It’s here—31 days, 31 cities, and 31 perspectives. Each day in the month of March, we’re profiling an inspiring woman and asking her to share her beauty routine, favorite products, and wellness secrets. Consider this your firsthand look into the beauty traditions and cultures of your beauty-obsessed counterparts from Thailand, Nigeria, and more (and don’t forget to check our Instagram for a beauty-themed global takeover each day). Today we have Cynthia Gwebu, a South Africa–based woman who talks contouring, hyperpigmentation, and rooibos tea.
Name: Cynthia Gwebu
City and country of residence: I’ve lived in South Africa for 21 years.
Your beauty icons: Grace Jones, Iman, and Audrey Hepburn
The skincare products you can’t live without: La Mer The Renewal Oil ($240); Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Serum ($136); Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($22); Eucerin Sun Gel-Crème Oil Control Dry Touch ($70); Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Day Cream ($50)
The hair products you can’t live without: Kérastase Serum Therapiste ($43); John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum ($9); Design Essentials Edge Tamer ($12); Dr. Miracle's Temple and Nape Gro Balm ($8); Coconut Oil ($9)
The makeup products you can’t live without: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($49); Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray ($32) and All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($32); L.A. Girl Pro Conceal High-Definition Concealer ($4); Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($18)
What countries and cultures do you find most inspirational when it comes to beauty? I envy the Koreans. They’re incredibly diligent when it comes to their skincare. I wish I had the time to have such an in-depth routine, bringing out the best in my skin.
The most popular beauty products in your country right now: It’s still quite early in the year, so this could change, but Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Liquid Makeup ($42), Urban Decay, GlamGlow, Nyx Professional Makeup, and Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation ($6).
The most popular beauty trends in your country right now: We’re still on contouring! But there seems to be a push toward having clear, perfect skin. South Africa’s main concern is hyperpigmentation. Once this is sorted, I’m sure more women would begin experimenting with makeup again.
Favorite traditional beauty secret from your country: Rooibos tea. It’s filled with rich antioxidants and works to help with skin ailments like eczema, skin allergies, acne, and, of course, aging. You can either drink it or apply it directly to skin.
Where you buy beauty products: At my local department store (Woolworths, Edgars) or online for international brands like Nars, Fenty Beauty, and KKW.
What does “healthy living” mean to you? A balanced lifestyle in all areas—food, exercise, spirituality, career, family.
How do you define/practice self-care? “Me” time. It’s imperative to disconnect once in a while in such an overstimulated and overconnected world. This includes weekend getaways to the wine estates just two hours outside the city or spending a Friday night in with my loved ones.
What’s your favorite way to stay active, and why? I like going for walks and hiking. To be outdoors among our much-loved fynbos and proteas is always a treat.
What’s your favorite healthy meal? A good smoothie bowl filled with all sorts of berries, a chia-and–pumpkin seed mix with a drizzle of honey, and some vanilla yogurt.
What are the most popular wellness trends in your country right now? Matcha is still a thing, as well as juice cleanses. More women are getting into intense fitness including boxing, kickboxing, and intense core and strength training. We’re putting our health and wealth before anything else.
Check back every day for more beauty and wellness routines from cool women across the world.