I’m back with a vengeance! Taking some time off last week was good, I’ve managed to kick this nasty flu bug to the kerb, plus the short break has lifted my spirits (even if just a tiny little bit). As mentioned in this blog post, I wanted to declutter and organise our home this past week but since I was sick for most of the week, I didn’t manage to do a heck of a lot. I was feeling a lot better on Friday and Saturday, so got to work and managed to clear out my beauty room and our study. How 2 people can accumulate so much junk is beyond me (well to be honest, probably 80% of the junk is mine). I’ve made 3 piles – ‘Donate To Momma’, ‘Donate To Housekeeper’ and ‘Donate To Charity’. There’s still a lot to do (I want to get through the whole house within the next week or 2, especially my overflowing Tupperware drawer) but I’m getting there… Slowly but surely.
I’m always up for testing new & exciting products, and April was filled with new discoveries. If you’re not a morning person, you struggle with dry hands, dull skin or even if you’re just bored with your current beauty routine, keep on reading. I got you covered!
And the products that tickled my pickle during the month of April 2015 were:
Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex ♥ R 300,00 – So, my current favourite hand cream is actually a heel balm. Rules are meant to be broken, right? This handy-dandy heel balm smells so fresh and so minty, the perfect pick-me-up when my hands are feeling dry and my senses dull. I can’t help but cup my hands over my nose after I’ve applied it to take a deep breath. Smell so good. Made using a complex that contains 19,5% active ingredients, this cream contains Tramella Fuciformis (a derivative of the mushroom) which has shown to be 400 times more moisturising than Hyaluronic Acid. And here I thought HA was the world’s most moisturising anionic…proof I can also be wrong. Sometimes. *don’t tell Neal I said that*
Anyway, it also contains purified Calendula extract to soothe dry & cracked skin, plus Maize Propanediol which creates a hydrating barrier over the skin to prevent moisture loss. I’ve been using this hand / heel cream for a few months now and this little tube is almost empty. I’ll have to visit Clicks to stock up, especially since Winter is just around the corner and my hands are already looking like parched granny hands.
L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liner ♥ R 59,95 – The creamiest, most pigmented, smudge-proof, transfer-resistant eyeliner pencil you will EVER have the pleasure of purchasing in your ENTIRE lifetime. There’s a new holy grail eyeliner in town, ladies, and it comes with an affordable price tag too! I bought this eyeliner pencil at Dis-Chem a few months ago and loved it so much, I went back to pick up ‘Deep Bronze’ and Gypsy Teal’. This specific one is called ‘Very Black’ and shouldn’t be confused with the other black shade (exactly the same packaging – white and black) called ‘Black Magic’ which contains tiny silver glitters.
What I love most about this eyeliner pencil is that it really does glide onto the lid or inner rim of the eye (it’s very smooth and creamy) but it doesn’t transfer at all. I like to tightline my upper lash line (to make my lashes appear fuller) but I don’t like to line my inner rim on the bottom lash line. Most other eyeliner pencils usually transfer to my bottom lash line, but not this one. It’s stays put. Finish en klaar.
DKNY Golden Delicious Sparkling Apple Eau De Parfum ♥ R 700,00 – Look at the packaging of this beauty and tell me it doesn’t fill up your happy tank? These Donna Karan Be Delicious apple-shaped fragrances always remind me of my youthful carefree days – afternoons spent with friends talking about nail polishes and boys (but mostly boys). The original Be Delicious fragrance will always be one of my favourites, but I also love the limited edition alternatives (reminiscent of the original but with a twist on the apple base). You can purchase DKNY Be Delicious fragrances at Edgards, Red Square and Stuttafords stores.
I am using this golden orb very sparingly because it’s just so darn special – from the glittering top, to the rich and sensual scent. It contains notes of sparkling grapefruit, ginger root, golden delicious apple and plum. It’s the perfect transition fragrance from Summer into Autumn, because it’s fresh but has a seductive twist.
Natural Lab Orange Blossom Body Wash ♥ R 49,95 – Natural Lab sent me a parcel containing some of their products about a month ago and I immediately popped this tube into my shower. Ever since falling in love with the LUSH Brightside Bubble Bar, I’ve been obsessed with orange-y scents. This body wash contains all the good stuff, and none of the bad stuff. 100% naturally derived ingredients, no parabens, no synthetics, no artificial colourants, no artificial fragrances or preservatives and no sulphates. You don’t have to worry about the negative side effects of chemicals (stripping your skin’s natural oil layer or blocking lymph nodes) because they only use natural preservatives and fragrances in their products.
The Natural Lab Orange Blossom Body Wash smells like fresh, juicy oranges – which means it’s the perfect shower companion for those of us who are not morning people. I’m like a walking zombie in the mornings and this shower gel gives me the revitalising pick-me-up I need to become human again (it’s like an orange shot for the senses). Orange blossom also eases headaches or nervous tension – bonus!
You can purchase Natural Lab products online here – and I must add, their pricing isn’t bad at all for 100% natural derived products! I’m currently also using their Lemongrass Hand Wash and it’s a winner too – very zesty & fresh.
The very best highlighters I have ever used are from theBalm Cosmetics – my love affair with Mary-Lou Manizer started about 2 years ago. I ordered her online from Vivadream Cosmetics (almost sounds like a mail-order bride) and had to wait for almost 2 months for her to arrive in South Africa. Fortunately for you, though, Retail Box now stocks a wide variety of theBalm makeup products.
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer ♥ R 399,00 – Winter is just around the corner, and for me that means I need to up my glow-game. Cold, dry weather usually means my skin looks a bit dull and lacklustre but Mary-Lou takes care of all that by adding a soft, shimmering champagne glow to the skin. You can go as light-handed or intense as you want, and because this highlighter is so finely milled, it will always look like you’re glowing from within. A little dusting on the tops of the cheekbones gives a really pretty glowy goddess look.
theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer ♥ R 399,00 – If you’re a pale skinned gal, then Cindy-Lou will be your BFF. Her texture is smooth, soft & extremely pigmented. I wouldn’t classify this as a true highlighter, it’s more of a glowy blush on my skin. It’s a very unique shade in that it looks almost like a rose gold in certain lights, but then also looks like a glowy peachy-pink in other lighted areas (the swatch photo below really doesn’t do it justice, though).
What I also love about either of these highlighters is that they look stunning on the eyelid and inner corner as well, I always receive compliments whenever I add a sheer wash of Mary-Lou to my inner corner. If you’re in the market for a top quality highlighter / blush, then get your hands on either of these 2 ladies. I really can’t put into words just how beautiful these 2 shades are – and if you think these highlighters can be compared to your average run-of-the-mill drugstore highlighter, then you’re dead wrong, my friend. I have never come across another highlighter that feels as soft & buttery, is as pigmented & finely milled and that blends as effortlessly into the skin.
Most people would buy either the one or the other, so if I had to choose between these 2 beauties? Well, I would pick Mary-Lou Manizer as I think she will suit most skin tones. If you want to see Mary-Lou in action, check out this blog post.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ♥ R 83,00 – Not all makeup sponges are created equal, if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you will know the Beautyblender is my ride-or-die ultimate makeup application tool. It really is THAT good, ladies. But if you can’t wrap your head around spending R 300,00 on a makeup sponge, then the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a close runner-up in my book. The first time I used this I wasn’t all that impressed, because it is a bit more dense than the original Beautyblender. Once you dampen the Miracle Complexion Sponge, though, it becomes a lot softer and more squishy. Just so you know, ‘squishy’ is a recognised term in the professional beauty community. *shakes head*
The Real Techniques sponge also features a pointy egg-shape on the one end but unlike the original Beautyblender, the other side features a slanted flat edge (which I actually quite like). The idea behind the flat slanted edge, is to use it to get into all those nooks, crannies and crevices on the face i.e. around the nose and under the eyes. The larger, rounded sides of the sponge can be used to cover a larger area on the face. And like the original BeautyBlender, the precision point can be used to apply concealer to the inner corner of the eye or to spot-conceal. It really is a great dupe for the Beautyblender, not a 100% spot-on dupe but a pretty decent one nonetheless. These makeup sponges help to make your foundation look like skin, they sheer out makeup to give you a natural and flawless finish (dare I say my skin looks airbrushed…). You’ll never have to worry about going out in public with foundation that looks cakey ever again.
Top Tip: Spritz a little bit of MAC Fix+ on the sponge (after it has already been dampened with water) and then use to apply your foundation, the MAC Fix+ will seal the foundation & will intensify the staying power of your makeup.
I bought the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge online at BIOVEA (you can take a look at my haul blog post here) but I’ve heard it’s also available at selected Foschini stores, albeit for a slightly more expensive price. The Foschini stores that currently stock Real Techniques makeup brushes are: Canal Walk, Cresta , Gateway Centre, Somerset Mall, Westville Pavillion, Chatsworth, East Rand Mall, N1 City and Tygervalley.
And my ‘un-favourite’ or disappointing product for the month of April 2015? The L.A. Colors 3D Blush Contour palette – total waste of money in my opinion. I bought the shade ‘Crush’, which features 1 contour shade, 1 highlight shade and 1 blush shade. All 3 shades are so sheer, I had major difficulty with application and blending – I almost feel like I have to man-handle each shade with my makeup brush to get enough pigment to show up on my skin. As you can see I’ve hardly used this palette, I can’t be bothered to try make it work for me – I would much rather then just use other trusty products I know and love.
Maybe it’s just this specific palette, maybe the other brighter shaded palettes are more pigmented? I don’t know, and sadly I won’t be spending more money to find out.
Happy Monday, lovelies! I’m been quite pro-active on the blog front, I managed to take all my photos and write all my blog posts for this week already. *pats self on back* I think I shall reward myself by indulging in a bowl of Woolies Prawn Curry Soup. Hot dang, that stuff is GOOD! If you’re not into spicy food, then don’t worry, it’s not that hot / spicy at all (there is a bit of a warmness in there, but it’s nothing too hectic). I’m pretty sure Neal would finish a bowl of the soup, and he has a little baby mouth (can’t handle spicy food). Anyway, is it just me or has Woolworths been hitting the ball out of the park in the soup department? I really like that their sachet soups actually taste like a proper homemade soup, plus this specific one contains whole prawns (none of that minced stuff). Well done, Woolies!
P.S. I’ll probably be getting the stink eye tonight for broadcasting on the world wide web that Neal has a baby mouth… Haha!