Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Mangwanani In Spa Range

Around this time last year, my best friend and I were treated (by our amazing boyfriends) to a day at the Mangwanani African Day Spa. Besides the weather being a bit on the freezing side, the seven treatments we received were utterly indulgent! Here are a few snaps from the day:

I would love to write an in depth review on the actual treatments and the facilities but that wont happen just yet (the in depth reviews take a while to draft). For this post I would like to tell you about a product I bought from the "Mangwanani store", specifically the Rose and Almond Gel from their in spa range
To my disappointment, this is not the gel they use while doing the treatments at the Spa. We begged the therapists to give us some or at least tell us how to make our own but to no avail. The Rose and Almond gel was the next best thing we could find!

The word "gel" gives you tons of room to play. You can use it as a shower gel/ body wash, you could use it as a plain hand wash in your guest bathroom or you could use it as I do, as a bubble bath. I love soaking in a hot bath with tons of bubbles, smelling the scent and imagining that I'm right back at Mangwanani getting my pamper on!

The rose scent is definitely stronger than the almond but you can still smell the warm fragrance the almond presents. I guess its more nostalgic for me and that's why I love it so much.

If you like smelling roses, snacking on almonds and have a friend that is going to Mangwanani soon then hand over R120.00 and tell them to get you some of this yummy gel.

Like the Mangwanani Facebook page here and follow me on Twitter for more Mangwanani posts :)

L.A Girls ombre nail polish kits

I just thought I'd give you ladies a heads up. Dis-Chem is stocking these really fantastic ombre nail polish kits from L.A Girls.
You get 5 bottles of polish as well as a top coat for 89.95. That's quite a bargain and you get to pull off a really simple but classy ombre look. I am loving the grey and purple kits for winter!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Essence Twins

Woah, talk about delay. I saw these "Twins" nail polishes on one of my favourite beauty YouTuber's channel middle of last year and they only made it to our shelves now. Still, I think they are as cute as a button!
Edward and Bella
I spotted these at Dis-Chem for R19.99 each. They come in "Edward and Bella", "Romeo and Juliet" and someone that goes with "Connie"? "Connie's" partner was missing.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more window shopping finds :)

Liebster Blog Award from City Girl Vibe

So there's this thing called a Liebster blog award (which means awesome blog, I think) which is given to new bloggers to get them more well known in the blogging community and share a bit more about themselves. 

Last year (yes, talk about being slow) I was nominated by the very sweet Tazz from City Girl Vibe. Her blog is great so please check it out!

Official Rules!
1. Select 11 or less if you don’t have more bloggers for the award.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the ‘tagger’ has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers {Please choose bloggers that’s not already nominated on this list.}
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There should be no tag backs to the person that nominated you.

I had to answer these questions:

1) If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?
I would love to have a family day at an animal shelter. Picnics and playing with the animals. That would be a great last day on earth

2) What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who are rude and obnoxious!

3) What product/item do you swear by?
The Body Shop's Born Lippys (my favourite is Watermelon)

4) What motivates you to blog?
Knowing that there are thousands of people around the world, and here in SA, that read my blog on a daily basis. Getting the opportunity to share what interests me, with you, is not to be taken for granted.

5) If your room were to be on fire and you had 2mins to round up anything, what would you grab?
I would grab all my pets and make sure they are safe and unharmed.

6) What’s your biggest weakness?
Animals, duh!

7) One person that inspires you?
I want to say all single parents but seeing as she was one I would say my mom. What a daunting job!!

8) The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Take the day off”.
Spending the day with my boyfriend.

9) If you could swap wardrobes with any celebrity who would you choose?
Ummm, is it corny if I say Charlize Theron because she is a South African beauty?

10) If you could go anywhere in the world for 1 day, where would you go?
Zanzibar. I have always wanted to go there!

11) Summer or Winter
Both, a little bit of skin in Summer and tons of cuddles in Winter

Thanks so much for the nomination.The questions were really fun to answer. Click here to visit Tazz's blog and give her some support!

I am still gathering a list of my own nominees and I have to think of some good questions so there will be an updates post soon!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Live healthy: Update #3

Catch up and read update #1 and update #2 before continuing!

These past two weeks have been rather difficult for me as most of my time, effort and concentration has been going into my job, and I have been stricken with a lousy throat infection. Needless to say, I have not been to gym nor have I tried to do any physical activities.

Good news is, being sick puts a temporary dampen on your appetite. I feel like I have lost some weight. Not the most desirable method but I'm trying to be optimistic and look on the bright side! All the tea drinking has also helped with a mini detox as well as calming my fiery throat.

I am not too sure when this sickness will go away, but until then I have been, and will still be, trying to work on my mental health. It's not like I have any mental problems (besides the modern day norms), living healthy has a lot to do with your mindset as well. Clearing out unnecessary stresses as well as reviewing and setting new goals is a great way to start.

Here are some quotes that may keep you inspired. TTFN
All images from Google search "positive quotes"

Monday, 22 April 2013

Yardley's Luxurious Lush Lashes Mascara Review

I'm not the type of beauty blogger who purposefully buys a mascara that has just been lunged into the market simply because it is new and I don't already own it. There is nothing wrong with doing that, I just cannot afford that tight little habit. 

The chances are, if I don't get sent a newly released mascara, I wont try it. Simple. This is because I try and use up the current mascaras I am using (I have been sent) before I go out and spend money. Usually by that time, a new mascara has landed on my doorstep to review and so the vicious cycle continues. I think I am the only beauty blogger that has never ever tried Maybelline's infamous Great Lash mascara.

Anyhoo, I am actually here to report that I have found a gem amongst the stones. Yardley's Luxurious Lush Lashes Mascara. I cannot emphasize enough, how well the formula works for my lashes. The formula spreads my lashes out really well and they do not go limp and fall flat once it dries.

The proof is in the pudding;
Left eye is before, right is after (with the mascara applied). I was in a rush so there is a little bit of clumping
See? Pretty, dark, fantasy-like lashes. Now this is a mascara I would repurchase when it's finished!
Read some of my other mascara reviews here and here.

What is your favourite mascara?

Project Life

You see some pretty cool things on Instagram. My recent find, a thing caled "Project Life" which I spotted on Amanda Rose's Instagram feed (visit her blog). The concept is to help make "scrapbooking" a little less, scrapbooking, if you know what I mean.

It's a very simple kit that you buy which comes with all sorts of bells and whistles that will help you record your life on a weekly basis. It doesn't take long as all of the artsy work is done for you. There are even different sized cards that slot in designated areas of each file's plastic sheet. I call it a no brainer way of capturing memories!

Here's some images of how it's done.

See? So simple and I must say, I am crazy about the idea!!

If this is too simple for you and you'd still like to add some of the scrapbooking skills you learnt from your mom or grandma then check out what Amanda does with her Project Life albums. It is simply sublime!!

I am making a contingent plan to get a hold of one of these kits and start getting creative but at R1099.00, that might take a while.

Have you heard about Project Life before?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Live Healthy: Update #2

Here I am for another quick update on my  Live Healthy quest :)

I have decided to start taking "in progress" photo's to get you ladies motivated. Below is me on my way to gym (completely forgot to shave which was ridiculously embarrassing) and a few firm favourites that I am currently consuming!

Yes I am one of those who sucks her stomach in when taking these types of photo's but soon I wont have to "suck in"  anything
I would love to see your gym outfits or even your progress pictures! Tweet me @msclairabella or just use the #LiveHealthy when sharing your pics on Insatgram


Miss Claira-Bella


PONDS BB Cream Review

As you saw last week, I recently attended the launch of PONDS' BB cream and "Best of both worlds" campaign. If you missed it then check it out by clicking here.

Here I am to give a review of the actual BB cream!

The BB cream only comes in two shades, Beige and Chocolate, but these colours are quite generalised. If you have fair skin like me then you only apply a small amount and blend the shade out. If your skin is more tanned then you can layer the cream on until you get the desired shade!

Finally, a BB cream for darker ladies specifically designed for African skin by South Africans in South Africa. The chocolate shade can be blended out just like the beige, so it can cater for all darker skin shades. Of you are a little bit in between, you can mix the two shades together to get to a desired colour. 

Both shades separately and mixed together

This BB cream has an extreme amount of durability. It sticks to the skin so beautifully without making your skin feel like its wrapped in cling wrap, it lasts the whole day without sweating off or going cakey and it provides endless moisture! Definitely a change from other BB reams I have tried.

There is a reasonable SPF of 30 in each tube which will protect you from harmful UV rays. However, this does not give you permission to doll yourself up and attend a pool party where you lie in the sun all day. You still need to be sun-smart!

The PONDS BB cream retails for about 80 something rand (totally drew a blank right now) for a 25ml tube. I though this was quite affordable seeing at most other BB creams on the shelves retail for about the same price. I dug a bit further and saw that the other BB brands have 50ml tubes meaning PONDS charges the same price but gives you 50% less. Very sneaky. 

Due to the higher quality, you apply alot less product for the same effect so this price per ml thing is just being really picky. Definitely something to consider when browsing for your BB cream.

This BB cream worked way better with my skin than others I have tried (namely Garnier's BB cream) and I would love to repurchase it in the future.

Thanks again to PONDS and their fantastic PR team for inviting me to the event!

Miss Claira-Bella


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Hand Creme Review

I often use the word “yummy” when describing beauty products. This doesn’t mean I do a taste test or pour them over my ice-cream (and neither should you), it’s just my way of expressing how indulgent and superior they are to other products that I have tired. 

Now that, that is cleared, let’s chat about the yummy products sally Hansen sent my way a few weeks ago. The infamous nail care brand has now got kick ass speed drying drops and an oxygen concentrated hand crème that moisturises and brightens your skin
Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Hand Creme RSP R84.95. Available at selected Clicks, Foschini, Edgars, Dis-Chem and Pharmacies.
Let me start off by saying I love how they call it a “crème” instead of cream. It adds a dash of class and it’s a very simple way to get people to invest in a tube just for themselves (tisk tisk, small things). 

As with most products nowadays, there has to be some kind of bragging rights or new technological advances to their ingredients. I imagine a room full of brands shouting “mine is better than yours!” as if they are building sand castles in the playground sandpit. To be honest, I just want a cream that takes away the sand paper like feeling of dry hands and maybe smell like Ouma’s kitchen when she bakes. That’s it! 

I will still tell you what sally Hansen has to brag about because I try to be an informative blogger and some ladies really like the fancy schmancy substances they add into their products. The smooth and perfect hand crème has a super lightweight formula which instantly hydrates, brightens and revitalizes dull skin. It also has oxygen concentrate which, after asking my Physicist boyfriend, just means that it gives your skin a boost of O2 through oxygen rich compounds. Completely different to what I had pictured. In my mind they put oxygen into the crème similar to the process at the Coke factory, when bottling coke. *Awkward*

Now down to the reviewing part. Unfortunately I did not experience their 24 hour moisturising claim. I had to apply it every hour because my hands kept getting its roughness back. This can be due to the fact that my vampire colleagues always have the air-cons on at work, combined with the life sucking dry winter air. My skin will most definitely react differently to yours when wearing this creme. And yes, it does instantly moisturise your hands but which cream doesn't?

I am not too fond of the scent either. It smells too much like Ingrams Camphor lotion. However, if you're into that then bonus for you!

Overall it is a very lovely hand creme. I am not too bothered that I have to apply it often because I like taking mini pamper breaks when at work. 

I did notice that there is a COTY logo on the packaging but the interweb couldn't really help me find out why. I thought they only did celebs' fragrances. I'd love to find out if they just support the Sally Hansen brand of if they actually contribute to the formula. I'll get back to you if I find anything!

"Read my Dry and Go Drops" review here.

Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Dry and Go Drops

When I saw the Sally Hansen Dry and Go drops in my package I did a little happy dance because I have been looking for a miracle "dry in a minute" kind of solution to help minimize drying time when doing manicures. I have gotten to try Yardley's Speed Finish Spray (in the can) and was impressed but felt something was missing and Sally Hansen showed me exactly what that was!
Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Dry and Go Drops RSP R79.95. Available at selected Clicks, Foschini, Edgars, Dis-Chem and Pharmacies.
First off I'd like to tell you that I tested this twice because my first attempt was a 'dear Lord' fail kind of situation. I tried cutting corners by applying the dry and go drops after every single layer, meaning I applied the Dry and Go Drops 4 times per nail (after base coat, first layer, second layer aaand after applying the topcoat) which made a lasagna-like mess. 

I suggest only applying these drops after your final layer has been applied. The solution is quite oily so if you try apply polish afterwards, it will most likely slide off (mine did). This 'oiliness' is phenomenal at providing long lasting shine to your manicure. I was completely blown away at how it finished off my manicure. It shines just as much as gel polish and that is what is lacking from the Yardley Speed Finish Spray. I don't know how they do it but the shine lasts for up to 2 days, even when washing my hands!

As for they drying time, I could touch the surface after 60 second and it was dry. However, after just 20min, I already had a smudge mark on one of my nails. I'm not that surprised really, why do we always think these quick solutions will work 100%. You cannot get something to speed dry your nail polish. That is why Gel and Acrylic manicures were invented. It is just not possible for anything to dry nail polish in seconds without messing with the ridiculously complicated formula.

This is one of the best products I have tried in regards to minimizing drying time for your manicure!
I will post pictures once I do my next manicure ;)

Miss Claira-Bella


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Beauty Factory's new online store

This week I received a very exciting delivery from a proudly South African brand, Beauty Factory. It was dressed in a pretty black box with an elegant green ribbon...a sign that the contents would be just as appealing, and it was!

Inside my pretty black box was an appropriate gift from Beauty factory to promote their online store. A wooden mouse and mouse pad. A definite first for me. Another first was receiving a promo CD with all the Beauty Factory press info on. Usually I get pages and pages of things to read through and just end up throwing them away. High five for saving trees!!
So their online store is open right now and it's a pretty simple process. Just register on the new website, browse and add things to your basket and proceed to check out where you will confirm your order and shipping address. Be a little ingenious and buy a few things at once as your shipping is free if you order over R299 worth of luscious beauty products.

I have been to the Brooklyn Beauty Factory store before, just to browse, and I remember some of their products being very affordable for the amount of product you get in the bottle. Here are some general in store pictures :)
All images provided by Linc PR

Thanks again to Beauty Factory and their PR team. The gift is being used very well!

Pop over to Beauty Factory's stunning new website and get shopping. With just over 300 products, it will be difficult not to find something you wont love ;) You can also like their Facebook Page where they advertise specials, new promotions and any Beauty Factory news you wont want to miss out on!

Miss Claira-Bella


Monday, 15 April 2013

Live Healthy: Alternatives

We all get the urge to just grab a cold coke out the fridge or snack on the chips and dip in the cupboard. No brainer, that kind of food is not really doing you any good but from some recent enlightenment, I have found some pretty tasty alternatives to the snacks you probably cannot live without! I am also sharing them with you so that you keep me around a little longer ;)

My number one weakness is sugar! I love snacking on Chocolate and gummy sweets that have ridiculous amounts of sugar and corn syrup. If you're looking for a chocolaty snack that wont make you feel so bad then try Canderel's low kilojoule chocolate range.
Image source
"These luxurious, creamy chocolates are suitable for Diabetics, have lower kilojoules/carbohydrates and no added sugar. They are the perfect indulgence without the guilt." - Canderel

If you're not so much of a chocolate fan (Yes, you do get those foreign creatures) but still need that sweet taste in your mouth then try some dried fruit. My favourite sweet fruit snack would be guava rolls which are made by numerous food brands. They are full of fantastic ingredients that might not aid in weight loss but can actually help in other health departments like keeping you "regular" and giving you extra boosts of energy. The most well known would be Safari Fruit Snacks.

Image from Google
Raw Veggies can also be eaten in huge quantities during the day. I once read an article where some fancy schmancy University did a study and found that eating can actually be a habit/addiction all on its own. The fact that we might be addicted to having food in our mouth at all times can become a health issue. Tricking your brain into eating raw veggies in between meals can be a step in the right direction
Image Source
Lastly, I sometimes get major cravings for rich foods like cheese and hi-carb breads. My alternative is Salticrax and low fat plain cream cheese! Again, It wont help lose weigh but snacking on one or two a week will lessen the risk of binge eating.
Image from Google
Please feel free to comment on your healthy alternatives and I'll give them a try!

Miss Claira-Bella


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

BB Love

Here is a quick post to give my Beauty Bulletin articles some love. Please check them out below, don't forget to comment and sign up as a VIP member to get some free samples and a chance to be included in their monthly product review club!

View my BB profile here.

Miss Claira-Bella


PONDS #BestOfBothWorlds Event

This past Saturday PONDS hosted a very lavish high tea to launch their new BB cream. It was held at the infamous Westcliff Hotel in Joburg, although it was my first time there, I was highly impressed at their service. I was dropped off at the hotel in a beaten up old Toyota Tazz (poor girl right here) yet the doorman still opened the door for me and lead me inside as if I had just popped out of a limo in a Taylor-Swift-like ballgown. *Look mom, I'm a Princess!*
Fresh pink and white decor
I was a little bugged by the fact that I was invited only 4 days before the event and I was not included in the "media launch" which was the day before. It was almost as if I was an afterthought or I had just been banished to the riff raff room. We could invite a girlfriend to join us but none of mine were available on such short notice which dampened my mood even more. Never the less I was delighted to get an invite and was truly excited to be a part of this exciting new venture for such a great brand as I have always wanted to contribute to their online presence. I must admit, a lot of pressure was taken off my shoulders knowing that I wouldn't have to sit with a pen and notepad throughout the whole shindig.

The event was inspired by the notion "The Best of Both Worlds", simply meaning that they have a BB cream for us lighter ladies as well as a darker BB cream for African Ladies (and gents). The 'Chocolate' shade of BB cream was inspired by South Africans, specifically designed by South Africans for South Africans and that is the best of both worlds!
Top: Research Lady, Bottom Left: Michel Ingoglia, Bottom Right: Michelle Ponds Brand Manager
We were given presentations by Michelle, the Brand Manager of Ponds, the lady who was the head of research and development (completely forgot her name) who gave such an educational demo into skin behaviors and damage processes, and we also got a make up demo by the Oh-So-Fab, Michel Ingoglia who said quirky things like "Black don't crack" and who gave away some secret trends coming in from the US and the UK later in the year. He made us feel as if we were all at a pajama party, sharing stories and eating koekies from the Tuisnywerheid.

The food was delish and we got spoiled with white and dark Lindt chocolate (my fave!!) to give our tummies the best of both worlds as well.
Best-of-both-worlds party in my tummy!
Here are some more pikkies. I will be uploading my actual BB cream review soon!
High Tea Snacks
Image from Ponds on Facebook
My Nails and Outfit
Image from Ponds on Facebook
Miss Claira-Bella