#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

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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: 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

Fifty Shades of Galentine’s Day

Hey boo hey! How you livin’?

So let’s dive straight in. I recently told you all how much I love Valentine’s Day. This tends to confuse people, since I am the quintessential single girl about town. It’s not like I don’t like menz no more (I’m not #deliverdt). Idris just hasn’t arrived with my bride price yet, so I’m waiting patiently. In the meantime, I usually spend Valentine’s Day doing something fun/silly with the gals.

This year was no exception. A few years ago, the world was whipped into a tizzy of over-excitement by Fifty Shades of Grey, by new author E.L. James (I’m using “author” in the very loosest sense of the word here). The book was EVERYWHERE. Women were blushing on public transport, and passing it on to their friends. Now, I LOVE to read. I am obsessed. But when a book has such a massive PR budget that everyone is talking about it, I’m skeptical.

I love a heaving bosom and a throbbing manhood as much as the next girl (probably more). Filth is fab. But here’s the thing. It has to be The Good Kind of Filth. Just because your subject matter is naughty doesn’t mean you can do away with good writing and believable characters!

When I lived in Oz, my sidekick Rosie said “Bruv listen, this book is truly the worst thing you will ever read.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I read it, and it was The Worst. The characters were one-dimensional, the dialogue was hilariously teenaged, and even the S&M was contrived and on the tame side. Not that I know, myself! A friend told me *coughs*

So anyhoo when I heard that the movie was coming out on Valentine’s Day, I was delighted. I knew it would be hilarious and silly, with a side of wang. So I gathered up my darlings Miss I and Miss T, and we were off!

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The film was BRILLIANT in its badness. Unlike the book, it had some comedy value (no idea if it was intentional or not). We found it highly entertaining, and the back row was filled with cackles and shrieks. If you want a fun night out with your girls, go on ahead. No, you will not get Oscar-winning performances or a stunning screenplay… but look me in the eye and tell me that’s what you went for? Ok then.

So what did I wear? Mostly this:

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Coat: This Olivia-Pope-esque coat is just giving me so much life right now. It turns every outfit from drab to fab in seconds. I got it for £29 at a cheap shop somewhere between Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road tube stations.

Hat: This fierce hat is Gone with The Wind Fabulous and I plan on wearing it every day until the end of time. It’s especially useful in church, when Pastor starts to preach some serious truths and you need to fan yourself and scream out YES LAWD. £15 from the same cheap shop as the coat.

Scarf: I got this luxe faux fur situation from ASOS years ago. Think it was about £10.

Black bodysuit: Forever 21 Plus, from last year’s Vegas trip. Fits like a glove and I adore it. This was purchased during a wild F21 shopping frenzy so I can’t remember how much it cost.

Jeans: Marks & Spencer’s. I KNOW RIGHT?? For my international darlings, M&S is where your Mum & Auntie Janet go to buy their sensible twin-sets and A-line skirts. In earth tones. They’re trying to become a bit more modern though and I really like these jeans.

Black patent clutch: Always and forever, Primark. I want to say £8?

Now let’s get into the face real quick- I was going for saucy, salacious, you-know-you-want-some chic. I used the Sleek i-Divine eyeshadow palette in “Garden of Eden” for an Earth-goddess green smokey eye. Paired of course, with my favourite nude lip, “Tweek” by Sleek.

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I loved this look!

For more 50 Shades foolishness with a side of flawless fashion, check out my pumpkin Rosie’s 50 Shades of Oh Heyyyyy OOTD extravaganza.

So ladies (and gents, don’t be shy) let rip in the comments! Did you see the film? Did you delight in the badness of it all or were you clutching your pearls in shock?

Love,
Adjpants

Weekly Nailgasm: All That Glitters

My darling dolls, my sweethearts, my raisons d’etre! How have you been? I just wanted to share my new nails with you, because I love you and want you to have nice things.

I recently told you guys about my fave nail salon, Chapel Spa Nail and Beauty in Angel, North London. Well this week they slayed yet again…

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I saw this gorgeous design on my friend’s nails and RAN to the salon (we all go to Chapel Nails dahling) to request the exact same thing. I love it love it love it! Perfect glossy pale pink, with that opulent golden glitter on a feature nail. These nails are subtle enough for the office, but fierce enough for the dancefloor.

imageCute, non? Want to know how to recreate this look at home? Treat yo’self!

1. You’ll need a good base coat, a pale pink polish, loose gold glitter (you can get this on Ebay for next to nothing) and an uber-glossy topcoat. I recommend Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat.

2. Apply your base coat and allow to dry.

3. Apply one coat of your pale pink polish and allow to dry. Psst! With these sheer/pale polishes you really do need to let that first coat dry properly, or you’ll get a streaky finish and you will be sad. Ok? Ok.

4. Apply your second coat of pale pink polish, but leave your feature nails until last. The polish needs to still be wet, so the glitter has something to stick to.

5. Feature nail time! Carefully shake a tiny bit of glitter onto a piece of paper, and then use a fingertip to pick up a small amount. Take it slow or you’ll get glitter everywhere- it’ll be like the dressing room on RuPaul’s Drag Race! Now G-E-N-T-L-Y start to pat the glitter onto your nail in your chosen pattern. The key is to *just* touch the wet surface of the nail, very very lightly. The glitter will stick straight to it!

6. Dip a cotton bud into some nail polish remover and clean up any excess glitter on your cuticles.

7. Allow to dry and finish off with a slick of top coat.

8. WERK hunty!

Love,
Adjpants

p.s. Sorry about my dry skin in the first pic- this winter ain’t loyal! All the shea butter in the world can’t fight this struggle xo

Christmas OOTD!

Hi darlings! How was Christmas?

Thought I’d post a little something for you to read while you play with your new Christmas pressies! What better day to share my first ever Outfit of The Day?

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I decided to serve Christmas realness in all black with my new Very Favourite Dress. This gorgeous long-sleeved black bodycon number is from River Island (£30).

I also picked up the urrings from River Island (£4). They’re adorable sparkly gold hoops because it’s Jesus’ birthday and it’s what he would have wanted.

I’m also wearing little ankle booties from my beloved Primark, which I picked up last autumn. I can’t remember how much they were exactly, but let’s face it, it was Primark so probably about a fiver LOL!

And now let’s get into the face yah?

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I went for luminous skin, bold brows, a smokey eye and a deep red lip.

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Here’s what I used to create this look.

Base:
MAC Studio Fix Foundation fluid in NW47
MAC Blot Powder/Pressed in Deep Dark
L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD in Fawn

Eyes:
Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palettes in Storm and Au Naturel
Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black Brown
Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara in Black

Cheeks:
Nars Blusher in Desire
Seventeen Shimmer Brick in Gold Bronze

Lips:
MAC lip pencil in Cherry
Revlon lipstick in Red Revival

Et voila! Instant holiday fierce! I hope you all had a wonderful day. Hugsies!

Love,
Adjpants

Weekly Nailgasm: Christmas Edition!

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My sweethearts, it’s Christmas Eve and I couldn’t be more excited! You all know I LIVE for glitz, glam and all-round eleganza, and Christmas is the perfect time to get really stuck in.

Before I get knee-deep in turkey and champagne, I wanted to quickly share my festive nail combo with you guys. I decided to treat myself and go get my nails did at my fave salon. My North London gals- get on down to Chapel Spa Nail and Beauty in Angel, STAT! Ask for my homegirl Cindy, she’s the bestest and I adore her.

One layer of OPI “Big Apple Red” was used, with OPI Liquid Sand in “Impossible” on top. I love this Liquid Sand polish- it’s a pink/red glitter with tiny silver dots and stars.

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Tres cute, right?

Have a wonderful festive season my darlings! Eat EVERYTHING, laugh, love, kiss boys (or girls), take care, and be fierce! God bless x

Loads of Love,
Adjpants