Take Care Of Your Hands

posted on: October 8, 2015

Hands Overlay 1

Hands Overlay 2

Friends, Romans, etc., I have a message. Hands are important. After all, they are the primary way in which we physically interact with the world – Aristotle called the hand the “tool of tools”. We use them to gesture, work, greet, protect… I could go on.

Therefore, we have to look after them. In recent months, I have found myself getting increasingly interested in hand care – making sure that the old mitts are soft, and look fairly nice, not just brightly coloured. Manicures and nail polishes are all very well (and believe me, my collection of Chanel polishes is more than a little bit shameful) but they are pretty useless if you have tight-feeling dry hands and flaking nails.

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Good thing is, one week of applying the magical combination of a potent hand cream and a cuticle treatment at night before you go to sleep, and your hands will genuinely look and feel different. Try the Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, which is pretty damn powerful. The Sephora by O.P.I. Cuticle Treatment is great, and so is the Skinfood Jojoba Nail Essence pen, for those who live in Asia, but the Dior Creme d’Abricot is on another level. I can only describe the texture as goo-scious. And I love goo-scious things. I could goo on all day.

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I have a theory that the more frequent one’s manicures are, the worse condition your nails are in. When I lived in New York and worked at a large beauty company, it was somewhat mandatory to have perfectly groomed, manicured nails, which meant trips to the late night nail salon down the block from my apartment at least three times a fortnight. (Not complaining at all – I loved it). When I left New York though, the regular manicures pretty much stopped. Partly because nail places in London (where I’m from) and Hong Kong (where I live now) are $$$$$$ more than New York*, but also because of the fact that they take about ten minutes in NY and an hour everywhere else. Which is dull. Therefore, I’ve mostly been doing my nails myself, and not often. Their condition is so so so so much better, no flaking or weak nails anymore, and they grow faster.

However, I do occasionally reach into the Chanel stockpile. When I do, this Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab set is a game-changer. The base and top coats are supposed to mimic the long-lasting nature of gel nails, but in a regular formula. They are supremely sticky, very thick, and take longer to dry than regular ones, but damn do they hold. Other formulas chip in about two days on me, but these remain genuinely chip-free for as long as if I get a real manicure. ‘mazing.

Hands 5

*For good reasons – you should read this New York Times article about the nail salon industry in NY. If I’d known, I’m not sure I would have been going quite as often…


The Past Few Weeks

posted on: September 26, 2015

The past few weeks have been some of the best ever. I thought I would show you just a few details, as a collated edition of “This Week“.

(There are more on my Instagram – self-promo obvs obvs)

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Heather on the hills in Scotland, in the first leg of the honeymoon.

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The island of Skye is filled with strange and magical landscapes. We climbed up into the hills, and rented a massive car (somewhat mistakenly) which we had to pull over to the side of the (tiny) roads every two minutes to look at every new vista. Properly Tolkien-worthy.

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Finding shells on the beach right below our little cottage. (Pls forgive bad socks.)

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My two writing spots! Our second leg (via many many flights, but on the way home to Hong Kong) was in Koh Samui in Thailand. Words can’t quite describe how amazing it was.

(also, PRO WEDDING TIP: even though you are really really really sick of your hair being so long because you had to grow it out for the “wedding updo”, do NOT, under any circumstance, deal with it by getting your now-husband to cut off the bottom five inches with kitchen scissors in the garden in Scotland. As you can see by Exhibit A above, BAD IDEA. There have been a lot of tight buns.)

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Our hotel gave us (well, me) the most beautiful flowers pretty much every day. These were super beautiful-smelling jasmine flowers woven into a wristlet.

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A bathroom with a view like that deserves a standing ovation. Ditto the bath salts they put over the gigantic stone tub looking over said view.

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After our massage, the spa gave us a little package of the most heavenly jasmine rice scrub with coconut which they hand-make on site. I will definitely be recreating that very very soon.

And now we just got back to the mist and skyscrapers of HK. Huzzah!

Hair Heroes: Coqui Coqui

posted on: September 24, 2015

Coqui Coqui Hair

Apologies for temporary absence mes amies. September has been awfully busy.

In short, we got married!

I was so scared for months before, but then of course it was incredible and turned out to be the best day Of All Time. Right in the centre of London, with our very nice friends and family. We have been on honeymoon for the past two weeks, first a week in Scotland, in a tiny little cottage on the remote edge of the Isle of Skye, and now we are in a super fancy-pants hotel in Koh Samui, in Thailand. I won’t bore you with the details of it all, except to say that we are super duper happy, and also very sunburned.

(I might put some photos up when we get them back from the photographer, as these will be the most flattering ones, natch.)

While our seriously-let’s-not-talk-to-anyone-else honeymoon has been going on, it has been the perfect time to chill out, do a lot of writing, and blog-planning. Not so many photos have been taken, as I wasn’t allowed to bring many products by Mr Hand-Luggage-Only (!!!), so I shall proceed with those when I get back to Hong Kong, but rest assured, there are many very important and life-changing tips and factoids to come your way in the next few weeks.

(I might also write some things about bridal/wedding beauty schtuff because I have LEARNED some sh*t about what is important and what isn’t.)

While we are still away, I thought I would at least talk to you about a brand I discovered just before we left. Coqui Coqui is actually a resort in Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, but they also have a whole range of lifestyle products and perfumes and such, which you can get online. I picked up their shampoo and conditioner, and they are SO GOOD.

As we all know, travelling for more than three days is a real pain in the butt when it comes to washing one’s hair. No one wants to travel with a huge great bottle, hotel products always suck, and those drugstore travel bottles are just not big enough. The Coqui Coqui tubes are 50ml, which is the sweet spot of volume to last for just over a week away. The products are super moisturising, which is perfect for sun-baked hair.

As you would expect from a boutique-y Mexican resort, the perfumeria has done an excellent job of bottling the scent of vacation in a grown-up, subtle, interesting way. The Coco Coco fragrance, which is in these products, smells like the first time you arrive at the beach after a 15 hour flight to get there. Bliss.

Online at net-a-porter.com, or at all of these stockists.

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