A while back GOSH Cosmetics gave me a bunch of their newer goodies and I’ve fallen completely in love with their Lip Oil in Crystal Star (R116, Foschini).
I love that it’s not clear but it’s not super-duper shimmery either, so I can slick it on top of any lippie to give a glossy 3D finish that makes my lips look bigger. This is the end game, girls. Nobody cares about your nice personality. You only matter in this world if you have big lips like Kylie Jenner. (Okay, that was a horrible thing to say and I take it back. Sort of.)
I usually like my lip gloss super tacky, so that it stays on, but clearly I’m softening up in my old age because I really like Lip Oil’s super light, non-sticky texture. It doesn’t stick around as long as other lip glosses but I don’t care. I reapply with glee because I love it and it’s living its best life in my handbag as I type.
The discrepancy between the amount of products I actually hold onto vs what I don’t keep is actually pretty big. People assume that, as a beauty blogger, I’d have this enormous stash but I like to keep it simple. To learn more about the products I love and use myself you can check out this recent interview I did with Girlterest, a new online magazine, over here.
Moving on, let’s talk about Sorbet’s new make-up collection. It made a bit of splash when it arrived and I love that it includes some really awesome pieces at a great price. My absolute favourite thing in the line up is their Take A Brow brow kit (R179,95 Clicks and Sorbet salons). When I first opened it I thought including two colours (light and dark brown) was a waste because I’d only use one of them but, as it turns out, it’s the best thing ever. My brows are pretty light but I tint them (I do a DIY job at home) every two weeks or so. For this reason they’re sometimes dark, sometimes light. Most of the time, however, they’re an in between shade and I’ve discovered that, by mixing Sorbet’s two hues together, I can get a perfect match.
I’ve also been impressed by Sorbet’s foundation. I was given a bottle of their Face First foundation (R289,95) in Nude (a perfect match for my NC25 skin) and like that it serves up light coverage (it’s got a runny texture, a lot like NYX’s Total Control) with a slightly light-reflecting finish and has an SPF of 15. I’ve been wearing it a lot and consider it a nice pick for day. It doesn’t settle into fine lines and while it’s not billed as long-wearing, it doesn’t slide off my face over time.
Ironically, the Sorbet foundation (R259,95) I think I’d like best, Bare Faced, isn’t in my possession. I tried it on at the launch and it’s weight and luminosity (both heavier than Face First) remind me a lot of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. (I’m very familiar with Armani foundation as it’s all I wore for years.) I can’t justify buying it at this point because I have several foundations in rotation right now but when I run out it’s going to be the first one I try.
Lastly, let’s talk about Kerastase’s gorgeous Aura Botanica collection. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m a big Kerastase fan and often recommend their miraculous Nutrative Masquintense (for thick hair, not the regular one) on twitter. It was literally the ONLY THING that could bring my hair back from the dead after a horror bleaching experience that turned my hair into steel wool!
Since then, I’ve tried and adored several of their products but new Aura Botanica really is next level in the ‘OMG, I love!’ department. A collection created for the woman (or man) who prefers to keep it natural, (98% natural, fact) each product is paraben, silicone and sulfate-free but chocful of delish responsibly sourced oils like Samoan coconut and argan oil from Morocco.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with parabens, but I don’t like conditioners that are riddled with silicone because they end up building up in my hair weighing it down. (A little silicone is my friend. A lot of silicone is not.) The sulfate-thing doesn’t affect me too much but if you’ve got colour-treated hair (as in, you’re adding a colour, not bleaching) or have had a specific treatment like a Brazilian, than sulphate-free is a must as it’ll help prolong the life of your look. Sulfates are essentially foaming agents (like soap!) so they literally wash the colour (or Brazilian juju magic) right out of your hair.
Anyway, what’s Aura Botanica like to use? Short answer – heaven! Each product (sham, con, spray-con and oil) have the same delicious fragrance, a citrusy ‘green yet warm’ type of scent (sweet orange oil, rosemary and Damask rosewater) that reminds me a lot of one of my favourite perfumes, Clarins Eau Dynamisante. There are two Bain Micellaire shampoos (R300) in the collection, one for regular hair and another one for drier hair and both use micellar tech to cleanse. Being SLS-free, I expected it to be less ‘strippy’ than other shampoos but it was just the opposite. I’ve never had a shampoo leave my hair so squeaky clean before. It was literally like glass.
Naturally, this made me a bit nervous. How on earth was I going to brush my hair out while wet? It was like a clarifying shampoo on crack. But this is where the Soin Fondamental conditioner (R360) comes in. It’s got a thick, buttery texture that melts into your hair on contact, instantly turning it into silk, while you revel in its glorious scent. The end result was hair that was easy to brush while wet but, once dry, literally the lightest-feeling I’ve enjoyed in ages. If you have baby fine, limp-textured hair that doesn’t require too much heavy hydration (i.e. it’s not seriously damaged) and are always looking for more bounce then Aura Botanica is going to seriously impress!
As far as ‘extra extra’ goes, you have two options – the d’Essence d’Eclat spray con (R570) which is a bi-phase mix of oil and rosewater to spot treat drier areas like lengths or, if you’re mean, tame the notorious frizz-patch near my crown. Resist the overwhelming urge to spray it all over your body like a perfume because there’s something else you can use for that – Concentre Essentiel hair oil (R400).
When I first saw this little bottle (without knowing more about Aura Botanica’s au natural vibe) I immediately assumed it was the standard silicone serum you’ll find in most hair collections these days, but nope. Nope, nope, nope! It’s an ultra decadent hair oil that’s completely silicone-free, meaning it’s nothing but pure, oil-tastical deliciousness! (Okay, okay, it contains literally less than 1% preservatives, but come now!) And get this, unlike many other hair oils, it’s not 99% sunflower oil with a teensy splash of argan. Argan is listed as the second ingredient (meaning there’s lots of it in there!) straight after lovely jojoba.
If you’ve got ‘regular’ hair, you can use the oil as you would a serum, rubbing it between your palms and pulling it down your lengths while wet. If you’re in need of more hydration, you can added it the sham or con to create a more hydrating mix. Then, if you’re me, you can rub it all over your hands, arms and legs and then throw yourself onto your flatmate like a starfish screaming ‘SMELL ME! SMELL HOW GREAT I SMELL!’ (And then be the asshole who hides everything away so she can’t use it. Sure, I’ll share Pantene. Kerastase? Not a chance, honey! Pull this shizzle from my cold, dead, great-smelling hands!)
I told myself I couldn’t take one more product to Thailand (my suitcase is bulging with shampoos to help lighten my hair while I’m away from my hair dresser) but I caved and tossed Aura Botanica’s oil into my vanity case. The rest of the collection? That goes into my storage unit, to be held under lock and key, because, while my flatmate’s offer to ‘look after it until I come back’, is very kind, WOULD YOU TRUST IT FOR A SECOND?!