It's all about the blush!

Monday, 27 March 2017

I have said it a few times, but I'm probably the biggest sucker for a good blush. It's a product that I buy WAY too frequently but one I feel really does tie a look together. My standard work-day look is tinted moisturiser, a slick of mascara, a touch of brow gel/tint and whichever blush I am in the mood for. All finished off with a spritz of rose water.

These are my faves of the moment:


Smashbox Contour Blush Trio - Peach - R500

I bought this trio about 6 months ago and initially didn't love it, but after playing around with the various shades it has become a staple in my make up bag. I am a big fan of the peach and highlighter shade - I find the pink shade a bit much on it's own, however, all three combined is a great combo. I love the fact that the trio has a large mirror and is so travel friendly. I find myself using this so often and loving how long the colour lasts. This blush trio is seriously beautiful with a tan (which is non-existent for me these days!). Buy online here.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso - R80

Julia from All Dolled Up spoilt me with the best-seller from Milani, their baked blush in Luminoso. This blush is notoriously hard to get your hands on, and for good reason! Thanks for hunting this down, Jules! The shade is the perfect sun-kissed healthy glow. It's the type of shade that would flatter 90% of skin tones and is said to shape, contour and highlight in one which I truly feel like it does do! The shade is super pigmented and has an added highlighting element that compliments pretty much any make up look. This is fool-proof and just beautiful. Out of all my blushers, this is the one I am planning on taking on holiday with me as I know it will work for any occasion. Only available in USA.

HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING EDIT – SURREAL LIGHT – R1100

I am not going to bore with my fifth rave review on this palette but I really do just have such a soft spot for Hourglass products. You can see my full review here.

Hourglass Mood Exposure - R800

I have also spoken about this numerous times on the blog and truly just love this shade - it's definitely my best our of the all the Hourglass blushers I have tried. It's the perfect 'soft plum', as it's describes. It has the veins of the the Ambient Lighting Powder though the plum shade which gives the skin that perfect, flawless Hourglass sheen - never looking shimmery or overdone. This blush is more pigmented that one would think and is super build able, yet can just as easily be worn with a no-make-up look. Probably my favourite high-end blush, ever. Side note - it lasts FOREVER.

CHANEL JOUES CONTRASTE ELÉGANCE - R720

I spoke about this the other day when I discussed the new launches from CHANEL, and I knew instantly that this was going to be a firm favourite. It has been the only blush I have used for the past month; day and night. The shade doesn't look like much in the pan, but it's the most gorgeous peachy golden bronzed browney nude shade (how's that description?!). The part that I love most about this blush is the shimmer it leaves - no glittery cheap shimmer (obviously, it's CHANEL we talking about!) but rather a real glow like no other! My only criticism was that I wish the pan was larger in shape (not amount of product) as that would make it easier to swirl my large brush in, but I can look past that when we talking about a blusher this beaut!

A day spent being pamper at Babylonstoren Spa & Healing Garden

Friday, 24 March 2017

I had a day from heaven the other day. Honestly guys, it was one of the best days I have had in a while – a ‘me day’ that I really needed and at a location that I deem to be one of the best spots in South Africa: Babylonstoren. I spent the day at their Garden Spa which I actually hadnt visited before. I’ve done plenty of day trips to Babylonstoren and had a few meals at Babel as well as the Greenhouse and a stay at their hotel is very high up on my ‘my do’ list.

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The reason for the spa day was introduce me to their brand new Healing Garden which has just opened. The Healing Garden requires bookings for 6-8 people (R290 per head) and is a holistic, peaceful space where you get the chance to pick from the huge array of fresh herbs and plants to create your own customised herbal tea. We were walked through the garden where each plants healing properties was explained to us, my tea was made up of Peppermint, Rose Geranium, fresh lemon and lemongrass. We then spent time dangling our feet in the fresh water pond which had a bunch of the dead-skin-eating fish in them – the strangest sensation! This was followed by a few hours of relaxing in the bamboo house that is built on water and feels super tranquil – we mixed and strained our teas here and were treated to a tasting menu of the most unbelievable flavours imaginable, see below some of the many dishes:


The spa was also absolutely unreal, honestly. It was a spa experience I would highly recommend and one that I already plan on re-booking for my 30th. It was THAT special. It’s all very much incorporated into nature with little wooden paths through the trees to get to the various sections. There is also the best pool area where you can hang in-between treatments – I never wanted to leave this spot!

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We had a pedicure to start off – the detail of everything from the brass pedi bowls to the Aesop hand wash just makes for the most unreal experience.

We then moved onto the Hammam – a Turkish steam room made of beautiful marble. We were able to give ourselves body scrubs with natural salt and honey, as well as a body mask. My skin felt so hydrated and cleansed after this and I felt super detoxified!

In between the Healing Garden and a lot of pool relaxation, we finished off with a 90 minute ESSE treatment which started off with a Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage and finished with a 60 min facial – it was possibly the best treatment I’ve ever experienced in my life. The scents, my therapists unreal technique and the way my skin felt afterwards. I am 100% booking this again. Mind blowing!

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The pictures do this day more justice and I know so many of you saw my Instastories from the day. It says it all that I have already enquired about booking for myself and my friends. Thanks so much for having me Babylonstoren, I am your biggest fan!

Booking Details:

The Healing Garden

Tea rituals take place at 09h30, 10h30 and 14h00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
Our healing garden is a restful place for quiet reflection and tranquillity. Regrettably children under the age of 10 years are not permitted.
The tea ritual costs R290 per person for groups of 6 to 8 people and a 50% deposit is required to secure your booking. Should you wish to bring a group of more than 8 people, please note that your group will be divided to attend the different ritual times.
Reservations are weather dependent and booking is essential. Reservations open two months in advance and can be made between the hours of 8h00 and 17h00 on +27 (0)21 863 3852 or enquiries@babylonstoren.com.
Priority will be given to hotel guests for tee ritual bookings.

The Spa:

Some Much-Needed TLC for my hair | AD

Monday, 6 March 2017

I gave my hair a serious chop this summer. It was so needed and I decided I was sick of having such long hair. I am pretty lazy when it comes to styling my hair, so before the chop I was wearing my hair up (out of my face) about 90% of the time, so what was the point?

I wanted to keep my hair long enough so I was still able to tie it up, yet short enough so it looks groomed and, most importantly, healthy!

Anyway, having hair that shines, feels strong and doesn’t look dry and frizzy is of the utmost importance so I was pretty excited to give the newly formulated Pantene Pro-V range a go as it is said to work at the core to repair hair and make it up to 15x stronger. The range promises to:

•         Regular use of Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner prevents cuticle damage, keeping hair’s moisture management barrier intact.  This ensures hair stays hydrated and reduces dryness and dullness.

•         It also improves smoothness and silky feel. Friction between strands is reduced and hair is so soft and smooth that you can run your fingers through your hair without it getting tangled.

•         Finally, Pantene Repair & Protect reduces hair frizz for better style retention and no fly-aways.

Ummmm YES!

I started off using the Pantene Pro-V Repair and Protect shampoo and conditioner which I have used before. This combo is aimed at improving any split end damage and helps with fly-aways – repairing the damaged cuticles. I have to say that on using this for a solid week, I noticed that my hair was a lot smoother and silkier to touch. I also love the added protection, especially at this time of year where our hair is so exposed – and we so often neglect it, unlike our skin.

I then committed to giving my hair an added boost of moisture, I do masks on my face religiously, yet I tend to forget about my hair. A newer launch from Pantene is a Deep Moisture Soufflé – how amazing does that name even sound!?! This is a leave-in treatment that is packed to the brim with moisturising ingredients. I love the whole process of using a foam on my hair – I prefer using this on freshly washed, wet hair – the mousse absorbs right in and when your hair is dried it doesn’t feel weighed down or greasy in the slightest. I prefer using more on my ends and keeping applucation to my roots light, but this is up to you.

For those days when I want a proper, full treatment mask I have been reaching for the Pro-V Smoothing Mask. You guys, this stuff leaves my hair like silk. I like using this on an evening where my hair is due for a wash, I apply it and sleep with it on – putting a towel on my pillow case to protect it. In the morning I follow my usual shampoo routine and my hair literally feels like satin. Fly-aways are gone and the shine in my hair is amplified.

The last product is the Pro-V 24-hr Frizz fighter Cream – I feel this one was less suited to my hair type, or perhaps I was applying it too generously as it did slightly weigh down my hair. I also didn’t feel my hair needed any help in the frizz department after using the aforementioned products so religiously. I would imagine that less ‘fine’ hair, like mine, would love this. I am by no means saying it’s not a good product, but just not suited to what I need. I am going to keep playing around with this and will report back if I’ve found a better way to incorporate this on my Instagram stories – keep a look out.

In summary, I am SO happy with my hair TLC progress thus far – I have seen improvement in my scalp as well as my ends, which had started to feel incredibly dry. I guess it could be attributed to the drought we are experiencing in Cape Town, but this is the driest my skin and hair has been in years! 

Availability & Pricing

The new Pantene collection is available at retailers nationwide.
•         Pantene Repair & Protect 400ml (Shampoo + Conditioner) R69.99
•         Pantene Repair & Protect 750ml (Shampoo + Conditioner) R109.99
•         Pantene Gold Deep Moisturizing Soufflé (Leave-in Treatment) R74.99
•         Pantene 24-hr Frizz Fighter R74.99
•         Pantene Intensive Moisture Masque R48.95

My Holy-Grail Make Up Palettes

Monday, 27 February 2017

By now you all know of my unhealthy addiction to buying make up, but my latest obsession is make up palettes. Now this is all really quite ironic as I don’t wear much make up and I am by no means a pro when it comes to eye-shadow looks etc so I am pretty sure a lot of these are wasted on a dull person like myself, but anyway! I have way too many now and need to slow down as a lot of them do sit and gather dust, but some have surprised me with how much I am loving them.
These are the four palettes I have got the most use out of and can highly, highly recommend to any of you who may be on the lookout for a new addition to your collection. Two of them are eye-shadow palettes in my usual boring browns and taupe's and the other two are face palettes, which I will get onto in a bit. The common factor here is how wearable these all are – they cover every occasion and you can be rest assured that your make up bases are covered (excuse the pun) if you pop any of these into your travel bag! I’m sorry that most of them are not available here, but with online shopping the possibilities are endless and I only want to punt what I truly believe is worth the splurge.

Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette – R850

This was a new launch from UD towards the end of last year and it has trumped all of my original faves from them (the Naked 1, 2 and 3) – which is saying a lot as those are great! This palette, however, is slightly more simple/neutral colour-wise and therefore means I just get that much more wear out of it. The shades are perfect on their own for a simple day-to-day look and can easily be layered to create a more dramatic look – honestly, there are so many options with this palette. In true Urban Decay style, the actual shadows are heaven-sent – buttery, pigmented and so blendable. They really are top notch. Price wise I also think it’s an absolute win – R850 for 12 (rather large) shadows, all of which you will use. Lastly, the palette comes with a large mirror in the lid, which I use virtually daily. You can’t under-estimate a good mirror! So all-in-all I really don’t have enough good things to day about this one! Buy online here.

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette – R620

I got my sister to bring this home for me from the States and, even though it turned into a massive mission, it was well worth it. These shadows are as good as Urban Decay (which I am yet to find another brand that compares) and the shades literally give me heart palpitations. So up my alley! This palette can be used however you please, of course, but it is laid out in three quads – neutral, cool and warm. This makes perfecting your eye-shadow super easy as the three large base shadows are arranged above three coordinating powders for contouring, defining, and highlighting. The palette initially appealed to me as that’s what I love eye-shadow for; contouring the eye and making it appear larger and more defined – not for heavy black smokey eyes that distract from the rest of the face.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Surreal Light – R1100

I was obviously swayed to get this limited edition palette from Hourglass as it is just that beautiful. I mean, look at it! I own a few Hourglass products and really swear by. Their Ambient Lighting Powders are my favourites – nothing really compares (other than Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish, but that’s on a par). I already owned the original Ambient Lighting Palette (see the next product) and loved that, so knew I would be happy with the quality of the product inside. What makes Hourglass powders special is that fact that they are formulated with optically transparent particles that flatter the look of the skin by refracting light. The result is skin that looks smooth, even, and enhanced—not masked. The soft-focus technology also helps to minimize the look of wrinkles and imperfections, neutralize discoloration, and emulate the appearance of younger, healthy-looking skin for a lit-from-within, holiday glow. This palette includes an all-over powder, a bronzer, two blushes and a highlighting strobe powder. I love them all and love the fact that the palette is small enough and light enough to come on any holiday with me!
Also, side note, a lot of people say how small the pans are of these limited edition palettes, however, the larger sizes literally last you a lifetime – they go on FOREVER, so these palettes are perfectly adequate IMO.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette – R800

This is their original all-over face powder palette. It contains the best-selling Dim Light powder and, before this came into my life, I had never ever used a face powder. I literally cowered away at the very word. I have a dry skin so face powders and dry skin just did not go hand-in-hand in my mind. That was until I found these powders that make you look even more glowey whilst still keeping your make up in place. The same aforementioned technology obviously applies here. These shades suit most skin tone and work wonders, even if it’s just a light swipe under my eyes to keep my concealer in place. It’s such a nifty palette and will not disappoint!

I do realise none of these are drug store and you all know what a fan I am of so many drugstore products but when I treat myself to palettes I like to go high-end as really don’t feel like they are bad value for money with the amount that is included. I don’t own drug store make up palettes that I feel are worth shouting out about and I am by no means saying you need all four of these (you really don’t at all) but if you are wanting one splurge, this may help guide you. OK, enough of me justifying my spending habits.

Giveaway: Skinceuticals Brand new launch

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I am beyond excited and honoured to be the first to share this incredible launch from Skinceuticals with you (and to be giving a bottle away!). One that is said to be the most anticipated launch of 2017. I mean!!!
When Skinceuticals first shared this highly confidential info with me around the launch, I was naturally beside myself as I am a huge Skinceuticals fan for no other reason than the fact that I have seen and achieved visible results through using their products. The products truly deliver which is why I so often recommend them to my readers. I often speak about how we have to incorporate actives into our skincare routines to get results – your skincare routine may be doing a brilliant job of ‘cleaning’ your skin, but is it helping to achieve proper results? Skinceuticals is one of the brands I trust to do that. This product also really spoke to me as these 'active' type products are always going to be on the more pricey side, as this one is, but the fact that it comes in a 50ml size rather than 30ml is pretty unique (they are usually 30ml, so this price is really good for what you are getting). 
My package from Dermastore!
So, let’s get into the exciting part: the product is the Metacell Renewal B₃ aimed at the first-signs of ageing and photo-ageing market (that’s me). This emulsion is made up of a concoction of highly active ingredients that increase cell turnover, boost hydration volume, re-clarify tone, and re-tighten the skin's surface.
5% Niacinamide (with a patent-pending delivery system)
This is the key ingredient and the reason why this product has taken so many years to research and develop. The percentage of 5% is a super-high concentration which makes this product so active.
Niacinamide is an advanced anti-ageing ingredient that addresses a wide variety of concerns; reducing inflammation, blemishes and discolouration whilst boosting the skins barriers (something that takes a beating on a daily basis!)
In short, this star ingredient does the following (you can read more detail here):
• Stimulates epidermal cell turnover
• Reduces discolouration
• Strengthens skin’s moisture barrier
• Fortifies skin’s matrix
2.5% Tightening Tri-Peptide Concentrate
• Highly stable amino-acid chain
• Supports natural hyaluronic acid synthesis to fill the skin with
volume
15% Pure Glycerin
• Humectant with water-binding properties
• Provides intense hydration in a fresh emulsion
• Pro-penetrant - rehydrates flattened keratinocytes, creating a fluid pathway for active penetration without disrupting the skin barrier

I have only been using the product for about 10 days now so can’t give you a full review at this stage, but what I can tell you is that this is honestly one of the best products I’ve tried in a while. What I love is that the product is really your ‘all-in-one’ type product as it can be used on pretty much all skin types (even those of you with the most sensitive skins - yay!) and it targets so many issues that are a reality for those of us in their late twenties/early thirties. It’s recommended for anyone with conditions from rough, dull texture and redness to lack of firmness and fine lines (plus loads in between) so when I use it I know that I am targeting a bunch of concerns, rather than just pigmentation, for example. I also love the fact that the product feels super luxurious in every sense - from the beautiful, silky texture to the frosted glass pump bottle. This means it's very hygienic to use and also ensures you get every last drop out of the tube.

The product has also been really simple to incorporate into my routine – I have been using it day and night after cleansing and before my moisturiser. It sinks into the skin easily and doesn’t affect my make-up application – in fact it actually makes for glowey, hydrated skin. The best canvas!

I have definitely seen a reduction in fine lines and my over-all texture feels more plump and youthful. I am so excited to continue using this product and get the results I am after.

One of my (incredibly) lucky readers stands the chance of winning a full-size bottle (50ml) of the brand new Metacell Renewal B₃ from Skinceauticals valued at R1799.

The mechanic is simple:
 1) Follow Kiss, Blush & Tell AND Dermastore on Instagram
 2) Fill out this quick and easy form (click here)


And you’re done! Comp closes at midnight on 01 March 2017 and is open to all RSA residents. Good luck!

Chanel Coco Codes Collection

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The launch of a CHANEL make up collection always gets me giddy with excitement and the COCO CODES collection for SS 17 is no different. The collection was created to celebrate, reinterpret and decipher the five iconic colour codes of CHANEL: red, black, gold, white and beige.I was lucky enough to try out two of the items which are on counters now.




COCO CODE Exclusive Creation (R1025)

Doesn't this product feel too beautiful to use?!? This quad-looking blush and the perfect multi-task product and can be used in a few different ways. The blush is made up of 4 different shades from varying bronzers to a cherry red - I love swirling a big fluffy brush in all of the colours for the perfect rosey, bronzed look. The shades are very pigmented, especially the red shade so a light-hand is advised.

Joues Contraste Elégance (R720)

You would have seen on my Instagram-Stories that I have found my ultimate blush and this is it! I Initially saw this blush in the pan and didn't think much. It's so nude compared to the usual blushers I use, however, on application it gives you the perfect no-make-up-make-up swirl of colour on the cheeks. Nothing too noticable, yet enough to look finished. I honestly cannot get enough of it and it has been the only blush I've reached for over the past few weeks!

And then other new launches...

LE ROUGE CRAYON DE COULEUR JUMBO LONGWEAR LIP CRAYON (R610)

This crayon is not part of the COCO CODES collection, however, I tried it out at the same time so wanted to let you know about it. The Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur is a twist-up applicator. The finish is a glossy, sheer lip colour. They are super easy-to-wear and apply; the type of lip product you can apply on the go with no mirror. The lipstick leaves the lips feeling hydrated and moisturised. I do feel like the price tag is super steep in this instance for what you get!

I can't comment on the rest of the collection as haven't tried them but can highly recommend having a look at either of the two blush products - completely dependent on your complexion and your look you want to create.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Saturday, 11 February 2017

I'm not really one for Valentine's Day but wouldn't turn my nose up to a lovely dinner or a little pampering treat, obviously! Here is a round-up of some bits and bobs that I think make a lovely gift for yourself or for a loved one.


LUSH Valentine's Day Collection

You simply cannot go wrong with Lush. You all know what a fan I am of their products; they are natural and really do just make me happy when I use them! I also love how Lush celebrate special occasions with limited edition collections, always something new to look forward to! Their Valentine's Day collection is full of beautiful, romantic, pretty scents - think rose, vanilla, cocoa butter, bergamot, neroli and, and, and. Two of my faves are:
Lover Lamp bath bomb – R69.50
The organic cocoa butter hearts melt and coat the skin in heavenly moisture while its citrusy fragrance of Brazilian orange oil and vanilla absolute lifts your mood. I love this fragrance combo!
Unicorn Horn bubble bar – R62.50
Relaxing lavender oil meets mood-brightening neroli in this lustre-filled bar. It smells heavenly and fresh and great if you prefer fresh scents over rose or vanilla type.
Shop the full range in store and online.

Apostrophe Bath & Body

I love these soaps for so many different reasons; they are local, hand-made and made using pure essential oils - therefore can be used on the most sensitive of skins. They are beautiful scent varieties and I love the packaging too - so much love and care has gone into this product. The soap bars are R50 each and you can shop them online here. To view your local stockist have a look here.


Morgan Taylor - Beauty & The Beast Collection

These new shades from Morgan Taylor will launch with the much anticipated Beauty & The Beast Film (I am SO excited for this - see the trailer here!). I love this collection - it includes 6 shades and my three favourites are the baby blue (top) - it's called 'Gaston And On And On', and then of course the baby yellow like Belle's dress which is called 'Days In Sun' and lastly the medium pink which is called "Be Our Guest". The collection also comes with a varnish that they call a 'speciality shade' that you can paint over any of the colours and it will result in a much moodier shade - it's called 'Enchanted Patina'.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - limited edition

Every girls needs a tube of Eight Hour Cream, and it's always a pretty safe purchase as I, for one, go through my tubes pretty rapidly; cuticles, lips, dry patches, you name it! This limited edition version is almost too pretty to use and would make a great gift for women (or men) of all ages!


Giorgio Armani Si - Rose Edition

I love how soft and feminine this scent is. This version (in main image) was a limited edition from last year, however, Armani are bringing out a version for this year which looks as beautiful. This scent exudes femininity with loads of floral notes with hints of amber, wood and patchouli making it sensual and warm. You can pick up the below version in stores now - from R1634 - R2262.

L'Occitane L’Homme Cologne Cedrat Eau de Toilette - For Him

This is a brand new launch from L'Occitane just in time for Valentine's Day. I think this is such a great gift idea for any husbands or boyfriends as this scent is slightly more mature and something different compared to your usual generic men's scents. The scent is also included in a number of beautiful kits that are all packaged absolutely amazingly, making for the perfect gift idea.
This scent is refreshing, masculine and zesty and, as mentioned, I think something quite different. The notes are made up of zesty fruits, fresh mint, violet leaf and lavender followed by black pepper, ginger, amber, cedar and musk - so the perfect balance of fresh scents with masculine, warm notes to finish it off. To be honest, I have quite enjoyed wearing this myself! R990 and in stores now.

Elizabeth Arden's Latest GWP Collaboration

Thursday, 26 January 2017

I love what a 'local twist' Elizabeth Arden have recently done with their latest Gift with Purchase collaboration - it feels so South African and relevant to me and, more importantly, such a fab deal (and excuse to treat yourself!).
The brand has partnered with their Make a Visible Difference Community Hero, Kate Senekal of Sparrow Society, to design three unique cosmetic bags for three different retailers (Foschini, Edgars, Truworths). Sparrow Society was founded as a way to support local South African townships by empowering and up-skilling through creating locally designed products made with ethically-sourced, fashionable materials. These little bags are filled with three must-haves from Arden: a full-sized best-selling Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, their brilliant Grand Entrance Mascara and 15ml Always Red Eau de Toilette (total product value R785).

To get your hands on this gift you need to buy two Elizabeth Arden products (one must be a moisturiser, foundation or serum). You will be spoilt for choice with some brilliant options to choose from and you get to take home this gift for yourself. Very good deal!

AVAILABILITY
16 January – 5 February 2017 at Foschini stores
16 February – 6 March 2017 at Truworths stores
12 April – 3 May 2017 at Edgars and Red Square stores

My Love Affair with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

In general I tend to steer clear of MAC face products (foundation etc) as they look cakey on my skin and tend to oxidise. I obviously still love MAC for their lipsticks, setting spray and eye-shadows but haven’t bought a concealer or foundation from them in years, literally since high school. That was until I heard a few positive things about their Pro Longwear Concealer - it sounded like something I needed wanted in my life (absolutely did not need another make up product in my life).
I went into store and swatched the concealer and it genuinely was love at first try. Honestly, this stuff is great and has been the only concealer I've reached for all summer long. I haven't actually been using foundation or tinted moisturiser at all for the past month, just a touch of this under my eyes and on the odd spot (which I've had quite a few of recently!!) and I'm good to go. This product comes in a glass tube with a pump dispenser which I love; nice and hygienic plus easy for travel or your handbag. You seriously only need half a pump, dot it where you need it and I've been using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush or Contouring Brush to blend it in. I am sure a beauty blender would work well too. 

The coverage is medium to full and it's not drying on the skin but is more on the matte side, so definitely not a glowey type concealer. The more matte formula means that you won't have to worry about creasing (hallelujah!). I feel like I have been using so many radiance-type concealers in the past year or so that I had kind of became accustomed to creasing. This stuff has saved me from my woes. I have still been setting this with my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush powder but it seriously doesn't budge. I also have been needing a more heavy duty concealer - without getting into details, my December wasn't exactly a holiday but unfortunately a time of a lot of stress and sadness so these bags under my eyes and my stress-induced breakouts needed all the help they could get, so you can be rest-assured that this has been put to the test properly :)

A little goes a long way with this stuff and the shade range, in true MAC style, is fab! I am NC25. I honestly can't find a single thing about this product that I don't like, it's been my go-to for touch ups and has been great for the hot summer months. I guess only slight downside is that it's not hydrating so will show up any dryness, but I just ensure my eyes are properly hydrated before application.

I do encourage you to test it in stores first, perhaps get an assistant to shade match and apply it - that way you can see how it fairs on your skin through the day before you decide if it's for you.

My Summer Holiday Favourites

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Happy 2017! I hope you all had an amazing break with your loved one's and feel somewhat more rejuvenated and ready for the year ahead. Here's hoping it's better than last year - whew!

I have a bunch of fab products to tell you about that I have been using over the holiday period. I always like packing a load of new products as I am then limited to using them (and not straying to old faves, like I sometimes do). This way they get a proper test run and I can let you know about the one's that impressed me. Some (actually quite a few) got a big hell-no after giving them a few chances, but these one's stuck out to me.

I am getting a post together with some insanely amazing products that will go under my overseas haul review rather than be included in this post. That will be up soon :)

LUSH SALTED COCONUT HAND SCRUB - R160 for 100g

I've had my eye on this for a while and just couldn't justify another product to add to my routine, but obviously I had to get it and give it a whirl (I mean, have you smelt it?!?). Anyway, I'm so glad I did.

This may sound odd, but the first thing I do when I walk in the door after a long day, without fail, is wash my hands. I literally cannot do a single thing until I have ticked this off. Usually a double wash. I find it so therapeutic so, add this into the mix and my hands feel extra cleansed and soft. The smell is literally edible, as I mentioned and the scrub leaves no oily film which I don't like the feeling of on my hands! So, after all of that, it looks like I have another step to add into my beauty routine!You can buy it online here.

MYHRU HIGH! SERUM INTENSIVE VITAMIN OIL - R680

I got sent this oil a while ago and have to say it's lovely. It's a high-intensity facial oil which is 100% natural and has the most glorious texture. I have gone off dry facial oils and prefer these types which feel like they penetrate my skin a lot better. This facial oil is pretty multi-purpose in the sense that you can use it day and night - mix it in with moisturiser or add a bit to your foundation to look beautifully glowey. I can't say it smells divine, but the smell is unoffensive and I guess that's what you get with a natural product which is a good thing.

The product is made up of highly-prized oils – including Baobab and Marula. This concentrated blend of naturally potent oils is high in vitamins, antioxidants and omegas renowned for their skin-renewing, and anti-ageing properties. The HIGH! Serum provides intense hydration and deep nourishment to give your skin that healthy youthful glow which has been great after a few too many days in the sun! You can purchase yours online with free delivery here.

COLAB ACTIVE DRY SHAMPOO - R99.99

I have been really excited about the launch of this version of Ruth Crilly's dry shampoo. The 'Active' version is formulated for the active lifestyle types (not me this holiday!). It has added UV protection, pollution protection and conditions the hair. Not sure I really believe the conditions part, but I like it. The COLAB dry shampoos are my choice at the moment over Batiste; no, they aren't as hard-core as the Batiste one's but I kind of like that about them, My hair is very normal - not too fine and not too thick so this does the job for me. I know my sister, for example, prefers Batiste as she likes the added texture. I love these though as hate the knotty feeling I get from Batiste, it does, however, mean that I use a lot more product and go through the cans very quickly. R99.99 from Clicks.

CLARINS EAU DES JARDINS - R580

I have mentioned this in a favourites around this time last year, so won't harp on about it (you can read more here) but I hauled this out again because it reminds me of 1) summer/Dec holidays last year and 2) Christmas. My best combo. The scent is heavenly and by far my best from Clarins. Honestly, give it a sniff, you won't look back! See link here,

CHANEL NO 5 DRY BODY OIL - R1440

I can't really put into words my love for this product. I mean, look at the packaging too! It's a limited edition too which somehow makes it even more special. The actual product is everything a luxury dry body oil should be; incredibly scented and leaves skin with a Victoria Secret-like sheen. I never ever want this to finish, and never want it to leave my bathroom counter top - how chic?! This was used most evenings on my decollete and arms, lovely on bronzed summer skin!  Available at CHANEL counters.

PREVAGE ANTI-AGING FOUNDATION - R450

I have to say, Prevage is one brand I just really enjoy. Pretty much everything I try from them is beautiful (still one of my best cleansers ever). Anyway, there latest foundation is no different. It is my kinda product; light coverage, super-dewy finish and anti-ageing benefits. It really is gorgeous! I wouldn't reach for this if I were going to a wedding, for example, but as my day-to-day tinted moisturiser type finish, it's gorgeous. I have got lots of skin compliments when I've worn this too! Good job, Prevage!

Aesop REJUVENATING INTENSIVE BODY BALM - R480 - R1450

I'm mentioning this again because I simply love this stuff. No it's not THE most hydrating moisturiser out there, but it smells like my version of heaven, and I love it for that. It's light and great for the warmer months and was my go-to moisturiser all summer long. I need a new tube ASAP! Available online here.

Essence Make Me Brow - R50

I have been meaning to buy this for a while and finally remembered to grab two when I was last in Clicks. I have sworn by the Benefit Gimme Brow for years, which has done me well but is pricey at R355 a pop, 7 times the cost of the Essence one! The Essence Make Me Brow is an exact replica of this product and does just as good a job. To be honest, I actually prefer it as the dark shade match is better for my brows (Benefit was a bit too light brown). It's so fab and has been my go-to brow product all holiday - quick and easy and makes your brows look perfectly 'done'. Oh, how I love a good dupe!

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Julianne - R170

This is SUCH an old fave that you are probably dead bored of hearing about it from me but, my word, very few lipsticks rivel these one's from L'Oreal in terms of pigment, formula, staying power and shade options. I truly love them! This well-loved Julianne shade has been my go-to for the festive period for 3 years running. It's such a gem and will never get old in my books. A few of my friends have gone and bought one for themselves and agree wholeheartedly, it the best!


Prevage image source. Essence image source

CHRISTMAS 2016: GIFT GUIDE FOR HER

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Following on from the Christmas Gift Guide for Him (which you can see here), this is the version  'For Her', and it's packed with such amazing goodies that I have either treated myself to or am dying to own! Last year I did separate For Her guides based on age and interests, but I decided to group this one together as all of these things are lust-worthy gifts and items that any woman of any age would appreciate. I have made little notes below each item to let you know the details (pricing and where you can buy it) and why I love it!

Have a Merry Christmas for those of you who celebrate it, thank you for sticking around here despite my erratic blogging :) I will see you all in the new year!

1.  Plenty by Ottolenghi - R553
I love this recipe book. It's vegetarian dishes, which I love as I have a lot of vegetarian friends and often like to eat 'meat-free'. The book is also great for side dishes when you are having a braai and want an interesting salad to accompany your meal. Ottolenghi is hands-down my favourite chef!
2. LUSH Rose Jam Body Wash - R95 - R295
This is limited edition and comes out each Christmas. It is my best body wash from Lush - so feminine and pretty! The large bottle will last you for pretty much the whole year!
3. Witchery Beach Tote - R999
The perfect summer beach tote to take to the beach - it's spacious and neutral so will suit any look! I love the texture of this tote, something different!
4. Copper Salad Servers - R339
These copper salad servers come in the beautiful Christmas packaging from Country Road. I also think the price point is really good and who doesn't love a touch of copper in the kitchen. The perfect entertaining accessory!
5. Clarins Lip Oils - R295
You have heard me harp on about the Clarins Lip Comfort Oils and you can be rest-assured that anyone would love to be gifted with one of these! They come in 3 shades (the shade pictured in Raspberry) and are super hydrating, whilst leaving lips plump and with a touch of colour.
6. Ray Bans - R2090
These won;t be suited to everyone, but are such a classic and popular style. I love the tortoise shell and think it's so flattering on so many skin tones.
7. Morgan Taylor Polish in Rose Gold - R138
Who doesn't love a Rose Gold nail polish for the festive season!?
8. YSL Multi-Usage Palette (Sparkle Clash Edition) - R935 (shop on the South African pop-up store here)
What a beautiful palette to be gifted. It doesn't get much more festive and luxury than this. The perfect gift for those beauty junkies and a lovely collectors item as this is limited edition and part of their festive collection.
9. Mimco Bright Bird Pouch - R649.95
How beautiful is this? I would absolutely love this pouch to pop in my handbag for bits and bobs like make up and suncream. So pretty!
10. Urban Decay Vice Lip Palette - R700 (Urban Decay Sandton & Foschini Eastgate)
This is pretty good value for money at R700 for 12 Vice lipstick shades. The palette is so pretty with shades to suit everyone!
11. NUXE Reve de Miel Lip Balm - R195
If you don't own a tub of Nuxe's lip balm then you clearly don't know the secret to non-chapped lips. I coat this on every eve before bed and love it! It's a best seller for good reason.
12. Country Road Marble Coaster (set of 4) - R449
There's not much to say here other than how much I love these!!! Who wouldn't want these on their bar cart or lounge table?!
13. Estee Lalonde: Bloom Book - R324
This would be a good option for anyone into blogging or YouTube. If the person doesn't fall into that category then this book will be pretty lost on them. Estee Lalonde is a Canadian YouTuber who has great style and a good sense of humour, Bloom is her life story.
14. CHANEL No 5 Dry Body Oil - R1440 (CHANEL Counters)
The gift for someone who has everything! You can't go wrong with this dry oil - the fragrance lasts so well on the skin, so any No 5 lover would be blown away with this limited edition product.
15. Mimco Cascade Keyring - R549
Quite a steep price for a keyring, but think this is a cute handbag accessory. I got one of these last year and have attached it to one of my evening clutch/pouches, love the added detail.
16. Kiehls X Jeremyville Christmas Collection Creme de Corps - R695 (Edgars)
I love this limited edition, bright, fun Christmassy collection that Kiehl's have done with Jeremyville. Creme de Corps is one of my favourite body creams and would go down a treat with anyone in this fun packaging!
17. Sisley Floral Mist - R1200
This is pricey but oh-so-indulgent. I love this mist for summer; over my make up or just to freshen up! Perfect for your Mum or Mother-in-Law if they are into their skincare.
18. Woolies Cookie Jar - R299
Gorgeous jar that can be re-used once the cookies are eaten. In easy, affordable gift that anyone would be happy to receive.
19. Armani Si La Parfum - R1905 (40ml)
The newest addition to the Si family, this is the Parfum that comes on 40ml only. The juice is concentrated and to-die-for!
20. Country Road Gold Trimmed Wine Glasses - R99 each
How gorgeous are these!! For a smaller gift you could simply gift 2 of these glasses and a bottle of wine!
21. Witchery Bow Trim Fedora - R399
A beautiful hat that can be worn as a fashion piece and used on the beach to protect your face. I love how simple this is and think the price is great, too.
22. YSL Nail Lacquer in Silver Clash - R390
Another Christmassy limited edition nail polish. What an indulgent gift! Any beauty junkie who loves different, fun nail looks would be very chuffed with this!
23. Lush Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic - R69.50
My favourite ballistic - I treated myself to one around this time last year and have another one stored away for Christmas eve. It's a treat and gets you into the festive spirit in no time!
24. Smashbox Contour Blush Palette - R470
I got myself this cheek palette a few months ago and the shades really are lovely and full of pigment. Another treat that most girls would love!
25. Dear Rae Yellow Gold Weave Earrings - R1950
I would love these earrings. Something different. I used these items in my gift guide, but anything from Dear Rae would make the perfect gift. Have a look at their site if you want something more affordable.
26. CHANEL Rouge Puissant nail lacquer - R450 (CHANEL Counters)
A classic red and from CHANEL - win! This nail polish would make the perfect gift for those ladies who wear nothing but red varnish as it would be well worth the splurge!
27. Travel Hello Kitty Tangle Teezer - R290
How cute!? A good idea for someone who travels a lot and someone who loves their girly bits and pieces, no matter what age they are!
28. Espidril - Valenciana - R650
I love this local espadrille brand called Espidril. Definitely treating myself to these {if no one else gets this hint :) }
29. Chocolate Donut Float/lilo - R399
A fun gift for younger girls who will be spending their summer at the pool!
30. Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette - R850
You cannot go wrong with this palette, honestly. It ticks every box and, in my opinion, is the only palette you really need!
31. Havaianas Slim Animals Black & Rose Gold - R399
Understated, yet still fun!
32. Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm - R370
Every girl would be chuffed with an Aesop hand cream. A great gift for those who have everything as this isn't something you would usually buy for yourself.
33. Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer - R450 (Sandton)
I know this could be an odd gift to buy someone, but if she's a make up junkie she won't be offended by a concealer as a gift as this one is THE BEST!
34. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - R129.95
Every girl should own one of these, you pretty much won't look back after owning one of these!
35. Country Road Small Bucket Bag - R1999
Stylish and classic, I love this bag!
36. CHANEL Lip Ink Liquid Lipsticks - R610 (CHANEL Counters)
The very best liquid lipstick on the market in my opinion. I own the red and for someone who is into wearing a classic red lip, this will be very appreciated!
37. Alaia EDP - R845 - R1835
This fragrance is something unique, sophisticated and simply gorgeous! I love everything about it.
38. The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Scrub - R190
This is from the Christmas collection for The Body Shop. The perfect scent to celebrate the best time of year!

Pictured below:

39. Blush Paper Co Weekly Edit Planner - R450
I absolutely adore these planners. Blush Paper Co has just opened their online store and make these gorgeous planners which will ensure anyone starts 2017 on the right track!
40. Anna-Louise Sleepwear - R500 for a long set
You all know how much I love Anna-Louise pyjamas, I own far too many and can't get enough of them. They make the perfect gift. I've recently bought the newest Leopard Print pair and the fabric is to-die-for!
41. Elizabeth Summer Beach Basket - R700
I love the Elizabeth Summer products - Jess has gorgeous wide-brimmed hats (R750) that can be personalised as well as beautiful baskets that I am dying to get my hands on!



CHRISTMAS 2016: GIFTS FOR HIM

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It's Christmas Gift Guide time - I am sorry it's a week later than normal, and thanks to everyone who mailed me about these. Glad they have been so helpful in the past :)

This year I am going to do a guide for him (see below) and a guide for Her. Less guides than last year but such is 2016! The For Her guide is packed with insane goodies :)

Enjoy and happy shopping!
From top left:
Temple of Reason Swim Shorts - R750
Aesop Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion - R690
Spotty Sleeping Short boxers - R299
Essence of McCreedy Candle - R1200 (Stocked through the Wish Collection in Africa and Southern Africa - detail here)
I really had to include this candle as I honestly have to say this is up there with my top three candle scents (and you know how many candles I own). It is super-sophisticated, very uni-sex and one that I never want to stop burning. It;s clean, fresh, summer holidays whilst being unique, incredible high-end and masculine. Do yourself a favour!