A Ruracio, friendship and wonderful memories

I love re-watching past movies and/or series that I consider especially those in which my favorite actors and actresses starred in. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are some of my favorite actresses. I first loved Hudson after watching “How to lose a guy in 10 days” with Mathew McConaughey and Hathaway in “The Princess Diaries“.

Yeah, yeah, go ahead and judge but say what you will, these were awesome movies. 🙂

Anyway, there I was curled up in bed on Thursday under the weather, shivering and aching watching “Bride Wars“. I had also watched Wonder Woman the week before so I was determined not to let some flu get me down. I was an Amazon from Themyscira damn it, or so I thought.

Turns out, I had an infection in my chest that the doc told me when I went to hospital (in my pajamas by the way…head scarf and all) was airborne. I remember how far we’ve come in our friendship and how soon she’ll be married and part of me feels like I’m losing her but on the other hand I’m super excited for her.

One time she came over to my place for a sleep over and we were chatting as we watched a movie. I’ll never forget how she was in the middle of a juicy story when she realized I had dozed off and I didn’t live that down for a while. Every time it came up afterwards, she’d roll her eyes at me. 🙂  Sigh…I’m missing her already.

Anyway, this past May I had the honor of working with her as she planned for her traditional wedding, what most people call Ruracio. It so happened that her big day was on the same day as my French exam at Alliance Française and I had to be there by 7am, while the function was set to start at 8am.

Thankfully, we were able make it work and while I was not able to attend because my exam ran long, her ruracio was a resounding success and everyone loved her makeup as did she! 🙂

Check out some of the photos, all courtesy of Sanch photography and below the makeup deets!

Primer: BlackUp SPF 25 Protective primer

Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in Mocha with a bit of Coconut.

Concealer: L.A Girl Pro concealer, Fawn

Eye shadow, liner and mascara: Morphe 35N and 35W as well as Suzie Beauty Nairobi Sunrise trio, Maybelline’s Colossal Kajal eye liner and Great Lash mascara

Blush: Suzie Beauty, Terracotta

Highlighter: Sleek MakeUp Contour and Highlight palette, dark

Lip liner and gloss: Revlon Colorstay liner in Plum and NYX intense butter gloss in Toasted Marshmallow.

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I love this lady and can’t wait to see how stunning she’ll be on her wedding day! 🙂

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Smokey eye paired with a vampy bold lip…

I’ve been sitting at my desk for the past one hour, trying to come up with a plausible reason as to why I’ve been MIA for a while. I mean I don’t get to disappear for a month and half and not explain myself! Who do I think I am? My readers need to be entertained…at least I hope you enjoy getting to know me and what I love. 🙂

Truth is, last month pretty much kicked my butt and for a moment, I needed the time to patch myself up, re-group and come back swinging. In addition to being makeup being my passion, it’s also where I love going to for comfort and just to think through things, which is how I ended up recreating this smokey and vampy slayage. 🙂

In fact, I was just organizing my makeup and stumbled across the Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit liquid lipstick in the shade Video Vixen and after swatching it on my arm, well next thing I knew I had a smokey eye going on and I was too far gone to attempt to save myself. 🙂

 

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I start by outlining the top and bottom of my eyebrow.

 

I prefer starting with my eyebrows anytime I do my makeup and especially the full on glam look because I avoid leaving palm or finger prints on my face. I filled in my eyebrows using the Anastasia Beverly Hills pomade in the shade Dark Brown and cleaned up using L.A Girl Pro Concealear in Fawn.

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Check out that eyebrow and this is before clean up with concealer.

For my eye make up, I started by prepping my eyes with M.A.C Prep+Prime 24 Hour Extend Eye Base. I then went in with the Morphe 35N palette, which is made up of matte shadows, good for transition and blending out harsh edges. You can also build up the intensity of the shadows to what you desire.

For my lid, I used the Suzie Beauty Savannah Sunset eye shadow trio and spritzed some M.A.C fix plus on the brush before picking up the eye shadow and packing it on. I smoked out my lower lash line using the same shadows, lined my waterline with Maybelline’s Colossal Kajal eye liner and applied the Great Lash mascara on my lashes.

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Thinking about the food I was going to devour at my folks.

For foundation, I used the BlackUp SPF 25 Protective primer and Matifying Fluid Foundation Teinte 06 and the same concealer for eyebrows to highlight setting it with the L.A Girl HD setting powder and  Suzie Beauty SB40 to set the rest of my face. For highlight and blush, I used the highlighter from the Sleek MakeUp contour kit and Suzie Beauty blush in Terracota.

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I was smizing for dear life…lol. Also, I have lashes!

Finally, I lined and filled my lips with M.A.C Nightmoth liner and followed with the Wet n Wild liquid lipstick then locked it all in place with M.A.C the fix plus.

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I love my big doe eyes. 🙂

I absolutely loved how it turned out and I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll see you on the next one! 🙂

A soft, everyday makeup look….

I often receive questions and comments on how much time I spend doing my makeup particularly during the week. Most of these questions are from friends, acquaintances and family members who are looking for something easy and wearable for any occasion, those who simply want to get a few more winks of sleep and wake up with just enough time add some color to their cheeks before leaving the house and those who are clueless but want to try their hand at makeup and enhance their already beautiful features.

I love doing my makeup, seeing the transformation but it’s only when I have a special occasion to attend, I can easily spend an hour and a half to two hours getting dolled up. For some reason, it is on such occasions that my eyebrows refuse to co-operate with me and I end up spending close to twenty minutes getting them right. I always go for something quick and on most weekends, I’ll only do my eyebrows, liner and lip balm with gloss over top or no makeup at all 🙂 .

Let’s be honest though, in the hustle and bustle to get to work and earn that paycheck, a full face of makeup is not practical…at least for me 🙂 . I need something that I can do in thirty minutes at the most. By the way, I wasn’t always this quick, particularly with the brows but with practice and patience I seem to have it down and may only change up the lip color. That is the one piece of advice I’d give anyone trying their hand at applying makeup…be patient with yourself and take it in stride when you do mess up. It washes off at the end of the day 🙂 !

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Starting off with my face, I use a primer to ensure that everything stays in place. For this look I used a M.A.C primer for a matte finish. I followed it up with L.A Girl Pro Concealer in Orange to conceal and correct a few blemishes on my forehead and right side of my cheek. I set these with my Suzie Beauty loose powder in SB40 and a latex wedge. You can get a pack from Good Life pharmacy and bonus they are disposable so you don’t have to wash them. I followed this with a bit of L.A Girl Pro Concealer in Fawn under my eyes to brighten the area and used a damp beauty blender to tap it in. Finally I set my face with the same loose powder.

I used my Suzie Beauty E5 Angled Brush (one of my favorite brushes) and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Dark chocolate to fill in my eyebrows. I’ll admit when I first started using the pomade, it took me a minute to get the handle of it but with practice, my precision has really improved because I didn’t curve them out with concealer.

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For my eyes, I simply line my lower lash line with the Revlon Colorstay eyeliner in Black, which I got from Nakumatt Mega and smudged it out slightly for a soft smoked out effect. I love the richness of the pigment, the easy glide on formula of it, which makes it easy to apply without feeling like your tearing the skin off your lash line  and it’s non-greasy so won’t move around (it actually takes some effort to get it off). I follow this with my Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, an all-time favorite because of the volume and length it gives my lashes and most of all doesn’t clump up.

With this particular look, I wanted a nude lip for that fresh face feel so I lined my lips with the Revlon Colorstay lip liner (also from Nakumatt) in Chocolate for definition and applied Sleek True Colour Lipstick in the shade Succumb to pull the look together. This particular shade might not work for everyone because we all have different complexions so you have to do the leg work in finding the right shade of nude that suits you.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post and do tag me if you re-create your version of an everyday look. I would love to see it!

I’ll see you on the next one!

 

xoxo

 

January and February Favorites 2017

First quarter of the year is almost over but one thing has been pretty consistent; the heat. If you’ve not made sunscreen and water your best friend, I don’t know how you’ve made it this far and no you’re not my hero because that’s just ridiculous. My heroes are the ladies who have been able to wake up each day and put on a full face of makeup and have it remain intact throughout.

At the rate I sweat, I’ve kept my makeup look very minimal, meaning a bit of concealer and powder for my face, eyebrows and eyeliner are done and finishing off with lipstick. Even then my sweat pores have failed me on a few occasions because I could literally walk five steps and I will be drenched in sweat looking like I’ve been running a marathon 🙂 .

I instead chose to focus on taking care of my skin so that my pores don’t get clogged and minimize the chances of getting breakouts. Here are some of my January and February favorites in my Battling the Heat 101 guide 🙂 .

Skincare

First up is the Seacret Mineral-Rich Clarifying Mud Mask, which I got last year in December at Westgate as a treat. This was my first time trying out a mud mask and though a bit pricey, has been a good investment. It’s composed of Dead Sea mineral mud and works to gently purify and clean clogged pores and contains a herbal complex of aloe-vera, chamomile extract, vitamin A and sunflower seed a jojoba oil.

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Per the instructions, I use it once a week applying it on my face avoiding my eye area. After five minutes, I gently wash it off with warm water and finally with cold water. Three months in and it’s an absolute favorite. I love the smell and consistency of the mask, how easily it applies and how fresh my skin feels after the treatment.

I have definitely noticed a reduction in the number of breakouts and a change in the texture of my skin. There’s a pleasant tingling sensation to the mask and you feel it working it’s magic. I’d definitely recommend this for that fresh skin feeling and is suited for all skin types.

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Along with my mud mask, I also got the Seacret Balancing Facial Serum, developed for all skin types and which works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It contains a concentrated combination of vitamins and Dead Sea minerals. The formula is light and absorbs well leaving my skin feeling fresh, moisturized and not greasy. I mentioned before in my Skincare 101 post, how important it is to have a good serum, my interest in trying it out and I must say I’m loving it. My face feels smooth, my complexion evened out and hormonal acne scars have been consistently fading, which is all I can ask for.

Lastly is the KTC Pure Almond Oil, which I get it from Healthy U. This has become a staple in my skincare routine using it to remove my makeup particularly mascara add it to my body lotion and also use it on my hair. This is a must have.

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Lip care

Anything that keeps my lips soft, supple and moisturized I’m on board with, whether it’s lip balms or glosses on those days I don’t feel like I want to apply lipstick  as well as just to give my lips some TLC (a girl loves her liquid lipsticks).

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I got these three lip balms from my cousin (shout out Wambui Waithera 🙂 ), who’s just one of the sweetest people I know. The Burt’s Bees balm has peppermint, making it tingly, Chap Stick has a subtle cherry flavor and Lip Smacker has devil food’s cake flavor. These have been such a life saver and coupled with regular exfoliation are a must have.

Our faces are exposed to the elements most of the time and you can get so absorbed with taking care of your face, you neglect your lips. The weather combined with that matte liquid lipstick you love can leave your lips looking all jacked up, so take care of them! 🙂

Makeup

Minimal makeup means fewer brushes and the Elf Professional concealer and eyeliner brush are a great addition to my collection. The concealer brush has been amazing when I’m cleaning and carving out my eyebrows because it fits perfectly and the eyeliner brush has been great not only for eyeliner but also for smoking out my lower lash line with barely any fallout.

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I got these from Good Life pharmacy and with both brushes, the bristles are soft but still firm enough to apply product making it easy to work with precision and they are easy to clean. I’d definitely get one more of each to add to my collection.

Another little gem I got from the pharmacy are the Elf oil blotting sheets. These are perfect for absorbing oil and shine, minimizing pores and mattify your skin. They are small enough to fit in your makeup bag and all you need to do is pull out a sheet, blot out your T-zone area and any other area that you feel needs it.

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As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll see you on the next one! 🙂

Urembo Fashion House Beauties…

Happy new year guys! I hope your year has started off on a high note, got your resolutions down and already taking over the world. If you don’t have resolutions, that’s okay too..go at your own pace. Besides, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, life’s a journey, not a destination. How’s that for a little nugget of wisdom? 🙂

Seriously though, the one piece of advice I can give for 2017 is to love yourself and all that makes you unique…be your authentic self. Life can sometimes beat you down and when that happens, reach out to someone to talk, hold strong in your faith and what you believe in that things will get better.

My hope and prayer for this year is to be a better person in every area of my life; a better daughter, friend, girlfriend, colleague…you get the general idea right?:-)

That said, this post has been on the back burner for the longest time owing to the fact that I lost most of the images from this gig. Thankfully, I managed to retrieve some…well after crying blood, sweat and tears and performing a traditional dance. Yeah, tell me about it….

I got to work with Urembo Fashion House after a friend referred me.(thank you Agarther 🙂 ) and as always I loved it. Located at Garden City Mall, they have an exquisite range of dresses, shoes and accessories for all occasions.

Brenda, Sharon, Rhoda and Michelle were such a delight, I enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to another opportunity to work with them. In addition to being so beautiful and smart, they have such amazing skin, it was a breeze. Again I say, your skin comes first…take care of it and it will take care of you.

For these looks, I used Sleek MakeUp and Suzie Beauty Foundation and powder, Morphe 35N and 35W eye shadow palettes, Sleek MakeUp i-Divine eyeshadow palettes; Sunset, Original and Au Naturel, L.A Girl Pro concealer, M.A.C Nightmoth lip liner, Black Opal Dark Cherry lip liner, Revlon ColorStay lip liner in Chocolate, Sleek True Color lipsticks and NYX butter gloss.

Check out the photos! 🙂

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Brenda with the classic simple eye look and bold lip color

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Rhoda also with a classic simple eye look and bold lip color

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Michelle with a smokey eye and soft nude lip color

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Sharon went for a semi-bold eye and lip combo that worked out perfectly

I hope you have a beautiful year and pass by again next week for my January 2017 favorites! 🙂

My November and December Favorites

The holidays are upon us and wow, it’s been a couple of months since I put up a post. Between work, school, assignments, and exhaustion, I couldn’t keep up and ended up taking a short hiatus.  I’m still trying to find a balance but bottom line, I’m determined to follow through on sustaining my blog with interesting content.

Getting down to business though, I’ve gotten a chance to try out some great products despite the busy couple of months.

Here are some of my favorites from last month and this month. 🙂

Skincare

Any one who knows me, knows I’m very skeptical about trying out any new product on my face. I mean if it ain’t broke, why fix it? I was lucky enough to get three free samples of Clarins products from Madora Kenya; the Super Restorative Day Cream, Super Restorative Serum and Super Restorative Décolleté and Neck Concentrate.

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Eventually brought myself to trying it out but not before doing my research and reading up on the properties. First things first, the day cream and serum are non-comedogenic, which means they are not going to clog your pores and also feature plant based ingredients. I love how light the formula is and how easily it absorbed into my skin. My skin felt moisturized, smooth and refreshed without feeling greasy. I’m still getting used to the décolleté and neck concentrate, which is meant to firm up the skin in that area where first signs of aging start showing up. While I can’t say I’ve seen a huge change (maybe I’ll see the change in about ten years when the wrinkles start to check in 🙂 ), I like the cream and we’ll see how it goes.

Another little gem, I discovered from Madora Kenya is the Beauty Success range of face masks for the quick pick-me up on the days my skin was just in shambles (read drowning in work and school assignments). It goes for Ksh. 400 and there’s enough product for you to use twice. All you’ll need to do is secure the area you cut so that the product doesn’t spill by mistake.

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I bought two of these masks and applied immediately after cleansing and scrubbing my face, careful to avoid the eye area. After about 20 minutes, I massaged it into my face for a few seconds, rinsed off the rest, toned and applied my moisturizer. Personally, I like using face masks at night, just before applying my night cream because I feel that’s when my skin gets to rest and recover from the day’s activities.

Eye shadow palettes, eye brow pomade and makeup brushes

From the highly pigmented shades to the numerous colors to play with for neutral and smoky looks, the Morphe 35W and 35N palettes are eye shadow palettes after my own heart. They are by far my favorite and I love how easy they are to work with. The 35N is made up of purely matte shades while the 35W has a mix of both matte and shimmer shadows.

To go with my eye shadow palettes, I also bought a set of Morphe makeup brushes because let’s be honest, you can never have enough brushes and you have a spare set when you’re feeling lazy to wash your dirty ones. Investing in quality makeup brushes is key to ensuring you apply your makeup correctly.

Do not underestimate the power of a quality blender brush to help blend all your eye shadows correctly so you don’t end up looking like a clown or a pencil brush for shading the crease part of your eye for definition. It’s all in the detail and precision. 🙂

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The perfect eyebrow arch is a struggle we are all familiar with. To this day, there are times I do my eyebrows and when I compare them  (because you know, eyebrows are sisters not twins), I swear my left eyebrow conspires against me.

Before I digress into how much time my eyebrows take up when I’m doing my makeup (hint, it can take me up to 10 or even 15 minutes depending on what mood my left eyebrow is in),  I decided to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Dark Brown to switch things up from how I normally do them.

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The pomade is a gel like consistency and will dry out if you leave it in the open, however you only need a tiny amount, which I put on the back of my hand to keep warm. To fill in my eyebrows, I’ll use an angled brush, working in short strokes to fill them in and define my arch. Finally, I’ll clean them up using concealer. It’s easy to work with and correct when you make a mistake and it will last you a couple of months.

Quick tip: If you don’t have a pomade and don’t want to use an eyebrow pencil, an angled brush and a dark brown matte shadow will work great.

Lip care and lipsticks

We can all agree that the first step in taking care of your lips before you apply lipstick is removing the dead skin and especially when applying liquid lipsticks because…well, you know the monstrosity that happens when you don’t take care of your lips.

Yes, we have all seen it…you’re having a conversation with someone and for the life of you, you cannot take your eyes off their lips because of the horror and you wonder whether they just made their way back from the desert.

My personal regimen in taking care of my lips is mixing a teaspoon of sugar with a teaspoon of olive oil(the one used for cooking) and honey. I rub this mixture on my lips for about 15-30 seconds (but be gently though…you still want your pout for the duck face selfie 🙂 ). Afterwards, I wipe it off with a warm cloth and apply Vaseline petroleum jelly for lips, the cocoa butter one is my favorite.

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I love that it doesn’t leave me with that greasy feel (Maybelline baby lips and Nivea lip balms did zilch for me 😦  ). It’s a great base before applying liquid lipstick and will lasts you for a while. This is a permanent favorite for me, whether I’m wearing lipstick or not.

Speaking of liquid lipsticks, let me be honest and say I have had a love-hate relationship with liquid lipsticks. I mean one minute, I feel like I’m ready to conquer the world and the next I’m crying for a place to hide because of how bad it looks.

Enter, Colourpop’s ultra matte liquid lipsticks and so far, the relationship is going well. I bought Lychee, Mars, Rooch and Creeper. Out of the four, Rooch is my favorite hands down. It’s a deep, burgundy red that compliments my skin so well.The formula is great and I only need one coat to get full coverage and it doesn’t dry out my lips even though it’s matte.

Creeper is bright orange-red, which at first I was skeptical about. However, I found that lining and filling my lips in with M.A.C’s Nightmoth liner or Black Opal’s Dark Cherry liner beforehand helps darken it to suit my skin tone. The formula is a bit light and I find I need two coats to get full coverage but once it’s on, it looks great.

Lychee is a vibrant violet and I can wear it on its own or layer it with M.A.C’s Nightmoth liner if I want it a bit darker. Similar to Creeper, the formula I found was a bit thin and I needed two coats for full coverage.

Mars is where my relationship with liquid lipsticks got a bit bumpy. Let me start by saying I’ve always been unlucky when it comes to pink lipsticks. This was no different…the formula was off, patchy and flaky. I have tried it and at first it will look good but in a few hours, it’s all flaky.

Sigh…I’m not giving up on you Mars. We’ll figure this out.

Overall, I love Colorpop liquid lipsticks and will definitely keep an eye out for new shades that speak to my heart.

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To give my lips a  a break from liquid lipsticks and let them recover, NYX butter glosses in Chocolate Crepe, Spice Cake and Toasted Marshmallow have been a great companion. First of all, they smell delicious and don’t feel heavy on the lips.

They are also highly pigmented, which means you won’t need a lot and they are moisturizing. However, gloss means transfer, so careful who you kiss ( I have marked babe enough times…I always tell him I’m marking my territory 🙂 ).

Chocolate Crepe, is a lovely shade of brown, great for a nude lip. Toasted Marshmallow is a mauve shade that can go with anything and Spice Cake, is a bright pink shade, perfect to brighten up any look. You can wear these on their own or apply a light layer over matte lipstick for a bit of shine.

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My last favorites are two sleek lip liners: Venom, a dark red and Raisin, a semi-dark purple…they are creamy, pigmented and easy to apply.  These are great for lining your lips before applying lipstick especially liquid ones because they act as a guide as well as for layering to help darken a lipstick.

All photos (except the first one) taken by the very talented Lydia Asena. Check out her blog and Instagram account. She’s brilliant!

Hope you enjoyed this and I promise to be consistent. 🙂

Happy holidays and blessings in the new year! 🙂

Models, Makeup and Dresses….

I recently turned 30 and in celebration of joining the third floor, I thought of doing a photo shoot. The inspiration came from one of my friends Nyambura Mukora who shared a few photos from a shoot she did.She looked amazing! Since I’ve never done a photo shoot, I figured there’s no better time than flirty thirty.

I reached out to my friend Maurice, who owns Avalanche Media asked him if he would be willing to do it. Even better, I thought, it would be great if my boyfriend and I did the shoot together,  you know like those photos you’ve seen online of a couple. They look so good, you can’t help but share the photo with the hash tag #goals. 🙂 Seriously though, I thought it would be fun for both of us because he’s never done one either…at least I hope he hasn’t, otherwise it’s curtains for him..curtains I tell ya!

First thing Maurice asked was my theme and I kid you not, I drew a blank. At first I thought of a vintage theme but I remembered I don’t own anything along that line and my bank account wouldn’t allow me to just spend money I don’t have. Then I thought of going the geeky/nerdy themed way. He’s a software developer, I love reading, plus I wear glasses. Kind of works, yes? no?, okay. Then I thought, humor with a helping of sarcasm because a healthy dose of sarcasm keeps the doctor away…no shade against apples or anything.  Added bonus, I believe I got the sarcasm gene from my mum.

Long story short, I’m still planning to do the shoot. I just need to figure out a theme and how to pose Yeah, that’s my other problem. Unless I’m taking a selfie where all I do is look at the camera and smile, I’m bad at having my photos taken. My go to response when someone tells me to pose is bursting out in giggles after trying to hold a pose for ten seconds (my colleague and also talented photographer Lydia can tell you all about that). She’s taken a few photos of me and it’s always taken her a few takes before she gets the shot. I always end up looking awkward because I don’t know what to do with my arms, face, legs, pretty much my entire body.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post….:-)

A while back I got an opportunity to work with some models for an company called Rent A Dress that rents out expensive events dresses at an affordable price for any occasion be it a cocktail or gala dinner.

I was excited to work with the two models and I got to play with my Morphe palettes, the 35N, which consists of  all matte shades and 35W, which is a mix of matte and shimmer shadows and a set of Morphe brushes as well. I’ll talk about them in detail in a later post but they are super pigmented, easy to work with and have minimal fall out. The looks for both models, was soft smokey brown eyes and a bold lip. I went with Sleek in Vixen a shimmery red for the first model and  Smother (my current Sleek favorite) for the second model, lined with M.A.C Nightmoth lip pencil. I loved both looks and think they are wearable both during the day and night.

Check out some of the photos below :-). I really enjoyed working with the entire team and learned a lot from them. 1467978563068

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As always, thank you for stopping by and let me know what you think. 🙂