I am a naughty girl with a bad habit... a bad habit for all things beautifying and seductively glamourous.
Mr Tom Ford is my not so secret crush and don't get me started on the genius of Mad Men.
So please join me in my expedition of Beautyland and all things deliciously decadent.
And when I am not immersing myself in Beautyland I am imbuing myself in the world of Loving Kindness - Thai Yoga Massage. Please visit my blog Loving Kindness to explore this wonderful domain.
We all have 'hero' products that we rely on.
These little gems make our lives that little bit easier and are reassuringly good.
Developed by five leading British plastic and cosmeticsurgeons.
This lightweight gel absorbs quickly to help soothe and heal scars.
I have used this on minor burns and scars and it is amazing.
Not cheap retailing at £33.50 from Victoria Health. But so worth every penny.
Neal's Yard Warming Salve
I could easily smother myself in this every day.
This beautifully scented warming salve (melts easily onto the skin) soothes tired aching muscles.
A great treat for those into sports or used instead of a massage oil.
It does create a heat sensation on the skin but that is part of its magic.
A good one for autumn when we all need a little TLC.
Avaialble at Neal's Yard £9.20
Liz Earle eyebright Soothing Lotion
You know those days when you wake up in the morning feeling and looking more like Droopy Dog than wide eyed and bushy tailed (unfortunately, I frequently do). To tackle the heavy (baggy) eyed looK I use LE's Eyebright. I keep the lotion in the fridge so when I apply with cotton wool I get that hit of cold freshness that instanly awakens. The gentle floral smell may not be to everyone's liking (my sister who has Hay Fever it seemed to aggravate her symptoms) but I have been using it every day non stop and have repurchased twice!
See Liz Earle.
Not exciting I know but should I ever be stranded on a desert island I would not be without this product.
Cheap and very effective. I even like the slightly medicinal smell (strange girl that I am).
I have even used this cream to dry out spots by applying a thin layer on the pesky things.
Please feel free to add your hero products to the list. I am always looking for new 'heroes'.
I have realised that I have been re-miss in writing any beauty related posts, whilst wittering away about other interests.
Apologies dear readers. Now to kissing... specifically lips.
I feel compelled to share a secret, well addiction really. Breathe... I am Farrah and I am a lip balm addict.
Yes you have read correctly. Not lipstick (gasp) but lip balms.
I love them, like a dog loves a bone.
I can trace this pecularity back to my childhood when I would eye up the little tubes of lip salve in a chemist.
Having older sisters who were already buying make up and wearing it in a rather distinct 80s fashion would have this little gems languishing at the bottom of their school bags. I would smuggle them out and apply liberally over my own lips.
So to now as a 30 something lay-dee and keen to keep my lips looking soft and juicy (ahem). I list below a few tried and tested favourites. These are also repeat buys which I think is a good indication of a product and its effectiveness.
Elizabeth Arden - Eight Hour Cream A true hero product. Not just good for lips but other dry/chapped bits too. A staple in makeup artists bags as can be used to gloss eyelids and face for that lush wet look. Did you know Arden originally created this for her horses? The lucky mares!
Dr Lipp - Original Nipple Balm for lips Does what it says on the tube... another multi purpose balm. A good one for one nursing mums as it does not have the medicinal smell of EA's Eight Hour Cream.
Biosen - Hydrating Lip Balm This is a recent purchase and so far so good. It is a little misleading to call it a balm - more of a runny creamy texture and requires a little more rubbing in. However, by working the cream into the lips you do feel you are getting into the fibres of the lips and alleviating and dryness. feels comfortable on the lips too without any white residue which balms can sometimes do).
Clinique - Superbalm This stuff comes in a array of colours and is amazing on the lips. I love this for smoothing dry lips and adding a hit of colour. I have yet to use Clinique's Chubby Sticks but for now there is only one superbalm.
What about drugstore brands?
There are plenty to choose from- Carmex, Vaseline, Palmers and even Sleek have their little tinted version in pots. But for me when it comes to the roughness on lips a super hydrating and comfortable balm is what I need.
Brands still to try: Lucas Paw Paw Ointment and Lanolips (Dr Lipp but prettier??)
What are your favourite brands?
A quick note on lip care
The lips do not have sweat glands which makes them more prone to dryness. Add to the mix lashing winds and hostile weather conditions and your lips are going to feel more parched than the Nevada Desert.
Keep a balm in you bag, place of work, even bed side table and apply liberally.
A good tip is to exfoliate the lips GENTLY with an old toothbrush or lip scrub (LUSH do an amazing trio).
Now pucker up and get kissing!
Inspired by the Pixiwoo sisters blog post (Soundtrack of my life). I thought I would follow suit and write a post of the books that have marked different periods of my life.
I loved reading as a child and would go to the library to devour this series.
Later on when I became an aunt to nine... yes nine nephews and nieces I bought several copies to read to the little blighters! To make it more fun for them I would put on different accents (badly) to make the story come alive (ahem).
NB Little Miss books are now also available.
Gobolino The Witch's Cat
Oh how I love, love this book.
I remember my teacher at Primary School reading this to the class during story time.
Poor Gobolino. Born a witch's cat but rejected as he did not conform to the ideal.
Reminds me of happy times at school.
George's Marvellous Medicine (in fact all Roald Dahl books)
I love the imagination and fun revolting-ness of his books.
He really captured the spirit of children and made them the heros of the tales.
His books kept my love of reading going... Also the only thing my Dad could not not justify paying for (educational you see)! That's Asian parents for you... Read and one day you'll be a Doctor!
Interview With A Vampire
As a morose and quite frankly angry teen I started to immerse myself in all things dark and brooding.
I dyed my hair jet black in our white bathroom. I tried to convince my dad the stains where from my ink pen - he knew I was lying clearly from the dye stains on my cheeks!
To compliment the look I coloured my brows in with a black shadow. Slugs as eyebrows... mmmm how attractive.
So all things goth and romantic.... Anne Rice thank you.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Inspired my early ambitions to study law.
I did... but Atticus Finch I was not.
I hate injustice but sadly it happens all the time.
Me at this stage: Young and idealistic ( me now young... some would say immature and cynical). Boo!
A Suitable Boy
This is an epic novel but beautifully written.
During this time in my life chatter with my friends mainly consisted about boys and as many of them were Asian...the premise of this book is quite fitting.
The Great Gatsby
Reminds me of studying for my A Levels and working really hard to get into university.
The perfect poetic novel in every way. I refuse to watch the film starring Robert Redford as I feel it will not do justice to the book. Baz Luhrman is currently filming his own version and I looking forward to it. I love Baz and the amazing vividness to his films (just watch Romeo and Juliet with a very young Di Caprio). Cannot wait.
The Go Between
Mr Barwise my English teacher always chose books that challenged us and really drew on our emotions.
Such a sad and poignant story. Echoed how I felt during the time.
A remarkable book written by a remarkable woman.
I took over a year to read it as I did not want to finish it.
It covers loss, love, unhappiness and moral dilemmas.... safe to say things we may all have come across in our own lives.
The list is no means exhausitve and I could go on.
I also love poetry : William Blake, TS Eliot, Hardy, Edgar Allan Poe, Wedy Cope, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Christina Rossetti to name but a few.
Thomas Hardy's Woman Much Missed - for my mum ( she died in 1999 at during my third year at Univeristy. At the time I was in Maastricht studying).
Dylan Thomas' Do not go gentle in to that good night - for my dad ( he died 2006 at home suddenly).
Beauty as we know comes in many forms.
It can be divinely inspired or the rich creation of man's (woman's) imagination.
These things are tangible.. we can see them, smell them, hold them and gaze lovingly (and longingly at them... damn you Miu Miu glitter shoes)!
Some beauty however is less apparent and has an almost imperceptability.
It is no less mesmerising but how to define it?
I suppose what I am refering to is 'presence'.
You know when you meet someone and they just radiate amazing-ness...
They are beautiful people... the inner beauty as it is often described.
Why am I talking about this?
Well you see it is kind of long winded (and in my random head makes sense... like a TS Eliot stream of consciouness poem - love his work).
Where was I?
Yes... the seed of this thinking sprouted from when I became redundant from my job last Novemeber. I took voluntary severance as I wanted to pursue 'passion projects'. Namely to become a make up artist and Thai Yoga Massage Therapist.
The time spent out of the rat race and allowing me to really focus on what counts has helped shift my thinking and while I love the cosmetic of life I am also loving its deeper layers.
The beauty of change is the beauty to shake up the stagnant waters of life and let the experience ripple inside of you.
These small changes are the foundations of something bigger and that is the real beauty.
Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting celebrity make up artist Lisa Eldridge at the Chanel event held in Selfridges, London. Apart from being super gorgeous, Lisa spent time speaking with members of the public giving advice and tips on how they could achieve super looks on themselves.
If any of you are familiar with Chanel cosmetics then you will know that not only are the products beautiful to look at they also are beautiful to wear. Suberb quality and chic packaging make this brand a must have.
My favourites? Pro Lumiere foundation, Sublimage Eye Creme, Inimitable Intense Mascara, Lipstick- Enthusiast and of course Bronze Universal.
I urge you to treat yourself .
Spring is in the air and the explosion of colourful cosmetics has my heart pounding.
I confess I am a cheek/blush fiend. I find myself on that elusive quest for the perfect pink, the perfect peach, the perfect buff, the perfect bronze...I just can't get enough.
A great blush warms up a deathly pallor and radiates a healthy glow. It can also make you look young, fresh and sexy too. For die hard contour fans it will give an illusion of razor sharp cheek bones and defined jaw line.
Nars, MAC, Becca, Bobbi Brown, Dior but to name a few have been put to the test and I love them, but Miss Perfect Flush Blush I know you are out there...
Now that I appear totally obsessed I will do a review on the said beauties, including Givenchy's new Blush Gelee Candide Pink.
It is January and quite frankly my least favourite month. The post Christmas/ New Year (and any other festivity you would like to add) gloom is lingering in the air and I need a distraction!
A cool and hilarious find has been Mad Men: The Illustrated World by Dyna Moe.
It is a wonderfully tongue in cheek look at the series and the period it reflects.
If the Joan paper cut out doll does not get you, then indulge in all the cocktail recipes you could think of! So grab that shaker and have yourself a merry January... Salute!
January is that time of year when new year resolutions come into fruition and usually involve some kind of fitness/weight loss regimen.
You cannot escape the numerous celebrity workout DVDs that are littering up shop shelves... even perhaps your homes. By March ( I am being generous here ) the momentum is lost and Easter chocolate bunnies are on the mind.
For any real fitness programme to work you have to enjoy it and look forward to doing it. It becomes integral to your every day routine. By that time, the positive effects go way beyond the physical and an overall feeling of well being is also experienced.
For a number of years I have being doing Hatha Yoga on and off. I began by going to a class locally and progressed to one-to-one sessions with the incredible instructor. When that stopped I needed something fresh and innovate: Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
Due to the lack of a local class available I purchased the Shiva Rea Daily Energy DVD and begun to do it everyday ( you can do 20 minutes or longer practices ) . A year on I feel energetic and centred.... strong and flexible and happy.
The weather is frightful and the nights are long and no amount of fake tan is faking you into feeling fabulous.
That is when I say 'burn baby burn'... a candle ot two that is... Please observe all health and safety rules for one's own protection!
New research states that everyday smells have a huge impact on our physical, emotional and mental well being. This is not grounding breaking news... how many of us have been transported to half forgotten memories just by a whiff of a scent? The scent in question could be a perfume, a food or arising from nature itself. The point is that it takes us to a place that in most cases encapsulates a happy time. For the fragrance/ book geeks among us Peter Suskind's novel Perfume is a must read.
With this in mind a candle or two may be the best January pick me up needed.
For those of us with cash still to splash post Christmas Tom Ford's New Private Blend Candles are luxuriously scented and look devastatingly stylish in any room. At £50, not Mulberry wallet friendly but when you have offerings like Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood and Tuscan Leather it gives your half burned Diptyque a run for its money.
A more affordable purchase (and with a greater variety to choose from) the Yankee Candles range is suberb. Misletoe and Fig featured heavily in my home to add to the Christmas feeling.
I would like to begin by apologising for my long absence.
The unfortunate combination of illness ( I had a virus) and internet provider issues I was not able to update the blog.
However, with a spritz of TF's Black Orchid on my decolletage and a slash of True Coral on my lips (Santa was good to me) I am ready to rock.