EMMAUS LUXURY SKINCARE

Hiya,

Hope you all are having a good week so far! I was lucky enough to snag an invite to the launch of a brand new beauty brand right here in Lagos called Emmaus (pronouned uh-may-us) two weeks ago and it honestly was one of the best launches I'd been to. Emmaus is a 100% cruelty free brand made in the USA and founded by fellow Nigerian, Aminah Sagoe. Their philosophy is to use natural, safe ingredients but scientifically-formulated with the best technology  to ensure the products are effective. Emmaus specifically uses Plant Stem Cell technology which is pretty much the basis of all life. These cells have the ability to renew and repair themselves so the idea is that using these cells in their products will provide the necessary antioxidants and nutrients to rejuvenate our skin. Sounds cool right? 

Their three-step range consists firstly of their cleansing Smiling Beads Body Wash - a clarifying body wash containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, sunflower seed wax and pumice powder which promotes the exfoliation of dry, dead and dull skin cells, and allows for new, glowing skin to surface. The second step in the range is the Touch of Love Mini Towels, which are basically thick, super soft towels soaked in salicylic and glycolic acids, arginine and (my favourite astringent) witch hazel to rejuvenate your skin. The last step is to moisturise and and nourish with their Softness  Bliss Body Lotion. Emmaus products are said to help with various skin conditions such as body acne, eczema, psoriasis, dark spots and discolouration. 

We were lucky enough to get samples of two out of their three products in our goody bags to try (disclaimer, excuse the condition of my nails, I'm off to get them done now lol):
The Smiling Beads Body Wash is an exfoliating shower gel. It has a very light citrus smell that is extremely pleasant and not at all overpowering. It foams so well that you only need a tiny bit at once. The smell of this product and the tiny exfoliating beads created an invigorating experience for me - I really did not want to stop using it, it's the perfect pick-me-up for those kind of mornings. My only cristicism would be that after I got out of the bath, my skin didn't feel as moisturised and soft as my regular Dove shower gel. It by no means felt dry though.
The Softness Body Lotion was thick and creamy, just how I like my lotions to be (pause). As soon as I smelled it it made me smile, and I instantly recognised the lemongrass fragrance. As far as lotions go, I personally didn't find it creamy enough to use all over my body but then again, my skin's used to AJALI now. It was great for moisturising my hands but I did find that you had to top it up as the day went on.

All in all, the Emmaus brand is undoubtedly a premium one. The quality of the ingredients and the packaging are top notch and it definitely creates the kind of experience that you want to "save for special occassions" or possibly give as a gift to a loved one. Their products are excusilvely sold at MedPlus pharmacies across Lagos and B Natural Spas in Victoria Island and Ikeja. I don't have exact prices at this time but once I do, I'll update you.

Have you tried any products from Emmaus?


MY MAC LIPSTICK COLLECTION: THE REDS

Hi Guys,

So I'm back with more Mac lipsticks! I thought it'd be cool to show you my red lipsticks while I still had red hair (I know I know lol). Unfortunately, the pictures of me wearing the lipsticks didn't come out too great. Without flash the pictures came out blurry, with flash they all the lipsticks looked overly exposed and the same colour. I tried to play with the settings on my camera for over an hour and just couldn't figure it out Aaargh! Thankfully the swatches came out pretty good. 

L-R Viva Glam A80, Sin, Riri Woo, Ruby Woo, Russian Red, MAC Red
L-R Viva Glam A80, Sin, Riri Woo, Ruby Woo, Russian Red, MAC Red

Viva Glam A80 (Matte) :I forgot I had this, I think I must've got this about 5/6 years ago when I first got into lipstick and thought my lips had to be red all the time lol

Sin (Matte): Sin is a vampy dark red, and I absolutely loveeeee it! I just picked it up 2 weeks ago from the Bauty Cook Studio in Lekki for N3,800 - steal. This and Film Noir are my go-to lipstick colours with my hair this colour.

Riri Woo (Retro Matte): This lipstick was a gift, I never would've bought it myself since I think it's pretty much identical to Riri Woo and even drier. Not a fan. I remember wishing I had got Heaux instead at the time lol

Ruby Woo (Matte): There's not too much I can say about this, every person seems to have it and love it and I'm no exception.

Russian Red (Matte): This is the red I reach for the most in my collection. It's matte but not overly dry and I feel like this shade suits my skin tone the most.
MAC Red (Satin): Fun fact, the Mac Red was my first ever Mac lipstick that I bought for my 18th birthday - crazy right? Couldn't believe I even still had this. 

I've been leaning towards darker lipsticks and nudes for a while now, so must of these lipsticks haven't actually been worn in YEARS. I had a lot of fun strolling down memory lane/wondering if I need to throw some of these out lol... What are your favourite red lipsticks?

Read about my nude lipstick collection here.


TAHITIAN NONI & MONOI CONDITIONING SHAMPOO

Hello Everyone,

I hope you're all well. As you know I've embarked on a hair challenge a few weeks ago which has motivated me to try out some new products. My sister got this for me, knowing what a fan I am of all things Shea Moisture and I was very excited to try this. 

I've used the Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Conditioning Shampoo twice now and here are my thoughts.

CONS
- It's a very thin formulation so you need to use a lot of product at a time. I've only used this product for two washes and I've already gone through half of the bottle
- My hair didn't feel clean until the second or third wash, which also means using a lot of product at once

PROS
I liked the smell, it's very light and not overpowering
- It foams well and didn't leave my hair feeling stripped or dry

All in all, I didn't like this product very much and wouldn't be repurchasing it. On a closer look I found out that this product isn't for my hair type. My hair's definitely not wavy or curly which is the targeted hair type for this product. The Coconut & Hibiscus range (which is my favourite so far) is for thick and curly hair, which is more up my street.

TICKLE MY FRANCE-Y

Hi Guys,

I've been loving my nudes and pastel nail polishes, even more than normal this year so I was excited to find this OPI shade when I got my manipedi done this week:

I got my nails done for N5,000 at QM Lounge if anyone's interested. They've recently changed their ENTIRE staff which is so upsetting but I was pleased with the new person I tried. QM Lounge is located at 33 Emma Abimbola Cole, Lekki Phase One.

What are your favourite nude nail polish shades?

WHAT I ATE TUESDAY (NO 2)

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for your feedback on my last 'What I Ate' post. I'm glad you all liked it and I'm looking forward to doing more. However, if you're like me and tend to eat the same sort of things during the week, a series like this can quickly get boring. So I'm going to switch it up and put meals from different days of the week together and post them every other Tuesday. Hope that makes sense:


 Breakfast
Quaker Oats So Simple in Apple and Cinnamon, an Orange and Green Sencha Tea

Not much to say about this meal, except that was the driest orange I've ever attempted to eat in my life. I make my oatmeal with soy milk in the microwave - easy peasy. I know this brand isn't the healthiest (there's ALOT of sugar), but its yummy and I get a box of 60 sachets for about N4,000.

 Lunch
Sausage Roll and Pink Lemonade 

Shout out to the homie for putting me on Wilson's Lemonade! Yo, this drink is LIFE! AND it's made in Nigeria!!! The Pink Lemonade one is much better than the original, let me just spare you the trauma of figuring that our for yourself. I paired it with a sausage roll from the bakery in Gravitas supermarket in Lekki. Guess you can call this a cheat meal lol. #sorrynotsorry

Dinner
Vermicelli stir fry and roast chicken

This was goooood! If I do say so myself lol! I find that vermicelli satisfies my pasta cravings without leaving me feeling heavy and bloated so it's quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Plus it's so easy to cook. Just boil the noodles and mix with some peppers, and onions and any sauce or stew you have laying around and voila!

What did you eat today? 



MY TEETH WHITENING EXPERIENCE

Hi Everyone,

You know your week was hectic when you don't remember that you've missed not one, but two posts. I'm sorry but between missing two days at work due to a foot injury and then having to catch up with everything I missed, I just forgot! So I'm back with an interesting post for you guys. I got my teeth professionally whitened for the first time. Whitening my teeth was a pretty spontaneous decision for me. I thought about doing it and booked an appointment the next day lol.

I've been going to Dr. Iheme at Richmond Dental Clinic for years and he really is the nicest person. He took the time to explain the process to me which starts with a scaling and polishing. I'd never done this before either (I know shocking! You're recommended to do this every six months), so I went in to get my first teeth cleaning done. And a week later, I went in for my whitening.  

What happens? 
My dentist uses the Zoom Whitening technology. It's basically a system that makes use of sodium hydroxide (the chemical present in all whitening kits) and a laser to quicken the bleaching process. Here's a diagram of the steps from the whitening kit:
You're given a mouth guard to keep your mouth open, then your gums are protected with a chemical to make sure they're not whitened too. Next, the whitening gel is placed over your teeth and the laser is attached to your mouth.
APPLICATION OF WHITENING GEL
LASERING
The second the mouth guard went in and the laser came close to me, I started to feel a little anxious. There's something about not being able to speak and not knowing what to expect that freaked me out, and at that point I found a lot of comfort in the fact that I was in a familiar environment. My dentist gave me a sheet of paper and a pen in case I needed to communicate anything to him during the procedure.

I should also mention that the mouth guard wasn't painful at all. The blue one that comes with the kit was too big to fit in my mouth so I was given another one. I know it looks like my lips are stretched over the top but it honestly wasn't painful. The worst thing about the mouth guard is you can't swallow with it in. So my saliva was collecting in the bottom of my mouth during the laser sessions. The nurse would suction it out during the breaks but it was a little gross to be honest.

How long is it going to take?
My whole appointment took about an hour and a half. There are three 15-minute rounds of the gel/laser process. In between each round, the gel is removed and a fresh layer is re-applied before the process is repeated. At the end all the gel is removed and you rinse your mouth with plain water and you're good to go.

Is it going to hurt? 
Dr. Iheme explained to me that some people experience pain during the procedure but luckily for me I was fine until the last few minutes of the third and final round. That's when I experienced a sharp pang in my bottom, central tooth. But I was able to suck it up and finish the treatment. I listened to music throughout my treatment which was a great distraction, so I'd recommend bringing your headphones. Afterwards  my teeth felt sensitive and my gums were a little sore, and for about an hour after the procedure that sharp pang would come and go. But a few days later everything was back to normal.

The results
As you can see, there's a huge difference between what I started with what I ended up with. My dentist explained to me that my teeth are at least 6 shades whiter and I'm ecstatic! The great thing about getting your teeth whitened professionally is you get instant results that (are supposed to) last forever. I'm very excited.
BEFORE
AFTER
Prices vary from dentist to dentist but in case you'd like to go to mine, its located on Maitama Sule, off Raymond Njoku in Ikoyi. 

Have you ever got your teeth whitened? Do any of you have any DIY tips?




*This post is not sponsored. I paid N60,000 for the treatment. 




6 MONTH HAIR GROWTH CHALLENGE!

Happy March Everyone!

So it kind of just hit me that I'm 3 months away from my 3 year natural anniversary which is just CRAZY to me! I honestly can't believe that time has flown so quickly. Having said that, I wish I was more happy with my growth progress. I thought that at this stage I'd have a lot more length, specifically at least bra strap length. And I'm definitely no where near that goal. If'm I'm being honest, my hair is the exact same length as it was at my 2 year anniversary - 8 inches at the longest point! And I'm mad! I should have at least twice that. But, if I'm honest with myself, I I havent been taking care of my hair. Over the past year I've completely lost any sort of routine. I've noticed my hair's drier and my ends are shot. So even though I'm positive my hair's growing in actual fact, I'm not retaining length.

So I'm going on a 6 month hair growth challenge to get my regimen back on track and improve the health of my hair. Yes, I know it's not good to obsess about length but hey I'm aspiring to grow my hair. That was one of the reasons why I went natural in he first place. I want to have a huge head of healthy, long hair and I don't see why it's so taboo to admit that in the natural hair community.

So here's what I've decided to do for my hair over the next 6 months:.
  • Weekly overnight hot oil treatments before wash day
  • Weekly washes with a sulphate-free shampoo and a diluted sulphate shampoo once a month
  • Weekly deep conditioning and steam
  • Co-washing every Wednesday 
  • Moisturise and seal every night before bed
  • Scalp massages twice a week
  • Inversion method daily for one week out of each month
  • Keep hair in protective styles and protect ends during the week
  • No heat!
In addition to all this, I'm going to maintain a healthy lifestyle, specifically I'll be continuing to drink at least 2 litres of water a week, exercising regularly and eating healthy.

It's a lot to do, and it's not going to be easy but I guess that's why they call it a challenge! I'll be updating you guys on my progress, every last Sunday of the month for the next 6 months. So you can stay tuned or better yet, join in! Here are my Day 1 progress shots:

What do you think about growth challenges? Will you be joining in?