I tried Durbanville Hills’ great-value Chef’s Platter special and it was deeelish

I’ve never had a bad meal at Durbanville Hills (they were recently named Restaurant Week’s Best Restaurant in the Winelands) so I didn’t hesitate to hit the road when invited to try their new Chef’s Platter.

Views for days.

Always lovely to visit on a picture perfect day serving up views for days.

As far as great restaurant specials go its a real gem ‘cos, for just R690, both you and your dining buddy are treated to a giant platter boasting a selection of their lunch menu’s best offering plus a dessert platter you probably won’t finish and its paired with wine – their lovely new MCC Blanc de Blancs on arrival, a glass of Rhinofields red with your mains and a sweet ‘dessert’ wine (Durbanville Hills Noble Late Harvest) to finish things off.

Yum! I liked that this was nice and dry.

Yum! I liked that this was nice and dry.

But first let’s talk about their slightly sweet, spicy bread, which is a veritable course on it’s own. My friend Nicola and I knew eating every single slice would be the dumbest thing we could do, considering what was coming so that’s exactly what we did. Ha!

How much do we love the way they wrap their butter?

How much do we love the way they wrap their butter?

As far as the platter goes, all meat it contained was magnificent but the slow-cooked sous vide pork was definitely the hero. You only had to touch it with your butter knife for it to fall apart! I also really enjoyed the grilled beef fillet (again, tender as all hell) and was surprised by how much I liked their homemade chicken sausage. Despite being made with brie, fig and almonds, it has a bit of a blue cheese flavour to it and, even through I was almost completely stuffed, I devoured every bite.

Those waffle weave crispy chips get two thumbs up.

Those waffle weave crispy chips get two thumbs up.

Wine-wise, we got to taste both Durbanville Hills’ Rhinofields pinotage and merlot and most enjoyed the former, a rich, velvety wine with notes of black currant, vanilla, cherries and cinnamon with just the teensiest hint of tobacco.

When it was time for dessert, I was super glad I’d worn a tent of a dress and merrily shoved a wedge of spiced boerekaas into my face, dug out all the meringue bits and then got stuck into the pear and almond tart while Nicola dived straight into the chocolate one.

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

Once our meal was done, we basically rolled out of their but were happy as clams. Durbanville Hills’ new platter is a decadent, great value for money experience I can whole heartedly recommend to anyone. Just make sure you arrive hungry!

Deets you need to know? The special currently runs from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and doesn’t have an ‘end date’ in sight. Still, it’s always a good idea to book so best you give them a ring on (021) 558 1300 before you go.

Love, love

Leigh

I’m loving my Fitbit Charge 2 and have a Fitbit Alta that you could win!

We all know I’m a big Fitbit fan. You can read all about my experience with my elegant-looking Alta over here. However, I’m a fickle girl and my affair with that dude’s since been eclipsed by a new friend and that’s the Fitbit Charge 2. Hoekom? It’s got a heart rate monitor, yo!

Wearing a heart rate monitor that isn’t a fiddly chest strap is a total joy that’s taken my fitness journey to the next level. Aside from the fact that I now get a more accurate read on the kilojoules I burn, I most love that I can score even more points – which means even more free coffees – with Discovery Health’s Vitality programme. For example, the Alta would pick up that I’d gone for a 30 minute run and give me 100 points for that. But, on days that I’m hung like a donkey and merely drag myself out for a walk, it wouldn’t register that as being good enough to garner points due to my lack of speed. The Charge 2, however, can see that even though I’m simply walking, my heart rate’s still in a fat burning zone, so it’s registered as an exercise that gives me points. Even better, on days when I do run, it sees that my heart rate goes through the roof and gives me even more points for the extra effort. (Can you tell I freaking looooove my points?)

You better work, bitch!

You better work, bitch!

Much like the Alta, the Charge 2’s straps are interchangeable and it can track your sleep, wake you up with a silent vibrating alarm and remind you to move – 250 steps an hour or you’re a lazy cow! But it can do other things too… like take you through a guided breathing meditation that’s personalised to your heart rate. To be honest though, this is something I’ve yet to use ‘cos my preferred method of relaxation is lying in bed to stare at a true life murder mystery on YouTube while stuffing yoghurt covered mango into my face.

More pluses? The Charge 2 is water-resistant and the battery life is epic. Up to five days!

So! Now that we’ve got all the specs out there, I want to get a li’l emo on you…

Growing up, I was never a sporty kind of girl. It wasn’t something I was naturally good at so I spent my energy focusing on other things that a) inspired me and b) I was good at. But now I sit here and look at the race medals hanging on my dresser and feel a sense of ‘who is this person?!’ along with a big, fat dollop o’ pride – not that I crossed the finish lines without having a heart attack but that Leigh, the unathletic, non-sporty girl actually did it.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my running journey it’s that, prior to starting it, I wasted a lot of time living in a tight circle of what I can and can’t do that was entirely self-imposed. We all have these ideas of who and what we are and what we do and don’t do and, while that’s a wonderful thing in terms of creating our identities, we don’t have to let it limit us. Making the shift from being a person who doesn’t run to someone who does turned out to be as simple as buying a pair of running shoes and taking the first step. And it got me thinking… what else am I not doing simply because I’d somehow gotten the idea that it’s something I don’t do or can’t? Are there other areas in my life where I go ‘Gosh, I admire people who can do XYZ ‘cos I’m just not the type’? Because, in reality, it’s merely the idea that you’re ‘not that type’ that’s holding you back.

My trail running buddy Leah and I getting our sweat on.

My trail running buddy Leah and I getting our sweat on. That’s the Alta on my wrist.

In short, jumping into a scene that I didn’t think was for me and making good progress in it, something I could track via my Fitbit, has been an awesome confidence boost as well as something I now lean on to help me smash through a myriad of invisible boundaries relating to how I define myself in every area of my life. Knowing the ‘theory’ of something – like the idea that I could make a mental shift if I wanted to – is one thing. But experiencing a small success – making the surprise shift of ‘non-athletic’ to ‘someone who runs’ – has created this massive bonfire inside of me, ignited by the concept that, now, any new ideas are things I know I could do if I wanted to.

Now, when I catch myself hesitating to take on a new challenge or try on a new hat because I think it’s ‘just not me’ I remind myself that we’re not yet baked in the mould and that every future moment holds the second I can decide exactly what I’m about, something that doesn’t have to ever be dictated by an old idea. Yesterday I was the person who ‘isn’t the type’ to travel alone. Yesterday I was the girl who doesn’t scuba dive. Yesterday I was someone who’d suck up a sacrifice to spare your feelings at the expense of hurting my own. But today I’m something else.

Oh look! It's me travelling on my ace in Mexico. This is a cenote, an underground cave.

Oh look! It’s me travelling on my ace in Mexico. This is a cenote, an underground cave and yep, that’s a Fitbit on my arm.

So, if you take anything away from this post, please let it be this: Today could be the day you boldly open a door to an exciting new road you might’ve closed off with something as flimsy as a notion you’ve never bothered to challenge. You are exactly who you’ve decided you want to be. But you don’t ever have to be done with the deciding.

But that’s not all… you could also walk off with a Fitbit Alta, just in time for Christmas! (For the record, it’s a brand new one kindly served up by Fitbit South Africa. Not my old one. That went straight to the flat mate who’s now also an obsessive step counter.) To enter, have a little think and then leave a comment on this post telling me what new and exciting thing you’re going to do, simply because you can or what you’ve done recently that’s got you excited about getting out of your comfort zone.

There’s another way to enter too. Hit me up on twitter with ‘Hey @lipglossgirl!’ I’d love to win a @FitbitSAfrica Alta’ and include the link to this post.

This comp closes on Wednesday at 5pm and is open to South African residents only. The winner will be chosen from both pools, twitter and the comments, using a random number generator.

Good luck girls! Also, if you don’t want to leave your Fitbit fate in the hands of the Gods and would prefer to snap one up yourself simply buy one today. Dion Wired has the Alta going for R1 990 (special ends tomorrow!) and I found the Charge 2 at Clicks for R2 699 (special ending on the 24th of December.)

Love, love

Leigh

This competition is now closed. A big congrats to winner Tarryn Howard.

Bumper review: Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Trio, Blackmail Vice lipstick palett, Liquid Moondust and Razor Sharp eye liner

Urban Decay have added a few gems to their line up and I thought I’d show some of them off. First up, let’s take a look at their mooi limited edition highlighting palette, Naked Illuminated Trio (R650).

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Hello, hello!

Each of these shades – Pyrite, Oasis and Twilight – is new, new, new and you won’t be able to buy them separately.

Considering the fact that a single UD illuminator is R475, this is a steal.

Considering the fact that a single UD illuminator is R475, this is a steal.

Of the three, Pyrite and Twilight are my favourites as they stroke on and build like a dream, especially Pyrite that could easily be used as an eye shadow too. Oasis has a fair amount of glitter in it and if you build the ‘base colour’ to a point where it’s truly visible you end up with a lot of glitter on your skin and that’ll go down well with the younger set but fine-line riddled ole’ me will have to stick to ye plain old glimmer, thanks.

From left to right: Twilight, Oasis and Pyrite.

From left to right: Twilight, Oasis and Pyrite.

Usually, I toss any brush that comes with a kit as they’re notoriously kak but this one gets props. It’s just the right size for a targeted stroke but for even more ‘impact’ I suggest you stroke the powder on with your fingers and then use the brush to blend.

Another kit you’ll want to know about is new ‘Blackmail’ Vice lipstick palette (R699).

Clearly, the case is inspired by the lippie tubes.

Clearly, the case is inspired by the lippie tubes.

Half of the shades are nude and half are bont so to truly benefit you’d have to be a girl who can play on both sides of the fence.

See?

See?

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From left to right: Sheer Shame, Firebird, Big Bang, Disobedient, EZ and 714.

..

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From left to right: Vanished, 1993, Ex-Girlfriend, Amulet, Conspiracy and Blackmail.

But even if you only use a few of the hues, you’re still scoring as one Urban Decay lippie costs R230 so the palette saves you cash and allows you to experiment. I was super impressed by how ‘soft’ each of the colours are. I thought I was being gentle when I dipped my brush into the first colour I tried, Sheer Shame, but managed to gouge a lekker hole in it.

Oops! Only the lightest of touches is required, my chicas!

Oops! Only the lightest of touches is required, my chicas!

Again, the brush that’s supplied, a tapered lip brush that extends like a telescope, is a real winner as it allows you to apply each shade with precision.

The only downer is that you're going to have to clean it off (I stoke it up on a wet wipe) if you're moving from light to dark as the colour really gets caught inside the bristles and ends up blending with whatever else you try to use next.

Be sure to clean your brush very well (I use a wet wipe) if you’re moving between light and dark as the colour really gets caught inside the bristles and ends up blending with whatever else you try to use next.

Speaking of which, that’s the other joy this palette. You can embrace your inner mixologist which is how I’ve created a new favourite shade – a blend of the shimmer bomb that is Big Bang mixed with orchid-coloured Firebird. (I call it Birdie Bang Bang ‘cos I’m ridiculous like that… Also, I’ve just realised my pic came out super blurry so I’ll update this later today when I’m done motoring through my ten thousand e-mails.)

You’ll also want to know about new Liquid Moondust (R320), a metallic cream shadow that delivers a pigment bombs of note that wears like a total boss. If you’ve got oil-prone eye lids like me, ensure you use a primer  first. (Urban Decay’s original primer potion is still the best I’ve ever used and still the number one product I recommend you first buy from the brand. Even over and above their Naked palettes, although you would have to pry my beloved Naked 1 palette from my cold, dead hands.) Using a primer will ensure that, even at the end of a long, crazy day, your shadow still looks as though you put it on five minutes ago. I’m serious!

You didn't think eyes would be forgotten about, right?

Liquid Moondust up top and Razor Sharp below.

..

Sheer or laid on hard. You pick!

Sheered out or laid on lekker. You pick!

Last, but not least, I was super-duper impressed by Urban Decay’s Razor Sharp water-resistant longwear liquid eyeliner (R300). The colour I was given, Fireball*, isn’t something I’d wear out and about but I rocked the shizzle out of it while going about an in doors day (doing a mountain of laundry – including the curtains – to the tune of Belinda Carlisle, if you must know) and was impressed with how its super fine tip allowed you to go as fine or thick as you’d like and then, once it dried, it was basically like a blerrie tattoo. Still, a good oil-based make-up remover will loosen its grip with ease and then it almost kind of ‘rolls’ away like foil.

Fiery!

Fiery!

See anything you want, want, want? All of these goodies are in the Urban Decay store in Sandton City as I type. If you’re a non-Jozi girl and don’t have a Urban Decay mule to do your bidding in the big smoke, don’t despair. The brand will soon be stocked in selected Foschini stores with the first being in East Gate as of the 25th and that means you’ll soon be able to get your fix via Foschini’s online beauty store. When is this happening? I don’t know. But soon, my darlings. Soon…

Love, love

Leigh

*Really, Kyle? More coral? I thought we’d gotten to a good place, you and I. Why you do me like that, dude? Kidding. Kidding! I love you! #injoke

Who wants to win a bottle of Britney Spear’s new fragrance, Private Show?

A little while back I reviewed Ms Spears’ new fragrance, Private Show, a gourmand, long lasting  EDP featuring three of the pop princess’ favourite things – white flowers, coffee and dulce de leche. You can read my full write up over here.

If you’re a fan of sweet, coffee and caramel-esque fragrances this one’s going to be a hit.

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Britney Spears Private Show EDP, R565 at Red Square.

You’ll also be glad to know I’ve been given two 50ml EDPs to give away, so you might end up with a beautifully packaged Private Show arriving on your doorstep before Christmas.

Entering is easy! Simply leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Britney Spears song is. The one you’d most want her to belt out if she had to do a li’l private show just for you and your friends at a dinner party.  (I’d pick ‘Oops, I did it again’ while my flat mate’s taken the hypothetical pretty seriously and is now in a state of anguish, torn between ‘One More Time’ and ‘Crazy’. )

There’s also another way to enter. Hit me up on twitter with a ‘Hey @lipglossgirl! I’d love to win a Britney Spears Private Show EDP’ and be sure to include the link to this post.

This competition closes at 12pm on Friday 2 December 2016 and is only open to South African residents. The winner will be chosen (one from twitter and one from the comments section) using a random number generator.

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

This competition is now closed. Congrats to winners Zoleka Ngqebe and Leanne Cherry.

I got some new beauty goodies from Essence and these guys were my favourites

Essence sent me a bunch of their newbies the other day and I thought I’d let you know about my favourites, the first being Essence’s Light Up Your Face luminizer palette (R89,95).

This'll be a winning stocking stuffer for anyone who loves their highlighters.

This’ll be a winning stocking stuffer for anyone who loves their highlighters.

Being an ‘older person’, I ideally need a more ‘targeted’ cream-based illuminator to ensure I don’t get it anywhere near my fine lines as this would enhance as opposed to diffuse them. What’s nice about Essence’s trio, however, is that the powder’s creamy texture blends well, so you can use your fingers to stroke across anything you want to highlight. Of the three shades, the two on either side are the winners. The centre shade contains a dash of glitter and, for me, that’s just a big ole’ nope.

You can't really see the shade on the right as it's a perfect match for my skin tone.

You can’t really see the shade on the right as it’s a perfect match for my skin tone.

Another gem? Essence XXL nail thickener (R39,95).

This couldn't have arrived at a better time.

This couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

I had a real situation in Mexico with a crappy gel mani that cracked fast and required a soak off, but the bloody thing wouldn’t budge. I basically stopped short of taking a hack saw to my nails and the result is a seriously thin nail bed – the kind of damage that has to grow out. I’ve thus been using this newbie as a base coat and I like that it’s non-gloopy but does what it says on the tin.

Next up, if you’re looking for a pocket-friendly dupe of Benefits’ High Brow glow pencil with the added bonus of a brow pencil then Essence Contouring Eye Pencil (R54,95) will be your jam.

Total dupe, right?

Available in two shades, this is the lighter of the two.

I like that both sides of the pencil glide on smoothly and are easy to blend. It’s also versatile in that the highlighter doesn’t have to be used on your eyes alone and, if you opt for the darker of the two shades, the brow side could make for a decent jumbo eye pencil.

An honourable mention goes to Essence The Metals single eye shadows for their satiny, easy to blend texture and decent pigmentation considering their price – just R54,95 a pop. Six colours are available locally but none of them are a warm, bronze (my favourite) so here’s hoping this lovely line ends up expanding.

This is Frozen Toffee which is a bit too frosty for my skin tone.

This frosty taupe shade’s called Frozen Toffee.

Ooh! And let’s hand out another high five for Satin Touch blush (R54,95) for the same reasons above – satiny texture (but I bet the name gave it away, right?) and good blendability.

Don't we love how I managed to gouge a hole in the pan two seconds after opening it?

Don’t we love how I managed to gouge a hole in the pan two seconds after opening it?

The shade pictured up top is called Satin Coral. It’s one of those ‘healthy flush’ kind of hues. Perfect for au naturale, outdoorsy kinda girls. Not women like me who will live and die in satin-textured cool-toned baby pink because they’re set in their ways and full of kak.

See anything you’d like to try yourself?

Love, love

Leigh

Takealot.com is holding a huuuuuge Blue Dot Sale this Black Friday

Takealot.com aims to help you get the biggest bang for your buck with a massive Blue Dot Sale this Black Friday.

Black Friday has always been a big deal in the States but now SA is getting in on the action and Takealot aims to help you with a massive Blue Dot Sale that started at midnight this Thursday, the 24th and ends on the 28th with fresh new deals being added daily. To find the specials, simply look out for the products with the blue dots on them and follow #blueisthenewblack on social media.

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Hell’s yes!

This is your chance to snap up hundreds of products that have all been marked down by up to 60% off and I’ve been told there’ll be lots of beauty brands in the mix. Think DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Azzaro, Dunhill Custom and more. At one point I was sworn to secrecy regarding prices but now Takealot has allowed me to reveal the following:

FOR HER

  • DKNY Be Delicious EDP 30ml (parallel import) – Save R256
  • DKNY Be Delicious Urban Violet EDT 50ml (parallel import) – Save R501
  • Tommy Girl EDC 50ml (parallel import) – Save R466

FOR HIM

  • Calvin Klein IN2U EDT 50ml – Save R586
  • Calvin Klein CK1 EDT 100ml (parallel import) – Save R486
  • Azzaro Homme L’Eau EDT 50ml (parallel import) – Save R546
  • Dunhill Custom EDT 100ml (parallel import) – Save R605

*Prices are subject to change. Prices correct at time of publication.

To view the actual prices you'll have to head over to the site.

To view the actual prices you’ll have to head over to the site.

Also, did you download Takealot’s free mobile shopping app? Previews of the deals were released exclusively to those with the app, giving app shoppers the opportunity to shop them first. Also, customers who’ve shopped the app between the 15th up until the 23rd of November have been automatically entered into a draw to win R5 000 in store credit that can be used to shop during the Blue Dot Sale or until they’ve maxed out their credit.

Takealot also launched a VIP Facebook Events Page that’s featuring teasers of their biggest brands and best deals on offer every day – but only for those who RSVP ‘Going’ or ‘Interested’ on the event page.

Happy shopping (saving!),

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Curaprox Black is White hydrosonic toothbrush and tough whitening toothpaste

I’m big into whitening up my smile and live and die with Crest Whitening Strips on my teeth (I buy them from eBay) so I’m always keen to try whitening products you can get locally. Enter Swiss dental brand Curaprox, now available in South Africa.

Curaprox Black is White tough whitening toothpaste (R240) is pretty interesting in that it’s black as the ace of spades thanks to its activated charcoal content. Charcoal is great at absorbing many times its weight in toxins and gas which is why doctors sometimes administer it to those who’ve been poisoned. Curaprox, however, reckon the charcoal in their tooth paste can absorb stain particles to help whiten up your teeth without the use of abrasives or bleach that could potentially damage your tooth’s enamel.

Black is white, yo!

Black is white, yo!

I’ve been using it for a good ten days now and its taught me I’m the messiest brusher ever. My entire bathroom sink gets covered in specs of black after every use no matter how hard I try to reign things in, but I can tell that my teeth appear whiter. Not as much as I would get from a white strip, but hey, at least it’s sparing me some damage from the bleach and its seeing me reach for the strips less often. Curaprox’s toothpaste also contains a blue filter so its got a temporary optical effect too in that yellowness is less visible when you’ve got a slightly blue tint layered on top of it.

Curaprox say their toothpaste is refreshingly lemony but my mouth picks this up as mint.

Curaprox say their toothpaste is refreshingly lemony but my mouth picks this up as mint.

Aside from the toothpaste, Curaprox also gave me their very sexy-looking Hydrosonic Black is White toothbrush (R2 500). It arrived with the activated charcoal toothpaste plus two super soft brush heads and is powered by a super strong battery that gives you 40 minutes of brush time and can be re-charged via a USB cable. As far as functionality goes, it’s got one button that switches it on and off but holding it down can select one of three modes – ‘soft’ for sensitive teeth, ‘intensive’ and ‘massage’ to improve the circulation of your gums.

Sexy sexy!

Sexy sexy!

Being an ‘all in to the max’ kind of girl I like to use it on intensive where it serves up a whopping 42 000 strokes per minute. That’s a good 10 000 more strokes per minute than the Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite I was using before it (it kicked the dust the moment its warranty ran out) but you get used to that quickly. I actually now prefer it because I use it to brush my retainer at night and the smaller head makes it super easy to get into every nook and cranny.

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Small is good!

Don’t have deep pockets? Curaprox also offer a white sonic toothbrush for R1 650. It won’t look as striking in your bathroom, but it will get the job done much the same.

Love, love

Leigh