- Quality trumps quantity.
- Clutter is not good for you. Whether it’s physical clutter in your home, or people you don’t need in your life, a regular spring clean is great for your soul.
- Good skin and good eyebrows are NB. Get these two right and you’ll solve many a make-up woe, and you won’t have to wear nearly as much of it.
- “Skinny arms are everything.” -Natalie Roos
- There’s no substitute for hard work. You can have all the best ideas, and all the talent, but without hard work people are going to overtake you at some point. Learn not to rely on your natural gifts as much, because it can make you lazy.
- There are only two things that cost money that make you richer: books and travel.
- Speak up, always. Even if it’s your boss, your new lover’s parent, or someone famous or important, I feel it’s important to speak up. I don’t mean insult their ugly shoes or tell them their face sucks. But if someone is being a racist, sexist, bigot, or general douchebag, speak up. Maybe, just maybe, you will plant a seed and that person will start to rethink their attitudes.
- The fear and anticipation of pain is often far worse than the pain itself.
- Animals are therapy.
- You need to rid yourself of the people you don’t need in life. I’m not saying treat people as though they are disposable razors. But sometimes we hold on to people because we’ve known them for too long, or they’re linked to someone else in our life, etc. And we forgive them over and over and over for the things they do that hurt us, anger us, or break us down. It’s not an easy decision to make, but there are times where you need to decide that enough is enough, and cut those people out of your life.
- Not everyone has amazing close-knit families who share everything, or a place they’ve always called home. And that’s okay! Because if someday you start your own family, or find where you belong, nothing will beat that feeling. And if you don’t? Well, that’s okay, too, because not everyone needs to have the same stuff.
- If you have something important or difficult to say, say it first thing in the morning.
- Things happen for a reason. You might have no idea what that reason is in the moment, but eventually it will become clear.
- There’s no better feeling than being healthy and happy.
- Peplums are not for everyone.
- Comparison will make you miserable. Especially in the age of social media and the internet, you are constantly surrounded by pictures of strangers’ perfect lives. Firstly, people only put the good stuff online. Secondly, for every spoilt brat who had more Louis Vuitton bags than you, there are millions of people who wish they could have the basic stuff you have. Stop comparing yourself to other people, make a list of the things for which you are grateful every day, take control of the things that you don’t like about your life [or make peace with them if they can’t be changed] and be the best, happiest you you can be.
- Keep a journal. Even if it’s only to laugh at yourself, or see how far you’ve come.
- You don’t need to live by a bucket list. We are often made aware of the amazing things people want to do before they die, and I think we start to believe we haven’t lived unless we’ve been to space and flipping cured cancer. Personally, I don’t want to bungee jump, make an art film, own a vegan lodge in Bhutan, or fly a fighter jet. Not that there aren’t things I want to do in my life. All I’m saying is you don’t have to live by some insane bucket list of things the world has given you the idea you “should” do. Maybe your bucket list is 100 movies you want to watch. At home, on your couch. You watch those movies! And don’t feel like that was a life any less lived than that dude your friend knows who got his foot bitten off by a shark.
- Quotes are rubbish. The people in my social media feeds who post inspirational quotes about spirituality and all that deep stuff are some of the people who are least at peace with themselves. Pretty words from Oprah or Chopra are not the key to a fulfilled life. Make your own quotes.
- There are only two things in life that are perfect: Mathematics; and classical music.
- The best time to take risks and chase that dream of yours is right now. Even if it’s just taking the teensy little first step, our of a billion, stop not doing the thing!
- There’s a lot to be said for small pleasures. A perfect cup of tea, a good laugh, a warm bed: The happiness they bring about may be short-lived, but it’s very satisfying. And sometimes it’s enough to turn a bad day into a kind-of-okay one.
- Look after your skin. Hair is whatever: You could pretty much singe it off with bleach, and it’ll grow back. Skin won’t. Invest in quality skincare from a young age, and wear SPF. You absolutely will not regret this when you’re older.
- Surround yourself with inspiring people. It’s all good having people be complimentary about your achievements, but you need to also have those super people who make you give yourself a kick in the butt. Don’t get comfortable.
- Everything is temporary. I’m only 24, so I’m aware that I don’t know much. But so far, almost 25 years into being alive, I can confidently say that nothing is permanent. Broken hearts heal, and the big disappointment you think you’ll never get over fades into the background, sometimes making way for better things. Do take your time to feel all the feels, but remember that whatever you’re going through won’t last forever.
I did this tutorial weeks ago and never got around to uploading it. It’s my first one so please go easy on me.
I’m not a hair person. I don’t know how to do anything with my hair [it’s a blessing that it’s straight and well-behaved!], I get irritated with it, I know nothing about hair products, and I can literally not think of a single thing more boring than blow-drying my hair. But then The Mermaid taught me how to do a giant bun! Now, granted, it looks a lot better when she does it, but it’s a big step for me!
The cool thing about this style is that it’s quick and easy, but doesn’t look it. It created a polished, chic look that is perfect for business or events, or just for every day wear when you want to look fabulous.
Natalie is hosting a hair and make-up class on 31 August here in Cape Town. You’ll learn how to do 2 make-up looks [day and night], as well as how to recreate 4 trendy hair styles. Throw in some snacks and giveaways, and I think this is a pretty fabulous way to spend a Saturday morning! I’ll be in Rome, so please go on my behalf? Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Tori from Kiss, Blush, and Tell emailed me to ask whether I was interested in joining her, as well as some other bloggers and readers, in the Kiehl’s 28-day #changeyourskin challenge, I was definitely interested. I was curious to try a new brand, see what it did for me, and see what others say. The idea was to use the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate every night for 28 days, and it promised results.
Now, let me begin by saying I have good skin. Not to be arrogant, but there was only so much improvement that could happen.
I then decided to also rope SC in on this challenge. When we met, he was washing his face with soap. I’ve guided him onto the path of good skin care, and figured this could be part of his education. The challenge started last week, so it’s been ten days so far. Here’s our feedback so far:
My skin didn’t have any problems as such to sort out, so I can’t report on that. But man oh man, I have to say, my skin is looking fantastic! Just a week in and I can see a definite improvement. My skin is silky smooth and really dewy. It actually glows, and I definitely don’t need foundation even thought it’s winter. A bit of blush and mascara with my healthy-looking skin means I look fresh, natural, and definitely not like we’re in the middle of winter! I’m well impressed.
I love the texture and smell of the MRC, and it applies smoothly and despite being an oil it doesn’t feel thick and oily and gross on my skin. I love that it’s all natural, and if these are the results after just over a week, I’m excited to keep using it!
SC’s skin is sensitized- a result of years of inadequate skin care and a few bad (really bad) sunburns as a kid. He has a reverse combination skin, and often in the mornings his skin is tight and irritated. By the afternoon his t-zone is dry and flaky. The MRC has definitely helped improve his skin hugely! The irritation and redness is no longer there in the morning, and it doesn’t feel tight. It also seems to have helped balance the moisture levels, as his t-zone has stayed moisturized through the day. His skin also looks brighter and healthier, and he has said that he will definitely keep buying this product in future.
So those are the results so far! Anyone else tried Kiehl’s MRC? What are your thoughts?
When one gets invited to lots of events, or one has to attend them for work, it can get tedious. Events become a blur of soggy canapes and too-sweet drinks, people one doesn’t care for and goodie bags that just don’t thrill.
But some events stand out from others. And on Monday I attended one that will stay in my memory forever.
Upon arriving at the Cape Town Diamond Museum I was handed a glass of bubbles and joined four other girls, including the lovely Emma and Jules on a tour of ‘diamond through the ages’- from when the first diamonds started forming, to the first engagement ring, to the present day’s most impressive jewels.
Once we’d gasped at the replicas of the Cullinan, the Burton Taylor, and more, we found ourselves in the Shimansky store. After an introduction fro Mr Shimansky himself, who is a wonderfully approachable man who radiates a love for beautiful jewels and the pleasure they bring, we were left to enjoy the best night ever.
But wait, there’s more!
We were also given free rein to try on everything and anything in the shop! Yup, for a few hours all of us were walking around with jewels to the value of R2 million and more on our fingers, around our necks, and in our ears. We were given fur coats and frames with which to pose in the photo booth although, of course, the jewels took centre stage!
Lucky Emma walked away with a diamond she won in a lucky draw! Hers came in a bottle of My Girl, Shimansky’s signature eau de parfum. We were each fortunate enough to walk out with a bottle of the fragrance, which is wonderfully rosey and feminine. It lasts all day and is perfect for summer and those days when one is feeling really girly.
All in all this event was flawless. Every aspect was enjoyable, it was a great mix of people who loved spending time together, and had to be asked to leave because, of course, none of us wanted to extinguish the fantasy by removing those dazzling pieces of jewelry. This will go down in my mind as one of the best events I have ever attended. Moreover, SC got his wedding ring at Shimansky and we had a completely professional and enjoyable experience there so I can definitely recommend them. Their more extravagant pieces are absolutely exquisite and staff were helpful and friendly and even complimented my Tiffany ring!
My Christmas list for this year will not to be modest.
This rock is so big it looks almost comical on my fingers. Love. My nails were done at the event in a gorgeous OPI shade that is a deep plum, almost black.
Emma trying on Tanzanites. Did you know they were only discovered in 1967? I learnt that from a Shimansky employee.
Getting my hair done by a wonderful Scar stylist.
My gorgeous new fragrance. Similar to Gucci Envy, which I love.
Louis Vuitton, and Paris.
See you in September, Paris. Can’t wait.
It’s summer in South Africa! Well, getting there. Every now and then we still have overcast days with a chilly wind blowing, but we’re definitely getting there. But summer means more than just cocktails and lounging by the pool. It’s a whole new season, meaning a few skincare routine changes.
I am sunscreen obsessed [and you should be, too]. I have also taken on the task of ensuring SC is covered in SPF whenever we go outside [shame, his poor English skin cannot handle the South African sun at all!]. So this new product from Nimue is pretty much my favourite thing ever. It’s an SPF4, but unlike the stuff your mum would have smeared on your face as a child, this is not oily or sticky, and it doesn’t smell like a food group or bubblegum. Your face won’t be shiny and feel gross and slimy. It will feel just like your regular moisturiser, but you’ll be protected from the sun! It really does not get better than that. For every day use they also have a great SPF 20, and a tinted version.
Be careful with the SPF lotions you buy. Do your research. Many of these only protect against certain rays, and many don’t offer protection at all! It’s dangerous, so don’t be tempted by strawberry scent and pretty packaging. I like to go for scientifically formulated SPF, so that I know it works.
It’s summer sandals season, and trust me there are few things as unattractive as dry, cracked, old-lady heels. If your heels are prone to this, use the Nimue heel treatment. It works!
Mine have been okay so far so I just use a regular moisturiser. I don’t like my body products smelling like chocolate or fruit or whatever. I think that tons of perfumes and things can compromise the function, so I go with good ol’ aqueous cream. R20 a tub, and it will last for months!
There are only 3 lip treatments worth using, in my opinion:
1. Nimue lip treatment. Smells a tiny bit like vanilla or cocoa butter or something. Not thick and greasy, applies smoothly, makes your lips look healthy, and keeps them moist.
2. 8 Hour Cream. An old faithful, and 90% of the global population’s number 1 beauty product they cannot live without. The only complaint they have ever gotten is about the smell, and they make an odourless version now, too. Win.
3. ZamBuk. It’s a South African thing. Smells vile, does the job, costs next to nothing.
Nothing more refreshing than a sprits of Vitamin C in the morning! This will leave your face feeling fresh and summery, and it’s a great way to wake yourself up first thing in the AM.
I recently acquired some of Revlon’s hand cream with SPF 10. I like that it has an SPF [although I take care to apply a higher SPF to larger freckles on my hands], it smells nice enough without being overwhelming, and it doesn’t leave my hands feeling oily- the lotion seeps in quickly. I apply this at night as I get into bed, and I find I can generally go the next day without hand cream.
So, that’s my summer skin guide, in a nutshell. I still stick with my evening routine of Nimue cleansing gel, following by their conditioner, and then a moisturising night cream [sometimes with the Super Hydrating Serum under that]. In the morning I just rinse my face, condition, and then apply my SPF. That stays much the same throughout the year, but a few things need to be upped or added, as shown above.
This isn’t exactly a fun piece. It isn’t humorous, and it doesn’t have pretty pictures. It’s not depressing or gross, though, and it is very, very necessary that you read this.
My mother was always obsessive about sunscreen. Every two minutes I was pulled out of the pool or off the horse and more thick white goo was applied to my face. It irritated me so much as a kid! But today I am so grateful to my mother, and I apply SPF to my face every single day, even if it is raining and I am indoors all day.
SC got sunburnt badly a few times as a kid. As a result thereof he has to have a skin cancer check every six months. I decided I would go to his doctor, too, for what they call ‘mole mapping’. Here’s what it entails, and why everyone should go:
It’s not exactly a great experience, you know? First you stand in front of a stranger in your underwear. Doctor or not, that’s not as nice am activity as, say, a glass of wine with your best friend. Secondly, said stranger takes pictures of your body in sections. These show up on a big computer screen and trust me, that doctor’s room lighting would do any super model injustices. I cringed more than once. The doctor then ‘maps’ the moles you have. He labels them, and thereafter pays special attention to the ones that are potentially problematic. He cleans them and then takes a really, really close-up picture of them. A mole, multiplied by a bajillion and shown on a big screen, is not pretty. It’s not cute like, say, a baby panda. But then again, neither is cancer.
The surprising thing for me was that the moles I had been worried about were nothing: non-threatening moles and in some cases not even moles but pigmented polyps. One of the two moles that he marked was a tiny little freckle on my stomach that I had never even noticed! And I can’t help but wonder: how many people don’t have check-ups because they think they aren’t at risk since they don’t have huge moles all over their bodies?
The two moles he marked were in the “yellow zone”, one of them inching towards orange. The zones go from white to yellow to orange to red, and obviously red is a very dangerous place to be. The doctor told me these could be problematic and I would have to come for a three-month check-up, which I did yesterday. If they had gotten worse, I would need to come in every three months for monitoring. Since my last visit I had become even more SPF-crazy, and yesterday I found out it had paid off! Both moles had moved backwards towards the white zone, and now I only need to go back next year!
Last week, my English teacher from high school, who was just a wonderful human being, died of skin cancer. It can spread to your other organs and kill you. It can kill you, full stop. And yet every summer we see people lying in the sun, covered in oil, desperate for a tan. We fry ourselves, despite the risk of CANCER, just so our skin will be a little darker. Isn’t that completely insane?
I think everyone should go for mole-mapping at least once, if only to know where they stand. You may think a tan is sexy, but skin cancer is most certainly not. And since even cancer can’t deter us from striving for ‘beauty’, I urge people to think of how much worse they will age because of all of their time in the sun! Ladies, you want to carry a vintage leather bag, not look like one.
If you have just thirty minutes and R300 to spare, call Dr Pieper’s office at 021 42 44 257 and make an appointment. He practices from a gorgeous old Victorian house on Kloof Neck Road and his receptionist is such a laugh. And maybe someday you will thank yourself for it. In fact, I’m pretty sure you will.
Right. Thanks for reading. Here’s a picture of a bunny: