Milk of Magnesia

Oily tzoneThe oily T-Zone struggle is so real guys, especially in hot climates. Unfortunately, no one make foundation (or roll on…) that’s strong enough for this type of heat so we must rely on primers. In the blog post titled “Setting the Budget Slay”, I promised to speak on my experience with Milk of Magnesia as a primer alternative. As I mentioned in that post, primer costs an arm, a leg and a kidney. Case in point is the Rimmel Fix and Protect Primer which costs R99.95 for only 30ml at Dischem in South Africa. You could argue that this primer has SPF 25 and is actually meant to be used on the face, but still, R100 is a lot of money if you still have to buy your other monthly basics.

Product: Milk of Magnesia. I heard about this on YouTube and decided to try it out.


Milk of Magnesia is an antacid meant for consumption, not topical application in any way, shape, or form. Use at your own risk and discretion.

Price: R46 for 100ml at Dischem.

Texture: Chalky milk liquid.

ClockMy Experience of Using It: It works. Just shake up the bottle because the contents do tend to settle. Apply on a cotton pad and pat onto oil prone areas of your face. Milk of magnesia is white, so you might be worried the ghostly look after it dries on your face. Don’t be worried, your foundation will cover that up well, and you will not have a grey cast/ flash back. The matte look lasts for quite a few hours, I’d say a max of 4-5 hours, but is not invincible. I guess a translucent powder might extend this time frame. Be warned that Milk of Magnesia does not contain sunscreen, so I’d suggest you try to stay indoors, or use a foundation with SPF. I had no after effects of using Milk of Magnesia as primer – i.e. no break outs, strange rashes, or skin discolouration. My skin is not sensitive. Milk of Magnesia will give you a matte effect, but not a smooth texture because it doesn’t fill in your pores. You can wash it off with your usual face wash. The best part is that this product is universally available, even in Zimbabwe!

Extra Information: Since this is not a face product, I do not recommend it for everyday use. I limit use to special occasions only, and these occur once in a blue moon for me. Some YouTubers recommend the Nivea Men’s After Shave Balm for Sensitive Skin (R85 for 100ml) as a very good alternative to Milk of Magnesia. At least Nivea is a skin product, so I’d give this a try as well.

Nivea Post Shave Balm

Verdict: It works, just like they said in the YouTube videos. I’m going to try out the Nivea before a repurchase – but it is worth a repurchase.


LA Girl Slay

A few years ago, I never understood the concept of concealer – especially because I thought foundation could do the job, and I thought it only worked on my light-skinned sisters. I also perceived concealer as a product for hiding pimples ….. Listen, if you have a zit, you have a zit and there’s no way to hide that, and your skin ain’t got time for that. Fast-forward to the era of YouTube and Kim Kardashian – the queen of contouring and highlighting. Finally we all spoke the language of concealer.

Product: LA Girl HD PRO. Concealer is BIG in the YouTube make-up streets. People rave about the diverse colour range in addition to the amazing formula and the budget-beating price. So the minute I found out it was available in South Africa, I knew I had to get it. Having been sold on the product just by watching a few (read quite a lot of) reviews and tutorials, and loving the BB cream that I’d tried a few years ago, I decided to try out their foundation – the LA Girl PRO. Coverage Illuminating Foundation.


LA Girl HD PRO. Concealer: crease-resistant with opaque coverage in a creamy, yet lightweight texture. The long-wearing formula camouflages darkness under the eyes, redness and skin imperfections. Provides complete, natural-looking coverage,evens skin tone, covers dark circles and minimizes fine lines around the eyes concealer

LA Girl HD PRO. Coverage Illuminating Foundation: high-definition long wear illuminating liquid foundation is ideal for a flawless looking, full coverage finish. Lightweight formula is comfortable for all day wear. Paraben free formula with added anti-oxidants helps hydrate and improve the skin’s appearance. foundation

Price: I bought mine at Dischem in South Africa. LA Girl HD PRO. Concealer costs R60, and LA Girl HD PRO. Coverage Illuminating Foundation for R175. For all of us here in Zim, that translates to about $17 in total.

Colour Pay OutFor the concealer, I use the colour Chestnut (GC 986), while for the foundation, I use Rich Cocoa (GLM 655). I don’t realise it often but I am quite dark skinned. These products really are as described – those blemishes will be a thing of the past! And for once in my life, I found a concealer and foundation that do not make me look like a ghost, even under the harsh light of a camera flash. The undertones are just right and my skin looks like its natural colour. Jesus finally spoke to the make-up people!

LA girl concealer shades

Concealer Swatches

Texture: The foundation is water based but somehow doesn’t leave you with a powdery look. Instead, you get a nice dewy finish. The concealer is creamy and absorbs/blends into the skin like a dream. I’ve tried other face products that are creamy, and those tend to slip and slide or crease all over my face. In hind site, I realise that those were probably oil based products. This is definitely not the case here.

My Experience of Using It: Given that these two product are quite opaque, my next worry was that they wouldn’t fare well on my oily skin.

To be honest, the foundation has not passed the African heat test, but the colour is so right that I find other ways to fight the oil seeping through. The bottle is made of plastic, so it’s safe to drop/be clumsy with. There’s also no risk of wasting product due to spillage because it’s a pump bottle. The finish of the makeup makes me look dewy and flawless like I said. Overall, the colour match gets a 10/10.

The concealer on the other hand – just go and buy it ok! It’s not greasy but it’s not drying all at once. The brush applicator really helps to sculpt my brows just the way I want, while still giving me enough action for applying underneath my eyes. When you squeeze the tube, you get just enough product out without wasting anything. Finally, the tube may look small, but the product literally lasts forever.

Extra Information: I use the concealer as an eyeshadow base in addition to using to define my brows and slightly highlight my under eye area. The eyeshadow colour will pop out, and it will stay like that the whole day.

Verdict: The two products definitely lived out to their claims. Clearly I like the concealer more than the foundation. I will be re-purchasing the concealer, and make-be the foundation. I’m still quite keen to find a foundation with a good colour match and very strong resilience against this heat. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Current Favourites

I know it’s been a while since the last blog, but my life has been a little hectic. Fortunately, that wait is over.

Before I discuss another product, I thought I should share a bunch of my favourite products, just so y’all could get on with the business of getting your slay on! I picked one from each of the following categories.

  • Beauty

Liquid Matte Lipstick – this was gifted to me by some friends and girrrl! I look bomb in it. At first I was afraid it would make my lips look even bigger than I needed them to be but I was mistaken. If it runs out, I’m going to need them to buy it again.

  • Skincare

Garnier Pure Active 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub & Mask – This face cleansing system is a dream to people with oily, acne prone skin. At some point earlier this year, I couldn’t find it in the stores (because Zimbabwe), and I had to use an alternative. During those months, my skin was extra greasy and I had permanent acne on my temples – it wasn’t cute. When I can find them, I like to use the face wash with the Garnier Pure Active Toner and the Moisturiser for maximum effect. Price: Min of US$13 depending on where you buy. I bought mine at a local pharmacy.

  • Hair Care

As a fellow naturalista, I know the struggle when it comes to keeping that crown healthy. My favourite moisturiser right now is the Malkia Shea Butter. Shea butter is a dream for African hair textures – Its non-greasy and it really does soften the hair, making it easier to manage. 20170206_222736

  • Body Care

My favourite in this category is Avon Purse Sprays. The smell great, fit in your purse, and come at an affordable price. Basically, you get to smell expensive for less than half the price. Right now I’m using the FarAway Infinity purse spray. Price: approximately US$4.50 for 10ml. Avon purse sprays

  • Fashion

I’m not a fashionista but I do like to have a few statement pieces that go with almost any item in the wardrobe. At the moment, I’m obsessed with my blocked heeled boots. (<–link to an alternative pair). They make an edgy look with jeans/leather pants and leather jacket; and a chic/city girl look with an A-line dress. Unfortunately, they are getting a bit too warm for the weather so I will be looking for a summer alternative. Price: US$9.20 at Mr. Price SA.


Non-Beauty Favourites

Fashion and beauty aren’t the only ways to be a slayer out here. I try to keep up the slayer mentality doing some of the following favourites:

  • Books

I’m an African girl that likes to read about people like myself. Recently I enjoyed a book written by Gaile Parkin called “Baking Cakes in Kigali”. Google books describes it as “… a novel in 14 irresistible confections, and behind each cake lies a story. As Angel helps her customers to work through their problems, they, in turn, help her to lay to rest the demons she has buried deep inside until, finally, she is able to face the truth and to achieve a sense of peace”. Price: US9.42 on Amazon (ebook).

  • Series

The reason why I like Baking Cakes in Kigali is the same reason why I enjoy watching “Insecure” the series. Except, Insecure is just different. Issa Rae and those hair styles are BAE! If you know what’s good for you, you’ll watch it. Its available on Netflix, HBO, and on VUZU (Dstv).


  • Events

The Hair Expo – This isn’t really a favourite but is promising to be one in the near future. I’m excited to find out what other locals are using to keep their natural hair healthy. Price: US$5 Entrance Fee. Hair Expo

Setting the Budget Slay

Everyone knows that heat and humidity are not your friend when you need to look cute in those selfies. I mean, I love the heat and all but I just wish it could miss my face. I already have an oily T-Zone, so when it gets hot, you can almost fry an egg on my face. What more when I have foundation on?

All the YouTube videos I watched recommended using a primer and setting spray to manage the oiliness. Man! I swear I almost had a heart attack the first time I tried to buy a conventional “drugstore” primer. For those who don’t know, primer costs an arm and a leg for a very small amount of product. For example, 20 ml Maybellline Superstay 24hr primer costs R139.95; 30ml Rimmel Foundation Primer costs R99.95; and Revlon Compact Primer costs R250 at Dischem in South Africa. Imagine how much it would cost after importing it to Zimbabwe!

maybelline primer

20 ml for R139.95


Rimmel primer

30 ml R99.95 

Expensive Drugstore Primers!





I did end up finding a decent primer hack in Milk of Magnesium, but it’s not ideal for everyday use and I will discuss that in another blog post. I’m pretty much satisfied with the result of my primer quest, so I decided to find an affordable setting spray. Keep reading for my Avon setting spray experience.

Product: Avon Magix Mark. Prep and Set Spray 125ml

Avon Magic. Magix Prep and Set Spray

Avon Magic. Magix Prep and Set Spray

Claims: Helps to set makeup in place without drying the skin; ultra-light weight; infused with vitamin A,C and E; can be used under or over makeup


Avon Prep and Set (Claims)

Price: About US$4.50 from my local Avon Agent. It was on special at the time of purchase. Regular price is about US$11. The other version of Avon’s setting sprays is on special this August for about US$6

Delivery Time: Approximately 2 weeks

Texture: Clear, watery liquid. Has a slight chemical/alcohol smell

My Experience of Using It: The first time I applied it, I put the bottle too close to my face and almost went into shock due to all the sudden moisture on my face. This first application was on a bare face. After a few minutes, my skin felt tight, like when you forget to moisturise. The feeling was worse in the naturally dry areas of my face. Fortunately, the tight feeling was short-lived – after about 30 min my skin felt normal again. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much about the oiliness as I was my regular grease ball self after a few hours. I will say that the greasy stage was delayed. I decided to give the setting spray a second chance, with foundation. This time I decided to apply both under and over the foundation, just to make sure. The same sequence of events followed – tight feeling immediately after application –> normal feeling a few minutes after application –> greasy mess after about 4-5 hours. See the picture I took below that I took at lunch time. I didn’t blot throughout the process. The naturally dry areas of my face were doing well, as expected, but that’s not what stands out in pictures is it now?!

Extra Information: If you insist on trying this setting spray, I’d recommend using a primer as well. I’m a bit sceptical about using it with Milk of Magnesium as this could lead to an excessively dry face. Secondly, I don’t know what the chemical combination could result in. I will post an update about this after I try it in a few weeks’ time.

Verdict: Overall, the product is a let-down. The only claim it completely lives up to is that it’s ultra-light weight, and that it doesn’t dry the skin. Unfortunately, the effect doesn’t last too long. It did not keep my makeup in place. I’d hate to see it really fail during the hot summer months. My guess is that it was not designed for the hot African climate – Avon is a New York based company after all. I will not be repurchasing it. Χ

Beauty is in the Eye (shadow) of the one slaying it


My love for make-up transcends all boarders, especially Chinese borders. I especially love eye make-up – which is odd because I wear glasses. I’ve gone through a couple “drug store” eyeshadow palettes, but one thing remains the same, they are all affordable.

I generally like things, and continue to suffer from consumerism, despite my financial position. This is why I have gone through quite a few eyeshadows. The other reason is that I struggle to find affordable options with good colour pay-off. The colour pay-off struggle is too real for women of colour as some colours contrast poorly with darker skin tones. Ever so eager to find the right eyeshadow palette, I activated my “look East” policy once again and bought a palette from AliExpress.

Product: Carli Bybel 14 Colour Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette.

I watch way too many YouTube videos about make-up. As a result, I had seen and heard a few people referring to the Carli Bybel Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette collaboration with BH Cosmetics. When I saw it listed on Ali-Express, I immediately gravitated towards it because I wanted to support a YouTuber. You see, in my mind all these YouTube personalities and InstaCelebs are my friends…. Emphasis on “in my mind”.   I don’t really watch Carli Bybel, but I got introduced to be BH Cosmetics Brand through one of my favourite YouTubers (ItsJudyTime) who had also done a collaboration with the brand.

Disclaimer: At the time of purchase, I genuinely believed I was buying the real version of the palette. Yes I know that was very naïve of me.

Claims: Versatile, dramatic effect, complements every skin tone, works for both daytime and evening looks. Earth neutrals and plummy brows.

Price on AliExpress: I can’t really remember but it was between US$5 and US$7.50 (free shipping via normal mail) Plus US$2 Post Office Handling Fee.

Expected Delivery Time: Maximum of 2 months.

Actual Delivery Time: Over 3 months – this is a form of oppression!

Colour Pay Out:  My worry this time around was that the eye shadows would be too powdery and therefore not “stick” onto my eyelid, resulting in poor colour pay-off. See the swatches below for reference. When used alone, the colour pay-off is just basic for most of the colour options, nothing wowing. One or two of them give very good colour pay-off. You can definitely work with all the colours though. The plus side is that they are all buildable – i.e. they become more opaque and vibrant when you add more product. For the best colour pay-off, I prime my eyelids with concealer before I apply eyeshadow, and use my fingers to apply. Using a brush as an applicator isn’t going to get you the best results here.

Texture: Soft and silky, almost creamy. The shimmery eyeshadows look like they have a rougher texture, but they are quite soft to the touch.

My Experience of Using It: I have mixed feelings about this palette. The colour selection claim said earthy neutrals and plummy browns. Off course I understand that there aren’t many colours within this range, but that didn’t stop me from being a little disappointed at the colour range. For the most part, the colour selection is monotonous, borderline boring. On the contrary, the colours are warm enough to be used by women of colour, except for maybe one. You can create at least two versions of the smoky eye look using this palette alone – the pink smoky eye, and the brown smoky eye. I looove the bronze shadows in the palette. There are two varieties and the colour pay-off is pretty awesome. In general, the shimmery shadows of this palette perform significantly better than the matte options, so I just use the matte options as transition colours. The shimmery shadows maintain vibrancy throughout the day, despite heat and oiliness.

I find little to no use for the highlighters in the palette. In my opinion, that space could have been used for a wider eye shadow colour selection.

The palette has sturdy packaging, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about cracking and spilling the eyeshadows before you finish them. The closing mechanism uses a strong magnet – I think that’s more reliable than a clasp in the long-run. Most importantly, this palette comes with a mirror. Instead of holding two tools (separate mirror and palette), I get to hold one. If you have a big hand bag, you can definitely carry this with you during the day. I personally wouldn’t.

Extra Information: When applying the shimmery eyeshadows, use your pinky finger and begin with a sweeping motion over the eyelid. Go in with a second layer of shadow, still using your pinky finger, but this time you need to pat the eyeshadow on. Keep adding more layers until you are satisfied with the vibrancy/opacity you see.

Verdict: This palette can be a hit or miss, depending on your personal preference. It can definitely do the job for a night out on the town or one of those day when you want to look put together. It works well with darker skin tone, and isn’t powdery. The only claim that it doesn’t quite stick to is the versatility – as I said before, the colour range in a little underwhelming. For this reason, I will not be buying it again.

Laid Edges

If your hair is of the African variety then you probably know the struggle of getting your hairline/edges to conform to your “hair objectives”. If your objective is to slick your hair back in a high-bun, then your edges are probably too short to play along. If your objective is to have a protective style like braids or a wig, your edges try to give up on you by falling out. When are we chocolate girls actually going to catch a hairline break? If you have un-processed African hair, you constantly have to fight the temptation to apply relaxer.

I recently embarked on a journey to protect and groom my edges. I started taking hair supplements (which I don’t believe actually work), and I’ve been taking a stronger stance on moisturising and grooming the edges using a combination of 2 kinds of products. To moisturise, I use various hair foods containing castor oil and peppermint oil and then to groom, I lay those edges down with some good old fashioned hair gel.

Vaida's Super Sheen Hair Gel
Vaida’s Super Sheen Hair Gel – Less than US$2

The idea of using hair gel was a little foreign at first for 2 reasons. Firstly and most importantly, I was NOT trying to look like I fell out of a 90s RnB music video with over exaggerated gel slicked edges. Even worse, that gel from the 90s usually contains alcohol that has dries your hair our and causes flaking – who actually wants to look ashy? Secondly, although I’d seen African Americans use edge control products quite well, I’d never seen those products in local stores, and I was convinced that they had slightly softer hair texture (easier to tame). The minute I saw an affordable water based hair gel at my local super-market, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out. It was Vaida’s Super Sheen Hair Gel. It contains glycerine, and vitamin E and promotes curls, even in natural hair.

After asking a friend (yes you Rufaro) about hairline management, she told me that she relied on a gel I’d have never considered – Super Dax Black Freeze Jell (Zimbabwe Variety). Considering that this gel is typically used for the “Gel-up” hair style that tends to look dry and crusty after a few weeks, I was a little sceptical. When I saw the gel during a recent shopping trip, the price shocked me and I had no choice but to try it out.

Dax, Hair Gel, Edge Control, edges
Super Dax Freeze Jell (Gel)

Claims: Strong hold. No flaking.

Price on at OK Zimbabwe: US$0.85 for 100g – yes that’s right, its less than a dollar!

Colour Pay Out:  As this is a black gel, I was worried that it would leave my scalp with black streaks. Fortunately that does not happen. It functions like a clear gel.

Texture: Like the jelly you would eat with your trifle. The Vaida’s hair gel has a slightly runny texture.

My Experience of Using It: It works like a dream. The claims it makes are true. It has the power tame my unruly edges and it does not flake. When I style my edges using this gel, they don’t get that superficial glossy look that makes then look fake and ghetto (for lack of a better word). The texture is the same as my natural hair. A little goes a long way. I just dab a little along my hair line and brush with an old toothbrush. At the end of the day, my hair line didn’t feel dry and crusty – in fact the hair in that area had a pleasantly soft texture. You can easily wash it off during your face washing routine.

Extra Information: You can leave out your delicate edges the next time you braid your hair. Instead, just slick them down with some Dax, and you’ll probably be able to keep your braids in for longer.

Verdict: You can achieve the relaxed baby hair look without using relaxer! Dax is cheap, has no side effects, and is readily available across the country. Some Zim girls living in SA even import it. I will definitely repurchase …. if it ever runs out.

Brows On Fleek!

Every girl knows that in order to truly slay, your eyebrows need to be on done just right. Many products for shaping and filling in the eyebrows are available on the market. I’ve gone through my fair share of options as well, from the brow pencil, to brow powder, to dark brown eyeshadow, and of course to eyebrow gel. My mission – to fill in my brows but still have them looking as natural as possible.

Before brow gel, I relied on brow pencils that I hated sharpening. The twist out brow pencils weren’t ideal either because I could never tell when they were about to finish. The worst is when you’re in a rush to go somewhere but you can’t fill in your eyebrows because you ran out of liner and your back up liner is unsharpened! Brow powders, on the other hand, have always seemed unreliable to me.

I was happy to discover brow gel but of course, the gels that I found in the mainstream beauty supply stores were far too expensive. I eventually discovered a brow gel in a China store – the ADS Mesmerizing Eyeliner. Honestly, sometimes these China store are grossly underappreciated … emphasis on sometimes.  The ADS Eyeliner came in a set with two gels in brown and black and two mini brushes, one of which was an angle brush – talk about value for money! I can’t remember how much it cost but I know it was cheap and looked like this

ADS brow gel

ADS 2 in 1 Eyeliner Gel


The ADS eyeliner set was truly good to me, it lasted for a few YEARS, and I still have the black gel. It was easy to apply, could be manipulated easily, and didn’t dry while in the pot. The only drawback was that it was a little greasy.

When the brown gel ran out, I tried to repurchase it through AliExpress but I couldn’t find it. Reluctant as I was to try a new brand, it had to be done and I eventually settled on the USHAS Cosmetics Matte Eyeliner Gel. It also comes with an angle brush for application.



Ushas brow gel

Ushas Brown Gel Eyeliner

Claims: Water-proof, long lasting, matte, quick setting.

Price on AliExpress: US$1.57 (free shipping via normal mail) Plus US$2 Post Office Handling Fee.

Expected Delivery Time: Maximum of 2 months.

Actual Delivery Time: Over 3 months – I think this may change depending on where in the world you live and when you place your order. An order placed during or just before the festive season or Chinese New Year will definitely take longer than expected.

Colour Pay Out:  Very dark brown that looks almost black especially if you apply to much. It would be visible on the darkest shade of African skin, but may be too dark for the lighter shades of African skin.

Texture: It looks thick and pasty but actually has a silky texture. Nowhere near the oily texture of the ADS gel. To be honest, the pasty look makes me feel like it will probably dry in the pot before it is finished.

My Experience of Using It: Because of its pasty looking nature, my first experience with this brow gel was a bit shocking. I put a bit too much product on the angle brush and ended up with very stark looking brows – imaging an extreme version of Cara Delevingne! I tried to wipe off the excess, but this gel sets very quickly and really is water-proof as advertised. Since then, I’ve learnt to use a much lighter hand in my application and to work faster. The gel initially does give a matte finished as advertised, but the matte finish disappears as my T-zone oils start to seep through. The best part about this brow gel is that it is oil and water resistant – it literally does not budge. You never have to worry about accidentally wiping off your eyebrow and it lasts the whole day. It comes off easily when washed with facewash.

Extra Information: The angle brush that comes with the USHAS gel liner seemed sturdy at first, but as can be expected with most Chinese products, it’s not built to last. The top of the brush is not glued on securely to the handle of the brush. I’d recommend using another angle brush altogether or using some super glue to attach the head back onto the handle. The brush head itself is of decent quality.

Verdict: Your brows will be on fleek! And you can definitely slay on a budget with the USHAS brow gel. It’s cheap, has no side effects, and I see it all over town here in Bulawayo, so I assume it’s easily available in 3rd world countries. I probably will repurchase it.


How my eyebrows looked after using USHAS Eyeliner Gel

About Cheap Liquid Lipstick

I recently discovered that I too, could purchase things from the Internet, all from the comfort of my home here in Zimbabwe. I know this may sound a bit weird for people living in first world economies but it’s a reality for many out in these parts. I’ve dabbled in the e-commerce market before when I lived in another country, but sort of forgot about it once I moved back home. Online shopping in Zimbabwe is only now starting to flourish, thanks to Facebook and Ecocash. But I digress, this post is about lipstick.

I decided to be “adventurous” and I bought some knock-off beauty products from China, through the popular website AliExpress. Why you ask??? — Because I too wanted to slay, even with shallow pockets. The next few blog posts will review other products I bought from the site.

The Product: KOKO By Kylie Cosmetics – Matte Liquid Lipstick

 What was advertised on the AliExpress Website


Koko Kollection by Kylie Cosmetics

And what I received (after opening it)

Koko Kollection by Kylie Cosmetics (Actual)

What I received from AliExpress

Price on AliExpress: US$6.68 (free shipping via normal mail) Plus US$2 Post Office Handling Fee.

Delivery Time: Over 3 months. ❌❌❌ Major No Bueno!

Colour Range:  Not very wide.

Colour Description What I See
Okurrr Vibrant fuschia Bright/neon red
Gorg Red burgundy wine I agree with this
Khlo$ Cool yellow nude Lol! Not even close to what I see. Its more like a coral orange-ish colour that was not meant for dark skinned girls.
Damn Gina Soft shimmering peachy-pink gloss It is a shimmering peachy pink gloss, but there’s nothing soft about it. You can literally feel all the glitter

Smell and Texture: As can be expected with any knock-off products, the manufacturers definitely ain’t got time to invest in the finer details. These liquid lipsticks are no exception. There’s a strong chemical smell and they feel very sticky on the lips, even after drying. I find that using some Vaseline under the lipstick definitely helps with the stickiness. As for the smell, you can barely smell it once it’s on your lips. The lipsticks are definitely NOT matte as advertised.

Long-Term Effect on the Lips: I would not recommend wearing the lipsticks without any Vaseline under it all. If you do it, you’ll definitely end up with crusty lips. I was concerned that the lip products would have some adverse effect on my lips, e.g. darkening or the appearance of blemishes. So far, none of that has happened, and I’ve had these for over 3 months now. On the bright side, the lipstick lasts all day, and doesn’t budge even after eating and drinking. The downside is that it’s a nightmare to remove at the end of the day. I still haven’t figured out a hack for this.

Verdict: You can definitely slay on a budget with these, if used properly. I probably won’t repurchase because something else that’s “trending” will catch my eye, and why waste an opportunity for another review.