Beauty trend: Orange lips! My top 3 orange lipsticks

19 Dec

Orange lips are all the rage right now and I’ve found myself embracing this trend gladly as summer graces Cape Town with its presence. Here are some of my favourites:

3. Rubybox Smooch Stick in Tangerine Tango. I am such a huge fan of Rubybox and have bought myself two gifts for Christmas from Rubybox, one of which is a Soap and Glory product which can only be bought on Rubybox locally. I got my hands on their Smooch Stick, a product from their own range. This lip product is a thick pencil so it’s compact enough to slip into a tiny clutch. The colour is gorgeous and vibrant, and it’s super moisturising because it contains vitamin E. The colour lasts long and it suits every skin tone. Plus, at R129.95 it’s budget-friendly.20131219-172138.jpg

2. Chanel Rouge Coco in Chalys. I am such a sucker for any Chanel beauty product and this one is no different. This is a peachy orange that is slightly subtler than the very bright, reddish versions out there. It has a slight shimmer in it so it’s a super pretty shade and I found it moisturising which is always a plus in lip colour. Plus you get to pull Chanel out of your bag every time you reapply!


1. Tom Ford Lip Color in True Coral. This is my favourite if the three! The colour is a reddish orange that is bright and vibrant. Of course, being Tom Ford, the packaging is super luxurious, not to mention the TF pressed into the lipstick! I love this with a flawless skin and subtle eye makeup look, but some days I blot the tiniest bit over some lip balm which creates a gorgeous, natural peachy colour that is perfect for daytime. The colour is long-lasting and just such a beautiful, fun shade that it makes me want to wear orange lips every day.



My top three gelaterias in Rome

12 Dec

Of course gelato is something you simple must have in Rome! In fact, it’s all we ever had for dessert. These were my favourite spots, in reverse order of favoritism:

3. Giolitti. Pretty famous, Giolitti has a large interior and many, many flavours! This definitely had the widest selection. Service is abrupt and quick, so don’t expect a chit chat- rather grab your gelato and have it while strolling around Rome, which is magical at night. Must-try: champagne sorbet.

Via Uffici del Vicario, 40

2. San Crispino. My travel companions and I debated first and second place at length, and ultimately it was a very close call. San Crispino, a name you might recognize from Eat, Pray, Love, does gelato proper. Seasonal ingredients, no syrups and other cheap substitutes, real fruit- it’s as good as it gets. Some flavours are even oddly coloured which shows how natural the ingredients are- apple sorbet won’t be neon green, but rather a browny green colour. Grab a cup and have it at the Trevi fountain around the corner- definitely one of my favourite Rome sites. Go late at night to avoid the Trevi crowds. Must-try: fig; salted caramel; and any of the seasonal fruit flavours.

Via della Panetteria, 42

1. Gelateria del Teatro. One night during dinner I was paging through my Louis Vuitton Rome travel guide, and spotted a gelateria that sounded promising. I mentioned that we should try find it during our trip sometime, and we happened to walk past it on our way home. And boy am I glad we did! This small space has a good variety of flavours, but their speciality is herbed ice creams. Think raspberry and sage, lavender and peach, white chocolate and basil, and lavender, honey, and lemon. Those are all must-try flavours, along with their famed red wine and dark chocolate ice cream. This was by far my favourite, just from a flavour point of view: the mixes sound odd but they are perfect combinations and make for delicious, interesting gelato. Walk along the river as you enjoy the best that Rome has to offer.

Via di San Simone, 70.



My Fantasy Beauty Advent Calendar

6 Nov


A while ago I read about something called the Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar. It’s exactly what it sounds like- an advent calendar but instead of chocolates you get a beauty product every day! MUCH better than chocolate in my opinion. So I got to thinking how awesome it would be to assemble a beauty advent calendar containing all my favourite beauty products, and decided to assemble a fantasy beauty advent calendar [‘fantasy’ as this would cost me a million billion rand. Someday I will do this, though!]. This is what I would put in my perfect beauty advent calendar:

  1. Chanel Bonheur: I recently discovered this lipstick. It’s a strong colour that’s not too pink, not too dark, and not too sparkly. It’s perfect for night time and rounds off a look perfectly, plus I love the Chanel lipsticks for their texture and moisturizing abilities.
  2. Nimue Super Hydrating Serum. This is a miracle product, and I couldn’t live without it. I apply it before my night cream and wake up with plump, glowing skin.
  3. Pureology conditioner. I’ve never really been someone who buys expensive hair products, but this is amazing! It leaves my hair in much better condition before my trim every three months. I don’t love the minty smell as minty things remind me of foot cream, but other than that I love it.
  4. Nuxe multi-purpose oil. I bought this recently and I love it! It feel super luxurious and it smells like heaven. You only need a teeny bit and it’s multi-purpose [hair, face, body] so honestly, what’s not to love?
  5. Essie Chinchilla. I just love the colour of this grey nail polish. It looks really chic and elegant and goes with everything so you don’t need to worry about bright yellow clashing with your red dress, or anything like that.
  6. Nimue SPF 40. I use this every single day, even in winter and when I’m indoors all day. It offers high protection but isn’t sticky and gross like a lot of SPFs. It also isn’t super oily, and I even apply it around my eye area.
  7. Chanel Rouge Noir. The most classic of all nail polishes, surely? A deep, rich colour with a decent pop culture nod. I doubt I will ever stop wearing this.
  8. Dior Rock Coat. This is a semi-transparent charcoal nail polish that you apply over other colours to give them a smokey finish. It’s a nice way to shake things up without having to invest in multiple new nail polishes, and gives otherwise neutral or very feminine colours a bit of an edge. I also love the Dior nail polishes brushes- they’re broad so application is super smooth and easy.
  9. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge. I learnt about this from All Dolled Up and it’s pretty much my favourite beauty product now. The colour is perfect, I love the texture [and have since come to prefer cream blushers over powder] and once again this is multi-purpose so it’s great for travel or to pop into your tiny clutch bag.

10. Eyelash curlers.* This is really just something I don’t have but should have!

11. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I started using this earlier this year and I love it. Like the Nimue Super Hydrating Serum, I can see results the morning after I use it, and it leaves my skin dewy and delicious. SC also uses it often.

12.  Essie Barefoot & Topless. As seen on MEJ’s Instagram feed; the perfect, classy neutral for summer hands and feet.

13. Nimue Vitamin C Moisture Mist. This is a really refreshing spray that smells yummy and gives your skin some life in the morning. Great for a bit of a wake-up in summer.

14. Tom Ford true coral. It’s a reddish orange coral lipstick, but I just love it. I either apply liberally for a very bold, bright lip, or I dot it lightly and blend in with my fingers for a more natural pop of colour. Plus, I’m a sucker for the beautiful Tom Ford packaging.

15. Mac Russian Red. Classic red lippy, everyone needs one.

16. Chanel Orange Fizz. This is the nail polish I wore on our wedding day, and it’s the perfect pinky coral for summer.

17. Kiehl’s Crème de Corps body lotion. Not sticky, not smelly, just an effective all-over moisturizer. Perfect in its simplicity.

18. Sally Hansen hand cream. I’m not sure what it’s called but it comes in an orange tube, it smells like heaven, and it’s super luxurious. I’m always trying out new hand creams and they tend to leave me disappointed, but this one is a winner.

19. Tangle Teazer.* Another beauty must-have I don’t have.

20. Chanel Eye Make-Up Remover. Effective, and it feels like silk on the skin.

21. Batiste dry shampoo. Love a dry shampoo, especially since my hair is fine and gets greasy quite quickly. Plus, dry shampoo is great for a bit of volume! Another travel essential.

22. Nimue Syper-Hydrating Mask. I need this to go with my Super Hydrating Serum, and to complete my product list for the perfect Nimue facial at home: cleanser, toner, exfoliating enzyme, super hydrating mask, super hydrating serum, night cream.

23. Mac stippling brush.* I called this the magical brush of heaven, as it feels absolutely divine on the skin. I hate applying foundation with my fingers so I use latex wedges, but this brush is a far better option.

24. Coco Mademoiselle. I got this for my birthday from SC, and I love it. I call it my gateway drug to Chanel No. 5 as I want to make the switch but I feel I’m not ready yet. Something profound has to happen to make me feel that I am officially the Chanel No. 5 woman. Until then, it’s Coco Mademoiselle all the way!

*These three items are tools rather than products that will run out [like the other 21], so if I had to do all products and no tools I would replace these with the following:

  1. Mac Patina. My absolute favourite everyday eye shadow. It’s perfect as a base for a more dramatic look, or on its own for a very natural-looking daytime look.
  2. Chanel beige. Camilla from All Dolled Up recently told me about Beige, and it is divine. It’s more mature than Coco Mademoiselle, so I think it’s the good one to wear at night and in winter if Coco Mademoiselle is my go-to daytime scent.
  3. Dior Abricot cuticle cream. Along with always looking for a great hand cream, I always look for a good cuticle cream. I actually haven’t tried this, but I’ve only heard rave reviews.

 What would you put in your fantasy beauty advent calendar?

My Top 5 Bars in Rome

10 Oct

5. Abbey Theatre

No matter where you go, you’re gonna need an Irish pub, right? Abbey Theatre is charming, with lots of smaller rooms linked by narrow corridors. The owner is friendly and fun [he called Nina a bossy cow while we were there and the name has stuck], there’s free wifi, they show major sports on their many TV screens, and basically it’s a go-to pub for a Guiness. Sit at the outside-facing counters for some great people-watching opportunities.

Via del Governo Vecchio 51

4. Bar del Fico

Bar del Fico is right across from Da Francesco and near Baguetteria del Fico, as the name suggests. It’s vibey and loud, perfect for a Saturday night out. It kind of reminded me of my student days in Stellenbosch- almost like Bohemia in Rome. The music is loud, the people are a mixed bag of fun and wild, and it’s the perfect spot to start of end a big Saturday night.

Via San Marcello 19


3. Baguetteria del Fico

I mentioned the Baguetteria del Fico as one of my top five food experiences in Rome, but it’s great for a drink. Grab a craft beer and seat yourself on one of the wooden stools next to the old-school cars, and enjoy summer afternoons in Rome. Perfect.


2. Birra del Borgo

I had hat hair and feet that felt like they were bleeding when I walked into Birra del Borgo. And the combination of great, friendly staff, cool music, and delicious beer made it all go away! It’s a cool, laid-back vibe, and I highly recommend you sit at the counter and have an Isaac Weiss beer in one of these fancy glasses. I really enjoyed Birra del Borgo and when we left I just wanted to stay, and hang out there all night, being chilled and drinking the most delicious beer. If I lived in Rome, I’d make this my spot to go to after a hectic day, or to start the weekend.

Via del Colle Rosso


1. Anywhere

Honestly, the best place to enjoy a drink in Rome is anywhere. It’s legal to drink in public until 11pm every night, so your best bet is to grab a beer or a bottle of wine from a supermarket or deli, find a cool spot, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Rome in all its glory. Rome is so beautiful and vibrant, and I love the people, so I could spend hours sitting somewhere pretty and just taking it all in. I would recommend the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, or a walking drink: There is something mind-blowing around every corner in this city, so you’ll never tire of walking it!


The lunchtime missions: 8 October

9 Oct

Okay so not a hugely exciting one, but I was determined to get out of the office for lunch yesterday so I took a stroll up to Bree street to visit some stores.

First I popped in at Missibaba and Kirsten Goss to check out the new Missibaba Queendom of Banana collection. Let’s just say I wanted everything! Every piece of gold jewelry form Kirsten Goss, the Missibaba laptop satchel, a Missibaba clutch… The list goes on! The store is gorgeous and well worth a visit. It’s also right next door to my new favourite lunch spot, Sababa. They do North African dishes and the lunch buffet is to die for!

I also popped in at Skinny Laminx to see her space. I liver her fabrics and have tea towels and a cushion from this range. I would love some more cushions!

Bree street is the perfect lunchtime stroll. I would also recommend a sandwich or pastry at Jason Bakery, shopping at Paul Smith, a craft beer at &Union, and, of course, a visit to me favourite local designers, Klûk CGDT. There’s so much to do on Bree!


The lunchtime missions/tourist in my own city: Kevin Atkinson exhibition at the National Gallery

8 Oct

Last week was a lunchtime missions disaster! Every day had a lunchtime meeting of some sort. But yesterday the sun was shining and I had lunch free, so I got my gallery card and off I went.

Because I’ve bought an annual pass to the Iziko National Gallery, I want to work through it slowly. I started with the very first room’s exhibition: South African artist Kevin Atkinson.

It was pretty interesting. His art is very modern and to be honest I didn’t like much of it (although that’s no reason to see art, anyway). I also imagine there’ll be a lot of “my five year-old could do this” types of comments from people.

Some of his smaller sketches really appealed to me, and it’s interesting to read about how he was received in South Africa- he got a lot of flack for being unpolitical and thus un-South African in his art. There’s also a partial recreation of his studio in the gallery.

I got through the entire thing in about half an hour and I would definitely recommend a visit. I wasn’t really allowed to take pictures but I only found this out by asking (there were no signs stating as much) so I’ve included one pic here.

Next up: the Against the Grain exhibition.


My Top 5 Food Experiences in Rome

2 Oct

I had heard good things about the food in Rome. Amazing things, in fact, and I was excited. We did Rome with two friends and this is a list of my favourite food experiences:

5. Pane, Vino & San Daniele. San Daniele is a famous type of ham from the region of San Daniele in Italy. It’s sort of like a prosciutto, with a strong, delicious flavor. So we went to Pane, Vino & San Daniele to have some of this. We ordered a bottle of red wine, two huge plates of San Daniele, and two plates of fior di latte [which, did you know, means “tears of milk”]. Trust me, it’s all you need. Simple, high-quality food is the epitome of Italian cuisine so this was such a treat.

Via della Panetteria 42.


4. Baguetteria del Fico. Near the well-known Piazza del Fico [fico means fig], this place is super charming and quaint. The interior is small and can probably seat about 6 people, but outside, next to an old car, there are a few wooden stools which we always used. You have to pick up your stuff and move out of the way if a car comes past, but it’s all part of the charm. The make sandwiches [as the name suggests] and you can choose from a variety of breads. Most options of 4-5 euros, and with combinations like prosciutto, mozzarella, and truffle paste, it’ll be some of the best sandwich money you’ve ever spent! Pistachio paste is another delicious spread, and I can highly recommend the pata negra, which is essentially a grilled Panini with thin slices of lard and balsamic vinegar. If you like Weiss beer, try a bottle of Mikkeller Belgian Tripel. Ideal for a long, lazy lunch.

Via della Fossa 12.

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3. Carlo Menta is proper local. We were the only people in the entire restaurant who were not speaking Italian, and that’s always a good sign! The place is packed, I mean almost shoulder-to-shoulder dining, and there are three things not to expect here: Space; quiet; and fanciness. It’s a bustling little restaurant with honest-to-goodness, well-priced, delicious Italian food.. Marguerita pizzas are 3 euro, and you should know that a plain, good ol’ Marguerita pizza is pretty the best thing to have in Rome if it’s quality. But the best dish on their menu has got to be the Gnocchi di Carlo Menta: Perfect gnocchi with a tomato-base sauce, mussels, and baby clams. Incredible flavours, well-priced, and the cause of much order envy.

Via della Lungaretta 101.


2. Ginger was our “fancy lunch” for the trip. It was a hot, perfect summer’s day and we sat outside under the umbrellas, watching the stylish Romans go about their usual day. The interior is chic and simple but truly beautiful, and the menu is extensive: Everything from daily dishes depending on the available fresh produce to healthier options like juices and smoothies, Italian food like interesting pasta dishes and meat and cheese platters, gourmet salads – the list goes on. We had some champagne to celebrate my successful Jimmy Choo and Tiffany haul, and each enjoyed a pasta dish. The food is fresh, the décor is gorgeous, and all ‘round I think if I could have lunch at Ginger every day I would. Dishes cost less if you opt for take-away.

Via Borgognona 43/44.

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1. Da Francesco. The place where all four of us had the best meal we’ve ever had. No, really. The best meal ever, in four people’s lives with a combined age of 100. Neighbour to Bar del Fico [we’re back at this piazza], you’d be forgiven for not noticing Da Francesco. Some of the reasons you should go there are that it’s central, well-priced, the staff are delightful, and it’s a lovely spot to sit outside for lunch. The main reason to go there: Truffle and buffalo mozzarella pizza. Need I say more? I don’t think so. It was incredible. It was mind-blowingly delicious, and I pine for it daily. Truth be told I don’t have the words to explain how good this  pizza was, so go there and experience it for yourself. And bring me a slice, will you?

Piazza del Fico, 29.

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