Saturday, 18 November 2017

Brand Overview: Essence Cosmetics

Hi loves,
Today, I thought I'd do a brand review on Essence cosmetics and just tell you all about my favourite products from the brand.
Essence is a German drugstore brand that first caught my eye ...many many moons ago on my first overseas trip, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. way before it became available in South Africa. I was super-excited when it became available in Clicks and Dischem. It's a cruelty-free brand, that's super-affordable and they make amazing colour products; my favourites are the nail polishes and the eyeliners. Below, I talk about my impressions of the different types of products and my favourites and not-favourites.

Lip products
The best lipsticks from Essence always seem to be part of a limited edition range: I've swatched lipsticks from the permanent range but I'm never impressed. I've picked up the limited edition lipsticks though. I love the formula of the Lights of the Orient lipsticks; 02 Bellydancing queen is my favourite from the collection and 03 Princess Jasmine's Choice paired with the Miss you much lipliner gives a mauvey nude.

Soft neutral look with the Lights of the Orient eye shadow palette and the Metal art  lip & liner in 02 you're mermazing.
On my lips is 03 Princess Jasmine's Choice with the Jumbo 2-in-1 lip pencil.

I recently tried the metal shock lipsticks and liquid lipsticks from the Metal Shock collection; I love the formula of the lipsticks, they're very comfortable to wear and highly pigmented. the Liquid lipsticks are pigmented but they feel more like lipgloss and don't have very good staying power.

Essence Metal Shock Lipstick in 07 Venom

It's a bit loud... but I love it.

Eye Products
Essence eyeliners are the best you can find at the drugstore, especially given the price you're paying. My favourites are the long-lasting liners: I have them in five colours and they last all day without fading.
Eye shadows are not my favourite; I've tried the palette from the Lights of the Orient collection, it's decent but it doesn't have any mattes in it, so you need to pair it with mattes from elsewhere.

I recently tried out the Metal Shock shadows; these are really good dupes for the Stila liquid shadows. The pigmentation is amazing, you don't get any fallout and they don't fade or crease during the day.
Metal Shock shadow in 03 galaxy rocks, matte shadows used for transition and crease are from the Saharan II palette from Juvia's Place. 

Moonlight cream shadows are also new; I've tried the shade cosmic, which is a duo-chrome brown with teal micro glitter. This shadow feels a bit wet, and has a consistency and feel similar to that of the Colourpop Supershock highlighters.
Moonlight eyes cream shadow in 03 cosmic with matte shadows from the Nubian II palette from Juvia's Place. 

Face products

Now this is where I feel Essence needs to put in more effort, because this is just sad. I've tried out the mousse foundation: it applies well but they do feel heavy on my skin. They dark shades also run a bit orange, which doesn't suit me, since I have neutral undertones. But they don't last all day and they transfer quite easily.

Nail products
The nail range from essence is probably my favourite of the lot. It's super  affordable  and just delivers as well as or even better than some of the high end nail products.
The colour selection and pigmentation is impressive and at R29.95 its a no-brainer.
Their base and top coats are the best I've ever tried; they wear better than Sally Hansen and CiatΓ©. My manicure usually lasts at least 5 days before it starts to chip. They range in price from R49.95 to R54.95.
The Metal Shock limited Edition range has some polish and powders and I'm really enjoying the Metal Shock Powders and they're really fun to play with. I've been using them for the last month to do metallic and duo-chrome manicures and I'm really impressed with the results.

Current favourites
Final thoughts: My holy grail products from Essence are definitely the nail products, they always come through for me. The Metal Shock products for nails and eyes are keepers, but it's a pity they're limited edition. They're still available in Clicks stores, so now's the time to get them.

Have you tried anything from Essence? What are your favourites? Comment below.

See you in my next post, 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

One Week,One Palette Challenge: Juvia's Place Nubian II

Hi peeps,
So occasionally, I like to challenge myself to use one palette to come up with multiple looks without using any other palette or eye shadow. It's a way for me to get maximum use and enjoyment out of my palette, since I spent all my hard-earned coin on these 😊

I decide to start the Nubian II palette from Juvia's Place. Out of all my palettes, this is the one I use the most. It's got good transition colours, two dark colours for a smoky eye and gorgeous jewel tones. Sometimes, I like to use the dark shades Kenya and Leyla for contour (cautiously with a light fluffy brush!) and I use Zuri and Sheba as highlighters (with a fan brush and a light hand πŸ˜‰)I've compiled all my looks below, showing the shades used as well.
To prime my lids, I use the Urban Decay primer potion in Caffeine. I love how this creates a velvet even canvas on my lids. My eye makeup lasts all day without creasing or fading.
The eyeliners used for all these looks are from Essence cosmetics:
Black -Black love
Blue - Cool dawn
Green - I have a green
Purple - Purple rain

Look #1
Crease: Morocco
Outer Corner: Jezebel
Inner & Centre Lid: Nairobi
Centre lid: Nefertiti
On my lips is Black Up 2-in-1 Jumbo Lip Pencil in 08
Look #2
Crease: Madagascar
Inner: Zuri
Outer towards the centre lid: Jezebel
Lips: L'Oreal Colorriche Matte Pure Reds Collection Doutzen
Look #3
Crease: Morocco and Jezebel
Lips: Ciate London Liquid Lip in Obsession

Look #4
Crease: Morocco
Inner & Centre Lid: Egypt
Outer: Jezebel
Lips: OFRA Liquid Lipstick in Americano and Essence soft contouring lip liner
in 10 Miss you much
Look #5
Crease: Madagascar
Lid: Cleopatra
Outer: Leyla and Kenya
Lips: ORFA Liquid Lipstick in Napa Valley
I've done many more looks with this palette; but these are the ones I came up during my challenge.
Juvia's Place is available from third party sellers in South Africa: SAMIKA, Pink Cosmetics, Fashion Police and Beauty Gifts By Melanie.
Or you can get it directly from the  Juvia's Place online store since they do ship internationally.
Have you tried the Nubian II palette or any of the Juvia's Place palettes?
Let me know in the comments below. Also, post some of your looks on Instagram and tag me.

See you in my next post, 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Make-Up Review: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

Hi peeps,
Here's another that took forever to make to our shores.
After years and years of hearing beauty influencers wax poetic about this Maybelline foundation, we finally get to try it out .... YAY!!!

Here's the blurb from the Maybelline website about the foundation

Fit Me Matte & Poreless has been designed for normal to oily skin. Its blurring micro powders refines pores while shine is being absorbed for a natural matte finish.
Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation fits both skin and texture for natural finish and poreless looking skin.

Apply smoothly and evenly to your face and blend with your fingertips.

Of I went to Dischem to swatch and hopefully find my shade. I initially chose 352 Truffle but when I applied it and looked at my face in natural light the foundation was too light. So I went back to Dischem and swatched the dark shades and mixed a couple and decided to pick up 365 Espresso as well.

The foundation comes in a 30ml squeeze tube; similar to the dream velvet matte foundation which also comes in a plastic tube. I don't really have a problem with it; a lot of the drugstore foundations ar packaged in plastic, it's cheaper than glass. The advantage of plastic is that if you drop it, you're not going to loose all your product. The foundation number is printed on the front of the tube and the name is printed on the back with the  ingredient list.

So I had to mix two different foundation shades to get my perfect shade; I mixed the two foundations in equal parts. A pea-sized amount  was more than enough for my entire face.
I started out applying the foundation with an oval brush, but I didn't like how it was applying, So I used my fingers, which is what they recommend anyway.
The finish is a soft matte and coverage is light to medium, which I like since I do like a more natural finish to my foundation. If you have dry skin, you might not like this foundation because it did feel dry. So you might want to use a hydrating primer underneath this foundation.

Wear Test
I tested the foundation for a week with three different primers currently in my stash:
The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer
Stila Cosmetics One Step Illuminate
NYX Cosmetics Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

I don't normally set with powder, but I do use a setting spray and I used my setting sprays with the foundation:
Urban Decay All-Nighter
NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray
Maybelline Superstay 24hr Setting Spray

I didn't notice any difference in the look and longevity of my foundation throughout the day (> 8 hours) with the 3 primers.

In terms of performance of the foundation; my face was matte until midday and then I noticed a bit of shine around my T-zone (I have combination-oily skin) but it wasn't bad, I had a glow and I could get away without blotting all day. However, the foundation does tend to fade around the mouth and nose, so it's not long-wearing. It didn't minimise the appearance of my pores, it even seems to make them more visible, especially on my nose πŸ€”.

Wear test. You can't really see this in the pictures but the foundation does fade around my mouth and nose. But I'm impressed with how it held up during the day, because I didn't look like a grease ball the end of the day. Even without blotting. 

Final thoughts
Overall, I think this is a decent drugstore foundation; for me it's definitely better than the velvet dream matte foundation, which I tried out last year. I didn't like that one at all; the undertones of the foundation were wrong and it settled into my smile lines a few hours after application.
I think this foundation will be great for wearing out for a couple hours out to an event or something because it's not a long wearing foundation.
If you want a long wearing foundation from Maybelline, then go for the SuperStay; I've never tried it because it doesn't come in my shade πŸ˜’(Shade selection is really disappointing for this one).
In terms of shade selection, this probably the best we've seen from Maybelline in South Africa. I wish they'd brought in the Fit Me range for the USA as that has 40 different shades and is much more inclusive, especially at the dark end of the spectrum.

I don't need this in my life...nope!
You can buy the foundations at Foschini Beauty and Zando online. Although, this is only recommended if are sure of your shade. If you're trying the foundation out for the first time, I suggest you go into the store and swatch before making a selection. It's available at Foschini, Dischem and Clicks stores. Though some stores do not have the full shade selection.

Price wise, the foundation is at R 99.95, but it's on special at Dischem for R 92.95.

Have you tried out this foundation? Did you like it?
Let me know in the comments below.

See you in my next post, 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

New Hair, Who Dis? My Experience with Brazilian Wool Hair

Hi lovelies,

This is definitely one of those, the internet made me do it. People were talking about it and I got curious. Took almost a year for me to finally try it though.

I've styled my hair wool before, the regular knitting kind. it's quit a mission, there's a lot of folding and cutting. The upside of using wool is that you don't find X-pression fiber 2 weeks later πŸ‘Ž
Here's a picture of my first try at yarn braids 2 years ago
Yarn Braids with 100% Acrylic

I enjoyed wearing these and though some people complain of drying, I didn't experience any. I was excited to try Brazilian wool hair because it's got very hair-like feel and look. Also, it takes less work to prepare the wool for installation, compared to regular wool.

First thing I did was watch a YouTube tutorial and read a gazillion blogs before attempting installation. Here's a link to Natural sisters video on installing faux locs with wool hair (click here).

Do your research
My initial plan was to install purple faux locs, but I changed my mind half way through and decided to add black into the mix.

I cut the wool into equal length pieces that were about 1.5 m long: I then used 4-6 pieces of wool to twist my hair. I braided the root and twisted to 3cm longer than my own hair and tied a knot. As always, I moisturised my hair with the Moisturizing butter from My Natural Hair and sealed with the Caivil Fusion Oil Hair Root Nourisher.

Brazilian Wool Hair 100% Acrylic Yarn

It took about 6 hours to twist my hair and another 6 to wrap it πŸ™ˆ (I wasn't feeling it, wasn't in the mood to install). I used 6-8 pieces of wool to wrap; I pulled the wool through the roots of my twists using my latch hook to keep the wool from slipping down the twist, especially once I wash it.

My locs are about bra-strap length, I cut the ends and burnt them using a lighter.
I used 5 and half packs of the purple to twist and wrap, and then I got black wool (enough for one bundle) from Rozanne (who installed the wool as a box braid bob).

Half and half faux locs: Purple hair don't care
I'm supposed to spray my hair with moisture mist and oil it every couple of days.
I've got the Refreshing moisture mist from Buuya and a bunch of oils I use (I use whatever is closest when the mood strikes 😎.

My thoughts
I've had faux locs installed for a week now and I really love them. The wool is super light and I managed to install without pulling my hair to much, so there's no tension.
I've already cleansed my scalp with and it still looks neat, so I think I'll be able to keep them in for 4 to 5 weeks.

Where to buy
I purchased my wool from Nat Moisture; they charge ZAR 20 for a single bundle, and ZAR 180 for a 12 bundle pack. The colours available are black, brown, purple and maroon.
You also have to pay for shipping, which is ZAR 60 to anywhere in South Africa.

You can also purchase the wool from @africanhair_galore an Instagram seller, based in Goodwood.

Have you tried wool hair? Is it something you're willing to try?

Let me know in the comments below

See you in my next post, 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Hair Review: New Hair Goodies from My Natural Hair

Can't believe that, September has come and gone, where did the time go? πŸ‘€
People, I cannot tell you how long I've been waiting for these new additions to the My Natural Hair product range. If you've been following me for a while, then you know that the conditioner and oil are on my list of favourite products.
I was privileged enough to be invited to the product launch at Style Studio Canal Walk, which took place on 31 August 2017.

The new additions to the family:
A Leave-in Conditioner, Hydrating Masque and a Curling Cream 😁 as well as the Nourishing Conditioner in a larger 500ml bottle (our prayers have been answered curly-coilys).

I've had braids installed for the whole of August; so I uninstalled and dug into these to try them out.

I shampooed with my usual; the Lush Shampoo bars the "NEW" or the "Soak & Float", I have scalp issues and these are the only shampoos that work for me.

I detangled with the hydrating conditioner and rinsed it out; I've already reviewed this one , along with the other products in the core range (click here) It comes in a larger bottle πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜
Look at my face 😁 It's the small things in life

I dry my hair with a towel to get rid of the excess water before applying the hydrating masque. I applied this to my hair one section at a time (I usually have 4/5 sections), then I cover my hair with cling film and put a towel over that and wait 15-30 mins ⏰ depending on how lazy I'm feeling.

The dilemma
After rinsing out the mask, I towel dried my hair and then I styled it. I decided to do a roller set. I separated my hair into 3 sections and applied the leave-in conditioner, the curling cream and strengthening oil.
First roller set in over two years

Feeling after roller set is done. Them rollers were digging into my skull 😢

 Skip past the overnight anguish of the roller set the end result

Soft & Fluffy afro is my favourite way to wear my hair

Now to my thoughts about the new goodies...

1. Leave-in Conditioner 250ml
First off, the packaging in awesome. It's in a 250 ml pump bottle.
The fragrance is the same as in the other products in the range; its a light floral herbal scent, I quite like it. the conditioner is thick and creamy, it's not greasy at all and it spreads through the hair really easily. So a little goes a long way. it's got great slip, making it ideal for detangling and combing through. It performs in the same way as the Shea Moisture Restorative Moisture conditioner (Rinse-out/deep conditioner/leave-in), so yay!!

2. Hydration Mask 250ml
This comes in a tub, it's thick and creamy too. Like the the leave-in it's got really good slip. The end result once rinsed out is amazing. the coils were popping. My hair felt soft and manageable. The only other hydration mask I've tried is from Pure Oils, which is less creamy in consistency.

3. Curling Cream 250ml
So everything in this range is creamy and thick πŸ˜€ I really like this curling cream. It's not greasy and its super moisturising. Don't be heavy handed with this one. A little goes a long way. It doesn't flake or anything but why waste product.

My thoughts on using (almost) the entire range: everything works well together. I like how the leave-in, curling cream and oil layer together without flaking or weighing down my hair. There's no greasy mess afterwards either.
I only needed to refresh my hair with the curling cream and oil on day 3, so the longevity is also good.
Price wise, I'm pretty impressed; they range from R 74.99 to 134.99 on the My Natural Hair website. Also, always take advantage of the 3 for 2 specials that Clicks has quite often.

My ride or die from this range hands down are the Leave-in Conditioner and the Strengthening Oil; definitely "holy grail" status for me.

What products are you looking forward to trying from this range?
Let me know below.

See you in my next post, 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

NYX Cosmetics Cape Town & Perfect Filter Palette Review

NYX cosmetics is finally here! Yes!I can finally, try all these products that I see on YouTube but never get to try 😁😁😁
As you can imagine, I dragged my BFF to Canal Walk, because needs must. I didn't queue at Unholy O'clock for the Goody bag, because I prefer sleep over most things these days. secondly, it didn't turn out well on some devoted fans who ended up missing out on freebies because some reorganizing of the queue.
Anyway we grabbed some coffee and took a place in the line, not for the store but at the NYX promotional stand in the food court; you could have your makeup done by local beauty influencers @kimlyn_makeuphair and @rushanaisaacs. They also had props for some selfies and had spin and win competition for those with proof of purchase from the store.

I didn't want to stand in the queue for the store like I did last weekend for the UD store; so we did our grocery shopping stopped for lunch and then went to the store. We didn't have to wait for than 15 minutes to get in the store, but the store was busy and it's not big, plus the excited junkies everywhere, I was out of patience. So I didn't really get a chance to explore the store at leisure; I did see a couple of things that I want to pick up when the hype dies down. I only picked up one item, and that's the Perfect Filter eye shadow palette in Olive You. I've been wanting to try this palette since it's being lauded as a dupe for the controversial ABH Subculture palette on social media, also I really like the colours.

My Favorites
NYX has some of my favorite drugstore goodies; I'm an avid fan of their primers. I love the eye shadow bases so much I have 3 of them πŸ™ˆ. My absolute fav is the matte white, it creates the perfect canvas for my bright eye shadow looks and my makeup lasts all day without creasing or smudging. I've also been using the Angel Veil face primer for the last couple of weeks. I picked it up at a NYX store in Singapore a couple of weeks ago and since it was never available in the Clicks stores. It's got rave reviews - here's a review by Jackie Aina where she compares it to a high-end one.

My Favourite eyeshadow bases

Wish list
Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer - because why not? They claim it's waterproof..I'll happily test that.
Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder highlighters in Snow Rose, Twilight Tint & Synthetica- I swatched some of these on Saturday...they're amazing, but not for the faint of heart. Someone say "highlighter to the gods".
Coloured Felt Tip Liners - in blue and green.
In Your Element collection - Fire palette (launching on  NYX website on 4 September, but I'm seeing it a lot on Social Media (check out the swatches here on iluvsarahii Instagram page).

The Perfect Filter palette in Olive You

Two of the looks achieved with the Perfect Filter palette
The colours used in the look on the left are marked with green dots, and for the look on the right, those shadows are marked with red dots.
This is a good everyday palette; it's a good combination of mattes and shimmers. I have tried using it on a naked lid, but the colour payoff is way better when I use primer. Also there's quite a bit of fallout, so don't be rough with your brush when picking up colour. I used the white eyeshadow base for both the looks above.
I think I'll do a one palette, one week palette and use this palette for the rest of week. I'll post the results on my Instagram page.

That's it for now, fellow junkies. I really recommend visiting the store and trying out what they have to offer; we finally have a decent range of everything the brand has to offer.

See you in my next post, xoxo

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Urban Decay Cape Town Opening & My UD Lipstick Collection

Hi all,
This past weekend, I attended the long-awaited opening of the newest Urban Decay store in South Africa at the V&A Waterfront. So, I dragged my BFF to the waterfront and we stood in line for an hour before getting into the store; Can I just say, the wait was worth it. Portia Luma (Deep & Afro House DJ) livened the atmosphere and there were giveaways for those waiting in the queue. 

I had a couple things in mind that have been on my wish list for quite sometime, but I like to swatch and try things before committing. lipsticks were on the agenda, since swatching a couple of them in Singapore a couple of weeks ago. I didn't buy them then, because they're cheaper here 😊.

Let the swatchfest begin...

Me and my BFF swatching like we've never swatched before

 I took advantage of the opening specials and made use of the 4 for 3 special: I picked 3 lipsticks
(R 240.00) to add to my collection as well as a tube of the primer potion eyeshadow primer in caffeine (R 320).

I've done lip swatches of the all the UD lip products in my collection:

Lipstick is My Vice πŸ’‹ Conspiracy (Metallized), Psycho and Heroine (both Comfort Matte)
I'm absolutely in love with the Vice lipsticks, especially the comfort matte formula since, it doesn't dry my lips out at all. conspiracy is the perfect metallic nude for those deeper skin tones. Psycho is the perfect pink on everyone (it's also got iridescent blue sparkle 😍). And then there's's a blue lipstick, if you're daring enough go ahead and wear it. I dare you ...πŸ˜‰

Liquid lipsticks: My favourite shade is purple lipstick Pandemonium (Matte) and a metallic blue Time
All that Glitters 😎 Special Effects Lipcoats in Reverb "Purple with shifty pink-gold sparkle" (on top of Pandemonium) and Ritual "Smoky blue-gray glitter with iridescent 3D Sparkle" (on top of Heroine)

I picked the liquid lipsticks (R 290) and Special Effects lip coats (R 295)  in Singapore (along with De-slick and All-nighter setting sprays); I got Pandemonium ( a comfort matte bright purple) and Time ( a blue metallized lippy). Both are super comfortable and long-wearing; although a greasy lunch means you need to reapply).
I got the lipcoats in Rital and Reverb; they can be applied over any matte lipstick to add some sparkle. I love them! It takes some skill to apply an even coat, but the end-result is worth it. You also feel a bit of a tingle when they're first applied to the lip but that goes away within minutes. The lipcoats are budge-proof and you'll need an oil-based product  to remove them.

Things I still want to get...
1. De-slick Complexion Primer
2. Naked Skin Foundation
3. Razor Sharp Liquid Eyeliners

That's it my pretties; I really enjoyed the store opening (my first ever). I want to thank the BFF coming with me. Makeup is so much more fun when it's a shared experience.
If you're a junkie like me, head over to the UD store; they've got makeup tutorial/lesson/demo services as well (for a price). For those that live far from Cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria; Foschini Beauty Online does stock UD products, with delivery for orders of R 500 or more.

What are items are you dying to try out from the Urban Decay range? Let me know in the comments section below.

'Till my next post, xoxo