Tuesday, 26 February 2013

How To | Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Hi Guys,

I was doing my usual brush-wash session yesterday and I thought why not share the how-to on here. I realised that not as many people as I thought wash their makeup brushes properly or even frequently enough. I almost fainted when I entered my sister's bathroom one day and saw her powder brush fully immersed in a bowl of soapy water, brush suicide if there ever was such! :-O

You should deep clean your makeup brushes every two weeks with either a brush cleaning fluid or a gentle cleanser. Because a lot of the makeup products we use are liquid, it leaves the brushes damp which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you don't wash your brushes properly and often, you are constantly transferring bacteria to your face which can cause terrible break outs.

I use Johnson's baby shampoo because it is gentle yet really gets all the gunk out of my brushes. It is also really cheap compared to buying a brush cleaner like say Mac's one. You may also choose to first condition your brush hairs with olive oil before washing with a cleanser. However, I haven't seen the need to yet because all my brushes are still very soft.

In between my deep clean sessions, if I need to do a quick clean of my brushes I use ELF's daily brush cleaner. It makes it really easy to use the same brush for different colours of eyeshadow or if I have used a lot of product and the brush just looks disgusting *cringe*!


Deep Clean

At your bathroom sink, squirt a little bit of baby shampoo in your palm and rub the brush in it. If it is a flat topped or roundish brush do circular motions on your palm. If it is flat like a concealer brush for example, rub the two sides in a back and forth motion on your palm. Open your tap and position your brush upside down then rinse out any soapy water. Make sure the brush is upside down when rinsing so that water doesn't travel down to the handle of the brush. This will eventually weaken it causing it to break off, no bueno.
You can repeat the wash process a second time and rinse. Once the water dripping from the brushes is clear, they are spick and span! Place your brushes on a clean paper napkin and leave out to dry in the sun.

Quick Clean

With the daily brush cleaner, just spray the brushes with the product and wipe on a clean paper napkin. As with deep cleaning, wipe round brushes in a circular motion and flat brushes in a back and forth motion. The reason for this is so that your brushes retain their shape, I learnt the hard way, lol.

I bought the ELF brush cleaner from their UK website but I've heard that Brownies World on Opebi Road in Ikeja stocks a whole lot of ELF products. I hope to make it down there soon to get my sticky paws on some ELF goodies.

Setting them out to dry
That's how I keep my brushes squeaky clean and free from bacteria. Regular washing will also help to preserve the life span of your brushes even though they aren't so expensive. My cheapie ELF brushes have been alive and well for over a year now.

I hope you were able to pick up a tip or two from this post. Please never submerge your entire brush in water like my sister :-)

Peace and Love,


Friday, 22 February 2013

Product Review: SmartShield Sunscreen SPF30

Hi Peeps!

We all know how passionate I get when it comes to speaking about the importance of sunscreen.  It protects your skin from the damaging effects of direct exposure to the sun's UVA and UVB rays. This prevents premature skin ageing, rashes, burns and allergies and in extreme cases, skin cancer.  Yes, black people need sunscreen! 

I was asked if I would like to review a sunscreen product and I jumped at the opportunity. It's really hard to find good sunscreen around this ends (ironic being that we live right next to the sun -_-) so I was eager to see how well this product works.

SmartShield Sunscreen

The first thing that struck me about this product was it's great formulation. It is aloe vera based making it so moisturising and skin nourishing. It doesn't leave behind the horrible white film that's common with sunscreens. The product is slightly scented with a fresh baby lotion kind of fragrance which I really like. For sweltering conditions like these, it is great that SmartShield is sweat and water proof i.e. it won't run. 

What's also great about it is that it is completely oil-free so it does not clog the pores and is suitable for all skin types.  I wear it on my face and entire body and it's gentle enough for everyday wear. The proper use of sunscreen on the face should be after your other products i.e moisturiser, treatment and the likes. Don't rub in but pat the product in as rubbing will affect it's efficacy. Do same thing for the rest of your body, after your lotion. 
Once I apply it in the morning, it's all the protection I need through out the day because I am mostly indoors. However, anytime I'm going directly into the sun, I do a quick top-up. 

L: One squirt, R: No white film after it is absorbed

Overall it's a great product but I only wish the SPF value was higher. My current sunscreen is SPF50 which gives me better protection but SmartShield is definitely more moisturising. I have been reaching out for it more and I am happy I can get easy access to it locally. Konga.com, Ebeano Supermarket in Lekki, Mophet pharmacy and Medvac pharmacy are a few stores that stock it. You will be able to pick it up in more locations soon and it retails between N2500 and N2800, bargain! 

What daily sunscreen do you currently use? Please share in the comments. 

Peace and Love, 



Monday, 18 February 2013

Review | Mac Hot Gossip Lipstick

Hi Guys,

TGIM! No one ever thanks God it's Monday so I thought to show Monday some love. How are you guys keeping? I hope the year 2013 is going well for you :-)

Today I'm doing a review of an unsung hero from Mac, Hot Gossip lipstick. I haven't done a lipstick review in a while so this should be fun. Apologies for picture quality, iPhoneography!

I'll describe Hot Gossip simply as the perfect everyday pink lipstick. It's a plummy-pink shade with some barely noticeable shimmer running through it. I particularly like it because it brings just the right amount of colour to my face without being over the top Barbie-esque. It's undertones lean slightly cool but it is totally wearable for all skin tones. As it is a cremesheen formula, the lipstick is easy to wear and non-drying to the lips. It is quite sheer though, so you'd need about 3 decent swipes to achieve opacity. 

The wear time is about three hours before it requires a top up which isn't bad considering how sheer it is.  I've been laying off pink lipsticks recently but Hot Gossip is one that is swaying me back, it is a gorgeous shade. 

Swatches and Pictures

Wearing it to a party :) 

Hot Gossip is from their permanent line, so you can easily get it from any Mac store in your country. I'm especially delighted that there is now an official Mac store in Lagos, Nigeria, yay! It's located in the Ikeja City Mall and their lipsticks are 3800 naira. 

What's your favourite lipstick at the moment? 

Peace and Love, 



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Recipe: Spicy Roast Prawns with Tomato Sauce and Rice

Hi Guys, 

So today we've got another guest blogger my best friend's mum, Mrs Ukoh. She is a fantastic food blogger and I'm proper chuffed that she's contributing on my blog. 

If you read my last post and decided to go with option 1, well this recipe will be a fantastic choice! :-)

Mrs Ukoh of 1qfoodplatter

The year is still in its early days so you can make some life style changes by eating clean and staying healthy. Being a food blogger, portion control and exercise help me enjoy my yummy dishes sans the guilt. 
Here is a dinner recipe that is healthy, easy to prepare and very tasty too. Perfect for a Valentine's meal in for two.  


What you need

2 pieces jumbo Prawn
1 clove  Garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic/ ginger seasoning powder
1 pinch dried Pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


1) Rinse and season prawn with minced garlic, seasoning powder, pepper , and drizzle oil over the prawns
2)  Put in a small baking sheet and allow to marinade for 15 mins
3) Whilst the prawns are marinating heat up the oven
4) Pop prawns into oven and bake for 15 mins at 450 degrees or highest oven temperature. If the juice dries up before the 15 minutes, sprinkle some water in the baking tray to allow the prawns cook well.
5) Serve with rice and tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce

Fry your chopped 1/2 onion, 2 pieces tomato, 1 piece pepper in a little oil. For about 7 minutes. Season with some ginger/ garlic seasoning and a little salt .

About Mrs Ukoh
She is  a woman who loves cooking and entertaining and cares about what she eats. She's a trained dietician and blogs at 1qfoodplatter.com where she shares lots of delicious and healthy recipes. You can follow her on twitter, @savouryqueen

Friday, 8 February 2013

5 Romantic Things To Do On Valentine's Day

I don't know about you but for me, Valentine's day is actually the worst day to go out to dinner. Everywhere is packed, wait time is tripled, the quality of the food goes down by almost half and sometimes the prices double. Not to speak of the over cheesy environment with the waiters putting up their best show, everything's OTT!

So I decided to write about five things a couple can do on the 14th apart from the cliché restaurant dinner. Yes, you can call me the love doctor  :-)

1) Have a home-cooked meal: I know you are about to curse me out."home cooked dinner, really? how boring". Hear me out I plead of thee. I'm talking, three course meal, candle light, music in the background playing kind of home cooked dinner. This is what the boy and I did last Valentine's and I don't think we've had a better time for the two years we've been together.
Split the courses between the two of you, so no one feels cheated. For starter, he made the chicken and sweetcorn soup which we had with some store bought garlic bread. For mains, I made roast potatoes, a yummy steak and some veggies. Such things are easy to cook, so you don't sit around for long waiting to eat. For dessert, he made a lovely fruit platter; strawberries, grapes, bananas, the works and served it with some melted chocolate. What a delight it was! Don't forget the bubbly, you'd be cheers-ing to your love and all that jazz :)

2) Hire a private chef: Ok so if you are not one to cook, you can hire a private chef to treat you and your loved one to a special meal. It gives you both a chance to kick back and relax and savour the moment in bliss. When I say private chef, it doesn't have to be anything really fancy or expensive. There are some pretty affordable ones or you may know a chef personally, a friend, cousin or something. If all attempts at hiring a chef fail, just order in some nice food. What makes the difference is you setting the table right with the candles, alcohol, music etc. If you choose to, you can even both get dressed!

3) Check into a nice hotel: You and your partner can book a nice hotel for the night. Many hotels around this period offer roses, chocolate and champagne on arrival for a fee. That just makes it all the more romantic. Now when it's time to eat, NO! Don't go down to the hotel restaurant, it's just as bad. Why don't you order room service. You both can be plopped up in bed, watching a nice movie with your yummy spread over your knees..bliss! <3

4) Book a relaxing evening at a spa: Nothing says bonding time more than getting a full on pamper session with your man. Full body massage, steam bath, pedicure, manicure, sauna, the works, he loves the finer things too! Many spas also offer couples packages that come with a light meal, you can both eat in peace after the pampering.

5) Go to a concert: Again, around this time, there will be many love-themed concerts happening. If you are lucky to find an artist you both like having a Valentine's day concert, that would be great. If not, something within the week will do. For example, Maxwell is coming to Lagos on the 16th of February, if you are both fans, you can decide to stay in on the 14th and postpone your V-day celebrations till the 16th.

What do you have planned for Valentine's day? If you've got any more non-cliché ideas, please share them in the comments.

Peace and Love,


Sunday, 3 February 2013

NOTD: Valentine's Day Nails

Hello There!

I know I haven't done nail posts in a while and I apologise.  For some reason my nails are in bad shape so I'm kind of taking a break from all that nail polish and focusing on caring for them now. But you know I had to do something for Valentine's right? Here's the cheesy manicure i'm rocking at the moment. It's ridiculously easy to do to.

  • Prep your nail by removing any old polish, buffing and filing
  • Apply a base coat (I used Essie's All in One)
  • Apply two coats of any light coloured nail polish of your choice and allow to dry for about an hour (I used Orly's Glided Coral)
  • Using a red nail polish (I used my fav, Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri in Rapid Red), create a shallow V-like shape on the tip of your nails. They don't need to be perfect, just have fun with it. 
  • Finish up with a top coat. 

As always, you can tone down the manicure if you like by only creating the hearts on your ring fingers. It's a super cute manicure that's been making me smile every time I look down at my nails. :)

Will you be trying this out? If you do and would like to share with me, i'd be delighted. My twitter is @Yewizzy.

Peace and Love,


Friday, 1 February 2013

Twitter Speaks:Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Ladies and Men

Welcome to the month of love peeps! The month where everyone is allowed to be mushy and you can bet that She Loves The Finer Things is joining in too.

To kick off the series of Valentine's posts, I decided to go on twitter and seek out what people would like to receive this season from their significant others. We just received presents over Christmas and are already gearing up for more, well there's nothing like too many presents right? :-)

What The Ladies Want

@LilMimmy is a perfume junkie so a traditional perfume gift set will make her very happy.  

For @msaaydee and @pharmnikki who are both tech-savvy young ladies the latest offerings from smartphone giants Blackberry (BB Z10) and Samsung (Galaxy SIII) will have them squealing for joy.

You can never go wrong with gifting a lady accessories; @MzS_Payne would like the fabulous Celine mini luggage, @TheodoraMogo has her eyes on Christian Louboutin Bengali pumps and @Aqeela_K is a pretty jewellery(necklace) kinda gal. These ladies @dayteaser and @yewiedewie are coveting new wristwatches for their collections.  

Cupid's arrow must have really hit @whitefaced because all she wants is a hand-written love letter, not a text! Likewise @Brightowngirl would love something small and thoughtful that reminds her and her partner of a place they have been together. 

For a Valentine's Day gift with a difference, songstress @iam_Saeon would  die for a vinyl record player with a collection of old school love songs. @tutunnu is all about healthy eating this year and thinks a fruit fountain would be a nice, romantic and thoughtful gift. For poor @Jaunelion who is currently in a Long Distance Relationship, her ideal gift would be a relaxing spa day with  two of her girlfriends who are also in LDRs, awww! 

I also went sniffing around Facebook and Oge confirms that diamonds are indeed a girl's best friend because all she wants is a sparkling engagement ring!

What The Men Want

Being typical gadget junkies, @medianemesis will be thrilled to get a new mobile device, @lesstlkmorehead wants the Madden 13 on PlayStation 3 and photography guru @Ricdizzle's day would be made if he gets a new set of lenses for his camera.  

If you thought guys weren't big on accessories, @yilz is coveting a new time piece, @bule_jr will be all smiles if he gets a pair of customised cuff-links and @Pyrate_Lord simply wants some nice bracelets. However, @WizzyNorlin would rather get a bottle of Creed Virgin Island Water perfume, that's sure to get him feeling loved. 

These guys @aldmoni and @ussmo must be dating pretty wealthy ladies because they have luxury cars on their wish lists;  a Jaguar and the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Coupé! :o

Finally, there's nothing like a man who's in touch with his emotions , @Tufab would like to receive a text message from his leading lady with a promise that it wouldn't be their last Valentine's together!*sniff sniff*

What would you be delighted to get this Valentine's?

Peace and love,


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