Beauty bites: Essie Smokin’ Hot, John Frieda Sheer Blonde oil elixir and NAFHA argan oil

So Essie sent me a nail colour called Smokin’ Hot (R120). It’s not new and has been on the shelves for a while but with cooler weather coming up they reckon it’ll get popular fast.

Essie nail polish in Smokin' Hot

Essie nail polish in Smokin’ Hot, R120, selected Clicks, Dis-Chem and Foschini stores.

Generally, I wear bright berries and reds in winter to elevate my pale skin from Zombieland, but this actually looked good on me. (I later read the blurb they sent me and it turns out this is something Julianne Moore wore it to some fancy pants event and she’s a pale peep too so it’s basically the universe saying ‘Go forth and rock this mani in all your pasty winter glory, white gal!’)

I really like that you only need two coats to get full opacity and, like most Essie colours, it wears like iron. The only downside is, being a very dark hue, you have to make sure your painting skills are up to scratch and that you don’t flood your cuticles in the slightest.

I attended a John Frieda bash the other day and was given a hamper of goodies. I’m really enjoying using their Sheer Blonde Blonde Hair Repair conditioning treatment (R95, exclusive to Clicks) as I’ve recently coloured my hair and this is doing a good job of putting back the moisture that highlights sometimes take it and, despite wantonly applying it to my roots area, it doesn’t weigh my super fine hair down in the least.

I'm too hung to go drag this out my shower and photograph it so embrace my stock pic with love, okay?

I’m too hung right now to go drag this out my shower and photograph it so embrace my stock pic with love, okay?

John Frieda have also launched a new hair ‘oil elixir’ especially for blondes. It’s essentially a mix of silicones with a bit of sunflower oil and white tea to ‘bring out glistening highlights’. I have no clue if it’s possible for this to lighten or ‘enhance’ or whatever it’s trying to say it does and reckon it would do a good job on any hair colour.

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John Frieda Sheer Blonde Brightening oil elixir, R110, Clicks.

As the formula’s nice and light, it’s ideal for anyone with a finer hair type that isn’t in need of serious frizz-busting i.e. me. I’ve been using it on my lengths when I remember – applying it to wet hair before blow drying – and like that it makes brushing easier and offers a little bit of heat protection. It’s hard to judge the shine-enhancing factor as my hair’s always been super shiny all by itself. (I know, I know. You hate me. If it makes you feel any better know that I spilled a bottle of bright fuchsia polish all over my white duvet this morning so that’s the karmic wheel of life turning right there, girls. Don’t be jealous bitches, okay? Nobody knows my inner world is awash with painful linen dramz, okay?)

Last but not least, there’s a new Argan oil-infused beauty brand in town called NAFHA which means ‘breath’ or ‘essential’ in Arabic. It hails from France, however; is certified organic and can be found in selected Edgars stores.

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From cleansers and scrubs to anti-ageing lip and eye treatments, it’s all here.

I got to try the Cosmetic Virgin Argan Oil and was impressed that it’s 100% antioxidant vitamin-rich argan oil as opposed to 99% other oils and just a teensy dash of argan, which is the case for so many other argan oil bandwagon brands. Also, the oil’s garnered from handpicked argan tree kernels as opposed to collected via those found in goat poop. (Yep, I also totally didn’t know that that, for the most part, is how they get it!)

I like that the pale gold-coloured oil feels silky and light is totally scent-free. The handy li’l roller-ball (R260 for 15 mls) is ideal to keep in your handbag and use as an on-the-go cuticle hydrator but if you’re keen to hydrate bigger things, like your hair or bod for example, its best you buy the bottle (R580 for 100 mls).

John Frieda

NAFHA Cosmetic Virgin Argan Oil, R260, selected Edgars stores.

See anything you’re keen to try? Tried anything and keen to share? Chat to me in the comments section below.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

If you’re addicted to YouTube like I am, you’ll have caught Lauder’s new Little Black Primer ads featuring Kendall Jenner. While I wish she had a little more life behind those pretty eyes of hers, I do think she’s a nice pick for the brand as she gives them a nice, ‘youth injection’.

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‘Yum, my hand tastes sooo good! Vampire teens fo life, yo!’

As for the primer itself, this is a lovely product and I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. In the past, my experiences with lash primers has always been iffy but I’ve realised that’s mostly due to the fact that the ones I’d been trying were rubbish. For starters, many of them were merely mascara passing themselves off as primers which meant you were only really adding an extra coat. Also, many of them were white ‘cos the brand thought it looked oh so cool and awesome, but in reality there was no practical reason for this. If anything, they only served to make your mascara look grey. Never a good look!

But like I said, Lauder’s primer is a good one and there are three ways to use it.

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Estee Lauder Little Black Primer, R295.

If you wear it alone, you’ve got a very light, ‘I could get away with wearing this to school type of mascara that merely tints and separates your lashes while adding  length.

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Naked lashes on the left and wearing just the primer on the right.

When I first used it as a primer I could see my lashes did look ever so slightly bolstered but it’s only when I took comparison shots that I really went ‘Oh! Ok. So there is quite the difference’.

Primer and two coats of mascara on the left and just two coats of mascara (no primer) on the right.

Primer and a coat of Lauder’s Sumptuous Infinite mascara (R345) on my left eye and a coat of the same mascara without any primer on the right.

Another plus? Usually, my mascara comes off with a few sweeps of a make-up removal wipe but with the primer on, it almost didn’t budge. I had to break a proper oil-based eye make-up remover (Lancome’s Bi-Facil) to take it off. My lashes also still looked ‘fresh’ after a full day of wear, as though no mascara had flaked off while I’d gone about my day.

The last way to wear it is as a top coat to ‘seal in’ your mascara, turning it into a water-resistant one. (Personally, I find method two does a good job of doing that too.) I was initially hesitant to layer this on top of two coats of mascara as I thought things would start to get super spidery-looking but thanks to Lauder’s curved short-bristled brush, it does a nice job of separating each lash.

Personally, I’m very much a slick on and go type of person but Little Black Primer is something I’ll reach for on days when I want make-up that goes the distance. If you’ve been considering giving it a bash know I give it a thumbs up but go in with clear expectations. It’s not going to magically boost sparse lashes to create Kardashian-style volume but it is good at it’s job – priming –  which I see as acting as a ‘fast-hold’ base for your mascara.

Love, love

Leigh

Will you be watching Neill Anthony – The Private Chef?

There’s a new show coming to town – Neill Anthony – The Private Chef.

Howzit, howzit!

Howzit, howzit!

Last year I worked as a scriptwriter on another locally produced cooking/travel show and spent all my nights in bed watching this Aussie dude have deep, meaningful convos with farmers, zip line through forests, babble on about sustainable fishing and occasionally whip up the odd sandwich.

After that, I didn’t think I’d ever want to watch another foodie show again (not that my show was horrible, just that I’d watched each episode at least six hundred million times) and felt a deep sense of tiredness when I was sent a press release regarding another one. But then the charming li’l press pack arrived and it was so carefully put together that it totally melted my overcooked little heart.

Yum!

All the dry ingredients to create a decadent-looking cheese cake and a PnP voucher for the perishable ones. They even included the dish! Nice one, Jam Media!

Obviously I had every intention of creating this decadent dessert but life took an ugly turn and my internet connection died (right before all my deadlines), resulting in a stressful meltdown of epic proportions. Obviously this meant eating the entire slab of Milky Bar right away. Then, when my IT hero friend Darryn came round I couldn’t leave him high and dry while slaving over my router so naturally the chocolate biscuits had to come out.

Yum!

Yum!

Never mind, I told myself. I’d just buy more when I hit up the Pick n Pay with my voucher. But then my middle class, small town background kicked in and I blew it all on booze. Oops!

Them PE roots die hard, I tell ya!

Them PE roots die hard, I tell ya!

Anyway, let’s get back to Neill…

I love this shot as it's so fabulously awkward. Like Neill peed in his pants and is trying to hide it.

I love this shot as it’s so fabulously awkward.

A talented young chef who’s cut his teeth in the kitchen of Gordon Ramsay, Niell’s cooked for the likes of Elton John and Victoria Beckham while working abroad and now he’s back on South African soil to whip up meals for our local elite (i.e. super sterre and very rich mense). This is essentially the focus of his show – what it’s really like to be a hardworking private chef – and the first episode, which I got to preview, sees Neill creating a decadent three-course dinner party for former bok captain Francois Pienaar in his ultra mooi Camps Bay villa.

While Neill does not have a sparkling ‘made for TV’ personality I’m not going to write him off just yet. He may need a little time to warm up to the camera. Also, there’s something kind of soothing about Neill’s monotone voice and, luckily, his food is interesting enough to hold your attention on its own. Another plus, if you’re more into cooking shows for – you know – the actual cooking, is that Neill’s creative and interesting food is the focus. Also, the way Neill carefully demonstrates things makes you feel that making a crispy pork belly might not actually be too much a stretch from the chicken ‘toaster waffles’ you’ve already eaten twice this week.

Keen to catch the first episode? It airs weekly on SABC 3 on Sunday from 15 March at 4:30pm with a repeat on Fridays at 3pm. Epi one sees Neill making several dishes including a surprisingly yummy-looking mushroom, lentil and goats cheese salad and a hot chocolate soup!

Love, love

Leigh

A closer look at Rubi Cosmetics, now exclusive to Cotton On

Cotton On’s empire is expanding further in that the Aussie brand’s Rubi line, best known for it’s shoes, now includes cosmetics. The line isn’t enormous but there’s lots to pick from, specifically lipstick and gloss, eye shadow, blush, bronzer, nail colours, make-up remover wipes and a roll-on EDT.

I got to play with just about everything (thanks Butterknife PR!) and was most impressed with the blush in Coral Gold.

Love this!

Love this!

Apparently there’s another pink shade available called Rose. What I love about Coral Gold, however, is that’s it’s pretty close to Nars’ Torrid, a slightly darker, peachier-red version of their iconic Orgasm. Pigmentation-wise, Rubi’s blush is fabulous so be sure to apply it with a light hand. Once you get that right it could be a new best friend. (For me, this is a definite make-up bag keeper.)

Rubi’s eye shadow palette is fantastic too in that the shadows share the same satiny, butter-soft texture and great pigmentation as the blush. In a way, they remind me a lot of Clinique’s ultra blendable shadows, but are a snip of the price.

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Mooi, ne?

Then there are the lippies. Some great colours going on there and, at just R79 a pop, they’re super affordable. Apparently some are ‘matte’ and some are ‘creme’ textured but all of them look kind of satiny too me. They also feel comfy on your lips and don’t have any particular scent which many will appreciate. The only downer is, as they’re so ‘hydrating’, they don’t really stay on your lips very long, save for the very dark ones that have a slight staining effect.

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Sadly, I have no idea as what the name of these shades are. I pulled the clear plastic wrap off each one and tossed them before realising the names where there as opposed to on the tube.

As for the EDT, I was given Desert Daze, and didn’t especially like this dude. He was waaay too sweet for me – like vanilla essence mixed in with pachouli and musk – but fragrances are totally subjective so I feel bad even saying that. There are also two others to pick from, Downtown Dreams and Summer Nights, but I can’t find a descriptor with any of their notes online.

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Rubi Make-up Wipes (I haven’t tried these yet), roll-on perfume in Desert Daze and Lip Gloss in Flamingo Pink.

I don’t feel bad, however, in letting you know the lip gloss is a real let down. Everything from the packaging to texture and petrol-like scent feels a bit ‘Ralo Cosmetics’. But we’ll forgive dear old Rubi ‘cos, my God, that blush and eye shadow are both serious gems.

Next time you’re in store, go check ‘em out and you’ll see what I mean. Incredibly good quality for very little cash. Just the way I like it.

Love, love

Leigh

I don’t have all the prices for this range just yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to fill them in.

Review: Rimmel Provocolips 16HR Kissproof lip colour

Rimmel’s new two-step lip colours (R99,95) involve a long-wearing liquid lippie and a hydrating balm that promise to stay put for a good 16 hours.

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These come in eight shades and these are three of them –  Kiss Fatal (deep plum), Little Minx (hot pink) and Play with Fire (red).

While the colour is a straight liquid lippie, the lollipop-scented/flavoured top coat, that can be applied throughout the day without disturbing your colour, is a liquid too that kind of feels like a non-sticky hydrating lip gloss.

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My only gripe is that I know I’ll run out of top coat before I do colour.

Ready to get swatchy?

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From the top: Kiss Fatal, Little Minx and Play with Fire.

I wore the pink shade the other day and oh boy am I in love! It really does cling to your lips (with the power of a thousand pitt bull’s all suffering from lock jaw) and, thanks to the top coat, doesn’t feel dry in the least, something that can be a bit of an ‘ish’ with long-wearing lip colours in general. Also, it really doesn’t feel like you have anything on. The colour sits very closely to your skin, if that makes sense, almost like a ‘stain tattoo’ or something.

<I’ll be adding a shot of this on my face in the next two hours or so. Right now, I’m running out the door to a meeting.>

But ja, getting back to the wear… Pink was applied after lunch and survived me drinking Coke Zero all avie (from a glass.) I then moved on to dinner with friends six hours later and things were still looking freshly applied. I only noticed that the colour had worn away a bit in the centre of my lips after I’d eaten a salad that had an oil-based dressing which makes perfect sense as that’s what you need to take this baby off – an oil-based make-up remover. Anyway, I touched up, came home drunk (in an Uber) and fell into bed with all my make-up on (I know, I know…) and woke up with scarily perfect-looking lips. *Air punch!*

Any, if you’re looking for a fab long-wearing lip colour, Rimmel’s Provocalips is an awesome pick.

Love, love

Leigh

 

A look at Errol Arendz Du Sud’s new winter collection

Last week I attended the launch of Errol Arendz Du Sud’s new winter collection hosted by one of the brand’s designers and held at the Cape Quarter store. To kick things off guests were treated to Cruz vodka-infused dirty martinis while browsing the store.

My kinda show...

My kinda show…

There were a couple of seriously nice clothing pieces, especially gorgeous animal printed kaftans but snapping these on the rails didn’t do them any justice. Thus, the majority of my piccies are of what Du Sud does best – shoes, shoes, shoes!

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Pretty, right? Those tan and gold wedges are currently R1 190 on Zando. I didn’t get the prices of the others.

I also really liked these two bags…

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The clutch (R699) has a tassel attached to it that’s out the shot as my poor friend Tracey’s desperately combing it to prevent me from having an OCD melt down. Once sorted it still didn’t look ‘neat’ enough and thus you get this shot and not the hive-inducing tassel shot. And you think YOU have problems.

After a bit of a schmingle with these mooi mense

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From left to right: Clouds (AndLollipops), Tracy (The Fashion Fox), me, Tarryn (Fashion Trash), Sheri-Lee (SA Fashion Girl) and (Fashion Jazz)…

…we got to sit down and take in a fashion show and was surprised by how many items didn’t jump out at me from the rails but looked absolutely killer on the models. (Alas, I don’t have any pics of my favourite things as I was sitting at an angle that made it difficult to snap a ‘girl from the front’ view but the event photographer did manage to grab a few ‘on the ramp’ shots.

Photo credit goes to

Photo credit goes to Henry Hopkins.

Off ramp, I really liked these boys:

This dress struck me as being pretty Versace, which I like, and I loved the luxe, almost ‘shearling’ texture of the throw.

Upon leaving, I got my very own koek (yes please!) and got to pick between double chocolate and red velvet. Obviously I went for the latter ‘cos red velvet is like the only cake where the kilojoules totally don’t count.

Glad I came!

Glad I came!

Dankie dankie to Katie Coetzee and Brigitte Willers from Panache Communication who put the bash together, I had a lovely time. To view more of Du Sud’s winter collection pop into the store and keep an eye on Zando. Currently the new items aren’t up yet but I’m told they’re going live soon.

Love, love

Leigh

Want another chance to win an HTC One?

As it turns out, being an ambassador for HTC has been one of the easiest gigs I’ve had in ages. I get the coolest cell phone I’ve ever used and all I have to do is tell people how awesome it is – something that’s coming to me as naturally as breathing. Seriously. My convo’s totally run like this.

Person: Oh! Why don’t you have an iPhone? (People seriously say that. Like a lot.)
Me: What? Oh, I used to. But I was given this to test drive and – surprise – it kicks the iPhone’s ass in that the battery life is sick and the camera could take piccies for freakin’ National Geographic, yo! I’m, like, never going back. Nevvvvvvverrrr!!!
Person: Whoah, you’re pretty into your phone.
Me: Yes. Yes I am. (Cue slightly psychotic head tilt.)

Anyway, I recently helped add a little content to a comp they’re currently running, along with my fellow ambassadors, on All4Women.co.za. (Hey Sheri! Hey Jazz!) It sees you standing the chance to win an HTC One mini worth R8K so if you want, want, want one (and I know you do), best you head on over there.

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Oooh, I love to love you, baby.

Love, love

Leigh