Summer Hairstyles

Here are a few hairstyles I will be rocking this summer!

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What is your go-to hairstyle this December?

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{Aromatherapy Thursdays} Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Simmondsia chinensis (pronounced Ho-HO-Ba)

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Jojoba oil is technically not an oil, but rather a wax. It is the botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree. In cold temperatures, it becomes solid, so in winter here in the Free State, I had trouble getting in out of the bottle in the evenings! It was all worth it, tough. This wax (or oil, whatever you call it) is said to be closest to the oil human skin produce (sebum), so it is great for balancing your skin, especially if oily skin is your problem. It is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t block the pores. What I like about Jojoba is that the oil is very stable, so it has quite a long shelf life and does not become rancid quickly. Which is good for people like me with too many oils on the shelf.

Uses:

  • Can be used for acne as well as sunburn skin
  • Use as a facial moisturiser. Some people complain of shininess, but I haven’t experienced the same problem. The oil absorbs without leaving it greasy, and makes it baby soft!
  • Make-up remover. It even removes mascara. Does not irritate the eyes, and is also non- allergenic.
  • Men can use it as a shave prep. It can prevent razor burn!
  • Can be mixed in with conditioner to promote shine. It moisturises the scalp and can prevent dandruff.

Warning – Jojoba Oil is not to be taken internally!

I get my oils from Natural Oils (www.naturaloils.co.za).

Sources:

Hoare, J. (2010) The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor: A Structured Course to Achieve Professional Expertise. GAIA: London

Ryman, D. (2007) Secrets of Youth & Beauty: Aromatherapy for Natural Rejuvenation. Rodale: London

{Review} Tip Top Nail Polish FLASHBACK

I have been looking for a certain colour of nail polish for the last few years, and just couldn’t find it. I emailed various companies (including Tip Top), but none of them seem to have the colour I wanted. And then last week, while browsing in Clicks, I saw this Tip Top colour…it was the one I was looking for! The colour is so beautiful and feminine, and I only needed to use one coat.

Flashback Tip Top

I have had it on for a week so far, and no chips! (This could be to the new Essence Quick Dry Drops I used, who knows! But Tip Top usually wears well)

What is your favourite colour this summer?

{Travel} Magoebaskloof!

Last month me and my partner did some fieldwork in Magoebaskloof (he’s a botanist :)). Here are some of the pics from our travels!

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The view from our cottage

The view was amazing! During the day, the mist would come over the mountain and it felt like you were in another world!

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A ‘goggatjie’ that wanted to hitch a ride

I don’t know whether it’s all the rain and plants, but there were so many creepy crawlies! There were spiders and ticks everywhere. And let me tell you, the mosquitoes in this area are ferocious!

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“The land of avos” (Which is my favourite fruit, by the way)

This one is still a baby, but I came home with three bags of avos!

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Part of Woodbush Nature Reserve

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The weather that welcomed us back in the Free State!

{Review} ZAO Natural Lipgloss

Last week Natural Beauty Africa sent me one of their ZAO lipglosses to review. The colour I received was 004 Natural Brown, and it came in a cute cotton pouch.

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First thing I noticed was the beautiful bamboo casing. This is one of the things that makes ZAO different. When your lipgloss (or eyeshadow, lipstick, concealer  etc) is finished, you don’t need to buy a whole new one, you just buy a refill! This minimizes packaging for a better environment.

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The lipgloss gives a bright, glossy finish without too much colour. You can use it over your lipstick as well to give a subtle gloss. At first I thought the brown won’t look nice on my lips, but the colour seems to blend into your lips and you are left with a nice “sparkle”.

It does seem to be slightly less sticky than your normal lipglosses and did not dry out my lips. It is enriched with cocoa butter, so not only will you look good, but you will do your lips favour as well! I also liked the fact that there is not much of a smell. Personally I don’t like strong fragrances right under my nose, and I lick my lips constantly so I can be assured I am not ingesting all kind of weird chemicals and perfumes.

The retail price is about R200 and the colours available are pink natural, beige natural, brown natural, red orange, burgundy natural, and transparent.

ZAO have a range of cosmetics including: Mineral Touch Eyeshadows, Eyeliner, Mascara, Lipstick, Conceaer, Mineral Silk Foundation, Compact Powder and Make-up Brushes! All of these come in beautifully designed bamboo packaging which you can buy refills for when yours is finished!

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Natural Beauty Africa also stocks the Eco-Cosmetics Mineral suncare range. I used these sunscreens last summer and I can safely say they worked! It was so nice having a great time on the beach without worrying about the sun OR the nasty ingredients in other sunscreens.

You can buy it all from their Online Shop and make sure you add some freebie samples to your cart!

Current Christmas Special

Have you tried ZAO yet? What do you think of the brand?

{photo} Lightning in Bloemfontein

Just wanted to share this amazing photo with you! We had some lightning in Bloemfontein last night (and a little bit of rain)

Bloemfontein Lightning

photo credit: Jan-Hendrik Keet

{Aromatherapy Thursdays} – Avocado Oil

Avocado Persea americana

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A while back I blogged about these awesome “alligator pears”. I absolutely LOVE the fruit as well as the oil. The oil can be used in cooking, but for now I will only discuss it’s cosmetic purposes.

Although I have “normal” skin, and avocado oil is usually recommended for dry skin, I still use it, and the results are amazing. I have been using it as a night oil for little more than a year now, and it would be very difficult to change my routine!

Quick facts:

  • Rich in lecithin and Vitamins A, B1, B2 and D.
  • It is recommended that you dilute it with another oil 50:50, but I use it as is.
  • It is great for eczema and psoriasis
  • The nutrients present in avocado oil helps to increase the production of collagen in the body, which acts as a barrier for many ageing problems such as wrinkles and dry skin.

Uses:

  • I know there are many oils out there, but if there is one carrier oil you MUST try, try avocado oil! (I used cosmetic as well as food grade before, and it works the same!)
  • Can be used neat or diluted with another oil.
  • Sometimes I add a few drops geranium essential oils to my avocado oil, it is great for circulation. (Please do not add more than 5 drops per 15ml!)
  • Make a hair spray, add a tablespoon of avocado oil to warm water, and pour in to a spray bottle. Makes hair soft without weighing it down. (This works for static hair too!)
  • Use on sunburn
  • Mix a bit with your conditioner, or add a few drops to your scalp before shampooing.

I get my oils from Natural Oils (www.naturaloils.co.za).

Sources:

Hoare, J. (2010) The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor: A Structured Course to Achieve Professional Expertise. GAIA: London

Ryman, D. (2007) Secrets of Youth & Beauty: Aromatherapy for Natural Rejuvenation. Rodale: London

http://beauty.indobase.com/carrier-oils/avocado-oil.html

Aromatherapy Thursdays: Ylang Ylang

Ylang-Ylang Canang odorata (the name actually means “strong-smelling”)

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I really want to share the amazing properties and uses of essential oils and carrier oils with you, so I decided to start a series on all the benefits these oils have to offer. Let’s hope I stick to a weekly post, instead of “monthly” posts!

I thought I’d start of with a oil that I just recently learned to love. The fragrance is quite strong, so I did not use it as much as Lavender or Geranium (my ULTIMATE favourite!). It’s only when I did my research more that I discovered all the wonderful properties that Ylang-Ylang has.

Quick facts:

  • The locals in Malasia spread on the beds of newlyweds, as the scent is thought to mentally prepare them for the act of love! (Just a note, Ylang-Ylang is considered one of the top aphrodisiac essential oils)
  • The intoxicating smell aids anxiety and it is also used perfumes. In fact, a few drops on a tissue, inhaled deeply for a few minutes, can calm down anger and frustration.
  • The fragrances also helps to “recharge” your energy.

Uses:

  • For a hair tonic, put 1-2 drops essential oil on the palm of your hands, and rub vigorously into scalp. I do this when my hair needs to “freshen” up. At first the smell is quite overpowering (with just 2 drops!) but it settles to a wonderful scent, and my hair looks shiny too!
  • When added to your body lotion, it helps prolong a tan, and restores and refreshes the skin. Summer here I come!
  • Add a few drops to Jojoba oil, for a light day oil. The Ylang-Ylang is said to have a balancing effect on sebum.

Safety

  • Some sources regard this as a toxic oil, so it not to be taken internally!
  • Because of the strong odour, it can cause nausea and headaches, use in moderation.

I get my oils from Natural Oils (www.naturaloils.co.za). They are very helpful and their oils are good quality.

Because this is a blogpost, I will not go into the deep “scientific” breakdown of each oil, but if you need it, just pop me an email or a comment, and I will be glad to share! (And also let me know whether you’d like my future posts to have more info and recipes!)

Sources:

Hoare, J. (2010) The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor: A Structured Course to Achieve Professional Expertise. GAIA: London

Ryman, D. (2007) Secrets of Youth & Beauty: Aromatherapy for Natural Rejuvenation. Rodale: London

{Travel} Drakensberg Mountain retreat

The rainy weather here in Bloemfontein is reminding me of the weekend we spent at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat.

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Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is a stunning destination in the northern Drakensberg only 20 km beyond Sterkfontein Dam and 3 hours from Johannesburg, South Africa. Situated high on a ridge overlooking the Drakensberg and the Maluti Mountains many have said that the views are unsurpassed.

It offers much more than comfortable, affordable country style accommodation. It’s spectacular views, vast spaces, wild winds and superb walks make it the perfect place to experience the beauty and magnificence of the Drakensberg. Its deep silences, unfamiliar at first, will soon work its magic resuscitating body and mind. This is a place to relax, unwind, take stock, – a place to rejuvenate – a place to regain peace. The walks and hikes are spectacular catering for all levels of fitness.

This is a cosy haven for those who like old fashioned holidays, with peace and quiet, excellent home-style cooking, reading near the fireplace, invigorating walks and pleasant company; also a wonderful base to experience the mighty Drakensberg. An ideal retreat for couples, families or groups either self catered or fully catered

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If you haven’t been there yet, it’s time to put it on your “places to visit” list. The first day it was quite misty, so we snuggled on the very comfy couches and read, played board games and enjoyed coffee. For lunch you can either sit down at the table in the dining area, or they bring it to you on a tray to the living room. We chose the tray option as the fireplace was so warm, it was just too cozy to leave! There are horses that roam freely on the lawn, and at one point the two younger ones chased each other in the mist, it was amazing! How many times to you get to see something like that?!

 

Mojo will keep you company on the couch or on the hiking trails!

Mojo will keep you company on the couch or on the hiking trails!

There are several walking and biking trails, a swimming pool, pool table and lots of boardgames to keep you busy.

The food was DELICIOUS and the host  made us feel very welcome from the start!

For more information: www.drakensbergretreat.co.za

Facebook: Drakensberg Mountain Retreat 

Twitter: @DrakensbergMR

 

Have you been to the Drakensberg yet? Where did you stay?

Hey Gorgeous REVIEW and you can WIN too!

Last week I won a competition hosted by Hey Gorgeous and received two awesome products!

Strawberry & Black Pepper Body Scrub Bliss

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There is one downside to using natural products…you REALLY have to maintain self-control and not eat it all! The smell is AMAZING! It feels like you are using freshly crushed strawberries to scrub your skin and it really feels good. In fact, my skin was so soft and sweet-smelling afterwards that I didn’t even apply body lotion. Yes, I wanted to go to bed smelling like a giant crushed strawberry!

Rose Petal Hand Soak

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I asked Phoebe whether this could be used as a bath soak and she said yes! As the product needs to be used up in 8 weeks, I figured I won’t be giving myself a mani that much, so using it in the bath will be a luxurious way to use it. And wow, was I right! The water felt “softer” and I kinda felt like a princess lying there in a bath with rose petals floating by! Once again, the smell is so “real”. I just don’t know how else to describe it!

The Body scrub retails for R120 and the Hand Soak for R110. Definitely worth it if you want to treat yourself. As the products are freshly made, so you can be sure that you get the best quality products at your door.

If you would like to win a Hey Gorgeous product, go to their website and let them know what your favourite product is! You can post it on Facebook (remember to share their page) or you can tweet them (@HeyGorgeousSA)! When they reach 20 000 likes on Facebook, they will announce another winner, so you better be quick!

Thanks Hey Gorgeous for the AWESOME goodies!

 

 

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