Shhh! Have you heard about The Westins’ Heavenly Spa’s Secret Lunch Hour package?

Whenever I’m asked to recommend a spa with a view The Westin’s, which has recently been rebranded to become a Heavenly Spa, is one that always springs to mind. Situated on the 19th floor of the hotel, you’re treated to a panoramic cityscape that includes the mountain and harbour and, to me, this is just as gorgeous as any old rolling hill in the winelands.

IMG_20150810_143719

This water’s nice and warm, by the way.

But ja, killer views aside, let’s chat about the spa’s spoilicious new special, The Secret Lunch Hour (R650 per person.). It essentially entails your choice a 45 minute treatment (a facial, mani, pedi or back, neck and shoulder massage) followed by a delish 2-course lunch at the hotel’s new ON19 restaurant that’s literally a few feet away from the spa.

In order to celebrate Women’s Day, the spa invited myself as well as three other media peeps to bring along a friend and experience the special. Thus my darling Chelle and I shoved pounding hangovers aside and rocked up bright and early to use the spa’s facilities that include a sauna, heated lap pool, gym and jacuzzi. We kind of looked at the gym the way my cousin’s kid looks at veggies (great, but not for me) then hopped into the jacuzzi to sip surprisingly yummy green juice, soak up the city skyline and talk about how our impending spinsterhoods was actually awesome ‘cos we could travel the world with hairy legs and retain nice, tight vaginas.

Super toit...

Super toit…

..

Not too kak for a Sunday, ne?

…like a tiger.

Soon it was treatment time and Chelle and I had both opted for a massage. My therapist Linda was fab in that she allowed me to pretty much just lie there like a dead animal. She intuitively knew which of my muscles where in need of tenderising and was able to release them in a way that didn’t leave me wincing. Also, I asked that she not get any oil in my hair and she listened! You’ll be surprised how many therapists, whether they give you a hair net or not, still manage to slide oil up the back of your neck and into your hair. This is a pet hate of mine, so big props to Linda!

The spa has rooms with a view too, FYI. Mine was just a cosy one.

The spa has rooms with a view too, FYI. Mine was just a cosy one.

Afterwards, Chelle and I floated back to each other and used the remainder of our pre-lunch facility time to sit on this bench type thing next to the sauna that, whether intentionally or not, was super-duper warm. We merrily toasted our bums while staring out the city and I regaled her with the entire plot of the world’s most depressing and strange Jennifer Connolly movie I’d inadvertently half-watched while doing household chores. If there’s ever a day where you’re simply ‘too happy’ and need a dash o’ depression in your life, know it’s called Aloft and involves terminally sick children, a boy’s beloved falcon getting shot out of the sky, mysterious healing powers and Jennifer as a grim-faced bereaved mom rocking a super gross clip-in rat-tail plait that slithers out from the bottom of her lob. Funsies!

The sauna.

The only reason we didn’t venture into the sauna is that we’re vain and didn’t want our make-up to run. Or at least that was my reason.

After that, I’m sure Chelle was thrilled to escape to The Westin’s chic-looking skytop restaurant, ON19, where the bubbles were flowing, two types of flavoured butters on offer and the menu was as long as my arm. While the special generally entails two courses, we were in for a multi-course journey that involved getting a taste of a bit of everything – my favourite way to eat and in great company too.

Looks good, right?

Looks good, right?

..

This was the view from our table.

This mooiness was the view from our table.

Of everything I tried, I really, really enjoyed the miso ramen amuse bouche – a super tasty, ultra salty broth that included ramen noodles and shiitake mushrooms – and most liked the baby soft beef fillet served with parsnip pure and something that looked like a square of cheesey potato bake.

Yum!

Yum!

Desserts where an impressive affair too and included an ice cream-filled strawberry macaroon (the whole thing tasted like a killer good strawberry milkshake) served with a vial of strawberry syrup and a sugar covered almond that had been whipped away while caramelising to create a long, striking-looking ‘tail’.

Details, darlings, details!

Details, darlings, details!

In all, this was a fantastically luxe change of pace for a Sunday, specially since mine of late have involved script writing in bed, ordering a pizza, scripting some more and then blacking out over my keyboard. Such is the glamour of working in television.

A big thank you to The Westin, On19, Heavenly Spa and Kirsty from Positive Dialogue PR for a truly fabulous day out.

And thank you Chelle for being one of the raddest chicas and I know.

And another dankie to Chelle Belle for being one of the raddest chicas and I know.

Love, love

Leigh

My thoughts on the (ahem) SA Beauty Blog Awards

A little while ago I discovered I was on the SA Beauty Blog Awards’ long list and oh boy was it a looong one. It basically featured every single chica in South Africa who’d ever vomited up a post, some of which hadn’t written anything in years. Awkward!

I then proceeded to check out their website and at that point it looked like a school project created by a 12-year-old and I had a good laugh that something so clearly dog shit would want to dole out an award for best design. Also, at that point, they didn’t have any judges and everything just totally smelled of sketch.

After sending them an e-mail to find out what the dealio was, which was ignored until I hakked them on twitter, it emerged that aspects of the competition would involve being ‘encouraged’ to ‘give Look Good Feel Better exposure and also the brands that you get in your goodie bag’. Also, they told me their judges included ‘a model’ (huh?!) and a ‘celebrity’ leaving me to wonder if they had anyone who understood digital or the SA beauty blogosphere than what their current actions where implying.

Anyway, in short, I love my blog and am proud of its success and I didn’t want to be associated with a comp that just didn’t feel credible so I asked that they remove me from their long list. Many other bloggers with very large followings made the same request for the very same reason so, if you’re looking at their list and wondering where some of the big dogs are, that is why. 

UPDATE:
I wrote all the above a week ago and then left the post to languish in drafts as I didn’t want to be a ranter but having just read Pink Peony’s post on her experience it really got my hackles up. She’s not on the list either and their twitter response to fans asking where she is basically gave the impression she didn’t make the grade as opposed to fact that she also respectfully requested that her blog be removed. Douchey, right? It’s this that’s got me frothing again and has seen me merrily press ‘publish’.

Please go read her post over here. She’s done a bang up job of pretty much pouring out everything that was rolling around in my head. (High five, chica!)

In short, I add a big, fat co-sign to everything she’s said. In addition, there’s another reason why this comp has got my and many other bloggers’ backs up – it just feels like some ill-informed, social media savvy-less dinosaur’s haphazardly stomped onto our turf, an arena that they’ve displayed a huuuuge lack of knowledge of, and decided to set up shop as The Person Who Will Judge Others when they can’t even get it right themselves. In short, it’s just disrespectful and undermines all our blood, sweat and tears. It kind of feels like me – the girl who still hasn’t figured out how to assemble her Mr Price night stand – slapping on a pair of overalls and mailing all the mechanics in town to let them know I’m the self-declared Queen of Grease and will be popping into their garage to judge their workmanship. Can we get a big ‘hahahah’?

Anyway, that’s enough from me. Please go read Pink Peonie’s post and buy that biets a bells. That girl’s my hero of the day. Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and will be replying to almal so please chat to me in the comments section below.

Love, love

Leigh

Reviews: Wella Professional Elements, Dr. Dermal Texture Correction Pads and Neutrogena Visibly Clear face wash

Ready to just jump in sommer?

Wella have created a new nature-inspired professional hair care line called Professional Elements. Free of sulphates, parabens and artificial colours, it aims to strengthen your hair from within by fortifying its fibres with keratin. I’ve been using the sham (R207) and con (R243) for a month now and really liked the both of them. They’re lightweight enough not to leave my fine, pin-straight hair looking lomp when drybut have enough nourishing shizzle in it to make it easy to brush while wet.

You can see the conditioner's pretty much all squeezed out.

You can see the conditioner’s pretty much all squeezed out.

I also really like the scent which I know is supposed to be an uplifting ‘green’ fragrance inspired by Amazonian flowers but to me it’s totally ‘cream soda’, which I love and adore because I’m human and have a mouth. (Have you seriously ever met anyone who doesn’t like Cream Soda? Do these people exist? And could you trust them to not be aliens masquerading as our neighbours?)

Also in the line up is a mask (R252) that I’m yet to try and a spray-con (R252) which is also lovely and light, serving up just the right amount of moisture, but no more so than one from a less pricy brand that I tear through at the rate of knots.

To find a Wella Professionals salon stockist in your area get clicky clicky here.

Something else I’ve tried and liked? Dr. Dermal Texture Correction Pads (R475 for 30 individually wrapped pads).

Dr. Dermal

Dr. Dermal Texture Correction Pads

Created by a dermatologist and plastic surgeon and – wait for it – proudly South African, they’re essentially AHA-infused pads that make it easy to swipe the watery, non-sticky formula all over your gesig. You could get many of the same ingredients in a lotion format, but there’s something about a super easy wipe and go format that I adore. They now live next to my bed for use every other night and, due to the ease of use, I’m less likely to just black out as opposed to look after my skin.

Each pad is wet enough to do your whole face and a bit of your decolletage too.

Each pad is wet enough to do your whole face and a bit of your decolletage too.

Formulation-wise, you’re looking at a mix of glycolic acid in a nice concentration (but no listed percentage) as well as mega-moisturising hyaluronic acid and a smattering of antioxidants that include vitamin E and B3 (niacinimide). I like that they really weren’t shy with the acid. It did a good job of sizzling away the dry, flaky skin left on my chin area after I’d attacked it with various spot-busters and sped up the healing time of any ‘marks’ that were left in a blemish’s wake.

Last, but not least, Neutrogena have launched yet another cleanser to love – Visibly Clear Spot Clearing facial wash (price TBA).

Neutrogena

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Clearing facial wash.

Quite simply, Visibly Clear orange (as I’ve come to call it) is pretty much the unscented version of their popular pink grapefruit wash that just so happens to be my personal favourite. Still, it’s nice that this exists as I know a billion boy’s would love to benefit from its pore-exfoliating formula but aren’t so keen on having a pink product sitting in their shower.

See anything you’d be keen to try yourself?

Love, love

Leigh

It’s a struggle, yo!

Hi girls

I know I’ve been kak at posting this week but I’m currently swamped with final edits for a TV show I’m working on plus the gauntlet that is fashion week.

funny-pictures-i-cant-adult-today-dog

Pretty please!

I’m going to attempt to get a languishing post up later today and aim to revert back to four (hopefully five) posts a week as of next week. (Assuming I don’t die of liver failure after the fashion week after party.)

Love, love

Leigh

Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 50 review

First up, Kiehl’s has just launched a BB cream with possibly the longest name in the history of BBs – – Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA +++. The name’s so bloody long that I couldn’t even bring myself to type it out – cut and paste all the way, darlings!

Kiehl's new BB cream.

Kiehl’s new BB cream.

Still, that aside, I’ve really enjoyed using this. It’s essentially a sheer tinted moisturiser with a gel-cream texture blended with fabulously high SPF sunscreen, something we should all we wearing every day. Often, high SPF’s make my oil-combo skin feel greasy, but this one didn’t. Can we get a ‘yay’?

Also, maybe it’s the silicone content, but something about this really ‘smoothes’ out my skin. After applying it, my pores are immediately less noticeable.

This shade is called 'Light'.

This shade is called ‘Light’.

There’s also a bit of antioxidant, collagen-encouraging vitamin C in the mix that also works towards minimizing the look of pigmentation which justifies the BB claim (a BB has to have a treatment aspect to qualify and many brands don’t get that).

Kiehl’s BB cream is currently available from Edgars Sandton and Rosebank going for R525 a pop and available in five shades that range from light to dark and yep, that’s a dark that’s suited to ethnic skin, so everybody’s covered.

Love, love

Leigh

Levi’s have a fab new women’s denim collection

Levi’s have just launched an all new women’s denim collection made up of their original 700 series and newer curvy-fit 800 series and singer/song writer Alicia Keys is the face.

wndclo-1

I loved those grey 711 Skinny jeans second from the right.

To celebrate the launch, the brand invited media to try the styles on before touching up our make-up and hair for an impromptu photo shoot.

Big primpin'.

Big primpin’.

..

A little touch up

A little liner.

..

Lights... camera...

Lights… camera…

..

Shoot time

Twitter – check! Instagram – check! Faceboo – oh, wait, I’m not 47…

I tried on a pair of 711 Skinny jeans but felt it was a bit too high waisted for me (even though it’s billed as mid rise) so thought I’d give the 811 Curvy Skinnies a bash to see if it say any lower. As it turns out, it didn’t, but I was so impressed with the way it ‘felt’ that I was totally sold.

Oh yeah

They’re only bunching at my knees ‘cos they’re ever so slightly too long for me. A very easy fix.

I honestly had no I idea my body type would be better suited to a curvy cut. Secretly, I’d always thought curvy was just a polite way of saying ‘big ass’, but surprise, surprise, my hips don’t lie and curvy is my most comfy fit. If your shape happens to curve outwards, even in the slightest, I encourage you to try these babies on. You might be surprised like I was.

Like I said, they do sit higher up on my body than I’m used to but it’s not like I’m running around in crop tops. The majority of my tops sit low enough for me to not have to worry about looking short-waisted.

Happy, happy!

Happy, happy!

One last plus? I love the ‘feel’ of the denim – it’s super stretchy, but nice and thick, so it hugs your butt in a way that flatters. Also, I’ve worn them three times now without washing and they’ve yet to get baggy or lose their shape the way other stretchy skinnies can.

To see what each new style looks like, check out the piece I created for All4Women.co.za over here.

Love, love,

Leigh

Pigalle restaurant’s epic winter special continues

Guess where I’ve been eating while flexing the mooi camera muscles of my HTC One M9?

Ah, now that just gives it away, mos.

Ah, now that just gives it away, mos.

Every time I visit Pigalle, I tell myself I’ll step out of my ‘routine’ and won’t order the trinchado (R79) and a garlic roll (R12) but I do. Every single time.

It's because it's the best garlic roll in Cape Town. Maybe the world even.

It’s because it’s the best garlic roll in Cape Town. Maybe the world even.

Same goes for their epic trinchado but it’s time to branch and try new things. Like this boy…

Pear salad

Caramelised pear and almond salad (R64).

I’m not a huge salad person as I’m weird about eating leaves. The only ones I can handle are cos lettuce when it’s drenched in Caesar dressing and spinach on a good day and this was a very good day for the baby spinach in this little gem. It’s smothered in a sweet creamy Dijon mustard dressing that pairs beautifully with the buttery avo, fresh pears and toasted almonds. I was supposed to split it with my leaf lovin’ pescatarian friend Jocelyn and she kakked me out by eating pretty much every leaf in the dish! Can we get a #sorrynotsorry over here, please?

As far as meaty mains go, the winner of late just has to be the beef fillet with mustard mush, wilted spinach and balsamic jus (R190).

Heaven on a plate

Heaven on a plate

…followed closely by the slow-roasted lamb shank served with beef sauce and mashed potatoes (R190).

Pigalle's gravy is everything.

People often throw around the word ‘fall off the bone’, but here is where it’s 100% correct.

More of a sea food peep? Their teriyaki salmon (R180) is a dream come true…

Hello you!

Hello you!

..as is the grilled sole smothered in creamy prawn sauce (R200).

Yum

Sole is my favourite line fish so I order it a lot and this is the best I’ve eaten in ages.

As far as desserts go, my heart will always belong to Pigalle’s incredible chocolate fondant, but their creme brulee (R56) is definitely worth a sneaky affair.

Can we get a round of applause for presentation, please?

Can we get a round of applause for presentation, please?

If you’re looking to abuse a killer winter restaurant special, Pigalle’s is where it’s at – 2 courses for R210 (R250 with wine) or 3 for R240 (R290 with wine). Throw a garlic roll in there like we did and you’re golden.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Pigalle’s currently also running a seafood platter special. It’s just R495 for two and includes TWO Natal lobster tails. Yes, please!