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.

I love it when a cosmetic company nails a product! Let’s be real – no company does everything brilliantly. Said company is Maybelline, and I’m currently completely obsessed with their new Master Strobing Sticks.

Which shade for you?

There are 3 shades – Light (Iridescent), Medium (Nude Glow) and Dark (Gold), for each respective skin tone. Even though the Medium is too dark to highlight my cheekbones, it works so well as a contour on my hairline, giving me a nice dewy finish. My friend, who has a yellow toned, tanned skin looks amazing when she uses the Medium on her cheekbones and collarbones. She even uses the gold on her shins to give her legs a gorgeous glow.

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Why I love them so much?

The texture. Besides being as smooth as butter, the texture is incredibly light and isn’t sticky in the least – it feels like you’re not wearing anything on your skin. The formula is brilliant in that it doesn’t emphasise any skin texture such as fine lines or pores. It gives you the most incredibly natural and beautiful glow – no sparkle in sight. You can go in lightly and blend, blend, blend for a natural all-over glow, or layer up for more of an intense strobe effect.

Application. What could be easier than removing the lid and drawing onto your skin? The sticks are super creamy and so easy to blend, basically a dream to use.

The colours. The 3 shades are perfectly suited for dark, medium and light skin tones, and you can easily find one that would suit yours.

The price. The best part is how affordable they are. At around R160, you get a top notch product that rivals other higher end highlighters.

Packaging. The stick is so convenient, and fits anywhere, even in the tiniest of clutch bags.

The only thing I don’t love is that they don’t last too long. In saying that, just like lip gloss versus a matte lipstick, obviously the drier the formula, the more staying power it has. I don’t want ashy, shiny cheeks, so I will gladly put up with reapplying. Besides, the compact size is perfect to throw in your handbag.

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Should you try it?

Absolutely! This Strobing Stick is my new best friend. She makes me look dewy, fresh, awake and radiant. And she’s priced so well!

Available from Clicks, Foschini, Dis-Chem and selected Pick n’Pay stores.

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I’ve been lucky to find quite a few mascaras landing on my beauty desk lately. Instead of trying them one by one, I created a ‘to-try’ pile and tested them all out over a two week period. Here are my thoughts …

L’Oreal Butterfly Effect Fibres False Lash Wings Mascara

False Lash Butterfly Wings mascara instantly volumises at the roots and stretches your lashes outwards for a winged eye effect.

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This mascara comes in a uniquely shaped metallic silver and royal blue tube. The brush is nifty and reminds me of a butterfly. I don’t find it too easy to use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty cool. Where this mascara really stands out is when it comes to lift. My lashes were lifted from the second I applied it until I rinsed it off that evening (it comes off easily enough with micellar water). Seriously amazing. It did clump my lashes a bit, but I found that if I wait and sort of dry the formula a bit before applying it to my lashes, I get a better, less messy/clumpy result.

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Did it deliver on its promise? I don’t think it gives a winged out effect, but the formula did stretch my lashes, and the fibres definitely elongated my lashes. Maybe if I applied more out the outer corner, the winged out look would be achieved. I really like this one.

Available from Dischem or Clicks for a RRSP of R185.

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Bourjois volume reveal radiant black mascara

Reveal your lash potential with Bourjois’ NEW Volume Reveal mascara. The built in mirror with x3 zoom reveals every lash whilst the lash catcher brush with gripping bristles ensures all lashes are volumised without exception!

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This mascara separates and defines each lash, making it look like I have a lot of lashes. I love the brush and the formula so much because even on application of the third layer, my lashes are lifted, black, separated and never clumpy. The mascara comes in a black triangle tube with a 3 x zoom mirror on one side. The idea of looking into a small mirror put me off at first, because I can’t be bothered with silly little mirrors, but I kind of changed my mind because the strip of mirror really zooms in on your eyes and is actually quite handy. You can only see the eye area, in sharp detail, which allows you to really focus on the job at hand. It also comes of with a few swipes of micellar water.

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Did it deliver on its promise? It left my lashes long and defined and lifted and didn’t flake or smudge. I feel like the brush definitely grabbed and the formula coated every single lash, making them thicker from root to tip. What I especially love about this mascara is that you can achieve a beautiful, natural look or you can build it for more voluminous lashes. Big thumbs up for this one!

Available for R179.95 exclusively at Clicks and online here.
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max factor Velvet volume

Transform your look with velvety, dark, more volumised lashes – your secret to a smouldering smokey eye.

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The first time I tried this mascara, I wasn’t that impressed and I felt like it didn’t really pack a punch. The formula was a little bit dry (which I appreciate because I dislike super wet mascaras), but I felt like I had to really work to get it on my lashes (and then in doing so, got it on my upper eyelid). The first time I used it, it gave me more of a natural look but the second time I just kept on applying and managed to build the volume up quite nicely. It kind of redeemed itself from my first impression, and then I realised that it’s all about HOW you use your products. If you want volume, then build it up. This mascara is easy to remove and comes off with a swipe of micellar water. While nothing major, there was a hint of fallout and I had the tiniest bit of mascara on my lower lash line come evening time. The packaging is a cute, chubby black tube with gold art deco swirls.

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Did it deliver on its promise? It doesn’t give me the volume that I thought it would, but I like the overall effect. I think it’s a great day time, clump-free mascara.

Available for R195.95. from selected Clicks stores country wide and online here.
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Maybelline The falsies push up drama

Mascara that will take your lashes to the heights of big drama. Lift and look-at-me volume for days.”

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While the formula isn’t super wet, it does contain fibres and the brush holds a lot of product. Because of the stickiness, my lashes went from bare to clumped in an instant and I had to use a spoolie to brush through my lashes to separate them. It’s not the easiest to apply to the top lashes, and quite difficult to apply to lower lashes, because of clumping and smudging. In terms of fallout, there was none in a 12 hour period. I’m kinda on the fence with this mascara. The first time I used it, my lashes looked a bit too clumpy for my liking up close but were actually ample and voluminous a bit further away from the mirror. The second and third time I used it my lashes clumped up majorly and I had to use a tweezers to painstakingly separate them (because tweezers were all I had!). I like the way my lashes look with this mascara on them but it’s a fight to get them to look that way. The packaging is a real winner! It’s a gorgeous metallic red and pink tube that clicks once the mascara is closed. I love that because sometimes you don’t close your mascara properly and then it dries out.

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Did it deliver on its promise? This mascara definitely gave me lots of volume and it made my lashes super black, so I guess that’s the drama part.

Available from Dischem or Clicks for a RRSP of R149.95.

I hope this was helpful for you!

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The other day, I received an exciting beauty drop from Max Factor. It was almost the perfect beauty package, consisting of foundation, two lip colours and blush. Max Factor has been around for a long time and is a trusted brand. Having never really purchase anything from the brand, I was excited to test the products out.

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Max Factor Creme Puff Blusher Nude Mauve

At first glance, I didn’t think this blush would look good. I used to think that blush either had to be pink or peach, and this colour was neither, rather a mauve/peach hybrid. My skepticism was soon blasted away because it is the perfect colour! Once applied, it gives a healthy pink tinged flush to my cheeks, with an understated glow. When I swatched the blush on my finger, it looked quite shiny, and I thought ‘uh-oh, shimmery blush here we come’ but it is only subtly luminescent and adds a gorgeous glow to my cheeks. When I think of this blush, the word ‘subtle’ really stands out for me. If you like to look more obviously “made up”, you are able to build this blush for a more intense pop of colour on your cheeks. I love how petite and compact this blush is, and how sturdy the packaging is. All in all, this is a great little blush to have in your makeup bag. Available from select Clicks stores for around R120.

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max factor miracle match foundation

The main drawing card of this foundation is that it combines flawless-looking shade matching that blurs imperfections and nourishes skin with hydration. Basically air-brushed, natural looking, healthy skin.

I want to love this foundation, because it sounds like a dream, but I just don’t. The main reason I don’t enjoy it is because of the way it smells (I’m used to scent-free foundations and this one has a strong biscuity smell), and every time I’ve used it, at the end of the day when I touch my face, it rolls (and looks like dirt). Maybe it’s because I have very dry skin? Where I can say that this product performs is that it gives a lovely skin-perfect finish. It feels like a moisturiser on application, and produces a medium coverage blurred effect for pretty, flawless skin. It’s the perfect balance of matte and dewy and matches my skin tone perfectly. Available at selected Clicks Stores with a RSP of R219.95.

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Max Factor Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick

This long lasting lipstick promises to moisturise your lips courtesy of its highly nourishing oil-based, moisture-rich formula containing over 60% skin conditioners and emollients as well as last up to 8 hours.

It feels super moisturising upon application and doesn’t dry my lips out. The colour is richly intense and lasted for about 5 hours, which included tea, lots of water and a bit of lunch, after which I had to touch up. Not bad at all!  I don’t mind the fact that it doesn’t wear for 8 hours because in my experience, super long wearing lipsticks tend to dry my lips out, and this one didn’t. It’s a trade off.

Overall I like this lipstick. I think it’s cute and it’s a great product to have in your lipstick bag if you find a colour you love. I’m obsessed with purples at the moment and I’m so into the colour Eternally Luscious. Available in 7 shades from selected Clicks for R169.95.

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We all have a personal cocktail preference right? A dash of fresh lime, some extra mint, less tonic water (wink wink). Well, last week at Veaudry in Fourways I was introduced to my new fav’ luxury spoil: a customized hair cocktail made up just for you.  Kerastase has designed a cutting edge hair combo technology to nourish, repair, reboot shine and either enhance natural curls or soften and strengthen a straight hair look. My hair could not be more grateful for the much needed Kerastase Fusiodose. It’s a unique choice of concentrate treatment plus  and booster treatment under careful diagnostic guidance from a Kerastase product specialist. There are 4 concentrates and 5 boosters that can personalize 20 FusioDose combinations:

CONCENTRATES

Concentré Pixelist – Intensification of radiance
Concentré Oléo-Fusion – Instant nutrition and softness
Concentré Vita-Ciment – In-depth Reconstruction
Concentré Densifique – Immediate Densification
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BOOSTERS
Booster Brillance – 5 times more radiance
Booster Densité – The fiber is intensely texturized
Booster Reconstruction – 50 % less breakages during brushing
Booster Nutrition – 3 times more nutrition
Booster Discipline – 72-hour anti-frizz, 72-hour smoothness and anti-humidity
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The combined affair is a knockout new look. My hair felt light, super soft a seriously shiny. I am delighted. A quick treatment that makes all the stresses that affect our hair that much less dramatic. Kerastase are leaders in hair technology and my sublime hair transformation is proof of that.

If you’re as fascinated by this treatment as I am, head on over here to read up more about it. You can experience FusioDose at any salon that stocks Kerastase.

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