Empties, because that's apparently a thing?

 A few months ago I noticed international bloggers doing "empties" posts and videos which entails them going through their empty bottles, jars and tubes of product which they have used up. This started my own collection which quickly grew into an irritating problem of lifeless containers lying about our tiny bachelor flat.

I wasn't actually going to do this post because I didn't feel like it was interesting enough but decided that if I didn't, all my frustration and bottle hording would have been for nothing. So here goes (review links provided if available).

From left to right
The Body Shop's peach body butter which was absolutely divine, Mangwanani's in spa rose and almond gel body wash, Sally Hansen's smooth and perfect hand cream and Nivea for men energy shower gel which is actually Malcolm's favourite body wash.

From left to right
Balm Balm's tea tree lip balm, Palmers Cocoa butter formula (I have already bought a replacement bottle), Sally Hansen's dry and go manicure drops and Nails Inc Vitamin E cuticle pen.

I don't think I will be doing this again unless some of you would like to know what I have used up lately. Tweet me!


SILTS Volume 2

I'm back with another SILTS post which contains news and press releases I have recently received from various brands and PR companies. I am still debating whether these posts interest you. I have decided to carry on doing them until someone complains, haha :) If you'd like, click here to view volume 1.

Image supplied by Mavala Cosmetics
MAVALA Cosmetics SA is proud to announce the latest in our Eye-Lite Collection, EYE LINER. Especially developed for the delicate area of eyelids, EYE LINER can be easily applied and without smearing thanks to its brush made of Toray that enables a precise fine line to be drawn. I am rather terrible at applying a very thin cat eye so maybe this new eyeliner from MAVALA would work for me!

This MAVALA eyeliner will be available in stores May 2014 and the recommended selling price will be R229.00. You can find MAVALA Cosmetics at most Dis-Chem stores.

Images supplied by Gosh Cosmetics
GOSH Cosmetics have some new releases for Autunm/Winter 2014. I will mention the two that first caught my eye.

GOSH has two new colours in their Quatro eyeshadow family. They are Green Valley and Tempting Purple. There is a total of 6-colour combinations with high colour intensity and velvety surface. Use one, two or all six to create different looks and a shiny micro pearl effect or matt velvet finish. The quattro eyeshadows are perfume free.

The six colours are: Q22 Driftwood, Q24 Platinum, Q31 Aquarius, Q52 Violet Night, Q56 Green valley, Q57 Tempting Purple

Fans of the GOSH BB Cream now have another genius skincare and makeup hybrid BB product at hand: the GOSH BB Powder. Ideal for those who prefer a flawlessly matt look or just need a little anti-shine magic in certain areas, the silky and creamy BB Powder combines light-coverage makeup with the added benefits on moisturising skincare. It blends flawlessly with the GOSH BB Cream and is also perfect to use with any foundation or on its own for a gorgeously natural and mattifying look.

Available in 4 shades: 02 Sand, 04 Beige, 06 Warm beige and 08 Chestnut. Visit RedSquare.co.za to get approximate prices for these two products.

Image from Google
The last thing I would like to share is something that makes my heart very happy. There is a new Yankee Candle store in Woodlands Boulevard. I still don't own a Yankee Candle but this is going to change very soon. I cannot wait for Malcolm and my new house to smell amazing!

If you have any news you would like me to know or share, please send me an email (and images) to msclariabella@gmail.com. 

Have a great Tuesday :)


Beauty Tips from Veet for Every Night Out

Image source
The date you have been waiting for:

We have all had that one hot date that we just couldn’t wait to arrive. You’ve been texting him for weeks and he’s finally decided to ask you out. It’s only natural that you would want to look and feel your absolute best the entire night, so you need to give yourself a little extra ‘me time’ before the date to make sure you feel completely polished:

· Run a hot, steamy, relaxing bath and fill it with essential oils that will deeply nourish your skin.

· Use a hair removal cream or wax to de-fuzz your legs, bikini line and underarms to leave them feeling smooth and sexy.

· Grab your favourite perfume and spritz your body, behind your ears and on your wrists. These are the areas that will warm up naturally and release your perfume throughout the whole night.

· There is absolutely nothing sexier than a confident and sassy young woman. So go out, smile and enjoy yourself.

Image source
The girl’s night out:

If you are able to get all of your girlfriends in the same place at the same time, then you truly are a miracle worker because we know how crazy it gets being a busy young woman. Once a date, place and time have been set, you’ll need to make sure you are completely ready for anything and everything that the night will throw at you. Follow these party preparation tips to make sure you are ready:

· Rough dry your hair before you blow dry to give you that ‘wow factor’.

· Moisturise your legs with a rich cream to leave them silky smooth and shiny, they’re going to be getting a lot of attention on the dance floor.

· Get all your girlfriends over for pre-drinks. It’s a great way to start the night and save you money.

Image source
When going on a hen party:

It doesn’t matter if you are the hen or a fellow chick; a hen night out on the town is definitely going to be full of the unexpected. From wearing tiaras and sash’s to dancing until the early hours of the morning, this is one night that you would not want to be caught looking anything less than perfect:

· Buy yourself a pair of gel insoles, after a few hours on the dance floor your will be more than happy that you bought them.

· Make sure that you drink plenty of water during the night and especially before you go to sleep, you’re going to need every bit of help with your hangover the next morning.

This post was sponsored by Veet, read more beauty tips from the beauty experts at the Veet Beauty Secrets.


This weeks reflections (27.04.2014)

Read what happened in last weeks reflections post.

What lessons did I learn that I could build upon next week? I did mention this earlier in the year but this week I was reminded to give myself more credit for what I do and how well I do it. This will start a chain reaction for always bettering yourself and your skills. Also, Malcolm and I have felt like proper grown ups for the first time. This is something I'd like to keep building on.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? This stays the same from last week. My short term goals are very clear to me which makes it easier to stay focused.

What could I have spent more or less time doing? I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and day dreaming of interior decorating. I do feel guilty but it actually calms me and clears my head.

What was my main concern and how did I find a way to put my mind at ease? A lot has happened from last week to this week. Malcolm and I found the perfect house and we actually put an offer to purchase in place and we are going crazy with anticipation. Purchasing a property takes a few months to finalize (if we get it) and patience is not our strong point. 

What is the first logical step for next week? It's a long weekend once again so doing some down time relaxation is on the cards. Also, with all the house prep and paperwork, staying as organised as possible right now will help. Maybe we should start packing or will that jinx it?

Image from Google
I hope you had a fantastic Sunday.

Get PrettySmart before spending your hard earned money.

Relaxation and "me time" can be quite important when you get caught up in today's hustle and bustle of life. One of the quickest ways to reward yourself for hard work is to visit a spa and get a massage or other beauty treatments. You get some amazing spa's within big cities or, if you're willing to drive, there can be some nice bush day spas just on the urban outskirts. Even my medical aid rewards program gives me points for going to the spa.

The problem in many cases, even for me, is how do you know which spas are good and how do you know it will be money well spent? The peeps at PrettySmart have got you covered*. They have come up with a brilliant website where you can review and read other reviews of spas in your area. See it as a platform where ladies (and men) share their spa experiences.

If you are interested in a spa, ease your mind by reading up on reviews before going. {Scenerio} If 'Susan' visited a Placecol in Jo-burg but didn't like the facial she received, you will then know to rather opt for a different treatment. On the PrettySmart website' you can also read reviews on the different types of treatments and how they can benefit your health.

About two years ago, I went with my friend to Mangwanani African Day Spa (their River Valley branch) which was such a treat! This is where I fell in love with Spa treatments. PrettySmart has helped me pick a few places and treatments to get at my next spa date.

Visit PrettySmart.co.za now to get reviewing and to read up on other reviews. You can also follow them on Twitter and like their Facebook page to keep up to date with new promotions and competitions. PrettySmart gives a R500 spa voucher to one reviewer each week so get reviewing.

Remember this site for when you are next looking for any beauty-related treatment, it's going to become your new best friend!


*This was a sponsored post

White Glo protects those pearly whites (Sponsored post)

A new way of looking after your teeth with White Glo’s Range of Toothpastes

When offered to do a sponsored post for White Glo I was very keen as I know that this is the toothpaste Malcolm uses. He has actually used White Glo toothpaste for the past two years as it has noticeably improved whiteness. He is a difficult man to please so the fact that White Glo gets his approval, says a lot.

Here's what White Glo has to say:

"We all tailor our beauty regimes to the specific needs of our skin dependent on our skin type, the time of day and changing weather conditions. We wouldn't use the same moisturizer on different skin types, so why do we only use one toothpaste? 

White Glo, Australia’s leading whitening toothpaste brand, has jumped to our aid and is introducing a new oral care beauty regime. Here are 3 revolutionary toothpastes that will change the way we brush our teeth forever. The toothpastes are specially formulated to address the distinctly different oral care needs"
1. People with Sensitive Teeth – White Glo’s Sensitive Forte specially formulated to be suitable for sensitive teeth and gums(R42.99)

2. Coffee and Tea Lovers - White Glo’s Coffee & Tea Drinkers Formula: Removes stains caused by coffee and tea consumption over time (R42.99)

3. Smokers – White Glo’s Smokers Formula: specifically formulated to remove tobacco stains and help eliminate smokers’ breath (R42.99)

Join the oral care revolution and say hello to whiter, shinier and healthier teeth.

Here's more about White Glo (The teeth whitening experts)

Today there are no excuses for not smiling your brightest smile! You too can achieve a whiter brighter smile with the White Glo Oral Care Range.

White Glo products have been specially formulated to lifts stains on teeth enamel. Having white teeth helps improve confidence and makes you look younger and more attractive so “Get the Glo” with White Glo.

The range was originally developed exclusively for actors and models and was rated most effective by a leading independent consumer trial. White Glo gives consumers the best oral care products through market leading innovation and advanced research. Today White Glo is one of the market leaders in Australia’s whitening toothpaste and teeth whitening markets.

Experience the difference and get the brilliant white smile you want by using one of the premium products from the White Glo Oral Care Range.

Products are available nationwide from Checkers, Clicks, Dischem, Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers and other leading retail stores. 

Marc Anthony Hair

Here is a quick sponsored post for Marc Anthony hair care range. Here's what they have to say:

"We love what we see on the runways for this season; the austere lines give so many options for hair! We are entranced by both the dark femme fatale and the new grunge girl. Messy polished. Our muses for this season: a legendary young Catherine Deneuve and infamous Courtney Love.

The trick is getting the perfect set with an ‘I don’t care’ finish. The size of the curling iron is important; the larger the iron the more sophisticated the look. Hair should be left less than perfect to keep it current."

Here are some recommended products to get this seasons look:

"‘Set’ the look… We like to use a tiny bit of Dream Waves Beach Spray (R129.99) as a setting lotion. Once hair is dry, take the correct size of iron and begin to ‘set’ the hair. Roll it up into the iron and once warm ‘slide’ the iron out carefully (leaving the roll in place) and pin it into place.

Mix it up… Don’t match the size of each section. Curling differently sized sections of hair creates a modern type of movement. Big and loose sections are important to getting a natural sense of sexy. Once done, let it cool and before removing the pins give it a light spray with Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray (R139.95).

Fingers for grunge. Brush for glam… Remove the pins and add a bit of Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment (R114.95) to your fingertips. Flip hair over and comb through with your fingertips. The oil keeps the hair full of shine and helps to resist tangles. Flip back and take a look. Leaving it like this creates a modern day grunge that is a bit more polished than back in the day, while brushing it out makes it all modern, glam fatale girl."

You can find these Marc Anthony products at Dis-Chem stores and selected Pick n Pay & Checkers stores.


This weeks reflections (20.04.2014)

Read what happened in my last reflections post.

What lessons did learn that I could build upon next week? Make yourself as valuable as you can whether it be through studying, making emotional connections with people or simply making a persons life easier. The more people that value you, the more your life will mean to others.

Are my short-term efforts and long-term goals still aligned? My short term goals are very clear to me which makes it easier to stay focused.

What could I have spent more or less time doing? I was actually really productive this week and don't regret the time I spent on various things. Yay!

What was my main concern and how did I find a way to put my mind at ease? I really want to move to a bigger place and seeing as Malcolm and I have looked into purchasing a property, my biggest concern this week was finding a place within our budget. I ended up contacting about 8 different real estate agents and we actually went to view two properties. If it continues this way, we should find something soon :)

What is the first logical step for next week? Getting month end tasks done and continuing the house hunting. Also, it is a 4 day work week which is good!

I hope you have a 

Happy Easter

Whether you celebrate Easter Sunday or Easter Monday, Malcolm and I hope you have a great time with family and friends (especially the little ones).

Saturday Pinning

Ah! Long weekends are magical. Today I got to spend quality time on Pinterest :) With Malcolm and I looking into buying a house, I have been dreaming of decor ideas and DIY improvements and Pinterest makes those a possibility. 

Here are some boards that I have updated :)

I started these "Colour my life" posts when I was still blogging for Miss Claira-Bella. This pink and gold colour scheme would be perfect for my future office or makeup room, or both (wishful thinking).

If baby chicks were made of glitter | Nail polish review

I recently had a mini "nail breakdown" that would have put Britney Spear's head shaving debacle to shame. There was a lot of clipping, filing and nearly dramatic tears. 

Yip, my nails are gone. Unfortunately they were all tearing and hooking on everything. Aint nobody got time for that. As a little pick me up and gave them a pretty yellow camouflage, which was also appropriate for this Easter weekend :)

I posted a previous manicure with this Tip Top "Lemon Fizz" polish on Instagram last year and have worn it a few times since then. The pictures do not do the glitter justice. I bought this duo from Clicks for R79 but I think since then, they have been discontinued (but I speak under correction). I would have loved to try the purple one too. 

It kind of makes me think of baby chicks...if they had glitter in the place of feathers.

What are you up to this long weekend? I hope you have a fantastic time!


El Cheapo Invisibobble | Hair care review

If you don't know what an "Invisibobble" is, check out some images here. They are described as traceless hair rings (a fancy word for hair ties or scrunchies). There is a considerable amount of hype over theses as they have redefined comfort when wearing a ponytail. 

To be honest, I couldn't really care for these as my normal hair bands work just fine and I don't like spending money on gimmicks however I like to buy things that are affordable (I mean, who doesn't!) and I know a good deal when I see one. Recently I spotted, and immediately snatched up, these "El Cheapo" versions of the Invisibobble at Dis-Chem. Can you believe you get 5 for R9.99!? And they even look like the real deal. Unfortunately they only had black but for my dark hair, they will do just fine.

I guess the purpose of this post is to let you know about this great deal. I doubt these el cheapo versions are made of the same quality rubber/plastic and they might break sooner than the originals but really now...it will be a R10 well spent! It may also give you an idea as to whether you want to invest in the original Invisibobble.

You can purchase the original Invisibobble at Rubybox and Retailbox online for around R80 (for three). More info about the Invisibobble here.

Tweet me your opinions. Do you have the original invisibobble?


What's been happening?

One of my visions for this blog was to share a bit more on my personal events and so on. I have been mildly failing at this so I thought I would do a blog post on what has been happening these past two weeks. I also hope to do more reflections posts seeing as that doesn't happen anymore :)

Starting with two-ish weekends ago, I spent the weekend with my older sister and best friend (the one who just got married). Saturday morning we went to the Baba Indaba at the Sandton Convention Centre. My Bestie is expecting her first baby in June. We found some really cool brands and gadgets including a mom version of Ruby box called the mom box. After that we walked over to Sandton City and enjoyed lunch at Nelson Mandela Square.

My preggo bestie and I at Nelson Mandela Square
All three of us searched desperately for a Yankee Candle store but to no avail. Before wrapping our afternoon visit, we had some delicious Smooch which my sister was excited to try for the first time. My sister and I went back to her place, freshened up and went out to Monte Casino. I love the feel of that 'mall'. We had some Cosmopolitans at Donatellas before watching the new Captain America movie.

The work week was pretty mundane. Seeing as I work from home, nothing exciting really happens in regards to scenery changes or meeting with clients at awesome restaurants. One thing that was new...Malcolm and I are considering purchasing a house. This is a terrifying venture but we think it would be awesome to have a place of our own. My mind has been kept quite busy with this as there are a bunch of things you wouldn't normally consider when you rent. Schools in the area, a big garden for kids and family pets and of course, what will the area be like in 10 years time if you need to sell. Tips are welcome :)

Last week I was a guest blogger at Lipgloss Kisses

Chicara is one of my all time favourite bloggers and Lipgloss kisses inspired me to start my very own blog. In the guest post I review a shower gel from The Body Shop. Please go check it out.

Bringing you up to this past weekend, Malcolm and I did some more house hunting and caught up on much needed sleep. Early on Sunday morning, Malcolm played a hockey match (He plays for the Vaal University of Technology) which his team sadly lost but they played really well. Somewhere during the match, he got hit with a stick on his ankle, which is now swollen to the size of an apple. Luckily he doesn't have matches for the next two weeks so he can heal properly.

I had to zoom in really closely for this photo so apologies for the bad quality.
That's pretty much all I have to update you on until next week. If you're bored, here's something cool I stumbled upon :) I also have some added snaps down below for you to feast your eyes on. Not to self: Start using Instagram again.

I hope you have had a great week so far!

My Sister and I with the infamous Nelson Mandela statue.
This is the breakfast of champions I ate at Mugg and Bean Montecasino
Monte casino had a One-D world thing going on where giddy teens could buy One Direction merchandise. Too many screaming girls so early on a Sunday morning.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask | Skincare review

Can you feel you skin getting dry from the crisp Autumn air? I definitely can, especially my face and lips. On one of my trips back to 'Civilization' (Vereeniging is quite a small town), I bought a few face masks from The Body Shop. I was pretty stoked to try them out because I love face masks and I have not tried face masks from The Body Shop before.

The tea tree face mask got first dibs on being lathered onto my face.
R25 for the tea tree face mask which is good for one application
My first impressions were drawn to the freshness of the face mask. It has a slight minty tingle to it which might not be ideal in winter but can cool down puffy and irritated skin. After 20min, I washed the mask off with warm water and a face cloth. My skin felt really smooth afterwards. It got rid of all those knobbly black heads (which you always feel when running your fingers lightly over your face) and my pores were a little smaller.

Face mask selfie!
Overall I would definitely buy this face mask again but rather during the summer months. It is rather affordable as the face masks you find at Clicks are around the same price range. The Body shop is a brand that I will always trust because it never disappoints. Hopefully they open one on my side of the world.

The other mask I bought was a Vitamin E moisturizing mask also from the body shop which I will review during winter when my skin really really needs it.

Follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin' for up to date news on Howse Life.


P.S. Don't wear this mask around your boyfriend because the chance of him laughing and making alien jokes is pretty high. There's a reason we leave these for girls nights and sleepovers.

Saturday pinning

Today, in true weekend style, I spent an hour or two (or three) on Pinterest. When I get spare time I like to sort pins out, rearrange boards and make things neater. Fellow pinners know that when you're in a pin frenzy, you never rename the caption or sometimes you pin things to the wrong board and make a mental note to fix it later (but then never really do).

Today was pin spring cleaning. Below are some of my most relevant boards and the Pinterest links. As a side note, whenever you are on my Pinterest profile, my most relevant boards will be first on my profile page :)
Its Easter Time
Winter 2014
Yummy in my tummy
Please remember to follow me on Pinterest and give me some suggestions on what you would like to see on my profile.

I hope you are having a fantastic Saturday!

5 things: Pet peeves

1. The word pet peeve is a big irritation for me. It isn't comfortable to get off the tongue and it doesn't really make sense if you haven't read up the history of the word.

2. Watching a series and you have 1 episode missing right in the middle of the season when things are getting juicy.

3. Stray hairs (from my head) which land ever so gracefully on my arms and my cleavage. I have a mini freak out session because I think it's a spider or a scary looking bug. This happens on a daily basis.

4. I hate the fact that mayonnaise bottles are so deep. Once you have to scrape the last bits from the bottom, your spoons handle (the one you're suppose to hold) gets full of mayo and you end up reenacting a scene from Edward scissor hands.

5. No makeup selfies. Posting a photo without any makeup on helps cancer research!? Yeah because that makes sense....

What are some of your pet peeves?

Have a great weekend!

Fallen soldiers on the battlefield of beauty | Nail polish review

This morning I dropped a whole box of polishes on my tiled floor (Yip, it's going to be one of those days). Three broke completely and covered my floor, making it look like a murder scene, and another two are semi cracked but still usable. To mourn the loss of these three fallen soldiers, I am doing a nail post on one of the survivors.

I know the crackle nail trend is probably at it's end but I thought I would share Bloom's crackle nail polish which I have recently found to be the best one I have ever tried (so far).

In the picture I am wearing Essence's sand effect polish in "here's my number" and Bloom's white crackle polish. I love how 'realistic' this crackle spreads. It is unlike the Tip Top and Essence polishes I have tried. I also love that the white is very opaque so that it can be used on top of darker colours.

I am not sure where you can find this nail polish and how much it goes for as it was sent to me in a hamper. If you spot it, let me know on Twitter so that I can retweet it :)

Lookout for an Easter nail art post with this crackle polish coming soon.


February & March favourites

1. Hay day for Apple and Android - I have been playing this game on my phone since November last year. It is so addictive and my favourite part is that it is ad free so you wont have any irritating messages popping up now and then! You can download this game for free on your Apple or Android device.

2. Essence "off to Miami" - I have felt a shift in the temperature lately so before it becomes full on winter, I am wearing a few bright colours then I'll move over to winter shades. This colour has been my favourite. You can find it at Clicks and Dis-Chem for R19.95.

3. Bridesmaid necklace - A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid at my best friends wedding. We all received a bridesmaids necklace as a gift and I love it!

4. Dove duel textured cotton pads - I normally buy cotton balls to use in conjunction with my nail polish remover but last month I tried something different. These duel textured cotton pads are really handy as they get nail polish of easier than normal cotton balls. A lot less scrubbing. I bought mine at Dis-Chem for around R18.00

5. Remedy Health heat pads - Throughout March I suffered from terrible knots in my back. These heat pads which I found at Dis-Chem (R49.95 for 5) work so well. Once they are exposed to air, the small sand-like particles heat up and stay warm for 12 hours. I was really impressed by these!

As a side note, I will only be doing a favourites post every 2nd month as I don't have more than 2 or 3 favourites every month. I'd rather skip a month than post things that weren't really my favourite.

Have a great Tuesday and I hope you don't get April fooled.