Arami Essentials, Made in Nigeria Skincare, Worth the Hype?

/ 9:41:00 am
When talking about natural skin care brands Made here in Nigeria, the list is never complete without the inclusion of a brand called Arami Essentials but are the products really worth the hype?

I first came across Arami Essentials from a post on Cassie Daves blog followed by several social media hypes and a review by Tukes Quest and  Iamyeychi. Following my resolution to take better care of my skin in 2018, I decided to try out their products. So here are my thoughts after almost three months of using them.

I ordered the Onyx Body Polish and Glow Oil Sweet Oud through The Beauty Bar Ng in Abuja. Thus I saved on shipping costs from Lagos which is usually my biggest issue with shopping online outside Abuja. The glow oil cost 2,800 and onyx polish 3,000. Thanks to Mind of Amaka for the connect, however sadly they no longer have the products in stock.

First Impression.
For some reason, the products looked a lot smaller than I had expected, oh well. I was also quite surprised to discover that the Body Polish was a basic black soap but just a bit pricer. As for the Glow Oil, the smell was amazing! Now let's go deeper.

Onyx Body Polish

As noted earlier this is basically just African black soap. The ingredients as seen below are standard. For the application, I would just wet my face and take a little amount (a little goes a long way), apply on my face and it would lather so well. The soap had a bit of a drying effect on my oily skin though. As a cheapskate, I only applied the product on my face at first but over time I began using this on my entire body. And it lasted me for almost three months of usually taking a bath twice a day.

Glow Oil
A lightweight type of oil made from raw shea nut oil. It smells so good Y'all. However, it tastes bitter lol (don't ask me why I know this ). When I initially started using it, I broke out in slight pimples. Over time, however,  it served as a great moisturizer especially after the drying effect of the soap. Another thing I noticed about the oil was that it drys fast especially in other parts of the Body. However, a little of this product goes a long way too. My face generally retained the moisture though.
Packaging
Impressive, I loved the simplicity of it.

Price
I initially thought it was expensive but seeing how far the products took me, well I say that's good value for money. My Glow Oil is still half way and I use it almost twice a day every day.


Results
In the few months of use, I noticed that my face began brighter and lighter. The acne scars started fading slightly, my skin got smoother and the pores smaller too, which I also attribute to my more regular exfoliating with my all time favorite scrub, the Oriflame Milk and Honey Sugar Scrub. I kept getting comments on my skin improving (mostly from family).

Note
I wear makeup about seven times in a month, less or more at times which usually consists of light foundation and powder. I do not wash my makeup brushes as often as I should (covers face). Besides washing my face with soap (without a sponge), applying oil and sometimes vaseline and the occasional scrub, I did not and do not have a proper skin care routine or product selection prior this purchase. My skin type is oily with slight acne scarring and visible pores, made bigger when wearing makeup.
All pictures were taken by me

So is this product worth the hype? Yes, of course, I plan to put in another order for the Onyx Polish. However I've been using Dudu Osun black soap (N200) with the Glow Oil and it seems to be working just fine, so we'll see because my cheapskate self is reasoning here.
Check out their website or Instagram page for more details.

Have you used products by Arami Essentials before? What was your experience or your favourite? Would you say it's worth the hype? What is your current favourite natural skincare brand?

I'll end with this point of concern guys. A lot of "Natual Skincare" made in Nigeria brands seem to be cropping up these days, one really needs to be careful. Because there's no agency checking or endorsing most products, if not for the reviews, I wouldn't have dared to try these products as I'm very skeptical when it comes to trying new skincare products.

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
When talking about natural skin care brands Made here in Nigeria, the list is never complete without the inclusion of a brand called Arami Essentials but are the products really worth the hype?

I first came across Arami Essentials from a post on Cassie Daves blog followed by several social media hypes and a review by Tukes Quest and  Iamyeychi. Following my resolution to take better care of my skin in 2018, I decided to try out their products. So here are my thoughts after almost three months of using them.

I ordered the Onyx Body Polish and Glow Oil Sweet Oud through The Beauty Bar Ng in Abuja. Thus I saved on shipping costs from Lagos which is usually my biggest issue with shopping online outside Abuja. The glow oil cost 2,800 and onyx polish 3,000. Thanks to Mind of Amaka for the connect, however sadly they no longer have the products in stock.

First Impression.
For some reason, the products looked a lot smaller than I had expected, oh well. I was also quite surprised to discover that the Body Polish was a basic black soap but just a bit pricer. As for the Glow Oil, the smell was amazing! Now let's go deeper.

Onyx Body Polish

As noted earlier this is basically just African black soap. The ingredients as seen below are standard. For the application, I would just wet my face and take a little amount (a little goes a long way), apply on my face and it would lather so well. The soap had a bit of a drying effect on my oily skin though. As a cheapskate, I only applied the product on my face at first but over time I began using this on my entire body. And it lasted me for almost three months of usually taking a bath twice a day.

Glow Oil
A lightweight type of oil made from raw shea nut oil. It smells so good Y'all. However, it tastes bitter lol (don't ask me why I know this ). When I initially started using it, I broke out in slight pimples. Over time, however,  it served as a great moisturizer especially after the drying effect of the soap. Another thing I noticed about the oil was that it drys fast especially in other parts of the Body. However, a little of this product goes a long way too. My face generally retained the moisture though.
Packaging
Impressive, I loved the simplicity of it.

Price
I initially thought it was expensive but seeing how far the products took me, well I say that's good value for money. My Glow Oil is still half way and I use it almost twice a day every day.


Results
In the few months of use, I noticed that my face began brighter and lighter. The acne scars started fading slightly, my skin got smoother and the pores smaller too, which I also attribute to my more regular exfoliating with my all time favorite scrub, the Oriflame Milk and Honey Sugar Scrub. I kept getting comments on my skin improving (mostly from family).

Note
I wear makeup about seven times in a month, less or more at times which usually consists of light foundation and powder. I do not wash my makeup brushes as often as I should (covers face). Besides washing my face with soap (without a sponge), applying oil and sometimes vaseline and the occasional scrub, I did not and do not have a proper skin care routine or product selection prior this purchase. My skin type is oily with slight acne scarring and visible pores, made bigger when wearing makeup.
All pictures were taken by me

So is this product worth the hype? Yes, of course, I plan to put in another order for the Onyx Polish. However I've been using Dudu Osun black soap (N200) with the Glow Oil and it seems to be working just fine, so we'll see because my cheapskate self is reasoning here.
Check out their website or Instagram page for more details.

Have you used products by Arami Essentials before? What was your experience or your favourite? Would you say it's worth the hype? What is your current favourite natural skincare brand?

I'll end with this point of concern guys. A lot of "Natual Skincare" made in Nigeria brands seem to be cropping up these days, one really needs to be careful. Because there's no agency checking or endorsing most products, if not for the reviews, I wouldn't have dared to try these products as I'm very skeptical when it comes to trying new skincare products.

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
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I had wanted to talk about how to style retro vintage shirts or rave about the rare occasion that I wear denim skinny jeans. Talking about my current favorite mustard block mules was also on my mind. But today on Sarah Speaks, I share one of my struggles with you. Keep reading, here goes...
 I had expected God to come through for me, waited even, after all he always did. Year after year, I wrote this one thing down as my prayer request, list after list but nothing. I had expected him to do his thing like he usually does, after all he did it for others, I heard similar testimony after testimony hence I waited.

Waiting turned to waiting and then I got so tired, tired of praying, tired of writing, tired of believing. And as my faith waned as I wondered, "God where are you". Praying became harder, bible reading non-existent. There I was going through the motions, attending church on Sunday, weekly services in between and the usual family devotion but I felt so far away from God. 

 I gave up, thoughts of "why me" kept circling my mind. I gave up and then the anger set in. I was angry at God. It was hard to believe. I knew he was there but I was mad that he didn't come through for me this time. I didn't understand.


Yes I know "his ways are not my ways" but it was hard. Yes I know "his thoughts are not my thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8) but where was God? And then I looked into my own wisdom, relied on me and the human thing to do as well. God, where are you, why me?
Photography by Blessing Audu

It was hard, still hard. Sometimes I doubt my faith even. Writing this makes me sad too but I remember what a friend said.

"So God didn't come through for you this one time, what about all the other things he's done? You have a lot to be thankful for". Which is true but it's so easy to forget all the other blessings and answered prayers when faced with difficult situations and seemingly unanswered prayers. It's a constant struggle with the faith but I'm reminded of this if you only believe in the good times, then where's your faith?

Today I remember and hold onto all the times God had come through for me, and it is indeed way too many, even more than I deserve. It's still a struggle but now I see how silly I was. Now I hold onto Jeremiah 29:11 and wait till he comes through as I count my blessing. 

I decided to share this to hopefully remind someone out there that you're not alone. Keep on believing, it's not easy but if not God, who else then?  Have you been in such a place? How did you handle an unanswered prayer? 

Shirt, Denim: Thrift || Mules: ShopRBJ

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Wheather you're trying to stand out, let your clothes do the talking or make your outfit a lot more interesting, bold colours are it. 
Today in collaboration with Didi of  Cutey Prexy, we are embracing one of 2018's summer fashion trend, bold colours. Back in the day in 2014 pairing contrasting colours in a trend called Colour Blocking was all the rage. I mean everyone and their mama was throwing colours together.

For me, styling bold colours like red and mustard have always been my go-to when it comes down to fashion, be it an unconscious move or perhaps my modest style, I often find myself drawn to them.

However, when it comes down to styling bold colours it would seem that a lot of us are shy or unsure of how to. Perhaps it boils down to what colours to pair or what colours may flatter but it really is that simple and I broke it down in this post. Today, we'll be talking about why you should wear more bold colours.


1. Make a Fashion Statement 
If you're trying to be the centre of attention, then you'd want to incorporate more bold colours. Pairing bold colours can even be a conversation starter as well.

2. Make Your Clothes More Interesting
Clothes have a tendency to get boring especially if your style is somewhat basic or modest like mine. Now one way I make my outfit pairing more interesting is to opt for more colours which do the trick always as some of my best/favourite looks always feature loud colours.

3. So Flattering on Melanin
A simple fact really, bold colours are just so flattering on melanin, enough said. Not to sound biased though, bold colours also look great on other skin tones as well but be sure to find the best-suited colours for your skin tone. 

Photography by Blessing Audu

In today's post Didi and I channeled summer vibes. Now, while Didi opted for a crochet fashionnova two-piece crop top and flared pants set paired with a straw bag, I went for a floral styled kimono top paired with a pair of pants and belted over in the waist. I love that fact that we both opted for mustard mules which complemented both of our looks don't you think?

Mules: ShopRBJ

Are you a fan of bold colours? What are some of you're favourite colours or combinations?

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
Abuja, Nigeria seems to be buzzing with new spots and places, most especially with cafes popping up all the time. Lately, I find myself often on the hunt to discover aesthetically pleasing places to eat, chill and also have fun in Abuja. I recently checked out Bricks Cafe located in Bricks Point Boutique Apartment in Wuse 2. 
 I had earlier seen pictures and posts of this spot by Abuja based bloggers Kachi of Staples and Vanessa Ohaha. Upon further research, I decided I wanted to check it out. Now I don't know about you but as a blogger what influences my choice to usually visit a place is not necessarily the food but the vibe and ambiance because well Instagram pictures. I met up with Didi of Cutey Prexy, for a quick brunch date and chat.  Let's hop right into my review of the Bricks Cafe.

Ambiance
Upon entering the cafe, you're met with such a calming and cool atmosphere. The walls were also covered in various paintings, artworks, and texts. The seating arrangements were artistic and sort of mismatched but everything worked so well together. I loved the yellow wall especially, and the addition of indoor flowers.

The cafe also has an outdoor section which in my opinion is the perfect spot for that Instagram shot. I loved the hanging lanterns and the wooden benches which went perfectly with the greenery outside. However, due to the hot humid weather, we sat inside.

Smoking Area:
We were as well shown the smoking room which was well ventilated and only had a very faint smell of tobacco. I loved the contrasting pieces of artwork on the walls and the vintage phone which took me back in time.
Menu:
The menu is basically the standard with breakfast options and mostly coffee which was good by the way and a few options for tea. I ordered an iced latte, my go-to choice when indulging in coffee. Didi, ordered an English breakfast tea and a Tuna Panini (not pictured), which she said was good but a tad bit overpriced. In addition to the breakfast menu, they had several other options as well, If you'd like more details about the food and menu, check out a review by Abuja Food Diary

Heres' the breakdown
Tuna Panini (fancy name for a sandwith) = 3,500
English Breakfast Tea = 950
Iced Latte = 1,800
service charge = 10%
Prices:
Based on my perusal of the menu and our order, the Bricks cafe is slightly more expensive than some other cafes in Abuja.

Customer Service:
I honestly have no complaints about the service. Our waitress was very attentive and very willing to assist to take pictures of us, sadly she never got it but she deserved an A for effort. As evidenced in this post, we were freely allowed to take pictures which is a sharp contrast to a lot of businesses in Nigeria, so this is another positive as well.

Location: 
Quite ideal but easy to miss. A landmark would be Vision FM. It is located at 11 Adzope Crescent, Wuse, Abuja

Plus: 
Free Wifi on request for as long as you're there.

Opening Hours:
So would I go back? Yes of course, if only to order a drink, sit around, chill, have good conversations while taking in some cool vibes. 
Ever been to the Bricks cafe? What are your thoughts? What did you order? Whats your favorite place to hang out in Abuja or your city? What other spots do you have on your radar? 

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!
makeup, beginners guide, everyday, makeup, basic, girl

In a new twist, today we'll be talking beauty with my nine recommended makeup essentials for an everyday face, a basic girl or beginner. Before we move on, I am not a beauty blogger nor will I ever be. Neither am I a makeup enthusiast because it really isn't my thing, however, over the years of trial and error, a couple Youtube tutorials here and there, I've found a way to work my makeup and look put together like someone who actually knows what they are doing for the most part. With that being said, here are my nine recommended makeup essentials for the basic girl who's not exactly a makeup gal like myself. 

*This post is in collaboration with Jumia Nigeria and I will be highlighting Milani products, which were recently launched on the site. All products are shoppable so simply click on the pink (here) in the titles to purchase each product pictured  

1. Primer (here)
A good ol' primer is perhaps one of the most important items in your makeup bag. Why? well, it determines how long your makeup lasts and the overall outlook of your face, especially for all the oily girls like myself. While you can get away without a primer, to get your makeup to last longer, invest in a reliable primer.

 2. Eyebrow Kit (here)
If you're trying to go for a more flawless, natural-looking eyebrow, I suggest getting an eyebrow kit. While I usually use only a brow pencil to draw my eyebrows, I have noticed the difference when using a brow kit. 
 3. Foundation (here)
A good foundation when blended right and perfectly matched to your skintone can take your makeup game from zero to hero in a matter of seconds, especially if you're skin is not so great. You may disagree but for me once my eyebrows and foundation is laid, I'm basically good to go. 
 4. Concealer (here)
Perhaps you don't have the best skin and want to cover your flaws. Or maybe you want to highlight and contour to give your face more structure and angles, then get yourself a concealer. Frankly, I feel this is one product I can do without especially when a foundation does a good enough job of covering flaws. So here's a tip, a full coverage foundation can cancel out the need for a concealer. 
 5. Powder (here)
We all need a good powder to set that foundation and make it even more flawless. Enough said.
 6. Eyeliner (here)
Eyeliner is that product your use to widen your eyes and make your eyes appear bigger, this is great if you have smaller eyes. This product is very key too because it can open your eyes especially if you are prone to dark circles or have droopy eyes.
7. Mascara (here)
A good mascara basically enhances the work of a dependable eyeliner. The great thing about a good mascara, is that you can actually do without an eyeliner if your lashes are either longer, fuller, or made perfect by mascara. What makes a great mascara  is the applicator, in my opinion. 
 8. Lip Liner (here)
When opting for bright lip stains or sticks, a lipliner comes in handy to set your lips and make the colour blend more naturally. Think of a lip liner as your setting power.


9. Lipstick (here)
And of course, how can we forget a lipstick. This for me is one of the more important essentials. A good suitable lip colour can instantly make it seem as if you put way more effort into your makeup. My favourite colour palettes are red, burgundy and browns. 
Click here to shop more Milani products on Jumia Nigeria

*This post contains affiliate links

What are some of your makeup essentials? Do you agree with this list? What would you add or take away? What are some of your most important beauty products?

Don't be a stranger, talk to me!

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