Remember in my exclusive interview with makeup artist extraordinaire Sam Fine, where he revealed that he actually developed the original Black Opal stick foundations? (Interview here) That information actually prompted me to look into the brand a little. What I discovered was a brand formulated specifically for women of colour and their range of products, from complexion to skincare, reflects that notion. They recently rebranded and with that they completely revamped their packaging, reformulated some products and changed their brand logo to BLK/OPL. I’m not going to bore you with too many words, just going to share pictures of some of their repackaged products and where you can get BLK/OPL in Nigeria.










BLK/OPL is officially available in Nigeria from Kuddy Cosmetics.


So my final pick from HilarySays website shouldn’t really be a surprise for regular BiL Readers…. VitaminC serum.

In my most recent skincare-related post, I spoke extensively about the benefits of including a VitaminC treatment in your skincare routine, especially if you live in sunny climes like Nigeria. There’s a wide range of Vitamin C treatments on the market, most of which come in ‘serum’ form, and formulated to treat/prevent a variety of skin conditions ranging from anti-aging to skin brightening. This product I am about to highlight is absolutely no different.

Timeless 20% C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

This product contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid. The Vitamin C is an antioxidant that evens skin tone and helps build collagen, while Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid are included to extend the life and effectiveness of the Vitamin C ingredient.

Additional Benefits of Vitamin C include:

  • Neutralizes free radicals induced by UVA/UVB, infrared radiation (IRA), and ozone pollution (O3); which may lead to visible signs of accelerated skin aging.
  • Shields the skin from the visible impacts of pollution and significantly improving hydration
  • Improves signs of Aging and Photo-Damage
  • Diminishes appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Boosts Collagen production thereby preventing the loss of skin firmness
  • Brightens skin’s complexion


This serum contains a 20% concentration of L-Ascorbic Acid. L-Ascorbic Acid is the scientific name for Vitamin C in its purest form. Out of the many forms of vitamin C, it is the most well-researched for its efficacy. In any form, vitamin C provides potent antioxidant properties but ascorbic acid is the only form backed by research for dramatically brightening and evening out skin tone.


  1. Ferulic Acid provides antioxidant benefits to skin while enhancing the stability of topical applications of other antioxidants like vitamins C and E. It also helps defend skin against environmental assault.
  2. Alpha Tocopherol plays an important role in neutralizing free radicals, moisturizing skin, and improving the appearance of visible skin aging.
  3. Sodium Hyaluronate, which is a humectant that has a smaller molecular weight than hyaluronic acid and is able to deeply penetrate skin, delivering intense hydration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while promoting firmness.

How to Use:

Apply 2-3 drops to fingertips and smooth evenly onto cleansed skin morning and night. Sunscreen use recommended after application

Hilary Says…

We recommend you use this product during the day only, there is no added benefit to using it again at night. After cleansing and toning, apply on face, neck and chest, wait a few minutes before applying other products. As it has high levels of ascorbic acid, you may experience some tingling, this is normal. If you have never used an ascorbic acid serum before, your skin may purge*and begin to breakout for a few days but you should keep using it; the roughness will clear after a few days. Make sure you use a sunscreen daily with this product. As this ascorbic acid can be very unstable, you are advised to store this product in the fridge to preserve its efficacy and use within 3 months.

*Purging is basically your skin’s natural reaction to a product that speeds up the rate at which skin cells are shed and replaced. If a product speeds up skin cell turnover, then the entire skin cell cycle will speed up as well, and clogged pores have the potential to turn into pimples much quicker. This only means that lesions that were already present, waiting patiently to surface, will surface all at once or in clusters. The difference ‘purging’ and ‘breaking out’ are essentially the same thing, but the former is deemed ok, while the latter isn’t. Here are a few points to help you differentiate between the two:
– if your skin breaks out more than normal, but in the usual places, and is progressively getting better – it’s likely that your skin is purging
– if your skin breaks out more than normal, but not in the usual places, and is not getting better – it’s likely that your skin is breaking out
– if your skin breaks out more than normal, but in the usual places, but is not getting better – it’s likely that your skin is breaking out
– if your skin breaks out more than normal, and you’re using a new product with ingredients that stimulate cell turnover – it’s likely that your skin is purging
– if your skin breaks out more than normal, and you’re using a new product with NO ingredients that stimulate cell turnover – it’s likely that your skin is breaking out
A purging period can last up to a month, which is the natural skin cycle, but anything from 6-8 weeks means you may be breaking out and having an adverse reaction to a product; so you must stop using the product


Product: Timeless 20% C + E Ferulic Acid Serum

Price: N16,000

Where to buy: Hilary Says

BiL Readers & Followers get 10% off this product when they shop and use the code: 10OFFTCE


Hilary Says will be giving away ‘Paula’s Choice Resist Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA‘ to one lucky BeautyInLagos Instagram follower. The giveaway rules will be announced on my Instagram page, @BeautyInLagos, very very soon. So keep an eye out!

Reference: Purging explanation culled from ‘Banish’ website


YouSkin is one of the few Nigerian skincare brands that’s dedicated to formulating and retailing performance skincare products. If you have no idea what I mean by ‘Performance Products’, just read this post here. YouSkin is actually the in-house brand by beauty retailer Youtopia Beauty. I shared about Youtopia Beauty here on the blog in a previous ‘Out and About‘ post, which you can catch-up on here.

YouSkin recently expanded their product line by adding new products to their range and I thought to highlight and share a couple that caught my attention.


YouSkin 30-Day Acne Kit – N33,000

If you’ve got Acne-prone skin this kit is definitely for you. When I saw this Acne Kit I thought what an absolutely GENIUS idea! You’ve got a Face wash, mask, spot treatment and brightening gel (for acne scarring). I especially love that they included a brightening gel in there. Whenever I get a spot or breakout, the one thing that nags me the most are the scars that take FOREVER to fade. At the moment, all products are sold exclusively in the kit and I’m secretly hoping they eventually decide to retail each product separately, because I would definitely get the Spot treatment (Acne Benzoyl Peroxide Gel) and the Brightening Gel…. fingers-crossed.


YouSkin Vitamin C Serum – N5,000

This might quite possibly be the most affordable Vitamin C serum currently available in Nigeria. YouSkin decided to include an affordable Vitamin C serum as part of their product line because they believe it should be a staple in everyone’s routine, especially if you live in Nigeria; the Sun out here is NO JOKE. Including a Vitamin C treatment will be super beneficial, it acts as a barrier for the skin and even strengthens the effect of whatever sunscreen you use on your face. Other benefits include:

  • Anti-Aging because it slows down age-related degradation of Collagen in the skin
  • Improves the appearance of pigmentation
  • Reduction in skin impurities

This YouSkin Vitamin C Serum also contains Niacinamide, a form of B3, which helps with uneven skintone, reduces the appearance of enlarged pores and beneficial for acne-prone skin.

For just 5K that’s one super-packed Vitamin C serum, so cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean less effective. I am currently trying this out myself and will update you all with a full review in about 4-6weeks.

One thing to note is that if you have any Vitamin C serum/treatment you should store it in a cool, dry and dark place; if you live in Nigerian that means a fridge! Yes, I keep my serum in the fridge.

If you aren’t sure how to use a Vitamin C serum or when to include it in your routine, I would suggest you use it during the day and as the first step in your routine after you’ve cleansed your face.

Here’s what YouSkin advices on their website:

  • We suggest doing a Patch Test on a small area of skin on your neck to make sure the formula is a good fit for you.
  • If the serum is compatible with your skin, start by applying 3-5 drops of Vitamin C-Serum followed by your moisturizer once daily.
  • Before applying, the skin must be thoroughly and gently cleaned. The best solution is to apply the serum with clean fingers or better with a cotton pad.
  • If you are using a vitamin C serum for the first time, we recommend applying 1-2 times a day.
  • In the beginning, a thin layer of the serum should be applied so that the skin can get used to the vitamin C. The serum takes about 15 minutes until it is optimally absorbed into the skin.

Available on #ShopBiL: click here


YouSkin African Black Soap Body Wash – N4,000

I LOVE how this smells and the fact that it lathers up really well! One squirt is all I need for my entire body, so this bottle should last about a month. I am currently using this every single day so I will get back to you on how long it really lasts and will also do a full proper review. But so far, there’s zero complaints from me!

Available on #ShopBiL: click here

All in all, great product releases from YouSkin. This is definitely one Nigerian skincare brand I will be keeping tabs on to see what they come out with next.


30-Day Acne Kit: N33,000

Vitamin C Serum: N5,000 (Available on #ShopBiL)

Liquid Black Soap: N4000 (Available on #ShopBiL)


Another week, another pick! I have been enjoying this series so far, because at last I can finally recommend fantastic skincare products that are accessible. In the past nothing frustrated me more than not being able to answer questions about where to buy certain skincare products. I say ‘certain’ because I’m not talking about the usual drugstore products that are relatively easy to find out here, I’m talking about them ones you read up about from your favourite skincare guru and you’re itching to try it out but you can’t find it anywhere. HilarySays is shaping up to be a very reliable solution to that problem…. anyway, let’s get into this post.

Sun protection sun protection sun protection. I really do hope that there aren’t any regular BiL-readers that do not use Sunscreen, Sunprotection, SPF… whatever you call it. Most especially on your face, AND your entire body too. Irrespective of your skintone, Sunscreen is VITAL, ESSENTIAL, A PRIORITY! The myth that darker skin tones don’t need it, is just that… a MYTH. (Sidenote: that your Foundation which reads SPF15/SPF20/SPF50, that’s not going to cut it. Even face creams that claim to have some SPF, are not enough. You need to have a product in your stash whose primary function is Sun Protection. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion for another day….).

So if you haven’t got any Sun protection product on your top-shelf, allow me to make a recommendation (and it’s pretty amazing too)

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF60

This product provides broad-spectrum sun protection to oily, combination and acne-prone skin types. The dry-touch formula sets to a matte, weightless finish that doesn’t irritate skin or clog pores while the anti-shine complex absorbs excess oil throughout the day to prevent midday shine, even in hot, humid weather. Designed for daily wear, it protects your skin from aging UVA rays, burning UVB rays and damaging free radicals.

Key Benefits:

  • It does not leave a white cast which makes it ideal for dark skin
  • Anti-Shine complex: a combination of Perlite + Silica to absorb pore-clogging oil, even in heat and humidity.
  • Contains Cell-OX shield XL Technology that is an optimized combination of UVA/UVB filters chosen for its more synergistic effect to deliver broad-spectrum protection.
  • A powerful antioxidant complex to help protect skin from free radicals caused by UV rays that can cause premature skin aging.
  • Water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
  • Non-comedogenic formula won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.

 How to use:

Apply generously 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours or after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating.

Hilary Says….

The continuously depleting ozone layer has put us at a higher risk of getting affected from the harmful rays of the sun. While you do need the sun for your daily dose of Vitamin D, it does not imply that you should put your health at risk! Applying sunscreen actually blocks these harmful rays from penetrating the skin and triggering skin disorders. Never leave home without sunscreen; it is the most important skincare product you can ever use.


Product: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60

Price: N13,800

Where to buy: Hilary Says

BiL Readers & Followers get 10% off this product when they shop and use the code: 10OFFSPF (expires on the 21st of February)


Hilary Says will be giving away ‘La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60’ to one lucky BeautyInLagos Instagram follower. The giveaway rules will be announced on my Instagram page, @BeautyInLagos, tomorrow (Friday, 16th Feb). So keep an eye out, and congratulations to the winners so far!