Category: Beauty

Review: Fringe Retro Eco Salon and Barber Shop

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Nestled in the ‘Deep South’ of Cape Town is Fringe, a sweet little salon and barber shop with a difference. Stepping through the doors, you’re whisked away to another decade. From the checkered floors, to the old barber’s chair, no detail has been overlooked, and I was still discovering fascinating decor delights right up until the end of my appointment. Throwback music and classic movies are the perfect finishing touches. (I was totally enraptured by Little Rascals while I was having my hair washed. Do you guys remember when that came out? “Oh Alphaaaalpha!”)

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While the surrounds feel like they’re from another decade, the service and technology most certainly does not, and so I felt in very safe hands when I decided to take the plunge and get Fringe to transform me into a redhead. Red/ginger is pretty much the only colour I’ve never tried, and I was kinda stressing that the wrong shade of red would make me look like the love child of Miss Piggy and Carrot Top. The ladies at Fringe totally put me at ease though, and the level of  expertise was super reassuring. Joanie Holloway, here I come!

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When the colour didn’t come out quite as we’d like on the first go, it was try, try again until voila! It came out perfect! MISS PIGGY BE GONE!

The end result was exceptionally natural-looking – you won’t believe how many people thought I was a legitimate redhead after this do. This is especially impressive when you consider I showed up with bright pink tips to my hair!

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As an extra special treat I was treated to a retro styling session with Chantelle, the salon’s owner. Naturally, Fringe specialises in the vintage do’s, and DAMN do you ever feel like a million bucks walking out of there.

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The salon’s motto is ‘Bringing Glamour Back,’ and I think they pretty much nailed it.

And now for the end result:

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TADAAAAAA!

Most awesome experience from start to finish, and super reasonable on the ‘ol pocket book too. (I have LOTS of hair and am usually horrified when the bill comes). Definitely worth the drive out for the amazing experience – and take your man for an authentic hot towel shave experience, while you’re at it!

Fringe Retro Salon is located in the new Sunvalley Mall.
SHOP 21, SUNVALLEY MALL, NOORDHOEK

To make a booking, call 021 785 2809 or  082 372 8090. Alternatively, email INFO@FRINGEHAIR.CO.ZA.

Nail art ideas: Valentine’s Day nail art

With the annual day of shlock and snoochies coming up tomorrow, it’s the perfect excuse for a little bit of nail art with a theme.

Nail art prodigy Roxy of Hallo Pragtig and I put our heads together, and this is what we came up with: 

I adore how this one turned out – on-theme, for sure, but also chic with an Eiffel Tower and pink poodle kinda vibe.

Here’s how to create the look yourself.

What you need for Valentine’s Day nail art:

  • a base and top coat
  • Pastel pink, black and gold nail polishes or gels. We used: Bluesky Shellac A21 (black), Bluesky Shellac 80547 (pink), Gelish All that glitters is gold (glitter), Artistic Colour Gloss Gorgeous (plain gold).
  • a striper brush, oval brush and dotting tool

Step 1: Paint the base colours

Remove all traces of previous polish. File and buff nails into desired shape. Apply and bake two layers of base coat, before applying base colours. We did the middle finger gold glitter, pointer and ring fingers in pink, and thumb and pinkie fingers black. Apply as many coats necessary per colour to get a solid base coat. On average, we applied three.

Step 2: polkadot nail art

Using the dotting tool, apply dots all over the pointer nail. start by creating a line down the centre of the nail, and then build out from there with even spacing. Bake and then apply top coat.

Step 3: striped nail art

Using a striping tool, create lines across your ring finger nail. Start by doing the top and bottom lines, and then do the centre one in order to space them evenly. Bake and then apply top coat.

Step 4: Glitter heart nail art

To add a glitter heart over the stripes, first paint it in a plain gold. Make sure to do it small enough that you can still see the stripes behind. Bake. Then, using an oval brush, add gold glitter to give it that special bling. You can dab the glitter onto ab absorbent makeup pad to absorb all excess liquid leaving you with just the glitter, if that helps. Bake and apply top coat.

Eh voila! Something fun, funky and a little girly too! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

If, like me, you don’t have the skills or equipment to do fun and lasting nail art, give Roxy a call on 079 086 7741, or message her through her website. You can also follow Hallo Pragtig on Facebook for more amazing nail art ideas.

Nail art ideas: Christmas nail art

Deck my nails with bells and holly, tralalalalaaa, laaa laa laaa laaaaa.

Well, not exactly bells and holly, but something like that. I’m afraid I’m one of those people that loves holidays – the kitscher and tackier the better. Valentines day? Bring on the hearts and pink fluffies. St Patties – I’ll be dressed in all green. Y’all know how I feel about Halloween (BEST HOLIDAY EVERRRRRR), and last but not least, Chrimbo.

It’s not that I’m a consumer zombie – I’m completely aware that these holidays are all glorified marketing ploys – but I do so love the unifying spirit of the holidays. As one of my friends recently pointed out on Facebook – there’s so much turmoil and bitterness in the world – particularly in our country at the moment – and Christmas takes you back to a place of childlike innocence. There are simple things to look forward to – decorating the trees, stuffing your face with mince pies, spending time with your family.

And with that in mind, nail art mastermind Roxy of Hallo Pragtig and I set out to give me the ULTIMATE set of Christmas-themed nail art. Here’s how it turned out:

Mind the Curves - Christmas nail art

If you’d like to get into the spirit of things and give it a try, follow our step-by-step nail art tutorial below:

What you need for Christmas nail art:

  • a base and top coat
  • white, red, silver and glitter polishes or gels. We used the following colours: Artistic ‘03099’ (silver), Gelish ‘Queen of Hearts’ (red), Gelish ‘Am I making you Gelish?’ (glitter) and BlueSky Shellac ‘80501’ (white).
  • a striper brush, an oval brush and a dotting tool

  Step one: Paint the base colours

Remove all traces of previous polish. File and buff nails into desired shape. Apply and bake two layers of base coat, before applying base colours. We did them in the following order – thumbs and forefingers white, middle and pinky fingers red, and ring fingers silver – but you can do whatever order you prefer. Apply as many coats necessary per colour to get a solid base coat. On average, we applied three.

Step two: snow nail art

To create the snow effect on your pinky, use a dotting tool and white paint. Work from the edge of the nail up, doing more dots at the bottom going to fewer at the top. It’s ok if some of them overlap. Cover with a top coat and bake.

Step 3: Glitter nail art

When it comes to Christmas – or life really – there’s no such thing as too much glitter. We applied an extra few layers of glitter on top of the silver base coat for some extra bling. Simple, but oh-ho-ho-ho so effective.

Step 4: Snowflake nail art

This one’s upping the skill level a bit. Although it looks hella complicated, if you break it down step-by-step it’s totally doable.

1. Start by drawing a simple stick star, using a fine gel striper brush.
2. Add a little fork at the top of each star leg.
3. Add another fork, in the same direction, just below the top fork.
4. Using a dotting tool, add a few spots of glitter in any open space. Cover with a top coat and bake.

Step 5: Candy cane nail art

1. Using the gel striper, draw two lines in red close together near the top of the nail.
2. Fill in between the lines to create a thick band.
3. Repeat at the bottom of the nail.
4. Go between the bands with a thin line of silver. Cover with a top coat, and bake.

Step 5: Glitter fade nail art

1. Dab some glitter paint onto a lint-free swab. The swab will absorb the clear varnish, allowing you to get a much more intense glitter effect.
2. Using an oval brush, pick up the glitter and paint it onto the nail, concentrating at the edge of the nail, and fading as it gets closer to the cuticle.
3. You can use a stick to move some of the glitter around to get it exactly as you want it, before putting a top coat on and baking.

   Tadaaaa! That’s it. I’m pretty in love with my nails at the moment – I keep looking at them and grinning. And the best part? With gel they last in perfect condition for aaaaages!

If, like me, you don’t have the skills or equipment to do fun and lasting nail art, give Roxy a call on 079 086 7741, or message her through her website. You can also follow Hallo Pragtig on Facebook for more amazing nail art ideas.

 Review: Retail Box Secret Box December 2015

Receiving packages in the post is one of my favourite things. Seriously. When I lived in London, and I’m not too embarrassed to admit I had a bit of an eBay addiction, nothing made me happier than getting all these little parcels to open and get excited about. Like a kid at Christmas, but, like, every day. Unfortunately I lost that delight when I moved back to SA, so you can imagine my glee when there was a ‘ding dong’ at the door the other day, and the nice Mr Delivery Man handed me my Retail Box Secret Box for December.  Now, I might be a bit late on the trend train, but this was my first subscription box, and I loved it. After unwrapping the courier bag, the first thing that greets you is this intoxicating aroma. Seriously, I gave myself a few minutes just to sniff it before unwrapping it properly to find out what was inside (I know, I know, I’m a total creeper).
  It’s so fun to peel open the wrapping, and see what delightful gifties are inside. The first thing I found was this sweet little note, which totally bought a smile to my face.

But inside… oooh, inside…. were all sorts of exciting things!

Included in this edition were Sebastian Trilliance ShampooSebastian Trilliance Conditioner and Sebastian Trilliant Protect and Shimmer (I suspect this one is responsible for the divine smell).
The combined value of these products is almost R900, and considering you only pay only R370 for the box, that’s a pretty wicked deal on premium hair care.  I’ve heard friends of mine complain about other subscription boxes that they got a bunch of samples and were pretty disappointed, but I have to say that I was bowled over by the contents of this one and think it’s terrific value for money. It’s also a great way to discover new products, as is my case. I put the goodies to the test, and this is what I thought:

Sebastian Trilliance Shampoo
 

What they say about it: “Featuring rock crystal extract, the shampoo creates a foundation for your styling regime by cleansing and polishing hair to reveal a natural looking shine. Suitable for all hair types, Trilliance Shampoo removes unwanted residues and smooths the cuticle layer to give your hair’s surface greater light reflection. Sebastian hair products help you to create styles that you dream of.”

What I thought: “I’ve been battling with residue build up on my hair for a while now, so this shampoo was a welcome surprise. I hate that feeling when you wash your hair and rinse it thoroughly, but when it’s dry it still feels like it has product on. The shampoo stripped it all off, and like the bottle says, feels squeaky clean and shiny after use. Plus (and I don’t know if this is just me going crazy) but my hair seems to last about a day longer that before for needing a wash. Hmmmmm….

Sebastian Trilliance Conditioner

  What they say about it: “The innovative formula creates a dazzling foundation by cleansing and polishing hair for a beautiful natural shine. Enriched with rock crystal extract Sebastian Professional Trilliance Conditioner smoothes roughened cuticles into a light-reflecting surface, leaving a gorgeous natural shine and the perfect base for styling.”

What I thought: After a recent ‘re-blondening’, my hair’s been feeling pretty dry and crispy. Yuck! This conditioner seems to put just the right amount of moisture for regular use in, without leaving it with that weird residue I was complaining about above. I think supplementing it with a fortnightly moisture treatment – or just putting it in and letting it soak for 40 minutes – would probably be the perfect combo for hair in my condition.

Sebastian Trilliant Protect and Shimmer

What they say about it: “Sebastian Professional Trilliant features a multifaceted complex with rock crystal extract that is designed to gently condition hair and provide heat protection. The hair product adds ultra-light body and a shimmering soft, smooth finish to your hair to leave it looking sparkling. Sebastian professional are known for their experimentation of all things colour and shapes to create fearless hair fashion. With a thirst for innovation and changing the game of hair styling, Sebastian hair products help you to create styles that you dream of.”

What I thought: First of all, the fragrance of this is ah-may-zing. I like to rub a little in my hands and comb through my hair before blow drying (I don’t straighten very often) and this seems to leave it with a slinky smoothe and straight finish that is great for regular wear.

My verdict: I thought the box was awesome. I would definitely order again for good quality hair care at an amazing rate – not to mention having something fun to look forward to in the post, of course!

If you’re interested in ordering your own or finding out more, click here.

Nail art ideas: Mermaid nail art

My hands have always been a part of me that I’ve felt particularly self-conscious about. To start, my nails kinda hook over, which gives them something of a ‘witchy’ effect, and more over they’re never terribly well kept, given my fondness for activities from cooking to crafting and gardening. Regular nail polish never lasts more than a day or two at a time before chipping off, and I get annoyed when I have to repaint it every couple days.

Enter stage left – Roxy Schmidlin, nail artists and owner of Hallo Pragtig. Roxy doesn’t just paint your nails – she turns your hands into works of art.

No challenge is too great – from the time I asked her to paint my nails like my dress for my Rockabilly Birthday Bash, to doing wee batties and spiderwebs for Halloween.

Her medium of choice is Shellac – a gel nail polish unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It stays on incredibly well throughout all the abuse I put my hands through, and basically I only need to remove it when the paint grows out.

My most recent challenge was for mermaid nail art – to match my mermaid hair, obviously! Roxy embraced the challenge with her usual gusto, and I’m thrilled with the result. We put together a little step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to try do it to themselves.

What you need for mermaid nail art:

  • base coat
  • five pastel colours of your choice, and black paint. (We used Bluesky Shellac Dc105, A103, DC115, A21, 80599, 80547 and A103).
  • a gel striper
  • top coat

Step one:

Remove all traces of previous polish. File and buff nails into desired shape. Apply and bake two layers of base coat, before applying pastel colours. We applied three coats of the colour.

Step two:

Using the gel striper brush and black paint, to paint the scales. Start in the middle of each nail as close to your cuticle as possible, and then work outwards before moving up.

Step three:

Set with a layer of top coat, and voila, you’re done! Pretty simple to explain – but how stunning is the final effect?

If, like me, you don’t have the skills or equipment to do fun and lasting nail art, give Roxy a call on 079 086 7741, or message her through her website. You can also follow Hallo Pragtig on Facebook for more amazing nail art ideas.

 

How to do a pin up hairstyle

With all the excitement of my looming shoot with Grinkie Girls photographer Christi Williams, Courtney of Esteem Hair and I set about creating my very own pin-up look.

Because of my medium-length hair and fringe, we decided to go with victory rolls with the rest of my hair down. This is how we did it:

Step one:
Start with clean, dry hair.

Step two:
Curl your hair using your preferred method. We used a GHD to create curls, pinning them as quickly as possible so that they cooled in a pin-curl. Spritz with a workable hairspray (nothing that will make the hair hard and sticky).

Step three:
Drag fingers through curls to get a relaxed look. (Wish my hair could look like this every morning when I wake up.)

Step four:
Draw a parting over the top of your head, from ear to ear. This is known as your contour line. Separate the hair between the contour line and the beginning of your fringe (or hairline if you don’t have a fringe) into two sections. Clip them to hold them in place. Back brush gently at the roots of each of these sections to create a bit of volume. Begin to roll your hair, from end to root, with hair coming from underneath rather than on top. Secure in place using a plentiful supply of bobby pins. Finally, spray the shit out of it with a heavy-duty hairspray.

If you give it a bash, please do send me pics – would love to see how it turns out!

 

Pure Romance Body Dew Moisturizer review – and a giveaway worth R1000!

Pure Romance’s Body Dew first caught my attention as an option of body moisturizer for tattooed skin. As I have a few little artworks sprinkled over my body, I liked the idea that not only did it leave your skin feeling silky soft and supple, but it makes the colours in your ink really pop too.

Now, I know it’s not a good idea to judge books by their covers, but who said anything about cosmetics? When I saw the pink polkadot bottle, I knew this product was going to be a great fit for me.

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It’s recommended for use after a bath or shower, and I found that my skin absorbs the carnation oil-infused moisturizer quickly – leaving me with scrumptious, glowing skin, and a delightful fragrance (I’m not sure if this is just from the scent I chose – Sweet Fantasie – or from the added pheromones in the product.) Body Dew is also recommended after excessive sun exposure, so I will be put to benefit from that as I’ve been doing laps at the local pool and am developing quite the tan.

Body Dew is made by the US-based company Pure Romance which, along with bathroom and beauty goodies, also manufactures ‘relationship enhancement’ products (or, for the layman, sex toys.) This fact took me a bit by surprise – talking cosmetics in one breath and vibrators in the next – but I have to admit that the website and catalogue are both beautiful and classy – not a skeezy Adult Word connotation for miles!

I also think that sexual health and body positivity go hand in hand so closely, so was delighted to find a company out there helping ladies to both look and feel good about themselves.

Pure Romance South Africa Director Nadine Tsemach organises parties for ladies in their homes, where they are able to see the products up close and personal – and also ask any questions they might have.

She has also generously sponsored a delicious prize hamper worth R1000 – just in time for Christmas too!

The hamper includes:

  • A bottle of Body Dew
  • Coochy rash-free shaving cream
  • Body Bling shimmering body powder
  • And, for a last bit of fun, Just Like Me lubricant

Please enter using the Rafflecopter entry mechanism below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get the Swingstar look

My crush on all things vintage doesn’t just extend to fashion. The trill of trumpets, the infectious rolls of drums and sultry vocals of swing music are one of the few sounds that will actually get these uncoordinated toes tapping and jazz fingers fluttering. So, when I saw the Swingstar Mansion event invite pop into my Facebook inbox for this coming Saturday 25 October, it was an instant ‘yes’. Centered around the album launch of Cape Town-based band The Swingsetters, the event looks like it’s going to be quite the spectacle, with live bands, burlesque, fire breathers, swing dancers and more. With such an awesome event on the cards, there’s just no way I go without looking the part. So I enlisted the help of makeup artist extraordinaire Quaanita Abrahams of Onq Makeup, to create the effect I was after. While there are a few different styles that one can associate with Swing culture (which was at its height in the 1930s), obviously I went with the pin-up iteration (obviously). So, without further ado:

How to get the pin-up makeup look:

There are four basic characteristics of the pin-up look that make it rock. 1. Flawless skin 2. Winged eyeliner 3. Arched eyebrows 4. Red lips

What you need:

IMG_1962.JPG Qaanita is like the Mary Poppins of makeup. She just keeps pulling new goodies out of her bag. Included in my look were:

  • Gosh CC Cream Illuminating Foundation – lightweight, oil-free formulation and is packed with pigment to even out the complexion which adds a luminosity to the complexion that lifts and perfects your skin.
  • MAC Mineralize skin finish in light – To set the foundation and also to give skin a light porcelain glow
  • MAC Prep+Prime – soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves application of foundation or powder.
  • Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer – preps skin to create a perfect canvas for flawless foundation application which is used to give you beautiful mattefinish complexion.
  • Clicks full set lashes – elongates your lashes and gives that desired flirt & prominent effect.
  • Inglot Gel liner paste in jet black – to create winged eye which is critical for this look.
  • MAC liquid liner fine tip – makes eyes more dramatic which is used to create a perfect cat eye.
  • MAC Mascara Haute Naught Lash –  few coats gives an intense dramatic feel
  • Estee Lauder Brow powder in dark brown – to shape eyebrows
  • MAC Blush peach – defines your cheekbones and used to bring out and give a precision cheekbone structure with blush effect.
  • NYX lipliner – ensures that the product lasts and does not go outside the lines which makes it for a long lasting stay.
  • NYX Red Matt Lipstick – is  statement for this look which gives your lips fuller & desirable effect.
  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Hydrating Mist Finishing spray  – sets the entire look and makes the  makeup last longer.

 

 1. Prepare the skin

Key to this look is flawless skin. Start by applying moisturizer. Prepared skin for makeup with moisturizer, then add a primer (e.g. the Photofinish Primer by Inglot and/or Prep and Prime powder MAC that we used). Use a brush to apply foundation all over and blend along the neck. Set with a natural satin finish powder. Apply a light, natural looking blush to the apple of the cheeks, sweeping back to the temple.

2. Add winged liner

Prepare the eye with concealer and setting powder. Apply a eyeshadow in a natural shade across the lid. Use a gel liner with brush to create your winged line, sharpening it up with a liquid liner pen. Follow the natural curve of your eye, as seen below. Add a coating of mascara. IMG_1963.JPG

3. Arch dem eyebrows

Using an eyebrow powder and angle brush, fill in the brows and darken them. Give your brows that je nais se arch with an eye pencil in a matching colour. 

4. Paint your lips red

Using the lipliner, outline the lips, then colour them in slightly. This will help the colour to last longer and prevent smudging or bleeding. Fill in with a matt lipstick for ruby red lips to delight in. IMG_1965.JPG

5. Finishing touches

You’re almost ready to go! Just add that fluttertastic falsies and a spritz of finishing spray and you’re good to go. Badda-bing, badda-boom! IMG_1951-0.JPG

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