beauty

The Artist | Mimi Chuan

I’ve been following Mimi on Instagram for the longest time, and I finally reached out recently to ask if she’d like to be featured over here on the blog. Mimi, known as Mimskii on Instagram, creates the most beautiful ceramic pieces that are simple, yet striking and quite lovely to look at. I asked Mimi a few questions about her creative practice. Here’s what she had to say…


What keeps you inspired?
Creation. I thrive when frolicking in nature.

What made you gravitate towards clay as a medium?
I feel like clay is a very grounding and forgiving medium. I am a hand builder (as opposed to wheel work) So it requires (alot of) patience and each piece is incredibly unique and no 2 pieces look the same. The process cannot be rushed (or mass produced) and it’s a little bit unpredictable. It feels raw and of the earth. I love that.

Favourite piece to date?
My current “Rising Suns” tumblers that will form part of my first capsule collection (hōm) being released early next year (2019).

Dream collaboration?
There are so many incredibly creative and talented individuals that I don’t know if I can name just one. But that being said, my most recent collaboration with Melissa of Studio Melissa Louise on Floral Slumber, was an absolute dream. I really admire her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to translate her creative talents across different disciplines (interior design, candles, digital marketing etc.) It was such a fun experience and would love to do it again.

Your style in three words?
improvisational, minimal and true to hand and material.

Find more of Mimi’s work on her Instagram.
Nabeela x
(Photographs were provided by Mimi)

Green Skincare Routine | Update

My skincare routine has changed quite a bit since the last time I did a skincare post, so I thought I would fill you in on what products I’ve been using for the last little while. Even as someone with pretty well-behaved skin, I think it’s so important to establish a good routine that cares for your skin and its concerns. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be elaborate, but think of it as an investment.

Cleanse

I use a gel cleanser and an oil-to-milk cleanser. If I double-cleanse, I use both, but most of the time I use my gel cleanser and then use the other one to get make-up off (this doesn’t happen very often).

Facial Cleanser – Beautiful Earth

This gel cleanser doesn’t foam or leave my skin feeling stripped, but my face still feels squeaky clean afterwards. It also has a lovely citrus scent and its quite affordable.

Oil-Milk Cleanser – Skin Creamery

Pretty sure this is my third bottle. It’s a bit pricey, but I find that it lasts really long and it literally melts make-up off. It also works well as a morning cleanser when you don’t want something too intense, but don’t just want to use water either. As all Skin Creamery products do, this stuff smells delish.

Moisturise

Imperialis – Lush Cosmetics

For the longest time, I’ve been using the Skin Creamery Everyday Cream, but I decided to switch over about a month ago. I was just a bit tired of it and wanted to try something a bit lighter for the summer.

I’ve been using Imperialis from Lush, and it’s so good! The smell was a bit weird at first but I got used to it. It’s really light so you can build it if you have drier skin. I prefer to pair it with an oil if I need it. It’s a bit pricey too, but I think it’ll last a while. I’m been using it for just over a month, and I’m about a quarter way through the tub.

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Eau de Roma – Lush Cosmetics

Also on my second bottle of this. The bigger bottle is much more cost-effective to buy, so if you want to try this, just go big. It removes mascara really well, plus it serves as a good hydrating spray under moisturiser. (R165)

Extra things

Facial Hydrating Oil – Skin Creamery

This stuff works really well for dry skin, and a little goes a long way. It is pricey, but face oils are expensive and when I bought it, it was almost 3 x cheaper than others on the market. (The price has since gone up).

Tea Tree Oil – Soil Therapy

Tea tree oil will forever be my holy grail skincare product. It’s natural, its cheap and it works like a bomb.

Spot Treatment – Naturals Beauty

Works pretty well, and it lasts long. It’s also really affordable. (The whole range is).

Dark Angels – Lush Cosmetics

This is such a lovely exfoliator. Only thing is, it makes one big mess. So go easy, and maybe use it in the shower, as this makes for easier clean-up.

For masks, I use the Naturals Beauty one, and Skin Creamery Facial Cleansing Powder with honey. Both work well, but I’m yet to find a mask that completely blows my mind.

And lastly, for lips, I’ve been using the Vaseline Lip therapy for the longest time. It’s not natural, but it does work and I haven’t been able to find one that works as well.

So that’s it, I think.

Happy skin care-ing.

Nabeela x

 

 

 

On Body-Positivity / Self-Acceptance

Today I’m going to sharing some thoughts about a topic that is really important to me, and affects everyone. Arguably one of the biggest issues that young and old people alike in today’s world, is low self-esteem. With a constant slew of photo-shopped, airbrushed and perfected people in the media being pushed down our throats on a daily basis, it comes at no surprise. Comparing ourselves to a photograph that a professional has spent hours editing and perfecting can be pretty awful. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the sinking feeling of dissatisfaction in ourselves at some point. Firstly, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Your feelings are valid, and you’re not being silly. Next, I’m hear to hopefully teach you some things (with some help of wise and insightful people) that’ll hopefully set you on a path of self-acceptance.

Accepting your body with all its flaws, and appreciating everything it does for you can lead you to feel so much more confident in your own skin and ultimately bring you more happiness. Also, remember that you are not defined by the way you look.  Appearance isn’t everything. After all, its pretty hard to feel bad about your body once you start thinking about the billions of cells and micro-organisms whose only care and purpose is keeping you alive and healthy.

Now, I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, and body-positivity is definitely something I still struggle with, but I’m learning and slowly making progress, day by day. Patience, dear hearts.

I asked some of my favourite advocates of body-positivity and self-acceptance, to share some advice on becoming more body-positive…

Cari Turner, Get Well Club

“My first tip when it comes to embracing your body and becoming more body positive in general is to stop playing the comparison game. This can be extremely tough as we’re bombarded with images of other people on social media who appear to always look amazing and have everything in their lives sorted out. But this isn’t true – nobody is perfect and what you’re seeing is a carefully curated photo or caption and not the complete reality of that person’s life. So if need be, unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or that make you want to compare yourself.

Only follow people that inspire, encourage and uplift you. In real life, whenever you feel the need to compare yourself or your body to someone else, remember that you were created to be unique and that there is beauty in diversity. Also, remind yourself of all the amazing things that you can do, like a handstand or a dance or that your body keeps you alive and healthy!

Another tip that I have for embracing your body is that you need to remember that it is a journey. You can’t just decide to be body positive one day and then you’re completely happy with your body for the rest of your life. There will be days when you feel terrible about yourself and others when you’ll feel amazing about your body. It is about making daily (sometimes hourly) choices to accept your body as it is in that moment. It is about remembering all the good things your body helps you to do. It is about reminding yourself that your jiggly arms help you to hug your loved ones or that your freckles are little memories of fun times you’ve had in the sun. It is about embracing your flaws and loving yourself even more because of them.”  – @getwellclub 

Kirsten Kadé, Taste and See

“One of my favourite quotes on this topic is by the lovely Kite sisters, or Beauty Redefined (https://beautyredefined.org): “Having positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing that your body is good regardless of how it looks. It isn’t about thinking you are beautiful, it is knowing you are more than beautiful. It is understanding that your body is an instrument for your use, not an ornament to be admired”

This quote really sums up what learning to like your body, no matter it’s shape or size, is about. When we start to see our worth in more than our clothing size or weight on the scale, we are able to live our lives to the fullest!

 As a nutritionist-to-be, one of my interests is to help others heal their relationship with food. The framework of Intuitive Eating is incredibly useful in healing your relationship with food – so one of my biggest tips is to buy the book, start reading blogposts, following people, and listening to podcasts on this topic. And explore developing a healthy, non-restrictive approach to food.”  – @tasteandseeblog

There is so much learning to be done, and such a long way to go, but I really hope you have found some value in this. If you are truly happy within yourself, very little will get you down. Keep spreading love.

I’ve created this little print-out that you can stick on your wall, just as a tangible reminder.

Nabeela x

{A special thank you to Cari and Kirsten for sharing your wisdom with us}

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.

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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.

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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.

Mornings

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.

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Evenings

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.

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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

Curate / Light + Detail

Minutiae / the small, precise details that makes one unique; the finer points and subtleties

As a visual person, I am very much aware of the little things. I have a deep appreciation for details, and they make my heart sing. (I know that I’m definitely not alone on this).

I especially love beautiful light and intricate detail in architecture. Here is a photo essay of some of the light and detail I’ve snapped over the last little while…

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“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” – Giorgio Armani 

Nabeela x

Krakow / Kraków

I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Kraków stole my heart. What a charming, unassuming place. Its not a place that is really hyped up about in magazines and on travel blogs – I’d consider it underrated in the least. It has a vibe like no other, holds so much historical importance and the architecture is so very beautiful. We did a walking tour of Kraków, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Kraków was one of my favourite places that we visited (although I did love them all)!

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One of the most picturesque streets in Krakow
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Wawel Cathedral

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Nabeela x

Cape Town Faves / 01.

Hello

I’ve always heard that Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but when you’re a kid who has shared a city with Table Mountain your whole life, you assume that it’s normal. It’s only as I’ve grown older that I’ve been seeing my city in all its glory. I’m discovering so many wonderful spots in and around the Mother City (which is what Cape Town is sometimes called) and I’ve decided to share a few of my favourite spots with you. My plan is to make this a new series on the blog, and as soon as I have enough new favourite places to write posts, the next ones will follow. Some of them are the touristy kind, others aren’t. But whether you’re a tourist or a local, these are some places worth checking out.

 

  • Market on the Wharf and The Water Shed at the V&A.

I have to admit that this is probably my favourite spot in Cape Town. Its at the V&A Waterfront, but its outside, and the wooden benches overlook the beautiful harbour. You have a perfect view of the mountain! There are two separate areas: one that sells food stuff and one with local, artisanal products (my two favourite things). The ‘food shed’ as I call it (Market on the Wharf is its proper name) sells the best burgers at a place called Woodies and the yummiest pancakes, waffles and pastries at The Love of Yummyness. It also has a The Creamery stall that sells ice cream and Truth Coffee as well as many other food and drink stalls. Its always such a treat to go there and indulge. The Water Shed has many traders that sell a variety of local, artisan and handmade products. I could spend hours in that place and my parents always have to drag me out.

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The beautiful harbour.
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My all-time favourite pancake: nutella and strawberries. YUM
  • Sea Point Promenade

I love walking and running on Sea Point promenade. The fresh ocean air is so refreshing and it’s beautiful to watch a sunset (or a sunrise if you’re an early bird) there. And if you’re alone, don’t worry! There’s plenty of people, dogs and seagulls to keep you company along the way!

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  • Table Mountain

Being a Cape Tonian, naturally I would love Table Mountain. I see it almost every day and its one of the most famous landmarks of our city. But being on top is a totally different experience. I only have one (believe it or not) recent memory of being on top on the mountain. We took a cable car up ,watched the sunset and then rode down. It’s so beautiful, you can see everything from up there! Its fun to spot places from above. Once the sun goes down, the whole city lights up and its such an inspiring thing to see.

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A beautiful sunset on Table Mountain.
  • Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is in the Simon’s Town area and I can say with much confidence that it is my favourite beach in the whole entire world (so far). Its called Boulders Beach for a reason. The huge boulders mean that its very sheltered, especially at low tide and so it feels like a huge, salty swimming pool. It’s the only beach I feel totally relaxed at. My favourite thing to do is sit on a rock as the tide comes in and watch the water lap onto the rock. Jumping off the boulders is also loads of fun and if you’re up to it, you can check out the penguins too!

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How cute aren’t the penguins?

 

  • The Creamery

I Yes, I AM a die-hard fan of this place. I first discovered them on Instagram when I was a newbie-grammer and once I tasted it, I was sold. The cute décor and yummy ice cream keeps me going back for more. (You can read a post I wrote about them here). Their waffles are divine and the ice cream is made from products that are sourced locally. My favourite café is the one in Moullie Point (not far from the promenade).

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Newlands Cafe
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Raspberry and Choc Chip – YUM, my favourite.
  • Camps Bay

I don’t go to Camps Bay very often, but I love the vibe. It feels like you’re on holiday the moment you climb out the car. You can walk along the beach, or grab a smoothie or pizza at one of the restaurants opposite the beach. All just in time to catch a killer sunset.

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How stunning? This is completely unedited.
  • The Neighbourhood Goods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill

The few times I’ve been here, I’ve LOVED it. Its my kind of place. Local products, smoothies and pancakes and LOTS of other food, what more could a girl want?  It’s a perfect way to spend your Saturday morning. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind wandering around through crowds (as long as you’re armed with an iced latte) and admiring all the prettiness and yumminess, then this is the place for you!

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  • The Woodstock Exchange 

The moment I walked into this place, I fell in love. The shops sell all my favourite local brands from skincare products and jewelry to home decor, coffee and chocolate. Its a place I definitely recommend if you enjoy all the handmade and pure goodness.

  • The Clay Café

This place is awesome. The view is just spectacular and its so fun too! They make all kinds of pottery from tea cups to ornaments and you go and paint them. They glaze them for you and you can come and collect them. Its really lots of fun to see your work and you can do it all whilst enjoying some cake or pizza!

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The view is just stunning and so is the awesome, chilled vibe.

I definitely love my city and especially these places! I can’t wait to discover new places and share them with you too! What are your favourite places in the Cape or anywhere, really?

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

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