Well Woven / CarryAnn

Anyone who’s done research into the fashion industry will know that it’s pretty easy to uncover the atrocities of fast fashion if only one looks in the right places. Exploitation, unethical labour and wastage are major issues that are associated with the fashion industry, to name a few.


I was simply delighted to discover CarryAnn recently, a local brand that aims to empower communities, follow sustainable business practice and provide a quality product.

The bags are woven from indigenous grasses using traditional techniques, and are then supplied to CarryAnn. They are then embellished to make them more current, whilst still maintaining their authenticity and quality.

“One of the business goals of the CarryAnn is to help keep this traditional skill alive and valued.” 


“For us, in our business, meeting the weavers who make our bags, knowing who they are, and knowing a little bit about their lives as well as what a difference this work makes to their lives, makes it all worth while. This is not just manufacturing, it’s community support.” – Inge and Jenny, from CarryAnn


So next time you think that you can’t contribute to a more sustainable, ethical fashion industry, think again. You don’t have to spend thousands. Remember, your money is your vote, and businesses like CarryAnn remind us of that.

Nabeela x

Photography: Imán Cassiem | Aesthete’s Perception

Art Direction: Nabeela Parkar | Miss Artsy-Crafty


We’re giving someone an opportunity to own a CarryAnn bag too…

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment below with your favourite thing about supporting local business
  2. Follow CarryAnn and Miss Artsy-Crafty on Instagram
  3. Like the giveaway post
  4. Tag 2 friends in the comments on Instagram (you all need to be following both accounts for your entry to be valid)

Open to South African residents only | Closes on Friday, 30th March 2018


A Greener Face / Skin Creamery

I first began slowly making the transition to an (almost) entirely natural skincare routine, as a part of my efforts to gradually start living a more natural, eco-friendly and human-friendly life (i.e. cut back on any products that contain nasty chemicals) almost a year ago.  I did my fair share of research, and eventually started switching out my products at the time with natural ones as they ran out.


Skin Creamery products were among the first natural ones I used in my skincare routine, and I haven’t looked back. Their packaging is a aesthete’s delight, and it’s mostly all glass or ceramic so its kinder to our Earth too. Believe me when I tell you that what’s inside is even better (I didn’t think it was possible either).


Hannah Rubin, who started Skin Creamery back in 2014 has crafted a luxurious skincare brand that makes effective, natural skincare accessible and affordable. Here’s what Hannah had to say about the brand.

What inspired you to start Skin Creamery? Could you tell us a bit about how you got started?  I wanted to combine my passion for natural living with my experience in the beauty industry. I was looking to create something that simplified skincare without compromising on the quality. Getting back to basics with skin care was my vision for the brand.

Skin Creamery products are natural and cruelty-free, which is something very close to my heart, and obviously yours too. What do you think makes this so important, and is this something you thought about right from the beginning of Skin Creamery? Yes, it was always my intention to create products from natural raw ingredients without any harmful effects to the skin. Being cruelty-free was obviously a given, as who in this day and age would really test beauty products on animals? (Ed note: My sentiments exactly!) It just seems like madness to me! As the products are made from certified organic oils – there is no need to test them on anything other than human skin (: 

Less is more is fast becoming the golden phrase when it comes to skincare. What do you think is essential in a natural skincare routine?  Getting back to basics and simplicity is my philosophy in skin care. A hydrating nourishing moisturizer (the Everyday Cream) and a great cleanser (the Oil-Milk Cleanser) are my staples that I cannot live without. Your skin is an amazing organ that is self-regulating and self-healing. If you are healthy on the inside your skin will be healthy on the outside. It is important to maintain moisture levels and cleanse thoroughly. Simplicity is key.


My thoughts about the products…

Everyday Cream

This rich cream is wonderfully nourishing and moisturizing. Although its not currently part of my routine (although I have ordered some), it is a favourite of mine, and the smell is lovely. (I did find it slightly too rich at times, but great for my skin’s drier days).

Oil-Milk Cleanser

I use this gentle cleanser to wash my face in the mornings. It leaves my skin feeling cleansed, but not dried out, which is what I love for the mornings. It also smells divine (noticing a trend here?)

Facial Cleansing Powder

I can never seem to use it properly with water as it always runs out of my hands, so I prefer to mix it with some raw honey, apply it and leave it for ten minutes or so, and then wash it off. It works well as an exfoliator as its not too harsh and my skin doesn’t feel stingy or too tingly after, which is lovely.

Facial Hydrating Oil

I love this product. I’d say it’s the most value for money out of all the Skin Creamery products. (Many similar products on the market go for the same price, but only half the quantity).  It can be used with water by applying it into wet hands and then massaging it into your face, but I prefer to use it on its own. A little really goes a long way, and I find that one drop (!) is usually enough for the dry skin around my eye area and mouth. Its nourishing and I can still feel some of it the next morning, so I don’t wake up with a dry face. And the smell? Well, need I say more?

Skin Tonic

I’ve only been using the tonic for a few days, so I haven’t formed an opinion yet. It does feel soothing to my face and helps my skin to absorb my moisturizer better. (Once I’ve been using it for a little while, I’ll share my thoughts on Instagram).



Here’s to making small changes to a happier body and earth.

Nabeela x

PS. Keen to try out the range, but don’t want to commit to the full-sized products? Try out their adorable travel set, available here or here

On Building A Kinder Closet


Over the past year or two, as I’ve continued to do reading and learning about living more mindfully, simply and sustainably, one of the topics I came across was the important and ongoing conversation around fast fashion and the out-of-control mass consumerism that is closely associated with the fashion industry. It left me feeling helpless, confused, and guilty amongst other things. With a bout of extreme guilt about what I was wearing and buying,  it felt like a problem that was too big and out of my hands.

However, after doing more research, I slowly developed small actions I can take to eventually achieve my goal of only buying clothes from ethical sources (and preferably, local ones too). I’ve been slowly implementing them as I add new things to my wardrobe. Its a slow journey, and you need to practice a little patience. Do the research, save some money, purge your closet and you’ll be on the right track.

Some things to think about…

  • Your money is your vote. By choosing to buy ethical, sustainable clothing (or anything) you are supporting the ethical product scene.
  • Knowledge is power. The more research you do, the more strongly you will feel about the cause, and the more informed your decisions will be.

Here are the small steps I’ve been taking…

Be aware. Knowing that there’s an issue is a good place to start. It’ll make the process worthwhile and important to you.

Start small. Its unrealistic for many of us to switch to an all-ethical, all-local wardrobe in the space of a season. In reality, many top fast fashion brands don’t have  ethical business practices. However, there are some that just top it all when it comes to unethical business practice. After doing some reading and watching the news, I made a list of repeat-offenders that I no longer shop at. Baby steps.

Buy less. Choose well. These words by Vivienne Westwood are my motto when it comes to curating a wardrobe. The best thing you can do is choose quality over quantity. Choose the pieces that have been made to last.

I’ve started seeing that fast fashion chains and ethical brands’ pricing can be pretty on par nowadays. If you can get it locally and ethically for roughly the same price, then do it.

Have a list. Going into a sale where everything is 70% off, it can be pretty easy to walk out with bags full of clothing that’ll ultimately end up shoved in the back of your closet. I do an audit of my wardrobe every season and make a concise list of what I need. I have also started using Pinterest and making reference boards of items I need in styles I love. That way, when you go into the sale, you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Don’t just toss it. Getting into a mindset of valuing our clothes and looking after them so that they last is key. Just because you wore it in all your Instagrams last season doesn’t mean it needs to get the boot.

Another tip I’d give is to stick to natural fibres as much as possible. They’re better for the environment, they wash well and your skin will thank you. I generally find that my clothing pieces made from natural fibres last longer too.

Here are some of my favourite South African clothing and accessory labels that produce quality, locally made pieces.


Jane Sews


Bamboo Revolution

Like I said before, knowledge is power. Some of my favourite places to learn more about ethical fashion:

Fashion Revolution

Tolly Dolly Posh

Nabeela x


Seaside Snapshots / Struisbaai

As a lover of the ocean, any time spent frolicking around in the waves and basking in the sun is an absolute treat. Imagine my felicity when I found myself in a beautiful beach house with my lovely family for just a little less than a week. Queue early morning runs, long walks on the beach, riding the waves, and taking some time to do good old nothing. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos, the quaint fisherman’s village being my subject.

When we weren’t on the beach, we ventured to Cape Agulhas (the southern most tip of Africa) and De Mond Nature Reserve.

struisbaai 1

struisbaai 2

struisbaai 3

struisbaai 4


struisbaai 6

struisbaai 7



struisbaai 10



Nabeela x


Top Shelf Gone Natural

Over the past year or so, I’ve transitioned to an (almost) completely natural skincare routine. My carefully chosen skincare products are kinder to my skin, and the earth. As anyone might be, I was slightly terrified to switch out my old skincare routine (that was working well) for fear of terrible breakouts and uneasy skin. I even had a nightmare once – safe to say I thought a lot about making these changes.


I did abundant research, read reviews on the websites of many South African skincare brands and formed a list of products I would start out with. Then, as a certain product finished, I would replace it with my chosen natural one, until my entire routine had been replaced. The benefit of doing this is that if you break out, you know exactly which product may have caused it. It’s also gentler on the pocket.


Some think that natural skincare is overly expensive and therefore it is cheaper to stick to other brands. I have found that that isn’t the case – there are a wide variety of products for every budget and I have found products that are affordable and work for me.

I love skincare (as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now), and adore reading Into The Gloss. The photography in their series, The Top Shelf, inspired me for this shoot.

Now, onto what I’m using at the moment.


Most mornings, I wash my face with the Oil-Milk Cleanser from Skin Creamery. It smells lovely, and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I find it a bit too oily for me to use at night, but its  perfect for my morning wash. I then moisturize with the Facial Moisturizer from Naturals Beauty. It’s light and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, but still does the job.



Once or twice a week, I exfoliate with Ocean Salt from Lush. I prefer the self-preserving one as it all natural to my knowledge. I then wash my face with the face wash from Naturals Beauty. I use my moisturizer and the Naturals Beauty Spot Treatment on any spots I may have. If I have any bad spots, I use a bit of tea-tree oil – the stuff works like a charm.

As and when

Once a week or so, I use to Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder mixed with some raw honey as a gently exfoliating face-mask. It smells lovely and helps with gentle exfoliation. I’ve also just started using the Facial Hydrating Oil from Skin Creamery and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. It’s light-weight but still hydrating. My skin drinks the stuff up. I also occasionally use the Eau Roma Water from Lush (it is the only product in my routine to my knowledge that isn’t 100% natural) to get make-up off or if I feel in need of a double-cleanse. I also use to Cleansing Balancing Balm from Lulu and Marula to remove make-up – it works ridiculously well. If my skin is looking uneven, I sometimes use to Purifying Treatment Oil from L&M too. Not sure if I see that much of a change, but it helps slightly. I’ve also just started using the Purifying Masque from Naturals Beauty that seems to be working well. Lastly, my go-to lip balm is the one from Simply Bee. Its really affordable (as in cheaper than Labello even) and is super effective.



And that’s it! I’m happy with where I am with my skincare at the moment and am working consciously to bring more natural alternatives into all aspects of my life. Its better for me and the environment. Here’s to slowly making better decisions about our bodies and lives. Its an investment you’ll never regret.

Nabeela x

Green Musings / Stellenberg Gardens

As a person who appreciates nature, and plants in particular, the Stellenberg Gardens were an absolute treat to visit. Talk about #gardengoals. The beautiful private gardens are open to the public one weekend a year, and this year, my family and I visited. What I loved most about the garden is how diverse the plant life is. Every little section felt like a whole new world full of plants and flowers that were are a visual feast. I forgot my camera at home and was seriously sad about that, but snapped some shots on my phone anyway. If you love gorgeous gardens and beautiful plant life, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for open gardens that take place throughout the summer around Cape Town…

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Spot the bee



Glorious afternoon light 
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My favourite plant – delicious monster / Monstera deliciosa


Nabeela x

Potion / Cold-brewed Goodness

As a person who doesn’t drink any hot drinks (more about that here), I’m used to making coffee, adding milk and then throwing in a ton of ice blocks so that it isn’t warm. So, you can imagine my excitement when I came across Potion Coffee, a Cape Town- based brand that produces cold-brewed coffee. It is naturally sweeter and less acidic – a truly unique flavour suited to sophisticated taste buds. It can be drunk black, or if you’re like me, you can add a little sugar and milk.

Being a visual person, and a self-confessed packaging lover, another thing that drew my attention towards Potion is their beautiful packaging. The bottles are inspired by old-school medicine bottles, combined with the idea of alchemy, all which make for a very aesthetically pleasing product. (I’m sure you’ll agree!)



Being passionate coffee lovers themselves stops them from producing anything that is less than excellent.

So next time you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for this delightful beverage and be sure to try to out!

Nabeela x

[Disclaimer: All images belong to Potion Coffee. As usual, all opinions are my own. I would never write about a product that I don’t love.]