Competition time: Who wants to win a tea-tastical Cadbury Glow chocolate hamper for their mom?

Growing up, I was very lucky to have a mom who was rather glamorous and helped inspire my love of beauty and beautiful things. The kind of woman who doesn’t leave the house without her lipstick on, my mom taught me that taking good care of my skin from the earliest age would be one of the better gifts I could give myself in the future. Today, I still sometimes think back to being 12 and how kids at school camp would think it ‘weird’ and ‘fussy’ that I’d religiously apply a moisturiser with an SPF in it every morning as well as how now, as a sun damage-free adult, how glad I am that I did it.

Bless! Turns out my mom doesn't have a single Facebook snap that isn't blurry.

Not bad for 64, ne? Also, bless! Turns out my mom doesn’t have a single Facebook snap that isn’t blurry as hell.

Something else my mom taught me is to believe in myself – something she did simply by believing in me. I remember quite clearly the night I lay in front of the TV in my dinosaur nightie watching the Miss South Africa pageant and being utterly transfixed by the sheer sequin-addled fabulosity of it. To hell with being a vet, this was going to be my job when I grew up and thus I made A Very Serious Statement delivered with the utmost gravitas: ‘Mom, I’ve finally decided. When I grow up, I’m going to be Miss South Africa’. This from a gangly, ultra pale, Coke bottle glasses-rocking seven-year old with a seriously crazy set of teeth that would later require some serious orthodontic work. Still, my mom looked at me, thought for a moment and then, in a just as serious tone, said something that would stick with forever: ‘Yes. I think you’d be quite good at it.’

Anyhoo… Mom’s approval regardless… I’d grow up with no ambition to be a beauty queen (a good thing considering I’m too short, am way too committed to lasagna and now find the concept a li’l archaic) but I’ve never forgotten that my mom didn’t doubt for a second that it was one of the many things she thought I could do and do well.

Win! Win! Win!

I’m sure most of you are pretty grateful for your mom too and if that’s the case why not spoil the woman with a luxurious li’l Cadbury hamper? I’ve been given two to give away and not only do they include Cadbury Glow – a gorgeous golden box full of individually wrapped pralines – but two beautifully packaged tea cup and saucer sets. Each hamper is valued at R500 each.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

To enter, simply drop me a comment below telling me what you’re most grateful to have learned from your mom.

Another way to win? Hit me up with the following tweet: ‘Hey @lipglossgirl! I’d love to win that Cadbury Glow Mother’s Day hamper #LookAtHerGlow’ and be sure to include the link to this post.

This competition closes at 5pm on 20 May 2016 and two winners will be drawn (one from twitter and one from the comments section) via a random number generator.

Yum!

Yum!

Good luck girls!

Love, love

Leigh

This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Nicola Davidson and Invisible_CT on winning a tea-tastical Cadbury hamper for their mamas! 

I’ve been featured on ‘Becoming You’, dishing on which blogs I like to read best

I’ve you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn from the lifestyle blog ‘Becoming You’ you’ll know I’m right when I describe her as ‘lovely’ because that’s exactly what she is. Her blog, which is quite jealousy inducing as it’s so mooi and slick-looking, covers lifestyle, fashion, beauty, family and more. The ‘more’ bit includes a quick interview with yours truly on which blogs I like to read.

Kath pointed out that there aren’t any beauty blogs on my list and there are two reasons for that. The first is that I don’t spend too much time looking at what other beauty bloggers are doing as I don’t like to be influenced by anyone else’s opinion before I write a review. The second is that the authors are my friends (we all live and die at the launches together) and saying I prefer one’s blog over another, for whatever reason, could end up being more trouble than it’s worth. I don’t need a gel mani in my eye balls thanks!

This is Kathryn. If you spot her around town be nice 'cos she's totally kiff.

This is Kathryn. If you spot her around town be nice ‘cos she’s totally kiff.

This is actually the second time Kath has interviewed me. You can check out my first one over here. I’ve just given it a quick re-read and am sad to announce that I’ve yet to find the perfect pair of grey suede ankle boots by my love of Essie’s Exotic Liras is still as strong as ever as I’m wearing it on my toes right now. Reading the list of things I love was actually pretty good for me as this week’s been a bit poohtastical (just one highlight includes reversing my car into a pole) so I think I’m going to pack in a few more of my ‘happiness inducers’ to balance out the status quo starting with Sawadee’s Monogolian beef, a lime milk shake and a good book. If you’ve read anything fantastic lately (I’m a psychological thriller kind of girl) please let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear about it.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Essie’s Fall 2015 ‘Leggy Legend’ collection

Essie’s new fall collection, Leggy Legend, is inspired by a ‘rock era’. They don’t specify which one, but I’m betting it was the 70s as the metallic shades make me think of glam rock and one of the shades called Bell-Bottom Blues.

Top left going clockwise: Frock n Roll, Bell-Bottom Blues, In the Lobby, Leggy Legend, Color Binge and I'm with the Band.

Top left going clockwise: Frock n Roll, Bell-Bottom Blues, In the Lobby, Leggy Legend, Color Binge and I’m with the Band.

The first colour I slapped on was Colour Binge (R125), a cheerful coral creme with a high shine finish, as the weather was still summery and warm when it arrived and it soon become a favourite. In fact, it reminds me a lot of another recent Essie favourite – Sunset Sneaks. Just two coats and you’re good to go! It looked great with or without a (fake) tan and drew a lot of compliments.

Essie Color Binge

Essie Color Binge

I next tried Bell-Bottom Blues (R125), an indigo blue with lots of shimmer that’s really a lot darker and less ‘peacock-y’ than the piccie up top. I was very impressed with the formula. It’s fabulously opaque so it’s pretty much a one coater but you’ll want to apply two to get the full BABOOM in regards to it’s depth of colour. While it’s hardly a dupe for Chanel’s Blue Satin (‘memba that?!) it does make me think of it, but I muuuch prefer it to Mevrou Coco’s hue. Wearing it (along with a maroon skater dress and celtic cross combo) made me feel like I was livin’ it up in the 90s again which is great as we all know that decades tres en vogue right now. Can we get a li’l Alanis Morisette up in here, please?

Essie Bell-Bottom Blues

Essie Bell-Bottom Blues

Speaking of 90s, the brick red hue, I’m with the Band did nothing for me. It was just so… bricky! I kind of felt like I was wearing brown with the teensiest dash of rooi as opposed to the other way round. Perhaps it’s because I’m a cool-toned person and save all my lovin’ for more flattering blue-toned reds? I’m not sure. But either way it gave me yet more 90s flash backs to a time when Cindy Crawford and Revlon really wanted you to wear every shade of chocolate, from your lips to your finger tips. I didn’t try the eponymous Leggy Legend either as alloyed bronze is a colour I just can’t pull off. I will, however, be trying In the Lobby, the vampy black cherry shade, at some point and will be sure to update the post.

Moving on, let’s talk about Frock & Roll (R125)! A grey-aubergine with super teensy shimmer flecks, it makes me think of YSL’s Black Opium Nuit Blanche bottle and I’m loving it! Again, it’s a brilliant one coater, but you really gotta rock two for maximum impact. Often, very dark colours are super hard to paint with as they’re so unforgiving but this shade’s a dream.

Essie Frock n Roll

Essie Frock n Roll

I’m now trying to think of which of the three I love – Color Binge, Bell-Bottom Blues and Frock & Roll – would be my favourite. Like the one shade I’d pick over all, but I have to say I love them all equally. Each one’s found a permanent home in my big ass Train Case O’ Nail Shizzle.

Have you tried anything from the new collection? And if not, which colour’s totally talking to you?

Love, love

Leigh

Special alert: Who wants to snap up a Lancome Juicy Shaker for just R70?

Been wanting to try Lancome’s new Juicy Shakers? I’ve got a very nice li’l special for you girls, but you’ve got to move fast as the brand’s offered it to the first fifteen of my readers who take them up on it.

Here’s how it works – pop on over to Red Square (you have to click on this particular link) and snap up R1000 worth of anything, ensuring your order includes at least one Juicy Shaker and you’ll get R200 off your purchase. Just use my unique voucher code BL200 when you check out.

As Juicy Shakers are R275 a pop you're essentially paying just R75!

As Juicy Shakers are R275 a pop you’re essentially paying just R75!

For those of you who don’t follow me on Insta (I’m @lipglossgirlxoxo by the way), Juicy Shakers are Lancome’s just-launched pigment-infused lip oils. Available in a wide range of colours, each sweet-tasting, yummy-smelling oil gives your lips a (very) sheer wash of colour and a nice dose of hydration thanks to natural oils like apricot, peach and rose de muscat.

Non-sticky and sheer but lots of shine.

To use, simply shake them up like a cocktail and then dab them on your lips.

Happy shopping girls!

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Matrix Total Results Hello Blondie shampoo and conditioner

I’m a natural blonde but I lift my colour further with highlights every two months or so and, as my hair’s baby fine, especially around my crown area, this means I have to give it a little extra TLC. After washing, the aforementioned crown bits can often look like fuzz and, due to their delicacy, need to combed out super carefully otherwise my hair will pretty much just break off. To get the job done, I always use a Tangle Teezer and reach for a lightweight spray conditioner. (Schwarzkopf Gliss make some great ones.)

Anyway, that’s my hair in a nut shell, so I’m often using sham and cons aimed at colour treated hair as they seem to get the balance right at hydrating just enough, but not too much so as to weigh my hair down. One of the duos I’ve recently tried that gets it right is Matrix Total Results Hello Blondie (R99 for the sham and R120 for the con).

Hello blondie!

Hello blondie!

These guys live up to their claims in that yes, the formula ‘moisturizes intensely without adding weight to hair’. It also claims to protect from UV rays and brighten shine thanks to chamomile extract, but the latter is hard to judge as I’ve literally just had my hair highlighted again so it’s in ‘bright and fresh’ mode by default.

The only

The only semi-downside here (for me) is that each of the Hello Blondies has a slight violet tint to it.

Fabulous if you’re wanting to beat the brass but not so great if you’re 100% happy with your hue (as am I) because over time it can turn your baby blonde locks a little ashy and if you’d rather stay on the golder side of life you won’t appreciate it. If this is you, you’d best suit the Colour Obsessed line. Same price, similar light weight formula and zero colour deposit, just protection via antioxidants.

Another thing I want to mention? R99/R120 is a flippin’ fabulous price for a ‘salon only’ duo. Have you seen the price of salon products lately? Matrix has a big line, their formulations’ quality is good and their pocket friendly prices get my two thumbs up.

Love, love

Leigh

Reviews: Roberto Cavalli Paradiso Azzuro EDP, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Rose EDT and Antonio Banderas Queen of Seduction EDT

Roberto Cavalli have just launched a new summery version of their popular Paradiso scent, Paradiso Azzuro EDP (R805 for 30ml, R1 135 for 50ml and R1 470 for 50ml), inspired by a golden sunrise over the Mediterranean sea. While the original Paradiso was a mix of citrus, jasmine and wood, Azzuro is much he same but now it’s citrusy top notes mingle with lavender. The heart is still pure jasmine but now the base notes are and cashmere.

Gorgeous bottle, right?

Gorgeous bottle, right?

To my nose, it’s opening – a clean, sparkly mix of citrus, bergamot and lavender – is the best part and I wish these notes would linger around a little longer but the jasmine and cypress elements are forces to be reckoned with. In fact, as the cypress note is so forthcoming, the scent kind of feels a little bit like a unisex cologne with great staying power and throw.

When the scent dries down, it’s pretty difficult to tell it apart from the original Paradiso so if you’re a fan of the original or appreciate a warm, woody floral where jasmine’s the star of the show this is something you’ll want to sniff.

Next up, let’s get a look at Viva La Juicy Rose’ EDP (R795 for 50ml and R1150 for 100ml), the latest edition to the Juicy Couture family.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

Isn’t the bottle just magic? You’ll also be glad to know that the glitter’s been lacquered over so it’s not going to get all over your hands, clothes, your whole god damn life every time you pick it up. Now I know the devotees will throw rocks at me but I’m not a fan of any of the other Viva La Juicy scents as I find them a bit too sweet with a cloying caramel note that doesn’t do it for me. I kind of expected Rose’ to be similar, but surprise, surprise, it’s quite different in that it’s a very light, easy to wear scent that makes me think of clean-smelling shampoo with a dash of sugared rose petals if you put your nose a little closer to your skin.

As far as the official notes go, you’re looking at mandarin, pear, centifolia rose (these are the big roses that look like pretty pink cabbages), jasmine, peony, orris, benzoin and ambroxan.

It’s also worth mentioning that, while I merely like it, my flat mate is absolutely crazy about it which is why I always try to keep my fragrance reviews as objective as possible. One woman’s Coco Mademoiselle is another’s eau de migraine so, if like my me, you haven’t appreciated the Juicy side of life before, know that Rose’ might just swing you round to the ‘bling’ side.

Now let’s chat about Antonio Banderas Queen of Seduction EDT (price TBA). The name’s as cheesy as all hell and when I think of the word ‘seduction’ and it’s linked to someone ‘Latin’ I immediately think spice, smoke and musk. Still, this is another case of ‘sniff it before you judge it’ as Queen of Seduction’s a surprisingly fresh, sparkly citrus. In fact, if my preconceived idea was a woman, it would be a siren like Monica Belluci in a black kimono but in ‘reality’ this fragrance’s poster child is a flirty, girlie girl like Taylor Swift rocking a pastel-coloured sundress.

Can you see I'm having fun with filters?

Can you see I’m having fun with filters?

The notes? Water, raspberry, grapefruit, jasmine, peony, pink pepper, iris, amber, cedar and suede. On me, I get juicy pink grapefruit, summer petals and subtle creamy woods. I really love this scent. It’s a perfect sunny weekend pick-me-up, but it’s let down by the fact that it’s lacking in the staying power department.

Tried any of these yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask, Benefit The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks and Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation face masks

Like most meisies, I enjoy indulging in the odd face mask and thought I’d tell you about three I’ve tried of late. The first is Dermalogica’s new Charcoal Rescue mask (R790).

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask

At first I thought it might be your bog standard clay mask with a bit of charcoal in the mix and kind of balked at the price. However, its ingredients list reveals there are several other beneficial actives that include soothing and exfoliating sulphur; other exfoliants like lactic acid; brightening and hydrating antioxidant niacinimide and spot-calmers in the form of witch hazel and tea tree extract. As for the charcoal, this has been ‘activated’ which means it’s negatively-charged to attract positively-charged toxins like a magnet.

My face mask brings all the boys to the yard.

My face mask brings all the boys to the yard.

After slapping it on and replying to a million e-mails (approximately ten minutes because I’m a mud face-rocking machine), my skin looked subtly refined – like all my pores have had a l’il polish – and my complexion had a subtle glow to it, as though something in there helped get my circulation going.

At just under R800, I still think it’s a pretty expensive product but hey, if you can afford it, you go girl. In its defense, it not something you’d use every day so the tube will end up lasting a good few months and, as far as clay-based masks go, this is one of the nicer ones I’ve used in a while.

Next up, let’s chat about Benefit’s new The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks (R395 for 8 masks, selected Edgars and Red Square stores). The packaging is super cute in that the box looks like a li’l first aid kit and each solution-soaked cloth mask pops out of its own little blister pakkie.

Benefit The Porefessional Wipe ou

Benefit The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks

It promises to deep clean your pores and temporarily tighten up skin thanks to watery serum-like solution that essentially contains astringent alcohol*, hydrating glycerine and a dash of the hero active – mushroom extract. More brands are using mushroom extract than you realise as it’s got good astringent (temporary pore-tightening) properties.

Cuteness!

Cuteness!

I liked that each cloth contained a lot of the fluid so I wiped it all over my entire T-section before letting the cloth sit on my nose while I caught the last few minutes of  a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills epi. (How much do we love Erika Jane?) Afterwards the pores on my nose looked a little smaller but I can’t say for how long as I didn’t sit around with a timer.

Another hot look.

Another smokin’ hot look.

In all, Benefit’s new mini mask is fun and easy to use but at just under R50 a pop it’s an expensive ride. Still, I can see it being the kind of quick fix I’d whip out on a day when I’ve picked at my pores and want to zip ’em up but don’t have a toner. Still, if you’ve got serious blackhead dramz you should definitely invest in a BHA/salicylic acid-infused lotion (Paula’s Choice make an awesome one) as this particular active needs to be used every day, not just here and there, for it to have a noticeable effect.

Last, but not least, let’s chat about Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation face masks (R299 for a pack of four, selected salons).

Dr. Dermal

Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation facial mask

Again, these aren’t cheap but they’re a nice spoil when my skin’s dehydrated (I can always tell as my fine lines are suddenly more visible), I like to treat it with a hyaluronic acid serum. If you’re not a regular reader, HA occurs naturally in your skin that can attract and hold up to 1000 times it’s weight in water so it’s a great pick when you want to hydrate and plump things up.

Anyway, Dr. Dermal’s cloth masks are soaked in a mega-hydrating mix of collagen-encouraging peptides hyaluronic acid. I like that this proudly South African brand isn’t stingy with its solution at all – one pouch can almost cover your entire body so I slide out the mask, squeeze out the excess and slather it on my neck, chest, arms, hands and even my legs before placing it on my face.

Dr Dermal face mask.jpg

I’m meeeeeellllltiinnnnggg…

After just ten minutes, my skin looks ‘relaxed’ and any fine lines are temporarily blitzed. For me, it’s a great go to after a long haul flight, killer trail run or on a day when I’m a hungover trainwreck but have to look insta-mooi for an event.

See anything you’d like to try yourself?

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. I have to mention that I think it’s pretty funny that Dermalogica’s mask initially seemed super expensive then worked out to be the most cost effective of everything I tried. Still, all of these masks aren’t exactly wallet-friendly and that’s been a focus for me of late – pointing out great products that aren’t crazy expensive – as I know we’re all feeling the burn in today’s rubbish financial climate. This is why it’s important I add this disclaimer to let you know many of the active ingredients featured in the above mentioned products can be found in others at lower price points. I’m not your wallet mommy so I don’t feel obliged to always point out cheaper alternatives (although I often do) but I want you to keep what I’ve said in mind. When I review a product and doing just that and not endorsing it as My New Ultimate Best That You Have To Try. Now go forth and shop savvily!

*I’ve often said I avoid products with lots of alcohol in them as it dries your skin out and that’s true, but I want to make it clear that that’s only if you’re using them long term. For example, if you’re still using a toner every day and discover it’s second ingredient is alcohol, please for God’s sake please toss it. However, many spot-blitzing products contain alcohol in them and that’s perfectly fine if you’re not using them every single day.