I have a soft spot for green beauty. I figure if I can get the same results from a product that contains natural ingredients versus chemicals, I’ll always go for natural.

Aloe Unique skin care products blend vitamins with locally and ecologically-harvested Aloe Ferox plant ingredients, in a paraben-free formula.

The locally run Cape Town based family business boasts over 20 years experience in the Aloe industry. In the interests of health and in line with caring for the environment, all of their products are paraben-free and come in recyclable containers

Benefits

Aloe Ferox is twenty times stronger than Aloe Vera. And since Aloe Vera is well known for its moisturising, healing and restorative powers, with Aloe Ferox you know you’re onto a winner. Benefits include that it moisturises, accelerates wound healing, fights ageing, reduces acne and infection and lightens blemishes. 

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AGE DEFYING SERUM

This potent, highly-concentrated serum kickstarts skin’s age-defying powers to help prevent and reverse the appearance of lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Consisting of high levels of Aloe Ferox leaf extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Borage Oil, this Aloe Ferox-based formula is packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants to boost skin’s natural age-defying defenses.”

I love layering products and I love a good serum. This serum doesn’t have your typical, silk like consistency. It’s smooth but a little bit sticky, but goes on easily. It smells fresh and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and soft.

 You can get your hands on a 50ml bottle for the price of R256.00 here.

AGE DEFYING DAY CREAM

This emollient cream delivers a blast of moisture and protection to leave skin hydrated, plump and even-toned. With a unique delivery system, this Aloe Ferox-based formula packed with anti-oxidants and Vitamins E and C, helps effectively stimulate collagen production and increase elasticity. Protects against free radical damage and lessens visible lines and wrinkles. Skin looks fresh, firm and more youthful.”

The Aloe Unique Age Defying Day Cream has a creamy texture, but isn’t heavy. On it’s own it isn’t hydration enough for me (I have dehydrated skin). It leaves my skin feeling comfortable and smooth.

A 50ml jar will cost you R135.00. Available here.

AGE DEFYING NIGHT CREAM

This ultra-nourishing night cream delivers a powerful boost of lasting hydration, fortifying skin and replenishing moisture lost during the day. With a powerful anti-aging combination, this emollient-rich Aloe Ferox-based formula helps jumpstart collagen production overnight for a younger, glowing and even-toned appearance.

The Ultra-nourishing Night Cream has a thicker and richer texture than the day cream. It’s really an instant shot of hydration boost, and leaves my skin feeling nourished, comfortable and soft

Available for R155.00 for a 50ml jar here.

should you try it?

I appreciate Aloe Unique’s mission, which is to ethically and sustainably build their brand and produce the highest quality of affordable health and skin care product. I love how gentle yet effective this product line is. I love the fresh, subtle fragrance of the products. And I love that I’m using natural, plant based ingredients on my face. All in all, my skin is happy and loving these aloe ferox based products. I do sometimes pop my Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 on from time to time, because if I don’t, we all know what happens. The range is also really well priced. 

You can learn more about Aloe Unique here.

By now, dear reader, you will know a few things about me. One of them is that I am on the eternal search for the best mascara. I have had a few beautiful encounters with a few near perfect mascaras, but because there are so many of them out there, find myself drawn to trying new ones all the time. I can’t help it!

The latest mascara to rock my world is Revlon’s Dramatic Definition. Revlon have apparently done away with all their other mascaras and now offer 5 brand new mascaras, all targeting different areas for perfect lashes – definition, volume, length, volume and length and an all-rounder. I have never been a fan of Revlon mascaras and I had a pretty dismal experience with this mascara of theirs but I was super intrigued by the fun looking tubes whilst browsing the cosmetic aisle at Clicks and, given my weakness for mascara, decided to get the one that appealed to me the most. I’m so glad I did.

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I love a strong yet natural and defined look and was BLOWN away the very first time I tried Dramatic Definition. It literally made my mascara dreams come true! I could see it separating and defining each lash as the brush combed through, all while adding length and volume. Each brush is specialised for its own unique purpose, and this brush has tiered bristles for defining and separating every lash. I am head over heels in love. Not only does it separate and define (no clumping guaranteed), but the formula is flake free. FLAKE FREE! Do you know how long I have searched for a mascara that is truly, completely, 100% flake-free? For forever! That’s how long. Not only do you not have to wear a primer prior to applying this mascara, you will also never look like a panda bear! The formula is also perfect. It’s not too wet or too dry. As if those two spectacular achievements aren’t enough, there’s the pricing. At only R149, Revlon has neatly presented the mascara trifecta for the taking. It does what it says it’ll do, it is flake- and clump-free and it’s affordable. The packaging is also simple and gorgeous. I love the shape of the tube and how the wand feels in my hand. Moreover, the unique shape helps me to identify what product it is if I’m digging in my handbag while, say, driving. I know, I know. Removal is also a breeze. No hard rubbing required, and it comes off with my pre-cleansing micellar water or oil and then my regular wash-off Ren cleanser. All in all I’m obsessed! Can you tell?

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I only tried the purple kind, but I am keen get my hands on the red one (All-in-One) as I’ve heard lots of good things about it. My friend who is a Beauty Editor tells me that the pink one (Ultra Volume) is all kinds of amazing. I will be trying it out when this tube is done.

Rating: 6/5
Product: 6/5
Packaging: 6/5
Quality: 6/5
Price: R149
Would I buy again?: Absolutely!
Where to buy: Clicks, Dischem or anywhere Revlon is sold

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When I turned 30, I knew there was something special about this age. Called the dirty or flirty thirties, a certain kind of confidence comes from getting older. From what I have gathered from reading articles written by older women, this confidence only grows and seems to continue, the older you get.

I work with women all day every day, and I can tell you that there are two schools of thought. Most of my younger clients and friends freak out about getting older. The older ones don’t stress at all, because they know that it’s FREAKING AWESOME! The reason for the anxiety around turning 30 is that suddenly your carefree 20’s are gone, and now you’re supposed to be a responsible adult who has life figured out. But what if you haven’t made as much money as you wanted to by time you were 30? Do you wonder if you are too old to have one too many cocktails and stay up until the sun comes up? And if you haven’t met Mr Right, what now? If I could talk to my younger self, here is what I’d say …

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You have enough time

The more that I obsessed about the fact that I hadn’t come far enough in my 34 years, the more articles I came across explaining that society puts pressure on us and tells us that by 30 we should have things “figured out” — our career situation, our dating/marriage situation, our financial situation and so on. But this isn’t true! Most adults are just winging it. Thirty doesn’t have to mean that you’re married, that you already have kids or are even thinking about kids. It doesn’t mean you’re in a relationship, even. It could mean that you’ve taken some time to work on yourself and are still looking for Mr. Right. It could mean that you’re  focusing on yourself and your career right now.What if you haven’t figured your dream career out? What if you are too old to have children? What if, what if, what if? Don’t worry. You will get there, wherever ‘there’ is for you. There is still enough time. You are a beautiful, dynamic woman and you can have whatever you want. Which brings me to my next point.

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We are all walking our own unique path

You have a unique journey that you will take, and no one can take it for you. Sure, Amanda’s journey looks much more appealing, because she has a wonderful husband, 2 kids and a beautiful home and Ashleigh’s life looks way more exciting because she has a rockstar career and travels the world, but you would be surprised at just how much ‘stuff’ everyone goes through. Remember that all is never as it seems and more especially …

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Stop Comparing

Everyone is on their own path, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Everyone wishes they had something that someone else has. Comparing yourself to others is a vicious, never-ending cycle and it negates both things you are comparing. Stop wishing you had someone else’s body or job or boyfriend, and start loving all of the amazing things that you do have. Just bloom, darling.

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Respect and love your body

When your 30’s roll around, you’ll find that you can’t stay up all night and then recover like you used to, that you can’t lose weight as easily and that your skin starts to change (hello fine lines and wrinkles). So, treat your body right. Firstly, make sure that you eat right. Get rid of the things that make you feel bad. For me, this is anything made from processed wheat. Oh how I love cake and all things crumbly and delicious. But you know what? It’s just not worth it. Any hint of processed wheat makes me bloat, which in turn makes me feel and look horrible, and then I feel even worse. So once a week (maybe) I’ll have something ‘naughty’, and even then, it’ll be half a piece of delicious gluten free apple pie or a piece of red velvet or rainbow cake (from Belle’s Patisserie of course!) shared with a friend. For the rest of the time, I stick to unprocessed natural food, and I feel better for it! Secondly, exercise. Find whatever works for you and do it. I find cardio intensely mundane, so I switch it up with a yoga class, a pilates class or some circuit/weight training. Find your zen. Lastly, invest in skin products. Find the right cleanser, exfoliator, serum (try Lancome’s exquisite Genfique serum), moisturiser, face mask and eye cream for your skin type. Most people want to hold onto their youth. The more gracefully you age, the better you’ll feel about yourself.

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Love your Loved Ones

The people you love are the most important things in your life. It it can be easy to isolate yourself, especially when things gets hectic or times are tough. But the relationships that you have with others can help get you through anything. So keep up those friendships, call your parents, and tell your besties how much you love them regularly. They are the ones that will help you through the bad times, and party with you when there’s something to celebrate.

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Foster a relationship with yourself

One of the most important relationships you’ll have in your life is the one you have with yourself. Journal. Treat yourself kindly. Be gentle with yourself. If you have no clue where to start, treat yourself how you would want to be treated by a special someone. Buy yourself flowers, take yourself for a massage, go for coffee and read your favourite glossy, or have a leisurely bubble bath.

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Check out this really awesome song by Hailee Steinfeld.

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Have a Mantra

It could be an existing one such as “This too shall pass”, or a made up one of “Love where there is Fear, Light where there is Darkness”. Mantras are great because they keep you afloat when the tough times hit.

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Be Grateful

I know there a thousand plus articles out there about how being grateful is really good for you, but it is! Keep a little book near your bedside table and every evening before you go to bed, write down some things that you are grateful for. Those things could be a simple something like “there was no traffic on my way home tonight” or “thank you for Lindt  Strawberry Intense dark chocolate”, and then on another page, write down what you appreciated about yourself that day. It could be that you love the fact that you are such a great friend/mother/lover/sister, that you really love your hair or your shapely lips, or that you even managed to get up and go to work!

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Smile

Life isn’t as serious a you think it is, and you look much better when you’re smiling. No matter what happens to you (without trying to minimize anyone’s experience), life goes on. You’ll attract more positive stuff with a smile on your pretty face.

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never underestimate the power of a bold lip

When you are feeling low, get dressed, put on your makeup, adorn your lips in a beautiful, bold shade and show up! It’s that simple. Often, you’ll end up having a MUCH better time than you expected. The universe works in mysterious ways, my friend. P.S. According to research, red is the sexiest colour. Use it, don’t use it.

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Ask for help

People are your best resources and are more than willing to share and open up to you, granted that you ask for help. If you are feeling so anxious you don’t know what to do with yourself, let your nearest and dearest know. If you need a friend to talk to when a really uncomfortable/yucky feeling arises about your most recent break-up (even though its 6 months down the line), send an SMS saying “I feel sad and I need your help”. Your loved ones are there for you and you’ll be amazed at how quickly they will rally around you and support you.

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Persistence Pays

Keep on moving forward. Don’t let anything keep you back. Have you got issues that keep on tripping you up? Go see someone and set that energy free! Results don’t magically occur overnight, so keep on working at it, whether it’s a book you want to write or weight you want to lose.

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dont be afraid to change what you don’t like

If you know that you aren’t where you want to be, you aren’t sure of the person you’re with or you desperately want to give up your job as a CA and set up your own cool deli, go for it. Fear less and risk more. Live your life, don’t let it live you. Don’t be afraid of tearing it all down if you have to, you have the power to build it all back up again.

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be patient with yourself

You are doing the best you can. When you know better, you’ll do better. Realise that life truly is about the journey and not the destination. Be thankful for every experience and try and enjoy even the bad times by bearing in mind that each experience is unique and will never happen again in the same expression. Each moment brings you closer to your last.

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You are loved.

No matter what your age, know this: even if your friends or family aren’t calling to tell you every single day, you are loved.

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So there you have it, Lovelies. Breathe. Enjoy the journey. Absorb the lessons you’re learning. Be present. Your 30’s are really awesome.

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xoxo

 

Most of us want flawless skin. In fact I’m sure all of us do. In this vein, I partnered up with Vichy in their ‘Ideal Skin’ campaign to see if I could achieve my ideal skin. A beauty advisor assessed my skin with a very cool handheld tech device and the feedback I got was the following: I was okay for pigmentation, pore size and congestion, but they told me (surprise, surprise!) that I have dehydrated skin and that the fine lines around my eyes need care. I was recommended a series of 4 products: Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 One Step Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream, Liftactiv Serum 10 for Eyes and Lashes, as well as Capital Soleil SPF Velvety Cream.

I received my package on the best day because the first night I used the Pureté Thermale Cleanser I stayed over at my sister’s house. She has a brand new baby and a toddler. Being very aware of noise and how it can affect seemingly sleeping babies, I decided to use the cleanser and forego the splashing and washing and noise making. I’d brushed my teeth already and wanted to clean my face in the guest room. I have a thing about not feeling clean, but after applying the cleanser and wiping it off with several cotton pads (I repeated this step), I felt really clean. My skin felt soft and nourished and smelled great. And all the makeup was gone! The great thing about this product is that it’s a cleanser, toner and makeup remover in one, so it’s perfect for when you don’t have time, feel lazy, are too cold to get out of your warm bed and when you don’t want to wake up sleeping children! It also won an award in Allure’s Best of Beauty 2014. R250 from any Clicks or Dis-Chem.

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The Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Rich Cream is really my favourite Vichy product. Formulated with Vichy thermal water and hyularonic acid, this is a serious dream cream that smells heavenly. My skin drinks it right up and it makes my skin so soft. It smells wonderful and it nourishes and cares for my face, without causing breakouts. This is my absolute favourite product and if you too battle with dry winter skin, this cream is definitely the way to go. It won an award in the Elle International Beauty Awards for 2015. R350 from any Clicks or Dis-Chem.

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Let’s talk about the Liftactiv Serum here. My concerns are for fine lines around my eyes, so obviously this is my target zone. I apply this odourless eye serum at night, which is pretty cool because it’s designed for eyelashes too! Some people say it has thickened their lashes, but it hasn’t done anything for my lashes. I fond that I can’t use it in the day because it peels off when I apply my makeup. This is obviously not ideal, so I have switched back to my Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex. On the plus side it does contain hyaluronic acid. To be honest, I haven’t seen any difference in my under eye skin or lashes, and I’m not mad about this serum. Also, I had a look at the ingredients and found that it contains denatured alcohol. This type of alcohol can cause free radical damage and hurts the skin’s ability to heal and lead to collagen breakdown. Not to mention that I don’t think alcohol should be put anywhere near your eyes. R425 from Clicks or Dis-Chem.

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Sunscreen should be part of a daily routine for everyone. I’m not going to go into the whys and hows right now, but I will tell you about Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Velvety Cream. As mentioned before, I have a dry skin, so this sunscreen is specially for normal to dry and sensitive skin. It contains hyaluronic acid and is paraben-free. For these winter days it is perfect, as it isn’t a matte finish. I feel like in summer I might have a hard time keeping my foundation on. I like the fact that it blends in easily and leaves no white marks. It also has a beautiful floral scent, although I’m not too sure why Vichy didn’t leave fragrance out altogether as as a general rule, fragrance-free sun care is best. Fragrance aside, I am enjoying using this sunscreen. R285 from you know where. 

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I am really loving the condition of my skin right now, and I think it has to do with the Vichy products I’m using ;)

If you want to be part of the Ideal Me campaign, and want to stand in line to win some amazing prizes (like weekly Vichy hampers) have a look here to find out more. Here’s to your ideal skin, Lovelies!

xoxo

 

Hi Lovelies,

It’s no secret that I adore the Vichy brand. They offer sophisticated, effective and affordable products that work and I love the fact that their products are based on their mineral rich, soothing thermal water.

With winter fast-approaching, I can already see the changes in my skin, and I’m starting to get some really dry situations happening. The fab news is that if you’re due for a skincare update or you want to achieve your best skin, Vichy are running a fantastic competition! Here’s what to do …

Vichy2So get on it Lovelies! Beautiful skin and Vichy prizes await! Enter before 10 July 2015.

xoxo