Posts in Beauty

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 info@beautysquadsa.co.za, head to www.beautysquadsa.co.za 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 www.woolworths.co.za and at 198 Woolworths Food stores countrywide on the 1st of July 2019.

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
Ladine.co.za

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.

ladine.co.za

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
Features:

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.

Experience:

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
Features:

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.

Experience:

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…”

Ayyy!

Am I overdoing it?

Sorry.

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.

Wait.

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
Features:

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.

Experience:

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 robyn@bewhole.co.za

How to blow dry afro hair like a pro

Don’t you just love the feeling of having your hair treated by a professional?

Once a year, the mane takes a break and my sleeker-haired alter-ego gets to shine.

This usually lasts for about three days, depending on what the weather’s like, how quickly droplets of water catch my strands in the shower, or how sensitive my eyes are to the look of reduced volume.

Water plays a huge role in how long I’m able to sport this style. But whether you’re opting to straighten your hair for length retention or wanting to switch up your style, I’d recommend getting professional advice and doing research to find the best products to use before and after using heat on your hair.

ladine blowout, afro hair

I’ve never felt more beautiful since embracing my own hair texture, and I feel confident in trying different hairstyles with on-point products by my side. The damage that could arise from using too much heat or the wrong products, could lead to an unwanted big-chop.

Dramatic but true, sis.

There’s no way to salvage hair cuticles that have already been stripped of their natural qualities.

Learn from the best

Pro hair stylist, King Nkosi, from the African Hair Kingdom in Parklands, took the task of giving me my best straight blow dry yet. He managed to help me retain length with a sleek style while maintaining the natural volume of my hair.

I walked into the African Hair Kingdom to find a diverse group of women sitting side-by-side in salon chairs. Some were having their hair braided, while others were getting treatments.  One woman shut her eyes as a hairstylist massaged the product into her hair at the wash basin – the massage motion looked so soothing that I couldn’t wait until it was my turn.

It was lovely stepping into a place that not only specialises in afro hair but gets creative with braid patterns and has pro-African hair styling products on hand.

Choose the right products

Always cleanse your hair and scalp before blow drying. There’s nothing worse than drying your hair and getting a whiff of something burning in the air. King used the following Ladine haircare products on my hair for the blowout:

Cleanser: Ladine Deep Conditioning Shampoo

Protectant: Ladine Conditioning Blow-Dry Lotion

Choose the right brushes 

Did you know that you can increase the blow-drying time by using a specific brush? King used a round metal brush to increase drying time and separated my hair into small sections to carefully attend to all hair strands. He also used a paddle brush to further detangle my hair after applying the conditioning blow dry lotion.

Stick to a medium drying temperature

There’s no need to dry your hair on high heat if you’re using the right technique. While high heat improves straightening, it’s also the level that contributes to damage. Since hairstylists are trained in this regard, they know exactly how far to hold the dryer from your hair when using high heat.

It’s also essential that you use a heat protectant to minimise the risk of heat damage. The Ladine Condition Blow-dry Lotion is both a hydrating leave-in conditioner and an anti-frizz treatment. You can find Ladine products online at takealot.com or in-store at New Look Cosmetics, as well as the African Hair Kingdom in Cape Town.

Planning to straighten your hair soon? I’d love to see your results. Tag me in your posts on Instagram @RobynRuthThomas, or mail me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

10 Natural Hair Shampoos under R100 in South Africa

Just when you thought, you were winning by sticking to your natural hair journey, the rapid increase in the price of products begins to disappoint.

The beauty industry is jam-packed with a range of products promising great results for hair health and growth but the more organic properties a product seems to contain, the higher the price is. This applies to natural hair shampoos are well.

I recently received a DM on Instagram, from a guy desperately search for a new product range that would help maintain the health of this hair, but also his budget. I decided to put together a series of products that are affordable while giving great results.

The following list of natural hair shampoos can be found in all major retail stores across South Africa, especially Clicks stores. Each product has been approved by beauty reviewers with different hair types. Watch the video below:

10 Natural Hair Shampoos under R100

Caivil Marula Oil Shampoo – R 34

Reviewed by Sean Goes Natural

Organics Shampoo – R44

Reviewed by Beauty Bulletin

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Shampoo – R 45

Reviewed by 4chairsa

Jabu stone Moisturising Shampoo –  R 61

Reviewed by candyglamcast (transitioning)

Tresemme Botanique Shampoo – R64

Reviewed by Make and Beauty Forever

Palmers Coconut Oil Care Shampoo – R69

Reviewed by Pretty Please Charlie

Afrobotanics Shampoo – R75

Reviewed By Lungi

Africa Organics Marula Shampoo – R85

Reviewed by Smudged Beauty

My Natural Hair Shampoo – R91

Reviewed by Ladi Elle

Cantu cleansing cream – R92

Reviewed by Curl on a Mission

 

Do you know of affordable natural hair shampoos to add to this list, or would like to share your experience of one of the shampoos above? Drop me a comment at the end of this post or mail me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Disclaimer: The following product prices are nationwide averages sourced in June 2018. Prices may vary according to the province you’re in and may be more affordable when buying online. 

Pure Beginnings: Natural Deodorant & Toothpaste Review + GIVEAWAY

It’s all about the ingredients list. Am I right?

Gone are the days where we bought products that made us feel good but are actually bad for our bodies.

When I received the Pure Beginnings Monsoon Eco-roll on, the first thing I did was check the label. While many of us find it difficult to keep track of and decipher the scientific names on the back of our products, choosing the organic option is often the safest solution.

Giveaway – CLOSED

Congratulations!

Zhané Rosé Saai
Melanie Pretorius
Beatrix Daries

WATCH: MY Natural Deodorant & Toothpaste Review

Eco roll on – Monsoon Relaxing Ylang Ylang (75ml) – R59.85

Features:

A light, hard plastic roll-on container. The tropical scent of ylang-ylang in this Monsoon roll-on is quite distinct and lasts throughout the day.

Experience:

I’m absolutely in love with the fragrance of the roll-on. After using it for a week and sometimes, casually turning my nose towards my shoulder to smell whether the scent was still there, I was pleasantly surprised that it was.

When I first applied the product, it tingled under my armpits, which is quite normal when trying something new. I noticed that there’s Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate in the roll-on, which is a preservative used for many natural cosmetics. This is one of those ingredients that can cause skin irritation if you use too much of it, so if you have sensitive skin, I would recommend only using this product in moderation.

Application was quite easy – the product rolled onto my underarms in one pass and I also felt a residue run from my underarms, during a shower.

NB : This is not an antiperspirant.

What’s in it:

Aqua (Water), Sodium Bicarbonate, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Leaf Oil*, Canaga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Tragacanth Gum, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf*, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Vanilla Planifolia Extract, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol***

Fresh Mint Toothpaste with Xylitol (100ml) – R39.95

Features:

A soft, squeezable tube. The product is an off-white colour with a spearmint taste and fragrance.

Experience:

Sweet and just the right strength of mint, this Pure Beginnings toothpaste contains both xylitol and stevia, which are the healthy alternatives to sugar.

The toothpaste doesn’t foam as much as generic toothpaste would because it contains a plant-based foaming agent –Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate – which is way less harmful than Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS).

NB: toothpaste is not meant for eating, always rinse your mouth after brushing.

What’s in it:

Glycerin, Aqua (Water), Calcium Carbonate, Xylitol, Titanium Dioxide, Kaolin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Peppermint Flavour, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Fruit Extract*, Eupatorium Rebaudianum Bertoni (Stevia) Leaf Extract, Menthol, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Potassium Sorbate, Guar Gum, Citric Acid, Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) Leaf Oil**

Terms and Conditions of Giveaway:

*Entries open to South Africans only.

Three winners will be notified via email/ DM and announced in this post on 3 July 2018.

Comments on all related social posts will be accepted.

The prize – One Pure Beginnings natural deodorant and toothpaste hamper 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.

Current Favourite Natural Hair Care Products – 2018

When I started my natural hair journey, I turned into a product junkie.

Back then, it was difficult to find products to suit my hair type so I’d tried a different brand every second week and ended up having a cupboard full of half-used hair products.

Newer and better hair products are hitting shelves every day and while it may have been difficult for us find a decent shampoo and conditioner in the past, we’re now so spoilt for choice that we’re actually even more confused about which product actually works.

What does it cost?

What’s in it?

What’s the size of the bottle though?

These are just a few things that spring to mind when choosing a hair product. Am I right?

Ladies, (and gents – hello, hi, if you’re reading), you’ll save a lot of time and money if you consider two things when you’re buying new hair products:

Is it right for my hair type?

Has someone with a similar hair type ever used it?

Read reviews. Don’t walk into that aisle without knowing what you’re looking for. Because. Even when you know, you may find yourself strolling back and forth in the aisle, doing research, until a security guard comes to ask if you’re okay.

Awks.

The best way to know which products work for your hair is to test them yourself.

But try to read reviews about products in advance, and if you don’t know what to look for, google your hair concern:

Products for dry natural hair

products for hair growth

deep conditioner for type 4 hair

best shampoo for natural hair

These are just examples. You know what you’re looking for. It helps to follow a natural hair blogger/vlogger with a similar hair type as yours, especially if he/she is sharing posts like this one.

If you’re a type 4 natural, check out this video of my current favourite hair products below:

Did you enjoy this post? I’d really love to know. Leave me a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za