Reviews: Caribbean Tan Protection in a Can, Rimmel Brow This Way collection and L’Oreal True Match Le Blush

It’s time for another beauty review en masse, starting with Caribbean Tan Protection in a Can SPF 30 (now just R65 on Kalahari.co.za). Yep, I also had no clue that Caribbean Tan now make their own sunscreen but I’m glad they do – it’s a goodie.

Caribbean Tan Protection in a Can SPF 30

Caribbean Tan Protection in a Can SPF 30

A clear liquid in an aerosol can, this reminds me a lot of NIVEA’s Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist but without the cooling bit, which is great as I don’t really like menthol in my skincare. It leaves your skin with a subtle sheen, as though you’ve just used a light, dry body oil, but doesn’t feel greasy in the least. I also really like its subtle scent – like sun-ripened mangos.

For the record, Tan Protection also claims to make use of ingredients that accelerate the rate at which you tan, but I don’t know what these are specifically.

Next up, let’s take a look at Rimmel’s new Brow This Way Eyebrow Sculpting Kit (R79,95). Available in two shades, Mid Brown and Dark Brown, I was given the former and really like it. You’re looking at a brow wax and powder combo plus a comb and two brushes.

Open and closed

Rimmel Brow This Way brow sculpting kit

Rimmel reckon you should first use the wax to set your brows in shape, comb them through and then enhance or fill them in with the powder. I took some before and after piccies to show you the result but don’t like the lighting so I’ll be trying again tomorrow and will be sure to update this post.

Another more low maintenance way to get good looking brows is using Brow This Way eyebrow gel (R69,95).

Rimmel Brow This Way gel

Rimmel Brow This Way eyebrow gel

I can see online that it’s available in tinted shades off shore and no clue if they’re available here – I was just given the clear one and I really like it. I’ve tried tinted brow setting gels in the past and found many of them got all around the area outside my brows and made it look like I was in the process of tinting them and suddenly decided to duck from the salon. So ja, for me, clear is good. I also appreciate that it doesn’t look shiny or crispy when it’s dry and really does keep your brows where you want them all day. This is the kind of thing I’d use sans powders and wax on days when my brows already have a nice, dark colour via tinting.

Lastly, let’s talk about L’Oreal’s new True Match Le Blush (price TBA). Each shade comes in a mirrored compact with its own brush. Toss this immediately and use a proper powder brush to create a pretty flush with a satin finish.

L'Oreal True Match Le Blush in

L’Oreal True Match Le Blush in Candy Cane Pink on the left and Rosewood on the right.

Of the two shades I was given Rosewood is the more bricky hue while Candy Cane Pink leans towards the mauve-y plummy-side of life. Both would be best suited to anyone with a medium-to-dark skin tone. (Alas, I’m too pale to pull them off, hence no face piccies.)

Candy Cane Pink up top and Rosewood just beneath it.

Candy Cane Pink up top and Rosewood just beneath it.

Pigment-wise, these are pretty intense so apply them with a very gentle hand. They’re also very buildable as well as blendable and pretty long-wearing.

See anything you like?

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Esse Cocoa Exfoliator and Toner Plus

Last week I got to take in a fascinating talk on microbes by eco-crazy chemist Trevor Steyn, the founder of certified organic and vegan-friendly skincare brand Esse.

Since hitting SA shelves in 2002, Esse’s gone global and can now be found in Europe, Japan and the states. But you’re not going to find the brand in China. While Trevor and co could make serious cash by entering the dragon, the country still insists on testing on animals (Boo! Hiss!) and the founder would sooner die than see his items contribute to any kind of suffering. One thing that came through loud and clear was that, ethics-wise, Esse is a seriously straight arrow.

Esse skin care

Esse skin care

Anyway, getting back to the microbes – Trevor reckons that learning more about them and how they relate to our skin might be the future of skin care. For those who don’t know, microbes are teeny tiny organisms that includes ‘good’ bacteria that live within our cells. Having a good mix of them is key to a healthy body and healthy skin. And here’s a fascinating fact for you… when you’re a fetus, you’re a blank slate without any microbes. But, when you’re born vaginally, your mother’s birth canal kind of ‘smears’ you with a healthy mix of microbes. Babies born via C-section, however, don’t benefit from this microbe bath and end up with less of them as well as less variety which sees them more prone to health drama like asthma and eczema!

To get more microbes in your life, Trevor suggests you get up close and personal with nature which is naturally full of microbes (‘gardening is good’), eat lots of microbe-rich fermented food like sauerkraut and avoid antibiotics at all costs. He referred to a test that showed that an antibiotic can wipe out your microbe mix like an atom bomb and, even after four years, you’re not likely to get your levels back to what they were pre-antibiotic. You should also probably toss your soap. Most aren’t pH-balanced and this messes with your microbes.

With all this in mind, Esse skin products have been formulated in a careful way that ensures they’re pH-balanced to perfection and make use of mild preservative systems that help to keep your skin’s complex ‘microbial system’ in check. After all, a ‘good microbe’-rich skin is a happy one with a good barrier function and less prone to premature ageing.

Now let’s talk actual product! I was given a couple to try and was most impressed the Cocoa Exfoliator (R219,99).

Esse Cocoa Exfoliator

Esse Cocoa Exfoliator

Thanks to cocoa powder and rose geranium oil it smells exactly like chocolate mixed with Zoo biscuits (errrmiigoddd!) and is nice and ‘dense’ with enough exfoliating sugar granules to actually make a visible difference if used on damp (as opposed to wet skin). A total beauty cupboard keeper and spoilicious enough to make a seriously awesome gift for your tricky-to-buy-for vegan friend.

Another winner is the spritz-on Toner Plus (R370).

Esse Toner Plus

Esse Toner Plus

It’s main ingredient is super soothing aloe vera leaf extract and it’s totally free of alcohol so big points there. It’s also formulated with an array of antioxidant-rich natural extracts as well as inulin (a prebiotic that nourishes ‘good bacteria’ which are called probiotics) and lactobacillus. The latter is a probiotic, a good bacteria/microbe that’s been shown to improve your skin’s barrier function while helping to reduce inflammation. Again, this also has a lovely scent – a soft floral-orange-vanilla – as there’s a bit of calming neroli oil in the mix.

Keen to try Esse products yourself? You’ll find them in most Wellness Warehouse stores as well as selected stockists and salons. To see a full list, visit their local website over here.

Love, love

Leigh

Pravda spoiled me with a bottle of their (damn) fine Polish vodka

A little while back I was gifted with a bottle of Pravda vodka (thanks Little Black Book PR!) and I just had to show it off.

Mooiness!

Is this not the prettiest li’l booze bottle you ever did see?

Pravda hails from Southern Poland, dates back to 1743 and was once reserved for Polish nobility but can now be enjoyed by mooi meisies soos ek en jy. I think it’s an especially lovely birthday gift as, aside from being in a ‘pretty pretty’ gem-bedazzled bottle, it’s also the kind of thing everyone can never have enough of in their drinks trolley. Much like my favourite OTC muscle relaxants which I may or may not have a problem with, vodka mixes well with everything.

Look Leo, it's the Heart of the Ocean!

Look Leo, it’s the Heart of the Ocean!

Speaking of mixers, I decided to share my Pravda with my friend Jax, swizzling it with a little Cintron, that energy drink I fell in love with at last year’s Pink Polo.

It's made with mineral water and real fruit juices and the pineapple flavour is the shizzle's nizzle.

It’s made with mineral water and real fruit juices and the pineapple flavour is the shizzle’s nizzle.

When our sundowner session started, both Jax and I were like ‘God, we’re so tired. Can this day just end so we can take our bras off and lie on our backs and binge watch series on our laptops like the exciting, glamorous women we are?’ However, a few glassies in, the Cintron’s caffeine and taurine kicked in and we decided to pull on our sequin hot pants and hit the Hout Bay strip in search for sexy surfers and a sick beat.

Cheers, biets!

Cheers, biets!

Okay, so that’s a total lie. We just got the energy to get up in search of sushi which turned into a killer curry at The Indian Oven* but trust me that’s an impressive turn around.

Anyway, enough rambling. If you like your vodka the way I like pretty much everything and that’s ‘pretty’ – Pravda is your baby and you’ll find it at most good bottle stores including Makro while Cintron likes to hang out in Norman Goodfellows.

Love, love

Leigh

*Ermmmigod! The Indian Oven! Have you been? Their garlic naans are thin and crispy, their butter chicken tastes like the second coming and their menu is one of the biggest I’ve seen in ages. Seriously. If it’s Indian, they’re making it!

Reviews: Bourjois Silk Edition compact powder and Moroccanoil Volumising mousse

Ooh la la! Bourjois Silk Edition compact powder (R164,95, Clicks) is a another lovely product from the French drug store brand. It promises sheer to medium coverage, depending on whether you use a brush or the supplied sponge, to keep skin matte for up to 8 hours without looking dull.

Desktop41

I’m not wearing any foundation in this shot. Just concealer (my beloved Catrice Camouflage Cream) and Bourjois’ new powder.

Being an oily-skinned girl, there’s no way I could slap this on and then only touch up eight hours later. However, I liked that I could get away with at least two touch ups without heading into ‘cakey town’. (The rest of the time I use oil-blotting powders which I go through at the rate of knots, but I love how they lift away shine without disturbing my make-up. MAC’s Blot powder is also very good at this too.)

Other plus points? The powder does have a lovely silky texture (and probably lots of silicone) so it looks very natural on and yes, it does blur the look of fine lines and pores where other more chalkier-textured products only serve to enhance them. Then there’s the packaging – the sleek black compact features a 360-degree rotating mirror that kind of reminds me of the sticky dock thing that hold my car’s GPS. While it’s not especially functional, it’s certainly pretty cool-looking.

Ultimately, in a world of el cheapo, chalky drug store powders, this is one of the better ones your money can buy.

Now let’s talk about argan oil-infused Morocconoil Volumising Mousse.

Moroccanoil Volumising mousse

Moroccanoil Volumising mousse, R320 from Everythinghair.co.za and Retailbox.co.za.

For the most part, I find a mousse is a mousse is a mousse. I really struggle to tell the difference between them. I really liked this one, however, but for totally fickle reasons – it’s got that yummy Moroccanoil scent that I used to hate but have now come to love and is a great way to wear it in your hair ever so subtly. (The mask, for example, is great, but I find it leaves my hair very heavily scented and somedays I don’t mind that, but on others I do, especially if I’m wearing a more delicate perfume.)

As far as ‘results’ go, yep, it does a good job of gifting my thin, fine hair with a bit more voomah and I like that the hold is flexi – no stiffness over here. Also, you can use a good golf ball-sized amount and you’re good to go. (Morocconoil’s Root Lifter is great at doing the same thing, but only if you use a very small amount*. Too much, and you’re going to end up looking like a troll doll. So for this reason I prefer a gentle mousse where I can just plonk it on and whip out my hair dryer without worrying if I’ve used the correct amount.)

Love, love

Leigh

*To be fair, some people might see this as a plus. Less product needed for lots of bang = good value. But I just like the freedom of being heavy handed should I wish ‘cos I’m a total thug like that.

Beauty bits and pieces: Essence’s Effect eye shadows and win with Gillette Venus&Olay as well as POND’S

Essence sent me a few goodies a while back and I quite liked their new Effect eye shadows (R60, Spree.co.za and Clicks), available in five shades.

Available in five shades, here are two: BALH and BLHA.

UK’s Stone Henge on the left and Brazil’s Sunset on the right. (Clearly they were named after natural wonders.)

They remind me a of Clinique’s cream/liquid shadows but the texture’s slightly more ‘runny’ and are great if you want a simple ‘wash’ of colour on lazy, almost no make-up kind of days. When used with a primer, they lasted all day on my lids without any creasing which is pretty impressive, especially since I’m an oily-skinned girl.

Essence’s Soo Glow! cream to powder highlighter (R54, Spree.co.za and Clicks) is a goodie too. Cheap as chips as does as good a job of spotlighting as other products that cost triple the price.

Pretty, pretty

The shot on the bottom right is in direct sunlight so you can see the kind of sheen we’re talking about.

Other news? Gillette Venus&Olay have launched a new variant of their popular five-blade razor with an Olay moisture bar, this time with a fruity-floral ‘Sugarberry’ fragrance. (To my nose, it’s a lot like strawberry.) I’ve been using the regular Gillette Venus&Olay razor for a while now so I was thrilled to be sent the new variant. It really does serve up a super smooth shave in record time.

Thanks Gilette Venus&Olay!

Gillette Venus&Olay Sugarberry razor with refill, R126,99.

Anyway, to celebrate the launch, Gillette’s teamed up with Cosmo to run a Win a trip to Mauritius competition. You’ll find all the finer deets over here but for the most part know that it involves snapping a ‘legsie’ (yep, that’s a thing now) and sharing it to twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the tag #VenusLegsie.

Another beauty competition on the go? POND’S are offering you the chance to see your face on a billboard for their new foaming face wash and scrub.

POND'S foaming face wash

POND’S Spot Clear Even Tone Multi Action Facial Foam + Scrub, R6,99 for 15mls, R32,99 for 50ml and R49,99 for 100mls.

To enter, simply share your picture on twitter, POND’S Facebook page or Instagram using the hashtag #PONDSNOFILTER or upload it over here.

As for the facial foam/scrub, it promises to blitz blackheads thanks to pore-exfoliating salicylic acid and contains kaolin in a bid to minimise oil. They’ve also included a ‘brightening essence’ (pigmentation-inhibitiing niacinamide) but that ingredient will give you best results if it’s used in a product that remains on your face as opposed to gets washed off, something like POND’S Flawless Radiance Anti-Spot Intensive Even Tone serum. (God, they just looove their seriously long names, don’t they?)

Love, love

Leigh

 

 

Crabtree & Evelyn’s mid season sale is now on

If you’re a Crabtree fan, take note that they’re running a big online sale right now that ends at midnight tonight. It then pops up again on the 9th of Feb until the 10th (of Feb.)

Sale Image NEW

Alternatively, you can shop the sale in store. It’s a little tricky as each store runs it on different dates but I thought I’d cut and paste them from the press release for you:

LA LUCIA MALL – Shop 4
29 January – 8 February

SANDTON CITY – Shop L 60
29 January – 8 February

HYDE PARK – Shop MM27
30 January – 8 February

NOW ON:
DESIGN QUARTER – Shop 14
15 – 25 January
Phone: +27 11 467

NOW ON:
V&A WATERFRONT – Shop 103
15 – 25 January

CAVENDISH SQUARE – Shop G55
23 – 25 January

Hope you grab a killer bargain!

Review: Noreva Trio White Corrector Pen Targeted Action and Aquareva Moisturising Cream 24H

Now exclusive to Clicks, Noreva is a French dermaceutical brand with a pretty extensive line up that offer something for everybody – anti-aging, pigmentation-busting, hydrating, acne-improving, you name it, the line is there.

zThat French shizzle basically means 'developed by dermatologists'.

zThat French shizzle basically means ‘developed by dermatologists’.

I really appreciate that 99% of their products aren’t in jar packaging. This way, your ingredients are going to stay more potent for longer. While the concentration of their active ingredients isn’t salon-strength high, they sit a lot higher up in the ingredients list than the vast majority of other drug store skin care brands.

In terms of bang for your buck (out of the products I was given to try), I reckon Trio White Corrector Pen Targeted Action (R279,95) is a good pick.

Noreva

Noreva Trio White Corrector Pen Targeted Action

It contains a higher concentration of pigementation-blitzing vitamin C than the brand’s Iklen anti-brown spot concentrate as well as alpha-arbutin (another proven melanin-inhibitor). It also claims to have an AHA in the mix but I’m uncertain as to what they’re using for that effect. (I’m not saying it’s not there, just that I can’t spot any of the ‘big 5′ AHA’s in the ingredients list and don’t have the time to google each and every ingredients to see which one they’re relying on to exfoliate.)

Exfoliation is especially important for anyone struggling with pigmentation. You want to ensure your cellular turnover rate’s nice and high as that speeds up your results. Essentially, you’re sloughing away the pigmented skin and wanting the clear, non-pigmented skin to rise to the surface and then keep it that way with a seriously good sunscreen.

Another goodie is Noreva’s Aquareva 24 Moisturising Cream Rich Textured (R199,95).

Noreva

Noreva 24 H Moisturising Cream Rich Textured (FYI, a lighter textured version of this is also available which would be best for oily-combo skins needing hydration. And yes, it’s very possible to have oily dehydrated skin.)

So many brands equate dry skin with needing a heavy, body butter-like texture and that’s total bull. Formulations have come a long way and can now make use of hydrolysed (when the molecules have been made smaller) hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid that penetrate deep into skin to quench and plump it from within as opposed to slop around on top of it.

Aquareva 24 is one of those products and relies on mostly glycerine, hydrogenated coconut oil and mango seed butter as well as a dash of the aforementioned hyaluronic acid to get the job done so that now, when you feel like you need a bit more hydration, you don’t have to walk around feeling like you’ve rubbed the contents of Nivea’s little blue pot on your gesig.

To learn more about Noreva check out their site and give their goodies a squizz next time you find yourself in Clicks. And yes, I can’t believe I just used the word squizz! I feel like a dorky banana clip-wearing Grade 5 teacher but hey, it’s going to have to stay that way. I’m still riddled with flu and dying to hit ‘publish’ so I knock back two more Corenzas and black out half way through a podcast.

Love, love

Leigh