Tuesday 7 July 2015


How time flies, that this month marks our 4th anniversary. It has been a long way coming and we bless the Almighty for being there for us these past four years. Personally as the founder/editor of BIG SISTER, West Africa’s premiere health and life style magazine, I must say I have been blessed. This is one brand that I would say has given me a voice in my immediate society and international community. BSM has earned me respect from my family, the elderly, young and even among my peers. Indeed, the gift of a man makes him outstanding.

This brand may still be on its way for to fetching me billions in my accounts, and we may still be struggling with a couple of challenges as the case may be, but Rome which was not built in one day, we are on our way to building this great media empire. This won’t come by magic, but with time. Four years and still counting, I want to thank our grand patron for the financial sacrifice and support. We want to thank everyone who believes in this vision. We cannot forget our nineteen cover models so far, thank you for identifying with us. To all our partners in the industry and numerous fans worldwide, what would we have done without you? 
We won’t go back on words; that is being a voice that represents the clan of the curvy and plus sized women. We won’t stop celebrating their worth, beauty, talent and brain. We won’t stop putting them on the spotlight.

Happy Anniversary Big Sister Magazine!

Photo Credit: Photizo
Makeup: Cheeries Makeover & G Signature

2015 July Cover Models: Bold & Fierce Divas!

Photo Credit: Photizo | Makeup Artists: Cheeries Makeover & GSignature | Press: Big Sister Magazine

Anytime we are about to package a new edition of Big Sister, one thing we look out for is a cover model with great confidence and personality. We look forward to showcasing a curvy woman with beauty, talent and brains. A woman who is hardworking, ambitious and with inspiring stories.
This month, our cover models, Gloria and Irene are no exception. They are both young entrepreneurs, talented in their field. These women are well empowered and are in a class of their own; they own their looks, personality and loaded with vibrancy.
Let us meet them;

About you: My name is Gloria Silva CEO/founder of G-Signatures group & shopping festival Nigeria. I am a woman entrepreneur & am still working really hard on achieving more.
My company is into interior decoration, event management & image consulting and I am also a freelance make-up artist based in Nigeria.

Family background: I am from an average home, my mother was a contract staff in Mobil & my late father(May his soul rest in peace) died as a director while still in service & they both tried their best for me & since I knew my fees never came on time. I had to work. Even when I wasn't really the school type! I was more of work, business, money. So I couldn't wait to finish school. I’ve always prided myself on being different.

How did I do it? I didn’t take the usual route, and I never did anything the easy way.
qualification:Early start At age 20! I had already graduated with a B.SC in Environmental protection & resources management from the University of Calabar and started my first full-time job, as a CEO of my business company. Then went ahead to obtain different certificate as I trained at the Ghana school of cosmetology specializing in bridal, photography and video Make-up. I was also trained on special effect & cosmetics teeth whitening at Derma contour beauty academy Germany. I was trained on runway and bridal make-up at London school of beauty & make-up Dubai, Also i trained on image consulting in fashion designing school Tanzania. I have also studied at local colleges learning various beauty therapies such as Gel/basic manicure, luxury pedicure, eyebrow threading/tinting, waxing, facials and massage.Other jobs: Before then I was doing some path time jobs while still schooling. it's sure wasn't easy for me! Mixing school with work But I pulled through it all.

Work : My work encompasses many fields & My expertise incorporates the latest beauty trends and my make-up kit contains only the highest quality and luxurious branded products. Having always been moved by the latest fashion trends, I combine this with my creative imagination to give me inspiration of creating unique looks. This is what makes my work original. I am extremely talented and creative my passion and dedication have allowed me to update my knowledge and skill to craft the best perfection, I have equipped myself to thinking on the spot and work within a time frame. One of the most important things I have learnt is the make-up isn't a mask to hide behind but should be used to bring out your best features to reveal your natural beauty. My determination for perfection and dedicated approach enable me to create flawless finish for all my clients. About Shopping festival Nigeria: The sfn is one of NIGERIA’s signature event and It holds once a year. This fair presents groundbreaking work in shopping, sales and exhibition. The Fair is here to help expand the horizons of business owners, shoppers and audiences with product and services that are visionary, genre-bending, multi discipline, Startling and original and also showcases international and local business owners / shoppers then offers a mix that brings achievement around the globe. The Festival will broker international partnerships, will also be a meeting place for creative minds, showcase Nigeria’s best and serve as an incubator of brilliant new work. This Festival is here to help put Nigerian business owners on the world stage and in return bring the world to the business owners. SFN also puts the willing business owners at a profitable end, Building their clientele outside their stores, offices or even mobile trunk. The shopping festival Nigeria helps Nigerians shop for quality at a discounted price.
VISION SFN aims to be Nigerians’ best and one of the 2nd most significant in the world—and a greatly anticipated and highly valued asset. Shopping festival Nigeria will become a Festival of national importance as a catalyst for art, cultural and community development of the region.
 MISSION The shopping Festival Nigeria engages and enriches business with adventurous contemporary works PURPOSE The purpose of the Shopping Festival Nigeria is to:
 • Present the very best in contemporary performance,
 • Develop new, groundbreaking and extraordinary works through innovative partnerships and collaborations,
 • Tap into new and existing business owners
 • Stimulate shoppers, sales and exhibition engagement through interactive forums, outreach and ancillary activities that generate dialogue and exchange,
 • Showcase the innovations of leading Nigerians business owners and their product and services,
 • Encourage cultural export by linking Nigerians business owners with a national and international networking.

Awards: I have been honored with various awards from all over the country on woman entrepreneurs and the resent one was received in Lagos.

My advice to young ladies out there: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You have to ask for things to be successful—a lesson that women in my generation could hear a few more times throughout their careers. Ask for opportunities. Ask for a raise. Ask for a job, knowing Success Is Uncommon Everyone is different,The important thing is to embrace it—not suppress it. It’s okay to be the odd one out. In fact, I think being different, and being unique, is one of the key components of being successful.
 A quote that has stuck with me through the years is, interestingly enough, from sports coach Cal Stoll: “Success is uncommon, therefore not to be enjoyed by the common man.” If I strive to be normal, how could I ever be different? If I was never different than my peers, how could I achieve greater success than the rest of the pack? So the next time someone says you’re unusual, take pride in it. That’s what will set you apart–and set you up for success. I am Gloria Silva and this is my true life story.

To like our page! Visit www.facebook.com/sfnigeria www.facebook.com/glowsols Twitter@holaatme8Instagram@gsignatures

 My name is Irene, I am a graduate of foreign language, French to be precised from the University of Uyo. Presently, I am in the beauty industry as a professional makeup artist, the creative director of CheeriesMakeover Studio.

How come you studied French and you are into makeup business?
I have always had passion for the makeup and beauty related matters. So immediately after my national youth service, I had to go for training in makeup. To me it was just a natural thing to do because I had passion for it. Although when I went for the training at the initial stage, I didn’t see it becoming what it has become today in my life. I was just like, let me go and train and improve my own personal makeup while waiting for a job. But today, I thank God I took that step, it has been the best decision of my life and I have no regrets whatever.

How long have you been doing this?
I have been doing this for six years now and still counting.

What is your makeup specialty?
Bridal and beauty makeup

Can you count the number of brides you have done makeup for?
Awwwh! No, I can’t count. I have lost count as at now.

How do you handle difficult brides/clients?
I have been here for a long time so I have devised means to relate with all my clients. Because I’m a very simple and easy going person, that trait has helped me a lot in dealing with difficult clients which I rarely have anyways. Soft words and patience works the magic for me.

Do you have challenges in your business?
Definitely there are. Like every other business, there are a lot of challenges but guess what? I’d rather choose not to see them as stepping stones. I use them to encourage myself to work harder and stay on top of my game.
Can you recall any memorable moment in the business?
I have so many memorable moments in the course of my work, but the ones I always look forward to are the wows that comes from my clients after having the CHERRIES EXPERIENCE. The prayers they shower on me after they see their faces in the mirror.
How do you see makeup business in Nigeria?
The person who coined the adage; ‘looking good is good business’ should be proud by now because the business side of beauty is being greatly explores by my likes in Nigeria. The awareness is more in recent times which make it easier. So to me the business side of makeup is better business.
What are the worse makeup mistakes people do and you are tired of seeing?
I ‘m tired of seeing a lot of women use red pencil to draw their eyebrow. Hello dearies, it’s brown not red! I’m pretty tired of also seeing white faces and black necks. Please make them match, blend your face and neck together.

What are the beauty routines and essentials that you would recommend as a makeup artist?
As a makeup artist, I would advice that you always take off your makeup from your face before going to bed. Never sleep with your makeup on. Endeavour to get a facial treatment every now and then to pamper your face. Drink a lot of water to moisturize your skin and face and add glow to your face.
Do you see yourself owning a beauty/makeup range in the nearest future?
Yes, I see myself owning a makeup brand in future by the grace of God.
What do you do aside makeup brides?
I train people on the skill, I sell makeup products and shoes of all kinds. I sleep, drink and eat makeup, everything I do is beauty related.
Where do you see yourself and brand in the next five years?
In five years time, I see Cheeries Makeover as one of the leading makeup brands in Nigeria. And we will surely keep doing better.
Advice to big sisters who dare to dream big due to their body size?
To the big sisters out there, I say you should keep your confidence high by staying healthy. It is not just about being big, it is also about being healthy in your BIG size. Be sexy and always put your best forward.
 Big sister is four, what is your message to them?
To Big Sister Magazine at four, I say Bravo! You are doing absolutely well and I’m so proud of you. You make me proud as a curvy woman. Sometimes I wonder how you get to pull all this through, then I remember you are driven by passion, and for this, I know the sky is your stepping stone. Keep the good flag flying; you are touching many lives in beautiful ways.

Full names; Irene Gregory Udoh
Birthday; 9th May
Zodiac; Taurus
Fav Food; Unripe plantain
Fav Drink; Natural Juice
Most expensive fashion item; Perfume
My Most have makeup item: Powder
Who inspires you; God and good people
Connect with Irene via
Fb; Irene Cheeries Makeover Udoh
Fb pg; Cheeries Makeover Studio
Instagram; Makeuo by Cheeries
Email; Irene-amazing@gmail.com

For adverts, partnership and subscription please send us a mail via
bigsistermag@yahoo.com and bigsistermag@gmail.com
or call 08064233383 and 08023709028

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Editor's Note

Since the year began, there is no single week that I do not receive alert on wedding invitation via fb, BBM and Whaspp. Intending couples are displaying their pre-wedding pictures and status are changing this season.
Few weeks back, I was excited to be the maid of honour to my bestie Vera. It occurred to me that this was the closest I have ever involved myself in all the weddings I have ever attended. It was a more humbling experience when she requested that I propose her toast as best friend of fifteen years. Here is wishing her a blissful union.
In the spirit of the season, the inspiration came to package this special bridal edition. This is one edition of Big Sister that will most definitely inspire all brides to-be plan their wedding better. Starting with six months wedding preparation checklist, on Living column.
As a plus size magazine, we are celebrating the curvy brides. On fashion and style column, we republish an earlier feature on choosing the right wedding gown as a plus size sister by Kemi Farquharson, a renowned U.K. based designer. Style pick column features your must have wedding accessories. Beauty zone features lovely bridal hair plus our interesting interview with our cover bride, Vera.
Read these and other interesting features.

Cover Story

Let’s meet you…
Vera Charles Nsa is my name, formerly Vera Oku. I am half Nigerian and half Liberian. I am in the corporate world, a Sales rep and business woman.

Meeting your better half…
He is someone I have known for a while. At some point, we lost touch but later reestablished contact and here we are today.

Charles your choice…
It was not about those who came earlier, it was about who stayed to prove his genuine love and devotion for me. It was about the right man who did not want to toy around with me emotions. It was about a man whose greatest desire was to make me his wife and mother of all his children. It was about Charles Nsa.

The proposal…
He did what every real man who takes a woman seriously does. He went further to my elder brother Oku Ekpeyong and asked for my hand in marriage. I thought, that was very respectful and that made take his proposal seriously.

The dream wedding…
We wanted to keep it simple. We wanted our family members and friends to be part of. However, we had to follow things through due process. It all started with our registry marriage at Ikoyi Registry, Lagos. As an Efik princess that I am, we had to travel down to my hometown Calabar, Cross River State  for the traditional marriage. The church wedding followed the next morning.

The preparation…
It was very hectic, planning a wedding. We had to involve our family members from both sides. Almost everyone was very helpful. For the wedding reception, my cousin did a fantastic job with the catering. One of my cousin who is a broadcaster ‘Double E’ was our M.C. My cousin and one of my close friends did my hair and makeup dressed me up. I am just grateful to God that we pulled through and and no last minute hitches.

The ‘I-DO’ Moment…
Very emotional! I broke down severally when I was saying my vows. I remember my maid of honour (Elsie-Coco) dabbing tears from my eyes and calming me down. Those were tears of joy. That moment where I let go all the hurt and pain that love ever caused me and finally finding my true love and soul mate.

Wedding memories…
I remember my elder brother Oku, walking me to the altar and handing me over to Charles  formerly. I thought I was the best dancer between my husband and i. I remember my mother joining us on the dance floor. Our M.C. was very hilarious during the cake cutting and my maid of honour Elsie-Coco proposed a moving toast.

Love message to your husband….


So you said Yes and now for planning the dream day. Whilst shopping is always fun, finding the wedding dress of your dreams it can be stressful for the best of brides not to mention ladies with curves – I know from experience!
So as a Bridal Designer for the Curvy Bride, here are my top tips on finding your perfect wedding dress.

1. Set a budget. It is so important to keep to budget and look for various options within your bracket. When visiting shops, boutiques and designers let them know your budget early on as this ensures that you don’t fall in love with a dress that you can’t afford.
2. Know your silhouette. The design that best flatters you will depend on your silhouette and shape. Most designers and boutiques will offer a style assessment service. The design is the foundation, so take your time and get it right, after that its easy to work on the finishing and details.

3. Try new styles but not too many dresses! Some styles that you may not have considered may turn out to be flattering, but if you try on lots of dresses in the same style it will just leave you overwhelmed. My advice is to pick three different styles and try 3 dresses per style; anything more will be confusing rather than helpful.

4. Don't get distracted. Try to limit your shopping trips to 1 or 2 trusted  friends or family. Having too large a crowd whilst fun can be distracting, offering to many opinions.

5. Time is of the essence. Especially if you want a bespoke dress as it will take approximately 6-8 months to design and create, for off the peg dresses purchased from a boutique you need to leave 3-6 months although they can often accommodate you in shorter time if need be. Ideally start shopping at least 9 months in advance and don’t forget to check out the sample sales.

6 Don’t change. Sometimes ladies tell me they love a dress but just want to lose some weight for the day, I never recommend this. Firstly your husband proposed to you as you are now so why change just for a day? Secondly yo-yo diets are not good for your health and you are more likely to end up heavier than you started. If you choose to make healthy lifestyle changes that is very different, just remember that your dress is either made to your measurements or altered, either way if your weight is fluctuating it will have an impact on your dress.

7. Don’t panic if you don’t find the one. Not every bride is going to have a moment when she puts on ‘the one’ and falls into a flood of tears, it may happen for you it might not, for me the moment didn’t come when I chose my dress or even tried it on for the first time but it happened as I walked down the aisle and saw the look in my husband’s eyes. Also once you have decided on your dress, stop looking, it only creates confusion and wastes time.

8.Bespoke or Retail? There are advantages to both, especially for Curvy Brides. Bespoke will allow you to spend time with the designer creating your ultimate a gown and of course you are guaranteed a truly unique look from head to toe. Likewise retail is an option and a good boutique will also be able to offer you advice, just make sure you do your research and look for a shop that stocks plus size dresses.
Please quote:
Kemi Boutique
Kemi Farquharson
+44 07830 236 223
Kemi Farquharson
Designer | Creative Entrepreneur
07830 236 223

Sister's Gist

                                            NOW THAT YOU ARE MARRIED…
Now that you are married, a successful marriage is possible in a time where divorce rate is high. Longevity, strife free and fruitful marriage is very possible. There are two basic things involved when it   comes to marriage; either the marriage works or does not work.
For every successful marriage, there are basic principles that the couple has applied and for the unsuccessful marriages, there are obviously principles that were never applied or considered.
Marriage could be likened to a building, the principles of a building relates in marriage as well.  All buildings are products of knowledge and understanding, a building that will accommodate people must be well maintained, renovated and cared for if you do not want to loose it. And so is marriage. It is not just enough to have a marriage, if you abandon it shortly after your wedding, then you are likely to loose it.
For every successful marriage, there are some basic wisdom and principles to put in practice;
Marriage is a threefold cord. God is the third cord that binds the two together. Your connection with God determines the quality of life that flows in your marriage. Do not loose your prayer life, even if you do not have one, this is the best time to build one. Study the word of God and fellowship with God’s  people.

De-prioritizing your spouse is a very dangerous thing to do. Only God should come first and then your spouse. Never put things such s career not even your children before your spouse. Never take your spouse for granted and do not talk to your spouse without regard. Abandoning your spouse means the death of your romance-not necessarily sex.
In marriage you ought to make some adjustments or change in consideration of your spouse. Love your spouse. Be submissive as a wife. Learn to forgive and be kind.