Tea Time in Johannesburg

After  eleven years at GE, where she held leadership positions in several divisions across the world Swaady Martin, an Ivorian entrepreneur, decided to follow her passion for African culture & tea, and founded Yswara a growing home-grown African global luxury tea brand four years ago. Continue reading “Tea Time in Johannesburg”

Soul Escape: 95 at Morgenster, South Africa

Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate is hardly a new kid on the block. A rich olive and wine farm that dates to 1711, it sits at the gateway to the Western Cape wine-growing region and is a mere 35 minutes from Cape Town, nestled in the landscape of Somerset West. Continue reading “Soul Escape: 95 at Morgenster, South Africa”

Mary Sibande: The Future Is Female

Mary Sibande art work is powerful that is why we want to focus on her today. Through her art she tells the tale of her alter-ego Sophie, a domestic worker who finds refuge in dreams where she emancipates herself from the ghoulish realism of an ordinary existence, cleaning other people’s homes. Continue reading “Mary Sibande: The Future Is Female”

Africa’s New Golden Oil

First, there was Argan and Jojoba oils, and then coconut oil. Now, Marula oil has stormed the market and seems like it might have even more benefits (and staying power) than the rest.

The oil, derived from the indigenous Southern Africa Marula tree, can be used on its own as a cold-pressed, unrefined oil, or as an ingredient in other skin and hair products. Marula oil  has a lot of selling points. It’s moisturizing, but it won’t clog your pores. “It’s rich in essential fatty acids that mimic those that exist naturally in the outer layer of the skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. It also contains the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids. But the best part? It’s a surprisingly nonoily oil: “It’s quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving you greasy,” says Zeichner.

 It’s actually 16 percent higher in antioxidants and fatty acids than Argan and Jojoba oil, not that anyone’s judging.) Adriana Martino, co-founder of NYC’s Skinney Medspa, says. Plus, she adds, Marula oil’s benefits work far into the future, too, thanks to ingredients that “fight against free radicals in your skin, which lead to cell damage and aging.”

Martino finds the oil “perfect for the winter months, as it has a bit of thicker consistency than other oils, so it creates a barrier against harsh winter conditions.” Yet Marula oil is also rich in omega-3, which allows for faster absorption into the skin—so although it is a thicker oil than some of its counterparts, it sinks right into the skin, leaving it smooth and silky, not greasy.

As for who should use Marula oil? It’s great for all skin types, which is one of the reasons Tiffany Masterson, founder of the skincare line Drunk Elephant, calls it her “star ingredient.” When she was in the early stages of developing her collection (which launched at Sephora last month), she came across Marula oil while scouting ingredients and instantly sensed its power. “As a facial oil devotee already, I recognized immediately how quickly it absorbed and just how amazing it felt on my skin,” Masterson said. “It was a no-brainer to thread it through my entire line.”

Though Masterson’s line only focuses on skin, she also swears by virgin Marula oil for her hair. “When used on hair, it hydrates, repairs, moisturizes, and helps reduce frizziness,” she says. “I’ve found that it makes the best hair serum, and I also use it as a pre-conditioning treatment before I shower.” Great for hair, skin, and the anti-aging fight: Could it be time for an oil upgrade?

For skin care, try: 

Acure Marula Oil
This product is a slightly more affordable version of the pure oil (you can buy a 1-ounce bottle for less than $20). To use it most effectively, apply the oil right after washing your face. “Dot the oil all over the area you want to cover, then rub it in, and connect the dots,” says Zeichner, who recommends layering other products over it. Because the oil absorbs into skin so well, it helps other products you slather on over it absorb better, too. « If you apply an oil before your anti-aging cream, the oil molecules behave like tiny Trojan horses, tricking the skin into letting active ingredients—like retinol,glycolic acid, and vitamin C—deeper into the skin and closer to the collagen-producing fibroblasts, all without irritating the surface,” says David Colbert, a dermatologist in New York City.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
The entire Drunk Elephant line includes marula oil (the brand’s name comes from the idea that elephants get drunk when they eat marula fruit), but this no-frills oil is our favorite. “Pure marula oil may be especially appropriate for people with sensitive skin,” says Zeichner. This one has no added fragrance and made our tester’s dry winter skin noticeably softer and dewier after just a few nightly uses—not an easy feat.

African Botanics’ Pure Marola Oil
It is an anti-aging savior. Rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamins C and E, this weightless botanical moisturizer deeply nourishes and hydrates the skin while helping to build collagen and increase elasticity. It will revitalize your complexion by giving you a radiant, youthful glow. Amino Acids help cells renew and combat premature aging – Antioxidants soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – Suitable for all skin types

Pure Marula Oil by John Paul Selects
Light and hydrating, Pure Marula Facial Oil absorbs quickly into the skin without a greasy after-feel providing immediate and long lasting hydration and improved skin elasticity. Pure Marula facial Oil by Marula Pure Beauty Products is the only doctor endorsed, scientifically validated facial oil, with 60% more antioxidants than the leading Argan Oil.


For hair care, try:

Carol’s Daughter Marula Oil Softening Serum
Formulated specifically for curly hair, this serum smooths frizz and softens ringlets, leaving them glossy and soft. Our curly-haired tester liked the thin consistency because it allowed her to easily spread the product evenly through her hair.

Nexxus Oil Infinite Nourishing Oil
This smoothing serum works wonders on coarse, thick, frizzy hair. The blend of marula, babassu, buriti, sweet-almond, macadamia, and sunflower oils (say that five times fast) tames flyaways, smooths split ends, and detangles knots when applied to towel-dried hair and boosts shine when skimmed over dry, styled hair.

MarulaOil Rare Oil Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner
Both products are infused with marula oil, so they’re intensely smoothing and moisturizing. But hydrating as they may be, the combo is surprisingly lightweight; our tester with fine hair used them and noted that her hair was shiny but not limp or greasy.

MarulaOil Rare Oil Treatment

This multitasking product can be used on hair and skin—and we love it equally for both. Our curly-haired tester raved about its thick, flyaway-taming consistency. Applied to damp or dry hair, it adds tons of shine and moisture to ragged, sad-looking ends. The lingering fruity-floral scent is just an added benefit.

Made In Africa By Aurora James

Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies is becoming a big accessories designer in the industry. She sealed her it girl reputation when Kanye West came to the presentation of her Spring Summer 2016 collection last September at New York fashion week. Continue reading “Made In Africa By Aurora James”