Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dove Damage Therapy Daily Treatment Conditioner

The main problem behind all my personal hair woes: I have been cursed with very oily roots – I’ve tried what I can, but no matter what, I have to wash my hair every day. This is perfect for my roots, but now that I’m growing my hair out, the constant washing is taking its toll on the lengths of my highlighted/bleached hair. Lately I have noticed that my hair has been dull, brittle and increasingly susceptible to damage, despite several fairly pricey shampoo/conditioner/treatments specifically designed to prevent damage for coloured hair. So when Beauty Bulletin sent me Dove’s new Intensive Care Treatment Conditioner, I wasn’t expecting much.

I have been converted. I will definitely be repurchasing this treatment and will be trying out the rest of the range.

The first thing you notice when you open this condition is the smell: it’s a really pretty but subtle, clean fragrance. Lovely enough to make your hair smell pretty, but soft enough that it won’t interfere with your perfume.

True to its “Treatment” property, the product is thicker and creamier than your average conditioner. After massaging this through my lengths, my comb went smoothly through my hair: this product really does well as far as detangling goes, which goes a long way towards preventing breakage.
Unlike most treatments, you don’t have to wait forever before washing this product out: it’s just one minute, the same as your normal conditioner. It takes a little bit of patience to get it all out, because it is quite creamy but it’s definitely worth the effort: left in conditioner will always make my hair flat and limp.

After the first use, I already noticed a difference. My hair felt softer and smoother, with good movement and bounce. I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it (rather later than the rest of the BB girls - got to love reliable postal service...) and I’m loving the way my hair feels and looks. I’m also noticing less hair in my hair brush (and, to be kind of gross, in my shower drain), which is a good sign that my hair is stronger and having less breakage. I’ve already recommended this product to my friends, and now I’m recommending it to you, my readers (online friends!).

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bow Peep Goodies

Bow Peep is a brand of handmade accessories and stationary, based in Cape Town.Many Bow Peep products are characterized by the use of beautiful fabric. I first heard about the brand through Twitter and a few blogs I follow, and made my way to the online store in delight - I absolutely love beautiful things! Choosing a few items for my first order was extremely difficult however - everything was so pretty - but I eventually picked out a few of my favourite things. I'll be back to get a few more though!

Here's a peak at what I ordered:

Pretty packaging and labeling

Ampersand Tote Bags (I have a thing for ampersands)

Blue-and-white striped button jewelry

Floral Button Badges/Pins

Free Bow Peep Tote Bag for spending lots of monies ;) 

If you like what I got, I encourage you to check out the Bow Peep online shop :)

Monday, 27 August 2012

Music Mondays: Love & Loss (Two Steps from Hell)

Love & Loss: Two Steps From Hell

Two Steps From Hell is a production company that makes music for movie trailers. I just want my life to have this song as a sound track. How much more awesome would that be?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Photo A Day: August Challenge, Week 3

Another month, another "Photo A Day" Challenge :) If you know me, you'll know that I almost always have my smartphone in my hand, snapping random photos. I may or may also be an Instagram addict...
As for July, I will be participating in the #photoadayaug challenge by @fatmumslim - you can check it out on her blog here. I will be sharing my photos on Instagram and through Twitter and Tumblr - if you would like to follow me, my username is laurajane0103 for all three (or click on the links at the top of the sidebar). I hope I can get a few more recruits to the challenge: it's always fascinating to see what different people come up with when given the same prompt.

Week 3

Day 15: Ready (to participate in my very first - shock horror - charity fun walk)

Day 16: Food (pizza delivery for Wine Night) (it's an awesome thing)

Day 17: Face (hey, she looks familiar...)

Day 18: Inside (the Newlands rugby stadium, supporting our manne!)

Day 19: Hole (in the wall of my lab) (because why bother to repair something properly?)

Day 20: Today (another day, another reaction that's acting bitchy)

Day 21: Cool (view from the window as the temperature started to drop, but before it went single-digit)

Day 22: Home (my fumehood, aka my home for the next few months, as I frantically try to finish my labwork)

PS: On that note, I am going to be working some very odd hours over the next bit. (For those of you who are new, I'm doing my MSc in Organic Chemistry - I have a few months of labwork and a thesis that needs to get written by the end of the year.) So I want to apologize in advance for the fact that my posting will not be as regular and fantabulous as I would like. Please bear with me! And donations of wine and chocolate are always appreciated! ;) Hugs, Laura Jane

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

On my nails: Supporting the Green-and-Gold!

For the rugby on Saturday (well done Bokke!), I decided to take my green-and-gold outfit to the girly level by adding a patriotic manicure! This metallic green polish is just a cheapie that I picked up from a campus vendor a year or so ago. After 3 coats, I slicked on 2 coats of this fun gold glitter polish from Essence. I love how the glitter has two particle sizes, plus has a subtle golden sheen.

My Makeup Routine

I thought I'd share a look I had on Saturday. My makeup was very similar during the day, but for night I tweaked it a bit by exaggerating the liquid liner and getting a more polished finish. These are the products I use, in the order that I apply them.

Woolworths Face Smoothing Primer
Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin in 001 Buff
Essence Stay All Day Concealer in 10 Natural Beige
Rimmel Hide The Blemish Concealer in 001 Ivory
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 004 Sandstorm
Estée Lauder Tender Blush in 102 Pink Kiss and 323 Fresh Plum
Essence Holographic Effect Eyeshadow in 42 Mystic Purple (used as highlighter)
Essence Eyebrow Designer in 04 Blonde
Yardley Stayfast Velvet Quad Eyeshadow in Ripe Plum
Woolworths Colour Dipliner in Black
Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in 261 Noir
Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in 001 Black (used on waterline)
Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 025 Sweetheart/Valentine

Eek, that list seems quite long and scary once it's all typed up! In all fairness, I'm actually very lazy and try to do my makeup as quickly and effortlessly as possible. (I also really need to get my eyebrows reshaped, eish...)
To my regular visitors: Would more detailed makeup and beauty posts be something you are interested in reading?

Monday, 20 August 2012

All the colours!

I basically live in ballet flats (except for the depths of winter when it's too cold for anything but boots). Heaven knows not how much self control it took to not buy these in every single freaking colour!

[Yes, they're just from PnP Clothing, for like R50 or something. I've destroyed enough pretty pumps with lab solvents to not invest in pricy footwear anymore.]

Music Mondays: Fact-Fiction (Mads Langer)

Fact-Fiction: Mads Langer

This song is hauntingly beautiful.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Photo A Day: August Challenge, Week 2

Another month, another "Photo A Day" Challenge :) If you know me, you'll know that I almost always have my smartphone in my hand, snapping random photos. I may or may also be an Instagram addict...
As for July, I will be participating in the #photoadayaug challenge by @fatmumslim - you can check it out on her blog here. I will be sharing my photos on Instagram and through Twitter and Tumblr - if you would like to follow me, my username is laurajane0103 for all three (or click on the links at the top of the sidebar). I hope I can get a few more recruits to the challenge: it's always fascinating to see what different people come up with when given the same prompt.

Week 2

Day 7: 8 o'clock (8pm, sitting in my office, in front of my computer)

Day 8: Glasses (Yes, I am that idiot that you know that wears non-prescription glasses over her blind-as-a-bat-without-them contact lenses) (I sometimes miss wearing glasses, okay?)

Day 9: Messy (Bursts of creativity almost always end with a massive purple mess all over the living room floor. Whoops.)

Day 10: Ring (I have a new addiction to cocktail rings. Someone needs to stop me buying them.)

Day 11: Purple (I love flowers in winter. This plant has been flowering since I got it for my birthday - at the end of February!)

Day 12: Spoon (Helping myself to piles of red red red strawberries!)

Day 13: Simple (Because occasionally I'm too tired/lazy to bother cooking the complex DIY way)

Day 14: Arrow (Reaction arrow in my notebook. Plus ink smudge.)

It's a 'Hat Day'

My outfit today is rather boring. Jeans, black tee, black coat, black high heeled boots, black umbrella, black jewelry. What makes today's outfit exciting? One simple addition: this beautiful stiff-brimmed felt hat! Hats are awesome for numerous reasons. One, they keep your head warm. (It's cold in Stellenbosch today!) Two, they keep your hair safe from wind and rain. (I washed my hair this morning, then rough-dried with my hairdryer before putting it in a French braid.) Three, they're incredibly cute and stylish! I have far too many hats that I wear far too infrequently - I really should do this more often! (Oh, and you can't see in this picture, because I'm an idiot and I took a photo of the wrong side, but the strip of felt around the hat ties in a cute bow on the other side.)
(Hat from Woolworths SA, last winter)

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed my tiny mustache earrings! I love the mustache trend that's been happening this season (see this post) and added to it this week with my new watch. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Things I'm loving this week

  • My oil fin heater: seriously would not make it through the winter without it. Saving me from developing hypothermia within my own flat.
  • Butterfly jewellery
  • High-low skirts
  • Stars in the early morning sky
  • Glimmers of sunshine in-between the days of biting cold
  • Fresh fruit for lunch
  • New platform wedges
  • Going running again for the first time since autumn
  • Elbow-patch cardigans
  • Painkillers. Magical medical discovery.
  • Rewatching season 1 of Community. Can’t explain how much I love this show!
  • Deliveries in the mail
  • Long conversations with friends where you talk about everything and nothing
  • Chai lattes
  • My new moustache-faced watch!
  • Getting back into the teaching swing
  • Watching The Dark Knight Rises
  • Awesome pizza and cocktails at Sgt Pepper
  • Rediscovering my old favourite songs – thank you iPod and your shuffle magic!
  • Printing a new batch of photos and slowly getting around to putting them in frames
  • Red wine! Lots and lots of red wine!
  • Sitting at the window, watching the rain, with a glass of wine, writing my book.
  • New fountain pens
  • Scoring some awesome beauty products on sale. (Holographic eyeshadow that can be used as highlighter, for R2.99? Yes please!)
  • Earl Grey tea
  • Lying in bed with fairy lights above me
  • A smile from a stranger
  • Reviewing beauty products

Lingerie Letters: A Cheeky Delivery

You may or may not recall my original post about Lingerie Letters (if not, it's over here). Lingerie Letters is one of the newest monthly subscription services to hit South Africa - and watching the tweets fly in, it's already off to an amazing start! The premise is simple: a pretty pair of panties in the post, every month. Who wouldn't love that?
I think I was one of the last people to get this month's delivery (post in Stellenbosch takes forever, and that's compared to the normal post office service delivery!) so waiting while seeing the tweets of other ladies' deliveries was agony, but my letter finally got to me yesterday morning :) A little bit of lace, a few pearls, bows and lots of gorgeous satin ribbon: what's not to love?

If you're interested in signing up, be sure to check out their website :)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Nails of the Day: Polka dot tips

After making numerous encounters with brick walls yesterday (yes, several times in one day - I really need to start looking where I'm walking...), I snapped off 2 nails, so I said my goodbyes and cut my nails down to equal length. I was originally going to leave them solid baby blue, but then remembered this simple nail art that I had done the last time I wore this polish. (You can see that post over here.)
This twist on a french-type manicure works particularly well on short nails, I think. It's also super easy and you don't even need a proper dotting tool - the dots I did this morning were with a pointed cotton bud, and the end of a paper clip also works well. Pick up the polish by pressing the tip of the dotting tool against the brush - dipping it into the polish will pick up too much. I find the best way to get even-ish spacing is to make my first dot in the center of the nail, and then add two dots on either side.

(Blue polish is "Beach Babe" by Tip Top Nail Chic, Magenta polish is "Funtime Fuschia" by Rimmel)

Music Mondays: Bread & Butter (Hugo)

Bread & Butter (Hugo)

Who had a good weekend? Here's a little sexy something to get you through the week ;)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Enjoy the weekend!

5 Things Friday: 5 Favourite Moments This Week

This past week has been insanely crazy. It's been non-stop action, lots of work, lots of play and lots of emotions. In among the rollercoster of it all, here were my 5 favourite moments...

1. Being involved in the varsity's Open Day: our department asked us (the chemistry society) to help run the chemistry stall at the university's Open Day. This ended up being a crazy day on my feet, doing simple experiments, explaining to students what their options were for studying chemistry, talking to them about their plans for further study and so on. I was constantly running from the stall to my lab to refresh chemicals and clean apparatus, and by the end of the day (when I still had to go and tutor for another 3 hours), my voice was starting to go and every part of my body ached. Regardless, it was a great opportunity and was actually rather fun! (Mayhem and mess in the name of science!) (The below picture is me doing the "elephant's toothpaste" reaction yet again.) (Still amuses me!)

2. Going to the "Grape Day Out" wine festival in Stellenbosch with my best friend and her boyfriend. They're totally awesome and great fun to hang out with, and we must have tasted a bajillion wines (yes, really!). We got there before everything opened, so we were in while everything was still nice and quite, and you could chat to the people representing each farm about their wine. Just over 5 hours later when we left to escape to a farm, it was decidedly less quite and rather more, well, let's say festive ;) I also got a chance to wear my black high-low maxi skirt for the first time! (Although I had to pair it with a long sleeved black top, a black waterfall cardi and my cowboy boots, because it was a tad chilly!)

3. What better way to end a Saturday of wine tasting than by chilling at your favourite local social cafe? Cocktails, nachos, chilli poppers, oodles of guacamole and sour cream, and great company: what more could you ask for?

4. I've mentioned fairly often that I'm a bit of a cheese nut, so when dinner becomes a casual cheese and wine affair, I'm practically bouncing with happiness.

5. And finally, for Women's Day yesterday, I made one of my favourite desserts - pavlova with vanilla-infused double-thick cream, topped with fresh berries. (I may or may not have eaten the entire thing by myself over the entire day, but calories don't exist on holidays, right?) Don't meringues just look gorgeous when they come out of the oven?

What were your favourite moments of the past week? Did you do anything interesting, go anywhere new, eat anything delicious?

xoxo Laura Jane

Thursday, 9 August 2012

DIY Lip Scrub: The secret to soft and kissable lips ;)

If you ever suffer from dry, flaky lips and haven't yet incorporated a lip scrub into your routine, I beg you to do so. It's incredibly quick and easy, and your lips will never feel as soft or moisturized. (Plus, no one ever looked good in lipstick applied over dry lips). If the winter air is drying out your lips, a gentle exfoliation to remove the dead skin will allow your lips to absorb so much more moisture from your lip balm.

There are several good lip scrubs available on the market, but scrubs are so incredibly easy to make that I can't see a good reason to pay for one (especially when on a budget). This simple lip scrub will take you less than 2 minutes to make (including getting things out of the kitchen cupboard).

What will you need:

  • Sugar: This will act as your exfoliant. I prefer to use soft brown sugar, but you can increase or decrease the particle size depending on what you need.
  • Honey: Honey is well known as a great moisturizer. (Plus, it smells really pretty!)
  • Oil: This will help create the right consistency. I use sweet oil (from the pharmacy) because it has a relatively neutral scent, but you can use olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc.
  • Vaseline (optional): I don't always add this, but it will make your scrub more "spreadable" by binding it together. (If you don't want to use Vaseline, I have heard that shea butter is a good replacement)
  • A teaspoon or two, and a small mixing bowl.

What you need to do:

Place about 1/2 a teaspoon of honey in your small bowl.
 As you can see in the above picture, mine was suffering a bit from the winter chill, so I melted it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
 Add a teaspoon of your sugar.
 Mix until it forms a sticky paste.
 Add a few drops of your oil until you get a smooth consistency. This will depend on the sugar you used, but I typically use 1/2 a teaspoon.
 Mix until you have a smooth paste.
 If you want, you can add 1/2 a teaspoon of Vaseline to your scrub.
 You should have a smooth, creamy paste that's gritty when you rub it between your thumb and index finger.
And that's it!

For best results, use your lip scrub twice a week. Gently massage a pea-sized blob into your lips - you can either lick the excess off (especially if you didn't add the Vaseline) or wipe your lips clean with a tissue. And voila! Soft, smooth, kissable lips :)