Eleven Facial Serums & Oils I’m Currently Loving

September 24, 2018

I’m a huge advocate of facial serums and various body oils when it comes to hydrating the skin and have been so for many years. Oils are one of those things that you either adore or steer very far from, often pending your skin type. I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends that suffer with oily skin tend to avoid using facial oils as they fear it might worsen their already oily skin, but when used sparingly, oils can actually benefit acne-prone skin.

Here’s eleven facial serums and oils that are currently sitting on my top shelve:

1.) Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum, £46.00
I discovered Darphin via a few Korean (surprise surprise) beauty bloggers I’ve followed over the years. It’s been a consistently loved brand by many and over the last year of using a few of their products I now understand why. (I actually wrote a full blog post about Darphin not so long ago, see here.) The Hydraskin serum quickly become a top shelf favourite thanks to it’s hydrated, dewy-fresh finish. The serum helps t0 maintain and reinvigorate critical water reserves within the surface of skin cells and relieves any dry, tight feelings.

It’s ideal for: Dryness, dehydration, cooling and tightness.
Use: Day and/or night.

2.) Dior Hydra Life Serum, £52.00
You can clearly tell from my empty serum bottle how much I adore using the Dior Hydra Life Serum. I love to apply it after my shower once I’ve finished my morning workout routine as it has the most sensational cooling effect on your skin. It’s actually a 3-in-1 serum: it has the ultra-concentrated moisturisation of a serum, the radiance boost of a gentle peel and the toning effect of a lotion.

It’s ideal for: Dryness, dehydration and dullness.
Use: Day and/or night.

3.) Dior Capture Youth Lift Sculptor, £75.00
I use this serum is the morning after I have cleansed and toned. It adds a gentle radiance to my skin that last’s throughout the day and leaves my skin feeling lifted. It’s very gentle on the skin (92% natural ingredients) and has an instant tightening effect.

[Full disclosure, Dior regularly send me their new releases to test and try. I test all products for a good few weeks before recommending any of them to you guys.]

It’s ideal for: Lack of firmness.
Use: Day and/or night.

4.) Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster, £75.00
This serum is an incredible addition to your make up routine! All you need is 3 small drops and a quick massage and your skin is glowing without looking oily or overly shiny thanks to it’s exfoliating effect it has on the skin. Full of antioxidants and made using 80% natural ingredients, it’s the perfect serum to help combat a dull complexion.

It’s ideal for: Dull skin.
Use: Best used under make-up.

5.) Sparitual Cuti-Cocktail Nail & Cuticle Oil, £10.95
I’ve been using this cuticle oil for about 8 years now and it’s something that never leaves my bedside table. Every night before I turn off my lights I apply a small drop to each finger and gently massage the oil into my cuticles and nails. I suffer from VERY dry cuticles that are constantly tearing and catching on things. Plus I have a habit (a very bad habit) of biting them when I’m overworked, so this oil is a complete life saver. Oh, and it’s also vegan.

It’s ideal for: Dry, damaged cuticles.
Use: At night.

6.) Shu uemura Ultime 8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, £50.50
I’m kind of bummed I only bought the 150ml version of this cleansing oil, it’s exactly what the name says it is – sublime! Since moving to London I got into the habit of double cleansing because of all the pollution in the air, it’s also the best make-up and impurity remover which works wonders after a day of shooting. It has a cashmere-like texture and is infused with 8 precious oils that renew the skins quality, leaving it moisturised with less viable pores. Another empty bottle on my top shelf that urgently needs replacing.

It’s ideal for: Everyone. Especially people in pollution rich areas.
Use: At night.

7.) Darphin Revitalizing Oil for Face, Body & Hair, £25
This product is a great holiday must-have. One oil product for all your needs – face hair and body. It also has the most divine smell. After spending the day sun bathing, jumping in and out of the ocean, I have a hot shower to remove all the excess salt from my skin and hair and apply a few pumps of this to my whole body. It helps to nourish and protect my  skin from future dehydration and reduces any hair breakage. People tend to ask me what perfume I am wearing when I have this oil applied to my skin. 

It’s ideal for: Dullness, loss of radiance and supporting skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Use: After a warm shower/bath.  

8.) Africology Absolute Rose Serum, R800
This serum (which in my opinion is more of a facial oil) has been a firm top shelf favourite of mine for many years now, I started using it when I was suffering with adult acne in my early twenties. Rose oil has extremely powerful healing properties which help in assisting the skin’s hormonal balances, it’s also a great oil to use for anyone suffering with dermatitis. I would recommend testing this product first as some people suffer with skin irritations when using essential oils.

It’s ideal for: Hormonal skin as well as dry, sensitive skin.
Use: At night. 

9.) Eco Diva Anti-Aging Face Serum, R415
Eco Diva are one of my favourite eco friendly, organic and cruelty free brands to use. They have a wide range of products ranging from skincare to household cleaning products. Their anti-aging face oil is one of my favourites, along with their (coconut oil) Creme Brûlée Body Butter. The facial oil contains 7 nutrient rich oils which assist in rejuvenating dehydrated or damaged skin by reducing dry/flakiness and restoring suppleness and a healthy pH balance. It also contains naturally occurring UVA and UVB protection and can double up as a hair repair oil. Nifty right?

It’s ideal for: Dehydrated or damaged skin.
Use: Day and/or night.

10.) Darphin Chamomile Aromatic Care, £40.00
One of my must-apply-products before bed along with my Sparitual cuticle oil. It contains the soothing properties of chamomile and lavender with omega 6 to calm the skin and enhance radiance. I add a few drops to my palms, rub together to warm it up slightly, inhale deeply and then massage into my skin before bed. Blissful sleep all around.

It’s ideal for: Sensitive skin, irritation, redness, dullness and loss of radiance.
Use: At night. 

11.) Nuxe Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse, £29.00
This product needs no introduction – plus I’ve bragged about it’s awesomeness before on the blog, see here – I started using this multi-purpose oil after visiting Paris for the first time back in 2012, now every time I apply it it takes me straight back to the streets of Paris and I just love that. (The power of smell!) Any French girls top shelf beauty favourite, this dry oil contains anti-oxidants and acts as a shield against pollution while helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It can also be used as a hair mask, just apply a few generous pumps to your hands and massage into your hair, leave for 10min and wash out with shampoo. A beauty cupboard must-have for anyone and everyone.

It’s ideal for: Anyone looking for nourished skin and hair.
Use: Day and/or night after shower/bath. 


*Not a sponsored post. All views and opinions are my own. 

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April Beauty Favourites

May 2, 2018

I know we’ve just hit May (kind of scary that we almost half way through 2018) however I had this post drafted just before the long weekend and you know, life, it just kind of got in the way. So even though it’s a few days over due, here’s my April beauty favs round up featuring some of my favourite holiday must have’s…

SKOON skincare papaya and pineapple sherbet enzyme exfoliating face mask:
I’ve used a couple of Skoon’s skincare products over the years with my favourites being their Glow Drops and Rosehip C+ facial oils. However this enzyme exfoliating face mask is slowly stealing the limelight.

Suited for all skin types, the mask is a non-abrasive sherbet of enzymes and clay that exfoliate the build-up of dead skin cells and debris. It’s the perfect mask to use when suffering from breakouts as the enzymes help resurface the top layer of your skin without irritating or damaging it compared to a scrub exfoliator.

All of SKOON’s products are made locally in South Africa and uses naturally derived and organic ingredients.

*Available from SKOON Skincare for R499

Lipidol Sunscreen Oil SPF20:
I adore the simplicity of Lipidol’s packaging and marketing – clean and understated letting the product speak for itself with brilliant price points to match.

I used the Lipidol sunscreen while tanning in Mozambique, it provided the right amount of SPF coverage in order to still get that brown tan I was after. All well staying protected from Africa’s harsh UVA + B rays. Not to mention it has a delightful smell of cypress and basil and leaves your skin with a subtle sheen rather that a greasy residue.

My favourite thing about using a SPF oil vs a cream based sunscreen is how soft my skin feels after I wash up in the evenings. I suffer from very dry skin so any products that offer an extra bit of hydration my skin laps up.

* Available from Lipidol  for R89.95

Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm:
These 3 Lip Glow’s were recently sent to me from Dior and I can not stop using them! Especially 004 Coral. It has a slight orange tint to it which my inner seventies babe is loving. (FYI, It’s the middle swatch on my wrist.)

The Lip Glow collection (there’s a total of 10 shades) is the first color reviver balm by Dior combining the comfort of a balm with a natural flush of custom colour suited to YOUR skin shade.

You can wear it alone, below, or on top of your lipstick: Apply it alone for a natural flush of colour, wear as a lip balm or primer or layer on top of your lipstick to change the effect.

I always carry a few of these Lip Glow sticks around in my handbag.

* Available at select Edgars stores nationwide

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil:
This has been one of my firm beauty favourites for years now! I first discovered this product when I travelled to Paris for my 21st birthday in 2012. We spent a full week walking all over the city and every time a women passed me there was this heavenly smell that followed her. I eventually stopped one of these dreamy women and asked her what was causing Parisian women to exude such a magnificent scent of. She gave me a coy smile and told me it was her Nuxe oil and swore by it’s benefits. I walked into the nearest French pharmacy and bought 3 bottles and have been using it ever since.

A luxurious, heavenly scented dry oil that replenishes moisture and leaves your skin with a sensuous lustre that can be used (quite literally) from head-to-toe. It’s lightweight blend of six skin-restorative plant oils – Borage, St. John’s Wort, Sweet Almond, Camellia, Hazelnut and Macadamia – hydrates the skin post bath/shower without leaving a greasy residue. Over 98% of the ingredients are nature derived.

It’s the ultimate beauty multi-tasker product. If the French swear by it who are we to argue…

*Available at Woolworths Beauty for R290

4711 Original Eau de Cologne: 
One of my go-to Summer holiday fragrances thanks to it’s aromatic citrus notes – it’s just screams Summer!

It was originally launched back in 1792 by Wilhelm Mülhens. According to legend a Carthusian monk made a wedding gift for the merchant Wilhelm Mülhens, the secret recipe of a so-called “aqua mirabilis”, a “miracle water” for internal and external use. Mülhens then founded a small factory at Cologne’s “Glockengasse” and established the first “Eau de Cologne” named 4711.

With notes of lemon and orange that revitalise, lavender and rosemary that strengthen the nerves and neroli that has a calming effect, this unisex fragrance creates a positive mood.

Here’s the best part, the 25ml watch bottle, which is perfect for traveling and keeping in your hand luggage, cost’s £5!!! So there’s basically no excuse not to try this incredible scent.

*Available online at Amazon for £4.97


Read the previous beauty wrap up here


Product stills taken by myself and portrait shots by Justin Polkey

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February Beauty Favourites

February 12, 2018

Finally got around to my second beauty favourites instalment, I mean what happened to January?! I feel like I was just exciting holiday mode and suddenly… February. Anyone else notice how time flies after you finish school?

Anyway back to the point, with Summer full swing here in Cape Town I decided to share some of my summer beauty must have’s – everything from sunscreens to sweet scents.These are my February beauty favourites and my beach bag must haves.

{ see my December beauty favourites here }

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I received this Nuxe sunscreen in one of my gift bags from an event I attended a while back. I had no idea Nuxe made a sunscreen, I adore their cult classic ‘Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil‘ and have been using it for years.

This facial sunscreen SPF50 with “sun and water flowers”, protects cells from ageing and helps you achieve a perfect tan. Ideal for fair skins, this facial sunscreen high protection limits the appearance of dark spots.

It’s a beach bag must have!

*Available from selected Woolworths from R395

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A make-up artist I worked with abroad got me hooked on the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. It’s light, has a sheen glow to it and doesn’t block my pores making it the best coverage I’ve ever used. (Though my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation comes in at a very close second.)

It contains an SPF 20 UVB/UVA to protect your skin throughout the day. I love the added vitamin C & E giving my skin that extra antioxidant boost. This product teamed with the Laura Mercier Primer is a banging combo.

Ditch the heavy foundation for something a little more light this summer.

*Available from Fragrance Fanatic for R1080 or Liberty London for £34.00

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I swear by Byredo’s hair perfumes, once you try them you’ll be hooked. I bought my first bottle – Mojave Ghost, a beautiful woody scent – when I was about to travel to Croatia in August last year. Perfume doesn’t last in the sun, as it get’s chemically changed.

It’s 75ml, which is perfect for carrying in your hand luggage and a few spritzers in the hair lasts 2-3 days without washing. When I’m lazy and don’t feel like washing my hair I spray in some dry shampoo and my Byredo hair perfume and I’m A-for-Away.

Now every time I spray my Mojave Ghost I am instantly transported back to our yacht sailing across the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. It’s heavenly.

*Available from Liberty London for £42.00

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My ultimate beauty must-have: Embryolisse Hydrating Cream! A cult classic, 24 hour miracle cream packed with hydration that acts as a primer, moisturiser and make up remover. It’s great for dry skin, hydrating the skin overnight. I love the dewy complexion it gives one, it’s the perfect post beach hydration your skin needs after spending the day in the sun.

*Available from Boots Pharmacy for £13.00 or UBuy for R372

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The best thing about Diorskin Rosy Glow is the fact that it suits absolutely ANY skin tone or colour and adjusts to your perfect custom pink glow making it a favourite amongst make up artists backstage.

I keep this little blusher in my handbag everyday to make sure I arrive fresh and glowing before any of my meetings or appointments. Drinks after the beach? No problem, just apply a little Rosy Glow to your checks before heading out for that natural, custom healthy glow that lasts all night.

*Available from select Edgars

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All photos taken by myself.

December Beauty Favourites

December 12, 2017

One of the more popular questions I get asked regularly has to do with what products I use on my skin daily, what foundation I find works the best for long-wear coverage or simply where can one purchase the products I feature on my social channels. So I decided to start a new beauty series featuring my top 5 beauty products each month.

I get sent a lot of beauty products from PR companies and of course I’m a sucker for packaging and spoiling myself whenever I travel to a new country so I always end up with a bursting bathroom vanity. So I thought I’d start sharing with you some of my favourite beauty items to cross my path.

This month features a little bit of everything: something for the skin and something for the body. Each of these products I’ve used for a good 6 months (some of them for years) before I decided to recommend them.

With that said, here are my December beauty favourites to get you holiday ready.

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I first discovered Liz Earle back in 2012 during London Fashion Week when they were handing out free samples. Needless to say I got hooked. It’s the only face wash I’ve been able to use continuously without my skin becoming dependant on it. It’s an adorable facial product (£26) with naturally active ingredients of rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil that’s suitable for all skin types. Over the past couple of years this face wash has won 125 awards and is still going strong!

*Only available abroad 

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Can you tell by the empty bottle that I loved this Dior serum?! I prefer to try and test my beauty products before reviewing and recommending them and that’s exactly what I did with the Dior Hydra Life serum. I suffer from really dry skin and used it twice daily before applying my moisturiser and it worked like a charm. It’s a 3-in-1 serum that moisturises, refines and tones in a single step. Part of Dior’s rebranding that took place earlier this year to embrace sustainable packaging and more natural ingredients. The new Hydra Life Serum is free of parabens and sulphates and managed to reduce their packaging footprint. I recommend using this serum with Dior’s Hydra Life Fresh Hydration Sorbet Crème for an instant cooling factor – perfect for those hot summer days.

*Available at select Edgars

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A true cult classic amongst the french and make up artists all over the world. I started using Caudalie after my first trip to Paris back in 2012 and have always made sure each time I travel to restock. Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s elixir of youth, this powerful plant based facial mist smoothes away fine lines, tightens pores and gives the complexion an instant boost of radiance that also helps to set make-up or wake you up during those hot summer days.

*Online at Care to Beauty. (However it is 4 times the price of what it costs abroad, rather ask a traveling family member or a friend to bring you back a bottle.) 

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A few years ago I decided to stop using deodorant filled with alcohol and aluminium with the increasing stats of women developing breast cancer. Of course changing your deodorant isn’t going to save you from cancer but every bit helps right? I originally used Aesop but after reading a couple of beauty reviews I decided to swop over to Malin+Goetz and have not regretted it! It takes 2 for your body to get used to using deodorant without any alcohol and aluminium but after those 2 weeks you’ll never go back to using anything else. It does come with a steep price tag of R350 compared to your common pharmacy purchase of R15 but I bought my first roll-on in March and I’m only half way through with it! So in the long run it’s totally worth it for a deodorant free from alcohol and aluminium.

*Available at Maison Mara

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Another Dior favourite (Full disclosure, Dior do send me product every now and again however I always make sure to try and test it for a good few weeks before deciding whether to recommend it to my readers or not.) this 1 Minute Dream Skin Mask is exactly what it say’s it is: instant skin perfector in 60 seconds. A next generation chemical peel that leaves the skin brightened, minimizing imperfections and boosting the skin’s natural radiance. You can easily use it up to 3 times a week however for sensitive skin I suggest using it once a week. Follow with a hydrating face mask afterwards for the best results.

*Available at select Edgars

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photos taken by me.

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