Sunday, 31 January 2016

MY TOP 3 MAKE-UP PRODUCTS OF 2015

Now that 2016 is well under way I am slowly writing posts on my personal favoutites of 2015.
My Skincare top 5 and my top 3 beauty gadget posts are already on my blog, so feel free to check them out




Here are my top 3 make-up products of 2015. 
Have you tried any of them? if so then let me know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below.


1.


The L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Foundation was both re-formulated and re-packaged recently and I am so glad that I decided to give it a try, as for me it was a "winner" and has been the only foundation that I have worn since I discovered it.





L'Oreal true match foundation




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These 2 benefit mascara's have been my daily "go to" and I love them both equally, either worn individually or as a combo for that glam look.


2.


The benefit Roller Lash mascara






benefit Roller Lash Mascara



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3.


The benefit Roller Lash mascara  and the they're real mascara combo




benefit they're real mascara


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

MY 3 BEST BEAUTY GADGETS OF 2015

I thought you may like to know what my 3 best beauty gadgets/tools were in 2015.
This category is straightforward, as these gadgets/tools have become such permanant fixtures in my "Beauty Life" I didn't have to think twice about what would appear on this post.
Enjoy!


1.


Glampalm Hair Iron


The Glampalm Hair Iron has literally straightened out my tresses and some of the stresses in my "Hair Life". After 9 months of weekly use, my hair is in better condition than it ever was before, when using my previous hair iron.
I can highly recommend.

To read my original review


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2.



Scholl Velvet Electronic Foot File


The Scholl Velvet Smooth Electronic Foot File came into my life earlier last year and I cannot rave enough about how great this gadget is.In my opinion everyone should have this wonderful invention, just like we have basics such as tweezers, hair dryer and a hairbrush
(I'm assuming everyone has these items).


To read my original review



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3.



The Wet Brush


Another life saver that I discovered during 2015 was The WetBrush and again this just made my life easier and I would recommend to everyone.



Sunday, 24 January 2016

ESTEE LAUDER BLOCKBUSTER 2015 {REVIEW}

Estee Lauder Blockbuster 2015

I have to admit that every year in November I wait in anticipation to see what the Estée Lauder Blockbuster has to offer. 
For those that maybe don't know, the Blockbuster is an annual Limited Edition collection of make-up palettes and products for the eyes, cheeks and lips that are all packed in a wonderful travel vanity case. 
Every year Lauder adapt the colours in the collection and change the bag, ensuring that it always remains appealing and enticing. The blockbuster has been around for over 35 years that I am aware of and has become a gifting tradition of many over the holiday season.


This year I thought I would do a review of the 2015 box, as I gifted myself the Blockbuster, as there are times when you just have to gift yourself! 
However I have been gifted many over the years, as it always made it an easy gift option for my parents and even my hubby on occasions - they always knew I would love the gift.

Obviously the price increases ever year, but so does the value of the contents, especially as they often include several full size products. The Blockbuster special price was R1,195,00 and here in South Africa the qualifier was with the purchase of any 50ml or larger Lauder fragrance, meanwhile the contents are valued at well over R5,000.

2015 gave us the large red patent vanity case, which is a really useful size and can easily accommodate all my skincare, hair and nail care products for travelling plus there is still room left over for other bits and pieces. There is also a matching red patent cosmetic bag.

It goes without saying that Estée Lauder products are always of high quality and the pigments of the Pure Color Envy Sculpting Eye Shadow Palette, comprising of 12 eye shadows in neutrals and browns, are true and transfer onto the skin well and blend easily.
The palette includes 2 Pure Color blushes in the colours Pink Kiss and Peach Passion.  
If had to make one criticism of the Deluxe mirrored eye shadow and blusher palette below...
I just wished they would remove the applicators, as they are in my opinion of no use to anyone and they should rather make the blusher sections larger. 


Estee Lauder Pure Color Palette

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipsticks :Candy,Fuchsia Fever and Rose Tea


I absolutely love each of these full size Pure Color lipstick shades of which two are a Lasting Creme finish and one is a Lasting Shimmer and I think would suit most people.




The Limited Edition All Over Shimmer Compact is beautifully packaged and gives a lovely glow and shimmer to the skin, but I have to go easy on the application, as I found the color pick up on the brush to be quite intense, so this compact should last me a longtime.


Estee Lauder Blockbuster 2015

I wear the 2 shades of Pure Color Lip Glosses (Nude Rose and Shocking Pink) daily and they're a great size for my bag.
The Blockbuster also contains a couple of treatment products:
Revitalizing Supreme Creme (15ml) and the Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (7ml) both of which I have yet to try.


The Blockbuster always includes the Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, which again happens to be a full size. I do know and like this product, as I have used it on and off over the years, yet I don't think I have ever reviewed, so expect a full review soon.

A Blockbuster just wouldn't be a Blockbuster without the inclusion of a full size mascara and EL mascaras have been a "fave" of mine for many,many years and I have reviewed the Sumptuous Extreme Mascara on my blog .



One last product that I must mention is the inclusion of a Modern Muse Eau De Parfum (4ml), which isn't my "cuppa fragrance" but will be a nice addition to my miniature perfume collection.

My final verdict of the 2015 Estee Lauder Blockbuster :
It contains a great selection of products and palette shades and offers excellent value for money and I personally think that it's been the "best" for several years.
So if you missed out on the 2015 one, then I suggest that you keep a look out for the 2016 Blockbuster which should be in stores during November. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

L'OCCITANE CITRUS VERBENA {REVIEW}

I always get excited when the French brand L'Occitane announce something new, but the latest launch of the zesty Citrus Verbena Collection couldn't come soon enough., as I had a sneak peak, a couple of weeks ago, and instantly
 fell in love!

The Verbena collection remains one of their best sellers and is loved by many around the world.
 Over the years there have been several variations of this unisex fragrance , but there is no doubt that a spritz of any of the Verbena fragrances will immediately uplift your mood and brighten your day and "pour Moi" it's my "Provençal Summer" in a bottle. 



L'Occitane Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette and Hand Cream Gel


Organic Verbena extract is at the core of all the variations and by adding other fresh, citrusy ingredients help tweak the fragrance and the new Citrus Verbena, for me, is tweaked to perfection.
 I just love the combination of the top notes of Grapefruit extract, Orange and Lemon essential oils, so if you love a citrusy, fruity, sparkling, refreshing fragrance then the
L'Occitane New Citrus Verbena
 could be your perfect everyday summer scent,
I know it's mine!


The water drop textured bottle even feels cool


Available in the following fragrance formats:

Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette
100ml Spray
R780

Citrus Verbena Shower Gel
250ml
R240

Citrus Verbena Fresh Body Milk
250ml
 R390

Citrus Verbena Hand Cream Gel
30ml
R130

Currently available in all L'Occitane boutiques around SA 

and 


Online


To read other L"Occitane Reviews



Tuesday, 19 January 2016

MY TOP 5 SKINCARE PRODUCTS OF 2015

I tried many skincare products in 2015 some of which were not really worthy of a review, but here are my 5 top skincare products of 2015 and these are all very worthy of  being featured on my blog.
Let me know in the comment box below if some of your favourites are also on my list.
Enjoy!


1


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water


The launch last year in South Africa of the Garnier Micellar Water caused quite a commotion in the beauty blogging world.
As with many new skincare launches I often let all the hype subside and then take my own time to review, however I did wait rather a long time with this product and I soon discovered that all the hype was justified and unfortunately I lost several months in getting to know this wonderful, value for money product. 
This Micellar water still forms part of my daily skincare regime and I really couldn't imagine life without it.
For those of you who are already Garnier Micellar water converts, you will soon have available in South Africa the Micellar Water Wipes and I for one can't wait to try.







2


L'Occitane Sublime CC Cream



Launched in the middle of 2015 I instantly fell in love with this Sublime CC Cream from L'Occitane and this is another permanent feature in my morning routine, whether I apply make-up or not.




3

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse


This product has been around for some years, but I only got to try during 2015.
The brand Nuxe was always on my radar and this product didn't disappoint and some more reviews on this French brand will be coming up in 2016






4



KIEHL'S Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate


I have re purchased this product several times over the past year and I just love it.
I will be doing my all time "faves" of 2015 and this could be vying for top spot.








5









I reviewed these two products together, so this actually means that I have 6 top skincare products for 2015 and not 5, but I couldn't possibly split them, as these have both been my daily cleansing and toning products since my review in May.


To Read My Review





Sunday, 17 January 2016

SUNDAY SAMPLE - BENEFIT AIR PATROL BB CREAM EYELID PRIMER




                                             



This past week I have been using a sample of the benefit Air patrol BB cream eyelid primer.It was dropped into my sample jar just before Christmas, but being curious about this award winning product I purposely lifted it out to trial. 
I know.... my Sunday Sample post is supposed to be a random picking, but I cheated this time!


The Air patrol is a multi purpose product an eyeshadow primer which is formulated to extend the wear of eyeshadow and give a long-lasting colour that won’t crease, fade or smear, which is pretty standard for most eyelid primers, but the benefit Air patrol contains EnviroDefend complex with an SPF 20 known to help guard your delicate eyelids against sun, smoke and pollutants.




You may or may not be aware that I have been having a little love affair with benefit over the past few months, but as with all romances there comes a time when the relationship hits a "bump" in the road and unfortunately the Air Patrol has been my bump. 

I had read so many glowing reports about this product, so maybe I was expecting too much, 
but I'm sorry to report that for me it really was no different to other eyelid primers in terms of extending the wear of my eyeshadow. 
I have also read that it aids blending, but again I cant say I experienced this.
After saying this I have pretty "normal" eyelids, (not dry or greasy) and my powder eye shadows (I don't wear cream eye shadows) do stay put and don't really crease or move.
Perhaps if you are one of those people, and there are many, who battle to keep eyeshadow in place and crease free, then this product could be worth a try. 



Only available in one shade




Also being a BB cream I did enjoy the fragrance free, flesh coloured tint of the product, that evened out the tone of eye area ready for eyeshadow application, without feeling heavy, in fact is was hardly noticeable. 
I would imagine that this would be a perfect primer to neutralise any bluish tone of skin.
 What does appeal to me about this product is the inclusion of an EnviroDefend complex to protect the eyelid from environmental damage and I wished more brands would contain an SPF in their eye products, so a thumbs up to benefit for the addition of a broad spectrum SPF 20.
(I would seriously advise smokers to look at this product to counteract the ageing effects of smoke on the eye area)

My sample size had a needle point nozzle, whereas the full size product is a click pen that dispenses a small amount of product onto the CushionCalm™ tip.
Blend onto the eyelids, leave to set and then apply your eye shadows etc.

The Air Patrol retails for R345, which I find a little expensive for the benefits that I experienced, however if you're a perfect candidate for this product, then I am sure that the advantages will out way the cost.

Onwards with my benefit love affair!




Award Winning benefit AIR PATROL BB CREAM & EYELID PRIMER





To read my other benefit reviews



Tuesday, 12 January 2016

EAU THERMALE AVÈNE THERMAL SPRING WATER {REVIEW}





This seems to be the perfect time of the year to tell you how much I am loving the 
Thermal Spring Water Spray from the French brand Avène
This French face,body and suncare brand is a familiar sight on the shelves of pharmacies in France and Europe,
 but relatively new to us here in South Africa, as it was only launched, in the early part of 2015,exclusively to Clicks

This lovely video introduces you to the Avène story.




The star product in the Eau Thermale Avène range is the 
Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water and I believe one is sold every
10 seconds, which just goes to prove how loved this product is around the world.


Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray 150mls R149.95

Natural Spring Water sprays for use on the skin are by no means a new discovery and overseas you will find a larger selection available, unlike South Africa, which actually amazes me as this type of product suits our climate and lifestyle perfectly.


Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray is particularly recommended for sensitive, hypersensitive, intolerent, 
allergic or irritated skin.
It not only hydrates, soothes and comforts the skin, but it cools and refreshes, especially if you keep the spray in the fridge. Great to calm the skin and reduce redness and it can be a great asset for use after facial surgery, shaving, waxing, sunburn and can even be safely used on nappy rash.
My spray has been reached for on so many occassions during the holidays, as I just love to spritz my face during the hot days and this anti-irritating product won't interfere with my SPF or disturb my make-up. I have even got into the habit of doing a quick spritz post make-up.

Many years ago when I was training to be a beauty therapist in the UK we were encouraged to have weekend jobs in salons. I worked for a couple of years in a busy salon that also had a sunbed. 
In the beginning my job was to clean down the sunbed, straighten the cubicle and explain to the clients the do's and don'ts and set the timer for their session to begin. 
One nice touch that was available in the cubicle was a very large pink can of Evian Water Facial Spray and a bottle of Clarins "Corps Soyeux" (as it was called in those days) and I would encourage clients to spray the Evian, if they felt hot and to use the body lotion after their sunbed session,
Oh my how things have changed.

This was my first introduction to Clarins and Evian and my first chance to sell...and guess what I was really good at it, selling the smaller Evians' for handbag and home use and the Clarins Body Lotion for maintaining that tan, it was for me an easy "add on" to the clients sunbed course, as they were both wonderful beneficial products.

Evian is just one of the many brands of natural facial water sprays available overseas and as you can see even 30 years ago these types of facial sprays formed part of a good skincare routine for many in the UK and Europe, but unfortunately not here in South Africa hence the limited selection available.
 For many years, even after moving to South Africa I continued to use the French Evian Spray, which was available in South Africa and then sadly it disappeared off the market, so personally I'm very happy to have discovered the 

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray!

I will also be reviewing three more Avène skincare products in the near future.










Sunday, 10 January 2016

SUNDAY SAMPLE

I have accumulated so many more samples in my sample jar that I really do need to try some of the products out and put them to the test for a week, so on trial for the next 7 days or however long the sample size lasts, will be the 
benefit AIR PATROL BB Cream Eyelid Primer.

As you know I am having an affair with benefit cosmetics at the moment, so let's hope it continues....
My initial thoughts...is this type of product really necessary? 
I will put it to test and report back to you guys on my blog next Sunday..

To read some of my other benefit reviews





benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer

Thursday, 7 January 2016

BUBBLE BATH DAY - 8th JANUARY

Did you know that it's Bubble Bath Day on Friday 8th of January?

 No neither did I,but what I do know is that every day, in my eyes, 
is a Bubble Bath Day and I don't need a special day to celebrate it. Bubble Baths, Foam Baths and even Bath Salts are my thing! 
I love the whole ritual and throw some candles into the mix (not literally into the bath) and I'm in paradise.

So I thought I would share a few of my "faves" with you. 

My all time, best Foam Bath is an easy choice, it's the relaxing 
L'Occitane Lavender Foam Bath
I have used this foam bath for many years and what's great is they do a money saving refill.
It's not only highly fragranced, but it's also "big" on the bubble front and I mean plentiful, long lasting luxurious bubbles to just wallow and relax in.
Its my relaxing foam bath heaven.....


L'Occitane Lavender Foam Bath and refill


Another L'Occitane bath product that I enjoy is the 
Roses et Reines Bath Salts,
 a sprinkling in your bath water literally fragrances the whole bathroom with the aroma of beautiful roses. 
There are no bubbles with this one, but the scent more than makes up for it.
 (If I'm not mistaken these Bath Salts could currently be part of their Summer Sale) 

You have to agree that L'Occitane have the best selection of bath products of any brand, which also include products such as Bath Pebbles and Bath Fizzers and I personally love them all.



L'Occitane Roses et Reines Bath Salts



Another great collection of more affordable bath products is my "go to" South African brand
  RAIN AFRICA
I have reviewed so many of their offerings, but I have recently been loving the 
Cape Malva Body & Bath Oil 
from the Aloe & Avocado range.
It's a dual purpose oil that can be used both directly onto the body or pour into the bath to enjoy the many benefits from the essential oils of Sweet Almond, Sweet Orange, Neroli and Cape Malva to name just a few.



RAIN Cape Malva Body and Bath Oil


Hand Made RAIN Earth Eggs 
are a must try and can be bought individually or in an egg box of six, but you do get to choose the assortment of seed and petal encrusted fizz balls (eggs actually)
that fizz away to reveal fragrant essential oils and moisturizing cocoa butter. 
The rose is my personal favourite, as it doesn't get more luxurious than enjoying a beneficial soak in a soothing bath surrounded by floating rose petals.



Rain Earth Eggs


Let me know if you have any favourites that you think I should try, as I am always on the look out for new bath "goodies".
L'Occitane are currently running their summer sale so be sure and visit soon and scoop some of their wonderful bath products.


For more, regarding product info, store locations and prices or 
to order on line
visit :




Tuesday, 5 January 2016

MONTHLY FAVOURITES - DECEMBER 2015

Well... December came and went in the blink of an eye!
Always a busy month, but not so much on the beauty scene, here are a couple of my favourites.
Enjoy!


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1.


December saw me review the GlamPalm Magic Wand and I had so much to say that I did a 2 part review, so check out why it makes my "fave" list for December.




~~~~~~

2.


My next highlight of the month was so suited to me and I was really excited to receive an invite to the opening of the Lindt Chocolate Boutique in Gateway.
For the opening, the boutique was so well stocked with all things Lindt, but when I popped in to buy, literally a couple of days later, stocks were seriously depleted just confirming that the people of
 Kwa Zulu Natal love their chocolate.





Sunday, 3 January 2016

SUNDAY SAMPLE BENEFIT POREFESSIONAL PRO BALM - REVIEW




I have a confession...I'm having an affair, yes in my mid fifties I find myself lusting after a cartoon like cosmetic brand, strange to some I know, but when you have been involved in all things beauty for 35 years, believe me a cosmetic crush is very real and benefit cosmetics is the cause!

Benefit cosmetics has been around for over thirty years and was founded by San Francisco twin sisters Jean & Jane Ford and it made a somewhat brief appearance on the South African cosmetic scene several years ago in the SA retailer Woolworths and since mid 2015 their pink funky counters can be found in selected Edgars and Red Squares around the country and happily more are planned to roll out in 2016. 

Initially I overlooked this whimsical brand thinking it was aimed at youngsters and how could I, as a mature human "beauty" being, take their products seriously, but underneath their quirky names lie some really good products. Now benefit is no way a budget brand in South Africa, which also made me a little hesitant to try, as the last thing we needed in SA was another overpriced, underwhelming international brand.

I started off by using one of their best selling products Roller Lash Mascara, as I'd heard so much about it and I'm always on the look out for the next best thing in mascara's and that was it... The beginning of my transformation into a benebabe...I also have several other make-up items and skincare products to review in the future, so I sense that 2016 is my benefit year.



benefit POREfessional Pro Balm R395 


This weeks Sunday Sample review is on another, now iconic, benefit product POREfessional
 (clever play on words, which also endears you to the brand).

Again I had read so many good things about this face primer, but I was certain that this was not for my "mature" skin based on the name alone! 
I would never have looked at this product if it hadn't been for the sample I received. 


benefit POREfessional Pro Balm


In benefits own words:

Quickly minimize the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin! Apply this silky, lightweight balm alone, under or over makeup. Translucent, oil-free formula complements all skintones and helps makeup stay put. Contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to protect skin from free radicals.

My initial thoughts upon reading were I don't have large or visible pores and my skin doesn't need a lightweight, oil-free formula, but on the other hand the words that grabbed my attention were Vitamin E and helps make-up stay put. I was expecting not to like this product, so I didn't have any high hopes that it would, in anyway benefit my skin, but how wrong I was!

So let me give you the run down.....
This product can be used two ways, although I only tested under make-up, but if you do have large visible pores, then over could be more beneficial.
To use under makeup: Apply to clean, lightly moisturized skin. Pat on problem areas & blend with fingertips.

To use over makeup: Pat on lightly over makeup & blend.




I applied over a really well moisturised skin and the lightweight balm has a slight tint, which is compatable with all skin tones. 
It felt silky to the touch and was easy to apply and just glided onto my skin beautifully. 
It reminded of a product that I used to love from the Swiss skincare brand La Prairie, called Rose Illusion (unfortunately I think it was discontinued) and one its functions was to smooth the skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles, whilst priming your skin for make-up application.
The benefit POREfessional Pro Balm would be a good replacement at a fraction of the price and despite my initial reservations I find my love for this brand is growing, which just goes to show that benefit is a brand for all ages. 
Note to self....don't judge a beauty product by its cover!