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{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 😉 

 

 

New Real Techniques Bold Metal Brushes

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How gorgeous are these? ❤ I’ve always wanted to own any brush from the Bold Metals collection, but sadly, I can’t afford them. That doesn’t mean that I can’t admire them like a stalker though. So when news hits that 2 new brushes are being launched? Be still my heart!

The Triangle Concealer Brush (1443) is the gold one. I actually love the idea of this brush. 3 sides, for concealing, blending and spot coverage. I think especially when you want to conceal a spot, it’s nice knowing that you can isolate one side of the brush for that and not spread any nasties to the rest of your face.

The silver one is the Tapered Shadow Brush (1448). This brush is described as ‘densely packed and precision cut for a smooth foundation of eye colour’.

These brushes are available at various retailers and will retail around R329,95 (shadow brush) and R379,95 (concealer brush). They’re launching in November sometime, so keep an eye out for them.

Do you own any Real Technique brushes? Their regular blush brush is my absolute favourite brush!

 

Belle Box Unboxing

My 1yr old has been battling with an ear infection, sore throat and teething for the last few nights.  If I’ve gotten an hour’s solid sleep in the last 3 nights, it would be a lot. My husband and I are like zombies, snippy zombies that want to eat each other’s brains. Or maybe the 1yr old’s should be an option as well?? ha ha….maybe ha ha….maybe I’m serious….

So every morning I wake up tossing between 2 moods, wanting to die or praying for it to be 10pm already. Not that 10pm would bring any relief, because that’s when the fun starts! This morning I heard the doorbell and didn’t really wonder much about it, because I’m not expecting anything to be delivered. I was crawling towards the lounge when I saw a package on the table. I didn’t want to act  too excited as I honestly couldn’t think what it could be….and then I opened it and I smiled inside.

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Hello? What have we here? Seems I bought this in my sleep a few weeks ago, because I genuinely forgot about buying it, but buy it I did. I see I have an account registered and everything. So this is a monthly box, but it isn’t a subscription box. You opt to buy it every month before the 15th and it then gets delivered at the end of the month. The box costs R200 and then there’s a delivery fee of R50 and it comes straight to your door. I did see on the Belle Box website that they would be introducing a debit order system, so that would probably be a lot more convenient than going and purchasing it yourself every month.

Now to the exciting part….what’s in the box???

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So there were quite a few goodies inside the box. Let’s list them in order of what I’m most excited to try out.

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BYS Eyeshadow brush

I love makeup brushes, so I’m always going to be excited to try a new one out. I had to Google this as I’ve never heard of this brand before. It appears to be an Australian brand so I’m not sure if it’s available locally.

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Beautiful Earth Skin Care Trial Pack

  • Facial cleanser (30ml)
  • Facial toner (30ml)
  • Moisturising day cream (25ml)
  • Repairing night cream (25ml)
  • Facial serum (5ml)

This is  quite a cute mini set and I like that I get to try a range of products out before I decide if I want to purchase any of it. Also this brand is certified by the Natural Products Association as all fragrances are derived from essential oils and the products contain no parabens, sulphates, colouring, mineral oils or glycols. I’ve used some of their baby care products, so it is a brand I like and trust. I’ll do a review on these once I’ve used it.

Also from BE was a baby bum cream sample (not pictured here).

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Crème Sand Scrub (Coconut & Papaya)

I always love a good body scrub and this sounds like a lovely combination, BUT I wish they’d  listed the ingredients on the tub. I’m hoping I’ll find it online somewhere or perhaps I can enquire from Belle Box as well.

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R50 off a Mischu purchase (online)

I had to go and check the website out as I am not familiar with the brand and I was ecstatic to see that they are a coffee site and they stock pods that are Nespresso machine compatible. The postage I found a bit steep though, so I wish the voucher was instead for free postage and I find the pods are not much cheaper than Nespresso pods. That being said, I will give them a try as I always love discovering a good cup of coffee ❤

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BYS Complete Cosmetic tissues

How long can I make a paragraph about tissues? Are they 2 ply, single ply? They’ll be handy for my bag I’m sure. The end.

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Funky Fish Phone Sticker

Initially I thought these were nail art bedazzle stones and I was SOOOOOO excited, then I realised it was a sticker for my cellphone. I don’t know, I just feel like I’m passed the age of putting stickers on my phone. I did try to use it, but it blocks the speaker if I stick it on my current cellphone cover, so I can’t use it. I’m sure my 8yr old would love to bedazzle her tablet with this though, so it won’t go to waste.

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Five Roses Bombay Circus Tea

I do love chai tea (though coffee will always be my first choice and love), so I’ll give this a try.

So for R200 do I think this box was worth it? I do. The Beautiful Earth trial pack alone I am sure is valued at around R200. Then add on all the other bits and bobs and I think it’s worth giving this box a try. I was hoping for another makeup item, but keen to see what’s in store next month. The November box is currently on sale for delivery at the end of November.

Have you tried out the Belle Box yet? Do you think you’ll order one in future?

 

New brushes from eBay

I’m always on the hunt for new brushes. When I first started using makeup, I used my fingers. *Don’t judge me*

Eventually I decided to dabble in makeup brushes. I watch tons of beauty vlogs and all I want are Morphe brushes, Sigma brushes, Spectrum brushes being my latest brush crush, but I can’t afford those and they’re difficult to get hold of here in South Africa.

Reading blogs, watching vlogs, I still couldn’t understand why the heck beauty bloggers had 1 gazillion brushes. That is………until my brushes got dirty. I bought a few spares….and those got dirty….. Then you realise you need to actually wash your brushes, regularly…..

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So a few months ago I saw this really pretty brush set on Pink Peonies’ blog and it was super affordable, Luzanne gave them a good review so I thought, hmmm….why not try and get a set.

I went onto eBay and found a set that looked similar and clicked ‘add to cart’. This seller offered free shipping so $15 seemed like a score for 18 brushes.

The bag is really pretty and I’ve wanted a makeup brush bag for a long time and they’re really pricey. So for that alone the price tag is worth it. I ordered on the 25th of May and I think they arrived here on the 25th of July, straight to my door! That really impressed me. I didn’t have any customs, so that was really great as well! The customs struggle is real here in South Africa.

Luzanne did warn that the pouch would possibly have a strong glue scent, but to just leave it open overnight and it would be odour free after that, and she was correct on both counts.

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There are 18 brushes in the set and initially I wasn’t bothered to use any of them except the spoolie one (for my brows) and the big fan brush ( LOVE THAT BRUSH!), but as my usual brushes got dirtier, I realised I needed other options so I started using the eye shadow brushes and I must say they aren’t bad. 2 of them seem to be exactly the same. I didn’t get a dense blending brush and funny enough that is one brush I was looking forward to receiving, but it’s not a train smash. As I attempt to use gel liner as my latest bucket list item, I will be reaching for the liner brushes.

The brushes are pretty to look at and stand out from my usual black brushes and they feel sturdy. I’ve washed these brushes and initially I had a bit of shedding with the eye shadow brushes, but they’re fine now. The foundation brush I use to apply face masks (an awesome tip from a blogger I follow) as I just don’t use those flat foundation brushes for foundation anymore.

I don’t know that if you’re a brush snob you’d love these brushes, but as somebody starting out and to have a spare set of clean brushes, these are really great considering I paid around R225 for the set incl delivery to my door….that’s around R12,5o per brush! You are never going to buy a brush locally for R12,50 anywhere!

I’m waiting for a few Wet n Wild brushes to arrive that’s been at customs for a week now (pray with me people that they just send them through), so I’m excited to review those once I finally get my hands on them.

What are your favourite budget brush brands? Would you purchase these off eBay?

PS My pictures are HIDEOUS. I took these a while ago and obviously didn’t check them after I took them. The brushes are *shocker* dirty and all over the place now so I couldn’t retake the pictures. I also thought I took individual brush pictures. Oops. Apologies for that.

 

Mini brush haul

Okay so 3 makeup brushes really isn’t a haul I know….but I swear I was so excited to get these brushes, it may as well feature as a haul. This is my space right? So if I want to call 3 brushes a haul….so it shall be.

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I was browsing the Superdrug website for baby bottles for my sister and I noticed they were having a 3 for 2 promotion on their makeup, which included brushes. EEEEEKKK! I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted, so I basically added some random brushes, removed, added, until I decided on these 3. I probably should have read some reviews on the brushes first, but I just lost my freakin mind and clicked ‘add to cart’ without a second thought. So let’s see what I got…..

Revlon Contour/ Highlighting Brush (RSP £10.99 )

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Revlon contour/highlighting brush

I think the reason I chose this one, was because I had no idea Revlon had a makeup brush line. I’ve never seen any in South Africa, so I was interested to see what they had to offer.

What I loved immediately about this brush is the handle with the diamond type detail (under my big ugly thumb…sorry) and the pointed tip. It’s so elegant and lightweight. The brush itself is really soft and fluffy. I think this would make a nice blush brush as the shape is not the same, but similar to the shape of my favourite Real Techniques blush brush. I’m not into contouring much, but will see what this can do 🙂

I’ve tweeted RevlonSA to find out if these brushes will be coming to SA, but so far received no response. 😦 

Makeup Revolution Ultra Flawless Powder F301 (RSP £9.99)

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Makeup Revolution Ultra Flawless powder brush

This brush literally took my breath away…. I can’t even deal with how beautiful this is. I don’t think I can use it! That rose gold handle and those ‘pure as snow white’ bristles??? ❤ This brush is so soft….. *as I type this I shake my head, and say out loud: ‘I can’t deal…cannot.deal.’ * The brush leaves me speechless…it’s tooooo pretty.

Okay…I’m calming down. I was on the hunt for a fluffy powder brush and I think this will be perfect for powder and maybe even bronzer. I had to really control myself to not use this brush until I was able to take a picture of it, though I don’t want to make the pretty white dirty, so I’m in quite a dilemma.

This still isn’t the brush that I wanted, I still want something a bit bigger, but I definitely don’t regret purchasing this.

Eco Tools Complexion Collection Mattifying Brush (RSP £8.99)

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Eco Tools Mattifying brush

Last up is this brush from Eco Tools. I think what grabbed my attention is the claim that this is a ‘mattifying’ brush.

The handle is  light (despite looking heavy) and sturdy. Also that turquoise detail is really pretty. Is there something wrong with buying brushes only because they’re pretty? ha ha. This brush seems like a bit of a hybrid to me. The ends are quite fluffy and then it has the shorter dense bristles as well. I’m quite keen to see if this will indeed assist with mattifying my oily areas in Summer, but I don’t know if a brush can do that? If nothing else, it’s an extra brush….to aid me on those days when everything is dirty and I want to cry at the thought of washing them all.

So these are the 3 brushes I ordered from Superdrug. I got free delivery in the UK and then paid from the UK to SA with my Aramex Global Shopper account. I must say, people have been complaining about AGS, but they received my package on the 28th and I had it here by the 2nd. That’s good service. I’ve used them twice now, a third delivery in progress, so hopefully 3rd times a charm!

Let me know if you own any of these brushes. What are your favourite powder brushes? I think Morphe will hopefully be the next one I get my hands on, but I need to save my pennies to get a few brushes to make the shipping worth it.

PS For readers not in South Africa, yesterday was our election day, so they stain our nails with that awful black marker that literally takes forever and a day to disappear. I’m hoping it will all come off when I remove the polish.

 

If I was a rich girl….

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na

See, I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl…..

A girl can dream right? I thought I’d put together a list of items that would be in my shopping cart tomorrow if I won the lotto.

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The Beauty Box

The Beauty Box 

I didn’t even know there was any other way to store make up besides a regular old make up bag. When I first saw images of the beauty box all over the internet, I did a HUGE eye roll. Like seriously people? Why so indulgent? *shakes head* How naive I was…. As my make up collection grew, and I got to a point where I’d find a blush or foundation 2 months later, not even realising it was missing, that’s when I came to see that this Beauty Box thing is kind of a must have! It’s made from acrylic and from the The Beauty Box website it says:

Our products are of the highest quality, durable and elegantly designed, individually handmade with gorgeous glass crystal handles.

Not only is it actually really functional…..it’s also really so pretty! When I see it in You Tube videos, I really think it just adds a touch of class to a beauty room/dresser. The 5 drawer one above retails for about R1699, but I see there are ‘build a box’ options on the website so you can start out with one or 2 drawers and grow your collection.

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Glampalm Magic Wand

The Glampalm Magic Wand 

This curling wand has been on my wishlist for easily 2 years now. I had to make a tough decision 1 and a half years ago on whether to get a curling wand or a new flat iron and I decided on a flat iron. It’s a decision that still haunts me to this day. I have long hair, and honestly all I’ve dreamed about was having long wavy curls a la Kim K…..but alas, it was not to be. I’m contemplating chopping my hair off, because this Kim K hair is never materialising.

What I love most about this specific curling wand is that it’s clipless, so there’s no snagging of the hair or that awkward untangle of the curl. The Magic Wand is available here  on the Glampalm website and retails at R1999. I saw it yesterday being advertised for R1600 on 27Pinkx, which is VERY TEMPTING!

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The Swamp Queen Palette

GRAV3YARDGIRL Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette

This palette is a collaboration between Tarte and Bunny from Grav3yardGirl. Bunny is no Jaclyn Hill, but I think that is what the world loves about her…. An ordinary gal (hey she’s like me???) that’s not your covergirl definition of pretty, but she owns the internet with her paranormal videos and the make up and beauty stuff in-between! I have read that she may be (is?) the highest earning YouTube vlogger at the moment. She’s super successful and you can watch her channel over here .

Anyways, back to this palette…I just LOVE the colour selection. I think it’s a great palette with everything you could need: a bronzer, highlighter, blush and then the 9 eye shadows. There’s a combination of matt and shimmer shades. With the colour selection, you could opt to go neutral, but there’s also a pop of colour if you’re feeling more daring.

I think this is a limited edition palette and you’d probably have to go to a bit of trouble to try and get your hands on 1. I was planning to try and get one when it was released on the Tarte website, but wowser, these flew. I’m still hopeful somehow it will happen for me. (Any suggestions for winning Lotto numbers right now would be appreciated).

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The Naked and Naked 3 Palettes

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll know that Urban Decay officially opens its doors in South Africa on the 9th of July. Many beauty lovers and makeup users across South Africa have probably already started withdrawing their pensions to have available funds for all the UD goodness that will be available. I’ve already written about my desire for one of these palettes here, so I won’t bore you with my lustful words about these palettes again.

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Sigma Essential Kit 

When I started following beauty blogs, all the bloggers owned at least 1 or 10 of these brushes. I fell in love…and then I saw the price tag…..

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag

If only it was so easy Jessie J…..

I’ve stumbled onto many other brushes that are now on my wishlist (I’m talking about you Morphe, Kandy Kane, The Real Technique Metal Bold collection, etc), but these remain on my original dream list ❤ They are Available from Sigma Beauty and locally I think you can get them online at Turquoise Studio.

Do you own any of these items? What’s on your wishlist…if you were a rich girl? *na na na na na na na*

Tools of the trade

makeup-brushes

 

I was never really into make up. I dabbled in eye liner in my teens and the ‘brownest ‘ lipstick I could find…you know to match my back to front kriss kross jeans thing we had going on in the 90’s….*hangs head in shame*.  Occasionally I’d get a free eyeshadow with my Clinique, and if I ever bothered to play with it, I’d use that awesome sponge applicator that came with it, or my finger. *shudders at the memory*

Fast forward to 2014/2015 and I start reading beauty blogs and there are a gazillion brushes for a gazillion things! I thought…#MustBuyAllTheBrushes.  It became a bit overwhelming standing and staring at brushes and wondering which I need and which I don’t.  I do own more brushes than I use at this point….so I thought a post to show which brushes you need perhaps as the bare minimum would be a good idea. I’m obviously no guru and no make up artist….just an ordinary gal trying to figure all this out…. so keep reading if you’d like to see what my everyday brushes are☺And please note, I’ve called an expert in to assist me with my recommendations.

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UBU beauty Sponge

So my favourite Beauty Sponge is one by CALA, but the little bugger has gone missing all of a sudden. Maybe camera shy? My UBU sponge would have to do then 🙂 Okay….so back in the day, I used my fingers to apply foundation. Wow…how cool hey? NOT. I eventually discovered the flat foundation brush and thought….’aaaaahhhh I’ve arrived’. Nope, apparently not. I started reading about the Beautyblender and it’s dupes and I had to try it. I thought the UBU one was great until I tried the CALA one. It was love at first dab 😍 I can’t use anything else now for my foundation, this just gives such an airbrushed finish. I can’t imagine how amazing the original BeautyBlender is. NOTE: you have to use the sponge after you’ve dampened it a bit. Do not use it dry.

Next up are my 2 eyeshadow brushes. I love these brushes from CALA:

– Shading brush (311) for packing on your eyeshadow onto your lid.

– Blending brush (505) for even blending of all your shadows. Ain’t nothing worse than stop-start eye shadow 😉

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Concealing brush (408) – This brush isn’t a holy grail kind of brush. I actually prefer to press my concealer in with my finger and then use the tip of my beauty Sponge to blend, but if I don’t feel like using my finger, this is the brush I use.

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Powder brush – Everybody needs a fluffy powder brush. This is the only one I own and use, I do think there must be a fluffier brush out there, but as a starter brush this one is great. I use it for my powder and to bronze the outer areas of my face.

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Real Techniques Blush Brush – This must be my favourite brush that I own💖 It’s so soft and fluffy. I don’t quite know how to describe brushes, this is just so light,  but it picks up a lot of product. So just dab it into your blush and stroke your face lovingly and build your colour if need be. If there’s one brush I’d say you have to have, this is the one.

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Real Techniques angled highlighter brush or CALA fan brush – Okay truthfully again, I do prefer to use my finger for my highlighter (especially the Colourpop one due to the texture), but if you have a small angled brush like this or a fan brush, it’s great for sweeping that unicorn glow on the upper parts of your cheeks, your nose, cupid’s bow….wherever you want to sparkle 👑💎I don’t love the CALA fan brushes (which is sad, because I’m obsessed with their brushes!), they just either don’t pick up product or they go wonky after a few washes. So I’llreport back if I find a fan brush that I’d recommend.

There are some additional brushes out there…..okay lots of brushes, but to me, if you just have the above few, you’re good to go.

Do you have a favourite brush or brushes that you can’t do without?

CALA brushes and sponges are available at Dischem.

Real Technique brushes are available at Dischem, Clicks, Foschini, Takealot and Biovea (the last 2 being online). Biovea is where I purchased mine.