The girl behind the blog

Who am I?

My name is Ashveena Singh, or as some of you may know me from Instagram, The Brown Eyed Ash.

To describe myself in a simple phrase; chunky, but funky. In a more in-depth look; a horribly clumsy, awkward, sarcastic, sensitive, always hungry, inappropriate joke maker who uses the phrase “That’s what she said” far too often. (Somebody call my third grade teacher and tell her I finally did it! I finally described myself in two sentences without looking like a deer caught in the headlights!)

Like most of you, I’m currently supposed to be studying, but here I am stretching the limits of whats left of my creativity and finally getting down to starting my blog once again. So let’s get into it, shall we?

I’m currently in the middle of my third year of Law at the University of The Free State, however in law wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. My first passion is, and will always be medicine (p.s. I’m low-key a doctor). My initial plan was to move to the Mother City and pursue my passion there, but unfortunately I let go of an opportunity of a lifetime and well, here I am, trying my hardest to keep hold of what’s left of my sanity and soldier on to the finish line of the whirlwind course known as an LLB.

My life is pretty simple, most of my time is consumed unapologetically by campus and studying, but in the little I have left I’m usually with friends and family or snuggled up with a Harry Potter book looking for new theories and links (I am literally the biggest Potterhead you will ever meet, like Wingardium Leviof*ck you if you if you fight me on this). Going out is usually a mission for me mainly because it takes me about two hours to convince myself to get out of my pjs and actually get dressed and also because I’m not the most social person in the world. I’m not antisocial but I’m not social, my species is found smack dab in the middle, that makes sense right?

I’m an avid baker, face and kitchen (haha, geddit?), vaper, chef, animal lover and a huge supporter of the LGBT community. Oh, I’m a part-time unqualified life coach too! I love helping people, whether I know them or not.

On the less preppy side, I have a condition called GAD. To make a long story short, basically what this means is that I’m extremely anxious all the time even when there’s nothing to be anxious about. I’m also a tiny bit physically broken (slight spinal damage, a still recovering gas burnt wrist and a couple other things here and there), I flirted with death in a car crash on my 19th birthday and was mere millimeters away from losing my life. Lets just say two things happened that day when I woke up:

  1. I got a new appreciation for life
  2. I learnt that Accounting exams are detrimental to your health and well-being. Save your life and just skip the module itself.

Oh yeah, I blog about events, food, products and life in general too. Prior to this page it was on Instagram, but now thanks to the power of procrastination, I finally got my page sorted out as promised and I promise to try to be regular with my updates.

And that folks is pretty much it. The self-proclaimed hot mess known as Ashveena Singh in a nutshell and an overview of sorts of what to expect on my blog. I hope you stick around 🙂

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was it GR8?

Well damn, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve actually had the energy to get out my laptop and do a review. To give you a little backstory, the last 3 months have by far been the most trying and draining that I’ve ever experienced. From massive life changes to health issues, and the cherry on top being exams, its been a hell of a rollercoaster ride juggling work, campus, my life and my sanity in general.

While trying to get back on my feet, I figured it was time to get a product review out and what better brand to pick back up with than GR8/SKN! I received the Clean Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser, the Rest/Rebooting Night Serum and lastly, the Clear Toner/Spot fixer for this review.

Designed specifically for teens and people in their twenties, GR8/SKN boasts an incredible ingredient list containing witch hazel, grape fruit peel oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil and chamomile oil. The best part? All ingredients are natural, anti-oxidant rich, cruelty free and the products contain NO NASTIES.

I used the three products for about 4 weeks in order to really test them and look at the changes I saw in my skin and I compiled a little pros and cons list for each to give you a more in-depth idea of my findings.

The Clean Gentle Foaming cleanser:

Pros:

· My skin felt very clean and refreshed

· I noticed a reduction in my blackheads

· my skin definitely felt firmer to the touch

· My complexion was definitely brighter

· There was hardly any oil production along my t-zone throughout the day

· The small bottle is very convenient for travelling and general storage

· One pump was enough for one cleanse making it a very cost-effective product.

Cons:

· In the first week of use I noticed my skin was a bit drier than normal, I have combination skin so this is expected from a foam cleanser.

· While the product itself was amazing, it is on the steep side (R355.31) for a facial cleanser so it might not be possible to fit into a student budget.

The Clear Toner/Spot fixer

Pros:

· The areas where I broke out before I started testing the products were much less inflamed after I used the toner and there was a reduction in the size of the breakouts as well

· I began using the product during exams so I expected more breakouts throughout the month, but surprisingly there were absolutely none. I suspect that this is the work of the witch hazel in the toner which is effective in stopping breakouts and regulating oil in the skin.

· The open pores around my cheek area did look much more refined towards the end of the review.

· The small packaging doesn’t take up much space at all.

Cons:

· Upon first use I did experience a slight stinging sensation, this died down after about the third use of the product.

· The toner is also on the steep side at R355.31 for 60ml

The Rest/Rebooting Night Serum:

Pros:

· This product not only smelt great, but left my skin feeling nourished and hydrated.

· My skin felt soft and smooth in the morning making makeup application a breeze.

· My skin definitely looked much more even than when I started the review

· The probiotics in the night serum helped my skin absorb my night time moisturizer much more.

· One and a half pumps were sufficient to cover my entire face with ease.

· The component was very travel and storage friendly

Cons:

There were actually no complaints from my side with regards to the effectiveness of the product, my only single complaint was again the price (R440.59 for a 50ml), making it slightly over budget for a student.

Overall, I had a blast testing out this range and I would definitely look at the products as an investment for your skin rather than just buying a product for the sake of it. Every product that I tried fulfilled it’s promises with little to no side effects and reactions. I would suggest that if you’re planning to purchase from GR8 SKN that you email the friendly staff on info@gr8skn.com and let them help you pick the correct products for your skin type and concerns.

For more information on the products available other information on the products hope onto https://www.gr8skn.com/

Ecologic Skincare

Oh hello, mid-February! Also, like most of us, hello campus, stress, late nights and all things hell-related that comes with getting a degree. Luckily for me, I have a couple secret weapons in my arsenal; namely my Ecologic Skincare range.

Performing miracles on tired, clogged up, aging and otherwise meh skin since 1997 (yes, they’ve been around THAT long!), holistic healthcare practitioner and aromatherapist, Annette Du Toit, has been treating clients using only the finest herbs and other natural ingredients and producing exceptional results.

For this review, I was sent the following:

  • Skin Perfect Moisturiser with COQ10
  • Toning Eye and Skin Gel with MSM (my personal fav of the range)
  • Facial Scrub
  • Xtra Skin Food and
  • Harvest Moon Facial Tea

After much research and testing it’s quite clear to me that Ecologic has left no stone un-turned when sourcing ingredients that provide not only a luxury experience, but also ones that would provide almost instantaneous results such as

  • MSM: an organic sulfur that increases collagen productions, repairs acne damaged skin, smooths skin and has anti-inflammatory properties
  • COQ10: an enzyme produced naturally in the body to fight signs of aging, produce collagen, repair damaged skin and keep skin firm
  • Rutin: to reduce redness and damaged capillaries
  • Calendula Oil: to increase blood flow and oxygen to damaged skin as well as assisting the body in regenerating tissue.

While it did take a few tries to find my routine with the products and what works best with the different areas of my skin, I had absolutely no allergic reactions or otherwise and there were no side effects either. As usual, with each product I’ve attached a quick, all you need to know pros and cons list to help you guys fully understand my experience with each product.

Skin Perfect Moisturiser:

Pros:

  • Doesn’t leave skin oily
  • Absorbs into skin quickly
  • No sticky feeling after application
  • Although it is yellow in colour, it in no way affects complexion
  • A little goes a LONG way.
  • Packaging is durable
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • The smell of the product can be a little overwhelming for first time users. It is completely natural so the smell is quite strong
  • I have very sensitive, watery eyes so I try not to apply it close to my eyes because they do tend to get a bit watery near products with a strong smell

Toning Eye and Skin Gel:

Pros:

  • I used this product only on my eyes, there were no side effects at all as its very gentle
  • Scent is much milder although it is still a natural product
  • 1 tiny pea sized amount on each side are more than enough to cover your entire undereye area as well as lids and inner corners
  • After application skin feels instantly refreshed and hydrated (IMO, best to use at night)

Cons:

  • My skin was slightly tacky, but not so much that it was in any way uncomfortable.
  • It did leave my eye area quite shiny hence only incorporating it into my night routine

Xtra Skin food:

Pros:

  • Helps with sunburn
  • Best to use on neck/decolletage area
  • Absorbs into skin quickly
  • No residue

Cons:

Besides the scent, I had absolutely no issue with this product. It was hydrating and luxurious and made my skin feel so silky and smooth.

Harvest Moon Facial Tea

Pros:

  • Steaming my face was extremely calming, the scent was amazing!
  • My skin definitely felt cleaner and more refreshed
  • My pores looked much better, especially around my cheek area

Cons:

I found that rather than following the bottle instructions, 2 teaspoons of the herb and flower mix were more than enough. I used the recommended amount and found the smell quite strong and overwhelming.

Facial Scrub:

Pros:

  • The ingredients were not harsh on my skin
  • Gentle enough to use once a week
  • Although it was an exfoliant, my skin was not dry afterwards.
  • Even after the first use, my skin was glowey and so much brighter.
  • A little goes a long way so the product lasts quite a while

Cons:

There were, unsurprisingly, no cons to the facial scrub. The scent wasn’t overwhelming and the ingredients did not irritate my skin at all.

It’s been an amazing couple of months testing this amazing range. The price range is perfect for students or budgeted people and it’s a great way to introduce your skin to anti-aging products. Each product lived up to uts promises and left my skin feeling luxurious.

To order your products simple head on over to https://ecologicskincare.co.za and start your skincare journey the way mother nature intended, naturally!

Revive Moisturiser

So that’s it, 2018? January 2018 wasn’t even a minute ago and in the blink of an eye and the festive period was upon us to wreak havoc on our diets, skin and bank balances. Our excuse?

#KeDezembaBoss

While I cant do much to help repair the crater in your bank balance or make you shed those extra kilos in a week, I can recommend by far one of the most effective moisturises I’ve used to repair your skin after the draining festive period.

Cue Down To Earth Skincare’s Revive Moisturiser.

Like the name suggests, this moisturiser was developed to combat the signs of aging, improve skin elasticity for firmer, healthier looking skin, reduce blemishes and to give all around moisture to the skin giving your skin a refreshed, younger look.

The 100% natural ingredient list had me shook, featuring some known favourites like:

  • Aloe vera (healing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Avocado oil (for hydration)
  • Tea tree oil (purification and protection of the skin)
  • Shea oil ( wrinkle reduction and hydration)

We were also introduced to a few new ingredients like:

  • African potato (antioxidant and skin rejuvenation)
  • Kigelia (helps reduce blemishes and lighten pigmentation)
  • Wheat germ (hydration and nourishment)

While extremely hydrating, I had no oilyness afterwards and my skin didn’t feel suffocated. The formula absorbs into your skin in seconds and leaves it with a soft glowy look. I experienced no irritation at all even over my breakout areas.

Wearable under make up, the formula doesn’t interfere with make up application and can be used as a primer under foundation. The moisturiser is also not tinted so it doesn’t change the colour of your foundation. I’ve also found that with use of the moisturiser as a primer, my foundation (Avon True Color Foundation) didn’t oxidize as much.

DTE is known for their all natural ingredient list across most, if not all products, but more importantly also cruelty free, contains no harmful chemicals or perfumes and for an added dose, the packaging is recyclable!

Overall I think this moisturiser was a definite hit, at only R160.00 for a 60ml tube, the only downside I could think of would be the smell. While not unpleasant, it has a very earthy smell which, while it doesn’t stick around for long, I wasn’t the biggest fan of.

The single con aside, I think that this product definitely lives up to its claims and it would be something that I would repurchase in the future.

Beaucience Part 2 of 2

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“Aging is a fact of life, looking your age isn’t”

20 minutes to better looking skin does sound like a tad bit of a stretch, right? I mean it’s only 20 minutes, naturally I was curious about Beaucience’s masque since masking is my favourite part of my skincare routine and one I take VERY seriously at that.

So let’s get into it, yeah?

Packed with a long list of natural ingredients dedicated to combating the signs of aging, Beaucience has set the bar pretty high as far as quality of ingredients goes. Using a large number of organic ingredients, this masque gently exfoliates skin and removes impurities all while the ingredients seep deep into your skin’s surface to hydrate and nourish it from within.

After using the masque just once, my skin instantly felt smoother as soon as I washed it off and while with most masks the soft, smooth feeling is rather temporary, I was quite shocked when even after about 3 days my skin felt almost exactly as it did after I washed the masque off. This was a first for me and instantly made me curious as to how this masque differed from others. After a bit more research, post-masking, I stumbled across the actual benefits of mild biological (bioactive) peeling.

In simple terms means that, like a chemical peel, it does a more thorough job at exfoliation of the skin. The mild-peel effect means that the oxygenation of your skin improves thereby allowing the ingredients to seep into the deeper layers of your skin allowing it to retain the properties of the ingredients for a longer time and absorbing the nutrients. It fights acne, pigmentation and improves the overall texture and tone of the skin.

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Despite the peel effect of this mask, its suitable for sensitive skin and is so gentle, yet effective, that you could use this masque once a week depending on your skin needs. I personally found that with my combination skin, one application every 5 days was sufficient to keep my skin looking silky smooth, feeling soft and looking absolutely radiant.

At only R119.99 for a 75ml that really lasts quite a while, I’d say it’s a steal if you’re looking to try at home anti-age care products or a mild peel.

As far as cons go, like the moisturizer I reviewed last week in part of 2, I do wish that there was a light scent to the product. It has a very natural smell which isn’t bad, but I think that if I were to suggest an improvement, Id say add a light scent.

I am definitely impressed with this range. This was the first time I tried any of Beaucience’s products and for the quality you’re getting for such a low price, I’m honestly astounded. All products are natural, certified by Beauty without cruelty and live up to their claims.

For more information on Beaucience’s anti-age care range as well as to have a look at other ranges offered, head on over to http://www.beaucience.co.za/

Beaucience Part 1 of 2

The Anti-age care day/night moisture cream

I know what you’re thinking, anti-age care? Aren’t you only like 20?

Like Coco Chanel says: “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it’s up to you to merit the face you have at fifty” and since the big 21 is closing in fast and hard, the idea of actually getting older has really set in, so why not do everything you can to slow down the physical signs, right?

Cue Beaucience, say it with me Bo-si-ance, a professional skincare brand hailing from our very own South Africa making waves in the skincare industry. Beaucience uses natural formulas to provide skincare worthy of the Gods at a price that wont break the bank and more importantly, actually works.

The day/night moisture cream can be used, as the name suggests, during the day, at night or even both. Each ingredient specifically targets signs of aging or supplements good, healthy skin. On the note of ingredients, as with any product, it’s a bit intimidating looking at the ingredient list, so to make it as easy as possible to understand what actually goes into making this moisturizer and to break down the core ingredients, I’ve made a little list of each with their benefits.

  • Organic Green tea: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agent, full of vitamin B2 and vitamin E (your skin NEEDS these)
  • Organic Marula Oil: reduces appearance of scars, rich in essential fatty acids, hydrates skin
  • Geranium: reduces wrinkles, enhances skin, anti-inflammatory, firms skin.
  • Ylang Ylang: balances sebum in skin, anti-aging effects, clears up acne
  • Eco certified proteasyl: protects collagen and elastin in your skin to fight against aging, improves skins elasticity and firmness.

After religious use for over a month, I’ve grown quite fond of the moisturizer and there was very little to dislike. I made a little pros and cons list to give you guys a little indepth view of the product.

Pros:

  • Right of the bat, the box is a beautiful white with green and grey tones making it look very fresh and natural.
  • We need a minute to appreciate the actual container that houses the product. #packaginggoals! The sleek clear container will have you in disbelief that this product isn’t high end!
  • The ingredients are natural and are suitable for sensitive skin
  • It soaked into my skin quickly
  • Only a small amount of product is needed per use so it is pocket friendly over a long period of time
  • At only R139.99 for a moisturizer, it really is on the better priced side of the scale
  • My skin feels much firmer and there was a noticeable difference in my smile lines and overall texture of my skin
  • My skin was hydrated throughout the day.
  • Can be used as a primer for make up
  • Can be used under a primer and has no effect at all on the make up
  • My skin feels softer as well as smoother and less bumpy. Having combination skin, I do find that the skin along my cheeks would sometimes get tiny little bumps which are not very noticeable, but you can feel it. With the use of the moisturizer I definitely saw a decrease in the bumps on my skin.
  • The skin on my neck feels more supple and not as thin and fragile as it did before
  • There was also a decrease in the newer, fine lines on my neck and a decrease in the appearance of the already formed lines.

Cons:

  • I personally prefer a scented moisturizer. The product had a very natural smell to it and I think that with such an overall great product, this tiny detail would have definitely taken it to the top for me.
  • Without make up, I did find that my skin would sometimes get a tad bit oily around my T-zone throughout the day, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some blotting paper or even a piece of tissue.

To conclude, I definitely think that this moisturizer is worth it. This is the first time I am trying the brand and I am surprised at how much I love this product. It has multiple uses, natural and is pocket friendly. Did I mention that you can find it on Zando too! Yes that right! Online shopping giants Zando are resellers of this amazing brand making it super accessible and totally worth your bucks!

For more information on the range head on over to www.beaucience.co.za to place an order or to check out their other ranges!

Polished by Navi

The vision and dream of the late Navina Gurie Ramlukan was made a reality by her sister Nerina Gurie when Polished By Navi opened its doors to both men and women on the 15th of August 2018.

To give you a little backstory, the beautiful, late Navina was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2014 after which she still soldiered on and went on to have her miracle baby boy Veer in July 2015.

She started treatment shortly after the birth of her baby boy and sought help from every doctor possible, but eventually found results in overseas medicine which brought her down from a 90%+ to a mere 25%, almost close to remission. Her death was a massive shock to her family since her recovery was truly unbelievable and life was finally getting back to normal.

Nevertheless, shortly after her sister’s death, Nerina quit her corporate job to open up Polished By Navi and ensured every detail put into the business showcased Navina and all she loved.

The nail bar is situated in vibrant Illovo, Sandton, nestled in a beautiful building housing a hair salon and beauty salon making it a one-stop spot to get fully pampered.

The sheek vintage theme emanates from everything from the beautiful light fittings to the furniture and colours and the serenity of the bar really does put you at ease whether you’re a newbie to doing your nails or even if it’s just your first time at PbN. The rounded shape of the bar gives it another unique touch making the bar look more inviting and gives it a warmer, more homely feeling.

The pleasant staff consists of Rose and Julia, qualified nail techs who will stop at nothing to make sure that each and every nail is customized to your preference. Communication with your nail tech is a must and both Julia and Rose are so easy going and open to ideas that it really does add an extra something to the process.

Nerina makes it her mission to touch base at the least with each of her clients and make them feel at home. The vivacious, chatty beauty is by far one of the kindest, most giving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and she truly is just a bubble of happiness. Her cute, preppy vibe can brighten up even the most sullen days and it truly does add a more comforting aspect to the experience.

Polished by Navi is also meticulous about their tools and products. Only high-end products and tools are used by the nail technicians ensuring sterile environments and good quality nails that last no matter what you do.

In such a short period of time Polished by Navi has hosted the likes of Cartier Mzagorski and Karishma Ramdev among other well known bloggers and socialites. Nerina’s aim is to provide each client with the utmost attention to detail as well as give them a safe space to just offload anything on their mind.

I’ve never been happier with my nails, even a week after they still look brand new, they feel stronger than ever (PbN uses a rubber base and acrylic on your nails to ensure no breaking, peeling or lifting). My nail tech Rose, was so careful with my hands not to file too hard or hurt me and paid so much attention to getting my shape and design down to the T.

Oh, and bonus, alltreatments come with a complimentary hand massage, just because!

With incredible service, attention to detail and the best vibe, it’s really easy to see why Polished By Navi has taken off so well and why day by day more and more people are choosing Polished By Navi as their go-to nail bar.

I truly loved every moment spent at PbN and I can’t wait to go back for my next set. Nerina is so accommodating and goes to the ends of the earth for her clients to ensure their happiness and satisfaction.

I can put my life on it that wherever Navina is, when she looks down at all her baby sister has done in her name she feels nothing but pride and happiness.

Until next time

Xoxo

Justine Tissue Oil, hit or miss?

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Now, before I get into it, let me start of by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with having stretch marks and scars. They are reminders of different parts of our lives and each carry a story of their own, some beautiful, some not so much, but a story nonetheless. That being said, there is no reason why we shouldn’t improve on ourselves daily, not for anyone, but ourselves.

 

Stretch marks and scars are something that haunt majority of us, mine specifically are the stretch marks on my booty and the burn scar on my wrist/forearm. I’ve used everything from high-end serums and products to homemade elixirs and scrubs and literally nothing worked. Needless to say that about four weeks ago when I received the Justine South Africa Tissue oil range, I was both curious and skeptical as to whether this product will actually work.

 

The oil claims to give you noticeably better looking scars and stretch marks in about 2 weeks when applied twice daily. That’s a pretty big claim from an oil, right? I mean, how much can it really do in just 14 days? Well, keep reading to find out.

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Before use 

Pretty nasty, right? That was from a gas burn when my airbag popped. The scar skin is quite dark and blotchy and pretty noticeable.

 

I used the oil religiously, applying daily after I showered in the morning and night and I really liked the feel of the oil. It absorbed quickly into my skin and didn’t leave much of a residue at all. My skin felt instantly moisturized and softer to the touch as well. Despite it being an oil, I had no greasy feeling on my skin and it gave my skin a beautiful, subtle sheen. After about 5 days I began noticing a small change in the skin on my arm, my skin looked much healthier and much less… scarred, so to say. It felt even better! There wasn’t really much change to the skin on my booty, but it was only just 5 days

 

 

Fast forward to my 14 day mark.

 

Okay, new hand, who dis????? My scarred skin looked amazing! It was considerably lighter, the skin was more plump and healthy looking, it wasn’t as blotchy, oh and did I mention it looked AMAZING! Just look at it!

After 2 weeks of use

 

My stretch marks looked better too, the marks itself weren’t as dark and the skin looked more hydrated, was much softer and it looked much better.

 

I’m pretty sure you guys are as stunned as I am. I’ve heard preggy and post-preggy moms swear by it, but honestly I never actually thought it would work. Justine really outdid themselves with this oil. At only R179.00 for a 100ml, it’s an absolute steal. The effectiveness of the product outmatches that of a few higher end products I’ve tried and in such a small amount of time, the results are truly incredible.

 

The only con I found was that I didn’t really like the smell. I really don’t like the smell of tissue oil, of any brand. The smell from the Justine brand wasn’t unbearable, but it wasn’t the most pleasant either. The only criticism I can think of is if Justine manufacturers looked towards adding perfume or making it unscented completely if possible.

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My skin today (27/09/18) after roughly around 4 weeks of use
I would definitely recommend and buy this tissue oil again. It works like a charm and is extremely affordable for the quality and results you receive. You can find your nearest Justine rep by following the link below.

http://www.justine.co.za/PRSuite/needARep.page