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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It’s a Scandal: The Olivia Pope Nude Lip

From the moment I first saw Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, I was SLAIN. The crisp suits with tailoring so sharp it’d have your eye out, the immaculate hair and those luscious cream silk blouses… I needed it all. Immediately, if not sooner. But it was Ms Pope’s flawless makeup that had me ready to launch into songs of praise and worship.

She was serving pristine, glowing skin, a softly defined eye with a bad-ass cut crease, and perfectly lined nude lips. I was besotted by the lips in particular, so I set about trying to recreate this look on myself. Et voila!

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While my face did not take on the dreamy perfection that is Kerry Washington, I was really happy with the result. So pour yourself an Olivia Pope-sized glass of wine (you may need a bucket to properly replicate the volume we’re talking about), and throw a cream cashmere cardigan over your silk pajamas. Sit comfortably while I tell you how I created the perfect nude lip. Turn off that damn phone though- I don’t want Fitz calling while we’re talking lipstick. Effing Fitz… with his effing face… but DON’T get me started!

1. Anyhoo I started by prepping my lips (or as my baby brother used to say, lipses). Olivia Pope doesn’t look like she permits crusty lips at Pope & Associates, so get your life together girl. I usually use a teensy bit of facial scrub (my go-to is Simple Kind to Skin Smoothing Scrub) on my lips in the shower to keep ’em super soft. I then moisturise with Lucas PawPaw Ointment, my beloved beauty all-rounder from Australia. If anyone is looking for a super cheap dupe to Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, this is it!

2. Time to get nude people! Finding your perfect nude lipstick is a rite of passage, and once you do, life will be fabulous. Mine is Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in “Autumn Rush”. It’s a sort of creamy light brown with just the right amount of pale pink undertone. So just apply your lippy and admire it for a sec. Urgh. Look. At. You. Perfection!

3. Grab a complementary lip liner- I went with a dark brown to add some depth: CoverGirl Brow & Eye Maker in “Midnight Brown”. Carefully line the edges of your lips, all the way round ( keep it light, ladies- this ain’t the 90s).

4. To finish, add a small amount of nude gloss to the center of your bottom lip. My favourite is Iman Cosmetics Luxury Lip Shine in “Expose”. Lightly press your lips together to blend, making sure the gloss is evenly distributed and there are no harsh edges from the liner. Here’s the end result!

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This nude lip is perfect for any look. Pair it with a smokey eye for ooh-la-la hotness, or with flawless skin and lashings of mascara for everyday chic.

So what do you think, my darlings? You like? Who else has been slain by Scandal? Can’t wait to hear from you!

Love,
Adjpants