Grazia: Kiss, Blush & Tell feature

Monday, 17 October 2016

Such a big thank you to Grazia who featured Kiss, Blush & Tell in this weeks edition. Really happy with how the feature came out. Pick up your own copy in stores this week to read the full interview where I chat about my signature scents, anti-ageing secrets and much more!

Michael Kors Signature Eau de Parfum & Wonderlust Eau de Parfum Review

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Today's review is on two scents from Michael Kors that I hadn't tried before; Signature which is their cult classic and one that I was SUPER excited about and Wonderlust which is their latest launch and has just hit shelves. I have tried a bunch of scents from the brand before this and, have to say, I really have never been disappointed. I am not sure how many of you think of Michael Kots fragrances when on the hunt for a gift or a new scent for yourself, but I really can recommend them. Below are my thoughts:

Michael Kors Signature Eau de Parfum

I have been DYING to try this out for a good year or so. I know a bunch of readers have also been asking questions around which MK fragrance is my best and, having only tried their newer perfumes, I wasn't able to give my thoughts on Signature which is their oldest and most classic, in my mind.

My first encounter with this scent was that my old boss used to wear it all the time and I always used to ask her what it was. It's the type of scent that would become anyone's go-to scent on a daily basis as it really is classic, feminine and soft - nothing you would get too bored of. The notes include: Dewy Freesia, Tamarind, Chinese Osmanthus, Incense, Fresh Tuberose, White Wings Peony, Blue Orris, Arum Lilies, Cashmere Woods, Musk and Vetiver Haiti which means it is floral, sophisticated, sensual and warm.

What I love most about this scent is how well it lasts (literally ALL day), however, is never too over-powering. A few spritz's is all you need. The actual juice really is that 'rich lady' scent - classy and elegant! The Tuberose is the note that stands out the most and it is strong, so you need to be a fan of that scent (which is not hard to love).

Having used this scent for a few weeks I can totally understand the cult following that this has gained and when I am asked for a fragrance recommendation (which is a question I always seem to get) this will be a top-runner on that list, hands-down. It's that type of scent that you could buy for just about anyone and most ages (no one too young though - think 20 years and up). Someone has complimented me just about every day that I have worn this scent, just like I used to do with my boss.

This is a goodie and a scent that is not raved about and spoken about enough. Do yourself a favour and give it a sniff next time you are in store!
30ml - R1035
50ml - R1225
100ml - R1495

Michael Kors Wonderlust Eau de Parfum

As I mentioned, this scent has just hit the shelves and launched with the most beautiful advertising campaign. Lily Aldridge is the face of the scent and had been doing a few sneak peeks on her Instagram. The notes are as follows: top notes of almond milk, bergamot and pink pepper, middle notes of dianthus and heliotrope - these floral notes combined with the almond milk make for a floral, creamy scent with a touch of spice. The fragrance is finsihed off with bases notes of benzoin (a natural resin from Thailand which gives the fragrance warmth, and the spicy sweetness of cinnamon) and sandalwood.

In my mind, this is definitely a summery scent. It's unbelievably long-lasting and powerful so a little goes a long way. It could be a little on the sweet side for my preference, but I know lots of you like scents on that side so this may be better for you than the aforementioned Signature. I am more of a Signature girl, though. What I have to say is that you need to let this perfume dry down on the skin, after the first spritz it can be quite strong but as the day goes on you will fall more and more in love with this.

The bottle is gorgeous with a pinky/coral ombre bottle in a classic shape and a solid gold cap - something we would all like on our bathroom counter top!
30ml - R910
50ml - R1225
100ml - R1495

You can buy both scents online with Woolies at the moment at up to 15% off (not on promotion in store).

Is it worth the splurge? featuring Aēsep, IT Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Dior & Urban Decay

Friday, 7 October 2016

Firstly, sorry for being so quiet here. I have had a lot going on work-wise as well as with my boyfriend relocating to Joburg, so my plate has been full and, unfortunately, the blog has to give when that happens. But, the good news is that stress = shopping for me, so thought I would share a few of the beauty items I have bought of late, my thoughts on them and whether they are worth the splurge.
I often get mails from readers asking what one item they should ask their husband/friend/family member to pick up for them while abroad. I know most of these aren't available here, but for those of you who do shop internationally (or find willing mules) then I hope this helps you in your decision making! Oh, and obviously I forgot to include all products in the below image, so a few more are included below.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream Spf 50

I have wanted this forever. I actually tried it on in Sephora Australia, left in a flurry and then could not stop admiring my glow (and regretting not purchasing it) for the rest of the eve. My sister was recently in Australia so picked this up for me. I got shade medium.

$58 (around R750). Pricey considering the tube is only 30ml!
This product is a best seller for good reason – it makes the skin glow like no other, gives great coverage whilst still looking super natural and has great sun protection at spf 50! What’s not to love?! I knew I would love this and am using it so sparingly as it is a splurge for a CC cream. My sister also picked one up for herself on my rave reviews and she can’t get enough of it. If I could use only one foundation product for the rest of time, this would probably be it as it really does tick all the boxes I look for it terms of coverage and finish. What a bonus that I also know my skin is being hydrated and protected at the same time. The packaging is also super hygienic being in a pump tube – it’s light-weight and perfect for travel. No glass bottles or chance of leaking here.
No cons here, honestly, other than the steep price for 30ml. As a comparison, my other firm favourite is the NARS Tinted Moisturiser which is $44 and 50ml – nearly double the size.

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer

My sister also bought one of these back for me as you can’t get it in South Africa (ridiculous).

8 Pounds (around R90) – cheap as chips and, if it were easily accessible, I would say every single one of you should never be without this product.
Again, so many pro’s – the actual formula gives a medium coverage to the eyes area which doesn’t crease at all on my skin. As you know, I am a die-hard Urban Decay Naked Concealer fan (R400) and I have to say, this stuff is definitely as good for a fraction of the price. I will still continue buying and using my UD concealer as their shade range is so great, but this one is perfect for day-to-day concealing. I also love the applicator which is a wind up tube with a fat sponge tip. It’s seriously addictive to apply, I love the feeling!
I guess the hygiene of the sponge applicator isn’t ideal but it’s only me using this product and I’m not a hygiene- phobe with this kind of stuff.

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Powder

Firstly, I have never ever been a powder kind of girl until I got into the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders which continue to hold a very special place in my heart. I wanted to try this out as it was said to have a similar effect – a powder that keeps everything in place without making skin look anything but radiant and flawless – ummmm YES!
38 Pounds (R670)
I got shade medium and I am so chuffed with it. You most definitely don’t need Hourglass AND this as they are similar. This one isn’t as glow-enhancing as the Hourglass powders, but it is even more finely milled so the end result is flawless skin like no other product has ever helped me achieve. It's beautiful!!! Oh, and can we take a moment for the packaging?.
Price, but justifiable as a powder lasts really well.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick – Kim KW Shade (Nude)

Obviously I needed this lipstick. Kim K fan or not, that girl knows exactly what the perfect nude lip shade is all about. This was a collaboration between Kim and Charlotte as part of the Hot Lips collection where the make up artist collaborated with a bunch of celebrities to create their perfect shade. The ‘Kim K-W’ shade was the one that everyone was raving about, naturally!
26 Pounds (R480)
Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are perfection (as is her entire range); from the luxe packaging to the insane formula. You can expect a balmy/matte hybrid. Shade wise this is as you would expect; the perfect Kim K nude and I am not shy about the fact that my lipstick collection has about 200 shades similar to this one. Still, this one is special and I would buy it over and over again. A treat product and definitely not a necessity (depending on your junkie status). The shade is pinker than I expected, so more of a dusty pink nude but I love it and think it would be very flattering on most skin-tones.
Well, it’s a lipstick and it’s nearly R500 so is pricey.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk

I have lusted after this product forever so was so chuffed when I finally got my hands on it. I bought myself a load of the MAC lip liners a while back and really am not a fan. The actual pencil is so hard and takes quite a bit to actually get any colour pay-off. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong here but I don’t like such a hard nib. This, on the other hand, is perfectly buttery and soft, yet still firm enough to not smudge and melt away. This shade is one of the best sellers from Charlotte Tilbury as it is the perfect ‘lip cheat’ shade, as the name alludes to. It is perfect for slightly overdrawing the lips and has great staying power. I honestly don’t think you will ever need another lip liner once you own this (unless, obviously you are going for a bold lip shade).
16 Pounds (R280)
Everything. The formula and the shade are so on point.
None, and I think the price is reasonable for the product. I just need a back up already as know this will be a firm favourite for me.

Byredo – Mojave Ghost

I got this from Marc as a gift and have been DYING to own it for ages. The Byredo scents are my ultimate, honestly. They really do nail it. I initially fell in love with this one, Bal D’Afrique and Gypsy Water so plan on expanding my collection but Mojave Ghost was the perfect start. It’s quite masculine which I love. The notes are ambrette, mamey sapote, violet, magnolia, sandalwood, chantilly musk, 'crisp' amber and cedarwood.

250 Euro’s (R3900)
The actual scent, the packaging, the longevity and how unique the scent is. EVERYTHING!
I guess, again, the price. But it’s a luxury product and the whole purchasing experience and the scent makes it all worth it. I feel spoilt every time I use this fragrance, and that's what it's all about, right?

Urban Decay Chill Make Up Setting Mist

You all know what a facial mist fan I am. It is one of my best make up items to own but can often be quite ineffective - very much a product that feels great to use but can sometimes not do that much. I have owned a few bottles of the All-Nighter setting spray from UD, so was keen to try this one as I do have dry skin. Urban Decay have 3 setting sprays:
All-Nighter: Set everything in place and helps with longevity
Chill: Hydration
De-Slick Oil Control: Mattifying and keeps oil at bay
Refreshing and a good mist.
It feels lovely on the skin but I don't feel like it does all that much. I have other hydrating sprays that leave me looking so dewy and radiant so didn't see much of a glow or feel that much more hydrated when using this. The All-Nighter definitely does as it says, so going forward I will stick to that one.

Aēsep Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm

I got a sample of this on my last Aēsep  purchase and could not get enough of the scent, I knew I had to own the full size. This body cream has Vanille and Sandalwood which is the perfectly femimine yet masculine combo - nothing too sickly sweet but rather mature and sophisticated. I got the 120ml tube but it's also available in a 500ml pump bottle.
The scent! It's gorgeous, like with all Aēsep products. I also like how light the formula is, not thick at all so sinks into the skin quickly. I hate the feeling of a greasy, thick balm so this works perfectly for me and can get dressed straight after applying this without feeling tacky.
The packaging is obviously beautiful but the aluminium tube isn't the most practical and neither is the little lid that closes it. It gets battered up quite easily when in your toiletry bag, however, it does look so beautiful so is forgiven in my mind. I also wouldn't put this down as an 'intensive body balm' - it's super light-weight and most definitely wouldn't be the fix for super dehydrated skin.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade

I got given this as a gift from a work collegue as she knows what a fan I am of the Lip Glow Balm which I have used and loved for years. This lip formula is plumping and is a colour reviver. It comes in a tube that allows for easy application. They call the formula an 'oil-gel' which is quite different to the thicker balm I have originally used.
I do love a good lip oil and this leaves the lips looking glossy with a subtle touch of pink, so pretty! The touch of pink is more subtle with this version than with the balm, which I like.
I prefer the balm, that's for sure. The balm feels a lot more hydrating than this and the oil texture does feel quite 'thin' in this case. I prefer the Clarins Lip Oils which have a thicker formula. It's also super pricey for a lip product. Going forward I will buy the balm instead (pictured below).
A photo posted by KISS, BLUSH & TELL (@kissblushandtell) on

Image source - my own and here and here and here

Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening: Review (JJ Serfontein Practice)

Monday, 19 September 2016

Even though I've been living in Cape Town for nearly 8 years, I didn't have a dentist here. It was the one thing that I actually missioned back to Natal for. Every time I was home I was doing my usual hygienist appointment or check up. What a pain! Anyway, I made a mission to find someone local and got countless recommendation to go to JJ Serfontein's practise which actually just happened to be on my doorstep (Kloof St) so off I went and, even though I have only been twice so far, I have been really happy.
Yes, I know this filter gives you even whiter teeth so see below for proper results.

JJ recently mailed me asking me if I would be interested in trying out teeth whitening. I wasn't sure as I already have pretty white teeth - my Mum has pearly whites that are like nothing I have ever seen. Seriously! Mine aren't nearly as great as hers, but I have her to thank for them being even half as white as hers. Anyway, the reason I wasn't sure is that I had tried this before for a blog review and proceeded to not ever write about them as would never want to recommend something to you that didn't work. I literally saw ZERO shade change and the before and afters proved that. They put it down to the fact that my teeth were 'already white'. Ok then. So no shade change and teeth that were SO sensitive (and this has never really improved). Side note: my teeth were never sensitive in the slightest before this treatment.

Anyway, fast forward a few days and I decided to give it a shot. The treatment is called Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening and below are my thoughts and the detail.

What the treatment involved

The treatment took about 2 hours in total. I arrived at the practice and my teeth were prepped - cleaned lightly and then my gums protected and my mouth opened up. There was so much care put into this by Abi, who did my whitening. So much so that she even put Vitamin E oil on my lips to ensure they didn't get stretched and sore. She then spoke me through every bit of detail which involved a light over my mouth area for three 15 minutes intervals. She warned me that I may get slight sensitivity and then also put a movie on the big screen for me to help pass time - WIN!

Abi then applied a gel like formula to my teeth before each 15 min session, and removed it in-between, followed with a fresh application. 

How it felt

I'm going to be dead honest with you all, as I always am; having my mouth stretched open for 2 hours wasn't exactly blissful but really was fine. I usually get fidgety and claustrophobic in these sorts of treatments and I even surprised myself - it was totally fine. The main thing I was nervous about was sensitivity because of my previous experience (which was a different type of whitening treatment), also there is no worse pain that tooth sensitivity. I, however, didn't feel a thing. Abi asked me in-between each session and throughout the treatment but the Zoom Teeth Whitening does cater to sensitive customers and this obviously really worked for me. They also advised taking two painkillers prior to treatment which I did do and would recommend.

The Post-Treatment Results

My results were visible straight after the treatment. I was so chuffed - nothing totally noticeable to anyone else, but definitely noticeable to me. Yes, the treatment is pricey (R4500) but it is one that I decided I would continue with straight away. Healthy white teeth make all the difference to someone appearance and I think way too many people put too little focus on this. Think how often you admire someone's beautiful teeth!

I must mention that for the first 2-3 hours after the treatment I experienced sensitivity pangs (they have a word for it, but it escapes me). These pangs were quite something but I got onto the painkillers which were very much a necessity. Once these subsided, though, I was totally fine.
The second BIGGEST pro from this whole treatment for me, aside from the obvious whiter teeth, has been that my sensitivity has improved from this treatment. Yes, improved. It hadn't gone all-together but I am honestly less sensitive that I was before and it can only be down to this treatment. 

How my whiter teeth have made me feel...

For more detail on the treatment see JJ Serfontein's website
Phone +27 21 424 5172

YSL New Launches

Friday, 16 September 2016

YSL has recently opened their stand-alone Beauté Boutique store in Sandton and it’s at the top of my list to visit when I go to Joburg this wkd! Below are two new launches from the brand; one a totally new product and the other a limited edition version of their iconic best-seller. Let’s get into it:

YSL Vinyl Cream Lip Stain - R520

You may all remember the buzz around the Vernis a Levres’ that YSL launched about 2 years ago. They are also probably one of the most Instagrammed beauty products out there :) They were a sheer gloss that left a pop of colour and gained popularity amongst many-a-beauty-lover. I have a few friends who swear by these lip glosses.
Fast-track to know, and YSL have just launched their Vinyl Cream Lip Stains. This is a hybrid between a gloss, lipstick and a lip stain (and these really do leave quite a stain!). I absolutely love the sleek black packaging and the applicator of these products. They do just as they say – with a balmy formula that feels thick enough to be a lipstick, yet has enough of a shine to be a gloss (although nothing too shiny!). I originally tried these on my hand to swatch the colours and could not believe the stain that was left behind. The pro is that this stain doesn’t leave your lips feeling tight or parched – it’s simply a colour stain which is a nice addition as long as you have the product close by for top ups. The range comes in 12 shades, see below shade options.

YSL Touche Eclat Slogan Edition - R600

We all know and love Touche Eclat - it's probably one of the most iconic beauty products out there that you've either all owned before, or at least lusted after. This is the same products we all know and love, but in limited edition packaging that I adore. There are three different slogan options: “NO NEED TO SLEEP”, “I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON”, “ALL LIGHTS ON ME”. I got the 'I am not a morning person' one - no slogan could have been more apt! I have included these three tips below on how best to use Touche Eclat as I so enjoyed reading them - I think so many people confuse Touche Eclat for concealer rather than a highlighting and brightening product, so see below to best explain it by the expert himself, Creative Director of Make Up YSL Beauté, Lloyd Simmonds.
TIP #1: “A strong lip colour needs a precise edge. Drawing around the edge of the mouth with
TOUCHE ÉCLAT will bring light to the lip-line, creating the illusion of volume. Apply it on the cupids’
bow and on the smile lines, as well as around the edge of the mouth, then blend. Wait for it to dry
before applying your lip colour, or use a pencil and cover the entire lip with pencil first and then add
your lipstick on top.”

TIP #2: “The best way to highlight is to apply TOUCHE ÉCLAT over foundation using the pen itself.
Tap and blend with the tip of your little finger, so that you get the lightest blending possible. Apply it
along the cheek and brow bones and down the arch of the nose. Blend until there are no hard edges
and set with minimal amounts of powder if you need to.”

TIP #3: “You can carry one in your purse at all times – it’s why TOUCHE ÉCLAT became iconic. Like
a magic wand, if you want to be out all night and erase shadows, you can add a touch to your
complexion. Use it under the eye area, in the outer corner of the eyes and along the smile lines to
conceal any signs of fatigue. Tap it in with your little finger. Don’t rub it in because you’ll end up
removing more product than you apply. Blend, and go!”

These products are both exclusive to the Sandton YSL Beauté Boutique. If you are after the slogan Touche Eclat then hurry along as it is super limited!

My Allure Best of Beauty Wishlist

Thursday, 15 September 2016

I love following the Allure Beauty Awards. Yes, there are loads of these types of awards out there and I choose to pay little attention to them. I have been on judging panels before – trust me, half the time the panellist hasn’t even tried the product before – it’s shocking. Anyway, this is not the case with the Allure Best of Beauty and, I must say, when I see that little red sticker on a product I am persuaded even further to haul out my wallet (as if I needed more incentive!).

Their 2016 awards have just taken place so below are my picks of products that have made it onto my wishlist. This is a small selection out of the 276 products that were on the list. You can see the full list on their site. It was very hard to narrow down my wishlist as there are some incredible products on there, but here it goes. Sadly, as usual, 90% of these products are not available in South Africa so this is more just a dreamy list… If only we had Sephora and Ulta here!
1. St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing Multi-Action Face (link)
2. Tata Harper Purifying Mask (link)
3. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator (link)
4. Cult & Beauty Nail Polish in shade Ghost (link)
5. Diptyque Precious Oils for Body and Bath (link)
6. Annick Goutal - L‘Ile au Thé - Scented Candle (link)
7. Becca Back Light Priming Filter (link)
8. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer (link)
9. Origins Warm Down Warming Lava Body Scrub (link)
10. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer (link)
11. OUAI Smooth Conditioner (link)
12. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in Boho Nude (link)
13. FRESH Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask (link)

Image source

My Face Mask 101 - some new additions to my collection

Monday, 12 September 2016

I am mask obsessed, and have been for years. It’s probably the skincare product that excites me the most and the one I buy most frequently (and spend all my money on!). I guess that's because you can never have too many masks - plus there is no single mask that is suited to your skin - depending on the state of your skin, time of the year, time of the month, hormones, stress etc. etc. your skin will need a different mask to suit your needs.
I also know many skincare therapists or skincare companies recommend masking twice a week. Well, I pretty much do a mask every day - some days I do more than one and I really do see the results when I am fastidious about my routine. I once read that Lisa Eldridge does this too, so I’m going to follow suit (and hope my skin looks like hers one day). Obviously I miss a day here and there but in my usual good routine, it's a mask daily.

Below are a few new additions and have fast-become some firm favourites. I have quite a few masks, as I’ve mentioned, and love adding to my collection. I really do encourage you to look at your skin and see what it needs. Below I’ve outlined the ‘state of your skin’ with each mask – for example if your skin is congested and dull then using that mask will help your case. Also remember you can ‘double or triple mask’ – using one mask after the next. You can also use more than one mask at the same time focusing on different areas that need different things – so perhaps a decongesting clay mask on your nose to clear up blackheads and a hydrating cream mask on your cheeks to soothe dehydrated skin - I love experimenting and encourage you to do the same.

Right, let’s get into this:

Clarins Extra-Firming Mask – R705

State of your skin: Dehydrated, dry and looking aged.

I have been so excited about this launch from Clarins. This beautiful lilac jar is filled with a super-creamy mask packed with hydrating, firming and anti-aging active ingredients. The mask contains a bunch of amino and fatty acids to combat the harmful effect of cells stretching due to the way our facial muscled naturally stretch from repeated movement. This gives the effect of smoother, more firm skin tone. The mask also contains extracts of organic green banana and lemon thyme to help reinforce collagen fibres – again, helping with the loss of firmness. This naturally helps fight off deep wrinkles and fine lines.
This mask is quite pricey but a little goes a long way and I have been enjoying leaving it on for hours – don’t stick to the usual 10 min as a rule, even though this would still work wonders. Hydrating masks are great to sleep in twice a week too. I have also been enjoying using a thicker layer of this below my eye area, or using this all over the face after an exfoliating treatment. It’s cooling and soothing as well as resulting in very plump, healthy looking skin. Really beautiful product!

Filorga Scrub & Mask – R770

State of your skin: Dull, sallow with dry patches of skin that needs a good, deep clean. Anti-aging.

If you are looking for THE most satisfying beauty product yet, look no further! Scrub & Mask is both a mechanical and enzymatic scrub, if you are unsure what that means, then have a look at my Get Polished blog post. This mask really is about deep cleansing the skin, removing dead skin cells and reoxygenating the skin which helps with dullness and enhances radiance.
The mask contains perlite microspheres which provide the mechanical exfoliating action, helping to remove dead skin cells, however, if you are sensitive you don’t have to make use of this and can just rely on the protease which provides an enzymatic action that stimulates the natural skin shedding process. The best part of this mask is that on application it almost foams up and ‘sizzles’ on the skin – the best feeling ever. This is the reoxygenating taking place and it is oh-so-satisfying. This is oxygen being transported directly to the cells helping with dull cells that need a kick-start. Lastly, the mask also contains Filorga’s patented NCTF + HA chronospheres – this contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids along with hyaluronic acid and is responsible for  stimulating cellular regeneration.
I have found my skin looks super polished after using this and really even and clear. It’s not over-stimulating at all, yet gets to work and leaves your skin perfectly smooth and calm. I guess some of you may find the foaming and tingling action of the mask weird, but I love it and find it very satisfying that I can feel the product getting to work.

Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial Masque – R855

State of the skin: Dull, sallow and lacking in vibrancy.

Exuviance are fast becoming one of my favourite skincare brands for real results. This product is no different. It’s similar in action to the aforementioned Filorga mask in the sense that it has the bubbling/oxygenating action on the skin. This sensation is so weird and can take getting used to but I love feeling something getting to work on my skin. This mask is packed with hydrating ingredients and is your ultimate pick-me-up treatment in the sense that it energises the skin and is super invigorating resulting in really radiant, brightening results. It's also said to be a great mask to use post laser or peels as not stripping.
I have been using this mask quite a bit now as the results are really notable! One of the major results I have also seen is that not only is my skin brighter, rejuvenated and more glowey, but it’s also more even in skin tone. Often my skin is quite stimulated after a mask, whereas this product really assists in calming and soothing my skin while packing in the moisture.

I also love the packaging which comes in a tall bottle with a narrow pump meaning no product is wasted and it’s super hygienic. On application the mask will form a foam-like layer on the skin, bubble for about 5 minutes and then you are left with an inviable layer of goodness on the skin which I have been leaving on for a good half hour. I actually slept with this on the other night and my skin loved it. Thumbs up to this product, I definitely see myself repurchasing this going forward. You can pick it up at Dermastore (an online skincare store that you should ALL be shopping at – impeccable service and fab skincare advice!)

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque – R1250

State of the skin: congested, hormonal with the odd break out needed a good deep cleanse

I first heard about this mask when the beauty-guru, Lisa Eldrige, mentioned it in her Mask Philosophy video. I obviously had to have it! Again, Dermastore stock this product and when mine arrived (beautifully packaged) they included details on the product as well as advice on how to use it from their in-house dermatologist, Ian Webster. I love this added touch! (I know a few of you are already die-hard Dermastore fans after one purchase!)
Now, I don’t often get break outs but, depending on the time of the month, my skin can look a tad congested on the jaw area and nose. This mask really appealed to me as it is a non-drying clay mask, meaning it won’t dry down to that tight, stiff clay that lots of kaolin-based masks do. This stuff is packed with a blend of hydroxyl acids, malic acids, lactic, tartaric, ctric and glycolic that work to gently exfoliate the skin as well as the kaolin and bentonite clays which absorb excess oil and deeply purify the skin. It also contains soothing ingredients like aloe and chamomile so helps calm any inflammation or redness.

I used this whilst my skin was super-hormonal and it literally stopped my blind pimples in their foot-steps. I haven’t ever really had a product dry out and zap pimples as fast as this mask did. Ah, I love it when a product shows such remarkable and visible results. I have been following this mask with my Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator (read full review here) and my skin is SO happy! Buy online here.

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Mask – R790

State of the skin: congested, hormonal with the odd break out.

This isn’t that new, but is the newest launch from Dermalogica mask-wise – it launched earlier this year. I have shared updates on my Snapchat (toritatham) and Instagram on this product so wanted to give you the proper review on this mask as I know so many of my readers are die-hard Dermalogica users and, I have to say, I really am one too. There is something about how clean these products make me feel that will never get old for me.
Some of my favourites products from the brand include their Multivitamin Power Mask so I was pretty excited by the idea of a Charcoal Mask. I had high expectation though, as one of my favourite Charcoal masks is the Origins one as well as the Chantecaille Detox mask (which nothing will ever beat, but it costs R2k so we will just leave that there).
This Charcoal mask is your go-to mask when your skin just needs that extra deep cleanse. It dries down to a tight layer on the skin which I tend to leave on for a good 30 minutes (while I relax after my bath/shower when pores are open). On removal your skin really does look extremely well cleansed – pores look tighter on the nose area and if you do happen to have had a break out (like I had on the few occasions I’ve tested this) then you will be happy to know that the recovery time is definitely improved with this mask – it dries them out and brings anything to the surface that may be simmering. I must point out that this needs to be removed gently with warm water as even my super-non-sensitive skin was quite red after using this – nothing bad but just be gentle on removal.

All images my own, first image source

Introducing CHANEL Nº5 L’EAU

Friday, 9 September 2016

Oh, Chanel. You well and truly have my whole heart.

The latest buzz on the fragrance side of things is all about their re-launch of the iconic CHANEL Nº5 fragrance - a cult classic that was created nearly 100 years ago! CHANEL decided that this much-loved fragrance needed a little bit of modernisation and needed to appeal more to us younger ladies - cue the launch of CHANEL Nº5 L’EAU.
The original CHANEL Nº5 was actually one of my first gifts from a high-school boyfriend and I just never took to it. I obviously was not the target market as it was a more mature scent but even today, as classic as it is, it's just not soft enough for me. The launch of CHANEL Nº5 L’EAU, however, has had all of my attention as I was very interested to see how CHANEL would modernise such a classic. I had my doubts. It's not an easy job, that's for sure!

My thoughts: CHANEL Nº5 L’EAU

I eagerly watched the launch of this fragrance unfold and got so excited when I spent 2 weeks last month about 5 minutes from the small town in the South of France, Grasse, where the farm and the factory of the scent were born. Soon after I returned home, CHANEL sent me my very own bottle and the packaging sets the tone for a classic, minimalist, modern scent; from the white box with no branding other than the CHANEL logo and the embossed shape of the bottle to the slick sleeve that slips over as the sleek cover. The actual bottle is my ultimate - the crystal and the square, classic shape haven't steered too far away from Nº5, and I love that.

Notes wise you will fine top notes of citrussy lemon, mandarin, bergamot and orange which give it a fresh, lively feel. Middle notes of hearty Spring florals - jasmine, Ylang Ylang and May rose (the Nº5 original lives to tell it's tale with this note). This beautiful bouquet is all finished off with a base note of cedarwood which is a new note and adds an element of sophistication which I love.

This version is fresh, it's super clean and it's fast-become my best-ever CHANEL fragrance. It's different in the sense that it works for any mood and any occasion. I would spritz this on a casual Sunday whilst wearing jeans and a chunky knit and, at the same time, would reach for it on a special occasion like a wedding. It's interesting, yet so understated and as it wears on the skin it becomes such a signature scent that I could never imagine myself getting bored of or over-powered by.
It ticks all the boxes that CHANEL always manages to do so with such elegance:
Classic (with a twist)

This fragrance has just hit counters (1 September) and, trust me, you are going to want to check this out. To my CHANEL fragrance-lover-readers, this is going to make you all very happy, even though I know a few of you already had your names on that waiting list!

No5 L’EAU 50ml – R1 600
No5 L’EAU 100ml – R2 270
Launching 1 September 2016

ghd air Electric Pink Hairdryer {limited edition}

Monday, 5 September 2016

As I've mentioned before, I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to styling my hair but this is something I want to get more clued up on. I often treat myself to blow dries as, what feels better than freshly styled hair?? Nothing really. But, alas, this does hurt my bank account and I need to start being a little more money-savvy, so even more reason to get equipped and clued up on the hair-styling front!

In my break-in that I had about two years ago my beloved beauty cupboard got emptied out – one of the saddest things for me was that my hairdryer and straightener were taken. Since then I have been making-do with a very average hair dryer that I bought a few years ago. Side note - there is a very big difference between a high-end hairdryer and your average store-bought one! I learnt this lesson very fast.
So, with that background info, you can only imagine my excitement when ghd offered to send me their limited edition ghd air hairdryer in Electric Pink!!! I have been dying to get my hands on a good hair dryer that makes drying my hair super easy and fast (and rids my hair of all the endless fly-aways that annoy me so much).

The dryer delivers a salon finish 2x faster as it has an extremely powerful motor as well as a pantented air filter which delivers the high-pressure air-flow. The huge appeal of this hairdryer, and what I feel really sets it apart, is the fact that it has advanced ionic technology that reduces frizz and fly-aways (bane of my existence); all resulting in a salon-sleek finish. Win!
Another HUGE perk for me (aside from the gorgeous pink accents) was the travel-readiness of this product. I never end up packing hair-dryers on holidays as they are always pretty heavy and bulky. This hairdryer, however, is super-light and comes with a limited edition dust bag, see below.
I cant rave about the results from this hairdryer enough, it’s super light and easy to manoeuvre plus has various heat setting, including a ‘cool shot’ button to lock in your style and smooth down the hair follicles.
The reason this particular dryer is limited edition and has the pink accents is that it is in support of breast cancer - so ghd South Africa have partnered with the PinkDrive and for every hairdryer that is sold they donate R100 to assist them in continuing to deliver their free breast cancer screening services and education. I love this added touch! You can pick yours up online here or in ghd salons. To donate R20 towards breast cancer support you can SMS ‘ghd’ to 40158 :)

There is also the original version if you are wanting something more neutral and you happen to miss the limited edition version, you can pick it up online here.

*This hairdryer was a PR sample

Benefit’s New Hoola Range Is here

Friday, 2 September 2016

You all know (and most-probably love) Benefit’s Best-selling matte powder bronzer, Hoola (R385). There really is no other bronzer on the market that has that perfect non-orange cool tone – perfect for contouring and adding some colour to the face without looking like you have stepped off the set of Geordie Shore.
This bronzer has not gained cult status for nothing, so it was no surprise to me that Benefit have decided to expand on this much-loved product to create a range. Even though this is a summer launch internationally, it has found a place in my heart already as my pasty winter skin needs some serious help.

High End vs Drug Store Haircare: Pantene Pro- V Repair & Protect Review | AD

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

 I have always been a bit of a snob when it comes to hair products. I don’t dye my hair so in terms of salon visits, I am super low maintenance and therefore choose to spend my money on higher-end hair products. I ran out of my usual products a few months ago so decided I needed to be a good blogger and give drug store hair products a proper chance. I often get asked for hair recommendations for drug store options and, other than styling products, I didn’t actually know which drug store hair products were good. Pantene subsequently asked me to do a review on their Pro-V Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner. They sent me a bottle of each to put to the test. I have also been testing a bunch of other brands, so will be reviewing those in weeks to come.

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation Review

Monday, 22 August 2016

I picked up the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation last month, on my recent trip to France. I have been lusting after this for a while now (you pretty much can't miss the rave reviews) and obviously Sephora was on my 'landmarks to visit' list! Oh so cultural. A few of you have asked me how I am getting on with it so far, so here it goes...
Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation with my other holy-grail-flawless-skin saviours at the moment: Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Benefit Dew The Hoola for contouring and warming up the skin tone.

Lunching with the Urban Decay Global Team

Thursday, 18 August 2016

These days I seldom go to blog events. I used to make lots of time for them but, nowadays, I just don't have the time. My day job is super demanding and the little bit of time off I do have is spent with friends and loved one's - I'm not a champagne and high-heels kinda blogger.

Anyway, that being said, I sometimes get invited to launches that I will break my back to get to and the recent Urban Decay one was one of those. It was an intimate lunch at the beautiful Manna Epicure and the reason I was so keen to go was that it was a chance to meet the Urban Decay global team from Newport, California - the UD Head Office. 

Clarins Summer 2016 Collection: Sunkissed

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Summer make up gets me very excited, especially when it's a launch like this from one of my best brands who honestly keep getting better and better. You all know how I felt about Clarins a few years back (they didn't excite me all that much), but fast-track to now and I can honestly say that their products are some of my most-coveted items in my collection (ahem lip oils).

This is their summer collection that is launching in October and it's one for the books (and one you may want to get in line for). The Sunkissed Collection contains some real beauties and when a collection is all about the bronze and glow then I'm all ears...

Get Polished without damaging your skin

Thursday, 11 August 2016

You all know what an advocate I am for exfoliating – in my opinion it is the single most important step (OK, aside from hydrating and protection), but it is definitely the one step in a skincare routine that people are most slack about and if they do include this step in their routine, then it is often done incorrectly which can cause sensitivity and damage to the skin.
I exfoliate my skin using what is termed 'chemical' exfoliators – these are exfoliators that contain ingredients that ‘eat away’ at the dead skin cells –no scrubbing needed. The exfoiators that contain little beads or scrubby bits are called 'mechanical' exfoliators as they actually require a scrubbing action. Now, these aren’t all bad but should be used very sparingly.

Finding Your Inner Brunette - cut and colour makeover | AD

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

“I’m a natural blonde but I feel like a brunette” – Olivia Wilde

Daniel Wellington: Buy online with a discount code

Monday, 8 August 2016

I, along with the rest of the blogger community, was gifted a Daniel Wellington watch. I have actually always liked the simple design of their faces paired with the leather straps. I am not a fan of the classic canvas straps, personally, but love the black or brown straps.

Benefit’s New Brow Collection Launches

Thursday, 4 August 2016

One of my all-time favourite brands has re-launched their brow collection. I say re-launched, as ome old favourites have stuck around (you will be happy to know) and they have beefed up the original collection with some insanely amazing new additions – 9 in total, to be exact!

My latest crush: Rose Water

Monday, 1 August 2016

I am a facial spritzer junkie. I absolutely love refreshing my make up with a spritz here and there to avoid my skin looking dehydrated and, more than anything, it makes me feel soothed and relaxed.
On my recent trip to France I trawled the pharmacies on the hunt for a good rose water – I wanted something as pure as possible and found the one below (can we take a moment for the packaging!). It cost me around 7 Euro (R110) - I wish I had bought 10 bottles!!!

Packing like a pro | My Tips | AD

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

I have just got home from a 2 week summer break in the South of France which was absolutely incredible. I ended up checking in a bag with a sum-total weight of 11kg’s for 2 weeks which I was rather impressed by. You can be so smart about what you end up packing and it really does make travelling that much easier – no one wants to lug around a ridiculously large, heavy suitcase (and we all need shopping space!).

MY ALL TIME FAVOURITES – Le'Chelle from Taylor Made

Thursday, 21 July 2016

It’s time for more all-time favourites, and today Le’Chelle from Taylor Made is sharing her best picks. Le’Chelle and I haven’t actually met yet (which needs to change ASAP), but I know she is a girl after my own heart as she is a proper beauty junkie (and knows her stuff). Le’Chelle also runs a YouTube channel which you have to follow – she nails the minimal make-up while still looking flawless and her tutorials really are very do-able and educational for those of you who aren’t quite sure of where to start with your make up. She also makes use of a great combo of low end vs high-end as well as always supporting local brands - making it accessible to all of us!

Le’Chelle – thank you for contributing and we have to do that coffee soon, plus I NEED that setting spray you mentioned below!


My all​-​time favourite​ ​cleanser... Ren Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser

My all​-​time favourite serum... Skin Creamery Facial Hydrating Oil

My all​-​time favourite face mask...​ Aesop Parsley Seed mask/ Skoon Ruby Marine Overnight mask

My all​-​time favourite moisturiser...​ Skin Creamery Everyday All Over Cream

My all​-​time favourite exfoliant...​ Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder

My all​-​time favourite make up remover... Garnier Micellar Water

Make Up:

My all​-​time favourite foundation...​ Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

My all​-​time favourite BB cream/tinted...​ Clarins HydraQuench Tinted Moisturizer

My all​-​time favourite blusher...​ MAC Gingerly blush

My all​-​time favourite bronzer...​ MAC Matte Bronzer

My all-time favourite highlighter... The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer

My all​-​time favourite mascara...​ MAC Haute Naughty

My all​-​time favourite eye-shadow... MAC Groundwork Paint Pot

My all​-​time favourite lip product...​ MAC Velvet Teddy

My all​-​time favourite setting spray...​ Bobbi Brown Face Mist

How to: Daytime Make Up In your 50’s

Monday, 27 June 2016

I came across this video the other night when trawling YouTube (as I do, way too often). It stuck out to me, though, as I feel so strongly about learning how to do make up that suits your age – never looking too overdone but also not neglecting it, leaving you looking tired and, well, old.

This video by the fabulous Mary Greenwell lays it all out; from making sure your canvas is beautiful dewy and hydrated (but never looking overly oily) to using the bare minimum to accentuate the things you want to accentuate. And, oh so importantly, to avoid contouring on any level.
She does make use of Chanel products only in this tutorial as this is who sponsor her as an artist, however, you most-definitely don’t need to just use these specific products. The technique and the type of products is what is important here in leaving a woman in her 50’s looking well-turned-out and groomed.

My Sephora USA Haul

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My darling sister was in California for a few weeks and (obviously) received a Sephora shopping list from me. My original basket had about 14 items in it, but given the fact that she was travelling with a baby and her husband, I had to be weary of their baggage weight, so I decided on my top few items. This is what I chose and, if I say so myself, I think this is probably one of the best hauls I’ve ever done – I honestly LOVE every single product. That, or my beauty junkie status is getting even more out of control.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Today’s All-Time favourites post is from Emma-Jane Menteath who I am sure you all follow already. I certainly do, and really love her posts. Emma often chats about beauty and I love her simple, understated style when it comes to make up (probably because she doesn’t really need to use any of it!!). She is one of my favourite people to follow on Snapchat (@emmamenteath) as she travels a lot, eats at the most amazing places and has flawless style.
You can follow Emma’s blog, My Life in Pink and stay updated with her beautiful pics on Instagram.

Thanks so much for contributing, Emma! If you missed the other All-Time Favourites posts you can head over to see Kiss, Blush & Tell's, Camilla’s and Julia’s (From All Dolled Up).


My all​-​time favourite​ ​cleanser… Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

My all​-​time favourite serum… Africology’s Rose Absolute

My all​-​time favourite face mask…​ Bioderma Sensibo Mask

My all​-​time favourite moisturiser…​ Embryolisse Moisturizing Cream With Extract of Oranges

My all​-​time favourite exfoliant…​ Dermalogica’s Thermal Exfoliante

My all​-​time favourite make up remover… Bioderma Sensibo H2O Micellar

Make Up:

My all​-​time favourite foundation… Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

My all​-​time favourite BB cream/tinted…​ Bioderma Compact Mineral with SPF50

My all​-​time favourite blusher…​ Don’t ever use blusher

My all​-​time favourite bronzer…​ Don’t ever use bronzer

My all-time favourite highlighter… Benefit’s What’s Up

My all​-​time favourite mascara…​ Benefit’s They’re Real

My all​-​time favourite eye-shadow... N/A

My all​-​time favourite lip product…​ Lucas Paw Paw Ointment

My all​-​time favourite setting spray…​ Don’t really use one, but I love spraying rose water and witch hazel on my skin throughout the day. (KBT: I included an image of my favourite Rose Water spray from Chantecaille – it costs an arm and leg so is hard to justify and completely unnecessary, as you pick this up easily for a fraction of the price).


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

On the 6th of June CHANEL launched their limited edition DANS LA LUMIÈRE DE L’ÉTÉ collection; meaning ‘In the Summer Light’. This collection is all about bright, bronzed and glowey skin, sultry eyes enhanced with an ombre effect of ochres and browns, sun kissed lips of corals and pinks and statement nails in smouldering, spicy shades. Could this collection speak more to my heart?!?
I reviewed three of the items: Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Les Beiges in No 2, the  EMPREINTE DU DÉSERT eyeshadow quad and the LÈVRES SCINTILLANTES lipgloss in shade Tanami.

My All Time Favourites – Julia from All Dolled Up

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Time for another ‘All Time Favourites’ post – you can see mine over here and Camilla’s here. This is Jules’ version which I was so excited to see as she is always so amazing with getting her hands on pretty much every cool, exciting product out there and is basically like speaking to the Allure editor about new launches – I thought I was of 'A' grade beauty junkie status, but Jules is pretty impressive! She’s also brilliant when it comes to mixing up high-end products and drug store options – she’s a fantastic dupe-finder too and shares some good finds below. Jules is also from All Dolled Up :)

Thanks so much Jules!


My all-time favourite cleanser... Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (I really need to get my hands on this!!!)
My all-time favourite serum... Hydraluron
My all-time favourite face mask... Can't pick one!
My all-time favourite moisturiser... First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
My all-time favourite exfoliant... Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
My all-time favourite make up remover... The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Make Up:

My all-time favourite foundation... Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum
My all-time favourite BB cream/tinted... L.A. Girl HD Pro BB Cream
My all-time favourite blusher... Benefit "Dallas"
My all-time favourite bronzer... Topshop Mohawke
My all-time favourite highlighter... ColourPop Lunch Money! IN. SANE.
My all-time favourite mascara... Max Factor False Lash Effect
My all-time favourite eye-shadow... MAC Groundwork Paint Pot
My all-time favourite lip product... Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm