May 2015 Favourites & Life Updates

May 2015 Favourites

It’s time for mid-month favourites again!  May was both challenging and rewarding for me.  I was featured in the May edition of Finesse magazine, and I am SO grateful for the opportunity.  But May was also a difficult month – if you would like to read why, click here.  I’m feeling much better now, though, and my spirits have definitely lifted.

Today we’re chatting about the best of the best for the month of May 2015.  I really don’t know why I can’t load my monthly favourites blog posts at the end of each month, I think deep down I’m a rebel & I just don’t want to conform to the rules of society i.e. loading monthly favourites at the end or beginning of each month.  Either that or I’m a procrastinator of note…  How about we go with the former?  I’m definitely a rebel!

Right now, I’m having a cup of Beanies Irish Cream filter coffee – a very kind reader of my blog sent me a parcel a couple of weeks ago and one of the gifts included was a bag of Beanies ground filter coffee.  Yum!  Thank you so much, Anina!  I’m also nibbling on toasted coconut shavings – they’re new at Woolworths (not the chunks).  I love the coconut chunks, but this is a whole ‘nother level of deliciousness!  The coconut shavings are lightly toasted, so they’re slightly crunchy, slightly smokey and oh, so good.

Are you salivating yet?  Good…  Now before you hop in the car to go get yourself a tub of toasted coconut shavings, take a look at my favourite products below – you’re bound to find something to add to that shopping list!

Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Curler Review

Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Curler ♥ R 279,00 – I am so impressed with this curling iron, and it was my number 1 favourite product for the month of May (it still is actually).  To be honest, I had my reservations about this curling iron when I saw the price tag.  A couple of weeks ago it was on sale at Clicks for R 199,00…I couldn’t believe it!  Needless to say, this curling iron is on par with both my Hot Tools curling irons – the quality is very impressive.  It feels light, but sturdy; it heats up in 15 seconds; it features 7 heat settings (low will give you beachy waves, and high will give you structured curls); and the 25mm tourmaline ceramic barrel infuses heat into the hair more evenly helping to prevent hot spots & maintaining natural moisture balance.

The combination of infrared technology and tourmaline ceramic barrel means my hair feels conditioned, not fried.  It also helps reduce frizz, and gives softer more radiant results!  Once plugged in and switched on, the red lights on the barrel flash while it’s heating up.  It also features a handy built-in stand, so you won’t burn your precious vanity or dressing table.  Another bonus is this curling iron also features a 60-minute shut-off function, giving you peace of mind if you’re a little (a lottle) forgetful like me.

Take a look at this blog post, I used the Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Curler to achieve the curls (and they last all day long).  If you’re on the hunt for a new affordable curling iron, pop in to Clicks & get this nifty little hair tool.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you are based in the UK (I have quite a strong UK-based readership too), you can take a look at their products here & can purchase their products at Tesco, Argos, Debenhams & Boots stores.

Catrice Illuminating Blush I Am Nuts About You

Catrice Illuminating Blush ♥ R 69,95 – I bought this blush beginning of May because Catrice is a brand that is still quite new to my makeup collection.  I received a press drop from Catrice about 2 months ago and wanted to add to my collection in order to do a full face of Catrice makeup look.  You’ll see that ‘Face Of The Day’ blog post soon, as I have a hamper to give away to a lucky blog reader too.  Anyway, so I went to Dis-Chem first week of May and picked up a few additional products, including this blush called ‘I Am Nuts About You’.

I love a good glowy blush during the colder months when my skin tends to look a bit dull & lacklustre.  This neutral-toned blush contains just the right amount of subtle shimmers, and gives the skin that ‘lit from within’ look.  I find this specific shade goes with ANY makeup look, because it is so neutral.  If I pair it with a pink lipstick, it looks like a pinky-nude blush.  And if I pair it with a coral gloss, it gives my skin a beautiful bronze glow too.  The pigmentation is great, the texture smooth, it blends really easily, and lasts all day long.

YSL Kouros Silver Eau de Toilette

Yves Saint Laurent Kouros Silver Eau de Toilette ♥ R 820,00 – I love a girly fresh & floral fragrance, but every now and again, I like to change things up and wear a unisex scent.  It depends what kind of mood I’m in, and what I’m wearing too.  On casual weekends, when I wear a pair of jeans, my Converse sneakers and a t-shirt, I opt for the more masculine fragrances.  CK Be used to be a favourite of mine, but YSL Kouros Silver EDT has taken the number 1 spot.  Neal was sent a press sample of this fragrance back in May, and I could kick myself for allowing him to open the parcel first.  I’m not very good at describing male scents, because I can never distinguish between the different notes i.e. woody, musky, spicy.  It’s not like a feminine fragrance where I can tell you whether it’s fresh, floral or fruity.  I’ll try my best (and even asked Neal to help me), so here goes:  This is definitely a fresh & crisp fragrance, but not too masculine (which I like).  There’s a green apple accord combined with an aromatic woody note too.  It’s a very modern fragrance, and is apparently fresher and cooler than the original (I say apparently because I’ve never smelled the original).  It lasts very well on the skin too, after a full day’s work I can still smell it on Neal when he arrives home.

I could be mean, tell Neal the parcel was addressed to me (it was, because PR sends all products for review to ME) and so I should have first dibs.  But I won’t, because I know he loves it just as much as I do.  I can see this bottle running out very fast, and it will definitely be going on my ‘Repurchase List’.

YSL Kouros Silver EDT is available in 50ml and 100ml sizes at Edgars, Red Square, Stuttafords, Woolworths, Foschini & Truworths stores.  If you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift for your man, dad, grampa, special uncle, etc. – this is it!  Heck, this will make for a great birthday- or anniversary gift for anyone – male or female.

Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara Review

Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascara ♥ R 109,95 – This mascara was all over the ‘tube and international beauty blogs when it was first launched a couple of months ago.  E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e raved about it, and with good reason!  When I saw it at Clicks back in January of this year, I immediately popped it into my basket.  I didn’t use it immediately, as I had a couple of other mascara tubes that I wanted to finish up first.  I eventually started using it in May and it was love, all-consuming love.

There are 3 things I look for when I start testing a mascara (it’s all about that first application):  Length.  Volume.  Definition.  Now, most mascaras will give your 2 out of the 3 (either volume & separation or length & separation).  Most times I can tell you after just one use whether I am going to love or hate the mascara.  The Max Factor Masterpiece Transform mascara gives me ALL THREE!  This is the first mascara I have ever come across that bulks up my lashes, adds length, separates each lash AND even holds a curl.  I also love that it’s a very deep black shade, so it stays true to colour throughout the day.

The mascara brush is plastic (I prefer plastic bristles), and as for the formula of the mascara is quite wet.  It does dry out a little bit after 1 or 2 weeks (as most mascaras do), but I find it’s very easy to work with and coats each lash from root to tip.  I’ve experienced no clumping (thank goodness) and no flaking.  Definite repurchase, every single time.

Did you know?  Max Factor is the sister brand of CoverGirl?

Nails Inc Kensington High Street

Nails Inc. Nail Polish ♥ R 115,00 – My 2 favourite Nails Inc shades at the moment are called ‘Kensington High Street’ and ‘Marylebone Lane’.  These are part of the cracker set I mentioned in this blog post (I picked up the cracker set containing 7 polishes for a total steal!) and both are just perfection.  ‘Kensington High Street’ is a beautiful burgundry shade with a high gloss finish, only 2 coats are required for a gorgeous long-lasting mani.  ‘Marylebone Lane’ is a mix of crimson and dark pink glitters suspended in a clear base.  I love that the glitters are on the fine side and fairly dense too.  The formula is just lovely, the glitters glide on easily and evenly.

Nails Inc Kensington High Street Swatches

I can see these 2 shades being staples for the cold Winter months ahead – ‘Kensington High Street’ being more work appropriate, and ‘Marylebone Lane’ adding a bit of sparkle to your tips.  You can purchase Nails Inc. polishes at selected Edgars and Red Square stores.

Finesse Magazine May

Last, but definitely not least, I was very fortunate to have been featured in the May 2015 issue of Finesse magazine.  Their Beauty Editor asked 6 South African beauty bloggers and beauty editors to share their favourite beauty products & skin care tips in an article titled ‘Wat Skoonheids-Eksperts Vir Hul Vriendinne Vertel’.  In the article I mentioned a few of my favourite products i.e. L.A. Girl Pro HD Concealer, Clarisonic Aria and the Beautyblender.  I also highlighted a skin care tip for ladies over the age of 40, and named Karkloof Safari Spa as my number 1 favourite spa.  I would like to thank Finesse magazine for including me in this feature, and a special thank you goes to Ryno Mulder (Beauty Editor) for being so professional throughout the whole process.

LIFE UPDATE 1:  I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  I’ve really missed filming YouTube videos.  Every night before I go to sleep, I climb in bed and watch a couple (or more than a couple) of YouTube videos.  Lately makeup tutorials, morning routine videos, ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos and hauls have been my favourite types of videos to watch.  Watching these videos have made me 1. miss filming my own videos; and 2. miss the creativity involved in the planning and filming process.  Don’t get me wrong, I still dread the whole editing part of it all and I’m not saying I’m going to start being a full-on YouTuber again…but I just thought I’d let you know that I miss it.  It’s been 2+ months since I filmed my last video and even though the reasons why I decided to take a break from filming videos are still very much real, I think I want to start thinking of solutions for all the things that bothered me about the whole ‘YouTube situation’.  I apologise if I come across as being flippant / indecisive, but I’m just being honest – I miss interacting with you in the form of videos.

LIFE UPDATE 2:  I recently re-downloaded Snapchat, I tested it out a couple of months ago and just didn’t get the hype so I deleted the app.  I couldn’t understand why you have to press down on the screen in order to see the snaps / snippets / videos.  Also, not many of my favourite YouTubers were on Snapchat back then (so I didn’t have that many people to follow).  I still don’t get the whole pressing down on the screen part (it’s not very user-friendly) but I do get why people love it so much.  Snapchat is the home of freedom and spontaneity.  It’s where your less-than-perfect photos / videos can live (for 24 hours), plus you can even send private snaps to your favourite people too.  I am LOVING stalking my favourite YouTubers & bloggers!  Catching real-time glimpses of their days and lives…I can’t stop creeping.  I haven’t snapped my own little videos yet, because I’m feeling a bit shy at the moment.  Let me know if you have Snapchat and what your username is in the comments below – I’d love to stalk you (in a non-weird, non-offensive way of course).

Question:  Should I start snapping short videos of certain parts of my life?  Take note, though, Snapchat videos are not edited – they are proper daily vlog-style videos.  Shaky hand video shots, bad lighting photos…the works!  Maybe I could do short product reviews?  A quick look at my makeup or my manicure?  Oooh, and maybe sometimes even show you some of the press drops that are delivered?  Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing me, my doggies and perhaps even Neal every now & again – my Snapchat username is: pinkpeoniesblog

{Update}  I actually loaded my first few snaps yesterday, and it was so much fun!  I did a short review on the Clinique Contour & Highlight Chubby Sticks, I gave a sneak peek of my ‘healthy’ breakfast, and I showed you my current favourite scented candle (it’s super affordable too).

Have a lovely public holiday tomorrow, everyone!  I feel like being lazy…so I think a marathon of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 3 is on the cards for us.



  1. Ash Engel 15 June 2015 / 16:32

    you definitely have to start sharing your videos, it’s so fun! I’m aaash_engel
    lovely post! xx

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:45

      Thanks, Ash! :) I added you on Snapchat. xo

  2. Ursula 15 June 2015 / 16:40

    Never heard of snapchat, but will download it later tonight and see what its about. Im all for watching videos of you, and I really miss your youtube vids. Please start doing them again soon, but in the meantime I’ll be happy with any type of shaky hand video on snapchat. 😉

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:46

      Haha! I’m happy to hear that, Ursula. I’m really trying to get back into filming videos, actually going to attempt to film one today. Wish me luck! 😉

  3. Kim 15 June 2015 / 16:46

    You always have the best damn photos, Luzanne!!

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:47

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Kim. :)

  4. Wendy H 15 June 2015 / 16:55

    YES! Do daily snaps, maybe it will get you back into the Youtube game? xxx

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:48

      I’m sure it will, I snapped yesterday and it was so much fun! 😀 x

  5. Melissa ❀ 15 June 2015 / 16:55

    Oh ehm geee, I need that mascara in my liiiiife!!!!!

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:48

      You really do, Melissa – it’s amazing stuff! 😉

  6. Qondiswa N 15 June 2015 / 16:59

    Congratulations on your magazine feature, Lu. What a great opportunity for your blog. x

    I am going to get both those polishes, burgundy and deep red shades are my obsession at the mo!

    I haven’t hopped onto the Snapchat bandwagon yet, but you have convinced me to at least take a look. :)

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:49

      Thank you, Qondiswa – it was such a great experience!

      I’m sure the nail polishes will look fab on you, maybe Instagram or tweet a photo & tag me. 😉

  7. Dee 15 June 2015 / 17:08

    You have such sweet readers, Luzanne. What a lovely lady sending you a parcel as a gift. 😉

    That curling iron is going on my birthday wish list, I have been searching high and low for a good quality, yet affordable curling iron. Thank you for showing us more affordable options, I for one really appreciate it.

    Congrats on your magazine feature, I actually saw it & felt so proud on your behalf. We’ve never met, but it feels like we’re family.

    I’m too old for Snapchat, I think, but it sounds like fun.

    XO Dee

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:50

      I really do have the best blog readers, Dee. :) Everyone is so kind.

      I’m always happy to share affordable versions of products, who doesn’t like a good budget beauty buy?

      Yay! I’m so happy you got to see my magazine feature – thank you for saying that, I have a huge smile on my face now. xo

  8. Samantha Pillay 15 June 2015 / 17:19

    Another great post! I bought the iron after seeing it on your Instagram and for the life of me I can’t get nice curls out of it. The scrunchy ones I manage have no lasting power. I hope you consider doing a post on how to curl with a cuing iron for the clueless like me, do you curl at the top or bottom? Use the clip or don’t? I must say I have missed your videos and went back watched a few of the old ones!

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:54

      Thanks, Samantha. 😉 I’ll definitely do a blog post (or perhaps even a video if I get back into the whole Youtubing thing). I always curl from top to bottom i.e. I insert the curling iron near the roots and curl the lengths of my hair from there. I also use a hairspray after I’ve curled each section. Remember, though, if you have super long hair then your curls won’t last as long because the weight of lengths of your hair are pulling the curls downward. I also use the clip when I’m using a curling iron that has a clip, I find it’s easier and I don’t have to worry about burning my fingers. :)

      You’re so sweet for saying that, thanks so much. I’m going to make it my goal to start filming regularly again soon – I am actually going to try film a video today.

  9. Maureen 15 June 2015 / 18:01

    Miss your youtube vlogs, Luzanne. Plz start doing them again soon.

    That blush is beautiful, going to buy it when I see it at the shops.

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:54

      I’m going to try my best to start filming again, Maureen. :)

  10. Janei Viljoen 15 June 2015 / 20:00

    Hi Luzanne. Pleeeaase do some short reviews and random snaps will love that. I’m “janeiviljoen” on snapchat.

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:56

      I added you on Snapchat – I hope you enjoy my short snaps. 😉

  11. Pri 15 June 2015 / 20:50

    Yesss, definitely do the snapchats 😀

    I been on the search for a good mascara, so I will try to get my hands on the max factor. I’ve been hearing very good things about that brand ..:) I’ve been noticing that the shorter ,sparse “bristles” have been a new thing with a lot of these new mascaras ..

    amazing post!

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:57

      The mascara won’t disappoint, I think it’s going to be my favourite mascara for a long time. :) Yes, the bristles almost remind me of the Benefit Roller Lash mascara (from what I’ve seen on blogs and videos).

      Thanks, Pri! :)

  12. Samantha 15 June 2015 / 22:10

    I’m sure you are going to make snapchat even more popular once you start snapping away making short videos of product reviews and sneak peeks into your days. It’s actually a great idea, takes all the stress outta filming and editing a proper youtube video. Maybe it will inspire you even more to start filming videos again – I for one hope so as I have missed seeing you in video format. I miss your makeup tutorials, your how to videos and your hauls! :)

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:58

      Haha! Thank you for saying that, Samantha – I had a good chuckle! 😉

  13. Tarryn B 17 June 2015 / 09:53

    I went out and got the mascara… I love it! But, unlike yours, mine is definitely a much, much dryer formula. I wonder if someone opened mine? I always take from the back, and none of them had stickers sealing them shut, but hey, I like it! I got stuck in the rain the other day and not a smudge!

    • Luzanne 17 June 2015 / 09:59

      That’s weird….maybe someone did open it. I’m just like you, I also always take everything from the back, just to be sure.

      Wow! That’s amazing! I sat through the Jurassic World movie, and cried quite a few times & no smudges either. 😉

  14. Cara Fay 17 June 2015 / 10:47

    i loved your review snaps – keep snapping xx

  15. charleen 17 June 2015 / 10:51

    I loved your clinique review. Snapchat confuses the hell out of me though! Keep snapping :)

    • Luzanne 18 June 2015 / 23:48

      Thanks, I definitely will. It takes a bit getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite simple. It took me a while to understand all the icons, but I think I have it down now. 😉

  16. Nadia 17 June 2015 / 11:41

    Congrats on the magazine feature! That’s so awesome! :)

    Those nail polishes are stunning, I do love me some redish polishes. Gonna keep an eye out for them whenever I go out.

    Ohh, I love snapchat too, I love to “stalk” my favourite youtubers/bloggers. So much fun. I added you and my username is wickedeternity. :)

    • Luzanne 18 June 2015 / 23:49

      Thanks so much, Nadia. :)

      I’m going to add you on Snapchat now, so much fun seeing what other people are up to during the day. 😉

  17. Simone Cameron 17 June 2015 / 11:44

    So nice to read such a long post from you :)

    I LOVE those nail polish colours and then also will look out for that mascara! I bought an Essence one after reading a positive blog post on it and I must say I was a bit underwhelmed. Usually when I buy something you recommend…it’s a hit for me, so I’m sure the mascara will be a nice addition to my make up bag!

    Okay now I feel ancient…SNAPCHAT?? What the heck is that? Will look for the app and download…..would love seeing mini videos from you :)

    • Simone Cameron 17 June 2015 / 12:30

      Sorry if my sentence was confusing….I just meant nothing you ever recommend is a miss for me…I love it. I think I made it sound like you recommended the Essence mascara and you definitely didn’t :)

      And please yes if ever in the mood….do videos for us, when you’re ready! I have spent many days (unsuccessfully) trying to copy your look…as unsuccessful as it is, I enjoy trying out your looks you create.

      • Luzanne 18 June 2015 / 23:53

        Haha! No worries, Simone – just wanted to make sure you didn’t read the positive review about the Essence mascara on my blog, because I usually don’t like their mascaras. I almost thought I had written some random positive review while I was on pain meds, sleeping tablets or something – haha! 😀

        You HAVE TO add me on Snapchat if you decide to download it, so that I can add you back. It’ll be nice to see what you get up to during the day, even though we’ve never met!

        I’m slowly psyching myself up to film a video again soon, I’m hoping to film one this weekend. *holding thumbs I can get my act together*

  18. Anina 17 June 2015 / 16:27

    oe, dit was gaaf van jou…jy’s baie welkom!

    • Luzanne 18 June 2015 / 23:53

      Dis ‘n plesier, Anina. :) x

  19. Stephanie 18 June 2015 / 15:58

    Hi Luzanne

    Could you please do an updated online shopping blog? I have only used the online stores you mentioned previously as I am not sure which others to trust. How do you know which online stores (other than the well known ones) are reliable? Your blog is amazing and always so helpful. Glad there is a glimmer of hope as far as youtube goes. Best wishes. A forever fan.

    • Luzanne 18 June 2015 / 23:57

      I’ll try to do an updated one soon, but to be honest I haven’t ordered from a lot of other new international online stores lately because of the postal issues. I’m STILL waiting for parcels that were sent to me in January… I’m only ordering from SA-based online stores now and will ask friends to bring products from overseas for me when they come to visit.

      I usually do a bit of research online to see if there are blog posts or reviews on a specific website, and if people have complained about customer service or parcels not reaching them. Most of the time, though, it’s trial & error.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words regarding my blog and YouTube, I’m going to try film a video this weekend. 😉

  20. Lulu 21 June 2015 / 12:14

    Please also add me to your Snapchat, What a great idea!

  21. nicky 26 June 2015 / 13:26

    I will still in the process of reading your blog when I stopped as I could smell and taste the roasted coconut. I thought let me check out woolworths website so next time I’m in the store I would know what to purchase. I could not wait that long. I started doing online shopping mid blog reading to purchase the roasted coconut. When it arrived the following day I could not wait to try it and they were delicious, I got the sense of eating roasted nuts or those marshmallows covered with roasted coconut. They were delicious, I did not want to share, but felt guilty about not letting other people taste this wonderful thing as I wanted them to share in what I was tasting ( but I kept myself a secret hidden container). So thank you for sharing as I am totally addicted. Thank you for always honestly sharing your experiences as I have made quite a few purchases based on your reviews.

  22. Ryno 27 August 2015 / 09:24

    It was fabulous having you in my story! Pink Peonies is the most beautiful beauty blog in SA, no doubt xx

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