Beauty

Fish face

December 21, 2016

Once in a pink moon I’ll wear eye makeup, and by eye makeup, I mean a dash of mascara. But this look, I could get used to. It helps that this girl has perfect skin and a charming smattering of freckles, but hey, why not go out with a herring on your face?

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Hairspray

November 2, 2016

For a girl who never uses hair product, rarely uses a hairdryer and barely uses a brush, I’d give ten bottles of my favourite shampoo for a chance to see the new Sam McKnight exhibition at Somerset House. Diana’s iconic 1990 crop –– McKnight. Madonna’s Bedtime Stories cover –– McKnight. Every supermodel who’s ever walked –– McKnight. “The transformative power of hair — how quickly and easily it can turn you into something or someone else — has always fascinated me. It keeps fascinating me today,” said Mr. McKnight. Tilda’s curls are out of this world, and so were Lindsey Wixon‘s for Chanel resort 2015. I’m sensing a theme here. Is it time I bought myself a curling iron?

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spa day

September 27, 2016

The last time I went to the spa, was with Mum in 2009. I was freshly pregnant with Iole, and Maria was in town to do what we do best. Shop/Talk. I’m actually not a big fan of spas. I find them all –– the ocean waves, sotto voce talk, eucalyptus burning in the fireplace –– too contrived. I would rather get my toes painted or my legs waxed somewhere bustling with energy and gossip. This girl has the right idea. Sure, cucumber water would be better than nicotine, but how zen is she, with her Pepto pink towels and matching flamingos? Yes, this is the kind of spa I could get behind.

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Freckles

September 5, 2016

Iole discovered a smattering of freckles on her cheeks this morning. “Can I scrub them off?” she asked. I told her that freckles are beautiful, and a sign of individuality. Then I showed her Brock Elbank‘s stunning portraits of freckled faces, and told her that her great-grandmother was a strawberry blondie with a thousand freckles. It may take her a while, but eventually she’ll realize that it’s her quirks that make her beautiful.

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pixie

August 16, 2016

My hair has lived in a knot on top my head for as long as I can remember. Once in a pink moon, I wear it down. But lately, I’ve been thinking about a chop. I’ve always loved Audrey with her pixie cut, and Winona, Mia and Jean, too. I wore it that way a long time ago, and it looked pretty cute. But can I say Ta-Ta to le top-knot? It’s just hair, I know. But it does feel awfully bold –– far more so than when I cut it Farrow short in my 20s. It’s funny how attached we are to long hair, even when it’s always tied up in a messy nest. It’s the possibility of that pink moon, I think.

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hairspray

July 6, 2016

I got a pedicure today from a woman wearing enough hairspray to set 1990. She was Joan Cusack (Working Girl) meets Julia Roberts (Mystic Pizza). I can’t remember the last time I wore hairspray — but I do love the smell of Elnett. It reminds me of my grandmother who carried a small bottle of it everywhere she went. As a child, hairspray signified glamour and lux to me, and I fantisized about smoking skinny cigarettes with rollers in my hair. Just for kicks, I may buy a bottle, backcomb my mop and see what the neighbours say.

ca. February 15, 1967, New York City, New York, USA --- Yellow lace dress by Gustave Tassell; earrings by Robert Originals. --- Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

 

Tulipa

May 5, 2016

There are so many different kinds of tulips -– the Negrita, the Ballerina, Gypsy Love and Prinses Irene –– but my very favourite, (partly because of her name) is Orange Angelique. She is the most darling apricot colour, with occasional flecks of soft pink, and she’s got a lot more petals than the classic Single Late variety we see at our corner shops. I also adore parrot tulips in a crisp green and white combination. But really, one can never go wrong with any kind of tulip. Buy yourself a bunch today. I know I’m going to.

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Blue Period

April 12, 2016

Blue and white is a beloved combination of mine –– azure shutters on sugar cube houses, lapis rims on bone white china, and a bright blue sea that meets white sand. This mural by LA artist RETNA was a commission by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and is just the sort of art I love to see. The colours, the scale, the hieroglyphs, I love it all. I want massive plates or bolts of fabric covered in Retna’s paleography.

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Dada

February 23, 2016

She was one of the leading figures of the audacious Dada movement, and she’s the only woman to appear on the Swiss Franc note. How is it that I’ve never heard of Sophie Taeuber-Arp? She and her husband Jean Arp created abstract multi-media art  together. She was a dancer (she danced at Dada soirees at the Cabaret Voltaire) and teacher and she made avant-garde stage set and puppets for the theatre. Google celebrated her 127th birthday last month with a Doodle. “It was Sophie,” said Jean, “who by the example of her work and her life, both of them bathed in clarity, showed me the right way. In her world, the high and the low, the light and the dark, the eternal and the ephemeral, are balanced in perfect equilibrium.”

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princess

January 20, 2016

When I was three or four, our cook Crista made me a fairy-princess castle of a cake, with turrets and a moat, and covered in thick swathes of the pinkest frosting she could whip up. The Kurfürstliches in Germany –– a pink and white confection of a palace –– reminds me of that birthday cake. Perhaps my memories paint it grander than it actually was, but through the eyes of a little girl, it simply was the fanciest thing.

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