Top summer holiday beauty essentials

I don’t know about you, but no matter how many times I write a checklist, I always seem to forget something in my beauty bag when I’m packing for a holiday. Remembering what I’ll need on the plane and what I’ll need when I’m at my destination can be a bit of a headache. Can you relate? I thought so!


To lighten your load, I’ve worked out the failsafe beauty essentials to pack in your travel bag this holiday season. These fabulous items will ensure you look and feel summertime fine from take-off to touchdown!


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#1: Cleanser, toner and moisturiser

When you’re on the plane and you get the “breakfast wake-up” having been hunched in the same position for several hours, there’s no better word than “rough” for how you’re probably feeling. The best quick-fix is a good skincare procedure. Make sure you have a travel-sized cleanser, toner and moisturiser on hand.

I love: Kiel’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, The Body Shop Pomegranate Facial Toner and LUSH Gorgeous Facial Moisturiser.

#2: Eye cream, muscle cream and pillow spray

When you travel, whether by car or plane, hydration is literally sucked from your skin. Therefore, it’s essential you pack in an eye cream to lather on when your eyes feel extra tired or your face very dry. A muscle cream is another must – it will be your saving grace when you wake up feeling stiff and dehydrated. Admittedly, a pillow spray is an added luxury, but a spritz of essential oils can really help you relax while you travel!

I love: La Prairie Cellular Radiance Eye Cream, Deep Heat Rub and L’Occitane en Provence Relaxing Pillow Mist.

#3: Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel

Yes, your hotel will provide the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel frills, but if your hair is coloured or your skin is sensitive, it’s best to take along your own to ensure you’re using a product that suits your needs. Try and purchase travel-sized products for your trip to save space in your suitcase. If there are other haircare products you simply can’t go without, such as leave-in conditioner, silicone serum or hairspray, be sure to pack those in too.

I love: Lee Stafford Hair Growth Shampoo, Lee Stafford Hair Growth Conditioner, Organic Root Argan Oil Fortifying Hair Oil, Fudge Urban 24-Hour Coconut Rush Gel and Palmolive Gourmet Spa Chocolate Veil Shower Creme.

#4: Sun cream, after-sun gel and tanning oil

If you take only one item on a summer holiday, let it be sun cream! There’s nothing more important when it comes to health and beauty than taking care in the sun. I recommend using no lower SPF than factor 30. After-sun gel and tanning oil might seem unnecessary, but if you’re planning on soaking up some sun and prolonging your tan, they’re just as essential!

I love: Nivea Sun SPF 50 Moisturising Sun Lotion, Tropitone Cool It Aftersun Cooling Gel and Piz Buin Tan & Protect Dry Oil Spray.

#5: Deodorant, body mist and body balm

A slick of deodorant and a spray of body mist is the best and quickest way to freshen up. I prefer taking a body mist than a perfume along with me when I go on holiday, because their packaging is less fragile and they’re handy for popping into your handbag. Body balm is a necessity, too – it’s great for adding a gorgeous scent to your skin during the day, or for applying before bed to replenish moisturise in your body after a day on the beach.

I love: Nivea Antiperspirant Roll-On Double Effect, The Body Shop Madagascan Vanilla Flower Fragrance Mist and The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter.

#6: Tinted moisturiser, concealer and highlighter

Skin tends to clear up and look a whole lot healthier after being a little sun-kissed, so leave your full-coverage foundations and cover-ups at home. Instead, take along a tinted moisturiser or BB cream and a concealer to cover up those bags that just won’t budge and those dark spots and fine lines that keep clinging. A quality highlighter will also come in handy when you want to enhance your holiday glow.

I love: MAC Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer and The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome.

#7: Eyeshadow palette, eyeliner and mascara

An eyeshadow palette will provide you with light and dark shades so that you can create both natural daytime as well as sultry evening smokey eye looks. It’s also a lot easier to carry along than a number of different loose eyeshadows. Make sure your palette include a matte brown shade that you can use to fill your brows in as well. In terms of eyeliner and mascara, opt for waterproof formulas so that you can look fresh in the water as well as out. I love: Stila Eyes Are The Window Eyeshadow Palette in Spirit, Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner and Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara.

#8: Lipstick, lipgloss and lip balm

A touch of lipstick or lipgloss is a quick and effective way to glam up your look. I recommend taking both a nude as well as an edgy shade of lipstick with you, such as a peachy nude or a soft pink, and a matte red or a bright coral. In terms of lipgloss, stash something natural as well as something with a hint of sparkle or colour. Lastly, don’t forget the lip balm to keep your pout in tip top condition.

I love: MAC Creme Cup Lipstick, MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick, NYX Baby Rose Mega Shine Lip Gloss, Essence Strawberry Cheesecake Glossy Lipbalm and LUSH Honey Trap Lip Balm.

#9: Toothpaste, mouthwash and whitening strips

You’re going to be taking lots of pictures, so it’s important to keep your pearly whites looking their best while you’re on holiday. Along with your toothbrush and floss, pack in a whitening toothpaste and a good mouthwash along with a pack of whitening strips if you need.

I love: White Glo Toothpaste 2in1 Free Brush Pack, Listerine Fresh Burst Antibacterial Mouthwash and White Glo Express Whitening System.

#10: Facemask, eye drops and facial wipes

Applying a facemask isn’t only a fabulous way to pamper yourself – it’s also just what you need to help rejuvenate and restore moisture in your skin after sun exposure. For further perking up after spending time in the sunshine, eye drops can help. Also remember facial wipes, which will come in handy for removing your make-up and sun cream, or simply freshening up your face when you’re feeling hot and bothered.

I love: Sorbet Hydrating Facemask Clarifying & Moisturising 1 Application, Eye Gene Eye Drops and Johnson’s Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes for Normal Skin.

Happy holidays!


Six beauty buys with SPF in them for summer

Repeat after me: “I will apply sunscreen every single day, just like my mom taught me.” Okay, now here’s how you follow through and actually do it! These fabulous beauty products make sun protection way easier because there’s killer SPF right there in the formula. Even better, they do it without compromising effectiveness, texture or scent. Now go forth and add them to your beauty routine right away!


#1: Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50

This luxurious lotion provides your face with serious sun protection as well as intense hydration. The formula is surprisingly very lightweight, and feels comfortable on your skin. Botanicals like red and brown algae work to limit your skin’s own melanin production, which helps fight hyperpigmentation and improve an uneven complexion. Go here to locate a Dermalogica stockist near you.




#2: Physician’s Formula Talc-Free Mineral Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF 30

This ultra-fine pressed mineral powder can be worn alone or over your liquid foundation for a flawless finish. The hypoallergenic, paraben-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic formula is suitable for all skins types – even the most sensitive skin. The powder helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores and sun damage. You can purchase Physician’s Formula cosmetics at your nearest Dis-Chem Pharmacy.




#3: MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15

If you want to avoid sunburned, chapped or flaky lips this summer, this protective lip balm is your best friend! It comes in three different shades – Petting Pink, Fuschia Fix and Soothing Beige – all of which offer an all-natural sheen with a sheer wash of colour. Ingredients like almond oil, shea butter, avocado extract, wheat germ oil, and vitamins A and E help condition your lips by locking in moisture. Go here to find your nearest MAC store or counter.


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#4: Bobbi Brown Protective Face Base SPF 50

This multi-beneficial daytime moisturiser provides a high level of sun protection and creates the perfect canvas for make-up, too! The light formula is loaded with antioxidants and stabilised avobenzone to protect you against the signs of ageing, and works best on normal to dry skin types. Ingredients like geranium and lavender oils give the product the most divine fragrance! Locate your nearest Bobbi Brown store or counter here.




#5: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

If you have dry, oily or acne-prone skin, you need to give this product a try. It’s a fabulous alternative to heavy coverage foundation for the summer. The thick yet creamy-soft formula blends easily and meshes well with skin. It provides a light to medium coverage and a gorgeous natural-looking satin finish that keeps excess shine in check for a good few hours. The range offers eight different shades, so you’re bound to find your perfect match. You can pick up Smashbox products at your local Woolworths, Foschini, Edgars or Red Square store.




#6: Clarins Bronzing Duo Mineral Powder Compact SPF 15

Looking for the sun in powder form? Then look no further! This pressed powder product is the only one you’ll need to fake glowing, sun-kissed skin this summer. The mineral-enriched bronzer is perfect for adding instant radiance to your complexion. It’s also fabulous for enhancing and contouring features like your cheekbones and collarbones. Click here to shop Clarins products online now.




Do you own any of these fantastic sun-protective products?

Product of the week: bareMinerals Good Fortune Eyecolor

Good afternoon subscribers!

I hope you’re all having a splendid week. So, after not sharing a product of the week with you last week, it’s with much excitement that I write this week’s review! Last week I barely had time to breathe, let alone swatch and sample the latest beauty buys (and I do apologise for that).

This week, though, I’m going to be sharing a rather incredible (and very versatile) product with you by one of my favourite beauty brands: bareEscentuals. The product is a shimmer powder that can be used for much more than an eye colour. That’s one of the reasons I’m totally obsessed with it!

I got this product in a gift pack I bought at Sephora in the States. I probably would’ve never purchased this product on its own because in its packaging it looks very gold (and gold doesn’t look good on my eyelids just so you know), so it’s just as well that I got it in the gift pack, or I would’ve never discovered its amazing-ness. Let me tell you all about it!

bareMinerals Good Fortune Eyecolor

Bare Minerals Eyecolor Good Fortune

Good Fortune is a beautiful shimmery peach shade shadow. It looks gorgeous alone on the lid, or blended with a matte dark brown or shimmery bronze. It’s not only pretty on the lids, though – you can use it as a highlighter, too! It’s very glimmery (read: not glittery). I use it on my temples, cupid’s bow and chin. It’s subtle enough to double as both a shadow and a highlighter. It’s unbelievably flattering!

What I also discovered recently is that you can apply this product dry or wet when you use it on your lids. In its dry form, it can be a bit messy, as it’s a loose powder rather than a pressed one. But the excess wipes away easily with a foundation sponge. When applied dry with a big, soft blending brush, a very subtle peachy brown shade is achieve. It blends out really well!

If you use it wet (just mix a drop of water with a bit of shadow on the back of your hand), it becomes super-pigmented (which is stunning!) and a little difficult to blend. So, I’d only recommend using it wet if you’re going to blend it with another shadow that’s dry, or your smokey eye might end up looking under-blended.

I think this shadow would work best on warm skin tones (pink or red undertones rather than yellow undertones), but if you have a cool complexion and have tried it before, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m really loving this shadow for both natural and super-smokey looks. It’s not your average peach shadow – it’s certainly worth trying out!

Product of the week: St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub

Good morning everyone! Oh, and a happy Friday to you all, too!

I apologise that this week’s product of the week post is a day late… Yesterday I found myself so caught up in work that my blogging had to take a backseat. I’m really excited to tell you about my favourite product of the week today, though! If you love skincare like I do, you’ll love this.

Darlings, have you heard of St Ives? It’s America’s number one scrub brand. I remember when I was little, my mom always had a big tube of their famous Apricot Scrub in her shower. Back then, the packaging was boring and didn’t catch my attention. I thought the smell of the scrub was awful! Then, recently, my aunt visited the states and brought back a tube of this scrub for both my mom and I. I was surprised – new (much more exciting!) packaging, and the words “100% natural” seriously caught my attention.

I was pretty surprised to find out that this stuff still existed, to be honest. Anyway, since being gifted this product, I decided to try it out. Now, last weekend I decided to fake tan myself and on Monday morning I woke up and I just wanted it off. It looked a bit tacky, so I wanted my natural pale skin back immediately (never thought I’d say that)! And, so, I decided to use my Apricot Scrub in the shower that morning, in the hope that it’d remove my fake tan quickly and easily. And it did! This is my new favourite exfoliator. It’s aggressive… But it’s amazing! Okay, okay, let me tell you more…

St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub


St Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub is a deep-cleansing scrub that removes dead skin cells instantly, leaving your skin smooth and glowing. I love that it’s made of 100% natural exfoliants, and that it’s oil-, sulfate- and paraben-free. The key ingredients in the scrub are apricot, corn kernel meal and walnut. The website suggests you can use this scrub on your face and body, but I personally feel it’s a tad harsh for the face. You can probably use it lightly on your face every now and then without doing damage, but with my sensitive skin, I think I’ll stick to using it on just my body.

This scrub is excellent for exfoliating areas prone to dryness, like your back, elbows and knees. At first it may tingle, but once you’re out the shower, your skin will be left feeling incredibly fresh! The granules in the scrub are quite large, hence why it’s such a strong exfoliator. If you have dry skin, you can definitely use this every two days or so. If your skin is more oily or acne-prone, a scrub with this stuff once a week will be enough. I believe that this scrub is great for all skin types. And I find this perfectly believable because it didn’t leave my sensitive skin feeling or looking red, scratchy or irritated.

What I love most about the scrub? It cleaned out my pores really well. I think it’s a classic product… I mean, surely it wouldn’t still be around after all these years if it wasn’t something of fabulous quality? It’s a pity that it’s not available in South Africa, but I’m sure there’s somewhere you can buy it online and have it shipped here. I’m unsure of the price, but I think it’s relatively cheap.

Have you tried this scrub before? What’s your go-to exfoliator?

Summer make-up bag favourites!

Perhaps this is a tad overdue, but better late than never, right? Right! Summer has finally come around, which can only mean one thing: make-up shopping! If you’re interested in the beauty trends of this summer, then read on to find out about a bunch of new, exciting products that I have reviewed and fallen in love with. I’ll also be posting a summer skincare routine later this evening, so keep your eyes peeled!

MAC Face and Body Foundation & Chanel Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Sunscreen Makeup SPF 15

If there’s one season that calls for radiant, natural-looking skin, it’s summer for sure. Whether you’re just popping down to the beach or getting ready for a night out on the town, these foundations will provide you with a flawless yet very natural coverage and keep you looking fresh all day (or night) long! Problematic skin? No problem – simply pair your foundation with a long-wear concealer to hide all spots and blemishes. I’d also recommend setting both of these with a translucent powder.



YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres in 4 Lilac Sky & Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Purple Passion

I’m obsessed with subtle lavender eyes this season. Use these shadows to give your eyes a pop of colour that isn’t too much nor too little. Just a sweep of a pastel lavender colour on the eyelid over a matte nude shadow will make your eyes look dazzling as ever. If you’re wanting to take this look to the next level, add a pair of false strip lashes for a dramatic effect. This eye make-up works wonderfully with light contouring under the cheekbones and a glossy nude lip.

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pure colour es purple passion

Topshop Velvet Lips in Blood Orange & Inglot Lipstick in 401/strong>
I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again – peach/orange lips are so hot this season! If you don’t have it in you to brave the colour, try one of these two lip colours over a nude lipstick (a matte one if possible) to turn the burst of colour down a notch. A touch of clear gloss over either will

blood orange

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MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering, Stila Brow Set in Medium & Palladio Clear Herbal Brow Gel

Defined brows are a must, whether you’re going for a bare-faced look or a sultry smokey eye. Use this fabulous brow pencil to lightly fill in your brows, or even recreate their shape if need be. It gives a very natural finish and stays all day! I love using this pencil in combination with a pressed brow powder (any good quality matte brown eye shadow that matches the colour of your brows will do). I use it in soft, short feathery strokes to create a full, defined look which I then set in place with the brow gel.



Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base & MAC Strobe Cream

Who doesn’t love a little radiance? Use these two tried and tested products all over your face and chest area for an illuminating glow. Whether used under, over or without foundation, both of these products always provide flawless results. I also love mixing a generous squeeze of the latter with a dollop of moisturiser which I then apply to my entire body.

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Five eye creams I love

Often placed at the end of your beauty routine, eye creams can sometimes be forgotten in the whirlwind of cleansers, toners and moisturisers. Although the delicate eye area differs from person to person, there are a number of different products on the market that are designed to offer unique protection for your under-eye skin. Find one that suits you and you’ll use it religiously, forevermore! Here are five of my top picks.

1. Crème de la Mer The Eye Concentrate
If you’re in search of the crème de la crème of all eye creams, search no further. This concentrated, ultraluxe eye treatment quenches and conditions the under eye skin while significantly reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. The milky smooth cream is infused with three unique forms of Miracle Broth™, which is well-known for its revitalising and renewing properties. Working synergistically with the included silver-tipped applicator also helps cool the skin.


2. Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Exceptional Complete Care Eye and Lip Cream
This beautifully packaged, travel-friendly product is packed with orchid extract to help firm, supple and smooth the under eye skin as well as fight the signs of aging. The thick, whipped cream soaks right into the delicate under eye skin, leaving the area feeling radiated and revitalised. It also creates a great base before applying eye makeup.


3. The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream
Don’t be fooled by the small packaging – a tiny drop of this super-moisturising eye cream is all you need to do the trick! The soothing, Vitamin E-enriched cream leaves the skin feeling hydrated without feeling sticky. Another bonus? It provides a cooling effect that leaves the under eye skin feeling awake and refreshed for hours. Plus, it’s perfectly handbag-sized.


4. La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Lift Eye Cream
Treat your eyes with the ultimate caviar anti-aging eye concentrate. This luxurious, illuminating product targets the seven most prominent eye area agers – fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, loss of elasticity, puffiness, dark circles and dryness. Its incredibly smooth texture will melt into your skin, leaving you feeling like a million bucks and nowhere close to guilty about its hefty price tag.


5. Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Eye Crème
A comfortable, light-textured eye cream designed to reduce puffiness and dark circles while boosting the skin with radiance. This baby’s fast-absorbing essential reconciles the freshness of a gel and the softness of a cream, and delivers powerful effects while respecting the fragile eye contour area. A must-add to your skincare shelf!


Let’s talk hair care!

Hello lovelies!

It’s been a while since I last blogged about hair care and maintenance, so I thought I best give an update on my current hair care routine and products. I look after my long locks using a number of shampoos, conditioners, toners, masks and serums. Please read further for the scoop on what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to looking after your hair!

I have a number of different shampoos and conditioners that I make use of on a regular basis. My shower is cluttered in bottles! Although this may seem unnecessary to some, I find that having three different shampoos and conditioners is essential – one pair for everyday use, one for special use, and then one for “very special use”. For everyday use, I use Alberto Balsam Coconut & Lychee Shampoo and Conditioner. Not only does it smell deliciously fruity, it’s also super inexpensive and leaves my hair feeling fresh and extra clean. Although these products are more on the lower end, they don’t seem to strip my hair of any oils, which is also a huge plus!

For special use, my all-time favourite is L’Oréal Paris Elvive Nutri-Gloss Crystal Sparkling Shampoo and Conditioner (the pink bottles) – such winners! When I use these products, I ensure that’s my hair is never hidden away in a bun or ponytail! If you’re looking for a beautiful shine, look no further. Seriously, these products are the bomb when it comes to enriching hair with moisture and a healthy shine. The conditioner is also super lightweight, which I love. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down like most conditioners do.

For “extra special use”, I love my Schwarzkopf Professional Gliss Liquid Silk Shampoo paired with the Extra Repair Conditioner. The shampoo gives my hair a boost of radiance and shine and the conditioner, which is a gorgeous-smelling leave-in spray, leaves my hair tangle-free and lusciously soft and silky once blow-dried.

Because I have almost platinum blonde hair, I make use of “purple” toners to rid my hair of any unwanted yellow and copper tones that may come up a few weeks after having my hair highlighted in the salon. My favourite toner to use is undoubtedly L’Oréal Professionnel Serié Expert Silver Shampoo. Although a bit on the pricy side, this shampoo does just the right job of taking all brassiness out of my blonde locks! I use this toner weekly and it lasts me 5-6 months. Definitely worth the splurge!

If I’m on a budget, I mix half a bottle of gentian violet with a three-quarter full bottle of any relatively cheap shampoo. Although this method has proven to be quite drying to my hair, it does just about the same trick as any purple shampoo that you’ll find in the salon. I would still, however, suggest investing in a salon quality purple toner if you’re also a blonde.

In my opinion, it’s essential to use a hair mask at least once every two weeks to keep your hair in tiptop condition and to restore any oils that your hair has been stripped of by means of over-washing or heat styling. I love my tub of Schwarzkopf Professional Gliss Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask. It leaves my hair unbelievably silky and shiny! Once every two months or so, I also make use of a rather strange hair repair mask that I came across in the states; my Organic Root Simulator Hair Mayonnaise. This baby is the bomb when it comes to moisturising and deeply penetrating dry or damaged hair. It rejuvenates and renews my hair instantly, although the application process is a tad lengthy.

Oh, hair silicone… how I love thee. To keep hair from looking dry or tacky after heat styling, I also use just a drop of my all-time favourite hair serum, my Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. I purchased this baby just over a year and a half ago and it’s still half-full! It only takes a drop of this serum to complete any style. It can also be blow-dried into towel-dried hair.