Thursday, 20 November 2014

The biggest lesson I learned from planning my wedding day

I purposefully have tried to keep my blog on subject (beauty related) and not transform it into a wedding blog when I got engaged. Today however I am doing a wedding post because I have been asked by a lot of people (that are in the process of planning a wedding) what I learned from the whole experience of planning a wedding. I experienced a lot of things, learned from mistakes and discovered some great things - but to keep the post short I thought I would share the biggest lesson I learned. 

My wedding cake and setup - photos taken by Alexandra Graham
When it came time to decide on a date and what we wanted, JP and I didn’t really struggle much with decisions. We are both the type of people that don’t really follow traditions and we both aren’t too concerned by all the formalities that accompany weddings. So we chose to have a very short ceremony (15 minutes long) and the reception was an informal luncheon with no speeches or assigned seating…no formalities to it what so ever. The d├ęcor was kept simple because the wedding was set in a beautiful location and photos were done impromptu with guests and not forced on anyone.

Leading up to the wedding we had to deal with a fair share of criticism and comments over our choices. People didn’t understand what we wanted and why we weren’t sticking to a “traditional wedding”. My response to everyone was “This is my wedding, it is what I want”. So this leads me to my advice – if you are paying for your wedding you have every right to do what YOU want to and not what other expect you to do. I understand that one has to “keep the peace” but that should not turn your wedding day into something you don’t want it to be (this is of course entirely different if someone else is paying for things – then you have to negotiate with them on what you want and what they want). 

JP and I are so happy with how our wedding day turned out, it was everything we wanted it to be despite the down pour of rain on the day. The focus of the entire day was on JP and I getting married – the moment we said our “I dos” – not the reception following the ceremony. Everything was simple, fuss free and intimate. To me it felt like a family gathering except I got to walk around in a pretty wedding dress.

I wouldn’t say that my wedding was one of those weddings that would be featured in magazines and end up on people’s Pinterest boards but it was exactly what we wanted. I would happily do the whole thing over again (with JP of course!) exactly how we did it. I am so happy that JP and I stood our ground and planned the day we wanted.

It is your wedding day – plan the day how YOU want it to be, not how others expect it to be.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Wishing Wednesday

This time of the year is always super exciting in the makeup world. Nothing makes my Beauty Blogger heart beat happily than when I see the Dior Holiday Collection. Just look at it....
Compacts: Golden Shock (001) and Pink Shock (002)
Lipsticks: Passion Shock (007), Mysterious Shock (008), Ardent Shock (006), Daring Shock (005), Enchanting Shock (002), Delicate Shock (001)
Lipgloss: Gold Rain (164) and Pink Excess (663)

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Mirror (022), Gold Equinox (241), Golden Shock (001), Shock (762) and Smoky (990)
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Golden Reflections (046) and Golden Shock (756)
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Every year I get myself one of the Diorific nail polishes and this year I think I will be getting the Gold Flake top coat. Just maybe I'll spoil myself to the Golden Shock Eyeshadow Palette - isn't it a thing of beauty...sigh. The two toned lipsticks also look amazing - you basically get 2 colours for the price of one. Delicate and Passion Shock look like my kind of colours.

Anyway, let me know what you think and what you like in the collection.  I'll definitely be tweeting when I see these in stores.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

My Ren Face Care Routine

I while back Ren were kind enough to send me a host of products to try out and I've been using them all everyday for 2 months now. 


I battle with very dehydrated skin and really need to boost my skin in the evenings to make sure my skin recovers from a day in the an airconditioned building.  The oil is ultra moisturising and formulated to give dehydrated skin a powerful shield to lock in moisture.  When I wake up in the morning my skin is soft, plump and glowing. I also really love the soft rose fragrance. A bottle of this Oil costs R790 which sounds rough but I only use 2 pumps of this a night and I've hardly made a dent in the oil. Definitely worth the price in my honest opinion.


As I mentioned above, my dehydrated skin needs a lot of hydration. This day cream has a replenishing complex that leaves my skin soothed and hydrated. Over the first week I noticed that my skin was feeling a lot less dehydrated and my dehydration lines were a lot less visible, this is because the moisturiser works on restoring your skin's moisture barrier. It is nice and light weight which makes it perfect for summer weather. I will definitely be repurchasing this moisturier. A 50ml pump bottle cost R475.


I am a sucker for anything that has "Youth" written on it - probably because I turned 30 this year (ha ha). This is s multi-active day cream that replenishes the skin with moisture and vital nutrients. I find this day cream to be thicker than the hydrating day cream which means I don't use this on very hot days. It isn't overly heavy on my skin, but I do prefer a more lightweight moisturiser on hotter days. This costs R450 for a 50ml tube. In all honesty I think this is a perfect winter moisturiser and it is definitely something I will repurchase come come year.


When it comes to night creams I like the moisturiser to be rich and thick - but not too thick. I can be quite fussy when it comes to this. The Frankinsense Revitalising Night Cream strikes the perfect balance, it is rich and thick without being too heavy on my skin. It recharges, revitalises and intensively hydrates my skin overnight. I wake up with skin that has fewer fine lines, my skin tone looks more even and feels softer. Overtime it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Remember to look out for the Revitalising Night Cream if you want to purchase this moisturiser - it cost R495.


This serum is formulated to firm, lift and restructure the skin. It is also said to visibly tone and improve the facial contour of the skin while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I personally love this serum because it is so lightweight and is quickly absorbed into my skin. Because of this I like to use it in the morning to boost my skin for the day ahead. This serum costs R810 a bottle and as with the Rose Oil - I think this serum is well worth the price.

I have loved the products so much that I went out and bought myself a cleaner and a full size Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial Mask (read my review here). I definitely will continue to use this range because the products work so well for my skin and the price of the products are reasonable for the quality of the ingredients. Not only that, but I have seen the results first hand and definitely have been very impressed.

Thank you to Ren for sending me these fantastic products. I have thoroughly enjoyed using them. My skin looks and feels great.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

PS. You can purchase Ren Skin Care products from their online store or from selected Stores (click here to view a list of stockists). Follow Ren South Africa on Twitter and visit their Facebook page.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Manicure Monday

I still have Shellac on my nails which means that I haven't been able to do Manicure Monday posts recently - of my own nails. My sister, Samantha, has kindly been sending me photos of her manicures for me to share on my blog.
She has Essence Absolutely Blue (Shade 125) on her nails and Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat in Fuzz-Sea (Shade 500) painted on her ring finger.

I really do love the way Sam does her nails.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX

Friday, 14 November 2014

Feel Good Friday!

I haven't yet received my professional wedding photos but thought I would share a collage of photos taken on the day.
It's been such a wonderful time in my life, better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to all of you who tweeted, emailed, Whatsapped me and left comments on Instagram. I haven't been able to respond to each one individually - but I have read all of them and truly appreciate each and every message.

Big Hugs,
Charlene XXX