It’s that time of the month again – monthly favourites time! July treated me pretty well – Neal and I went on a short holiday to Cape Town, I ate churros for the first time in my life (they’re delicious, by the way) and I managed to load my first Youtube video as well (you can check it out here).
I took about a week off from blogging, just to sort out the utter chaos in my head (my gran used to call it a ‘muisnes’) and to think about where I wanted to take my blog. I’m in the process of getting someone to give my blog a bit of a makeover, so it will still be a couple of weeks before that’s done. What I really want to say, though, is that I’m back! I’ll be loading blog posts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (with the odd blog post on a Tuesday – for a new blog series). Oh, and the odd blog post on a Sunday for my ‘Sunday Slushie / Smoothie’ recipes but I’m thinking I’ll start that up in Spring again, as I’m not really sure whether most of you make smoothies during Winter (I do).
July was the month of bad skin for me. Holy smokes, my skin has been congested and extremely dry as well. I have combination skin. Wait, let me rephrase that…I used to have combination skin. These days I have dry, flaky skin. I’m hoping it’s temporary and that I will be back to combo skin soon (or even normal skin, normal skin would be awesome). Anyone who suffers from dry, flaky skin knows that it’s a struggle to get your makeup to look good, because foundation tends to emphasise the dry patches. My picks for the month of July are things that I found really helped my skin look (and feel) better.
Top favourite of the month is the REN Rosa Centifolia Express Make-up Remover.
I loved this cleansing milk so much, I went out and bought the Cleansing Gel from the Rosa Centifolia range as well. This velvety milk makeup remover gently removes makeup (even waterproof eye makeup), all while restoring comfort to my super dry skin. This cleansing milk contains a blend of oils and flower water to soothe and hydrate, as well as tannins from the Rosa Centifolia (a cabbage rose – google for an image of this rose, it is stunning!) which help to reduce pore size. This product is suitable for all skin types (even sensitive skin) and will leave your skin feeling supple, smooth and moisturised.
I am keeping my fingers crossed the Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser will arrive in South Africa very soon! REN Rosa Centifolia Express Make-up Remover retails for R 240,00 and is available online at REN Skincare SA and Woolworths, or in-store at Foschini & Woolworths.
Next up is the Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant from their AGE Smart range.
As mentioned above, my skin has also been very congested, so I was looking for something to exfoliate but not aggravate my skin. Dry skin can be very tricky, it turns into super sensitive skin at the blink of an eye, so I was very wary of using a scrub that would be too abrasive. The Thermafoliant is just what the doctor ordered – it is both a chemical and mechanical exfoliator (which means it contains lactic and salicylic acid, plus a physical exfoliant i.e. little beads) and gently scrubs away dead skin cells, whilst ‘conditioning’ the skin as it contains natural oils.
The fact that this scrub heats up when it comes in contact with water, is both amusing and very welcome on a cold Winter’s night. I started using the Thermafoliant at the beginning of July and then stopped for about a week (no idea why!) and I definitely noticed the flaky skin returning, as well as the congestion bumps on my forehead. Never again. This exfoliant is now part of my permanent skincare routine and I alternate between this and the Dermalogica Microfoliant, I say permanent skin care routine because there are only certain products that I will repurchase time and time again and this is most definitely one of them.
I visited the new Dermalogica concept store in V&A Waterfront (whilst on holiday in Cape Town) and my skin coach (hallo, Liese!) mentioned that the Thermafoliant will also sort out the hyper-pigmentation I have on my upper cheek area. Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant retails for R 790,00 (pricey, maybe, but a little bit goes a very long way) and is available from Dermalogica concept stores, Sorbet stores as well as selected beauty salons (check out this link here to find your nearest stockist).
The next product is the most beautiful packaged product in my makeup collection – the MAC Extra Dimension Bronzer in Aphrodite’s Shell.
Let’s take a minute to appreciate the packaging of this product, please? Whenever I reach for this bronzer (which has been quite often this past month), I always run my fingers over the embossed droplets. The packaging reminds me of a mermaid, and that makes me very happy because I love mermaids. Aphrodites Shell was part of the ‘Alluring Aquatic’ collection that came out a couple of months ago.
Skin needs to be ‘warmed up’ during Winter as it tends to be a bit paler. This shade is perfect for us girls with fair to light skin tones, and that’s why I love it so much – it’s a muted, golden brown shade with oh-so-subtle golden shimmers. You can’t really go overboard with this bronzer because it is so subtle, plus it gives a beautiful satin finish to the skin. I can fake a healthy glow with this bronzer, especially since my skin has been so dry and dehydrated of late. I also use this as a transition eyeshadow shade in the crease, as it is smooth and blends very easily. Aphrodite’s Shell retailed for R 450,00 at MAC counters, it is still available in the MAC South Africa online store here.
Top Tip: Always choose a bronzer that is one to two shades darker than your skin tone (don’t go darker than that as it will look very unnatural and will be difficult to blend). For a natural bronzed look, opt for a large natural-hair makeup brush. And remember, bronzing is NOT the same as contouring.
I didn’t think I was going to love this mascara as much as I did, it’s the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Waterproof Mascara.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Bourjois products. I tried a waterproof mascara once and disliked it (a lot), because I felt it really dried out my lashes and was quite clumpy too. But this Bourjois mascara is a total game-changer for me – yes, it stays put (but that’s a good thing, right?), all you need is an oil-based makeup remover to take the day off your lids. But the thing that impressed me most is: My lashes hold a curl so much better, when I use this mascara. I have long eyelashes and they sometimes tend to straighten out after a couple of hours, even though I curl them with a eyelash curler. But when I use the Volume 1 Seconde Waterproof Mascara, my lashes look thick, voluminous and stay fluttery until I remove my makeup at night.
The brush on this mascara is very interesting – it was inspired by professional round hair styling brushes, it features both spherical bristles (bristles with balls on the ends) that wrap lashes for maximum volume, as well as straight bristles to create definition. I am really, really loving this mascara! Volume 1 Seconde Waterproof Mascara retails for R 139,95 at selected Clicks stores.
Next up we have the Essence Gel Nails At Home Gel Corrector.
I don’t use this for gel polishes (I am personally not a fan of gel manicures), I use it to clean up around my cuticle area when I paint my nails using normal nail polishes. I used to use the Essence Eyeliner Precision Brush (check out my ‘Manicure Must-Haves’ blog post) for clean-up but with this corrector thing-a-mabob I don’t even have to wait for the polish to dry before getting started with clean-up. I just paint my nails and can immediately remove any polish around the edges. Add a little bit of nail polish remover to a cotton round, and wipe the washable silicone tip after each nail clean-up. Et voilà! So simple and easy & will give you a professional looking manicure. The Essence Corrector retails for R 38,95 at selected Clicks and Dis-Chem stores, and R 35,00 online at Spree.
Last but certainly not least, we have a brand that I have mentioned on the blog on numerous occasions already – BlendBox.
I used the BlendBox Soft Body Scrub last year and never mentioned it in a monthly favourites blog post, even though I really liked it. I started using this tub towards the end of July (that’s why it’s still quite full) and each time I used it, I was thinking: “Wow, I really need to mention this in my monthly favourites post.” I figured since I had used to for quite some time last year (obviously a different tub) and I still love it to this day, it is acceptable to mention it after only using it again for such a short period of time. Check out this blog post for a review on the Soft Body Butter and Soft Butter Candle.
I love this body scrub because it’s a sugar scrub, which means it’s a bit more gentle on the skin (compared to a sea salt scrub) but still gets rid of dry, flaky skin. I don’t have to worry that I’m overdoing it with the scrub because it’s not as harsh on the skin. The scent of the Soft range from BlendBox is absolutely heavenly, it’s a mix between melted marshmallows with a hint of rose. This scrub contains various oils to deeply nourish the skin after the dead skin cells have been sloughed off by the sugar granules. My skin feels soft and moisturised, all while I smell like a giant rose-scented marshmallow. The BlendBox Soft Body Scrub retails for R 86,00 and is available online from BlendBox and Hello Pretty.
My random favourite for July is the Oh So Heavenly Wish Upon A Star Soothing Pillow Mist.
This stuff smells like a dream (excuse the pun) – the type of dream you never want to wake up from (for me, that’s usually a dream that features cupcakes, puppies or Jared Leto). As you can see in the photo, I’ve almost finished the bottle and I already have a spare waiting on my bedside table. I spray this lavender scented pillow mist all over my sheets (don’t worry, it doesn’t stain your sheets at all) just before I get into bed and then drift off to the land of nod. This is an aromatherapy blend of lavender, orange and patchouli oils and yet, it certainly isn’t a headache-inducing mist. Oh So Heavenly describes it as a ‘light mist that helps to soothe the senses, relax the mind and calm frazzled nerves’ and I can definitely attest to that – I find myself falling asleep quicker when I use this. The scent (and mist) of this product is super light, and Neal always comments on how nice my side of the bed smells. No, I don’t share this with him (he’s way too ‘manly’ for it), and yet, he loves the pillow mist just as much as I do! The Oh So Heavenly Wish Upon A Star Soothing Pillow Mist comes at a cheap and cheerful price of R 19,99 at Clicks stores.
So there you have it – all my favourite products for the month of July.
I’m taking part in the Kiehl’s #ChangeYourSkin Challenge this month (August) and I must say, I’m very impressed with the 2 products I am testing out. I’m the type of person who believes one needs to use a product for at least 3 to 4 weeks, before seeing a noticeable difference (especially with skin care). I can confirm, with 100% honesty, that I have already seen a difference in my skin after just one week. I know – it sounds ridiculous, but I only speak the truth. I have been using the Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, as well as the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and both have contributed to my skin feeling comfortable and smooth. I have already received 2 compliments regarding my skin in the past week, plus I have noticed the congestion bumps on my forehead are slowly disappearing. I’ll be doing a blog post next week, once I am half-way through the challenge – so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime, you can also check out Style Scoop for my weekly updates. P.S. I’m not getting paid to say good things about the products.
Happy Monday, everyone!