Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Makeup


So, I wasn't actually going to do anything for Halloween besides my nails. And then I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror about to do my normal everyday makeup when I thought - you know what, screw it!

I don't have a tutorial for this look as I just winged it as I went along but the basic idea is this:

  • Whiten face with white creme makeup (blend in with a makeup sponge).
  • Set with powder.
  • Fill in brows with black eyeshadow and an angled brow brush.
  • Contour shadows under cheekbones, on sides of nose and along hairline with black eyeshadow and an angled blush brush.
  • Shade eyelids with black and grey eyeshadow.
  • Line upper lids with black liquid liner.
  • Liner upper and lower waterlines with black pencil liner.
  • Mascara!
  • Draw lines from corners of mouth to ears with black liquid liner. Add "stitches".
  • Colour in lips with (waterproof!) black liquid liner.
  • Finish off with a braided updo, black jewelry, black clothes and kickass heeled black boots. (The trick to pulling off an all-black outfit? Texture. I'm wearing black jeans, suede boots and a knitted top with pleather detail).
  • Freak out your co-workers, the people at your local coffee shop, everyone you walk past, etc.


Halloween Nails


Base colour: essence flashy pumpkin
Cat's body: essence black is back
Cat's eyes: Revlon White on White
essence L.O.L
essence black is back

So this is a super quick Halloween-inspired mani that I quickly painted this morning before getting ready for work (thank heavens for essence's nail art express dry drops!). In my rush, the one's one eye did turn out a bit, well, squiffy, but hey. The lighting is also a bit dodgy at the moment as it is pouring with rain, so please forgive the reflections.
Flashy Pumpkin is an amazing, vibrant pumpkin orange. It dried quickly with a shiny finish and is a one-coater! This is a polish that I've turned to quite a lot since I got it a few months ago.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Currently...

currently fairy lights

Making ... list after list after list

Cooking ... chicken fajitas with chopped salsa for dinner every night

Drinking ... too much red wine

Reading ... research articles about dithiadiazoly radicals

Wanting ... a long-overdue holiday

Looking ... forward to my next yoga class

Playing ... Little Things on my phone

Wasting ... some time while I wait for my reaction to finish

Enjoying ... the prospect that we're halfway through this week

Waiting ... for it to be coffee time

Wishing ... that a cupcake would magically appear on my desk

Wondering ... what will be going on my Christmas wish lists this year

Loving ... my family

Hoping ... for some good results at work

Marveling ... at the sheer wonder of what scientists can achieve

Needing ... a hug

Smelling ... my perfume, DKNY Pure Vanilla

Wearing ... my lab uniform of jeans, black flats and a striped shirt

Noticing ... that I don't feel like myself this week

Knowing ... that I should be working, not blogging

Thinking ... about what I want to ask Santa for this year

Bookmarking ... a variety of Christmas DIYs that I'll probably never look at again

Giggling ... at a Buzzfeed article a friend just shared with me

Feeling ... overwhelmed and lost.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My Morning Skincare Routine


1. Bioderma Sensibio H2O

This is the first product I use after my morning shower, just to gently cleanse my skin. I find using it after my shower is very effective, as the warm water and steam have opened my pores to allow better cleansing.

2. Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion

This is a new addition to my routine but I love it already. This is an alcohol free toner aimed at dry or sensitized skin and makes my skin feel simultaneously clean and soothed.

3. Indeed Labs Hydraluron

I've been using this tube of Hydraluron twice daily since I first got it 3 months ago and there's still a healthy amount of product in there, so it's actually turning out to be good value for money. I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin's appearance since I started using this. It provides below-surface moisture and really helps my skin absorb my moisturizer better.

4. Elizabeth Arden Gentle Hydrating Creme

A great moisturizer for dry skin. Sinks in well and leaves my skin soft and hydrated throughout the day. One of the better moisturizers I've tried (and I've tried a lot). It also has an SPF of 15, but with the amount of UV radiation we all get exposed to daily, your moisturizer's SPF is never going to really do the job so I finish off with...

5. Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF 50+

A must! The sun here is no joke and if you've got pale, sun-sensitive skin like me, this is a good facial sun protection cream to try. It protects against UVA and UVB. It's also hypoallergenic and fragrance free. It is, however, quite a thick, heavy cream so I don't think it would be good for oily skins. Also - don't forget to apply your "face" sun protection all the way down to your boobs! Don't forget how delicate the skin of your neck and decolletage is!


Nomination - Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award is "given to those who inspire us and bring 'sunshine' into our lives." Thank you so much to Chicara of Lipgloss Kisses for nominating me :)



1. If you won a million dollars (let’s say R 10 million for our South African bloggers), what would be the first thing you would buy and why?
A house! Firstly, because I would love to have a place of my own, and secondly, because having to fork out a small fortune every month on rent makes me incredibly sad. Real estate in Stellenbosch is ridiculously overpriced, so that would probably take most of my winnings, with the remainder probably getting blown on a nice holiday to a tropical island paradise!

 2. Do you have any pets and if so, what are they? And their names?
I don't have a pet all of my own (my apartment block doesn't allow pets). We do have a family dog, Foxy (cross fox terrier / jack russel / mystery), who lives with my parents and is unequivocally the cutest dog in the universe.

 3. Who is your favourite beauty guru and why?
I love Essie Button - her videos and blog posts are both informative and very entertaining! Watching her videos is like having a chat with a friend rather than getting a lecture from a makeup artist.

 4. What kind of blog posts do you like to write the most?
My favourites are beauty reviews, plus the more rambly "about me" tag-style posts.

 5. Name a few of your favourite bloggers and what you like about their blog.
Oh, goodness, it's so hard to choose, I must follow almost 200 blogs... I do love reading local (South African) beauty/lifestyle blogs because they feature things that are relevant and available. Some of the local bloggers that I love include Pink Peonies, Lipgloss Kisses, Gee Whiskers, Lipgloss is my Life, One Stiletto at a Time, For the Beauty of It, Mother City Mom, Glamorous Glitter, Not Another Poppie, Ordinary Misfit and The Glam Green Girl.

 6. If you could take a 2 week vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go, and who would you take with you?
I'm torn between the south of France and Tuscany. Basically, somewhere in the beautiful countryside with amazing food and endless good wine! I would take my bestest girl friends (C, H, L, V - you know who you are!).

 7. If you could only wear one brand of makeup for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Either EsteƩ Lauder or Stila.

 8. Describe your favourite casual outfit?
My typical casual outfit is a pair of dark Woolies jeggings, ballet flats (or ankle boots) and a tank top.

 9. What is your favourite holiday?
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!!! I love Christmas! It's such a magical time of year. (Plus, I'm religious (Catholic) so the season has some real meaning and traditions tied to it, which I love).

 10. What TV series are you looking forward to watching?
I watch far too much TV for my own good. At the moment, I'm enjoying the new seasons of How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Castle, New Girl, NCIS, Supernatural, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and Arrow. I'm looking forward to the new seasons of Suits and Game of Thrones. And of course, there's nothing like a Friends marathon to cheer you up if you've had a shit day!



Friday, 25 October 2013

Liebster Blog Awards :)


I have been lucky enough to be nominated not once, but twice for the Liebster blog award :) I'm going to be answering the questions from both nominations in this post. 
Since I'm joining in on the game a little late, I'm not going to tag any more bloggers as most of them have been tagged already.

The first nomination came from Faeema of The Sparkling Labyrith. Here are my answers to her questions :)


1. How often do you read other blogs?

I normally scoll through my Bloglovin feed in the morning while I'm having my breakfast. I try to check in daily otherwise the list of things to read gets too long and unmanagable.

2. What is your favourite topic to blog about?

At the moment I'm loving beauty related blog posts.

3. When do you usually write posts?

I try to write my posts for the week on Saturday mornings as I don't have much free time in the week. If something strikes me and I want to blog about it ASAP, I normally do so before bed.

4. Your favourite social media platform?

Instagram :) Even though I've been really bad with the #FMSPhotoADay challenge this month.

5. Recommend one blog that you personally love reading

I LOVE reading Yes and Yes - I always feel so inspired every time that I do!

6. Tag a fellow blogger who supported you in your journey as a newbie

Two of the first bloggers I connected with were Charlene and Claire - making some blogger friends early on really helped me in my journey.

7. What has been a highlight for you as a blogger?

I really loved being a blogger for Beauty Bulletin earlier this year and I'm sad that I had to give it up (PhD + poor health meant having to cut down on my commitments). I also love every time that I get a lovely comment or tweet from a reader - it totally makes my day and fills me with warm fuzzy feelings :)

8. Describe your blog

My blog is an extension of my self. It showcases all the things I love, without taking anything too seriously.

9. What is your favourite book?

My favourite books (can't choose just one) are the 14 installments of the Wheel Of Time series.

10. Do you have any pets?

Not at my apartment (no pets allowed, sadly) but my parents have our family dog and I love visiting on weekends for snuggles!


My second nomination was from Lisa-Jade of Life Like Mine (another LJ!). Here were her questions:

1) When did you decide to start blogging?

I started my first blog back in 2007, when I started university. It was mostly random stuff catalogueing what I was up to. Whimsy Is Forever is the third blog I created and the one I've stuck to for the longest (I love it so much!). I started this blog in February 2012.

2) What was the best comment from one of your readers that you've received?

I get so many lovely comments (thank you all!) so it's hard to choose one, but if I had to choose, I'll go with the first time someone commented that they had bought a product based on my review and loved it. I couldn't believe that people were actually reading my words and trusting me - it felt huge!

3) Would you dye your hair green?

Maybe not green, because I'm not sure it would work with my complexion, but blue or purple? Sure, why not?

4) If you could have any one person do a guest post on your blog, who would it be and why?

Ooh, gosh, I don't know if I could chose one!

5) Who takes the pictures for your blog?

99% of the photos on this blog are taken by yours truly. Photos from evenings/weekends out with my friends are taken by one of us.

6) How much time does it take you (on average) write and publish a post?

This depends quite a lot, but on average a review post takes me about an hour (more if I want to do some research on the ingredients).

7) What's your prefered beverage while blogging?
Tea! Either Earl Grey or vanilla chai.

8) What is your dream job?

This is something I'm currently confused about. I always thought I wanted to go into academia or research, but the further I get into my PhD, the more I start to doubt that dream and consider alternatives.

9) Is your current blog title your first and only one? If not, what was it?

"Whimsy Is Forever" has been the name of this blog since day 1. I actually have no idea how I came up with it - I was brainstorming blog names for days, and whimsy/whimsical had entered the mix early on, and somehow I ended up with my title!

10) If you could take your blog in another direction to what it is now, what would it be and why?

I would love to take more OOTD photos and do more fashion-related posts. The OOTD pics can be tricky because (a) I have to take all my photos myself and (b) I dont' have a tripod (all those outfit photos of me taken on my balcony? very impressive balancing work with my phone on a tower of boxes on a bar stool to get the correct height!).

11) What is the best advice you've given to a fellow blogger?

Blog about what you love and don't focus on stats - ultimately, they're meaningless.



image found on weheartit.com

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick



When passing by the Wet n Wild stand for the first time, I couldn't resist adding a couple of lipsticks to my shopping basket. (Yes, I have dozens already. Yes, I still need more, dammit!)  Especially once I saw that they were only R29.95. (I had to triple check.)

Now, for that price, I wasn't expecting the lipstick to change my life. I was hoping for it to have decent colour pay-off, feel comfortable and to be an inexpensive way to have fun with a new colour. At that price, they're also perfect for when you need a bit of retail therapy - nothing cheers me up like having a new lipstick to play with!

The first colour I tried was "Cherry Frost". I love cherry reds - I find that they work well against my fair cool-toned skin - but I don't actually have a cherry red in my collection anymore. The lipstick applied smoothly and evenly with excellent pigmentation. It felt moisturizing and creamy, and had a faint spearmint scent on application. On my lips, it lasted for about 3 hours (including a cup of tea) which isn't too shabby. It faded fairly evenly and didn't leave any weird dry patchy bits, so it was a breeze to reapply. It doesn't stain your lips either, so if you mess up a bit on application you can easily clean up the edges.

My overall impression: I really love this colour. While I'll still be sticking to my favourite lipstick brands, I'm going to be picking up a few more of these in fun colours when I need a pick-me-up! Also, these are great if you want to try a new colour for the first time. Not confident wearing red lipstick? Play around with inexpensive brands first so that you can find a colour that works for you before investing in a good quality one.



Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Hey Gorgeous - Strawberry and Black Pepper Body Scrub


Hey Gorgeous is a South African brand that focuses on making handmade skincare and beauty products from high quality natural ingredients - freshly whipped up to order so that you get just the best! I've been lusting over their drool-inspiring products for ages and have finally gotten two scrubs through a blog competition (thanks Leana!).

The first scrub I tried was the Strawberry and Black Pepper body scrub. Doesn't that sound amazing? Strawberries with black pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar = one of my favourite things to eat! Before you even open the tub, the smell of strawberries hits you. This is what the scrub itself looks like:


The base of the scrub is khoisan salt, with black pepper, essential oils and several moisturizing oils (grape seed, jojoba, macadamia nut and avocado oils). It does a great job of exfoliating your skin without being too harsh. All those oils help your skin feel soft and moisturized and - best of all - the smell of strawberries is unbelievable!

I've really enjoyed using this product and will be considering purchasing some more Hey Gorgeous products in the near future (especially with Christmas coming up!)


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wet n Wild - Wild Shine Nail Colour


Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Colour in Red Red - R25

This is the first time I'm trying a nail polish by Wet n Wild and I love it! The above picture (taken before cleanup, my bad) is of two coats with no top coat. Look how shiny! The brush took me a bit of getting used to, mostly because it's a skinny one that doesn't fan out a whole lot, and I've been using essence polishes a lot lately with their jumbo brush. Once I got the hang of it though, it worked just fine. The polish was beautifully pigmented and was almost perfectly opaque in just 1 coat - I added a second coat just to even out my brush strokes. The polish dried appreciably fast. I'm currently 48 hours in and it's surviving well - still shiny, no chips (with base coat but no top coat... yet) and made it through dish washing, showering, hair washing and other foes. I've just started seeing a little bit of tip wear on my dominant hand. At only R25 for a 12.7 ml bottle, it's really excellent value for money so you can bet that I'll be adding a lot more of these to my collection! (Also, according to the website, these polishes are formaldehyde, toluene and pthalate free so you can feel safe wearing them!).


Monday, 21 October 2013

Stila's "In The Light" Palette

stila "in the light" eyeshadow palette - RRP R395

I have to start off by saying that I have been LOVING my "In The Moment" palette. (You can read that review over here.) I think I've used it practically every single day since I first swept a brush over the untouched pigments. So, when I saw the famous "In The Light" palette on sale on Style 36, I figured it was the perfect time to add another Stila palette to my collection. When I first unwrapped it, I was heartbroken to see that the one shade was cracked (Because I over-react to everything I may or may not have had a small cry session alone in the lab...), but after I realized that the crack wasn't too bad (the pigment stayed put even when the palette was inverted) I calmed down. (These things happen.)



When I started swatching, I was excited to see the beautiful neutral shades come to life. I also liked that the darker shades are slightly less pigmented, which means they are easier to work with. All the shades go on smoothly, can be used either wet or dry and are perfect for creating a multitude of looks. The palette also comes with a waterproof smudge stick in a creamy black shade called "damsel", which I know I'll be getting lots of use out of.



Based on both of my Stila palettes, I have no reservation in giving them my highest recommendations. The shade selection is outstanding, the quality unbelievable and they are worth every cent!


Monday, 14 October 2013

Creepy Cracked Porcelain Doll - Makeup Tutorial!


After getting lots of positive feedback after going as a cracked porcelain doll for a Friday the 13th party, I thought I would share with you all how I achieved this look :)

If you're wearing this to a party, make sure that you have your makeup remover wipes ready for when you get home so that you can effortlessly clean it all off before bed! (Even when tired or intoxicated!)

Here are some photos from the party that I wore this costume to:

Selfie before putting on the Eyelashes Of Awesomeness

Me with my friend V (I also did her makeup) 
(We also both have naturally super straight hair unlike in this photo...)

All the scary ladies 

Looking Vampy!



Thursday, 10 October 2013

Good-bye Cellulite - Nivea (Does it actually work?!)



Nivea Firming Good-bye Cellulite Gel-Cream - RRP R90

So, let's start off with the question, what actually is cellulite? The Wikipedia definition (yeah, scientists also use Wikipedia, shhh! ;) ) is "Cellulite is the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue that manifests topographically as skin dimpling and nodularity, often on the pelvic region (specifically the buttocks), lower limbs, and abdomen." In other words, cellulite is the dimpling of skin as a result of uneven fat distribution. Cellulite affects most women, albeit to varying degrees, and is considered "the normal condition of many women" rather than an actual condition (estimates put the number of women with cellulite between 80 and 90%). Nevertheless, for some women, the appearance of cellulite can be quite severe and is aesthetically unpleasing.  Hormonal and genetic factors are largely to blame.

Since cellulite isn't actually something "wrong with your body", there is no "cure". There are however many treatments available (at varying costs) that claim to help minimize the appearance of cellulite. Any product that claims to "cure" cellulite or make it disappear completely is LYING.

I'll also say that, even since I was a teenager, I have had pretty crappy cellulite. I'm talking plenty of dimples and ripples on my bum and thighs, even without clenching (admit it, every one of my female readers has looked in a mirror to see the difference, am I right?). It's bothered me for years but I always assumed that, short of very expensive treatments, nothing much could be done.

I received my tube of Nivea's "Firming Good-bye Cellulite Gel-Cream" through a Twitter competition as part of a Nivea hamper. The packing makes the following statements:
- Firms and reduces the appearance of cellulite even without extra massage
- Improves skin's firmness in 2 weeks
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite even without extra massage in 3 weeks

The active ingredients are listed as Q10 (7th ingredient) and L-Carnitine (6th ingredient). (Ingredients 1-5 comprise the "gel" part of the product.) Without going too deeply into the science, here's a brief summary.
Q10 is a coenzyme that is present in your body's cells, especially in the membranes of the mitochondria (little membranous sacs inside your cells that do the chemistry of generating energy). It's a pretty cool molecule that can be oxidized (loses electrons) and reduced (gains electrons) as part of your body's process of turning food into energy.
Carnitine is a compound that forms a natural part of your body's metabolism of fat molecules. It helps with the transport of fat molecules from inside cellular fluid to the mitochondria, where it is broken down for energy. The L refers to the specific mirror image of this compound (the "L" compound is biologically active but its "D" mirror image is not).

But does all that science actually translate into results?

For me - YES! I was not really expecting this product to work any miracles, especially considering it's RRP, but it completely surprised me!

Let's start off with the short-term impressions. I applied this gel to my butt and thighs and gave it just enough of a rub to sink in. The product was absorbed quickly and felt very light on my skin. Within minutes, I noticed that my skin was firmer! This gave a more "toned" appearance. I was sufficiently impressed.

I've now been using the product for 4 weeks, almost every evening before bed. Has the appearance of my cellulite decreased?

YES!

On first impressions, it hardly appears as though I have cellulite at all! This is after at least 10 years of being acutely aware of my dimply rear end... When I clench my butt, only the very deepest of the dimples remain! Hooray! (Too much information about my butt?) I'm not going to put any before/after photos up here because, well, I'm not about to put photos of my rear end on the interwebs but hopefully you guys trust me!

I will be continue to use this product until I squeeze the last remaining drop out of the tube, and then I will use my newly repurchased tube because I'm definitely going to be keeping this product in my routine! If you suffer from less-than-aesthetically-pleasing cellulite and it's bugging you - I highly recommend you give this gem from Nivea a try. Even if it doesn't do much for you in the long term, the short-term benefits alone are worth it (who wouldn't want a bit of firming before either slipping into that sexy bikini or, you know, the other thing...)






*I won this product from @BeautySAfrica. I was not compensated or obligated to write a review. All opinions are my own and honest.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I love Summer! Tag


Favourite bronzer for summer?
I don't use a lot of bronzer but I am fond of just a touch of Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Bronzing Powder.
You’re relaxing in a hammock on a tropical island. What are you sipping on?
If it's just me, probably a Cosmopolitan, but if I'm with my girls, it'll be G&Ts all round!
Favourite summer lip product?
Piz Buin's In Sun Lipstick (SPF 20) as my go-to lipbalm/lip protection. For some colour, I'll be pulling out my Revlon Lip Butters.
Pool or beach?
To swim, the pool because (a) I hate the feeling of the salt and sand on my skin and (b) I'm absolutely terrified of seaweed, like, geniune phobia. I love going to the beach for long walks though! (As long as I don't have to go near washed-up kelp!)
Summer = crazy hair. What’s your must-have styling product?
Organic virgin coconut oil for moisture and conditioning, and sea salt spray (sparingly) for texture.
Sun bathing or fake tan?
I have super pale skin that burns, not tans, so I'm always wrapped up under SPF! I've come to embrace my paleness, so I don't fake tan. Sometimes I'll use some gradual tanning moisturizer just to take the ghostly post-winter whiteness off my legs.
Favourite summer nail polish?
This summer it'll be all about the brights! Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, you name it! Got to love Essence polishes for their range of colours at super affordable prices!
Any summer traditions?
Not really.
Favourite summer scent?
I'm still loving my DKNY Pure Vanilla (because I'm a vanilla addict). I also love Woolies' Sensu EDT for summer because it's a lovely, light and fresh "green" fragrance (plus it's cheap enough to keep in my handbag).
Favourite BBQ BRAAI food?
I'm not a big meat eater but I love homemade chicken kebabs on the braai :) Yum! Plus oodles of garlic bread, braaibroodies and yummy salads!
What’s your favourite summer-proof product?
Plenty of sunscreen with a side of waterproof mascara and bright nail polish. All you really need!
Any summer vacation plans this year?
Haven't decided yet but I'm excited to actually have a summer holiday this year as I was writing my thesis last year :( (not a fun Christmas/ New Year). So I envision trips to the beach with friends, plenty of wine tasting adventures, lazy picnics, braais and fun!

(Image from WeHeartIt)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hair Tutorial: Milkmaid Braids

milkmaid braids tutorial

Milkmaid braids have quickly become one of my go-to styles! They're a LOT easier than they look, are quick to do once you get the hang of it, and ALWAYS get compliments! (Remarkably, from guys as well as gals!) As a bonus, they keep my hair securely out of my face all day, which is perfect for me!

Here's what you need: a comb, two small hair elastics (I love to use these little rubber ones as they don't slip and are easily hidden) and a bunch of bobby pins.


Detangle your hair - this will make your braiding easier. 


Divide your hair into two sections.


I like to tie up one section so long to make my life easier.


Now for your first braid. Gather the remaining loose hair just above your ear (the exact position will depend on how long your hair is, but this is a good place to start).


Braid as normal. Depending on what look you're going for, this can be as neat or messy as you want.


Braid as far down as you can go, and then secure with a hair elastic.


Untie the other side and repeat!


Optional: I'm busy growing out my bangs so this is the point when I pin them back.


Now for the criss-cross! Take one of the braids and pull it over your head towards the opposite ear. Pin the end down with a bobby pin or two.


Now for the other one! You want to start off by trying to conceal the ends of the first braid...


... then pull it over, bringing the end to hide behind the first braid! Secure the end with a bobby pin or two.


Looking good so far!


Now to make sure your hairdo stays put, grab a few more bobby pins and secure the base of the braids to your head!


All done! If you want to, add a spritz of normal hold hairspray. You're now ready to go wow the world with your fantastic braided 'do! (Be prepared for lots of people to go "Ooh! Your hair looks so cool! How do you do that?")


This style can be altered by making the braids loose or messy, or by doing more intricate braids (eg fishtail braids). For Spring, I'm definitely going to be putting some flowers into my braids!