Posts by Robyn

Learning to surf in Cape Town

Whoa! What a way to spend a morning.

Imagine waking up on a Summer’s day, heading to the beach and catching a few waves with friends in Cape Town.

I did.

It’s 2020. I’ve always been adventurous but this year I decided that I want to be a little less cautious and leap into the unknown. I’ve also always loved the ocean and growing up in Ocean View, I spent many weekends digging my toes into the sand of surrounding beaches like Fish Hoek, Kommetjie and Soet Water. But surfing wasn’t ever a thing so this was a definite leap.

Is surfing expensive?

A cousin mentioned that she was interested in taking a surfing lesson and I gladly agreed, managing to find a good discount deal for our group with The Entertainer app.

Surf Emporium in Muizenberg deserves a slow-clap for teaching me how to stand on a surfboard in one (90-minute) lesson. It was bliss.

Well, the last 50 minutes was bliss because, for the first 40, I was still trying to lift my body off the board.

Your own bodyweight feels a lot heavier in the water, trust me. It was a good upper body workout and if you’re patient with yourself and listen to your instructor, you – too, can stand on a surfboard in one lesson.

Our instructor taught us how to stand, sit, and how to hold our boards correctly before even heading into the water. He also went into the water with us and showed us how to paddle in order to catch a wave.

What’s included in the lesson?

I’m strongly considering just hiring a board and going heading back to test my new skills one morning, now that I know the basics and have my own wetsuit, I can just go can have fun in the ocean to be close to nature, and get a good workout. And while I had my own wetsuit, which I’d picked up for a multi-day hike and trek through Cape Nature’s rivers, the lessons at Surf emporium are inclusive of gear and boards.

All you have to do is arrive.

If you’re keen to catch some waves with Surf Emporium, remember to pack a swimsuit and sunscreen for the day.

You can book directly with Surf Emporium via their website or find out if they have promotions running via social media.

The Instagrammable Places to Visit in Bali

Hun, I’m back in the Mother City after a full day of travel and I must say that the long flight from Cape Town to Hong Kong was not a selling point for me.

I had an economy ticket, as I usually do, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt strange about having to pay more for seating that would kill me first if the plane crashed. A crazy rational to be budget-savvy, I know, but the only thing that I would really have loved about travelling in business class is the chance to stretch my legs – wow. I’ll never underestimate the luxury of being able to lie flat again.

Although, because I was travelling on my own and managed to hop onto flights that were completely full, I was lucky to have empty seats next to me, which allowed me to raise the armrests and lie down – as if I was in business class. I was well-rested when the plane landed.

Also, since I’m vegan, I’d requested that all my flight meals be adapted to my diet and Cathay Pacific did not disappoint. I had fresh fruit and hot meals that had a balance of protein and carbs. The snacks were roasted peanuts and they also had non-dairy milk and butter but I was too sceptical of the milk and butter to try it. I find myself nauseated when I drink anything other than water on a flight (black tea being the worst) so I stuck to bottles of water throughout all flights and drank more water than usual so that I was fully hydrated during the flights. According to a physiotherapist featured in Marie Claire, you can lose around 2 litres of water on a flight due to the change in temperatures and I wasn’t about to take that risk I ensured that the flight attends kept the bottled water coming.

Dehydration can cause skin irritations, sunken eyes, dizziness and other not-so-cool symptoms that should never have to experience, much less while on holiday.

Enough about the flight and more about what I got up to in Bali.

Watch this video of my tour to some of Bali’s most Instagrammable locations:

All my experiences were booked via Airbnb and I was really impressed with how professional and insightful the hosts were.

Here are the Instagrammable places mentioned in the video:

1.Tukad Cepung Waterfall

This was by far my favourite place to visit. It’s a bit of a hike to the waterfall so wear comfy shoes and a change of clothing if you plan to take photos near the waterfall. This activity was free and if you’re living in Ubud, it should be quite easy to get to.

Instead of hiring a car from your hotel, download the Grab app, which is like Uber in Indonesia. The rates are more affordable and if you’re up to riding a scooter as I did, you will save even more Rupiah and have a scenic experience, riding through the city.

2. Coffee Plantation

Another free activity here. You don’t even pay to taste the teas and coffees. They only ask that you buy something from their store and of course, you aren’t obligated to but I loved the teas so much that I bought a few, which were each R100 per 100g pack. If you decide to buy tea or coffee, remember that that the product will be ground into a powder, which is easy to consume anyway.

3. Tirta Empul Temple/ holy spring water

When visiting any of the temples, go early because these are the most popular tourist attractions in Bali. I had actually intended to visit the Gate of Heaven but by the time I returned from the coffee plantation, my tour guide said that we would have to queue for hours to get the building and I didn’t want to do that.

4. Tegalalang Rice Terrace (Jungle Swing)

A Jungle swing is a must-do activity when you’re in Bali. There are lots of swings throughout the island but the Rice Terrace Swing is the most scenic. You will have to pay 200K IDR for to use the swing and if you want to wear a flowy dress for an IG worthy photo, it’s 200K IDR extra.

Do you have any questions about these locations or my time in Bali? Drop me a comment in the section below and I’d be happy to continue the conversation over there 🙂

Bucketlist budget holiday for adventure travellers

Is it just me or are more people leaning towards self-help holidays these days?

Not that I’d deny an all-inclusive vacation, every once in a while, but with access to the internet and more companies adding convenience features to their products, self-planned trips have become quite popular, and are way more affordable.

One particular holiday that I’ve just added to my bucket list is a self-drive boating holiday.

Firstly, when yacht life came to mind, I thought expensive, overpriced, I can’t afford it… That was before a sweet travel-loving PR lady, working for the Moorings, invited me to hop aboard a luxury catamaran, and informed me of the range of boating options available for family holidays, girls’ trips, and honeymoon adventures. It’s called Le Boat.

Imagine sailing through Europe, from about R12 000 per person. I know, it sounds bizarre – really affordable and totally doable with this self-drive boating service that’s been in existence for over 50 years.

Watch me hop aboard one of the pricier boats, fully equipped with a kitchen, two bathrooms, showers, double beds, oven, and a deck area, here.

Why a self-drive boating holiday is a good idea:

  1. You get an authentic local experience while travelling through local towns along your journey and this also works out to be budget-friendly as you aren’t having to spend big city prices on food, sights and entertainment.
  2. You’ll have easy access to destinations such as France, Italy and Holland with incredible natural beauty and lip-smacking food.
  3. You don’t need a driving licence for your boating holiday on nearly all of Le Boat’s cruises.
  4. You also don’t need to have any boating experience. When you arrive at the base, you’ll receive an in-depth briefing on the boat, from which knots to use to how the oven works.
  5. The boats can accommodate up to 12 people to suit your budget and group size.
  6. You’ll have to budget for fuel, service fees, water and travelling to the base; but once you’re on board, the boat is basically your home – accommodation and transport sorted!
  7. It’s an interesting and different way to experience a country. Imagine passing vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc wine region, stopping along the way for wine tasting, and sightseeing medieval villages and ancient fortress cities.
  8. Have I mentioned that it’s more affordable than catching a flight and booking a hotel?

If you’re ready to cross boating-holiday off your bucket list, head to the Le Boat website to view their early bird specials for 2020 😉

Also, follow me on Instagram, where I share event coverage via stories first, or subscribe to my Youtube channel to binge-watch my travel vlogs.

WATCH: Beauty Squad Expo 2019

With an online community of over 45 000, Beauty Squad South Africa made the switch to engage with their Cape Town community offline on Saturday, 27 October, presenting the Mother City with their third annual expo!

I attended the expo for the first time and was pretty impressed with the variety of beauty brands on display, from hair care, makeup, and skincare, to accessories and pro-makeup tips from the likes of Raine Tauber and the Bearded Beauty Boy.

Chanelle Avontuur, the founder of Beauty Squad SA, said that her goal was not only to give her community a platform to chat about and engage with their favourite brands but also to support and empower local business owners, who were able to share their latest products with expo attendees.

This was my first but definitely not the last Beauty Squad Expo that I’ll be attending. I’m looking forward to next year’s local business line-up as I was able to learn more about brands that I would never have known about otherwise. One particular brand that stole my heart was a makeup brand called Maria Cosmetics, an affordable vegan brand, dedicated to the founder’s mother.

When Andrea Hunter created Maria Cosmetics, she was thinking of more than lip tints and highlights and wanted to use her skills and experience as a makeup artist to inspire women with her products.

“My mother was practising as a makeup artist for many years and I loved watching her work, seeing the power of makeup in bringing joy to someone’s life. During her battle with cancer, on those days when she must’ve felt incredibly low when she lost her hair, she could still rely on a bright red lipstick to make her feel feminine and beautiful,” Andrea said.

You’ll be happy to know that the lipsticks are affordable, long-wearing, and has a smooth, creamy application for only R180 each. I was amazed at how long the lipstick lasted, even after I had eaten meals by the end of the day.

Watch my walk through the expo, as well as my quick chat with Andrea, as she applies the vibrant, Jukebox Joan to my lips.

To find out more about how you can become a vendor at the next Beauty Squad expo, email the organisers at, head to or simply for updates on the next event.

LOreal Launches Vegan Haircare range: Botanicals

How exciting is this?

LOreal Paris has launched a new haircare range free of any animal ingredients or by-products.

In their press release, they mentioned that they believe gorgeous hair shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment (I think so too!) and that they’ve created a haircare range that is responsibly sourced, as their commitment to the environment, and to us.

All products are said to be silicone-free, 94% biodegradable, and formulated using the green chemistry process.

Here’s my personal experience of the Loreal Botanical range:

Now, the South African chemical institute outlines quite a few principles that a brand must adhere to before they can claim to be sustainable. LOreal has clearly gone to great lengths to hit that mark and even though they don’t claim to be 100% biodegradable, they’ve taken a huge step in the right direction.

What are your thoughts? You can read more about green chemistry, here – but let me know how you feel about beauty giants like LOreal, going vegan?

I’ve just unboxed the new Nourishing Therapy range for dry hair (on Instagram) and I’m personally glad that more brands are going vegan, and that they’re available in South Africa!

What about animal testing?

I know. I’ve thought about this too, and it was one of the first comments people made while watching the unboxing.

loreal botanicals, vegan haircare, bewhole, robyn ruth thomas, vegan haircare, vegan beauty products

Here’s what LOreal said:

We’ve also been committed to a world without animal testing for 30 years. We don’t include animal ingredients – or those derived from animals, in our formulas. It’s a journey but we are committed to constantly pushing our sustainability credentials.

They also said that they use as many recycled materials as possible. “All our Shampoo & Potion bottles are made of 100% Recycled PET. All our tubes are 50% recycled. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable, except our caps/pumps – we’re not perfect but we’re working on it!”

Is it expensive?

Another question commonly associated with Veganism (by the way, a vegan diet can be super affordable with adequate planning), but how much will these haircare products set you back? The price range is pretty much in line with other LOreal haircare products.

The shampoo retails for R149,99 and comes in a 400ml. How bout dah?

The 200ml tube of conditioner is R129,99 – there’s also a mask in a 200ml tub for R169,99, and they’ve created potions to treat hair concerns like taming flyaways, dryness, and scalp issues – those bottles are each R179,99 and 125mls.

Where can you buy it?

The Botanicals range is already available at Dischem Pharmacies but will be available for purchase at other major retailers by October 2019.

Follow me on Instagram to watch my product unboxing, or subscribe to my Youtube channel so that you don’t miss the video reviews.

Organic baby brand, Pure Beginnings Now Available at Woolworths

pure beginnings, organic baby brand

How exciting! From 1 July 2019, you’ll be available to buy Pure Beginnings at Woolworths stores across South Africa.

Pure Beginnings, South Africa’s first certified organic baby brand, established in 2006.

The brand has grown exceptionally since it launched and is available both locally and internationally. They currently export to over ten countries in the EU and further afield.

Here in SA, through a strong and successful partnership with Baby City, Dis-Chem and Wellness Warehouse, amongst others, the Pure Beginnings brand has become quite well known. Especially when it comes to parents looking for natural and organic alternatives for their kids.

“When we started Pure Beginnings, our vision was to provide South African consumers with safer, better skincare choices for their babies and children,” says Bruce Moore-Gordon, Managing Director of Pure Beginnings.

Pure Beginnings will also be available online at and at 198 Woolworths Food stores countrywide on the 1st of July 2019.

Why bad posture can harm your health

Have you ever experienced muscle pain?

Then you know how much of a hindrance it can be to your productivity. There are two main categories of muscle pain, which you can read more about, at

But how is muscle pain related to posture?

I’m no doctor (but I am a certified first-aider – LOL) so I’m not able to medically advise on what you should or shouldn’t be doing to avoid bad posture, but I’ve done enough research to give you an accurate heads-up on the negative effects that bad posture can have on your health.

It’s more like a look of laziness when you’re caught slouching, in a photo.

Did you know that bad posture can cause headaches?

According to the medical research foundation, Mayo Clinic, bad posture is one of the primary lifestyle factors that can trigger headaches, and most commonly, back and neck pain.

What is bad posture?

Have you ever seen someone standing with their head so far forward that it could touch their chest? There’s usually a hunch-like curve to their spine, which is especially noticeable when sitting at a desk, staring at a laptop.

This is what bad posture looks like:

bad posture, muscle pain, good posture, be whole, robyn ruth thomas

What are the negative effects of bad posture?

Back and neck pain

Poor posture can actually cause changes to your spine over time and result in severe muscular pain.

The reason that you would experience pain with bad posture is that you’ve put a strain on muscles or ligaments. And the best way to quickly alleviate muscle pain associated with posture is to massage the affected area with a fast-acting, anti-inflammatory gel.


How could a slouchy pose make you feel less energised when it looks so comfy? With incorrect posture, you actually exert more energy to maintain the strain placed on your muscles.


It’s hard to believe that the way you sit or stand can contribute to headaches but extra pressure to muscles and nearby nerves can cause what is known as muscle-spasm headaches.

Shoulder, jaw, and foot pain

A consistent imbalance in weight from your upper body can put pressure on your ankles, which could lead to swelling, inflammation, and heel pain.

Micro story:

One day, during lunch at high school, my friends and I were laughing at jokes being told but as we all laughed, one of our friends’ jaw locked – it was incredibly funny (for us as teenagers) until we realised that she was in pain. She was experiencing a muscle-spasm, and incidentally also had developed bad posture from carry heavy books in her backpack every day. Overworking your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can happen due to bad posture, which is not only embarrassing but quite painful.

Breathing problems

This – well, all of it – are serious health concerns, but your body needs oxygen to survive so to avoid shallow breathing and reducing lung capacity by compressing your diaphragm, perform regular muscle relaxing exercises to align and maintain good posture.

How to improve bad posture:

  1. Work on straightening your posture as much as possible by sitting, standing, and lying correctly in bed.
  2. Do you meditate, hun? With consistency, a few focused, deep breaths can help to align posture, and chakras too.
  3. You could also try using a back brace. I’ve been occasionally using one for the past year. It’s not as discreet as I’d hoped but really helps to straighten my back so I usually wear it around the house.

If you don’t have the time to head to a chiropractor or masseuse, applying a soothing, tension-releasing gel to your gym bag after an intense workout, or after a hot shower before bed, will help you on your way to a comfortable life.

Win an ERGONOMIC DESK STAND valued at over R1 200!



Simply list three symptoms of bad posture, in the comment section below!

It’s that easy! Good luck <3

Terms and Conditions of Giveaway:

*Entries open to South Africans only.

One winner will be notified via email and announced in this post on 22 March 2019.

Only comments on this blog post will be accepted.

The prize – one Ergonomic DeskStand can only be redeemed by the original winner unless an alternative has been arranged.

This prize excludes any products not mentioned in this blog post.

Does the 10-step Korean beauty routine work?

Oh Em Gee.

I’m not sure how you’ll feel about a morning and evening beauty routine that includes 10 steps but before you click away, let me tell you what my experience has been thus far:

After two weeks of consistently following this Korean Beauty routine, my mind is blown. I’m still shocked that I haven’t had a major breakout because of the long list of products that I’ve been applying to my face, day and night.

And yes, I have been strict with this routine because I’ve had nothing to lose.

In previous blog posts, I’ve shared my battle with hormonal acne and how I’ve managed to keep my breakouts at bay by restructuring my diet.

I’ve also been getting monthly facials at The Skin Renewal Institute, to help reduce the appearance of existing acne scars.

Developing acne really lowered my self-esteem to the point where I would cancel catch-ups with friends because I didn’t want anyone to see my face. I’m not joking. It was bad but I eventually snapped out of it and researched ways to improve my skin naturally, which has been the best decision i’ve ever made.

As I’m writing to you now, I’m sitting in a studio packed with people and I’m not wearing ANY makeup. That’s a huge step for me.

Watch this video of my experience, applying the 10-step Korean beauty routine:

What is the Korean Beauty routine?

According to Vox, Charlotte Cho, the founder Of Soko Glam coined the 10-step Korean Beauty Routine. Cho was being interviewed by Elle Magazine at the time and was simply explaining the various beauty products used by Korean women. She told Vox that the following 10 products are used in a beauty routine but that they don’t necessarily need to be used in conjunction, all the time:

  1. Oil cleanser
  2. Foam cleanser
  3. Exfoliator
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Mask
  8. Face oil
  9. Moisturiser
  10. Sunscreen

Stjoe, I know – it’s quite a list. What confused me the most was the essence because at first I didn’t know the difference between an essence and a serum but, an essence is what most of us in SA know as a concentrate because, well, it’s quite concentrated.

As I’d mentioned in my video, I use my Clarisonic brush to exfoliate, and did not use an essence but chose a light thermal spray (by Avene) instead. I also didn’t use an eye cream because I am using a concentrated face oil which I massage under my eye area. You don’t have to Bible the above steps – they’re simply meant to serve as a guideline.

Also, I didn’t actually use any products from Korea – although I’d love to. I’ve been using plant-based beauty available in South Africa since Korean skincare is quite hard to come by.

Does the Korean beauty routine work for Africans?

Yes! I’ve got a dewy glow and I’m loving it. The last time my pores were this tiny, I was nineteen and had no idea that I was heading into a couple of years with horrible adult acne issues. My skin is smoother and my breakouts are minimal, bearing in mind that I continue to get a pimple or two during my menstrual cycle.

Here’s the list of the products that I included in my routine:

Oil cleansing – Castor oil (I bought mine at Dischem Pharmacies)

Foam cleanser – Clarisonic foam cleanser

Exfoliator – Clarisonic brush

Mask – Garnier Hydrating sheet mask

Toner – Pradiance balancing facial toner

I chose not to use an essence but Avene thermal water instead

Face oil – 100% Baobab oil from Baocare

Moisturiser – 100% Aloe vera gel – I use the Betta Way brand from Wellness Warehouse

Sunscreen – Yungskin SPF 40

I only apply the sunscreen in the morning – it’s not obvious to everyone, hun but I see you. 😉

What did you think of this post? Are you keen to the routine? I’ll probably be doing this for the rest of my life if I don’t find a better routine.

Recreate these photoshoot hairstyles for Afro hair + GIVEAWAY

Yes, honey! That’s me.

I had the amazing honour of working with Ladine Professional for their African hair trends collection, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have been a part of this shoot.

The theme was to emphasize the beauty, diversity and artistry contained in our beloved Africa, and how as Africans, we embody those qualities too.

Needless to say, it was a huge compliment to be one of only four South African women chosen for the shoot. I couldn’t be happier with how Ladine chose to embrace Africaness and how lush my hair turned out.

The best part is that Ladine is giving three of you a chance to share my experience. You could win a full set of haircare products, used to create the afro hairstyles that I rocked for the African Trends photoshoot! I know – I’ve been these products all season and they’re pretty great.

Related: 3 multi-action haircare products that every natural should know about

Head straight to my Instagram post to enter the Giveaway

How to recreate my photoshoot hairstyles:

Click on the images below to read the steps and find more hairstyle ideas, created for the African trends collection.

Do you even flexirod? Try this #CurlyHairDon’tCare look to get soft bouncy curls.

afro photoshoot hairstyles

No haircut needed! There are ways to sport a TWA without even having one. I absolutely loved this chic #curlswept frohawk and will definitely be recreating it sometime soon.

Would you like to see a video tutorial of these looks? Let me know in the comment section below:)

3 multi-action haircare products that every natural should know about

Summer is here and that’s when the sun hits your afro just right for the ‘gram.

You’re on a mission to find an easy routine that you can free up time to enjoy our African summer. A routine that helps your camera pick up on how lush and hydrated your strands are.

But maybe you’re not one for photos.

Maybe for the past couple of years, you’ve chosen to protective style during the holidays because your usual 5-product wash-day ritual becomes impossible to uphold when you’re away from home.

That last example pretty much summed me up before Ladine had sent me their natural therapy range.

In their massive package, they’d also sent styling products, shampoos, oils, conditioners, treatments, serums, and even products that help to maintain braids and weaves. But these three products below are on my hot list. You may fall in love with them because of their multi-functional convenience and their core ingredients’ list.

Have a read-through the features and experience and let me know in the comment section below, if you’ve tried these before or any of the other products in the Ladine range.

Natural Therapy 4-IN-1 Shampoo – R128.00 (250ml)

Ladine’s 4-in-1 shampoo

A slim, hard white bottle with a secure, flip lid. The shampoo has a floral scent and includes ingredients likes argan leaf extract and jojoba seed oil.


I noticed that my hair was more manageable, less dull, and much softer than it usually is after using my regular shampoo.

I always shampoo twice and use small amounts to avoid drying out my hair. In this case, I used a R5 coin (sized) amount to lather my hair. The natural therapy shampoo lathers quite easily so you may not have to use as much as I did.

Since my hair is more dry than oily, my routine includes co-washing, which means that I shampoo my hair every second week, and use a clarifying conditioner to cleanse my hair, every alternative week.

The shampoo is specifically used to cleanse, hydrate, detangle, and condition natural and chemically treated hair, which is quite handy for afro-haired peeps on the go.

Buy online

Natural Therapy Soft-Soft Spray R155.00 (125ml)

Ladine’s soft-soft spray

The Natural Therapy soft-soft spray comes in a slim white bottle with pump action. It has a sweet, fruity fragrance and is applied as a light, mist-like spray.


This one deserves a theme song.

Dua Lipa’s One Kiss!

“Something in you…ooh…ooh…brings out heaven in me! This feeling won’t let me sleep…”


Am I overdoing it?


The soft-soft spray is by far my fav-our-ite in the range.

Why? It smells amazing. Its key ingredient is marula oil, which helps soften, condition, detangle, and hydrate your hair.


How often do you brush your hair? Let’s say that your go-to style is a wash and go or a twist-out and your hair is about shoulder to bra-strap length. You’d brush your hair about three to four times a week?

I rarely use a brush. In fact, I only brush my hair on the wash-days where I don’t have hours to spend.

Finger detangling is my thing. I swear by it. I credit finger detangling to the strength of my strands and my ability to retain length. But it can take a while.

When I started using the soft-soft spray to detangle an old twist-out, it took me 15 minutes. I nearly cried. I, of course shared the news with everyone on Instagram but I kid you not, this hand-sized spray is a little dynamite.

Buy online

Natural Therapy Moisturing Anti Shrinkage Cream – R188.00 (200g)

Ladine’s moisturising anti-shrinkage cream

A hard, white 200g tub with a flat screw lid. The moisturising anti-shrinkage cream contains marula oil, jojoba seed oil and glycerin as its core ingredients.


A little goes a long way with this one. Its fragrance is not amazing but having applied this product to achieve a twist-out, I was very impressed with the sheen and hold of my twists.

For great styling results, apply to damp hair and make sure that your hair is completely dry to achieve your desired look. This can be used in conjunction with the Ladine brazil nut oil, which will work well to lock in the moisture and leave your hair looking ultra-hydrated.

Buy online.

Disclaimer: All products were provided by Ladine Professional. Views are my own.

Any questions about these products or other reviews? Let me know in the comment section below or email me directly to