21 October 2018


This is rather a different post today, as it's not a product review, but rather a review 
about a campaigns communication video.
Yes it's about a brands TV advertisement, well I did say it was going to be different...

Having worked my whole career with skincare and fragrance brands, I've seen many press releases over the years and I always head straight to the link to the tv add before
 reading all the bumf about the background to the product. 
I like to watch the video without any prior knowledge of what the product or message of the ad 
is trying to convey and whilst some, I have to admit, loose me 
others hit the nail right on the the "beauty" head (ouch! Sorry)

The new communication video for the best selling Lancôme fragrance, 
La Vie est Belle
is what's led me to write this post.

La Vie est Belle means "Life is Beautiful" 
in French and the fragrance 
has always portrayed happiness, however it's time to turn a page and begin 
a new chapter on the La Vie est Belle journey.

Is a true manifesto of living “la vie est belle”.   
The most important aspect of joy and happiness is SHARING it – and so the 
new campaign was born: 

For me "Happiness" is just what this short video conveys. 
It's starts out as an elegant, yet rather sombre gathering and through her infectious smile
she shines and radiates happiness and it soon turns it into a party...
Beautifully filmed with the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop
this ad gets the Happiness message across loud and clear,
as it simply makes you feel good inside...

I know there are all kinds of ways of making people happy and by sharing this video 
I hope to do my bit, in this sometimes mad world, to make you
 "Feel Happy Today" 
even if it's only for a few minutes in these videos.

Julie Roberts has been the face of the fragrance since its inception in 2012 
and not only is she stunningly beautiful, but who can resist feeling happy when she flashes her iconic smile.I personally feel that's she very relatable and we have grown up with her on screen over her long successful acting career and if you can't get enough of her then check out this happy short video.

There are currently 3 incarnations of the fragrance




If you would like to try some happiness in the form of
La Vie best Belle fragrances then pop by any Lancôme stockist
for a spritz.


18 October 2018


After working for L'Occitane for several years I obviously have a soft spot 
for this much loved French brand. 
Whilst most of their products are excellent there are a couple that I can't give too much praise to and often it's been a let down on the packaging front rather
 than on performance.

Pivoine Sublime Flash Moisture Mask 

I've used several products from the Pivoine Sublime range and it's a 
collection of skin Perfecting products,that help through light reflecting ingredients, 
 give the skin a flawless, smooth, velvety fresh appearance and its a collection
 that I normally rave about and can highly recommend.

I have written many reviews on Pivoine Sublime products.

A fairly recent addition to the Pivoine Sublime range are 3 mono dose face masks: 

Overnight Perfecting Mask
Pure Flash Moisture Mask 
and the
 Flash Moisture Mask,
 which is the one I opted to try out. 

The Flash Moisture Mask, as the name suggests, has been formulated to intensely 
hydrate and immediately quench a skins thirst for moisture,just what your skin needs when it's feeling parched, tired and in general need of a quick  'pick me up"

Having a rich, creamy texture, this mask 
Contains smoothing, refining and hydrating Peony Extract and glycerin. 
Whilst the mask feels wonderful soft and comforting on the skin I was personally
 put off with the fragrance of this product and I suspect that it's not intentional by L'Occitane but rather a problem with the packaging. 

The mask had a distinct aroma of plastic, the type that comes from a product 
absorbing its packaging smell over time and it wasn't pleasant considering
 its right under your nose for 10 minutes or so.

Like all other similar masks its easy to use
Apply a thin layer evenly over clean, dry skin, including face and neck, avoiding 
the eye contour area. 
Leave on for 10 minutes then remove excess with a damp cotton pad, do not rinse. 
Use 1 to 2 times a week.

This mask comes in a single use (Mono Dose) of 6mls which was rather a small quantity 
for both its price and the size of the container the mask came in.
 Once I pulled back the silver protective foil there was more empty space than product.

These mono dose masks are ideal for use during travel, but they do work out to be an extremely expensive format to use, as 6mls of product for R85 is rather heavy 
on the skincare budget.
Most face masks retail in a 50ml quantity and that works out to be over 
R708 based on the 6ml price.

Even though I managed to get 2 applications it's still overpriced for a rather ordinary hydrating mask that I will sadly remember for smelling like plastic flowers
 rather than a soft delicate Peony.


Pivoine Sublime 
Flash Moisture Mask 

Mono Dose





Available in store or Online

16 October 2018



This is my favourite beauty advent calendar, as it always has the best 
of the brands that M&S Beauty sell..
The M&S Beauty Calendar is also one of the few that give you a gift everyday
of Christmas including the 25th December.
Last year my "London Kiddiwink" brought me over the 2017 version
and I loved it, its allowed me to try out so many great brands that aren't 
available in SA.
This collection of products is valued at £250 and it has to be the 
best value Beauty Advent Calendar yet again.

I highly recommend this years option, as I can already pick out so many
 iconic beauty products.

Pixi Rose Tonic,
L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream plus one of their Verbena Shower Gels
Eyeko Mascara, NUXE Body Cream,THIS WORKS Pillow Spray,
Leighton Denny nail polish
 and so many more products from great brands 
(including their own M&S brands)

I will be picking one up on my upcoming trip to London and I can't wait,
as its hands down this is the best value Beauty Advent Calendar for 2018

With a purchase of £35
(Cannot be food purchases)

 6th November 2018

In store or online

14 October 2018


No I haven't written a review on Christopher Robin, read again it's Christophe Robin and I'm sure like "moi" you're wondering who the heck he is.

I was a little sceptical to say the least about this rather obscure (obscure to me)
 unusually named hair cleansing product.
Christophe Robin Volumising Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay
and Rose Extracts 
is a deep cleansing treatment for fine hair lacking in density, which
is exactly how I would currently describe my hair.
It also has a rather unusual appearance, as it looks like more
an exfoliator or body scrub.

 This unique clay-to-foam shampoo is formulated to help create beautiful volume 
while absorbing impurities and oil from the scalp and
 give instant volume at the roots and density down the lengths.

Consisting of 85% natural origin ingredients this formula is a unique blend 
of pure Rassoul Clay, with densifying and re-mineralizing benefits, 
protective rose extracts and Limnanthes extract to help preserve and 
enhance the hair color.

This surprising paste-like texture transformed instantly into a light foam,
and its transformation was pure magic, as I was expecting to seriously work 
this product into my hair and scalp to have any foaming, cleansing effect.
Despite not looking too great in the pot the product has a slight rose fragrance
and more importantly for me, was easy to rinse.
I didn't do my normal double shampoo, as my hair and scalp felt cleaner than its
ever felt before just after one application.
It was easy to rinse despite using too much and having mountains of
from on my head and it certainly didn't add to my dreaded tangle situation
due to my hair being both long,fine and highlighted.

How To Use:

On wet hair: use a tablespoon worth of product (more or less, depending on the length
 of your hair) rub into your palms, and apply all over your hair. 
(As I found out on my first use, use much less than recommended)
With a delicate touch, make circular motions until you feel the paste turn to foam, 
and make sure you lift the roots. Add a little water, emulsify, and rinse well. 
For an intensified effect: let it sit for 2 minutes before you rinse. 
(which I did)

All products are Free from :


This product surprised me on so many different levels, its name, its appearance, 
the way the consistency completely transformed once applied to the hair and
the volumising results it gave down to the delicate fragrance it left
in my hair.
I was utterly blown away with this product and if you read my product reviews
regularly, you will know that it takes an outstanding product to make me use the
 term "blown away".
After using twice in the past week my hair felt soft, thicker and incredibly clean. 
I was also able to go longer between washes, which is a Win Win situation.
 I was so impressed that it's on my overseas shopping list. 

Please let me know in the comments below if you have used this product before
or the Volumising Shampoo, as I tempted to buy both.

Christophe Robin 
Volumising Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay
and Rose Extracts 





Available in South Africa from Skins Cosmetics

10 October 2018


I've never been too sure if eyeshadow primers really do add any
longevity to my eyeshadow or add any value to my beauty life. 
I've always perceived them as being an add-on purchase that's nice to have 
and hopefully its one that works. 
After saying this I recently bought one, along with several other items,
 from the newly opened boutique in Gateway

Urban Decay 
Eyeshadow Primer Potion 

I have to admit, I was totally sold, on one of my least favourite type of products,
 by the sales consultant, who assured me that it would change my opinion
on eyeshadow primers
(By the way there are 5 variants of Eyeshadow Primer Potions available
I opted for the always needed Anti-Ageing version)

She grabbed my attention by mentioning several 
"trigger words" 
like Anti-Ageing, fills in the imperfections, minimise fine lines, blurs etc.
all the things that a woman with an ageing eye area wants to hear.

This creamy eyeshadow primer lets you prep the lids for eyeshadows, 
providing an all-day, 24hr, crease-free wear. 
Its innovative ingredients minimise the look of wrinkles while improving
 the appearance of tone and texture. 
Dermaxyl® helps to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and Kalpariane® supports plumping, firming, and hydrating the skin as it improves
 suppleness and elasticity. 
The optical blurring pigments create a subtle, soft-focus effect that instantly
 brightens up tired eyes and reduces the look of redness, thinning skin in the eye area, and other imperfections. 
Yes I had to have this product...
The nude coloured formula glides on smoothly with the wand applicator 
and here I must stress that a little goes a long way. 

It's best to apply your eyeshadow after application as the primer, when fresh 
acts like a magnet and helps to "lock in" the vibrancy of any colour.
I happily found that the primer didn't interfere with the application or the blending 
of my shadows, which happened to be from my Urban Decay palettes.

Initially I wasn't super impressed with its "staying power" as my eyeshadow
 generally lasts anyway and I don't suffer with oily eyelids or creasing shadows,
so I can't vouch for how well it handles these issues,but judging by
other reviews and reports, it handles them pretty well...

After using several times and not being "wowed" I reverted back to not using
 and that's when I realised just how much I needed this product.

I love that it's an Anti-Ageing treatment primer and only once
I stopped using, did I truly appreciate what a good product it was
 and despite thinking previously that my eyeshadow lasted, which it did,
 but just not with the same true colour that was applied 12 hours or so earlier.
I have even worn "sans" shadows and despite not being able
 to put my finger on it,my eyelid area definitely looked
better, I'd say the fine lines appeared softer and the skin looked smoother
either way, there is a reason - it's one of 
Urban Decays "Best Sellers"

Overall the sales consultant made a good call by recommending this product
and if like me you doubt the effectiveness of eyeshadow primers
then maybe we've just been trying the wrong ones...

Urban Decay 
Eyeshadow Primer Potion 




For further info and to order

8 October 2018


Having never heard of this haircare brand Christophe Robin I was somewhat disappointed with its inclusion in the SkinsCosmetics Beauty Box,
 that I bought earlier in the year.

 Well..that soon changed when I did some research and
 discovered that it's a highly sought after 
haircare range from the renowned French hair colourist Christophe Robin.
Christophe Robin was for a long time the ‘go to’ guy for many celebrities 
and models alike.

Now armed with an excited interest and my 40ml pot of 
Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste 
with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts
 I'm curious to experience what this brand has to offer, so check back on Sunday
to see what my thoughts are on this niche, expensive haircare brand.

Let me know in the comments below if you have heard of Christophe Robin
or better still if you have used any of his products.

7 October 2018


I've been meaning to write a short review about the LipLift Max from PIXI for
 such a long time. 
I received this item in my 2017 Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar and I thought
 I'd better get writing, as the new M&S 2018 Calender is due out on the 6th November.

*If you would like to see my pick of some of the 2018 Beauty Advent Calendars 
that have been launched during September & October*
 Click Here

Even though the PIXI brand isn't available in South Africa, I'm sure many of you that are into your beauty may have heard about their iconic PIXI Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner, which I have used for a couple of years now and I highly rate
Click Here 

Here is what PIXI say about the LipLift Max:

Volume-maximizing lip treatment with a cooling sensation and glossy finish
Peptides hydrate, firm and plump
Added aloe heals, jojoba moisturizes and chamomile soothes
Fresh mint flavour
Not tested on animals BUAV approved

Sadly I can't rave about this LipLift the same as I can about the Glow Tonic
 and despite having a menthol cooling effect on the lips, which I enjoyed,
just found the texture to be quite sticky and rather unpleasant. 
Like many lip plumping products they just give a short lived illusion that
the lips are plumper via ingredients like menthol, spicy extracts and in some cases
chilli pepper (Capsaicin).
These stimulating ingredients increase the blood circulation to the lips giving
 you a temporary feeling of fuller plumper lips.

There are 5 subtle shades on offer of this Lip Plumper and even though my shade 
Honey Sheen wasn't an ideal shade to use alone, I popped in under/over other lipsticks.

Whilst I would purchase more of their skincare products I wouldn't look to buy 
any of their make-up items, I think in a market that's absolutely saturated 
with interesting and innovative make-up products, I think I can spend my money 
more wisely elsewhere.


LipLift Max




Available at selected Marks & Spencer or online