Arts & Culture

  • Fashion Can Sometimes Be A Pain

    By Leadership Newspapers on January 13, 2013

    KUUME Clothing is a couture jointly owned by Klaus Uche Ume and Stephen Modebe. In this chat with KEHINDE AJOBIEWE, Klaus Ume talks about the duo’s designs, aspirations and his love for music. 

    Please, tell us about your background?
    I am the fifth son in a family of seven (6 boys and a girl). My dad is a medical doctor and my mum a teacher, but went into fashion. Both of them have been very supportive of my chosen career path. I do music as well. I was a finalist on the Idols West Africa (a talent hunt show) and I have featured in a few movies and a soap opera. I hold a diploma in Fine & Applied Arts from IMT, Enugu, while my partner (Modebe) recently graduated of the Computer Science Department of NAU, Awka.

    How did you come up with your brand name?
    The brand name is a combo of my initials and surname.

    Where do you draw your inspiration from?
    Nature, music, colours and human body, all, inspire my designs.

    How long have you been in the industry?
    I've been in the industry officially for one year, but I have been doing this as a hobby since I was like five or six years.

    How supportive are your parents?
    My parents are very supportive, because they always wanted me to go in that direction, since they saw my fashion inclination from a young age. But I hesitated.

    What  kind of wears do you design?
    I design for both male and female, from casual to formal, to evening and red carpet clothes.

    Have you displayed your designs in any fashion show before?
    I haven't done any fashion show in Nigeria, because I feel like I am not ready yet. But I did a test run show sometime in April in Ghana, and the response was quite positive.

    How is the acceptance of your designs in the Nigerian market?
    As I'm still new in the fashion business, it’s been fair enough for now. But we are making good progress to get it all out there and gain more acceptance.

    Tell us more about your company?
    The company, KUUME, was started by me, and my friend and partner (Stephen Modebe), but I take the role of the creative director, while he handles the marketing aspect of the business.

    What is fashion to you?
    Fashion is whatever makes you comfortable and unique. It should make you feel good about you. Fashion can sometimes be a pain, because it is not always comfortable, but we can’t do without it.

    Did your mother have an influence in your going into fashion?
    I was basically exposed to fashion by my mum. But I have always had the fashion thing going for me, and she helped nurture it.

    Would you say she is your role model in the industry?
    She is more conservative in her fashion style. So, she has had a strong effect in my art, but because I am young I embrace fashion in a forward way too. So, I can say she is one of my role models.

    What do you consider when designing an outfit for your clients?
    The fit and finishing are very important to me. Then, other factors like fabrics, colour, and comfort can come into play too.

    Would you say fashion is for the rich?
    Fashion is basically anything you make of it; both for the rich and poor.

    What are your plans for the future?
    For sure, I have big plans for the future; definitely, get into accessories, shoes, bags, glasses, wristwatches, perfumes and what have you. The plan is to build a fashion empire that will stand the test of time.

  • Oily Skin: Eight Ways To Make Makeup Last

    By Leadership Newspapers on January 6, 2013

    Skin types vary, and it is important to remember to wear your makeup in line with your skin type. Blessing Ukemena writes with report from WebMD.

    One problem with oily skin is that they can attract dirt more than other skin types, and are thus more prone to breakouts. Now, just because you've got oily skin, that doesn’t mean you have to forever forego makeup. It's a matter of knowing what works with your skin type.

    These eight ideas, from a makeup artist and a dermatologist, are expert solutions for wearing makeup if you have an oily complexion.Is your skin parched? You can nourish it while keeping your makeup looking fresh all day.  Some types of cosmetics will help more than others, but the difference starts with how you care for your skin before you reach for your makeup.

    One valuable tip to remember is that no matter how oily your skin is, always moisturise. After each wash, always moisturise before putting on your makeup. Yes, it's tempting to just skip it, but the key is for your makeup to stay on, and by this, it will help perfect your look.

    You want to always stick to oil-free moisturisers, and make sure it is water based. One of the recommended moisturisers is Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturising gel for oily skin. From then on, you just apply your makeup. These eight strategies will get you started.

    First, apply foundation
    After your foundation is applied, let it set in for 5-10 minutes before you apply a translucent powder or a setting powder. (You can be on to eye makeup during this time!) Using a face powder brush, you want to sweep the powder lightly onto the face, making circles on the cheeks. Make sure to target the forehead and bridge of the nose as well. We use powder so that the oils on our face will set in. You want to be sure it is a light powder that is in the shade according to your foundation to make it more natural.

    Prepare your eyes
    To cut down on eye makeup creasing, avoid priming your lids with concealer. Something, that, Warren says, many women with dark circles or redness do. Instead, use a primer specifically designed for eyelids. The base creates a perfect canvas for eye shadow and liner while absorbing crease-causing oils throughout the day.

    Don't overdo powdering
    It sounds like the right thing to do to pile on the face powder. But going overboard could backfire by making your pores push out more oil. Apply powder just on areas that are shiny. Use a matte translucent formula, which can cut shine on any skin tone. If you do apply too much powder, dampen a makeup sponge and blot it over the over-powdered areas.

    Carry blotting papers
    No matter how flawless and matte your makeup looks in the morning, if you’re prone to oiliness, you’ll spot shine by midday. Some blotting sheets simply lift the oil from your skin. Others deposit a bit of powder to sop up the oil. The trick to using blotting papers without taking off all of your makeup is to press the paper where you’re oily and then roll it off your skin, instead of rubbing the paper on your skin.

    Go oil-free
    Since your skin naturally produces more than enough oil, invest in makeup products (especially foundation and blush) that are oil-free and noncomedogenic, which means they don't clog your pores. Also, use face cleansers and toners that are infused with glycolic acids, which cut down on excess oil, says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in Washington, D.C.

    Look for 'long wear'
    Water and oil can do the same things to makeup: make it smear, smudge, or slip. That's a reason to stick to eye products that are waterproof, water-resistant, or long-wear. One of the best, long-wear combos is water-resistant eyeliner and cream eye shadow over an eye primer.

    Think soft skin, not slick skin
    Those heavy, anti-ageing creams are fine for nighttime use, but before you put on your makeup, reach for a lighter moisturiser that hydrates without being greasy. Don't forget your sunscreen – look for an oil-free formula. After you’ve put it on, place a tissue flat on your face and press gently to remove any excess before applying your makeup base.

    Use a mask
    Once or twice a week, use a treatment mask. Those made with kaolin or bentonite clay are best for oily skin types, as they naturally absorb oil and impurities while calming irritation. Apply a little amount of the mask with your fingers. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and then, rinse it off with warm water for an immediate matte finish.

  • I Don’t Joke With My Cuts

    By Leadership Newspapers on January 6, 2013
    Vincent Alade is the founder of Alvince Couture, a Lagos-based fashion outfit that is known for its vintage cuts and classy wears for fashion-forward men. He takes Kehinde Ajobiewe through his journey so far in the fashion business. Who is Vincent Alad...
  • Caring For Braided Hair

    By Leadership Newspapers on December 30, 2012

    Every lady wants to look fabulous during this yuletide season. blessing ukemena writes on how to keep those braids looking nice through the harmattan.

    Well, at this yuletide season, most ladies are most concerned about their hair looks more than ever. For those who favour braids, there are some things they need to keep in mind. When done properly, braids are a healthy, convenient and stylish hairstyle option. Braids help in growing out one’s hair with very little external stress from the weather. However, when done improperly, putting your hair in braids can be quite disastrous. Below are some tips that ensure that you enjoy the full benefits of braiding your hair:

    Washing and conditioning
    Be sure that it is in a "healthy condition". This means treating your hair to a deep wash and conditioning, at least a week before braiding it. And relaxing the hair before putting them in braids. This is a personal choice that must be carefully considered.  If you choose to relax your hair (either to make it easier to manage, or meet the texture of your extensions) be sure to do so at least two weeks before braiding your hair. It is not advisable to relax your hair and braid them on the same day. This is because relaxing one’s hair often leaves it weak and putting your hair in individual braids makes one to damage the already fragile hair.

    Oil treatment
    If your hair is often overworked, stressed and weak, give yourself a hot oil treatment; preferably one with Vitamin E. Vitamin E is formulated to treat dry, stressed and damaged hair, by re-constructing the bonds that hold the hair strands.

    Choose your style and extensions carefully!
    When it comes to picking a hairstyle, remember what works for another will not necessarily work for you. If your hair is brittle and weak, putting them in micro-braids will only further damage your hairline.

    When choosing extensions, be informed of the following:
    Human hair extensions tend to hold more moisture, while synthetic hair tends to strip hair of moisture. So be sure to always moisturise when wearing synthetic hair. Most synthetic extensions have alkaline bases that tend to dry out one’s hair and can be removed by soaking the hair in vinegar and water.

    Be sure to moisturise: When hair is in braids, it often loses its moisture, making it easier to fall out. To help seal in moisture, remember to spritz hair with store bought braid sprays or a concoction of your own. You can create your own mixture by mixing oils like Jojoba, Olive, with water and glycerin.

    Pay attention to braid build-up and new growth: This usually happens when you have used too much product and your hair knots up at the roots after the emergence of new growth. At the site of build-up, simply take out old braids and re-braid. Doing so often ensures your braid is always looking fresh.

    Remember to Wash: Just because your hair is in braids does not mean you should stop washing it. One easy way to wash your hair and maintain the style is to wash it with diluted shampoo while in the shower. Massage your scalp to release the debris, move along to the rest of your hair, and be careful not to tug on your hair too much. Don’t forget to condition your hair after washing. This can be achieved with the help of a leave-in conditioner. Be sure to wash your braids once in two weeks, pay particular attention to the scalp.

    Cover your braids before you sleep: Whether it is a hair net or silk scarf, it is important to protect your braids from loosening while you sleep by covering it.

    After a while, do take out your braids. Your hair should not be in braids for more than two months; leaving it longer than necessary can lead to hair-loss.  Once you remove your braids, wash and deep condition your hair, as well as give yourself a "hot-oil" treatment. Be sure to also let your hair rest for at least a week or so before relaxing or braiding it again.

    Remember these facts:
    Do not braid your hair too tightly.
    Do not leave your braids on for longer than two months.
    Keep your braids neat by rebraiding at the sight of new growth.
    Condition your hair before you braid it and condition afterwards.
    Pick a style that will not be too stressful for your hair and scalp.
    Moisturise and wash your hair at least once every two weeks.
    When braids or weaves are removed, allow hair to rest first before styling again.

  • Moistening The Skin This Dry Season

    By Leadership Newspapers on December 23, 2012

    This is a season when the skin is extra dry and extra itchy, because of the cracks from the dry weather. But there are some ways to keep that skin moisturised. Blessing Ukemena writes with reports from WebMD

    When you have flaky, itchy, dry skin, which comes with the harsh harmattan weather, you want fast relief. Easing your dry skin isn't just about what you put on it. It also depends on how you clean your skin, the air around you, and even your clothes. Try these six tips to soothe your dry skin.

    1. Warm yes, hot no
    A steamy shower feels good, but that hot water is not a good idea for your dry skin, says dermatologist Andrea Lynn Cambio, MD. The problem is that hot showers strip your body of its natural oil barrier, and you need that barrier to help trap moisture and keep your skin smooth and moist.

    So dial down the temperature and don't linger too long. Skin care experts recommend short, warm showers or baths that last no longer than five to 10 minutes.  Afterward, gently pat dry and moisturise your body. If you can, then you can bath with lukewarm water.

    2. Cleanse gently
    Wash with a soapless cleanser when you shower. Cambio says gentle soaps that are free of fragrance are a great option. Products with deodorant or anti-bacterial additives can be harsh on skin. You might also consider a cleanser that contains ceramides, says dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD.

    Ceramides are fatty molecules that make up the outer barrier of your skin. They help skin hold in moisture. Some skin care products use synthetic ceramides to replace those we lose with age. Go easy on toners, peels, and other astringents made with alcohol, which is drying. When you exfoliate, don't scrub too much or too hard, Jacob says. It can irritate and thicken skin.

    3. Shave smartly, shaving can irritate dry skin
    As you shave unwanted hair, you're also scraping off natural oils. The best time to shave is after you shower, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hairs are softer and more pliable after bathing, making shaving easier. Always use a shaving cream or gel, and shave in the direction the hair is growing to protect your skin.  Make sure the razor is sharp. A dull razor blade can cause additional irritation. Change your razor blades often. If you are using a blade you've used before, soak it in rubbing alcohol to clean it.

    4. Cover up
    Sun damage is one of the main causes behind dry skin, wrinkles, and roughness. You can help prevent that damage by wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen year-round and dressing right. In cool weather, Cambio says, be sure to "dress in layers to prevent overheating and perspiring excessively; both can irritate the skin."

    To prevent dry, chapped lips in winter, use a lip balm with SPF 15 sunscreen, and cover your lips with a scarf or a hat with a mask. In summer, wear light, loose, long-sleeved shirts when out in the sun, and wear a two-inch wide-brimmed hat to shade your neck, ears, and eyes.

    5. Follow the rules of moisturising
    The simplest moisturising products can soothe dry skin. "Petroleum jelly makes a great moisturiser," dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, says. Or you can use mineral oil, a favorite cream, or lotion. If you like a very rich moisturiser, look for one with shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin, Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute at the University of Miami, says.

    "All are rich moisturisers that will help you replenish your skin barrier," Baumann writes in her online article Winter Skin, where she also says she particularly loves glycerin. Jacobs says that whichever product you choose, a consistent, smart moisturising routine helps. Wash with a non-soap liquid cleanser, preferably one with ceramides to replenish the skin's outer layer. 

    Pat skin dry for less than 20 seconds. Apply a thick moisturiser to slightly damp skin within minutes of bathing to trap in moisture.

    Moisturise your hands every time you wash them so that evaporating water doesn't draw even more moisture from your dry skin.
    Finally, look for a cream with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to get the added benefit of sun protection. You can find moisturising sunscreens as ointments, creams, gels, even sprays. The AAD suggests creams as your best bet for helping to combat dry skin.

    6. Humidify in winter
    Cold and dry air is a common cause of dry, irritated skin. Heating your house keeps you warm, but it also removes moisture from the air, which can make dry skin even more parched. To replenish that missing moisture quickly and easily, use a humidifier in your bedroom, Cambio says. You can track humidity easily with an inexpensive humidity meter, called a hygrometer. Aim for indoor humidity of about 50 per cent.

  • Hot Looks For The Season

    By Leadership Newspapers on December 22, 2012
    This is the time of the year that you get to see bright colours everywhere. As you go about your shopping splurge do not forget to buy bright makeup in the spirit of the season. You can relax in neon bright and candy hues, from eyes and cheeks to lips;...
  • Dressing In White

    By Leadership Newspapers on December 16, 2012

    The heat is in full swing, so it’s time to break out in your LWD: little white dress. Aside from looking lovely on your wedding or graduation day, white dresses can look fresh and modern at any event this summer. Wearing a white dress takes a few special considerations; it’s not as simple as the colour connotes. Once you have the basics down, you are on your way. Here are a few tips to help you look your best, whether you’re going for a casual or a dressy look.

    Underneath it all – Select a solid and opaque white dress. White fabric suffers the curse of being see-through in many instances. When you shop for your white dress, check the transparency factor. Bear in mind that white dresses (or any white clothing, for that matter) can show everything you happen to be wearing underneath.

    Go for skin coloured lingerie as opposed to white for the most undetectable look. A skin-toned full slip will give you an extra layer of coverage if your dress is sheer. With a knit dress or very fitted dress, try some shape-wear such as boy shorts. Nothing ruins the innocent charm of a white dress like brash panty lines or seeing a white bra. What you wear underneath should be your own little secret.

    Keep it simple – A white dress is like a fresh palette or a clean slate. It doesn't take much to kick it to the next level, especially if you add a colour. Less is more when white is your outfit. Avoid wearing white sandals or shoes, as this will create an overwhelming effect.

    Wear your best white –  Okay, so bright white just does not flatter your colouring. If you have a warm skin tone and hair colour, try a pretty cream or off-white dress, and it will make you look lovely. Find your perfect shade and you'll shine!

    Nudes and neutrals – Forget that traditional look of white on white. It's perfect for your daughter or your little sister, but you need something more grown up. Choose the right accessories. Try accenting your white dress with shoes and accessories in nude or neutral shades such as gold, beige or silver.

    Adding a metallic accent brings a subtle sophistication to a fresh white dress. Try gladiator sandals or a pretty pair of pumps in gold, add a beaded clutch and a sexy pair of gold earrings accented with pearls for a simple and elegant look.

    Pop of colour – Use white to it’s best effect by adding just a simple pop of colour. I love to accent white with a vibrant green that will enhance skin tone. Use colour sparingly because whatever you wear will really stand out with a white background. Remember, less is more.

    Wild chic – compliment yourself with something wild and classy. A white gauzey maxi-dress is the perfect look for summer. Adorn yourself with ethnic accents that include fringe, texture and pattern for a look that's very modern. Add some turquoise jewelry, oversized sunglasses and a satchel in a playful colour and you'll have your own bohemian rhapsody.

    Easy street – Make a white dress in a relaxed shape your weekend uniform rather than jeans – you'll be much cooler, in both senses of the word! Throw on a neutral belt and shoes for a day; shift to bright colours or metallic accessories for a night on the town

    The white dress is perfect for barbecues outings – so long as you don’t spill anything on yourself – evenings out and just running around with the kids, little white dresses can look great on everyone.

    Just pair them with appropriate accessories and you'll have a fabulous look that can stand up to the heat.

  • Choosing Perfect Colour For Interior Décor

    By Leadership Newspapers on December 9, 2012
    Do you know that using excellent colours for your interior decorations is a perfect way to make the rooms inviting. The beauty of every interior décor lies on the type of colours chosen for that particular task. In choosing your interior accessories, ...