Get the Look: Taylor Swift at the 2016 Grammys

It’s no secret that I’m a Swiftie. And considering Taylor’s hair, make-up, outfit… everything at this year’s Grammys, it’s no surprise that She’s considered a style icon. here’s how you can take a note out of her Beauty book…

Taylor’s renowned for rocking a classic red lip and, in spite of what some may think, it’s a colour that honestly anyone can wear. All you have to do is find the right shade to suit your skin tone. Take a quick look at the veins under your wrist. If they’re more blue or purple, you have a cool undertone and can rock most red lipsticks. If your veins have a more greenish or yellow tinge, you probably have a warm undertone and should go for something a little more orange. Those with darker skins can usually pull off any shade of red, but a general rule is the brighter the red, the more it’ll highlight your features.

Taylor’s been quoted saying her personal favourite is MAC Lipstick in the shade Ruby Woo, R220, which a lot of beauty editors and bloggers also swear by.

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TOP TIP: Use a lipliner to make sure your lipstick doesn’t bleed and to make sure the colour stays longer. Another tip is to blot with a tissue, cover your lips with the tissue and sweep setting powder over. Then apply an extra coat. Do this a couple of times to create layers of product, which will help it last.

Try: 1. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in Bold Red, R245, Red Square. 2. Givenchy Le Rouge-A-Porter in Rouge Atelier, R535, Red Square. 3.Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick in Passion Red, R270, Red Square.

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Getting the perfect cat eye takes a little bit of skill – and a lot of practise. If you’ve never worn liquid liner before, start with a pen to help you get the hang of it. The best tip for beginners is to start with a series of dots starting from your innermost corner of the eye and slowly working your way out – you can always join these up later once you’re sure you’ve got the right line. Take the line out a little past the outer corner and pull gently on the skin in an upwards and outwards direction to help you achieve a smooth line. You can also try draw the outline first and then fill it in after if you’re a little nervous about getting it even.

TOP TIP: Keep your gaze lowered while the product dries or you’ll end up with a double line on your eyelids or brow bone!

Try: 1. Rimmel Glam Eyes Liquid Liner, R90, DisChem. 2. Revlon Liquid Liner, R189, Woolworths. 3. Essence Eyeliner Pen, R48, Clicks.

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Who was your favourite style icon at this year’s Grammys and what looks did you love best?

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Book Club: The Last Boat Home by Dea Brovig

Set against the icy backdrop of Norway, The Last Boat Home by Dea Brovig tells the story of 16-year-old Else and the secret she keeps for 30 years.

This is the author’s first debut and it’ll be interesting to see where she goes to from here. Dea Brovig writes evocatively and with the kind of insight into her characters that makes them seem not only relatable, but intimately familiar. We’ve all known women like her mom Dagny, who avoid conflict at all costs, as well as her teenage boyfriend Lars, whose life goals as a young man are focused on merely having a good time.

The imagery in the story enhances the storytelling with the use of storms and snowfall to foreshadow certain events. It gives the entire rhetoric an almost eerie, horror story-like atmosphere, which sets the stage for the events that follow.

Last Boat Home

I thoroughly enjoyed the use of time as a storytelling technique as the book jumps between the present – with Else, her daughter Marianne and granddaughter Liv – juxtaposed with the past, helping us to decipher what exactly happened back then and who Marianne’s father really is. The book’s entire premise is based upon this question, to which the answer is only revealed well towards the end, although keen readers will probably hazard a guess and find that although they may think they know – they really, really don’t…

It’s a chilling tale with an eclectic mix of characters who populate this small fishing town. Intriguing and, at times, horrifying – it’s a brilliant read, although not an easy one. Best read with a loved one nearby or at least a cup of tea.

Beauty Buzz: Urban Decay store to open in Jo’burg

The biggest news on the beauty blogosphere this past week was the announcement of Urban Decay’s arrival on SA shores with the opening of a new store.

The first time I stepped into a Sephora was a little over a year ago during a trip to Paris. As I entered, I could practically hear a chorus of angels singing as I took the escalator down off the Rue de Rivoli and alighted in the middle of what can only be described as beauty girl’s heaven. In spite of the tantalising array of make-up before me, I was a girl on a mission! I’d come all the way to Paris – there was no way I was leaving without an Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette.

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The Naked palettes are renowned as something of a Holy Grail among those in the beauty industry – just with a lot less lore and a lot more fact. Don’t be fooled, these babies are coveted around the world for good reason. They’re not only perfectly blendable and glide on with a buttery feel, but they also offer such a divine selection of colours that you can go from day to night to morning after with ease. They make getting that smokey eye a thing of simplicity, instead of something only achievable through hours of YouTube tutorials.

Urban Decay products have been available in SA for a while though, through a couple of local stockists, but the prices have often put them well out of the range of your average make-up addict, going for anywhere from R1 200 up to R2 000. My Naked 3 palette from Paris? Just under R700. It was worth the trip!

Naked 3

This week, make-up junkies all over SA rejoiced at the news that a new store will be opening mid-May in Johannesburg. Rumours of the brand’s arrival have been doing the rounds for a few years now, but the announcement comes straight from the PR team at L’Oreal Luxe so I’m 100% confident that this time it’s for real. Details are scarce, but I’m pretty sure that the minute I stroll through those stores, it’ll be just like being back in Paris. Oooh la la!

Personally, I can’t wait to try out a few more items from the brand – especially the Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Naked Skin Liquid Makeup and I’ll probably grab at least one more of the eyeshadow palettes. I’ve kept a close eye on the Smoky palette since it launched and I’m pretty sure it’ll be the perfect complement to my current eyeshadow palette stash.

Eyes shadow Priming Potion

What are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!

[UPDATE] Apparently the palettes will go for about R850. Now I really can’t wait until May… *buys ALL the things!

 

Bullets for my Valentine?

So Valentine’s Day happened and all I got were tickets to Marvel’s newest addition to its neverending roll-out of bad-ass, geekgasm-inducing films, Deadpool.

 

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Some might consider this the worst Valentine’s Day present ever, but my boyfriend certainly didn’t when I surprised him with them on Sunday morning. Yup, in our relationship, I’M the geeky one. Thank heavens I’m dating someone who actually appreciates my nerdisms, although honestly, if I did find myself single on 14 Feb, I’d still buy myself tickets to this.

Ryan Reynolds delivers his lines with all the dry wit and sarcasm the character is known and loved for. If you’re in the mood for something cynical and downright hilarious, I’d suggest you get yourself, your SO, your bestie – hell, even your cat if she promises to sit quietly in your handbag – and check it out. The CGI is awesome, the stunts are  waaaay over the top and the amount of fun Marvel pokes at itself and its franchises will have you holding onto the sides of your Ster-Kinekor love seat to stop yourself from falling off your chair.

On a more serious note: I’ve loved Morena Baccarin since her Firefly days and I’m thrilled to see her popping up in more and more leading roles. She matches Wade Wilson bout after bout and gave me a serious case of #relationshipgoals.

If you’re not familiar with Deadpool, one of the things that makes him so unusual is that he continues to break the fourth wall – ie, when a character speaks directly to the audience. It’s this awareness that really highlights his sardonic self and makes this undoubtedly Marvel’s funniest movie yet. Intentionally, that is.

Stan Lee, of course, makes his usual cameo.

For those of you wondering, there IS an Easter egg at the end so don’t be one of those who gets up and leaves when the credits start to roll. It’s not a biggie, but any additional time I get to spend with my favourite characters is a win in my book.

Still not convinced? Check out the “official” trailer below. There were also a number of pre-release teaser videos uploaded to YouTube so have a look around. You may just discover a “superhero” you actually like.

Beauty Trend: Spring nail collections

Spring is here and nothing makes this more obvious that the sudden rush of Spring nail colour launches.

The quickest way for me to get into a Spring vibe is to try out some of the latest colours on my nails. The past two weeks I’ve been trialing the new collections from Essie and TipTop and have to say I’m super impressed with both of them.

Essie is my go-to nail polish and I always find myself disappointed when I visit a spa or salon and they don’t stock it (R110 at Sorbet salons nationwide). From the pretty packaging to the long-lasting nature of the formulation, I honestly think it’s one of the best beauty brands out there. The new collection is a firm favourite and I’ve already found some shades I’ll be making permanent colours in my own nail polish collection. The range is called Fashion Playground and contains 6 new colours in blues, teals and a couples of pinks (or nudes, whatever you want to call them). I’ve received 5 of the colours to try out and although my favourite was extremely easy to pick out immediately, the rest of the range is just as lovely. The colours are as follows:

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  • Fashion Playground: The perfect pale mint. This seasons’ hottest colour. Wear it with everything.
  • Truth or Flare: A lighter almost-pastel blue for lazy days by the pool.
  • Hide & Go Chic: A deep blue, perfect to match with your favourite denims.
  • Spin the Bottle: Your classic nude. ‘Nuff said.
  • Romper Room: The prettiest pastel pink for summer romances.
  • Style Hunter (the only one I didn’t get to try out): A bright crimson with a hint of orange. Fabulous for feet.

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Fashion Playground was easily my favourite because I’m having such a colour crush on mint and teal at the moment. I tested this one out first and got so many compliments from friends and colleagues. It’s my new colour for Spring but I’m quite sure it’ll be lasting for seasons to come. I also enjoyed Truth or Flare but I’m not quite sure about wearing blue on my nails – this is the perfect matching pedi to a Fashion Playground mani though! Romper Room I loved almost as much as the iconic Ballet Slippers. It’s also a lovely ballet pink, but with a much more opaque pastel look. If you’re looking for a pretty pink, give this a try! Spin the Bottle is the nicest nude I’ve ever come across. If I’m in a lazy mood and want something that will last and I won’t have to worry about noticeable chips, a nude is the best option. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find ones that match your skin tone. This is a little warmer than most and with a hint of pink, it looks great on my pale winter skin.

The second collection I tried was the new range from a loved local brand, TipTop. This brand has been around for years and because it’s locally made, I think it’s very in touch with what SA girls are loving and lusting after. It’s also one of the quickest drying and best value for money brands around (under R40 from Clicks). The new Spring collection, called Sumptuous, is a little unusual. A few bloggers have said they’d put it as a Winter collection because some of the colours are rather dark. For me it’s more of a Fall collection or, as it’s called in SA, Autumn. Joburg doesn’t really get to experience Autumn (we go straight from a week of Spring to a few months of Summer and then, just when you’re noticing the nights getting cooler, we find ourselves in the middle of a cold front – aka Winter).

After trying a few of the colours on individually, I realised that this range is actually surprisingly wearable for Spring. When used alone, they evoke memories of late summer nights and evenings spent watching the waves crashing on the shore. It’s definitely a darker Spring collection, but kind of reminds me of nights with windows open, the smell of jasmine wafting in while cool cotton curtains dance to a sultry summer breeze. The colours include:

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  • Navi-Gator: A deep dark blue – very starry night. Hello, sailor.
  • In My Genes: Another denim colour – something tells me I might start to like wearing blues on my nails.
  • Lady Lilla: Technically a lilac/lavendar, but it comes out a very blue/purple. It’s indescribable and I love it.
  • Sea Me Now: Sea green – perfect for mermaids and water babies.
  • Jade in the Shade: I’m not sure how to describe this one. It’s very green, but surprisingly Springy.
  • Cupid’s Arrow: A bright hot pink. This is going on my toes asap.

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Lady Lilla was my obvious favourite and I’ve loved wearing this colour. It goes with pretty much everything in my closet – being the purple princess that I am – but manages to look a little blueish. It’s the first time I’ve really enjoyed wearing blue on my nails. After bugging The Boyfriend for his favourite, I ended up painting my nails with In My Genes and was super surprised to find how much I loved it. It came out very Tardis blue for the Whovians out there!

The last collection I have my eye on this Spring, although I haven’t tried it myself yet, is the new Naturel Collection from Zoya (R140). Zoya frequently bring out fabulous colours and this one matches perfectly with the coveted Urban Decay Naked 3 eyeshadow palette. I’m obsessively trying to get my greedy little paws on this palette and being able to match my shadow to my polish is a dream come true for freaks like me who have a thing about matching things. It’s not OCD, it’s CDO, in the alphabetical order it should be.

The colours include:

  • Chantal
  • Taylor
  • Rue
  • Brigitte
  • Odette
  • Normani

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