Maybe it’s Maybelline’s 100th birthday!

If you follow me on Twitter (@lipglossgirl) and Instagram (@lipglossgirlxoxo) you’ll know Maybelline recently turned 100 years old and threw a rocking party in Jozi to celebrate.

Happy happy Maybelline!

Happy happy Maybelline!

The event played host to a bunch of beauty peeps, media and models dressed up to recreate the looks featured in Maybelline’s recent era-inspired calendar.

Mooi, ne?

Mooi, ne?

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I think the girl on the left is supposed to be Mable, Maybelline's founder.

I think the girl on the left is supposed to be Mabel, the founder’s sister and company namesake.

One of the highlights (aside from probably a leetle too much free booze) was getting to create our own goodie bags by delving into bowls and bowls of product.

Don't mind if I do!

Don’t mind if I do!

The next day, I was hung like a donkey…

...but it was nothing a Cream Soda float couldn't cure.

…but it was nothing a Cream Soda float couldn’t cure.

Also, you’d never say ‘cos I had more makeup than I could handle to bring the mooiness.

This was what was in yet another goodie bag in my room. I promise I didn't nick all this from the party.

This was what was in yet another goodie bag in my room. I promise I didn’t nick all this from the party.

There are quite a few new goodies in there and once I find out when they launch I’ll be sure to whip up a few reviews and get swatchy with the lippies. I’ve already found a few favourites I’m sure you’ll appreciate too.

Love, love

Leigh

Who wants to win tickets to the Tutankhamun exhibition in Cape Town?

As a little girl I was always fascinated by mysterious things. Think the lost city of Atlantis… paranormal phenomena… Nessie… The Secret Garden… I also had a thing for dinosaurs, science and natural history, which was a big problem for my little sister. Every time it was my turn to pick what we’d do with my dad on a Saturday she’d get dragged off to the museum where I’d stand with my face pressed up against the glass for hours while she squirmed and begged to just skip ahead to the part where we’d binge eat ice cream and ‘just act like normal fucking children’.

To date, I’m still drawn to museums and mystery which is why I’m super excited to see the world-famous travelling Tutankhamun Exhibition – His Tomb, His Treasures – that’ll be hitting up the Grand West Casino come 2 June.

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Impressive, right?

It shows off more than 1000 perfect replicas* produced under scientific supervision to give you not so much as an idea, but a real look into the life of the ancient pharaoh. (A boy-king, Tutankhamun mysteriously died at the age of 18 and lay undiscovered in his tomb for thousands of years before being discovered by English archeologist Howard Carter. Pretty Indiana Jones, right?)

 I plan on shoplifting that long cat thing 'cos it'll look great in my lounge but I'm worried I don't own a handbag that's big enough.


I plan on shoplifting that long cat thing ‘cos it’ll look great in my lounge but I’m worried I don’t own a handbag that’s big enough.

If you’re keen to visit the exhibition, you can get all the info you need from the site and buy your tickets over here. Alternatively, you can win the set of four family tickets I’m giving away.

Win! Win! Win!

To enter, leave a comment in the comments section below telling me why this is something you’d like to see. You can also drop me a tweet: ‘Hey @lipglossgirl, I’d love to win tix to see the Tutankhamun show @GrandWestSA’ and include the link to this post. Extra points if you manage to spell Tutankhamun.

Terms and conditions

I’ll be picking a winner at random come COB Thursday 21 June and it might be you.
Tickets are only valid for weekdays from 3 June to 31 July 2015 inclusive subject to availability. 
Tickets may not be exchanged for cash or for an alternate date.
The prize comprises of four show entry tickets only.  
The prizewinner must please select a preferred time slot to visit the exhibition, on the half hour between 09h00 and 16h30. 
A confirmation letter will be sent to the prizewinners to please print and present on arrival at the ticketing office. 
No-shows will not receive replacement tickets.
By entering this competition the participant agrees to the terms and conditions. 

Love, love

Leigh

Update: A big congrats to Matt Eley on winning my Tutankhamun competition. 

*This tour’s been going for years and back in the day the items where the real deal, but the constant moving started to damage them. Obviously this couldn’t be allowed to happen so each one was replicated to a tee. This makes me kind of sad because part of the awe of seeing an old relic is knowing that it’s exactly that. I believe objects carry energy and being in the presence of things that are so ancient really does fill one (or at least me) with a sense of reverent awe and, in a way, you truly get to travel back in time. Still, in saying that, I realise it’s a good thing the tour is rolling with replicas as those items, which now live in a museum in Cairo, are truly precious and it’s important they maintain their integrity.

Don’t forget to buy your ticket to the 5 for Change charity ball (2015) – it’s a jol!

Ja meisies, it’s time to unleash your inner Cinderella and dress up nice and mooi for 5 for Change, Cape Town’s now annual black tie charity ball that isn’t boring as all hell.

Karisa and I at the event back in 2013. Look how young we look!

Karisa and I at the event back in 2013. Look how young we look!

This year it takes place on Saturday the 30th,Goodluck is the entertainment and the MC is my former neighbour who also happens to do a little acting and comedy on the side, Siv Ngesi. Oh! And he’s got a drug problem…

Nice one, Sivling.

Nice one, Sivling.

You might’ve spotted Siv in an anti-drugs campaign that’s currently covering the city. As luck would have it, his big ass tennis court-sized billboard happens to cover the building he lives in. This is my ex-building but I’m there often to visit my bestie who lives there too. Siv takes great delight in calling her to let her know he’s in the street, but ‘totally lost’. ‘Is there perhaps some big landmark that could guide me home?’, he’ll say. But revenge is sweet. I’m always quick to let him know I’ve been too scared to visit ‘cos there’s now a big, scary black man who leans up the side of the building ‘and he’s got a drug problem!’

But ja, side track aside, you know should know that, each year,  5 for Change picks five causes to support. This time round they range from Rise to Read (supporting literacy in underprivileged areas (this strikes a chord with me as I was a total book worm child) to MyOwnCup, a project that supplies school girls in townships with a reusable sanitary solution. To learn about all of them, pop on over to 5 for Change’s site.

Deets you want to know.

Deets you want to know.

Buy your ticket for R400 a pop via Quicket before they all sell out. Space is limited and I know you’ll have a jol. Despite being a ‘ball’, it always get lekker messy before the clock strikes 12. Or least my friends and I always do. But hey, this is for a good cause so it’s pretty much taking one for the team, right?

Hope to see you there,

Love, love

Leigh

Review: The Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel treated me to a spoilicious sleepover that included Mangwanani spa treatments

One of the perks of working in media is getting to review cool things and this includes hotels. As I work for a number of platforms, I’ve actually gotten to visit quite a few of them and they’re not always awesome. The yardstick for semi-dreadful, however, is a spot we shall call Hotel Blah where my friend Karisa and I literally got put in a room and left there. ‘We have all these amazing services including a very expensive, specially drawn bath that includes champagne for you can tell people about’, they said. Thing is, they didn’t allow us to experience any of it, so needless to say I never wrote about it. Also, despite being linked to a fancy pants restaurant, conveniently situated below the hotel, we weren’t invited to dine there. But there was a Mr Delivery menu in our room. Very blah indeed.

Anyway, The Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel in the centre of Cape Town, in case you were wondering isn’t blah at all. It’s fantastic! And a lot of this is due to their wonderful staff and the good communication between them. I was invited to visit the hotel, which is part of the Tsogo Sun group, for a spoilicious blogger sleepover along with Karisa, Brigitte and Sheri-Lee and boy did they roll out the red carpet for us.

Karisa, Sheri-Lee, myself and Brigitte.

Karisa, Sheri-Lee, myself and Brigitte. (Forgive the blurriness of this shot. It’s had quite the digital journey in that it was ripped from Sheri’s FB via Instagram. Will updated with the original soon.)

Their hospitality went above and beyond and every person we came into contact with was friendly and helpful – even those who didn’t know we were there for review. For the most part, however, the people who did need to know why we were taking piccies like Japanese tourists and asking questions were all briefed to the fact that we were bloggers. This sounds a bit dof, but you have no idea how often I arrive at hotels and people can’t find my reservation and hand me bills for things a PR has promised was comped and then its a big struggle to find someone who can attest to the fact that I’m actually there for a review and not a merry scam artist. The Cullinan, however, is a well-oiled machine.

After checking in with ease, the hotel’s lovely Guest Relations Manager Hannes led myself and Brigitte to our suites (yep, we each got our own) where I acted all cool and nonchalant about its enormity and then jumped on the super soft, giant marshmallow of a bed when he left, elated that it was almost double the size of my (studio) flat.

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Pretty, pretty!

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Even more mooiness.

Even more mooiness.

..

It just gets better!

It just gets better!

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There was a big glass shower in here too.

There was a big glass shower in here too and the toiletries where all full-sized Charlotte Rhys numbers.

Staying in a suite also means a complimentary bath and pillow menu as well as a butler service. Anyone up for a Rooibos mineral bath crystals with rose petals and Swedish memory neck pillow combo?

Aside from a very sexy marble bathroom, it included a lounge and mini bar area that boasted a welcome bottle of wine, selection of treats and handwritten welcome note. (Nice touch, guys!)

Talk about a warm welcome!

Talk about a warm welcome!

Hannes then showed us to yet another suite where – surprise! – a host of the hotel’s lovely Mangwanani therapists had set up an indulgent high tea and pop-up salon to treat us to manis and pedis. (The hotel’s recently renovated it’s spa which is now a ‘Mangwanani Boutique’ one. You can read all about that over here.)

Obviously I took one for the team in a previous life and this one's all about pay back, right?

Errrrmiiigoddd!!!

Because I’m inherently evil, I immediately What’s Apped Karisa who was running late.

Me: Just a heads up – it’s totes another Hotel Blah.
K: Ag nee!
Me: Ja. Sorry man. Maybe bring a banana or something.

The look on her face when she walked in was totally worth any timeshare points I scored in hell.

Anyway, let’s get back to the impromptu spa o’ awesome: My therapist, Antoinette, gave me a Morgan Taylor mani using Man of the Moment, a glossy maraschino cherry red, and then, as I had gelish on my toes, treated me to an epic foot massage.

It's a tough job girls, but someone's gotta do it.

It’s a tough job girls, but someone’s gotta do it.

..

Taking one for the team like the trooper I am.

Taking one for the team like the trooper I am.

I loved that her hands were super strong and she didn’t get tired of applying lots of pressure, which I like. All this went down while sipping bubbles and nibbling on an array of sweet treats and my beloved Downtown Abbey-licious egg and mayo finger sandwiches that Brigitte labeled gross and then proceeded to eat two of. Biets!

Cue 'Praise be to Jesus' gospel music.

Cue ‘Praise be to Jesus’ gospel music.

After our spa experience, we all floated through the very expensive-smelling lobby (What are you pumping into the air there, The Cullinan? It’s awesome!) to make our way to the pool for a drink.

It's heated, but of course.

It’s heated, but of course.

The pool’s communal, oh so colonial spa bath atmosphere serves up such a tranquil-feeling you’d never think you were smack bang in the heart of the city. It was here that we met charming Senior Sous Chef Riaan Le Roux who offered to bring us ‘a few mezze’ and a ‘bespoke cocktail’ (ooh la la!).

The Book of Life (2014)

Cheers!

I’m not one hundred percent sure what was in the cocktail but it had a yummy ginger-amaretto taste, was created especially for us and referred to as a ‘Candy Ginger’. Sooo delish! And speaking of, we nearly died (from awesome) when we saw the mezze. It turned out to be a smorgasbord that included beautifully presented super fresh sushi and oysters (my favourite, reeeee!) as well as a charcuterie and cheese platter with dips. One of the best things about that experience was the fact that Sheri and Karisa don’t eat oysters. Yes! Air punch! (And another punch to Brigitte’s face if she attempts to eat more of them than I do.)

Having almost completely ruined our dinner we hit up The Peach Tree restaurant that plays host to a big buffet every night as well as for Sunday lunch. I don’t have a lot of piccies of this as I hate taking food shots at night. The rubbish lighting never does the dishes any justice and flash food photography’s The Worst. But know there was loads to choose from and even the fussiest eater would never go hungry. Also, and this is random, but I really liked that each table’s set with three different type of butter balls!

This is the only night time food shot I have that doesn't make me want to stab myself in the eyes.

This is one of the very few night time food shot I have that doesn’t make me want to stab myself in the eyes. It only makes me crave more of The Cullinan’s lekker lamb.

Despite being a bit stuffed, I managed to squeeze in some cut-it-with-a-butter-knife lamb and mint jelly; a DIY spinach leaf salad loaded with blue cheese, croutons and marinated mushrooms and a very tasty, decadently creamy potato bake. Oh! And let’s not forget about dessert! Whatever you want is there for the scoffing and the toppings could easily rival a Wakaberry. Mini Smarties and Astros for the win!

The Peach Tree also has the biggest scrape-your-own parmesan bowl-thing I've ever seen.

The Peach Tree also has the biggest scrape-your-own parmesan bowl-thing I’ve ever seen.

Once our tummies were full, we rolled like happy, mini vetkoeks back into the Star Bar where we made a good show of completely ignoring the Brumbies rugby boys that happened to be staying at the hotel, ensuring they asked us to join them for drinks. Our little party got a little, er rowdy, pretty fast (sorry The Cullinan, we love you The Cullinan!) and myself, the girls and a good twelve or so Brumbies (who are all just too lovely) ended up taking our jol to Karisa’s room. We took great, hair-flicky delight in the fact that our rooms where sooo much nicer than the boys’, their size attesting to the fact that we could literally host half a rugby team.

I don't have piccies from this point onwards as my phone had died so here, look at this mooi champagne!

I don’t have piccies from our The Star Bar visit onwards as our phones had died from photie taking so let’s enjoy a flashback to the avie’s champagne.

Things devolved fast but my flash backs include Sheri saying things like ‘a “try” is a rugby term, right? Or is that a cricket thing?'; a strip tease and lap dance combo to the tune of Bette Davis eyes (performed by the boys, not us!) and Henry, the winger, ordering something that came with chips (room service is 24 hours) that tasted like the best version of KFC’s which probably won’t sound like a compliment to the chef but for me this is Very High Acclaim.

In all, this was a wonderful stay in a wonderful hotel run by wonderfully hospitable people. No Hotel Blah here. No sirree!

If you’d like check in, visit The Southern Sun Cullinan’s webpage for all the deets you’ll need. Stay over or not, the Mangwanani Boutique Spa is a gem of a destination alone and it’s worth checking out their treatment menu just so you can marvel at how pocket-friendly their price list is. (A 60 minute hot stone massage for R450? Yes please! An hour long spa pedi with a foot massage for R350? Bring it!) If you’d like to organise a custom special event like a hen’s tea and want a similar high tea and spa spoil package get in touch with Hannes directly on hannes.human@tsogosun.com. As for The Peach Tree, consider popping in for their Sunday buffet. It’s just R195 per person (half price for kids under 12) and you can expect an array of yumminess that includes roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, decadent desserts and more.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: The best of the recent bunch of Essence items I got sent

I was sent a variety of new Essence goodies the other day, many of them from their limited edition ‘autumn collection’. Some items were better than others but I thought I’d tell you about a few of my favourites, the first being this boy.

Essence Quick & Easy sponge nail caring oil, R57,95.

Essence Quick & Easy sponge nail caring oil, R57,95.

Initially, I totally thought this was an instant nail polish remover twisty thing and only realised it wasn’t after plunging my polished finger into it and watching it come out unperturbed. This was upsetting. How dare this evil thing trick me? I mean, it’s not like it glaringly says ‘nail caring oil’ bright fuchsia lettering on it or anything. I took an immediate dislike to it and left it to roll away under my couch in shame. It was only later that we kissed and made up. I actually do like the ease of applying a sweet-smelling nail oil with a simple twist. It’s the ultimate in beauty tools for either lazy or busy people or girls who already have everything else and makes taking care of my cuticles a bit more fun.

More nail niceness? I quite like this base coat:

IMAG4550

Essence The Gel nail polish base coat and top coat, R47,95 each.

Ignore the rubbish they say about it being ‘gel that doesn’t need a lamp’. A product isn’t a ‘gel’ if it’s not cured by lamp. But as far as base coats go, I like that this has a slight ‘whitening’ effect once it’s on your nail. If you look at it on the brush and tilt it around in the light, you’ll see it’s almost got a slightly opalescent nature. I tried to photograph it but it’s too subtle for the camera to pick, but most definitely visible to the eye if you look carefully.

Next up, how adorbsville is Essence’s Benefit-esque How to Make Brows Wow brow kit (R115,50)?

Nails1

Three brow shades, a highlighter, tweezers and double-sided brush featuring a sponge applicator and bristle brush.

Cuteness aside, I am a critical bitch so let’s get a few gripes out the way – I will only ever use the ‘love ’em all’ shade so the paler ‘love blondes’ and ‘love brunettes’ colours are lost on me. It would’ve been nicer if Essence created three separate kits and used the freed up blocks for a setting wax or something. The tweezers isn’t a-mah-zing but does the job and the applicator isn’t ideal in that its super ‘scratchy’ and kicks up a lot of brow powder. Also, a brow comb is severely lacking and having to have this kit and still guy another brow tool to lug around is annoying. But all that aside, the brow powder I tried did a good job and the inclusion of a ‘lift me up’ highlighter (to place just under your arch to create the illusion of a more lifted brow) is a lovely touch.

One last thing about brows – Essence also now make a very nice brow tamer called Make Me Brow eyebrow gel mascara (R47,95). I can’t find the pic I took of it on my camera but will reshoot and include it soon. It says it contains tiny fibres to help fill in gaps but I can’t see any. To me, it just looks like a slightly tinted gel and that’s fine with me as it does a good job of fixing my brows in place after they’re done and that’s all I care about. When I want to fill, I reach for powder or pencil, not fibres.

Moving on, let’s talk about Essence Silky Touch blush in Summer Dreaming, (R47,95).

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I can’t find the shot I took while the compact was still pristine so I’m having to show it to you after I’ve used several times and you have nooo idea what that’s doing to my OCD-addled li’l heart right now.

Summer Dreaming is a new shade to Essence’s blush line up and, if you’re a cool-toned pale peep looking for a very light peach, every so slightly shimmery-looking flush, this is pretty flattering. On days when I want to create a very fresh, natural look, this is a goodie. It doesn’t have great staying powder though, so I only ever wear it on days when I’m wearing foundation as this acts like a primer, giving it something to ‘grip’ so it lasts longer.

Apologies for the lack of ‘on face’ pic but I’m currently dying in bed with flu. Once I can remain vertical for longer than five minutes I’ll be sure to snap one and update.

See anything you like? You’ll find Essence cosmetics in both Clicks and Dis-Chem stores.

Love, love

Leigh

Morgan Taylor launches their Midnight Masquerade collection and The Big Reveal is the shade you want

Morgan Taylor have a new nail collection out called Midnight Masquerade that’s inspired by the intrigue and innate sexiness of an opulent masked ball.

cpx_1cd7288dbc6e6d43846c6a056e85f3f3

Pretty, pretty!

I was given two shades nudey-mauvey hue called Flirting with the Phantom and another deep shimmering teal colour called The Big Reveal.

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The Big Reveal on the left and Flirting with the Phantom on the right.

When I first saw The Big Reveal, my thoughts ran as follows: Glitter. Puke. When is this stupid glitter nail trend going to die? I’m a woman not a 12 year old and no, I don’t have ten hours to take the stupid stuff off.

But then I looked a little closer and realised it wasn’t really glitter so much as micro-glitter whirled through a shimmering ‘base’ (if that makes sense) that sets to a finish so shiny and ‘expensive-looking’, you almost don’t need a top coat. Also, there’s something vinyl-like about the way it looks. Almost as though each micro-glitter is set within a clear gel-like sphere. Is any of this making sense? Am I sounding like a total crazy person here?

Morgan Taylor The Big Reveal

Morgan Taylor The Big Reveal

Another thing: Despite being a dark colour, it’s easy to paint with. Maybe it’s the shimmer aspect that makes it more forgiving than jet black which shows up your every error.

Anyway, I really, REALLY like this. In fact, I LOVE it. It’s that top you thought wouldn’t look good on you but you tossed it into the to try on pile anyway and BA-ZAAM it looks amazing. That is this nail colour. It should totally be called The Big Surprise as opposed to The Big Reveal.

I totally planned to take a snap, remove it and then photograph Flirting with the Phantom as I knew I’d be happy to then continue into my life wearing it but there’s no way I’m taking TBR off any time soon. (Yep, we’re so toit we’re now on an acronym basis, good ole’ TBR and I.) If you spot this collection in store (each shade is R123 a pop) ignore everything else and pop TBR in your trolley. You won’t regret it.

Love, love

Leigh

Surf Auto threw an elegant ‘Women in White’ event to celebrate strong, successful women

As it turns out, Surf was South Africa’s very first washing powder. Yep, they’ve been keeping our clothes clean and bright since 1953 y’all. But now there’s a new kid on the block – Surf Auto. Specially developed for top loaders, Surf Auto blitzes the ‘hard to remove’ dirt that causes dullness. It also locks in brightness to help keep your whites looking as dazzling as the day you bought them.

To celebrate the launch, Surf invited a mix of media and local celebs to an uber glam dinner at The 12 Apostle’s hotel.

How much do we love a good table setting?

How much do we love a good table setting?

Highlights included free-flowing bubbles, a yummy truffle-infused risotto and an all white-themed ‘help yourself’ candy bar.  Totally worth the semi-trauma of having to shoehorn myself into a teensy white lace dress that I’m convinced has shrunk in the wash since I last wore it. Clearly I wasn’t using Surf Auto. It couldn’t be the fact that I live and die and foodilicious launches like this one and may or may not have walked off with a good eight pieces of coconut ice smuggled into my purse. Oh no!

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Happy place!

The evening’s always charming MC was Jo-Anne Strauss who introduced us all to Surf’s new #WomenInWhite campaign. Essentially, the idea is that Surf wants to recognise inspirational South African women and inspire them to share their success story as well as a visual of themselves in a gorgeous white Black Coffee wrap dress that they gave to every women in the room.

LR Expresso Presenter Leigh - Anne Williams , Jo-Ann Strauss , Leigh van den Berg and Bailey Shnaider-001

Expresso’s Lee-Anne Williams, Jo-Ann (looking mooi in her Black Coffee rokkie), myself and 2Oceansvibe radio’s Bailey Schneider.

Jo-Ann passed her dress on to Professor Rachel Japhta, a lecture who’d inspired her at university who’s now a Media24 board member before the evening’s woman of honour, sports presenter Carol Tshabalala, took the stage. She spoke about how she’d forged her path in a very male dominated sporting world via sheer determination and the belief that ‘nothing is impossible’. She then presented her dress to Hangwani Nengovhela of Rubicon Clothing. A self-taught seamstress, it took Hangwane a decade to build her brand.

So, now it’s my turn, to wear the dress.

Sucking it in HAAARD, yo!

Sucking it in HAAARD, yo!

I’m now supposed to chat about what I think makes me ‘successful’ but I’m not really comfortable with it. While I do see myself as a successful writer (I work like a donkey for various magazines, TV shows, ad agencies and PR agencies) I prefer to be self-deprecating so people will be fooled into thinking I’m a nice, sweet girl who isn’t arrogant cow in the least and then, if it’s necessary, blow them away with my bullet-proof CV forged by blood, sweat, tears and the long-term abuse of upper and downers. (Isn’t it nice to know that should my career result in the expulsion of yet more body fluids I now have a great detergent to keep my whites bright?)

So, who did I pass my dress on to? A friend of course! I’m very lucky to have no shortage of wonderful, inspiring women close to home and one of them is former local beauty queen and current fuchsia-haired hottie Chelle Lovatt.

Chelle Belle

A while back we drunkenly gave those horses names and personalities but then decided there was only really ONE horse living it up in alternate dimensions ‘cos we’re deep and insightful like that.

Aside from being a kind, funny, smart, creative and ballsy human being that also happens to be born on the same freakin’ day as I am, Chelle is industrious to the max. She works as a fashion buyer by day and then comes home to run up satin pillow slips for her company Dear Deer. Made from 100% pure satin, they help your skin remain hydrated and less likely to crease up while you sleep – AND – all the profits from Chelle’s pillow cases go to various charities, particularly cancer-related ones as a tribute to her mom who she lost to the disease. If you’re looking for an amazing energy-infused gift for the girl who has everything and want to know your money is doing good, trust me, this is it.

Thank you Surf for a delish dinner in a room full of bright, inspiring women. Receiving your white dress was an honour.

Love, love

Leigh