New From Lancome: Metallic Artliners

In the past couple of months I've gone from 'I'll only ever wear black eyeliner' to 'Hey, what's this purple all about?'. I'm still not going to cover my entire eyelid in turquoise eye shadow and paint my lips cerise pink, but I'm warming up to splashes of colour in eye makeup.

At last week's Lancôme meet I played with some new liners that made me want to cross over to the bright side. My swatches aren't great because the tips were running dry by the time I got to them, but just look how vivid the colours are (if you're a brown-eyed girl, please go for that blue and let me know how it works out):

The black one is awesome, but ignore it for now.
YSL Metallic Artliner Swatches: Violet Vibrant, Bleu Métal,
Vert Chromé. As I said, don't judge the line consistency,
this is just to give you and idea of the colours. 

If you haven't used a Lancome Artliner before, the tip really is something special. It has a rubbery texture that makes 'gliding' over the skin your only option really - even the most unstable of hands should be able to get a straight line with this one.

Lancome Metallic Artliners FLTR:
Bleu Metal, Vert Chromé, Violet Vibrant

They're on shelves already, and you can get them from Lancome counters at R305 each.

C xx

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Review: Ralph Lauren Big Pony Collection for Women

In a game of 30 seconds, if you say Polo shirt; I'd say Ralph Lauren. That's the association I make.  I imagine preppy, muscular boys in toit polo shirts gazing into the distance, and google agrees with me: 

This is a slim fit custom Polo shirt, just to you know

Lately, I've been thinking about the brand a little differently - mainly because I've been dousing myself in a cloud of Big Pony to suit my mood. That seems to be the message behind the concept: four fragrances with different 'personalities' to suit your mood. Ideally, you would have all of them lined up on your dresser, and you'd pick the one that works for you that day. It seems to be the way most fragrance houses are leaning - no more single signature scent, but rather picking a suitable scent for the mood/occasion.

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Fragrance Collection for Women

No 1 is Sporty, with Grapefruit and Blue Lotus
No 2 is Sensual, with Cranberry and Tonka Mousse
No 3 is Free Spirited, with Pear and Mimosa
No 4 is Sophisticated, with Cherry and Amber

The models for the Big Pony for Women Fragrance Campaign:
Sporty, Sensual, Free Spirited, Sophisticated (image source)

I don't dislike any of the fragrances, they're all 'safe' smells which makes them great gifts in my opinion - nothing is over the top and they're well balanced. My favourites are numbers 3 and 4, but then I've always been the slightly odd one, and I veer towards the older side of their target market (older = sophisticated in perfumery, as in many other things). But I really do enjoy all four of them. The only thing I don't like is the large, brightly coloured numbers on the bottles - they look cool on the box, but not so much on the bottle. In my opinion, of course.

Available from mid August, prices range from R470 for 30ml to R750 for 100ml EDT.

C xx

Review: YSL Blush Radiance (Radiant Blush)

My ever increasing obsession with blushers, bronzers and highlighters lead me to keep this beauty in its velvet sleeve for weeks and weeks. Mostly because I took a peek, and knew straight away that the shade would not be suitable for my pasty cheeks. Denial took up most of my grieving time...

YSL Blush Radiance (Radiant Blush) 05

This beautiful compact is made up of four squares, of which two are matte and two are very slightly shimmery. You swish them together and apply to the cheeks to create a flush of colour. But seriously, ignore the usual makeup copy and read what I'm writing - it mimicks actual blushing/flushing. Like you just ran up a flight of stairs, or were caught snogging on the couch*.

YSL Blush Radiance 05 - I applied a darker foundation
on my arm, and this is a light sweep of blusher 

This particular shade is great for darker skinned girls who have a problem with blusher not 'showing' on their skin. It's also not a funny teracotta or brown colour - it's a deep pink/red brick combo. As my college makeup tutor said (and try as I may, I have never been able to get it out of my head): "Nobody blushes Peach".

YSL Blush Radiance 1-6. I'm either 4 or 6.
And I'm v intrigued by 3.

*Only applicable if you're 17 or younger

C xx

#NOTD: Tip Top Cha Cha Cha

I've been enjoying this mint green because it packs a little more punch than the standard milky pastel. It also looks great with grey, which is one of my go-to colours.

Tip Top Cha Cha Cha

See how well Tip Top Cha Cha Cha
goes with my fave grey scarf?

It even matches my hair dryer

Available from Foschini and Clicks at R40.

C xx

Perth International Airport Duty Free Shopping Wishlist

I'm v excited to see The Mother at the end of November, and she's asked me for a list of goodies I would like her to bring from Down Under. I'm doing her one better - I'm sending pictures, names and prices of all kinds of great stuff mom can pick up at the duty free shop on her way over here. I share with you, my wishlist in no particular order:

Kiehl's Superbly Smoothing Argan Conditioner, $13

OPI Best of the Best, $40. Scrap no particular
order, this is right at the top of the list.

OPI Drip Dry nail polish drying drops, $20

Lancome Sweet Butterfly Palette, $50
Apparently this is exclusive to Duty Free shops.

Gold-infused Smirnoff Vodka, $40. I'll drink it with Sprite Zero so that
the bling stays visible.

Nikon Coolpix AW100, cough $340 cough. Wondering why it's
so fugly? It's water- and shockproof. I'm mostly interested in
the 1cm macro shooting function, so I'll also settle for the
 Coolpix S100 or S8200. 

3 x 400g Milk Toblerone, $20.
Also: Oink Oink.

Swatch Red Rebel, $86

But maybe, before she makes her way to the airport, she can shop for a few other things online:

Kiehl's Overnight Biological Peel, $68 from Myer

Queen Real Living Kato Bedset for my spare room,
$82 from Target.

And then there are a couple of things I'd like from the supermarket...

I'm not joking - in Australia you can buy Joico hair products in Woolworths
(which is not like our Woolworths, it's a supermarket like our Checkers/Pick n Pay).
This variant, K-Pak Colour Therapy, is new to me and I look forward to trying it.
Around $25 per bottle.

Hmmm... Caramel TimTams... As much as I like them, I refuse to pay
R45 for a packet of biscuits. They're regular-priced $2-$3 biscuits in Oz.
(image source)

I think that'll be all. Except for the most amazing Mercer + Reid linen spray that I now can't find online, which is making me nervous because I would like at least three bottles of the Rose Anatolia & Bergamot goodness. I 'cheat' by spritzing it on curtains so that the scent breezes through the entire house. I had four bottles in October, now I'm on my last one...

Thanks Mom! I'll fill the gaps in your suitcase with all the African gifts and curios you can carry. And WINE. Have I mentioned how much wine I'll have for you on arrival?

C xx

Sorbet Beauty Chain launches Drybar Express Hair Salon

Aah, don't you love it when a third world country keeps up with the times?

The Sorbet beauty & nail bar chain is opening their first Sorbet Drybar - an express hair salon where you can have your hair washed and styled. They'll be offering blowdrys at a flat rate of R140 - no matter what the length or texture of your hair is - and their stylists will use L'Oreal Professional, Mizani and Redken products.

They won't be offering cut- or colour services (focus ladies, it's an express salon), but you can add extras like a scalp massage (R50) or hair treatment (R185). They'll also be offering a complete range of nail services: think manis, pedis, gelish, transfers, gel nails, the works. You'll also score free wifi and a glass of bubbly out of the deal.

But my absolute favourite part is the menu. Can't all hair salons have menu's like this? All the ones I go to, have simply asked: ghd, blowdry, or wavy? I then stutter, try to explain, and end up saying 'straight please' and look EXACTLY THE SAME EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Well done Sorbet, at least I can point to a picture now.

Vanilla: Standard Blow with a little volume

Espresso: Smooth and sleek

Amaretto: The beach look

Rocky Road: Plenty of curls

The first Sorbet Drybar is opening early in August in the Dunkeld West Shopping Centre in Joburg (another perk of moving to Gauteng: tick).

C xx

Gavin Rajah Designs Fancy Pants Clutch Bag For Clinique

A couple of days ago we got to shmingle at Edgars in the V&A Waterfront to celebrate the pretty clutch bag Gavin Rajah designed for Clinique. I'll let you know straight away that it's a limited-time-only offer that's valid until 5 August if they last that long, so if you like this little baggie and you need R900 worth of cosmetics, I suggest you hurry off to a Clinique counter now.

Turqouise, silver and white clutch bag, Gavin Rajah for Clinique.
Totally waiting 20 years and selling the one he signed for me...
Hello early retirement :)

This is the third year that Clinique is offering a designer bag as a gift with purchase, and not just a pvc bag or something... Last year David Tlale designed a bag, and the year before that there was a Stoned Cherrie creation. Natasha Bennet, Clinique SA Brand Manager, said they like the idea of making a designer item obtainable to the average shopper - many loyal Clinique users will now have their third designer bag this year.

The man of the moment, Gavin Rajah, telling
us about his collaboration with Clinique.
He was quickly dubbed 'Style Santa' in his
big white chair, and a few girls wanted to
sit on his lap so that all their designer wishes
could come true...

If you would like a Gavin Rajah Bag of your own, you can get one mahala at selected Edgars and Red Square stores when you spend R900 or more on Clinique goods. If that purchase includes two skincare products, you'll also get the Clinique bonus gift set with 8 mini products (4 skincare and 4 makeup).

C xx

PS - I promise this is the last of kak quality phone pics, I finally found my camera batteries...

Want a panty in the post?

Lingerie letters is a quirky new service from the masterminds behind Diligo online fashion and Rubybox South Africa (who now also has a Manbox and a Teenbox in addition to their regular box - check it out if you're stuck for gift ideas). Very simply, you pick your preferred style and size of panties, and sign up for once-off or recurring panties in your postbox. V old school penpal vibes, don't you think?

Aside from this service, you can also chat to Lily Chantilly on their website, and pick up some tips on properly fitting underwear, as well as suitable styles. They even suggest sending Lingerie Letters as a secret admirer - but guys, a postal pantie from someone I'm not ...errr... intimately connected to would have me hiring a 24hr security guard.

♪ Postman Pat and his black-and-white cat ♪
He might have a thong for you...

Interested? Subscription prices vary from to R70 - R95 per month (depending on how many months you sign up for), and and there are briefs and thongs available in sizes XS - XXL. Click here for more details.

C xx

Dita Von Teese Launches Makeup Line

The beautiful burlesque star launched her first Makeup Collection called Dita Von Teese Classics in Europe last month.

The line consists of products to recreate Dita's signature look - think neutral eye shadows, black liners, false lashes, super fine translucent powder and a selection of red lipsticks. Have a look at some of my favourites:

Dita von Teese blushers

Dita von Teese glamour eye shadows

Dita von Teese matte eye shadows

Dita von Teese lip colours

For now, they're not even available in the US, let alone South Africa - but hey, a girl can dream, right? All images via Beautylish, and you can view the full makeup range here.

C xx

#NOTD: Velvet (or Flock) Nails

The crazy nail trends keep on coming - also known as care bear nails, fluffy sweater nails, fuzzy nails...

I'm convinced this person killed the
Elmo suit. And it's relatives (source)

Fuzzy Nails in the ombre skittle trend.
That's three trends. My head is spinning (source)

Lady Gaga nails, this lady says. But of course, I say (source)

This one has a tutorial, should you be interested (source).
I like the texture of this one best, for what it's worth.

How does this work? Glad you asked. You apply a layer (or layers) of nail varnish, and then quickly dip it into/pour over Flocking powder (which is pulverised wool or felt that you can get from a craft shop, google tells me) while it's still very wet. If it sounds a lot like the technique used for fish egg/caviar manicure - you're right, it's identical. Ciaté will also be launching their own kits soon in the US and UK - not too sure if and when SA will be getting it.

I'll assume it's something one would wear for short periods, on special occasions. But what if I need to wash my hands? Or pick something from my teeth? The thought of that texture on my teeth just gave me the shivers. And I can totally see my eye liner and foundation staining that fluffy stuff. Not too sure I see this happening. It's not you, fluffy stuff, it's me...

C xx

Dark & Lovely Launches New Colour Intensity Hair Tint

I can't test this one myself, but I thought I'd let you know that Dark & Lovely just launched 6 Permanent Hair Colour shades in addition to their treatment products. D & L are seen as the leaders in African haircare, and have nearly 40 years experience in Afro-specific haircare.

They've launched 6 shades that have been tailor made to the tastes and skin tones of the South African market. The shades are Radiant Copper, Spicy Red, Magic Plum, Spicy Brown, Original Black and Super Black. The colours have also been tried and tested in South Africa for optimal efficiency. It requires no special after care, making it affordable to the mass market, and it contains olive oil for nourishment and softness.

Dark and Lovely Spicy Red 

Dark and Lovely Magic Plum

Dark and Lovely Radiant Copper. I really dig this colour.

I'm thrilled that the packaging looks quite good (come on, it's frowned upon when a white girl brings it up but 'ethnic' hair and beauty products almost always draws the short straw of the packaging budget, even though it amounts for a massive chunk of the market in SA). The good part? Although I'm still waiting on confirmation of the retail price, I'll stick my neck out and say I bet it will be at most half the price of 'regular' hair colour. You win some, you lose some in this twisted world of ours. I'm also finding the models on the boxes a tad pale for a South African product, but luckily we all have learnt the hard way know the model on a hair colour box is to be completely ignored.

Available in 100ml tubes, and the three brighter colours pictured are also available in 60ml touch-up tubes.

C xx

UPDATE: RRP R25 for 100ml and R17 for 60ml 

5 Great Lower Body Exercises

I'm always looking for something different to switch up my workout routine.  At this stage of my life (reaching a new milestone of 60 at the end of this year), keeping my body toned, healthy and yes, still sexy is a feat within itself.  I did come across a great series of exercises that will add some fun to your routine and make them muscles respond. has come up with some awesome routines to exercise your thighs, shape up your belly, and workout your butt with just (5) ballet-inspired moves using just a wall in your home.  Yes, I said a wall!  Oh ... and a mat or rug too!  So ladies ... go at it and let me know how they worked for you.

Go to

Yardley Makes it Easy to Layer Your Perfume Scent With 'Layers of Luxury'

Yardley sent me a Russian Nesting Doll style box o' Lace goodies - A box within a box within a box (don't worry Mother Earth, I'll reuse and recycle them), which ended up housing a whole set of Yardley Lace products wrapped up in a soft Pashmina. I hadn't smelt Lace in ages, and when I opened the first bottle I immediately recognised it as one of my gran's favourites - a soft, powdery scent that is super feminine.

Exhibit A: Russian Nesting Dolls (source)

But more on the layering. Yardley have now expanded their product offering of old favourites like Lace, White Satin, Gorgeous, Ballet and You're the Fire. They recommend adding a delicate layer of one product upon another upon another... This will give your scent a stronger impact, and make it linger longer.

Yardley Lace Layers of Luxury products

The product offering consists of:

Roll-on (R18)
Perfumed Body Spray (R30)
Body Lotion (R26 - R36 for HUGE bottles)
EDT and EDP (R100- R220, ranging from 15ml-50ml, only available in Lace, White Satin, Ballet)

Want some? Yardley's layers of luxury fragrance range will be on shelf from August 2012. I think they're v affordable gifts - you can make up a nice packet for an aunt/gran/older colleague for under R100 if you leave out the actual perfume.

C xx

Review with swatches: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Black Gold

One of the easiest ways to vamp up a look is with a sexy, defined upper lash line. Call it cheating, but I already discovered Maybelline's gel liners last year on an overseas trip, and I was getting rather impatient for the local launch.

In SA, we'll have two liners in the Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner range: Black Gold and Black Chrome. Both have (you guessed it) a black base, with either chrome or gold flecks. Like so:

Maybelline Eyestudion Lasting Drama
Gel Eyeliner 24H in Black Gold

A swatch of Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner
in Black Gold - Horiffically enlarged so that you
can see that the 'gold' shows up nicely.

It's a v nice all-in-one kit - you buy the pot of gel liner as well as a decent applicator brush for R100. If you haven't used a gel liner before, there's no reason to be intimidated - it applies in exactly the same manner as a pencil or liquid liner. In this case, you just have to dip the brush in the pot first, and then you start 'painting' on your liner as usual. The gel is soft enough for easy application, but once it sets it doesn't budge, and you can party away (I did just that, until 4am on Saturday morning. Thumbs up).

The Black Gold is especially great for any eye colour that has yellow flecks in - whether it's blue, green, brown or somewhere inbetween - the gold will pick up the yellow flecks, making you appear all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I love the effect it has on my grey/green/blueish eyes.

Available from Maybelline counters at R100 each

C xx

Review: Mama Mio Omega Body Buff

I'm slowly working my way through the products in my OMG kit, and so far the product that has impressed me most is O•Mega Body Buff.

Mama Mio Omega Body Buff

I generally prefer sugar- or salt scrubs in a vegetable oil base, but this scrub has me hooked. It contains Sweet Almond Oil, Vit E, Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and some more things I don't really care about. Because it's a SCRUB. And to be a good scrub, it has to contain the right amount of abrasive. This one contains the perfect amount of Micro Ground Pumice. The test? With all exfoliators, I scrub my upper arms, and see (a) how well and (b) for how long it sorts out the bumps and rough texture (It's called Keratosis Pilaris, and I wrote a story on it for Beauty South Africa, click over here if you would like to read it).

The verdict? This one leaves even my often-bumpy arms super smooth for up to a week (I usually have to scrub them twice a week to keep them that way). It has a orangey scent that reminds me of some medicine I drank as a child (I'm thinking it was antibiotics?) so I'm not completely in love with the scent, but it's most likely because of the association I'm making. It's a great, gritty-enough scrub that rinses easily and does not leave the skin feeling dry. Is it too early to start putting things on my Christmas list?

Available from selected spas and skincare salons at a RRP of R395 for 200ml. To locate a stockist, visit this page.

C xx