When I was growing up, “Gunston July” was a must every year for many Johannesburg families: the annual trip to Durban North Beach, for a surfing event that said families knew nothing about. 

It was an excuse to use the school holidays as a fun getaway from your normal environment and seeing the people you see on a Sunday in Sandton, to seeing them on a Sunday on the beach in Durban. 

I loved every bit of it. 

Aside for having the tendencies of a mermaid when it comes to the ocean (think sunrise to sunset in the water, with breaks for Debonairs pizza that had a slight salty sand taste, and, of course, donuts. Lots of donuts), it was the most family orientated and exciting time of the year. 

I have the best memories of long evening walks through the market on the promenade, while eating the most scrumptuous strawberries and cream, straight after devouring waffles from Milkylane. 



I got to enjoy a quick overnight trip to Durban that reminded me of this time, but all I could think about was how much everything has changed over the years; some of it good, some of it leaving me heartbreakingly nostalgic. 

PS, I’m wearing: A jersey! It was ridiculously unlike-Durban-weather freezing! 

Jersey: Zara | Scarf: Jack and Jones | Jeans: Forever21 | Bag: Aldo | Shoe: SissyBoy

fashion, outfit post


I love winter fashion, don’t get me wrong. All the furs and leather are incredibly enticing. But this year in particular has seen days that have been incredibly frosty. 

I’m ready for Summer, Along with it’s treasures of watermelon and loads of home made ice cream. 

But for now, I’ll reminisce with this in-between weather outfit inspiration, that I shot just before the numerous cold fronts. 
PS: I’m wearing… 
Top: Forever21 | Coat: H&M | leggings: Zara | Bag: Aldo 




On your quest to improve your makeup skills, there’s something most people in the industry fail to mention: Your initial skin prep is what’s going to really take your makeup from looking amateur to professional.

Yes, sure, everyone says you have to start with a clean, blank canvas; but what does that entail? What are the steps to really get your skin looking radiant and glowing, before layers of concealer and highlighter? There are a few things more frustrating than trying to put on foundation, only for it to look flakey or uneven.

For this part of the series, I’m going to be covering in-depth skin prep; the kind I would do before a big event.

(side note: I am not a skin specialist, and everything mentioned below is based purely on personal experience. I struggle mainly with dry, dull skin so that’s what I will be covering, with a few tips for breakouts/acne prone skin).



Getting rid of dead skin cells is vital if you want a good base to work with. I can immediately feel and see the difference in the way my foundation applies after I’ve exfoliated. The main purpose of a scrub is to get rid of the uppermost layer of dead skin, that makes you look tired and dull. I prefer to exfoliate the night before, because my skin can sometimes become red and patchy (although this settles in no longer than 10 minutes). I recommend the Garnier Even and Matt Instance Radiance scrub that seriously makes your skin feel extremely soft and prevents dryness. I love that it’s not very harsh, and I love using scrubs more often than not, so I need something gentle.

If you’re acne prone, I recommend the Eucerin scrub (not pictured, but tried and tested); it’s also one of my favourite scrubs, and has slightly grainier particles than the Garnier one so it will be able to cut through oil well.

Aside for your skin, your lips need some love too. If you’re anything like me, winter runs havoc for your lips. A sugar scrub is perfect for this. If you haven’t heard how much I am obsessed with Lush (that opened right opposite me!), my favourite product by far is the Bubblegum lip scrub. It smells amazing and really leaves your lips incredibly soft! You use the tiniest amount so it lasts super long, making it worth the price. If you’re into DIY, mix a bit of brown sugar with raw honey and massage into your lips.



If you’re doing this routine at night, use a hydrating mask. The Glam Glow range is really worth all the hype! My favourite is the Thirsty Mud that you can leave on and sleep with. It’s extremely hydrating, especially in winter. Plus, it smells like coconut so you’re bound to dream of paradise ;)

If I leave the mask on overnight, I still use a hydrating moisturizer to use under my foundation. Hydrated, healthy skin is what really makes your makeup look that much more amazing. I love the Clarins Bright Plus Brightening Hydrating Day Lotion. It’s lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly, which means less time to wait for the moisturizer to sink into the skin before starting with the other steps.



I always use a double primer under my makeup to protect my skin from the foundation (that can seep into my skin).

I have the large pores that, unfortunately, I still haven’t found a solution for. There are two primers that genuinely work to minimize the appearance of them: The Kiehl’s Micro Blur and Benefit Pore-fessional. I love that the Kiehls Micro Blur doesn’t feel like I’m just slathering silicone onto my face, and it claims to improve the skins appearance over time. The benefit packaging is always my favourite, and it really does hide pores the way it should. If you’re looking to purchase a primer, try both! (You can find both brands at selected Edgars).

I also use a normal primer to make sure that my makeup stays in place in all day. I love the L’Oreal Infallible Primer for its affordability and just how it makes my skin look and feel insanely smooth. I use the micro blur/pore-fessional on my cheeks only, where I have pores (this makes the product last longer as well for a more expensive product) and use the L’Oreal Infallible on the rest of my face. A primer wasn’t always my favourite product; I always thought it was such a waste of money, until I realized how much my foundation is affecting the appearance of my skin. I looked tired, my skin texture was getting wrinkled and foundation only made it look worse because it enhanced everything. Having a primer creates a solid base to work with; it fills all the fine lines, pores and creates an even, flawless canvas to work with.



I always do my lipstick right before I head out the door when applying makeup, so it looks fresh and stays in place. After I’ve primed my face, I always apply a good dose of lip balm to sink in and moisturize my lips. Maybelline Baby Lips will always be my favourite, and this unscented, uncoloured Dr Rescue version is amazing. It’s the only thing that properly moisturizes my lips in winter and keeps them soft and chap-free.

For my eyes, I use the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original. I seriously don’t know how I lived without this product before. Although I have dry skin, I have very oily lids, which means my eyeshadow gets creased within a couple of hours instead of lasting all day. With the Urban Decay Primer Potion, it stays put right until the evening, without even needing to be refreshed. I apply this to my eyelids right up until the brow bone, and also extend it to where I think my wing liner will be, to keep that in place and prevent it from smudging.

The MAC Prep + Prime powder is one product I purchased that seems to never run out in a hurry, even though I use it for a million things. It’s a mattifying, translucent powder that holds your makeup in place as well (basically a dream). When prepping, I apply some of this over the Primer Potion on my eyes to seriously keep my eyeshadow from budging.

Then, I apply a tiny, thin layer to my entire face with a fluffy brush. It may sound strange, especially to those who know a bit about makeup. We’re always taught that liquids go before powders, so to use a powder before applying foundation, especially if your foundation is liquid or cream would really mess up the rule BUT, I heard about this tip from a YouTube blogger years ago (and cannot for the life of me remember what his name was!) and tried it out. The concept is that it sets your primer, moisturizer, etc. and really makes your foundation look that much more amazing. It again, fills pores and fine lines making them look much less prominent.

I also use the Prep + Prime if I’m applying eyeshadow that isn’t too dark but may cause fall out, and don’t want to waste a Shadow Shield. Simply add a layer underneath your eye area and brush away gently once your done with your eyeshadow.

Hope these tips helped, and if you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, you can check it out here.



Slide3There’s a question I always get asked as a beauty blogger, but often don’t quite know how to answer: “Should I be buying salon shampoos to get salon quality hair, or is it the same thing you buy from Clicks with a bigger price tag?”

It’s such a tricky question: often, I get sent through shampoos for review, and don’t mind if it’s salon quality or drugstore kind; I’m just here to tell you if it’s worth forking out your hard earned cash on it, regardless.

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing an extensive review on different shampoos to see if there is a difference, and what makes salon shampoo pricier.

The shampoos/conditioners/masks in question were the following:

Kerastase Nutritive (purchased at my salon) versus L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil (sent to me for review)


Mythic Oil (sent to me for review) versus Dove Oil care (purchased at Clicks)


My hairdresser was the one who recommended the Kerastase Nutritive Shampoo and mask. It’s extremely hydrating, and at that point, my hair really needed help. I was a bit sceptical as to whether it really is worth the price so I asked my stylist for an honest opinion as to whether salon shampoo is merely hyped up for hairdressers to make commission/money and if our drugstore products are fine to use.

His response: “Professional shampoo costs you exactly the same amount of money as buying shampoo from a pharmacy, if not less. When you’re using professional shampoo, you’re using a lot less product than a normal shampoo, therefore the bottle lasts you much longer. Pharmacy shampoos are loaded with Aqua, thus giving you inferior results, so you feel like you need more product to get the results promised”.

I loved the Kerastase shampoo. It truly made my hair feel butter soft, and hydrated. My hair hadn’t been in a very good state in ages, no matter what shampoos I used,  and I feel like this gave it that boost that it needed. True to what my hairstylist said, I definitely used less product than usual, however I credit this to just being psychologically sparing, because at the back of my mind, I knew that this was worth a lot more than my usual shampoo.
It also lasted for about 4 months, but my hair got tired of it, and that buttery soft feeling diminished, much to my dismay.

That’s when I was sent the L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil. My hair felt amazing again: buttery soft and hydrated. I used the full range: shampoo, conditioner, mask. The problem, I found, was that my hair would get too used to a product and eventually stop providing amazing results. I didn’t get to finish the bottles and I was sent another shampoo for review, so decided to switch up after 3 weeks of use.


The Mythic Oil range is a professional, salon quality shampoo, also made by L’Oreal. Initially when I used the product, I found that it made my roots extremely oily, like the product would not wash out. However, when I used the full range (shampoo, mask, oil), this somehow worked a lot better. I found that my hair dried the best with this (it could’ve been because of the oil) and looked a lot shinier than it had in months. It’s quite a rich shampoo, so I found it a bit much to use every day.

That’s when I purchased the Dove Oil Care range. I think from all the masks, this by far left my hair feeling in its best condition. It’s still an oil shampoo, but wasn’t as heavy as the Mythic Oil. My hair dried a lot better, and I felt like a wash definitely lasted until at least the next day, which wasn’t always the case with the Mythic Oil.

Conclusion ?

Cost: Same

Result: Professional was better initially, and every shampoo used after that worked well

Final word: Invest in a salon shampoo, and alternate it with a drugstore one. It’s definitely worth the investment for something professional, especially if your hair seriously needs a pick me up, but it doesn’t need to be used all the time. Also, use a hair mask, especially now in winter! Your hair really will thank you for it.

beauty, DIY



I’ve noticed a trend lately: makeup, that has always been very popular, has suddenly, somehow, increased in popularity. Everyone wants to know how to perfect their skills.

I credit this influx of makeup loving to the likes of Samir Khourzami and Huda Beauty, to name a few. With Instagram becoming one of the most popular Social Media platforms, it’s hard to ignore this trend. Makeup workshops are everywhere, and YouTube tutorials are countless.

As a qualified MAC makeup artist for the past 5 years, I’ve always had a passion for the art. I think that beauty is the kind of industry that’s constantly evolving; there’s always something to learn and get excited about.

So with this influx of makeup loving, I’ve decided to create a 6 part series of everything there is to know about the basics of makeup. It’s simple and to the point but informative and intense. Alongside this, I will be answering ALL questions related to that day’s topic via social media. Simply tweet me (@rowenasaloojee) with the hashtag #SNSbeauty or comment on my Facebook or Instagram posts.

The series will consist of the following, in this order:

  • Brush basics
  • Primer prepping
  • Foundation and Cover up
  • Everything eyes
  • Blush and Contour
  • Love your Lips



As the saying goes, “an artist is only as good as his tools”. When I was doing makeup before I became certified, I used my fingers for everything. It seemed logical; the heat of my fingertips would melt the foundation into my skin, and a pinky finger fits so snug into the corner of your eye. This resulted in one thing: my makeup that melted so readily into my skin had also disappeared not to long after. Eye makeup never looked perfectly the same, or even blended well enough.

When I studied via MAC, we realized the importance of simply knowing which tools to use, and that one brush can be used for way more than just one thing, all you need is a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it in between.

Pictured: the best brushes I own: Real Techniques: rose gold and purple brushes that I purchased from Foschini and from Dubai, and Morphe Brushes: black and rose gold brushes that I purchased from @Musesa on Instagram (highly recommended, service and delivery was quick and easy and prices are reasonable/on par with international prices)

(note: I have a slight rose gold obsession)


From left to right:

Fine liner Brush, Powder Brush, Angled Brush, Pencil Brush, Concealer Brush, Powder/Blush Brush, Contour Brush, Angled Eyeshadow brush, Tapered eyeshadow Brush, Expert Face Brush, Flat Eyeshadow Brush

I will be going through how to use each brush when I cover the next few parts of the series, however I wanted to have a consolidated page for you to have something to refer back to if you’re new to buying brushes, or just need a reminder as to what each brush is about and it’s other uses.


What it’s used for: Gel liner or using eyeshadow to create a line.

Essential? Yes

I prefer a fine liner brush for eyeliner rather than an angled brush as it gives me better control and creates thinner lines. Practise makes perfect when trying to get that perfect wing, and this brush is definitely a winner in my books.


What it’s used for: To deposit powder foundation or translucent powder onto your skin to set your base or catch fall out under your eyes.

Essential? Yes

A powder and it’s brush makes all the difference as to whether your makeup will last all day or not. You want a brush that’s firm enough to be able to actually deposit product, but fluffy enough to not be streaky or make your makeup look cakey.


What it’s used for: Liner, Concealer, Eyebrows

Essential? Dependent

An angled brush is not something I am very reliant on, but love to have. Its uses are numerous, but it can be replaced by other essential brushes. Angled brushes are great for filling in eyebrows as it fits the angle of the brow really nicely. It’s also great to wipe off that same brush with some rubbing alcohol, and define your brow underneath with some light concealer to give it a lift.

Another great use for an angled brush is to use it to conceal around the mouth area, especially if you’re doing a red or bright lip.


What it’s used for: Depositing eyeshadow under the lower lashline; creating an intense line of eyeshadow, for instance, a cut crease

Essential? No

I love doing cut creases, and find that a pencil brush really helps with that. It isn’t an essential brush, unless you’re moving on from beginner stages to trying out different looks. I also love using my pencil brush to smudge my gel liner to give it a super smokey effect.


What it’s used for: Getting to those hard to reach places such as right under the eye, around the nose and mouth and also to concentrate on depositing product onto blemishes

Essential? Yes

This concealer brush is by far the best one I have. I love that it’s so tiny so it really gets to those hard to reach places. Concealer also has a tendency to streak, so a smaller brush helps prevent that.


What it’s used for: Blushing up the apples of your cheeks

Essential? Yes

This brush seems quite massive for blush, but I prefer a fluffier brush, simply because it deposits less product at a time. I prefer to build up on colour with brush, rather than adding too much and having to wipe all your hard work away.


What it’s used for: Contouring the hollows of your cheeks, under your chin, and temples

Essential? Dependent

If you’re onto the contouring bandwagon, this brush is for you. It’s perfectly tapered, so the shape really gets the product to where you want it to be. I’m not a fan of contouring (it’s a bit much and time consuming for me), however I do have a technique of using different shades of blush to create that high cheek bone look, and this brush is perfect for that.


What it’s used for: Creating a cut creased look; helps with winged eyeshadow

Essential? Dependent

I love this brush because it’s so dense, and deposits colour quickly. It gives you a lot of control with your eye makeup, so if you’re looking to do something more dramatic, this is definitely a brush to consider investing in


What it’s used for: Depositing darker colour eyeshadow shades

Essential? Yes

If you’re looking to do basic eye makeup, you need at least two eyeshadow brushes: one for lighter colours and one for darker colours. I love a tapered brush for darker colours, as you have more control as to where you’re depositing colour and can do a little eyeshadow at a time and build on it.


What it’s used for: Applying liquid or cream foundation

Essential? Yes

I hate those flat foundation brushes; they always seem to leave my foundation streaky rather than blended. This rounded brush lets you brush on your foundation in circular motions, thus leaving you with an airbrushed effect. It’s one of the easiest brushes to use because it’s quite firm but still airy.


What it’s used for: lighter colour eyeshadow

Essential? Yes

This is by far my favourite eyeshadow brush. It reaches the inner corners of your eyes nicely, and deposits a lot of colour at a time. It’s easy to blend with and the flat surface of the brush works well with the contours of your eyes.

That’s it for brush basics for this week; don’t forget to visit my blog next week Monday for part 2: Everything Eyes, and follow me on social media to ask any makeup related questions!



If you haven’t come across the amazing Clarins Bright Plus range yet, you’re in for a real treat. For the first time ever, Clarins has based their research on South African skin, rather than the usual being European consumer based.

As a result?

The Clarins Bright Plus range, that is sea lily enriched, gives you a 96% brighter skin complexion! (based on 168 South African women over 4 weeks).

Read more about the products below, plus how you can get your hands on the ENTIRE range, worth R1800!



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140169-CLARINS-01-VENTE Creme Nuit Eclaircissante Reparatrice 50Slide3



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for details on how to win! 


  • Competition is sponsored by 4ElementsMedia
  • The giveaway ends 11 July 2015 at midnight and winner will be announced by 12 July 2012 at midday
  • The competition is open to South African citizens only 
  • The winner is chosen at random and decision is final
fashion, outfit post


 One of my favourite seasonal happenings is the act of my mum clearing out her closet, and digging up the “archives”. I absolutely love stumbling upon the most fashionable finds, be it clothes, bags or even costume jewelry. 

My mum recently presented me with this coat and it is impeccable: it has a unique, tulip shaped back and a simple, skinny leather belt. No zippers or buttons, just fuss free, elegant, and so warm for these icy days we’ve been experiencing in Johannesburg.  

     My favourite part of the entire piece, though, has to be the satin lining, that you catch a glimpse of ever so subtly on the tail end of the jacket or a roll up of a sleeve. There’s something so luxurious about having little details that make an outfit special, rather than an outfit that screams for attention.   

    And why not compliment a vintage coat with vintage Moschino? There’s very few things this clutch doesn’t pair well with.  

 Jersey: H&M | Jeans: Forever 21 | Scarf: Woolworths 

PS: Ramadan Mubarak to my Muslim followers. I do don the Hijab for this Holy month and In Sha Allah it’ll continue on.