I started this year out so strong with regards to my Favourites posts. They were all up either at the end of that month, or riiiiight at the beginning of the following one. Yet here I am, a third of the way through May, and only getting my April Favourites to you now. Tsk tsk.
I won’t get all ‘oh my, it’s already May, where is time flying’ on you. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that so much already. In fact, my first wedding anniversary is just around the corner now. Eeeekkk!
It was pretty hard to round up everything I really enjoyed in April. I had a lot more items I used and loved, but they were only towards the end of the month. These are the items I used either throughout the month, or that just impressed me enough that one or two uses got them into my Favourites!
I suffer with fine, dehydration lines under my eyes. Sure, I’m into my dirty thirties now, but for the most part, I’m keeping the wrinkles away. I also get a fair bit of darkness under my eyes, and this is often impacted by the fact I’m a bad sleeper. I sleep lightly and often battle to fall asleep.
These Brightening Eye Masks work wonders. Instead of the usual gels that are shaped like a little comma, and placed under the eye, these are a proper mask. They go around your entire eye area, and sit nice and close to the under eye area itself.
I find regular eye gels do little to nothing to help with darkness, and more often than not, they don’t help hydrate the area much either. These are proper sheet masks purely targeted to the area, and leave my skin plump, hydrated and definitely brighter. I used one of these on the morning of my wedding, and now keep them for when I have events, or when I feel my eyes are looking just a little too tired.
The fact you get three of them in a resealable pack is an added bonus!
*Tara & Jack Le Masque Anti-Wrinkle & Illuminating Mask (R100 for a pack which is enough for 2 uses)
If you’re new to the blog, you have to know that I’m a complete mask-nut. There’s not a week that goes by when Hubs isn’t terrified at least once (usually more) by some new mask I’ve slathered over my face.
These Tara & Jack masks are so spa-like, yet you’re able to do them in the comfort of your own home. I like that most of them have more than one use in (yay for budget-friendly!), and are so simple to apply.
This Anti-Wrinkle & Illuminating one is cranberry-based, so it smells delicious and is a pretty shade of pale pink. It’s a rubbery-textured peel-off mask, so you apply an even coat all over your face and leave it to dry, before very satisfyingly peeling it off in one piece. Just don’t forget to give your other half a fright first though. I’ve greeted Hubs home from work with this on before (mwahahahaha!).
It leaves my skin feeling smooth, firm and just BETTER. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly how it looks so much better, it just feels and looks so damned good. Definitely repurchasing this one!
P.S. I could definitely get 3 uses out of this if I was clever – I used only half the powder for my ‘one use’, but I covered my face in a pretty thick coat and still had product left in the pot.
I received this later on in the month, however I’d previously gone through a whole bottle and absolutely adored it. I didn’t need to use it extensively to know I’d pick right up where I left off, and love it all over again.
If you’re on the lookout for something to help prevent skin ageing, Retinol is the ingredient you need. This offering from dr.dermal, the MicroRetinol 5 Rich Repair is a lovely gentle way of using retinol, with less irritation. It helps to increase collagen production, renew and refine the skin, reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, strengthens the skin’s barrier, help to unplug the pores, as well as increasing the overall health of skin cells.
Retinol can often leave skin reddened, sensitive and flaky, if used in high strengths or if your skin isn’t used to it. This was the very first Retinol product I tried, I already have sensitive skin, and yet I had no issues with it whatsoever. The way dr.dermal has formulated it to provide a controlled release of the active means you get all the benefits of the Retinol, without the irritation.
I use this every 2 or 3 nights (not nightly, as I have other actives and antioxidants I like to use) and it really does improve the look and feel of my skin. I pop it on over a hydrating serum and eye cream. Simple and gentle.
I even have a little bonus for you!
If you’re keen on trying this divine MicroRetinol 5 Rich Repair, you can order online and receive free shipping country wide. PLUS I have a sneaky discount code for you – if you type ‘SUGARANDSPICE5‘ in on checkout, you’ll receive 5% off your products!
Even if you aren’t into the Retinol just yet, they have some incredible other products. You know I’m addicted to their Texture Correction Pads (amazing for smoothing out and exfoliating skin – it leaves skin baby soft, contains professional-grade glycolic acid, and has even helped out with some of my pigmentation), but my other suggestions include The Omega Skin Oil (one of the best facial oils I’ve tried), the Repair Balm (great for soothing winter skin), the UV Guard 50 (fabulous SPF) and the Total Rejuvenation Eye Cream (the ultimate in anti-ageing eye creams).
I love this stuff. So, so, SO much.
I like using a cleansing balm to help remove my makeup. Some nights, if I’m wearing a lot of makeup I’ll go in first with this, and then use it again for my second cleanse. When I’m not wearing as much makeup, I’ll go in with micellar water first and only use the balm as my second cleanse. On some mornings when my skin feels tight and dry, it’s my go-to for a gentle, yet nourishing cleanse.
I’ve found some truly lovely cleansing balms in the past. The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm will always be right up there as my top one, but it is pricier. I also like the REN NO.1Purity Cleansing Balm is lovely and smells of rosewater. The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm has the most gorgeous floral scent, and feels super luxe (as the price tag would suggest). And finally The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is super travel-friendly and gentle.
However, I really love this one from Pink Cosmetics. Not only is it a proudly South African brand, but they’re vegan and cruelty free too. Jam-packed with beautiful natural oils and butters. You have a selection of two fragrances as well – Ylang-Ylang and Pink Grapefruit. I loved my Pink Grapefruit one so much, and the fragrance didn’t irritate my sensitive skin whatsoever. This Ylang-Ylang one is much softer and very feminine.
The Pink Cosmetics balm and the Clinique one are probably tied at the top for me – they differ slightly in that the Clinique formula melts to a thinner oil, is very gentle and perfect for exceptionally sensitive skins. The Pink Cosmetics one melts to a thicker, richer oil (which I love), and skins that are sensitive to essential oils might want to patch test it first. The price difference is also a big one – the Clinique one retails for R315 for 125ml (R2.52 per ml) and the Pink Cosmetics one is R155 for 100ml (R1.55 per ml).
You don’t have to worry about it leaving a greasy film on the skin either. You simple massage it into dry skin, wet your hands and massage some more. This emulsifies it into a milky liquid, and it rinse straight off. I go in after with a warm, damp face cloth. I’m left with a clean, makeup-free face that doesn’t feel stripped or tight.
I enjoy the affordability of this, as to me the rich texture is perfect and feels incredibly pampering – I don’t want to be stingy when I use it. I like gathering a dollop and massaging it all over my face. While I adore my Clinique one, I do feel I use less, because I’m scared of running out.
P.S. You can even use the Pink Cosmetics Melting Cleansing Balm as a hydrating face mask on clean dry skin!
I’ve chatted to the folks at Hey Gorgeous Kloof store a few times over social media. When I went in to buy a tin of Grapefruit & Orange Beard Wax for the Hubster, the lovely lady had put this Chocolate Foot Mask aside for me.
Now, I can’t find this sold by itself on their site, other than as part of this Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Mani Pedi Gift Set. I suffer with crazy-dry feet, and I’m also a chocoholic, so I was absolutely thrilled, and so touched by their thoughtfulness too.
This looks and smells like chocolate instant pudding. You know, that stuff you buy in a box, blend up with milk and leave in the fridge to set? I LOVED that as a little one, in fact I still do. Lucky I’m a grown woman, and I know better than to put beauty products in my mouth, or I’d have wolfed this thing down with a spoon.
I decided one night after showering to give my feet a bit of a buff and scrub. I then lay a towel down on the bed, slathered my feet in this and lay back to watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Afterwards, I wiped the remaining product off with a damp face cloth (cleverly placed next to the bed – I might have fallen and broken something, as it’s lovely and rich), and voila! My feet felt super pampered and soft. Really lovely and such a treat.
I’m sorely tempted to buy the Mani Pedi kit and when Hubs is off at a bachelors in a few weeks, give my hands and feet some love. Just throw in a BEEEG glass of red wine and some Lindt Excellence Strawberry Intense or the brand new Lindt Fruit Sensation in Raspberry & Cranberry.
I bought two tubes of this a while ago from Clicks – they were having some special, as it seems they are no longer stocking the brand? Perhaps it was just my local Clicks, but I have no idea.
Family Remedy Cream is basically a multi-use product. You can use it for hand cream or foot cream (which has been my main use – every night before bed), it’s great for burns, rashes, insect bites, spots, itchy skin, sunburn, razor burn and just dry, cracked skin in general.
I’ve used this on my hands and feet, and have rubbed some onto mosquito bites and a rash I had on my arm (it was some kind of reaction or series of bites). This cream soothed and moisturised so well, and it smells DELICIOUS with all the essential oils in it. Luckily I have another tube left. This one has lasted for ages, and just this morning I cut the tube open to get product out. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this with products? I have to get the most bang for my buck I can, and you know if I cut it open, I really loved the product!
I won a ticket to attend a demonstration at the Benefit stand in Red Square La Lucia Mall with the gorgeous Chanelle (you can find her on Instagram at @coco_diaries_). She did a beautiful day-time makeup look and showed us how to take that into a more evening-appropriate look.
I’d always seen the Push Up Liner available, but had no idea what it actually was or how to use it, until Chanelle showed us. It’s basically the same formula you’d get in a pot of gel liner, but it’s in a pen-format that you wind up. It comes out of the very thin and precisely shaped tip.
I love winged liner, but find that often gel pots get messy and dry out. I’m not a fan of the ink pens or liquid liners either, as they’re also messy and either dry out or bleed too much product into fine lines. Gel liner is definitely the most long-wearing and fuss free way to go, and in this format it’s so unbelievably easy to get a precise line. You can go little by little, winding up as you need product, and if there is any excess you can wipe it away afterwards.
This stuff is also extremely long lasting. It may not be waterproof, but it sticks so well you’ll need an oil based remover to get it off. Fab for ladies like me who suffer with ‘leaky eyes’ from hayfever.
I only bought the mini, as I wanted to play with it a bit before committing, but I can tell you I’ll be buying full sizes for both my pro kit and myself. You can even find it in different colours now too!
I’m still on the same damn tube guys! My lovely Cammy from Jane Wonder gave this to me as a gift in preparation for my wedding last year. I’ve popped this up in a favourites post since then (it was actually in my Best of Makeup 2017 post), and have started using it every single day in the morning. You can see how worn this poor tube is looking.
I’ll do my morning skincare, swipe on some of this lip oil, do my makeup and then either leave it like that as a natural looking gloss, or add some lipstick to my moisturised and prepped lips.
I’ve included this in the makeup section instead of skincare, because even though this is technically a nourishing lip oil, it has the most incredible formula and I use it as a gloss a heck of a lot. It goes beautifully over lips filled in with a nude liner.
I’m definitely out to get the Honey Glam one soon – it’s the same sweet scent with some gold sparkle to it.
I have been loving this volumising mascara. The formula is ultra-black, the bristles hold just the right amount of product so there’s no need to wipe off excess, and it leaves my lashes looking full and fluffy. It doesn’t create excessive length, but it will volumise the heck out of your natural lashes!
I like that it doesn’t transfer, clump or flake off. Basically, it does what I’ve come to expect from Maybelline mascaras in general – a fabulous job for a wonderful price.
This could be the part of this post that gets a little TMI.
We all have that one food that doesn’t get accepted willingly by our bodies. Perhaps we have trouble digesting it, and it causes pain, bloating and possibly (gasp) a wee bit of gas. We all also have moments where we completely overindulge and eat too much. We’re only human, and when Christmas Day rolls around, I know most of us eat far more than our stomachs can handle. I’ve been known to sport a food baby (or food quintuplets) before.
Digestive Enzymes are going to be your saving grace! These capsules from Biogen are formulated to aid your body in digesting proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fibre, or just foods that cause unwanted stress on your digestive system.
Now, I suffer when I eat large quantities of meat (I’m looking at you dry wors!), and my Hubs loves strawberries, mushrooms and onions, but they cause horrible cramps for him. My mom battles with things like very starchy carbs, which leave her bloated (the same thing they do to me). When I know I’m going to be eating something that I battle with, I pop one of these capsules with my meal. No problems at all. One night where my Hubby indulged in onion rings at Spur, followed by strawberries and cream at home, he took one of these capsules and he had not one single cramp.
We’ve actually taken them one night when we were doing a restaurant review, and were actually battling with overfull tummies due to some far-too-delicious-for-it’s-own-good food. It really just helped the digestion process along, so we started feeling less icky and bloated much quicker.
I’m not saying this is a long term supplement, as I have no idea of the side effects, and I’m no doctor, but it’s nice to have a backup plan when you spot that food that usually causes you some bad intestinal side effects.
Aaannnd that’s it for my April Favourites!
What products did you enjoy during the month of April?
*Press sample or complimentary product
**DISCLAIMER – while some of these products may have been gifted by the brand, all opinions are honest and my own.**