30 April 2015

Monthly Favourites: April

I didn't realise it sooner, but this month's post is really makeup heavy, wow! I had time to try out most of my UK haul (you can read the post here) and there were also a lot of amazing drugstore products launched. As you can see by the general shade range of the makeup, things are definitely starting to look a lot like autumn over here!


The first skincare product is the Balm Balm Rose Water Floral Water Hydrosol. I spoke about it here, and there's nothing more that I can say except that I use it religiously every day and that I love the smell. The Origins GinZing Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff is a lovely, slightly tinted, eye cream. I love how brightening it is and I apply it both day and night. It is unfortunately not available in South Africa.


Right, onto the makeup! As far as foundations and BB creams are concerned, I've been loving the L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream in the shade "Fair". This is super affordable at just R60 and is as good as everyone has been going on about. I have combination-oily skin and combined with a primer this works brilliantly. I've also been loving the Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation in the shade "50 Natural". It's a light to medium coverage foundation but sits more on the BB cream side of the spectrum, in my opinion. It applies like a dream and, paired with a primer, lasts for most of the day. It also comes in a convenient plastic pump bottle with a cap, so it's good for travelling.

In the super-affordable-drugstore-brand corner I have two products: one from essence and one from Catrice. I've always seen the essence lipsticks in store, but never thought they would be such good quality. After seeing multiple bloggers rave about them, I just had to find out for myself. I have one of the "nude" lipsticks in the pinkish brown packaging in the shade "05 Cool Nude". It's a pinky nude and just adds as little something-something to my lips. The formula is creamy and it doesn't dry out my lips, which is surprising for such a cheap lipstick. One of the new offerings from Catrice is their Absolute Rose eyeshadow palette. This is an absolute steal at just R70. The six shades are all rose and slightly purple toned and are just gorgeous. There are two matte shades, two shimmery shades, and two sparkly shades. Even the sparkly shades are beautiful and do not make you look like a glitter ball. I'll do a proper blog post on this palette (as well as another offering from Catrice) at a later stage.

The last two items are also not available in South Africa, sorry! They are both from Soap & Glory and are also my first entry into Soap & Glory makeup products. The much-hyped about Solar Powder is a duo bronzer/highlighter and adds warmth to your skin without it looking orange or like you have dust on your cheek. It comes in a cute cardboard compact, but I doubt the compact will last long when travelling. The last product for this post is the Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil in the shade "Brownie Points". The one end has a twist-up pencil, and the other side a super fine and pointed brush. At first I was scared of the brush, but it's even easier to use than a pencil. I tend to use it on the thick parts of my eyebrows and on the arch, and then lightly fill in the rest of my eyebrows with the pencil.

That was my April favourites! What were your favourites? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


27 April 2015

Hair Tutorial: Lazy Curls for Lazy Girls

I don't know about you, but I would rather sleep an extra ten minutes in the mornings than spend that time on my hair. Since cutting my hair at the start of the year, I've been loving my hair but not loving the extra time it's taking me before I can run out the door: having a wavy ombré lob (long bob) requires more maintenance than my long wash-and-go hair. But, being the lazy night owl that I am, I decided to split my haircare routine into two parts to save time in the mornings. Just as lazy/sneaky? Read on...

Night routine

I shower at night and wash and condition my hair. I then apply a heat protectant (currently loving the ghd Heat Protectant Sprayand roughly blow dry my hair with my fingers. I tend to blow the air from above my head downwards, and then flip my head over and repeat the process. When my hair is about 80% dry I either brush it out with my Tangle Teezer, or if it's not feeling knotty, I use a comb to locate my side parting. I then tie my hair up in a bun with an Invisibobble, and untie it again before I sleep. During the night I try not to get my hair tangled up, and I've been doing this for so long that my hair is quite smooth by the time I wake up!

Morning routine

What you'll need

  • Styling cream or mousse
  • Brush
  • Hair clips
  • Curling wand (with glove)
  • Hairspray

All that's left for the morning is to curl my hair. I tie my hair back when washing my face and later on doing my makeup, but for this step I untie my hair and apply a few drops of Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream and run it through the ends and the lengths of my hair before lightly brushing my hair with a paddle brush.

I then use clips that I bought at Dischem (they were less than R25 for six) and section my hair. Now this is where I have another shortcut... I only section my hair into about five small sections, and leave the rest free. I pin a section at each temple, a section at the back of my head, and two small pieces, one on each side of my head underneath the temple section. While sectioning my hair I switch on my curling wand (I use the Toni & Guy Hourglass Wand) so that it is the right temperature by the time I've finished sectioning my hair.

I start with curling the pieces of hair that aren't sectioned. I just roughly section off two pieces on each side of my head and curl them for ten seconds per section. After releasing the curling wand I hold the curl in place for a few seconds before releasing it and moving on to the next section. I then do the small pieces on the side, the piece at the back, and then end with the two temple pieces.

After doing all this I lightly run my fingers through each tight curl to loosen it up a bit. When I'm satisfied with the separation I spray my hair with a medium-hold hairspray (currently loving the L'Oreal Elnett Satin Medium Hold spray).

And the finished look, ta-da! This saves me a lot of time in the mornings, as well as ensuring that my curls last the whole day seeing as I'm now curling hair that was washed the previous night. The curls also kind of "develop" throughout the day, and my hair usually tend to look even better in the evening than it did that morning!

Do you have any other time saving tips for me? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


23 April 2015

Brand Spotlight: Balm Balm

Over the past year or so I've used a couple of Balm Balm products. I use them, then I forget about them, and then I use them again. That's the thing about Balm Balm...they don't trumpet in your ear about how great they are, they let the products speak for themselves. For today's post I thought I would tell you a little bit about the Balm Balm products that I own and use.

Frankincense three-step range

I bought the Frankincense Hydrosol and was sent the Deep Cleansing Balm and the Light Facial Oil. The Deep Cleansing Balm is a thick balm, very much the same texture as the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm and The Body Shop's Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter. You take a bit of the balm and then massage it into (dirty) dry skin. You remove it with a warm, wet face cloth. It leaves my skin feeling clean and plump, not greasy or sticky. I like using this at night as I just love the smell of Frankincense and find it very soothing right before bedtime.

The second step is to spray your face with the Hydrosol. I've recently come to love facial spritzes (you can read my rave here). Spritzes are great for when it's hot and your skin feels sticky and gross, or when your skin feels dry and parched. The hydrosol is a by-product from the steam when they distillate the Frankincense essential oils, so even though it's a water-based spray, you can be sure that your skin is still getting the benefits from Frankincense essential oils.

The third and final step is to apply the Light Facial Oil. I have spoken about it here. As the name suggests, it's a light facial oil and I also like applying this at night before I go to bed. I can feel it nourishing my skin without feeling like an oil slick.

These three products on their own are lovely, but together they pack a real punch. I had no breakouts or rashes and my skin continues to be soft and smooth.

Rose range

I received the Rose Floral Water Hydrosol as well as the Rose Geranium Face Balm to try out. All the Balm Balm products with pink labels share the common ingredient of rose.

I love both the Hydrosols I have mentioned here, but I haven't stopped using the Rose Floral Water Hydrosol since I've received it. It's cooling and soothing and smells like roses, what's not to love? I use this in the mornings after I've cleansed my skin and before I apply my serum.

The Face Balm is quite an interesting product as it's a multipurpose balm. It has an oily and a grainy texture, but as soon as it comes into contact with your skin, it melts into the most beautiful oil. It smells like Turkish Delight, and who wouldn't want to smell like Turkish Delight? You can use this balm anywhere from cheeks to lips to neck, and even on legs and feet. It also comes in a small tube which makes it perfect for popping into your handbag.

You can buy Balm Balm products straight from their website, or from I find that Kalahari is more expensive and they don't stock nearly all the products, but it's good to have options!

Which Balm Balm products are your favourite? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


20 April 2015

Travel Post: Out and about in Cape Town

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the husband and I went down to Cape Town at the end of March for a small vacation and also to celebrate my belated 30th birthday with friends and family. I know this post is a bit late, but hey, rather late than never!


Saturday morning (the 21st) I went to StyleBar in Tyger Valley (you can read my post about it here). Theresa really did a great job of making me look like an ombré princess!

The afternoon was my party which I held at my mom's house in the Northern Suburbs (yup, this is the house that I grew up in). Since we held the party outside in the huge garden, I thought it would be fitting to have a "Wild Wild West" theme. Those who know me know that I normally don't like dress-up parties, but I figured with this theme you can go as wild as you like (pun intended). You also don't need to buy or hire costumes, as most people have at least one cowboy-type item in their closet: check shirt, jeans, boots. I decided to go for a cute polka dot dress and cowboy boots. I also bought a little cowboy kit at the Crazy Store which included two guns, extra "bullets", and a sheriff's badge. I didn't want to mess up my hairdo!

I organised a "spitbraai" for the guests as it fitted in perfectly with the theme, as well as being absolutely no effort from my side (except for working out the details and ordering people around). The amazing thing about hiring these people is that they bring their own cutlery and crockery, and take away the dirty dishes when they leave! The food was amazing and everyone had a great meal. I received a lot of compliments and I felt quite chuffed!

The weather was also amazing and I felt like that was sort of a belated birthday present. The sky was clear and there wasn't a leaf stirring during the party. We did experience loadshedding for two hours, so I couldn't play the music during that time that I had curated so meticulously, but everything worked out well in the end.

Sunday & Monday

Sunday we spent recovering from the party, and I had a good look at all my pretty gifts.

Monday we decided to go to Fairview. We've been there once before when we were still at university, but decided that it was time for that cheese and wine tasting again. Everything was just as I imagined it, and the cheese might even have been better than I remembered! There are a couple of options to choose from, but we went for the classic wine and cheese tasting. For R25 you taste 6 wines and the available cheeses. I'm not sure how the tasting works in terms of quantity of cheese you're allowed to consume, but we went around the cheese tasting a couple of times! The wine was fantastic, as always.

Also, please note my outfit shot taken by the husband! (And yes, I still don't have a tan…) Top and shorts from Mr Price, kimono from Cotton On, sandals from Woolworths, and bag from Aldo.

After Fairview we wanted to visit a good friend of mine who recently moved back to Stellenbosch, but we needed lunch first. The same friend suggested we go to Meraki in Ryneveld street in Stellenbosch. I lived in Stellenbosch for six years, but many of the smaller eateries are quick to disappear, so we didn't know about this particular one. 

Meraki is quite small but very chic. Its all-white decor and the name of the eatery (as well as other small signs) are all stencilled on the glass in white. It looks clean and sophisticated, as well as a bit hipster (which is to be expected). We both ate the gluten-free coconut fish with cucumber ribbons and wasabi mayonnaise and it was ahhh-mazing.


Tuesday we went to Durbanville Hills and took my mom along. She is also a lover of good food and good wine, and always ready to accompany us on little trips like these. We've been to Durbanville Hills a couple of times before and every time was great.

Firstly, the views are amazing. Secondly, the venue is amazing. Thirdly, the wine and the food are amazing. Should I go on? We went for the Crystal Tasting which means that you taste six wines and get a souvenir glass to take home. We tasted the wines and then went upstairs to the restaurant for lunch. We had the gourmet burger and it was delicious. I tried to look up the name on their menu, but it seems the type of burger served changes every few weeks.

And that was our very short Cape Town trip! Have you ever been to any of these wine farms or eateries? Or do you have any suggestions for me for a next trip? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


13 April 2015

The April Test Box - #TreatYoSelf!

The Test Box recently brought out the second instalment of their haircare test box. If you've bought the first one that I featured here, you'll be delighted to know that Part II complements this perfectly. Where the first box contained a shampoo, conditioner, and wide-tooth comb, this box contains additional hair treatment goodies. All the bottles look the same, which makes it difficult to distinguish between them in the shower, but my OCD is happy!

Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator Moisture Treatment

This moisture treatment is meant to follow any Joico shampoo and should be applied to damp hair, and left for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. It replenishes moisture and lipids to very dry and damaged hair. The treatment has a pH of 3.5 and helps to seal the cuticle, thereby creating a polished surface.

This retails for R385 for 250 ml, and the bottle in the test box is 100 ml (R195).

Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor

This five minute reconstructor builds and strengthens stressed and chemically treated hair. Lost or depleted amino acids are replenished and weak hair is restored to its original glory, as well as preventing colour loss. The Reconstructor also won the award for Best Treatment at the Stylist Choice Awards 2015.

This retails for R345 for 150 ml, and the bottle in the test box is 100 ml (R230).

Double Dip Basin Comb

This month's comb features the same colour scheme as last month's comb, but is a "normal" comb with a handle. I personally like using these types of combs after I've roughly blow dried my hair, to make sure my hair is sectioned at the right place(s).

This costs R45.

The Box

The value of this box is R530 (R60 delivery included), but it's yours for a mere R160. That's a saving of R370! You can buy the box (or the previous box) here.

Until next time!


09 April 2015

Review: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy polishes

I will admit, I am quite the nail polish hoarder. I currently have my "summer" polishes in glass jars on my chest of drawers, and my "winter" polishes in a big box under my bed. Some people will be impressed by my collection, but I am slightly ashamed. That being said, I just love new and pretty nail polishes so much! To add to my ever-growing collection are the relatively new offering from Revlon in the form of their no-bake gel polishes.

The colours I have are, from left to right: "410 Up the ante", "110 Lady Luck", "240 Dealer's Choice", "620 Roulette Rush", and then the Diamond Top Coat .

Clicks recently had them on a 3-for-2 special, and I could kick myself that I didn't buy more. The colours are stunning, and I love the casino-themed names. The thing that makes these polishes special is the top coat (so for the full effect you unfortunately can't buy just a colour polish, you'll have to get the top coat too).

I find the brush easy to work with, and the formula is creamy and non-streaky. Two coats leave you with a beautiful opaque finish. The top coat dries very quickly and makes your nails shine like you are wearing gel nails. Nail polish does not last on my nails, but I find that I can get a good three days with these polishes- I do get some nail wear, but no unsightly chips. I get bored with nail polish after three days anyway, so it doesn't bother me. I've heard of ladies getting seven days' wear out of these polishes, so if your nails normally take well to polish, you might be one of them.

Now for the negative part of the post... This polish is touted as having a built-in base coat, which makes your life easier as you can just apply two coats of colour polish and a top coat and you're done. For the first few colours I tried (the purple, the peach, and even the red), this worked a treat. Until I applied the turquoise shade and then removed it three days later. My nails were stained with a horrible yellowish green colour that now needs to grow out. So the lesson here is: no matter what, always apply a base coat. I don't know which of the other shades you can get by with without a base coat, but I'm not risking it again.

Below are "Up the ante" and "Lady Luck" in action. For swatches of the rest of my polishes (and the rest of the collection), you can check out some gorgeous swatching here.

You can find these polishes at Clicks (around R110 each) and at Dischem (about R99). I hope Clicks will be having another 3-for-2 promotion in the near future, as I have my eye on a beautiful royal blue, as well as a stunning baby pink. Like I need more nail polish...

Until next time!


06 April 2015

Review: Veaudry myEasycomb

Since cutting my hair at the end of January (and again about two weeks ago), I have been experimenting with different ways of styling my hair. And by "different ways" I mean "ways that will make me look good with minimum time and effort". I've been alternating between my hourglass curling wand and my straightener, and today's review is about a product that will make straighten your hair easier...

The Veaudry myEasycomb*

This funky looking comb is otherwise known as a "V-comb": viewed from the side it's in the shape of a V (when open). When you close the comb (like a pair of tongs), the teeth of the comb fit into the slit on the other end of the V. The next three photos show you how the two parts of the comb fit into each other.

You comb a section of hair with the myEasyComb and then "chase" the section of hair with the straightening iron. Normally I use my hand to hold a section of hair and then end up burning myself! With this comb, it's a "hands-free" approach! Perfect sectioning and no more burning yourself. If you're still confused, click here for a short clip showing you how to use it.

You can buy this on RetailBox for R195.

Do you think something like this could save you time and hassle? Let me know!

Until next time!


* Press sample

02 April 2015

Monthly Favourites: March

The first third of the year is over and I don't know about you, but that freaks me out! To counter the freakout session, let's rather look at a photo of my March favourites, shall we? I've been trying out a lot of new things this past month, and the favourites seem to be makeup-centred this time round.

Victoria's Secret Make It Last Prime & Set Makeup Spray

I quickly spoke about the VS prime and setting spray in this post, and I've been loving it ever since. I'm already almost halfway through the bottle and I think I'm going to stock up next time I'm at the VS store. It's a clear liquid in a spray bottle that you spritz on your skin. You can use it as a primer, as a makeup setting spray, or both. Most mornings I use it as both a primer and a setting spray. It makes my makeup last much longer and I don't have to powder several times a day, yay!

This retails for R189 at the VS store in Sandton city, but if you have an Edgars U reward card you might get a few rands off like I did!

Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Moisturiser for Dry Skin

This is probably one of the cheapest products on this list, and also one of the best. Good 'ol Nivea really know how to look after skin. I have many body butters and lotions, but the past month or so I've only been using this at night after I've showered. It has the signature Nivea scent (smells like Iced Zoo cookies to me) and the added almond oil gives it a luxurious and silky feel. It's immediately absorbed by my skin, and doesn't leave me oily or sticky.

I can't remember the price of this, but it's definitely under R70. The great thing about Nivea is that you can literally find it anywhere and everywhere!

Revlon Ultra HD lipstick in "Rose"

I've spoken about these new lippies here and I am loving the rosy shade. It's soft and buttery and it smells incredibly sweet, probably too sweet for many people. It's buttery, pigmented, and doesn't leave my lips chapped or fade in splotches. It's basically the perfect lipstick. There are loads of colours and I tend to work on my collection.

This retails for R145 at Clicks and R135 at Dischem.

Bourjois Healthy Balance powder in 52 Vanille

This powder promises to "unify" your makeup as well as provide 10 hours matt finish and a natural healthy glow. I recently ran out of my holy grail powder (Catrice Prime and Fine pressed powder), and this compact seemed a bit smaller to carry around. Also, it was endorsed by Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup, so I was intrigued. The compact is small and pretty, with a mirror inside and no flat sponges. I hate those sponges because I never use them, but still I feel the need to carry them around in the compact. This powder comes in a couple of shades and smells faintly of fruit. Two of the ingredients in the powder are Sharon fruit (hydrating) and Yuzu fruit (anti-shine).

This retails for R155 at selected Clicks stores. Clicks currently has a 3-for-2 on Bourjois products, if you would like to try anything from the brand (or stock up like I did).

Cala eyeshadow brush - 312 shading

I've seen the Cala brush stand around Dischem but only stopped there when I was looking for a few blending brushes the other day. I was pleasantly surprised that their eyeshadow brushes cost less than R50 each! This shading brush is the perfect size to apply eyeshadow and to blend it in. The bristles are super soft and the brush washes incredibly well.

This particular one cost R29.95 at Dischem.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat

I finally succumbed to the Instagram pressure and bought a couple of the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy nail polishes, as well as this Diamond Top Coat. I love the polishes (except the dark turquoise that stained my nails), but the amazingness is in the top coat. Applying this over the gel envy polishes leaves you with a glossy manicure that dries in no time and doesn't chip for a few days. The top coat can also be used over other polishes and doesn't need to be set under a lamp, so don't be fooled by the word "gel" in the name!

The top coat retails for R99 at Dischem and around R110 at Clicks.

Wet n Wild eyeshadow mono in "Nutty"

This cheap and cheerful little eyeshadow is a stunning nutty, light brown, almost taupey colour. It has a bit of shimmer in, but I feel it adds extra dimension to the shadow, instead of making you look like a disco ball. It's perfect for using all over the lid, and some mornings I only apply this over a bit of primer and blend the edges out. As with all Wet n Wild eyeshadows the formula is buttery and it lasts well throughout the day. The size also makes it perfect for throwing in your handbag.

You can buy this for around R35 at selected Clicks stores.

And that, as they say, is that! I hope you've enjoyed my March favourites. What has been your favourites for the past month? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!