Friday, 22 November 2013

Back to the Basics: Tools of the Trade (Make Up)

Makeup Tools
Remember using those sponge applicators with play makeup when you were a kid? It's time to ditch those makeup brushes and wands that come packaged with compacts and eye shadow palette. A girl needs the right tools for the job.

BRUSHES: To create a work of art whether on canvas or your eye crease, artist will reach for a brush. Specialized makeup brushes exist to help us apply and blend colors to create different makeup looks. When it comes to makeup brushes, hoard them like a private treasure. Buy as much as you can, having a variety to choose from. Brush heads can be made from natural fibers like squirrel hairs, goat, sable and horse hairs, while others may be synthetic.
Experiment on different brushes, because there is no better way to find your ideal. Also be aware that some people are allergic to certain animal hairs.

Face-brush: They are used to apply foundations, concealers, powders and blush.
  • Foundation Brush: it's always made from synthetic fibers and used to blend foundation on the face. 
  • Concealer Brush: this brush looks like a mini foundation brush and it is smaller than a foundation brush. It is made for covering blemishes or for applying liquid concealers in the hard places at the corners of the eyes.
  • Powder Brush: it comes with large fluffy brush heads and soft bristles, powder brushes are ideal for applying loose powder to the face and also can be used to tone down blusher on the cheek.
  • Blush Brush: they resemble smallish powder brushes with a sloped or rounded tip. Great for applying blush or bronzer to the cheekbone, apply of the cheek or cheek-plane and the T-ZONE.

Eyebrow brushes
There are lots of eye brushes to choose from, which is a blessing for brush hoarders like me.
  • Eyebrow Brush: this brush has a firm angled brush head like the tip of a marker. Used to apply powder, cream or waxes to brows. It is also used to highlight the brows. 
  • Eye shadow Brush: it is not as stuffy as an eyebrow brush. It has a square head used to evenly apply both powder and cream shadows to eyelids.
  • Blending Brush: The heads of blending brushes are usually tapered and this will be your second staple brush (behind your eye shadow brush). They are used to combine different colors of eye shadows.
  • Crease Brush: fluffy and soft, crease brush heads come in different shapes, from thin and tapered to round and fluffy. Look for a brush head that feels soft against your eyelids. This brush can also be used to create a contour at the crease of the eyes.
  • Lip Brushes: This brush provides more control and precise lipstick application than a tube. Like concealer brushes, lip brush has a firm thin tip. For on the go lip-stick application look for a covered lip brush that comes with a cover to protect the brush head while you are traveling.

How to Clean Your Brushes
Regular cleaning of makeup brushes extends their useful life. Some makeup lines sell liquid brush cleaning solutions, but baby shampoo and water also work well. Antibacterial wipes provide a quick way to clean brush heads in the car or wherever water would make a mess. After cleaning your brushes, reshape the brush heads with your fingers and line them up on the edge of a shelf or sink to dry.

How to Store Your Brushes
For cheap, easy brush storage at home, stand them up in a glass (brush heads up). When you're on the road, use a brush roll, which is a folding bag with slots for each brush. It rolls up like a sleeping bag.

Sorry it's long winded, but wanted to give you some good basics..........Have Fun

Written by: Opara Faith Oluchi
Organization: FX Xculsive Hairs & makeovers   
Phone: 07063136661

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wrapped in Style: KITENGE

I vividly remember growing up and seeing children being tied to their mothers back. It is still common practice for African children to be tied to their mothers back and I bet my mum tied me to her back.
In Africa, the industrious (hard working) nature of the mother cannot be over emphasized. It is also expected that as part of her duties, the child is taken care of. The African child is always close-by.
As an African child, you are on mother's back as she goes to the market, goes visiting, and sometimes pounding. I say kudos to African mothers and mothers all over the world.

Now you may ask, "How's Kitenge associated with the African child?" Kitenge is an African fabric worn by women, wrapped around the chest or used as a baby sling (i.e. used to tie a baby to its mothers back). The Kitenge is a plain weave; light-weight fabric which is high tensioned on wrap and has prints on both sides. The Kitenge design forms a continuous print pattern with no distinct border (they have edgings only on the long side).
Kitenge is worn in African countries such as Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia.
The Kitenge is inexpensive fabric that serves as a perfect informal piece. It often carries patterns with variety of colors and sometimes political or religious slogans.

In modern times, just like the Ankara fabric, the Kitenge fabric or material can be transformed into something gorgeous and breath-taking in the hands of a good fashion designer.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wrapped in Style(African Textile): MUD CLOTH

It's no news that every tribe in Africa has something unique to offer. Although we are linked in several ways, similarities in language, dressing, color, thinking, and even culture, each tribe presents its colors and unique features and we all fall in love with it. The mud cloth is one those features that confirms the saying "beauty in diversity".

The mud cloth also known as Bògòlanfini or Bogolan is of Malian origin, hand-woven and dyed with fermented mud. It is one of Africa's prestigious clothing, holding great cultural heritage and a Malian identity. The mud cloth is characterized by white geometric designs on black, brown, green, or red background. As the name implies, the mud cloth means cloth derived from the earth (bogolan meaning something made using mud and fini meaning cloth). Traditional, the mud cloth is made by the Bamana who lived to the east of Bamako.
Archeological excavations have been able to prove that the mud cloth dates as far back to the 12th century if not earlier, with some designs depicting historical events of such centuries.

Making of the Mud Cloth
Traditionally, the mud cloth is woven by the men, while women do the dyeing. The whole painting process was done by women. Younger women were taught by their mothers the processes involved, in a long-term apprenticeship. Although in recent times, men have taken up painting of the cloth, basically for tourist attractions, the fact that machine-produced fabrics have taken over cannot be totally ruled out.
The processes (traditional) involved in the making of the mud cloth are as follows:

  • Combing and spinning of locally made cotton into yarns done by women.
  • Weaving of yarns on double-heddle looms to narrow stripes of about 15cm wide, done by men.
  • The strips are cut into shorter pieces which are joined with a whip-stitch, selvedge to selvedge.
  •  The cloth is washed and dried in the sun, mainly to preshrink it.
  • Leafs from Anogeissus leiocarpus and Combretum glutinosum are boiled for few minutes or pounded and soaked for 24 hours. This forms a brown tea that is rich in tannic acid.
  • The cloth piece is then soaked in the tea. It takes a brownish color and is allowed to dry in the sun.
  • Painting using fermented mud collected in previous seasons is carried out. The background surrounding the designs is covered in mud.
  • Excess mud is washed off from the clothing.
  • Soaking, painting, washing, and drying process may be repeated several times, with the mud painted area becoming darker each time.
  • The cloth is then place in the sun for weeks and rewashed.

Mud Cloth Patterns
Just like other African fabrics, every symbol holds a meaning; every cloth has a tale to tell. Next time you see a mud cloth, I hope you'll be able to tell the story behind it.
Some common mud cloth symbols and their meanings/usage:

  • Circles with a dot at the middle: This pattern represents the love and unity of family and community. The dot represents the family in itself, while the circle represents the house of the family.
  • The Iguana's Elbow: The Iguana is believed to be an animal that can lead a hunter to water. The symbol or pattern represents good fortune.
  • Bone of Snakes: This pattern is used to represent bravery.
  • Spindle: Being one of the oldest and popular patterns, the spindle represents the loom used in weaving.
  • Cushion: This pattern represents wealth and luxury.
  • Sickle and Blade (Wosoko): This pattern represent tells a story about a farmer who did an exceptional job.

If you are a fan of African fashion, the mud cloth is a must have for you. Apart from fashion and wearing the mud cloth as a piece of clothing, it can be used for decoration and it provides that perfect finish and touch of Africa.
I hope you enjoyed this post, cheers.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

2neah by 9jafrikfashion: Ankara Accessories

Hello friends, first I must apologize for inconsistencies in my articles of late. The power supply at where I stay became extremely terrible with less than an hour supply of power in two weeks. I think it has been restored because I have had close to 6 hours supply of power. I hope I am forgiven.
That said, on today's episode of 2neah, she considers Ankara Accessories. Although a very brief and concise piece, I know you will love it.

Ankara Accessories
Ankara accessories are one of the many pieces every African lady should have. From bags to earrings, necklaces, shoes, rings, bow ties, and headbands, Ankara patterns are beautiful, catchy and super fun. They make a really bright and bold statement. Ankara accessories are not only for all those special occasions, they can be worn every day to brighten up your outfits. You can wear them with jeans and a top or on a cute dress.

Ankara DIY: DIY stands for do it yourself, you can do a lot of projects with Ankara at home. You can transform your old bracelets by wrapping an Ankara round it or make a bow with Ankara and attach black elastic to make a headband or a bracelet; you can even cover up your old shoes with Ankara. Just be creative and have fun with it.
When wearing Ankara accessories, keep in mind not to match your outfit from head to toe, to avoid looking like a fashion mess. If you are wearing an Ankara outfit and same Ankara pattern on your accessories, tone it down with a black or a neutral colored top or wear a plain gown and glam it up with Ankara accessories.
Ankara accessories is a sure trend that will never go out of style, they are ethnic, beautiful and sure to make a bold statement.

Post by: 2neah

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Exclusive interview with Sharonita Accessories

Some are good, some are great, some are different, some are complacent, and some are on top of their game, while some just do it because it is their passion. Inspired by colors, Sharon is one lady who is on top of her game in the accessory industry. Join us as we explore the life of this young, talented lady.

9jafrik: Briefly tell us about yourself
Sharon: My name is Sharon Folly; I am a Nigerian and married. I am the Creative Director of Sharonita Accessories. I hold a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria. I am very creative and I love colors.

9jafrik: Sharonita Accessories. What is it all about?
Sharonita Accessories is a brand that focuses on providing unique and sophisticated female accessories such as neck pieces, costumes, bracelets, earrings, rings, etc. We design our pieces using quality beads and African fabric, we make them available in various designs, patterns, style and color combination to suit any individual and attire whether causal, corporate or native. Our accessories can be considered as the perfect accessory to add elegance to the personality of the wearer.

9jafrik: How long have you been in the accessory business?
Sharon: Almost a year now, by 13th November, 2013 Sharonita Accessories will be one year.

9jafrik: Why did you choose female accessories?
I decided to go into female accessories because I get to explore my creativity and also play with a lot of colors. Female accessories need to be crafted and designed with a lot details which I enjoy doing a lot.

9jafrik: How about our formal university education, what happens to it?
Sharon: Hmm, being a graduate doesn't necessarily mean that I have a career in the corporate world. Although after my graduation, I worked for a few years, and honestly, I tell you, that job was so monotonous, I was doing the same thing over and over again.

9jafrik: In almost a year, how far have you gone? What are the things you've seen in the industry, what are the challenges, and what will you like to change?
The journey has been amazing and I thank God, I have realized that women love unique pieces and they patronize when they see one that is outstanding. So far, Sharonita Accessories has been able to penetrate the market to some extent. We still have a long way to go as we intend to be a household name in Nigeria and the world at large. Talking about the industry, it is quiet large and diverse. There are countless designers making different pieces of accessories, thousands and thousands of bead/jewellery makers competing with each other. But of course, there is room for everyone, like the saying goes "the sky is big enough for all birds to fly in". The challenges in this industry especially here in Nigeria is that, we don't really appreciate "made in Nigeria", secondly, buyers tend to price lower, they feel since pieces are handmade, prices are supposed to be so low, without considering that we buy the raw materials as well. Thirdly, increase in competition.
I don't think I will like to change anything in this industry, I will rather focus my energy creating designs that will accepted by different individuals and personalities.

9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
God Almighty, I pray a simple pray every day asking Him for fresh inspiration. He answers me and as soon as I see colors the inspiration just comes.

9jafrik: Do you have a unique signature? If yes, what is it?
I will say our "special round silver balls & charms" which is in most of our pieces especially our bracelets and earring.

9jafrik: What should we expect from you in the coming years?
In the next few years, expect to see Sharonita Accessories in the international market and expect more elegant and sophisticated designs from us.

Contact Details
Phone/Whatsapp: 08178599622

Bbm: 23808264
Facebook: and more pictures

Monday, 11 November 2013

2neah by 9jafrikfashion: Dressing for a Wedding

Hello friends, it's been ages, exactly two days since my last post (feels so long). I had a lot of constraints over the weekend, just couldn't write jack. 

I won't be wrong to say in Africa, there are countless numbers of occasions/marriages that go on during the weekend. A lot of us will want to stand out, but we make some mistakes during the process. Next time you are styling or choosing the right dress for a wedding, keep these tips in mind.

Dressing for a wedding
From Ankara to lace, to beautiful gowns, dressing for a wedding could be pretty hard. Here are simple tips to keep in mind.

  • Never wear white: wearing white same as the bride is albeit disrespectful and offensive, you are there to celebrate her day, not to steal the spotlight. Every color is yours to choose from, but white is reserved only for the bride.
  • Keep it simple: All attention should be on the bride on her wedding, not your flamboyant head tie. You want to make sure she’s the center of attention, don’t distract anyone with your jangling gold jewelries. If you are going in native, with a big head tie or colorful patterns, keep it simple with the jewelries, pearls, beads, and gold or diamond pieces.
  • Consider the location: if it’s indoors, your clothing should be a bit semi-formal, so no jeans for guys. Go for chinos or pantsuit and long-sleeved shirts or native attire. For girls, no jeans either nor sky-high heels.
  • Checks: Check the invitation for dress or color codes, if there are any, throw in the colors with accessories or bags or your head tie, don’t follow the dress code with your whole outfit else you might end up matching or blending with the table cloths and decorations.
  • If you don’t want to wear native, go for a dress either knee length, maxi or midi and a nice pair of heels and purse. You can also pair a skirt with a nice blouse. If you must wear trousers, go for suit pants and a floral blouse, no leggings allowed here.
  • Keep your hair up or tied up at the back, no loose or big hair. Keep the makeup simple and clean no exaggerated eyebrows, cat eye or bright eye shadow.
  • Determine the weather: if it’s sunny, bring along your sunglasses and don’t wear too much layers of clothing or a suit jacket to avoid drenching in sweat.
Remember, no plunging necklines, big bags, super short dresses or bold jewelries, the bride is the boss and all attention should be on her. Keep it simple and say cheese.

  No whites...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Back to the Beginning: Cosmetics

Hello friends in continuation of the series, "Back to the Beginning", Oluchi Opara talks about cosmetics, its purpose and history. What does it matter when all I do is makeup, rub my Mary Kay, and off I go? Well if you are one of those that studies every manual from the index page to the very end or like me that quickly glances through, this article is for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Purpose of cosmetics
It is a common desire in any society of individuals to improve the perception others have of them. This urge is often born of a desire to create sufficient attention to draw a mate or at least be appealing to improve your prospects. Different societies and cultures have always held different ideas of beauty and throughout the centuries, these ideas have changed according to the changes in the society itself.
The rate of change in fashion and beauty ideas closely parallels the increase in information dissemination through our media sources. Fashion trends changed slowly in those days where the only newsreels were at the cinema and monthly magazines. As televisions emerged and grew in popularity, people were suddenly able to see images in their homes and the need to keep the viewers interested meant that television stars were constantly appearing with new looks to maintain their appeal. This gave our society a constant stream of new looks to envy and emulate.

Brief History of Cosmetics and Makeup
ANCIENT EGYPTIANS: Ancient Egyptians and Cleopatra were believed to be some of the first to use cosmetics as far back as 400BC. Egyptians would fill in their brows and line their eyes with KOHL (a cream made from the fat of sheep mixed with powdered lead or antimony and soot). Ancient Egyptians were also known to take baths in milk and honey to soften and beautify their skins from head to toe.

ROMANS AND GREEKS: Around 100AD, the Romans stayed beautiful by using wine as a cheek stain and painted their faces and bodies with chalk to achieve a pale whitish look. They created acne treatment by combining barley flour and butter. The Romans also dyed their hair, but they used lye (a strong solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide in water) causing many people to lose their hair and forcing them to wear wigs. The Greeks stained their lips and cheeks using vermillion and the juice from berries. They darkened their lashes with black incense.

THE MIDDLE AGES: unlike today where looking tanned is not healthy in the middle age being pale in vogue. Women wanted to look pale so badly that they allowed themselves to be painted or even bled in order to achieve the colorless look. Tattoos became popular during this age and time in addition to colored eye shadow such as blue, green, gray, and brown.

THE 15th -16th CENTURIES: during this period, royalty and their court were the ones using cosmetics. Fragrance was becoming popular in France and whitening products were being used for the face. Whitening products were composed of carbonate, hydroxide and lead oxide-ingredients that were stored in the body, causing physical problems that sometimes resulted in muscle paralysis or death.

THE 1800's: by the 1800s almost all social classes wore cosmetics but many products still contained toxic ingredients. Eye shadows and lip stain contained poisonous ingredients like mercuric sulfide and belladonna. Zinc oxide, which is still used today, was introduced as a facial powder to replace deadly arsenic versions.

THE 1990s: During the 1900s, the commercial cosmetics industry began to grow substantially. In 1913 mascara that's packaged as we know it today was developed by the French chemist and perfumer EUGENE RIMMEL. This product was a bit messy and not consistent, but was non-toxic and became popular across EUROPE. In the late 1900s makeup became a way for women to express themselves. Women wore makeup that suited their style and taste, and didn't strictly stick to the trends.

PRESENT DAY: The cosmetics and beauty industries total over $20 billion in annual sales and is consistently growing. Emphasis is placed on anti-aging and looking young. Many different makeup looks from natural to dramatic, theatrical looks. Although cosmetics have changed drastically throughout the course of history, the goal to look our best remains the same. Most of us would be lost without the brilliant invention known as makeup.

Written by: Opara Faith Oluchi
Organization: FX Xculsive Hairs & makeovers    
Phone: 07063136661

Thursday, 7 November 2013

2neah by 9jafrikfashion: 5 Fashion Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

Hello friends on today's episode of 2neah by 9jafrikfashion, we have Antonia discuss some fashion mistakes you shouldn't make. I hope you enjoy it.
  • Never wear brands names head-to-toe: monogrammed name brands are very stylish and unique but should only be introduced in subtle pieces. They should not be worn from head to toe, to avoid looking like a fashion mess. So wearing a Gucci shoe, Gucci bag, Gucci belt, Gucci jacket all at once is a no!!

  • Never pair a cropped top with too short shorts: pairing a crop top with short shorts looks incredibly inappropriate. When showing that much skin, it should be balanced out with well covered bottoms. The key is to go for crop tops that are not too short or loosely fitted ones, showing just little skin will make you classy. Also, always pair your cropped tops with high waist pants.

  • Never wear denim head-to-toe: when pairing denim like a denim jacket and denim trouser, make sure they are in different washes, like a navy blue denim jacket and black denim jeans, don’t wear all blue or all black. This rule applies to both guys and girls.
This is not the proper way to wear denim, go for more classy looks and combinations.

  • Leggings and tights are not pants: leggings and tights should never be worn as pants or trousers. When pairing them, they should be worn with long and loose fitted tops. Hence, wearing leggings and a crop top or a short round neck top and leggings is a big fashion no. Keep in mind that tights or panty hose are more or less underwear.
 This is just wrong

  • Bulky jewelry: jewelry should be used reasonably and are not supposed to distract your overall look. When accessorizing, if the outfit is really loud, then tone it down with simple earrings and a thin bracelet, if it’s a really boring and plain piece, you can pull out your statement necklaces. Remember, when wearing huge statement necklaces, go with simple studs or no earrings at all.
Her accessories are too much and look to busy. Keep it subtle.

Post by: 2neah