Makeup Tutorial for Beginners (& Giveaway)

Hello, all of you fabulous peeps! I hope you are doing well and, more particularly, “feeling good / feeling positive” as per the the inimitable Schalk Bezuidenhout;).

I’m super excited to let you know that I’ve uploaded this week’s video on my YouTube channel – a makeup lesson for beginners (given by makeup maestro Monique Du Doit) featuring some awesome product recommendations, nifty application tips and tricks of the trade! As a bonus tip, I also share details of THE BEST microblading and permanent makeup artist in Cape Town, in the description box below the video!

So, grab a hot beverage, hop on over to my YouTube channel and let me know in the comments section if you are enjoying this type of video content and whether you have any specific topics you’d like me to cover!

PS watch till the end and you could win an incredible WET N WILD makeup hamper worth R4000!

With all that being said, and if you didn’t do so before, I hope you are NOW “feeling good and feeling positive!”

Love, Clare x


Best Budget Beauty Buys | my NEW YouTube channel!

You know those friends who talk and talk (and talk) about That Thing they really want to do, and literally NEVER do it? Well, I must confess I was beginning to teeter rather close to the cusp of being That Friend. I literally have been dreaming about starting my own YouTube channel (my version of “That Thing”) since I can remember (well, since I discovered the glorious platform itself, to be more exact). Whilst having a makeover show (MOOIMAAK) on local tv, where I get to take part in some life-changing & incredible transformations) is a big dream come true, the whippersnapper in me (I just love that word) wanted to spread my content “wings” and fly onto a desktop or mobile device near you!

The truth is, I’ve received so many requests from so many women, who just want to feel better about themselves and need some help, advice or guidance, to get there. And, at the end of the day, nothing gives me more joy than sharing insider tips & tricks with anyone who’s keen to seek out the very best version of themselves.

So, with all that being said – it gives me great joy to send you over to my brand new YouTube channel, where I have officially taken The Leap and posted my very first video (one of a series of five makeup tutorials, brought to you by yours truly and some of my favourite makeup artists in the industry)! The channel will cover more than just makeup, but I figured it’s a good (and relatively easy) place to start.

Happy watching, I hope you enjoy and – most importantly – are brought one step closer to meeting that powerful goddess within! As they say, “give a woman the right lipstick and she can conquer the world.” But of course, one person’s lipstick is another’s smokey eyes;). Simply click on the link below to get a soft glam look on a budget!



South African Brands I’m Loving Right Now

Last week was a big one for me: we launched MOOIMAAK Season 3 on Kyknet (the first episode premiered last Thursday, after a veeeeery long and interrupted production period due to COVID) and I am extremely proud and thankful to say that the response we received surpassed our wildest expectations (and my expectations, for one, are usually pretty wild to begin with.) 

So, to celebrate all that our country has to offer  – in terms of talent, beauty and innovation – I thought it appropriate to list a few of my favourite South African brands. Because, after all, local is “die lekkerste” (translation: “the MOST lekker.”)


For all you fellow animal lovers out there looking to spoil your pooches with something special, Chommies makes the most fabulous dog leads & collars. Charlie (our very cheeky Ridgeback who can, at times, be a wee bit Beyoncé) is in love with her Chommies gold and black collar set and, let me just say, she’s not an easy one to please. Without fail, people stop us to ask us where her collar is from.


Multi-talented makeup and hair artist Danielle Jacobs took the opportunity during lockdown to design a range of leisure wear for the style-conscious woman who wants to be comfortable. Because nobody wants to wear jeans when doing emails at home and nobody wants to wear pyjamas to go grab a takeaway coffee. Say goodbye to FGW (Fake Gym Wear, of course) and hello to Danielle’s cosy but chic (and super soft) cardigan sets. Click here to view the Danielle Jacobs Lifestyle the collection.


Technically, not a “brand”, but a design destination par excellence, Babylonstoren has developed a style signature all its own, from its beautifully-designed rooms all the way through to its online shop, which stocks everything from delicious pantry items in pretty packaging to printed linen, textured towels and elegant home ware (pictured below).

Happy browsing and, remember: Christmas is just around the corner. Thank heavens, so is 2021;)

PS If you’re enjoying The Global Critic, sign up on the homepage in the left- hand column, to make sure you get notified every time a new post is up!

You can also find me on Instagram, where I often host fun giveaways, @clarewiesewentzel.

Love, Clare.

The Five Active Ingredients You Actually Need In Your Skincare Regime

I’m not sure about you, but I – for one – have often found the world of beauty & skincare to be a rather overwhelming minefield of rules, tips, product must-haves and recommendations. Even as host and creator of MOOIMAAK (South Africa’s most amazing makeover show, if I have to say so myself;), I have personally struggled to cut through all the marketing, tutorials and influencing, to get right to the bones of it all: what are the products (or, rather, the ingredients) I most need to be investing in and what exactly will they do for my skin?

I can only imagine how daunting a process it must be to get onto the right skincare regime, if you simply don’t have time for hours and hours of research or aren’t surrounded by world-class skincare experts as part of your job.

Seeing as I get asked so often by friends & family for advice on “where to start,” let me give you a quick, and hopefully helpful, summary of the key active ingredients you might need in your at-home skincare regime. This is based on months and years of speaking to top skincare experts around me, doing my own research and, most importantly, seeing the (sometimes unbelievable) effects of these ingredients on our candidates, many of whom appear 10 years younger after 3 months of using the them. I can honestly say…they (freakin’) work!

What are active ingredients? They are biologically active substances, found in cosmetic product formulations, that have been scientifically shown to have a physiological effect on the skin (eg by lightening pigmentation or reversing signs of ageing). If your skincare routine does not include them, you’re missing out – big time.


If you’ve spent any time researching skincare (on any of the leading skincare or anti-aging Youtube blogs or channels), you will no doubt have come across rave reviews and life-changing testimonials about retinol. This derivative of Vitamin A is pretty much seen as the gold-standard anti-ageing ingredient by dermatologists and beauty experts worldwide.

The anti-ageing benefits of retinol are vast, with its ability to repair sun damaged skin, reduce the appearance of pores, treat acne and combat pigmentation. It’s an all-in-one anti-ageing, skin-transforming powerhouse.

Please note: retinols can irritate the skin and need to be introduced “low and slow” (at a low concentration and weekly intervals) under the supervision of your dermatologist or skin care therapist. Use retinol at night and always wear sunscreen during the day. Retinol is not safe during pregnancy or when trying to conceive.


Vitamin C definitely deserves a spot second on this list, given its cult status as another anti-ageing hero. Its range of benefits includes preventing ageing, repair damaged skin and, well, making your skin look “lit from within.” It helps the formation of new collagen and defends the skin against free radicals, which cause ageing. Another big reason for this ingredient’s popularity it its ability to improve or lighten hyperpigmentation.

There are many types of Vitamin C on the market, but according to my extremely smart friends at Lamelle, it’s best to look for products that contain L-Ascorbic Acid (the golden standard for Vitamin C) specifically. Introduce Vitamin C slowly, as it might take a while for your skin to adjust to it.


Growth factors play a key role in maintaining healthy skin structure and function. They aid the building of collagen and elastic fibers which keep skin soft, supple and plump-looking! Many of our MOOIMAAK makeover candidates this season all became mildly obsessed with the iconic and intensely hydrating Lamelle Dermaheal Growth Factor Sheet Mask after trying it. Just click on the link and see for yourself (the customer reviews are pretty glowing;).


HA is the much-loved miracle molecule that can hold up to a thousand times its own weight in water, meaning it hydrates and plumps the skin as no other active can. Try adding HA to your routine, in serum form.


Alpha-hydroxy acids like lactic, kojic, mandelic or glycolic acid, work like a bomb to get rid of the pore-clogging dead cells that can sit upon the surface of your skin, dulling your glow and making it harder for all other active ingredients products to actually get in there and work.


Last but not least, I’ve said it a thousand times and I will keep on saying it: most of the ageing we see on our faces (and necks and bodies) are due to sun damage. Prevention is better than cure, people! Wear your SPF every day, come rain or sun, whether you’re inside or out (UVA light penetrates right through window glass and blue light from your computer or phone causes photo-ageing too ). This is your single biggest weapon when it comes to defying the ageing process! Know it and use it.

The Beginner’s Guide To Decluttering A Home

So, to say that I like things organised, lined up and neat-looking would be about as understated as Donald Trump’s hair. Sadly, as much as I would have loved to be a care-free, easy breezy Rachel, I’m definitely more of an “if it’s not a right angle, it’s a wrong angle” Monica, and that’s just the way it is.

Let me start this post then by sharing with you the binge-worthy Netflix series I’m mildly obsessed with right now. It’s called Get Organized, presented by Clea and Joanne, professional organisers to the stars and owners of Instagram-famous The Home Edit. If you haven’t yet seen it, bought the book or been prompted to re-organise your entire life by it, I’m tempted to believe you’ve been hiding…underneath piles of clothing or unopened mail perhaps. Watch it, love it and get inspired to live a life free of clutter, with everything in Rainbow Order. Check out Jordana Brewster’s fridge below.

In a close second spot, is the other little “series” (Youtube-based) I’m a big fan of, by neat queen Khloe Kardashian, aptly named “Khlo-C-D.” Khloe, a long-time client of The Home Edit, also features in one of Get Organised’s episodes, where her huge garage gets a massive makeover.

Khloe inside her pretty perfect pantry

So, given my personal love of all things organised, as well as the global stir most recently caused by the Get Organized and its marvellous home makeovers, I thought it apt to share with you some basic ideas to get you started on editing your (own) home and, ultimately, your life. After all, home is where the heart is.


Whether you’re willing to invest in wooden hangers, lighter-weight velvet hangers or want to keep expenses to a minimum with plastic hangers, either way – get rid of all those mix ‘n match hangers in your cupboard & buy a matching set once and for all – same colour, same material. There is nothing that transforms a wardrobe quicker and will make everything in it look that much more beautiful. Take the plunge, your clothes are worth it!


Keep similar items together (“floor & tile cleaners”, “laundry detergent & fabric softeners”, “bin bags”) and contain, contain, contain – in clear stackable bins! It looks better, you’ll find things easier and keeping the house clean (as well as organised) will be less of a chore and more of a pleasure!


I recently bought myself the tiniest but most practical little cup-holder-fitting car bin, and – let me tell you – it’s a life-changer. Why on earth would a person need a car bin, you ask? Well, let me count the things I for one, rather frequently need to dispose of, mid-drive: disposable face masks, empty takeaway coffee cups, parking receipts, naartjie peels or apple cores, gum wrappers…the list goes on. What do use to dispose of it in? You guessed it: my teeny tiny little car bin. I highly recommend.


Wherever your plastic bags are living (safely assuming you recycle and re-use), if they’re not living in a wall-mounted plastic bag container, they’re not living their best life – and, quite frankly, neither are you. I’m no fan of plastic and try to avoid it as much as possible, but – when receiving something in plastic, I always store, recycle and reuse, as many times as possible. This unit isn’t the prettiest one I’ve seen, but it’s cost-effective and will will give you a good idea of what to look out for.


We spend so much time on our laptops or computers: we use it to communicate, watch things, read & research. If your desktop is littered with a countless number of folder icons – do yourself a favour and clean that s-)*t up! I suggest opening a free Dropbox account and keeping all your folders, currently on your desktop, in there. You can still access it all from your desktop, but when you open up your laptop – instead of being bombarded with a million visual cues of things that are on your to-do list, you’re greeted with a far more calming and uplifting screen saver of your choice: whether it be a photograph of a loved one or an aesthetic wallpaper featuring a saying that inspires you. Life is hectic, full and busy – you don’t need your desktop (often used in the pursuit of getting things done) to be that too!

And, lastly, remember: good things take time. If it’s important to you to clear out your space and make room for things that spark joy, don’t feel overwhelmed. Just start. Somewhere. Remember: CHANGE IS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT. Much like life.


Love, Clare.

The Anti-Ageing Treatment You Need To Know About

(PREFACE | Let me start by saying, I know was supposed to do a celery juice update this week, but – alas – I feel it would be premature, so I’ll be posting on my celery journey within the next few weeks, when I have certainty that the results I seem to be experiencing are legitimate and CJD (“celery juice derived”). In case you’re new to the blog and have no idea what I am on about, click here.)

So, from celery juice to skin, this week I decided to let you guys in on an anti-ageing treatment that has the entire aesthetic industry (and I) rather excited right now. I first considered doing a post on the space-age-sounding Morpheus 8 treatment this last weekend, after hosting a private premiere of MOOIMAAK Season 3, my makeover television show. You know a procedure is (objectively) amazing when your family and closest friends (typically, not ones to be “polite”) ask you to pause the episode they’re watching and please repeat the name of the treatment that has your makeover candidate looking a gob-smacking 15 years younger than she did at the beginning of said episode.


I subsequently noticed the Morpheus 8 being used in almost every episode of Netflix’s latest makeover series, Skin Decision: Before & After featuring well-known Hollywood aesthetician Nurse Jaime and plastic surgeon Dr Sheila Nazarian. I figured if it’s a go-to treatment for Nurse Jaime (who counts the Kardashians, Huda Kattan and Jessica Alba as clients and has the entire spectrum of high-tech beauty treatments at her manicured fingertips), it’s obviously one of the world’s best modalities right now. (As an aside: I have yet to try any of them, mainly because they’re always sold out, but Nurse Jaime’s at-home beauty tools also get rave reviews. Her Beauty Stamp is on my list to try next.)

Instead of pulling research off the web and getting too technical about things, I thought it best to post some before/after images of what the Morpheus 8 is capable of and, of course, speak to someone “on the ground.” Who better than our brilliant MOOIMAAK aesthetician Mazanne (of Laserderm) who, together with her world-class team, is responsible for giving our candidates (and our show, for that matter) a fabulous “face lift” this season?

Mazanne, what makes the Morpheus 8 different to everything else out there? Its cutting-edge technology provides a combination of two powerful anti-ageing technologies (collagen induction through microneedling and tightening/remodelling of skin via radio frequency) in one pulse. Morpheus 8 works on almost any area of the body and is perfect for patients that are not ready or do not want surgery.

What is Morpheus 8 best at? Tightening, remodelling and resurfacing skin.

If you’re between the ages of 24 and 39, you can expect visible skin rejuvenation. For younger clients, we work on a more superficial depth of about 0.25mm, which assists with more effective product absorption.

If you’re between 40 and 55, it will help with resurfacing (getting rid of the old and stimulating the new). We only “thermally treat” 20% of the skin, leaving the remaining 80% untouched, which assists in the healing process and renders the procedure safe for darker skins at risk of hyperpigmentation.

If you are between 56 and 74, it can help with remodelling (“pinching” the fat under the skin to create a tighter appearance). This is similar to the manner in which a hot pan can “shrink.” However, at this age, depending on the amount of excess skin the client has, plastic surgery might be a better option. Every case must be assessed individually.

How many sessions are needed? We like to do a first series of 2 to 4 sessions, 3 to 4 weeks apart. We then give the skin a 90-day “break” to allow for the desired regeneration and the production of new collagen. We then reassess and, typically, repeat the treatment twice a year after that, to help maintain results.

What is the cost involved? It starts from R6000 per session, depending on your concerns and goals.

Is it painful? We use a topical anaesthetic to make the patient more comfortable. It is not exactly relaxing, but it’s nothing unbearable.

How long is the downtime? For two days to two weeks post procedure, the skin is “actively working” to repair the controlled injuries. A bit of redness, bruising and swelling can be expected after your treatment, and small scabs might form in the areas that have been treated.

How does it compare to regular microneedling and/or radio frequency treatments? It’s a matter of walking there vs sprinting there: the one combined treatment will work faster than the other two.

OK, and if one wants to fly there…and arrive with a halo? Then we would combine the Morpheus 8 with our Lumecca photo facial (light-based) treatment: this combination is strikingly effective and we often combine these for our clients wanting to take ten years off, without surgery. The skin will continue to look younger and more brilliant over time with most visible results appearing after one or two weeks.

So, to conclude: what really has me excited about the Morpheus 8 is the remarkable results I’ve seen it have on SNS (“sagging neck skin”): one of the most pesky age giveaways besides our hands and our ears (yes, ear wrinkles are a real thing and, quite frankly, too depressing to get into here.) The bottom line is: no amount of botox, fillers or threads can do what this little hand-held miracle device can do, when it comes to tightening and lifting our delicate neck skin – an area that was for a long time notoriously difficult to treat. To me, that’s a major breakthrough. I have yet to try it out myself, as I’m busy with one helluva detox right now (again, a topic for another day) and staying away from topical anaesthesia, but – you can bet your bottom dollar – once I’m retoxing, after detoxing, the Morpheus 8 and I will schedule a proper date. 

Hope you’re all keeping happy & healthy!

Love, Clare. 

PS | This post was in no way sponsored by Morpheus 8, Laserderm or any other organisation, nor will I receive any referral commissions for this post. 


Three Beauty Secrets I Swear By

Hey guys! It’s been one of Those Days and, quite frankly, one of Those Weeks. So, this is going to be a quickie but (hopefully, still) a goodie! My aim with this blog is and always has been to share with you the tips, tricks & trends that excite me – the things I would and do often share IRL (in real life) with my best girlfriends. So let me get to it!

For Brooke Shields Bushy Brows

Meet RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum, the younger sister of the more well-known & award-winning RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum. Having experienced the lash-growing wonders of RapidLash first-hand a few years ago, I decided to give RapidBrow a go, to see if it could really take my brows from should-have-listened-to-my-mom over-plucked status to Brooke Shields bushy.


After about one month (yes, it takes time) of religiously applying the serum to my brows, I knew it was working when my mom (who’s clearly got a thing for brows) started asking whether I could please immediately share with her my brow-enhancing secret. When this was followed by my regular makeup artist Monique Du Toit asking me one evening what the **** I had been doing to get my brows so bushy, I knew the stuff had to be working. (One, of course, loses sight of these changes when they happen rather slowly.) But happen they did and…if you, too, have been dealing with Pluck Regret for much too long, you’re welcome & enjoy! Just remember to give it time to work.

Please forgive the randomness of the images I’ve used here – but, as I said, it’s been one of Those Days, and I simply want to give you enough visual evidence of the brow-formation I experienced, in case you don’t believe me;)


Should you, too, have a slight brow-obsession, click here to check out an earlier blog post I wrote on alternative & complementary ways to beautify your brows.

For Anti-Ageing While You Sleep

I’ve recently (on the set of MOOIMAAK, to be exact) discovered the life-altering magic of sleeping on a pure silk pillow case. Why “life-altering” you wonder? Because, if such a heavenly product exists that is pausing or preventing the formation of wrinkles, whilst I sleep, without having to bat an eyelid (or shall I say “during the batting of eyelids”), that’s pretty much a game-changer for me. Add to that the fact that the average person sleeps for about 26 years of their life (basically a third of your life, either way), I could not get my hands on a silk pillow case fast enough.


How does a silk pillow case “anti-age” (not sure that’s a verb, but it should be), while you sleep? Here are three of the many ways:

  • Silk prevents wrinkles and sleep lines due to reduced friction between the silk and the skin;
  • It absorbs less moisture than other fabrics, meaning the natural oils in your skin stay where they belong (on your skin) as does any expensive night serums you’ve so generously applied;
  • If you buy the right brand, it is free of any harmful chemicals or dyes and is a natural, organic fabric.

If you’re keen to read more about the wonders of sleeping on silk or ready to invest in a Peace Silk pillow case, click here.

For Blitzing Breakouts

When you’re prone to serious breakouts and work in television, where stints on set often run up to six 12-hour days in a row, you need all the anti-acne weapons you can get. The camera doesn’t lie, after all, and caking and baking your face in makeup (to hide those pesky spots) only makes matters worse.

Enter my weapon of choice (other than an entire lineup of breakout-fighting products, of course): the NuDerma Portable Handheld High Frequency Skin Therapy Wand Machine. With 4553 reviews on Amazon (with an average of 4,5 stars and an “Amazon’s Choice” badge), I figured it was worth a shot when buying it some time ago and, let’s just say, I have not looked back. Although some of the different attachments are supposed to work on wrinkles, hair follicle stimulation and more, I’ve only ever used it to blitz breakouts and I can say with a heart full of confidence: this wand is magic. Although it can’t erase all acne overnight, I find the healing or recovery time from Pizza Face to TV-Ready to be about two to three times quicker than when I don’t use it. If you need a more scientific explanation, herewith an extract from the product page: “high frequency treatment kills the bacteria directly beneath the skin while simultaneously providing a natural boost of cellular energy to both kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation at the same time.”


That’s it from me guys – I’ll be back next week. I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy & happy!



why I’m hopping on the celery juice bandwagon

I first heard about the Celery Juice Craze some time ago, from a friend who is a private chef and rather aux fait with what the ever-manicured, athleisure-wearing Atlantic Seaboard crowd are into, at any given time. Suffice it to say, I was interested… but not convinced. Even though I have always been inclined towards a more holistic approach to health than what conventional medicine allows and have seen first-hand the power of the mind-body-spirit connection when it comes to wellness, it still sounded too good (and perhaps too simple) to be true. I wanted, as always, to do my own research.

medical-medium-awI started my investigation on the website of Anthony William, aka “the Medical Medium” who is credited for pioneering the controversial celery juice movement and who counts the likes of Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr and goopy Gwyneth Paltrow as loyal fans. World tennis champion Novak Djokovi believes “Anthony has turned numerous lives around for the better with the healing powers of celery juice.” (Yes, he is a so-called Medical Medium, whatever that may be, but – to be honest – his personal quirks and beliefs are, at least to me, a separate and almost irrelevant issue. Rather, the question I was and am really interested in, is: “is  drinking celery juice every day, on an empty stomach, really going to change my life?”)

I asked around and everyone I spoke to who had personally tried the celery juice cleanse, had only good things to say about it: they raved about weight loss, clearer skin, improved digestion, to name a few. I also watched a fair share of (hopefully honest) Youtube videos made by individuals who had given it a bash. The feedback, across the board, seemed overwhelmingly (and almost unbelievably) positive.

So, what exactly are these “healing powers of celery juice” you ask and why might you care? Well, the list of ailments that a daily, undiluted amount of 500ml (16 oz) is said to address and potentially alleviate, includes:

  • chronic skin issues;
  • long-standing and serious digestive issues;
  • a lack of energy;
  • unstable moods and anxiety;
  • brain fog (if this is looking for your phone or keys while it’s in your hand, I have brain snow never mind brain fog); and
  • weight loss resistance.

According to Williams, “people are healing from all kinds of acute and chronic illnesses, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, SIBO, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome, blood sugar issues, migraines, acid reflux, high blood pressure, addictions, adrenal issues, gout, allergies, autoimmune conditions and countless others, from drinking plain celery juice daily.”


So, yes, in a nutshell, it (still) sounds too good to be true. But, as mentioned above, I have seen enough times in my life how the simplest solutions are often the best ones. So, I have committed to becoming a “celery juicer” for the next two weeks and am currently on Day 2. The best case scenario for me would probably. be a some weight loss (yes, sadly, vanity always wins), crystal clear skin (my skin has been suffering from some serious maskne), sharper mental focus (my self-diagnosed ADD has been getting out of control) and a bit more get-up-and-go in the mornings. That being said, I am open to any other Unexpected Miracle Cures celery juice wants to throw my way. What have I got to lose? Nothing really, except perhaps a large amount of fridge space (my husband is doing it with me) and a bit of respect for Gwyneth. (I don’t know why I’m picking on her, but being a long-standing and loyal GOOP fan who looks the other way when she puts weird things in weird places, I expect more from her than the others;)

This is the protocol I have followed for the last two days and will continue for the next twelve days at least:

  • every morning, drink 16 ounces (500ml) or more of celery juice on an empty stomach;
  • make sure it’s fresh, plain celery juice with no other ingredients added to it;
  • celery juice is a medicinal, not a caloric drink, so you’ll still need breakfast afterward to energise you through the morning – wait at least 15 to 30 minutes after drinking your celery juice before consuming anything else;
  •  if you’re sensitive and 16 ounces (500ml) is too much for you, start with a smaller amount and work your way up;
  • use organic celery whenever possible. If you’re using conventional celery, be sure to wash it especially well before juicing it;
  • you can use a blender to make your juice (make sure to remove the pulp (strain it) with a nut milk bag or muslin cloth) but using a juicer is preferable.

If you’re considering joining me on the bandwagon, please note:

Alright, guys, that’s all from me for now. I will most certainly be doing an update on my celery juice journey in two weeks’ time, so watch this space and bottoms up!


Clare x


The Best Budget Beauty Buys According To The Pros

If 2020 has taught us anything (other than confirming what Forrest Gump knew a long time ago, namely that “you never know what you’re gonna get”), it’s that we can’t be too careful with how we spend our money, as the next financial crisis might always be just around the corner. I’m sorry to start on such a downer, but the truth, unlike good make-up, can be ugly.

That being said, however, my personal fascination with budget beauty must-haves is certainly not new. Discovering bargain buys that work is much like wearing a great Zara top with a designer pair of shoes: the aim is to look like a “million dollars”  rather than actually spend it.

I thus thought it wise to ask two of my go-to MUAs (that’s Insta-speak for Make-Up Artists, of course;) for the most affordable products they’re loving right now. (I don’t earn a commission from any of the products mentioned hereunder, nor do the artists I interviewed. You can thus rest assured these tips are as real as Lockdown Level 2 and the need to wear a mask).

Meet Andrea van den Houten, a gorgeous & talented artist who’s worked on various film and television productions as the on-set make-up pro in charge of getting presenters (such as Jeannie D and myself) camera-ready. Andy is also passionate about editorial beauty shoots and, in my humble opinion, she’s One To Watch. 

Check out the visual feast that is her Instagram account by following @andreavdh.makeupartist. There’s nobody that nails a halo smoke or a bushy brow quite like this girl can.

Andrea’s Best Budget Beauty Buys

  1. Essence I Love Crazy Volume Mascara (approx R59) | “This product creates INSANE volume and length and is easy to remove.” 
  2. Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (approx R119) | According to the pro makeup artist, “if you are looking for a brow gel to brush up your brows which sets them in place and DOES NOT move, this is your friend. Because it is a tinted gel, it also creates fuller looking brows.” 
  3. Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation (approx R147) | “This foundation has a beautiful silky matte effect. It’s also conveniently buildable – layer it on to spots or areas requiring concealer or sheer it down with a moisturiser or primer if you’re having a Good Skin Day and only need a light retouch.”
  4. NYX Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm (approx R379.95) | Andy believes that “if you love practicality, this product is for you. It’s a versatile, pocket-sized palette with a wide variety of neutrals to suit all skin tones. Use it to achieve an easy everyday make-up look or a more intense evening beat.” 
  5. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals (approx R109.95) |”This affordable highlighter will give you a beautiful, natural glow which can be worn day or night for healthy-looking skin,” says Andy. 

The-Global-Critic-Budget-BuysTo give you guys as many tips as possible (I’m generous like that;), I also asked international make-up artist Monique Du Toit, another regular on the MOOIMAAK set, for her favourite thrifty thrills. Monique specialises in bridal beauty and has her own agency, representing some of Cape Town’s top make-up and hair artists.

See why Monique gets flown across the globe by picky brides on Instagram @moniquedutoitmakeupartist

Monique’s Best Budget Beauty Buys

  1. Real Techniques Flawless Base Set (approx R399)| “Real Techniques makes the best affordable brushes for everyday make-up applications – you can buy them in sets and they are very affordable,” enthuses Monique. 
  2. LA Girl Ultimate Intense Stay Auto Lipliner in Keep It Spicy (approx R90) | “This must-have daily nude has some serious staying power,” according to the pro. 
  3. Catrice Sun Lover Glow Bronzing Powder  (approx R99) | “I love an all-in-one product like this bronzer/highlighter, I use it on my cheeks and as an eye shadow,” raves Monique
  4. Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick (approx R140) “A wide range of colours to choose from and a comfortable wear that lasts for hours” is what made this product earn a spot in Monique’s top five. 
  5. NYX HD Studio Photogenic Translucent Finishing Powder (R189.95) | “This powder is fine and mineral-based, softening wrinkles and giving pores a smooth finish. It’s colourless, so works well on all skin tones,” says Monique.

There you have it, ladies. Ten highly recommended beauty products that won’t break the bank, from two highly recommended professional make-up artists.




My Latest Online Skincare Obsession

Hi guys! So, I know, it’s been a while…over two years to be exact. (Insert see-no-evil monkey / super embarrassed emoji). Turns out consistency, self-discipline and routine are not my strong points. Perhaps my husband was right (this one time;).

What I am relatively good at, though (just ask any of my long-distance friends) is “picking up where I left off” – with just as much, if not more, enthusiasm than before. And, to be fair, what I am worse at than self-discipline and consistency is having too much free time. Having wrapped filming for Season 3 of MOOIMAAK (my South African makeover television series), it turns out my excessively long list of Things I Am Going To Do As Soon As I Have Time, is not all that riveting. I’d much rather be sharing some of my best lifestyle tips, tricks & discoveries with all of you, my lovely followers.

OK, so now that we’ve gotten the small talk out of the way, I want to share with you probably my biggest and best beauty discovery of 2020. Let me introduce (if you have not yet heard of, tried or fallen wildly in love with them) Dermastore.

As the name suggests, Dermastore is an online store, specialising in skincare. Not just any skincare though, a carefully curated selection of the world’s best cosmeceutical product ranges – the types you’ll have seen Hollywood actresses use in their night-time regimes, if you’ve ever watched an episode of Harper’s Bazaar “Go To Bed With Me” on Youtube.

Having been founded by leading dermatologist Dr Ian Webster, the site has an amazing built-in (and free) “prescription” tool. This means that – without having to get out of your PJs or put on a mask – you can fill out an online questionnaire and get given a personalised product regime (whether your main concern is fine lines, deep wrinkles, sun damage, hormonal pigmentation, dehydration or acne), as prescribed by Dr Webster.

The Skin Assessment is fun, free and fast and (even if you don’t buy anything) it’s a great place to start learning about active ingredients (I’ll do a post on this later, but – for now – just know that if your skincare regime does not include active ingredients, you’re wasting your time and money). If you have any questions, a skin care therapist is available during business hours on the “live chat” function for instant answers! I always have a million questions and am pretty high up on the impatience spectrum, so – for me – this is a game-changer.

A few other things that have made me an unapologetic Dermastore addict:

  • they deliver nationwide in South Africa within 2-4 or 3-5 days, depending on where you are. They delivered some products to our MOOIMAAK director recently, who lives in Hoekville, with free-roaming cattle as her neighbours;
  • with every purchase, you always get a bunch of free samples to try;
  • their site is super informative: I often spend time reading up on all things from “pigmentation” to “seasonal tips” as, with so much junky knowledge on the internet, I’m super grateful for Dr Webster’s free (and science-backed) tips.
MOOIMAAK Season 2 | BEFORE & AFTER (non-surgical makeover)

The world of skincare can be vast and overwhelming. I often find so many women don’t do anything, because they simply don’t know where to start. I, too, am a regular victim of analysis paralysis. With so many product ranges, skin concerns and ingredient types out there, the whole thing can become a migraine-causing minefield. The great news is Dermastore is right at your fingertips and, in 2 to 5 days, the perfect products for you can be right outside your door.

May your best skin ever be on its way!

Stay safe & healthy,

Love, Clare.