fulfillment, life

A few tips

Well, I seem to be doing this often.
The carrots and sticks game.
I put up this interesting topic and then I dont type anything
It is funny.

This is because I don’t think the thought processes behind what I want to say are fully completed.
This post was supposed to be about life, forging ahead and making it but does anyone really want to hear anything from someone who doesnt seem to have it all together ?
This is what I have often thought.
In exposing yourself to the world and in doing so, may encourage someone who May not be as well oft as I am now because by varying degrees of proportion there are levels to everything.
Even in being a failure in life there are levels.
The big question is ,

What is making you fail ?
What do you need to do to be on the right track and are you doing it ?
If you are to study to pass exams, did you study ?
How are your distractions helping you move forward ?

About distractions,
I once thought this blog was a distraction.
Back then I became concerned about stats although the major reason why I started this blog wasn’t for stats but I got caught up.
Yes, steph obi said something about your blog remaining a blog and a side hustle juat because you didnt want to work hard and focus and make it real.
For me, this blog fulfills the roles of allowing me write which is something I always loved doing and also talking about skincare, creams which I absolutely love.

I don’t live a fancy glamourous life which is what most people tend to expect of bloggers.
I don’t review makeup or do makeup looks because in all honesty and truth I do not wear makeup as often as a girl should.
It tires me out.
80% of the time I am barefaced.
I have far too many makeup brushes for someone who doesn’t wear makeup all the time.
The least I am doing now after protests from close big aunties is lamora kabuki brush and mac pressed powder in a little purse in my bag.
Benefit lipgloss which is nude.
I am the girl in sneakers, lounge pants and a tshirt at the airport or wearing a long gown and sandals who carries only one black bag for seven months even though I have several bags.
I have spots from breakouts.
I am not flawless.
I think lipstick doesnt look nice on me but I wear it sometimes all the same.

I went off my blog for a year or alnost a year to sort things out with my postgraduate work.
It didnt end up any better than when I was blogging actively.
This blog is a part of my life and I regret not sharing posts of all the products I used when I was in my self proclaimed hiatus.

This post should be on zoehugs because that is where I do all the encouraging stuff. I used to run 3blogs at a time in my life.
Zoehugs was a daily devotional and loiss was my locked passworded blog.
These days, I’m just here.
Because I find that in walking with God sometimes you need trials to come back and have something to say to others.

If I lose the means by which I redeem my mental faculties, my life indeed will cease to gain meaning.
So many things keep us sane.

Find yours and never leave it alone.

Uncategorized

Target beauty box august

Oh dear, beauty boxes.

I will explain

You get samples and sometimes full sized products of stuff to try out after paying a sum of money that cannot buy the individual items together. Thats a summary.
It’s like a beauty trial process
I love beauty boxes because I get to actually try out some of the stuff I want to use without investing in a full size bottle.
When I’m running out of shampoo, beauty box to the rescue. No hair mask ? Same.
No eyeliner ? I’ve never used any of the eyeliners that come with them. He hehe.  Always give them out.

So target launched their beauty box about three months ago.
I think this month september is their third box.
I ordered the box soon as I got in but I wish it was a recurrent subscription because after leaving, i couldnt get anyone to buy the september box for me on time.
Also, the target app is a mess.
A serious mess.

Back to our story.
August box came with  the following items
I had it shipped to the house where I was on vacation. Thanks  aunty nike. I love you adoringly.

1. Clairol hair food mask.. have used this and I love it. Very soft hair afterwards.
2. Cover girl lash blast mascara
3.olay active botanicals face wash 3mls
4.olay active botanicals toner
5. Fekkai hair serum with spf
6.crest 3d whitening strips upper and lower x1
7. $3 pff $15 at target on hair beauty and makeup

This box cost me $7 altogether and I dont need to emphasise how much I think my money was well spent.
Now.looking forward to when I can offer this same joy to everyone around me.
Catch ya.

Uncategorized

Braids out, wash day

image

It wasnt a full on hair wash day like most people who are into hair.
I have tried to keep my hair regimen as simple as possible.
After the last update over a year ago I tried texturising for a long time.
I lost 6inches of hair to that experiment.
Its a long story but it started with the cantu relaxer I reviewed.

I got my hair somewhat under control, breakage had stopped  but I put braids in about 9 weeks ago.
Listen I regularly braid my hair and it has been one of the ways I achieve growth but this was epic.
I lost so much hair today.
I always take braids out dry and comb carefully as each braid comes off.
I usually take them out alone.
No thanks, no help . please
This was a lot so I had some help.
But we used hands only.

It Took a day and some to remove everything and I immediately applied this clairol hair mask pictured above. It is a wonderful mask without parabens or mineral oil.
I kept on with a conditioning cap for 5hours then washed out with ors creamy aloe shampoo and dove soap yep.
The ors has sulphate and I immediately felt the drying effect of it.

I used keracare humecto conditioner as a rinse out then applied eden body works leave in.
Lastly I smoothed a drop or two of the new lottabody setting lotion with shea and coconut oil and I am currently air drying after chopping off one extra inch to control breakage.
My hair is now completely at shoulder level. I still have curly ends from my texturising experiment with the middle relaxed and 1inch of new growth.
I didnt lose my edges or rather, they grew back and I must say I am not going to be obsessed about my hair in a while.
Thank you please.
Here’s pictures of
1. Forever 21 tangle teezer which I use to soread shampoo Into the hair and scrub my scalp.

image

Continue reading “Braids out, wash day”

life, trends

Running a business..

Any business.
Not just a fledgling one in Nigeria.
This is not a blog post.
Unfortunately, if you were expecting me to dish out on the things you thought you were going to hear, I’m so sorry.

It is rather a  thank you post.
To everyone who reads this blog and comments,those of you who have patronised skinplus,encouraged us and kept us going even when we wanted to quit because believe me there were those times.
The post you thought I was writing will come. It surely will.
There are a lot of lessons I have learnt and still am.
A lot of disappointments and new knowledge gained thereof.
By the special grace of God we will still be here in many years to come.

A few tips
A.Register your business name with the cac.
Total cost is about 12,000 naira.
Without this you cannot get a corporate account.

B. Get a tax pin from firs or state irs
C. Make a seal/stamp for your business

1.Unless you have money to spend, diy can work just fine for you.
I paid someone called impressions grafix akita ita to make a logo for me.
One year later, no functional logo.
We are still talking about corrections to be made on the first samples he sent which were never made despite clearing up the said areas he didnt understand.
The logo I use now I made online and downloaded a jpg, and other file formats.
Some people charge as much as 50,000naira for logo design.
If you have enough to spare by all means, do so. If you do not please google is your friend.

2. Web hosting
If you have the time, find a host like wordpress.org that offers ecommerce integrated into the sites so all you need are plugins. It costs 2.95 monthly in dollars to host and use wordpress.org but there is a free paypal checkout with it.
For those of you who have paypal nigeria you can’t accept payments but contact me to find out how you can open a paypal us account.

Shopify is a good webhost that carries a large number of shops but costs $12 monthly.
A startup can’t afford that unless you are selling something serious and you have the sales to boot.
I personally was unable to keep up with my payments by the second month because I had not finished setting up the store. The second time my trial got extended on the wrong store but I still kept my domain name.

You can upload products yourself on a site hosted by a bigger company
If you do not have money to fund payment solutions, open a corporate account with gtb and enroll on the sme hub.
Diamond bank has an sme hub and although my business account is domiclled with them, I will be using gtb sme hub.it is the most reliable means of getting your products online cost effectively.
There are other website builders and servers in nigeria but I do not have experience with them.
In terms of customer care and support I do not know how they will fare.
With shopify I can send up to 5 emails daily which are responded to immediately and they give you clear instructions on what to do.
I have been able to do some things I never thought possible because I am not originally an info tech person.

3. Have mentors.
There is a difference between someone you admire and someone who mentors you.
Please take note of this.
In this regard, I will say
I have gotten tips and pointers and help from sizzelle of sizzling mummy
She has been of the most help to me. If she wasnt so far away I am most certain she would have been the agony aunt.
I also have gotten a lot of help from natural nigerian.
After the first nitc she trusted me enough to have my products in my store for which I am grateful.
I appreciate brands (indigenous) who turned me down when I asked to stock their products for whatever reason.
Those incidents made me realise I had to work harder to be where I want skinplus to be.
The bigger foreign brands are more friendly towards starters and they always reply you with information you need.
I find that stocking nigerian products is more stressful than foreign ones.
It is nice to build a business that doesnt depend on importation but despite how much I really want to be indigenous and all, you are less likely to be turned down by a foreign brand.
This is the truth.
I have had talks with a number of people some who have called me up and others I contacted. There are times when you hear the minimum purchase for wholesale prices and you give up.
When you consider that some of those businesses are starting out too you think she needs money too and I don’t have that money to do this. You give up.
Some brands actually lower their minimum for you to start off with and someone like nn was a great help to me.
In recent times a lot of help has come through tony elumelu foundation, you win and she leads africa for both mentoring and capital for business. I havent benefited from any of these programmes but it certainly gives me hope.

4.On that note, every business requires capital without which you are stuck.
Unless people are paying for your services, it will be difficult.
A business that offers services in order to grow, will grow fast.
If you have something related to what you choose to do that xan be offered for sale,by all means make something out of it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.if you dont have mega startup capital go slowly.
It took bmpro years of hard work to get to where she is.

5. Social media.
Interact, open social media accounts, sell yourself and your brand.
Social media comes here because I met those two people I mentioned on social media.

6. Be willing to sacrifice for your business. Dont live big and spend big when you have not achieved something worthwhile.
I really like banke meshida for this. Despite how successful she is, she never seems overdressed, flaunting property or assesories or living large.
There is a trick to this. The people you serve don’t want to look like they are beneath your class because you need their money.
If you keep yourself way up there, you will not only lose out on the potential clients but you will eat up all your capital.
Nobody like hautiness and pride.
Keep it simple for the sake if your business.

7. Tax and bills
Every business is out to make money.
In the first few years, you really wont be making any.
It may be different but there are bills to pay. You need to be sure you can oay those bills. Keep serious.
Stay abreast of your obligations to the government.

This isnt by any means all of what I have learnt in the time I have been doing skinplusng.
There is a lot more and I am also willing to learn extra.

This month, we will be doing a giveaway.
As the blog and as a business.
Do keep your eyes open for that.
Thank you!

Uncategorized

Shoptomydoor review

This has been a long time coming.i get a lot of stuff from outside the country.
Both foodstuff I would like to try and other items that are relatively cheaper to buy on my own from outside .

Shoptomydoor is a cargo consolidation service that operates primarily from the us but have warehouses in china and in the uk.
Getting an account is easy and free.
Once you register you get an address and a unit number to which all your parcels are forwarded.
Combined with a paypal account, the world is practically your oyster.
They ship by air and by sea and shipments take approximately two weeks to get to Nigeria.
You have free space for 3weeks after the first parcel arrives.
After 3weeks you pay .1$ per item in the warehouse.

Shipping is quoted immediately your parcel is updated in the warehouse and you pay with a Mastercard; visa, paypal.
Parcels are delivered to your door address or pickup locations around the country.

I have used them several times and this is my 2kobos

1. Customer service difficulties. .a lot of the staff there do not even understand how their business runs so they cannot solve customer problems.

You need to be resilient and very internet savvy to use shoptomydoor
You have to upload invoices, track and ensure that your shipments are consolidated when they ought to be as I have had to repeatedly email them sometimes 2x daily to correct issues.
One of such consolidation issues is still pending as at now.

It can be difficult at first to understand their billing system but eventually you get the hang of it
Sometimes you get replies and I’m sorry to say but you wonder if the person on the other end even thinks.

2. They use dimensional weight which means your parcel may weigh 1kg but you can pay for the weight of 5kg if the dimensions are as so.
Myus.com ships based on weight alone but because they use fedex and ups, it is still the same thing as using shoptomydoor.
All your items are consolidated in one box despite the different dimensions that are measured so you pay per individual dimensions of the box the parcel comes in and then they send everything in a single box. Not fair in my opinion.

3. You need to have Skype installed because you will need to call them at some point if you get frustrated with customer service replying emails but not solving the issue at hand.
I personally feel that they need better cs personnel.
You can also call their cs in nigeria who it appears are better behaved than the ones in the usa.
But the ones in the usa are more knowledgeable about what to do and are able to track orders. The ones in nigeria have a variety of answers and it always goes like this –

A.If you choose inventory (when I didnt)
B. Madam items are uploaded are the end of the next working day (this is 5days later )

4. In the aspect of providing you a forwarding address and giving you freedom to shop from any store that can accept your card, shoptomydoor Is innovative and has managed albeit while struggling and leaving people like me angry half the time to keep afloat in a market where many have failed.

For someone who loves deals and freebies, those pains dont compare to the ability to buy a brush for $1 and have somehwere to ship it to asap.
I have had birchbox for $5, JULEP MAVEN $2.99  and countless other offers which I shipped to shoptomydoor.
I will be posting some of those offers when they come up for whoever may need to use them.

In essence, I think shoptomydoor has a lot of relevance in the marketplace today and I hope they work on being the best by ensuring their customer service is upgraded to at least a 3star experience in terms of the staff understanding how their process works and solving problems adequately.
This month alone-september, I have spent 10skype minutes and 600naira calling shoptomydoor. I emailed them just before posting this about reward points I cashed out when it wasnt up to the minimum to cash out.
There was no notice on the site and I didnt have that knowledge.
Someone replies me that the minimum cash out is 2500 points and then i should wait for a code to be generated.
That was all he had to say. I cashed out three weeks ago and yet no code but that wasnt addressed. You need to send a minimum of two emails to get a straight forward reply from them.
It is a frustrating experience.

I have sent customer care a minimum of 10 emails for september.
Update – if September was bad. October almost gave me hypertension.
I have never been this worried over a shipment before.
I had the store sending replacements of items that have been delivered but not uploaded. I feel so embarrassed.

If you feel the benefits overweigh the cons which I think too because I have no choice, sign up here.
If you are looking for a means of shipping to nigeria that you can manage by yourself as well and you can cope with their 2star customer service, enjoy

Now I must update this saying -I have listed out the good and the bad.
In the village of blind men, the one eyed man is always a king.
If you are unable to understand that
A. the internet is a free place and I have my way with words. I have both applauded this company and pointed out their flaws.
If you feel this well balanced review is not forthcoming of shoptomydoor be free to drop constructive criticism in the comments.

Try them here

Happy birthday Nigeria.
One day we wont need to import anything.

Update – I am trying out a new shipper now called
County cargo – they answer emails promptly and are very polite.
They kbow exactly what their business is about and best of all, they send your cargo to nigeria immediately it arrives.

I am also registered with hont global they are a bit slow at correspondence and registration is very thorough.
I haven’t shipped with them yet but my personal shopper uses them with only a few problems at the lagos end I have had.

Impex worldwide ships from new jersey. They are prompt and offer good service. They are the oldest usa shippers I know.