To answer some of your frequently asked questions, and to support a good couple of local businesses here in Cape Town, I’ve decided to put together a beauty, fashion, fitness and lifestyle directory of where I go and why. From laser hair removal to booking flights, my favourite cafe to the best home workout guides, these are the places I frequent. Hey, maybe I’ll even see you around sometime!
For Eyebrow & Lip Threading
I go to Raxa at her home practice in Rylands, Cape Town. She’s awesome and accommodating without long waiting periods. Her number is 073 822 3454, and you can whatsapp her to book and for directions.
For All My General Medical & Skin/Aesthetic Needs (dermapen, lash lifts etc)
I swear by Renascent Health in Pinelands. Dr Leila Sadien is someone I know for a really long time as an old friend, and I’d spend my whole life going to her as both my GP and aesthetician. She’s the person I’ve gone to to fix me up where other doctors have messed me around. She cares about people; preferring homeopathic and nutritional methods where she can, and discovering the root causes of your ailments down to your emotions. In our first session she used a Timewaver on me, which you can learn more about here. Because of her methods, medical aid does not cover her visits but it’s still worth it if you can afford it. From an aesthetic perspective she’s single-handedly healed my skin and continues to do so with regular dermapen and skinbooster treatments. The practice also offers general spa facilities like massages, manicures, regular facials etc. I’ve just had my first lash lift done with them and it’s safe to say I’m addicted.
For Affordable, Painless Laser Hair Removal
I love my sessions with the lovely Naailah at Deluxe Laser in Canal Walk, but they have branches all over for your convenience. I’ve been to two laser clinics before them, but Deluxe comes out tops! They have great prices, frequent deals and their service is awesome. The treatments themselves are effective and genuinely painless.
Find their website, branches and pricelist here.
For an Affordable Haircut and Best Massage Ever
I go to The Home Blend in Lansdowne. The Home Blend is just that; it’s homey and humble, and not only is it a hairdresser but their resident beautician, Vuyo, is fantastic in all her treatments, especially her infamous massages that everyone is addicted to! They also have a cafe on site offering delicious fully halaal meals. Have you ever had incredible butter chicken and roti or a toasted sandwich or chicken nuggets while your dye is taking on your hair? No? Well it’s great. You should come here. And rememember everytime you support a local business, an actual person does a happy dance.
Find their Facebook page here for pictures and contact details.
For a Fabulous Spa Day
Amani Spa at the Radisson Blu by the Waterfront is so wonderful! 12 Apostles used to be my favourite but now that I’ve visited this one it steals first place, hands-down. Their massages are incredible (I love that they turn on the electric blanket for you in winter), and their day facilities are just great (such a fan of the indoor poolside jacuzzi and lounge).
Find their website and pricelist here.
For A Good Cafe & Halaal Meal
I love New Brighton Bakery in Woodstock! Their food is so good and filling, I love the rustic vibe and it has a good energy. I love their sourdough toast with smashed avo and two poached eggs, and it’s only R65 for a really generous portion. They also do a great almond milk latte, and I’m so impressed with how they’ve moved into a bigger space and grown as an independent business too.
Find them on Facebook here.
For Reading Material to Stay Woke
Teen Vogue has the best content around these days to educate you on current affairs, without sensationalism and drama. Their news articles are super easy to follow, they cover the social issues no one likes to talk about in a fair, easy-to-understand and all-inclusive way and they seek to normalise all walks of life. They published an article in Ramadan on how to make studying easier when you’re fasting, and I really appreciated how normal and compassionate this felt. Another example is when Halloween and Coachella rolls around they cover a thorough, clever and comprehensive guide to understanding cultural appropriation. Then of course aside from all that, you can still follow the latest fashion trends and what Selena Gomez had for breakfast.
For the BEST Almond Milk Latte
Seattle Coffee wins at this one. Cutting dairy as much as possible changed so much for me but sometimes you miss it in your coffee, unless your coffee is from Seattle. God truly blessed me when the service station down the road from my home and office got a Seattle in their general store!
For the Best Affordable Take-Away Sushi
I love the sushi from Spar supermarket in Rosmead Avenue! You’re not even obligated to take from the fridge, they’ll make you a fresh batch right then and there. For me it’s close to home, super quick, super cheap, super delicious.
For Every Travel Booking
I go to STA Travel every single time. I find their packages affordable and I love that you can literally pay off a plane ticket with them. It’s how I make travel more affordable; I book around 7 months in advance and just pay it off (the price doesn’t change). I find this more effective than saving, because I’m not so good at saving for a luxury, so paying off a ticket beats accumulating money then waiting for a good deal/package. If you’re 26 and under they also have better rates. I have had bad service with them occasionally, but Farghaana at the Cavendish branch has dealt with me changing flights every five minutes and stayed smiling throughout. She’s great.
Check out their website here, but I recommend going into a branch and sitting with a consultant, you don’t need an appointment.
For Almost Every Accommodation While Travelling Locally or Internationally
For hotels, I use booking.com to find a place to stay, because their site is the most user-friendly in terms of filters, images and reviews. I sometimes use them more as a search engine, then find a better deal for the same hotels on other sites or directly with the hotel. However, because I’ve booked over 5 places with them now, I’ve reached what they call “Genius Status Level” which unlocks extra deals and discounts for me for life, which is really cool!
For self-catering apartments, I only use Airbnb. If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up using this link and you’ll get R600/$50 off your first booking, and trust me, it helps! The R600 is automatically credited to your Airbnb account and gets deducted when you book.
For A Good Workout Class
You probably know by now I swear by Neelam Effendi AKA Nelly and her School of Hot! I see better results, I love the girls in the class, and since she’s based in Claremont it’s nice and close to home. I trained with her for my wedding and went back last year because I love her approach. She’s now not only my trainer but my good friend too!
To find out more, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
For A Good Home Workout
I love going on YouTube and following the Pop Sugar Fitness Workouts! They’re so amazing. Even Nelly loves them too (and shes super fussy). From bodyweight to cardio training, shorter sessions and long ones, they have so many options and for many of them you don’t need equipment. They even bring on Victoria’s Secret model coaches to do guest training videos!
Find their YouTube Channel here.
For High Quality Workout Wear & Underwear
I love Cotton On Body for this. I’m an adidas girl for sure, but Cotton On’s designs and colours are SO cute and trendy. I also love their underwear; I’ve switched to only wearing cotton and less underwires so they are really great for this.
For Trendy & Affordable Fashion
I absolutely love The Fix! Just wish they had more stores, they’re awesome and so on trend. A lot of their pieces have great quality too. I’m not too crazy about their online shopping experience, I don’t think the images and styling do the clothing or brand justice, but in store it’s SO great!
Shop online here.
For locally-produced Modest-Friendly Fashion
For a Great Leather Bag
Europa Art in Canal Walk recently shocked me with their selection and price point especially because they’re typically seen as pretty high end (I mean, they stock Michael Kors). I had been looking for a forever leather black tote that was super sturdy but struggled to find one; everywhere I went the structure was soft (so it would wear out eventually) and they were all priced at R2500 and up. But I found my dream firm structured tote at Europa Art in Canal Walk, Italian-made, and only R1700. They had a ton of other styles too that were really cute and cheaper than other ones I’d seen around.
Who remembers the days when I sold vintage clothing? Years ago I used to thrift all the items and refurbish them with my mom. I’d scour Cape Town for the best gems and sell them at markets. For this, the Salvation Army and St Luke’s hospice charity stores were often really great. And the better the area they were in, the better the items (it’s best to google their branches yourself since there are quite a few).
I seldom thrift anymore, and when I do it’s more for wicker baskets for my plants and to hopefully find furniture gems, but when I was a student (and lowkey hipster/broke) I often found clothing items that were pure magic. Some of my treasures include: a solid wood geometric chair that I bought for R100 (I saw an identical one at an antique shop for R12 000!), a genuine leather knitted tee that was like brand-new for only R5, leather jackets and belts, vintage denim shirts and so much more. My top tip for thrifting is not to get tight fitted items where they may hug at the armpits or crotch, since it is an item that’s previously-worn! Also give items a solid wash and soak before wearing of course.
*Disclaimer: no part of this post was commissioned by any of the above businesses. Some of them may have at times offered me free product/services but the choice to include them in here is solely my own.