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.

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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!

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!

Skoon skincare

Skoon

It was way back in January of this year when I placed my first Skoon order. I had seen Azraa from Prettiful Blog talking about the trial pack she received from Skoon. At the bottom of her blog post, she listed the prices and a link to the trial pack. I clicked on it immediately and ordered.

Unfortunately, at the time of paying, I didn’t realise that Skoon had actually discontinued their trial packs but they very kindly sent me an email saying they would honor the order.

Basically, I haven’t looked back. I ordered 3 trial packs from them (each were catering to a different skin concern) so I could try out a bunch of different things. I am still making my way through the sample pots, so really, if you’re at all interested in the brand, head over to the Skoon website and get yourself a few travel sizes – the packaging has since changed (more superior now, in my opinion) and they really do last long enough to give you a good idea of how it will work for your skin.

Skoon Cleanser + Make-up Remover (Gel-to-milk)
This is the star of the show for me. As you can see in the picture above, I have the full size (100ml) product. This is quite a natural smelling product, so just a heads up to anyone sensitive to scent.

I pump about a R1 size onto the back of my hand and dot it around my dry face. At this point, I usually still have my makeup on. I dab on my forehead, a bit on each cheek, a little on each eyelid and whatever’s left on my nose and chin. Then, the rubbing begins!

Because I’ve distributed the product across my face, it doesn’t tug at my skin and instead feels really balmy. As I work the remover into my skin, it turns into an oil. I make sure to get it between my eyelashes – don’t be shy! Next, I wet my hands and carry on rubbing the remover into my skin. At this point, the cleanser becomes a milk. When I’m ready, I rinse it off!

Easy as that. My skin always feels amazing after this, and super clean without feeling stripped. It’s soft, smooth and ready for the next step.

Skoon Ruby Marine Mask
This is the first pot at the top of the pic – sorry about the quality. I got this as a sample when I purchased the full size cleanser. I really didn’t think it would work for my skin – I have combo/oily skin – because I have read reviews about how intensely hydrating it is, but the helpful ladies at Skoon told me not to worry. I will never doubt another word!

So, I usually use this mask after I’ve exfoliated, as I like to combine exfoliating and hydrating treatments. This is a solid balm… Think coconut oil. Scrape your nail or utensil across the top and you will get a nice little chunk to work with, and believe me, a LITTLE goes a LONG way. I like to warm this up in my hands and then apply it to my face. It spreads amazingly well, and although my face does look super shiny or greasy while this is on, it doesn’t make me break out. I usually keep this on overnight and wash it off in the morning. Love it. Seriously.

Skoon Purifying Cleanser
This is the second little pot. The purifing cleanser is actually a clay cleanser (also called Whitewash) and again, totally amazing for combo/oily skins. I like to use this after I’ve used the makeup remover if I’m feeling particularly congested.

Like the other Skoon products I’ve tried, this stuff is NOT stripping. But this pot of magic really does leave your skin clean. I think this may have to be my next buy. I’m just afraid I will go through it way too quickly. I tend to use quite a bit of this (my sample pot is on its last legs). I slap a thick layer on my still wet skin, massage it in and leave it on for a minute or two before washing it off. So nice.

Skoon Moisture Gel Superfluity
We’re almost there! This is a moisturiser, and is recommended for someone who wants a light moisturiser… so basically, someone like me. They do have a moisturiser for every skin type though, so definitely check out their selection.

I think their website describes this moisturiser as light, without a heavy feel, and I totally agree. I find it sinks in really fast and leaves my skin hydrated but not sticky to the touch, and it holds up really well under foundation. I can’t say the same of all the moisturisers I’ve tried in the past!

If I need an extra dose of moisture, I usually mix a drop or two of their concentratesinto the moisturiser… which leads me to…

Skoon White Cloud Manuka Concentrate
According to the website, this is not an oil but an emmolient… so that’s cool? It apparently promotes the reduction of breakouts and if you have blackheads, this is a good one.

My skin is incredibly good right now so I can’t say for sure if it’s this, a combination of products, a steady skincare routine or just luck, but I really like this stuff, and I would probably go ahead and buy the full size.

As mentioned, I mix this in with my moisturiser if I’m having a spotty moment, or just feel like my skin could do with some TLC.

Skoon Rosehip C+
And this is the stuff I usually use when I have a lot of redness (as in, all the time) or my skin is being super sensitive. Rosehip is supposed to be really good for your skin and this mixture contains a bunch of skin-loving ingredients, so why not?

Needless to say, I’m a big fan of Skoon. I think they’ve done an amazing job, creating products than can be mixed and matched depending on your skin concern and I especially love the fact that you can customise your skincare regime using their various concentrates. It’s very hands on and makes me feel like a proper chemist 😉

I look forward to seeing what else these guys come up with… Until then, I’m pretty much loving everything I’ve tried.

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