Sunday, 15 December 2013

How to Highlight & Contour for a sexy sculpted look ♥

Hello me lovelies!

So I thought I'd show you how I highlight and contour in 4 easy - peasy steps for the super sexiest sculpted look!

As you know, I'm no pro. I'm all about easy-peasy. I've made a religion about doing what's easiest for me, takes the least amount of time, and uses the least amount of products (JUST 4 PRODUCTS). So if you like the sound of that, then you're gonna love this!

Let's Get Started!

1 - Foundation

I apply it all over my face including my eyelids. I use MAC Matchmaster foundation in NC40. Use whatever you have handy.

2 - Contour:

I suck in my cheeks until I look like a fish, and dipping my finger into a darker shade of foundation, MAC NC50 (use whatever you have as long as its 3 or 4 shades darker than your regular foundation. Bronzer works great too), I follow the shape of my cheekbones, and trace a line from under the apple of my cheek to my ear. I use the same shade to draw 2 thin lines along the sides of my nose to sculpt it, and along my jaw line. And then I BLEND LIKE MAD (seriously blend like mad) until all the dark lines are smoothed away.

3 - Highlight: 

Hahahahaaaaa how funny isn't this pic?! Using my Clinique Airbrush Concealer I draw a triangle from under each eye to the sides of my nose, a long flat triangle between my brows, a thin straight line down the centre of my nose, and another line down the centre of my chin. And then once again I blend, blend, blend.

4 - Blush: 

I like doubling up my favourite Yardley Supermoist Lipstick in Cranberry Creme, as a blush. You can use whichever blush you have. I slick some on my lips, and then draw little x's on the apples of my cheeks and .... yip you guessed it... Blend!



See...  told you it was easy! You could do this with your eyes shut!

Now go out there and wreck havoc, you super sexy sculpted goddess you!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

What does your Makeup Bag say about YOU?

I LOVE Makeup. This is my Makeup Bag. It is filled with life's absolute necessities. And I LOVE it.

I've always had one. A makeup bag I mean...  When we were really young my mum got my sister and I Tinkerbell makeup kits - lipstick, powder, nail varnish and scent. And there began my undoing ... I was ruined. For life. And happily so.

Friends and family noticed and nicknamed me Miss Tinkerbell. So very very apt. They knew then already that it would become the altar at which I worshipped. 

 Life's absolute necessities: Foundation and concealer for sweet unblemished skin, blush to kiss dimpled cheeks,  khol and mascara for languid eyes, red lipstick to accentuate a pretty pout, and delicate scents to leave a lasting impression.
To the uninitiated my makeup bag may seem like just another humble makeup bag, but to me it is my saviour. My go-to when I'm bored, sad, excited or tired, the answer to all my questions, my elixir and bestfriend. I know that once I've had a taste of its contents I'll emerge happy, my world set to right and all conquering again.
So here's what I got to wondering: What does YOUR makeup bag say about you?  

How to get your hair growing FAST - a true story

THIS WORKS and I can personally vouch for it!

See I have super curly hair. So curly I'd call it kinky. And naturally all i ever desired was straight hair. Blah blah blah.... Totally unachievable.

And then one day ... a miracle. One day the world introduced me to a ceramic hair straightener. Oh yearning beating heart. We became instant bestfriends, would allow nothing to part us, travelled the world together and she saw me through  partying days, single days, married days, pregnant days and now back to single days again - Straight hair. Wavy hair. Beach hair. Locks. Volume. Every type of hair and hairstyle that a neurotic ego centric girl could ever desire.

Only ... great hair came with a great price. The intense heat needed to straighten my poor little hairs was simultaneously singeing and stunting the growth of same poor little hairs. Result: A very straight but very thinning head of hair...

All hope seemed lost and I seemed destined to spend the rest of my days hiding beneath a hair piece until another hair revolution occured. This time in the shape of the Brazilian Blowout. A treatment which temporarily straightens my hair by sealing liquid keratin and a preservative solution into my hair shaft with a flat iron. Mine lasts about 4 months.

And here's what's so great about it. I have no need WHATSOVER to use a flat iron for those 4 months. No flat iron = no intense heat which = no singeing or stunting of hair growth.

Result: My hair grew 4 inches in just three months. Added bonus - it grew thicker too. I now have lots and lots of new hair growth and those areas of my scalp which once shone through a sparse foliage have now sprouted healthy hair follicles. In a word - Hair Heaven.

These days I dont have to do much at all with my hair. A quick massage before I shampoo, then a comb through with a wide toothed comb and leave it to dry naturally. Ta daaaaaaa! Perfection. And NO heat.

So if like me you have curly hair but want long straight healthy hair. Get a Brazilian and never use heat on it ever again! Mark my words, your hair'll be so happy it'll start growing and shining like never before.

... and the self obsessed girl lived happily ever after.

The End :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Hemel en Aarde Valley

Thought I'd post one of my recent pieces about THE most gorgeous place in the world. I swear it'll take your breath away. Its got everything going for it, great restaurants, amazingly lovely people and lots and lots of beautiful wine. Have a read, enjoy and hopefully start planning your trip there! Its only 2 hours out of Cape Town so it makes for the purrrrrfect breakaway. mmmm yum:)
Hemel en Aarde Valley
Translated as Heaven on Earth Valley, it is that and so much more.
The Hemel en Aarde Valley is unlike any other in the awe inspiring Overberg region. Its rich verdant valleys, magnificent mountains and breathtaking views coupled with some of the most interesting and exceptional wine blends make for heavenly wine adventures.

Part of the Hermanus Wine Route, Hemel en Aarde valley lies between the R43 to Hermanus and R320 to Caledon.
The area is made up of three wine wards - Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. The wines produced in these wards are entirely unique to South Africa though rather similar to the ones from North France, due to the cool sea breeze and clay soil which favours the area. Two of the most popular wines produced in the valley are a chardonnay and an exceptional pinot noir though innovative blends and mineral Sauvignon Blancs complement the range and leave no palate unsatisfied.
The Hemel & Aarde Village situated at the entrance to the valley and just 2 kilometers from Hermanus is an undiscovered gem. With its three wineries Hermanuspieterfontein, Hornbill House & Whalehaven Winery, world famous Wine Village and brilliant restaurants, visitors are spoilt with a huge range of wines within walking distance of each other. 
Steadily gaining recognition as an integral part of the Hermanus Wine Route, connoisseurs and simple wine lovers alike have been quick to add Hemel en Aarde Valley to their itineraries and weekly forays.
Add to your wine valley experience by exploring the surrounding Overberg region, best known for its outdoor and eco attractions. These choice eco adventures top our list:
·         Count the skeletons of century old wrecked ships along the shores of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and the official meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
·         A horticulturalist’ and bird lovers paradise, the Overberg which forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom abounds with vast species of fynbos and endless hiking and walking trails.
·         Make for Gansbaai, the Great White Shark capital of the world, and if you’re feeling really adventurous slip on a wetsuit and go shark cage diving with the oceans fiercest predator.
·         The Jackass Penguin Colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay is one of only two breeding colonies in South Africa.
·          Considered one of life’s musts –watch the Southern Right Whales and their calves frolicking in the bays around Hermanus ‘the best land based whale watching site in the world’ between July and November.
·         The Overberg fruit route meandering through the villages of Barrydale, Elgin and Villiersdorp, is a great way of getting to grips with the region.
·         See the rare and endangered Cape Vulture in its only remaining breeding colony at De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My TOP 5 UNEXPECTED things to do in Cape Town.

My Top 5 unexpected Cape Town experiences
by Amiena Hanief-Branton

My top 5 unexpected Cape Town experiences may surprise some of you. Especially when you consider that I have lived here for most of my life. Even so, Cape Town, wondrous thing that she is, is a lady, a Pandora’s box – cheeky and playful and filled to the brim with mystery, mischief and surprises.

  1. Swimming at Boulders Beach during the Winter months.
    I recently had some English friends staying over. Keen to show them just how beautiful and varied my city was we headed for Boulders Beach to view the penguin colony and giggle at their antics. The wind in the parking lot very nearly lifted us off our feet but by the time we set foot on white sands of the deserted balmy beach, it had become a distant memory. A tentative feel of the waters was met with wild shrieks of delight and in less than two minutes we had all shed our winter gear and were gleefully splashing about in the warm clear waters of the little coves, diving like porpoises and doing our best to entice the darting penguins to join in the fun.
  1. Visiting the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
    It is Saturday morning and we're heading for the Old Biscuit Mill's Neighbourgoods Market, an organic farmers and fine food market serving up the best locally sourced and seasonal food around. We get there and the place is thronging with folks from all walks of life, chilling on hay bales or astride communal tables munching away on good food and catching up on good company. We dive right in and, to the accompaniment of smooth jazz and lilting swing music, eat our way from one stall to the other savouring snoek pate at one, belgian waffles at another, sip pink champagne, take in dribbles of wild flower honey, feast on curry and swallow oysters .. and all this before noon.

  2. Buying freshly caught just-out-of-the-net fish in Kalk Bay.
    So you’re sitting in Kalkies restaurant lost in the delights of your snoek and chips plate when suddenly word gets out that the fishing boats are returning. Within ten minutes Kalkies is empty and we're all hopping up and down with excitement on the harbour's edge. The sea gulls are in on it too, swooping and screeching above our heads. The boats come chugging in and our excitement reaches fever pitch as ragged fishermen begin tossing their catch at our feet. A hundred, a thousand, a million silvery fish, their long bodies arching through the air, fill the horizon with their cold beauty before gracefully coming to rest on a rapidly growing fish mountain. What a sight. The fishermen begin auctioning off their catch which we, the local fish shops and restaurants rapidly snap up. For an added fee you can have your fish gutted and cleaned by the harbour stall owners. Rush home and into the pan it goes - a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, a good squeeze of lemon and you're dining like a king! 

  3. Taking a Township Tour to Khayelitsha, the biggest township in Cape Town.
    Expect the unexpected. We get there thinking everyone we meet will probably be angry or despondent but instead we're showered with smiles as huge as Africa and as warm as the sun itself. Our guide takes us for a stroll through the shacks, pointing out exciting community projects, vegetable gardens, schools and crèches and introduces us to passer-bys, some of whom invite us into their shacks and its amazing to see how beautifully furnished some of the shacks are. A pop into the community radio station turns us into instant celebrities and we even go on air and get to do a shout out. Khayelitsha's craft market helps alleviate poverty and everything sold is made by the stall owners who make time to chat with us and soon we're sharing funny haggling experiences. At this point we're about to pass out with hunger so we make for Kefu's Jazz Pub and Grill and devour a succulent braai and brilliant marimba session.

  4. Visiting the new Cape Town Central Library.
    The last time I entered the library it was still housed at the City Hall. Dark and musty smelling it seemed seeped in the past. Coupled with a dodgy elevator with a reputation for getting stuck and an amazingly narrow staircase that wouldn’t allow more than one library goer to pass at a time, I often struggled to enter its hallowed halls. The new library which is housed in the old Drill Hall, next to the City Hall is by comparison light and large and a world removed from its predecessor. These bright hallowed halls with its flyovers and eclectic mix of artworks draws me like a bee to a flower and I'm not the only one as the library has an average head count of 70000 visitors a month. Beautiful, functional and state of the art, it has something for everyone – plenty of books, dvds and cds to rent out and study areas for students, a big children‘s section offering activities and workshops as well as wifi hotspots and conference rooms.

Welcome to Trendy SA

Welcome to trendy SA

Woodstock in Cape Town, Braamfontein in Jozi and Durb's Glenwood have been billed SA's trendiest suburbs and anyone who's anyone is flocking to their hollowed precincts, keen to be in on the buzz. But what makes them  trendy and what's got everyone so excited?

First stop beautiful Cape Town, mother city of the nation and recently voted World Design Capital for 2014. Also home to Woodstock one of it’s oldest, most multi cultural and hands down trendiest suburb. Situated on the outskirts of the city centre and beholder of wonderful mountain and harbour views Woodstock, once considered a derelicts delight, is these days all that is quirky and abuzz with colour and activity. A designated Heritage Area, it has undergone a major inner city revival which has seen run down warehouses and Victorian cottages converted into exciting spaces encouraging innovative investors such as the organic Saturday market, restaurants, media, shops and furniture showrooms. Young families and professionals after a taste of inner city living and keen to be part of Cape Town's new art scene have flocked to the area quickly snapping up restored Victorian semis and contributing to Woodstock’s village atmosphere. A visit to this suburb never fails to charm with its ramshackled boho sweetness.

We arrive on a Saturday and head straight for Woodstock's Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill. The place is thronging with scores of people chilling on hay bales or astride communal tables munching away on good food and catching up on good company. We dive right in and, to the accompaniment of smooth jazz and lilting swing music, eat our way from one stall to the other savouring snoek pate at one, belgian waffles at another, sip pink champagne, take in dribbles of wild flower honey, feast on curry and swallow oysters .. and this all before noon. The market which runs from 9am – 2pm on Saturdays is a weekly platform for local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, artisanal producers, seasonal goods, and micro enterprises.

What to do

Discover the Old Biscuit Mill
A restored series of grain silos, it houses a number of restaurants, a deli, coffee shops and shops selling local designer clothes, jewellery, ceramics and one of a kind treasures.

Eat up at the Platteland Market at The Palms
A gourmand’s trough of foodie feasts, supplied by local farmers. Sample everything from fresh oysters to robust breads and 'braaied' (barbecued) mushrooms. Yummm!

Go gallery-ing 
With galleries to be found on almost every second corner, art lovers are spoilt for choice.
  • whatiftheworld gallery plays an active role in the development of innovative South African art.
  •  Stevenson Gallery is a well-established exhibition showcasing the work of local and international artists.
  • The Goodman Gallery Cape and Michael Stevenson showcase an international collection of contemporary art,

Follow the trail of street artist Faith 47
Her introspective and thought provoking Freedom Charter body of work in Woodstock and throughout Cape Town is inspired by the South African freedom charter.

Where to eat 


The Kitchen – a funky neighbourhood café and deli serving wholesome, rustic food prepared by chef Karen Dudley. The establishment hit the headlines when it played host to Michelle Obama, who made a special appearance in 2011.

The Test Kitchen recently voted the number two kitchen in South Africa sees chef Dale Roberts cooking his distinctive style of cuisine in an intimate space.

Bread Cafe is a deli styled cafe situated on the ground floor of The Bromwell, a boutique mall where you can pick up one-of-a-kind art, sculpture, jewellery, furniture, décor and books.

Where to stay

Upper East Side Hotel is Cape Town's glamorous first business boutique four star hotel


Like Woodstock, Braamfontein just outside of Johannesburgs' CBD, has undergone a major inner city regeneration. The suburb underwent a flurry of development at the height of the apartheid era and thrived as a financial and commercial centre. This however all came to an end with the abolishment of the political system and Braamfontein subsequently suffered a marked slide, deteriorating into an unkept and unsafe area locals did their best to avoid. Happily though recent efforts by the city of Johannesburg and large corporate businesses have borne fruit transforming the previously grubby city centre into one of South Africa's foremost arts and entertainment hubs. Now it hosts many of the country's top musicians and artists and forms part of a Cultural Arc linking it to buzzing Newtown and Constitutional Hill via the Nelson Mandela Bridge.

We love the uniqueness of 'Braamies' as it is fondly referred to. Vibey and cosmopolitan, its screamingly bright buildings draw your attention to the laidback fun atmosphere of the area and offer inspiration to the creatives that have made it their home. Creatives such as South Africa's world renowned fashion designer David Tlale. Surely that alone is enough to make it SA's new fashion hub. If not then Braamies is also home to two art galleries, two theatres, a number of excellent night clubs, a dance studio and ... following on the success of the Cape Town initiative, a flourishing and hugely popular Neighbourgoods market.

What to do

Set your taste buds alight at the Neighbourgoods Market
The Johannesburg edition was launched in Braamfontein in 2011 and is a raving success drawing seekers of good food and vibes from all over the city.

A theatre you shall go
The Johannesburg Civic Theatre which also houses the Mandela Theatre offers theatre-goers a wide choice: from classical ballet to comedy; drama and pantomime

Visit Constitution Hill

This national heritage site has witnessed a century of South Africa’s history.

Walk the Nelson Mandela Bridge
At 284 metres, it is the largest cable-stayed bridge in South Africa, linking the Constitutional Hill in Braamfontein to the Cultural precinct in Newtown, the heart of the city’s inner city renewal project.View the public art displays featured along the Cultural Arc

Where to eat

Coffee and cocktail bars, swanky restaurants and chic little cafes ensure that foodies are spoilt for choice.

Narina Trogon restaurant situated in the heart of Braamfontein serves up fresh seasonal food, great wines and bustling street views.

Ramen restaurant with its strong traditional Japanese influence, serves noodles and curries and is a popular spot to meet friends for a drink.

Love Food, a deli styled cafe is a little slice of heaven where the owner Jamie's love of food is evident in her creative menu of beautiful fresh food using only the finest locally sourced seasonal produce.

Where to stay

Hotel Lamunu, Braamfonteins bright and chic city hotel is close to universities, art galleries, museums, theatres and the Gautrain station.

Reef Hotel, a 4-star establishment with on-site restaurant and 120 individually decorate guest suites with satellite TV.


Durbans answer to all that is trendy, integrated, regenerated and now very much of the art and design scene is Glenwood. Lying 4 km south-west of Durbans central business district, Glenwood like Woodstock and Braamfontein is one of the region's oldest suburbs.

Glenwood in the midst of its urban revival mostly due to the hive of activity evident on Davenport, Road where musos, artists and young designers have set up shop in some of the beautiful old Victorian houses, is the type of place where you can squeeze in a yoga class, follow it up with a Moroccan meal before meeting up for evening drinks at an art gallery with friends. Its cosmopolitan but laidback villagey vibe and sedate tree-lined streets makes this suburb an ideal place to get away to after the bright lights of the city centre.

What to do

Go arty and visit the KZNSA Gallery
The gallery exhibits contemporary visual culture, a shop, café and a training art programme. 

Give in to your inner child
The African Toy Shop where exquisite toys handcrafted by African toymakers, using real pieces from Africa are now available to the rest of the world.

Visit the Phansi Museum
This museum hosts some of the largest collections of traditional arts, crafts and artefacts in South Africa.

Where to eat

Olive and Oil restaurant is all about quality Mediterranean-style ambience and dining where the emphasis is on great quality food and outstanding service.

Euforia - bistro, boutique, book shop and art gallery. Browse through the one of a kind art collectables or pick up a second hand book  and start reading while you wait for your lunch to appear.

Delux Burger Bar serves every type of burger you can think of from interesting toppings like mango salsa to beetroot and red bean.

Where to stay

10 Woodlands Road is a 4 star B&B and self catering guest house. Spread over two adjacent properties with two large pools and pleasant landscaped gardens, it provides guests with ample space to relax and unwind.

Bali on the Ridge is an elegant, olde-worlde style B&B set high on the panoramic ridge of Upper Glenwood with breathtaking views of the city and harbour.

For more information contact:

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Cape Town, tourist destination of note!

What makes Cape Town the ideal tourist destination?

Recently voted the worlds best city by readers of the UK Daily Telegraph, Cape Town ticks all the right boxes with its outstanding natural beauty, fascinating culture and heritage, incredible weather, unique experiences, its playful sense of adventure, varied landscapes and welcoming people - all of which combine to create the perfect visit. Every time

For the seekers of beauty,
  • Experience the majesty of Table Mountain as it rises tall and imposing out of the city centre, float up its craggy face on the rotating cable car and take in the breathtaking 360 degree views of the Western Cape from its summit.
  • Visit Cape Point, the spectacular most south westerly point of Africa. Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, it is a world heritage site and home to different species of birds, small mammals, zebra, eland and baboons.
  • Breath in the serene fragrance and colours of hundreds of indigenous fynbos plants at multi award winning Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
  • Go to the beach. Considered the world's second best beach city, sun worshippers are spoilt for choice by the turquoise waters and sparkling white sands of our blue flag beaches.

Should culture and heritage be your drawcard, then
  • Board a ferry to Robben Island where South Africa's recent history was shaped by the quiet courage of prinsoner 46664, ex president of South Africa Nelson Mandela;
  • Experience the quirky charms and cobbled streets of the Bo Kaap where the Cape Malay Community, the descendants of Malaysian political exiles still live, love and flourish.
  • Sample township culture by going on a township tour and gaining insight into the lives of the welcoming locals.
  • Abandon your inhibitions and join the irrepressible minstrels and find your feet tapping to the irresistable rhythms of the Cape Minstrel Carnival as they dance through festive city streets.

Thrillseekers are spoilt for choice by the wide range of extreme sports on offer. For instance they could go
  • Abseiling. Not for the faint hearted, adventurers can abseil 112m from the top of Table Mountain
  • Hang gliding. Launch yourself off Lions Head and enjoy a smooth and silent flight hundreds of metres above the ground.
  • Kite boarding. Head for Blaauwberg and using a power kite, ride the winds and let it pull you through the waves on a small surfboard or kiteboard.

Taste Cape Town
    Explore the bounty of the Constantia Wine Valley – the oldest wine making region in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Tuck into the sweet savoury delight of bobotie, a traditional Cape Malay dish, just one of the mouthwatering offerings that defines Cape Malay cuisine.
  • Discover wonderful African cuisine and soak up the ambience and entertainment while on a township tour.

Whatever your reason for visiting, Cape Town has it in abundance and is ready and waiting to experience it with you. Visit Cape Town for the trip of a lifetime.