My friend Anda is one of the loveliest, most sincere people I have ever met. She has fabulous fashion sense and always stresses the fact (accompanied by very animated hand gestures), that I should never date broke good-for-nothing boys. But more than that – she’s introduced me to MAC’s Russian Red lipstick!
I was always terrified of wearing red lipstick. Fearing I’d look like a lady of the night. I usually keep my lip colour fairly conservative as a have a full pout. Then one Friday evening, while heading out on a girls night, Anda appears sporting the most gorgeous mouth I’ve ever seen. While the rest of us were furiously touching up our faces in the little girls room, all she did was slick on some lipstick. According to her, Russian Red is the only accessory she needs.
After much ooh’ing and aah’ing, Anda eventually convinced all of us to try it. Bear in mind that we were a mixture of all different skin tones and lip sizes. I promise you though, each and every one of us looked amazing!
It has a velvety matte texture, and seems to last for hours.
Now I think there are some rules to pulling off this look:
- Your skin has to be fairly smooth and even. I recommend using a BB cream or lightweight foundation, and covering any spots and dark undereye circles with concealer. You don’t want to create a pasty death-like mask, but you do want clear skin with minimal shine.
- Keep the rest of your makeup subtle. Some highlighter on the brow bone, mascara and small amount of blush on the apples of your cheeks will do the trick. This lipstick speaks volumes, so you don’t need much else.
Walk into a room wearing Russian Red, and there’s no chance of you being a wall flower. Thanks Anda…I am now a convert.
Off to MAC we go!
Photo courtesy of coolspotters.com
Don’t you just adore the way Kim Kardashian rocks her Russian Red? This shade works especially well against dark hair and brown eyes.
The Lily Storm beauty boxes will be ready for distribution next week. I am so excited…can’t even tell you!
So, here is what you can expect in your box:
- Matsimela Home Spa body butter OR exfoliating mud (200 ml)
Rich, soothing, creamy and buttery body butter. It has a 10% shea butter component, making it not your average body butter. Excellent for dry skin that needs quenching. One of the following flavours will be included in your box: Red Cherry, Mocha, Litchi and Rose, Baobab.
Exfoliating Mud Scrub: This is a product with a difference as the effect it has on the skin is exfoliating as well as moisturizing. It has a natural silica (sand) in the product, which gently exfoliates.
- SoyLites Aromatherapy Travel Lites Soy Body Candle – Rose (full size):
This moisturising soy candle is safe and nourishing to apply to skin (rich in Vitamin E and Lecithin). Scented with gorgeous essential oils.
eyeSlices® are innovative eye treatment pads that combine the natural essence of nature with bio-innovation to bring about an all-in-one solution to all common eye concerns. eyeSlices® is a global first in cryogel polymer technology. These dermal delivery eye masks reduce the appearance of red eyes, dark circles under eyes, tired eyes, wrinkles and puffy eyes within 5 minutes of use. These professional spa and in-home anti-aging eye skin treatments lock in moisture and are unique in that they provide an instant cooling sensation without a fridge and are re-usable!
- Just Pure Shaving Oil (5ml)
Unlike any shaving experience you have ever had. This shaving oil offers a consistently smooth, pain free shave with reduced nicks and no razor burn. Leaves the skin hydrated and conditioned. Contains avocado oil, grapeseed oil, sesame seed oil, essential oils of cedarwood, frankincense and myrrh.
- The Victorian Garden Lemon & Neroli Day Cream (30 ml)
A light day moisturizer enriched with organic Shea Butter, Wheatgerm, Jojoba and scented with exquisite Orange Blossom oil. The exceptional synergy of ingredients rehydates, balances, protects and stimulates the skin to improve elasticity and radiance and balance the skin’s own sebum production. Suitable for normal or combination skin.
Price? R150 including courier delivery. The contents of the box is worth more than R250.
If you’d like to place an order, please email your details (name, surname, email address, delivery address, contact telephone number) – to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We only have 200 available!
After months of planning and a few additional grey hairs…I am very proud to announce the launch of the new Lily Storm beauty box!
We all love the concept of beauty sampling, but I wanted to add a personalized touch – and showcase products that I would like to find in a monthly box of surprise samples. More importantly, value for money.
To start, we are launching with 200 boxes.
In the August edition, you can expect to find 5 samples – two of which are full sized products! Think spa quality body butter, oils, eye treatments…everything you need for an at home spa pamper session. We don’t want to spoil the surprise too much, but I promise you will love it!
Price? R150 including delivery (total value of products worth more than R300)
How to order? Email your details to email@example.com before 9 August 2013.
Watch this space for more details and photographs, as well as a special mention in the October issue of Woman & Home magazine.
I am an insomniac. Often having to get by on 3 hours of sleep! Inspiration strikes during the wee hours of the morning…my penance for being a creative! As you can well imagine, this lack of sleep does my skin no favours.
But fear not – I am about to reveal my three favourite products which fool people into thinking I am only 26. (Not bad for a thirty-something!)
CLARINS: Beauty Flash Balm, Eye Contour Gel, and Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector!
If you need to have your game face on for that Monday morning meeting, then make sure you have these staples in your vanity bag.
For puffy, baggy eyes – the Eye Contour Gel is incredible. I keep mine in the fridge so that it’s extra soothing when I need it. Pat lightly around the eye area with your ring finger.
My addiction…Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. Everything about this balm speaks of calm and comfort. The texture is ever so smooth and melts into your skin, and the fragrance reminds me of Oil of Olay. Classic. It will eliminate any sign of tiredness, and leaves your skin with a healthy, dewy sheen. I am amazed every single time. Apply a swish of bronzer on the apples of your cheeks and you’ll be the picture of good health!
As a lipgloss junkie, I have yet to find one that delivers as much as the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector . It protects with shea butter, Vitamins A and E, and offers a subtle shimmer too. Not at all sticky, and comes in an array of complementary colours. Totally love this stuff.
You can find all of the above on the Clarins website: http://www.clarins.co.za
I don’t particularly enjoy being forced to celebrate these types of ‘holidays’ on a specific day of the year. However, if I get to spend quality time with my mum…then why not.
So every year, I try to be as creative as possible with my Mother’s Day gifts. I absolutely loathe having to run around on the last minute to grab a voucher or pre-packed beauty product hamper from a department store. It’s not about what you give, or the monetary value thereof. For me, it’s more about what the gift would mean to both you and your mum. It has to show that you’ve taken the time and effort to put it together. And of course, reflect the unconditional love you have for her.
Okay, enough soppiness! I’ve put together a list of things that may inspire you.
1. Luxurious Pamper Session
If you can afford to splash out, then one of Mangwanani’s Day or Night Spa packages will definately be a winner! I adore them. The spa treatments are so amazing, and they truly treat you like royalty. I’ve recently reviewed the Zevenwacht branch – read all about it here. Or visit their website for more details on how to book: http://www.mangwanani.co.za.
2. Mum & Daughter High Tea
Again, Mangwanani literally takes the cake with their special tea parties for two. Orange roses delivered by Netflorist, a fluffy gown, a beautiful product hamper, African treatments, cakes and pastries…what more could a girl ask for? They have a new boutique spa based at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Contact them early to secure a reservation: 021 425 5979.
3. Tear Jerker
This project requires a little work and creativity. I call it the ‘Memory Box’. Visit a stationery heaven like Typo (they have stores in Canal Walk – Tel 021 552 2635, Cavendish and Tygervalley), and purchase a pretty box and some crafty items like fancy paper, board and pens. The idea is to include a few items that relate to special moments shared between you and your mom. Such as a photo of the two of you on your wedding day, first day at school, writing a few of her best traits on a piece of paper etc. Anything that comes to mind.
4. Chocolate Shop
Take mum on a tour of the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Cape Town. Here she’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of the best Lindt choccies, recipes books, chocolate apparatus like fondue sets, and you can also spoil her with some of their limited edition Mothers Day cupcakes! They are open this Sunday from 11am to 3pm. Contact tel: 021 831 0360
5. Movie Day
If it’s chilly this Sunday, then perhaps it won’t be a bad idea to stay in and create your own little indulgent movie theatre. Hire two or more chick flicks (good choices are Sense & Sensibility, The Devil Wears Prada, The Notebook, Fried Green Tomatoes), light a fire if you have one, make some ‘Not Quite Nigella’ nutty caramel covered popcorn (trust me…the recipe looks divine!), good wine, and perhaps something savoury like a sushi or cheese platter. Precious cosy girl time on a budget!
One of the items on my Christmas 2012 wish list, was to experience the mystical Mangwanani African Spa. I was lucky enough to spend some quality time at this amazing sanctuary this past weekend.
On the way…
Along a winding dirt road, tucked away in the vineyards – lies the Zevenwacht branch. Although only ten minutes away from my home, I had absolutely no idea the magic that this spa would bestow upon me. I arrived at 08h30, and received a very warm welcome by regional manager Coleen Deedat and the singing Mangwanani ladies. A healthy breakfast awaited me (muesli, mini scones, muffins and fruit juice). And on my chair…a plush gown and slippers. I was ready for my Half Day Spa experience!
The Mangwanani Welcome!
They cater for about 60 guests at a time, so everything is very well run and organized. You are gently ushered from one treatment to the next by professional and friendly staff.
First up, was the African Head, Neck and Shoulders massage (Molala) by therapist Zim. A few ladies (myself included) were led to a light and airy room with huge open windows with the most spectacular view. This was a ‘communal’ session – which I quite liked. We sat side by side in comfortable chairs with our feet propped up on cushions. I have to say that this was my favourite treatment. Having someone massage my scalp, with a cool fresh breeze playing on my face, and the sound of birds in the distance – was heavenly! You get three different oils to choose from: Nurture, Calm and Revitalize. I chose Nurture because it contained rose oil….LOVE!
On to the Traditional Full Body Massage with Hot Stones (Izimanga). I was lucky to get Zim again – she was excellent! This was done privately, in a dimly lit, very relaxing room. Normally, I’m not a fan of full body massage – because it is either too hard, or my face goes numb in the uncomfortable hole in the bed. But this…oh my. Everything was perfect. I was in a state of partial sleep and complete bliss. It was the quickest hour of my life, because I didn’t want it to end!
In between treatments, you can wonder into the dining area to sip on ice cold cherry or cucumber juice. Or simply just soak in the beautiful views you’re surrounded with. Everyone kind of walks around in a dazed, relaxed state with messy hair - wearing gowns and slippers. It’s fabulous.
I rounded off the morning, with a Traditional African Royal Foot Massage (Neo Maoto). This time, administered by the lovely Gladys. Again, a communal activity. You’re seated in an incredibly comfy reclining chair, in front of wide open wooden patio doors. When I bothered to open my eyes now and then, I watched a dragonfly buzzing lazily around the courtyard, and even saw an eagle floating by. Yes, really.
Foot Massage Room
What I loved most about Mangwanani is the welcoming atmosphere. The treatments are decadent and rich. There is even a selection of cakes to indulge in! My kind of spa. The design of the place is also most appealing, as it centres around a sparkling blue pool with wooden decking. It reminds me of a Tuscan style villa, but with all the rich decor and warmth of Africa. Mangwanani empowers women from disadvantaged communities, and all their employed therapists receive in house training. To me, businesses that are centred around this concept seem to exude genuine integrity, which comes across to their customers.
Every woman (and man), should experience Mangwanani at least once. But I promise, you will want to go back for more. I imagine the Moonlight package to be very romantic for couples. But also perfect for you and a girl friend, or even on your own…for some reflection. Not only does it revitalize the body, but it restores the soul too. I left there on Saturday morning with a content smile, my skin glowing and soaked in aromatic oils. I used to think that their prices were somewhat expensive, but now I can honestly say you cannot get better value for money. I’d even go so far as to make room in my budget for a monthly visit! Simply because they take pampering to another level.
Me, Gladys, Zim & Coleen…thank you ladies!
Although the Zevenwacht branch is well worth the drive (Kuils River is lovely…okay, I’m biased!) – you may want to visit their Boutique Spa set in the Waterfront area if you’re closer to Cape Town CBD. A slightly different feel, but just as decandant. Here, you can enjoy a mani and pedi – as well as the other range of massage treatments. They also stock the full range of Mangwanani products available for purchasing, which all smell delicious.
Mangwanani Boutique Spa – Waterfont
Today, I tried the Moroccan Floor Massage. The therapist works on your pressure points while you’re lying on a floor bed (fully clothed). Lots of kneading, stretching and pulling, but I loved it. Before getting started, you’re asked to inhale some lavender oil from the therapist’s cupped hands – which helps with relaxation. This treatment aims to relieve tension and strengthen the body’s resistance to disease. So I’d say if you have a demanding job and you’re feeling worn out, this is definately worth a try.
Another lovely feature of the Mangwanani Boutique Spa, is the High Tea package. You can round up some of your girl friends, and enjoy an after-work treatment package with tea, scones and pastries.
They currently have a fantastic special up until the 28th of February, with their ‘Treat a Friend’ offer. See below for more details. Book early, as they’re quite busy.
Spoil yourself – you deserve it!
I’ve been on a mission to find a really good clay face mask. You know the kind that dries to a crusty layer on your skin making it almost impossible to smile? So whilst googling, I discovered an amazing locally produced range called Skin Clays by Kai.
My beauty besty Zuleigha (aka The Pink Mermaid) and I met up with the lovely Karen Vosloo – proud owner of this home-based business in Durbanville. Chatting to Karen, I immediately sensed her passion and love for her products. After three years of hard work and research, she has managed to unite the amazing qualities of clay and essential oils.
The various clays are imported from Australia and France, and contain a high mineral content. Most importantly, it detoxifies, exfoliates and smoothes in one action.
Karen has formulated quite an array of products: face masks, body cream, hand cream, linen sprays, body scrubs and room mists. I have tried many lotions and potions over the years, but I was truly blown away by Skin Clays. We were lucky to receive some samples – and Zuleigha and I wasted no time experimenting.
My absolute favourites are the French Pink Clay mask (R35 - yields about four applications) and shower gel (R30 for 200ml). After mixing up the powdered mask with a few drops of water, and applying to my face for about 15 minutes…I could seriously see a difference to the texture and glow of my skin after rinsing it off. And this after only one application. The stuff is amazing.
The shower gel (which also contains the pink clay) foams very well when used with a body sponge, and the celestial fragrance lingers for a long time. I sometimes battle to find a soap or shower product which will not irritate my skin, and so far, I haven’t had a problem with this one.
Also really enjoyed the Juniper, Jasmine and Bergamot Room Mist. I swear it’s better than any regular air freshener.
We LOVE Skin Clays by Kai - and have given them the Lily Storm stamp of approval!
For more information on the Skin Clays range, or to place an order, please contact Karen on 083 264 9498 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also click here to hook up with them on Facebook.
VALENTINES DAY SPECIAL: For every purchase of R150 or more, you will receive a sample pack of their latest products – which includes a 50ml Juniper & Jasmin Skin Cream, 2 x 50ml sample bottles Men’s Post Shave Balm (difference flavours) and a 50ml Men’s Anti Dandruff Shampoo.
Then…to stand a chance of winning a gift hamper, all you need to do is then provide feedback on the new products you’ve sampled. The gift hamper contains: 200ml Skin Cream, 250ml Post Shave Balm and a 300ml Shampoo (you may choose any variants).
*Skin Clays Face Mask Review by the Pink Mermaid*
I had the absolute delight of meeting a really passionate woman with my side kick Kashie.
Karen Vosloo is an entrepreneur of note. She runs her own little business from her home making clay products, ” Skin Clays by Kai”.
Her ample samples given to Lily Storm meant Kashie and I could try all the different products and share with the experimenting. I tried the French Pink Clay face mask. It comes in a 30g glass jar. I split it with Kashie and managed to get 2 full applications, so a 30g jar can get four applications.
Firstly, you add about 2-3 teaspoons of the powder into a bowl or cup. Add a few drops of water and stir till you get a thinnish paste. Mine was a little watery cause I added too much water, but it was fine. It mixes well and quickly so no heavy mixing required.
Once mixed I applied to my face. It goes on easily. I put it all over over my face - T zone, forehead and didn’t worry that some got in my hair.
I was told by Karen that I should sit in the bath with it so when it dries it can fall into the bath water. The water then re-activates it. It’s good for your whole body.
It started drying quite quickly depending on how thick the paste is when you make it. It had a little stinging sensation as it dried out. Nothing scary, I just thought it must be working (that whole ‘no pain no beauty gain’ phrase was in my head). But once it dried it was fine. It REALLY hardens. I loved that it did. Like when you talk it cracks. So after ten minutes or so I felt like I was ready.
I just washed it off in the shower, no need for a facecloth even. It washed off easily enough and it doesn’t stain the bath. If anything it seems to just dissolve in the water.
My face felt divine. Fresh and light, very CLEAN. It didn’t even dry my skin out, nor did it feel oily. It was just perfect actually.
I didn’t even feel the need to put a moisturizer on ( I should though). It just felt like a good old fashioned clay mask, the kind I remember my aunts used to use when I was a smally.
I liked that it hardens properly, I like the colors that it comes in (an old fashioned green and a classic dusty pink).
It gets two thumbs up from me!
The Pink Mermaid
PS: Watch this space for a review (yes, from a real guy!) on the new Skin Clays Post Shave Balm!
I made this lemon meringue pie last night to take along to a friend’s baby shower. These days, I’d much rather arrive at a party with something home-made in hand, instead of a store bought version. It just lends a personal touch, and lets face it – the taste is incomparable. The ladies loved it, so I thought I’d post the recipe here should anyone wish to give it a go.
1 packet of Tennis biscuits (200g)
100 g melted butter
1 can of condensed milk
125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (equates to about 3 large lemons)
3 free range egg yolks
4 free range egg whites
150 ml castor sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
5 ml fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Place biscuits in a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin until fine. (Much quicker using a food processor). Mix with the melted butter, and press the biscuit mixture firmly into a round pie dish.
- Whisk the condensed milk while adding the lemon juice a little bit at a time.
- Whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl until pale yellow and frothy, then add to the condensed milk mixture. Mix well. Pour this mixture into the pie dish, and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- While the filling is baking, use a clean, dry bowl to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, and fold gently into the meringue mixture. Note: For perfectly puffy egg whites, make sure that you do not get any bits of yolk caught in the whites when separating. Also make sure that your whisk apparatus is clean and completely dry. A few drops of water will cause the whites not to stiffen, and basically be a disaster.)
- After the filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove the dish from oven. Turn down the heat to 150 degrees celcius.
- Immediately top the filling with the prepared meringue mixture. Create pretty swirls or peaks on top with a pallette knife.
- Return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, or until the meringue has turned golden brown.
Once the pie is done, allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge if only needed the next day. I covered the pie with a piece of loose foil so as not to crush the meringue peaks. It still looked lovely the next day.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for months now. Being on holiday I decided to get stuck in. It is my very first encounter with the award winning Marian Keyes, and I have to say – it’s been an absolute pleasure.
One of the reviews on the cover states, ‘you can’t stop reading’. True story. I literally spent the entire day, in bed, completely engrossed. The only time I emerged from my bedroom was to have a bath, and make a cup of tea and a cheese toastie. My dogs eventually thought I was ill, and checked in on me periodically. So I finished the rest of it on the couch, with a can of Coke Light and bag of Jumpin’ Jack lightly salted popcorn.
Keyes has the ability to paint each scenario as though you were watching it on a DVD. You’re able to formulate a mental picture of each character down to the very last detail. Although light-hearted, I found it deeply romantic and hilarious. I’m sure that every woman who picks up a copy of The Other Side of the Story, will be able to identify with either Jojo, Lily or Gemma. (FYI, Jojo was my favourite. Voluptuous, single, career mad, red hair, red lips, dangerous love life…but let me not give too much away!)
It is a tale about falling in and out of love, forgiveness, revenge, family loyalties and friendship. Even if you’re not an avid reader, I promise that this book will have you addicted. I’ve already purchased my second Marian Keyes…watch this space for further notes.
This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe is taken from Nigella’s latest book, Nigellissima. Olive oil in a cake? Sounds mad, I know. But believe me – it works. I made this on new years eve, and I’m still stealing pieces of it from the fridge!
The ingredients listed is for a single cake. I repeated the process, and piled one on top of the other. Just looks more generous and beautiful. The icing recipe is borrowed from another of Nigella’s recipes and tweaked it according to what I had in my fridge.
150ml olive oil
50g cocoa powder, sifted
125ml boiling water
2 tsp good vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
200g castor sugar
3 free range eggs (at room temperature)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease a 23cm round springform cake tin with some olive oil, and line the base with baking paper.
Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl / jug and whisk in the bowling water and vanilla extract until you have a smooth, chocolatey (still runny) paste. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
In yet another bowl, put the sugar, oil and eggs – beat together vigorously for 3 minutes until you have a pale primrose, aerated and thickened cream. Turn speed down a little and pour in cocoa mixture - beating as you go.
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix with spatula or electric mixer.
Pour dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre on top, still looks slightly damp.
Let cool in tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
(Repeat the process for the second cake).
Honey Chocolate Ganache
75g soft butter
175g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g icing sugar
1 tbs honey
125ml fresh cream
1tsp vanilla extract
Melt the butter and chocolate in good sized bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir lightly.
While the chocolate and butter mixture is cooling a little, sieve icing sugar into bowl.
Add the honey to cooled chocolate mixture, followed by cream and vanilla extract. Once all this is combined, whisk in the sieved icing sugar. (You may need to add a tsp or so more of icing sugar if it’s too runny).
* I’ve used some Nestlé Caramel Treat to sandwich the two cakes together (might as well go all the way!). You can spread some of the icing in the middle as well if you like.
Swirl icing along the sides and top until completely covered.
Deliciously moist and abundant, this is one chocolate marvel that is bound to impress. I recommend curling up on the couch with a big fat slice, a good book and a cup of proper coffee. Dreamy!