Hello there and TGIF!!

I always emphasise that your virgin hair extensions are just as important as your natural hair. I treat mine pretty much the same way I treat my hair. Obviously there’s no prepoo, tea rinse, deep-condition with heat, chill… BUT, we pay a lot of money for these extensions and should make the effort to care for them.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was a full range of hair care products dedicated solely to extensions. I am talking shampoo, conditioner right through to leave-in and serum.

Hairven is an indigenous brand, and quite frankly the first of its kind that I have ever heard of, ever. Listen, we need to believe that most of these our homegrown brands understand quality is key and should not be given a side eye because they’re championed by our fellow Nigerian.

As some of you may know, from my instagram page, my hair at the moment is blonde, which means it has been bleached to attain it’s current colour. Bleaching dries out the hair, I got mine done professionally and the lady did an awesome job restoring moisture to it after all the dyeing. But I notice that with lightened hair I always need to apply some serum to my hair, especially the ends, before I use any heat, otherwise I get crunchy hair and split ends.
This happened to me a week ago, and I suffered crunchy, dry hair throughout the week that followed and I could not wait to put Hairven to the test. Below is a step-by-step of how I used the products

REVIEW

Hairven Hair Extensions Conditioner – N1,500*

I always start my hair extension (even my natural hair) wash with conditioner, yup you read that right, and I start off with dry hair. I read somewhere that hair is like a sponge and if you start with it dry, it will absorb everything better. I apply conditioner from top to bottom, coating the hair all through and then running a wide-tooth comb through to make sure that I get the product distributed evenly. I usually wash my extensions when they’re off my head and in bundles, so I just wrap them up in some old carrier bags and leave alone for 15mins. But this time, I had them in as a weave, so I just cross-pinned my hair up with two hair ‘crabs’ and headed off to the salon to get it rinsed out.

Hairven Hair Extensions Conditioner – N1,500*

I must’ve had the conditioner in my hair about 20mins by the time I got to the salon, so it wasn’t in too long. I strongly advice you don’t leave the conditioner longer than 30mins max, I won’t even push it that long. Because from personal experience, where I left it in too long, it weighed the hair down and just left it limp and without volume, even after a blowdry. Before they rinsed the conditioner out, I put some shampoo in an applicator bottle, mixed in water to dilute and asked the guy washing my hair to run this all through my scalp between the braids and weft. This way I get my scalp and weft clean and when he rinsed it all out the shampoo would run down the strands of the extensions also cleansing them in the process. If it hadn’t been on my head, I would have applied the diluted shampoo to the weft in a bundle and washed it in my palm using circular motion, then rinsed it through the strands.

Hairven Hair Extensions: Leave-in N1,400* & Serum N1,600*

Once done rinsing, I was put under a hooded dry to get my braids and weft dry.

Once I felt the hair extensions were about 70% dry, I asked him to apply a few spritz of the leave-in to the extensions, concentrating on the ends

Once my extensions, braids and wefts were 100% dry, he applied a dime size of serum to his palms, rubbed them together and ran it through my hair, once again concentrating on the ends.

He blowdried my hair to stretch it out and then curled it all through using a curling iron. Results? Silky, bouncy, shiny hair.

I had really high hopes for these products and they met all my expectations. Even now my hair has a ‘glow’ to it and it is so soft.

Will I recommend Hairven to you? ABSOLUTELY! I love these products, they actually revived my hair. Now you do not necessarily need to use them my way, feel free to do what you want with them. But I am very impressed with these and already talking my friends and family into getting some.

Prices
Prices vary from retailer to retailer, but the below prices are if you buy direct from Hairven:

Shampoo – N1,500
Conditioner – N1,500
Leave-in Conditioner – N1,400
Serum N1,600

Where to Buy
Visit their listing page on The BiL Directory and click on their website link for more details

Anyone ever used Hairven?

Laters,

Ez xxX

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Hey Everyone,

Before I get into this post, want to let you all in on the series of Christmas giveaways I will be running next week. As a THANK YOU to all my followers across all my social media platforms, I will be having a giveaway for each. The instagram giveaway will be in conjunction with the blog, a facebook giveaway and a twitter giveaway. It is the season of giving, and is in addition to the #ChristmasWithBiL offers I have arranged with various beauty-businesses (ps: this started last week Friday by the way)

I will share all the information in a post very very soon, but let’s get into this one right now. Before I started blogging I never realised how many small/medium beauty brands there are out there and also those still springing up. Most people only know the big name brands like MAC, Iman, Nars, BlackUp, etc., but a few of these upcoming businesses should also be patronised. I find that with such businesses, they haven’t got a wide variety of products and shades to choose from, but they do bring something unique to the market place.

TAOS COSMETICS

Taos Cosmetics is one of such businesses. It’s run and owned by a lovely lady called Vanessa. She reached out to me in September introducing her brand and about a month after sent me some of the products to try out. It’s a fairly new brand and she’s decided to start off with versatile products like lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadows, bronzers and blushes.

I was particularly taken by the eyeshadows I was sent. The packaging in their cardboard boxes is quite similar to MAC’s but that’s where the similarities, in terms of packaging, end.

‘Big Daddy’ – N2,700*

 The lid is a screw cap, which is nothing like MAC’s. This shade is a nice frost-finish bronze, that blends beautifully and does not crease. (NB: I always use a primer/base on my eyes before I apply my shadows. I never review shadows without a base because I naturally hardly ever wear one without. So I honestly will not be able to tell how a shadow reacts without a base, and I don’t know why you won’t apply a base before your eyeshadow -__-) ).

‘Black Orchid’ – N2,700*

A grey-black with duo-chrome gold specks that just blend in beautifully when applied. This is not as pigmented as I expected from looking at it in the tub. But nonetheless, its a lovely dark grey that can be used as a transition colour for a black smokey eye.

‘T.O.’ – N2,700*
This was my favourite shadow. You know how typically you need at least two colours to create a smokey eye? I found that I could use just this to create a similar effect. It’s perfect for those lazy mornings (which is EVERY weekday morning for me) where you want some colour on your lids with some depth, but can’t be bothered to get 3 shades going in. I use a flat brush and pat this all over my mobile lid and into the crease a little, then use a clean fluffy brush to blend out the crease. Instant soft smokey eye! This is a medium choclate-brown shade (no red undertones here) and will work as a great transition colour for dark skin tones.
I will warn you, these shadows are quite powdery so there is a bit of fall out from these. So use some shadow shields when working with these, or work on your eyes before your base; which is what I do.
Swatches

Where To Buy

www.TaosCosmetics.co.uk

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Laters,

Ez xxX

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Hey Beauty-Lovers,

Hope you’ve all had a great start to the week! I know you all have, because if you’re reading this it means you are alive and that folks, is a great start! 🙂

Last month I was sent 6 shades from the new Zaron lipstick collection called ‘Eclipse’. After a few weeks trying them all out I am now ready to share my honest opinion and favourite swatches with you guys.

Swatches




Faves & Reviews

The colour selection in this collection is gorgeous. There were a couple shades which I did not already have in my personal stash and they made a nice addition and these were my faves which I have swatched for you below:

ZARON LIPSTICK ’01 DAWN’ – N1,600*

ZARON LIPSTICK ’04 FULLMOON’ – N1,600*

ZARON LIPSTICK ’03 SOLARIS’ – N1,600*
ZARON LIPSTICK ‘LUNAR’ – N1,600*

So the texture of these wasn’t really to my preference. I believe these are meant to be matte finish, and you all already know matte isn’t my cup of tea, but there was something else about these I didn’t quite like and I had a difficult time putting my finger on what it was. I know what matte lip products feel like in general, but these felt a little ‘pastey’ on the lips. Not sure if that’s the word I’m after, but it’s the best I could come up with. You will need to moisturize your lips before, not too much or else it would block off getting any product on your lips at all.

Another thing with these is, initially I can actually ‘feel’ them on my lips for a while, which I don’t particularly like when it comes to lip products. The colour payoff is good it doesn’t last as long as most would like, but I personally don’t mind reapplying my lip products as and when I feel the need to, so that aspect did not bother me. Also ‘Lunar’ seemed to be a lot less dry than the rest for me. All in all these are decent lip products and if matte is your thing, you could try out a few shades that you haven’t got in your collection.

Anyone else tried these… What did you make of them?

Laters,

Ez xxX

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Hey Guys,

So I shared the 13sec version of this video on my instagram page yesterday, and below is the link to the full-length video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ub1h3I52I

This is the recently released House Of Tara brush cleaner.  Now I would say that this is not a ‘deep-cleanse’ brush cleaner and should not be substituted for regular brush cleaning. In my opinion, this is an ‘on-the-spot’ cleaner to be used when working on a client or yourself.

This brush cleaner contains alcohol. The presence of alcohol in the formulation allows for the brush to dry quickly so brushes can be cleaned whilst being used. But also due to there being alcohol, this cleaner should not be used on the same brush repeatedly, maybe once or twice, thereafter I highly recommend you wash your brush properly. Repeated use may cause your brush hairs to become extra dry and brittle, which will result in shedding and breakage.

Price: NGN 2,000
Where to Buy: House of Tara stores nationwide!

Laters,

Ez xxX

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Hey Guys,

Don’t you just love it when a brand completely revamps and decides to up their game? First, House of Tara and now Zaron Cosmetics, and they have come out the door… guns blazing!

I remember a couple years ago swatching a few Zaron products at Ebeano Supermaket in Lekki, and just being not so impressed. I did not completely write them off, quite the opposite which was weird. It actually made me a little curious and went in to their Ikoyi store to try out a few other products. To be honest, they did have some gems in there. I could tell that the brains behind the brand clearly had a vision and was kind of still  figuring it all out. Now I am no expert at all, nor do I know the first thing that goes into starting up a makeup brand, but I am a mere enthusiast just like you guys and I am just sharing my inital thoughts about the brand.

Fast-forward to this present moment and Zaron are starting to claim their spot in the industry! First thing I noticed was there very colourful Ad campaign all around town especially on the BRT public transport buses and their recent product releases, with the blushes in this post being one of them.

These are their Hyper Blush range of cheek colours

There are four bright and super-pigmented colours in the range and we will get to them in a bit, but please can we have a moment to appreciate the packaging

I really like the clear acrylic compact. I mean, I love the sleek, black luxurious type ones, but this is like a breath of fresh air. And it matches my makeup storage :). It’s also got a mirror and underneath the blush pan, which is handy; as well as a flat brush for application.

Blushes

Zaron Hyper Blush Range ’02 Crush’ – N1,700*

Zaron Hyper Blush Range ’04 Siren – N1,700*

Zaron Hyper Blush Range ’01 Mudfest’ – N1,700*

Zaron Hyper Blush Range ’03 Rose Charm’ – N1,700*

 Swatches

These swatches were not edited or enhanced in any way (my swatches never are, anyway)! That really is how neon bright the colours are especially ’04 Siren’. I have been using these in rotation all this week, that’s five whole days and every morning I have still not worked out how to successfully apply these without going overboard. I highly recommend using a fluffy blush brush and a very light hand to apply these. My favourite at the moment is ’01 Mudfest’, because it’s a really nice shade to add some warmth just under my cheekbones. It’s not the sort of shade I’d use to contour, it’s got a reddish undertone so won’t be suitable for that. Rather it just warms up my face as well as add colour, double-whammy! I would also really love to find a lipstick shade similar to ’03 Rose Charm’, a pretty Pink-Orange shade. Anyone know any lipstick like this? Please mention it in the comments below!

Where to Buy
Beauty Kink

I was really gobsmacked when I opened up these boxes, from the packaging to the pigmentation, Zaron are not playing any games. No joke, I literally went ‘ooooh’ when I saw this compact. I am so pleased that our very own indigenous brands are starting to pay a bit more attention to the presentation as well as quality of their products. A lot of consumers are a lot more’educated’ now, in terms of what the want out of their makeup products. We all love to have options when it comes to shopping for makeup, both internationally and at home. I really hope this trend just goes from strength to strength.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and have a fabulous weekend!

Laters,
Ez

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Hello my lovelies!

Another brand introduction for you today, because you know I’m all about sharing. But first, I have got a little rant…

This Healthy Hair Journey (HHJ) is a real pain in the backside for me, honestly. I look at Dabs’ hair and think “I hate you, how do you do it”. But one this she always says is, it takes a lot of patience and mine is wearing thin at the moment. I am just not seeing the results I want, I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong and I am close to giving up! You know how hair-bloggers say “Find out what your hair likes as you go along and stick to it”, well my hair don’t know what she like :s. No but seriously, I am frustrated and I may have tried everything… Don’t get me started on the Hairfinity debacle. And then past couple of weeks, my hair started breaking for no reason so I thought I would up my ‘moisturisize and seal’ frequency to once every other day and I think it’s helping. Ok, now that I have let it all out, I shall not quit this journey…. yet. People say they hate the saying ‘HHJ’ but duuuude, better believe it is VERY appropriate, as this is a journey.

Staying in line with the theme of this post I’d like to share with you some products that I tried out last month.

BAHIYAH ORGANICS

Bahiyah Organics is a new organic haircare line that just hit the Nigerian market. Everything is made from scratch with 100% natural ingredients and all the contents are clearly displayed. I was sent a hair mask treatment and a shampoo bar. I absolutely adore the packaging, the tin case and that sack are just very original, love it!

Bahiyah Organics ‘Deep Moisture Hair Mask’ – N4000*

Not sure if this image grosses you guys out a bit, but I wanted to capture the texture of the product, so I ran my finger through it and I believe I failed… woefully lol. It’s almost like a sold consistency, would not describe it as creamy. To use this I warmed it up in a microwave just to get some ‘movement’ and added in a little bit of my ORS replenishing conditioner just to get even more ‘movement’ and to aid easy application. You could even add half a teaspoon size to any other mask you may have, as a booster. I LOVE how my hair feels after using this. It’s packed full of oils, including Shea Butter, which leaves your hair very moisturised for days after. Good for your hair, not so good for your bathtub and drains lol. So I will advise putting this in your hair and then heading to the salon, let them deal with it. At least that’s what I did the second time I used it lol. And it might seem like it’s not a lot of product in the can, but I got 3 uses out of this and it also comes in a ‘Large’ which is triple the size.

Bahiyah Organics ‘Neem & Tea Tree Shampoo & Body Bar’ – N4000*

This, I advise you use to get the mask out of your hair. Actually you must use this to get it out, as the conditioner is very concentrated.So yeah, take this along with you to the salon lol. I had never used a shampoo bar prior to this one and I think every shampoo should come in this form! It makes the precision of application so much easier, I love it! It is slightly drying so I will advice you use it once if you are just using it as a shampoo to cleanse your scalp/hair. But if you use it after the mask, once or twice is enough, depending on the amount of moisture you want to retain. You don’t want to strip your hair of all the mask’s benefits, but you do want to get all it out. So strike a balance with this one. I also love that it leaves a cooling sensation on your scalp, that’s that tea-tree in there. It can also be used on the body.

Prices
Deep Moisture Hair Mask Small – N4000 (size I was sent)
Deep Moisture Hair Mask Large – N6000
Neem and TeaTree Shampoo – N4000
Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar – N3800

Where to buy
GTB SME Market Hub
The Nail Bar
Savvy & Chic Beauty Hub

DISCOUNT OFFER: Bahiyah Organics currently have a promo running from now till the end of October, 2014. N1000 off all products!

Hope you enjoyed this review and feel free to ask any more questions you may have in the comment box below.

Who else is on a FRUSTRATING Healthy Hair Journey?

Laters,

Ez xxX

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Hi Everyone!

R an R Luxury is a company I’ve known about pretty much for well over a year now. I don’t really remember how exactly I stumbled upon them, but I think it was on Instagram. Now that initial ‘run-in’ I didn’t really grab my attention because I was more into makeup, than skincare at the time.

So fast forward a few years, I am well into skincare as much as makeup. I notice a cute little store open up just below the salon I visit regularly to get my hair and nails done, Pride and Joy. I literally walk past this store every single time I go in to the salon (which is pretty much every single weekend. Yes I am at the salon a lot. I love a good salon blowdry. What!?) and I always say “oh, I’ll pop-in on my way out”, but that just never happened until a week ago.

I had a look around the store and immediately fell in love with their products. Every single thing is 100% natural from the raw sheabutter, to their body oils, black soap shampoo and even their soy-wax candles! Regular readers will know I am an absolute sucker for 100% natural skincare products, so I was in heaven!

R and R Shea Luxury Body Oils | L-R: ‘Serenity’, ‘Lemongrass’ & ‘Ori-Nku (Unscented)’ 

These are the products I decided to go for. I initially only purchased one of these (bottle in the middle) and a mini soy-candle. But after using my oil for a week, I knew I had to go get some more as backup. It’s the hoarder in me, once I discover something I like, I go back and get more! I mean we live in Lagos, one day the thing you love is readily available, the next it’s just not there anymore. Lucky for me, they are currently having an anniversary sale, so it’s 25% off everything in store at the moment. I actually got 3 additional bottles, but the 4th is just a second bottle of one of these shown in the picture.

How To Use

These luxury oils are literally Shea Butter in its oil form. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they have managed to get it to stay permanently in its oil state, but I am LOVING it! Although they do state that it could solidify in extremely cold weather conditions. Well I guess that Airconditioner isn’t classified as ‘extremely cold’ because my oil hasn’t solidified once! You all know that I love my sheabutter well whipped and buttery smooth, but this right here is ‘liquid gold’ for me! With the whipped shea, I still have to rub it between my palms to get some ‘motion’ going, but with these oils its just that much easier. It can even be used on your hair, but I am sticking to my skin with these!

These Body Oils come in 3 variants Ori-Nku (Unscented), Lemongrass and Serenity. I had to get all three just to figure out which I love most. I mean they all contain the main ingredient, Shea butter, but with the essential oils added in, these provide just not a scent but additional benefits.

R and R Shea Luxury ‘Ori-Nku (Unscented)’ Body Oil – N2,000

With these pictures I decided to capture the ingredients. As you can see with the Ori-Nku (Unscented) Body Oil it’s just pure shea oil. All these Body Oils glide on smoothly and sink into skin. They leave my skin feeling moisturised and soft, I mean, it’s Shea butter!

 

R and R Shea Luxury ‘Lemongrass’ Body Oil – N2,000

This contains Lemon Grass essential oil. This is actually the first bottle I picked up.  The scent reminds me of the oils they use when you go to get a massage at the spa. So I just really wanted that scent on me, and it’s not overpowering, in fact, it doesn’t linger at all. I moisturise my skin with this right out the shower, and by the time I have put on my makeup and ready to head out the door, the scent is gone.

 

R and R Shea Luxury ‘Serenity’ Body Oil – N2,000

This one’s called Serenity Oil. I actually asked the store assistant what was in this and she said “Serenity Oil”, and I thought what’s that? So decided to read the back to see what else was included along with shea oil to make it ‘Serenity Oil’. Turns out their Serenity Oil is made up of Lavender Oil, Bergamot Oil and Ylang Ylang Oil. I know Lavender oil is known for it’s calming properties. This has now replaced the Lemon Grass body oil on my vanity, I actually picked up two bottles of this! I will use this one up, then return to Lemon Grass :).

Details
R AND R LUXURY
Flagship Store: 1 Niyi Okunibi Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos
Sacred Beauty: Abiola Close, Shonibare Estate, Maryland
Instagram: @randrluxury | Website: www.SheaLuxury.com

This is not an in-depth review, as I have only used these oils for 2weeks now, but I love them and since I have always used shea butter to moisturize, I don’t foresee any issues to be honest. Have a look at their website to see the numerous benefits of using these body oils and also to see their full range of products. I will be going back to purchase their black soap shampoo and some candles.

I really wanted to share as they are having a sale at the moment, which ends tomorrow unfortunately. But they aren’t too pricey, I mean you do get a lot of product for N2000. I am curious to see how long one bottle lasts with everyday use, I’ll be sure to provide an update on that on my Instagram page (@BeautyInLagosyou should really be following me lol).

Have a relaxing 4-day weekend everyone!

Laters,

Ez xxX

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