Sleek

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

 

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! 🙂

Purple Smokey Eyes and Classic Red Lips

Trends on how we wear makeup have changed and we’re only getting bolder and more daring with the looks we wear. The one golden rule when wearing a dramatic eye look was to always pair it with a subtle lip and similarly, when wearing a bold lip color to go easy on the eyes. The main reason given for this was that you were to pick one feature you want to emphasize to avoid looking like a clown. No one wants to walk around looking like a clown…I mean of course I think they are creepy but that’s beside the point right? However times have changed and it’s great that we’re experimenting more. After all, it’s just makeup and you’ll wash it off at the end of the day.

My one piece of advice is to know your colors, play around with your eye shadow palettes and lipsticks to figure out what works and what doesn’t but most of all have fun with it. Have I had moments when my eye makeup and lip color didn’t go well together? Yes! Did I go through my day, knowing I looked funny? You bet I did and I rocked it!

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With this particular look, I decided to experiment a little and add a bit of color to my eyes and get dolled up. All brushes I used are by Suzie Beauty and I’ll be sharing a post on how I clean my brushes and take care of them. For my face, I used a primer from M.A.C for a matte finish. With this heat and my pores and sweat glands that open up at the sight of sunshine, a matte finish is what I needed. I followed with Suzie Beauty concealer in Caramel using the F4 Concealer Brush to cover up a few blemishes as well as on my eyelids and lips to prep my blank canvas for all the products I was going to apply. The coverage with this concealer is phenomenal and I’d recommend it any day because a little goes a long way. To set everything, I used Suzie Beauty Loose Powder in SB40 and F1 Powder Brush.

On my eyes, I first used the Toast from the Sleek Au Naturel palette to set my eye area up until my brow bone and also act as my transition color. I used the E2 Medium Shadow Brush, which is good for application of eye shadow all over the eye. Next I used the E4 Contouring Brush with a bit of Regal still from the Au Naturel Palette to contour my eye shape, curving it out into a sort of V-shape for that cat eye feel. I also used a bit of Bark to slightly darken my crease and add dimension.

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I first closed my eye then placed the brush in my crease on the outer part of my eye, opened it and started working in light circular motions and then slowly dragging it to the center of my crease as well as flicking it outwards to the edge of my eye. A good tip on doing this is to use a little product at a time and build it up to the desired result.

I finished the look by applying a purple shade from Sleek’s Original palette using the E3 Small Eye Shadow brush, which is good for packing color with precision with minimal fall out. In between applying the different shades, I kept going back with the E2 brush to blend out the shadows and remove any harsh lines and soften the look and cleaned my edges with my concealer brush.

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To fill in my eyebrows, I used the E5 Angled Brush and Changa. I was once stopped by a lady who just wanted to ask me what I use to fill in my eyebrows and I often get asked how I do it using eye shadow. Truth be told, my eyebrows take the most time to do…it’s like I’m doing surgery and do not even get me started with the winged liner. From holding my breath so that I can maintain the precision and not mess up, it’s a daily struggle but practice makes perfect. Anyway, I line the bottom side of my eyebrow following my brow bone to where my brow ends.

Without dipping my brush back for more product, I line the top of my brow again following my brow bone then carefully curve over my arch (feel free to exhale and take another deep breath 🙂 ) bringing it down to meet the bottom line just before the end. After that, I fill in using the same eye shadow in small flicks so that my eyebrows look natural. I use the slightest black matte shadow from the middle part of my eyebrows and fill in till the edge to slightly darken it.

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To perfect my pout and full lips, I lined my lips using the M.A.C’s Nightmoth liner blending it inwards using a lip brush. For lipstick, I mixed M.A.C’s Rubywoo and Sleek’s Russian Roulette cleaning out the edges with a bit of concealer. Anyone who knows me, knows my go to lip color is red…there’s a reason it’s called a “power lip” :-).  I finished off this look by applying some highlighter on the tops of my cheeks, tip of my nose, Cupid’s bow and just above my eyebrows for a glow.

One of the best things I love about this look is it did not feel heavy on my skin and I can rock it in the office, out to dinner or a cocktail with friends. I would love to see you recreate this look and if you do, please share your photos or leave a comment and tell me how it worked out for you!

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Have a lovely Easter break! 🙂