Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Over my skin – My acne journey [Part 3]

Helurrr beautiful people and welcome to my 3rd and (possibly) final post on my skin journey. Check out Part 1 where I give a brief overview of what my skin has gone through and share some pictures, and Part 2 includes details on skincare products that didn’t work for me (if you haven’t already – but you would have because you love me and my blog, don’t you?)

This part is about my current skincare routine (which is pretty simple actually) and more detail on what the actual products do for your skin. As always, I am in no way promoting any of these brands. I am simply sharing my experiences so that you can make informed decisions when spending your hard earned cash. I also urge you to do further research because I am no expert, however I am more than happy to answer any questions that you may have so please comment and let me know.

I had my follow-up dermatology visit a few weeks ago and he’s advised that I need not continue with my antibiotics – these were prescribed to treat the bacteria causing acne and inflammation. He did suggest that I continue using the gel he prescribed every other night as it contains benzoyl peroxide which will help lighten my scars over time. I know that some people choose to go for dermapen treatments and chemical peels, however I am still really scared of undoing all the progress that I’ve noticed with my skin. I know these treatments are there for treating scars and stuff, but there isn’t a guarantee that my skin won’t react badly – my skin is like me during the time of the month that satan visits : I REACT BADLY TO EVERYTHING! I might look into it sometime in the future, but for now I’m keeping it simple and giving my skin a chance to live it’s best life. Plus I’m not looking to spend anymore money – my bank balance is sadder than the casting of 50 Shades of Grey.

 

The Cleanse.

To start with, I wash my face every morning and night with the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. The first piece of advice that my dermatologist gave me was to use a gentle cleanser – nothing with beads or anything abrasive as this will irritate the skin and cause further breakouts. I was a little confused because my skin was a mess and I thought that I needed something strong to literally scrub the crap off my skin – BUT he was prescribing medication to treat the actual bacteria and inflammation so it would make sense to be gentle with the aftercare. I must admit that carrying a bar of soap around (to gym and when I’m travelling) is not the most fun I’ve had, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I wrapped that bad boy in some tinfoil and I was sorted :). It is worth mentioning that I did try their Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash before purchasing the cleansing bar, however the foam wash didn’t really help with my breakouts and my skin felt way more irritated. Also, I’m old-school and I prefer something that actually lathers and the cleansing bar did that for me. I use a silicone cleansing pad atleast 3 times a week after I’ve exfoliated just to make sure I’m getting rid of any dead skin cells and I ALWAYS use lukewarm water to rinse because using hot water washes away essential oils of the skin leaving it dry and using icy cold water on the face irritates the skin and breaks the capillaries.

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R87.80 (normal price: R109.75)

 

Toning up.

I use plain Rose Water. Yep, that’s it. I spritz/pour a little on a cotton pad and just gently wipe it over my face after I cleanse. This helps get all those impurities/dead skin cells that you may not have gotten rid of by just washing your face. I also just spritz it over my face with/without makeup just to refresh it during the day. Rose water is known for having amazing properties for the skin and hair. I’m just going to list a few of the benefits for the skin below:

  • Helps maintain the skin’s PH balance and controls excess oil.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which is great for problem skin.
  • Cleanses and aids in removing oil/dirt from clogged pores.
  • It is good for hydration and overall texture of the skin.
  • It also has anti-bacterial properties, which is great for healing scars/wounds/cuts, etc.
  • Antioxidant properties helps to strengthen and regenerate skin tissue.
  • Anti-aging helps with fine lines and wrinkles over time. It is never too early to start.

You can check out more information here if you want to see what it does for the hair and other uses.

Available at Dis-chem for R34.95

 

Moisture IS the thing.

We all know that problem skin is caused by many different factors, however, lack of moisture is right up there as one of the main causes. If your skin is dry and not getting enough moisture, it is going to panic and try to make up for the lack of moisture by producing sebum, which then leads to clogged pores. You can get more information here on different issues that arise from not moisturizing. It is extremely important to ensure that you are not overcrowding your skin with anything oily/greasy as this will just add to your already stressed out skin. Tissue oils were not recommended by my doctor as he advised that they would just clog up my pores even more. What you want to look for is a label that states “oil-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic” because your skin does not need anything more than hydration. I picked up this Cetaphil moisturizer and have not put it down since. It is slightly runny in texture, but absorbs really nicely into the skin leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. On colder days I tend to add a little extra because the weather tends to dry my skin but a pea-sized amount is enough for my face and neck. It is for sensitive skin so I know that it is going to be kind to me and not cause any riots. I get my Cetaphil products from Dischem/Clicks (depending on which store I am closer to at the time).

Currently on promotion at Dis-Chem for R159.95 (normal price: R199.95) 

 

The Sun is not your friend.

Irrespective of whether you have problem skin or not, you should be incorporating an SPF into your morning routine (and your kid’s!) because the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been proven to cause skin cancers, as well as premature skin aging. You can find out more on this article and check out what actually happens. My dermatologist did recommend the Cetaphil Daylong SPF50+ Liposomal Lotion as he said it was effective and affordable. Read the excerpt below on what Liposomal sunscreen actually is:

“Sunscreens usually fall into one or both of the following categories; physical or chemical. Physical sunscreens literally create a barrier between your skin and sun’s rays, whereas chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin and protect it from the sun from the inside. Both formulas have pros and cons, but we know we have to use them, physical sunscreens carry less risks but are sometimes thick and greasy, whereas chemical sunscreens are usually easier to wear but carry risks in the unknown long-term affects of applying the sun-safe chemicals to our bodies.

Liposomal formulations are a new category altogether. The liposomes sink only into the top dead skin cell layer of the skin — no absorption into the blood stream — so lessening the chemical risk factor, but as it’s still absorbed, there’s no greasy finish.” – source

I used the Daylong SPF for 2 months but found that my skin was extremely greasy throughout the day and like all sunscreens, it had a slight purple color which I hate. It didn’t cause any breakouts but I just didn’t like the way it sat on the skin and how greasy it felt. Once my antibiotic treatment was over, I tried The Body Shop’s Skin Defense multi-protection essence (sounds so wonderful!). It was way smaller in size and more expensive but I had read really good things about it drying down matte! It has an SPF of 50 so that was a plus. It states on the tube that it is “a feather light, milk-to-water essence with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and antioxidant Vitamin C, to help protect skin against multiple skin aggressors, while providing utmost comfort.” This is my favorite SPF – like EVER!!! As the description suggests, it is rather runny in texture but it dries down matte and it smells so lovely! A pea-sized amount is all I need and it also sits really nicely under my makeup. It is slightly pricey for the amount of product that you get, so if you do have a good SPF, rather stick to it. I’m sure there are other more affordable SPF’s, even moisturizers with an SPF, so please do some research and check out people’s reviews before buying.

Available at The Body Shop for R220

 

Do you even multi-mask bruv?

“Exfoliating is an essential way to manage breakouts and acne. Many of us recognise the importance of cleansing our skin but under-estimate the power of exfoliating. A deep exfoliation will help to un-clog your pores from excess oil which can lead to breakouts. Therefore, if the excess oil and dirt is removed from the root of the cause, the amount of breakouts will most likely reduce.”- source

You can go to salons to have these done, however once again – bank balance is as happy as a Deer during hunting season. I use the L’Oreal Pure Clay masks at least twice a week. This is just to get rid of any oil/dirt build up during the week and also just to relax and have some ‘me time’. I use the purity and the glow mask because I have different skin concerns on different parts of my face. For example, my T-zone is rather oily while the rest of my face can tend to be drier. I use the purity mask to mattify/purify and the glow mask to brighten and exfoliate. These masks are really great and leave my skin feeling polished and clean.

The Purity mask “is a creamy mask that works deep into the pores for a thorough cleanse and exfoliation. At the same time, it mattifies and brightens the skin for a radiant appearance.” It dries down quite quickly and I leave it on for about 20 minutes – you can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores and it looks oddly satisfying!

The Glow mask “brightens and exfoliates for youthful looking skin. The beaded, creamy texture illuminates tone by exfoliating the skin’s surface without drying it out.” It has red-algae extract which exfoliates the skin and removes all the gunk that normal cleansing doesn’t get to. It feels rather grainy in texture so once it’s dried down, I add a little water and gently massage my face with my fingertips before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Makeup application is so much smoother after this so I also multi-mask if I’m going out for the night/a special occasion.

Available at Clicks and Dis-chem for R119

Multi masking : I apply the purity mask to my T-zone and areas where I usually get oily. The glow mask is applied to the rest of my face

Close up! You can actually see the oil being sucked out of my pores (those small white spots) and my skin looks and feels so much cleaner after!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, I want to highlight the fact that dealing with acne at any point in your life can be difficult. It can really affect all aspects of your life and puts huge strain on your ability to maintain a positive outlook on life. It is not superficial, but deeply rooted within your emotions and can be as mentally frustrating as it is physically. I want you to remember that it is NORMAL and whilst makeup may serve as a temporary cover, our sanity is way more important. I wish you self-love and acceptance through whatever it is that you are dealing with.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 3 part series and I would love to hear your thoughts/stories.

Until next time
xx

On my skin – My acne journey [Part 2]

On my skin – My acne journey [Part 2]

Helurrr beautiful people!  I’m back with more information on this topic – this time I’ll be focusing on the products that I used before I visited the dermatologist. I want to go into as much detail as possible on these products so my current skincare/makeup details will be in Part 3 – so keep an eye out in the coming month.

You can catch Part 1 here, just so for some backstory and lots of before/after pictures of my skin. Now that I’ve mentioned all that, let’s get straight into this!

EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT mentioned here was purchased with my own money and I am not discouraging anyone from purchasing them, I am simply sharing my experience. I used all of these products for a few months before deciding to discontinue use.

Clinique

First up is the Clinique anti-blemish solutions range, which I purchased from Truworths after doing some research online and going through reviews from people who had different skin issues. I purchased the oil control cleansing mask (R455), the cleansing gel (R360), the clarifying lotion (320) and the clearing moisturizer (R340) – that’s R1475 worth of skincare that made my life hell.

I used the cleansing mask as a spot treatment for any new and existing bumps, their website says “Soothing natural clay-based mask helps heal blemishes, prevent breakouts and keep skin shine-free. Medicated formula goes deep to clean and unclog pores, rid skin of excess oil. In just 5 minutes, skin looks clearer, smoother, less blemish-troubled. Gentle, non-drying formula won’t irritate skin. Oil free.” This did not work for me. Nothing that is mentioned above happened for me.

I used the cleansing gel in the morning and at night, their website says “Medicated, oil-free foaming cleansing gel helps clear breakouts and blackheads. Unclogs pores. Helps control oil. Skin feels fresh, soft, calm and smooth. Can also be used on body.” Again, none of this happened for me.

After cleansing, I used the clarifying lotion, which is meant to be applied like a toner – with a cotton pad. Their website says “Step 2 of Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System. Gentle, effective formula exfoliates to clear dead surface cells and reduce excess oil that can lead to breakouts. Unclogs pores. Oil-absorbing powders eliminate shine. Soothes irritation, redness.” Not only did this once again not work for me, it burned my skin so bad. Every time I applied it to my face, there was this intense burning sensation all over my face that lasted for about 30 seconds. This was not fun at all and I’m sure this irritated my already irritated skin.

Last step was to moisturize and EVERYONE knows how important it is to moisturize! The website says “Step 3 in Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Clear Skin System. Lightweight, medicated formula helps treat existing acne and prevent future breakouts. Creates a barrier against acne-causing agents. Helps control excess oil. Calms, soothes, visibly reduces redness. Lightly hydrates to minimize dryness and peeling.” I got absolutely no hydration from this whatsoever. It was very thin in consistency and made my skin feel wet for a few moments after I applied it, then it was gone. My face was superdry and I had to put on another moisturizer after a few weeks (I literally used E45 because I didn’t know what to do) because my skin felt tight. Needless to say that I was extremely frustrated at having spent so much of money when all it did was make my skin worse. It’s worth mentioning that I used the Clinique range on it’s own for a month or two before adding anything to the mix.

Farsali

Enter Farsali. If your permanent residence is under a rock, let me tell you about Farsali. This brand of skincare was all the hype on social media. Farah Dhukai is a Youtube/Instagram influencer, and she shares tons of DIY face and body concoctions as well as makeup looks. Her husband created the brand Farsali for her, in an attempt to have skincare incorporated into your makeup application. I obviously had to have these products because she posted a video on how she cured her acne – I literally went out and bought (almost) all of the products she spoke about in her video. Yes, I was heavily influenced. The two products that I purchased from the Farsali range were the Volcanic Elixir (R1000) and the Unicorn Essence (R450). I purchased them from local online resellers (comment if you want me to mention which ones) and I worked them into my skincare regime.

The Unicorn Essence is said to be high in antioxidants and can be used as a moisturizer and primer. I put a few drops on my skin after I cleansed and toned every morning. The texture was very runny and it had glitter in it (I love glitter and anything that sparkles), but it left my skin rather sticky after application and my makeup still looked awful – active acne and all that nasty stuff that comes with it.

The Volcanic Elixir was a nighttime moisturizer with a very strong scent – if I were to describe it, it smelt kind of woody with a hint of nut (if that makes sense) and it looked like an oil. It felt like an oil too which meant my skin was extremely oily when I went to bed. This elixir contains oil from the nut kernels of the Tamanu fruit, the properties listed on the website state that it is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant – which one would think is heaven sent for acne! I wanted this to work, I really wanted Farsali to change my life but yet again, I spent in excess of R1400 just to make my skin worse.

The Ordinary

I continued on my downward spiral of spending and bought into the Ordinary range. Again – rock dwellers, The Ordinary is a skincare range that brings science and acids into the mix. I swear, I felt so smart telling my boyfriend about all the different acids and suspensions that I was buying – plus their website had amazing information that tells you everything you need to know about all of their products – and trust me, there are so many! By this time, I was rather disappointed with myself because I already spent so much money and my skin was in such a terrible state. Naturally I did was any perfectly sane woman with a credit card does and bought more stuff. I’m going to leave small descriptions under the individual products because we all know that they didn’t work for me. They do have amazing products so I will definitely revisit the musebeauty site in the coming year to get some hydrating and anti-aging products – their stuff isn’t as expensive as most skincare but you can get carried away with their little serums and suspensions.

THE ORDINARY LACTIC ACID 10% + HA 2% : Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.

THE ORDINARY NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC 1% : Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

THE ORDINARY SALICYLIC ACID 2% SOLUTION : This treatment exfoliates deep inside the walls of pores to fight acne, oily skin, and blemishes. It promotes smoother skin texture and visible clarity with regular use.

THE ORDINARY VITAMIN C SUSPENSION 23% + HA SPHERES 2% : This treatment brightens, hydrates, and smooths the skin’s surface. It reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation (such as dark spots, age spots, and acne scars).

THE ORDINARY NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTORS + HA : This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. It offers immediate hydration and lasting results with continued use.

Facial cupping

I also tried facial cupping (because Farah Dhukai said it helped with acne) – I got these facial cups from celluvac for R280. I used them a few times and it just left my face red and sore – I didn’t see any noticeable difference in my skin unfortunately.

Pilaten peel off mask

Of course I had to try the Pilaten peel off black mask that was all over instagram and facebook. All this did was pull at my facial hair (I have a lot) and irritate my skin even more. I purchased mine from a local reseller so chances of it being fake are quite great. The reason why I say this is because when I watched videos online, the mask literally pulled out hundreds of black/white heads – this was not so successful for me.

I know this post must seem like me just bashing these brands but that’s not what I am trying to do here. I spent thousands of rands on stuff that was advertised in a way that gave me hope for my skin, but what I really needed was a visit to the dermatologist and change in lifestyle. I am merely trying to educate people in a similar situation so that you don’t waste your money and time on superficial fixes without understanding the root cause.

So once again, I urge you to do your research and be mindful of what you put on and in your body. Also remember that acne and breakouts are NORMAL and it’s okay not to have perfect skin. Don’t risk losing yourself, whilst trying to fit an image that society deems perfect. I’m sure you’re pretty great.

Until next time

xx

Under my skin – my acne journey [Part 1]

Under my skin – my acne journey [Part 1]

Helurrr beautiful people and HAPPY 2018! I hope that you were all safe this festive season and are diving head first into this new year.

Let’s get straight into this one because there’s A LOT that has happened with my skin. Let me start off by saying that I have not retouched any of the pictures posted. Whilst I still have scarring, I love my skin. I am proud of these no-makeup pictures because my skin is healthy! It feels so soft and smooth…even though I do use makeup on special occasions, I love my natural state now. I’m going to be quite blunt here so please read with an open mind – as always, this is my journey that I’ve chosen to share with you in the hopes that it might help you with something similar that you may be dealing with. I’m not going to tell you that what worked for me will work for you, but do your research please. I read as many articles and blogs that I could before I even considered seeking professional help. Unfortunately, this meant me trying all sorts of things that probably made it all worse – so BE CAREFUL with your skin and what you allow near it. You have to understand that everyone’s skin is different and needs to be cared for/treated differently.

As a teenager, I got the occasional breakout around the time of month that satan came to visit. If you read my previous posts, you would gather that during my pregnancy, my hormones were obviously messed up – BUT this lead to perfect skin and hair for me! (This obviously created a delayed reaction, which I experienced last year – crap skin came my way!) Fast forward into my early 20’s, I discovered (and could afford) makeup so we all know how that went. Let’s be honest here, nobody really believed in a 150 step skincare regime…heck I would pat myself on the back if I woke up without last night’s makeup all over my pillow. I know it’s gross but I was lazy. I’m not even going to fight that one. Further breakouts ensued and me picking at them just lead to scars – which needed more makeup to cover (I was in a loop of bad skin and even worse decisions.)

My first dermatologist 

I must have been around 21 when I was convinced that I needed to go on Roaccutane because a family member (who didn’t have a blemish ever!) was on it and she was literally glowing. I made my appointment and the doctor prescribed very mild antibiotics with a sh*t load of aftercare – I’m talking thousands of rands worth of gels, creams, washes (I could have opened up a pharmacy). With my medical savings exhausted half way through the year, I was determined to get perfect skin. I didn’t follow the recommended usage instructions of the aftercare – who does that really? obviously increasing the usage will speed things up – Ha what a doos was I. Ended up looking like Fester Addams. I burned my skin and undereye area. I’m an NC42 in MAC so I’m a little light in complexion…can you imagine what a mess I looked like?? (you must imagine because I didn’t take any pictures for months). My concealer and foundation cracked all over my skin after minutes of applying – I really made everything worse. I didn’t go back to the doctor because I knew that she would kak me out for not listening. So I did what every self-respecting person with no clue does and stopped everything – medication, aftercare, makeup, EVERYTHING. It was so hard going to work looking like Fester but my friends and family were supportive. A few months later, my skin was amazing and healthy. I didn’t use any makeup or any skincare products for atleast 2 years – I literally washed my face with dove soap and used whatever lotion I had for my body.

Enter Cape Town

I moved to Cape Town in July 2016 and the change in climate really affected my skin. I also started using makeup again and was convinced by YouTube that I needed a skincare regime. I started with L’Oreal products – a face wash, toner and moisturiser which was a simple start. I have to admit that my junk food intake increased tremendously and gym slowed down a little. I got the occasional pimple / blackhead / whitehead and didn’t pay it any attention. Around October, I had noticed a lot of red bumps on my forehead and discoloration around my mouth. I thought it would pass because it always did but I did start watching more videos about how other people dealt with bad skin (even though mine wasn’t as bad as theirs). I ended up changing my skincare to Clinique but added other brands as well. I overloaded my skin with Clinique washes/creams/toners, Apple Cider Vinegar and added Farsali into the mix – what a mistake. Alot of people rave about these brands/products and swear by them – it didn’t work for me, my skin deteriorated.

And then there was Ordinary

Once again, the Ordinary range is hyped alot and works for so many people – just not me. I added serums and creams to my already crowded skincare regime for a few months. I held out because a lot of people said that ‘purging’ is normal – purging is basically it getting worse before it gets better. Mine just got worse. My skin was inflamed, scarred and painful to the touch. I had these huge red and white pimples all over my face – I would get atleast 3-5 new ones every day. I was in hell. I tried putting makeup on but it looked horrible and felt even worse. It affected my life. Every aspect of my life was affected and I honestly didn’t want to leave the house. This went on for a few months until I exhausted all of my options and made an appointment with a Dermatologist.

I have included pictures that I took 3 months before I had my visit so that you can see how bad it got…and how quick it happened. These are raw images that I took with my iPhone.

Enter Dr Jonathan Smith

I saw Dr Smith at the end of September 2017 and he prescribed me an antibiotic and a gel to apply overnight. The antibiotic was so strong, I had nausea and a troubled tummy for the entire week that I took it. I called him the next week and he had me come in to pick up another prescription for a milder antibiotic. It’s worth mentioning that my face felt better after the 2nd day – THE 2ND DAY!!! The inflammation, pain and new pop-ups stopped completely. By the 4th day, my skin felt smoother to the touch and I was over the moon. He prescribed the medication and gel for 2 months and I was to schedule a follow up visit after the fact. I will let the pictures speak below.

I will be visiting him next week to discuss my skin further but this has been an eye-opening journey. I will not be providing the details of the medication that I was on because they were prescribed specifically for my skin condition and type. The fact that they need a prescription is proof that they should only be provided by a medical professional that has assessed you personally and understands your skin as well as lifestyle. You should definitely exhaust all possible options before seeing a dermatologist. A few possibilities :

  • Increase your water intake (trust me, your body needs it!)
  • Slow down the junk food (not only will your skin benefit but your body will love you for it.)
  • Give your face a break from makeup now and then – let it breathe and enjoy your natural beautiful state.
  • Wash your face every single night (enough said)
  • Be gentle on your face, the skin is much more sensitive so be mindful of that.
  • In addition to the above point, don’t overwhelm your face with 150 different products – find what works for your skin and keep it simple. Healthy skin shouldn’t cost you your sanity.

Whilst the above steps may help some people, take the time to understand your skin type and embrace it. We are all beautiful irrespective of what we look like, but sometimes acne affects you on the inside way more than it does on the outside. I would love to tell you that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, but that won’t change the sinking feeling you get when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. I’ve been there, heck I’m still there – but I am dealing with me and learning to love myself more. Do research and learn about what actually causes things rather than just buying a crap load of creams/oils recommended by someone with flawless skin. Also, don’t compare yourself or put yourself in someone else’s category. You were made unique for a reason – embrace your uniqueness and make it work for you!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and please keep a look out for Part 2 – it will include my current skincare routine and an update from my follow up Dermatologist visit. I will also include reviews of the (many) products I used that didn’t help my skin situation – a totally objective review of course!

xx

Black Friday got me good + my first GIVEAWAY!

Black Friday got me good + my first GIVEAWAY!

Helurrr all you gorgeous souls! It has indeed been a hot minute since I’ve been here and I owe my absence to my studies. Since I’m done with exams (for now) and obviously smarter than I was before, I’d like to share my Black Friday experiences with you. There is also a giveaway at the end, so please do enter! The giveaway details will be on all my social media accounts so you can also check it out there, be sure to follow the steps!

I’m sure you would’ve gathered by now that I am pretty much your average Josie. I love shopping (even though my bank account tries to discourage me, I soldier on). For my fellow South Africans, I am sure you would agree that the concept of Black Friday overseas is just astonishing! You can get everything you’ve ever wanted at a fraction of the cost and the long queues don’t even bother you. HOWEVER, the scene in South Africa is somewhat dismal in comparison. We were offered between 5% and 30% off at various retailers that were probably still making a profit anyway. That did not stop people from going batshit crazy at the idea of a sale. Watch out credit and store cards, you were going to be violated! I was so against the blatant disrespect that was Black Friday and stood my ground…until Superbalist sent me a very personal email and offered me 80% off, then Swiitchbeauty announced their Pink Friday sale and The Samika Store shared some very tempting makeup items that I had been eyeing for eons! I crumbled. Like a freshly baked apple pie, crust warm to the touch with apple sauce dripping all along the side, I crumbled big time. Heck, I don’t even feel bad about it haha!

Check out what I got :

Superbalist necessities (obviously)

Superbalist was like that boy you liked, but you and him could never be a consistent thing. So you went on his social profiles every now and then and sighed at what you couldn’t have. UNTIL he messaged you with a “Hey there gorgeous” and all resistance crumbled! I had crumbled. I literally spent HOURS going through each and every item going on sale, and it didn’t matter whether they were things that I couldn’t use – I was going to find a way to use a men’s size 11 converse sneaker. I was out.of.control. FINALLY, I settled on 4 must have items – a gorgeous little black top that would be perfect for a night out (paired with some skinnies and heels) or even during the day (with a pair of shorts and flip flops). The possibilities were endless. A grey mock wrap dress that had my name written all over it had to be mine – because it was on sale. Lastly, two of the most cutest sunglasses ever – a pink tint with gold frames and a silver mirror finish (both cat eye of course). Unfortunately, the silver pair was later canceled as there was an error on the website that indicated they had stock of the item, when they infact did not. My heartbreak was real people. On the bright side, I picked up a similar pair from Cotton On in Canal Walk a week later (they had a 2 for R200 promo) so you can imagine how excited I was. Check them out below:

Grey mock wrap dress

Black camisole

The one that got away

Pink tint with gold frames


Swiitchbeauty (Pink Friday Sale)

I had only ordered from Swiitchbeauty once before (I got the slaysfordays eyeshadow palette, which I love), but I do follow them on all the socials so when they announced their ‘Pink Friday’ sale, I knew I needed more makeup. I literally knew exactly what I wanted and checked out faster than you can say “Bye money!”. I got the unicorn sauce eyeshadow palette, the browbae brushes and the holy grail flashcase. Rabia is not playing girls! The pigment on these babies are AH-MAZING! Just check out how gorgeous they look!

Look how pretty!

The Samika Store

I’ve also only ordered from Samika once before, and a visit to her site on Black Friday was not planned at all. I was literally scrolling through instagram and came across one of her pictures, and before I knew it, I had items in my cart! I picked up a set of colourpop lippies for R500 (thats like R100 each!), a pretty little fan brush and the Mary-Lou manizer from the balm cosmetics (I have been dying to get my hands on this!). I have not been able to get enough of the Mary-Lou manizer! It is a very subtle gold highlight, but it blends in so perfectly and looks like a natural (but striking) glow. The colourpop lippies are a range of matte, gloss, metallic and satin finishes in very nude like vibes.

Moral of the story – have someone hide your cards when a sale is approaching. Jokes. I love my purchases and I get to give away some amazing stuff to one lucky reader! I hope you are ready for this one because it is my very FIRST giveaway.

One lucky winner will get :

  • A unicorn sauce palette
  • The browbae eyebrow brush set
  • The Holy Grail flashcase
  • The colourpop for fox sake lippie set (that’s 5 lippies!)
  • These gorgeous silver sunnies
  • The Tommy Girl neon brights fragrance

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Follow me on all social platforms (I will leave the links below)
  • Repost the giveaway image from my instagram page and tag me @Raeesa13 with the hashtag #GiveawayMG
  • Lastly just comment on the giveaway image on instagram/twitter/facebook and tag 2 friends.

You can enter as many times as you like 🙂
Entries close on 1st January and the winner will be announced on the 5th January on all my social accounts.
This giveaway is only open to South African residents and has not been sponsored by any of the brands mentioned above.

Instagram: Raeesa13

Facebook: Miss Govender

Twitter: Rae_G13

Good Luck!

A review that I didn’t make-up. (See what I did there?)

A review that I didn’t make-up. (See what I did there?)

Helurrr all you gorgeous people! I have been in absolute awe of the support and sweet words I’ve received since my last post, so I would like to start off by saying THANK YOU.

Now let’s get into it! Today I will be reviewing some of the products that I have recently purchased through various retailers/platforms. (Also due to influence from various youtubers – I’m such a bad/good influencee lol). Without further ado, here they are – in no particular order.

 

1. Tarte shape tape contour concealer.

It is no surprise that this concealer has been raved about by errbody in the beauty industry so obviously I needed this in my life. Let’s start off with some history on Tarte cosmetics and it’s founder, Maureen Kelly. This amazing company was started in her very own one bedroom apartment in 1999, purely with the need to create a cosmetic line that was not only cruelty free and good for you, but was glamorous and chic. Fast forward 18 years and she has lived up to that! The shape tape is described on their website as “A best-selling, full-coverage, vegan, blendable concealer that instantly brightens, smooths & shapes skin.” They also state that one shape tape is sold every 26 seconds – how crazy is that?! Don’t believe me? Check it out here.

Price: R320 (Their official website does ship internationally, however the associated shipping costs and customs/taxes pretty much end up around the same as ordering from re-sellers in South Africa.) I am not sure about costs regarding other countries but their website sums it all up for you. With shipping costs of R240 and customs/taxes of around R300, I ended up forking out just above R800 for this bad boy. Plus I had to wait a month for it to arrive and I am probably THE most impatient person. They do offer free shipping for orders over R1042, so if you’re looking to splurge then yay for you!

Formulation/texture/coverage: Their claim of full coverage is not to be taken lightly – literally. The tiniest bit of products blends out and covers for days! So I know this product is definitely going to last me a while. It is such a lightweight formula, yet the visible difference is amazing and you don’t even need setting powder. I bought the shade medium (I am an NC42 in Mac Foundation) and the highlight and coverage it provides is gorgeous!

Packaging and a surprise: My package arrived with the nastiest SARS stickers all around the box, but when I opened it…there was a little card with a discount coupon and the sweetest words on the back. Then I found unicorn wrapping paper and I felt all fuzzy inside. The shape tape is 10ml of product and is a pretty decent size tube with a wand to match. I didn’t even mention the best part – a free sample! These are obviously not guaranteed with every order but you might be lucky! I chose the lights,camera,lashes 4-in-1 mascara and it is so adorable! I must say that the little touches they added (and the free gift + discount coupon) made me feel a little better about the amount I spent on shipping and customs.

 

2. Milani conceal + perfect 2-in-1 foundation + concealer

Whoa that’s a mouthful! Also a very bold statement. Milani cosmetics founded by brother and sister, Laurie Minc and Ralph Bijou is known as a ‘drugstore foundation’. “Inspired by Milan” – they encompass “rich, lush, with more diversity in shade range.” Unfortunately, the drugstores in South Africa don’t stock this brand so I purchased mine from the Makeup Shack.

Price: R289 (I think it was on special but it usually retails for around R300. Shipping was R80 so 10 points for affordability!)

Formulation/texture/coverage: The name in itself promises to be the only thing you need for flawless skin (so no shape tape? Now you tell me!) It feels really smooth on application and blends out really well. It has the best scent I have ever experienced with a foundation – it smells of cinnamon!(I love the smell of cinnamon so I am very biased on the smell lol). The smell does fade (awh man) so dont worry, you’re not going to be a walking cinnabon. (That is a very delicious thought though, ain’t it?) I will say that is it definitely full coverage for the most part but I did feel like I needed my shape tape for my under-eye circles. I do have a really dark under-eye area so definitely a personal preference. My T-zone is oily so I did need to blot during the day, but the foundation wore pretty good.

Packaging: I’m sure this will vary with different re-sellers, I received my bottle in bubble wrap which I loved. Yes, I love bubble wrap, don’t judge me. The bottle is 30ml of product which the norm, and has a pump. The pump has to be my favorite thing when it comes to foundation, so another 10 points! I am the shade 07 – Sand, which is the tiniest bit darker than my actual skin but after highlight, it looks just right.

 

3. Benefit bigger and bolder brows kit.

This amazing company was founded all they way back in 1976 by Jean and Jane Ford. What was named the ‘Face Place’, transformed into ‘Benefit Cosmetics’ in 1990. Only recently introduced to the South African market through Edgars and Red Square stores, these counters have literally changed my brow game. Not only do they provide awesome products, they give advice on your specific brow/skin concern. While we’re on the topic, thanks to Rubybox’s latest promotion, I got a free wax and brow styling session. The stylist at the Red Square in Canal Walk, Cape Town, Chante was an absolute doll. I am been a victim of over-plucked eyebrow syndrome and this woman was phenomenal! From her personality, to the products and advice she gave me, I left that counter a very happy woman! This would usually cost R145 – with that experience, I am definitely going back next month. I’m sorry, I digress. I just had to mention it! Back to the kit. I got mine from the Benefit counter at Edgars in Canal Walk (I shop there a lot, I know).

Price: R475 (Red Square has it reduced to R403,75 here)You’re getting close to R900 in products so this is definitely a massive save.

Formulation/texture/coverage: The kit includes brow stencils, a high brow pencil (full size), Ka-Brow! (full size in shade 5) and the ready,set, brow! gel (travel size).

 

  • The Ka-Brow! is my favorite brow product ever. It is the cutest thing ever and fills in your brows perfectly with the smallest amount of product.

 

  • If you’re new to this, then the stencils really help with giving you guidance and the brush is the perfect size to do your thing. Trust me, soon you will be free styling because this product is creamy and blends out so naturally – although you can build up the product if you need those dramatic looks.

 

  • The high brow pencil is pink in colour but adds the best highlight under your now perfect brows – it is sooo creamy, makes everything look super clean and blends out so good!

 

  • And the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cupcake is definitely the ready,set,brow!gel. This little baby is perfect to just seal in your masterpiece and the wand with the dual sided bristles is perfect for sculpting. Those brows ain’t budging until you use your micellar water, girlfriend.

 

Packaging: The box itself is a pretty tin which makes pack-up-and-go super easy. You know your products are not going to budge in those indented foam inners. The actual Ka-Brow! pot, ready,set,brow! gel and high brow pencil are beautiful just to look at. These are the kind of products you want to take everywhere and show off because they were designed so impeccably. Definitely a good buy for a girl who just wants to have a brow game.

 

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on these products. As I mentioned on instagram, my content is not limited to a specific topic/category, so let me know what you would like to read more about and I will be more than happy to do my best. This was a bit of a lengthy post, but there’s so much I wanted to share on these products/brands and I feel I needed to inform people who may be thinking of investing in them.

Remember that you are getting my completely unbiased opinion on these reviews and that all products were bought by me. I’m just going to keep it real.

Thank you for reading
xx