Hi Everyone! Hope you are all well and are just going through life kicking butt and taking names!
So one of the most asked questions I get both on my blog and on my social media (and in person, lol) is where to get makeup, particularly those coveted international brands that don’t stock anywhere south of the Equator, or those that don’t ship out here (Heeey Sephora!). This post is going to be slightly longer than usual but absolutely worth reading till the very last full stop.
Luckily for me, that has never deterred me… guys where there is a will there is a way.
Firstly, if you would like to purchase something online and the shop doesn’t ship to Africa, you can always use a forwarding company… I’ve signed up with Aramex Global Shopper. They basically ship from whatever online store to a number of African countries including South Africa which is close enough for me as I can always get a friend or someone to DHL me my stash.
Secondly, there are quite a lot of stores that now ship to Africa, these include Target, Macy’s, ASOS and as of yesterday Colourpop (Yay!). Urban Decay recently launched a stand a lone store in South Africa and for a limited time have an online pop-up shop where you can buy those coveted NAKED palettes. (best believe I bought mine already!)
Now before you start complaining about how expensive shipping is… here is my solution: I typically think its better to share the costs of shipping with a friend or two.
Finally, one of Windhoek’s best kept secrets when it comes to makeup is Kristine Luis! She is the fabulous owner of Hott Of The Heels, and I got the chance to speak to her. Read on to see all she had to say. She knows her stuff when it comes to makeup and all her information will be linked below!
Tell us about yourself?
KL: Well this could be a bit long but I’ll try to stay on the topic at hand. My full name is Kristine Lementsyan Luis. I’m an Armenian-American, and I always tend to mention my background because coming from Los Angeles, a melting pot metropolis of so many beautiful cultures and ethnicities from around the world, we love to learn and talk about each other’s unique backgrounds.
As I said, I’m from the City of Angeles, otherwise known as L.A. I moved to Namibia in 2012 after completing my University degree, to be along side my now-Husband, who is Namibian himself.
Needless to say, I was homesick after making such a big move and felt a longing to bring a little bit of home to my new home. This is where “Hott Off The Heels” and “Bringing LA 2 Africa” was born.
On a more personal level about myself, I love to travel and I love to meet people from all around the world. I was a cultural dancer for 20 years and moved into a love for fitness right after. I value family, good friends, good memories and a lovely community amongst women. Life is too short for drama and I live by these values. I also passionately promote taking care of oneself on both the inside and outside. This includes keeping healthy, and putting effort in looking and feeling beautiful.
What is Hott off the Heels?
KL: Hott Off The Heels is a brand, more so, than just a company or shop. It is fresh and hot off the heels of the LA Scene, hence the name. And this doesn’t just refer to makeup, but other trends, products and styles that are popular in Los Angeles. But it just so happens that the beauty and makeup industry are at their all-time highest level of popularity right now.
So with the idea of Bringing LA 2 Africa, and out of my love for skincare, beauty products, and makeup artistry came my passion for bringing what is so abundantly available to the ladies in Los Angeles, to us make-up-loving ladies in Namibia.
What brands do you stock?
KL: Since I try to steer in the direction of where the beauty market is going and stay in line with the hottest products, the brands I stock are always changing. As of now though, I carry a large variety of brands that are adored by so many bloggers. This list includes ELF, ColourPop, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Dose of Colors, Too Faced, NARS, Makeup Forever, Morphe, Lorac, EOS, NYX, Lumee Case, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Mario Badescu,….ahhh the list goes on. In addition, I accept orders of products I might not carry at the time.
What are your 3 top tips when buying new makeup?
KL: 1. Make sure you are being consulted by a knowledgeable person that can help you choose the best products for you and your budget. Don’t get “sold” products you won’t actually use and fall in love with using everyday, it’s a waste of hard-earned ‘boss-babe’ money.
2. Start with a small collection beginning with the face and lips, and then continue to more detailing products like brows, eyes, lashes, setting, etc. Begin with a foundation you feel really good about, a contour powder (or bronzer), a highlighter for glow, and a lippie you’ll just adore taking selfies with.
3. DON’T get intimidated or afraid to try something different, something bold. “Makeup Shaming” is an actual thing and we should not fall prey to this type of bullying or old-fashioned ideas. Try a dark lip, try a winged liner, the message is try it all and have fun with your beauty. That’s the point. Remember: We don’t wear makeup because we ‘have’ to, we wear it because we ‘want’ to. Enjoy your femininity.
High end or Low end? What is your preference?
KL: I say a combination is always best. However, this one’s a difficult one to answer directly and it all depends on what product it is. Also depends on the client. If she’s a student, a working professional, night-social or day-social. And of course if it’s for an event or everyday. Events, always go high-end.
In addition, I’ll ask if you want a functional makeup or recreational. For example, for the ladies over 30, I suggest some products that will be on the face to be high-end. It will serve its purpose all day and do a great job complying with your skin. But then the lippie can be low-end as long as you love it. And for the more student lifestyle or recreational makeup, there are a lot of great quality low-end brands that will be sure to satisfy and have fun with. I personally love and use both high and low-end, just depends on the numerous details.
What I don’t recommend is always heading towards big named, high-end brands because sometimes you’ll find some extraordinary gems in the low-end brands that will surely surprise you, such as ColourPop and ELF. Just the same though, don’t be afraid to budget a bit and go all in on a high-end product every now and then.
What items are your best sellers?
Some of the products that fly off my shelves as soon as they arrive are Dose of Colors matte lipsticks, ColourPop matte lipsticks, the Beauty Blender, highlighters, brushes and contour/highlight kits. But the top of this list is definitely Matte Lipsticks, any and all brands. What’s not to love? They last all day, don’t smudge off and have deep pigmented color. One of the best creations of the makeup industry.
Kristine is on Instagram as @Hott.Of.The.Heels, Facebook with the same name and click here for her website.