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When it comes to hand crafted luxury makeup brushes, Japan is the ‘Mecca’ and Japanese brushes are the top of the line. All the brushes from your favourite high end brands will most likely have been made in japan.

You have probably been browsing online seen a nice looking brush set and thought: “Hmmn.. that looks good” clicked and almost had a heart attack. Why on earth would a single brush cost over $50; ₦17,000 if you convert prices to Naira like me.

As a self-proclaimed Makeup Aficionado, my progression to higher-end makeup brushes seemed natural. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my trusty Real Techniques and Sigma brushes, however there is something about the look and feel of a hand-crafted brush that is second to none.


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For over 180 years most make up brushes have been made in Kumano, a city in Hiroshima. Before its transformation to the makeup brush capital of the world, Kumano was renowned for manufacturing Japanese calligraphy brushes for over  200 years. The city of Kumano produces 80% of the brushes made in Japan, with a 100 companies manufacturing brushes under their name or for other brands.

Brushes are from specific animal hair depending on what they will be used for.  The brush hairs are extremely important and are made from pony, sable, squirrel weasel and PBT synthetic hair. This allows you to choose a brush based on your skin type: Oily, Dry or Sensitive or the results you want to achieve: Natural or Dramatic.

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For example, if you have Oily Skin a Goat Hair brush will work better because it more durable and can be washed more often. Blue Squirrel on the other hand is more delicate so should be used for Dry skin which does not have a lot of oils and thus needs to washed less often.

Why You Should Buy Them?

1). They Are Beautiful

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These are, objectively, the most beautiful brushes in the world. Even when you choose brushes with basic black handles the balance and heft of each brush allows it balance perfectly in your hands. If you decide to go with a fanciful range or even a collector’s version then the craftsmanship is even more evident. A good example is the recently released collaboration between the beautylish and chikuhodo malie range

2). The Are Super Soft 

These are the softest brushes I have ever used, due the use of natural hairs and the care taken to choose only the right bristle. Synthetic brushes are cut to give them their shape, unlike Japanese brushes whose hairs are arranged so that the thinner tips of the hairs remain on top. Shaping each brush takes time and skill hence the price.

3). Bristles Are Carefully Selected

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Since they use a mix of animal hair each brush  is based on the type of application (face, eyes), the texture of products (liquid, cream, powder) as well as skin type (oily/ dry/ sensitive). This improves performance and allows you to determine finish –soft, dramatic or airbrushed all based on the brush type.

4). Prices are Reasonable

Although they are more expensive than synthetic brushes, compared to professional makeup brands like MAC the prices similar. However, when you consider that fact the other brushes are mass produced the Japanese brushes become a better investment.


Japanese brushes are fragile and require extra special care. This is especially true for brushes made from delicate hairs like squirrel which should not be washed frequently. So if you have oily acne prone skin they are not the best choice because of bacterial contamination if you do not wash them frequently.

Japanese Makeup Brush Brands

1). Chikuhodo

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This is one of the most renowned Japanese brush manufacturers  and manufacture brushes under their name as well as for other popular brands

2). Hakuhodo

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The Hakuhodo is one of the most prolific brands and makes about 500,000 brushes a month..

Other brands include Koyudo and Uyeda Bisyodo which are not as well known.

Recommendations to start your brush collection

If you have an unlimited budget you could start your collection by buying a full set from any of the brands listed above. Otherwise, the Wayne Goss collection is a good place to start.

Where you can find them

At the moment they are not sold through any Nigerian retailer I know of but these websites ship internationally. I bought my Hakuhodo brushes from their US website, The Wayne Goss brushes and Chikuhodo are sold on Beautylish .

Kuyudo and Uyeda Bisyodo are sold on a Japanese website CD Japan but can take up to three weeks to arrive so don’t be impatient and you won’t be disappointed.

I hope you have enjoyed my foray into the world of Japanese brushes and some of the well-known brands.  Let me know what you think in the comments.


Chizo is a skincare and makeup enthusiast who likes to travel and explore new places. When not working, she is browsing skin care and beauty sites looking to try new products or binge-watching series online.

You can find her:

Instagram @BeautyHarbour


A close friend of mine recently opened a Nail Salon and of course I’m over there fairly regularly; apart from the fact that *DUH* I’m like a kid in a candy store, I actually go in to help and keep her company from time to time. One thing I found interesting is how people really just don’t care about the state of their natural nails. They just come in for nail enhancement manicure after nail enhancement manicure, and the ones who have naturally long nails get an acrylic overlay (wrapped), because that’s what a nail tech out here advised them to do *holds head in hands*.

This issue of Nail Techs out here advising people with long nails to “wrap them” is something I will discuss in greater detail in another post, but when I first moved back to Nigeria it was the EXACT same thing I was told, and it severely damaged my nails. Like I said, story for another day! Now let’s get back to my observations…

I also find that people prefer gel manicures over regular manicures, because they last longer. The complaint is that regular nail polish starts to chip away 2days after you get it done, but I beg to differ! I LOVE a regular manicure and I typically always have my natural nails polished using regular polish; unless I’m reviewing or testing out a new manicure technique. And over time I have come to understand that a LOT of factors come into play as pertains how long a regular manicure lasts.

Factor 1: PRODUCTS

The quality and type of products used play a huge role in how long the manicure will last. For a regular manicure you’ll need: Dehydrator, Base coat, Nail Polish & Top Coat.

  • Dehydrator: essentially Alcohol, and this is used to remove oils & moisture off the nail bed and have it properly prepped for base coat. This is also important especially if you got a wet manicure/pedicure right before. The alcohol will help absorb the moisture on the nail bed.
  • Base Coat: This is the first layer of polish that goes on. I prefer to use a base coat infused with calcium or protein as these help strengthen my nails. I have shared my personal favourite base coat and where to buy here on the site quite a few times: here, here, here & here
  • Nail Polish: Good quality nail polish, typically two coats should be applied.
  • Top Coat: One of the gripes with regular polish manicures is how long they take to dry! Which is why I always ALWAYS have my Seche Vite Fast Dry with me. With or without a fast dry topcoat, you’d need to be patient & careful while you allow the polish dry. It takes regular polish 24hours to completely dry, so when we say ‘dry’ at the salon, we really mean ‘dry-to-touch’. I got a manicure over the weekend, and they used a regular topcoat by Orly called ‘Polish Shield’ and my nails were dry-to-touch within 15minutes. So PATIENCE is key.

Factor 2: Lifestyle

What do you do with your hands? If your job or lifestyle requires that your hands a almost always wet, then obviously your manicures won’t last as long. Swimming, cleaning, washing dishes, laundry, typing, writing, etc. The frequency at which you do regular mundane everyday things will affect your manicure. I just want as many people as possible to stop thinking that regular manicures are magic. If I scrape my finger against like the door knob in my car, most likely it’ll chip. So one can never be too careful, but you can be mindful.

Factor 3: NAIL TYPE

Regular polish manicures tend to last longer on Acrylic Nails than on Natural Nails, go figure… I’m not sure why this is the case but I believe an expert will be able to shed some light in this.


The skill of the person applying the polish also affects how long it will last. You see some nail techs apply polish and it’s just streaky and all over the client’s cuticle, obviously that manicure won’t last long. Also the nail tech needs to be able to control the amount of product that’s being applied, obviously the more layers you apply the higher chance of it peeling off. Nail Polish should typically be applied in two coats, anything more will most likely begin to chip/peel sooner. Some may argue, well what of sheer colours. Well, they are ‘sheer’ for a reason and the idea is for some of your actual nail to show through the polish, applying more layers to make it opaque just won’t work. Rather go for a more opaque formula.

That’s it, those are my the 4 factors I always bring up when talking about regular nail polish and why they aren’t ‘magic’. I’ve had this post in my head for years, and regularly talk about it with people who always argue that gel lasts longer, which is why they’d rather damage their nails sorry, go with that option. Happy to have it all written down now so I can refer people to it.

Hope you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments.


Hey Everyone! My name is Ez and I'm the Founder & EiC of BeautyInLagos. From inception (Jan 2012), I'd been the sole Editor of the entire BiL platform. In May 2018, I decided to to expand and build an Editorial team which includes in-house Editors as well as external Contributors. So from time to time, you will see posts from these awesome people, please show them love!

You can find me:

Instagram: @EziFace

Twitter: @Eziface

Harmattan. A season (typically from the end of November to the middle of March)characterised by dryness and lots of dust. Anyone who lives in West Africa can attest to the fact your skin and hair tends to feel a little bit like tumbleweed during this time of the year. For me personally, my hair gets SO dry and this is when I tend to get lots of breakage and split ends so I try to make sure to take extra care of my hair during this period. But all is not lost! You can still keep your hair healthy and nourished during this time – so with a few tips, you won’t end up hairless at the end of harmattan!

1.) Moisturise And Seal More Often

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As I said before, the weather SUCKS the moisture out of your hair. So essentially, if you moisturise every other day, you should think about moisturising everyday. At this time of the year, I tend to use lightly thicker creams (e.g. Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Cream, Maui Moisture Curl Quench & Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie). When it comes to sealing, sometimes you can skip this step but, during harmattan, I don’t advise it at all. You really need something to lock that moisture into the strands. I use the Nature’s Locks Reparative Hair Growth & Sealing Oil to seal my hair- it contains extra virgin olive oil and Jamaican black castor oil to really lock the moisture into the strands. You can also use this on your scalp to stimulate growth and relieve itchiness since it contains peppermint essential oil and rosemary essential oil.

2.) Do Your Protein And Moisturising Deep Conditioners

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I’ve spoken about the importance of having a balance of protein and moisturising deep conditioners but, in this weather, you have tobe extra diligent about it! Protein treatments (e.g. Palmers Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack, Originals Hair Mayonnaise) bring the strength and moisturising treatments (e.g. Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, Natural Nigerian Moisturising Deep Conditioning Treatment)bring the moisture of course! Just be sure to always use a moisturising treatment after a protein one to keep your hair hydrated.

3.) Protective  Styles

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Harmattan is the perfect time to do that cute protective style you’ve been wanting to do. Protective styling (when done properly! Check out my post on protective vs destructive styles) can help with moisture and length retention. So do those cute braids or wig or weave you’ve had saved on your phone for the last 3 months – just remember to keep your hair moisturised and well taken care of.

4.) Drink More Water

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We all know that what happens on the inside shows on the outside. So this is a great time to up your water intake – not just for your hair but even for your general health. You’re more likely to get more dehydrated during this time of the year and, if your body is dehydrated, just imagine how your hair is going to feel! Helpful tip: get a huge water bottle and set yourself the target of finishing it by the end of the day.

5.) Get A Trim (If Needed)

If you haven’t had a trim in a while, this is a very good time to get one. Your hair is likely to experience some dryness and breakage around this season. You don’t want to add to that by making split ends worse! So find a hairdresser you trust and get those ends snipped off.

That’s it guys! Obviously there are so many other tips and so many other ways to keep your hair healthy during this time but these are my top five! Hope they help!


Tara is a hair and skincare blogger living and working in Lagos. She works a 9-5 job whilst building the business she is passionate about, Nature's Locks (a hair and skincare line of products and tools), which started out as a blog, You can find her:

If you’re a regular BiL reader/follower you should be familiar with The Nail Boutique! One of our favourite nail salons here in Lagos. We also previously featured them in our BiL Recommends series as one of our top spots to get a pedicure.

They recently moved locations, into a much bigger space, and we are LOVING their new loft-inspired vibe. With 8 Pedicure chairs, 6 Nail Tech stations and 4 nail-drying stations they’ve definitely upped the ante on the Mani-Pedi experience in Lagos. Check out the images:



Raybok Mall (Top Floor), 5 Prince Adelowo Adedeji Street, off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Telephone: +234 (0) 818 000 3526 & +234 (0) 805 058 0800
Instagram: @TheNailBoutiqueNG
Facebook: @TheNailBoutiqueNG
Twitter: @NailBoutiqueNG

To have your business featured in the ‘Out and About’ series. Email:


When curating these deals and participating locations for our annual ’12 Days of XMAS with BiL’ campaign, we had you guys, our #BiLFam, as our number one priority. We wanted to run deals off beauty services you will definitely need for the holidays. We kicked off the campaign on Monday 10th December, with a new deal being released every single day until tomorrow, 21st December.

Holidays mean parties, concerts & over-eating (lol), so with our deals we think we’ve got you all covered. From Blowdrys to Massages, Facial treatments to Pedicure. Here are all the deals that have been released so far, simply click any of the listed deals below to purchase a voucher:

  • Glycolic Facelift + Wood Therapy Massage
  • Luxury Pedicure Service
    • For HER
    • For HIM
  • Gel Manicure Service
  • Brightening Body Scrub
  • Blow Dry Service
  • Swedish Massage + Mini Facial
  • Wig Making Service
  • Lotus Facial Treatment
  • Dip Powder Manicure

All our deals run until January 2019, so even if you don’t require a service right now, I guarantee when the new year rolls through you’d probably need a relaxing massage or a facial treatment to kickstart your NEW YEAR-NEW YOU! 

Click HERE to browse all deals!


Scrolling through Instagram for hours, I have come across a virtual treasure trove of Nigerian brands who offer a wide range of skincare and beauty products. And as a person who has not met a Shea butter cream or candle she did not like, it has been a danger to my pocket.
So that I am not alone in my obsession, here are few brands that offer gift sets which, if you have never tried the brands before, serve as a good introduction. Alternatively if you are slightly less selfish than I am, you can give them as gifts to people in your life with similar tastes?
So without further ado, here they are:

1. Arami Essentials – Luxe Mini Gift Box (3, 4, 5)

This is a natural brand that has a range products clearly marked for each skintype. The beauty of their boxes is that they come at different price points so you can mix and match-in the products that work best for you. With the smallest box you get 3 products, 4 with the medium and 5 with the largest. Products include: the Glow Oil, Coco Oil, Ivory Butter, Glow Scrub and Onyx Polish. Note that the products are smaller than their normal full size offerings on the site.

Prices: ₦6,500 – ₦10,500

Available on:
Instagram: @aramiessentials

2. Matte Apothecary –Matte Black box

This is another natural brand that has a fantastic gift box for the holiday season. The Matte Black Box contains 3 of their signature products, raw brown sugar scrub, radiance oil and the whipped body smoothie all of which will provide a luxurious experience. The only catch is that it is a set box, no mixing and matching, however the products are full size.

Price: ₦15,000

Available on:                                             Instagram: @matteapothecary

3. Narganics: Limited Edition Christmas Cracker Gift Set

If there was a prize for innovative packaging, Narganics would win handsdown with its Christmas cracker shaped gift box. It contains a body scrub, artisanal black soap and a shimmer body mousse all of which appear to be full size.

Price: ₦15,000

Available on:
Instagram: @narganics

4. CNC Gourmet –The Feminine Fancy Box

This is not a skincare brand, but is rather a curator of all things nice from home and abroad. From their website and Instagram it appears they may have 2 box options but I’ve decided to focus on the Feminine Fancy Box. This box contains: Harrods spiced coffee, Farrah’s assorted toffee, Ilé scent diffuser, a Lohn Lagos candle, a bottle of bubbly and a nice tea cup .This is the most expensive option on the list however it contains more than skincare so it is understandable.

Price: ₦100,000

Available on:
Instagram: @cncgourmet

5. Skinsational Natural & Organic Skincare –So Luxe Collection Gift Box

This contains the brands’ signature products which include black soap, lip balm, body and bath oils. Again it is a suitable box for any skincare enthusiast and the products appear to be full size. There is an added bonus of free delivery if you live in Lagos.

Price: ₦20,000

Available on:
Instagram: @skinsationalskincare


Lohn Lagos: Colour series

Price: on demand                                                                                            Available: @lohnlagos


Chizo is a skincare and makeup enthusiast who likes to travel and explore new places. When not working, she is browsing skin care and beauty sites looking to try new products or binge-watching series online.

You can find her:

Instagram @BeautyHarbour


Our BiL 12 Days of XMAS’ is in full-swing and  the discount vouchers are being swiped up literally as the deals are sent out.

We’ve still got vouchers available to redeem these luxury pedicures at Yanna Studio in Ikoyi.

These vouchers are valid until 6th of January 2019, so you don’t need to redeem your services immediately you purchase the voucher, you have at least 4weeks! The trick is to get a voucher before we sell-out


Click to shop this deal: Luxury Pedicure


Subscribe to BeautyClubNG

With our ’12 Days of Xmas with BiL’ campaign, there’s a new deal sent out every single day up until the 21st of December. When a new deal is available, we send our an alert to all BeautyClubNG subscribers, along with a direct link to purchase. 

If you would like to get deals sent directly to your inbox, then subscribe by filling out the form below and hit ‘SUBSCRIBE’

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BeautyClubNG subscribers will always receive the links to purchase voucher deals first, before it is shared here on the site and social media. Vouchers are very limited, so make sure you’re subscribed, if you aren’t already.