Product Review: Nature’s Gentle Touch Relaxer

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You all know I’m team #processednaturalhair, right? So recently, I’ve been feeling like something had gone wrong with my preferred relaxer brand, or maybe it was just ‘product adaptation’1, but it wasn’t as effective as it used to be.

I passively considered changing, but the question was; to which one? Relaxer isn’t something I pay premium attention to and I wasn’t about to go on a trial spree with my hair. Then I came across a Nature’s Gentle Touch ad, can’t remember exactly if it was an Instagram ad or one of the online store ads. Anyways, I researched on it, read it’s an herbal blend and all….. I decided to try it.

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My hair is the original comb breaking koko hair. Fast growing, almost unmanageable. I put it to the Nature’s Gentle Touch by Recare test, no, it was the other way round; I tested the product on my hair and I can honestly give it a positive review.

The relaxer comes in regular and super blend, I used the super formula; hooked up by my cousin CJ, applied by my regular stylist. CJ tried to get me to go to Nature Gentle Touch’s salon in VI and I was like; just to relax my hair? Lol.

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In the pack is the crème relaxer, an activator, shampoo, protein rich conditioner and leave in conditioner (in order of usage). Oh and not forgetting the pair of gloves and usage instructions.

So, James2 scooped some relaxer into a mixing bowl and activated it according to instructions. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures from the application process, not even pictures immediately after. The relaxer was applied to new growth (you all know we rarely follow the timing instructions and only wash off when it begins to burn). We used only the enclosed products for washing, conditioning and leave-in conditioning. The only different product used was original organic shea butter, which is all the hair crème I use. The hair was straightened and I was low-key impressed but held back from giving it full praise.

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Four days later and my straightened hair still looked good, I decided to review the product. This is a rare occurrence (last time it happened was in the first few applications with the previous relaxer). And typically by this time I should have had to plug in my flat iron, but no, this held through. Today is its fifth day and I can honestly give Nature’s Gentle Touch thumbs up and will gladly recommend.

You all, go try it out and let me know what you think.

1Product adaptation is whereby you are adapted to a particular product such that it looses its efficacy. Happens very often with skincare products.

2My hairstylist

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Product Review: Hegai & Esther Foundation

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I can’t remember exactly how I got to know about Hegai and Esther foundation, I think it was through Instagram and so I did my research and what I saw and heard online; I liked and I visited their studio and got one. It’s manufactured and distributed by a Nigerian company #buyNaijatogrowtheNaira, I think I saw somewhere its Paraben free, plus it has SPF 20; all these were enough to get me to try I out.

The next morning I happily got out my foundation to tryout. It had taken a lot of self-control not to wipe off the makeup of the day before and tryout my new foundation. I kind off felt I should wait till the foundation is finished before writing this review so you get the benefit of the long haul use.

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Price

The foundation retails for N4,500 (what I bought directly from Hegai and Esther), which puts it in the affordable range.

Product packaging

It came neatly packaged and sealed, came in a glass bottle with a pump. Which gave me my first cause for concern. I had to pump a few times before the product came out. They might want to look into this cos people like myself who like to get every bit of my product will not like this. By the third application I had to screw open the cover and from then on I had to open the bottle to be able to get the product out. Which I imagine is unsanitary and opening and closing daily meant getting air into the foundation, but the product stayed through to its consistency to the end (till when I couldn’t get any product anymore).

Application

The product adds promise full coverage but it’s more of a good medium; not a problem for me. It glided on smoothly and the shade I got- Carrot was a perfect fit. Could be worn with or without primer and still stay on for the full day. Black Opal Duluxe finishing powder in Neutral Light gives it the perfect finish (I love this shade).

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Me, one of the times I applied it.

Pros:

  • Good consistency
  • Slightly matte finish
  • Long wear
  • SPF 20

Cons:

  • Faulty dispensing pump

My verdict: 4.5– I would have given a perfect 5 but for the issue with the pump.

Will I buy again? Most likely, but I would love for them to fix the pump first.

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12 Beauty Resolutions You Should Keep This Year

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Hey everyone! Welcome to 2017, again. How have you been?

For our first Beauty Friday post of the year, I’m going to share 12 beauty resolutions I stumbled on and I think we all should keep this year (I know I should keep them, it’s just hard sometimes!).

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In no particular order, they are:

  1. Never, ever go to bed with makeup on. No matter how exhausted you are or how late it is: Take. It. Off. Removing your makeup can make the difference between beautiful, glowing skin and a complexion that looks dull and has clogged pores, plus, while you’re sleeping, makeup can get pushed deeper into your pores, leading to acne.
    Another factor you might not take into account: Some dead skin cells are meant to shed every day, but having makeup on 24/7 can cause them to stick to the skin’s surface. This can also lead to breakouts and exacerbate fine lines.
  2. Use a ton of TLC to remove your eye makeup. “The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face. So if you tug too roughly when removing your eye makeup, your skin can stretch out over time and fine lines can become more noticeable. Instead, use light, downward motions to wipe away your shadow, liner, and mascara, and opt for a non-greasy eye makeup removing formula that won’t irritate skin and contains ingredients known to soothe skin such as vitamins B5 and E.
  3. Drink plenty of water morning to night. And not just when you’re hitting the gym or you’re super thirsty (if you get to that point, you’re most likely already dehydrated). Hydration — inside and out — is key to keeping your skin radiant. Wondering how much to drink? Eight 8-ounce glasses is still the recommended daily minimum, so drink up for gorgeous, fully hydrated, flake-free skin.woman-drinking-water.jpg
  4. Use a face cream and sunscreen combo every day. Even the five minutes you spend in the sun running into the mall or work each day add up. People often only think to use sunscreen when they’re out for an extended period of time, but even incidental exposure every day over a few years causes brown spots and fine lines to show up earlier. So, 365 days a year, regardless of the season, use a face cream with SPF 15 or higher, then apply your makeup. She suggests adding dots on your forehead, cheeks, chin, down the front of your neck (and both ears if your hair is up) to ensure that all exposed skin is properly protected.
  5. Always sleep on a clean pillowcase. “Your skin can pick up dirt and bacteria, traces of makeup, dead skin cells, saliva, and hair product residue from a pillowcase that hasn’t been washed,” explains Dr. Karen. So flip your pillow over once a week and wash it every two to avoid a buildup of these pore-clogging substances.
  6. Don’t pick at your skin. Leave that pimple/blackhead/bump alone. As tempting as it can be, unless you’ve got a clear whitehead (that you can use two tissues to gently press out), it’s more likely that you’ll either drive bacteria farther into skin, make it more inflamed, or add more dirt and bacteria to the area from your fingers and nails. If you have a blemish that is red and raised, hold an ice cube on it for 20-second intervals for a few minutes to bring down the inflammation, and then apply a dot of a salicylic acid spot treatment and cover with concealer on top.acne-tips-Chinma-Ekes-blog.jpg
  7. Work regular workouts into your routine. Aerobics, yoga or spin class can have a positive effect on your skin as well as your mood and body, because a workout increases circulation, creating that great glow once it’s done. Another plus: Working up a sweat can help lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked not only to skin aging but breakouts and clogged pores.
  8. Don’t binge on junk food. We aren’t talking about enjoying the occasional DC and bag of chips. If most of your calories are coming from the snack machine, your skin is going to pay the price. More studies are pointing toward carbs as the bad guys for skin. Sugar, white bread, pasta, cake, and candy may speed up glycation in skin. (Glycation is when sugar molecules latch onto cells, including those in skin, and cause them to become malformed and accelerate the breakdown of collagen.) What you see in the mirror: loss of radiance, more noticeable lines, and skin that doesn’t look as supple. Overdoing it with carbs and dairy has been linked to acne as well. Instead, eat a well balanced diet full of non-processed, nutritionally dense foods (think green veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, lean protein, plus nuts and seeds) to make sure you skin stays breakout-free, supple, and on point.
  9. Gently exfoliate. Depending on your skin type, use a chemical peel like a glycolic acid or AHA, soft scrub, or try derma-planing (when you glide a special razor over skin in downward strokes) to remove dead skin for a glowy, glass-like finish. Exfoliating one or two days a week is enough.dv088017-630x300.jpg
  10. Clean your phone daily. And don’t press it directly against your skin when talking either. Your phone is a breeding ground for germs.
  11. Apply a face mask weekly. If your skin is on the drier side, opt for a moisturizing mask that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid. If you’re more oil-prone, then alternate between an exfoliating mask and a clay-based treatment. For those with combination skin, try multi-masking and apply what you need, where you need it (such as detoxing clay on your nose and chin, and a hydrating mask on your forehead and cheeks).
  12. And at the end of the day, get ample sleep. Put your devices to bed (preferably in another room) an hour before you tuck in (I should try this). The goal is to try to unplug, shut down any connection, and just allow yourself to sleep and fully, fully rest. Ideally, get eight hours of sleep uninterrupted, you want to enter the deep sleep that allows your mind, body, and skin to repair.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to share your beauty resolutions with us as well as share this article.

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Article credit: Cosmopolitan magazine, image credit Google.com

My Fave Beauty Products of 2016

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Hello dearies, happy holidays!

As the year ends today, I would like to wrap up the beauty posts with a catalog of my favorite beauty products. some of them I have reviewed on this bog already, others, I haven’t.

We’ll begin from the basics; my favorite face wash, which has so replaced Neutrogena Acne wash in my beauty routine is: RnR Luxury Liquid black soap. Read it’s full review here.

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And my favorite toner, which I should do a full review for is Jules Therapy Witch hazel toner. witch-hazel-5915724

This product is purely amazing. I will be sure to do a full review on it in the near future.

My go-to body oil is Vanity Oils Skin Toning Therapy; I love this oil. Read it’s full review here

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You all know the primer that’s the love of my life; Mary Kay Foundation Primer.

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This primer goes with any and I mean any foundation I pair it with, it sets a perfect base. It contains spf 15 which is an added advantage for me.

For foundations, I experimented this year; stepped away from Mary Kay Timewise Matte foundation and discovered some surprisingly good foundations.

First was Black opal True Color Liquid Foundation, which I reviewed here and Hegai and Esther Duo Cover Photo Perfect Foundation; my newest love! I will do a full review of it soon, till then take my word for it and try out this foundation. dsc_8406-600x600

And yes, its a Nigerian product, so #buynaijatogrowthenaira.

To crown it all; the queen of all my beauty products, the one I’ve been with for years is Black Opal Deluxe Finishing powder in Neutral Light.

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This powder is what I will call a workaholic powder, it’s been with me through many foundations and it’s always held its own.

So, share with us, what are your fave beauty products and what products did you discover in 2016 or would love to try in 2017?

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Product Review: Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation

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Hello Lovelies, it’s been a minute hasn’t it? I’ve missed you all. Hope you’ve been good?

Today on #beautyfriday I’m going to be reviewing Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation.

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I got this foundation as part of my beauty haul from Kuddy Cosmetics at the just concluded 2016 Lagos Trade fair. I had seen so many positive reviews about this product I decided to give it a trial.

I paired it with my trusted Mary Kay foundation primer and finished off my beloved with Black Opal deluxe finishing powder in Neutral light (6).

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My thought around the foundation was? A bottle? How will I get every drop of my foundation out in this hard times? Lol! I gave in sha, the sales rep advised I get the foundation in Nutmeg (that was my thought as well). I applied with my foundation brush blending in as advised on the bottle. The product glided on smoothly and only needed extra coverage on areas darkened by acne scars.

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My first thought was….. reddish? But I said to myself not to despair yet. I finished off with my deluxe finishing powder in neutral light and then I looked like myself again! Lol! I love this powder and someday will dedicate an entire post to it.

I finished off my makeup as usual and was off for the day.

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I really put my makeup to test that day. The day was sunny; I had a seminar to be at and Lagos Island market runs interspersed with other errands and I only dabbed once. This is what my face looked like at the end of the day.

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My verdict: I liked it, it held up really well, felt weightless and transfer resistant. I will purchase again.

My rating: 3.7. I can still see the reddish tint.

So, there it is dearies; have you tried the Black Opal Liquid foundation, what was your experience with it?

 

XOXO

Chinma Eke

 

Up & Out of the home in 30 mins- my daily beauty routine

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Anyone who knows me and follows this blog knows I’m the diy chic. I love and use a lot of natural products. I’m not out to knock the beautician’s hustle; but I believe  there’s a lot of natural ingredients we can use in its closest to natural form as possible befire its refined by the cosmetics company and a minute quantity of it sold to us at an exorbitant price with lots of skin-harming preservatives. 

Because I love diy, I tend to have a lot of stuff to experiment with. Space is one constraint I struggle with in my closet and later in the post, I will introduce Makespace a storage and organising facility which I hope can help me with this, but first lets go through my beauty routine.

I reviewed my face soap- R&R Liquid black soap here. And my go to body oil- Vanity oils Skin Toning therapy  here.

In today’s post, I’m going to take us through my daily beauty routine and the products I use.

In the morning, I wash with my face using a soft baby towel (I’m holding out for a foreo Luna mini face brush- do I have any volunteers?).


I follow that with my tumeric-gram flour-bentonite clay mixture face mask.

I bought them all separately from Jules therapy. You should visit their online shop, they have a lot of good stuff for the diy chic.

I make a paste of the tumeric mixture by mixing with water or lime juice for an added punch, or coconut oil when my skin feels dry; and I apply directly to clean skin.

Rinse off after 5-15 minutes and you’re good to go. Tumeric is a herb that’s good for acne treatment, oil control, etc. I should do a separate post on tumeric and it’s numerous uses soon.

I brush my teeth, pack my bag and do some other things while the mask is on my face.

I don’t use the tumeric face mask on all mornings, on the days I don’t; I cleanse with Dermatess facial cleanser. It’s a local product I’ve found to be as effective as Marykay Blemish control toner.

Depending on what time of the month it is; I either follow with neo-medrol acne lotion (or Marykay Acne treatment gel) or I skip that step and go right to my moisturiser.

My morning moisturiser is Marykay timewise pore minimises. It’s the step 2 in the micro demabrasion set.

Next up, I follow with Marykay foundation primer- spf 15 and the rest of my makeup routine (that’s a post for another day).

Next up; I need to dress up. I approach my closet which is full and bursting at the seams, with me having to store some clothes in bags above the closet.

It is very scattered.

A few weeks ago, I learned about a company called makespace they are a self-storage facility. That help you keep your personal stuff which you don’t need atm and you can retrieve them as needed.

I’m not sure they are in Nigeria atm, but I could sure use them. Please MakeSpace get back to me on if you’re in  Nigeria presently; I could sure to with some space.

So, I rumage through my closet for something to wear (‘coz of the space constraints I have clothes hanging in themselves with one hanger holding as many as 3 clothes). I get dressed, pick a matching shoe and I’m off to work.

Evening

Tired, ready to fall into bed, but I always ensure I take off my makeup before bed.

I use Johnson’s no more tears baby wipes to take off makeup. Then I follow with facial cleanser and Marykay Micro- demabrasion scrub twice a week. I cleanse, moisturize with vanity oils skin toning therapy and it’s off to bed for a sound sleep.

I couldn’t show my show and bag closer on here cos it’s FULL, bursting and impossible to organise. Lol! Short of extending beyond my room I see no other option to create space except storage- which is where Makespace will come in.  Makespace is not just about storage, they also organise your stuff in your home. Get in touch with them today and check out their self storage locations.

Also, share your daily beauty routine with us. We would love to hear from you.

XOXO

Chinma Eke

How To: Tigernut Milk/ Smoothie 

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A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a post on how to make tigernut milk. This peaked my interest for 2 reasons:

1. I’m lactose intolerant and welcome any alternative to dairy.

2. I grew up eating tigernut ‘ofio’ as we called it growing up; I’m so impressed we could make milk out of it.

3. I read up on it and it’s so nutritious.

So, I bought a large batch and followed the directions I found online; which I will share below.

Ingredients: 

The main ingredient is the Tigernut

For the smoothie you’ll need:

  • Ginger
  • Bananas/ Avocado pear
  • Lime/ Lemon/ Orange

1. Wash the nuts thoroughly and soak in water for about 2-3 days. This will make blending easier on your domestic blender; or if your blender is up to it; you can blend right away.

If you soak; store in the refrigerator so it does not ferment.

2.After it has soaked; transfer to the blender and put about 5oo – 750ml water to help it blend.

Blend at high speed for 5 minutes at a minute intervals.

3. Sieve. Using a cheese cloth or any sieve that guarantees only the milk will go through. I like this mini hand sieve; I find it easier to manage. But the downside to it is I have to use my hand to strain.

You might nwed to reblend as you will find not all the nuts will blend on the first go. For a concentrated milk; blend With pre-sieved milk or if you don’t mind; reblend with fresh water.

With this; your milk  ready. You can drink immediately or refrigerate. It tastes so good.


I also tried blending with ginger and it tastes like kunu.


Tigernut Smoothie

To make this; add some bananas, ginger and a dash of citric acid I.e. Orange, lime or lemon to slow down the banana’s oxidation rate.


Blend together and you have delicious creamy smoothie.

I also tried an avocado pear variant, and it tasted good as well.

I typically make 2 days worth and store in the refrigerator in smoothie bottles. It’s as filling as it is delicious.

Try it today and share your tigernut recipes.

XOXO

Chinma Eke 

Before Getting Pro Makeup; Read these tips

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Hello dears, how have you all been?

This week’s post on #beautyfriday is both a post and a rant. Lol.

So, my friend got married recently, and I gave in to pressure and allowed my face to be beat professionally. Here are a few things I observed and  few tips I have to give;

1. If you are the bride (or the celebrant); have a makeup trial prior to your big day so you agree a look with the mua and ensure he/she sticks to it. 

Agree brands and products, read product labels, ensure you are comfortable with what will be used on your face.

2. Never let the MUA touch your face with dirty hands or dirty instruments.

This might sound like a given, but you will be amazed how a lot of things slip through the cracks in the rush against time. Ensure all hands, brushes and applicators are clean and if something accidentally drops in the floor; please ensure it’s cleaned before it comes in contact with your face (And the hand that picks it as well). 

3. Work with a makeup artist who respects time; not one who will spend all day making you up and leaving you rushing to catch-up. 

4. Now this is for the mua: dear Mua, unless it’s a makeover don’t change the client’s look. You are meant to accent and highlight not change. Don’t have your client looking so different from herself such that she is unrecognizable. Lol! 

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This is one of the looks for the day

People said I looked years older! 

Me on a regular day

You be the judge. 

And who says I have to have pro-makeup? Why can’t I just #diy?

Product Review: Vanity Oils Skin Toning Therapy

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Hello darlins,

 

This week on #productreview I have another #buyNaijatogrowtheNaira product review: Vanity Oils Skin Toning Therapy.

I stumbled on Vanity Oils late last year on my quest for natural oils that could offer quality skincare same as the known brands but with less ‘unknown products’.

Have you taken a look at your regular brands products; there’s so much chemicals you don’t know what they all are.

Product Pricing
The 240ml bottle is priced at N3,500 and delivery within Lagos is N800 (good).
It might seem like a lot to pay, but this bottle will last quite a while before you need to re-purchase.

Product Packaging
So I bought my first bottle in January and I have been a convert since then, but what impressed me with my recent purchase is they have really improved with product packaging.

This is how the products arrived:

In a Ziploc with materials to ensure it travels well (I like!), before the courier packaging.
I prefer the pink bag it used to come in to the ziploc, but…. I have that already so this will do just fine.

It now has a pump head (yippee!) and they even included a spray bottle! Now this is a brand after my heart!

(Pardon the picture quality)

Ingredients
Now this is the koko, it contains 100% pure and natural:
Sweet almond Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Jojoba Oil
Argan Oil
Lemon Oil
Rosemary Oil
Lemongrass Oil
Vitamin E Oil
Olive (Extra Virgin) Oil
Sunflower Oil
Unlike the chemicals and preservatives in the other creams and oils, this is just perfect.

Usage
I apply directly to damp skin; morning and night. It’s safe for face and body, it promotes soft toned smooth skin, gently fades scars and dark spots, reduces and prevents acne and other skin infections, etc.
If you’re searching for a bleaching oil; this is not your product, it gives you a glowy brighter complexion, but won’t bleach you or fade your spots in 7 days (lol).

I’ve used it for months and I can safely say it’s a good product. I’ve had no irritations, not even product adjustment.

Will I buy again; yes, and I recommend it too.
There’s a link to Vanity oils website below, please follow the link to shop and enjoy.
Till another product review; have a blessed week.

PS; this is not a sponsored review, and I will be back to update if I have any issues.

XOXO

Chinma Eke

5 Ways To Make More Time For Yourself and Avoid Burnout

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Not a very flattering image for the career woman, but apt

As career girls we all have ambitious goals and lofty to-do lists. But between it all, it is important to find time for yourself. If you work yourself too much, burnout will come sneaking around uninvited, and we have all learned the hard way at least once that you can’t perform and deliver your best work when you are tired and stressed. So, take care of yourself by spending more time relaxing and doing the things you love. Here are 5 ways you can make more time for yourself.

#1 Plan it

This might seem like a no brainer, but it is easy for all of us to forget. You need to actually set time aside, not only weekly but daily. Schedule time to do the things you love and don’t let anything get in the way of it. Treat this time just like you treat the time you set aside for working or exercise, because it is just as important.

#2 Don’t waste time

Learn to say no to things that you don’t enjoy. This will help to ensure that you aren’t wasting any time on projects or activities that don’t bring you happiness, and make more time to spend doing the things that do bring you joy.

#3 Reassess your priorities

Keep things ordered by the level of importance and don’t schedule too many big things in one day. This will save you time and also ensure that the things you do aren’t rushed. It also helps you avoid cutting out your personal time, in order to get other things checked off of your to do list.

#4 Save money

Having money set aside in the bank creates a unique kind of freedom. This will also help you cut out stress and save you time. You will spend less time worrying about covering expenses and more time enjoying yourself. Not to mention, you will be able to spend your free time doing whatever you want to, because you will have the funds to do so.

#5 Remember that time doing nothing is important too

Time for yourself doesn’t always have to be spent doing something productive. Doing next to nothing counts too. You can also use this time to relax. Go get a massage or binge watch your favorite show. We all need a little mental break at least once a day, so don’t skimp on that either. Even a quick fifteen minutes is better than nothing, and we all have at least that to spare.

Take care of yourselves ladies! And never feel guilty about it. Make time for yourself and you will find that you are less stressed, more productive and happier overall.
How do you like to spend your personal time?

XOXO

Chinma Eke