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 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!

PAMPER, BUBBLES AND LUNCH at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

I had a day from heaven the other day that I have to share with you. I so often get questions about spa recommendations and the Librisa Spa at The Mount Nelson is always my go-to. I have treated myself to a few treatments there before as well as done a few sister spa days there. It’s my go-to as it is 2 minutes from my home and I just love the homely, yet luxury feel of The Mount Nelson. Pretty unbeatable.
Myself and a friend were invited to experience the spa’s newest package deal which has just launched – the Half Day Discovery Deal. It will leave you feeling like the most indulged person alive, honestly, I haven’t felt that spoilt in a while. The deal is:

Half Day Discovery Deal

Includes any two of the below treatments (3 hours)

Journey of Discovery options:
• Manicure and Pedicure
• Scalp Massage and Foot Massage
• Kalahari Bespoke Facial
• Librisa Kgapa Signature Massage
• Full Body Polish with Body Wrap

"Enjoy a full day of indulgence. Savour a delicious buffet lunch in the Oasis Bistro, complemented by a delicious smoothie, glass of wine or Méthode Cap Classique. Then enjoy a pampering Half Day Journey of Discovery at the Librisa Spa. You’ll also have access to the Oasis pool and sun loungers."

The fact that you can lounge at the pool for the remainder of the day is SUCH a bonus. The pools at The Mount Nelson are heavenly, and imagine this on a beautiful summers day!

The journey of discovery also includes a Kalahari or Africology Journey Kit.

It's priced at R2,600 per person and available until end of April 2017 (blackout dates apply between 19 December 2016 to 9th January 2017).

To book, call Librisa Spa on 021 483-1550 or e-mail librisa.mnh@belmond.com

The whole experience of the spa, from start to finish, is something very special. I love the décor and the little touches (like choosing your massage balm scent – I chose Africology’s Rose balm). 
The rooms are absolutely beautiful and you also have access to their sauna, steam room and plunge pool in the spa area. After our treatments we spent a good half an hour lying in the conservatory under a blanket with herbal teas, dried fruit and the latest magazines. My idea of bliss. 
Following our treatments we went to the Oasis Bistro for our lunch and I really can’t rave about this enough. My friend who joined me is a foodie of note and often when you hear‘buffet’ type dining you don’t expect the best. This, however, blew our minds. Every single thing we ate was unreal – from the oyster bar section to the Ottelenghi-type salads and health breads. All I can say is that you need to go hungry! Oh, and don’t get too full before the desserts!
I know a few of you have already asked questions after my social media posts, so be sure to get your bookings in as the spa does get very booked up and is popular, understandably! My plan is to book this for a weekend when Marc is here from JHB as it’s a full day treat and so worth it! 


The skincare routine that changed my skin: OBAGI REVIEW

Friday, 25 November 2016

I have tried many, many skincare routines in my life time (as I’m sure you can imagine). I love testing skincare products and finding solutions that not only help my skin look and feel better, but in-turn help my readers and friends. Until about a year ago I had been really lucky with my skin. Well, I say lucky, but I put a shed-load of time and TLC into it, so I guess it’s not all luck. But, in the past year, I have, for the first time ever, seen the first signs of ageing. Every bit of sun damage I may have incurred or those many-a-late-nights all show that much more and are that much harder to combat.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a change that only I would notice, I guess, but a change none-the-less. In talking to all my closest friends, we were pretty much all feeling the same way. I guess that is what happens when your 30’s are around the corner. Before I get reprimanded, as I’ve said many times before on this blog of mine, ageing is not something I am terrified of or something that I think is unattractive but there are ways to age gracefully and that’s what I am here to talk about. You can’t pretend to me that your crêpey bags under your eyes are a look you are keen on embracing. I certainly am not.

Anyway, back on track: My skincare routine has always been good but I jumped all over the show and didn’t really include anything that was THAT active. By that I mean no game-changing, super active products. That was until I was introduced to the Obagi range – an American skincare line I had never really heard of before, to be honest. It’s a medical skincare range so only stocked in places where a doctor is present. The range has a bunch of lines for different concerns. The one I am going to tell you about is the pigmentation range, Nu-Derm.

First things first, this range is not messing around. These are pure actives that you can introduce into your routine. They didn’t try sell me the entire range (which SO many brands do) but rather told me I could stick to my cleanser/toner of choice, as well as my moisturiser (as I use a good one), and sent me home with three bottles:

Obagi Nu-Derm Exforderm is a gentle lightweight exfoliating lotion that helps to remove dull, dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. It promotes new skin cells for a brighter complexion and helps to reduce brown marks. This lotion is formulated for dry to sensitive skins with brown marks and sun damage. I use this at night and mix it with the below Obagi Nu-Derm Blend Fx. It does cause slight flakiness initially but makes my skin texture dreamy!

Obagi Nu-Derm Blend Fx is a skin brightening cream formulated for us at night to clarify and brighten the skin and to prevent future pigmentation from developing on the skin. For all non-sensitive skin types with pigmentation due to superficial and deeper types of hormonal melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This product should be used with extreme caution. As mentioned, I use this every night – I initially started using it only 2/3 per week as it is super active, but my skin is used to it now and can handle the actives.

Obagi Nu-Derm Clear Fx is a lightweight, hydroquinone-free treatment that treats superficial epidermal hyperpigmentation helping to fade brown marks and create a more even skin tone. This serum can be used on darker skins types but it should be used with caution. It also helps post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation left behind after a blemish. Suitable for all non-sensitive skin types with pigmentation. I use this in the morning underneath my spf. You can also mix this with the exfoliating serum but I prefer using that at night.
These are actives that you put on your skin before anything else, as you would a serum. You then continue your routine as normal. I also use the Heliocare suncare for the face – R369 (gel formula – HIGHLY recommended) which they were happy with me to continue with, spf is obviously of the utmost importance in this treatment routine.

The actual products are by no means ‘luxurious’ to use like other skincare ranges out there; no nice smells or pretty packaging but, my word, they work wonders and you truly do see results! I know so many of you email me with your skin concerns and pigmentation is a very real one for so many of us because of the sun we are exposed to in SA. I can honestly say this is by far the most results-driven range I have tried, you will not be disappointed. This is the REAL deal! See below case study as an example:
I do know the prices are steep, not quite sure how I am going to maintain this routine I've fallen in love with but I will reassess when I am finished this lot of products and make a call.

I got my Obagi products at Skin & Body Renewal at Cape Quarter. You can see a list of their spa’s here (see branches) or purchase online here

Giveaway: Babor's Beauty Advent Calendar

Monday, 21 November 2016

Now THIS is my type of advent calendar!!! I know many of you lust after these beauty advent calendars and, in my opinion, Babor do one of the very best one's. What more could you want than a calendar filled with 24 ampoule concentrates all aimed at making your skin look INSANE  come party season?!?


Each little door contains a skin ampoule that is done in a specific order leading up to Christmas day so you basically have 24 days of skin treatments from heaven. Babor is a brand I really trust and have never used a product from them that I don't love! They are pricey, yes, so this calendar is a great way to try out loads of different products from them and get a good idea for the results you would get.

The calendar is limited edition and also has limited stock. You can pick yours up online for R1480 or you could WIN one though Kiss, Blush and Tell. Head over to my Instagram account for more details or click on the above image.

Review: Life Day Spa V&A Waterfront

Monday, 14 November 2016

A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the Life Day Spa at the Waterfront. I have been really excited about this launch as I am so often asked for spa recommendations, and there aren't that many that I wholeheartedly can rave about. Life Day Spa is a spa chain and this is their 7th or 8th spa - these guys know how to play the spa-game and don't cut any corners when doing so.


I was also very interested as my therapist who I have been going to ever since moving to Cape Town (8 years ago) has moved there too, so knew I would be visiting them frequently. The spa honestly blew me away, I was expecting a beautiful salon/spa type place but this really is the real deal and one that I have already been recommending to countless readers, friends and Airbnb guests.

The decor and facilities in this spa really are world class. The look is very high-end with loads of marble counters, velvet teal sofa's, incredible lighting effects and beautiful water facilities. One of the things I was most excited about was the floatation pool which is a pool that you use for 30 minutes and this equates to around 4 hours sleep (BLISS) - I want to try do a full review on this soon as I've never tried it. Will keep you posted. There is also an indoor rim-flow pool that is beautiful and has loungers where you can rest quietly before or after your treatment.

Another huge perk of the spa is that it is perfect for pre-wedding/hen's do-type events as they have loads of mani and pedi stations so everyone can get their treatments done at the same time. They also have an eating area where you can pre-order anything off the Tasha's V&A menu and enjoy after your treatment - I love this idea! Imagine, a massage followed by a Tasha's Butternut salad. Heaven.
I enjoyed a Back & Neck Massage, a mini facial and a manicure. The rooms are all beautiful with no expenses spared - they also make use of light therapy, so your therapist changes the lighting in the room depending on your energy.
I also have to say that their choice in product lines that they carry is top-notch; think Babor, Elemis, La Prairie, Nimue and Optiphi. You can also buy the products online through their website if you are a customer.
Have a look at their opening packages – there are some great deals and they are running longer that stated on their site, so give them a call! The Life Day Spa is located on the ground floor of the old BMW Pavilion. Best place to park is in the Breakwater parking area. They are next to the colourful steps leading up to Somerset Hospital at the Waterfront. Cube Workspace, WSP and Zenprop are in the same building.

Life Day Spa Waterfront: 021 180 4772

My Skin Journey with Skin Renewal: Understanding facial peels

Thursday, 10 November 2016

As many of you may have seen on my Instagram, Instagram Stories and Snapchat; I have started a few treatments at Skin Renewal (I go to Nicky at Cape Quarter, who is fab). I am so super excited to share my journey with you guys as I think so many of us aren’t clued up enough about the reams and reams of non-invasive treatments that are available to us to help with the many skin concerns we all face as we age.
Don't get me wrong, ageing is not something I am scared of and I think ageing gracefully is something beautiful, but emphasis on the gracefully part. A great skincare routine and proper home care can help you along in this process, and why not get the help if it’s available to us?!

Some new favourites - mini reviews (Part 2)

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

If you missed 'Part 1' of my mini reviews post, head over here to start from the begining (there were too many good products for one post). This is the second part, let's get into it...

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette - R850

Of course this is on my list. I only received this last week (as it has just arrived in SA) and I had high hopes. The palette has 12 matte shades that live up to the usual quality we all know and love from Urban Decay - buttery, blendable and pigmented. I have found that some of the shades do have less pigment than others, but on the whole this palette is SO wearable and one of those that becomes pretty much all you need in your make up bag - the shade variety allows for pretty much any day look and can easily be transformed into a more dramatic night look.
You may be wondering if you need this palette if you already own a Naked 1, 2 or 3 and that simply depends on how much of a make up fundi you are. I am pretty un-explorative when it comes to eye make up looks so this palette has to trump the other three, in my mind and it is ultimately all the 'basics' you need. Having said that, I don't own Naked 2 and need to change that soon! The Naked Ultimate Basics Palette is available for a limited period online here.



CHANEL JOUES CONTRASTE BLUSH – R720 (shade: ROUGE PROFOND)

This blush is beautiful – it’s packed with pigment and delivers such a pretty sheen to the cheeks. The powder is super finely milled so a little goes a long way and leaves the skin looking perfectly flushed with the most subtle highlight/sheen to it. I love absolutely everything about this and foresee a growing love affair developing (as this is the first CHANEL blush I have tried). I get that the price is super steep but a blush lasts forever so if you do find a shade that works wonders, then you can be guaranteed that it will be in your collection for years to come. Only downside in my mind is the fact that the blush is in a small little pan so it's pretty hard to get product all over a blusher brush. I prefer a wider pan that allows for even distribution on my brush.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Skin Brightening Exfoliator - R650

I love this cleanser and have been using it non-stop. You need the teensiest amount and the result is an amazing foam that gently exfoliates the skin and removes every ounce of dirt. It's great for days when you really just feel like your skin needs a good, deep clean! The product has White Birch Extract which is a sugar derived ingredient known to restore hydration and nutrients to the dermis and epidermis layers of skin . It increases skin elasticity levels and collagen production resulting in restored skin density, volume and thickness. Peony Extract helps to brighten the skin and Glycerin helps restore moisture levels.
There is something about the cleansing and exfoliating properies of this that make it a firm favourite and I know it will be used to the very last drop (and replaced!). This new collection is also made up of the following two products, this exfoliator obviously being 'step 1' in the routine:

Step 2: Clarity-Activating Toner (with Activated C, White Birch & Peony Extract) which gently retexturizes as it infuses skin with hydrating actives for noticeably cleaner and softer skin and an overall luminous, clarified complexion. R550.00
Step 3: Dark Spot Solution (with Activated C, White Birch & Peony Extract) to visibly diminish the number and intensity of dark spots and discolorations while deterring the formation of spots on the skin’s surface and unifying skin tone. R750.00
It launched in stores last month.

YSL Melting Balm Make Up Remover

This is a new launch from YSL and the first of its kind that I've tried. The balm is quite an oily texture and you really don't need much. I have been using this after a long day when  I have a full face of make up to remove. I use it on dry skin, warm it up in my palms and massage it all over the skin. The product is scented, which I love, but may be a red flag for those of you with sensitive skins. It also hasn't caused any irritation on my eye area, which these products sometimes do. I love how luxurious the product is. I would say that it's definitely not a treatment type cleanser like Eve Lom, for example, but it's a make up remover and does as it says!

Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

This product works magic and I love it. The shampoo leaves the hair feeling super clean but also with a touch of 'grit' to it which is the part that does wonders for your volume. It's definitely the first volumising shampoo where I have actually seen visible results. The conditioner smoothes everything out and makes my ends feel conditioned and soft. Oh, and the scent is hair-salon-hair in a bottle! So beautiful. It's a thumbs up all round from me!


That's a run-down of some faves for now. Hope you all have a lovely day xxx