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COVER: LIESL LAURIE | TRESemmé #VolumeIssue

Interview & Article by Star Khulu | Hair by Saadiqu RyKlief | Makeup by Precious Xaba | Fashion Styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye | Creative Director: Lawrence Manyapelo

LIESL LAURIE. Dress: Keys Fashion. Accessories: Ntozinhle Accessorise. Hair by Saadique RyKlief. Makeup by Precious Xaba. Fashion styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye.

Eldorado Park’s princess took her authentic self to a pageant and won it. The dedication to winning is very clear: She left a 6am radio show to start in makeup at 7h00am and still managed laughs and a genuine smile throughout. She towers over most in the room a little more than expected and then she transforms into a beast with passion in her eyes for the camera. Hair is the focus though and the Beauty-Ful Volume range by TRESemmé was ready to channel all things Volume in hair with these 3 ladies…

Volume Issue! What a mission it was toget here. We are celebrating a great product and pride in a great crown. We are watching you morph into a new Liesl. What made you Up the volume on your career?

 “It was just time for me to get into what I wanted for my future and what I was passionate about outside of the title. Miss SA the greatest stepping stone to finding that out but I always knew there was more. Always more.”

With your traditional background, how has your success affected the men that are interested in dating you? Are you in the time of your life to date?

“You know it’s not made it easier because of the intimidation that might come with a title and then my independence but in all instances, I look to God to show me if he’s the right person for me right now or not. I trust in Him to give me exactly what I need at the time. I’m fully focused on career right now but anybody in my life would know and respect that my career is on the move and that will be my priority, but that doesn’t mean there’s no time for you, there’s an understanding.”

I hear what you’re saying, you think “I don’t know if he’s staying but for the time he’s here, can I see the lesson. Praying for a man is a brave thing to say out loud, not a lot of people want to say that love is what they want.  

“Oh, most definitely…”

We’re in a very liberal era where sexy and nudity is not something that we cover up anymore. Cleavage at some point made people cringe Lol And now… would you ever pose nude and is the message around nudity = confidence something you trust?

LIESL LAURIE. Jacket: La Manche. Hair by Saadique RyKlief. Makeup by Precious Xaba. Fashion styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye.

“With posing nude, I don’t think I’d ever do that. My gran would murder me *laughs. I joke. I joke. Just the way I was raised and everything I think I’ve gone through growing up in a very small community with my family very close-by. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it but I’d never look down on a person who chooses to find their element of being free, the element of confidence in a way that they choose to. Some choose weaves, others natural hair – all these are ways that we as woman use to find a new level of confidence. If my best friend wanted to pose nude, I wouldn’t talk her out of it because it’s her way of expressing her sexy. I have different ways I choose to express my sexy: I wear extra extensions, I leave the house with makeup on. There are different ways. Some girls, you’ll never see without heels or a pushup bra, it all comes back to what you want to express and how you want to represent yourself and if you’re happy with it, power to you.”

I think I heard you say once that you never thought that this girl from this rough neighbourhood was going to be the person chosen to represent a country in front on internationals and then there’s your country that’s now your audience. How much grooming do you have to go through, in your heart, in your mind, in your “everything” to get to a point where you believe you’re ready to take on what the title expects of you?

 

“I walked into Miss SA a small community girl with some powder, eyeliner and mascara and that was my makeup kit. I didn’t even know there were different inches in heels. What it taught me was that I should never walk into a situation before understanding the environment and its expectations of me. When I was chosen to be a part of the Top 24, I sat down and studied previous pageants, winners, finalists and it helped me fix the gaps. The grooming part for me was physical, I had to take better care of my hair, something I’d never done before. I had to take care of my skin, invest in makeup. But while it was physical changes, it also became an emotional thing. I realized I didn’t take care of my emotional being, my spirit, my soul because of everything with my family in the last ten years so I never really got to focus on myself. In terms of grooming, it was understanding who I am and where I come from is my exact selling point and that I may make physical changes, but my mind and heart are where they need to be to win it. Trying to share away from being the coloured community girl was never going to help me win the pageant. I walked in excited about my people, my upbringing was my selling point.

Nobody was the girl that would say the thing that raised eyebrows, nobody was the girl that learnt everything for the title, they came in having been trained. I always used to use the phrase, the realist and not that anybody was fake in any sense, I just felt that I was most true to me throughout every process and there may have been raised eyebrows because of how transparent I was but in the end, it always works to my advantage. The same people who raise their eyebrows one second are the same ones who clap a few minutes later. Embracing who I was, was my biggest grooming lesson.”


How hard is it to come from a pageant background and back into the real world? Does the organization aid you to proceed in growth after you’ve left?

LIESL LAURIE. Jacket: La Manche. Hair by Saadique RyKlief. Makeup by Precious Xaba. Fashion styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye.

“Most definitely, they make sure you still have certain sponsors. They leave everything at your disposal and it’s up to you to retain those relationships. It also depends how you push it and how far you take it. There are certain girls who shy away from being involved with any part of the pageant, certain girls that take it head on. I’ve decided to go with a 50/50 route – I don’t want to just be known as former Miss SA, I also want to be known as an entrepreneur and a business woman and everything after that.”

After your reign, was there a niggling feeling to break out and be fee and dangerous and risky because of the restrictions, was there that thing that hit you?

 “I was always myself but I think that after my reign, there was a part of my life where I felt lost and it causes you to sit down and think and restructure while having my family around. It helped me remember that I was brilliant before the crown and that after the crown, it would be just the same.

And then there’s public opinion. They watch your next move and the next girl’s move so subconsciously you have that in your head. I felt moments where I needed to change or break out but my family kept reminding me that Liesl who won is the same Liesl that can win the next chapter.”

 

I feel like you were once a tom boy…

“Yes! Yes…”

Am I right?!

“I still am the girl amongst the guys *laughs”

 Do you feel pressure to look a certain way because of the way you came into the public eye? Can you go to PnP, put your hair in a bun and go grab wine and a toilet roll?

“I can go anywhere as long as I look neat and tidy, My PnP look is a comfy pair of jeans, a pair of All Stars and a sweater. Growing up in the hood with my gran, girls would walk around with morning slippers and curlers and she’d always tell me to look presentable even if I’m going to the corner shop to buy bread. I think wherever I go, if I don’t want to take a selfie with someone, it means I don’t look the way I should Lol With everything I need to just remember to see myself as a brand.”

The first time Previdar set its eyes on you was at the Forever New store launch where we got the furrs and met Francois. Good day, you looked great – is your personal style like the Forever New girl?

“My personal style varies on mood but I’m definitely a Forever New girl most days J I can also be at the sneaker section where the boys get their clothes so it differs. I feel very comfy when my hair and makeup are done and im about to kill a talk or go to church. A Forever New dress with very high heels gives me that confidence on stage. But in the studio, sweatpants, bun and no makeup with my blankie. I have the hood inspired side and the side I have honed to accommodate the Liesl I must be in more formal settings.”

LIESL LAURIE. Dress: Keys Fashion. Accessories: Ntozinhle Accessorise. Hair by Saadique RyKlief. Makeup by Precious Xaba. Fashion styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye.

 If you think about it, you have the most diverse hair of the 3 ladies. If you want the curl, you just leave it or add some of Tresemmé’s Touchable Bounce Mousse. If you want it straight, you can straighten it, you wear an extension well too.

Is it taboo to talk about extensions in the coloured community?

LIESL LAURIE. Dress: Keys Fashion. Accessories: Ntozinhle Accessorise. Hair by Saadique RyKlief. Makeup by Precious Xaba. Fashion styling by Bontlefeela Mogoye.

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard more and more of my coloured friends talk openly about getting some assistance extension-wise. Things like getting full on weaves to protect their hair, getting he braids etc. In my inner circle, they all know when I do and don’t have extensions. I don’t think we are open about it, my coloured sisters especially. And it’s because there’s the pressure of having great hair because we do have some good hair, but everybody needs a little help man. If I can snap on a few more tracks and make my hair look that much more amazing, good on me! The one thing I don’t do is if someone compliments my hair and says it looks really nice, I don’t go in on the extension talk and that it’s not mine, I just smile and say thank you.”

 

The Miss USA teen situation. 5 girls who, according to the consumer, all look alike. What is this saying to us about society? What did you think when/if you saw that on social?

 There a definitely in our higher end sections of fashion that tend to box beauty into one look. I do a lot of talks to young girls and I refer to the formation of a pearl. No one pearl is like another. In the history of pearls, so why would we all look the same?

Just looking at the shots at the studio, Chiano is sexy and alluring, a firecracker. Roxy and I give off a tomboy type of cool and it all works so well together, so boxing it in is when you do a disservice to it. The top 5 was an injustice to the little girls who are looking to find where they fit in.

Does opening up the industry mean something considering you’re on your way in? You’re bulldozing through walls, getting better shows on Jacaranda, what does this mean to you?

 

“I said to my mom a couple of years ago, they want us at all these castings but they always go for the face people know from SABC 2 or Generations. I agree that we need the fresh faces and different  kinds of beauty. We need the alternative girl with the half shaved head and the girl with no hair at all. We need them all on television. I’m helping girls in Eldorado with test shoots and things after they graduate high school because I was once them.

It’s a two-way issue where you have girls who don’t have the platform or the proper information so we need to step in and change this for them.” 

Congrats on Jacaranda! So first there was Cliff and now there’s TouchCentral. The radio space right now is crazy! Are we going toward a dynamics shift in the space? You’re inside, how does it look like on your end? Is there any concern around the competition that will come from these newer digitally driven platforms?  

I’m a girl that thrives on competition and there needs to be growth and change. Overseas, online radio is huge and I don’t know if we can all afford it yet but if we don’t push those boundaries, we’ll never know so it’s an exciting time to watch the space.

  1. I am at my best when I…

Am in my bed watching series

  1. Love is…

Ooooh. Love is loyalty. Loyalty.

  1. I still need to…

Bungee Jump for my 7th star. I’ve done it 15 times so far…

I also need to pay for my gran’s around the world trip for a couple of months

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