Health & Wellness

Our bodies are our greatest assets… These are my ways to a healthy body and sound mind

Why I have decided to never go to any kind of meet and greet, book signing or launch by my 9ja pipo.

I have always been a big supporter of Nigerian artists, authors, actors and musicians. Apart from Beyonce, I don’t know any other group of people I have supported more with my hard earned cash. Before you start correcting me, yes! Beyonce is a “group of people”, Beyonce and sons enterprises ltd. She is the only person that I see instantly that my money makes a difference in her life because as soon as I buy her concert ticket, she buys a house, if that isn’t the best return on capital you have seen I don’t know what is.

Back to my Naija people. So on this fateful day my friend tells me there was going to be a book launch by a Nigerian celebrity turned author in London. I didn’t even let her land when I found myself on event brite purchasing tickets for the launch. I was excited not because I was going to meet this person but because I wanted to support my OWN. I even rallied my troops and promoted this book launch like it was my own bestseller gracing the able pages of the Amazon website. When I invited a friend to the book launch and she just “couldn’t be bothered” to attend, I used these exact lines on her “but if it was JK Rowling launching a book you would run there abi?” that was how seriously I took it.

Fast forward a month later, the book launch was upon us and my friend and I set off on a cold Friday night, a good 10 miles and one hour later we found ourselves sitting at the venue in eager anticipation of the author to arrive. She arrived late but we were too busy eating and drinking and enjoying good company to notice. At 9pm, two hours after the show was meant to start, she graced us with her presence. It was a nice candid conversation and the night went well. Just before the actual book signing, everyone was mingling when the author came to my friend (a fellow celeb) whom I was standing with and gave her a hug and started chatting away. I was totally ignored, like I was a ghost with no business standing there in the first place. I was totally amazed by this because she stood right across from me and not even a smile to acknowledge my presence.  I stood there awkwardly for about 2 minutes then slowly walked away to get myself another drink. That was strike two after making us wait 2 hours for your arrival; you ignore your guests like we had nothing better to do on a Friday night.

I wasn’t annoyed by this, now I wanted to have my book signed and go home. So I stood in the queue and as I got the front, I went through few words I wanted to pass on to her, some really encouraging words to pass on my best wishes. Before I could say anything, she took my book and started signing it while simultaneously talking to one of her event coordinators. She handed me back the book with the most disingenuous smile known to man and she was reaching to the book of the person behind me like we were on a factory conveyor belt. STRIKE 3.

I was fed up at this point and just wanted to leave as soon as possible. All I kept thinking about was my warm bed and my son waiting for me at home. Showing support to a fellow woman, naija woman at that left a very sour taste in my mouth and the funny thing is I kept giving excuses for her poor taste until I couldn’t anymore. The more I told the story, the more I realised she had behaved in a way that was unacceptable. Till this day I never read that book. I had it by my bedside for weeks hoping to read a chapter at a time just before bed but every time I saw it, I remembered that night and consequently put the book on my bookshelf downstairs with the rest of my books. I decided from that moment on, I will not do it again. If you host a show, by all means I will purchase tickets, launch a book, I will show my support by buying your book,  but for me to leave the comfort of my house to come support you, meet and greet nonsense, hell no! I am done supporting.

I hope this hasn’t put you guys off though. That was my experience, yours will be better IJN Amen.

My outfit details below. me and my boo biscuit mean mugging lol.

Gold studded boots here or the flat alternative here

My camouflage jacket here

Ruffle jeans here

alternative jeans on sale here

Lets play the game "guess the celebrity" in the comments section. Please share below on social media. Until next time buttercups.

Agbons and I go way back, she was my bunk mate in boarding school. We have always been in touch and when I saw her flourishing makeup business, I knew I wanted to interview her. I am all about empowering other women in business. My mum has always steered us towards eventually being self employed, this is something dear to her heart because things happen, people move according to their husbands jobs, this is where self employment becomes valuable. I hope this helps anyone who has fostered a dream of starting their own business. 

What sparked your interest in makeup?



When I moved to Nairobi (my husband was transferred there), I was pregnant and found myself with too much free time on my hands. I started watching YouTube makeup tutorials, and I realized makeup is Art. So I bought loads of makeup products, my first sigma brushes and practiced whenever I could.



Did you go for structured classes to get a certificate?


No, but I did attend online classes at which costs $19 a month.


When did you decide you were good enough to start charging for your services? How did you measure yourself and your progress?



I looked at the industry best in Kenya. And I honestly felt that I was doing as good as they were. Only problem was I was unknown. I did my research and priced my services very low, just so I could build my client base and portfolio.



That was going to be my next question. So how did you break into a brand new market being a Foreigner in a brand new city/country?



Since I knew no one. My husband gave the idea of running Facebook adverts. I'd pay my maid 500 kes ($6) so I could do her makeup and post on my page, building my social network.



I  started getting phone calls from interested ladies. I did regular makeup for photoshoots e.t.c. My first bridalbridal makeup appointment was in November 2013


But I guess you had to do a lot of freebies to build up your portfolio.

Oh  yes. I even organized a makeup and photography session with a photographer. The ladies would pay for their photos, but makeup would be free.



Ok. That seems like a good collaboration to get yourself out there.



Yes. I had creative freedom to do their makeup however I liked. I also used these sessions to pace myself and learn how much time it took to switch between looks on models.



So you started booking more and more brides. Where you surprised how far and wide people came to book your services?



Yes. I quickly learned that word is mouth is still a powerful tool in this industry. A satisfied client will tell everyone about you. Kenyans are big on Internet use, and like Nigerians the travel back home to wed a lot. First thing a bride to be will do is search you out on Facebook and Instagram to see samples of your work




What is the furthest you have travelled for work?


Nigeria. I travel to most places in Kenya though. And I have a booking in Tanzania next year.



What advice will you give people starting up their own make up business ?


Slowly build up your makeup kit . That way you don't get stuck with expensive overhyped products. Expensive isn't always best. Invest in your technique and reputation;these are the two things that will grow your business.



Three essential characteristics of a makeup artist are.....



Artistic- goes without saying that a makeup artist must know the basics of fine arts like shading, and colourcoordination. This will help you understand blending, and also help when choosing contour shades, eyeshadow, blush colours, etc.




Technique Flexibility- most times you have to relax your expectations of what the outcome of an appointment will be. Also you have to be prepared to take it up a notch artistically on short notice. So it's good to have an idea of how to create a wide range of makeup looks




Punctuality- This is so important. The last thing you want is a client who's unsettled and fretting because you arrived at an appointment late. You need time to bring a look together. For important shoots and weddings, there won't be time to redo anything.



Thanks for your time and valuable advice. Do you have any YouTube videos up or online classes coming up?



am working on shooting videos for YouTube. Online classes, maybe in the future. I have had 2 makeupmasterclasses in Nairobi, I plan to have a third before Christmas. Scheduling is a problem because most women are free to attend weekends, and those are my busiest days.

See below for some of Sunshines brides  work but visit her on Instagram and Facebook for more @sunshinesbrides


Have you ever missed a workout or a gym class due to lack of "something new" to wear to the gym? Have you planned your gym outfit the day before? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we are not here judge you, we accept you as you are. You are a fitness fashionista.  Before I start, please don't think gym/fitness fashion is ONLY for people who are trying to impress people of the opposite sex. Wrong!  It is simply to make you feel good about yourself the way a new pair of jeans makes you feel. If you are single then by all means shop according to your goals (employ my styling services for guaranteed introduction in December and native law in April) I am serious like that, results guaranteed.  So how did I discover the world of fitness wear I hear you say? Sit back let me tell you. When I was a member of a leisure centre gym a few months ago, I wore anything to the gym, black leggings and a black top usually, all black err-thang to show my fat that I am not there to play games. It worked for me until I joined another gym which is more of a "club" than a gym. My first gym class I felt like I was on some Nike runway show, colourful leggings, ripped half tops, even gym jewellery, na wa. People even changed trainers to match their outfits (hmmmm).  I admitted my crimes and jejely handed myself in to the gym fashion police for a life in fashion prison with hard labour. Lucky for me the judge granted me bail so I decided to go shopping for gym wear with immediate effect and alacrity. I was met with series of hard truths, the first being, GYM CLOTHES ARE NOT CHEAP. Nike leggings start from about £35-£40, and tops start from £30. Na wa oh, spend £70 on an outfit just to go and sweat in it? I wasn't having that so I started looking for alternatives. I discovered most high street shops had some kind of fitness range. So for example Tesco or Newlook will do one or two gym leggings and other cheaper online shops like misguided also do a range. I found TK maxx especially good for fitness wear also at very reasonable prices.  Now these are my little tricks ( thank me later and support that thanks with a Cheque with plenty zeros lol). You know I cannot let you carry last (God forbid) so let me teach you everything I know from several hours of online trolling. Tip number one, Every top you get should be able to go with every bottom you get. Three tops and three bottoms, you have nine outfits already. If you gym three times a week, you won't repeat outfits for 3 weeks GBAM!  (I feel like writing a parable about my wisdom mehn, I am too much lol). Tip number two, get loads of plain tops from places like Primark if you are the type that likes colourful leggings, a plain top will go with all your print leggings, matching dilemma over.  Tip number three, if your abs cannot be used to chop onions, or fried rice ingredients, forget about half tops or bra tops, you are allowed to think it but then let the thoughts float away like a nice fluffy cloud. Lol.  Here is one outfit I threw together after my shopping spree ( I will show them pepper in that gym, a whole me, Iye Jax of Trofani lol), do they know who I am? I think not. Some stretching and Yoga before hitting the tracks.                                                Here are some of my favourite tops out there at the moment are these ones with the fancy straps. There are so many different designs.      For those of us that don't want to flaunt our mid sections of steel (it's not fair to the others) then these loose tops will look great and achieve full coverage.     Print leggings are what I live for. I love them with just plain tops. I have a few different colours and patterns. They are a real must haves. Note please avoid certain prints if you are not as skinny as these ladies on the photo, prints can make you look bigger.     For those of you that don't love colours and prints ( what kind of monster are you? 😩😂😂😂) then plain colour block leggings may be the way to go. Cut outs are super cute too.     Nike, Adidas, Puma and even Gola are doing some nice designs of trainers these days. But plain colours in pastel colours are cute too. Check out my favs below.     Let's not forget our Gym bags. I love metallics at the moment also stripes are super cute.    Final last words form Aunty Alero, the Buttercup Wan of Cricklewood. Step up you gym game, dress up, feel awesome, don't forget to work out oh. Lol, look at you pipo. Until next time folks, Buziaki. 

"Are you on a diet?" is one of the most popular phrases in the English language. You look on social media and someone somewhere is trying to sell you a diet and workout plan. I open my Instagram and all the before and after photos make me want to jump on a treadmill immediately. This post is about diets I have tried, what has worked and what was a complete waste of money and effort.  There are so many diets out there it's unbelievable. I feel like I can make one up today "The see me I see you diet", as long as I have before and after photos and at least one follower (usually my sister) then I am in business.   My cousin swears by the cabbage soup diet where you eat just cabbage soup with carrots three times a day, if by cabbage you mean rice and by carrots you mean chicken then I am in ( but I think cabbage means cabbage, so I'll pass). Beyoncé made the syrup and lemon diet famous after admitting she does that before the red carpet. Just Syrup and lemon for 2 weeks 😳.  Ok Bey please don't come and rub me with your village problems  thank you very much.    The  Baby food diet (no comment ), juicing diet (I am hungry jor), paleo diet (if the title doesn't reflect what the diet entails then pls jog on), sailors diet (is this like fresh fish peppersoup diet?), raw food diet.. These are just a few famous ones that feel like they are out to end peoples lives.  The diets I have tried personally and can comment on are below.  Atkins diet  We all remember this one right? My mum bought the book around 2001/2002. I began to study it just out of curiosity because I didn't have a weight problem. Fast forward years later all my studying came to good use. I started doing a low carb Atkinish diet (I wasn't going to let jellof rice pass me by, Atkins kor Atkins ni). Let's just say that phase didn't last long, no bread, no rice, no pasta, no carbs at all? Who did this man think he was? Mshewww. I was even angry at myself for trying. On to the next jor. (You see how it brings back angry memories)  Forever living Cleanse 9    Next one forever living cleanse 9 diet or detox or whatever they are calling it now. First of all it is not realistic to loose the amount they claim in 9 days. But being one that was addicted to diets I said "yes please, take my money and don't say a word". Day 1 I was so gingered, I breezed past it. Day 2 My senses were so sharp,  I noticed I could smell unopened crisps from shops half a mile away, ah ah warris it, I was HUNGRY. Day 3 I gave up. The end. Weight loss zero kg and 3 vile Jerrycans  of Aloe Vera sitting by my bedside giving me dirty looks every night at bedtime (na you know....gheez) 5:2 diet    By this time you will think ok diets have kicked  her to the ground and stomped on her head too many times for her to fall for another one naw. NEVER! I am not a quitter. So I decided to buy the 5:2 fast diet book, I thought what's the worse that can happen. The 5:2 diet appealed to me because you can eat normally on five days and do a 600 calorie day on two days. I thought 5 days of Big Jellof rice and two days of small jellof rice, bring it on. This was a more realistic diet because you can do this long term and not miss or crave things. I managed to do it for a couple of weeks and I must admit I lost a little bit of weight. It was great while it lasted but the results were not fast enough for me. I wanted hard and fast results, I wanted my own before and after, I wanted abs that would set off metal detectors and fire alarms all round the country (is that not what we all want from diets?) so I moved on, nothing to see here pipo.  1200-a-day So I went back to the good ole 1200 calories a day boring diet that when  You start to tell someone about it they fall into a deep deep sleep that even a true loves kiss cannot even begin to resuscitate. To be honest this is what worked for me. There is a very simple formula to weigh loss Calories consumed should be less than Calories burned S H I K E N A. eat less and exercise more. Say it with me "eat less, exercise more". I eat 1200 calories on my day off from the gym and on gym days I can eat between 1500 and 1800 calories and go hard at the gym. I don't deprive myself of stuff. I will still have ice cream and popcorn once a week at the cinema and kinda have all my bad things on one day of the week. It works but it is not a fast method of losing weight, it's gradual and if consistent you will see results.  In my opinion diets don't work, you have to change something forever, either portions or completely cut out the biggest hitters. It has to be a permanent long term change. Learn how to eat and change bad habits, once you do that you are most of the way there really. Change something today and stop making diet sellers rich.  Ps. To purchase my "See me, I see you diet" send me a bank transfer of just £199. For the more extreme "silent crase" diet make that £399. Ok bye *off to go and price land in Lekki*  Wisdom of the day    

I am not an expert on skin care but over the years I have found some products that work for me. I remember a few years ago trying out the Botanics range from Boots, worst mistake of my life, it left my skin dry and blotchy. I tried a few others which really let me down. Until one day this lady at Elizabeth Arden said to me "you don't have to buy all your products from one place yano, find products from far and wide and when you see what works for you stick to it". That's what I have done for the past 4 years ish. CLEANSER Let me start with the best cleanser I have used. Organic pharmacy carrot butter cleanser. It is oily but does the job. You apply it directly to the face and wipe off with a damp flannel. I tell you it takes ALL of your makeup and dirt off and leave face feeling soft and moisturised. Even in the morning when you wake up, the skin is still so soft. I must warn you it is a bit pricey at £40 but that small jar lasts for like 4-5 months.     TONER I also use organic pharmacy herbal toner (I hear what you are saying right now, Alero you don't hear word, the lady said shop around lol). To be honest I never knew what toners were for, I always thought it was for people that whitened their skin. Anyways I still don't know what it does but I use it before moisturising and it cools the skin and seems to be a good base for the moisturiser. I like it. (Now off to Wikipedia to find out what a toner is really for).     MOISTURISER I use Aveeno daily moisture for body and face (which is a no no in the skin care bible) but I don't really care. As I said I did that it works for me for several reasons. It keeps the face moisturised all day plus when I apply it before my makeup my face isn't oily but still feels moisturised.     In the past I used the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream with SPF 50 but it was really heavy on the skin. Very thick and oily. If only there was another face moisturiser with SPF higher than 30 that doesn't leave the face oily (if you know of any let me know).     EXFOLIATOR To be honest I haven't found one that works for me. I don't mean a weak daily Exfoliator that does absolutely nothing for you, I am talking about hard core grains that will scrub off this dead cells. Please if you know of any comment below.  Some handy alternatives for periods of austerity when skin care products were not on the budget. Coconut oil cleanses very well. I love coconut oil on the hair and skin. I clean off all makeup with coconut oil and then wash and then use also as a moisturiser before going to bed. It's handy to buy coconut oil in a jar rather than a bottle because it hardens and is difficult to get out in a bottle.     These are a few of my favourite things. As I said find what works for you and don't chop and change products because it works for your friend. Find what works and stick to it.