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March Boxycharm {Unboxing}

This box was quite late…almost a month late, but I believe it was due to bad weather conditions mid March and this seemed to have caused a MAJOR delay in shipping. I wish Boxycharm addressed it sooner, but they did eventually send an email to update us.

Boxycharm must be one of the best things to happen to me! I get so excited when I receive this box, despite already knowing what’s in it. You cannot beat the value…I don’t even know how they do this…get us such top quality products for what we pay for it! If you want a run down of how boxycharm works and how to join, please check out my previous unboxing. Let’s dig in!

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The theme of the March box was ‘Creepy Cute’ and I’m not entirely sure why. I think most of us ‘Charmers’ were a little confused as it seems kind of halloween-ish, but nevertheless, I’m all about what’s in the box and not what the box is called.

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When I do the rand value estimate for the item, please know that it’s a ballpark figure, especially with the unstable rand at the moment. 

Urban Rustic Palette by Naked Cosmetics (RSP $39,99/R550)

This was the item I was most excited to receive. I think these colours just scream AUTUMN and I mean, look at those swatches? I think the burnt orange is gorgeous. The shadows are so soft and the finger swipes were really pigmented. That’s one swipe. I think finger application with this palette will be the way to go, but I’ll try it with a brush as well.

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SS023 Deluxe Fan Brush by Crown Brush (RSP $18,99/R260)

The description card says this brush is great for highlighting, but many of the YouTubers were saying they thought this brush was too big for highlighting. One vlogger eventually had an aha moment and thought this was perfect for contouring or bronzing. I stroked this across my cheek and I feel like it would be really good for contouring, so that’s what I’ll attempt, seeing as I am no contouring guru by any stretch of the imagination.

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Photo Finish Primer by Smashbox (RSP $16,00/R220)

This is the OG of Smashbox’s primers and it claims to ‘instantly blurs fine lines and pores, leaving skin with a velvety-smooth, even finish.’ I’ve only used the primer water from Smashbox, so I’m really excited to see if this lives up to it’s claim. It’s oil free and promises to make me look 17…that’s the claim right? lol. I’ll report back. Note that this is a deluxe sample size. I’m guessing around 10 or 15mls. I see that 30mls retails for around R440 online.

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Matte Liquid Lipstick by RealHer (RSP $15,00/R210)

My lipstick came in the shade ‘I am a Rockstar‘.  I love the positive message that the brand creates with the shade names. While applying it, tell yourself… I am a freakin rockstar! This lipstick was really pigmented and I actually love the colour. The lipstick claims to be ‘long wearing and completely kiss proof, this bomb formulation helps to combat dryness and nourish your lips’.

There is a tip on the information card that says while wet, resist the urge to press lips together. I did not resist and I found the lipstick to be incredibly sticky. Unwearable it was so sticky. So I’ll resist next time and I hope it dries down. I think it will though as on my arm it dried down when I did a swatch.

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Lipliner by RealHer (RSP $12,50/R175)

I got the shade ‘I am loved‘ which was a match to the lipstick, so I was happy about that. The lipliner is incredibly soft and creamy, BUT it broke as I pressed way too hard when I did the swatch. I believe that I can sharpen it, so I just need to check online.

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So the total value of my box was $102,48/R1428 and I paid around R290 and R120 for shipping with Aramex, bringing my cost to R410. I do not understand how Boxycharm does this. #MindBlown. No customs charges on my purchase.

What did you think of the items that I got? The April box contains an OFRA HIGHLIGHTER! To say I am excited is an understatement. Whoop!

If you gals want to sign up, please use my link: https://boxycharm.com/refer/Simon-QYQAMDAR

 

{Unboxing} Boxycharm

I’ve been watching Kathleen Lights do her ‘boxxxy ssshhhharm unboxing’ every month and had major envy at the fact that the US gals can get makeup and goodies valued at over $100 for a mere $21.

On a whim one day I went onto the site. I saw that they will send a box to a mail forwarding address (like Aramex), so I just signed up.

What is Boxycharm? It’s a monthly makeup and beauty subscription box that costs $21 and offers 5 full sized products to try out. The value of the box seems to range from $80 to $140. That’s insane value for money! In addition to the goodies in the box, you also earn CHARMS for being subscribed and for referring friends, which you can use to purchase beauty products on the site. Feel free to use my referral code if you want to sign up 😉

I signed up on 3rd February and expected the money to be deducted immediately, when an email came through saying I was on a waitlist. How long I’d be on….I didn’t know 😦 I went onto their social media pages, and many people were in the desperate position I was in, on the dreaded waitlist. I checked daily, logged in, emailed, chatted on social media….like a real crazy stalker person….when EUREKA….3 weeks later on the 27th, the transaction went off my account which meant I was off the waitlist, still in time to qualify for a February box.

On the 7th March my box was shipped. By the 9th it was with Aramex and it was delivered to my door on the 15th. Excellent service from Aramex which I’m happy about as there have been a few complaints lately about the service, but I really could not ask for better service! What was in my box?????????????????????????? Gals…the excitement is real!

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So inside my box I got:

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Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion (Age defying exfoliator) (RSP $80)

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ZPalette (small – RSP $14)

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MakeUp Geek Eyeshadows in Cherry Cola and Prom Night (RSP $6 each)

Omnia eye brushes (RSP $26)

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Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss (RSP $15)

That is $141, which is around R1800 worth of products! That’s insane!!

If you sign up now I’m pretty sure there’s a waitlist, but gals…the wait is worth it in my opinion. I paid R125 in shipping fees and no customs. So in total this box cost me around R400. Bargain Beauty for high quality products. I’ve always wanted to try Makeup Geek eyeshadows and also have always wanted my very own Z-Palette. I’m one really happy gal ❤

What do you think of the box? Would you sign up?

PS If you are wanting you very own Aramex account, I have discount code for free registration. Use code 100AGS081 and you’re on your way to happy international shopping ❤ In the words of Maui….You’re welcome 😉 

 

 

Shopping with Pink Cosmetics {International brands}

I first came across Pink Cosmetics after I joined a beauty page on Facebook. I was intrigued, because I LOVE the colour pink! So already I knew this was a website after my own pink heart ❤ Pink Cosmetics is owned by Janet, who is a qualified beautician. She makes the most GORGEOUS bath bombs, soaps and hair products, amongst other things. PINK stands for: Perfectly Inspired by Nature’s Knowledge, so with this knowledge, she ensures that her products are paraben, sulphate and petro chemical free!

All this is obviously great right? But it gets even better….Janet is an importer of international makeup brands as well! Most brand you can think of, she stocks. Needless to say she’s a very popular lady on the group. She’s also known to go the extra mile with speedy deliveries and sometimes a little extra goodie in the package which is appreciated. A LOT.

In December last year Janet was advertising the Tartelette In Bloom palette on the group and I was smitten. I went and researched it, stalked it online, looked at swatches….I was in love. I fell hook, line and sinker. The only problem is I had treated myself to way more birthday presents than I told my husband about….lol…so I could not justify the purchase. Every once in a while I went to peep at the link, and that darn palette was still there.

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I was watching the Kathleen Lights ‘Best of beauty 2016’ upload and this palette made the cut. I was even more smitten….if that’s possible. If Kathleen loved it, I HAD to have it! Sometime at the beginning of January I think, I must have been drunk and went and drunk dialled the palette on the link….declaring my undying love and telling it how I just could not forget about what we never had. Janet messaged me and said she had the palette in stock and and and…… it didn’t take much convincing, throw in free shipping and a deal I could not refuse, I told her to invoice me.

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It arrived shortly after she opened for business in January and I was so surprised to see an extra little goodie for me on top of the excellent service! The SLMissglam beauty sponge ❤

The palette….the packaging feels luxurious and sturdy and it looks very high end with the gold and shades of pinks and purples on the outside. When you open the palette it has the faint smell of chocolate, very much reminiscent of the Too Faced chocolate bar palette that I chatted about here. It has a large mirror which I quite like. There are 12 shades, 3 shimmers and 9 matte shades. These matte shades are so smooth and soft…almost satiny. Definitely not dry and chalky like some mattes can be. The shades are also nicely pigmented. This palette was definitely money well spent ❤

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Image taken off the Tarte website.

I’ll give you a quick rundown of the shades row by row, left to right:

Charmer – a matte vanilla shade

Jetsetter – a matte milk chocolate brown

Rocker – A taupey shimmer? This may be my favourite colour in the palette

Smokeshow – A cool toned matte dark chocolate brown colour

Flower child – A cream matte shade

Smarty pants – Shoot how do I describe this one? A matte caramel shade?

Firecracker – I’m a shimmer ho…I won’t lie. This gorgeous bronzey copper shade is so divine!

Activist – Also a dark chocolate brown matte shade, but slightly warmer toned than Smokeshow

Funny girl – A shimmery champagne shade

Sweetheart- Gorgeous matte pinky peach shade

Rebel – A matte terracotta shade?

Leader – This is also a brown matte shade when swatched, but it has brick red kind of undertones.

This is such a versatile palette and you literally don’t need anything else. You can do day time looks, natural neutral looks, more glammed night time looks with a smokey eye. Literally anything. I really love this palette and I have a feeling it’s going to be my favourite for a while ❤

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I’ve had a chance to try the sponge out and I really like it as well. It’s very soft and swells a lot when wet. It blends my foundation nicely. You’ll notice it also has the smaller flat part at the tip which is great for your under-eye concealer and powder.

So gals, that was my experience with Pink Cosmetics (I believe a name change may be on the cards). If you’re looking to shop for international brands, and you’re scared because so many people are selling FAKE MAKEUP, rest assured, you can shop with confidence on Janet’s website ❤

Do you own the In Bloom palette? I’m dying to try the shape tape concealer next! I believe it’s the holy grail of concealers. Have you tried any Tarte products?

 

 

 

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.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar review and dupe

Firstly, happy 2017 to everybody! I hope you all had a lovely festive season with your nearest and dearest ❤

I cannot believe that 2016 flew by so fast! My older 2 kids started Gr. 3 and Gr. R yesterday and I just feel as if I’m going to blink and this year will be over too. I’ve made it my goal to NOT wish away any time this year. To live in the moment. To enjoy my kids, my husband, my chaos, my life. I wish that 2017 will be all you want it to be and more.

Okay, so we have the formalities out of the way, let’s get to today’s post. Way back in July of 2016, I shared a blog post about the Makeup Revolution I ❤ Chocolate palette. I also wrote about how I wished I owned the original Too Faced chocolate bar palette. Ladies, I sent that wish out into the universe, and it was granted by a lovely UK blogger named Jo, and her blog is called Flourish & Blotting. I was overjoyed when I received the email from her that I had won the giveaway on her blog and I remain very grateful today still for this amazing win ❤

I apologise that the pictures of the actual palettes together are not identical or actually next to each other, as I took the pictures seperately and have sadly, re-gifted my beloved MR palette so I cannot take pictures of it to match the Too Faced palette.

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My Too Faced palette arrived late last year and I was absolutely giddy with excitement when it arrived (minus the joke my husband made about them having lost the parcel *insert my not impressed face*. When I opened the box, the packaging is sleek, and not as bulky as I expected. It has a magnetic closing mechanism, so you know it’s closed when you close it. Once you open it, you get a whiff of the delicious chocolate scent that just makes you smile. The scent is so delicious though, that at one stage my daughter was regularly taking a swipe of eyeshadow to eat it! I KID YOU NOT! I quickly had to put an end to that, especially when she’d bring her friends around to sample it too???? Oh my soul.

There’s a mirror inside as well which is always great for makeup on the bed, or makeup in the office, etc. There are 16 shades in the palette, a mix of mattes and shimmer shades and the colours are a mix of browns, pinks and plums.

So let’s swatch!

The Too Faced swatches are on the left and the Makeup Revolution on the right. I’ve used the names from the Too Faced palette for identifying the shades.

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As you can see, many of the swatches are almost identical and I actually have 2 that I prefer in my MR palette…..sorry, now my sister’s MR palette. (It really broke my heart, but I didn’t see the point of owning 2 similar palettes 😦 ) The main differences are in the matte shades for me where the MR shades are just a bit chalky when compared to the TF palette, but otherwise MR serves up a really good dupe with amazing quality for the price. The shimmer shades are really pigmented.

In the TF palette, the only disappointing shade for me is the Strawberry Bon Bon. I just don’t find it to be very pigmented and I had to pack a lot on and still didn’t feel I got a good colour payoff. Salted caramel is my absolute favourite colour in this palette for the crease. I just could never find the perfect transition shade for the crease and I now use this shade to start most of my makeup looks.

So if you have the $49 for the Too Faced palette, you cannot go wrong treating yourself to this palette. The shades are buttery, so pigmented and blend like a dream. There’s also a fantastic selection of colours, for the everyday gal, the ordinary gal, the glam gal…there’s something for every gal in this palette 😉 However, if you don’t have $49/R660 for the palette (and you unfortunately cannot win one), you will not regret spending $10/R134 on the Makeup Revolution palette. These prices obviously excludes shipping and customs. They are available through quite a few 3rd party sellers in South Africa, but at a higher cost due to customs and shipping. If you’d like details on where you can purchase either of these palettes, leave a comment below and I’ll try to assist.

Do you own any of these palettes or any other palettes from either brand that you feel is a must have? 

 

Wet n Wild haul

I was watching a video by Coffee Break with Dani and she had all the brushes in the Wet n Wild collection up for review in that video. I needed to try a few of these brushes, but unfortunately the brushes are not available in South Africa. I was determined to get them, so I went onto http://www.wetnwildbeauty.com and put a few items in my cart. Thankfully I didn’t get a chance to checkout, as the very next day they had a 25% off sale off all their items. I picked up a few brushes, and a few other items, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

So Wet n Wild is available at Clicks, but they don’t have all the items that are available internationally. I think they stock most items except the primers, bronzers and the brushes they don’t stock at all.

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First up is a palette I got as part of a set. It’s the Comfort Zone palette and it came with an eye liner and a pair of false lashes. All for a whopping $2,50, which at the time worked out to R38. You’ll never find an 8 pan eye shadow for R38, never mind still with lashes and eye liner??? BARGAIN OF NOTE! Okay well then I need to factor in shipping and customs….grrr….but I’ll add another R40 in for the additional charges and I still don’t think it’s a bad price at all.

Off the bat, these eye shadows are so soft and super pigmented! I cannot believe that I haven’t tried their eye shadows before! WHAT WAS I THINKING???? I used this palette yesterday (yes I know you see the smudge marks) and I was shocked at how pigmented these shadows are. Also they lasted (with a primer) all day until about 8pm when I removed it from my face.

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Another great thing about these palettes is that you do not need to guess where to put what. If you’re a newbie to makeup, each colour is labelled with where you need to put which colour! How awesome is that? There are 2 different colour combinations, so the left side is one palette and the right side is another palette.

Browbone – a beautiful champagne colour Browbone – a very light bronze highlight
Eyelid – this is my favourite from the palette, it’s a stunning rose gold shimmer shadow Eyelid – a soft olive green that doesn’t seem to offensive when swatched
Crease – a lovely medium brown Crease – A dark green-black colour with slight gold shimmer. The green is not very noticeable when swatched
Definer –  a deep dark brown, but I had a bit (okay A LOT) of fallout with this colour. Doing my makeup in the car was not a good idea with a palette I hadn’t used before. I did go in with a heavy hand though, so lesson learnt. Definer – This is an interesting one as it looks blue, but then you swatch it and it’s a coppery brick colour with this blue ‘overtone’ (is that a word??)

The right side of the palette is a very unique combination of colours. I was positive that I’d never even use that side of the palette, but after swatching it, I may try it out one day. I’m very much a neutral bronze gal, so this would be way out of my ‘Comfort Zone’…..

The brushes….how pretty are these? I mean pink and white ❤ *sigh* I love Dani so I mentally tried to make a note of the brushes she recommended and the ones she said we could do without. I steered clear of the bigger face brushes as she didn’t rate them too highly, but the eye brushes got great reviews from her. I also had a few more brushes, but I didn’t love them so gave them away before I even managed to take pictures of them.

So because I knew I wanted to review these, I have NOT used them. Can you even begin to imagine how painful it’s been to not use these brushes for 3 whole days???

Wet n Wild claims that these brushes are:

  • Cruelty-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan
  • Two-toned synthetic Polymax fibers that mimics the consistency of natural hairs
  • Ergonomic Handle for Total Control

Left to right:

  • I love that the angled liner brush is so small, so I feel it’ll give me more control when I use my gel liner, BUT I feel like maybe the bristles are too thick and the end is not tapered enough. I don’t like a thick liner look and if I ever attempt a wing, it won’t give me the sharp wing I’d be going for. For day to day though this will be fine. Perhaps even using it with eye shadow for a smudged liner effect.
  • The large eye shadow brush I love. I just now used it to apply eye shadow to my hand…(yes I’m insane, but I needed to try this brush out) and it picked up the eye shadow like a dream. It also applied evenly and didn’t suck up too much product.
  • The crease brush is the one I wanted most of all. It’s really nice and soft and fluffy so I think it’s going to do a good job blending out that colour in the crease.

These brushes were 75c ($) each, which worked out to about R11 each, but because my package was so heavy, and customs got me, it comes to about R51 each in total. I learnt about estimating package weights big time with this parcel. I could have rather ordered more to spread the shipping costs a bit more.

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Also in this delivery were these Wet n Wild glosses. I wasn’t ‘wild’ about them, but at 75c ($) each, I won’t complain too much. The colours looked crazy bright, but the one I opened is colourless on my lips.

There are a few more items from the haul, but I’ll add my impressions of those in another post.

Have you used any Wet n Wild products before? Let me know and make recommendations of things for me to try out.

PS So one of the things I was most looking forward to was hosting a giveaway on my blog. My friends know I am super lucky and I get a lot of grief for the amount of things I win. I always tell them, you’ve got to be in it, to win it! True right? So I want to give back in a way 🙂 It’s not going to be anything glamorous. All items purchased with my own money.One of the Comfort Zone sets with the lashes and eye liner will be up for grabs with a few other bits and bobs. So keep your eyes peeled….with Spring coming up and all, there’s no better reason for a giveaway ❤