With news of the recent fires breaking out in Knysna and Cape Town, I’ve often caught myself wondering, “what would I save”? If I was told by authorities that our home would soon go up in flames, which items would I struggle to imagine my future without? The answer is easy: photographs, photographs and more photographs.
Why? Firstly, because I have the memory of a scatter-brained gold fish and rely heavily on photographic evidence to remind me of past events and, secondly, because, well, time just flies by so damn quickly & photos are a precious, invaluable way to capture those fleeting yet magical moments in life that we wish to have “emotional access” to forever.
I am always the one arranging a professional photographer at special family occasions, anniversaries or birthdays. I have also had the somewhat challenging (read “impossible”) task of begging for and co-ordinating group family shoots in the past: everyone ALWAYS moans at first (we do enjoy a good moan) and, then, years later, cannot thank me enough for having persevered;)!
So, fires and families aside: if you – like me – are a sucker for sentimentality or just otherwise completely photo-obsessed, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to someone whom I believe to be one of Cape Town’s leading portrait photographers, Marguerite Oelofse. Marguerite was one of the official photographers at our wedding last year and, most recently, I asked her to take the final Big Reveal photos of our makeover contestants on the popular television show, Mooimaak (as seen on kykNET in South Africa & on Showmax in the USA).
Here are some examples of Marguerite’s exquisite photos that have a signature “fine art” or painterly quality to them & a cool, avant garde edge:
…and here are some examples of her awesome black & white work (I need to cuddle that pony):
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS INCREDIBLY AMAZING, LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE OFFER
Two days only: Sunday 29 Oct 2017 & Sunday 5 November 2017.
I recently decided it was time for The Global Critic’s first fashion & beauty editorial series. It all happened quite serendipitously (which, in my opinion, is how the best things always happen). My dear friend Jean-Pierre Uys let me know he would be in town for a few days and was keen to collaborate.
JP is recognised as one of the world’s best wedding photographers (which is why I had no choice but to “import” him from New York to be the head photographer at our wedding, published in WedLuxe Magazine’s Global Trend Report last year).
A few days prior to his arrival, my father and I had attended the official opening of the Royal Portfolio’s magnificent new Silo Hotel in Cape Town (hosted at its incredible rooftop bar with unparalleled views of the Mother City). The five-star hotel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). I could not think of a location more desirable for this particular blog series.
The Silo graciously opened up one of their penthouses to us, where my glam squad and I spent the day taking an insane amount of photographs, sipping on champagne and gazing at the spectacular sunset over Lion’s Head (whilst Renee and Gilbert were taking about 5000 selfies). If only all my “days at the office” were this much fun!
WHAT I WORE
I wanted to give you a peek into my very own wardrobe (nothing sponsored, nothing borrowed) for the first of this 3-part series. For this (Part 1) I chose a cocktail ensemble I’m currently loving. I pretty much live by the rule “I’ll wear anything, as long as it’s black” and I always try to wear a variety of textures, when wearing only one colour, such as suede (pointy heels) and lace (crop top by Alessia). The pencil skirt is from Zara, the thin beaten gold vermeil ring I am wearing is from one of my all-time favourite jewellery designers, Monica Vinader, and the statement black cocktail ring is a costume piece from Saint Laurent, which my husband gave me years ago during a holiday in Thailand (when I thought he was going to propose;).I love the elegant and effortless simplicity of this outfit, which (as long as you haven’t had too many carbs at lunch;) works well for after-work drinks, cocktail parties or date nights.
MY HAIR & MAKEUP
HAIR | Gilbert (thank heavens for this man) gave my hair a soft, relaxed wave to soften this look and lend some romance to it, using his trusty Kardashian Beauty curling tong and his mad skills, of course. He is almost so good I don’t want to advertise him, as I’m worried I’ll no longer get appointments! I always keep loose waves in place with a light misting of the iconic best-selling hairspray, L’ORÉAL Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray. It’s affordable and works like a bomb!
MAKEUP | Renee (no 1 on my glam squad speed dial) used the following makeup products on my face to work some serious Cinderella magic and create a soft, smokey eye with dewy skin: Sensai Mascara, Chanel Espresso Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Warm Eye Shadow Palette and Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Highlighting Compact (one of my all-time favourite beauty products). If you’re a beauty junkie like me, read my recent interview with Renee where she shares her best-kept beauty & makeup secrets.
WITH MY SINCEREST THANKS TO THE WORLD’S BEST GLAM SQUAD
Meet Reneé De Wit, makeup artist extraordinaire. I first came into contact with this insanely talented creature when she painted my face for my 21st birthday party. Since then, I have come to rely on Reneé for many more of those momentous occasions when faces had to be painted, perfectly.
It’s no wonder then that she holds a very special place in my Little Black Book but also in my heart. Believe me, I wouldn’t have let just anyone do my makeup on my wedding day. This self-proclaimed Bridezilla certainly held no prisoners (I still don’t know how she put up with me, one makeup trial after the next, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some mild tranquillisers were involved).
As gorgeous as she is talented (a double threat for sure), Renee’s portfolio is both vast and impressive. Her work has been featured in several leading international magazines (including Vogue and Marie Claire UK) and she has beautified the cover girls of over 30 print publications (including Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated). Last but not least, her magic hands have transformed the faces of serious celebrities like Petra Nemcova, Steffi Graff, Julie Walters and Bonang Matheba, to name a few.
Makeup by RDW
Makeup by RDW
Makeup by RDW
Here, Reneé divulges (super generously, I might add), some of the beauty industry’s best-kept secrets, her personal must-have makeup products and some really nifty tricks of the trade.
What led you to becoming a professional makeup artist?
As a child i was the youngest of four daughters and and I grew up doing my sisters’ makeup for parties and matric dances. My natural love of makeup artistry eventually developed into a career and, by the age of 21, I was spending half of my time in London and the other half in Cape Town, working on fashion editorials and catalogues.
Tell us about your big break?
I was 19 years old and working as a fashion assistant to the late Sue Ferrier, then fashion director of Elle magazine in South Africa. Sue encouraged me to follow my dreams and gave me the opportunity to do makeup on an Elle fashion editorial.
Who has been your makeup mentor?
I was mentored by Algria Ferreira, widely regarded as the doyenne of the South African makeup world. I first met Algria when, at age 16, I was booked as a model on a knitwear shoot. That day, Algria’s makeup made me feel more beautiful than I had ever felt! I realised then the effect that makeup can have on a woman’s confidence and my love affair with makeup grew even stronger. I am so grateful for my years in the modelling world, where I got to learn the tricks of the trade first-hand, from the best in the business.
When you’re not waving your magic makeup brushes, which other creative outlets do you enjoy?
Baking (especially with my girls) and interior decoration.
A few years ago, you launched a mobile makeup agency called Gorgeous2Go, which has become a huge hit with the Cape Town crowd (myself included). What prompted you to start this business?
Renee, in her element
There was a demand in the Capetonian market for a high-end makeup, hair and beauty concierge service. We thus offer clients an array of services, including makeup applications (for social events), hair styling, personalised makeup lessons, spray tans and manicures, all of which can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
The artists we represent have been hand-selected and all of their portfolios are available on our website. Our aim is to be a one-stop mobile shop for all things beauty-related. You can visit our website for more information.
I find the idea of traveling to a spa for a massage, only to get up after 60 or 90 minutes of near-comatose bliss (to get dressed, make payment, pay for parking) almost completely counter-productive. Except, of course, when I’m staying at some isolated resort on some exotic island and getting a massage is likely the most ‘active’ thing I’ll do all day;)
To me, no amount of classical background music, fluffy white robes or spa-induced zen can compete with the utter luxury of having my masseur come to me. Assuming, of course, the masseur in question knows what he or she is doing and has strong hands. In my experience, a bad massage (when your masseur tickles your back with the strength of a doom-sprayed mosquito) is worse than no massage at all – especially for us neurotic control freak types who struggle with sitting still.
I’d like to introduce you to a fabulosu friend of mine, Norbert Rossel, a highly qualified sports masseur, who ticks all the boxes: he’s mobile (although he also practices from an exclusive guest house in Cape Town), has hands of steel and decades of experience. Originally from Germany, where he once assisted the national Olympic swim team, Norbert now lives and works in Cape Town. Besides massage, Norbert is qualified in physiotherapy, sports science, chiropractic and acupuncture, with a particularly extensive knowledge of the world’s most cutting-edge holistic therapies. Let’s just say he’s on my speed dial and I can’t live without him.
Details If you live in Cape Town, contact Norbert on 084-582-5323 to book your appointment. He is able to travel within the greater Cape Town area at no additional cost. Norbert works only via word of mouth, so – if you decide to give him a call – please tell him I referred you.
I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world and, often, on these trips, I have had the need for a good blow dry (as one does): whether it be for a special event or just to lift my mood and restore my ‘chi’ after a long-haul international flight.
To my perpetual dismay, however, regardless of how many pounds or dollars I’ve spent at the latest/hottest/most exclusive hair salons dotted across the globe, I have yet to come across a hair stylist who can inject my hair with as much bouncy, volumising, root-lifted body as Lameez Barendse at HAIR on Kloof Nek Road in Cape Town (021-422-2269). She uses all the tricks (volumising mousse, velcro curlers, curling tongs, hair spray and good old-fashioned backcombing) to get the job done and to get it to last. She’s super quick too, which, to me, is a plus.
I met Lameez one rainy Saturday morning, about 5 years ago, when she was still working at AURA in Green Point. I waltzed in looking for someone to fix my at-home-fringe-cutting disaster. And there she was. She fixed it in a jiffy and didn’t even charge me. I’ve never looked back (and my hair has never looked better:) PS She’s a very busy girl, so book your body-boosting blow dry well in advance.
If you live in Cape Town, South Africa, or you plan to visit it any time soon, there is only one place (and one woman) to go to for the perfect manicure. Believe me when I say I have kissed many a mani/pedi-frog and after finding Terri (who currently works at Dante Wellness Spa in Sea Point, Cape Town, 021-434-1011) she became my manicurist for life. The wonder-woman is highly experienced and it shows: she stays within the lines and she knows how to paint so that polish lasts. (She’s also not one of those annoying nail technicians who do a shoddy paint job and then touch it up with acetone-dipped buds afterwords. She doesn’t need to. She gets it right the first time around.)
If you’re an old fashioned gal who swears by traditional nail polish, you’ll love Dante’s selection of cool Essie colours. My all-time personal favourites are Wicked, a deep and dark sinister red, and of course the famous Ballet Slippers, an award-winning, best-selling classic pale pink with a sheer finish. However, I prefer Gelish and CND Shellac: not for their range of colours, which I think could be better, but for their sheer practicality: these soak-off gel polishes need zero dry time, stay on far longer than traditional polish and, if applied properly, will not chip off after a few days. (You do need to return to the salon, though, to have the gel soaked off, once your nails have grown out.)
My favourite Gelish colour is Black Cherry Berry (similar to Essie’s Wicked) and my go-to Shellac shade is Romantique (a light creamy colour that needs to be applied three times to give even coverage, since it’s quite sheer).
PS I can’t believe I am actually giving away this entry in my little black book, as Terri is already super busy and now she will probably become even busier, meaning I will have to call weeks in advance! I do, however, feel that – when it comes to avoiding what I call ‘spa-sasters’ – sharing is caring. Life’s just too short to have bad nails!
I grew up around art: serious, internationally coveted, investment-quality art. However, I reckon buying serious art is a serious commitment; a commitment which I am not always keen to make.
Although I am the proud owner of a handful of important pieces I have gathered over the years, I enjoy nothing more than – from time to time – spontaneously walking into Salon 91 Contemporary Art Collection on Kloof Street, Cape Town, to have a look at whatever casual buying prospects might be on offer. Most recently, I walked out with two original South African works for under R2,000.00. No pressure, no fuss, no buyer’s remorse. Only two new beautiful pieces of visual inspiration to adorn my walls with.
This boutique gallery, owned by the beautiful and talented Monique Du Preez, is a stop not to be missed on any art-collector’s journey to cultivating his/her own long-term art tastes and preferences. The featured works above and below are from a past exhibition by Katrin Coetzer called ‘Honeymoon’. The thumbnail image used for this post is an original work by Sunette Viljoen.