27 February 2014

Review: Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub

Ever since I heard about the UK bath and body range, Soap & Glory, I just knew I had to get my hands on some of their products. So when Rubybox started stocking it, I picked up a few things including the much raved about The Breakfast Scrub.

The scrub contains oats, shea butter, sugar, organic cupuacu (a tree related to cacao) bio scrubs, bananas, almond, and honey extract. So basically a recipe for banana pancakes. Or a really moisturising body scrub.

I absolutely love the packaging. The scrub comes in a round-bottomed clear-plastic tub, and the cute pink and white label.

The thing I love the most about this scrub is the smell. It's like cookie dough drenched in smokey maple syrup. I am salivating just thinking about it! And speaking of cookie dough, that is pretty much the consistency of the scrub. When you scoop it out of the jar it's a thick caramel brown cookie dough with a sugary grit. 

I find that the dough-like consistency makes it difficult for me to actually apply it to my skin. I recently read Camilla's review of the Sugar Crush Body Scrub (which I also have and still need to review), and she has the same problem with it. When I try to apply it to my skin, the scrub kind of rolls into a dough ball and it usually ends up on the shower floor. I've found it to work best with exfoliating gloves, but I also find that I need to use more of the product.

When I actually get it right to exfoliate my skin, the grit is not too fine or too coarse. It doesn't irritate my skin, but I can definitely feel that I've been exfoliated. My skin is left soft and smooth and smelling slightly of maple syrup.  I mean, how can any of this ever be a bad thing?

So all in all not a life-alteringly brilliant scrub, but I do love the packaging, the smell, and the way my skin looks and feels afterwards. Of which the last two are probably the most important factors when looking for a good body scrub.

Have you ever used The Breakfast Scrub? What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments section.

Until next time!


24 February 2014

Review: Bourjois Happy Light Primer and Foundation

I have been eyeing the Bourjois Happy Light primer and foundation for a good few months now, and I was extremely happy when my friend brought it back for me from the UK. You can see the rest of the haul post here.

The Happy Light range consists of two primers (Luminous Serum Primer and Matte Serum Primer), the foundation, and the Ultra-covering concealer. I have the Matte Serum Primer and the foundation in 52 Light Beige.

Matte Serum Primer

According to Bourjois's website, the primer is suitable for people with normal to combination skin. They state that the primer airbrushes pores and blemishes and provides a mattifying effect that leaves the skin soft and velvety, not dry.

The primer comes in a slim, easy-to-travel-with glass bottle with a pump. The pump dispenses a fair amount of product and I find that I need about two light pumps to cover my entire face. The primer itself has a peach colour and a gel-like texture with a very fresh and pleasant scent. It is immediately absorbed by my skin and isn't tacky or greasy. It leaves my skin smooth and I can feel the mattifying effect after a few seconds, yet my skin doesn't feel dry.


According to the website, the Happy Light Foundation provides a glowing complexion in any light. It provides a flawless radiance with no caking. They also say your complexion looks flawless for 16 hours in any light and the foundation provides eight hour hydration.

The foundation comes in a bottle similar to that of the primer, except that it is a bit bigger. I find that two pumps is more than enough. The foundation itself is quite runny. I was expecting a gel-like consistency, similar to both the primer and my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. It applies and blends incredibly easy. I put two drops on the back of my hand and use my fingers to apply a few dots to my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin, before blending it in with my fingers and then gently buffing the product in with my buffing brush. It doesn't look illuminating or sparkly, but does make me look healthy and awake. And not like I'm wearing makeup!

The verdict

I can't comment on the 16 hour wear time as I never wear anything on my face for that long, nor can I comment on the eight hour hydration, but my skin definitely did not feel smothered or like I was wearing a mask, as quite a few foundations make me feel.

I didn't try these products on their own, but together they make a pretty mean team. I have oily combination skin, and I usually look like an oil slick by 11:00 (thank you, aircon), but using these products together it seems my skin is much less oily than usual.

All in all I think these are two fantastic products, especially when used together. You can buy the primer (both types) from Rubybox, however I do not know if anyone in South Africa stocks the foundation.

I hope you enjoyed the review, please feel free to talk to me in the comments section.

Until next time!


20 February 2014

UK Shopping Haul

I recently posted a photo of my UK haul on Instagram and asked if anyone would like to see a haul post. A lot of ladies responded that they would, so here it is.

A very good friend of mine lives with her husband in Bordeaux, France, and they were on their way to come and visit, so I gave her a list of things I wanted. She bought a few things from the list, as well as a few surprise items. She worked for Chanel in London a few years ago and has met Terry from By Terry, so I received a few things from there as well!

This is just to show you all the lovely things I received. I will be doing a couple of blog posts during the next few weeks reviewing some of these products, but please tell me in the comments section which you would like to see first. For ease of reference (and OCD tendencies) I have compiled the list in alphabetical order according to brands. Right, onto the products!

Barry M

I have been dying to try Barry M nail polishes, especially this nail paint in "Peach Melba". It's a creamy formula and the colour is the most beautiful peach. I actually wanted to order a couple of other ones too, but the company we tried ordering from didn't want to send nail polishes from the UK to France…


I received the Batiste dry shampoo in "Sassy & Daring Wild". My friend wasn't sure if we got Batiste in South Africa, so in keeping with the theme of her impending African safari, she bought me the leopard print can. Don't you just love the design?


My options were Coralista, Rockateur, and Dandelion and I received the beautiful Coralista. It's a beautiful peachy pink shimmer blush.


In 2013 I saw the Bourjois Happy Light primers and foundations featured on quite a few international blogs and I jumped at the chance to order these from the UK. I bought the Happy Light Foundation and the Happy Light Matte Serum Primer and thanks to a Boots 3-for-2 promotion, I got the Volume Glamour Max Definition Mascara free.

The mascara has a nice big plastic wand with short bristles. I have the Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Mascara in the black packaging, and that brush just feels too big. This one is the same size, but the short bristles makes it much easier to use. The nail polish in the shade "Cerise Noire" has a nice opaque formula and reminds me a bit of Chanel Rouge Noir, although a bit more pink.

Bumble and Bumble

I received the Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Creme Rinse Conditioner samples and I'm really looking forward to trying it out.

By Terry

I received the By Terry Light-Expert Foundation in 02 Apricot Light and the By Terry Touch-Expert Advanced in 01. The foundation is a good match for my skin tone, and the touch-expert (which is a touche eclat type product) is the perfect colour for under-eye concealing. The eyeliner is a beautiful plum colour called "Midnight Mauve".


Who doesn't love a bit of Chanel? I'm fortunate enough to have owned a few products in the past, but it has gotten so expensive now that I am absolutely over the moon to have received a few freebies all the way from London! The Precision Eye Definer eyeliner is a beautiful soft, dark, bronzy brown, and the lipgloss, Aqualumiere Gloss, is the most amazing golden tangerine called "77 Tangerine Dream". And the lipstick…oh my goodness! The Rouge Allure lipstick in "Enthusiast" is a beautiful orange red, and layered with the gloss just looks amazing. Who doesn't love whipping a Chanel lipstick out in public?


I have never used Dermalogica before, and in recent months I have heard a lot of South African bloggers raving about the brand, so I was very happy to receive the sheer tinted moisturiser and a couple of samples. The samples I received are the Precleanse, Intensive moisture balance, Gentle cream exfoliant, Skin hydrating masque, and Total eye care.

Jo Malone

My first Jo Malone product is a lime, basil, and mandarin soap. I have heard a lot of buzz about this specific scent, so I am very keen to try it out.


My love for Kiehl's has been well-documented on social media, and by chance I received the Lip Balm #1-- one of my all-time favourite Kiehl's products! I also received a few samples, some of which I don't think is available in South Africa. I received the orange flower and lychee perfume sample, line corrector, dark spot corrector, gel cleanser, a moisturiser for men, and two body cleanser samples.


I have recently become a fan of MAC cosmetics, and I was gifted this beautiful golden eyeshadow in the shade "Honey Lust".


This was one of the first brands that sprung to mind when I heard I could place an order for UK beauty products… I have heard so many good things of their Overnight mask that I just had to get a tube. I also received two sample bottles, both of products that I have also heard good things about, namely the eye cream and the charcoal mask.


I have heard quite a few beauty bloggers proclaiming their love for Philosophy, so I asked for a few samples. I received the 3-in-1 facial cleanser and the moisturiser.


Without knowing that I wanted to try this brand, I was given a sample of their Hydra-calm global protection day cream and the Mayblossom T-zone control cleansing gel.

Soap & Glory

This was the other brand that was high up on my order list. Ever since Rubybox started stocking a few products from their original scent range, I have had dreams of going to a Boots and stocking up! I now have another handbag friendly Hand Food hand cream, as well as a Sugar Crush body scrub. I can't keep my nose out of the tub, it smells amazing! It smells like a margarita, but my husband says he only smells lime. Anyway, it smells like lemon and lime and margaritas.

That's it, ladies! What else would you have included in your haul? Tell me in the comments section, I'm always looking for more ideas! Also, don't forget to tell me which products you would like to see reviews on.

Until next time!


17 February 2014

Review: Zoya Neely

The name "Zoya" is a female Russian and Ukranian first name that is equivalent to the English name "Zoe". Zoya is also the first name of the co-founder of the nail polish brand.

In the 1980s, after they immigrated to the United States, Zoya and Michael Reyzis started a small nail salon and turned it into a spa that focused on, amongst other things, natural nails. Zoya wanted a range of nail products that was safe to use for both pregnant women and children, and Michael, an advanced chemist, developed and patented these unique products. He developed the world's first fast drying top coat, as well as polish that was long lasting, formaldehyde free, and natural.

The couple were the first to develop a "five free" formulation; their nail polish is free of ingredients that are bad for you and your skin. Zoya is eco-friendly and vegan friendly, and is safe to use on both pregnant women and children.

Zoya has enjoyed success in many countries and is finally available in South Africa. They are busy rolling the brand out to different parts of the country. Currently you can only buy it at selected salons in Centurion and Johannesburg or you can order it through the Zoya agents.

I met the lovely ladies from Zoya Pretoria at a nail polish demonstration a few weeks ago and bought Neely. I received it about a week ago and couldn't wait to try it out.

The bottle fits nicely in your hand and the brush is quite narrow, but applying the polish is a breeze. The formulation is quite creamy and two coats is enough to achieve a smooth finish.

Neely is a beautiful pastel sea foam green. It's definitely much lighter than mint and has a slightly warm undertone so that it isn't really very blue or very green. It applied smoothly and I got quite a few days wear out of it with my normal top coat and base coat. It is recommended that you use the nail polish together with the Zoya base coat and top coat for optimal longevity.

All in all I'm very pleased with the polish and I'd like to try out a few other colours.

* Price: 3/5 (the normal polishes cost R140 and the textured polishes R150)
* Application: 4/5 
* Colour payoff: 5/5
* Longevity: 3/5

Have you ever tried out Zoya nail polishes? Do you have a favourite?

Until next time!


13 February 2014

Tried and Tested: Hair Oils

Over the past year or so, beautifying oils have become all the rage for both skin and hair. From sweet almond oil to cleanse your skin; to using coconut oil not only to cook, but to put on your hair as a mask; to using dry oil on your skin and hair for an extra moisture boost or treatment.

Today's post will feature only hair oils, as these are the ones I've been experimenting with. I haven't been using oil for a long time, but I can already see what all the fuss is about. I have my eyes firmly set on the Moroccanoil range, but I usually don't spend too much money on my hair, so I thought it would be best to try a few cheaper alternatives first.

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil

"Huile Prodigieuse" directly translates to "Prodigious Oil" and "remarkably or impressively great in extent" it is indeed! The bottle, the scent, the product, all screams luxury. The bottle is made of glass and looks like a perfume bottle. The cap twists off and it has a cologne-type dispenser (if that makes sense at all), it's basically just a hole and you need to tilt the bottle to get the oil out. It feels very French, but does get a bit messy after a few uses.

What they say: "Multi-purpose dry oil for face, body, hair with 6 precious plant oils" and "Nourishes, repairs, softens. 97.8% ingredients of natural origin. Preservative-free. "

The six plant oils it contains are borage (a herb with bright blue flowers), St Johnswort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut, and macadamia. I definitely detect a soft flowery scent which at first I thought was some sort of lily, but I suppose it's the camellia I'm smelling!

After roughly blowdrying my hair with my fingers (like I always do), I rub two to three drops of the dry oil between my fingers and work it through my hair. My hair smells incredible and with continued use I can definitely see that my hair is more silky.

You can buy this at Style36, Rubybox, and selected Truworths stores for around R210 for a 50ml bottle. It sounds like a lot, but you only need a few drops. I've been using mine for months and it doesn't even look like I've used any! Rubybox also sells little dinky bottles for much cheaper to test the product out first. This dry oil also comes in a shimmer variant with golden particles for about R70 more.

The Body Shop Rainforest Coconut Hair Oil

This was the first hair oil I've purchased and is specifically formulated for hair. The bottle is a no-nonsense plastic bottle with a flip cap.

What they say: "With regular use this luxurious, nourishing oil leaves hair feeling stronger, smoother and softer without drying the scalp. Enriched with organic pracaxi oil and Community Fair Trade organic virgin coconut oil. 99% ingredients of natural origin. If desired, warm in hands before use." Pracaxi is the Portuguese word for "Pentaclethra macroloba" or "Oil Tree". The oil is made from the tree's seeds and has a very high concentration of a certain ingredient that is used in hair conditioners [Wikipedia].

I love the coconut smell, and I love the way it makes my hair smell after I've used it. It does however leave my hair slightly greasy, so I prefer to use it as a treatment every now and then before washing my hair. It does make my hair feel nice and soft.

I can't locate this on The Body Shop's website, but the other beautifying oils are around R120.

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment

Ever since oils have hit the market, "argan oil" has been one of the main buzz words for getting soft, silky, glossy hair. Marc Anthony has a whole range of sulfate-free argan oil hair products and this is the accompanying treatment. The bottle is an odd looking dark brown plastic bottle with a pump. The pump makes things much less messy and controls exactly how much product is dispensed. The oil is slightly thicker than the other two products mentioned and also has a darker colour. Even though it is thicker it does not weigh my hair down at all. The smell is very interesting, I can't put my finger on it but I detect something different every time I smell it! It actually smells better on my hair than it does in the bottle.

What they say: "Combat damage, breakage, dryness, dullness and frizz. Infused with ultra-light Mediterranean Olive Oil and Argan Oil - the ancestral beauty secret of Morocco. It deeply penetrates to strengthen, protect and condition. Vitamin E and Shea Butter hydrate and soften."

I've only used this a couple of times. The first time I was quite underwhelmed, but from the second time onwards, I could definitely see and feel a difference in my hair. My naturally wavy/curly hair was much more silky and glossy and even looked a bit straighter! 

Rubybox sells this for R140, but I bought mine at Checkers for R100. I haven't seen it at my local Dischem in a while, but I think they also sell it for R100.

Have you ever used hair oils? What was your experience and which one was your favourite? Tell me in the comments section, I'd love to know!

Until next time!


10 February 2014

Review: Wet n Wild Under Your Spell

During recent months I have tried not to wear plummy or moody nail polish shades in summer, but when I saw this beautiful colour on the shelf, I just couldn't resist buying it. Wet n Wild's "Under your spell" is a spectacular deep red bronzy colour with shimmer. I am probably not doing a very good job of explaining it, you need to see it to understand. In dimly lit areas it reminds me of my beloved Chanel Rouge Noir, but in the light it sparkles like the vampy shade it truly is.

I love the shape of the MegaLast Salon Nail Color bottles, it somehow makes the polish seem more expensive than the R49.99 it really is. The brush is wide with a rounded edge (they call it a "ManiCurve Pro Brush"), so one stroke is pretty much enough to cover your entire nail. 

Then the polish itself... When I painted the first coat, I was disappointed. What I expected was a thick bronzy red polish, but what came out of the bottle was a thin, reddish grey colour. It took me three coats to obtain the desired look, but boy was it worth it! The application was easy, the polish dried quickly, and I got a few good days' wear out of it. I won't say how many days, as it will differ from person to person. I am very rough with my nails and tend to dunk it in water more times than is good for it, but by my measures it did well in the longevity category.

* Price: 5/5
* Application: 4/5 (just because I had to apply three coats)
* Colour payoff: 5/5
* Longevity: 4/5

What do you think of the colour? And when would you wear it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time!


05 February 2014

My Weekend Getaway Makeup Bag

This past weekend the husband took me away for my birthday weekend. I always love the prospect of going away as I love making lists and planning what I'm going to pack. And I love going on holiday, obviously. Having lived in res for many years at university, and then commuting between Pretoria and Cape Town for family visits every few months for two years, I believe myself to be a seasoned packer. That being said, I tend to always pack too many makeup products. I like to be prepared for anything and I love experimenting. Plus, makeup products are so small, why not take a whole bag full? 

This post will only cover the makeup that I took along with me on the weekend getaway. If you are interested in seeing what I packed regarding skincare, haircare, and body care, please leave a comment and I will do so. And with that, the makeup bag…

First of all, how cute is this makeup bag? I suppose it's actually a toiletry bag, but there's no way I'll be able to fit all my toiletries in this one bag. It is, however, the perfect size for makeup… I got it as part of a Christmas gift and I absolutely adore it. The bag consists of three compartments: one small clear plastic pouch with a zip, a brush pouch with a clear plastic flap that is kept in place with an elastic, and a large clear plastic pouch with a zip. My only real annoyance with the makeup bag is the fact that my Real Techniques brushes do not fit in the brush pouch… They do however fit into the side pouches, so that's ok. The ends of the bag fold over each other (even with makeup products inside) and velcro shut. 

I love makeup, but I don't wear a lot of it. Sometimes I don't have enough time to put it on, other times I'm scared of looking like a clown or an oil painting, and other times I really can't be bothered. Packing for a weekend away requires some planning, but also gives the freedom to experiment with new makeup. 

For primers I packed a travel size Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer, a travel size Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, and an Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion for my eyelids. For dark undereye circles I packed a small jar of Benefit Erase Paste in 02 Medium. Instead of a foundation or just my normal boring powder, I packed Stila CC Color Correcting Cream in Tone 03 and a travel size Benefit Girl Meets Pearl liquid highlighter.

To add some colour to my cheeks I packed my NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Tickled and my Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip And Cheek Cream in Lillium. I also took a travel size Benefit Posie Tint for both cheeks and lips. I am a bit hesitant to use bronzers, but I find this Essence Sun Club Allover Shimmer brick in 02 Miami Heat not to be threatening in the least. It also serves multiple purposes as an eyeshadow, a bronzer, and a highlighter.

In the eyeshadow department I decided to pack two of my favourite Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes: Petal Pusher (the large palette with the purple shades) and Walking on Eggshells (the small nude palette)

I packed my Empro brow pencil and a mini Clarins Wonder Perfect mascara. I also packed in my Catrice Lash/Brow Designer Gel, but it looks a bit gross after I've been using it for a few weeks, so I won't do that to you. 

As for lip products, I took along two L’Oreal Caresse Shine Stains: 200 Princess and 201 Romy. Princess is a beautiful coral and Romy is a subtle pink with a slight shimmer. 

One of my biggest problems with packing is usually the brushes. For this weekend getaway I actually used all the brushes I packed. From left to right on the photo: Rubybox Tools foundation brush, Real Techniques buffing brush, Real Techniques contour brush, UBU no. 35 eyeshadow brush, Essence eyeshadow brush, Beautique shader brush, Essence blush brush, and the Essence kabuki brush.

I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush for the CC cream application and the Rubybox Tools foundation brush for the blush (yes, I apply my cream blush with a foundation brush). I use the Essence blush brush and Real Techniques contour brush for powder and bronzer. I use the UBU no. 35 brush for applying eyeshadow across my eyelid, the Essence eyeshadow brush for the browbone, and the Beautique brush for the crease. The fluffy Essence kabuki brush is used for powder (I normally carry the powder in my handbag, so it is not pictured here). 

So there you have it! That is my weekend getaway makeup bag. Which products do you normally pack for a weekend away? And do you use everything you pack? 

Until next time!