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Notorious B.I.G’s 10 Crack Commandments for the 21st Century Entrepreneur

What lessons in entrepreneurship can the 21st century entrepreneur learn from Notorious B.I.G’s hip hop classic 10 crack commandments?

Entrepreneurship can be a death wish. The psychological burden of the hustle is oft misstated. And the tools, tips and tricks, to help the entrepreneur along this lonely journey? Almost always cliche. Don’t fret. We’ve got your back. Once again, MMI-MMC  goes beyond the rhetoric in search of business tips from the unlikeliest places.

So far, as small business owners, we’ve gleaned business tips from the trade of John Cena & Co. Together, we’ve sought inspiration for entrepreneurship from the forgotten art of scrapbook making. As a gang, we’ve teased out principles of behavioral economics in search of hacks that successful entrepreneurs lean on to bear the pain of building their businesses.

In this post, we keep it gangsta by absorbing wisdom from Christopher Wallace’s dalliance with drug dealing. This edition of business advice from the unlikeliest places calls on what must be the most influential autobiographical album by a lad barely out of his teens.

An early twenties King of The Streets with the audacity to assume the twin conflicting roles of poster boy of pursuing the dangerous ambitions of life in the projects in the 1990’s; and pariah deconstructing the myth of the shine of it all.

A Brooklyn icon with the genius to do all that whilst hiding, barely, behind the stage name Notorious B.I.G. An artistic cloak that’s an ode to his love-hate ways and testament to his struggles of dealing with the consequences of fame as a gangsta rapper.


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Name of the Game

For Notorious B.I.G, entrepreneurship is about making money. You can be apologetic or straight up real about it. To the 21st century entrepreneur, a caution.

Rule Number Uno, never let no one know
How much dough you hold cause you know
The cheddar breed jealousy

All the new age stuff bandied and camouflaged in sexy business terms like triple bottom line and social entrepreneurship, when dressed down are all about this dogma on entrepreneurship from the streets.

This first rule from the 10 Crack Commandments reminds us that success breeds contempt. For a drug dealer, this might mean resisting the urge to live large. To mind comes the downfall of street legend Frank Lucas as portrayed by Denzel Washington in the blockbuster American Gangster.

This simple reminder might also have served as an impetus for the those dealin’ to launder the loot of the illicit trade. Any other way and you’ll have the taxman, rivals and dirty cops knocking on your door.

Tax heavens? Clever accounting? Putting aside the ethics of such exploits to the side for a moment, the complexity of such maneuvers don’t come cheap. Moreover, they aren’t always accessible especially for the startup founder whose only assets are their vision and the zeal to actualize it.

On the converse, for the 21st century entrepreneur, this gem of business advice could mean more investments in good from business profits. Investments such as : meaningful contributions to employee retirement schemes, employer sponsored health insurance and designing workplace schemes that encourage employees to take up mortgage.

Not only are such investments by your business likely to beget a save on tax dollars, they should also go a long way in attracting and keeping talent. As every entrepreneur knows by heart, talent enables you to make more money.

The 21st Century Entrepreneur Must Know When To Cut  The Chatter

This rule reminds the 21st century entrepreneur of the gifts hidden in strategy texts from today and beyond.

Number 2, never let ’em know your next move
Don’t you know Bad Boys move in silence

By now, any budding entrepreneur should have done his homework. Being a good student of entrepreneurship is about learning from the gurus of strategy. One notable example is Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. A text that Notorious B.I.G echos in 10 crack commandments.

In the game of dealing, the caution in rule number 2 is inspired by the cutthroat nature of the business. This is a happenstance that remains true for all entrepreneurial endeavors. This verse might have been also been aimed at warning those feeding off the streets of the importance of cutting out the chatter.

Chatter here is what Hollywood perennially portrays as the seed that leads to it all falling down for the gangsta entrepreneur. The cops lay bugs listen in, one careless utterance by the street entrepreneur or his accomplices and jail time beacons. This truism couldn’t be better versed for the 21st century entrepreneur.

Avoiding Own Goals : Timely Advice for the 21st Century Entrepreneur

The ever shifting landscape of regulation is a risk that every entrepreneur must be weary of. Especially in the 21st century where every entrepreneurial punt is potentially global. You only need to look at the run-ins with the law of Uber, Google and Facebook to get a grip of the magnanimity of the risk.

Moreover, the likelihood that startups emerging today are likely to deploy the latest technology to gain business advantage, makes the scene a minefield. Particularly when the greys of ethical practice that color the relationship between science, society and technology this 21st century are considered. It is a real mess.

The 21st century entrepreneur will therefore often need to keep it on the down low – more so at the point of idea conception – lest their plans prematurely abort. Cracking a market is a gargantuan task by itself. A startup could do with not having to deal with a market already negatively sensitized about their brand.

10 Crack Commandments on Handling Partnerships &  Who To Trust

One word: Movies. Classics to be precise. Proven gems in the art of movie making that change your worldview once you partake of them

Number 3, never trust no-bo-dy

This IMDb list of Movies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch should get one going. Though not on that list, the context of this article implores on us to point you towards the 1983 cult classic Scarface. Notorious B.I.G in 10 Crack Commandments frequently odes lines from this classic. Notorious B.I.G’s rule number 3 is lifted from the rules of gangsterism by one of the movie’s main protagonists, Tony Montana.

Notorious B.I.G Advice on Business Money & Personal Finances

In rule number 4, Notorious B.I.G keeps with the Scarface theme paraphrasing the most referenced rule from the movie that made Robert De Niro.

Number 4, Never get high on your own supply

This line is from a scene where Elvira Hancock educates Tony Montana: “Lesson number two: Don’t get high on your own supply.”

Hip hop legend Ice Cube in his rapping days as part of the Westside group N.W.A raps in the hit Dope man

o be a dope man, boy, you must qualify
Don’t get high off your own supply.

Rap King of the 2000’s Eminem in Get You Mad  also references this rule. The 21st century entrepreneur makes moves at a time with sophisticated finance tools like venture capitalism, angel investors, crowd funding, Fintech and even mobile money. Yet, paradoxically, though living in such times of plenty, entrepreneurs perennially contend with the challenge of financing their dreams.

Fans of popular TV show Shark Tank know that a common point of departure between entrepreneurs and the sharks is when it becomes apparent that the funding sought/ profits stated by the entrepreneur are largely utilized in personal emoluments.

The Quagmire of Financing Dreams Facing 21st Century Entrepreneurs

Many identify having an actionable business plan or the old maxim: “behind every great fortune lies a great crime” as answers to THE QUESTION of how entrepreneurs can finance their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Notorious B.I.G’s 10 crack commandments rule number 4 ought serve as a guide to breaking down this question as the 21st entrepreneur seeks ways of answering it. Before the entrepreneur of today seeks funding for items of their business plan, it is imperative that they must first cater for their living needs first.

Personal finance tips propose several strategies to financial freedom. Examples include: The 50/20/30 budget rule, 28/36 rule, 6 months emergency fund rule, income, 10% retirement, house rules and a host of other personal finance tips touching on such mundanities like opening your bills on receipt.  For the 21st century entrepreneur, these tips are worth the paper they are written on.

Stuck on How To Fund Your Startup? Word of Advice to the 21st Century Entrepreneur:  You are on Your Own, Literally,

First, these personal finance rules assume existence of a monthly/ regular income. Entrepreneurship, especially in economies with high employment rates, is often a matter of necessity breeding invention. Jobs are hard to come by. Therefore, the individual with an entrepreneurial streak seeks to improve their situation and that of others by starting a business.

Secondly, they are better suited for entrepreneurs who are at the point where their business can pay them and  take care of its obligations, including funding part of its growth. In the intervening period before the startup takes off, the entrepreneur has to cater for their living needs.

Steve Jobs famously had to live on the charity of friends and a Hare Krishna temple as he conceptualized Apple. Many other entrepreneurs have had to sink into debt just to finance their dreams.

Why This Piece of Street Smart Beats What You’d Get From Business School & MBA Classes

For all the teachings in business schools on navigating the funding cycle of startups, there still is no exact science to it. Personal stories of how successful entrepreneurs navigated this sink or swim phase scarcely are of help. This is because very few successful entrepreneurs ever talk openly and honestly of the struggles of entrepreneurship especially in the formative stages.

The complexity of business environments on the hyper-local to global scale, ensures unpredictable uncertainty that defines the environment when one first embarks on the journey to entrepreneurship. It is for this reason that Notorious B.I.G’s rule number 4 is of utmost importance to the 21st century entrepreneur.

It is paramount that they plan for themselves for the long haul. While at it, keep business money and personal money completely separated. Or at least have your finances well documented. Given the strict demands of this rule, you have to ask: How long does it take for a business to break even?

Three years? Eight years? Thirty years? ? How many years of time, effort, blood and sweat? 10 Crack Commandments Rule number 5 offers some clues.

Not Too Gangsta for Family: Notorious B.I.G on Work-Life  Balance

Pop celebrity author Malcom Gladwell quantified the enormous demands on time and effort for one to be great at something. Ten thousand hours is the number.  Even with modern tools such as the power of social media and artificial intelligence, the demands on the 21st century entrepreneur are no less softer.

Number 5, never sell no crack where you rest at
I don’t care if they want a ounce, tell ’em bounce!

The nature of Notorious B.I.G’s enterprise wouldn’t allow him to talk of unshakeable realities like work-life balance. Such soft talk would have killed the juice of his brand: street cred. His authenticity would have suffered. This is someone who used to sell crack out of his mama’s house front pouch (a famous disregard for his own rules as he was once arrested for it). Doing his thing before the corporate engineered days that have begot the likes of Jay Z, his brand would have irreversibly suffered.

Brand Authenticity Through Professionalism: Notorious B.I.G Offers That  Entrepreneurs Ought Maintain Work-Life Balance as a Strategy to Wealth & Health

Loss of brand equity is something Notorious B.I.G was afraid of.  This must read New York Times article by Toure that came out just as the early effects of trappings of fame and fortune dawned on him informs us so. It is one thing selling crack in the area on Fulton Street between St. James Place and Washington Avenue. Quite another, dealing in Park Slope section of Brooklyn where he’d bought his mum a house.

I could never see myself moving in the suburbs,” he said. “It ain’t going to be right, and the lyrics are going to be soundin’ nasty. I know it. There won’t be nothing to rap about except the birds.

Given these conditions, we should be safe to take the fifth rule off Biggie’s 10 Crack Commandments as a subliminal punt at stressing the importance of an optimum work-life balance for entrepreneurs. The 21st century entrepreneur should know that Malcolm Gladwell’s ten ‘proverbial’ ten thousand rule is no walk in the park.

The temptation to neglect your social support system in entrepreneurial life is great. Moreover, emergence of gig economy and enabling technology begot by the fourth industrial revolution are perilous to a healthy work-life balance.

Know Your Worth

The pressure of the first sale. The anguish of pushing the sale when you meet a prospective client seeking your services. Damn that pressure, I know too well for my own good.

Number 6, that goddamn credit? Dead it
You think a crackhead paying you back,

It is at such moments when you have lost leverage – investors on your neck, bank loan due, rent in arrears – when the entrepreneur might be pushed to giving bad credit. Notorious B.I.G’s 10 Crack Commandments rule number 6 is one 21st century entrepreneurs ought frame. Bad credit is worse than no sales. With bad credit, aside from it being equivalent to a no sale situation, you additionally loose inventory/ operating capital.

Business & Family

Couples in business together, father and mothers and sons and daughters. Prospects of an entire generation staked on the success of business. Talk of pressure. The fallout of family run businesses? Not even your favorite novella can dramatize that.

7, this rule is so underrated
Keep your family and business completely separated

Of course the risk in illegitimate business like that of Notorious B.I.G is far greater. As the case of Saddam and his sons, Gaddafi and his sons, any mafia enterprise that you can think of that’s gown down, entire clans do end up in filth when shit hits the fan.

For the 21st century entrepreneurs, often the only talent they can afford in the startup phase is family and friends. If the startup navigates the narrow path to success, the challenge is even more daunting (as there is more to be lost). Succession and steering of business beyond the first generation is a the pariah among the host of family business challenges.

It might not be feasible for the 21st century entrepreneur to avoid family altogether. Hope lies in solid corporate governance structures for family businesses. Apprenticeship and mentorship offer a key pillar to lean on. And so does technology.

The Importance of Business Inventory Management

Inventory is everything. Managing small business inventory where advantages of economies of scale, credit history and financing are everyday quagmires is no walk in the pack.

Number 8, never keep no weight on you!
Them cats that squeeze your guns can hold jums too

Biggie was on about the felony: found in possession with the intent to sell or distribute. For the 21st century entrepreneur, rule number 8 is a call to be versed with 21st century strategies for managing inventory like drop shipping.

Business Ethics

Ken Follet’s gripping Pillars of the Earth, is a must read for 21st century entrepreneurs. The subplot of Aliena’s struggles with entrepreneurship ought be interesting fodder for their entrepreneurial exploits.

Early on in her business journey, a chance meeting with a successful business lady shapes inspires Aliena’s mindset on business. In his re-known snap-suspense fashion, Ken Follet kills what might have been an inspiring story on business mentorship when the lady entrepreneur is expelled from the market for her husbands unethical business practices of tampering with scales.

Number 9, If you ain’t gettin’ bagged stay the fcuk from police
If niggas think you snitchin’ they ain’t trying to listen

In a famous interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, rapper Cam’ron explained the code of secrecy that rules the streets. This wisdom from Cameron is what inspires rule number 9. Understandably, the ethics of streets differs from above-board business. Nonetheless, the 21st century entrepreneur is reminded of the importance of being conversant with both the above surface and hush-hush rules that govern their business. Trust me, you don’t want to be in a fight with your peers.

Tips on Distribution & Handling Business Relationships

Forgive us for saying earlier in rule number 8 that inventory is king to business success. Scratch that. Distribution is king.

Number 10, a strong word called consignment
Strictly for live men, not for freshmen
If you ain’t got the clientele, say “hell no!”
‘Cause they gon’ want they money rain sleet hail snow

Don’t hold more than you can sell, especially on credit. Anything (theft, damage, loss by fire or natural disaster) is on you. Business insurance is one way to mitigate against such losses. Better contracts with transporters and warehousing facilities is another. Even if the business has that covered this way or any other, the 21st century entrepreneur must realize that cash is king and holding up operating profit in dead stock helps nobody but the guy who dumped the stock on you.


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Science of fragrance : Why some perfumes are so irresistible

When the wise men spotted the star in the north, as it had been written, they carried with them gifts to pay homage to the new king. Featuring prominently were gifts of fragrances. Frankincense and myrrh aka the ancestors of modern perfumes. Granted, the nativity story is  powerful. In fact, it might well be argued that the generosity of the wise men helped build an entire festival of consumerism every end year. We start from here as we explore how socialization, evolutionary neurobiology and evolutionary psychology have a say in mystifying fragrance and making perfumes so irresistible.

Bewitched by a perfume, does the answer lie in how we were socialized?

With the numerous references to fragrant substances in religious text, such as the wise-men gifts of fragrances, it is convenient to link fragrances to spirituality. This causality, incentivize us to conclude that religious practices of yesterday (burning of incense for example ) contribute to modern-day mysticism of perfumes.  After all, we all agree that there is something about a good fragrance that gets to the soul.

With a good fragrance, it always feels like you are Kayaking at the arctic circle as you watch the sun rise

However convenient using the power of religion to explain why perfumes are so irresistible, the gaps in such a theory are obvious. Not every one of us is religious; neither are we all believers. Besides, even among the religious, this irresistible, almost innate, hard-wired appeal of a good fragrance has nothing to do with the implied dogma that fragrant scents are the stuff of gods. That the burning of a fragrant plant appeases divinity. As Micheal Bywater writing for The Independent in Scents and sensibility: The history of perfume argues:

History would have it that perfume, whose very name comes from the Latin pro fumum, “through smoke”, was originally reserved for the gods. It doesn’t hold water. What the gods wanted was the rank bloodsmoke of sacrificial victims, and if a more fragrant offering were burnt before them, it was to disguise the smell from us, not to please them.

Oops!

Wherever your stand with religion, it is acceptable that a good scent is known to do more than appease royalty. Nor neuter bad smells from reaching the olfactory cells of pious types burning live sacrifices.

A good fragrance is like a charm. You’ll find yourself hugging a stranger while all they had intended for was a shake on their extended hand. Trust me, the embarrassment is real. Try as you may, finding a reason good enough to explain your plastering of yourself on their torso to naught.

Fret not though, it could be worse: like missing your stop on the commute or getting off before your destination. A friend once confessed to suffering from such an insidious case of fragrance induced zoombie-osis and I couldn’t stop laughing. All that embarrassment because of a wicked fragrance.

That enticing allure of fragrance; is it evolutionary?

For all the enchanting powers of a good fragrance, with time, thanks to science, it gets to a point where we can no longer smell what perfume we are wearing.  Or the smell of smoke on you from cooking with firewood after a few days stay in the village with your folks. We all know of that gush of air full of cheap perfume, the sweet esters of alcohol, armpits and cigarette smoke that hits us as we step into a nightclub; that as soon as we immerse in, we can’t pick thereafter.

Bee on a leaf: At times. a good fragrance has a simillar effect on humans as a pollen does
The importance of pheromones is well recognized in other life forms. What is mans answer to this  important signalling system?

Somehow, good or bad the scent, we adapt. A mechanism gets switched on and we are good.  Neurobiology places this mechanism in the limbic system. And oh, those weird behaviors we talked about – like following around strangers – are also in part mediated by the limbic system. Part of the structures that form the base of the human brain, the limbic system is a collection of neurons with probably the most evolutionary significance. It is the nerve-center, pun-intended, for all our emotions and behaviors.


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The role of sensory adaption

Sensory adaption is a phenomenon that occurs when the limbic system ‘ignores’ less threatening smells –like that of a perfume — so as to prioritize the scanning for more threatening smells — like say a decomposing corpse. This mechanism serves as a ‘primitive’ method of species self-preservation by identifying threats and opportunities in the environment.

Sadly, all we can make of sensory adaption  in explaining why we find perfumes so irresistible is that it alludes to an innate mechanism. The sensory mechanism of smell helps us recognize what’s good for us. If we picture this mechanism as a pattern matching thing; then it’s no different to all the things humans evolve to do.

How evolutionary psychology ties everything up to ensure a fragrance is made to entice

In the book Applied Evolutionary Psychology, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2012) Roberts argues in the chapter on “Evolutionary psychology and perfume design”, that

the process of perfume design would be enhanced if it was developed with greater understanding of the communicative value of the underlying body odour of the individual who uses it? Evolutionary psychology has, and will continue to, produce insights into the informative capacity of body odour in human perception and its role in social interactions, in five main areas: individual recognition cueing and kin-related behaviour, cues of current state, mediation of female reproductive physiology, cues of underlying good-genes, and cues of complementary genes in partner choice. Since these cues have been shaped by selection over evolutionary time, and play a role in co-ordination of key social interactions, incorporation of this knowledge into perfume design could potentially provide a springboard for transforming the success of specific perfumes.

Marketing Science

So far, we’ve explored how socialization, evolutionary neurobiology and evolutionary psychology have a say in mystifying fragrances and making perfumes so irresistible. Still, our exploration would be incomplete if we didn’t consider the environment at the ‘operational level’. A discussion on the science of fragrance would be incomplete if we didn’t consider the factors at play when we are deciding on a fragrance for men or perfume for women.

Advertising billboard simillar to the ones in fragrance as

By this we refer to the conditioning from the marketing of perfumes that invariably subliminally educates us that a good fragrance equals a better sex life. The attack is two-pronged. First, the problem. As Allison Berry writes for Time: The Psychology of Fragrance Ad Casting:

There is an inherent paradox built into fragrance advertising, which is the notion of persuading the consumer to buy a product whose essential function can’t be conveyed, seen or felt through a broadcast spot or a page in a magazine.

Then the solution ?

Quoting Karen Post of Branding Diva, Marian Bendeth a global fragrance expert and founder of the Sixth Scents consultancy; Catherine Walsh a senior vice-president of marketing at Coty Prestige; Karen Grant, vice-president and global beauty industry analyst at NPD Group; the author reveals the strategy employed by Ad agencies running campaigns for designer perfumes that make them so irresistible to the consumer:

  • First task is to pick a famous — pretty or handsome — face with the ability to “evoke the right emotions based on the brand strategy”. By this method, credibility is aligned with the fragrance. Faces with a capacity to “engage beyond just appearing in a print ad or a broadcast ad” are particularly in demand.
  • Then is to package the celebrity via such old tricks like enhancing their good looks. Almost always, sensuality and good photography comes in too. The goal is for the celebrity to identify with the target demographic.
  • Finally, the Ad agency designs the perfect mix of media to place the ad in the right channels so as to generate maximum interest.

Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African


Good Makeup On The Cheap is a Right! Whatever You Fancy, These Simple, Timeless, Golden Tips Guide You on How To Apply Make Up And Not To End Up With Tragic Eyebrows

Everybody should at least once in their lifetime experience the peace of that uplifting spruced up feel of wearing well done makeup. Deserve? Yes. Right? Maybe. Whichever way you gravitate, you must admit that living in a hedonistic 21st century, makeup feels more of a right.

But we can’t all afford a makeup artist. Some of us can’t –even for our lives–handle a makeup brush for all the playful fun that dolling up can be. Believe me, you might be missing out on all the goodness as TV and glossy magazines make believe that good makeup can’t be cheap.That the more expensive your makeup kit the better it turns out.

Blame it too on socialization. Makeup is seen as a ritual to appease the demons of the vanity  mirror; as a weapon in the arsenal of sexual purveyors.

Having appreciated all these diverse reasons as to why not makeup, we have to ask why the obsession? Why then is makeup so ubiquitous in the 21st century?

Why Do Girls Wear Makeup?

Let me try and make this sound way more serious than it actually is.

I have just concluded conducting a poll  on first impressions from a person’s self-presentation. The respondents of this poll were a representative sample of contemporary cosmopolitan women. The study’s findings, short and sweet, are:

When girl meets boy, the shoes and belt still top the charts as surrogate markers for status. Unsurprisingly,it turns out that when girl meets girl; the hair, fashion sense and makeup –in that order– make the most impressions.

It seems then that it should be pretty easy to hack 21st century dating, job interviews, business pitches or whatever else that relies on good first impressions. For the lads, good shoes and belt. For the women, do a good job on the make up

Disclosure: The ‘representative sample’ was limited to the women of my life.Serious digging though tells of both cultural and scientific evidence explaining why makeup is so ubiquitous.


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Men and Makeup

This is what I found out when I asked my husband his thoughts on men and makeup.It went something like:

“The easy decisions aren’t always easy.

dreadlocks, tattoo and beards are now mainstream macho. men makeup? not yet mainstream
The 21st century male is metro-sexual 2.0, they get their hair done, beards maintained and throw on some makeup too

Decisions like keeping a beard or not.

I wear my beard proudly. I have been clean shaven less than three times for all I can remember. But that’s the easy part. Whether to rock a light stubble, heavy stubble or full grown beard, is the decision to make.

What started as no shave Movember has morphed into a thing.

A thing with my daughter who has placed a moratorium on my beard. Shave it and don’t you dare drop/pick me up at school is the gist of this embargo. She wants it there in it’s full glory. Not a hair missing.

Then, there is my wife who wants it “maintained”–whatever that means.

Lastly, it’s with my mum who wants it gone.

My personal choice? I am in between. I want it there, maintained, gone and full mane all at the same time.

Here is why: At times I am vexed over what message my full grown beard communicates to  my clients during business meetings.

Some business communication 101 so that you understand why this is important:The cardinal rule of effective business communication is that as an entrepreneur, you represent your brand all the time.

Brands are a reflection of the people who conceive them, name them and nurture them. Think Steve Jobs, think Richard Branson. They are Apple and Virgin respectively. Christ, throw in President Donald Trump too.

Back to my beards and entrepreneurship chronicles. Take that for some of the brands am building,my full beard channels the aggression needed. At other times, a heavy stubble (as my wife likes it) is the apt beard length to cross the T’s in that important business meeting.

Whatever the choice of beard length, it can be darn tasking having to make all these considerations every morning.I believe its the same with makeup. Nobody wants to apply their precious neurons that way. “

Analysis Paralysis: Common Makeup Questions That Bog The Mind Every Time You Pick Up That Makeup bag

That moment infront of the bathroom mirror applying makeup with all these questions swirling all over your mind if you are doing it right
  • How much makeup is enough for this dinner date, business meeting or even a quiet Saturday indoors?
  • Do I even have to wear makeup in the first place? It’s not just my thing you know.
  • Everyone is wearing it. Even though it is not my thing, I feel left out. In fact having wearing none makes me feel less a woman. What to do now?
  • What if I wear some and end up sticking out like sore thumb?
  • Even if I were to it, would I be able to pull it off like Sandra at the office?
  • (In the bathroom, standing there in front of your makeup vanity mirror, makeup brush in hand) Do I even remember the sequence? Keep in mind that often you probably be running late at risk of  missing a meeting or keeping your date waiting.

Finding The Right Balance Between Rocking The In vogue Natural Look and Wearing Makeup

The case for makeup is a strong one. Take for instance that be at the bar or even the boardroom, science tells us that men pay more attention to a lady when she has red lipstick.

Why is that? There is a host of nerdy reasons like the psychology behind colors and evolutionary whims such as the need to procreate. The short of it all is that lipstick makes the lips simply more charming!

Before rushing off to pick any lipstick off the shelf, remember that the color of the lipstick matters. Red lipstick comes first doing better than brown or even pink lipstick. Plain Jane finishes last.

Aside from these proven benefits of makeup in strategic self presentation, choice ought be the guiding maxim.

Like this African beauty, some are blessed with flawless skin that ordinarily doesn't need makeup. When she does feel like makeup, surely less will be more for her
Natural African Beauty

Women should wear whatever makeup they want for themselves, for whatever reasons. For most women, it boosts their confidence in the short term. In the midterm, this confidence fix does their self esteem a world of good. The self esteem then leads to a happy life.

But that is just one perspective. Others swear that  grooming not makeup is all you need. Cosmetics like primer, concealer and foundation, powder are just their mojo. At the maximum, maybe light eyebrow pencil and some lipstick and they are good to go.

Regardless of whether your choice is to go all natural or to wear makeup, makeup artists advice that a personalized beauty plan is the silver bullet.

A personal beauty plan goes beyond fancy makeup organizers. It surely is aided by expert advice from dermatologists and professional makeup artists. By all means, it is an intuitive PROCESS that leads a woman towards their own routine that complements her image and style.

Awesome Makeup Begins With Taking Good Care of  Your Facial Skin

Some basic steps to follow;

  1. Cleanse/wash face to remove oil, grime and old makeup.
  2. Steam your face regularly. The moistened heat cleans your face both inside and out. Out by opening up skin pores through sweating and thus flush out ingrained dirt. Cleanse inside by causing flushing as blood vessels vasodilate washing out toxins and bringing in oxygen-rich blood to  renew the skin.
  3. Exfoliate/scrub using pH balanced facial scrubs to extract dirt particles from the open pores from steaming. This also helps removes blackheads and whiteheads. Scrubbing encourages new cell production to reveal a youthful you.
  4. Apply face mask to re-hydrate and accentuate the look of the renewed facial skin.
  5. Tone products help remove excess dirt including residue makeup.
  6. Moisturize with the cosmetic product of choice leaving you looking beautiful and supple.

7 Step Tutorial On How to Apply Makeup

Minamalist makeup kit consisting of cosmetic powder, lipstick and cosmetic brush
All the makeup you need to look glam
  1. Prepare your face with moisturizer and primer. The primer helps to enhance the appearance of makeup and increase its longevity.
  2. Apply foundation to create an even complexion  and even base for your makeup. This is the most important stage in makeup application. Foundation is what gives you that ‘baby’ skin look that is so attractive. In fact science puts foundation as the most effective makeup. If you have a choice to go all out on a cosmetic product, foundation should be the choice.
  3. Apply some concealer if needed and blend it in. This evens out uneven skin tone as a result of blemishes or dark under-eye circles.
  4. Follow up with your choice of blush, lipstick, eye-shadow, eyeliner and mascara.
  5. Contour to emphasize your facial features. For instance, prominent cheek bones are a sign of beauty in most cultures.
  6. Blush your cheeks. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks to your skin tone. This is scientific too. Women when they are most sexually viable like during ovulation are likely to have blushed chicks.This serves to attract potential mates.
  7. Fill in your eyebrows. This especially applies for those with thin or sparse eyebrows.

Pro Tips

Always select a color of pencil that is close to your natural hair color. BLACK PENCIL IS A NO NO ON EYEBROWS.

Getting eyebrow makeup right: Start by outlining the edges of your eyebrows then fill in the center using the same strokes. Go in the same direction of your hair growth. Set with a clear or tinted brow gel to make them stay all day.

Always wash off at night to avoid that ghastly look of melting magma in the morning/you also don’t want to stain your bed linen.

Rule of thumb; LESS IS MORE. If it feels like you are pushing your mascara game over the edge, you probably are.

Good makeup is about balance. When the eyes make a statement, the lips should be more quiet.

Two Key Rules

  1. Makeup should ENHANCE your looks not change them. This is particularly important to note when you have to ‘draw ‘ things.
  2. Less visible is more attractive. Therefore, always highlight one area eg  lips/eyes not both.

To a fabulously beautiful you


Know. Own. Be. Live the African Century. Everyday Tips on Life, Style, Entrepreneurship and Careers for the 21st Century African