Tried and tested: Fab new beauty goodies from essence

19 Jan

The sweet peeps at essence sent me a veritable sack o’ new goodies the other day and I’ve had a lot of fun playing with them. I also found a few gems in the process and thought I’d share them with you, starting with their fab new Stays No Matter What jumbo eye and shadow pencils (R34,95.)

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I’m wearing the eye pencil as a shadow in both pics. One is with flash, the other without.

These are available in several shades and I was given Chocolate Brownie, a lovely copper brown hue that makes my blue eyes pop. The secret to using it successfully, if you’re using it as a liner, is to give it time to set. Then it really does stay in place. As a shadow, this colour works well too. Simply colour in your eyelid, blend the edges with a bullet brush and BAM; you’ve got cream-style smokey eye shadow that goes the extra mile. Even more so if you team it with a primer. Very, very nice and at a price you’ll struggle to beat.

Next up? Lashes Go Wild mascara (R36,95).

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Essence Lashes Go Wild mascra, R36,95.

Packaged in a cute li’l tube, it boasts a five ball wand that promises to rev up the volume and – surprise, surprise – it works. (It’s the mascara I’m wearing along with the jumbo eye pencil up top.) I’ve tried a couple of essence’s mascara’s in the past and thought most were a bit ‘meh’ but this baby’s a real goodie. If you’re as broke as I am right now (God bless you evil January) and looking for cheap and cheerful mascara this is a very good bet, not to mention cheaper than a freakin’ MacDonald’s meal!

Other new essence eye colours worth a mention include Metal Glam eye shadow (R36,95) and eye sorbet gel/mousse shadow (R39,95).

From left to right; Metal Glam shadows in N'Ice Frosting (silver white) and Jewel Up The Ocean (turquoise) plus the Eye Sorbet in Iluminating Raspberry.

From left to right: Metal Glam shadows in Jewel Up The Ocean and Nice Frosting plus the eye sorbet in Iluminating Raspberry.

I’m not really a glitter bug so these won’t make it into my make-up bag. Also, let’s not forget that I’m old and haggard now and have pores that are starting to become more visible so glitter and shimmer which makes them even more obvious ain’t no friend of mine. Still, if you’re young and big into glitz; work at Madame Zingara or simply keen on  making every day a blerrie skouspel you’ll want to check these out. While they’re no Urban Decay glittergasm, they’re cheap as chips and nicely formulated.

Moving on… Essence has a new kabuki brush on the shelves. Being a brush snob, I wrote it off the moment I saw it but it’s actually surprisingly good quality. Think soft, soft, soft with bristles densely packed enough to evenly distribute powder foundation as opposed to creating a nasty-looking cake fest.

Cute kabuki!

Cute kabuki!

There were other goodies included in my press drop that weren’t mentioned in the press release but have NEW stickers on them so I’m assuming they’re also new to the shelves or, at the very least new shade options. Of that lot I was most impressed with essence’s I Heart Smokey jumbo eye pencil.

See what I mean about 'soft black'?

See what I mean about ‘soft black’?

It goes on smoothly, blends well, stays put once set and, despite being called Deep Black, is actually a very nice ‘soft’ black. This way, if you’re fair like me, you can ramp up on le sexy sexy without making a pit stop in Sletsville. (You’ll know you’re in Sletsville when all your friends are rocking a dark lip liner and pale lippie combo and say things like ‘But it was a classy crop top! That HR chica is suuuuch a bitch…’)

Other essence goodies that I’m convinced aren’t new at all but I’m sooo glad I have them? Their mini lipgloss set and studio nails pocket file set.

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Ag soet man!

I have no clue as to how much these babies cost but I’ve actually bought the lipgloss set before and marveled at how inexpensive it was. Both the gloss and files are the ultimate gift topper-upper for any girlie girl in your life. She can toss the glosses into each of her teensy weensy clutches and who in their right mind doesn’t love a sweet li’l nail file with winged hearts on it? A cold-hearted heart-covered nail file hater, that’s who. And I don’t know anyone like that. Do you? (God, that actually rhymes.)

Anyway, here’s hoping I’ve highlighted something that’s caught your attention. There were quite a few nail goodies in my sakkie too, but I’ll be covering that in a separate post so keep an eye out.

Love, love

Leigh

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… and I’m back. Almost.

13 Jan

I’m baaa-ack! Almost. I’ve currently got a toy boy guest staying with me until the 16th and have been kept pretty busy so I haven’t had time to schedule a post to go live every day after this one. Thus, I’ll be posting ad hoc sommer and eventually get back into the swing of daily posting towards to the end of the week.

So, let’s jump in, shall we?

As you know I’ve been whoring out the L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate on my blog for months but didn’t end up going. This spurred a flurry of ‘Where the hell were you?’s so I thought I’d just address that right here. You see, after being made to jump through a lot of hoops in the form of creating several pre-posts and having to fill out a media accreditation form, I was only told I’d nabbed a Stud Club ticket for defs on the Thursday; 48 hours before the race. This was the case for all media, actually, and, while it might’ve suited them, it didn’t quite work for me. Also, I was only given a single ticket and told that if I wanted to get the name of my partner on the list that I’d have to go through yet another admin process.

Being in holiday mode, I just didn’t feel like that kind of a las. Mostly, however, I didn’t feel hundred percent ready to gooi myself back into the lion pit that is the Cape Town social circle and smile and grin while working my ass off to take decent snaps and quotes and then work even harder the next day with a blinding hangover to create a pretty post about it.

I wrote waaay too many posts last year looking/feeling like this. Lindsay Lohan was my spirit animal.

I wrote waaay too many posts last year looking/feeling like this. Lindsay Lohan was my spirit animal.

The night before the event, I ran into local actor/comedian/my ex-neighbour Siv Ngesi and our convo ran like this:

Siv: Hey, hey! See you at QP tomorrow!
Me: Nah. I’m not feeling it.
Siv: (Narrows eyes. Gives me his ‘Bitch, are you for real?’ look.)
Me: (Narrows eyes. Gives him my ‘Yes, I’m for real’ look).
Siv: You know this is one of the events of the year, right?’
Me: Bleh. Whatevs. (Squeezes toy boy’s balls for the pleasure of mortifying Siv.)
Siv: Okaaay. Suit yourself. But I’m going and I’m going to win best dressed. Just you watch!

And with that, he hopped into his karretjie and drove away.

Anyway, after that convo, I felt a slight pang of nervosity, if that’s even a word. The Queen’s Plate is a big event. Still, I just couldn’t bring myself to give a fuck. There’s a part of me that kind of burned out and died at the end of last year and there’s no amount of canapés, champers and swag that can bring it back to life. Something’s different.

Later, on the evening of the event, I lay in bed trying to teach myself how to knit via a YouTube video and scrolled through my twitter timeline. It was littered with LQP tweets and it looked like everyone had blast despite having to pay for champagne. Cindy Nell was radiant in her mooi white rokkie, the pers disco ligte twinkled and sure enough, there was Siv, chest puffed out with the pride of having won the award for best dressed man.

While taking it all in, I expected to feel a tidal wave of regret but instead I just felt alleviated. Like I was off the hook. And better yet, the sky hadn’t caved in! In fact, if anything, the whole thing simply bolstered the fact that my New Year’s resolution – to simply say NO – might actually work out for me.

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I had to write my resolutions on a wall at my friend Leah’s drunken dinner party. Myself, her and my sis also committed to knitting each other a scarf before 2015. Long story.

..

It took me two days to get all that magic marker off my arm without stuffing up my self-tan.

It took me two days to get all that magic marker off my arm without stuffing up my self-tan.

To elaborate, I spent a lot of my time last year going to the openings of envelopes and working like a mofo to keep various entities happy often at the expense of myself. I also did a lot of ‘work’ for free or for a trade exchange that just wasn’t satisfying. So much so that, in the end, I felt taken advantage of. In saying that though, I’m aware that all of that was my fault. Much of what happens to you is related to what you permit and thus I’m now making a point of ensuring this year is very, very different.

To give you an example, if you’re an acquaintance who tells me they’ve given my number to their mad aunt Lunette so she can get in touch and ask that I review her craptastical DIY aromatherapy range I’m going to politely decline and not feel riddled with guilt. If you’re a brand that never sends me any product but then suddenly calls and asks that I do a post on your amazing new ad campaign I’m going to send you my amazing new rate card and ask that you pay for it. (For the record, I don’t and never will accept payment to review products. I like the freedom of being able to e-mail a PR co and politely decline promoting a crappy eye cream that promises Botox-like results.)

Another way to just say no? I’m going to be a lot more careful about the events and number of which I attend. No more six launches a week, perma-hangover and a camera with a thousand shots of parties that all blur into one for me. Oh no. I want to ensure that the time I’m spending away from my real friends is worthwhile. (And it’s not like I don’t have real friends within the social circuit, but you get what I mean.) I’m still in the process of developing criteria for what I’ll bother to curl my hair for but I want to only attend things that’ll garner info that’ll be interesting to you, my readers, or offer a real draw card for me (i.e. Hello there, open oyster bar!) Either way, I’m picking and choosing to suit as opposed to simply rocking up only because I’m terrified that if I don’t, I’ll fall off that PR’s media list.

Aside from keeping me sane, all the above will also protect me from becoming Sad Blogger Girl. (Come on fellow bloggers, we all know her. The chick who thinks she’s a VIP as opposed to someone who’s simply been given VIP access to cover regte celebrities. The girl who uses a shot of herself and a Cape Town PR queen as her twitter profile pic and invites Jeannie D to her birthday and then gets all hurt and confused when she doesn’t rock up. We don’t want to be SBG, okay? No SBG for us).

Anyway, these are a few of the things I’ll be putting into effect for 2014. I actually don’t yet know how they’ll affect my blog in the long-term but I do know they’ll contribute to greater personal happiness. And that’s all I want for this year. To be super fucking happy. And lose 3kgs of ‘launch belly’. And maybe even finally get cracking on writing my great South African novel beach read.

So, here’s to a kick ass 2014 bietse!

Love, love (and an extra love just ‘cos I’m high on possibility and two cups of coffee),

Leigh

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas (full of disgustingly delicious artery-clogging KFC-style gravy)

22 Dec

Can you believe 2013 is almost dunzo? I don’t know about you but this hasn’t been my favourite year and I can’t wait for it to voetsek. I do, however, have a good feeling about 2014.

Anyway, I was going to create a final ‘Christmas-y post’ on my top beauty-related gift items but just didn’t get around to it, what with end of year wrap up madness and an impromptu relocation to a new apartment. Still, I’d like to leave you with this; a recipe for KFC-style gravy.

Kiss that gap between your thighs good bye, bietse!

Kiss that gap between your thighs good bye, bietse!

It’s based off of something I found on the net and then fiddled with and tweaked a little bit. The end result is pretty darn good, I think, so that’s my somewhat random ‘gift’ to you; a merry li’l heart attack in a gravy boat.

KFC-style gravy

Take two tablespoons of butter (not marge) and melt it in the micro with two tablespoons of Maizina and mix it up to create a disgusting paste. Next, pour in about a cup of boiling water with a chicken stock cube AND a beef stock cube mixed in plus a few generous shakes of Aromat. Stir, stir, stir – nuke it in the micro a bit once more and then stir, stir, stir once more.

Just like that, you’ll have KFC-style gravy! Then, if you like adding their chilli salt to the gravy like I do, add in a few heavy shakes of cayenne pepper. Ta fucking da! 

If any of you try it, please let me know your thoughts. Otherwise, this is me signing off for the year and wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a kifftastical new year.

Love, love

Leigh

Henry Holland’s teamed up with Mr Price to create a gorgeous celeb-inspired dress collection

13 Dec

Remember Brit designer Henry Holland’s T-shirt collection for Mr Price? Well they’ve hooked up again, this time to create a line of cute summer dresses inspired by his super star besties; Kelly Osbourne, Pixie Geldorf, Katy Perry and Rihanna, to name but a few.

Kelly in the Poppy (Delevigne) dress on the left and Pixie in the Pixie dress on the right.

Kelly in the Poppy (Delevigne) dress on the left and Pixie in the Pixie dress on the right.

Being a lucky cow, I was spoiled by Have You Heard, a word of mouth PR agency, who gave me a voucher to blow on Mr P’s hot new ‘summer edit’ collection which includes Henry’s dresses. Thus, I decided to snap up the white Kelly dress and leafy green Riri dress.

Kelly in Kelly, Pixie in Riri. Confused yet?

Kelly in Kelly, Pixie in Riri. Confused yet?

I’d seen piccies of them floating around in social media and in mags and initially thought the latter was a bietjie bont but it totally grew on me so I decided to toss it in my virtual trolley and try it on and – surprise, surprise – it ended up being the winner.

Love it!

Love it!

I liked this mooi rokkie so much I wore it to last night’s G Star Raw party so you’ll be seeing more of it on the blog next week. Being an attention-seeking li’l diva biets, I loooved the amount of attention this dress got me. Whenever anyone complimented me on it, I took great pleasure in going ‘I know, right?! Can you believe it’s from Mr Price?! For only R139,99?!‘ ‘That’s just five rand more than a KFC box meal!’, I’d shriek, before doing a little twirl.

My nail colour's Essie's Bottle Service. It dries matte but a top coat takes it to glossyville.

My nail colour’s Essie’s Bottle Service. It dries matte but a top coat takes it to glossyville.

I loved that the material was nice and thick – it sucked in every lump and bump and I didn’t have to wear a bra. The only downside is that it can get a leetle on the hot side so, the next time I wear it, I’ll make sure it’s not a bazillion degrees outside or that I’d be stuck in an overcrowded partytjie moshing to AKA.

Want a Henry Holland rokkie of your own? Best you make a move as everything’s limited edition and stocks are running out fast.

Love, love

Leigh

HUGO BOSS hosted a stylish ladies brunch at Myatt Cafe in the V&A Waterfront

12 Dec

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a stylish ladies brunch at Myatt Cafe hosted by the HUGO BOSS store in the V&A. Myself and about 40 or so other girls arrived at the store in the morning where we got to browse the racks while nibbling on canapes.

Karisa from LoveAffairCapeTown

Myself, Karisa from LoveAffairCapeTown.com and Sheri-Lee from SAFashiongirl.com looking like a The Bling Ring cast reunion ten years on.

The store is fab in that they stock all the freshest fashion from all the brand’s lines; Red, Orange, Black, you name it.

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These were just a few of my favourite things.

I got sooo excited thinking that gorgeous embellished collar shirt was marked down to just R475 but Karisa was all ‘No, dumbass, it’s four thousand seven hundred and fifty!’ and I was all ‘Oh’. <insert sade face here>.

Cindy Nell, looking tres elegant in a black and white HUGO BOSS gown, was the morning’s MC.

Looking HAWT chica!

Looking HAWT chica!

We also got to take in a little fashion show.

The green dress in the centre was the crowd favourite.

The green dress in the centre was the crowd favourite.

After the show, we all moved on to Myatt Cafe for a delish brunch which included a yummy salmon and Hollandaise sauce-topped croissant.

Breakfast at Myatt. Kind of like Breakfast at Tiffany's, but with better food.

Breakfast at Myatt is kind of like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but with better food and mooier meisies. Spot Roxy Louw and Natalie Becker in the crowd?

The morning’s highlight, however, was a lucky draw for prizes like a night’s stay at uber-luxurious Tinswalo lodge and a HUGO BOSS handbag. There was also a giant Caribbean Tan hamper in the mix which I totally had my eye on as I go through self-tan like water. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that hamper had my name on it but noooo, it was awarded to the brownest person in the room, eTV’s Tanya Nefdt, who happened to be sitting right next to me.

My beautiful melanin rich friends who'll never know the pain of self-tan stained palms.

Fairlady’s Roxanne Cloete, socialite Thandie Kupe and Tanya (AKA as my smug, melanin-rich friends who’ll never know the pain of self-tan stained palms).

Obviously, the ‘right’ thing to do would’ve been to hand it over into my pale little hands but we’re talking about the berry brown evil that is Tanya here. Remember when she assaulted me The Big Bottle fest earlier on this year? (Hate you long time, Miss T.)

Anyway, shattered auto bronzant dreams aside, this was a lovely morning out. And, on the upside, the goodie bag featured a host of wicked treats from Wings Group including my beloved Toffifee, so now I get to be fat and pale. Winning?

A big dankie to The Little Black Book PR for a fun morning at the V&A.

Love, love

Leigh

FYI, the piccies of Cindy and the HUGO BOSS models were taken by hot shot event photographer Werner Ryke who I frikken love ‘cos he always finds a way to make my arm look thin (and not just because I’m always slipping Wings Group goodie bag choccies into his pants).

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