28 February 2019

Monthly Favourites: February

Just like that, it's been just over two months since Christmas! It's like time speeds up more and more each year. There are a lot of favourites this month, both skincare and makeup.


As far as skincare goes, there's a lot of new stuff I've been loving this past month. The Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser was part of a K-Beauty travel bag I bought from Glow Theory. I've been using this cleanser in the morning when showering. It's a clear gel that smells like tea tree oil (one of the main ingredients). It lathers up instead of foaming and it cleans my skin without stripping it. My skin feels fresh and clean afterwards. Another K-Beauty product that made the cut is the Cosrx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. It contains 96% snail excretion (apparently no snails were harmed in the making of this product) which sounds terribly disgusting but it has so many skincare benefits. It's apparently good for hydration as well as taking care of scarring, premature aging, and dry patches. The essence is quite sticky and if you're wondering, it doesn't smell like anything. I take two small pumps on my palms and pat it into my skin after using a toner and before using my serum. I don't think I've used it long enough to say if the claims are valid (I've used it for a couple of weeks and it barely looks like I've used it!) but I can feel that it certainly hydrates my skin. The third and last K-Beauty product for this post is the newly-released Huxley Secret of Sahara Good Night Sleep Mask. At R435 for 100 ml this is quite inexpensive for a sleeping mask, in my opinion. It's formulated with prickly pear cactus extract which is the new buzzword in skincare (as far as I've read). It is high in antioxidants which is always a good thing for a skincare product! It also includes Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. It's a silky gel cream that sinks into the skin beautifully. The next morning I wake up with plump, clear, and hydrated skin. A definite winner.

Another overnight mask that I've been loving this past month is the Bioderma HydraBio Moisturising Mask for sensitive and dehydrated skin. It's a white gel cream that reminds me of the Avene soothing mask, just a but thicker. I slather it on at night after all my toners and essences and it sinks into the skin completely. This also leaves me with soft and plump skin the next morning. The last skincare favourite is a new lip balm that I discovered after losing the lipbalm I always carry in my handbag. The La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Barrier Repairing Balm can be applied to the lips and anywhere else where skin is dry and chapped. It contains 5% Panthenol to soothe and repair skin. It's a thick cream and it tastes sweet (I always taste lip balms, ok!). After applying it to my lips I can still feel it's there an hour later, which to me is quite amazing. It doesn't feel waxy or greasy on the lips, it just feels like a comfortable creamy lipstick. I recently fell and have scabs on my arm that started to dry out and itch. I applied the balm to the itchy area and within two applications the itching was gone and the area felt hydrated and supple.


There were two oldies from the drugstore that I used this month but I don't think I've ever mentioned them in a favourites post. The first is the NYX Blush in "Pinched" which is supposedly a dupe for NARS' Orgasm. It's a beautiful pink with golden shimmer running through it. I find it really perks up my complexion and especially on mornings where I don't have time to apply blush AND highlight, I just use this. The second oldie is Benefit's Erase Paste. I believe this has been repackaged and renamed as the Boi'ing concealer, but I could be wrong. This little pot is perfect for your handbag or travel bag. It's a salmon concealer, a corrector, to be more specific. I use it on the dark circles under my eyes to counteract the blue hue of my skin. Afterwards I go in with my normal concealer on top. It's very creamy and blendable and it does the job of hiding my dark circles.

I bought the Wet N Wild PhotoFocus Pressed Powder in "Neutral Beige"  a while ago but I've only recently started using it. It's a pressed powder and I use it with a big fluffy kabuki brush to dust over my T-zone to set my makeup in place. It's a nice little compact, the packaging is sturdy, and the powder does the job of setting my makeup. I do, however, have to be light-handed with this as it can look cakey if I pile too much of it on. Another Wet N Wild product that made the list this month is the PhotoFocus Natural Finish Setting Spray. I love the dinky little bottle and the spray is quite fine and even, no one likes big droplets of water ruining their makeup! It makes my makeup last throughout the day and it doesn't make me look shiny or too matte, it's just the right middle ground. My last favourite for the month is the essence I Need A Miracle Volumizing & Strengthening Mascara. It's supposed to have a lash tinting complex that tints your lashes over time, but I can't speak to that. The wand is slightly hourglass-shaped and the bristles are far enough apart to comb through your lashes, coating each one in mascara. At first I didn't really like it, but as the formula dried down slightly, I've been loving it more and more. This is a super affordable mascara and it makes my lashes look thick and long. There is no clumping and it transfers minimally to my brow bone. All in all, I really like this mascara.

Which of these products have you used before? Let me know in the comment section!

Until next time!


25 February 2019

Empties Post #15: Skincare

I know my previous post was also an empties post, but I really have a lot of them to get through so sorry if it feels like that is all I post! I promise Thursday's post will be fresh and new...

It also feels like every second empties post I do contains skincare! That's probably because I love trying out new skincare, and because it's something that I use every day, twice a day.


I don't know exactly why I bought the Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Cell Renewal Serum (I think it was because Nivea was on a 3-for-2 promotion), but I won't repurchase. It has the same texture and smell as Nivea body moisturisers, and although I love a good Nivea body lotion, I didn't feel that this did anything for my (facial) skin. The Clarins Double Serum, on the other hand, was far more expensive, but a pleasure to use. If it revolutionised my skin I can't say, but I did notice that my skin was more plump and youthful with continued use. Will I repurchase? I don't know... I like it but it's quite expensive so I'd probably repurchase only if it was on promotion.


The cheapest of the three moisturisers is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. I've gone through two pots of this (I bought one and then I won a pot as part of a competition) and I might just purchase a third one. It has the same texture and feel as the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser but at a fraction of the price. It really hydrated my skin well and it doesn't make my skin feel heavy or sticky. I wrote a blog post on the Hydro Boost range that you can read here. Keeping with the "hydro" moisturisers: the Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer honestly didn't blow me away. It's supposed to hydrate your skin as well as smooth out imperfections, but I found it to be very average. I got it on promotion and honestly, if I hadn't received a discount I would feel like I wasted my money. It's alright, but it's not great and I wouldn't repurchase. The Kiehl's Ultra Facial range is the OG of Kiehl's skincare: no mess, no fuss, just simple and straightforward skincare. I enjoyed using the Ultra Facial moisturizer but...I prefer something a bit more interesting (texture, smell, feel). It does what it says on the tin, but I just got a bit bored with it. I might repurchase this small size for traveling, but not the large size.

Which of these products have you used before? Let me know in the comment section!

Until next time!


* All the products mentioned in this post were purchased by me.

11 February 2019

Empties Post #14: Toners, Essences, and Thermal Spring Waters

This isn't a category that I thought I'd ever do an entire empties blog post on, but here we are. I love a good facial spritz/mist and recently I've been very into toners as a second step in my skincare routine.

Thermal Spring Water

I used up both the Avène Thermal Spring Water and the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. I honestly can't say if there's a difference between the two, but I enjoyed using both. I use thermal spring water as a toner and to refresh my skin during the day. Would I repurchase? Definitely (on both counts).


Oddly enough I have three products from The Body Shop in this category. The British Rose Petal-Soft Gel Toner is a favourite in my beauty cabinet. It's quite a thick gel toner that I apply with a cotton pad after cleansing. I have used this as part of my take on the 7 skin method (it's a K-beauty ritual where you put layers and layers of toner on your skin for optimal hydration, but I only do three or four layers) and it works beautifully. I have repurchased and I will again! The Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion has a similar function but it's much thinner and doesn't smell nearly as nice as the British Rose one. I have repurchased it but next time I'd rather buy the British Rose one. The Drops of Youth Youth Fresh Emulsion is kind of a weird product and I'm actually not too sure if it fits into the essence category or the serum category. For the price I would have hoped for a bigger bottle and I honestly can't see a difference in my skin. I wouldn't repurchase. The Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner is also perfect for the 7 skin method and is a really fuss-free product. It doesn't contain fragrance and it's very good value for money. I bought a small bottle on Glow Theory and afterwards repurchased the big bottle. I think I will repurchase this again!

Exfoliating Toner

The last product of the post is Pixi's Glow Tonic. This isn't available in the country but there are a few alternatives that I think would work just as well. One is the exfoliating toner from Clarins and I see REN also has one. Glow Tonic works well as a step between toning and moisturising at night, but I won't say it's groundbreaking. It's very gentle and that's probably why I didn't really see a difference in my skin. If I had the opportunity I'd rather purchase some of Pixi's other skincare products!

Which of these products have you used before? Let me know in the comment section.

Until next time!


04 February 2019

K-Beauty Haul

I am obsessed with K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) and I've just received my fourth Glow Theory order. Every time I order from them I think, I need to post my haul, and then I forget and end up using everything before I can get a chance to take photos. So what I'll do in this post is give a quick list of what I've bought in the past and then show you in detail what I bought this time. In future posts I will go into more detail regarding K-Beauty, but for now let's just stick to hauls.

My First Couple of Hauls

For my first haul I bought the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in "Berry" (it's nice and thick but I won't say it transforms my lips), J.One Black Jelly Pack (Holy Grail status pending, it's an amazing product!), A'Pieu Milk Sheet Mask in "Banana" (fantastic sheet mask, it left my skin so soft and plump), The Saem Natural Red Ginseng Sheet Mask (haven't used it yet), and the J.One Jelly Pack Vita 2-Step Mask (sheet mask and jelly pack - have only used the jelly pack and I absolutely love it for before makeup).

For my second haul I bought the Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner (love this), the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner (love this too), Leaders Amino Moisture Sheet Mask (haven't used it yet), A'Pieu Milk Sheet Mask in "Green Tea" (this is even better than the banana one), Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch (haven't used it yet, also not sure why I bought it...), and Cosrx Clear Fit Master Patch (haven't had a pimple to use it on yet!)

For my third haul I bought a bigger version of the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner as well as the "Glow-trotter Travel Kit" which I unfortunately can't find a photo of. It had a lot of travel sizes and samples which I took with me on holiday in December, but I will probably blog about that at a later stage.

For my fourth haul I decided on three products: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad, and Huxley Good Night Sleep Mask.

The Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is a cult favourite under K-Beauty junkies. It promises to visibly repair and revitalise skin and it helps with acne scarring, dehydrated skin, premature aging, sensitivity, dry patches, you name it. I've only used it once and the slightly sticky gel texture is quite interesting. It did leave my skin nice and plump so I have high hopes!

These soaked cotton pads are like the exfoliating pads you get, except these are for exfoliation and hydration. They contain Propolis extract and hyaluronic acid to leave skin smooth and clear. Propolis extract is apparently an antiseptic that is good for soothing red and inflamed skin. Hyaluronic acid, as we all know, is for hydration as it attracts and retains water to keep skin nice and plump.

You know I love a good face mask so when I saw this I had to get it. The Huxley Good Night Sleep Mask contains prickly pear seed oil which is extremely rich in antioxidants. It's a nourishing overnight sleeping mask that hydrates and energises the skin. It comes in such cool packaging (a cardboard tube with a tin lid) and it smells delicious but not overpowering. I tried it on the back of my hand and it's not sticky at all and sinks into the skin immediately, so no ruined pillow cases! At R435 (for 120g - about the size of a full-size Origins tube mask) this was the most expensive item of the three, so yes, K-beauty is very affordable.

I also received a few samples to try out (samples are included in every order). I've received Pyunkang Yul samples before but more doesn't hurt! I also received a sample of the Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream which I almost bought in any case.

I wanted to buy more products (I am obsessed and I had a birthday discount code, why not?) but they were all sold out. I'll just have to place another order then...

Have you every used any of these products before? Which of them look interesting to you? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time!