Beauty by Emoji

i’ve done a beauty type post before, but never really delved into what i actually use in my daily routine. confession: i am a beauty product hoarder. the other day i discovered a box of half empty beauty products from years ago and for a moment i thought – maybe i should keep them, you never know? it’s pretty bad. my overflowing bathroom countertop can attest to this.

but these are the products that have stuck and that i personally love. i’ve also given them an easy emoji rating! almost like we’re friends gabbing over texts. almost.

Beauty by Emoji // Miss Moss

my hair care “routine” is low maintenance. i like using natural shampoos, and this one from Nature’s Gate is cheap and perfect. also my hair is straight as an arrow, and as i’ve gotten older it’s become limp. so i need volume – which is why i bought this embarrassingly expensive Volumising shampoo from Aesop. such a splurge that i almost took it back. BUT! it is amazing. i only use one pump and seven months later the bottle is not even half empty.

for cheaper big hair i also enjoy BIG by Lush, which has actual sea salt in it, so it’s pretty weird to use but it leaves your hair so fresh and nice smelling. i don’t use it daily, though. for an extra post-wash spritz the Sea Salt Texturising Spray by Toni & Guy is great.

Beauty by Emoji // Miss Moss

i flip flop between cleansing balms and regular gel cleanser. i use Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser in the shower in the morning (it is doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin). at night it’s either The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter or the pricier No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm by REN. they are both GREAT – but the Body Shop version makes more sense for the budget, and it actually feels nicer. kinda… sumptuous?

if i have make-up to take off then i use Bioderma Sensibio H20 which is some kind of high tech Micelle (?) solution. whatever, it works and it’s not harsh.

Beauty by Emoji // Miss Moss

i actually got given Gorgeous by Lush for my birthday and it’s LOVELY but reeeeeeeally expensive. it was apparently formulated for Princess Diana, and if it was good enough for her… well then this Diana is gonna use it. the Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask by Freeman is THE BEST exfoliator slash mask i have ever used.

if i feel like my skin needs it i’ll put on some Aesop Fabulous Face Oil before bed.

Tamanu Oil is easily the weirdest thing that i have ever asked Anton to bring back for me from overseas (it’s widely available on Amazon but they don’t ship it to South Africa). it’s a tropical nut oil, either of Madagascan or Tahitian origin, that has amazing anti-oxidant properties and works wonders to heal skin conditions like acne, dryness and even scarring. it smells kinda weird, and the Madagascan one is particularly thick, gloopy and pungent. this one that i got from Beauty Oils is nice, but it could use a dropper or some kind of pump as you don’t want to waste any of the oil.

Beauty by Emoji // Miss Moss

my general make-up aim is to just have a “nice face”. not look TOO done – but also not like i’ve been living in the wild for ten years. foundation is key here, and after years and years of searching i finally found Smashbox Liquid Halo which is THE BEST foundation i have ever used.

i have always been told that i have “deep set eyes” which is really just code for “you look like you could use some sleep”. the Corrector by Bobbi Brown is really good for neutralising dark under-eye rings, and Photo Op by Smashbox is a nice little under eye brightener that doesn’t cake into fine lines like others that i’ve used.

i like creamy blushers and really simple lip colour, which is why Convertible Colour by Stila is perfect – you can use it on your lips and cheeks. same goes for O-Glow (cheeks) and O-Gloss (lips) – intuitive colour by Smashbox. lastly, i only use mascara on my eyes and Falsh Lash Effect by MaxFactor is a nice little drugstore buy that’s also super effective.

where to buy the products depending on your location:

Lush Big Shampoo Lush USA Lush UK Lush SA
Aesop Volumising Shampoo Aesop Aesop Loading Bay
Nature’s Gate Volumising Shampoo Nature’s Gate Amazon UK Dischem
Toni & Guy Sea Salt Spray Amazon Boots Clicks
The Body Shop Cleansing Butter The Body Shop USA The Body Shop UK The Body Shop
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm Sephora  REN Woolworths
Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser Aesop Aesop Loading Bay
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Amazon Escentual Dischem
Lush Gorgeous Lush USA Lush UK Lush SA
Freemans Black Sugar & Charcoal Mask Freeman Amazon UK Dischem
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil Aesop Aesop Loading Bay
Tamanu Oil Amazon Amazon UK -
Smashbox Photo Op Sephora Smashbox Woolworths
Bobbi Brown Corrector Sephora Bobbi Brown Edgars
Smashbox Liquid Halo Sephora Smashbox Woolworths
Stila Convertible Colour Sephora Stila Woolworths
Smashbox O-Gloss Sephora Smashbox Woolworths
Smashbox O-Glow Sephora Smashbox Woolworths
MaxFactor Mascara Amazon Boots Clicks

Nail Art History

Nail Art + Art History = Nail Art History. the woman behind the nails – and attached to the nails – is Susi Kenna, an art lover (who actually works for an Art PR firm) who interprets the work of contemporary artists into 10 nail designs and then painstakingly creates these tiny masterpieces with the help of masterful nail artists like Mei Kawajiri and Vanity Projects. all the details of the artists are on her blog.

Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History Nail Art History


Morning Calm

i’m sitting here, early morning in cape town, with my cup of coffee… and a face mask on. i love this time of day. most people are still sleeping and i feel like i have a secret few hours to just sit in the quiet and do whatever i want. hence the face mask, everyone does their weird personal rituals when they find themselves alone, right? think secret single behaviour.

so i came upon natural skincare range Morning Calm on just such a morning, and in light of my recent skin post i thought i’d continue sharing sweet beauty finds like this. handmade by creator Hwasoon Kim, who is from Korea but now based in Florida, the range was born from the need to care for her own sensitive skin.

I have struggled for a long time to find the right skin care products for myself and for my mom. Because we both have very sensitive combination skin, and are allergic to many synthetic ingredients. After going through many different natural cosmetic books, aromatherapy books, and Asian traditional herbal care books, I started experimenting with lotions, toners, cleansing oils, lip balms, nourishing creams and so many other things alone. One year self-taught, researching and experimenting, then I finished several expert courses in cosmetic and soap making in Korea.

she makes soaps, cleansing oils, lip balms, natural deodorant – all with homegrown herbs, Korean clays, and local organic products. you can buy online at her website or etsy store. i love her sweet, simple packaging.

Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm Morning Calm



i have a bit of an obsession with beauty products. not make-up – i just use concealer, mascara, this stuff and maybe some lipstick  if i’m feeling fancy. make-up actually just intimidates me, and mostly i’m too lazy to figure out what to do (even though watching tutorials is totally mesmerizing). but stuff that cleans the skin, stuff that makes you smell nice and that you’d like to think give you a glow-ey & dewy complexion are like crack to me. beauty crack!

face washes and anything that involves lots of foam and water tend to dry my skin out and just irritate it, really. so these days i have really been getting into oils, serums & cleansing balms and anything that is full of natural ingredients.  if you’re interested in what oil cleansing is then read this (hilarious) blog post about it by Merl Kinzie. this one by Alex Raye is also very informative. i made myself some DIY cleansing oil and it works wonderfully, but still i can’t resist the temptation of trying new products. i’m also blaming the chicks at All Dolled Up, which is a great beauty blog if you’re a South African looking for beauty product tips.

so, here are some things that i have used, would like to use or have heard are great. maybe you’ve tried some – or have some tips for me? please hit me up with some beauty blogs that you love to read, too!

Miss Moss // Skin


i must admit that i have become a little bit obsessed with Aesop ever since Loading Bay in Cape Town started stocking their products. i LOVE Breathless, it is probably my favourite product ever. while not a cleansing oil, you can use it all over your body and also in the bath. similarly, ginger flight therapy is just a treat more than anything – it’s a roll-on oil that i used it on the plane on the way to and from NYC last year and then also every day in lieu of perfume, now that smell will always remind me of our honeymoon. Remove is a great basic oil make-up remover.


i know that this is an obvious one for the list, and i actually ended up buying their Midnight Recovery Concentrate solely because i’d  heard it mentioned on blogs and by people i follow on twitter. i am yet to see the miracles it apparently works, but i do love the smell. it’s really expensive, so will have to see if it’s a buy again item.


i haven’t actually tried Ultrabland, but every time i go into Lush i am tempted to buy it (and not just because the salespeople are SO helpful and chirpy). when all the rest of the stuff in my bathroom runs out i will certainly give it a try, mostly because i like the idea of a product being “bland”. it’s bland, and it works. well, it’s made with honey, essential oils and beeswax so i doubt it’s actually bland at all. you can buy locally at the South African online store as well.

Herbivore Botanicals

if i lived in the states i would have ordered plenty of their products by now, just going on their lovely packaging. i like the sound of their  Nourish Facial Serum which contains all organic vegan ingredients including rosehip, argan, jojoba oil & carrot seed. a lovely cheaper alternative to Kiehl’s i think.

Pollen & Wax

also selling on etsy, Pollen & Wax makes some rad natural & organic beauty products. the luxe Calliope Serum is filled with antibacterial essentials, astringent oils and restorative lipids and their Peridot cleansing oil is a nice alternative for those who don’t feel like DIY’ing their own. lots of other tempting serums & things in this shop.


this cleansing balm smells amazing and it really works amazingly well. i actually prefer this to the home-made oil cleanser that i made, a balm is just firmer and almost easier to smoosh around on your face. PRICEY though. will see how long it lasts.


i have only read about Goe Oil, what people like to call a “miracle balm”. similar to Elizabeth Arden’s famous 8 hour cream (which i DON’T like at all) you can use it to soothe anything and everything – plus it’s all natural. it really does sound amazing; containing  rosehip, jojoba butter, jojoba oil, avocado butter, beeswax, shea butter, rosemary extract, vitamin E, chamomile oil etc etc etc.

Lulu & Marula

this is a local brand that i am eager to try, everything is handcrafted in small batches by founder Jesslyn Schlamm. a great option for South Africans looking to get into cleansing balms and the like without spending hundreds of bucks on imported stuff. they have cleansing balms and treatment oils and other cool things at their online shop.


if there’s one product on this list that i want most of all, it’s Olio Lusso by Linda Rodin. there’s a cool interview with her here. Oilio Lusso is all kinds of expensive, so will have to see about this one. you can also buy it at Need Supply Co.

The Body Shop

i haven’t tried their Camomile Cleansing Oil yet, but i have heard it’s good – basic – and also a very affordable option.

French Girl

another etsy shop with lovely affordable oils & things that are 100% vegan & organic and doesn’t contain any shit like parabens and sulfates etc. they also carry other treat-yo-self kinda things like solid perfume and products for men.



i LOOOOOOVE Uniqlo. every time i saw one in New York i’d turn to Anton and say, UNIQLO! i first discovered them in London many years back, and i still have some of their lovely woollen cardigans that i bought about 7 years ago in my cupboard. they’ve just launched this sweet series of how-to hairdos, pairs with new looks from their winter range. you can see them on their website or pinterest.

A variety of do-it-yourself hair styles paired with looks from the 2013 Fall & Winter collection, based on UNIQLO’s LifeWear philosophy. Capturing the step-by-step process of creating each hair style, Uniqlo HairDo is where style meets utility.


She Lets Her Hair Down

the one thing i’m pretty sure about re: the wedding is that i don’t want to hire a hair / make-up artist. i’m not high maintenance when it comes to these things, and besides getting the right primer & foundation i think i’ll be okay following a couple of youtube tutorials (practice makes perfect, right?). same goes for the hair, which i’d like to wear in a simple up-do or some kind of a pretty braided style (that’s where my bridesmaids and sisters-in-law come in).

i love looking at tutorials for DIY hair on the internet, so i was excited to discover Paris based hairstylist Rubi Jones through film company Lumineux. Rubi has a blog called She Lets Her Hair Down where she often shares hair tutorials on how to style your hair like a pro. she has done a number of wedding hair tuts which look super helpful.

seen any hair and make-up tutorials you’d like to recommend?

i’m also looking forward to seeing the video that Lumineux did on Rubi, as their body of film work is very beautiful. keep an eye on their Vimeo page for that.

 screencaps courtesy of Lumineux, tutorial images courtesy of Rubi Jones