Organic beauty: Hurry up and wait

bo jong makeup by Sjaniel

For my Petit Déjeuner film and Hurry Up and Wait shoot, make-up artist Sjaniël gave model Bo Jong a barely-there ‘Saturday morning’ look (above). While working as a make-up artist and model in Cape Town, Sjaniël experienced having make-up done by different people, giving her an empathetic understanding of what it feels like for the model. On moving to London in 2011, she  studied nutritional therapy and now brings her knowledge of holistic beauty to private, commercial and editorial clients.

Disneyrollergirl: How did you achieve Bo’s ‘Saturday morning’ look?
Sjaniël: I tried to do very little and keep her looking her natural, glowing self. Whenever I do someone’s make-up I always give it a quick cleanse with Absolution Organic Cleansing Water to remove any excess dirt or residue pollution and then I apply Twelve Beauty Ideal Moisture Level Serum which is most definitely my hero product. It feels like a water on the skin and keeps it supple and hydrated without any residue. It’s the perfect skin primer. If your skin looks good then your make-up will look good, so skin always comes first. I gave her a very light layer of W3LL People Narcissist foundation as it adds to that natural glow and also doubles up as an under-eye concealer when applied with your finger. I added a subtle cheek stain by using RMS Beauty Diabolique to give her a naturally flushed look and also dabbed a little onto her lips. For her eyes I only did one light dusting of Couleur Caramel eyeshadow in a light taupe shade and then added a little RMS Beauty Defining Mascara to the ends of her lashes.

What are the three most used products in your kit?
Definitely the Twelve Beauty Moisture Level Serum. Then RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile – it’s a dual lip and cheek colour that suits every skin tone and makes you look fresh and healthy without enhancing redness or being obvious. I use it myself almost every single day. Couleur Caramel Long Eyelashes Black Mascara – I love it. Finding a good natural mascara is not always easy, but this one has the closest look and feel to a commercial mascara for me.

Why is it important for your to use natural products?
I’ve been a make-up artist for 20 years, but only became more aware of ingredients while I was studying nutritional therapy and realising that what you put onto your skin is just as important as what goes into your body. Your skin is your largest organ after all. We live in an age where the unknown chemical onslaught in our environments are at unprecedented levels and any time we can minimise that load for our bodies, it is a good idea – especially with sensitivities and allergies on the rise.

Are there any new product discoveries that you’re excited about?
My favourite new product is a lipstick range by Absolution Cosmetics called Sweet Safe Kiss – a range of six bright, matte fashionable natural lipstick colours that truly give the commercial brands a run for their money. You can wear them knowing that you’re not swallowing nasties.

Our series ‘Petit Déjeuner’ is all about mornings. What do mornings represent for you?
My mornings are usually a little rushed. I’m a bit of a night owl and although I wake up early, I love to lay in bed and think myself ready for the day. I’m not the ‘jump out of bed’ kind of person. I feel my best when I set my alarm a little earlier to allow myself some ‘waking up’ time and then go and do my 10-15 minutes of deep breathing and stretching. It’s not yet a habit I manage every day, but if I’m feeling particularly stressed, I know that it will definitely improve my ability to handle my day. It is a goal of mine to get into that space each morning because you can truly feel the difference.

What’s your weekend morning beauty routine?
My skincare routine is the same most mornings – I seldom make time for extra long treatments and keep things simple. My lifesaver product is Twelve Beauty Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream. It’s a cream cleanser that you wash off with a damp muslin cloth and it leaves your skin completely hydrated and soft – it has made me love washing my face. Then I spray on some toner (also by Twelve because it’s gentle and alcohol-free) and massage in a few drops of a rosehip, jojoba or blended oil to my damp skin – Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip is my favourite. I love using oils for day or night and love the texture that it gives my skin.

Lately I’ve been using Twelve Beauty’s new brightening serum in the day (as I have pigmentation), with an amazing organic moisturiser from a South African company called Skoon Skin. It means ‘clean skin’. It’s one of the few moisturisers I’ve felt really does the job without being too rich or feeling too greasy or conversely not moisturising enough. I like trying different brands to find what works, but I can honestly say that my skin has never been better since using only organic brands.

You have a private practice too, tell me about that?
My company is called Chemistry of Wellness. I wanted to name it something that helps people understand that wellness is based in science and that making positive health changes by improving your diet and beauty regimes are not an elitist fad. Every change you make results in a concrete positive outcome, mentally and physically. I have combined my love of being a make-up artist with my passion for nutritional therapy into helping people change their products, health and thinking about what it truly means to live a healthy lifestyle. So I try to meet people at their level of commitment. If they only want a make-up overhaul then I will do that. Or if they want to change both their products and their eating, then I will help with both. But if they are only interested in finding a natural health solution to an ongoing health problem then I will focus just on that.

You can contact Sjaniël at and her make-up blog Sjaniël Does Makeup. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Sjaniël. For commercial make-up bookings, Sjaniël works with Novel Beings, an agency representing conscious creatives.