After visiting Hong Kong about a month ago and putting some of the beauty goodies I bought to the test, I’m excited to share the hits and misses with you – what was worth the price tag and what wasn’t.
Weeks before our holiday, I did some thorough research online as to what I simply HAD to buy and what stores I needed to visit and one place in particular kept on popping up – Sasa!
Now although there’s a Sasa store on just about every corner, I spent the most time (about 3 hours) combing through the one located in Hong Kong’s own Time Square.
Hong Kong Skyline
Hong Kong Time Square
Here’s what I bought:
Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid Broad
Dr.Althea foaming cleanser and bubble O2 Mask
Dr.Jart Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid Broad – described as a “liquid gel formulation that is moist without being sticky whilst imparting immediate moisture for a refreshing burst of hydration”, I had high hopes for this one and was even willing to fork out R450. Unfortunately I did find it to be quite sticky, which was really disappointing although I’ll make an effort to finish it just because of the steep price tag. Would I repurchase? No.
Dr. Althea Foaming Cleanser & Bubble O2 Mask – this was one of the items I’d researched before leaving and set out to find purely because it doubled up as a bubble mask. I was even more excited to find it on a BOGOF special so it worked out to R100 per bottle. This really does a great job at removing makeup and leaving the skin feeling fresh but not tight at all with a rich, moisturising lather. The only negative about this is that there are tiny balls of jelly that tend to get caught in my hairline. Would I repurchase? Only if I stumbled across it again.
Image from ohlolly.com
Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Masks
Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Masks – After stumbling across a clearance sale in the MTR subway, I picked up 2 packs of these masks, one in nourishing avocado and one in purifying seaweed. They worked out to be an amazing deal at roughly R10 per mask and after trying both, I prefer the avo one as it’s far more moisturising and calming whereas the seaweed one irritates my skin slightly. Would I repurchase? The avo mask for sure!
DR. JART+Ceramidin™ Cream – This is by far the most amazing everyday moisturiser I’ve ever tried! Described as being “supercharged with the power of ceramides”, this moisturiser is meant to quench dehydrated skin and support the skin’s moisture barrier with time-release moisture for up to 26-hours. It has a semi-gel like texture that absorbs quite quickly, leaving the skin feeling smooth and plump. Even with a R650 price tag, I would 100% go out of my way to repurchase this.
Jeju volcanic color clay masks – Innisfree seemed to be the ultimate go-to brand for all things multi-masking and at R100 a tube (on special at the time), it made it easy for me to give in and try the whole range! Each mask has a different effect – yellow (brightening), blue (hydrating), pink (vitalising), green (cica), purple (calming), white (refining) and black (purifying) as well as various clay textures – water gel clay, cream clay and transforming clay. At the moment my feelings towards these remain neutral as I’ve only tried them once (definitely not enough to notice a difference).
I’d love to know if you’ve tried and loved any foreign skincare! Let me know in the comments.
Wanting to completely revamp my makeup bag, buying hoards of product from pricey brands wasn’t an option. I’ve often found myself skeptical of drugstore brands – preferring quality over quantity – but I bought my first set of Catrice nail polish online purely because they were on sale and I’ve never regretted it.
Their range of colours is seriously extensive and they apply like a dream – quick dry and all. It doesn’t chip easily either unless you’re doing tons of hands on work and at roughly R50 a bottle, it’s also quite the steal.
Primers are really important to me because they act as a barrier between the skin and makeup (in turn preventing breakouts). I also find that using a primer helps create a smooth “canvas” effect that , later on, makes other products a lot easier to blend whilst using smaller amounts. There is a colour correcting version of the primer above that helps reduce redness but it has a shimmer element that I’m not a fan of. The Catrice Prime and Fine is about R80 and goes quite a long way as you don’t have to apply tons in one go.
The last product I’m a huge fan of is the nude eyeliner. It’s about R40 and applies so easily. When applied to the inner bottom lash-line, it really makes your eyes appear bigger and brighter. You can also apply it to the inner corner of your eyes to help tired eyes appear more awake. There’s a thicker version of this liner that Catrice sells as a highlighting stick but it’s exactly the same colour and works really well although it doesn’t last as long as most of the other products.
Sometime last year I did a thorough spring clean and hauled roughly 70 magazines to be recycled. There’s a common misconception that glossy magazines can’t be recycled but with today’s recycling technology, nearly all recycling programs accept them. This was a bit of a schlep though, so I set out to find a more effective way to enjoy my monthly reads without all the fuss.
I stumbled upon Zinio – who describe themselves as the ultimate app for magazine lovers and I couldn’t agree more. Before Zinio I used to spoil myself to an issue of imported Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair or Vogue and it cost quite a bit! Zinio works on local pricing and runs regular specials – the current issue of Vanity Fair featuring Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike will cost you R11.46.
Once you buy your magazines they’re stored in a nifty library for you to access with an internet connection from your phone, tablet or laptop on-the-go, wherever, whenever!
Every month I make a point of trying out one new product (sometimes it costs next to nothing and other times it makes me tighten the belt a bit). Luckily this month I discovered Lipidol skincare oils that only cost 79 bucks each from Clicks and lasts ages.
This range is the brainchild of Union Swiss, the makers of Bio-Oil, and consists of 6 oils for different uses. It focuses on helping skin maintain its moisture without leaving behind a greasy feeling. Generally, I would shy away from oil based facial products but this is a game-changer.
The range includes: Cleansing Face Oil, Cleansing Body Oil, After Shower Oil, Sunscreen Oil, After Shave Oil and Overnight Face Oil.
The Cleansing Face Oil is by far my favourite because it removes make-up, dirt and impurities without drying out my skin like most other make-up removers tend to do. To add to this, the application process is oh-so-easy! You apply a few drops to dry skin, add a little water, gently massage and rinse. The make-up along with the Face Oil completely disappears – no more scrubbing mascara and eyeliner from my eyes for ages.
After searching for the perfect make-up remover for a while now, I think I’ve finally found my staple, affordable product.
About 2 years ago I came across an American company called Printstagram, who started printing Instagrams back in 2011 and have since expanded their product range to include t-shirts, photobooks, magnets, posters, greeting cards…you get the idea.
I loved the idea but felt a bit dejected and never followed through when I realised that, living in SA, I would end up paying roughly 270 bucks to get a set of 24 prints to my doorstep.
Luckily, Nifty250 – based in Cape Town and started in 2013 – popped up on my Facebook earlier this year and reignited my excitement towards social printing. They do exactly the same thing as Printsagram but because they’re based in SA and deliver via courier, country-wide, it will only cost R131 in total for 24 prints. They also sell vouchers – perfect for gift giving – and recently introduced booth-style strips to their product offering.
Nifty’s attention to customer care and social interaction through their Twitter, Facebook and beautifully curated Instagram account along with the handwritten note that accompanies your pack of prints makes this proudly South African start-up one you won’t regret doing business with.
With the ever-present rise of speciality coffee shops across South Africa, one of my friends and I started off the year by earmarking tons of places all over the country we were dying to try (we really did our homework). Whether we were together or not when the opportunity to try one presented itself, didn’t matter – we still went for it.
The top 2 places based on decor, vibe, location, eats/treats and of course – coffee quality so far have been:
Truth, Cape Town – with possibly the most unique, well thought out decor consisting of a mixture of leather furniture, copper piping, vintage finds and an industrial feel, this is one of those places you have to visit at least once. We each had a well above par flat white and a Croque Monsieur (basically a killer grilled ham and cheese sandwich). We were served by a man donning dreadlocks and a leather waistcoat.
The Whippet in Linden, Johannesburg – few places manage to maintain a sense of pretty with bare concrete flooring and minimal decor but this place does just that. Their focus is equally divided between tea and coffee and they frequently have specials on their sweet treats. Along with a menu that changes once in a while, they stock some beautiful designer goodies.
To date, we’ve visited some of the best and worst places you can imagine and for someone looking for a low maintenance hobby with a low to medium adventure factor, this is ideal.
After following the one and only Aimee Song from Song of Style on Insta for almost 2 years now, I couldn’t believe my luck when I found myself sitting in front of her this past Friday at an extra special BBLOGCLASS hosted by Talya Goldberg and Amy Scheepers – two Cape Town bloggers with equally beautiful blogs you can take a look at here.
Sunglass Hut made 20 South African blogger’s dreams come true when they decided to bring Aimee and her sister, Dani to the Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week. We got the chance to learn from the master herself and with 1.85 million followers on her instagram – songofstyle – she’s still the sweetest and totally relatable (she understands the pain of looking good and having nowhere to go or no one to hang out with).
She gave us so many useful tips and reassurance that everyone has to start out somewhere. I’m still having little day dreams about how surreal it all was.