Beauty

Gentlewoman style: At home with Phyllis Wang



Phyllis Wang by Elise Toide from The New Garconne - How to be a Modern Gentlewoman

I can’t remember if I told you, but I’m working on my next book!

It’s going to be beauty-focused and as part of my research, I’ve been re-reading my last book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman. Weirdly – or perhaps not – I haven’t had much need to revisit it since it was published in 2016. But like most books, when I do re-read it, it’s interesting to notice the parts that have a new or different relevance.

I loved interviewing comedienne Phyllis Wang. She was one of the last people I approached and was recommended by my then commissioning editor, Camilla. I was looking for women who embodied the ‘gentlewoman’ aesthetic and values of shopping consciously yet with their own ‘garconne style’ twist. Phyllis certainly veered to the eccentric end of the scale, which was totally fine! (more…)



J-Wellness: Shiseido launches Baum



Baum Shiseido J-wellness J-beauty

The Olympics is on pause and Tokyo is at risk of a lockdown, but Shiseido is hoping to lift the spirits with its new J-wellness brand, Baum.

A beautiful ageless and genderless line of high end skincare and wellness products, the 45-item line include make-up removers, cleansers, hand creams, a ‘face massage mask’ and room fragrances inspired by forest bathing and the ‘power of the trees’. (more…)



Press here, feel better



Lonneke Engel Versus Campaign by Bruce Weber

Long before the no face-touching rule, I was a habitual face-toucher. Not so much eyes, nose, mouth but forehead, jaw, and the area between the brows called the ‘glabella’ (home to two vertical grooves known as the ‘elevens’).

These are all popular face massage spots and giving them a good knead with clean hands is a valued end-of-day bathroom ritual for me. Or in fact, any time of day when I can feel my jaw clenching or brow furrowing. (more…)



For the new caring consumer: Hiki and Arfa



Hiki body care sweat set

Pity any new brand launching right now.

I just received a box of Beauty Pie samples (there are new additions* to the Japanfusion line), extolling its new pop-up at Harvey Nichols, which obviously won’t be experienced now for a while.

But worse is Arfa, a US-based direct-to-consumer holding company, whose first brand is Hiki, a bold bodycare line for ‘everyday sweat needs’ (read: deodorant).

Three things of interest here. Acknowledging the mood of the moment, Hiki decided to give its products for free to hospital and medical workers (they just have to pay for part of the shipping), and to everyone else in exchange for a compassionate message on social to reinforce its brand value of ‘kindness’. It’s a way to make the best of a bad situation and bake that situation into its narrative of body care. (more…)