Review: Wet n Wild Graphic Marker Eyeliner

Nothing brightens up your eyes as quickly as a good eyeliner and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you should know I already have a fast favourite, the Felt Tipped Liner by Smudge (available at Clicks nationwide).

Today, I am bringing in a real contender to the favourite title. I present to you, the biggest, boldest, blackest felt tipped eyeliner out there (that I have come across!). The Graphic Marker Eyeliner is available exclusively at Clicks stores in South Africa and retails for R99.95. I have only seen the Jetliner Black, but apparently there is a dark blue popping up in some stores.

Here is what I like about the eyeliner:

It is extreme! The colour formulation is bold, very black and goes on really smoothly. It dries really quickly, lasts through the whole day (even a gym session) and you can even fix small mistakes quite easily with a little facial oil on a cotton bud. I also appreciate the price of this product, and wait for it… the best part… this product, and the entire Wet n Wild line is cruelty free! No testing on animals! And they work with vendors and suppliers who are cruelty free. The products are marked with the cruelty free caring consumer logo regulated by PETA. Of course, this does not always guarantee that their holding companies etc. also comply with these standards, so please do loads of research if this is something you feel strongly about.

A word to the wise: This product is really, really bold! I would not suggest this for beginners because the thinnest part of the felt tip is much thicker than your average felt tipped liner so things can go dramatically wrong, quickly! There is no easy adjustments to even out the line, you are going to end up with an entire eyelid covered in liner if you keep drawing and redrawing.

You can make so many different weights of line with the shape of this liner’s tip and the highlighter shape diagonal tip gives you the perfect edge to create crisp, sharp wings.

Have you tried this eyeliner yet? Let me know how this product turned out for you!

 

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App review: Stylebook

I know that I am not alone in having more than a few pieces of clothing in my closet I wear on repeat, and shamefully so, some really nice pieces I never wear. The reason behind this is that I mostly get dressed in quite a rush in the morning, and when I have some time to think about what I want to wear, I always go back to the old trusted combinations, simply because they I know they work well for any given situation.

If this sounds eerily familiar, fear not! Stylebook is here to solve all those wardrobe woes!

I really love this app, and this review should hopefully convince you to invest a few Rands in a truly great planning tool. Now, I know it is not a free app, but before you look at me like I am crazy, go ahead and see why I recommend paying for this app. After all, it does cost less than your average take-away dinner.

Here is a quick round-up of the app’s bits and bobs:

  • Cost: R59,99 on the South African App Store or $3,99 on the American App Store
  • App developers: Left Brain/ Right Brain LLC
  • Also available: Stylebook Men: Closet Organiser & Assistant
  • Rating: 4 and ½ stars from over 600 reviews

Features:

Stylebook is packed full of really great features and you can use as many (or as few) as you like to make this app truly useful to you.

Closet: The main feature is to keep a visual record of your wardrobe, categorised exactly the way you want. You can take your own photos to get your exact item, of search the web for something similar without needing to fuss too much about editing. The editing tool is fairly simple to use, and you can manually edit out the background or simply tap/ slide to adjust. This builds a clean visual of your clothing items that you can use to plan looks and keep track of your closet so you don’t end up with another black jacket that looks exactly like another one you already own. If you enter information on each piece you add, you can search your closet by brand, colour, fabric and many other characteristics.

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Looks: A feature I often use in the app is the look compiler. This is where you get to play around with the items in your closet to get a visual idea of how things will go together without having to play dress-up. I often use this feature to plan looks ahead of time so I don’t keep wearing the same outfit on repeat. This really helps me to make the most of my clothing and I have created many looks that I would never have thought of when standing in front of my closet.

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Packing: I love this feature and use it every time I travel. I create looks, and then refer back to the looks I created when I get dressed so I know that I am making the most of my packing space. It makes so much sense to create different options with a few key pieces when traveling, and the visual nature of this feature helps me to keep my bag small(er) and more organised than ever before.

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Style stats: This feature is not something I use very often, mostly because it can get really labour intensive, but if you are the kind of girl who likes to keep track of everything in life, you are going to love this feature. When adding items to your closet, you can add their cost and retailer details. In the stats feature, you can track the cost per wear for each item by noting each day’s outfit in the calendar in the app. You can track so many stats including what items you wear most often, items you never wear (which could really help when you want to donate items and make space for new amazing pieces), your colour stats and total closet value. This could get really tiring to track each day (for me personally) but I can see how this feature is a really great way to help you in making better choices when you purchase new clothing.

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Other features include a space for inspiration from websites and other apps, the calendar used to track your outfits, a shop and the style expert feature packed with advice, style guides and Q & A with experts.

Here are a few tips that I have found to be useful when getting into Stylebook:

  • Don’t go too specific when categorising items. I started out with about 15 different main categories with loads of sub-categories in each and it became way too complicated. Stick to a few (I have 5 categories) and delete what you don’t want to use. For me, there is no reason to sort my closet into seasons because I try to wear items right throughout the year (with a few exceptions, of course), but if that works for you, go for it.
  • Don’t worry too much about the editing of your items. I spent so much time getting the edges of each item perfect that I got fed up and overwhelmed. The item doesn’t have to be perfect for you to get what you are trying to remember with a look so don’t spend too much time on perfecting the item that you lose interest in the real reason for using the app, which is probably to make the most out of each item of clothing you own.
  • If you don’t have the time or space to photograph your items, do an image search on Google to find something similar and stick it into your wardrobe. I use this method more often than not because you get nice images that already have the item posed in a way that shows the shape and actual look of the item. If you create looks using this method, just don’t go stealing images off the web and claim them as your own to post on social media. For personal use and reference, you can use images as long as you don’t share them.
  • Hand your “closet” over to a friend who gets your style so they can lend a fresh perspective on combinations from your wardrobe. I used to do this with my cousin when we were teenagers and we would spend hours making up new outfits out of our closets. This way is much quicker but no less valuable.
  • Take some time to log your outfits each week. You don’t have to deadly accurate with this, but I found that it really gives you a grasp on how long each item lasts, and how good an investment each piece is. This helped me to realise which inexpensive items turned out to be more costly because I had to replace them often.

Which style or lifestyle apps do you enjoy? Leave your recommendations and I will take a look

 

MAYHEM AND MISHAPS (PRODUCTS I DON’T LOVE) Part 2

Firstly, thanks for the feedback on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lipstick.skinnyjeans/) on this series. I have really enjoyed reading your comments and messages and I write down all your suggestions for future reviews.

With this post, I am back to share more experiences with you in the series: Mayhem and Mishaps- all about the products I personally did not have a great experience with. This post is about some of the foundations I have tried in the last few months. I won’t be touching on concealers in this post, only foundation products (including one BB crème)

*** Disclaimer *** 

As always, remember these products did not work for me (for whatever reason) but they might work for you. My skin is very oily, prone to flaking in winter and I struggle with blackheads. If your skin is similar, you may have similar results

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Foundation products I did not love:

Revlon Colorstay Foundation with SPF 15 for Combination/Oily Skin in “004 Natural Beige” (R130 at Clicks)

You may be able to see from the photo that this product separates in the bottle. That already spells disaster for me. True to my expectations when noticing the separation, the product came out of the bottle in an unstable squirt. I had to mix the product on my hand before applying it. The foundation is really quite thick. The instructions say you need to apply to one area and blend quickly for a flawless finish. Unfortunately I just could not manage the lightweight finish they promise. I have used two different foundation brushes, a silicon sponge and a beauty blender. No joy from any of these applicators.

The coverage is quite full, but it doesn’t manage to blend into the skin well. I had a bit of an issue with the drying time because it stays tacky for quite a while after application. Also, I am not a fan of the smell which tries to be unscented but ends up smelling like face paint. This foundation did the same slip and slide on my skin that many products tend to do specifically because my skin is oily. I was really disappointed with this because the product is created for combination to oily skin. After drying, the product rubbed off really easily.

Lastly, the shade was also an issue for me. It came out much warmer than I was expecting for natural beige and I would recommend testing it thoroughly in the store before choosing a shade.

Vichy Idéalia BB Crème with SPF 25 for All skin types in “Medium” (R339.95 at Clicks)

The first ever Vichy product I bought was this one. I am so disappointed by it! I decided to try out a BB Crème for those days I did not need to much coverage and I like the fact that the SPF is so high in this product. Unfortunately, right from the start it was doomed. The shade is not awful on my skin in summer, but it is definitely too dark for my winter complexion. The issue I have with the colour is that it seems to go “muddy” on the edges when blended out. I have no idea what may be causing this but it looks a little bit like a self-tan mishap. The application is fairly easy and apart from the colourisation issue, it blends out well on the skin. The product is about medium consistency, which is a little too thick for my liking (for a BB crème). The smell is not awful but it definitely has a lingering scent. My biggest gripe with this product is the fact that the finish and “stay-ability” sucks. It slides off of my skin in no time and the finish is very oily. I understand this product is for “all skin types” so it may be great for dry skin. Also, it moves quite easily if you apply another liquid type product over it (like a liquid concealer) and it rubs off on clothing even after drying. I didn’t see any of the refining of skin texture or smoothing fine lines that they advertise and all together, the price is just too high for what I got out of this crème.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation with SPF 10 in “NW25” (R470 from maccosmetics.co.za)

This is probably where I am going to rub a few people the wrong way. I know many makeup artists and enthusiasts swear by Mac, but I just did not enjoy this product. The name Pro Longwear foundation might be a clue to my first point. It is not friendly to beginners, at all. You really have to understand the drying time and blendability of this foundation to get it right. It takes getting used to because you really have to get in there and blend it out. Once blended, the finish is nice and smooth. I got the wrong shade (again) and that just irritates me because the Mac Artist in store (this was a stand-alone store, not in a department store) matched it to my skin. It plainly infuriates me to see they use florescent lighting in store! Florescent light is super misleading when choosing makeup shades.

Apart from the shading issue, I found this foundation did not do anything in terms of oil control and I ended up with serious cake face at the end of the day. It rubbed off on my clothing easily even before the oiliness became an issue. I now have this mostly full bottle of Mac foundation that reminds me how much of a waste it was every time I open my makeup box. It makes me sad. I also got the longwear concealer, but as the devil would have it, I dropped the little glass bottle and concealer went everywhere. I still have a little Tupperware container with the concealer and glass shards in it simply because I could not bear to throw it out (although I won’t use it due to the glass shards in the concealer).

Have you suffered from any foundation mishaps? Let me know about them so I don’t feel so bad about my mayhem! Keep sending your review requests and I will get to them in good time.

Next time I will be posting about a few lip products and some eye makeup so if you enjoy these posts, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and head over to my Facebook page for more of the content I share on the blog

Book review: 50 People who stuffed up South Africa

First, let me start off by saying that I am not an avid reader of political commentary in book form. I am not well read in this category and cannot by any measure call myself an expert on political or social aspects in this specific landscape. You’ve been warned.

That being mentioned, I am amazed by how much I enjoyed this book. It is written by Alexander Parker and the illustrations are so magnificently provided by Zapiro.

This collection of short insights on the most infamous and damaging contributors to South African history is a to-the-point commentary on the many men and women who have etched deep markings into our history. In the 200 odd pages, the gloves come off in the most astute manner, touching on Lords, Ladies and Losers alike.

Parker does an amazing job of drawing the reader into a web of misfortunes ranging from the early evils manifested in the likes of the Lords Carnarvon, Milner and Kitchener to the modern muppets of mayhem such as Julius Malema, Steve Hofmeyr and the minibus taxi driver.

What stuck with me while reading this book were the recent happenings in the social landscape of South Africa following the ongoing protests on university campuses all over the country and I couldn’t help but wonder how much longer some of these insights would’ve been if Parker had been writing them today (I am looking at you, Cecil John Rhodes on pages 130 through 135). Reading this book six years after the initial publication, I am thinking that there must be another volume due any day now (is there another one I haven’t noticed?). In 2012 Alexander Parker followed this title with 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans, which I am still to devour, but I do hope that Parker continues in this line of assault and revelry of South African popular history.

We are currently in a very stuffy political and social climate in South Africa and I have found this book to be a breath of fresh air, blowing out some very dense clouds of nonsensical drama that hangs over us as a nation due to mistakes and horrors of our past. I am not saying that we should deny or ignore these issues of our past at all, but that we should not let these mistakes cloud our vision of our future in this country and Parker helps to clear out some of the mist that has been kicked up recently in the light of elections looming on the horizon.

All out wonderful read for those who are informed or ill-read on the history of South Africa’s motley crew of villains! Don’t wait as long as I did to finish this book, it would be a terrible shame indeed!

This book was published by Two Dogs (imprint of Burnet Media) and should be relatively easy to find at your local bookshop or at Loot.co.za (their prices are fantastically competitive on most titles)

Ps: There is a revised edition available, so keep a lookout for the latest one under this title! It’s available from Loot.co.za at this link: http://www.loot.co.za/product/alexander-parker-50-people-who-stuffed-up-south-africa/lspw-2363-g080

 

Planning a wedding: “do!”

Since getting engaged in October 2015, I have been going through the same kind of journey all brides-to-be probably face, from guest list woes to budget meltdowns, been there, done that (getting the t-shirt printed)!

I decided to jot down a few thoughts on planning a wedding that I wanted to muse about, including things I think I am doing right and things I already quite amazingly messed up. This post will focus on the “do!” part of the equation.

The first thing I did right was saying yes to the right person. I remember a conversation I had with a friend about a year before getting engaged. She told me that you fall in love with your partner again after getting engaged. In my experience that is true, and I also think this is key in a successful relationship. Falling in love with the same person day after day, in which ever way is what has kept our relationship healthy (this, and tons of praying and growing together). When falling in love you overlook small issues and focus on the great aspects of your partner, and that is how I keep falling in love with my fiancé over and over again.

Secondly, we decided early on what the most important aspects of our wedding would be and focused on those things. If something went wrong and it wasn’t on our “big things” list we made due with the next best thing. So what if we couldn’t have the exact date we wanted? We picked the Saturday closest to it and moved along swiftly. This gave us time to spend on important things that matter to us.

Thirdly, we decided to make our special day OUR SPECIAL DAY. In other words, we did away with traditions that we didn’t like or want. Some of these choices ruffled other people’s feathers, but they eventually get over this and you end up being better off by sticking to what makes you happy. In our case we ditched the wedding cake, crazy expensive flowers and parental wedding bill, instead opting for a selection of our favourite desserts, huge wreaths of gorgeous smelling foliage and we paid most of the wedding by ourselves.

Some more of the  “do!” moments I would recommend to any engaged couple:

  • Do not give in to the hype! All sorts of people will start telling you what you should be spending money on and what is important (just like I am doing right now, ironically!) Choose carefully who you listen to and make sure that you plan your dream day your way
  • You can be as traditional, modern, weird or silly as you want on your wedding. If you have always dreamed of a 5 tiered cake, white doves and red roses then make it happen even if you think its not fashionable or trendy right now- it doesn’t matter! Your wedding will probably end up being hideously out of fashion in a few years if you follow the latest trends, so you may as well do it on your own terms.
  • Save money wherever you possibly can. This may sound harsh, but weddings are overpriced at the best of times . Just because you choose the “budget” confetti or “silver” photography package doesn’t mean your wedding will look cheap. You just need to find a way to keep the costs at bay without compromising on the important things
  • Do not invite people just because you feel you have to. This is always easier said than done, but be hard on yourselves on this point and you will be happier for it. My sister-in-law (to be) reminded me that you don’t want to walk down the isle and see a face that will make you say “ugh”

As the planning goes, I will keep adding things that we did right (and wrong) to the various posts. These will be rounded up in one massive “I do” post once I did!

I want to give credit to the amazing contributors on Pixabay.com for so graciously allowing bloggers (and other users) like me to use their images. This image was contributed by “Unsplash” and can be found at: https://pixabay.com/en/couple-wedding-dressed-holding-768619/ (all credit and rights belong to the owner of the image)

Happy planning and never forget to show the world your love!

 

 

Catching up to November (and some big news!)

I sit in front of my computer and I lower my head in shame because it has been almost 2 months since my last post. Every time I promise myself that it will never happen again, and then it does! Good news is that my Instagram account is always up to date so follow me there if you want more of the stuff I post (@lsj_blog)

Straight into the big news I was bragging about! I joined my boyfriend in Cape Town for a little holiday two weeks ago and we loved taking some time off. He planned the holiday because he flew to Cape Town a week before I did (for work) and I joined him on the Friday. On Monday, he proposed to me on the beach in Paternoster with the most gorgeous ring and the sweetest speech I have ever heard. I can’t believe it has already been two weeks since our engagement and we are so excited to get planning on our wedding!

I said yes!

I said yes!

He custom designed my ring and it still blows my mind with how perfect it is. It’s a platinum setting with a titan of a diamond. The 1 carat stone is absolutely gorgeous and I can tell you now that the cut, colour and clarity of the stone is so important! My diamond sparkles like nothing I have ever seen before, so if you are getting closer to getting engaged, take some time and really think about the kind of stone you want. I always thought that size is the only thing that really matters, but if I had to choose, I would rather have a smaller stone that is higher quality.

Over the next few weeks I will be updating you on some amazing places we visited on our trip to Cape Town, and I will be filling you in on some great things still happening in November! (H&M is launching in Sandton on the 7th of November- eeeeeeek!!!)

Remember to keep on being your own brand of pretty and show the world some love!