Monday, 30 September 2013

Hyde Park Fashion weekend- Glamour fashion show and Destiny Man & Woman Porche Design fashion show

On Friday night my boyfriend and I attended two fashion shows at Hyde Park in Johannesburg.  The first show was hosted by Glamour magazine and featured collections from Jenni Button, Country Road, Lacoste and Trenery to name a few. The second show was the Porsche Design show, which featured items available at the Porsche Design store in Hyde Park.

The venue at Hyde Park Corner

The food :)

Firstly, who knew McCullagh & Bothwell didn't just sell school uniforms :P

These are some of my favourite looks from the Glamour Show:



Country Road


Jenni Button

Jenni Button

Jenni Button

See by Chloe

And then my favourite from the Porsche Design Collection

The Porsche Design show was only ten minutes long, and for a R200 ticket (luckily we didn't have to pay), I do not think it was worth it, considering there was no goodie bag, except a magazine and a chocolate.

The Glamour show on the other hand had an amazing goodie bag, including some Lancome mini products, a Glamour Hair mag, Fred Tsuya arm candy, chocolate and some other little goodies. 

It was an extremely fun night, and I wish I could upload all my pictures and videos. I have uploaded a video on my Instagram account: 

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Revlon mint fizz scented polish with flowers

I love this colour, this is two coats, without a colour base coat. Mint fizz is part of the scented polish range by Revlon. The scent lasted about a day, and it is a lovely distinct peppermint smell. The blue has a silver shimmer effect which was hard to capture in the pictures.

Have you tried any of the scented polishes by Revlon?

Would you try a scented polish?

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nude sparkles!

Glitter and nude gradient manicure. 

I used Essence Nude glam in Hazelnut Creme Pie as seen in the picture below, I also used Sally Hansen Big Money and Essence Gold Fever for the glitter tips.

Happy Sparkling!

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

My latest buys...

I finally bought the Tiptop polish in armour plate, and the Gosh matte top coat. 

I also bought these cute bow stencils by Revlon, my Glamour magazine which is a necessity, some Revlon polishes, two more Essence stamping plates, and a Catrice glitter polish.

The Glamour magazine came with a Kerastase ultimate Elixir sample which is amazing, the same as the one I received in my Rubybox!

When everything is going left, go right to the shops!

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My first attempt at water marbling and a brief tutorial!

I have wanted to try water marbling for a while, but I thought it would be too difficult. I was wrong. It is probably the easiest way to paint your nails in a stunning design, it is very hard to get it wrong.

You need a couple of polishes, anything from two to four different colours, they can be in similiar tones or complete contrasts.
A glass of water
A few toothpicks
A few cotton buds
Masking tape (not necessary but makes life easier)

Basically you pour a drop of each of the different polishes one by one into the water, as many times as you like to achieve a range of colours.
Using the toothpick you make a design by gently dragging the toothpick across the polishes in the glass.
You then dip your finger into the glass
Use the cotton bud to collect the remaining polish floating around
And that's it

I will do a picture tutorial soon.

The masking tape is to protect your fingers from getting polish all over, so it just makes cleaning up easier. 

This is my first attempt at it...

You like?

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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Unboxing the September Rubybox!

September is Birthday month for Rubybox, and they really went all out in the boxes this month. 

I received a Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan soul shower gel and body lotion, Kerastase Elixir Ultimate, and two perfume samples by Armani. The total value of my box is R400!!!

Recently Rubybox has really improved its sample range, and I have been completely impressed with the box. 

I also received a R500 voucher for a Kerastase Silk Hair Treatment at Sandton City!

Thank you so much RUBYBOX!

If you would like a box of pretty surprises every month for only R120 sign up at  Rubybox

Rubybox is also having a birthday blowout sale, so check the sale out too. I bought the Sephora shimmer sheets, and can't wait for it to arrive next month with my October box.

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Optiphi Hand Therapy and Set the Canvas Primer

I received two products from Optiphi to review a few weeks ago, which I am only getting down to now, as it has been really hectic.

The first is the renew hand therapy, which is an anti aging hand cream with an spf of 20 (R250.80)

The hand cream is quite thick but not greasy at all, it actually gives a matte type of feeling. I am OCD about applying hand cream, I have one in every bag and I apply it every time I wash my hands, if by a slim chance I don't have a cream in my bag I will go to a shop and use a tester hand cream, yes I may have issues. :) 

The Renew Hand Cream protects your skin from sun damage, while keeping your hands moisturised and nourished. It is also formulated to reduce the signs of ageing, such as age spots, for soft youthful looking skin. I really like this hand cream, as sun damage is a huge factor in premature ageing, so 
an spf 20 along with the cellular nourishment makes a great hand cream for all year round.

The next is a primer- Set the Canvas (R238.80), which has now become my favourite, even ahead of Smashbox!

This primer, wow! I applied it over my usual face cream, and it had a blurring effect, goodbye pores! It made my face look airbrushed. It has a silky feeling and made my face feel so smooth. I then applied my BB cream over and it stayed all day, with no shine but still with the radiant glow that I love. The primer claims to create a flawless finish, and it certainly lives up to that claim! The primer can also be applied throughout the day, over your make-up to combat shine for a matte look. The primer doesn't have any colour, so it creates an invisible layer of pure perfection. I personally prefer a radiant glow over a matte look, and I find that if I wear it under my BB cream I can achieve a radiant look, while over my BB cream provides the matte look. For a natural look, use the primer with just a little dusting of bronzer.

So, whatever your preference, this primer is certainly worth a try.

For a full list of products or more information visit OPTIPHI

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Style36 now stock Orly and OPI nail polishes!

I went on to the site yesterday to see if there were any new beauty products, and I found the most awesome products!

Orly, which so many international nail bloggers use, and OPI which is also a big hit amongst the nail art community.

I have not seen Orly in South Africa before, so I am extremely excited about that! There are some glitter polishes that I am after, as well as some matte polishes.

OPI- Nicole R145.00

Orly- Purple leather (Matte) R109.00

OPI- No room for the blues R145.00

They also have some nail art pens by CINA, in black, red and white, which would be great for nail art designs for R99.00.

Happy shopping! Cos I know I will be happy after I have shopped!

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Monday, 16 September 2013

I finally used my Essence stamping kit and polish!

Until yesterday I hadn't stamped officially, just a bit of practicing now and again. I decided to use my Essence kit and polish to do a black on red design, and no, I have not yet used, or even OPENED my Konad kit, hahaha!

What do you guys think? I think for R80 this kit and polish is worth it!

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Kardashian Beauty is coming to South Africa

The famous Kardashian sister's beauty brand is coming to Stuttafords stores. It will be launched in fifteen stores this November to start with, and then expand to about 700. I am hoping to have one in Johannesburg!

The sisters are know for many things, some unmentionable, but their highlighting and contouring is lust worthy, and I am hoping their brand brings some products to achieve that look, without needing professional make up artists at our beck and call. 

So, fingers crossed that this brand can bring us all high cheek bones, sculpted noses, and big lashes! Oh, and without breaking the bank! 

There are face, eyes, lips, cabana glow and nail products! The products have been tested and approved by each sister, so it is time to get your DASH on!

My wishlist:

Kardashian Beauty Intimate Spotlight 2g which looks like an amazing solid highlighter- R180

Time to shine a light and bring out your best. Look lit from within like candle light, 24 hours a day, with Kardashian Beauty Intimate Spotlight. Try it mixed with foundation for an all-over glow, or highlight cheekbones, cupids bow, or brow bone to turn up the spotlight.

This liquid ray of light has a soft focus when used alone as illuminiser on eyes, lips cheeks, and cupids bow, putting an intimate spotlight on every feature that deserves its own round of applause.

Kardashian Beauty High Eye Q Film Noir Gel Eyeliner 0.25g- R165

Embrace the role of the femme fatale with expertly, lined eyes and waterline in the perfect tone and texture of jet black. Stay in perfect character with dramatic results with this revolutionary highly pigmented formula that glides on smoothly and lasts all day with no smudging. After just one dress rehearsal using Kardashian Beauty Film Noir Gel Eyeliner, you’ll notice so much drama, you’ll never want to forget your lines.

Kardashian Beauty Au Naturel Lip Kit- R245

Look great naked in three simple steps! Ideally pre‐matched and formulated lipstick, lip liner and lip gloss, expose just enough and add a seemingly naked veil of flesh‐toned perfection. In The Buff is Kourtney's legendary Nude lip look.

Kardashian Beauty Au Naturel Lip Kit is a subtle and sexy look that is a classic for day or evening and suits all skin tones. Be daring... walk about in the nude - Go Au Naturél.

Kardashian Beauty Cabana Glow Radiant Shimmer Lip and Cheek Crayon 0.5g- R180

Kardashian Beauty Cabana Glow Radiant Shimmer Lip and Cheek Crayon is an ultra-fresh, hydrating, chubby pencil that delivers a rush of cool, shimmering colour on contact. Lightweight and non-tacky application gives buildable colour and long-lasting wear.

Kardashian Beauty Nail Lacquer 11ml in Fairy Dust- R150

Kardashian Beauty Nail Lacquer introduces long wearing, ultra glossy and chip resistant nail colour that glides on evenly for a truly professional looking finish.

All formulas are free of toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, and DBP. 

Which products are on your wishlist?

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Friday, 13 September 2013

Essence lilac and Sinfulcolors pink gradient nails

Sponging is a really easy technique to create stunning ombre/gradient nails.

Any two colours can be used, I have even seen some people use more than two colours. Your colours can be contrasted or similiar.

It requires a base and a top coat, two or three colours, and a sponge.

Apply the base coat, and the base colour to your nails. 

Wait for it to completely dry, then apply the contrast colour on a sponge. Gently dab this on your nail, remember you want to have a fading effect. You can apply the contrast colour on the tip of  your nail, or closer to your cuticle.

Apply your top coat, and you are done!

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Battle of the budget BB creams!

BB cream has become a craze in the past year! Both beauty and skincare brands have jumped in on the fun. BB Creams range from affordable to insane, from Garnier to Dior.

The first BB cream I bought was Garnier, then I bought Rimmel, and lastly Ponds. I then bought one by Erborian, which is not in a budget range, so I will not review that here. 

So, what is a BB cream? BB creams stand for blemish balms or beauty balms. They were first developed in Germany, to heal the skin, provide coverage and protect the skin from the sun. BB creams then boomed in Asia, and then the rest of the world caught up. BB creams can be worn alone, or under your foundation if you need more coverage.

BB creams are meant to make your life easier, an all in one moisturiser, sunscreen and foundation. What more could a girl want in our busy lives?

Lets start with Garnier, at R79.95 for 50ml from Clicks, Dischem, and even PicknPay, this is the cheapest one I have come across. Garnier has been providing skin care products since 1904, so I trust this brand. It comes in three colours, light, medium and dark. The formula is not very thick, and only covers minor imperfections, but it is easy to blend over the face. It also contains Vitamin C and mineral pigments which brightens skin. The finish of this BB is dewy and glowing skin, so if you prefer a matte finish, this is not for you. The only downside of this product is the low SPF of 15, which is not nearly enough, so it requires additional sun protection. The oil free formula has a higher SPF of 30, which is a great improvement, but that is more of a matte finish.

Garnier claims its BB cream is 5-in-1: 
Evens skin tone - Agreed, it does give sheer coverage.
Blurs lines and imperfections- Agreed, the coverage is sheer, but covers minor imperfections
Boosts a healthy glow- Agreed, definitely gives a glow to my skin!
24 hour mositure- Agreed, definitely moisturises
UV protection- Disagree, 15 SPF is not protection. 

I give this a 7/10.

Next up, Rimmel BB cream, R100 for 30ml, available from Clicks, Dischem, and online on It comes in three colours that I am aware of, light, medium and medium/dark. The formula is quite thick, and provides good coverage. It also provides a slight dewy look. The best part of this BB is the SPF 25. I find that it applies better over a moisturiser than alone. This is my favourite budget BB cream. 

Rimmel claims its skin perfecting super makeup gives 9 in 1 results: 
Primes- I'm not sure what this means, since I don't apply anything over that needs priming. :O 
Moisturises- Agreed, but I find it doesn't spread easily, so I apply it over a moisturiser 
Minimises pores- Agreed, the coverage is good 
Conceals- Agreed, this BB cream offers more coverage than Garnier
Covers- Agreed 
Smoothes- Agreed 
Mattifies- Disagree, the coverage is radiant and dewy, not matte at all
Brightens- Agreed
Helps protect- Agreed, SPF 25!

I give this an 8/10. 

Lastly, Ponds BB cream. Pond's flawless radiance even tone expert BB cream, with SPF 30 is meant to cover imperfections, while visibly reducing dark spots and evening out skin tone with its Genactiv formula. It costs R90 for 25ml, and is available at Clicks, Dischem and PicknPay. It is meant to match your skin tone instantly, however I found it made me look grey. It comes in two colours, beige and chocolate. The product is matte, and oil free, which I am not a fan of, I prefer a dewy look. I think it will suit those with oily skin.

Ponds claims this BB cream provides:
Instant natural coverage- Agreed, but it is too grey for me 
Non-pore clogging- Agreed, since it is oil free
Light, non-oily texture- Agreed, the formula is matte and oil free
Reduces dark marks- I didn't use it long enough to tell
Evens skin tone- I didn't use it long enough to tell
Protects from UVA and UVB rays (SPF30++)- Agreed, definitely!

I give this BB cream 5/10.

And that is the end of the battle of the budget BB crreams, which is your favourite?

Unblended, from left to right, Garnier, Rimmel and Ponds.

Blended (I had the bright idea of labelling the swatches this time) 

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Style36, you blow my mind!

Have you ever experienced amazing customer service, a company that absolutely blows your mind? I have, Style36!, which was previously known as 36boutiques takes customer service to another level. I joined 36 Boutiques in August 2010, and have been receiving 3 years of amazing service, as well as the amazing products they sell of course! I have spent many of my paychecks on this store, and I especially look forward to their amazing sales.

This is my welcome email I received in August 2010, when 36 boutiques only sold woman's clothing, nothing near the online store it has become today. Style36 is also a finalist in the eCommerce awards, I know this because I voted for them!

Hi Azraa,

Welcome to 36Boutiques!

36Boutiques provides access to women and men’s coveted fashion and luxury brands at prices of up to 80% off retail. For 36 hours only; each boutique will offer the hottest local
and international brands.

Keep a close eye on your inbox; you will soon receive an exclusive invitation to your first private sale. The pressure is on to make sure that you don’t miss out on that special

Three years later, style36 sells beauty products, men's and women's fashion, sports fashion and accessories, as well as the 5rooms furniture and kinderelo baby which are linked to their site.

I would like to say thanks to, for the service, the products (some which are hard to find in South Africa) as well as continuing to offer free delivery and free returns, which makes buying online much less stressful. 

It is inspirational when a company maintains its customer service and humility even when it is growing in leaps and bounds. 

I just love me some good customer service which is a scarce commodity these days!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Midnight affair with Revlon and silver flowers

 Nails of the day!

I used Midnight Affair by Revlon, which is a  stunning dark blue.

I have decided that because I am a nail polish addict, and more than half  of my polishes are unopened, from now on I will only use polishes that I have not used before. Even if I have used a polish once, it is off limits. Accent nails or nail art are okay, but for the base colour I need to use a new polish.

So, this is the first manicure of my spring challenge. 

What is your spring challenge?

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Professional hair and beauty expo, Turkish Mosque, Stila craziness and my Konad stamping Kit

Last weekend, my boyfriend patiently joined me at the Professional Hair and Beauty Expo, little did he know what he was getting himself into. 

Unfortunately I was too busy talking to the exhibitors and finding out more about products, so I didn't take many pictures. I did get these two pictures of the stunning Moroccan oil stand though. There were also hair, make up and nail competitions, which also didn't get much of my attention, since I was in product heaven. 

Lucky for me I received free samples of the products below. There were some brands that I hadn't heard of before, and also some very well know brands. Vagheggi is an organic skin care brand, I have a hydrating face cream to try out. Environ, which I have heard many things about gave me samples of the vitamin A range, which includes a cleanser, mask, face cream and eye cream. Lastly, Biosense gave me quite a big sized sample of  a shine spray for hair, which contains Argan Oil. Interestingly, Biosense, as well as Moroccan Oil are owned by the same holding company. 

There was a Konad stand at the Expo too, and me being the nail addict that I am, I had to have a look. The lady did a demonstration on my own nail, and then allowed me to do one myself, and somehow I did it! My design came out perfectly! I was so excited, since I had tried stamping before and couldn't do it, I figured I needed this kit. So, I bought this stone stamping kit, for R400, which includes 3 polishes, 2 plates, 1 stamper and scraper, and some rhinestones. I haven't used it yet though. I did however try the Essence kit this week, and I managed to stamp really well with that, sigh... So, I think my technique was wrong, not the products I was using. So, I think the Konad kit wasn't necessary after all, but I love the range of colours of  the stamping polishes. I will get to stamping soon, and post some pictures. 

There was an Essie stand there, and when I asked them for the colour "For the twill of it", they said it's not an Essie colour. Firstly, if you are working at an Essie stand, you should know the colours, and secondly, do not tell me that it is not an Essie colour, when I know that it is, I was extremely disappointed with that. Next up, the OPI stand had polish for sale too, but they did not have the "Matte top coat" for sale to individuals, it was only available for salons to order. So, that was a bit of a downer for me too. 

Eventually we were done, to my boyfriends relief, and we decided to pop in to see the stunning Turkish Mosque on the way home. It is absolutely beautiful, and hard to imagine that one man built this mosque, with no funding help from anyone else. It cost an estimated 210 million rand, and also features a school, a clinic, a shopping complex and a restaurant. The mosque also features a gallery, with photographs and paintings of various mosques from around the world, some scenic shots of Turkey, as well as paintings of some artifacts found at the Topkapi Museum in Turkey. 

Driving into the complex, is like driving into another world. The mosque was based on the Selimiye Mosque in Edime, Turkey. The structure boasts four minarets that surround a wide dome. If you are in Johannesburg, do yourself a favour and visit this mosque in Midrand, it is open to the public. 

Lastly, I went a little Stila crazy, as you can see below. I bought two lipglazes in cranberry and starfruit, one illuminating concealer, a baked cheek duo blush in pink glow, an illuminating baked powder trio, all three one step products, illuminate, correct and bronze, as well as a tinted moisturiser! I think Stila products are amazing, I just wish they were more reasonably priced. :)

What is your favourite Stila product?

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Smashbox Photo Finish Bronzing Foundation Primer Review

I have been meaning to review this product for ages, but didn't get down to it. 

Let me start with the brand, Smashbox Cosmetics is famous for its primers, and I know why! It is an amazingly smooth application, and makes my skin feel so soft and silky. It also leaves a perfect canvas to apply your foundation or BB cream on. 

This primer looks very dark in the bottle, and also before you have blended it in, but once blended it just gives a bronzed glow. 

Above is the picture straight out the bottle, I only use this much product because it glides over your skin so easily. Below is before it has been blended in. I apply it over my moisturiser, under my BB cream. 

Below is the product blended in, you can see the subtle glow. This primer can also be used alone, without foundation or BB cream, and maybe just a slight dusting of blush. The primer helps to minimise pores and imperfections, but if you need fuller coverage opt for foundation over it.

This primer suits all skin types once blended in, but if you find it too dark for your entire face, try using it where the sun would usually hit, as a bronzer.

Always remember to wear sunscreen on your face, under or over your primer.

What's your favourite primer?

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PrettifulBlog: September 2013