Thursday, 28 February 2013

{NOTD} Eat Your Heart Out

Hi Beauties,

I hope you've had a fantastic week?

The other day I saw this amazing tutorial from Polish and Pearls, if you haven't checked out her blog yet you're missing out on the most fabulous nail tutorials ever!  Visit her here PS ~ Mine didn't come out nearly as pretty as hers though ;)

 

Excuse my shoddy picture quality, I tried it in various locations around the house and these were the best two!  It was on a rainy and cloudy morning, I tried my best ;)
 
Nail polishes I used:
 
Nails Inc. London Caviar Basecoat*
Nails Inc. London Caviar Topcoat*
 
Little Finger:
 
Essence Nail Art Magnetics in 02 hex hex!
Essence Nail Art Twins Glitter Topper (2)in 02 Julia
 
Ring Finger:
 
Essie in French Affair
Hearts - Essence Nail Art Magnetics in 02 hex hex!
 
Middle Finger:
 
LA Girl Metal Metallic Nail Polish (No colour on the bottle)
Essence Nail Art Twins Glitter Topper (2)in 02 Julia
 
Index Finger:
 
Essie in French Affair
Hears - Essence Nail Art Magnetics in 02 hex hex!
 
Thumb:
 
Essence Nail Art Magnetics in 02 hex hex!
Heart - Essie in French Affair
 
This was my first try ever at making hearts, it didn't come out nearly as pretty as I wanted, I basically did it with a bobby pin, but I think I need to invest in a proper nail art tool or some stencils, it was quite hard drawing them by hand.  But nevertheless, I loved the idea and look of it.  I wanted to do it in black and pink, until I realised that my black nail polish and gone completely gunky, and no amount of acetone could make it the right consistency, so I settled for the Essence Magnetics polish, which was a bit thick as it's obviously meant for the magnetic art tool. 
 
I love discovering new nail blogs, and Polish and Pearls have definitely inspired me to be more creative, so I hope you look forward to not only seeing more nail art, but also me getting a bit better at them ;) hehe.
 
Have a fabulous Friday tomorrow lovelies!
 
Please Note:  I have marked this post as cruelty free, it's important to know that all the brands mentioned are cruelty free apart from Essie.


Read More »

Sunday, 24 February 2013

{Foundation War} Best MAC Dupe/Alternative



Hi Beauties,

I hope you all had an amazing weekend?

So you may (or may not) have seen my post Beautiful at What Cost?  I used to be the biggest MAC fan, actually addict to be be completely honest, for the longest of time.  After I posted about my views on animal testing and made the decision to use only cruelty free products, I have to admit that the biggest sacrifice I had to make was giving up on a foundation that worked well for me.  I almost immediately went onto a search to find a replacement for the MAC Studio Fix fluid, now unfortunately I wasn't blessed with perfect skin, my skin is alright, but I have freckles, pigmentation marks, acne scarring and I'm still struggling with the occasional bout of adult acne/break-outs.

Suffice to say I need a foundation that will do a proper job at not only hiding these flaws, but also giving me the perfect finish.  Foundation in my eyes is the most important cosmetic product in my bag, think of your face as a canvas, and foundation primes your face so you can create the perfect picture with eyeshadows, blushes etc.

I tried and tested 3 products, some days were awful especially when I used a product that just didn't work well for me, but I'm happy to report that indeed I found the perfect match :-)
Woolworths Face Longwear Max Cover Foundation SPF24 in Ivory (R109.00) - 30ml:
 
The consultant "matched" this for me in store, she only used my chin area, and when I tried this at home, I realised that the shade was at least 1 - 2 shades too dark for me, it also has a very orange undertone, so needless to say I ended up looking like I was wearing a mask.  The consistency is really lovely with a satin texture, it dries really fast but with an oily finish.  I have combination skin (normal cheeks with oily t-zone), I waited a while to see if it would go more matte, but unfortunately it didn't, I had to use quite a lot of powder to set it, but generally this foundation was just too oily for my skin.  However, I do think this would be really great for someone with normal to dry skin.
 
PROS:
 
~  Cruelty Free
~  No harsh ingredients and approved by a toxicologist
~  Excellent Coverage
~  It truly is a longwearing foundation and lasted until I removed it at night
~  Love the packing and the squeeze tube which helps to use foundation to almost the last drop
~  Good value for money
 
CONS:
 
~  Consultant did not match my skintone so the foundation was 1 - 2 shades too dark
~  The finish is too oily for combination skin, even with using copious amounts of powder to try and set it
 
Overall:
 
Although it's a really good product for someone with a different skin type as me, it just didn't give me that flawless and beautiful finish I like.
 
Stila Stay all Day Foundation & Concealer in Beige 4 (R395.00) - 30ml:
 
Last year Stila products finally came to South-Africa, and I'm quite ashamed to say that it's taken me this long to try one of their products ;) and I thought what better one to pick than a foundation right.  Needless to say, I had slight heart palpitations at the price of this LoL, and I thought long and hard before I bought this, read so many online reviews and finally gave in.  I also reckoned that with it containing the foundation and concealer ultimately I'm getting two products for the price of one.  I had such high hopes and expectations, when I invest a foundation that is rather expensive, I need it to work like a charm.  Again, the consultant "matched" my skintone, it wasn't 100 % and at least 1 shade too dark for my skintone.  Which is so disappointing, what I also feel these companies are missing is giving samples to clients especially on products that are more costly. 
 
The foundation offers medium coverage, but I don't like the applicator at all, it's very fussy and messes foundation, so when you screw the bottle back on, it oozes out on the side.  The texture of the foundation I found really amazing, it's a mousse-like texture, which feels very light, it rubs into the skin easily and has a very satin like finish.  It doesn't dry matte, but instead of having an oily appearance it has more of a glowy finish.  If you like the dewy look, you might want to give this foundation a try.

PROS:
 
~ Cruelty Free
~ Buildable coverage
~ Full coverage concealer works really well to hide under eye circles and general blemishes (very creamy)
 
CONS:
 
~ It's expensive!
~ Fussy and messy applicator/lid
~ Does not dry matte but leaves a dewy look
~ The consultant did not match my skin very well, so I have an expensive foundation a shade or two too dark
 
Overall:
 
If this was in the right shade and dried into a matte finish, I'd probably invest a foundation like this for special occasion, if you do like a dewy look and have the funds, this product may work very well for you.
 
Gosh X-Ceptional Wear Long Lasting Make-Up Light Reflecting in 12 Natural (R140.00)* - 35ml:
 
Gosh products is another cosmetic line that hit our shores last year, I must admit that I was very sceptic about trying this foundation as I've been trying two products that just didn't work, and I honestly started questioning whether I'll be able to find a dupe/alternative for the MAC one, but I am so happy to let you know that this little beauty pleasantly surprised me, and we're now BFF's!
 
So here is all the information you want to know about the winner of the best dupe/alternative for MAC Studio Fix!
 
Although the lovely people from Gosh hadn't seen me in person, they managed to perfectly match my skintone!  In MAC I used to be NW20, which was still slightly too dark for me, there just wasn't a perfect shade for my skintone, 12 Natural is the best shade that perfectly matches me.
 
The foundation has a very liquid substance, I use my Sigma Flat Kabuki brush to tap and blend it into my skin, almost immediately it dries into a gorgeous matte finish, but here's the best bit, it doesn't make my skin look dry, it's the perfect balance between matte and glowy (without looking shiny) - Yes indeed, I never knew this was possible.  It only offers medium coverage, but is totally buildable and I use two layers just on my cheek area, it still looks very natural and skin still shows through, so don't be worried that you'll have the caked-on look.  I don't need to use a powder due to the finish, so I just lightly dust on a thin layer to set it all.  My skin looks amazing and other people have noticed the difference too.

PROS:
 
~ Cruelty Free
~ Affordable and you get 5ml's more than the above two foundations
~ Beautiful matte but glowy finish
~ Medium Coverage but buildable
~ Natural looking but hiding all your flaws and blemishes
~ Stays put for 12 hours+
~ Love the packaging and the squeeze bottle ensure that you'll use the foundation until the last drop
 
CONS:
 
Nothing!  There is not one thing I dislike about this product, and I think it is clear why this has been my pick of them all.
 
Overall:
 
After nearly giving up that I'd find a foundation that gave me exactly what I wanted, this gem fell on my table (well not literally but you get my drift hehe).
 
Have you tried any of these foundations and what were your thoughts?



Read More »

Friday, 22 February 2013

Review: Sigma Flat Kabuki Brush F80

Hi my Pretties,

I hope you are looking forward to the weekend as much I am!

So I've been eyeing Sigma brushes forever!  Not only are they cruelty free, but they get rave reviews from most beauty gurus, I was a bit sceptic ordering it online, as I didn't know if it would arrive safely in South-Africa (if you live here you know how unreliable our postal services can be most of the time), and was also unsure how much custom charges would be.  Suffice to say, it only took about a month to get here, although I've been waiting much longer to give this a try, and the wait was absolutely worthwhile.



 
 
 
 
 
Sigma Flat Kabuki Brush F80:  USD 18.00
Shipping and Handling:  USD 8.18
(I paid approx. R230.00 - dependant on the exchange rate)
Custom Charges:  R56.00
 
*  Sigma only accepts payment via credit card, there are a few different delivery options, I selected the USPS First Class Mail International which was the cheapest but only took about a month to arrive.
 
My order came delivered in a box, and inside was the Sigma container, I have to say it was very well packaged, so as soon as I unwrapped it I had to give the brush a little whirl, and it is the softest most luxurious brush ever.  It looks very sleek and stylish with the black and silver, the handle is made of outstanding quality material.
 
I have several foundation brushes from all brands, including two MAC ones which btw was really expensive, I've always used a sponge or beauty blender with them as I've found that these brushes just didn't do the job 100 %.  However, with the Sigma Flat Kabuki brush I have one less step in applying my foundation.  Although they state that the brush is ideal for flat surfaces (i.e. cheeks, forehead), I have absolutely no problems with the application of the foundation on the rounder and softer areas such as the eyes, so truthfully this brush does a perfect job for a full foundation routine.
 
I use it in a tapping motion, so I squeeze a bit of foundation on the top of my hand, and then lightly tap the brush into the foundation, don't be fooled, you're not going to see loads of foundation on the brush (if any), but trust me, it picks up just the right amount.  I then gently tap and press the foundation into my skin, this method also saves you from using too much foundation and giving excellent coverage. 
 
One of the things I absolutely adore about this brush, apart from it being so gentle on my face, is that the bristles are extremely dense.  So what does that mean you may ask lovely reader?  In simple terms, the brush won't soak up any unnecessary liquid, therefore you won't waste foundation as you would with ordinary brushes or sponges. 
 
Out of all the foundation brushes I have tried, this is a winner and I give it top marks!  Now I'm onto saving for my next Sigma brush, I have to admit that I'm now quite the addict of their brushes, and although definitely not necessary, would love to invest in the other ones.
 
If you have any questions on how easy it was to import etc. just send me a little letter (or question or tweet if you wish LoL).
 
Have a FABULOUS Friday beauties!


Read More »

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

{NOTD} Laugh Your Blues Away

Hi my Loves,

Few things have the ability to completely ruin what could be a totally fabulous outfit, and that is chipped and uncared for nails, and I adore painting my nails at least once a week.  So I guess it was no surprise that I almost jumped with happiness when I received a lovely goodie bag with some Nails Incl. London products in!

How totally cute is this vintage book full of jokes! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Left to Right:
 
Nails Inc. Luxury Base Coat to Condition - Caviar Basecoat (R125)*
How totally and utterly rich and exotic that this sound right?  It's luxurious and conditioning with added caviar extract for normal to dry nails.  It dries within a few minutes and leave your nails prepped to be coated in your favourite polish.
 
Nails Inc. 45 Second Speed Dry Conditioning Topcoat - Caviar Topcoat (R125)*
I have absolutely no patience waiting for nail polish to dry, especially because I love changing it up so often too (at least once a week), I truly need something that will dry almost instantly, before my hands get fidgety and I mess up my beautiful manicure.  This topcoat not only dries within seconds, but leaves the most beautiful glossy and vibrant finish.
 
Nails Inc. London Nail Polish in Baker Street (R110)*
{This is one of the Hero Shade colours and of their most popular shades}This nail colour is one of life's little surprises that I adore!  I would never have picked this colour in a shop as I don't tend to go for bright blues, but when I found it in the package I was truly mesmerised by it.  It looks like a liquid exotic blue stone, truly, it's magnificent!  I love it, and this colour is perfect for winter too, wear it instead of just the usual red/blacks that are so popular.
FUN FACT:  Beyonce wore this nail colour after the birth of Blue Ivy at her first public appearance!
If it's good enough for Beyonce it's certainly good enough for me ;)
 
Nails Incl. London Nail Polish in Porchester Square (R110)*
{This is one of the Hero Shade colours and of their most popular shades} Again, this colour can be worn all year round, and is the perfect companion with a gorgeous tan, or you can rock it out like me even if you're pale, mix it up with brighter colours, honestly, this polish is so versatile and perfect for women who doesn't like to wear colour on their nails.  I also want to try a gold glitter topcoat with this, I truly think it's going to be so fabulous and chic.
 
 
 
Nails Inc. London Vitamen E Oil Pen (R125)*
Moisturising and conditioning treatment for cuticles and nails, it has a twist pen with a brush applicator, smells really nice and helps to keep cuticles feminine and soft. 
 
What I really enjoyed about these nail polishes is that they're very opaque, one coat is enough if you're in a hurry, the brush applicator is really good quality (not any of this sticky or weird bristles anywhere), and the consistency of the polish is perfect.
 
I also have the Bling It On Leather and Skulls (250)* to try out, so keep a lookout for the tutorial, all I can say it's it'll be vamptastic ;)
 
If you haven't checked out the Nails Inc. range yet, please have a look at Edgars and Red Square stores, they will have something you like, from leather effect polishes, to concrete and crackle ones, nail jewellery, 3d glitters and an amazing range of colours for their autumn/winter trend collection at only R225.  A really fabulous website to go to, where you can actually try out all of the polishes on a virtual model is www.nailsinc.com, if you need any convincing that is hehe.
 
Nails Inc. have a huge following of celebrity fans such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Adele.  You can easily create a salon quality mani and pedi at home, and I adore the fact that they regularly collaborate with designers such as Matthew Williamson, whom I'm a big fan of.
 
Nails Inc. London will be launched in South-Africa in March 2013.
 
Have you tried any of their polishes?  I'm also looking for blogs that does nail tutorials, I really want to refine my nail skills LoL, so if you blog about nails, or have any recommendations please pop them in the comment box.
 
Have a fantastic Thursday lovelies!



Read More »

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Review: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette {Updated}

Hi Pretties,

Hoping you had a fantastic weekend?  Mine was so nice, it had the perfect balance of being busy and relaxing, although I had hoped for a rainy day so I could watch movies and cuddle LoL, but those days are few and far between in South-Africa, so instead I settled for a braai with the fam.

I had been eyeing one of these beauties forever!  And I'm sure my fellow SA cosmetic junkies know what a struggle it is to get Urban Decay products here, so imagine my delight when I found an online store who imports them. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PS:  Excuse the bit of dirt on the palette ... at least you know that I have actually used them LoL ;)
 
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
R250.00 Total (No import duties/taxes paid)
Available from World of Glamour
 
This is one of my go-to palettes, and I'm loving the fact that most of these shades have replaced MAC ones I had, best of all ~ Urban Decay is cruelty free! 
 
There are 12 shades in total, 3 matte shades and the rest are shimmery/glittery, with a full size crease and shadow brush.  It's the perfect travelling companion, not only does it offer so many possibilities with a mirror included, but the packaging is made from a steel type material, which is also perfect to clean with a wipe of a wet cloth.  I don't know if my make-up collection is the only one that gets a bit dirty, so being able to just wipe it all off is a bonus. 
 
I'll give you a quick run-down of the shades from left to right:
 
Foxy ~ A yellow toned matte shade perfect for highlighting your brow-bone.
 
Half Baked ~ My favourite shade to use on the inner lower lid, it's a beautifully speckled golden shadow, and would be the perfect companion for blondes with green/blue eyes. 
 
Bootycall ~ This is my go to highlighting shade, I've used most of it already, it's just so pretty and the perfect champagne shade, with just enough shimmers in it to give you that glowy look.
 
Chopper ~ One of my go to shades!  I'm in love with this, it's a very pigmented copper shadow and very shimmery, I use this all over my lower eyelid for a bit of a different smokey look, or if I need to be more neutral I use it in the corners only.
 
Tease ~ The perfect blending shadow!  Use this to either highlight or point out your crease area, basically what this does is either show you the highest point your shadow must go, whether you use a corner shadow only or all over the lower eyelid area, and also helps tremendously to blend your eyeshadow so it doesn't show any harsh lines.  A blending shade is a must.
 
Snakebite ~ This is a very dark brown/bronze colour with a light shimmer, I love using this on the outer corners.
 
Suspect ~ A very light, shimmery grey/brown shade, perfect if you want more of a natural look.
 
Pistol ~ A pretty grey shimmery shade, perfect for creating a day time smokey effect.
 
Verve ~ Together with suspect and pistol the perfect companion for those gals who prefer a more natural look, it's a very light shade of grey/brown with just the slightest of shimmers.
 
YDK ~ Again, one of my go to shades, a gorgeous bronze glittery shadow, very similar to Chopper, but not as golden.  It goes perfectly with Half baked and busted, and I've basically been wearing that colour combination most of the time.
 
Busted ~ I adore this colour!  It's a beautiful glittery maroon/dark brown shade, I love this to create smokey looks or if I'm going for a bit more of a dramatic effect, can also be used as an eyeliner.
 
Blackout ~ This is one of the matte shades, it's black, not really a lot to say about it, but it's the perfect shade to end such a versatile palette.
 
I'm completely in love with this, all of the shadows are really pigmented and not too powdery (which means less fallout and mess if you've already done your foundation), I just love the fact that it's an all in one in so many different ways, and it's a definite staple in your make-up collection.
 
Have you tried any of the Urban Decay palettes, or any other ones you prefer?
 
UPDATE:
 
A very kind reader Jen, informed me that my Urban Decay palette is fake!  Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.
 
I was blissfully unaware that this is a counterfeit product {it looks so real honestly the packaging is really good quality and no spelling mistakes}, I have seen so many swatches of the shadows, and I have to say that this is probably one of the best copies out there.  However, I was utterly disgusted and disappointed when I found out, especially because I supported this brand as they are cruelty free, and I'm sure that this palette have undergone animal testing, that makes me feel very nauseous.
 
I contacted World of Glamour to express my concerns, and here is an extract of their statement (full statement available upon request):
 
 "Our supplier ensured us that the Naked Palette's were authentic, unfortunately we didn't do the research like you did which was very unprofessional of us. Looking at the links you have sent us we can now see the big difference between the real thing and what we have sold you.

We apologise greatly and you will be glad to know that we are removing all products from that supplier from our website/online store. We are just as furious about this and will be taking matters further with our supplier (reporting them to authorities), we will no longer be dealing with them."
 
They offered me a refund which I opted for, and will return the product back to them as I have no use for it now, which I think is an outstanding thing to do, and I completely understand that mistakes and errors happen, I love how fast they reacted to my complaint and am very happy that they won't be supporting this supplier anymore.
 
I also wanted to apologise from my side ~ so sorry if I mislead any of my beauties! x x x




Read More »

Winner ~ Sunglasses Shop

Hi my Beauties,

Congratulations to .............................


You are the winner of my giveaway, I hope you selected your fab pair of sunnies and that you enjoy them as much as I do mine!  Please get in touch with me so can we can your prize delivered to you.

In case you were wondering how I draw the winners of my giveaways, I do it old school, yes, I take to good old pen and paper, randomly select a number to a name, write the number on little torn papers, put 'em in a bowl, give it a good old swirl and then take my pick, there were 84 entries and number 6 won.


Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway!  I just want you to know even if you didn't win, you mean the world to me, so thank you for subscribing and reading/commenting on my blog!



Read More »

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Nine West & Kenneth Cole Eyewear Launch

Hi my Pretties,

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

So recently I got invited to the exclusive Nine West and Kenneth Cole Eyewear launch at the Grand Central Cafe in Melrose Arch.  It screams city chic, which is exactly what the launch was about, not to mention the divine food and drinks:

We got to select our very own pair of sunnies {Thank You}, so I chose the beautiful Nine West pair,
I have no idea what it is called, but the code inside is:  Nine West NWS21S.
They fit me like a glove, it doesn't feel like I'm wearing sunglasses at all.
I'm in LOVE ...


Everybody knows Nine West as one of the most sought after shoe brands right?  But "it's not just about shoes anymore"!  Their eyewear range is trendy with edgy seasonal looks, sexy, glamorous and you're sure to find a pair that reflects your personal style.

From February 2013, Kenneth Cole eyewear is available throughout South-Africa, and it's about time that an accessible American designer brand with his signature collection of silhouettes and fabrications with unexpected design details is available in South-Africa. 

Not only do both brands offer a wide variety of sunglasses from statement to investment pieces, but they also have a huge selection of optical frames, so yes, it's entirely possible to be on trend and modern whilst wearing prescription glasses.









I met some amazing people there, a fellow blogger, the beauty editor of Finesse magazine, all the pretty girls from SDM and Busby, and a lovely gal called Sone, we ended up having a lot of laughs and silly moments in the photobooth where we tried on two pairs of sunglasses, not a terrible way to spend a weekday morning hehe:


Personally, I believe in investing in at least one pair of uber-stylish but classic pair of sunglasses that compliments not only your face shape but also your skin tone.  It's all good and well having a few not so expensive ones, but having a fall-back investment piece like one of these beauties are a definite worthwhile investment. 

To find your nearest stockist and for any price enquiries, go to:


Thanks to everyone who organised the event, and thank you so much for my sunglasses!



Read More »
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...