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.

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.
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 to claim this special discount.

Follow The Beauty Box on Facebook here.











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.



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


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.


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.)


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.”









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).


(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:)

Clare Wiese Wentzel

  • 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!


  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.






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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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

Skin treatments (including non-surgical face & neck lift) by Skin Renewal & smile makeover by Dr JJ Serfontein
MOOIMAAK Clare Blog.png
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,


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!


Big Hair, Do Care: The Best Volumizing Products for Flat, Lifeless Hair

After some serious root-boosting, spraying & blow-drying efforts, this is what can be achieved with PS & PL Hair that wakes up looking like helmet hair, I promise.

If, like me, you were born with PS & PL (Poker Straight & Pretty Lifeless) Hair, I am safely assuming that obtaining the right amount of volume is or has been a pretty up-there #hairgoal and probably a weekly, if not daily, battle. Girls with naturally bouncy, frizzy, wavy or coarse hair will never understand, bless their cotton socks. Why? Because any waves, curls, frizzy bits or bends can be magically GHD’d away in about half an hour (unless of course your mane resembles Monica’s in that Friends episode in the Bahamas), but getting volume into poker straight & pretty lifeless hair takes a different kind of will power: #thestruggleisreal, people.

So, having tried and tested an insane number of volumizing mousses, sprays, root boosters & brushes over the years, I’m here to share my go-to products with you, to help make you look like #youwokeuplikethis:

  • Joico Glamtex Clare Wiese-Wentzel.jpgStructure Glamtex Backcomb Effect Spray | I was introduced to this spray by my trusty Lameez Barendse, who does THE most phenomenal, volumizing blow-dry (she can be found flexing her blow-dry sculpted biceps at HAIR on Kloofnek Road, if you live in Cape Town: 021-422-2269). This product is amazing to spritz onto roots after a blow-dry, for that extra bit of grit and root boosting, and it works wonders to revive second- or third-day hair on them lazy days. If you’re feeling courageous, combine this spray with some good old-fashioned backcombing. Yes – I know – I should have been born in the 80s. Oh well.


  • Kevin Murphy Powder Puff Volumising Powder | Another product that genuinely works to boost hair at the roots (which is obviously where volume is needed most, especially if your face, like mine, can lean towards the rounder side) is a little white powder in a little pink shaker can. This product that I have since become obsessed with (to put it mildly) was first introduced to me by my beloved Gilbert, also of ClareWieseWentzel.jpegHAIR in Kloofnek Road, and – yes  – I will be eternally grateful. It’s so easy to use and just so freaking effective: simply sprinkle some of this magic dust onto your scalp (after washing and drying hair), massage in to the roots and VOILA, it’s Dallas in a bottle! I started using this product on my hair for our new television show, MOOIMAAK, and – by the end of filming – the hair stylists and I became involved in some pretty hard-core negotiations and barter deals over what become known as “The Pink Powder” (I had the only supply on set).  If you live in Cape Town, call Gilbert (021-422-4469, HAIR on Kloofnek Road) to get your hands on this stuff. If you live anywhere else, reach out to your nearest Kevin Murphy stockist or buy from Amazon. Do it!


  • ClareWieseWentzelBlogThe Phyto Phytovolume Actif Volumising Spray, aka the Holy Grail of hair-volumizing products | I got to know this spray as a cult hair product featured ad nauseam in the “best beauty buy” pages of  magazines like InStyle and, when my skeptical self eventually decided to give it a go, it  – literally – blew my hair back (sorry, I just had to slip that in:) Unfortunately, this product cannot be bought in South Africa, but Amazon sells it and, believe me, it’s worth the mission. Spray onto wet roots before drying hair upside down (at least for the first few minutes).


There you go, ladies. Here’s to good (aka big and bouncy) hair days!




Why You Need To Beautify Your Brows


I often get asked, “what are the key things a woman can do to instantly improve her appearance?” or “what are the best-kept beauty secrets?” As the creator & presenter of MOOIMAAK, a cutting-edge new television series which takes thirteen women on the makeover journey of a lifetime, I am – of course – expected to have at least some of the answers. No pressure then.Image result for gigi hadid brows

One of the things I always mention is the importance of having perfectly-shaped “Gigi H” brows. I always feel comfortable dispensing this piece of advice, as coloring and filling out my own brows is the very first thing I do every morning when putting my game face on. I won’t even go to the gym without my “game brows” (although, alas, I do go to the gym without a lot of other things, like my actual “game”, so…no judgment here;)

There is no doubt that brows that are the correct shape, width and tone can take years off your face, opening up your eyes and balancing the proportions of your bone structure. I was going to post some pics of my own history of brow-sasters here, to illustrate this point, but I really don’t want to put myself through that kind of cringe right now. As an added bonus, the incriminating evidence is nowhere near Facebook, so I am using the fact that I don’t have any dodgy pics at hand, as an additional excuse.

Luckily, I can post one of the incredible MOOIMAAK makeover photo sets hereunder,  to show you what a difference a good microbladed brow makes.  The show is still new and most of the “big reveals” are yet to be…well, revealed, so you’ll have to watch the series for the rest of the before & after‘s. (The show airs on kykNET every Thursday at 17h30 – if you live in SA, don’t miss it).


Angelina & Gwen, hereunder, seem to agree that fuller, more natural-looking arches are the most modern and flattering style.

So, now, you might be wondering which are the most effective ways to achieve brow-fection. Here are some tips.


Tweezing, threading & makeup

0000948_eyebrow-threading_300.jpegFor commitment-phobes and ladies with time on their hands, there is the option of getting your brows shaped by a professional brow shaper (yes, those people do exist), who will either pluck or thread the hairs into the best arch for your face, often requiring intermittent maintenance appointments to keep things tidy. I can’t personally vouch for them, but I’ve heard from a friend I trust implicitly that the therapists at Eye Candy Brows in Cape Town are fab. Once the basic shape has been defined, the correct makeup techniques need to be followed to enhance those areas that are thin, sparse or too light – filling, shading and coloring as you go.

Side note: I personally don’t believe in brow waxing, as the skin around your eyes is very delicate and waxing often thins the outer layers of the skin, thereby speeding up the aging process (and, come on, who needs that?).


Now, for those of you who are brave and bad-ass enough to take the plunge into permanent brow perfection, microblading is your new best friend. This form of permanent (or, technically, semi-permanent) makeup has taken the global beauty world by storm, as it’s a relatively quick and safe way to make brows look full and perfectly shaped, without the hassle of having to apply makeup every morning.

It gives me great joy to introduce you to the “BROW QUEEN” of South Africa, Cape Town-based Lisl Boshoff of Powderpuff Permanent Makeup. Images of her work appear above. It was during the production of MOOIMAAK and after many hours of research and telephone calls to my trusty sources, that I discovered Lisl. After viewing (or rather pain-stakingly scrutinizing) Lisl’s Instagram feed, I asked her to join our team of MOOIMAAK experts.

As expected, each one of the 9 makeover candidates who received microblading by Lisl were beyond thrilled with their results and, having seen their brow transformations first-hand, I cannot recommend Lisl highly enough. It’s no wonder that she recently won the PCASA Award of Excellence for Workmanship and Achievements in the Industry.

Fast facts about microblading

  • What does microblading entail? Microblading is a form of tattooing where a special permanent make-up machine or hand tool is used to implant pigments into the upper dermis layer of the skin by means of individually packed disposable safety needles.
  • Is it painful? Topical anaesthetic creams and special permanent make-up anaesthetic gels are used to numb the skin, so most people find it a little uncomfortable but never painful.
  • How long does it take? The first application takes 2 hours with one shorter touch-up application recommended 6-8 weeks later, to perfect the shape and colour.
  • How long does it last? Because permanent makeup can fade over time, maintenance visits can be scheduled every few years to keep your colour looking fresh.

Lisl offers free consultations to show you what shape and colour she would recommend for your face. Contact her on +27 (0)82 466 2429 or email her at

For more info, visit Powderpuff’s website, check out their Facebook page or grab a flat white and scroll through their highly addictive before & after Instagram feed @lislboshoff1.

Here’s to beautiful brows!


















The Fine Line Between Self-Acceptance & Self-Improvement

Last week, the call for entry was launched for my new television series, MOOIMAAK, set to air on kykNET from 5 October 2017.

Since then, I am happy to report, we have been snowed under by entries and social media responses, some of which have included the following wonderfully candid comments: 

  • “I need something positive like this in my life’;
  • “It’s as if my prayers have been answered, I need a smile makeover. I am unable to afford a dentist and, as a result, I no longer smile with confidence”;
  • “Being chosen as a participant in this show, would be the most amazing gift I have ever received in my life.”

Whilst my talented production team and I are (needless to say) extremely excited about the public’s overwhelming response, it did make me sit back and wonder: to what extent can or should improving our looks be a determining factor in changing our lives?

The title of our show (“MOOIMAAK”) refers, loosely translated, to the act of “beautifying something or someone”. The term also has a more colloquial meaning in Afrikaans, denoting the idea of “playing nicely” or “being gentle”.  As the title thus suggests, our goal is without question to “beautify” or dramatically improve the appearance of our participants and, in so doing, improve their lives: perhaps we can give their self-confidence the boost it needs for them to finally apply for that job or go on that date.

The dramatic effects of the latest skin-resurfacing laser treatments are indisputable

In addition, our aim is to achieve this outcome by “playing nicely” i.e. without knives (pun intended). We are excited about the sheer variety of non-surgical cosmetic and dental procedures on offer today in South Africa, at the hands of world-class professionals. This includes commonly known treatments such as chemical peels, botox and fillers to lesser known, cutting-edge procedures such as thread lifting and carboxytherapy, as well as the very latest cosmetic dentistry techniques.  We know that there are many women out there who might wish to improve their appearance by means of these treatments, but who lack the finances or the know-how to do so. This is where I hope to come in, by sharing my little black book of experts (from the country’s foremost non-surgical aesthetic practitioners and cosmetic dentists to my favourite makeup artists, hair stylists and designers) with our participants and, of course, our at-home audience.

At the same time, although we firmly believe that this series will change people’s lives, we are by no means advocating that “fixing your looks will fix your entire life”. How could anyone make such a claim when some of the world’s most annoyingly and gobsmackingly gorgeous people (e.g. Angelina Jolie) have publicly admitted to self-destructive behaviour that would, by all accounts, indicate a life somewhat broken on the inside?

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 19.35.15.png

So, if we, at MOOIMAAK, are hoping to changes peoples’ lives by changing their appearance, but at the same time saying “good looks alone won’t make you happy”, we are back to my original question, and I repeat: “to what extent can or should improving our looks be a determining factor in improving our lives?”

Having given it some thought over the last few days, I feel the answer might lie somewhere in the balance: the balance between self-acceptance and self-empowerment.

Whilst there are some things about our appearance we certainly cannot change and thus need to accept, there are plenty of wonderful things we can do to improve the way we look and, hopefully, the way we feel (ranging from expensive and time-consuming treatments to simply getting a more flattering hair cut or learning some clever new makeup tricks). I, for one, have certainly experienced the impact that having a cosmetic problem (like problem skin or skew teeth) can have on one’s confidence. On the flip side, however, I have endured (like everyone else) some challenging times in my life, including painful breakups and the death of loved ones, where (finally) having a clear complexion or a semi-Colgate smile did nothing to lighten the load.

So, before deciding to improve our appearance (whether it be on a glamorous makeover show or not), perhaps we should be guided by the famous (paraphrased) words of Reinhold Niebuhr: “accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference.”

In the current context, we might thus do well to ask ourselves the following questions (I’ll write them out in bullet points, in case your attention span is anything like mine, i.e. that of a goldfish with amnesia):

  • Which of our appearance-related problems do we need to accept and which can or do we want to do something about?
  • Which of the obstacles we face (like struggling to make that call to The Potential One or submit an application for The Perfect Job) might well be overcome by making some of the cosmetic changes on our wish list?
  • And, last but not least: which of the other ‘ugly’ issues in our lives (like an unhappy marriage or long-term family feuds) require a different kind of renewal?

Lastly, please know that, of course, I realise this is one of those highly controversial topics that everyone will have a different (yet equally valid) opinion on. I simply wanted to share my thoughts here and, hopefully, highlight a topic worthy of attention.