Monday, 17 December 2012

In-Between

Hey Pretties,

If you haven't seen this super important post check it out here.

You may or may not know ;) that there's literally 10's of thousands of beauty and fashion blogs in the world, exciting right?  It definitely is, but it also means that as a blogger who takes her hobby very seriously {that's me if you don't know LoL}, it means that there is a certain amount of pressure to stay on top things.  Perhaps I'm the only blogger that feels this?  But there certainly is always an amount of competition amongst us all.

I truly am grateful and so happy that my blog has grown so tremendously since my very first post, which was done on 29 September 2012, I also at this moment in time have 137 GFC followers with almost 11000 pageviews.  It has taken a lot of hard work and time to do this, blogging isn't always easy, it certainly is loads of fun, but it takes prep work and time to do it properly.  And one can always see those bloggers who take short cuts, who haven't really put in the time and effort ~ and I certainly won't be one of them.

Being married, mommy to 3 furries and working a 9 - 5 job can be challenging, top that with the fact that my husband has a very difficult and demanding job as manager, we've been trying to have a baby for 2 1/2 years and general life, I have had to make the decision as to what is important to me.  I've also asked the question whether at times I'm truly present in the moment, or am I so consumed by the fact that everything I do is for my blog, some purchases I've made purely for blogging reasons and that is certainly not the way to live life, I don't just want to do or be somewhere purely for the fact that I want to feature it on my blog.

Now at the age of 31, I am past the years where I feel that I have to impress anyone ~ trust me, it's one of the positive things that comes with age, is being totally comfortable with being you.  I don't want to live my life just to capture moments on my blog, and as much as I adore and love sharing things with you, it's more important for me to be present in every moment.  My husband works long hours, and when he eventually comes home, I want to spend those few precious moments with him, before he has to continue working from home too.  I was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis in November 2011, I had a laporoscopy and hysteroscopy with our fertility doctor and he removed it all, but he had advised that because he cut it out, he thinks it'll take about 18 months before it comes back.  Endometriosis is one of those conditions that has a 50/50 chance of coming back, I think it's easier to deal with the pain that comes along with this condition every month, but the worst thing is the fact that it has a high percentage of making a women infertile.  Also the fact that I'm already 31 doesn't really help ~ I guess what I'm saying is that I need to make more me and hubby/family time. 

Coupled with the fact that I no longer support brands who regularly release new product lines such as MAC and Revlon to name but a few, I don't know if a lot of readers will still be interested if I don't jump on the bandwagon when some new hip product comes out.  I'm not saying that I'll disappear from the blogging scene forever ~ but at this moment in time I don't want to spend as much time blogging, I don't want to live for moments but I want to live in them!

Please do still check out my facebook and twitter page for updates!

Much Love,
xoxo

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Beautiful ~ At What Cost?

Hi Lovelies,

To the world you may only be one person,
but to an animal you could be their whole world!

I am giving you a friendly forewarning that this is going to be a long but important post, so get yourself a cuppa and have a little read.  This week I sat and browsed through the new People Magazine, and came across an article that has changed my life.  If you don't know already, I am an absolute animal fanatic, I am mommy to three Yorkshire Terriers named Paco, Levi and Bambi plus a couple of ferals cats at work that me and a few other people feed and look after.  They truly are my world, and the love I have received from these furrballs have made me grateful that I am able to experience pure love one can only ever really receive from a pet.  The article was about scientific experimentation and animal testing, and to say the pictures were gruesome does not convey the full extent of pain and hurt I felt.  I've always wondered why there seems to be two separate laws, one for us and one for animals?  People get up in arms when they hear abuse towards human beings and rightly so, yet the same kindness and laws do not apply to animals, why?

I am one of those people that will stop in a busy road and most probably put my own life in danger to catch a stray or lost dog, stop when an animal has been run over to try and save it's life, involved with various pets charities and generally try to raise animal awareness as much as possible.  Perhaps I'd been living under a rock, perhaps I tried to shelter myself from the reality ... I don't know why I never fully understood the horrific truth of animal testing up until now, but I can safely say I'll never be able to turn my back to the truth I have uncovered.  I also want you to know that this post is not meant to be judgemental, or that I'm trying to preach or force my opinions on anyone ~ But at least if I've made you ask the question what your beauty is worth, and have helped you to make informative choices, then my work has been done {knowledge is power}.

Initially after the whole article when I started doing my research, it was a bittersweet moment for me, as I had realised my holy-grail products MAC Cosmetics were doing animal testing, for years they never did, but it seems that they finally decided to cave into the Chinese-market greed.  But I was also pleasantly surprised and excited when I saw just how many brands were cruelty free, it made me incredibly happy and I couldn't wait to share the good news with all you beauties, I mean who doesn't love discovering new brands or products that you now realise are actually doing such an amazing thing such as supporting cruelty free practises.


Sentience: The word “sentience” means “one who has the faculty of sensation and perception”, meaning to have the ability to “feel” physically and emotionally.*

Animal Rights: Animals have natural rights which must be acknowledged in South African law; these include the right to freedom from unnaturally induced pain; the right to shelter; the right to nourishment; the right to indulge their natural instincts; the right to freedom of movement and most importantly, the right to exist. Animals have intrinsic worth and their value should not be based on their usefulness to humans.*

What is Animal Testing?

Every year, cosmetics companies kill millions of animals to test their products.  Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In the Draize test, caustic substances are placed in the eyes of conscious rabbits to evaluate damage to sensitive eye tissues. This is extremely painful for the rabbits, who often scream when the substances are applied and sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.

Lethal Dosage (LD) tests are used to determine the amount of a substance that will kill a predetermined ratio of animals. For example, in the LD50 test, subjects are forced to ingest poisonous substances (through stomach tubes, vapor spray inhalers or injection) until half of them die. Common reactions to LD tests include convulsions, vomiting, paralysis and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth or rectum.

General Info:

Do not be fooled by certain companies or cosmetics brands such as MAC, they claim to have an animal cruelty free policy, yet when they want to sell their cosmetics in China, it is required by Chinese law that all cosmetics have to be tested on animals!  Yes, you read that right, all cosmetics sold in China have to be tested on animals first.  I am more than aware that there are Chinese activists, but they are few and far between, and as far as humanly possible we must stop and avoid supporting Chinese products, their legislation and laws need to be changed, but as long as people support their practises and there is a demand for it, they will continue with their inhumane ways.

* Information taken from www.bwcsa.co.za

Cruelty Free Brands:
 
ELF
Lush
NYX
Physicians Formula
Topshop Makeup
Butter London
Tarte Cosmetics
www.makeupgeek.com.store
www.eccobella.com
Woolworths
www.natural-beauty-africa.co.za
Annique
Beauty Factory
Cosmetix
Hannon
Stila
Urban Decay (A few months ago they said they were doing animal testing but in July they turned their back on this policy and now remains cruelty free)
Barry M
Dr Hauschka
Essence
Jemma Kid
China Glaze
Illamasqua
LA Girl Cosmetics

Brands that Do Test On Animals:
 
L'Oreal (Make sure that you know which brands are owned by these cosmetics houses, chances are high that if a certain brand is owned by them that they'll adhere to company policies, for example Garnier and Maybelline is owned by L'Oreal, and you might also be asking me why The Body Shop isn't featured above on the good list, and the reason is that The Body Shop was bought by L'Oreal in 2006 and they do animal testing, so truthfully, by supporting The Body Shop you're not actually doing anything good)
Smashbox
MAC
Almay
Bourjois
Chanel
Christian Dior
Estee Lauder
Maxfactor
Clinique
Clarins
NARS
OPI
Revlon
Rimmel
Coty
Sleek Makeup

The above cosmetics brands are accurate as far as I know, I've done my best to look for the latest status on them, but I do suggest visiting www.peta.org and www.bwcsa.co.za to stay updated with all the latest developments.

Most brands will state on the label that it is cruelty free, or have this logo on it:
 

I know it's a lot of information to take in, as I looked at my make-up collection I realised just how many of these cruel brands I have supported and thus enabled to continue doing these awful testing on our furry friends {and this doesn't begin and end with just cosmetics ~ it effects every single part of our life from food choices to medicine and even the contacts you might be wearing}, I know that I won't be able to have a proper make-up collection completely cruelty free for quite some time, but I will endeavour to eliminate as many of these cruel brands as soon as possible, and I am also going to be writing letters to these companies, letting them know that I will no longer support such cruelty.  Also, I will be making more educated food choices, household cleaning items etc.  Of course this is going to be a long road, by no means am I saying I know everything, indeed I am a rookie, this is all new to me, but I know one step at a time my family will be making a positive difference.  I know sometimes we feel like we're just a small fish in the pond, but trust me, by making educated and compassionate choices, not only can we live with a peaceful and happy soul, but knowing you have made a difference!  Here's some beautiful pictures to remind you what we are fighting for:




I hope I've helped you to make informative and good decisions, I hope I've helped you ask the question what your beauty is worth? 


Much Love,
xoxo

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Friday, 7 December 2012

Winners: Cosmetics Hamper

Hi Beauties,



Congratulations to the following winners:
Kim
Joanne
Odette
 
I will send you an e-mail shortly so we can arrange to have your fabulous R400.00 cosmetics hamper delivered to you soon.
 
I hope you enjoy the goodies and thank you to everyone who entered!
 
Love,
xoxo
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Monday, 3 December 2012

My Blogging Area / Desk

Hi Pretties,

I never thought that I'd enjoy blogging as much as I do, and when I started I thought it will be okay to share my hubby's desk ~ but it soon proved to be quite challenging and somewhat of an annoyance.  I didn't really have any area to put my products I wanted to review and general bits and bobs. 

Perhaps he felt I was invading his space too much ;) but he bought me this lovely new desk, now I can burn my beloved Yankee Candle's to my hearts content, and I finally have a small space in the study I can call my own.  It has to be said, ever since I can remember I have been a couch potato, and in school I literally could not do homework or study without the telly being on in the background, although I like music I prefer watching television, even if it's on just as background sound ... so it was imperative that I position my desk so I can see the telly ;)





Desk and Chair:  Mr Price Home
Storage Boxes:  Mr Price Home
Glass Jar:  @Home
Yankee Candle in Vanilla Cupcake:  Tobacconist (Retails for R250.00 ~ 411g)
Pen Holder:  Mr Price Home
Flowers:  Mr Price Home
3 Wick Candle in French Vanilla:  Mr Price Home
Sony Vaio in Pink:  Incredible Connection

I love the contrast between my mahogany desk and crisp white chair, initially I wanted to get the chair in red and it looked so retro, but decided against it as I wanted a vintage look to the area, although I can't make it too girly as I am sharing this space with my hubby.

I store stationery such as a stapler, cello tape etc. in the storage boxes, plus a few bits and bobs.  I've got some candy in the glass holder to keep me going whilst blogging, and I have quite the love affair with Yankee Candles.  Yes, they're expensive, but they're totally worth the investment, all of the ones I've bought, the fragrances are true to the name, it also fills the entire area with the loveliest of smells, and the biggest positive for me on them is the fact that they burn for hours and hours on end. 

The candle from Mr Price home is also really lovely, I'm usually not a fan of their candles as I find the smell is not very pleasant, but this one is really amazing, and I adore the glass jar.  I also got some gorgeous notebooks from Mr Price Home and they were really inexpensive.  Oh, and of course I have my mandatory cup of rooibos tea sweetened with honey, blogging just won't be the same without it.

Our study isn't finished at all, we have this beautiful ethereal painting of a lake that needs to be put up on the wall, plus a clock and a mirror, and some few other things that need to be done.  But I'm happy with it so far.

PS ~ You can see my tripod standing in the back, it was really inexpensive from Incredible Connection, if I remember correctly it was around the R200.00 mark, and I highly suggest investing in one as it's so much easier to take your own outfit photo's with these.

I don't know if I'm the only curious one, but I'm always interested to see where other girls do their blogging?  I can't find any posts on the internet ~ So here I am tagging or whatever you want to call it to all my fellow lovely bloggers to do a post about your blogging space, and remember to give me your link once done.

Love,
xoxo


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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Giveaway !!! {Closed}

Hi Beauties,


The lovely people from Perfect 10 salons nationwide is giving three of my readers the opportunity to win a lovely hamper from one of the cosmetic brands they stock, they're also my favourite to visit when I buy O.P.I. nail polishes, visit their website here to find your nearest branch.

I'm so excited to be hosting my 2nd giveaway and this one is just in time for Christmas!  I do love giving my readers gifts, and I want you to say Thank You for supporting me, for reading and following my blog ... these things would not be possible without YOU!  So Thank You xoxo

All the Lovely Details:

~  Open to South African residents only.

~  Three (3) readers will win an Empro Cosmetics hampers to the value of R400.00 each.

~  The prize includes:  Triangular Brow Pencil, Black Diamond Liner and Day Night Mascara, they can be viewed here.

How to Enter:

*  Leave me a lovely comment on this post, please include your contact details so I can contact you once the draw has been done.

*  Follow my blog via GFC (Google Friend Connect) at the top right corner of my blog.

*  Like Perfect 10 Facebook page here.

The above is compulsory and will be checked.

*  For an additional entry please follow me on twitter and send me a tweet, only one entry via twitter will be accepted.

The giveaway is open from the time it is published, and ends on Wednesday night, 5 December 2012.  The winner will be announced as soon as possible, please check my twitter and facebook page for updates.

Good luck angels!

Love,
Elrese
xoxo



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Lady Gaga South-Africa: OOTN

Hi Lovelies,

A few months ago a certain mega pop-star announced that she is coming to South-Africa as part of her Born This Way Ball worldwide tour, and to say that caused a bit of excitement amongst us little monsters is the understatement of the year.

I still remember the day the tickets went live, my brothers girlfriend took the day off to buy us all tickets, from the time of opening everyone got bumped into a queue, people went a bit gaga-crazy on twitter and most of us struggled to get tickets.  Needless to say we got them in the end thanks to my wonderful mom who had to go into computicket to book our seats, and of course I then started planning what I was going to wear.  Now I know a lot of people like to imitate Lady Gaga and that's fine if it's your thing, but to me, her main message is celebrating who you are as an individual.  I love anything girly and sparkly, so I knew it was going to be bright with lots of bling and not forgetting my beloved smokey eye.

 
 
I was unsure if I wanted to wear flats and in the end I decided to go with these, and I was so glad I did, the parking was situated quite far from the stadium, and it's so massive inside that I ended up walking more than I expected, not to mention the little run when we heard the music playing and we still had 4 levels to go upwards.  Needless to say the run was all for nothing as we still ended up sitting for about 20 minutes before the show started (so my exercise has been done for the next month) hehe.
 
Plain White Vest Top:  Mr Price
Purple Skater Skirt:  Mr Price
Pointy Flats:  Cotton On
Hair Extensions:  Cliphair Ltd
The stage was so beautiful, it was a castle but looked different with every song due to clever lighting, and the band was stationed in different areas in the castle whom we got a peak of every now and again as the stage opened.  Lady Gaga made her grand entrance on a horse, the whole feel of the concert was definitely sci-fi alien(esque).  I didn't expect anything less from her.
 
As soon as she came on stage, you could feel her presence, she's a mega star for a reason, she filled the whole stadium and we were left in awe and wonder of her.
This was my favourite dress of the night, I would totally wear something like this, and she also wore this beautiful pink dress with an amazing hat, which unfortunately I didn't take a picture of.
The show was the most amazing concert I have seen, the choreography, lighting and set up was extroadinary, with loads of suprises, heart-felt moments and a few bits of shockers too, like her entrance made via a "lady bit" LoL. 
 
Regardless of your thoughts of her, what I saw was someone that truly cares and loves her fans, above all, she encourages us all to be proud of who we are, and not care what people think or say of us.  That is an inspiring message I hope we all will live by.
 
 
Love,
xoxo
 

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