Fact file
Name: Cindy Nell
Occupation: ex Miss SA, television personality and businesswomen
Location: Jozi

We all know Cindy's an ex beauty queen, but did you know she's also got a passion for the beauty biz? When she's not appearing on Pasella, Cindy's kept super-busy running Cosmetix, her cosmetics import company. Just a few of the hot brands her company's responsible for include Caribbean Tan and the fab yet affordable German make-up range exclusive to Clicks, Essence.

Dying to dig through her make-up bag, the first thing I discover about Cindy is that she really does believe in her own brand, Essence. She swears by Essence Long -lasting eye pencil in Navy Blue ("black is too harsh and navy makes my eyes look more awake and open. This Essence one also doesn't smudge!"). She also likes Essence No Limits Power Boost mascara in Black, Essence lip liner in Creme de Cassis and Essence Eyebrow Stylist set in Dark Brown, adding that "brows are the most important part of the face". More of her make-up must-haves include MAC Studio Fix powder foundation and Carmex lip balm. "I don't wear eye shadow and prefer to use bronzing powder on my eyes," she reveals.  

As far as skin care goes, Cindy says her latest 'discovery' is a proudly South African professional skin care brand called Beausience, "It's an amazing natural product I buy from www.thespawarehouse.co.za." She also exfoliates twice a week using an enzyme exfoliator ("scrubs are so yesterday and really hard on your poor skin"), and puts on eye cream when she remembers. At night, Cindy removes her make-up with TLC make-up remover wipes before using just a drop of Bio-Oil to moisturise her whole face. "Then, while I'm at it, I'll rub any excess oil on my bum and waist for stretch mark prevention."

When it comes to taking care of her hair, Cindy says she's a fan of Head and Shoulders shampoo and Perfect Touch non-aerosol hairspray, adding that "expensive products aren't always the best". Otherwise, she'll pop into the salon for a deep conditioning moisture treatment once a month or, her secret weapon, a once a week blow wave! "Don't buy that dress," she says. "Rather go to the salon and budget for a blow wave that'll last almost a week. Even with plain clothing and make-up, if your hair looks great, it'll make all the difference."

Cindy also wears Great Lengths Hair Extension at the back of her head for a little extra volume and length.

Now it's time for a few quick questions!

Is there any beauty goodie, that if it were to be discontinued, you'd just die?

The Braun Gas hair curling tong! Braun stopped supplying gas to Clicks and now I have the brush and no gas! I swear I can cry just thinking about it! Still, I'm going to keep my brush until I come across some small country somewhere on the Indian Ocean that still has a set of gas refills, or alternatively just keep it because we are such good friends and I could never ever let it go.
You won Miss SA with that gorgeous bod of yours. How do you keep it looking so good? Any fab lotions or potions we should know about?
As you can see, I'm a big fan of Caribbean Tan. (Cindy helped develop the range to be as 'non-orange' as possible and created a shade for every skin type). I apply it once a week so my tan never goes away. I also love Caribbean Tan X-tender Intense Body Butter – it really drenches the skin – and never go without Caribbean Tan X-tender Shimmer body cream. (According to Cindy, this is a bronzer and shimmer-effect cream in one "to make your skin look it's been photo shopped in real life!").

What's your ultimate beauty indulgence?
A facial at Viso Bello in Sandton. Ask for Elaine – this woman is just world class. It's a pampering experience with results you won't soon forget. My other indulgence is a little bit more painful – laser hair removal! But, now I only have to go once a year as I almost don't have any more hair left.

What colour nail polishes will you be rocking this season?
Metallic blue green that changes colour depending on what angles you look at it; purple, yellow, and a natural nail with nail art. (Nail art is going to be HUGE next year!) I love Jessica nail polish - it's the best nail polish ever!

What's your biggest beauty no-no?

Over plucked eyebrows with dark liner drawn on - yuck! Permanent lip liner! And foundation that's too pale for you. Look at your neck, your face doesn't stop at your jaw!

What perfume do you wear?

In the day, I wear Flower by Kenzo during summer and Addict by Dior in winter. At night it's always Michael Kors.

Finally, do you have a final beauty secret to share with our readers?
Don't eat complex carbs! 80% of your skin and body beauty is determined by what you eat, not what you do from the outside. Take Genacol, an over the counter collagen pill and whatever you do, don't lie in the sun without a hat or sun cream! It took me five years to reverse the damage caused by sun beds (which I used to love) and now that I have Caribbean Tan, I'll never go back!