29 May 2019


This is only the second make-up item from the Italian cosmetic brand 
that Ive tried, the first was their Defence Pretty Touch Blusher, which was my 
"go to" blusher during the 2017/18 summer, as it was such a flattering, 
easy wearing everyday blusher.

To read that review

I have seriously lost count of how many concealers/luminizers/brighteners, 
whatever you like to call them, I have used over the years, all in the hope of
 concealing darkness under the eye area, even out the skin tone, brightening the area 
and counteracting any signs of fatigue its seems to be a never ending quest
 and whilst some do a wonderful job others 
can fail miserably.

I was sent the BioNike Defence Color Luminizer to try and I was excited to put it to the test especially after my success with the Blusher from the same collection.

This click pen luminizer claims to conceal dark circles and small imperfections, while highlighting 
facial contours and it all sounds very similar to the iconic 
YSL Touche Éclat 
I worked for YSL many years ago and this product is what truly launched
YSL onto the make-up scene, as the original and now iconic face highlighter/concealer
  claimed to 
"instantly give you 8 hours of beauty sleep in a click"

The Touch Éclat has been so coveted over the years, that nowadays there are several
good affordable options that do a very similar job, however personally I have never 
found a perfect dupe.

I was curious as to what made this luminizer different to others that I had tried 
and its main 3 properties are all what I look for in this type of product :-

Hyaluronic acid: 
a moisturiser, makes the texture silky soft.

Texturising agents: 
allow to blend product easily for a very lightweight finish and a soft-focus effect. 

Glow Factor: 
a special set of anti-oxidant and stress-relieving ingredients. 

As always the Click pens have to be primed and clicked several times until the
product oozes onto the brush tip.
The product has a fluid texture and is easy to apply and blend with
either your finger tip or a make-up blender and can be applied under foundation or over.

However I wasn't prepared for the great concealing effect that it had on
the blue area towards the inner corner of my under eye.
(The blueness is always there, as its the capillaries that can be seen under the 
skin due to that areas skin covering being very thin) 
and I'm sure many of you can relate to this blue tinge and whilst it didn't cover 100%
(that's a very difficult ask from any product)
 it did an excellent job on me.

I find that I use the Colour luminizer on the mid line to the inner corners and then another more heavy duty concealer for the outer areas.
The luminizer also brightened up my under eye area very nicely and it can also 
be used to illuminate and highlight the cheekbones.

I used shade 101 and there are only 3 shades available.
Ophthalmologically tested on sensitive eyes.
Fragrance & Preservative Free 
Its also suitable for contact lens wearers.

I think I could have found the best dupe for the YSL Touche Élact 
considering it doesn't carry the same hefty imported price tag and more importantly 
its far easier to obtain,
 as all Dischem's countrywide stock BioNike.

This is now the 2nd colour product from BioNike that I have been super impressed
with and hopefully I can find you some more BioNike make-up gems.



27 May 2019


This weeks Sunday Sample is a Facial Oil from a French brand that we associate
 very much with beautiful candles.
I for one, wasn't aware that the much lusted after candle and home fragrance brand Diptyque made facial products, albeit a very condensed range.
I was given this sample by Skins Cosmetics in Sandton, with a purchase, some time ago and I've delayed using it...

Honestly I'm rather hesitant to use this Infused Face Oil, as I'm rather particular
as to what I apply to my skin and whilst I don't doubt that Diptyque would make a good product I can't help thinking that skin care is not their "forte".

Any way in the name of research for you my readers I'll put this 3ml sample of Infused Face Oil to the test, so check back on Sunday to see whether my initial reservations were justified or not.

Let me know if you have tried this product in the comments section below,
 as I would love to read your views and opinions.

26 May 2019


I feel that I cannot talk about this holy grail of CC Serums without mentioning its creator and founder of this iconic French beauty brand BYTERRY.
Terry de Gunzburg is a trailblazing industry legend who over the course of the past 30 years has changed the face of beauty. 
Hailing from a family of scientists, Terry initially embarked on a career in medicine, but soon abandoned her studies for a more creative life. Cutting her teeth at the now fabled Carita beauty school in Paris she quickly became an in-demand studio makeup artist working across runway and editorial with some of the biggest names in fashion. Her trademark beauty look has always been distinctive: imperceptible foundation, impeccable lips and thick, separated lashes.
But it was her collaboration with Yves Saint Laurent that would leave an indelible mark on fashion and beauty history. As International Makeup Designer of YSL Beauté for 15 years, Terry invented countless products and formulas, including the iconic Touché Eclat in 1992. Indeed, radiance and a healthy, but an invisible complexion has always been key to Terry’s approach to make up, so when she decided to launch her own collection of products in 1998, ByTerry was born as a bespoke 'couture' beauty line offering made to measure cosmetics. 

This much talked about product has been on my beauty wish list for many years and I finally got my hands on, not one but, 3 shades of the Brightening CC Serum during an overseas trip back in November.
I have to admit I was a little nervous to drop £65 on a product that I didn't know
whether I would like or not, as all too often these super hyped products can be a
huge let down.
Thankfully these Brightening CC Serums have not let me down, in fact I've been blown
away by how great they are. As you know skincare is my priority and this product
combines skincare benefits with luxury make-up, so for me its a win win situation.
Infused with radiant rose stem cells, this advanced Brightening CC Serum is an 
illuminating primer that creates a flawless base with NO coverage. 
Optical glow technology blurs imperfections, evens out skin tone, intensifies skin
radiance and neutralise redness.
It really is a wonder primer that enhances the skins natural glow.
Initially I was surprised at how hydrating the serum was and I found it to instantly
make the skin appear brighter and glowing and I was impressed from the first application.

The Cellularose Brightening CC Serums are available in 4 shades and they flatter all skin tones. 

Immaculate Light
(not featured)

Rose Elixir
Apricot Glow
Sunny Flash
Depending on desired results and the correcting your skin requires would determine
 which shade you would opt for:

Rose Elixir

(neutralises washed-out, ashy tones with brightening, pink-toned particles)

Apricot Glow

(a flattering shade that suits fair to warm, medium skin tones)

Sunny Flash 

(a beautiful, bronze-toned colour to unify darker skin tones or grant paler 
complexions a sunkissed glow)

These serums are super easy to apply and literally glide over the skin.
They can be applied alone or mixed with your foundation to unify uneven skin tone and create a luminous, lit-from-within skin finish. For customised colour correction, mix shades together to address your complexion concerns.

Whilst I have used them all, my absolute fave is the Sunny Flash, which just lends itself perfectly to sunny lifestyle living in South Africa.
Being in my 59th year I love the fact that this serum gives me absolute freedom & confidence to wear alone with some bronzer, mascara and lipstick and I'm 
good to go, which after all is Terry de Gunzburg's trademark beauty look...



(Available exclusively in SA at Metropolitan Cosmetics)




I already have several more of her products on my wish lists
let me know if you have used any of the BYTERRY products in the 
comments section below.

24 May 2019


Despite what many people may think facial oils are not a new thing, in fact they've been around for many years, trust me I was around back in the late 1970's when Clarins had 3 facial oils that formed the core of all skincare regimes.
As a Clarins consultant in those days, every new customer would either fall into one of three skincare categories and there was a corresponding oil to treat.
 Lotus Oil (Oily skins) Ochideé Blue (Dehydrated skins) Santal Oil (Dry skins).
These 3 facial treatment oils still today form part of the Clarins face care line-up, 
albeit they've had a slight name change and have undergone formulation tweaks.

The French brands just know how to formulate the best and most effective facial oils 
and having tried several in my "beauty" time I'm speaking from personal experience.

The latest Facial Oil from a French brand to go under my review was the


As with all good French Facial Oils, only the finest quality of essential oils are used
and let me tell you that it does make all the difference to the texture, absorption and
effectiveness of the facial oil on the skin.

The Vine[Activ] Detox Oil is 100 % natural and simply put it helps tired skin 
regenerate and repair itself at night. 
The skin is detoxified from pollutants and toxins leaving the complexion refreshed and glowing. 

As with all of Caudalie products it draws its benefits from the marvels of the grape 

and in this product, its the oil of the grape, which is rich in omega 6 and vitamin E,
 it provides a burst of nutrition and repair. 
This action is reinforced by musk rose oil and essential oils of neroli, lavender, carrot, 
white sandalwood and petitgrain.
This cocktail works to detox the skin and increase collagen production to 
give the skin its bounce back and reduce wrinkle depth.

The formulation is suitable for all skin types and it's dry oil texture is quickly 
absorbed into the skin and leaves no oily or sticky residue behind.

I personally always have a facial oil "on the go" to be incorporated into my regular skin care regime when I feel my skin requires de-stressing or a detox, or for those times I just want to use an oil product, 

I will use every night for several weeks and other times I will just use for a couple of nights.

Warm 3-6 drops of oil between your hands and massage into clean skin in the evening (avoid the eye area) and then follow with a moisturiser if skin is especially dry.

As with any oil you will need to just play around with the amount of drops used until you find the correct quantity for your skin and the pipette dropper allows for good control over the amount dispensed.

Overall this product incorporated perfectly into my current skin care routine.
It was easy to apply and an absolute pleasure to use.
The essential oil fragrance of Lavender, Neroli and Sandalwood not only
have that divine "Spa" aroma, but it brought back so many good memories of my first
 introduction to face oils back in my days with Clarins...






To read my previous French Facial Oil Reviews

21 May 2019


I'm never without a lip balm close at hand whether it be in my handbag, in my car,
on my bedside table or on my dressing table... I'm sure you get the picture 
I do love a good lip balm.
I have tried so so many, but I thought I would write this post to let you know which are my top 3 and are well worth a spend, they also happen to all be from French brands.
I could have easily made this into a Top 5, but I wanted to just focus on my 3 all time faves
 and the ones that I have permanently on hand.
Click on the PINK LINKS below to read my full reviews on each product.
(The prices on my original reviews may have changed)




If you are needing some serious LIP repairing and protecting then just go straight in for this Lip Balm from the French brand that I recommend so ofter - LA ROCHE-POSAY.
It's a "must have" if you suffer from severe dry lips whether it be from extreme cold weather or you have an intolerance to fragrance in lip balms, this product literally 
 covers most issues and is well worth a spend.



This Lip Conditioner from the French brand Caudalie is a more recent discovery of mine
and offers the ease of a lipstick type lip balm, that's super easy to whip out 
and apply as often as needed.
It glides easily across the lips and contains a delicate vanilla scent and with its 
anti- oxidant properties it delivers nutrition and protection all day long. 

       To read my full review                    




If I had to give you my absolute best lip balm ever it would be this pot of lip magic
from the French brand NUXE.
Not only is it a multi award winning product,
this best-selling lip balm with Honey and precious oils is highly concentrated in ingredients that nourish, repair, soothe and protect even the driest and most damaged lips  and this deceivingly small pot seems to go on forever, so much so, that I recently

featured this product in 


Please let me know in the comments below if you have tried any of these 
and what your thoughts are and also let me know if there are any other lip balms 
that I must try, but remember I've tried many...

16 May 2019


Unfortunately I don't have too many products to include in this QPR post,
but I do have two non skincare/make-up items and that doesn't happen too often, 
so lets see what I thought....


Product : Lemon Verbena Foam Bath
Price : R59.99
Size : 500 mls

I was so excited to see that Woolworths had launched their own range of Vegan body products that are based on Active Ingredients from Nature.
The assortment of products and fragrances is quite extensive and being a longtime lover
of all things Verbena I made a bee line for their Lemon Verbena Foam bath, which is
enriched with botanical extracts, Turmeric and Maca Root Extracts.
All products are free from: 
Parabens, added sulphates(SLS & SLES),synthetic colours and they're all 
Dermatologically tested.
(This range can be found in the food hall section of Woolworths)

Whilst the packaging of the products is appealing unfortunately I can't say the same for 
the contents.
I found the fragrance pay off of this foam bath to be poor initially and soon disappeared completely and the bubbles were poor at least.
However the price is affordable especially for a 500mls bottle, but that's all I can
say positive about this from bath, that I was so hopeful about.

Verdict : 4/10



Brand : Bath & Body Works
Product : Creamy Luxe Hand Soap
Coconut Mint Drop
Price : AED 42 Normal price (R167)
(I can't remember what I paid but it was less than half price)
Size : 236 mls

Having never tried anything from the USA brand Bath & Body Works I couldn't resist
buying a couple of things from one of their shops in the Dubai.As always the poor South African has to spoil our spending fun, but luck was in my side this time, as I was 
shopping on the Black Friday Weekend and I scored...
I bought a couple of their large candles and this Creamy Luxe Hand Soap and I
do love luxury hand soaps. 
Not only does this Coconut Mint Drop Hand Soap smell divine, it has a luxurious 
creamy feel and the fragrant bubbles reflect just that.
It certainly leaves your hands feeling soft,fragranced and moisturised.
Whilst I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase again, I would most certainly buy again
 if I was  fortunate to be travelling through a country that stocked Bath & body Works.
(Be warned their product range is huge, so allocate plenty of time when you visit a store)

Verdict : 8/10

Let me know in the comments below if you have tried anything from this brand,as I would
 love to know.

14 May 2019


I wasn't sure if I actually needed this product in my life or not, but I knew that I had FOMO
that "fear of missing out" feeling.
So many users absolutely rave about this make-up setting spray and to be honest
 I was curious, but cautious.
On occasion I have been known to be suckered into the beauty hype that surrounds
certain products, especially when the products have been gifted to Beauty Bloggers, 
however it's a different story when you still read rave reviews from bloggers 
that have taken their own cash and bought the product.
So I decided to take the R460 plunge...

URBAN DECAY have become one of my favourite make-up brands over the past year
and I haven't yet been disappointed with any of my purchases or items that 
have been gifted.

UD currently have 4 make-up setting sprays on offer, but it was the 
All Nighter
that appealed to me the most and the one that is most coveted by other brands.
All make-up wearers will agree that when we apply in the morning, our make-up looks good, but sadly the same cannot be said as the day progresses and even more so in hot humid climates 
(like Durban experiences in February)
 and this is where a make-up setting spray can really help...

The All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray claims to keep makeup looking like its been just-applied for up to 16 hours—without melting, fading or settling into fine lines.
Developed in an exclusive partnership with Skindinavia, their groundbreaking, tested formula is suitable for all skin types, free of oil and parabens, and features patented Temperature Control Technology. Yep, this spray actually lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep foundation, eyeshadow, blush and concealer in place—even in hot and humid or cold and windy conditions and it sounded perfect, but did it do all that it claims?

Yes, Yes and more Yes's
it lived up to all the hype, praise and awards bestowed on the product.
There was no transfer, no fading, no settling into the lines and more importantly for me no melting, your make-up stays in place literally all day and all night if needed.

I must mention here for those people that don't like to spray products onto their face, an important point of difference between this setting spray and others on the market,
the UD spray delivers a calibrated, microfine mist that goes on so light, leaves no stickiness on the skin and you hardly feel anything on the skin at all.

How To Use:
After applying makeup, shake bottle well, hold 8"–10" away and mist face 2–4 times, in an “X” and “T” formation. Close eyes before misting. If you want extra intense shadow colour, less fallout and even longer wear, then wet your brush with All Nighter before you apply.

My initial scepticism aside, after one application on a very hot and humid February day in
Durban, I  quickly realised that I so needed this product in my life and it has now become the final step in my make-up routine and just for the record I don't regret my 
R460 plunge at all...







Available from URBAN DECAY Boutiques countrywide and online