Hello, everyone! I’m sorry things have been a bit quiet around here, but I’m going through a bit of a weird phase at the moment. It’s probably just because we’re getting closer to December (and Christmas), so everyone is starting to wind down. It’s hard for me to explain, but I’m feeling uninspired and demotivated. I want to put all my thoughts and feelings into a blog post, so I think I’ll write something this weekend and hopefully publish it on Monday. Neal keeps telling me it’s nothing to worry about because everyone feels tired, lethargic and run-down around this time of the year – but I am holding thumbs and toes my creative spirit will be back in full swing in January 2017!
Speaking of winding down, I’ve noticed in previous years that November, December, and even January months are usually very quiet in terms of new product launches – and this year is no exception. There weren’t that many new product releases for November (hence, no ‘Products Popping Up’ this month) BUT I wanted to make it up to you in some way. So, in today’s blog post I’ll be reviewing most of November’s new product launches – I was lucky enough to be sent some of the products, plus I went out and bought the rest. There are a couple of other products / brands that launched earlier in November i.e. L.O.V Cosmetics, but I will dedicate a blog post to reviewing some of their products soon (I bought a couple of their products at my local Dis-Chem last week).
I hope you enjoy this blog post, it was fun to put a different spin on introducing some of the new products that launched during November to you.
Oh! And before I forget: I have LOTS of new essence makeup products that I want to show you (all from their latest range update). I’m still thinking of ideas on how I want to feature most of the products in the new range – if you have any ideas, let me know!
FREEMAN SWEET TEA & LEMON PEEL-AWAY CLAY MASK ♥ R99,95
I spotted the new Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask from Freeman at my local Dis-Chem store last week, and immediately popped it into my basket. By the way – have you been to the brand new Dis-Chem in Centurion Mall? Pretty darn snazzy, hey? Anyway, I remembered mentioning this mask in my ‘Realistic Beauty Wish List’ blog post a while ago and so I was very keen to test it out as soon as I arrived home. I was very intrigued by this specific face mask, because it contains clay and yet it’s a peel-off mask.
I’ve used this mask only once since I bought it, but let me tell you: It’s a winner! I love the scent, it has a very subtle iced tea fragrance with a hint (or squeeze) of lemon. The consistency of the mask is very interesting – it’s quite runny (so be careful the first time you use it) but at the same time it is also quite thick and sticky (like white craft glue). I recommend applying this mask with an old flat foundation brush (or something similar), as I imagine it will become quite messy if you use your fingers to apply it. I don’t use flat foundation brushes (like this one) to blend my foundation, so I always keep them in my skincare drawer to use for applying my clay-based face masks. Don’t worry, though, it spreads quite easily and because it has a thickness to it, it won’t run down your face / neck.
What I love about this mask is that it combines the oil absorption of a clay mask with the tightening effect of a peel-off mask. There’s no denying the Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask will unclog pores, prevent excessive sebum production, and keep blemishes / blackheads / whiteheads at bay.
Did you know? Bentonite clay (a very popular healing clay) is made from minerals such as iron, sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium formed from volcanic ash. In addition to unclogging pores, this type of clay also removes dead cells, helping any skincare products you apply on top to penetrate more effectively.
As with any peel-off mask, you want to apply a thin layer otherwise it will take forever to dry down completely. Keep in mind, though, you want to apply it thick enough so that you can peel it off in one piece. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as peeling off a face mask in one go! Another tip is to spread it as quickly as possible (that’s also why a paddle-shaped foundation brush works best) because it starts to dry down as soon as it comes in contact with air.
I like to apply it to my entire face (except the delicate under eye area), it feels nice & cool with absolutely no stinging sensation. I like to keep the mask on for about 15 minutes (the packaging says 10 minutes but I find it’s just not long enough) and when it’s ready to be removed, the edges around your mouth and jawline start to lift up, so you can start peeling very gently from there.
Another thing I really like about this mask is that it doesn’t dry as hard or tight as traditional clay masks, plus it also doesn’t leave my skin feeling as dry after I have removed it. This mask is suitable for normal, combination and oily skin types and helps to clarify, renew and soothe congested skin. It degunks & deslicks, and leaves my skin looking (and feeling) smooth, mattified, fresh & clean. Freeman hit the ball out of the park with the Sweet Tea & Lemon Peel-Away Clay Mask, and I can see it becoming a staple in my skincare routine.
Top Tip: To read more about peel-off masks and how to use them, take a look at this blog post where I reviewed the Freeman Cucumber Peel-Off Mask.
Freeman products are available at Dis-Chem stores nationwide.
KIEHL’S JEREMYVILLE ♥ STARTING AT R375,95
Each year, to celebrate the upcoming holiday season, Kiehl’s partners with a different artist to design a special limited edition label collection. This year, Kiehl’s teamed up with Jeremyville, and recently unveiled the Kiehl’s x Jeremyville holiday collection – a series of cheerful, winter wonderland-inspired holiday designs. Through the collection, Jeremyville and Kiehl’s offer customers a vibrant array of holiday scenes and characters that adorn some of the brand’s most beloved formulas i.e. Creme de Corps and Ultra Facial Cream (which is currently my ultimate favourite moisturiser).
The centerpiece of the Kiehl’s x Jeremyville collection is visually inspired by one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, Central Park. Eeeep! It has always been a dream of mine to one day visit New York and take a stroll around Central Park. I’m sure I’m not the only one! I love the creative design of each label featuring happy snowmen, smiling skaters, and shining stars to infuse the warmth and energy of the holidays. What better way to spoil a loved one this Christmas, than with a bright and cheerful Kiehl’s skincare or body care product?
As mentioned, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (R375,00) is definitely a favourite of mine. This lightweight facial hydrator leaves my skin feeling comfortable and visibly well-balanced. I reviewed it in my ‘Review – Kiehl’s Pioneer Products’ blog post, and also featured it in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2015 – Skincare’ blog post. One thing I didn’t mention in those 2 blog posts, is that this daily moisturiser can double up as a lightweight makeup primer – it contains Glycerin, which almost acts like a glue so any foundation that you apply on top will last longer on the skin. Glycerin is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog up your pores! Yay! For reference, my skin type is combination (oily T-zone and dehydrated cheeks) and I find the Ultra Facial Cream is suitable all year round. I did, however, recently purchase the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion (in the bottle) just to see if it is even more lightweight – plus, it retails for R550,00 for 250ml…BARGAIN! The little tub contains 50ml and retails for R375,00.
Creme de Corps (R695,00 for 500ml) is definitely a cult favourite amongst beauty lovers around the world, it’s a luxuriously creamy body lotion that hydrates and nourishes dry, tired skin. I like low scented body lotions like this one because it doesn’t compete with my perfume – so I can wear any fragrance (woody, fruity, spicy, floral, zesty). It feels silky smooth when you apply it and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple with a subtle sheen. One of the main ingredients is shea butter, which is known for its ability to retain moisture. Other ingredients include avocado-, almond-, olive- and sesame oil – all of which are perfect for ensuring your skin is left soothed and softened. The Creme de Corps lotion (in the top photo of this blog post) absorbs much faster than the Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter, and yet I feel it provides the same amount of hydration. Because of this, I prefer this lightweight version (I’m usually not the biggest fan of body butters because they can sometimes feel a bit too rich and sticky).
Kiehl’s products are available at the Kiehl’s stand-alone store in V&A Waterfront, or at Kiehl’s counters in selected Edgars stores.
BOURJOIS RADIANCE REVEAL CONCEALER ♥ R159,95
I’m always on the hunt for a good (and inexpensive) concealer, especially since I struggle with both dark circles and a dry under eye area. I find the concealers that provide good coverage (like MAC Studio Finish Concealer) are often times not hydrating enough for my parched under eyes. I was skipping around the makeup aisles of Clicks (okay, not really skipping) and noticed a couple of new product launches in the Bourjois makeup stand. My interest was piqued, because 1. I always get excited when I see new Bourjois product launches; and 2. I saw the word ‘Radiance’ in the product names.
Side note: This new range will be permanent, and it currently features 2 products – the ‘City Radiance Foundation’ (available in 6 shades) and the ‘Radiance Reveal Concealer’ (available in 3 shades). I really do hope Bourjois will expand their shade selection on all their makeup products to cater for deep / dark skin tones soon.
Anyway, so I picked up the lightest shade in the range (called ‘Ivory’) and started using it the very next day. Here’s what I like about it: It does a brilliant job of concealing my dark circles, all while hydrating my under eye area thanks to ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and water from the glaciers of Month Blanc. Doesn’t the packaging remind you of the ‘Diorskin Star Concealer’? Same square shaped bottle, but in all honesty, I actually think Bourjois’ frosted glass packaging is even more sleek & stylish. I adore the doe foot applicator tip because it enables me to be very precise with my application.
The creamy (yet featherlight) texture of the Radiance Reveal Concealer is perfect for the delicate eye area, it blends out like a dream (no tugging or pulling of the skin) and I’ve even used it as a type of eyeshadow primer. Since it is so hydrating, you do need to set the concealer with a powder to prevent it from creasing. Some bloggers have compared the formula of this to the NARS Creamy Concealer – I can’t confirm it a dupe, because I don’t own the NARS concealer but it might be something to keep in mind. The Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer brightens and illuminates the skin (it doesn’t contain any shimmers though) and disguises dark circles very well. You can also use it to conceal blemishes or hyperpigmentation, and I have found it lasts for +-10 hours when set with a powder. I’m usually an NW15 or NW20 in a MAC foundation, and found this concealer is light enough to brighten up my under eyes really nicely. It also has a subtle peachy undertone to is, so I like to think it corrects the dark areas under my eyes too.
If fragranced makeup products bother you, then you might want to give this a skip. It has a rather intense (and yet very pleasant) floral scent to it…like a bouquet of fresh roses. It doesn’t bother me too much, though, because it is such a brilliant concealer!
Bourjois products are available in the Cosmetiques de France online store (South African-based), or at selected Clicks stores nationwide.
CATRICE DELUXE GLOW HIGHLIGHTER ♥ R79,95
I was really hoping to fall in love with this highlighter, especially since my other CATRICE highlighter turned out to be such a gem. The CATRICE Deluxe Glow Highlighter is part of their range update for 2016 – I was sent a couple of the new products, and immediately started testing the highlighter. I loved the idea of having a trio of illuminating powders, and thought it would be perfect for travelling (if I turned out liking it).
Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by this little palette – I find the powders are hard to the touch (not soft & buttery) so it’s very difficult to pick up the product with a makeup brush. In fact, they’re quite powdery / chalky and lack a certain level of sheen…so in all honesty, these highlighters don’t do much of anything really. I’ve tried applying the highlighting shades with a fluffy brush (like this one), then with a more dense brush (like this one), and also using my fingers but I just can’t get the glow to show up on my skin.
Here’s what I do like about this trio, though, it features 3 shades that will suite most skin tones (pale, medium, and dark). There’s a champagne shade, a light frosted cream shade, and a golden tan shade. When I first looked at all 3 shades in the pan, they actually looked quite matte – I could see some sparkles in the first champagne shade, but for the most part the other 2 shades looked like they had a satiny matte finish. For the swatches below, I had to really build each shade up in order to get them to show up on the skin (which wasn’t all that easy because the pans are so stiff). If you like a very VERY subtle highlight (maybe because you have oily skin), then you might decide to give this highlighting trio a go…but for me, it’s unfortunately a miss.
Top Tip: Spritz a makeup setting spray on top of the highlighted areas on your face to make these specific highlighting powders less powdery, this will also intensify the metallic sheen just a tiny little bit.
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive highlighter, I would highly recommend this highlighter from CATRICE – it’s a winner!
CATRICE products are available at selected Dis-Chem, Red Square and PnP stores, or in the Takealot.com online store.
Above are swatches of the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer (Ivory) and the CATRICE Deluxe Glow Highlighter.
ELIZABETH ARDEN GREEN TEA NECTARINE BLOSSOM EDT ♥ R425,00
Aaaaah, the good ol’ days… I remember the original Elizabeth Arden Green Tea fragrance was one of the first fragrances I ever owned (this was about 100 years ago when I was in high school). I loved the freshness of it, and used it only on special occasions…like getting tipsy at Morgan’s and Dropzone on weekends – haha! Who remembers those 2 clubs at Hatfield (Pretoria)? They were my home away from home, and yes – I did manage to get into Dropzone, even though I wasn’t 21 at the time. We all do silly things when we’re in high school, right? Right.
Getting back to fragrances, the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Nectarine Blosson Eau De Toilette is a recent addition to the EA Green Tea collection and I think it might just be my favourite one to date! In past years, I’ve owned most of the Green Tea EDT variations i.e. Green Tea Cherry Blossom, Green Tea Cucumber, and Green Tea Yuzu.
As always, it’s difficult for me to describe a fragrance because I feel one needs to actually smell it in order to really appreciate each note, as well as the entire fragrance bouquet.
This is definitely a fragrance for warmer weather – to me, fruity and floral fragrances remind me of Summer dresses and sunshine. The base of this fragrance is the original Green Tea EDT that we all know and love, but with a fresh & juicy nectarine twist. It’s the type of fragrance that will put a spring in your step (pun intended), it’s uplifting and zesty thanks to the lingering accents of fresh bergamot, apricot, and a hint of musk.
It truly is dreamy – it’s light and comfortable to wear, perfect for the Summery holidays months ahead!
Elizabeth Arden products are available at selected department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
FILORGA EYES-ABSOLUTE ♥ R1150,00
Wrinkles, droopy eyelids, dark circles, and dull eyes…no, thanks! These are just some of the areas of concern when it comes to ageing around the eye area. Let’s be real, I’m not getting any younger and the signs are definitely there. Filorga recently developed an ultimate 6-in-1, cryo-boosted eye care formula called ‘Eyes-Absolute’. I’ve been using Filorga skin care products for the past couple of years, and I can honestly say they have some of the best skincare products I’ve used in a very long time. Filorga products are results-driven, and a lot of research and developments goes into formulating each and every product. If you’ve been a regular around these parts (the blog), then you might recall I featured their ‘Perfect+ Perfect Skin Serum’ in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2015 – Skincare’ blog post. Their ‘Anti-Ageing Micellar Solution’ is also bomb, but more on that in an upcoming blog post.
As mentioned, this is a very new product release from Filorga, so I can’t give you a proper review yet as I’ve only been using this for 2 weeks. So, I’ll give you a bit of information on the actual product (ingredients etc) and will end off with my first impression of this eye cream.
Here’s what Filorga says about their ‘Eyes-Absolute’: “Wrinkles around the eyes are smoothed through a powerful restructuring complex composed of a combination of a peptide, provitamin B5, a low-molelcular weight hyaluronic acid and an extract of green algae found in salt marshes. A Botox-like tripeptide acts on neuromuscular contractions, reducing the frequency of muscle contractions for reinforced activity on wrinkles on the outer corners of the eyes. An extract of the silk tree (originally from Asia) along with common St. Paul’s Wort assist with collagen and elastin synthesis and reduce the glycation of elastin, to reinforce the retracting ability of the eyelids. This results in a lifting of the eyelid fold.”
I love eye creams that have a metal tip, it feels refreshing & cool on the delicate skin around the eyes and helps to depuff under eye bags. The shape of the tip also provides a precise application, so it glides in and around those hard to reach places. The creamy texture is very lightweight and absorbs almost instantly into the skin. I really like that the formula contains tiny shimmer particles (hardly noticeable) that help to illuminate and brighten any dark areas around the eyes. It’s quite a refreshing product and I find it’s really nice to use in the mornings. The lightweight consistency means you can apply the cream before or after your makeup, and it won’t cause cakey concealer. Yay! For now, that’s all I have to say about the new Filorga Eyes-Absolute – who knows….I might feature it in my annual ‘Best Of Beauty’ blog post early next year.
Filorga products are available at selected Edgars and Red Square stores nationwide.
TANGLE TEEZER THE ULTIMATE FINISHING HAIRBRUSH ♥ R300,00
I swear, this is the product launch I have been waiting for from Tangle Teezer ever since I first started using their detangling brushes. I really like their brushes (gosh, I own 4 of them!) but I always wished they had a handle to hold on to. I often found the absence of a brush handle made it a bit more cumbersome and difficult to use. FINALLY – a Tangle Teezer brush I can hold on to! Now, strictly speaking the new ‘The Ultimate Finishing Hairbrush’ was created for dry-styling and dressing your hair but I use it on damp hair as well. The unique teeth are a bit longer (compared to the original Tangle Teezers) with softer tips which lightly detangle and smooth hair cuticles for a high shine finish. It’s designed to achieve style up-dos, light teasing for volume and texture and to maintain and blend in hair extensions, clip-ins and weaves.
Did you know? When hair is wet or damp it’s at its weakest point, this is because water breaks down the natural hydrogen bonds in the hair. They reform again when the hair dries but while wet, they are most fragile so I always make a point of using a hairbrush that is specifically designed to be used on wet hair. Also, the skin around hair roots is usually swollen after a hot shower and hair strands are most prone to uprooting. I also like to spritz my hair with a leave-in hair treatment (like this one), this also helps with detangling.
If you’ve ever used a Tangle Teezer, then you’ll know how gentle the bristles are on your luscious locks. It detangles with subtle tension allowing hair to flow freely through each bristle (no tugging or pulling). I’ve been using this brush non-stop for the last couple of days, on wet and dry hair, and I’m super impressed! If you’ve been contemplating investing in a detangling hair brush, then I highly recommend checking out this new product launch from Tangle Teezer.
Tangle Teezer products are available at selected Clicks stores nationwide.
That’s it! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday with a new blog post! I’m also going to start compiling my ‘Christmas Gift Guide’ blog posts this weekend – so I’m very excited about that! I’m a bit slow in getting into the Christmas spirit this year, so hopefully looking for Christmas gift ideas will put me in a festive mood.
PINK PEONIES POLL: Have you discovered any new products or brands lately that you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments section below!