Getting Summer Ready: With Influensters Spark VoxBox

Getting Summer Ready: With Influensters Spark VoxBox

I love experimenting with my hair, skin and makeup during the summer. I think taking a couple of months during summer to discover new techniques and routines is a perfect way to add new tricks to your beauty routine.

Just in time, I received a complimentary VoxBox from Influenster! This is actually the third beauty box I have received from Influenster but because of graduate school, I hardly had any time to review some of the products I was sent. I’m so happy I finally get to talk about how I’m using these products with you!

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Pure Silk Contour 6 Razor System

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Firstly, because it’s summer and my legs are out every 5 seconds, a shave is an absolute must. Granted, I’m not a really hairy person but I love a smooth shave and a good razor. This razor was pretty fun to use because it has dual moisture bars at each end of the head. This means that I didn’t need to use a shaving cream because it moisturizes the skin as I shaved and avoided any nicks or cuts. It was really convenient to use and I just loved how cute the pink packaging was!

Live Clean Coconut Milk Lotion

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Once I’ve gotten a clean shave, I pop on my Live Clean coconut milk moisturizing lotion. It’s a light weight body cream that hydrates and restores the moisture balance to dry skin. This is perfect for me because I’m obsessed with body lotion. My skin gets dry really quickly after a shower/shave so I always need a moisturizer.

That being said, I think the hallmark of a good body lotion is being able to moisturize the skin without being too oily or greasy. This lotion is all of that! It also does not have any overpowering scent and it lasts long. It has also become my new leg lotion to pop on before heading out of the house.

Swisspers 100% Cotton Makeup Removal Wipes

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Lets face it: it’s sweltering hot in summer and because of this, I usually need to take off my slimy makeup at the end of the day. I usually look like melted chocolate by this time. LOl.  I’ve been using Swisspers 100% cotton makeup removal wipes to take off my makeup. These wipes are very soft and they remove my foundation and eye makeup nicely. But they’re unfortunately no match for my waterproof mascara! However I don’t mind since I’d usually shower in a few hours!

Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal Foam Conditioner

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This conditioner is possibly the least favourite product I was sent by Influenster. Not because it doesn’t work, but because I have no use for this conditioner on my “actual” hair at the moment. I am in the process of getting dreadlocks on my natural hair and I am supposed to be avoiding conditioners at this time. Because of this, I can’t use conditioners. This makes me slightly sad because this conditioner smells heavenly. But overall I’m just happy to not be using too products on my hair at the moment!

There is still use for this product though, I own an unhealthy amount of human hair wigs  so they definitely need conditioning lol. The conditioner is really light weight and is meant to be used in the shower and rinsed off. It’s a mouse like consistency and it conditions fine-hair without weighing it down!

That’s it for the Influenster Spark Voxbox products! Have you tried any of these products? Whats your summer go to beauty product?

 

 

 

3 Things That Made Me Accept My Natural Hair

I have had a complicated relationship with my hair. I grew up in a society that did not accept my natural hair, afro’s or dreadlocks. Straight silky hair was right and kinky hair was wrong. Right from when I was little, I went to the salon every three weeks to get a relaxer. Now if you don’t know what a relaxer is it’s a strong chemical that you put on your hair to straighten it permanently. I had extremely coarse and thick hair that my mother couldn’t comb so this was the best option at the time. Also, everyone was doing it so it was not a big deal.

I think most people can agree that relaxers are more harmful than good. The hair relaxers always burnt my scalp (yes, chemical burns on my scalp!!) but I always loved the straight silky look I got when I wore a relaxer.

I never knew what my actual hair looked like. I always had the impression that my hair was some sort of untamable beast that needs a relaxer unless all my hair would fall out.  It was unthinkable not relaxing my hair!

I also thought that people who had natural hair were dirty, lazy and god forbid they had dreadlocks. This was years of conditioning where I grew up where your natural hair was not appreciated.

 

3 things that made me accept my natural hair

Breaking the Stereotype

The first time I saw a woman with natural hair was on YouTube. Shoutout to Karen aka Glamfun. She looked beautiful, and she looked like me!! Could I really have hair like that? I decided to go natural because I was tired of using weaves as a crutch. I didn’t like the fact that I felt less of a woman once I didn’t have a weave on and felt the need to hide or compensate with more makeup!

It was then and there that I decided to go natural! It wasn’t always an easy journey but reminding myself of these three things finally made me accept my natural hair and love it for what it is!

  1. Your hair is a unique representation of you

Absolutely no ones hair can be the same. Your hair is designed perfectly for you. It’s adapted to your skin colour, your weather, even the colour of your eyes. Your hair has a personality of its own and you should never compare list for list with another persons hair. Using a natural hair typing system may be only part of the equation but just because you and someone have the same hair type does not mean you can do the same things on your hair and have the same results! It will always look different. Embrace its uniqueness cause that is you.

    2. Get preconceived notions of what you think “good hair” should look like out of your mind

I’ve learnt that healthy hair is good hair. Healthy hair always looks good no matter what texture, color or length. Once you remove unrealistic expectations of what you think your hair should look like and accept it for what it is, it will be great! I used to admire people who had long flowing locks of hair and hated natural hair. The self-hatred and conditioning was real ladies! Now I appreciate all hair types, but I have a special admiration for afro’s. They’re just a special breed awesomeness!

On days that I think my hair looks like absolute shit, I get 1000 compliments on it. So never think your hair is ugly because it’s not what you think it should look like!


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3. Stop obsessing over your hair length

When I first went natural I was obsessed with growing my hair long. I always had 16 inch weaves so to go from that to short hair was very challenging for me. I also felt like I had to grow my hair long because my hair had been grazing my neck my whole life and I wanted to prove to someone I could grow it long for some reason. This led me to do arduous things that I didn’t like only because it would give me long hair. Instead of enjoying my hair at every step of its journey, I was always obsessing over it. As long as your hair is healthy, it will grow!

Now I pretty much don’t care about having long hair. I’m even contemplating cutting it shorter because it’s so much more easier to manage! In the end, your hair is an extension of you. Accepting it may not always be easy, but once you do it is extremely liberating.

Thank you so much for reading! If you would like see one of the ways I take care of my natural hair check out my Ultimate Routine For Thick, Curly Hair!

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Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette Review + Swatch On Dark Skin

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette Review + Swatch On Dark Skin

It’s no secret that I’m a massive lover of the Urban Decay makeup line. However that has never stopped me from being totally honest on if a palette disappoints me or not. Which was how I felt about the moondust palette which I did a review on here. I completely hate that palette on my skin tone.

I decided to give UD a second chance and do a the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette review because although I saw a lot of beauty bloggers do reviews on this palette, I haven’t seen a lot of swatches/reviews from women of colour (w.o.c.) on the blogosphere! I know how difficult it can be for W.O.C to find a decent review/swatch so here I am!

Even if you aren’t a W.O.C, this review can still be helpful because if a colour does not work on my skin tone, it will most likely be gorgeous on you and vice versa! So I hope you enjoy this review!

The Packaging

The packaging is very similar to the three other Naked palettes. It comes with 12 mini palettes shades in a rectangular pack with a full sized mirror and eyeshadow brush. I happen to like the Urban Decay palette packaging a lot. It’s easy to travel with and the eyeshadow brush is top notch. However UD palettes are notorious for scattering once you drop them. It’s very disheartening when I drop my palette by mistake and all the mini pans fall out with the shadows destroyed. So if you own this palette be extra careful not to drop it!

Naked Heat Shades

OUNCE (ivory shimmer)

I always try to avoid the lightest shades in eyeshadow palettes as a dark skinned woman because it’s so easy for it to turn out looking ashy. But this one actually doesn’t appear jarring on my skin. I love the light shimmery tone on my skin. It’s also similar to a pearl colored highlighter so it’s perfect for using it under your brow bone or inner tear duct.

CHASER (light nude matte)

I don’t like this color. As I said before, I avoid light colors because I’ll look ashy. Although it’s described as a nude, this nude will suit a light skinned person as opposed to someone dark. It just appears ashy on my skin. Next!

SAUCED (soft terra-cotta matte)

This is cute! I has a soft, peachy, rust shade on my skin so I quite like this one. I think this will do well as a transition shade or even the main shade on your lid if you’re looking for something light!

LOW BROW ( Brown Matte)

This is described as a brown matte but it’s actually a brown nude! It’s like a soft brown color on my skin so I quite like this one. Transition shade anyone?

LUMBRE (copper shimmer w/gold pearl shift)

This is a gorgeous copper shimmer shade! It will definitely have a multipurpose use because it’s great for the lid, brow bone and even inner tear duct.

HE DEVIL (burnt red matte)

This is a very unique red shade that I’ve never actually seen before! I didn’t cross my mind that red could be used as an eyeshadow color but I love this one. It also happens to look gorgeous on my skin tone! It looks great with the Lumbre paired together so I will definitely be using these two together!

DIRTY TALK (metallic burnt red)

I think this is the metallic equivalent of He Devil but I’m not sure I like this one. It has a muted color so it is not really accentuating my skin tone. I will use this sparingly!

SCORCHED (metallic deep red w/gold micro-shimmer)

Now this is the metallic equivalent I was looking for! This actually looks somewhat purple on me so it complements my skin tone nicely.

CAYENNE (deep terra-cotta matte)

Very deep matte mauve shade. It’s perfect for blending and transitioning! Not too dark too.

EN FUEGO (burgundy matte)

A darker deep red shade similar to Cayenne. I think this can be worn fully on the lid for a smoky eye and on the crease too!

ASHES (deep reddish-brown matte)

This looks very dark and more purple than reddish brown. Although I like dark eyeshadow colors, I never really know how to work it. It’s not my favourite I may not reach for this as often.

EMBER (deep metallic copper-burgundy)

This is a lovely copper shade that I’ve never actually seen before. Imagine the colour of the Rose Gold iPhone, but on your lids. It does have a grainy consistency so it doesn’t feel as smooth as the other shades.

FORMULA / SWATCH

The formula of the eyeshadow is also amazing as usual. It’s creamy, pigmented and lasts forever on the eyes. It also glides on very smoothly on my arm and blends out beautifully. I have no issues with blending the palette. Some of the shades have a grainier texture, but it does not hamper the blend ability of the shadow!

SHOULD YOU BUY THIS?

I think the only reservations one may have about the palette is the actual usage of the palette because it does not seem to be a palette that you can use everyday. Most of the looks you can create with this palette look more appropriate for the summer. Because of this, is the $54 dollar price tag worth it?

I bought this palette because I basically live in a country that has summer-like weather all year long. Because of this, it won’t look out of place if you’re wearing such warm colours. I am not entirely sure how this palette pans out in the winter time. So this is something to put into consideration when trying to purchase the palette. It’s perfect for summer and fall, but winter is something I’m still on the fence about!

THE VERDICT

Yes I like this palette! I think it’s a great addition to the Naked collection and there are some really unique shades that are here. I especially love the reddish shades because I’ve never encountered a red eyeshadow shade before. It’s really unique and captures the essence of the “Heat” name. It is a beautiful palette and I think I will purchase this again.

How To Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

I think red lipstick is the quintessential makeup product that every woman should own. Red lipstick makes a woman instantly more bold and makes her exude much more confidence!  I wear red lipstick often because it looks great on any makeup look and it makes me look more powerful!

Finding the perfect shade of red lipstick is a game of trial and error. However, as long as you don’t go too orange or too dark, most red lipsticks are universally flattering. I also did a post on my guide to the perfect nude lipstick! So if you are struggling with finding your perfect shade, I’ve got you covered!

Find The Perfect Shade Of Red Lipstick

It’s important to know what type of lipstick look you want when finding the perfect shade of red lipstick. There many types of red lipstick shades. These include lipsticks with blue undertones, orange reds and true reds. There are also lip glosses, lipsticks or tinted lip creams. How these colours perform on your skin depends highly on your skin color or undertone.

I personally do not use skin undertone advice when it comes to choosing lipstick colours because I’ve found that the advice does not work for me! It can also be very overwhelming and confusing for a beginner who is new to makeup to try to understand skin undertones. I also believe that all skin tones can pull off any light or dark lipstick colour as long as their skin tone is taken into consideration.

Getting Practical

My best advice to find the perfect shade of red lipstick is to always to try a cheap alternative of what you think would look good on you. I always try drug store alternatives to get an idea of what lipstick colour I like before making the splurge on more expensive alternatives. Go to a drug store that allows samples and try a few lipstick shades. Try a dark red, a true red and an orange coloured lipstick if you’re feeling adventurous. Taking swatches on your hand is also a great way to know if the colour is flattering or not. If it looks like it accentuates your skin tone then it is probably a good lipstick match. If it is too bright or deep, it would probably not look good on your skin tone!

But don’t be afraid to try a bright lip color! As long as you have a darker lip liner, you can line the outer corner of your lips to create an ombre effect and make any lipstick colour wearable!

Orange lipsticks are too bright on me so if you have a similar skin tone to me this is something to keep in mind!  The lipstick colours that flatter me the most are usually deep but I have begun to gravitate towards true reds because they look more eye-catching!

M.A.C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour – Feels So Grand

This is one of my new favourite lip colours because it dries into a matte finish and it is a very eye-catching red. This colour is a classic red lip colour which is timeless in my opinion. I also love how bright it appears on my skin!  My only con about this lipstick is that it’s quite drying. It is expected though because most liquid lipsticks are drying. It doesn’t flake though so that’s a plus!

M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick – Ruby Woo

This used to be my absolute favourite lipstick. It is a vivid blue red lipstick that is creamy with a matte finish. I always reached for this lipstick any time I wanted to wear a red so it’s extremely versatile. The reason why I’m using this less now is because I want a flashier red! Which is why I bought Feels So Grand.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick – Kiss Of Life

I usually don’t like drugstore lipsticks (liquid lipsticks on the other hand…) but this one is actually a dupe for Mac’s ruby woo. It’s also a blue red lipstick with but this has a creamy matte finish so if you are looking for a more affordable red lipstick this is the one for you!

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss – Black Ruby

This lip gloss is very shimmery and reminds me of christmas because it’s such a festive colour that’s perfect for the holidays. I love the depth of the colour and how easy it is to apply the gloss. It also lasts super long and it isn’t too sticky or tacky on the lips!

Now that you have an idea of how to find the perfect shade of red lipstick, you’ll be rocking gorgeous lip colours in no time! I hope this post was helpful for you. Thank you so much for reading!

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag: Autumn

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag: Autumn

I took a blogging hiatus this week because I had been in a whirlwind of packing for my trip to Orlando! I haven’t been as active on social media because I’m just enjoying the holiday and I kept on messing up my blogging schedules because of the time difference.

Thankfully I am now in the sunshine state of Florida! It’s not so sunny right now because it’s September and officially the start of autumn! I’m happy about the mellow weather because I always got unsightly tan marks whenever I was in the sun.

Finding the essential products to pack on my trip was such a hassle because I knew I was going to buy new makeup, but I still wanted to pack makeup that looks good and will look versatile for any occasion that may arise. I didn’t mention everything I have here but I am mentioning some new products and old favorites!

Illamaqua lipstick in ESP

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I’m usually not a big coloured lipstick wearer because it is so difficult to find a shade that I actually like on me. However, this purple lipstick is one of my favourites. I also think Autumn is a perfect time to wear deeper shades but this shade can be worn beautifully in summer too!

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

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My favourite foundation. Need I say more? Do I even need to elaborate? This foundation is my whole life. It makes my skin look flawless and I just love the matte finishing it gives. I also don’t break out using this foundation in the summer. I will definitely keep repurchasing this again!

Urban Decay NAKED 3 Palette

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I love the Naked 3 Palette because it is extremely versatile and very wearable on any type of outfit. It’s a shimmery rose, gold nude palette that matches with everything I wear. There is no strong color that can’t be worn in this palette which is why it’s what I always go for when I’m travelling on a trip!

Lip Balm

I’m absolutely obsessed with lip balm and it’s something that I can’t leave my house without. My lips always get super dry when I’m traveling so I always need to have a lipbalm on hand to prevent cracks! I’m currently using a massive pot of Vaseline to keep my lips nice and soft.

L’Oreal Luminous Mascara

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This is my first time trying this mascara and I am quite impressed. I usually don’t try most drug store mascaras because the wands are super frustrating and they always suck at separating my lashes. However this mascara has a curved wand which I discovered was the best wand shape of for my short, curved lashes. It’s also super pigmented and makes me look like I’m wearing false lashes. My only con is that it clumpy so I have to go over my lashes a couple of times to get it to look smooth!

Maybelline Eye Studio Pot Liner

In currently trying out a different type of liner because I’m so used to using pen liners and I like the look of the pot liner gives. This liner is waterproof and pigmented/creamy. It doesn’t smudge once its dry so its been pretty good to use. The only issue I have with it is the fact that I suck at doing a wing with this liner so I’ve been sticking to the simple wingless liner for now. I’m probably going to buy a new liner soon because I love doing my wings!

That’s it for my travel makeup! I hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe you could discover some new makeup. I’m enjoying switching up my look and these makeup products are perfect for that!

I have finally moved to a self hosted platform so I am currently moving my site to thepearlylife.com! If you are currently subscribed to me don’t worry, I will migrate all my followers to my new site so you don’t need to do anything. If you aren’t subscribed, please do so you don’t miss any updates from me!

Thank you so much for reading!

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The Foundation Tip That Changed My Makeup Game

The Foundation Tip That Changed My Makeup Game

I always dreaded crowded or hot places because once I started sweating my makeup seemed to glide right off my face. My foundation also sat on my face instead of being an extension of my face. I spent hundreds of dollars on foundations and setting powders in the hopes that I would be able to avoid a foundation mishap outside. Setting powders helped for a bit, but it did not give me the flawless look I so desperately wanted to have. It wasn’t until I discovered this makeup tip that my makeup game took a complete 180!

The commonly accepted way of applying makeup is wearing Primer, Foundation/concealer then Powder. But what if I told you I apply my foundation as Primer, Powder then Foundation.

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I know I sound crazy,  I thought it was completely crazy at first. Why would anyone wear powder before foundation? I actually discovered this technique from a video by Wayne Goss on YouTube. Wayne Goss is a makeup artist who gives a lot of unorthodox advice about makeup which actually works. Once I started using this tip my makeup does not budge. I live in Nigeria which is basically summer 24/7 and even in this very hot weather my makeup does not budge. This technique also made my makeup appear more smooth and flawless which is a double plus!

First Step – Prime

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Moisturise your skin and apply a pump or two of primer all over your face. I use GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer.  Primer is a really good makeup product that will allow your foundation look more smooth because it fills in your pores. Instead of having the foundation sit on your face, the primer will give the foundation an even base to work with. If you have dry skin, this step is very important for avoiding a cakey makeup look.

Second Step – Powder

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Using a powder brush, apply a light coat of powder all over your face. The more coverage the powder has, the better because this means you will not need to use a lot of foundation in the next step. The powder fills in the lines in your skin and allows the base for the foundation to be smooth and actually settle as opposed to gliding and sliding everywhere. I’ve been using Mac Studio Finish powder in NC 55.

Third Step – Foundation

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Because you applied powder before which has a bit of coverage, you will notice that you do not need a lot of foundation in this step. I literally only need 2-3 pumps of foundation at most. Which is great because I don’t like using a lot of foundation. I just apply a bit on a foundation brush and rub in circles all over my face till it is evenly applied! I’m using my all time favourite foundation Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation.

Final Step (Optional) – Powder

If you have oily skin or you just want more coverage, lightly apply powder on your T-zone or all over your face. Do not apply too much powder here to avoid your face looking cakey!

That’s it! I have been following this makeup tip consistently for a couple of months and my makeup game has seriously stepped up a notch. I no longer carry a powder to retouch my makeup throughout the day, I have minimal shine and my face looks more flawless. It was a truly life changing tip!

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I challenge you to try this tip for a few days and see how it fares. Thank me later. Or better yet, thank the makeup guru Wayne Goss!

Have you tried this tip?

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My Not So Secret Beauty Cleanser For Flawless Skin

My Not So Secret Beauty Cleanser For Flawless Skin

I am one of those odd unicorns that has skin that can be classified as  “Normal”. It is neither Dry nor Oily and it’s definitely not Combination. I can humbly say that I have been blessed by the skin gods when it comes to that aspect. But although I had it easier in this area, I was plagued by hyper pigmentation and millions of tiny zits on my forehead. They were even more pronounced when I wear foundation!

I tried so many different skin care products and spent hundreds of dollars on cleansers, toners and masks in the hopes that it would remove some of the acne I was experiencing. As I bought many different products, I began to realise that my skin responded better to products that other people considered harsh. Toners that would normally dry out peoples skin were absolutely perfect for me. Cleansers that were too strong were not even strong at all on my face. I came to the realisation that my skin needed a strong but natural product to help tame the horrendous acne I was experiencing. This lead to my discovery of a Black African soap called Dudu Osun!

Dudu Osun has been here for as long as I can remember. In secondary school, I saw girls use this soap religiously and I wondered why anyone in their right mind would use a soap that is black. Fast forward to my Uni days in Manchester, after spending a lot of money on a cleanser that that didn’t work, I decided to find an affordable alternative which led me to the back of an African Caribbean store where I discovered Dudu Osun!

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I initially did not use it on my face, but once my cleanser ran out, in a moment of desperation I used this soap. I loved it so much that I stopped using that cleanser and started using Dudu Osun. I haven’t looked back since.

Dudu Osun is made up of all natural ingredients including shea butter, honey, aloe vera, osun (Camwood), palm kernel oil, cocoa pod ash, palm bunch ash, lime juice and lemon juice. With so many lovely natural ingredients included I am not surprised it is doing wonders on my skin.

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Something that I have noticed is that Dudu Osun is a strong soap. Do not get it in your eyes. I have made that mistake a couple of times and it was not fun getting it out. It is very harsh. It’s probably the reason why it works on my skin. lol

Dudu Osun is also a pimple zapper. Once I spot a pimple and I use it, the next day it is visibly smaller. It is also a preventative measure for future acne because it has antibacterial properties. I now have virtually no acne spots on my skin and I also have minimal acne scaring! I’m assuming this is because of the lemon and lime which have natural bleaching properties.

Dudu Osun is also extremely affordable in Nigeria and abroad. In the UK, a pack of 6 costs £6. Which is £1 per soap! I am now a big believer of not spending stupendous amount of money on beauty products when you can find one just as good (or even better) in a drugstore or market.

Most skin care products are down to trial and error so even though I may be raving about this product, it may not work for you. However, since it is affordable and most people that have tried it like it, it is definitely worth a buy!

You can find Dudu Osun at most African Caribbean stores or African markets. If you’d rather not go there you can order it directly on Amazon.

I hope you enjoyed this post! This soap is really my secret weapon for flawless skin. I really don’t worry about acne anymore and it is an amazing thing to check off your list!

Thank you for reading! Have you tried Dudu Osun? What did you think of it? 

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