It was almost by accident that Nomfundo Mlaba found herself entered into and ultimately winning a national competition to become the face of one of the country’s most popular beauty brands.
It’s something many a young girl dreams about … leaving behind her small village life and ending up on billboards, in magazines and on television. And 25-year-old Nomfundo says she still has to pinch herself every now and then when she sees her face on an advert or flyer.
Raised mostly by her grandmothers, Nomfundo studied journalism at the Durban Institute of Technology after school. After working a short while in radio and print media, Nomfundo took up her current position as a community manager at Mount Edgecombe-based property marketing company, Rainmaker Marketing.
It was a colleague, she says, who encouraged her to enter the Face of POND’S competition last year. “My friend Taryn kept encouraging me to enter, but I didn’t think I stood a chance,” says Nomfundo, who is originally from a small village near Pietermaritzburg. “I bought the product but then forgot to enter and actually only sent in my entry late after they had (luckily) extended the entry period.”
When she received the phone call to say she had made it into the top 10, Nomfundo says she felt like she had already won! “For me, that was enough!” But then she went on to be named the official face of the brand, beating close to 15 000 other girls and winning herself R50 000 cash as well as a host of prizes and ambassador duties. The winner was chosen based on public vote and Nomfundo did a phenomenal job campaigning for herself and getting the public to vote for her. “I am so lucky to have friends, family and colleagues as supportive as mine. Everyone pushed hard and there is no way I would’ve won without them.”
The experience has been an eye-opening one for Nomfundo, who says where she comes from, most people feel like their dreams can only be as wild as the dusty main road. “Winning Face of POND’S has reminded me how important it is not only to dream, but to believe in yourself. Your background doesn’t have to determine your future and you can literally be anything you want to be.”
Asked what beauty truly means to her, Nomfundo says, “I think beauty is being comfortable and happy in your own skin. It’s appreciating all your imperfections and flaunting them because no one will ever be as perfectly imperfect as you are.”
When she’s not hard at work, Nomfundo is often found enjoying a cappuccino at French Zulu near Sibaya or taking selfies for Instagram (she has over 23 000 followers!) and enjoying sushi at the Oyster Box Hotel. Remos Cafè is her favourite after-work sundowners spot!
BEAUTY Q & A WITH NOMFUNDO
1. What’s your top daily beauty tip? Sunscreen! Even when you’re spending the day indoors, just apply a little sunscreen.
2. What is trending in the beauty world this season? Skin! I think with everyone having to wear masks, applying make up doesn’t seem very logical. This has made most people pay more attention to their skin and take care of it so they can literally just wash, moisturise and leave the house without feeling like they need make up. Masks can also contribute to making your skin oily, which is why mattifying creams are everyone’s favourite this season. My favourite is the POND’S Lasting Oil Control Vanishing Cream, I’ve been using it since I was 16!
3. What do you think is the biggest beauty myth? The idea that beauty has a ‘set’ definition. One can never define beauty, like most things in life, it’s relative.
4. What is one beauty product you cannot live without? POND’S Lasting Oil Control Vanishing Cream! I also use it as a primer – it’s the best primer
I’ve ever used!
Details: Follow Nomfundo on Instagram: @nomfundo.lovejoy_mlaba
Photograph: CHRIS ALLAN PHOTO | Makeup: KYLIE BLACK, @madeup_bykylie
Florals & fun
As the warmer months start to approach and summer slowly returns, we turn eyes towards this season’s North Coast fashion trends … fun florals, flowing maxi dresses and bright pops of colour.
Model: Nomfundo Mlaba | Makeup: Kylie Black, @madeup_bykylie | Shoot location: Zinkwazi home available for rental through Luxury Coastal Escapes, [email protected], www.luxurycoastalescapes.com
Photographer: Chris Allan Photo