Heard about Beauty Direct mobile spa? It’s awesome *and* affordable

Need a mani or massage and don’t have time to hit up a salon? Want to add an element of glam to your next partytjie? Best you get hold of Beauty Direct, a mobile salon that comes to wherever you are and charges super affordable prices yet offers a top quality service.

Karisa and Ritza getting their gelish on.

Karisa and Ritza getting their gelish on.

Zelda, the spa’s owner, and one of her therapists were rad enough to pop over to a little ‘Bubbles n’ Beauty’ bash myself and a few blogger besties threw at Karisa’s place the other day. I loved that myself, Karisa, Clouds and Ritza all got to clink glasses (‘Champagne o’ clock – oh yeah!), gorge on Diva’s pizza (their Diva Deluxe, a cheeseless yet beyond delish little number is the shizzles nizzle) while getting our gelish on.

Loving it.

Loving it.

Myself and Clouds opted for Hot Rot Red, a zexy li’l rooi, while Karisa chose Black Cherry Berry, a deep vampy burgundy and Ritza went for Tiger Blossom, a gorgeous coral (but I’m not the douchebag friend who’s going to post piccies of her feet for nasty foot fetish dudes to ogle so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was super duper pretty). It’s been almost a week since our party and my nails are still looking as though I’ve just stepped out of a salon – zero chips and lots of shine.

The mooi rooiness on Clouds and I is Hot Rod Red and Karisa's rocking BLAH.

The mooi rooiness on Clouds and I is Hot Rod Red and Karisa’s rocking Black Cherry Berry.

..

It was a good day for eating. And how much do we looove those cupcakes? Cupdogs and Bullcakes hits a home run once again.

It was a good day for eating. And how much do we looove those cupcakes? Bullcakes & Cupdogs hits a home run once again.

Towards the end, things got increasingly wild so a huge thanks to Zelda for turning a blind eye to our special brand of cray. And also for enduring my incessant grilling. Think: ‘Tell me about the creepiest, worst person you’ve ever had to treat…’. This is something I do to pretty much everyone who touches me in a therapist capacity ‘cos, oh boy, do I know ‘dem ladies all have stories… (Some men, regardless of how well-manicured they are, can be suuuch creepers!)

Anyway, if you want Mobile Beauty Direct to pop on over to help you get your mooiness on, be it on your ace or in a fun, girlie group, pay a visit to their webpage. Like I said, the prices are great in that a simple gelish application is just R150 and a deluxe gelish mani is R300! Other treatments include facials, tinting, spray tanning, waxing, massages and even permanent make-up.

They also offer packages which are crazy good value for money. For example, for just R500, you can pick any three of the following five treatments: an express hydrating facial, a coconut scalp massage, a cold paraffin hand massage, a cold paraffin foot massage and a back, neck and shoulder massage.

To view their full treatment menu, get clicky clicky over here.

Love, love

Leigh

Hands up! Who wants to win a zexy Dune London mini iPad case?

UK shoe and bag brand Dune London has a host of mooi new dinges in store right now and I thought I’d show off a few of my favourites of the piccies they sent me:

Collage of dune

Going clockwise: Dlocket satchel R1039, Hetti cage heel R1739, Sleopad mini iPad cover (price TBA), Bookie clutch R1149, Damilda tote R1039, Digby satchel R1149 and Extra clutch R1039

Also, because I’m super duper generous (but mostly ‘cos the PR was nice enough to give me one to hand out), I’m giving away a slick-looking Dune London Scrocpad iPad case.

Pretty, pretty, pretty - and I could totes be yours.

Pretty, pretty, pretty – and I could totes be yours.

Want? Simply drop me a mail on glossycomps@gmail.com with the subject line ‘That Dune baby’s mine, yo!’ and I’ll draw a winner using one of those random Google number generators after 12pm on Friday.

Good luck girls,

Leigh

It’s time to get swatchy with Shearling, Darling – Essie’s new winter collection

Essie’s latest winter collection, ‘Shearling, darling’, has finally hit the shelves.

Essie Shearling, darling

Shearling, darling!

Inspired by cosy, winter textiles like sent me three polishes from their new winter collection:

Nails

Mind Your Mittens, Parka Perfect and Sable Collar*.

Mind Your Mittens is a dark teal blue that really flattered my cool (read: uber pale) skin tone. Parka Perfect is a creamy egg shell blue that’s actually a little paler than what it looks like in the picture. I was impressed with how, despite being a light cream, it didn’t streak in the least. My favourite of all the hues, however, was Sable Collar, a metallic browny eggplant shade. (That’s the best way I can think of describing it!) This came as a surprise as I’m usually not a fan of metallics but this one looks really modern and classy; like a satin negligee.

When winter rolls in, I kind of get stuck in a red polish rut, but playing with these other shades was fun and I’ll definitely be wearing Mind Your Mittens and Sable Collar once my current rooi gelish mani grows out.

Which of these three are your favourite?

Love, love

Leigh

*Forgive the messy manis, I’m a busy girl, okay?

So I went on yet another Edgars Free2BU shopping spree

It’s time for another fashion haul from Edgars. This month, I found some of the cutest items, again in their Free2BU section, and spent a little bit more than R1000 gift card store was kind enough to give me. Still, in regards to value, I totally got my money’s worth as the pieces I picked out are seriously versatile.

For example, let’s take a look at how we can dress up and then casual back down with this pleather skirt (R279,99) and printed long sleeve top (R199,95).

Pic one

Smarty pants on the left and a bit more dressed down on the right.

Creating the fun yet office friendly look you see on the left is as simple as adding leggings, boots and a nice piece of bling. The blerrie angle makes it look like I don’t have a waist, but trust me, the top and skirt are super flattering provided you tuck the shirt in. (As the skirt’s A-line, it flares out a little, and high-waisted, so you need something clingy on top to create a feminine silhouette.)

For a look that’s a bit for ‘cas’, I lost the necklace and added the faded denim and check shirt (R349,95) which I love, love, love. It’s sleeves are made from chiffon so you don’t feel bulky and aren’t going to get too hot.

Details

It’s all about the details mense. See how the shirt is ever so slightly distressed? For the record, I’m wearing MAC Lipglass in Ventian on my lips and a gelish colour called Hot Rod Red on my nails.

Now, let’s dress up a little more, shall we? What would a shopping spree be without my favourite print in the whole wide world? Yep, you guessed it, leopard!

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This dress was only R369,99 and is made from a soft, figure flattering jersey knit.

Worn with a grey snood and boots, it’s also totally office friendly. However, if you lose the snood and boots and add a big, blingy statement necklace and black patent leather heels and you’re ready for cocktails with the girls. (I actually had a shot of this but it came out super blurry. Oops!)

See anything you like? It’s all sitting in store right now just waiting to be snapped up and, if you hurry, you can score 50% selected boots, jackets, knitwear and fleece tops until 1 July.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Next month, in July, I’ll be creating one last shopping spree post and giving away a R1000 Edgars voucher to one lucky reader. So keep an eye out, okay?

P.S.S. A big thank you to my darling Tam who’s knocked up and super moeg but was still willing to take yet another set of piccies for me. Love you biets!

Review: Skinny Tan tried and tested with before and after pictures

A relatively new self-tanner to the SA scene, Skinny Tan’s differentiating factor is that is also promises to help improve the look cellulite. It does this in two ways, the first being by the very fact that it’s a self-tanning product. We all know that tanned flab will always look better than pale flab. I know I wouldn’t dare rock a bikini without a (faux) tan these days. And to hell with all of you that still can.

The second way Skinny Tan wants to help you out is with its eco-friendly, naturally derived guarana. Most products that claim to bust cellulite contain caffeine and Guarana contains just that. Now, to be honest, I have no clue how effective the caffeine in guarana is VS pure unadulterated caffeine. I’ve also yet to find a cellulite cream, containing caffeine, guarana or anything else that has ever made a visible difference to my ass. Still, if I had to pick between using a plain old body lotion and one that contained ingredients promises to fend off the wobblies I’d end up opting for the latter and keep my fingers crossed.

Anyway, I’m putting the cellulite issue aside as I haven’t used Skinny Tan long enough to attest to its long-term results but I can chat to you about the tanning bit. I got to try two of the brands products, the 7-Day Tanner and Gradual Tan and both are rather nice. (Thanks Pierre!)

Skinny Tan 7-Day Tanner and Gradual Tan

Skinny Tan 7-Day Tanner (R395) and Gradual Tan (R320).

The 7-Day Tanner is a tinted self-tanning crème-gel that develops after five hours. I applied it using a self-tanning mitt and it initially made me nervous as goes on a bit streaky and got caught in all my arm hair. (For this reason, it’s not the kind of self-tanner I’d apply before leaving the house so I’m glad I put it on at night.) The next morning, I realised I needn’t have worried about the streakiness. As it turns out, it’s only the colour guide that doesn’t smooth out evenly. The actually ‘tan’ that had developed on my skin was lovely – an even, very natural-looking, golden glow. No orange. No yellow. Just a flattering tan.

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Skinny Tan Gradual Tan on the left and 7-Day tan on the right. In my mind, the 7-Day tanner looks like what you’d get after two coats of Gradual Tan.

I also liked that, while it was developing, it smelled downright delicious – a yummy caramel scent that reminded me a lot of Xen-Tan and ModelCo’s products. The only negative is that the tan fades rather quickly and was pretty much gone within three days. Maybe if I’d reapplied the next day (‘for a deeper tan’) as the tube suggested, I’d have made it through the week looking bronzed.

Skinny Tan 7 day tan before after

Pale (and so hungover I could die) on the left and bronzed (and so hungover I could die) on the right. For the record, I’m also wearing my favourite facial self-tanner on the right; Clarins Liquid Bronze.

As for the Gradual Tanner, this applied like a dream due in that there’s no colour guide so it feels like you’re just using a caramel-scented body lotion. Again, there’s no yucky developing smell, making this the kind of thing you could easily slap on in the morning and then go about your day. In fact, the day I had it on my arm at work, I had boys telling me I smelled good that day. Always a plus.

Colour-wise, the Gradual Tanner’s colour is much the same as the 7-Day Tanner – natural and golden bronze – but half as intense. You can reapply it every day, however, to deepen it to your desired intensity. Also, the fact that it’s something you’d use every day makes its cellulite-targeting ingredients more viable. (If you’re attempting to treat cellulite topically, the theory’s that you’d need to do so every bloody day if you’re to see an improvement.)

Oh! Another thing I liked about Skinny Tan? It’s a lot less drying than other self-tanners out there as its jam-packed with hydrators like sweet almond, grapeseed and sunflower oils. These aren’t just tossed in somewhere at the bottom of the ingredients list – they sit right up at the top.

In all, if you’re looking for a skin-lovin’ self-tanner and using one that contains an eco-cert tanning active that delivers a light to medium tan, Skinny Tan could be your new bestie.

To learn more about the brand, visit their Facebook page over here and follow them on twitter @SkinnyTanSA. The former will also give you a list of stockists. For now, it’s mostly independent pharmacies and salons as well as online via SkinnyTanShop.com.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Laser vein removal at Skin & Body Renewal with before and after pictures

So let’s talk spider veins! I don’t know about you, but I started to get them on my calves in my twenties. Being a super pale girl, they’re pretty visible which is why I spend most of my life marinating in self-tan while saving up to treat them every five or so years with either sclerotherapy (injecting them with solution that ultimately causes them to disappear) or with a fancy pants laser.

The last time I treated my veins, I opted for sclerotherapy but this time I tried laser therapy, courtesy of Skin & Body Renewal in the Cape Quarter, and this did the trick just as well but with a lot less ‘ouch’. For those who don’t know, laser vein removal involves zapping each vein with a laser that targets the haemoglobin. This heats it up to the point that the vein’s wall is destroyed, causing it to collapse. Afterwards, your body’s white blood cells eat up the mess and then, 8 to 12 weeks later, your vein simply disappears.

Rockin' protective eyewear and sooo excited to get my veins zapped, yo! See that rad Veinlite? Run it over your legs and they look like road maps. It helps your therapist see exactly where to place her laser.

Rockin’ protective eyewear and sooo excited to get my veins zapped, yo! See that rad Veinlite? Run it over your legs and they look like road maps. It helps your therapist see exactly where to place her laser.

So, your first question is probably this: ‘Oh, my God, does that hurt?’ Merrily, it doesn’t. If anything, it feels like you’re getting laser hair removal. And not with the old laser that used to sting like hell – I’m talking about new laser hair removal, the kind Legs 11 does, where you don’t really feel it. I mean, sure, every now and again your therapist might hit a sweet spot that makes you jump but for the most part its no big deal and I didn’t even both popping a painkiller beforehand. Also, Skin & Body Renewal use a Nd:YAG CoolGlide laser with an icy cold tip that immediately cools and soothes your skin after its been treated.

Now let’s talk about my veins specifically. I wanted to take a shot of my entire leg to do a before and after and realised that as my veins are so fine, you actually can’t see them from far away. Thus all my shots are close-ups and, even though I had lots of veins to zap, I chose to focus on just three specifically photogenic ones on just my right leg – on my ankle, the side of the knee and on my thigh – for the sake of creating before and after shots that were easy to follow.

Ankle, knee and thigh before laser vein therapy.

Ankle, knee and thigh before laser vein therapy – clicking on this piccie will enlarge it.

In total, I had three treatment sessions but if they’d been longer than 30 minutes each I probably could’ve gotten away with just two. As it turns out, my veins respond really well. In fact, many of them just needed to be hit with the laser just once and that was that. There were a few stubborn dudes that required two zaps, however and the odd random vein that just refused to die. Such is life.

So, after my first treatment, the spots that had been hit with the laser looked a little raised and red, but this went down after a few hours.

This was taken while I was still lying on the treatment bed. See? It's no biggie.

This is a wider shot of the area seen in the centre of the collage up above. It was taken while I was still lying on the treatment bed so you’ll see post-zapping redness really is’t a biggie.

The next day, all the redness was gone and I had a tiny welt at the back of my knee in the area I’d asked my awesome therapist, Dourina, to zap twice as I was adamant she really nail those bastards.

My little fish-shaped welt.

My little fish-shaped welt.

I got really lucky with the veins on the side of my knee and calf in that they disappeared after the very first treatment. The ankle vein was a stubborn dude and required two sessions to get rid of.

This is what my leg looked like a week after my first treatment:

Ankle, knee and thigh.

Ankle, knee and thigh one week after laser treatment – clicking on this pic will make it bigger.

Looking at the above shot, it’s clear to see the veins in my ankle and thigh look darker than what they did before I started treatment and my knee, aside from the fish, is pretty clear. If I hadn’t known to expect things to get worse before they got better I might have freaked out but I’d been through this stage before with sclerotherapy. When your veins become more visible after treatment, it’s a good thing. It means you managed to target them and they’re in the process of gumming up and collapsing.

This is my leg six weeks after treatment, just before my second laser session:

Ankle, knee and thigh six weeks after treatment.

Ankle, knee (excuse the imprints from the seam of my jeans) and thigh six weeks after treatment – clicking on this pic will make it bigger.

As you can see, that ankle vein has diminished but is still there (li’l bastard), my knee is totally clear and free of the fish (Woo hoo! God bless you, Environ Derma-Lac!) and my messy looking thigh has totally cleared up to the point where there’s just a single dark hetch mark under the skin that you could easily mistake for an ingrown hair. Thus, my second laser session focused on zapping the ankle vein once more and then treating my left leg which we didn’t get around to doing in session one.

This is my ankle two days after its second zapping:

No redness, no bruising, a bunch of nothing to look at really.

No redness, no bruising. Just the slight, blurry ghost of a vein and faint impression marks from my jeans.

So, now it’s time for the big reveal. Are you ready to see my leg six weeks after session two?

Ankle, knee and thigh - all clear.

Ankle, knee and thigh – all clear.

To give you a good overview of the journey, lets compare what I started with against the final result:

I believe a 'ta da!' would be justified.

I believe a ‘ta da!’ would be justified.

So, there you have it. Within just two sessions I was able to clear my entire right leg (and half of my left) and, after three, I’d sorted out both my pins. Yayness!

If this is something you’ve been considering, just do it. It’s quick, easy, almost painless and very effective. While you might not get to obliterate every last visible vein, the improvement is vast. Another reason to move fast? The winter’s months are ideal for treating your legs as you can hide them away during the period where the veins looks worse.

Price-wise, Skin & Body Renewal works on the time you spend with the laser. A 30 minute leg session will cost you around R1 250. Depending on the severity of your veins, you may need between 2 and 6 sessions. For the record, however, laser vein removal isn’t limited to your legs. You can also treat veins on your face (this usually costs around R1 000) and just about anywhere else provided it’s less than 4mm in size.

Got any questions? I’ll do my best to answer in the comments section below. Otherwise get in touch with one of Skin & Body Renewal’s super knowledgeable on site doctors on (021)  421 9093.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Skin and Body Renewal is the same salon that gave me a few i-Lipo sessions a while back. If you’d like to check it out, you’ll find it over here.

P.P.S. Jinne girls! Do you realise how many potential husbands, bosses and what not Google stalk me… only to find horrible before and after shots of muffin tops and now nasty leg veins? Let it never be said I don’t take one for the team. And yes, you’re very welcome.

A double whammy review (just for you – ooh that rhymes!): Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler and L’Oreal Infallible 25H foundation

…annnd go!

Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler double correction moisturizer, R469.

Vichy’s new anti-aging moisturiser promises to tackle wrinkles while ‘refreshing’ and ‘reviving’ your expression. Aside from Vichy’s standard soothing spa water, it’s key ingredients include a mix of hydrators like glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and soybean oil as well a wrinkle-busting retinol and LR2412.

She's looooving it!

Someone’s got that Friday feeling… oh yeah!

As we all know, I’m retinol’s biggest stalker fan, so I was excited to see this in the ingredients list. Alas, it sits a little low, so I’d still suggest you team this with a good retinol serum for best results. This is good news, however, is this could work out well for those with sensitive skin and be the kind of thing you  using as a way to build your skin’s retinol tolerance. As far as LR2412, this is listed as sodiumtetrahydrojasmonate. (Mouthful, ne?) Essentially, it’s a lipid derived from jasmine that, Vichy reckon, will help to propel their other active ingredients deeper into your skin.

While I haven’t used Liftactiv long enough to see results and use too many other serums to be a fair judge, I can tell you this. As far as texture goes, this is lovely stuff. I like that it’s nice and light yet hydrates well – ideal for oily-combo girls like me – and contains just enough mica to give my skin an immediate radiant-looking glow without enhancing more pores.

The fact that it doesn’t contain sunscreen is a bit of a downer, but you can get around this by layering a super sheer one on top or wearing an SPF-infused foundation or powder. (Shisiedo’s UV Protective compact foundation is amazing, by the way. You’ll find my review over here.)

L’Oreal Infallible 24H Stay Fresh foundation, R209,95.

L’Oreal’s best-selling Infallible foundation has had a l’il revamp once more and is now called Infallible 24H Stay Fresh foundation. The promises? A whole lotta no’s. As in no transfer, no visible imperfections, no visible shine, no drying out and no mask effect.

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L’Oreal Infallible 24H Stay Fresh foundation, R209,95.

For the most part, this foundation lives up to its claims. I like that it gives good medium level matte-finish coverage that doesn’t aggravate my oily T-panel and still manages to look ‘fresh’ at the end of the day. While the shades are quite similar looking, they’re mostly yellow-based and this suits me to tee. In fact, yellow-based foundations are flattering for most complexions and something I’d opt for even if I had a slightly pink undertone to my skin. If anything, yellow would neutralize it. (Swatches coming shortly. I left my camera at home today.)

The only gripe I have – which isn’t really negative if you read on – is that the ‘no visible imperfections’ thing didn’t ring true for me. I have a monster spot on my chin today and am carrying a little baggage under my eyes and both required blitzing with my beloved Catrice Camouflage Cream concealer. But like I said, this is a good thing ‘cos, ideally, you don’t want to run around in heavy, mask-like foundation. First prize is to rock the minimum level of coverage you can get away with and then spot treat the bits that require extra help with a concealer.

Want to give it a bash yourself? I’d move fast and snap it up at Clicks – they’ve currently got it on special for R209,95 with the offer expiring on the 9th of July. After that, I have no clue as to what price point it’ll jump to.

Love, love

Leigh