13 November 2017

Review: Garnier Skin Active Hydra Bomb Tissue Masks

Whenever new face masks launch there is quite a buzz surrounding it, especially when it's affordable and from the drugstore. Recently Garnier launched three sheet masks (tissue masks) and people have been going crazy for it.

There are three variants in this "Moisture Bomb" range: Pomegranate Super-hydrating Revitalising mask for dehydrated skin (blue), Super-hydrating Rebalancing Mask for normal to combination skin (green), and Super-hydrating Soothing Mask for dry and sensitive skin (pink). The blue mask contains pomegranate, the green one green tea extract, and the pink one chamomile.

The face masks each come with a gauze backing that you remove when applying it. The face masks are quite large and will fit any size face. My only gripe is that the holes for the eyes and the mouth are too small. There are little tears in the sheet mask that allow for stretching, but I find that these are not enough for me. My face is quite big and my features large, so I have to take a pair of scissors and make extra cuts at the outer corners of the eyes and the mouth. I've found that works and that cutting the parts next to the nose hole on each side also works. You're still left with a single sheet mask, but now the nose flap is only connected to the forehead part, if that makes sense.

The masks are soft and drenched in moisture. There's nothing worse than just a damp face mask - it needs to be almost soaking wet. That being said, there's no moisture dripping off the mask, everything stays put.

The instructions say to leave the masks on for 15 minutes, but I usually leave it on for 30-45 minutes. At about 45 minutes I can feel the mask getting slightly drier and that to me is the sign that it's time to remove it. You can, however, leave it on for even longer, but I wouldn't ever sleep with a sheet mask on. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night with a sheet mask that moved and is busy suffocating you??

I don't feel a big difference between the three face mask variants, but I do really like all three. All three leave my skin feeling incredibly juicy and plumped up. My skin feels soft and hydrated and anything I put on top of it (like a facial oil or moisturiser) glides right on.

At between R49.95 and R54.95 each they aren't the cheapest sheet masks (both the Skin Republic and Sorbet masks are cheaper), but I still think they're great value for money. I bought mine from Foschini when they had a 3-for-2 offer on all Garnier face products, and I see my local Clicks and Dishem now also stock them. These stores also regularly have 3-for-2 promotions on Garnier products, so then it'll work out roughly R33.30 each which is an absolute bargain.

Have you ever tried these masks? What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


09 November 2017

Travel Post: What to Pack for a Holiday in Italy (Clothes)

In the previous blog post I showed you my toiletry, makeup, and on-board skincare bags. Today we're talking clothes and what I'm wearing on an overnight flight to Frankfurt and Rome.

I've tried to follow A Pair And A Spare's 5-4-3-2-1 rule (you can read about it here). The 5-4-3-2-1 is a method to keep you from overpacking: 5 tops (tops, shirts, jackets, knits, everything that goes on "top"), 4 bottoms (skirts, shorts, pants, jeans), 3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 bags, 1 hat, 1 watch, 1 pair of sunglasses, and unlimited underwear and accessories. I was very good in keeping to most of this, but I just felt like packing more tops were necessary. November is autumn in Italy and I have no idea what the weather will be like - will it be a Pretoria 20 degrees or a Cape Town 20 degrees? I also didn't want to pack too heavily so I decided on 9 tops (1 tank top, 3 T-shirts, 2 long-sleeved tops, 2 very thin long-sleeved knitwear-like tops (almost like waterfall cardigans), and 1 thick jersey), 3 bottoms (1 pair of black leggings, 1 pair of flower print leggings, 1 pair of boyfriend jeans), 2 dresses (cream and black maxi dress, denim shirt dress), 2 pairs of shoes (1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of canvas sneakers), 2 bags (1 large tote, 1 small cross-body bag), 1 hat (plain sunhat), 1 pair of sunglasses, 1 watch (my Fitbit), and a pashmina.

All the short-sleeved tops as well as the flower print leggings and the denim shirt dress are maternity wear and the rest are "normal" clothes. I've just now realised that all my clothes with the exception of the thick jersey (Pick N Pay Clothing) and belt (Spree) are from Mr Price, H&M, and Woolworths! The tank top, two waterfall cardigans, maxi dress, denim shirt dress, and pajamas are from Mr Price. The three T-shirts (black, white, white with black stripes), both pairs of leggings, the pashmina, and the sneakers are from H&M. The rest - the two long-sleeved shirts, boyfriend jeans, sandals, and cross body bag are all from Woolworths.

Not pictured are three bras, six pairs of underwear, six pairs of secret socks, a sun hat, and a pair of sunglasses. The plan is to do laundry halfway through our trip, and I'm also wearing an outfit on the plane out of this selection.

What I'm wearing on an overnight flight

I normally travel in jeans, but an overnight flight asks for something different. Would you really like to sleep in jeans? I think not. I'll be wearing the denim shirt dress with the black leggings, socks, sneakers, and the long waterfall cardigan. I'll also make sure to wear a comfortable cotton bra (I bought two from PnP that are more like crop tops). I also need to wear compression socks (sexy!) during the flights so I'll wear those underneath my leggings.

And there you have it, a fashion-type post on this blog! I hope you enjoyed it. Please stay tuned for more travel content in coming days.

Until next time!


06 November 2017

Travel Post: What to Pack for a Holiday in Italy (Toiletries)

When this post goes live the husband and I will be in Rome, Italy. In today's post I will be taking you through my toiletry and makeup bags. The toiletries fit into my Vichy travel bag and my makeup fits into a small Clinique makeup bag, win! I'm only packing minis and where I don't have minis I decanted the products into smaller travel containers. I also bought two new travel bottles which I am very excited to use, but more on that later.


I managed to pack all my skincare into a handluggage sized clear plastic bag. I prefer to do it this way so I have all my skincare together in one place, and if something leaks, it doesn't leak into my entire toiletry bag. I normally take my Dermalogica travel kit with me, but some of the tubes are a bit on the empty side and I didn't feel like spending R800 on five minis... Instead I packed a travel size Clinique Pep Start 2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser (you can read about it here), mini Dermalogica eye cream with SPF, Dermalogica hydrating mist decanted into a Clinique bottle (do all Dermalogica spray bottles have horrible misters??), Dermalogica Active Moist moisturiser, mini Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum (for nighttime), sample size Avène Hydrance Optimal serum (for day), mini REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask, Garnier Micellar water travel size, a facial sponge, cotton earbuds (I used an old Catrice nail art packaging), and cotton rounds (I got the container at Dischem).

Body Care

I decanted shower gel (Nivea oil show cream) into a QVS travel bottle from Woolworths. I used to have two of these (one for shampoo and one for conditioner), but the other one's cap cracked and broke. For shampoo and conditioner I have two silicone travel bottles from Clicks. They're squishy and leak proof and I'm very excited to use them. I'm thinking on doing a separate post on it after properly testing them. I decanted my Tresemme shampoo and conditioner into these containers. The larger bottle is obviously for my conditioner!

I also have a wide tooth comb, my Venus travel size razor, Sorbet body butter, travel size Batiste dry shampoo, The Body Shop Sun Defence sunscreen, Nivea sunscreen for body, teeny tiny Bio-Oil, and samples of the Palmer's stretch mark cream and tummy butter. Not pictured are aftersun lotion decanted into a small bottle (good 'ol Freeze from Dischem), deodorant (Nivea for black and white clothes), a wash cloth, and a shower lily. The husband's toiletry bag is quite empty so I'm going to try and sneak the Nivea into his bag so mine is a bit lighter...


As for makeup, I'm pretty much packing the things that were in my previous monthly favourites post. Travel sized Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, L.A. Girl Pro HD BB cream in "Fair", Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer in "02 Beige", Catrice Prime and Fine pressed powder (this is a new purchase but I have used it in the past), Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge, Wet N Wild PhotoFocus eyeshadow primer (I need to use this even if I'm not wearing eyeshadow), Maybelline Color Tattoo in "On and on bronze", travel size EcoTools blending brush, essence Kabuki brush, L.A. Girl Slim Shade brow pencil in "Brunette", Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Filler brow mascara in "Deep brown", and a sample Clinique High Impact mascara. Not pictured is my essence Matte setting spray which I forgot to photograph. You'll see that there are no lip products. I only plan on taking one or two lipsticks and I'll only use them when we go out at night, so I'm still deciding what to take.

On-board skincare

Now this is a step that many people see as unecessary, but for me it is absolutely necessary. If I sweat a lot, or if the day just becomes too long, and I have mascara on, then my eyes start to sting and I just get miserable. Also, you'd take your makeup off before going to sleep at your house, so what's different when you're sleeping in the air? I packed another hand luggage sized plastic bag (this one had lots of Dove travel sizes in - I wanted a new one but couldn't find it at my Clicks). In it I packed Nivea 3-in-1 cleansing facial wipes, a travel size Avène thermal spray, travel size Dove deodorant (why don't they sell minis here??), earplugs, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream decanted into one of those small Lush sample pots, and a sample Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturiser, and a travel size Clinique Pep-Start eye cream.

When we're tucked into our seats on the plane I'll remove my makeup with a facial wipe, apply some eye cream, spritz my face, and apply some moisturiser. Lip balm is an important last step. Upon waking up the next morning I'll pretty much repeat the process, but maybe also splash my face with some water in the bathroom before applying my eye cream and things and then also brushing my teeth (they usually give us little travel pouches with travel toothbrushes and toothpaste on overnight flights).

I am also taking medication (anti-clotting injections, prenatal vitamins, Panado's, nasal spray, Corenza Para-C, and Kentraxil) on the plane with me. As for entertainment I am taking magazines and my iPod. I'm also taking my Canon DSLR in a Lowepro bag.

And that's it for my travel skincare, makeup, and in-flight bags! I hope I'm not packing too much but I also hope I'm not forgetting anything important!

Until next time!


02 November 2017

Travel Post: Off to Italy!

The husband and I have been uhmm-ing and aaah-ing about where to go for our fifth wedding anniversary for months. We were set on going to Zanzibar because it is (1) affordable, (2) close, and (3) reminds us of our honeymoon in Mauritius (not the same place, but still an island getaway). Then we found out that I was pregnant, so Zanzibar was out of the question (it's classified as a malaria zone). Then we started thinking about going to Europe... The last time I was in Europe was in 2014 and I absolutely loved it. (The husband was there briefly in 2016 for work, but that doesn't really count.) We initially wanted to go to Greece, but in the end Italy won the battle. This will be for our fifth wedding anniversary, as well as a "baby moon" as it will be the last proper holiday we'll be going on as just a couple.

We're going for little over a week and we'll be spending three nights in Rome, two nights in Florence, and two nights in Venice. I am deliriously excited as I've always wanted to go to Italy. The husband has also never been there, so it'll be a good adventure for us both. I'm a bit sad that I won't get to taste proper Italian wine, but I'll make sure that we pack a bottle or three into our suitcases for when I can have wine again. I will unfortunately not be able to drink all the coffee I want, but I intend on eating all the pizza, pasta, and gelato. I already have a list of the best places in Rome to order certain foods and I'm very excited to work my way through that list! I also look forward to all the sights and sounds and I'm very excited to see all the museums and cathedrals and to soak up the history.

I'm planning a travel series on our trip which will include a "What to pack" in terms of clothes, toiletries, and on-board goodies. I'll also do a series of posts on where we were, what we saw, and what we ate, so check in regularly so you don't miss anything. I will try to Instagram the trip as we go (wifi permitting), so please also check that account.



*Photo of Florence with thanks from Pixabay.