Beauty · Bodycare · Makeup · Skincare

July Favourites

This month has gone by in an absolute whirlwind.

On the first of the month, we got married, the week after that was a bit of a mini honeymoon, and since then it’s been fully back into work, studies, blogging and trying to catch up with everyone who came to our wedding – you don’t realise how hard it is to try and speak to every single person for a decent amount time on your big day!  Throw in my birthday and dinners and a potjie party, as well as my hubby’s wonderful sister and her other half who came out from France for the wedding, and who have since moved down to Hermanus, and us trying to squeeze in as much time with them as possible.  I’ve barely had time to sit and just relax and take stock of the fact that today marks one whole month that I’ve been a married lady.  Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

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With all that’s been going on, it took me some time to narrow down what products or items I’d really been getting a kick out of this month.  But I finally did, and here they are…

BODY CARE

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Woolworths Vanilla & Brown Sugar Hand Sanitising Spritzer

I make no bones about the fact that I’m somewhat of a germophobe.  I have owned so many tubes and little bottles of sanitiser gels and waters that it’s insane.  So, when I saw that my favourite fragrance in the Woolworths bath and body line had a sanitiser spritzer, I grabbed one (and at R39.95, it’s a damned good price too) and I haven’t looked back!

This baby lives in my handbag, and I spritz it onto my hands several times a day.  It smells heavenly and doesn’t leave my hands feeling dry and tight like some sanitisers do, so it’s definitely a win in my books.

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Paco Rabanne Olympea Intense

Ok so I’ll be honest – this was my birthday gift from my hubby on the 21st of the month.  However, I’d been longing for it since it came out, and I’d just finished off my Olympea original a few days before (with a small tear as I placed the bottle in my Empties bag).  So, even though I only had this for 10 days of the month, it’s been my top fragrance since then!

The original Olympea is a sensual and feminine fragrance, something I got complimented on whenever I’d spritzed it on.  The new and Intense version is like her sexy, sassy older sister – she carries the same original scent, but just a richer and more luxurious version of it.  The Foschini Beauty site claims that it has an ‘amber salty-vanilla accord’ and while I definitely don’t smell the ‘salt’ in there, I get it, just in the same way that salt makes a regular sweet caramel that much richer, as it picks up all the delicious flavours and just accentuates them.

Divine.  Just plain and simply divine.  It even makes me feel sexier in myself when I wear it!

SKINCARE

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Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

This cleansing balm has been doing the rounds in the bloggersphere for a while now, and it deserves every bit of praise it gets!  It removes every last bit of your makeup, including waterproof mascara and liquid lipsticks, and it does so super gently and without any effort whatsoever.

I just massage a teensy bit into my skin, then wipe it off with a warm, damp cloth.  If I was lazy (which I admit, I sometimes am late at night, after a night out), I don’t even need to do a second cleanse – when I dry my face on my towel, there aren’t any traces of makeup left.  But when I’m not being lazy, I still go in with a milk cleanser, just to really make sure my skin is super duper clean and prepped for whatever night-time treats I put on it.

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Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

Ahhh this multitasking gem.

Made famous by Nikkie Tutorials, when she claimed it was an incredible makeup primer, I now always have a bottle of this on my dressing table.

It works amazingly as a hydrating primer, where you just massage a little into your skin until it feels sticky or tacky.  It’s packed with glycerin, which helps makeup adhere to your skin better.  It also gives sensitive skin (or any other skin type) a burst of soothing hydration, reduces redness and smoothes the surface of the skin a little.

I use it on my legs and under my arms too after shaving – my skin is prone to shaving rash, regardless of what I use to shave, but a little of this straight afterwards soothes and closes up the pores, preventing irritation.

MAKEUP

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LA Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil in Medium Brown

Brow pencils like this really are my favourite way to do my brows.  I love the super fine nib of this brow pencil, and the fact that it includes a spoolie (and a pretty damn decent one) on the end, to brush the product through my brows.

This pencil is decently pigmented, soft enough to give good colour without pressing super hard yet waxy enough to last all day, and it comes in a large variety of shades, so there’s something for everyone.

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Palladio Crushed Metallic Shadow in Stellar

Another goodie I received as a birthday gift (this time from the lovely Camilla from Jane Wonder), I had to include this in my July favourites.

I flit between eye products every day, either going with one eyeshadow palette or another, or opting just for liner and mascara (some days even just mascara when I’m in a rush).  Since I received this, I’ve quite literally used it every single day.

It’s a beautiful soft bronzey shade with a hint of pink – think a bronze and a rose gold, mixed together in a super metallic formula.  It lasts all day long with zero creasing, even without an eyeshadow primer, and makes my green eyes pop like nothing else.

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Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Love

Kathleen Lights spoke about this yonks ago in one of her videos, and ever since then I’ve been on the lookout for it.  When it eventually came in stock at my local Dischem, I snapped it up, and I’ve been using it every day since.

It gives you an incredibly natural flush that isn’t flat or very glowy – you literally just look like you’re blushing a little.  Plus, it lasts all day until I take my makeup off, which is a lot more than I can say for some pricier blushes I own.

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Top: 1 – Ice Queen (highlight).  Bottom: 2 – Toffee (bronze) and 3 Sculpt (contour)

NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette*

When I first gave this palette a bash, I was scared off by how pigmented the powders were – I dipped my brush into one of the bronzing/contouring shades, and ended up looking like I’d lost a battle with a tin of cocoa powder.

Since then, I’ve learnt that less is more.  I very gently dip my brush into the powder, tap off the excess, and then slowly start to build up the colour until I’m happy with how deep it is.

The palette comes with 4 highlighting shades (one shimmery, one with a slight bit of sheen, a matte white and a banana colour for under the eyes) and 4 bronzing or contouring shades.

I love the shade Toffee for bronzing up the perimeters of my face, and the shade Sculpt for creating hollows and shadows and giving me the cheekbones I’ve always dreamed of.  The shade Ice Queen is a beautiful icy white highlight, but I do know I need to dab over this with a damp beauty sponge once it’s applied, as this helps press it into my skin and blends any harsh lines.

The last few days I’ve even dusted Nectar (the far right shade in the top row) all over my face.  It has a bit of sheen to it, but it’s not nearly enough to make it a highlighter, and this gives my face a bit more dimension after I’ve set my foundation with powder.  It just looks fresh and glowy without being greasy.

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From left to right: LA Girl Shady Slim brow pencil in Medium Brown, Palladio Crushed metallic shadow in Stellar, Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Love, NYX Highlight & Contour palette, shades Toffee (bronze), Sculpt (contour) and Ice Queen (highlight)

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MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

I originally bought D for Danger (a regular MAC lipstick in the matte finish) as my wedding lipstick, but after my trial it just looked too RED for the look I wanted.  One of our colours in the wedding scheme, and the colour of my bouquet was a deep burgundy, berry shade, and I needed something a little more along those lines.

This shade looks super intimidating in the tube, but when it’s swatched on your arm or lips, it’s GORGEOUS.  You can leave it a little more sheer or build it up until it’s super dark.

We actually mixed this with a little Velvet Teddy on top, on my wedding day, to give it that rich berry feel but a little more played down.

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What were your favourite products in the month of July? 

 

*PR sample.