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! 🙂

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