New on my beauty desk | November 2018

New on my beauty desk | November 2018

One of the best parts of my job is receiving many of the newest and very best beauty products as they hit the shelves (often several months before!) so that I can have a play around and test them, before sharing my reviews with you. 

I’ve been doing this job for well over ten years now – first as the beauty editor at a couple of SA’s top female publications, and now as a full-time blogger, too. During these ten years, I’ve been fortunate enough to try just about every beauty product on the market – from serums and moisturisers to anti-cellulite creams and dry shampoos… you name it, I’ve tried it! Despite having done this work for a number of years, receiving a new parcel in the mail never fails to excite me. As my husband puts it, he’s never seen someone who happens to own hundreds of lipsticks already, get so excited over a new… lipstick!

Truth is, beauty is one of my passions, and has been ever since I was a young girl paging through my mom’s copies of ELLE, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan. No matter how into minimalism I get or how much I embrace slow living, one thing remains the same: my beauty cupboards are overflowing! When I first started trying to simplify my life, this bothered me – but as the years have gone by, I’ve realised that beauty products bring me joy, which is what minimalism is really all about, right? (That is, getting rid of those things that you don’t love and that don’t serve you, to make space for the things that truly make you happy).

There are so many new beauty discoveries that I come across every month, but they don’t often see the light of day here on the blog, simply because I don’t have enough time. As such, I thought it might be fun to do a monthly bumper beauty post that features all the goodies that have landed on my desk during that particular week… this gives me the chance to share more info about some of the newest products (or goodies that may not necessarily be new, but that I’m super-excited to try) all in one go so that you know what to look out for next time you’re at the shops.

So without further adieu, here are some lovely treats that have just landed on my beauty desk… some of them are new to the market while others are simply new to me, but they all look pretty fabulous!

I already have a near-empty tube of Eau Thermale Avène’s Anti-Aging Suncare SPF50+ (R230) on my bathroom shelf, and it’s been my go-to facial sunscreen over the past month or so. What I like most about this sunscreen is the fact that it doesn’t feel heavy, sticky, or greasy, and that it sits well underneath my foundation. Like all of Eau Thermale Avène’s products, this is a good option for those who battle with a more sensitive skin type. It also boasts powerful antioxidants to help fight free radicals and to prevent premature ageing, and I’ve found that it’s worked like a dream when it comes to keeping dark spots and pigmentation under control.

Given my love for the Eau Thermale Avène Anti-Aging Suncare SPF50+, I’m really looking forward to using Eau Thermale Avène’s Very High Protection Spray (R296) on my body. I haven’t put this SPF spray through its paces properly, but from the quick spritz test I did on my arms and chest, it’s quickly and readily absorbed, with no stickiness or greasiness to speak of. This sunscreen is both hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it won’t irritate your skin or block your pores. It also boasts a biodegradable formula, which minimises the impact on the marine environment. If that isn’t one reason to switch to this sunscreen, I don’t know what is! (As an aside, all of Avène’s sunscreen formulations are biodegradable).

HANDY TIP: Eau Thermale Avène recommends applying 12 sprays to each limb or body part (so 12 sprays on each arm, 12 sprays per leg, 12 sprays on your chest, 12 sprays on your abdomen, and so on). For children, stick to approximately 6 sprays for each body part.

As always, it’s best to apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours (or immediately after sweating or swimming).

It’s virtually impossible to have too much sunscreen, especially during the hot summer months, so I was also thrilled to receive the new Solal Sun SPF3- Hydra Technology Enhanced sunscreen for face (R269). Am I the only one who thought that Solal only did supplements?!

This anti-aging sunscreen not only protects your skin from harsh UV rays, it also keeps your skin hydrated and boasts antioxidants to help fight free radical damage. It feels silky soft upon application, and it has a lovely matte finish that’s ideal for those with oily or combination skin types, like me! I haven’t tried wearing this with makeup yet, but Solal claims that is sits comfortably underneath foundation and doubles up as a primer to prep your skin for makeup. I’ll be testing this beauty thoroughly in the coming weeks, so you can expect my full review soon!

I am a sucker for a good body scrub, so I was very excited when Marrakech Argan Exfoliating Body Scrub landed on my doorstep. It has a lovely, fine grit to it that really works to buff and polish your skin, without leaving it red or rubbed raw. It smells absolutely incredible, and left my skin feeling as soft and smooth as my five year old’s skin! It contains Vitamin E and Argan Oil, so it’s the perfect addition to your summer body care routine – not only will these luscious ingredients soften your skin, but they’ll also nourish and moisturise it after a day on the beach or in the pool.

Oh, and did I mention the heavenly scent?!


I’m a big fan of Pure Beginnings’ range of natural and certified organic bath and body care products  – for myself, and for my son. I almost always have the Pure Beginnings Fun Time Kids Wash with organic rooibos (R75) in our shower, as I love that it uses gentle, plant-based surfactants to cleanse the skin – without stripping it of its natural oils or leaving it feeling dry, tight, or itchy.

The water here in Greyton is a little harder than we’re used to, and I’ve found that Pure Beginnings Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner has worked wonders at keeping my hair soft and shiny, so I can only imagine that this Pure Beginnings Fun Time Conditioning Shampoo (R90) will be a great addition to Beanie’s bath time routine. I’ve never used this product before, so I’m looking forward to putting it through its sulphate-free and antioxidant-rich paces! (I often reached for the Soothing Baby Wash & Shampoo when Bean was younger, so if you have a smaller baby, I highly recommend it!)


Have you seen Almay’s gorgeous new look and branding yet? I am obsessed! Something I’m even more besotted with? New Almay Best Blend Forever Makeup. It boasts a fabulous little blending applicator to help make applying, blending, and buffing your foundation into your skin an absolute breeze. (You can either use it as is, or remove the blender and use it as a separate tool to make it even easier to use and manoeuvre around hard-to-reach areas).

This lightweight foundation can best be described as a hybrid product, as it not only provides full coverage to disguise blemishes and imperfections in a flash, but it also packs a moisturising punch. Makeup and moisturiser in one? Yes, please! It also boasts SPF40, making it the perfect BFF this summer season.

Have you tried any of these beauties yet? Or are there any specific products listed here that you’re itching to try?