It’s safe to assume most of us have heard of essential oils. Whether it’s the Lavender Oil popularly touted by massage therapists as a great way to calm your nerves, or Tea Tree Oil for spot treating pimples, and there’s Rosemary Oil that haircare professionals will recommend to achieve fuller edges. So we’ve heard of them, but what exactly are Essential Oils?

An Essential Oil is an aromatic, volatile substance found within a plant. It is extracted from a particular part of the plant, like the flower, leaf, resin, bark, root, branch, seed or fruit. Within these oils, hundreds of organic constituents promote beneficial responses when applied or inhaled.

All essential oils are plant-based, and the method of extracting these oils defer depending on how best the oils can be extracted and retain their potency/effectiveness. However, the 3 main methods of extraction are: Steam Distillation, Cold Press & Solvent Extraction.


Now there’s another popular set of oils called ‘Carrier Oils’. Carrier Oils are actually skincare oils, you know your shea butter, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil etc. Carrier Oils are different from essential oils because they are extracted from nuts, seeds & kernels. Essential Oils, when exposed to air alone, tend to evaporate easily also applying it directly to the skin can potentially cause an adverse reaction, so diluting essential oils with carrier oils allows them to work better – better facilitates the absorption of the oil by the body.


Now that we have a basic understanding of Essential Oils, and the function of Carrier Oils as it relates to them, we will now explore some interesting uses of essential oils.


Essential Oils for Acne: Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil


Essential Oils for Aches & Pains: Mint Oil, Lavender Oil, Coconut Oil & Clove Oil


Essential Oils for Destressing: Ylang-Ylang Oil & Rose Oil


Essential Oils for Mental Boost: Frankincense Oil, Lavender Oil & Clarysage Oil


Essential Oils for Wounds & Cuts: Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Lavender Oil


Essential Oils for Inflammation: Ginger Oil, Clarysage Oil & Lavender Oil.


Essential Oils for Aromatherapy: Sandalwood, Geranium Frankincense & Eucalyptus  Oils 

For even more uses of essential oils and where you can get them in Nigeria visit:


This post was sponsored by Avila Natural, a beauty Company with carved niche in 100% Natural & Organic Skin & Hair Care products. Avila  produces over 100 essential and carrier oils. To become a distributor, please contact them:

Telephone: 0808 409 1555 | 0807 681 1439 | 0806 839 0450 | 0908 604 8758

Instagram: @avilanaturalle

When it comes to products, who better to ask than the Experts? We are tired, TIRED, of our makeup not staying in place, shifting or just not lasting long enough on our face. Which is why we shamelessly slid into the DMs of a few of your Favourite MUAs to ask: What Makeup Primer is your Favourite. Once we hit send it was an excruciating wait to hear back from them. We immediately knew what it felt like to ‘shoot your shot’ with zero control over what happens next.

Lucky for us, they responded! *moon walk*

So, as recommended by Peace Ibadin, FacesByLabisi, Layefa Beauty, iMakeYouBeeliv, Bibyonce, Doranne Beauty & iAmDodos, here are 9 of the best primers that can withstand the Lagos heat. If it’s good enough for them, it sure as hell is good enough for us!

  1. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Prime
  2. Hudabeauty matte perfection
  3. Becca Ever Matte Poreless primer
  4. Mac prep and prime
  5. Embryollise (apparently perfect for dry skin)
  6. Rimmel stay matte
  7. Illamasqua Matte Veil Primer
  8. Nars Pore & Shine control primer
  9. Makeup Forever Step 1 Primer

If you need to narrow it down to just 1 or 2, the Makeup Forever Step 1 & Becca Ever Matte Poreless seem to be the most popular amongst our Experts. And if you have dry skin, you might want to try out Embryollise.

BeautyInLagos also has a beauty directory, BeautyDirectoryNG. All the makeup retailers referenced above are listed on the directory. Our listing categories on the directory include: Makeup Artists, Beauty Product retailers, Beauty Service Providers, Spas & Hair Care & Extension retailers. Looking for something? Why not check:


A lot of people probably don’t know this, but the REAL key to glowing skin is regular Exfoliation! Without going too deep, exfoliation is simply the process of getting rid of dead skin cells *steps away to search google*.

Charles Weschler and colleagues explain that humans shed their entire outer layer of skin every 2-4 weeks at the rate of 0.001 – 0.003 ounces of skin flakes every hour


Basically your body sheds its own dead skin every 2-4 weeks, and there’s literally dead skin flaking off you every hour of everyday. You exfoliating your skin, just aids the process! You should want to get rid of all those dead, dry & dull skincells that are just sitting topically on your skin. There are numerous benefits of regular exfoliation, but that’s not what this post is about. I will share benefits in a later post….

Anytime anyone asks me how they can get rid of scars on their body, I always recommend they start exfoliating regularly. Because think about it, if the layers of your skin are shedding away that means the skin covering the scar will also be shedding away revealing new skin at every layer. Obviously, it will take quite some time and you may need to use some products too, but eventually you should see visible results. I’ve talked about exfoliation here on BeautyInLagos, but this time I wanted to break it all the way down for you guys! I’ll share with you HOW I exfoliate and how frequently. I didn’t know this, but typing up this post I’ve realised I actually exfoliate my body in 4 sections: Hands, Face, Feet & rest of the Body.


With my hands I basically exfoliate every other day. I wash my hands as soon as I walk through the door, and I’ve got a little pot of exfoliating sugar right by my bathroom sink, so I wash my hands then exfoliate, rinse and moisturise and I do this almost daily. Always remember to moisturise right after you exfoliate, and always use SPF. My preferred hand cream, which I always have in my bag, has got SPF (pictured above)


When it comes to my face I try to exfoliate and mask at least twice a week, I say ‘try’ because that would be ideal, but we live in the real world and ‘ideal’ can be a hard reach sometimes; but bare minimum, I exfoliate & mask once a week. The past couple of months I have been exfoliating & masking using products by Orma Skincare. I quite like their ‘Glow Scrub’, it’s a salt scrub that’s got turmeric & honey, it’s not harsh on my skin at all but it does sting a teeny bit. I rinse it off and then apply their Spot Eradicator Mask on my forehead, and their Glow Clay Mask all over the rest of my face (this glow mask stings as well).

This routine has been working for my skin, and I currently have no new/recent spots on my face *touch wood*. Just two UGLY scars which will fade away. A Contributor reviewed this brand recently, you can read that here.

I also use Retinol every night as part of my routine. Naturally, my face is a bit more tanned than the rest of my body, so my struggle has always been to get the skin on my face as close as possible to the rest of my body, regular exfoliation gives me visible results.


I really don’t do much when it comes to exfoliating my feet apart from getting monthly pedicures. Also when I exfoliate my body, which you will read about below, I also include my feet as well. A good pedicure really gets rid of all that dead skin on your feet. I’ve already shared my recommendations of places to get a decent pedicure in Lagos, you can check them out here. Ladies, here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Get a Pedicure monthly.

That is, if you don’t already.


So for the rest of my body, I exfoliate 3 times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Exfoliating 3 times a week has literally become a habit for me. No matter where I am, if it’s a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I know I will be exfoliating in the shower. My routine is very basic, exfoliating mitts and black soap that’s it. I also usually bring it up to my face, using the mitts GENTLY, I buff around my face in circular motions. A lot of people are against using black soap on their face as it can be very drying, but I haven’t had any adverse reactions and quite like the results I get. On Fridays, I may use actual sugar scrub all over my body before I go in with the mitts & black soap. One thing I do want to try out more this year is ‘dry brushing’; using a soft bristle brush to exfoliate BEFORE you take a bath/shower. A lot of people swear by it, so I’m going to try it out for myself and I’ll definitely share my thoughts.

So yeah, that’s my exfoliating process. If you want to have soft, supple, glowing skin, regular exfoliation is the best place to start. However, exfoliating is literally just a step, a major step, but there’s more to attaining soft supple glowing skin! Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing more tips so make sure you check back regularly.

Please please please make sure you moisturise and use SPF religiously, not just on your face but your body as well; pay particular attention to the parts typically exposed to sunlight: hands, legs, neck, décolletage, etc.

Make it a point to exfoliate regularly this year, and I GUARANTEE you will see results.

The products you use also play a big part and I hope to share some of my body-care staples in a post soon.


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

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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

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


For anyone who is interested in skincare, we all know and love The Ordinary. An affordable skin care brand that burst onto the scene and few years ago. The reason for its launch was to address the fact that the cost of luxury skincare is generally inflated.

The Ordinary based its line on ingredients targeted at specific skin concerns and provide guidance on how best to combine them for the best results. Although this is great for customers, the brand’s popularity means that products are often out of stock. So you may have to wait for weeks to get the product you want.
To solve having to wait for stock, here is a list of 6 brands with similar ethos, price products to the ordinary which can serve as either alternatives or an outright replacement for some of the ordinary products. Each of these brand have an affordable range of high quality products with no fluff just but get the job done.


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This is an ingredient-led skincare brand which launched in 2018 with 15 products priced between £5 and £10. The range includes hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, caffeine, turmeric and Q10. Its main focus is on customer education, targeted at people who want to invest in skincare but don’t know how to start because of lack of information on how products work. The focus is on transparency, simplicity, high quality ingredients, at low prices.

Key products:

  • Retinol serum
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Lactic Acid,
  • Vitamin C Serum

Available at:

  •  Cult beauty,
  • Victoria health
  • Feel unique


Alex Steiner x Primark

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This is one that came to my notice pretty late and it is a collaboration with Glamour beauty editor and PRIMARK with the prices to match. None of the product costs more than £5. The collection consists of 20 products categorised based skincare needs. With a range for city skin, acne and dehydration, which allows you to mix and match depending on your needs.

Key products

  • Plump& Glow Facial in a Stick,
  • Pore Balance Anti-blackhead Stick
  • Maximum Moisture Supreme Sheet Mask
  • Super Detox Clay Mousse Mask
  • Micellar Cleansing Gel,

Available: select PRIMARK stores


Garden of Wisdom (GOW) Skincare


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This is an oldie which has recently gone mainstream. It is an Arizona based cruelty free brand with a focus on simple ingredient formulations. Prices start from £9 and go up to £20.
Its approach is using serums to target specific skin concerns and encourage skin balance and stability. All serums use the optimum strength additives and the minimum number of inactive ingredients making them more effective.

Key products

  • Hyaluronic Acid Serum,
  • Salicylic Acid 2% Serum
  • Niacinamide Serum

Available at:

  • Victoria health,
  • Garden of wisdom


Revolution Skincare

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This brand is best known for its £4.99 concealer but has recently introduced skincare into its product range. The products are vegan and cruelty-free with prices ranging from £5-£10. It is an extensive range with something for every skin type, the products are classified based on the conditions they address e.g. hydration, fine lines, texture and blemishes.

Key products

  •  Niacinamide serum
  • Caffeine serum
  • Hyaluronic acid serum
  • Rosehip Seed Oil


  • Superdrug
  • Revolution Beauty


Beauty Pie

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The Beauty Pie approach is very different from the others mentioned above although the ethos of luxury grade products at an affordable price is the same. Here, you get access to the low prices, only if you sign up for the monthly membership, which costs $10. Beauty pie claims it gets its products from luxury beauty factories and sells them at the cost of production. The range is huge and is categorised based on skin types i.e. dry, oily, combination, sensitive, hyper pigmented and aging skin.

Key products:

  • Retinol range
  • Daily vitamin c defence serum typical price £80 /members pay £9.55
  •  Plantastic™ micropeeling super drops




This is the only Korean beauty brand on the list. However it is the leader in affordable K-Beauty. CosRx focuses on creating effective products with the minimum number of ingredients. The products are targeted to specific skin concerns using well known ingredients in combination with lesser known Korean ingredients like snail mucin or yeast ferment. They are best known for their AHAs and BHA products and have also included Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) which are less irritating.

Key products

  • Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser
  • Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol
  • COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner


  •  Amazon,
  •  ULTA
  •  Beauty tap
  •  SokoGlam


At the moment, some of these brands are available in Nigerian skincare stores, here are  trusted retailer listed on our directory, BeautyDirectoryNG:

SK Beauty
Hilary Says
Your Skin's Love
Cho & Zen Beauty
Allure Beauty Store
Serenite Beauty
Youtopia Beauty


Also, most of the international online stores mentioned are willing to ship internationally at a price. Alternatively, you can buy them through UK2ME or MallofAfrica who buy products from US and UK for delivery in Nigeria.

What do you think will you be trying any of these products? Or are you happy stuck with the ordinary products you know and love.

If you enjoyed this article follow me on my social media below

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