Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pastel Galaxy Nails

pastel galaxy nail art

pastel galaxy nail art

pastel galaxy nail art

Big cheer for my first attempt at galaxy nails! I saw THIS tutorial for pastel galaxy nails and just had to try it - I love how pretty and light it is! I'm looking forward to practicing and perfecting this look, now that I know how easy it actually is! (I also really want to try this look with a matt top coat, like in the original, but I haven't yet been able to get my hands on one :( Let me know if you have a recommendation.)

Polishes used:

essence - that's what i mint (base colour, mint - seen here)
tip top - surfer girl (shimmery pastel purple - seen here)
tip top - beach babe (baby blue - seen here)
essence - wanna be your sunshine (shimmery yellow - seen here)
tip top - snowflake (white/translucent glitter)
essence - make me holo (subtle blue holo effect)
mavala - sparkling silver (silver glitter - seen here)
revlon - (white  - seen here)

Words of Wisdom

Friday, 26 July 2013

Rimmel Waterproof Gel Eyeliner

rimmel waterproof gel eyeliner

rimmel waterproof gel eyeliner

rimmel waterproof gel eyeliner

rimmel waterproof gel eyeliner

Rimmel Waterproof Gel Eyeliner*

I will admit - I've never really been a fan of gel eyeliners. Maybe it's just me, but I've found them tricky to master and the formulas are sometimes a bit odd - I'd much rather just use my normal kohl pencil or liquid liner and be done in 30 seconds than mess around with a little brush and pot. I'm still not completely converted, but I'll at least be getting some use out of this offering by Rimmel.

The first thing that I liked was that the brush is contained in the cap - just click it out, invert and reattach. The brush is easy to control and you can easily alter the line you are drawing. The surface of the product seemed rather dry, but once I got the brush in, the gel itself was smooth and of the right consistancy. The gel had a decent pigmentation. I did however have to be careful with how much product I got on the brush: too much and your beautiful line will smudge. Once it dries, however, this product stays vas! When I got around to taking my makeup off for bed (16 hours after applying my makeup) my eyeliner was still there, not as perfect as it was in the morning, but still impressively good. (I have slightly oily eyelids and do find that eye makeup invariably slips off). With regards to the "waterproof" claim, I did find that - on my eyelids - this eyeliner could withstand a quick shower without any damage. I needed to use my makeup remover to get it off. 

*I received this product as a consumer gift when buying from Rubybox

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Bioderma Sensibio Forte

bioderma sensibio forte cream for reddened sensitive skin

"Rich in soothing, modulating active ingredients, Sensibio Forte quickly soothes cutaneous reactions and increases the skin's tolerance threshold. Hydrating and moisturizing agents fight the cutaneous dehydration which often accompanies irritation."

I found this gem from Bioderma at my pharmacy and had to pick it up as it seemed perfect for my skin - and I'm glad I did. I use this cream on a when-needed basis whenever the redness in my skin flares up, whether it's from a reaction to something I've used, or from a touch too much sun, water irritation after a warm shower, or after even a gentle exfoliation. I've found that it helps with rosacea-related redness. Immediately after applying this soothing cream, I can feel my skin's irritation disappearing, and within a minute it is fulling absorbed, leaving my skin softer, moisturized and visibly less red.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Bioderma Sensbio H2O and Sébium H2O

bioderma sensibio sebium h2o

Today I'm looking at not one but TWO micelellar waters from Bioderma! Sensibio H2O, one of the products from the Sensibio range for sensitive skin, has been seen on just about every beauty blog ever, so I held off reviewing it. However, when I got my hands on the equivalent product from the Sébium range for combination/oily skin, I thought I'd put in my two cents about these cleansers.

Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

bioderma sensibio h2o

"A Bioderma innovation, Sensibio H2O gently cleanses and removes makeup from face and eyes. The micelles contained in its formula effectively micro-emulsify impurities while maintaining the cutaneous balance. Soothing active ingredients prevent the skin feeling irritated. Excellent cutaneous and ocular tolerance."

I've been using this product as a cleanser morning and evening for 6 months and I love it. (9 days out of 10, this is the only cleanser I use). It's the first cleanser that doesn't irritate my skin and still leaves my skin properly cleansed. It's perfect for anyone with sensitive skin as it is gentle, fragrance free and hypoallergenic. (Also, you can get this in your eyes by accident and it doesn't hurt at all!) Even if you don't have sensitive skin, you can still use this product as a makeup remover and follow with your normal cleanser.

Sébium H2O Micelle Solution

bioderma sebium h2o

"A Bioderma innovation, Sébium H2O cleanses the skin gently without drying it, through the micro-emulsion of impurities and excess sebum. Enriched with ultra-purifying active ingredients, Sébium H2O cleanses the epidermic in depth and reduces sebaceous secretion. The patented sebo-correcting Fluidactiv complex regulates sebum quality. Excellent tolerance. Non-condogenic."

If you have combination or oily skin and find that Sensibio H2O does not meet your cleansing needs, I recommend that you try the Sébium H2O. With a gentle cucumber scent, this solution does a better job at removing excess oil. The addition of Bioderma's "Fluidactiv complex" is intended to help manage sebum production. When my skin is playing up a bit, I swipe a cotton pad with this solution over my T-zone after cleansing with Sensibio H2O. Note that Sébium H2O is not fragrance free and is intended as a cleanser, not a makeup remover, so be careful around your eyes (the product webpage does state that the product has good ocular tolerance, but rather safe than sorry...)

So, that's my thoughts on these two micellar solutions! Have you tried either of these products? If so, what were your impressions? Be sure to leave a comment below!

PS: Later this week I'll be reviewing another one of my favourite products from Bioderma's Sensibio range, so if you have sensitive skin and suffer from redness and irritation, be sure to keep an eye out!
Make sure you're following my blog (links in the sidebar) to never miss a post!

PPS: If you haven't seen it, milkteef had a fascinating post with a blind test of 7 different micellar waters - you can go check it out here

Music Monday

Unknown Thought - Pearl Jam

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Neon Nails

neon nails
neon polish minis
R39,99 for four, Mr Price

I picked this set of neon polishes up on a whim - I was standing in the queue at Mr Price and they caught my eye. I've been on the fence about neon polishes - I didn't want to spend a lot of cash on something I wouldn't get much wear out of - so this super-cheap set was a perfect way to dip my toes into the neon pool.

The pictured swatches are with two coats of colour - if you have long nails, you may need more coats or a white base coat to hide any visible nail line. The green polish was the most opaque (almost a one-coater), but the orange and yellow are significantly sheerer. What I liked about these polishes was the quick dry-time and, unexpectedly, the matte finish (which isn't very visible in the photo due to the natural light).

One thing I did notice was the completely different way these polishes behaved depending on the base coat I used. With my Tip Top strengthening base coat, I had a perfectly smooth finish. However, I first tried with my Essence peel-off base coat (which I prefer to use for swatching days, for the solvent-free removal), and the finish was awful. I'd never seen a polish ripple, bubble and form ridges the way all four of these did. So just a heads up that if you do get an odd finish with a polish, try using a different base coat before writing it off.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Stila Sheer Pressed Powder

stila sheer pressed powder in light

stila sheer pressed powder in light
R259 from Style36

This pressed powder from Stila is pricier than I'd normally spend on such a product (living on bursary money and all), but I'm incredibly glad I had a "Treat Yo' Self!" moment and bought it! 

The packaging of this compact is a sturdy silver plastic case with cute stars embossed on it, and has stood up well with being tossed into my handbag. The clasp secures well (who else loves a satisfyingly good "click!"?).
The compact comes with a thin powder puff, which is okay for touch-ups, but I do prefer using a big powder brush when I do my makeup in the morning (I use this one).

The powder itself is incredibly finely milled. Seriously, it goes on so smoothly than your skin feels instantly silkier. The shade I bought ("Light") has very little pigmentation: over foundation, it behaves like a translucent powder and by itself it evens out my redness slightly. It does a great job of keeping oilier patches of my skin matte, without making drier patches dull and flaky -score! (Ah, the joys of sensitive, combination skin!)

Lifetime is about average. I normally do my makeup at 7am, and find at the moment that I only need a touch-up at about 3pm. Don't worry about your makeup getting gross and cakey from reapplying though - that really shouldn't happen with a powder this fine.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Durban Adventures

As some of you may have seen on Twitter/Facebook, I recently went to Durban for a week. The reason for my visit was for INORG2013 - a local biennial Inorganic Chemistry conference. The conference took up almost all of our time for the week, so I didn't get to see much of Durban itself. Nevertheless, I thought I'd share some of my Instagrams from the week. (This is my first time using Instagram's "embed" function so I hope it works!)

I flew for the first time!

Leaving Cape Town

The hotel room (I shared with the other PhD student that I went with - she's a friend so it was a fun week!)

The weather for the week was rather grey and dreary, but our first day was lovely, so we celebrated our safe arrival with cocktails and wood-fired pizza!

Sunrise from our hotel room!

I got to present the first few months of my PhD research!

We did take an afternoon off - I got to enjoy several hours at uShaka Sea World!

We enjoyed a fantastic dancefloor experience at the conference's gala dinner! (I was VERY grateful I decided to wear leggings underneath this dress!)

 After the conference was over we did take the time to go for a walk on the beach!

The week ended with a day at the UKZN Westville Campus for a workshop, followed by us flying home that night. I had one of the most terrifying moments of my life when I realised at the airport that I had lost my phone! I was incredibly lucky though - I had somehow left it in the ladies' bathroom and someone found it and turned it in to the Information desk! In our crime-filled society where I immediately thought that someone had stolen it, it was so remarkable to get it back! Thank you and God bless to the woman who found my phone and to the lady at the Information desk!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Stila "In The Moment" Eyeshadow Palette

stila in the moment eyeshadow palette

stila in the moment eyeshadow palette

stila "in the moment" eyeshadow palette
R375 from Style36

It was love at first sight - a gorgeous selection of neutrals with a few purple shades tossed in! As you can see in the swatches, there is a mix of shimmery and matt shadows. These shadows have the legendary Stila formulation; they're creamy and apply smoothly. They also have great pigmentation and blend nicely.

Swatches of the eyeshadows:

stila in the moment eyeshadow palette

stila in the moment eyeshadow palette

The Stila palettes also includes a smudge stick waterproof eye liner - this one comes in shade "tetra", which is a plum with just a touch of sparkle.

Thought for the Day

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Stila Lip Glazes

stila lip glaze trio - harvest set

This set of lip glazes contain the perfect autumn/winter shades - warm, spicy neutrals that will suit most skin tones. The glazes are well pigmented and have a lovely vanilla scent (I have a thing for vanilla scents... yum!). The formula is sufficiently thick and sticky to hang around for a few hours (just be sure to get your hair out of your face when it's windy or it will forever be stuck to your lips!).

Have you ever....

I'm picking up on this fun blog idea from the fabulous Diva Desle :D So, without any preamble, let's jump in!

1.Been pulled over?
Nope - I don't drive (I haven't got my license - yet. Or money to buy a car to drive, for that case... But I promise to get cracking on that license soon!)

2.Plucked your eyebrows?
Yes. But now I'm lazy/too much of a wuss to do them properly, so I get a pro to wax/pluck/shape them and I just do some maintenance in between appointments. (On that note, am I the only person that finds brow waxes soothing and not painful?)

3.Pulled an all-nighter?
I try. I always end up falling asleep before the sunrise. (Whether for work or fun!)

4.Baked a cake?
Lots of times, although I tend to stick to the same recipe (I'm not really big on cake but I love my mom's vanilla cake recipe - it's just so soft and fluffy!)

Yummy birthday cake! (Plus sparklers, because fire should be fun!)

5.Fallen down in public?
Yes. Cute shoes + wet ground + low friction coefficient = landing on your butt.

6.Been caught making out?
Whoops, yes...

7.Taken a pregnancy test?

8.Broken a bone?
Not really.

9.Had braces?
Yes, from the beginning of Grade 9 all the way to the end of Grade 11! That's a long time! Including a year of sleeping with that super sexy wire thing that clips into your braces and goes all around your head, yikes. I still have wires behind my top and bottom front teeth. But, totally worth it!

Million-dollar smile! Well, not quite, but almost! (If you follow me on Instagram, you'll note that I'm quite fond of the selfie...)

10.Gone skinny dipping?

11.Made a prank call?

12.Screamed during a scary movie?
Yes! I scream at lots of things, but especially when someone/something jumps out at me.

13.Gone out without underwear?

14.Been arrested?

15.Opened Christmas presents early?
Not technically. But for years now I've been choosing my own gifts. And then I help my mom wrap everything. And then I open them on Christmas Eve. It's probably weird, but hey - it's my tradition. (And I always get things I like, hehe ;P )

This one was from my aunt, so it was still a surprise!

16.Been in the hospital?
Yes - the biggest thing that happened was my tooth-extraction operation just before I turned 13 (my 4 wisdom teeth PLUS 8 OTHER (baby/milk) TEETH!) (Who still has 8 baby teeth at 13? Unlucky me.)

17.Had food come out your nose?
Haha, food, no. Wine, yes. (If I sometimes have wine for supper, does that make it a food?)

18.Toilet papered someone's house?

19.Laughed so hard you cried?

This group of ladies is usually responsible for that...

20.Burned yourself with a curling iron?
Eina, yes!

21.Been hit on by someone too old?
Urg, yes.

22.Eaten food that fell on the floor?
Firm believer in the 10 second rule!

23.Given a hickey?
Not that I'm aware...

24.Shared a sucker with your dog?
Eew, no!

But let's just take a moment to aaw at how cute Foxy is!

25.Been in an accident?
As a passenger, yes. (Most recently this March - on my graduation day :( boo to the stupid woman who drove into my brother's car!)

26.Spied on your neighbors?
Once. They're not interesting.

27.Lied about your age?
Fairly often.

28.Fired a gun?
Only an air rifle.

29.Been drunk?

Surprisingly, this was my first glass of wine and I was still completely sober! (Back story  - we were staying in this cottage for the weekend and we found this old suitcase. Which quickly resulted in "Do you think we can fit Laura in there?". The answer - contorting is really difficult when you are wearing high waisted skinny jeans.)

30.Gotten a tattoo

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Stila Haul

As a rare treat for myself, I decided to get a Stila eyeshadow palette :) While shopping on Style36, there happened to be a promotion on where if you spent a certain amount, you got a free makeup bag with a set of three Stila lipglosses - so in order to qualify, I added a pressed powder to my cart. I'll be doing individual reviews of these products this week.

June Photo A Day

Somewhat belatedly, here is a round-up of the photos I shared for June's challenge. 

June 1 - B is for… Being bundled up
June 2 - A moment (sitting in my bedroom, watching the hailstorm)
June 3 - On my table!

June 4 - After Dark
June 5 - Environment
June 6 - Transport

June 7 - Bright 
June 8 - An animal
June 9 - From down below 

June 10 - Me!
June 11 - Something funny (Going through photos from our weekend in the Riebeek Valley and remembering all the fun we had!)
June 12 - 11 o’clock = coffee time! 

June 13 - Kitchen 
June 14 - Texture
June 15 - From Above

June 16 - Family
June 17 - Centered
June 18 - Street 

June 19 - Currently reading
June 20 - Cute
June 21 - Lunchtime

June 22 - Enjoying life 
June 23 - Last
June 24 - Negative Space

June 25 - Sharp
June 26 - Empty (An empty lab/office in the early hours of the morning)
June 27 - Into the sun 

June 28 - Red
June 29 - Inside my bag (Current contents of my handbag: travel wallet, notebook, flash drive, lipsticks, sunglasses, mirror, keys and pencil bag with tissues, lipbalm, pens, hairties and other random stuff)
June 30 - Handwriting