Over the last few months, I’ve had an influx of kind people who’ve commented on my Instagram uploads and some even asking for a few tips for taking their own photos. After contemplating the idea, I decided to put together this blog post and share with you some of my own personal tricks. Keep reading for tips on composition, lighting and editing tips to get your best photo. … HOW I CAPTURE & EDIT PHOTOS
First impressions can determine a lot when testing out new skincare products. Today I tried the Dark Angels cleansing scrub from Lush Cosmetics and these are my thoughts. … ”DARK ANGELS” | SKINCARE REVIEW
Coats, pants and oversize knits have made groundbreaking strides in winter minimalist fashion. Keep reading as I showcase a few favorites and inspiration for how to style these wardrobe favorites.
COATS & BOMBER JACKETS
While venturing in to more shapeless forms this winter, coats remain structured but box-like. This shape is sleek, modern and looks great thrown over other layers. Play around with lengths as this coat style ranges from mid length to floor-sweeper. If you’re after something a little more retro, invest in a quality bomber jacket that packs warmth. You’ll find these jackets come in a variety of shapes, and some appear more cropped than others. Again, shop around first and see which length you prefer – especially if you plan on layering other clothing items underneath.
TAPERED PANTS & CULOTTES
Growing up with an obsession for denim, I’ve recently been falling over my feet for slacks and culotte-type pants. Being more of a casual dresser, I opt for a relaxed form (rather than fitted) and choose cuts that reach just above the ankle – regardless of whether the shape is tapered or culotte. This style of pants pairs really well with anything, and, depending on how you wear them, can prove immensely useful in its versatility.
KNITS & OVERSIZE SCARVES
Rather than donning your usual favorite jersey knits, invest in an oversize scarf like the ones pictured below. These scarves add subtle dimension to your look and provide an abundance of heat. And, while scarves share a similar function to polo-neck sweaters, they’re an adjustable layer that can be taken off when necessary without fuss.
If you’re thinking of investing in some great pieces like the ones mentioned here in this post, leave me a comment and I’ll put together a list of where to go and what to look out for. In the meantime, subscribe to the blog to keep up to date with all the latest content.
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As is the case for a number of beauty and skincare enthusiasts, when a new season ushers in, I usually update my skincare regimen and switch up my beauty routine accordingly. As we head into the colder autumnal months, I’ve compiled a list of current faves, including skincare, under-eye concealers and lipsticks that double up as cheek tints. Keep reading to see why these beauty favorites deserve a spot in your makeup collection.
1. Starting off this list is the well-loved beauty blender (BB). As a personal choice, I try not to put out too much for a specific brand, and when it comes to these easy-to-get cosmetic sponges, I don’t have to. With good brands available at pharmacies like Dischem and Clicks, the power of this pint-sized wonder-tool owes to its tapered edges and compact size. Having self briefly switched to a flat, angled foundation brush and being disappointed to say the least, I fervently made my way back to this makeup essential and haven’t looked back since. Key-tip: Remember to wash your beauty blender after every use, allowing it to air-dry naturally before your next use.
2. Still on the topic of skin-perfecting miracle products, let’s jump straight on to the next favorite – Maybelline’s Cover Stick Concealer. Packaged to look like a lipstick tube, this creamy long-lasting concealer is a steal. Best applied from the stick and blended with a beauty blender (see above), say goodbye to dark under-eye circles and pesky redness around the nose. Key tip: Blend well! You can always reapply for more coverage but start with thin layers and keep patting in the product whilst blending it in to the skin.
3. Last on our list of beauty favorites packs a duo that livens your look, adds a healthy flush, and offers the perfect pout. Multi-purpose lip and cheek tints have been around for some time, and while not entirely groundbreaking, the list of colors and textures now available to us, these duos have become something of a favorite. Boasting a creamy formula, this product works best with natural skin or layered over creamy foundations. If your skin is oily but you still want to try this product, wear a cream foundation and a translucent powder on the t-zone. Key-tip: Finding a shade (or two-maybe three) that suits your lifestyle is essential to getting maximum use from this product. The creamy formula might seem strange at first, but once you really get the hang of it, you’ll save time and effort in your makeup routine.
What are some of your favorite beauty products right now? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me with the #TMBBeautyFavorites
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With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I’ve put together some of my favorite simplified and easy-to-achieve looks to suit whatever your plans. A firm believer that anyone can partake in this holiday – provided you have at least a little bit of love to give – you really can wear anything you want, in whatever color. Here at The Minimale Blogger, I decided to stay true to form by sourcing looks in favor of the less conventional V-day color palette.
If your plans include spending this romantic day with your single friends, opt for something light and breezy. Pair your favorite shift dress with pretty flats and a wide-brimmed veld hat. Finish off the look with minimal accessories and a relaxed low bun with a few strands pulled loose to frame your face. Keep your beauty regime simple with a dual-purpose lip and cheek tint in an orange shade. Finish off the look with dewy skin (lots of sunscreen) and a few coats of mascara.
For a sultry date, nothing flatters more than showing off your shoulders – it’s also a great alternative for those not wanting to show any cleavage. Channel style blogger, Harper and Harley, pictured below, by pairing an off-the-shoulder ruffled blouse with a midi skirt, finishing off the look with ankle strap heels. Wondering what makeup to pair with this outfit, try wearing your hair in loose waves with a soft, glossy finish and a one-toned smokey eye with nude-peach lips and glowing skin.
If you plan on doing something relaxed and romantic with your significant other, opt for comfort. A midi white dress is such a great layering piece and can be dressed up or toned down, depending on your tastes. Talissa shows us just how relaxed this look can be, (pictured below) however, if you’re looking to glam up your look, add heels, messy waves and a dainty clutch purse.
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In order to rejuvenate my locks after several months of using Horse Shampoo, I gave The Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair range a go. Here are my thoughts. … SCHWARZKOPF HAIRCARE REVIEW
The white shirt is so loved in the fashion world because of its many variations. Its versatility remains unrivaled and its ability to transform for any occasion has kept it a winner through decades. With summer in full swing, and temperatures soaring, less is definitely more. Keep things cool with a crisp white shirt – your perfect tool for an effortless, stylish summer wardrobe. Keep your white shirt updated with some inspiration below.
Pair a sleeveless white shirt with a tank dress (see above) or try an ultra-longer length chiffon tank top – like this.
Keep your white shirt chic with a pleated midi skirt and chunky tote bag. What really keeps this look modern is the natural hair and makeup.
Take a cue from fashion favorite Olivia Palermo and pair your white shirt with tonal colors and a sleek pulled back hairdo.
When streestyle casual meets glammed up office wear. Perfect merging of two different looks.
What are some of your favorite ways to wear a white shirt? Share with us in the comments below and you could be featured in our next style segment!
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Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have seen a post or two about the Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipsticks. As promised, here is the mini-review featuring three shades of the liquid lipstick and my first impressions thereof. Before reading up on other reviews of the Colorstay Ultimate, I decided to form my own opinion of the product before possibly taking on anyone else’s experiences. I went with the shade “Top Tomato”, a fairly neutral (not too warm or cool toned) vibrant red color. I was pleasantly surprised after first applying it. The liquid formula glides on smoothly with a felt wand and sets after about 30 seconds. Depending on how much product you apply, the application may take more or less than 3o seconds to set.
This is how my first experience went down:
8AM: I apply two light coats of the Colorstay Ultimate to my lips. 10AM: After two or so hours, a full brunch and piping hot coffee, the two coats of lipstick I’d applied remained still relatively intact. I was especially impressed that I wasn’t in need of lip-liner to keep the product from “spilling” past the natural outer line of my lips, something I’ve always struggled with in creamy formulas. 11AM: Not much later came our trip to watch the latest James Bond offering – and with it a large bucket of popcorn, whispers and slush puppy. 2PM: Needless to say, at this point the lipstick has exceeded its staying power and begins crumbling off my lips. It seems that this a common issue for many other users. One reviewer sharing a similar experience writes:
“When it starts to wear off, it feels like you have chunks of chapped lip pieces sitting on your lips, very uncomfortable.” – MakeupAlley
When it came time to reapplying a fresh coat of lipstick, I realized that I needed to completely wipe away the first (now withered) application of lipstick because layering liquid lipstick is pointless. Why? Well, just like a mattifying foundation formula, matte lipsticks generally set like paint on a wall. When the product does start lifting off the skin (or your lips in this situation), reapplying new product over that means the new product will sit on top of the old product, rather than combining with actual skin (which is what makes liquid lipstick set so well in the first place). In addition to this, matte lipsticks are generally lacking in moisture, so when wiping away the old application, you also need to first moisturize your lips before reapplying any new product. Re-moisturizing ensures a smoother base for the product to cling to.
Some tips I found useful when using this product is to firstly use a lip exfoliant a couple hours before you plan on wearing this lipstick out; a fine-sugar, cinnamon and honey scrub usually does the trick and can be made at home. After exfoliating, apply a thick serum-like lip balm (Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream is perfect for this, and if you head over to their beauty counters you can ask for a free sample before committing to purchasing). Carry oil wipes with you as I find this to be the most effective at completely removing old lipstick product without overtly drying out your lips. Apply sparingly, you can build up the intensity with an extra coat but start off with less and evaluate the look before reapplying. It’s important to keep in mind that liquid lipsticks look a lot different once they’ve set. One makeup artist shares her tips to getting a flawless Colorstay Ultimate application, she writes:
“[…] People I’ve suggested this to say it’s too drying. While I don’t tend to have dry lips or chapping, I know that if you don’t blot this lipstick well, it gets [sticky] along the inside edge of the lips. My secret is to apply a regular amount and blot really well with a tissue.” – NSCU
Check out my Instagram to see more posts as I try two more shades of this lipstick (a bare-pink nude and an evocative red wine). If you have any thoughts on this product, let me know in the comments below.
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Summer is around the corner, and just like your wardrobe, its time to switch out your winter beauty regimen for something lighter and more breathable.
First up, let’s break down the actual difference between summer and winter season and what that means for our skin and beauty regimen. According to Californian-based dermatologist David Voron, our skin becomes increasingly dry in cold weather due to the lack of humidity in the air – this in turn zaps out the moisture and oils that our bodies naturally secrete. Summer on the other hand brings about renewed moisture to our skin due to the excessive heat and humidity. This could however spell trouble for our pores, which tend to clog up with harmful bacteria caused by sweating and non-breathable formulas in both skincare and makeup products. Another worry for many of us skin-conscious is the constant sun exposure which emit harmful UV rays, which has been the cause of many detrimental skin conditions, including skin cancer in the most extreme cases.
With all this information in hindsight, it’s easy to see importance of making informed and healthy decisions when putting anything on our skin – especially the skin on our faces, which is said to be the most sensitive. In my experience, I’ve found that switching from a heavier BB-cream (M.A.C’s BB cream for oily skin in fair) to a lighter formula (Garnier’s BB cream for oily skin in medium) makes a big difference to my overall complexion, in comparison to when I’d used just one BB cream throughout the year. Outside of this change, I also up my sunscreen from an SPF20 to an SPF30, even if the BB cream itself already packs in any SPF. This precaution means I can spend more time outside in contact with sun exposure and UV rays without worrying too much about permanent or severe sun damage.
In my summer skincare and beauty products I look for lightweight formulas, adequate SPF, and a mattifying finish. By choosing lightweight formulas and grouping together products that prevent breakouts and unflattering oil slicks, I’ve experienced minimal-to-no breaks out (often caused by heavy formulas and constant sweating, which in turn clogs pores), ensuring my skin stays matte throughout the day without having to wear heavy caked-up coverage.
On a side-note, another Garnier favorite of mine, is to add a skin soother after a long day of being outdoors; their After Sun soothing gel is particularly good for this as it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and moisturized. However, as many reviewers have pointed out, the soothing gel is not particularly useful at relieving sun-burnt skin. Nevertheless, the product is immensely great for restoring the skin’s elasticity and hydration levels after being outdoors.
And that wraps up my current summer beauty regimen. For a full list of products I like to use, check out my polyvore account here.
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Thanks to the lovely ladies over at Cosmopolitan, we now have at our disposal a reviewed list of the top 10 newest and best foundations to add to our ammo of flawless coverage.
The list of foundations below range from upgraded drugstore favorites, to new on the market high-end brands, and features other favorites from reputable makeup houses like Smashbox and Stila. What I found really useful while going through Cosmo’s list was the sort of information they’d included, and so I wanted to offer my readers the same experience. With that in mind, I decided to do even more research, really unpacking each foundation and drawing on different user reviews to give you the full scoop.
1. Stila’s Stay-All-Day Foundation and Concealer:
At roughly R500, this foundation might seem a tad pricey, but keep reading to find out what makes it worth every penny. The Stay-All-Day conveniently includes a matching shade of concealer, which is stored and concealed within the lid. According to the Cosmo Beauty Team, this foundation packs an oil-free set of ingredients which makes it great for us blemish-prone unfortunates, and also contains oxygenating technology which prevents the skin from drying out by keeping it hydrated. While it might seem counterproductive to use a foundation that hydrates when you suffer with oily skin, keeping the skin hydrated in-fact prevents your skin from drying out which actually causes an overproduction of sebum.
2. Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Water SPF30
At Just under R500, the Camera-Ready BB Water has a beautiful dewy finish, and boasts a lightweight coverage, which can however be built up for a heavier coverage due to the consistency of the foundation – you can’t always build up a matte foundation because it tends to settle as soon as you’ve applied it. The Camera Ready Foundation also contains a broad spectrum sunscreen, which means you can rest assured that your skin will be taken care of throughout the day.
Here’s what the beauty team over at Paula’s Choice had to say,
“The super-fluid, lightweight formula sets to a satin finish that is neither matte nor moisturizing—making this an option for nearly any skin type, including the acne-prone.”
3. Revlon’s Photoready Insta-fix Makeup
Another drugstore favorite coming in at about R200, is Revlon’s Photoready Insta-fix stick foundation; notably useful both as a full coverage foundation, but also for spot concealing blemishes or covering dark circles. It contains light reflecting technology which makes it especially great for special occasions (where there’s bound to be flash photography) and your skin will look airbrushed throughout. If all that wasn’t enough, Revlon have also included an SPF20 to prevent direct sunlight from penetrating beyond the surface layer of your skin. One reviewer writes,
“I like best how natural [Photoready Insta-fix] looks, without feeling heavy or greasy…and coverage can be increased a bit by layering.”
4. Illuminare’s Concealing Mineral Foundation
I’ll be honest, with a name like that, I was initially expecting this product to cost a lot more than R300. But there it is, proving you can’t judge a book by it’s cover (or fancy title in this case). The Concealing Mineral Foundation packs excellent coverage, and so the Cosmo Beauty Team recommend using this product sparingly, “a little goes a long way”, says Cosmo beauty editor Carly Cardellino. Another user of the Mineral Foundation writes,
“At first, I thought it was too dewy/shiny, but I learned to apply it sparingly…even the thinnest layer provides good coverage.”
5. Loreal’s Infallible Pro-matte 24HR Foundation
Drugstore-favorite Loreal have recently released their Infallible 24HR foundation which offers a matte finish by absorbing excess oil when applied. The product is designed to have a light textured formula and claims to last the entire day! This foundation seems best-suited for us girls who grease up even on non-busy days, but at just R200, is worth investing in even if you don’t have oily skin but tend to have extensive and demanding schedules. One reviewer (who says she struggles with breakouts and oily skin) writes that,
“…[Infallible Pro-matte] makes my skin matte […] is buildable in coverage…and very easy to blend.”
6. Lancome’s Miracle Cushion Foundation
Shortly after releasing earlier this year, the Lancome Miracle Cushion garnered much attention, growing to be well-loved by many in the beauty industry. According to beauty retailer, Sephora,
“[…] Its innovative cushion sponge contains over 800,000 pores to transfer the ideal amount of product for an effortless makeup application.”
Boasting an impressive 11 shades, this foundation is well-loved by many for its dewy finish with skin brightening ingredients. One of the main critiques however is the amount of coverage it gives, which isn’t much. In retrospect, the finish is meant to compliment and enhance your own skin, rather than completely change it. The Miracle Cushion Foundation usually retails at a hefty R500, but considering the continuous success of this foundation, perhaps it is worth the spend.
7. Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Luminous
Arguably one of the most reasonably priced foundations on the market is Covergirl’s Stay Luminous Foundation. You can find this foundation at your local Clicks or Dischem ranging between R200 and R250. One user, who says she really struggles with dry patches, appreciates that Covergirl’s Stay Luminous formula refuses to cling to any dry patches, and gives her a great luminous glow.
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Its Saturday afternoon and the Woolworths cafe where I’m seated is buzzing. I order a tall Americano and start jotting down thoughts in my notepad. After a little while, I see a tall blonde approaching the table, wearing a grey knit, matching fitted denims and black platform boots. She exudes a subtle confidence and grace as she flashes a warm smile and sits down. After ordering herself a tall Vanilla cappuccino,
our subject jumps straight into the busy day she’s had.
Amber is currently a design student at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design and says she spends her time juggling between creative assignments, assisting with shows and being featured for her work in international publications. The garment that landed her latest feature, as she explains, started out as a simple recycling task project set by her college. The brief outline was to use recycled materials to create a unique designer garment. Determined not to settle for mediocre, Amber chose to fuse her love of sneakers with her passion for design. Her garment is made of part baggage sealing – transparent plastic – while the orange hand-cut flowers are made of recycled Nike shoe boxes. Her genius truly comes to life in this garment, and landed her a well-deserved feature on popular online art publication, Sneaky Mag – which you can view here.
When it comes to her personal style, Amber describes her look in three words: minimal, neutral and textured. She explains how her obsession with textures plays a major role in how she gets dressed. Her choice of accessories also follow the same principal – a preference for simplicity and yet fine attention paid to detail. As Amber elaborates, she offers a quote she’d read somewhere a while ago, which she lives by, and unknowingly quotes a renowned style icon. The line went something along the lines of, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror, and take one thing off” – and it was none other than Coco Chanel who originally said it. Amber says this rule is crucial for some of us who aim for simplicity, but make the mistake of wearing too much when layering. She prefers her outfit to offer a coherent narrative, giving the eye a spot to rest.
The young designer also has a strong connection with street style fashion, and an envious sneaker collection to boot. When I ask how she describes her overall style, she keeps her answer simple, “modern sleek.. with a hint of street style.” When faced with the question of where she sees herself in the next five years, our subject spends a few moments introspecting her goals. The first thing on her check list is obtaining a degree in fashion. In the meantime, Amber has her sights set on SA Men’s Wear Fashion Week. She believes this would provide a great platform for her current interests of pursuing a menswear range.
“…When I started studying last year, I wanted to become a buyer, but so many doors have opened and my goals have changed. I’d also like to branch out in to directing other aspects of art as well.” – Amber Hennings, 2015
However, the 22 year old doesn’t believe in setting definite goals, because they’re often too set in stone. When she’d started out at Fashion College, her passion was to become a buyer, however, fast-forwarding nearly two years later, her interests have changed and her sights are set on different prospects. Likewise, in the fashion industry it takes constant innovation and growth to stand out as a brand and our subject knows this all too well. She says it can be extremely demotivating when your ideas are boxed in to a category that’s already been done.
“…it can be difficult to find your niche…you know, when everything has already been done” – Amber Hennings, 2015
What does motivate her however, is success. And while she doesn’t have to say it, her dedication and work ethic is a testament to that. Amber also credits her experience working in retail for four years, several of which spent as a manager and assistant buyer, as providing her with insights in to the retail sector. This adds to her growing business ethic, which she believes will come in handy when she develops her own ranges.
Listening to Amber speak about her career, I pick up that she’s come a long way since buying her first Vogue at age 11. Still holding on to that copy from over a decade ago, she says she hopes to never forget her roots, and remain humble in light of her successes. When asked who inspires her, Alexa Chung’s name pops up first, followed by international minimalist designer, Jill Sander, and more close to home, well-known editor, Jackie Burger. Amber doesn’t need to reveal too much to be incredibly captivating, but kindly shares with me a few current favorites:
Two fragrances she’s loving right now are Burberry Body, and Bvlgari’s Jasmin Noir – carried in her handbag at all times. Our subject also admits that she’d rather be overdressed than under, and swears by her favorite M.A.C lipstick shade, Hue – which she describes as a soft pink nude. Eternally obsessed with winter, Amber reveals how she’s become more of a summer gal of late, and says she’s really looking forward to the warmer months approaching. However, don’t be surprised to see her wearing head-to-toe black, which she still defines as her signature look.
Our subject has paved the way for herself and her promising future; moving from strength to strength, there’s very little that can stop this ambitious young woman. Having won us over with her effortless charm, warm nature and amazing sense of style, The Minimale Blogger cannot wait to see what’s next to come. Keep up to date with this young designer – and all her future fashion endeavors – by following her exploration of fashion on Instagram over here.
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I was lucky enough to win a ticket to this year’s lavish Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week (MBCTFW) event through a giveaway hosted by the lovely Qaanita of Paper Doll’s Diary and the kind folks over at Vita Coco. Luck was still on my side, and after the first evening, I was invited back the next day by a good friend who works in the industry.