OPI *Nail Envy* {review}


I have never been a very firm believer in nail hardeners/strengtheners, and have always just defaulted to Rimmel Stronger Double Duty which works super well as a base coat. But i recently borrowed Nail Envy and was pleasantly surprised. It comes out clear, and looks almost gel like when left plain on nails. I didn't use it long enough to see if it really does strengthen nails, but when having my nails done recently I was told by the nail tech that she swears by this little goodie.

Get yours at your local Dischem for somewhere around the R200 mark (rather pricey in my opinion). 

Click here for OPI's Facebook group in South Africa

Tandoor Indian Restaurant, Pietermaritzburg

Who doesn't love a good curry?! Here in Pietermaritzburg we are practicably neighbors to the home of all things curry related, {I'm talking about Durbs!} and so finding the perfect curry restaurant should be easy peasy...but alas i have been put off by the high prices and slow service in most of the other Indian restaurants in town.

 A little while ago when my lovely mom was visiting us newly weds, she treated us to a delish dish from Tandoor Indian Restaurant in town. Fresh garlic butter naans, creamy Korma's and basmati rice served hot and fresh left us with very full tummy's and plans to return as soon possible.

Situated in an old school Victorian classic home, the atmosphere lends itself to sharing not just good food, but good company and conversation.

Find them at:
319 Bulwer Street, Pietermaritzburg. Tel: 033 342 8853 or 083 263 0733 (Jaswant Singh).

Essie {Lapis of Luxury}

I have loved this soft powder blue shade on my toe nails for the past 2 weeks (and yes it's still going strong!). Essie really do make great quality polish that lasts for days on end with no chipping (that's if you don't mind the +-R90 price tag!). And they do have such lovely Summer shades out at the moment!

You can find Essie at selected salons, Sorbet Salons & at Dischem for +-R90

Physicians Formula {Mineral Correcting Powder}

I've been on the look out for a colour correcting powder for ages, to reduce the redness in my skin tone, so I decided to give the Physicians Formula range a bash. At R145 it's not the cheapest powder on the market, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the results. 

*3-In-1 Corrector + Primer + Powder
*Versatile powder color corrects the most common skin imperfections, smoothes skin texture and evens out skin tone.
*All colors blend together to create a perfect canvas finish: Pink brightens, Green tones down redness and Yellow adds warmth.
*High-tech Japanese formula delivers a natural-looking finish that won't cake, crease or settle into fine lines.

I found the above to all be true, I am able to brush it straight onto my skin after moisturizing, and I don't even have to apply concealer anymore. The brush supplied is a little 'hard' for my liking (although the colours are just lovely), your favourite kabuki/powder brush will do the trick. I must say that after trying out *all* the testers at Dischem, I will most definitely be using more products in the range!

Get your paws on the range at your local Dischem.

Simple *Face Wash* {review}

Wandering the aisles of Clicks I found myself doing a double take when I came across the Simple range of products. The Simple range of skin care products have been voted the number 1 skincare range in the UK. All their products are free from dye, artificial pefume & harsh irritants and are perfect for even the most sensitive of skin.

I was very keen to try the Simple Kind to Skin Moisturising Facial Wash, since it is 100% soap free, contains pro-vitamin B5, vitamin E and bisabolol. The texture is creamy and goes on smoothly, I'm not too crackers about the smell (it sort of doesn't really smell like anything, and compared to the delicious scent of StayClear (click here) it sort of doesn't really smell like anything...but I guess thats the whole idea behind it having no artificial perfumes!

It does the job well enough, doesn't leave my skin too dry after use, and definitely feels 'kind', but I won't be making this purchase again. The prices are very reasonable though, and if you are on the look our for a product that you can actually decipher the ingredient list on the back then give this one a try :)

Find it at your nearest Clicks & Dischem for +-R47

Winter Beauty Fav's

I nearly thought I was too late to post this, with Pietermaritzburg hitting the 30 degree mark...but then this happened and I realised we still have at least a few weeks of winter to go!

A few of my favourite beauty goodies for winter:

1. Epi-Max All Purpose Moisturiser {Clicks & Dischem +-R40}
As I have quite sensitive skin, I have to be really careful what I use on my body. This has been a very hard thing for me to accept as I love products (one glance at my bathroom cabinet and you will have mistaken it for a shelf at Dischem!) but alas, too many petrochemicals and added scents leaves me looking like I have escaped from a leoprasy village...not a good look for me. So I stick to the bare minimum, and have found this body moisturiser to be nourishing and creamy on my skin. I wouldn't use it in Summer though, with the heat it would leave your skin feeling clammy and heavy. But for winter its perfect!

2. L'oreal Mythic Oil {Selected Hair Salons +-R180}
I actually got this full sized product in one of my Ruby Boxes at the end of last year. I hadn't used it very much, and got such a nice surprise when I tried it again a few weeks ago. My hair has been feeling a little neglected this winter, with my ends looking a bit frazzled. A few pumps of this hair oil, a little massaging tlc and my hair is left feeling shiny, soft and smelling amazing!

3. Clarins Pure & Radiant Mask {Dischem & selected salons +-R320}
A little while ago I really treated myself to a Clarins Facial At Hotel Izulu in Ballito, and while there I decided to be a devil and purchase the mask used. It's one of nicest face masks I have ever used, leaving my skin feeling soft and refreshed. It claims to leave the skin looking radiant and refined, I haven't really noticed that much radiance going on, but I love the texture and the softness of my skin afterwards. But it is rather pricey , and as much as I love it, when it's finished I'm not sure I will top up my stash.

4. Essence Studio Nails Cuticle Cream {Clicks & Dischem +-R29}
A while ago I wrote a post on Essence make up, which at that time was only available at selected Clicks stores, but since then is now available and in a much wider range at most Dischems. Essence has found a rather large spot in my makeup bag, with all their products being such good value for money, and being really good quality too! This cuticle cream is no excpetion. Cuticle oil and creams are an inexpensive way of nourish your nails, and in turn helping you grow strong, healthy nails. My nails always take a bit of a beating in winter, and this cuticle cream not only smells fantastic but leaves my nails looking well cared for.

5. Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Serum {Body Shop +R120}
Now that this serum is nearly finished...sniff sniff.. I most certainly need to re-stock. This serum is absolutely perfect for any skin looking for a bit of moisture surge. I use it under my daily moisturiser. It makes the perfect make-up base, and doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky or looking shiny. I wound't use this if you have very oily skin though, and I wont be using it in Summer, and the humidity would probably lead to shiny looking skin, but for now it's perfect for those days when your day cream is just not cutting it.

6. ESSE Deep Moisturiser {Selected Stockist Full Size R290}
**full review of this magical product to follow soon!** In the mean time, just know that I have been searching high and low for a product that I can actually read the back label and not feel like I have been thrown head first into a science experiement. All ESSE products are 100% organic, produced right here in Kwazulu Natal. I got this sample when I went for the most incredible ESSE Facial at Spruce Salon in Morningside Durban and have just purchased the full size product and I am loving it!

7. Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream {Clicks R170} 
*full review click here* 8 months down the line and I am still using this wonder product. It is probably the only product I have bought 3 times in a row! It also lasts for ages, and leaves a very slight shimmer effect, which is just so pretty. 

8. Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment {Dischem +-R50}
I have been using DCT ever since I first went onto Roaccutane for my skin 8 years ago. It's a staple in my handbag, make up bag, pencil case and pocket! Cocoa Butter, Aloe and Vitamins A & E all help to maintain healthy, moist, kissable lips. DCT leaves my lips with a very soft sheen, meaning I don't have to wear any lipgloss over. With my long nails it's a little but of a pain to get out the tub, but whats left over after using on my lips I use on my cuticles! Miracle product for sure!  

Do you have any beauty favourites for winter??

Spruce Salon in Morningside, Durban {Review}

On friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of meeting Katy, therapist & owner of Spruce 
{a delightful Salon} which she recently opened in Morningside Durban. 

Ladies, if you need a break from reality and love the thought of being pampered, surrounded by orchids while sipping on an apple & mint cordial, then why not book yourself in for a {treat}ment at Spruce.

First, a few questions to get to know the lady behind the brand...

Q: Where is your favourite place to spend a saturday afternoon?
Wherever family and friends are.

Q: If you could go back in time and tell your 5 year old self anything, what would it be?
Listen to your gut!

And now for a little more about Spruce...

Q: Have you always been interested in beauty? Has owning your own salon always been a dream of yours?  
Absolutely! I remember doing D.IY facials at home on whoever would let me, with all sorts of interesting concoctions from the fridge and pantry – those poor skins! Ive always been fascinated by hand-healing therapies, the power of good products and self-improvement in general, so becoming a beauty therapist was a bit of a no-brainer, and of course owning my own salon was always the ultimate goal.

Q:Tell us the story behind the name, Spruce.
It just came to mind when I Was brainstorming for names. I wanted something short, sweet and catchy that embodied what I do how I want my clients to feel when they’ve walked out my doors – spruced-up!

Q: What is your most popular treatment with your clients?
Both the ESSE and Dr. Babor facials and extremely popular – its a total head-to-toe pamper. And I cant keep up with the Shellac nails – its a life-changing product!

Q: Do you offer any signature treatments?
My facials are definitely unique in that I combine a whole array of techniques to create a very relaxing and beneficial treatment. I also offer a hot lava-shell massage which is similar to the traditional hot stone massage but so much more indulgent!

 Q: What skincare brands do you stock?
I use and sell ESSE (100% organic) which is an incredibly nourishing and healing product that anyone can use and it is extremely powerful in treating all of the common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dryness etc. Im totally hooked! And then for anyone wanting to turn back the clock and totally transform dull, tired and aging skin Dr Babor is magic-wand of beauty products that guarantees instant results – you literally watch the lines disappear in minutes – its your botox and fillers without the needles!

I had the most wonderful Esse facial when I was there, a full head to toe treatment. All i can say is that Katy, in the few weeks before my wedding, I hope your schedule is free so I can see you for lots and lots of pre-wedding 'sprucing' up! 

StayClear Purifying Cleanser {Review}

I came across this delightful cleanser while in Clicks the other day.  I hadn't really paid much attention to the Good Things brand as it is tucked away in the 'teenage' aisle of the store. But in my hurry from Joburg a few weekends back I left my face wash (along with all my other products) in the shower. So i was looking for something reasonable to tide me over until I get my products back from Joburg. Well, I'm so glad that I did leave them there, because this cleanser was such a gem of a find! It removes all traces of makeup from my skin without over drying, is free from parabens, sodium laureth sulphate and mineral oils, {& it is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans} and the gel like texture ensures that a little really does go a long way!

The best part, has most definitely got to be, the smell. Its delightfully fruity and leaves me feeling fresh and clean all day! It sounds a bit strange, but for the whole morning I could smell {what must be the *mango & blueberry*} the extracts that are in this cleanser! 

The only *slight* let down in this product is the prettyness of it, but all things considered, for only R54 at Clicks, you can overlook the packing in my mind.

I most definitely give this cleanser a 5/5!

Click here to join Good Things on Facebook...

TipTop *Triple Putty*

Yet another lovely colour to add to my collection of TipTop nail polishes. I loved the deep burgundy colour of Crushed Grapes (which lasted a whole 9 days on my nails before I finally had to part with it!) and so went off shopping for another wintery shade. Grey is definitely one of my favourite colours, and looks gorgeous when paired with anything (especially apricot and baby pink, which are our wedding colours! Click here to see whats happening on that front, with just over 4 months to go things are getting pretty stressful!). 

As always, TipTop polish goes on beautifully, and gives an even amount of colour in every stroke. I did find that I needed to do 2 coats of this colour, but that just added to the richness of it.

This is  #948, Triple Putty:

You can find TipTop at most Click's stores nationwide, for R39.99 (which is just as easy on the wallet as their colours are on the eyes!). Click here to join them on Twitter, and click here to join in their fun competitions and giveaways on Facebook!

Bourjois *Foundation* {Review}

I am really loving my new Bourjois Flower Perfection Foundation (which came in last week after I placed an order with my Dad who was on a trip to the UK.) It's much cheaper over there than here, R110 there vs R185 here. It glides on effortlessly, stays put the whole day, and doesn't leave my skin looking shiny. The bottle says that it leaves a "smooth, beatified complexion" and I have to say I am definitely agreeing with that statement. It leaves a slight matte finish, which is great if your skin tends towards the oilier side, and smells fantastic (it's horrible putting something on your face that makes you want to gag!). It even comes with a cute little makeup sponge applicator which fits nearly onto the lid, making things very easy. I still spwear by my Mac #187 Stippling Brush  which gives me perfect coverage every time, without leaving me with a streaky effect my fingers and sponges usually leave me with. 

If you do have very sensitive or dry skin, I would probably be careful with this foundation as it does have a matte effect (which could possibly leave dry skin types looking a bit on the cakey side). Also, with regards to the lovely flower scent, this is from added fragrances which could irritate very sensitive skin. 

I give this foundation a 4/5, the only reason for not giving it full marks is the price of it here in South Africa. Bourjois is still relatively new to South Africa, and R185 for a foundation most people have never heard of is a bit steep. I think consumers would rather pay a bit extra for the likes of MAC. 
You can find Bourjois at most Edgars stores, nationwide.

TipTip *Crushed Grapes*

Loving the new addition to my ever growing collection of TipTop Nail polishes. They always paint beautifullym dry quickly and last for ages. Plus, they are Formaldehyde, Dibutylphthalate, Camphor and Toluene free meaning they are better for your nails than most brands, ultimately resulting in healthier nails! 

This is 918, Crushed Grapes.
Dark colours can be tricky on long nails, which mine were until i broke one on my car door (*ouch!!*). What better way to disguise short nails that with a gorgeous shade, perfect for the cold winter ahead. 

You can get your hands on TipTop at most Clicks stores nationwide for R39.99. 

TipTop are always running awesome giveaways and competitions on Facebook, be sure to check out their page to join in on the fun!

Natur Vital *Rose Water Toner*

Scouting around Dischem in search of skin care products is never an easy task. I get distracted by all the packaging, the promises of "clearer looking skin in just 10 days" etc etc etc. Farmboy calls Dischem the 'trap door of all trap doors" which lures unsuspecting girl friends, fiance's and wives, only to spit them out hours later, penny less, but armed with every kind of eyeliner, lipgloss and conditioner under the sun. Sounds like my kinda place :)

Well, it was on one of those missions, to find the perfect toner, that my eyes happened to look upon the 'no name brand' aisles when I spotted this Rose Water Toner. For only R20 I thought I couldn't really go wrong, and, well I sure didn't. 

NaturVital is a range of "products that provide natural solutions to all your beauty, hygiene and personal care needs. We have a very clear work ethic and the products we prepare for you are always of the highest quality, made using natural extracts, oils and plant essences, in exactly the right balance and proportions to provide the maximum effect in a natural, non-aggressive way"...sounds a little airy fairy to me. But I did need a new toner while I wait for my cleanser and day cream to finish, and for R20 you can't really go wrong. I would liken this toner to Vichy's Thermale 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution (click here) but without the R198 price tag.

To be honest, I think I can officially say this has got to be one of the gentlest, effective cleansers I have ever used. It's kind to my skin, whilst still removing all traces of makeup and dirt, leaving my skin feeling soft and clean. It's all use before bed, with a dab of night cream. It has a rather pleasant smell and of course, I just love the colour :). There are lots of known benefits to using rose water (click here) and up until now I didn't really see what all the fuss is about But after using this toner for a little over a month I can really see a difference in my skin's moisture levels (it's no longer dry in patches) and it feels soft as a baby's bum. I can't say for sure whether it's helped my recent outbreak of dreaded pimples, as I am on a course of Antibiotics which has worked wonders, but never the less I love this product!

If your looking for something that's easy on your pocket, looks very pretty and works pretty darn well as a cleanser, toner and make up remover, head on over to Dischem pronto!

Clarins Everlasting Foundation {Review}

It's been rather a long time since I've done a makeup review on the blog, I will blame that on getting engaged and starting my practical teaching this year for my Teaching Diploma (and of course general life that get's in the way of good blogging!). But here we are with a foundation review.
I've had this Clarins Everlasting Foundation for a while now. I use it in between other products (like my favourite Revlon Concealer and Yardley Powder which is my staple everyday base wear) but when I'm looking for that extra bit of coverage I haul it out. 

I have only given it a 3/5 for coverage, becasue I find my skin gets quite oily when I wear a heavier amount of the product. It does blend easily, but there's just something about it that doesn't make me go wow! Of course when you go to the counter and the lady there puts it on with all her fancy brushes, and fancy words it looks amazing. But when you get home and it's just you; foundation in one hand, brush in the other, it's a completely different story. And, to be honest, the only everlasting thing about this foundation is the actual product in the bottle. It has lasted me ages!

In terms of prettyness, I love the packaging. It's clean and simple (although a tad of the heavy side, being glass) but it does look nice on my shelf. Price, well at around R350 a pop, it doesnt come cheap. 
Overall, I give this foundation a 3/5. It's useful, but it doesn't really blow my hair back, and if you have even a slightly oilier skin, I would steer clear of this one.

Eucerin *DermatoCLEAN* {Review}

I have been wanting to try Eucerine's new line for some time. There was a time when I thought of Eucerin as only making body lotions for dry/eczema prone skin but it seems they have taken the leap along with other brands to expand their product range. I had been using Vichy's Purette Thermal Cleaning Solution and was on the lookout for something similar when it finished and I didn't have R198 to spend on a toner. I must say that I have been very impressed with this one. It cleanses all traces of makeup and dirt without drying out my skin while still leaving it feeling soft and clean. The whole idea behind the Dermato-Clean range is that they are mild and suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types. It also claims to have Nature-identical actives Gluco-Glycerol and Hyaluronic Acid, which are known for their ability to effectively maintain the ideal moisture levels in the skin...I'm not going to argue with those long words!

The only thing I'm not so keen on is the fragrance (or rather the lack of). But all I can say is that fragrances are smells put into products to make them more appealing, and anything that has less chemicals can only be better for your right? :)

At R110 it's cheaper than Vichy's Cleansing Water, and effectively does the same thing. I would definitely purchase it again.

Just a little note on my product reviews...all of the makeup and other products have been bought with my own (mostly *hard earned*) money, and I have not been approached to review them by companies. However, if, by some miraculous chance I am asked to review a product (*hint hint*) I will always let you know so that you get a 100% honest review out of me :)

Olay *Day UV Fluid* {Review}

As you can see from the amount of reviews (or rather the lack of reviews compared to the fullness of my toiletry cupboard!) I do, I tend to hop, skip and jump through products like other ladies do with clothing. But for the last few months I have at least been trying to finish *most* of the product before I get distracted by the packaging and promises of unicorn skin on the label. The latest line I have been delving into is Olay. I have been loving the Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream for the past few weeks, and thought it time I introduce the Day UV Fluid (-+ R170).

My skin has been a bit under the weather for the past few months (having recently come off the Pill) and so I have been looking for a day cream that doesn't make me look like an oil slick by midday. This 'fluid' is light and almost fluffy, with a very pleasant yet subtle fragrance leaving my skin feeling refreshed and moisturised. I am supposed to be using it under my Vichy Capital Soleil Protective Fluid Sun Cream but I have yet to try it for fear of looking white washed. Even though this 'cream' has an SPF of 15 in it, it is advised to STILL wear a sun cream especially if you live in a sunny climate such as ours here in South Africa. What I also love about the bottle is that is just goes on and on, a little really does go a long way.

Olay *Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream* {Review}

This is what is promised on the box:
Total Effects fights 7 signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles, rough texture, uneven skin tone, dullness, prominent pores, age spots, and dryness) by:
• Minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Reducing the appearance of dark circles
• Fighting dullness and replacing it with a healthy-looking radiance
• Reducing the appearance of puffiness
• Moisturizing to nourish dry skin and to help firm and lift its appearance
• Smoothing skin’s texture with gentle exfoliation
• Balancing colour and tone
I have really enjoyed using this eye cream over Nivea's Aqua Sensation Anti-Shadow Eye Cream and Clinique's All About Eyes. The delicate skin around my eyes is always left feeling soft and supply, and I love the slight radiance enhancing shimmer that leaves my eyes looking brighter. I have only been using it for 2 weeks now, and although I haven't noticed anything dramatic, I think it's because im focusing on the saying "prevention is better than cure". At R170 a pop it's cheaper than the Clinique, but in this day and age, R170 is still R170. 
Would I buy it again? For sure. And I use such a little every time that my pot is going to last me ages.

Get yours at your local Clicks and Dischem for +-R170

Clinique *All About Eyes* {Review}

I first started using eye creams when I got this little guy in a free gift from Clinique. I am 23 years old, and from what I have gathered about eye creams and the why's and who's, it seems to be recommended that one uses it from about the age of 25. At first it just sat on my shelf until I stumbled upon a forum somewhere that spoke about the different eye creams being for different skin types/ages/ethnic backgrounds and it all just got a bit complicated. 

I came across Nivea's Aqua Sensation Anti-Shadow eye cream, and having not ever noticed shadows before, I suddenly started seeing them. On the back of the box it says for those in their early twenties who need more 'shadow control than lift' so I thought I'd give it a bash. I didn't notice any changes after about 1 month of use, apart from my eyes always feeling very refreshed and 'clean'. Feeling snobbish I took out the clinique sample and got creaming. I must say, as much as I want to rave about this product, it didn't really do anything. I'd like to think this is because I dont have anything for it to work on, but I'm not sure. I did like the texture (and of course the colour too!). My sample lasted a good 5 months of everyday use. I wouldn't go out and buy it for myself, but if I got another sample I would definitely give it another go.

Get it at your nearest Clinique Stockist (Edgars, Red Square, some Dischems, Foshini) for somewhere around the R220 mark

Maybelline Volum' Express

My Maybelline's Colossal Volum' Express Mascara (click here for the review) has finally given up the go and run out on me. As I was about to buy it again (I have loved using it so much that even my usual "i must constantly try new products" mentality has put me off this one). But then, I got distracted by the bright packaging of Maybellines latest mascara, the "One by One" and thought I would give it a bash. And....well it's just as good, if not better than the "Colossal". It gives lost of va-va-voom, and doesn't clump. The only difference being that the "One by One" has plastic bristles, and the "Colossal" has more natural 'fibre' type brush. 

 I usually prefer more natural brushes and have shied away from plastic ones, but I must say that with the plastic brush it does seem to coat each and every lash, one by one.

Overall I'm happy that I bought the "One by One", even if all its done is give my makeup bag some extra colour :)

Find it Clicks and Dischem for R110.

TipTop *Sherbet Angel*

I have been loving this range of nail polish from Clicks since I spotted them a few months ago. They paint beautifully, don't bubble and are pretty good when it comes to being chip proof. I hadn't given them a second glance the first time my eyes brushed past them, as the snob in me thought that paying anything less than R80 for a nail polish = waste of time. But surprise surprise, these little guys have left me amazed. If you apply (like Rimmel's Stronger Double Duty), as well as (like Sally Hansen's Insta' Dry), you could get about a weeks wear.

What I also love about Tip Top is the huge range of colours, from neon pinks, to powder blues, and every shade in between. They have also recently launched a range called "You Crack Me Up" which gives a (you guessed it!) a cracked effect when applied...fun for summer :)

*I am wearing Sherbet Angel*
Tip Top is exclusive to Clicks stores, and at a price of R39.99 you really cant go wrong. 

Happy painting!

*Milk Cafe* Ballito

Spending a weekend in Ballito is never complete without a stop to my favourite ice cream chop...Milk Cafe. With super friendly staff and really really yummy ice-cream, it's the perfect place to hang out this summer...

18 Compensation Drive Ballito 
032 946 2310
click here to visit their Facebook page