Hello beautyholics of Riyadh! Here is my Faves and Fails for April. April has been hectic; it’s the in-between month where the weather has been transitioning from a comfy cool to HOT! in an instant! But we’re in Riyadh and by now, I’m well-adjusted (to think I just celebrated my 9th year in the Kingdom, woot!). That doesn’t prevent me from complaining every time I open our car that has been baking under the sun for hours. ANG INIT!!! (It’s so hot!!!). Anyway, my skin is not that sensitive to changing weather so it’s business as usual in my beauty bets entry. These are the products I’ve been loving and hating for the month of April.
1. Bottega Verde Aloe Vera Cleansing Mousse
What: A gentle, effective, fast soft cleansing foam.
Price: SR 35
Where To Buy: Bottega Verde, Salaam Mall
The first time I encountered Bottega Verde was during Apparel Group’s Women event in Dubai in 2015. They have Bottega Verde branches there but zero branches of it in Riyadh. Fast forward to last year and finally, Bottega Verde reached this desert city. However, their lone branch is in Salaam Mall. Where is that?! Haha! Uhmn, it’s in the Western Ring Road and it’s really FAR from the city center. Reina and I took weeks deciding when to go. We finally did on a Saturday evening and was quite surprised that Salaam Mall is bustling with people and activities. Popular brands were there and we got lost in finding the Bottega Verde store, haha. We found it tucked in the basement and we went crazy with the products they have. Think of The Body Shop, Zohoor Alreef, etc. but offering natural Italian skincare and beauty products. I picked up this aloe vera cleansing gel to match by favorite Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera Gel and I love it! The mousse is light and consistent. It’s very gentle on the skin and so far, I didn’t have any problem introducing this foamy product in my face. I usually break out when I first use a product on my face and it gets better as days go by but for this one, no pimple or bumps whatsoever. It doesn’t have a strong scent too making my morning face washes as easy breezy as this one.
2. Sigma Beauty F80 Kabuki Brush
What: A flat top brush head with very soft and dense fibers. Made with exclusive Sigmax fibers, this brush provides a flawless, high definition finish with liquid or cream foundation without any absorption of product.
Price: SR 90
Where To Buy: Vanilla.sa
The F80 Kabuki Brush by Sigma is probably THE brush that catapulted the company to fame. It’s a flat top brush made exclusive with Sigma fibers. It’s densely packed wit these soft fibers and upon feeling it, I was already in love. I was pretty sure it will work. And girl did it work flawlessly! It immediately shot to the second spot of my favorite brushes list (sorry, the Real Techniques Buffing Brush is still #1 in my book just because it’s more versatile). I got this from Vanilla E-shop (which I reviewed here). This brush blended my foundation really well. Each swipe of foundation was smooth and consistent. It gave my face an instant smooth look and it was truly amazing. It works best with liquid or cream products. I tried removing the trace of foundation in the brush with my every day blush cleaner but it’s a bit hard to clean. Anyway, overall, this is a great brush that should be in your beauty dresses pronto!
3. Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
What: The conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length. Opthalmologically tested. Not tested on animals.
Price: SR 19
Where To Buy: White’s Pharmacy
You know how I like Essence Cosmetics. They’re affordable, most of their products deliver what they promise, and they’re available in Riyadh! The Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect is one of my recent buy from this brand. Two swipes on each of my eyelash and I’m hooked. It’s black and bold. Every time I use it, it makes my eyes look bigger. It adds volume and lifts my lashes. It’s also perfect for my bottom lashes as well as it separates them nicely and provides volume too making my bottom lashes pop. I seldom take notice with them but now, I discovered the importance of these tiny, thin lashes under my eye. They help me look awake! The False Lash Effect is the “sister” to the Original Lash Princess that received rave reviews too. Hmn, guess what will be my next purchase! Haha!
4. Nyx Wonder Stick (Deep)
What: The Wonder Stick is our ultimate dynamic duo: One side for a brilliant highlight, the other for a sleek contour.
Price: SR 27 (on sale)
Where To Buy: Centrepoint Branches
Nyx is another affordable brand that you should check out when building your kikay kit. Their lipsticks, primers, and blushes are my favorites. However, the Wonder Stick Highlighter and Contour duo was different; I didn’t like it. I picked this up because I wanted a creamy contour powder. I didn’t have one; I have contour powders and I want some change in my routine. I picked this up while Centrepoint Beauty was on sale. The Deep shade looked promising. It has a medium beige with slight yellow undertone highlight and a light red undertone contour. I was excited to try this and followed the instruction on the box on where to put the contour cream on my face. I blended it out using the Eco Tools Bronzing and Contouring Brush. The contour cream went missing! Wth?! That dark, deep color disappeared leaving my face looking like I didn’t put any contour cream. HUH?! Okay, that was weird. Haha! This stick is no wonder.
5. Colourpop Creme Gel Liner (Brew-Haha)
What: True black brown in a matte finish…it’s like shark bait, but for compliments
Price: USD 5 (approx. SR 19)
Where To Buy: Colourpop.com
I’ve watched and read rave reviews about Colourpop’s Creme Gel Liner so on our next order, I carted one just to try it. I’m not that adventurous when it comes to colored liners so I picked a black brown matte liner called Brew-Haha. When our orders arrived, I popped opened the cap and the half of the darn liner flew out of its tube! OMG. I haven’t used it and it’s already broken. I tried salvaging it by picking up the piece and chucking it in the tube again. For a while, it worked. It can still be twisted up and down. I used it but with so much care that I couldn’t perfect the line in my eyes. A few days later, the entire thing flew out of the tube again and I just gave up on it. What a mess. Haha! The color payoff of this liner is good ; it’s well-pigmented and glides on smooth and buttery. But what good is that if the liner is too soft and won’t stay put in its tube? It got broken in half real fast! I’m not sure if I want to try one of Colourpop’s liners again. We’ll see.
Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Share me your experiences and recommend other products you want me to try and review. Go be beautiful!