Spring Essentials

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Another season, another round up of season favourites. I say this every year but I think the years are passing by quicker and quicker – maybe it’s because our lives are getting busier and busier as we get older or we are constantly plugged in that we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to switch off. I can remember when I was young and waiting for Christmas to arrive and it felt like an age had to pass before the month of December arrived! Maybe it’s because life held a lot more simplicity when we were younger and everyone wasn’t so caught up in technology but whatever it it, I really wish that sometimes we could just hit the pause button, take a breath, maybe even have a cup of tea and then carry on at a more normal pace. Anyway, with the seasons rolling around gives me another excuse to round up my favourites for the season – and this time I am determined to get them in before the next season is upon us!

1. Mac Lipstick – Hue: This is one of my all time favourite lipsticks and was the colour I wore on my wedding day. It’s a very pale pinky nude and I absolutely adore it and with a bit of a tan, it looks gorgeous. I always lean towards pinks and nudes as I’m not a bold lipstick girl and as much as I do mix up my brands and like to try new ones, I have a few that are always on rotation in my handbag and this is one that’s been sitting pretty for about two years now! What I love about Hue though is that it works day or night and has a creamy finish with a subtle sheen. Hue if from Mac’s glaze finish range so while it gives good coverage, it glides onto your lips and has a silkier feel. A warning though, it is pale (think along the lines of Creme Cup, Angel and Japanese Maple) so if you not into nudes then this is definitely not a shade for you. Another thing I love about Mac lipsticks is the way they smell – they have the most delightful vanilla scent! Mac lipsticks retail for R240. I am having a moral dilemma with Mac lipstick at the moment though. Not so long ago Mac cosmetics were Leaping Bunny approved and had a strong cruelty-free policy – that’s now changed and they cannot guarantee cruelty free products and their current policy states “Our products are not tested on animals except when absolutely mandated by law” which I have an issue with and if you read my last Make Up Must-Haves post, then you’ll know about my aim to get a completely cruelty-free make up collection going. However I love the lipsticks and I use a lot of Mac products on a daily basis which is why I’m struggling with this one. 

2. Essie Polish: No round up would be complete without a selection of polishes! As much as I love my bright colours, I always feel like spring time needs pastels – for some reason when I think of spring, I think of Easter egg colours! I had my eye on Essie’s Spaghetti Strap for while and scooped it up on a Dischem special and I adore it. It is the perfect sheer romantic pink for fresh spring mornings or hot summer nights and the soft hue works on manicures and pedicures. Three thinner coats gives a lovely sheer cover but it is one of the trickier polishes to apply so I would suggest doing more thinner coats than fewer thicker coats. This a slightly deeper pink to Muchi Muchi (one of my staples) and leaves your nails looking healthy and sophisticated. The second polish is Essie’s Nice Is Nice (how cute?!) which is actually an old shade from their Spring 2011 French Affair collection but it is the perfect springtime colour. I’ve decided that I definitely have a thing for the soft lavender colours as I’m building up quite a collection and they tend to be the colours I keep going back for. This colour is a pale pastel lavender which Essie describes as “a playful, whimsical colour perfect for a chic holiday” and I couldn’t agree more! Two coats gives great coverage and it is a very flattering colour on most skin tones – it has slightly more grey undertones which makes it a warmer shade.

3. Tangle Teaser – Compact Styler: This is the best invention yet! I have very thin, fine hair and I have a fair amount of it so it tends to get knots in it very easily and while I don’t brush it properly that often (it’s quite wavy so I can get away with leaving it) when I need to, it can be a nightmare and result in a substantial amount of hair loss! This has been a lifesaver as I find it is the best brush to get rid of the knots gently and without taking chunks of my hair with it. I have the ‘On-The-Go‘ compact detangler and with it’s two-tiered teeth system, it leaves my hair smooth and shiny. I love that it works just as well on wet or dry hair and you don’t need to pull or yank your hair to detangle. The teeth also have memory flex so they pop straight back up and fan out after time. It’s the perfect size to pop into your handbag or carry-on when travelling and their colours and patterns are gorgeous. The retail for between R240 and R290 depending on where you purchase and what colour or pattern you choose and you can get them from Clicks as well as most hair salons.   

4. Body Shop Vitamin E Body Butter: I bought this just before we went overseas as I always make sure I good moisuriser on hand when travelling and find a body butter is the best way to help my skin recover after the beating it takes from flying. This body butter is now a firm favourite and will DEFINITELY be a repurchase product – I’m almost tempted to say it’s my absolute favourite but I think I’m allowed a few favourites! It is so nourishing and my skin felt so soft, smooth and hydrated for the whole day (I always put moisturiser on at night so this made it through a morning shower) I love the creamy texture and it has a lovely soft scent which is fairly neutral but has a slight hint of rose to it. With vitamin E, wheatgerm oil, cocoa butter and shea butter it’s packed with nourishing rich ingredients but doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards as it really soaks into your skin. I’m very keen to try some of the other products from this Vitamin E range and this will be one I carry through summer as I think it will be great after a long day in the sun. At R170 for a 200ml tub, it is on the pricey side but Body Shop stores and Clicks often have specials running so you can grab a 3 for 2 quite regularly but even at full price this is well worth it.

5. Skin Republic Cleanse Refine Sheet Masks:A friend of mine put me onto these and as I’ve been really battling with my skin lately, I’m up for trying anything. I’ve been going for monthly skin peels for the last few months (I’ll put up a post soon about these) and they have definitely made a difference but in between I’ve been using these sheet masks. Skin Republic is a demalogically tested range of skin care products specialising in masks for face, under the eyes, hands and feet.  They have a whole host of products but I’ve only tried the face masks so far. I’ve tried the Spots and Blemish Anti-Spot and Pore Refining mask for obvious reasons and although I haven’t used them exactly as recommended in terms of the frequency (because of my regular peels) I love how they make my skin feel. The benefits of these masks are to help clear spots and blemishes, cleanse and refine pores and reduce shine and redness and packed with tea tree (natural remedy for clearing acne), witch hazel (age old cosmetic healer which helps tighten pores and reduce water loss) and salicylic acid (a gentle exfoliant and anti-inflammatory which is extremely effective in reducing breakouts), they are a cosmetic dream. I love the cool, refreshing sensation on my skin, it’s almost like my skin sighs as I pop the mask on. I always use a mask at night so that the product can absorb into my skin overnight and I can really get the most benefit out of it. After washing your face, gently place the mask on your face and smooth out the wrinkles and leave for 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t rinse your face afterwards and rub any excess on your neck, chest and hands. If you careful with your mask you can get a second use out of it as there is a lot of serum in the packet (I’m not sure if this is recommended but it worked well for a little booster) At just R39 per mask they are very affordable and available at Dischem and Clicks stores – and they are 100% cruelty free!  

6. After You by Jojo Moyes: The sequel to Me Before You and if you read my Winter Warmers post then you’ll know I love a good book. This book is all about where one story ends, another begins and how one tries to pick up the pieces after losing a loved one. Just like the first book, the characters are beautifully brought to life and despite the rather gloomy topic, Jojo Moyes manages to make the reader laugh and bring humour to otherwise very depressing circumstances. If Me Before You was about making incomprehensible choices, then After You is the about grief and the guilt of coming to terms with the consequences of those choices. I often find that a sequel is never as good as the original but this book captivated me from the first page and I felt like I was straight back into the life of Lou. I love how Moyes books are not just simply romance novels but poke your moral compass and are incredibly thought provoking but done in a way that it all flows with such ease. I sincerely hope there is a book three in the making because I have not yet had enough of these characters! 

7. Women’s Health: Women’s Health is one of my favourite monthly magazines. I find the content is so relevant and they have the best balance of health, beauty, fitness and style. I was spoilt with a twelve month subscription for my birthday and I don’t know about you but I still love getting this in the post! I love afternoons on the beach or by the pool to page through a magazine and Women’s Health is perfect for some summer inspiration with workouts, healthy recipes and beauty spoils for the season. This is definitely a must-have addition to your beach bag! R35 per magazine or you can head to their website to check out the different subscription options.  

8. Colmant Brut Rose: Any one who knows me knows how much I love my bubbly! I’ll take a glass of crisp bubbles over a glass on wine any day. There’s just something about sipping chilled bubbly from a champagne flute on a beautiful clear evening and if it’s rose, well then all the more so! Colmant has to be one of my favourite wine farms and the MCC is phenomenal and was actually the champange of choice for our wedding. I was first introduced to the farm when they had only just opened and hadn’t even released their first harvest (the launch of which was fabulous back in 2006) We try to make a trip out to Franschhoek at least once a year to visit the farm and stock up (which reminds me, we are definitely due for another visit!) and enjoy their VERY generous tastings! Since it’s spring time and the evenings are getting longer and warmer, popping opening a bottle of bubbly is the perfect way to awaken the summer vibes! I can highly recommend a visit to the Colmant farm the next time you are in Franschhoek but be sure to check their tasting times over the weekends as you may need to book an appointment now. If you lucky you may even get treated to some sabrage skills being shown off! This Brut Rose is one of my all time favourites, light, crisp and delicious with a subtle hint of strawberries and beautiful salmon pink colour. It is sheer delight in a glass! Click here to visit their website and read up on the farm and different champagnes available.

Hope you enjoyed this seasons round up – I’d love to hear from you so be sure to leave a comment on any of my social media channels. Happy Monday friends! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the sunshine 🙂

xxx Cat

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