Try this skin-saving cocoa and coffee mask

Beauty aficionados have been raving about the beauty benefits of cocoa and coffee lately – and when I tell you why, it’ll all make perfect sense!

When you use cocoa and coffee in combination, they brighten up your complexion, wake up tired eyes, decrease puffiness in your face, and even treat breakouts!

No matter your skin type, the cocoa and coffee mask recipe I’m sharing with you is sure to work wonders for you. I just love this mask because it’s simple to mix up, and only requires a couple of kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Cocoa and coffee are the staples of this chocolaty mask, but feel free to tailor the recipe based on your skin type and the ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen. For dry skin, add full-fat yoghurt. For oily skin, add lemon juice. Try it out!

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Cocoa and coffee mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (your basic Nestle Cocoa works fine)
  • 4 tbsp finely ground coffee beans or espresso (instant coffee works too if you don’t have
  • your own grinder)
  • 8 tbsp dairy product (such as heavy cream, plain yoghurt, whole milk or nut milk)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

How to make the mask:

  1. If you’re using whole coffee beans, finely grind them in your grinder. Make sure they’re super-finely ground so that they don’t scratch your skin! If you’ve just made coffee, you can use the freshly brewed coffee grounds. They just won’t contain as much caffeine (and your skin loves caffeine!)
  2. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder in a small bowl.
  3. Add in your dairy product of choice and stir until you form a smooth paste. For a thicker paste, use less dairy.
  4. In a separate bowl, warm up the honey in a warm water bath or in the microwave, then stir it into the concoction.

How to apply the mask:

  1. Use your fingertips to apply the mask to your clean skin. You can use it all over your face and neck.
  2. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes or until dry.
  3. Wet a facecloth and press it onto your face gently to loosen the mask, then rinse the mask off with warm water.
  4. If you’ve got sensitive skin, avoid rubbing your face – the coffee grounds could potentially get scratchy!

You can store the leftover paste in your fridge for up to three days.

Three amazing “green” ways to treat breakouts

If you suffer from acne or regular breakouts, you may think that running to the pharmacy or your doctor is the easiest and best thing to do every time your skin flares up … but it really isn’t!

In fact, it’s the all-natural, homemade remedies that best treat acne in the long-term. This is because antibiotics and analgesics only help reduce symptoms immediately. In the long term, they can actually cause severe problems and side effects.

On that note, I’m sharing three super-simple ways to treat your acne the “green” way. Your skin is sure to thank you!

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Three all-natural breakout treatments

#1: Yoghurt, honey and cinnamon mask

Honey and cinnamon both pack impressive antibiotic properties, while yoghurt soothes irritation and reduces redness.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened full fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply the mask to clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash the mask off with warm water and pat dry.

#2: Face steaming

If you’re looking for an easy, non-invasive way to loosen oil and dirt that’s clogging your pores and causing your breakouts, look no further than face steaming. Steam is an excellent immediate cleanser, and practising it regularly can help improve your skin health in the long term.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pot boiling water
  • Handful of organic mint, basil or lavender
  • 1 fresh towel
  • Large bowl

What to do:

  1. Pour the boiling water into a heat-safe bowl and toss in the herbs.
  2. While you wash any make-up or residue off your face, let the water cool.
  3. Carefully hover your face about 15 cm above the surface of the water and drape the towel over your head so it catches the steam.
  4. Steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to breathe deeply to inhale the herbs you’ve added … they’re a great source of aromatherapy!
  5. When you’re done, pat your face dry.

#3: Honey and lemon toner

Both honey and lemons are antibiotic, so this is a powerful combination to help deep-clean your pores and treat any blemishes you may have to prevent future breakouts.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add in the honey, then stir to combine.
  2. With clean hands, carefully apply the tone to your face, gently massaging it in as you go.
  3. Leave the toner on your skin for five minutes, then gently rinse it off with cool water.

Share your top natural breakout treatments and tips with me in the comments below!

My ten-minute morning make-up routine

I don’t know about you, but between finalising my outfit for the day and scrambling to make breakfast, I never find myself with loads of time to spend on primping in the mornings!

If you can relate to this everyday struggle, you’ve come to the right place. I’m spilling some of my best make-up secrets to get you prepped and pretty in less than ten minutes!

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Apply foundation

Who’s got time for prepping and priming their skin in the mornings? I know I don’t! That’s why I skip that step and head straight to applying foundation. I use a stipple brush to apply it because they get the job done fast and evenly.

Add a dab of concealer

If your skin still needs a bit more coverage in some areas, add a dab of concealer using your fingertip. It’s also a good idea to apply to under your eyes to brighten up tired eyes in a snap.

Brush on some blush

Using a large blush brush, apply just a dusting of a neutral tone blush to the apples of your cheeks, down your nose and the centre of your chin to give your face some dimension.

Set your brows

Filling in your brows with a pencil or powder can take serious time out of your morning, so opt to simply brush a tinted gel through your face-framers to get them looking chic instead. A brow gel will also set your brows to keep them in place all day.

Apply mascara

To perk up your eyes even more, apply mascara to your upper and lower lashes. If you’re a fair-toned girl, you may want to use a dark brown mascara instead of a black one to go with the rest of your toned-down look.

Add a touch of lipstick

Make your lips the star of your look by applying a bright or bold lipstick. If you’re not a loud lip kind of gal, you can choose to apply a clear lip oil or tinted lip balm instead.

Do you have any quick and easy steps to add to my morning make-up routine?

Travel-ready skin and hair products you’ve just got to have

If you’re anything like me, you often catch yourself dreaming of jetting off to somewhere fabulous for the weekend. You know, somewhere where you can soak up some sun, sip on delicious cocktails, take long walks on the beach, indulge in spa treatments and enjoy romantic dinners … you see, there I go again!

Okay, so maybe you’ll just be visiting somewhere local for a weekend away or a quick business trip and not a dreamy private island, but either way you’ve got to take your beloved beauty products along to stay fresh and fabulous.

These are my favourite travel-ready skin and hair products that are perfect for tossing into your carry-on so that looking glam will be on your itinerary no matter your destination!

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Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

If you’ve got sensitive skin that’s prone to redness and irritation like I do, your skin is sure to adore this creamy gel cleanser. It’s especially ideal for using on those days when you’ve spent lots of time out in the sun or swimming in saltwater.

Essence My Skin Refreshing Toner

I love this toner because it’s light, hydrating and suitable for all skin types. It also smells like grapes, which is awesome, too! It’s handy for refreshing for your skin at any time of day as well as for removing excess make-up that’s left on your skin after using a make-up wipe.

Ordinary Skincare Day Cream SPF 30

For a healthy dose of hydration, all you need is one pump of this day cream that’s formulated with only the most skin-friendly all-natural ingredients. The sun-protective formula is a little thicker than most day creams, so I find that if you apply it early in the morning it keeps your skin fresh and plump all day. Plus, it doubles as a make-up primer!

Beauty Fix Radiant Makeup Finish Spray

This gorgeous-smelling make-up spray can be used in three ways – to prime your skin before applying make-up, to freshen up your make-up throughout the day, and to set your make-up to kept your look intact for hours. I personally love using it to freshen up my look the most – it lends skin the most beautiful glow, so there are no need for constant bronzer touch-ups!

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Mineraline Aloe Vera Mud Mask 70%

You never know when your skin may decide to break out, so it’s always handy to have a soothing facemask on hand! I love this one because the formula is enriched with genuine Dead Sea black mud, which calms and clear problem skin in a snap.

Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo

Every girl needs a bottle of dry shampoo stashed in her handbag … you don’t want to waste precious time washing and styling your locks, do you? I love this formula because it smells heavenly, degreases strands, and comes in two tints so it doesn’t leave behind that chalky cast that other types do.

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Shine Oil

Factors like too much time out in the sun, swimming in a chlorinated pool or too much heat styling can leave your hair looking drab and lifeless. This luxurious keratin-rich hair oil will hydrate your hair while lending it a gorgeous shine minus any oily residue. Using it regularly will also strengthen your hair in the long-term (bonus!).

Fudge Urban Iced Coconut Cocktail Hairspray

Sometimes it’s just more fuss-free and quicker to put your hair up, whether it’s in an elegant updo or a sleek ponytail. This natural-feeling hairspray provides a strong hold with anti frizz to keep any style in place. Plus, it smells just like a pina colada – can you say dreamy?

What are your go-to skin and hair products when you’re travelling?

Get radiant with these top make-up setting sprays

Have you always wanted to try out a make-up setting spray but don’t have any idea which one to buy? Don’t even think about reaching for the hairspray – I’ve tried and tested some of the best setting sprays a girl can buy – here they are!

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Beauty Finish Radiant Makeup Finish

I use this setting spray to freshen up my make-up throughout the day to keep my look perfectly intact. The nifty little bottle is perfectly handbag-sized with a tiny nozzle that sprays out an oh-so-refreshing, super-fine mist that smells like a bouquet of fresh flowers (yes, really!). I also occasionally use this spray to hydrate my skin after cleansing, toning and moisturising – my skin just adores the delightful all-natural ingredients that leave it feeling soft and supple!

MAC Fix + Spray

I’ve been using this super-hydrating setting spray for years now, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it! I love using this mineral-rich mist for prepping my skin before applying make-up as well as for giving any make-up look a spritz of pure radiance. It’s also fantastic for freshening up bare skin when you’re travelling or just suffering from dry skin (winter struggles, right?), so I keep a bottle in my on-the-go toiletry bag at all times.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

While most setting sprays provide your make-up application with an enviable glow, this one does quite the opposite – it mattifies your look. I personally prefer dewy or matte make-up looks, but I’ve got to say that come summertime, this is the best setting spray a girl can have one hand! It’s perfect for getting rid of any unwanted shine or dewiness and feels remarkably light and comfortable on your skin, which is an added bonus considering most sprays can feel heavy.

Bodyography Ready, Set, Go Makeup Setting Spray

One of the newest setting sprays to hit our local beauty market, this baby is a winner for a number of reasons! It’s super-light on the skin, it’s fabulous for controlling oil, and it effectively keeps your blush and eye make-up looking fresh to death all day long. Plus, the generously sized bottle is sure to last you for at least a couple of months (it may just be a bit too bulky to fit into your make-up bag). And did I mention that’s it’s vegan and gluten-free, too?

What’s your go-to make-up setting spray? I’d love to hear from you!

Beat Dry Skin With BioNike PROXERA Intensive Face Serum

Dry skin isn’t so pretty, is it? I’ll admit that I struggle with a dry skin type, which can often be very frustrating to handle and treat. If you can relate to this skin issue, you’ll be ecstatic to know that I’ve found a single product that can help you beat dry skin in a heartbeat – say hello to BioNike PROXERA Intensive Face Serum!

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Both affordable and locally available (you can pick a tube up at Dis-Chem Pharmacy at R235 a pop), this silky smooth serum exploits the properties of hyaluronic acid, which it combines with a number of fragments to prevent water loss and help hydrate even the deepest layers of your skin.

The serum also helps normalise the cell renewal process, and protects your skin from damage caused by external agents. The result? Improved elasticity and tone – voila! Plus, it’s designed for “dry to very dry skin”, so you can bet that it will work its magic on even the driest of complexions.

When I first came across this product, I had no idea it would work this well. I apply it both day and night after cleansing my skin. My skin drinks it up quickly and within an hour of applying, usually looks and feels fresh and plump. Plus, a little goes a long way – two generous dollops are all you need to moisturise your entire face.

Since I started using this magical product just over a month ago, I no longer suffer from severely dry or flaky skin. Not even in the areas prone to dryness, such as my forehead, chin and nose. Instead, my face feels fresh and hydrated, and I feel confident about my skin!

If you suffer from dry skin, I highly recommend you try this product out. Even if you don’t, remember that winter’s coming up. What I’m saying is that during the colder months of the year, everyone’s skin is prone to dryness, so you might find this serum very handy. Let me know your thoughts!

Master the dewy glow with Beauty Fix

Make-up setting sprays have been getting lots of praise in the beauty community lately … have you noticed? I’ve been using a setting spray to set and freshen up my make-up for a good while now, but it wasn’t until last week that I discovered Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish – the hydrating and nourishing mist made with divine all-natural ingredients like rosewater, aloe vera extract and cucumber extract.

Beauty Fix is a lightweight make-up setting spray that’s suitable for all skin types due to its gentle, skin-loving ingredients. All you do is mist the product over your face after you’ve finished applying your make-up for a gorgeous, radiant glow. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes catch my skin looking too powdery, and it’s until I tried this specific setting spray that I no longer had the “cakey-ness” issue.

 

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Here’s the description of the product taken from Beauty Fix’s website: “Look and feel fresh with radiant make-up finish. This superfine mist blends make-up revitalises the skin. It provides a gentle breeze of clarity and calm, leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Each spritz releases the luxurious scent of a bouquet of roses.”

When this spray hits your face, your skin feels wonderful … it’s especially refreshing when your skin is feeling dry and tired or hot and flustered. The amazing thing about it is it locks in all of the product that you have on your face and makes everything blend in well together.

Any colour on your face is instantly intensified – in a good way, of course – whether it be your highlighter, bronzer, blush, eye shadow or eyeliner. I fan my face for about 10 to 15 seconds to let the spray dry, and the result is dewy, flawless make-up! You all know how stunning a fresh and dewy complexion looks, right?

The product’s nozzle design makes the spray come out in an extremely fine mist … did I mention how fabulous it feels? Plus, the fresh flowery scent is just luxurious! It really does smell just like a bunch of fresh roses … and what girl doesn’t love roses? When spraying, I hold the bottle about 20cm away from my face and spray three times – once directly from the front, and twice from the sides of my face.

I prefer using the spray when I’m done doing all of my make-up, but you can also use it as a primer on clean skin before you start applying your make-up, or just after your foundation and powder application. What’s more, is this spray is also great for freshening up your skin during the day … the cute little bottle is conveniently handbag-sized for touch-ups!

Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish has definitely crossed over to my Holy Grail list. I’m actually pretty mad at myself for not trying it sooner! It’s really impressed me … the difference in my make-up is astonishing! It brings everything out and makes my skin look and feel super-healthy! To locate your nearest stockist of this must-have beauty buy, go here.