REVIEW: Afari Skincare

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!

AFARI SKINCARE

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!

Afari Skincare products are available online here

PS I have a feeling Bulbine frutescens is going to be the next beauty must-have ingredient…watch this space!

Happy Thursday

Cath

CONVERSATIONS: with Amanda Kamhoot of Just Cruizin Clothing

Like a lot of local brands Just Cruizin Clothing has been affected by Covid-19, and sadly had to close two of their Cape Town stores. The silver lining, however, is that the brand has been able to use this as a push to create an online store. I caught up with owner Amanda Kamhoot to find out more about Just Cruizin.

What was your inspiration behind the name?

Just Cruizin started back in 1985 from an idea born out of a love of chilled, unconstructed cotton clothing. Hans, my husband, was influenced by the laid-back life he had experienced abroad, spending most of his 8 years searching for perfect waves and learning from many mentors who impacted his non-conventional way of doing things. Hans’s motto was and still is  ‘keep it simple’. I have always felt the name ‘Just Cruizin’ is a perfect reflection of the lifestyle he largely lives up to.

Just Cruizin Clothing
Just Cruizin Clothing

Tell us about your team

Having owned a hair salon and a real passion for making women feel beautiful, it was a natural progression for me to eventually join Hans in his business. After our daughter, Hana, was born, my back gave in and I knew I had to sell my salon. I grieved the loss for a year and still miss so many of my clients dearly, but so many of them are now loyal supporters of JC! I am not a designer but have always loved fashion; don’t we all?


As a family, we enjoy overseas travel and use these opportunities to find interesting samples which we then adapt to suit our fabric. I work with an amazing team of women, and we have lots of fun getting our ranges together. Our son Jordan has been involved in the business for nearly 10 years and it’s been wonderful seeing him mature and take the JC men’s brand to new heights.

Did lockdown give you the little push you needed to go online? 


I think we must have been one of the last clothing brands to go online! We knew it was something we had to do at some stage and Covid-19 definitely gave us the push we needed! Technology is not our strength at all, and I guess we feared to dip our toes into this uncharted water.

I have often mentioned, ‘treading lightly into our new normal’ in my posts on Insta. These words were written by Arundhati Roy at the beginning of the pandemic. They resonated hugely with me, and if I learn anything from this time, I hope it to be to ‘tread lightly with little baggage.’

What is a typical day for you?
My day starts with a delicious coffee in bed from Hans and an excited ‘Hello’ from our husky Marlie. I have now gotten used to the early morning walks during lockdown, so I think I’d like to continue with this as one of the new additions to my new normal. I generally get to work around 9.30am, check-in on stores, communicate with our CMT about production status and start answering emails.

I find that since going online, so much more of my time is spent communicating with customers or potential customers. I love interacting with people, so at the moment I don’t mind. I think anything new is exciting, so I am grateful that we have this platform to focus on right now, and give our staff some work to do.

What influences you?
I would like to think I am influenced by the many incredible people I’ve met throughout my life. Aren’t humans just the most extraordinary creation?  In a time like we are experiencing now, we realise more than ever how much we need, miss and rely on each other. I am instantly drawn to folk who have a story and are open and willing to share. I used to spend so much time chatting to the elderly at my late grandmother’s old age home… if ever you have the time, sit and chat to the elderly. They have something to say and stories to tell.

What do you do to relax?
I’m a Leo, so I guess that could be part of the reason why I just love the sun. When I get home from work, I’ll always find the sunniest spot whether inside or outside to have a cup of tea. I love music, especially all the ‘oldies’ and my best is when Hana and I have our own dance parties together at home! We find any excuse to turn the music up. Being around my friends and family is probably my happiest time, and when you’re happy you’re relaxed!

A life mantra
‘Be kind, always’.

Any exciting plans for the future?
So much has changed so suddenly in business and in all our lives, I feel I would like to relook at our business model and possibly bring it back to its core again, simplify, follow our dream of perfecting a fully sustainable range of clothing. Keeping things honest and real.

Check out Just Cruizin’s new online store here.

Facebook

CONVERSATIONS with Hairstylist David Gillson

 

IMG_9764My thick, frizzy and tangled hair has always been the bane of my existence. Sure, it doesn’t help that I rarely run a comb through it, but since having my colour and treatments with hair guru/stylist David Gillson, my hair has improved dramatically. Not only does he get my colour perfect every time (anyone who has gone blonde can attest to what a feat this is) but every time I leave his salon I feel like a million bucks. Thanks to lockdown, I’m missing David. Hair aside, (I’m making peace with my roots…!) our appointments are also a great chance for a catch-up. So I thought I would see how he is doing and what makes him tick via a good old-fashioned email:

What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Being in the Yorkshire moors.

What does a normal day for you involve?
Not so normal at the moment! I wake up to meditate for longer with more
powerful sessions during the lockdown, but usually, it is drinking a coffee
before dropping my daughter off at school and am at work by 7:00. I work
between Rosebank Melrose Arch and Hyde Park, but my routine is the same
every day. I do Reiki one a week and like to get home early enough to cook, a
great passion of mine!

What do you do to relax?
Meditation, Reiki, walking and watching TV series.

Hair stylist David Gillson
David Gillson

A life mantra?
A positive mind brings a positive life.

Which living person do you most admire?
Deepak Chopra.

Your favourite fashion item…
Cashmere jerseys (especially my Valentino’s).

The most memorable gift you have ever received?
A trip to Monte Carlo!

Hair stylist David Gillson
One piece of advice you’d give the next generation:
Do what you love; life is too short to be in a career or job that you are not
passionate about.

Your favourite travel destination?
I’m obsessed with London so feel blessed to have a salon there and get to
spend so much time between here and London.

What’s on your bucket list?
A fabulous trip to Japan.

David Gillson Hair stylist
David is co-owner of Issy Belgravia London Hair salon on the Insta-famous Elizabeth Street

 

You can find David at Carlton Hair in Hyde Park & Melrose Arch in Gauteng and Constantia in Cape Town and at Issy’s Belgravia London Hair Salon

Faithful to Nature Red Clay Konjac sponge

REVIEW: KONJAC SPONGES

 

Everyone is dealing with their lockdown cabin fever in their own way, and for me, it’s involved going into a cleaning frenzy! While tidying my beauty cupboard I found a konjac sponge I had received from Faithful to Nature. I had heard great things about these sponges for yonks and I decided it was time to ditch my faithful super-clean-foreo-luna-mini-2and try something new.

When I say ‘new’, I mean ‘new to me’, as konjac sponges have been used in Japan for centuries, both for beauty and medicinal purposes. My sponge contains Japanese potato fibre and red clay, but there are a variety of different infusions, from bamboo to aloe (see Faithful to Nature’s site for all the options). Red clay is particularly good for sensitive and dry skin as it’s high in iron oxide and revitalising minerals. It is also pH neutral, meaning your complexion will be protected by balancing the acidity of your skin.

Cleansing properly is not an option but a necessity in my beauty routine and using an organic and naturally biodegradable item like a konjac sponge ticks the boxes for all the right reasons...
Not only does a konjac sponge give a super-duper deep cleanse, but is organic, vegan and totally biodegradable…

A konjac sponge deep cleanses pores, has a soothing effect on sensitive and sunburnt skin, eliminates dryness and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and broken capillaries. It can be used with your fave cleanser or on its own to stimulate blood flow and promote new cell growth.

It’s best to soak your sponge completely first to make it pliable and soft to use on your face. The thread attached makes it easy to hang out and dry, which is great as there’s nothing worse than a manky smelling sponge – it is made of natural vegetables after all!

Konjac sponges are not only great for your skin but the earth too: they are environmentally friendly, vegan and the packaging is 100% plastic-free. Because they’re totally biodegradable, after a few weeks of use you can toss them into some soil. Not too shabby, hey!

Have you used a Konjac sponge before – your thoughts?

Happy Tuesday and hope it’s a sunshiny day up ahead!

 

Cath

GIVEAWAY: Skin Creamery Wildflower Water-Cream

What do the words toothache, Pará cress, Buzz Buttons and Electric Daisy all have in common? They’re all alternative names for the Acmella flower, a key ingredient in Skin Creamery‘s Wildflower Water-Cream. And, since we could all use a bit of good news right now, I have a bottle to giveaway today!

Skin Creamery's Wildflower Water-Cream

Their Wildflower Water-Cream contains the Spilanthes Acmella, a powerful plant botanical that is known for its medicinal properties. Because of how it stimulates your skin’s fibroblasts, your skin feels immediately tighter and smoother. The hydrating elixir enhances collagen and elastin production while relaxing facial tension and is suitable for all skin types. Skin Creamery ethos is ‘Be kind to the earth, and kind to your skin’, meaning no synthetic fragrances, parabens or preservatives are used and their products are suitable for strict vegetarians and vegans.

Skin Creamery's Wildflower Water-Cream

Did you know that Skin Creamery aims to replace single-use packaging with packaging that is functional, reusable or recyclable? Plus all their ingredients are naturally sourced, certified organic and cruelty-free. I’m not shy to admit that packaging is a huge factor for me when buying products (I mean, they’re going to sit on my bathroom shelf so I want them to look good while making me look good, right?) and I absolutely love their botanical-themed packaging and (recyclable!) frosted bottles. If you’d like to get your hands on some Skin Creamery Wildflower Water-Cream here’s how:

Leave a comment on my Instagram and/or Facebook post about this amazing product, telling me why you’d like to win and/or tagging a friend to enter them too. Share the post on your Instastory (don’t forget to tag me, @cathi_trevor!) for an extra entry, and you can email me directly to enter too. I look forward to reading your entries! Winner will be announced on Monday 23rd of March. Entrants must live in South Africa.

Happy day, keep safe, and socialise responsibly!

Cath

FRAGRANCE FILE: WOMENS'SECRET EDT REVIEW

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

Valentine’s a hop, skip and jump away so thought I’d do a quick week of fragrance reviews of some long overdue ones; I chose today’s trio WOMEN’SECRET Eau My Delice, Eau My Fresh and Eau My Secret for their fresh floral accords, apt for these glorious sultry summer days but also their price point is really good (I’m still feeling the pinch of Christmas and so many birthday celebrations the past two months so if there’s a good buy, lets share!). Here goes:

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (the green bottle)

This is a floral woody accord with sparkling lemon and bergamot sitting in the top notes, orange blossom and jasmine in the middle, with musk, sandalwood and violet in the base. This is a lovely midday ‘freshen me up buttercup’ scent!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN: (yellow bottle)

This is considered an Aromatic Accord with top notes of pomegranate and grapefruit, mid notes of orchid and water fruit and woodsy and musk notes found at the base. It’s a fruity elixir that bursts with energy and optimism and a great Monday perfume to get one in the mood for a week ahead!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN SECRET FOR WOMEN

EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (pink bottle)

Considered an oriental floral accord with top notes of Italian mandarin, lemon and pear; delectable mid notes of almond, rose, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of praline, musk and vanilla. I like this combination of sweet treats which makes me feel happy and carefree! !

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN, EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN and EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN are all available from Foschini

Price R499

That’s it for today – happy Monday all day!

Cath

FRAGRANCE FILE: WOMENS’SECRET EDT REVIEW

Valentine’s a hop, skip and jump away so thought I’d do a quick week of fragrance reviews of some long overdue ones; I chose today’s trio WOMEN’SECRET Eau My Delice, Eau My Fresh and Eau My Secret for their fresh floral accords, apt for these glorious sultry summer days but also their price point is really good (I’m still feeling the pinch of Christmas and so many birthday celebrations the past two months so if there’s a good buy, lets share!). Here goes:

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (the green bottle)

This is a floral woody accord with sparkling lemon and bergamot sitting in the top notes, orange blossom and jasmine in the middle, with musk, sandalwood and violet in the base. This is a lovely midday ‘freshen me up buttercup’ scent!

EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN: (yellow bottle)

This is considered an Aromatic Accord with top notes of pomegranate and grapefruit, mid notes of orchid and water fruit and woodsy and musk notes found at the base. It’s a fruity elixir that bursts with energy and optimism and a great Monday perfume to get one in the mood for a week ahead!

EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN (pink bottle)

Considered an oriental floral accord with top notes of Italian mandarin, lemon and pear; delectable mid notes of almond, rose, jasmine and orange blossom and base notes of praline, musk and vanilla. I like this combination of sweet treats which makes me feel happy and carefree! !

EAU IT’S FRESH WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN, EAU MY DELICE WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN and EAU MY SECRET WOMEN’SECRET FOR WOMEN are all available from Foschini

Price R499

That’s it for today – happy Monday all day!

Cath

#fragrancefilereview #EAUMYSECRETWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #EAUITSFRESHWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #EAUMYDELICEWOMENSECRETFORWOMEN #WOMANSECRETFRAGRANCEREVIEW

EMMA JAYNE ILLUSTRATOR & PATTERN DESIGNER

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

I’ve followed Emma Jayne Designs on Instagram for ages and thought her lovelies are just so damn awesome, I’d share them with you guys today so here goes…

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

Here’s a little information about Emma Jayne:

Emma Jayne says that her personal favourites of 2019 are the above collection. ‘I went back to using traditional media and produced more patterns than illustrations. I love the effects you can achieve with gouache, watercolour and ink using different sized brushes. I like to create textures, as well as painting animals and other shapes as silhouettes.’

Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

‘I currently take inspiration from colour, shapes, texture, fashion, graphics, nature, interiors, magazines … actually, pretty much anything I come across which piques my interest! From childhood I have always been passionate about art, coming from a creative family. My father and grandfather both loved DIY, my mum loved fashion and interiors and my grandmother, who I spent every Thursday and most weekends sewing and knitting with me. I knitted my first jumper at 8 years (it was too big and I could not get to wear it until I was about 10!)’

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

‘My design BA and studio work at Dorma made good use of my drawing and colour skills. At Dorma I was involved with the whole design process, from initial concept to bulk printing. I have undertaken various freelance projects over an 10 year period, selling my designs in the UK, around Europe and in America.’

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

‘I love being creative and playing around with sketches, which later, I develop on my computer. More recently, I have produced illustrations using Pro Create. I don’t really have one particular signature style and I find that this allows me to be versatile. This flexibility is a useful attribute to have when working on briefs for different types of clients.’

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

‘In my spare time, I continually search for new ideas and new inspiration; whether that would be in stationery, apparel, children’s books, to interiors, and even colour themes. I am also a Pinterest addict and before I used Pinterest, I used to keep boxes full of magazine clippings and marketing material.’

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

‘Things that I like;

Vintage patterns & interiors, old and contemporary illustrations, typography, printed fabrics, retro wallpaper, posters, Scandinavian design, pick n’ mix sweets, collecting stamps and listening to music whilst working on my computer.’

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

      Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

My objective is to keep up with the current trends, keep updating my skills to constantly strive to become a better designer and to hopefully inspire you through my blog.’

Emma Jayne Illustrator & pattern designer

Aren’t her illustrations just the berries – they make me so happy looking at them!!

You can follow EMMA JAYNE here:

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

BLOG

ETSY

That’s it for today so happy Wednesday all day!!

Cath

CONVERSATIONS with AFARI Skincare Founder Margaux Knuppe

I’ve adored using AFARI, a luxe local skincare brand containing incredible anti-ageing properties thanks to a breakthrough ingredient; I caught up with Margaux Knuppe founder of AFARI skincare on her luxury brand:

Margaux Knuppe founder of AFARI skincare

Founder of AFARI skincare collection,Margaux Knuppe

The inspiration behind your brand
As a time-poor, working mum, I was looking for an anti-ageing range that addressed all the major ageing concerns, (fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, enlarged pores, pigmentation and dullness) in as few products as possible. Plus, I wanted to support the local industry and empower women while doing so.

AFARI SKINCARE

Female harvesters in rural Limpopo

In 2014, I was invited on Sean Privett’s Fynbos Trail in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Learning that there are 8000+ species of plants in South Africa, of which 6000 are endemic meant one thing to me: opportunity! How can we only know about the skin repairing properties of Rooibos and Buchu? Surely there had to be another species indigenous to South Africa, with incredible skincare benefits? I was on a mission to find this unknown botanical as I wanted to showcase it to the rest of the world.

AFARI SKINCARE COLLECTION

AFARI Skincare range

Key ingredient Bulbine frutescens – the next big buzzword in beauty?

If the clinical trials and AFARI customer reviews are anything to go by, absolutely! The fact that Bulbine is indigenous to South Africa further spotlights SA as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. And, in the plant-based, raw ingredient industry, which is so crucial to the skincare industry, this translates as a LOT of opportunity. Now that I have the ingredient, with the clinical results to back it up, as well as the fact that it’s being sustainably farmed by female harvesters who directly benefit from the sales, it’s a matter of showcasing AFARI to the rest of the world.

bulbine frutescens

Four products in your collection-any more in the pipeline

I wanted to create a skincare regime that tackled the signs of ageing in as few products as possible: three steps in the morning (Priming Cleanser, Brightening Elixir, Day Cream SPF30) and three in the evening (Priming Cleanser, Brightening Elixir and Overnight Regenerating Cream). If I were to add another product I’d look at an enzymatic exfoliator and a line-plumping mask.

AFARI SKINCARE

A personal favourite
I’m with the 5-star review rating on this one (and the fact that it has the highest amount of Bulbine in it) ,I’m never without the AFARI Brightening Elixir.

Was there a time during your research you wanted to give up
After two years of trying to source indigenous ingredients that ‘didn’t exist” and being told on countless occasions I was looking for a needle in a haystack, the cosmetic chemist and I decided to rather focus on a luxury anti-ageing range under my name. This wasn’t the first prize for me, but luckily time was on my side – I had a corporate day job and was building AFARI at night.

A few months later I heard from the cosmetic chemist again who had just returned from an annual raws ingredients expo in Paris. He had met a farmer from Limpopo who had just finished clinical trials on a brand new, indigenous raw ingredient called Bulbine frutescens. I think if AFARI hadn’t been my side hustle for so long, I would have given up after a few months or been able to finance this venture without my day job!

harvesters for afari skincare range

Each Afari product sold directly benefits the women harvesting the plants in rural Limpopo, South Africa.As an Afari customer, you keep this circle of upliftment flowing.

You’re empowering a group of women in Limpopo – tell us more

Our key ingredient is Bulbine frutescens sourced from an organic farm in rural Limpopo, where it is sustainably cultivated by female harvesters from the local community. Each AFARI product sold directly benefits these women harvesters, their families and the greater community. As an AFARI customer, you keep this circle of upliftment flowing.

Tell us about the packaging?

Another thing that was important to me was to find airless pumps for the packaging. Even though jars are perceived as premium, oxygen and bacteria get in each time you open the jar which degrades active ingredients. I wanted to ensure the AFARI skincare collection is as effective from the first pump right down to the last pump in the bottle.

I desperately want to use recyclable plastic pump bottles or glass would be first prize. Sadly they don’t make airless pump bottles in glass and recyclable plastic is prohibitively expensive, but as soon as I can produce in volume I can afford to look at more recycle friendly packing options – crazy isn’t it?

Where can one purchase

AFARI is only available online for now shop here and from mid-2020 we’ll be shipping internationally too. I’m headed to the US and UK so hopefully we’ll start seeing AFARI in some international retailers in the not too distant future.

Follow AFARI:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

WEBSITE

I’ll be doing another post shortlywhere I’ll talk about the AFARI products I’ve used and loved!

Until then, happy Monday…all day!!

Cath