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We Chat to Local Beauty Entrepreneur Behind Connie Transforms

By Asanda Sizani

So we can all agree that we love a good matte liquid lipstick. What’s great about liquid lipstick is that it combines the high pigment of a lipstick, with the application ease of a lip gloss. Celebrities such as Nadia NakaiPearl ModiadieKhanyi Mbau and Samkelo Ndlovu were spotted sporting some fresh new lip shades, and I was instantly interested. After trolling Connie Transform's Instagram feed, I got in touch to chat to her about her range.

At a young 27, Zimbabwean born Constance Mapule Bhebhe is well on her way to building a beauty empire, one liquid lipstick at a time. If you don't already know, her brand, Connie Transform is a South African based makeup brand that specialises in liquid lipsticks.

I've been wearing some of her smudge-proof liquid lipsticks and sometimes I even mix the colours.  i'm mpressed with how her product doesn’t dry up and flake off halfway through my day like some matte liquid lipsticks, I now absolutely can't leave home without Durban Shore or Four Seasons (2 out of the 13 available shades).

What prompted you to start this business? 

My first real business Cobe Fit (formerly Modbod) had me in sweats and a pony tail 90% of the time. I was starting to look like something I feared. I was losing my girly-ness and I decided I needed to transform myself. So, exactly a year ago I was in Canada and I ordered some Anastasia Beverly Hills lipsticks online as an attempt to change my look and try something other than the “Touch” MAC lipstick shade I’d been wearing since I was 17. I liked the pigmentation and that they were long wearing but I found them too heavy on my lips. After I returned to SA I started searching, but I couldn’t find anything on the market. I asked a friend of mine who was working in cosmetics if they could recommend something, to which they jokingly replied “Just start your own”. Four months later we launched Connie Transform.

Why the brand name Connie Transform?

Connie needed to transform into the cute feminine girl she used to be.

I have personally tried your lipsticks and the shades Durban Shore and Contour are my daily obsession. Tell us about the process of you naming each shade. 

I generally name them the second I look at the shade and what I think it reminds me of or makes me feel like. Durban Shore was a strategic name choice because I wanted South Africans to know we were a local brand.

What sets your lipsticks apart from other matte liquid lipsticks? 

Unlike all other brands that produce matte liquid lipsticks, ours feel and appear light on the lips while not drying your lips. They feel like a second skin.

Tell us about the pigment and longwearing benefits of your product? Generally speaking, South African women do not wear a lot of make up. The natural look is what’s desirable. Women here can’t be bothered with make up that requires consistent touch up. This is a reason why our collection is a hit, especially with brides that can’t carry a purse to keep her lipstick, helping her look just as beautiful five hours into the event as when she left the makeup chair.

Connie Transform Matte Lipsticks

Where is the product manufactured?

Our manufacturer has a plant in California and in Hong Kong. Our productions can come from either facilities. I believe they will be opening in Africa in the next three years and I can’t wait to be able to say “Made in Africa."

What is your current most popular shade? 

Dark BerryFour Seasons and Babes. I anticipate that future shades Djamila, Hampton and Issa Goddess will also be hits.

Where can people shop Connie Transform?

It’s easy to shop with us. Just browse our IG page and website to see which colours tickle your interest. Pay online and you’ll have your order within 72 hours. Each lipstick is currently R160.

What's next for your business? Can we expect you to extend Connie Transform to other makeup products?

I want to launch other cosmetic products that help women transform, not just make-up. This will likely include contact lenses and perhaps even home teeth whitening. As for traditional products, we are in the works of an eye shadow palette as well as eye lashes, expected to be launched in the next few months. I’m completely self funded, so the growth has to be scaled carefully with the help of women distributors across the country.

Visit the Connie Transform website here to shop the 13 beautiful shades.

Instagram: @connietransform

Facebook: Connie Transform Lipsticks


Images: Supplied



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