I have been LOVING experimenting with new makeup, and recently I saw a post from Marie on one of the Facebook groups I am part of, and I was instantly drawn to her charismatic personality as well as her gorgeous makeup that she has created. She has just launched a new eyeshadow palette, and it has given me all the feels – I can’t wait to get my hands on it (as well as everything else on her website!), and I am sure that you will feel the same when you see the beauty that is MlsBeauty!
Your name: Marie-Louise but I prefer Marie
Business name: Mlsbeauty (Marie-Louise’s Beauty lol), boring I know.
Tell me a little more about your business: I first started as a makeup artist about 7 years ago. I’ve always been inspired by American and British makeup artists and brands and always tried to import products from these countries. I saw the need to bring diversity in terms of makeup in SA and launched my cosmetics line 2 years ago.
How long have you been doing makeup for: About 7 years ago. I was looking for a simple eyebrow tutorial on YouTube and became hooked.
Why does makeup make you so happy: It’s a refuge for me. When I’m upset I grab a brush and just go with the flow. When things fall into place I’m suddenly in a good mood.
What pushed you to start your own makeup line: The need of diversity in the South African Beauty Market.
What is your personal favourite item from your range: Can I pick 2? Cause they are really good. The Black Magic Palette and the Matte Lipstick in Negra, it’s a warm chocolate brown, I mix it with different lipsticks from the range.
What have been your most popular items: The Matte lipsticks, so far. But there’s a growing interest for the Black Magic Palette. The Black Magic is pretty versatile in colours but is still a neutral palette. I didn’t want to create a palette full of brown shades only, we needed a palette that’s lively, magical but still wearable.
How much do you charge for makeup application: My makeup rates start from R550.
I see you do makeup lessons too – how can people book with you: People can contact me through emails, DM or WhatsApp. I’m working on a bookings section on my website.
How can people order items from you: I have all my items on my website, easy, fast and secure website.
What makes your makeup brand so different to others: Inclusivity in every sense of the word. I wanted to create a brand that caters to everyone and where everyone can identify themselves.
Quote you live by: Enhancing the Beauty that already exists. Because that’s the sole purpose of makeup.
Marie, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you! Your products are absolutely gorgeous, and so are you. I love that your products are inspired by Africa, for Africans.
Marie is also currently running a 15% discount on her Black Magic Palette when you use the code WOMEN, so it is under R250 for a really versatile, gorgeous eyeshadow palette. Please support this wonderful lady, and share her great products with all your friends.
Finding bloggers and influencers that speak to who you are, encourage you, and inspire you is so important. No longer should we simply follow people who we think fit into the cookie cutter mold that society wants to force us into – it’s not just about the perfect feed with the blonde-hair blue-eyed family. It’s about relating to people, knowing they are real and honest, and relating to what they are posting.
One such person that I have been following for some time is Cisca de Kock. She has been blogging for some time, and I often find myself popping over to her social media to see what she is posting about and what is happening in her life. Plus, you know I’m a sucker for spreading kindness, and Cisca has this in bucket loads.
This is such a surreal experience to be able to introduce you to her on my little blog, and I am totally freaking out right now! #fangirl
3 fun facts about you:
1. If I could win a life time supply of clothing it would be socks! I swear they have superpowers and disappear- I always end up wearing my husband’s socks.
2. If I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life it would be BILTONG.
3. If I had to be trapped in a movie for a day, it would have to be Clueless.
How would you describe yourself: Honest, Perfectionist, Goal driven
How did you get into blogging:
My Mom passed away when I was 5 months pregnant with Hudson (my first born). I was devastated, and went into a deep and dark depression. When Hudson was born, I sunk even deeper. I had no one to talk to. No one to listen to my motherly fears and I just felt completely lost. I started seeing a Psychiatrist who deals with Post-Partum Depression and she suggested that I try and find an outlet. So one night in September 2017, while pumping milk for Hudson I created my own blog called It’s a Mom’s Life on WordPress. I honestly did not think it would reach anyone, and that was ok. It felt so good to write what was on my mind. From there I created my Instagram page which was first called “Raising Little Hudson” . Hudson was a little eager beaver and my water broke at 36 weeks (It was like a scene out of the movies – I actually wrote a 3 part Birth Story Series) We had to leave him in NICU, one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, to leave the hospital empty handed. The day we left, the one nurse said “Have fun raising little Hudson” and that’s where the name stemmed from. This September my blog will turn 3 and since then both my blog and IG handles have changed. As my blog and social media handles grew, so too did my interests. I started off just featuring and blogging about local baby boy clothing brands. It became a bit expensive buying new clothing every month. It also became exhausting to take photos of Hudson. I knew it was not something that I wanted to do forever, and that’s when I starting exploring other avenues.
What does your blog feature:
Keeping it Candid is a Lifestyle | Beauty |Travelling and Parenting Blog. I started my blog to create an authentic account of my journey through life. Whether you are a lover of all things luxury: an organic foodie or a reveller in all things local, practical and affordable, Keeping it Candid will keep you up to date with the best in South Africa. I am a firm believer in YOLO and embrace each and every day to the fullest.
What do you want people to feel when they are interacting with you:
I want people to feel comfortable and not feel like they are being judged. Over the years, I have made so many connections with other women. Some of them echoed the exact same feeling I had when I felt alone. My main goal has always been to use this platform and to make women feel that they are not alone and that it is natural to feel the way they do, especially if they are new mothers.
Why do you encourage people to support local:
This current Pandemic has really put things into perspective when it comes to sustaining oneself. A have so much respect for women owned local businesses. At the moment, they need all our help to sustain themselves. So much care goes into creating affordable and great quality products.
Why is family so important to you:
There’s so much I wish I could have shared with my Mom. Her death was so sudden and unexpected, that it still haunts me. The void that she left grows deeper every day, but I know that she would want us to remember her and to celebrate her. She also passed away on my Dad’s birthday, 1 December. Before the boys, December was such a difficult time. Having the boys now, we make it a happy time for them, a time that they will always find special, even if their Gran cannot celebrate with us. I am very fortunate and blessed to have married a man that respects me and treats me as his equal. I am double blessed with two beautiful boys, whom I will instill the values that were passed onto me. I treasure each and every moment that I can spend with my family.
What is one way you feel we can all spread kindness:
There are many, but I want to mention two ways. Always treat others the way that you want to be treated. We also need to practice being quiet more often and to listening to others.
How can people reach out to you to work with you:
They can either make contact through my blog or DM. Alternatively they can email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Quote you live by:
You are the artist of your own life, don’t hand the paintbrush to anyone else
Anything else you want to add:
The number one question I always get asked is: What camera do you use?
I don’t have a fancy camera, I always use my iPhone 8 + to create content. I will always try and think out of the box. Sometimes I take a lot of photos and I will change up the styling, until I am happy with it. Once photos are taken, I select the ones I am happy with and then either edit with my iPhone editing app, VSCO or Lightroom.
Cisca, it was such an honour to be able to feature you on my blog, and it has been an absolute joy to get to know you better. Thank you for your kindness, your messages and just for being you.
Please follow this wonderful woman – you will be a fan from day dot I can promise you!
I started following Pink Cosmetics way before I even started this blog. I was drawn to their products, and very quickly knew that I had to place an order to try some of their products for myself. I have seen how their name has grown and grown, and I constantly see them being recommended in beauty groups that I am part of – in fact their solid brush cleanser is probably the reason we have more clean brushes in South Africa as it is just so easy to use.
I had never had the opportunity to meet Janet face-to-face as she stays in the Western Cape and I am in Gauteng – that is until Beauty Revolution happened (just before lockdown!). I couldn’t stop myself from skipping up to her and giddily introducing myself. She is someone I admire so much, and I trust her products 100%. They smell beautiful, look beautiful, and make you feel beautiful using them.
Janet & me at her stand at Beauty Revolution
Nomsa & Janet at Beauty Revolution
Lanie (Lanie Soaps), Andrea (Maria Cosmetics), Janet (Pink Cosmetics) & me (fan-girling)
I have been wanting to interview Janet for the longest time, and am SO excited about being able to feature her today. And if there is one item I can personally recommend, it’s the brush cleaner – did you know you should be washing your brushes and sponges every week to avoid makeup build up and residue of other colours mixing together? Plus bacteria can build up in the brushes and cause acne and skin irritation – yuck!
Tell me, what is PINK: Pink is products that are beautiful both inside and out. They are vegan and cruelty free, created in small batches by me and my team with no sulphates and parabens and no petrochemicals. Pink is good for your skin and the environment, but they are also pretty and lovely to use. PINK stands for Perfectly Incorporating Natures Knowledge and we use the best from both the plant world and science.
Where did the idea for this business come from: In 2010, while investigating the skincare products used by my family, I was horrified to discover the dangers of so many ingredients lurking in the vanity aisles of countless products. Many skincare items contained controversial preservatives like parabens, strong sulphates, and petrol derivatives (parafinium). I felt like someone needed to contend with the unfulfilled promises and unethical behavior of these countless products on the market. So, armed with passion and purpose, backed by my beauty therapist degree, I began to educate myself and develop my very own formulations & an ethical skincare range. My aim was to create a wholesome and beautiful range of products that were not only vegan and non-toxic, but also safe for use by the whole family.
What makes your products different to others: Our products are not mass produced or imported and relabeled. I literally formulate & manufacture EVERY product myself from scratch. I am staring to outsource my formulas to various labs – as I can’t keep up with the demand anymore. We make small batches to keep ingredients as fresh as possible so they don’t sit on shelves for 2 years. Every product is made with love and passion and a sprinkle of PINK!.
What is your personal favourite product: That’s hard!!! I love and use them all! I would die without my Superskin moisturizer – so that’s the ONE I would chose.
Tell me a bit more about your brush cleaner: I get DM’s every weekend from makeup artists, I am cleaning my brushes and thinking of you- that’s makes me so happy. It’s a quick and very effective way to clean your brushes thoroughly. Each one is poured by hand and made with lots of nourishing and cleansing oils in a magic ratio to clean and condition make up brushes.
What have been the most popular items: Brush cleaners, bathbombs, cherry blossom scrub and our Plump up Hyaluronic serum.
How has lockdown affected your business: We have been incredibly blessed to have been super busy during lockdown. I realized I needed to pivot Pink really quickly and started marketing our hand sanitizers and sourcing other PPE – like masks and shields. I have the most amazing and loyal customers and they all supported Pink incredibly. It also gave me the ability to help and support other small businesses who were struggling. I need a holiday – as it’s been just me working most of the time and struggling with out of stock and closed suppliers.
What have been some of your proudest moments during your PINK journey: Definitely standing in Waterfront Truworths Context store taking a picture with my products on their shelf! Wearing my mask – of course- lol
How can people order from you: Directly from our website.
If you had to recommend just 3 products for people to start with, what would they be: Make up melt- our cleansing balm, a moisturizer suited to their skin type- we have 3, and Pink Clay – our facial scrub and mask in one.
Quote you live by: Be kind
Anything else you want to add: Hard work, passion and dedication can make anything happen. Believe in yourself and your dreams, with all your heart and work towards them everyday! No matter who you are, dream big and forge your own path. Who knows, your dream might change the world for good! Mine did.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity Megan and for being one of my amazing and loyal clients.
Guys, if I can get behind a skincare and beauty brand, this would be it. I have been blessed to try quite a few of their products (they also do sample packs of their facial range so you can see which ones you like the most and the improvement in your skin before you purchase the full-size products). I would definitely say get a trial pack of products, the solid brush cleaner, facial mist, and one of their masks for your first order – from there you will be hooked and will definitely want to increase your range that you own.
During lockdown I have been spending extra time on growing my skills, attending online classes, and definitely more time on social media! I have been following both of these businesses that I am discussing in this blog for some time, but during lockdown I was able to catch an Instagram live that Cas was doing, and I was immediately drawn into her passion and knowledge. I have been making a conscious effort to head over to her pages on a daily basis to soak up some of her incredible knowledge.
I have bought some flatlay boards from Cas in the past, and then they sat under my bed… I had great plans to use them, but I never felt confident in what I was doing and my photos ended up reflecting that insecurity and lack of knowledge on how to properly use them. Cas has now given me the confidence to pull these out again and keep trying, keep learning, keep experimenting. Blogging has allowed me an outlet and a platform to showcase these great South African small businesses, whilst my social media platforms have allowed me to truly express myself and embrace my flaws, whilst still being able to grow. And I can’t wait to show you more about these great businesses that have truly tipped the scales in my learning to love myself, as well as encourage me to learn new skills.
Your name: My name is Casandra Swart
Business name: My business is called Backdrop Shop SA & Flatlay Boards SA
Tell me a bit more about what you do:
I believe in the moments that become memories. I want to support the creatives who craft these moments into images that will be cherished for a lifetime to come. The Backdrop Shop is a community that welcomes everyone from professional studio photographers to small businesses trying to inject some more beauty into their branding. We love watching you take our designs to the next level by infusing them with your special style.
Who is the person behind the brand: I studied and worked as a graphic designer for 20 years, from the beginning I always knew I would manifest into my own boss, I always had a side hustle and eventually my side hustle became my full time business. It was all up to perfect timing. The time had to be right for me to take the leap. I have an incredibly ambitious and loving husband who supported me and nudged me further to stand on my own. In 2013 I was blessed in another way and became a mother … this now became my main focus and drove me deeper into pursuing my business with all I had. Our family loves to spend time venturing out into the Cape Winelands for a Saturday outing, quiet braais at home, weekends away in new places and Christmas bed evenings watching movies… all those family feels! I have a beautiful group of friends who I love to surround myself with and go on girls dinners and shopping dates. I also love self care and often treat myself to a spa day. I love to listen to podcasts and motivational speakers who inspire me and challenge me all the time. My business is my 2nd child and is my greatest achievement, I am very proud of where I am, how I have grown and what the future still holds.
Where did the idea for this business come from: I started the business in 2012 with a very good friend of mine, we saw a gap in the market where beautiful well priced backdrops where just not available in South Africa for the photography market. With me as the designer and her as photographer we made a great team and designed and manufactured a small range and marketed it online and on social media, the business grew well and we were happy with the progress… again a side hustle for me so I was still working full time. In 2013 we decided to split the business and go our separate ways (friendship and business unfortunately do not always work out) we amicably went our own way and Backdrop Shop was born. I was now at home with a newborn, and a new business… and I thought well you got nothing to lose and (I thought) I had plenty of time with a newborn by my side, she would just sleep and eat right … the side hustle started again.. I worked long days and nights and packed orders, answered mails, sent invoices, designed new ranges when everyone was sleeping. The work I put in paid off and the company did very well. In 2015 I quit my full time job and focused on Backdrop Shop fully, it was what the business needed to move forward even more. I then brought out more ranges, more products… and loved every minute! And then Flatlay Boards SA arrived…
Why the passion for flatlay boards: The flatlay boards were an obvious pivot for the business but I only saw it later in the growth of Backdrop Shop. I love networking and going to business workshops and training… I met so many incredible brands who where small businesses and who loved the backdrops. But my main focus was always on the photographers… my client spec was for the large format printing clientele… and so I thought but why don’t we do something to offer which is smaller/compact and easy to use for smaller product brands. I started researching the idea and noted there was similar ideas overseas… but again not in South Africa.
I just want to point out I have never wanted a business that ships or focuses on the whole world, I have always been focused on delivering to the South African market. This is important as it keeps me focused on my ideal client and what their needs are.
So the flatlay boards were created, we had trial and error moments, it took 8 months doing workshops, engaging with brands who would use the boards and who loved them, we had 5 very successful workshops and got a lot of constructive feedback regarding the boards. I then moved over from our initial wood boards to our plastic boards which then made the board lighter and even nicer to work with… and then introducing our larger mats. My Flatlayboards SA community has grown so much and I thoroughly enjoy engaging with the brands and helping them grow their content and photography skills by using my backgrounds.
Who do you think would benefit from using these: Absolutely anyone! All brands, lifestyle bloggers, mothers, fathers, big corporations! Its really for everyone – if you got an eye for a great pic and need an interesting background instead of your kitchen counter then its for you!
How do you decide what images to use for your boards etc:
Our ranges grow and develop as our clients do, we get special requests for specific designs. The marbles, woods and textures are firm favourites and we keep them as realistic as possible to give you the best result when shooting with them.
Which is your personal favourite one so far:
I love the Greek tiles and the different colour prints … florals/textures and colour!
Which have been your most popular designs:
The marbles are definitely the most popular designs. They’re soft and beautiful and is a great way to start your Flatlay journey.
How can people order from you:
We have a wonderful website, which is updated regularly with new designs and its very easy to navigate and order. Alternatively clients are welcome to personally message me via email, DM on social or whatsapp on our business chat 071 877 0393.
Do you do custom designs:
YES ABSOLUTELY! I love customising prints for clients to match their brand perfectly.
Where can you recommend people get more training on flatlay boards:
I offer one on one training if you need but I always love sharing tips and videos on my social media for clients to go and watch and learn from them.
Quote you live by: Love what you do, do what you love ❤
Anything else you want to add: If there is something you truly believe in, let your heart run with it. Be intentional every day to pursue that thing.
Guys, aren’t these just too beautiful for words? And isn’t Cas someone that we all want as our friend, and enjoy a good glass of wine? I can honestly say that I have learnt so much from her, and will definitely be ordering more flatlays as time goes by and I am wanting to improve the quality of my photos more and more. Her one-on-one classes are like no other, and I would definitely recommend you take a look at her free training over on her social media.
I can’t WAIT to see the pics that you create with some of her stunning backdrops or flatlays, so please do tag me in them. Hopefully I can get some tips from you too!
This lockdown has been rough – not just emotionally, but also on my body. Besides my ever-expanding waistline thanks to all the delicious treats we have been baking (I bake to help deal with my emotions, and my anxiety has been at an all-time high); I haven’t had a wax since 2 weeks before lockdown and have felt my inner grizzly bear come out to play. Oh my poor husband!
NakedCherry Waxing has been in my sight for some time, and I love their tongue-in-cheek humour as well as their excitement for the products they sell, as well as their salons. And then I saw that they are able to deliver during lockdown! I did a literal happy dance around the house – as did my husband at the idea of no longer having to see my sideburns, mustache, unibrow (and more).
In case you didn’t know, I studied beauty therapy after school. For 3 years I was a full-time student at The Academy of Beauty Therapy in Assagay, KZN. I was fully immersed in facials, waxing, massage, makeup and everything beauty related. I went on to complete my Spa Therapy diploma, and specialised in permanent makeup, Reiki, sports massage and advanced beauty treatments. Unfortunately my health prevented me from continuing with this, but I have maintained an interest and am always on the hunt for new, exciting treatments and products.
Karen sent me some of her favourite products to try, and I was SO impressed. I even managed to wax my own upper lip with zero pain – this is usually my worst area to wax and it brings tears to my eyes. Lip, underarm & Hollywood wax is all done from this little pot of wax and I know that I will be ordering from them again; as well as visiting one of their salons when lockdown is lifted.
Tell me a bit more about your business:
We are South Africa’s most loved Waxing and Specialised Skincare Brand.
With specialised waxing boutiques throughout Gauteng, and over a 100 stockists nationwide carrying our professional and waxing focused retail range, getting a great wax is just around the corner.
We follow strict guidelines set out by the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, disposable gloves are always worn (on both hands) and disposable spatulas are never double dipped for intimate hot wax treatments. We are obsessed with hygiene.
All our retail and professional products were born in-boutique, tested to death and designed specifically to keep waxed skin smooth and beautiful.
Our complete waxing-focused skincare range for men and women is beautifully aromatherapy inspired. Our products focus on exfoliation and nourishment with natural antiseptics to banish ingrowns, leaving your skin smooth and gorgeous.
NO SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE – NO PARABENS – NO BIOCIDES – NO PETRO CHEMICALS
We are the bee’s knees.
How did you decide on the name: I got advice that for a name to be memorable, it is easier to use an adjective that cannot possibly describe a certain noun. Plus, NakedCherry translates as a really good descriptor of what we do at the salons.
Where did the idea for this business come from: My last stint in the UK before returning home was working at a waxing only salon. I found it bit strange that there were so many specialised nail salons, massage parlours and no-wax salons considering how where you can actually damage someone if you don’t know what you are doing RE waxing. Also, the hygiene standards in the UK was hugely lacking in SA
Where are your waxing boutiques, & how can people make a booking:
We currently have salons in Parkhurst, Fourways, Sandton, Randparkridge, Little Falls, Bassonia, Woodmead and Bryanston. We have a central booking service and you can make a booking via Whatsapp or phone call at 078 811 4371 or via email or using our online booking service.
I see you have different products listed on your site too – which are your personal favourites & why: Balm Me Babes Skin Conditioner, as I’m not so fab on the moisturising front. Part the reason I made so many Skin Conditioners in the range; as was trying to find a happy medium for everyone (haha – i made a funny). The Balm leaves me feeling nourished for days and is fab for the aftercare of my newly added tattoos. Another is the Afternoon Delight Skin Cleaner. Fresh Peppermint to put a skip in your step. And again – as we try this with most products in our range – multi-functional. Great as an intimate wash, shaving medium (though we should be waxing peeps) and daily wash with our chemical exfoliant, Salicylic Acid to much away at dead skin cells. Family-friendly as a fave in my household – even little Eva loves it.
You make use of aromatherapy in your Apothecary – tell me a bit more about this:
Nothing smells worse than a chocolate flavoured mimzy hahaha 😁 Besides that reason, waxing is some peoples only me time, so I wanted to make it as relaxing at possible – and what does that best… Lovely smells.
How can people order some of your products: They can visit our online store.
Which products do you recommend people start off with:
A Skin Cleaner (Morning Glory or Afternoon Delight) cause it is easy to throw into your routine and the Ingrown Terminator Spray as your saviour to get that stubborn fur-tuft out. The IT spray you can use every other night as your general maintenance if you are prone to ingrowns (has Salcylic Acid in again – munch munch; and Peppermint which literally takes your breath away)
What is included in your home wax kit: Enough Hot Wax (the peely wax, not the wax you remove wax with strips) for one full Hollywood (though we encourage you to leave the tricky parts to the pro’s), a couple of ice cream sticks, Skin Cleaner, Prep Oil and our flavour of the month Skin Conditioner…. oh and a handy little instruction flyer.
If someone is too scared to try waxing, what would you recommend they wax first? And why would you recommend they try waxing: Don’t think – just do. Only piece of advice I would say, like a dentist – you want one with many reviews or referrals
And why if scared – come to NakedCherry – we really love what we do. and if Malcom Gladwell’s 10 000 rule to success is true in perfecting a skill, we got this waxed
Quote you live by:
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work – Stephen King
Anything else you want to add:
You chose us, trust us. Please allow your Wax Enthusiast to wow you. We understand you are nervous, but please give us a fair chance. Don’t touch, swear or tell her/him how to do things. OH, and way before COVID kicked us in our butts… we always followed British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, disposable gloves are always worn (on both hands) and disposable spatulas are never double dipped for intimate hot wax treatments. We are obsessed with hygiene.
Guys, I really am so impressed with these products. Learning about the importance of using products that have the clients’ best interests at heart has opened my eyes to what is out there and I will only ever recommend something that I have tried myself. Waxing is a very intimate treatment, and you need to ensure that you are visiting a salon that you trust and has hygiene as the most important factor.
The home kit came with clear instructions – my husband understood everything perfectly, and could help me with some of my more, ahem, intimate areas. And if you are too scared to try this yourself, then make a booking at one of their salons once lockdown has lifted. Believe me, you will never look back once you have started waxing!
At the end of last year I saw a post on Facebook advertising a unique treatment to help give you the fluffiest, fullest brows. I’ve always been quite proud of my “caterpillars”, but love trying out new treatments so immediately reached out to Thania and asked if I could book an appointment. The procedure I went for was called a Brow Lamination, and my goodness what a difference it made to my whole face. This isn’t permanent makeup (although she does offer that too), but rather makes use of what you currently have and amplifies this through “straightening” and tinting your brows. They were fluffier than I have ever seen!
Here is my before and after pic:
Thania is unfortunately one of the businesses that has really been negatively affected by this lockdown, and so I reached out to her to chat a bit more about what she does. You can buy a voucher to book in for a treatment once she opens again, and make sure you follow her on social media to see more of her stunning work.
My name: Catherina Horn, but everyone knows me as Thania or call me T, as a nickname.
Business Name: CH Beauty Studio (This will temporarily, I’m still in two minds about my business name)
Tell me a bit more about yourself: I’m 31 years old, born in November, and a proud scorpion, if you believe in horoscopes. I was born and raised in Rustenburg, moved to the big city when I was 17. Not married as yet, but I am engaged, no kids as yet, but definitely in my 2-3 year plan. Before entering the world of beauty and permanent makeup, I worked as Administrative Manager in the Electrical Engineering Industry for over 11 years. I am a hopeless romantic and believe in happily ever after, corny I know. I’ve always had a massive passion for anything beauty and fashion related since I’ve been a little girl. I remember “perming” my great grandmother’s hair in the retirement village, painting her nails and doing her makeup, giving her big rainbow eyebrows, we would play dress up and she would allow me to put some of her makeup on myself, but to make sure I wash it off before my mom picks me up. After moving to Johannesburg, I never pursued my dream in the beauty industry. I had to make a living and I started a career in a completely different industry until recently and I’ve never looked back.
How long have you been in the beauty industry? I’ve entered the world of Permanent Makeup just over 2 years ago. My main focus is on brows at the moment as it became the beauty obsession of the decade.
I’m certified in Microblading, Internationally Certified in Microshading Brows, Ombre Brows, Internationally Certified in Brow Lamination, Brow Tinting and Shaping and I’m certified in Keratin Lash Lift and Tint Treatments and Blood Borne pathogens.
I’m currently busy with my international certification for Henna Brow Treatment.
What is Brow Lamination? Consider this a Brazilian Blowout or a pushup bra for your brows, it is the hottest new trend taking the industry by storm.
Brow lamination is a chemical process that changes the way your hair lies so you can use the length of your brow hair to achieve fuller, fluffier brows without Permanent Makeup This is the ultimate solution for eyebrows that do not have symmetry where the hairs follow a different pattern. With Brow Lamination we can realign the brows in such a way to give the desired shape you want and a fuller look.
This treatment solves the messy brow issue, creates volume and fullness, while giving you a sleek well-kept brow shape for up to 6 weeks.
Please explain the process of how this is done: The first step is cleansing the brows to remove any makeup. Next, a lifting solution is applied. This can be left on between six to ten minutes, depending on the hair texture of the eyebrows. The solution will enable the brow technician to sculpt the brows into the desired shape. The second solution will be applied to approximately the same amount of time. This “fixing” solution sets the brow hair in place.
After the second solution has been removed, the brow technician will shape and trim the brow into the desired shape, tint can be added if needed. The final step of the Brow Lamination is the application of a super-hydrating solution. This moisturizes and seals the hairs. This solution restores the health of the eyebrows and gives them a very shiny finish.
Who do you recommend this treatment for?
– This treatment is great for those overpluckers with thinning eyebrows (should have some brow hair to work with)
– Clients with medium to full existing brows.
– Clients who are growing out their brows
– Clients wanting fuller brows
– Not just for females, but also for males
– Anyone with coarse/messy or downward growing hair.
– Anyone wanting to improve the shape of their eyebrows
– And anyone wanting low maintenance, noninvasive way to fill in gaps and create a fuller brow using their natural brow hair.
– Clients not ready to commit to permanent makeup
Why are you passionate about what you do? A career in the beauty industry gives you a chance to help others. It brings me so much joy and happiness to make people feel beautiful and confident about themselves.
Is it suitable for sensitive skin? Suitable for all skin types except for hypersensitive skin! However, there is a Brow Lamination “Sensitive” Product that just hit the market for all hypersensitive skin.
Is it suitable for people for little/minimal brow hairs? This treatment will be suitable for a client with minimal hair, as long as the client has existing brow hair and a base to work with, without the product sitting directly on the skin.
Quote I live by: Imperfectly Perfect – The word “imperfect” actually spells “I’m perfect” because everyone is perfect in their own imperfect way.
I have been so impressed by Thania’s work, and she was such a joy to spend time with. There are so many offerings that she has at her salon, but I really did want to focus on the brow lamination as I immediately saw such a difference.
All treatments that are available at her salon are Microblading, Microshading, Ombre Brows, Combination Brows, Brow Lamination, Lash Lift and Tint, Brow Sculpting and Tint, and Henna Brows. You can contact her directly through either of her social media pages with any queries you may have, or to book your appointment when lockdown is lifted!
These ladies are changing the world & really shaking up the beauty industry. They are filled with love, & support one another with advice & kindness – which is something we all need rather than competition & putting one another down. I reached out to Lanie post-event & we chatted a bit, whilst I felt more & more enamored by her products & bubbly personality.
Tell me a bit more about what you do:
I create luxurious handcrafted artisan soaps that are made with skin loving oils and butters like olive oil and shea butter, that is moisturising to the skin and also paraben and sulphate free as well as a range of beautiful bath and body products including body butter, bath bombs and a male range called The Bearded Nerd by Lanie.
I chose the feather in my logo as it resembles nature and gentleness – The Lanie products are delicate on the skin just like a feather.
How long have you been running this for: Just over a year. At this stage it is my hobby business, but my dream is to one day be successful enough to do what I love full time every day.
Where did the idea for this business come from:
I bought a handcrafted soap from an amazing lady in the Western Cape. I was amazed at how beautiful the soap looked and smelt. Being curious, I started to read up on cold process soap and what struck me was the fact that it does not harm the environment, it is paraben free, sulphate free and you can craft it to make a 100% vegan soap and even a 100% natural bar of soap. I started to be more conscious of what I put on my skin and soon started to teach myself how to create my own soap. I made my very first soap 21 December 2018 (The best feeling in the world!) and since then I have not bought bar soap from the store. I decided I would love to share with others the magic of using handcrafted soap. Lanie Bath and Body was born 28 February 2019.
What makes your products different to store bought items:
I make my products with a lot of love, kindness and care. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist 😊) All products are handcrafted from scratch in small batches to ensure products are fresh and are of great quality. My products are between 96% and 100% natural.
I believe the energy and vibration you put into the universe will be what you attract. So, I choose to reflect love, kindness and joy. My wish is that the same magic will be felt by each person that uses one of the Lanie products.
Where can people buy your products from:
I have sold some of my products on markets and mainly word of mouth. I am super excited to announce that Lanie Bath and Body will have an online store coming soon! My website will be http://www.laniebathandbody.co.za
For 10% discount on your first order use code IAMLANIE at check out.
Who do you think would enjoy your products:
Anyone that loves pretty stuff and who loves a lot of pink! People who are looking to gift other with something unique and different.
Quote you live by:
“Kindness is a free currency from a well that will never dry up” – Lady Gaga
“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behaviour does.”
I really feel our world desperately needs a lot of love and kindness in order to heal.
Small businesses have been hit the hardest by this nationwide lockdown, & we really need to band together to show our support & purchase the beautiful products that are being produced.
I just had the most stunning bath, & I realised how important it is to take a few minutes out of every day to consciously relax & spend some time on your own self-care. A bath with delicious smelling soaps/bath bombs is my idea of a perfect down time. What do you enjoy most?
Tell me a bit more about what you do: Maria Cosmetics is a company that is focused on educating women on various topics. We saw that women are flocking to watch YouTube videos on Makeup and follow makeup accounts on Instagram. They know all about contouring and eyebrows, but they do not know what the HPV virus is or how to do a proper self-breast examination. We decided to breach that gap by creating a fun and glamorous makeup platform where women can come to for makeup tips, but also to learn about female health and various other topics regarding women.
Have you always wanted to create your own makeup range: Never. I never even wanted to be a makeup artist. After school I went to study Theatre & Film Acting for 3 years. Thereafter I took a gap year where I traveled, waitressed and au paired. When my gap year was over I still wasn’t ready to be an adult. I went on to study a 1 year Journalism course which I didn’t enjoy (I think it wasn’t creative enough for me). Nevertheless I finished it. I’ve always been good at makeup since my mother was a makeup artist. I basically grew up with a makeup brush in one hand and a bottle in the other. I started doing makeup for some extra money. Word got out that I was good and so my business started. What a journey right?
What makes your makeup different to everyone else: The actual makeup: Our lipsticks are wax based. A lot of other lipsticks have fats or oils in them. Fats and oils are what makes lipsticks “go off” quicker. The wax base in the lipstick results in the lipstick staying on for very long, leaves a glamorous matte finish, but it doesn’t dry out the lips.
We also have a range of highlighters called the Hero Highlight (designed to highlight the Hero in you) This is a dual use creamy highlighter that can be used on the high points of the face such as the cheekbones, brow bone or cupids bow or it can be used as an eye shadow. The formula is creamy enough that it sticks to where it is placed and doesn’t leave you with an all over shiny face (like a kid who has had too many spare ribs).
But on the more important side. Even though our products are of high quality and we have put loads of love and care into each one, it is more than just how it looks when you put it on. We want women to carry our lipsticks in their handbag like a weapon. We want them to put on their lipstick like their war paint. It’s not just a lipstick. This is your sword. And no, you are no longer waiting for that prince on a white horse. Because girl, you ARE the warrior on the white horse. And THAT’S what makes our products different.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Sjoh, this is a difficult topic. I can write a book. I feel like people that have never run their own business or started anything of their own, struggle to understand what goes on behind the scenes. It is an emotional rollercoaster. Your business is your child. And every time someone supports you, it’s like your child taking a step. Your child saying their first word. And so, every time someone supports local. They help your entrepreneurial child grow.
How can people order from you: They can shop online and we courier countrywide.
We also currently stock at 2 salons in Cape Town, Northern Suburbs:
Simply Wellness Centre – Verdi Blvd & Langeberg Road, Sonstraal Heights, Cape Town, 7550
Also keep an eye out on our social media pages for our pop up stores and exhibitions.
I know there is a special story behind why you started this – please tell me about this: I was 19 years old when my mother got diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She was only 49. I wasn’t too worried because “mother’s don’t get sick” and there was no doubt in my mind that she was going to beat this. She took everything in her stride and continued to be an amazing example for me. Later, she was really suffering from all the chemo she was receiving, but one thing she never stopped doing, was take pride in herself. She still continued to spray herself with her favourite perfume, she asked me to paint her nails in the hospital, she still wore makeup to her chemo treatments. She watched YouTube videos on how to exotically tie scarfs around your head and wore extravagant earrings with it calling herself “Esmeralda”. To me, she was even more beautiful than before. When I was 23, the cancer had spread to her brain and on the 22nd of August 2016 she sadly passed away. Of course I was devastated. I am an only child and my mother was my best friend. My whole life. I shared everything with her. I thought I was never going to recover from the pain. But from the pain, came something beautiful. I decided to never let her amazing legacy die. And so I started Maria Cosmetics. In the words from the song Vincent “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”
Quote you live by: Find what scares you and run towards it
Anything else you want to add: All our products are named after powerful women in history. If you visit our website, you might be able to recognise some of these phenomenal women. If not, well, maybe you will learn something.
Andrea, I know your mum is so so proud of you!
You have created an empire, & I know that your business is going to continue to rise. Thank you for being a change in the world & for encouraging us all to live our best life. You deserve to be the name on everyone’s lips (excuse the pun!), & I cannot wait to see how Maria Cosmetics will continue to grow.
Thank you for your time, your energy & simply for being you.
When I first started this blog, I reached out to small businesses that I was really interested in, & one of them was Bella Boneca. Megan was so kind to me & we have stayed in contact ever since.
Recently she took over the salon Reverie Beauty Studio in Illovo, JHB & she invited me to go there to have a pamper afternoon. I was so excited as there is nothing better than being made to feel beautiful, having some time just for myself, & simply being spoilt rotten. I finally got some time last week to go through to the salon in Post Office Centre & sat back ready to be pampered.
I walked into the exquisite salon, & was immediately attracted to the classy decor & feel-good vibes that were being extended my way. With stunning black & white wallpaper, & silver accents throughout, you could tell that this salon is all about high class & exclusivity. The therapists are friendly, & I was greeted with a great big smile by Pearl, the salon manager.
Pearl has been doing beauty therapy for over 20 years, & boy does she know her stuff! Her clients are of the utmost importance to her, & she really cares about you. She pours love & attention over you from the moment you walk through the doors & makes you feel like her number one priority. Pearl is a MACHINE when it comes to waxing – I had a half leg, underarm & Hollywood wax done by her in only 20 minutes. I had to check my watch about 4 times to see if that was real as I have never ever had such a quick wax! She told me a little about her life, & you can tell how much she loves her family & how she does everything to ensure that her children have the best life possible.
From here I went on to Joyce, who told me she would be doing a manicure on me. My toenails still haven’t grown back from the chemo, & so I keep my feet hidden for now! Joyce told me her favourite treatment is a pedicure, so I will definitely go back when my feet are not so sensitive & I actually have some nails to paint!
She started off by exfoliating my hands, & then shaped my nails & pushed back my cuticles. I wasn’t having tips put on this time, so luckily my natural nails weren’t too bad!
They have a wide variety of colours & brands to choose from, & I think that’s what took me the longest! Joyce helped me choose complementary colours & got to work with making me feel like a new woman. She told me about her husband, & how he recently fought through his second cancer diagnosis & still recently graduated – despite being so sick & having to take time off for chemo. Talking to her you could tell how much she loves what she does, & her heart is so pure. I felt like I was spending the afternoon with a friend, & loved having proper girly time! Plus having soft hands, & the most fantastic hand massage was just what I needed to actually relax & take my mind off everything else that has been going on.
Thank you so much Megan, Pearl & Joyce for spoiling me so much & helping me feel like a new person. I had such a great time & loved the whole vibe of the salon. I think you can always tell a lot about a salon by how happy the therapists are, & these ladies had only positive things to say about their place of work & their passion for their job. Their clients are all treated with respect & love; which is really the way all humans should be treated.
If you are in the area, I would really recommend you giving them a go!
Meet these special ladies, pamper yourself & allow true relaxation to set in.
When I attended Makeup by Ryno‘s Makeup Masterclass, I was introduced to Burst Brushes. I loved being able to see & feel them for myself, as well as being able to see how amazingly they applied product to the face. And I was completely astounded by the overall quality of them!
These makeup brushes are high quality, beautiful & pretty reasonable for what they are – to give you an idea, you can get brushes from a local pharmacy for much more. These look high-class & definitely make you feel like a pro. I bought some of my own straight away, & am just waiting for the rest of them to be delivered – these babies sold out super quickly at the event due to how wonderful they are.
What makes your brushes different to other brands: We aim to have the best quality at affordable prices. It is on par with the best professional brands out there. We do not endorse bad quality products. We strive to always give the best service possible. We have stockist options available to makeup studios and salons, and an offer income potential for professional makeup artists.
Are you cruelty-free: A wide variety of our brushes are synthetic which translates to being cruelty fee and vegan.
How can people order from you: We have a beautiful and user-friendly website where people can buy from. Delivery takes 2 – 4 working days. We have different payment options, EFT, PayFast and Zapper
Which specific brushes do you think every person should own: That is a very difficult question as people buy according to their own needs and moods. For me personally the stipple foundation brush (FD 05) is a must, a small blusher brush like BL 06 that is very versatile in applying blush, highlight, to contour and blend. A nice soft fluffy brush like BB 01 or BB 05 will take you far. Then of course a brow brush is a must – so either EB 01 or EB 04. I have tutorials on the YouTube channel to show how to use specific brushes.
How should people take care of their makeup brushes: There are a variety of ways to care for your brushes. The fastest way is to spray your brushes with the Quick Fix Brush Cleaner when your brushes gets dirty. For people that shares their brushes, it should be sprayed every time after the application.
Then there is the Brush Wash which is an eco-friendly and safe way to clean and disinfect your brushes. This should be used at least once a month whether you are sharing or not.
Last but not least we have a very mild shampoo that work great to cleans your eyeshadow and powder brushes. It is too mild too clean heavy foundation, you have to use the brush wash for that.
It will be best to have a look on our YouTube Channel for the videos:
Have you always had an interest in makeup: I am a professional makeup artist by trade. But I have a huge love for the tools of the industry. My makeup artistry career started 20 years ago when I won a makeup course, and I never looked back.
Any tips for budding makeup artists: The industry is exciting, but not glamorous by any means. But having the freedom to work with different people and different locations, seeing your work in a magazine or on a billboard is priceless. It is hard work, long hours, mostly spent on your feet, but so rewarding! When you enjoy your work, you will always do your best.
Quote you live by: Be part of something that triggers your imagination!
I am so so excited to continue collecting this range – the difference that high quality brushes makes to your makeup application is enormous! Plus do you want to feel soft, glorious bristles against your skin; or have hard ones stabbing into your eyelid & have half of them falling out along your cheek? It seems pretty simple when I put it like that doesn’t it?!
Let me know if you order some of these beauties for yourself… I would love to know your thoughts.