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Loving the skin I’m in

“I look at a woman and I don’t see what’s wrong with her. I see what’s right.” Bobbi Brown.

10 years ago I was *that* girl who wore zero make up. Not a stitch. Nada. Didn’t own any.

And then gradually I started to try things. I started with some concealer. I was 21 and the only thing I really didn’t like when I looked in the mirror were those dark circles under my eyes – proof of the sleepless nights I spent earning my degree or so I told myself. On other days I blamed my genes – my dad has a bad case of panda eyes too.

From there I tried some mascara on my very, very sparse eyelashes. And it was downhill from there. Actually I really see it as uphill.

Growing up my mom didn’t wear any makeup. So I didn’t have any of those moments of being able to raid her make-up bag while wearing her heels and pearls. I think she owned a lipstick or two at most. Even on the 2 occasions a year she’d wear any, though I was only 10 or 11, I could see she’d applied it very badly on her super thin lips.

I was a late bloomer. Makeup was a journey where I played around with things, tried things, asked girl friends for their thoughts, hung out at make-up counters and just found my own way.

Skin care though, I truly believe is the foundation of good skin. I started off with Innoxa’s Young Solutions brand in the 90’s as a teen – scraping my pocket-money together whenever I could. From there I moved to Olay in the mid 2000’s and then I graduated to Clinique and have stayed ever since.

This is my current skin care routine today:

  • Face wash: Clinique facial soap (am & pm)
  • Scrub: Clinique Exfoliating Scrub (every 2nd/3rd day)
  • Treatment: Clinique Turnaround Masque (weekly)
  • Moisturiser: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion (am & pm) with Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 (am) or Clinique Turnaround Cream or Clinique Youth Surge (pm)
  • Eye Cream: Clinique All About Eyes or Dermactin Dark Circle Treatment

One of the best things I did was a make-up course at The Make-Up Studio back in about 2007/8. In retrospect it was a spur-of-the-moment purchase but something I knew I needed to pull all the bits and bobs of thoughts and advice I had gotten through the years via magazines, beauty counters and friends together and to get answers all the questions I had floating in my head.

The course was half day and in a relaxed studio classroom setting – each student had a station with their own chair and mirror (like at the hairdresser if you can imagine) and you get a sampling of products, tailored to your skin included in the course fee. It was fun and completely unintimidating practising on myself and other students and being able to ask all the stupid questions those girls at the fancy make up counters at department stores turn their nose up at. It also included you being able to come in for complimentary eyebrow shaping whenever you needed after the course and a lifelong 30% discount on all their products and tools. It was the best money I’d spent in a long while.

Today, I feel like I’ve “found my groove”. So no, I still can’t do a smoky eye, but I know what works for me. I’m always open to new products and ideas though it takes a fair amount of convincing for me to buy.

For me make-up should be used to accentuate – not cover up. If you’re in the cover up space, get help. No really, go see a dermatologist. Our skin, like any other organ doesn’t always function the way it’s meant to & it’s best to get to the root cause and not treat the symptoms.

And ladies. Moderation please. This is not a face painting competition!

The reason, make up, done well becomes “addictive’ is, quite simply because, once you see the difference with make on you can’t go back.

See you for yourself:



Just out the shower, shiny and fresh no makeup.

Wearing my everyday “work” look.

“Not a big difference”, my husband pointed out. Exactly – it’s me, just a bit better.

This look includes:

You may be thinking that this list above sounds like a lot of work I know, but it took a mere 9 minutes to apply – yes I timed it!

On workdays I skip lipstick, eye liner and eye shadow, saving these touches for more dressy evening or formal events.

On my wedding day, my makeup was done by Ryan Neeves of Chanel. Though not for everyday, I love this look and really want to go back and see him sometime when I’m in Cape Town again for a make-up lesson.

Remember – accentuate, don’t cover up. Make the best, no better, of what you have. Love the skin you’re in. Try.

If you enjoyed this piece, I’ll be posting some of the lessons I’ve learnt on skin & make up tomorrow so you don’t have to go down the same road.

Remember the words I started this piece with and let it guide you:

“I look at a woman and I don’t see what’s wrong with her. I see what’s right’” Bobbi Brown.


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