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Thursday, 20 April 2017

NIBBLES - La Verdure, Gillitts

Rather a long while back (last year sometime actually, whoops!), my fiance, my folks and I decided to try out La Verdure cafe in Gillitts, KwaZulu Natal.  

La Verdure are known for their Banting-friendly pre-mixes, which are available in most grocery stores and health stores now, and even though only my mom out of the four of us likes the Banting/LCHF diet, we all decided we could use some more health in our lives, and headed to their cafe for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

Now, I've tried some of their pre-mixes before - especially the Almond loaf bread mix and the Spicy Nut Muffin mix.  Both are so delicious, you'd never know that they're grain, gluten and sugar free, as well as LCHF.  So I knew we were in for a treat, visiting the cafe!

Cute little interior with mis-matched chairs and tables.

Other than serving up food and drinks, the cafe also has a small store, selling health and Banting foods and drink that you can take home.  They have a heck of a lot of variety, so if you're looking for something healthy to include in your diet, be it supplements, pre-mixes, sauces, snacks, drinks or oils and powders and potions, you can bet you'll find it there!

La Verdure branded goods.

Pre-mixes, cereals and protein powders.

Oils, sauces and mayonnaise.
My mom decided that the strawberry and Roquefort salad was right up her alley - she does tend to always go for something with a Roquefort, Gorgonzola or blue cheese in it - and she said it was absolutely divine.  I don't particularly mind Roquefort cheese, but I have to be in the mood for it - it's such a strong flavour!

While my mom was nibbling on her lovely salad, my dad, fiance and I opted for the Banting (bun-less) burgers - served on a grilled black mushroom, with an egg and bacon, and with sweet potato wedges on the side.  This was absolutely delicious, juicy and perfectly cooked.  

Overall I was super impressed with the cafe - it was quaint, clean and super cute, the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly, and I loved browsing the shelves for healthy treats - take a look at some of the items I spied, that I'd be happy to give a try: -

These protein shakes looked amazing - the packaging was awesome and they sounded delicious!

Thai-spiced raw cashews? Who needs chips or popcorn when you have these?!

Raw cacao muesli snack? You could always add your milk/almond milk to this, or just eat it dry, right out of the packet - YUM!

Banting cookies and biscotti - in flavours like Coconut and Cranberry or Chocolate, Nut and Orange?  YES!

Healthy macaroons.

Crisps made from coconuts - in savoury and sweet flavours like salted caramel or spicy bbq.

Banting Creamy cheese dip and garlic and onion Chiaps - chips made from chia seeds.  

Gingerbread superfood cereal - sounds amazing, and the packaging is cute!

Sugar free Belgian Chocolate - this doesn't even taste sugar free, we had some at the Good Food and Wine Show.
Some of these snacks look SO delicious, despite the fact that they're good for you!


See anything you like the look of?
Have you been to La Verdure? Or have you tried any of their baking pre-mixes?

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

March Favourites


It's been so long since I've had the time or energy to put together a decent blog post, or keep things consistent, but I'm hoping that I'm FINALLY back on track now!

I realise these March favourites are so late, that it'll only be another couple of weeks and my April favourites will be going up, but who cares really?  These are the products I loved during April, so you're going to get to hear all about them anyway.



dr.dermal Texture Correction Pads R475 for 30 pads

I'm pretty sure that I've spoken about these before, and mentioned how much I love them.  They have been such a lifesaver lately, that I'm now more in love with them than ever!  I've spoken about how my skin has been pure chaos since I went off the contraceptive pill last year, and I had a Mirena put into place at the same time.  I know that coming off the pill, or having the Mirena in place can put your hormones and skin into a bit of a funny state for a while, but doing both things at the same time just took my normal, slightly dehydrated skin, and turned it inside out and upside down, until it was combination and VERY oily in the t-zone, and I started getting horrible breakouts, the likes I have not seen in about 12 years, since I was originally put onto the pill for bad skin.  I also had weird dry patches I've never battled with before, and the texture of my skin on my cheeks and forehead was really weird, dry, and bumpy.

With me getting married soon VERY shortly, and after some massive panicking, I remembered that my lovely buddy Camilla from Jane Wonder, had passed some more of these Texture Correction Pads onto me, after she had a few spare, and I'd been saying I needed to get my hands on more.  On the dr.dermal site, these claim to reduce wrinkles, smooth skin, reduce the appearance of blemishes and make your skin glow.  

I literally used these every second night for 2 weeks.  My skin is now almost back to what it was before.  Granted, I've been so strict with ensuring I complete my full skincare routine, regardless of how lazy tired I am, but this is the only major thing I've switched up in my routine.  

I stopped using them briefly (they're so special, I didn't want to be wasteful) and my skin did start a bit of a backwards slide, yet the second I started using them again, it righted itself. I've realised I need to just continue these every second or third night, up until my big day.  The difference they make is just so remarkable, and they're well worth every penny you spend on them.

P.S. These do have professional-strength glycolic acid in them, so your skin could (and probably will) tingle and go a bit pink after using them, at least the first couple of uses.  This is normal, you aren't having a reaction to the product.  I tried one on my fiance, and his skin burned and went quite red (he has normal skin), whereas my skin (sensitive) barely felt a tingle and didn't really go pink at all - I put this down to my using the Nip + Fab glycolic pads, or the REN AHA Concentrate (both of which seem to be discontinued here in South Africa and/or overseas) on and off the last few years.  My skin was obviously just accustomed to these acids, whereas his wasn't.  Just remember to use these at NIGHT, and slap on a decent SPF the following morning, as your skin will be more sensitive afterwards.


My wonderful fiance saw this on a trip to Dischem to pick up his regular deodorant and soap, remembered that I'd mentioned I was super keen on trying it, but wanted to finish up a serum first, and bought it to surprise me.  That made me FAR more excited than if he'd surprised me with a bouquet of flowers!  The fact he'd remembered something like this (a topic he was OBVIOUSLY not interested in) and knew I'd love it.  

I'm a big Nivea serum user - their Q10 plus Energy Serum is one of my absolute drugstore favourites - it's packed with hyaluronic acid and coenzyme Q10, to hydrate, plump and reduce wrinkles - so I just knew I'd love this one.  To me, it's like the Energy Serum, but a little more rich.  It adds a hydrating layer underneath my daily moisturiser, so that even with my anti-shine primers, my skin is still soft and smooth and hydrated underneath.  It also doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy, as it sinks right in.


dr.dermal The Omega Skin Oil R675

I love my facial oils, and this one is no exception.  I realise I have two dr.dermal products in a monthly favourites post, and no, I'm not sponsored to write this.  I actually won this baby in one of their Instagram competitions last year.

Even when my skin has been oilier, at night I still like to pack on a good facial oil, either in place of my regular night cream, or in a very light layer on top.  This helps me to seal in all the goodness of everything I've already applied to my skin, plus I get all the good fatty acids repairing and hydrating my skin from the day's damages.

Not only is this oil so packed with Omegas that it's the first facial oil in the world to have a complete set of Omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9, it's all also vegan friendly as they're all plant-based Omega oils!  

It's a super-rich, dark yellow oil and to me, it just smells like vitamins and health.  It isn't exactly a pleasant scent, but I don't find it unpleasant at all, I find it smells rich and nourishing.  In fact, I've grown to love it!  I do feel I've been using a few drops more each night, now that my skin is a bit drier with the onset of our winter.

It definitely makes a difference in my skin's hydration and softness, and I use this nightly.  I've had it for over a year and it's still going!  I have a feeling I'm going to need to get my  hands on a new bottle sometime in the next month or so, but it's definitely replaced my love for the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate since mine finished (sob) and it's actually CHEAPER!


 Zoella Double Creme body cream from the Sweet Inspirations range £5.50

I placed a Superdrug order last year, and treated myself to this body cream, along with the matching body spray from the Sweet Inspirations range.  

Sadly, I'm a clumsy thing, and my bottle of the body spray smashed onto my floor.  At work, no less.  Thanks to these shenanigans, I've been hoarding this body cream, only to be used on 'special occasions', as I can't get it locally and it just smells so darned divine.  

It's a lovely rich body lotion, perfect for winter, and it smells like almond macarons, sweet, nutty and delicious.  This isn't for anyone who doesn't really love a sweet fragrance, but if that's your jam and you live overseas, or you're travelling to the UK sometime soon, try one out.  


Paco Rabanne Olympea EDP R1125 for 50ml

I received this as a birthday gift last year in July, and I have made it last a whole year - a feat in itself, as it's so beautiful I would gladly spritz myself silly with it every single day.

It's an incredibly feminine fragrance, it is said to have an opening scent of 'sparkling green mandarin, water jasmine and ginger lily, with heart notes of salted vanilla, and base notes of sandalwood, cashmere and ambergris.  

Now, other than vanilla, I have no clue what each of these things smells like, but I feel so incredibly confident and womanly when I spray myself in this fragrance.  I've been using fresher, cleaner scents during the summer months, but now that things are getting cooler, I've started using this again, and I just can't stop!  I don't see it lasting too much longer.


OGX Quenched Sea Mineral Moisture Shimmering Weightless Moisture Replenisher R179.95

I've been using this as a sort of shine spray/moisture boost in the lengths of my hair for a while now, but have only really starting loving it in the last couple of months.  It leaves my hair soft and shiny on the lengths, while sealing split ends.

I can't seem to find it on any SA websites, and even overseas I think it might have been discontinued, so if you see it at your local Dischem or Foschini, then snap it up!



 L'Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Foundation R199.95

I've had this foundation in a couple of different shades in my collection for a while.  Every now and then, I reach for it and fall in love with it all over again - as you can see by the packaging.  

It's such a perfect, every day foundation - light enough that you barely feel it, yet it offers decent coverage, it's super easy to blend out (I can even apply this with just my fingers and it looks fab), and it lasts well especially if set with a powder.

This shade 3N Creamy Beige (the N stands for neutral, i.e. neutral undertone) is actually my perfect shade right now, even though I have a more yellow undertone to my skin.  I've been using this every single day, and with a tiny bit of concealer under my eyes, this is all I'm needing on my skin.

 L.A. Girl Strobe Lite Strobing Powder in 100 watt R149

These highlighters look absolutely stunning in the pan, on your finger when you swatch, and once it's been blended onto your cheekbones, your inner corner of your eyes, your nose and cupid's bow.  

I had a bit of a problem with this highlighter, in that the brush I usually use for highlighting (the Real Techniques Setting brush) was kicking up too much powder, and it was looking chalky and powdery on my skin.  I really need to get myself a good quality fan brush - I know there's one from NYX Professional Makeup that I liked the look of!

I realised that if I used a damp beauty sponge - I have a smaller one from Cala Urban Studio at Dischem - or even my fingers, the highlight was a lot more soft and shiny, as opposed to chalky and powdery.  And then once I spray on a setting or finishing spray, things look perfect.

This one is a soft, champagne colour, and is so pretty.  I want to definitely get my hands on a few more shades!
 Ultra-Metallic Super Shock Shadow from Colourpop in the shade Muse $5

This little gem was part of my last Colourpop haul, and I'm so glad I decided on it.  I've loved the soft rose-gold shade Weenie for so long, and have hit pan on it, and this is pretty much her darker, deeper, more metallic big sister.  

I've used this in so many eye looks, but it's so easy to swipe on with a matte shade of soft brown in the crease, as an almost one-shadow look.  It makes the green in my eyes really pop, and it looks like I've spent ages doing my eye makeup, when in reality I used two eyeshadows and just blended until the edges were perfectly soft.

All of my Colourpop eyeshadows are much loved, and at only $5 a shadow, they're well worth it.


Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Waterproof mascara R165.95

After some issues with my eyes constantly watering lately, I had to toss my beloved L'Oreal False Lash Wings Sculpt mascara in the bin, as I was worried that it had become contaminated and was irritating my eyes.  I purchased the Catrice 3D Lash Multimizer mascara that has been raved about by numerous people, and that irritates my eyes a bit too (not as much, but it's also still very wet, and it needs to dry a bit before I can continue to use it.  Does anyone else hate super-wet mascaras?).  Perhaps my eyes needed a bit longer to calm down before I introduced a brand new item into the mix? I have no clue.

I already had this waterproof one in my stash, from my last beach-holiday to Mozambique, so I figured I'd try it out with my watering eyes, even though it only probably has a few months left before it gets tossed too.

Somehow, my eyes haven't been NEARLY as irritated, and this one won't run even if they do.  It's been smashing!  I hate using a waterproof mascara on a daily basis, as it can't be good for one's lashes, but I don't really have any other options at the moment, and so far I'm super impressed.


Are there any items that you got particular enjoyment out of during the month of March?

Friday, 7 April 2017

TESTED - L.A. Girl Pro Coverage HD High Definition Long Wear Illuminating Foundation

Firstly, apologies for my long silence - between my own wedding planning and studying part time, I've just been a bridesmaid in a very special friend's wedding, who actually flew here from the States to get married, so life has been crazy and routine was very much something I used to dream of.  Things are slowly getting back to normal again, and blogging will be a lot more consistent again!

There has been so much hype over this LA Girl foundation - both internationally and here in South Africa, with bloggers and YouTubers alike testing it out.

Despite never being drawn to try an LA Girl foundation before (is it just me, or do they look cheap, aka poor quality, whenever I see them on shelves?), I decided to give this a bash after watching Kandy Kane's YouTube video on it.  Apparently even though it's an illuminating foundation, as long as you set it with powder, it'll work for oilier skin tones.

So let's get into the review!



L.A. Girl Pro Coverage HD High-Definition Long Wear Illuminating Foundation


Plastic, clear container with black text, a black pump, and a black lid.  The packaging is quite cheap, although looking decent before you pick it up.  It's very lightweight.  The pump is clearly quite cheap as it sticks quite quickly, but for the price of the product, and quality of product inside, it's very easy to see past this.


Very high coverage, but it is easy to create a medium coverage with this if you use a small amount of product and blend out, only adding as you go to areas that need more.  
For a medium-high coverage, use a dampened beauty sponge, as this will create a more natural finish.  You can build it up to a higher coverage with a beauty sponge too, but if you want to go in with a very high coverage to begin with, use a foundation/buffing brush.

I found that the coverage was good enough that I didn't need to go in with a concealer, not for the couple of spots I had or the darkness under my eyes.  If you have bad dark circles, you could colour correct before you apply the foundation, and you really will not need concealer at all.


When they say long wear on the bottle, they aren't joking!  This lasts really really well, and is comparable in wear time, almost to my Estee Lauder Double Wear.  Obviously if you set it with a powder, it'll increase the wear time, which I do, as it's too illuminating with my combination skin, to leave it unset.

It also doesn't oxidise on me, a problem I have from the Milani Conceal and Perfect, and the Urban Decay All Nighter.

It is supposed to be an illuminating foundation, so it definitely gives skin a lovely glow, but don't think that this means it's only for dry skin types - I have been battling with oily skin due to coming off the pill, and as long as I set my face with powder, it will sit well all day, and I've only had to blot once during the day.  So you could use this for any skin type, as long as you take the steps to set it correctly.


A runny liquid foundation.  Very opaque in colour. 

The foundation blends out beautifully and very easily, probably due to how runny it is.


They have quite a decent shade range, a total of 16 shades, including a white shade, to lighten products up if you're in-between shades, or even if you have the lightest, and it's just not light enough for you during winter.
I'm not sure if we have all 16 shades here in South Africa, but from the display stands, I think we do.
I have the shades Fair (the warmer-toned lightest shade) and Nude Beige (for when I'm self tanned, but to be honest, I still sometimes have to mix a bit of Fair in, depending on how deep my tan is).


R175 for 28ml of product.  Very reasonable, and great value, considering that it works like a higher-end foundation.


From Dischem here in South Africa.  You can find it both in-store and in their online store.


Yes, definitely!  This has actually slowly been replacing my L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte foundation, if you can actually believe it!  I've just been loving how high the coverage is, and it stays put so well. 

I actually recommended this product to quite a few people, and I used it on bridesmaids that I did makeup on at a wedding this past weekend, as the wear is so good, coverage is exceptional and it gives a lovely glow even when set down with powder.  Plus it's good for photos, as it's an HD foundation!  

This product is everything I thought the Urban Decay All Nighter would be and everything I wanted it to be, for a fraction of the price, and without the crazy oxidising.


Have you tried this foundation out, and if so what did you think?  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Launch of NYX Professional Makeup in Durban


So, I know we've had NYX Professional Makeup in South Africa for a while.  But the stocks are always low at stores, and what they have imported into the country has been minimal.  I've had to order the Matte Lipstick in Tea Rose and the Butter Glosses in Angel Food Cake and Eclair from overseas.

HOWEVER, never fear, as NYX has now fully come to South Africa!  The first World of NYX launched in Johannesburg late last year, and now, we have a huge concession at our Clicks in Gateway mall.  Apparently 1000 products will be stocked, with launches of new products set to happen in the following months too.

I was lucky enough to go to the official opening this past weekend, as well as the launch the weekend before, and hear about all the great stuff that NYX has planned for us.

To start with, take a look at all the new goodies we have in the NYX Gateway store -- 

Gorgeous colours in this eyeshadow palette.

Beautiful eyeshadow palettes, and the contour kit is fab!

Lip Lingerie finally!

I'd love both the Matte and Dewy finish setting sprays, but this matte one will be best for my currently oily skin.

All of the highlighters.

Keen to give this HD Finishing powder a bash.

Aside from the obvious spelling error, these are amazing - I bought them myself and have been using them!

Pretty <3

I have one of these in the shade Strictly Chic - gorgeous.

The fan brush of my dreams! This will be my next NYX purchase.

I nabbed a quick pic with the beautiful Camilla from Jane Wonder.
Stunning, no?  I only managed to take a few pictures of the goodies now on offer, as the store was so jammed with people desperate to get their paws on some raved-about NYX products.  I plan on going back again at a later stage.

And just a little teaser of things to come in the following few months from the brand --

I'm not usually one for liquid or cream illuminators, but this is life.

Look at that gorgeous sheen!
I swatched some of these and they're great coverage and in so many shades!

A finishing powder to give you that filtered, gorgeous look.

So soft and fine...

Sweet Cheeks palette - for makeup artists and beauty lovers alike.

The Cosmic Metal lip creams are so rich in pigment and shine.. I tried them all on too!

Did any of you Durban ladies make it to the opening?  And did you grab any lovely products?

P.S. A big thank you to NYX for the invite to both the launch and the grand opening - I had such a ball! xxx