Miss Eylure Emily Pre-Glued Lashes

Applying false eyelashes can be a time-consuming and traumatic experience for the beauty newbie. I’ve done it a few times now, but when I put them on it’s still a production that involves wielding two pairs of tweezers like chopsticks, a spare tube of eyelash glue, a large magnifying mirror and some, calming deep breaths. I’ve used the (very good) Eylure Naturalites range before which is why I decided to try out these Miss Eylure Emily lashlets. That, and the pistachio-striped packaging was so sweet, it looked like it came straight out the beauty section of an Asian supermarket. Now that’s kawaii.

MissEylureEmily

These lashes are designed for a younger age group, but I quite liked the smaller lash band as I always find falsies to be a bit too long for my eyelids. What’s also unique about these Miss Eylure lashlets is that the (pre-applied) glue line is black, so it sort of looks like you’ve already put on dark eyeliner. They also come with a second glue strip thingamajig, in-case you want to reuse the lashes later. I cannot lie – I still added a drop of eye glue (if you’re curious, it was the Andrea ModLash Adhesive for Strip Lashes) because the end bits just wouldn’t stay down no matter what I tried. They were sticky but stubborn. Sometimes false lashes can make you look a bit horsey, but these lashlets didn’t give me enough equestrian oomph. They were comfortable but forgettable, and sort of looked exactly like my eyes would with a decent layer of mascara on… probably due to the fact that I picked the most natural looking pair. The next time I’m definitely going to choose something a bit more dramatic a la Alice, Ava or Olivia.

Miss Eylure Emily Pre-Glued Lashes are R54.95 a set. 

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L’Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer

loreallumimagiqueprimerI was really excited to see this primer in store on the weekend. I’ve been ogling the L’Oreal Lumi Magique range for a while now, debating whether it would be worth an online purchase… and then there it was, sitting unassumingly on the shelf at Clicks in Hyde Park. Sneaky L’Oreal. Very sneaky. First up, the pearlescent, rose gold packaging is seriously pretty, it makes the product look far more expensive than it is. But the thing I found myself wondering (after pumping a drop onto my hand) was would you really want to use this as an all-over face primer? There’s a HUGE difference between greasy and glowing, shiny and subtle, oil spill and you-look-like-you-should-be-on-the-cover-of-Vogue! I started to think that perhaps L’Oreal got confused in their packaging because if you were to use this as a full-on face priming base, it would be finished in a week tops.

That said, the L’Oreal Lumi Magique primer actually makes an excellent cream highlighter, a good dupe for M.A.C.’s Strobe Cream in fact. The trick is to use a tiny bit – you only get 20ml of product but a little goes a long way – and blend it well. In the end I really liked how it looked on my skin, it’s definitely luminising (as opposed to glittery like the truly awful Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Good Morning Retexturising primer) but still subtle. What’s even better is that this L’Oreal primer is water-based, so you don’t feel like you’re smearing a layer of silicone over your skin. I like it, but not enough to make me question whether or not it’s better to just buy a cream highlighter or dewy-finish base such as Bourjois’ Happy Light or Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation.

L’Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer is R179 at Clicks.

L’Occitane en Provence Almond Shower Oil

LOccitaneAlmondShowerOilWe used to have a cat that would come bulleting through the kitchen door and hide under the dishwasher. A few hours later it would storm, she just knew the rain was coming. (My current cat? Not as intuitive. She belly flops through the window all muddy, confused and ready for a wet cuddle.) My skin is the same, it may not look like winter is coming but my body is starting to feel all dry and tingly… probably also due to the fact that the colder the weather gets, the longer and hotter my showers become. So when no ordinary soap will do, I use L’Occitane en Provence Almond shower oil. It’s magic, like molecular gastronomy. Once the oil hits your sponge it turns into a creamy milky foam that leaves your skin satin-soft and lightly fragranced, like almonds and honey. And unlike other oily options, you don’t feel slick or sticky afterwards and neither will your shower floor. My only issue was the packaging – I’m clumsy and ended up dropping the slippery bottle. The entire neck part cracked off and because it’s such a runny formula, there simply wasn’t enough time to rescue most of the product from heading straight to the drain. I love that L’Occitane offers refills, but what am I meant to put my leftover almond shower oil in now?

Buy L’Occitane en Provence Almond Shower Oil online for R295.

Stila In The Light Palette

“It’s not Naked but.” Those four words have become synonymous with any makeup palette that features neutral shades. Every brand has an Urban Decay dupe. So here we go again: This is Stila’s In The Light, a product I can now call my very own glitter hooker palette. It seriously shimmers.

Sure, I enjoy a bit of face (or nail) bling like the best beauty addict, but sometimes I feel like when my face shines this much, by the end of the day I look like I have been sobbing big, sparkly unicorn tears. The eye shadow just fell off my face, primer or not, and found its way onto my lashes, cheeks, fingers, cat, etc. The colours simply did not, and would not, adhere to my eyelids. It’s was a friggen’ mess.

StilaIntheLightPalette

So I’ve been attempting to use this particular palette from Stila for quite some time, and it’s also not *exactly* what I would call neutral either – there really are only three lighter shades, the iconic champagne colour in the bunch called Kitten, second from the top left. I found that the individual shadows broke easily. (You’ll “hit pan” before you know it but not from using up product!) The quality is also inconsistent across the colours, the pigments are wishy washy and I hated using the included smudgey eye pencil.

So unless I decide to look like a mermaid for the day, it’s going to take a lot more convincing to prove to me that Stila is worth its price tag… cause this palette certainly is not.

You can buy Stila’s In the Light palette off Kalahari (who knew!) for R435.

Diorskin Nude BB Creme

DiorskinNudeBBCremeOne of the things I did on a work trip to Shanghai (besides trying to rescue some very sad-looking bullfrogs from the supermarket to release back into the Huangpu) was stock up on BB cream and sheet masks. I’ve always been mad about Asian, specifically Korean, beauty products. I had a cute BB powder compact way back in 2011. (On a side note, would someone please bring Etude House, Tony Moly and Holika Holika to South Africa?) So when all the BBs, and now CCs, landed in South Africa I knew what to expect. I tried Garnier (awful), Revlon (good), Avon (too gloopy), Erborian (wonderfully Korean… but no longer available locally since Style 36 went down) and was lucky enough to get a fancy tube of Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme from a friend.

I don’t wear foundation so BB cream, which is essentially enriched tinted moisturiser, is my thing. The Diorskin Nude BB is sweet, soft and smelly. It’s pretty expensive – they don’t called it a creme instead of a cream for nothing – but its still surprisingly cheaper than the Stila and Smashbox option. What I didn’t like was how low the SPF factor was (ten) and the fact that there are only a handful of shades available – beautiful dewy skin isn’t apparently for everyone, thanks Dior. I did, however, love the pump mechanism and how little you need for a natural, radiant look. Now Dior say their BB is meant to treat, hydrate, prime, protect and camouflage. My thoughts? Yes, okay, kinda, not enough and not too bad.

Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme costs R345 a tube.

Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer and Matt Balms

For as long as they’ve been out, I’ve been using Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Honey as my every day, go-to lip product. I love a good stain (because I’m not really a fan of lipgloss or lipstick) which is why when Revlon announced their new matt and lacquer balms, I rushed out to the shops to test them out. Of course, no one had them in stock. A few days later at my tiny corner pharmacy picking up scripts, there they were. I swatched every available colour (without a security guard staring me down like I was about to pop one in my purse – an added plus) and settled on two: the lacquer balm in 110 Coquette and the matt balm in 225 Sultry Sulfureuse.

They both smell minty fresh but feel completely different to each other texture-wise. The lacquer balm is more soft and hydrating, but the glossy colour didn’t last until my first cup of tea. (I did, however, notice some sparkly glitter chunks awkwardly clinging to my mouth. And no, I did not accidentally eat a toddler’s artwork.)

RevlonColorburstBalms_Coquette

RevlonColorburstBalms_Sultry

And then I realised… they’re not stains, just coloured balms. Are they even meant to last?

With the lacquer balms, I found it really hard to pick a colour as nothing in the range (there are 10) appealed to me – they were all too bright or dark except one shade which didn’t show up on my lips at all. I thought Coquette would be a nice neutral pink, but it’s actually is far too Barbie bright for my face.

Barring the vampy Barney-purple shade (ironically called Shameless), the matt balm colours look nicer on. Because they’re very pigmented, they’re long-lasting too. I also liked that they aren’t as drying as the original Just Bitten stains (maybe because Revlon put shea, coconut and mango butter inside). I’ll probably buy more of the matt.

Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer and Matt balms retail for R120 (more or less) each. 

Mineral Line Dead Sea Body Peeling Scrub in Vanilla

I once went to an Orlane launch, a Parisian high-end brand of skincare which had just come to South Africa. It was incredibly overpriced (like La Mer, but way less coveted) and kind of aimed at grannies. The one product which really stood out, however, was the essential oils scrub – sea salt crystals, lemon zest, avocado oil… it was the ideal combo and citrus scent. I’ve been hunting for something similar for years now (because I will not spend R1200+ on a scrub) and finally found what I’ve been looking for. Tell U2 to go home. Now please don’t judge this product on its completely boring packaging or the fact that it’s not a new or trendy brand, the Mineral Line range of “body peeling” Dead Sea scrubs are amazing on the inside. 

MineralLineBodyPeelVanillaWhat you get is a tub of warm vanilla enriched oil with chunks of salt below that you need to mix up to use. (Note: the scrub does come in other aromas like Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Eucalyptus… but they all kinda smell like toilet spray.) The texture is perfect – I wanted to tip the whole jar over my head and walk around all shiny like Catwoman for the day. Your skin will feel so extra wonderfully soft afterwards. And yes, I realise I am gushing just a little, but it’s taken me about a decade to discover a product that was just sitting on a shelf at Dischem. 

The Mineral Line range of body peeling sea scrubs are available at Dischem for R89.

Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream

ClarinsDelishSelfTanI’ve always had a thing for condensed milk. Seriously. I could open up a can and eat it with a ladle. And don’t get me started on caramelised condensed milk (a.k.a. Nestlé Caramel Treat). It’s the stuff dreams, and peppermint crisp pudding, are made of. Clarins Delicious self tanning cream looks exactly like a tin of Caramel Treat. It’s so thick and gooey, it’s almost edible. And it’s a good thing it smells absolutely disgusting because you could easily mix up the two. This self-tan is easy to apply, due the slight colouring and smooshy texture… but it also stinks all day until you’ve had a shower. (I wouldn’t recommend using it at night as it will definitely stain your linen and PJs lumo orange.) After a bath, however, the remaining honey glow is subtle, streak-free and long-lasting – it’s quite easy to forget you once smelled like eau de Dihydroxyacetone. Cocoa and chemicals for her. So while Orange is the New Black may be brilliant (new TV season starting June 6th!) looking like a pumpkin is not.

Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream is R355 a tub.