24 December 2015

So long, 2015

When you read this the husband and I will be in one of our favourite places in the world: Wilderness. We are staying there for a few nights after which we will be visiting family in George until just after Christmas. Then off to Cape Town to stay with my mom until early in the New Year. I am excited to get away as this has been a long and, mostly, torturous year.

This is my last blog post for 2015 and I'll be back early in January with my favourite things from the past year. I hope you all have a pleasant festive season and that you enjoy the time away from work, wether with family or elsewhere. For those of you who are travelling, please be safe.

I would also like to thank all my readers for your continued support. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my posts, and thank you for all the social media love. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Until next year!


21 December 2015

Benefit's 12 Days of Christmas

Advent calendars are definitely not for pre-school and primary kiddies anymore: more and more beauty brands (not to mention chocolatiers!) are coming out with adult versions of advent calendars. Although the selection is not nearly as exciting in South Africa as in Europe, we are also slowly catching on to the adult advent calendar trend and I for one am very happy with that. 

I bought one of the Benefit Party Poppers packs weeks ago and today I'm going to show you the contents. Normal advent calendars are 24 days (1 December to 24 December), but some brands such as Lush and Benefit are doing more of a "12 days of Christmas" thing where you get 12 gifts instead of 24.

The Benefit Party Poppers pack is filled with beauty minis and they are ideal for popping in your handbag. I already have a couple of these minis, but it's always nice to have extras.


The Total Moisture Facial Cream comes in the cutest little glass post. It's quite a thick cream and it has a lovely fresh scent. The Pore-fessional comes in a 7.5 ml tube which is much larger than the normal mini that they give away at the counter. The Pore-fessional is a tinted facial primer and can be worn alone or under makeup. I love the fact that it immediately smoothes over pores and makes the skin look more even. 


Rockateur is a cheek powder (blush for the rest of us) and is a lovely almost peachy colour. Watt's up! is a golden highlighter and is simply stunning. This mini comes in a metallic tube and twists up, so cute! Another famous highlighter is High Beam. It's a pale pink champagne colour and is also called "supermodel in a bottle".


I was thrilled to get a mini Ooh La Lift as I've heard of it but never tried it. It's a pale pink highlighting liquid that brightens and lifts the under-eye area. There are also two mascaras included in the box: They're Real! and BAD Gal Lash. I actually would have liked another Roller Lash mascara, as I don't really get on with They're Real!, but I'll give it another go. The final eye product is the They're Real! Remover which is a waterproof eye makeup remover.


There were two lipglosses in the box: Sugarbomb and Hoola. Sugarbomb is basically the lipgloss shade to match the Sugarbomb blush, and Hoola is the gloss shade to match the Hoola bronzer. Sugarbomb is a pinky brown with golden shimmer, and Hoola is a beautiful golden honey with golden shimmer. The final product is Lollitint which is both a lip and cheek stain and is a light pink-purple shade.

I loved opening this advent calendar and I would gladly have paid twice the money for a full 24-day advent calendar. It doesn't look like it's available online anymore, but perhaps you can get it from one of the Benefit counters at Edgars.

Until next time!


17 December 2015

New Collection: Wet N Wild Silver Lake

I was browsing the makeup isles of a different Clicks than usual, and I spotted a new collection on the Wet N Wild shelf. There wasn't really any info about it, but from what I could gather from the internet is that it's called "Silver Lake" (not the one in Pretoria East, ha!) and that it came out in the northern hemisphere's spring. So this collection is actually quite a few months old already, but it seems that we've received it to coincide with our summer, which makes sense. Because the collection has already been discontinued overseas, I am having trouble locating official images showcasing the entire collection. The only products I saw at Clicks were nail polishes and eyeshadow palettes, but I don't know if there are more items in the collection.

Eyeshadow palette in "Vinyl collection"

There are five eyeshadow palettes, each containing six shadows. The palettes all contain pastels and range from blushes and pinks to blues, to turquoise and marine shades, to an orchid-inspired palette, to nudes. Obviously I went for the nudes because as pretty as the other palettes are, I can't see myself applying blue or blush eyeshadow.

"Vinyl collection" contains warm toned autumnal colours. There is one matte shade, two metallic sheeny shades, two shades with shimmer, and one with full-on glitter. The matte camel colour (top left) is silky and buttery and is great for using all over the lid. The shadow top right is a bronzy gold with glitter, but looks beautiful at night. The second row contains a shimmery gold (more yellow than the previous shade) and a metallic taupe. The bottom row contains a metallic khaki green and a shimmery rich cocoa brown with gold shimmer particles. All the shades apply beautifully and blend well. I like wearing the camel shade all over the lid with the metallic taupe and the cocoa brown in the crease. Wear-time is what we've come to expect from Wet N Wild, as is the price. I think this palette was around R75 which is very good value for money considering you get six good-quality eyeshadows.

Nail polishes

There are six nail polishes in the collection, all creamy and pastel. I bought four but only kept three as one is part of a Christmas gift. There is a watermelon pink ("Warm filter"), a shimmery periwinkle ("Wear skinny jeans"), a mint green ("Tree hugger"), a lilac ("Reject the mainstream"), and then a pinky nude and a mushroom grey nude.

I haven't worn any of the nail polishes, but I'm pretty sure it's going to apply - and wear - like a dream. You can go take a look here for swatches.

The more I look at photos of the other eyeshadow palettes on the internet, the more I wonder how I would look with blush shades on my eyes... Be right back, just going to Clicks quickly!

Until next time!


14 December 2015

A Merry Berry Christmas

I have said it before, but the limited edition collections from essence are a bit of a hit and miss for me. Some are mesmerising, while others are a bit "meh". The 2015 Christmas collection from them, however, is simply stunning.

As you can see I bought most of the collection. From the moment I saw the first picture of this collection on Twitter, I just knew it was going to fly off the shelves. I think I bought everything except the eyeshadows.


I have been pleasantly surprised by essence lipsticks in the past, and this time is no exception. There are three shades in the Merry Berry collection: 01 Let's the berry tales begin, 02, Pink & Perfect, and 03 Red rocks (from left to right in the bottom photo). Number 01 is a purple plum shade and looks very vampy. Number 02 is a very dark pink, and number 03 is a dark red-pink colour. All three colours are more suited to winter, but can be pulled off in summer nonetheless.

The lipsticks are extremely creamy and pigmented. They don't last the whole day, but fade evenly and reapplying doesn't leave me with gross lips. Even though the finish is matte, the texture is comfortable and doesn't dry out my lips, yay! All in all these are a fabulous buy if you're looking for some punchy lipsticks.

Nail polishes

For most people, these are the stars of the show. I mean, just look at the cute bottles with the gold lettering and the domed lids! There are four colour polishes and one glittery top coat. The colours are (from left to right): 01 The masked ball, 02 Purple with purpose, 03 Pink & perfect, 04 Red rocks, and 01 I love my golden pumps. Number 01 is a very dark blue purple and I think it would look great paired with the "Let's the berry tales begin" lipstick. Numbers 02 and 03 are dark purples: 02 is a gorgeous bright shimmery purple, whereas 03 is more of a reddish purple (the name also corresponds to that of one of the lipsticks). Number 04 is a beautiful dark pink and also corresponds to one of the lipsticks. The glittery top coat is a clear polish with different sized gold glitter which looks gorgeous painted over any of the previous nail polishes.

The brushes are quite big and the polishes are very creamy. One coat left me with opaque nails which is an odd find in such a cheap drugstore brand. I love the colours but my favourites are the bright purple (number 02) and the dark pink (04).

Scented gold dust powder - 01 I love my golden pumps

I have to admit, I bought this solely for the bottle. How cute is the little golden "potion" bottle with the old-fashioned perfume pump?! One pump releases a puff of fine golden shimmer. I'm not one for body glitter, but this is quite fine and can be subtle if you are light-handed.

Hair fragrance (mist) - 01 I love my golden pumps

Apparently hair mists are going to be the next craze. This bottle contains very fine glitter and smells like vanilla. Whenever I'm wearing this the husband sniffs my hair and tells me I smell nice, so I suppose you can say it's husband-approved!

Highlighter - 01 I love my golden pumps

This highlighter is just gorgeous. The compact is the standard essence blush-bronzer-highlighter packaging but the highlighter itself is gorgeous... Lots of little embossed stars make up the highlighter which is a beautiful subtle shimmery gold. It's not incredibly pigmented so you can't go overboard and end up looking like a disco ball.

I bought the collection at Dischem, but I know Clicks stores also stock it. I bought mine more than a month ago and I'm still seeing it in stores, so there's still time to grab a few stocking fillers!

Until next time!


10 December 2015

Festive Nail Art: Christmas Lights

I haven't had time to experiment with nail art designs for quite some time, so it was a nice change to sit and play around with different colours. I saw a photo of Christmas lights nail art on Polishpedia and I wanted to see if I could copy it. Mine didn't come out nearly as nice as theirs, but for a first try I suppose it isn't too bad. 

What you will need

A comfortable workspace with good lighting
Old towel

Base coat 
Coloured polish: white, black, red, green
Top coat
Quick dry drops (optional)
Polish remover 
Small angled brush 
Dotting tool or very fine nail art brush
Cotton rounds

Step-by-step tutorial

Starting off with clean, dry nails, paint a layer of base coat on your nails. You can use any base coat you like, I used the Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base & Top Coat. Let it dry.

Next, paint on two coats of white nail polish, letting each coat dry before painting on the next one. You can use any opaque white nail polish, I used Essie "Blanc" as it gives a nice opaque finish in two coats and doesn't take forever to dry.

When the white coats are dry, take your polish remover and the angled brush to gently remove any polish that might have landed on your cuticles or your skin. I love the essence Nail Art nail polish remover and the UBU angled eyeliner brush for this. You can use a cotton bud, but I find that sometimes the fibres get stuck in the polish, or that the tip is too fat and you end up taking off the polish on your nails too.

Now on to the scary fun part. You will need your other polishes as well as a tool to create your "string" and your lights. I used essence Nail Art Stampy Polish in "002 stamp me! black" as it is very opaque. For the coloured lights I used Mavala in "Cuzco" and Barry M in "Green Berry". You can use different colours if you want, anything goes! My dotting tool is from essence, but you can use the head of a pin, a bobby pin, or even a toothpick. My dotting tool wasn't fine enough so my "string" came out too thick. A very fine nail art brush wouldn't worked better, but I unfortunately don't seem to own anything like that!

Take the dotting tool (or brush) and the black polish and create a pattern for your string. I more or less followed the pattern on Polishpedia, but you can create any design you like. Then go in with the red polish and create little elongated splodges (that's a technical term) for your lights. When you're done with the red, go in with the green (or whichever colours you prefer). 

When your nails are dry, and I mean *really* dry, paint on your top coat. If your nail art isn't completely dry, the top coat will streak the colours and create a mess. For my top coat I chose Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat as I absolutely cannot live without it. I like to follow that with a few drops per nail of the essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops: it dries your manicure and hydrates your cuticles in one go.

And there's the final product! Let me know if you would like to see more tutorials. I'm going to go look for cheap nail art brushes for my next project, any ideas on where to get them cheap?

Until next time!


07 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

Seeing as it is December and everyone around me is going mental for Christmas tunes and striped stockings, I thought I'd get into the swing of Christmassy things here on the blog. What better way to kick it off than with a Christmas Tag! I hope you enjoy reading this and please leave a comment below if you'll also be doing this tag on your blog, I'd love to read it.

1.What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

This is going to sound very cynical, but to me, all Christmas movies have the same storyline. The average guy doesn't like Christmas, he magically gets transported to the North Pole, something happens to Santa and he has to jump in to help deliver present, the spirit of Christmas hits him, he believes in Christmas, and he makes it back in time to give his son/daughter their Christmas gift. Secretly, I love these movies... That being said, I think my favourite Christmas movie has to be The Nightmare Before Christmas (whose plot isn't too far off from what I described above!). To me that movie depicts the perfect balance of Christmas cheer and darkness.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

When I was a child and couldn't stay awake until midnight, we would open presents on Christmas morning, but for the past 20 years or so we open our presents on Christmas Eve. 

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

When I was much younger my eldest brother and his family lived far away and we didn't get to see them too often. He would tell us that he won't be able to come home for Christmas, but then their car would stop in front of our house a day or two before Christmas; that was always his Christmas gift to us. I still remember how happy we all were. My best Christmas memories are where my whole family were together (mom, dad, both brothers and their families).

4. Favourite festive food?

Oh my goodness...this has to be the thing that I love the most about the festive season! I basically love everything, but if I had to choose it would be my mom's roasted leg of lamb and her trifle for dessert.

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

That is a difficult one... I tend to be easily pleased when it comes to gifts, but the most recent favourite gift I received was a Nespresso machine from my husband a few years ago.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

I love the smell of the Christmas tree and the tinsel when you take it out of the box after a year! Apart from that I love the smell of fruit cake, maybe more than I like the taste!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

In our family everyone comes together (usually at my mom's house) on Christmas Eve and we dine on cheese, crackers and cold meats and drink wine and cocktails that my mom and I invent. The Christmas tree's lights are on in the background and there is usually some or other Christmas show on the TV or carols playing on the stereo. Then at midnight we open our presents.

8. What tops your tree?

A big golden star, of course!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I always wanted an electric train set (dad said those were for boys) and one of those chemistry sets where you get test tubes filled with all kinds of powder that you can do experiments with (mom said it was too dangerous).

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?

I really struggle with Christmas as I want to love and embrace it, but it is also a very sad time for me. That being said, the best part about Christmas for me is being with family. Even though I don't see them very often, family is everything.

Until next time!