Steel Smoke by Kangai Mwiti

Today we're playing with one eyeshadow palette- Sephora's Smoky It Palette. But before we go on, check out all its gorgeousness... *sighs deeply*

Image courtesy of sephora.com

Image courtesy of sephora.com

I've got a lot to say about the palette, so let's dive right in! Here goes: -

PROS

  • It has a beautiful array of smoky, jewel-toned colors which makes it absolutely perfect for the holiday season, or for a hot date
  • It actually works very well for women of color
  • The colors are all highly pigmented, and those of you with darker skin tones will appreciate how fabulous the purples, olives and blues will pop on your lids
  • The lighter colors (the shimmery whites and silvers) can be used as an inner-corner highlight
  • There literally a huge number of looks that can be created with this palette, from light ones to dark, smoky looks
  • The palette comes with an eye liner and a two-sided brush. The liner can be used as a base for the shadows (apply all over the lid, blend in with your finger), and [traditionally] as a liner
  • I am in LOVE with the two-sided brush! It has a number of uses...
    1. I actually use it now for cleaning up brows- the angled end for applying concealer and carving out the brow, the fluffier side to blend the concealer in
    2. The fluffier end can be used to apply shadows to the lid and/or to blend them in
    3. The angled end can be used to apply the black (or darker) shadow as a liner, and to smudge it in
    4. The angled end can also be used to blend in the pencil liner into your lash line- gorg!
  • The build of the actual palette is really great...
    1. First, it looks like a little clutch- so cute!
    2. It's made out of sturdy cardboard, and after using it for a really long time (since before Christmas 2013), it still looks brand new. Like seriously.
    3. If I travel, I can carry this palette alone and just throw in the pencil and brush. I won't need anything else

CONS

  • There are no transition shades in the palette. To remedy this, I'd have actually swapped one or two of the shimmery silver shades for one or two neutral brown shades.
  • I couldn't help but notice that the shadows have quite a bit of fall out. This means that it's wiser to either apply your shadow first, then finish off with your foundation. Alternatively, there are shadow shields, or setting powder (under the eyes) or even tissue that you can use to avoid fall out
  • The eye pencil that comes with the palette isn't that pigmented, unfortunately
  • It's not available here in Kenya... Ok- so this is more of a sad reality than a con. It can be found on sephora.com, or in Sephora stores.

Now if you're interested in recreating this look, Sleek's Bad Girl iDivine eyeshadow palette would work quite well, plus it's available here in Kenya!

Sleek's iDivine "Bad Girl" Palette

Sleek's iDivine "Bad Girl" Palette

On set we worked with Katya Anyango- an amazing model and a former Miss World- Kenya, so enjoy!

Products Used

  • Nouba Cream Shadow- #2
  • Sephora's Smoky It Palette, with the Sephora Noir Eye Pencil (included in palette)
  • MAC Nude Lip Pencil
  • MAC Lipglass in Revealing
  • Tarte- Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

Credits: Last photo (with Katya in a Wambui Mukenyi gown) by Ben Kiruthi.

Belle-inspired Skin Care and Makeup Routine by Kangai Mwiti

So I've gotten MANY requests to show you guys my skin-care routine (which is quite simple), as well as how I cover up my acne scarring.

So I decided to squeeze both of those requests into one video, using Belle (the movie) with Gugu Mbatha-Raw as inspiration for the simple makeup look.

And yes- that's a blanket on my head at the end (I couldn't find Belle's cloak in Nairobi )

So enjoy!

Me before, sans makeup... ;-)

Me before, sans makeup... ;-)

And here I am after!

And here I am after!

Urban Decay- Vice 3 Palette! by Kangai Mwiti

Some of you know that I've got quite a stressful and involving role as a manager here in Nairobi, and it can take a lot of my time unless I really plan ahead and remain disciplined.

Now I know that it might come as a miracle but I've decided to create a more meaningful work-life balance. With this, I can at least work on producing more content for my blog and my YouTube channel just for you- YAY!

Ok- so the best way to begin is to focus on one of my favorite brands- Urban Decay! They just announced that they're releasing the Vice 3 Palette, on September 13!!!

And LOOK- the shades are absolutely gorgeous!

Now I've got the Vice 2 Palette, which is really beautiful, as well as the Naked palettes- I'm a confirmed palette junkie! So it goes without saying that I'll definitely pick this one up.

Are you going to get yours? They'll be available in all Sephoras everywhere!

P.S.

I'll also work on finding a way to get Urban Decay into Kenya... *fingers crossed*

Pink and Blue! by Kangai Mwiti

Now for those of you who know me, you know that I'm not a stickler for style. I can rock sweats and a tee every day, if I had to.

So I'm taking on a new leaf, where I'm trying my very best to care more about how I dress. And to my great surprise, I am learning so much from one of my friends who is a stylist. The first thing that I've learned is how to pepper my wardrobe with color, and how two contrasting colors on the color wheel can be worn in such a way as to make you look like you've spent an entire morning putting your look together.

So we had the idea to try the theory with makeup! And this time, we're playing with pink and blue- two colors opposite each other on the color wheel!

On set, we have the gorgeous Lola who's always ready to work- I love this girl!

Lola in pink and blue. Photography and makeup by Kangai Mwiti.

Lola in pink and blue. Photography and makeup by Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

Model- Lola. Photography and makeup- Kangai Mwiti.

PRODUCTS USED

  • MAC Fix +
  • MAC Veluxe Pearl Eye Shadow- Freshwater
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Palette
  • E.L.F. Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder- Warm Tan
  • Sleek Blush- Coral

And of course, we shot the first part of this tutorial. Check it out!