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聽 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

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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聽

Nabeela x

Krakow / Krak贸w

I never thought I’d end up in Poland. Am I glad I did? You bet. The city of Krak贸w 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 Krak贸w, explored in the little tourist shops and all in all had a ball. Its safe to saw that Krak贸w 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鈥檝e always heard that Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but when you鈥檙e a kid who has shared a city with Table Mountain your whole life, you assume that it鈥檚 normal. It鈥檚 only as I鈥檝e grown older that I鈥檝e been seeing my city in all its glory. I鈥檓 discovering so many wonderful spots in and around the Mother City (which is what Cape Town is sometimes called) and I鈥檝e 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鈥檛. But whether you鈥檙e 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 鈥榝ood shed鈥 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鈥檚 beautiful to watch a sunset (or a sunrise if you鈥檙e an early bird) there. And if you鈥檙e alone, don鈥檛 worry! There鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檙e 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 d茅cor 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 caf茅 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鈥檛 go to Camps Bay very often, but I love the vibe. It feels like you鈥檙e 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鈥檝e been here, I鈥檝e LOVED it. Its my kind of place. Local products, smoothies and pancakes and LOTS of other food, what more could a girl want?聽 It鈥檚 a perfect way to spend your Saturday morning. If you鈥檙e the kind of person who doesn鈥檛 mind wandering around through crowds (as long as you鈥檙e 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聽

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 Caf茅

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