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


I discovered this brand as one does while scrolling through my Instagram feed and after looking at the reviews and the website I decided to try one of their products. Because my main skin issues are active acne and hyperpigmentation I decided to start with the spot eradicator mask. The main active ingredient in the mask is glycolic acid and activated charcoal which should work well on active acne.

Glycolic acid is useful in dealing with skin pigmentation so is helpful for my acne scars and skin discolouration. In addition the activated charcoal and tea tree oil also help with dealing with active acne.



How To Use

The actual mask is dark grey in colour and has a pudding (custard) like consistency, which allows it to be spread evenly across my face. I generally used the mask twice a week, after spreading it thinly on my face I let it dry and sit on my face for 20 minutes or more. Make sure you shake the tube before application as its got a runny consistency and may separate slightly, so shake it up first.



I absolutely love the product, it does what is says. When I have had active spots after using the product the acne reduces significantly and disappears within a day. It has also helped with some off my texture and pigmentation issues. Despite the size of the tube I have had mine for over 2 months and have used it pretty consistently and I am yet to put in dent in the tube. The mask also helped in lightening some of my post acne hyperpigmentation which were pretty dark and although they have not completely disappeared they are less visible.


Cost – N10, 000/60mls


  • Affordable
  • Is effective for active acne
  • No irritation and is suitable for sensitive skin
  • Quick delivery
  • Easily accessible (the brand is active on Instagram and very responsive)


  • A bit runny, so ensure that you shake before each use
  • Must use a sunscreen

Who it is for – For people with active acne and hyperpigmentation

Rating –  4/5 it is a very effective mask and one I will keep on rotation as part of my skincare routine

Where to buy –


  •  NIP+FAB Glycolic Instant Fix Mask – Glycolic fix
  • StriVectin Advanced Acid Glycolic Skin Reset Mask
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


Everyone has good skin days (I hope) and everyone has bad skin days (except Beyonce, but you knew that already). I think the key to great skin is knowing what to do to pull your skin back from the edge when it’s acting up. Like, tried, tested, and true steps to restore normalcy. There’s nothing worse than trying different things and not knowing what will work and when it will while your skin gets progressively worse. That said, please visit a dermatologist if your skin condition is not improving after you’ve tried what you believe to be helpful.

I have combination/ oily/ sensitive skin and I have experienced it all – white heads, black heads, irritated skin – everything.

But over the years, in the course of building my regimen and trying several products and methods, I think I’ve found a few ways and products to get to a point where I can say I am happy with my skin. And when a flare up does occur, I know what to do or what can help. Great skin can be the default, not the exception!


La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser

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This is sensitive skin gold! It’s a cleanser but I use this as a cleanser, as a mask, and as a treatment. Whenever my skin feels irritated, the first thing I do is pare down my regimen to the basics. About three products make it and this is top of the list.

This calms any itchiness or redness and restores calmness to my skin so I can focus on other treatments. La Roche Posay describes this as for ‘all types of intolerant skin’ and it couldn’t be more accurate. It also has a lot of slip so I’ll occasionally use this when I want to give myself a face massage – rub it on, massage, and then wipe off with a warm flannel.


Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser

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This is one of my favourite moisturisers especially when my skin just wants to breathe. It contains no artificial fragrance, is really light, and dispenses just the right amount of moisture. It’s tempting to stop all things skin care when your skin is acting up because you don’t know what the culprit might be. This gives all the moisture with none of the aggravation.


Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

The second I feel a spot forming, I use this oil. It drastically reduces the size of whatever was brewing and calms my skin. You know how you apply some acne treatments and they seal whatever was forming below your skin, and then you’re stuck with a big bump that refuses to come to a head and some dry skin on top? Not this treatment. In addition to helping with spots, it’s also good for my pores and the overall appearance of my skin. I can’t remember where I read it but someone once said they were going back to the pro brands. Sometimes, there’s a reason why they’ve lasted this long and still have a huge following. Clarins is a great example of a great pro brand. This oil is perfect for oily/ combination skin which is more break out prone. If I look back and try to pinpoint where exactly my skin changed for the better, I think it might be when I incorporated this oil into my routine. It’s not an oily oil so it’s just perfect for my skin type. I once tried Sunday Riley’s Flora (back when it was called Isis) and as much as I loved it, I had to admit it was too rich for my oily skin. The Lotus oil is quite a light and absorbent oil. Forever repurchasing!



Whatever you eat or drink reflects on your face, period. Good skin starts with a healthy gut. Incorporating more vegetables, eating fresh, drinking more water, drinking less alcohol, avoiding sugar and processed food, and taking my vitamin supplements and probiotics regularly have all contributed to a positive improvement in my skin health. The key is to make it a lifestyle not a one-off thing.

Simi is a company secretary and full time lover of food/sporadic blogger @inmylagoskitchen forever trialing skincare in search of the (nonexistent) 'ONE'.


Ingredients: Water, Aloe, Lactic Acid, Lemon Peel Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Witch Hazel, Organic sugar, Black Tea Leaf Extract, Oat Kernel Extract, Sodium PCA, Organic Chamomile Extract, Glycerin, Clary Extract

Product Claims:
This all-in-one toning treatment exfoliates and hydrates your skin while stimulating collagen production. It is specially formulated to strengthen the skin and regulate proper pH balance to reveal a smooth, healthy glow. Our newest tonic helps to build and protect your Essential Stratum BarrierSM and enables your skin to be at its best by ensuring cell turnover and rejuvenation.


Look and feel

It is completely clear with a mild, pleasant smell. It almost looks like water. On the skin it is cooling and soothing. If you are (like I was) used to toners that leave your skin feeling stretched and taut, this will surprise you based on how hydrating it is. Sometimes, if I haven’t used it for a few days, it tingles slightly when I put it on, as though it is eating up all the junk that accumulated in its absence. This pleases me greatly.


How I use this

I use this after cleansing and before moisturising. I either pour a small amount onto a cotton pad and sweep over my face and neck or I splash it into my palm and press it onto my face directly. Sometimes, when I want a heavier dose of acids/chemical exfoliation, I use this as a second toner, after I have first toned with my Pixi Glow Tonic.



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I find it so intriguing that a product in which almost all the ingredients could be food, is also so effective on the skin.
Take aloe, which aids digestion and alkalises the body. In this toner it heals and soothes stressed out skin.
Or lactic acid which is predominantly found in dairy products like yoghurt; in this product it improves skins texture and hydrates like a dream. If you have acne scarring, this ingredient is what does the heavy lifting to smoothen you out.
Glycerin which is used in baking to add moisture to some cake and fondant icing recipes, does the exact same thing here and encourages skin to attract moisture from the atmosphere and subsequent products.
How about the organic sugar? Rather than just a sweetener in our coffee, in this formulation it encourages the skin to shed its dead cells for a glowy, brightening effect. Almost like a sugar scrub but in liquid form!
And then finally, the fruit teas and extracts do exactly the same thing they do in the body – fight oxidative stress and rascally free radicals that cause faster ageing.



Sometime last year, I realised that my beloved Clinique and I had to part ways after many happy years together. Thankfully, my skin remained reasonably clear through my pregnancy, but I have had to come to terms with the fact that the needs of 30+ are different. It was time to find a new crop of cleaner, more nuanced, and more effective toners. Enter January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic, stage left.

This toner is deceptively simple. The ingredient list reads like something you might expect to find on a new superfood health drink rather than on a beauty product. However it is definitely a chemical exfoliating toner, albeit a mild one, employing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). AHAs dissolve the cellular glue that sticks dead skin cells together.

At first I thought it wasn’t doing much, until I stopped using it and found that my brightness was backsliding. I never, ever, ever want to lighten my naturally dark skin, but I do want to make sure that I keep it healthy, radiant and glowing to the gods.



I have enjoyed using this toner. I do suspect sometimes that my skin starts to get used to it, so I like to give it a break periodically so as to keep it effective.

I absolutely love the fact that the ingredient list is so minimalist. Not a nasty colour, filler, fragrance or preservative in sight. Everything in there is geared toward a specific task for your skin and not for gimmickey marketing. If you are passionate about clean beauty, January Labs is a brand to explore!

The no nonsense packaging (plastic bottle with a flip-up spout) is lightweight and great for travelling. I have never had any spills with this.

Will I buy this again? I think so. It definitely has worked well for me; however it is my first exclusively lactic acid toner so I would like to try out a few others to see where this sits among its peers. Stay tuned!

Minjiba is a creative African food blogger, TV cook and content creator based in Lagos and her cooking show ‘Minjiba Entertains’ airs weekly on The Africa Channel in the US & the Caribbean. In addition to developing exciting recipes from local ingredients, she is a sworn skincare addict and loves to explore products that use active food ingredients.

You can find her:

Instagram: @minjibacookey

Twitter: @minjibacookey


photo source: Vogue

Beyonce’s much anticipated and talked about September Vogue cover is finally here and honestly, we are not worthy. Queen Bey looks luminous and youthful…serious dewy skin goals!



photo source: Vogue

In the 350 degree oven that is Lagos, this pared back make up look might just be the
trend we should all adopt.

Here are five tips for achieving this look (flower crown not included!):

1. Great Skincare

Clarins Double Serum

Amazing skin is the foundation of all great make up looks, not least a minimal one such as this. A good day and night routine is an absolute must. Cleanser, exfoliant, mask, toner, treatment, serum, moisturizer, and last but by no means least, sunscreen – Go. Buy. NOW!

This will help ensure your skin is hydrated, protected, youthful, and blemish free for the most part.


2. A Good Base

L-R: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation, YSL Touche Eclat                                          photo source: SpaceNK, ShopStyle, YSLBeauty

There are so many lightweight, medium coverage foundations on the market today that can achieve this look. You want to look for a natural (skin-like) satin finish as opposed to a full coverage matte finish for this look.

Also, a great base doesn’t always have to mean foundation. If your skin is relatively blemish-free, some spot concealing and under-eye coverage could be all you need. Basically, don’t mask your skin. Only use product where you need it!


3. All in The Detail

L-R: Huda Beauty ‘Warm Brown Obsessions’ Paletter, Kevyn Aucoin ‘The Precision’ Brow Pencil, Dior Lip Glow              photo source: ShopHudaBeauty, SpaceNK, John Lewis

It’s the little things that make this look. Think feathery brows, not ‘instagram’ ones. Think luminizer, not Trophy Wife. Substitute your Huda Beauty ‘Gemstones’ palette for your ‘Warm Brown’ one. Put the matte lip stains down, embrace the Dior Lip Glow!


4. Cream over Powder

I think we all know by now that a natural beat doesn’t necessarily mean you use any less products or steps than a regular beat. The key to making this look believable is using a light hand and mimicking the natural highlights, contours, and flushes of your skin. Only this time, choose cream over powder. Cream blushes and contour products are the way to go.


5. All Set!

You still need to set. Apply a finely milled setting powder on your t-zone to ensure your base stays where you placed it – remember, 350 degree oven! A good finishing spray will also help restore the glow and make you look dewy, not oily!

Good luck and I wish you Beyonce Vogue vibes.

Simi is a company secretary and full time lover of food/sporadic blogger @inmylagoskitchen forever trialing skincare in search of the (nonexistent) 'ONE'.


Pro Tip: If you like full-on, stay-all-day, long-lasting make-up, I’m not saying you can’t stay but you may want to skip this one!

Cloud Paints have been on my Beauty Wish List foreverrr *Cardi B voice*! Im sorry, what? You don’t have a beauty wish list? What’s wrong with you?! Anyway, the urge to get them got even stronger when Glossier released two new shades (Storm & Dawn) which I think are more brown girl friendly than their previous offerings. Storm is described as a ‘warm rose’ on the website and Dawn, as a ‘sunny coral’. I am a sucker for all things orange and peachy so I immediately gravitated towards Dawn. I think I tried Storm once but I LIKE WHAT I LIKE!




The Cloud Paints come in an opaque squeezy tube which in turn come in a little foil/ plastic box. The colour for each Cloud Paint is indicated on the tube. Instant love! I like when my products perform and are pretty at the same time! Bonus points for being Instagram friendly 🙂



I tried applying this two ways. The first go round, I used my fingers to quickly blend this out where I wanted it to be – on the apples of my cheeks and onto the high points of my cheek bones. The second time, I tried using a brush (Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to be specific).

Hands win! While the brush is nice where I want to sweep the blush on top of my cheekbones and meld it into my contour, I felt like I wasted the product this way. Plus, there’s something slightly soothing about tap, tap, tapping this beauty into my cheeks. I didn’t feel like it stayed visible on my face all day but then again, I am never heavy handed with my make-up. But don’t test me when it comes to skincare!



Coverage is pretty good. It looks really pigmented coming out of the tube but don’t let that scare you – they blend out pretty well and still retain their pigment without you looking clownish. As with all things Glossier, it has a really natural finish and gives my cheeks a nice flush of colour. Texture is also great and feels really nice to apply. One thing I noticed that I wasn’t previously aware of was that the Cloud Paints have a barely there pearlescent shimmer/ glow in them. It’s hardly noticeable once you apply it though.

Definitely love this product and will repurchase once I’ve run out. You’ll love this if you: like a natural beat and enjoy a glow that looks like it might be all you!

Simi is a company secretary and full time lover of food/sporadic blogger @inmylagoskitchen forever trialing skincare in search of the (nonexistent) 'ONE'.

As promised, here’s the second set of my must-have skincare products. If you missed the first post, please click here to catch-cup.

For a product to be in my ‘Hall of Fame’, it means it exceeded my expectations and I will gladly repurchase it over and over. Choosing a favourite product can be difficult for me because there are so many I’ve tried that performed really well.


1. Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

Hydration is one of the best ways to get glowing skin….ask the Koreans! This toner is slightly thicker than your usual rosewater but deeply hydrates. Perfect for the Korean 7 skin method.



2. Garnier Oil Infused Micellar Cleansing Water

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We all know how amazing this micellar water is but take it up a notch and try the oil infused ones. It takes off even your waterproof mascara and matte lipsticks. Oily skintypes …fear not. It will not break you out!



3. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

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I was surprised how quickly this made it to my hall of fame! I tried a sample I got at a beauty event and it was love at first use. Emulsifies really well and takes everything off. While I prefer cleansing balms, this cleansing oil really blew me away.


4. Heimish All Clean Cleansing Balm

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Previously nothing could topple Clinique Take The Day Off as my Holy Grail…then I tried Heimish. The slip is just right, price is right and best of all, it rinses clean so you don’t necessarily need a flannel.



5. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye


I am one of those who always forgets to wear eye cream and I just take my serums around my eyes but if there is one serum that delivered, it’s this one. Even my mum loves it



6. Skinceuticals 0.5% Pure Retinol

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A game changer! My forehead was unbelievably smooth as well as the rest of my face. The 0.3% is more readily available as I don’t see the 0.5% anymore.

Have you tried any of these products? Did you feel the same way about them.


Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03