

I’ve been using Liquid Foundations for most of my life.  When I was younger I preferred full matte coverage while as I got older, I found my skin needed more of a dewy moisturising finish so that I didn’t end up looking like I was going to my own funeral.

I tried cream foundations, they never really suited me. They always felt a bit too heavy and caked on.  The concept of using a stick foundation wasn’t something I really thought about. I tried them when I was about 18 but they weren’t on my makeup radar as I got older.  Something just didn’t feel right.  Perhaps it was the fact that it just seemed so small.  Value for money didn’t seem to add up. Surely it’d just run out quickly. Also, you had to rub it all over your face, questions like how to build up coverage and how to get a good finish came to mind.

But last year, I decided to be brave. My faithful foundation just wasn’t sitting right on my skin so I ventured off into the big wide world to look for another product.  Bobbi Brown has always been known for “natural” beauty so I harassed a makeup  artist for over 2 hours in store to test out their entire range on me.  It wasn’t easy but the blogger in me patiently sat through face fulls of foundation.  I really wanted to fall in love with their liquid and oil based formulas but to my surprise it was the classic no nonsense simple stick foundation that really left me in awe.

The coverage is amazing. It’s light weight, feels like a second skin, buildable on specific areas that you need more coverage on, stays true to colour in heat and cold, melts into the skin when blending and looks soft and flawless.

When I say that this is everything that I need for an everyday easy to wear base, trust me. This is everything.   The fact that they also have an amazing range of colours is also a bonus.   Considering Anastasia Beverly Hills who recently released their own stick foundations, it just goes to show, this formulation just got trendy again.

 

WHERE CAN YOU BUY IT FROM

Bobbi Brown is now officially in Nigeria. Yup, stop the press and shout Hallelujah.  They launched at the end of 2016 in Abuja.

 

The Bobbi Brown Store

1st Floor Jabi Lake Mall

Abuja, Nigeria

Have you used any of these products before?  I’d love to hear YOUR Insider thoughts.

Until next time…

Stay Beautiful

                          The Beauty List Signature

 

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