Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cheap Trick! Brace yourself!

This is not me!
Want an instant eye boost without breaking the bank? What do you do with extremely puffy Prada-bagged eyes and you're a broke student or it's that time of the month that forces you to live like a broke student. Pop two teaspoons in the fridge or freezer (depends how brave you are) and then place them on your blazing, baggy eyes fro a few minutes. Refreshing! Brace yourself -it'd damn cold but it does the trick.

Another great trick is to steep two Green Tea bags (organic, unbleached bags -it's not  pricey ). Cool the bags and Voila! Instant anti-oxident boost and de-puffing of eyes. You can even use the Green Tea bag with mint - extra refreshment!

An Oldie but Goldie - Cucumber Slices - pop them on cold. Have you heard of Tulsi leaves ? - it's a type of Basil widely used by Hindus in religious cermonies and sometimes as part of sweet dishes that are offered as part of prayers. It grows really well in South Africa and not that difficult to find. Dip the leaves in cold milk, place on your tired lids and relax.
Tulsi leaves

Long Overdue -Beauty Bulletin Product Review - Part one

Thank you to the awesome people at for sending me these fabulous products to review. Wow!Wow and wow! Apologies for the crazy blog post , editing in word and transferring , there's these white bits all over the place - I can't get rid of them. I gave up ,they're here to stay *sigh*
I did a crazy, happy jig when I got them, the lady at the post office eyed me strangely and asked for ID which she normally doesn’t do.She asked if I’d changed my name to Lotus after I got married. I just yes so I could get my hands on that precious package!

This product is definitely super soothing on my eyes. It felt like I had a refreshing, cold compress on my eyes and had a substantial effect when I had my puffy eye days. For an extra-soothing effect I popped it in the fridge so it was ultra-cool on application. Picture that “aaaaaah” feeling –like steam wisping off hot asphalt after a Highveld thunderstorm. Relief! It’s a godsend on these temperamental, sweltering summer evenings I felt the cooling effects immediately after application with this Eye Gel.
Hydrating, lightweight, hypoallergenic, non-greasy as well as working underneath makeup, without causing smudging -this product has all of these fine attributes. I think this product is excellent for people who are just looking for basic daily under eye moisturizer. If you have serious eye issues such as dark circles, deep crow’s feet this may not be for you. Regular use however shows a significant decrease in puffiness. The skin under the eye is left soft, and velvety

Impressively it is huge (for an eye treatment) YES TO CUCUMBERS EYE LOVE CUCUMBERS SOOTHING EYE GEL – a good buy for a relatively massive amount of eye gel .The dispenser is a frosted clear plastic pump which has a tight locking cap on it.  The pump dispenses a lot of the soothing clear gel, but if you press down gently, I find that I can get just enough gel to come out to do

The Key ingredients are:

Organic Cucumbers are packed with rejuvenating vitamins which soothe and soften the skin, Cucumbers also having cooling properties which help keep your skin supple and fresh. Green Tea has excellent anti-inflammatory properties to improve the general health of the skin, provide superior protection against free radical damage and help rebuild damaged skin cells. Chamomile soothes and tightens the delicate skin around your eyes.

Also includes: Broccoli Extract, Dill Extract, Dead Sea Silt Extract, Spinach Leaf Extract.

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel


Aqua (Water), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract*, Sodium Alginate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel*, Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Extract*, Brassica Oleracea (Broccoli) Extract*, Citric Acid, Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract*, Capsicum Annuum (Green Pepper) Extract*, Algin, Algea (Spirulina, Rhodella, Dunaliella) *, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Minerals), Parfum (Fragrance), Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) *, Panthenol*, Dehydroacetic Acid. Certified Organic Ingredient

The Low-down on Cucumber

Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is a trace mineral that contributes to the strength of our connective tissue. Connective tissue is what holds our body together. Cucumbers are effective when used for various skin issues including swelling under the eyes and sunburn. They also contain ascorbic and caffeic acids. These acids prevent water retention. That may explain why when cucumbers are applied topically they are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns, and dermatitis.

As a beauty aid, the cucumber provides immediate relief to puffy eyes; a fresh cucumber can be cut into thin slices, and these placed on the eyes for 5-10 minutes. This works incredibly well after a tiring day at work in front of the computer, and helps to relieve stress and dark circles around the eye area as well. Grated cucumber can be used as a mask and tonic for the entire face and neck.

My dad likes to make this traditional salad that is served with Biryani and is great with meat dishes. It’s called Raita (or as we say Raitu) , it is a cucumber salad – sort of like Indian coleslaw. Grated cucumber is added to a yogurt base but a lot of the water from the cucumber is squeezed out. I just pop that into a spritz  bottle  and leave it in the fridge. It makes a great toner and you can add rose water or witch hazel as well.

Cucumber’s nutritional benefits include natural salts, enzymes, and vitamins essential for strong cell growth and repair. In addition, the high mineral content and minerals in cucumber peel offer a natural source for a fresh, powerful antioxidant. The alkalinity of cucumber is also a positive attribute, and because of its water base, the cucumber is also a top choice as diuretic.

Some Cool Cucumber Tips
Cucumber acts as a natural cleanser  so try this  the next time you want to wash your face - mix half a cup of milk with one table spoon of cucumber juice and use it as a cleanser. This mixture can store for up to one day in a fridge. This will clean, tone, and refresh your skin all at once. The milk also has lactic acid in it (super super super mild fruit-acid peel-ness)

Applying cucumber juice to your face can lighten the skin. It won’t erase severe, uneven hyperpigmentation but it will give you skin a radiance boost.

Slices of cucumber are indispensable for under-eye bags (puffiness). Lie down, put couple of slices on your eyes, making sure they touch the puffy areas, and give it 10 – 15 minutes. This is a very old trick, and it still works (and always will) – that’s why the eye gel is excellent plus it has all the other good stuff in it like the Green Tea.

To soften tough skin, mix a table spoon of cucumber juice with a table spoon of almond butter (naturally, presuming you are not allergic to almonds). Spread the mass on your face, and then rinse it with lukewarm or cold water. Try mixing it with Borax powder (from the pharmacy) – regular use softens and lightens rough elbows and knees.

For a nourishing mask take one teaspoon of sour-cream, one teaspoon shredded cucumber and one egg yolk. Mix well and apply to your face for 10 – 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Swig to get the full Cucumber benefit, inside out.

Recourber ‘ is French for  ‘to bend’  and wow did it bend! Maybelline Great lash was the first mascara I ever used and the brand never disappoints. I’m not one to use the lash curler , it’s a bit intimidating to me. I know the whole heat it up an squeeze your lashes and Voila! Curling tong for your lashes
My lashes are always all over the place (I’m scared to use the curling contraption unlike the smiling girl in the pic. So I’m grateful for mascaras like this. It gave me a great curl (that lasts), excellent lash separation , lush length as well as a bit of volume. It really makes your eyes pop – almost doll-like . I would definitely recommend this .

Two more products to follow! Reviews on their way!

I never smile like this when using "The Curler"

Flat pokey lashes

I cannot get rid of this massive gap here? 

Yes these are my lashes swathed in the mascara - Extreme Curl
if you want to: Minimize fine lines, smooth wrinkles and leave skin feeling firmer and hydrated with a day cream that moisturizes for up to 12 hours.
How it works:
§  Has a temporary lifting effect: skin is plumper and hydrated.
§  Pomegranate seed oil moisturizes skin and is rich in antioxidants to help minimize the damage cause by environmental aggressors.
§  Community Trade Brazil nut oil moisturizes and softens skin.
Nom, nom,nom – another delicious product from the body shop. I got my body shop card in the post today. Methinks I’m going to go try out the whole range . . . and all the other ranges. Shopping spreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (*delirious laughter, light-headed grins and general happy dancing follows*).
Firstly you can help taking in that subtle yet intoxicating pomegranate scent when you open the tub. I used this dreamily rich crème on my face, neck and décolletage and on the so-called “girls”. Skin is skin so I wanted to test the firming and lifting effects of this luxurious crème. I did the whole la Mer- heat-between-the –palms thing to give it a super decadent kick. I loved it, it absorbs quickly and really does firm and lift (meticulous application) and a little goes a long way. I loved using it on my décolletage and at first I was afraid it would be too rich for my face. Once applied it has this incredible smoothing effect and my face felt velvety and not like an oil-slick.Thick and luxurious it is almost the consistency of a balm but it is not greasy and it did not make my skin greasy This will be a perfect day cream for people whose skin gets desperately dry in winter.
The important thing with skin care is the disciplined use of a product. You cannot expect a complete change in a week but I would also like to say that even though I’ve been using this product for a short time I’m impressed by the nourishing effects that it has on the surface layers of the skin. I would definitely recommend this and I’m sure with the synergistic effect of the whole product range an even more impressive result can be seen.
So you’re wondering if those juicy rubies sold in tiny tubs at Woolies is any good for you. Well . . .
Every year cosmoceutical companies scramble about searching for the next BIG THING in  anti-aging. The “face-lift in jar”. Pomergranate is the “it-girl” this year .
Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, MD in his March 2008 article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (thank you Medscape subscription) states “Mucocutaneous inflammation as the final common pathway of many systemic and mucocutaneous diseases including extrinsic aging has been established at the molecular and cellular levels. Pomegranate has known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and has been documented in double-blind clinical trials to significantly improve signs of skin aging. Of the over 8000 known antioxidant ingredients, pomegranate is 1 in less than 20 have been incorporated into topical formulations which have been documented in human clinical trials to reverse signs of aging of the skin.”
The status of the Pomegranate goes back as far as the history of agriculture itself, 10,000 years. The ancient Egyptian papyrus holds record of pomegranate being used for healing purposes. Apparently, Greek healers used pomegranate to cure variety of diseases. These include arthritis, circulatory disorders, digestive problems and infections.  References to the pomegranate are readily found in the oldest cultures of the Indus Valley, ancient China, and classical Greece, as well as in the Old Testament. It has a long history of medicinal use, with the peel well regarded for its astringent use.
Anthocyanins account for the beautiful red-purple color of the pomegranate’s skin, flesh, and seed. More importantly, pomegranate juice made from squeezing the whole fruit is a rich source of punicalagin, a large polyphenol antioxidant. Pomegranate seeds are a good source of punicic acid, similar to conjugated linoleic acid( CLA- yes that stuff in Biogen and USN and all the other weight loss supplements)
Research has shown that the physiological effects of pomegranate juice constituents are remarkable in their preventive potential against two of the major chronic diseases of aging – heart disease and cancer. There is evidence of the pomegranate’s impact on heart disease, including its ability to enhance nitric oxide production in endothelial cells.
There is also significant anti -proliferative effects attributed to the pomegranate in battling breast cancer and prostate cancer as well retarding tumour growth in animals..
“In a study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School, aqueous fractions prepared from pomegranate peel, fermented juice and lipophilic fractions of the pomegranate were examined for effects on human epidermal and dermal cell function.
Pomegranate seed oil was shown to stimulate epidermal call proliferation, and a mild thickening of the epidermis was observed!  The pomegranate peel extract stimulated type I procollagen synthesis by dermal fibroblasts, These results indicate the potential of pomegranate for facilitating skin repair by promoting regeneration of the dermis and epidermis.
In Jan 2008 a Dr Navindra Seeram reported his study which applied 4 tests of antioxidant potency of polyphenol-rich beverages available in the marketplace.
In Dr Seeram’s comparative study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemisty, he demonstrated that the antioxidant potency and total polyphenol content were consistently greatest in pomegranate juice as compared to apple juice, acai juice, black cherry juice, red wine, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, Concord grape juice, orange juice, black tea, green tea, and white tea capacity.  It has clinically proven anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-aging properties

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hah ! My previous blog post came true!

Nicki Minaj Pink FridayEarlier this morning,(23rd November 2010) MAC officially announced their collaboration with Nicki Minaj in celebration of her new album Pink Friday. Marta Walsh has sneak peek pics from her appearance at the MAC Times Square store earlier today. The lipstick is only available online at beginning this Friday, November 26th – for 4 Fridays only!



Monday, November 22, 2010

Wow - This makes me so want to go to gym

How are these extremely drool-worthy,are- these-for-real , retro swimsuits? This is from Kim Kardashian's new Babarella-inspired  Divinity swimsuit range. They make you want to torture yourself with kettlebells at the Virgin Active and whip out the spray tan. Do you like them? - I must say I can't help but love them.

Blogger Dream Spots - A beautiful Island -Opalescence (GREECE)

I'd love to blog from here for a week. I thought I'd just share this gem of a place with you guys.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lush Lashes - It's all about high drama baby!

Below is a selection of pictures showing me bravely bare-lashed as well as having eyes swathed in luxurious lashings of that über-product - Mascara. This magic in a tube is fittingly applied with a WAND. BOLD STATEMENT OF THE DAY : your look is incomplete without mascara.

How did this magic-maker come about?

900 CE

Eugene Rimmel (yes , think of those Kate Moss ads) created the "first" mascara in 1834. The word "rimmel" still means "mascara" in several languages, including Portuguese(rímel), Turkish (rimel), Romanian (rimel), Italian (rimmel). Coincidentally, the word "rimmel" also means eyelash in Arabic.

The word mascara come from the Italian maschera, which means "mask" from Middle Latin masca or from Old Occitan masco . Modern mascara was created in 1913 by a chemist named T. L. Williams for his sister, Mabel. This early mascara was made from coal dust mixed with Vaseline( good ol' petroleum jelly).The product was a success with Mabel, and Williams began to sell his new product through the mail. His company Mabylline, whose name is a combination of his sister's name and Vaseline, eventually became a leading cosmetics company.Max Factor was the first to create a mascara with a wand applicator in the product tube, which started the modern mascara products available today.

Okay enough history , check out the my not-so-lush lashes become luscious.
No Mascara and way too much flash

No Mascara and extreme blur

No mascara and better light

No Mascara

No Mascara

No mascara

No mascara

Mascara :REVLON GROW LUSCIOUS courtesy of Glamour mag

Mascara :REVLON GROW LUSCIOUS courtesy of Glamour mag

Lies! Well of course I can't expect miracles but I'll tell you why I don't believe this a bit later in the blog post. What's in the fine print under the 96%? Revlon made a bit of a boo-boo here , the formulation while nice and creamy has to be sloppily applied on by the biggest damn wand brush ever. Hello smudge-city. Jessica Biel , those must be falsies. Maybe if they change the brush design , they could redeem themselves because I really liked the way the mascara felt once I applied it but as you can see it didn't add any drama.

Now for my mascara of the moment :DRUMROLL PLEASE . . .

Yes Frieda Pinto , I love your brand and it saved me after an unfortunate stint with individual falsies that ripped out my own lashes.My lashes have slowly recovered as the bare-lashed pics show. Loreal and Maybelline -hands down thus far are my favourite brands.


This is absolutely amazing. It doesn't budge, it doesn't run. It comes off when you're having your warm relaxing shower (it should actually read "plenty of warm water"). It peels off easily without damaging your lashes (in silicone-like strips of pure black rubbery-ness) and wow what an effect when you apply this gem of a product! You feel a bit like Spider-man peeling Symbiont off when the "tubes" peel off gently in the shower but who cares - this Mascara (yes it has the honour of a capital M) is awesome. This is the mascara I'm wearing in my profile pic.

This one I also love - it's beautifully intense, love the "come-hither" effect.
I'm wearing it in this pic. Drama hey?

The above are awesome at amping up length but I have a few volumizers that I use now and again for an extreme burlesque-boost. So I use the above and then swish on a coat of one of the below  

I love this formulation , so lux and awesome volume.

As much I'd love to look like Aish and have that thick-Amazonian-jungle-my-lashes-are-damn-fat-and-phat, it doesn't happen exactly like hers in the ad but I must say it's not bad.

I like this for precision , intense colour and for great definition and lash separation.


Me with my own lashes and very light mascara - one swish of Loreal

Me with individual falsies (eye allure I think -had them done).Those
are my nieces real lashes -she's 12 in the pic(13 now)

me with Xtreme Lashes this year -applied by an optometrist strangely enough

Just plain ol' mascara - two coats
So I won't have the "individual falsies"done again. My eyelashes fell out with the chunks of glue -even though I applied a glue solvent to remove the glue gently  and thank goodness they grew back. Never again!

The Xtreme lashes were pricey (R750 for the application) and one lash is applied to your own lashes and not your skin, as the lashes fall out your own lashes are spared. It gives great volume. With this you cannot use any oil-based creams or make-up removers. It's great for a super special occasion but I still prefer my own lashes.

So I'm over getting fake lashes applied - I had some sort of lash dysmorphia and I'm sticking to Mascara for now

fake lashes -non-individual

Lash extensions

So how long do you have to fake it before you make it? How do you make it? Get out the smakaroos $$$$$$$$!

Latisse (by Allergan - makers of Botox) - you can click here for the full package insert (you can only get this at a doc)


“Latisse” is capable of promoting eyelash growth and will be a valuable asset to the cosmetic industry as a prescription topical, only being available through physicians. Current reports confirm that the topical can stimulate eyelash growth, to make them longer and thicker. It is dabbed like an eye-liner at the roots of the eye lashes on the upper eyelid. Side-effects are minor and reversible, but cannot be ignored. The product is not meant to go directly on the eye but is directed at the eyelids. In these persons, glaucoma is not being treated. Home-use, with once-daily application. Images, before and after on the Internet, show good lash growth at 8 weeks and in some cases, before.
Latisse™ is a spin-off of the glaucoma drug Lumigan™ that is used as an eye-drop by ophthalmic surgeons.FDA approved this topical eye medication during 2001. Eyelash-growth has been recorded as one of the known side-effects of Lumigan™.
Fig 1: Skin epidermis, eyelashes and glands of Moll at the base of hair follicle. Masson-Trichrome stain showing collagen.


Studies conducted in 2002, from Seattle, showed that latanoprost can induce anagen ( the growth phase) in telogen (resting) follicles while inducing hypertrophic changes in the involved follicle ( Johnstone et al, 2002, Swedish Medical Centre, Seattle).” Correlation with laboratory studies suggests that initiation and completion of latanoprost hair-growth occur very early in anagen and the likely target is the dermal papilla”. This pharmacological agent has also been used in drops to treat glaucoma in man, in which the intra-ocular pressure is increased. One of its side-effects has also been eyelash growth, and this effect has been capitalized on by the beauty and cosmetic industry, and exploited to formulate eyelash enhancers."

Latisse Information

  • Latisse is a prescription drug currently promoted by spokesmodel Brooke Shields that is applied to the base of eyelashes to generate longer lashes
  • Latisse keeps hairs in their growth phase, producing longer, darker and thicker eyelashes
  • Latisse contains bimatoprost, the same active ingredient that is in the glaucoma drug Lumigan
  • The eyelash lengthening is not permanent.

I haven't used this product but Claire Danes and Brooke Shield's have had some excellent results if the pics are to be believed! I want to try it!

NEW MD Lash Factor (you can get this at Metropolitan Cosmetics)

.2 oz., 6 month supply

This patent pending formula combines latest skin care science with clinically tested ingredients.  MD Lash Factor Cytokine Complex™ provides lashes with signals necessary to develop fuller, thicker, longer looking lashes.  Thiotaine, a powerful mushroom derived peptide, is formulated in the conditioner to protect and nourish lashes to develop into their fullest potential.


  • 95% of users report thicker, fuller, and longer lashes in as little as 30 days. 
  • With continue usage, you will notice maximum result at 2-4 months
  • Ophthalmologist Tested
  • Safe for Contact Lens Wearer
  • Safe for sensitive eyes
  • Prostaglandin Free

This is a lash enhancement conditioner created by Dr Susan Lin of MD Laser & Cosmetics to promote longer and fuller lashes especially for those who have borne the brunt of often using cosmetics such as mascara and the likes.
Applied once daily, the product promises more than 40% increase in the lash length within 4 weeks. It is applied as you would apply eyeliner on the eyelash hairline. It is marketed as a product that can be used on eyebrows too. It is to be applied only once every night after cleansing your skin. It has to be applied using a brush applicator along the base of both the upper and lower lash line.

MD Lash Factor Ingredients:

The key ingredients of the product are summarized as MD Lash Factor Nutritional Complex that is derived from milk. It is known to promote healthy lashes by enhancing the essential biochemical properties in the hair follicles.
Other ingredients of MD Lash Factor Eyelash Conditioner include Thiotane, which is a powerful amino acid that acts as a strong anti-oxidant and a shield against environmental pollutants, and Panthenol that moisturizes the lashes making them fuller and thicker. Other vital ingredients of the newly improved MD Lash Factor are hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, biotin, Sodium Lactate, alcohol, inositol, citric acid, Sodium Citrate, proline, and Sodium Phosphate.


  • MD Lash Factor Eyelash Conditioner is devoid of any drugs or the controversial prostaglandin analogues.
  • There is no need for a physician’s prescription to purchase this product.
  • The product is paraben free and hypoallergenic.


  • The website fails to throw light on what constitutes the mysterious MD Lash Factor Nutritional Complex that forms the key ingredients of the product.
  • The disclaimer on the official website of MD Lash Factor shrugs all responsibility expected of any eyelash growth product namely to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
This has been around for ages, I also haven't tried it but I would like to. It's damn expensive. Okay I think that's enough lashes for now - I'm knackered and the grammer is becoming wonky.

But this not the end! I've still got a great curling mascara to review, so that post is coming up soon.

Ciao, ciao for now
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