Beauty reviews: Matsimela Marula Nut exfoliating mud scrub, L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew The Double Care serum and Indola Innova Divine Blond

For those not familiar with the brand, Matsimela is a proudly South African, cruelty-free range of home spa products made using natural ingredients sourced from rural communities in a bid to help uplift them. I was sent two items from their Marula Nut range (they have several including Rooibos & Honey and Litchi & Rose) and really liked the Exfoliating Mud Scrub (R103,50, Matsimela).

Matsimela

That mini Marula Nut fizz bolletjie on the left is just R19,80.

While it looks exactly like chicken liver pate (and will make you hungry to look at if you love it like I do), its ingredients include hydrating marula nut oil but the main ones are bentonite clay and silica sand. I really didn’t expect it to be exfoliating and thought it would be kind of like a mud mask with a slightly grainy texture but oh boy did I underestimate this guy. It exfoliates like a boss! Even more so if you apply it to slightly damp skin as opposed to wet. It did a bang up job of removing old self tan and now it’s on my list of favourite super scrubby scrubs – the only kind I like to use.

Anyone got melba toast so we can dig in?

Anyone got melba toast so we can dig in?

Moving on, L’Oreal have added to their Revitalift Laser Renew line with a new serum called The Double Care (R260, Clicks). It makes use of a stable form of vitamin C (a collagen-encouraging antioxidant with brightening properties) at a very mooi 2% as well as something L’Oreal refer to as Pro-Xylane. A naturally derived ingredient, Pro-Xylane helps stimulate your skin to create glycoaminoglycans (GAGs) that help defend your skin against water loss, so you could get away with calling it a ‘plumper’. However, for good measure, the formula also contains mega water-binder hyaluronic acid.

Props to L'Oreal for the airless packaging!

Props to L’Oreal for the airless packaging. I’m not sure if this piccie makes it clear but it’s one of those dual-chamber bottles that mixed two fluids together when you pump it.

While I wouldn’t rely on this as a sole solution to zapping wrinkles (for this, retinol is possibly your best ally), it could temporarily plump up your skin to soften the look fine lines and anything that helps preserve your natural collagen stash is a good thing. However, where this really shines is in the instant beauty benefits department. It’s got a whopload of silicones in its mix so it feels fabulously silky and acts like a primer, instantly blurring the look of pores and fine lines. If it stopped there you’d be looking at a matte finish but, thanks to a quick mix with a pearlescent fluid from its second chamber, then end result is  ‘blurred with a beautiful glow’ – almost like you used a perfecting primer then gave your skin a light dusting of highlighting powder.

It's tough to capture the gleam but it's there.

Pumped on the left, blended on the right. It’s tough to capture the gleam but it’s there. Clicking on this pic will enlarge it and vastly improve the quality.

Because of this, I’d be loath to apply a moisturiser and foundation on top of this as you’d lose the effect. Luckily, being oily-skinned, I can use this on its own without the need for an extra hydrator and then spot treat with a little concealer where it’s needed. If you’re in the same boat, this is a nice pick for a day time ‘flash beauty’ pick me up.

Lastly, let’s chat about Indola. A German professional hair care brand, Indola was specially developed for smaller salons to offer them top-notch quality at an affordable price, but is now available at Dis-Chem. I learned all this at a recent launch where I left with an Indola Innova Divine Blond shampoo (R170, Dis-Chem) and treatment (R200, Dis-Chem) tucked into my sakkie.

Hallo neue freunde!

Grüße neue freunde!

Each product contains hydrolised keratin and silk (hydrolised meaning the molecules have been made super small so they can penetrate into your hair) along with a few natural oils  and is supposed to help neutralise brassy tones but neither product has a violet tint to it – a very good thing for me as I wash my hair daily so I’d eventually turn grey! (If you’re a blondie like me, you’ll know finding a non-violet ‘for blondes’ product is a rarity.)

Anyhoo, I liked that the shampoo cleansed my fine, highlighted hair very well but didn’t leave it feeling stripped. But the real star here is the treatment. A small amount goes a long way and I left it on for two minutes (not even the required five to ten as I was in a rush) but it worked like a charm. My hair was hydrated to the point that, while drying, I didn’t have to reach for a spray-con detangler (a miracle that doesn’t happen often) and, when dry, it was still left with a bouncy swish. (There are loads of deeply hydrating products out there that would make brushing my wet hair a breeze, but then it’s left looking limp and flat.) So here’s a big ‘yay!’ for that.

Love, love

Leigh

Beauty bits and pieces: Revlon Powder Blush, Garnier Ultimate Blends The Delicate Soother Delicate Oat shampoo and conditioner and Shield MotionSense Germ Defense antiperspirant

Revlon have added five new powder blush (R239) shades to their line up. Two are matte (Rosy Rendezvous and Bronze Beauty), two are shimmer (Dare to Bare an Ravishing Rose) and one is satin (Orchid Charm). I don’t have all of them to show you so can google anything that sounds exciting but I was sent Ravishing Rose and really like it.

Revlon Powder Blush in Ravishing Rose.

Revlon powder blush in Ravishing Rose.

..

I'd describe this shade as a cross between pink and peach. It reminds me a little of MAC's Springsheen.

A pinky and peach colour, this shade reminds me a little of MAC’s Springsheen.

The colour’s nice and buildable which is good as this goes on rather sheer but you can pump it up with about three sweeps. If you’re fair and cool-toned like me I reckon it’s a super pretty day-time flush.

See what I mean about sheer?

See what I mean about sheer?

Want? It, along with the other new hues, will be in store come mid March.

Another nice beauty extension comes from Garnier Ultimate Blends hair care line. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I really like The Colour Illuminator duo (the one in the red packaging) as it walks a perfect balance between bouncy and hydrated for my fine, colour-treated hair. Now, there’s a newbie in town and that’s The Delicate Soother Delicate Oat for sensitive scalp and fragile hair.

A smaller 250ml bottle is R39,95 and the larger 400ml bottle is R59,95 at Clicks.

A smaller 250ml bottle is R39,95 and the larger 400ml bottle is R59,95 at Clicks.

Both the sham and con are paraben-free, infused with a teensy dash of rice cream and oat milk and have been tested on sensitive scalps. I’m very lucky in that, while I do have fragile hair thanks to colouring and heat styling, I don’t actually have a sensitive scalp so I can’t vouch for the former claim and reckon anyone with a serious scalp issue should chat to their dermatologist or doc who can recommend something to suit and chances are it’ll be fragrance-free.

Speaking of fragrance, I really liked the way these smelled. The scent is calming and soft in a way that reminded me of The Body Shop’s new Almond Milk and Honey line. Then, much like the Ultimate Blends for coloured hair, it left my hair with a bit of swish but it was still easy to detangle when wet. It’s really nice to have another option I can reach for in this pocket-friendly collection as I find The Shine Revitaliser (lemon and green tea variant) too ‘strippy’ and everything else that isn’t The Colour Illuminator (argan oil and cranberry) too heavy.

Moving on, let’s chat deo! A while back Shield launched MotionSense antiperspirant with microcapsules activated by friction. This way, when you move around, you burst open new ‘deo bubbles’ for renewed freshness as the day goes on. Anyhoo, the brand’s now whipped out Germ Defense. It also makes use of MotionSense’s ‘bubble’ tech but also promises protection from the germs that cause odour.

Shiled

Shield MotionSense Germ Defense is ready to protect and serve.

Shield says you’re getting ‘ten times as much protection’ but they’re comparing it against the use of soap, not another antiperspirant, so I’m not sure if this newbie’s ‘stronger’ than the germ-fighters in the original MotionSense or if it contained any germ-fighters at all. Luckily, I couldn’t give a toss either way. It’s a twenty buck deodorant – not a crazily-priced face cream promising the world – so I don’t feel the need to scrutinise. I’ve used it on a crazy hot day and yep, it works. And that’s good enough for me.

I also like that, despite being scented (Shield says its notes include ginger, pink peppercorn and sandalwood), my nose doesn’t really register it. To me, it just smells ‘clean’ and that’s exactly how I like my antiperspirants – to smell like ‘nothing’ or have a scent that’s incredibly subtle. I don’t want my deo fighting with my EDT, if you know what I mean.

See anything you’d like to try yourself?

Love, love

Leigh

L.O.V Cosmetics is now available in South Africa and I’ve got a hamper worth R2500 to give away

We all know about Essence and it’s big sister Catrice cosmetics, right? Well, now the same group launched L.O.V Cosmetics, an even more sophisticated sister, in selected Dis-Chem stores as well as online at takealot.com.

I got to play with a few of their goodies at the launch and found their prices on par with more upscale drugstore brands like L’Oreal and Bourjois. Despite being connected to cheap and cheerful Essence (which I love and adore), you’ll see the quality is vastly improved, specifically in the packaging department.

Ready to fall in L.O.V?

Ready to fall in L.O.V?

In fact, the Loviconyx eyeshadow and contouring palette (R299,95) is seriously lustable and totally deserves a proper look.

Gorgeous, right?!

Gorgeous, right?! I love that the case comes with a big mirror too. Just toss that brush and get thee a MAC 217 or Sigma E25.

This quartet is called A Walk on the Beach with Marilyn. There are two others available – one’s all about smoke (think gunmetal and black satin) and the other’s more champagne and violet.

Each

I loved that each shade stroked on beautifully, were totally buildable and blend like a boss.

Something else that really impressed me was their Lovlicious Caring Volume gloss (R125). The shade below is called Fuchsia but you can see it’s really more of a rosey pink.

Fuchsia

See what I mean?

The hydrating formula (infused with antioxidant-rich tsubaki oil from Japan) reminds me a little bit of MAC’s in that it’s highly pigmented, doesn’t feel ‘tacky’ but really does stick around. It’s not going to slide off your lips two minutes after you slick it on. It’s got a super subtle scent and slightly sweet taste but nothing so noticeable that it would annoy those who hate anything fragranced. (For the record, I don’t mind my cosmetics smelling pretty in the least, provided the scent isn’t over powering.)

As far as the mascara goes, I was initially given one called The Forbidden Dramatic Volume mascara and we just couldn’t make friends. It had a weird ‘double ball’ shape that, I felt, didn’t do anything to enhance the application at all. If anything, it just made it awkward. I’m really glad I got to try another variant, however, GuiltEyes Fan Effect mascara (R215) as it’s awesome.

Short li'l bristles perfectly spaced = yes please!

Short li’l bristles perfectly spaced = yes please!

The little plastic bristles are perfectly spaced (too wide apart is a pet hate of mine as you don’t ‘trap’ anything) so they catch each and every lash and coat them in a jet black formula. I don’t know if I’d called the effect a ‘fan’ one, although you can grab your corner lashes with ease. It’s more like a perfectly defined with zero clumps. This is personal favourite lash look so it definitely goes onto my list of good drugstore mascaras.

I'm wearing all the shades from A Walk on the Beach with Marilyn on my lid and BLAH mascara on my lashes.

I’m wearing all the shades from L.O.V’s A Walk on the Beach shadow palette in A Walk on the Beach with Marilyn on my lid and L.O.V GuiltEyes fan effect mascara on my lashes.

Last, but not least, I appreciated the Perfectitude mattifying primer (R215).

Wear it alone to instantly blur the look of pores and fine lines or under makeup for a lovely even application.

Wear it alone to instantly blur the look of pores and fine lines or under makeup for a lovely even application.

I liked that the formula is super lightweight and runny, not stodgy, so it spreads out like a dream and doesn’t feel occlusive.

Dolloped on the left, spread out on the right. Click on this pic to enlarge it and improve the quality.

Dolloped on the left, spread out on the right. Click on this pic to enlarge it and improve the quality.

It’s hard to capture its effect on camera but trust me it’s very obvious, specially when it comes to pores.

Now! Who’s feeling lucky? I’ve been given a hamper worth a whopping R2 500 to give away and, if you win my competition, it could end up winging its way to your door. Entering is easy. Simply leave a comment below telling me which of L.O.V Cosmetics’ products you’d most like to try. You can explore the range via their international site as well as their local FB page.

There’s another way to enter too. Hit me up on twitter with a ‘Hey @lipglossgirl! I’d love to win a LOV Cosmetics hamper worth R2500’ and include the link to this post. (A lot of you guys enter but don’t do the latter and then your entry doesn’t count.)

This competition closes at 5pm on 1 March and is open to South African residents only. A winner will be drawn from both twitter or the comments section pool via a random number generator.

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

I’m not dead!

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. I’ve been in Jozi for launches (got back last night) and now I’m running off to another two (eek!) so it’s been a bit cray. You can follow all that in ‘live time’ via twitter (I’m @lipglossgirl) and Instagram (@lipglossgirlxoxo).

Doing yoga at the L'Oreal launch in Jozi. (It was super cold. I need the bubbles to help keep me warm.)

Doing yoga at the L’Oreal launch in Jozi. (It was super cold so I needed the bubbles to help keep me warm!)

Still, I’ve now got lots of cool new things to chat about and will be playing blog post catch up on the weekend so pop in on Monday for a ‘hoezit‘. I’ll also be kicking off a cool new competition and here’s a spoiler alert: You’re going to L.O.V it.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Rimmel Magnif’eyes eye contouring shadow palettes

Like a good drugstore deal? Rimmel London have launched Magnif’eyes eye contouring shadow palettes and at R169 a pop for eight shades they’re a regte steal. Sure, we’re not talking Urban Decay quality but hey, at less than two hundred bucks for a choice of eight shades, I’ll take it! I mean, even if you only end up using six of the shades its still a good deal. Currently just a single NYX shadow alone is R100 at Clicks.

Hello hello!

Hello hello!

Each palette comes with a guide as to how to apply them on the back but don’t pay too much attention to it. Use them how you wish and toss the little brush they come with in the trash. No fully grown make-up lovin’ woman should be putting on her shadow with a sponge brush. Invest in a proper bristle one today and it’ll change your life. (I like MAC’s 217.)

Now here’s a closer look at each trio…

Grunge Glamour

Grunge Glamour

London Calling

London Nudes Calling

…and..

Bronze

Keep Calm and Wear Bronze

Of all three I like Keep Calm and Wear Bronze best, but that’s just ‘cos I have a preference for warm-toned more natural-looking shades, so I wasted no time in getting swatchy.

You'll see the palest shade has zero pigment pay off. The first one that's visible is second from the left.

You’ll see the palest shade has zero pigment pay off and is almost like a translucent powder. The first one that’s visible is actually second from the left.

I found that some colour, mostly the matte ones, had to be applied with a heavy hand to make an impact but if you’re using a primer or applying them on top of foundation you’re not going to have too much of a problem. The shimmery shades, however, particularly the fourth and fifth shades from the left, stroked on super duper well.

In short, like I said, if you’re looking to up your shadow colour options fast without having to splash a lot of cash, Rimmel’s new palettes are a decent way to do it.

Love, love

Leigh

Gelish Dip is coming to South Africa! I gave it a bash and I’m super duper impressed

So, there’s a new kind of mani coming to town and that’s Gelish Dip! While it sits under the Gelish umbrella, it’s actually quite different to Gelish and kind of straddles the gap between gel and acrylic. The big pros are that it’s longer wearing than gel, doesn’t require a UV light to cure and the application is lightning fast.

Gelish Dip! A new way to do your nails.

Gelish Dip! A new way to do your nails.

So, how does it work? This little video clip on my Insta will give you an idea.

Can’t watch the video? Then let me explain. The first step is to apply a prep coat followed by a base coat. You then dip your nails into a coloured powder and dust off the excess before applying another base coat and another dip.

Dipped...

Dipped…

..

...and dusted!

…dusted!

Your mani is now almost done. To set it, you don’t have to sit under a light. Instead you apply a slick of activator and a third round of base coat. It then takes just three minutes for the nail to set – with no light and not the slightest whiff of that chemical smell you get from acrylics.

The activator is like a thin, clear fluid that looks like water. It'll turn your nails matte but don't stress. The shine comes later.

The activator is like a thin, clear fluid that looks like water. It’ll turn your nails matte but don’t stress. The shine comes later.

Once you’re all set you can file away any lumps and bumps, so you don’t have to worry about an uneven look. The odds of you getting a ‘precise’ mani are certainly better with a dip as opposed to a paint which is great if you end up with a therapist who isn’t especially exacting. (We’ve all been there!) To finish, you apply a coat of activator followed by a glossy top coat. Again this dries in a few minutes and BOOM, you’re all done!

I opted for a solid hot pink, however, Paparazzi Pose, one of the 44 colours soon to be available in SA. (Sparkle fans will be glad to know they have glitter shades too!)

I opted for a solid hot pink, however, Paparazzi Pose, one of the 44 colours soon to be available in SA. (Sparkle fans will be glad to know they have glitter shades too!)

Just a word about my piccies – it was a little dim and fluorescent in the mani room so my shot quality isn’t at its best and WordPress totally degrades my piccies even further so please know that Paparazzi Pose is actually a helluva lot more neon than it appears.

So! What’s the verdict? While I haven’t worn acrylics before, I can compare it to Gelish and find that it’s ever so slightly thicker than gel and definitely does feel harder. Within a few hours of having it done my nails felt a bit sore – almost like the colour was shrinking and squeezing my nail – and it made me think of that sensation you get the day your ortho tightens your braces but this vanished the next day.  It’s now been five days and my nails still look as good as they do the day they were applied.

Am I going to switch from Gelish to the dip? Well, on days when I’m in a rush then I’ll definitely opt for a dip. No question! Also, if I wanted a French mani then the dip would be my first choice hands down thanks to the precision factor and speed. However, as I’m perfectly happy with the wear I get from regular gel (the light curing doesn’t bother me and lack of odour isn’t a draw as I don’t do acrylics) I’m not leaving that in the dirt anytime soon. But yay for options, right?! Also, I think women who are currently big acrylic fans are going to be delighted by this newbie to the nail scene.

If you’re keen to take a dip yourself know that it’s going to trickle into salons as of next month (March). I don’t have exact costing just yet and this will vary from salon to salon but its going to be a little more expensive than a Gelish mani but nothing crazy town.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Oh! Wondering how you take it off? The same way you would a Gelish mani – with a soak off. The only difference is that you’d need an extra five minutes.

Review: NIVEA Q10 Plus anti-wrinkle replenishing serum pearls

If you’re a fan of NIVEA’s skin care, particularly their Coenzyme Q10 offerings, you’ll be glad to know they’ve just launched their most Q10-a-licious product yet – NIVEA Q10 Plus anti-wrinkle replenishing serum pearls (R229).

NIVEA

NIVEA Q10 Plus anti-wrinkle replenishing serum pearls

A good antioxidant, we know that Q10 occurs naturally in our skin, plays a role in how our cells produce ATP (cellular energy) and that our reserves deplete as we age.

NIVEA ran a study that proved topical Q10 can encourage your skin to produce more fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen. I also found a Japanese study that saw a reduction of wrinkles in skin that used a 1% Q10 serum for five months. While it’s not as proven or ‘sterk‘ as something like retinol, it is promising stuff at an affordable price tag without risk in regards to skin irritation if you don’t use it carefully. Also, there’s nothing stopping you from using it in tandem with other anti-agers. For example, you could consider it a daytime antioxidant serum underneath a moisturiser with sunscreen and then apply your ‘hard guns’ anti-agers before bed or on ‘in door’ days. (That’s pretty much how I tend to roll.)

See the pearls?

See the pearls?

Anyway, it’s unclear what percentage of Q10 exists in NIVEA’s new serum but it’s packaged in little ‘pearls’ that burst open when pushed through the pump bottle’s nozzle to ensure a ‘fresh dose’ of Q10 that then mixes with the hydrating component of the serum, a glycerine-based gel that contains skin plumping hyaluronic acid and creatine, the latter being something that helps boost our skin’s ‘energy’ supply so it can function well when it comes to doing things like regenerate.

A pump of serum...

A pump of serum…

..

...spreads out to look like this and then completely disappears when it's fully rubbed in.

…spreads out to look like this and then completely disappears when it’s fully rubbed in.

I really, really liked that this is packaged in an airless pump to protect its actives from oxidation and hope to see more pumps and less jars from NIVEA going forward. I also liked that the serum literally absorbs into your skin in a flash and doesn’t fall into what I refer to as the ‘slippy serum trap’ – where the brand immediately fills the product with a zillion silicones, possibly because so many women automatically associate the word ‘serum’ with a velvety, primer-type texture. (Great if you’ve got a drier skin type but horrid if you’re oily as the moment your face greases up, the silicones lying on top of it can turn your complexion into a muddy-looking oil slick!)

From a purely ‘hydrating’ perspective, I wouldn’t advise you use NIVEA’s new serum on its own unless you’re very, very oily. I’m combination-skinned and can often get away with wearing a serum on its own as a moisturiser, but like I said, this absorbs fast and leaves zero slip in its wake. A rather nice thing because you can happily work it into any existing routine without having to worry about added weight.

Love, love

Leigh