30 June 2013

28 June 2013


Shew! We are half way through the year already.
These are my "stand out" products that I reviewed during the month of June. 

1. L'Occitane Sublime Essence and Sublime Beauty Cream were
as the name suggests "Sublime".
To read more


2. NOMU Skinny Hot Choc is delish! and hard to believe it's low cal! 
To read more

3. Rain Biologie Body Butter was a real skin saver on a recent weekend away to the 
cold Drakensburg mountains. 
To read more

27 June 2013


One of the other Biologie products that I was given to try from Rain recently was their Mustard and Ginger Bath Soak. I must say that this product grabbed my attention, as not only do I love all things to do with my bath, but I also know the effects on the body of the two main ingredients, Mustard and Ginger. It was also perfect timing, as I am currently on the Paleo diet and testing a body contouring product, so I was eager to "try it all" to kick start my body transformation...ok! maybe not a transformation, but definitely a slimmer and more contoured shape would feel "good" right now!

156gms  R125

This multitasking detoxification and purification soak, is designed to raise the body’s temperature enough to expel toxins and encouraging purging, to increase blood circulation, leaving your skin fully decongested and openly receptive to a nourishing and moisturising butter application. Increased circulation means rapid dispersal of actives and antioxidants available in the treatments following the soak.

You are advised to run a very hot bath, but obviously it must be a temperature that is bearable, fortunately I love Hot baths, even though I know its not good for my skin...

Follow the instructions on the bottle regarding the amount to use.The golden yellow powder does taint the water and releases a gingery fragrance into the air, which to me was reminiscent of a beauty salon or spa. This treatment cannot be done in a hurry, as you will need to spend 15-20 minutes relaxing in your bath in order to allow the pores to open and the active ingredients to penetrate and do their work. I advise that you do this treatment over the weekend when you have a pamper session when you have are no time constraints and you are able to just relax and chill after the bath. I also think this type of treatment is best done in the morning or during the day, as I found it too stimulating to do in the evening before bed.

As explained above, this soak is designed to raise the body's temperature. The hot water of the bath will naturally raise your temperature, but I experienced, within a few minutes, a higher temperature than I would normally experience whilst having my hot bath. My face was perspiring and I was feeling the effects of the ingredients. Mustard powder is the cause of the increased circulation and it also has detoxifying and purification properties. This soak also contains several essential oils such as Ginger, Cedarwood, Palmerosa and interestingly Patchouli essential oil, which acts as a diuretic and has purging properties. Add Epsom and mineral sea salts and you have a very effective body soak.

Due to its ingredients this soak is not advised for the following people:
Babies or children under 12 years
Pregnant women
Anyone with a sensitive skin
Sufferers of epilepsy
Sufferers of high blood pressure.

Following my 20 minute soak I did feel a little dizzy so I actually lay on my bed, just to allow my body temperature to re adjust before applying my body contouring product...
I'm not sure that this type of soak would suit everyone, but I enjoyed my Mustard and Ginger Bath, I found it be stimulating and for me detoxifying, especially as I am on diet.

26 June 2013


I am so envious of the mums and future "mums to be" in South Africa, as you will now have another International nursery goods retailer from which you can buy everything for your baby and toddler. Maternity clothes and nursery furniture choices have been somewhat poor over the past few years in South Africa, but not at Mamas & Papas, as they have great ranges.
Mamas and Papas really does cater for everything a new mum needs for both herself and her new bundle of joy!

Just one of the many ranges of nursery

Some of the Maternity fashions that are designed to be
worn post pregnancy also!

Great selection of buggies,prams and cots and cot beds

 Mamas and Papas was started back in 1981 by husband and wife team David & Luisa Scacchetti, even though their roots originate in Modena in Italy, their first store was opened in, of all places, Huddersfield (Yorkshire) in the UK.

David and Luisa

This family owned business have over 60 stores around the UK and Mamas and Papas stores are literally opening up in every corner of the world,including South Africa. M&P have joined forces with the luxury clothing retailer, The Surtees group and have plans to open nine stores across South Africa over the next five years. The first opened recently in Sandton Johannesburg and the second store has just opened in the Crescent shopping centre in Umhlanga Rocks, which just happens to be on my doorstep.Its a pity it wasn't around nearly 20 years ago when my eldest "kiddiewink" was born, but hey! it will be around for when my grandchildren are born, not that any are planned just yet!

Toys,Highchairs and all baby accessories

Prams galore

There is plenty of clothing to choose from

They also have a third store planned for Cape Town (V&A) for later in the year.
I visited the Crescent store today and what a delight, it was spacious, bright and wonderfully merchandised. I have seen the brand overseas and it was great to spend time and wander around a store here in SA, I was like a kid in a candy store and it actually made me feel broody for grand "kiddiewinks".
Do yourselves a favour and visit a Mama's & Papa's store and then tell me that you didn't feel the same way!
A word of warning though....don't expect to find anything "cheap n cheerful" at M&P'S, as this is quality and the prices reflect that.

If you cannot visit a store then visit their website and check out all the beautiful things they stock.

Mama's & Papa's

24 June 2013


Wayne Goss is a UK make-up artist and he has made some really easy, to understand make up tutorials. I will be posting some of his videos over the nest few weeks, so lets start with the eyes.
If you have ever wondered how to achieve the best brow shape, then check out his video below.

23 June 2013


I haven't posted any weird things recently, so I found some more weird shoes to show you and they haven't improved and are still as hideous as ever.

Fishy Feet Shoes

Wooden Heart Shoes

Wheeley Shoes

Chain Shoes

21 June 2013


Friday Feedback is a new post that I will be doing occasionally, to give you some feedback following some of my earlier reviews.

Back in May I wrote about a new South African fragrance with a cause, called Grace,
 well I am still wearing it daily and loving it!

You may remember my review that I did some weeks ago on three home fragrance products that were sent from Clarins for me to review, I am excited to tell you that the diffuser sap is still smelling strong after all these weeks.
It has to be the longest lasting sap that I have ever used, normally 6/8 weeks is the longest that any last,whereas the Clarins is now entering its 13th week!
I'm even more impressed.

I wrote a post regarding my Mothers Day wish list and then followed up with piece of what I actually received from my "Kiddiewinks".
I wasn't impressed with my Prevoir Bath fizzers and my opinion hasn't changed, as I have slowly and reluctantly used them!
The bracelet didn't fare much better either, as the stones fell out, so that was back to Woolworths for a credit. 
How does the saying go? "You get what you pay for"

20 June 2013


The French brand L'Occitane en Provence has been one of my favourite brands, especially for bath and body since they launched in South Africa nearly 5 years ago, but are you aware that they have some wonderful and very effective skin care products? 
My staple anti ageing day and night cream since its launch, has been the award winning Divine Cream!
More about this product in a later post.

The one aspect that I like about L'Occitane, among many, is that they are constantly researching the effects and uses that plants can have on our skins. Their latest discovery has revealed that there are active ingredients in both the blue and white Iris flower, organically grown of course, that promotes skin desquamation and epidermal cell renewal, as well as the ability to visibly reduce redness and help prevent the appearance of blemishes. Combine the above with the following two ingredients, Organic Angelica essential oil that not only protects the skin against free radicals, but also improves elasticity and some Organic Angelica water will ensure the increase in the production of Aquaporins and you have an "Iris Angelica" marriage made in heaven. 

This marriage has given birth to the latest additions in their ever expanding SKINCARE family. 

The Sublime Essence and the Sublime BB Cream slots into the existing Angelica range. I was lucky enough to receive the essence and both of the BB creams, medium and light, to review. This is only my third BB cream that I have tried and reviewed and considering how many are out there, I am somewhat of a BB cream novice! I must explain that this has been through choice, as I have only wanted to try BB creams belonging to houses that have their roots in skincare rather than a background in make up, as the treatment element is important to me.

It is hard to talk about the Sublime Beauty Cream without mentioning the Sublime Essence as this will boost the radiance enhancing effects of the cream. This light, sheer serum can be used daily by all skin types and acts like a second skin. It will tighten,moisturise and literally leave your skin velvety soft all of which I can agree with.The one huge bonus of this product, is that they achieve all this without using any silicone, as this is a silicone-free formula!
The texture of the Essence is great, as it melts into the skin and has a wonderful fresh fragrance. It was enough moisture for me to not need to use any other moisturizer over the top,but I rather applied the Beauty Cream immediately.



L'Occitane claim that the Beauty Cream will both enhance the complexion and ongoing will visibly reduce the appearance of blemishes. The skin will also look plumper and softer and it will provide a perfect flawless finish to the face and again I cannot dispute these claims!
The Beauty cream is also just as easy to apply, glides onto the skin without too much blending and would look just as good on its own, as it would being used as a base.I was able to use both of the shades available as they matched my colouring,but darker toned skins will have a problem. I am seriously considering not using a foundation in the future, as I feel that there is no need for me to use one anymore, as this skin perfecting duo gives me all that I am looking for.Oh! I nearly forgot the Sublime Beauty Cream has an SPF of 30, which adds even more appeal for me! Already I am planning to ditch my foundation and my sunscreen....
The one difference between this BB cream and the others that I have tried, is the matte powdery finish it leaves on the skin as opposed to a dewy look. This all depends on what your skin type is and which look you prefer, I actually liked both. The prices are on the high side, but considering I won't be buying a foundation or a sunscreen in the future, it all balances out!

  •        Angelica Sublime Essence R610
  •        Sublime Essence BB Cream Medium R430
  •        Sublime Essence BB Cream Light R430

A final note: 
The Sublime Essence and the Sublime Beauty Cream really do complement each other and both were a refreshing joy to use, and they delivered on all of their promises, so well done to L'Occitane and may you continue to source the wonders of nature for us to enjoy!

19 June 2013


I love, and I mean love Hot Chocolates, the richer and the more cream on the top, the better! However I am not a fan of any of the diet, low fat or low cal versions.That was until I tried a free trial sachet of the NOMU SKINNY HOT CHOCOLATE powder that I received in one of the magazines recently. Huge admission here...I very rarely, ever try any free samples that come either attached to the front or on the inside of magazines.
They just get thrown into a drawer along with all the good intentions of trying at a later date and then they get forgotten about. 
The sachets of NOMU SKINNY were saved from the same demise, for no other reason than - I started a serious diet yesterday!

2 free trial sachets

In desperation for a chocolate fix I dug out the sachets from the bottom of the drawer and mixed as instructed, but with full cream milk! I know... I should have used skimmed, fat free or low fat milk, but I never buy,so full cream it was!

Oh my goodness the hot Choc was simply delicious...it was creamy and really tasted of a rich decadent chocolate! I may even try a low fat milk version next time, but I doubt a fat free or skimmed milk hot choc will work for me.
There are some things that a girl on a diet just can't give up!
The SKINNY is now on my shopping list and retails for R42.95 for a 200g tin and is available from selected foodie outlets or online. Check out their website as NOMU make a whole host of exciting food items.
Nutritional information
Average ValuesPer 100gPer 6gServing (6g hot chocolate + 250ml skim milk)
Glycaemic Carbohydrate35g2g15.8g
This product is Halaal and Kosher (Milchik) certified.

NOMU also make a Decadent Hot Chocolate which sounds "calorifically" good, so maybe when I have shed my many extra kilos I can switch from the SKINNY to the Decadent! 
Mmmm I can't wait...

Both of these Hot Choc powders can be mixed with either hot or cold milk.

Retails R69.95 200g tin

18 June 2013


After being a late starter in trying BB (Beauty Balm) creams and somewhat of a sceptic, I am now on a roll....
I recently tried and reviewed the Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream, my review of the new L'Occitane Sublime BB Cream will be posted later this week and I have also just tried the Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector! 
(this was launched last year,but I did say I was a late starter)
So I have been busy on the BB trail.

This daily 5 in1 multi benefit cream will:

Even Tone

The Garnier BB Cream claims to address several skin concerns such as dullness, blotchiness, discolouration and dryness. 
Intense hydration, improved softness and suppleness of the skin is provided over 24 hours, thanks to the combination of Hyaluronic Acid, Lipidure Microspheres + Glycerine.
Vitamin C boosts radiance and luminosity of skin, whilst the Mineral Rich Pigments  spread flawlessly over skin.

Garnier BB Cream is available in 3 shades, light, medium and dark. The sample that I used was the medium and blended perfectly with my skin colouring. 

No BB Cream
With BB Cream

The product did spread easily and initially felt rich, but I recommend, that a drier, more mature skin like "moi" use a moisturiser underneath. I tried  both "with" and "without" and my skin needed that extra layer of my moisturiser to take me through the day.
However younger and more normal/combination skins may find it a little oily or heavy.

The cream also has an SPF of 15, which is vital in any BB cream today.
The cream provided a very light coverage on me and it did cover slight blotchiness and discolouration. What I did notice was the immediate brightness it gave to me skin, but after saying that, advancements in light reflecting particles and radiance boosters have been mastered now by most cosmetic and skin care brands.
I actually preferred to use this BB cream as a light base, rather than on its own, as my blusher etc. sat nicely on my skin.I must make mention of the smell of the product,which is fresh and very acceptable.
This is a worthwhile consideration in the BB stakes, especially as it's very affordable! 
It retails for around R80 (50mls) and is available from selected stores and pharmacies nationwide.
So if you are a novice to BB creams like me then this is a great starting place!

Available from Clicks and Dischems' countrywide

17 June 2013


News Flash! 

Those of us living in Kzn will only have to wait a couple more months before we can buy this range, as a Rain store will be opening in Gateway in September...
oops I wonder if I have "let the cat out of the bag". 
(Sorry,huge grin)

On with my review, as you will know, I have become a huge fan and admirer of the Rain brand and I have yet to be disappointed with any of their products that I have tried to date. They kindly sent me a parcel full of their Biologie products recently for me to try and review, which is wonderful, but as with any products sent or offered to me "gratis' it does not guarantee a glowing review.

Biologie is an eco ethical range that has been formulated using certified botanical ingredients and the first thing I noticed was the simple looking brownish labelling and the brown bottling of this range, which immediately shouts out to me "natural". And that is exactly what this range is all about.
The Biologie products are biodegradable, environmentally friendly specialised products designed to care for hair,feet and hands.

My first confession 

Body butters  are not my favourite product and they do not rate for me personally, as a "must have".The only reason is the climate....it has nothing to do with me not liking the concept or the idea, as they are great and a life saver for many dry skins, but in the Mediterranean climate of Durban they are generally too rich and too heavy. 

{This reminds me of a customer who once returned a body butter complaining that it smelled foul on her skin. After a few probing questions, it was found to be far too heavy for her to use in February when temperatures in Durban reach 30c + and the humidity is often unbearable. The body butter was preventing the evaporation of her perspiration and was trapping the sweat between her skin and the layer of body butter and causing a body odour smell.In this particular instance she should only use this type of product in winter and use a much lighter body lotion,milk or veil in summer}

Spending the recent long weekend in the Drakensberg mountains was the perfect opportunity to put this body butter from Rain to the test. The daytime temperatures were in the low teens whilst the night time mercury plummeted to below zero.Also add to this, sitting in front of logs fires nightly and my skin was stretched to its moisture limits! Under these extreme conditions my normal body lotion would not suffice, but this body butter came into its own and my understanding of the comfort they give to a dry skin was truly realised.

My second confession 

I do not like the smell of Rooibos as in the "tea" kind of smell, so I was pleasantly surprised that the Baobab & Rooibos body butter smelled sweet, almost like a sweet brown sugar.The fragrance soon faded and you would not have problems with any "clashing" with your normal daily fragrance.
As with all body butters, some more so than others, its always better to massage and warm the butter between the hands before applying, as this makes it more emollient and therefore easier to spread over the body. 

This rich and creamy butter contains some very effective ingredients, which are high in anti oxidants,vitamins,omega oils and essential fatty acids.

Shea Butter, Organic Mongongo Nut Oil, Organic Marula Oil, Organic Kalahari Melon, Organic Mafura Butter and Organic Baobab Oil are the  "super" oils. Once combined they are responsible for softening, hydrating, soothing, moisturising, nourishing, repairing and regenerating the skin, yet at the same time leaves no oily residue behind, but rather a feeling of comfort and moisturisation to a dry parched skin. I also found it to give my skin a wonderful quenched sheen.

The Baobab & Rooibos Body Butter is deserving of this glowing review and Rain products still continue to impress me with their presentation quality, product effectiveness and most of all their price!

 Body Butter 


16 June 2013


A trip to Paris would be wonderful right now,but not possible,so my Sunday Sketches from Inslee Haynes will have to do!

14 June 2013


Situated on the outskirts of Underberg is the famous Pucketty Farm Stall.
This farm stall has been a part of the community for the past sixteen years and was started by local artist
Serena Shaw. From humble beginnings of selling loaves of homemade bread from her back door the
farm has grown into a collection of wooden rickety buildings,which house some animals,
 the farm stall, an art gallery, tea garden and picnic site. 
The children love the animals and my eldest son who is now 19 years old still remembers the 
famous pot bellied pig called Nigel...
Obviously Nigel has long gone, but Pucketty farm still has charm and fascination for the little ones.

The farm stall, with straw on the floor, is full of farm goodies like fresh laid eggs, homemade breads,rusks, biscuits and chocolate brownies.
Pickles, jams, farm milk, pates, farm cream, ready made meals and lots more are also on sale
The one thing that makes this farm so unique is its payment method...
the entire farm is run on an honesty basis!
You choose your items, then write them down in the book, add up the total on the provided calculator
 and put your money in the honesty box and if need be, you help yourself to change!
There is even a credit card machine that you operate yourself in order to pay for your goodies!
Hard to believe in these times, but it works and there are no staff in sight to ask or query anything with!
Pucketty Farm is a special little place,
so if you are ever in the Underberg area then pop in and see for yourself.