18 September 2017

New From Maybelline

As far as drugstore brands go, Maybelline has always been a favourite of mine. I love their mascaras and lip products and whenever they bring out something new, I'm all ears. I recently picked up two products from Maybelline (at Dischem) and received a gift with my purchase.

Maybelline Master Blush Color & Highlighting Kit

There is a bronzing and highlighting kit and then this blush kit. In one of Tati's (Glam Life Guru) videos she reviewed the bronzing palette and didn't like it (it was very glittery and shimmery), so I decided to steer clear of that and rather opt for the blush kit. The blush kit contains one highlighter and three blushes. The highlighter (leftmost shade) is a beautiful shimmery champagne shade. I try to apply it with a light hand otherwise the shimmer tends to get a bit out of hand and spread across my cheek. The blush shades are, from left to right, a peachy shade, a bright pink, and a dark almost plummy pink-purple. They apply easily and are quite pigmented, so a light hand is necessary. I found the bright pink shade to be a little chalky but the other shades all blend beautifully. My current favourite is the peachy shade as it leaves your cheeks with a healthy flush, perfect for spring.

Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in "Classic"

I already own two of these shades and I absolutely love the formula and the high shine. This shade is called Classic and that's exactly what it is - a classic vampy red. Not ideal for spring, but I might save it for a night out or else for autumn.

Gift With Purchase

The gift with purchase consists of the Colossal Kajal eyeliner pencil and the Colossal Volum' Express mascara (both in black). The Kajal is a twist-up pencil and is very creamy and smooth. I haven't used this yet but the texture makes me think that there will be no dragging on the skin when you apply this, which always makes for a more pleasant eyeliner application. The mascara has a nice fat wand and I find that it does a good job of separating and volumising my lashes. Not the best mascara I've ever used from Maybelline, but it does the job.

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

Until next time!


14 September 2017

Empties Post #11: Shower Products

It's time for another look inside my beauty trash! Today I'll be showing you some body care products of the shower gel/cream variety.

The Body Shop make some of my favourite shower products. In this batch I have the Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream, Piñita Colada Shower Gel, and the Lychee Blossom Shower Gel. The Lychee Blossom is a very old scent and I don't think you get it anymore, unless maybe on a sale table. It smells sweet and fruity although I'm not sure the scent is for everyone. If I ever find this on a sale table again I will definitely pick up another bottle. The Piñita Colada has the quintessential "summer" scent: pineapples and coconuts that make you think of hot summer days and long, tall cocktails. When summer rolls around I might just pick up another bottle or two. The Almond Milk & Honey shower cream is more of a winter scent: it's warm and sweet and I find it extremely comforting. Out of all three it is also the most nourishing as I find that the others sometimes strip my skin of moisture if I don't follow up my shower routine with body lotion.

Lush is one of my other favourite brands, although I'm quite surprised that there are two products from them in here since they are, in my opinion, very expensive. Snow Fairy is a shower gel while Sweetie Pie is a shower jelly and comes in a tub. Sweetie Pie is ridiculously fun as it's literally a piece of wobbly jelly moulded to the shape of the tub. It smells incredible and I really wish they would come out with a normal shower gel in that scent. However fun it is to play with, I don't think it's good value for money. I tried cutting the jelly into small blocks so that I only use a block per shower session, but that failed. The jelly and my bath lily did not like to interact and more jelly ended up on the shower floor than on my bath lily. I don't think I would repurchase this. Snow Fairy, on the other hand, is one of my favourite Lush shower gels. It's pink and incredibly sweet smelling, but I absolutely love it. A little lathers a long way and I make sure to stock up on a bottle each Christmas (it's a Christmas exclusive release).

One of my newest favourites is the Palmolive Gourmet Spa Mint Shake shower cream. At R50 for two gigantic bottles (Dischem often has this special) it is incredibly good value for money. The shower cream is nice and thick and is incredibly nourishing. And the smell, oh my word, the smell! It smells exactly like Peppermint Crisp chocolate. It doesn't smell sickly sweet or artificial, instead it smells like you are showering in a Peppermint Crisp factory. It's also incredibly cooling and I like using this when I'm using my Pureology Hydrate shampoo and conditioner (the conditioner has that same intense minty coolness and smell). I've repurchased this already and will continue doing so indefinitely.

Which of these have you tried before? What can you recommend? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


11 September 2017

Review: The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask

If you've been reading this blog for a while you will know that I am obsessed with face masks. Anything from clay masks to hydrating masks to sheet masks. If it's a mask I'm almost guaranteed to love it. This new mask from The Body Shop gets its share of the lime light today.

Tea tree is a natural antiseptic and is great for blemish-prone skin. To be honest, I don't think I've ever tried any tea tree products from The Body Shop, but I do own a bottle of tea tree essential oil that I use for many things from pouring a few drops into the washing machine when I wash my dog's blankets to using a few drops in an aromatherapy burner. My skin has also been well-behaved so I've never really felt the need to use tea tree oil. Well, that was until a few weeks ago when my skin started freaking out and I got breakouts on my cheeks and on my shoulders.

This new mask from The Body Shop is called the Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Night Mask. I have to admit, the price and the words "night mask" caught my attention. At 75 ml it's quite a nice size for a mask and even though it's the same size as the Recipes of Nature masks, the tea tree mask is only R180 whereas the Recipes of Nature masks are R310 each.

Masks in tubs are not usually my favourite thing, as it can get unsanitary quite quickly, but I've found that using a little plastic spatula to scoop the product out really helps. The texture of this mask is a weird jelly, it reminds me a lot of the Drops of Youth Sleeping Mask that used to be called the Bouncy Mask or something along those lines. When you look at the mask it looks like a thick gel, but when you press your finger into it and then remove it, the mask bounces back. So cool! This makes it a little bit difficult to get it out of the jar, but again, a spoon or spatula solves that problem.

The mask is an alieny, snotty green, and I must say, I love pressing my finger into it. The smell is incredibly strong and if you don't like the smell of tea tree, you'll hate this. The smell also doesn't go away but just becomes a little bit less strong. The first time I used it it irritated my nose slightly, but I got used to the smell and then it just felt comforting and medicinal and "clean".

The mask is incredibly cooling and applies like a thick jelly. Although the texture is quite thick it still smoothes easily onto the skin. The first two times I felt a bit of tingling but that goes away after a few minutes. The directions say to sleep with this on and although it's quite tacky when you first apply it, it is either absorbed into your skin or dries down a bit (don't worry, your skin won't feel tight). The first time I applied this I had a really bad skin day and I was afraid that the tingling and the tea tree oil will aggravate my skin further, but when I woke up the next morning most of my blemishes had disappeared! I was so impressed that I waited a day or two and applied it again. This time the results weren't as impressive as the first time, but I could see that the appearance of my skin had still improved slightly. And new blemishes didn't look like they were forming. I recently also applied it to the tops of my shoulders and although it didn't make my blemishes disappear, I could see that no new bumps are forming.

All in all I am incredibly impressed with this mask. It's fun to use, it delivers, and I think mosquitoes might hate the smell (which is a bonus).

Until next time!


07 September 2017

Review: L.A. Girl Double Drama Mascara

I love trying out new mascaras, especially if they are cheap. To me, if I have to throw it out after 3-4 months, there's no way I'm spending upwards of R200 on it, sorry. I like my essence, Catrice, Maybelline, and L'Oreal mascaras, and when I saw that L.A. Girl brought out four mascaras priced at R99.95 each, I knew I wanted to try it.

Please excuse the bad-quality photo, but it's so difficult photographing something with foil lettering! Anyway, I settled on the Double D (Double Drama) mascara. It comes in a swanky black and gold box which is, in my opinion, a waste of cardboard and space, but anyway. The mascara is said to give a false lash effect and "buildable drama". It is supposed to separate and coat your lashes as well as having a buildable and lightweight formula.

The wand is quite big and it has short plastic spikes. What occurred to me initially is how difficult it is to get the wand out of the tube. It's like the tube wrings all the mascara out of the brush wand and you're left with an almost clean and dry brush. I don't know if it's that or if the formula is just very dry, but I am very disappointed with this mascara. It does almost nothing for my lashes, and I have long, well-behaved lashed to begin with, so it's not that hard a task. The spikes separate my lashes, but almost no pigment is deposited onto my lashes. For R99.95 I could have done much better with an essence or Catrice mascara, to be honest.

Have you tried this mascara? What did you think? Did I just get a dud mascara or is this how they all are? Let me know!

Until next time!


04 September 2017

Clinique Promotion: Gift With Purchase

I've always said that where Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotions are concerned, Clarins has the best free minis (travel sizes that are 40% the size of the full product), but Clinique has the best bags. It also seemed that Clinique had the exact same set of minis each time, just with a different bag. This time, however, they've really upped their game in terms of the bag AND the minis.

When you buy two items, one of which should be a treatment product (moisturiser, serum, foundation, or mask), you get this super cute pink makeup bag. It has to be the funnest bag Clinique have ever brought out and I simply love the unicorn keychain picture! Inside the bag are five minis (the sixth one I got as a thank you for shopping online, but more on that later).

Included in the minis are a small pot of Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturiser. This stuff is pretty amazing and this pot should last you a couple of days, so great to pack in for a short holiday or a long weekend away. The texture is very similar to the Neutrogena HydroBoost gel cream.

Also included are two products from the new Pep-Start range. I used to be a big Clinique fan when I was at university back in Stellenbosch, but ever since I moved to Pretoria it's like the products don't really do anything for my skin anymore. That was until Clinique came out with the Pep-Start range.  Both products I've used so far have been fantastic. Here you get a 30 ml tube of the Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser which is like the 7 day scrub, but more mild and less scrubby, so better for everyday use. I've already finished a big tube of this (you can read about it here). You also get a Pep-Start Eye Cream. Now I haven't used this yet, but I am very interested to see what kind of benefits it offers.

On the makeup front there is the usual mascara: the High Impact Mascara in "01 Black". I like the mascara but I sometimes find that the GWP mascaras are a bit dried up, but I'm hoping this one won't be like that. The last item is a mini Chubby Stick in the shade "04 Mega Melon". I've only swatched this, but I'm so excited as I've never owned a Clinique Chubby Stick before. Upon swatching I can feel that it's very silky and creamy, and the rich peach shade is sheer but buildable.

The sixth mini I received because I shopped online, and it's the 2-in-1 Cleansing Micellar Gel + Light Makeup Remover. I'm super excited to try this as I love micellar waters, and I love interesting textures, so I'm very interested to see how this will work.

All in all I am very chuffed with the gift, and now I'll show you what I bought to get it.

Clinique Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask

Oh my goodness. You really don't want to see my face mask stash, it's a bit over the top. No one needs as many masks as I have, but I can honestly say I've never met a mask I didn't like. Ok that's not entirely true, but I like to buy masks and test them out. A while back I tried a Skin Republic Charcoal Bubbling Mask and it was so cool that I'm now totally hooked to any sort of mask that bubbles. When I saw that Clinique brought out a bubbling mask, I was sold. I've tried it once already but this post isn't really for review purposes, it's more of a show-and-tell, so let me know in the comment section if you'd like to see an in-depth review on the mask.

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in "11 Wow Pop"

This is my third pop lipstick (I have a full size "10 Punch Pop" and an adorable mini "09 Sweet Pop" from a previous GWP) and I really can't fault the lipsticks. They are creamy, glide on easily, and stay put for a decent amount of time given that they aren't matte and don't dry down. This shade is quite light and I think I might have underestimated the colour online, but seeing as it's Spring, I'll make it work.

And those were my recent Clinique purchases and gifts. Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!