29 August 2016

The #SouthAfrican Tag

I haven't done a tag in ages and when Melanie from Melanie's Nook tagged me on Twitter to also write a post, I felt that it was a sign. Thanks, Melanie! This isn't a beauty tag but with things going the way they are in our country, I feel that it's important to concentrate on the positives and remember why we love South Africa.

1.   How many cups of coffee do you have per day? What type of coffee and why?
I have 2-3 cups of coffee per day, depending on who I'm with or how my day is going. I love coffee and I'll always have some form of Nespresso, filter coffee, or "machine coffee" from the bean-to-cup machine at work. When I'm out with a friend or running errands and there's a takeaway coffee shop nearby I'll always have a giant cappuccino. In our family coffee has always been a big comfort and a treat. When there was good news and reason to celebrate, we would have coffee around the kitchen table. When there was bad news, we would have coffee around the kitchen table. 

2.  Favorite part of the 7-color Sunday dish?
In our family we didn't do Sunday roasts, we would always braai (barbecue). My favourite part of any braai was always the braaibroodjies (for my English speaking readers: it's basically a sandwich that is toasted on the fire).

3.  What sports team would you spend most of Saturday watching while enjoying a classic South African Braai - Soccer / Rugby / Cricket.
To be honest, I don't watch a lot of sport these days, but if I were spending a Saturday watching some kind of sport and having a braai, it would be rugby. I am a Capetonian at heart so I still support the Stormers and Western Province. On a national level I obviously support the Springboks.

4.  Favorite South African word / + most annoying.
Ahhhhh there are so many cool South African words! My favourite Afrikaans phrase has to be "Ja-nee" (literally meaning "yes no"). I also like "sharp" which could mean many things (usually used as a reply to, "How are you?"). A word that used to be kind of cool but now annoys me is "Eish". It has been over-used, people!

5.  South African treat?
This is a very difficult question... I want to say koeksisters (dough "braids" deep-fried and then dunked in syrup), but I think malva pudding takes the cake for me (no pun intended). Malva pudding is a sweet baked pudding that is drenched in a creamy, buttery sauce and served with ice cream or custard, hmmm!

6.  Which SA DJ rocks your socks?
Oh gosh, I won't say anyone "rocks my socks", but I've always liked Roger Goode and I like Black Coffee as well.

7. Favorite SA personality? Why?
Now that I think about it, there are actually a couple of people in this category. I adore Valiant Swart, Chris Chameleon, and Arno Carstens for their personalities, laid-back attitudes, and of course their music.

Remember, You are beautiful and you were created in God's image for a purpose on this earth.

8.  Favorite Province? Its main attraction?
This is a bit of an unfair question as each province is unique and has their own attractions. I grew up in the Western Cape but I have been living in Gauteng for the past six years. The WC is incredibly beautiful and there's just so. much. to. do! The wine farms and the drives along the ocean are my favourite things. Gauteng is more fast-paced and driven, but there's still beauty. I love the fact that Gauteng is so green. The suburbs of Johannesburg and Pretoria are incredibly green in summer and it's really beautiful. The cities are also bustling with energy and there's something for everyone.

9.  How many South African Languages can you speak?
Two: Afrikaans and English

10. Favorite South African Song?
Hmmm. This is a tough one. I am Afrikaans but I hate modern Afrikaans pop music. I'm not a fan of the "sokkie dansvloer treffer" type music (sort of a redneck barn dance type music). That being said, there is a lot of talent out there and there are many SA bands that I do love. My favourite SA song has to be éVoid - Shadows. It paints a picture of the African bush and I've just always loved the song, no matter who covers it. Another song that I think captures our beautiful country is Johnny Clegg's "Asimbonanga (we have not seen him)" which was re-released after Nelson Mandela's passing. It's a beautifully written song and, although I can't follow all the lyrics, it gives me goosebumps.

11. TV show watched by most South African that's also a must-watch in our family.
We don't watch much TV in our home currently as we both have demanding jobs and when we do get the time to watch something, we watch our own series. When we were very little we would watch "Orkney snork nie" and "Vetkoekpaleis", and "Noot vir Noot" which has been around since forever.

That was my #SouthAfrican tag answers! I hope you enjoyed reading this, I thought it would be nice to do something different for a change. I tag everyone who reads this to also do a post, please let me know when you do so I can go read it!

Until next time!


22 August 2016

Newsflash: Garnier has a New Micellar Water!

Big was my surprise when I walked into Dischem last Tuesday and saw not only a 3-for-2 offer on all things Garnier, but also that they have a new micellar water variant - and  facial wipes! We in South Africa have waited years for the Garnier micellar waters to hit our shores, but this time we're only a few months behind the overseas beauty girls. I'm a big fan of the budget-friendly micellar water range, and today I'm telling you about their new oil-infused cleansing water and wipes.

There are two other Garnier micellar variants (you can read my thoughts here): a pink one for sensitive skin and a blue-green one for oily/combination skin. The pink version also has its own facial wipes. The latest micellar variant is a yellow bottle and is biphase: it has a water part and an oil part that you have to shake to mix. This is aimed at people with dry and sensitive skin, but I reckon anybody will be able to use it. My skin is usually combination oily but the past month or so I have suffered with breakouts and random dry and rough patches, so I reckon this is right up my alley.

Garnier SkinActive Oil-Infused Cleansing Water

Micellar waters in general can be used on the face, lips, and eyes (except for this micellar water). It gently removes any and all makeup and grime. This particular variant is hypoallergenic, which means it won't cause an allergic reaction (there is, however, always exceptions). It's also dermatologically as well as ophthalmologically tested, which means that the product was tested on human skin (although it doesn't say what was tested or what the outcome was), and that it is safe to use on the eyes.

You're supposed to shake it to mix the oil and the water, and then apply it to cotton rounds before wiping it over your skin. It smells almost like The Body Shop's Camomile products, which is a nice change from Garnier's normal unscented micellar water. It's a very comforting scent and I don't find it overpowering. It does a fantastic job of removing my makeup, especially my mascara. Normally after I've removed my eye-makeup I can still feel build-up on my lashes (and end up with black streaks across my finger tips), but I didn't experience it with this micellar water. It removed every last streak of mascara. Afterwards my skin didn't feel oily or stripped, it just felt clean and nourished. I also didn't have any breakouts or rashes.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Wipes

These cleansing wipes are the same soft texture as the pink variant. The scent of this is also a lovely chamomile scent, but it smells slightly different to that of the bottled micellar water. It features the same ingredients and claims as the bottle. I find these not as good value for money as the micellar water, but it works extremely well for travelling or when you simply can't be bothered to go and wash your face. I do not advocate doing this regularly, but when you have a fulltime job and you're moving house while trying to finish a PhD all the same time, some things are going to fall by the wayside!

The wipes are quite wet and do a good job of removing my makeup. I do however feel that they're not entirely as effective as the micellar water, but that is to be expected.

The micellar water is currently on special at Dischem for R69.95 and the wipes are R49.95. Dischem is also currently running a 3-for-2 special on all Garnier facial products until 4 September 2016, so hurry if you want to try out a few things!

Have you tried this oil-infused micellar water? Will you? Let me know...

Until next time!


18 August 2016

Review: Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio

Contouring is a major beauty trend that doesn't seem to be dying down anytime soon. Celebrities and makeup artists share their contouring before-and-afters on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, and the whole world follows. Most brands are now catering for the contouring fans out there and today I'll be sharing Smashbox's contouring sticks.

Now, just as a disclaimer, I am by no means an expert at contouring or bronzing. This is just my opinion and my thoughts on a specific makeup product. If you're not entirely clued up on contouring, you may be asking, what is the difference between contouring and bronzing? Bronzing is a way of enhancing your skin's tone and making it look sunkissed and golden, without going into the sun or applying self-tan. Bronzer is either liquid or powder and is dusted (or tapped) on the points of your face that would normally tan first (think cheeks, chin, tip of the nose). Contouring, on the other hand, is more of a set of products rather than just a single product. Contouring sculpts the face, but in most kits, such as this one, there is a contouring shade, a highlight shade, and a bronze shade. The sculpting (contouring) product is usually the darkest and works to sculpt your face by creating shadows. The highlighter lets the high points of your face glow. It is the lightest shade that pulls the features forward. The bronze shade is a transition shade that eliminates harsh lines by blending the contour and highlight shades.

Bronzing gives you a healthy sunkissed glow, while contouring sculpts your face to make it look more chiselled and sleek. So in short, contouring is a lot more work! Smashbox has made this process so easy with their step-by-step contouring stick trio. I honestly don't have the time to contour in the mornings before work, but I do like playing around with it in the evenings and over weekends. I'm a bit hesitant to use contouring powders as I'm afraid of ending up with harsh lines on my face. Not that a pencil won't do the exact same thing, but these sticks from Smashbox are SO creamy and blend-able, that it is easy to over-blend and blend it in completely.

The set contains three chubby pencils (contouring, bronzing, highlighting), as well as a sharpener and an information booklet. You locate your face shape on the chart and simply follow the instructions of where to draw lines on your face with which pencils. I felt ridiculous the first time I drew lines all over my face, but the end result is worth it! I didn't suddenly end up looking like a supermodel with chiselled cheekbones, but I did look like a more sleek and chiselled version of myself.

I won't lie, these pencils are not cheap. At around R520 for three pencils and a sharpener it is very expensive, but I'm not convinced that you would find another contouring set of this quality for cheaper. That being said, maybe wait until Red Square has a 20% discount or until you have a gift voucher (like I did). Every bit helps...

Have you ever tried these contour sticks? What other contouring products can you recommend? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


15 August 2016

New In: Catrice "Bold softness" LE Collection

Another month another launch of a Catrice limited edition collection! These days the launch of a new Catrice collection has got me all excited, much more so than a new essence launch. I still like essence a lot, but I feel that their limited collections are a bit...young for me. The Catrice collections, on the other hand, are right up my alley. The latest collection called "Bold softness" has just landed in Dischem stores and I've picked up a few products to show you.

Duo Eyeshadow in "C02 Mauve Medley"

These eyeshadows come in three shades, namely this mauve shade, a rosy pink, and a mint green. Being the nude-lover that I am, this seemed right up my alley. Upon initial inspection it looked brown, and when swatching it it looks pinky brown. On the eyes, however, it looks more pinky purple, and is nothing like anything else I own. The colour in the inner circle is lighter and a bit more shimmery and looks good all over the lid. The colour in the outer circle is darker and more matte and is a good crease colour. It's quite buttery and there is minimal fallout. With a primer it lasts quite well. 

Voluminous Lip Color in "C01 NeopRED"

These lipsticks are available in red and pink and both shades are very soft but buildable. Do not expect a vibrant, bold pop of colour. The red is very hydrating and creamy, but that also means that it doesn't last well on the lips. The fact that it is not overly pigmented does, however, mean that it doesn't fade unevenly or get patchy. It doesn't chap my lips and overall I like this as a good everyday lipstick option.

Colour Correcting Powder in "C01 Correction 'n Perfection"

I think this is the product that everyone is most excited for in this collection. The packaging is a beautiful shiny white compact with a mirror. It also clicks shut with a satisfying sound. The powder is creamy and buttery and is super fine and light. It contains three colours, mint, peach, and brown, and there are bubbles embossed in the powder, making it look super cool and luxurious. These past few days I've used it to set my undereye concealer and to smooth over a few textured patches on my skin. I really like this powder and I would recommend you snap this up before it's sold out.

Perfume stick in "C01 Walk on air"

This is such a cool product, and it now lives in my handbag. This is perfume in crayon form. Not a solid perfume that is in a pot, no, this is a pencil. The tip is see-through and slightly jelly-like and glides across the skin smoothly. I just "write" across my skin with the pencil and that's it. It smells fresh and floral, but luckily not sickly sweet. I don't know if you can sharpen this, but when it's blunt I'll give it a try, because it will be a shame if this is the only quantity I can use.

There are also four "Satin matt" nail polishes in the range that look very good, but frankly, I have enough nail polishes so I didn't pick any up.

Have you tried anything from this collection? Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time!


01 August 2016

Personal Post and Life Update - Good News for a Change!

Being the private person that I am, I don't post a lot of personal posts. That and the fact that you are reading my blog because you want to read a beauty and travel blog, not my diary. But sometimes I feel like I need to let people know what's going on. Last year was a shit year, to put it mildly, and 2016 hasn't been the greatest year so far for many people. That being said, today I have some good news for a change and I hope you will forgive the non-beautiness of today's post. I do suppose you can classify this as somewhat of a travel post...

The husband and I bought our very first home and we received the keys in our hands last Tuesday. We were packing, cleaning, painting, and moving all of last week, and I still can't believe we are home owners! I have been sitting on this news for weeks, but I didn't want to tell the whole world until I knew that it was official. These past few weeks have been so stressful with work and my PhD thesis nearing its end and buying the house and packing and making arrangements. As a person who doesn't like change I'm a bit apprehensive, but also incredibly excited to have my OWN house. The house is in the same suburb as where we rented for the past four years, so my route to work is staying the same! I think that has helped quite a lot in this transition period.

I wish I could show you the house, but, this is not that kind of blog either (there is always Twitter, Instagram (@hildegarde_k), and Snapchat (suzyq-tip)). We have a gigantic backyard with grass and trees and the thing I'm looking forward to most is sitting on the porch drinking my morning coffee and looking out over our garden.

Until next time!