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Look younger…

Achieve a younger look with right makeup combination



Foundation: Black Up liquid foundation

Powder: Iman Oil-blotting powder

Bronzing powder: Flori Roberts bronzing powder



My mother (pictured left) and I enjoy trying out makeup to achieve a much youthful look. She is a grand mother now – thanks to me! so finding the right look has become imperative. Here are my findings.

Liquid foundation sits better on mature skin than any other foundation that  I have tried. For my mother above, I used Black Up liquid foundation. I found out too that using a foundation brush helped the foundation to sink into the skin by using circular motions, which prevented lines or caking.

I found that using my fingers to apply concealer and eyeshadow base achieved better result that using a brush because by using my fingers to dab them on, the skin warmed up to the cream. Even after applying foundation, I still used my fingers to pat around the eyes as it prevents creasing and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Try not to use too much shimmery eyeshadows or gold as highlighter for mature skin as it further accentuates the appearance of wrinkles.

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Get the radiant look for your wedding… Naturally

If your wedding day is just in a few weeks or less, managing stress should be your utmost priority because nothing is as bad as having a stressed bride. Those naughty wrinkles and break outs do have a way of creeping out of your skin if you put yourself under too much stress. You might have to consider delegation. If you have figured out your makeup need for your wedding – probably you sought a professional makeup artist. Still, you need to pamper your skin if you want a radiant look for your wedding. Here are a few tips, all of which are within your reach and natural.

Your face:

Face scrub: You can actually apply dry oats to a wet face and gently scrub your face. The rough texture of the oats acts as gentle exfoliator. If you like, you could combine cooked oatmeal with olive oil as face scrub.

Facial cleanser:

Tomatoes contain vitamin C and potassium, plus its acidic nature helps to make it the perfect cleanser for the face.

You can also blend cucumber and mix it with milk and use to cleanse your face. For dark circles around the eye or to heal your eyes of wrinkles and puffiness, use the mixture as an eye mask.

Your Body:

Body scrub: Once again, oats come handy as a scrub. Combine oats with yoghurt, which contains both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties or enjoy the vitamin c found in fruits.

For a brighter skin, blend paw-paw also known as papaya, add a pinch of salt as preservative and oats as body scrub or cleanser.

These natural ingredients will keep you looking younger and radiant for your wedding.

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Makeup tips

Here are a few useful tips you can apply

  • Professional makeup artists use eyeshadow primers on the eye lids before applying eye makeup. But if an eyeshadow primer isn’t handy or can’t be found in any beauty store near you, opt for your concealer or foundation. You can pat either unto your eye lids before beginning with your eyeshadow application.
  • Another primer or base used by professionals is the lip primer which must be applied on the lips before you can begin your lip makeup. If you don’t have that, use a lip balm to moisturize the lips before applying the lip liner and then the lip stick or gloss.
  • If you find yourself in a sticky situation where your eyeshadows just would not pop or bring out the intensity and richness you expected, well, if you don’t have the cash to buy a new pallette, then you can make do with what you have. Personally, I would put some eyeshadow primer or concealer on the back of my palm and then with the eyeshadow brush, dap it unto the primer or concealer before actually pressing it on the eyeshadow powder. This not only helps to prevent the powder flakes from spoiling your makeup, it brings out the intensity and richness you want from an eyeshadow. If you dap, rather than rub the brush on your eye lids, the eyeshadow will look richer.
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Testing skin for the right Makeup Foundation shade

If in the past, you had to apply Foundation on the back of the hand before selecting the right colour to buy, then you’ve been going about it the wrong way. The back of the hand does not have the same complexion as the face or the neck. So to help select the right shade for the skin colour, all you have to do are:

1. Look at your face; are you light-skinned or dark complexioned? Many African women have different complexion so determine where you fall into.

2. Select three shades that look a match for the skin and apply them with foundation sponge on the cheek and close to the neck. The reason for applying the foundation colours on the cheek is so you can select a shade that will blend with the cheek and the neck.

3. Watch and see that one will disappear into the skin. The one which does this is the right shade for you. The right shade looks like a second skin and easy to pick out among the three tested.

Makeup Application for amateurs

1, Cleanse your face with makeup removers or face cleanser to remove dirt from face as makeup must be applied on clean face.

2, Upon selecting the right shade of foundation, with a foundation sponge, preferably a wedge (this you can find in all cosmetic stores), blend the foundation on the face, making sure you blend into hairline. Do not use too much to avoid smudging. Keep the foundation as natural as possible and do remember to blend lightly under the chin and even around the neck. Be sure to avoid staining your blouse though.

3, With a powder sponge or brush, apply the powder over the foundation. If you want great impact, use a powder sponge, dab the face with the sponge. You can then finish it off with the powder brush.

4, Remember to tender to the eyebrows – if you follow the natural arch, you will be able fill them up with eyebrow liners. Please, do not scrape off your eyebrows. Even if you do not get the natural arch, you can cheat by filling them up with eyeliners.

5, Eye shadow application can be done in several ways. If you don’t have an eyelid primer, dab concealer or your foundation on the eye lids with your finger tip. Apply a natural eye shadow tone on the eye lids, and choose a colour you like for the lower lid. You can choose a light shade to highlight the upper lid or brow bone area. You can then use eyeliner or eye pencil.

6, African women can use blush so do not be afraid of applying blush on your cheeks.

7, Lastly, apply lipstick. If you do not have a lip primer, apply lip balm on the lips, and then line your lips with lip liner before applying lipstick.

8, Get creative!

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Shea butter as frizz control

Control your child’s frizz with Shea butter

Shea butter is predominant in Nigeria, and like the name implies, it is very much butter obtained from Shea kernels. For many generations, Africans have used shea butter for both cooking and cosmetic purposes. Some herbal practitioners believe that massaging shea butter unto a woman’s breasts can actually firm and enlarge them; but that is yet to be verified. For many African women and girls, managing thick and hard-to-comb-through hair can be quiet daunting. For adults, they can choose from a variety of manufactured frizz control products, many of which come in sprays but will leave your hair extremely dry. Africans also turn to hair relaxers to tame their thick hair and though hair relaxers come in children kits as well, it is not encouraged to use them on young children and toddlers as they have been known to burn the children’s scalp and cause breakage to the hair.

If your daughter’s hair is unmanageable, rather than using flat straighteners or relaxers, use shea butter instead. Shea butter acts as conditioner as such, softens hair and makes it extremely easy for you to comb through your child’s hair without bringing tears to her eyes. Shea butter can be sourced naturally or in manufactured bottles. You can find shea butter in open markets across Nigeria and they usually come in their natural, unprocessed state. The butter is so thick and sticky that when applied to hair and it doesn’t dry properly, it can actually add to clog your scalp. It doesn’t leave a very pleasant smell as found in manufactured hair products and can be quiet unpleasant when under African heat. To combat this, you can add baby oil to shea butter, mix the two together until you achieve a very smooth paste that not only leaves a pleasant fragrance but makes it easier to apply to the hair without being sticky.

shea butter
processed shea butter
shea butter
natural shea butter
You can also find manufactured shea butter by even the most popular hair brands in most shops. The products usually come in bottles, they are creamy and smell really nice. You will still get the same effect regardless but if you live in Africa where you are closest to the raw material, it is way cheaper to buy the unprocessed shea butter from the open market.  
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Getting to know the cucumber

A cucumber is a fruit that is green in colour and grown much like pumpkins or water melons. While cucumbers can be eaten fresh, you can eat them as pickles, after they must have passed through a process of brining. People do this by soaking the cucumbers in salt and water solution or vinegar. Did you know that cucumbers are actually fruits which are classified as vegetables in culinary terms? I bet many of us have always thought of cucumbers as vegetables and not fruits. But they are fruits.

Are you one of those who consider cucumbers as bitter and let it inhibit you from eating them? Well, one cannot accurately define the cucumber’s taste as bitter but in my opinion, while some bitterness maybe felt as a result of phenylthiocarbamide organic compound found in cucumbers, they have near-bland watery state.

The cucumber, your health and beauty

The cucumber is 90 percent water so it is very good for your health. Its contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, silica, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, among others. Do you know that you can use cucumbers to relief skin irritation? The silica found in cucumbers is very vital for the health of connective tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, the muscle or the bone. I know a number of supplements can be found in health shops and pharmacies that help with keeping the connective tissues healthy but imagine what you could do for yourself if you took a cucumber a day.

You do know that water is good for glowing skin and glowing complexion right? I know we African women are obsessed with toning lotions or even bleaching creams. Imagine if you spent less on these creams and concentrated more on taking cucumbers instead? Remember, cucumbers are 90 percent water so they not only are good for hydration, but they aid to improve our skin condition. We all can agree that a beautiful skin can only be a result of a healthy lifestyle so if we really want to look and feel beautiful, then increasing our intake of water and water-saturated fruits/vegetables like cucumbers is a good step in the right direction.

Masking with cucumber

Both ascorbic acid and caffeic acid are the compounds found in cucumber that heal the skin, especially in skin irritations. Now you can understand why cucumbers are recommended to reduce puffiness around the eye or any swelling around the eye. So besides placing two slices of cucumbers on both eyes, I also blend cucumbers into a paste and apply it on my face as a mask. It not only helps to “wake” the face but helps to make the skin feel subtle and sweet. While you can eat the cucumber fresh and raw, you can also combine it with other fruits/vegetables in a smoothie form. You can also make good vegetable salad with them. Whichever way you like it, just make sure you take a cucumber a day.

If you have any healthy and beauty tip on cucumbers, please do share with us.