THE ULTIMATE LUXURY BEAUTY BOX

As you can well imagine, I am about as excited as a Starwars fan that has a wooki in her garage… What could be generating this massive amount of excitement (beside from a wooki in my garage) you might be asking yourself.

Well I’ll tell you, I have just received a press box for the August GlossyBox! It is simply RIDIC, totes RIDIC! It has luxury travel size SISLEY products inside, it is in my opinion even better than the June GlossyBox, which I thought was simply sublime.

Sisley is a French brand for those of you who are not familiar with it. Sisley was created in 1976 by Hubert d’Ornano, it is a family business and is famous for its gorgeous cosmetics and fine perfumes.

“Hubert d’Ornano understood very early on that the plant world offers an extensive field of research (there are around 800 000 different plants on Earth) given that the life of man is closely dependent on that of plants – to breathe, eat and heal. “

In the August GlossyBox there are special treats from SISLEY, each with their own special gift.

Cleansing Milk with Sage

1. Cleansing Milk with Sage

This cleanser promises to eliminate excess sebum secretions in combination to oily skin, formulated with Sage extracts there is instantly a feeling of well-being and nurturing.

Floral Toning Lotion Alcohol-Free

2. Floral Toning Lotion (Alcohol-Free)

Usually I love alcohol, but not so much in my toner. This toner designed to perfect make-up removal and keep skin looking clear and fresh. Formulated with soothing and softening extracts of Rose, Cornflower and Witch Hazel, Floral Toning Lotion is particularly suitable for sensitive skin and skin prone to dryness.

Express Flower Gel

3. Express Flower Gel Mask

I love a Gel Mask, and this one is very special ( I will be buying this for the rest of my life) My feels fresher, smoother and more supple. And it smells so delicately amazing.

Eye and Lip Contour Balm

4. Eye and Lip Contour Balm

A balm specifically formulated to effectively address the appearance of fine lines, skin dryness and under-eye puffiness. This is balm, salve. This is nourishment and protection.

A weekend in the wine lands

The rain had been beating down on CampsBay the whole week, and we were getting cabin fever. Friday finally arrived and the prospects of bad weather didn’t seem half as bad if the days could be spent curled up in bed or on the couch. However my better half, the brains in our outfit, had other ideas about how such a cold rainy weekend should be spent and come Saturday morning, I was whisked off to the wine lands.

We drove through the mountains and through spots of sunlight and rain until finally we reached Franschhoek, where we checked into the Protea hotel.

After unpacking we went for a wander around town, ended up (obviously!) at the chocolate shop for a Belgian hot chocolate and Black Forest cake for me. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazily relaxing and getting ready for dinner.

Dinner in Franschhoek is never disappointing. You can even buy cheese and crackers from the BP garage and it would taste better than anywhere else in the world; however, what we experienced at dinner that night could only be described as spectacular.

Grant (the brains) had recently (5 months ago) decided that he would progress (or is it regress?) to veganism (from being a vegetarian) and this had proven quite a challenge when it came to picking restaurants – even in Franschhoek.

He called up a couple of restaurants, including Le Quartier (which used to be my favourite over there) but they were closed and highly recommended Ryan’s Kitchen. I had never heard of this “Ryan’s kitchen” and was quite pouty about going to some place that I didn’t know, but off we went nevertheless, and what awaited us I just didn’t expect, at all.

Ryan’s is at the end-ish of the Main road on the right hand side. We crossed the green wet front yard and I felt like we were visiting with friends; warm lights glowing through the windows of the house, it reminded me of a time long past.

We were welcomed into the house by a beautiful woman with a hint of a foreign accent; Lana is Ryan’s wife and unbelievably the mom of two young boys. She walked us to our table in the dining room, which flows into the warm open-plan kitchen, I sat down and started looking around the room, beautiful home, I wonder if they live here.

Grant had called and spoken to Lana and Ryan when he booked because of the vegan-ness, he asked if they could make a plan for him. At first Ryan seemed a bit perplexed by this crazy vegan weirdness, but he patiently listened to Grant as he explained the no eggs, no milk vibe. We thought Grant would get a veggie curry or something typically easy to cook, perhaps even a carrot and a piece of potato, garnished with a blip of olive oil or something similarly bizarre. (You wouldn’t believe what people think when they hear vegan)

But Ryan had gone out of his way to create a masterpiece, and I think for the first time in five months, Grant forgot that he even was a vegan and that he had limited options when it came to food – and me, I was in food heaven.

The first course came out, looking like a kitchen-esque science experiment, with test tubes and vials, even a petrie dish with a scoop or a blob of light orange foam. I was sceptical at first, I can’t now come and tell you that I was all like “Wow this looks yummy!” because I was looking at the lot in front of me thinking “I hope Col Caccio is open till late”.

There is a scene in the movie Ratatouille where the rat explains what happens when tastes combine and he compares it to music and colours – this is the first time in my life I’ve experienced tastes like music. My mind was blown and I couldn’t compare what I tasted with what I saw – not even in the slightest.

I thought that the strange little starter was as good as the night was going to get (when it came to the food, of course) because the menu sounded queer and outlandish and for a while I couldn’t figure out what to eat – I settled on the quail (I don’t like quail, it’s bony and weird) as a main and for dessert I picked the Guava soufflé, which sounded like the most standard desert on the menu.

I watched the kitchen the way a kid watches cartoons, Chef Ryan doing the impossible. The energy in the kitchen was tense, as if they were performing open heart surgery, whispering shouted commands at the sous chef, never raising his voice to higher than a breathing whisper octave. Perfection with every deft movement when plating the food.

The dreaded quail arrived and it looked amazing, like fat quails that have been living in fat quail heaven. The quail looked nothing like any of the scrawny little bird blimps I’ve ever seen served.

The taste sensation was overwhelming and I recall that I had actual tears of joy welling up in my eyes at one point during the meal. The colours were beige and brown juicy yumminess in a pool at the bottom of my plate with blots of truffle and I was tempted to lick my plate when the food was gone.

When I hear soufflé, I see a tea cup size ramekin with a cupcake looking top hanging over the edge. The soufflé from Ryan’s kitchen is a proud, light puff of pinkish guava foam and she is large, no hanging over the edges, this soufflé looks as though she will just keep on rising if you don’t damn well hurry up and eat her.

About a third of the way through the soufflé, Lana came over to see how we were doing. She noticed that I had been eating my ice cream separately and promptly showed me how the dish was best enjoyed – she tipped the ball of ice cream into the soufflé and with a encouraging nod she said “Now you try again” I loaded my spoon with a little bit of each and popped it into my mouth… At that moment my mouth turned into a Madonna Concert and the soufflé was the music.I love food and I have never wanted to write songs about food, but that night I felt like standing on our table and singing about the food.

I couldn’t help myself, and I had to take pictures of everything – mostly to prove that it was real. I was dying to know more about the restaurant and the food; I asked Lana if she could sit with us for a moment and tell me a bit more. She did me one better and invited us to sit down with her and Ryan for a glass of wine after dinner service was done.

I had ordered an espresso and was yet again surprised, by another set of mini deserts that just finished me off. I had found food Shangri-La in little Franschhoek, and I met a real life kitchen warlock.

The other patrons left and the four of us sat till the wee hours of the morning, talking about Veganism, restaurants, food, hotels and Russia. Chatting and talking nonsense about children and life and having a good skinner as well. It’s been a long time since I have met such lovely people and I can’t wait to go for dinner to Ryan and Lana’s again.

The July GlossyBox

We are in the middle of winter and it has been cold and wet. However the last two days in Cape Town have teased us with a taste of summer. Even as I’m writing this I am looking at gorgeous CampsBay beach and getting excited for the summer season ahead.

As always the Brand Manager of our GlossyBox always thinks two or three steps ahead when she is planning the box, so it was no surprise to find that every item in the July Box was aimed at a bright, sexy, beautiful you.

ANESI BEAUTE’ – OBJECTIF MINCEUR CRÈME LIPOAMINOCEL

From the Anesi cellulite cream to get my ass in perfect shape for the beach, right through to the heady and sexy Chloe΄ Love Eau Intense to ad a little mystery to the wintery date nights.

Personally my favourite product this month is hands down the L’OCCITANE – AROMACHOLOGY REPAIRING HAIR MASK. I love hair masks mostly because of the ritual that I have developed when I’m doing a hair mask.

L’OCCITANE – AROMACHOLOGY REPAIRING HAIR MASK

I like to do a mask after I’ve done some exercise, almost like a treat to say “well done” to myself. So what I do is, I go for a shower and then wash my hair twice to get rid of any extra product residue that could have built up. Then I dry off and get into pj type of clothes, make some tea and put on a movie.

I then sit and sit my tea, watching the movie while combing my hair out and applying the mask. Then I wrap a towel around my head and finish the movie.

Then I go shower again (yup, I know) to wash the mask out and then I take my time drying and styling my hair to perfection. I know this process sounds a little (big time) like OCD but I believe God is in the details, so for me the more time I have to enjoy wasting, the better.

But onwards to the rest of the box my lovelies; I was very glad to find a little Clarins Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum in the box, because mine is just about finished and I simply love the smell of this serum plus the fact that it’s not fussy – You wash your face, apply the serum, wait till its absorbed and then follow with your moisturiser.

The other products in the box include the amazing DR. BRANDT DETOXYGEN EXPERIENCE I am not going to delve too deeply into the process behind the application of this product, but I will tell you that it’s a two step miracle that will leave your skin feeling smooth and nourished.