Make-Up Must-Haves

When wandering around Dischem or Clicks, I’m like a little kid in a candy store. I just love all the cosmetics popping out from their perfectly placed displays, dazzling you with all their pretty colours and shiny boxes luring you in with each step you take. If you are a regular to the blog, then you’ll know that my office’s very close proximity to Cavendish is slightly problematic for my bank balance and I have to have a serious conversation with myself in order to not sneak a peak into one of these stores when picking up lunch. Buying cosmetics and beauty products is worse for me than clothes shopping (as frightening as that is) because it’s so easy – walk in, spot something pretty and purchase. No trying on and agonising about size, colour or fit. On my last trip, I went with a purpose but of course ended up spending far more than I should have on irresistible make-up spoils – at least it wasn’t nail polish! The pretty packaging of these spoils inspired this post and so I’ve put together my current make-up must-haves that I’m enjoying this spring. While I don’t wear a lot of make-up during the day, I have the essentials that are part of my every day routine and I love trying out different products and brands. And if that packaging is pretty, well then I’m sold!


First up, is the Catrice Illuminating Blush I’m Nuts About You. I have a Bobbi Brown bronzer that I am totally obsessed with and is probably one of my favourite products but as it comes with a fairly hefty price tag, I’ve decided that it’s not so practical for everyday wear to the office. Straight off the bat this Catrice blush caught my eye because of the gorgeous two-toned compact. This neutral-toned blush is perfect for every day wear as it goes with everything; subtle with the slightest hint of shimmer which I love in a blush – I think I definitely lean more towards bronzers than blushes. With the combination of shimmer and pearl, it gives you a lovely soft glow and depending on your lipstick shade, will lean more towards a pinky tone or bronzey tone. A little goes a long way as the pigmentation is excellent, the texture is lovely and smooth so it’s easy to blend and it lasts all day. There are two other colour pallets, La Vie En Rose and Coral Me Maybe. Available at Dischem stores for R69.95 which makes this very easy on the pocket for everyday perfection! 

I’m all about nude lipglosses and lipsticks and lip products are probably the thing I experiment the most with. I have a few favourites that I go back for time and time again but I love mixing things up. This Essence XXXL Nude Lipgloss has found a permanent place in my handbag and I can see myself getting loads of wear out of it over the next few months as the weather warms up. If you like a nude lip then this definitely one to try as it has a smooth, creamy texture that glides onto your lips and the subtle pigmentation gives a lovely fresh look.  This shade has a creamy, slightly pink tone that’s perfect for any occasion, although it’s one I tend to wear more during the day. The non-sticky gloss is hydrating and the soft applicator gives even coverage. This is another pocket friendly purchase at just R44.95 from Clicks stores.

And something that I love about both Catrice and essence products is that neither brand test their products on animals and take a VERY firm stand against any form of testing from raw materials to ingredients despite where they are sold. I have always been very anti any form of animal testing and slowly starting to make changes to my cosmetics and beauty products to ensure that I only purchase beauty without cruelty products going forward. It’s not easy as some of my favourite brands test in certain countries where they are legally obligated to or where the holding company tests certain brands (it’s actually a lot more complicated than I thought) but it’s a challenge I am up for and I will definitely be doing a post once I have phased out all my “unfriendly” products. For a full list of brands that meet the beauty without cruelty standards (Leaping Bunny or PETA approved) go to These lists are updated regularly as rules and regulations do change but you can also check out the brand’s website as many of them will mention if they do not test their products on animals. 

I digress… 

Mascara is possibly the most important item in my make-up bag and I almost never leave home without it (unless I’m dashing to Pick n Pay or heading for the gym, you wont find me without mascara on) It’s such a small thing yet makes a huge difference! My lashes are very light so without mascara on they are barely visible. I’ve been using Maybelline mascaras for a few years now but I tend to mix up the type whenever I come across a new one. The one that’s been on rotation for a good few months now and has to be my absolute favourite, is the Lash Sensational Washable mascara. The fanned brush has 10 layers of bristles that capture each and every lash from root to tip to create a beautiful full-fan effect. I love that it doesn’t clump or flake and gives you a very even coating which makes it easy to build up (although two layers is more than enough!) It’s slightly more than the other mascaras in their range at around R119.95 depending on where you purchase it but it is well worth the little bit extra for fabulous lashes! 

So, that being said, if mascara is one product I almost never leave home without, then my concealer takes the cake and I NEVER leave home without it. No matter how much sleep I get, I always have dark rings under my eyes and so to see me without my trusty concealer is quite frightening and there are only a select few who are privileged enough for that treat! Mac has been my go-to for foundation and base since I was a teenager and started wearing make-up because I find their products match my skin the best, blend evenly and generally last all day (and as a bonus, look great in photos too!) and as a result I’ve been terrified to try anything else. This little tube of Select Cover Up is perfect for hiding those dark rings and touching up spots and it blends perfectly with my foundation or BB Cream. Although a very tough decision, if we were playing that awful game of “if you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one…”, this would most probably be my make-up item of choice (let’s hope I never have to actually make that call…) Mac cosmetics are definitely your high-end products so they don’t come cheap but they do last a long time and I can honestly say they are worth it. Their staff are also super helpful and always willing to help you find the perfect product to suit your needs. This cover-up retails are R300 but probably lasts me almost a year. Colour shown is NW25.

Last but not least are my make-up brushes. Real Techniques is a new range I came across and they have been all over the blogging world since they made their way to South African shores. I bought two sets last year, the Core Collection which helps perfect your coverage and the Starter Set which takes your eye definition skills to new heights. To be honest, I definitively use my Core Collection set more than my Starter set but that’s mainly because I wear very little eye make-up. The Core Collection brushes are great for blending foundation and getting even coverage with powder and the brow brush from the Starter Set is one I cannot do without. Last week when my blusher brush finally gave in, I added to my collection and purchased their pink blush brush. This brush is ideal for cream or powder blush and is tapered to create the perfect contour. It makes applying blush an absolute breeze and gives a flawless finish regardless of the product (I’ve used this with both my Bobbie Brown and Catrice blushes) Real Techniques are 100% cruelty free (huge points there!) and the bristles are so incredibly soft that they make applying product completely effortless. Even though these brushes are imported, they do not come with a hefty price tag – the blush brush retails for R200 and the sets for around R500. You can buy these from Clicks stores but a site that I have come to love for my beauty spoils is Biovea, a leading manufacturer and distributor in high-end beauty and health products. Their site is super user friendly and delivery takes around 10 days depending on stock availability – I purchased both my Real Techniques set from here as Clicks was out of stock. They also often have products at discounted rates so it’s well worth a visit!

Happy Monday and happy shopping!

xxx Cat

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