A birthday wishlist 2017

I find birthday wishlists helpful – it gives me a real idea of what the person would like, and it gives some suggestions. A friend asked if I was posting one this year, so I thought “why not?” Some of the things on this list are like ultimate wants and aren’t available in South Africa, but hey!

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Beauty Glow or Natural Beauty – 49 GBP/R840
I would do bad things for this. I’ve been eyeing the Natural Beauty one for ages but then they launched Beauty Glow and my heart (the part where the beauty obsession exists) stopped for a moment. It was love at first sight. Sjoe. Anyway, they’re both beautiful. They do have a third (Seductive Beauty) but that one isn’t for me. If I was going to order this myself, I’d probably use Aramex Global Shopper (cos I’m not sure if the Tilbs delivers to SA or not).

Foreo Luna Play Plus – R620
Ultimately, I would love a Luna Mini 2, but that’s like R2500! The Play Plus is much nicer than the Play because you can replace the battery! The Play only has like 100 uses and then you chuck it, so this is a much better bet. It is also a much cheaper way of finding out if you like the device or not. Another potential love is the Luna Go (combination skin), but again, that’s R1750. So, Play Plus it is! In the colour purple, of course!

Lush It’s Raining Men Shower Gel – R175/R295
Every year I put this on my list – and for good reason. It is seriously one of my all time favourite shower gels. I don’t buy it for myself because a medium size is R175 and a large is R295 and that really is a bit silly to spend on a shower gel – except when it’s a gift 😉

Kiehl’s
There are so many things that I want from this brand that I thought I’d just include it all under one heading. I currently use the Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I love it. Since my skin has been going insane (so dry and flaky lately), I thought maybe the morning oil would be a good addition – Daily Reviving Concentrate (R815). I’ve also got my eye on the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, but that’s a bit spendy at R895. The Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate (R750) also looks good. And lastly, I have 2 masks on the list – the Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque R485) and Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque (R485).

Rose Gold Coat Hangers – R250 for 5
I know. Coat hangers. Like, what am I, a fashion blogger? But seriously though, I need new hangers, and these are adorable.

Smashbox Always On Gel Eyeliner in Fishnet – R250 (Red Square, Woolworths, Truworths Elements)
I’ve seen a few beauty bloggers talking about this black eyeliner. Apparently, you can use it on your waterline and it will not budge. I’m sad to say I’ve had a few horrible/cringy experiences where I have worn an eyeliner in my top waterline, believing the promise that it will not move… and it did… leaving me looking like a panda with a hangover. Ugh, just the thought makes me shiver.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil – R395 (Red Square, Woolworths, Stuttafords, Truworths Elements)
Apparently, this smells nothing like the original Eight Hour Cream… Thank god for that… Anyway, I’m running low on a body moisturiser and this is said to be the bees knees!

I have some other random ideas… Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen (probably costs the earth, so nevermind), Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage Eyeshadow Palette (well, if the eyeliner is bad, this’ll be worse), sheet masks (I love these and I’m really not picky!), Filorga Meso-Mask, Woodwick candles (they crackle!), Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream (I’ve been through so many samples!), body scrubs (scrubbier the better!), mascara (I’m always looking for something that gives me uber volume)…

I do have other ideas but yeah, maybe this will be some help, maybe it won’t. 24 days and counting 😛 Though, I’ll probably only celebrate in June with friends cos life.

In the bin this February and March

We’re almost halfway through the year. Let that sink in. It’s crazy, isn’t it? In some respects, the last two months have been l-o-n-g. I’ve spent most of my time trying to get myself into a more emotionally stable place, and that shit requires time and effort (basically, it’s hard work!) Depressing crap aside, here are some great memories:

  • My friend’s 30th birthday party (11 Feb) – That was great! She got cake pop type things from Sweet Lionheart and oh my word. I was in heaven.
  • Movies with the Jess! (21 Feb) – We went to see the new 50 Shades movie (no shame) and it was actually better than the first one. Less cringey. Yay for get-togethers 🙂
  • Dinner with ex-colleagues (8 Mar) – I love catch-ups and this was much needed. We went for sushi at Salushi’s. It was my first time there and wow, was it good. A bit pricey, though.
  • Jess’ 30th! We went to this wonderful place called Kloof Street House and then went for drinks afterwards. It was great.
  • Went to Peregrine Farm Stall with the mister for our 4 year anniversary on 21 March. God, was it hot. So hot. Like 40-something. I felt like I was dying. He felt like he was dying. But the food was yummy.
  • Catch-up dinner with friends (25 Mar) at IYO Burgers. Yoh. The food was good. The company was better. So need to do this socialising thing more often!

Now, onto the stuff I’ve finished…

February

  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-free Cleanser (2 samples) – This smelled weird. I won’t be buying the full size.
  • Lush Mask of Magnaminty Self-Preserving (125g) – I really, really liked this. It’s minty as the name suggests (which I really like… It makes my skin tingle) and has bits in it that exfoliate the skin. I’m just a little sad that towards the end (maybe the last centimetre of product), it got pretty hard and unusable. I’d buy this again! I really want to get Cup O Coffee too, but first, I need to finish up a few things.
  • Theravine Crushed Pinotage Honey and Lime Buff (50ml) – This smelled like sweeties and was super scrubby. The jar is a bit shit as it is quite small and narrows at the neck, which makes digging out the product a lot harder than it should be. I can’t find this product on the Theravine website except for in a kit (which was sold out) so I probably can’t repurchase this, alas.
  • Tony Moly I’m Real Avocado Nutrition Sheet Mask – This was pretty moisturising but like most of the Tony Moly sheet masks, it leaves my skin feeling sticky afterwards. I normally suck it up and put some moisturiser over top (which helps) because my skin always feels nice the next morning.
  • Loreal Miss Hippie Mascara – I loved this from beginning to end. I didn’t repurchase it, though. I got the Clarins Supra mascara instead (which is AMAZING… but it does flake sometimes).
  • BeautyBlender – RIP. I was washing it gently and it just…ripped. What. I got this last year April (I think) so it wasn’t even that old. I have some serious opinions about this sponge. Maybe I’ll write about it some time. I didn’t get another one.
  • BeautyBlender Solid – I got this along with the BeautyBlender. It did the job. Previously I was using baby shampoo but I’ve realised that a solid soap is muchhhh easier to work with. I used this to clean my BeautyBlender (when it tore, I can confidently say the inside was clean!), my Real Techniques sponge and my brushes. I replaced this with a Lottie London solid brush soap (which is fantastic, and cheaper).
  • MAC Paint Pot in Painterly – I have been using this solidly for like 2+ years and I finally scraped the last itty bit out of it in February. Proud moment. I switched to using Groundwork, but I did repurchase Painterly in April.

March

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light – I really liked this stuff BUT I don’t think it helped my makeup stay in place for longer and it didn’t really mattify my skin. It did make the product go on better, though, so there’s that. I haven’t repurchased because I have a Body Shop primer I want to use up (but I really don’t like it and feel too bad about chucking it).
  • Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Seeds Energising Masque (sample) – I really liked this!
  • Cettua Halfmoon Firming Eye Patch (1 pair) – This was really cooling. I still have a bunch left before I consider repurchasing. I may try another brand. I don’t feel too loyal about this sort of stuff.
  • Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water – Instant repurchase. I love this. I use it everyday to remove my makeup before I go in with an oil cleanser.
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive and Basil Hand Cream (25g) – I really didn’t like the scent of this cream (reminded me of salad) but it was moisturising.
  • Loreal Super Liner So Couture – My favourite liner because it has a BRUSH tip, not a felt tip. Brush tips are just so much easier to use. I repurchased BUT I also bought L.O.V’s Royal Liner (also a brush tip), which is equally good and I think it’s cheaper than Loreal.
  • Theravine Ultravine Advance Ros Night Cream (3ml sample) – I had no feelings about this stuff. I feel like I’ve used more moisturising options.
  • Theravine Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream (3ml sample) – Same as above.
  • Tony Moly Aloe Moisturising Sheet Mask – I really liked this. I get the same sticky feeling after I’ve used it, but I just ignore that.
  • Soap & Glory The Scrub of your Life – Loveddddddd this. S&G really need to come to South Africa. I think they would do SO well here and I’d be the happiest person ever.
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – This was great. It didn’t break, but it was getting really tatty, so I got a new one. I used my Clicks points, so I ended up only paying about R50 for this. The new one is COMPLETELY different, so if you didn’t like the original sponge, give the repackaged one a go. I must say, I like the new version a lot better.

Wow, did I finish A LOT of stuff. This always makes me happy but it also reminds me that I have so much shit (and I really shouldn’t have this much!) so here’s to more using up and less buying.

All the things I’ve finished

God, the last empties I did was in October. That means we have a lot of catching up to do.

November

  • Clarins Extra-firming Day Cream (for all skin types) deluxe sample – I’ve mentioned this a few times I think. I really love this stuff. I have oily/combo skin and it feels luxurious on my skin, and doesn’t make me any oilier than I usually am. I would really consider buying a full size of this BUT the full size comes in a goddamned pot (sample comes in tube) and I’m really not a fan of pot packaging.
  • The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel (60ml mini) – I got this for my birthday in May. The scent isn’t my favourite, so this will definitely not be a repurchase. Lathered up well enough, though.
  • The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub (50ml mini) – Also a birthday present. I’m not too sure why this is described as “rough”. The particles (yes, rough) are suspended in a jelly (sort of), which pretty much removes all scrubbiness it might have had. I think this would have been alright on dry skin, but I’m not in a habit of applying scrub before climbing into the shower.
  • Skoon Purifying Cleanser (5ml sample pot) – This ended up drying out on me after a few uses! I liked it, but it wasn’t a major love, unlike the makeup remover. Oh well!
  • Clarins Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation (105 nude) – Loved this. This was a rediscovery for me, so much so that I finished the whole thing. I would actually repurchase, but I’ve got a few other foundations that I need to finish first, and I’m really, really, really lusting over the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau (but it’s tragically expensive).
  • Lush Jasmine and Henna Fluff-ease (220g tub) – Ahhhhh, I loved this! The scent alone… *swoon* This was a birthday present from the wonderful Jess and it was amazing. It does have sulphates in it, for those who are avoiding them.
  • Tony Moly Pomegranate Elasticity Sheet Mask – Sjoe, I can’t remember what I thought of this mask. Whoops!

December

  • Freeman’s Mint and Lemon Clay Mask (sachet) – So, I realised after I tried slathering the entire sachet on my face that this is meant for like 2-3 uses. No, Freeman’s. No one actually opens up a foil sachet and decides to keep it around for a week. Just no. Who came up with that bright idea? Anyway, these sachets definitely include enough for 3 applications, fyi 😛 I liked this. I’d buy this again.
  • The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Scrub – December is my favourite month at The Body Shop (and Lush) because their Christmas collection USUALLY includes something vanilla-scented. Vanilla (I know, pretty boring…) is my favourite. This scrub was alright. Not the best, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve tried.
  • The Body Shop Cool & Creamy Wash – I’m still so gutted that this has been discontinued (I think). I can’t find it anywhere anymore 😥 The last time I spotted it, I bought all the tubes in store (only 3) and I think I only have one left. Tragic. This is one of my favourites for a morning cleanse.
  • Freeman’s Beauty Infusion Cleansing Clay Mask Charcoal & Probiotics (sachet) – Another one of those sachets with too much product for one application, but no way to seal the sachet to keep it fresh… I liked this one too!
  • MAC Cleansing Oil (30ml) – I bought the mini to give it a go, and also so I could use the packaging for another cleansing oil (Lipidol). I really liked this – more so than the Lipidol I’m using – and would actually consider the full size.
  • Garnier Micellar Oil-infused Cleansing Water – Loved this. Bought another immediately after finishing it. Almost finished that one, and have a back up. So yeah, I use this every single day to remove my makeup.
  • OGX Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy – I didn’t specify if this was the shampoo or conditioner, but I think it was the conditioner because I gave away the shampoo to my mom. Shampoo left my hair flakey and gross. Loved the conditioner.
  • Kerastase Ciment Thermique (Green – 10ml sample) – Used this when I blow dried my hair and flat ironed it – which I almost never ever do these days. Was alright.
  • Freeman’s Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask (sachet) – Same as above. Liked this too! Had little scrubby bits, which was fun and different.

January

  • Skoon Gel-to-Milk Cleanser + Makeup Remover – Love. This was the full size version I bought at Kamersvol. Haven’t repurchased because I was gifted the Skin Creamery version (which I’m also loving). I reckon I’d definitely repurchase this at some point.
  • Hugo Boss Femme perfume (75ml) – I was gifted this when I graduated 3rd year. Only just finished it this year. Crazy. I liked this perfume, but ended up growing a little tired of it towards the end. I think my scent preferences have changed. This was quite… summer-y. To give you an idea, my favourite perfume is Dolce & Gabbana – The One, and Femme is pretty much the complete opposite.
  • The Curl Company Sulcate-Free Shampoo – This was okay, but I didn’t end up repurchasing. I think I went and bought my favourite Loreal shampoo in the end.
  • Loreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Mask Balm – Well, this was definitely not a balm. I had a love-hate relationship with this stuff. Sometimes it would work well with my hair, other times it wouldn’t. It also has shimmers in the actual product, which I’m convinced gets stuck to your hair (to make it shine?), which can be fucking irritating.
  • Lux Evenly Beautiful Exfoliating Body Wash with Burnt Brown Sugar, Karite Butter and Almond Extract – Nice enough. Didn’t repurchase. I actually prefer Dove, to be honest.
  • Essie – Rock the Boat, Mavala – French Cancan, Essie – Very Cranberry, Essie – Gel Setter – Well, Rock the Boat’s lid and part of the bottle broke off (what.) so that had to go. Mavala dried up even though I’d only had it for about a year, and I’m so sad to see Very Cranberry go because that is my favourite Essie shade and I suspect, limited edition. Repurchased Gel Setter – really love that stuff.
  • The Body Shop Chai Latte Body Wash – Really liked this. Would have repurchased, but no stock left.
  • Cettua Anti-Redness Facial Mask – I think this was okay?
  • Dove 100% Pure Cotton Wool Pads Dual Textured – Really liked these but only purchased them because I couldn’t get my paws on the Woolworths Cosmetic Pads (ultimate favourite) but this was a worthy temporary replacement.
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Oil-free Mattifying Moisturiser – I honestly thought this would be better! Currently I’m using Caudalie’s mattifying sorbet stuff.
  • Essence Pureskin Purifying Nose Strips – I really can’t remember how I felt about these so I reckon they weren’t that great and not that bad either.

I’ll probably post February at a later stage, but I honestly didn’t finish much up. Spoiler – my BeautyBlender died a very sad death. I have some strong feelings about it, which I’ll publish at some point. Same goes for the Stila eyeliner, actually.

Looking at the products I finished up, clearly December was all about self-care (I clearly needed it!) and at the moment, I’m really trying to finish stuff and not buy anything I don’t really need… I have to buy a car soon, so ya know!

I think my wishlist is probably going to look so ridiculous since I’m on a spending ban. At least my birthday is in May? 😛 Until next time!

Still alive

Wow, it’s been one hot minute since I’ve updated. November and December last year really felt like the hardest months I’ve ever had. Dramatic, I know, but when your health isn’t the greatest, everything feels worse.

Sometime in November I realised I had a cavity in my tooth. I’ve never been for a filling and my teeth, although a little crooked, have never been in bad shape or caused me much hassle – except for my wisdom teeth, which I never got removed because there was never money.

So, after not being able to endure the sharp pain I kept feeling any longer and not wanting to make it worse, I headed off to my local dentist. He confirmed my suspicions and drilled into my tooth, cleaned it out and packed it with medicated dressing, put me on some antibiotics and told me to come back in a week for him to check if I was ready for the filling. However, during that week, my wisdom tooth started giving trouble.

Trouble turned out to mean that I would have to have the tooth removed. We looked at the options available to me and getting it done in the chair, at his surgery, was the best and most cost-effective option. We decided to put the filling on hold and do the extraction first.

Well. Let’s just say the whole experience was traumatic. Before going in, I asked how long it would take. “15-20 minutes if it’s easy. An hour if it’s difficult.” I was in the chair for almost 2 hours. At one point, while he was using what I imagine might have been his entire body weight to wrench my tooth out, I thought “fuck, it’s not going to come out.” I think maybe he had been thinking the same thing because we were both visibly relieved by the end of it all.

This little excursion taught me something about my body that I knew already, but hadn’t really ever paid much attention to. I heal very, very, very slowly. I’ve always had a shit immune system. Or at least that’s what I call it. If someone sneezes, I’m sick. If I bump into something, I will most definitely bruise. If I scrape or cut myself, it takes forever and a day to close up and scab.

Healing from this wisdom tooth extraction left me at my wit’s end. Not only was the wound site not healing fast enough, I got TMJ, which is a jaw dysfunction. My joints have always been a bit loose, but after having my mouth open so wide for so long, the joints became inflamed, and I think moved out of place a little bit.

Both of these things meant that I was on a strict liquid diet for a month. 4 weeks. Then, a soft mushed food diet (mash potato, not slap chips) for another month. Then, finally, I could move onto soft whole foods. Even then, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything with a crunch.

Of course, this all happened during the lead up to Christmas. I was finally on holiday, but couldn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t allowed to use a straw, wasn’t allowed to drink very hot drinks or super cold drinks and he put me on another 2 doses of antibiotics, so I couldn’t even commiserate over wine… I was MISERABLE.

Then, in January, I had my filling done, which was a breeze compared to the above disaster. Sadly, though, the cavity is very close to the nerve and we’ve been trying ever since to avoid root canal. I have a feeling I might need to get it done at some stage because I’m having tooth sensitivity that is way worse than I think is normal. Like crying in a ball painful, but luckily this doesn’t happen regularly enough to think about it too much 😛

Only now, into February, am I starting to feel more myself. I’ve moved onto hard, solid food, my lock jaw has finally gone away (imagine how convenient that was!) and although foods like nuts can be a bit tricky (I don’t want to aggravate my jaw), I’m pretty much a whole human being again. My jaw is still clicking, some days are worse than others, but hey! I’ll take it over that bleak December any day.

During this time, being online was not a priority. Whoops. I’m back for now, though!

Finished in October

<insert obligatory OH MY GOD WHERE HAS THE MONTH GONE?!?> but seriously, how is it almost Christmas? I’m torn between needing more time and wanting this damn working year to wrap up already.

Despite things slowing down a little, I really didn’t do all that much… My bad. I tried to get in a lot of rest, if that counts?

  • Dinner with a friend. We went to Rock Sushi Thai in Newlands and had, you guessed it, sushi. It was delicious.
  • Dinner with more friends! I hadn’t seen this particular group of people in AGES so it was so awesome to catch up. We went to Maestro’s on the Beach and had a nice dinner. Was something different for this Southern Suburbs gal 😛
  • Was my dad’s birthday this month. On the 14th, I went out to dinner with the family to celebrate and then on the 15th, we hosted his birthday at our house. Lots of work but pretty amazing.
  • Halloween party on the 29th! That was great!

I did actually put this post together at the beginning of November, but I was so stressed about doing my Drivers, I just didn’t post it. Better late than never, I guess? Besides, I don’t think any one reads this humble image-less blog 😛

Onto the empties…

Dove Go Fresh Cucumber and Green Tea Nourishing Body Wash
I really liked the fresh scent of this body wash. I normally go for creamy/nutty/deep scents, but this was a nice change. I’d probably buy this again if I was in a body wash pickle.

Paul Mitchell Awupuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment (100ml)
I got this in a Retailbox Secret Box last year? I can’t remember, but I’ve had it for ages. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t use this type of keratin treatment all the time so I was rationing it. I liked it, my hair felt nice, but I don’t think it’s something I’ll purchase. Basically, it didn’t blow me away.

Tony Moly I’m Real Makgeolli Sheet Mask
I think this is my favourite one so far. It smelt kinda nice, kinda weird, and left my skin feeling soft and moisturised.

Carmex Classic Lip Balm stick
This stuff is the only lip balm I use. I dabble every now and then but none of them keep my lips in as good a condition as this does. Incidentally, I can’t use the pot version of this stuff, or the squeezy tube. It has to be the wind up stick. The rest dry my lips out severely, as do every other brand of lip balm.

Pil’aten Blackhead Ex Pore Strip
This stuff was weird. It comes in a sachet and is a black tar/paste that you smooth onto your skin and let dry. It gets rubbery and then pretty stiff, and then you peel it off. Some bits hurt like a bitch to get off. It was fun, but I didn’t see any differences, and it left the skin a bit dry and sensitive.

Beauty Buffet Peach and Bird’s Nest Beauty Mask
Another sheet mask! So. Um. What the hell is Bird’s Nest? What is it supposed to do? I tried googling this but I didn’t get much info and the sheet packet was in Korean. It felt…fine. I spent about 30 minutes thinking about what the hell was actually on my face instead of relaxing… But ya know.

Dove Purely Pampering Coconut Milk with Jasmine Petals Body Wash
Another Dove body wash! Don’t worry, I didn’t finish two full ones. I used the cucumber one when I stay over at the mister, and this was the one I used at home. I really liked this scent. It smelt calming and creamy, but in general, I really do love Dove body washes!

Loreal Super Liner So Couture Black
Hands down, favourite liquid eyeliner. This pen has a BRUSH tip rather than a felt tip and I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes. With felt tip eyeliners, I find the ink doesn’t always reach the very end of the felt tip, which makes getting a super accurate flick a mission and a half. Ink reached the very tip of this brush until the very end. Perfect. Will buy forever, unless another brand comes out with a brush tip eyeliner…then I’ll give that a go!

Lush Kinky Hot Oil Treatment
My hair was hating me so I decided to give it a hug. With a treatment. This was so much nicer than the other Lush one I tried! I’d get this again. Also, the scent was dreamy 😀

Hask Keratin Protein Shampoo
This smelt great. It lathered up pretty well and left my hair clean. I really liked it! I didn’t end up repurchasing though, because I’m a total floozy.

Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner
Wow, this took for freaking ever to finish. Over a year. Maybe even two years. I used this as a primer. After much thought, I don’t think this product helped at all. It didn’t blur my pores, it didn’t help with oil, it didn’t keep my makeup on for longer… Yeah. Sorry, Bioderma.

Tony Moly I’m Real Tea Tree Skin Soothing Sheet Mask
Loved it. Managed to spill the excess all over my desk. #winningatlife.

See you guys next time!

Empties – the Benefit edition

September was an insane month for me. Work pretty much took over my life. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this more times than you or I care for. Thankfully, the month is over and work has calmed down. I can finally breathe a bit more, see a few people and actually enjoy myself. Well. Maybe. Who knows with the advertising world, eh?

I’m calling this the Benefit edition for obvious reasons – I finished a few Benefit products. I’m running out of names for these posts. Maybe I should just call them Junk 1, Junk 2… 😛

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy
Surprisingly, I really loved the scent of this hand cream. It was salty but also floral in a way? I got this as a gift from a friend and I loved every moment of it. I’d seriously consider buying the full size (if there is a bigger size), because this is the baby version (25g).

I’m currently using the Avocado, Olive and Basil version also from Crabtree (also a gift), and I hate the scent. It makes my hands smell like salad/food. Not my thing but still using it to finish it.

Sorbet Balancing Body Scrub (Uplifting scent)
This is another product that surprised me. I got this as a birthday gift from my mom back in May. This apparently has rosemary, starflower, pearl extract and vitamin E in it. Initially I was worried I was going to smell like salad again (see above) but it was actually a really pleasant smell!

As with most Sorbet scrubs that come in the tube, “scrub” is mostly just a suggestion. It includes little microbeads but honestly, they do nothing. I’d buy this in the shower gel version next time maybe. Or not. I’m a floozy.

Cutex Nailpolish Remover
I needed something cheap and cheerful. This fits the bill. I decant all my nail polish removers in the Sorbet nail polish remover bottle because it has a pump. Thumbs up to a good design there!

Dermactin-TS Pore Refining Facial Mask
I picked this up on a whim at Dischem. You know how it is… You walk in with a list of one of two things and you walk out with a whole lot more. I was feeling a bit down and frustrated with the world, so I figured why not face mask that shit away? I paid a little bit more than what I usually would on a pharmacy sheet mask, but no biggie. I will say, however, this is not a repurchase. It dried me out big time!

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub
Sob. This is my beyond favourite of all time scrubs. It smells like heaven, it feels great on the skin. It has just the right grit. You know how hard it is to find that in a scrub?? #firstworldproblems

I would buy this forever if I could. Soap & Glory, come to SA!! I usually ask a friend to bring this home for me, but it’s quite heavy so I always feel bad about asking… I have one more left and then I’m doomed.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
I got this as a gift from a friend when I was in the UK. If you know me, you know that this trip took place like 3 years ago. Yeah. So. This mascara was pretty old and I probably should have stopped using it but um, Benefit is EXPENSIVE and also, it smelt okay. My eyes didn’t itch. It still worked. Everytime I wore it, I got some sort of compliment, so it was great for those downer days. I’ll have to repurchase this sometime.

Tony Moly Seaweed Facial Sheet Mask
I bought 11 Tony Moly sheet masks from Ebay for about R100. It took more weeks than I can even explain to finally reach here (standard shipping from Korea…the worst!) but it was so worth it. I loved this. I love Tony Moly. You can now buy Tony Moly from Muse Beauty, btw (but it isn’t cheap sob)!

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder (Gee, I’m Swell – Ivory)
I bought this when I was in the UK. I loved it. I would repurchase, but I’ll need to check what the corresponding shade is for this one because our names are a little different. I’m also interested in trying the Mac powder… Anyway, this had some good coverage, kept me matte (but not flat haha. Sorry) and was good for no-makeup-makeup days. Yep. Love.

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Another love. I use this on and off. It has the look and consistency of aqueous cream and is incredibly gentle and nourishing. My skin never feels dry or stripped after using. This is NOT a makeup remover though. It is definitely a second cleanse.

I still have one back up somewhere in my room but I’ve changed things up and moved onto my other favourite, The Body Shop Cool and Creamy Cleanser…or whatever it’s called. It made a mysterious disappearance a few months ago when TBS redid all their packaging and it hasn’t really made a comeback. Which worries me. Because it is my favourite. Though, the other day I saw 3 sitting on a shelf (in old packaging) and just bought them…so there’s that 😛 At least it was 3-for-2 when that happened.

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion – 8.9ml sample bottle
This was part of my ultimate face cream quest. It didn’t come on top, FYI. I found this to be very fragranced (not my thing) and although it felt light, I don’t think it is a good match for me. 8.9ml is a pretty generous offering, so it did give me a chance to really give this a go.

I’m back on the Clarins cream I like so much, but unfortunately, it comes in a pot. The deluxe samples I have come in tubes (YAY!) but full size is a big ol’ finger dipper *shiver* WHY do you do this to me, Clarins? Also, I see it is “meant” for those aged 40 and older. Whatever.

See ya next time!

Will it ever end? The want list

Another month and more hankering after things I can’t afford. I have noticed a trend over the last few months – for a few years, my beauty wants were frequently focused on makeup items, but this year has been really different. I’m all about the skincare. Chalk it up to the approaching the 3-0 or that I have so much makeup, I could open a small store, but I’m kinda liking this new direction.

Now if only I could feel this enthusiastic about purchasing a gym contract… (for anyone confused and like “but Tarryn, you were going to gym 3 days a week for over a year! WHAT HAPPENED?!” We can all thank Liberty Life for that. They cut their rewards programme and suddenly the R800+ gym membership sans medical aid to cushion the blow resulted in me having to cancel it all together. I’m bleak, believe me.)

So as I hinted, this is mostly going to be a list of dreamy, expensive skincare, although I think I do have some surprises…and I may have to put in an order (using Aramex Global Shopper to get it here!) at the end of the month.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat moisturiser – R220
I was well on my way to buying this after I saw the email in my inbox saying Dermastore is now selling LRP products BUT you need to spend R500 for free shipping, otherwise it’s R150. Everything else I may have considered getting from Dermastore is like R700 and up, which would be fine IF I WANTED TO SPEND R700 and up! Right now, I’m not interested in adding crap to my basket to avoid the R150, but I also don’t want to pay the R150. I guess I’ll have to wait until the brand is available in Dischem. Le-sigh.

Pretty much everything from The Ordinary, but particularly:

  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – R140/USD 9.80 – Zinc and Niacinamide are good for oily, congested and blemish-prone skin. Perfect.
  • The Ordinary Buffet – R283/USD 20 – Basically a do-it-all anti-aging serum.
  • The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% – R212/USD 14.90 – Well, have you ever seen anything like this for so cheap? They’re also launching a Retinol 1% sometime soon for about R152/USD 10.70. I mean COME ON!
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% – R138/USD 9.70 – Vitamin C is supposed to do wonders for your skin, so um, yes please!

And since we’re talking serums…

Glossier – The Supers. In particular:

  • Glossier Super Pure – USD 28 – This also has Niacinamide and Zinc…But look at the price difference between this and The Ordinary version!

As a bonus, I’d just like to add that the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Balm.com, Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, Moisturising Moon Mask, Haloscope (Quartz) and Boy Brow (Light, probably) are still on my forever list (so basically everything).

Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish – R765
The girls at All Dolled Up have been talking about this stuff for ages. I love masks and exfoliators, so I think when I finish up a few of mine, I might splurge. Actually now that I think about it, this may have been in a previous lust list. Hmm. Oh well. I still want it! PS: I might have added this to my Dermastore cart so I could get free shipping BUT it’s sold out.

Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara – R385
Yeah, that’s no Clicks mascara, but I am having absolutely no success with mascara at the moment. One of the bloggers I follow is Franish. She has the most amazing lashes (and eyes, and style, and everything!) but it was in this blog post that I really sat up and was like oh hi, what is that, can I have it? And she let me know it was the BB mascara. Sjoe!

Avene Mattifying Fluid – R200
So I might actually get this sooner rather than later. I’ve almost finished my moisturiser and I have no back ups because I just haven’t found anything WOW. Okay, I lie, I actually really like this one Clarins moisturiser, BUT I think it’s been discontinued and if it isn’t, it’s only available in a pot. WHY? WHY? I can’t do pot moisturisers, sorry 😦 Actually, I may have one more sample left… I’ll have to look. Anyway, Awkward Purse suggested I try this so it must be good 😀

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau – R995
Sob. Why so expensive. So, I used a sample of this stuff in the wrong shade and fell in love. I don’t know how to be un-in love with it… I’m finishing up some stuff at the moment, but I think once I’ve gone through about 2 foundations, I’ll really consider getting this. Another true favourite is the Dior Forever (I helped myself to a sample because the salespeople at Edgars suck). Both are so expensive… Maybe I’ll just live off samples??

Anything on your list?

August dump

Wow, has the last handful of weeks been insane. I have hardly seen or spoken to anyone. To any of my friends who read this, I am so sorry I’ve been MIA. It looks like my October will be somewhat calmer – phew! – and my calendar is relatively free. Woohoo!

I thought I’d put up a post while I’m on a roll today. It also helps that today is quite a bit calmer than usual – yay for room to breathe!

I like looking back in my calendar to see what I actually got up to. According to this, I’ve done the following:

  • Sushi dinner – I think this was with old work colleages. Now you can see how insane it’s been… I can’t actually be sure, but I reckon it was with them since it was just before voting;
  • Dinner in the North – I can’t even remember what we ate. Gah;
  • Suicide Squad at iMax… That was pretty rad. Movie was okay but it was mostly just about the company, chilling out and eating popcorn;
  • I got a haircut! I love haircuts.

Well, that was short and sweet. I guess that’s to be expected, really.

So, onto the junk!

Happiness Is – Vanilla Swirl Cupcake Glowing Body Scrub
I got this from my brother’s gf for my birthday. Pleasant scent, but definitely NOT a scrub. It has little beady particles in it, but they are not scrubby and are so few and far between, it was a glorified body wash…which is what I used it for!

Beauty Buffet Cherry Blossom Whitening Mask
I’m all about the self care. And that means putting on my serial killer mask. Another one from the amazing Awkward Purse. I’ll be forever grateful for that gift you sent me 🙂

Clicks Cotton Pads Smooth Sealed Edge 80
These were okay. The edges were a bit rough. In absolute desperation, I ended up buying ridiculously priced cotton rounds from Woolworths…and now I’m stuck on them because they are just so damn good. So good that I finished the pack and bought another >.<

Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (biggest size)
I got this as a birthday present maybe 2 years ago. I know. I was welllllll over the use by date but I figured it still smelt the same as when I got it, and it hadn’t grown anything, become gloopy and weird or separated, so I used it. I must be honest, I used this for the sake of using it because the scent is just not my thing. The Rose Jam range is just not my… jam (sorry.) but it seemed like such a pity not to use this.

So, it does work, in case anyone is wondering. I slathered this all over after washing and then rinsed it off. Be careful when you get out the shower…it leaves the shower floor super slippery! I should know because I saw my life flash before my eyes 😛 After nearly dying, pat dry and there we go!

The one thing that gets me about these sorts of products… I buy a lot of shower gel based on scent. When I use this after washing, it completely replaces that dreamy scent with this one. Which sucks for me because I’m not a fan. I’d love to try African Paradise because that is a scent which reallllly gets me!

Kiehl’s High-potency Skin-firming Concentrate (sample)
Has this been discontinued? Has the name changed? I can’t find this stuff mentioned anywhere except on realllly old blog posts and websites. Someone, please enlighten me! I really, really, really love this. It makes my skin feel so freaking smooth the morning after. I would buy the full size in a heart beat but alas… Kiehl’s is a bit of a mish to get to and no one ever knows what I’m talking about when I mention this stuff. HELP!!!

Skoon Moisture Gel Superfluity (sample pot)
So this moisturiser is supposed to be super duper light and good for oilies like me. This was just okay for me. I was hoping it would be a holy grail because I am so sick of trying to find a moisturiser that works for me. I’m currently using a sample of Benefit’s Facial Emulsion, but that isn’t going to be a repurchase either. Any suggestions?

NuHair Treatments Shampoo Sulfate- and Colourant-Free
I was in a fix. I needed sulfate-free shampoo and all the stuff I like was sold out/not available so I tried this. This stuff truly is sulfate-free. It just doesn’t foam up in even the least bit. I won’t repurchase because it was so difficult to work with. It’s clear, so you can’t always tell how much you’re using, or where you’re spreading it if you happen to look in a mirror, it doesn’t spread well at all (I think), and it made my hair make that squeeeeeeeeeky sound when I rinsed it. Nope. Next.

Caudalie The Des Vignes shower gel (deluxe sample)
I bought a Caudalie trial kit thing a few years ago when my brother was still in Canada. This was included. It has quite a masculine smell to me – not a problem, just not my chosen scent, and it was only good for maybe 3 uses because of its super small size

The Body Shop Spa of the World African Ximenia Scrub
Love the scent, not into the scrub. It is NOT scrubby at all when used on wet skin. When used on slightly damp or dry skin, it crumbles off when you try scrub. It’s very fine – so any one who needs a regular scrub, GO FOR IT! For me, as someone who loves the scrubbiest of scrubs, it’s a pass. BUT it is way better than the sea salt one I have from this line. Ugh.

That’s it for now! Hope y’all had a great month! Also, PSA: It’s almost Christmas, guys!

Word up!

Words are my job. It might not seem like it here, but it is what I spend my time doing for eight and a half hours a day.

To quote, “words don’t come easy.” Crap adage, but it’s true. I struggle, the average person struggles, and clients most definitely struggle.

I spent a year working at a small company that specialised in content strategy. Content strategy basically focuses on the planning, development and management of content, but it’s also more than that. It’s about user experience, finding a harmony between design and ideas and creating useful and usable content.

I’m not a content strategist, but this is how I understand it, and when you think about it, it makes sense. Of course when you create or present something to the public, you want their interaction with your product to be seamless!

Content strategy isn’t just about the words on a page. It is also about the media – be it images or video, for example – that is used. If the end package isn’t well structured, informative and interactive, then you’re screwed.

My point? Even though content strategy seems obvious to me – and probably to you – it isn’t really put into practice. To be fair, South Africa is a little behind the times when it comes to this concept, but I’m finding the longer I’m in the industry (and by industry, I really mean the professional real girl world), it is a concept that gets left by the wayside.

People just don’t care. Or consider themselves experts. Or think that their content is fine the way it is. But as any writer, editor, content creator, artist, etc knows, a fresh pair of eyes can open new worlds. Often, when we’re working hard on something or baring our souls, we get blinkered. It happens to everyone.

A company who offers a content/strategy service hasn’t established itself just to show you how crap your content actually is – they’re there to help you reach your full potential. That’s how I like to see it at least.

This is actually a rant in disguise 😉

My company gets a lot of packaging work. What this means is that our client already has their design – they just need us to help with production.

This is all great and well, but every single one of these clients are experts in their own craft, not in the craft we provide. Many of these jobs don’t even make it onto my desk, which is a problem, and goes straight to our designers to ensure everything is set up correctly before we send it to print.

Today I read some packaging while I was eating my lunch. It was just sitting on the boardroom table and I couldn’t help but take a squizz. Consistency and grammatical problems are the things I see a lot of. Malapropisms, too. Or just stilted text with no flow.

I saw many of these when reading the packaging mock-ups. The design is beautiful. If I saw it on a shelf in the shops, I’d be drawn to it. If I turned the package around and read the back – like I usually do – I probably wouldn’t buy it because of all the niggly things and niggly things irritate me… but that’s just me 😉

So, here’s a product with great potential. The client has been featured in a number of publications. She has a great product with a fantastic design but she falls short when it comes to copy. I can tell you now that using me didn’t even enter her mind because she has a “it’s fine” outlook when it comes to her own copy. Just fine is not enough! Make it right! Make it perfect!

I work on newsletters, websites, press releases, posters, flyers…basically anything that needs copy. I sit in during brainstorming sessions. We all have a voice here and we all contribute, be it copy-related or not. This is a process that works! It means that we don’t just focus on the look, we focus on the feel too.

This isn’t everyone’s process, and not every company or person understands or values good copy. Pity, because I feel like most of the time I have to beg the accounts manager, after reading crap copy, that his clients need me. I’ll do it for free, damnit!

Equally, there have been situations where I have edited, written or rewritten copy for a client and it has been rejected. This is because:

  1. Instead of taking the time to go through the changes, they have opted to go with their original copy. This client is usually busy, unconcerned about copy in general, or doesn’t care – they just want their project launched NOW; or
  2. After looking at my copy and seeing what they feel are only minor changes (even a tiny tweak can affect readability!), have decided to keep their own words; or
  3. They have a shit ton of arrogance – they believe their copy is better. Maybe a few of them are right (obviously not to me, but that’s the nature of subjective work…), but often, the copy doesn’t serve their intended purpose or just sucks, but they refuse to believe/see/understand this. It’s an affront or insult to suggest otherwise…which it isn’t.

Sigh. Just sigh. Anyway, my point here is that when creating, consider the other elements. Copy is just one of them. What is your purpose? Let all the other elements enhance these goals. If you think it’s good, have someone look at it. Take the time to test things out, have people read, look, and experience your creation and find out what they think. What is working? What isn’t working? Yes, it’s touchy-feely, but it goes a long way to putting forward your best work.

Critique isn’t a bad thing, even if it’s hard to take! I need it. We all need it. I find it difficult to take sometimes, as I’m sure others do too, but it can be incredibly useful.

I’ll be taking the time to listen carefully to the feedback I receive – and hopefully, hopefully, they’ll do the same.

The monthly wishlist is back

I guess I’m back on the lust list bandwagon. I didn’t do one last month… I sometime find these posts make me want to go out and buy all the things (but I still populate a list on my phone, so it’s kind of useless, right?) I’m trying to curb my spending, but I figured since I’m already keeping a list, I might as well publish one.

I’m really on a skincare THING at the moment. I think it’s the looming 30s which has inspired this new focus. I also just really like taking time out for myself, and a good skincare regime is a great way to do this.

Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate – R850
Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol has been on my list for ages now, but at R1000+ for 30ml, I just can’t. Even at R850, I can’t really…but it is more affordable if I were to splurge. Which I probably won’t (but I really want to).

La Mer Limited Edition Bronzer
Just click that link and admire the beauty that is that bronzer. It’s been on my radar for a few months now (and the want has been real!) but I just kind of stored it away and that was that. Now I’m seeing it’s selling out fast and it’s creeping back into the foreground again because I really do want it but sjoe. I don’t even know if you can get it in South Africa. It’s probably gonna be around Dior price and up. That breaks my heart. Probably another item that won’t ever happen. RIP.

Loccitane Shea Melting Honey Exfoliating Sugars – R425
Ridiculously priced (can you see a trend here?) but it’s another thing that has been on the OMG-I-want list for AGES and now I see it’s available in South Africa… at a cost. Sob. There’s nothing I love more in this world than exfoliators… The scrubbier the better. I have no idea how this would fair but um, shea and honey? Sounds heavenly!

Exuviance Triple Micro-Dermabrasion Face Polish – R765
Basically, everything I want is too expensive to buy. This stuff sounds amazing. It’s both a physical and chemical exfoliator, and gets the thumbs up from All Dolled Up. I may actually consider this when I finish up my Ren Glycolactic Acid Exfoliator (which isn’t any time soon!) It is a bit more expensive than the Ren but I think it’d be worth it.

MAC x Star Trek
Where do I even begin with this? I pretty much want everything. I’m not a Trekkie (sorry, guys!) but the collection looks absolutely amazing. On my list are: Luna Luster Powder (pink), Highly Illogical powder (red/brown) (BOUGHT), To Boldy Go pressed pigment (red-ish) and The Naked Time pressed pigment (beige)

The Beauty Box Mini Organiser – R599
Another item that’s been on the list for ages. I’ve been wanting something to store my every day crap in and I think this will be perfect. I decided to just get it. It also came with a free accessory (nailpolish stand, lipstick stand or brush holder – I chose the brush holder). Very happy with it!

Here’s to hoping I stay on track this month!

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