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South African Interviews

Helen Mirren Leaves Cape Town


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Helen Mirren in Cape Town

DAME Helen Mirren looked every inch the Hollywood star as she arrived at the airport in Cape Town to catch her flight home.

As she strolled through the terminal with her husband, Taylor Hackford, by her side, the 69-year-old looked cool, calm and collected in a pair of dark shades and matching attire.

The “RED 2” star, who has been in South Africa promoting her latest film “Eye In The Sky”, had certainly dressed comfortably for the flight but still managed to look good.

Grinning and waving at photographers, Dame Helen wore a pair of cropped black leggings with a matching cardigan and ballet pumps.

She carried a lilac coat and a pink scarf over her arm, as well as a tan coloured handbag as she made her way through security.

Her husband pulled along just one suitcase and also looked rather happy as they prepared to board their flight.Far from being a diva, Dame Helen was more than happy to sign autographs for those who recognised her and also appeared to have a lengthy conversation with the woman who checked them in.Dame Helen hit the headlines last week when it was revealed that she had hired a buxom blonde body double half her age to do her movie stunts.Her body double for her latest movie is a super-fit, six pack-sporting blonde, called Fleur van Eeden.Speaking to The Mirror, Fleur said: “It’s amazing to be playing her body double when I’m 40 years younger than her. But Helen looks fantastic.

“No way does she look her age – she looks amazing. I want to look like that when I’m 69.”

Reblogged from express.co.uk

Helen Mirren in Cape Town

Blogging

20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging


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1. Think long & hard about your blog categories

Your categories are the main sections or “magazine columns” that you feature on your blog. Your categories can be a drop down menu on your sidebar. They should be simple and logical. Use hierarchies to organise your ideas better. Try think of a catchy angle for them so you peak your viewer’s interest and stand out from the rest.

2. Design your site as simple as possible

Keep your design simple and appealing. Make it intuitive and well-structured. People should intuitively know how to navigate your space. Make pages along the top for sections you want to highlight. Use a category drop down menu and a follow widget wouldn’t hurt. If there are other platforms you want your viewers to know about, include those widgets also. A direct link to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram invites viewers to connect with you.

3. Operate it like a real magazine

Decide on your target audience just like Cosmo or House and Garden does. This means deciding:

+ Who you want to appeal to (age group, gender, interests)

+ What your content will be (which topics you choose)

+ How involved you’ll get in your articles (short, long, lots of resources)

Plan out each piece well. It’s always a good idea to think about a catchy title and invest time into each piece. Edit and format your posts and add great designs to them. Write in a natural tone and keep it simple. Decide on your intentions with each post. Publish often (weekly is great). If your favourite magazine missed a few issues, you’d eventually find a replacement.

4. Share each post into infinity

You write and publish something once, but who’s to say you can’t share that post once per month on Twitter, a couple times a year on Facebook or every other month on Google+? Pinterest is a lovely fresh platform with a constant stream of ideas. It’s a great way to advertise your blog. Make a board dedicated to your blog and pin your stuff to it! It will make it easier for people to find you and re-pin your stuff. Due to the “timeline” nature of most social media platforms, if you only share something once, it will only be seen by a small percent of your followers. It’s also a good idea to make an advert with your heading and URL on for sharing purposes.

5. Make sure you know what  your audience wants and needs

Your readers/clients have specific questions, desires and needs. You can start to figure out these needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What would you want to read about if you were them, visiting your blog? What tools can make things simpler for your viewers? Why do they come to your blog? Read more about figuring this out here.

6. Post frequently + consistently, with quality as your best friend

Remember to keep your material current and up-to-date. Try cater for a blog audience while maintaining your brand goals and sanity. This is, of course, if you are operating your blog like a business.

7. Invest in your blog

The things you spend money on are the things you want to get value out of. The things you spend money on are the important things that you care about. The best things in life are free, but some of the things that help you create your best life cost money. Invest in marketing your blog online or elsewhere if you want the traffic that will get you money in the long run.

8. Format your posts to be read by busy, lazy humans

This means short titles, bullet points and headings. Also, it means blog posts which aren’t too long.

9. Create a content calendar

….One that includes suggested post dates and categories. Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is great because I like a visual representation of when I should post. Without a calendar and some type of plan, you’ll get around to that one post about that one thing on the 10th of NeverEver.

10. Add in promotion & maintenance tasks

Sponsored blogging (getting paid to publish promotional stuff) must be scheduled into your usual blogging routine. A lot of the time, clients/sponsors need a date for publishing. It’s good to plan ahead so you can give them an exact date.

11. Establish a writing routine that gives you time to think

Creative people are always thinking. Sometimes I have great ideas that pop into my head which I jot down. When I get around to writing a post, I’m always excited to publish it straight away. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to save the draft and give it an ‘incubation’ period in your head. Trust me, you’ll think of different things to add over a period of just 24 hours which will add value to your post.

12. Be you. We won’t like you if you’re being someone else

Enjoy your own space online. Add photos of your life. Write the way you would speak in real life. See how you do this in my post Find Your Voice Online.

13. Get high quality photos of yourself

It’s a good idea to have quality photos of yourself. These will come in handy for your “about” page, as well as any articles you write where you have personal experience. Allow your readers to connect with you! Keep a professional flavour by getting nice photos taken. It’s good for you and will be a plus for the photographer. There’s power in collaboration!

14. Audit your blog regularly

That post you wrote three months ago? It totally needs a link to the post you published earlier this week because they’re heavily related and your readers will be happy to have guided/quick access to both. Always keep in mind that no matter what order you write things in, any post or page on your website has the potential to be the first post a visitor sees. P.S. Blog audits are also a great way to make sure you’ve included your affiliate links and product/service links in all the organic ways possible.

15. Check your grammar

Make sure to double-check your articles.

16. Be available + interactive

No one likes a person who never responds to anything. Granted, you may be so “big time” that you can’t get to every blog comment or tweet, but none of them? I’ll accept that when you become the President of the United States. Even then, you can hire some people to help you out!

17. Pay attention to the questions your readers ask

There may be a new blog post you’ve written, a new eBook you can sell, a problem you can fix or a service you can offer that is lingering in questions from readers. Cultivate community around your blog so people feel they are in a safe space where they are supported and encouraged. Grow a family around your blog. You do this by being attentive to your readers.

18. Guest post like a champ

Once you have a healthy collection of quality content to lead people back to, pitch to some sites that fit your brand (or that are frequented by your ideal readers) to do a guest post. Think about larger online magazines and websites as well. These guest posting opportunities will help you build relationships and will lead new readers back to your site.

19. Accept guest posts like a champ

If someone else is willing to say some valuable and entertaining stuff on your blog, let them. Make sure each post fits your blog, fits your readers, and is the type of quality content you want your blog to be known for. Make sure to promote your guest authors and show them love. They will likely spread the word of their guest post, which can potentially give you lots of new readers.

20. Stay focused

We creatives like shiny new projects and get distracted easily. When you have lots of ideas racing through your head, stop and focus your energy on one thing at a time. Make a list. Lists are great.

Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Creative Inspiration

Beauty tips


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Tamika Doubell

I must admit, I’m a fan of Estee Lauder. I use their products for everything. Everyone may use different products, but there are certain tips that are the same for every girl when applying make-up. Here are the things every girl should know when glamming up:

  • Always wash your face and hands before you apply make-up. If you have oily or sensitive skin, do not exfoliate else you will spread bacteria around your face. Apply toner and a light moisturizer afterwards, avoiding the eye area
  • Always use a new towel when drying your face.
  • If your moisturizer has SPF in it, be aware this is not good for flash photography. If going to an evening event, rather not use a foundation with SPF in.
  • Apply concealer to the spots on your face that are redder than others – corners of your eyes, around the nose, under your eyes.
  • Apply powder all over the face using a nice powder brush. Dust it off with a paper towel afterwards to get rid of the excess powder and lightly brush across the whole face again. Use a bronzer on your forehead, cheeks and chin for the sun-kissed look.
  • Highlight your brow bone (just below the brow) and to the highest part of your cheek with a light powder or eye shadow.
  • Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks.

  • Line the eyes with black eyeliner. I always apply liner on my upper lids. 
  • When it comes to eye shadows, remember that the light colours are for the lids and the dark colours are for the crease on the lid. The lightest colour on your palette is for just under the brow bone. Use the larger eyeshadow brush to blend all the colours.
  • When applying mascara, I always make the mistake of pumping the brush in and out of the mascara. Apparently this is terrible to do as it causes air pockets. Rather dip the brush lightly once and remember to wipe off the excess on a tissue when you done. Do two coats, starting from the inner part and working your way out.

  • When applying your lipstick, always start by applying a lip balm, primer or sealer. This will help your lipstick last longer. 
  • Make sure that your lips do not look chapped or cracked before you put on lipstick. If your lips are chapped, lightly brush off the dead skin cells with a toothbrush or towel.
  • I don’t use lip liner, but if you do be sure to choose a colour that matches your lipstick.
  • Try apply your lipstick with a brush so it can spread evenly. Blot your lips with tissue to make the lipstick last longer. Use gloss for a shiny or glittery look.
  • If applying both lip color and eye makeup, emphasize one, or the other, never both.

tips tighter

  • Make sure you use makeup and mascara remover before going to sleep. It’s very bad for your skin to sleep with it on. I’m terrible at doing this, but I’m trying to be better at taking make-up off before bed! Be sure to wash your face after, apparently that gets off all the rest of the foundation and powder. I actually always just use Johnson’s face wipes – works perfectly for me.
  • Avoid applying make-up too often , it will block your pores causing blemishes and pimples.
  • Clean your makeup brushes at least once a month with a makeup brush cleaner. Also, try not to share brushes.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Europe, Journal, Munich

South African In: Munich


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South African In: Munich

Not so long ago I traveled to Bavaria, Germany, with family and friends. We landed in Munich and took a train to Oberammergau; the prettiest village I’ve ever been to. The reason we went was to watch the famous “Passion Play”, which is performed there only every ten years.

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My Life in Africa

The COSMO Bartender of the Year Party


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Tamika Doubell Cosmopolitan

This past week I attended a very fun event here in Cape Town, South Africa. It was held at the “Shimmy Beach Club” at the harbour. I loved the vibe of the evening. There were loads of people all gathered together to see who would win the coveted title of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender of the Year (with prize money of R20 000)!  Cosmopolitan magazine, in partnership with Collison’s White Gold Brandy,  announced on 14 January this year the five guys and five girls who got the nod to compete for the title of “SA’s Hottest Bartender”. The 10 finalists for 2013 were featured in the February issue of CosmoReaders had the opportunity to scrutinize these movers and shakers of creative cocktails, and to vote for their favourite. The aim of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender search every year is to find a bartender with the perfect combination of creativity and charisma, who has his or her craft honed to perfection.

The competition is not judged only on looks: each entrant has to submit an original cocktail recipe.

They will then be required to prepare their cocktails on the night of the big finale in Cape Town on 14 March, and the overall winner will walk away with the grand prize of R20 000.

The 10 finalists were:

  • Dillon Nuss from Taco Zulu, Durban
  • Le Riche Meyer from Carnival Court, Cape Town
  • Nicole Adams form Boulevard, Durban
  • Gabriella Trollip from Tiger Tiger, Cape Town
  • Domenico De Lorenzo from Molecular Bars, Johannesburg
  • Johnny Bezuidenhout from Café Caprice, Cape Town – WINNER
  • Robyn Horwitz from Movida, Johannesburg
  • Imaan Mac Quena from Jade Champagne Bar & Lounge, Cape Town
  • Nancy Ellis from Hooters, Durban
  • Donovan Prince from Café Caprice, Cape Town

Cosmo Bartender of the Year

I personally loved the girls. They had a lot of spunk and could definitely hold their own next to the boys. But I have to say, the boys had that cockiness that’s a huge crowd pleaser in something like this. Let’s put it this way……while the girls were smiling, doing a few dance moves from behind the counter and tamely stirring in the vodka, the boys were literally ripping their shirts off, jumping on the counter and flexing their tattoo-covered muscles while shaking that martini! And let me just say .. HUBBA HUBBA! I mean, C’mon, They had us at HELLO

Photo by Paul Ward

Photo by Paul Ward

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The winner was Johnny Bezuidenhout from Cape Town’s most popular beach bar Café Caprice and he was really deserving. MC Poppy Ntshongwana didn’t have a hard time handing over the cheque!

Photo by Paul Ward

We shot Caprice’s Skybok Profile a few months ago and for the video, we got Johnny to prepare a Mojito for us on-camera – check out his talent for yourself by watching it HEREA great performance was given by “iScream & The Chocolate Stix” after the show and I really enjoyed their performance. It’s nice to hear local bands singing good music. Check out their blog HEREThank you to everyone involved for bringing us an awesome event!

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❤ My Work, Modelling

Shoot with Sarah Keogh


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Tamika Doubell Cover Photo Comment

I’m thrilled to have landed the cover of “Photo Comment” Magazine in South Africa! Thanks to the wonderful photography of PE-based Sarah Keogh and her team. Here is another shoot I have done with Sarah, who is very versatile and has a bright future ahead of her in fashion and food photography: Old Hollywood Editorial

Get Hold of Sarah on Facebook HERE.

On Twitter HERE.

And check out her website HERE.

Below are some photos from a beauty/makeup shoot I also did with her.

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My Life in Africa

A Few Cape Town Summer Events


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Recently I attended some really cool events…The Sunglass Hut “Out The Box” Party at the V&A Waterfront was one. To launch their latest venture with a bang, “Out the Box” (or #SunglassHutOTB as it has been hashtagged) set up a huge marquee at the waterfront and equipped it with lights, cameras, (lots of champagne) and action! MC Janez Vermeiren from Top Billing held the evening together and introduced renowned South African musician Toya DeLazy who performed for us. The pop-up-store then unveiled the latest collection to be released in 2013. I was soo chuffed with my R1000 vouchers to spend at Sunglass Hut. It was in joburg at Melrose Arch a few nights prior to that and from what I hear it was also quite spectacular. Thank you Sunglass Hut for an awesome event. You can visit their website at www.sunglasshut.com.

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Toya DeLazy

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with ex-Miss South Africa, Cindy Nell
with Clayton Morar

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I then went to The GoodHope FM’s Summer Launch Party at The Cullinan Hotel in association with Tsogo Sun and The Next 48 Hours, which was fantastic! There were drinks and snacks going around. There was a stellar performance by a Cape Town singer Lucy Tops, singing an Adele hit – she was very good. You should like her page HERE and support local talent 🙂

The Cullinan Hotel

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Crowd

Finally, as you know, GAGA was in town! For those who didn’t, what town are you living in?! The Next 48 Hours was awesome enough to organize an exclusive boat cruise around Table Bay before the concert. There was champagne – a lot of it (surprise I didn’t fall overboard) and yummy snacks. Here is a gallery of the snaps from the cruise… you can view the official photos HERE.

I’ve also included youtube videos of Gaga at the concert!

Enjjjooooyyyy and don’t forget to PUT YOUR PAWS UP!!

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Naushad, Editor of 'The Next 48 Hours' Publication and Jen Su, TV News Anchor and Corporate MC
with Naushad, Editor of ‘The Next 48 Hours’ Publication and Jen Su, TV News Anchor and Corporate MC
Lady Gaga Cruise
with Jen Su

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My Life in Africa

COSMO’s Swimwear Pool Party to Kick Start Summer 2012


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I recently attended the Cosmo summer pool party. They truly outdid themselves this year for the event which was held at Shandiz Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, Mandela Rhodes Place, corner of Wale and Burg Street, Cape Town. I loved the design of the space. Everything was big, bold & colourful. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the eye candy that was walking around serving the food and giving away free stuff. It started at 5pm and wrapped up at 10pm. All in all a great night with awesome friends, thanks Cosmo SA. The venue was fantastic and the weather was perfect. If you want to see more of my pics from the event, click HERE. To see Cosmo’s professional photos from the event (photos by Paul Ward) click HERE. Were you there? How have you kick-started Summer?? Tweet me at @TamikaDoubell.

with SABC Expresso Show’s Graeme Richards
with Playmate of the year Jade Fairbrother & SABC Expresso Show’s Leigh-Anne Williams

opening our fortune cookies

COSMOPOLITAN turned up the heat this weekend to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of summer. Held at Shandiz Mandela Rhodes Place, the crystal clear pool with its cityscape backdrop was the perfect way to enjoy the first of many pool parties this festive season. Guests were treated to cocktails, delicious snacks, loads of ice cream and some very hot bodies. The stunning Anthea Schotlz opened the event with a sexy sunset session followed by an amazing performance by Goldfish.