There are some stories, you hear and automatically think to yourself, that could only happen in Lagos. We are kicking of our “Only in Lagos”, series with stories from 5 women about their worst beauty encounters in Lagos.
I used to be left alone with the sales girls in my aunt’s shop in Balogun a lot as a teenager. One day, one lady came around offering to fix us up with pink lips among other things. Apparently the girls were her customers, and so she stopped to chat with them a bit, when she saw me she asked, “ahn fine girl you no go do pink lips?”. I hesitated at first, but agreed with a little persuasion from the sales girls, added to the fact that I did have rather dark lips. She started with scrubbing at my lips with something out of an unidentifiable bottle, after which she applied something else which almost immediately begin to burn as she put it. I shot up screaming, and attempted to wipe away whatever she pit with my hands, but the damage was already done and I had burn like patches on my lips for months after.
I was born and raised in Kano, and only moved to Lagos because of a job opportunity. In Kano, my sisters and I formed the habit of getting henna done on some parts of our body, every month or so. After moving to Lagos, I was determined to continue doing this and asked around for any good henna artists. A colleague of mine hooked me up with her aunt, who was supposedly half Hausa, but looked completely Igbo to me. Long story short, she lied about using natural ingredients for the henna mix and I reacted very badly to whatever she used. I woke up the next morning with both my hands covered in ugly red hives, and after taking a shower most of the henna also came off. I promised myself to never get it done in Lagos again.
I hired a makeup artist off Instagram for an important event I had to attend. She had a good number of people following her, and I fell in love with the pictures of her work which she put on her page. On the D-day, aunty arrives with a makeup box that is half empty and no proper brushes of her own. I ignored these warning signs and the fact that the makeup on her own face was nothing to write home about. By the time she was done making me up, I was unrecognizable and not in a good way. I wiped it all off, and promptly refused to pay her a kobo. I refunded her transport money and ended up going for the event with just powder, lipstick and some eyeliner. I later did some proper digging and found out she had been stealing pictures of other MUAs works.