When I was in New York a couple of years ago, I remember seeing the Kardashian Beauty makeup products in a bargain bin at a Ricky’s. I also remember the negative reviews they got. I don’t think anybody actually liked or used their products.

When I was invited to the Kardashian Beauty Hair launch I was a little skeptical and really didn’t hold out much hope for the products.

The event was a sparkly, stylish, cocktail and coffee laden affair, but my skepticism wouldn’t leave me. The entire range, from heat stylers to brushes, masques and serums seemed overpriced (compared to what they go for in the States – but hey, the Rand/Dollar exchange will do that to you) and a little cheap. The shampoo and conditioner were priced identically to well-established and well known brands and also smelled bad. I wasn’t having it. I was introduced to a number of their products as the night went on, but left empty handed.

Everyone but me seemed impressed with the Kardashian sisters’ latest offering, so when I got home, I jumped onto Youtube to see what the general opinion was. In Youtube land I found a split between haters and likers. I also found out that the sisters collaborated with Farouk Systems – the same company that developed Chi and BioSilk. The general feeling on the web was that the Kardashian sisters have gorgeous hair, so they know what’s up.

The next day I received a Zando voucher and decided it could go towards satisfying my curiosity for two of the products. I’m obsessed with dry shampoo, and their dry shampoo had gotten rave reviews from beauty bloggers and magazine editors alike. I was also really intrigued by the dry conditioner (because what is it?) as well as their teasing comb. Khloe has said theirs is the only teasing comb that works to give her mega volume because of the unique bristles. As luck would have it, Zando were selling a kit consisting of the Dry Shampoo, Dry Conditioner, the teasing comb and a hair band. For the price of R950, I got the Kardashian Beauty Take 2 Style Extend Set.

my thoughts

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The Take 2 Dry Shampoo promises to instantly refresh hair and help to extend the life of your style by absorbing excess oils that weigh hair down. It claims to be a fast drying spray, formulated with Black Seed Oil, that restores volume & lift to the hair with added texture.

I agree with everything that it claims to deliver. It instantly refreshes my roots and the best part about it is that it’s completely transparent! No white hair. Ever. I promise. It also doesn’t feel chalky. It comes out with gusto from the aerosol and adds texture and volume to my roots. It smells faintly floral and is very pleasant. Last, but definitely not least, can we just talk about the packaging for a second? It’s seriously gorgeous! Rose gold and black. Perfection.

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The Take 2 Dry Conditioner is described as a lightweight conditioning spray that revives dull or dry hair by adding shine and moisture to second & third day styles. This moisturizing formula contains small conditioning molecules that instantly hydrate and smooth your hair, leaving it incredibly soft & irresistibly smooth.  Nourishing Black Seed Oil provides added radiance & shine for the ultimate glamorous finish.

I was a bit confused when I first saw this product, and I wondered about the formulation. It’s essentially a dry oil that you spray onto your hair once you’ve finished styling it. I use it every day to add a bit of extra shine to my hair. It’s more convenient than a serum in that there’s no squirting into hands, rubbing hands, washing hands. You simply spray and you’re done! I don’t know why, but I feel so luxe when I use this dry conditioner. I feel like I’m pampering my hair. Even though it smells similar to the dry shampoo, I can’t quite describe the scent, but I can say that it smells really pretty. The idea behind this product is simple and genius: once you’ve sprayed dry shampoo onto your hair, it can end up looking a bit dry and lacklustre. By using the dry conditioner you add a bit of shine to your lengths. Remember to never spray it on your roots! Mid-length to ends only.

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I’m probably the wrong person to ask because I don’t do a lot of teasing, but the Kardashian Beauty Back Comb gives a little more teasing effect than the regular teasing combs I own. I can only agree that the bristles have a lot to do with that. In terms of looks, this comb is a winner.

Would I buy again?

The Dry Shampoo is a tad on the expensive side for me. Because I use it every day on washed and unwashed hair, it runs out too quickly for my liking. If it was cheaper, I’d definitely continue buying it because I feel like it does offer something unique and different to other dry shampoos. The Dry Conditioner on the other hand, I love! A little goes a long way and I love the shine it gives my hair. I love it so much that I bought a second can on special from Retail Box. You can see if the special is still running here. The Back Comb isn’t a must-have for me.

You can get your hands on these at Foschini, Takealot, Zando and Retail Box. The dry shampoo and dry conditioner go for R395 and the back comb goes for R185.

Kell signaturey

I’m super into beauty hacks and I always recommend to my clients that if you only have 3 minutes to get ready, the four items you really need are blush (or bronzer for those who don’t like actual colour but want something to define your cheeksmascara, a tinted or clear eyebrow gel and a lip gloss. Now, this can vary according to what you most need and your four things could include a bit of concealer, but the combinations basically revolve around the essential items I’ve just mentioned. With your eyes, lips and cheeks defined, your look is complete.

Finding most makeup essentials is usually a breeze for me but for some reason, finding a blush that suits me induces a Bermuda Triangle-like state. They’re either too sparkly or too pink or too orange and then I just get fed up and leave whichever makeup counter I’m at. Blush is not something I like to dabble in. Lipsticks – any day. Bronzer – no problem. Blush – eeeeeek!

With the launch of their new Face Studio blushes, Maybelline have set my heart at ease and I no longer feel anxious around blush. Because of the extensive range of (perfect) colours available, I have found a new friend that I’m sticking to.

I got 5 colours, and I’m mesmerized by just how pretty they are. Coral Fever 90 is a beautiful, iridescent, golden, spicy orange shade, Peach Pop 100 is a matte melon orange shade, Cosmopolitan 60 is a fun, matte, creamy peach shade, Rose Madison 70 is a very cool toned, pretty pink and Dare to Pink 80 is a vibrant, intense rosy pink. The shades range from soft and demure to bold and bright, so there’s something for everyone and every skin tone.

BLUSH Dare to Pink

Besides being gorgeous, they wake the skin up without feeling too loud or too bright. The colours are are really nicely pigmented and they stay true and don’t oxidise. The colour payoff is wonderful, and is comparable to my higher-end blushes. They last well, with an average 6-7 hours before needing a touch up. Overall, I love everything about these blushes, especially the healthy glow they produce.

The blushes come in sleek, black, slide-open containers that click neatly into place when you’re done. The packaging can be quite irritating, especially on days where you’re busy thinking about other things and forget how to open them. I’m interested to see how well this new packaging holds up. In my experience, drugstore brands tend to skimp on packaging, and with use, all my drugstore products (containers) inevitably break.

You can get your hands on these new babies at Dis-Chem, Clicks, Edgars, Pick n PayFoschini stores for R99,95.

Kell signaturey

 

Up until a month ago, I would have considered myself a complete MAC devotee when it came to makeup brushes. My existing makeup brushes were looking a bit drab, so I decided to do some research as to the best makeup brushes available. My three contenders were MAC, Sigma and Real Techniques. I spent hours poring over reviews and information, until I decided that the Real techniques brushes had made the best impression on me. One of the biggest determining factors came down to price. While Sigma and MAC will have you paying a pretty penny for an entire collection of brushes, you are able to get similar brushes from Real Techniques at a fraction of the cost. I picked up my brushes from Foschini Cresta, as although Foschini stocks the brand, not all branches do.

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The Powder Brush (R200) is a big, fluffy brush and although the intended use is for powders and mineral foundation, I wouldn’t recommend it at all for mineral foundation. The brush is simply too fluffy and lacks the necessary control for an even application of mineral foundation. On the other hand, it is magnificent for applying powder and brushes on just the right amount of product. It feels like a teddy bear giving you kisses all over your face!

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I find the Blush Brush (R170) too big for applying blush neatly (it made a biiig portion of my cheek pink) so instead use it to apply bronzer. It is fluffy and soft and gets the job done nicely, although I would prefer if the bristles were a bit shorter, to give me a little more control.

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The Expert Face Brush (R160) is for applying and blending liquid or cream foundation and I can confidently say that it works like a charm. It buffs the foundation into the skin flawlessly. I still absolutely love the way my beauty blender applies foundation to my face, so will probably keep on using it, and I have found a much better use for this brush: contouring. Because the contouring brush is only available in a set that was out of stock, I didn’t manage to get my hands on it. The Expert Face Brush does such a great job of contouring, and I finally feel like I’m getting it 100% right! The brush is so dense and bristles are shorter, which gives me so much control. The bristles also pick up the perfect amount of product. I love!

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I wasn’t so sure about the Stippling Brush (R170), but am glad I got it, and use it to apply my blush. I am currently using a powder blush, and the stippling brush gives me a beautiful, airbrushed look. The wonderful thing about this brush is that it doesn’t pick up tons of product, so you can never overdo it, unless you’re trying to.

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The Setting Brush (R100) is a wonderful little brush that is intended for dusting on powder or highlighter. I have discovered 2 uses for it: to blend in my concealer and to apply highlighter to my cheek bones. I love that it is so soft and fluffy. It does a beautiful job of blending in the concealer and I find that my concealer NEVER looks cakey when I use it. I love it less for applying highlighter, and would like a bit more control.

All in all I am super impressed with the brushes from the Pixiwoo sisters. The brushes feel great on my skin and my makeup looks a lot softer. The brushes all have aluminum handles, are cruelty-free and made of synthetic Taklon bristles. Because of this, they dry a lot quicker than some of my natural-bristled brushes. The only thing that I’m not a fan of is the fact that not all of the brushes are sold separately. I don’t like having to buy a whole set for one brush. I also imagine they wouldn’t be a pleasure to take on any trips, as they are quite bulky, making them not ideal for travel. Have you tried any of the Real Techniques brushes?

Kell signaturey

 

Hi Christmas Lovelies,

Gift shopping for the most important people in your life can be a bit tricky sometimes, so I’ve come up with a list of goodies that might inspire you. Happy Christmas shopping!

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FOR HER BEAUTY STASH

If your bestie/sister/mom doesn’t find time to pamper herself with regular facials at a salon or at home, get her REN’s Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (6). It’s a powerful yet gentle mini-facial that exfoliates and deep cleans skin. Everyone has one minute to spare, and this product makes the most of those 60 seconds! Available here for R525.

For the girl who loves makeup, an eyeshadow that can be used as a base or on its own will be a welcome gift. MAC’s Vintage Selection Paint Pot (7) is a beautiful soft rose gold shade and works perfectly alone or under neutral eye shades. Available from MAC stores or online here for R230.

Every girl needs rockstar makeup brushes and Real Techniques (4) offer a wide range of amazing brushes that perform perfectly. They range from R129 to R199 and are available at Takealot and Foschini. My picks are the Multitask brush, the Expert Face brush, the Setting brush, the Contour brush and the Powder brush.

TO ADD TO HER FRAGRANCE COLLECTION

I like Estée Lauder Modern Muse, love Modern Muse Chic and adore Modern Muse Rouge (3). It’s a beautiful and seductive take on the original fragrance with the welcome addition of rose. New notes include Bulgarian Rose, Rose Centifolia Firabs, Raspberry, Pink Pepper and Vanilla Madagascar SFE. If you haven’t experienced this fragrance, you definitely want to. You might even end up buying it for yourself! The 30ml goes for R795 and you can get it here.

FOR HER WARDROBE

When you get home after a long day at work, all you want to do is get out of your work wear and into something comfy. Enter Loungewear. It gives you comfort and also makes you look and feel pretty. These Cotton On Bralettes (1) are fab for some downtime, or for sleeping in. They come in a range of different colours and styles, and start at R149. Matching undies available too, because it just wouldn’t feel right.

Nude has become ever popular. For the bestie/sister/friend who has everything, get her a nude faux leather skirt from Superbalist (8) for R399 here. Being a neutral, this skirt can be paired with just about any colour combination. Think a loose, round neck navy short sleeved blouse with some nude strappy sandals or a crop top and some killer pointy stilettos. The options are endless. 

Aldo Accessories have released a ‘gold plated’ collection with lots of lust worthy items including rings, earrings and necklaces. My pick is the initial necklace (2), a steal at just R199.

Bag styles have exploded, and you can really express yourself with accessories. Staying in the neutral palette, this Cut Out Flap Crossbody Bag from Woolworths (5) (R275) is super versatile and chic. I know I say it a lot, but you can literally pair nude with anything. Dress it up with a pencil skirt and heels and down with ripped skinnies and flats. You can grab one here.

Kell signaturey

I love colour. I love how it has the power to instantly brighten moods and lift spirits. I am a firm believer however that colour should never be worn on your face (barring lipsticks of course) and should be reserved for your body (in the form of handbags, heels, accessories and clothing). The point of wearing makeup is to look like you’re not wearing any. Have you ever seen anyone rocking turquoise eyelids naturally? My point exactly.

With that sentiment in mind, whenever I buy makeup, specifically eye shadows, I love a neutral palette. I already own Urban Decay’s Naked palette (I managed to snag one on my first ever trip to the Big Apple) and am trying to get my hands on the Naked 3 palette. Rubybox had it in stock for about 2 seconds, after which it sold out. On one of my recent mall-scapades, I was checking out the Clarins counter and came across  … you guessed it … no … not the Urban Decay Naked palette 3 (sadly, Urban Decay isn’t available in S.A.), but another neutral palette in all its glory. The palette I’m talking about the is the Essentials Palette by Clarins.

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