Review: BioNike Defence Elixage R3 Huile Serum

BioNike (you pronounce it bee-yo-nee-kay), Dis-Chem’s Italian cosmetics brand for those with sensitive or allergy-prone skin, has launched a new anti-ageing line up called Defence Elixage R3 that includes a day cream, night cream, eye and lip cream as well as an oil-serum. Like all BioNike products, everything’s free of gluten, fragrance, preservatives and nickel.

This is the night cream - Nuit BLAH, PRICE.

BioNike Defence Elixage R3 intensive night treatment, R645, Dis-Chem.

As you know I’m not crazy about products in jar packaging so my top pick of the bunch would be the oil-serum – BioNike Defence Elixage R3 Huile Serum regenerating oil (R645, Dis-Chem) that I’ve repackaged into a very unglamorous-looking air-free pump. Its ingredients include antioxidant, collagen-boosting vitamin E; hydrating Shea Butter esters (a lovely weightless form of Shea Butter) and other natural hydrators in the form of antioxidant-rich oils like grape seed, watermelon, olive and prickly pear.

It smells like lollipops thanks to a non-irritating natural fragrance blend.

You can use it as is or mix it into your day or night cream for an extra boost.

BioNike say their oil serum makes use of something they refer to as GGP to help preserve the length of your skin cell’s telomeres. (To be honest, I’m not sure what this is as listed as in the ingredients list.) Telomeres help protect your cell’s chromosomes and get shorter over time, every time they replicate. Older skin will have short telomeres, whereas younger skin generally has longer telomeres. To date, scientists are still not sure shortened telomeres are merely a sign of aged skin or a cause but BioNike’s logic is that protecting the length of these structures could help delay the ageing process. It’s an interesting theory but I personally think its something that needs more research. Also, GGP isn’t the only thing that can help preserve your telomeres but comparative studies don’t exist so, if you did want to take a telomere preservation stance I’m not sure which ingredient would be your best bet in terms of efficacy.

Either way, from a mere antioxidant-rich facial oil point of view, BioNike’s new addition is a treat. I like its soft, sweet lollipop-like scent and the fact that it absorbs into your face in a flash but leaves it feeling comfy and supple, not greasy in the least. (For the record, I’m an oily-combo skin type and it’s a complete myth that this type of skin can’t tolerate oils. You just need to pick the right ones and grapeseed oil is fabulously light and non-occlusive, meaning it won’t clog your pores in the least.)

If you’re looking for an oil to add to your daily moisturiser to bump up it’s hydration factor or something to apply directly on a day when you’re feeling dry, know that BioNike’s newbie is an indulgent, sensory-pleasing pick.

Love, love


Woolworths’ big Beauty Festival is now on and you can get 25% off until 2 October

Good news beauties! Woolworth’s big Beauty Festival has started and runs until 2 October. This means you’ll get 20% off when you buy 2 or more beauty products PLUS an extra 5% off when you pay using your Woolies card. 

To promote the sale Woolies were kind enough to send me a beauty box that includes Alaia Paris EDP. Usually it’s R1 270 but if you make maximum benefit of the sale you can take it home for just R952. FYI, it’s a gorgeous scent that’s exclusive to Woolworths. You can read my full review on it over here.

I had no clue Woolworths now make their own setting spray. It's just R99 (R75 on sale).

I had no clue Woolworths now make their own setting spray. It’s just R99 which makes it R75 on sale.

I’ve been looking at the sale online (yep, you can shop it online too) and seen lots of things I want to get my mitts on for less, the first on the list being Woolies’ African Ingredients Calming Luxury bath milk (R135 on sale).

I've been using it for a while now and adore its soft lavender scent so much I've been hiding it from my flat mate to make it last and last!

I’ve been using it for a while now and adore its soft lavender scent so much I’ve been hiding it from my flat mate to make it last and last!

It’s also a good time to shop Stila as they’re exclusive to Woolies. Their Lip Glaze in Grapefruit (R195 if you get 25% off) is still one of my fave lip glosses to date.

Love, love


Beauty bits and pieces: Foschini’s beauty department is online, Optiphi Hydration Tint and NIVEA Shower Care goes big

It’s time for yet more beauty bits and pieces, starting with the fact that Foschini’s beauty department has finally opened an online store –


All the brands you’ll find on the shelves at Foschini can now be slapped in your virtual trolley, including Dr. Brandt, Skin Nutrition and Kardashian Beauty which are all exclusive to the chain. They’re also rolling out a host of cool specials to celebrate the opening and some of the highlights include snapping up a Real Techniques core brush set worth R469,95 when you spend R500 on anything else from the brand as well as a huge Elizabeth Arden gift set containing 6 minis when you buy any two Arden products, one of which has to be a moisturiser or foundation.

More good news? If you buy for R500 or more you can enjoy free standard delivery anywhere in South Africa.

Moving on, there are new beauty goodies on the shelves you might want to know about, starting with Optiphi’s Hydration Tint moisturiser with SPF 20 (R750, selected salons).

Hello, hello!

Hello, hello!

Obviously the fact that it’s got an SPF of 20 in it is fabulous, but the anti-ageing benefits don’t stop there. You’ll also find collagen-stimulating, pigmentation-busting antioxidant vitamin C in the mix plus vitamin B3 (another good pigmentation-blitzer) and mega-moisturising, skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.

I was given the shade Light to try (there are two others, Medium and Dark) and find it works perfectly when I’m not wearing self-tan.

A nice match.

Slapped on on the left and blended on the right.

It was easy to smooth out without having to apply any kind of primer or pre-moisturiser (you’ll be surprised how many tinted moisturisers only blend into my skin if I apply them on top of another moisturiser!) and gave me a super sheer, very natural-looking veil of coverage and colour. As far as tinted moisturisers go, this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve used in ages, both from an aesthetic and formulatory point of view.

Moving on, you should know that NIVEA’s popular Shower Care & Magnolia and Shower Care & Coconut shower creams are now available in great value 500ml bottles for R49,99. (A 250ml is R32,99 so if you go big, you get double and pay R16 less. Every li’l bit counts, people!)

Go big or go home, bietse!

Go big or go home, bietse!

I’ve been enjoying using the coconut variant, both in the shower as well as in the tub as a foam bath and make-do shaving cream. I like that it makes a great lather, doesn’t feel like it’s drying out my skin (hey there jojoba oil!) and smells like a yummy coconut macaroon.

Love, love



Coming up roses: Bulgari Rose Goldea, Repetto Eau Florale and Chloe Fleur de Parfum (reviews)

Spring has sprung and summer’s on its way so now’s the ideal time to invest in a pretty new scent and, if the new crop that’s launched is anything to go by, rose is this season’s note du jour. So, are you ready to dive into my reviews of three ultra feminine rose-focused new fragrances?

Let’s start with Bulgari Rose Goldea (R830 for 25ml, R1 660 for 50ml and R2 280 for 90ml). A while back I featured the original Goldea, a glamorous floriental the brand describes as a ‘golden symphony of musk’. Well, their perfumers have now fallen in love with a new precious metal and that’s rose gold – the symbol of eternal love – and the result is Rose Goldea, a celebration of rose and musk inspired by femininity, beauty and seduction of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.

Gorgeous, right?

Gorgeous, right?

Again, the bottle is a luxuriously heavy-feeling thing of beauty that you’re going to want to display. It’s the same shape as the Goldea bottle, but made using rose gold-coloured metal and petal pink cap.

As far as the notes are concerned, you’re looking at pomegranate, Damascena rose and jasmine absolutes, sensual white musk, white incense and sandalwood. To my nose, however, I get an opening of freshly cut roses, musk that’s as sheer as a whisper of guaze and later a soft, creamy sandalwood. In a way, it reminds me a lot of Bulgari’s Rose Essentielle but without the powder and patchouli. In a way, I kind of feel like this makes Rose Goldea a fresher, more sophisticated take on Rose Essentielle and the end result is a beautiful day time summer scent for an elegant woman, be she in her 20s, 40s or beyond.

Next up, we’ve got Repetto Eau Florale EDT (R1 095 for 80ml). Eau Florale actually launched a while back but for some reason I stuck it in my September drawer thinking it was a spring time release as it’s perfect for exactly that. A fresh, easy-to-wear floral, Repetto’s new juice is another delicate summer’s day scent that would suit a woman of any age, but is skewed towards someone younger, I think. Its notes are a cheerful mix of rose, grapefruit and plum blossom mingled with violet, cedar, patchouli and amber.

Pretty pretty!

Pretty pretty!

While I can pick up the grapefruit the moment I spritz it on, this fades fast and then I’m left with a soft, dewy rose that makes me think of a pale pink one with dew on its petals. It’s almost the only note I can pick up, save for a touch of sweetness thanks to the patchouli and plum blossom.

Lastly, let’s talk about Chloe Fleur de Parfum EDP (R975 for 30ml, R1 425 for 50ml and R1 725 for 50ml). If you’re a Chloe fan you’ll know this brand has had a love affair with roses for years and this forms the centre of the bouquet that is new Fleur de Parfum, a fragrance that intends to capture the scent of flowers at the height of their bloom. Still, it’s not heady or overtly lush in the least. In fact, it’s wondrously fresh and sparkly-smelling thanks to a bright, citrusy verbena top note. This opening is my favourite part of the scent and I wish it would stick around for longer. (I’ve always been a big sucker for citrus which is why I gravitate towards fragrances like Arden’s Green Tea and L’Occitane Citrus Verbena.)

That ribbon is tied onto each bottle by hand.

That ribbon is tied onto each bottle by hand.

Once that settles, you’re left with a soft, powdery rose and almond cherry blossom on a milky bed of rice. The effect is calming, comforting and very classy. It’s the kind of fragrance that isn’t going to leave a trail – people would have to hug you to smell it – and, while it’s intended for a younger woman, I see it working best on a very elegant woman with a youthful soul. I have no clue if that makes sense or not, but sniffing the new Chloe makes me think of eternally elegant women like Princess Diana.

To sum it up, the Rose Goldea woman is wearing diamonds and has an element of seduction going on thanks to the musk. She’s like Joan Smalls in a jumpsuit (classic but with a hint of sensuality). Repetto Eau Floral is Reese Witherspoon in a pretty sundress and Chloe Fleur de Parfum is a Cate Blanchett in an effortlessly chic white blazer.

If you like rose-focused scents, go sniff them all and let me know which is your favourite.

Love, love


I spent a fun day out with Buffet Olives in Paarl and share my beloved pasta puttanesca recipe

I’m a big fan of olives so I didn’t hesitate to take Buffet Olives up on an invite to explore their farm at the foot of the Draakenstein mountains in Paarl. Thanks to a Mediterranean-style climate and mineral-rich soil, they grow some of the country’s best olives – picking them by hand and curing them via a nine-month fermentation process that sees the fruit’s natural sugars convert to lactic acid in their on-site factory.

Our day kicked off with a bunch of media being bundled into a bakkie clad in yellow Buffet Olives-branded blankies to get to a hill-top that served up epic views, bubbles and olives.

It was a misty day so you can't see the rolling hills but trust me, it was mooiness deluxe.

It was a misty day so you can’t see the rolling hills but trust me, it was mooiness deluxe.

It was here that we got to chat to farm manager John who filled us in on a bit of the farm’s history. It’s one of the only farms in South Africa that owns its own groves and processes its own product – something it’s been doing for 25 years. It was also here that I discovered a fact that blew my mind a little. Are you ready for this? You don’t get green or black olives trees! ALL OLIVES ARE GREEN! Did you guys know that?!

Those black ones be old, yo! Pay them suckers some respect.

Those black ones be old, yo! Pay them suckers some respect.

All the foodie-focused media peeps kind of rolled their eyes when I asked but I seriously didn’t know that olives start out green and then turn black as they get older. So if you’re snacking on black olives, they’ve literally just matured more than the green ones. Please tell me some of you didn’t know that so I don’t feel beyond stupid right now.

Dax didn't laugh me which is why I love him almost as much as olives.

Dax (@relaxwithdax on Insta) didn’t laugh me which is why I love him almost as much as olives.

We also got to learn about the Anna Foundation, a non-profit organisation that assists the children of farm workers by providing after school care that focuses on learning, play and people skills. Anna currently operates in the Western Cape and Buffet Olives is one of its farms that benefits. To learn more, get clicky clicky here. There are also several ways in which you can help.

We later hit the farm’s factory, but not before slipping into a sexy hair net.

Francis (@greatgrandpops) and I pretending we're on Gray's Anatomy. Obviously I'm the MacDreamy...

Francis (@greatgrampops) and I pretending we’re on Gray’s Anatomy. Obviously I’m the MacDreamy…

Once inside the factory, I was struck by how fabulously clean it was. You could literally eat their olives off the floor. Not that you’d have to. Buffet Olives are stocked literally everywhere you go, so much so they have this li’l joke going where they say you could go up in a plane and parachute down to anywhere in South Africa and whatever store you walk into will have Buffet Olives on their shelves and for that I’m grateful. Their black olives are my fave pick when it comes to making one of my favourite dishes – pasta puttanesca. (Because I’m a doll, I’ve included the recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Speaking of food, we were later whisked off to Cascade Country Manor, a luxury guest house just round the corner from the farm for lunch.

It was a shit hole but hey, it beats the office.

Beats a day at your desk, right?

The manor, which used to belong to an English Duke, is named for its gorgeous nearby waterfall that we were only too happy to chase, TLC’s warnings be damned.

Here's the water fall which we were all only too happy to chase, TLC be damned.

Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to, my arse.

The manor is often used as a wedding venue and its easy to see why. It seats up to 100 people and has an in-house co-ordinator.

Pretty, pretty.

Pretty, right?

All the food that was served up was made using olives and while the beef (with olives, but of course) was a highlight, I’m still thinking about their killer olive-infused cheese straws.

Yes please!

Yes please!

This all went down a treat with Dekker’s Valley wine.

This guy was a real winner!

A blend of cab sav, shiraz and pinotage, this guy was an easy-drinking winner.

In short, visiting Buffet Olives was a serious treat. There’s something awesome about seeing a food I love growing on trees, learning more about the community who picks each olive by hand and then walking around the super clean, world-class factory where it’s made. Now, every time I crack open a sachet of Buffet olives, they taste even better ‘cos I now appreciate just how much care and pride goes into each pack.

Cheers bietse!

Cheers bietse!

Here’s a big dankie to Go4Word PR to the invite as well as Buffet Olives and Cascades Manor for a divine day out.

Love, love


Right, who’s ready to make a quick and easy pasta puttanesca?! Add two teaspoons minced garlic, a handful of capers, 1 sachet of black Buffet olives (pitted) and 12 anchovy fillets (anchovy haters won’t even know they’re in there) to a glug of oil and fry them up in a pan until the anchovies dissolve. Add a tin of chopped tomato plus a teaspoon of crushed chilli and bring to a simmer and cook for four or five minutes. Add your sauce to cooked spaghetti, top with parmesan and torn basil (if you’re super fancy) and BOOM, you’re good to go. Bon apetit!

Review: Restylane Day Cream SPF 15


Restylane Day Cream SPF 15

Restylane – yep, the brand that makes injectable fillers – have recently launched a basic skin care line. The Day Cream SPF 15 (R600, Dermastore) is a nice pick for anyone with a balanced to ever so slightly dry skin type* wanting a basic moisturiser that serves up a little sun protection.

First up, I love that this lotion is packaged in an airless pump as its easy to use and protects the integrity of the ingredients. Speaking of which, the heavy-lifters in the mix are a special form of the skin-plumping moisture-magnet that is hyaluronic acid. The hydration factor’s bumped up further thanks to ceramides and niacinimide (vitamin B3). The latter’s also a great ingredient for those struggling with pigmentation as it helps inhibit the travel of melanin from the deeper layers of the skin to the top. It’s also used in a nice, generous concentration – not just a smidge as per most of the niacinimide-containing products you’ll find in the drug store.


Always nice to see niacinimide sitting right up top.

Oh! And it also makes use of anti-oxidant co-enzyme Q10 to help fend off free-radicals. Team this with a good serum to target any specific concerns (i.e. retinol for wrinkles) and you’re off to a good start as far as basic skin-care’s concerned.

Can’t afford R600 for a daily moisturiser? There are other hydrators with an SPF and pigmentation-blitzing ingredients on the market for less and Neutrogena’s Visibly Even daily moisturiser with SPF 30 is one of them, but it doesn’t contain Restylane’s hyaluronic acid and ceramide mix.

Love, love


*For the record, I’m an oily-combo skinned girl so this was a little too heavy for me. I could still get away with wearing it, but just needed to matte down my T-panel more often than I used to. But like I said, more balanced skin types will be a great match.

Review: Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo and Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion

If you’re a big Cetaphil fan you’ll be glad to know the brand’s now created two new extra gentle products specially formulated for babies’ sensitive skin – Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo (R69,99) and Cetaphil Baby Daily Lotion (R79,99).

Both the tear-free wash and lotion are free of animal products making them vegan-friendly and contain no soap, colourants, parabens or mineral oil. Naturally, they’ve been dermatologist tested to ensure its the perfect pH* for your little one’s skin and the lotion makes use of soothing panthenol, antioxidant vitamin E and a hydrating, skin barrier-protecting triple blend of sunflower seed oil, soybean oil and Shea butter.

Baby's got a whole new bag!

Hey baby, hey baby, hey!

As I don’t have a little one at home to use as my test monkey, I passed both of Cetaphil’s newbies on to an especially discerning little judge called Isla, my friend Tam’s daughter. Having used it for a while, here’s what Tam had to say about the duo.

‘Having a toddler is filthy business. In one day alone they get at least six disgusting or dirty things on them and that’s if it’s a quiet day. So today, come bath time, I had a delightful selection of yuckies to clean off of Isla with today’s filth including cheese smooshed in hair, play dough, guava squish, mince, pen marks, crusty ice cream (don’t judge, I’ve been sick) and miscellaneous dirt on her face and body. It seemed like a good day to try out something new – Cetaphil’s new baby wash.

My first impression was that I loved the smell. It’s not at all “granny baby”, just a nice clean smell.
It also scored major brownie points with Isla because I could lather it up and make her into a cloud.
I loved the feeling of it as a shampoo for her and her hair dried looking beautiful and shiny and made her baby curls look amazing. She also usually scratches herself really badly in the bath and she has not done it at all today. For these reasons, I’m now a convert. This is our new everyday soap.

Yep, it got the Isla stamp of approval.

Yep, it got the Isla stamp of approval.

As for the lotion, this is great too. I always put a soothing cream on Isla after a bath because, as I mentioned before, she’s got sensitive skin that she scratches. This product is fantastic. It’s not too oily or sticky. Any mother knows the nightmare that is putting a freshly moisturized, wiggling little feral monkey child into her PJs. It’s the worst. But Cetaphil’s baby lotion is heaven because it smells so good and absorbs so quickly that it’s almost easy to dress your kid when you’re done – giving you bonus mommy wine time!

So, I’m really pleased to have been able to try these two products. They’re awesome and I’d be happy to use them on myself too!’

So there you have it folks. Got a baby that needs extra gentle cleaning and marinading in super soothing moisture? Cetaphil Baby’s got your back.

Love, love


*Did you know that your baby’s skin has a higher pH than your own? This is because their acid mantle isn’t fully developed yet. So nope, you can’t just soap up your kids with whatever you’ve got in your own shower or bath. Buying products that are specially formulated for baby is a must.