Inside My Wardrobe (& The Silo Hotel) Part 2 | In Herve Leger at The Willaston Bar

0756As you might have seen, last week I posted the first of our launching three-part fashion and beauty series, featuring a simple black cocktail ensemble I am currently loving, set inside the marvellous penthouse of the The Royal Portfolio’s brand new Silo Hotel.

For today’s post, I am sharing our second round of photographs by the incredible Jean-Pierre Uys, featuring a super formal black-tie look that is very close to my heart: I first wore this dress at my thirtieth birthday party at our family wine estate, Lourensford, about four years ago. I still remember spotting the dress in Harrods, after a week-long and extremely thorough search in ice-cold London, calling my dad and asking him whether he thought the dress was too expensive. He said “if you really love it, you’ll only turn thirty once, so get it and enjoy it.” And, while I did only turn 30 once (thank heavens for that, because it did not come without its own very unattractive little quarter-life crisis), I have worn this treasured wardrobe item on many subsequent special occasions and, I figure, if I work out the cost per wear, it actually wasn’t that expensive;). You can watch a short video clip of my 30th birthday party here (event co-ordination by The Aleit Group).

As the setting for the second part of this series, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the magnificently furnished Willaston Bar at the Silo. Our (crazy) crew fell instantly in love with the opulent and seductive energy of this particular spot at the hotel, boasting unbeatable views of Cape Town’s city centre in a magically eclectic, jewel-toned environment.

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After ordering a Martini or two, and making absolutely sure that Gilbert and Renee had taken a sufficient amount of selfies in this new setting,  we started creating some images. Here is a selection of a few of my favourits. I hope you enjoy them. And, if you live in Cape Town or are planning a visit soon, go ahead and put “sunsets drink at the Willaston Bar” right at the top of your to-do list.

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WHAT I WORE

Dress | the black full-length beaded evening gown is by Herve Leger.

Shoes | the patent leather black strappy sandals are by Jimmy Choo (my all-time favourite shoe brand. I wore Choos on my wedding night on the dance floor until 05h30 and my feet still had blood supply at the end of it – that’s saying something.)

Diamond earrings | these are my everyday (and pretty much every evening) go-to earrings: a simple pair of 0.80ct diamond studs claw-set in 18 carat white gold. Personally, I prefer smaller diamond studs to larger ones, as I find the bigger ones often look fake and a tad Desperate Housewives. I am thinking of getting some black diamond studs made, set in rose gold claws, which I think will be amaze-balls.

Engagement & wedding ring set | these rings were designed by the lovely Ida-Elsje and myself, as custom-made Paka Paka pieces. The engagement ring features one brilliant-cut centre stone, flanked by vertically- and horizontally positioned baguette diamonds that form a complete eternity band. My wedding ring consists of baguette diamonds only, and all the stones have been set in platinum claws. You can see I have a small thing for baguettes (the edible version too, I’m afraid).

Cocktail ring | the 18 carat rose gold and black ceramic cocktail ring I’m wearing here is from the iconic B-Zero collection by famed Italian jewellery house, Bulgari. It was given to me by my darling younger sister, as my 30th birthday gift, and it’s thus become one of my most treasured items.

Stole by Errol Arendz (my favourite South African designer and an absolute hoot – now that I think about it, I could write a whole blog post just on him. In fact, a video interview (after a few glasses of bubbly) would be best. Watch this space.

Handbag by Chanel (this has been my go-to evening bag for the last decade). “I own too many Chanel bags” said no woman, ever.

MY HAIR & MAKEUP

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HAIR | Gilbert gave my hair a look that was a bit glamorous, a bit messy-hair-don’t-care. We wanted to keep things young and modern and achieved this using Gil’s Kardashian Beauty curling tong, a sufficient amount of old-school teasing and our hands (for a regular old pull-through, to loosen those curls). And, while no volumising mousse, spray or shampoo will, in my opinion, ever achieve the same effects as a good-old-fashioned tease (done right, of course), I am feeling generous today and want to share a little hair-care secret with you: be introduced to Joico’s Glamtex Backbomb Effect Spray (as the name says, it’s basically a backcomb in a bottle). Use this together with a good manual tease and you (and your hair) will be transported to new heights. Believe me when I say, this stuff works. (If you live in Cape Town or South Africa: contact any hair salon that stocks Joico to get your paws on a bottle of Glamtex.)

MAKEUP | Renee used the following key makeup products on me to create some sultry smokiness (I’ve been known to tell Ren not to “under-smoke” me and, as usual, she didn’t disappoint): Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Cool Eyeshadow Palette, MAC’s Smolder Eye Liner (this is a must-have makeup product for any girl who loves a smokey eye), Sensai’s Fluid Finish Lasting Velvet Foundation and, on my lips, Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss Moisturizing Glossimer in 172 (a soft peachy pink colour in a translucent gloss finish.)

If you can never get enough makeup tips, read my recent interview with Renee where she generously shares a whole list of her best-kept beauty secrets.

WITH MY SINCEREST THANKS TO THE WORLD’S BEST GLAM SQUAD

Photography & (some necessary;) re-touching by Jean-Pierre Uys | The single photograph of the bar, appearing at the top of this post, is courtesy of the Silo Hotel | Makeup by Renee De Wit | Hair by Gilbert Mofubelu at Spoilt (moving to Hair soon) | Styling by Clare Wiese & Shari Kennedy

& THE AMAZING SILO HOTEL, SUPPORTED BY THEIR WONDERFUL MANAGEMENT TEAM. I WISH YOU ALL THE SUCCESS YOU DESERVE.

If you’re enjoying this blog, please don’t forget to Like The Global Critic Facebook’s page.

Love,

Clare.

The Skin Care Products I’m Loving Right Now

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 9.42.06As you might have seen, I’ve done some once-off blog posts on what I believe are some of the best (if not THE best) beauty products in the world. Find them under the BEST IN BEAUTY category right here on The Global Critic.

Today, I want to share a whole list of some of the essential skin care products I’m currently using daily and can’t live without: some newly discovered life-changers have been thrown in amongst the oldies-but-goodies (those iconic cult-status products that have never been beaten and aren’t going anywhere any time soon.)

FOR MY FACE

Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse 

To get that facial-at-home feeling, I love starting my face-cleansing regime with this incredibly addictive cleansing oil, applied directly onto dry skin. It might sound counter-intuitive, but this is one of the best products for oily skin (so I really love it). It gets rid of excess oil, sun lotion, foundation, the most stubborn smokey eye make-up (which I am an avid fan of;) so that – by the time you apply your cleanser – you feel like you have paved the way for it to really penetrate the skin and do its job properly. No need to double cleanse! It’s one of Dermalogica’s best-selling products and, in my opinion, it’s no wonder.

Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser

This frothy face wash leaves your skin feeling delightfully origins_sku_048E01_500x625_0and throughly cleansed, but never dried out, pulled or tight. As the name suggests, it works on dry, normal or oily skin, bringing oily and/or dry patches into perfect balance.

It really is a wonder product and, since discovering it, a refill always makes its way into my shopping bag at Selfridges in London.

Image Clear Cell Acne Facial Cleanser

I have had problem skin since I can remember (read my post on how I finally solved the problem) and this cleanser has been a game-changer for me. Its main ingredient, salicylic acid, works perfectly to prevent and treat breakouts, although it can be drying. I therefore alternate between this one and the Origins cleanser (mentioned above) depending on where my skin is at.

Stockist information: if you live in Cape Town, contact facialist extraodinaire, Libi Roos (072-850-9279), to purchase this product. If you live anywhere else, just check out the Image website for a list of their stockists.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Again, this is one of Dermalogica’s most popular products. If you like that squeaky clean, smooth skin feeling (and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), you will fall in love with this product (no matter what your skin type). I have used it for years and a facial cleanse (without using this baby at the end) just doesn’t feel the same. There is no better feeling than applying moisturiser to my face once I’ve given it a gentle emulsifying scrub with my trusty Microfoliant. It’s gentle enough to be used every day and it leaves my skin looking and feeling brighter. (I blogged about this product a few years ago and, here it is, still in my kit, proving it’s stood the test of time).

Image Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum

UnknownI absolutely love this moisturiser. It gives my skin an inside-out glow like no other. I am careful with how often I use it, though, as I do find it can be a bit rich for my sensitive skin (sometimes causing small breakouts), but – when my skin is on a good wicket – I simply love applying this stuff. It smells amazing and gives my skin a brightness and luminosity that makes whatever makeup I put on top of it just look that much better. If I could use it every day (without worrying about breakouts), I would. It’s paraben-free, which makes me even more obsessed. This product would work beautifully on normal and dry skin types.

The Clarisonic Mia Facial Cleansing Brush

I blogged about this baby before and, again, it’s stood the test of time. Think of it like a toothbrush for your face – it really polishes the skin like no other gadget can. Love it, can’t live without it. My husband can’t either;)

FOR MY BODY

Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil

61vs3SG4WsL._SY355_Firstly, let me say I have long been a huge fan of French skin care brand, Clarins. The French just do it better, especially when it comes to skin care products. This is one of their most popular and iconic products. I have been given this product twice, as a gift, by two very discerning ladies (one in her thirties and one in her sixties), who are both die-hard devotees. It just goes to show: this body oil is loved by everyone.

It’s made from 100 per cent pure plant extracts, firms and tones the body and – of course – leaves your skin feeling hydrated and nourished, never oily or greasy. My fabulously talented friend and celebrity makeup artist Renee De Wit (whom I recently interviewed) gave me a great tip last week: apply this oil to chapped or dry heels every night, to ensure permanently silky feet in between pedicures.

Silc Skin Decollette Pad

main-decollette-padThis is me, honestly and truly, giving away one of my best-kept beauty secrets of all time (in the name of “sharing is caring” and that’s what this blog is all about). If you, like me, wake up looking like your décolletage needs a good ironing out, this silicone pad will change your life. It helps prevent and treat chest wrinkles (or “fine lines” to put it more discreetly) caused by sun damage, ageing and sleeping on your side (how else is one supposed to sleep?). Use it for a week, be amazed and thank me later (or share my Global Critic Facebook page and pay it forward;) I discovered this product on Amazon and have never looked back. It works better than anything else I have tried for this pesky problem.

Stockist information: purchase it online at amazon.com or amazon.co.uk.

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream

Probably Clarins’ most famous product, there is – quite simply – no other hand cream in the world that compares. If you’re reading this blog, you probably already own it but – if you don’t – go out and get yourself a tube now – or three: one for at home, one for the office and one for the car.  This is just one of life’s little luxuries you can’t do without.

Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 9.30.15This is one of the best body scrubs I have ever tried and I always keep a big tub of it right by my bath. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every cent. Its silky, Vitamin E-infused richness is super moisturising, whilst its sugar-particles are great for exfoliation. This baby leaves your skin feeling smooth, revitalised and nourished after a long, hot bath. Nothing better!

Kiehl’s Creme De Corps

Often cited by fashion magazines and those in-the-know, as The Best Body Cream Ever, this product is truly a dream come true. Not too thick, not too greasy, but beautifully rich, in all the right ways;)  This one makes for a great bridal shower gift!

Bettaway Aloe Vera Gel

pn-aloe-gel-75ml-carton-3d-no-shadowThis product is the bomb. There’s nothing fancy or expensive about it but it’s simply amazing. I used to shave my legs (thank heavens, I have since discovered the life-changing effects of laser hair removal) and this was the only thing that took away the annoying after-shave burn I used to experience every time after shaving.

This particular one contains 100 per cent aloe vera (no nasties, additives or fragrances) so it works perfectly for any kind of irritated, sensitive or dry skin. An after-shave must-have for all you ladies who have yet to discover laser hair removal (which I strongly recommend). Buy it at any pharmacy or ask them for a similar pure aloe vera gel.

That’s it for now, ladies. This list of mine could go on and on (I am an obsessive skin care product researcher and purchaser), but it’s 23h06 on a Wednesday evening and a Friends re-run awaits my tired self. I do believe, however, I’ve shared a good dose of skin care secrets with you this week and, while there’ll be plenty more to come, for now, I hope you’ve found something new on this list, worth trying.

Love, Clare.

Makeup Maestro Reneé De Wit Reveals Her Best-Kept Beauty Secrets

reneedesambento1Meet Reneé De Wit, makeup artist extraordinaire. I first came into contact with this insanely talented creature when she painted my face for my 21st birthday party. Since then, I have come to rely on Reneé for many more of those momentous occasions when faces had to be painted, perfectly.

It’s no wonder then that she holds a very special place in my Little Black Book but also in my heart. Believe me, I wouldn’t have let just anyone do my makeup on my wedding day. This self-proclaimed Bridezilla certainly held no prisoners (I still don’t know how she put up with me, one makeup trial after the next, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some mild tranquillisers were involved).

As gorgeous as she is talented (a double threat for sure), Renee’s portfolio is both vast and impressive.  Her work has been featured in several leading international magazines (including Vogue and Marie Claire UK) and she has beautified the cover girls of over 30 print publications (including Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated). Last but not least, her magic hands have transformed the faces of serious celebrities like Petra Nemcova, Steffi Graff, Julie Walters and Bonang Matheba, to name a few.

Here, Reneé divulges (super generously, I might add), some of the beauty industry’s best-kept secrets, her personal must-have makeup products and some really nifty tricks of the trade.

What led you to becoming a professional makeup artist?

As a child i was the youngest of four daughters and and I grew up doing my sisters’ makeup for parties and matric dances. My natural love of makeup artistry eventually developed into a career and, by the age of 21, I was spending half of my time in London and the other half in Cape Town, working on fashion editorials and catalogues.

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Makeup by Renee De Wit

Tell us about your big break?

I was 19 years old and working as a fashion assistant to the late Sue Ferrier, then fashion director of Elle magazine in South Africa. Sue encouraged me to follow my dreams and gave me the opportunity to do makeup on an Elle fashion editorial.

Who has been your makeup mentor?

I was mentored by Algria Ferreira, widely regarded as the doyenne of the South African makeup world. I first met Algria when, at age 16, I was booked as a model on a knitwear shoot. That day, Algria’s makeup made me feel more beautiful than I had ever felt! I realised then the effect that makeup can have on a woman’s confidence and my love affair with makeup grew even stronger. I am so grateful for my years in the modelling world, where I got to learn the tricks of the trade first-hand, from the best in the business.

What is your signature skill as a makeup artist?

I do a killer smokey eye. My favourite eyeshadow palette right now is Bobbi Brown’s Bobbi’s Cools Eye Shadow Palette (limited edition).

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Makeup by Renee De Wit (note the smokey eye perfection)

What is your favourite mascara?

Sensai 38 Degrees and MAC Extended Play Lash.

What is the best trick for keeping makeup on all day?

Before applying makeup, I always prime my skin with a good moisturiser (by Bioderma or Skinceuticals) containing sunblock. This prevents makeup being absorbed by dehydrated skin.

I finish with a light dusting of pressed or loose powder on my t-zone and a fixing spray like Bobbi Brown’s Face Mist.

What is the most universally flattering eye pencil for green/blue eyes?

Teddy Eye Kohl liner by MAC.

What is the most universally flattering eye pencil for brown eyes?

Either a dark grey colour like Industry Powerpoint Eye Pencil by MAC or a deep navy like Blooz Eye Kohl liner, also by MAC.

What are your favourite makeup brands of all time?

Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, NARS and Giorgio Armani Beauty.

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A selection of best-selling products by Charlotte Tilbury. The stuff that makeup dreams are made of.

What is the quickest way to make a tired face look fresh?

Invest in a good under-eye colour corrector and concealer (try Bobbi Brown or Sensai).

What are the best lip colours for fair, medium and olive skin tones?

For fair skin tones | The iconic Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat Pillow Talk lip pencil and Penelope Pink lipstick are two of my favourites;

For medium skin tones | Viva Vlam 5 by MAC; and

For olive skin tones | Raisin Berry by Bobbi Brown.

With which red lipstick can a woman conquer the world?

Chanel Rouge Hydrabase Crème Lipstick 60 New York Red is the ultimate red!

What is the most common beauty faux pas women make?

Wearing too much makeup. It looks unnatural and ageing. I also detest the “Instagram brow” that is currently so popular.

Which are the three makeup products no girl should ever be without?

Sensai’s under-eye concealer brush, Armani’s Maestro foundation and Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbrick bronzing compact series.

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Armani’s Maestro Foundation 

Who is your makeup icon?

Pat McGrath, she is a visionary and pushes creative boundaries like it’s nobody’s business. I just adore her newly launched makeup range.

Which famous face would you most love to paint?

Madonna!

Who is your beauty icon?

Monica Bellucci. She is a timeless beauty with perfectly proportioned features.

What is the best makeup advice you can give to women over 30?

Always curl your eyelashes and apply at least two coats of black mascara. It has an immediate lifting effect.

What is the secret beauty weapon in your makeup kit?

Lansinoh Breasfeeding Salve nipple cream – it’s amazing for chapped lips.

When you’re not waving your magic makeup brushes, which other creative outlets do you enjoy?

Baking (especially with my girls) and interior decoration.

A few years ago, you launched a mobile makeup agency called Gorgeous2Go, which has become a huge hit with the Cape Town crowd (myself included). What prompted you to start this business?

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Renee, in her element

There was a demand in the Capetonian market for a high-end makeup, hair and beauty concierge service. We thus offer clients an array of services, including makeup applications (for social events), hair styling, personalised makeup lessons, spray tans and manicures, all of which can be performed in the comfort of your own home.

The artists we represent have been hand-selected and all of their portfolios are available on our website. Our aim is to be a one-stop mobile shop for all things beauty-related. You can visit our website for more information.

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World’s Best Gel Eyeliner

qvc_bobbi_brownOver the years, I have tried many (and I mean MANY) eye liners in the hopes that one of them would stay in place all day. A few years ago, I met and fell in love with Bobbi Brown’s award-winning Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (in black).  This is the best eye liner I have ever come across for lining the top lash lid (right by your lashes) to give you that eyes-wide-open lash-enhanced look. (I personally don’t use this product on the lower lash lid. It can look quite harsh there as it dries quickly so is not really suitable for a smudged effect.) It’s the perfect product for those days when you don’t feel like drowning your face in war paint, but need just a single stroke of understated definition, quickly applied in the morning. This easy-to-apply quick-drying liner lasts all (freaking) day and does not start smudging around 4pm.

Application Dip the tip of Bobbi Brown’s Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush (coat both sides of brush head) into the pot. Wipe off any excess before applying to eyes. Work quickly as the product becomes transfer-resistant once dry. Awards Best of Beauty by Allure Magazine (2012). Winner of 50 Best Beauty Products 2013 by Siempre Mujer. Selected as a Best Beauty Buy by In Style (May 2013).