I got my lips plumped up with Restylane, a temporary dermal filler, via Dr. Mignon Laub at Just Skin Aesthetic Clinic and she’s the shizzle’s nizzle

So how’s that for a ridiculously long and clunky heading? Still, SEO is a total thing, okay?

Now let’s talk about lips!

Sometimes mine are full and sometimes they’re, well, not as full. This is because I’ve been plumping them up on and off over the past few years using Restylane, a temporary filler.

It’s not really a shocker revelation or anything as I’m pretty open about it. Also, because I work in the beauty industry – constantly meeting aesthetic derms and docs, watching their live demos – I guess you get kind of blasé about it.

Get half head highlights. Grab milk. Abuse free mani offer. Return unflattering top to Woolies. Plump up pout…

One thing I’m not relaxed about, however, is who I’ll go to. As most of my fellow beauty eds and many bloggers use dermal fillers too (although they won’t tell you) I get to see a lot of work and it’s not always good. You see, if you’re talking Botox, it’s such a simple thing – jab, jab, you’re done, see you in three months – you don’t really have to see a magician of a doc to get the desired result. Lips, however, are a blerrie art. Seriously. Think about how many times you’ve seen a celebrity with a messed up mouth? This is the annoying thing with aesthetic procedures. You only ever see the bad work, so it gets a bad name while the good doc’s work goes unnoticed. And by good doc, I mean the one who can do the least to help you look like the best version of yourself.

Still, if you know what you’re looking for, you can spot good work and it’s this that led me to Mignon Laub.

Adore you, Dr. Laub! (And those are her natural lips by the way. Everyone asks.)

Adore you, Dr. Laub! (And those are her natural lips by the way. Everyone asks.)

So many times I’d see a lip line I loved and her name would pop up and I’d just file it away in my brain. Eventually, when it was time to get a fill, I thought I’d give her a bash and was so thrilled with the results I’ve gone back to her for a second time and actually pay for it, despite getting offers for free filler tossed at me like confetti at a wedding.

So, before I share some before and after shots (‘cos I’m a giver!) let’s get a few FAQ questions out the way.

1. Does it hurt?
Nope. Dr. Laub slaps on a super sterk numbing cream so you can scroll through your Instagram feed while it kicks in and then when it’s needle time you literally don’t feel a prick.

2. How long does it last?
Six to nine months. I’m always convinced I can still see the teensiest bit of a difference at the nine month mark but by six or seven your lips have definitely lost some of their ‘drama’.

3. What if I hate it?
Then remove it! Another injectable called Hyaluronidase can dissolve your temporary filler in a flash so you’re never stuck with anything. Celebs with badly misshapen mouths are those who opted for permanent implants back in the olden days when we used dial-up telephones (‘memba those?) and lived for M-Net’s Open Time. Also, for the record, you don’t leave the doctor’s office and get a nasty surprise later on. The look she creates is the one you leave with, unless of course you go home and sleep on your face and squish everything around while it ‘sets’, if that makes sense.

4. Will it destroy me financially?
If you see Mignon, a subtle fill will set you back half a tube of filler and that’s R1 800. I go for the full Monty ‘cos I’m an extravagant sort and that’s R3 200. If you shop around you’ll know this is a very good price.

5. Do I have to hide away afterwards?
Not really. But it depends. A doc, regardless of their skills, can always hit a vein and if they do you’ll have bruise but this can be hidden with lippie and concealer. Also, there are certain things you should avoid before a treatment – alcohol, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc – to prevent/minimise post-fill swelling. The first time I saw Mignon I totally behaved. Thus, I got to run off to a dinner party straight after my fill and my friends didn’t even notice I’d gotten a plump until I pointed it out. (Bastards!) The last time, however, I’d drunk ten litres of launch bubbles and slammed a fistful of hangover-smashing pain killers into my face the day before. Then, afterwards, instead of driving away like a good girl with the Juvederm branded ice pack on my mouth I threw it onto the back seat of my car and headed off to Simply Asia to eat a tom yum soup as hot as lava. (Me to waiter: ‘Thai style, please! I want, like, blood to rain out of my eyes while I’m eating it. I’m serious! I’m only happy when it makes me cry…)

The difference between my first plump and the second was pretty marked in that I totally swelled up Kylie Jenner-style! I was actually going to slap up a pic to show you but my blogger bestie Karisa gave me a fat lecture saying potential husbands might google my name, see it, freak out and then, when I end up dying all alone in a garret wearing Green Cross health shoes with ten thousand hamsters (‘cos they’re the only sad ass pet you can have when you live in a bloody garret) I’d have ‘brought it on myself’. So ja. No piccie of that, but between you and me and I quite enjoyed the look, mostly ‘cos it only lasted less than a day and provided me with an endless string of mega-pout selfies with which to terrify my family and friends. (Me: ‘So do you think it’s too much?’ Girl friends: ‘OMG! OMG! OMG! What have you done?!’ Gay friend: ‘LOVE IT!’ Boy cousin: ‘Oh, did you change your hair?’ Little sister: ‘Bleh. You’re still old and gross and nobody’s going to love you’.)

Anyway, let’s get back to lovely Dr. Laub. The fact that she’s a switched on young woman who totally gets other young women is fabulous but, in short, I love her work and like to compare her to a great hair dresser in that she listens. She won’t just slap on her idea of a great lip line – she listens to what you want and works slowly, bit by bit, showing you what she’s doing all the way so you can go ‘a little more here’ or ‘ah, that’s just right’. I also love that she totally gets my hatred for ‘the worm’. You know when you see that little ridge running along the top of someone’s lip line? Where it looks like there’s a little worm running under their skin? I call that the worm. For me it’s a total tell-tale sign someone’s hit the pump stations and I hate that. While I’ll happily tell anyone who asks* that I’ve totally hit up the needles, I still don’t want to look it, if that makes sense.

Ready for some piccies?

Before and after. You'll see the effect is noticeable but not over the top.

Before and after. You’ll see the effect is noticeable but not over the top.

And here I am free wheeling home post-treatment. The only tell tale sign of what I’ve done (prior to a brief period of swelling that was all my fault) is the teensiest needle mark that I could totally cover with lippie.

Hoezit!

Where’ve I been? Oh, you know. Just shopping. And stuff…

..

See?

See? That ‘bruise’ is hardly worth mentioning.

If you’ve been thinking about plumping up your pout, be it a little or a lot, and are terrified about who to see please know that she gets my two thumbs up. To make an appointment give Just Skin Aesthetic Clinic in Green Point a ring. They’re one of the clinics I’ve trusted for years and all the chicas that work there are divine. Also, please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S.

*For the record, this is something Karisa tells me this is something I must become more ‘discerning’ about as I’m ruining my life with convos that run a lot like this…

Mooi 25-year old boytjie: Hey girl, .
Me: Oh hello there, young man. While I appreciate your interest, please know that I am super duper olllld. Do you remember The Thundercats? I bet you don’t! I could tooootallly be your mom…’
Karisa: *Kick! Kick! Kick!*
Mooi boy: No ways! You’re still in your 20s right? Not older than 30, surely?
Me: Oh bless you, child! Sadly, I am closer to forty! There is sooo much plastic in my face right now…
Karisa: *Digs nails into my palm while flashing crazy eyes*
Mooi boy: You’re just messing with me, right?
Me: HUSH! The grown ups are talking. Run along now! Go play with your friends…

Spoiler alert for my Best of the new Essence bunch: The Camouflage Concealer is just as kifftastical as Catrice’s

Remember when I got sent that wallop of Catrice goodies the other day? Well Essence items arrived too (they’re sister brands, but you already knew that, right) and I’d like to show of the best of that bunch. Usually it’s Catrice items that impress me the most as Essence, despite being prettily packaged, is of a lesser quality bit hoooo boy, have the tables turned. (Also, did I just say ‘hoooo boy’?! Can we get a cringe burger over here, please?

Oh! God, that’s soooo much worse! WHY AM I STILL TYPING? Can we just get the hook over here and drag her away or maybe just get stuck in starting with the new ‘All About…’ eye shadow palettes (R76,95). There are 6 available (Bronze, Nudes, Roses, Greys and Vintage) and each serves up eight different shades that range from matte to metallic.

Yep, that's less than R10 a shadow!

Here we’ve got Greys and Nudes in case you couldn’t tell. And yep, they work out to less than R10 a shadow!

..

Essence All About Shadow... Nudes

This is the Nudes palette. Can tell I couldn’t help myself and got swatchy before shooting it?

As far as quality goes, it’s surprisingly good, even better than Catrice’s (yep, I said it! Come get me shadow freaks), in that each shade is buttery soft, glides on in a stoke and the pigmentation levels are good so you only need to swipe once for it to show up.

Another plus is that the shades themselves are a definitely a bit more varied than Catrice’s but still not as different from each other as I’d like. (A while back Catrice created a rose palette or something like that where, aside from two dark shades, all the other lighter shades might as well have been the same colour. Utterly bleh.)

Essence All About Nudes eye shadow palette swatches

Essence All About Nudes eye shadow palette swatches. (Clicking on this pic will enlarge it and improve the quality.)

In short, Essence’s new All About palettes are hardly going to make you stop craving Urban Decay but, when it comes to optimum bang for your buck, they’re the shizzles nizzle.

Moving on, let’s talk nails! I was seriously surprised by Essence’s Studio Nails Triple Care base and top coat (R34,95). It does what it says on the tin and at a snip of the price of other polishes.

For something so inexpensive, it works like a bomb.

Sure, it ain’t no Seche Vite, but for something so inexpensive, it works like a bomb. Try it!

Of all the nail colours I was given, I’ve most enjoyed wearing this blue-grey shade called Rock My World. At just R24,95 it’s a blerrie steal, not to mention a real one coat wonder (but two will always look best). As for the ‘it’s “gel” but no lamp is required’ claim, we all know that’s a bunch of kak so let’s not even go there and just appreciate the fact that you can get a good quality polish that actually lasts (provided you use a top coat like the aforementioned) for five rand less than a KFC Colonel burger, okay? Oh! And in case you’re wondering where my ‘on nails shot’ is, know its living out it’s days in the deleted image grave yard in the sky ‘cos I’m the moron who’s yet to learn that I really shouldn’t be operating a smart phone post-wine festival. Apologies!

From left to right:

From left to right: Essence I Heart Trends nail polish in Ice to Meet You, The Gel nail polish in Rock My World and No Make-Up Look nail polish.

Now see that ultra-fine glitter-infused white shade on the left?  While it’s not exactly a dupe for Essie’s Private Weekend you should know it’s still a lustable, super trendy white that makes me think of donut frosting and garner’s a lot of compliments. Again, the ‘on fingers’ shot is frolicking in heaven with Rock My World.

Then there’s Essence’s No Make-Up Look polish. I’d love to show you what this looks like on my finger tips but they’re currently stained to hell (a long story involving a weekend away with Essie’s Twin Sweater Set and no base coat) but it’s honestly the prettiest, most flattering powder-finish nude I’ve seen in ages. If you’re a baby’s breath pink kind of person, trust me, you’re going to want it.

As far as lips go, Essence has whipped out a sheer, fruity-smelling liquid lipstick (R47,95) that’s packaged a lot like Dior’s Addict Fluid Stick but not nearly as pigmented as well as another of their adorable clutch-size mini lipgloss sets (R57,95) but the real star here is their Mini Sheer lip balm (R38,95).

Essence

The mini lipgloss set is called We Rock the World and the liquid lipstick shade pictured is Show Off!

A retractable pen, the sweet-smelling and tasting balm glides on like a boss but has decent staying power, especially since it leaves a li’l stain in its wake – enough that you could use it on your cheeks too!

Love this!

Love this!

Naturally it’s the kind of product where you’ll want to know how it compares to Clinique’s Chubby Stick and in this case I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference between the two if it weren’t for the fact that Essence’s is scented, which I really don’t mind. I really wish it came in more than four shades as I’d happily buy them.

Last but not least, I’ve saved the best for last! We all know I’m obsessed with Catrice’s Camouflage Cream concealer (R52.95). I snap it up in bulk and keep a pot in every handbag I own so, when Essence’s version (R47,95) came along, I immediately wondered if it would be the same formula but it turns out their ingredients list aren’t the same.

This pic makes the concealers look super duper pale but they're not. My arm's just crazy tanned right now thanks to Tan Lab's self-tan in Dark. (My best!)

This pic makes the concealers look super-duper pale but they’re not. My arm’s just crazy tanned right now thanks to Tan Lab’s self-tan in Dark. (My best!)

When I use it, however, I can tell that Catrice’s concealer is possible a teensy bit more opaque than Essence’s but they’re both fantastic if you’re looking for medium to high coverage to hide under eye circles and the odd spot like a boss. I can totally see this li’l duo becoming a real best seller for the brand. The only downer here is that it’s currently only available in one shade duo (10 Natural Beige) but here’s hoping its expectant popularity spurs on the creation of more colours.

Love, love

Leigh

 

Red Square’s Fragrance Sampler & Certificate boxes are the best Valentine’s Day gifting idea I’ve seen so far (and I’ve seen a lot. My eyes are bleeding, yo!)

Working in media really makes you dread certain holidays. There are certain months where you wake up and have to kind of brace yourself, knowing a flurry of related press releases are about to rain down on you in an endless stream with every brand desperately linking themselves to it by tenuous measures.

An example? It’s Mother’s Day! Amazing Washing Powder does all the hard work for you so mom can take a break! Oh! And now it’s Christmas? See the new candy cane motif on our limited edition Amazing Washing Powder packs? It was created by some local designer you’ve never heard of and we know your readers are going to love it! Easter?! Did you know Amazing Washing Powder can lift a chocolate stain out of anything?!

And on and on it goes…

This is why I’ve now become a total grinch regarding every holiday on the calendar but reserve a special kind of hatred for Valentine’s Day (Amazing Washing Powder will ensure the red doesn’t run from your hot date night dress!) as it truly hammers home the fact that I’m old and nobody loves me aside from my parents and friends who don’t blerrie count. Also, Valentine’s Day gift idea press releases would make anyone want to kill themselves. Seriously. According to the PR peeps I’ve dealt with just this week alone your V-Day sweetheart most definitely wants you to up their life insurance, gift them with a crate full of vitamins (‘cos nothing says I love you like good health) and buy them Every Item in the World provided it’s in garish Bozo the clown nose red.

Nooooo! Make it stoppppp!

Nooooo! Make it stoppppp!

So, can you imagine my surprise when a Valentine’s Day press drop arrived containing something I was actually delighted to receive? Something that, upon opening, totally made my day? Thus, I give unto thee Red Square’s new Fragrance Sampler and Certificate box for her (R990).

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

The kit contains 13 samples of popular fragrances, a booklet with information on each one and a fragrance voucher that you can exchange for a full-size version of your favourite scent. There’s also a shopping voucher in the kit that gives you a choice of three discounts when you spend a certain amount on anything else in the store.

The fragrance samples in the kit are as follows: Calvin Klein Euphoria, Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Rose, DKNY MYNY, Giorgio Armani Si Intense, Hugo Boss Boss Jour, Lacoste eau de Lacoste Femme, Lancome La Vie Est Belle, Narciso Rodriguez for her, Paco Rabanne Olympea, Roberto Cavalli Paradiso and YSL Black Opium.

Decisions, decisions!

Decisions, decisions!

You can’t tell me there isn’t something on that list you’d love to add to your dressing table. Personally, I’m a huge Narciso fan but as I already own the scent, among two others on the list, so now I’m torn between Hugo Boss Boss Jour (light and fresh, perfect for day) and Roberto Cavalli Paradiso (a sexy night time jasmine).

While Red Square’s fragrance kits are definitely sitting up at the top of the list of my gifting picks for Valentine’s Day, I reckon they’d go down a treat on any occasion and I love the fact that you’ve got until 31 October to redeem the voucher. They’ve also got a ‘for him’ box that I know most men would appreciate.

Ja, dad! Who's your favourite daughter now?

Ja, dad! Who’s your favourite daughter now?

Wile the voucher gives up until end of October to redeem it, the kits themselves are going to sell out fast so if you want one, best you bust a move.

Love, love

Leigh

Hou jy van my mooi sakkie? Buy a ghd V max styler and it’s yours too!

Right! Did your moron, non-hint getting boyfriend not buy you a ghd styler for Christmas? Now’s a good time to work the angle for V-Day (‘cos nothing says I love you like good hair) or just pull on your big girl panties and snap one up yourself – a gold V max in particular. Hoekom?

If you buy your styler from a salon before the end of March you’ll get a free limited edition ghd weekend bag and it’s flipping fabulous! So often gift bags are completely vile, the kind of thing you throw in the backseat of your car the moment you leave the store and then forget about or pass on to a style-devoid family member. This one, however, is a total gem.

Doesn't it just give you serious Cotton On/Trenery vibes?

Doesn’t it just give you serious Cotton On/Trenery vibes?

Also, do you see that long, sexy arm in the piccie? That’s not mine. It belongs to my soon-to-be flat mate Gaylene AKA as Gaylord. Gay is my little sister’s bestie so I’ve known her forever, my folks consider her a second daughter and she’s a flippin’ peach of a human being. We’ll be moving into a mooi little spot in Claremont/Rondebosch the moment my blerrie ADSL line kicks in and you’ll be hearing more about her soon as I’m looking forward to making her a cosmetic test monkey. I also can’t wait to send my sister (who lives in France) a flurry of jealously-inducing What’s App piccies of Gay and I having a jol in face masks with captions like ‘Last night we got sooo drunk and Gay said I’m now the best friend she’s ever had.’ And ‘Gay says she feels like she and I are sisters and she can’t remember what your face looks like anymore’.

Anyway, getting back to the bag. Like I said, if you were holding back on buying a ghd know that getting one now gives you a bit more bang/bag for your buck.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil

I get sent what feels like a zillion products and most of them are utterly meh but, as you know, I try and focus on the gems. Life’s too short to waste time telling people about pooh. I want you to know about the goodies and Arden’s new Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil is one of them. In fact, that’s a real understatement – this stuff is liquid gold!

I love that it arrived with a Dear Deer pillow slip. I now own three and can never have enough. They're The Best!

I love that it arrived with a Dear Deer pillow slip. I now own three and can never have enough. They’re The Best pillow protectors in town and have been a Godsend considering my white linen/self-tan addiction.

A mix of antioxidant and omega-rich oils like apricot, safflower and olive, it whips off even the toughest make-up with all the power of blerrie paint stripper but treats your skin with the utmost of TLC.

Using it is easy peasy. Simply rub it into your face while your skin is dry (or dryish) then add a splash of water to emulsify it so it turns into a milk. It then rinses away cleanly and leaves your skin with ZERO oily residue. As a combination skinned kind of girl, emerging from my shower with skin that feels perfectly clean and supple but without the teensiest hint of oil (but not stripped to shizz either) is super important to me and Arden’s cleanser really gets it right.

At R495 it’s not the most wallet-friendly cleanser on the block but you really need very little so I see the large pump bottle (a good 195ml) lasting for ages. Also, due to it’s fabulously luxurious-feeling quality and wondrous efficacy I see it as a very worthwhile splurge.

Love, love

Leigh

Beauty bits and pieces: Claire’s macaroon sponges, Essie’s Peach Side Babe collection and a shower gel foursome from Sh’zen

Right, are you mense ready to roll?

If you follow me on Instagram (I’m @lipglossgirlx0x0) you’ll have spotted these adorable macaroon-shaped sponges from Claires. At R123 they aren’t the cheapest money can buy but they are the cutest. It took me ages to get to the point where I could bring myself to use them and I can report back that, while they feel super soft, you’ll only get the most joy out of using them after you’ve pretty much completely saturated them with foundation, thus destroying their gorgeousness. Boo!

My pretty sponges back in their glory days.

My pretty sponges back in their glory days.

Other things you should know about? Essie’s new seaside-inspired summer nail colour collection, Peach Side Babe, hit the shelves a little while back.

There's one more blue in this collection but for the life of me I can't find it.

There’s one more blue in this collection, a darker one, but for the life of me I can’t find it.

Of all the hues, the real stand out for me is Sunset Sneaks, an eye-catching creme-textured coral.

Gorgeous, right?

Gorgeous, right?

You only need two coats to get it going and boom, you’re summer sandal-ready. I was going to have a long summer fling with this little darling but cleverly dropped it on tiled-flooring and watched it shatter and splatter pretty much every inch of my apartment with its prettiness. The mooiest ‘murder scene’ you ever did see. Arrrgh!

Fortunately there are other Peach Side Babe collection shades I like and that’s Chillato, Peach Side Babe itself and Private Weekend.

From left to right: Chillato, Peach Side Babe, Private Weekend and Peach Side Babe once more.

From left to right: Chillato, Peach Side Babe, Private Weekend and Peach Side Babe once more.

I usually don’t like white nail polish but Private Weekend is a white creme with a shimmer to it that looks pretty obvious in the bottle, but is completely invisible on your fingertips. It’s almost another lekker ‘two-coater’ but I’ve found three is definitely best. Perhaps it’s due to its barely there glimmer but it somehow manages to look fresh, expensive and dare I say it, gel-like, instead of giving the impression you’d painted your nails using Tippex.

Last but not least, let’s talk Sh’Zen. As a side note, you should know I’m still obsessed with the brand’s hideous-looking skin stimulator sponge, the scrubbiest you’ll ever endure, as it whips off old self-tan like a boss. However, I’ve always liked their body products as they’re some of the mooiest-smelling around and was reminded of the fact quite recently after being given their Shower Bliss Collection (R378).

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

The line up’s Destress Cleansing Gel with melissa and rose geranium smells exactly like Iced Zoo biscuits making it my absolute favourite of the lot. It makes for a good bubble bath as well as a shower gel and is just the kind of thing I like to soak in before I hit the sack. The Pamplemousse cleansing gel with honey and green tea is also magnificent – a soft, pink grapefruity delight that’s perfect to perk you up in the morning.

Aside from the shower gel, Sh’Zen also gave me their Cellular Boost for neck & bust with pamplemousse and marula oils (R199). Again, it’s got that addictive grapefruit scent!

Love this!

Love this!

While it claims to ‘firm your breasts’ I can’t spot any actives in here to back that up aside from great hydrators (these include Shea butter, glycerin and African palm, sesame and marula oils) plus ‘lymph stimulating’ grapefruit oil. Thus, I’ve been using it as a very indulgent hand and body cream that sees me not being able to stop sniffing my arm. If Sh’Zen ever turns this scent into a long-lasting fragrance I’ll be first in line to snap it up.

Love, love

Leigh

Surprise! My friend’s been hiding a secret blog from me and it’s not a pile of shit!

Maybe I’m just a bad person but, as a writer, there’s nothing I dread more than people, who upon hearing what you do, go ‘OMG! I write too! Please can’t I send you a bunch of my poems/the first draught of my novel/brand new blog?’ (I can tell you right now, anyone who also writes for a living is nodding there head at this point.)

Nine times out of ten it’s usually a serious pile of crap and then I’m left with the major awkies of finding a nice way to say it, often even having to express that yes, I’d happily help you edit something, but then I’d charge you five hundred bucks an hour.

Anyway, with that in mind, I want you to understand my excitement at having a friend show me her fledgeling personal blog the other day, something she’d been hiding away from me for all the reasons above, only to discover that it’s bloody fantastic. So much so that I really do have to share it with you. Thus, I give unto thee, Tamtrumsblog.wordpress.com. A fantastically honest, wittily written mommy blog whipped up by my wonderful friend Tam who’ll have you snort-laughing out loud.

Tam, Isla and Rupe.

Tam, Rupe and li’l Isla who’s almost cute enough to justify nine months without booze and pills.

So far, one of my favourite post’s has got to be this one.

When I was younger and didn’t know the difference between Thoughts it’s Okay to Say Out Loud and Inside Voice, I used to say I was the kind of woman who should never have kids as they’d drown in a pool while I was drinking margaritas. Or possibly bake to a crisp in a hot car outside a Sorbet nail salon. To an extent, Tam and I used to share the same mindset but since she popped out little Isla I’ve realised she was talking a whole bunch of shit as she’s a fucking incredible parent, despite sometimes telling you otherwise. What hasn’t changed a bit, however, is her hilariously dark sense of humour that I love, love, love.

If you’re in the mood for a good giggle, mommy or not, and appreciate a slightly devil may care approach to raising humans be sure to check out her blog.

Love, love

Leigh