My Holy Grail Face Products

I think this is a question that all beauty bloggers must get asked at least once in their blogging life. What are your holy grail beauty products? In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically the products that are your favourites, the ones you constantly use, repurchase and essentially can’t live without. I’m a budget blogger, yes, and there are loads of budget brands that offer amazing products, yes. I even have a few on my list, but you will also see a few “urge to splurge” items and I’m almost certain that these have cheaper counterparts but I’m currently using and loving the originals. If you do have any dupes for the “high-end” options then please share them with me in the comments section. I’m always looking for the best budget buys!

1. TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Luminizer – She’s one heck of a lady that sure knows how to multi-task. She highlights, dazzles, shimmers and shines. The texture is smooth and soft and very pigmented. This isn’t chunky or gritty. If we’re comparing Mary-Lou Manizer to other highlighters then she can be described as “The One”. The perfect champagne colour that in my opinion can work with almost all skin tones. I prefer to use a small brush and highlight specific areas like my brow bone, inner eye corner, cheekbones and cupids bow. Also, just take a second to look at TheBalm’s adorable packaging and insanely cute/clever name. You can purchase Mary-Lou Manizer from Feel Unique for R284.10 (free shipping) 

2. MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation – I already mentioned this little beauty in “My 5 Favourite MAC Products” and now I’m going to mention it again. I’ve used so many foundations. I mean at least 100 in my makeup-wearing life and this gem from MAC still remains my favourite. I find the consistency to be smooth and the gel-base makes application a breeze, be it with fingers, brushes or a beauty blender. My skin feels flawless when I wear it and it offers me medium coverage, which means I cut down on the amount of concealer I use. My face when I buy a new tube and my face when it’s almost finished . You can purchase the MAC studio sculpt foundation in-store or online for R350.

3. Benefit the POREfessional Primer -The day that Benefit cosmetics left South Africa was a very sad day for me. I’ve always loved their products, packaging and cute names. I remember Woolworths had a 75% sale and I might have gone a bit mad. If you like your makeup to last for a full day then this benefit primer is the way to go. This silky, lightweight balm definitely makes a difference in the staying power of my makeup. I normally only haul this out on special occasions. I need it to last for as long as possible! This creates a smooth canvas to work on and ensures that your foundation looks more natural and smoother. It mattifies your skin and can even be worn over foundation to touch up. Locally you can buy Benefit’s the POREfessional at All4Women for a whopping R867. There are also some international online stores that stock Benefit like ASOS (R432.93 with free worldwide shipping) and Ebay.

4. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder –The best thing about this bronzer is the matt finish. There is zilch shimmer and that’s the way I like my bronzers. The colour options are also extremely natural. I finally have a bronzer that doesn’t leave my pale skin looking orange, muddy or ‘dirty’. The formula is enriched with honey and feels soft and silky on your skin.  It can be used perfectly for contouring or to give your skin a healthy glow. There are a few must-have makeup items from TBS and this one is definitely top of that list. You can purchase the honey bronze bronzer from The Body Shop for R185. 

5. MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural – Another MAC product that I’ve mentioned before. I might not like or use everything from MAC, but I have my favourites and I’m fiercely loyal. Since discovering this powder I refuse to use anything else. I think the MAC MSFN has ruined all other powders for me. I’m like a dog with a (very luxurious) bone. It completely mattifies my skin, but still leaves it looking like skin. So no flat, mask like finish here. Application is semi-sheer and it almost melts into your skin creating a soft, diffused, satin finish.  I think this even has new packaging, but I stand corrected. You can purchase MAC mineralize skinfisnish natural in-store or online for R350.


6. Bobbi Brown Corrector – When it comes to High-end makeup brands my favourite hands-down is Bobbi Brown. I love their quality, packaging and products. My first dalliance with Bobbi Brown was when I was introduced to their corrector a few years ago. It was love at first sight (application?). If you suffer from dark under eye circles then a good corrector is a must. It’s almost like a lightweight concealer with pink/salmon undertones that you apply before applying your concealer. The Bobbi brown correcter immediately picks up tired looking eyes and helps diminish any darkness under the eyes. It has a creamy consistency that melts into your skin. It’s basically a dream I never want to wake up from. This little beauty gem can be purchased for +- R270 at selected Edgars stores as well as stand alone Bobbi Brown stores.

7. Catrice Camouflage Cream – Yes, I’m mentioning this budget beauty once again. I honestly can’t get enough of this creamy camouflage cream. It hides my dark circles like no other and stays put for most of the day. It’s very pigmented and can definitely pass as a budget dupe for Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer. This is industrial strength concealer so use sparingly. You can purchase Catrice products from Dis-Chem for R52.95.

Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer

Look What I Spotted!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while and as much as I wish I could be showing you pics of myself kitted out in these items, I unfortunately haven’t had time to go shopping *gasp*. Nonetheless I’m showing you guys a few clothing items I spotted on the Mr Price website that I thought were worth a second glance.

1. Denim Tie Shirt (R89.99)
2. Scalloped Shorts (R99.99)
3. Frill Tankini (R89.99) and Frill Bikini Bottom (R79.99)
4. Belted Jumpsuit (R139.99)
5. Lip Print Pencil Skirt (R89.99)
6. Chain Detail Sandals (R79.99)
7. Lace Crop Top (R59.99)

{I’ve Tried That} ♥ Skin Republic Foot Peel

When sandal-wearing season swings around I normally start to panic. I hate feet. It’s as simple as that. If someone touches me with their feet I screech and if I have to touch my own feet I screech even louder. But since I’m a beauty blogger and I occasionally enjoy donning a pair of sandals I have to suck it up and haul out the foot files, foot creams, masks and now peels. I’m noticed this sachet at Clicks and Dis-Chem many times before, but like I just mentioned my eyes normally gloss over when it comes to ‘feet maintenance’. However, when Abby from One Stiletto At A Time recently recommended this foot peel I decided to give it a go. I can happily report back and say that I’m glad I did. This might not be the most glamorous post, but it certainly is one of the most relevant ones for this time of the year if Winter wasn’t kind to your trotters (in my case hooves).

The Skin Republic foot peel combines 15 plant extracts into a serum that coats the inside of the booties pictured above. This includes Gingko Biloba (encourages the natural production of collagen), Green Tea (rich in antioxidants), Lavender Extract (stimulates cell growth) and Olive Fruit Extract (promotes smooth and supple skin). The Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) found inside the serum removes dead skin cells and that’s what leaves you with silky soft feet afterwards. The whole process is ridiculously easy. You cut the booties on the suggested cut lines and slip them onto your feet for 90-120 minutes. I usually use masks for the recommended time so I left these booties on for the full 2 hours. My feet immediately felt softer and the serum even left them smelling nice.

The peeling process is supposed to start within a week and after a few days I started to become impatient. But on day 8 my feet slowly started to peel. There was a mixture of flaking and actual pieces of small skin peeling off. It’s definitely not the prettiest thing to look at, which is why I’m not subjecting you guys to a photo. The peeling lasted for about 4 days and my feet, especially my ‘problem’ areas were considerably smoother and softer. I will definitely be adding this to my “Get ready for Summer” shopping list every year. After a dry winter I finally have sandal-ready feet again.

You can purchase this Skin Republic/Logic foot peel from various shops. Try Clicks, Dis-Chem, Rubybox, Red Square or Edgars. You will pay somewhere between R85 – R100. They are well worth the price!

{REVIEW} Inoar Extreme Premium Hair Oil

If you guys read my previous INOAR review then you’re probably already familiar with this Brazilian hair care brand. I raved about their Argan oil and guess what, I’m about to do the same for this product. I’m going to start off my saying that I’m extremely happy that they decided to use a pump bottle this time round for their premium product. That was my only real gripe with the previous Argan hair oil. Good job, Inoar!

The formula is light and silky and the scent can only be described as heavenly. I’m pretty sure the fragrance can be attributed to the long list of amazing ingredients. Top of the list is an ingredient that was even given to baby Jesus by the wise men – Myrrh. There’s a reason why this spice was considered extremely valuable. I mean it was even considered as highly as gold was. It’s a powerful antioxidant, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antiseptic essential oil. Amazingly, it also strengthens the grip your scalp has on hair roots therefore helping to prevent hair loss. I like the sound of that.

Aside from Myrrh, this premium hair oil also contains a blend of Argan oil, Macadamia oil and Rose oil. The last ingredient being ideal for hair hydration. Rose oil is perfect for those of you with dry, damaged or brittle hair. Lastly, there are also silicones in this hair oil and that obviously does contribute to the silky texture it gives your hair. However, even with all these rich ingredients the Inoar premium hair oil is still lightweight and non-greasy. It doesn’t weigh down my very fine hair or leave me looking like an oil slick. The product melts into your hair. Score! I apply one pump onto damp hair (from the mid-shaft down) before styling and the result is shinier, softer, smoother hair that’s less frizzy, looks healthier and smells incredible. Guess what? This little wonder oil also helps with nasty split ends. To be completely honest I always find myself reaching for this hair oil over all my others.

The Inoar Extreme Premium Hair Oil sells for R545 at selected salons. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

{VIDEO} 5 Favourites Friday ♥

This week’s 5 Friday Favourites is a bit more on the splurgy side. I’m featuring a couple of things I’ve been loving and by chance they’re also mostly products that were sent to me for review purposes. But you guys know me by now. I’m always honest about products and I wouldn’t rave about something unless I loved it. What have you been loving this month?

The items that I mentioned are as follows:
1. The Makeup Bullet (R300)
2. Ordinary Skincare Eye Gel (R450)
3. Lancome Grandiose Mascara (R399)
4. Mr Price Peplum Skirt (R19.95)
5. Revlon Brow Fantasy (R120)

What I’m wearing in the video:
♥ MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NW20
♥ Benefit Hervana Blush
♥ MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in ‘Medium’
♥ MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15
♥ Wet n Wild ‘Knock on Wood’ Eye Shadow Palette
♥ Avon Glimmer Stick in Black
♥ Essence Extra Long Lasting Eyeliner Pen in Black
♥ Lancome Grandiose Mascara
♥ Revlon Brow Fantasy in ‘Brunette’
♥ Accessorize Diamond Sparkle Lipgloss in Bewitch
♥ Morgan Taylor Nail Polish in ‘Make me Blush’.

{What’s in my Shower?} Conditioner/Masks

1. LOreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Masque

The product: This Loreal mask is described as a breakthrough in the science of hair, L’Oréal Laboratories have created Loreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Masque, proven to give long-lasting thickness wash after wash. Hair looks and feels thicker with volume and bounce.

Ingredients: The revolutionary “magic” ingredient that is seem throughout this range is Filloxane, which is supposed to make your hair instantly thicker after each wash. Filloxane is almost like a bonding agent that attaches to the hair when it’s wet. It then stays ‘glued’ between hair fibres and this forms a thicker looking hair strand. Voila, thicker looking hair.

My thoughts: The consistency is quite thin so I find myself using more of this then I do with other masks. I obviously adore the yummy scent and the pink hue of the actual mask. What can I say? I’m a girl.  This product came out earlier this year and when it hit the shelves I was super excited to give it a go. I’ve been suffering from hair loss for about 5 years now and my ponytail has diminished in size by about 60%. As you can imagine I’ve tried numerous products for hair loss as well as products (like this) to create the illusion of thicker hair. So, what are my thoughts? I know this will probably sound crazy but while I’m combing this mask through my hair it almost feels like my hair is expanding a bit. The results are softer, bouncier hair with a tiny bit of added volume. The volume isn’t mind-blowing, but I can honestly say that when I run my fingers through my hair it felt a teensy bit thicker. Keep in mind this product is something you need to continuously use in order to see any real results. Have you tried this range? 

About R75 from Dis-Chem, Clicks, Woolworths or Foschini 
                                                                                                                                                                

2. Africa Organics Marula Conditioner

The product: This is a light conditioner that’s good for everyday use. Marula seed oil helps to condition your hair without making it greasy.

Ingredients: A few of the amazing organic ingredients formulated into this conditioner include coconut oil, Marula seed oil, rooibos and peppermint oil. Marula Oil is well known as an excellent tissue oil and helps to reduce dryness and breakages in hair. Coconut oil as we all know is great for repairing dry, damaged hair. It also helps combat dandruff.

My thoughts: When I’m buying or trying out shampoos, conditioners or hair masks I normally look for a complete sensory experience. This conditioner definitely delivers on that. The scent is intoxicating. It’s fresh, crisp and clearly very hard to describe. This Africa Organics conditioner combs through nicely and leaves my hair feeling ridiculously soft and silky.  

R44.95 (200ml) at Dis-Chem
                                                                                                                                                                

3. Tresemme Keratin Smooth Deep Treatment Masque

The product: According to the label – Transforms your hair to be smoother, straighter and easier to style with new TRESemmé Keratin Smooth. Infused with Keratin, each product reduces frizz and leaves hair gorgeously sleek and manageable.

According to the label, “This product transforms your hair to be smoother, straighter and easier to style with new TRESemmé Keratin Smooth. Infused with Keratin, each product reduces frizz and leaves hair gorgeously sleek and manageable. – See more at: http://just-jesss.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-tresemme-keratin-smooth-deep.html#sthash.PExQPD0k.dpuf
According to the label, “This product transforms your hair to be smoother, straighter and easier to style with new TRESemmé Keratin Smooth. Infused with Keratin, each product reduces frizz and leaves hair gorgeously sleek and manageable. – See more at: http://just-jesss.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-tresemme-keratin-smooth-deep.html#sthash.PExQPD0k.dpuf


Ingredients: As the product name suggests this hair mask is formulated with keratin, which helps reduce frizz. Keratin is that nifty little ingredient that I often refer to as Mr. smooth. My eyes normally light up when I see a product labelled with anti-frizz or keratin.

My thoughts: This has the typical sweet, salon-like scent. The consistency is thickish, but spreads easily through your strands. My hair feels soft, silky and more manageable after it’s been sitting on my head for 5 minutes. My hair was also easier to detangle, you know what, I didn’t even need my Tangle Teezer. Overall my hair was soft and bouncy and a lot smoother than it normally is.

R59.95 at Dis-Chem

My Birthday Wishlist – Part 2

Like I mentioned in Part 1 of my Birthday wishlist I’m celebrating my third annual 29th Birthday. 😉  I figured the best way to celebrate this special day is to spam you guys with all my Birthday wishes. *giggle*. No, seriously though I apologise for these rather self-indulgent posts, but it’s my Birthday (almost) and I can cry/indulge if I want to. Woohoo! So tell me, what catches your eye?

  1. Fossil Silver Statue of Liberty Snow Globe Charm (R300- R400)
  2. Sterling Silver Heart Ring from Lovisa (About R160)
  3. L’Oreal Color Riche Lip Extraordinaire in ‘Rose Finale’ (R149)
  4. MAC Face & Body Foundation (NW20) (R330)
  5. Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow in ‘Rose Vintage’ (R139.95 from Rubybox & Clicks)
  6. Maybelline Baby Lips Electro in ‘Pink Shock’ (R30 at Clicks, Dischem, Foschini & Edgars)
  7. L’Oreal Chameleon Color Riche Eyeshadow in ‘Opalescent’ (R99)
  8. Nespresso Coffee Pods. I love ’em all! But my faves are Indriya, Caramelito, Rosabaya De Colombia and Roma. (R60 – R80 per sleeve)
  9. Le Creuset Cappuccino Mugs in Coastal Blue or Palm (R110)
  10. Metal Skull Jelly Sandals from Klines (About R150)