Monday, 30 May 2016

MAC Cosmetics 'Vibe Tribe' Collection | Cultural Appropriation or Cultural Appreciation?

MAC Cosmetics is undeniably one of the biggest makeup brands in the entire world. With a 9.6 million Instagram following and 14.8million Facebook followers, it's obvious to see that this brand has a massive influence on makeup and makeup trends. Beauty bloggers, makeup artists and other brands alike look up to MAC for inspiration when creating new looks. It's no secret why;  their collections are always successful and incredibly versatile - from the Cinderella inspired collection released last year, to celebrity collections such as the iconic Selena, the trend is fast paced and ever changing. 

The latest release, "Vibe Tribe" however, has caused quite the controversy. It is MAC's summer collection for 2016, with the description being: 

"Lose control in lips painted reckless shades of red and coral, or a flash of gold. Let your eyes escape reality in teal, cobalt mandarin and charcoal, as free-spirited nails glisten in succulent tangerine and the perfect, buttery nude with M∙A∙C Vibe Tribe. Join the tribe. Feel the vibe."

As we all know, spring and summer are the seasons of festivals and parties, many of which people consider to be rife with cultural appropriation. Examples include bindi's, a decorative red dot worn on the forehead and of great religious significance in Indian culture. Corn rows and dreadlocks have also become increasingly popular amongst all races,  but they are historically typical of black culture. However, when black people wear them, they are deemed as "ratchet" or "ghetto." If you're unsure of what I mean, think about the Zendaya and Giuliana Rancic incident back in 2015, where Rancic stated:

 "Kylie Jenner's dreadlocks are so cool and edgy!" but when shown a photo of Zendaya's dreadlocks,  "It must smell like weed and patchouli."

Other examples of what are deemed as cultural appropriation include Katy Perry dressing like an Asian woman for a  music performance and Chris Brown throwing on a thawb in 2012, saying he decided to dress like a member of the Taliban for Halloween because "It's just a costume - I didn't mean to disrespect nobody". 

The concept of cultural appropriation, by definition, is "the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture." and because of the popularity of that term, MAC has faced backlash and been accused of it, with one loyal MAC customer commenting "People who purchase this wear the makeup for one day - I wear the stigma that comes with being Native American for life." The reason why so much controversy has been generated is because many feel like the collection is connected to Native American history and ancestory. Signs of this are indicated in the collection name, "Vibe Tribe" as well as the designs patterned on the packaging of the makeup and also the shade names, some of which include 'Call of the Canyon", "Wild Horses", "Painted Sunset", "Desert Evening" and "Firebrush."

Some customers agree that if MAC had collaborated with a Native designer to create this collection, like they had done with other designers in the past, it would have been a completely different story. Other customers say that it could possibly even symbolic and a celebration of how far Native Americans have come, since many Native Americans have been removed from their homelands by force in what is known as the Trail of Tears  or more commonly, the Indian Removal Act. 

After MAC was asked about this, their statement was:
“The collection, including the visuals, product lineup, and naming, is inspired by art, outdoor music festivals, and the colors of the desert. The collection has absolutely no connection to nor was it inspired by the Native American cultures.” 

I am personally 100% neutral when it comes to the topic of cultural appropriation as I think there is a difference between appropriation and appreciation. In other words, I don't get involved. On one hand, I completely understand why people get upset, because as someone mentioned, their race and culture is not a costume and cannot be made a trend when it is suitable for fashion and makeup industries. On the other hand, I think it is okay to see companies paying homage to various cultures as well as for people to discover new cultures - it eliminates segregation, which is ultimately what we as a human race are working towards. 

As long as you ask yourself, "Why am I wearing it?" and "Do I know the significance of this product?" I think its alright. After all, this world is so diverse and  we should learn to get familiar with each other's cultures and appreciate the culture for what it is, not for the type of brand or the next big celebrity who is enforcing it.

Let me know what your thoughts are on cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Do you think "Vibe Tribe" is worth all of this controversy or is it simply another makeup trend? 

~ Miah ~ 

Snapchat: miah_5797

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Blog Update: New Design, New Content & Having Your Work Featured!

As much as I love all things beauty related, it's not the only thing that matters to me. Of course I'm still going to continue doing loads of product reviews, hauls, monthly favourites etc, but I will also be throwing in little surprises here and there. You see, my blog is not completely a reflection of who I am. Although it does  reflect my interests such as fashion, makeup, food and traveling, I really want to take this blog up a notch by creating it to be the best creative outlet I can make it.  It will be a platform for not only my voice - but yours too. I want to discuss topics such as ethical and fair trade clothing,  veganism, cruelty free makeup, how to be positive and why self love is important; I feel like these do not get discussed as often as they should. When I first discovered the world of blogging 6 years ago, I expressed myself through my love for writing short stories and poetry, however, the longer I blogged, the more I lost some of that creativity. I'm happy to announce that since finals are out of the way, I will have more time to spend on my blog and making it visually creative as well as dynamic.

So far I have collaborated with 10 other bloggers, been recognized by companies such as essence, CATRICE and Zoeva, hosted 2 international giveaways, wrote 72 posts related to travel, beauty and lifestyle, hit my 500 Facebook milestone and reached 30, 000 views on my blog. Thank you for sticking around; those of you who share my articles, give me feedback and follow me on my social media. Your support means the world.

Some of you asked what I have in store for this blog. Well, right now I am gravitating towards inspirational posts that have inspired me and will hopefully inspire you, too. I also have a few collaborations coming up, fashion lookbook, couple of makeup looks, interviews, guest posts and ideas for dynamic articles. This is my blog, but it's more than that. It's yours too. It's our podium for various interests; things that have inspired us, things we wish we could do, things we have already done and experienced. So, if you'd like to be involved in my adventure, don't hesitate to contact me here: 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

7 Cruelty Free Alternatives For Popular Makeup Brands

The quality of high end, or well established drugstore, makeup is absolutely superb; the packaging is heavenly, the latest trends are must-haves as makeup keeps evolving and the variety of looks you can create with a single palette are endless. I used to think that nothing compares to the swatch of MAC's 'Gold Deposit' highlighter or the flawless finish that Benefit's 'Porefessional Primer' gives me.  However, after researching these makeup brands, their parent companies and others like them, I was shocked to discover how many actually tested on animals. As a result, I was inspired to share alternatives with you all, in hope that we can consider buying cruelty-free products every time we go shopping. 

For those who love L'Oreal

I was obsessed with L'Oreal eyeshadows at one point and I mean obsessed. Luckily, I discovered two alternative brands that were similar, within the same price range and best of all, cruelty free. The first brand is Milani

For those of you who are familiar with Milani, you'd know that the products are of great quality for the price. If you're not familiar with Milani, you should definitely check them out! I highly recommend the Baked Blushes, Lip Cremes and the 2-in-1 Cover & Conceal Foundations which will give you a flawless finish every time!

The next brand is Pixi
I discovered them by watching one of my favourite youtubers (@siena_mirabella). The Glow Mud Cleanser is one of my favourite products - it's a deep pore cleanser that creates a gorgeous canvas for your makeup by exfoliating your skin and leaving you with a dewy glow. Additionally, I love their 'Flawless Beauty Primer' which is definitely a holy grail. It's such a lightweight primer that gives you a lovely luminescent glow! After trying these products out, I can confirm they should be on your makeup shopping list next time you want to try something new. 

If you like Benefit or MAC Cosmetics,
As much as I love Benefit and MAC, they are sadly not cruelty-free. However, there are other wonderful high end alternatives like Too FacedAnastasia Beverly Hills and theBalm Cosmetics

I adore theBalm's packaging! I love how the brand invented different characters for different makeup looks. There is a very vintage feel to their products, similar to Benefit Cosmetics. The most hyped about products include the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter, the Bahama Mama contour powder and of course, the buttery shadows in the Nude Dude eyeshadow palette which includes 12 gorgeous colours.

The thing I love most about Too Faced is how beautiful the packaging is. As we all know, how something is presented influences whether or not we'll purchase it. Too Faced products are outstanding and I love that they have palettes for your face as well as eyes. Not only that, but they also offer a large variety in their products from their Melted liquid lipsticks to the famous Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills
I love this brand because they products are unique and diverse enough to suit ALL skin tones. The quality is out of this world!
There's the Contour Cream Kit, Dip Brow Pomade and of course the most hyped about editions - the Glow Kits, which I have yet to get my greedy little hands on. 

If you've ever wanted to 'Get The London Look', you'd be surprised to know that Rimmel London is not a cruelty-free company. Personally, I was pretty sad about this when I switched to cruelty-free makeup because I adored their mascaras. However, Wet n Wild and NYX quickly became my next favourites. 

NYX 'Smokey Eyes' palette and soft matte lip cream in 'Cannes' have become  my winter go-tos. I love their setting spray and satin finish lip pencils. Don't even get me started on the Lip Lingeries!

Wet n Wild
I love the Wet n Wild brow kits, the 'Precious Petals' highlighter and of course the 'Walking On Eggshells' eyeshadow trio. My favourite thing about the Wet n Wild products is that a little seriously goes a long way - they're SO gloriously pigmented!

This is the first of many new posts that I will be calling the Conscious Shopper Series as I'd like to inform you about cruelty-free products and fair-trade clothing. Let me know which cruelty-free brands are your favourites and which products you recommend!

~ Miah ~ 
Snapchat: miah_5797

Monday, 16 May 2016

essence Lip Products Collection ≫ Swatches & Review

As many of you may know through previous posts, I love essence products. The quality is amazing for how incredibly inexpensive they are.  Because I'm such a huge fan of their lip products especially, I decided to do a one brand focus post on some of the products that I have in my makeup collection. In today's post, I'll include short reviews as well as swatches on a few of their lip products; ranging from liners to glosses to lipsticks! 

Lip Liners

I've started wearing lipliner more often, I was never really into them before but I love how clean and neat they make lipstick look. Of course they help to shape your lips and make them fuller, but the reason why I opt for an essence lipliner is because the application is creamy and the finish is very matte and super light - it barely feels like I'm wearing anything! I own four of them and they are in the shades 'Honey Berry', 'Femme Fatale', 'Wish Me A Rose' and 'Soft Berry'. They're all very pigmented and match lipstick shades in the long-lasting collection perfectly. 

From top to bottom is 'Femme Fatale', 'Wish Me A Rose' 'Honey Berry' and 'Soft Berry'.


I'm not a gloss lover  at all but I do own two as I was curious to try them out. 

The first gloss is the XXXL Nude Lipgloss in 'Soft Almond'. It's honestly the best nude gloss I own as it matches my skin tone perfectly. I love that it's long-lasting and non-sticky. It's not overwhelmingly shiny, but of course it has a slight sheen to it. My favourite part? It's moisturizing too! The next gloss I have is more of a liquid lipstick and it is the XXXL Long Lasting Lipgloss in 'Soft Nude'. It is more of a medium pink which I love and gravitate to most often during spring. I love that the formula is silky smooth with a matte finish. 


I love, love, love essence lipsticks!  I've purchased eyeshadow quatros, eyeliners, nail polishes, highlighters and mascaras but nothing comes close to the quality of their lipsticks which are all moisturizing. All of them are creamy, pigmented and SO long-lasting, with many being dupes to high end products too! I own five and they are in the shades 'Barely There', 'Natural Beauty', 'Adorable Matt', 'Come Naturally' and one of their latest releases, 'Don't Stop The Nude'.

From left to right:

Natural Beauty, Come Naturally, Barely There, Don't Stop The Nude, Adorable Matt 

This gorgeous lippy is in the shade 'Natural Beauty.' When it comes to makeup, I often stay away from pinks but occasionally I feel the need to venture outside of my comfort zone so I decided to pick up this shade.  I like to pair this with the essence lipliner in 'Wish Me A Rose.'

Next, I have 'Come Naturally'. I was never a fan of this colour as it looks a bit different in the packaging than it is when swatched/applied.  However, I've come to like it because it's a great lipstick to create excellent ombre effects using this as a base.

As you can probably tell, I love this lipstick. I wear this for all occasions - school, dates, lunches etc. This is my absolute favourite drugstore lip product! I love how it looks and feels and cannot rave enough about this product. You can dress it up or dress it down as it is so versatile. I use it on the daily as it's such a gorgeous, pinky-nude colour.  

This is my newest one in the shade 'Don't Stop The Nude'. When I swatched it in the store, I fell in love. Not going to lie, this may just beat 'Barely There' and become my next go-to as it is the perfect colour.  essence definitely surprised me with their latest trends, and this gorgeous lipstick is just one of their latest releases. They've got loads of new trend edition collections, from Wake Up Spring, Lights of Orient, Little Eye Brow Monsters, Juice It! and even a Blogger's Beauty Secrets collection!

This lipstick is in the shade 'Adorable Matt', which I use when I'm in a super good mood or when I want to dress up my look. Paired with a winged liner, it creates a gorgeous look. It's a beautiful, matte and long-lasting colour which is perfect for when you want to add an edge to your look.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed today's post! The swatches for the lipsticks will be uploaded on my Facebook page, so stay tuned!

Until next time,

Snapchat: miah_5797

Monday, 9 May 2016

Urban Decay, Kiko Milano, MAC & more | Spring Beauty Haul ✧

Hello everyone! This is Part 1 of my 2 Part Spring Haul. Today I'll be sharing some of the items that I've recently purchased (mini reviews and first impressions included ) so let's get straight into it!

 As some of you may know, I love essence. They're super affordable and the products are excellent quality for the price. I recently picked up two products; an eyeshadow and a lipstick.

The first product, pictured above, is actually a new product that's recently hit stores. It's a duo product; an eyeshadow and liner, in the the shade 'Go Bronze'. It's super pigmented, buttery and build-able. 

The second product is a lipstick in 'Don't Stop The Nude'. 
Another new release from essence! This is the perfect dark brown lip colour if you're looking for something edgy and long-lasting. Although it's not exactly a Spring colour, I would still wear it on a night out because I love dark lipsticks all year around. It has the same chic packaging as the other lipsticks in the long-lasting range. I have about 6 lipsticks from essence so far and let me tell you, the quality just gets better.

I recently purchased the Cocoa Blend Palette and I am obsessed with how intensely pigmented the eyeshadows are! This is my first purchase from Zoeva, but it won't be my last. In this palette, there are 10 shades in total and all of the shades have stunning names.  If you'd like to see the full review on this beautiful item, click here

Kiko Milano 
I love Kiko's makeup. The store is aesthetically pleasing, the products and packaging are both of excellent quality and they provide a large variety of products for every skin colour. The products that I picked up were two eyeshadows in the shades 'Forest Green' and 'Pearly Hot Chocolate', which are both so intensely pigmented and last up to 12 hours. I also picked up a liquid concealer that offers lightweight coverage.

Pictured above is 'Forest Green.' I absolutely love this shade  as I've been looking for an olive green eyeshadow for ages! It's a gorgeous shade, particularly for the autumn time. 

The second eyeshadow is in 'Pearly Hot Chocolate'. Once again, not exactly what some might call a spring colour, but I think it'd be great to play around with for a night out as orange/copper shadows are becoming more popular.  As with 'Forest Green', it lasts for 12 hours and is intensely pigmented!The packaging is sturdy and although this product was quite affordable, I find that engraving the name of the brand into the eyeshadow made it look more expensive. This is the first time I'm purchasing eyeshadows from Kiko and so far, I really like them.
I also purchased this lightweight concealer in the shade '02 Natural'
I've been looking for a good coverage concealer for ages and the reason why I haven't purchased any from Kiko is because they often don't have any shades that suit my skin. I was so happy to find this one. Not only does it last for ages, but it's perfect for getting rid of any dark circles and for brightening up your under-eyes.  

Death By Chocolate by I Heart Makeup

I have been seeing this palette everywhere and I was curious to try out. As some of you may know, I've bought other products from I Heart Makeup (Makeup Revolution's baby sister brand) and loved them, so I had no doubts about purchasing this palette. There are so many buttery eyeshadows to choose from and I love that this palette actually smells like chocolate. 

MAC Plushglass in 'Ample Pink'

I've previously tried out a plushglass from MAC and I love the way it feels and looks with a very glamorous makeup look. 'Ample Pink' is a shade that will suit a variety of skin tones. It looks natural on the lips, has a lightweight feel and plumping effect, lasts for hours and is a perfect purchase for Spring!

MAC Prep & Prime Fix Plus Setting Spray 

So many beauty bloggers have raved about this product and I am finally jumping on the bandwagon. Fix+ is a skin priming mist which is (recommended) to be applied before or after makeup in order to freshen up makeup application and make it last longer. The description on the back of the box states:"A soothing moisture mist that refreshes the skin and finished makeup. Hold bottle 12"away from face and spray evenly. Use before or after makeup." It feels incredibly refreshing, lightweight and sets my makeup for the rest of the day without it feeling cakey. 

Urban Decay 

After receiving 'Sesso' I was determined to grow the Urban Decay section in my makeup collection, so I purchased 'Naked'.  This is such a gorgeous lipgloss and I adore the rose gold packaging that this whole collection comes in. The applicator is that of a normal lipgloss but the actual product, like MAC's 'Big Baby' and 'Ample Pink' plushglass, has a plumping effect and a minty scent. The shade is a nudish-pink with a slight shimmer. It is also a very creamy the formula and the colour is quite neutral.

Do you have any of these products? Which are your favourites and which would you like to purchase?

~ Miah ~

Snapchat: miah_5797

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Postcards, Strawberry Tea & Groovy Tracks To Vibe To | Monthly Favourites ✰

Hello everyone! Today I'm back with another monthly favourites! This month, however, I am switching things up a bit by branching away from just mentioning beauty products. From now on, I'll be discussing skincare products, topics that are important to me, groovy music and some other lovely things that I enjoyed throughout the months of the year. Without further or due, here's what I loved in April.

Skincare & Beauty Products

Rimmel Nail Polish in 'Bestival Blue'

I'm not one to wear colour on my nails... or colour in general, really. I have mentioned this product before in a haul, but since it's Spring here in the Netherlands I've been gravitating towards colourful nail polishes more often. This one is by Rimmel in the shade 'Bestival Blue'. I've had mine on for a week now and it has stayed put for the most part. The colour is vibrant, it dries quickly and lasts for a while. This is also from the Rita Ora collection and these gorgeous nail polishes are definitely must-haves for the upcoming Summer in my opinion.

The Body Shop Body Butter in 'Early Harvest Raspberry'. 
My skin feels incredibly soft after I've applied this. It's refreshing and smells wonderful, too! There's quite a lot of product so it's definitely worth spending your money on. (If you would like to read all about my Body Shop Haul, click here) 

Revlon South Africa Powder Brush
This is part of a set which I purchased a while ago and I love the quality of this brush so much! Although it is a powder brush, I mostly use it to apply bronzer and occasionally setting powder for when I'm doing different makeup techniques such as baking. To read the review on the brush set in which this gorgeous item came in, click here.

Food & Drink

Strawberry Tea
I used to absolutely hate fruit flavoured teas. I'd much rather have a large cup of green, mint or English tea, thank you very much. My local grocery store, however, has so many different types of tea - fudge, apple mint, caramel, blueberry, strawberry mint - that I decided I wanted to try one out. I decided to go with Strawberry and it tastes so good! It's not too sweet which is great because a lot of fruit flavoured teas are. Another huge plus is that it smells amazing! 

Topics of Interest

This photo of Nelson Mandela casting the first democratic vote in South Africa

On the 27th of April, my country celebrated Freedom Day. I currently live in the Netherlands, but my home will always be in South Africa.  Celebrating Freedom Day is a reminder to us that when South Africa was liberated, both the oppressor and the oppressed were liberated. It is our pledge that "never again would the minority government impose itself on the majority."

I know a lot of people have different ideas about feminism and I'm not here to share my views on them in hopes of getting you to change your mind about anything. However, I do encourage you to have an open mind and watch this amazing video.


Here's a couple of tracks I've enjoyed listening to:

  • Tell Your Friends // The Weeknd
  • Wrong // Zayn ft Kehlani
  • One Dance // Drake
  • I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix) // Mike Posner
  • Coming Down // Halsey
  • Sally // Bibi Bourelly
  • Wild Things // Alessia Cara
  • 21 // Freedom Fry
  • I Will Be There // Odessa

Postcard from home

I received this postcard a good couple of months ago, however I have been organizing my room and packing stuff away so I was super delighted when I found this amongst a stack of books and old letters. This was given to me by an old school friend. On the back she wrote a couple of South African slang terms (I didn't show all of you because some too rude haha!) I love it because although I'm hundreds of kilometers away from home, pieces of my home are always with me.


That's it for my April Favourites! Let me know which products, music and items you enjoyed throughout April. Here's to a good May! 

~ Miah ~ 

Monday, 2 May 2016

7 Ways To Have A Better & More Organized Week | Chit Chat #4

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog. Today we're going to talk about ways to make the most out of your week, so let's just get straight into it!

First thing's first; learn to schedule your day the night before. This includes making a little to-do list of things you really need to get done. It'll keep you on track and help you to meet deadlines!

Secondly, eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast. I absolutely hate eating breakfast in the morning because I am never hungry. If you're like me, a snack will probably do. Breakfast options for drinks include coffee, tea, water or a glass of pure fruit juice (any juice that has the word 'blend' on it, probably doesn't consist of real fruit, but rather fruit concentration so be careful as it's mostly sugar which will give you a little energy buzz until about midday when it wears off) Be sure to eat something that is filling!

Thirdly, when you get out of bed, open the curtains or blinds. You'll feel more refreshed and awake, which will subconsciously help you get ready for the day.

Prioritize and delegate is number four. Try to get any work done that requires a deadline. If you can, set time aside to work on a specific  and reward yourself with free time afterwards. For example, choose Tuesday as your day to catch up with work. It helps if you get most of your work done in the morning because then you have the rest of the day to relax and take it easy.

The fifth tip is to set aside time to work out. I'm not talking strenuous exercise. You don't need to get a gym membership or run marathons. Even going for a simple walk is already a start, or doing a twenty minute workout routine. You can find free workouts online. For example, BrettsCap and Blogilates on Youtube are excellent for at home workouts!

My sixth tip encourages you to engage in actual human interaction. I'm not talking about a text, or a phone call. Of course it's not always possible for everyone to see each other due to reasons like distance etc, but make a plan to get a coffee or grab lunch with someone when you can and just catch up with them with no interference from technology.

The seventh (and last tip) begs you to make time for yourself. People are so caught up in the expectations of their work that we forget to take a step back and take it all in. Make sure to set time aside for yourself and do whatever relaxes you. This can be anything from watching your favourite series, running a bubble bath, making dinner with friends etc. Just make sure to remember that your happiness and mental health is just as important as the things you hope to achieve when you get caught up in the rush of life and more importantly, remember that it's okay to slow down, take a break (short enough to get back on your feet but long enough to recover from a setback) and get back in the game. 

Mondays are okay, I promise. It's your mindset that needs to change. This is something I'm working on too, and I'm learning that the more I adjust mine, the more time I spend in the actual moment of each day instead of waiting for the end of the week. 

I hope this helped you in one way or another. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post which will be all about my April Favourites! 

Stay groovy,
~ Miah ~ 

SnapChat: miah_5797