OOTD: Sunday Slayage

Hey pumpkins!

It’s my favourite day of the week YAAAAAASSS! I’m a Christian and God is totes my homeboy. Come Sunday, you’ll usually find me breaking it down in the aisle. I’m turning into one of those disrespectful church aunties who cut in and start singing “Igwe” when everyone else is still singing “Jehovah you are the most high.” I’m currently in the market for one of those lacy handheld fans and a tambourine. I’ll carry them in my purse in case the Holy Spirit shows up unexpectedly. Don’t try me.

I like to dress up for church. My look is feminine with a touch of vintage glam. Get into today’s OOTD!

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Cute, non? I went for this adorable floral shirt from H&M (a little black vest underneath because #boobs), paired with a black pencil skirt from Primark and snakeskin heels from M&S. I’m so in love with mixing prints nowadays. Just adds a bit of whimsy. I accessorised with my mum’s Australian pearls, which are older than I am. They’re handy in case Pastor preaches on something scandalous and you need to clutch your pearls real quick.
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And there you have it. As it says in the book of Divas, chapter 1 verse 1: Thou shalt SERVE. Happy Sunday dolls!

Love,
Adjpants

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Homecoming.

My dearest loves. It’s been a while since my last post, and I’m sorry I’ve left you for so long without providing some sort of foolishness or tea-spilling. Why have I been absent? Because I moved away from London 2 weeks ago…

*cue gasps*

That’s right. The last couple of months have been an insane emotional rollercoaster, a whirlwind of goodbyes. I wanted to write about what was happening in my life, but can I be honest? I was avoiding it because it hurt and I was scared. But someone once told me to “write through the pain,” so here goes.

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(FYI this is my brave face. The hearts are cute non?)

A bit of background for those of you who are just getting to know me. I travel a lot and I call four different places home (Ghana, Nigeria, Australia and England).

I was born in Australia to Ghanaian expat parents. We then moved to Mexico for a few years before settling in Nigeria. I had a blissful (and hilarious) childhood there before heading to boarding school in England.

After I graduated from uni, I worked in Australia for a few awesome years before heading back to the UK for another stint. After a rough start in London, I slowly started to feel a strange and unfamiliar sensation. I was starting to settle in. Settle down. Everything started clicking into place and for the first time in my life, I could actually see myself staying in the same country for years to come.

But bruv, you know how life sometimes throws you a curve ball? Things changed very suddenly and it became clear that this just wasn’t going to happen. I would have to leave, yet again.

While my international background is interesting, it is by no means unique. Apparently people like me are called “Third Culture Kids” and we’re everywhere. Children of expats, we went to international schools and were taught the capital cities of every country in the world (shout-out to my IITA peeps WOOP! I know you remember Stripies). We didn’t know what racism was, because our friends looked like a United Colours of Benetton ad. For us, constant travel was normal and stability was never guaranteed.

The last couple of years in London, I started to realise how much I craved that stability.

But sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to. I was now faced with a choice- where to next? Back to Australia made the most sense. I lived there for 3 happy years, and Melbourne wasn’t voted “Most Livable City in The World” for nothing. It’s funky, fresh and fabulous. And yet I didn’t feel quite ready. Something was telling me it was time to go home to Ghana.

But “home” can be a problematic concept when you have never actually lived in your home country. I tried to move back about 6 years ago. Saying it was a bit of a train wreck would be like saying Uncle Donald Trump’s hair is a bit off.

I wasn’t prepared for the culture shock, wasn’t ready for how my own people would see me as an outsider. They said I was too British, too feisty, too Westernised, even too Nigerian. My grasp of my parents’ language, Twi, was… well…it was dusty. This added to my frustration and sense of isolation. I only lasted a few weeks before fleeing to Melbourne.

So. When I found out I would have to leave London, that still small voice of calm said, “Go home.” After my previous experience, I was definitely nervous. Nah let’s be real- I was terrified. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail? What if I still can’t fit in? What if I still feel rejected? What if I can’t find a good job?

As I started packing, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. At one point I sat on the floor of my rapidly emptying bedroom, surrounded by bits and pieces of my past, and I just sobbed. It seemed so unfair- why was this happening to me?

Now check this out. Somehow at my lowest moments, when I’m just about to fall to pieces, my mother knows. Even though we live in different continents, there seems to be an invisible string connecting my emotions to hers. Right at that moment she called, and she waited patiently while I cried and cried and cried. Then she said, “Dry your tears. God has never failed you, and He won’t fail you now.”

With those words, she reminded me that there is someone looking out for me. She reminded me that you can’t miss out on your destiny. Whatever is meant to be, will be, and you have to trust the journey.

So my darlings, as I write this I am in Accra, Ghana. In the distance I can hear rushing traffic and the ever-present thump of hiplife music. My grasp of Twi is still rusty, but it’s better than it was 6 years ago. When I arrived in Accra recently, I managed to negotiate the price of a taxi without being royally ripped off with the “abrokyire” (overseas) price. That, my friends, is progress.

I’m effing scared, and there’s no shame in that. But I’m going to try and give this a shot, and I’m taking you guys along for the ride. We’ll explore the city together. We’ll go and see all the landmarks. We’ll hunt down the best brunches and the stiffest cocktails, and we’ll find out where all the hipsters hang out. Welcome to Love, Adjpants: The Motherland Edition!

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Is it possible it won’t work out? That I’ll fall flat on my face? BISH IT MIGHT BE- but there’s only one way to find out.

They say you can never go home again. I’m going to try and prove them wrong. As Dr. Maya Angelou said, “all God’s children need travelling shoes.”

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And if those travelling shoes happen to be serving Pocahontas realness… well that’s a bonus, hunty.

Love,
Adjpants

Happy Birthday Rosie! ♥

Today is my homegirl Rosie’s birthday! Festoon the streets with glitter! Let balloons fill the sky! LET THEM EAT CAKE!

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I’m always going on about how much I adore this chick, and I’ve missed her every single day since moving back to London. She is my pumpkin, my moon and stars, my liebschen. Let’s do a quick recap of why I love her:

1. She makes me cackle to the point of tears. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… she has the face of an angel, and swears like a sailor.

2. The very first time I went for after-work drinks with Rosie, I hesitated before doing a tequila shot and she yelled in my ear, “Go on! That’ll put hair on your balls!”

3. Her lifestyle & fashion blog, A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe, is EVERYTHING you have ever needed, and more. I save up her posts greedily and then binge on the fabulosity and eleganza. So much YAAAAASSS. I couldn’t be more proud of Rosie, and I know this is only the beginning for her.

So please join me in raising a glass to Our Rosie! Happy birthday dollsnatch! I love you. A little somethin’ special for you below…

Love always,
Adjpants

OOTD: The Lazy Sunday

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Sweethearts! Hi there. Just thought I’d share one of my favourite casual outfits. A couple of weeks back, a friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a day of lavish leisure (YES, hunty). We went to an incredible Pop Art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, and then lunched it up like bosses. This is what I wore.

Faux leather jacké (a jacké is like a jacket but FANCY): I picked up this hot little item from Primark a couple of months ago. I love it cos it’s super soft and pliable (I don’t like those stiff leather jackets where you’re serving serious shoulders). Can’t remember how much it was exactly, but like I always say, it was Primark so… they probably paid me to take it ha!

Leopard print scarf: Ooh I think I found this while combing through the bargain bin at a charity shop. This glorious scarf was £2.50.

Grey long-sleeved tee: One of my best-loved staples from Cotton On Australia. Forgotten how much exactly but it was definitely cheap as chips.

Tribal-print leggings: I effing LOVE these leggings! I got these from Forever 21+ in Vegas last summer. Those folks at F21 did not come to play childish games- their plus size range was absolutely gorgeous. Fierce, feisty fashion for those of us serving a bit more BAWDY. I don’t remember how much these were, because I just threw my credit card at the counter and lost my mind.

Boots: Ooh chile. I got these brown booties from Primark last autumn, and lemme tell you, they have really stood the test of time! They cost £12 and they are the most comfortable and cute boots I own. Even though these things have been through struggle, devastation and all sorts of hellish weather, they’re still holding up. I actually like them even more now they’re all beat-up.

Handbag: I got this adorable tan handbag last summer at H&M. I want to say it was £35? LOLz! Why am I so bad at recalling prices? Is this why I have no money?

And there you have it! What’s your favourite play-date/casual outfit?

Love,
Adjpants

The Perfect Red Lip!

If there’s one staple makeup trick you need to nail before the festive season kicks in, it’s the perfect red lip.

Remember those sophisticated, sharp-suited women from the 90s? With intense shoulder pads and red power lipstick? I used to sigh at those flawless red lips and think I’d never be able to pull it off. Turns out I (and you, sweetheart) can do and wear whatever I want! Yay!

The best thing about red lipstick is that it’s effortlessly chic and gorgeous. It pulls together any outfit and instantly says to the world “I got this, bruh.”

My fave red lippie, always and forever, is MAC’s Ruby Woo. This deep red with blue undertones looks incredible on every skin tone, from porcelain to chocolate. It comes in a retro matte formula, which can be a bit drying but done right, allows for maximum staying power. And this red is so perfect for Christmas! Check it:

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YAAAAASS Miss Hunty! You ready to serve? Then let’s begin.

To avoid the dreaded #CrustyLip while rocking this classic look, one must prep one’s lips. Exfoliate your lips beforehand- I like to gently use my regular facial scrub on my lips in the shower.

Follow with a rich, moisturising lip balm- nothing too oily though or your lippie will slide right off! I use a teeny dab of shea butter or Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment (miracle Aussie product I fell in love with when I was living Down Under).

And den… time to line that kisser. Get a nice red lipliner (I like “Cherry” by MAC), make sure it’s nice and sharp, and fill in your lips. Start with a clean outline and then fill in completely.

Finally grab your lipstick and apply! Pro-tip: Blot your lippie on a tissue and then re-apply a second coat, before blotting one last time. Et voila! You’re all done. Now get your fine self under that mistletoe!

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(Alternatively, just head to the bus stop and serve fierceness to unsuspecting civilians)

P.s. I’m dedicating this post to my homegirl and partner in crime, the delectable Rosie from A Red Lip and a Nude Shoe. I’m always talking about how much I adore this chick, but this post especially reminds me of her because she loves to throw down with a red lip.

It also reminds me of one of the (many) fab nights out Rosie and I had years ago in Melbourne, Australia. We were waiting for the tram and I was about to re-apply my lipstick, when the lid of my Ruby Woo fell out of my hands and rolled across the busy street. Amidst all the cackles and giggles, I quickly forgot all about it. A few days later, Rosie presented me with this gorgeous little silk case to store my lipstick in. And this has been my Ruby Woo’s home ever since ♥

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Every time I pick up this case, it reminds me of the giddy hilarity of that night, and how very happy I was. Hugs to my Rosie!

So what’s your go-to red lip gals? Tell me in the comments innit!

Love,
Adjpants

Putting your Face on With Adjpants: Winter Glow Edition

Oh hey boos! It’s been a long time and I shouldn’t have left you (left you), without a dope beat to step to. Things have been cray cray on my end, but I continue to count my blessings and serve face at all times. I’ve missed you all so much. I promise to do better. Now why not treat yo’self to one of my favourite beauty columns from earlier this year, previously published by my lovelies at The Toast?

My darlings, my loves, my moons and stars! How are you all? I’m so excited to be coming to you this new year, full to bursting with new beauty ideas. Today’s featured look was inspired by my annual vacation. Once a year I’m lucky enough to jet off to Nigeria and spend Christmas with my family. After three years of blazing-hot Australian Decembers, winter in London was thoroughly kicking my ass. I was thrilled to escape.

Every time I arrive home I fall drunk in love with the climate and the sheer gloriousness of life in the tropics. The lush bursts of colour, the heat, the sumptuous shades of green. Within minutes of putting down my suitcase, I have a spring in my step and a swish in my hips.

So in keeping with this vibe, today’s look is all about SHINE BABY SHINE, with an exotic pop of colour! Forget every damn thing you know about winter makeup. Not for us the dark plum lip and pasty face. No thanks. We’re about that shimmery bronze, golden-toasted, glowing from within, dewy life. That coupled with a splash of hot pink gloss that makes heads turn. Makes people do a double-take. Brings all the boys (and girls… hell, brings everyone) to the yard.

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We’re aiming for a Club-Tropicana-drinks-are-free type situation. Fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone. Girl didn’t you get the memo?

So! Are you all sitting comfortably? Cocktails in hand? Then I’ll begin.

Now even though this is a tropical summery look, let’s face the facts. It is winter and freezing cold outside, so let’s make sure we protect our faces accordingly. This is a gorgeous dewy look so it’s time to get uber-serious about moisturizer. Start with a lovely clean face. In the winter I like to use a nice nourishing face wash like Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash. My skin behaves better when I use fragrance-free, vitamin-rich products on it.

Follow with a nourishing toner. On these sub-zero days, I like to treat myself to something gentle like an organic rosewater and glycerin toner. This vintage favourite will freshen your skin, get rid of any grime left lurking in your pores, and prepare your face for moisturizer and makeup. As if that wasn’t enough, it smells like a rose garden after a soft rain. Rain made of a baby cherub’s tears.

Make sure you cleanse-tone-moisturise in quick succession. Your pores will be nice and open after being bathed in warm water, and this way you lock in all the moisture before your skin dries completely. In the winter, I am absolutely LIVING for Olay Complete UV Protection Daily Lotion. It’s rich and lovely, without turning my face into an oil slick. I have combination/oily skin but for my gals with dry/sensitive skin, you may want to add an extra step to your moisturizer game in winter. Simply use a serum and allow a few seconds to sink in before moisturising. You don’t need to mess around with astoundingly expensive branded serums- ain’t nobody got time for dat. I’d recommend organic cold-pressed rosehip oil. This gorgeous orangey-red oil is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, and it is everything you have ever needed in life. It makes your skin look plump and lush, and helps to even skin tone and prevent wrinkles. A little goes a very long way, so just put a few drops in your palm and massage into your skin before moisturising.

Right! Time to rage against the dying of the (winter) light. Ready?

Products used:

MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47: I actually use this divine foundation as a concealer to cover any blemishes. I know most gals use foundation over their entire face but this seems to work for me. Experimentation is key darlings! Use a flat concealer or foundation brush to get an even finish.

MAC Studio Fix Powder in N9: Use a delightfully fluffy powder brush. Buff the product into your skin in a circular motion. Try to build up the coverage as you go along- it’s much better than going in too heavy right at the start. Remember, we want dewy-fresh. Not cake-face… *goes into wistful reverie about cake and has to be nudged back to the present*

YSL Touche Eclat Highlighter in Shade 6: NOW LADIES. Let’s talk about highlighting. Using a cream highlighter is a game changer and adds an extra dimension of awesome to your already breathtaking face. What we initially want to highlight/brighten are the areas where shadow tends to fall on your face. Under-eye circles, we’re looking at you. I absolutely love YSL Touche Eclat- this genius fluid contains tiny light-reflecting particles that scream “fabulous” and “bright” and “divine!” Pro tip: This product is a bit pricey so you can always make your own version! Simply use a concealer two shades lighter than your skin tone and mix with a bit of cream highlighter (most drugstore brands will have them, either with a pink or golden finish) before applying.

So dot your highlighter under your eyes- be bold and widen the coverage a bit to really cover all of that darkness. Now use your finger to gently blend. Make sure you blur any harsh lines. See what a difference that makes? The other areas we want to highlight are:

1. The area on your forehead just between your eyebrows
2. Under your eyebrows- use a small concealer brush to create a line of highlighter following the arch of your brows, and thoroughly blend downwards with your finger
3. Down the bridge of your nose
4. In your cupid’s bow (this subtly draws attention to your lovely lips- ooh your suitors don’t stand a chance do they?)
5. Your chin

Blend, baby, blend! But before you do, feel free to cavort around in front of the mirror with random strokes of highlighter on your face. It’s fun.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Raspberry: This gorgeous cream blush is a deep pink with a nice sheen. Of course you can just use your fave blush- do go for something a bit deeper though, to get that colour pop. Swirl onto the apples of your cheeks and then arc upwards along your cheekbones for a sculpted finish.

Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick in Gold Bronze: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and this shimmer brick is the sun. My love for this powder highlighter is deep, strong and true. Basically these pallets are a set of complementary shimmering colours which you can use in two ways: You can sweep your brush lightly across all the colours and highlight your face, or you can use the shades individually as eyeshadows. Le swoon. I got this version super cheap at Boots (British drugstore) but there are numerous other versions out there. Cheap as chips: Rimmel, Bourjois and Max Factor all have bronzing highlighters available. Pricier: Bobbi Brown made the original shimmer brick, and MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighters are EVERYTHING.

Highlighter

So for this look we’re going to be using the “sweep across” technique. We’re basically amping up what we did with the cream highlighter. Like this:

1. Sweep your blusher brush lightly across all shades of the shimmer brick. LIGHTLY being the operative term here dolls. Blow off any excess
2. Now sweep the highlighter gently above where you applied your blusher. We want a gentle sheen on the cheekbones for maximum lust-worthiness
3. Next lightly dust under your eyebrows (brow bone area), down the bridge of your nose, and your chin. Just the lightest touch will do- we just want to enhance the areas where light naturally hits your face
4. Use the brightest shade in the palette to highlight the inner corners of your eyes. I just smoosh some of the colour onto my pinky finger and apply to the innermost corners of my upper and lower eyelids
5. Step back and admire your handiwork. You look HAWT.

Now to finish up…

Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black/Brown: Start with a sharpened pencil. Use tiny strokes and follow your natural arch. Start from the outer ends first and work your way inwards, lightening the strokes for a natural gradient effect.

Maybelline Volum’Express Cat-Eyes mascara: As always, my pro-tip is to concentrate on the outer top lashes for a wide-eyed effect. I like to apply my first coat of mascara, wait a couple of moments and then apply a second coat. Fabulous tip for lower lashes- hold the brush vertically and use the very tip of it to dab the mascara on. Instant va-va voom. I didn’t even know I had lower lashes until I started using this technique.

Barry M Moisturising Lipstick in Shocking Pink: Now darlings, I know bright lipstick can be a bit daunting. And I know we’re really pushing the envelope here wearing brights in winter when we should be wearing plum shades. But who is going to be fool enough to check us? NOBODY. We’re going to look fabulous and trust me when I reassure you that yes, you too can wear bright colours on your lips. It’s all about confidence. Ok? Ok! So make sure your lips are nice and moisturised because bright colours will show up any flakiness. I like to exfoliate my lips using Vaseline and an old toothbrush. For this look, I chose hot pink but you could use any bright colour you want. A bright red lipstick with an orange tone would look fab too. Apply your lipstick and cover with a clear gloss for added shine and fullness.

And we’re done! Effortless, shiny glam. Winter is going to be all like “Oh… oh ok. I should go.”

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I hope you enjoyed reading, my darling Toastinis! I can’t wait to hear from you all. Will you be trying this look for your next hot date/party/trip to the wholefoods store?

Love,
Adjpants

I AM 30!

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Today I turn 30 years old, and I think it’s safe to say that nobody has ever been quite this excited about anything, ever. When people hear that I’m about to hit the big 3-0, they do that thing where there’s a wince and a sharp intake of breath (sometimes paired with a pat on the shoulder), and they start to say “Oooh scary right? How are you feeling about…” And then they trail off when they see the look on my face.

It’s a huge (inevitably gap-toothed) grin that I can’t hide whenever I’m reminded that I’m about to hit this milestone. I’M 30 YEARS OLD! The thought of it makes me want to bust a move; launch into a set of impeccable naked cartwheels.

Why am I so excited? Because I look at my life right now and I can’t believe how ludicrously blessed I am. I am so grateful. I had my birthday party on Saturday, and it was like a dream. It was a joyous, chaotic and sparkly affair. The guests were beloved friends from different points in my life- many had never met each other before. I looked around and felt overwhelmed by love. I even felt the love of those who weren’t there with me in person- like  my darling Rosie; my partner in crime, yin to my yang, the sun in my sky. This girl is with me always.

I am 30. I was blessed with the wonderful family that I was born into. As if that wasn’t enough, I was then blessed with the replacement family I picked up along the way. I am happy, healthy and fulfilled. Where there used to be a painfully shy little girl who couldn’t make eye contact, there is now a woman whose laugh can be heard for miles. Where there was once a little girl terrified of being too far away from the safety of her bedroom, there is now a woman who has lived in 3 different continents in as many years.

I am 30. When I look at my life and the people I share it with, I know that I’m blessed. Because honestly? Nobody could be quite this lucky.

Love,
Adjpants