30 March 2015

New things: The UK Haul

A few months ago my friend from France, Marcelle, told me that she and her husband are coming to South Africa on holiday and can she bring me anything? Obviously I jumped at the chance. Lists were consulted, new lists were made and filtered, and budgets were worked out. I gave her a long list of possibilities and a budget and told her to "go for it". This is the outcome...

I am beyond pleased with my haul and would definitely recommend Marcelle as a personal shopper of note! She also gave me a few things that she has used but that didn't agree with her, or that she didn't like. All contributions gladly accepted, I say.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run palette

First up is the amazing birthday present that Marcelle and her husband Steve gave me. When I opened the wrapped present I didn't ever dream that it could be the Urban Decay Naked On The Run palette, ahhhh! I'm only showing you a single photo now as I plan on swooning about it in it's own blog post soon.

Soap & Glory 

I have two Soap & Glory bath/shower products and two makeup products. First up is the Orangeasm Super Rich Body Butter and the Whipped Clean Luxe Cream Wash Shower Butter. The Orangeasm body butter smells like all things yummy. You can really smell the mandarin, Sicilian lemon, and the sweet orange peel oils, delicious! The Whipped Clean shower butter is a very interesting product. When glancing at the label you'd think it was a body lotion or a body butter, but it's in actual fact a shower cream/body wash. And it smells absolutely amazing: it contains cocoa, shea butter, grapeseed, sweet almond oil, as well as macadamia nut oils.

As for makeup, I have the Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in "Brownie Points". It is dual-ended: the one end has a twist-up pencil (not a triangle-pencil like normal eyebrow shapers), and the other end has a super fine brush (almost a super fine highlighter!). I also now have the much-talked about Solar Powder which is a beautiful bronzer/highlighter duo with the finest of shimmers. 

Barry M nail polishes

Marcelle really went wild at the Barry M stand and I love her for it! She bought me four Gelly Hi-Shine nail paints and two nail paints from the Christmas collection (plans for this haul have been in place since the start of December 2014!). My Gelly polishes are Guava (a very non-guava light blue), Green Berry (turquoise), Papaya (a pastel orange), and Dragon Fruit (a baby pink with subtle shimmer). The Christmas collection polishes are Starlight (gold and silver glitter) and Moonlight (red and silver glitter). I can't wait to start painting!

NARS Laser Cut palette

This was my splurge-within-a-splurge item. Every year NARS releases a few Christmas collection items and this was one of them. It fits into my hand (I have quite big hands), and is a bit bulky but so beautiful. The packaging is sturdy and solid, and the lid is the most beautiful white flower "laser cut" pattern. Opening the palette reveals a large mirror in the lid, as well as a mini lipgloss (Dolce Vita) as well as three eyeshadows. The eyeshadows do not have individual names, they're just referred to as "Hardwired". From left to right is a light sandy colour, then a glittery gold, and then a matte khaki colour. I've only swatched the eyeshadows, but they feel buttery to the touch. 

But wait...that's not all! When you lift the "lip" below the gold shadow, it reveals a second little compartment that swivels over the lipgloss: a blush (Day Dream) and a bronzer (Laguna). I've wanted a Laguna bronzer for a while now, so I am pleased as punch with this selection. I will probably do a swoon-y blog post about this palette in the future.

Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff

I've had a sample of this previously and really liked it. The Origins GinZing range is targeted at brightening the skin and injecting some serious illumination. The eye cream is a light peach colour and when applied it gives the skin a bit of brightness, gorgeous!

Kiehl's Aromatic Mist in Orange Flower & Lychee

I've used a sample of this as well, but sadly it's not available in South Africa. I've asked Kiehl's about it and they've said that they're looking into it but that they want to focus on skincare first.

The bottle is super understated, just what you'd expect from Kiehl's. The scent, however, is absolutely divine. Some people might think it's a bit too sweet, but to me it's the perfect blend of floral and fruity. Among the orange flower and lychee it contains a bit of honey and Moroccan rose. I'm not very good at describing scents, but trust me when I tell you this is a goodie.

More treats...

These are the treats that Marcelle has used but that either did not agree with her, or that she didn't like. Obviously I'm not talking about the Chanel lipstick, because who wouldn't get along with that?

She gifted me half a (half litre) bottle of Bioderma micellar water. I am a massive fan of this, but Marcelle says this still doesn't remove all of her Bourjois mascara, haha. I also received a travel size Caudalie cleansing milk (another French skincare brand). She's also told me a lot about the Cleanser 27 which is a thick cleansing balm (think Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm), but that it doesn't agree with her sensitive skin. I shall use it and report back.

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion

Wow, what a mouthful! This little green bottle really intrigued me, and after a Google search I learned that it is basically a toner for sensitive and dehydrated skin. You apply it where it is needed on a clean face, before moisturiser. The smell is very interesting...if I use my imagination it smells almost like mushroom soup. I wouldn't want to put mushroom soup on my face, but I still actually like the scent...

Chanel Rouge HydraBase in 170 Gypsy Scarlet

A quick Google search revealed that this is a discontinued lipstick, so I'm extra chuffed that it is now in my possession! It's a beautiful pink red with a bit of shine, and promises to feel hydrating on the lips.

If you're reading this, congratulations are in order for getting this far! Thanks for reading until the end. Please let me know in the comments section which products you'd like me to review first.

Until next time!


26 March 2015

Getting my hair party-ready with Style Bar

The lovely folks over at Style Bar recently asked me if I'd like to come for a salon appointment, but being in Pretoria posed a problem. When the husband and I planned our trip to Cape Town, I decided that a new hairdo would complement my belated 30th birthday party perfectly!

On Saturday morning I went to the Style Bar in Tyger Valley and immediately felt welcome and at home. Tyger Valley is my favourite mall in the Western Cape, and as a former Capetonian, many of my teenage years were spent in Tyger Valley mall trawling with my best friend.

The salon is beautifully styled and looks very classy and modern. The outside is black with understated gold lettering. When you walk into the salon for the fist time you are met with an array of beautifully displayed hair products from Retail Box (they are the same company).

I was asked to sit at a large table in the middle of the salon, and offered something to drink. After a few minutes my stylist, Thea, came over and introduced herself. She talked me through several options for my hair and showed me hair dye samples in a book. After deciding on a course of action, she went to mix the hair dye and promptly started putting foils in my hair while I was still sitting at the table. The table, I later learnt, is quite a social area in the salon: there were a few of us sitting there and it was very entertaining listening to all the stories and watching the other hair stylists work their magic.

After about 45 minutes, my hair was washed and a tint applied. After the tint was left on for about 15 minutes, it was rinsed out and then I received an amazing scalp massage. I honestly felt that I could take a nap right there and then!

When Thea started blow drying my hair I could see the lovely ombré peeking through, and a couple of the other stylists also gathered around us and complimented Thea on her excellent ombré-ing. She blow dried my hair and softened a few of the layers around my face. I had cut my hair about six weeks prior to that appointment, so it wasn't necessary to take any length off. After softening my layers, Thea then curled my hair with a straightening iron. She made relatively tight curls so that they would loosen by the time my party started. Below are a few snaps of the amazing end result, I love my new hair!

A big thank you to Thea and Style Bar for taking such good care of me. If you are interested in making an appointment, visit Style Bar's website for their contact details.

Until next time!


23 March 2015

Travel Makeup Bag: The Long Weekend Edition

When you read this I'll be in Cape Town, enjoying my second last day of "holiday". The husband and I decided to go to Cape Town for a long weekend, and I also used the opportunity to have my belated 30th birthday party at my mom's house for the family and CT friends.

Today I thought I'd show you what's in my travel makeup bag, seeing as it's been a while since I've done such a post. A few things have changed and I hope you enjoy seeing what they are!


Victoria Secret Make It Last Prime & Set Makeup Spray
Bourjois Happy Light foundation
Garnier Pure Active BB Cream
Garnier BB cream for eyes
Bourjois Healthy Balance powder
Cargo Blu-Ray High Definition Blush/Highlighter in Pink

I use the Victoria Secret primer and setting spray almost every day as both a primer and a fixing spray. It helps my makeup last a lot longer than normal. I've also packed a BB cream for everyday wear and a light, luminous foundation (without SPF) for my party. The BB cream for eyes is a staple in my makeup bag, as is the very new addition in the form of the Bourjois Healthy Balance powder. The Cargo highlighter blush has also been featured in posts before, and deserves its place in my makeup bag.


NYX HD eyeshadow primer
MAC x15 Warm Toned Neutrals Palette
Smashbox Brow Tech To Go in Taupe
Clinique bottom lash mascara in Brown/black
essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara

I never go without eyeshadow primer, as my eyelids are extremely oily. I absolutely love eyeshadow and decided to pack one gigantic eyeshadow palette. This beauty is the most recent addition to my collection and is just exquisite. After searching high and low, I finally managed to track down another Smashbox Brow Tech To Go in the shade "Taupe". It has a twist-up triangle pencil on the one end, and a spoolie plus browgel on the other end, genius! I also packed my trusty essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara, as well as a Clinique bottom lash mascara. I've recently decided to make a point of accentuating my lower lashes as well, so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.


Maybelline Color Elixir in Rose Redefined
Revlon Ultra HD lipsticks in HD Rose and HD Hydrangea

For lips it had to be drugstore lippies. I decided to only pack one glossy type product, namely the Maybelline Color Elixir as it's just such an easy lippie to wear. You don't need a mirror to put it on, and it's a nice glossy, yet not tacky or sticky, thing to throw on your lips before you rush out the door. The Revlon Ultra HD lippies are new additions to the bag, and I love both colours so much that I couldn't choose just one!


Real Techniques: buffing brush, contour brush, setting brush
Cala: eyeshadow blending brush, travel eyeshadow brushes
UBU concealer brush
Cargo Magic brush
essence Powder brush

I think I packed too many brushes, but this is normally what I would use when I do my makeup properly. I use the buffing brush to buff in my BB cream or foundation. The concealer brush is used to work concealer into the skin under my eyes, which is then buffed in with the soft contour brush. The setting brush is for setting the under eye area with powder. The eyeshadow brushes are for, yep you guessed it, eyeshadow application, and the Magic brush for blush. The essence powder brush is the perfect size to throw in your makeup bag, yet still big enough to set your makeup. The spoolie is for combing my brows before I fill them in with the eyebrow pencil.

Would you like to see any reviews of the products mentioned? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


19 March 2015

Review: Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick

I have more lipsticks than I care to count, and most of them are drugstore lipsticks. New lipsticks, glosses, and lip pencils/crayons are popping up left right and centre. My favourite brands for affordable, yet amazing quality lip products are Maybelline and Revlon. Today I will be reviewing two of the amazing Ultra HD Lipsticks from Revlon.

I have the shades "830 HD Rose" (left) and "825 HD Hydrangea" (right). The formula is extremely creamy and pigmented. It reminds me a lot of the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters.

The rose shade is a gorgeous, well, rose shade and on me it's definitely a near-perfect "my lips but better" shade as can be seen in the photos below. The hydrangea shade is a gorgeous candy pink-red and looks very classy without being too much effort. The following three photos are: me sans lipstick, me wearing the rose shade, and me wearing the hydrangea shade.

The wear of these lipsticks is absolutely incredible. They feel super moisturising on the lips, and after a while you forget that you're wearing anything. My lips don't flake or become chapped, and the colour stays put for quite a long time. There is no unevenness or patchiness when the lipstick wears off, and reapplication is a dream. These lipsticks get two enthusiastic thumbs up from me!

You can buy these lipsticks from Clicks (R145) and Dischem (R135) and there are a lot of colours to choose from.

Have you ever tried these lipsticks? Which colour is your favourite? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


16 March 2015

Review: essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara

Since posting pics of the essence Lash Princess mascara on Instagram, I've had quite a few queries regarding this mascara, so I thought a blog post would be in order. 

Firstly, the packaging is super cute. It looks like a little totem pole (or a princess!). It's black with rubbery orange embossing and really looks much different to their other mascaras. 

I'm rubbish at describing mascaras, so here goes! The wand is quite curved (more so than can be seen in this photo, sorry) and the bristles are not too firm. They aren't plastic and spiky and are quite close together. The wand follows the curve of the eye, which makes application a breeze. The formula is also quite wet, and I do find that I sometimes get a slick of mascara in the corner of my eye when I'm in a hurry in the morning. That said, the mascara wand combs through the lashes and coats each one with product. It doesn't clump and creates good length and volume. I actually don't know if it's waterproof (I suppose if it doesn't say "waterproof", it's not waterproof?), but I don't get panda eyes during the day. My lashes are quite long and the tips do tend to give off mascara on the skin above my eyes, but I have found that properly powdering up to my brow bone in the mornings helps.

All in all I think this is a great little budget mascara, especially if you consider the fact that you get an eyeliner included in the price. The quality is good and I would recommend it to my readers who are looking for a good budget-friendly option. You can buy this for R63.50 at Clicks.

Have you tried this mascara? Would you? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


12 March 2015

All about that spritz!

Today's post is all about spritzes I am currently using. Spritzes wake you up on drowsy afternoons, and also help to keep your makeup fresh. Below are three current favourites.

Balm Balm Frankincense Hydrosol

This little spray bottle is packed full of goodness. The contents is made from Frankincense hydrosol, which is the by-product from the steam distillation of Frankincense essential oil. It is organic and 100% natural. I like to use this at night after cleansing and before I apply my facial oil. It has a light Frankincense smell which I find very comforting at night. You can buy this from Luhla for R120 (30 ml). You can also buy Balm Balm products on, but I find that their prices are only good when they have a sale (like when I bought this hydrosol). 

The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Spritz

This is an instant pick-me-up to refresh tired skin. It contains Vitamin C rich Amazonian camu camu (a cherry-like fruit) and Community Fair Trade aloe vera. It's perfect for dull skin or when your skin just feels "meh". I like using this during the day when I'm feeling drowsy or tired. It instantly wakes me up, and it brightens my skin too. The fact that it smells like oranges also helps! You can buy this from The Body Shop for R135 (100 ml).

The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist

I have spoken about this mist quite a few times (here and here) and I still love it. I like to use this in the mornings before I put on my makeup, and during the day to refresh my skin and my makeup (when I'm not using the Vitamin C spritzer). It smells like Turkish delight, hmmm! You can buy this from The Body Shop for R120 (100 ml).

I forgot to include it in the photograph, but another favourite is the Uriage Thermal Water for sensitive skin.

It doesn't smell like anything except, well, thermal water. The reason I didn't include it is because it's not currently on rotation in my skincare routine, and I'm now not sure why that is! Spraying thermal water on your skin isn't remotely the same thing as just spraying normal tapwater on your skin. Thermal water has many benefits, replenishing the zinc content of your skin being one of them. I have the big can as well as the small travel size can and will make a point of incorporating it into my routine much more!

I also recently got sent the Balm Balm Rose Floral Water Hydrosol which just contains rose water. I'm very keen to try it as I have heard many great things about it.

Have you ever used any of these spritzes? Which other spritzes are your favourite? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


09 March 2015

New Products + First Impressions

This so happens to be my 100th blog post and I thought it would be nice to give you a little sneak peek into what I'm currently testing and what my first impressions are. Let me know if you like this sort of post!

I am a creature of habit and tend to stick to skincare that works for me, as I don't like fiddling with something that's working fine! Some of my products finished at the same time, so I decided to cash in my Sorbet voucher and try a few of their things. On my bathroom shelf at the moment are the Age Affect Power Serum and the Salon Skin Night Recovery Cream. The serum comes in a glass bottle with an eye dropper. The serum is a thick cream that smells amazing, although I think the serum is too thick for the eye dropper. The night recovery cream also smells amazing and a little goes a long way. Both products feel very luxurious on the skin.

As far as makeup goes, I thoroughly enjoy trying new things. I'm trialling the Revlon Age Defying Targeted Dark Spot Concealer Treatment in the shade Medium Light 002. It comes in a tube with a funky dense sponge tip applicator. The concealer packs a punch and you only need the tiniest amount to cover blemishes and under eye circles (I learned this the hard way). As for powder, I'm testing the Bourjois Healthy Balance 10 Hrs Matt Finish & Natural Healthy Glow powder in the shade 52 Vanille. It's a nice small compact with a big mirror, and the powder is fine and non-cakey.

Everyone has been raving over the L.A. Girl Nudes palette, and with good reason. For R70 (I bought mine on promotion at Dischem for R52) you get 12 eyeshadows that are pretty good quality. Some people say that the Nudes palette is a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I can't comment on this, except to say that for R52 this is extremely good value for money. There are also three other palettes in the range. Sticking to eyes: Catrice brought out their mermaid collection and the items are just beautiful. I have a nail polish (not pictured), and this twist-up eyeshadow pencil in the shade C04 Mermaid It which is a caramel bronze. It's soft and blendable and doesn't drag the eyelid. With a primer it stays put for hours, and forms a nice base for other shadows. Essence also brought out a new mascara called the Lash Princess Volume Mascara. They are bundling it with a very good felt-tip eyeliner for around R63.50, so very good value for money once again.

For nails I am currently very much into Revlon's Colorstay Gel Envy range. Beautiful polishes with a Diamond Top Coat that gives you a gel-like finish without a lamp. Pictured here are the top coat and 110 Lady Luck, but I also have a few more polishes to show at a later stage.

The last item is a bit of a surprise item, as I haven't even heard of it before Alice from Lipgloss Is My Drug told me about it. It's from Victoria's Secret and it's called the Make It Last Prime & Set Makeup Spray. You spray this on your skin to prime it before applying makeup, and then you use it as a makeup setting spray after you've finished applying your makeup. I haven't had much chance to test this yet, but so far so good...

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


05 March 2015

The Test Box: Welcome to our sample society [Unboxing]

The Test Box is a new online hair care store who recently launched their very own subscription-based services of test boxes. There is still time to subscribe to the March box (click here). The subscription options range from 3, to 6, to 12 months and work out R160 per month, delivery included.

The guys over at The Test Box kindly sent me a box to review and this is what's inside...

Joico K-PAK Shampoo and Conditioner

The K-Pak shampoo to Repair Damage is gentle but still quite rich. It restores weak and damaged hair back to its former glory by replenishing the amino acids in the hair. It also hydrates and protects the hair with aloe and Vitamin E. With continued use your hair will become stronger and more quick to recover after external damage. This shampoo has a pH of between 4.5 and 5.5.

The K-Pak Conditioner to Repair Damage is excellent for damaged and chemically treated hair. It reconstructs and smoothes the hair with K-Pak's Bio-Advanced Peptide and Keratin Silicone complexes. It leaves your hair hydrated, strong, and with increased silkiness, shine, and bounce. What more could you want? The conditioner also has a pH of between 4.5 and 5.5.

Both these bottles are 100 ml and the shampoo and conditioner are R120 and R125 respectively.

Double Dipped Detangler

This super cute double dipped wide tooth comb flies through your hair in no time. Perfect for use in the shower to comb through conditioner and detangle your hair.

The value of the comb is R45.

Would you be interested in subscribing to a hair care test box? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


03 March 2015

Monthly Favourites: February

The other day I saw a tweet that read, "Oh okay. It's March. Nobody Panic. It's just March. Hahahahaha it's fine. Everything's cool. It was just Christmas but okay. It's March now." That pretty much sums up my feelings of shock over the fact that two months of this year has flown by already! So without freaking out any further, here's my favourites from the past month...

Schwarzkopf Silhouette Pure Formula Invisible Hold Mousse

This month's favourites are mostly hair-centred as I cut quite a lot of length off my hair at the end of January. I received this can of mousse in a RetailBox Secret Box, but put it away since I wasn't using mousse on my long hair at the time. However, when I cut pretty much half of my hair off, this came in very handy. I use a handful of mousse on towel dry hair, after which I apply a thermal protector and then continue to blow dry my hair. It leaves my curls intact without leaving my hair crunchy or straw-like.

L'Oreal Elnett Satin hairspray

I was looking for a good quality, yet affordable, hairspray and turned to Chicara from for advice. I knew she loved the Elnett thermal protector and I was happy to find out that she loved the hairspray too! I bought this big can for about R65 at Dischem (you can also get it at Clicks, PnP and Checkers, but Dischem is normally the cheapest), which is an absolute steal. It produces a fine mist and doesn't leave the hair scrunchy or hard. It just sets your hairstyle in place while giving the impression that you "woke up like dis".

Hair clips from Dischem

These clips are great for pinning your hair back when drying/straightening/curling it, or when you're doing your makeup. I bought this for around R14 for a pack of six clips at Dischem.

Sorbet Spa Escape Body Wash & Renew Salt Polisher

I received these two products as part of a gift set from my mom for Christmas (thanks Mom!). I'm not sure if it's the packaging, but I thought the smell of these products would be ocean-y and salty. Instead they smell like the best spa fragrance you have ever smelt. Oh my goodness. I can't keep my nose out of the body polish jar and I'm pretty sure I'll repurchase everything once it's finished. Oh, and the body wash foams up nicely and doesn't leave your skin dry and itchy afterwards (the blue colour is also quite cool). The body polish has just the right amount of grit to slough away those dead skin cells without leaving you looking like a lobster after your shower.

Maybelline Color Elixir in "Peach refined"

I spoke about this here when I did my Maybelline lippie post. I love the packaging of this, as it looks so sleek and classy. The actual product is stunning and leaves my lips glossy and moisturised. I never get that horrible tacky or rubbery feeling. It lasts a good few hours on my lips and doesn't make my lips chapped like so many other lip products tend to do after a few hours. Sadly I have only been able to find this colour and a fuchsia purple colour. Anyone knows if there are other colours?

Special mention... Toni & Guy Hourglass Wand

I received this for my birthday from the hubby and have been using it a lot this month. I call this entry a "special mention" because it's not quite a favourite yet. When I'm not burning myself I'm making tight curls of which Miss Piggy would approve. I have gotten better of the past week or so, so I'm sure with continued practice I will get it right!

And that was my favourites for February! Have you ever used any of these products? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!