Monday, 18 January 2016

New in | Surviving Summer

Surviving this heatwave in style is proving near impossible. I saw someone on Twitter refer to the constant sweating above her lip as a "sweat snor" and pretty much wet myself. A "snor" for my overseas readers, is a moustache in Afrikaans. And right now I have a salty, dewy one perched above my upper lip almost constantly. I feel like I want to ditch the outdoors in favour of being a mall-rat and watching movies all day - which I know is a sin in summer. But I can only take so many consecutive days of constant heat. I caught myself lurking aimlessly in the Woolies frozen food section this weekend and I've eaten my weight in ice cream and chilled watermelon.

I'll stop whinging now and get on with it. It is summer and it is the season to wear all things floaty and floral - but also things that are not polyester. I require soft cotton based fabrics that move and breathe with me. I also don't need any half-moon action showing up either so quick-drying and non-creasing fabrics are whats getting me through this heatwave without looking and smelling like a hot mess.

I spotted Emma's camis when I popped in to her salon in Wynberg to get my lashes done. I had a quick peruse around her showroom next door and immediately fell in love with the soft cotton and beautiful colours. I completely forgot about it until my Dubai trip with my girlfriends in December when Kirst wore this gorgeous strapless playsuit on our desert safari, and I had serious outfit envy. (Yes, I know I've been pretty shoddy with my travel posts and I will be telling you all about Dubai, Bali and Singapore very soon!).
We were hurled through the dunes in a Land Cruiser in the desert heat, followed by dinner in the middle of nowhere, sitting cross-legged on carpets on the floor and eating with our hands. In between all of this we were getting henna designs painted on our hands and feet and riding camels and smoking hookah (not all at the same time just to clarify) - and my jeans and kaftan weren't fairing as well in the style department as K and her lovely little ensemble.
So I made a mission to stalk Emma Brink and see what is new and show you a few favourites that I found. She has a perfect range of summer staples to see you through balmy days at work, the beach, cocktail hour and for your summer getaways too. I'm a big fan of the playsuits and maxi dresses - they're sexy as hell without flashing too much flesh. And they keep a girl cool and comfy.

So other than that inevitable 'sweat snor', you're stylishly sorted.

You can find out more about Emma and her pretty designs here:

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New Year, New Office

My first project for 2016 is to tackle our very sad office situation at home. I will be based there a lot more this year and Dave does a fair amount of work at home as well, so we want to create a space that feels professional and inspired.

I am very into the trestle table thing at the moment - it is budget friendly, and easy to customise to fit two workspaces along a longer trestle. I've got my inspiration from good 'ol Pinterest and now I am ready to start shopping. I'll be doing all the wall art from Superbalist, but for the little details like storage boxes, pillows for the chairs and pretty little knick knacks, I've found everything I need at H&M. Their homeware section is one of my favourite sections in the new store - and here is a little shopping hack: there is never a queue up at that till so take your haul from the women's section below and go pay up there. You're welcome.

These are some of the items that will be making their way into the new Pretty Mint HQ...

Clockwise from the top left:
Wire basket: R229
Cushion Covers: R129 - R149
Silver Hanging Frame: R149
Pineapple Ceramic Holder: R89
Storage Box: R59
Cotton Rug: R349

Monday, 11 January 2016

Beauty | Best of 2015

Hi, remember me? I'm not dead, I promise. I took a blog hiatus and am now back with a vengeance. I took a break for some holiday time, but also some reflection and focus on what I want to do with the blog in 2016.
So I hope you're ready for a bigger, better and cheekier Pretty Mint!

To kick off, I want to share all of my favourite products from the last year. Some were gifted to me by PR's which I'll mark with an (*). That being said, none are on the list because I am kissing ass. I genuinely love all of these, have repurchased most or I intend to once they run out. So here is my 'can't-live-without' beauty products from 2015.


Sorbet Nailpolish remover: The salon pump has changed my life. I can never go back to regular bottles now. This just makes sense for a klutz like me. No spills, and no more using more than you need.

Essie nail lacquer in 'Bride to Be': I have found the perfect nude nail polish. This is it. If they ever stop making this colour I'll be writing them a strongly worded letter like a grumpy old granny. I am not big into fussing over my nails and I just want nude nails on my hands and red or coral on my toes. Thats me for life. Done.

The Body Shop Dead Sea Salt Scrub*: I love the smell. I love the texture. I love how soft my skin feels after using it. I was initially concerned that it dissolved too quickly in the shower and then I saw a post from the clever girls at All Dolled Up who suggested using it before you hop in the shower to get a really good scrubbing and that changed the game. When I scrub, I like to feel like Ive worked my skin so hard, I could breathe through it. So this is the stuff.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Mineral Oil*: They love a long winded name at Elizabeth Arden. I think it is to entertain the girls at the makeup counter when I try and fail dismally to ask for the product I'm looking for. "Um, hi. Can I please have a bottle of the All day mineral eight hour magical oil for face but also body please". Giggles and chortles for days. Anyway, I'll deal with the name because it is THE best body oil ever. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly and keeps my skin soft and glowing. Normally when I put a body oil on in the morning, my husband won't come near me for hours because he hates the feeling of oil sitting on skin. With this stuff he doesn't even notice.


Sorbet Under Eye Mask: I NEVER travel without these. I see long haul flights as an opportune time to do a mini facial. Yes, the people next to you are going to be horrified, but who cares? You'll likely never see them again. So on my thick layer of cream goes, followed by these babies. Then I pop a sleeping tablet and wake up looking refreshed and my eyes aren't a dry, puffy mess. Then you just slap on some BB cream and lipgloss and people will think you must have teleported halfway across the world because you certainly don't look like the other vampires that just stepped off the same flight.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel: I bought this at Urban Outfitters in NYC earlier this year, along with the famous Aloe facial spray. Both are lovely, but this has become a firm favourite and is always in my gym bag. I like something that feels like its getting any sweat and dirt out without scrubbing. Being in my 30's, I can't afford to rip my skin to shreds with a daily scrub anymore. But this stuff lifts dirt and fizzles down dead skin gently.

Lush Ocean Salt: When I do actually do a scrub once a week, I only use this one. Since they launched in the country years ago, I have bought this over and over. I like that it is all natural, does a hell of a job sloughing away dead skin and I feel so squeaky clean and refreshed, brightened and so soft. Salt, fresh lime and vodka - it really is a cocktail for your face.


Lush Big Shampoo: I use this stuff twice a week to really give my scalp and hair a good clean. I have very fine hair, and also, I don't have a lot of it. When I use this shampoo, I get the best volume out of any shampoo I've tried. I also find that because of my minimal hair, it gets dirty and oily quickly - and after a serious session at gym it is decidedly gross. This shampoo is the only thing that makes me feel clean and crisp again.

Philip Kingsley Weatherproof Hairspray*: This was sent over in about mid-2015. I have not used another hairspray since. It is pricey, but I'll definitely repurchase because as much as it holds my hair in place, it doesn't weigh it down - which is something I haven't seemed to find until now. Again, the amount of hair on my head is laughable so I am incredibly picky when it comes to products because 99% of them weigh my hair down and I look like an old man with a comb-over.

Tangle Angel*: My peeps at RetailBox sent me this toward the end of last year and I am so incredibly grateful. Tangle Teezer doesn't have a handle and finally some genius decided to make women around the world lives' easier by sticking one on, and making it into an actual brush. I love how soft the bristles are and I can use it on wet or dry hair and not cause any damage. Bonus points for the fact that I feel like a Barbie doll every time I use it. They also sent me the one for dogs to try on my gorgeous boy Rocco and he loves it too. It is even in the shape of a paw! He is a golden doodle so he needs a brush every day, and I worry about hurting him - but not anymore. Its a perfect little doggie brush.


This wasn't easy. I was fortunate enough to hit up Sephora three times this year on my travels. I found that even though I own a ton of makeup, when I travel or need to get out of the door in 15 minutes, this is what I use most.

Maybelline Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette: This was picked up in Target in Chicago. I wish I'd bought another one as it is fast running out. It is such an incredible budget buy and I am so sad it wasn't brought out locally. Actually we miss out on a lot of amazing Maybelline products to be honest and I don't know why. If you've got a friend heading to the USA anytime soon, beg them to be a good little mule and grab you one of these. The pigment is so great and the colours are perfect for blending. They've actually designed the colours to be used as pairs or quads and they have little 'how-to" underneath the box.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel: This was my first Sephora repurchase and has replaced BB creams for me entirely. The coverage is sheer but it does a great job of evening out the skin and blurring any redness or blemishes. I use this and concealer most days. It has a dewy finish which I love for daily use and not going anywhere that requires a full makeup look.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24HR Makeup*: This is perfect for summer because it promises to last through heat, humidity and moisture. I tested it out recently in Dubai and it is indeed a winner. Actually Ive been using it since about April last year and it keeps making its way to the front of my makeup drawer. Not many people like a matte finish but when I want full coverage and a face of makeup to last for a day of meetings/an event/a wedding, I want it matte and I want it to stay put. I can add my own dewy finish thank you very much. They also have a huge range of shades so finding the perfect match is great - they even have this space-age stick at the makeup counter that they place against your face and it'll recommend a shade for you. Brilliant.

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal: For R50 bucks, this is one amazing little product. I am pretty sure its just pigmented super glue but I don't even care. It blends and it sticks. If I want a pimple covered, don't give me a concealer that shifts at the first hint of aircon. It sells out every time it is restocked so once you find your shade, I'd suggest stocking up 2 or 3 at a time.

Beauty Fix Makeup Setting Spray: Finally some local flavour! Overseas readers, if you've got a friend living it up in the Cape Town summer, I'd suggest you beg them to bring you a bottle of this stuff. It beats MAC and Urban Decay's makeup setting sprays in my opinion. The rosewater and cucumber extract soothe and refresh and Ive ploughed through two bottles already as I use it for makeup setting and to refresh my face during the day/ on flights/ on road trips. It is free of the nasty stuff like alcohol, parabens and silicones and the brand is cruelty free. It dries quickly and sets your makeup and adds a lovely glow.

Elizabeth Arden Perfect Colour Eyebrow Pencil*: I'll never leave the house without using this pencil. The Brownette shade is perfect for darker brows and it blends and stays in my brows perfectly, all day. The pencil is super fine so you can create a natural look by lightly drawing in hairs or you can just fill in where you need and you almost can't tell its not real. The handy brush on the other end is used to brush your brows before and after applying so you get a natural texture and don't end up with a horrible drawn-on look. There are a ton of brow shaping and perfecting products out at the moment and this remains my favourite by far.

The 'Manizer Sisters Palette: All three legends in one pallete. I've been using Mary-LouManizer and Cindy Lou-Manizer for ages so when they launched the trio in one palette it just made sense to own all of them. These are the best highlighters in the entire world. Ask any beauty blogger and she'll tell you that her dewy glow or that shimmer on her cheek and under her brow bone is one of these lovely ladies.

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Stain*: Stains are the way forward. I use this both on my lips and cheeks. I don't wear lipstick much. For day to day, I prefer a nude lip, or a just-bitten red tint. Even though this product is aimed at your cheeks, it is a great multipurpose product. A little dot goes a long way so it lasts for ages too. I am glad Benefit came back into the country and it seems they're back with a bang. Do yourself a favour and go play with some of their products. The "They're Real" mascara and eye pencil range is pretty impressive too.
© Pretty Mint | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig