Holiday Trial Feedback – Skin, Hair & Body

According to the response to the makeup version of this post you guys really enjoy reading about products I’ve tested, so let’s get cracking with the second instalment.


I recently had my hair lightened multiple shades via a lengthy balyage process, and everyone who has ever done that knows that dark that has been lightened is prone to looking a little brassy. I was adamant to not let that happen so I set off to Dis-Chem and was recommended Natur Vital Silver Shampoo – around R70 if I remember correctly.

I did dose my hair with straight up gentian violet a few times which was definitely effective, but that darkened it again so I decided to rather stop. Once all of the violet washed out, this shampoo did a great job of keeping brassiness at bay, and even slightly lightening my hair a little further. I’m still using it, and I’ll be buying my next bottle very soon. FYI – the lady that helped me in Dis-Chem said it’s their most popular silver shampoo by far.

tangle teezer ultimate, natur vital silver shampoo, label m brightening blonde conditioner

Speaking of lightening your hair by multiple shades – I was terrified of having grassy, straw-like hair from all the bleaching. Fortunately this was counteracted in salon already (more about that soon) so I just bought a proper conditioner to make sure my locks remain smooth. My stylist Shelene made a few recommendations and I ended up choosing Label M Brightening Blonde Conditioner, around R300 (available from salons, I got mine at Tanaz). It’s finished now but I was very happy with it – it feels silky smooth on application but your hair still feels clean after you’ve rinsed it – my perfect happy medium.

The last hair product is the Tangle Teezer Ultimate. It’s no secret that I’m a Tangle Teezer fan, but this one takes the cake, the drinks, and the whole party along with it. If it breaks or I lose it, I’ll replace it the very next day.

It’s meant for dry hair, but I use it on both wet and dry locks. What makes it my favourite TT brush is that the bristles are longer and firmer, which results in quicker detangling and a very satisfying scalp massage while you’re at it. Get it from Clicks for R300.

vaseline spray n go, palmers spf50, lush bubbly shower gel

Using LUSH Bubbly Shower Gel was (and still is) and absolute treat. It has a gorgeous uplifting citrus fragrance, and even though it’s a gel it didn’t make my skin feel itchy or dry at all. This one was a limited edition Christmas scent, but you can get LUSH shower gels online or in store from R85/100g.

I wouldn’t be worthy of my Sunscreen Queen title if I didn’t include some SPF now, would I? For my body (and any sun exposed body in close proximity) I took along Palmer’s Even Tone SPF50 aerosol, R210. It’s a sheer, invisible dry oil that’s a breeze to use, but definitely keep it away from your face as the alcohol content will take your breath away (not in the good way).

I also rediscovered Vaseline Spray & Go. I bought some of these in the UK a few years ago, but I’m convinced they’re more moisturising now than they were then. It’s a great formula to use simply because it’s to easy – spray, rub in the excess, and off you go. Aloe Soothe is definitely my favourite variant.

ysl top secrets cleansing balm, antipodes manuka honey mask, prevage moisturiser

I saw a lot of hype about YSL Oil in Balm Makeup Remover, R550, and I assumed my fellow bloggers and beauty eds were being swayed by the brand name and luxury packaging (can you tell how much of a skincare snob I am?). Well I was very, very wrong.

The reformulated YSL Top Secrets line is described as skincare for makeup lovers, and that couldn’t be more accurate. The Oil in Balm Makeup Remover effortlessly removes every single smidge of makeup from your face, while simultaneously treating you to a lovely sensorial experience. The texture feels like a waxy balm/oil and it melts perfectly as you work it into your skin. It’s by far the most decadent and effective cleanser I’ve ever used.

I also finally cracked open the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey mask and it’s lovely. It’s a very gently cleansing mask that soothes and hydrates as well – in my mind it’s the perfect thing to use both before and after a long day or a heavy night. Definitely a good option if you don’t like the feeling of clay masks.

Not available in SA, I bought it from Myer in Australia for about $50 (although that was a year ago already).

For low maintenance days where I don’t have the time or will to do a multi-step morning routine, Prevage Anti Ageing Moisture Lotion SPF30 is great. It’s moisturising enough to be worn on its own, and its packed with antioxidants to provide you with protection against just about everything that causes skin damage. It has a fairly instant brightening effect – my skin looked healthier and more alive within a few days of use. The SPF30 is great too, just be sure to reapply if you’re going to be outdoors.

Get it from Elizabeth Arden counters for R1400.

garnier micellar wipes, dermalogica phyto replenish oil, wet n wild one step wonder gel polish

You won’t often find me recommending face wipes – they generally leave me with tender skin, red eyes and panda smudges in the morning. But if you really can’t be bothered to wash your face properly, Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Wipes, R65, are pretty great. The oil ensures better makeup removal and that you don’t have to draaaaaag several wipes over your skin and eyes multiple times. It’s still not something I’m going to use every day, but I’m most definitely keeping it close for days when I literally can’t even 😉

The last skincare product I tested is Dermalogica’s Phyto Replenish Oil, R1290. It works in three phases to replenish the skin barrier, smooth out fine lines and shield against free radical damage. I love it, and it makes my skin feel great – in fact my skin thrives on this oil. But it also feels really good when I apply my R300 Skin Creamery oil and my R100 SOiL Argan oil. So if it’s priced too steep for you (I’ve made a point of never deciding on behalf of readers what’s affordable and what’s not, but I’m finding it pricey for a 30ml oil), don’t fret – there are alternatives available that will give you a reasonably similar result.

I’ve briefly mentioned the Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel Polish, R70, a couple of months ago, and I’ve now had some time to test it properly. It doesn’t last as long as Essie Gel Couture (an average of 3-4 days versus 5 days) on my fingernails, but it has become the polish I reach for most often when I’m short on time. No base coat, no top coat, just paint and go.

Right, I need to rest my cramping fingers now. Tried anything good lately?

C x




  1. Feb 13, 2017 / 1:07 PM

    We went camping this weekend and we finished a whole bottle of Palmer’s Even Tone SPF50. Everyone used it and loved it. And I also agree about the Tangle Teezer. LOVE IT!!

    • Chantelle Bester
      Feb 19, 2017 / 8:57 PM

      Agreed – two great products! And I can imaging with you and your daughter’s curls the longer & firmer bristles of this one would be great.

  2. R Fourie
    Feb 13, 2017 / 7:42 PM

    The Garnier Oil-Infused Micellar Cleansing Water is my favourite:-)

    • Chantelle Bester
      Feb 19, 2017 / 8:56 PM

      Yes, it’s great! Love that I don’t have to rub my eyes too much. You’ll probably like the wipes too 🙂

  3. Ashi
    Feb 16, 2017 / 9:02 AM

    My roots are grey . Would the Balayage or ombré work for me.
    My hair is black.

    Many thanks

    • Chantelle Bester
      Feb 19, 2017 / 8:56 PM

      Hi Ashi,

      It’s not going to cover your grey roots, so you can either grow them out or you can continue colouring the roots dark and then just touch up the balyage every 3-6 months.

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