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My top picks of 2016

Every beauty blogger and their cousin by now has uploaded a video or post with their ‘Best of Beauty 2016’, so I’m a bit late on the bus, but we’ll still get to the same destination….right?  Today I want to just share what some of my all time favourite products to use in 2016 were. I’ll try not to make this too long and will go in order of makeup application.

Best of Beauty 2016

Primer – My ride or die will always be the Benefit Porefessional pro balm. It’s glides onto my skin and fills my pores. The balm also mattifies my oily bits which I love. I’ve yet to find another primer that can compare to this one.

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Foundation – I have’t used many different foundations as I’ve found 1 that you’ve seen on the blog before, the L’Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte foundation. I’m in the shade Golden Beige, though I think that’s my winter shade and I should try one shade darker now in Summer. This gives me a medium coverage with 1 layer and looks very natural on my skin, so much so that people sometimes don’t believe I’m wearing foundation. This foundation is for somebody with oily skin though, or it may look a little dry, but a good mist of setting spray can help with that. (Available at Dischem )

Face powder – After seeing a few good reviews, I got the Yardley loose translucent powder and I really like it. It’s very finely milled and it doesn’t crease my under eye area like other powders do. (Available at Clicks or Dischem) 

Under eye concealer – I’ve seen many reviews on the Maybelline Age rewind concealer and I was praying it would come to South Africa, but it hasn’t. Thankfully I have a lovely cousin in the UK that said I could order goodies and when she comes to SA she’d bring it with her. I love this concealer. It’s not thick and it blends so well. My only issue is that I think the shade I got is a smidge too light for me, so I usually mix it with my other favourite concealer, from LA Girl (Pro HD concealer) that is a bit darker. (Available from Superdrug in the UK)

Eyehsadow primer – I loved the eyeshadow base from Essence. It’s affordable and it does the job.(Available at Clicks or Dischem) 

Eyeshadow palette – This is a tough one as I love all of my palettes more than the next one at some point in time. Only because this was a dream come true, the Chocolate Bar palette from Too Faced has got to be my favourite palette for 2016. The shade selection is great and the quality of the eye shadow is amazing. I’ve said it in a previous post, there’s something in this palette for every type of gal…the ordinary gal and the glam gal ❤

Brow Pencil – I love the MAC brow pencils. They are creamy and blend in really well. Easy to smudge or wipe off if you need to fix a mistake. I just feel it gives such a natural fill to the brows. I wear the shade ‘Spiked’.

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Mascara – There is a clear winner for me, and that is the Benefit Roller Lash mascara. The Roller Lash doesn’t clump, it seperates and lengthens your lashes. It’s just the perfect formula and I will repurchase it over and over.

Blush – Again there is no other contender in this category for me, it’s the Benefit Dallas face powder. (I seem to have a little bit of a crush on Benefit products don’t I?) A bit of a blush/bronzer hybrid, but I just love the flush of colour it gives, with no shimmer and I think it just goes with every single makeup look. I don’t even have to think about it.

Highlighter – This one is difficult. I don’t think I’ve found THE HIGHLIGHTER yet that rocks my world. I was obsessed with my Colourpop one in the shade ‘Lunch money‘. Today I’m in love with the one from my NYX palette called ‘Ice Queen‘. So in 2016 I basically just grabbed whatever was close by…I love all my highlighters on different days.

Lip pencilsEssence lip pencils are my go too pencils in any shade. They are affordable and come in an array of colours. I don’t think they’re the most long wearing lip pencils out there, but I’m not too fussy about that. (Available at Clicks or Dischem) 

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Setting spray – My vote goes for the Me & Youth beauty spray (previously known as Beauty Fix). The ingredients, the lovely rose scent and the dewy look it gives my foundation just makes this a clear winner in my books. Apologies as I seem to have not included a picture of the new bottle and I don’t want to show a picture of the old packaging. Oi.  (Available on the Me&Youth website)

Lipstick – I’m not a big lipstick lover. I’m more a lipliner and gloss kind of gal. My most worn lipstick in winter was definitely from Gosh in the colour ‘Antique‘. Also a reached for lipstick was from Mac in the shade ‘Modesty‘. (Available at Edgars Stores)

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Lipgloss – Another winner from Essence, but sadly this gloss was part of the limited edition ‘All that Greys’ launch and mine is basically finished, so I have no idea what I’m going to do 😦 It’s a nudey pink gloss and paired over a plum lipliner is just amazing! Also paired with grey eyeshadow, it’s simply stunning. The scent is also really lovely. (Limited edition, so not available anymore)

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Hair – I discovered quite a few brands in 2016 and a brand called NAK definitely was the best shampoo and conditioner that I used. It left my hair feeling so clean, nourished and shiny, without it being oily. On the budget side, Aunt Jackie’s range from Clicks is a brand I fell in love with, especially for coloured gals with flyaway hair or knotty hair. The range is affordable and even has a flaxseed oil infused hair gel so it isn’t harsh or drying on the hair. (Available from RetailBox)

That concludes my ‘Best of 2016’ picks! I hope you enjoyed reading it and perhaps we loved some of the same things, or you’ve spotted something you’d like to try? Also if there was something you could not live without in 2016, please let me know below in the comments so I can look out for it ❤

PS I have NO idea why the quality of my picture is so bad. It’s fine until I upload it here. I haven’t had this issue before 😦 If anybody has advice, leave me a comment down below. I’ll try to play around with it and update the post.

Essence lipliners {Review}

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I have been on the hunt for these longlasting lipliners from Essence for quite a while. Eventually after complaining on Twitter, Dischem quickly contacted me and let me know that they actually were available in the PE stores. I rushed to Dischem and picked up 3 shades:

  • Berry on my mind (10) – A lovely deep plum shade
  • Yummy Berry (03) – A brighter, but muted red shade (I don’t do bold and bright lips)
  • Girl Next Door (08) – A nude natural shade

 

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These lipliners are great and really affordable. It’s great not to need a sharpener every time you want to wear lipliner. They glide on easily and are really pigmented. Also they don’t feel dry on the lips if you just use it as is.

There are about 8 shades and they are priced at around R26,95. Not bad at all, as I paid over R100 for a lipliner from another brand and it’s awful on the lips. It pulls, looks dry, and and and……  I wish I’d known about Essence lipliners at the time.

The only issue I have is with the Plum shade that seems to break every time I use it. I don’t have that issue with the other shades.

Lipliners are great for:

– Increasing the staying power of your lipstick

– Provides a nice colour/base for a gloss

– Used as is all over the lip for a matte lip look

These liners do not replace the original pencil liners from Essence, so you can choose whichever you prefer 🙂 These liners are available at Dischem and retail at R26,95 each. The pencil is a bit cheaper at around R18,95.

Have you tried these lipliners out?

 

Highlighters….get your JLo on!

One thing I cannot do without anymore in my make up routine….is my highlighter! I love to get my sparkle on….where I hope they can see me from the moon 🙂 Who doesn’t think JLo is the epitome of perfect sun kissed glowy bronzer and highligter goodness? I’m truly going to miss looking at her stunning makeup on America Idol every week 😢

Highlighting is a great technique to brighten and lift the face, by strategically placing your highlight on areas that you want to emphasise. For me, to create the illusion of higher or actual cheekbones, at the top of my cheekbones, the arches of my brows and my cupids bow. You want a glowy, dewy kind of highlight (think JLo), nothing that looks chalky or like cheap glitter slapped on your face.

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I don’t have a huge highlighter collection (unfortunately), but I thought I’d run through what I do have.

Colourpop – Lunch money

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So if you know me, you know I’m kind of obsessed with Colourpop. This is a champagne shade and it has a pearlised finish. The consistency of Colourpop’s products is amazing. This is soft and creamy to the touch, but it doesn’t apply like a cream. I usually dab this on with my fingers and try to blend it properly. You always want to blend so it doesn’t look like your highlight stops here and your blush starts there.

This is not glittery at all, but it honestly provides the most beautiful highlight with super fine sparkle, nothing chunky or unnatural. This is my absolute FAVE highlighter and I will repurchase it when this one even threatens to be close to pan.

Benefit – Shy Beam 

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This is like a baby pink shimmerless highlight. I got it as part of an anti shine kit I bought from Benefit, and in Summer I really enjoyed using this. It’s a matt finish, so it’s not really a highlight as such. It’s difficult to explain. It supposedly contains a light reflecting formula, so inside the house you won’t be shining all the way to space, but out in the sun you’ll notice this subtle under-cover highlighter. In Summer I tend to be shiny, so I reach for this on those super hot day where I want something subtle, because the shine will come….just not in the way I want it. ha ha. I will experiment with this and try it under my foundation, as I’ve seen some vloggers use it that way. Then I’ll add Lunch Money on top of that….how amazing does that sound??? Why didn’t I think of that sooner??? 💖 That’s a brilliant idea me thinks!

Essences Merry Berry Collection – I love my golden pumps 

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This was so beautiful when I bought it. The embossed stars made me not want to touch it at all!! For the price, this highlighter is AMAZING! It’s light and so shimmery, but it’s buildable. If you blend it, it will become so subtle, but add more, depending how much highlight you want, and it will build up to shimmer and shine where you want to shimmer and shine. Unfortunately this was a limited edition release, so it’s not available anymore 😦 I believe Catrice has a lovely one that is available at Dischem that ranks really close to this one.

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From left: Lunch Money, Shy Beam, I love my golden pumps

So I did some swatches for you. As you can see, Lunch Money and I love my golden pumps are really similar in colour. Shy beam is really not what you’d typically expect of a highlighter as you can see, it’s a liquid consistency and a lovely subtle baby pink colour.

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From left: Lunch Money, Shy Beam and I love my golden pumps

In the bottom swatch I blended it out and here you can see the Essence highlight disappears more compared to the Colourpop one.

Then Shy Beam, you’re thinking…Seriously Simone, that’s a highlight? It is, but it isn’t, you just have to find a way to use it that works for you. Like I say, in Summer this will be more useful. It’s not ‘unicorns farted on my face highlight material’, but it is the highlighter that got me to fall in love with highlighters…because I wouldn’t have known how to work with a shimmer straight off the bat. So I’m grateful for the lessons it taught me.

Some tips

– Oily or combination skin

Before going in with your highlighter, dust some translucent powder on the areas where you tend to get shiny (LA Girl (available at Dischem) has an affordable one), and then apply your highlighter. 

– Dry skin

Mix a liquid highlighter in with your foundation or even your moisturiser. This will give you a lovely natural and dewy sort of finish.

Lastly…my wishlist highlighter is Becca’s Champagne Pop which is a collaboration they did with Jaclyn Hill 💖 I’d really love to get my hands on that…One day…. If I was a rich girl….na na na na na na na na na na….

Do you use highlighters? What’s your favourite one?

Until next time ladies. xxxxx

 

June Favourites

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When I saw a blogger posting her June Favourites on Friday I was thinking, um somebody’s early…….then it hit me, nope, it really is already July and June is finished, kaput, gone! How insane is that?? I had to scramble a bit to narrow down my June favorites, but I think this is a fair representation of the items I reached for most days.

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Stila’s Eyes are the Window palette – Spirit

This was probably my first eye-shadow palette and I must say I was smitten at first swatch! I know, my palette looks VERY sad…. We need a moment of silence for Kitten *sobs*, Oasis and Pewter. 😦 Kitten was the most devastating loss.

Okay, moving on, what I love about this palette is it has a nice mix of matt shades, shimmer shades, light shades and dark shades. You can use this for a daytime look, all the way through to a dramatic nighttime look. It’s really versatile and the perfect starter palette for any makeup lover. The powders are all soft and very pigmented with very little, if any, fallout! Money well spent. I’ve reached for this palette a lot this month and will continue to use it until my kids smash the crap out of the rest of the colours.

Kalahari had these at 50% off at one stage….I really wish I’d gotten all of the palettes at that stage. Stila is available at Woolworths and at the time I paid R495,00 for this palette.

Essence’s 2 in 1 shadow and liner in She’s got the mauve (06)

I absolutely love these shadow sticks from Essence. The quality of this stick for the price is so amazing. It’s a stunning shimmery mauve colour and dual purpose. You can use it as an eye-shadow or a liner. It’s waterproof….I swear this stuff doesn’t budge unless you remove it forcefully from your eyes (in a good way).

These sticks are available in 6 shades from Dischem and retail for about R59,95 each.

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Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara

I feel like such a broken record, but I’m a huge Benefit fan. I ordered this as one of the first items from Benefit and I was not disappointed. The brush is plastic and has this ‘Hook ‘n’ Roll’ capability that separates, lifts and curls your lashes. You can honestly feel it ‘hooking’ every single lash and you’ll be thinking: Wow are those all my lashes? I can’t gush about this enough, it really is one of my top 3 mascaras and I will definitely be repurchasing it. It’s perfect for day wear to the office, or you amp it up and apply 2 or 3 coats for evening wear.

One last comment about these, you can apply numerous coats and I don’t find it to go clumpy at all like some other mascaras get after more than 1 or 2 coats.

Benefit products are available online at Red Square.

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Wet n Wild’s megaclear brow and lash mascara

Prior to discovering this brow ‘mascara’, I was using a similar brand’s products. While I usually love the brand, I just felt the gel was really not holding my unruly brows in place, and then I discovered this Wet n Wild one. For the price, I think it does a really good job of holding my brows in place and I even use it for that unruly hair that doesn’t want to just relax and go behind the ear…grrr

Wet n Wild products are available at Clicks and this gel was around R34,95 if I’m not mistaken.

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Essence lip liner in ‘In the Nude’ (11)

Yes Simone, stop with the Essence gushing already…. I can’t help it. It’s amazing to me that you can have a brand be so affordable with so many great products. I have a few of these lip liners and this is I think my favourite one. It really is soft and glides on like a dream. I have a lipliner costing 5 times this and it’s so harsh on application, so I really really do love these liners from Essence. There are about 8 shades, including a transparent one that I assume is a universal ‘don’t worry about the colour you’re putting on your lips’ sort of situation. Essence has launched a new range of lipliners that I have read rave reviews about, but after searching high and low in Port Elizabeth, I’ve given up the search. If any PE gals have seen it, please let me know below.

Essence lipliners are available at Clicks and Dischem and retail for R18,95 each.

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Kardashian Beauty Take 2 Dry Conditioner 

When I first received these in one of my secret boxes from RetailBox, I was so disappointed. What would I do with such overpriced products? Dry shampoo and even worse…dry conditioner? What is that even??? I didn’t want it to go to waste so I thought my 7yr old could spray it on before swimming classes as perhaps a ‘protector’ from the chemicals, but that still made me sad thinking of the price tag attached to these.

One day I washed my hair and just shampoo’d it, and had no intention of blow drying it so I whipped this out, sprayed my hair and put it in a bun. The next morning my hair was so soft and curly that I absolutely loved the effect. I was traumatised when I flat ironed all those soft curls away. What Retail Box says about this product:

A lightweight conditioning spray that revives dull or dry hair by enhancing shine and moisture in between styles. This moisturizing formula contains small conditioning molecules that instantly hydrate hair, leaving it incredibly soft and smooth. Nourishing Black Seed Oil provides added radiance for the ultimate glamorous finish.

The smell of this is divine and I’m sure it’s the black seed oil that contributes to leaving my hair feeling so soft and nourished. That being said, despite how much I like this product, at R395 from RetailBox, I just cannot justify spending that money on a Dry Conditioner 😦 Getting to try it out though as a fraction of the cost due to the Secret Box again hits home what I love about the Secret Box. Read about the Secret Box here.

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Lindie’s homemade Rubies

Well I warned you that I love chocolate….so I have to share my chocolate love of the month with you ❤ I was not a fan of the original brownies and blondies from Lindies, but on a whim I decided to try these Rubies. They are the latest offering from Lindies, and are Red Velvet Brownies. Yes you heard right, RED VELVET CHOCOLATE BROWNIES! I was always going to be all over that like white on rice! I love them with a big glass of milk….. I’m never going to be skinny….*sigh*

These are available at Spar and retail for R34,99 for a box of 4.

Here are some swatches of 2 of the Essence products.

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From left: Essence 2 in 1 shadow stick in ‘She’s got the mauve’, Essence lipliner in ‘In the Nude’ 

Hope you enjoyed reading about my June favourites 🙂 Let me know in the comments below what you loved in June and also are these posts too long, too many pictures, too many words? I’d appreciate the feedback.

Until next time. xxxxx

Budget beauty and mini review

I can’t walk into Clicks or Dischem without checking out the budget offerings at the make up section.  I have a big problem… I lured my husband to Dischem under the pretense of us needing formula for the baby. He said he could see how I could confuse the make up section and the baby section when he saw we were standing in front of a stand called ‘Physicans Formula’ 😂😂 Thankfully my husband knows the demons I battle.

So I picked up a few random items this weekend….lets take a look.

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Nail polish….*sigh* Can you ever have enough nail polish? At this stage I could probably open up my own nail salon.

Essence The Nudes in Nude sweet nude (10)

This is a stunning metallic bronzey nude. I’m obsessed with this colour and already used it this weekend. Metallics are all the rage at the moment, with Colourpop even releasing metallic lip items (that are sadly already sold out), so this nail polish is perfect for the season.

Wet n Wild in Yo Soy (E458C)

This is definitely not a colour I already own. It’s literally like a nude soy colour if that makes sense? I really like it and matched it with the metallic essence shade above over the weekend.

Essence Gel Polish in Serendipity (37)

I would describe this as a really pretty lilac-grey type colour? In the store I couldn’t quite figure out if it was grey or purple….at home I swatched it and a grey lilac is what it looks like to me.

Essence Gel Polish in I 💙 my blue jeans

This is a stunning matt navy blue polish. I’ve been dying to pair this with either a light grey or peach accent sort of situation.

All these polishes applied beautifully with 2 coats.

Essence make me brow gel mascara in browny brows (02)

I’m always looking for good brow products and I’ve been reading that this is quite comparable to Benefit’s Gimme Brow at a fraction of the price. Your make up is only as good as your brow game! I love the brush of this, it’s really the perfect size to coat your brows and the colour is PERFECT for my dark brown brows. I do believe this also comes in a blonde brown as a lighter shade. I still use a gel over this, because I seriously have the world’s most unruly brows, but if pressed for time, I think this is the only item you’d need in your make up bag.

I’ve been on the hunt for the new Essence lip liners, but alas…PE just doesn’t seem to stock it 😦  I just grabbed one of their regular ones in Satin Mauve (06).  A lip liner is really awesome at extending the wear of your lipstick and Essence gives you an amazing product at a really good price. You can afford to get one in every colour.

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Next up is this Flannel facial cloth from The Body shop. My sister in law recommended it to me, and TBS was having 20% off on it, so obviously it was meant to be. I wasn’t quite sure if I needed this, but I decided to give it a go last night. I had already washed my face twice and used my Garnier Micellar water to remove my make up. I admit I did a bit of a half arsed job, but I still thought my face was reasonably clean. I rinsed the cloth with warm water and gave my face a wipe…..hmmmm…..make up residue! Oops. My skin also felt really cleansed and soft after I used this cloth. So I’m very happy with this purchase. It retails for R65, but I paid R52 with the promotion that was running this past weekend.

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Lastly I picked up these nose pore strips from Clicks. Oh boy….. mixed feelings about this. It did an excellent job in ‘perfecting’ my nose, my nose was so smooth after using it, BUT I think I lost some skin with removing this. I have some tender red spots on my nose this morning. It actually burnt when I washed my face. I’m not sure if I used it wrong or if this was just too heavy duty for my needs. I’ve used pore strips before and didn’t have this problem. So I have a pack to get through, so if I chance it again, I’ll report back if I still have a nose or not.

Well that’s it from me. If you’re interested in any specific kind of posts, please comment below and let me know…and even if you just enjoy reading, say hi below and leave a comment 😉

All these products are available from either Dischem or Clicks and range from R17,95 to R44,95 each.

 

Just another ‘mani’ Monday

Get it? Are you singing along? If you’re not…..I’m obviously super old 😂🙈

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Okay so we’re all about that grey, bout that grey…. My sister will tell you that I can literally do that all day, make a song about everything. Maybe I was a singer in a previous life?

Another thing my sister may tell you, is that I’m obsessed with doing my nails. The more colours and GLITTER, the better. She regularly complains that my nails may actually blind her.

So I’ve been waiting for the Essence ‘All that greys’ collection to hit since about April I think? It was delayed and I thought perhaps I made it up in my head. Finally, when walking into Clicks on Wednesday last week, there it was…with that halo ‘hallelujah’ music playing. Unfortunately there were only 2 colours left, so I took them, along with a lip gloss and some nail stickers.

On Thursday I then went to another Clicks and I found another 2 colours. I think I managed to get 4 of the 5.

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From left to right we have:

05 – Roaring red

This is a bit more of a burgundy colour to me and then it has a pearly matt finish. It’s a gorgeous colour. Perfect for winter. At first I thought it was similar to Morgan Taylor’s ‘A touch of sass’, but when I swatched the 2 together,  this is definitely a more burgundy colour.

01 – Back to black

This is also a pearly matt finish. I was quite excited about this one as I thought it was super black, but when I swatched it, it’s more of a very dark grey. It’s still a lovely colour and perhaps better being a more toned down black, so not as goth, if you’re not into that pitch black sort of look.  The pearl flecks are a bit more prominent in this one.

02 – Step into the grey zone

This is a lovely dark grey with a high gloss finish. 2 coats and you’re good to go. The gloss is nice and shiny and I think this colour hits the nail on the head for winter.

04 – Girl with a pearl

I wasn’t going to take this, but I was looking for a white polish that doesn’t look like tippex, and this is perfect. It’s definitely more white than grey, but it’s lovely with the high gloss finish like the shade 02.

All of them need 2 coats for a beautiful even finish.   Personally not a lover of the Matt look, so I add a shiny top coat as well.

I love nail art stickers and already used the pearl stickers. They are just super tiny,  so I need to figure out how to use them a bit better.

I was really excited for this collection and Essence definitely did not disappoint. For the price and quality of their nail polish, there’s truly no excuse not to have a fabulous manicure every day of the week 😉

Lastly the lip gloss is in the colour ‘That’s what Rose would do’ (02) and oh my….I really like this gloss. It smells DIVINE!  Like cauliflower 😂 It’s a lovely sweet smell, but not overpowering and the formula is good. It’s not sticky and I found it lasted quite a while on my lips. After my shower my lips still felt a bit moisturised even though most of it was washed off. In truth I loved it so much, I think I tried not to wash my mouth. Lol. The colour is really really nude on my brown lips, bordering on ashy, but I don’t know, I just really like it.

The nail polishes and the lip gloss retail for R38,95 at Clicks. It is also available at Dischem, but I haven’t seen it there yet myself.

The eyeshadow palette looked great…lovely shades of pink and grey, and swatching it in store, I didn’t find the shadows to be powdery as the cheaper palettes can sometimes be. It seemed to be a decent formula for the price, but don’t hold me too that as it was a quick swatch.

Let me know if you picked anything up in the collection or if you have your eye on anything.