Review: Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse in medium

A while back I attended the launch of Vita Liberata, a range of organic self-tanning products that’s now available via selected salons in South Africa as well as a local website. The range hails from Northern Ireland and is proudly 80% organic. The self-tanners also promise not to smell while they develop, fade naturally, offer more hydration that other self-tanners and are packed with ‘good for you’ natural extracts like seaweed, pomegranate and licorice.


Vita Liberata’s mooi self-tan model.

While at the launch, I put two of their self-tanners on my arm but now, as it was so long ago and I’ve since lost my notes, I can’t remember which was which. Eek! Fortunately, both of them turned out to look pretty much the same shade. One was supposed to be ever so slightly more olivey-looking but, on my skin, I literally couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Both colours were a very natural shade of ‘tan’; no ‘orange’ or ‘mud’ in the mix at all.


In this shot the colour on the left looks more ‘golden’ and the one on the right seems more ‘olive’ but this would shift depending on what type of light you were in. Any ‘visible’ difference between the two was incredibly subtle.

I was also given a small pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse in medium (It’s R965 fo the full-size) to try at home and wore it just the other day to the 5 for Change charity ball on both my face, chest and legs. (My dress had a killer slit in it!) I applied it that morning using a few sweeps of my tanning mitt* and hit the shops. Being tinted, it was super easy to see where it was going. Then, as it developed I didn’t smell a thing. If anything, it was like I was wearing a lightly floral-scented body lotion.


Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 week tan mousse, R965.

By evening, I had a very natural-looking, even, medium tan. I liked that when I hit the shower, the top coat didn’t wash off to reveal a disappointing ‘much lighter than’-type of tan, as if often the case. My skin also didn’t feel drier for having under gone the process, another potential self-tan negative. But I really didn’t expect it; I mean, for heaven’s sake, the mousse’s first listed ingredient is aloe vera leaf water. Lovely stuff.

Who would've thought that earlier on that day my chest was the colour of my friend Mark's shirt.

Who would’ve thought that just earlier on that day my chest was literally the colour of my friend Mark’s** shirt.

Thanks to something Vita Liberata are calling pHen02 technology (I have no clue what that is and am too busy to Google it), they reckon their self-tanner will ‘last up to four times longer’ than your normal tan. I’m not sure if they mean normal self-tanner or a normal tan but either way, this did last a little longer than other self-tanners I use in that, seven days later, the colour on my chest, where I applied it twice, is still visible. The colour on my arms, legs and face, however, is almost gone but the fade out is incredibly natural looking.

Anyway, I really liked the look of my tan as well as the process. For me, the experience was on par with using St. Tropez self-tanning mousse, the self-tanner I usually reach for when I want a light, natural-looking tan. (Famous Dave’s is my go to for when a bikini holiday is looking and I want to look dark.) In fact, if Vita Liberata was the same price as St. Tropez, I’d probably be torn between the two and maybe VL would win as I see it’s also available in ‘dark’. But the fact is, I simply can’t afford to blow almost a grand on a self-tan and using ‘organic’ beauty products has never been important to me. Still, if you have deeper pockets than I do and feel strongly about making almost all-natural beauty choices, then chances are you’re going to fall in love with Vita Liberata.

Love, love


*If you don’t have one of these you have to make a plan, girls. Application becomes a dream!

**Poor Mark looks terrified in that shot ‘cos I’d literally just told him I was going to pee on his leg. My bloody Spanks were crazy tight and almost impossible to get on and off so I refused to go the loo the entire evening and walked around like a nasty old hot water bottle just waiting to explode. Now let’s count the seconds until my sister reads this and lambastes me via What’s Apps for being utterly devoid of class and how I’ll never find a husband and die all alone (but very evenly tanned) in my flat…

A party with a purpose: The 5 for Change charity ball 2014

Last weekend I attended the annual 5 for Change charity ball and auction. This year, the five chosen charities to benefit from the proceeds where all girl-focused and you can read more about them over here in my pre post. The MC was actor/comedian Siv Ngesi who brought the hotness in a fancy pants suit and The Kiffness and Louise Day (she does a great Coldplay cover) provided the entertainment.


#NoFilter, darlings. (Also, clicking on my collages makes them bigger, if you didn’t know.)

This year, while the dress code was still black tie, there wasn’t a particular theme, so I ended up in a long lacey rokkie I snapped up at YDE for around R500. Bargain! I then went the extra mile in mooiness department by slapping on a pair of mini false eyelashes I picked up on a whim at Dis-Chem; Eylure’s Miss Eylure Lashlets. I loved that they’re smaller, so they fit my li’l eyes and pre-glued so you literally just plak them on like stickers. So easy even a twelve year old could do it.

Don't you love getting to that stage where you feel like you've met all the people who's opinions you care about so you can shamelessly reapply lippie in public?

Don’t you love getting to that stage where you feel like all the people who’s opinions you care about are those who know you all too well so you can shamelessly reapply your lippie in public?

My hair was curled by Tarryn Page, but I did my own make-up using, among other things, Bodyography foundation (awesome stuff), Catrice Camoflage Cream concealer, e.l.f eye shadow primer (I buy it via eBay), MAC eyeshadow in Tempting on my entire lid and The Body Shop Baked-To-Last blush in Petal. I’m wearing Essence  red lipstick and Essie’s All You Need Is Red. It’s become a bit of a winter staple, actually.

Peeps-wise, I didn’t do a lot of schmingling at the party. In fact, I pretty much plonked myself at a table station with my date Mark (who I promised that I’d let everyone know he’s just an old work friend – he is 100% single. Go get him, ladies!), Karisa and her ‘date’, Cape Town food blog’s Kayli (maybe we were trying to set her up with Mark… maybe we weren’t…), Ritza and Elrico ( as well as Clouds ( and her date, local designer Jacques le Grange, who also created her rokkie. No YDE number’s for Mevrou Clouds. No sireee.

We all

We all got dronk and swore blind that, this Friday, we’d finally have the old skool braai we’ve been gaaning on about for ages at Elrico and Ritza’s place. I’m bringing curried pasta salad and peppermint crisp tart so jaaa… we’ll see how that works out.

Anyway, getting back to the ball… This year’s venue was The Look Out at the V&A and our journey there involved terrifying taxi ride with a rally driving mentalist who almost slammed us into a Tazz, we all needed a seriously stiff drink. It was also absolutely freezing so discovering Patron on ice and free Patron-infused cocktails at the door was like hitting up an oasis after a desert crawl.


Just seeing those potato cones again is like torture. Want, want, want!

We then moved on to bubbly and I hit the canapes hard, shoving a good five or so crispy potato cones in my face. So much so that I eventually bloated up like a whale and spent the night being strangled by my Spanx. Totally worth it though. They also had truffle-flavoured popcorn which was supposed to be a table decoration but, if you’re a shameless snacker like me, it’s the perfect foil to midnight munchies.


Top left: Karisa, myself and Lucy Kenny from Madison Avenue Communications; Centre: Karisa and Kirsten Hopwood from Prestige Communications; Top right: Do you know how long it took me to spot Siv photobombing that shot of Mark, Kayli and Karisa?!

Eventually, after they flicked the lights on at around one or something, we jumped into yet another evil cab. This time the dude had no metre and when we asked what the rates were he was all ‘So… what do you want to pay for this?’ Er, creeptastical! Still, taxi dramz aside it was better than using Uber. They’d offered guest of the ball a free R100 off their ride in a bid to appear charitable but then doubled their rates due to ‘demand’. (Nice one guys. Real nice…)

Anyway, this was a fun night out as per usual. Almost as fun as crashing into Karisa’s bed with the Cream Soda and potato chips that she’d bought in advance for exactly that. Oh! And watching her freak out after discovering my falsies stuck in her hair and mistake them for baby tarantulas. Love that! (I’d show you a pic but just realised you can’t rip shots off Instagram. Ag nee! She’s ‘CTmylove’ and I’m ‘lipglossgirlx0x0′, if you’re interested…)

A big thanks to Kirsten from Prestige Communications for helping to put the event together. A whopping R132 500 was raised from the auction aspect alone.

Love, love


Review: Lancome La Vie est Belle L’Eau EDT

New to the Lancome counter and the last word in pretty, La Vie est Belle L’eau EDT (50ml for R865) is a soft, slightly sweet and very feminine fragrance.

That's my ouma and oupa on the right. They were pretty cool dudes back in the day.

That’s my late Ouma and Oupa on the right, just so you know.

Something about it reminds me a bit of Victor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb but with a lot less sugar and nearly as potent. While V&R yells ‘Hey sexy!’ and wears bright fuchsia lippie, La Vie est Belle L’eau sports a juicy-looking baby pink chubby stick while blowing you a kiss.

Officially, the notes include magnolia essence, iris, white flowers absolute, patchouli essence, sugar, praline, almond and vanilla. To my nose, however, I pick up a little bit of magnolia and a lot of musky, sugary patchouli. Hearing that, you might suspect this scent could be a little too sweet – cloying, even – and possibly step into Thierry Mugler Angel territory but it doesn’t. It’s also not too young-smelling, which is often the case with light, gourmand florals. Another thing I appreciate? There’s very little powder in the mix, if any. Many of Lancome’s scents have powdery notes, including the original La Vie est Belle, but I can’t pick up a drop of that in L’eau.

This shot of Julia Roberts, La Vie est Belle's poster girl, really makes me want to wear navy eye liner.

This shot of Julia Roberts, La Vie est Belle’s poster girl, really makes me want to experiment with navy eye liner.

Being lighter and ‘fresher’ than the original, this is supposed to be ideal to wear in warmer weather but, due to it’s soft, cosy gourmand nature, I reckon this is a perfect autumn/winter scent. In all, a total keeper.

Love, love


Blues restaurant in Camps Bay is holding wine and food pairing evenings to chase away the winter, er, blues

Last week I was invited to a dinner and Warwick Estate wine pairing evening at Blues in Camps Bay. The restaurant’s holding several of these type of evenings over the course of winter to introducing patrons to a few of their favourite vino suppliers – who actually join you for dinner.

I arrived with my foodie friend Dax (he of Relax with Dax) and thought we’d sit at our own table but, as it turns out, Blue’s pairing evenings are actually pretty social. All the guests are seated at one or two big tables so you get to mix and mingle. So, if you’re a single chica on the hunt for a hot wine farmer hubby, best you whip out your ghd and volumising mascara.


Sorry Dax, there’s no way I’m using that shot of the two of us together. I was far too flu-riddled and my face looked like a puffy, old potato. So generalised mooi restaurant vibes it is.

After a glass (or two) of a Warwick wine of our choice and a spread of canapes, dinner kicked off with a tuna scottato salad paired with Warwick’s The First Lady Unoaked Chardonnay. A lovely pairing but my favourite of all the wines was their Professor Black Sauv Blanc I’d tried up front. Its notes included passionfruit, grapefruit and lime and liked that it was crisp, zesty and easy to drink.

The main course was a choice of either a pork belly paired with Warkwick Three Cape Ladies (a red blend) or a yellowtail served with Warwick’s The First Lady, a berrilicious cab sav with a vanilla and chocolate oak background.

That fish was delish. Ooh, that rhymes!

My own food pics looked utterly kak due to the restaurant’s zexy mood lighting so I nabbed some pro shots taken by Laura from Ruby Jean Photography from Blues’ PR Kim.

Warwick’s wine maker, Nic van Aarde, said it was a little unusual to serve a fish with red, but that rules were made to be broken. And either way, it worked really real. The fish was actually my favourite dish of the two (I tried them both) and, as it was served on a warm stew of mussels and mixed beans, it managed to hit up ‘warm winter comfort food’ territory. Dessert was a zesty lemon creme brulee tart.

Anyway, if you want to warm up at Blues this winter, follow them on twitter @BLUESRestaurant or check out their Facebook page to be kept up to date with whats being paired with what and when.

Love, love


SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 fluid review

Many women believe that, if they’re to bump up their skin’s hydration levels, they need to switch to a heavier textured cream as opposed to a lotion. Thing is, if you know which ingredients to look out for, it’s easy to get more moisture while using lightweight serums and gels.

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 fluid

Skinceutical’s new Hydrating B5 fluid (R1 166) is one of many serums that contain water-binding, hyaluronic acid. There’s also a bit of vitamin B5 in the mix (calcium pantothenate) which is also a good hydrator with anti-inflammatory wound healing properties.

While I’m not a huuuge fan of dropper-style packaging, I really like this serum. It feels just like watery glycerine and you can apply it before your daily moisturiser or night cream to get a lovely, skin-plumping dose of hydration without feeling like you have another ‘layer’ on your face. This makes it ideal for anyone with a dehydrated yet oily or combination skin type (i.e. me).

I also really like that its silicone-free texture doesn’t ‘interact’ with other products. (Sometimes certain serums get all ‘bally’ on you when you mix them with other moisturisers.)

Don’t have deep pockets and want a slightly more wallet-friendly alternative? Consider something like Environ’s Ionzyme Focus hydrating serum; a similar formulation for less.

To learn more about SkinCeuticals and find a local stockist, visit their SA Facebook page over here.

Love, love