How about we just call these ‘mid-month-favourites’ from now on, because I am clearly incapable of loading my monthly favourites blog posts at the end of each month. Can you believe it has been almost 3 months since I loaded my last monthly favourites blog post – ‘December 2014 Favourites’ was not even an option for me as I was recovering from “The Operation” (most of you know about this) and January faves just kind of slipped my mind to be quite honest. *hides face*
Ok, enough with the self-shaming! February was all about discovering new products – skin care, hair care, body care and makeup too. We have quite a few products to get through in this blog post, so let’s jump right in…
L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream, where have you been all my life? You know when something is just so good, it makes you say “YES!” while clenching your teeth and doing a fist pump? This product makes me do that whenever I use it, which has been almost every day lately. When you’re used to dropping triple digits on foundation products, finding something with a price tag of only R 59,95 is a pleasant surprise. It’s no secret I love a good bargain, but sometimes the products that are incredibly inexpensive, are also incredibly disappointing. I am so glad I decided to pop this little tube in my shopping basket, it has been my ‘go-to’ foundation for the past month.
I first heard about this BB cream from Tati (GlamLifeGuru) – she loves it and to be honest, if it’s good enough for Tati, it’s good enough for me! Ok…not really, I constantly find myself not enjoying the products that are hyped about (for example check out this blog post). This BB cream gives the most natural finish to the skin (I would say a satin-matte finish), it gives medium coverage that is very buildable to give you full coverage where you need it most. It is very easy to blend and the best part? It is super long-lasting! I usually apply this in the morning, set it with my Rimmel Stay Matte Powder and by the time I remove my makeup (after 8 to 10 hours) it still looks beautiful – no settling into fine lines and my skin still looks fresh & matte. You can use your fingers or a makeup brush to apply this BB cream, but using your fingers will give you the most natural finish as the heat from your fingertips will help to blend the product into the skin. Trust me, this gem deserves a spot in your makeup collection.
L.A. Girl Pro BB Cream retails for R 59,95 and is available at Dis-Chem stores (I think there are about 6 or 8 shades in the range, so you are guaranteed to find your perfect shade).
The Lipidol Cleansing Body Oil has been a firm favourite for a while now. I’m on my 3rd bottle now and will keep repurchasing it for as long as we both shall live. It’s an in-shower cleansing oil, which means you use it as a type of body wash product. Don’t make the same mistake I did, though, the best way (and most cost efficient way) to use this is to pour a tablespoon amount in the palm of your hand, then apply all over the body. You don’t need very much, because when comes into contact with water, it emulsifies and covers a wider area on the body. Then gently swirl your bath lily / loofah all over your body for a little exfoliation. Don’t just pour the oil into your loofah & expect it to foam up, because you’ll have to use a heck of a lot more – I found this method to be quite wasteful.
I also use this as a shaving oil – it creates a silky barrier between the razor blade and my skin, I haven’t experienced a nick / cut in a very long time. I can even skip moisturising after my shower if I am in a hurry. It doesn’t feel like a conventional oil in the sense that it might feel oily and sticky, it washes off easily & leaves my skin feeling nourished, soft and soothed. I must admit, though, my favourite aspect of this cleansing body oil is the fragrance – it contains Lime essential oil and smells EXACTLY like the Rose’s Lime Cordial. So refreshing!
The Lipidol Cleansing Body Oil retails for R 79,95 and is available at Clicks stores.
I believe we have a winner for the most interesting and unique skin care product in my collection! I love the idea of creating your own facial scrub and these exfoliating beads from Tous Les Jours are just perfection. Jojoba wax beads means this product is 100% natural, plus Tous Les Jours products are produced in South Africa – bonus! I find these little beads are not too abrasive, so they’re suitable for all skin types and leave the skin feeling polished and smooth. Add half a teaspoon amount to your favourite cleanser, massage in circular motions & rinse. These round beads feel very gentle on the skin and will be a lifesaver during the Winter months when skin tends to become dry & dull.
You can purchase these Le Exfoliator Beads online at Tous Les Jours for R 55,00 and while you’re on their site, check out their range of PJs. The ‘Emma Rose Blue Background’ PJ set is on my Winter wish list.
Another product that makes my heart skip a beat – this is the Milk_Shake Conditioning Whipped Cream and my hair has been loving it. This is a deep conditioning leave-in treatment mousse that contains milk proteins to condition and strengthen the hair, leaving it feeling soft & manageable. I particularly love this because it doesn’t weigh my hair down, it acts like a detangler (my hair is prone to knots & tangles – ouch!) and…it smells incredible (like a mix of birthday cake, toffee and buttery popcorn! *gulp* Delicious! It looks like whipped cream, but is super lightweight and non-greasy (non-sticky too).
My little sample can is empty and I even contemplated using a sharp object to open up the can to scrape out every last drop but that is a bit too hardcore for me, I’ll probably amputate an arm in the process. My hair feels silky soft and is easy to style. A full size Milk_Shake Conditioning Whipped Cream retails for R 245,00 and is available online at Salon Online (SA-based online store) or at selected hair salons nationwide. If all the Milk_Shake products smell this good, I’ll be picking up their Glistening Shampoo Oil and No Frizz Glistening Milk for sure!
I have really been enjoying the Blistex DCT Lip Conditioning Treatment these past few months. If you read my ‘Where Did I Disappear To’ blog post at the beginning of January, then you will know this was a total lifesaver for my lips after the operation and I’ve been using it non-stop since. Aloe , cocoa butter and Vitamins A & E moisturise and soften the lips. If you struggle with dry, chapped lips (especially in Winter), slap this on and call it a day. Trust me, you will be amazed at the results after using this lip treatment for a couple of days. It also contains SPF20 and is probably the only thing I’d take with me to a deserted island.
It also contains menthol which adds a cooling / tingling sensation when applied (this lasts only for a few seconds) and feels like a refreshing, lightweight butter on the lips. Blistex DCT retails for R 59,95 and is available at Dis-Chem and Clicks stores.
I must be honest, I didn’t think I would love the REN Instant Firming Beauty Shot as much as I do. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved each & every single REN product I have tested in the past but this product has taken my love for the REN Skincare brand to a whole new level! The main idea behind the Beauty Shot is that it acts like a tightening serum and delivers a powerful shot of Hyaluronic Acid (I’ve mentioned HA quite a few times on the blog already). It’s important to remember, though, that not all Hyaluronic Acids are created equal, some absorb & perform better than others and because of this REN used the middleweight molecular acids in Beauty Shot, as they provide the longest skin plumping effect with more instant results.
Think of this as ‘Shapewear’ or ‘Spanx’ for your face – it tightens & firms all the right areas, reduces the look of pores and instantty reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. My skin feels smooth and hydrated & looks bright and radiant. I also love that all REN Skincare products are formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
I like to apply 3 or 4 drops to cleansed skin, and then follow up with my day / night moisturiser. It is a boosting product designed to work with your other skincare products, so don’t wear it alone as it needs the moisture from your day lotion or night cream to bind to. It also smells like Turkish Delight – love!
REN Instant Firming Beauty Shot is currently on sale in the REN SA online store for R 450,00.
Another lovely whipped product, this is the L’Occitane Shea Whipped Hand Cream. When I first received a press sample containing the new Shea Whipped collection, I expected the products to be more lightweight than any of the other L’Occitane products I have used in the past but I didn’t expect the collection to be this magical. I don’t use the word ‘magical’ very loosely here on the blog, so you should know I mean business. The airy texture of this hand cream means it is an absolute joy to rub into the skin and 25% of this is pure shea butter! A little goes a long way and the fluffy texture means it absorbs really fast. It is insanely hydrating and nourishing, and yet it feels lightweight and non-greasy on the skin.
When the cream comes out of the tube, it is formed into the shape of a star, which reminds me of squirty whipped cream in a can. The scent is very comforting, almost like baby powder and will work well with any perfume / fragrance since it’s not overpowering at all. I have been trying to use these Shea Whipped products very sparingly (there’s a Whipped Body Cream and a Whipped Shower Foam too) because they’re limited edition but I have recently decided life’s too short to keep your favourite products for those ‘special occasions’ only.
Last but definitely not least, we have the L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Nudes Eyeshadow Palette. Now before you get all sad because you weren’t able to get your hands on this beauty (it was limited edition), I have a surprise for you: I managed to bag AN EXTRA ONE of these and will be doing a GIVEAWAY soon! This eyeshadow palette is like Big Foot or a Unicorn, only a select few have managed to see it in real life… I chatted with a sales assistant at Dis-chem the other day and she confirmed each Dis-Chem store only received FOUR of these palettes.
Anyway, you can take a look at my ‘Review – L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Nudes vs. Urban Decay Naked 3’ blog post to see swatches and read my thoughts on this affordable palette. In two words: Long-term relationship. If I could, I would sleep with this baby next to me every single night but I’m pretty sure Neal wouldn’t be too impressed. The rose gold tones in the palette will suit all skin tones and the quality of the shadows is top notch. I really think I hit the jackpot with this 12-pan palette from L.A. Girl – best of all, it retails for R 69,95. I doubt there is still a Dis-Chem store in South Africa that will have this in stock but don’t fret, I’ll be giving away the L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Nudes palette in the next couple of weeks.
Those were all my favourites for the month of February, folks! Let me know if there is anything I mentioned in this post that piqued your interest, I’d love to hear…