Sunday, July 16, 2017

Battle of the Brands : Lip Scrubs


Hi Guys, I hope winter is treating you better than me. I have dry patches on my arms, my skin feel like its auditioning for "The swamp people" and my cheeks is as red as beetroot in the mornings, not to mention the bags full of extra love and care I have to put into my lips to keep them from chapping, cause once they start chapping in winter there is no going back! Its like a nightmare you cannot wake up from and that is why I firmly believe in lip scrubs - all year round. I have put two lip scrubs up against each other to see how they perform and if there is one I prefer above the other.


Packaging - Sugar Plum from Lush comes in a glass pot that you can screw open and close. The packaging is nice and sturdy and I think a perfect fit for this type of product. The name is on the lid as well as on the side with the ingredients listed on the other side. The opening of the glass pot is big enough to allow easy access to the sugar scrub.

Candied Nectar also comes in similar packaging, the biggest difference is that the MAC one comes in a hard plastic tub, but it looks and feel like glass. It also has a screw on lid and the jar is the color that the scent resembles, in this instance its orange to resemble the peach flavor. I find the opening big enough just like the Lush one, but the MAC product is set a bit deeper than the Lush one, which means you have to use an earbud to scoop it out.


Ingredients & Consistency - The sugar plum fairy scrub has got only 7 mostly natural ingredients. I really appreciate this fact, but that also means that you have to stick to the expiry date on the bottom of the jar. The scrub is very grainy as it is mostly sugar but this is a good thing in the sense that it works perfectly removing all the dead skins on your lips. I really enjoy using this scrub.

The Candied Nectar not the other hand has got  a few more ingredients and some of them are looking not so natural. Saying this, I do not mind so much as this scrub leave my lips just a bit more moisturized. I think there is more oils in this scrub as the consistency is a lot different from the sugar plum fairy. When you open the lid, you immediately get that scent and it smells glorious. The scent together with the nice oily consistency makes for a brilliant scrub, cause the sugar is still nice and grainy and the oils add some extra moisture.



Performance - Both scrubs perform relatively the same, there is only small differences between them - mostly the consistency. The sugar plum fairy is more sugary / grainy and dry. I also do not mind if some of the mixture get on the inside of my mouth cause the ingredients is mostly natural. I enjoy how I can use my ring finger and pick up some of the product and use the same finger to exfoliate my lips. After I am done exfoliating my lips feel brand spanking new and I always apply some lip balm.

On days where I need some more moisture and some more pampering, I enjoy the MAC scrub. Although there is loads of oils in this one, the grains used to exfoliate is still coming through. I have to be very careful with this scrub as I am not fond of the feeling of it on the inside of my mouth. With that being said, cause I use an earbud to scoop it out, I can control where I place it. The feeling afterwards is nice and exfoliated and slightly moisturized, yet I still add some lip balm. 


Price and availability - Lush Sugar Plum Fairy retails for R105 for 25g and the MAC scrub is going at R270 for 14ml. I am battling to compare the measurements with each other, but when I hold these jars in my hands, they feel the same size. One thing you need to keep in mind is that the Lush scrub has a shelf life of about 12 months and a little goes a LONG way.

Sugar Plum Fairy is only available from the Lush stores or their online store, whereas the MAC scrub is also only available from MAC stores or online, but some Foschini and Edgars stores has got MAC counters. 

I can honestly not choose the one above the other as I enjoy using each one for a different reason. They both perform extremely well and they both smell amazing. It would be like choosing your favorite child??? Not possible.

If you have tried any of these scrubs before, leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also leave your favorite lip scrub suggestion below.

Love ya
Melanie

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unboxing : Boxycharm May 2017


Hi guys, We have made it to the half way point of this week. From here it is just downhill all the way to the weekend. What is your plans for this weekend?  Now, just like checking your mails each day, I check in on my Boxycharm (almost) each day. If it is not to check for spoilers, its to check how far shipping is. Some people may call it a stalking problem, Im calling it quality control or even service evaluation. I really enjoy receiving Boxycharm each month, as I get to test some awesome goodies and I feel that the South African subscription boxes lack value (please do not kill me in the comments, its just my opinion). This month was a good month, but I think the next months to come will be even better. I read some amazing (confirmed) rumors and I am excited for future boxes. As always please feel free to use my referral link  (where you and me will earn some charms to spend in the Boxycharm shop).


Diamond Glow Powder by Artist Courture in Illuminati ($27)

It is indicated on the card that we get with our box, that this powder can be used on your face to highlight, on your eyes or on your body. This is a loose powder that surely knows how to pack a punch. Unfortunately this highlighter does contain some tiny glitter chunks and I am not too fond of a chunky highlight (cause of my textured skin), but on the eyes this will look stunning. It does take some work to use it on the eyes because it is a very finely milled powder, so you have to have some sort of "sticky, creamy" base that this powder can attach to. The other problem is fallout, because there is tiny glitter in it, it sticks to your face like crap to a blanket. It's a beautiful color and highlight, but I will have to find a specific way to incorporate it into my makeup routine to maximize this beautiful powder. 



Rose Gold Pro Precision Tapered Face Brush 640 ($24)

My brush arrived a bit wonky as it was a tiny bit too big for the box. I have washed it and tried shaping it, but Im sure once I start using it more it will go back to normal. Boxycharm picked the perfect brush to go along with the Diamond Glow Powder, this type of brush will tone down the intensity of the powder and make it almost usable as a highlighter (even on my textured skin). The bristles is so nice and soft and I have just heard good things about Luxie brushes. Glad to add this sister to my collection. 


Ofra Long Lasting Lipstick in Tuscany ($20)

I watch ALOT of Youtube and I can not think of one beauty guru that doesn't like the Ofra liquid lipsticks, and now I understand why. Oh my goodness! I am not a huge fan of liquid lipsticks, because I have lips that tend to be very dry and slapping on a liquid lipstick really upset my lips and make them feel unloved so they rebel afterwards (the look is mostly not worth the hassle to get them back to normal afterwards). This lipstick however is the best thing since sliced bread. It is soft on the lips, extremely pigmented and rich, it does not bleed and it lasts a good amount of time before it fades rather evenly. However, it does transfer and in a full working day I have to reapply at least once. Not only is the color perfect for winter, but I am in love with the formula. If you have a chance to try out these lippies, go for it! You will not regret it.





Realher - Do your Squats Eye Shadow Palette II ($28)

Out of all three variations that was available to get in this box, this is the one I was hoping to get. There is a mixture of matte and shimmer / sheen shades and the colors are beautiful. I am hoping that I can create some awesome eye looks with this palette. Looking at it I do not think it is groundbreaking, but I am sure that one can create some everyday type of looks. I did find the shadows to be a bit patchy and the pigmentation is lacking in some of the shadows. To be 100% honest, paying almost thirty dollars for this palette is a bit steep. I think there is a couple of more affordable palettes out there that may perform better, but in saying that, this is the one we received in the box and I can work with it. I might just not reach for this as much as I do for some of my other palettes.


BioBelle Cosmetics - 3 Sheet Masks ($15)

I am really looking forward to using these masks. They look super interesting and just what this winter skin is asking for. I am yet to test and try these masks (at the time of writing this post) but I am sure they will be awesome. On the back it notes "biodegradable fibre" "includes botanical extracts" & "non-toxic". It would seem that the mask itself is manufactured with wood from a sustainably managed forest. It is GMO, parabens & gluten and phthalate free. This to me sound amazing and I can not wait to put one of these on and unwind after a busy day at the office. Maybe take a nice long bath with some nice smelling candles - after we get some more rain and the water restrictions is a bit less hectic.

These were all the goodies we received in May's Boxycharm. It would seem that Simone had difficulty with her Boxycharm this month but have a look at her previous unboxing (here, here and here. Hope you enjoyed this post and leave a comment below with what your favorite local sheet mask are.

Love ya
Melanie

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Other : Beauty Goodies Thats Been Forgotten


Hi guys, the other day I was going through my makeup collection and it pained to come across such excellent products that just got lost in my collection. I remember being super excited to put them to the test and try them all, then they just got lost among all the other goodies.  


Makeup Geek Shadows

I have been keen to try these shadows for sooooooo long and I finally got my hands on them LAST YEAR!!! I have heard only good things about these shadows - like everywhere. They were quite expensive as I bought them through a third party here in SA and I almost had to arrange a funeral for one of the shadows while using and testing them cause I do not have a  Z-palette to store them in and I dropped one. I must just make a plan cause these shadows are so nice and sooo worth the price.



NYX Love in Paris Palette

This palette was featured in one of my very first blog posts that I have done here. I use to love this palette so much until more exciting and prettier palettes came along. I forgot how good this palette is and how versatile it can be - well for a neutral look that is. For some reason I could just not get it over my heart to part with this palette and although it is not getting any love anymore, it still has got a special place in my heart.


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm

Hmmmm I know why this got pushed to the back to the drawer. If you have been checking in on my posts for a while, you would have come across a post or eight where I whine about how dry and flaky my lips can be. A while back (like quite a while) I picked this up and the moon, sun, stars and something close to the universe was promised to me when I will be using this balm. It got pushed back to the dark, lonely corners of the drawer cause it did not work for me at all. This balm would be great for healed and normal lips to keep them in shape. With this being said, I found a couple of products that did help me through that tough and trying times and now I have much healthier lips, maybe I should give it another go and see how I like it now?


MAC Rosegold Pigment

When this was released last year around the December holidays, I stalked it like a mad person. I simply had to get my hands on it. I went home, swatched it, took pictures and got all excited - then went on holiday and literally fell into 2017 and never used it again. I was a fool! So the other day I packed this into my makeup bag for work and felt very brave. Not only was I wearing a weird wool headband (to cover and protect my ears from the cold) but I thought as I already look weird why not put dark pink and gold glitter on my eyes. Let us write it down to poor decisions made caused by lack of sleep. Well let me tell you how this little lady surprised me! On my eyes it looks gold with a slight pink shift, the glitter is so finely milled and it is just gorgeous, so much so that I wore it for a whole week straight. 


Benefit High Beam

I thought that maybe a cream highlighter will show more respect to my textured skin than a powder usually does. Well I was right, but I did not really had the correct tool to apply this highlighter and my fingers just did not do it justice. While I am typing this I am thinking of how beautifully the Temptu highlighter applied with the PUR sponge I got in my Boxycharm recently and that is exactly what I am going to try it with. It's a beautiful highlighter that just need the correct application to masker it work perfectly. Now I am getting excited again. 


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Body Oil

While on holiday last December I picked this up thinking that I will moisturize more if my products are all in one place (I am not the best "moisturizer-er in the world, my skin is constantly filing complaints with management), but needless to say not one drop of oil has touched my body as of yet!!! Note to self - use it now and write a review, that way I will be forced to use it. 


L'Occitane Velvet Hand Cream

Oh my word this smells sooooo nice. I do not know how I kept looking over this hand cream, but I am so glad I did cause now that it is winter and I need hand cream so badly I can appreciated it 100% more. Its a beautiful rich hand cream that smells like an orchid - its define!!!


Essence Lashes to Impress

I was blessed with middle of the path type of lashes, not too long, not too voluminous, just "meh". So I picked this up thinking I will fall in love, learn how to apply lashes in an instant and where this everyday, slaying it like a queen. Fact of the story is - it has never seen the light of day!!! Its still packed away shouting at me every time I open the drawer its in. But I promised myself  that I will try them on - SOON :-) 


Lancome Lip Tint

Boy, these were hyped up like crazy and I was part of that hype. This shaker lived on my desk at the office and no one was allowed to look at it, unless they were going to say how nice it looks on my lips. Then it got a permanent space in the dreaded drawer and made friends with the Elizabeth Arden balm and some other forgotten friends. I still think it a good product and I should just remember to use it more often... Maybe I should find it a space next to my bed or next to the couch in front of the TV, it sure will help to keep my lips healthy this winter.


Inglot Liquid Lipstick in 16

I remember when this range came out, I could not walk past an Inglot counter or store without applying this lipstick. I kept on promising that I will come and take one home until I finally bit the bullet and forked out the money for this lipstick. It was nice and I like it for a hot minute, but it was so much better in my imagination while it was still not mine. I tell you, that store faeries, they mess with your mind and your judgement. Everything looks and perform better in store.

These are items that just got less and less love as my collection grew, leave a comment below if this happens to you as well from time to time.

Love ya
Melanie

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Favorites : May & June 2017


Hi guys, thank you for stopping by. I thought it good to combine my May and June favorites as not much changed. Cause my life was so busy, especially at work, I did not wear a lot of makeup. You will see in this favorite's post everything is about "high impact" and "quick and easy". Let's jump into it.


African Extacts Rooibos 3in1 Facial Wipes from the Purifying Range

Not only was the makeup kept to a minimal, but the skincare routine was also just next to non existing. I know that is not very good, especially for a beauty blogger, but these wipes were my saving grace. Not only did it remove the last bit of makeup that was left after a long day, but it also felt gentle on the skin and was the perfect companion with my face wash. I enjoy these wipes cause they are saturated just enough to be effective and they smell awesome, but the biggest reason is that they do not leave my skin feeling dry and they are affordable.


Temptu Liquid Glow Highlighter

This is a stunning product and I am so glad that I received it in my Boxycharm box. This is a liquid highlighter that can be used a couple of ways. You can either mix it in your foundation to create an all glow or you can use it as a base for powder highlight for when you want that booming highlight, or you can use it as is just on the high points of your face. It truly is a stunning highlight, especially for my textured skin. I found that when applying it with a dry PUR sponge (received in the April box) I get the best result.


Highlight & Contour Palette by IBY Beauty

This palette is extremely versatile and I have used it tons this past few weeks. Its great for highlighting and setting cream products, but the contour shades is what made my heart very happy. There is a nice bronzing shade that bring color back to my face and two great shades to use on the eyes. Now I am not great at contouring, but these shades are brilliant as a wash of color all over the lid with some eyeliner and loads of mascara. This helped to get an eye look out together so quickly. 


Clinique High Lengths Mascara

Towards the end of last year I bought a starter kit with four mini high end mascaras. I have been working my way through all of them, this is the second last one and all of them ended up in a favorites post so far. This mascara had a kind off a learning curve to it. The way the wand is bend make it difficult to reach all the lashes, especially the bottom lashes, but once you figure out how to bend your hand, this is turning out to be an awesome mascara. The combs on the wand adds great separation and length.    


Dr Paw Paw Tinted Peach Pink Balm

When I first got this balm I was very intrigued as everyone and their neighbor was talking about it and I could not wait to start testing this balm out. Immediately after my first use I felt slightly disappointed. Not because this was a bad product, but rather that it did not perform as well as I thought it would. Thinking back I am not sure what I expected, but I kept on using it and these last few weeks I can understand why it is such a fantastic product. Just because it does not transform your lips into the likes of Angelina Jolie's does not mean its not great. I used it in conjunction with a lip liner and it just work perfectly! 


L.A.Gitl Lip Liner in Mauve

This is the liner I have been talking about in the previous photo. With the combination of the Dr Paw Paw balm with this liner is just awesomeness in a tube. The liner provides the natural but evident color and the balm provides the shine and hydration. I love the combo and in winter with dry lips, its even better.

These were the goodies that kept me going during those busy days, what was the products that made your heart happy this month?

Love ya
Melanie

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Haul : June 2017


Hi guys, its the beginning of the week and I am already longing for the next weekend, work is not at the top of my fun list but shopping is! Shopping is something I am good at, I not only enjoy it but it seems I can never reach the end of my "want to get" list, so today I am going to share with you the goodies I picked up in the month of June.


GlamGlow #Multimasking kit

I have been wanting to try GlamGlow since they reached SA shores earlier this year, but its rather expensive and I can not justify paying that much money for a mask - yet. That is why when I saw this kit I jumped at the opportunity to try them all. Once I have tested them out, I will know which ones my skin like and maybe then I can justify spending that much money on a mask. I have heard great things about these masks but being able to test them out like this is amazing.


Hoity Toity Lola Jour

When I picked up the Lola Nuit for my Beaty Edit June post I smelled this one as well. I love floral and sweet perfumes and this just hit the spot for me. I was not such a fan of the Nuit but the Jour was a whole new story. I look forward to using this perfume.


Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Peel & Reveal Mask

I saw this in a video from EA on Facebook or Instagram and it made me feel like I needed another mask for pampering nights. The spatula that comes with it looks interesting and now that I have seen it, it makes so much sense to include it with this mask. The lady at the counter said that this mask does wonders for brightening the skin, and I can do with that at the moment. My dull winter skin can use all the help it can get!


Elizabeth Arden Superstart Serum

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that this is my ride or die skincare item. I can not live without this serum and when I tell you it's good, its real good! This is the second time that I am repurchasing this serum and I will keep on getting it time after time. This serum sink into the skin and take with it whatever else you put onto of it, in other words it make all your products work better as a team. As always I highly recommend this product!


Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear lip Lacquer in Coral

This unfortunately has been discontinued and that is the reason why I am featuring this in my haul as I bought a back up. This lippie is my perfect match, its the right color, the right formula and the right wear time. When I wear this lipstick I do not need to worry about anything. I know it looks good, it will stay put and and that it is on my side. I am so glad I got one before it is taken off the shelves.


DKNY Pure (fake perfume)

I am a perfume snob, I'll just come out and say it! I would rather not own a perfume if I can not get the original. In these times there are so many shops that offer replicas at a much lower price, but I still prefer the original. That being said, in my recent empties post I mentioned that the DKNY Pure perfume has been discontinued and I have a hard time accepting that. So in this case of emergency I not only bought a replica perfume, but I bought two. I love this scent and will definitely use these sparingly.

This is all the goodies I picked up in the month of June, is there anything that is on your wishlist that was mentioned here?

Love ya
Melanie