Master the dewy glow with Beauty Fix

Make-up setting sprays have been getting lots of praise in the beauty community lately … have you noticed? I’ve been using a setting spray to set and freshen up my make-up for a good while now, but it wasn’t until last week that I discovered Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish – the hydrating and nourishing mist made with divine all-natural ingredients like rosewater, aloe vera extract and cucumber extract.

Beauty Fix is a lightweight make-up setting spray that’s suitable for all skin types due to its gentle, skin-loving ingredients. All you do is mist the product over your face after you’ve finished applying your make-up for a gorgeous, radiant glow. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes catch my skin looking too powdery, and it’s until I tried this specific setting spray that I no longer had the “cakey-ness” issue.

 

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Here’s the description of the product taken from Beauty Fix’s website: “Look and feel fresh with radiant make-up finish. This superfine mist blends make-up revitalises the skin. It provides a gentle breeze of clarity and calm, leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Each spritz releases the luxurious scent of a bouquet of roses.”

When this spray hits your face, your skin feels wonderful … it’s especially refreshing when your skin is feeling dry and tired or hot and flustered. The amazing thing about it is it locks in all of the product that you have on your face and makes everything blend in well together.

Any colour on your face is instantly intensified – in a good way, of course – whether it be your highlighter, bronzer, blush, eye shadow or eyeliner. I fan my face for about 10 to 15 seconds to let the spray dry, and the result is dewy, flawless make-up! You all know how stunning a fresh and dewy complexion looks, right?

The product’s nozzle design makes the spray come out in an extremely fine mist … did I mention how fabulous it feels? Plus, the fresh flowery scent is just luxurious! It really does smell just like a bunch of fresh roses … and what girl doesn’t love roses? When spraying, I hold the bottle about 20cm away from my face and spray three times – once directly from the front, and twice from the sides of my face.

I prefer using the spray when I’m done doing all of my make-up, but you can also use it as a primer on clean skin before you start applying your make-up, or just after your foundation and powder application. What’s more, is this spray is also great for freshening up your skin during the day … the cute little bottle is conveniently handbag-sized for touch-ups!

Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish has definitely crossed over to my Holy Grail list. I’m actually pretty mad at myself for not trying it sooner! It’s really impressed me … the difference in my make-up is astonishing! It brings everything out and makes my skin look and feel super-healthy! To locate your nearest stockist of this must-have beauty buy, go here.

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Indulge in milkshakes and burgers at Brooklyn Brothers

Burgers and milkshakes … ah, two of my top guilty pleasures! If you too enjoy a big, tasty burger and a tall, decadent milkshake, you’ve got to try out Brooklyn Brothers! One of Joburg’s trendiest new burger joints, this spot has the most delicious diner-style foods on offer, from milkshakes and fries to wings and burgers. Everything is fresh, flavourful and unbelievably well-priced!

I popped into Brooklyn Brothers for a bite to eat last night with a friend of mine. We didn’t know what to expect. In my head, I pictured it to be nothing more than a glorified fast food joint … and boy, was I wrong! We arrived and were instantly impressed by the edgy glossy black walls, black and yellow décor, and funky lights.

 

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Our friendly, informative waiter talked us through everything on the menu … and I’ll have you know that everything sounded so divine! I quite liked the informal yet classic diner-style menu, which is disposable and requires you to simply tick off whatever you want to order.

Between the two of us, my friend and I decided to order a number of dishes to try: The boneless Whacky Wings done cajun-style, the boneless Hot BB Wings, The Brooklyn Brothers Burger with a beef patty, The MOB-ster Burger with a chicken patty, The Brothers House Salad, and the Jalapeno Poppers.

 

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Our food arrived quickly, and everything looked so juicy and delicious! I’ll admit that I was tempted to tuck in before snapping some photos (yup, the food looked that good!) … and anyone who knows me, knows that that’s something I never do!

Each dish was served on either a wooden board or in a basket. The burgers were wrapped, which I thought was a great practical touch to avoid too much mess when eating. Plus, each portion of food was huge!

 

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The burgers were just to-die-for … they packed loads of freshness and flavour! After scoffing mine down, I barely had space left to taste anything else – but I did anyway (so much for my diet!). The wings were fantastic – nice and spicy (just the way I like them) on the outside, and juicy and tender on the inside.

The salad was a very generous portion, and was exceptionally fresh. The Jalapeno Poppers were perfectly crumbed and had the most delicious three-cheese filling … just beware – they are quite hot!

 

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After our huge and very enjoyable meal, we I decided that our diner-style dinner wouldn’t be complete without milkshakes. I went for the That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles shake, while my friend opted for the Peanut Butter Caramel. Our shakes arrived quickly and they were out of this world! It was simply love at first sip.

I really enjoyed Brooklyn Brothers a lot – the value for money is actually unreal. If you’re looking to pick up a tasty meal on-the-go, or to enjoy good food without breaking the bank, give this place a try. I promise you … you won’t be sorry! I can’t wait to go back … I’m still dreaming of that heavenly milkshake. Yum!

 

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To locate your nearest Brooklyn Brothers, go here.

A glamorous night out at The Saxon’s Qunu Grill

The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is one of our city’s most gorgeous hotels … and I’ve made no secret of my obsession with it. A few weeks back, a small group of friends and I went for dinner at Qunu Grill, which is one of their two divine restaurants. It was such a special evening … let me tell you all about it!

Qunu is a tad more affordable than Five Hundred, The Saxon’s other restaurant, but still has that upmarket, glamorous feel that the hotel exudes. The restaurant has a somewhat Parisian feel … which is probably why I fell in love with it from the second I stepped through the door!

 

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My friends and I were seated at a beautifully set table in the middle of the restaurant. Our waiter, who was welcoming, polite and smartly dressed, immediately brought over a basket of fresh bread rolls, and then took down our drinks order.

Our whiskies arrived promptly. While sipping on my drink, I perused the menu, which got my mouth watering rather quickly. Qunu’s menu offers a lovely variety of soups, salads, starters, fish, seafood, pastas, meats, poultry and desserts. Dishes that caught my eye immediately included the prawn and avocado salad, pan-fried salmon, seared pole caught tuna, goat’s cheese risotto and chicken penne … yum!

 

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To start, my friends and I decided to order three dishes to share – the Vietnamese spring rolls (with prawn and chilli sauce), the hand-cut beef tartare (with quail’s egg and a petit herb salad), and the cured ostrich (with strawberries and whipped brie).

The starters arrived within good time and were all beautifully presented and very flavourful. I especially enjoyed the spring rolls … they’re more like crystal rolls than spring rolls in my opinion, but were so deliciously crispy on the outside with a succulent prawn filling on the inside.

 

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For mains, the girls all opted for the seared pole caught tuna (with Asian vegetables, egg noodles and lemon and soya), while the guys all went for the Steak Diane (beef fillet with mushroom, cream, onion, garlic and brandy).

The mains took a bit of time to get to our table (all good things take time, right?), but when they arrived the reason why was clear … the amount of effort put into plating each dish was exceptional! Before tucking in, we all watched one of the chefs flambé the steaks for the guy, which made for a wonderfully unique dining experience.

 

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The tuna dish was cooked to absolute perfection, and the portion was pretty generous, too. I enjoyed every mouthful, as did my girlfriends. Every ingredient that went into the dish packed so much freshness and flavour … I’m not exaggerating when I say that my taste buds were taken on a journey! The guys said the steak was just as divine, so it’s safe to say that the food was faultless!

For dessert (because what’s a dinner without a sweet ending, right?), we had a few different plates on our table for everyone to taste, such as the chocolate and walnut tart, the light lemon pudding, and the deconstructed red velvet cheesecake. My favourite was by far the red velvet cheesecake … I adored the presentation, and the dish itself was so sweet, creamy and decant! I loved the combination of crunchy, creamy and jelly textures in it as well.

All in all, I loved every moment of my evening at Qunu. It sure is the perfect choice for a special dinner. If you’re looking for a superb place to have dinner with a loved one or some close friends, give Qunu a try. You can be sure that The Saxon seldom disappoints!

 

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DETAILS:

Address: The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Sandton, Johannesburg

Phone number: 010 500 9906

Website: www.saxon.co.za

Top five BB creams for summer

A darling of the beauty world, beauty balm – or BB cream for short – brings tons of skin correcting benefits. In the summer, I use this product as an all-in-one replacement for my moisturiser, face sunscreen and foundation. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, who wants to be caked up during the hot months of the year? Here are my five favourite BB creams for flawless, radiant skin that are perfect for wearing in the summertime!

 

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#1: Revlon Photoready BB Cream (SPF 30)

If you’re looking for just the slightest amount of coverage, this BB cream is your perfect fit. The formula actually feels more like a tinted moisturiser than a BB cream, so it evens out skin tone without making your skin feel weighed down or sticky. It’s also budget-friendly!

 

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#2: MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact (SPF 30)

As you now know, I’m a massive BB cream fan … but some can be really messy to work with! This fabulous version by MAC comes in a super-sleek compact with an applicator sponge, so you don’t have to worry about getting product all over your fingers.

 

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#3: L’oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB

This BB cream packs incredible colour-matching technology! It actually pretty fascinating. The product goes on white, but then transforms to match your skin’s undertone and shade perfectly … how cool is that? If you struggle finding a BB cream to suit your skin tone, this product will save your life.

 

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#4: Bobbi Brown BB Cream (SPF 35)

Despite the high sun protection factor, this BB cream by well-loved brand Bobbi Brown provides totally light coverage! This range of BB cream is unfortunately only suitable for fair-skinned ladies, as it only has relatively fair shades available. It does, however, have a wider range of undertones than a lot of other brands.

 

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#5: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (SPF 35)

All BB creams blend easily to match your skin tone and lend your complexion a touch of radiance … but Shiseido’s is by far the best at it! Though it has a higher sun protection factor than most other BB creams on the market, it won’t feel heavy on your face. It’s also super-hydrating, making it the perfect choice for dry skin types.

 

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What’s your favourite BB cream?

Classy casual dining at Bistro 1682

Over the holidays, myself and a girlfriend of mine decided to treat ourselves to a stunning girls’ lunch one sunny Friday afternoon. We called up a couple of our favourite spots, only to be disappointed that they were all fully-booked. My friend then suggested Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Vineyards. Considering neither of us had been before, we decided to give them a call and were lucky enough to reserve the last table available for lunch that day … and I’m so delighted that we did!

Named after the year that Steenberg Vineyards was established, Bistro 1682 is what I’d consider the tapas and bistro-style darling of Cape Town’s dining scene. An interactive and innovative space, the bistro sits adjacent to Steenberg’s winery, and spills into its surrounding gardens with a gorgeous terraced dining area that leads to reflective water features.

 

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My friend and I arrived and were seated at our comfortable table out on the terrace. The views of the expansive vineyards and stone mountains from our seats were simply magnificent! It all made for a very relaxed yet sophisticated ambiance. We ordered a bottle of champagne that arrived quickly on ice, and our lovely waitress then talked us through all of the specials of the day.

The bistro’s menu is kept simple, featuring only around twelve or so dishes. On the specials board, they had six different dishes on offer. After much contemplation, with everything sounding so divine, I decided on the fish of the day, which was a seared tuna fillet served on a bed of peas with a soya and wasabi glaze. My girlfriend went for the same dish.

 

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Our food arrived promptly, and was so beautifully presented. It really looked like a work of art! The tuna was cooked to perfection, and the dish overall burst with freshness and was wonderfully flavourful! I enjoyed every mouthful. I must also add that the portion was really big, which left us with no room for dessert. But I’ll certainly be back to try some of the other drool-worthy dishes on their menu, along with a decadent dessert!

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience at Bistro 1682. If you’re looking for a posh spot to enjoy good food and wine, go here! And pop into the cellar next door after your meal to buy a few bottles of wine or bubbly to take home.

 

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DETAILS:

Address: Steenberg Hotel, Steenberg Road, Constantia, Cape Town

Phone number: 021 713 2222

Website: www.steenbergfarm.com/bistro1682

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Product Haul

When it comes to make-up, I’m a bit of a snob. I rarely find anything in drugstores that can perform as well as I need it to, offering longevity and great coverage without feeling too heavy on my skin … can you relate?

There’s something to be said for spending a little more on cosmetics that will work with you rather than against you, and those formulas are oftentimes not found on the shelves of your local drugstore. However, the latest launch from L’Oreal Paris, Infallible 24-HR Matte, has had me eating my words!

I tried out three of products from this fabulous new range – the Mattifying Infallible Foundation and two Infallible Mega Gloss shades – and I was very much impressed! Let me tell you more.

 

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Let’s start with the foundation. It promises a lightweight and non-cakey texture with a 24-hour finish. Big claims? Yup. Do I agree? Yup! The slightly underwhelming tube conceals something that’s pretty powerful, gliding over my skin effortlessly to conceal imperfections and cover dark circles. It doesn’t feel heavy and a little goes a long way.

I can apply this foundation first thing in the morning and my face will still look practically perfect by the end of the workday … now that’s a hardworking foundation! It doesn’t cake, I get hardly any oil or movement in my T-zone, and I don’t feel like I need to touch-up with powder come lunchtime.

There’s nothing magical about what’s inside the product and it won’t do anything for your skin underneath, but if you’re after a new foundation to help you look flawless and radiant without caking your face in an uncomfortable mask, then this new Infallible foundation could be a worthwhile purchase! With six different shades available at only R189 from Clicks, you can’t go wrong.

 

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Next up are the two glosses. The Infallible glosses are available in different finishes, as you’ll see written on the cap. I tried out 402 Forgive My Sin (matte) and 104 Mafia Gloss (cream). The packaging is neat and simple, and comes with a strange-looking applicator that’s similar to the one of YSL glosses (which, to be honest, works rather well). The product is very pigmented and lightweight with a light sweet scent … something like vanilla.

402 Forgive My Sin is a classic bright red colour, which looks great on my skin tone. The matte formulation isn’t drying unlike many other matte lip products, which I adore! However, I wouldn’t say that it actually moisturises your lips.

 

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104 Mafia Gloss, on the other hand, is a bright pink “Blaire Waldorf” kind of shade … if you know what I mean. The cream formulation is lightweight and non-sticky. It’s also very hydrating, which is great … especially for when your lips are feeling a bit dry.

Furthermore, both glosses seem to last for around three hours, which is super staying power for this kind of product. You can wear them over a lipstick of choice or on their own. Pick up a tube of your own at Clicks for only R149.

All in all, I’m a huge fan of these new products by L’Oreal Paris. If you’re looking to make some great beauty buys on a budget, try this range … I have a feeling you won’t be sorry!

Sushi and sweet endings at The Big Mouth

I don’t know about you, but I could eat sushi every day of the week. So when I heard that a chic new sushi spot had opened down the road from home in Nelson Mandela Square, you can only imagine my excitement! I headed over right away with some girlfriends for sushi and cocktails, and we were left ever-so-impressed … The Big Mouth is a real treat in every way!

We arrived at the restaurant on a summery Saturday evening and sat down at a table near the front of the restaurant. The view of the square from our table was lovely. The Big Mouth isn’t anything that I expected – it’s upmarket, trendy and just gorgeous! I don’t know why I expected it to be a casual spot. The mix of elements inside the restaurant is rather harmonious – think bold blue seating, brass accents throughout, and a white marble clad sushi bar. Our friendly waiter came over right away and handed us menus.

 

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The menu boasts a big variety of sushi and fish dishes. Some sushi dishes are really interesting, such as the Rock Shrimp Tempura Roll (rock shrimp tempura, spicy salmon maki and creamy mayo), the Fish & Chips Roll (crispy hake, picked radish, avocado California roll, spicy mayo, mini potato crisps, peas, balsamic glaze and Sriracha dressing), and the Pink Roses (prawn, caviar, mayo and salmon). The restaurant also has a fabulous cocktail menu that offers some thirst-quenching concoctions, like the Raspberry Thyme Margarita and the Lemongrass Mojito … yum!

After much contemplation, we all decided to order a Watermelon and Basil Cooler (vodka, watermelon, basil, ginger beer and lemon) and the Salmon Bowl (cubed raw salmon, avocado, edamame beans, shitake mushrooms, short-grain brown rice, crispy onions, ginger, spring onion, toasted sesame seeds, chilli oil, sesame oil and soya sauce) as per our waiter’s recommendation.

 

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Our drinks arrived first. Served in jam jars and garnished with fresh basil, they were simply delicious … and you know that I’m a cocktail snob of note, so you can bet that they were really tasty! Then our food came, and it was pretty much love at first sight. The portion of salmon was very generous, and all of the ingredients in the dish tasted fresh and flavourful. My friends and I all thoroughly enjoyed the Salmon Bowl!

To end the evening on a sweet note, we ordered both the Oreo Jar (crumbled Oreos and Nutella mousse) and the Ice-Cream Sandwich (chocolate chip cookies, double milk chocolate ice-cream, popcorn marshmallows and honeycomb ice-cream) to share. The desserts arrived promptly, and they were out of this world! I can’t wait to go back to try some of their other dreamy desserts, such as the Peanut Butter Cheesecake and the Banana Cream Jar … I mean, how divine do those dishes sound?

All in all, I couldn’t fault The Big Mouth. I feel it’s the upmarket sushi restaurant that Sandton was lacking. You can bet I’ll be back – the location is prime, the ambiance is sophisticated and lively, the décor is beautiful, the service is fantastic and the food is just awesome! The next time you’re trying to pick out a restaurant for a girls’ dinner or a special date night, or are simply craving sushi, give this spot a try. You won’t be disappointed!

DETAILS:

Address: Shop 13 & 14, Nelson Mandela Square, corner of Maude & 5th Streets, Sandown, Sandton, Johannesburg

Phone number: 063 293 8869

Website: www.thebigmouth.co.za