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.

IMG_7115

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.

IMG_7132

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 itsΒ  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.

IMG_7146

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.

IMG_7153

IMG_7155

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

Advertisements

On Exercising + Sticking With It

persistence /pΙ™ΛˆsΙͺst(Ι™)ns/ – “The fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.”

move

Anyone who knows me well (or even just knows me – ha!) will know that I love exercise. For me personally, over the last few years, the most difficult thing has been sticking with it and being consistent. Its only too easy to workout when we have time and the moment exams start, drop it all and spend our days rolling around in study notes and eating potatoes. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone).

But these past two months have been the best months of exercise I’ve had in a long time, or dare I say ever. I’ve managed to stick with it, even during exams and hectic times. I’ve made mental notes on what I’ve been doing differently that has kept me on track and I thought I’d share – sharing is caring after all.

01. / Be flexible

No pun intended. The quickest way to fall out of routine is by trying to stick to one. Instead of saying to yourself that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, and skipping it all together, do a 5 or 10 minute one. Don’t try to stick to a plan that’s too rigid and leaves no room for adjusting. Work around your other commitments. Think of your workout as an appointment with yourself – don’t let your health take the back seat.

02. / Enjoy it

I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasise it enough. If you dread your workouts, because they’re too difficult or consist of many exercises you don’t enjoy, chances are, you’re more likely to skip them. Instead, do exercise that you enjoy and is doable for your personal fitness level.

03. / Be realistic

I personally find that if I do workouts that are too intensive, my body takes days to recover and it sometimes means that I only workout once in that week. Slowly building yourself up is key. I prefer to do more manageable workouts 2-3 times a week. Don’t overdo it and give your body enough time to rest and recover.

04. / Have a goal

Having a goal makes exercise feel more purposeful. Its easier knowing that you’re working towards something. Make your goals realistic, specific and time-bound.

I hope you can take even just one thing away from this!

Nabeela x

And just a quick disclaimer, I’m no expert. This is simply based off personal experience.

Exercise for Happiness

Exercise. It means something different to everyone. It evokes a different emotion within everyone. For some, it’s lovely. Others, dreadful. Believe it or not, exercise doesn’t have to be something painful and exhausting. I’ve finally got to a point where exercising feels good. It helps me to calm down and de-stress, and it makes my body feel awake. I’ve found that taking on exercise in a positive way has helped tremendously in improving my attitude towards it. Here are some things that have helped me and may help you too…

IMG_3371

01 / Its not punishment

Don’t use exercise as a way to punish yourself. By doing that, you’ll create negative attachments to the process. Instead, see it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your health.

02 / Don’t go too fast

Take it easy. You need to be realistic in order to avoid injury and burnout. Slowly ease yourself into it so that your mind and body can adapt. Its about creating a sustainable, healthy routine.

03 / Do What You Enjoy

I personally have a few exercises that I can’t stand. I don’t enjoy them at all, and I dread seeing them pop up in a circuit. Sure, sometimes they just need to be done, but other times I replace them with a similar one I do enjoy. If you’re not enjoying the exercise you’re engaging in, try something new. It’s easier to stay motivated if you’re having fun.

04 / RestΒ 

You need to rest your body and give your muscles time to recover. Don’t do too much, too quickly – don’t overdo it.

05 / Be realistic

You need to be realistic with your fitness goals. If you have a busy schedule, and you come home late at night a few days a week, don’t plan workouts on those days. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Again, its about sustainability. Trying to do too much too fast will just leave you feeling unmotivated.

These are a few things that I try to keep in the back of my mind all the time. Exercise has become something I love, and I find it therapeutic. I hope that you find a form of exercise that makes you feel good!

Nabeela x

{Disclaimer: These are all tips that I have picked up, based on my own personal experience and journey into wellness.}Β 

Wellness Musings

I’ve been contemplating whether I should start writing about my ongoing wellness journey for a little while now, and I’ve decided for it – hence this post.

IMG_3014

I took a conscious decision to take charge of my fitness about a year ago. At the beginning of 2016, I was really ill, and it left me at the most unfit I’d been in years. I was frustrated with my body. It felt as if it didn’t belong to me. I felt weak, and very incapable.

After that, I wanted to regain my fitness, and most importantly, sustain it. I didn’t really know what I was capable of, and the thought of committing to an intensive workout plan intimidated me. However, I wanted to strengthen my body and push myself to see what I was able to do. My closest friend was doing BBG at the time and swears by it (I do too now). I started off with BBG, because its only three times and week, and I liked the fact that its structured so I didn’t have to decided what exercises to do. It told me what to do and how to do it. It was incredible. It made me so strong and I felt good. I got through most of the 12-week circuit, and then life happened, school took over and I slipped out of my rhythm again.

Over the past few months, I’ve been itching to get active and regain my wellness. I’ve been doing BBG and similar workouts – I don’t force myself. I do whatever I feel like doing. I once saw a quote – “If you fall in love with the process, the results will come.” I cannot reiterate how true that has been for me. I love exercising. It makes me feel strong, happy and energized. Its the perfect me-time carved out of my day dedicated to bettering myself. Its powerful! Β Without trying to sound grandiose, this journey has changed my life. I feel stronger than ever before and its a liberating feeling knowing that your body is capable of more than it was a year ago.

I’m far from where I want to be. But as they say, wellness is a journey, not a destination. And there’s a lot more than just exercising – its about eating well too (the part I struggle with – I have quite the sweet tooth), and taking good care of your mental health – I value self-care immensely – it is so important! For me , its all about balance and overall wellness. I’m not looking for a hectic crash diet or an impossibly difficult daily circuit. I’m aiming to have a healthier lifestyle that is sustainable and that I can grow up with.

I hope that you’ll join me on a journey of improved wellness. It will make you feel good about yourself, and investing time in your health is one of the greatest ones you can make. Start small, and don’t forget – “be gentle with yourself – you’re doing the best you can.”

Nabeela x

Riebeek-Casteel

Hello

After a cold, rainy and miserable week in Cape Town, we were treated to a beautiful, sunny and warm day today. We took a drive out to the quaint town of Riebeek-Casteel off the N7 (in the Western Cape, South Africa). The weather was marvellous, and I almost forgot that it wasn’t summer! We spent the afternoon looking around at all the gorgeous little shops that sold everything from beautiful vintage furniture, dΓ©cor and books to handmade soaps, wonderful body products and handmade beanies. There were a few cafes and a pub too. I thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back, holiday-ish vibe that radiated through the small town. I love discovering new places that aren’t far from home.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Cute little plants planted in farm-style rustic tea cups.
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
The most beautiful vintage chests of drawers, books and other bits and bobs.
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Body products in another store.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

IMG_0075
I tried a really yummy brewed iced-tea made locally by Uber Flavour. This honey and lemon combo was really interesting and and a real treat.

I love exploring and adventuring and then documenting my travels through photography and writing. I have a few more posts like these planned. I hope you’re enjoying them!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx