The Sexiest Makeup Storage Box Around

Neat Freaks, Obsessive Compulsive Tidiers, Makeup Addicts & Design Lovers, please meet The Beauty Box, makers of the most beautiful, practical makeup & jewellery storage boxes in South Africa.

For years (far too many), I used to store my makeup in the drawers of my vanity table: pretty neatly organised, with little make-shift dividers & allocated sections for all the different products. It was OK. However, since discovering The Beauty Box, all my makeup now lives happily on my vanity counter top & the rest, as they say, is history. Everything has its perfect place (nothing make shift about it), is quick & easy to pack away after the usual Morning Makeup Rush and just looks so pretty & professional.

I was introduced to The Beauty Box by my friend & makeup maestro Renee De Wit of Gorgeous2Go fame, when she painted the faces of our MOOIMAAK makeover candidates last season, neatly storing her (lust-worthy) makeup kit in the “Build A Beauty Box” organizer from The Beauty Box. It really was love at first sight, for me.

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On the set of MOOIMAAK, with Renee of Gorgeous2Go

What I love about it

  • the acrylic is super high quality and the unit is particularly well made;
  • although the Build A Beauty Box is generous in size (it’s the biggest organizer they sell), I like the fact that “space is limited” which means all my extra non-daily products can get stored separately, to avoid cluttering up those products I need quick access to – it forces you to edit your collection (and, although I’m not a huge fan of being forced to do ANYthing, when it comes to organizing, I’ll happily allow it:);
  • the drawers and dividers have been very thoughtfully designed, allowing for all different sizes & types of products to live together peacefully. The modular drawer dividers are very flexible and a great addition;
  • the top section is great for larger bottles, brushes & products that need to stand upright;
  • all my daily favourites are on quick & easy display, quick to grab and even quicker to put away;
  • anything that makes living a Marie-Kondo-style declutterd life even easier and looks this elegant, gets a well-manicured “thumbs-up” from me.
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The Build-A-Beauty-Box from The Beauty Box

The lovely ladies at The Beauty Box are offering anyone using the code “clarewiesewentzel” ten per cent off their first order: simply email sales@thebeautybox.co.za to claim this special discount.

Follow The Beauty Box on Facebook here.

Love,

Clare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Skinny On Getting Skinny: Weight Loss Hacks That Work

So, let me start by saying that – whilst I am truly thankful for all I have and wholeheartedly believe in keeping an attitude of gratitude – the Naturally Skinny Gene is not really a part of my DNA. As Britney would put it, perhaps rather bluntly but liberatingly honest, nonetheless: if I “want a hot body”, I have to “work b*tch”.

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Supermodel Gisele Bündchen appears to be a definite custodian of the Naturally Skinny Gene.

To the detriment of my close girlfriends, who either get dragged into my laser-focused mania from time to time or have to put up with me on no carbs, no alcohol, no sugar, no fun, I have embarked on many weight loss missions for those once-in-a-lifetime occasions, where I simply felt I  HAD to look my best. This would include, for example, our wedding, any wedding in which I’ve appeared, big birthday celebrations…the list goes on. It was either slim down and shape up or have photos of the occasion haunt me forever in many different but equally traumatising ways (including the annual rotation of my dear mom’s at-home Christmas tree decorations, incorporating archival family photos and proudly displaying them for all to see, dangling  casually amongst glitter bombs and flickering lights). Yes, the Christmas tree decorations will get you, if you don’t watch out.

So, I can honestly say that, in my opinion, there is certainly no “secret” to getting skinny. There is no “magic” way of eating whatever your carb-hungry heart desires and slimming down simultaneously.  Unless, of course you have some sort of thyroid problem or the coveted but rare Naturally Skinny Gene. For the rest of us, there is only one road to success: “work, b*tch.”

Here are my personal top ten tips for shedding some pounds (with the usual disclaimer that I sure ain’t no doctor, nutritionist or shaman):

  • ClareWieseBlog3.jpgThe devil’s name is Sugar: diet fads come and go but I have yet to meet an expert who encourages the consumption of the White Beast. My number one rule is to stay far away from sugar, in all its sneakily hidden forms, including simple carbohodrates. The stuff is in fruit juices, fizzy drinks, high-sugar fruit, bread, pasta, muffins, ready-made sauces and condiments including tomato sauce, chocolates, canned or dried fruit, ice cream, frozen yogurt, granola, smoothies & of course sweets. It’s everywhere: simply google high-sugar foods and read food labels to keep track of your intake.157986896.jpg
  • Keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day to aid weight loss: this can be done by sticking to foods low on the glycaemic index (GI), including small snacks in between meals, avoiding caffeine, eating breakfast and avoiding all forms of sugar, as mentioned above, including artificial sweeteners. If you sometimes fall off the wagon by eating a food with a high glycaemic index or load, combine it with low GI foods (like a handful of raw almonds) to help balance the meal.
  • Limit alcohol: I have always cut out alcohol when dieting. Not everyone has my A-type German blood though and this rule can be very hard to keep, for some. Not only does alcohol interfere with (or slow down) the way your body burns fat, it messes with your blood sugar levels, lowers your dieting discipline and, somehow, always makes a McDonald’s burger seem like a great midnight snack. If you want to indulge, stick to a glass of red wine, clear liquors like whisky or vodka and stay away from sweet, fizzy mixers. Use fresh lime wedges or cucumber slices with soda, as a healthy mixer option.
  • You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Exercise is great for limited calorie burning, increasing fitness and improving muscle tone (nobody wants to be “fat skinny” after all; we want to be “toned skinny” a la Rachel from FRIENDS). But, if you want to lose weight and become a smaller human, following the correct diet is 85% of the battle. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that 30 minutes on the treadmill “erases” that chocolate brownie or burger & fries. It really, really doesn’t.
  • Have your last meal at 6pm and make it a light one. When your body is winding down from the day and going into rest mode, where do you think all the calories you’ve consumed at dinner, go? Yes, that’s right: to your hips (or your stomach). Wherever it goes, the fact is that it’s not being burned. It’s being “stored”.
  • DNAlysis and similar companies offer diet-related genetic testing these days, that reveals whether your body burns fat better on a diet high in complex carbohydrates (like oats) or protein (tjoppies and wors). One of my best friends, Moi, did this test, changed her eating and swears it changed her life. By the same token, I can also tell you that I tried the LCHF (low carb high fat) program for six weeks straight and did not shed one kilo. Yes, even with my German Discipline Of Steel. Each body is different and what works for you won’t necessarily work for the next person. Hence, genetic testing (if you can afford it) might be a worthwhile consideration if you’re not sure what works for you.
  • Stay hydrated. We often mistake thirst for hunger and overeat this way.
  • Plan a weekly cheat meal. It’s easier to plan a cheat than to have a cheat and feel like a cheater. This often causes us to beat ourselves up or throw in the towel. It’s OK to indulge once or twice a week, even whilst on a diet. It keeps things sustainable and will increase your long-term chances of success. A piece of dark chocolate (anything over 70%) is a delicious and relatively guilt-free treat, by the way.
  • If you’re curious, try intermittent fasting.  intermittent-fasting.jpgThis works like a bomb and is the latest discovery in cutting-edge weight-loss techniques. Intermittent fasting is not a diet. This plan doesn’t require you to change what you eat, you only need to change when you eat. Essentially, intermittent fasting is said to force the body to go into “fat burning mode” during a 14 to 16 hour fasting portion of the day. It’s not as hard as it sounds and carries a whole host of other health & aesthetic benefits. Read more here. All I can say is: I’ve tried it and it works!
  • Consult a professional. Last but not least, if you’re after a serious long-term weight management lifestyle (which is obviously more efficient, healthier & more sustainable than a quick burst of panic-induced weight loss mania), consult an expert:
    • Go see a holistic nutrionist (Hannah Kaye in Cape Town is excellent); OR
    • Consult a medical doctor specialising in the latest scientifically proven weight loss programs. We worked closely with the phenomenal Skin Renewal Clinic (they have several branches across South Africa) on our recent televison makeover series, MOOIMAAK. We managed to help a handful of keen candidates lose as much as 13 kilograms in 3 months on Skin Renewal’s medical weight loss program. I kid you not. We were gobsmacked at the results and none of the ladies ever went hungry, got cranky or fell off the wagon. See below for their before and after magic.
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Patricia lost 13 kilograms in 3 months, through Skin Renewal’s medical weight loss program.
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Daleen lost over 11 kilograms, following Skin Renewal’s medical weight loss program, in just over 2 months. Her clothes were falling off her! What a fabulous problem to have.

Wishing you all a body-happy (and, more importantly, a generally happy) festive season! One final word of advice: don’t start any diets in December or else you’ll give new meaning to the term “silly season”. Enjoy the Christmas cake, the New Year’s bubbly and perhaps one sneaky helping of a midnight McDonald’s. Rather, set your sights on 2018 and let January be the time to”work b*itch”.

With (low-glycaemic) love,

Clare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Probably Have a Leaky Gut & Really Need To Know About It

A little bit about leaky gut (it’s not as gross as it sounds)

If you’re at all interested in holistic health or modern approaches to wellbeing, you will no doubt have heard or read about the term, “leaky gut syndrome”. Essentially, leaky gut syndrome (or “intestinal hyperpermeability”) is a common condition that develops as a consequence of intestinal tight junction malfunction. These “tight junctions” are the gateway between your intestines and what is allowed to pass into your blood stream.  Your tight junctions are there to keep nasty things out like toxins, microbes and undigested food particles.

Having a leaky gut is pretty much like having the gates of your intestines broken, allowing many of these particles that are not supposed to be let through, to enter your blood stream.  When this happens, it causes inflammation throughout your body leading to all kinds of minor and more serious diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders (like thyroid disease), allergies, food intolerances, IBS, acne, eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety and other neurological disorders. Up to 70 to 80 percent of your immune system is situated in your digestive tract. As the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said himself: “all disease begins in the gut.”

As most of us in the modern world are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalances (caused by inter alia the widespread use of antibiotics), the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions.

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Disclaimer 

Before I go any further, please note: I am not a doctor, a medical expert, a nutritionist, reiki master or sangoma, for that matter. What I am, though, is a very curious girl, extremely passionate about health and the undeniable relationship between mind, body and soul; I am someone who continually asks questions, wants to undestand “why” and seeks answers from the world’s leading experts. My write-up here is thus simply to be understood as relaying my own experience with leaky gut syndrome with the honest hope that it might be able to help someone else or, at least, make some of you want to know more or ask more questions.

My experience

thyroid-disease-1.jpgI came to learn about the overarching importance of a healthy gut when I found out, accidentally, a few years ago that my thyroid antibodies were abnormally high. In a nutshell, what this meant was that my body was in a state of autoimmunity (with my thyroid antibodies attacking my thyroid). The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in one’s neck, just above the collarbone. It is one of the endocrine glands, which produce hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many essential bodily activities, including how fast we burn calories and how fast our hearts beat.

I visited one top endocrinlogist after the other, only to be told that “most doctors don’t usually test for thryoid antibodies, they only look at thyroid functions. Yours is still functioning, so just ignore the antibodies for now.” I was informed that there was in any event nothing that could be done to bring down these antibodies and it would be a “wait and see” game. I was told that it is only once your thryoid eventually becomes diseased, by being overactive or underactive (as a result of the antibodies), that you can be “treated”. Treatment involves surgically removing or chemically destroying the thyroid gland and/or prescribing lifetime hormone replacement medication. Neither the “wait and see” approach nor the eventual treatment options sounded particularly appealing to me and, if I had to pinpoint one moment in time when I started questioning conventional or “pill-popping” medical strategies, and becoming more curious about preventative or functional health, this would have been it.

Through weeks of intensive research, refusing to let my state of autoimmunity be a ticking time bomb, desperately wanting to hold on to my functioning thyroid gland (without taking hormone pills for the rest of my life), I ended up at the offices of Dr Susan Blum, a New York-based functional medicine leader. I had come across her best-selling book The Immune System Recovery Plan wherein she explains the link between gut disease (“leaky gut”) and autoimmunity.

p1030909.jpgI immediately started a gut health recovery program, which involved inter alia cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar (three rather frequently consumed foods which can significantly contribute  to intestinal permeability).

Whilst healing a leaky gut is a multifactorial process (involving dietary changes as well as taking digestive supplements, reducting chronic stress and repairing the gut lining), something dramatic happened when I took the first step and simply cut out gluten, sugar and dairy.  And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I have the blood tests to prove it. The gut repair process is not yet complete for me, but things are sure looking positive.

Thryoid peroxidase antibodies (they are supposed to be under 10):

  • July 2015 | 200.3
  • August 2016 | 92.3

I showed the blood tests in question to one of my doctors here in Cape Town and, let’s just say, he was surprised (to put it mildly) that, somehow, my autoimmunity was slowly but surely being “reversed” by a mere change in diet. (Bear in mind that once your thyroid has already been diagnosed as over- or under-active, it’s a different ball game and the damage has been done. I was lucky to have caught the high antibodies in time, albeit by accident, before it irreperably harmed my thyroid.)

Anyway, further to what I said before, this post is not here to serve as a comprehensive textbook on leaky gut syndrome (its causes, signs, symptoms and effects) or a guide on “how to cure whatever illnesses are plaguing you by cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar”. Instead, I am simply sharing a powerful, life-changing series of events that opened my eyes to the very real significance of gut health, beginning with the time when I saw my very own thyroid antibodies drop after a few months of cutting out inflammatory foods.

If you suspect that you might have a leaky gut and are keen to learn more about its effect on your health, I suggest you visit a holistic health expert (either a functional medical practicioner or nutrionist) to help diagnose it and guide you through an extensive gut repair program.

Read more

  • Functional medical expert Dr Mark Hyman has written several, very intersting articles on the subject;
  • Functional medical expert Dr Josh Axe has written an easy to understand article outlining the causes, symptoms and treatment options for leaky gut syndrome;
  • Read more about the fascinating gut-brain connection and how a leaky gut can affect your brain.

See a gut repair expert & get healing

  • I have found a South African version of Susan;) in the form of integrative health expert Hannah Kaye, who lives and practises as a nutritionist (with a very similar approach to Susan’s) in Cape Town;
  • The doctors at Skin Renewal are very holistically-minded and suggested, to my great delight, a full gut repair program for one of our makeover candidates, Bianca, who has been battling acne for years. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

With (non-leaky) love,

Clare.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Express | The Best Quick Fixes

I often get asked, “what are the quickest or easiest ways that a woman can improver her looks & confidence?”  Unfortunately, the general rule when it comes to outer beauty is, “good things come to those who wait” and most of the seriously high-impact cosmetic treatments (as shown on our makeover series Mooimaak) take time to deliver lasting results.

However, luckily, there are exceptions. Here is a list of my favourite “beauty quick fixes” to make you look younger, fresher & prettier without the wait.

(1) TEETH WHITENING

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There are no two ways about it: whiter teeth make for a more beautiful, healthy-looking smile (regardless of how much you score on the Perfect Smile Metre). When I was getting ready for my wedding last year, teeth whitening was on the top of my to-do list (OK, maybe it was second, straight after “kissing carbs goodbye”). My family were so impressed by my pearly whites, they booked their own appointments with my dentist, Dr JJ Serfontein, immediately.

Treatment Philips Zoom In-Chair Whitening System performed by a qualified oral hygienist (including a take-home maintenance kit)

Duration of treatment 90 minutes

Results last 8 to 12 months (depending on smoking, coffee & red wine consumption)

If you live in Cape Town contact the rooms of the fabulous Dr JJ Serfontein to enquire about price & availability on (021) 424 5172

(2) RAISE YOUR BROW GAME

Brow grooming will always be on my go-to beauty recommendation list. I recently wrote an entire blog post about the transformative magic of shaping your eyebrows to instantly flatter & frame your face shape. I could not compile this list without mentioning it again. For more information on treatment duration & results, as well as the name of my favourite brow expert, click here.

THE POWER OF PRETTY HAIR, NAILS & MAKEUP 

You can have as many age-defying, damage-reversing, youth-boosting treatments as you’d like, but there is no denying that the finishing touches of good hair & makeup are just as important (and, luckily, quicker and cheaper to do). And, don’t hate me for saying this, but there is NO excuse, ladies, for chipped, broken or unkept nails. Ever. (I can’t tell you how many times my husband has told me that the first thing he looks at, when meeting a woman, is whether she looks after her nails. I must confess: I do the same.)

(3) QUICK HAIR HACKS

  • If you have limp, lifeless hair and don’t have time for an in-salon blow dry, add instant Hollywood glamour by using these va-va voom volumizing tricks & products
  • If you have frizz-tastic, untamed hair ask your hair stylist for an in-salon straigtening treatment that is, preferably, formaldehyde-free

(4) NAIL TIPS

  • Stay modern by keeping nails short and chic, unless you’re going au naturel with a clear, nude or creamy colour, in which case they can be a bit longer (but please keep Cruelle De Ville far away)
  • My favourite dark colours are Black Cherry Berry, Bella’s Vampire & A Touch Of Sass by Gelish (it takes longer to apply in-salon than regular nail polish, but it lasts over a week and does not chip)
  • My favourite bright reds are Lobster Roll & Wildfire by Shellac
  • My favourite light, neutral colours are Romantique & Negligee by Shellac (also an in-salon gel polish)
  • For at-home regular polish, OPI & Essie make the best range of colours (although it only last a few days)
  • Keep cuticles well-moisturized by applying a bit of coconut or olive oil every second day
  • Don’t mix & match: make sure hands & feet are painted the same colour, please

(5) MAKEUP MUST-HAVES

  • Get your hands on the best foundation you can afford (unless you have perfect skin, in which case, count your blessings, sister, and dare to go bare). The best foundations, in my opinion, are made by Armani, Chanel & Sensai
  • Never skip mascara – I alternate between Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara, Lancôme’s Hypnôse Drama & MAC’s Extended Play Gigablack Lash
  • Invest in a universally flattering lip colour that is close to your natural shade but adds some colour, fullness & definition – my favourite shades are neutral/soft/pink-ish tones like Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk (I use both the lipliner & lipstick for longer wear), MAC’s Boldly Bare lip pencil and their Kinda Sexy lipstick. For those bolder moments, a kickass red like MAC’s classic Ruby Woo is a good one to have in your kit
  • Add a sun-kissed glow with Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder
  • Brighten up your cheeks with Bobbi Brown’s Apricot Powder Blush (it’s potent though, so go very lightly)

Phew, OK – so hopefully your application of the above tips & tricks will go somewhat quicker than my compilation of this list (just kidding – sort of;)

Until next time, ladies. As Rihanna says, “shine bright like a diamond.”

Love,

Clare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stolen On Set | Makeup Tips & Products I’m Loving Right Now

TheGlobalCriticWhilst filming our television show, MOOIMAAK, I was spoiled rotten with daily makeup  tips from my friend (and the best makeup artist in the business), Renee De Wit from Gorgeous2Go. Seeing as I always ask the poor woman 2 million questions about every single thing she recommends (come to think of it, I’m quite surprised she still recommends things to me at all, seeing as it’s always such a leeeeengthy cross-examination:), you can rest assured that I did my homework before trying all of these out myself and, what’s more, am still a loyal fan of each tip & product mentioned here (even now that production has ended).

MAGICAL LITTLE MAKEUP HACKS

(1) Moisturize & hydrate skin | No amount of makeup can hide dehydrated, dry or lifeless skin. To get that youthful, dewy complexion, make sure, before applying your makeup, that your skin is clean, exfoliated (2-3 times per week is enough), well-moisturized & well-hydrated. Dry skin is super ageing.

(2) Wake up tired skin | Wake tired skin up, by gently massaging your moisturizing & hydrating products into the skin, to stimulate blood flow and really get circulation going.

(3) Prep your pout | Before applying lipstick, brush dead skin cells off your lips by using a toothbrush with a little bit of coconut oil, a touch of honey and some brown sugar mixed into it (an easy at-home lip scrub) to make sure the skin on your lips is smooth so that makeup adheres to it better. Afterwards, if lips feel dry, apply a thin coat of lip balm. I always prefer using something completely natural here, as we swallow so much of what’s on our lips. Products like Lanolips 101 Ointment (a rather pricey cult favourite) or Bee Natural Lip Balm (a more affordable option) are petroleum free and completely natural.

(4) Get your lipstick to stay all day

  • First apply a thin coat of lip balm (you don’t want your lips to be too oily, just genthly nourished)
  • Then, apply your lipliner to the entire top and bottom lip
  • On top of that, apply a slightly moisturizing lipstick (which will stop lips from looking too dry). Renee always says “it’s all about layering” when you want to ensure that product lasts. Make sure the lipliner and lipstick you use are the same shade, unless you’re going for a super technical ombré technique, which is not something I would recommend trying at home:)

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  • To really set the colour in place, put a thin tissue over your mouth and sprinkle a light dusting of loose powder through the tissue, onto your lips. Renee did this with many of our participants, where the lip colour was the main feature of their particular makeup look

(5) Invest in an eyelash curler | It’s a lot of admin, yes, ladies, I know. We don’t always have time for all of this, but a curled, open lash instantly opens up your eyes and your face. It’s worth it (and, yes, so are you)! I prefer the good old-fashioned ones, that look like mini-torture devices, to the battery-operated heated wands. Get the best of both worlds by heating up an old-fashioned curler (MAC makes a good one) with a blow-dryer, using medium heat. Then, using the heated curler, curl lashes (first at the base and then at the mid-lash lengths) before applying liner and mascara. Your eyes will really pop!

MAGICAL LITTLE MAKEUP PRODUCTS

  1. I’m absolutely in love with the Chanel Les Beige Healthy Glow Luminous Colour (Medium Deep) (each skin tone is different though, of course, but this colour works well for fair to medium skin tones). I love its powder-cream texture and the fact that it’s not shimmery, but still somehow dewy and luminous. I use it daily.
  2. The Smashbox Contour Kit is insane, for contouring your cheekbones, sculpting your nose and highlighting under your brows and eyes. I bought mine at Woolworths and use it all the time. Believe it or not, whilst it is by no means the last word on contouring, I actually use the clever little diagram inside the palette to guide my highlight & bronzing endeavours.
  3. Sensai sells a velvety soft, easy-to-apply brush-tip under-eye concealer that really works to ligten and brighten those pesky under-eye shadows (the bane of my existence). It’s always in my makeup bag for quick touch-ups and cover-ups throughout the day. On those mornings, however, where nothing but Level 10 coverage will do to rescue my dignity, I thank my lucky stars for Benefit Bo-ing Industrial Strength Full Coverage Concealer. If you can, get both of these heavenly products to make sure you always look like Wide-awake Wendy.
  4. MAC’s Boldly Bare Lip Pencil (not photographed above). This is a colour we used on my lips all the time. Because I quite enjoy (to put it mildly:) a smokey eye, my lips needed to be toned down but (for television) not invisible. This colour is beautifully soft, nude and neutral (without being too brown or too light that it washes you out) and yet it still defines your mouth and helps to create subtly sexy lips, hence the perfect name for it, “Boldy Bare”. I have yet to meet a professional makeup artist that doesn’t have this lipliner in their kit.
  5. Eylure Pro-Lash Individual Lashes is something I got very used to, very quickly, and – without them – my makeup just never looked the same! I have yet to try and apply them myself, and I’m sure it’s not easy but also not impossbile. We stuck to the “short” lashes, as the medium and longer ones look a tad “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. So try and get a pack containing only the “short” lashes. They are amazing and really add drama and definition, without being obvious. I’m obsessed.

Enjoy, ladies and, as always, feel free to send me feedback or ask any questions by getting in touch.

Love,

Clare.

 

 

 

From Turkey To Swan: Say Goodbye to Jowels with a Non-Surgical Neck Lift

I am often asked what I’ve learned during the making of MOOIMAAK (our cutting-edge makeover television series). Besides the emotional lessons & insights I’ve gained, I’ve basically been given a free course in “non-surgical cosmetic treatments for dummies” (quite a cool little fringe benefit, I reckon). I’ve been familiar with the, let’s call it, Tier 1 or 2 level of treatments for some time (aimed at relatively young women in their late 20s or early 30s), but – given that many of our participants were in their 50s or 60s – I learned a fair bit about Tier 4 and 5 treatments by working so closely with the fantastic doctors of Skin Renewal and, of course, witnessing the results of their skills…up close & personal.

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One of the non-surgical interventions I was particularly interested in was the combination of neck lift treatments performed on candidate Bernice. The neck is a particularly sensitive area for most women over 40 and one of the first areas to give away our age, hence, my number 1 beauty rule of including the “neck & decolletage area” when applying SPF or serums to your face. Failing that, however, or if this approach is “too little too late” and the dreaded turkey neck has already reared its ugly head, fret not for help is at hand. Of course, non-surgical options will never be as dramatic as actual surgery, but the risks are much lower, and, in my opinion, there’s a lot to be said for the kind of gentle improvements that attract comments like, “you look younger, but I can’t put my finger on it.” I think we can all agree that subtlety is sexy.

The talented and gentle Dr Dalize Willemse of Skin Renewal expertly performed both PDO & Silhouette Soft threadlifting on Bernice, successfully lifting our makeover candidate’s sagging jowls and – of course – her spirits.

PDO THREADLIFT

  • What is a PDO Threadlifting?
  • PDO Threadlifting is basically a non-surgical, scarless face lift. The procedure involves using thin acupuncture, sterile needles to embed dissolvable threads deep underneath the surface of the skin. The threads are placed strategically into the dermis, where it acts as a frame for lifting and tightening loose or sagging skin
  • By boosting the skin’s cell regeneration process with threads, one can increase dermal elastin and collagen tissue, which is slowly but surely destroyed by the natural ageing process (yes, ladies, ageing is a b-tch).
  • How long does it take?
  • Between 15 – 60 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area.
  • Is it painful?
  • The threads are placed into the subcutaneous dermis (5mm deep), where there is mainly fatty tissue (there are no nerve endings here), so the treatment is relatively pain-free. A topical aneasthetic can also be applied to minimise discomfort.
  • Is there down-time?
  • No. Some slight bruising and swelling may occur, which can last 2-10 days depending on the amount of threads inserted. Nothing a bit of Armani or Sensai foundation won’t fix, though:)
  • What kind of result can one expect?
  • The PDO threading treatment gives an instant lifting & firming effect, with optimum results setting in after about 3 months. Due to the dissolvable nature of the threads, they will last between 4-6 months, but the continued collagen synthesis will leave the new skin structure in place.
  • Are maintenance treatments necessary?
  • An annual top-up treatment is recommended, but your Skin Renewal doctor will advise you on the best treatment plan for you, depending on your objectives.
  • For more info, click here.

SILHOUETTE SOFT® NECK LIFT 

  • What is a Silhouette Soft Neck Lift?
  • Silhouette Soft Lift™ is a minimally-invasive technique used to lift and tighten sagging tissue. It is a non-surgical alternative to a traditional neck lift and is growing in popularity, having been successfully performed over 25,000 times in 55 countries around the world.
  • How long does it take?
  • Up to an hour.
  • Is it painful?
  • The patient will be unaware of any pain due to local aneasthesia.
  • Is there down-time?
  • Patients can return to work the next day, with full treatment recovery taking 2-4 days.
  • Who is the ideal patient?
  • A person who has already had skin-tightening treatments such as Exilis or Titania Radiofrequency, but need extra support or lift for their skin. This was the case with Bernice.
  • What kind of result can one expect?
  • After the threads are inserted, the first level of collagen induction is only really visible after 3 months, although an immediate lift is visible directly after the treatment.
  • Are maintenance treatments necessary?
  • Silhouette Soft threads have a lifespan of 18 – 24months, but we recommend annual check-ups and maintenance treatments to continuously support the skin and continuously fight the natural ageing process.
  • For more info, click here

What Bernice Has To Say About Her Neck Lift Experience

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Note the “tightened” neck skin & new, “cleaner” jawline

“Regarding the PDO Threadlift & Silhouette Soft® Neck Lift, it was the most amazing change! Dr Dalize worked with such a gentle touch, inserting all the different types of threads in various locations to achieve the non-surgical lifting results. The only strange thing was feeling the barbs just under your skin whilst it was being pulled to tighten the sagging skin. After the threading in the neck, there was an immediate improvement. Within a week, I was receiving amazing compliments regarding my neck! This must be  the quickest, least painful neck lift available. It’s done in a jiffy, with maximum results.” Bernice Du Plessis, MOOIMAAK 2017

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Skin treatments (including non-surgical face & neck lift) by Skin Renewal & smile makeover by Dr JJ Serfontein
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The beautiful new Bernice (aka our “Julia Roberts”) photograped by Marguerite Oelofse

 

If you’re interested in either the PDO or Silhouette Soft threadlifting to treat the sagging skin on your neck (or your face, for that matter), I can wholeheartedly recommend consulting one of the doctors at Skin Renewal.

For our show, we worked with Dr Dalize (mentioned here), Dr Rulene, Dr Graham & Dr Andre (all of whom are based in Cape Town and utterly fabulous human beings). If you’re based in Johannesburg, Pretoria or Durban, however, contact your nearest branch here.

With love,

Clare.

PS MOOIMAAK airs every Thursday on kykNET at 17h30, with repeats throughout the week. It is also available on SHOWMAX in certain countries (including the US). If you’re a before & after addict, don’t miss it!

 

Painted Love: The Photographic Art of Marguerite Oelofse

Clare Wiese BlogWith news of the recent fires breaking out in Knysna and Cape Town, I’ve often caught myself wondering, “what would I save”? If I was told by authorities that our home would soon go up in flames, which items would I struggle to imagine my future without? The answer is easy: photographs, photographs and more photographs.

Why? Firstly, because I have the memory of a scatter-brained gold fish and rely heavily on photographic evidence to remind me of past events and, secondly, because, well, time just flies by so damn quickly & photos are a precious, invaluable way to capture those fleeting yet magical moments in life that we wish to have “emotional access” to forever.

I am always the one arranging a professional photographer at special family occasions, anniversaries or birthdays. I have also had the somewhat challenging (read “impossible”) task of begging for and co-ordinating group family shoots in the past: everyone ALWAYS moans at first (we do enjoy a good moan) and, then, years later, cannot thank me enough for having persevered;)!

So, fires and families aside: if you – like me – are a sucker for sentimentality or just otherwise completely photo-obsessed, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to someone whom I believe to be one of Cape Town’s leading portrait photographers, Marguerite Oelofse. Marguerite was one of the official photographers at our wedding last year and, most recently, I asked her to take the final Big Reveal photos of our makeover contestants on the popular television show, Mooimaak (as seen on kykNET in South Africa & on Showmax in the USA).

Here are some examples of Marguerite’s exquisite photos that have a signature “fine art” or painterly quality to them & a cool, avant garde edge:

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…and here are some examples of her awesome black & white work (I need to cuddle that pony):

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Emmie, as captured by Marguerite, for MOOIMAAK

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS INCREDIBLY AMAZING, LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE OFFER

Two days only: Sunday 29 Oct 2017 & Sunday 5 November 2017.

Studio shoot for kids or adults at Buchanan Studios, Woodstock, Cape Town.

Special price: R 2, 900.00 per family [you save R2, 100.00].

 

Duration: 1-2 hours.

Package includes: 10 retouched images by Marguerite Oelofse and hair & makeup by Gorgeous2Go.

Book now – first come first serve: email studio@margueriteoelofse.com or call 073-316-8588.

Fashion styling is not included in this package, but can be arranged via Marguerite.

(PS these types of photos would make for awesome holiday cards)

 

With love & (good) light (ing),

Clare x