Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Study In Black & White

So last week I was on a bit of a Law Student kick and for the first time in ages, wore back to back black and white looks.

Funny how wearing black and white is the epitome of minimalist, elegant fashion and for me it represents a badge of oppression.

Was forced to wear solely black and white clothes for 5 years while an undergraduate studying Law and for another painful 1 year while at Law School. Till date it remains difficult for me to put it on without feeling like I'm back at school.



Wore the outfit on the left to work and the one on the right to the Connect Nigeria Writers Conference, at which I was a speaker.

I feel like white pumps go with EVERY thing, like I tried the shoes above with a red dress and it looked perfect. The neutral factor is beyond, white is definitely my new black.



ASOS dress; Prada Saffiano bag; Nine West pumps


ASOS dress; Fendi & Hermes bracelets; Nine West pumps



The Connect Nigeria Writers Conference was an amazing experience, you can read all about it HERE

Love & Light xx

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hair Review - Anne Elise Real Hair

I'm about to give you the goods on some seriously fabulous hair, you've probably already heard about Anne Elise Real Hair, but if you haven't here's the scoop.

I'd heard about Anne Elise Real Hair before but I'd never seen it in person, prior to the owner reaching out to me, I'd only ever seen pictures of it online. A few weeks ago however I walked into QM Nail Lounge to get my nails done and saw this person with superstar hair walking ahead of me. I was just saying to myself "wow, that is amazing hair" when the girl turned out to be none other than Anne of Anne Elise hair. We had only ever communicated via email so I had no idea what she looked like. After seeing her hair in person, I was more excited than ever to review it

Anne Elise Real Hair is made up of raw human hair origin blends which are  selected, blended into raw hair ponytails and then wefted, eventually producing one bundle.

First off, I LOVED the packaging (the bag has turned into my main salon bag btw)





It also came with a lovely paddle brush and bendy rollers which was honestly very timely as my previous brush was on its last legs. The hair also came in a satin bag.


Description

The particular hair I received is composed of Cambodian hair (for its resilience, it's loose wavy pattern and it holds styles well) and also with hair from the Russian Federation known as Russian Fede hair (this is very very soft textured hair but too soft to use straight in black hair in my opinion but lovely to touch) hence the combination.
 
This allows for a human hair blend that is easily styled whether it is curled, set or straightened but also blends well with black hair. 



This is what it looked like right after it was installed.



Here, the hair is in its most natural state, I didn't wash, blow dry or curl it. I just installed it as I received it. I wouldn't recommend it though, I usually co-wash human hair once I buy it before I install for the first time. This time though, I was in a hurry to catch a flight and didn't have time to wash it, but it still turned out beautifully, I LOVE the curls in their natural state.




Review

My favorite thing about this hair is that it requires minimal attention. For the first week I had it on I didn't brush it once (again, not advisable but I wanted to see how it tangled). I was absolutely gobsmacked that de-tangling with my fingers was all it took, I kid you not. I installed it on a Friday and till the next Friday I didn't run a brush through it once and it barely tangled at all. I used my fingers to de-tangle every night, spritzed on a bit of water in the morning and let it air dry and it was as good as new every day.

Top marks for that, there's absolutely nothing more irritating than hair bunching up at the back and practically turning to dreadlocks if you don't brush it every few hours.

With this hair, I promise you zero tangles.

The hair is also quite soft but not silky, it has a very dense quality that I loved, meaning it's heavy enough to hold styles. I love my long, full hair (hello Beyonce) so here I actually have five bundles installed from 20" to 26" to get the fuller quality as long hair can be quite thin.

I'm telling you I walked through that airport on 10, hair was swanging, part was laid, I didn't need to speak to anyone just swung my hair from left to right to communicate. I felt fabulous!


Hair Care Advice

Anne herself recommends trimming of the ends of this hair once it is installed/fixed but this is due to individual preference ( I didn't trim mine though, as she said....individual preference)

Maintenance
Minimal products on the hair works well. Minimal use of serum or other hair oils. Since minimal products go on the hair to maintain it, this means you don't need to wash it as often. I would suggest 2 to 3 weeks. 

Styling 
This hair can be straightened or set, but I recommend a blow dry, as it gives it a very lovely bounce and great movement. 


Pricing

It is quite affordable and ranges from N18,000 to N30,000 per bundle, depending on the length. Lengths available are from 8" to 28" (for all my fellow mami-waters)


Contact Information
 
Email:        anneeliserealhair@gmail.com
Website:     www.anneeliserealhair.com
Instagram: @anneeliserealhair 
Twitter:     @anneelisehair 


Now since I can't see a good thing without hooking my Profashionals up, Anne Elise Real Hair is offering a 20% discount until the end of April to all TWP readers. To get this discount, email anneeliserealhair@gmail.com with subject TWP Reader for further information on obtaining the discount and delivery prices. 

They deliver to anywhere in Nigeria. 

Its April, weddings and Easter holidays are coming up, if you want to be Beyonce for a day please don't even dull, get your Anne Elise Real Hair on.


*who's that guuurrrrl, na na na na na na na*



Love and light xx

Friday, March 28, 2014

Connect Nigeria Writers Conference - The Business of Writing

I'll be speaking at the 1st Connect Nigeria Writer's Conference on Saturday April 5th 2014.




The 1st Connect Nigeria Writers’ Conference is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of ConnectNigeria.com aimed at contributing to societal development through education. The Conference entails learning from seasoned experts on what you need to improve your writing and thrive in the business world. Are you ready to improve your writing skills to measure up with today’s demands for writing? It is imperative in this age of stiff competition that people understand the intricacies of the writing business. The people at Connect Nigeria understand the importance of business writing and in line with their corporate objective, which is to make information easily and readily available for Nigerians, they consider it their responsibility to play a part in empowering Nigerians with the requisite skills as it pertains to building businesses and improving lives.

The Writers’ Conference is targeted at aspiring writers to help them develop the requisite skill to thrive in today’s business environment.

DateSaturday April 5, 2014

Time10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

LocationProtea Hotel, 22 Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Lagos

Agenda

The event is a one-day affair inclusive of an amalgam of speeches, presentations and workshops that are expected to leverage on the knowledge acquired in the classroom. The strength of this event is that the speakers are drawn from the business environment, thus bringing real life experiences to bear on the theme.

Theme

The theme for this first edition of the Writers’ Conference is ‘The Business of Writing’. Speakers who write for a living will be sharing their knowledge at the Conference on what it takes to be at the next level of writing. This will include topics centered around the business of script-writing, novel writing, editing and much more.

Speakers

Deji Badmus
Sefi Attah
Abiola ‘Champ’ Salami
Ike Nnaebue
Lekan Otufodunrin
Adaku Ufere
Seun Salami

Attendance is FREE but you have to register to attend, you can register HERE 

*the event is wrongly stated on the registration site as being held inside the University of Lagos, that was the previous venue. The current venue is at the Protea Hotel Ikoyi.*


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

L'espace Mid-Season Sale


The L'Espace Mid Season Sale is Finally Here!




You can enjoy up to 50% off your favorite designers, including Andrea Iyamah, Obsidian, Virgos Lounge, Beatrice Black Atari, Toju Foyeh and many more, in the L'Espace Mid Season Sale
Additional designers and products will be added throughout this week and the entire sale period, so make sure you check back often.
 Shop HERE!
*and an added treat for TWP Readers, get additional percentage off with discount code 'LoveTWPMarchSale'. Enter at checkout.
Love and light xx

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fashion Friday - Garden Party

We were all about cheap chic this week on TWP and this weeks Fashion Friday features items all below N10,000.





Obsidian Dress - http://goo.gl/RKCUzF

Ariaba Earrings - http://goo.gl/CmxoAw

Didi Creations Bow Slippers - http://goo.gl/45QWqd

Love and light xx

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Problem With Nigerian Brands......

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I love Nigerian brands, it is also an established fact that I take umbrage at the fact that a lot of them retail at outlandish prices.

What a lot of people consider outlandish however differs across a wide spectrum, some people may consider spending N10,000 on an outfit far too much and someone else will drop N250,000 at a go like its nothing. When I try to gauge what I think may be out of the price range of the average fashion loving Nigerian I consider a lot of factors. The age range for one, Nigerian women love fashion and there's no cut-off, so we have Nigerian labels flogging their wares to women from the age of 18 to 50. The income gap between these ages are vast and what a 35yr old working woman can comfortably pay for will take a 20yr old undergraduate some time to put together.

One of the most common reasons I hear from Nigerian designers as an explanation for their prices is the Nigerian factor; i.e., lack of electricity, manpower etc. I understand that perfectly, I get why you have to factor in the cost of diesel into an item of clothing but I don't understand why something that clearly costs so little to make should sell for so much. It will make complete sense to me if these clothes were of the highest quality and you made a few of each to show their exclusivity and justify their prices, but I have seen examples of too many poorly made clothes; lumpy seams, thread hanging, terrible fitting, uneven hemlines.....just plain bad tailoring. Yet these things will have price tags of N25,000 and above attached to them.

That is roughly a 100 pounds.....one hundred pounds on a dress, or a top, that looks like an SS1 Clothing & Textiles student made it? That is criminal.

I did Clothing & Textiles back in school (only because I couldn't get into Food & Nutrition to be honest), but even though I started it reluctantly I grew to love sewing and pattern cutting and the different decorative stitches. Still do even, till now I practice my chain stitches and herringbone and blanket stitches etc. What I'm trying to say is I learned how to make clothes, I made clothes, till now I still amend and tailor my clothes to fit me myself. So I know how much fabric and carbon paper and all that cost and what exactly goes in to make one single dress.

I don't do it on a large scale so I won't presume to know how much it costs to run a business but if you dare to bill yourself as a "high street label", you better own it. Don't align your business towards girls in university then sell a dress for N25,000. I personally believe its unfair.

If you, in all honesty feel like your work is worth that much then deliver quality designs and quality tailoring, not what my 15yr old self could have run up on my toy Singer.

The most over-used words in the Nigerian fashion landscapes are "couture" and "luxe". When what you're attempting to sell is so far off the mark.

Along the way I have found several affordable, wearable Nigerian brands, unfortunately adrift in a sea of mediocrity and imagined grandiosity. I root so much for these people, because I want them to win, I want their creativity to be available to the average Nigerian girl not "pulled" for a celeb to wear on the red carpet and returned sweat stained.

Because a lot of these brands are so unaffordable that's all they're good for, to be borrowed and returned. Their PR person splashes the picture of the celebrity wearing it everywhere and you think they're doing well. The measure of a brand's popularity is not that you see it at the AVMCAs or whatever tinpot red carpet is out there, its that you see it on every day people. Wearing it to work, dinners, parties etc.

If you dare to bill yourself in the same category as a Lanvin or Saint Laurent, then please bring it. Give us quality stitching, give us zips that stay up, sequins that don't fall off.

For the love of God....Own. Your. Shit.

Below are are my favorite, most affordable brands that retail for N10,000 and below. That is, they don't just have the one odd item that's less than N10,000, but a significant part of their stock or in some cases all their stuff are below N10,000. They are well made and most importantly wearable, in that items from them have become part of my daily wardrobe and not just worn once.


Rukky Simone

I'll start with Rukky Simone because they're one of the newest entrants into an already over saturated market and in my opinion, one of the brightest stars in the Nigerian fashion firmanent right now.


I first noticed Rukky Simone when stylist; Onyinye Fafi-Obi posted a picture of herself in one of their dresses on Instagram and dropped the bombshell that the maxi dress she was wearing was less than N10,000. Maxi dresses have my heart so I was on my laptop and clicking away before you could say RS to find out where I could find this magic cheap dress. I was still skeptical because from painful experience Nigerian brands are not cheap and when they do decide to sell that cheap my advice is to be wary. I went down to Grey Velvet where it is stocked meaning to buy just one dress, I left there with 5 outfits. All cost me about N35,000. All beautifully made, not a seam or thread out of place. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, every single item of clothing in there cost from N3,000 to about N9,000.

Mind. Blown.

In addition they also have a fabulous way for you to earn money by becoming  a Rukky Simone personal stylist through which you can earn commissions while doing something fun.

Find out more by going to rukkysimone.com. Buy RS at Grey Velvet stores in Lekki and Ikeja.


Lady Biba

This here is another label which makes seriously creative pieces for a ridiculously affordable amount of money


They are fantastic for work clothes and I got the dress to the far left above for about N8,000 I think.

I don't know where they are stocked as I've only ever bought Lady Biba pieces at LPM, but you can check out their website on ladybiba.com, or their tumblr page.



Things Nigerians Love

This is a label that's very close to my heart and were the first ones I saw that showed Nigerian labels could actually be affordable.

I own the two jumpsuits above, a couple of dresses and a pair of shoes from the brand and they have never disappointed me in the least.

Dresses, blouses, skirts, shoes, jewelry...not one item from TNL goes above N10,000. You can shop TNL on thingsnigerianslove.com

This is not an exhaustive list and I know there are some labels I probably haven't heard about that are of standout quality and available to the average person. So if you know any others, speak on it, I'm always willing to expand my knowledge.

Love and light xx

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hair Journey So Far

So about a while ago I did a post on my Hair Routine HERE, fast forward almost two years later and all the knowledge I spouted in that post has pretty much gone up in smoke.

Somehow, through divine grace I managed to grow my air to about 12 inches or thereabouts and at its peak it looked like I was going to make it past APL (arm-pit length) to BL (bra length), then I did something phenomenally stupid.........I coloured my hair and it all went to hell in a hand dryer.

I'd wanted streaked hair for the longest time, back in uni I had bleached blonde hair with red highlights and I missed it (sounds gruesome but trust me it was gorge, I pretty much kickstarted a coloured hair trend in my school). Since I left school and became an indentured slave it became harder to wild out with my hair but I always longed for the dyed tresses of my misspent youth. One day I decided to take the plunge and get honey blonde highlights, all the better to show off my new, thick, long hair I thought.

Boy, was I wrong.

At the natural hair salon I went to *cough cough Gentle Touch*, they swore up and down on a stack of relaxers that if they highlighted my hair for me it'd be perfectly fine, I'd get protein treatments once a week there, moisturize daily yada yada yada......and my hair wouldn't break at all and like an absolute mug I believed them. Got the highlights and my hair was gorgeous for about a month or two then started to break scarily, I'd followed all their instructions to the letter so I didn't get what was happening. I now thought lemme put my hair in braids, they're protective styles abi.....omo, that one turned out to be from frying pan to fire, the day I took off my braids after wearing them for just two weeks I pretty much cried myself to sleep.

My hair had fallen out in clumps, it was a nightmare. Since then I've pretty much being in a tussle with the hair gods to get my hair back to normal and I'd been failing spectacularly. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago I saw a post on Bella Naija talking about the top ten hair blogs in Nigeria and in the comment section one very irate reader had commented angrily abut the fact that a blogger called Naija Hair Can Grow was not included. Randomly I decided to visit the blog and saw it was one of those where the blogger, Dabs, documented her hair growth, talked about products etc, but the difference was that this blogger had her very own salon right here in Lagos.



First of all this is her hair



Second of all, she wasn't just spouting this wisdom from behind a Youtube page she was there in the flesh dispensing advice and her hair was RELAXED. You didn't even have to tell me twice, my phone was out and my fingers were tapping away at the keys, dialing Dabs faster than you could say Tressemme.

I made an appointment (she doesn't do walk-ins, services are only by appointment) and turned up this Saturday to start the process. Would have gone earlier but her salon is on Awolowo road and the fuel scarcity of the past week turned that area into a war zone, and after a particularly harrowing experience where I spent an hour an a half trying to get from Bourdillon to Falomo, I didn't even want to go near Awolowo road.

First off, her salon is super cute. I'm a girly girl whose favorite color is pink (no shame here) and her place was done up in candy coloured pinks, greens and pastels, and had scented candles everywhere and a shea butter mixing station and cute furniture and it just looked like an explosion in a Kate Spade factory.







My hair was 13 weeks post relaxer that day, and this is what it looked like before I relaxed.


You can see that the hair is super uneven, and just all over the place. This was achieved by a combination of hair dye, braids and overzealous salon attendants who just "wan trim your hair small".

Her relaxer technique was pretty new to me, probably not to hardcore hair enthusiasts. She did this thing where she put oils or I think it was a conditioning hair cream on my already relaxed ends while prepping my hair.



I know enough to relax only my new growth and its usually a battle between myself and salon attendants to make sure the relaxer doesn't touch the rest of the hair shaft, so it made complete sense to coat it so even if did the relaxer did slip (which it was definitely bound to do), it wouldn't harm the hair.

Even after putting on the relaxer she still put conditioner on my ends because as she said, while washing, the relaxer will run down the new growth to the rest of the hair so the conditioner would help mask it.

This is what my hair looks like after washing and this is where I really understood how damaged it was.


You can see right at the ends, the hair is all thinned out, apparently thats where the coloured hair starts breaking off and its going to keep breaking until all the color is gone *facepalm* and to think I did this with my own hands, *sigh*

I had it blow dried and drenched in oils, but not completely because she said she needed the moisture from almost dry hair since I wanted it straightened.

And this is it after been blow dried and straightened.



Now I'm perfectly aware there isn't one "fix" for all hair types and the products Dabs used might not necessarily work for me. The difference here is that this is the first time I'm seeing someone who was able to grow her natural, Nigerian hair actually offer real physical help and tangible advice. I'm very lazy when it comes to things like self help skin care, hair care etc. So having someone there who can tell me do this, do that without having to work it out on my own suits me. Plus the proof is in the pudding, her hair is great!

Since we worked out that my biggest problem was breakage, she recommended these products to me



Jamaican Black Castor oil for my edges
Tresemme Leave-in Split End Conditioning Treatment for the hair itself, apparently repairs the shaft from within or something like that and;
Now Solutions Grapeseed Oil to seal the moisture in.


Consistency and routine is obviously the most important factor here and that is my biggest problem, I get lazy and don't follow through but I'm determined to turn that around.

So here's to healthy, long hair very soon or I'll throw a tantrum.

Love and light xx

Dabs salon is called the Savvy & Chic Beauty Hub on 34a Awolowo Road (opp Fidelity Bank) Ikoyi. By appointment only, call 08090613325. All product listed above are stocked there.