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?

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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.

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"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

- T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1917)

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