REVIEW: Montblanc Signature Fragrance for Her

Montblanc Signature For Her

With the arrival of spring, a host of fresh and light fragrances to lift one’s spirit and mood have landed on my desk, with one such lovely being Montblanc’s latest women fragrance Montblanc Signature For Her…

‘If writing is the visible expression of the soul,’ they tell us, ‘fragrance is surely its unspoken, subliminal language. Fragrances tell stories, shape emotions and evoke poetry, writing in unseen ink where the fountain pen marks on paper in black and white.’ –Montblanc

Montblanc Signature For Her

There are women who will be remembered for their bravery, authenticity, strength and courage and choose to be the author of their own life; Montblanc Signature pays tribute to unforgettable women, ‘authors of their own story’. Diane Ducret, a French Belgian writer, noted as the only French writer to make a living from writing is the face of Montblanc Signature campaign.

This fresh appealing everyday scent is classified as a floral-oriental and musky fragrance;  top notes of juicy clementines combined with delicate peony, magnolia and ylang-ylang are at the heart, wrapped up in warming white musk, benzoin and sensual vanilla. I loved the zesty clementine smell on first spritz, settling down into a non obtrusive and subtle vanilla notes so had good durability.

Montblanc Signature For Her Fragrance
Montblanc Signature For Her

Perfumers Guillaume Flavigny and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto wanted ‘a contrast of opulent and sensual, an appeal and elegance; I wanted to infuse more light, more breath and transparency’, says Natalie Gracia-Cetto.

The gorgoeus opalescent bottle designed by Mark Eisen pays tribute to the iconic inkwell, part of Montblanc heritage with gold details  borrowed from the ‘Meisterstück’ writing instrument, underline the elegance of the object.

  • Did you know designer and artist Mark Eisen was born in Cape Town before moving to the states  to study, read more on him here

It’s well balanced and very befitting for spring time

Montblanc Signature For Her EDP, R880 for 30ml, R1 065 for 50ml and R1 315 for 90ml, is available at Dis-Chem.

REVIEW: Nature Box’s Almond range

German brand Nature Box recently hit our shores  and has been receiving rave reviews for their eco-friendly sustainable products that contain no artificial colours and are silicone and paraben-free. They are all vegan certified and available at affordable prices too. I was delighted to be sent their Almond range to see what all the fuss was about.

Nature Box Almond Range includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion, Shower Gel & Hair Lift Spray

Cold-Pressed Oils

Nature Box has a number of ranges: avocado, apricot, coconut, passion fruit, pomegranate, olive oil, argan oil and almond. They all contain 100% cold-pressed oils. This is considered the best method to extract, as no external heat is applied meaning antioxidants, vitamins, essential nutrients and fatty acids aren’t affected or damaged. The oils are extracted from the nuts, seed and/or fruit without losing quality and thus retaining their effectiveness.

‘Social responsibly is our top priority supporting smaller farmers for a more sustainable cultivation of raw materials .’

Socially Responsible

Nature Box use sustainably produced palm oil from Nigeria. Palm oil production is notoriously bad for the planet, however Nature Box has joined forces with Solidaridad to ensure their palm oil is sustainably harvested. Solidaridad is an international development organisation that supports small farmers in the sustainable cultivation of palm oil in several regions around the world. For their project in Nigeria small farmers are trained and supported in sustainability cultivating palm oil. This enables farmers to increase their productivity and reduce the negative impact on environment. In addition, the farmers receive a certification for their harvest. You can check out more on Nature Box Sustainability projects here

The Almond range includes their Almond Shampoo R119.99, Almond Conditioner, R119.99, Almond Shower Gel R69.99, Almond Body Lotion R93 and Root Lift Spray R99. Almonds are rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and magnesium which is necessary to promote hair growth and also helps with shine, frizz, to nourish hair strands, and to prevent inflammation, dandruff and damage from hair styling tools.

Nature Box Almond Range includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion, Shower Gel & Hair Lift Spray

Nature Box Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been using these for a couple of months now and I am impressed. I love that the shampoo bottle is the same size as the conditioner so my husband and I can share the bottle. His scalp is sensitive and prone to flakiness and using this on a daily basis has been gentle and left his hair shiny. I have dry hair so only shampoo once a week with lashings of conditioner. They work well on my hair to add moisture and nourishment.

Nature Box Almond Range includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Lotion, Shower Gel & Hair Lift Spray

Nature Box Root Lift Spray

I wouldn’t have necessarily gravitated towards the Root Lift Spray as it is aimed at giving volume and, hells teeth, I have enough of that! However, I’ve found that it works remarkably well on restoring my waves. Because I regularly colour and highlight my hair, I have all but lost my curl pattern (except in summertime where the salt water gives my waves back, ha!). I spray this on wet hair and use my hands to scrunch it in, and it dries into natural-looking waves.

Nature Box Shower Gel

I am a huge fan of shower gels as they are just so easy to use. If they lather up nicely and smell good then it’s a big yay from me. Another big bonus is the clear print on the bottles. There have been occasions where I’ve had to climb out of the shower to fetch my glasses, but Nature Box’s bottles are easy-to-read, so there’s no chance of washing myself with conditioner or adding shower gel to my hair..!

Nature Box Body Lotion

I’m always pressed for time my two priorities for a body lotion are it needs to sink in quickly and it needs to smell good. This one ticks both of those boxes.

Would I buy these again?

I love when a range works well, mainly because it looks pretty on my bathroom shelf to have everything matching! I’m impressed by the prices too, especially for the size of the bottles. I’ll definitely be repurchasing, this time the coconut range, suitable for dry hair and skin. And with travel plans still on hold for me I’ll take all the tropical scents I can get!

Happy day

Cath

REVIEW: Dr Hauschka Regenerating Oil Serum, Regenerating Day Cream and Translucent Bronzing Tint

My days of waking up looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed are long over, so imagine my delight when products for mature skin from Dr Hauschka arrive at my door. Ingredients are selected that refine and renew skin, leaving you looking firmer, smoother and more radiant. I like that, as realistically there is no magic potion to eliminate wrinkles completely, so you might as well embrace ageing but look radiant while doing so.

As more customers opt for a straight-forward, no-nonsense beauty approach, German brands, known as G-Beauty, are highly sought-after. Dr Hauschka was one of the first international brands paying tribute to a more eco-conscious way of using organic and natural ingredients in beauty products, placing sustainability, quality and ingredient integrity at a greater
importance.

Dr Hauschka Regenerating Oil Serum Intensive

Dr Hauschka combines the concentrated skin care of an oil with the
power of a serum. Oils are for nourishing, hydrating and
strengthening the skin barrier and serums have the power to deeply
penetrate the skin, depositing powerful active ingredients for more
targeted results.
Ingredients in their Regenerating Oil Serum Intensive include a formulation of almond and olive oils alongside nurturing plants like blackthorn extracts to aid elasticity and firmness and protect against drying environmental influences. My skin loved this and felt hydrated and moisturised.

Dr Hauschka Regenerating Day Cream 

I spent an awful amount of time lying in the backyard soaking up the sun while trying out these products. Sun exposure is bad, I know, but this was back in stage 5 of lockdown so no judgement! I loved using the combination of both the oil serum and moisturiser as my skin felt soft and hydrated, in spite of all the sun I was getting.

I haven’t been out much during lockdown, except to work, Zoom meetings and a few coffee dates on the weekend so this little bottle has
lasted me five months and I still have a bit to go.

Dr Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint

For the last couple of years, I’ve steered clear of foundations as they feel
too heavy on my skin, rather opting for tinted moisturisers. I can’t sing the praises of Bioderma and Heliocare enough as they give a dash of colour and contain a high SPF. So what’s with this Translucent Bronzing Tint? 
Admittedly I was a little apprehensive as I am perfectly happy with my
above-mentioned tinted moisturisers, however I was pleasantly
surprised. To use it you add a few drops of the Translucent Bronzing Tint to their Moisturiser, patting it in gently for a fresh sun-kissed complexion

Sadly my oil serum and moisturiser have come to an end but I’ve been
continuing with the tint, mixing it into another moisturiser. Would I
repurchase these? Yes to the oil serum and moisturiser as they were such
a treat for my skin and I have always loved Dr H. Their philosophy and ethics resonate with me and, man, their products smell heavenly. And have you ever experienced a Dr Hauschka facial? Sublime indeed!

That’s all for today but take care and chat soon!

Cath

SKIN QUENCHERS: Sheet Masks by The Body Shop

Amongst all the uncertainty and change of routine, I’ve been trying to make room for more me-time during lockdown. I’ve had great fun trawling through my beauty cupboard using forgotten-about cleansers and masks (and for once we’re not talking fabric face masks!).

I got around to treating myself to a few sheet masks from The Body Shop I had been saving. Back in the day, before The Body Shop came to South Africa, it was considered extremely cool for someone to return from travels abroad with their products! Three of my favourite buys included a reinvigorating shampoo called Ice Blue Shampoo, a cooling and refreshing gel for puffy and tired eyes called Elderflower Eye Gel and, my ultimate favourite, a vanilla oil in a nondescript plastic container where one drop lasted an entire day.

Sadly the formula changed and their vanilla scent was never quite the same, but my love for The Body Shop products has never waivered. They were one of the first to speak out against animal testing in beauty products and to encourage customers to recycle their packaging. But enough jabbering; let’s get to the masks!

Aloe Calm Sheet Mask

Before the science of medicine was developed, aloe vera was
considered a life-saving plant. In Ancient Egyptian culture it was referred to as the Plant of Immortality and by Native Americans as the Wand of Heaven.


Thanks to aloe vera and cucumber in the Aloe Calm Sheet Mask, my skin felt instantly hydrated and smooth. I popped the sealed mask into the fridge for an extra cooling experience before I applied it to my face. I lay down and listened to a 20 minute podcast episode before removing the mask, massaging the excess product into my often-neglected décolletage and neck area.

Vitamin E Quench Sheet Mask

Vitamin E Quench Sheet Mask

Wheatgerm oil is one of the richest sources of natural Vitamin E and is known for its moisturising and hydrating properties. During the first weeks of lockdown I spent a considerable amount of time soaking up the sun in my backyard (how glorious was the weather!) so my skin really benefitted from this mask which contains nourishing oil plus Hyaluronic acid. After fifteen minutes I removed the mask to reveal a noticeably hydrated and plumper face.

I do wish I had a stash of these sheet masks to apply weekly as they really made an instant difference. I’d keep these in my overnight bag if I was travelling anywhere – not that there’s a chance of that happening any time soon!

The Body Shop Face Sheet Masks

Have you tried any of these and what did you think?

Have a fantabulous Tuesday

Cath

REVIEW: Afari Skincare

I’ve tested out many cleansers over the years but Afari Skincare‘s Priming Cleanser is an outstanding one, made even more so as I know how much love, time and passion has gone into creating this luxe local brand. Margaux Knuppe  is the founder of Afari Skincare (you can read an interview I wrote earlier in the year here). I tried out their Priming Cleanser and Protecting Day Cream SPF30:

In a continent recognised for its rich heritage of traditional healers, and its wealth of naturally restorative elements and biodiversity, we embarked on a journey to find an indigenous botanical with regenerative skin benefits

I’m always looking for multi-purpose products to both save me time but also (and more importantly) address my skin concerns like collagen production, hydration, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. The key ingredient in all Afari Skincare products is an indigenous shrub that grows naturally in the Limpopo region. The sap contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for generations by traditional healers for skin ailments.

A great synthesis between female harvesters in rural Limpopo and ground-breaking scientific research led to the discovery of Bulbine frutescens, a small shrub indigenous to the dry valleys of Southern Africa

‘Decadently lush’ are words that spring to mind when using this cleanser. My skin feels pampered after using the gel formula that lathers up easily and smells pretty damn fine too!

The day cream sinks in easily, contains a protecting high SPF and is safe to use around the sensitive eye area.

My approach to applying products can be a bit heavy-handed, which means I go through my creams and serums way too quickly. We actually don’t need gallons of product on our faces, so I love Afari‘s airless pump bottles, which dispense just the right amount. An airless pump reduces the amount of oxygen entering the bottle which makes your product last longer, plus it means less preservatives are needed. And there’s no need to grab scissors to squeeze out your last drops!

AFARI SKINCARE

Because the 100% recyclable, earth-friendly containers don’t need gravity to dispense the product, there is no chance of spillage from the nozzle. So one day when we’re allowed to travel again and/or head to the gym, they’re perfect for popping in your bag!

Afari Skincare products are available online here

PS I have a feeling Bulbine frutescens is going to be the next beauty must-have ingredient…watch this space!

Happy Thursday

Cath

Faithful to Nature Red Clay Konjac sponge

REVIEW: KONJAC SPONGES

 

Everyone is dealing with their lockdown cabin fever in their own way, and for me, it’s involved going into a cleaning frenzy! While tidying my beauty cupboard I found a konjac sponge I had received from Faithful to Nature. I had heard great things about these sponges for yonks and I decided it was time to ditch my faithful super-clean-foreo-luna-mini-2and try something new.

When I say ‘new’, I mean ‘new to me’, as konjac sponges have been used in Japan for centuries, both for beauty and medicinal purposes. My sponge contains Japanese potato fibre and red clay, but there are a variety of different infusions, from bamboo to aloe (see Faithful to Nature’s site for all the options). Red clay is particularly good for sensitive and dry skin as it’s high in iron oxide and revitalising minerals. It is also pH neutral, meaning your complexion will be protected by balancing the acidity of your skin.

Cleansing properly is not an option but a necessity in my beauty routine and using an organic and naturally biodegradable item like a konjac sponge ticks the boxes for all the right reasons...
Not only does a konjac sponge give a super-duper deep cleanse, but is organic, vegan and totally biodegradable…

A konjac sponge deep cleanses pores, has a soothing effect on sensitive and sunburnt skin, eliminates dryness and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and broken capillaries. It can be used with your fave cleanser or on its own to stimulate blood flow and promote new cell growth.

It’s best to soak your sponge completely first to make it pliable and soft to use on your face. The thread attached makes it easy to hang out and dry, which is great as there’s nothing worse than a manky smelling sponge – it is made of natural vegetables after all!

Konjac sponges are not only great for your skin but the earth too: they are environmentally friendly, vegan and the packaging is 100% plastic-free. Because they’re totally biodegradable, after a few weeks of use you can toss them into some soil. Not too shabby, hey!

Have you used a Konjac sponge before – your thoughts?

Happy Tuesday and hope it’s a sunshiny day up ahead!

 

Cath

GIVEAWAY: Skin Creamery Wildflower Water-Cream

What do the words toothache, Pará cress, Buzz Buttons and Electric Daisy all have in common? They’re all alternative names for the Acmella flower, a key ingredient in Skin Creamery‘s Wildflower Water-Cream. And, since we could all use a bit of good news right now, I have a bottle to giveaway today!

Skin Creamery's Wildflower Water-Cream

Their Wildflower Water-Cream contains the Spilanthes Acmella, a powerful plant botanical that is known for its medicinal properties. Because of how it stimulates your skin’s fibroblasts, your skin feels immediately tighter and smoother. The hydrating elixir enhances collagen and elastin production while relaxing facial tension and is suitable for all skin types. Skin Creamery ethos is ‘Be kind to the earth, and kind to your skin’, meaning no synthetic fragrances, parabens or preservatives are used and their products are suitable for strict vegetarians and vegans.

Skin Creamery's Wildflower Water-Cream

Did you know that Skin Creamery aims to replace single-use packaging with packaging that is functional, reusable or recyclable? Plus all their ingredients are naturally sourced, certified organic and cruelty-free. I’m not shy to admit that packaging is a huge factor for me when buying products (I mean, they’re going to sit on my bathroom shelf so I want them to look good while making me look good, right?) and I absolutely love their botanical-themed packaging and (recyclable!) frosted bottles. If you’d like to get your hands on some Skin Creamery Wildflower Water-Cream here’s how:

Leave a comment on my Instagram and/or Facebook post about this amazing product, telling me why you’d like to win and/or tagging a friend to enter them too. Share the post on your Instastory (don’t forget to tag me, @cathi_trevor!) for an extra entry, and you can email me directly to enter too. I look forward to reading your entries! Winner will be announced on Monday 23rd of March. Entrants must live in South Africa.

Happy day, keep safe, and socialise responsibly!

Cath

FRAGRANCE FILE: WOMENS’SECRET EDT REVIEW

Valentine’s a hop, skip and jump away so thought I’d do a quick week of fragrance reviews of some long overdue ones; I chose today’s trio WOMEN’SECRET Eau My Delice, Eau My Fresh and Eau My Secret for their fresh floral accords, apt for these glorious sultry summer days but also their price point is really good (I’m still feeling the pinch of Christmas and so many birthday celebrations the past two months so if there’s a good buy, lets share!). Here goes:

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (the green bottle)

This is a floral woody accord with sparkling lemon and bergamot sitting in the top notes, orange blossom and jasmine in the middle, with musk, sandalwood and violet in the base. This is a lovely midday ‘freshen me up buttercup’ scent!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN: (yellow bottle)

This is considered an Aromatic Accord with top notes of pomegranate and grapefruit, mid notes of orchid and water fruit and woodsy and musk notes found at the base. It’s a fruity elixir that bursts with energy and optimism and a great Monday perfume to get one in the mood for a week ahead!

EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (pink bottle)

Considered an oriental floral accord with top notes of Italian mandarin, lemon and pear; delectable mid notes of almond, rose, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of praline, musk and vanilla. I like this combination of sweet treats which makes me feel happy and carefree! !

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN, EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN and EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN are all available from Foschini

Price R499

That’s it for today – happy Monday all day!

Cath

#fragrancefilereview #EAUMYSECRETWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #EAUITSFRESHWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #EAUMYDELICEWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #WOMANSECRETFRAGRANCEREVIEW

FRAGRANCE FILE: WOMENS'SECRET EDT REVIEW

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

Valentine’s a hop, skip and jump away so thought I’d do a quick week of fragrance reviews of some long overdue ones; I chose today’s trio WOMEN’SECRET Eau My Delice, Eau My Fresh and Eau My Secret for their fresh floral accords, apt for these glorious sultry summer days but also their price point is really good (I’m still feeling the pinch of Christmas and so many birthday celebrations the past two months so if there’s a good buy, lets share!). Here goes:

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (the green bottle)

This is a floral woody accord with sparkling lemon and bergamot sitting in the top notes, orange blossom and jasmine in the middle, with musk, sandalwood and violet in the base. This is a lovely midday ‘freshen me up buttercup’ scent!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN: (yellow bottle)

This is considered an Aromatic Accord with top notes of pomegranate and grapefruit, mid notes of orchid and water fruit and woodsy and musk notes found at the base. It’s a fruity elixir that bursts with energy and optimism and a great Monday perfume to get one in the mood for a week ahead!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (pink bottle)

Considered an oriental floral accord with top notes of Italian mandarin, lemon and pear; delectable mid notes of almond, rose, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of praline, musk and vanilla. I like this combination of sweet treats which makes me feel happy and carefree! !

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN, EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN and EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN are all available from Foschini

Price R499

That’s it for today – happy Monday all day!

Cath