Lily Storm

A personal take on beauty, life and dreams.

Pet-ography

Hello beauties

I have been ‘away’ for a long while. But am back, ready to breathe some life into Lily Storm once again.

There is so much that I need to catch up on, but first lets start with something unrelated to beauty. I love people with entrepreneurial flair, and animals of course. So when my friend Angie told me about her new business called Pet-ography, I really thought it was a novel idea. Photo shoots for your four legged friends!

She is such a honey, and will come out to your venue / house if you’re based in Cape Town. Below is more information on how to contact Angie. Also see the Pet-ography Facebook page here. Please support this awesome venture and create beautiful memories :-)

Love & light…LS xxx

 

John Frieda Hair Product Review

I received a bumper gift pack from the team at John Frieda. Filled to the brim with every kind of hair styling product I could imagine – specifically suited to my hair type. As I tend to experiment with a lot of different brands, this was like walking into a candy store!

Like most women, I purchase many of my skin and haircare products from Clicks. Simply because it’s affordable and the quality is decent. Many brands promise salon quality at low prices, and John Frieda is honestly one of the best I’ve tried. I have naturally thick, wavy hair that is flat ironed on a weekly basis. So you can imagine that heat damage is one of my biggest concerns. I need a pre-treatment serum or spray that will protect and add shine, without weighing down my hair.

After experimenting with my box of goodies, I fell inlove with the Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray (R95). A few sprays on damp, towel dried hair, and you’re ready to flat iron or blowdry. The result is sleek and healthy looking hair. My style retained its gloss and shape well into the next wash. With the rainy season coming up…I can’t think of a single lady who would not benefit from this tough little bottle! The secret is a blend of polymers with keratin protein. My hair certainly feels stronger and a lot healthier. When your friends notice the difference, you know it works!

I am also using the Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo & Conditioner (R95 each). It just works so well – I am impressed! The colour, consistency and fragrance of the shampoo is a pleasure to use. And the conditioner looks like cappucino mousse once you’ve combed it through your hair. Contains crushed pearls and sweet almond oil…pure decadence.

The Full Repair Intensive Treatment Masque (R99) works wonders if you colour your hair frequently. Gives it that extra bit of care inbetween normal conditioning. What I like to do is apply after shampooing, and wrap my hair in a warm towel for about 15 minutes.

When I feel up to sporting a naturally wavy look, I’ll definately try the alcohol-free Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Styling Spray (R95). It promises to boost your natural curl pattern restore elasticity. Sounds perfect for those days when you just don’t have the energy for an intense heat styling session.

All John Frieda products are available at Clicks stores. Enjoy!

xoxo

 

Coeval Contemporary Jewellery Giveaway

Hello pretties!

I haven’t had a competition going for a long while…so I think you ladies are going to love this.

There is a little ‘gem’ tucked away in the heart of the CBD. It’s called Coeval, and they focus on contemporary jewellery featuring gemstones and sterling silver pieces. I am not one for overly expensive bling because I tend to lose them at a whim, so this definately appealed to me. Beautiful and unique.

If you’d like to see what they have to offer, please visit the website on http://www.coeval.co.za.

Without further ado…here is how the giveaway will work. The Coeval competition will run over a 5 week period. Every week, one lucky lady will be chosen to win a Coeval luxury hamper worth R 600!

Included in each gorgeous hamper are the following items:

1 pair of Sterling Silver fresh water pearl earrings

1 Coeval bag hanger

1 assorted animal print snoody

1 Parker pencil

1 brushed metal notebook

1 coaster set

 

To enter, please complete the following steps:

- Register on the Coeval website: http://www.coeval.co.za

- Follow Coeval on Twitter (@coeval_za), as well as Lily Storm (@LilyStormBlog)

- Tweet the following: “I have entered the @coeval_za and @LilyStormBlog jewellery giveaway! lilystorm.co.za

Once you’ve done all of the above, please post a comment below to say hello and confirm :-) .

You also receive an extra entry (maximum of 6) for retweeting the above on Twitter, and mentioning it on your Facebook page. Go to http://www.facebook.com/lovelilystorm to share our post!

 

GOOD LUCK LOVELIES! The first winner will be announced on the 9th of May 2014.

*Competition open to South African residents only.

1st winner – Wendy Canelas

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Crabtree & Evelyn Secret Garden

I attended the Crabtree & Evelyn Secret Garden event last month – showcasing their 2013 Christmas Gift Collection.

Now as a lover of pretty, nice smelling beauty goodies…I’ve always been a Crabtree fan. But could honestly only afford one or two of their products at a time because it’s quite pricey. Always money well spent though. I was rather bowled over when I received an invitation to their V&A Waterfront store!

I am a Christmas freak. So the first thing that hit me as I entered the store, was the smell of homely clove and nutmeg yumminess. I was in the zone then. Wanting to touch and smell everything…with a glass of bubbly and a mince pie in hand of course ;-) . The beautiful packaging and quality of products were yelling at me from every shelf. It’s safe to say that if you receive a Crabtree gift from someone…you’re pretty darn special.

The staff were so so knowledgeable and helpful. I’m sure I asked them a million questions! Here is some fascinating background which I never knew:

“A pioneer in botanical formulations for over 40 years, Crabtree & Evelyn blends the very best of nature and science, tradition and innovation, and luxury and comfort to create benefit-rich bath, body and home care. This heritage is reflected in its name: Crabtree, from the crabapple tree, the original species from which all cultivated apple trees have derived, and Evelyn…from John Evelyn, the seventeenth century renaissance Englishman who wrote one of the most important works on conversation and whose motto, ‘explore everything, keep the best’, inspires the brand to this day.”

My favourite products are the following:

Gilded Chestnut Porcelain Diffuser (R 1000). Yes I know…very pricey. But the smell – I can’t even tell you how amazing it is. Christmas in a bottle.

All Butter Almond & Vanilla Biscuits (R 160). Just sounds as if it MUST taste good!

12 piece set of various Hand Therapies. Not too sure of the price – please enquire in store.

Everything is so gorgeous, you’re bound to find something you like.

I honest to goodness love this brand and am proud to feature them on the LS blog!

xx

The Gilded Chestnut Porcelain Diffuser (R 1000). Can last for up to 12 months.

 

Masquerade Ball

I attended our long awaited end of year masquerade ball on the 27th of November. It was held in an old building in Queen Victoria Street, Gardens.

Rose Molteno from Molteno Creations designed and made my gorgeous ball gown for the evening. It was even more beautiful than I had imagined and I truly felt like a princess on the night. A distinguished looking gentleman (and colleague), told me that I was clearly the most elegantly dressed woman there. I considered this a huge compliment to Rose and her workmanship!

My friend Soraya’s bedroom looked like a tornado had hit it. We were three girls getting dressed and doing hair all at the same time, so you can well imagine. Champers was flowing though…lots of fun.

I don’t have many opportunities to dress up, so really enjoyed every minute! The cab arrived to scoop us up and off we went :-) .

The venue was decorated so beautifully, and there were even fire-blowing dancers at the entrance. It felt like a scene straight out of Gossip Girl. Below are some photos (please excuse the poor quality of some…my phone was acting up!).

xx

 

Décor was soft, beautiful and mysterious.

Well done Rose Molteno…loved my charcoal and red lace gown.

 My close friends: Soraya, Bronwyn and Tamsyn. Love these girls! xx

Platters of chocolate covered cherries…over-indulge much?

The Black Ties – our entertainment for the evening. They were completely amazing.

Win a LS Beauty Box and KMS hamper worth R570!

I have been promising you that there will be an extra treat added to the Lily Storm beauty box competition…and here it is!

So, in addition to the boxes up for grabs (worth R 150), two lucky ladies will also receive a KMS Silksheen Shampoo and Conditioner worth R210 each. Therefore the total prize value is currently R 570 per winner! These gorgeous hair products are courtesy of Massimo at Hair Headquarters (http://www.hairhq.co.za).

Hair Headquarters is an authorized dealer of an array of hair products and styling equipment. They stock quality brands like Paul Mitchell, KMS, Babyliss and GHD.

They also pride themselves on magnificent service and great prices. As you know, I’m a huge fan of online shopping. It’s convenient, and you’re able to purchase items you wouldn’t normally find in a brick and mortar store. Massimo assures his customers of the following:

- A secure shopping experience. When purchasing from their website, financial details are passed through a secure server using the latest encryption technology.

- A 7 day money back guarantee on their purchases

- Electrical styling equipment come with a factory guarantee

- Free delivery for all orders over R 800

 

To stand a chance of winning these awesome prizes, all you have to do is the following:

1. LIKE the Hair Headquarters Facebook page by clicking here 

2. LIKE the Lily Storm Facebook page by clicking here 

3. Follow Lily Storm on Twitter:  @LilyStormBlog

4. Post a comment below to confirm you’ve followed the above steps.

The competition closes on the 17th of December. Good luck everyone!

xx


My day of solo writing at Zevenwacht

“I am having lunch at Zevenwacht Wine Estate…just me, my thoughts, a caeser salad and a glass of Rosé. The weather is perfect. Warm with a slight breeze. I need an iPad. No – correction…I don’t ‘need’ one…but would ‘like’ one :-) . For now, my note pad will have to do. It’s so weird, sometimes I forget how to write manually. I’m always typing on my ancient laptop, cellphone or office computer. And yet, I find the inspiration seems to flow better when I put pen to actual paper.

So the reason for coming out here is because I can. My time is my own. No kids, no spouse. I like it that way…for now at least.

Two years ago, in the midst of a very sudden breakdown of my marriage, and impending divorce that followed at the age of 30 – I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever be okay again.

When I say ‘okay’, I mean able to enjoy the simple things in life. Food, laughter, sleep. I once told my mom, “I don’t find joy in anything anymore”. That was a dark moment for me. I didn’t know who I was. Or where I was going. There were days when I just didn’t see the point of getting out of bed. I never believed when people told me, “You’ll be fine. Time heals all wounds”. It is true though. Unfortunately intense heartache, a sense of failure and depression are emotions you have to go through. After all of that…there will come a time when you disover who you really are, and become able to examine the reasons behind the event.

It’s exciting to realize that there is a huge big world out there, just waiting for you to leave your mark on it.

3 major positives came out of my divorce:

1. I learned to drive

2. I lost 20 kgs

3. I now smile on photos

And you know what…I wouldn’t change a thing. Because what I have learned about myself is invaluable. I wouldn’t trade it or go back. Not even for the happy ending with two kids and a white picket fence. People come up to me and ask ‘How did you lose so much weight??’ My response is simple…”I got divorced!”. The look on their faces is that of shock and pity. It’s okay, I can laugh about it now!

If you can reach a point where you no longer feel as though you need a partner for validation…then you’re halfway there. I saw a therapist, and she is amazing. However, when she told me to ‘find myself and learn how to be happy and comfortable in my own skin’…I thought she was gone with the fairies. Totally not on the same page as me. This was because I wasn’t ready. I had to discover all of this in my own time.

I wish I had known then what I know now – before getting married at the age of 26. I would probably have been much better equipped to deal with the reality of being a fully-fledged adult and with life itself. Make no mistake…I am grateful for the experience, and the fact that I was able to reclaim a part of myself that could possibly have been hidden for the rest of my life.

It’s taken a lot for me to finally write this post. But if my story can give just one person a glimmer of hope…then my tears were not cried in vain”.

On the way… :-)

The estate’s Labrador

View from my table

So relaxed…I left feeling like this… xx

Are you brave enough?

I am a dreamer. I fantasize about escaping the rat race and doing only what I love and believe in.

It’s hard though. You are often stuck in a career that pays the bills, but offers no emotional satisfaction. So you carry on from day to day, trying to best to impress your boss and fit into whatever social situation exists among your colleagues. If you have a creative and entrepreneurial spirit – you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Turning 30 was terrifying. Now I am grateful. Because with age, comes self-acceptance and awareness. I no longer feel the need to appease people by providing the right answers just to ‘fit in’. It wasn’t an easy process…it’s literally taken me years. But once that light bulb gets turned on inside your head, you will know.

You will know exactly what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, and what makes you want to pull the covers over your head and stay there. It takes a certain kind of bravery to follow your heart and pursue a dream. Monetary constraints, criticism from family and friends…are all factors that can extinguish your sense of purpose if you allow it to.

I am a work in progress, but from experience I can say…acknowledge your passion. Stare it straight in the face and put in the hard work.

So tell me…what is your current day job? And if you could quit tomorrow, and do something you’re absolutely passionate about – what would it be?

xx

 

Love your thick hair!

Photo courtesy of theberry.com

Best Cut: “If you have thick hair you are very, very lucky.  Most women would kill for a thick head of hair.” Stay away from short styles; your locks could end up looking like a wig if cropped too tightly. Instead, try an effortless layered cut like the one Jennifer Aniston wears.

Get the look: Do not let the stylist cut too much — you’ll want strands to fall at least past the shoulders. Request long layers around your face and throughout, which will create movement and take off weight, so as not to drag your hair down.

 

Matthew Mansoor

Celebrity stylist

Brand ambassador for TRESemmé

Anna-Louise Sleepwear

We have so many strong, talented female entrepreneurs in South Africa. Women who take life the by the lapels and show it who’s boss! Every month, I will be inviting an extraordinary lady…to share their personal stories of success and inspiration with my Lily Storm readers.

I came across the loveliest sleepwear brand, and wanted to know more about the person behind the name. One of my favourite things is comfy, yet beautiful pjs. No woman should be lounging around the house on a Saturday morning in a ten year old shapeless T-shirt! And this is exactly why I think Anna-Louise has carved out a perfect niche in the market. The luxury collection is also designed and made in South Africa.

So let me introduce you to Anna-Louise Atkinson, the owner of Anna-Louise Sleepwear. We did a little Q&A session…hope you enjoy!

LS: What inspired you to create a sleepwear range?

Anna-Louise: After finishing at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch my dream was to become a designer, so I gained experience in retail, media and styling before focusing on my designer dream.  While gaining experience with big retail companies and media houses, I saw how people’s lives were changing, becoming faster, more demanding and leaving less time for luxury and relaxing.  Anna-Louise creates calm in the evenings, a balance in the chaos of life that helps leave the stresses of your day behind.

LS: Any advice for female entrepreneurs who are wanting to launch a new business?

Anna-Louise: If I could give any advice, it would be to never give up. Dream and dream big.  Wake up each day, and work towards that dream becoming real and true.

LS: Have you encountered any challenges as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome these?

Anna-Louise: As an entrepreneur I face challenges on a daily basis – I keep reminding myself ‘There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs. All the challenges we face, build us and make us stronger.

LS: What is your night time beauty ritual?

Anna-Louise: I have always loved my sleep, so I find nothing more relaxing than getting ready for bed.  After a hard day, I take a long bath and unwind behind slipping into my Anna-Louise Sleepwear.

LS: What’s in your handbag?

Anna-Louise: I try change handbag’s daily.  As I hate clutter, so Im constantly removing items from my handbag.  In my handbag tonight is the following: Stimorol gum, my Prada sunnies, my purse, notebook and pen, business cards, hand cream, my iPad & MAC Hue lipstick.

LS: Name one beauty product you simply cannot live without?

Anna-Louise: Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer – I use this every night before going to bed. Makes my skin feel fresh and clean.

LS: Summer or winter? And why?

Anna-Louise: Summer.  I love tanned skin, sandals, the sun and being outside.

LS: What do you do to relax and unwind after a long day?

Anna-Louise: After a long day, nothing beats taking a long bath, drinking a cup on green tea and playing on Pinterest before slipping into my sleepwear.

LS: Your favourite holiday destination?

Anna-Louise: We’re off to the Maldives in December.  I think thats a hard destination to beat!

LS: How and where can Lily Storm readers purchase your beautiful sleepwear?

Anna-Louise: You can find Anna-Louise in one of our 18 stockists or online { visit our stockists page on our website for more information }

 

They have just launched their exciting new summer range, in the following amazing colours: watermelon, mint, powder blue, lemon, stone & black. Prices are up on the Anna-Louise website. Click here for details.

COMPETITION! We are giving away an Anna-Louise mint nighty (see below photo) worth R260 to one lucky Lily Storm reader. To win, all you have to do is…

1. Follow us on twitter: @ALSleepwear and @LSBeautyBox

2. Like our Facebook pages: AnnaLouiseSleepwear and Lily Storm

3. Follow Anna-Louise on Instagram: Alsleepwear

4. Post a comment below once you’ve completed the above steps.

 

Competition closes on 22 November 2013. Good luck!

xx