Local is Lekker: Alexandra K Jewels

When I started the ‘Local is Lekker’ series on my blog, I never knew that there were so many local brands out there. Recently, I came across Alexandra K Jewels, an amazing brand that doesn’t exist solely for the purpose of making a profit, but is also geared towards pro-empowerment and the uplifting of women.20140522-092030.jpgKate Alexandra Fitz-Gibbon officially launched her local brand, Alexandra K jewels, at the beginning of this year. She creates beautiful, handmade pieces that are simply stunning and very easy to wear. Her current range includes earrings, headpieces and necklaces that incorporate a lot of feathers, crystals, pearls and pretty stones – very dreamy and boho chic, I love it!
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From all of her designs, the headpieces are definitely my favorite! They are extremely handy when you are attending a special occasion or if just want to add little something extra to your look. An added plus is that they work exceptionally well over your hijab, which is possibly the greatest thing ever.
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Kate donning the gorgeous Hot Natured Headpiece

Kate donning the gorgeous Hot Natured Headpiece

The Silver River Headpiece

The Silver River Headpiece

Kate was kind enough to gift me two of her ultimately gorgeous headpieces, the Silver River headpiece and the Hot Natured headpiece, which I absolutely cannot wait to feature in my upcoming look posts! Thanks Kate! The photographs I snapped up did not do the headpieces justice, therefore I decided that I will show you guys the headpieces when I’m actually wearing them. But what I want you guys to see is the manner in which the headpieces were gifted to me – so fab!

I know! It's too adorable for words :D

I know! It’s too adorable for words 😀

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Whenever I chat to local designers/entrepreneurs I always ask them if they’ve had any formal training or if they hold any qualifications in the industry in which they work – be it fashion, jewellery, or baking- and almost always, the answer is ‘No’. Kate is no different. She explained to me that she taught herself how to make all of the Alexandra K Jewels pieces that you see above. She wanted to prove to herself that she can create beautiful items without the help of others or teaching resources – a means of building her self-confidence and self-esteem. After succeeding at this, Kate decided that she wanted to instill the same confidence in others, so the next step was making her brand pro-empowerment.
Kate is currently training her first lady to make the jewels, she is also training her in what it means to have confidence, to know her identity and her talents. She is teaching her values and principles, and how to embrace her destiny, which is all in aid of helping her to be successful in the workplace and to lead a successful life.
By building her brand, Kate is building the confidence of another and hopefully many more women in the future, as the brand grows.may 159

If you are interested in supporting a great brand with an amazing purpose, you can email your order to info@alexandrakjewels.com or you can send a message to the Alexandra K Jewel’s Facebook page and Kate will happily send through a product catalogue!
From the end of May, you can make your purchase from http://www.alexandrakjewels.com, all orders can be shipped to anywhere in SA and soon an international delivery option will also be available. Items are priced from R220 to R650 and there is limited availability on each product to ensure that you can keep your individuality alive – take that all you annoying copycats out there!
And oh yes, if you want to have a quick lookie at more of the pieces available from Alexandra K Jewels, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Happy Shopping!
Raeesa

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Local is Lekker: Hyde and Seek Leather

Adding a leather piece/item (not leather pants!) to my overall look makes me feel super edgy and sleek, and I guess this was what inspired this post. So when I came across the Hyde & Seek Leather website a few weeks/months ago, I just knew HSL will be a great addition to my Local is Lekker blog series!

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So let us get right into it, HSL was launched in October of 2013, with the aim of providing quality and stylish genuine leather statement designs to the interested consumer. HSL’s mission is to “break new ground in exclusive handcrafted leather apparel in an environmentally sustainable way by embracing South Africa’s local resources and design talent” and their mission is on the right track, as far as I am concerned! I find it so inspiring and rousing when business/brands are consistently contributing to the economy of South Africa whilst ensuring the sustainability of our environment, it doesn’t get any better than that!

So I had a lookie at all of the products that HSL has on offer, and it was pretty hard to choose just one favourite piece, as both their bags and accessories are super cute! But, I’ve narrowed them down to the  3 items that I just couldn’t stop thinking about, so here they are:

 

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mono

mtall

I know all of thee above are clutches, but they are just so gorg! How could they not be my fav?? I totally love them! BTW, apologies for the images above being so close to each other, they refused to give each other space! I tried, it just didn’t work. Perhaps, they are BFF’s for life?

 

Being curious about these amazing pieces, I decided to have a little chat with the mastermind behind HSL, just to gain a little more insight on the background and beginnings of HSL. So here’s what I learnt:

  • HSL is the brainchild of Alleyah Kader (see pic below), a Cape Town based business analyst with some mad creative and design skill;

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  • With the completion of a pattern making & design course, a degree in Business Management and qualifications in Project Management & Business Analysis, she has managed to plan, integrate and execute the infrastructures for HSL as well as all the supporting processes that make the wheels turn. She’s uber talented, I know! I’m slightly jelly :(.
  • She has a passion for working with leather and loves creating fully handcrafted leather pieces that are unique and sassy, making HSL more of a creative outlet than a business to her.
  • Her business partner/ husband (a qualified CA) guiding light when it comes to making  financial decisions for HSL. Uhm, a total YAY for us accounting lovers, we totally rock! 😀
  • The inspiration for the design of the HSL ranges come from anywhere and everywhere. Alleyah is most inspired when she sees/experiences something new but the ability to create a chic and unique masterpiece from solely an idea created in her mind is simply her biggest inspiration!

So if you like what you read/saw, HSL’s full range is available on their website and orders can be placed directly with them at hello@hydeandseekleather.co.za or via any social pages! And they deliver nationally and internationally too, woohoo! So go on over to HSL’s website, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram and check them out!

And oh yes, HSL has recently partnered with Zhoosh! Australia and are currently in the process of forming partnerships in Germany and the US, so watch this space!

 

So that’s that! Until next time!

Raeesa

Local is Lekker: Rings & Things

The love of jewellery is common amongst all girls, mostly because we know that an outfit just simply isn’t complete without that totally amazing statement necklace or that super cute cocktail ring – and this is where Rings & Things fits into the equation!20140312-170446.jpg

Rings & Things is this super cool online store that I discovered whilst on my random Twitter searches for South African online shops. So these guys retail fashion and fine jewellery and have something for everyone! From vintage and quirky to edgy and bulky, they really do cover their bases!

I’m more of a vintage and quirky jewellery lover and I think that’s why I’m really fond of this site. Some of my favourite pieces from their online store are:

 

The moustache watch!

The moustache watch!

The infinity bracelet

The infinity bracelet

The arrow bangle

The arrow bangle

 

Considering my appreciation and love for their products, I took the time to learn a little bit more about Rings & Things, about the designers and just basically how Rings & Things was born. So here are some interesting facts:

  • The mastermind behind Rings & Things is Erika Fourie, the designer and manufacturer. Yup, she’s a woman, so like a total YAY for girl power!
  • Erika has a certificate in Art, as well as a B-Tech degree in Jewellery Design and Manufacture from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology. Yup, she’s amazing.
  • After spending a few months in the Big Apple, she returned to SA and worked part time as a fine jewellery lecturer at a private jewellery school, and then as a trend forecaster and fashion accessory buyer for a company who supply a chain of local fashion stores.
  • Due to her creativity, experience and love for fashion, she decided it was time to build her own brand and that’s how Rings & Things was born!
  • Her designs are inspired by everything and anything including blogs, magazines, her friends, architecture, movies or even from some stranger walking down the street.

 

That’s basically all there is to know about Rings & Things, so go ahead and check them out on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Pinterest.

If you like what to see, ordering is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Select your items, checkout and pay! And no stress, they guarantee secure payment methods, so your money is safe! And if you are in Europe, Australia or America Rings & Things offers International shipping too! How frikkin’ awesome is that?

 

Happy Shopping!

 

Raeesa

Tutorial: 4 steps to achieve sparkly, gold eyes with Essence’s Crystal Eyeliner

I love wearing gold on my eyes – I don’t know why, but I just do. In my previous post, I did a review on my 2 purchases from Essence, The Lash and Brow Gel Mascara and the Crystal Eyeliner in Gold Rush, which I’ll be using for my look today.

 

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To create a look, like the one above all you need is:

  • Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner from Essence
  • Crystal Eyeliner in Gold Rush from Essence
  • Lash and Brow Gel Mascara from Essence
  • An eyelash curler

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How to:

Step 1:

Curl lashes

Step 2:

Apply a very thiiiiiin line of liquid liner.

Step 3:

Apply a thin line of Crystal Eyeliner in Gold rush on top of your liquid liner.

Step 4:

Finish of your lashes with 2 coats of the Lash and Brow Gel Mascara.

Aaand done! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Raeesa

Essence’s Lash & Brow gel Mascara and Crystal Eyeliner Review

I popped into Dischem over the weekend to grab myself some new Essence goodies, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but I knew that when I saw it, I’ll know. And I did.

I ended up coming home with the Lash and Brow Gel Mascara and the Crystal Eyeliner in Gold Rush, and I am extremely happy with my purchases!

Lash and Brow gel Mascara:

You can see right through me, weeeee!

You can see right through me, weeeee!

A mascara and a tamer of unruly brows, all in one. Retailing for only R34.95, it is a makeup bag must-have.
It is packaged in a normal-sized mascara tube with a normal mascara brush, but the fun part is, is that the tube is transparent – so you can see exactly how much product you have left.

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I have this tendency to rub my eyes which causes a black ring around my eyes, making me look like a racoon. But this way, since it’s transparent, I can say goodbye to racoon-me.
I love this product, I truly do. But the only downfall is that it hardens your brows. But I guess it has to, if you want your brows to stay in its’ place.

Crystal Eyeliner in Gold Rush:

Gold, gold, gold!

Gold, gold, gold!

I wasn’t expecting much from this product, only because I once purchased a glitter/crystal eyeliner from Essence’s Breaking Dawn Trend Edition before, and it was useless. It had no staying power, whatsoever, and I never got to use it. But I think Essence perhaps realized their blunder, because their new Crystal Eyeliner range is frikken’ amazing.

When I first tried it out on my wrist, it looked really dull. No real sparkle to it. But on your eyes, it really does sparkle. Check out the images and tutorial here.

My hand looks so awkward here, eek - sorry!

My hand looks so awkward here, eek – sorry!

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The brush is very skinny making the application much easier. The staying power is quite long, as long as water doesn’t touch it.
All in all, for just R31.95, it is an amazing product and well worth the buy. I will definitely be purchasing the other colours soon.

Raeesa

Tutorial: How to achieve the ‘No-Makeup’ Makeup Look in just 4 steps!

Calvin Klein once said: ‘The best thing is to look natural – but it takes makeup to look natural’. And that is so true. I love wearing makeup and creating different looks, but sometimes I just want to look natural, I just want to forget the dark, smoky eyes or bold lips for the day.

So I came up with a great makeup routine, basically my everyday routine for campus, that enhances my natural beauty and which is super easy to achieve. Follow the steps below..

 

Step 1: BB Cream

I like to use a BB cream rather than a foundation, mostly because foundations are much heavier and more likely to cake up rather than BB creams. Using a BB cream is going to provide light/medium coverage making it a great base for a ’natural’ makeup look.

I particularly like Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream, as it has a SPF of 35 and works very, very well with acne prone skin. But if you are working on budget, Garnier’s  Miracle Skin Perfector BB cream is a great alternative, it has an SPF of 15 and is  also appropriate for acne prone skin.

 

BB cream feeverrr

BB cream feeverrr

 

Step 2: Blush

Blush is great at brightening up the face and giving you that ‘just pinched’ look, but don’t go too crazy on the blush. Try to get the least amount of product on to your cheeks by dusting your brush off before apply, or swiping it at the back off your hand.

I have an olive skin tone, therefore I tend to gravitate towards blushes in pink hues – but if you are fair/dark skinned peachy hues will look great on you! My favourite blushes are Smashbox Blush Rush in Peony (I love Smashbox, meep!) and Essence’s Silky Touch Blush in Adorable.

 

Blush Rush

Blush Rush

 

Step 3: Lip balm

I like using a balm rather than a gloss or a stickie, as balms provide lips with a light pigment but a subtle gloss, which is more natural. Most people would use a sheer lipgloss/colourless balm, but I’ve found that because of my skin tone, I have to have some colour as neutral lips tend to really wash me out and make me look dull and boring.

I absolutely adore Labello’s Fruity Shine! I probably go through at least 9 of these beauts each year. They are a staple in my campus bag and if you see me in lecs, I’m almost always reapplying. I just can’t get enough. It’s so great because it has an SPF of 15 and it smoothes and conditions the lips whilst providing a slight shimmery pink tint to the lips.

 

My li[s surely do love Labello!

My li[s surely do love Labello!

 

Step 4: Mascara

I love, love, looove mascara! Mascara is like coffee- for my eyes- it provides an instant pick-me-up, it widens and awakens the eyes and just makes me want to give butterfly kisses to everyone!

I love use Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara, as it doesn’t clump or dry out your lashes. Like half way through the day, if I had to touch my lashes it will be super soft , as if I had no mascara on, and nor would it flake. It also conditions the lashes whilst you wear it, so when you wash it out you would notice that your lashes feel so much softer and silkier. A+.

 

Here's to longer, fuller and healthier lashes!

Here’s to longer, fuller and healthier lashes!

 

Optional Step: Eyeliner

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I don’t ever leave the house without eyeliner, and it’s true! I know it’s not very natural to have a swipe of dark eyeliner on your lower lash line but if I don’t, I just look sleepy and sick, not cool!

On most days, I use Catrice Cosmetic’ Smokey Eye Pencil in 01-Black Earl but sometimes I use Essence’s Stays No Matter What waterproof eye pencil in 02-Stunning Brown, to tone it down a little. I’ve found that both Essence and Catrice Cosmetics eyeliners have great staying power and last throughout the day, unlike Smashbox eyeliners which rub off and disappear after a few hours. Definitely getting more for less, with Catrice and Essence.

 

My first love!

My first love!

 

So that’s it! My ‘natural’ makeup look! Hope you enjoyed the post.

 

Raeesa

3 chic and easy outfits for a perfect Summer’s day

 

 

 

Amazing picture that I took at North Beach in Durban. Beautiful.

Amazing picture that I took at North Beach in Durban. Beautiful.

 

In my family, we rarely ever plan anything, unless it’s a wedding – of course!  Every outing, picnic or trip to the beach is usually a spontaneous decision, made an hour before we leave home. That gives me only an hour to do my makeup and pick out an outfit and fab accessories and a hijab – it’s totes ridic, I know! But I love summer and spending time with my fam, therefore I created 3 go-to outfits that are chic, easy and hijab appropriate and that won’t leave me dressing up in the car, due to time constraints.

 

 

Look 1: Beach Chic

 

Dress: Mr Price; Necklace: Orelia, Forever New; Sandals: Woolworths; Chambray Shirt:; Woolworths; Stila Lippie: Truworths

Dress: Mr Price; Necklace: Orelia, Forever New; Sandals: Woolworths; Chambray Shirt:; Woolworths; Stila Lippie: Truworths

 

I love maxi dresses. These dresses transition great from day to night, with a simple swop of accessories which make them a great investment. This look is perfect for a day at beach, chilling in the sand and maybe even going for a little leg-dip in the water.

Throwing a denim shirt over a maxi dress is brilliant, especially if you burn quite easily in the sun. Due to it being a day at the beach, I like to keep accessories to a minimum – we don’t want to blind anyone with our bling, now do we?

 

 

Look 2: Picnicking at the Park

 

Top: Mr Price; Skinnies: Mr Price; Cross Body Bag: Woolworths; Sandal: Legit

Top: Mr Price; Skinnies: Mr Price; Cross Body Bag: Woolworths; Sandal: Legit

 

I love the park, playing on the swings, engaging in an informal game of cricket/soccer and enjoying a yummy hotdog whilst chilling on a camping chair – yup, that’s how we do it.

During picnics, because of all the activities you are involved in, you want to make sure that you are fully covered and that all chances of flashing someone, is eliminated .That’s why a pair of skinnies is perfect. Choose one that’s pretty and has a bit of whimsy to it, like this one, with all the polka dots – so cute!  Pair your bottoms with a plain, white top whilst adding some colour to your look with a nifty bag and cute shoes.

 

 

Look 3: Crop-top heaven

 

Top: Mr Price; Skirt: Mr price; Sandal: Mr Price; Chain: Woolworths; Bracelets: Mr price

Top: Mr Price; Skirt: Mr price; Sandal: Mr Price; Chain: Woolworths; Bracelets: Mr price

 

This outfit is great for any type of activity, be it shopping, beaching or even a visit to your nearest Wakaberry.

Crop tops seems to be all the rage recently, you can wear it by pairing it with a high-waisted maxi skirt and a gold statement necklace– you are still showing off the crop top but without showing any skin, total hijabness! Add on a bunch of gold-toned bracelets and cute sandals to take the look to the next level.

 

 

Hope you are having a great summer!

 

Raeesa

Sandalwood Powder and Rosewater: The natural way to achieve gorgeous skin

My skin feels amazing after using a paste of sandalwood powder and rosewater. It’s basically a mask that helps to even out skin tone, reduce dark marks, acne and acne scars and give you gorgeous glowing skin over time.
It works so well because rosewater cools,calms and tones the skin whilst the sandalwood powder, due to its anti-inflammatory properties and powerful antioxidants, reduces pimples and lightens any dark spots.
It’s super simple to make this paste, all you need is, well, sandalwood powder and rosewater. Mix 3 parts sandalwood powder to 1-2 parts rosewater – the consistency must be thick enough to stay on the skin but liquid enough to be spreadable. It should look something like this:
Yeah, so it does look  a bit ikky..but it makes your skin feel ahmaaazing

Yeah, so it does look a bit ikky..but it makes your skin feel ahmaaazing

This paste should be applied once a day and should be kept on the skin for about 30-60 min. You may experience some tingling, that’s normal, but if it becomes unbearable you can remove the paste from the tingling areas.
You can find Sandalwood powder in any Indian spice shop – I got a 50g packet for just R9.99 from Gorima’s. I know super duper cheap, right?
However, pure and organic rosewater may not be so easy to find. Checkers, Pick ‘n Pay, and even the Indian spice shops sell rosewater, but this isn’t the pure one. It’s usually just rose-scented water – which will do absolutely nothing for your skin or alternatively might make your skin worse! But I did find this 100ml bottle of Good Life Organic’s Rosewater for R82.00 from Faithful to Nature, it’s works well with my skin, smells amazing and it is packaged in a super cool spray bottle!
You can also use this paste:
  • to lighten skin;
  • to achieve softer skin;
  • as an anti-aging treatment and
  • to calm down breakouts.
Turmeric powder may also be added to the paste, however you might end up with a yellow tinge on your face and fingers – not cool. Some people also use milk instead of rosewater – I tried this out but unfortunately, the milk did not agree with my skin. 😦
All in all, If you are looking for a way, to get gorgeous-glowing-even toned-acne free skin, I suggest you give this paste a go, you will be surprised with the results!
Oh yes, please note that it takes time to work – like after a month/ a month and a half of daily use you should be able to see a difference in your skin,. Just be patient, dear.
Rae