Review: Maybelline SuperStay 14HR MegaWatt lipstick

Maybelline’s latest lippie collection is called MegaWatt, an addition to their long wearing SuperStay line. Much like the regular SuperStay lip colours, it feels nice and light on your lips and promises to stick around for – gasp! – 14 hours (I know, the name’s like suuuch a spoiler). The difference, however, is that pigments are bold and bright making each ‘look at me’ hue a perfect pick for summer.

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Maybelline SuperStay 14HR MegaWatt lippies

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From left to right:

From left to right: Flash of Fuchsia, Red Rays, Burst of Coral and Neon Pink.

Of all the colours, I most like Flash of Fuchsia. It’s got a bit of a ‘foil’ effect which makes it a little different and fun. So many shimmery or pearly lipsticks can end up looking dated (yep, I’m talking to you Ms Pearly Red, Pink or, worse yet, maroon… you big old tannies, you….) but not this one. I also think Neon Pink’s going to fly off the shelves as it’s a great dupe for MAC’s Candy Yum Yum.

I haven't applied weird filters or anything - the light disparity's due to different types of weather at different times of the day.

Flash of Fuchsia on the left and Neon Pink on the right. I haven’t applied weird filters or anything – the light disparity’s due to different types of weather at different times of the day.

Both shades a good job of staying on until I drank something hot like a cappuccino. As far as feeling comfy goes, yep, that’s true, they are nice and lightweight but do feel the teensiest bit dry after a few hours of wear, but not so much that it would bother me. After all, those are the breaks with long-wearing formulas. If you want something that’s more emollient, it’s just not going to stay put.

See anything you like?

Love, love

Leigh

Uwe Koetter’s ‘Why’ collection is the last word in affordable luxury (and you could win, win, win!)

As South Africans, we’re pretty spoiled for choice when it comes to lustable jewellers. I mean, who needs Harry Winston, right? Thing is, not every girl will be lucky enough to run around with a Koetter creation on her on her finger (or writs, or ears, or arm…) but here’s the good news – the ultra-luxurious brand’s become a little more attainable thanks to its backing of a new jewellery collection called ‘Why’, aimed at women like you and me.

Gorgeous!

First finger: Topaz ring R4000 and amethyst and citrine eternity ring R2500. Second finger: Diamond and topaz ring R4000 and amethyst ring R2500. Third finger: Peridot and topaz eternity ring R2500.

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Circles

Pretty, pretty!

Each piece is made using sterling silver that’s been plated with either white, yellow or rose gold and most of them feature at least one diamond. But here’s the kicker – the pricing starts from just R500. That’s the price of a top at Woolies, girls! They even have engagement rings going for R12 000.

A smidge of Why's Love collection.

A smidge of Why’s Love collection.

Last month, I was invited to pop into Uwe Koetter’s Cape Quarter store to experience the Why? collection for myself and it really is just that – an ‘experience’. The heavy glass doors swish open to reveal a gleaming show room peppered with sparkling, gleaming trinkets that pull your eyes in every direction like a magpie tossed into Aladdin’s cave. A lush lounge suite invites you to sip on a whiskey poured from a crystal flacon or indulge in an espresso from their champagne bar.

The 'Why?' experience

The ‘Why’ experience

This is a store you’d never just nip in and out of. There are too many pretty things to see and the lovely staff are more than happy to give you a tour. They’re also happy for you to try things on and walk around the store with it ‘to see how it feels’. In the end, that’s what fine jewellery’s all about, isn’t it? Finding something beautiful that truly resonates with you and makes you feel good, special even, whenever you wear it.

Rings

On the left: Rhodolite rings R1 200 each. On the right: Topaz ring R4 300.

Anyway, I saw a host of pretty pretties and was invited to take my pick (I know, you hate you me, you haaaate me) but it was a difficult task. There was just sooo much mooiness.

Earrings

On the left: Teardrop floral diamond earrings R1000. On the right: Triple tier diamond chandelier earrings R1 600.

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Hearts

On the left: Heart diamond pendant R2000 each. On the right: Heart diamond ring R2 200.

Eventually, after much deliberation, I decided I didn’t want to remove this baby from my finger, an amethyst and citrine eternity ring.

Love this!

Love this!

I don’t usually wear thin, delicate rings. I like a big cocktail number big enough to deck a would-be hijacker in a parking lot. But something about this particular li’l darling just spoke to me. It’s gold with purple and yellow stones reminded me of Thierry Mugler’s Alien EDT, which is one of my favourite perfumes. Also, I liked the fact that it was a pop of colour. I’m usually a bit boring in that I stick to plain old gold as it ‘matches’ everything so stepping into eye-catching colour territory made me feel bold and daring. Later, I researched the properties of the stones online and found that citrine is all about ‘fresh energy and a new start’ (love that!) while amethyst can protect you from migraines and insomnia (both issues I occasionally battle with) as well as, er, drunkeness!

Pretty!

From left to right: Crown diamond pendants R1 800 each, filigree diamond pendant R900 and map diamond pendants R1 200 each.

In short, my Uwe Koetter Why? experience was wonderful. I love the freshness, modernity and the youthfulness of the brand and, like I said, I adore that it’s accessible to women like me – those who crave beauty and luxury but don’t have the budget to blow R20K on a bauble while saving up for a deposit on a home.

Rings

On the left: Round eternity ring R500. On the right: Diamond Stax rings, R1200 each.

But now here comes the awesome part – Why has been kind enough to offer me yet another beautiful piece to give away in a reader competition. I’ve yet to choose which item I’ll give away – they’re all just so gorgeous – so I thought I’d ask for your help. Let me know, in the comments section, which item you’d most like to win and I’ll use it as a measure of what to request as a prize for a competition that’ll go live on Monday next week. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is one you’re not going to want to miss.

Don’t want to leave your chances up to Lady Lucky? You can shop the collection online over here.

Love, love

Leigh

Giorgio Armani Si eau de toilette is coming to a store near you in March

I rather like Giorgio Armani Si Intense eau de parfum. It’s a great cold weather or night time perfume that reminds me a lot of Narciso Rodriguez in that it’s musky, sensual and statement-making. However, Armani’s new edition to the line up, Si eau de toilette, is a lighter, fresh new take on the original.

Si-Eau-de-Toilette-by-Giorgio-Armani-600x597

Pretty, pretty!

Armani describe the fragrance as being romantic, youthful and energetic. It’s all about saying ‘yes’ with ‘grace and audacity’, essentially embracing a ‘che gioia vivere‘ attitude which is kind of like the Italian version of the French’s joie de vie and I totally get that. It’s definitely a joyous, sparkly yet ultra classy kind of scent for a day when you’re all dressed up for a girlie lunch on a Tuesday and feel in the mood to order a glass of bubbles – just because.

Notes-wise, Si EDT is a chypre-floral with black currant, green pear, bergamot, mandarin and neroli oil top notes that create a sweet yet sheer and luminous feeling. I also pick up the teensiest, weensiest drop of powder. The floral heart is all freesia and rose that rests on a bed of ambery wood, musk, vanilla and pachouli.

At first spritz, I immediately pick up a fresh, green rose and blackcurrant in a way that makes me think of Bulgari Rose Essentielle. Then the vanilla walks in and, after a while, the dry down is very much Si Intense but it sits a lot closer to your skin, as though you’ve been wearing it all day. Where Si Intense announces itself, Si EDT reveals itself.

When I sniff my wrist, the words that come to mind are ‘warm, clean, inviting, luxurious, quietly confident and mature’ and by the latter I mean late 20s/mid 30s. If I close my eyes, I can see a relaxed yet chic-looking woman in an opulent cream coloured bathroom. She’s wearing a pale pink chiffon blouse with a rose gold watch and is looking in her handbag (an expensive-looking butter soft suede number) for her Bobbi Brown bronzer while a little girl sits next to her on the marble counter top. They’re definitely mother and daughter and you can see she’s one of those ‘unicorn’ mom’s who always manages to look perfect as well as serene despite managing her super cute kid. (Don’t we all, like, totally haaate her?) Still, while she’s feminine and soft, you don’t push the boundaries with this woman. She’s in tune with her innate power and doesn’t have to raise her voice or resort to being cute (ugh) to get what she wants in the same way she does a Cross Fit workout like a beast but would never deign to Instagram it. Are we getting the picture here?

Again, actress Cate Blanchett, the personification of sophisticated elegance, is the face.

Again, actress Cate Blanchett, the personification of sophisticated elegance, is the face.

Keen to give it a sniff yourself? You’ll find Giorgio Armani Si eau de toilette in stores next month going for R995 for 50ml and R1395 for 100ml.

Love, love

Leigh

Keep an eye out for Clarins Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm

Clarins’ Daily Energizer Cream (a very affordable R255) has been out for a while now. With it’s light creme-gel-like texture and and decent vitamin C-content, it’s an option for anyone with young skin who isn’t especially concerned about wrinkles, be it just yet or ever. It’s also features a seriously delish peach scent that reminds me so much of my beloved yet sadly discontinued Crabtree & Evelyn Tom Kitten ‘kiddie cologne’.

Clarins

What peachy dreams are made of…

Anyway, to expand the line, Clarins is launching Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm (R165) in March.

More peach dreaming...

Ag cute, man!

The super cute polka dot tube’s made from cardboard (love that!) and it hydrates and protects your lips with a blend that includes natural oils as well as Shea and cocoa butter. Again, that addictive peach scent is there in a big, big way which I adore. It even tastes like peaches! It also leaves your lips with a rosy pink tint determined by your body’s pH, much like mood lippie. Know that this is very subtle, however. I’m generally quite acidic so these type of things usually turn bright fuchsia on me (which I love) but Clarins’ balm’s hue is super duper subtle.

Like I said, Daily Energizer Cream is in stores now but the balm is on it’s way come next month so be sure to keep your eyes on the Clarins’ counter if you’re keen.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Filorga Perfect + Perfect skin serum

Filorga fans, gather round – the French brand’s released yet another serum and it’s a goodie, promising instantly perfected skin that then improves over time.

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Filorga Perfect + Perfect skin serum

The nitty gitty is as follows:
Refined skin texture with fewer lines
Tightened pores and a matte appearance
A healthy natural golden glow

Ready to break it down?

As the serum contains a mix of natural exfoliators derived from things like lemon, orange and sugarcane, it can gently speed up your skin’s cellular renewal process, keeping it flake-free and brighter-looking. Then there’s something called Neurobiox. I have no clue what this is but Filorga’s press release says it’s something derived from yarrow which helps to thicken/plump your skin from the inside out which in turn diminishes the look of fine lines. (For the record, retinol does much the same thing and is known as one of the best ingredients for this specific need, so if you can’t afford products containing Neurobiox don’t worry too much about it.) The company who makes it, however, describe it as being more like glycolic acid, another great exfoliator, that can help reduce the appearance of your pores over time. To be clear, however, please note that they’ve used the word ‘appearance’. This means that by keeping your pores clean and clear, they may appear smaller – but the brutal truth is that you can’t truly shrink your pores without the help of a laser. For more on that, pop on over here.

Hello there, li'l dropper dude.

Hello there, li’l dropper dude.

On the subject of pores, Filorga’s serum also makes use of mastic, a natural astringent with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can temporarily constrict your pores.

The serum also contains mattifying/perfecting PMMA sphere’s. They’re used in many primers and are kind of like teensy, tiny thermoplastic bolletjies that help diffuse light to create the illusion of a matte-looking, lineless, pore-free skin.

As far as creating a healthy glow goes, Perfect+ contains something called Colza which acts like a gradual self-tanner. The more often you apply it, the more you can build up your tan. Then there’s another optical diffuser in the mix that Filorga call ‘white sapphire’ which creates an instantly radiant complexion.

So, all the tech aside, how does it look? How does it feel? The answer is, great! The ever so slightly pearly-looking serum has a light, silky, silicone-like texture that glides over your skin. In a way, it feels a lot like Estee Lauder’s Idealist Pore Minimising Skin Refinisher and has similar instant-perfecting effects and gradual exfoliating benefits. Where it kicks Lauder’s ass, however, is that it doesn’t look muddy an hour later. To explain, when I’ve worn the aforementioned in the past, as well as many other primers, it’s always looked good initially but then turned ‘muddy’ once my face starts to produce oil that sits trapped underneath it. With Filorga, however, I can wear it on top of a light moisturiser and then add a foundation (should I wish) and it still feels ultra-light and freshly applied.

Serum droplet on the left and then rubbed in on the right. Note the difference?

Serum droplet on the left and then rubbed in on the right. Note the difference?

As far as the promises go, yes, it definitely does instantly minimise the appearance of pores and fine lines and yep, it does give your face a lovely radiance. I haven’t used it long enough to know if it’s thickening up or plumping out my skin but am not too concerned as I rely on retinol for that. As for the self-tanning, I can use it three days in a row and still now really see a difference. I find I get better results in that department by using something like Clarins Liquid Bronze. In my mind, I view this as an awesome primer that instantly makes my skin look ‘perfected’ and works well with my oily-combo skin type. (Those with drier skin type should have no problem using this, provided they apply it after their hydrator of choice.)

Want it? You’ll find Filorga Perfect + Perfect skin serum at selected Edgars and Red Square stores going for R865 for 30mls.

Love, love

Leigh

Elizabeth Arden have launched a limited edition gold collection

Okay, this isn’t really a review. Nobody needs a ‘review’ of Elizabeth Arden’s bestselling Eight Hour Cream. We all know it’s the shizzle’s nizzle and that it can do a myriad of wondrous things – from healing racehorses back in the day to soothing chapped lips and loading the dish washer for you, this is a god damn multi-tasking wonderbalm, okay?

Want proof? One time I accidentally sliced off my finger with my car keys while using them to opening up a press drop (‘cos I was too lazy to get up and grab a knife) and a slap dash of Eight Hour Cream made it grow back… in eight freakin’ hours!
I know you think this is a total lie but it is not. And anyone who suspects I may or may not still be drunk from last night’s dinner where I felt obliged to polish off a bottle of very potent rooi as it was literally half the price of my rent. But this is not the case.

So, getting back to Eight Hour Cream. It is awesome and iconic. Every body knows this. I’m not going to insult your savvy girlhood by giving you a few of my top tips on how to make it complete and enhance your life. That is shizz you will learn in junior school when you writhe in jealousy while watching cool girl Bronwyn Davies (who grew up to be Glamours fashion ed – love you Bron!) casually pull it from her blazer pocket while you and your plebian bestie clutch bubblegum- and musk-flavoured Lip Ices covered in pencil shavings and lint. School of hard knocks yo!

crop arden

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Balm, R210.

Ok – so it’s time to get to the point. Arden have created a new limited edition little gold pot and lip balm in a stick, the latter having an SPF 15. Do I really have to tell you why you want them in your handbag? Do I realllly have to give you a zillion reasons as to why this is something you want, want, want?!

Elizabeth_Arden_Eight_Hour_Limited_Edition_Lip_Protectant_Stick_1414423483

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protection Stick with SPF 15, R175.

Anyway, if you spot it, don’t just grab one, nab two. It’s the perfect gift for any person who’s a female on the planet in that it’s lustable and glamorous but still leaves you with enough money to pay for your horrifically overpriced parking as you leave the V&A. Also, nobody’s going to go ‘God! She gave me a beautifully packaged iconic, multi-tasking wonderbalm. What they hell am I going to do with something that looks pretty and has ten thousand million billion uses? Whaaat a bitch face.’ That’s just not going to happen. Promise.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Clarisonic Plus sonic skin cleansing brush for face and body

Okay, so the time’s finally come for me to post my Clarisonic review (dun, dun, dun.) If you’ve got your pulse on all things beauty, you’ll know about Clarisonic. It’s essentially the big daddy of sonic cleansing brushes and has been making (sonic) waves in the states for years now, ever since Oprah held one up like Simba in the Lion King and shrieked ‘Oh my God, you totally waaaant onnnnnneeeee!’ (Or at least that’s how I imagine it. I’ve never actually seem that particular show.)

Now, a small range of Clarisonic brushes are available in South Africa via Stuttafords Sandton, but there are plans to roll out further as the years go on. The models available are the Mia 2 (R2 499) Aria/Mia 3 (R2 999) and Plus (R3 499). I was given the Plus to try and to describe it briefly, it’s the alpha female of the three water-proof sonic cleansing brushes available locally.

Clarisonic Plus

Clarisonic Plus

What gives it the edge? While the Mia 2, for example, has two speeds (‘delicate’ and ‘universal’), the Plus has three (the third being ‘powerful’) and also features a body brush attachment. As far as oscillations go, all three brushes move at 300 per second and I’m still unclear as to how the ‘speed’ setting affects that. Every Clarisonic model is water-proof so you can easily use it in the shower or bath.

What's in the box? A charger, body attachment and mini cleanser and exfoliator.

What’s in the box? A charger, body attachment and mini cleanser and exfoliator.

In regards to promises, the Clarisonic claims to clean your skin six times better than ‘regular cleansing’. In turn, this improves product penetration and assists in tightening your pores. Also, if you’re shifting more nasties from your pores, they’re less likely to bloom into pimples. I also believe most vibrating movements are good for your skin in that they improve microcirculation and there are a host of benefits that stem from that alone.

Behold - the Clarisonic Plus in all it's sonic glory!

Behold – the Clarisonic Plus in all it’s sonic glory!

Using the Clarisonic Plus is easy as pie. It only has two buttons – one to power on and off and another to select your speed setting. After removing excess make-up manually, you’re to apply your cleanser of choice to either your skin or the brush head and then run it over your face using small circular motions. A beeping timer lets you know when you’ve done 20 seconds on your forehead, another 20 on your nose and chin and then a further 10 per cheek. You can happily do this twice a day but if you find it too stimulating or whatever you can cut back to whatever suits.

Personally, I don’t have sensitive skin and generally take things to the max so I merrily cranked my brush up to ‘powerful’ and ran it over my face willy nilly until I felt I was done. I didn’t bother with sticking to times per zone and totally ran over the minute mark. I also didn’t try Clarisonic’s included cleanser and used my own instead, currently Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser. (One tube will last you a thousand years. It simply never says die.) Afterwards, my face felt clean and had a subtle glow thanks to how the brush gets your micro circulation going.

As far as the larger body brush attachment goes, the bristles are a little less fine than the face brush’s and it’s a nice way to cleanse your chest but in the end I got lazy and simply used the face brush to do it. Call me a dirty girl, but in my book, the rest of my body doesn’t really need ‘intense’ cleansing, just the odd serious scrub down when I’m in between coats of self-tan.

Face brush on the left and body brush on the right.

Face brush on the left and body brush on the right. These should be replaced every three to four months and cost  R399 a pop.

In all, this is an awesome facial cleansing tool. Make no mistake, I certainly do feel like my face has gotten a better cleanse than on days where I simply apply my face wash with my finger tips. It’s kind of like how I feel about cleaning my teeth – my Philip’s Sonicare toothbrush somehow makes my teeth feel polished as opposed to my manual toothbrush that merely cleans. In saying that, do I think it’s a must-have beauty tool every girl just has to have or she’s doomed to a life of substandard skin? No, not at all. There are other ways to cleanse your skin well and Clarisonic has only lifted stats from their own trials where they’ve pitted their brush against manual cleansing as opposed to using a wash cloth or popping a gentle exfoliator in the mix. But in saying that, it is, hands down, one of the quickest, easiest ways to get an ‘optimal cleanse’.

Blah

Clarisonic’s own brand of exfoliator and cleanser. Nice to have, but totally not necessary.

As far as choosing the Clarisonic that’s right for you, my feelings are cut and dried on this one. Unless you have sensitive skin and won’t ever step into ‘powerful mode territory’, go for the Aria which serves up the same speeds as the Plus and pick the Plus if you feel strongly about wanting the body attachment. Seriously. Just close your eyes and swipe your blerrie card, ignoring its screams as you go. I mean, if you’re already prepared to part with so much cash for a fancy pants face cleanser then make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. When I was at the launch last year, they run the Mia on speed 2 across the back of my left hand and the Plus on speed 3 on my right and I really didn’t think there’d be a difference between the two but there was and it was marked. The Mia made my hand feel like I’d cleaned it using an exfoliating face wash whereas the Plus gave me that ‘Dermalogica Microfoliant feeling’. It really just did feel ‘cleaner’.

In saying that tho, you must know that the Clarisonic doesn’t replace your exfoliator. If you want to get a mental piccie of how it cleans, imagine a dirty shag-pile carpet that gets hit by a giant vibrating pad. It kind shakes up all the shizz that’s settled deep down in the fibres, bringing them to the surface to be washed away when you rinse. It doesn’t really mechanically ‘tug’ and wick away at any dead skin that’s lying on the surface. So in that respect, you’ll still need to exfoliate (which in turn will improve the results you get from your Clarisonic.

Sexy lines...

Told ya – just two buttons.

So! Let’s wrap this up, shall we? Using the Clarisonic has been fun. I like that it’s an easy way to get my skin feeling really, really clean. It didn’t cause any breakouts, something I’ve seen other reviewers mention and put down to an initial ‘purge’, but in saying that I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t really suffer from breakouts. As far as pore size goes (the Clarisonic claims to help reduce them by keeping them free of debris which essentially stresses them over time), I didn’t really notice any difference but in all fairness I’ve always kept my pores free of debris using methods other than the Clarisonic.

Is the Clarisonic one of the nicest ways to give your face a good clean? Yes. Yes it is. Are you a bad skin mommy if you don’t own no? No. No, you’re not.

Now tell me, have you used a Clarisonic before? I’d love to hear your thoughts – let’s chat in the comments section below.

Love, love

Leigh

Update: I’m preempting a question here: In comparison to Clinique’s ‘sonic’ brush, the Clarisonic whoops its ass. (Sorry Clinique!) Hoekom? For starters, Clinique’s brush has only one setting and afterwards my face feels clean, but hardly ‘sonic clean’.

Another update: Yes, I’m well aware you can buy a Clarisonic for less from various international sites, many of which offer free shipping. This is true. Just make sure they’re legit, that you don’t get nailed via customs and that it’s coming via a courier company and not the post office which is still totally dodge thanks to the strike.