February ran away with me and before I knew it, I was already summing up my hits, misses and empties for this month. I have actually been on quite the spending spree as of late, stocking up on a bunch of bloggers must-have products. If I am being honest, a lot of what I have bought has left me sorely disappointed because I found a bunch of the highly hyped products are duds. That being said, I have gone back to trusting my gut and only buying products from brands that I know and trust for their incredible quality.
There’s been a lot of chattering about product reviews lately, especially in the beauty blogging world, which is why I feel it is so important to have a series like this, where I get to share the products I love and the ones that weren’t so great. I understand that what might work for one person may not necessarily work for another, especially when it is concerning products that are made with different skin and hair types in mind. But that’s not to say that sometimes, a product is just a big fat miss – and that’s okay! I have grown tiresome of blogs reading like an aesthetically pleasing infomercial, only hyping products in hopes of receiving the next press drop.
While I do get paid to participate in certain campaigns (which are all clearly marked as #sponsored), my blog isn’t my full-time job and I do earn a salary which is often spent on exploring bits of the beauty world. Yes, receiving press drops makes it easier to share the latest trends with you, but it doesn’t sway my perception of a product. I only work to promote brands who I truly love and would continue to support out of my own pocket, if the press drops were to suddenly stop tomorrow.
Now that I have that off my chest, let’s dig into this month’s hits, misses and empties!
As you know, I have recently handed my skincare woes to the team at Dermalogica. They’ve recommended quite a variety of skincare products, one being the Dermalogica Precleanse. This product has probably been the most interesting find, during my skincare journey and easily one of my favourites. The oil-busting emulsifying solution works to remove dirt and makeup from your skin, with minimal effort. At the end of a long day, I simply pump some of the Precleanse on to my hands, gently massage the solution onto my skin, and within seconds the makeup starts melting away. It removes everything including layers of excess sebum (oil), sunscreen, waterproof make-up and environmental pollutants. Once the makeup looks like it’s lifted, I add water to my fingertips and continue massaging the solution, creating a milky emulsion which rinses off easily. I love that the Dermalogica Precleanse is gentle enough to use around my eyes and doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or scratchy, instead it feels hydrated and plump, thanks to the blend of oils used which include; Olive, Kukui and Apricot oil, formulated with conditioning Rice Bran and Vitamin E oils.
Morgan Taylor Beauty & The Beast Collection
Oh but Morgan Taylor just knows how to do a nail polish collection like no other. It is no secret that Morgan Taylor nail polish ranks as one of my all-time favourites, and while I keep thinking that there is no way that they can possibly impress me anymore, they always find a way to go ahead and release another mind-blowing collection. The Beauty and The Beast Collection succeeded any of my expectations, I mean, it is just so bloody pretty and unlocks all the childhood nostalgia. The range boasts 6 colors and an enchanted lacquer that transforms the shades to a beautiful antique hue. If you haven’t tried Morgan Taylor, this is the range that you should begin with, without a doubt it is my absolute favourite! The range will be available in salons, spas and leading retailers from March 2017 and costs R149 bottle.
Dr. Paw Paw Lip Balm
Dr. Paw Paw recently launched in South Africa, and the product proved to be well worth the hype! The peach and red variants are great additions to my makeup collection, as they can both be used on the lips and cheeks for a quick pop of subtle colour. The original variant is an extremely versatile product that can be used on sensitive skin for the healing of tattoos, sunburn, nappy rashes, dry lips, feet, hands and anywhere else that you need a nourishing balm. The formula is light and absorbs quite quickly, but does a great job of leaving skin feeling hydrated.
Pearl Drops Instant Whitening Toothpaste
I recently started noticing that my teeth were a horrible discolour. I am not too sure what actually caused the strange discolouring, but it had made me quite self-conscious and when Darren noticed it too, I knew I had to try something new. Not wanting to try anything too drastic, I opted for changing my toothpaste. Guys, the teeth whitening aisle is intimidating and I had no idea what I was actually looking for! Luckily, I stumbled upon the Pearl Drops range and opted for the Instant White Plus toothpaste which promises results in just one week. Darren and I weren’t convinced that it would really work, but I mean, what did I have to lose? Oh my word, the results honestly blew my mind! The toothpaste is a neon pink color and although they recommend that you brush 3 times per day, I stuck to my usual routine and was honestly surprised by how well this stuff actually works. I was also really impressed that it didn’t cause any sensitivity. Overall 5/5 for this, wow, wow, wow!
Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Comfort Zone
I had actually bought this gem a while back, but have just rediscovered it and haven’t put it down since. Leigh from Fairleigh had actually recommended this palette, and considering it only costs about R110, I figured why not. Wet ‘n Wild has surprised me more than once with their phenomenal quality at affordable prices, but this eyeshadow palette in Comfort Zone takes the cake. Considering the price point, I wasn’t expecting much from the formula but in all honesty, each shadow is soft, buttery and highly pigmented. The eyeshadow just glides on and offers such incredible vibrancy that it’s hard not to see why this is one of their most recommended products. If anything, this has me wanting every single one of their eyeshadow palettes and perhaps even a few of their bronzers too!
L.A. Girl Color Pop Nail Polish
I went on a bit of a L.A. Girl haul and to be quite honest, all of their products were impressively good except for their nailpolish. I have used their matte polish before, which I really liked but just found that the formula of their Color Pop range was lacking pigment and to get a proper vibrant colour, you’ll need about 4 coats. I would much rather spend the extra bit of money and get a nailpolish that I know dries quickly, and gives a vibrant color payoff.
Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Mini Palette
When I saw this all-matte palette marked down by 50% on Foschini, I basically threw my money at it. Bearing in mind that the price of this palette is usually R500, I expected the size of this palette to be on par with the Essence All About eyeshadow palettes. So you can imagine my surprise when it arrived and it was about the size of my eyebrow kit – IT IS TINY! Considering the size of their other palettes, I honestly expected something about half or even quarter the size of their usual offering, but that’s not the case – this baby is SMALL! But that’s not even the worst part – these shadows have no pigment pay off. Like zero. Nada. Zilch. I guess the tiny factor wouldn’t have bothered me much, as I figured it would be a great addition to my handbag, and compact enough to travel with, but there is hardly any pigment in the lighter shades. I happen to also own the Urban Decay NAKED basics which is about R100 more and I can say that without a doubt, I’d gladly pay the extra for the difference in quality. It’s this reason that I am leaning more and more toward purchasing the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics palette.
L’Oreal Feline Mascara
I am still sort of torn about featuring this mascara as a miss, but let me explain my reasoning. The mascara does its job, and does it well. The formula is blacker than black, smooth and applies beautifully. The brush does this bizarre thing of defining the lashes, giving it this weird feline look – all in all, it is VERY impressive. So what’s my hold up? It takes FOREVER to dry! I mean, I almost always leave home with mascara marks all over my face, whenever I use it. It’s a great mascara and seriously ticks off majority of the boxes, but this is one of those products that come down to personal preference, and I just don’t like wet mascaras, especially when they take forever to dry properly. In addition, I have found that this mascara melts especially in humid weather, and you can expect raccoon eyes if you go anywhere near the pool.
John Frieda Brilliant Brunette
I recently featured the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly range in a full review with photos, but I thought that it deserved another mention. The range is a colour enhancing treatment that is used like your typical shampoo and conditioner duo, but works to gradually intensify the rich and dark tones in brunettes. I found the scent of this range to be phenomenal, and really liked how hydrating it has been on my hair, not to mention the vibrancy of my chocolately brown hair. It has also helped to make my hair more manageable especially now, that it is much longer and seemingly always out of control! If you’d like more information, you can find the full review over here.
Oh So Heavenly Mum & Cherub Mum Happy Hydration Body Wash
For Christmas, Darren bought me an Oh So Heavenly gift set which included a mini of the Oh So Heavenly Happy Hydration Body Wash for mums. I have just finished it, and already repurchased my full-size as I love the milky body wash, especially with my skin being so itchy! The body wash contains a combination of natural active ingredients, like argan and soothing flower oils, to work with your skin as it grows and changes. Overall, I find the scent to be uplifting and relaxing at the same time, it is gentle on the skin and helps to add moisture when I need it the most!