13 November 2017

Review: Garnier Skin Active Hydra Bomb Tissue Masks

Whenever new face masks launch there is quite a buzz surrounding it, especially when it's affordable and from the drugstore. Recently Garnier launched three sheet masks (tissue masks) and people have been going crazy for it.

There are three variants in this "Moisture Bomb" range: Pomegranate Super-hydrating Revitalising mask for dehydrated skin (blue), Super-hydrating Rebalancing Mask for normal to combination skin (green), and Super-hydrating Soothing Mask for dry and sensitive skin (pink). The blue mask contains pomegranate, the green one green tea extract, and the pink one chamomile.

The face masks each come with a gauze backing that you remove when applying it. The face masks are quite large and will fit any size face. My only gripe is that the holes for the eyes and the mouth are too small. There are little tears in the sheet mask that allow for stretching, but I find that these are not enough for me. My face is quite big and my features large, so I have to take a pair of scissors and make extra cuts at the outer corners of the eyes and the mouth. I've found that works and that cutting the parts next to the nose hole on each side also works. You're still left with a single sheet mask, but now the nose flap is only connected to the forehead part, if that makes sense.

The masks are soft and drenched in moisture. There's nothing worse than just a damp face mask - it needs to be almost soaking wet. That being said, there's no moisture dripping off the mask, everything stays put.

The instructions say to leave the masks on for 15 minutes, but I usually leave it on for 30-45 minutes. At about 45 minutes I can feel the mask getting slightly drier and that to me is the sign that it's time to remove it. You can, however, leave it on for even longer, but I wouldn't ever sleep with a sheet mask on. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night with a sheet mask that moved and is busy suffocating you??

I don't feel a big difference between the three face mask variants, but I do really like all three. All three leave my skin feeling incredibly juicy and plumped up. My skin feels soft and hydrated and anything I put on top of it (like a facial oil or moisturiser) glides right on.

At between R49.95 and R54.95 each they aren't the cheapest sheet masks (both the Skin Republic and Sorbet masks are cheaper), but I still think they're great value for money. I bought mine from Foschini when they had a 3-for-2 offer on all Garnier face products, and I see my local Clicks and Dishem now also stock them. These stores also regularly have 3-for-2 promotions on Garnier products, so then it'll work out roughly R33.30 each which is an absolute bargain.

Have you ever tried these masks? What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


09 November 2017

Travel Post: What to Pack for a Holiday in Italy (Clothes)

In the previous blog post I showed you my toiletry, makeup, and on-board skincare bags. Today we're talking clothes and what I'm wearing on an overnight flight to Frankfurt and Rome.

I've tried to follow A Pair And A Spare's 5-4-3-2-1 rule (you can read about it here). The 5-4-3-2-1 is a method to keep you from overpacking: 5 tops (tops, shirts, jackets, knits, everything that goes on "top"), 4 bottoms (skirts, shorts, pants, jeans), 3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 bags, 1 hat, 1 watch, 1 pair of sunglasses, and unlimited underwear and accessories. I was very good in keeping to most of this, but I just felt like packing more tops were necessary. November is autumn in Italy and I have no idea what the weather will be like - will it be a Pretoria 20 degrees or a Cape Town 20 degrees? I also didn't want to pack too heavily so I decided on 9 tops (1 tank top, 3 T-shirts, 2 long-sleeved tops, 2 very thin long-sleeved knitwear-like tops (almost like waterfall cardigans), and 1 thick jersey), 3 bottoms (1 pair of black leggings, 1 pair of flower print leggings, 1 pair of boyfriend jeans), 2 dresses (cream and black maxi dress, denim shirt dress), 2 pairs of shoes (1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of canvas sneakers), 2 bags (1 large tote, 1 small cross-body bag), 1 hat (plain sunhat), 1 pair of sunglasses, 1 watch (my Fitbit), and a pashmina.

All the short-sleeved tops as well as the flower print leggings and the denim shirt dress are maternity wear and the rest are "normal" clothes. I've just now realised that all my clothes with the exception of the thick jersey (Pick N Pay Clothing) and belt (Spree) are from Mr Price, H&M, and Woolworths! The tank top, two waterfall cardigans, maxi dress, denim shirt dress, and pajamas are from Mr Price. The three T-shirts (black, white, white with black stripes), both pairs of leggings, the pashmina, and the sneakers are from H&M. The rest - the two long-sleeved shirts, boyfriend jeans, sandals, and cross body bag are all from Woolworths.

Not pictured are three bras, six pairs of underwear, six pairs of secret socks, a sun hat, and a pair of sunglasses. The plan is to do laundry halfway through our trip, and I'm also wearing an outfit on the plane out of this selection.

What I'm wearing on an overnight flight

I normally travel in jeans, but an overnight flight asks for something different. Would you really like to sleep in jeans? I think not. I'll be wearing the denim shirt dress with the black leggings, socks, sneakers, and the long waterfall cardigan. I'll also make sure to wear a comfortable cotton bra (I bought two from PnP that are more like crop tops). I also need to wear compression socks (sexy!) during the flights so I'll wear those underneath my leggings.

And there you have it, a fashion-type post on this blog! I hope you enjoyed it. Please stay tuned for more travel content in coming days.

Until next time!


06 November 2017

Travel Post: What to Pack for a Holiday in Italy (Toiletries)

When this post goes live the husband and I will be in Rome, Italy. In today's post I will be taking you through my toiletry and makeup bags. The toiletries fit into my Vichy travel bag and my makeup fits into a small Clinique makeup bag, win! I'm only packing minis and where I don't have minis I decanted the products into smaller travel containers. I also bought two new travel bottles which I am very excited to use, but more on that later.


I managed to pack all my skincare into a handluggage sized clear plastic bag. I prefer to do it this way so I have all my skincare together in one place, and if something leaks, it doesn't leak into my entire toiletry bag. I normally take my Dermalogica travel kit with me, but some of the tubes are a bit on the empty side and I didn't feel like spending R800 on five minis... Instead I packed a travel size Clinique Pep Start 2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser (you can read about it here), mini Dermalogica eye cream with SPF, Dermalogica hydrating mist decanted into a Clinique bottle (do all Dermalogica spray bottles have horrible misters??), Dermalogica Active Moist moisturiser, mini Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum (for nighttime), sample size Avène Hydrance Optimal serum (for day), mini REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask, Garnier Micellar water travel size, a facial sponge, cotton earbuds (I used an old Catrice nail art packaging), and cotton rounds (I got the container at Dischem).

Body Care

I decanted shower gel (Nivea oil show cream) into a QVS travel bottle from Woolworths. I used to have two of these (one for shampoo and one for conditioner), but the other one's cap cracked and broke. For shampoo and conditioner I have two silicone travel bottles from Clicks. They're squishy and leak proof and I'm very excited to use them. I'm thinking on doing a separate post on it after properly testing them. I decanted my Tresemme shampoo and conditioner into these containers. The larger bottle is obviously for my conditioner!

I also have a wide tooth comb, my Venus travel size razor, Sorbet body butter, travel size Batiste dry shampoo, The Body Shop Sun Defence sunscreen, Nivea sunscreen for body, teeny tiny Bio-Oil, and samples of the Palmer's stretch mark cream and tummy butter. Not pictured are aftersun lotion decanted into a small bottle (good 'ol Freeze from Dischem), deodorant (Nivea for black and white clothes), a wash cloth, and a shower lily. The husband's toiletry bag is quite empty so I'm going to try and sneak the Nivea into his bag so mine is a bit lighter...


As for makeup, I'm pretty much packing the things that were in my previous monthly favourites post. Travel sized Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, L.A. Girl Pro HD BB cream in "Fair", Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer in "02 Beige", Catrice Prime and Fine pressed powder (this is a new purchase but I have used it in the past), Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge, Wet N Wild PhotoFocus eyeshadow primer (I need to use this even if I'm not wearing eyeshadow), Maybelline Color Tattoo in "On and on bronze", travel size EcoTools blending brush, essence Kabuki brush, L.A. Girl Slim Shade brow pencil in "Brunette", Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Filler brow mascara in "Deep brown", and a sample Clinique High Impact mascara. Not pictured is my essence Matte setting spray which I forgot to photograph. You'll see that there are no lip products. I only plan on taking one or two lipsticks and I'll only use them when we go out at night, so I'm still deciding what to take.

On-board skincare

Now this is a step that many people see as unecessary, but for me it is absolutely necessary. If I sweat a lot, or if the day just becomes too long, and I have mascara on, then my eyes start to sting and I just get miserable. Also, you'd take your makeup off before going to sleep at your house, so what's different when you're sleeping in the air? I packed another hand luggage sized plastic bag (this one had lots of Dove travel sizes in - I wanted a new one but couldn't find it at my Clicks). In it I packed Nivea 3-in-1 cleansing facial wipes, a travel size Avène thermal spray, travel size Dove deodorant (why don't they sell minis here??), earplugs, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream decanted into one of those small Lush sample pots, and a sample Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturiser, and a travel size Clinique Pep-Start eye cream.

When we're tucked into our seats on the plane I'll remove my makeup with a facial wipe, apply some eye cream, spritz my face, and apply some moisturiser. Lip balm is an important last step. Upon waking up the next morning I'll pretty much repeat the process, but maybe also splash my face with some water in the bathroom before applying my eye cream and things and then also brushing my teeth (they usually give us little travel pouches with travel toothbrushes and toothpaste on overnight flights).

I am also taking medication (anti-clotting injections, prenatal vitamins, Panado's, nasal spray, Corenza Para-C, and Kentraxil) on the plane with me. As for entertainment I am taking magazines and my iPod. I'm also taking my Canon DSLR in a Lowepro bag.

And that's it for my travel skincare, makeup, and in-flight bags! I hope I'm not packing too much but I also hope I'm not forgetting anything important!

Until next time!


02 November 2017

Travel Post: Off to Italy!

The husband and I have been uhmm-ing and aaah-ing about where to go for our fifth wedding anniversary for months. We were set on going to Zanzibar because it is (1) affordable, (2) close, and (3) reminds us of our honeymoon in Mauritius (not the same place, but still an island getaway). Then we found out that I was pregnant, so Zanzibar was out of the question (it's classified as a malaria zone). Then we started thinking about going to Europe... The last time I was in Europe was in 2014 and I absolutely loved it. (The husband was there briefly in 2016 for work, but that doesn't really count.) We initially wanted to go to Greece, but in the end Italy won the battle. This will be for our fifth wedding anniversary, as well as a "baby moon" as it will be the last proper holiday we'll be going on as just a couple.

We're going for little over a week and we'll be spending three nights in Rome, two nights in Florence, and two nights in Venice. I am deliriously excited as I've always wanted to go to Italy. The husband has also never been there, so it'll be a good adventure for us both. I'm a bit sad that I won't get to taste proper Italian wine, but I'll make sure that we pack a bottle or three into our suitcases for when I can have wine again. I will unfortunately not be able to drink all the coffee I want, but I intend on eating all the pizza, pasta, and gelato. I already have a list of the best places in Rome to order certain foods and I'm very excited to work my way through that list! I also look forward to all the sights and sounds and I'm very excited to see all the museums and cathedrals and to soak up the history.

I'm planning a travel series on our trip which will include a "What to pack" in terms of clothes, toiletries, and on-board goodies. I'll also do a series of posts on where we were, what we saw, and what we ate, so check in regularly so you don't miss anything. I will try to Instagram the trip as we go (wifi permitting), so please also check that account.



*Photo of Florence with thanks from Pixabay.

30 October 2017

Monthly Favourites: October

I don't know if it's my mushy pregnancy brain, but I couldn't really think of any favourites to put in this month's favourites post! I've pretty much been using the same things I've used for the past few months, which should probably tell you that they're well-loved. Since I've been loving the same products for a while now, I thought I'd do this post a bit differently than usual. Instead of only giving you the three new favourite additions to my routine, I thought I'd give you a rundown of makeup products I currently can't live without.

As for primer, it's no surprise that the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm made the cut (I recently spoke about it here). It leaves my skin hydrated and refreshed and ready for the next step. The next step being my beloved L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream in "Fair", of course! After that I use the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in "02 Beige" (more on it here), all applied with my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (I recently spoke about it here).

I hate doing my eyebrows, so if I find something that works on them, I stick with it until something even better comes along. I go in with the L.A. Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil in "Brunette" and then I comb through my brow hairs with the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Filler in "Deep Brown" (I spoke about it here). Another important step is setting my makeup and I'm currently loving the essence Instant Matt makeup setting spray (you can read more about it here).

As for the three new items: I've really been enjoying using Bio-Oil on all the parts of my body that are starting to stretch. It's a tad greasy (it's an oil, after all), but it really hydrates my skin. Apparently having itchy skin on your stomach is another fun pregnancy symptom and I haven't had it very often. I'd like to think it's due to my Bio-Oil applications. For the rest of my body I'm using the Palmer's Firming Butter which smells delicious and comes in a handy pump bottle. I've also been enjoying the Lee Stafford Coco Loco Blow & Go Lotion (I spoke about it here) for days when I curl my hair and I want it to last.

There you have it, essentials for an everyday makeup look and my makeup favourites rolled into one. 

Until next month!


26 October 2017

First Impressions: Maybelline The Burgundy Bar Palette

I bought this palette on a whim when I saw it at my local Dischem. This is (as far as I know) the third Maybelline eyeshadow palette that is launched, the first one being The Rock Nudes and the second one The Blushed Nudes. I was never interested in the first one as the shade selection didn't interest me, but the second one was absolutely beautiful. The downside is that I never saw a tester palette at any of the shops I went to, so I didn't think it wise to buy it on a whim without testing it first (and with a R250 price tag). That being said, when I saw The Burgundy Bar, it was love at first sight. All the shades are warm and look absolutely delicious. I haven't worn it enough to do a full review, but I'll be sharing my first impressions.

Firstly, the shade selection is absolutely stunning. It ranges from a champagne, almost pale rose gold to a medium-dark brown. For R250 you get 12 decent-sized eyeshadows housed in a very thin and compact palette. The palette also snaps shut, which means that it won't open unexpectedly in your makeup bag. Of the 12 shades only two are matte, the rest are shimmery or metallic. The shades are all very buttery and creamy, which is quite unusual for a drugstore eyeshadow palette. Drugstore palettes usually have at least one or two chunky, chalky shadows.

The first row (top picture) has, from left to right, a pale rosy gold champagne shade, a dark gold, a warm brown with golden shimmer, a rich gold, a sparkly champagne gold, and a light brown, almost camel matte. The second row (bottom picture) has, from left to right, a sparkly champagne gold (lighter than the previous one), a rich burgundy, a coppery brown,  a sparkly gold, a rich and sparkly plum, and a medium-brown matte.

At first glance it doesn't look like there's any "order" to the shadows: the mattes aren't grouped, the metallics aren't grouped, and the shadows aren't grouped by shade either. However, when you turn the palette over they show you the shade groupings so that you can achieve 13 eye looks with these 12 eyeshadows. 13! There are duos: each row's shadows are grouped two-by-two (giving you a total of six looks). There are trios: each row's shadows are grouped three-by-three (giving you a total of four looks). And there are quads where the first two shadows of the first row and the first two shadows of the second row form the quad, giving you three eye looks. Of course you don't have to stick with these duos, trios, and quads, but it's nice to have a reference, especially if you're new to eyeshadow application or you don't know what goes together.

I've only swatched this palette so I can't give my thoughts just yet, but, what I will say is that I am impressed with the price point. It is R250, but you get 12 decent-sized eyeshadows. I am also impressed with the selection of shades. Granted, there could have been a few less gold shades, but all in all it's a very pretty palette and I hope the application and longevity will be just as good. I will do an update on this post when I've worn it a couple of times or mention it in a future post.

Have you used this palette or any of the others? Which was your favourite? Let my know in the comment section!

Until next time!


23 October 2017

Pregnancy Update: The First 16 Weeks

For those of you who don't know, I'm expecting my first child in March/April 2018. I posted a picture on Instagram announcing the news (you can see it here). I've been following Fleur de Force's vlogs on both her channels (here and here), and I thought the idea of doing a monthly pregnancy update is quite cool. I won't do them too regularly, though, as this is a beauty blog and most of you (if not all) are here for the beauty stuff and not for the pregnancy stuff. That being said, I do feel that it's important for the blog to grow along with me (so to speak).

I though I'd fill you in on stuff that's been happening and changing in the past 16 weeks. If there's anything else you'd like to know, please feel free to ask!


As far as symptoms are concerned, I am really lucky in that I didn't have morning sickness. I did feel nauseous a couple of times, but it never went further than that. I did/do have a couple of weird and interesting symptoms (stuffy nose and cold symptoms, dizziness, etcetera), but nothing I can't handle.   The past week I've also been down with a weird morning-only tummy bug, but that's luckily over now. Now we're on to flu symptoms (my throat doesn't hurt and my nose is only stuffy sometimes, but my body aches, especially my legs).

Diet changes

I've had to give up a lot of things that I like, but I know that it will be all worth it in the end. The worst part was giving up sushi. I still dream about the taste of raw salmon, but oh well. I've tried vegetable sushi a few times, but it's just too boring and bland for me. I also had to give up eating my meat medium-rare as well as cold meats and squishy cheeses such as Camembert and Brie. Giving up alcohol wasn't too bad, but I do miss the occasional glass of wine: an ice cold glass of Chardonnay or a glass of smoky, woody red wine. As for coffee: the past few years I've cut back on coffee so that I only drank two (strong black) cups a day. My doctor said I'm allowed one regular cup of coffee or two cups of decaf per day, and I find that I don't really miss it that much. I'll have a cup of Nespresso decaf at home, especially over the weekends, and otherwise I keep my daily coffee quota for when I'm drinking coffee with a friend. I've also had to up my intake of fluids. I always joke that I'm a camel and that I can get away with drinking the minimum amount of fluids, but I find myself drinking in the order of two liters of fluids a day, which is way more than I am used to!

I normally try to eat healthily, but I've really had to up my intake of fruit, veggies, and calcium. I try not to stress about what I'm eating and how much of it I'm eating, I just try to eat as much as I can (within reason) and stay away from the foods on the "bad" list. I didn't really pick up weight in the first 12 weeks, which worried me a bit, but the doctor said that as long as the baby is doing ok (measuring the right length for his/her age, etcetera), it's fine. That being said, I've picked up 2 kg since that appointment so I think I'll be ok!

Body changes

I've had the usual body changes that come with pregnancy, and more or less in week 13 or 14 I started getting a bump. The bump appeared a little while after telling our friends and family (our parents already knew for a few weeks), so it wasn't such an issue to hide it. The bump seems to be picking up speed now as I can literally see a change during the past week! I haven't been able to wear my jeans for about six weeks now (it still fits, but when I sit down it chokes my tummy), but I actually found a pair of boyfriend jeans in my cupboard that was a bit too big and now fits comfortably. I've also had to invest in a couple of bigger tops to accommodate the growing bump. I bought a few bigger, longer length tops and short dresses (that I can wear over leggings) from H&M's and Mr Price's maternity ranges and I love it. I'm also glad that it's summer so I'm practically living in maxi dresses (that I already owned).

Skincare and body care

Since I was about 10 weeks pregnant I've been religiously applying lotions and potions to all the areas that can stretch. I started with Palmer's Stretch Mark Cream and then moved on to Bio-Oil from around 14 weeks. I saw that Fleur uses Palmer's Tummy Butter so I bought that to use in-between Bio-Oil applications. I don't see any stretch marks yet (touch wood!) but it might still be early days for that, who knows. I enjoy the ritual of applying the oils and creams, especially on my tummy.

As for my skincare routine, nothing much has changed. The doctor said I should not use products that contain a high dosage of Vitamin A, but apparently I don't own any Vitamin A products, so that's fine.

My hair and nails have also started growing quicker and longer, which is a nice bonus. My nails are normally quite brittle and flaky, but now they're quite strong and grow quickly. I haven't been in the mood for painting my nails in months, but I think I need to take advantage of these new strong nails! My hair also grew quite a lot and I need to have it cut, as it's becoming a pain to dry in the mornings. I try to use a hair mask once a week to keep the ends in good condition.

Baby and Baby's room

Apart from "how are you feeling?" the question I get asked the most is, will you find out the gender of the baby? The husband and I discuss this regularly and, although I always said I didn't want to know, I think knowing just makes it easier to plan. People will want to buy things for the baby (so do I!) and working with a colour scheme would be nicer and easier. We have an appointment tomorrow (16 week appointment) but we said that, if we have the choice, we'd rather wait until the 20 week scan when we have our fetal assessment and fancy sonar done at the hospital.

As for Baby's room, we have already started planning and painting. We're keeping the colour scheme of the nursery gender neutral (white and grey) and then we'll have white furniture and pink or blue/navy accents (toys, blankets, wall art) depending on if the baby is a boy or a girl. This way we can start decorating now without re-painting at a later stage!

The only things we've bought so far are paint and a second hand cot. I also bought a total of one baby blanket as I don't want to buy too many things now. A part of me still thinks it's "too early" to buy things for the baby. Silly? Let me know!

I hope you enjoyed this. Please let me know in the comments section what you would like me to mention in my next pregnancy update (which will only be up in November at the earliest). I also thought about doing a maternity haul sometime, and later on a nursery tour. Let me know if you'd be interested in that?

Until next time!