Beauty

red

October 6, 2020

I’ve always wanted red hair. Both my paternal grandparents were red heads, so I was in with a running chance. Sadly, I got brown hair, but I also got olive skin which they didn’t have, so I suppose there’s something for everyone. I’ve dyed my hair twice in my life, and both attempts were at a rich, pre-Raphaelite red. In the first instance, the result was more of a tango orange, and the second, Christmas Eve, 1994, was a Gothic plum. Barring some golden highlights in the late 90s, I’ve since accepted by natural brown (with lightening bolts of grey) locks. I do still double take every time I see a red head though. They are beautifully rare, after all.

sea woman

September 4, 2020

For hundreds of years, the Haenyeo –– sea women — of Jeju Island have fed their families with food that they have harvested from the ocean. In this poignant film, Hawaii-based professional freediver, Kimi Werner invites us into a sisterhood, buoyed by tradition, community and the waters that surrounds them. “These women, they are known to have gone diving throughout their whole nine months of pregnancy, going into labour right on the water, having babies on the boat and continuing to dive after becoming a Mom,” says Werner, six months pregnant herself while shooting the film. “They kind of became this symbol of strength and resilience, and providers.” With no oxygen mask, the women freedive deep into the ocean to harvest horned conch, octopus and abalone. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Their life is humble, but meaningful. “I see their skin that’s been weathered by the ocean, that’s been tanned and wrinkled. I see a sisterhood of support and love. I see a vision of what real beauty means to me….I see the woman I want to be.”

Audrey

April 24, 2019

Ever since I first watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s in my teens, I’ve loved Audrey Hepburn. It’s unusual to come across never seen before images of her. These here, taken by Inge Morath during the production of The Unforgiven in Mexico in 1959 are so lovely. The simplicity of her outfit, that great hat, the expression in the first image, are all reminders of why my affection for Hepburn has held on after all these years.

arched

March 28, 2019

For months, I didn’t tweeze my eyebrows, in the hopes of cultivating a thicker brow. I was curious to see what would come of them, if left alone. And frankly, I was happy to have one less thing to do. The girl who does my threading called me eyebrows, “rustic” when she saw them. Ribollita is rustic. It was time to have them tended to. Nine hairs later, I felt human again. Pretty, even. I even bought a brow gel to fill in the sparse spots. I’ll never have this chica’s brows, but with a little help, mine will do.

two in one

March 20, 2019

I don’t wear much makeup, so I’m delighted to find products that offer rosy cheeks and a blush pout in one little pot. Lilah b makes a lip and cheek stain that I really like. I bought it a few weeks ago, on a particularly grey day (my face, not the weather) and it gave me an instant flush of healthy. Mine is called b.real and it’s really natural and soft looking. Try it.

scent of a woman

March 6, 2019

Rita Hayworth wore Shalimar by Guerlain, and Jacqueline Kennedy  wore Joy by Jean Patou. It’s details such as these that I love to know about old Hollywood icons. I found a whole list of who wore what scent. If you’re curious like I am, read on:

Elizabeth Taylor –– Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez

Audrey Hepburn –– L’Interdit by Givenchy

Katharine Hepburn –– Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

Lauren Bacall –– L’Ombre Dans L’Eau by Diptyque

Ava Gardner –– Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare by Creed

Grace Kelly –– Fleurissimo by Creed

Marilyn Monroe –– Chanel N5 by Chanel

Natalie Wood –– Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache

portrait of a lady

January 21, 2019

I came across this publicity photo of Ida Lupino in The Man I Love by Scotty Welbourne. It was taken in 1947, but with hair as luscious and thick as Ida’s, I’d wear my locks like this daily. She needs a Cocker Spaniel at her feet, don’t you think? We all should wear our tresses in bombastic dos from time to time. And pose for pictures with a pooch.

red

December 18, 2018

Once in a pink moon, I get a manicure, and I almost always opt for short, red nails. I’ve thought about other colours, but I always return to red. Classic red, no shimmer no sparkle. I don’t like the idea of shellac, which means I get two, maybe three days tops with red nails. And that’s as long as I need. By the fourth day, I’m done with it. It’s like a costume party for my talons. So fun to get dressed up, and such a relief to be back in your own skin again.

jolie laide

October 26, 2018

Jolie laide is one of my favourite descriptions, possibly because it’s the face I love most. It’s how the French describe an unconventional beauty, a woman whose crooked teeth, hooded eyes or equine nose bring originality and intrigue to her face. Anjelica Huston and Barbra Streisand are frequently cited. I add Coco Chanel and Diane Vreeland to the list. And Tilda Swinton, too. It’s the ultimate compliment. Pretty, ugly. That your face is confusing, challenging, and that it demands attention, a second, third look. I could apply jolie laide to so many things I love, where the ugliness is what makes the thing beautiful. Big wooly mustard sweaters, blossom from a smoking tree, coral reefs and all of my children’s plump, thick skinned feet. Life is so much more interesting when it’s jolie laide.

put a bow on it

December 22, 2017

If you’re off to any parties this weekend, please be sure to wear a ribbon or two. Nothing says festive like a red velvet bow. Macarons are lovely, but the very best hostess gift is a witty and stylish guest.

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