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

Beauty reviews: Maybelline Shine-free cake powder, Shiseido Pure Retinol eye masks, NIVEA shower gels and creams plus Essie’s new Fall Collection

2 Apr

Screw an intro, let’s get stuck in, shall we?

Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine-free cake powder, R79,99.

Got an oily to combo skin type and looking for a wallet-friendly face powder? Maybelline’s new Shine-free cake powders are fab in that they promise to control shine, even out your skin tone and offer an SPF of 25. The best bit is that they’re available in a whopping nine shades, most of which are suited to those with darker skin tones. Very good news because finding a powder for darker skins in stores like Clicks and Dis-Chem can be a bit of a challenge.

A wallet-friendly compact that includes a mirror? Yes please!

A wallet-friendly compact that includes a mirror? Yes please!

When I first spotted them, I mistook them for a blotting powder like MAC Blot Powder; the kind you can apply repeatedly throughout the day to minimise shine and wrote them off as too ‘cakey’. Don’t make the same mistake. Rather apply this just once with a kabuki brush or powder brush (the sponge that’s included lays it on too thick). You’ll then create a lovely matte, even finish that goes the distance. If you’ve got a regte oily T-panel like mine, you can then blitz any shine that crops up later in the day with blotting powders (Catrice and The Body Shop’s are both fab options) or a proper blotting powder.

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing eye mask, R850 for 12 packets, selected Edgars and Stuttafords.

We all know how much I love retinol. It’s one of the most potent collagen-encouragers on the block and can help reduce the look of pores, fine lines and pigmentation. What’s not to love?

Naturally, I was thrilled to hear Shiseido now have a retinol product in their line up as I adore their colour cosmetics. Here’s hoping it’s the start of more to come. This particular item, however, isn’t intended for daily use; it’s a hydrating under eye patch (that you can also use around your mouth) that promises to moisturise and plump, minimise the look of wrinkles and ‘brighten’ to combat dark circles.

From a formulation point of view, the ‘actives’ are a mix of water-binders like glycerin which will hydrate and temporarily plump up your skin and good ole retinol which, merrily, appears midway in the ingredients list as opposed to right at the end. I’m not sure what they’re relying on to ‘brighten’ but can spot a form of antioxidant, collagen- encouraging vitamin C and a peony root extract known for their pigmentation-busting benefits in the mix. They’d have to be used in a very high concentration though in order to be effective (studies have shown the vitamin C has to be at least 10% in concentration) and I’m not sure if Shiseido’s masks contain enough of it.

Working hard on my hotness, yo!

Working hard on my hotness, yo!

As far as instant results go, these masks are great. If left one on for fifteen minutes, gently peeled it off and could see that my fine lines were immediately plumped up in comparison to the other eye that didn’t get any loving. (Older women, please note that I said fine lines. Truly blitzing deeper wrinkles is going to require Botox.) The skin under my treatment eye also felt ‘refreshed’ and I liked that the mask held vas so I didn’t have to lie down while they were on.

Still, if you’re to see any long-term wrinkle minimising from these babies you’d have to use them every day, ignoring the fact that Shiseido recommends you use them three times a week. In fact, there’s nothing in here that would prevent you from using them every morning or night every single day! As it is, I use a potent retinol serum all over my face almost every single day, as should every women who’s serious about anti-aging. Still, unless you’re rolling in it, the cost of Shiseido’s mask is a bit steep for most, so this is what I’d suggest; invest in a good retinol serum and use it every day. Then, if you’d specifically like to try Shiseido’s eye masks, keep them for special occasions or big night’s out when you want to pamper your eyes with a nice dose of skin-plumping moisture. Your skin will look better for having them on.

NIVEA’s new shower creams and gel, R28,99 for 250ml each.

NIVEA have launched a trio of new shower goodies; NIVEA Crème Care shower cream, NIVEA Crème Coconut shower cream and Pure Fresh shower gel.

NIVEA

NIVEA Pure Fresh, Coconut Creme and Creme Care shower gels and creams.

Of all three, I’m most enjoying using the Crème Care variant. It’s inspired by NIVEA’s iconic crème (you know, the one in the little blue tin) and smells pretty much exactly like it and I love that. The moment it hits my nose it’s like BOOM, I’m back in the 90′s slapping NIVEA Creme on my legs before school, completely unappreciative of my mooi, youthful skin and how quickly the downward spiral towards bingo wings, Spanx and ‘lights off’ sex really is. (Not that I feel like I’m there just yet. But if I peer into the future I can almost see that scenario waving at me, with a flappy arm, nogal.)

Nostalgic scent aside, it’s also formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and uses hydraIQ tech so ensure the moisture it provides sinks deep into your skin and then stays there. A very nice ‘winter’ body wash.

Essie’s Fall Collection, R119 per polish.

Essie’s new fall collection has finally hit SA shelves. Inspired by luxe winter textiles like twill and cashmere, the collection consists of two metallics which are having a bit of a moment right now; three creamier hues and a ‘true flannel grey’ with teensy pearlescent flecks in it.

hkjhkjh

Vested Interest (green grey), Cashmere Bathrobe (silver-flecked grey), Twin Sweater Set (red), After School Boy Blazer (navy), The Lace Is On (metallic orchid) and For The Twill Of It (metallic green-purple). 

The hue that’s generating the most hype right now is For The  Twill Of It.

For the Twill of It

Forgive the messy mani, I was in a rush.

Essie describes this as a brown shade with a reflective green shimmer but to me it looks like a mix of green and purple shimmer that makes me think of a peacock feather or an oily sidewalk puddle.

Personally, my favourite shade of the lot is Twin Sweater Set. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I like to spend my colder month’s clad head to toe in black with the odd leopard print cameo, dripping in chunky gold jewellery and a pop of bright rooi on my fingertips. Being a ‘vibrant crimson’, this fits the bill (but to be completely honest, A List is still my favourite Essie red.)

Twin Sweater Set

Twin Sweater Set. Again, forgive the messy mani. I’m a busy girl, okay?

Last but not least, let me leave you with some very exciting news: Later this year, Essie will launch their gel polish collection in salons across South Africa. It aims to compete with the likes of gelish and the shades will be copies of Essie’s most popular nail colours. I can’t wait to give it a bash and will be sure to give you more info on its SA release closer to launch time.

Love, love

Leigh

My POND’S Flawless Radiance 7 Day Challenge: Part 2 of 2

1 Apr

So, let’s wrap up the POND’S 7 Day Challenge, shall we?

Day one to four was easy enough and day five was a breeze in that the daily gift was a Vide e Caffe loyalty card and the instruction to CONNECT with your friends.

Coffee on me and POND'S, anyone?

While I haven’t had time to use my card yet, yakking it up with a bestie over a cup of coffee is something I happen to be good at.

Day six presented a bit of an ‘ish’, however, as it asked me to GET CONFIDENT via baking a batch of cupcakes. While POND’S provided me with the baking mix and cute cupcake decorations, I don’t own a baking pan. Thus I had to improvise a little. Er, ‘ta da!’?

I shot this

My cupcake shots came out blurry save for this one, stupidly angled so you don’t see how adorable the little paper cupcake ‘toppers’ are. Sorry!

Day seven, the last day of the challenge, came with this command: FIND YOUR INNER PEACE. The gift revealed an inspiration fridge magnet that I promptly stuck on my fridge along with piccies of my friends.

Can you guess which magnet came from POND'S?

Can you guess which magnet came from POND’S?

This made sense to me as nothing gives me more solace than my gal pals. That and the champers and pasta salad lurking within my fridge.

Anyway, a big dankie to POND’S for such a pretty press pack. To learn more about their Flawless Radiance products, check out the links I included in the post before this one, Part 1, or visit their website over here.

Love, love

Leigh

Taking up the POND’S Flawless Radiance 7 Day Challenge: Part 1 of 2

28 Mar

POND’S sent me a very thoughtful little press pack the other day; a giant box full of Flawless Radiance goodies and assorted gifts. For those not familiar with the Flawless Radiance line, it aims to help brighten up your complexion with the key ingredient bring niacin, a form of vitamin B3 that prevents melanin travelling from the deeper layers of your skin to the surface.

What’s in the box?

But let’s get back to the box. The pack’s concept revolved around the ‘Flawless Radiance 7 Day challenge’ and contained seven gifts, one for each day of the week, that each came with its own little ‘challenge’. For example, day 1 was all about ‘CARE’, its gift being all the Flawless Radiance products that were tucked inside the box.

Pretty, pretty products.

Pretty, pretty products.

I’ve actually chatted about POND’S Flawless Radiance line before over here and shared my thoughts, which haven’t changed,  over here. I’ve also chatted in depth about their BB Cream over here. To learn more about the line via the POND’S SA website, get clicky clicky over here. The brand also has a very active local Facebook page.

Day 2’s challenge was to GET FIT and the gift revealed a skipping rope.

I will use these eventually when I'm not so bloody lazy/busy. Promise.

I will use these eventually when I’m not so bloody lazy/busy. Promise.

Alas, as my apartment’s the size of a hamster cage, I haven’t really used it but thought I’d make a point of using my exercise bike. Oh wait! That was busy being used to dry a bunch of beach towels. Oops!

Please gnore my current house guest's terrifying lime suitcase.

Please ignore my current house guest’s terrifying lime suitcase.

Guess I had no choice but to lie in bed with a beer and watch people have graphic sex and murder each other in Banshee. Day 3′s challenge, fortunately, was a very easy one; DESTRESS via a chill out session with a lavender-infused microwaveable or freezable Aroma Soothz soothing neckz comforter.

Despite sporting a name that would make a sub editor want to stab themselves in the eye, it does a nice job of easing tired. sore muscles.

Day 4 was a goodie too. It was all about BEAUTY BOOSTING FOOD and, according to POND’S, cocoa is known to reduce stress which results in less collagen breakdown in your skin. Now that, much like DESTRESS, was something I could do; eat chocolate for the sake of my face.

Totally worth the migraine.

Yum! I’m saving this to make a wicked chocolate chilli steak sauce.

Anyway, I’ve run out of time today as I have to nip off to a dinner party at my friend Tam’s spot, she of Glow Cape Town spray tan fabulosity, but you can expect a follow up post soon to see how the rest of the POND’S Flawless Radiance challenge rolled out.

Love, love

Leigh

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