How do you prevent your lipstick from transferring? What if you want to cheat some fuller-looking lashes (without having to try falsies)? And how can you get away with less makeup in general? These are tricks that I’ve picked up over the years that have made all the difference in my life.

They will also come in handy if you’re planning a hot date for Valentine’s day. #JustSaying.

PLUS WIN a hamper worth R1280 with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range and a Country Road tog bag. Scroll down for more details. 

1. Always start with properly hydrated skin

If you’re skin is healthy to begin with, you’ll need less makeup to cover up imperfections. Makeup also sits better on hydrated skin.

A common misconception is that oily skin needs less moisture. Often your skin becomes oily because it is water-dehydrated. Sebum glands become over-active as a result, leading to that annoying shine on your T-zone.

I’ve been enjoying the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream (R139,95 for 50ml) during the summer months. It has a light, gel consistency that absorbs easily into your skin, but it provides intense hydration. The main active ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, which draws moisture to it like a sponge and acts as a reservoir for your skin. They have also added Glycerin and Olive to reinforce your skin barrier. I love how light it feels on my skin – ideal for the summer months – and the fact that it is fragrance free.

2. Fill your brows

I never skip this step in my makeup routine. Beautifully shaped brows help to frame your face so that you need less makeup in general, and it gives you a more youthful appearance.

Be careful not to overdo it. I use a taupe brow pencil to line the base of my brows. Next, I use a brow brush to comb up and blend the colour into my brows. Finally, I’ll set my brows with a brow gel, combing down first and then upward for more volume and definition.

3. Create the illusion of fuller lashes

Thick, defined lashes instantly make your eyes pop. One trick to create the appearance of fuller lashes is to line your upper waterline with a dark brown or black pencil. In general I will use a brown pencil on my outer corners, softening it with a brush, and then for added definition I’ll line my bottom and top waterline. For a day look, skip the bottom waterline.

4. Spritz perfume on the right spots

Spray your perfume on your body’s heat points. This way the fragrance will release as your body warms up. Apply it behind your ears, in your inner elbows and on your chest.

5. Prevent lipstick stains

I hate it when lipstick transfers. Cups, collars, cheeks, pouts, all stained with my pretty pink lip print. Here’s how I keep my colour on my lips: First blot off any excess lipstick with a tissue. Next, load a fluffy powder brush with translucent powder. Tap off any excess, then lightly dab the brush over your lips. It leaves a matt finish and it sets the makeup.


1 9Lives reader will win a hamper worth R1280, with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range and a Country Road tog bag. To enter, share your ideal Valentine’s date in the comments below, or mail me at Entries close 16 February.

This post was created in collaboration with Neutrogena.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.


  1. Carolyn Augustus Reply

    An escape. Since we have a teen and a toddler at home we will ideally take our dinner on the “road”. Go to the Galileo Open Air Cinema, cuddle up under the stars, try some lovely new, different food and be entertained. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic date.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      That’s a great idea Carolyn! I love the movies at The Galileo, it has such a nice vibe. Hope you have a wonderful evening!

  2. This year, I really just want a quiet night at home. I am thinking that we cook dinner together, watch old movies and play board games. We both work in the evenings, so it’s always great having a night off.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I think that sounds like the perfect evening! Often I have the best time just hanging out on the couch with my hubby! Thanks for sharing!

  3. as my birthday is on Valentine’s day we always end up doing a family evening but a getaway would be awesome for a change

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I hope the hubby surprises you with a romantic getaway. Anywhere you would love to go?

  4. abigail Moodley Reply

    Thank you for the tips

    My ideal V-Day would be dinner at a restaurant overlooking the beach while the sun goes down followed by a walk on the beach with my hubby. Then a drive up the mountain overlooking the Helderberg with a good cuddle on a blanket ??

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      That sounds divine Abigail! Aren’t we lucky to live in such a gorgeous place? Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Eeekkk! Totally need this! My skin has been very dry lately. My ideal valentine’s day: spending time with my beloved family. I’d like to prepare a special meal and a decadent dessert for my husband and 3 children, talk, laugh, enjoy our time together as a family❤

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      This is such a lovely idea! I think the most special memories are made around a table with your loved ones. Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

  6. Aneeqah Fataar Reply

    Omg ,so need this !
    On valentines day ,i will be at in our school valentines day program, i will be signing. Im so excited and nervous at the same time.i will be with all my friends on that day ?.
    The night will probably have dinner at a restaurant and then desert ❤,but can’t stay late out cause its school the next day ?

  7. Hi there! Well, my ideal Valentine’s date with hubby, would be firstly, a little break away from 3 lively boys. I would love a stroll on a long beach at dusk, watching the sun setting, then to the deck with cocktails and sundowners. After that, a seafood extravaganza! Nothing like seafood to get things heated up? after which spend the rest of the night at a salsa party, absolute fun and so romantic! X

  8. Ideal date is dinner at our revolving restaurant in Durban overlooking the ocean and coming home to relax, while the kids are out by my brother 🙂

  9. After the hot and humid summer time, my skin is in such need of hydration and extra TLC. I so need this fantastic Neutrogena hamper <3

    My perfect Valentine's date…would start out by receiving a bouquet of roses with chocolate from my fiancé. He would have the entire day planned way in advance…stunning sunny weather…a breakfast walk along the pier and a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the ocean. He hires a convertible and with the top down we take a ride all the way along the beach and back. Then he surprises me with a booking for us at a luxurious Day Spa with pamper treatments, the jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms with heated water beds. We return to dress up and go watch a romantic movie with popcorn and coke and chocolates then we go up Table Mountain to watch the sun set with a romantic light picnic spread, of light cheese, bread and bubbly picnic laid out for us and then an exclusive posh 5 star buffet dining experience at a lavish hotel.

  10. My ideal Vday date would be getting picked up by my date with a bouquet of flowers (never gets corny cos I LOVE flowers) – I would look effortlessly fabulous. We would drive into the middle of nowhere in the dessert where he would set up a romantic picnic under the stars and we would just chat about life and laugh etc. Night would end with a kiss 🙂

  11. jade abbott Reply

    My ideal Valentines date would be a trip to Robben Island. My bf has never been (OMG, I know right) and I just think it would be so cool to romance him like that. I know he would absolutely love it…

    Or a night over at Three Apostles! haha

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Valentine’s Day or not he has to go! What an eye-opening experience! And yes, the the Apostles wouldn’t be too shabby either 😉 Thanks for entering!

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Yum! Definitely sounds like an ideal date night to me!

  12. Juanita Daniels Reply

    A bath filled with flower petals, romantic dinner by candlelight, bubbly, awesome conversation, laughter, beach view, sunset. 🙂

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      Ooooh that sounds lovely! Beach view, bubbly and your favourite person, what could be better? Thanks for sharing!

  13. Megan Hartwig Reply

    Ideal Valentines date is a home-cooked meal, and him surprising me with a dozen roses, a giant fuzzy heart with chocolate inside, and a handmade card. It’s the simple things in life that are memorable 😉

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      That’s adorable Megan! And yes, roses are still such a treat! Thanks for entering!

  14. Nicole Felix Reply

    My ideal Valentines Day would be a quite night at home, with no distractions, no phones, no work and just some proper quality time, making a delicious meal while sipping on ice cold champagne 🙂

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      I love this! I think we’re always so rushed, having a calm, quiet evening sound perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Janet W Perry Reply

    Ideal valentine’s date is freshly picked flowers by my valentine, a long uninterrupted breakfast at home with copious amounts of top class coffee, a walk on the beach, a stroll through a gallery, a cuddle in the park before lunch Al fresco at our favourite café in the trees with a sumptuous bottle of wine then later a bubble bath and movie on the couch just me and my valentine. Aaaah a girl can dream 🙂

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      This definitely sounds like the perfect day! Top coffee and delicious wine make everything better! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Bianca Balutto Reply

    My ideal valentines date would be a romantic picnic on the beach.

    • Malherbe Liezel Reply

      So lovely! Especially if you can find a secluded little beach away from all the crowds!

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