A fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog by Candice-Lee

MUST VISIT: AKJP COLLECTIVE – THE HOTTEST DESIGNER STORE IN CAPE TOWN

Posted on: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

AKJP collective

If you don’t live in Cape Town, but find yourself in the city, do make sure you visit the AKJP Collective Concept Store. If you do reside in the mother city, then make your way to the store to stock up on some top local designer wear for winter.

Seven months after the launch of the AKJP Collective, designers Keith Henning and Jody Paulsen are preparing for their new venture’s first winter season. In the space of a few months, the original seven emerging and established South African designers stocked in the store have grown to 15 – and they’re some of the most coveted labels in SA!

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As with everything they do, every handpicked item in the store is characterized by its future-conscious creativity underpinned by solid design and craftsmanship.

“We have had enquiries from several new designers wanting to be part of the store and the Collective, so it was only natural to expand. We continue to select designers based on quality and originality, but having more does allow us to stock a greater variety as each has his or her own identity and style,” says Henning.

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AKJP’s own designs – the very exciting autumn/winter collection shown at SA Menswear Week in February this year – are available too, and includes the 12 pieces shown at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. The range includes AKJP’s new parka/raincoat that’s in line with the designers’ current focus on outerwear made from jacquard, cashmere, silk, wool, cotton, mohair and impala leather.

Below are collections from other designers participating in the collective whose designs caught my eye:

Tamara Chérie

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After winning the 2014 ELLE Rising Star award, Tamara Chérie Dyson wasted no time in establishing her Tamara Chérie label. Her ready-to-wear designs are minimalist, putting the spotlight on the cut and fabrics – which include her trademark wool.

Selfi

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AKJP Collective is the exclusive stockist of Selfi’s new menswear range launched at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. Added to this are designer Celeste Arendse’s practical, comfortable pieces inspired by farmworkers’ and fishermen’s “uniforms” tempered by feminine barrettes and printed scarves. You don’t own any Selfi items? What the heck is wrong with you? This brand is not only utterly fabulous, but also well priced!

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Thalia Strates

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Luxury leather handbags don’t get much better than Thalia Strates’ artisanal satchels, totes and shoulder bags. The sophisticated designs are functional and made from leather that’s been polished to enhance its natural patina. I like the classical simplicity of her designs and beautiful workmanship.

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I NEED THIS BAG!

House of Gozdawa

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The down-to-earth, easy-to-pronounce names of House of Gozdawa’s six perfumes belie the expertise and skill that went into each bottle of Agata Karolina’s natural perfumes. This season, you will find Andrea, Simo, Albert, Marta, Hel and Aga at the AKJP Collective.

Nicholas Coutts

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Nicholas Coutts, another ELLE Rising Star winner, first made everyone sit up and take notice with his highly covetable scarves and coats that combine being chic with being cuddly. If you’re looking for a statement coat, do check out his collection. But it was his super cute knitted beanies (below) that I fell totally in love with.

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W35T

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Nicola West’s ethically produced W35T label is establishing itself as one of the foremost sports luxe labels in the country. The autumn/winter range was launched as recently as a week ago and just landed at AKJP. The lilac chiffon and tulle story is quite something to behold.

Steffany Roup

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Steffany Roup was one of the original seven designers stocked by the AKJP Collective and her bold jewellery accessorised their equally striking SS16 designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town last year. I love the square metal cuffs!

Amanda Laird Cherry

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This well-established, ever-popular Durban-based menswear designer is known for delivering interesting cuts and textures that can be layered and juxtaposed to create an individual style. Her selection for the AKJP Collective combines runway designs, brand staples and brand new items. My dear old hubby is one of her biggest fans.

PICHULIK

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Katherine-Mary Pichulik is the number-one designer and maker of statement jewellery in South Africa. Her latest collection, Woman, sees the introduction of her first modular pieces (pictured below on the RHS) that can be interchanged with various designs.

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Feat. Sock Co.

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The AKJP Collective is the only Cape Town store to stock Feat.’s quirky sock range that relies on pattern, bright colours and rather quirky designs to catch the eye. I’m obsessed with the anatomy pair.

Waif

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Gisèle Human’s striking asymmetric jewellery and gorgeous hair accessories are cut by hand and crafted from recycled brass. I love everything in her collection.

It makes me so happy to see our wonderfully cool and creative South African designers gaining recognition both locally and internationally. Also, I might add that the pricing of their garments is actually quite affordable (ranging from R900+), and the quality is superb. Please guys, they need your support so we can grow our clothing industry into what it should be – up there with the best of the best.

You’ll find the AKJP Collective store situated at 73 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town.

A DIVINE BEAUTY RITUAL

Posted on: Monday, May 23, 2016

LO Divine creme+mask

For the past month or so, I’ve been testing two new products from the L’Occitane Divine Immortelle Range. While I’ve previously tried and loved many of the offerings from this excellent anti-ageing range (see here), it’s these two beauties that I’m super excited about. Both are aimed at mature skins, so they’d be great for women age 35+ or younger, if your skin is dry and starting to show signs of ageing.

But before I go into what I love about these products, I thought I’d focus on the special ingredient they all contain; organic Immortelle oil from Corsica. Extracted from the Immortelle flower – otherwise known as the ‘Everlasting’ flower (because it doesn’t die, even after being picked!) – this precious oil has unique anti-ageing properties and works to stimulate collagen production and improve microcirculation in the skin.

Checkout this video below  that explains a bit more about the Immortelle flower and why it’s so beneficial for the skin

How the skin ages

Over time, the matrices of cellular DNA change, and the skin loses its capacity to regenerate, causing the signs of ageing to intensify. The immortelle extract works in the heart of the epidermis, and helps regenerate, nourish, firm, plum, refine and restructure the skin.

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First up is the new Immortelle Divine Crème Light Texture SPF20 (R1590) – Buy HERE. It’s lighter in texture than the original Divine Crème, and has built-in sun protection of SPF20. I like how quickly it’s absorbed, without leaving any oily residue on the skin. It has a slightly herbal smell, but nothing that’s too overpowering. Aside from protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, it hydrates while visibly reducing fine lines, giving the skin a firmer, more plump look and feel. Used over a period of at least three months, it also claims to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone (I’ll be sure to report back on this). I find my make-up applies really well over this moisturiser.

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Okay, so I must confess that I absolutely adore facemasks, especially those that you don’t need to remove. The Immortelle Divine Crème Mask (R1790) – buy HERE – works to fight the visible signs of ageing while bringing extreme comfort to mature skins. It can be used in one of two ways:

  1. As a daily care moisturiser – I use it instead of a night cream in the evening.
  2. As a mask, twice weekly by applying a thick layer onto the face for 10-15 minutes.

Loccitane texture

Just look at that texture!

Of course its key ingredient is the Immortelle oil, so it works well to minimize fine lines or those caused by dehydration. In addition, shea butter has been added to intensely nourish and comfort mature, drier skin types. A cistus extract helps oxygenate the skin, giving it a relaxed and youthful appearance.

Checkout out my YouTube video below, and yes, I know I say “UM” a LOT! #LOL

Both products are available in store at L’Occitane or online at www.za.loccitane.com

THE NEW BRISE SOLEIL COLLECTION BY SKINNY LAMINX (GIVEAWAY)

Posted on: Friday, May 20, 2016

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When I’m looking for quirky, unique and super cool fabrics, my first port of call is always Skinny laMinx. The brand’s new collection, BRISE SOLEIL (from French, meaning ‘to break the sun’) is inspired by screens and sun-control devices. Often made of typically Modernist perforated brick and cast iron concrete, these structures are used to create privacy and security, while blocking the sun’s harsh rays and allowing air movement through a building.

Mid-century style has become very trendy these days, possibly because we long for more optimistic times -those days prior to us acknowledging how dramatically our planet is heating up. Perhaps it’s time to stop building glass-clad air-conditioned edifices, and rather to use humble brick and concrete blocks that provide shade, security, ventilation, privacy and beautiful pattern too.

For years, Skinny laMinx designer, Heather Moore, has been taking photos of perforated brick, concrete and steel brise soleil structures on her travels to Tokyo, in Jaipur, in Los Angeles, and all over South Africa too.

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Some images that inspired Heather’s BRISE SOLEIL collection

It’s these thoughts that inspired Moore to create three textile designs in a new BRISE SOLEIL collection. With these designs, in cool shades of grey, rich tropical blues, yellow and fresh pale greens, she hopes to communicate a sense of much-needed mid-century optimism, evoking cool protection, dappled light, and the simple pleasure of a repeating pattern.

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The collection

There are 3 designs in the collection, each in 3 colourways:

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Weft – in concrete, petrol and sunray

Apeture – in concrete, teal and moonbeam

Breeze – in concrete, petrol and moonbeam

These gorgeous scatter cushions retail for R395 each

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Skinny laMinx fabrics are professionally screen-printed in waterbased inks onto a 100% cotton or cotton/linen-blend base cloth. These are multi-use fabrics that can be used for upholstery, curtaining and even clothing. Skinny laMinx fabric retails for R595.00 per meter.

Check out www.skinnylaminx.co.za for more beautiful fabrics, or follow the brand on Facebook HERE for regular updates.

Giveaway

I have a R1000 Skinny laMinx voucher to giveaway to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment below this post telling me the name of the new Skinny laMinx collection. Please ensure you leave an email address (only I can see it), so I can contact you, should you be the winner. The winner will be notified by e-mail next week Friday (27 May). 

DAMAGE CONTROL WITH L’OREAL PRO FIBER

Posted on: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

L'Oreal pro fiber shampoo & cond

Damage due to chemical treatments and heat styling is cited as one of the biggest problems we face today with regards to our hair. While there are countless in-salon treatments that claim to counteract this damage (and do make a real difference), most rinse out after our first shampoo at home.

With this in mind, L’Oreal Professionnel have developed their new Pro Fiber Treatment – a three step process that determines your hair’s level of damage, and puts you on the best course of action to care for your locks.

The programme starts with an in-salon consultation with your stylist who will analyze your hairs level of damage. Taking a few strands of hair, your stylist will feel its texture from root to tip to determine thickness, elasticity and identify any split ends.

This diagnosis will determine which particular Pro Fiber treatment is right for you. My stylist (Shelene Shaer from Tanaz) recommended the Pro Restore.

Step 1 – In-Salon treatment

First my hair was washed and rinsed. The special concentrate was then applied throughout my hair. Shelene then applied the Restore Masque on top of the concentrate, massaging it into my hair and allowing it to soak into my hair for about 8 minutes. Once the products were rinsed out, my hair was blow-dried. Prices for the in-salon treatment depend on length and condition of hair. Expect to pay anywhere between R250-R450

Step 2 – Prolong at Home

Once you’re done in the salon, you’ll take home the prescribed Pro Fiber haircare system that includes a shampoo, mask and Recharge Cure treatments that have the ability to prolong the results of your in-salon treatment for up to six weeks – until you next visit the salon. I wash my hair twice a week (every 3rd day) using the Restore shampoo. I like it’s slightly floral scent and the way it lathers, without drying my hair out.

L'Oreal Pro Fiber shampoo

Pro Fiber Restore Shampoo R240

After two shampoos, I apply a small amount of the repairing masque (about the size of a R5 coin) to my mid lengths and ends. I then brush the product through with a wide-toothed comb before rinsing. I really enjoy how lightweight this mask is, and like that it doesn’t leave my hair feeling limp, greasy or heavy.

L'Oreal Pro fiber masque

Pro Fiber Restore Repairing masque R330

Step 3 – Recharge at Home

To boost the treatment, on every fourth shampoo, I use the Re-Charge (instead of the mask) after shampooing, applying it throughout my hair and leaving it on for 5 minutes. I then rinse it out. It’s super lightweight but effectively conditions and treats my hair.

L'Oreal pro Fiber treat

Pro Fiber Re-Charge R600 for 6 x 20ml tubes

What’s makes this treatment system so unique is the APTYL 100 complex that anchors deep into the hairs fibers, meaning that the treatment you get at the salon doesn’t wash away as soon as you shampoo your hair at home. After your fourth wash (using your Pro Fiber shampoo), you apply the recharge treatment (at home) and this reactivates the formula that was applied in the salon.

3 Treatments are available in the range, namely: Revive, Restore and Recover.

Pro Revive (red) is designed for fine to medium hair that’s slightly damaged. If you colour your hair with semi-permanent colour, or regularly use heat tools, then this range is best for you.

Pro Restore (blue) is suitable for fine to coarse hair that’s been damaged by permanent colour or highlights, and frequent heat styling. This is the range my stylist recommended for me.

Pro Recover (purple) is for medium to coarse hair that is very damaged. It’s great for those who regularly strip their hair with peroxide treatments, use permanent colour and use heat styling tools on a daily basis.

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I’ve now been using the Pro Restore system for 4 weeks. From the minute I stepped out the salon, I could see and feel a difference in my hair texture. Aside from its blinding shine, it seemed thicker and far, far smoother. After the first wash, I experienced less knots and tangles than I normally do. Also, my split ends are less noticeable. I like that the shampoo is lightweight, yet foams really well.

Here’s a video that sums up the treatment – Enjoy!

I’M ON HOLIDAY!

Posted on: Monday, May 9, 2016

Turkey

TOP WINTER TREND: NUDE MATTE LIPS

Posted on: Friday, May 6, 2016

Nude lip holding

I think it’s safe to say that nude lips have officially transcended from a trend to a classic – mostly because a nude lip is universally flattering. Most days, I find myself reaching for one. A nude lip is perfect for any occasion from the school run, to a boardroom meeting or lunch with your girlfriends. The question I get most often relating to nude lip colours is how to find the perfect nude for your skin tone. I believe the trick is to try and find a colour in a similar shade to that of your lips.

Over the past year or so, matte lips have become a super hot trend that I’m wholeheartedly embracing, because I think they look edgier than regular, glossy lipsticks.

My tricks for rocking a nude matte lip

  1. Prep your lips beforehand by exfoliating and moisturising them. A teaspoon of sugar mixed with the smallest bit of honey helps remove any dry bits of skin.
  2. Always wear a bright blusher, (applied to the apples of the cheeks) liner and mascara when rocking a neutral, matte lip, as this will pull the whole look together.
  3. Once you’ve removed your lipstick, treat your lips with a nourishing balm.

 MY FAVOURITE NUDE MATTE LIP FORMULAS

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour in ‘Seduction’ R165

Nude-Revlon Ultra HD

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this lippy, but think that describing it as matte is off the mark because it’s not actually matte, it has a subtle sheen. I love the colour, which is similar to my natural lip tone. The formula sits comfortably on my lips and I like how, because it’s slightly hydrating, it doesn’t dry my lips out. While it feels like a gloss on application, it sets to a comfortable semi-matte finish that is lightweight and comfortable, lasting a good five hours. It’s easy to remove too, so you don’t need a heavy-duty oil based remover.

I should also mention that the formula has a very pungent custard/vanilla smell, which I like, but those sensitive to fragrance may have an issue with. Luckily, it disappears after a few minutes.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Stockholm’ R110

Nude lip NYX

This is the lippy I’m wearing in the holding shot above with the hat. I absolutely adore it, as it goes on silky smooth and sets to a proper matte finish. I like how easily it spreads and that the colour is buildable. Like most matte formulas, it can dry the lips out – so have a balm handy for application once you’ve removed it. I find it’s best to line my lips with a liner (I use MAC Spice – the perfect nude lip liner) as this prevents the formula from feathering and emphasizing fine lines. You need to exfoliate and moisturise lips before wearing this lippy, as it will show up any imperfections.

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Max Lip Pen in ‘Silencio’ R169

Nude lip L'Oreal

When this lippy first crossed my desk, (before reading the press release) I thought it was an eye shadow. In fact, I remember arguing with Liezel from 9Lives.co.za over dinner about it. “But how can it be lipstick, Liezel – it’s a shadow formula that’s applied with a sponge tip!” Obvs I was wrong, and am now eating humble pie.

Anyway, I’m really quite impressed with this unique formula and super cool packaging. You apply it with the sponge applicator that distributes the powder onto the lips. The great thing about the sponge is that it allows for quite a precise application, thanks to the pointed tip, which acts a bit like a lip liner. The powder is stored on the lid, and all you do is press the sponge tip onto the lid to get product. The pigment is pretty impressive and I like the peachy nude hue that has the slightest hint of brown. The formula is also buildable, so you can apply two layers for a really saturated colour. Despite being a matte lip powder, I found this quite comfortable to wear and it wasn’t as drying as I thought it would be. I get about 4 hours of wear out of this baby before I need to retouch.

What are your favourite nude matte lippies?

5 OF THE BEST

Posted on: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Des black wet look jersey

There’s some lovely knitwear in store at Desray at the moment. My favourite is this black jersey R980. Thanks to the cutout details, it shows just enough skin to be sexy, but still has a classy and elegant feel. The knit has a shiny, almost wet look to it, and feels gorgeously soft on the skin. I wear mine with a simple black strapless bra underneath, but you could also opt for a black cammy. I pair it with blue denim jeans, black trousers and with my black leather skirt.

Des wet look jersey CU

Desray has store in Cape Town (4 stores: Newlands, Gardens Center, Willowbridge and the factory shop in Access Park), Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Parkhurst, Pretoria (Brooklyn) and Dainfern. For regular updates on new collections and sales, follow the Desray Facebook page HERE.

Naked 3 palette

How excited are we that Urban Decay will be opening a standalone store in sandton City JHB this June? I got a few products to play with, but have to confess that it’s the Naked 3 Palette that’s really stolen my heart. This is the first of Urban Decay’s palettes I’ve owned (can you believe that?) and I’ve used it almost every day since receiving it. I love the selection of soft rose gold nudes with a few basic browns, plums and taupes thrown in for good measure. I like how easy the shadows are to blend and how well they wear. Usually I prefer matte shadows, but I really like satin and shimmer options in this palette. I’m not yet sure of a price, but word on the ground is that the products will be rather well priced and affordable.

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I’ve written about Spanx before – (you can read my feature here), but up until two weeks ago had never actually owned a pair. I was lucky enough to receive a pair of Higher Power Panties (R933) that shapes the tummy with super comfortable yet powerful compression, keeping you beautifully streamlined from just below the bra.

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Oh look, I’ve got a waist again!

I’ve worn a lot of ‘control’ underwear in my life, but when it comes to comfort and support, NOTHING beats Spanx. You’ll find Spanx at Inner Secret stores in Sea Point (021) 433-1029, Cavendish Square (currently closed for renovation) (021) 674-3922 and V7A Waterfront (021) 418-8513 – see HERE for more details.

Boot 8

Tread + Miller – for those of you who don’t know – offers footwear for the urban man, as well as genuine leather bags, accessories, socks, shoe care products and an in-store shining service – all keeping with the plush, gentleman’s club feel that their stores have. But, there’s also a small but really cool selection of shoes and boots for ladies. I found these stunning black leather ankle boots (R1300) in store and had to have them. They work so well with shorter dresses, skinny jeans and almost all styles of trousers. You can shop Tread + Miller online at www.treadandmiller.co.za or visit one of their stores. Click HERE to find one closest to you.

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Photo: Thoban Jappie

I remember last year around this time I was hunting the stores for sexy underwear. I was so unimpressed with the selection available. The local underwear retailers keep designing the same old boring burgundy, black, pale pink or blue (if they’re feeling really adventurous) satin crap with cutouts and lace detail (I’m talking to you Woolworths, Triumph, Platex et al!) Where were the sexy black lace pieces that modern women want to wear, available at an affordable price? Aside from a couple of options at Cotton On and a very small selection of Agent Provocateur (online at Superbalist), there was nothing. Of course one could pop into a specialist underwear store and spend R6000 on a La Perla bra and panty set, but really, I don’t have that amount to spend on underwear?

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Photo: Thoban Jappie

Thankfully the Spanish lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear brand, Women’Secret is now available in South Africa, having just opened their first store in the Mall of Africa in Midrand, Johannesburg (I’m pretty sure there are plans to open more stores nationwide). Created for women by women, the brand focuses on items that are comfortable, sexy and affordable. Women’Secret pieces are made with new-generation fabrics and the latest technology. I was beyond thrilled to receive this super sexy bra and panty set from the brand. The fit is superb and both items are so comfortable to wear. Thank you Women’Secret, you’ve filled a big gap in the local market.

MY FAVOURITE SECRET BEACHES IN CAPE TOWN

Posted on: Monday, May 2, 2016

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My family and I love a beach outing, but are often put off by the hordes of people who, like us, flock to Cape Town’s beautiful beaches when the weather allows.

After 6 years of living in the city, we have our favourite public beaches: Clifton 4th, Camps Bay and Fish Hoek beach – all of which we love.

However, it’s at one of our top 3 favourite secret beaches where you’ll most likely find us on those beautifully hot days. They may be a little out of the way, but with all our car insurance sorted; we’re ready and set for our beach road trip.

Buffels bay

Buffels Bay Beach – Cape Point Nature Reserve

For the past two years, my family and I, along with our good friends from JHB, visit this beach on the 2nd day of the New Year. It’s become a bit of a tradition that we all look forward to.

While Buffels Bay is not technically a secret beach, it is very wild and almost deserted. At the most, there have been maybe 20 other people (mostly families) there when we’ve visited – and the stretch of beach is vast.

My favourite thing about Buffels Bay is that the water is way warmer than beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard (Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven) and you can literally spend the whole day frolicking in the surf (just wear A LOT of sunblock). There are also spotlessly clean toilets, a lovely tidal pool (perfect for kids) and barbecue facilities.

Rock pool - BBay

Because Buffels Bay is situated in a nature reserve, wild baboons in search of food frequently visit it. They usually saunter down at around 4pm, when beach makers are getting ready to pack up and leave. They rifle through the bins, looking for food, and can be aggressive if you approach them. There are, however, rangers on hand that patrol the beach and chase them away. Don’t let this put you off though – just remember to keep your food stashed in a cooler bag, not laying around, and make sure all your prized possessions are insured.

There is an entrance fee of R125 for adults and R65 for children – but it’s so worth it.

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Water’s Edge Beach – Simon’s Town

My friend (and famous local fashion photographer), Nick Boulton, introduced us to this beach, which we all fondly refer to as “Secret Beach”. Nick always jokes that it’s not so much of a secret anymore, because we all keep telling people about it (he’s going to be mad as hell with me when he sees this feature).

Secret Beach is nestled between Boulders and Seaforth beaches but, if you didn’t know about it, you’d never find it. This is partially due to the fact that you have to open a latched wooden door (that looks like it leads onto somebody’s property) and walk through what looks like someone’s back garden to access it.

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Secret Beach is small and can accommodate roughly 100 people before it starts getting really cramped. There are no toilets, but you can take a (longish) walk to Seaforth next door and use the facilities there.

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Boulders Beach (The other side)

While most South Africans that live in or visit Cape Town know about Boulders Beach, they aren’t aware that, on the other side of the big boulders, is another, largely wild beach. Yep, by squeezing yourself through a small gap in the rocks, you’ll emerge on another beach surrounded by even more beautiful boulders, white sand and countless African penguins. Be sure not to get trapped on this beach at high tide, as there’s no way you’ll be able to get back to the other side. That’s not a terrible thing though – you can simply find a patch of beach, take in all the surrounding beauty, and wait for the tide to recede.

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Photo: Thoban J

Boulders Beach is an African penguin colony and there is an entrance fee of R60 for adults and R30 for children (under 12 yrs).

DON’T FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN!

Environ Rad - Secret Beach

My sunscreen of choice for days when you’re outside, but not necessarily tanning is RAD antioxidant sunscreen by Environ R224. Sun filters and reflectors provide SPF15 protection, while antioxidants fight free radicals. RAD is suitable for use on all skin types and ages – even babies from 6 months old. You can use it on face and body. It’s also fragrance free and not loaded with chemical sunscreen filters. It’s has a light, creamy texture and leaves the skin with a moisturised, satin feel. Find your closest Environ stockist HERE

This past weekend saw a bit of a turnaround in the miserable, rainy weather with the sun coming out and temperatures peaking at 22 degrees Celsius on both Saturday and Sunday. And, it looks like the rest of this week will be gloriously sunny. So, why not take a day off and enjoy a blissful beach day on one of these secret beaches? Just don’t forget the sunscreen.