Clarins Rouge Prodige is my happy lipstick for winter

Since winter arrived I’ve been trying to convince myself that plum lips are the way to go. First I tried Clinique chubby stick intense in grandest grape and absolutely loved it. But such a bold lip is high maintenance so I slipped back into my nude ways (er, that sounds bad but I mean natural lip colours, obviously). After forays into various bright and bold options which frankly scared me a little – yes Dior Fluid Sticks, I am talking to you – I found the Clarins Rouge Prodige lipstick in True Aubergine. It feels like I’ve won the challenge of finding my “happy shade” of plum, one which I feel comfortable in, don’t have to constantly check is in place and is plum without being mildly Gothic in appearance.

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Clarins describes these as “true hold” lipsticks, and what I love about them is how long lasting they are (I mean four hours plus without reapplication). There is quite a staining effect as the lipstick wears over time, yet it fades quite evenly. When applied the lipstick is very moisturising, and even when it wears off my lips feel very hydrated – as though I’ve applied a lip balm. It contains ceramides and waxes to keep lips feeling soft, and they really work! On application it does have a shine, so it isn’t matte, but it isn’t highly glossy either. I only have this one shade, which I think is a new shade as it isn’t online yet, but I can’t recommend these lipsticks enough. And the packaging is beautiful too! R255 at Clarins counters or online.

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New Clarins makeup to put a Spring in your step

Clarins has just launched their Opalescence Spring 2014 makeup collection including the new Multi Blush Cream Blush in four shades and new shades of Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base. The theme is subtle radiance with a hint of fresh Spring colour. I haven’t seen the stunning face powder in store yet but I was told the new Be Long Mascara will be out any minute now (whoop whoop, I’ve been waiting for it for months!). I decided to reward myself for my hard work by some impulse purchases from this collection, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

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I chose a Multi Blush Cream Blush in Candy (R300) which is a warm pink (there is also peach, grenadine and rosewood). It has an amazing texture which I love even more than the Chanel cream blush – it melts into skin, applies sheer and blends really well to give a completely natural effect. It is supposed to be cream to powder, but it looks fresher and dewier than a powder blush. There are very fine gold particles in it, like with the Clarins powder blush, but they don’t translate into shimmer on your skin and aren’t noticeable on application. I might just be going back for another shade!

Clarins Multi-Blush Cream Blush Candy

I also got a Gloss Prodige in Coral Tulip (R220) which is a beautiful new coral-pink shade with a touch of subtle gold which just encapsulates Spring and summer to me. I know it is mid-winter, but I don’t care, I’m going going to wear it to death anyway. I think Clarins has got gloss down to a fine art. Like with the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, this gloss is hydrating, smooth and non-sticky. And they smell so good, fruity and delicious.

Lastly I got an Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in Champagne (R315), which is intended to combat redness and even skin tone while giving you a natural-looking glow. There is also a rose for very fair skin tones and a peach for darker skin tones which on me would be a kind of light bronzing base. They are supposed to even out your skin and illuminate, but I was surprised at the coverage.

If you have good skin you can get away with wearing this on its own, as it is a light coverage which looks luminous without looking shiny or shimmery. The light-reflecting ingredients actually do blur your skin slightly. The Champagne is yellow-toned and does quite a good job of cancelling the redness around my nose and chin, and even makes blemishes less visible, but I can still wear it alone without it making my skin too yellow-toned. If you have blemishes you need to conceal afterwards, but it does help with the redness. I actually seriously love this stuff. It makes a good makeup primer as well, and makes my makeup last much longer while being hydrating at the same time. It does have a very strong floral scent though – so be warned if scent in makeup bothers you.

Here I am wearing all three products

Here I am wearing all three products

My Skincare Update

I haven’t done a skincare routine post since last August so I thought I would share what I’m currently using in my routine. I’m busy testing the Body Shop Pomegranate Cream Cleanser and Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream. So far I’m enjoying the cleanser but not finding the eye cream moisturising enough, so I will probably purchase the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment yet again. I also alternate between the Balm Balm Rosehip Serum and Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Serum in the mornings, after the Paula’s Choice treatment. My skincare routine takes quite a bit of time due to all the steps, but I never skip a step even if it means less time for makeup!

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In the evening I double cleanse using the Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil, Balm Balm Frankincense Cleansing Balm and Body Shop Pomegranate Cream Cleanser in various combinations. My favourite is the Balm Balm cleansing balm because it really leaves my skin feeling nourished and pampered. I also double tone at night. Overkill maybe, but it seems to be making my skin happy. The Paula’s Choice retinol serum feels a lot like a facial oil on application and sometimes I just add a dab of the Clinique moisture gel over it before I get into bed, but it feels very moisturising on its own.

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I use three masks a week usually, one for deep cleansing, one for hydration and one for exfoliating. Sometimes after my mini home facial I will use the Clarins face treatment oil instead of my normal serum and moisturiser. I am a big fan of Esse products and also using their refining cleanser as a clay mask even though it is technically a cleanser. I also love Body Shop and REN masks and have three in rotation at the moment. I’d love to hear your skincare product recommendations! Please let me know which products you can’t do without :)

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Rain Bee Essential Remedies Review + Giveaway!

My blog recently passed the 50,000 views milestone, and I wanted to do a giveaway to say thank you to everyone who reads my rambles. Tanya at Rain very kindly offered to sponsor some products from their Bee Essential Remedies range, and I was lucky enough to get some test out myself. Being a huge fan of A) Rain products and B) anything bee-related, I was so excited to give them a try.

For more about Rain as a brand and what they stand for you can read my original Rain post here. I received three products, the Honeyquat & Propolis Bee Butter, the Sleep Balm with Valarium & Scullcap and the Heel Balm. This range is remedial and targeted at specific problem area like dry skin, heels, lips and even tension and sleeplessness!

Rain Bee Essential Remedies

Honeyquat & Propolis Bee Butter

My first thought was, what on earth is honeyquat? It is, in fact, a conditioning honey derivative which is ultra moisturising – so there, maybe you’ve learned something new! And propolis is antibacterial and antioxidant, so the benefits that come from those busy bees go so far beyond honey for your toast. This body butter also contains shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, macadamia nut oil and other ingredients to banish any dry winter skin. I found it incredibly nourishing, and yet fast absorbing so it didn’t leave any greasy feeling on the skin. The scent to me is predominantly of shea and cocoa butter, a comforting sort of scent. I find it works best on dry skin, so make sure it isn’t damp.

Sleep Balm with Valarium & Scullcap

This was my favourite in terms of scent, but difficult to describe. The sleep balm is for applying to your pulse points and soles of your feet after a warm bath to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep. It contains skullcap and valarian extract, lavender oil, chamomile oil (and other natural ingredients) which all help to calm and induce sleep. Skullcap is a flower extract which eases tension and has even been used in treating rabies in dogs. Now, I know you probably don’t suffer from rabies, but I thought that was just an interesting fact. Valerian extract is a sedative herb historically used to treat migraines, amongst other things. I have been using this every night and found I fall asleep much quicker than usual. I normally lie awake for a long time before falling asleep, but I’ve been lights out within what feels like minutes. I love the little tin it comes in which slides out, perfect for keeping on your bedside table.

Heel Balm

The Heel Balm Herbal Linament is the perfect remedy for dry, cracked or rough heels (and feet in general). There are so many amazing ingredients in this like olive, argan, avocado and peppermint oil, as well as beeswax, shea butter and vitamin E. At first I didn’t like the scent and found it a bit medicinal (and it reminded me of camphor) but on application the scent is much nicer and minty. My feet are as rough as tractor tyres most of the time so I’ve been slathering it on, covering with socks, going to bed and waking up with much softer heels. I also rub the excess into my hands and it has really improved my cuticles.

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I couldn’t find these on the Rain website yet but I will find out the prices of each and add them to this post as soon as possible. If you would like to win one of each of these products for yourself then all you have to do is the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post

2. Follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe to my YouTube channel (1 additional entry)

3. Follow Rain on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway! Make sure you tag @bronwynh1981 and @Rain_Africa in your tweet. (1 additional entry)

Giveaway will end on Friday 11th July

Congrats to Nicola Meyer!