Summer starts in winter

‘Hair removal tips to stay smooth this winter’

Many women use winter as an excuse to ditch their regular hair removal routine. They figure it is only necessary during summer months because during the cold winter season parts of their bodies aren’t as visible to others so what’s the use, right? Uhm… Wrong!

While there’s absolutely no shame in going 5 or 6 months without shaving or waxing, Yuvati Shah, owner or Spa Royale at Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga, would advise against it. “Those who wax or shave in warmer months shouldn’t stop simply because it is a little cold outside. There are a number of benefits to sticking to your hair removal routine all year round” she says.

It’s no secret that most people avoid shaving because, let’s be real, it’s too much admin for something that only causes temporary happiness And although waxing lasts longer, it can be painful! Shah gives us the scope on laser hair removal along with a fairly new method of hair removal with a lasting effect… Epilfree hair removal.

Most of us are aware of what laser hair removal is but, just in case you aren’t, here’s a breakdown: Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of beaming highly concentrated light into hair follicles to gradually destroy them.

Benefits of laser hair removal:

  • Laser hair removal doesn’t entirely get rid of hair forever, but it does however reduce hair growth to the point where you can stop shaving or waxing entirely.
  • Trust me, it’s not as painful as it looks. Laser hair removal falls somewhere between waxing (pain level 100) and shaving (almost painless).
  • It is a quick and precise method of hair removal.

Cons of laser hair removal:

  • It can be a long process; you have to be consistent to get the best results. The actual laser session takes only a few minutes, however you have to have multiple sessions (between 3 to 8 sessions depending on the size of the area), and you have to wait a couple of weeks in between sessions.
  • Yes, it is costly BUT think of it as a beauty investment!
  • Can cause skin damage and irritation as well as hyperpigmentation.

Now, Epilfree is a fairly new method of hair removal that is currently rocking the cosmetic world. Epilfree can be described as the most revolutionary method of hair removal since laser. The treatment consists of 3 simple steps:

  1. Perform high quality Epilation treatment (hair removal with Epilfree approved wax)
  2. Apply Activator A (Clear lotion) – spread on treated surface.
  3. Apply Toner B (Gold lotion) – massage into skin of treated surface.

Benefits of Epilfree hair removal:

  • It is suitable for any skin or hair type.
  • It contains a number of natural and safe synthetic ingredients that can be used on any part of the skin without causing damage. No chemicals!
  • It is more effective than waxing or shaving and less expensive than laser hair removal.

Cons of Epilfree hair removal:

  • It is also a long process. 6-12 treatments are recommended to effectively reduce the hair in most areas.
  • It is advised that you do not use this treatment if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Shouldn’t be used on already damaged or irritated skin.

“By starting your Laser hair removal or Epilfree journey in the winter, your skin will be silky smooth and breathtakingly beautiful just in time to show it off when the warm weather arrives. Don’t make the mistake of quitting your routine. Don’t avoid starting one. The benefits will be both clearly seen and felt”, Shah advises.


Best soup meals for winter

‘A Guide by Royal Palm Hotel’s Executive Chef, Guy Gorrie’

To become a top chef at a 5-star luxurious hotel like Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga, you need to have the ability to create menus to suit every occasion and every season. Executive Head Chef Guy Gorrie shares his take on how to make a divine French onion soup that you can share with family and friends this cold winter.

“Winter comfort food at its finest, French onion soup is a hearty, complete meal in a bowl that needs no adornments other than a generous blanket of rich, creamy cheese and perhaps a slice of crusty bread. The key to making any French onion soup is properly cooking the onions. Instead of quickly sautéing them until browned, it’s important to cook them over low heat for a long period of time until they’re soft, boasting a deliciously sweet taste and deep golden, caramelized colour”, says Gorrie.


  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • 4 cups of sliced onion
  • 4 cans of beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of French bread
  • 4 slices of Provolone cheese
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese, diced


  • Melt butter with olive oil in an 8-quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and continually stir until tender and translucent. Do not brown the onions.
  • Add beef broth, sherry and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven broiler.
  • Ladle soup into oven-safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with a slice of Provolone, 1/2 slice diced Swiss and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.

Best served hot.