Massive sale on Dune, River Island, Vince Camuto and more starts Monday 15 June

Ok, let’s get straight into it – there’s a cluster of big name international brands that are all having a serious blow out sale that starts tomorrow. Are you ready for this?

River Island, Dune, Lucky Brand, Calvin Klein, Tom Tailor, Salsa, Jigsaw, Lipsy, Express and Vince Camuto are all running a promotion where, if you buy any two items, you pay just 50% of their total on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16. So, to break it down, if you buy two pairs of shoes for R1 500 each, you’re essentially buying just one and getting the other free!

The bag wall at River Island is waiting for you...

The bag wall at River Island is waiting for you…

As media, I was told about this earlier in the week but haven’t been allowed to say anything publicly about it until now as the news was embargoed. So obviously I didn’t e-mail all my girlfriends, telling them camp outside Dune and River Island in sleeping bags tonight. That would’ve just been, like, totally unethical.

Still, I couldn’t help but pop into those stores in Canal Walk to do a little reccie. It’s so much easier to throw a punch before ripping a pair of jeans from someone’s grasp if you know in advance they’re holding the size that fits you like a glove. Anyway, these are some of things I spotted that, I thought, could be worth begging a well-connected uncle to help make that assault charge go away. I didn’t get prices for everything but the prices listed are all the full price. You can mentally divvie them in your head when you consider you’ll be getting another item ‘free’.

Clockwise: Dune sakkie; the sexiest Vince Camuto boot in the world; more Vince Camuto awesome that I hope to find in black and a River Island tassel satchel.

Clockwise: Dune sakkie; the sexiest Vince Camuto boot in the world (R1 599); more Vince Camuto awesome (R1 599) that I hope to find in black and a River Island tassel satchel.

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The love affair with tassel continues at River Island.

The love affair with tassel continues at River Island for a rather reasonable R1 499, even more so when you view it as just R750 on sale.

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Clockwise: Express shirt that Gia and I couldn't decide if it awesome or vile, pumps, River Island coat and the hottest gloves ever from Dune.

Clockwise: Express shirt that Gia and I couldn’t decide if it awesome or vile, pumps, River Island coat and the hottest leather gloves ever (R699) from Dune.

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More River Island loveliness. Their jeans are about R800 a pop, I think.

More River Island loveliness. Those jeans were about R800, I think. The pack o’ rings was R149.

See anything you like? Make sure you get your ass down to the aforementioned stores the moment they open and don’t forget your gum guard.

Other things you must know:
See you at the sale darlings but just don’t get too comfy in Vince Camuto’s boots’ section. I’m really not above a ‘Chinese bangle’ or ‘donkey bite’.

Love, love

Leigh

Swipe your MySchool card to help give a child a Tutudesk

I don’t know about you, but I was a very fortunate child, attending a fancy pants li’l junior school where we all wore spiffy uniforms and felt extremely hard done by if our tuck shop had the gall to run dry of chocolate Steri-Stumpi. If that happened, it was The End of the World. And don’t get me started on the shizzle that would go down should the art department run out of gold magic markers. Oh! My! God! How the hell do you expect me to guild the wings of my Pegasus, Mrs. Bowes? Woman, are you even listening to me?!

So ja. There’s that. And then there’s the cold, hard fact that a whopping 3 000 000 learners attend school each day and none of them have a desk. They don’t have a desk! Can you imagine trying to learn while you’re kneeling on the floor, balancing what little school supplies you have in your lap? And chances are they’re hungry too…

Anyway, there’s a campaign that’s trying to change all that, one desk at a time, and that’s Tutudesk, so named after its patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

It's a Tutudesk!

It’s a Tutudesk!

To help create awareness for Tutudesk, I was asked to attempt to work without a desk for a day. While I tried, I only lasted until lunch time after which it felt like my back was going to give in.

I tried, okay?

I tried, okay?

Working in a plush li’l apartment surrounded by press releases, product and the suitcase you’re too lazy to pack away (it’s been five days now, God, what is wrong with me?!) is sucky, but hardly as rubbish as not having a desk at all. But this is where Tutudesk comes in.

Tutudesk3

While it looks like a bogey board, a Tutudesk is made from locally produced high-grade material, weighs less than a kilogram and sits comfortably on the learners lap.

Last year, local fundraising programme MySchool helped contribute 7 000 of them to learners and now they aim to put even more desks in laps thanks to a new campaign: Every time you swipe your Woolworths MySchool My Village MyPlanet card from this Saturday to Tuesday (June 13 to 16) R1 will go to Tutudesk. This is over and above the R1 that already goes towards your beneficiary of choice.

Making a difference, one Tutudesk at a time.

Making a difference, one Tutudesk at a time.

If you already have a MySchool card, good on you and get swiping. If you don’t, you can sign up for one here. It only takes a minute and you don’t need to worry about having to carry an extra card around. I’ve had mine linked to my Woolies card so every time I swipe it, I’m helping my charities of choice. Here’s hoping you’ll do the same.

Love, love

Leigh

Video review: Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick shampoo and conditioner AKA I used to think I was a stone cold fox and then I made a video

A while back I agreed to participate in Pantene’s blogger trial which meant using Full & Thick for a month. Many of Pantene’s new formula now contains a ‘blocker’ to protect against the damaging effects of the minerals in tap water that I’ve covered over here. I didn’t refer to that in the video as I’m not 100% sure if this exists in Full & Thick. Also, I’ve never noticed specific water damage to my hair (only damage from getting too jiggy with a hot tool) so I didn’t feel like I was able to judge if it repaired or prevented anything.

FYI, that 'toss in' hair brush they sent me is awesome.

FYI, that ‘toss in’ hair brush they sent me is awesome.

My trial month is up and I’m glad to say my month is up and I was a happy clam throughout as well as spectacularly ‘good’, using it every time I washed my hair which was pretty much every single day, save for the odd day I was too ill to get out of bed. (I’ve had the flu and this was super fun ‘cos it’s every girl’s dream to film her first video when her face is puffed up with cortisone steroids and snot.) Anyway, to learn my thoughts on Full & Thick, you can watch my video.

Would you like me to make more? I’m pretty torn up about them right now. I love that it’s an easy way to throw a whole bunch of words at people without having to type them out, but the editing process is new to me so it takes a fair amount of time. I see myself getting better at the latter if I had to, but I’ll always be that starved for time video maker won’t be able to whip up pretty intros with background music and what not and that just kills me.

(Chantal! How do get your picture so clear?! What blerrie camera are you using? And how do you get your face in focus and your background blurry? Are you using a tripod? I had to duct tape my cell phone in a selfie stick to my clothes drying rack! God, I hate you!)

Love, love

Leigh

Beauty reviews: Vichy Purete Thermale cleansing micellar oil, Vinylux weekly top coat and L’Oreal Colour Riche lip pencils and lipstick

Last week a number of goodies crossed my desk including this boy who really impressed me.

Vichy

Vichy’s new Purete Thermale Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil (price TBA).

It makes use of micelles (lipid molecules) as well as antioxidant vitamin E and soothing Camellia oil to take off sommer anything in two quick strokes. In fact, you could pretty much smear car battery oil all over your face and this would whip it off in a tick.

You’re supposed to apply it to your face as is, use it to cleanse and then follow up with water which converts the oil to a milky liquid that washes off and doesn’t leave your face feeling oily in the least – merely supple and ever so lightly scented, like something ‘clean and expensive’. This is why it’s great to use in the shower.

To be honest though, I’ve been squirting it into a cotton pad, using it to take off my eye make-up and then following up with a facial wipe that instantly converts the oil to milk before sweeping it away. It might feel a l’il two-steppy, using a remover and then a wipe, but trust me, there’s no way my wipe would ever take off my make-up so completely, quickly or without lots of irritating rubbing all on its ownsome.

Another goodie?

IMAG5599-001

Vinylux Weekly top coat (R140, selected salons).

While it’s not as ‘thick’ as I prefer my top coats to be (I like that ‘is she wearing gel?’ effect that Seche Vite emulates nicely) it is nice and glossy and definitely does make my mani go the distance. Definitely not for a week, but certainly for a good three days which in Leigh Land, where all you do is type, that’s like running the nail Comrades.

Annoyingly my bottle shot came out blurry and now I can't remember where I put it to reshoot.

It promises to dry completely in eight minutes which is true. The OCD part of me totally had to time it!

Lastly, L’Oreal have launched a host of new Color Riche lippies (R155 each) and liners (price TBA) to celebrate the brand turning the big three-oh. I was sent a few to play with and thought I’d get a li’l swatchy with them.

The liners are great – they glide on like a boss and stay put.

Swatches from left to right are of

Swatches from left to right are of Intense Plum, Velvet Rose and Scarlet Rouge.

As for the lippies, heaven! But we knew that, right? L’Oreal have always made great lipstick in that the textures luxuriously creamy but highly pigmented as well as a lot less likely to slide off your lips.

From left to right (in both pics) you're looking at BLAh, Blah and bah.

From left to right (in both pics) you’re looking at Preliminaire, Place Vendome and Red Passion. (Yep, Preliminaire really does look almost black in the tube.)

I’m currently recovering from a l’il Dermapen session and it looks like I have a bit of a sunburn so no ‘on face’ piccie today, but I will snap one when I’m looking less rooi to show off just how lovely a winter colour Place Vendome is. It’s the perfect blue-toned cranberry red to brighten and flatter a cool-toned paler peep soos ek. If your more warm-toned, you’re going to look good in fiery Red Passion and, if you’re a bad ass bitch who can pull of bold, fashion colour like Preliminaire, chances are you’re going to rock it.

To view all the new shades – there are 20 of them – you’ll have to step in store.

Love, love

Leigh

Win a L’Oreal Paris Men Expert hamper for your dad this Father’s Day

Being a (good) dad is hard work. I know this ‘cos I was one of two daughter’s bestowed upon my dear, old dad who basically came of age in a house full of strong-willed, occasionally hysterical females who relegated him to a life of always having to be the green My Little Pony that nobody liked (on the very rare occasion we deigned to let him play). That and having to slave over a desk from nine to five to keep us all in neon scrunchies, Count Dracula sherbet and Exclamation body spray.

So ja. Clearly it’s pay back time so I’ll be treating my folks to a spoilicous trip to Thailand later this year. It’ll totally help justify that his Father’s Day gift will be something rubbish like a biltong and sock combo. You, however, can do better if you win one of two L’Oreal Paris Men Expert hampers I’m giving away.

Each hamper is a selection of L’Oreal Paris Men Expert products in a very nice-looking travel bag and worth R500 a pop. This includes a quenching gel (to ease post-shave razor burn and dryness), ice cool face wash, recharging moisturiser with turbo booster and Thermic Resist roll-on deodorant from the popular Hydra Energetic line as well as a Vita Lift 5 anti-ageing daily moisturiser. Score!

If it's good enough for Dr House, it's good enough for your dad.

If it’s good enough for Dr House, it’s good enough for your dad.

Want to win? Simply leave a comment telling me about something ‘dreadful’ you subjected your poor ‘dad o’ girl/s’ to. If anything it’ll make for an entertaining comments section. Another way to enter? Hit me up on twitter with the following:

‘Hey @lipglossgirl, I’d love to win a @LOreal_RSA Men Expert hamper for my dad this Father’s Day’ and include the link to this post.

This competition closes at 5pm on Friday the 12th of June. Winner’s will be chosen via a random number generator and selected from both e-mail and twitter entrants.

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

Things to do in beautiful Franschhoek this winter

A while back I was taken on a whirlwind media tour through Franschhoek to prove that the gorgeous little town doesn’t fall asleep in winter. That’s there’s still lots to do and yes, it’s just as pretty when it’s covered by a few clouds.

Now between you and me, I already know this. Franschhoek is one of the loveliest areas to explore in the cape, regardless of the season, and the Bastille festival (slap bang in the middle of July, nogal) is always a favourite with myself and my friends. But hey, I’m not one to say no to a spoilicous day trip and that’s exactly what it proved to be. Also, please note that every photograph featured saved for two that I’ve specified where shot using my kifftastical new HTC One M9 and it’s 20,7 megapixel camera! (Review coming shortly.) Everything you’re seeing is unfiltered save for the view from the restaurant at Maison. I just couldn’t resist.

To begin, we hit up Babylonstoren and every tisk tisked about the fact that I’d never been there before. (I’m from PE, okay? Give me a break!) For those in the dark like myself, Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the cape. It’s exceptionally scenic as well as productive in that they make wine, grow fruit and run a busy hotel, spa and restaurant.

Pretty, pretty!

Autumn awesomeness.

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Love!

The gateway to gorgeousness.

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Feathering my nest. Pic courtesy of Karisa.

Feathering my nest. Pic courtesy of Karisa.

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The Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden.

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Peanuts plucked fresh from the earth.

Peanuts plucked fresh from the earth.

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Garden party.

Garden party.

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Making friends.

Making friends.

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Tranquility.

Calm after the rain.

While we didn’t eat in their infamous Greenhouse restaurant, we dined near it on a mix of mushroom-inspired dished which was interesting after learning how they were painstakingly grown en masse on incubated manmade logs as well as in the wild during the garden tour.

Hello there, you l'il shiitake!

Hello there, you l’il shiitake!

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Mushroom salad over which a mushroom broth was poured.

Mushroom salad over which a mushroom broth was poured.

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Bon apetit!

Bon apetit!

Food-wise, the real stand out, for me, was the pear, gorgonzola and walnut bread (drizzled with truffle oil!) made in the farm’s wood fired oven.

You have no idea as to how many times I've lain in bed thinking about this bread.

You have no idea as to how many times I’ve lain in bed thinking about this bread.

The farm’s Viognier 2014 wine, with notes of white flower, peach, apricot and lightly oaked, was also an easy drinking total treat.

Make it work for you:

The Greenhouse restaurant is open every day from 10am to 4pm and you only need to book if there are more than 13 in your party.
Pop in for a tasting or snap that Voigner up online over here for R108.
The garden tour starts at 10am and costs just R10 that gets donated to the Babylonstoren Trust.
Special alert: If you stay over for two night, you’ll score a free dinner for two that includes a bottle of bubbly.
Want to try bread? I’ll get back to you on where that’s available. I just tried to find out myself but realised the restaurant was closed.

Next up, we popped in at Allee Bleue (that’s ‘avenue of blue’ in French), a farm best known for their wine, herbs and fruit.

Dax getting his close up.

Dax getting his close up.

It’s not as picturesque as Babylonstoren but it was actually quite fascinating to learn about the rows and rows of herbs they grow and supply to local supermarkets. In fact, if you’re buying coriander from Checkers, chances are it comes from Allee Bleue that’s now inspired me to start growing my own.

If I remember correctly this is coriander.

Parsley for days.

We got to try an aromatic salsa verde made from freshly plucked ingredients and whipped together by the farm’s newly appointed resident chef Beau du Toit paired with the farm’s Brut Rose MCC 2012. Of all the wines and bubbles I got to try that day, this was my absolute favourite. It’s notes included strawberries, candyfloss and rose petals but it wasn’t sickly sweet or even too sweet in the least. It’s the kind of easy drinking bubbles where you could easily start out by saying you’d only indulge in a glass and then end up downing the entire bottle, possibly all by yourself. Oops!

Feeling a bit fennel...

Feeling a bit fennel… (Thanks for the pic, Liezel!)

Alas, I don’t have piccies of this as it was during a time I’d managed to smudge something on my phone’s lens. Eek!

Make it work for you:

Allee Bleue runs a herb tour every Friday, starting at 10:30 for 11am, after which a delish 3-course herb-inspired lunch is served in their bistro. All for R185 per person.
More interested in the vino? Visit their tasting room that’s open every day or order their wine online. That bubbly is just R125 a bottle and I totally regret not buying one.

Our next stop? Maison Estate. This place is gorgeous and the view from their restaurant made for some serious Instagram fodder.

Incredible, right?

Incredible, right?

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More autumn mooiness.

Yet more autumn mooiness.

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Clever chandelier.

A very clever chandelier.

We got to try items from their new winter bistro menu and, while it’s beautifully presented, not too much of it floated my boat as I’m not a fan of perlemoen or anything with tentacles. Still, I did enjoy the salty-sweet deliciousness that was tempura kapenta (a li’l fishie) with semi-dried red pepper, chickpeas, roast garlic and yoghurt (R75) and succulent miso lamb belly with gooseberries, apple, celery and mint (R85).

The anchovy is the first one covering the 'N'.

The anchovy is the first one covering the ‘N’.

What really knocked my socks off, however, was the dessert.

An oozy, gooey chocolate bomb served with creamy pistachio ice cream, this boy basically made my afternoon.

A rich, gooey chocolate slab served with creamy amarula ice cream, toasted marshmallow and gooseberry sorbet, this boy basically made my afternoon.

If you visit, don’t leave without giving it a bash and don’t even try to share it. You’ll definitely want your own.

Make it work for you:

The Tasting Room and Deli is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.
Maison’s restaurant, The Kitchen, is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. You can view the menu over here.

To finish up our tour, we headed to La Cle des Montagnes for dinner. A beautifully decorated boutique guest house made up of four private villas, I reckon this ultra luxurious li’l spot will best work for Euro-carrying tourists as a stay over in one of the bedrooms in the least expensive villa (Villa La Galerie) starts at R4 050 per person per night. Still, your sleepover does include welcome drinks, a luxury turndown, a continental breakfast as well as butler and concierge service.

Resisting the urge to jump on this was hard.

Resisting the urge to jump on this was hard.

After exploring the 2-bedroom Manoir villa we all sat down to a five-star braai-style dinner that included dreamy, creamy mash, corn on the cob and the best steak and mushroom sauce I’ve enjoyed in years. Seriously! I could’ve sliced that li’l darling with a butter knife and it just melted in your mouth like butter. I’m not showing off food shots here and the pics I took don’t do the dishes any justice.

Elegant dining.

Elegant dining.

The steak also totally blew Karisa’s mind (yep, she was along for the tour too) and, even though we were both pretty full, we kept on going back for more. She even concluded that she’d happily give up on living happily ever after with her fantasy husband, Adam Levine (shame, don’t judge her) if it meant getting to enjoy that steak on tap. This is how good it was.

Very nice, ne?

Very nice, ne?

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You can see I made myself at home.

You can see I made myself at home.

Our food was paired with a selection of Stony Brook wines (thanks Craig!) and again I most enjoyed the bubbly, Lyle MCC 2009. Much like Allee Bleue’s bubbles, it’s a mix of chardonnay and pinot noir and is one of South Africa’s only sparkling wines to spend more than 60 months on the lees. Notes-wise, you’re looking at hints of citrus and rich biscuit. Can we get a ‘yum!’ over here, please?

Make it work for you:

If you’re loaded, book your private villa over here.
Want that steak? I guess you can include it as an add on if you book your room. (I know, I know. I’m a working class person that’s crying about it too.)
You can, however, console yourself with a bottle of Stony Brook bubbles at an affordable R145 a pop.

A big thank you to Tammy White and Natalie Roos for a lovely day out. To learn more about Franschhoek as well as all the lovely winter specials currently on offer in area (there are lots of them) visit their website over here.

The Babylonstoren donkey waves good bye!

The Babylonstoren donkey waves good bye!

Love, love

Leigh

Beauty bits and pieces: Dermalogica’s special, Environ body oil and Yardley Color Correcting primer

I’m typing this with a super fun sinus headache so we’re going to pretend I wrote an interesting intro and then jump right in, okay? There’s news you need to know if you’re a Dermalogica fan – they’re running a special on their AGE Smart Overnight Repair Serum.

Dermalogica AGE Smart Overnight Repair Serum

Dermalogica AGE Smart Overnight Repair Serum

Overnight Repair Serum is a mostly sunflower, argan and rose oil-based blend that includes collagen-encouraging peptides. There’s also a host of botanical extracts in the mix including antioxidant portulaca which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Usually it’s R830 for 15mls but for the months of June and July you can snap up a 30ml bottle for the same price.

More good news? If you buy any two Dermalogica AGE Smart items before May 31 you’ll score a free travel-size hamper worth R470. I’m struggling to lift the shot of that off their site but if you visit you can check it out for yourself.

Moving on, let’s chat about new Environ Vitamin A, C & E body oil (R253, selected salons including Sorbet). Well, I think it’s new. But if not, it’s a product you’ll want to know about.

Environ

Environ Vitamin A, C & E body oil

Environ’s ‘base’ is a hydrating mix of capric triglyceride (an essential fatty acid-rich coconut oil and glycerine blend) and jojoba oil that’s enriched with vitamin A, C and E. It moisturises dehydrated skin like a boss while delivering collagen-encouraging antioxidant vitamins. I also like that they’re not making any bullshit claims about preventing or improving the look of stretch marks. They’re literally saying it’ll do what it does, which is hydrate and nourish.

Scent-wise, it smells like nothing so it’s not going to compete with your perfume. As far as texture goes, it’s lovely and light, absorbing into your skin super fast to leave it feeling supple.

Last of all, Yardley have created a Colour Correcting Primer (R99,95) that aims to help balance skin discolouration.

Yardley Colour Correcting Primer

Yardley Colour Correcting Primer

Personally, I don’t think it’s going to help even out colour issues at all – the tint is just too sheer – but it does have a lovely lightweight texture that glides across your skin like a dream. If I had a dry skin type* I’d wear this under my foundation to give it more slip. When worn alone or on top of foundation, it’ll help mattify and minimise the look of pores.

Dolloped on the left and blended on the right.

Dolloped on the left and blended on the right.

It’s difficult to find a ‘drug store’ primer with this kind of texture. I’ve been sent several in the past and most feel a bit pasty. Yardley’s ultra-fine milling gives it an expensive feeling, the kind that’s comparable to primers that are sure to be double the price.

Love, love

Leigh

*The majority of primers are silicone-based which means they look great after application but as my face produces oil, they lie on top of that and create a ‘muddy’ appearance. Anyone with drier skin, however, is more likely to find silicone primers a make-up bag must-have for smoother foundation application and pore blitzing.