Benefit Cosmetics returns to South Africa via selected Edgars and Red Square stores

If you’re a beauty blog regular you’ll know the big news for July – in the middle of the month, Benefit Cosmetics will be returning to SA, but this time you’ll find them in Edgars as opposed to Woolies. (Scroll down to see a store list.)

I love how even the brand's press books are gorgeous.

I love how even the brand’s press books are gorgeous.

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Far too pretty to toss.

Far too pretty to toss.

To celebrate the launch, Benefit threw a fabulously over the top bash that featured Parisian style cabaret dancers, pink drinks and an enormous ‘help yourself’ candy bar. As my camera doesn’t work well in low lighting I don’t have too many piccies to show you.

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My kinda table decor.

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I'm still finding lollipops in my handbag.

I’m still finding lollipops in my handbag.

Anyway, a few months back I was given a few Benefit goodies to play with as well as few more at the launch.

Spoiled, ne?

Spoiled, ne?

I’ve had a lekker speeltyd with all of them and thought I’d share my favourites, the first being this boy.

Benefit Gimme Brow

Benefit Gimme Brow, R295.

I really didn’t expect to be so impressed by a seemingly simple tinted brow gel but everything about it is awesome. The targeted shape, the colour, the way it somehow manages to look so natural while so many of its competitors don’t. It’s supposed to have tiny fibres in it but I really don’t see them – to me it just looks like a tinted gel, but it works and I love it.

Now, it’s time for my big confession… I’m (gasp) not a big fan of Benetint, the brand’s bestselling lip and cheek tint. To me, it’s just not bright enough and it fades too fast. However, the two newer kids on the block – orchid-coloured Lollitint (R385) and coralicious Chacha tint (R385) and I are now besties.

Chacha to the left Lolli to the right.

Chacha to the left Lolli to the right.

Both colours have a thicker, almost cream-like consistency so they adhere to your lips easily while you bake in your stain and, on me, they have a bit more staying power than Benetint.

Handy li'l brush.

Handy li’l brush.

I also find they blend fabulously on your skin to serve up a sheer, pretty flush that goes the distance.

I don't have to tell you which colour's which, right?

I don’t have to tell you which colour’s which, right?

I also tried Sun Beam (R325), a a pale gold complexion highlighting fluid.

Benefit Sun Beam

I’d be loath to call this a bronzer as it’s really more of a gold highlighting fluid.

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Could my hand look any more corpse-like here?

Could my hand look any more corpse-like here?

Generally, as I’m a paler peep, I’d be best suited to High Beam, a cooler-toned baby pink highlighter, but this was a ‘tan’ day thanks to self-tan so pale gold Sun Beam did a nice job of accenting my cheek bones and temples.

It's hard to capture a highlighter but you can see it, right?

It’s hard to capture a highlighter but you can see it, right?

I was just sure to keep it away from my crow’s-feet as anything pearlescent or shimmery only ever ends up drawing attention to them, as is the case with pores.

As for the rest of my face, I’m wearing Gimme Brow, Chacha tint on my cheeks and Lollitint on my lips.

I'm wearing

I added a clear gloss over Lolli which helped to even out the stain. Even though my lips aren’t dry, stains sometimes take patchily (if that’s even a word) on my lips.

See anything you’re keen to try yourself? The first stores to boast Benefit counters are as follows.

Jozi

Edgars Sandton in Jozi – 11 July
Edgars Clearwater in Jozi – 13 July
Red Square Cresta – 15 July

Cape Town

Red Square Canal Walk – 17 July
Edgars Canal Walk – 18 July

Don’t worry if you don’t spot a store near you. More Benefit counters will be rolling out as the months go on and yes, it’ll soon be available to buy online via Red Square.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. I don’t have pricing right now but hope to get it tomorrow and will be sure to update fast.

Win R300 to blow in Soil’s online store

A little while ago I was given the option of picking a few goodies from Soil’s online store. The proudly South African store serves up a selection of organic goodies that range from aromatherapy oils to bath and body products as well as a tea tree-infused line that includes a shampoo and conditioner. They also offer free delivery to anywhere in South Africa on orders over R300 

While I had a quick browse, I knew I couldn’t not snap up a scented candle. I’m a total slet for candles and love warm, comforting, even spicy scents in the chilly season and clean, fresh ones come summer or when I want to feel energized and invoke a clear head for writing and Soil’s Uplifting Coconut Organic Soy Wax candle totally falls into the latter.

Candle

Soil’s Uplifting Coconut Organic Soy Wax candle, R220.

I like that, while the name says ‘coconut’, it’s actually grapefruit and lemongrass scented, so to me it smells like an expensive spa. In fact, it reminds me a helluva lot of Skin & Body Renewal’s spa chain that uses lemongrass as it’s signature scent.

Another plus? You’re looking at a good 50 hours of burn time!

Unicorn approved!

Unicorn approved!

Anyway, along with the candle, I picked out a Relax Remedy Roller, a blend of calming essential oils like Lavender, Chamomile and Neroli in a base of soybean and sesame oil to apply to your pulse points like your temples or wrists. It’s supposed to help encourage tranquility and relieve tension headaches.

Soil Remedy Roller

Soil Remedy Roller in Relax, R35.

It now lives in my handbag so I can pull it out and random and have friends take the piss out of me for being a ‘hippie’. I really like the way it smells – like citrusy lavender – but I’m not sure it’s a match for my often outrageous, deadline-induced stress levels. Also, when it’s tension headache time, the only thing that helps is a double drop of Adco-dol. Still, I really like the ‘ritual’ of this in that I apply it at night before bed and my body’s starting to associate the scent with ‘switch off’, ‘sleepy time’. Because of this, when it finishes, I’ll probably buy another roller.

Win! Win! Win!

Want to win a R300 voucher to blow in Soil’s online store? Get in touch via the comments section to tell me what your favourite essential oil is and why.

Another way to win? Simply tweet the following: ‘Hey @lipglossgirl! I’d love to win a Soil voucher to blow in the online store’ with a link to this post. Don’t forget the link, it’s important.

This competition closes at 5pm on Wednesday. A winner will be drawn at random using a random number generator and notified the next day.

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

H&M is opening at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in October

Most of you will know that H&M is on it’s way to South Africa, opening in October at the V&A Waterfront in the area near the Nu Metro. Apparently the store’s going to be a serious monster – 4 700 square metres and on two levels!

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Last week I was invited to get a sneak preview of the Studio A/W15 collection that would be in store when it opened. Apparently we’re going to be in sync with the seasons (i.e. when it’s summer here, we’ll get the summer stock) but when special collections like the aforementioned autumn one crop up, we’ll get it at the same time as everyone else overseas does.

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Other good news? I’m told the price points are going to be around the Woolworths and Cotton On mark.

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I don’t know about you but I’m dying to see everything in store. I really love how, over the period of just a few years, the SA chain store scene’s gone seriously global. Do you remember the sad old days when we pretty much only had Truworths, Foschini, Edgars and Woolies to pick from? (I literally had an account for each of those stores! Dying!) I now love that, when I travel overseas, I don’t feel this crazy pressure to shop ’til I drop ‘cos half the stores have set up shop back home.

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Anyway, like I said, I’m super keen to see how this all rolls out, especially from a price point of view but overall I have a very good feeling about it. Despite being affordable, H&M’s quality is fabulous, which makes me much happier to shell out R600 for a jersey than I would to do the same at Forever 21 as it’s essentially the Mr Price of America. So let’s wait and see…

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Lancôme Hypnose Volume-A-Porter mascara

It’s the end of my French affair!

I’ve always loved Lancôme’s original Hypnose mascara and my sister’s a big fan too. While there have been several follow-up versions (Doll Lashes, Drama and Star to name a few) I always considered the first to be the best but now there’s a new amore in my Hypnose-lovin’ heart and that’s Volume-A-Porter (R390).

Lancome Hypnose Volume-A-Porter mascara

Lancome Hypnose Volume-A-Porter mascara

A ‘cashmere sensation volume mascara’, Volume-A-Porter aims to volumise and define thanks to a fine-toothed rubber bristle brush. I’ve used another very similar mascara wand recently but found that, as the bristles where shaped too far apart, I struggled to coat each and every lash, but Lancôme’s newest addition gets it just right.

I loved that, with just a few strokes using a rotary motion, I could create a thick fringe of soft-looking lash with zero clumping and not a spider’s leg in sight.

Not a clump in sight!

The perfect every day eye.

As for the formula, its jet black, dries fast and, if you get any on your skin, you can just shift it with a cotton bud once it’s dried. No smeary business at all. Lancôme says it’s been enriched with conditioning native rose cells and I have no clue what those are but I do like it’s super subtle rose scent, a teensy touch that gives it the luxe aspect you come to expect of the French beauty brand.

In short, if you like beautifully defined voluminous-looking lashes, Volume-A-Porter is your baby. I know it’s the Lancôme mascara I’ll be reaching for in future, in place of the original Hypnose who’s probably trying to drunk dial me from my make-up as I speak.

Oh, wait! He so is! Apparently he’s going to ‘try harder’ and wants to see if we can work things out over carrot cake at Tasha’s (sooo manipulative) but I’m a hard ass Volume-A-Porter rock that can’t be moved.

Love, love

Leigh

Ghd’s new Vintage Pink styler’s finally arrived and ten percent of the sale goes to the PrinkDrive

Good news for all you retro-lovin’, ‘see you at the soda shop’ would-be pin-up girls – ghd’s latest limited edition styler is right up your street!

What's in the box?

What’s in the box?

The new Vintage Pink V styler (R2 399) boasts an elegant-looking matte powder pink finish with metallic pale pink finishes accented by black ceramic coated plates.

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Pretty, pretty!

I can tell you right now, Dita von Teese, with her retro pink kitchen, is totally snapping one up as I type.

Anyone for a banana split?

Anyone for scone?

Spec-wise, if you’re not familiar with ghd, the V styler is the upgrade to the IV. It’s body is lighter than it’s predecessor and it stays cooler to the touch. The plates, however, are quick to heat up to an optimal 175 – 185 and are contoured to glide through your hair to help you create either poker straight locks with a single stroke or bouncy curls with a few clever flicks of the wrist. (Personally, I can never get that curling action down. Huge respect to the women I’ve seen doing it with the greatest of ease. This particular skill is something that’s totally sitting on my ‘To learn’ list.)

There's just one button to switch it on, it makes a beep when it's hot and then switches off 30 minutes later by itself.

There’s just one button to switch it on, it makes a beep when it’s hot and then switches off 30 minutes later by itself.

The styler comes in a pretty pink matching carrier bag…

Mooi!

You could totally see Lana del Ray owning this, right?

…that rolls out to become a heat-resistant mat.

Guess who's not going to burn the shizzle out their duvet any more. You are!

Guess who’s never going to set fire to her mattress again?

Also available in the retro line up, but sold separately is a paddle brush R299) and a set of two sectioning clips (R20).

Paddle tips.

Paddle tips.

Now for the best bit – 10-percent of each Vintage Pink item sold (that’s R239 if you buy the styler) goes towards PinkDrive. The organisation runs pink trucks that act as mobile breast check clinics to help create awareness and promote early detection with a focus on disadvantaged communities. Their newest truck is a mammoth – a doctor’s room on wheels – from which free mammograms as well as cervical cancer screenings can be performed with ease. To date, PinkDrive has performed over 60 000 breast checks alone.

Aside from purchasing a styler, there’s another way to help – text ‘ghd vintage pink’ to 40158 you can donate R20 to PinkDrive. You can also inspire others to help by sharing the following on your social media platforms: ‘I just donated R20 to PinkDrive by texting 40158 #VintagePink #MyHairCares’. You can also tag friends to nominate them to do the same. Ghd encourages you to include a pic of you wearing a vintage hair style, but this is a nice to have, certainly not a must-have. I wouldn’t let my lack of skill and time in whipping up something like that prevent me from helping to make a difference.

More Dita in the kitchen mooiness, I just couldn't resist.

I just had to throw in some more ‘Dita in the kitchen’ mooiness, I just couldn’t resist.

To get your mitts on the new Vintage Pink styler, pop on over to ghd’s local website to find a stockist near you or snap it up via the site. Delivery is free!

Love, love

Leigh

 

Beauty bites featuring new beauty booty from Max Factor, The Body Shop and Essie plus Dermalogica’s new online store

I love a good cream eye shadow and am still mourning the loss of Benefit’s Creaseless Cream shadow/liner in Busy Signal, the perfect shade of bronze. Max Factor, however, have launched fantastic formula called Excess Shimmer (R129,95, exclusive to Clicks).

Pics (5)

Max Factor Excess Shimmer pots.

Each shade promises to stay put for hours and really does as promised. In fact, if used with a primer (I love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion that I buy online or when I travel) you can pretty much tattoo the shadow to your eye lid.

I was given two shades to try, Crystal and Pink Opal, and most like the latter.

Pink Opal up top and Crystal down below.

Pink Opal up top and Crystal down below.

I can see me wearing this as a solo wash in spring on jaunty days when I want to take a break from my usual ‘natural look’ hues but for now I’m dead keen on snapping up the bronze variant next time I pop into Clicks. To view that, pop on over to Luzanne at Pink Peonies who did an awesome job of reviewing these babies in depth. You can also check back here later today as I’m going to update with an ‘on eye’ shot. I’m just currently waylaid by two mag story deadlines.

The Body Shop have launched what feels like a zillion new eye pencils that range from jumbo and fine felt tips to wind up gel pens and even a white matte kajal liner and I was given a couple of them to play with.

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The Body Shop Skinny Thin Felt eye liner up top and Bold Oversized Felt eyeliner below.

Of everything I’ve tried, however, I’ve most enjoyed using the Skinny Felt Liner (price TBA). I like that, depending on how you angle it, you can create a nice, defined line as well as a thicker one. The over-sized pen, however, doesn’t really give you a choice but that’s not going to matter to anyone who’s actually keen on a thick, Cleopatra-style line. In that case, it’s their best friend.

Line and shine, darlings!

Line and shine, darlings!

Other news? A while back I was asked to dish a bit of beauty advice for the blogger’s edition of online lifestyle magazine Hung Up in a piece called Smoking Hot Beauty Blogger Advice that you can check out over here.

I think they struggled to find four beauty bloggers who rook a pack a day* yet remain ridiculously hot**, but in the end they did manage to pick out four of us, although I think Chantelle’s moved on to chewing tobacco now. Her advice, by the way, about using MAC’s 217 bullet brush, is spot on. The day I brought that baby was a serious tipping point in my smoking hotness.

More things you need to know? Clicks is running a slew of great buy 2, get one free specials that include beauty goodies ending on 2 July so you better move fast. My top pick there? The Essie nail polish! As they’re R125 a pop, you’re essentially saving R125!

This is Essie's new winter collection launching in July. I'll be creating a review on these with swatches soon.

This is Essie’s new winter collection launching in July. I’ll be creating a review on these with swatches soon.

Last but not least, Dermalogica is about to go online, launching their new online store on 1 July. Initially, delivery will be free to promote the fact you can now buy your favourite products with just a few clicks but will eventually increase to R120 a pop so best you get your orders in fast. One of the best specials the brand’s currently running is on their Age Smart Over Night Repair serum. Until the end July, R850 will get you DOUBLE the regular size, so that’s almost like buy one, get one free.

Essentially a blend of oils, this does a lovely job of soothing and moisturising dry, winter-ravaged skin.

Essentially a blend of oils, this does a lovely job of soothing and moisturising dry, winter-ravaged skin.

However, if you buy three products at a time, delivery will be free once more, so it’s a good idea to buy in bulk or sit tight until you need at least three items to get the most bang for your buck.

Love, love

Leigh

*Please tell me you get that I was totally joking?
**I’m not kidding about the hot part though. <Hair flick, hair flick.>

Review: Veaudry iStyler mini hair straightener

When local hot styling tools brand Veaudry offered to send me their iStyler (R1 190, retailbox.co.za), I didn’t quite click until it arrived that it was a mini travel styler. Being an ungrateful cow who receives far too many things my first thought was ‘Oh. What could you ever achieve with this boy? Thank God, I only ever give my fringe the odd flick. Using this to do your whole head would probably only take a thousand years…’

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For the record, I have super tiny hands.

Merrily, Veaudry’s little number really surprised me in that a) it’s actually not that small so b) you’re really not sacrificing much extra time in exchange for the handy travel aspect.

Now, to begin, let’s just get the elephant out the room and answer the first question my friends are going to What’s App me – ‘How does it compare in size to a standard sized flat iron?’ I whipped out my ghd IV styler and was surprised that, even though Veaudry looks and feels teeny tiny at first sight, it’s actually not that small.

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Veaudry, I’d like you to meet ghd.

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The gold plates belong to the regular-sized ghd and the black are Veaudry’s.

It’s still small enough, however, to pop into your giant tote handbag or stash in a carry on bag when you fly. As far as weight is concerned, however, it comes in at 350g, which is almost the same as a ghd which is 360g. (I know this ‘cos I whipped out my kitchen scale. I’m that kind of anal.)

Anyway, as far as specs goes, you’re looking at the following:

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There aren’t any tricky dials to deal with. Just an on-off button.

It heats up to 200 degrees.
The floating ceramic plates are made using Tourmaline, a semi-precious stone that helps seal moisture into your hair due to the negative ions it emits.
The cord is a nice ‘salon-length’ of 3 metres. (So many travel stylers boast the teensiest cord so you end up sitting on the floor of your hotel room instead of being able to stand up.)
You get a one year guarantee.

Veaudry says it styler heats up really fast but there isn’t a light that stops flashing on or a ‘beep’ that sounds to let you know when this happens. No biggie, but worth mentioning.

After using the styler, I was impressed with how it did a good job of creating flicks. Still, as my hair’s already dead straight I couldn’t really test the straightening aspect myself so I popped on over to a friend who’s hair’s got a bit more of a curl in it. She thought it did just as good a job as her current styler, a Toni&Guy pro straightener with the same specs save for heating up to 230 degrees, having slightly larger plates and being, dare I say it, ‘clunky-looking’. In all, she was impressed too and says she’d happily consider Veaudry’s full-sized styler (she likes ’em big) should her T&G ever kick the bucket.

It's a 2-prong plug, in case you were wondering.

The iStyler features a 2-prong plug, in case you were wondering.

In all, this is a nifty great quality yet pocket-friendly styler for anyone who’s on the go and doesn’t have to spend too much of their time straightening.  A great purchase for women with shorter hair as well men who don’t need to own a big kahuna but still want something that serves up much of the same benefits of a big kahuna, if that makes sense.

Love, love

Leigh