I heard about The Beauty Souk from Dimma Umeh’s website. Well, I had been seeing it, but I really paid attention when I read about it on her website.

I looked through their Instagram, just to see what vendors were coming, just so I knew what to expect. I was very happy that Classic USA was a vendor because I had been wanting the Classic liquid lipsticks for a long time. I also really wanted to cop the Chai liquid lipstick by BM Pro.

I had a budget of N10,000 – N15,000. There were also a couple of Master classes but none interested me. Chai liquid lipstick was N8,000 which was above my budget. Welp! It’s amazing though. If you can afford it, you should totally get it.

It was held at Harbour Point, Victoria Island and there was a map and everything. I was very happy with the stuff that I got.

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 2

Hegai and Esther Brow Pomade in Nubian – N2,500

I had seen a couple of people talk about this product, but what had me sold was when my friend Mosun said she has been using it for over a year and had no complaints. I got a full size eye liner pot with my purchase and that made me very very happy.

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 11

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 6

Classic liquid lipsticks – N700 each and Makeup Blender – N500

I had been wanting to try these lipsticks for the longest time. Now that I bought some, I wish I had bought more. The colours that I got were Duke, Wine, VIP and Chocolate. I also got a Matte Lipstick in Coffee.

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 5

Beauty Souk - Cateyes 10

Mary Kay Mascara – N1,000

Does anyone still use Mary Kay? I remember the good old days of Mary Kay and Sleek. My favourite mascara – The Balm Cheater has finished and I needed a quick replacement and this was the cheapest I saw.

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 2

Elf Powder Brush – N1500, LA Girl Concealer – N1,500

 I got a tiny tub of Shea Butter from the stall that I bought the Elf brush and I got an Eye Shadow Trio from LA Girl

Benefit The Porefessional Matte Rescue Invisible Finish Mattifying Gel – about N3,000

I did not buy this at the Beauty souk event but I bought it at Ebeano on the same day. It retails for about 24 pounds but I found it for about N3,000. The thing with Ebeano is that you have to be extremely careful, sometimes a deal like that is too good to be true, and the product might be fake. I googled how to spot real The Porefessional even. I checked and double checked and I was certain it was the real deal.

Cateyes - Beauty Souk 8

Davis eyebrow pencil – N100

 This eyebrow pencil is the whole truth. If you know, you know. I usually buy a lot when I see it because it finishes SO quick.

 Ultimately, I was very happy that I was able to get a lot of stuff and still stick within my budget. The freebies also made me very happy as well. I can not wait to try out these products and give you my review.

Cateyes _Beauty Souk 9

What (Nigerian) make up Brands have you been loving lately? Let me know anything you would like me to try out.


Van Cleef and Arpels is the Brand that I will start patronizing when I step up to step up. Everything about Van Cleef and Arpels oozes class and sophistication. Sometimes I go to their website just to Ooh and aah.

For those that do not know, Van Cleef and Arpels is a Luxury French Brand that specializes in Watches and Jewellery.

In December 2016, I was at the airport waiting for my flight and I wandered into the Essenza store. A lot of the perfumes that I fancied were above my budget and I had already spent 30 minutes perceiving everything in the store and willing the money in my wallet to grow up when I came across Oriens. I was not even aware that Van Cleef and Arpels had perfumes until I saw it.

I always check reviews before I buy any scent but I could not because the service in the store was so bad, it was non-existent. There was no tester as well and this was the only bottle available.

I went in blind and I bought it. I was so glad I did. I opened the packet and the bottle was so beautiful and exquisite. Like a work of art.

Oriens - Cateyes 4


It comes in a simple, cream carton. An understated box for the amazement that is the bottle. The Bottle is so beautiful. The intricate leaves on the cover show dedication and sophistication. The kind that you can only associate with luxury. The Bottle was designed by Joel Desgrippes, inspired by the Tourmaline Abres aux Songes (Tree of Dreams) ring from The 2003 Midsummer Night’s Dream Collection.

It is quite heavy, but I do not even mind that. I doubt that I will throw the bottle away when the perfume finishes, since I cannot afford the Abres aux Songes ring (For now).


Top notes: Mandarin orange, Black currant and Raspberry | Middle notes: Jasmine and white flowers | Base notes: Patchouli, Praline, Amber and Vanilla.

Despite, the extravagant bottle, Oriens is sweet and sophisticated and not at all overbearing. The perfume is blended so well that I cannot separate the Mandarin Orange from the White flowers. The patchouli is a bit obvious as it dries down and I think that it adds the sophistication, but not in a way that it takes over the entire scent.

It is sweet, but not in a way that is sickly or cloying. I think it is a complex, grown up scent.

Oriens - Cateyes 4

Sillage and Longevity

Sillage (pronounced as see-yazh) refers to the scented trail left by the fragrance wearer. It comes from the French word for “wake,” as in the trail left in the sky by an airplane. You know how you enter a place and you know that a particular person has been there because you can perceive their perfume? That’s sillage. Perfume can either have soft or heavy sillage depending on the type. I think that this perfume has a soft sillage. On me anyway, it does not take over a room when I enter. I think the perfume is so elegant and understated that it does not feel the need to announce its presence.

Oriens - Cateyes 3

Final Note

I love this perfume. I love the bottle and I am very glad that I bought it. The brand advertises it as a Chypre, but I am not sure I got that when I wore it. A lot of reviews have compared it to Miss Dior Cherie and say that is a mature version of Juicy Couture’s Viva la juicy. All in all, I would recommend it to anyone who likes classic scents with a bit of sweetness.

Oriens - Cateyes 7

Where to buy:

Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens is an Eau de Parfum and it is available in 30, 50 and 100ml. The 100ml retails for $150 (about N55,000). I have only seen it one time in Nigeria and that was in Essenza, Ikeja.


Have you tried Oriens? What other sweet scents have you been loving? Let’s talk in the comments.


Hi Loves,

Welcome to Taking Stock. Taking Stock is a fun, interesting ways to, well, take stock. It is important to take in everything and soak it all in. I will do this on the last day of every month.



Making: Plans. So many big and bold plans for my life. Baby I’ve been making plans…


Cooking: Pasta. It’s so interesting how pasta is my favourite thing to cook and I do not even eat it


Drinking: Apple Cider Vinegar. I have not been eating well in the last 2 weeks. Somedays you eat shawarma at 11pm and the next morning, you begin your day with ACV, it’s called balance.



Reading: Everything Good will Come – Sefi Atta, Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert and God’s Bits of Wood – Ousmane Sembane all at the same time, because why not? God’s bits of wood was actually written in 1960 in French, with the title Les bouts de bois de Dieu. It was translated to English in 1962.


Wanting: A 300 hour long cuddle. Warm, strong arms and Sweater weather type music.

Playing: The soundtracks of Baby Driver and La la Land. My faves. I love both movies like I would love a person. Gentle. Steady and Fierce.


Wasting: No more time hiding from myself and hiding from my truth. It is what it is and I am not ashamed. Not anymore.


Creating: So many new things. I am super excited that I am back blogging again and I cannot wait to share so many new and beautiful things


Enjoying: New things, happy things, sweet things.


Wondering: What things are going to be like in exactly 6 months from now.


Loving: God. In a new, intimate, profound way.


Hoping: That I stay happy and loving and hopeful and open and true.


Marvelling: At how things can change and how your life can be so much different in so little time.


Needing: To learn to trust the process, no matter how slow it seems and no matter how many times it feels like I am going nowhere.


Smelling: Asun. God bless people who surprise other people with asun, just because.


Wearing: My heart on my sleeve.


Noticing: How cold it is. Can I get a warm blanket and the warm, strong arms that I requested earlier?


Knowing: Everything good will come, just like he has promised.


Thinking: About food and food photography.


Feeling: EVERYTHING. My ability to feel so much overwhelms me sometimes. My heart is filled with SO MUCH feeling.


Bookmarking: All the pictures that I love on Instagram. That save feature is EVERYTHING.


Giggling: Because seeing the word giggle makes me giggle.



Photography: Itasoha Akhibi


Love and love.


Here we go.


I started my Work wear and lifestyle blog in January, 2016. I started my blog because more than anything, I love beauty. I wanted a space for the (not-so) Average (Nigerian) woman where I could share anything. From work style to make up recommendations to book reviews.

Fast forward to July, 2017 and various technical issues, I have to start over. What’s worse? For some reason, I have not been able to transfer all the content that I painstakingly and tirelessly worked on from my initial blog.


I was upset initially because, that was my work, my hard work. All gone.

However, upwards and onwards and there’s no use sulking about what I can not fix. In some way, I am happy that I get a do-over. I am hopeful that I can apply all the lessons that I have learnt and make this new version far better than the old one was.



I am working on the domain and hosting, but in the interim, here I am.

My name is Valerie. I am a Research Analyst in the day, a writer off work and on weekends and an all-round beautiful life enthusiast.

I am very excited about this journey that we are going to take together.

I look forward to sharing with you and talking to you.

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19


Top: Bebe | Skirt: Zara | Sandals: Misguided

Photography: Itasoha