My current skincare routine

Just like most people, I love a good skincare routine even though I’m lazy. I’m also a self professed skincare product hoarder and  it’s always a huge task for me to go into a shop without picking up even the smallest skincare item. My laziness and hoarding tendencies mean that I have so much to use but wont and then just use Funbact A for like a week and feel beautiful even though I know that’s not the best.  However, I just made a huge move (I moved from Lagos, Nigeria to Germany) and I didn’t want to take all of my precious products. I also wanted to take better care of my skin and cut out steroid creams and my other bad skin habits. A few weeks before I moved, I got rid of most of my beautiful skincare “investments” that I had acquired over the years and decided to just stick to a basic routine with my most essential products. I must admit that my skincare routine is constantly evolving and growing. In the future, I will talk about my latest additions but for now I will talk about what i’m currently using.

My ultimate skincare goal is to have clear, bright, glowing and spotless skin (Who doesn’t want this) but hormones wont let me have peace. Last year, I started using birth control pills and my skin was never the same. This was surprising because according to my internet research, BCPs usually help peoples skin and not destroy it. I’m off BCPs for now so the purpose of this is to get my skin back to its former glory without breaking the bank without using products like Retinol, Salicylic acid etc (wink wink). I’ll just go through a typical day for me.

Cetaphil cleanser and Exfoliating brush

Cleansing tools

Every morning, I wash my face with the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser. I use my TouchBeauty exfoliating brush before I wash it off the shower. While my face is still damp, I use Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner and then as soon as it dries off, I use the Fruit of the Earth’s Aloe Vera gel. I always wanted to incorporate Aloe Vera into my skin care routine because as a child, My mum grew Aloe Vera plants and was always using it on her skin and she always had good skin so I always looked at it as a miracle plant. I never got round to getting an Aloe Vera plant myself so I found out about this product on Youtube. I never tried to look for it but I was so happy when I found it at Hubmart! One thing I always seem to forget is that it’s a gel, even though 100% gel is written boldly on the bottle, I keep forgetting that it really is just a gel and can get dry on the skin. I hate the dryness of the gel after it dries so I always moisturize right after. Another thing to note about this product is that it says 100% gel and not 100% Aloe Vera gel so it has a lot more ingredients than expected. I always follow the Aloe Vera gel with moisturizer and I’m currently using the Bebe young care intensivpflege für trockene haut. I like this moisturizer because it does the job. My skin feels so smooth and soft after it.

Current Moisturizer

 

On days I use makeup, I first take it off with wipes. Honestly, any regular wipes will do. I don’t see the big deal in wipes, as long as it’s not dry, any wipes will do for me. I then proceed to take the rest of my makeup off with the AVÈNE cleansing foam. This cleanser really gets every single bit of makeup off and is so smooth at the same time.

 

For the rest of my body, I use the Neutrogena light sesame body oil. I’ve been repurchasing this since 2014 and I believe I will always use this. It’s so easy to put on, light and very moisturizing. You won’t even remember you put it on but you will see the glow! It works best right after a shower on your damp skin. Best body oil ever!

Neutrogena Light Sesame Body Oil

And that’s all I’ve done to my skin for weeks and the results have been obvious. There’s a big difference in how it looks and feels. The Witch Hazel toner especially is here to stay in my skin care routines from now on. I’m not a professional by any means. This is just what has been working for me so far. What’s your skincare routine like? Please leave comments to let me know what you think or have any suggestions. Thank you!

Latest obsession: The Greatest Showman

The greatest showman

The Greatest Showman is a 2017 musical directed by Michael Gracey. It was written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon. It stars two musical legends, Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron so of course I had high hopes (Turns out the only song they sang together was probably my least favourite). It also stars Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. I was so excited to watch it and I was surprised to see it had only 55% on Rotten Tomatoes but please don’t let that discourage you. It’s a fantastic movie and I wanted to go door to door to spread the good news about The Greatest Showman!

The movie was inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum, who wasn’t exactly the greatest guy. I didn’t know about this until after I became obsessed with the movie. I read a few articles about the real PT Barnum, like this one (read this). Apparently he was known for promoting hoaxes, abusing animals and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

In this movie, PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman) was the child of a poor tailor who fell in love with a rich man’s daughter, Charity (Michelle Williams). He worked hard to ensure his wife and children lived a very comfortable life to prove to his father in law that he’s not good for nothing. This drive led him to open the Circus.

My favourite thing about this movie is that all the songs were pop songs which could be played on the radio even in 2018. It was fun to see characters set in the 1880s jamming to music that wasn’t from their time. The soundtrack had 11 songs but I only really like 4 of them : A million dreams, Never Enough, This is me and From now on. This is me was the stand out song for me. It had such powerful lyrics and a real treasure who is Keala Settle. The other unmentioned songs are okay but are unmemorable to me. Even at that, the movie is quite entertaining and a visual delight.

Overall, this was a fantastic movie and the soundtrack is phenomenal. The soundtrack is really the defining part of the film as a whole. I strongly recommend this movie. You will love it (I hope).

Intermittent Fasting: To eat or not to eat?

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Food o’clock

Two weeks ago, I found out about intermittent fasting or 16:8. If you’ve never heard of it, it simply means not eating for 16 hours and eating within the 8 hours. According to this plan, you stop eating by 8pm and start eating again by 12 noon the next day. This appealed to me greatly because it’s not a diet as there is no calorie restriction. It is a popular method for losing weight, increase energy levels, increase motivation and stamina, and also improve cognitive function. It may even protect against cancer. Just by fasting? Count me in!

I decided to try this fast to help get a handle on my sugar addiction and frequent snacking. Also because losing my pot belly won’t be a bad idea. I honestly think about food all the time and by food, I mean junk food. Even if I’m not hungry, I usually plan the next day’s meals in my head.

I thought this would be easy because there are days I eat like this anyway so how hard can it be? I even downloaded an app called Zero to keep track of when I started my fast and when I can start eating again.

I started my first day of fasting at 00:00 on Monday morning which meant that my fast would be broken at 4. I think this was a bad idea because I don’t remember the last time I fasted. I’ve never denied myself of food on purpose so I should have had a proper meal that evening but I didn’t, I had a can of Smirnoff Ice for dinner. At work that day, I was STARVING and my breath was so bad. I persevered and I rewarded myself with a sausage roll at 4pm and Chicken salad and fruit parfait by 5.30pm. I continued the rest of the week like this and it wasn’t that bad. The longest I did without food was 21 hours. This was outstanding for me. The major downside for me during this week was that I didn’t like that my breath wasn’t fresh and I couldn’t chew gum as I didn’t have sugar-free gum.

I’ve been at it for a week and a few days now and I haven’t lost any weight at all but here are a few positives

  • I’ve been able to reduce my Coca-cola intake. I’ve gone 5 days without coca-cola so far. I also haven’t had any candy/chocolate since I started
  • On weekends, most of my fasting can be done while sleeping. Wake up at 10am and eat at 12. Fasting done!
  • I’ve spent less on food these days since I really only have one meal
  • I’ve been drinking 2 liters of water daily to help with the hunger and that keeps me hydrated
  • I think my skin looks better

I’ll still keep at it. Hopefully I can keep this up. Have you ever tried it before? Let me know what you think!

Wedding rants #1

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I have been M.I.A for a while and that’s simply because wedding planning is trying to kill me. I know planning a wedding is generally stressful but wedding planning in Lagos must be on another level. There’s so much to think about at all times. I really have no interest in weddings and now I’m being asked about colours? Themes?? Bridesmaids dresses??? Things I didn’t even realise needed to be thought about. I began the planning process in April even though I got engaged in March. The first thing I did based on the advice I got from others and the good people of the internet, was to hire a wedding planner. I thought it would be great because I HATE stress. I know nobody loves it but it’s like a disease to me. It takes away my sleep, my peace of mind, my appetite (haha, I’m kidding, I’ve never been too stressed to eat). When I was looking for a planner, I probably sent an email to like 10 Instagram wedding planners. I was shocked to say the least. I saw prices as high as 2 million Naira and as low as N500,000. I decided on one because she was polite and flexible with her prices. I also loved the pictures of the weddings she had on her page. It’s been about 5 months since and I’ve met with my planner just once or twice but we whatsapp when I need her. It’s not her fault but what I’ll advice is, go for a wedding planner that’s not just a one-man operation. Go for one that you know will be dedicated to you. Also, don’t be fooled by Instagram. I’ll suggest you avoid Instagram if you’re on a budget because they can make you feel poor.

The second thing we did was to secure a hall. This wasn’t hard because we did it with months to spare. 8 months to our wedding actually. I knew I wanted this hall because it had a garden and it’s large so we sorted it out in a few days. As soon as we got the hall, we started looking for a decorator and they are expensive! (I know this is the point I keep harping on about but I mean, I was shocked at how much weddings cost in general). If you are like me, you’ve been saving pictures to your Instagram collections and adding to your pintrest boards. You’ve been following Nwandossignature events, ballevents, btgdecor, aquariantouch etc. If I ever find myself in the wedding business, it’ll probably be in décor after I heard how much money they charge. I decided to call them myself because I was afraid my planner would introduce me to decorators that will charge me my annual salary. The highest price I recall was 2.5 million Naira and the cheapest was about a million. I eventually had to go to my wedding planner to save me. We were able to find a fantastic decorator, who I thought was a bit pricey too but the decor is not something I want to be cheap about. I honestly don’t care if food does’t go round, as long as their selfies are lit. Hahaha.

Third thing was to secure a make up artist. I had already done my homework so I knew that the Instagram make up artists that I follow weren’t affordable for me. So I started calling. I called about 5 make up artists and they were already booked for the date. A date 8 months away?!?! Sigh. So my wedding planner called her contacts and we are able to find one that I liked and I paid my deposit immediately to avoid wahala. (The make up artist has changed now but this is gist for another day).

After this, my wedding planner brought to my attention that I hadn’t gotten a photographer and videographer and these also get booked pretty fast in Lagos. I emailed and called about 20 photographers and I’m not exaggerating. I think my problem is I have Dom Pérignon tastes but Andre budget. So as you can guess, those that I initially messaged were in their millions to 700 thousand. These are fine prices too but still out of budget. I accepted my fate and messaged some that I also liked and were really good. I had so many options and it was tough making a decision but I did and I love who we went with. My other option is a young man whose pictures are stunning. He’s very easy to talk to, understanding, and affordable too. I highly recommend this photographer. He is @806photography on Instagram. Getting the videographer was easy. Not much to be said there.

I’ll continue my rant in another post. Thank you for reading!