I’m very pleased to feature Joanna K Cosmetics in my first post of the year. Happy 2019 by the way! I had a whole other post lined up to go first but as soon as I opened the PR package Joanna Kinuthia sent me, I knew I had to do this one instead. A lot of what this Aspire Collection is about are things we should all aspire to: dreaming big, building ourselves, making things happen, and following our passions. Now, about the collection, as I mentioned, it’s called the Aspire Collection. It’s her first from her brand and it is absolutely gorgeous! It entails a 10 pan eyeshadow palette and 4 liquid lipsticks.
The eyeshadow palette contains 5 matte shades, 4 shimmer shades and 1 that I can only describe as a matte shadow with specs of fine glitter in it. The mattes are formulated to have really good colour pay off and that makes them have some kickback in the pans but not so much as to be problematic. I don’t mind the kickback and fall out because all that truly matters to me about shadows is how they perform and so far, these have been performing quite beautifully.
The colours blend well when using them and they feel soft to touch. The shimmer shades are oh so buttery and pack quite the punch on swatching and application. Just beautiful! The matte with the glitter specs in it feels like the matte shades, and the sparkles don’t make it as shimmery as the true shimmer shades. When using a blending brush with this shade, you could easily tap off the specs of glitter if you are not that into them and still have the beautiful colour to work with. The shimmer shades also layer well on top of the mattes so all the shadows play nicely together which makes it a great palette to use all by itself. No need for a companion palette.
I also have to say, this palette has a good balance between neutral tones and bold hues ranging from soft browns that go great as transition shades (one of which is actually named Transition), a soft gold, a proper copper, a striking blue and orange, a phenomenal green (which I think has some gold shifts to it) and even a unique berry shade. These can be used to create numerous distinct looks from soft glam to edgy or dramatic ones. I love it!
The Joanna K Cosmetics liquid lipsticks shade range is right up my alley! It has all the shades I love to wear and gravitate to most: a sexy deep red (Unapologetic), a luscious dark brown (Fearless), a neutral brown (Free Spirit), and a sweet mauvey nude (Basically). Their formula makes the pigmentation fantastic and rich! You don’t need too much to make them show up and pop. As Joanna said in her reveal video, they take a moment to dry down to the matte state because she wanted them to give us consumers time to blend them with each other or lip liners if we needed to, and she was right about that.
They start off creamy for a little while and then they start drying down to an immovable matteness. Trust me, these DO NOT BUDGE! At all! They can last all day and even through some meals. When it comes to taking them off, for the sake of your lips, I suggest you use something that is guaranteed to break down longwear makeup like an oil or a balm or proper makeup remover. Arimis works great as well. They wear pretty dry, I mean, they’re proper matte. But honestly, to me, all mattes feel ridiculously dry because I’m more of a cream and gloss kinda gal.
What I love about this Aspire Collection is that you can tell Joanna really put together something she loved. It’s all very true to her and her style. The shades she curated in both the eyeshadow palette and the lipsticks are very her – just go through the looks she creates and you’ll see what I mean. From the eye looks to her lip colour choices, she didn’t veer off her preferences just to make some products. That’s what makes it personal and authentic to me. I also adore the fact that she featured an African scene for her eyeshadow palette art (by Nyambura) because she wanted it to be for us by us! Yaaaas! The packaging is sleek and beautiful, although as it’s white, it’s easy to get colored from the shadows if you’re messy like me. All the shade names are indicated under the shadows which I always appreciate. The palette also comes with a small mirror inside which is good, but I’m hoping the next one comes with a bigger mirror because I just like to see more of my face. The hero for me is definitely the palette and the shades Feminist and Chocolate, to be more specific. The liquid lipsticks packaging didn’t seem like something I’d be fond of at first sight because of the slim rectangle shape and how light the caps felt but they actually have grown on me. Very compact and lightweight, easy to carry. The lipstick applicators are very thin and that comes in handle while working around the perimeter of the lips. Just dandy.
The eyeshadow palette retails for KShs. 2,700 ($27) and each liquid lipstick goes for KShs. 1,600 ($16) which is more in the mid range of pricing for eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks as per industry standards. Orders can be placed via direct message on the official Joanna K Cosmetics Instagram page here. This really is a well done collection that would be suitable for everyone to use from beginners to more experienced hands. The eyeshadow palette is the star for me as the shades are all very wearable, it’s beautiful to look at (would look great on your vanity or pictures), and is a nice size to carry around or travel with. I’m having so much fun with all these goodies and I’m so proud of Joanna for establishing her own makeup line. What a dream! Let’s all chase after our dreams this year. Cheers.