Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat

I am always on the lookout for cheap beauty tips.  A tip was to buy cheap nail polish and cover it with a nice expensive top coat to make it look and last like an expensive nail polish.  This sent me on the lookout for a top coat.  I found the Sally Hanson top coat.
Here are two photos taken on the same day after 3 days of wearing a cheap R10 nail polish.  The one hand had top coat, the other had nothing.  The nails both chipped and looked bad, but the chips were in different places.  With the top coat, the nail polish seemed to peel off from the sides and without the top coat the nail polish chipped from the front of the nail. 

The Sally Hanson Top Coat made the polish look more professional and finished, but did not help it last any longer.  However, it had these weird cracks which you can see on the first photo.  All in all I am not very much impressed.  I did like other Sally Hansen nail products very much, just not this specific top coat.

December 2013 Rubybox

I stopped my subscription to Rubybox, and then last month I decided to spoil myself with only one Rubybox.  I know it is a subscription service, but I decided I wanted one box only and would  cancel it after one month.  I did cancel the Rubybox, but got billed for another one and received another one.  This time I called their hotline to cancel the subscription.  So a warning out there, double check whether your Rubybox subscription is actually cancelled.  Mine said:  Waiting for cancellation and was never cancelled.

I received the December Rubybox, even though I did not want to.  I was fairly upset when I got a message from the courier that the box is on its way.  I wanted a refund and wanted to send the box back.  Of course when it arrived I had to look what was inside and then decided I would keep it.  This is therefore the first Rubybox ever that I decided I wanted AFTER I saw the contents.

What hooked me on this box was the smell.  It smelled absolutely divine when I opened it, all due to the lovely body lotion.  It included a full size product and it had some really large samples.  One of the best boxes I received in a long time.  If they were all like this, I might actually still have an annual subscription.

What did I receive?
Emanuel Ungaro L'Amour Fou Body Lotion, 50 ml. 
This lotion smells divine.  I love it.  It is incredibly expensive, R360 for 200 ml.  There is no way I would have been able to afford a full product.  It smells lovely, but moisturising wise, it is a fairly average lotion.

John Frieda Brilliant brunette colour protection moisturising shampoo and conditioner
Both of these were 50 ml sizes.  They came in lovely tubes.  This is a perfect fit.  I do not spend a lot of money on expensive shampoos, but always love to try them out.  (I think in an attempt to convince myself I am not depriving my hair of anything.)  I started using it immediately and cannot say that I am blown away.  My hair kind of feels like it always feels.  This was also a perfect fit with my beauty profile.  I have brunette coloured hair.  Thank you Rubybox for customising so well.

Nair ultra hair removal.
I received 2 30 ml sachets, which is fairly large.  I am keen to also try this new to me product. 

Rubybox beauty smooch stick in Tangerine Tango
This was a Rubybox product and is full size.  It is valued at R129.  I am not sure whether I can really rock very bright Tangerine lipstick, but have enjoyed wearing this.  It is a very greasy product.  I am not mad about the taste, but it is not awful.  It is very dark, with lots of pigment and it has staying power.  It feels a little bit sticky on the lips. This might be one of the longer lasting lipsticks I own.  I know orange is very fashionable, it might just not be me.
You can see a review here.

All in all a lovely box. I calculate the value to be around R277.  Not bad at all.  I have used 4 of the 5 products within days of receiving it.  Sometimes I just store away the samples till I need them. 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Recycling lipstick

Did you know that about a third of your lipstick sits in the bottom of the tube and cannot be used?  Think about this, if you paid R200 for a lipstick, that means that you are left with R66 inside the tube.  You can either throw it away or you can try to reuse it. 

I often scrape it out of the tube with a lipbrush, but do not like this, because it is too messy to throw in your handbag.  It works great at home, but not for touching up during the day.
And then I found out that you can easily melt lipstick.  A short (short, seconds) blitz in the microwave melts it. 
Simply dig all the lipstick out of the tube. The idea is to melt several lipsticks together, mix well and pour back into the empty lipstick container.  Leave this overnight in the fridge to cool properly and you have a lipstick as good as new.  The only problem with this is that you need the leftovers of two to three lipsticks to create one new lipstick.  If they are different colours, you will end up with a completely new colour.  So either use similar colours or play around with a little bit till you get the colour you like. 

Another option is to buy a cheap lipstick.  You then remove the lipstick and leave only the bottom 1/2 of the 1/3 that is left in the tube.  You then pour your favourite lipstick on top of this. 
Also beware when you mix colours:  It goes to the lowest denominator.  If you do not like the smell or taste of one of the lipsticks it will smell and taste like that one.  
Tips.  Use a small container, you will not end up with a lot of melted lipstick.  It is a fairly messy process, and it is surprisingly difficult to get lipstick out of things, so be careful. 
I was very happy with the new colour combination I got.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Rubybox Scentsational box

Note:  I am still here, still blogging.  I just had an insanely busy time.  Internet at home was slow and would not upload pictures and work was too busy to write blogs at work.  Between all of that I never managed to post anything.  This post is long overdue, but I think still interesting enough to put out there.

I was driving down from Johannesburg and checking facebook (yes, you have fairly good internet reception on the N3 these days).  I was a passenger in the car if you were worried.  And then I saw a notice for the SCENTsational  box from Rubybox.  It promised one 5 ml fragrance or 75ml body lotion and 10 fragrance sample vials.  All of this for just R100. I ordered it immediately.  Imagine, buying something while stuck in a car driving down the highway for hours.


I have written a blog post previously about my inability to choose a perfume in a shop and how much I enjoy the sampler boxes you get at some shops around Christmas time.  This box is therefore precisely what I needed.
It arrived a few days later and this is what was inside:
Small vials (1.2 to 1.5 ml) of Acqua di Gioia, Armani code, Euphoria and Latin Sensation from Avon.   Two sachets each of Madly Kenzo and Kenzo flower tag.  A larger vial of Elie saab (4 ml) and Arpege as the 5 ml sample.  It also included two men’s fragrances; Armani code men and David beckham men in small vials.

The box is good value for money.  If my sums are correct I received about 22 ml of fragrance.  If we assume that fragrance cost R689 for 50 ml (the sale price for Forbidden Euphoria on the Rubybox site) then the box was worth R303.  Even if I threw the two male fragrances away it is still worth R262.  (Roughly, plus minus:  I was too lazy to find the prices for each of the perfumes, and I used a sale price.)

My complaints: 
I received a duplicate of Armani code, therefore I only got 10 different perfumes and not 11 as I thought I would get.  Since Armani code smells really nice and might actually be my favourite from the box I am not complaining too much. 

I received sachets for the two Kenzo samples.  The little spray samples are so nice to use and carry everywhere and sachets are just a  pain.  The sachets are also smaller, but they made up for this by giving me two sachets of each, so in the end it is about as much as a vial would have been.

My main complaint.  The men’s fragrances.  I do not want men’s fragrances.  I am married, but my husband dislikes all men’s perfumes and would never wear it.  I sometimes wear the male samples I get.  In this unisex universe of ours you can get away with it, but I do not really like it.  There was absolutely no indication when I bought the box that there would be men’s fragrances in it.  (They also did not state that it would be female fragrances only.  I just kind of assumed it would be.)  And judging from some complaints online I was lucky.  Some other Rubies got half men’s fragrances.  Rubybox, please, if you do this again leave out the men’s fragrances or tell us up front how many of the fragrances would be men’s fragrances.

Three of the fragrances I received were fragrances I have had samples from in the past, mostly from Rubybox.  I was less excited to get these.  I guess it is not their fault and it would be really difficult for them to figure out who have had what in the past and only send me ‘new’ samples.  But, in a perfect world it would have been nice to have received a box with 11 fragrances I have never tried before.  Heaven!

There were some complaints about the box online.  Some people complained about the men’s fragrances, which I think is a very valid complaint.  Some people complained about getting duplicates, which I also think is a valid complaint.  And then some people complained about getting bad smelling perfumes.  This is just a ridiculous complaint.  Perfumes are so subjective.  Just because you do not like it does not mean it is not a good perfume and it would be impossible to pack 11 random samples in a box and have everybody like all the samples they receive.  The whole idea of the box is to receive new scents and see whether you like them or nor. 

This box was really nice, I like it and I hope Rubybox does it again soon.  I would definitely buy it again (and hope that I do not get the same fragrances I got this time!)  Please leave a comment telling me what was inside your scent box.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Kiehl's series Nr 20: Rosa Arctica - youth regenerating cream

I was wondering whether I should write this review.  I promised myself I would be honest on the blog, but I also do not want to write a negative review.  I did however hate this product. 

It is a moisturiser and you can read the  marketing about it here.

It is an incredibly thick, lumpy butter.  I read now that you are supposed to warm it in your hands to make it more spreadable.  This is probably not a bad idea, since this butter is so thick.  It is thick, does not penetrate your skin and forms a thick, yucky layer on top.  In addition to that, it tingled when applied.  Quick, and not really badly, but I would prefer not to have this stinging.  It is very thick and would probably moisturise well if you had very dry skin, which I do not have.  And to be honest, my skin did feel quite soft in the morning after using it the night before.  But I hated it and would not keep using it. 
You can read the review from Paula's choice here.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Just Plain Shampoo - Sunsilk

I have recently tried to review some really nice, special, expensive shampoos.  I found it hard to review a shampoo, mostly because I think the feel of your hair is largely determined by the conditioner you use and not so much the shampoo. 

And then I thought I should compare the shampoo to my simple good enough shampoo.
This is my favourite supermarket/Dischem/buy anywhere kind of shampoo.

I use Sunsilk and use the one for coloured hair.  I really like it much more than other shampoos in the same price range.  It is cheap and lasts a long time.  I sometimes use the accompanying conditioner, but also use the conditioner that comes with my hair colour products.  I think a good conditioner is so much more important than a good shampoo.

I have decided that expensive shampoos I review has to make my hair feel better than Sunsilk before I will get excited.

You can read all from the manufacturer here.

Friday, 18 October 2013

My attempt at nail art

I am a conservative dresser.  Nail art is a bit outside of my comfort level, on various fronts.  For one it takes too long and is too difficult for me to manage.  And I am also not sure I am keen on conveying quite such a bold statement.

I saw this tutorial and gave it a try.

Source:  Tip Top Nails on Facebook

Here is my attempt.  It does not look so great, the nail polish was a bit thick and the application was difficult.  The technique was easy enough that I am willing to try again.   

Here are some images for inspiration.
A lot of these inspired me to get some white nail polish.

Images from:

Plus some really lovely pictures here.