Review with swatches: Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette

Right! I’m back! I’m not going to bore you with any ‘new year, new me’ spiel. I have no resolutions and just going to keep dragging my body forward into the years until bits of it start falling off and I die. I realise that sounds fabulously morbid but I’m actually very optimistic for 2017. Being a bit of a weirdo person who just knows freaky deaky stuff that other people don’t I’ve been looking forward to turning 36 since my twenties ‘cos I know it’s going to be an important year in my life so let’s see how that rolls out, shall we?

Now let’s get down to bizznizz! Urban Decay are totally churning out the limited edition palettes, the most recent being Full Spectrum (R999) that’s going to thrill the flippin’ pants off anyone who’s crazy for colour.

Hello, hello!

Hello, hello!


The 'crystal' cover deserves a close up.

The ‘crystal’ cover deserves a close up.

Now let’s dive inside!

Told ya! Colour lover's paradise.

Told ya! Colour lover’s paradise. Clicking on this pic will enlarge it and you’ll get a clearer shot. WordPress always diminishes shot quality. Insert sad face here.

Now can we break for a second so I can show off the adorable li’l rainbow pooh pillow that announced it’s arrival?


Don’t you think he looks like a Rupert?

How much do we love him? It wasn’t ‘at first sight’, however. I initially took him along with me to the P of E when I went to visit the fam over the holidays with the intension of giving him to my doggies as part of their Christmas pressie (they have rather fancy beds and can never have enough pillows) but by the time I got there we’d fully bonded and there was no way I was letting him go. So now his garish li’l ass is back, living it up on my bed where he’s glaringly out of place in my OCD-driven all white bedroom but I just don’t care. This is what love is people. It’s all about compromise.

But let’s get back to chatting about Full Spectrum. There’s no compromise there. If you want killer quality, long-wearing, ultra-blendable shadow and you want ’em bont as all hell this palette is one of the best your money can buy. Of the 21 hues, 18 are all new and three are from palettes of the past. Also, I love that the brush it comes with is a regte, egte double-ended one featuring a tapered crease brush on one side and a shadow brush on the other. No stupid little foam applicators here, thanks! Also, if you’re still applying your shadow using a foam tip, I beg of you to please, please, please make 2017 the year you buy yourself a big girl blending brush. The difference it makes in terms of ease of application and your ability to truly blend and sweep is like chalk and cheese.

Now let’s get swatchy shall we?

From left to right:

From left to right: Alchemy, Warning, Midnight Blaze, Hundred, Minx, Delirious and Platonic.


From left to right:

From left to right: Gossip, Seize, Calavera, Hatter, Blindsided, Sketch and Iced.


From left to right:

From left to right: Paranoia, Jones, Goldmine, Mean, Metamorphosis, Faded and Bump. (Fun fact! ‘Bump’ is slang for a small hit of coke. Can you tell I used to work in advertising?)

Being a boring neutral sort, this palette initially scared me. I tend to live and die with either a bronze or taupe eye that I create using my beloved Naked 1 palette. However, having this dude in my possession has challenged me to get a little more adventurous, particularly on days when I’m wearing all black. I also like that, as the shadows can be used wet or dry, I have the option of taking a single daring colour and converting it into a liner that can be worn alone as a statement-making swoosh.

I was playing around and here are two of the looks I liked best that didn’t come out blurry as all hell. (Doing a macro shot of your eye is so much harder than it would sound. OMG!)

We've got Goldmine in the corner (my favourite shade of them all),

We’ve got Goldmine in the inner corner (my favourite shade of them all), a blend of Paranoia and Gossip in the middle and Sketch winging at the outer corner.

This other look is a little is similar but a lot darker and looked magnificent once it was fully blended and fixed but, being a moron, I accidentally deleted my final shot so you’re left with the test but ag wat, you totally get the idea.


Again we’ve got Goldmine on in the inner corner, Sketch in the middle and Delirious on the outer corner.

Rainbow Brite, eat your kaleidoscopic heart out!

Love, love


P.S. I’m hitting pan on my favourite Urban Decay Naked 1 shade and that’s Toasted. I decided to buy it as a single but the bloody Foschini website that’s now selling UD’s full range (yes!) is out of stock. So, not having the patience to wait for my eBay purchase, I caved and checked out MAC’s Sable which is supposed to be this great dupe and can now tell you with absolute certainty it’s just not the same, especially when it comes to texture, so please don’t believe the hype!

P.S.S. Do you have any idea what it feels like to finally, finally run into your ex in an airport – the dude you’ve spent four years of your life avoiding – and you’re clutching A RAINBOW-COLOURED POOH? Do you?! DO YOU?!! Ja, I didn’t think so…

Beauty bits and pieces: YSL Top Secrets Universal Makeup Remover, Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Bold Liquid lipstick and Catrice Pret-A-Lumiere long-lasting eye shadow

When I was at opening of the gorgeous YSL cosmetics boutique in Sandton a while back there was one ultra skin care item that really stood out for me so I was thrilled when it arrived at my door step – YSL Top Secrets Universal Makeup Remover melting balm-in-oil (R550).

I can't imagine anyone not loving this product.

I can’t imagine anyone not loving this product.

Why do I love it? It works like a bomb and has become my ‘go to’ product for taking off a full face of make-up. Simply scoop out a little of the oily-textured balm and massage it into your skin while dry and BOOM it dissolves literally anything. Seriously. Not even waterproof products provide a drop of resistance. You can then use a warm wash cloth or just a splash of warm water if you’re in the shower or bath to emulsify it and you’re all done with a face that doesn’t feel oily in the least, just supple and clean. Also, sometimes when I’ve just got a bit of eye make-up to get rid off I won’t even bother with water. I’ll literally swipe it on my lids and then wipe away the excess using a face wipe.

A little goes a very long way.

A little goes a very long way.

The only other product I can think of off-hand that’s a close rival to it is The Body Shop’s Chamomile sumptuous cleansing butter but I can’t find it on their local site and haven’t seen it in stores in a while so I’m now not sure that’s still available in South Africa.

Next up, if you’re a liquid lippie girl, you should know about Elizabeth Arden’s new Beautiful Colour Bold Liquid lipstick (R295).

Colour's just a quick click away.

Colour’s just a quick click away.

What I really like about these guys is that, while they’re a liquid formula, they’re not ‘slidey’ and have a slight stickiness to them so they grip your lips and stay put longer than a gloss, but with all the bold pigmentation of a lipstick.

From left to right you're looking at Fiery Red, Luscious Raspberry, Passionate Peach and Daring Beige.

From left to right you’re looking at Fiery Red, Luscious Raspberry, Passionate Peach and Daring Beige.

I find Fiery Red and Luscious Raspberry are very similar looking but I most love the former. It’s not really red. It’s more of a striking orchid with a blue undertone that creates the impression of a whiter-looking smile. But here’s the best bit – it stains like a mother trucker – so even when the colour comes off you’re left with a lovely wash of colour. There are actually days when I put this off, leave it to ‘bake’ and then wipe off the excess just to enjoy the stain aspect.


Both Fiery Red and Luscious Raspberry leave a stain but Fiery Red much more so.

Lastly, Catrice sent me a few items a while back and none of them really made a big impression but their new Pret-A-Lumiere long-lasting eye shadow (R79, Dis-Chem and is rocking my world right now.

Love this!

Love this!

It’s got a lovely velvety texture, the pigmentation is beyond and it glides on and blends like a boss. A real ‘one-stroke-wonder’, it’s quality is most definitely comparable to other brands that are three times its price.

This shade is called Pret-A-Perle.

This shade is called Pret-A-Perle.

The downer? It’s currently only available in nine shades but here’s holding thumbs the line blows up in stores and gets an expansion.

See anything you like?

Love, love


Beauty bits and pieces: Prevage Anti-Aging foundation, Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick and Nivea’s Sun Slide

Ready… set… and go!

First up, Prevage Anti-Aging foundation (R650) has finally launched in South Africa and it’s lovely stuff, blurring the lines between a treatment and a foundation. Unlike so many other foundations that offer additional benefits, things like added anti-ageing ingredients, it doesn’t contain a mere smidge of the active. This guy contains a serious whack of antioxidants, the hero being the brand’s super antioxidant idebenone plus brightening collagen-booster vitamin C and an antioxidant complex that includes thiotaine, ferulic acid, L-Carnosine and green tea.

Hello there, hun bun!

Hello there, hun bun!

I also love that it’s got a nice high SPF of 30 and its pigment is hydra-encapsulated to help your skin retain more moisture. Because of this, it’s a good pick for anyone with a medium to dry skin type, provided you don’t have anything to hide. The coverage is a bit luminous and gives your skin a healthy-looking glow but it’s very, VERY sheer – not as sheer as a tinted moisturiser – but close. So, if you’re a ‘double wear’ kind of girl this won’t make your day but if you just want something to even out your skin tone while doing it some good its a big win.

See what I mean by sheer? Also, you can see it's got a nice luminosity to it.

See what I mean by sheer? It’s already got opacity before its even spread out. But I like this shot as you can see it’s got a nice luminosity to it.

Even though I’m an oilier skin type, I’ve found I can happily use this if I reach for my blotting powder now and again (something I’m used to doing) and it didn’t slide off my face as the day wore on. It does have a bit of a perfume-y scent which some people don’t like so I feel it’s important to mention but I don’t have sensitive skin so fragranced products don’t really bother me. In all, this baby’s a winner.

Moving on, let’s talk about Lancome’s indulgent new lippies – L’Absolu Rouge (R399).

Hello hun buns!

Gorgeous, right?


From left to your right you're looking at

From left to your right you’re looking at Lancome L’Absolu Rouge lipstick in Isabella, Rose Rendez-Vous and Le Rose Persan.

Now these babies are an absolute sensuous pleasure to use. Infused with loads of hydrating macadamia oil, moisture-boosting Pro-Xylane and antioxidant vitamin E, the moment you slick them on, you know you’re not dealing with a drug store lipstick. Each creamy-textured colour (available in three finishes – sheer, cream and matte) glides on like butter and feels so wondrously balm-like that you’d expect the colour pay off to be rubbish, but nope, the pigment punch is great. As these are primarily hydrating lippies, they’re not long-wearing so you’ll have to reapply a few times as the day goes on, but the colour doesn’t feather or slide.

I'm wearing Prevage foundation on my face and Lancome L'Absolu Rouge in BLAH on my lips. Also, you gotta love December. The one month where you're too lazy to sit up for a selfie!

I’m wearing Prevage foundation on my face and Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Rose Rendez-Vous on my lips. Also, you gotta love December. The one month where you’re too lazy to sit up for a selfie!

Then there’s the ultra-luxe packaging. Each slightly heavy-feeling tube doesn’t simply pull apart. You’ve got to push down on the gold rose on the top of the tube to ‘unlock’ it and then you can slide out the bullet. This is the kind of lipstick that, when your friend’s three year-old finds in your bag and smooshes it into the table at Rock Pool, you’re going to huil.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

Speaking of kids, if you’ve got them and live near the beach you might want to take them out to experience Nivea’s Sun Slide. The concept is pretty ingenious. You pop your kids on the giant inflatable slide and they get spritzed with a dose of Nivea’s kid-friendly water-proof SPF 50. Suddenly, coating a kid in sun protection becomes something they’re actually going to be keen on.

The Cape Town event has already happened (sorry, I’m slow off the mark here, it’s been end of year deadline hell) but the Durbs one is coming up with the dates being as follows:

21 Dec – Margate beach
22 Dec – Ballito beach (Willard’s beach)
23 and 24 Dec – Ushaka beach (for the East Coast Radio Beach Festival).

According to Nivea they’re coating around 100 kids an hour. Niiiiice!

Not in Durbs? You could always make a holiday out of it using Accomodation Direct to find a place to stay or, better yet, win a break worth R5000 by entering my competition.

Love, love


Who wants to win a summer getaway worth R5000 thanks to

Ever heard of Accommodation Direct? They’re one of South Africa’s largest accommodation portals with over 20 000 listings spread out across South Africa. So, whether you’re looking to find a place to stay in Johannesburg or li’l ole’ Jeffreys Bay, chances are you’re going to find a spot via their site.

Yep, the 12 Apostles is there!

Yep, the 12 Apostles is there!

Other plus points? Searching for accommodation and getting all the ‘must-know’ info you need, including piccies, is super easy and in that way it reminds me a lot of, but it’s exclusively local, featuring everything from conveniently located self-catering apartments to fancy pants hotels.

Keen on sundowners at the Turbine Hotel in Knysna?

Keen on sundowners at the Turbine Hotel in Knysna?

Speaking of which… would you like to live it up at a glossy beachside resort this summer? Or maybe escape to the winelands? Your holiday wishes might just come true as I’m giving away a R5000 voucher you can spend on

The food at Grande Provence in Franchhoek will blow you away.

Trust me when I tell you that the food alone at Grande Provence in Franchhoek will blow you away.

To enter, simply follow this link and complete the form. It’s as simple as that!

There’s a second way to enter too – hit me up on twitter with a ‘Hey @lipglossgirl! I’d love to win a getaway worth R5000 courtesy of @accommodirect’ and include the link to this post.

This competition is exclusive to my blog, is only open to South African residents and the winner will be chosen via random number generator on 23 December 2016.

Good luck girls!

Love, love


This competition is now closed. A big congrats and happy travels to winner Roxanne Liebrandt. 

Don’t have a MySchool card? Sign up now and make your Christmas shopping count

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m a big supporter of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fund-raising holder programme. Not familiar? It works like this – sign up for a free card online and select up to three schools, charities and conservation organisations you’d like to support. Then, when you swipe your card while shopping at an affiliated retailer, they make a donation to your selected beneficiaries at no cost to you. It’s the easiest, ‘no excuses’ way to give back while you shop.

To view the list of participating stores you can click here but know that just a few of a the biggies include Woolworths, Engen Foodstops, Flight Centre and

To celebrate a very successful year of giving back, MySchool very kindly offered to donate R2 500 to one of six charities and I picked Thohoyandou Primary School, a no-fees Venda speaking school in Pretoria.

My R2 500 goes towards buying education supplies for the learners in 2017.

My R2 500 goes towards buying education supplies for the learners in 2017.

They also sent me a cookie the size of my face!

Ginger biscuits remind me of my grandpa who's now passed on and something about this biccie's arrival made me cry.

Ginger biscuits remind me of my grandpa who’s now passed on and something about this biccie’s arrival made me cry.

If you haven’t yet signed up for a MySchool card, please do! Giving back is as simple as a swipe. This year alone, thanks to cardholders across the country, the organisation was able to hand over a whopping R 70,319,673.21 (yep, that’s a very exact figure) to charities in need. Apparently their animal causes did very well, with the SPCA alone receiving just over a million rand. The Red Cross Hospital did well too – it gifted with almost R200 000.

So, before you start your Christmas shopping, please make your purchases count by signing up here.

Love, love


Fragrance reviews: Giorgio Armani Si Intense, Givenchy Dahlia Divin Le Nectar, Boucheron Quatre EDP Intense, Giorgio Beverly Hills and Rochas Eau de Rochas

Ready to get stuck in?

First up, let’s chat about Giorgio Armani Si Intense Night Light Edition EDP (R1 190 for 50ml). This isn’t a new launch, per se, as this sweet-smelling gem launched a few years back. But now, it’s all dressed up in limited edition packaging.

Hello, you pretty thing!

Oh hello, you pretty thing!

Much like the original Si EDP, the Intense version is also warm, creamy mix with lots of juicy cassis and a heart full of roses resting on a warm, sensual base of ambroxan, vanilla and wood, but the notes have been, well, ‘intensified’ to create a fragrance that’s heavier, ‘darker’ and a great deal more sensual. While you could easily wear it on a cold winter’s day, it’s an ideal go to scent for a night out when you want to smell sophisticated but still bring the ‘sexy’. If you’re a Si fan and your bottle’s running low this is a beautifully-packaged way to replenish your stash as well as a gorgeous Christmas gift for the Armani lover in your life.

A totally new scent you should also know about is Givenchy Dahlia Divin Le Nectar EDP (R1 030 for 30ml, R1 440 for 50ml and R1 765 for 75ml).

Love the gold flecks in the cap.

Love the gold flecks in the cap.

The gold packaging is pretty apt as, to me, this is a luxe-smelling ‘yellow’ floral fragrance, the type that reminds me a bit of Dior’s J’Adore line up. Notes-wise, it opens with mimosas, reveals a heart full of sambac jasmine (the Dahlia Divin signature) and rose and then dries down to a base of vetiver, sandalwood and musk.

While it’s a soft, understated perfume, the staying power is good and I can imagine it doing well on a floral fan not only at night but also for a well-heeled lunch date with the girls.

More newness? Boucheron have just launched Boucheron Quatre EDP Intense (R1 395 for 100ml).

Beautiful bottle, right?

Beautiful bottle, right?

Now, for the record, Boucheron’s original Quatre is one of my favourite fragrances in the world and something I wear almost every day in the summer when I’m going somewhere that isn’t just the bottle store over the road. I love that it’s citrusy (lots of grapefruit and orange blossom), clean-smelling thanks to a bit of green apple, ‘classy’ due to jasmine and serves just the right dash of sweetness due to a hint of strawberry.

So, what’s the intense version like? Well, the’ve kind of taken the strawberry note and ramped it up in a big way and sweetened things further with red currant. You’ll still smell the citrus, but only after the berries. The fragrance then becomes an ultra subtle woody-floral that’s reminiscent of the original but they’re more like sisters with two different personalities as opposed to one being a more potent version of the other. Usually, ‘intense’ flankers are the kind of scents you’d wear at night but this new Quatre is definitely still a light, easy-to-wear, spritz-on-and-go day time fragrance for a younger woman.

If you go in with any expectations that compare it to the original you might be disappointed but if you look at it as a new fragrance in its own right I think anyone looking for the type of scent I’ve just described it as will really like it. (For the record, this is my flatmate’s ultimate favourite of everything in this post.)

Now, it’s time for a blast from the past. Stick your hand up if you had a mom or aunt who used to wear Giorgio Beverly Hills EDT (R395 for 30ml and R595 for 90ml, exclusive to Edgars)!

Hello again!

I’m baa-aaack!

After an absence from South African shelves, Giorgio is back and yep, the classic fragrance – in a bottle inspired by a Tiffany vase – is still exactly the same. I remember a glamour aunt that used to have this in her bathroom back in the 80s and I used to spritz it on whenever I used her loo. Back then, I thought the scent was ‘subtle’ and nobody would know I’d snuck a spritz (hey, I was 8, ok?!) but it’s a very long-lasting, potent day-time floral made up of ten thousand different notes, as was the fashion back in the day. The one’s that really feature, however, are all the white ones – tuberose, gardenia and jasmine.

Some fun facts? Giorgio Beverly Hills was the first fragrance ad to feature a scent strip in Vogue magazine in 1983 and used to be pumped into the air-con in fancy department stores.

If you’re feeling nostalgic or know someone who still holds a soft spot for Giorgio and its iconic white and yellow-striped box you’ll be glad to know this flower bomb is back.

Now, if you thought I was done with taking you back in time, you’re wrong. Rochas Paris has been creating fragrances forever but they haven’t always been available in South Africa. Now, however, they’ve relaunched their line with freshened up packaging a new ad campaigns. I was given the iconic Rochas Eau de Rochas EDT (R995 for 50ml and R1 395 for 100ml, exclusive to Dis-Chem) and like how luxuriously heavy the bottle feels in your hand.

It totally reminds me of a fancy pants whiskey decanter.

It totally reminds me of a fancy pants whiskey decanter.

As for the juice itself, it hasn’t changed since 1970 so you’re still looking at a mix of herbacious and citrus top notes and a floral heart that includes rose, carnation, jasmine and the teensiest dash of spice on a bed of oak moss, myrrh and vetiver. Again, as this contains so many different notes its hard to imagine what it smells like but the best way I could describe it is zesty and ‘cologne-y’ up top in a way that’s almost masculine (lime comes through loud and proud) with a woody dry down where oak moss gives it a slight mustiness that you’ll either love or hate. In all, if you like tonic-esque fragrances like Lancome O Lancome or Eau d’Hermes this will go down well.

I’ve noticed a real trend with older fragrances stepping back into the main stream and I think it’s going to delight the older consumer who loved them the first time round and might hold interest to a younger set of vintage-loving millenials who get a kick out of wearing an atypical, classic scent in the same way they appreciate vinyl records and 35mm film cameras.

Now tell me, which fragrance do you love that’s been discontinued in South Africa and you’d love to get it back? Me? I’d love Gucci Rush 2 to make a come back. Whenever I start to feel a little sentimental about the 90s I tend to pick up a bottle on eBay.

Love, love


John Varvartos, the super successful male fragrance line you’ve probably never heard of hits South Africa and I’m now a slet for his citrusy scent called Artisan

Ok, so let’s chat John Varvartos. Now this is a male fragrance line, one I’d never heard of before, but bear with me. I popped into Jozi for the launch the other day and learned that John is a fancy pants designer who used to work for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein before going his own way and now the dude’s got his own fragrance collection. It’s been going strong for ages overseas (apparently it’s the best-selling men’s fragrance line in Korea) and now it’s hit SA shores with a bang.

The launch at Hell’s Kitchen in Mellville was pretty epic in that we were greeted by flaming rum cocktails and a giant mother truckin’ canoe filled with oysters.

Do you know how hard it was not to climb into this bloody thing and row it back to my hotel room?

Do you know how hard it was not to climb into this bloody thing and row it back to my hotel room?

They had a biltong bar too!

Jaaa, Jozi. You do it with style, mos.

Jaaa, Jozi. You do it with style, mos.

There was a live band playing at some point too but I can’t remember their name ‘cos, hello! Flaming rum cocktails! But ja, let’s chat about the fragrances. There are five in the collection and each one is beautifully ‘dressed’ in a bottle that reflects the scent’s character. I’m not going to bore you to tears by reeling off names that’ll mean nothing to you. Rather go and check out John’s site to see what I’m talking about and then step into Edgars, their exclusive SA home to give them a sniff. What I want to chat to you about specifically is a scent called Artisan (R1 195 for a 75ml EDT, selected Edgars and Red Square stores).

I took this shot while sky high on muscle relaxants and box wine and it turned out great. New work ethos?

I’m very proud of having taken this shot while sky-high on a merry mix of muscle relaxants and booze and it turned out great. New work ethos?

Despite being made for le males, Artisan is one of my new favourite scents and I’ve been spritzing it on like a mofo. John describes it as an ‘electrifying citrus’ with clementine up top, ginger root and orange blossom in the heart and a base of woody musk. To me, however, it smells a helluva lot like Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. Like sooooo much, y’all.

Whenever I’m in an airport or at a super fancy department store I find myself gravitating towards that scent and dousing myself with it. To me, it makes me think of a fantasy day at the beach in Sicily involving yachts, Aperol-infused cocktails and that hot guy who lounges around in the boat in those Dolce & Gabbanna ads. I’ve often thought about buying it and can’t remember the cost exactly but just know that it’s, beyond, horrifying. Wait! Let me google it… GOOD GOD! It’s R2 695. TWO SIX NINE FIVE! That’s basically half a plane ticket to bloody Sicily itself. So, ja. No thanks! I got bills to pay and an expensive car service coming up. No Tom Ford me. No, no, no.

But all is not lost. I now have John Varvartos Artisan in my hands (and on my neck… and on my wrists… and on my clothes…) and I’m the happiest little financially savvy camper on the block, yo! I’m also taking great delight in spritzing it on my girlfriends and not telling them that it’s a male fragrance and enjoying their surprise at the fact that it wasn’t made with chicas in mind or at least touted as unisex.

There’s another John Varvatos scent that’s even more aquatic and beachy smelling and that’s Artisan Aqua and while that’s heavenly too, it’s definitely more male smelling as opposed to unisex. I’d douse my hot D&G boat boy in that particular scent and keep regular Artisan for myself.

I've only got the sampler for this one. Or I had it. My cousin Pete's rocking it now.

I’ve only got the sampler for this one. Or I had it. My cousin Pete’s rocking it now.

Anyway, if you’re keen to try the new line, get on down to a selected Edgars and experience John Varvatos for yourself. And if you sniff Artisan, let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. Also, is there any male scent you happen to love and adore and happily wear yourself? Let’s chat in the comments section.

Love, love


P.S. Major props to Lauren Watters and co for throwing one killer party. Girl really went the extra mile to the point that she even brought a round of cinnamon-infused whiskey shots to the window of my shuttle as it left the party. Can you say (or slur) ‘best drive-thru evvverrrr…’?