My Egyptian Makeup Kit: Eyes

Let’s go back to roots: I want to have a chat about makeup, starting with a series of posts about makeup I took with me to Egypt. I was packing for three weeks, you know. So the photo in this post features all the eye makeup I took with me.

Except that unfortunate eyeliner that didn’t make it into any photos, but it’s nothing to write home about. Just a black dip liquid eyeliner with a marker tip. Very inexpensive, effective. Seen better, seen worse. If you’re in a pinch but jonesin’ for some liquid eyeliner, grab that Golden Rose one.

Let’s get down to business then, shall we.

Pink and gold tubes are black and blue mascaras. The black one is by Oriflame, and I still think that Oriflame has some of the best mascaras on the market out there, and for reasonable prices too. The formulas and brushes are diverse. I’ve been getting angrier and angrier with Oriflame recently for its business and ethics, but the product is solid.

The gold tube is a blue version of the Russian market cult favourite – Vivienne Sabo Cabaret mascara. It’s a blue that actually shows up on your lashes and also does something besides just giving them colour. I like it. Got it in a BOGO-free situation when buying a present for somebody, so didn’t even spend a dime on it, technically.

The black tube is a brow gel from L’Oreal x Isabel Marant collection. It’s a transparent gel that gives a good (I should even say great) hold without glueing your brow hairs together. The spoolie is tiny, kinda triangle-shaped, and excellent for this type of product. I think once I’m done with the gel, I’ll keep the spoolie around. It has no colour, and leaves no white cast – at first it looks like it might, but it dries down completely transparent. Doesn’t give any weird gloss either. I wish L’Oreal weren’t so asinine in their ethics, because I’d LOVE to repurchase this. However, L’Oreal has been on my radar for various forms of BS for quite a while now. I will have to shop around for something else once this gel runs out.

Artdeco Eyebrow Powder in 2 is more of a shadow, not a powder. I’ve been using it for years now. This is my second, the first one I dropped and broke beyond my then repressing skills. Artdeco Eyebrow Powder in this medium grey tone is ideal for my needs. It was good on me when I still had dark brown hair, and it’s perfect with black. I think as long as I’m using powdered products for my brows and keep my hair a cooler shade of dark, I’ll be using this one.

Avon True Glimmerstick in Cobalt Cool. My first impression was disappointment, because the liner wasn’t half as pigmented as I was expecting, and also dry. But then the tip broke off… It’s still not as intense as, say, Inglot gel pot liners, but for the price point it’s quite decent, and lets me achieve a look that I want – namely a neutral shadow with vibrant liner and matching mascara.

Now, the palettes. I wrote about them in detail before, but I feel like I want to update my impressions in full, with good photos and a new set of swatches. Besides, I made those old posts private. Hmm.

Maybe later. Would you like some aged perspective on some old releases?

Speaking of age. They’re about the same, and I must say that INGLOT outperforms MAC in the department of ageing by quite a degree. MAC is now much drier, much crumblier, and the staying power has gone down by at least two hours. The same thing cannot be said about INGLOT – it’s like the damn thing hasn’t aged a day. And the INGLOT pans are as big as they’re deep. I’m getting drunk off my arse if I ever hit pan in an INGLOT shadow, mark my words.


There’s a special irony in writing about 7th of October in Kishinev whilst sitting in the city of 6th of October in Egypt.

Or at least I see it. We’re all locked down, quarantined, etc. etc., no intro needed, so I’ve been going through my photos looking for unpublished content – and it turns out that most of my ‘content’ is unpublished! Cool. It means I can regale you with boring tales of yesteryear – and you can’t even blame me that much. Quarantine. Limited resources. Entertainment and expense cuts.

But yes. 7th of October 2018 was Wine Day. Like any decent Moldavian, I ought to celebrate it. That year, like many other years, we decided to go straight into the heat of it all, and join the festivities in the Cathedral Park. Usually it’s not as busy as it gets on City Day, and also quite joyous. You know, wine. Meat. Placintas.

Not this time. But more on that later.

As any other journey in my life, this one began home.

I was waiting for my friends to get off from work and join me. To occupy myself, I did the thing I do best.

Take questionable quality photos of stuff around me. Namely, plants.

You will have to forgive the editing of these photos. It’s all pretty random; I’m doing it all on my phone.

Life Travel

Egypt, One Month and One Day

If there’s one thing to love about Egypt, is that morning ends when the sun sets. When the sun is up, people would greet you good morning and serve you breakfast, no questions asked.

Cairo is a city that reportedly never sleeps. I live outside Cairo, but I believe this wholeheartedly, because even here, in the small area between Sheikh Zayed and 6th October, everyone is still awake at midnight. The supermarkets are full, and not just with night creatures working evening shifts like me. Families, in full, run amuck to fill their trolleys with groceries to feed themselves, with cleaning supplies to keep themselves presentable for the days to come.

We’re in partial quarantine, partial lock-down, under curfew these days. I am at the hotel’s open rooftop restaurant as I type this, and I watch the road slowly becoming deserted. Most roads are open, but it would be empty until 6 am next day.

6 am is the time where I should, ideally, be blissfully asleep. Though we’ll see about that.

Places like Egypt, where they serve you breakfast at 3 pm, where they tell you ‘good morning’ at 5 pm, and where the supermarkets aren’t empty at 1 am – places like Egypt are reassuring for the likes of me, who have always found it difficult to keep a stable ‘early bird’ routine going. I have since long reconciled myself with the idea that I am a night owl, a night animal, a night creature, a bat, a cat, a perpetrator – unwilling, or rather, unable to fully conform to the society’s idea of healthy daily rituals.

I’d love to. But daylight demoralises normalises me. Stabilises (rather, dulls) my senses and evens out (rather, lowers) my perception and IQ.

But anyway. Let us not let my ubiquitous egotism get in the way of talking about Egypt, because Egypt is beautiful. Confusing at times – I don’t speak the language. And I miss my independence, so to say. In many instances it’s been an exercise in humility, in relying on the kindness of others – something I’ve never really been good at. Here, though, since all I can say is ‘shukran’ and ‘assalamu alaykum’ and ‘inshAllah’ and, oddly enough, ‘arbet eshr’ – all I can do is rely on the goodwill of those that surround me, even though the locals joke that what I know is just enough. It ain’t, oh it ain’t, especially if one doesn’t want to confess to one’s trespasses and discrepancies.

I mean, come on, I’m a 35-year-old woman, surely I can buy beer and cigarettes on my own?

Egypt teaches me that no. No, I cannot. I also can’t buy meds. Bananas. Sugar. Sneakers. Underpants. Toilet paper. Condoms. Chewing gum. Bread.

All the fine necessities of life.

But certainly these… unbosomings aren’t something that one would come to expect from a travelogue (isn’t that a hateful word). I’ll try better next time. Maybe.