22 December 2016

One Last Post for 2016: Merry Christmas!

I was planning on writing a couple of blog posts before leaving on holiday but never got round to it. Fast forward to a week into my holiday and I've only just realised this, oops. The husband and I are in Cape Town for Christmas and we're currently at my mom's house. The Christmas tree is finally up, all my presents are wrapped, Christmas carols are blasting through the speakers, and the smell of a braaivleis (barbecue) fire fills the air. I've also had the pleasure of seeing a few close relatives whom I haven't seen since last Christmas, due to the PhD, and I can say that it does my soul good.

The blog has slowly been gaining momentum during the last few months of 2016 as I've finished up my thesis and settled into my permanent job and our new house (which wasn't without drama, as most of you know). I have a few things planned for 2017 and I hope that you will return to the blog after the holidays to take a look at what I'm up to.

I'd like to wish all my subscribers and readers a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. I know for a lot of people 2016 has been a terrible year and I wish you all just the very best for the coming year. Please stay safe on the roads if you're travelling, and enjoy your holiday. Goodness knows, we've earned it this year!

Until next year!



08 December 2016

New In: Catrice Contourious Collection

The newest limited edition collection from Catrice is simply stunning. Everything is based around contouring and accentuating your best features. There are quite a few goodies in the range but today I'll show you what I picked up. This is about half of the available range, maybe a bit less. For the full range, go take a look here.

Sculpting Powder Palette in "C01 Pale Perfectionist"

This palette contains a contour shade (cool-toned brown), a blush (dusty pink), and a highlighter (pale gold). I haven't used the contour shade that much, but I do think that it's a good shade for me (hence choosing the lighter of the two palettes). The blush is a summery pink and really brightens up the complexion. The highlighter is pretty, but not quite as pigmented as some of their other highlighters. You really have to work the brush around in there, you can't just lightly "swish" across the top. If you're looking for major impact you'll need a slightly stiffer brush, but if you're scared of looking too glowy, then this will be a good start for you.

Strobing Duo Highlighter

Although the strobing highlighter is extremely pretty, I'm not entirely sure why it's there. I mean, isn't it just a highlighter? The top part of the compact is lighter than the middle, and the bottom part is more pinky than the middle. Again, I do not know why that is. I do know that it makes for a stunning highlight on the cheekbones without looking like a disco ball. As you can see it comes across a very pretty gold when swishing a brush through the compact.

Highlighting stick in "C01 Gentle Glow"

Ah, this little stick immediately drew my attention. It's a twist-up stick highlighter but it's so creamy and smooth. It's not patchy at all and leaves the most gorgeous creamy shade on your skin. It's difficult to say what the exact colour is, because to me it's somewhere between gold and silver. It contains shimmer but luckily it doesn't spread around your face. In the above photo, from left to right: highlighter stick, strobing highlighter, highlighter palette.

There is a very special reason why I bought this... Some of you will remember the Topshop Glow Sticks from way back when they still stocked their makeup shelves. I have it in the shade "Play up" (you can read about it here). As you can see, the packaging is about 99% the same: the two sticks are even the same size!

The main differences, however, are the price, texture, and the colour. The Topshop stick cost R169 two years ago, while the Catrice one is less than R100. The Catrice stick is much more creamy, but the Topshop one might be a bit close to its end-date. Both colours are stunning, though. The Topshop stick is more golden, where the Catrice stick is more white and silver.

Lip Contour & Colour in "C01 Nude"

This has to be one of my favourite products in this collection. The one end of the product is a pointed crayon that is very creamy and goes on matt. I use that to line my lips and fill them in. The other half of the product is a doe foot applicator dipped in a liquid lipstick/gloss type consistency. I apply the liquid lipstick/gloss over the pencil and it looks stunning. I am completely besotted with this! In the above photo you can see from top to bottom: just the crayon, just the gloss, the gloss applied on top of the crayon. I raved about it here previously. Since posting my November favourites I went back and bought the other lip shade. The shade "C02 Rosewood" is a more pinky version of this, and although stunning, I still prefer the nude shade. It wears incredibly well and I am quite frankly devastated that this is limited edition...

And that was the Catrice Contourious collection in a nutshell! Have you bought anything from the collection? Let me know!

Until next time!


05 December 2016

Monthly Favourites: November

I don't know about you, but 2016 has kicked my butt! It's been a long year filled with hard work and late nights, not to mention all the horrible and weird things that has happened in local and world news! Somehow, though, we've made it to the end of November...

The only skincare favourite this month is the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. I apply a few drops of this to my skin at night: after cleansing and toning, and before my serum. The water-consistency penetrates my skin immediately and there is no stinging. The next morning my skin is smooth and clear, definitely a winner! You can read about my nighttime skincare routine here.

Next up is makeup, and quite a lot of it! I've spoken about the Catrice HD Liquid Coverage foundation in "030 Sand Beige" here, and I've been loving it this past month. I can see myself using this for the entire summer, to be honest. The Wet N Wild Eyeshadow Primer has surpassed all my other eyeshadow primers - I now exclusively use this. It comes out as a pale cream and it creates a smooth, almost siliconey, base. Anything applied on top of this does. not. move. Drugstore eyeshadows, higher end eyeshadows, metallic foils, everything stays put for a full eight hours (sometimes longer). And when I say "stays put", I mean there is zero creasing. It's incredible and if you suffer from oily eyelids like I do, don't walk, run and go buy it. I can't remember the exact price of this, but, being Wet N Wild I know that it was less than R100. The tube is also 10 ml, so it will last a long time.

Another drugstore find is the newly released NYX HD Finishing Powder in the shade "Banana". I have been stalking Clicks's online store for weeks, but it keeps on being out of stock. Luckily I found it at the newly opened gigantic NYX counter at Menlyn. It's quite a recent addition to my makeup routine, but it's already secured its place as a favourite. The pale yellow powder is finely milled but it doesn't leave a white or grey cast on the skin, instead it brightens the under-eye area when used to set under-eye concealer. This compact will probably last me a lifetime as I currently only use it under my eyes. It was around R160 or R170 and Clicks currently has a 3-for-2 on all NYX products.

I spoke about the new essence Matt Matt Matt Lipglosses here and I've especially been loving the pink shade called "03 Girl of today". Another lip product that I've been besotted with the past few weeks is the limited edition Lip Contour & Colour from Catrice in the shade "C01 Nude". The one end features a matt pointed crayon to line (and overline) your lips with, and the other end features a doe foot applicator with a slightly glossy liquid lipstick/lipgloss. The colour is perfection and, even though it's glossy, it stays put for hours with moderate eating and drinking. I will be doing a post on the Catrice Contorious range this week, so stay tuned.

My last favourite for the month is a nail oil from essence. The Repairing Nail Oil comes in a teeny little bottle with a doe foot applicator and boasts argan oil as one of its ingredients. It smells delicious- like jelly sweets! I apply a little bit to each nail once or twice a day and I can really say that the state of my cuticles have improved. It's also cheap as chips and easy to throw into your handbag or keep on your desk (like I do).

What were your favourites for November? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


28 November 2016

Five Favourites: BB creams/Foundations

If you're a regular reader of the blog you'll know that I've always preferred BB creams to foundations. I do think that that was because I just haven't tried the right foundation or used the right tools! In today's "Five favourites" post I'll share with you my current top 5 things to slap on my face after primer and before powder.

L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream in "Light"

Oh man, this one is such a goodie. It's cheap (around R55 from Dischem), travels well (light plastic tube) and is available in eight shades. It's hydrating and acts as a tinted moisturiser. It doesn't provide a lot of coverage, but on good skin days, or on no-makeup days, it's the perfect option. I have this in both a winter shade and a summer shade, and there's already a backup waiting in the wings.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in "52 Vanilla"

I honestly don't know if this is (still) available in South Africa. I bought mine online a long time ago but I haven't seen it in any Clicks stores. It's not a heavy foundation, nor is it a watery serum foundation-- it sits somewhere in the middle. It melts into the skin and looks very natural, not at all like a mask.

Physician's Formula Youthful Wear Spotless Foundation in "Medium"

This foundation comes in a glass bottle with a pipette. The reason for the pipette is because the foundation is extremely watery. It's quite messy to work with, but you don't need a lot to cover your entire face. I use about two drops for my entire face and that provides a lovely natural finish. The foundation is very "glowy" and feels nourishing on the skin. The only downside is the fact that this foundation only comes in three shades: light, medium, and dark. I have the middle shade and it's a bit warm for me, but upon blending it does look very natural. You can get this from Dischem stores.

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation in "030 Sand Beige"

This is another drugstore goodie! This foundation also comes in a glass bottle with a pipette. The consistency of the foundation is a bit thicker than the Physician's Formula one, but it's still more liquid than most of the other foundations. I really can't say enough good things about this foundation: it costs a whopping R145 and provides ample coverage on the skin while still looking natural (sort of a "my face but better" effect). There are unfortunately only four shades in the range.

L'Oreal Infallible 24H-Matte Foundation in "20 Sand"

This is the only matte foundation on the list and is by far my favourite non-glowy foundation (you can read my review here). It's quite a thick foundation, but not so much that it feels like you're wearing a mask. The shade suits me perfectly (there are seven shades in the range) and the coverage is buildable. It's easy to go overboard and apply too much, but I've learnt that I only need a little bit dotted on each of my cheeks, my forehead, and my chin, to achieve a perfected look. You can get this from Clicks for R190, although Dischem might be a few rands cheaper.

Honourable mentions

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in "200 Soft beige"

This is quite a thick foundation, but when used with a light hand it provides a natural finish. Two perks of this foundation are the fact that it comes in a pump bottle, and that it has an SPF of 20. You can get this from Clicks for around R135.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC cream in "32 Light beige"

I've had this for quite a while and there's still a lot of product left. The CC cream is very watery (much like the Physician's Formula), and the tube packaging is an absolute nightmare in this regard. The CC cream applies nicely but I find that I need to properly buff it in, otherwise it tends to look like it just sits on top of my skin. It does provide a natural finish and is buildable, which is quite incredible for a CC cream. Bourjois is exclusive to Clicks and you can get it for R196.

Until next time!


24 November 2016

Review: essence Matt Matt Matt lipgloss

I don't need more lipglosses, or any lip products for that matter, but when I heard that essence came out with a range of matt lipglosses, I was intrigued. The range contains five shades ranging from a nude and a very pale pink to a deep pink-red.

I picked up the shades "03 Girl of today" (left) and "02 Beauty approved" (right). Girl of today is a lot more natural when applied and comes out as a nude pink, a real my-lips-but-better shade. Beauty approved is a browny nude and looks amazing on the lips. It doesn't come across too brown and as it's a warm shade, it doesn't make me look like death. 

These lipglosses might look like liquid lipsticks, but they don't dry down at all. The texture is quite soft and mousse-ey, but still I'm not exactly sure how and why they call it a "lipgloss" if its mousse-ey and matt. It applies very easily with the spade-shaped applicator and I find the application to be quite fool-proof. It doesn't leave my lips chapped and the colour fades quite evenly.

The staying power of these products aren't the best, but than can be expected from something that doesn't dry down completely. That being said, reapplying it is easy and I quite enjoy feeling the mousse-ey texture spread across my lips! Also, it smells like creme caramel, so that's an added bonus.

As most of you are aware, I am a big fan of the essence Long Lasting Lip Liners (you can read about it here) and I was very excited to find that the shade "06 A girl's dream" is a match for the pinky lipgloss shown above. It's not exactly the same shade, but it's close enough that you can use the one on top of the other. Score!

These lipglosses remind me a lot of the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in "Temptation" and in the bottom photo you can see the essence gloss and the Revlon liquid lipstick side-by-side. Know which one is which? Revlon is on the right. The Revlon product's texture is much more silky and glossy whereas the essence (lipgloss!) is more mousse-ey.

I'm thinking of picking up another shade or two, but I might steer clear of the pale pink as I fear that that's way too light and pale for my skintone. Have you tried any of the lipglosses? Let me know in the comment section!

Until next time!


21 November 2016

Five Favourites: Blushes

Starting today there will be a new series on the blog: Five Favourites. Each week I'll feature five of my favourite products in a specific category. Today we're starting with my five favourite blushes I currently own.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush in "Pearlescent Pink"

This coral coloured blush gives a lovely healthy glow to the cheeks. It does contain fine glitter but it doesn't get all over your face after a few hours. You can read my review and see swatches here. Wet N Wild products are stocked in large Clicks stores.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in "05 Lovely Pink"

This little round pot contains a light pink shimmery blush. It's quite a light colour but on fair skin it looks beautiful. I spoke about it here. The Max Factor blushes are sold exclusively at Clicks stores and these creme puff blushes come in four shades.

Benefit Coralista

Ah, Coralista. No list of favourite blushes would be complete without it. This blush is super fine and is a gorgeous coral-ly apricot shade. You can read my review and see swatches here. You can buy Benefit products online from Red Square or buy it in-store at selected Edgars stores.

Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in "Peony"

This is the only cream cheek product on the list as I tend to not use them so much nowadays. My skin is combination oily and sometimes my cheeks also decide to get a tad oily, so I don't want to worsen the condition by slapping on a cream product! That being said, this convertible lip/cheek colour in Peony is a beautiful nude pink-brown and will suit just about every skin tone. Stila products can be found at selected Woolworths stores and I have found them on several online sites such as Takealot.

I had trouble getting the swatches to show up, but from left to right is Wet N Wild, Max Factor, Benefit, and Stila.

Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette in "020 CorAll I Need"

This is a bit of a cheat as these are actually three blushes, but I figure it's ok since I don't just use one of the blushes, I tend to swipe my brush along all three blush shades and then apply it to my cheeks. There's a pink shimmery shade, a matte pinky blush shade, and a shimmery coral shade. You can see my first impression post and swatches here. Catrice can be found at Dischem, Red Square online, and very selected Pick N Pay stores.

What are your favourite blushes? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


17 November 2016

My Updated Nighttime Skincare Routine

Ever since we've moved into our new house my nighttime skincare routine has fallen by the wayside. I guess I can't blame it all on the move since it's been a few months now, but I feel like I've finally found my groove again.

Firstly I remove my eye makeup with the Garnier Micellar Oil-infused  cleansing water (you can read about it here) and three cotton rounds: one for each eye and one for the rest of my face. If my skin is feeling very "ugh" I will use a Neutrogena Hydro Boost facial wipe to remove the bulk of the greasiness. I then use one pump of the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Facial Wash (you can read about it here) mixed with a little bit of water and wash my face. I rinse my skin with warm water and then pat my face dry with a clean towel. I used to be a devoted hot cloth cleansing gal, but in summer it's just too hot, although it's still very beneficial for my skin. Plus, the tap in our bathroom takes forever to get to hot and I don't want to waste all that water (and I'm too lazy to go boil a kettle, you know how it goes).

Sometimes I will apply an exfoliating toner such as the Pixi Glow Tonic, but recently I've just gone in with 4-5 drops of the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. It smells very strong and it feels like water. If you wait too long before applying it it will just evaporate. So I quickly pat that onto my skin, being careful to avoid my mouth and eyes. Sometimes it stings a bit due to the acidic content, but after a few weeks my skin is used to it and doesn't sting anymore. I then apply three pumps of the Neutrogena Anti-wrinkle Deep Wrinkle serum to my face. It contains Retinol but nowhere does it say what the dosage is. I used to follow that up with a night cream, but I've found that in summer that combination is much too rich for my skin. With the current routine I wake up with smooth, clear, and plump skin. My skin feels so soft and makeup applies like a dream!

So that is it for my nighttime skincare routine. Leave me a comment below if you'd like to see my daytime skincare routine as well.

Until next time!


07 November 2016

My Nail Care Routine

Lately I feel like I haven't been the best beauty blogger, because I've painted my nails three times in the past four months, and all three those times were in the past month. But you know what? Life sometimes gets in the way, and sometimes you just have to go with bare nails. That being said, I feel like I've found my groove with respect to a good nail care routine, so today I thought I'd show you how I do my nails.


  • old towel
  • nail file
  • cuticle remover
  • nail brush
  • orange stick
  • nail polish remover
  • cotton rounds
  • nail primer (optional)
  • base coat
  • colour polish
  • top coat
  • nail drops
  • slanted eyeliner brush


I sometimes file my nails while I still have the old polish on. I feel like the old polish gives my nails a bit of protection so that I don't damage it during filing. I file in one direction in order to prevent tears. I then remove my old nail polish with nail polish remover and cotton rounds. I use the Sorbet pump bottles and I find that it works great. I then apply a few drops of the cuticle remover to each nail's cuticle and let it sit for about 30 seconds. For cuticle remover I use the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. I then wash my hands in warm soapy water and take a nail brush to gently brush my nails and cuticles. After drying my nails I gently push back the cuticles on each nail with the orange stick.

Before painting my nails I ensure that I have all my tools ready and I partially open each bottle so that I don't have to struggle to open bottles with wet nails. I then take a cotton round and put some nail polish remover on. I then quickly swab each nail to ensure that all the soap is gone. I then go in with the nail primer and paint it onto each nail. I use the OPI Chip Skip primer for this. It has the consistency of water so it dries the moment you apply it, so there's no waiting time. Now onto the actual painting...

Painting my nails

I'm left-handed so I start painting with my right hand on my left hand's pinky nail. I prefer to do the non-dominant hand's painting first to get that out of the way! I apply a thin coat of the base coat (my current favourite is the Morgan Taylor React) to each nail. When that is finished I apply, in the same finger order, a coat of colour polish to each nail (pictured here is one of my favourites, Essie's "Splash of grenadine"). When I'm done with that I do another colour layer. I always apply two coats, no matter what. I also try to not apply the coats too thickly otherwise they tend to either look gloopy and bubbly, or they tend to pool on the side of my nail which is impossible to fix. I aim for three strokes of polish per nail: one down the middle starting at the cuticle, and one small stroke on each side of that. I also "cap" my nail where I swipe the brush across the nail's edge to prevent chipping.

When I'm doing applying the two colour polish coats I go in with the top coat. Depending on the top coat I might do a thick coat, but I've found with this Sally Hansen Insta-Dri one that it's best to do a thin coat. It dries very quickly and is the quickest drying top coat I have found other than my beloved Seche Vite.

After applying the top coat I will go in with a slanted eyeliner brush dipped in a little bit of the essence Nail Art Nail Polish Remover Ultra (this stuff is like industrial remover!) and just clean up the edges, cuticles, and undersides of my nails. I use a slanted brush because it allows me to be precise. I also don't use an earbud because it's too thick and the fibres tend to sit on your polish and then you're in trouble. When I'm finished touching up my manicure I apply a drop or two of the essence nail art express dry drops to each nail and sit back to admire my artwork.

What's your secret to doing your nails? Let me know in the comment section!

Until next time!


03 November 2016

Review: Cipria Milano Keratin Hair Treatment

I recently wrote a post about what I bought from Cipria Milano (you can read it here), and I asked what you would like to see reviewed first. So today I'll be reviewing the Keratin Hair Treatment. The product is in the form of two very cool looking glass vials. The one vial contains a white liquid (the activator) and the other one contains a pink liquid (the reconstructor).

Firstly, my hair is in need of some serious TLC. I'd rather not say how long it's been since I've been to the hair salon, but, it's been long. I initially only wanted to grow out my ombre so that we could cut it off in one shot, without me having incredible short hair, but then life got in the way. Long story short, my hair is very dry and the ends are very straw-like. Never has there been a more perfect time for me to apply a keratin hair treatment!

What you will need

I chose a disposable plastic bowl just so that I know I don't accidentally contaminate anything that I might want to put food in later. The brush is a Uriage brush that I received as part of a free gift. I use it to apply my face masks, so I though it fitting to apply a hair mask. You also need a wide tooth comb, and of course, the Keratin treatment.

The first step is to break the white vial and pour the contents into the bowl. Then you break the pink vial and also pour the contents into the bowl. Then you take the brush and mix the two liquids together until the mixture turns into a frothy cream. You then apply this frothy cream to clean, towel dry hair. As an extra step I used a wide tooth comb to comb the product through my hair as well as eliminating any knots. The packaging then says to leave it on for 1-5 minutes, but I left it on for about 6-7 minutes. You then rinse it and you're done.

The mixture smells quite strong, but not in an ammoniac type of way. The mixture has the consistency of lightly beaten egg whites and it applies to the hair easily. When I rinsed my hair I could feel that my hair felt softer and a bit thicker. It also felt much smoother and there was no need to comb it out in the shower again.

I towel dried my hair and blasted it about 80% dry with the hair dryer before tying it up in a loose bun. After a few hours I took my hair out of the bun and you can see the results in the photos below. The lighting is a bit different than in the top photos, but you can see my hair is definitely more shiny and it also feels much softer and much less straw-like. After three days I would say the effect still lingers, but it's not like my hair has done a complete turnaround. That being said, I think that with regular use of the hair treatment my hair's condition will improve significantly, hair salon avoidance or not...

This hair treatment costs R49.95 for a single treatment and you can get it from Cipria Milano stores in Cape Gate, Sandton, and Mall of Africa.

Until next time!