Sneaky Sneak

There is nothing quite as delicious as a secret. I am usually great at keeping secrets, but in this case I thought it would be wrong if I didn’t share this nifty little bit of information with you…

I received a gorgeous press box from GlossyBox and I am very excited about one product in particular –

CH L`Eau Carolina Herrera for women

I saw the making of the add for this fragrance and I have been dying to try it ever since, the imagery really gets you in the mood for a spring romance.

Airy and bright, CH L’Eau offers a fresh and delicate aura, with a trail of lemon blossom, orange, freesia, rose, jasmine, lily and violet. The base notes finish in warm and pleasant caressing heliotrope, cinnamon and sandalwood.

The new successor CH L’Eau is available in a cylindrical glass bottle filled with a gentle pink fluid, designed to be reminiscent of the classic version. It is available as 50 ml and 100 ml Eau Fraiche. The stopper is completed with a lovely pendant featuring the brand’s insignia.

I bet the moment you wear this perfume tall dark strangers are going to start sending you flowers and puppies in big, pink, silk ribboned boxes and you will be able to eat gorgeous turquoise cupcakes without gaining one gram. Pink lipstick kisses and sunshine, that is what I think of when I smell this gorgeous perfume!

Definitely one sure reason to get your hands on this month’s GlossyBox, but I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you about the other ridiculous treats you are in for.

xoxo

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10 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE SHOPPING ONLINE

I have to admit that I am obsessed with online shopping, I might in fact appear to have a gigantic slight problem if one were to go and nitpick at my bank statements.

There is a certain excitement that only online shopping can provide – let me lead you through the process, backwards…

There you are, you gorgeous thing you, sitting at your desk, bored and agitated and continuously glancing at the big office clock with its roman numerals. The office doorbell buzzes and you are first off your seat, the sound of your heels running down the passage way to greet whoever or whatever waits at the door.

It’s FedEx, and you are smiling and swooning (your colleagues think you are one sandwich short of a picnic and the delivery guy thinks it’s his lucky day) you sign the delivery note, your signature barely resembling its true self and you greedily grab the box and make a bee line towards the kitchen to find something sharp.

With the agility of a surgeon and the speed of Kimi Raikonen, you deftly cut away all the tape that is securing the contents of the box and just before you open the box you draw a big breath and hold it while you undo the folds.

There it is, you have been waiting for two whole days, which felt like weeks and finally your gorgeous dress/shoes/bag/beautybox/iPad/book is here, sigh.

What happened before this moment may seem insignificant in light of the actually delivery, but as we all know (from Rocky Horror Picture show) it’s all about the an..tici…..Pation!

From the moment you start scouring your website of choice, you are searching for that one item, that one gift from you – to you! And even though you are the one choosing it, there is still a strange element of surprise: will it fit properly, will the size be right, and will the colour suit me? It’s all a bit of a gamble, but that is what makes it so much fun!

South African’s have been twice shy about shopping online, and who can blame us with all the banking fraud and other online money scams doing their rounds – But it’s time to put your fears aside, because there are excellent measures and payment options in place that will make online shopping safer than going to a store, and most shops have a free return policy, so there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

So I promised you 10 reasons to shop on line – here they are:

1. 36 boutiques

For rings and bags and gorgeous fashion, 36 is amazing, they deliver on average within 48 hours and the package that arrives is just a treat in itself, its smells beautiful and comes with a stunning carry bag.

2. Pretty Please

Pretty Please has gorgeous skirts, tops and dresses. Their packages arrive in a beautiful black box along with a very special hanger for the item you bought.

3. Shop Label

Shop Label is delish, however a bit on the expensive side. Great for jackets and scarves and gorgeous jeans.

4. GlossyBox

GlossyBox is the premier South African beauty box, you subscribe and presto – every month you receive a gorgeous box of beauty treats to try out at home.

5. I candy 

I Candy is a candy bowl of fun costume jewellery, the pieces make perfect gifts.

6. Zando

Zando is like an online fashion department store, they have everything from heels to jeans.

7. Woolworths

The comfort food of online shopping, you know it, you trust it, you buy it. You can even get your hands on some County Road online – and they currently have a sale on benefit items (Since Benefit is closing in South Africa)

8. Mr Price

The newest kid on the online shopping block, and we are already hearing positive reviews from satisfied customers.

9. 5 rooms

Home shopping porn, online.

10. Lingerie Letters

Another great idea, a surprise pair of knickers for every year of the month – I say why not!

BONUS:  Bloomingdales also ships to South Africa now, and there are a couple of items on my wish list

Shashi Rachel Rose Quartz Gemstone Bracelet

Boutique 9 Platform Pumps – Nosey Rhinestone

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.

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.

The limited edition June Stuttafords GlossyBox and the veil of mystery

The orders for the May box have closed, and so we move on to the June Box, to us the June box is MUCH anticipated! We have know about this pairing since March and it has taken so much willpower not to shout this out to everyone I know. Make no mistake… every GlossyBox is special, and a lot of thought goes into every box.

I’m going to give you guys a quick recap of my personal favourites so far:

In February – our first box, there was a stunning Nesti Dante soap, the soap was not well received however I don’t think anyone realised how special the soap was. I was also introduced to a brand that I had never heard of before – Beaute Pacifique, we received a Metamorphique night cream, this product has become a staple, it’s helluva expensive, but its worth it.

In March my favourite product was the Anesi C3, I had to do extensive reading on this product to understand how it works and why… I could not help but marvel at the scientific advances in beauty.

In April, I would have to say that the Clarins botanical serum was amazing, I have bought a full size product and I love it because of the smell and the texture of my skin.

Now I know I’m not supposed to be telling you because you haven’t received the May box yet… but I suppose I can drop you a little hint… Truth is, it’s a tie between Aqua Mask and Moisturiser. More than that, I can not say.

And then we get to the breathtakingly stunning June GlossyBox, it’s a dream box girls, no other box in South Africa has put such amazing brands together in one box. Admittedly Ruby box did the collection box, but this is less than half the price… no contest. (And I’ll have you know, I bought that box, and I loved it and I didn’t mind paying extra for it)

The box has one of my favourite “instant-confidence” boosters in there, beautiful colours, invigorating fragrances, hard working beauty products, expensive luxury miniatures manufactured especially for the Stuttafords GlossyBox.

The limited edition is marked with special packaging and the girls are all working their bums off to make sure that there are no delays with this box, I have placed an order for five of these boxes… If I could put aside more cash for it I would, it’s THAT special, it’s THAT awesome.

To win a GlossyBox (Not the June one) you need to tell me what your favourite product was in the past boxes, and WHY? You also need to be following me & GlossyBox on facebook and twitter. Good Luck ladies!

Grace and time

As women, we tend to notice other women more than we notice men. We are always looking to our female icons for fashion inspiration, chatting to our friends and neighbours about beauty tips. Women talk about women.

My mom and I were sitting at Vida on Sunday and looking at the diverse group of people around us. I noticed the beautiful, slim Camps Bay moms who had dragged their unimpressed toddlers into the morning mist for a social caffeine injection with the girls.

I noticed in particular one woman warmly greeting another with a warm, beautiful smile on her face, the two had a short exchange asking after each other’s husbands etcetera etcetera. The one woman gathered up her young and waved goodbye, and as soon as her back was turned, the once beautiful smile turned into a sneer that sat on her face like a scar.

I thought to myself “Jesus, was that the same woman” my mom noticed the observatory expression on my face and said “party mense is lelik as hulle ophou smile ne”.

And that got the cogs in my head turning, because not only was this woman no longer pretty, she was in fact quite ugly. It did not take rocket science to see that life had dealt her a hand of sour cards, it was written all over her face, and her snide insincere cover up face was now ugly too.

So what does it take to be stunning, to be gorgeous. In my opinion, it takes grace and hard work. See you can spend every last penny you have access to, on the most miraculous beauty serums, treatments and dopas. You can drink herbal tea and go for cellulite treatments, you can Botox the past out of your face and smother your skin in organic this and that from the top of the Himalayas to the bottom of the dead sea, but if you’re not feeling it inside, you’ll just be a an expensive mess.

Seek joy they tell us, seek inner peace. Yes, I can agree with that. Live a healthy life, stop smoking and drinking, stay out of the sun and avoid saturated fats. Doing those things will get you far I guess.

But how? That’s the part they seem to leave out.

Think of one dynamic, beautiful woman you know. For me I know a couple but Aletha Carswel springs to mind. My friend Genevieve and I often muse that “We want to be like her when we grow up”  one significant thing to notice about Aletha, is that I have never been able to gauge her age. I met her when I was 17 years old, and I dare say that time has appears to have forgotten all about her! I think she has hardly changed over the last 11 years. There is a regal and eminently graceful confidence in the way she carries herself, and I know this is a petty small minded self-involved thing to say, but she still greets me, in fact she makes an effort to do so.

She makes people feel special and memorable, and if I’ve learnt one saying that will always ring true, it’s that people will forget many, many things about you, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

You may notice, that if you don’t know who Aletha is whilst reading this article, you don’t know much about her physical attributes, but I can guarantee that the picture envisaged in your mind does not resemble a hideous witch. Aletha is beautiful and kind, she is effortless and timeless.

Now think of the nastiest person you know, and counter her looks with your feelings. Take away the way she makes you feel, and discover how much more beautiful she could have been, if only it wasn’t for the way she treated the world around her.

That brings me then to the discovery of such glowing beauty, I think it has something to do with intention, what you intend… Do you intend to be happy? Do you intend to make people around you happy? Do you intend to see only beauty and goodness in those around you and in the situations that life throws at you?

Look I’m not saying, go forth and be naïve, use your own common sense. But learn to put your own rose tinted glasses on when the world  gets a bit grey, and above all if you have kids – I think you’ve got to Mary Poppins magic the crap out of them. Kids will keep you young, if you choose to play and interact with them.

I’ve since that day at Vida, tried to smile at random strangers, it’s quite hilarious the reaction of some people – I walked past a lady in Spar, our eyes met and I nodded a smile off in her direction – so shocked was she, that she turned to look behind her, only to find that I was in fact smiling at her. Not in a creepy axe murderer “you’re next” kind of way by the way… mind you.

So to be beautiful, I think you should drink lots of water, try to make someone else smile at least three times a day, get a good serum, use a good SPF for the day, eat healthy, yummy food, play with the people around you, find the fun in every situation, get enough sleep as often as you can, and be real, be sincere in your emotions, let it all hang out.

                          

Left above: Aletha Carswel     Right:  Genevieve and me

Oh you do, do you?

“Don’t judge me…” says my friend as we are driving along on our way to breakfast. “No sure, who did you sleep with?” I laugh and wait for her to tell me. “No man!” She shrieked outraged but also laughing at my reaction. “I go for Botox…”.

“Really?” I said, and thought to myself jeepers miss money bags “Isn’t that ridiculously expensive?” “No not that much, R600.00” Really? I thought, that’s not bad at all, considering a fucking half a head of colour and a cut costs you R900.00 these days.

So Botox has become relatively affordable… If you, like me have been living in the ark, this is news – I had no idea. “I go ever six months or so, and I don’t use much, it’s not like it’s my whole face” It lasts for six months? Where have I been? Or have I always had a warped perception of Botox and how it works.

So let’s do the math, let’s say it costs you R 600 and the effects, which are paralysed facial muscles, last for six months, which means that you are “investing” R100 per month in your youthful appearance. I’d say it was quite worth the money spent, and I suppose prevention is better than cure.

It all sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but still I can’t see myself having it done. Why, I wondered… A little voice in my mind quipped “Do you want to be like THOSE fake women with no expression… Wha wha wha” Then I shushed the little voice, I had not even noticed that my friend of 10 years had been using the stuff. I guess perhaps it’s because I know her really well, so I can read emotions and reactions in her voice and eyes, without the aid of a furrowed brow. She is definitely not one of those stereo typical, duck mouthed, and plastic pumped creations.

Do we play into the hands of feminist fundamentalists, the same women that make stay-at-home moms feel shit because they are not climbing the corporate ladder, the same women who make swimwear models into brainless bimbos just because they make a career out of modelling bikinis.

Perhaps…

Why shouldn’t we use the recourses available to us, and why should we feel subject to judgment when we do make use of them? I believe that moderation is the key, and maintaining a healthy perspective will make the transition into old age seamless and graceful. I’m pretty sure Sofia Loren has used more than spaghetti to stay as stunning as she is, yet she doesn’t look like the crazy deformed cat woman. She still looks creepily much like the 1990’sversion of herself.

It’s your choice what you need to do to maintain yourself, however do keep in mind, I’ve been told that once you pop, you can’t stop…

Balm Balm baloobam

Whap bam boo!

Balm Balm Little Miracle Rosehip serum, this is whats going to save my skin this winter. I received a hamper of Balm Balm products that I won in a twitter competition, I had seen this Balm Balm stuff everywhere, and everyone was talking about it so I was really excited to try it!

I received a lip balm, face balm and the Rosehip Serum, first off I really like the no-fuss packaging – No pretence just Balm Balm, in pastel pink, blue, yellow and green.  The products are 100% organic -which is a big plus, the carrier oils must be very good because the products are not sticky and my skin absorbed the product without leaving me looking like old chips.

The products smell really good, especially the Rosehip serum, however I must be completely honest and say that I am personally not a huge fan of the Rose Geranium scent, but I have never liked things that are rose scented, which is bizarre considering I am mad about the smell of fresh roses.

I was very surprised to read about the versatility of the balms, however I do recall my friend (and celebrity makeup artist) Eloise Dreyer mentioning that she swears by Serums and oils, and one look at the woman will confirm that she can’t be wrong. Balm Balm says that the lip balms can be used as moisturiser, cleanser, hair tamer and first aid!

My favourite product is the Rosehip Serum, with its convenient dropper – I now mix one drop of that with my foundation and moisturiser in the mornings it smells lovely and my skin feels soft without feeling sticky.

Wild for the Wild Olive African Artisans

Wild, nature, game reserve, botanical, table mountain and fynbos… One would not expect to find the words body butter, eye balm or soap dish in the same sentence. However the creative talents of the Imizamo Yethu Artisans and Wild Olive have made it so.

I was fortunate enough to sample the beautiful products from the newly launched, limited edition Table Mountain Collection of Wild Olive. I instantly fell head over heels in love with the body butter, not to mention the perfect hand crafted porcelain jar.

The range includes the aforementioned Body Butter, a delicately scented soy candle, an eye balm and a bar of handmade soap. The body butter and the soy candle smell exactly like fynbos or  shall we rather say Flora Capensis after it’s proper name, the names of the fynbos always make me smile Cape May, African Woodworm, Cape Snow and Buchu, all of these have medicinal properties that are beneficial for the skin.

Many celebrities around the globe have launched cosmetic and perfume lines and now even our own beautiful seventh wonder, Table Mountain, boasts a range in her honour and I must say that the Wild Olive range does not disappoint.

Besides from the obviously yummy products, the packaging is something special. Each and every product in the Limited Edition range comes in a unique porcelain jar, each item is hand crafted, either painted with liquid gold or drawn with pencil. The artists are the Imizamo Yethu Artisans, and on the bottom of each jar, you will find the name of the person who created your beautiful one-of-a-kind piece. The product even comes with a certificate to prove it’s authenticity as these jars may become quite sought after due to the limited number created.

These beautiful pieces are then further shielded from the elements by a stunning, hand sewn, black and white  South African Merino sheep wool pouch, then placed in a box – ready to be the perfect gift to yourself or someone else of great importance to you.

The retail prices for these little works of art are as follows:

Body Butter – R835

Candle – R875

Soap & Dish – R565

Eye Balm R675

The Wild Olive boutiques are located at the new Cape Quarter Centre in Green Point as Well as Cavendish Square, however if you are lazy or if you are (like me) addicted to online shopping, you can also shop on their website – http://www.wildolive.eu/

Philip Kingsley

Well see now I work in beauty and I get all kinds of things to review and that is wonderful because I love products and I love to try new things!  So I received this big pot of stuff called Philip Kingsley Elasticizer from Beauty Bulletin… sounded bizzare but I thought since I have it I should give it a try (And yes, I have wondered about the consequences – What if one day I try something and it eats my hair off) One could argue, referring to my last beauty post, that I would no longer have to wax – If that was the case.

Anyhow, so I read the instructions… I figured that I didn’t need to apply the product right down to the roots, since I’ve not had my hair coloured in about three months. I sat with the thick white cream in my hair, sipping my pink herbal tea. I could not believe how long my hair has grown. After about ten minutes I went for a shower to rinse and shampoo my hair.

It combed out so easily, I was wondering whether I had managed to get all the product out but I was too lazy to get in the shower again so I decided I was just going to dry it and see – If it was really bad I would pin it up and wash it again later.

My hair dried with surprising ease, and all of it fell so beautifully. I felt like Farrah Fawcet, I felt like I had a mane and I LOVED it. I’m very pleased that I have a whole pot of this stuff because I’m going to be using it regularly.