Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has been crowned!

Watching Miss Universe pageants since I was practically 5 years old is a HUGE reason why I dedicated so much love into this article. Miss Universe celebrates the power of femininity in so many ways – in ways that I think make us powerful human beings. Being an intellectual, a self-less friend, peace giver and a health advocate are only a few things a Miss Universe contestant must enlighten their voters and the judges.

Sunday night, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa was reigned Miss Universe. After Steve Harvey, this year’s host had announced South Africa would be crowned, Demi-Leigh raised her hands in disbelief and I could only imagine the emotions she was going through! What a magical moment to be sharing the stage with 91 other women from all over the world and wear the crown being placed by last years Miss Universe 2016 from France, Iris Mittenaere.

66th Miss Universe Competition

At the young age of 22, Demi-Leigh has been advocating for self defense. During the pageant, she shared her story of being robbed at gun point and how it ultimately changed her life. With the title of Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh wishes to start ‘Unbreakable’, a campaign consisting of experts teaching self defense and confidence-boosting for women around South Africa. Knowing your value and how no one can walk all over you was the premise of her motto on stage.

“It’s okay not to have a perfect life, and it’s okay to have emotions, and have feelings. If we are able to express our feelings more and share them with others, it’s so much easier to work through when you know there are people holding your hands and walking through this with you,” Demi-Leigh reassures.

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Back home in South Africa, this is MAJOR news. Demi-Leigh is the second Miss South Africa to win the Miss Universe crown since 1978. Aside from taking her modeling to the next level, she recently earned her degree from South Africa’s North Western University in Business Management. She urges women to understand how life is filled with hills and obstacles to overcome, but the humbling moment to look back and see all that you’ve done makes everything worth while.

During the question portion of the pageant, Demi-Leigh expressed her passion for equality and her hopes for a better future all around the world. “I want woman to be treated as equals in every part of the world. We are making great strides but there is still so much to be done.” She speaks on the wage gap in South Africa, women empowerment and self-defense.

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Can we talk about her gown for the final round?! A sleek, fitting tan dress with accents of sparkles to illuminate her olive skin. This dress was killer when she strutted down the walkway with some classic, ankle-wrapping silver heels. She let her curves take control as she wrapped her hair in a braided bun to extenuate her highlights – the color scheme fit to a 10!

You know we can’t skip the bathing suit round – a bright, yellow bikini to bring a smile on everyones’ face. Working hard for your body isn’t something to be ashamed of and we should all be proud and welcomed to show it off; A few contestants stated prior as a result for the backlash on the ‘bikini round’. This certain round in the pageant isn’t for men to critique their bodies or for anyone else really, it’s to celebrate the female body and all the healthy measurements we take to stay beautiful and fit. But would you look at those heels? Any girl who can strut in those is a winner to me!

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So what exactly does a Miss Universe win for her time wearing the crown? According to their contest rules if a contestant is able to fulfill her duties, she will be given a year-long salary to spread advocacy of her choice, a luxury apartment in New York City, client representation in management agency WME IMG and my favorite part, access to all the premieres, fashion shows and even some opportunities to apply for acting roles.

Currently, Demi-Leigh is undergoing her ‘media week’ as the newly crowned Miss Universe. She will be attending conferences and press releases to unveil her plans for the upcoming year and what she hopes to accomplish back at home and all around the world for women.

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A true princess! I can’t wait to see where she’ll take her platform and the advocacy she has in store for empowerment. xo

Comment below if you’d like updates of her work during her time as Miss Universe!

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Red heart, Red lips

Hi my beauties! Today I’m going to go step by step on how I achieved my vanity look. I was inspired by Fall, red bold lips and some shimmy-shimmy red on the eyes to pull everything together. Enjoy!

I spend a lot of my time working on my skin because I love a flawless, full-coverage face. I skipped the primer and drenched my skin with Tarte’s Marine Boosting Mist in their ‘Rainforest of the Sea’ collection. It’s not my favorite (sometimes it leaves my skin feeling greasy) but moisturizing your skin is KEY to a smooth canvas.

For foundation I used one of my holy grail, Maybelline Fit Me in the shade 122 (creamy beige). It feels super lightweight on my skin and gives me that medium coverage..trust me, its pigmented! I have super oily skin and although it claims it gives a matte finish, I start getting a shine within an hour. But no complaints here, I’m used to it!

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Because of acne scars, I use LA Girl PRO Conceal in the shade ‘Light Ivory’ over top my cheeks to fade away any scarring that my foundation couldn’t cover. While we’re concealing, I use LA Girl PRO Conceal in the shade ‘Peach Corrector’ to cancel out my dark under bags, it works like a dream; just make sure you blend! Over the peach corrector, I use my ‘Light Ivory’ to neutralize the peach shade and bring some brightness back!

While all my creams/liquids are settling in, I start to fleek out my eyebrows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Pomade in ‘Granite’ with an angled brush. Granite is the darkest shade ABH provides and it works in my favor because ‘Ebony’ was beginning to be too soft for my brows. I have extremely dark, black eyebrows! I carve out my brows with some concealer and a small-tapered brush to give that sleek, polished look. To lock my brows in, I use my Urban Decay Brow Tamer in ‘clear’, it’s not my go-to because it doesn’t add texture but at least it holds my brows in place!

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Before I set my face with powder, I use this time to contour out my cheekbones with the Sephora Contour Palette in the lightest version. The reason I powder contour over my creams is because I don’t like the cakey, powdery finish if I were to contour over my face powder. In my opinion, after I set my face with my Bare Minerals Bare Pro in the shade ‘Light Natural (09)’, it diminishes the harsh contour shade and blends seamlessly once I apply my face shade; it just looks more natural!

I use my Milani Baked Bronzer in the shade ‘Dolce (09)’, I find myself applying more than 2 layers to bring that bronzy look to my face. It’s build-able if you have the time to layer it on. I skipped the blush and moved on to my Laura Geller Highlighter in the shade ‘Gilded Honey’, this stuff is AMAZING. With or without spritzing some mist, you WILL get that gold reflex.

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For my eyes, I used two of my favorite palettes, ABH Modern Renaissance and Morphe 350. I start with some light browns in the crease and build it up so my red shades won’t start so abruptly over my eyes. I bring the red shades into the outer corners of my eyes and blend up so it’ll meet with the light brown in my crease.

I decided to cut my crease and use a light gold to compliment the red transition in the outer corner. Finally, I love darkening the very outer corners because it elongates my eyes with some dimension. I use a dark brown so it’s not that intense and only blend in that area – not up!

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One of my favorite eyeliners is the NYX Matte liquid liner in the shade ‘black’, the pigment is super dark and glides perfectly with the brush. I applied it to the outer half of my eyes so the cut crease is dominant while giving that almond-shaped effect. For mascara, I used the Maybelline Lash Stiletto in the shade ‘very black’ to really bring my lashes to life without falsies.

Now, the grand finale. Bold, red lips! With such an intense color, I like to map out my lips with a liner so I don’t go crazy and draw outside of the lines. I used the Wet N Wild Gel Lip Liner in the shade ‘Plum Together’, it’s creamy and stays on for hours. I focus a lot on my cupids bow because I love defining my top lip for that heart-shaped pout.

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My red lips are all thanks to the NYX Liquid Suede in ‘Kitten Heels’. It’s a red-blue undertone which compliments my pale skin and brings vibrance. I was totally getting that Selena vibe and I was NOT disappointed!

That’s it for today! Please comment below if you enjoyed this mini step by step vanity look. I can start going into depth and add more engagements if you’d like. Also, comment below what look you’d like to see next!

xoxo

When businesses lack customer service

I’m not one to judge. We all have issues going on in our lives and unfortunately, life DOES get in the way of our most passionate hobbies, hanging with friends and even focusing on academics. However, I do believe that taking on a business/job/lifestyle does require commitment and consistency.

So here’s my story on a business that took 3 months and 21 days to send me my small package of 2 lip glosses. This story isn’t about how awful the business is because truly, I wouldn’t have minded the wait IF there was customer service involved.

Heres the break down:

I ordered my package from Oalika Cosmetics on August 19th. I received an immediate email regarding the order number which comes automatically with any purchase. On August 24th, I became concerned because I still hadn’t received my processing email or tracking number for UPS!

What did I do? I emailed Oalika Cosmetics with the email they provide us if we have any questions (like any other concerned customer). I wrote I was beauty journalist who was thrilled to try their cosmetics and write a review on my platform for PBC Mag.

11 days later and no response. So I decided to re-send my email! Keeping myself optimistic because I was aware Oalika Cosmetics is a small, emerging beauty business with only 11.6k followers on Twitter and 1,440 followers on Instagram. Small businesses are usually under the most stress. Entrepreneurs taking a leap of faith to build their own empire, I’ll give them that; it’s not a walk in the park!

Sadly enough, I still didn’t receive a response. So I took it to the one place they HAVE to answer me to avoid public embarrassment, Twitter. And what happened? They finally decided to answer me.

Below are my screenshots that I kept with Oalika Cosmetics, via Twitter DM’s. I slowly became frustrated because I thought this was a legit company, not a company who will ignore your emails but answer you via Twitter. Please look at the dates between all these messages, you’ll see they don’t reply for weeks at a time. *Disclaimer, my conversation with Oalika Cosmetics was hostile and I’ll own up to it. But there comes a point when you’re the owner of a business, stealing customers’ money and acting as if they’re nonexistent.

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Yes, I even decided to threaten with legal action. Moral of the story: if they don’t care, they truly don’t care.

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I decided not to publish with my newspaper, they don’t need the recognition.

 

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Oalika didn’t document me with any proof. And I’m not going to believe that when I’m being blatantly ignored for a reason. 

 

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Yes unfortunately, I’m the one saying thank you

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Meanwhile during this one way conversation, Oalika Cosmetics was tweeting about new, upcoming launches and retweeting pictures of women who had been flaunting their products. My problem with that is you can’t be investing in more products if you’re not even focusing on your current issues. That goes against any value in business. If you don’t treat your customers right, why should anyone care about your new launches? 

I was constantly tweeting at Oalika Cosmetics, I even took it to Instagram. And I guess once they noticed I took my problem to another social media platform, they decided to actually talk to me again.

At this point, I just wanted my money back. At the end of the day, it’s not about buying the best of the best, it’s about purchasing and supporting businesses that actually care about you. I had one goal with Oalika Cosmetics, to help their business with my platform by writing a review and possibly a mini-tutorial.

During September, they told me their policy states they don’t do refunds until 35 days of placing your order. I begged them for three months and 21 days (82 DAYS) to give me a refund. On October 28th, they decided to change their rules and say NO REFUNDS. I was furious. Who wouldn’t be?

Strangely, I wasn’t the only one involved in this. Julie, aka @jujubeanbeauty on Twitter reached out to me with the same issue she was facing with Oalika. As a makeup enthusiast, trying out products comes with exploring new businesses. After receiving no response from the company about a color change for her order, she started to become skeptical (like anyone else would too!) Julie recently updated me saying,

“I don’t even care about my money anymore, this is too tiring. I disputed it with my bank and I got credit for it. I don’t know what they’re gonna do to get their money from Oalika.”

If you needed to hear it from another person, there’s your witness. Or better yet, there have been hate accounts in Oalika’s name for their delays and lack of customer service. Please look it up, I’m not lying!

This isn’t meant to be seen as a bashing article. If that’s the case, you don’t take critique well. I wouldn’t have minded the wait if I knew there was going to be a wait. That’s my point. That is where the customer service is lacking. Oalika Cosmetics never told me they were going to fix the issue, when it would be done or any other reassuring response.   They simply ignored my DM’s and emails for weeks at a time and continued to glorify their newest products as if they had any room to do so.

That is why they won’t be getting any product recognition on my site. Their products are beautiful and chic, I won’t lie on that. If you saw the packaging and the products, you would be tempted to buy them because you saw pictures of them from my site. But that’s not my purpose for this article. Oalika Cosmetics does not deserve more customers because of the help from my site. I tried doing that once and they rejected me in the most unprofessional way possible. 

Regardless, every emerging business will have its challenges. If you do happen to fall upon their website and fall in love with a gloss, by all means, go ahead and purchase it! Instead of me telling you to screw them and block them on social media, I’m advising you that your products will not come in 2 weeks or even one month. Fortunately, mine came in the mail 3 months and 21 days later. I was also given a loose-glitter pigment and a third gloss; I’m assuming to compensate for the wait.

And if Oalika Cosmetics is reading this, your business has room to improve. Every business has room to improve. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the beauty of owning your business, accepting its flaws AND working towards its goals.

As a beauty journalist, it’s my duty to inform my readers what goes on in such businesses, good or bad.

xoxo