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Review: My Burberry eau de parfum

30 Sep

Burberry fans, prick up your ears – the brand’s just launched a new fragrance called My Burberry, a fresh-smelling floral.

my burberry fragrance bottle

My Burberry eau de parfum

The packaging was inspired by the iconic Burberry trench coat so you’ll notice that the cap looks a lot like one of the buttons and the little bow around the neck is knotted the same way you’d tie your trench’s belt. In fact, it’s even made from the same fabric.

As far as the actual juice goes, that smells like a trench too, one that’s just been taken out of the wash after a good spin cycle with… Kidding! (Do you think the PRs heart skipped a beat for a second there?) My Burberry is actually a lush, white-ish floral that’s supposed to capture the scent of an English garden just after the rain, the kind of weather in which you’d wear your trench. (Although between you and me, England’s weather is so bloody horrendous I’ve ended up wearing a trench on Bournemouth beach in June.)

Notes-wise, you’re looking at a floral mix that includes bergamot, mandarin orange and geranium leaves for freshness with a ‘wet’ rose and freesia heart resting on bed of pachouli leaves and quince.

On my skin, I love the initially citrusy top notes. This soon gives way to the rose and then a slight mustiness comes in which I think is the way the perfumer’s trying to express the wetness, clouds and soil that where part of his inspiration. I’m not a big fan of any of that, but as it turns out, it doesn’t last long. In a way, it kind of mimics a typically moody English ‘summer’s day’ in that those particular notes are merely clouds that cross the sun and things soon clear up to become a light, easy-to-wear, day-time floral – but the sophisticated  kind that Jo Malone serves up. Trust me when I say that My Burberry is certainly not a Woolworthsy floral body spritzer kind of scent. When I sniff it, I think of words like ‘elegant’, ‘demure’, ‘professional’ and ‘expensive’.

my burberry edt

Anyone care for a cuppa? (English Breakfast, of course…)

As far as who’d end up wearing this goes, I do think My Burberry’s the kind of scent that would suit women of all ages, provided they really are ‘women’ and not girls. For example, someone in their late twenties could pull this off just as easily as someone in their 50s and Burberry’s ad campaign taps into that by featuring both Ms Moss and le new wundermodel Cara. It’s at this point that I’d like to request a moment of silence for my sad passing into middle age in that I’ve realised I totally identify more with the ‘older’ face and opposed to the young one. Can I get a hands up from anyone else who felt a similar pang when Jerry Hall’s daughter became the new face of Mugler’s Angel and they were all like ‘OMG, it felt like just the other day I was staring at Jerry’s ad on the back page of Cosmo…’?

Anyway, getting back to Burberry… if you like gentle, unassuming florals with a particular bias towards rose, you’re going to want to give My Burberry a sniff. And luckily for you it’s on shelves as I type and priced from R700 for 30mls.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: My twisty-turny happy ending love affair with Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste

29 Sep

So let’s talk about toothpaste! (And please stay with me people – it gets pretty interesting, I promise.)

I was asked by Oral-B to trial their new Pro-Expert fluoride toothpaste (R35). It promises to protect your gums as well as your teeth and enamel against cavities, sensitivity, plaque and tartar. It also claims it’ll help whiten and freshen your breath.

Initially, I wasn’t especially excited about it. I mean, hey – the Aquafresh High Definition White I’ve been using costs almost half the price and promises to do much the same, right? Well, as it turns out, Oral-B is a little different in that it uses a stabilised form of fluoride – stannous fluoride – to work its magic. But more on that in a bit…

Each week Oral-B would check in to ask me questions. Did my teeth look whiter? Did they feel a bit let sensitive? Did my mouth feel cleaner? This was kind of awkward because I bleach the shizzle out of my teeth every few days or so with a Crest whitening strip and using their toothpaste never made me feel like I wanted to forgo that. Also, while my mouth did feel clean, it never felt any more so than I’d experience with any other brand. And I never really struggle with tooth sensitivity so ‘judging’ it’s efficacy was getting kind of awkward. On top of this, I didn’t have any way to measure if my teeth were any ‘stronger’. I mean, it’s not like I have a bone density scanner hanging out next to my toaster, you know?

FYI, it's got a mild minty taste (hence being called 'Mild Mint') and contains little microgranules that dissolve as you brush.

FYI, it’s got a mild minty taste (hence being called ‘Mild Mint’) and contains little microgranules that dissolve as you brush.

Anyway, I was later flown up to Jozi for the launch where I got to learn more about the toothpaste but nothing I learned realllly sold me on it and I left feeling a little nervy about what I was going to write. That is until I popped into a dodgy Jamaican-themed bar in Woodstock and ran into my friend Leah who’s neighbour, Yvonne, is one of Cape Town’s coolest dentist.

Leah: ‘Ask Yvonne about that toothpaste!’
Me: ‘Nooo, I’m sure she doesn’t want to talk about work shizz.
Leah: ‘Yvonne! Yyyyvonnnnne! Leigh’s testing this new Oral-B toothpaste. Have you heard about it?’

I totally expected Yvonne’s eyes to glaze over but instead they lit up. ‘Pro-Expert? Yes, that’s actually a very good one…’

She then went on to explain the following which I’ve paraphrased for your dental hygiene reading pleasure:

There are two types of fluoride – amine fluoride and stannous fluoride. Nobody used the stannous type because, while it was good for teeth, it had a habit of turning them black or brown. Nasty stuff. However, Oral-B has found a way to stabilise it so now you can get all the good and none of the bad.

Me: Oh! So, do all the other toothpastes on the shelf use the amine type? And if amine is working, why bother with stannous?

Yvonne: Nope. Just about every other toothpaste you’re using is shit. It’s basically soap for teeth so it cleanses but then all the good stuff washes off and none of it clings to your teeth to protect them. This is why I use Elmex as it uses amine fluoride.

It was at this point where I wondered aloud why everybody else wasn’t using Elmex but it turns out its super hard to find in South Africa so Yvonne ends up importing her ‘cos she takes brushing her teeth as serious as a bloody heart attack.

Me: Okay. So what you’re saying is that the new Oral-B is actually a bit of a dental marvel and kind of like chalk and cheese when you compare it to other brands?

Yvonne: Yep.

And that was that. I’ll now be tossing Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste into my trolley with a smile on my dial, price point be damned.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: L’Oreal Nutri Lift Gold Anti-Ageing Serum foundation review

25 Sep

Let’s call a spade a spade – most drugstore foundations are a ball of crap. I mean, sure, you get your exceptions, Bourjois Healthy Mix being one of them, but for the most part they’re not especially awesome, which is why I’m surprised and thrilled to discover L’Oreal’s NutriLift Gold (R199,95).

The colour I'm using is called Creamy Beige.

The shade I’m using is called Creamy Beige.

So, why do I like it so much? For one, it’s got a lovely ‘creamy’ texture that makes it super easy to spread and the coverage is great but without being crazy heavy. I also love that it’s slightly illuminating thanks to real gold particles but not shiny or glittery in the least. If anything, it’s dewy and flattering, but doesn’t encourage oilies and sits tight – no sliding off or rubbing off on your boy toy’s T-shirt. In a way, it reminds me a bit of another now discontinued L’Oreal foundation called Translucide. That was also illuminating but served up  surprisingly good coverage.

As far as the anti-ageing bit goes, L’Oreal’s packed several actives into the formula including pro-retinol (a very weak form of collagen-boosting retinol), hyaluronic acid (a great hydrator) and collagen-boosting, antioxidant, skin tone-evening vitamin C.

Personally, I wouldn’t get too excited about the anti-ageing aspect – the ingredients aren’t in a concentration that’s going to have a visible effect on your skin – but as far as great foundations go, this one’s a serious goodie.

Love, love

Leigh

Who wants my super easy, banting-friendly spicy kale chips recipe?

23 Sep

If you’re currently banting in a desperate bid to not look kak in a bikini, you might’ve come across kale chips. I’ve found them at Wellness Warehouse and love them to bits but totally hate the price. (Around R60 for a teensy little bag that I’d klap before even getting back to my suburb, let alone home.)

So, when I discovered that the Fruit & Veg City in town (the one just off Roeland street) is selling fresh kale for R10 a bunch (oh yeah!) I snapped up a bunch of it and set about making my own. See my recipe below and thank me later.

Spicy peanut butter kale chips

Kale chips

They taste great. Much better than they look. Promise.

Ingredients

Fresh, washed kale, stems removed

2 heaped Tbs peanut butter
2 Tbs olive oil
A massive shake of paprika
A small shake of salt
1 tsp minced garlic (garlic powder will do in a pinch)

Method

Mix up your sauce ingredients in a bowl and massage it into your kale leaves to lightly coat them. Slap ‘em on a baking tray (I didn’t bother to grease mine and they came off easy) and pop in the oven on 180 degrees for around 7 to 8 minutes.

Et voila! Yummilcious Atkins/banting-friendly kale chips in a veritable flash. Enjoy girls!

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Smashbox Photo Pore Minimizing foundation primer

21 Sep

Smashbox’s new Photo Finish Pore Minimizing foundation primer is the best they’ve made yet. Well, at least if you’re an oily-skinned peep like me. So many of their other primers, even the one aimed at oily skin, mattify and minimise pores beautifully in the beginning, but then somehow end up aggravating or highlighting greasy patches as the day wears on. This one, as it’s incredibly sheer (yet blurs like a bomb) doesn’t. I can even reapply it as the day goes on without ending up with a face that feels like an oil-slick.

Latest beauty10

It has a slight beige tint but if you’re dark skinned, don’t freak out. It’s totally translucent when you spread it.

For the record, I like to apply it on top of my foundation. That way, you get the best ‘blur’ as you’re not wiping it’s magic away with your foundation sponge.

Prior to this, the only other primer/pore-perfector product I’d used and liked was Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector (R250 for 15ml). As Smashbox’ is R395 for 30ml, effectively cheaper when you’re considering R/ml, it’s now my new primer of choice. If you’ve yet to find a perfect primer to love yourself, I suggest you slap it on next time you hit up one of the larger Woolworths stores and let me know what you think.

Love, love

Leigh

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