Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Want to win R2500 to spend at Mr Price?

It should come as no surprise that I love shopping at Mr Price. I love how they continually have on-point, trendy clothing at super affordable prices - perfect for trying out all the newest trends without having to spend a fortune on something that may only be "in" for a season. As a student on a limited budget, I'm also nuts about how I can buy a full outfit, accessories included, for less than a single item at many other retailers! I'm constantly keeping an eye of what new items arrive in store. Of course, it's even better now that they have an online store - no more wading through crowded stores or sifting through messy racks of clothes!

Here are a few things that are currently on my wishlist for Autumn. (I only realised as I was putting the collage together that they're all black - I promise, I do wear colour as well! I must just be craving the darker season!)

1. Pleather jacket R329.99 // 2. Lace-backed dress R99.99 // 3. Quilted pleather skirt R89.99 // 4. Heart earrings R15.99 // 5.  Lace cropped top R69.99 // 6. Lace up wedged boot R199.99 // 7. Bangle stack R49.99

Now for the good news! Mr Price is currently giving away an amazing R2500 voucher - I can't even begin to imagine all the goodies you'd be able to buy with that! To enter to win , click the image below:

This is a sponsored post

Monday, April 14, 2014

[Event] Rain Rainger Blogger Event

Last week, I attended a blogger event like none other. The moment I saw the email invite from Rain, I was like YES! I have loved Rain for years (their Wild Cotton range is amazeballs!), so it is super exciting to be more involved with their brand. The event was held in Platbos Forest, and getting there was quite the adventurous roadtrip! I got a lift with Lauren, together with Charlene and Lisa-Jade - who made it a very entertaining trip. After our long trek, we were welcomed to the forest. 

If you are unfamiliar with Rain, there are a few things you need to know. Importantly, they are nature-friendly and cruelty-free. Their products don't contain any nasty chemicals. They are a very people-centralled company: their products are lovingly handmade, the beautiful packaging is hand crafted, and they support local traders. What sets them apart is how they are uniquely and proudly Africa. You can read all about their promises here.

Melissa Krige, the custodian of the Platbos Forest, started our day off with a tour of the forest, where she showed us some of the ancient trees found in Platbos. She also taught us a bit about what makes Platbos Forest so unique and special. You can read a bit more about the botanical mystery on their website. Melissa is also the creator of African Tree Mists - a range of tree essences blended with essential oils - sold by Rain. She shared with us the philosophy behind these mists and their therapeutic effects.

We had a lovely time chatting with Ronel from Rain, as she shared stories about the company and the people involved. Ronel is an amazing speaker and had us all enthralled with her stories - it is unbelievably amazing to hear about the love and passion Rain has for their products, their mission and their consumers. She also shared with us what their various spa treatments involve - I felt so relaxed just hearing about them, so I can't wait to go give the spa a visit! You can go find out about the Rain Spa here - how amazing does it all sound? I think first up I would love to try the Elephant Walk treatment!

We were also introduced to Rain's new book, sharing all their hand-earned knowledge on natural soap-making, which should be in stores soon. As an additional bonus, the lovely ladies from the Rain Spa treated us to massages - can I just say, AMAZING! I've never had a massage that left me as relaxed before (and the perpetual knots in my neck and shoulders are finally gone!)

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this day, especially Tanya and Ronel from Rain, and Melissa. I am proud to be a Rain Rainger :)

All photos courtesy of Rain.

Friday, April 4, 2014

How I do my nails

I thought it was about time to show you all what all goes into my nail polish routine, seeing as all I ever mention is what colour I'm wearing. With this routine, my nail polish usually lasts for 7-10 days before chipping significantly (lab accidents notwithstanding - unfortunately spilling chemicals/solvents on your hands has a tendency to dissolve/lift polish). Of course, unfortunately everyone's skin and nails react differently, so what works well for me may not work as well for you, but I thought I would share nevertheless.

1. Base coat
At the moment I'm actually using two base coats. At the same time. First, I paint a layer of Tip Top Nail Booster Base Coat, to help strengthen my nails and promote healthy growth. Like all Tip Top products, I can highly recommend this. I got it in my CPT Blogger Meet goodie bag and ever since I started using it, I've noticed a definite improvement in my nails - no more flaking or peeling or breakage, woo hoo! I then top this with a layer of Revlon's Calcium Gel Nail Hardener. I've been using this for about a year (previously on its own, but on top of the Tip Top base coat this year). Long term, this product doesn't really do much to strengthen my nails but when I am wearing it, it definitely helps harden and strengthen my nails. This means that the tips (esp the corners) don't flex and bend as much, which - for me, at least - means that my polish chips significantly less.

2. Colour time!
It should come as no surprise to regular readers that my favourite nail polishes are from essence! I love the wide range of colours, good formula and tiny pricetag! (Also a bonus, no animal testing or nasty chemicals.) Other favs are Tip Top, Catrice, Revlon and Mavala.

3. Top coat
To get a super shiny finish, and to ensure longevity, top coat is essential! I also love quick-drying top coats because I often end up painting my nails before bed and, hello, no one wants to smudge on their sheets (also, laziness). At the moment I am loving Sally Hansen's InstaDri Top Coat. Shininess? Check. Quick drying? Check. Anti-chip? Check check check!

Other bits and bobs
There are two important things I added to my routine to get as neat and professional-looking a mani as possible: cuticle remover, and clean-up. To remove cuticles, I use Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover. It's the only one I've tried, so I can't compare, but it does the job well. For clean-up, I use a small paintbrush (from the art section in PNA) dipped in acetone to neaten up edges. (A process which I had not yet done in the photo at the beginning of this post - my bad! In my defense, I was in a rush to get to the excitement of the Cape Town Carnival!)

And that's about it!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Body Shop Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

After seeing a few reviews for this float around (and esp this one from For The Beauty Of It) I decided to pick this up when I was in The Body Shop last week. My skin has really been playing up lately (stupid hormones) and I’ve been using specialized products to clear it up. Now that it is more-or-less under control again, I was looking for a cleanser that would keep my skin clear without making it feel stripped or dry. Enter the concept of a cleansing butter/balm.

Now, the concept of cleansing with oil may seem a bit weird, but it’s chemically sound. One of the fundamental principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like”. Basically, non-polar things (like grease) dissolve in oil, polar things dissolve in water. Typically, we get grease to wash off with water by using soaps or detergents – special molecules that have a polar side (to interact with the water) and a non-polar side (to interact with the grease). This method works very well – in fact, sometimes too well, removing all the oil from your face, leaving it dry and stripped. This in turn stimulates your skin to produce more oil, which you then strip away, and so on and so on. In oil-based cleaning, you use clean oil to dissolve the dirty oil on your skin. You then gently remove the oil to lift away the dirt without stripping your skin of all its moisture.

The Body Shop Cleansing Butter is a similar consistency to solid coconut oil. It’s a smooth white solid that, when you rub it between your fingers, melts into a silky oil. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t feel “oily” or “greasy” at all). I take a small blob and massage it all over my face for a minute or two. I then wipe my face clean with a damp, warm facecloth. To ensure I get all the oil off, I rinse out the facecloth with plenty warm water, wring it out and then (gently!) clean my face again. This left no residue on my face.

Despite all the good things I had heard, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised at how well this cleanser worked. My skin felt clean and clear, while remaining soft and comfortable (not at all tight and red, like most cleansers leave me).  I've only been using it for a week but I am really enjoying this addition to my skincare routine! If you are at all interesting in trying a cleansing balm, I can recommend trying this one – it’s also a lot more budget friendly than many of the other ones on the market, so it’s a good one to start off with.

Have you tried this product? What were your thoughts?

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