GET READY WITH ME! HAIR & MAKEUP VIDEO

Hey Dolls,

I got a few requests to show how I used the products from my BeautyKink haul post on my blog so I hope you enjoy this GRWM video. If you want more videos like this let me know in the comment section and don't forget to thumbs up if you liked it!

PS: Don't you just love it how I surprise with these videos just when you've given up all hope on me? ;-)

REFLECTIONS: AM I A BAD FRIEND?


At the beginning of this year I lost a friend.  

On New Year's Eve she sent me this message "Happy New Year in advance darling. Thanks for being a good friend to me. I can be shitty with communication but it's all love lol."

On January 1, 2016 we went out to celebrate the New Year and she died 11 days later from complications resulting in a car accident on her way home that night.

She was only 25 years old.

When things like this happen it's easy to question God and wonder what the point is but all that does is take you into a dark place and quite frankly solves nothing. But the "good thing" about things like this, is if you let it, it can cause you to live life more purposefully and to not take anything for granted. 

We know all to well how the obligations of life can make you selfish. It's hard to follow through with the best laid plans when you can barely stay afloat. It suddenly takes longer to respond to messages and some times you just can't be bothered to at all. And you slowly find the parameters of friendship being redefined. We spend hours commenting, tagging and liking each others posts on social media, but when do you spend quality time together to talk about your joys, problems and fears? 

I can already hear some of you wondering "who cares Ifeyinwa?" Some of us have our own families and businesses and much more serious things to worry about than whether or not so and so thinks I'm a good friend or not. Right? Well I'll tell you right now, no we really don't. We're only on this planet for a very very short time. And at the end of the day, what matters the most are our relationships and interactions and the impact we make. The biggest thing I felt when my friend passed was regret. Regret for all the times I cancelled on her and she on me. Regret for the fact that I'd never been to her house or invited her to mine. Regret for the fact that as much as I valued and loved her and thought she was incredible, I never actually told her. So while this might seem trivial to some "in the grand scheme of things", at least for me, it's important that at the end of my life to know that I've spread love to the best of my ability.

As I've become older, I've learned more about myself and what I want and expect out of a friendship. I've outgrown friendships that feel forced (cue in the "long time how have you been" text followed by awkward conversation), shallow (cue in friendships that revolve around gossip and not much else) and routine (I understand that we went to secondary school together but do we have anything in common, now today?). Beyond meeting the need for companionship (because who wants to spend life alone?), friendship should be a two-way street that builds all people involved up and pushes you to be better. I have my friends that I can talk to about spiritual or more intellectual issues, friends that I can have a drink and good ol' chinwag for hours, friends I can call to help me fix an issue and rely on for anything. 

And that's not to say one friend is better or more important than the next, in fact I think it's more realistic and less of a burden to have different friends for different "purposes" or needs. But we need to make the effort to reciprocate and appreciate every single one of them, because the truth is, we won't always be here. I read a quote from a cancer patient online this week where she said she wished we'd treat everyone as if they had cancer and this really made me think about all the people in my life that have impacted me in one way or another and how important it is that I tell them and show them how much I appreciate and love them now while I still can.

So what practical tips can I give you on how to become a good friend? I'm a firm believer in showing people how much I care and that's why I try to support and encourage my friends. I've made more of an effort to reach out and follow up. And truly ask people how they are and listen to the answers they give. Thank God for technology, because now there really is no excuse to not reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while. And one thing I've found that helps me is to not procrastinate - if you think of someone, reach out immediately and make a plan to catch up right then and there. Don't wait for later or next time. And lastly, if someone isn't reciprocating or putting in the effort, wish them well and move on. A true friendship is never one-sided. Maybe they're too busy, or simply not interested in having a friendship with you, and that's OK too. Letting go of that friendship gives you more time to focus on those that will add to your life.



This post is dedicated to Doyin, I miss you.


BEAUTYKINK MAKEUP HAUL - CHEAPER IN THE US?


Do you ever just feel like treating yourself? I'm usually really sensible with my makeup purchases and tend to only buy things as I need them or when I'm out of the country (because let's face it, things are waaaaaay cheaper in the States - or are they? More on that later). But every now and again you just need to throw caution to the wind and have a YOLO moment.

During said moment, I stopped by the Beauty Kink store in Lekki Phase One and was very impressed. Trust me it is a makeup junkie's heaven! It's a pretty big store and I love how the products were arranged so it was easy to see everything (I didn't get any photos of the store but Ezinne's did on her blog here). Another great thing about the Beauty Kink store is they had testers for most (ish) of their products - I mean my friend and I got told off for swatching the ColorPop lipstain SAMPLES which I thought was weird but for the most part, they did have testers available.

After traipsing around for about 30 minutes, I settled on these products:

  • Morphe 35T Colour Taupe Eyeshadow Pallette - N10,500
  • Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation in Amber 11 - N4,800
  • ColorPop Ultra Matte Lip in Chi  - N4,800
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - N4,000

As you can see from the photos, I've opened everything and I am so so happy with my purchases. But once the shoppers' high wore off I started to wonder how much I would have saved if I bought them in the US (I have a trip coming up soon) So I did some calculations -  In total everything came to N24,100 at Beauty Kink and it would've been $66.98 excluding tax in the States:


  • Morphe Eyeshadow Pallette - normally $44.99 here (but is on sale for $22.99!)
  • Milani Foundation - $9.99 here (buy one get one half off at Walgreens!)
  • ColorPop Ultra Matte Lip in Chi  - $6 here
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - $6 here

So lets call it a round $75 including tax, which is approximately N20,500 depending on how tight you and your mallam and/or banking officer are. Now in my opinion this is incredibly fair considering the cost of transporting everything to Nigeria and the cost of running a physical store in Lekki. I guess I could've taken advantage of the offers if I bought the products directly from the manufacturers, but that would've included paying for delivery as well which I haven't accounted for. For the convenience, I'm not mad at Beauty Kink's pricing at all and I honestly would've expected it to be a lot more expensive buying it here in Lagos! Beauty Kink also has a website and they deliver within Nigeria in case you want to check them out:
Beauty Kink Store
Davida Mall (opp. Ebeano Supermarket)
Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
www.beautykink.com

None of these products are new so I probably won't bother doing a review but I'm thinking about doing my first makeup tutorial/ first impressions/GRWM video trying them out on my Youtube channel so let me know if you'd want to see it! Have you tried any of these products yet? If yes what did you think?



*This post is not sponsored - I wish it was though, makeup is expensive! Lol1

WIN N100,000 WORTH OF ALL NATURAL SKINCARE #AJALISKIN



AJALI is an award-winning, all-natural, skincare brand set up by yours truly to promote local industry and create awareness for living a healthy life. In November 2015, we opened our very own showroom and spa in Lekki Phase One, Lagos, creating a one-of-a kind spa service providing fresh, holistic services from raw skincare recipes.

With the introduction of our brand new Black Soap & Tea Tree Organic Face Wash and Pure Rosewater & Glycerin Face Toner, we're incredibly proud to now have our very own FULL skincare range!

Cleanse with our Black Soap and Tea Tree Organic Face Wash + Konjac Face Sponge, available in 5 varieties.

Tone with our Pure Rosewater and Glycerin Face Toner

Exfoliate with our Raw Sugar Polish available in 5 fragrances

Mask we've got 4 different Fresh Face Masks for you to choose from including our brand new Papaya & Egg White Skin Brightening Mask and Cocoa & Coffee Energising Mask

Moisturise & Treat with our Face Oils available in Pure Rosehip, Pure Marula and Vitamin E.

To celebrate we’ll be running our #AJALISKIN competition giving 3 lucky winners the opportunity to change their skin with over N100,000 worth of AJALI skincare products and treatments EACH!

Each winner will work with our consultant to create a custom skincare regimen and be awarded with a 3 months' supply of our featured skin products mentioned and treated to monthly facial treatments at our spa!

To enter simply follow the next steps:
   FOLLOW: Follow our Instagram page @shopajali
   POST: Post an image of your make-up free, bare face on Instagram! Don’t be shy! Make sure you tag us, include the hash-tag #AJALISKIN and tell us why you want to win this AMAZING prize!
   INTERACT: Tag your friends in the post, get your friends to like your photo and ask them to follow us too @shopajali
   WIN: Our first winner will have the most liked photo, our second winner will have the most friends follow AJALI while the third winner will be chosen at random.

T&Cs
   Please note that this competition is open to Lagos residents only.
   AJALI reserves the right to disclose the identities of all winners and use all winners’ photos for marketing and promotional purposes.
   This prize cannot be exchanged for cash or passed on to another person.
   This competition closes on April 15, 2016


AJALI Showroom & Spa is located at 11b Tokunbo Omisore, Off Wole Olateju, Lekki Phase One. Call us on +234 (0) 817 891 9385 or visit our website www.ajali.com.ng for more information. 


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March 2016 Favourites #BUYNIGERIAN



Happy Easter Guys!

I'm back again with another Youtube video and this time it's all about the products I've been loving this month that I bought here in Nigeria! Please check it out and be sure to comment, like and subscribe to my new channel.

Products Mentioned
Vane Nail Polish in Pretty Posh - link here
Ajali  Black Soap & Tea Tree Organic Face Wash - link here
Ajali Fresh Rosewater & Glycerin Face Toner- link here
Beauty Treats Eyeliner in Dark Brown and Lipliner in Cocoa - not available online
LA Girl Flat Velvet Matt Lipstick - from Yanga Beauty not Beauty Kink link here 
Dapmod Sunglasses - link here
Polaroid Z340 (my model is unavailable but here's a link to the same vendor) - here 
Polaroid Film - link here

PS: The video is currently uploading onto Youtube, estimated time is 8+ hours sigh! I'll update the post with a link once it's done.

PPS: The video's up! Please check it out here

BARISTA LESSONS WITH CAFE NEO


Hola,

When I first discovered Cafe Neo last year, I was so excited! Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of the "coffee experience" and I say that because I've always been more of a 'grab a Starbucks' than a 'make coffee at home person'. Not cost effective or even practical, I know, but I'm not really the type of person that relies on coffee for everyday functionality, there's just something about the experience that I love and like to indulge in occasionally. 

Anyways I digress, back to Cafe Neo. They're pretty much the only coffee shop I know of in Lagos that has managed to re-create this so-called "coffee experience". They have an extensive selection of coffees, teas, frappes, pastries and sandwiches and they're so delicious and affordable. Plus their baristas are always nice, which is refreshingly unusual for this country. So when I got the email about the free barista session they were running, my inner geek resurfaced and I got there early with my notepad, ready to learn how to make a real cup of coffee - sad I know lol. The lessons were being held at their Adeniyi Lawson branch in Ikoyi which was large, airy and the perfect spot to get some work done or have a quiet meeting *mental notes taken*.

Our session kicked off with an introduction into the African coffee industry and the Cafe Neo brand by their founder Ngozi. I won't bore you with too much information here but here are some things I found interesting:- Cafe Neo's opened 11 locations in just 3 years of operation- which is absolutely incredible! The cafe's named after the word 'neowhich means 'gift' in Botswana. Ngozi explained to us that coffee is a major resource that is under-utilised in Africa, and even here in Nigeria. I didn't even know we could grow coffee in Nigeria but apparently there's a region in Taraba State called the Mambila Plateau that used to but for some reason doesn't anymore. Presently, Cafe Neo flies in their coffee beans from Rwanda but they're hoping to be able to convince the farmers to start growing coffee beans here again. After our introduction, we were shown how to make an espresso and how to build on to that to make other drinks like lattes, cappuccinos or a mocha.

And then it was our turn...
So it turns out there are A LOT of steps to this coffee game! Between all the new terminologies being flown around like 'sweet spots', 'flushing' and 'tamping' I was pretty flustered and forgot the order I needed to do everything in. I decided to make a mocha (which is basically an espresso with chocolate syrup) with soy milk, but soy milk is harder to froth than regular milk -damn you lactose intolerance, which also didn't help my matter AND then there's the whole 'having a crowd of people watch you' thing - awkward! Still I had so much fun and my drink turned out pretty good if you ask me. Well except I managed to burn my milk and still somehow end up with a lukewarm drink - don't ask! 

Let's just say I think I'll hold on to my day job. 


Credits & Info

  • Shout out to the sweet expat man for offering to take photos of me and his 10-year old daughter whose coffee-making skills completely annihilated mine. Well I'm guessing she was 10, I can't say for sure lol.
  • Hair - Nazuri Curls Afro Clip Ins 18", just one bundle
  • Dress - Forever 21 from a few years ago, not the most flattering, but it's comfortable and I like the colour

What's your favourite coffee drink? And are you any good at making it?

PS: Still a little rough around the edges but I'm happy to be blogging again:) I'll see you again on Sunday!

My Blog Struggle, Youtube & The TMI Tag!

Why hello there!!!

I know what you're going to say but before you do, hear me out or rather watch me out #dadjoke



So now that you've watched that, I hope you have more of an insight into what I've been doing and why I've been so absent! 

When I first started blogging way back in 2012 I did so because I liked to write and I wanted a platform to share my experiences on. I wasn’t interested in sharing every aspect of my life online, becoming an ‘Insta-celeb’ or even being paid. And that’s not to knock anyone who does or is any of those things, it takes a lot of work to get to any sort of recognizable level in the blogger world, and I simply just didn’t have the dedication or daresay even the want to do it. So I went from blogging less frequently to not at all. It took me a while to even realize that I had missed it until two very significant things happened.

The first was that I received my first payment from Google - ever! For 60 glorious pounds- lol! When people tell you it takes a long time to get paid for blogging I bet you didn’t think 4 years! But that’s how long it took me and even though I’m not looking at this blog to sustain me financially, it was very exciting! The second thing (which was much more important to me) was my readers started to reach out to me. I received emails, social media comments and a few people even stopped me in person to ask why I didn’t blog anymore. And to be honest I had no reason to give them. I never made a decision to “stop blogging” I just stopped blogging… For a while I guess working as the Assistant Editor at TW Magazine helped to fill my writing void. And once I left TW to focus on running Ajali full time back in September 2015, my life became so consumed with everything Ajali that a lot of things suffered as a result (running a business is hard y’all.) Still, its taken me nearly 6 months to find my rhythm and I’ve slowly re-introduced all the things back into my life that made me feel like me – my friends, exercise, music and now I guess I’ve decided to pick up blogging again but with a little twist! 

I've also always wanted to create video content. I’ve found that there’s something so magical about looking back and watching old videos. You’re instantly taken back to where and what you were doing, and how you felt at the time. So if for no other reason than the fact that I would love to have a video diary of my life to watch when I’m older, I've joined Youtube! I really hope you all enjoy my very first video. It was the first time I've ever recorded myself or edited a video and I honestly had so much fun doing it! For anyone that's nervous about joining Youtube (Lord knows I was/ still am) I'd say just go for it! I really didn't expect to have as much fun as I did with it, and I found learning how to edit to be really intuitive and not as intimidating as I'd expected it to be all thanks to this tutorial I found on (you guessed it!) Youtube lol.

I hope you're looking forward to my new content as much as I am looking forward to creating it for you.

Happy New Year and here's to 2016 – the year of stepping out of my comfort zone lol.