The women from our 'Best of You' campaign are at the top of their game – use their New Years Resolutions to live your best life
Originally from Senegal and now based in Paris, Mame's wish for 2019 is for it to be a continuation of this year she's had so far – filled with success.
Still, she's not without her doubts and it's comforting to know that despite her wins on a world stage, like us Mame can sometimes face the same anxieties when it comes to draping two tiny pieces of lycra across her body.
"We all have our insecurities, every woman does, and that's especially the case when you're modelling swimwear in front of a lot of people and with a camera pointed at you. Which is why you need to learn to like yourself, even if you're not perfect. To embrace yourself and your imperfections. To stop caring so much. Being comfortable in yourself and in your body is not always easy, but it's a lot easier if you have the right attitude."
Mame gets her confidence from knowing who she is, what she offers and how nobody is able to do what she does. She also takes confidence from the knowledge that she's ready for whatever, because of the preparation she puts into being the best version of herself.
"I'm vegan and consider everything that I put into my body. I also meditate and do yoga and have a whole routine that started when I was in Croatia. Every human has something special, which makes them an individual, and so it's about finding that and celebrating that. Like, I really love my skin. I don't do anything special to get it like this, I just drink a lot of water and spend all my time in the sun. In winter I actually get depressed. I need the sun."
The Joburg teenager has only been modelling for a year and a half, despite being told her entire life that she should give it a go. But Bethany couldn't always see what others did, and it's only recently that she's learnt to love herself and those things that make her uniquely her.
"I used to be quite insecure about my face, and was called everything from an Avatar to Russian... I guess my features are quite strong."
Having realized that it's these very features that will ultimately result in her success, instead of hiding them away Bethany now accentuates the things that set her apart.
"I like how makeup allows me to not just hide my blemishes but also brings out my features. If I wear my hair in front of my face I can look quite commercial, but if I pull it back and wear it in a pony it brings out my cheekbones and is very high fashion. I'll then use liner for an exaggerated cat eye look and add earrings to bring everything together."
Bethany's trick for feeling that little bit extra?
It starts with the right makeup look, using brighter, more vibey colours to lift her mood and then bringing out the big guns – her version of Blue Steel.
"I have a trick where I'll do a slight squint with what I call 'the model frown' and then breath through my mouth slightly. It might sound weird but looks really good on camera."
Bethany's other beauty hacks include dedicating time to taking it easy. "I take a lot of breaks and try not to do too much. I like being alone, putting my phone away, getting some rest… I've grown a lot from this and recommend more people invest in the same self-care. Right now I feel as if everything's falling into place."
Katryn's modelling achievements include campaigns for Givenchy, Prada and Dior. International fame hasn't gotten to her head though, and she insists that she's still the same Katryn that she's always been. Likewise her classic style remains unchanged and she still prefers to stick with what she knows instead of chasing trends.
"Effortless style is being comfortable with whatever you're wearing and still feeling like a million bucks. For me that's jeans and a T-shirt, what I'm wearing now. It's easy, it's got longevity, it's in now and it will still be in in ten, twenty or thirty years. You can't go wrong if you focus on your own style instead of following every new trend. It's more honest, which is so important these days where we're all about things like Instagram filters. Be authentic, focus on the basics and you'll never be out of style."
Katryn suggests that because simplicity is always in, the best way to start the new year is by stocking up on new staples. Things like "enough black and white T-shirts in a classic box cut that you can then wear every day, regardless of the season."
The new year will bring more than just a stack of fresh T-shirts though, and Katryn says she's proud of the goals she achieved in 2018 where she bought a house, learnt to play a song on the guitar and can now complete a handstand. So how did she manage to achieve her goals?
"I give myself a word for the year and then focus and meditate on that, applying it to everything I do. 2018 was 'mindfulness', and so I was careful to be mindful of my words, my thoughts and my actions. My advice is to get a word or phrase and allow your goals and everything else to stem from that. Make it your theme for the year."
Originally from Nelspruit and now living in Johannesburg, 19-year-old Mariska spent part of 2018 in Milan and Istanbul and her biggest wish for the new year is to be able to do more of the same.
But before she adds more stamps to her passport she wants to use the downtime between seasons to refresh and recharge in preparation for what she's hoping will be her best year yet. As a lover of nature with an easy-going style, the great outdoors is where Mariska likes to live her best life.
"I'm obsessed with nature. I love hiking and cycling and have started tracking with my dogs, a German Shepard and a Golden Retriever, teaching them different search and rescue drills. I also grow my own vegetables and have a greenhouse with everything I need so that instead of driving down to the shops I can just pop into the back yard and pick whatever I need. It's the best, you should try it, you get your exercise, get your steps, don't waste fuel…"
Mariska considers herself quite simple and would never dare do something because it may impress or win her some sort of social clout. Instead of trying to be like anyone else she's strictly about being true to herself. In fact, she didn't even want to be a model in the first place, and is only doing this modelling lark in order to save up enough money so that she can study forensic pathology. And if in the process she gets to see the world and further grow her little vegetable patch, well, that's even better.
"I don't like makeup. I don't like fuss. I'm probably not the best person to talk to about fashion or anything like that. I just like to dress comfortably. I'll wear the type of thing that allows me to do whatever I want to do. Stuff that's practical to my outdoors lifestyle. I'm very natural."
The recently graduated student, having just completed a degree majoring in geology and geography at the University of Potchefstroom, describes herself as a "free woman".
"You got me at the best time. This is me at my best! I've found a balance and I'm going to keep trying to see if it's possible to add more to my plate without upsetting that balance."
With no fear of spreading herself too thin, last year Ana has signed up to two international modelling agencies and by the time you read this will be visiting Paris and London in order to pursue her career internationally.
Laughing, she says that stressing for exams has kept her slim these past few months, but in all seriousness she's able to do the most while still paying attention to her health by ensuring that she's always able to train on her own terms and is then strict with dedicating time to her preferred pursuits.
"I jog and do yoga because I'm able to do them wherever and whenever I want to. Both keep my body and mind operating at peak performance. Yoga is the best, I don't go too deep, no headstands or anything, but I watch videos on YouTube and then do the moves in my room when I wake up in the morning and whenever else I can. Then I find jogging is the best way to clear my head, especially when I have the right music. Although mine is usually the worst mainstream rap."
Ana stresses the importance of being kind to yourself, not beating yourself up if you miss a workout or have to reschedule your training, and that you should just pick it up again when you feel up to it. After all, staying healthy is a lifelong journey and not a competition.
Palesa is a multi-disciplinary artist who likes to lose herself in the things she's passionate about. Gone are the days of being an expert or specialist, and instead of running the risk of becoming a one-trick-pony Palesa keeps learning as she continues to push herself to grow.
"I've tried not to limit myself to just a few things, something I was afraid of up until very recently. I'm tenacious, curious and ever-evolving."
By being steadfast and honest in how she expresses herself, Palesa's heritage as well as being raised by an ambitious and independent mother helps her to assert her identity. This along with her research on archival work that relates to who she is: being black, being a woman and being a creative, make up who she is – although she's quick to add how she's not limited to these either.
When it comes to dressing for success Palesa believes in the power of an all-black combo of high-waisted pants, a great pair of shoes and statement earrings. Her style is an extension of who she is and how she feels on a particular day, and is something that she tries not to think about too much.
"I'm all about ease and comfort and not taking myself too seriously. My style is gravitating towards more tailored pants and graphic printed tees. Things I can wear all year. But, the biggest lesson that I'm learning is to not buy something unless it's totally essential."