This month, it's about lip service (in the form of beautiful new lippies), bursts of gorgeous nail colour, and a skin range that targets signs of ageing… here's what I'm excited about this month.
Smile On: Labello
This is hardly a new product, but this classic lip balm gets a limited-edition new packaging. Each time you buy this Beautiful Smile dual pack for R34.99, R2 will go to the Smile Foundation, a charity that helps kids with cleft palates and cleft lips get life-changing operations.
If you upload a photo or video of you sharing your Beautiful Smile stick to Facebook or Instagram with the hastag #LabelloSmileChallenge, a further R1 will go to Smile Foundation.
This can make a fun and much-appreciated gift for colleagues, friends or kids, so start supporting those smiles!
Hand-some: Essie winter 2017 range
This winter collection is one of my favourite ranges in a long time, and there's something for eveyrone, whether you like something bold or more sedate.
They're available from chemists, Clicks and salons for around R135.
From clockwise left: oh behave!, ready to boa, satin sister, getting groovy, go with the flowy, party on a platform
The light fantastic: Vichy ProEven
Vichy is a brand I'm starting to know more, and love more. I've always been a fan of their suncare products, and the more I try of their skin range, the more I like it, and the more I want to explore more. The ProEven range technically isn't new, but it's new to me, so I'm sneaking it in here.
The ProEven range claims to reduce the appearance of dark spots, and it's clinically proven to do so. The Brightening Cleansing Foam deeply cleanses the skin and gently exfoliates dead skin cells to reduce the look of dark spots. It's non irritating, and foams and cleanses really well. I'm usually quite sensitive to exfoliants, but I had no effect from this.
The ProEven Spot Corrector's dark spot busting ingredient is ascorbyl glucoside, a form of vitamin C, which can dramatically reduce the free radicals that result from UV irradiation of the skin, and significantly reduce cell damage and photo-ageing (and thus dark spots).
After a few weeks of usage, the patches under my eyes were lighter, and I'll keep using it.
The cleanser costs R230, and the cream R409 from the likes of Clicks, and SkinMiles.
Creme de la creme: Nivea Care Shower Creme Oil Pearls
One of my favourite shower products is actually my husband's – Silver Protect Shower Gel as it's got an amazing refreshing and "clean" scent, and I like the texture too.
On the sweeter-smelling side of things is Nivea's new Care Shower Creme Oil Pearls, available in Cherry Blossom and Lotus. I've only tried the Cherry Blossom and it feels and smells quite luxe, and is a bit heavy for me for everyday use, so I use it on the days I'm feeling like a richer shower experience. It has argan and sunflower oil so is very moisturising, and therefore brilliant for Joburg winters.
It's availabe from around R40 from supermarkets and chemists.
Vice as Nice: Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick
There aren't many things that get the beauty media quite as excited as a new Urban Decay product, and the new to SA Vice Liquid Lipstick hasn't let us down.
There are two finishes – metalised (shimmery) and comfort matte, and 30 shades in this incredible range – from bright and subdued to edgy and nudes , there's something for everyone (for a look at the full range and swatches, head here
The lipstick, even the matte version, glides on beautifully, and is waterproof and long-wearing (I got around five hours before having to re-apply), and the matte is not as typically drying as other matte iiquid lipsticks.
The shades that I've tried are magnificent (colleagues have remarked each time I've worn them), and even though I have about eleventy hundred and twenty two lipsticks and glosses, there are some shades I would love to have: Backtalk, Amulet, Menace and Purgatory come to mind.
Rocky Steady (top) and Rapture
Vice Liquid Lipstick is available from available from Foschini Eastgate, Menlyn & foschiniforbeauty.co.za for R290.
Me in Rock Steady
Shake shifter: Lancôme Matte Shaker
Between Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra Cushion foundation and their new Matte Shaker, I've had some beauty highlights with these products this year. If you thought Juicy Shaker was good, this is even better – it's pigmented, wears for long, is non drying and has an incredible colour payoff.
It's available in seven shades and has vitamin E so that it doesn't feel dry on the lips. Application is easy and precise with a cushion sponge, and the result is lip-smackingly beatiful.
Available from Lancôme counters for R315.
Top: Kiss Me Cherie. Bottom: Pink Power