#LittleLuxuryMoments: Imperial Leather Relaunches in Accra

Hi pumpkins!

You know my goal in life is to bring you the best of glamour and fierceness from the Motherland, right? So imagine my excitement when I was contacted by the group behind Imperial Leather, PZ Cussons. Now I know you’re familiar with the iconic Imperial Leather soap bars- remember the creamy beige classic bar with the little sticker in the middle? And then in recent years, they blessed us with a range of shower gels? Well, word on the street was that Imperial Leather was launching a new range of body care products in Ghana!

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The original Imperial Leather products have been part of my routine for years…

PZ Cusson’s Head of Digital Marketing, Stephen Boadi, contacted me and some of Accra’s coolest bloggers (YAAAASSS to being part of this awesome crew), asking us to review the new body care range. He also invited us to the fancy relaunch/unveiling event. Chile, you know they had me at “black tie and red carpet.”

So let’s turn off the lights and light a candle á la Uncle Teddy Pendergrass, because it’s time for some pampering! Mr Boadi gave us these divine products to try:

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Some of the gorgeous goodies

The “Japanese Spa” Body wash
The “Softly Softly” Body wash
The “Active” Bath Bar
The “Classic” Bath Bar
The “Classic” Body Lotion
The “Intense Cool” for Men Anti-perspirant Deodorant
The “Japanese Spa” Anti-perspirant Deodorant
The “Active” Anti-perspirant Deodorant
The “Classic” Anti-perspirant Deodorant

#EXCITEMENT

I dived into the shower immediately to try out my goodies! Let me get straight to it, guys. If you don’t own the Japanese Spa body wash, then I really don’t even know what your life is about. This is my absolute favourite! I always loved the original Imperial Leather Japanese Spa body wash, but the new and improved version is LIT! Imagine a moisturising blend of green tea, rice milk and jasmine. The lather is rich and creamy, and the fragrance is, well, everything. Imperial Leather is formulated by “Master Perfumers” and I am here to tell you that they didn’t come to play. Tap your neighbour and say YAAAASSS FRAGRANCE! The scent was gorgeous and feminine, and I felt like a fancy Far Eastern princess when I stepped out of the shower. This is a winner. It was pretty moisturising as well, and my skin felt soft afterwards.

Coming up in second place was the Softly Softly body wash. Girl they got me with that packaging. I love anything pink and girly. This body wash contains rose tea and hydrolised milk. I really liked the scent- it was floral without being overpowering. I didn’t feel like this one was as moisturising as Japanese Spa, but it’s still a favourite.

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And now let’s get into the bath bars *sighs heavily* Guys, I’ve always liked the idea of soap bars but in practice, I always find them a bit drying on my skin. I was pleasantly surprised by the original “Classic” Bath Bar. The lather was rich and creamy, and my skin felt squeaky-clean afterwards. It was only a little bit drying, but maybe stick with the body washes if you have very dry skin. I gave the “Active” bath bar to one of my guy friends, so he could try it and report back. He said he loved the fresh, invigorating fragrance, and said it would be ideal for use after sports. He did mention that it left his skin a bit dry, so make sure you moisturise afterwards! Ashy ain’t cute…

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And while we’re talking about moisturisation, let’s get into the “Classic” Body Lotion real quick. The first thing I noticed about it was the scent; clean, fresh and almost identical to the fragrance of the original Classic Bath Bar. The lotion was rich and luscious, but I noticed that it took a while to absorb. It left my skin dewy and soft though, and I felt like I was glowing all day long. Winner.

Next up: the anti-perspirant deodorants. I tried all the fragrances and I can safely say they left me feeling fresh and smelling lovely all day. I just have one complaint. These take forever and a day to dry! Now, when we met with the PZ Cussons team, Brands Development and Activations Manager Ewuraba Adusei explained the formula. The new deodorants contain less alcohol, which makes them gentler on the delicate skin of your armpit. The only downside? The low alcohol content means that the liquid takes longer to dry. Darlings, here’s something you may not know about me. I am ALWAYS late. It’s not my fault. I am a Ghanaian. So while I appreciate the gentle formula, I really need a deodorant that dries super fast so I can get dressed and run out in my usual panicked fashion.

I had a fabulous time trying out the new Imperial Leather products. We had a week or so of lavish bathing and tweeting about #LittleLuxuryMoments… and before we knew it, launch night was upon us! The girls and I slipped on our finery and got glammed up by the amazing Glow With Maj. This young lady is now one of my favourite makeup artists- she was warm, fun, and had me looking like Beyonce’s hot (chocolate) cousin. Holla at Maj and tell her I sent you!

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Getting my face beat for the gawds by the delightful Glow with Maj
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The #GlowUp was real

Once we had all reached maximum slay, it was time to hit that red carpet.

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The stunning blogger and model, Laurie Frempong. LOOK AT GOD.
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SLAYAGE x 3: Kiki Ochieng, Jemila Abdulai and I fanning our fine selves
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Kiki and I serving opulence
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Blogging Dream Team pt 1: Laurie Frempong, moi, Kiki Ochieng, and Jemila Abdulai
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Blogging Dream Team pt 2: Jemila, Kiki, moi and Naa Oyoo Quartey

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The launch event was delightful. We had Jessica from CitiFM as our MC, and there were talks from keynote speakers. We were given goody bags containing more body care products (huzzah!) and these adorable scented fans. I’m now obsessed with my pink feather fan and I use it to slay at church. Can’t tell me nothing.

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The lovely ladies in red who hostessed the event

There was also an interesting (coughs discreetly) episode with a standup comedian, and some catwalk action. The models were featuring the different products in the body care range, but it was a bit confusing because they weren’t holding any of the products. I thought it would have been cute if the models had strutted down the catwalk in costumes inspired by each scent. Like maybe the Classic body lotion could have inspired a classic red gown, or the Japanese Spa body wash could be carried down the runway by a geisha. You feel me?

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Anyhoo, all the ladies in the audience perked up real sharp when this young man appeared. I wish I had taken a better photo, but my hands were shaking due to his ludicrous hotness. THE WAY THIS MAN’S BODY WAS SET UP… Lord! He smoothed his hand down his arm to demonstrate the smoothness of the body lotion, and I got instant hypertension.

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… But I digress! Finally it was the moment everyone had been waiting for- the unveiling. In a shower of sparks, there it was: the new range! It included the new-look bath bars, body washes, deodorants, body sprays and lotions.

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Faaaaancy

The new logo was also unveiled, and I loved it. Gimme luxury, gimme gold, gimme sumptuousness. I have to say, as a huge advocate for self care and self love, I really appreciate what PZ Cussons is doing with the Imperial Leather brand. #LittleLuxuryMoments is all about encouraging people to find a touch of luxury every day. It’s about finding beauty in the little things, in the quiet moments. Sometimes after a rough day, you need to shut the door on the world… and escape into a sanctuary of rich lather and beautiful scents.

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I’ve always been a fan of Imperial Leather. Thanks to the new range, it looks like I always will be. Congratulations to the team at PZ Cussons, and a huge thank you from me and the girls! We had a great time working with you, and it was an honour to be part of your journey. Here’s to luxury.

Love,
Adjpants

Love the Skin You’re In!

Hey dolls!

Let’s talk skincare for a hot minute. You all know I love makeup (or “makeupses” as my boo Rosie calls it) but listen. Great skin takes your sexy to new heights. What do we want? Fresh, glowing, supple skin! When do we want it? Upon the immediate.

Skincare is very much a different strokes for different folks situation- what works for me may not work for you. But can you really ever go wrong with Mother Nature? NAH.

I try to keep my skincare regime as natural as possible. I avoid anything with harsh fragrances, chemical nasties or anything with too many unpronounceable ingredients (I follow the ingredients rule when it comes to food too). If you’re buying an aloe vera face wash, why does it contain a list of 27 ingredients? Hmm? Is this life?

So here is my laughably simple skincare regime. It keeps me glowing and baby smooth, with only the very occasional spot (which I also zap mercilessly with Mother Nature’s bounty- keep reading).

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L-R: Vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel (the struggle kind for now, because I couldn’t find my fave brand outchea in Accra), Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Facial Wash, Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner, Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid, and pure tea tree oil.

Morning: After I’ve woken up and scrolled through All of The Instagram checked in on current affairs, I skip out of bed and wash my face with Simple Anti-Ageing Facial Wash. This creamy cleanser gets me squeaky clean but feels really nourishing with none of that tight after-soap feeling. I then follow that up with a refreshing toner. I tend to alternate between the following three:

Pure witch hazel for when my skin feels a bit spotty or congested: All-natural and cleansing with antibacterial properties

Rosewater for when my skin feels a teeny bit sensitive: Amazing toning and calming properties. Plus you’ll smell like an exotic Turkish rose garden #WinningAtLife

Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner for all other times: Does what it says on the bottle- gently clarifies, soothes and tones

Once my toner has dried, I moisturise with one of the oldies but goodies: Oil of Olay (Ulay? Why did they ever change it?) Beauty Fluid for combination/oily skin with SPF 15. What I love about this moisturiser is that it’s not that awful gel-like consistency that you get with most lotions targeted towards oily/combination skin. It’s really nourishing and keeps my skin supple. To be honest I no longer fight my oily skin like I used to. I like the dewy look, and they say we oily chicks stay looking younger for longer *flips hair*

Dassit! Three simple steps fam. And then I follow with whatever face- painting I fancy. Alrighty now let’s fast-forward to the end of the day…

*cue fake montage of me running through the city in heels, coffee in hand, slaying at board meetings, hopping into taxis with flawless style*

*now cue real montage of me bare-knuckle-fighting a taxi driver in Osu, standing in Max Mart trying to understand why baked beans are quadruple the RRP written on the can*

Evening: And we’re home! It’s night-night time. Let’s take our face off. The first thing I do is wipe off my makeup with baby wipes. That’s right girl. Why am I spending £4080 on L’Oréal or Garnier face wipes when baby wipes are less than two quid for a bumper pack? Plus they are soooo much gentler on your skin than that expensive rubbish. Always go for un-fragranced. The reason I wipe my face before washing is to get rid of as much makeup as possible in advance. Also for some reason, I’ve never been able to wash my face without flooding the entire bathroom/house/planet. Getting rid of most of the grime with wipes means less time at the sink!

I then proceed to wash twice with warm water and my trusty Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Facial Wash. I also repeat my toning step. And then I move on to my final step; going all out on any blemishes which have dared to appear during the day. Forget all the expensive spot-fighting potions. You don’t need that shiz. All you need are tea tree oil and aloe vera gel.

Guys I can’t overstate this: pure aloe vera gel is everything you have ever needed in life. Got spots? Get the aloe. Rashes? Sunburn? Get the aloe. Boyfriend acting up? ALOEEEE. Most nights, I slather on a thin layer of pure aloe vera gel (apply it the way you would put on a face mask, avoiding your sensitive eye area and your mouth). I wait for it to dry before hitting the sack. My fave brand is Aloe Pura with Tea Tree oil, and for a while I was miserable that I couldn’t get it here. But then a friend of mine casually handed me a fresh cutting from his aloe plant. I almost wept with gratitude.

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Fresh aloe is the holy grail. If you have one of these plants, you will basically be 1000 years old, still serving smooth Angela Bassett realness. Very easy to use, too.

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Just cut off a small section of the leaf, and slice off the sharp thorns along each side. Slice through the gel in the middle and open up the leaf. Then just rub the gel directly onto your skin. Allow to dry, et voila! Word of warning though- pure aloe vera gel is horribly bitter so do not get this stuff in your mouth *shudders*

Tea tree oil is my other spot slayer. I just dab it on blemishes at night, and the spots are usually gone (or at least drastically improved) in the morning! Pure tea tree oil is strong though, so if you have sensitive skin you may want to dilute it in water and apply with cotton wool.

On the occasions where no spot-fighting is necessary, I wash my face, use toner and apply a few drops of organic rosehip oil to my skin. This ruby-red oil is effing awesome for plumping up the skin, smoothing, and keeping wrinkles at bay. In terms of anti-ageing I’m hoping genetics will keep me baby faced. My mum is almost 60 and she’s outchea looking 12. Still you can never be too careful, so I massage in this antioxidant-packed oil whenever I can at night.

I’ve run out of this at the moment, so I’ve replaced it with pure vitamin E oil. This stuff is great for giving maximum glow and healing scars. Don’t spend a fortune on vitamin E oil though! All you need to do is buy the gel capsules and pop ’em to get at the golden oil inside. Then just gently massage into the skin.

And there you have it! A diva is ready for beddy-byes. Face routine done!

For my body I swear by Nivea Nourishing body lotion. I call it “The Good Nivea” because they have made so many different varieties, none of which live up to the original. You want the one in the iconic dark blue bottle, enriched with almond oil. My dad has used this lotion ever since I can remember (his skin is flawless by the way), and the scent always makes me think of him. I especially love Nivea for dark skin because it gives a gorgeous glow like nothing else. Other recommendations for my glow getters- pure coconut oil and pure shea butter. On the days I don’t use Nivea, I use either one of these.

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L-R: Pure extra virgin coconut oil (apologies for the smooshed label), The Good Nivea, pure shea butter.

You’ll be shining bright like a diamond! This always reminds me of my grandmother. When my brothers and I were little, she used to bathe us and baste us liberally in cocoa butter. We were walking around sparkling and sliding off the furniture (which was of course covered in plastic). LOLz!

So dolls, please don’t be scurred when it comes to developing a good skincare regimen. Take your time, figure out what works for you, and remember: SKIN IS IN, hunty.

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Pssst! I’m really nice, so please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below! Hugsies.

Love,
Adjpants

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

Weekly Nailgasm: Ombre Tribal

Hey boos!

It’s been a while since my last nail art post, so I wanted to kick off my Weekly Nailgasm series again! What better way to sashay back to nail art glory than with this chic ombre tribal print?

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Better GIT IT. I love ombre so much, whether it’s on hair, fabric, or nails. Speak not to me of trends! I don’t know whether ombre is still “in” or not, and I don’t care. I adore it and I intend to wear a disrespectful 34-inch ombre Mongolian weave to my 70th birthday paree. You’re all invited.

Ok! So for ombre nails I like to select three complementary colours. It’s super easy- I just paint each third of the nail a different colour, working fast so none of the colours dry before the next one goes on. This makes it easier to muddle the colours a bit at the transition line.

I always start with a good base coat- my fave is Sally Hansen’s Double Duty. For this design I used the following three colours:

“Beach Bum Blu” by Essie
“How do You Lilac It?” by Rimmel
“Shorts Story” by OPI

Once the base was dry, I used a black nail art pen to create thick graphic lines. All you need for this step is a steady hand and your imagination (wine helps, too). I let the lines dry and then I added some highlights with a white nail art pen and “Golden Nuggets” glitter by Essie.

Let the whole shebang dry and then finish with a good quality top coat- my favourite is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. And there you have it!

I loved this design so much that it inspired me to create this cute painting. That’s right. I’m my own muse, bish. YAAAASS for matching your nail art to your wall art!

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Hope you liked it, dolls! Look out for more Weekly Nailgasms coming soon. Hugsies.

Love,
Adjpants

On Beauty.

My loves. This is the post that I started to write over a year ago and continuously lost my nerve. Today I read about Auntie Oprah’s epic faux pas and I thought, “the time is now.” In Oprah’s O Magazine, there was a fashion segment about crop tops. The line was “If (and only if) you have a flat stomach, feel free to wear a crop top.” This foolishment finally gave me the courage to share this post. Today we’re going to be talking about positive body image. It’s something that I’m passionate about, and something that’s very close to my heart.

It’s about to get REAL in here so I’ll give you a chance to settle in and get comfortable *sips tea* And we’re back. Like an alarming number of young girls, I grew up thinking that I was ugly. There, I said it. I was a shy and anxious kid, always hiding behind a book so people wouldn’t look at me. As a teenager I felt like if I wasn’t going to be attractive, then I should at least be funny. I used humour as a defense mechanism, constantly trying to please others because I was worried that I just wasn’t good enough.

I hid my body in clothes so shapeless that even Miranda circa Sex and the City Season 1 would be like “NO BISH.” At one point I was wearing baggy Dad Jeans from the supermarket, with my brother’s hand-me-down t-shirts #FixItJesus. I felt like my body was offensive to others. And then one day I met someone who changed my life. She was an ultra- glamorous girl I met at university, who noticed me trying to blend into the background, and slowly brought me out of my shell. One day I tagged along while she went shopping, prepared to sit outside the dressing room while she tried things on. But she hung up an armful of clothes and pushed me into the cubicle. I tried to protest but she gave me a sassy little dress to try on.

When I walked out to show her, nothing could have prepared me for her reaction. She was screaming “yaaaaassss” and told me I looked beautiful. I said that people would stare, that they would mock for me pouring my round body into such a form-fitting dress. She just laughed. “If they’re going to stare, why not really give them something to look at?” Why the eff not indeed? In the face of her matter-of-fact certainty, I actually bought the dress.

It was like somebody had flicked a switch, and in the light everything looked different. It was a whole new way of thinking. Was my body soft and fleshy? Yes. Did that mean I had to be ashamed of it? NO. The seed had been planted.

A few years later, I stumbled across an Instagram hashtag called #HonorMyCurves and I was hooked. Thousands of pictures featuring beautiful women, of all shapes and sizes. What they all had in common was confidence. These women were wearing all the latest fashions. Hotpants, bikinis, body con dresses. The next thing I noticed was the positivity of the comments- everyone was so supportive! And it only got better from there- I soon realised that there was a whole community of women celebrating each other through the  #bodyacceptance #goldenconfidence and #EffYourBeautyStandards movements.

Now, we all know that some people are sour and miserable and cruel, so there is always that one knob-jockey who tries to slide into the comments with “you’re all disgusting/you should lose weight/you’re putting your health at risk/you will die” Let this be a quick reminder to the haters that YOU CANNOT MAKE JUDGMENTS ON PEOPLE’S HEALTH BY LOOKING AT THEIR BODIES. Yes, there are some risk factors associated with being overweight, but there are also many slim people who are at risk of chronic diseases. May I invite you to have a tall glass of shut the hell up? It is nobody’s responsibility to police another person’s body. Stay in your lane.

I love my body. I don’t want it to look any different. The reason I try to exercise and eat clean is because it makes me feel strong and amazing. I need that strength to kick body-shamers in the face.

On vacation in the Dominican Republic recently, I was trotting around in bikinis and hotpants. Fresh out of f*cks to give, I was serving a disrespectful amount of backside and largesse of thigh. And guess what? I felt amazing. This from the girl who used to go to the pool in baggy shorts and an oversized t-shirt!

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None of this would have been possible a few years ago.

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image I love you guys and I want nice things for you, so I’m adding a list of my favourite body positive Instagrammers. Trust me- you need these women in your life.

1. @HonorCurves: We love her because she is a ray of sunshine and positivity, a true inspiration.

2. @GabiFresh: We love her because she is an incredible fashionista who changed the game when she coined the term “fatkini” and showed plus size women everywhere that swimwear belongs to us, too.

3. @essiegolden: We love her because she is gorgeous and so supportive of her followers.

4. @NadiaAlboulhosn: We love her because she is fun, FIERCE and wonderful, and her style game is ice-cold.

I once read something where a woman said, “I want to wear a figure-hugging dress, but first I need a figure worth hugging.” Honey I’m here to tell you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your body is worth all the love and hugs in the world. Because God gave it to you.

And He never makes mistakes.

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Adjpants

p.s. Eat it, Oprah.

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: Ghanaian Independence Day Slayage

Friday March 6th, 2015, marked 58 years since my home country Ghana declared its independence from colonial rule. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence. This is a source of great pride, and we have so many reasons to celebrate. Every time I go home, I’m excited and awed by our progress. Yes, we still have some work to do but as the great Kwame Nkrumah said, “Forward ever, backward never.”

I wanted to celebrate the day with my nearest and dearest, so I got my friends together for a night of Ghanaian food, fun and as always, tomfoolery.

What did I wear? GLAD YOU ASKED *flips hair*

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I wanted to serve African Queen realness. For this I always turn to ankara (West African wax print). I wore a gorgeous strapless dress with a cinched waist and a full skirt. Last time I was in Nigeria my lovely Auntie Safi had this made for me. Oh, the fierceness.

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I wore it with my favourite grey coat- you may remember this from my previous OOTD post! You know that one item of clothing that makes you feel fierce and powerful? Chile, the second I put this coat on, you can’t tell me NOTHING. Just try me.

I added a black & gold belt from Primark to cinch my waist even further- because I’m disrespectful like that. I completed the look with a cascading gold leaf necklace from Forever 21, because my mummy always says, “A queen should wear gold.” Final touches were my favourite black Mary Janes from Clarks, ASOS faux fur snood and Primark black patent clutch.

Now let’s serve face, hunty.

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The lighting wasn’t great in the restaurant, so I hope you can seeeee! I wanted to feature the colours of the Ghanaian flag, so I went for a green smokey eye, paired with a classic red lip.

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I used the Sleek I-Divine Eyeshadow palettes in “Garden of Eden” and “Storm” on my eyes, and Maybelline’s “Red Revival” on my kisser.

What did we eat? Everything! I was so excited when I saw the menu- all my old favourites were there. Banku (fermented corn and cassava dough) and roasted tilapia, fufu (pounded plantain, yam and cassava) and groundnut soup, fried yam… and chofi (fried turkey tail). LAWD, the chofi! Jesus be a fence to high cholesterol.

It was good eatin’. That cute belt had to come off real quick, fam. Didn’t even make it past appetisers. I went home so full that I fell asleep standing up in the elevator.

Side note: I’m thrilled to be heading off to the motherland this weekend! Really looking forward to spending time with my family and EATING ALL OF THE THINGS. Look out for “Love, Adpants: African Edition!”

So my darlings. Until we meet again, as we Ashantis say, “Ebeye yie”… It shall be well.

Love,
Adjpants