I love using the new year as a chance to reflect on the past year and choose what to focus on going forward. The pandemic has forced us all to put a pause on any big plans we might have had, so instead of setting big goals I am focusing on making more time for the little things that make me happy, like spending more time with my loved ones. Another small thing that makes my heart happy is putting outfits for myself together, which is (luckily!) what I do for a living. At work I have heaps of clothing rails to mix and match with, but at home it’s about incorporating what I already have in my wardrobe with just a few new buys. For me comfort is my main priority, especially these days where I’m either on my feet all day at work, or laying low at home for lockdown. Here are a few outfits I’ve enjoyed putting together recently:
WHITE ON WHITE An all-white ensemble in cotton and linen blend keeps you cool and comfortable, and the natural crumples and creases give a relaxed soft feel.
Hello, kitty cat!
ANIMAL PRINT I’m sorry I gave a lot of my animal print clothing away over the years as it’s a trend that keeps on returning, but hopefully someone out there is enjoying my cast-offs! This shift dress is super cool to wear on weekends with slip-ons, or with sneakers for comfort when working in studio. I love this length that falls below the knees.
LOUNGEWEAR Definitely the best items to wear for literally lounging around the home in comfort. I did yoga and pilates classes in this linen-blend before Christmas, but honestly, I have not done ONE SINGLE online class this year, (so much for resolutions of being focused and on top of life, but we’ll get there someday!). Please tell me you’re also feeling a little distracted and not able to get into the year yet?! I guess on that note we’ll just grab a book and do some more lounging!
Filorga’s Global-Repair Cream and Global-Repair Intensive Nutri-Restorative Multi-Revitalising Serum contain a plethora of anti ageing ingredients to address skin concerns like lack of firmness, loss of volume, dark spots, signs of fatigue and undefined face contour. I was delighted to be sent them to try out; here’s what I thought….
Filorga Global-Repair Cream
Aimed specifically at mature skin, the latest Filorga Global-Repair Cream and Global-Repair Intensive Nutri-Restorative Multi-Revitalising Serum offer some noteworthy ingredients to help regenerate, restore and strengthen skin for a luminous and renewed complexion.
If you’re a fan of Sisley’s cult Black Rose Cream read here then you’ll love Filorga Global-Repair Cream as much as I have from the very first application. A thick rich consistency leaves ones skin feeling super nourished and pampered. Like the former product this doubles up as an overnight mask. Here’s a quick break down of some of the active ingredients.
Filorga’s patented NCEF formula found in injectable mesotherapy contains antioxidants, vitamins and co-enzymes which help regenerate the cells from deep within, boost cell turnover and prevent cells against oxidation.
A cocktail of boosting vitamins, jojoba and evening primrose oils and super ceramides strengthen and regenerate the skin’s barrier while hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge helping skin to hold on to water. Peonies aren’t just pretty flowers, but contain a root rich in oligosaccarides that step up lipid storage in the adipose tissues to help thicken skin so features are restored and redefined.
“This powerful new anti-ageing range is extremely effective for those women with a devitalised, mature skin that want an ultra-effective skincare range that instantly tackles all the signs of skin ageing. It is the most powerful anti-ageing skincare range launched by Filorga to date and boasts very impressive results.” – Filorga International Medical Advisor, Dr Rieke Smit
As I mentioned earlier the Global Repair Cream used as an overnight mask is super beneficial thanks to anti-ageing ingredients and despite my insomnia, my skin look surprisingly refreshed and rejuvenated! I used the cream on a daily basis over the serum and once or twice a week applied a thick layer just before climbing into bed – it feels soft and velvety and smells good too!
Filorga Global-Repair Cream and Global-Repair Intensive Nutri-Restorative Multi-Revitalising Serum
The highly concentrated Filorga Global-Repair Intensive Nutri-Restorative Serum has active ingredients to effectively rejuvenate tired and lacklustre skin. With Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide and Retinol the serum simultaneously boosts collagen and cellular renewal to smooth wrinkles, restore firmness and deeply nourish the skin. These two products are really impressive and would definitely be on my re-purchase list!
PS: I’ve been a little frantic catching up on a backlog of merchandise and incorporating new ways of shooting at work- all very exciting but time consuming so I haven’t been as regular as I would have liked on the blog, BUT yay, I have found some balance to my days, so back to frequent blogging – my first love! Hoping you day is a bright and sunshiny day!!
I spend most of my day in a studio and reliant on aircon; winter is a blessing as we crank up the temperature but now with spring I’m constantly flipping the aircon dial as it’s either too hot or too cold so it wreaks havoc on my skin. Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Moisture Booster was sent to me and as my skin has been feeling super dehydrated I did a little jump for joy for a ‘moisture booster’; here’s what I thought….
One of the best ingredients to look for when it comes to anti-ageing is Hyaluronic acid as it plumps and hydrates skin, thanks to its ability to hold over one thousand times its weight in water meaning it can hydrate and plump skin fabulously.
The other main ingredient is Glycerin which hydrates skin and helps hold on to moisture. Glycerin enhances the penetration of other ingredients, strengthens skins moisture barrier and improves skins resilience.
As I said my skin leans towards being dehydrated, so including this into my daily routine was brilliant; the light texture serum feels a little sticky at first but sinks in super fast delivering immediate hydration. It is also clinically and dermatologically proven. (See chart below with results)
Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Moisture Booster is suitable as a makeup base, is clinically and dermatologically proven, non-comedogenic and appropriate for all skin types. It also has a good price point of ZAR299.99 available at Clicks
With the arrival of spring, a host of fresh and light fragrances to lift one’s spirit and mood have landed on my desk, with one such lovely being Montblanc’s latest women fragrance Montblanc Signature For Her…
‘If writing is the visible expression of the soul,’ they tell us, ‘fragrance is surely its unspoken, subliminal language. Fragrances tell stories, shape emotions and evoke poetry, writing in unseen ink where the fountain pen marks on paper in black and white.’ –Montblanc
There are women who will be remembered for their bravery, authenticity, strength and courage and choose to be the author of their own life; Montblanc Signature pays tribute to unforgettable women, ‘authors of their own story’. Diane Ducret, a French Belgian writer, noted as the only French writer to make a living from writing is the face of Montblanc Signature campaign.
This fresh appealing everyday scent is classified as a floral-oriental and musky fragrance; top notes of juicy clementines combined with delicate peony, magnolia and ylang-ylang are at the heart, wrapped up in warming white musk, benzoin and sensual vanilla. I loved the zesty clementine smell on first spritz, settling down into a non obtrusive and subtle vanilla notes so had good durability.
Perfumers Guillaume Flavigny and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto wanted ‘a contrast of opulent and sensual, an appeal and elegance; I wanted to infuse more light, more breath and transparency’, says Natalie Gracia-Cetto.
The gorgoeus opalescent bottle designed by Mark Eisen pays tribute to the iconic inkwell, part of Montblanc heritage with gold details borrowed from the ‘Meisterstück’ writing instrument, underline the elegance of the object.
Did you know designer and artist Mark Eisen was born in Cape Town before moving to the states to study, read more on him here
It’s well balanced and very befitting for spring time
Montblanc Signature For Her EDP, R880 for 30ml, R1 065 for 50ml and R1 315 for 90ml, is available at Dis-Chem.
German brand Nature Box recently hit our shores and has been receiving rave reviews for their eco-friendly sustainable products that contain no artificial colours and are silicone and paraben-free. They are all vegan certified and available at affordable prices too. I was delighted to be sent their Almond range to see what all the fuss was about.
Nature Box has a number of ranges: avocado, apricot, coconut, passion fruit, pomegranate, olive oil, argan oil and almond. They all contain 100% cold-pressed oils. This is considered the best method to extract, as no external heat is applied meaning antioxidants, vitamins, essential nutrients and fatty acids aren’t affected or damaged. The oils are extracted from the nuts, seed and/or fruit without losing quality and thus retaining their effectiveness.
‘Social responsibly is our top priority supporting smaller farmers for a more sustainable cultivation of raw materials .’
Nature Box use sustainably produced palm oil from Nigeria. Palm oil production is notoriously bad for the planet, however Nature Box has joined forces with Solidaridad to ensure their palm oil is sustainably harvested. Solidaridad is an international development organisation that supports small farmers in the sustainable cultivation of palm oil in several regions around the world. For their project in Nigeria small farmers are trained and supported in sustainability cultivating palm oil. This enables farmers to increase their productivity and reduce the negative impact on environment. In addition, the farmers receive a certification for their harvest. You can check out more on Nature Box Sustainability projects here
The Almond range includes their Almond Shampoo R119.99, Almond Conditioner, R119.99, Almond Shower Gel R69.99, Almond Body Lotion R93 and Root Lift Spray R99. Almonds are rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and magnesium which is necessary to promote hair growth and also helps with shine, frizz, to nourish hair strands, and to prevent inflammation, dandruff and damage from hair styling tools.
Nature Box Shampoo and Conditioner
I’ve been using these for a couple of months now and I am impressed. I love that the shampoo bottle is the same size as the conditioner so my husband and I can share the bottle. His scalp is sensitive and prone to flakiness and using this on a daily basis has been gentle and left his hair shiny. I have dry hair so only shampoo once a week with lashings of conditioner. They work well on my hair to add moisture and nourishment.
Nature Box Root Lift Spray
I wouldn’t have necessarily gravitated towards the Root Lift Spray as it is aimed at giving volume and, hells teeth, I have enough of that! However, I’ve found that it works remarkably well on restoring my waves. Because I regularly colour and highlight my hair, I have all but lost my curl pattern (except in summertime where the salt water gives my waves back, ha!). I spray this on wet hair and use my hands to scrunch it in, and it dries into natural-looking waves.
Nature Box Shower Gel
I am a huge fan of shower gels as they are just so easy to use. If they lather up nicely and smell good then it’s a big yay from me. Another big bonus is the clear print on the bottles. There have been occasions where I’ve had to climb out of the shower to fetch my glasses, but Nature Box’s bottles are easy-to-read, so there’s no chance of washing myself with conditioner or adding shower gel to my hair..!
Nature Box Body Lotion
I’m always pressed for time my two priorities for a body lotion are it needs to sink in quickly and it needs to smell good. This one ticks both of those boxes.
Would I buy these again?
I love when a range works well, mainly because it looks pretty on my bathroom shelf to have everything matching! I’m impressed by the prices too, especially for the size of the bottles. I’ll definitely be repurchasing, this time the coconut range, suitable for dry hair and skin. And with travel plans still on hold for me I’ll take all the tropical scents I can get!
My days of waking up looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed are long over, so imagine my delight when products for mature skin from Dr Hauschka arrive at my door. Ingredients are selected that refine and renew skin, leaving you looking firmer, smoother and more radiant. I like that, as realistically there is no magic potion to eliminate wrinkles completely, so you might as well embrace ageing but look radiant while doing so.
As more customers opt for a straight-forward, no-nonsense beauty approach, German brands, known as G-Beauty, are highly sought-after. Dr Hauschka was one of the first international brands paying tribute to a more eco-conscious way of using organic and natural ingredients in beauty products, placing sustainability, quality and ingredient integrity at a greater importance.
Dr Hauschka Regenerating Oil Serum Intensive
Dr Hauschka combines the concentrated skin care of an oil with the power of a serum. Oils are for nourishing, hydrating and strengthening the skin barrier and serums have the power to deeply penetrate the skin, depositing powerful active ingredients for more targeted results. Ingredients in their Regenerating Oil Serum Intensive include a formulation of almond and olive oils alongside nurturing plants like blackthorn extracts to aid elasticity and firmness and protect against drying environmental influences. My skin loved this and felt hydrated and moisturised.
Dr Hauschka Regenerating Day Cream
I spent an awful amount of time lying in the backyard soaking up the sun while trying out these products. Sun exposure is bad, I know, but this was back in stage 5 of lockdown so no judgement! I loved using the combination of both the oil serum and moisturiser as my skin felt soft and hydrated, in spite of all the sun I was getting.
I haven’t been out much during lockdown, except to work, Zoom meetings and a few coffee dates on the weekend so this little bottle has lasted me five months and I still have a bit to go.
Dr Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint
For the last couple of years, I’ve steered clear of foundations as they feel too heavy on my skin, rather opting for tinted moisturisers. I can’t sing the praises of Bioderma and Heliocare enough as they give a dash of colour and contain a high SPF. So what’s with this Translucent Bronzing Tint? Admittedly I was a little apprehensive as I am perfectly happy with my above-mentioned tinted moisturisers, however I was pleasantly surprised. To use it you add a few drops of the Translucent Bronzing Tint to their Moisturiser, patting it in gently for a fresh sun-kissed complexion
Sadly my oil serum and moisturiser have come to an end but I’ve been continuing with the tint, mixing it into another moisturiser. Would I repurchase these? Yes to the oil serum and moisturiser as they were such a treat for my skin and I have always loved Dr H. Their philosophy and ethics resonate with me and, man, their products smell heavenly. And have you ever experienced a Dr Hauschka facial? Sublime indeed!
Kirsten Goss latest ABODE Collection is a natural extension of her renowned jewellery brand, reflecting her signature shapes and styles with cutting edge pieces which are fast becoming highly collectible tableware accessories…
The core collection consists of sterling silver cutlery and solid brass serving-ware with mustard/espresso spoons, jam or sugar spoons, salad servers and butter/pate knives and condiment spoons all meticulously crafted.
‘We revere the notion of buying ethically made, handcrafted items whichwe have sustained in our jewellery brand for almost 18 years’ Kirsten Goss
‘It’s now time to enjoy this aspect in everyday life – on your tables and inyour living spaces. Solid silver spoons with personalised name/date-stamping make the most beautiful gifts for christenings, milestone birthdays, anniversaries and weddings’
‘We like the consideration of giving reverence to the quotidian. Spreading that jam or scooping that chilli with some magnificent little art piece – it’s one of life’s underrated pleasures. Make it count. Pass it on. The Modern Heirloom.‘ – Kirsten Goss
I hope you enjoyed this post- it’s always so inspiring to see what our local creative artists and designers are up to!
Amongst all the uncertainty and change of routine, I’ve been trying to make room for more me-time during lockdown. I’ve had great fun trawling through my beauty cupboard using forgotten-about cleansers and masks (and for once we’re not talking fabric face masks!).
I got around to treating myself to a few sheet masks from The Body Shop I had been saving. Back in the day, before The Body Shop came to South Africa, it was considered extremely cool for someone to return from travels abroad with their products! Three of my favourite buys included a reinvigorating shampoo called Ice Blue Shampoo, a cooling and refreshing gel for puffy and tired eyes called Elderflower Eye Gel and, my ultimate favourite, a vanilla oil in a nondescript plastic container where one drop lasted an entire day.
Sadly the formula changed and their vanilla scent was never quite the same, but my love for The Body Shop products has never waivered. They were one of the first to speak out against animal testing in beauty products and to encourage customers to recycle their packaging. But enough jabbering; let’s get to the masks!
Aloe Calm Sheet Mask
Before the science of medicine was developed, aloe vera was considered a life-saving plant. In Ancient Egyptian culture it was referred to as the Plant of Immortality and by Native Americans as the Wand of Heaven.
Thanks to aloe vera and cucumber in the Aloe Calm Sheet Mask, my skin felt instantly hydrated and smooth. I popped the sealed mask into the fridge for an extra cooling experience before I applied it to my face. I lay down and listened to a 20 minute podcast episode before removing the mask, massaging the excess product into my often-neglected décolletage and neck area.
Vitamin E Quench Sheet Mask
Wheatgerm oil is one of the richest sources of natural Vitamin E and is known for its moisturising and hydrating properties. During the first weeks of lockdown I spent a considerable amount of time soaking up the sun in my backyard (how glorious was the weather!) so my skin really benefitted from this mask which contains nourishing oil plus Hyaluronic acid. After fifteen minutes I removed the mask to reveal a noticeably hydrated and plumper face.
I do wish I had a stash of these sheet masks to apply weekly as they really made an instant difference. I’d keep these in my overnight bag if I was travelling anywhere – not that there’s a chance of that happening any time soon!
Have you tried any of these and what did you think?
I’ve tested out many cleansers over the years but Afari Skincare‘s Priming Cleanser is an outstanding one, made even more so as I know how much love, time and passion has gone into creating this luxe local brand. Margaux Knuppe is the founder of Afari Skincare (you can read an interview I wrote earlier in the year here). I tried out their Priming Cleanser and Protecting Day Cream SPF30:
‘In a continent recognised for its rich heritage of traditional healers, and its wealth of naturally restorative elements and biodiversity, we embarked on a journey to find an indigenous botanical with regenerative skin benefits‘
I’m always looking for multi-purpose products to both save me time but also (and more importantly) address my skin concerns like collagen production, hydration, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. The key ingredient in all Afari Skincare products is an indigenous shrub that grows naturally in the Limpopo region. The sap contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for generations by traditional healers for skin ailments.
‘A great synthesis between female harvesters in rural Limpopo and ground-breaking scientific research led to the discovery of Bulbine frutescens, a small shrub indigenous to the dry valleys of Southern Africa‘
‘Decadently lush’ are words that spring to mind when using this cleanser. My skin feels pampered after using the gel formula that lathers up easily and smells pretty damn fine too!
The day cream sinks in easily, contains a protecting high SPF and is safe to use around the sensitive eye area.
My approach to applying products can be a bit heavy-handed, which means I go through my creams and serums way too quickly. We actually don’t need gallons of product on our faces,so I love Afari‘s airless pump bottles, which dispense just the right amount. An airless pump reduces the amount of oxygen entering the bottle which makes your product last longer, plus it means less preservatives are needed. And there’s no need to grab scissors to squeeze out your last drops!
Because the 100% recyclable, earth-friendly containers don’t need gravity to dispense the product, there is no chance of spillage from the nozzle. So one day when we’re allowed to travel again and/or head to the gym, they’re perfect for popping in your bag!