Be YOU-nique – get #ColourfulHair because life is too short to be boring!

Whether you’re a colour junkie or prefer a hidden pop of #colourfulhair , colour is one of the latest hair trends.  See for more.

When it comes to colouring your hair this holiday season – why not go all-out and embrace the hot trend of #colourfulhair, but be warned, this is no DIY, seek the advice of a professional hair-stylist who can help you achieve your desired look and not end up with poo-coloured hair…*smiles*!

So every 6 weeks I try to visit the salon to get my hair-fix and this week I popped into my favourite salon – Bespoke Hair, to seek the advice of my favourite hair stylist, Claire Swart.

Claire is a passionate, experienced hair stylist that specialises in colour and conditioning of the hair and has over 25 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry.

She started her career in 1991, where she was an apprentice with the Sloanes Company until 1993. For 12 years after completing her apprenticeship, Claire continued to gain valuable experience from the Sloanes Company.

Claire has also worked at Blow Hair Bar and has also owned her own hair salon, called The Salon.

Claire is well equipped with the knowledge of Wella and L’Oreal products, amongst others and keeps up with the latest trends by attending various workshops and training.

In 2015, Claire was approached by Donald Olive (Owner of Bespoke Hair) to join him as a member of his team, where she is currently based.

“As a Hair Stylist, good colour and condition of the hair is what I am passionate about. I also have extensive experience in hair styling for top-end fashion shows, mode photographic shoots as well as wedding styling,” says Claire.

For me, Claire is my go-to person when it comes to colour. I love the trend of grey-hair and wanted to go a slightly deeper grey colour than that of my previous shade. Whilst describing what I was looking to achieve, she recommended that I try out one of the new vivid colours that L’Oreal Professional recently launched. Being slightly adventurous, I opted to get a pop of colour instead of an entire head (I am not that brave yet) – and because I was already going grey, blue was the complimentary shade to try. So now, I am embracing a pop of #mermaidhair – a gorgeous ocean-inspired colour.

Because I don’t always have much time to spend in the bathroom (like most moms), I can be quite lazy with the treatment of my hair, so Claire always gives me advice on how to keep my “mane”, “tame”. See her tips here:

  1. When you shampoo – shampoo twice! This helps remove oils etc and also gives the hair body
  2. Towel dry hair before conditioning. This is logical. If the hair is too wet, the product will just be diluted and run off, but if the hair is slightly dry it will be able to effectively absorb the product. Also, try to avoid the roots and scalp when applying conditioner.
  3. Drying the hair – firstly with a towel – use the towel to squeeze the water out of the hair instead of vigorously drying the hair. When this happens, the hair’s cuticle cells lift and it causes frizziness and dull-looking hair– and no one wants that!
  4. When colouring – do not expect a colour to come out exactly as planned. Remember, every hair type is different and takes differently to products, just as not every person is the same.
  5. When it comes to vivid colour, if your hair is dark, it is likely to take more than one sitting to reach your desired colour, however lighter hair is likely to take much quicker. But this is all dependent on your type of hair.
  6. Keeping vivid hair, well, vivid! Use products that help prolong the life of your colour.
  7. When brushing your hair: If wet, use a detangling comb to brush through. Hair is weaker when wet, so do not brush it, it is likely to cause breakage.
  8. Try to avoid going to bed with wet hair. Once again, wet hair is weaker, but in addition to this, wet hair may cause dandruff to build up. Microorganisms tend to thrive in environments that are warm and damp – so it could lead to dandruff on the scalp.

Book your next appointment with Hair By Claire at Bespoke Hair Durban via their Facebook page or by contacting the salon on 031 303 5242.

Follow them on Instagram to see the work that is produced @bespoke_hair_


Set your hair on “trend” this summer!


Hair _2017
A version of Besmokey Freelights with a melted effect, at Bespoke Hair Salon


With winter out of the way and the summer months slowly pushing through, it may be time to spruce up the old and bring in the new.

Start summer off with a little pamper time with a session at the salon. Hair trends are all the craze and should be considered when either wanting to try something new or adding dimension to your dull winter hair.

Bespoke Hair Salon in Durban finds it a key requirement for them to stay on trend. Donald Olive (owner) shares his advice on some of the new trends to follow now that summer is upon us.

“My stylists are constantly following hair trends and have also experimented with a few of their own techniques and colours for the summer season. This season, think blonde, blonde, and more blonde – both cool and warm tones! Blonde has a knack of never going out of style, but it is the shades of blonde that can vary in terms of trend. The trends featuring blonde include nude hair, balayage and babylights, silver blonde/grey, snowlights, mulit-dimensional platinum blonde as well as a technique called colour melting,” he says.

Get naked!

For those wanting to try a different colour trend, nude hair may be the way to go. This colour is a neutral colour that lies in between a warm and cool tone.





Trending of recent is a combination of the two popular techniques, that of applying Balayage and Babylights. This technique helps breathe life into dull hair, especially if the person does not want anything over the top.

Shades of grey

If you are slightly more adventurous, then this could be your perfect match. Silver Blonde has topped the charts of popularity, with silver/grey being added to both brown hair and more popularly, blonde hair. The Silver Blonde can be done in one full colour or in a balayage style.


Brrr, its cold in here!

Picture credit: Image of the Snowlights trend sourced from

Snowlights are exactly what they sound like – a crisp white colour, added in a snowflake shape on the crown of the head. This technique is popular with those who are already blonde, as it gives off a somewhat ombre’ effect, however it can also be applied to other shades as well.

Techniques on trend:

Colour melting – Melting is a technique that blends the highlights with the base colour of the hair so you don’t have any distinct lines and looks more natural.

Freelights – Similar to that of balayage, free lights are applied to the hair strands in a “free” motion in random places on the hair.

Now, I am one of those people who are loyal when I find a great hair stylist and Claire Swart from Bespoke Hair is my go-to person. I love how creative and honest she is and how she works her magic on my hair!

Claire 2.jpg
Claire Swart

Claire Swart is a passionate, experienced hair stylist that specialises in colour and conditioning of the hair. Known as Swarty Pants, Claire has over 25 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry, having started her career in 1991. “As a Hair Stylist, good colour and condition of hair is what I am passionate about. I also have extensive experience in hair styling for top end fashion shows, photographic shoots as well as wedding styling,” she says.

When chatting to her about the hair trends for summer, she told me that a hair trend should suit the person who is receiving it. One cannot simply just ask for a trend and expect it to work for them.

For my look, Claire piggy-backed on the Shades of grey trend.What I went for was a playoff on the silver blonde look. I call it “Besmokey freelights” which incorporates a grey, silvery hue to slightly darkened blonde hair. It is following the trend, yet with my own twist.  I blocked the root colour with L’Oreal cool covers 7.1, 20 volume (deep smokey grey). For the mid length and ends I used Inoa in a combination of four colours – 8.1, 8.21, 9.2, 9.12 to give a light silver, purple-grey tone. When I applied the colour, I infused the two, so there was no definite line separating the two colours; a process called melting, which is also on trend,” she explained.

For those wanting to try a hair trend this summer, here are some important tips provided by Claire: 

  1. Book with a hair stylist that specialises in colour.
  2. Take a photo with you so the stylist can see just what look you are after.
  3. It is important to note, however, that every person has a different hair texture and takes to colours differently. If two people come in for the same colour, it will not necessarily turn out the same for both people. Bear that in mind when your hair colour is complete.
  4. If you are going for a colour such as grey – the colour only lasts 2 to 3 weeks and it is important to maintain the colour by using hair appropriate products to extend the life of the colour. Ensure to talk to your stylist about hair maintenance.

Visit the Bespoke Hair Facebook page for more styles and info.



Lipstick tips & tricks to try

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I have to admit. I don’t wear lipstick every day, (sometimes it is lipgloss or lip balm), but when I do, I tend to enjoy reds and plums as I feel that these kinds of colours really suit my skin, which is quite pale (especially in winter).


I also find that I have a constant need to care for my lips. I mean, they are an important part of the face in my opinion.

My tip for creating smooth lips is to exfoliate. I do this on mornings when my lips feel slightly neglected or if I am wearing a bold shade of lipstick that day (so the colour does not sit in any cracks). The technique I use is quick and simple. Dip a toothbrush in petroleum jelly (a.k.a Vaseline) or a scented lip balm and rub over your lips and then wipe off with tissue. As gross as this sounds, it does work. But, perhaps you prefer another method? Well, then you could try a DIY sugar scrub. How: Mix a tablespoon of sugar (preferably brown as it is more abrasive) with some olive oil or a bit of honey, so that it clumps together and rub this goo all over your lips and then wipe clean. Wallah!

For those that have a preference for lipsticks that last all day, like me, you will love this.

Apply your lipstick and place a thin piece of tissue over and hold in place with your index finger and thumb of either side of your lips. Then dust some translucent powder over using a powder brush. The bits of powder that do come through, will set your lipstick. (P.s: If you don’t have translucent powder, you can also try baby powder or cornstarch. I have tried these and they worked for me and may work for you too). My favourite part about long-lasting lip colour is the fact that it doesn’t rub off onto clothing. Thumbs up!

Now for those of you who do not have a specific colour of lipstick, and need that colour to complete your look, you can actually make your own by using an ear bud to mix vaseline or clear lip balm and your specific colour eyeshadow. I received this bit of advice from a sales consultant when I purchased a mineral eyeshadow from them and it does work.

Last but not least, I am sure you have heard this before, but if you want a more vibrant and true colour, apply concealer to your lips before applying your lipstick. This will help the colour stand out. 

I thought I would also share this fun little game I played on the weekend, courtesy of one of my favourite magazines, Good Housekeeping, to determine what lipstick colour will suit you right now! Take the Quiz

Have another tip to share? Then leave a comment

Ciao for now!

Tips from a professional: Your Child’s First Haircut

I can commiserate with parents who dread taking their little human to the hair dresser, as it is all so overwhelming. All those scissors, shears, funny looking objects, mirrors. It is all so frightening for our little ones!

However in saying that, haircuts are inevitable and it is best to get the first haircut done by a professional.

I recently had to take my small-e to get his first haircut and thought it was going to be full of drama and snot en trane (snot & tears) and screaming, but this did not happen, well not for a long time anyway *giggles*

So off we took our boy to our family barber, a salon called Mr President. My nephew has been going to this salon since he was a few months old, as it is his granny’s salon and he has become very used to sitting in the barber’s chair to get his hair cut.

When it came to my son, however, taking the initiative to sit on the chair by himself, was not an option.20170315_083512

So I decided to take some advice from OUR very own professional. Here is her advice:

  1. Don’t make a big fuss about him getting a haircut. If anything, try keep your child calm.
  2. Allow your little one to hold their favourite toy, to help them feel some sort of comfort.
  3. Have a fun, bright character apron that the child can talk about, look at and take their mind off the haircut.
  4. Sit with your child. Ask the barber to give you an apron to protect your clothing and let you child sit on your lap. Your child should feel safer this way.
  5. Follow the barber’s instructions to make the haircut go as fast and professional as possible.
  6. Play some fun music in the background to hide the sounds of the shears or scissors cutting.
  7. Keep telling your child they are brave and reassure them that you are right there and the haircut won’t hurt.
  8. If the barber does not have any sweets or treats to give at the end of the haircut, ensure you have some packed in your bag or pocket so as to reward your little one for being so good. (Or reward them in a way they are used to – such as a big hug, star or sticker or similar)
  9. If your child is kicking and screaming, it is best to remove them from the situation and take them for a walk before returning – just to give them time to gather themselves.
  10. If your little one is not complying, then just keep trying. Children need to be introduced to new things a few times before they get comfortable with it.

I hope this advice helps you. All the best!

Tips supplied by Linda from Mr President. To find out more, email me using the details provided under the contact tab.

Quick tutorials for awesome hair!

Hi Treasures,

I have recently signed up for the Good Housekeeping magazine newsletter and am absolutely hooked. This is probably the only newsletter that arrives in my mailbox, that I am actually excited about.

For those that know me, I usually wear my hair up in a bun or in a low ponytail, just because this is the simplest and quickest option in the mornings. But! I have just been inspired by watching these 15-second videos that I am sure will make my hair look awesome.. everyday!

Check these amazing hair hacks here: Quick hair hacks



Beautify your skin with the gift of nature

With Janu -worry out of the way, we can now focus our attention to February and the year ahead.

With a month down and 11 to go, I have had time to think about “resolutions” I would like to achieve throughout the year, and REALISTIC ones I know I am actually able to achieve.

One such achievable aspiration for 2017 is a skin detox  –  to make the face & body, look & feel healthy. Let’s face it, our bodies go through constant exposure to pollution, chemicals, UV rays and these can be caused by everyday living. I know we can’t live in a bubble, but we can attempt at a solution to help restore some of the lost moisture. Whether it works for you or not – it’s worth a try! And it is a start…

I recently chatted to Justin Reilander, who is the co-owner of a fun new brand called The Immortal Jellyfish, and he provided some tips on preparing and using natural products for an external beauty detox as well as the best organic ingredients that are fabulous for skin hydration (so needed for those who suffer from dehydrated or dry skin, like me).


So what is The Immortal Jellyfish?

The Immortal Jellyfish, established in early October 2016, consists of a fabulous range of organic bath, body and skincare products featuring glycerine soaps, body wash, body lotion, bath salts, sugar scrubs, Essential Oil blends, fizz balls, body butter, linen and room sprays and soon, an addition of shampoo and conditioner to their collection.

“We started the business, after discovering our passion for natural body and skincare remedies. We decided to make something that stays true to the organic name and thus started our quest for the creation of the perfect blends to match any person’s preference,” commented Reilander.

He continued, “It all started with a hobby of making bath salts as gifts for family and friends and eventually we had orders coming through from all over the place. We then went on to find various products that would suit the needs of those that prefer the natural and organic alternative in skincare”.

Cleanse & Detox it!

For the facial area, which is delicate – the best natural products to use include Tea Tree, Lavender or Sandalwood. Honey is also a great alternative to modern face washes (it is also a natural antiseptic (FYI)). Plus, these ingredients can also be used on the rest of the body as well.

The Immortal Jellyfish offer blended glycerine soaps that aid in the healing process of skin rashes, acne, sunburn and many other skin conditions. These soaps are made with Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Vitamin E Oil and their very own essential blends, plus these herbal facial products are super easy to use. The best part of these products is that they do the hard work for you. It’s as easy as lathering it on and rinsing off. Yes please!



Moisture it!

The best herbal ingredients to use on the face for hydration include Honey, Vitamin E enriched products, Lavender, Frankincense and Coconut Oil. These will not only assist in moisturising the facial area, but are soothing as well. Plus, for those needing an anti-ageing solution, try Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Lavender (surprisingly good for any skin condition), Rooibos and Organic Raw Honey.

With a load of research having gone into these products, The Immortal Jellyfish team also ensure strict precautions are followed. They themselves use their own products and have a team of “testers” that review the products before they are sold.

“We also do our best to keep our products strictly organic and thus, all essential blends, glycerine soaps, sugar scrubs and bath salts are free from chemicals or animal products,” Reilander added.

With their love of creating all things natural, they have also provided a recipe for their favourite hydrating/ detox face mask – something that smells good enough to eat:

Mix together Mango Butter, Organic Raw Honey, Coconut Oil and mashed Avocado for hydration and 5 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil. (Pssst…the Grapefruit Oil assists as a detox by providing antioxidant benefits, and is also a natural diuretic).

Apply to your face for 20 minutes and then rinse.


Do you think supporting local is lekker? Well, order online through their Facebook page, find their products at Ansteys Beach Backpackers and Self Catering (Bluff, Durban), at Sapphire Gardens and at their stall at the Golden Hours Family Market every Sunday.

Their prices are also super affordable: check out their online store: Price List

The Immortal Jellyfish is owned by Justin Reilander and Shadryn Carlston

Fun ‘bra’llient facts about Friday the 13th

Danielle Bra
Danielle Bra

Ever had to give a speech and been told to picture your audience in their underwear to curb your anxiety? Well, apart from this advice relating to one’s under-garments, there are a number of superstitions going back a few centuries about underwear and with it being Friday the 13th, I chatted to the team at Satin Candy who had looked into some very interesting superstitions regarding underwear.

The worldwide web provides some interesting superstitions. Did you know?

 Inside Out –  For those who wear their underwear inside out – it’s actually considered to be very lucky. Also, there are those who may have been having a really unlucky day, the only way to turn it around was to wear underwear inside out!

Going Commando – In the late 1920’s, when a bride wanted to secure a happy marriage then she would need to attend the wedding without wearing any underwear. The belief was that if you didn’t wear underwear, it was believed to be a sign of wholeness and appeasement to the gods of love, who in exchange would bring joy and happiness to the couple’s love life. How’s that for “doing anything for love”. Satin Candy advises to never have to go to that extreme, but rather wear beautiful underwear from Satin Candy to provide the same results. *hehehe*

Continue reading “Fun ‘bra’llient facts about Friday the 13th”