Cellphone? Check. Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Facemask? Oh shoot!

Life By Asha Singh wearing a sequins COVID-19 fabric mask



Who would have thought facemarks would become as important as your housekeys in 2020. In many countries, including South Africa, mask wearing is now a part of everyday life and something completely normal. But while they're an awesome barrier to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they also have other unfortunate consequences. One such consequence being that the friction of the mask against our skin as well as the bacteria that can collect on the inside of the mask, can lead to our skin getting irritated and breakouts occurring more frequently.

"Maskne" is the term for acne that results from wearing a mask, dermatologically known as mask mechanica. This type of acne is commonly triggered by sweat, friction, and pressure on the skin and causes inflammation, unpleasant red rashes and tiny clusters of pimples around the nose and mouth specifically.

This post is a compilation of tips from gentle skincare brand Cetaphil as well as my own tips from what I've experienced personally during this mask-wearing age.

Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser


How to care for your skin while wearing a mask 


  • Firstly, choose your mask carefully. Your mask should be made of a soft and breathable material. Opt for a 3 layer fabric mask (As N19 masks should be reserved for health workers due to them being in low supply, high demand). Make sure the mask fits snugly but is still comfortable enough that it doesn't bruise your skin

  • Wash your mask properly. You can find guidelines for washing your fabric mask here. Remember to wash both sides of your mask properly

  • Don't touch your face after touching the outside of your mask. Make sure you don't mistakenly touch your face after taking out your mask. The outside of your mask has been exposed to bacteria and touching your face could spread that bacteria (Or worse). Wash your hands with soap after taking out your mask or touching the outside of your mask.

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. It's also a good idea to wash your face after taking out your mask for the day so that any bacteria that collected during the day can be washed away as soon as possible. The Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a great cleanser for even the most sensitive skin.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser to help prevent maskne
  • Wearing foundation under your mask can cause your pores to get clogged. Also, half your face is covered anyway so why waste your Fenty foundation!

  • Apply a light moisturiser that's not too greasy. Applying a moisturiser that's too heavy or greasy can also clog your pores. The Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Location is a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser with Hyaluronic Acid that provides instant hydration, maintaining the skins protective barrier, and helps to protect skin from dryness.
Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid on Life By Asha Singh

  • Don't forget SPF! I think by now we should know how important incorporating sunscreen into our skin care routine is, but somethings even I can be a bit lazy. Even though half our face is covered, SPF is still crucial. Ideally, choose a sunscreen that's mineral based and lightweight so as to not clog your pores.

Who would have thought our 2020 New Year's resolution of travel would be limited to walks in the backyard and trips to Woolworths. No tropical nights in Bali or the Contiki we've been saving up for. Not even that long weekend trip to Cape Town seemed realistic a couple months ago (And for the most part, doesn't even feel realistic now, 6 months into lockdown!) 

King Shaka Airport in Durban empty during COVID19 lockdown

Since early March the effect of COVID19 started to ripple through the travel industry - yes, that's even before lockdown. At that point, international flights became almost non-existent and domestic travel seemed to slowly decrease in volume - I mean the whole reason COVID19 came to South Africa was because of travel, so it's completely understandable that even before lockdown, people started to feel uneasy about hopping on a plane filled with strangers. When the initial 21 day lockdown began on 27 March, and the complete standstill of airports and planes hit home. And of course it wasn't just us all the way down here in SA, the whole world experienced what might even be the biggest standstill in air traffic since air travel became mainstream.

View of Durban, flights to Durban, FlySafair


As of right now, 4 August 2020, flying is still only reserved for essential travel - with leisure travel not being permitted. While a naughty few (*cough* me) have found sneaky ways to get around legislation, the flight and travel industry are far from their pre-Corona levels.

Johannesburg city, joburg city, airport in Johannesburg

I recently took my first domestic flight since lockdown began (With my last flight having been 9 March 2020 - feels like a lifetime ago) and boy was it different to anything I've experienced before! I thought I'd share a few tips for anyone travelling on what to expect and hopefully it will help take away the anxiety.

I flew DUR - JHB return with Flysafair (Mango Airlines also operates on this route and a few other airlines operate on different domestic routes).

Durban airport, FlySafair plane

TIPS FOR FLYING DURING AND POST COVID19


• Firstly, it’s not as bad as you think BUT don’t get too comfortable - you still need to make sure you sanitize as much as possible! I carried a hand sanitizer and aerosol sanitiser to sanitize my hands and clothes after coming into contact with surfaces

COVID19 coronavirus vending machine COVID19 essentials

• There are very few flights a day - only 5 at most on the DUR - JHB route but I booked the day before so it's not imperative to book in advance however with there being so few flights, the flights that are operating tend to be quite full. • You’re only allowed to enter the airport if you’re flying and the first thing you do when you enter is hand in your (Already filled in) health declaration and get a temperature check.

Air travel during COVID19 in South Africa

• The airport is probably gonna be empty. Like resembling a zombie apocalypse empty. Don’t freak out! • Leisure and nonessential travel is still not permitted and legally you do still need a permit to travel - there are lots of different types of permits for whatever reason you need to travel but the most common is a business permit filled in by your employer • There’s a no contact policy - you scan your own boarding pass and instead of handing in your ID at check in, you hold it against the clear petition for them to see. They also ask you to remove your mask for them to confirm your identity. Apart from that you wear your mask the entire time at the airport and during the flight😷

Social distancing in South Africa

• Most restaurants and facilities like lounges are closed. At King Shaka, the long stay parking was also closed - rather check in advance and don’t assume everything is operating as normal • On the flight it isn’t a given that you’ll have an empty seat next to you, some airlines give you the option to book the seat next to you to ensure that it’s empty

Full Safair flight during Covid19 •On the plane, services like inflight magazines and drinks and food may not be available onboard
I hope this helped you. Lets support the travel industry as much as we can in the coming months❤️

As featured on the prestigious lifestyle TV series Top Billing, Antbear Eco lodge truly lives up to its expectations!


One thing I definitely missed during this lockdown (And I'm sure most of us can say the same!) is travel. Having been stuck in the house for literally months, I craved the feeling of being free in the outdoors and getting some fresh air. I recently traveled to Antbear, an ecolodge in the Drakensberg, over a weekend to get a taste of what travel will look like post-covid.  The first thing I can say is I was definitely right about wanting to experience the freedom of the outdoors - being out in nature in the middle of the mountains was literally the most freeing experience and took me to such a happy place, away from the daily stresses of this pandemic. 



Affordable Drakensberg accommodation, Drakensberg hotel, Antbear Lodge


The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to professional model Julia Peterson.

South African model Julia Peterson



1. Who is your female role model/woman who inspired you and that you look up to?

My mom is the most selfless woman I’ve ever met in my life. She’s my biggest critic and most definitely my biggest supporter. She’s always pushing me to go beyond my limits. The older I get the more I realize she’s my best friend who will always have my back.

2. Do you find that there is a lot of girl on girl hate in the modelling industry?

I haven’t really experienced girl on girl hate in the modelling industry. The friendships I’ve made with some of the girls started when I first joined the industry at 16 years old. It’s more of a sisterhood where we celebrate each other and develop more meaningful relationships outside the industry . This modelling world can be tough so it’s great that we can all relate and support and encourage one another.

3. What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me is how you make other people feel about themselves. It’s about uplifting and empowering another woman instead of tearing each other down. There are so many beautiful people in this world but what stands out for me is character, humility and having a heart full of gold.

South African model Julia Peterson


4. Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?

I’m passionate about women empowerment. Supporting and uplifting women to be their best selves. This world is cruel enough. Just as our faces differ so do our challenges, so I feel it’s important that we stand with one another and authentically and fiercely love one another. Imagine if we did that, what a beautiful world we would live in.

5. Tell us about your journey into modelling?

Growing up I was insecure about being tall and skinny. I was very shy so my mom enrolled me into modelling classes at 16. After successfully completing the courses I was chosen to be a professional model with Models International and since then doors have opened and I understand now how my insecurities back then and my uniqueness propelled me into my God-Given destiny today. It’s being a beautiful journey so far.

6. What was your favourite campaign that you've shot so far?

My favorite campaign would definitely be the Playtex Perfect Fit Campaign because it uses it’s platform to empower women and they celebrate the beauty of all women no matter what shape and size they are. Being apart of the journey with them so far has been so liberating and empowering.

South African model Julia Peterson during Playtex campaign


7. What advice do you have for girls that want to get into the modelling industry?

My advice is to stay true to who you are and what you stand for. The modelling industry can make or break you so it’s important to know who you are and stand for something, because if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything. A lot of girls look at other people on social media and want to compete and copy, but my advice is to stay in your lane. God has an amazing purpose and plan that only you can fulfill.

8. Tell us about your Miss SA journey - what do you wish you knew then?

Being a finalist for Miss South Africa is one of my favorite achievements. It opened so many doors and I’ve made beautiful friendships during the journey. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself and I had more faith in me. As much as the experience was amazing and life changing it was also challenging. I wish my mindset was stronger and I loved myself more fiercely during the competition. It’s natural for us women to compare ourselves to other women. I understand now that I’m enough and I will always be enough.

Miss SA finalist Julia Peterson, Durban South Africa


9. What's next for you?

2020 is a selfish year for me. I’m focusing on self-love, self-care, getting to know who ‘Julia’ is and doing things that empower me as a woman. I strongly believe that if I pour into myself more, will I be able to pour into others more abundantly. 2020 I will still be pushing in the modelling industry, focusing on empowering young girls  through workshops and discover new adventures to embark on .

10. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

I’m a fun, loving, warm down to earth person. I love laughing and having fun. Don’t let the heels and makeup fool you, I enjoy the outdoors. Hiking and cycling are my favorite ways to keep fit. I enjoy watching Bollywood movies (I always wanted to be a Bollywood actress 😂) I also love traveling and meeting new people.

12. If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

My advice to my 13 year old self: Your uniqueness is beautiful. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are amazing just the way you are. Embrace it!

Girl Boss interview with South African model Julia Peterson


12. Lastly, where can we find you? 





With all the negativity and negative impacts during this pandemic, I thought why not find the light at the end of the tunnel and find the good and positivity. Lockdown sucks and difinitely brought to the surface a lot of issues in our society - property, hunger, unemployment and just plain sadness, isolation and a general sense of cabin fever for even the most privileged. We want things to go bad to "normal". But were things that good to begin with? As I'm sure you've heard, a phrase that's stuck with me lately, is why not create a new "normal"? A normal that's obviously a multitude better than the pandemic but also better than pre-pandemic life. I'm definitely not trying to undermine the struggles that people are going through but overall, lets think of this as a do over, and come out of it stronger than before.


To start off and to inspire you to hopefully ignite a sense of optimism in you, I'm going to highlight some of the people and brands stepping up and playing their part for the better of humanity :)




I've been at a cross roads recently in terms of my consumer habits. I want to align myself with and spend on money things I believe in - particularly eco-conscious while supporting local. I thought I'd introduce you to some of the products that fit the bill. These aren't necessarily reviews just a little introduction so that you know what's out there and so together we can support businesses and products that make a difference and each become conscious consumers. :)
Why does it somehow feel like we skipped straight from summer to the middle of winter? I went from barely remembering to put on lotion to having to put on 101 products on my skin to keep it hydrated and feeling moisturised

Luckily right before lockdown, Nimue sent me their new Smart Rehydration range, which admittedly at the time I didn't really think I needed because my skin felt pretty hydrated. Fast forward 3 months, it's become such a staple. Even more so now that I know how absolutely essential hyaluronic acid is - think of it as collagen's first cousin (And with the attention collagen has been getting lately, it's crazy that hyaluronic acid hasn't been getting much attention at all)


Nimue online Hyaluronic acid serum for skin best hyaluronic acid serum

Most of us are practicing social distancing by staying in and working from home, and while the idea of that sounds great, we're slowly realising it really isn't that easy. Whether your employer gave you the thumbs up to work from your couch or you have this as time off work but still don't want to vegetate, it's possible to make extra productive use of this time. 

P.S This post is in partnership with Logitech and I review their Logitech M350 Wireless Mouse at the end so stick around for that! It's been an awesome addition to my laptop accessories and helped me still be able to work from my laptop comfortably wherever I am - whether I'm on the move (Pre-covid19) or working from my bed.


While the idea of a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at our favourite restaurant sounds amazing, the reality is most likely a loud and crowded (More than likely filled to capacity) restaurant with less than stellar service and highly unlikely to come at a competitive price tag.  
You don't have to be an introvert or party pooper to want to spend Valentine's Day indoors. If anything, you're in for an even better time spending the 14th of February in. 




While I've never been much of a Valentine's Day person, this year I have someone extra special to spend it with and I want to make the most of quality time together. Going to a crowded restaurant filled with couples and instagrammable heart-shaped decor just to spend half the night documenting it on IG stories just for clout (Cue the "7 billion smiles and yours is my favourite" caption). While that's hella mainstream and basic, it's definitely not me. My love language is quality time and the idea of spending quality time with the people I love is something I prioritise. Notice I say "quality time" and not just "time"? 

Now spending Valentines Day indoors with your significant other doesn't have to be boring at all either. We're talking movie nights, games night with some board game classics like Monopoly (Even make it a double date with your favourite couple-besties), or even go all out and light some candles and music and have a romantic candlelit dinner (Who says you can't still make it a 3-course meal?!)

For me, the question definitely isn't whether to have a romantic dinner in with Uber Eats or not; the real question is what to order when I do. There are so many options and here are just some suggestions:

1. CHANNEL THE ROMANTIC ITALIAN WITH A PIZZA NIGHT



Mi Amore! No one does romance as the Italians do. And no one does food as they do either so you can't go wrong with a pizza. Pizza is a very safe option because who doesn't like pizza? Although make sure to clarify your S/O's preference - pineapples on pizza or nah? Plus, with the app’s allergy filter, you can be sure that you’re getting the allergy-friendly food your body loves, ensuring that your day isn’t ruined by a trip to the ER. 

Some pizza places on Uber Eats:

Durban:

Johannesburg:

Cape Town:

2. AIN'T NO CHEAT DAY - KEEP IT HEALTHY


It's only February so hopefully most of us are still on track with our fitness goals? No? Well, it's never too late even if you've strayed and had one too many pizzas already this year. While you can make Valentine's Day your cheat day, you can also still enjoy the occasion while sticking to your diet. The app has partnered with Discovery to provide you with Vitality approved meals, so you get to reach your goals and earn some points! 

Some healthier options on Uber Eats:

Durban:

Johannesburg:

Cape Town:

3. HOT AND SPICY - I'M TALKING ABOUT THE FOOD


I know Indian food isn't everyone’s cup of chai (Get it? Chai as in tea?). But there's something so satisfying about a hot plate of biryani or butter chicken that just makes it the perfect comfort food for quality time with bae. Just make sure your significant other can handle the heat.

Some Indian food options on Uber Eats:

Durban:

Johannesburg:

Cape Town:

BONUS:

4. TAKE ME SOMEWHERE UNIQUE AND EXOTIC


Surprise your significant other with something different - why not try out a foreign cuisine you both love or explore one you haven't tried before? It's a way to keep things interesting and maybe even have a new first-time experience together.

Durban:

Johannesburg:

Cape Town:







One of the things I've wanted to do this year is take better care of my hair. For the past 5-ish years I've coloured my hair at least 10 different colours and iron my hair literally every day. While I'm still working on cutting down on the heat, I've noticed my hair become more manageable lately and I'm sure part of that is thanks to incorporating John Frieda products into my routine (Another part is probably due to eating better, soaking my hair in coconut oil once a week and going for a much shorter haircut)


Last year I did a post on Galentines Day (My all time fave fake holiday!) and while I'm still planning on having an epic Galentines on the 13th of Feb, I figured this year I'll be less of a grinch and celebrate the day after too - which just happens to be another holiday you may or may not have heard of, VALENTINES DAY!




The Girl Boss series aims to highlight the achievements of women just like you and me who are doing amazing things. Hopefully their stories will inspire you as much as they inspire me. This week we chat to Kajal Maharaj, actress, model, entrepreneur and co-founder of Beauty & MUA squad SA.


Imbewu The Seed actress Kajal Maharaj who plays Shria



"When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay mortgage and a student pay for college."

I'm sure you've come across this quote somewhere, and I can't think of it being more relevant than it is right now. Where's the local is lekker spirit?

In South Africa supporting local is even more important because these businesses give our economy a much needed push and employ locals so that they have more cash money to support themselves and their families.

This year I wanted to prioritise supporting small to medium businesses.


With the goal of powerful storytelling at its core, the collection features both new groupings as well as renewed styles that reflect the current appetite for chunkier and more stylized footwear. The look of the women’s collection is directed decidedly forward. Trendy details and of-the-moment colours and treatments define this season’s offerings.
Black Friday may be long gone, but truth be told many of us haven't finished Christmas shopping yet. I mean, empty stockings and Christmas trees are a real struggle fam. We're also presented with so many options, that finding the right one can be difficult. 





"Tiger’s Milk is the best destination for ‘dude food’, made good. Epitomising handcrafted goodness with a menu that takes pizza, grills and burgers to the next level, pair these with our locally made Tiger’s Milk Lager and you’re sure to leave satisfied"
Tigers Milk, a restaurant that falls under the Life & Brand Portfolio of restaurants, recently opened a long awaited branch in Durban (Finally!). What's even better is that Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World is home to the new Tigers Milk restaurant - adding the benefit of an awesome location that's centrally located and has a ton to do just a few minutes away (Not to mention beach views for days!)



While just having launched in September, it's already a favourite with so many people I follow raving about it on social media. Positioning themselves as the new happening place to be in Durban, you can expect good music, instagramable spots, live performances on some nights (The launch party on 12 October saw Micasa party up a storm) and even quiz nights (Like a Harry Potter one).

And we haven't even got to the food. If you're thinking they're the kind of place that prioritises a good vibe and alcohol so much that the food is sidelined, think again. In fact, all other things not considered, Tiger's Milk brings something new to the table with their dishes and turns pizza, grill and pizza classics into delicacies with a twist.

I've already visited the restaurant twice (And plan to again soon) so I'll give you a look at lots of different options on the menu, what I liked, what I want to try and what's just downright unique to Tiger's Milk.



Location


Tiger's Milk Suncoast is located in Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in Durban. Suncoast has lots to do right on the premises with shopping, restaurants, a hotel, casino, games and other entertainment, so you can make a whole afternoon of it if you like. 

Tiger's Milk also has other stores in the following places throughout the country:

JOHANNESBURG
Bryanston
Melrose Arch
Cedar Square

PRETORIA Lynnwood Bridge

CAPE TOWN
Century City
Claremont
Kloof Street
Long Street
Muizenberg
Stellies
Camps Bay

DURBAN Suncoast


Port Elizabeth







Food



Starters



The starters menu has a lot of interesting choices and some unique ones like the Party Parcels, Mac 'N Cheese Bacon Balls, Amazeballs as well as their Mexican Tacos and Nachos options. I asked what the popular choices were and settled on the Sticky BBQ Chicken Wings and the Amazeballs.
















The Amazeballs were just that - they were amazing! Picture a warm, super cheesy centre covered in a crunchy pastry and that's what you can expect from the Amazeballs. If you love cheese (And who doesn't) this will end up being the most simple yet incredibly satisfying choice for you!

On the other hand if you're looking for something meaty and want to dig in, get the Sticky BBQ Chicken Wings. I looooove me some chicken wings but the wings I had at Tiger's Milk were a whole other level and no doubt THE BEST CHICKEN WINGS this foodie has had EVER. I can honestly say this is the starter I'm going to order every single time I go to Tigers Milk.




Mains



The options of mains are between salads, pizzas, burgers, grills and steaksLuckily I can tell you a bit about all of them. 






I've been trying to prioritise that #summerbody and eat healthy lately so I wanted to see if Tiger's Milk would cater for that. Finding places that serve healthier options and especially tasty, healthy options can be a whole mission.

I tried the Crouching Tiger salad - and it was definitely the best and most satisfying salad ever. It was absolutely delicious and had so many wholesome yet tasty ingredients. The salad had seared tuna, edamame beans, cashew nuts, cucumber, cabbage, pineapple, avocado, sesame seeds and a creamy wasabi dressing. Far from the bland salads I've gotten used to at other restaurants - Tiger's Milk clearly doesn't do bland or ordinary. 



But here's the thing, it's not just the salad that's amazing. On a previous occasion I had the F.A.B.ULOUS pizza which definitely lived up to its name. I don't usually like thin base pizza's but with it being made in a wood fire oven, it was perfectly crispy and had a hint of a flame cooked taste which just ties it all together. This particular pizza has avocado, feta and bacon. 

Twice lucky maybe? Well my plus one (AKA my mama) ordered the sirloin steak with mushroom sauce and salad which also ended up being delicious. Next time I'd love to try the steak as well! And I'll let you know what I think ;) Another option that a friend of mine loved was the Rockstar burger. It has cheese, bacon and guacamole. 




Dessert


Wanna fall in love? 4 words. BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING. I kid you not, if happiness was a dessert, that's what it would be. It completely blew me away (And that's saying a lot, because I've tasted some damn amazing desserts in my lifetime). It's not the typical style of warm pudding, and is a dessert baked in cinnamon-vanilla custard with raisins and apricot jam, toasted almost flakes with vanilla bean ice-cream on the side. If you haven't had vanilla bean ice-cream before, I highly recommend you try it. The texture it's absolutely melt in your mouth. Don't know what vanilla bean ice cream is? Basically it's the "real" ice cream - actual vanilla beans are used and you can actually see the minuscule black grains. 



Every place I go to I tend to try out the cheesecake and as such I just had to. The cheese cake at Tiger's Milk is more of a deconstructed cheese cake topped with berry coulis and vanilla bean ice cream on the side. The crust is also not on the bottom layer of the cheese cake but rather can be found separate with the ice cream. Personally I found the cheese cake on it's own to not be sour enough (I like me some sour cheese cake) although when you have it together with the berries it gives it more of a tang. The texture was also a bit too smooth considering there wasn't any crust base. 





Drinks


Unfortunately on this particular day I was driving so no alcohol for me (*sob*) so I tried the Sherbet Smack virgin cocktail. If you aren't drinking alcohol and don't mind a sweet drink, I would definitely recommend it! I also tried the Virgin Mojito, but I found it a bit too bitter.






Overall


Overall it really does make the perfect place for a weekend lunch or casual dinner and drinks with friends. The food is delicious but you'll also love the overall ambiance. Be sure to check out their specials - on Monday Tiger's Milk has a 2 for 1 burger special and everyday you can enjoy happy hour from 4pm to 6pm. I'd love to check out their events and quiz nights sometime so maybe I'll see you there ;)


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