Thursday, March 30, 2023

Writer Milisuthando Bongela on Black Beauty, Dos & Desperate Situations

Milisuthando Bongela is a South African writer, blogger and consultant who works with brands and publications including Woolworths, Dazed and ConfusedColours and W Magazine. An accomplished and award-winning fashion and lifestyle journalist who writes weekly for international and local sites including The Guardian and Mail, Ms Bongela also owns a designer clothing store in Johannesburg with plans to release a series of short films later this year.

Talking solely about beauty with SPICE, the amazing, multi-tasking Mili dishes her dos and don’ts, plus desperate situations…

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SPICE: Hi Milisuthando! What does beauty mean to you?

Milisuthando Bongela: It means being comfortable with how I look, taking care of myself from the inside, out. 

What is your day-to-day beauty routine?

I wash and moisturize my face every day, apply a natural hair butter to my hair every second day, I drink water and make sure I get enough sleep. It’s very simple.

Do you have a signature look?

Yes; simple and comfortable anything. I don’t like tight fitting clothes because I move around a lot. 

What would be your must-have beauty product?

Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream.

If we were to open your makeup bag, what other brands and products would we find?

I need to send you a picture. A lot of MAC and Revlon products, Lancome, Clinique, Yardley, Sally Hansen and Tom Ford. 

What are your beauty dos and don’ts?

Don’t sleep with make up on, although I’m guilty of that sometimes; don’t wear a bright lip colour if you have a bright outfit. Do match your hair and jewellery with your make up; if your hair is loud and dramatic, keep the make up demure, maybe focus on the eyes but don’t do it all  – eyes, cheeks, lips, nails and a loud outfit. I also prefer short manicured nails and not long sparkly ones. 

Whose makeup do you always admire?

Kerry Washington and Lupita Nyong’o’s.

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Can you please share an ‘oh no, I didn’t’ moment with us?

I once wiped off the make up of a make up artist on the set of a shoot with toilet paper and used handwash to wash my face because it was on location and I didn’t have my make up. It was HORRIBLE and I stayed in the bathroom pretending to be sick waiting for the make up artist to leave but she wouldn’t leave and eventually called the shoot organiser to say I can’t do it.  I looked like a character from Night of the Living Dead. I can’t believe I used bathroom handwash and toilet paper to dry. But it was a desperate situation. 

If you had to give just one beauty tip/piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep your skin healthy from the inside. Drink lots of water and get enough sleep. 

What is your beauty fantasy?

A bathroom full of Kiehl’s everything.

If you could, what would you like to change in the beauty industry?

I would like for black beauty to be normal and not a fetish in the world’s media. And I would like for black women to not wear the hair of other races.

You can contact Mili via email: /; her website:; Twitter & Instagram: @Missmillib; or Facebook: Miss Milli B

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Image source: Chris Saunders

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