Q&A with Vanessa Ikwang

Her designs are simple, sophisticated and chic. Her personality is down to earth, outgoing and really friendly but most of all, am glad to call her my friend plus she  gave me my first photo shoot model op’ This is none other than Vanessa whose fashion line is called iKWANG that ranges from dresses, skirts to head pieces. Her use of the Kitenge material brings an outfit from boring to red carpet ready.


APW: Where and what inspired you to start your own fashion line?

Vanessa: An old Congolese friend of mine inspired me to use kitenge and start my own designs.

APW: What is the best part of owning your business?

Vanessa: It has to be bringing ideas, whether my own or a customer’s to life successfully and also being my own boss so i have all creative freedom.

APW: Describe your design style.

Vanessa: I love very simple and realistic designs. I’m definitely not into the ‘gaga’ or crazy type of designs. I make designs which the customer can be comfortable wearing on any occasion or on the street.

APW: What is your advice on keeping up with trends?

Vanessa: I don’t think people should be pressured to follow what’s trending. Some trends are crazy! Everyone has their own sense of style and i think they should wear what makes them feel good, not what everyone else is wearing.

APW: As a designer you get so many customers who might not know what design suits them. What style would you think is perfect for my body?

Vanessa: A super duper bright colored Ankara skater dress would be definitely perfect for your body type.

APW: What is your favorite jewellery?

Vanessa: I love pearls. i think they are so classy and so versatile. They go on almost any outfit.

APW: What should people get rid of in their closet?

Vanessa: I just can’t stand handbags with worn out skins. They downgrade any outfit as they look so old regardless on how cute the actual bag is.

APW: That makes two of us on that one! If you were stranded on island, what items from your closet would you go with?

Vanessa: Haha but the question should be how would I access my closet if I’m stranded on an island? I don’t think i could get on that island!

APW: What is your favorite piece in your closet?

Vanessa: That’s a hard one. My fave piece ever owned is actually not kitenge. It was my black and blue chiffon and lace maxi dress with a thigh high slit. I’m sure you know the dress I’m talking about.

APW: It is such a beautiful dress! Any advise to those who want to join this industry?

Vanessa: They have to be as creative and aggressive as they can be. Work hard too.


THANK YOU Van! Check out her designs on instagram @vanessaikwang facebook @vanessaikwang




Q&A with MUA Mona

Flawless, pretty,simple, classy, chic, sophisticated, intelligent, inspiring and such a beautiful personality are just some of the words that came in to my mind when i met with this lady right here. Her love for makeup has made her the Ugandan Makeup Whisperer,in my opinion and the opinion of her 19k and so social media followers. She is so welcoming and down to earth, it is no wonder, her client base keeps growing bigger and stronger by day.

Her name is Monalisa Umutoni, best known as Mona and she is just 23 years old. Talk about inspiration to so many girls out there including myself!! Her make up business is Mona Makeup Studio which was started in September 2014 making it almost two years this year.

APW: How did you start in the makeup industry?

Mona: I actually never thought i would become a Makeup professional. I never thought i would get paid to do makeup for people. I have always loved it though, i used to look at magazines and celebrities from childhood and i would do it for free for friends who in the end, would bring their friends as well. It was more of a hobby and now it’s a career.

APW: Did you have an artistic background growing up?

Mona: Yes I did fine art from childhood. i just loved to draw. It is so funny but makeup,to me, is a form of art so am happy i ended up doing the art i so love.

APW: If we took a peek in your makeup kit and your main bag, what would we see?

Mona: I normally have lip gloss, eyebrow kit n studio fix foundation in my makeup bag. In my general bag, phone wallet, and my diary for keeping tabs with appointments

APW: What sets you apart from other makeup artists? Why would I want you to give me a facebeat?

Mona: I would say it is because I strive to do my best and deliver exactly what the client wants.

APW: Please give MEMOIRSOFAPRINCESS readers your best beauty tips.

Mona: For those who wear makeup, never sleep with it on and always use genuine products especially foundation. Always get makeup from a good brand and look for your natural shades for it to blend well. For those who don’t know much about makeup, less is always more. If u can’t perfect what you know, you would rather just stick to the basics like a mineralized powder and a good lipstick. Makeup is meant to enhance your beauty so you have to b careful to do it right.

APW: What do you love MOST about make up? 

Mona: I love art so I see makeup As the creation of beauty. I look at every face as an art canvas because each face is different and unique so makeup can never b a routine for me.  I also love seeing people’s happy faces when I do their makeup which is always priceless.

APW: What is your favorite cosmetic right now?

Mona: It definitely has to be OKAY Natural tropical Coconut oil for skin. It feels so good on the skin and keeps it healthy, moisturized and glowing.


APW: How has social media influenced?

Mona: It is everything these days. It has helped me a lot in this business. We follow so many trends and people and that’s how most of my clients get in contact with me and see my work. So it is a very good marketing tool.

APW: What is the hottest makeup trend right now?

Mona: It has to be contouring. Everywhere on social media has tutorials or pictures of contouring and almost everyone is trying it more now.

APW: What is the most memorable moment in your career

Mona: Yes there was a wedding I worked on and I was so happy because the whole bridal party was so excited and genuinely happy for the work i had done.It was so exciting for me to see the impact i had made on their special day.

APW: Any future plans for tutorials because we are all waiting to learn something from you?

Mona: Yes most definitely am planning on that in the near future but it is still a working progress because I want to deliver the best for my clients.

APW: Lastly, any advice to aspiring makeup artists?

Mona: 1. Be extremely passionate about it, not the income. Money comes last because there is a lot of work and sacrifice that goes with this career. 2. Practice a lot. 3. Work hard, push through any barrier to achieve and above all, lots of prayer. God has helped me through it.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MONA for your time doing this for my blog ♥ ♥ ♥

Find Mona Makeup Studio in Kisementi, Crane plaza. Instagram @monafaces Email: monalisaumutoni@gmail.com

Retro Bikinis

It is almost summer time and my fave place to be is the beach, so what are you going to wear? Retro bikinis or best known as high waist-ed bikinis go way back to the 1950s. Celebrities like Grace Kelly and Taylor Swift are such big fans of this. These are a stylish way to get sexy on the beach plus gave an hour glass silhouette and this trend isn’t about to go away soon.These can be worn in all sorts of prints and shapes.

While so many people say they look like diapers, i tend to disagree. They are FABULOUS and always look classy regardless. The high-waisted silhouette emphasizes each and every curve on your body, making it the most feminine suit on the market plus the bottom won’t fall off or keep sliding off with every bend making it so comfortable.They also look amazing underneath the sheer garments in case you want to take it from day look to night on the town.

My fave is the fringe top retro bikini. It is so fun and yet less revealing for us who are not so confident with our tummies plus it doesn’t hurt that they look fab on ALL shapes and sizes. So if you feel confident, you will definitely look confident. Get your beauty on, girl.




Q&A with UK based MUA Nellie

This beautiful lady is Nellie and her Instagram page VintyNellie, has over 11.8k followers,myself included. Her make up and hair care is so pretty while embracing the client’s inner and natural beauty so when she responded to my Q&A inquiry, i was beyond excited and her personality is as beautiful as her talent. Here it is 🙂


APW: Tell us about yourself – name and some details of the business.
Nellie:  Hiya! My name is Nellie and my brand is called VintyNellie. I specialize in hair and makeup and believed to have empowered women through beauty. I believe that women feel their best, once they look their best.

 APW: Why do you think you decided to become a makeup artist?
Nellie: My passion for beauty led me to the path that I am in today. As a former model, I remember how I felt once my makeup was done and the best word to describe that feeling is “unstoppable”. I felt as though I could conquer anything that I wanted to because I looked and felt Fabulous! The feeling of empowerment that comes with looking great is indescribable (in a good way!) which is why I decided that I wanted to also share this experience with women.

APW: How did you get your start in the industry?
My determination was how I got my start in the industry. I knew what I wanted and knew this from a very young age. My drive to become successful in my field allowed me to remain focus and to make decisions that would advance my skills and knowledge.
For example, I have always worked on beauty counters because I know that this would be the only job that i would appreciate and allow me to focus on makeup artistry the way that I needed to.
APW: What and who inspires you?
The power and beauty that women possess inspire me.
APW: What is your favorite go- to hairstyle and why?
Nellie: My favourite, favouriteeee hairstyle in the whole wide world is a *drumrolls*…. Ponytail lol. Boring but just so quick and convenient! I also feel that with a sleek ponytail it can enhance your features, so yeah! That’s my favourite go to quick hairstyle.

 APW: What are your daily must-have items in your bag?
My daily must have items in my bag is a never ending list lol but we can start with my PHONE CHARGER. If I don’t have my charger for a split second I feel as though the world ended. It would then be:
Money, Earphones, Keys, whatever lipstick that I’m wearing, straws, tissue, face powder and brush, and I think that’s it!
APW:  How do you stay on trend?
Instagram. Instagram is basically a vogue magazine that automatically refreshes its content and keeps me on trend lol. And it tells me what’s on trend with everything! From hairstyles to what nail polish colours are in season, it’s truly amazing.

APW: Any advice for the young girls and boys who want to join this industry?
Be TRUE TO who YOU are! Identify what you want to accomplish and then   accomplish it. With faith as small as a mustard seed, you can make it.

APW: Many people have picked up the eye lash extension trend including myself. You also provide this service. What do you feel is the benefit to these extensions?
Eyelashes can turn your eye makeup from a basic mediocre 4 to an award winning solid 10! The way eyelashes can transform and enhance your entire look is quite soothing lol. Have you ever been in a situation where you can’t find the word to describe what you’re trying to say and your best friend says it for you? That’s what eyelashes can do for your makeup.. It completes things.

APW: What is your best beauty tip?
My number 1 beauty tip is to always take off your makeup at night, I know it’s so obvious but honestly your makeup will not look refreshing and flawless if you have irritated skin from clogged up pores.
 APW:I love your beauty Vlogs, what was the inspiration behind them?
Thank you! My inspiration behind my vlogs was to help women that could not have a makeup artist to do their makeup learn how to look just as beautiful by following step by step tutorials.

THANK YOU SO MUCH NELLIE!! It was so fun hearing from you. Please find Nellie on instagram: @vintynellie ; website: http://www.vintynellie.co.uk ; email: enquiries@vintynellie.co.uk



Q&A with Cafe Ceylon


In the heart of a Kampala suburb known as Kamwokya, lies a little treasure called Cafe Ceylon. Its beautiful and homey interior with a busking scent of freshly baked goods and snacks make it one of my favorite places.


I love the wooden floors and wooden plunks on the walls and various art pieces plus the smiles and warmth from the waiting staff and cashiers and never forgetting the yummy treats in the display tables.

Cafe Ceylon has an array of continental dishes ranging from basic coffee,burgers and pizzas to Chinese noodles and stir-fry to Italian pastas to  Sri Lankan and Indian tikka varieties. I normally have a craving for Indian cuisine so i had the Chicken Tikka classic with naan bread (YUM!) and my handsome date had the Crum fried chicken with fries (i dipped and nibbled on his meal as well 🙂 ) After the meal, i had my little pen and paper and decided to have a quick Q&A with their Head Chef, Chef Geoffrey Emmanuel.

APW: When did you know you wanted to become a chef?

G.E:  I was inspired by my uncle who was a chef. He taught me alot about food and i got the passion from that and decided to follow the culinary route.

APW: What is your philosophy when it comes to food and the restaurant?

G.E: My philosophy is easy. I always strive to make the BEST DISHES EVER and become better at the art of food so customers enjoy each bite and want to return as quickly as possible.

APW: What food inspires you and how do you come up with ideas for the dishes on the menu because i see alot of variety?

G.E: Indian and Sri Lankan or oriental recipes inspire me because they are not only very popular now but are very delicious yet simple.

APW: Do you have any vivid or memorable food experiences that impacted you as a young chef?

G.E: Yes many but the most vivid was trying a biryani rice recipe and making it at such a young age. It helped me realize my potential of being a chef because it turned out excellently and i just kept trying out all sorts of recipes and perfecting them.

APW: So as a chef, you taste and nibble at all sorts of foods, but what is your all time favorite meal?

G.E: It definitely has to be a simple stir-fry whether beef or chicken. It is such a simple recipe to make but yet so delicious.

APW: What are your next restaurant goals?

G.E: I am definitely looking at a five -star restaurant with a bigger array of foods and desserts.

APW: You see a lot of faces in and out of the cafe daily, is there one particular customer who stands out in your memory?

G.E: Yes that is very true but i love the fact that all types of races come and enjoy whatever the cafe has to offer. It is really rewarding seeing so many diverse people enjoying the food.

APW: That is definitely rewarding and since you were in the middle of baking, any last words for budding chefs or restaurateurs?

G.E: Yes, i advice them to join Chef and Restaurant Associations. These are wonderful as they give you a start on what the actual work entails and they help mentor them by giving different training on financial, recipes or hygiene.

Find Cafe Ceylon on Plot No. 81. Kira Road opposite Kobil Petrol Station.




What does it mean?


A new day. A new morning. A new phone number. A first HELLO.  A new car. A new year. A new born. A new year. Another birthday. All these show the start of a new beginning of sorts.  New things tend to bring some sort of anxiety – will i like it as much as i thought i would?, is it risky? will i be good at it? But i guess the uncertainty makes it even better because it feels like an adventure. I recently celebrated my birthday and as most, it felt like a new beginning of something grand.

Each year, as you blow the candles, you tend to think of the goals and dreams and each year, you wish and pray that they get better and better and of course, this year wasn’t too different. The only difference i know, as i looked at the faces and smiles of the people who make my life amazing in one way or another, is now i am no longer as scared and anxious as normal,, am more willing to let life flow as it should and not make too many plans and focus on being the best version of myself and be happy. So what does it mean for something new? A beautiful uncertain beginning full of adventure, lessons and lots of laughter at the end of the day. So yes honey, older, wiser, more focused on myself and ready for what life has to offer in this new chapter 🙂



Rainy days cookies

On these rainy days i love to bake. Nothing beats a home that smells freshly baked goods. Today am sharing my easy go to recipe for choc chip cookies.



  • 100g brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted block butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g chocolate (any kind!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200oc Place butter and sugar in large bowl and mix well
  2. add the egg and vanilla essence and mix again
  3. sieve in flour and salt to mix and combine well.
  4. Cut the chocolate, but not to finely and add. Mix together then roll balls of mixture to about 2cm by 2cm and place on a baking tray with baking parchment on. Be careful not to put the cookies too close together.
  5. Place in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes. Repeat until all cookies are cooked.
  6. I use different kinds of chocolate and add nuts. For double chocolate cookies simply replace 50g flour with 75g chocolate powder