Review: Catrice Chocolate Nudes eye shadow palette, Even Skin Tone Beautifying foundation and Sun Glow Mineral bronzing powder

A while back Catrice and Essence sent me a bunch of their new goodies and I thought I’d show off a few of the stand outs, starting with Catrice.

First up, their new Chocolate Nudes palette is rather nice.

Catrice Chocolate Nudes eye shadow palette, R89,95 at Dis-Chem and Red Square.

Catrice Chocolate Nudes eye shadow palette, R89,95 at Dis-Chem and Red Square.

I remember trying another of their palettes a while back and wasn’t all that impressed as the shade selection wasn’t varied enough – it was literally one dark shade and then a whole bunch of paler ones that all came off looking the same – but this one gets it right. The pigmentation, however, isn’t amah-zing, so make sure you apply this over foundation or primer and then you’ll get a good colour pay off.

This is after I swept foundation on my arm

This was taken after I swept foundation on my arm before applying.

Next up we’ve got Catrice’s Even Skin Tone Beautifying foundation. The shade I was given, 020 Beige Rose, is far too light for me to wear in summer but I did try it on an in between self-tans day and while it still wasn’t a one hundred perfect match I liked it enough to feel it’s worth a mention.

Catrice Even Skin Tone Beautifying Foundation in 020 Beige Rose, R132,95.

Catrice Even Skin Tone Beautifying foundation in 020 Beige Rose, R132,95.

It’s got a luxuriously creamy, medium-weight texture that’s super easy to blend and immediately made me think of Shiseido’s Radiant Lifting foundation, but without the radiance bit. I mean don’t get me wrong, Catrice’s finish definitely isn’t matte, but it’s not illuminating either. I’d describe the over all effect as ‘satin’. I liked that it did a lovely job of evening out my complexion but don’t think it would cover anything major, you’d still need concealer for that.

It's quite pale, right?

It’s matches the inside of my wrist but not my face.

As far as claims go, Catrice reckon there’s something in their foundation that can help minimise the effect of pigmentation over time but don’t specify what that is. Perhaps it’s the teensiest pinch of botanical brightening extracts they’ve thrown in just before the preservatives? Either way, while every little bit helps, don’t give up on your pigmentation-busting serum and SPF combo just yet.

Last, but not least, Catrice’s Sun Glow Mineral bronzing powder is a real goodie.

Catrice Sun Glow Mineral bronzing powder, R89,95.

Catrice Sun Glow Mineral bronzing powder, R89,95.

It gets the balance between matte and shimmer 100-percent right to create a satiny natural-looking hue with ZERO glitter (OMG! How much do we hate glitter-infused bronzers?!) that’s totally tan and not a drop of orange. The lighter shade (010 Golden Light) is a shade I can only pull off when I’m wearing a light facial self-tanner (which is 90% of the time as I’m naturally a bit of a zombie) so I reckon it would suit anyone with a medium skin tone.

IMAG1041-001

Not a sparkle in sight, thank God!

If you’re more on the paler side of life, I’d still recommend you look at The Body Shop’s Honey Bronze bronzing powder. That’s still my top pick for fair-skinned girls wanting a matte-bronzer.

I'm wearing the bronzer on my temples and in the hollows of my cheeks plus the shadows on my eyes. My stupid eye close up came out blurry. Arrgh!

I’m wearing the bronzer on my temples and in the hollows of my cheeks.

The lippie colour I’ve got on is a Catrice one but I can’t remember the name and now I can’t find it. Arrrgh! For the record, Catrice lipsticks, in general, are definitely among the nicer ones you’ll find in the ‘drugstore’.

Love, love

Leigh

Review with before and after pictures: Jawline reduction with Botox at Skin & Body Renewal

A while back I was offered a treatment at my beloved Skin & Body Renewal so I rocked up expecting to zap my crow’s-feet with Botox. (I’ve been hitting up the needle for every six months or so since I was 27 and I love the results. That, along with retinol and a high SPF are the reasons people are often surprised to learn I’m turning 35.)

Anyway, Dr. Maureen Allem was going to handle my face and this is a woman I trust implicitly. Aside from being the founder of the Skin & Body chain, she’s also one of SA’s most experienced and respected aestheticians. She’s one of few people where I can roll into her office, throw myself down on the bed and say ‘I feel sooo haggard and tired! Just do whatever you want!’ maureen
As a result, when she suggested we try something a li’l different and shape my jaw using Botox (hello there, Kylie Jenner!) I was very happy to let her have at it. I’ve been a ‘clencher’ for as long as I can remember, something I do without even realising, especially when I write (which is often all day long) and it’s resulted in a pretty pronounced, rather square-looking jaw that sometimes comes off as ’rounded’ if I’m photographed straight on as the muscles around my jaw’s hinge stand out and pull my face structure outwards, if that makes sense. Maureen reckoned a splash of ‘tox would paralyse those pumped up, over worked muscles so they’d shrivel up and give me a slimmer-looking, more oval-shaped face.

Now, upon explaining that to friends, many of them had the same freaked out reaction – ‘OMG! How are you going to eat?!’ ‘Will you be able to talk?!’ ‘OMG! OMG! OMG!’ To this, I say ‘RELAX, chicas!’ Your jaw has loads of muscles in it and if some end up going on a li’l vacay there are lots of others to pick up the slack. Also, Maureen’s a blerrie expert, okay? This isn’t her first rodeo. In fact, she’s so good with a needle she didn’t even have to use an anaesthetic on me. A few li’l pricks and boom, I was all done so I could head off for dinner a mooi boy who was none the wiser.

Also, the thing about Botox is that it doesn’t work straight away. You have to wait a few days (for me it’s usually five) for it to kick in. When this started happening I experienced a little bit of jaw stiffness due to muscles that weren’t used to helping me talk and devour Big Route’s bolognaise pizza (the BEST you’ll ever taste!) had to get down to business but it was a ‘sensation’ as opposed to pain. There was literally nothing painful about the procedure at all.

As far as a results time lines goes – if you’re using Botox to klap lines around your eyes or on your forehead these will diminish from the moment it kicks in at that five to seven days post-treatment mark. A muscle, however, takes a while to atrophy (shrink) so it was only about a month later that my sleeker-looking jaw started to emerge and the results were/are awesome. Like, AWESOME!

Let's not pretend you don't see a difference!

The before shot is on the left (taken in my car literally the day I got the shots. I look a tad dopey-eyed in at as I wearing lash extension that were still a bit heavy, I reckon) and the after shot on the right was taken six weeks later. Let’s not pretend you don’t see a serious difference!

The difference it’s made is VERY visible to the point that my au naturale lovin’ cousin (who usually gets preachy and ridic when I do anything to my face, be it lash extensions or a peel) as well as my mom and a few besties totally noticed and all gave it a big two thumbs up. (As in, ‘Wow! This is something you should really do again!’) As for the rest of the world, my slimmer-looking face had loads of people asking me if I’d lost weight when I hadn’t. In fact, I’d gained a tad thanks to a li’l too much festive season merriment!

So ja, in short, if you’re considering facial contouring via Botox know I give it a massive thumbs up. Results will vary as some people have a larger jaw due to what the bone is shaped liked but for most folks its defined their muscles. Also, while this is a relatively simple procedure that most aestheticians could pull off, I can only personally endorse Dr. Maureen Allem, the Botox wizard. So much so that I’ll be going back at some point, credit card in hand, to do it again and again and again.

In regards to costs, this will vary from person to person depending on how many units of Botox are used. I had 15 in one muscle and 20 in another and, if you’re working on an average of R70 per unit, you’re looking at around R2 450, roughly the price of a new ghd V styler, and your results should last for a good six to nine months.

To make an appointment with Skin and Body Renewal (I think all their aestheticians offer jaw-defining, but I’ll double-check), visit their site to find a branch in your area. Also, feel free to chat to me in the comments section. I’ll answer all the q’s I can and will pass on any I can’t to Dr. Allem.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil for face, body and hair

Later this month, Elizabeth Arden have just launched yet another product within their crazy successful Eight Hour Cream line up and this one’s a goodie – All-Over Miracle Oil for face, body and hair (R385).

Hello there!

All I need is a miracle… all I neeeeed is youuuu…

Initially, the fact that they slapped ‘miracle’ in the name kind of irked me. I was worried they’d step into Bio-Oil territory and associate it with a host of overblown claims regarding stretch marks. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Arden merely claims to hydrate and multitask with applications that range from moisturising both your body and face as well as your hair.

As far as formulation goes, Miracle Oil’s a mix of multiple plant oils, the big players being rice bran oil, grape seed oil and Japanese camellia oil. Rice bran and camellia oil are both nice l’il picks from the east as they’re both non-greasy, absorb like a boss and contains love-you-long-time antioxidant vitamins, essential fatty acids and phytosterols. The latter gives them anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to soothe sensitive skin.

Another interesting ingredient is Boswellia Serrata resin extract that produces Frankincense and research has shown it’s also able to soothe inflammation (a major cause of premature ageing, just so you know) while stimulating your fibroblasts to produce more collagen. I really don’t know if Arden’s used it in a high enough concentration to have an effect so don’t toss your retinol serum just yet, but hey, every bit counts, right?

I really liked that the oil’s in a spritzer bottle – it makes even application a breeze – and appreciated that my skin drank it up fast but was left feeling supple and looking radiant. It’s supposed to have a delicate citrus-floral scent but I honestly can’t pick that up at all. That’s probably a good thing, ‘cos now I don’t have to worry about it competing with my perfume. (For the record, I’m still obsessed with Boucheron’s Quatre. OBSESSED!)

Did I say OBSESSED?!

Did I say OBSESSED?!

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Palmer’s Shea Formula Raw Shea body lotion AKA let’s file this one away to yet more lekkerness that won’t break the bank

We all know about Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula – it’s been around for years and has a bit of cult following, I reckon. Except for me. I honestly can’t stand the stuff. It’s scent is just so darn sweet in a way that feels suffocating. Bleh. In fact, let’s make that a double bleh plus a shot of humble pie scoffing surprise because I totally thought I’d hate, hate, hate the brand’s new Shea Formula but what do you know, it’s a winner!

IMAG1008

Palmer’s Shea Formula Raw Shea body lotion

Unlike it’s Cocoa Butter boetie, Palmer’s Shea Formula Raw Shea moisturising body lotion (R59,95, Clicks and Dis-Chem) has a subtle, uplifting vanilla scent that makes me think of the real vanilla paste I have sitting in my kitchen cupboard. It’s not synthetic or sickly in the least and reminds me a lot of the plain old vanilla body lotion The Body Shop used to make back in the day, before they got all fancy pants and started throwing other notes into the mix, things like spice and white chocolate.

Light vanilla scents always smell 'clean' to me.

Ultra light vanilla scents always smell ‘clean’ to me and I like that.

As far as texture goes, it’s feather-light and absorbs in a flash so it’s perfect for my ‘normal’ skin that I’d never characterise as dry. Also, like I said, the scent is a soft, pretty vanilla, but it doesn’t linger and would never interfere with your perfume.

IMAG1011

Do you appreciate a good ole’ ingredient close up? Let me know and I’ll do more of them where appropriate.

Ingredients-wise, notables include hydrating African Shea butter as well as marula, sunflower and soybean oils plus soothing oatmeal extract and antioxidant vitamin E. The formula’s also free of parabens, phthalates, sulphates, mineral oil, gluten and colourants.

In all, if I didn’t have ten million zillion different body products languishing in my flat (the joy of being a beauty blogger) and was wandering the aisles looking for a new body lotion, I’d happily toss this boy into my trolley.

Love, love

Leigh

Forever21 SA’s ‘Outfit of the week’ blogger challenge part 3 plus OMG I have a R2100 gift card that you could win!

So I’ve come to the end of my Forever 21 blogger challenge and my third and final outfit is very much 70s inspired. The era’s pretty much the biggest trend driver this summer what with wide-legged jeans, wedges and bohemian-feeling tops being big, big news.

My gorgeous co-model is my dog who's name (that my folks picked) is too embarrassing to type

My gorgeous co-model is my family’s rescue doggie who’s name (picked by my folks) is too embarrassing to type.

I seriously love this top and was thrilled to discover it was marked down to just R200 on sale.

I leaf you a lot!

The cutesy flare at the bottom just kills me.

I never thought I’d buy a pair of high-waisted, let alone wide-legged jeans (R529) as I’m a skinnies til I die kind of girl but I slipped these on out of curiosity and was surprised by how good they look. They also do a great job of flattening your post-Christmas lunch tummy a la Spanx!

68468_10156422695425037_2178877478151647881_n

Loving the buttons!

As far as as the wedges (R629) go, I’m glad they’re super ‘tall’ ‘cos, if you’re a shortie like me, you need a bit of height to pull off any kind of wider leg.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

Last but not least, lets get a close up of my li’l friend.

This dude was only R59!

Dumbo here was just R59!

Like my look? I do too, but the PR peeps behind the campaign liked my white culottes and crop top number best and awarded me a cool R2100 Forever21 voucher when I won the second round of the challenge. Now, as promised, I’ll be giving that away to one of you guys. Entering way easy. All you had to do was like one of my looks on Instagram (I’m @lipglossgirlxoxo) or leave a comment in one of my outfit posts telling me what Forever 21 fashion items where on your Christmas wish list. As it stands, the competition is still open, but at 5pm today I’ll be drawing a winner and maybe that’s going to be you. A rather nice way to kick off a brand new year, right? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a very good feeling about 2016.

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

This competition is now closed. A big congratulations to Seth Shezi on winning. Turns out boys read my blog too! 

Forever21 SA ‘Outfit of the week’ blogger challenge part 2: Lightening up

Forever 21 is continuing to help me knock things off my Christmas wish list thanks to the very generous gift card that comes part and parcel with their blogger challenge. Thus, I give unto thee my second summer outfit – a cullotes and crop top number that sounds like every woman’s nightmare but is actually easy to pull off, provided you know the rules.

Love this look!

Love this look!

The first is that culottes are a lot more flattering if you wear them with a heel to give your legs a little length. As far as crop tops go, those that reveal a little strip of skin above your belly button (and never the button itself) are pretty forgiving and, dare I say it, classier than any other variant?

The crop top and culottes were both R500 a pop.

The crop top and culottes were both R500 a pop.

 Now let’s zoom in on those details shall we?

I used to think backpacks were rubbish and then I met my match.

I used to think backpacks were rubbish and then I met my match. Also, see how the crop top buttons up at the back?

As far as accessories go, I’m very much a less is more kind of girl and this simple cuff (R49) is speaking my language.

Test

A trend I’m really enjoying right now is to mix delicate temporary tattoos with ‘real’ jewellery.

Shoes-wise, block heels and metallics are bid news in the fashion world right now and these babies (R599) – which are super comfy by the way – are a great way to tick both boxes.

Kim Kardashian would approve.

Kim Kardashian would approve.

You like? Don’t forget that my competition is still running and a R2 100 Forever 21 gift card is up for grabs. You’ll find all the finer details regarding that over here but, in short, all you have to do is like my outfit post on Instagram (I’m @lipglossgirlxoxo) or leave a comment below telling me what you’d most like to buy using the voucher.

Love, love

Leigh

A big lipglossy thank you to Leah Hawker for her incredible photography skills. 

If a ghd styler is the top of your Christmas wish list you’ll want it in Arctic Gold

Look who’s arrived just in time for Christmas – a sexy new limited edition ghd styler called Arctic Gold (R2 299)! Out of all the once-off stylers ghd has whipped out this year (remember Vintage Pink?) I reckon this platinum-coloured darling (not to be confused with the top of the line ghd Platinum styler) is the mooiest of the bunch.

How much do we love?

How much do we love?

A V-series styler, it serves up white ceramic plates that use tri-zone technology to ensure your hair’s evenly heated for a smoother, shinier style with fewer strokes.

Details darlings, details!

Details darlings, details!

..

Even the box it comes in is super pretty.

Even the box it comes in is super pretty.

It also comes with a protective silicone sleeve and matching delicately embroidered bag that rolls out to create a heat resistant mat.

Prettiness!

Prettiness!

If you’ve been a very good girl, visit ghd’s site and send a special someone a hint that you’d most appreciate an Arctic Gold styler in your Christmas stocking or just snap one up yourself. Just brace your wallet before you look as Arctic Gold isn’t limited to just the V styler – its a whole collection that includes everything from a ghd Curve Soft Tong and Creative Wand (R2 199 each) to the big kahuna that is the white Platinum styler itself (R2 999)!

Love, love

Leigh