Monday, 30 April 2018

Current Beauty Favourites: First Edition 2018

Hi beautiful people,
I'm trying to be more consistent with my posts, but it's hard. There's plenty to write about but I haven't had the time to sit down and collect my thoughts about all the products that I've tried out over the last couple of months.
I tried my hand at monthly favourites last year but I think I lasted all of 3 months? So here we go again, this time I've titled the posts as "current favourites" because they don't necessarily change month-to-month for me.

#1 SVR Sebiaclear Crème SPF50 for combination to oily skin (50ml)

Anyone with medium to dark skin, knows the struggle of finding a high SPF day cream that won't gives that grey lavender tinge or make us look "casket-ready". I've been using this since January and one tube lasts about 4 months; which is not bad considering I use it every day. I've only just repurchased. This creme is thicker than the Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 (which was a favourite in 2017) but its not greasy. It has a neutral scent (not unlike other sunscreens), it's easily absorbed into the skin and it has a dry touch finish. I wear it on it's own or under my Lancome teint idole ultra 24hr foundation without any issue. This one is a keeper. It's available at most Clicks stores and online.

Never leave the house without suncreen.

#2 Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence &  #3 Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule
I have been in love with K -beauty since my first haul on holiday to South East Asia 5 years ago. I got this as free gift when I purchased the Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule at a Missha store in Singapore last July. I wish I was more conscientious in taking pictures of my skin when I start a new skincare product. I use this essence twice a day on most days after toning, but before moisturiser, serum or a sheet mask. This essence contains yeast ferment lysate and helps to
soothe texture, moisturising, balancing, brightening, and has anti-ageing properties. 

The Missha Night Repair serum has been touted as the cheaper dupe for the Estee Lauder Night Repair serum and the Lancome Advanced GΓ©nifique Youth Activating Serum; all 3 contain yeast ferment lysate. I alternate it with the Naruko Night Gelly and The Ordinary Vitamin C suspension. 
It has no scent and it's easily absorbed into the skin, without leaving any sticky residue or film. I've reached the pinnacle in my skincare journey: I no longer wakeup with a greasy face in the morning (That's a win for K-beauty right there).
My skin has definitely improved in terms of texture its much smoother and my blemishes fade away more quickly (I'll attribute this to the combination of this Essence and the night repair serum). I've gotten to the point where I can go out without foundation. Yay! 

It's available in South Africa from SAMIKA and Pink Cosmetics. Or you can purchase from YesStyle for really good deals but the wait time is ~2 months.

#4 My Natural Hair Edge Gel
I have never been one to "lay edges" maybe because I was yet to find the one. This edge gel is so good that it can slick down type 4 edges without a brush (Sorcery! I tell you). It's soft and flexible, so it's easy to manipulate. The fragrance is like the other products in the range, a light herbal floral scent. It's available from Beauty on TApp and Shop for Life.

sLay those edges

#5 Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
Alert the media people, I have found my holy grail shampoo. It smells like cupcakes...I love cupcakes. This one is hyped up on YouTube  and I was curious if it would be THAT good. It is! It suds up like regular shampoo but it doesn't dry my hair out and I can detangle with it and leaves my hair soft and manageable.A little goes a long way so this current bottle should last me a year. It's available at Style Studio and

Wash Day Heaven

#6 Juvia's Place The Festival Palette
I love all my palettes from Juvia's Place. This latest like the others is full of brights in mattes and shimmers. I can do so many looks with this palette; from neutral to bright and bold. Everyone should try at least one Juvia's Place palette.  Here's my full review for the palette
This palette inspired by West African festivals

#7 Stila Stay All-Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Stila makes my favourite formula for liquid lipsticks; they last through the day with minimal fading and no feathering. I got this in a mini/deluxe as a free gift for purchasing two Stila items at Woolworths. It's a classic red lip, not as blue toned as Fiery (another favourite of mine), it's a dupe for Ruby-Woo in terms of colour but not wear: Ruby-Woo feels more drying on the lips. This shade suits every skintone and I love that. 

The Classic Red Lip; Stila liquid lip in Beso

Have you tried any of the products? What are your current favourites? Let me know in the comments below. 

See you in my next post, 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Festival by Juvia's Place: five looks, one palette

I'm finally writing up my review for the latest Juvia's Place palette; part of 'The Festival' collection which includes an eyeshadow palette and two matte liquid lipsticks. I purchased my palette through Beauty Gifts by Melanie in early March as a birthday gift to myself. Other third party sellers that I've purchased from are SAMIKA, Pink Cosmetics and Fashion Police. You can also order the palette directly from Juvia's Place or Beauty Bay.
Let me tell you, she's gorgeous; Juvia's Place palettes are inspired by African culture and this one is inspired by the Wodaabe Gerewol in West Africa.
Here's the description from Juvia's Place:
 "The festival party filled with mystic trances. A celebration of daring and bold colors. Not for the faint heart. A beautiful blend of colors to make everyday festive. Consists of 9 highly pigmented shades."

You can already tell which I shades I'm really digging.

The palette consists of five matte shades (Izafa, Ofala, Mmanwu, Iri Ji and Oro) and 4 shimmer and satin shades (Uli, Keleke, Aba and Odogwu).

As usual, I like to give myself at least 2 weeks with a palette, before I post a review. I get to play with it and learn how to play with the shades. For a beginner, most Juvia's Place palettes can feel incohesive and challenging, but I'm not into neutral palettes so each new palette is fun learning experience.

Below are some of the looks I came up with (I had to do this twice, since my previous phone died on me and I lost all my pictures).

Look #1
EYES: Crease - Iri Ji, Outer  - Aba & Lid  - Uli. Liner: Lancome Grandiose Liner in 02. Mascara: L'Oreal Lash Paradise Voluminous. Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Heroine.

Look #2
EYES: Crease - Iri Ji, Inner and outer - Keleke & Centre Lid - Aba. Liner: Essence long-lasting liner in Purple Rain.  Lips: Stila Stay All-Day liquid lipstick in Amore 09
Look #3
EYES: Apply a light layer of Uli over the entire lide and crease. Then add Izafa to the outer corner. Liner: Lancome Grandiose and Lash Paradise Voluminous. Lips: Stila Stay All-day liquid lipstick in Beso.
Look #4
EYES: Crease - Ofala, Outer - Izafa & Inner - Oro. Liner: Lancome Grandiose and Essence long lasting liner in Berry Fantastic. Mascara: L'Oreal Lash Paradise Voluminous. Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Conspiracy

Look #5
EYES: Crease - Mmanwu, Inner and Centre Lid - Keleke & Outer - Iri Ji. Liner: Essence extreme long lasting liner in Blackest Love. Mascara: L'Oreal Lash Paradise Voluminous. Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Psycho.

For my eyeshadow base I use the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Caffeine, except for look #4 where I layed down a white base with the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk (this is just to make the colours pop against my skin, especially the mustard yellow Oro). All the shades are buttery soft as expected from Juvia's Place. I feel as though the mattes not as velvety as the shades in the Saharan II palette (See Review Here). The shimmers are not as soft as those in the Nubian II palette (Review Here).

I'm not wearing any foundation in any of these shots, just sunscreen (SVR Sebiaclear Crème SPF50). For blush, I'm either wearing MAC in Devil with Springsheen as a soft highlighter or I'm wearing blush colours from the Saharan Blush palette Volume I (also from Juvia's Place).

Which of these is your favourite? Let me know in the comments section.

Until my next post, 


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Haircare Review: Cantu Refresh Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse

Hi all,
It's been a long while since my last post...almost 2 months.
Todays review is on the ACV root rinse from Cantu; I've been using this for almost 3 months while my hair is in faux locs.

I struggle with a dry flaky scalp, especially when I wear braids and regular sulphate-free shampoos don't work for cleansing my scalp. I use the shampoo bars ("Soak & Float" and "NEW!") from Lush but these don't work so well when I have braids installed.
I decided to try the Cantu root rinse which is part of their Refresh range, since the reviews online were overwhelmingly positive.

Product blurb from the Cantu Beauty site
Cantu Root Rinse is made with apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and shea butter – a deeply cleansing yet nourishing cocktail that replaces your shampoo when you need a deeper scalp detox and extra conditioned strands. Rinse away the old and bring on the new revealing stronger, healthier hair with a natural shine. No mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, silicones, phthalates, gluten, paraffin or propylene.

Ingredients list
What's it like:
The root rinse comes in a 355ml (12 fl oz) bottle with a nozzle. fragrance wise, there's a floral scent mixed with mild vinegar scent and mint. I quite like it. I'm not a fan of a strong vinegar scent, which is why I don't do vinegar rinses but I can handle this scent. The rinse is clear and has a very runny consistency.

The root rinse is clear runny consistency.
How I use it:
Before I apply the rinse, I divide my hair into four sections, then I spritz my scalp and roots with water. I apply the rinse to each section and massage my scalp (with my fingers) and leave it on for ~ 5 minutes. I rinse out my spritzing with water and wipe my scalp with a cotton t-shirt. You can repeat the application if you need to.
Got my water bottle, root rinse and oil #washdayready
How it performs: 
The root rinse has a soft lather, but not too much; which is good because...WATER RESTRICTIONS! Once I rinse it out, there's cooling sensation and my scalp is clean with no dry patches or flakes. My roots also feel soft and moisturised.
I follow up with my scalp oil mix (which mainly contains olive oil, ximenia oil and Jamaican black castor oil) or the Caivil Fusion Oil Hair Gro Essence (sometimes I reapply the oil midweek, if I need to). 
Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Oombeke (ximenia) Oil
One bottle of root rinse is enough for 5 washes (that's 5 weeks for me) and I'm already halfway through my second bottle.

Where to buy:
You can get this at Dischem, Foschini and for R 199.95 (regular price). It's currently on sale on takealot for R 149.95 and at Dischem from R 159.95 (until 8 April).

Final thoughts: 
My relationship with Cantu haircare products is love and hate; when I first started transitioning back to natural, The Cantu shea buter leave-in conditioning cream was my jam. My transitioning hair loooved it and then as soon as I chopped off the last of my texlaxed ends, that love affair came to an abrupt end.
I switched to the Cantu for Natural hair leave-in and that didn't go well either. Although, combining this leave-in with the the Ecostyler gel when installing braids or locs is the best combo for retaining moisture of hair while in braids 🀷‍♀ I've tried some of the other products in sample packs that I got goody and they were just ...meh

The root rinse is my favourite Cantu product hands down! I never thought I'd be this excited about anything from Cantu πŸ™ˆ but here we are. This stuff is amazing.

Have you tried anything from the Cantu Refresh line?

Let me know in the comments below πŸ‘‡

See you in my next post, 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Happy New Year! My Favourites of 2017 - Hair Edition

Hello beautiful people,
Happy 2018! I'm never sure when to stop saying that, but I know I'm late 😁 I hope this year is going well for you and may all your dreams come true.
I had to share my look for the Cape Town Naturally HairFest from last December 😜. Photo by BrianEngel Photography
For my first post of the year, I'm gonna go with the crowd and talk about my hair favourites for last year. So here we go:

Shampoo - Lush Shampoo Bars NEW! and Soak & Float
I've long since given up on drugstore anti-dandruff shampoos, they just don't work for me I've gone from the most accessible to some pricey ones... and all I achieved was dry tangled hair and no improvement to my dry flaky scalp. These shampoo bars from lush have been my saving grace; they contain sulfates but they cleanse my hair and scalp without drying it out so they get to stay in my stash. Price is R 115.
"Soak & Float" Shampoo Bar
Conditioner - Baylis & Harding Great Hair Coconut Conditioner
I very rarely use rinse out conditioner as directed, instead I prefer to use it for my pre-shampoo treatment/detangling. For this I just need a cheap silicone-free conditioner and this one's my favourite. It's got a creamy consistency and a whole lot of slip and it comes in a 500ml bottle for R 60.
Pre-poo combo: Sunny Isle Extra Dark JBCO and the Baylis & Harding Conditioner

Deep Conditioner - Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque
Hands down my favourite deep condtioner for when I need to revive my hair after a month of braids or twists. It's got amazing slip for detangling and it doesn't necessarily need heat to be effective. I love the scent and though the price is a bit steep R 270 at Clicks, a little goes a long way.

Shea Moisture JBCO Treatment Masque
Leave-in Conditioner - My Natural Hair
For me, the best leave-ins need to have a ton of slip to help detangle my coils, because they love to hug each other. This one from My Natural Hair is the best one included in my stash. It's creamy lightweight formula and a little goes a long way. I haven't sen it stores yet but you can get it online on the My Natural Hair site and on Shop for Life as well for R 99.99.

Styler - Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter
Meet my current #bae! I know that Camile Rose Naturals is super pricey πŸ™ˆ but I like nice things and this one is really nice. It's a toffee-coloured cream with pudding like texture. It smells like Old Fashioned vanilla ice cream with almonds. It's super moisturizing and the twist-outs I get with this butter are amazing. It also plays well with others (including products from other brands). The price is a very nice R 550 from Style Studio.

My Natural Hair Strengthening Oil and the Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter
Oils - Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil and My Natural Hair Strengthening Oil
My longtime #bae has been with me since I started transitioning back to natural. I've stuck with one brand (I'm loyal 😊) I use JBCO predominantly as my pre-poo/detangling treatment mixed with a cheapy conditioner. When I feel like my hair needs extra love, I mix it into my deep conditioner as well. Thirdly, I mix JBCO with grapeseed/olive oil and jojoba oil with whatever other oils in my stash to make a scalp oil. R 270 for 236ml from African Flair and Obulunji

Strengthening oil from My Natural Hair is the perfect oil for those who aren't interested in being kitchen mixtresses. It's light and non-greasy. My favourite way to use this is to seal moisture into my strands as part of the L.O.C method. It goes for R 80 online.

All-rounder/Multi-purpose - Shea Moisture Raw Shea Conditioner
I use this conditioner 3 ways: As a rinse out conditioner to detangle post-shampoo, as a deep conditioner and as a leave-in. it's got lots of slip and it's super moisturising. Shea Moisture is now available in Clicks stores and the prices are very nice...not! Wait for the 3 for 2 specials and 30% off sales.

Best new product - Buuya Beauty Intense Hair Masque
This is a moisturising deep conditioner; I use it as a regular weekly deep conditioner and to restore moisture balance to my hair following the ApHogee protein treatment (here's the review). It's light and not as creamy as some of my other deep conditioners. My favourite thing about this one is the fragrance - grapefruit 😊. It's available from Buuya beauty and Beautyontapp for R 325 for 450ml.

Best Underrated/Over looked  - Caivil Fusion Oil  and Root Nourisher
I can't get over how well priced this range is; the root nourisher is R 30 and the oil is R 35, it will not get much better than that considering the ingredient list. I have the root nourisher and I like to use it to oil my scalp and seal moisture into my strands when installing braids and twists.

And that's my list. What were your favourite products from last year and what are you excited to try this year?

Let me know below.

See you in my next post, 

Monday, 27 November 2017

One Week,One Palette Challenge: Juvia's Place Saharan II

Hi loves,
I'm back with another "one week, one palette" challenge with the Saharan II palette from Juvia's Place. It's a relatively new palette from the company that was inspired by the Saharan desert,  the Mosaics, Colours and Spices of Morocco. Th e formula of these shadows different from previous palettes but the quality and pigmentation is excellent; the mattes have soft velvet feel and the metallics and duo-chromes feel silky to the touch.

As with my previous palette,

  • My lid base is the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Caffeine
  • Eyeliners are all from Essence cosmetics
  • Mascara is either Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara and L'Oreal False Lash Wings
  • On my face is the Stila One Step Illuminate and the NYX Cosmetics #nofilter Powder in Cocoa
  • Light contouring or bronzing is done with Fez in the Saharan II palette and Aby in the Saharan Blush Palette Vol I 
Look #1

Crease: Taza
Inner and outer corner: Fez
Centre lid: Aziza
Liner: Super Precise Liner

Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in the shade Conspiracy

Look #2

Crease: Taza
Outer lid: Zohra
Inner + Centre lid: Nomad
Inner: Hadiya
Lips: OFRA x Kathleen Lights  Liquid Lipstick in Havana Nights 

Look #3

Crease: Fez
Outer: Fez + Zohra
Lid: Marrakesh
Lips: Stila Cosmetics in Rubino
Look #4

Crease and Outer Corner: Fez
Centre Lid: Berber
Inner: Aziza
Lips: Stila cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Amore 

Look #5

Crease: Taza
Inner + Outer Lid: Berber
Centre Lid: Chefchaouen
Outer corner: Fez

Lips: L'Oreal Pure Reds Collection  - Doutzen 

Bonus Look: One shadow smoky eye look

Base: NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean smudged over the lid and then apply a sheer layer of Aziza all over the lid with a fluffy brush
Lips: Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Pandemonium

Where to buy: In South Africa, this palette is available from Beauty Gifts by Melanie and Fashion Police Online. Or you can get it directly from Juvia's Place Online store (They do ship internationally). 
Have you tried out the Saharan II palette? Please feel free to tag me in any looks that you recreate. 

Until my next post, 

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Brand Overview: Essence Cosmetics

Hi loves,
Today, I thought I'd do a brand review on Essence cosmetics and just tell you all about my favourite products from the brand.
Essence is a German drugstore brand that first caught my eye ...many many moons ago on my first overseas trip, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. way before it became available in South Africa. I was super-excited when it became available in Clicks and Dischem. It's a cruelty-free brand, that's super-affordable and they make amazing colour products; my favourites are the nail polishes and the eyeliners. Below, I talk about my impressions of the different types of products and my favourites and not-favourites.

Lip products
The best lipsticks from Essence always seem to be part of a limited edition range: I've swatched lipsticks from the permanent range but I'm never impressed. I've picked up the limited edition lipsticks though. I love the formula of the Lights of the Orient lipsticks; 02 Bellydancing queen is my favourite from the collection and 03 Princess Jasmine's Choice paired with the Miss you much lipliner gives a mauvey nude.

Soft neutral look with the Lights of the Orient eye shadow palette and the Metal art  lip & liner in 02 you're mermazing.
On my lips is 03 Princess Jasmine's Choice with the Jumbo 2-in-1 lip pencil.

I recently tried the metal shock lipsticks and liquid lipsticks from the Metal Shock collection; I love the formula of the lipsticks, they're very comfortable to wear and highly pigmented. the Liquid lipsticks are pigmented but they feel more like lipgloss and don't have very good staying power.

Essence Metal Shock Lipstick in 07 Venom

It's a bit loud... but I love it.

Eye Products
Essence eyeliners are the best you can find at the drugstore, especially given the price you're paying. My favourites are the long-lasting liners: I have them in five colours and they last all day without fading.
Eye shadows are not my favourite; I've tried the palette from the Lights of the Orient collection, it's decent but it doesn't have any mattes in it, so you need to pair it with mattes from elsewhere.

I recently tried out the Metal Shock shadows; these are really good dupes for the Stila liquid shadows. The pigmentation is amazing, you don't get any fallout and they don't fade or crease during the day.
Metal Shock shadow in 03 galaxy rocks, matte shadows used for transition and crease are from the Saharan II palette from Juvia's Place. 

Moonlight cream shadows are also new; I've tried the shade cosmic, which is a duo-chrome brown with teal micro glitter. This shadow feels a bit wet, and has a consistency and feel similar to that of the Colourpop Supershock highlighters.
Moonlight eyes cream shadow in 03 cosmic with matte shadows from the Nubian II palette from Juvia's Place. 

Face products

Now this is where I feel Essence needs to put in more effort, because this is just sad. I've tried out the mousse foundation: it applies well but they do feel heavy on my skin. They dark shades also run a bit orange, which doesn't suit me, since I have neutral undertones. But they don't last all day and they transfer quite easily.

Nail products
The nail range from essence is probably my favourite of the lot. It's super  affordable  and just delivers as well as or even better than some of the high end nail products.
The colour selection and pigmentation is impressive and at R29.95 its a no-brainer.
Their base and top coats are the best I've ever tried; they wear better than Sally Hansen and CiatΓ©. My manicure usually lasts at least 5 days before it starts to chip. They range in price from R49.95 to R54.95.
The Metal Shock limited Edition range has some polish and powders and I'm really enjoying the Metal Shock Powders and they're really fun to play with. I've been using them for the last month to do metallic and duo-chrome manicures and I'm really impressed with the results.

Current favourites
Final thoughts: My holy grail products from Essence are definitely the nail products, they always come through for me. The Metal Shock products for nails and eyes are keepers, but it's a pity they're limited edition. They're still available in Clicks stores, so now's the time to get them.

Have you tried anything from Essence? What are your favourites? Comment below.

See you in my next post, 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

One Week,One Palette Challenge: Juvia's Place Nubian II

Hi peeps,
So occasionally, I like to challenge myself to use one palette to come up with multiple looks without using any other palette or eye shadow. It's a way for me to get maximum use and enjoyment out of my palette, since I spent all my hard-earned coin on these 😊

I decide to start the Nubian II palette from Juvia's Place. Out of all my palettes, this is the one I use the most. It's got good transition colours, two dark colours for a smoky eye and gorgeous jewel tones. Sometimes, I like to use the dark shades Kenya and Leyla for contour (cautiously with a light fluffy brush!) and I use Zuri and Sheba as highlighters (with a fan brush and a light hand πŸ˜‰)I've compiled all my looks below, showing the shades used as well.
To prime my lids, I use the Urban Decay primer potion in Caffeine. I love how this creates a velvet even canvas on my lids. My eye makeup lasts all day without creasing or fading.
The eyeliners used for all these looks are from Essence cosmetics:
Black -Black love
Blue - Cool dawn
Green - I have a green
Purple - Purple rain

Look #1
Crease: Morocco
Outer Corner: Jezebel
Inner & Centre Lid: Nairobi
Centre lid: Nefertiti
On my lips is Black Up 2-in-1 Jumbo Lip Pencil in 08
Look #2
Crease: Madagascar
Inner: Zuri
Outer towards the centre lid: Jezebel
Lips: L'Oreal Colorriche Matte Pure Reds Collection Doutzen
Look #3
Crease: Morocco and Jezebel
Lips: Ciate London Liquid Lip in Obsession

Look #4
Crease: Morocco
Inner & Centre Lid: Egypt
Outer: Jezebel
Lips: OFRA Liquid Lipstick in Americano and Essence soft contouring lip liner
in 10 Miss you much
Look #5
Crease: Madagascar
Lid: Cleopatra
Outer: Leyla and Kenya
Lips: ORFA Liquid Lipstick in Napa Valley
I've done many more looks with this palette; but these are the ones I came up during my challenge.
Juvia's Place is available from third party sellers in South Africa: SAMIKA, Pink Cosmetics, Fashion Police and Beauty Gifts By Melanie.
Or you can get it directly from the  Juvia's Place online store since they do ship internationally.
Have you tried the Nubian II palette or any of the Juvia's Place palettes?
Let me know in the comments below. Also, post some of your looks on Instagram and tag me.

See you in my next post,