Thursday, 22 March 2018


My last QPR post was way back on the 1st January, so I think this
post is long overdue
so here is my one for March...

This is the first time I have ever given a score of 0/10 for any of the 
products that I have reviewed on my QPR.
Let me start with the hugely disappointing item first...



Brand : Cala 
Product : Bamboo Fan Make-up Brush
Price : R59.95

I have been on the look out for sometime now for a Fan make-up brush for 
applying powder highlighter, but surprisingly they're not that easy to find.
 I spotted this one in Dischem and thought it's not expensive
 I'll give it a try, with hindsight Dischem is where I should have left it.
The natural bristles are soft, in fact their too soft making it difficult for
 the brush to pick up any product and then it's just as difficult to apply
 to the cheeks. 
The only good thing that I can say about this brush - it's a fantastic brush to 
clean away the dust between the keys on your keyboard.

Verdict : 0/10



Brand : L.O.V.
Product : LipAffair Colour & Care Lipstick Shade 530
Price : R209

L.O.V. Cosmetics can be found in Dischem and on Takealot and I've used
several of their products now and I enjoy this high end drugstore range.
I still rate their nail polishes as the longest wearing and I also rate this
LipAffair Colour & Care Lipstick.
It has a quality heavy feel in the hand and has a click and magnetic 
clasp release.
The formula glides on beautifully and is enriched with Kendi Oil and
 Hyaluronic acid, the pigment is good and on me I found it to be long wearing.
Definitely one to consider if you are looking for a new lipstick

Verdict : 9/10



Brand : HASK
Product : Blue Chamomile & Argan Oil Blonde Care Deep Conditioner 
Price : R59.95

I actually knew nothing about this haircare brand and spotted quite and 
extensive range on the shelves in Clicks.
After a little research HASK is made in the USA and features exotic
oils and other unique ingredients from around the world
Free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten and drying alcohol.
Bring back your color clarity with Hask blue chamomile & argan oil 
blonde care deep conditioner. 
This light blue violet treatment helps neutralize unwanted yellow tones
 and reduce brassiness. 
Formulated with blue chamomile to help lighten and boost blonde tones 
and argan oil to help repair and protect coarse blonde hair, leaving you
 hair feeling soft and silky.
I found the 50g sachet enough to condition my hair for 4 applications,
so its pretty cost effective.

Verdict : 7/10

Sunday, 18 March 2018


Since 2005 Sorbet beauty salons have popped up literally like "beauty mushrooms"
 all over South Africa and they now have over 170 salons countrywide 
and have even expanded their franchise to the UK.

Sorbet have, very recently, launched a range of make-up to add to their
stable of own affordable branded skincare, bath & body products, 
foot care and beauty accessories, they seem to brand it all...
So a make-up collection seemed the next obvious addition to the
 "Sorbet Empire".

This collection, especially the foundation range, has been created
with South African skin tones in mind and they have 
 Foundation Match Me activations in store to ensure 
that you get the perfect colour match.

I happened to pop into Clicks (Mount Edgecombe) on the day of their launch 
which wasn't intentional, but I caught sight of their rather impressive
back wall merchandising unit and did a detour 
 to take a quick look... 
First impressions of the new range, which includes face, lips and eyes
was aesthetically pleasing and they do have a good shade selection
across all 4 different foundation formats and that's what caught my eye.
The name of this foundation spoke to me, especially the +Serum part.

Face First SPF15 Anti-Ageing Foundation +Serum

Being launch day the unit and testers were all brand spanking new
 and despite a half hearted attempt by the consultant to help me 
select the correct shade, which I eventually did myself,(so much for
the Match Me service)
 I opted for the shade Honey and 
it hit me I noticed the price...
Yes Sorbet, which is being sold in a national chain of drugstores is retailing
a foundation for nearly R300. At first I thought it was maybe due to the fact
that this foundation included a serum, but all 3 of their liquid foundations
retail for R260/R298/R299.95

My immediate reaction was to put the product back on the shelf and 
rather add another R150+ and buy a better know international
 high end foundation from a department store.
Slightly bewildered I checked out all the price points in the collection 
and it's not alone, as this range of make-up unfortunately does 
not fall into the "affordable" category.
With the pricing of this make-up collection 
 a well know "affordable" South African brand, appear 
to be dipping their pretty little toes into the "high end" waters,
which I don't have problem with, but I don't think I've encountered a brand 
where the pricing of their make-up is pitched higher than their 
own skincare range.

 I worked in beauty and retail for 35 years and this pricing
strategy slightly baffles me, but what baffles me even more is why
would someone spend a considerable amount of money to
 "self serve" in a drugstore?
We all enjoy that "buying experience" and many cosmetic brands feed into
 that and I for one.. love it. 
In-store consultants, especially those working for the high end brands
are trained to make the experience of parting with our money 
more enjoyable (in most cases anyway)
 I love to be made to feel special, I love the extra samples the consultant
 slips into my beautiful branded packet and I always enjoy receiving 
 those personal invites to their special events and launches.

 call me old fashioned but that's what I like to get, in return for my
"spend", not a rummage through a badly merchandised unit,
with either missing or dirty testers and unfortunately that's what 
merchandising units
become like over time, in a self serve environment.

After saying all of the above I did buy the foundation and paid for it with my
Clicks rewards, which made it for me, justifiable.
The reason for the purchase was a simple one


Why would a local home grown brand market and retail 
a foundation for R300, could it be that this serum foundation is simply


Below are some of the features and benefits Sorbet give on their website
 and I've added my own findings and comments.

Medium coverage & easily blendable foundation
 It gives a medium, leaning towards high coverage,easy to blend 
with fingers (I'm not a big user of brushes or blending sponges)
It is buildable, but only to a point
 and in my opinion it looks and performs better when you opt for
the buildable coverage rather than a lighter more natural look
More on this point below.

 Anti-ageing benefits and soft focus for flawless skin
I love the fact that it contains that extra serum element, 
as not too many foundations focus on that. As for flawless skin, that's 
a big ask at my age, but it did give a smooth soft dewy finish, 
which I enjoyed.

High volatile content gives it a serum-like and non-oily feel
High Volatile is a strange term to use for the content, as it conjures up,
a negative view of the product.
Here's what the google search came up with:
Volatile (of a substance) easily evaporated at normal temperatures

I found the runny, liquid consistency on application
to have an oily feel enabling you to work and blend 
the foundation well, unlike some where you have to work 
really quickly before the foundation dries.
If you don't build the foundation,once dry and set, it left no
trace of oiliness on the skin whatsoever.
However if you build the foundation like I preferred to do,
the surface oils became noticeable.

Contains SPF 15 with sun protection
SPF is a "must have" inclusion in any anti ageing foundation, as the sun is
responsible for most of the ageing within our skins. I would personally like to see 
an even higher SPF to give even more protection from
the suns harmful rays.

Fragranced with natural Essential Oils
I can't say the foundation has a particularly pleasant smell, but it wasn't 
an issue.

Squalane – natural moisturiser from olive oil
Possible the reason for the oiliness when you build with the foundation.

Q10 & Peptides – anti-ageing
Vitamins A, C & E to fight harmful free radicals
All of these beneficial treating ingredients form the serum aspect
 of this anti ageing foundation and with daily continued use
there should be some cumulative effect on the skin, 
I like many women though tend to "chop n change" foundations
 depending on mood, the occasion and even the weather,
 which poses the question is a serum inclusion vital
in a foundation or is it a "nice to have" extra.
Maybe that's a post for another day.

Just to finish off this lengthy post I personally liked and enjoyed the foundation,
I found it easy to blend, it felt lightweight and comfortable
on my skin. The serum was noticeable within its texture and my normal to dry,
mature skin felt well moisturised throughout the day.
However I'm not sure an oily or even a normal, slightly combination would 
enjoy this serum foundation.
It worked well with the rest of my make-up application and seemed to last 
fairly well throughout the day, considering the Durban 
heat and humidity.

I found the overall simple packaging appealing, the bottle felt heavy 
and it does have a quality and a more high end feel to it.
As for the unique dropper applicator, it's a waste of time and frankly annoying 
when you're in a hurry to do your make-up in the morning.
The product also needs to be shaken very well before use.

 I'm also finding that the neck of the
bottle is becoming quite "gungy" and is constantly needing to be wiped. 
For this and several other reasons a sealed pump dispenser would have been
 far more practical and befitting for the price.

Did the + Serum render it 
and worthy of its R300 pricing? 

Sadly No 
and despite reading on the box that this particular product is made
in Thailand (I'm not sure where the other products are made) 
I personally would still prefer to either stick to my tried and tested
R200 drugstore foundations,and use my specialised serum underneath,
or add another R150+ and purchase from a higher end cosmetic brand.
Whilst I enjoyed wearing, I found
it to be only on par with other more affordable foundations, 
there was nothing that wowed me, hence I can't say it's a 
"must have" "go buy" "can't live without" type of product
unless you have an issue with shade matching.

If you constantly struggle to find that perfect match, 

in terms of skin tone,then it's worth checking out this extensive collection
of shades and if you find your match then "go for it" it's worth the spend.
It's never easy choosing the correct foundation and none more so than
when you are pushing the limits of your budget.

My advice to you on this foundation, would be to definitely pop into a 
Clicks and test the product as normal.
However I would then advise you to walk around and continue shopping
for quite some time and just keep checking on 
the coverage, the texture and the overall finish to see if it
 warrants you parting with R300

I hope you were able to stick with me till the end of this lengthy post
and please let me know, in the comments below, if you have tried this
or any of the products from the Sorbet range.
I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


I have really been enjoying several of the REN skincare products recently 
and I was intrigued with the latest addition to their range


For those of you that are not familiar with REN or their ethos,
 here is a quick overview to put you in the REN picture...

"From our inception in East London in 2000 we 
have pioneered Clean Skincare: 
a smarter skincare which delivers high performance 
visible results whilst always being on skin’s side. 
Scrupulously avoiding any skin unfriendly, 
toxic ingredients. 
With just the right amount of naturally derived 
hi tech bio-actives that help the skin help itself. 
Served in products that are gorgeously pleasurable to use, 
affordable and recyclable as we are truly committed 
to finding new ways of constantly improving our 
impact on the world we all share"

REN is free from
 synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfate detergents, 
synthetic colours, animal ingredients and parabens.

PERFECT CANVAS claims to be:

The Ultimate Skin Perfecting
& Finishing Serum
A Probiotic Elixir for healthier smoother skin.
A silicone- free primer for make-up
Better skin in a bottle

After reading the above how could I not be intrigued by this product.

I'm not a huge user of make-up primers, but when I do use, I always look
 for a primer that gives you more in terms of benefits to the skin rather than
just a lovely primer to prolong the wear of your make up....

PERFECT CANVAS for me, has that important treatment aspect 
whilst priming your skin ready for make-up.

This clear lightweight serum, in keeping with the ethos of REN,
 is full of bio-actives and in this particular case we have the following
and their effects on the skin:

Probiotic Extract
 influences the speed and quality of epidermal
growth.It boosts the production of proteins and enzymes, which are
vital in maintaining the skins natural barrier.
Ultimately this ensures a healthier skin structure that's more hydrated, 

 are naturally found in the skin and increases hydration,the production 
of elastin and ultimately the depth of any wrinkles,
 as well as a short term lifting effect.

Agave Tequilana Extract 
Is a natural polysaccharide and has a filling effect and enables the product
to spread, whilst giving the skin a silky, smooth and mattifying effect.

The product itself comes in a matte finished 
glass dropper bottle that soon gets scratched and I must say it looked 
rather shabby and unfortunately not one to 
display proudly on your dressing table.
Let's put the negative about the packaging to one side, and move onto 
the application.

It can be used by all skin types
After applying your moisturiser apply a couple of drops onto your fingers
 and massage well into the skin until its absorbed. 
Don't rush this process otherwise you could be left with
some sticky areas and your foundation could "grab".
I rather enjoyed using it over my moisturiser "sans" make-up
to enhance my skin and occasionally I added a couple of drops 
into my moisturiser or BB cream.

I found it to be a versatile and useful serum. 
It does give a wonderful matte finish to the skin, which I was a little concerned 
about initially, as being older, I like that glowing radiant finish
but my concerns were soon forgotten, as with daily use my skin felt smoother, 
plumper,lines were softened and overall my skin just felt quite simply
and on those days I wore foundation, it was perfectly primed and ready.

Also being a silicone free formula, it just seems to allow the skin to
 feel free and breathe, so it's great for anyone who dislikes silicones
in their beauty products.

This product has set a high bench mark for future skin primers, as why
have an ordinary primer, when you can have a treatment primer.
However this serum/primer comes in at a higher price
but if you're into skin care like "moi" you can justify the price 
due to it being a "Treatment Priming Serum".

On one last note... I think the PERFECT CANVAS from REN
has the right to make those earlier claims as it is 
Better Skin in a Bottle...




Available at selected Woolworths countrywide
Selected Wellness Warehouse
Clicks online only

If you would like to read my other REN Reviews

Sunday, 11 March 2018


There is always something so comforting about using a Clarins face mask
and I mean that on two levels, not only do their products feel comfortable
on the skin, but I personally cannot fail to feel reassured and
comforted by the good memories that I have of Clarins from both the early
years of my salon in the UK and my working career here in South Africa.

Back in those early years (around the late 70's early 80's) Clarins 
had two infamous face masks, now sadly no longer sold, 
Masque Purifiant and Masque Hydratant and it's the
latter, that their newly launched
SOS Hydra Mask 
reminds me of. 

I was also a huge fan of their now discontinued Hydra Quench mask and I'm 
secretly hoping that this will be a good replacement.

With my fond memories and my love of a good mask I sense that you
 will already know where my review is heading...

This new trio of masks are aimed at

Hydration - SOS Hydra
Rebalancing - SOS Pure
Nourishing - SOS Comfort

This blue cream/gel mask feels cooling and refreshing yet nourishing 
and hydrating on application and even though it comes out of the tube 
a light blue colour,, it soon becomes transparent on the skin.
Even the subtle pleasing fragrance of the mask reminds me of that original
Masque Hydratant and it fills me with even more love for this SOS Hydra mask.

Clarins say that it's a 
"Moisturising bath for thirsty skin"
and I won't disagree. It has a slightly tacky feel initially, 
but that soon disappears and the skin is left feeling quenched, calmed
 and more importantly non greasy.

This mask contains skin plumping Organic Leaf of Life Extract,which I've never
heard of before but it seems to work whatever it is...

This soft mask can be used by literally all skin types and it's so easy to add into 
your weekly masking routine (post exfoliation) to combat temporary dehydration.
Apply in a thickish layer,avoid the eye area leave on for 10 minutes and either massage any excess
or remove with a lotion.
It couldn't be any easier and the results for a quick 10 minute mask 
will be a visibly more hydrated, quenched, smooth, calmed and refreshed skin.

I now can't wait to use the SOS Comfort Mask 

Happy Masking Days

P.S.Has it replaced the Hydra Quench Mask, pour Moi... not quite,
but it's a good replacement.

I realise this mask doesn't fall into the easily affordable category, 
but take it from me as with all Clarins products you know you are getting
 effective, high quality skincare products with a long successful history... 

Clarins SOS HYDRA Mask




Available from Clarins stockists countrywide