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

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The 5 Minute Party Face

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There comes a time in every girl’s life when she is caught unprepared for a glamorous occasion. Let me paint you a word picture:

I was invited to a lovely friend’s house for the weekend, to catch up after my long stint overseas and celebrate her gorgeous little boy’s first birthday party. I planned on just wearing a nice pair of jeans, nothing spesh. However I soon realised that this party was no sausage-rolls-and-cake-around-the-dining-table situation. It was a big celebratory event at a function hall with a couple of hundred guests attending!

Cue panic yes? No. Because I have my 5 Minute Party Face routine down pat! All you need is glowing skin, a bright lip and sculpted brows. Here’s a step by step!

1. FACE- Base it. Start with a clean moisturised face (I have an oil-slick face which although distressing at times, actually helps with the aforementioned glow). I use Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light moisturiser and give it a second to sink in.

2. FACE- Illuminate it. Apply an illuminating serum. I am in love with these miracle products that contain light-reflecting pigments. Don’t get sucked in by the cheaper ones who think “light-reflecting” means “awful glitter.” Learn from my mistakes! I’m currently using the L’Oreal Youth Code Luminize serum, a gorgeous light liquid that deposits a subtle glow and keeps your skin feeling fresh. Also, my gal pal Rosie said it smells like rich people. She’s right!

3. FACE- Conceal it. Move swiftly on to concealer. I never wear a full face of foundation, but I always cover up pigmentation marks (picking at spots = a lifetime of regret) under my chin and on my cheeks. I swear by MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW47. It goes on like a dream and provides fabulous coverage. Sneaky trick- I use a slightly darker concealer (MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW50) for my chin- this is the darkest area of my face. I only use the lighter shade on the areas I want to highlight and bring out; under my eyes, cheekbones, etc.

4. FACE- Powder it. Just a couple of minutes left! My go-to, now and forever, will always be MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NW50. I know some people set their concealer/liquid foundation with loose translucent powder- but for me that involves dusting my entire apartment with it. Nope- I like it PRESSED and neat. A light dusting with a big old powder brush (buff the product into your skin for an airbrushed look) and you’re almost done.

5. FACE- Blush it. Zoom over to a nice warm blush shade for this look. I wanted a subtle shimmering pink so I went for an old favourite, MAC (are you starting to see a pattern here?) Mineralize Blush in Love Thing. It’s a lustworthy sheer pink with a golden hue. Swoon. Sweep it over the apples of your cheeks and in an upwards arc along your cheekbones. NEXT!

6. LIPS. Lipliner?! When you’re running late? Ain’t nobody got time fa dat. Slick on some moisturising lip balm (my fave is by an incredible natural Aussie skincare brand called MooGoo– check them out) and follow with a bright pigmented lipstick. For this look I used CoverGirl LipPerfection in Spellbound 325.

7. EYES. Since your lips and skin have been the focal point for this look, your eyes will only take you a minute tops. I grabbed my New York Colour eyeshadow quad in Union Square and smooshed (technical term) a bit of the lightest gold shade onto my eyelids with my pinky finger. Dab a tiny bit in the inner corner of your eyes as a highlight. Then take a soft black eyeliner like Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Pencil and draw a line on the outer corner of your top lashline. Smoosh with the same pinky finger- this creates a bit of depth and a feline flick. Finish with a couple of coats of black mascara- my fave is Maybelline Volum’Express Cat Eyes. Final step- take a nice sharp eyebrow pencil (I use Rimmel in Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Black Brown) and fill in your brows, following your natural arch and using small, light strokes. Start from the outer end first and lighten the strokes as you get inwards- this creates a natural gradient effect.

And BAM- you’re done! Sling on a party dress (thank God I was fresh from the airport and had my entire suitcase with me), shake out your hair and proceed to the soiree!

So how did I do on my first makeup post? Did it make sense or are people running around with lipstick on their eyelids and their hair on fire? Tell me in the comments.

Love, Adjpants