Swap sparkles for winged eyes and blood lips


Twinning the winged eye and dark lip, as per Louis Vuitton AW19, is a nonchalant, sparkle-free antidote to a “festive look”. But it requires a level of mastery. The oxblood lips and matte skin (minus comatose finish)? Pah, easy. The winged eye? Different story. The best faff-free route is to pull taut the corner of your eyes, draw a line from the inner corner and work outwards. For mistakes, keep cotton buds dipped in micellar water handy. And remember – a longer thicker line plus jet black ink equals dramatic wing. Go big or don’t bother.

I can’t do without… old-school bars of luxe soap that smell divine

Even when they were far from fashionable, I loved bar soaps. Old school bars are comforting and dependable – unlike their wishy-washy liquid compadres that feel relatively flighty and fleeting. (For the longest time I couldn’t get my head around shower gels.) Soaps are making a comeback. There now exist thoughtfully formulated options that won’t make your face fall off, shampoo bars that actually clean, and exfoliating bars sans the mess of a body scrub. Then there are those that fall under the ‘luxury’ banner. These are purely indulgent and smell utterly divine. Like this Hermès offering. One sniff and you find yourself making bliss-infused sounds that are probably inappropriate in public. The colourful, art-inspired packaging is the first thing to ensnare you. Then the actual soaps. There’s. Eau de Pamplemousse Rose for rose lovers, Eau d’Orange Verte and Citron Noir for the freshness of a cologne, and then the different but equally divine Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate – a juxtaposition of fresh, crisp rhubarb with the depth and creaminess of a musk. It is one of the most captivating scents I have come across and is completely gender neutral. I say all this because if, like me, you haven’t even begun to consider your present-buying strategy, this is a good place to start.

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