28 February 2013


After receiving the Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base recently, I really wasn't expecting to write a glowing report about it..in fact I thought "how effective can this product be and is it a necessary item?" I am sure you can sense, that I was more than a little sceptical about this add on product....

I have always taken a light covering of my base over my eyelids and around the eye area, prior to the application of my eye make-up and this has always served me well...that was until I tried this eye base. Never really experiencing any problems with my powder eye shadows, either creasing or fading away, I thought I would do that "good old" reliable test of making up the one eye in the usual way, and the other eye using the Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base.
The product is dispensed from the pen, onto the brush with an easy twist of the base, then you apply a small amount onto the eyelids right up to the eyebrows. I found this easier to do with my fingertips and then I carried on applying my usual eye make-up.

Without reading any product info, I decided to make some notes throughout the day and this is what I jotted down:

This is what Clarins say the beauty benefits are:

The invisible and lightweight texture gently evens and smoothes the eyelids, for easy make-up application and more youthful-looking eyes. Eye shadow colour is more beautiful, more intense and very long-lasting. For a flawless, long-wearing make-up result. Contains 3D pigments to promote a luminous, yet natural-looking veil on the eyelids.

As you can see, I agree completely with their claims that are underlined! When applied to the back of the hand you can see the light effect, but I didn't really notice the difference when on the eye, however I am sure it would be far more visible if you used alone "sans maquillage".

If you experience problems with eye make-up fading, creasing or generally not staying put, then this product is a must. I was under the belief that my eye colour was good for most of the day, but after using the Clarins Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base it made me realize, it wasn't, and unbeknownst to me it does fade and "move"...

Perfecting eye base can be used with or without make-up. It can also be used to enhance eye shadow but also as a highlighter. Its available in two shades 01 & 02 (I used 01) and as an added bonus - Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base is also a protective skin care thanks to Clarins Anti-Pollution Complex which protects the skin against free radicals and harmful environmental aggressions.

Size: 2ml


Available at all Clarins stockists nationwide or Follow this link to order online

To view other Clarins product reviews:
Click here
Click here


Today in my series of Back2Basics posts, I would like to cover the topic of Eye Creams.
There are hundreds of eye creams, gels and serums out in the market place to choose from, but why are there so many, and are they really necessary?

Where do we look when we talk to someone....we look to their eyes, but did you know that?
The skin around the eye area is more delicate, it can be four to ten times finer than the skin on the rest of the face. You only need to compare it to the skin on the neck, to realise that you cannot treat these two areas in the same way.
As we age, the loss of collagen and elastin further adds to this problem.
The skin around the eye is constantly being stretched and moved with laughing, blinking, squinting and straining and add to that, some rubbing, a poor diet and a few sleepless nights over a lifetime, and its no wonder that the eye area soon develops dark circles, puffiness, expression and fine lines, crows feet and wrinkles!
Oh! and that's not all, there are also fewer sebaceous glands around the eye, therefore making them more prone to dryness and this only accelerates the formation of lines and wrinkles.
It maybe tempting to take your face cream and just use it, around the eyes...
But, DON'T.. as this will only lead to puffiness and possible allergies. Face creams have a different molecular structure to those of eye creams and most eye products are opthalmologically tested and are tested as "safe" to use around the eyes.

The eye area is THE number one concern, of most women, when you consult with them...in fact, skin care "savvy" males, also reveal the same concern. Hence we have a huge assortment of products to meet this demand.You can purchase products, that will help to reduce the puffiness and dark circles, soften the fine lines, plump and smooth the wrinkles, soothe, refresh, lift, firm and illuminate the eye area, all in the pursuit of keeping those eyes as youthful as possible.
So, eye products are "big" beauty business worldwide!

Do I believe that they really work? Yes I do and I am very thankful today, that I have used eye treatments daily, since being my twenties.

I always advise men & women to start using in their 20's, a light eye product daily and eye gels are a great product to start with , as they generally help to revive those tired eyes, lessen the dark circles and treat the onset of any fine lines.

As you progress through the decades, 30's, 40's, 50's etc. you will need to step up the intensity and frequency of treatments used. Seeking advice on more specialised anti-ageing creams,ampules and serums is highly advised. Everyone's needs and expectations from an eye treatment are different, so either consult with your beauty/salon therapist or visit the cosmetic consultants in store.

Here are some "eye product" guidelines:
  • Only use specifically formulated eye products around the eye area and this includes cleansers.
  • Remove creams from jars with a spatula and not your finger.
  • Apply the product around the orbital bone area, gently patting with ring finger.
  • Do not think that applying more,means it works better,so don't overload.
  • Make it part of your daily beauty regime, as the use of eye products is "on going".
  • You may need to change your eye products seasonally and most definitely as you mature.
  • All good houses will have samples for you to "try before you buy", so be sure to ask.
  • If you experience any uncomfortable sensation on the skin after use, then cease using immediately.
  • Always buy the best products that your budget will allow, don't economise where the eyes are concerned and this includes eye shadows, mascara's etc.
  • Eye products are unisex.

They say that 
 "The eyes are the windows to the soul"
 but please, 
let's not have those windows, framed with
 ageing deep lines and wrinkles...

26 February 2013


Yesterday I came across this mini Yves Saint Laurent lipstick, so you can imagine my delight at finding it,even though I hadn't actually lost it! 
I received it last year in the Stuttafords special edition Glossybox and away it went into the depths of my make-up drawer, only to appear now...

Unfortunately I can't even tell you the colour, as I threw away the box and the actual lipstick has no code or shade name on...What I can tell you though, its one of their Rouge Pur Couture collection lipsticks and the colour is great on me!

YSL, without a doubt make beautifully packaged lipsticks and the colour intensity and the creaminess of this Rouge Pur lipstick is noticeable immediately upon application, and it glides on perfectly!
I would love to be able to buy these mini lipsticks, but it would not be cost effective for the manufacturer or the consumer. I very rarely finish a lipstick completely before I am on to the next one, so these "dinky" sizes would be ideal for me and my handbag would appreciate it to...

When it comes to lipsticks and lip glosses I admit, I'm a little bit of a "whore", as I will go with any brand and price, as long as the colour, packaging and texture is good and it appeals to me, I will buy it. 
Over the years I have encountered many customers who go into a complete "melt down" if their favourite lipstick or gloss is discontinued..well I ain't one of those, as I know it will reappear again under another name and brand!

As with many consumers, staying loyal to a skin care brand for skin treatment is far more important than loyalty to a make-up brand. I am sure, you also have a "mish mash" of different brands in your make-up bag or drawer!

Now Lip glosses, on the other hand, are always used fully and it's amazing how I can manipulate those sponge wands to bend around and grab onto every last bit! 
I would go as far to say, that I am an expert at it!

Without fail, I have several lipsticks and lip glosses in my handbag at any given time...

Check out what is in there at the moment:

My "must have" L'Occitane Shea Lip Balm
2 x Estée Lauder Lipsticks
1 x Estée Lauder High Gloss
1 x L'Oreal Lip Gloss
1 x Yves Saint Laurent Shiny Lip Plumper (discontinued)
2 x L'Occitane Lip Glosses (bought on sale)
1 x Mini YSL Lipstick (new addition to the bag) 

As you can see some of these items look very used and worn, but actually aren't...
I do wish the manufacturers would create gold lettering that stays on the containers,as it looks awfully pulling out an expensive lipstick with faded branding on!

By the way, is this many items, normal to carry around? 
Or do you think I should get help..lol
I don't think it would be a good idea to show you what's in my make-up drawer or make-up bag!!

25 February 2013


Hands are a sure give away, of ones age, if they are not cared for! They are subjected to daily abuse from exposure to sun, wind, heat, cold and detergents...the skin on the hands is always dry,after all, you never hear of anyone complaining that they have oily hands...
Yet, how many times do we see a mature woman with a visibly youthful, well cared for face, but a quick glance at her neglected hands, reveals more about her true age.

I know I harp on about exfoliation, but its, as important to exfoliate the hands, as much as it is the face and body.

My absolute "must have" is from the french brand L'Occitane and is aptly named the One Minute Hand Scrub. Launched a couple of years ago as a "Limited Edition" product...hopefully it will be added as a permanent item to their product line up soon.

This original bi-phase formula comprising of organic brown sugars, which exfoliate and remove the dead cells,whilst the oily phase,consisting of 15% Shea oil, sweet almond and grape seed oils work their wonders to soften and nourish dry and damaged hands. This product is ideal for those "garden" or very hard worked hands!

It's really easy to use, but you must mix the two phases together with a spatula first, and then apply to dry hands, massage your hands together for literally for a minute. I take a little longer as I really like to concentrate around the cuticle and wrist area, then rinse well!
As with exfoliating the face, apply a mask immediately following or in the case of the hands apply a hand cream for an extra nourishing treatment. Use once a week or as often as you feel your hands need.

Voila! After a couple of minutes effort, your hands are softer, smoother, brighter and more nourished and hopefully don't reveal too much about your age!

Just a word of caution...do not attempt to travel with this product, as the oil oozes slowly out through the lid!
Another word of caution, this product is addictive so be warned!

Size: 100mls
Price: R265
Available at all L'Occitane Boutiques countrywide.

To read other L'Occitane reviews click on links below:

23 February 2013


There are so many creative nail art ideas out there....and I have found some great examples, especially if you are feeling like "bling ing" those nails for the weekend or for that special occasion....

I would love to try some of these effects , but I just know, that it wouldn't take five minutes before some of the crystals and "blingy" bits and me, would be separated...so I will just admire for now....

22 February 2013


This weeks Friday Finds is a range of candles and I just love candles of any style,shape and fragrance. MJM Sand Candles situated in Ballito on the North Coast of
South Africa and owned by husband and wife team Francois and
Bronwyn Franklin, is an innovative and creative enterprise
specialising in beautiful hand-made sand candles. These candles
are made according to an ancient method of pouring hot wax into a
hole made in moist sea sand. Once the wax has cooled, the candle
is carefully removed and the loose sand is brushed off. It is then filled
with fragrant wax to which colour can be added. When the candle
has burned down it can be refilled.

Available in a variety of unique shapes, colours and sizes, each
sand candle is individually hand-crafted and designed for your
specific needs. Be it a wedding function, corporate event, a gift for a
special someone or to set the mood for a romantic evening with a
loved one, MJM Sand Candles provide beautiful candles of the
highest quality that come individually boxed with refilling instructions.

Their range comprises of white lights, aromatherapy, textured, giant
and themed candles to suit the setting. The white lights include a
combination of essential oils and dried herbs and the aromatherapy
varieties are coloured and perfumed with fragrant and mood
enhancing oils. Candles can be customised to suit your colour,
size, shape and perfume wishes.

The aromatherapy candles and white lights are fragranced with essential oils known to affect psychological states. Burning candles
containing these restorative fragrances is an inexpensive way to experience the mood-altering benefits of these essential oils and create
a peaceful, harmonious and ambient atmosphere.

Their candles retail from R70 to R170

21 February 2013


August last year saw the launch of Kiehl's (for those that are unsure, it rhymes with "heals") first store within Edgars, Sandton City, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kiehl's was founded over 160 years ago as an Old Worlde Apothecary in New York's East Village neighbourhood. The range covers top to toe skin care and beauty products for men and women and even includes a baby range and the brand has a great following of converts around the world.
I have seen Kiehl's on my trips overseas, but never tried any of their products until recently, when I got samples from their "Pop Up" store in Edgars Canal Walk.

My only other insight into Kiehl's comes from one of their past trainers! I attended another brands "trainers" training in London in 2011 and she had worked for Kiehls for several years as a trainer, but was then training "us" trainers, for another brand. She was very knowledgeable and had worked with several high end beauty brands during her career. Me.. being an inquisitive soul, asked her loads of questions about those other houses and I could see the passion in her eyes, as well hear it in her voice, when she spoke about her time with Kiehl's and that was enough for me to know, how good the brand was!

Being the "Queen of Exfoliation" I couldn't wait to try the Over-Night Biological Peel. I don't know of too many houses that make an overnight peel and have therefore never used one before,so this made me even more intrigued and hopeful, as I am always looking for a new favourite exfoliator!

Product Claims & Active Ingredients:

This potent, effective peel for overnight use stimulates the desquamation process - the biological means by which skin restores itself. Our treatment is formulated with naturally-derived ingredients to enhance formula efficacy while performing a safe and gentle peeling action. Urea, an enzyme activator naturally present in the surface layer of the epidermis, performs the vital function of dissolving and loosening the horny layer of skin, stimulating cell renewal and the exfoliation of dead surface skin cells. Blended with HEPES (Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid) and a high concentration of Sodium Hyaluronate, known for its powerful hydrating properties, our peeling treatment helps to gently renew skin, leaving texture softer, more even, and vibrant after first use. With continued use, the formula helps reduce the look of pore size and ameliorate the effects of free-radical and photo-damage. Non-comedogenic, oil-free, and dermatologist tested for safety and efficacy. May be used by all skin types.

Application & Texture:

I applied this easy to use product, as directed, but I found the clear neutral smelling gel, to have a "sticky" feel on my skin which I didn't like,but I persevered and slept with the peel overnight. The removal is easy in the morning with just warm water.





Overall impression:

I was undecided as to whether I should post this blog or not.....the reason being, I so, so wanted to write a glowing review about how great this product was for me....but unfortunately its results were the same as many other peels, exfoliators and scrubs, out there, your skin feels smoother and  looks brighter. As it states above there are added benefits with continued use,which cannot be seen after only two uses.Personally I was unimpressed, but after many years in this industry it really does take something "WoW" to impress me, especially where exfoliators are concerned! If you follow my blog, you will know that I have a passion/obsession with exfoliation, Don't accumulate- Exfoliate ,which in my opinion, is the key "must have" product in all skin care regimes.
The other concern I have with any overnight peel, would be, that I miss out on using my regular night cream when using the peel.....and having a mature, normal to dry skin skin and being concerned about ageing, I'm not too happy with this, so perhaps overnight peels are not ideal for me....

The 5ml sample that I was given is enough for two applications and I did use it twice, hoping that I would enjoy the product more on the second application, but it was not to be!
We shouldn't be put off an entire brand because a couple of products fail to please, as I always profess, my ideal range would be made up of my favourite products from many different houses! 

Its in a case like mine, when the "try before you buy" philosophy comes into its own and has been hugely responsible for the success of Kiehl's worldwide. If I had bought the full size product I would have been less likely to purchase any other products in their range, due to me not enjoying the Over Night Biological Peel....whereas now I am more than happy to try the other samples before investing outright.  I know sampling eats into the marketing budgets of the brands and they can be abused by those sample hunters, but in my opinion it pays off in the long term....so onwards I go and I will try the next Kiehl's sample, guess which it is?...its the Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro Dermabrasion!
Review to follow!

Kiehl's is available from Edgars Sandton only... but more stores are planned for a roll out this year.

20 February 2013


Well, as the saying goes "better late than never" and this post is very late, nearly two months actually!
My husband and I were holidaying in Cape Town over the Christmas season and what better place to celebrate our twenty fifth wedding anniversary?
Yes 25 years, which is quite an achievement in this day and age....

Being an organised soul I phoned and made a reservation at one of my, many favourite restaurants in Cape Town -  Harbour House Restaurant. 
I have eaten there a couple of times on previous trips to the mother city, but always "sans" hubby, so here was my chance for us to eat there together.
Booking a table in October, for Saturday 29th of December, may seem a little premature, but I can assure you it wasn't, as this waterfront restaurant is always well patronised..in other words its always hectically busy and prior reservation of a table is highly recommended.

This well appointed waterside restaurant is situated on Quay Four at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and opened its doors in October 2011. Its warm bleached wooden floors and floor to ceiling "slide back" glass windows open up to wonderful views of the bustling harbour. This all goes towards making this restaurant a simple, stylish yet relaxing setting in which to enjoy, some fine dining!

On our arrival, the restaurant was already full, so you can imagine my horror when they didn't have my booking! My heart sank.... I promptly explained, that I had made the booking way back in October, it was our 25th wedding anniversary and we had driven all the way from Durban.......... I must say that the staff were very apologetic and organised us a romantic table for two by the candlelit fireplace (in winter they normally have a roaring fire lit) and to add to the romance they sprinkled rose petals over the table, so all was good and I could relax again!

Seafood, is the speciality of Harbour House, but the menu is varied and caters for all. Specials are chalked up on a board and are explained fully by the efficient waitrons.

For starters we both ordered their delicious Tian of prawns, which I had raved about to my hubby since my last visit and thankfully it didn't disappoint. Its consists of 3 large prawns dipped in tempura batter and served on an avocado,aubergine and tomato tian,with basil mayonnaise and sweet chilli jam.


After saying, that this restaurant specialises in seafood, you may query, as to why I would choose a Grilled Beef Fillet dish as my main course, its simple really, I have eaten it there before and it was excellent and I wanted more of the same! As I remembered, it was just as good and it was accompanied by a fondant potato, fine green beans, mushroom ragout and a truffle cream sauce.



My hubby opted for the Sauteed Paprika Calamari, which was tossed in olive oil with black olives, capers, lemon zest, garlic & chilli. Served with fresh savoury rice salad,all of which he enjoyed.


Desert is always an option for me and I love a good creme brulee, so it never takes me long to decide on what to have, so Classic Creme Brulee it was...mmmm...made with farm house cream and real Madagascan vanilla and it was to die for!

The service, was under strain, as the restaurant was filled to capacity with many walk-ins being turned away, but we were not worried by this, as we were relaxed and on holiday! It was good to see so many overseas diners enjoying some of the Capes fine dining.....so "all in all" we celebrated our wedding anniversary very much the same as we did twenty five years ago, together, in love and enjoying some good food....

Harbour House is open for lunch and dinner.

Telephone: (021) 418 4744
Fax: (021) 418 4746

18 February 2013


Its "Fashion Week" time...London, Paris and New York, but not only do they provide us with both weird and wonderful fashions, they never fail to deliver some videos, of models taking a tumble of two!
As embarrassing as it maybe for these models, it always makes me giggle! My best video has to be the model in the 2007 Vivienne Westwood fashion show a couple of years ago, the one carrying the watering can! If you didn't see, then do yourself a favour and Click here to have a good giggle!

I do sympathise with these models, who often are required to wear the most ridiculously high heels and walk on shiny, slippery ramps, a sure recipe for a few wobbles! it's also amazing how the one model in particular,the one in the orange, managed to not break her ankle!

I suppose it's one of the hazards of the job....check out this compilation video of some of the funniest tumbles ever....


Over the years I have managed to accumulate, many different make-up brushes in all shapes and sizes.What happens is, I find a new brush, that feels good to hold and work with and then my previous favourite is retired and added to the other retirees in the retirement home, that being my make-up drawer! Also, I just hate to throw them away, as they are often still perfectly good...

Well no more! as here are some great storage ideas, that don't cost the earth. They also make it easier to lay your hand on the brush that you need, it also frees up space in the retirement drawer and gives a new lease of life to some of your long serving make-up companions.
If you have any good storage ideas please let me know....

Speak nicely to your granny!

Use any pretty recycled jars

Place some coloured glass beads into a
 drinking glass and add some matching ribbon

Terracotta plant pots decorated with ribbon

Glass vase filled with white florists stones

16 February 2013


I must just pass on this info to you all, especially if you are a lover of Home Fragrance, 
which I am!
Crabtree & Evelyn are having an ONLINE SALE, but hurry, as it ends on the 18th February.
All online orders over R1000 do not pay for any standard delivery charges....

The candle, room spray and the diffuser in the Rosewater, Lavender and Iris collections are all reduced....but remember its online only!

These collections will fragrance your room, office or home beautifully and all for less money!

Room Sprays R260 Now R104
Diffusers R800 Now R320
Candles R700 Now R280

Rosewater Room Spray, Candle and Difuser

15 February 2013


My Friday Finds this week are all from homelivingspace, which is one of my
 "completely get lost in" stores, as I can wander around for ages, and totally loose track of time....
I enjoy their up to the minute trends in home decor and the merchandising is always fresh, appealing and often irresistible!

These cupcake moulds are an irresistible example!
As is the Reed Diffuser set,which is very cute, it contains three small ceramic holders,reeds and a moss and mint diffusing sap, which unfortunately wasn't my "cuppa" fragrance.

Silicone teacup and saucer Cupcake Moulds R170

Reed Diffuser Set (Moss and Mint) R99

My next two Friday Finds were actually "bargain" finds, as they were both on sale!
These Bamboo Aromatic Candles were a real bargain....you can never have too many candles...
The PURE dome candle on a mirror plate will be put to one side, as an emergency gift!

Bamboo Aromatic Candles only R11 medium & R21 large

S&P PURE glass dome candle on mirror plate R79

13 February 2013


There is nothing more romantic than candle light! Who can fail to be mesmerized by the warm, fuzzy, flickering flame of a candle......candles can transform the atmosphere and enhance the mood and look of any room.
I love candles and always have more than a few, dotted around the house, my bathroom being the resting place of many....a candle lit, fragrant bubble bath is one of my "very best" simple pleasures.
There are many beautiful fragrant candles out there , that often come with a "not so" romantic price tag.
Don't let the cost of these candles prevent you from enjoying the relaxing,soothing and calming effect, that burning one or multiple candles can have.
Below are some easy peasy, inexpensive, yet beautiful candle ideas for you to try. Many of these items can be found around the home. There is no better time to try than tomorrow - Valentines Day...so have fun and enjoy!

Jam jars filled with water, glass beads,
floating candles and raffia

Use any vase, sweeties, candle and ribbon

Plate or saucer,raffia or string, cut out hearts

Glass vase,candle or string and cut lavender or roses
(the heat will warm the flowers and release their

Small glass,candle and cupcake sprinkles

Vase or drinking glass,coffee beans,candle
and ribbon (the heat warms the coffee beans
releasing their wonderful aroma)

12 February 2013


February is the month of "Love" and the one month of the year, that roses take centre stage.
Roses are many people's favourite flower and they are certainly one mine!
They come in a variety of colours and shades, but do you know what each colour signifies?

RED Beauty, Courage and Respect, Romantic Love, Congratulations, "I Love You", "Job Well Done", Sincere Love, Respect & Passion.

PINK Appreciation, "Thank you", Grace, Perfect Happiness, Sweetness, Admiration, Gentleness, "Please Believe Me".

YELLOW Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me, Jealousy,."I care".

ORANGE Enthusiasm, Desire, Fascination

PEACH Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let's get together, Sincerity, Gratitude.

WHITE Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness,
"I am worthy of you", Heavenly.

You will need to work this one out for yourselves....

I have to admit my decision is often determined by the colour scheme of the room that they will be placed in or it could jut be, dependent on the mood that I'm in, when I'm buying....so whether you're receiving or giving a bunch of roses, spare a thought, as to what the colour signifies!
Which ever colour you choose 
just enjoy!

Roses are red,Violets are blue,When it comes to buying Roses, Woolworths! I only buy from you

I only ever, buy my roses from Woolworths, as they always have a good selection and more importantly, they last.... 

Click here to view Woolworths online

11 February 2013


Looking for some Valentines gifting inspiration?
Then pop along to Woolworths who have some great gifting ideas..
Here are some of my favourites.....