My Beauty Favourites

Everybody who knows me knows that I love my make-up and beauty products in general. I love experimenting with make-up and I often get comments like "I'm too scared to try that on my eyes" etc. I live by the "what do you have to lose" school of thought. If it looks crap, you just take it off right? Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my favourite beauty products with you guys, so here we go!

1. Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

My favourite eyeshadow set gives you nine of Urban Decay's most popular pigmented eyeshadows in one package. Yes the packaging is oh-so-very-slightly tacky but the colours look amazing on black skin.

However, if the price tag is too much to justify in this recession, any of Sleek's palettes are a wonderful alternative. I personally like to mix colours from both palettes.
£20 in House of Fraser, Debenhams, or Boots (the Oxford St. one)

2. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Also known as the greatest thing ever invented! I have quite oily skin and before I discovered this my eyeshadow would usually migrate into my eye creases or fade as the day went on. But no more thanks to this. You put it on before you apply any eyeshadow and it won't budge for the rest of the day. Trust me, it's worth every single penny.

£9.50 as above

3. NARS blusher in "crazed"

Lasts forever as a little goes a loooong way. Get heavy-handed with this and you will look like Ronald McDonald's twin sister.

Couldn't find a usable pic of the actual colour but that's what the packaging looks like.

£18.50 in Selfridges, John Lewis, and Liberty

4. M.A.C. Blot Powder

Stops me looking like I've just been anointed.... Removes shine without messing with the rest of my make-up.
£14.68 in M.A.C. (Carnaby St.) and Selfridges

5. M.A.C. Zoom Lash Mascara

Not much to be said here. My favourite mascara and it can somewhat tame my mental, contrary eyelashes.
£11.00 as above

6. M.A.C. Lip Gelee
I don't ask for much from lip glosses. I mean is it asking too much if I insist they be non-sticky and don't leave those nasty white "deposits" in the corners of your mouth? Well, lip gelee lip glosses from M.A.C. give me what I'm looking for. They also manage to make my lips feel moisturised at the same time. Bonus!

Honourable mention too for Smashbox "lip enhancing" glosses.
£10.50 as above

7. Cocoa Butter

Forget all the fancy body lotions. No matter how much I experiment, test, etc. I always end up coming back to this favourite. The more raw the better.

8. O.P.I nail varnish in Russian Navy

I searched and searched for a navy polish to no avail until I discovered this. Gone are the days when Friday's Afro and I would mix black and blue polishes together in an attempt to achieve this look lol. Thanks O.P.I!

£9.50 but can be found cheaper here:

9. Perfumes

I can't pick a single, favourite perfume because that changes each day but the three I seem to come back to again and again are:

Narciso Rodriguez for her

£30 approx. for 30ml edt

Armani White
I'm pretty sure this has now been discontinued :-( but you can till find it on eBay etc.

Anna Sui

Another one that I think has been discontinued but as above, it's still possible to find it.

10.M.A.C. Brush Set

Last, but definitely not least, I loooove my brush set(s). I resisted the idea of make-up brushes for a long time as I had a sneaking suspicion that they wouldn't really make that much of a difference. Well, how wrong was I? You use far less product with brushes and if that means my make-up lasts longer in this recession, then I'm all for it. M.A.C. sell mini brush sets as a limited edition product every Christmas for a fraction of their usual price (around £40). So, if like me, you're counting the pennies I'd suggest you wait till then or hit up eBay (again lol).

So here ends my very first "beauty" post. Let me know what you think and there may just be future ones.


Now, I've always liked surprises you know, secret birthday parties, unexpected visits, the twist at the end of 'Sixth Sense', just love 'em, I suppose that's why I flick from channel to channel after Neighbours watching Diagnosis Murder then good ol' Murder, She Wrote and sometimes even A Touch Of Frost (or Midsomer Murders). That wonderful element of 'whodunit?' even when you know exactly whodunit, is just so cool! Partaking in collective 'shock' and then being able to just get on with other things is just what one needs on a weekday - oh speaking of which, is that Zeke really dead? I know what I think AND I haven't cheated by going on anyway yeah on a weekday I love a good mystery with an obvious surprise thrown in for good measure. The old surprise Birthday is also a good'un, you drive the unsuspecting celebrant around the area 15 times saying, "yeah man we're going home in a minute just gotta buy a glue gun" - or something just as subtle, then you get the call, and then SURPRISE!!!! and the best thing is when they actually are surprised and all your efforts have paid off, I really do love it. So in this vein I decided to keep a secret, everyone loves a surprise right? Even one about the 9 month time bomb ticking away in my ovaries - right? ? ? ?

Ok. maybe not. Well, what could I do? after surprising myself (looking at that stick saying 'merde alors!') The next step was to 'surprise' my nearest and dearest - it was not pretty. It worked though, and although I'm not sure that surprised was the word they would use for what they felt, I do know that they weren't expecting that!
, what did I learn from it all? well, now that the memory's only as painful as period pains (compared to the earlier pain of stage 3 labour it induced in me everytime I thought about it before) I can tell you that I did learn, a lot. If you can't stand the (minimum) 10 hours of labour, stay out of the boudoir, also please know that actions really do have consequences, and not just for yourself, and often what you try to make yourself think is being mysterious is really just hiding, oh and of course : not everyone likes surprises.

Houdini-ism, Girl Better KNOW!

So, Houdiniism, a five-syllable word, say it now: Hou-Di-Ni-Is-Sm, good, now you may be thinking what are you on about? Well, let me tell you, houdiniism is an affliction of the modern male, where they become experts at escaping situations, and coming out unscathed, only to be captured, locked down and to escape...again.
This may sound like good ol' commitment issues, but this is more, it creeps silently into the relationships of many males, whether these relationships be platonic or other. The first reported case of this condition, lets call him Joedini, suffered very badly from it, and therefore so did his girl -he's the one who'd make the appointment, tell you "you better be there...2 o'clock yeah?" implying that he just needed to see you, then , at about ahh 14.50, the call - and don't be silly you know you're calling him - he'll say,"I'm just coming blah blah, trains, blah blah, my mum, blah blah I'm on my way now", using your name and 'ish when he profusely apologises, you'll say "oh, it's ok the snow isn't too heavy at the mo'...wish I'd brought a coat..." and then Check Spellinghe actually WOULDN'T TURN UP, like seriously, he just wouldn't come, and off you'd trundle, knowing he'll call you when you get to Brockley station (as if he knew) giving you some TALL story, which, even though you don't believe, will have you back at Norwood Junction saying "Oh it's cool, there's a really nice crackhead telling me about his pipe collection..."

But people, don't be fooled this
maladie has varying symptoms and manifestations, trust me, take this guy I know, lets call him LightNTall (LNT) an intelligent, musically gifted nice chap, he'll call and it's all good...until "oh...let me call you back..." which he doesn't or does at like 4:37 am the next day, or there's ShortNDarkWithBlazerPatches (SDWBP) who displays an alternate form of houdiniism. The kind of escapologist who will 'toot-toot' you while you wait in the rain at the bus stop after you thought the jokey banter from the night before meant you were getting a lift...sorry yeah! As you see SDWBP escapes home at 35 mph, no curve, no bend, with all the affirmations of close friendship toned down by the blatant selfishness and unwillingness to share that 15 minute ride with you.

Now, this affliction has evolved over the years since the original Houdini (Harry, that is) who merely escaped from physical chains. These 21st century houdinis will leave you wondering, 'when the hell did he leave?' in both physical and emotional ways, shoot, you'll be having a face-to-face chat, look at your watch, and he will be gone, his shadow still lingering because he left so fast! But before I lose focus, and get too personal I'm just gonna rein it in, Houdiniism appears to be a natural phenomenon, whether its the one who never calls back, or the "partner" who you see once every 4 months, or the one who tells you 'I'm coming to Norwood Junction now Babes' (Babes?) while he sits sipping mojitos in Jamaica or something schtupid like that, or the Igbo boy who leaves you and your cousin buying Expensive drinks in the bloody Hilton at Trafalgar, only to stretch his big lips into what he thinks is a pacifying smile...Ahem (!) or the one who manages to slip away after church when you wore heels because you knew you had a lift, blaad, they're all escapologists in one way or another, and if they're not... well they're something else, and that's whats up!


'Would You Ever Slap Your Wife?'

On Good Friday, a good friend of mine had a dinner party. Imagine the scene...young Ghanaian girl, Sierra Leonian, a Yoruba girl and an Igbo guy and three Yoruba. Now before you jump down my throat (about racism, or tribalism or WOTEVA!) I'm giving you a bit of background to lay the scene and inform what I'm gonna say later...

Some seriously good white wine and Fanta gets to flowing and being African students of politics, (for the most part) converstaion gets loud and argumentative. The topic was a bit of a mistake, I grant the Yoruba boy who brought it up didn't quite mean what he implied...OH WELL! What are students of politics if not eager pirahna's waiting to attack ignorant statements? So....hmmm, I'll call him Yinka...comments that the laws in the UK are too strict, for instance in the UK an man cannot slap his wife.

Poor Yinka! Myself, Teresa (Sierra Leonian), Nneka (Igbo) and Abiola (Yoruba) were the only other people in there at the time and being a room full of girls the horror in the air was palatable. Cries of 'ehhhhhh, so WHERE are you free to slap your wife?', 'Wife beater, wife beater!!!!!' (That was Nneka, quite enjoying making Yink squirm) filled the air and bless his heart we offered no way out for him and annihilated him as was our right, nay, our duty even.

Then enter the boys, Abimbola (Yoruba), Jide (Yoruba) and Chidi (Igbo). Chidi is aghast, 'I would never, NEVER slap my wife? What could you possibly mean? Have you run mad?' (A this point I sincerely wish I could accent this for you, but I can't write it...linguists? Help any one?). Anyhoo, while Yinka is still digging himself deeper trying to get out of his hole (much to mine and Nneka's glee) Jide decides to play devils advocate...'WHAT IF...what if...your wife slapped your mother?'

Now, myself and my girlfriends are still keeping up the righteous seriously sha, my husband will see fire if he abuses me! But all of a sudden Chidi is unsure and is backing down, like well, I don't know. Jide says seriously, the woman deserves a slap because that's his mother, but we are adamant, she's your wife. You get married and she should come above everyone else. Jide says 'No way! My mother gave me my values, you disrespect my mother you disrespect ME-slap her!'

This argument carried on into the night....or at least until people withdrew sullenly into their respective corners, each convinced they're right (why can Africans never debate like normal people it's always a fight!), but you get the general jist. But I'm still convinced I'm right! (lol) But I'm interested by the polar responses this evokes, so i throw the floor open, what says you?

"No Uncle!"

Why is it that some men feel no way about harassing you in public? I can't even begin to count the number of times I have been happily minding my own business on the bus or walking down the street for someone's uncle to approach me and ruin my day. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind giving you the time of day if you didn't look like you were my dad's senior in school, or if your chat up line wasn't knackered and over-played. Yet, it be oga who get big bele who dey wan mek i talk to him. (Don't laugh at my pidgin!)
I remember being on Welling high street, with two friends, when a man driving by, who really should have been concentrating on the road, decided to slow down and beep at us. One of my friends turned around and waved. "Hi, uncle!" she shouted. I was thinking "yes! we are getting a lift home!". But when she turned around, I could see from her face, which showed nothing less than pure disgust, that it wasn't a trusted family member. I was in stitches when I realised it was her way of reminding 'uncle' that he has a wife and children to go home to.
Seriously, is this a new trend? Or have the older generation always thought it appropriate to harass girls two to three decades their junior? What kills me is the confidence with which these men step to you with.

Just for laughs here is a list of the top 5 chat- up lines uncles have tried (but have miserably failed) to entice me with.

5. Have we met before?/ Do I know you from somewhere?
4. Excuse me, is your name Yinka?
3. Give me your number so I can call you later. (seriously! no "excuse me" or anything!)
2. Are you ghanaian/ nigerian?
1. Excuse me fine girl, I want to be your friend.

And as you have guessed, my response is always "no uncle".

Songs To Cry To pt.1

I was browsing one of my favourite sites a the other day and stumbled on a discussion of songs that made people cry and it led me to think about mine. SO here's a list of my "favourite" songs to weep to. I don't if it's right to class them as "favourites" since they, by definition, make me cry. But here goes in no particular order of preference:

1. Bitter- Me'Shell NdegeOcello

This song kills me. It really does. I first got into Me'Shell my freshman year of college in America after a particularly nasty introduction to the truly messed-up minds of supposedly "nice" guys. I didn't leave my dorm room for three days and played this song on repeat. It's a wonder I'm still here for it deserves to be filed under "Music by which to slit your wrists" (It should be a genuine genre I assure you...). It's sombre and impossibly beautiful. It's a deceptively simple song (it's quite short with basically one verse) but the haunting quality of Me'Shell's voice just takes it somewhere else entirely.

2. I Can't Make You Love Me- Bonnie Raitt

I heard the George Michael version first when I was about 16 and played it to death. It perfectly fit in with the romantic notions I had conjured up of my unrequited crush at the time (Will Barnes holla! lol). I was such an angsty teen (some may argue that I still am). Anyway, I hunted down the original and discoverd that it was far superior to old George's version (no disrespect) and just like that it became an addition to my iPod's "Dust and sackcloth" playlist.

3. Raining in Balimore- Counting Crows

I'm not a hundred percent certain what this song is about nor do I have any particular attachment to Baltimore apart from the fact that one of my Aunts lives there but this song just makes me incredibly sad. It doesn't make me cry per ser, but it makes me feel a bit depressed and just generally verklempt.

4. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye- David Gray

I could pick a number of candidates from White Ladder but David Gray's cover of Soft Cell's classic just rises above the rest for me. It's a perfect 8 mins and 58 secs snapshot of a deteriorated relationship. We get disbelief, loneliness, anger, bitterness all in a few short minutes. Here is a rare example of a cover surpassing the original. It's perfect and I love it. Oh yeah, it also makes me cry.

5. When She Loved Me-Sarah McLachlan

Yes, it's from Toy Story 2 and it's about an abandoned rag doll's love for her previous owner. Shut up. It still makes me cry. I remember seeing this in the cinema and being horrified that my eyes were pricking with tears when this song came on. But oh well, it is what it is and it's here on this list!

Part two coming up (when I get around to it...)

Dilemmas and Decisions

After being repeatedly harangued by Sankofa about my lack of contribution I today braved the world of blogging for the first time...Hiya!!!!!!!!

I've always wondered what drives people to write all this non-related stuff on the 'intinet' (lol!) and expected people to read it? Nonetheless here I am joining the legions of people writing whatever comes to mind on the internet and do you know, it's oddly cathartic as I sit in my mates bed at roughly 3.30pm on a Tuesday knowing that coursework and revision are calling out to me, slowly eating into my ability to enjoy life...and living it (lol! Yes I KNOW the way I slid that in was ever so corny but I DON'T CARE!). Alas, whilst I have no interest in revising research methods or writing my second essay on voluntary sector policy I must admit the £7000 odd I'm paying for my blimming degree is damn good incentive in causing me to reconsider the judgement that has me sitting here wishing to do ANYTHING but revise. I know my fellow 'life...and living it' girls are feeling me because we are each in the same boat.

The dilemma comes about because the learning into which we have each been 'encouraged', some to a lesser extent than others, in an ever-so-Ghanaian manner (Go to school, read your books! You must be an accountant or lawyer...what is this nonsense about studying Art?! Kwasia!) to get 'good' jobs and go out into the world of work, make money et cetera. But as I sit here I wonder how right they all were...the world as we know it seems to be currently falling apart. APPARENTLY, the bottom has fallen out of the job market due to the 'global, financial and economic crisis' and ex-high flying bankers are taking the boring mundane jobs our parents wanted us to fill instead. And it WOULD be now in the midst of this turmoil that the education system is preparing to spit me quite unprepared into the world of work which my lawyer friend, whose bed I am currently lounging in, tell me sucks.

And all this when I should be revising for my exams.

Now, to the I work my socks off trying to get a distinction for this silly masters so that I am catapulted to the front of the queue of desperate jobseekers or do I actively not do my best so I can fail, be forced to retake and so delay entry to the boring world of work until all the ex-high flying bankers take this set of mundane jobs and I get a chance at the next set? Hmmm, decisions, decisions....

All this has got me to thinking....I should have gone to the Slade School and studied ART!

It's Just a TV Show!

When we watch a t.v. show, we can sometimes get quite emotionally involved with the scenes we see on our screens. But, those emotions (usually) end with the closing credits. However, the drama EastEnders provided us with on Thurdsday night left quite a (long lasting)impression on its audience. You can imagine my curiosity on Thursday night, after a long day at work, when I logged onto facebook ( at approximately 9.10pm) to find a extensive list of EastEastenders related comments on my newsfeed. As someone who had abandoned the show for months, I didn't know what the big storyline was, but whatever it was had left people angry and heartbroken! Ok, so I must confess, my curiosity was let's just say, I watched the BBC3 repeat at 10 o'clock. (ssshhh! that's between me and you) Anyway, after seeing Danielle get mauled down en route to Ronnie's open arms , I couldn't help but join the ranks of broken hearts. Even I felt cheated, and I hadn't even been following the show for the last eight or nine months it took for the poor girl to say the words "you're my mum"!
So, on went my laptop at 11.01pm, so I too could vent. "EastEnders better rewrite the script", I wrote as my status. But the next day, when I realised that someone had gone and created a group "Bring Back Danielle from EastEnders" (or something like that), with over 6000 members (I kid you not) it left me thinking "wow! is it that serious?". People are proper pissed off with the BBC! People had posted all sorts of comments such as "Boycott EastEnders" and "BBC should write her back in the script". I mean, what were they expecting? A pastor and the Holy Ghost fire to bring her back? lol. However amongst the brouhaha was the one voice of reason. The obviously most sensible member of the group posted "has anyone considered that the girl who plays Danielle probably had other things to do in life?". Mmm...he has a point you know. It is, afterall, just a show. Ok, so I may have been sucked in (for a while), but I had common sense knocked back into me.
Without ignoring the fact that what happened between mother and daughter was tragic, it's funny how we let the most trivial of things arouse so much emotion. Look, my point is, "calm down, it's just a t.v. show!"

Say what?!

Now most people who know me know that I have a somewhat gentle obsession with misspelt signage. I have a love/ hate relationship with this because although they may provide me with many instances of unexpected mirth, I can't get over the sheer laziness of having a misspelt sign outside your shop. How can you expect me to take you and your business seriously when you're offering me an "intinet cafe"? What kills me even more is that nobody manages to spot these mistakes from the owners, to the people who put up the signs, etc. etc. Some may say I'm being pedantic and I probably am but come on! We live in the age of spellcheck don't we? Lol. Being a linguist (ahem!), one of the first things you're taught in any foundations class is to let go of our belief in prescriptive grammar and embrace descriptive grammar. I tried is all I can say. I may have become more descriptive in my grammatical views but if you're gonna have the cheek to proudly display something in order to entice me into your place of business, at least let me know that you bothered to press F7! Nevertheless, it's a tiny habit of mine to document these moments of unintended humour on the mean streets of London lol. So expect more of these whenever I feel the urge....

For those of you who share my little obsession, check out for more laughs along the same lines.

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