Monday, 16 November 2015

Dolce and Gabbana : Roll out the welcome mat! Sophia Loren and more!

A new era in South Africa - an exciting launch of a brand never seen here. Murmurings of Dolce and Gabbana arriving have been heard as long as 18mnths ago, dismissed as rumour I was thrilled to see the unveiling of a gorgeous sparkly D & G Beauty concession.
Not only do they seemingly have a full line up of product, but they launched with the Sophia Loren lip colour. We always seem to be way behind launches or even never receive them. This bodes well for this fledgling brand (in SA anyway). Let's move on to the mini haul.

Since I actually do not own any Dolce and Gabbana makeup, it was really hard to know where to start as there are so many pretty things to look at. My internet search did not help much as D & G seems to be on the whole overlooked where beauty bloggers are concerned. I'm not sure why, as the products I picked are seriously amazing in all round performance. 

Lushie Eyeshadow Quad, Glam Liner in Earth Brown
First up I chose Lushie Smooth Eyeshadow Quad (146). I have a penchant for red shadows and this was a good mix of taupe's, red and a deep bark shade. The first shade is a soft pink taupe which work as great all- over colour or transition shade. The second shade is a medium taupe. Both these shades have a soft iridescence.The pop colour is a matte red that blends really well . The last shade is a almost matte bark brown. All of them are well pigmented, blend smoothly and lasted a full day without loosing impact. The packaging lightweight and sleek.

L-R Lushie quad, Glam Liner, Sphia Loren No 1, Praline Gloss

Glam Liner Intense Liquid Eyeliner is up next. I purchased Earth Brown which is described as a 'warm brown shimmer'. I tend to prefer pen type liquid liners but fell in love with this rich brown sparkle. I have found the applicator fairly easy to use to create the perfect cats eye. The liner stays on with no flaking . My Bioderma eventually got it off, but those not wanting to rub use a slightly stronger makeup remover. It has some serious staying power! The rest of the colours look just as good and glossy.

Sophia Loren Signature Lipstick - a lipstick somewhere between a gloss and a cream lipstick. A hydrating lipstick that stays on your usual timeframe. It is quite fragranced similar to my Givenchy and Burberry lipsticks. I loved it applied with a lipstick brush. It gives it a slightly more glossy and transparent effect. This reads more raspberry than red as described on my lips. The packaging is lightweight as well but I would prefer a slightly more luxurious casing with a magnetic closure with such a high end product. The DG logo on the lipstick always a nice touch!

Sophia Loren No.1

Sheer Shine Gloss in Praline (102) is my first gloss from Dolce and Gabbana. The gloss has a sticky feel which helps it stay longer. The same scent as the lipstick. The gloss feels hydrating and leaves a soft feel long after it has worn of. It is a high shine gloss with a cellophone finish. This has sheer pigmentation which adds a veil of colour on my pigmented lips or deepens a lighter lipstick worn as a base.

Sheer Shine Gloss in Praline

I have enjoyed using each and every item. I am testing their foundations and am duly impressed! Review soon including their primer! I think a visit to their gorgeous counter will not disappoint.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Givenchy Teint Couture Collection: Teinte Couture Balm, Teint Couture Long-Wearing Fluid Foundation, Teint Coutur Embellishing Concealer and Noir Couture Volume

Givenchy is a stellar brand that always seems to be under the radar compared to other couture beauty brands like Dior, Armani etc .  I really think they they excel in development of new foundation technology. Their Teint Couture Collection offers an outstanding complexion line up- From the *NEW* Teint Couture Balm, The TC Long-wearing fluid Foundation and  *NEW* TC Embellishing concealer. There is also the TC powder compact of which I have yet to own, since I do not gravitate towards powder foundations, though the Givenchy SA assured me this powder is perfect for setting the balm and foundation....

TC Balm, TC concealer, TC Foundation, Noir Couture Volume

Teint Couture Balm in Shade 4
This is lightweight creamy lotion that blurs pores and imperfections without the usual heavy silicone feel of other 'blur' effect complexion enhancers. For me this sits somewhere between a tinted moisturiser with the added benefit of making my pores and skin look polished will still looking like healthy fresh skin. It adds a glossy natural finish to my oily skin that lasts the whole day. The glossy natural finish is different to when we talk about foundations that have a radiant finish- as in foundations that have some sort of micro-pearl within the foundation to create radiance. This Balm is more of a plumped healthy gloss that reads natural. There is no melting of this beautiful foundation. I chose shade 4. It goes on seemingly lighter than my skin but once I've finished with my other makeup this is one of the best matches ever for my skin! I do powder through my T-zone to give it a slightly matte effect- I suspect dry girls could skip this step. It has a SPF 15 PA++ sun protection - always good for a daily foundation (though always wear a separate SPF for added protection). This has become my go to every day face! I cannot recommend it enough, which I did in fact do. My friend went out, sampled it and bought it the next day!

Teint Couture Long-Wearing Fluid Foundation in Shade 4
A buildable medium coverage foundation. It is described as having 'made to measure coverage ' and I'm sure if fuller coverage is your preference you could achieve it without any heaviness. This long wearing foundation gives me a very polished finish without looking too done. It has a demi matte finish - it never looks flat but allows the skin to retain dimension. This foundation also even out my complexion and blurs pores with ease and looks like velvet (in a good way.) After a few hours it still remains but with a slight dewiness. It never descends into a oil slick and never breaks up. It has a SPF 20 PA++. I have not tested it with flash photography.

Teint Couture Embellishing Concealer in Shade 2
I bought this item on a whim as it had received some unfavourable reviews. I am happy to report that I absolutely adore this concealer. As you can see, it has a pink 'illuminating' section together with the traditional concealer part in stick form. It feels quite hard to the touch, but it has a very light texture with good coverage. I either draw straight onto my underage (rarely do with other concealers) or draw onto my 'hand" palette and dab and warm product onto my undereye area. It has never once accentuated fine line and while not overly moisturising my under eye, it looks good. I have used it for spot concealing and will typically use only the concealer section. I have to admit I have not just used the pink section for highlighting on its own. I would definitely buy it again.

Noir Couture Volume
First, lets all just swoon over such sexy packaging. Hefty looking but actually quite portable, the mascara is housed in a gorgeous slick tube. It has a dense big brush. I usually favour these over the newer silicone skinny brushes. This mascara give big, bold lashes. It does not flake and stays intact till I take it off. If its high impact lashes you are looking for this would be a good product for you!

I have to say Givenchy has won over my heart with these products. I have already started trialling their Airy Light Mat Radiance and best selling Phot'Perfexion Fluid foundations and so far I'm impressed with me leaning toward two huge thumbs up for both of them.

Is there a brand that you wish had more attention?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Chanel Summer 2015 - My picks: Stylo Eyeshadow in Olivine and Laurier Rose

Hi everyone!

These were part of Chanel's summer collection and hopefully if you like them some counters should still have the in stock....... while Fall and Holiday collection start to fall!
 The Chanel Mediterranee collection landed on our shores a few weeks back and today I bring you my picks. The Ombre A' Paupie'res Effet Frais made their first appearance in the Chanel Lineup if I'm not mistaken last year spring. I enjoyed using them last year, so when I saw these two gorgeous and unusual shades I grabbed these two limited edition's. These shades are both perfect for the upcoming "pumpkin' season and I think lend themselves more to Fall than summer.

Olivine, Laurier Rose
Laurier Rose, Olivine

The formula has that oddly cool effect when applied to the eye. This obviously does not last long and I'm not convinced that the product needs this gimmick. My peepers however, do feel momentarily refreshed!
The shade Laurier Rose is a stunning shade of rose gold- essentially a glistening peach. This reached fully opacity in a single swipe.

Olivine is a shade that I have no match to in my stash. Its an almost matte moss green.
Both these shades are unusual enough to warrant a purchase! They are not my favourite shadow stick but are still high quality and last pretty well on my oily lids.
What was your favourite summer collection for 2015?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Prime in Nude Pop and Grape Pop

Clinique is definitely coming to the party. From a fairly unexciting repertoire they are releasing a slew of exciting new products. These lovely Colour Pops were released a few months back. These are meant to prep the lips and add colour, all in one cute, compact product. I chose Nude Pop from the nudes offered - a sheer, slightly pearlescent lively nude. A perfect, every day ,' throw it on like my fave pair of jeans' nude. Grape Pop is a juicy lilac purple . Its a fun colour which can be layered to reach full intensity. Both wear well and feel hydrating on my lips. They do 'prime' the lip as the colour sits well on the lips and does not accentuate any lines or bleed. I have since picked up another shade Plum Pop. They are described as demi matte - I'm not sure in my experience this is how I would describe them. They are more of a demi satin - neither opaque nor sheer in colour saturation with a moist feel and look to them.

Beige Pop, Grape Pop

Beige Pop, Grape Pop one swipe each
These are  lovely lipsticks that I cannot fault. They will still satisfy the more conservative Clinque customer while gaining fans with their great formula and easy colours. A definite win from Clinique.
What POP shade should be next on my wish list?
Oh and yes "Hello again"!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Lancer Microcurrent Power Boost - A Review.

I love my technology, so when it's combined into a beauty device I'm all on board. I think I own about five beauty gadgets and have had varied success with them. Some I have had for years with no trouble at all with the device itself. Here starts my review of the Lancer Microcurrent Power Boost. You will rarely see a blatantly negative review on my blog as I prefer to focus on products I enjoy using. At best a review will be lukewarm and ending in the hope that I will learn to like the products. So yes this review is headed in the wrong direction, but it did start in a happy way.

When I bought my Lancer The Method at Bergdorf Goodman, the Microcurrent was demonstrated to me and I was impressed.So with my $250 device in my pocket I merrily skipped home (you get the picture). I bought the device end on July and arrived home beginning August. I probably used it for 3 weeks 3 times a week. I had also bought the Tria Age-Defying Laser, so when I started the Tria which is a 12 week course I stopped using the Microcurrent as the Tria is a 5 day a week treatment. I might have used it once or twice on the weekends. So fast forward to December when we go on summer holiday, my stay in hospital, I now find myself beginning February ready to start with my Microcurrent again. The time line is important as the device was merely 6 months old with about 20 uses on it- so really almost new.
So when I took it out to use, I ran it along the prescribed area, the geranium head plopped off onto the floor.

I emailed customer service (where a response I have found, takes days) and relayed my story about my broken device. They said I should return it to BG. I then explained, that I live in South Africa. Days later the the response was that I would be sent a replacement device and would I please send my address. I rejoiced in such good customer service and a brand that stands by their product.
Think again- I then received an email stating I must send back device. Mmmm, did I not mention I live in South Africa. The shipping cost would be the same price as a new device?!
Again a response that a shipping label would be sent to me. Impressed. Yes I was.
That is when the wheels fell off. The following email stating there policy is I must send device back before they would send me the replacement device. I sent through a picture of the broken device (above).
I then explained that before this policy had been known to me I had been promised a new device and they should stand by the first email.
So here is how it stands - I was told that I was 'misinformed' and that a return label could not be sent outside the U.S. I have in the past has a bag that perished from Alexander Wang , where yes they did indeed send me a return label via email and my broken bag returned to them on their cost and a new beautiful bag shipped to me?!
So in my mind Lancer is happy to sell products with inferior quality as I would expect an expensive device to last longer than 6 months. I think that discretion on their part , by organising me a new device without having me to send back the old one, would have been the better thing to do, if they indeed could not find out how to get my old device back to them- fedex ring a bell!? I do understand that I live in South Africa, but it literally fell apart too soon after purchase. This is where I think somebody should have used there head and decided to stand by the quality of the product and made a plan for me.
I was not even told whether could use it in this state or if I could repair it. At this point it makes quite an unattractive paperweight. No further communication.

I will say that while used it for those 20 odd times my skin felt invigorated and toned and was really looking forward to continued results. I was genuinely disappointed when it just fell apart.
I really have had a bad customer experience with Lancer. I have actually just invested in one of their serums 'Younger' - but honestly if I could return it and support a brand that supports its customer better I would. This is just my personal experience.

I did hesitate again in decided whether to post this review and what I hoped to gain. I tend to be really brand loyal and buy into the ethos of a brand and when I feel let down I almost feel a trust has been broken. So I will be moving on.......

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Currently Loving : February 2015

I was hellbent on doing a favourites 2014 post and had even gone as far as writing and photographing them .  But 2015 seems to be on a strong thrust forward and we are suddenly in March. So I decided to present you will my February favourites . These products I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser - I have been dancing around the Tata Harper range since my visit to New York last year July. The Boosted Contouring  serum is on my wishlist, but I'm undecided. I would not use Tata Harper products for an undying need to use 100% natural products on my face. However, I like the idea that TH is not outsourced to labs that make up a number of other brands formula's, but are manufactured on her farm in Vermont. I actually love the strong floral scents of her products. This is a pure botanical range that is meant to deliver results. I decided to purchase the Purifying cleanser when Net-a-porter had free shipping!. If I could order this in vats I would! It has a gel type formula with a slight oily texture, which does not foam. I massage it onto dry skin and sometimes throw in a little facial massage. It has an invigorating and refreshing sensation. I rinse with water and my skin is left soft an clean. It does suggest to apply on damp skin ,but I find I use too much and it does not feel as clean.

Koh Gen Do - Cleansing Spa Water - This is a really effective but 'gentle on the eyes' cleansing water. This is meant to have more skincare benefits than Bioderma. I love them both and they work equally well in removing makeup. So use whichever is stocked in your area. Unfortunately I bought 4 of these minis when traveling, so I am trying to use them up slowly - I'm on bottle # 3.

Perricone MD Formula 15 -a long time love of mine! -I recently started using this again in an effort to use up my open products. I had not used it for some time as I do try lots of new products. But, am once again seriously impressed with the results I get when I use this amazing serum . I have reviewed this previously here. Perricone does have two new concentrated serums being launched on QVC and hopefully everywhere else soon. I have my eye on these as my skin just seems to love Alpha Lipoic Acid and DMAE.

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser - My skin has finally settled after the upheaval my illness caused. Nars tinted moisturiser (in Groenland) just looks amazing on my skin. My skin is hydrated and looks fresh. I cannot wait for my order of the new Luminous weightless All-Day foundation arrives!

By Terry Terrybly Densiless Concealer - I got this in the beginning of the year sight unseen. I had a tiny sample of shade 4 which matched my skin perfectly. But, I wanted it to be slightly brightening so I chose shade 1. When it arrived I thought I would have to wait to buy shade 4 and mix it as it looked ghostly pale. With a sigh of relief it actually works perfectly. It brightens the under eye without looking like and owl. This is a creamy formula that never creases on me. I also has enough coverage to hide my lack of sleep. It's also packed with skincare ingredients. I reach for this concealer most days. I can highly recommend this to all those 35+ as the skincare benefits can only add to whatever eye cream you are using.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Lash Stretching Mascara- I got this Armani formula by default as my makeup mule in Hong Kong said the mascara I asked for was out of stock (obsidian -love) and my second choice ETK Extreme was also out of stock. Said mule also said Sales Associate looked so bored and was yawning. I screamed down the phone " take whatever mascara she has in stock and in black." I can safely say I have never met an Armani mascara I did not enjoy. Even thought this is meant to be lengthening I find it a good all rounder!

Lipstick Queen - this was my second LQ acquisition. Lipstick Queen hit out shores the end of last year and I am working on building my collection. Medieval is the red meant to suit everyone. While I cannot attest to that selling point I can say it's a wearable everyday natural juicy red. My lips are hydrated and feel comfortable wearing this. I will do a post soon on the LQ shades and formula's I have. Definitely worth a look for lipstick lovers.

Nars Pro Prime - everyones favourite primers. Great to keep my shadow fresh on my oily lids. Only gripe is that I never know when it going to finish!

That ends my list of products that I have been in heavy rotation . What have your's been, we must compare notes!
Till next time.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Beauty Addict Tag

So when contemplating on how to start  2015 after a unexpected long hiatus, I contemplated a few post ideas. I was then tagged by Gummy of with # beautyaddict. Bearing in mind that most beauty bloggers start there blogs because, yes, we are beauty addicts I thought this would be very appropriate way to start of my posts for the new year. So here goes:

1.Which products do you keep buying more of despite having plenty of in your collection?
I was initially going to say lipstick! But, I think my most prolific product would have to be foundation. I am always on the hunt for a flawless natural finish for my oily, temperamental skin. I have a foundation wardrobe that would rival a Sephora!

Foundation Wardrobe - a few not pictured!

2.What's the one product you can't live without ?

At the moment I would say undereye concealer - my beauty sleep at the moment does not seem to be working, so I need to perk up my undereye area. My new favourite is the By Terry Densiless concealer which has skincare benefits in as well!

3. Favourite Makeup Brand?

This is titled 'Makeup Addict Tag' , right!? If I have to look at what is in my collection I have to choose Tom Ford, Armani , Marc Jacobs and Charlotte Tilbury..... Hourglass . Sorry I forgot myself there for a moment!

4.How big is your makeup collection?

Not as big as my favourite vlogger Tara from Tarababyz - and if I tell you I might have to kill you !!

5. And how do I store it?

I do try store it in brands, but I am in need of some serious Perspex units-on my wishlist, but I keep spending on new collections!

6. How many items of makeup have u got in your handbag at the moment.

I have just taken about a ton of lipsticks out as my bag had got to heavy. Surrat powder for keeping shine away (reviewed here) , Nars velvet lip liner in El Agua, Lipstick Queen in Medieval - a really flattering sheer juicy red for everyday, Surratt Lipslique in Hevyn (reviewed here) and Nars Audascious lipstick in Anna (reviewed here)- okay so I did just say I had taken a lot out..... 

7. If you could raid another blogger's stash, who would it be?

Undeniably Tarababyz - a swoonworthy collection for any beauty addict!

8. How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?

I get up early to do the school run, but need to be ready for the day ahead - a good 10 minutes - 
Primer for face, primer for eyes, concealer, foundation, macara, eyeshadow, lipstick and blush as a general rule of thumb- 8 products, so that is 1. 25 minutes per product!

9. Have I ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn't use it?

Limited editions are a beauty addicts kryptonite - In the past I may have bought one or two products that I not sure if I would use it. But I'm now try to be really discerning! There also have been products that I thought I would love but just do not suit me or do not perform as I had hoped.

10. Tag a few other Makeup Addicts!!

No time for this, need to go buy some more makeup - new Tom Ford duo's have just launched!!