How to look good on staff photos



I started working at a glossy magazine about two months ago and I’ve been lucky enough (or unlucky?) to feature in the staff photographs.

We all headed into the Johannesburg CBD for the whole shoot and the photographer came back to us with the final results in record time. She was amazing so everyone looks good except me of course. I hate photos. I always feel awkward when a photographer coaxes me to smile or strike a ridiculous pose. I never look natural and my smile always looks incredibly forced.

Anyway, before the shoot I did some research on the topic and decided to share my infinite wisdom on the subject with you:


  • Don’t wear pattern heavy clothing – It makes you look bigger than you are and you risk looking like a crazy bag lady if the pattern doesn’t photograph well.
  • No polar fleece – Our shoot was in winter so the temptation was there to wear something warm and fluffy, but don’t. It doesn’t photograph well and makes you look top heavy.
  • Wear darker colours – It makes you look slimmer.
  • Don’t wear fashion faddy clothing – Rather go for something classic that will still look good in a couple of years. You don’t want to look at the photos and cringe or potential clients giggling at your ensemble.


  • For a work related shoot keep your make up slightly lighter and more natural. I went with winged liner and falsies to accentuate my eyes but I skipped eyeshadow altogether. I wore a light pinky almost lilacy lipstick (MAC’s Snapdragon).
  • Chill on the contouring – I’m terrible at it but I contoured very lightly. Depending on how you turn your face it can look like dirt marks on your face or just look weird and unnatural. I’m also not blessed with killer bone structure like Kim K so I had to do something to make my moon face look slimmer.
  • Same for blusher. Don’t look like you have a weird red heat rash on your cheeks.
  • Wear your hair in a way that you feel comfortable with. I just threw up my hair in a bun since I have unruly wavy hair and it would’ve looked untidy and unprofessional on the photos if I just left it to its own devices.

The night before

  • Eat healthy for glowing and clear skin at least a week before
  • Lay off the carbs and foods with a high sodium content. It will cause water retention.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Get enough sleep the night before.
  • Know that photoshoots take long. You’re going to be there for a while so take a book or something to entertain yourself with with to the location. Ours took 5 hours and there’’s about 20 people if that much working in my office.
  • Just relax and try and enjoy the shoot.

Please note that I’m no professional and I don’t think I look amazing on our staff photos at all. I’m simply sharing some tips and my experience from what I learnt and I find that these tips helped me.


XO Carina



Coco Chanel started it!


It never ceases to amaze me at how OBSESSED people are with being tanned. How many articles have you read in gossip magazines about celebrities overdoing the fake bake and looking like Oompa Loompas on the red carpet?

Apparently the obsession with being tan started with famed designer Coco Chanel when she went on holiday and came back with a healthy glow from spending time in the sun. Before that, being untanned was the way to go since being tanned was associated with doing hard labour outside in fields. Not glamourous at all. Which reminds me, I’m by no means saying skin cancer is Coco Chanel’s fault.This post is about looking after your skin and realising it’s not good frying away in the sun in order to be fashionable or more beautiful. The headline got your attention though didn’t it? 😉

What worries me about the tan obsession is that I agree it looks good when you’ve gotten a bit of sun and it hides a multitude of sins. Cellulite looks better, you don’t see unsightly veins so easily, you look slimmer and legs look longer etc. but I read an article on BuzzFeed this morning about what too much sun and UV rays does to your skin.

The picture is quite bad and it got me thinking about the importance of wearing sunscreen.

In fact, I have a few friends who are also obsessed with the sun and I can actually see lines on their skins from being exposed to the rays too much and these are beautiful girls who are my age (24 or 25ish). We’re not supposed to have lines and wrinkles like that on our faces just yet.

So since it’s winter here but summer in most other parts of the world I thought I’d share some tips on how you can protect your skin:

  • Wear suncreen – Duh.
  • Wear protective clothes like a hat and thin yet longer sleeves.
  • Pay attention to any new moles on your skin. Don’t just leave it and think it’ll go away.
  • Remember your sunglasses.
  • Remember that the sun ages you and you don’t want to look like a cheap handbag by the time you’re 40. You can’t reverse the damage. Having healthy skin is more important than being tanned.
  • Rather get a spray tan than lying on a tanning bed. The UV rays are really bad for you.

XO Carina

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Terrific tips: Bridesmaid dress fittings

So as you probably know by now, I’m going to A LOT of weddings this year and one early next year.

One of my dearest friends is getting married the 17th of October and I’m a bridesmaid.

Next week Tuesday I have to go for my first fitting. I am quite nervous about it as I don’t really know what to expect since this is the first time I’m a bridesmaid where my dress actually was tailor-made, and not bought. I did some Google-ing and decided that these are the best tips or things you need to know if you’re in the same boat as I am:

Don’t go for a fitting directly after a workout

You haven’t even worn the dress properly so don’t get it dirty, and dry cleaning ain’t cheap.

Buy your undergarments before the time and take them with/wear them to the fitting

It’s just easier to see what your dress will look like when you’re wearing the proper undergarments already.

Take your shoes with

It makes adjusting the hem so much easier for the tailor and you’ll get a sneak peak into how everything will look together on the actual day.

If you’re clumsy, ask the tailor to make a long dress slightly shorter

Nobody wants to become a YouTube sensation for tripping and ripping off the bride’s veil…

Tell the tailor if you’re going to change your physical appearance drastically

Meaning a boob job, crazy diet etc. It will obviously affect your measurements and the size of your dress.

If the tailor recommends a change, there’s a reason

Tailors work with fabrics daily and they’ll know what fabrics will work best for certain styles.

Don’t move unless you’re told to

This one is tough for me. I always fidget, but I’m going to have to force myself to stay still so that my dress doesn’t end up looking lob sided.

When the tailor says you can move, do so

Swish around, sit down etc. to see how your dress looks and how you feel wearing it.

Final fitting

Your final fitting should be about two weeks before the big day. In that two weeks, try not to go on an eating binge because you’re the only single one out of your friends or not to go on some crazy fad diet that’ll make you lose 10 kilograms either.

A sneak peak of how I wanted my dress to look:

My dress will be mint, not lavender. Photo: Pinterest

My dress will be mint, not lavender.

And another sneak peak of how I want my hair styled on the day:

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest


The big day is your friend’s afterall and she chose you to share it with so behave! 😉

Xoxo Carina

The Holiday Spirit

I’m positively shivering as I write this. Not because I have some amazing news like I decided to quit my job and take my savings to live in Barcelona, which trust me I would’ve loved to do, but because I am freezing my butt off at the moment and Barcelona is literally now one of my favourite cities in the entire world. I was on holiday for three wonderful weeks in Abu Dhabi and Europe, and came back home in the dead of the damn winter.


I find myself dreaming of Venice where I roamed the streets and enjoyed a gondola ride. I crave the ice cream I had in Monaco, and I miss the Trevi Fountain in Rome, but all good things come to an end and I went back to work yesterday.

Now, the problem with having a long, relaxing holiday is that often when you go back to work it’s difficult getting back into the swing of things. Or at least, I often struggle getting back into work and deadlines.

Here are some tips to make sure you get out of holiday mode:

Think positively

There will always be those tiny tasks or the chirpy morning people that grate you, but try and think about how lucky you are to have a job in the first place and focus on the things you do enjoy about it. The same goes for if you are still a student. Think about how lucky you are to be able to get an education or that you don’t have to necessarily get up at six every morning like all us suckers who work already… 😉


Make a list of things you’d like to achieve on a specific day or for the first month. This will help motivate you to start working hard at achieving the goal, but preferably start small if you’re still feeling a little lazy. I always get overexcited and set some ridiculous goal and then feel terrible when I don’t achieve it 100%. Making to do lists for every day can also help.

Just do it

Take a page from Nike’s playbook and just do it. Force yourself and the happy memories out of your mind temporarily and just get your work done! You can relax and daydream again after the task is completed. 😉

Early bird

Get your body clock back into sync by going to bed early or waking up early so that you’re tired enough to go to sleep earlier at night. I struggle the most with this part, but it works for me, but then again I’m old so maybe that’s why I go to sleep easily if I woke up at the crack of dawn.

I hope these help!

Do you have any tips? Do share in the comments.

Xoxo Carina

Travel Bunny: Making your foundation last

Whether you use foundation or BB cream, you know what a pain it is to make those bad boys last all day on your skin.

Firstly, finding the right brand and formula for your skin is a massive challenge, but then other factors also come into play such as the extreme heat or cold, humidity etc.

In the past few weeks I’ve gone from South Africa, which is ice cold since it’s winter there now, to the UAE, which is extreme heat to Europe, which is just nice. Let me tell you, I fought with my BB cream. As it is, I’m not entirely sure if I’m in love with the Revlon Photoready BB cream (read a review here) I’m using, because it slips on my skin, which could just mean my skin type isn’t right for the product.

Choose the right formula

I have dry skin so cream or liquid works best for me, but if you have oily skin rather use oil free formulas, powder or mineral foundation. Also, don’t be tempted into buying a product because of the cute packaging. I really struggle with that, because I swear if the bottle is adorable enough, I’ll buy almost anything.

Exfoliate and moisturise

By doing this first, your make up will go on smoother and make it look more polished.

Use a primer

This product will make your foundation stay on longer and you won’t actually need to wear nearly as much foundation on your skin.

Use a brush

Well, if you feel like nature’s brush works best aka your fingers, then rather use your fingers to apply the product, but I prefer using a brush when I actually use foundation. For BB cream, I just use a teensy bit of product and my fingers to blend it out, but brushes create more of a flawless look.

Use a bit less 

Start off with a little less and build up if you feel like you need more coverage.

Finishing powder

Make up setting spray can also work, but I prefer powder. It just makes my make up look better and stays on longer.

I hope these tips help!

Xoxo Carina

What to Wear: Your Graduation

Graduation is a wonderful time to celebrate. Not only does it recognize your hard work at university, but it also marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It really is a special occasion so it is definitely worth putting some effort into your look. Plus, photos will be taken so make your look worth remembering! Here are some tips for dressing appropriately for your graduation ceremony:

Cute Conservatism

Even though everyone will be celebrating your great academic achievements, keep in mind that you will appear on a stage with your classmates, and parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers and lecturers will also be attending. Keep it family friendly please. Wear a dress with a slightly longer hem so that you don’t flash the crowd, keep the girls covered, and don’t wear something so tight that it will restrict your breathing.

Comfort is Key

By this I don’t mean a pizza stained t-shirts and yoga pants, I mean your shoes! You’re going to stand a lot posing for pictures with friends and family alike. You don’t want to limp around after 15 minutes, because your shoes are killing your feet. Wear sparkly sandals or ballet flats, or a sweet wedge.

Sunny South Africa

If the ceremony is going to be outdoors, take your sunglasses with and remember to put on some BB cream or foundation with a bit of SPF in. Trust me, graduation ceremonies are very long and you don’t want to sit there squinting for hours and frying away in the sun and then go pose for pictures… Also take some face powder with to blot away the shine!

Make A Statement

Stick to some pretty statement jewelry like a bauble necklace, but don’t go over the top and make everything a statement. If you’re going to wear a bold necklace, keep your earrings simple and lady like.

I can’t stress enough to keep your outfit as simple and classic as possible. Just always remember that the pictures taken on that day will be kept and the occasion will be remembered so you don’t want to look back on that day and cringe, because Lady Gaga was your inspiration. No offence to Mother Monster of course. Most importantly, have fun! You worked hard, you deserve it.

Xoxo Carina