Summer Favourites


I have never experienced winter. Though it would be nice to build a snowman and sip hot cocoa in front of a fireplace, I have no doubts I’ll be complaining about the bitter chill, just like I’m bitching about this Indian summer.


So to thank my lucky starts, I’m sharing a list of my favourite summery beauty products, starting with this gorgeously scented body oil from Sothys made with lotus and cherry blossom. I could wax lyrical about the scent, but it’s its staying power that I truly adore.

Tip: Although the oil absorbs fairly fast into the skin, I spray onto my palms to warm it up for a speedier absorption and to minimise wastage.

Domestic goddess tip: Apply in the bathroom to prevent getting the oil on your stuff and prevent it from mixing with dust – a real nightmare to get rid of, taking time away from your other goddess duties.

(Note: Intrigued by the Egyptian goddess icon, I googled the Sothys Institute, and discovered a whole universe of yet more intrigue.

You have heard of the value and the elaborate picking process of the May rose – the main ingredient in Chanel No. 5. Well, the Sothys institute is just as dedicated to the ingredients that go into its products. Like Chanel who has its own May rose farm, the institute has a garden where plants are studied. Visitors are most welcome and a restaurant within the compounds serve seasonal food.

This is a story that deserves more research, and will form part of my French education 🙂

In the meantime, go to Les Jardins Sothys’ website to find out more.)


Put Your Best Hand Forward this Christmas


imageI am a manicure fiend.

I love colour on my nails. So much so, I feel naked when I step out with my nails unvarnished.

This is where the “fiend” part comes in. Nails take a beating when one subjects them to painting and stripping (with nail polish remover) repeatedly. The abuse is compounded when nails are not allowed to “breathe” in between manicures.

Plus I have the habit of peeling at chipped nails. Which I assure you, dear readers, takes the topmost layer off, much like an exfoliating facial mask. Though I’ll admit, there is a sick sense of satisfaction when I manage to get the crusty old polish off in one piece. But really, it does no favours for my poor battered nails.

There is, however, a silver lining to this ghastly habit of mine: My experiments with nail-colouring has allowed me to become somewhat of an expert on the long and the short on how to put your best hand/nails forward for this festive season.

If you like your nails short, deep jewel tones are your best bet. Besides the usual (safer) suspects like burgundy or amethyst, you may like to try navy.

I’ve seen the colour on a couple of colleagues and tried it myself, and found it surprisingly versatile. It jazzes up that casual jeans-and-tee ensemble, and goes elegantly with that LBD for a glamorous party.

And for an extra festive touch, mix navy (or even an electric blue!) and silver — a classic Christmas colour combo — on your digits. Alternate the two colours on your digits or stripe silver atop navy for a twist on the French manicure.

I like to think nails take on a different personality when they grow out. So when the whites start to peek out somewhere between 28th Dec and New Year’s Eve, it’s as if they have outgrown the opulent colours of Christmas and are now looking forward to a whole new year of fun.

That’s when I go wild and go for a two-colour look.

A flat burgundy is the perfect accompaniment to an icy raspberry. As is olive to a dark, glitter-speckled green.

If you are fair like me, a sky blue-and-white combo will work well.


And, let’s admit it, kinda resembles a Tiffany box — which, even if you aren’t able to receive one (or get one for yourself), would be the perfect little gift for yourself.