fbpx

Monday 24th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

Country Queen

Country Queen, the first Kenyan Netflix original, is a drama that explores Kenya’s complex history with gold mining while also offering a parallel tale about complex families. After a ten-year self-exile, Nairobi event director Akisa presumably the titular country queen returns to her hometown of rural Tsilanga in the film’s lead role, played by Melissa Kiplagat.
The six-episode first season opens with Akisa organizing an occasion for Eco Rock, a significant Kenyan gold mining firm.
The business is led by Vivienne Sibala (Nini Wacera), and Akisa obtained the contract with the assistance of Max (Blessing Lung’aho), who is also Vivienne’s husband and Akisa’s boyfriend.

The occasion is crucial for Akisa’s profession, so she wouldn’t have wanted things to turn out the way they did with Max accidentally telling his wife about their connection and an irate man showing up to the party to smear Vivienne and accusing the company of land grabbing.

However, it is how the event unfolds. She receives a surprise call from her Aunt Salome (Muthoni Gathecha), telling her that her father is gravely ill, adding to an already horrible night. By dawn, Akisa is returning to her town and the father who abducted her child ten years prior, the mother who doesn’t appear to want to see her, and the father.

The invasion of Tsilanga by Eco Rock in pursuit of gold takes place at the same time as Akisa’s return. The firm is doing what capitalism is most despised for: utilizing the weak to enhance the wealth of the powerful, with ambitions to transform the entire town into a goldmine. Villagers are being duped into abandoning town and their lands in exchange for meager payments.

Children who are starving are placed into actual holes in the ground in exchange for unreliable payment.
And conflicting interests are tearing apart families. The greatest plot of land in the center of Eco Rock’s proposed operation belongs to Akisa’s father, Mwalimu (Raymond Ofula), who refuses to sell it despite the fact that Eco Rock has his brothers in its crosshairs and has threatened to destroy him and his way of life.

[taq_review]

Akisa is returning home to this mess as if navigating her complicated relationship with her parents Esther, played by Mumbi Kaigwa wasn’t difficult enough.
Other than her aunt Salome, no one from her past seemed to be on Akisa’s side beside a man by the name of Kyalo (Melvin Alusa).

Kyalo still has feelings for Akisa, her childhood sweetheart who doesn’t know why she left home or why they had a kid together.
However, he is about to wed Anna (Sheila Munyiva of Rafiki fame), the town doctor, and Akisa’s reappearance inevitably strains their relationship.

Synopsis
Blood . Gold . Love

When an invasive mining company threatens the existence of her village, a city girl caught between two worlds must return home, overcome her painful past to save the village, and find herself in the process.

Directed by: Vincent Mbaya,  Brian Munene,  David “Tosh” Gitonga
Written by: Wanjeri Gakuru,  Oprah Oyugi,  Lydia Matata,  Kimani Waweru,  Shirleen Wangari,  Ian Kithinji,  Mkamzee Chao Mwatela, Florence Onyango, Annette Shadeya, Kamau Wa Ndung’u
Produced by: Kamau Wa Ndung’u
Cinematography: Andrew Mungai
Edited by: Mkaiwawi Mwakaba,  Aleks Kamau
Starring: Melissa Kiplagat,  Melvin Alusa, Nini Wacera

Content courtesy of Netflix & NFH

 

 

Asorock Watches Africa’s First Luxury Watch Brand

ASOROCK Watches was founded to challenge the belief that high quality watches and accessories should only be affordable to the one-percenters in society.

We live in an age of radical transparency. Anyone with access to a web browser can find the manufacturing cost of a car, a smartphone, or a premium timepiece within minutes. This type of “free and open” information helps consumers make better purchasing decisions.

But it’s not always great for manufacturers who excessively inflate the prices of their products. For example.

The retail price of a traditional premium watch can be anywhere between 10 and 40 times higher than its production cost. A lot of this “margin” is used to compensate wholesalers, distributors, and retailers  the price increasing each time the watch changes hands. On top of that, there’s the celebrity advertising campaigns and event sponsorships many brands engage in.

ASOROCK is different. We believe in making premium timepieces available to everyone at fair prices. We value access over aspiration, and expression over status.

Here at ASOROCK Watches, a name influenced by the breath-taking mountains in Central Nigeria, our love and affection for watches, created a desire in us, to make a positive long-lasting impact on the African continent by representing her in the luxury watch market of the world.

Started by young entrepreneurs and watch enthusiasts Ben Iroala (Nigerian American), and Andrew Mutale (Zambian American) we sought to cut out the high retail mark up of popular name brands. We have been obsessed with watches our entire life and got fed up paying for overpriced name brand watches that only cost a fraction of the price to produce.

Being avid watch enthusiasts ourselves, we were fed up with our limited choices due to the inflated high mark up prices of popular name brands. It also didn’t help that we always felt like our collection was never complete (a problem all true watch enthusiasts can relate to).

It bothered us even more that we didn’t have a single watch from an African source where we have our roots. All these led to the creation of the ASOROCK range of watches.

About ASOROCK Watches 
When designing our watches, we did not hold back on quality. We made sure of 4 prospects that differentiate us:
1) We offer various multiple models of watches under each watch type.
2) All of our watches are made with the finest quality of materials. (staying true to our principles “if you are going to do something, do it right”)
3) We offer our watches at a price less than half of what our competitors charge for watches of the same category.
4) Purchase of any AsoRock watch, does more than just get you compliments, it also goes towards helping to create a better foundation for the youths in Africa.

Our Goals  And Commitment
proceeds from each watch sold by ASOROCK goes to building a library in a village in Nigeria by the end of 4th quarter 2021 and, all names of backers will be engraved in the middle of the library.

Primarily, we believe that through the sales of our fantastically made watches we will raise the funds needed to realize our deep dreams of building libraries with computers equipped with Wifi and learning software in various villages in Africa.

We also foresee the massive amounts of employment our brand will offer from; library keepers to tech-savvy millennials worldwide who want to promote and be an influencer for us, and also down to our photographers and design team that will grow as we grow and produce better designs than we have now. These factors further led us to the creation of ASOROCK.

That’s why ASOROCK Watches is truly more than just another watch company, not only are we more of a charity at heart by using the sales of our awesome watches as leverage to achieve our core aims of helping empower the youths in our motherland and continent, but we are also seeking to create jobs.

How We Do It
To offer you fairly-priced, premium watches at unbeatable prices, ASOROCK took the direct-to-consumer approach. (D2C)

Our pieces are crafted from the same top-quality components as other premium watch brands. But we’re obsessed with keeping our supply, distribution, and advertising costs to a bare minimum. This allows us to pass far greater savings on to you.

And the quality of our watches is guaranteed  your ASOROCK timepiece is protected by an industry-leading 2year international warranty. Wherever you are and whatever your problem, we’ll make it right.

We could continue congratulating ourselves for our wonderful work, but we’d prefer you experience the Asorock difference yourself. Our premium-quality watches are waiting to be discovered.

Content courtesy of ASOROCK Watches & Nairobi fashion hub 

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Primer/Base

L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Primer/Base is a primer that adds instant thickness to lashes, amplifying the performance of any mascara applied on top. Despite these selling points, this mascara primer has some issues and ultimately doesn’t replace what multiple coats of one great mascara can do.

Housed inside a soft metallic pink tube is a light pink-tinted, wax-based primer with a fluffy white brush that, according to L’Oreal, contains over 200 bristles. We didn’t count them all, but for certain the brush is packed with soft bristles and they work to evenly coat lashes, creating a thick base for mascara to cling to.

L’Oreal’s directions state to let this primer/base dry before applying mascara, but we found this is bad advice, as doing so causes mascara applied afterward to drag over lashes, resulting in a slightly messy-looking application.

In contrast to the directions, if you apply mascara with lashes still wet from primer the results look much better, particularly for thickness and separation.

Ultimately, what you can achieve by taking the time to do this extra makeup step isn’t so great that you can’t get the same results from successive coats of a single mascara. We’re also disappointed by the inclusion of fragrance, as this risks irritating the eyes. If you’re keen on experimenting with other lash primers, you can find our favorites here.
By the way, although L’Oreal mentions rose oil in their claims, this product contains the non-fragrant rose hip oil, listed as Rosa canina.

Pros:

Creates a good base of thickened lashes for mascara to adhere to.
Fluffy, bristle-packed brush applies primer evenly.
Cons:

Contains fragrance, which poses a risk of irritating the eyes.
Waiting for this to dry before applying mascara doesn’t produce great results.
Doesn’t replace what multiple coats of a great volumizing mascara can do.
Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub

L’Oreal Infallible Longwear Blush Shaping Stick

L’Oreal’s Infallible Longwear Blush Shaping Stick is an outstanding way to add subtle, shimmer-free-yet-softly-radiant cheek color. It works beautifully on its own or over makeup (for best results, do so before setting with powder).

The fragrance-free twist-up stick formula is suitable for all skin types except for those with acne, because the waxes and thickeners that keep this in stick form could trigger breakouts.

Talk about easy application! Simply twist up a small amount and dab or dot onto the apples of your cheeks. The cream-to-powder formula blends easily using a sponge, brush, or a clean fingertip. Once set, this stays in place and resists fading.

Most blushes come in more shade ranges than the two that L’Oreal offers: Cheeky Dimension and Sexy-Flush. Both are attractive and workable for most skin tones. Worth noting: The color intensity is fairly strong, so a little goes a long way if you have fair to light skin.

Other than the shortage of shades, Infallible Longwear Blush Shaping Stick passes with flying colors!

Pros:

  • A quick way to add a healthy flush of color to cheeks.
  • Works well alone or applied over makeup.
  • Smooths over skin and blends beautifully.
  • Results stay true, no fading or streaking.
  • Fragrance free.

Cons:

  • Only two shades offered, which won’t suit all skin tones.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub

L’Oreal Infallible Longwear Highlighting Shaping Stick

L’Oreal’s Infallible Longwear Highlighting Shaping Stick is an excellent way to add subtle to more obvious highlights anywhere you choose, and it works beautifully on its own or applied over makeup (for best results, do so before setting with powder).

The fragrance-free twist-up stick formula is suitable for all skin types except acne-prone, because the waxes and thickeners that keep this in stick form could trigger breakouts.

It couldn’t be easier to apply: twist up a small amount and dab on skin wherever a highlight effect is desired. The cream-to-powder formula blends easily using a sponge, brush, or a clean fingertip. Once set, this stays in place and resists fading.

Regardless of format, most highlighters come in a wide variety of shades, but that’s not the case here. L’Oreal only offers two colors, Slay-in Rose and Gold is Cold, but both are sheer, attractive, and workable for most skin tones. Given that both shades offered are good, we’re not coming down too hard on L’Oreal. By every other standard, Infallible Longwear Highlighting Shaping Stick passes with flying colors!

Pros:

  • Great way to add subtle to more obvious highlights.
  • Works well alone or applied over makeup.
  • Smooths over skin and blends beautifully.
  • Results stay true, no fading or streaking.
  • Fragrance free.

Cons:

  • Only two shades offered.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Content courtesy Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub

L’Oreal UnbelievaBrow

L’Oreal’s UnbelievaBrow doesn’t bring anything new to the table in the world of brow-grooming products; however, it’s a good option, especially if you like a more dramatic brow look.

This brow gel comes in a plastic tube with a sponge-tipped wand applicator, reminiscent of a lip gloss. Separate from this tube, you also get a mini brush with a spoolie on one end and an angled brush at the other.

There’s a 3-step application process: you’re supposed to use the sponge to apply color to brows, then use the brush to distribute it to areas with sparse hair, and finally brush through brows with the spoolie.

The issue we have with the applicator is that it’s somewhat flimsy and small, and since it comes separately, its less convenient than most other brow gels (not to mention you’re more likely to lose it).

That said, the result of the application technique is a dramatic, filled-in brow look that works well for an evening out. While this might not be for everyone, it doesn’t look unnatural or cartoonish.

This gel doesn’t leave brows feeling stiff or sticky, and as claimed, its waterproof and smudge-proof, holding up admirably through a full day of wear. L’Oreal promises 48 hours of wear, but we promise if you sleep with this on, the results the next day won’t look so fresh!

Turning to the colors, there are several options, most in varying shades of “brunette”. There’s no option for auburn, or lighter blonde brows, so the selection is limiting.

While this gel has a couple of misfires, overall it’s a good option, especially if you like the look of fuller, thicker brows.

Pros:

  • Adds thickness to sparse brows without feeling sticky.
  • Brow gel is waterproof and doesn’t smudge as advertised.

Cons:

  • Separate applicator is inconvenient.
  • No option for those with auburn or light blonde hair.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub 

L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar XFiber Primer + Fiber Mascara

L’Oreal is no stranger to creating fantastic mascaras, and their 2-step Voluminous Superstar XFiber Primer + Fiber Mascara perfectly confirms this.

As the name implies, you get two separate products packaged in a dual-sided tube. Step 1 is the primer, a sheer black tint that builds a foundation for Step 2, the curved-brush mascara.

The primer separates and lengthens lashes so well, you might be tempted to stop there if dramatic lashes aren’t your thing. But adding the mascara ratchets results from good to beyond great—the second step merges with the first to create a very close approximation to false eyelashes or lash extensions!

Lashes are lifted, super long, and voluminous without looking clumpy or spidery. It’s a very clean appearance but remarkably impactful, and the combined formulas wear without a hitch.

Whereas false eyelashes and lash extensions can be difficult and time-consuming to remove (assuming you’re trying to be gentle and not damage your real lashes), Voluminous Superstar XFiber Primer + Fiber Mascara washes off completely with a water-soluble cleanser, no pulling, peeling, or rubbing needed.

If you opt to use step 2 alone, you’ll find that the mascara portion isn’t too impressive. It’s OK, but too mild-mannered to deliver superstar lashes. You have to begin with step 1 to get wow-factor results, and the extra step is totally worth it.

What about the fibers? We didn’t detect them, although Step 2 contains rayon, a fiber typically used to make clothing that’s fine for lashes. That’s a good thing because with such fibers you want to see their effect without seeing the fibers themselves, either on your lashes or as fallout on skin around the eyes. The bottom line is that whether the fibers are evident or not, they don’t flake and likely enhance this mascara’s performance.

Pros:

  • Tinted primer + mascara produces beautifully defined, dramatic lashes.
  • Ideal for those who want impressive length and thickness.
  • Comes close to creating a false lash/lash extension look.
  • Wears without a hitch.
  • Removes with a regular cleanser.
  • Fragrance free.

Cons:

  • The mascara side alone isn’t too impressive.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Content courtesy Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub

L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Honey Eye Gel

L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Honey Eye Gel has some appealing qualities for eye-area skin, but a big misstep makes this a product we can’t recommend.

This lightweight gel comes in a plastic bottle with a wand dispenser. At the end of the wand are three metal beads that feel cooling and can be used to massage skin under the eyes, which can decrease puffiness caused by fluid retention (not age-related undereye bags that occur when fat pads beneath the skin shift out of place, though).

The fragrance-free gel absorbs quickly and works well worn by itself and under makeup, in either case making eye-area skin feel refreshed and lightly moisturized.

There are some excellent ingredients here, among them non-fragrant plant oils including olive, jojoba, and coconut oils, plus skin-plumping sodium hyaluronate and a couple of skin-replenishing peptides.

But ahead of all of these in the ingredient list is the bad kind of alcohol: denatured alcohol. When used daily, this drying type of alcohol can do a lot of damage to skin, particularly to the delicate and thinner skin in the eye area (see More Info for details).

While there’s much to like about this, subjecting your eye-area skin to this much alcohol means this is a hard pass. There are far better eye creams and treatments that are gentler on skin to be found. If L’Oreal reformulated this without alcohol, it would’ve easily earned a much higher rating.

Note: while L’Oreal claims that the type of honey in this product, manuka honey, is extra “nourishing,” it is no more or less special for skin than any other type of honey.

Pros:

  • Metal beads on wand feel cooling and can reduce some kinds of puffiness.
  • Lightweight gel leaves skin feeling refreshed and moisturized.
  • Includes non-fragrant plant oils, sodium hyaluronate, and peptides.
  • Fragrance free.

Cons:

  • Contains a high amount of drying denatured alcohol.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Read More info about Alcohol-Based Skincare Products

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub 

L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition All-Over Honey Balm

L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition All-Over Honey Balm is a soothing way to tackle dry skin, and although it’s pretty good, it’s not without faults.

First and foremost, this comes in an opaque plastic squeeze tube, so its beneficial ingredients are protected from light and air that can cause them to lose their effectiveness. The rich, cream-gel texture is moisturizing yet not overly thick and absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky residue.

There are plenty of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients included, among them shea butter, apricot, sunflower, passionfruit, and rice bran oils, and the honey ingredients that play heavily into this product’s advertising (honey, beeswax, and royal jelly). All will help dry skin appear plumped and smooth, and have antioxidant benefit, too. You might say honey is the bee’s knees!

This also has a relatively strong honey scent, but it doesn’t come from those ingredients. Instead, it’s because of the inclusion of fragrance + fragrance ingredients, among them geraniol and citronellol. The scent isn’t overpowering, but it does linger a bit, and fragrance of any kind puts skin at risk of irritation (see More Info for details).

Overall, this is a good moisturizing option, but if it was fragrance-free, it would’ve earned a spot on our best moisturizers list.

Note: while L’Oreal claims that the type of honey in this product, manuka honey, is extra “nourishing,” it is no more or less special for skin than any other type of honey.

Pros:

  • Gel-cream texture is moisturizing without being overly thick.
  • Absorbs quickly without a sticky residue.
  • Includes numerous hydrating and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Many ingredients have antioxidant benefits as well.

Cons:

  • Contains fragrance and fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of skin irritation.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes

Read more info about Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub 

L’oreal Rouge Signature Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick

L’Oreal’s Rouge Signature Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick is yet another entry into the brand’s growing lineup of liquid lip options. Sadly, it isn’t among its best!

The packaging is a sleek, slightly bullet-shaped clear tube with black accents that has a standard sponge-tipped wand applicator inside,the fluid lipstick inside is lightweight and just a couple of swipes provides fully saturated bold color impact. It applies evenly, sets to a soft matte finish, and comes in a wide variety of colors.

This liquid lipstick holds up well for about four hours without fading, although we found that it begins to bleed towards the end of its wear time.

Now for the problematic part: the formula contains a high amount of drying denatured alcohol, which over time does damage to skin, particularly the delicate skin of the lips (see More Info for details). This also has a strong fragrance, and fragrance can cause skin irritation. We do wish L’Oreal would ease up on the fragrance in their makeup, as it’s not doing your skin any favors.

While this has some pleasing aesthetics, the potential problems it causes just aren’t worth it. There are far better options to be found on our list of best lipsticks.

Pros:

  • Provides lightweight yet fully saturated color to lips.
  • Comes in a good variety of colors.
  • Doesn’t fade.

Cons:

  • Bleeds towards the end of its wear time.
  • Contains a high amount of skin-drying denatured alcohol.
  • Includes fragrance, which can irritate lips.

Jar Packaging: No

Tested on animals: Yes
Read More Info Alcohol-Based Products

Content courtesy of Beautypedia & Nairobi fashion hub