29 July 2018


Having bought four products from The Ordinary last year, whilst
in the UK, I thought it maybe of interest to you if I did a post 
on my overall thoughts and hopefully it can allow you to make
more informed choices about these serums.

Now... I understand that trying and using only four products is not a huge
deal in the bigger picture of the products they have to offer, but I 
feel its given me a good overview and understanding of why there have been
so mixed reviews since it burst onto the beauty scene
 a couple of years ago.

You can read more about the origins of the brand etc by reading my 
first post from a year ago.

I'm going to link my full reviews in the order that I posted
  enabling you to read my original thoughts and understand each 
product better.


The Ordinary claim that this combination of Caffeine and EGCG can help reduce
 puffiness and dark circles in the eye contour. 

Nearly a year down the line I'm still using this serum under my eye creams 
either am or pm or both, so it has worked out to be extremely good value in terms
of price and with regards to effectiveness I stand by my original review
where I mention that it all depends on the cause of the dark circles, as to how well
you feel that this product works.

Is it a product I need to have in my life?
Yes and No 
(which I understand may not help you greatly in your product 

I do enjoy using this eye serum and hopefully it is helping to reduce puffiness
and lessen my dark circles, but I'm only going to really know
once I stop using and to be honest for the price it's not worth me
 excluding it from my daily routine, however I'm not going to go panic if 
I can't re-purchase however if I'm going overseas 
i'll most probably pick up another bottle.


Out of the four serums that I tried this is without doubt my favourite
and is definitely a "gem" and I will be re-purchasing.
Again I've still not finished the bottle, so it offers excellent value both
on the price front and in terms of effectiveness.
I would advise caution when using this product as they advise 
not to leave on the skin for longer than 10 minutes.
Over this past year of using I forgot the one occassion and left mine on for 
10 mins and I could feel the intensity building of the tingle and the burn, which was the panic alarm to remove quickly.
I find that my max tolerance time with this chemical peel is around 8 minutes.


Matrixyl was the most difficult products to give
you feedback on, as it's a Peptide serum with Hyaluronic Acid, that silently
 works away and doesn't give you
any obvious quick results, it's a long term ongoing treatment.
I stopped using this serum, as I really didn't enjoy the formula,
so I won't be re-purchasing.

The HA serum review was only posted couple of weeks ago,
as I kept going back to the product to basically give it another chance to
impress me, but sadly it didn't.
This is one of the Hero products from The Ordinary and the one that everyone 
seems to raves about, but for me it was another fail due to the texture of the product 
and I wouldn't re-purchase.

 My reviews are like so many others that I've read as its 
of a mixed bag, of likes and dislikes.
The one factor that works in this brands favour is the price
and to be honest if you buy a product and it's not for you then you haven't
wasted too much money.
On the other hand I bought 4 products and I only found one that
is a real keeper in my beauty regime. I found it was often the sticky texture of 
the serums on my skin that let them down, they seemed to lack a 
refinement that other more expensive brands offer and to be perfectly honest
I would rather fore go the cheap price for a quality product that I will actually
 apply and enjoy.
However after saying that I would recommend that you give 
The Ordinary a try, as you may find a little gem as I found in 
product no.2 the AHA Peeling Solution.

This brand has, without doubt gained some very loyal followers
but its also been shrouded in controversy and 
if any of you have been following 
Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company
 on Instagram you will know all about the strange and somewhat 
confusing rants by its founder and CEO
Brandon Truaxe.

The price point of their products is amazing and its allowed
previously prohibitive serums like
Retinols,Hyaluronic Acid,Vitamin C and so many more to not only
be more easily accessible but also extremely affordable.
But I have to say its left me feeling rather doubtful
about The Ordinary brand as a whole, as its lost some of its 
initial "serum sparkle" and in my opinion is over hyped.

Let me know what your views on this brand and what products
you have tried...

26 July 2018


After spotting the L'Oréal Elvive Low Shampoo overseas last year,
I was keen to give it a try, but coming in a large and heavy 400ml pump container 
it was just too cumbersome to bring back to SA.

Luckily I came across it in Clicks recently and having used it now for 
several weeks and using well over half the container, 
I've decided that it's not for me.

Just a quick reminder - my hair is long with blonde highlights, 
so therefore it's both dry and fragile and needs ongoing TLC.
This type of Low Shampoo Gentle Cleansing Cream sounded perfect
on paper, but once I put the product to the test I found it to be a 
Shampoo of Contradiction.

This Low Shampoo is the first to come out of the L'Oréal Laboratories 
and falls under the Elvive franchise and is
tailor-made for Dry hair and they do have two other hair type options.

Low or No shampoo, shampoos are a relatively new thing, hence why there
 are not too many on the market.
This Low Shampoo" contains No Sulphate Surfactants (chemical detergents),
it's also Paraben free,but it does contain silicones, which provide slip to the hair for
ease in rinsing.

As we all know chemically treated hair can often be left feeling dry, brittle,
and rough, rendering it fragile and prone to tangling and breakage.
Unfortunately I know all too well how damaging the dreaded 
de-tangling process can be.

This product is formulated to both cleanse the hair and condition
in one easy step and has a 
consistency similar to a facial cream cleanser, 
or a conditioner rather than a conventional shampoo, which I must say
I liked and enjoyed.
However using a Low Shampoo does take a lot getting use to,
as you're using just 
one dual purpose product that doesn't foam.

It's important with Low or No shampoos to massage the scalp well in order to 
remove the oils and dirt. 
It's believed that the sulphates in regular shampoos strip the natural sebum 
on the scalp and results in the scalp becoming dry, which in turn causes 
the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to alleviate the dryness and this 
constant cycle results in an oily scalp n roots but dry hair situation , 
which can be difficult to treat.
(its a similar cycle you can encounter with with the use of incorrect 
oily skincare products)

L'Oréal advise 10-15 pumps of the product applied to wet hair, 
now let me pre-warn you this is a lot of product and it does feel totally alien 
to apply so much to the hair and scalp.
The next step is to massage the product evenly through the hair
 from roots-ends.
Leave for 3 minutes rinse and finger comb.
Use 1-2 times per week.
(The pump dispenser is great and I wished more shampoos came 
packaged this way)

My dislike doesn't lie with the actual product, but more with the effort 
and agitating of the scalp to get that clean scalp feeling.
My first few washes were a disaster, as I didn't use enough product
 and I felt that my hair was still dirty which resulted in me washing my hair 
more often and to me seemed counter productive when your hair is 
long, fragile and tangles easily.

The product rinses well, but I quickly realised that despite being enriched 
with 6 Flower Extracts for conditioning, I still needed to use a 
conditioner, as using alone just left my hair more tangled than ever.
That overall feeling of unclean hair only led to me washing my hair more often,
which resulted in more tangling and more breakage,
hence my reference earlier to a 
Shampoo of Contradiction.

If however your hair is shorter, less processed or you have a sensitive scalp
or want to use a low chemical shampoo, then you may love this product,
but I'm giving it a "miss" for now.
I'm not too sure how popular these types of Low Shampoo will become,
 I do know, that I'm happy to return to my tried and trusted
'Professional Salon Hair Products"

Let me know in the comments below if you've tried any Low Shampoo product
 and whether you enjoyed or not...




Available at Clicks countrywide

22 July 2018


Having already posted 3 of my 4 reviews on The Ordinary products that
 I bought last year, I thought it was about time I posted my opinions
on their Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5.

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for months, not because I'd
forgotten about it,like I have on occasion,it was due to me wanting to give this 
serum another chance to impress me...

I don't think I have given any product so many 2nd chances as this one.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Initially I didn't enjoy it, but after reading so many glowing reports I re-visited
it several times, hoping that I would see and experience what
others were raving about.

Just to give you a brief overview of Hyaluronic Acid in general and why it's hailed 
as the "wonder" ingredient.
It naturally occurs in the body and has the ability to hold 
1000 times its own weight in water.
This gentle Humectant ingredient has the ability to draw moisture into the 
skins cells and retain hydration throughout the day, whilst also 
preventing moisture loss.
As the skin cells are plumped up (similar to a sponge absorbing water)
it not only gives the skin a more plumped and hydrated appearance 
but more importantly for me it quickly smooths out fine lines.
Hyaluronic Acid is amazing because it can be used by all skin types 
and ages and should be included in everyones skin care regimes,
including oily skin types.
All skins benefit from hydration...

It can also be used alongside other ingredients like Vitamin C,AHA's and Retinols.

I personally have always seen the benefits of using either HA serums or
products that include HA and I know my skin responds well to its inclusion,
unfortunately I found this particular brand to be rather underwhelming.

The Ordinary HA 2% is combined with Vitamin B5 which 
enhances surface hydration.

The Ordinary do however have a side note about HA on their website;
" Hyaluronic Acid is found in the skin naturally but its natural function within the skin is not hydration. Many products have used HA to claim hydration benefits, but HA is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin and instead sits on the surface and can draw moisture out of the skin making the surface feel soft and hydrated temporarily. This formula uses three forms of HA with varying molecular weights, as well as an HA crosspolymer, to offer multi-depth hydration and visible plumping without drawing water out of the skin solely to improve temporary surface hydration".
I was aware of the above "almost reversal" effect that some HA products can
have on hydration, yet I've personally not experienced it with any others, 
however this was one of the reasons that I don't like this product from 
The Ordinary.

I found the texture of this oil free, water based gel serum to be smooth
when I initially applied, but it soon turned
extremely tacky and sticky after a minute or so of application.
This serum can be used AM & PM either alone or under moisturisers.

Now I always advocate the "Less is More" approach to product application,
so I adjusted the amount I applied several times, but nothing seemed to
make any difference in terms of the feel on my skin.

Not only did I not enjoy the texture, but my skin seemed to feel drier with use,
exactly what The Ordinary said (in their side note above)
of other competitors products incorporating HA.

The Ordinary is a no frills, affordable line of skincare, which I'm all for,
I found the product though to be rather simple and unpolished and personally
 I'm not wanting to comprise on the effectiveness of a product, 
just for a cheap price.
After saying all of the above,you can't really afford not to give
this product a try, as it could just work wonders for your skin...

I was obviously "missing something" about this product, but that's what's great
about this industry
 "every skin is different" 

Having now completed all 4 reviews on my experiences with 
The Ordinary products I'm very happy to have finally moved this last review from
my drafts folder...


Available in SA via 3rd Party websites



Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any of
The Ordinary 
products and what you think...

20 July 2018


It's been over two years since I last did this type of post, 
so I thought it was time to bring you up to speed with some of the products
 that I've previously reviewed and whether or not I've continued to use 
or perhaps I've changed my opinions over time.

Back in November 2017 I did a QPR (Quickie Product Review) on the 
Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation 
and whilst I scored it a 7/10 and it was a good foundation,I didn't really feel that 
it was the best foundation suited for my mature normal/dry skin,
 however I've revisited the foundation over the past couple of months
 and now that it's winter here in SA, I'm loving it and it's been 
my "go to" foundation.
 It seems to perform better on my skin during the cooler, non humid winter months,
 which only goes to prove that in some instances a product may perform better 
during a different season, so don't be too eager to write a product off,
 just perhaps revisit it later.

During 2016 Benefit launched a new collection of Concealers
 and I was sent all 4 products to try and I love them now, 
just as much as much as I loved them then.. 
My outstanding faves are the Industrial Strength Concealer 
and the Airbrush Concealer, so if you're in the market for a concealer 
then go straight to benefit as they 
have every concealing need covered.

I'm a huge fan of the French skincare brand Avène and over the past
 couple of years I've reviewed many of their products and there is one product
 that I have incorporated into my morning regime.
Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum 
is an affordable, effective and budget friendly skincare basic that 
I often recommend when people ask me for skincare advice.
To find out why I recommend this serum then click on the pink link below

Hopefully it won't be another 2 years before I write another Friday Follow-Up post.
I hope you enjoyed this type of feedback post and
let me know, in the comments below, if you have tried any of the above.

17 July 2018


As I've said in previous posts I'm not one to rush in and buy beauty products
on a whim, I'm the type of person that decides to purchase only after 
doing some prior research.
In fact the few purchases that I have regretted have all been ones where 
I've rushed into buying without much thought.
There are so many reviews and articles online now that can help you to make
informed choices before parting with your hard earned cash.

My Top 5 Disliked Products of 2017

I'm sure we've all been guilty of buying that new shade of lipstick, even though 
we have several lipsticks almost identical or the latest de puffing eye product
 that just didn't live up to expectations and all too often these 
disappointing/duplicate/impulse buys 
end up at the back of a cupboard unused and unloved.

My weakness by the way happens to be nail polishes, I have too many in my 
stash that are so similar in shade, yet I continue to buy more and rarely 
ever finish a bottle of polish completely.

To find out which product I recently bought on impulse and now regret 
wasting my money Click here and it happens 
to be in this photo...

I always ask myself several questions to make me stop and think very carefully 
about whether the investment is absolutely necessary and with the high prices
 of skincare and make-up items today, I find I'm asking myself these questions 
 more frequently.
I thought I would share these tips in the hope that they may also help you to 
avoid buying unnecessary beauty items and wasting money.

Here are the questions that I run through my mind in order to establish 
whether that new beauty addition is warranted or not:

Is it a product that I'm lacking in my beauty regime?
This is a question that's easy to answer a quick "yes" to, but seriously think and 
 consider if your beauty regime needs it or not.

Do you have similar unfinished products in my collection
 if so then think about finishing them before replacing.

Is it a product that focuses on the current needs of my skin?
With age the needs and the priorities from skincare and make-up change
and you need to adapt your product purchases as required, so if you're not moving forward,
 especially in regards to the ongoing advancement in skincare 
 then I suggest you reassess your skincare and make-up regime.

Cross check the product price per millilitre
All too often smaller quantities of drugstore products can equate (ml for ml) 
to the same price and sometimes even more expensive than
 a perceived high end, more specialised product equivalent.

Is it a "gimmicky" beauty product and should you be buying into it?
Many products, especially seasonal make-up launches, are often short lived 
and inevitably end up in the cosmetics reduced bin.
So don't be tempted by the pink sparkles in a facial mask or that
 fancy yet totally impractical packaging.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips that you use 
to avoid those non essential Impulse beauty purchases...

15 July 2018


La Prairie is a Swiss skincare brand that I had the pleasure of working with for
 several years. La Prairie is pure Luxury and they have some outstanding
 products in their line-up.
During my years with La Prairie their worldwide clientele were not only extremely 
devoted and loyal to these luxurious and effective skincare products, but as you 
can imagine "beauty budgets" were not a constraint when it came to purchasing.

La Prairie's Cellular Hand Cream has a very impressive list 
of benefits and ingredients that focus on the 3 main areas 

moisture complex includes intensive hydrators and “locking” agents to help
 bind moisture to the skin and prevent moisture loss and shea butter 
helps seal in hydration.
Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF's) from a marine-derived complex 
including chlorella vulgaris and seawater, help maintain 
skin’s youthful look and feeling.

Marine-derived alpha hydroxy acids, including an algae extract ferment, 
exfoliate gently.

Antioxidants including vitamins C and E, green tea extract and grape seed 
extract provide powerful protection from environmental damage.
Green Algae helps protect and reinforce skin’s elasticity.
Vitamin C and extracts of grape, mulberry, liquorice and scutellaria 
help guard against discolouration and age spots.

This rich white cream has the typical La Prairie delicate fragrance
that can be found across all of their Cellular range of products.
I must say that this formula is neither a quick apply nor a quick absorb type 
of hand cream and I find it's best suited to being applied last thing at night
 to let the intensely moisturising ingredients work their "La Prairie" magic overnight. 
Apply a small amount and massage over your wrists, hands, fingers and cuticles. 

Having used this product previously it was a delight to revisit it, via this generous sized sample.
 It's all that I remember and more, as with time my ageing hands
now appreciate the level of nourishment and comfort it offers... even more. 
This product is so much more than just a "hand cream" its a specialised 
"Hand Treatment" in every sense of the word.

La Prairie 
Cellular Hand Cream