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

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.

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.

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon… The sexiest woman in the world.

Bragging rights are in order the day they name you the FHM 100 sexiest numero uno, so with this post I pay homage to my home girl Genevieve Morton. Proudly and beautifully South African. To the boys – Enjoy!

This is sexy Gen on the Cover!

“I look sexy upside down too”

Colourscapade

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a stunning make-up pallet. In fact I have two, but you can’t have both… To get your hands on said gorgeous make-up pallet you will need to go to my facebook page and like the photo of the make up pallet… in addition you will also need to tweet me or comment below “What adds more colour to your life?” It could be a favourite lipstick, it could be your kids toys lying around the house, it could be the berries in your cereal. Whatever it is, I want to know!

“The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.” Coco Chanel

*Please note, you need to live in South Africa to enter this competition, because I need to post the prize to you 🙂

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/