Hands up! Who wants to win a trip to Brazil to meet Ian Somerholder, Azzaro Pour Homme’s new face?

14 Apr

In case you haven’t heard, Azzaro Pour Homme has a celeb spokesmodel in the form of The Vampire Diary’s Ian Somerhalder.

Smells good to me!

Ian being mooi for Azzaro.

..

Don’t know about you, but if some hot person got up on my table and smashed up all my glassware I’d march them out my house by the ear and send them a bill. Ian, however, is clearly a nicer person than I am.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the scent, Azzaro Pour Homme (R575 for 50ml) is a ‘woody aromatic fern’ fragrance that first hit the shelves in ’78. It’s been reformulated since then to ensure its still current but retains it’s ‘light, depth and sensuality’. Notes-wise, there are actually too many to mention – a whopping 19!

To my nose, however, I get spices, ‘freshness’ and leather that makes me think of words like ‘classic’, ‘expensive’, ‘mature’ and ‘suave’. The image it builds in my mind is that of an older, sophisticated ‘Mediterranean’ man in a suit. And yes, it is pretty sexy. (But if you step on my martini glass, you’re outta here.)

To celebrate the new campaign, Azzaro asks that you take a piccie of your most seductive expression and slap it up on Instagram with the hashtag #AzzaroSelfie. The winning snap will be chosen by Meneer Somerhalder himself and the prize includes a trip for two to a private party in Sao Paulo hosted by the actor on May the 13th.

I was sent me a press pack last week that included two ‘tools of seduction’; whiskey and a cigar to help me get my Somerhalder-worthy smoulder on.

Dankie Azzaro!

Ag dankie man, Azzaro!

As luck would have it, I actually happen to have a decent whiskey/cigar money shot on hand, taken at a press event sometime last month. 

What do you think girls? Would Ian approve? Would he let me steek my stilettos in his dining room table?

What do you think girls? Would Ian approve? Would he let me steek my stilettos in his dining room table?

Alas, I’ve just realised that this is the very last day that you can enter the competition. (The press release arrived a few days before I went on leave). Still, you’ll have a good chance of beating out any SA competitors as I see I’m the only local blog to write about this thus far, so best you get snapping girls!

Love, love

Leigh

So I was interviewed on blogging by Cirque Magazine

11 Apr

Heard of Cirque Magazine? For those out the loop, Cirque is a high fashion monthly digital mag that focuses on designer wear and luxury living.

Cirque Magazine's April 2014 edition

Cirque Magazine’s April 2014 edition

I was very flattered when they asked to interview me as a ‘top blogger’ for a story on ‘the rise of the blogger’ and the blogging biz in general. Still, a few of their questions made me a bit nervy as their angle was a little ‘digital VS print’ and that’s a tricky subject for me as I work in both mediums. So, I’d just like to make it clear that while a lot of opinions are tossed around in the article, the only ones I’m willing to ‘attach’  myself to are my own.

Also, I was asked (via e-mail) if I felt it was possible to make a living from a blog and said that it was via selling ads and advertorials. I didn’t mean to imply that I was doing that myself. I pay my bills via working as a freelance writer for various mags and online publications and have zero intention of turning my blog, which is my passion, into a ‘job’. Still, I do think that once advertisers realise blogs aren’t a dumping ground for all their crappy press releases and stop viewing them as a platform for ‘free press’ it might become a different story. But we’re not really there yet, alas.

Anyway, to view Cirque’s April issue get clicky clicky over here. The entire mag downloads as a PDF and the blogger story starts on page 117.  Alternatively, you can view the mag on your iPad via the iPad Newstand from the Apple App Store. Simply visit the App Store on your iPad, search for ‘Cirque Magazine’, install the app and enjoy.

Love, love

Leigh

The low down on the Mambo’s Plastics Warehouse party in Green Point (plus an awkwardly long postscript about Taste of Cape Town)

9 Apr

Last week I popped into a party at Mambo’s Plastics Warehouse hosted by local PR co The Little Black Book. For those of you who don’t know it, Mambo’s is a giant ‘plastics warehouse’ in Green Point in the space where Baby City used to be. They stock pretty much anything made from plastic and then some, be it homeware, kiddies toys and every kind of storage container under the sun.

Kitchen

I came very close to buying that plunger.

..

Can we agree that

Can we agree that Lalaloopsy Ponies are fucking terrifying?

..

dfgd

Leave those Consol Solar Jars in the sun and then they act as lamps via a bulb set into the lid.

Upon arrival, guests were treated to shopping vouchers, Paul Rene bubbly and Pravda vodka cocktails on tap. The canapés, however, stole the show. Think melt in your mouth beef bites with truffle Hollandaise sauce!

There were also loads of sweets floating about. Yum!

There were also loads of sweets floating about. Yum!

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who likes a li’l plastic; I ran into eTV’s Tanya Nefdt in what I can only assume is the Random Cleaning Shizz aisle as that’s where I found my plastic drain plunger (sexy!) and she her animal print dustpan (only slightly less embarrassing).

Love you Tanya!

Life in plastic… is fantastic…

After perusing the shelves, Ina, my friend who was down from Germany, pointed out that I could do with large plastic bin-drawer things to store my ten million zillion beauty products and prevent my flat from looking like a Red Square beauty sale. This would’ve been a practical, clever thing to do so obviously I ended up walking out with a random mixed bag o’ shizz instead. Still, I’m very pleased with my purchases; a set of three snap-lock Tupperware-style containers (fab value at R80 for all three), a super cute Joie egg poacher and healthy potato chip maker.

Ta da!

I got a very nice ice bucket too, FYI.

While I’ve yet to master the poacher – I just can’t get the timing/temperature right – I hope to have better luck with the chip maker. Once I’m au fait with both I look forward to living on a home-nuked diet of egg and chips as opposed to wallet-crushing take-away sushi. I’ll also be able to stop lying through my teeth when I’m asked if I know how to cook by hapless men that may one day make me their bored, Audi-driving house wife. In fact, I’m already composing a Tinder by line in my head. (‘Like perfectly poached eggs? Appreciate a good non-greasy potato chip? Not likely to get bored of the same meal every frikken night of your life? Ooh baby does mama have a li’l something for you…’)

Anyway, a big thank you to Mambo’s for the plastiek fantasties as well as Marina and Jules from The Little Black Book for the invite. Ina and I both had a jol.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Paul Rene was also kind enough to gift me with two tickets to Taste of Cape Town this weekend past. The bubbly brand had a popular stall at the event, cunningly placed right next to an oyster stand.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Personally, I found the event a little too expensive this year (two scoins for a tasting glass? Eight scoins for an ostrich burger?!) and didn’t feel like there were enough restaurants involved. Still, I did managed to have fun and the day’s highlights included tasting Azure restaurant at 12 Apostles Hotel’s delicious pork belly, Camissa Brasserie at The Table Bay Hotel’s herb and macadamia nut crusted lamb chop and 8 Longridge Restaurant’s blue cheese pannacotta.

Pork belly on the left

Pork belly on the left, lamb chop and pannacotta on the right.

I also enjoyed yakking it up with theradness that is Marie and co from my beloved La Mouette who spoiled my friends and I with a splash or two of vino. How cute was their Memories of a Sweet Shop dessert tasting plate pictured below? Their winning dish, however, had to be the butternut ravioli with pickled apple, radish, butternut puree and sage brown butter.

That macaroon on the left was white chocolate-flavoured, just so you know.

The ‘sweet shop’ dish included banana fudge, cola flavoured jelly and a white white chocolate macaroon.

If you want to try the ravioli for yourself be sure to pop in and try their newly launched Autumn Tasting Menu – R295 for six courses. It features there along with a heavenly-sounding caramelized onion soup; salt baked beetroot tart with truffle mascarpone and caramelized shallot and a Chelsea bun with cremealat gorgonzola, marmalade gel, port and black pepper syrup. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Beauty reviews: Theravine cellulite oil, Arden’s correcting and highlighting perfector, Revlon ShadowLinks and Mugler’s Alien eau Extraordinaire

7 Apr

Ready to get stuck in for yet more beauty reviews en masse?

Theravine Sculpt-o-vine cellulite oil, price TBA, selected salons.

Do topical cellulite busters have any affect? I don’t know, to be honest. I’ve tried loads of them due to my job and never saw anything work in a way that was visible to the eye. Still, I continue to slap them on in hope and appreciate those that smell good and feel delish, just one being locally produced Theravine Sculpt-o-vine cellulite oil.

Theravine

Theravine Sculpt-o-vine cellulite oil.

Essentially, Theravine’s treatment consists of a blend of hydrating, antioxidant-rich oils (grapeseed, wheatgerm and ximenia seed) with natural extracts and essential oils traditionally associated with cellulite-busting. Think diuretics and detoxifyers like fennel, grapefruit and lemon peel and juniper berry and rosemary.

Like I said, I don’t know if this is undoing any dents in my ass but I’m in love with its stimulating yet comforting grapefruit scent. I like to apply it to my body after a shower in the morning in place of a body lotion. It absorbs quickly but leaves my skin looking ‘plump’ and ‘glowy’ with a subtle scent that doesn’t interfere with my perfume. In all, it’s going to do a great job of keeping impending winter dryness at bay and application’s a real sensorial indulgence thanks to the lovely uplifting scent.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Correcting and Highlighting Perfector, R245.

Back in the day the only highlighting pen (often incorrectly used as a concealer) was YSL’s Touche Eclat, but now there are a multitude to pick from. Some are awesome, some are rubbish but Arden’s new addition most definitely gets a two thumbs up. I love that it does its job just as well as, if not better than, some of its top end competitors and wears a very affordable price tag.

02 on the left and 03 on the right.

Click on the piccie to enlarge it: 02 on the left and 03 on the right.

Other plus points? Arden’s perfector hydrates and offers treatment benefits too thanks to brightening wu zhu plant extract and antioxidant vitamin E. I also like that it’s available in a whopping six shades; 01 to 06, not just light, medium and dark. (Personally, I find I can wear both 02 and 03, depending on whether I’m wearing self-tan on my face or not.)

While there are a myriad of ways to use this baby, I like to use it by apply it under my eyes on top of my concealer. The concealer hides dark circles while the brightener zaps any remaining shadows. Very, very nice.

Revlon ColorStay ShadowLinks, R45 each.

What? An eye shadow from a premium drugstore brand that doesn’t cost almost as much as a beauty counter product?! Could this awesome news be true?

Revlon’s new ShadowLinks are individual eye shadow shades that can be bought and used on their own or teamed up with a click to create a custom ‘palette’.

From left to right you're looking at Cobalt, Gunmetal and Java.

From left to right you’re looking at Cobalt, Gunmetal and Java.

Quality-wise, the shadows are, for the most part, nicely pigmented. I find the satin-textured shades glide onto your skin well but the pearl/sparkle colours require a bit more swipage.

As far as shades go, I love that there’s a nice selection of wearable neutrals; shades like browns and greys, with just the odd pop of Kermit the frog green in the mix. Go get ‘em girls!

Thierry Mugler Alien Eau Extraordinaire EDT, R675 for 60mls.

It’s no secret, I’m crazy about Thierry Mugler’s Alien fragrance and have been wearing the summery versions of this iconic scent for years, ironically in the winter time at night. You see, despite the fact that the summer scents are supposed to be ‘light’, I still find them fabulously potent.

Mugler’s newest ‘summer’ Alien scent, Eau Extraordinaire, however, is perfect for just that in that it’s refreshing, delicate and sheer enough to spritz heavily without offending anyone who isn’t a Mugler maniac.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

Notes-wise, you’re looking at a blend of Tunisian neroli, tea and zesty bergamot top notes, a delicate white-floral heart made up of Tiare flower and heliotrope and a warm, woody base of cashmeran wood and white amber that feels snuggly and sheer as opposed to heavy and ‘dry’.

To my nose, I immediately get a sparkly green lemon scent that makes me think of limes. The tea then pops up its head to give a brief ‘wave’ and then the white petals start to emerge, floating in on a summer breeze like dandelion tufts that gently brush past your skin. I then get something that’s reminiscent of lemon meringue pie and this could be the warm base emerging to act as the ‘crust’. Eventually, I’m left with a soft, warm, slightly sweet, comforting scent you’ll only smell if you lean in really close. It makes me want to keep at sniffing my wrist or reach for a top up a few hours in. Unlike other Muglers, Eau Extraordinaire doesn’t have as much staying power and nobody’s going to smell your perfume floating about in the lift after you’ve just stepped out of it.

If you’re an Alien lover like me, you’re really going to want to try this. It’s a truly beautiful new addition to an already ‘extraordinarily’ gorgeous family. And if you’re not a fan I’d suggest you give it a sniff too. It really is different enough from the original and its existing flankers to be something you may well appreciate.

Love, love

Leigh

 

A fun evening in with Wonderfontein Estate’s Paul Rene MCC Brut bubbly

3 Apr

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know I was spoiled with the most fabulous press pack from Wonderfontein Estate: two bottles of their finest Paul Rene MCC Brut and a super cute handcrafted cheeseboard in a very pretty pink ‘trunk’.

Pretty, pretty!

The elegant li’l ribbon on each hand labelled and packed bottle is real; no nasty paper rubbish here, darlings.

Handpicked chardonnay grapes that are picked early in the morning and then chilled overnight are used to create Paul Rene MCC Brut. Each bottle is fermented for 20 months or more and the end result, according to the estate’s website, is ‘a vibrant mousse, apricot and green apple freshness with an emphatic and persistent dry finish’. Each year, only 3000 bottles are made.

Naturally, I wasted no time in throwing together a Cheese n’ Bubbles evening for a few friends, pairing Paul Rene’s finest with a nice mix of cold meat, super stinky cheese (oh yes!) and various other snacky items.

sfg

The evening’s winner was definitely Woolies’ Cremezola creamy blue-style cheese while the ultra fishy Mediterranean Delicacies taramasalata didn’t make any friends, alas.

I’m thrilled to say that myself and every single one of my friends were all super impressed with Paul Rene’s bubbles. We loved that it was deliciously dry, incredibly easy to drink yet tasted very expensive. The bottle also looks gorgeous making it the kind of thing you’d be happy to pop open at a wedding, birthday or baby shower. A regte crowd pleaser.

Where was Rupert when I was putting up my curtain rail?

Tam’s the blonde in blue, Ina’s the mooi brunette and Robyn has dazzling white teeth for someone who smokes 12 cucumber sticks a day. Rupert, Tam’s hubby, is the tall boy top left and all I can say is: Dude, where the hell where you when I put up my bloody curtain rails?!

The evening got increasingly merrily as the delish bubbly kept on flowing. Perhaps a bit too merry as, looking back on my pics, I’ve just remembered that someone broke one of my new champagne glasses and, for the life of me, I can’t remember who it was!

Tam, was it you? Robyn?! Both girls look pretty guilty if you ask me...

Tam, was it you? Robyn?! Both girls look pretty guilty if you ask me…

Being an anal cow who likes her things to be matchy matchy it looks like I’ll be buying a full set of champagne glasses soon. And when I do, I know exactly which bubbly I’ll be very happy to break them in with. Thank you Paul Rene MCC and the girls from Little Black Book PR, this was a fun night in.

Want to try Paul Rene MCC Brut yourself? You’ll find them at Taste of Cape Town this weekend. Pop by their stand to enter their competition and you could win a 2 night stay for 2 at Wonderfontein Estate. You can also snap up a box of six online from Laverne Wine Boutique at R140 a unit.

Love, love

Leigh

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