25 July 2016

Review and How-To: essence Long Lasting Lip Liners

I never used to like lipliners, probably because I was scared of ending up looking like I was stung by a bee. Since discovering the essence Long Lasting Lip Liners, I haven't looked back. If you're looking for budget friendly lipliners that come in an assortment of colours, or if you're unsure of how to go about lining your lips, then keep reading.

The first thing that attracted me to these liners is the price. At R24.95 for a lipliner you will be hard-pressed to find something similar, or better. The second thing that drew me in was the fact that these lipliners are retractable: no sharpeners needed! The crayon is also so thin and cylindrical that even if it becomes "blunt", it never really is. The third thing that attracted me is the colour selection. I'm unsure of how many there are in the range, but I believe there are nine shades. These range from a true nude to a peach, a bright pink to a my-lips-but-better, to a bright red, to a plum shade. These lipliners are soft and buttery; they do not drag the lips and filling in your lips is easy thanks to the creamy texture.

The shades are, from left to right: "06 A girl's dream", "02 Sweetheart", "07 Plum cake", "01 Ready for red", "08 Girl next door", and "10 Berry on my mind". The top photo is under normal light and the bottom photo was taken with flash. "A girl's dream" is a my-lips-but-better shade and is much more natural on the lips than it looks in the photos. It looks pretty on its own or paired with a pinky nude lipstick such as MAC's Syrup. "Sweetheart" is a bright pink and looks good under bright pink lipsticks. "Plum cake" is a pale purple/plum and is a little bit too ashy for me, but can be warmed up with a less-pale lipstick. "Ready for red" is a vibrant red and looks gorgeous alone or under a similarly bright red lipstick. "Girl next door" is a true nude and is again a bit pale and ashy for my complexion. It does look nice under most nude lipsticks. Lastly, "Berry on my mind" is a berry/plum and looks stunning on its own or paired with a berry lipstick such as essence's Let the berry tales begin.

How to line your lips

Below is an easy to follow pictorial showing you how to line your lips. I read somewhere that the easiest way to line your lips, is to line it in segments. First you line your cupid's bow with two slanted lines meeting in the middle. In this case it's very rounded, but just follow your natural lip shape. Then you line the flat part of your bottom lip.

Then you draw the corners of your mouth in two rotated V's. Then you connect all the line segments. You can then proceed to fill in your entire lip with the lipliner, or just leave it as is and apply lipstick or lipgloss.

There you have it! What are your tips and tricks for lining your lips? And which essence lipliner shade is your favourite? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


* Original picture obtained from Pixabay.

21 July 2016

Empties Post #8: Skincare

Today I'm showing you some of the skincare products that I've finished in recent months. I've since done a big clear-out, so I might need to start hoarding some more empties for upcoming posts...

Strangely enough there are no facial cleansers in this post, but I'll try and talk about the products per category (and in the steps that you would go about applying them). I won the Eucerin Dermo Purifyer toner as part of a competition, and when I started going to a reputable skincare salon before my wedding, my therapist told me to stop using it. Which I did, until about a year ago when my toner ran out and I only had this one left. Nothing bad happened to my skin, there were no breakouts or rashes, but I also couldn't really see any other changes either. I think this might be better suited to someone who is acne-prone, but all-in-all it's not a bad toner for the price. I might repurchase it in future, who knows. The Balm Balm Frankincense Hydrosol is a facial tonic that is the by-product that forms from the steam distillation of Frankincense essential oils. It's cooling, refreshing, and soothing at the same time. I've used this as both a toner and as a pick-me up during the day, and I can definitely recommend it.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with eye creams: I love using them, but they almost always fail to do what I want them to do. Sadly it is also the case with the Clinique Even Better Eye Dark Circle Corrector. I do like the slanted metal tip that you apply the eye cream with, and the fact that it cools the skin upon application, but unfortunately I couldn't see any difference in the appearance of my under-eye area. I don't think I will be repurchasing this.

The Balm Balm Frankincense Light Facial Oil is light and strangely enough not greasy. It hydrates my skin and leaves it plump and smooth without breaking me out. Another oil product is the Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-oil. I love TBS's Vitamin E range and I love facial oils, so buying this was a no-brainer for me. The glass jar comes with a pipette so you can measure out your drops and not end up with a hand full of oil. The oil sinks into the skin quickly and leaves me with a subtle glow (non-greasy) and the next morning I wake up with plump, hydrated skin.

Sticking to serum-type things, the Sorbet Age Affect Power Serum drew me in with its classy packaging (white glass bottle with a pipette), as well as the fact that it is a "power serum". The serum is a thick clear gel-like consistency and smells absolutely delicious. It applies well and feels like it nourishes your skin, but that's where it stops for me. Even after using it every single day until I finished it, I couldn't see any difference in my skin and I don't think I will be repurchasing this. The final serum for this post is the Kiehl's Hyrdo-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. I bought this when they had a promo last year and I think I got something like 20% off the price. The serum comes in a pump bottle, which makes using, and travelling with it, so easy. The texture of the serum is a velvety gel-cream that is immediately absorbed into the skin. I don't know if it ticks all the boxes mentioned by Kiehl's, but I do know that my skin looked great while using it. Depending on the price I might repurchase this.

I have mixed feelings about The Body Shop's Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. I love the Vitamin E range, and I love the smell of the sorbet, but the texture is weird. I also don't like their body sorbets, so that's maybe why. The moisturiser does sink into my skin quickly, and I do feel hydrated, but I didn't love it nearly as much as the other products in the Vitamin E range and I don't think I'll be repurchasing this. On the other end of the texture-spectrum is the oh-so-silky Clarins Multi-active Day cream and Night cream. These are two of my absolute favourite face creams. It's expensive and a pain to travel with, but both make sure my skin gets what it needs. The texture of both creams is velvety and creamy but not too heavy. If it wasn't for the price these would be the only two face creams I use!

The last product for this post is the REN Frankincense Revitalizing Night Cream (now called V-sense Revitalising Night Cream). I really love this night cream, especially in winter. It's very rich but it doesn't break me out. It soothes and nourishes my skin and I find the scent very comforting and soothing. I've since repurchased it (in the new packaging and with the new name), and it's still a goodie.

Which empty beauty products would you repurchase? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


14 July 2016

New from the drugstore: First impressions

You know how it goes...You go to Dischem for Panados and end up walking out with three lipsticks and a mascara. And maybe the Panados. That's what happened to me (again) last week, so I thought I'd show you what I bought and share my first impressions.

L'Oreal False Lash Superstar mascara

L'Oreal make some of the best mascaras out there and everytime a new one is launched, drugstore pandemonium ensues. This is quite a long (and heavy) mascara wand as it has two ends: one contains a primer and the other the actual mascara.

Firstly, I find the primer to be nice and wet. It's always so puzzling when you get a primer that seems like it's halfway dried already, what's the point then? The first step is to apply the primer to your lashes (just as you would mascara), and then while that's still wet, you apply the mascara over it. The mascara brush is quite long, and not as fat as some other mascara brushes. I find that I poke myself in the eye far more often with the fat brushes than with the thin ones. That being said, this is not a skinny brush: it's definitely big enough to reach all your lashes. I find that it separates and lengthens my lashes and there is no clumping. After about 5 hours there still wasn't any panda eyes going on, or little dots of mascara on my brow bone. Good job, L'Oreal!

L'Oreal Micellar gel

A micellar GEL to remove eye makeup? Uhm, sold! This is apparently a limited edition product, and it is currently part of a limited edition offer at Dischem: if you buy any L'Oreal two-step mascara, you get this micellar gel free! 

The consistency is, well, gel-like. I find that it's more liquidy than it looks, so the first few times I poured way too much product on my cotton rounds. The gel is nice and cooling and doesn't sting my eyes at all. I find it's a bit more gentle than some micellar waters in that it leaves your skin hydrated and not dry. I hate it when I've taken off my eye makeup and I have to blink 10 times just to lubricate my eyes! If you want a bottle of this I suggest you head on down to Dischem ASAP!

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks

First of all I love the sleek rectangular packaging of these, and secondly, I love the shade range. There are six or seven liquid lipsticks and, as you can see, I picked up three. Dischem has all Maybelline products on 3-for-2, so I essentially only paid for two lippies. I got the shades 05 Nude Flush, 50 Nude Thrill, and 45 Possessed Plum. Nude Flush is a pink nude that looks very natural, and Nude Thrill is basically two shades warmer than my natural lip colour and is the perfect nude. Possessed Plum is a beautiful rich plum, but I find this one a bit tricky to apply as every flaw and smudge is clearly visible.

The applicator is a bit strange, as it's not your usual doe foot applicator. This is doe foot-like, but much longer. I find it a bit difficult applying the liquid lippie to my cupid's bow. The consistency is super creamy and it smells like the ColorSensational liquid lipsticks they brought out about a year ago (of which we only received two shades, why?!). It's creamy and comfortable, but it's not matte... It says it's matte, but it's not. It stays creamy and comfortable but does not dry down. I've found that if I gently pat the product onto my lips, it looks a bit more matte. After a few hours it fades away evenly and leaves you with an evenly stained pout. These retail for R99.95 each, but like I said, you can get them at Dischem on 3-for-2.

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

Until next time!


11 July 2016

Rain Africa Comes to Pretoria!

As much as I like Rain Africa (I reviewed some of their products here), I can count the times I have been to one of their stores on my one hand. The only time I have been to Rain was when we went to Cape Town to visit the family and we happened to go to the V&A Waterfront. During the past month, however, Rain Africa has opened quite a few stores in Pretoria East and I couldn't be more happy. In April they opened a store in Woodlands Boulevard (one of my favourite malls), and during the past two weeks they opened a store in Brooklyn Mall and on 2 July one in The Grove (which is basically walking distance from me!). The next store opening will be in Menlyn sometime in July (if it isn't already open!)

I went to the opening of their store on the 2nd of July and was blown away by how beautiful the store is. There were a lot of people inside so I felt a bit weird taking photos, but you really have to see for yourself. It's so tranquil and calming and it smells incredible. There are different "stations" for different type of products or collections. In the middle of the store is a large table with all their bath salts, bath bombs, and bath eggs. As with everything Rain, all their products are environmentally friendly and biodegradable, as well as supporting the "beauty without cruelty" movement. Everything  in the store looks and smells delicious and at last I settled on these incredible rock mint natural bath salts. 

The packaging is clean and elegant and the smell is strong and delicious. The mint comes through very strongly and I can imagine that this will make a great soak for tired and aching muscles, but also for stuffy noses. On the label it says that it's ideal for use as a herbal foot soak in spas and home foot baths. It contains, among other things, salt and peppermint oil and the directions state to sprinkle two tablespoons of these into your bathwater. I can't wait to try it!

Upon checkout I received this handmade 100% Natural Olive Oil Soap which would make the perfect gift or the perfect guest soap in the bathroom. Rain has many great gift ideas, whether you are spoiling yourself or someone else!

Have you ever been to Rain before? What can you recommend? Come on, enable me.

Until next time!


07 July 2016

Monthly Favourites: May & June

Just like that we've reached the halfway mark for 2016, unbelievable! I've been a bit quiet during the first half of the year, but I'm slowly and steadily picking up (blogging)speed again! This post bundles together my favourites for the past two months, and there's quite a few so let's get started!

Body care

This post is quite skincare-heavy as I love nothing more than to slap extra rich and hydrating products on my skin during the dry, cold winter. 

I bought the Palmer's Coconut Oil Body lotion on a whim when I heard a lot of people rave about it, and it is simply divine. The body lotion comes in a big bottle (400 ml) with a handy pump to dispense the product, and it's extremely affordable. It smells incredible and feels silky on the skin, as well as sinking into the skin quickly and doesn't leave a greasy, yucky film. It contains raw coconut oil and Tahitian Monoi oil, but no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, gluten, sulfates, or dyes.

The Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Body Wash is a very new entry to the favourites list, but it's definitely a goodie. I bought this a long time ago on a sale so I can't remember the price, but I recently discovered it in my stash of body products when I was searching for something that would cleanse as well as moisturise my skin. The body wash is touted as being restoring, anti-ageing, hydrating, as well as nourishing. It contains delicious ingredients such as argan oil (first on the list!), aloe vera leaf juice, orange fruit extract, vanilla fruit extract, baobab fruit extract, and a bunch of oils (clove, geranium, lemon peel, patchouli, cinnamon leaf, rosewood, wild mint, mandarin peel, spearmint). The body wash is quite watery and a little bit foams up nicely (even though it contains no foaming agents). It smells incredible - spicy and comforting, delicious! It hydrates my skin beautifully and I'm already trying to find out where I can purchase another bottle.


I have spoken about this Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel many, many times. I think it might be my favourite facial cleanser of all time! I recently bought another tube and remembered why I love it so much: it has the typical soft-floral Clarins fragrance, and is extremely gentle on my skin all while properly cleansing my skin. It's a thick gel and I apply it directly to dry, dirty skin. As I start massaging it into my skin I can feel it starting to change consistency. Adding a drop of water emulsifies the gel into a deliciously frothy cream. I then take a warm, wet facecloth and remove all the makeup, grime, and cleanser.

I was looking for a budget-friendly serum that would hydrate my parched skin, and thank to the girls from All Dolled Up, I was introduced to the Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum. The serum has a white gel-like consistency and sinks into the skin immediately. You can use this both day and night but I prefer to only use it in the mornings. It doesn't revolutionise my skincare routine, or suddenly give me bouncy plump skin, but it does manage to keep my oiliness at bay, and that's good enough for me!

The Vichy Idéalia Skin Sleep is like a moisturiser/mask hybrid that you apply at night. It has a delicate rose smell and the product is a silky gel-cream. I can immediately tell that my skin feels more comfortable and hydrated and the next morning I'm left with plump and glowy skin. Good skin in a tube? Sign me up!


I've spoken about the Catrice Beautifying Primer and the Catrice High Glow Mineral Highlighting Powder here. The primer smooths out my skintone and creates a perfect base for whatever I apply next. I've used it almost every day for a month and I absolutely adore it. The highlighter is a surprise addition to the list: I'm normally not one to wear highlighter during the day for fear that I'll beam too brightly, but this highlighting powder is so stunning that I just can't help myself. The other day at a MAC counter, the makeup artist told me my makeup looks amazing and is that Soft & Gentle on my cheekbones? I felt very chuffed and replied that no, it is indeed a drugstore highlighter!

I've recently started using the NYX Eye Shadow Base after using their HD Eye Shadow Primer tube for a long time. The product is quite hard, but after warming it up a bit with my finger it applies easily to my eyelids. There is a white variant and this camel-coloured one, and I find that this one evens out the colour of my eyelids. It does a decent job of keeping my eyeshadow in place, although with my oily eyelids it's difficult to say.

I've also been loving the essence long lasting lipliners, and as you can see I own six of them! I'm not going to go into too much detail here as I plan on doing a proper blog post about them in the near future. All I can say is: they are amazing and I plan on owing every single shade!

That was my favourites for the past two months! What were your favourites for May and June? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time!


04 July 2016

The Micellar Water You Can't Use On Your Eyes

Ever since I've used the Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water, I've been loving these fuss-free makeup removers. If you're not familiar with the product, micellar water is a cleansing water that you apply to a cotton pad and gently rub over your face, removing anything from lipstick to foundation to waterproof mascara. It's very gentle and very effective. Bioderma makes a micellar water for sensitive skin and one for oily/combo skin, and recently a third one has also been added to the line-up (I haven't seen it yet). A while back I started using the Garnier micellar waters which, in my opinion, is just as good as the Bioderma ones but at a fraction of the cost. Garnier also makes two variants. For the past few years I have mostly used micellar water at night to take off my makeup, and as a beauty product junkie I am always looking out for the next amazing product. You can thus imagine my excitement at seeing that DirtyWorks at Clicks now also has a micellar water.

Dirty Works 3-in-1 Gentle Micellar Cleansing Water

Sadly, this product did not amaze me. I do love the packaging of this micellar water as it reminds me of the quirky branding of the much-loved Soap & Glory. It states that it removes grime and makeup while improving hydration. It is not fragranced and is suitable for all skin types. This product boasts hyaluronic acid as well as hibiscus extract (to condition the skin and restore the skin's natural glow), but both ingredients are very low on the ingredients list.

The first time I used this, I applied it on two cotton pads which I proceeded to slap on my eyeshadow-covered eyelids. Big mistake. It stung like a mofo and after rinsing my eyes out it still stung after five minutes. When I could finally see I turned the bottel over and read that you are not supposed to use it on your eyes. A micellar water that you can't/shouldn't use on your eyes? Got it.

It is fragrance-fee, but to me, that means it smells like ear drops (I'm weird, I know) and I really dislike that smell. I also didn't feel like it took off my makeup properly. My skin was left a bit tight and dry afterward, so I can't really say that this product "improves hydration". At close to R130 (I stand corrected) for 250ml I don't think this is money well-spent and I'd much rather buy a 400ml bottle of Garnier micellar water for R80 (or R63.95 from Clicks at the moment).

Have you ever tried this micellar water? What did you think? Please let me know.

Until next time!