Monday, 31 December 2012

FMS photo a day - December!

Since breaking my Instagram virginity, I have gotten to follow some really great bloggers and icons in society. One of my favourite things to do on instagram is search different hash tags like #whereilive, #whatiate and my ultimate joy; #catsofinstagram (Yay for the cats!!).  
I also came across #fmsphotoaday which I learnt is a "photo a day" challenge from a blogger called Fat Mum Slim. She gives a daily prompt (a word or sentence) and you post a photo of your interpretation of the prompt. It adds a really fun element to your otherwise boring daily routine. For the month of December, I joined in the fun and here are some of the photo's I posted!

Follow me on Instagram to see all the images I uploaded for December 2012 :)

I am not sure I will have time to do the Januray 2013 challenge with being back at work and moving houses but If your curiosity is intrgued then I suggest having a look at the January challenges here

Note that you don't have to upload your images to Instagram, you can choose any social media platform as long as you use the hash tag 'fmsphotoaday'.

Let me know if you'd like me to carry on with the challenges again in March/April, I should have my life back together again by them *Hopefully*.

Leave me some comments and links to your photo's if you also took part in the December photo a day challenge by Fat Mum Slim :)

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Spoils

My family knows that I love The Body Shop which is always a good thing! I was so excited to be given a few Body Shop products as gifts for Christmas!

I unwrapped a very pretty tube of selection shower gels from my mom. I think these mini 60ml bottles are the perfect way to get a little bit of all the best scented gels. It's also a really good idea if you don't know which scent you would like. I have only ever tried the Strawberry scent of this collection so it will be a nice change to get to try different gels.

The second gift, I actually picked myself. My boyfriend is not one to mess around with guessing what I need or like so when doing Christmas shopping for the family, he pulled me into the Body Shop and said "choose!". I needed a new day moisturiser and was tired of the heavy pore blocking lotions I'm used to so I settled for the Aloe Soothing Day Cream which has worked amazingly on my skin so far. I hope to do a full review for you soon.

Thanks to my awesome family for knowing me so well!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ciate's Velvet Manicure in SA!

A follow up to my flocking nail art post earlier this year, Ciate has their own professional flocking powder available to purchase and dust on your nails for that sexy chic velvet look. The best part is that it is not as pricey as I thought (Compared to their DIY caviar manicure sets)

The pretty bowed bottles, infamous to the Ciate brand, are only R65 each and they have 12 different colours to suit your mood or compliment your outfit. 

Maskscara is the official distributor of Ciate in SA so if you would like to get your hands some flocking powder (the proper stuff) then contact them through Twitter or Facebook.

Don't feel like spending money? See my DIY flocking powder tutorial here.
Please subscribe to my blog via email in the box on the top right of this page!

Keen on the velvet manicure? I see it making it's way into winter trends for next year ;)

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my amazing visitors!!
Here are some of my favourite pictures from all the Christmas giveaway entries.
I hope you have a fantastic day with family and friends and you get to eat great food :)

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Monday, 24 December 2012

A girly gadget from GOSH!

Anyone who still has some seriously late Christmas gift shopping to do, I would suggest looking out for this really awesome girly gadget from GOSH Cosmetics. It's the very modern Light'n Shine Lip Glaze!
I honestly thought that this was going to be another boring lip gloss with one or two unique ingredients but still looks, feels and tastes the same... way too sparkly, sticky and bitter. I actually didn't pay much attention to it for about 2 weeks after I received it at the GOSH Cosmetic launch in SA. Once I did open it I got a very nice surprise that made me feel like a kid!

 Firstly, there is a very useful mirror on the side of the gloss so that you can apply the gloss without ending up with that "I'm drooling" look on your face *how charming*. Then when you unscrew the 'lid' you'll notice something that could tickled your fancy. Two neatly packed LED lights inside the top section of the gloss container. 

As soon as you tilt the applicator towards your lips, the LED's help you out by lighting up your lip area so you can see exactly what you are doing and where you're applying the gloss. Genius! I thought this would suit the party gals more because most dark clubs and restaurants are the bane of your lip-gloss-applicating-moments. This isn't the case as I found myself reaching for the Light'n Shine gloss more during the day, in low lit areas of the house or at the office.

As for the actual formula, I can't say I'm a fan. It has a very sticky goo-like formula which is hell on windy days and your hair is down. Plus side? It doesn't budge. I think this would be a great gloss to apply just before leaving the house on your way to a date or before leaving to work. When you arrive you will have pretty glossy lips that haven't been effected by the cup of wine or coffee you downed before heading out.

My final thoughts? I dub this a really cool girly gadget and it would be the perfect stocking filler for a close girl friend or someone special. You can find this Light'n Shine Lip Glaze at your nearest Edgars or Red Square stores at the GOSH stands in the cosmetic section for R140.

Follow GOSH cosmetics on Twitter and like their Facebook Page. You can also visit their website to get the deets on what all their products are about.
Also, follow me on Twitter to be the first to know about future girly gadgets I may find.

Know someone who would just die for this girly gadget?

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Friday, 21 December 2012

Milk_Shake!

There is a new hair care craze in the UK at the moment, and it is quickly filling it's international demands, making its way across the world. It's the hair care brand called milk_shake. I always admire brands that create a certain vibe about themselves that makes it irresistible to beauty fanatics like myself.
Unfortunately milk_shake is not in South Africa...yet! I hope that it will hop onto our shores soon so my curiosity can be eased. Milk_shake has been around for the past few years but has only really become well known from the beginning of this year.

With yummy fantasies of me washing my hair with rich creamy milkshake-like products using natural ingredients, making me feel like Cleopatra, just wants me to buy the whole product range! Their packaging is also something cute and a lil' cheeky, making them stand out from the rest of the monotonous products we often find before us on the shelves when we do our toiletry shopping every month.

With many international brands jumping the ship to sunny SA, I hope milk_shake buys their boarding ticket soon! Visit their website here.

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Poppy wallpaper nail art design

I feel like I haven't done a nail art post in a while. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time on Twitter and Instagram and you might have seen me posting about this design. Now that I'm back I have decided to show you were I got the idea from and how easy it is to do yourself.

My Poppy nail art
Watch the tutorial below, from Cajanails on Youtube. She is one of my favourite nail art guru's that I followed before I even started blogging. In a way, she was one of my inspirations :)

 
I saw this video on her channel and thought it would look amazing with O.P.I's "Fly" so I gave it a try.

 Tips and tricks

*I used 2 coats of O.P.I's "Fly" as my base colour and used acrylic paints to create the flowers.
*Acrylic paints are easier to manipulate becasue thaey aren't sticky like normal nail polishes and they dry quicker that normal nail polishes. 
*I used my special nail art brush set which I ordered from the USA but you can find nail art brushes at nail salons and some pharmacies.
*With nail art like this, it will take some practice. I suggest taking a piece of paper and practicing the technique before you do it on your nails.

Let me know if you would like me to do my own video tutorial for this design, showing all the steps properly and going through the tools in depth.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to be the first to know of any new designs.

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Monday, 17 December 2012

In my sample basket: Kiehl's

Since their launch in SA a few months ago, Kiehl's has become a favourite to many beauty bloggers and the average Jane. To be honest, I had never heard about the brand Kiehl's before as I have never really traveled abroad and I don't have rich friends who travel ;)

The hype over their venture to SA has calmed down quite a bit so I decided to visit the Sandton City store to get a few samples and put the claims to test.

First off I want to say that I don't really have skin problems, after going on a course of roaccutane earlier this year, so I can't really comment on how the products help with acne or blackheads and problem skin.

Here is what I got to test out:

Ultra Facial Cleanser

This mild cleanser is specially formulated with a sugar-derived glucoside foaming agent to thoroughly cleanse skin and remove makeup, without over-drying or stripping skin of its natural oils. With effective emollients Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vitamin E and Avocado Oil, the gently formula dissolves excess oil, dirt and debris. pH-balanced to maintain the skin's natural balance.

What I loved
You only need the tiniest amount to make a comfortable amount of foam and this is one of my favourite things about this face wash! Ladies are always searching for reasons to splurge and what is better than "it'll save you money in the long run". SOLD!
My face didn't feel dried after using this face wash, which I find happens often with other facial cleansers I have used in the past.

Ultra Facial Toner

This mild yet effective toner for all skin types helps refine surface texture, while providing the ideal preparation for classic Ultra Facial Moisturiser. Made with effective emollients Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil and Vitamin E, the non-alcoholic toning formula gently removes surface debris and remaining residue while hydrating and comforting skin. pH-balanced for optimal comfort and will not over-dry or strip skin of its natural oils

What I loved
I felt like such an idiot when I applied this toner for the first time because the sample doesn't come with directions or advise on application techniques. I ended up applying a little too much and then washing it off because I was afraid my skin would turn red (I didn't know about the non-alcoholic toning formula at this point).

I gave myself a pep talk, figured out a technique and decided to apply the toner with my fingertips. With pricier products like this, I don't like using cotton pads to apply the toner because most of the product is just soaked up by the cotton.
I really love that it gave my skin a smooth clean base for it to soak up all the goodness in the Ultra Facial Cream!

Ultra Facial Cream

Inspired by their original beloved Ultra Facial Moisturiser, this 24-hour, light-textured daily hydrator leaves skin comfortable and visibly well-balanced, particularly in harsh weather conditions. 
The formula is made with Antarcticine (a glycose protein extracted from microorganisms sourced from sea glaciers and notable for an ability to protect skin from cold temperatures) as well as Imperata Cylindrica, a plant indigenous to the Australian desert which possess superb water retention properties in dry conditions. Their unique combination of ingredients helps reduce moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air. With continuous water replenishment throughout the day, skin is smooth, healthy looking and "moisture-even".

What I loved
This is definitely my favourite of the three samples and in this skincare routine. This face cream is potent in moisturising and really understanding my skin's needs. *It must be love*
It moisturised my skin so well and the feeling lasted the entire day. I only needed to use a small amount to get the moisturised feeling. I also found that it gave a great base for my foundation.

What I disliked (overview of all the samples)
I often bring this up, and I hope to do an entire post on the subject early next year, but some of my samples did contain at least one paraben ingredient. It is imperative in some products as it is a preserving ingredient but it might be a problem for some ladies.

Over all, I really see why everyone loves Kiehl's products. Another amazing thing is the wide selection of products! If I had to test out every single one of their products, it would take quite a few months. In other words, it would be difficult to not find something you like.

At the moment there is only a Kiehl's store in Sandton City's Edgars, Gauteng, But there has been an exciting announcement of a pop up store making an appearance in Canal walk's Edgars from mid December 2012 to mid January 2013. This is a perfect opportunity to buy some great Christmas gifts for close friends and family :)

Thanks so much to the friendly staff at the Kiehl's store, for my samples. I also felt privileged to see the 'Mr.skeleton guy' who became quite famous at the store's launch a few months ago.

Follow kiehl's on Twitter.
Don't forget I am also part of the cool kids on Facebook and Twitter ;)

I am hoping to gather all my 5cent coins and splurging on some full size products from keihl's soon!

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

I'm back!

I am so sorry I have been away from my blog for an entire week. I have been sick in bed with an infection in my wisdom tooth which was so painful *ouch*. My doctor put me on some serious 'we're not messing around' pain killers that knocked me out for hours.
Good news is that I really missed everyone and now that the holidays have arrived, I have tons of posts ready for you to read on your road trip, on the airplane and even on the beach!

Thanks to all my loyal readers who popped over to my blog every day even when there were no new posts. I really appreciate it!

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Monday, 10 December 2012

Nail Polish Advent Calendar? Yes Please!!

Oh.em.gee! Where was I when this nail polish advent calendar first went viral online!?
It seems that Ciate, a nail polish brand from the UK, is the #1 trend setting brand in the nail polish industry right now. If you remember from some of my previous posts, Ciate is the brand that originally came up with the caviar manicure as well as the velvet 'flocking powder' manicure.

This Christmas, Ciate has designed this exciting nail polish advent calendar for ladies who have need for a new polish every day, leading up to Christmas, which is majority of ladies out there. If you're not such a nail fanatic then this could just be an excuse to expand your nail polish collection and widen your colour selection as there are some great colours in the calendar. I would definitely wake up in a good mood every day if I knew I would be gaining a new nail polish companion.

Unfortunately all the polishes in the calendar are mini versions of the full sized bottles but they contain more than enough for quite a few manicures. I also haven't gotten to try the brand yet so I can't really comment on quality, wear-ability and colour payoff. I have done a search online and the advent calendar goes for about R550, excluding shipping fees, but you are welcome to contact the South African supplier of Ciate here, they may have a few of the calendars here in SA. *Holding tumbs*

It would be a tad late to purchase the calendar now but I will definitely consider splurging next year as a Christmas gift to myself! Would this advent calendar bring the kid out in you?

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Giveaway Winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my Christmas giveaway! I loved all your amazing entries and have something planned for them, closer to Christmas day :)

Without further delay here are the winners!

1st hamper - Best Picture 

 Thea Adam

Thanks so much to Thea for the adorable story that accompanied this little guy, to my mail box. It put a smile on my face!

2nd hamper - Random Draw

Deshnie Andrew


Congratulations to these lucky ladies. Please confirm your postal addresses as soon as possible via email to msclairabella@gmail.com.

Thanks to the all the sponsors which made the hampers amazing! 

I will hopefully be doing another giveaway early next year for my 1 year blogiversary so don't forget to visit my blog regularly. I also have a Pinterest board containing all the entries which you can view here.

I hope you are all excited for the holidays and celebrating Christmas with your family and friends :)

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Softlips, one of my all time favourites!

So a few weeks ago Softlips sent me some products to share with you lovely guys and gals which I was really excited about because the brand has been a favourite on mine way before I started blogging :) Here are the fantastic lip care products that I recommend:

French Vanilla

When I was in high school, I wasnt really the girly girl type but I still had a few staple beauty products I used. One of these staples was the very delicious French Vanilla Softlips. It is an amazingly clear scented lip balm that leaves your lips with a tingly fresh sensation.

 It really does hydrate your lips and it definitely surpasses the quality of other brands that I used at the time like Labello and Lip Ice. Another plus? It has an SPF 20 so your lips are extra protected from harmful sun damage.

Since meeting my boyfriend back in 2009, I have gotten him hooked on the yummy vanilla scent and powerful moisturising properties so it is definitely masculine enough and has my boyfriend's approval ;)

This is one of those nostalgic scents and I firmly believe it will continue to stay one of my favourite lip conditioners, as long as they keep making them!

Pure Papaya

For the environmental friendly individuals and organic fanatics, Softlips now have a whole "Pure" organic range with 100% natural ingredients in the balm sticks.

I got to try out the fruity Papaya balm stick and I must say I am impressed! I find that 100% natural products have a rough texture, weird scent and other funky particles that you dont find in factory processed products. This balm could definitely take on those products and win. 

The texture is nothing short of perfectly smooth, the scent is heavenly and it leaves your lips smooth and utterly kissable!

Good news for the ladies and gents who dislike the tingly feeling that you find in the popular French Vanilla lip conditioner. Seeing as this is a 100% natural product it doesn't have all the tingly ingredients and if you have sensitive lips they wont feel irritated :) 

LOVE IT!

Glimmer Gloss in Pearl Pink

Something else I hadn't tested from Softlips until now is their Glimmer Gloss lip gloss in "Pearl Pink".

I really love the subtle glossy finish that you can pull off on its own or over a lipstick for extra UMPH!
It has tiny little shimmers in it to give your lips a kissable sparkle. It has more of a 'thick oil' texture rather than 'your grandfathers wood glue' texture which is definitively something I am a fan of.

I also found the dainty 7g tube quite cute. It is perfect for fancy clutch purses or for inside the zipper of your hand bag.

I have a feeling this pretty gloss will be making an appearance for the new years party, midnight kiss ;) 

Tinted Rose

 Lastly I got to test out a very handy all-rounder lip balm, tint and shimmer aaand SPF.

Again, the smart Softlips peeps added an SPF 15 to this tinted lip conditioner as well as the tingly sensation infamous to Softlips. 
I have been wearing this rose tinted balm a lot around the office at my new job so I deem it safe for the workplace as it gives a subtle hint of colour without screaming "I just ate a doughnut covered in unicorn poop"

So you haven't heard about Softlips until now? Where have you been!? You can find Soflips pretty much anywhere. Pick'nPay, Clicks, pharmacies, petrol stations, probably even spaza shops :P 

Prices all vary but they are obviously quite affordable seeing as I'm not one of those Chanel-Gucci-Prada-Versace kind of bloggers. Duh!

Thanks so much to Softlips for my lovely lip goodies. Like their Facebook Page for news on everything that makes your lips soft!

Miss Claira-Bella

xoxo

Monday, 3 December 2012

Memories for Monday


This was my little prince, George, who was taken to kitty heaven way before his time. I still think about him a lot even though it has been 3 years. I feel that he took a big piece of me with him :(

Essence cracked me up!

Two weeks ago I received a delivery from Essence SA containing their exciting new crackle nail polish. I already have a few crackle polish but a lady can never have enough, so I embraced my new bottle with open arms and got right to experimenting.

I applied one coat of lumo green polish. I only did one coat because the crackle layer covers any empty spots or streaks which is a bonus with crackle polishes. You can finally use those cheap not-that-great-and-streaky polishes.
Lumo green nail polish
I then added one coat of the Essence crackle polish in "crack me! blue". I blew on the polish to speed up the cracking process and I was quite amazed at how this polish is different from the others I have tried. Most of the cracking happened in a vertical direction where as others crack all over in different directions. I am not sure if its because my layer was too thick but I rather like the uniform but still random look
Adding a top coat to any crackle nail polish will make sure it is protected from chipping and I find that most crackle polishes have a matte finish because of its complicated formula, so for an extra eye catching sparkle, add your favourite top coat.
I really love this crackle polish because it is unique and different from my others. There are a few crackle polishes in the "crack me!" range including a very pretty grape colour called "crack me! pearly pink". You can find these at Dis-Chem stores for a very affordable price of R24.95 each.

Like Essence's Facebook Page and Follow them on Twitter @essence_ZA for regular updates on all thing Essence-fabulous. While you're there you can like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @MsClairaBella as well ;)

Don't forget to subscribe by email (top right hand side of this page) to ensure you don't miss out on future nail posts.

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Friday, 30 November 2012

Love Blink Mints and Yardley

 Today is the last day to enter my Christmas-ey giveaway!

Links:
Visit the Blink website here
 Follow them on Twitter
and like their Facebook Page.
 


Links:
Visit their website
and like their Facebook Page

Give some love to Blink Mint and Yardley for the goodies they sponsored for the hampers!

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo

Essence Breaking Dawn Part 2 Collection

Two weeks ago, I received a few exciting products from the Breaking Dawn Part 2 trend from Essence.

 I did a post earlier this month on this collection including all the cute names. Check it out here.

As soon as I opened me package and saw the products I got to swatching right away and here's what the family looks like

From left to right: Shimmer Powder ("Bella's Secret"), Blush ("Renesmee Red"), Black pigment ("Jacob's protection"), Gold shimmer pigment ("A piece of forever"), Blue glittered gel eyeliner ("Jacob's protection") and a Red lip gloss ("Renesmee Red").

As always, Essence has outdone themselves with their quality for money ratio! My favoutire would definitely be the pigments as well as the Renesmee red blush powder. With both of these, it is a good tip to rather use small amounts at a time and then gradually build a deeper colour especially with the blush, otherwise you will end up looking like you're sunburnt. They have great pigmentation!

The only product I wasn't that happy with, is the gel eyeliner but that's only because it is a clear gel with blue glitter so it looks a bit patchy when you apply it. I would recommend using a light blue eyeliner and then applying this gel liner ontop. The lighter blue will help the navy blue-ish glitter stand out.

Thank you so much to essence for my Breaking Dawn Part 2 products! I am a huge fan of the series and I feel like a kid knowing I have something original and I can show it off to other fans-friends (and they'll be jealous) *Evil laugh*

You can get your own products right now at Clicks and Dis-Chem stores but hurry, collections dont stay around forever! Follow Essence SA on Twitter and like their Facebook Page. Do the same for me, here and here.

Let me know if you need any price info in the comments bellow.

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo


Colour my life: Mustaches


View my mustache Pinterest board here.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lip Smackers in SA!

I cannot emphasize enough how crazy I am about the fact that so many international brands are making their way to South Africa! I feel so hopeless when I see international bloggers raving about products that we don't get here *insert distraught face here*. Don't get me wrong, there are many SA brands that surpass international ones but we are curious beings and we have a fear of missing out.

I am jumping up and down with excitement to tell you that Lipsmackers are in SA! If you're not sure what they are, they are very original and awesomely flavoured lip balm sticks (known as 'chap stick' in the USA).
 Vanilla Coke Lipsmacker
CocaCola Lipsmacker
One thing that I think is so overrated when it comes to being a 'grown up', personally, is swapping out our awesome verjaarsday partytjie koeldrank for cocktails, ciders and beer. If I was out socialising and had a choice between a strawberry daiquiri and a can of cream soda, I would totes take the can of cream soda if I knew no one would judge me, but they do so I moping-ly reach for the daiquiri. *Self image issues*
What is my point? With these really awesome Lipsmackers, you can have the best of both worlds!

Fanta Orange Lipsmacker
Fanta Strawberry Lipsmacker
I purchased the Vanilla Coke flavour for myself and the Fanta Orange for my boyfriend this past weekend. They smell just like the real deal!

The Fanta Orange has the infamous bubbly orange scent and leaves a very sweet taste on your taste buds. The Vanilla Coke Lipsmacker reminds me more of a coke float because you usually use vanilla ice cream in coke floats and seeing as I haven't had a vanilla coke in years, this is the best description I could come up with.

One of my pet peeves is when you have such an amazing scented lip balm or lip gloss but when you lick your lips or accidently get some in your mouth, you just want to puke because it tastes like the medicine your mom used to force down your throat when you were a kid. These very smart Lipsmacker peeps have made the actual taste of the balm very sweet. It doesn't taste the same as the scent but it is rather enjoyable!

Sprite Lipsmcaker
I just love the packaging on each lip balm, especially the vitamin water balm sticks because they look just like the bottles of vitamin water you buy in stores. I want the entire collection to put on display! 

I am also a huge fan of the SPF 15 in each stick!
Fruit Punch Vitamin Water Lipsmacker
Lemonade Vitamin Water Lipsmacker
Triple Berry Vitamin Water Lipsmacker
If you are more of a Lip gloss girl than a lip balm girl then Lipsmackers has something for you too! Cherry Coke (with shimmer) and original CocaCola flavoured lip gloss tins :)
CocaCola Lipsmcaker Lip gloss tin
Cherry Coke Lipsmcaker Lip gloss tin
I cannot wait till we get access to amazing flavours like candy floss, watermelon, all the skittles flavours, m&m flavours, coffee & hot chocolate and the cute 7up inspired bottles with lip balm in!

You can find Lipsmackers exclusively in Clicks stores. The lip balm stick are currently on special for R35.99 each and the lip gloss tins are R45.99 each!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook so we can chat about which flavour you have and love the most. You can also subscribe to my newsletters in the box on the top right of this page.

Miss Claira-Bella

Xoxo