Review with Swatches: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Gel-Cream Eyeshadow

I've been dying to try these since Maybelline spilled the beans about their launch way at the beginning of the year, and patience is not one of my star qualities. Luckily they finally arrived for testing a couple of weeks ago, and I was all too eager to get going.

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR by Eyestudio

My experience with cream eye shadows have always been less than spectacular. I am a notorious eye rubber, and I am starting to suspect that the only area on my face with excessive oil glands are my eyelids. Needless to say, by lunchtime I generally have a beautiful (?) line in the crease of each eye, with some smudgings to compliment it. I'll leave the graphic description of what happens on a warm day up to your imagination - but it's a mess, and there's nothing hot about it.

But back to the present. The formula makes use of waxes, lightweight gel and 30% pearls and colourants to deliver intense bold colour. The shade I reviewed is Permanent Taupe (it's called Tough as Taupe in the US, I think that sounds way cooler), and I am most impressed with it's Taupe-ness, for starters. It's not champagne, beige or brown - it's proper almost-putty coloured Taupe. I applied it with my fingers (you can use an eyeshadow brush too), and I soon realised you have about a minute or two to play with it - after that, it sets/dries, and it's pretty much a done deal. As you can see in the pic below, you can control the intensity of the colour very easily.

Swatched: Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe
(or Tough as Taupe, depending on where you live)

Does it last 24 hours? I don't know, I would probably sleep it off on my pillows if I attempted to test that theory. On one of the days I wore it I noticed some very slight shifting in the crease by mid afternoon*, but on all days at least 80% of it was still present after 12 hours. It's already moved into my (very small) daily makeup bag, and I'll probably add Eternal Gold sometime soon too. And then I can just imagine what you can do with Endless Black...

Swatched: Maybelline Color Studio in Endless Purple. It's really
pretty and vibrant, but I haven't had the guts to apply it anywhere
except on my wrist yet. I would love it if it works for me, but
deep down, I already know COMPUTER SAYS NO, pasty face.

Colour Tattoo is available in 5 shades locally (Boo Hoo, the US has 10 shades), and the RRP is R100 each

C xx

*I was wearing a very illuminating/light reflecting foundation on this day, which also served as the base for my eyeshadow. Bear things like that in mind, and consider using an eyelid primer if that's a problem for you too.

ghd competition winner


The lucky winner (drawn by a random number generator) is Hazel Dehaloo. Congrats Hazel, I expect a picture of silky smooth locks as soon as your new toy arrives.

The lucky packet winner will be announced on Monday - the most original entry must still be deliberated on.

C xx

YSL Opium changes my mindset

My mom used Opium for years. It has always smelled great on her, and other middle aged women. Because that's how I saw it, and that's how it was marketed according to me. Due to a new marketing campaign, I am now for the first time seeing things differently - I'm seeing Opium as a sexy fragrance, not an 'older' one. And for the first time ever, I'm giving it a try myself. I assure you this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm nearing 30 and thus approaching the category that used to be 'older' when I was 17.

Their new ambassador Emily Blunt has a lot to do with it - she's fresh-faced but sexy, young-ish but sophisticated. She also seems oddly normal - making me feel like I'll be able to pull it off too. Have a look and listed to this video below. The first 30 seconds are a little blah, but I can relate to the rest of it.

The bottle also looks quite different to how I remember it (but we're talking almost a decade since I last paid any attention to it), and both the print and TV ads are super sexy.

Emily Blunt YSL Opium Print Ad

Don't know Opium? It's an oriental fragrance, and opening notes of both the EDT and EDP are Mandarin, Bergamot, Jasmine and Carnation, which warms to notes of Vanilla, Amber and Patchouli. The EDP has some extra sultry Lily of the Valley, Jasmine Absolute and Myrrh added.

Lesson of the day? Don't be a knob and write something off just because of your own perceptions. And good marketing definitely is worth the money spent on it.

Opium prices vary between R630 for 30ml EDT to R1200 for 90ml EDP.

C xx

PS - I NEVER buy 30ml perfumes. If you do the math, you'll see that you're just about always paying only about 100 bucks less than that price of the 50ml, which contains two-thirds more volume. The 90/100ml sizes are obvs the best value, but I often develop anxious tendencies as soon as my perfume price tag has three figures in front of the comma...

Brown Nail Polish - Essence #99 Wanna Say Hello

Dear everyone who is more fashion forward than myself.

Is this too brown?

Essence #99 Wanna Say Hello

C xx

Review: Essence MySkin 4in1 Cleansing Cream

#thatawkwardmomentwhen you really enjoy a cleanser that's meant for teenagers...

I gave the cleanser a try out of curiosity before I intended to pass it on to someone more adolescent than myself, but I think I'm gonna keep her. It's really quite complex, so I'll try my best to explain.

Essence MySkin 4in1 Cleansing Cream, R30

It's labelled as a cleansing cream, but that's not quite right. It's also not a milk or a gel. Texture-wise, it's somewhere between a jelly and a soft clay. It gives a squeaky-clean feeling, but with zero of the tightness I associate with squeaky-clean cleansers - the tight, stripped feeling is why I am so picky about which cleansers I use. It rinses off easily, and the only down side I can find is the granules in the product. Aside from the fact that I prefer not to use granules on my skin at all, this also means that you can't use the product over or close to your too-delicate eye area. Luckily it wins redeeming points for being a dual function product: you can also leave it on for a couple of minutes to act as a deep cleansing mask.

The jelly-clay texture

When I had a look at the ingredients, things made sense. The base ingredients are all familiar to me from beauty college mask mixing 101 - Kaolin, Bentonite and Glycerin form the base. The first two ingredients are clays that absorb oil and impurities, and the latter is a humectant, which attracts moisture to the skin. Other noteworthy ingredients* are Pomegranate (anti oxidant), Bamboo Shoot extract (anti inflammatory), Jojoba esters and Lactic acid. These will probably only benefit you when you're using it as a mask, as I doubt the 30 seconds it takes you to wash your face will give them much time to act effectively.

Essence products are available from Clicks and DisChem stores.

C xx

*Triple bonus points to Essence Cosmetics for having fair amounts of the featured ingredients - they're listed just after the base ingredients. Too often the 'star' ingredients (pomegranate and bamboo in this case) are listed close to dead last on the ingredient list. This scam is called label-claim ingredients, and unfortunately it's legal. To check if the wool is being pulled over your eyes, skim through the ingredient list of your product. If the product is called "Face cream with Collagen', but 'Collagen' is listed after things like 'fragrance', parabens and other preservatives - you've been had. If it's one of the last five ingredients listed, step away. Depending on how complex the formula is, and how many ingredients are used in the product, I would go as far as disregarding the last 10 ingredients in a conventional off-the shelf cosmetic product with 30+ ingredients. This is not a hard and fast rule, as some ingredients are only required in minute quantities to be effective, but it is something to consider - when shopping for products, don't be mollified by a label claim.

How To Deal With Intimidating People


Dealing with intimidating personalities, overly assertive individuals and threatening characters is difficult for anyone.  However, being a woman does not mean you have to be dominated, coerced, excluded, humiliated, controlled or, taken advantage of.  Frightening?  It most definitely can be depending on the situation and the individual you’re standing toe-to-toe with.

Are there ways to contend with a person whose physique is as intimidating as their mindset?  Sadly, women are easy targets.  The first step is recognizing whether or not you are in an abusive situation or one of those noted above.  In an abusive situation (not just a relationship) power and control are repeatedly misused by an abuser. Visit this link  and check out the Power and Control Wheel under Publications.  If you feel you fall into one of those categories, this is a wonderful site where phone numbers and assistance can be found.

Listed below are a few suggestions that may help.

-  Owning your power is a very good start.  Showing that you are a confident person and not easily intimidated without appearing threatening is one way of getting your point across.  Fear is an emotion that backs you into a corner.  Humor is a great diffuser if given in an assertive tone.  “I may be a woman but, I’m no pushover.”   

- In today’s environment, women regardless of their size should know the basics of self defense.  If you're petite, the likelihood of encountering an aggressive individual more than once in your life time is highly likely.  Knowledge brought Goliath to his knees, not brute force.  Check your community college, church, local gym, adult education center or YWCA for classes.  Gather together a committed list of 30 women and ask your local police department to give demonstrations for free.

- Honest communication is the best policy and gaining respect is sometimes just as simple as demanding it.  Shift the dynamic by looking them in the eye, relay in a calm yet, intense manner that their actions are not appreciated and will not be tolerated.  In most situations a person is controlling because you allow it.

Review: Moya Buchu Detox Bath Oil

I'm baaaaa-aaaack....

I'm also very cold, like the rest of South Africa, which is a very good reason to indulge in a hot bath every so often. And as much as I like my cheap and nasty foam baths, they're not helping my itch-prone winter skin, so I'm dabbling in all kinds of oil-based bath products at the moment.

I love that Moya's Buchu bath oil is made up of plant oils only. The ingredient list is very simple: cold pressed Grape Seed oil, with extracts of Buchu, Cape Geranium, Juniper Berry and Lemon oils. The oil is incredibly softening, and it eliminates the need for body lotion application afterwards - which suits me just fine, since I prefer to jump into my clothes as soon as possible to preserve the heat I had just accumulated. In fact, my skin was still just as soft the next day, even after a shower.

How much detoxifying is taking place, is not something I would be able to tell you - I have no way of measuring that. I'm using it purely for the pampering and skin softening properties* That said, it surely is a potent mixture - my hand slipped with my last bath, resulting in a slight overdosage, and I had a Buchu-scented bathroom for a good two days.

Moya products are available from Woolworths (RRP R178), online from Moya, and from selected salons and spas.

*I do not believe that any detoxifying quick fixes carry any merit whatsoever, and this has nothing to do with Moya.

C xx