“I am inspired by things that have character, personality and strong features. They can be a little odd or strange but at the same time, very beautiful.”
— François Nars
Edgar Allen Poe once wrote that there is no exquisite beauty without strangeness. And sometimes, there’s no better way to celebrate your own unique beauty than giving yourself to colour. Lots of it.
Enter Nars x Erdem’s latest collection, Strange Flowers – an offering of unreservedly bold lipsticks – six to be exact, two blushes, two shadow palettes, lip powder palette & more handpicked by Erdem Moralioglu, of the eponymous label himself.
“I have always been interested in exploring the codes of femininity, and to me flowers represent the wonderful strength of the feminine,” says Moralioglu.
The shades and to-die-for lacquered box evoke Erdem’s -delicate prints and sumptuous silhouettes—though I’m personally struggling to ever use any palettes as they’re simply too pretty… a happy problem, I assure you.
Strange Flowers is part of an ongoing collab between the iconic beauty brand and the hauntingly romantic fashion label who have been creating these signature looks (oft characterised by dewy skin paired with an unexpected eye and daring lip) since 2013.
So now begs the question: what perk-me-up shades are you dying to try?
“Always, over and over, these days and nights will come, the anxiety, the aversion, the doubt. And I will still live, and I will still love life.”
— Hermann Hesse
A few days ago I caught myself hyperventilating mid-conversation. I had to take a big gulp of water and walk away for a bit.
It’s not the first time my incorrect breathing has gotten me in a bind. I once passed out in a hot yoga class simply because I forgot to breathe. Or rather, instead of really embracing that I was a beginner, I was acutely aware of how I was totally sucking at the poses, how I couldn’t move with the fluidity of others… just too in my head. Sipping at air, anticipating what was to come next instead of just being ok with feeling out of my depth. And then I passed out, and the teacher had to drag me out. It was terribly glamorous.
The same thing happened last week at the dentist. It was a routine clean, but it turned out to be a mini pranayama session as the doctor realised I was holding my breath and therefore, not able to open my mouth for him—which is kind of not what you want when you pay $600 for a dental appointment.
It reminded me of the time I walked into Per Van Spall’s office at Como Shambhala.
Notice how when you entered you spoke in a high pitch with a shallow breath, he said at the end of our session. You were not speaking from your diaphragm.
You were speaking from here, he said, and proceeded to point to his throat.
You were speaking from your ego.
Notice how your voice has deepened.
That moment unlocked something in me. When I speak into the moment with honesty and not fear, something just shifts.
The more we attempt to control a situation and get hysterical or speak in measured words instead of getting down to the core of who we are, the more it somehow manifests in the body. (It explains why you can seethe with anger or shake with rage or tremble with fear).
Ever since that encounter, I’ve been really mindful of listening to my body before reacting and it’s been a lot easier to stop and reframe situations just by paying attention to my breath.
But back to a few days ago where I really was hyperventilating. Knowing what I know, I was instantly able to pause, examine my intentions, and start again. It was actually pretty freeing because you don’t have to wait till tomorrow to start again.
Every moment can be made new by taking one deep breath.
If you’re after some immediate relief, the best balancing aromatherapy oils to help encourage patience, self-grace and an honest exchange with others (in my book), include bergamot essential oil and peppermint essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is another great one, literally helping to clear the air, while promoting better breathing.
And while you’re at it, if your heart needs a little re-examining, aside from prayer, journalling, meditation, walks in nature, I’ve always found geranium essential oil and ylang-ylang essential oil helpful in terms of bringing you back to center and gently rebalancing moods. There’s truly nothing worse than beating yourself up about something you said, or replaying on loop what can no longer be fixed.
And with that I finally realise why yoga teachers bang on the way that they do about breathing… Hope these suggestions help you.
“Emotionally, I wanted to stay. Intellectually, I wanted to leave. As always, I seem to enjoy punishing myself.”
— Susan Sontag
There’s a line in the Bible: If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
What will I do when I close the book on this current life chapter? Let my peace rest or take it back? I’m not entirely sure. And the act of even acknowledging that is human and liberating because it’s honest.
I am tired. I imagined this going a different way.
Helping me breathe through this turbulent season is Mmerci Encore’s Recovery Mode blend. My original intention for the blend was to create something that could really help me ground, re-centre, reframe my thoughts, and rediscover my own inner light.
As always, the Recovery Mode blend is formulated with 100% therapeutic grade and natural essential oils – it has loads of sandalwood and organic lavender to really help wick away stress, anxiety and tension. It really eases me into a meditative state even when my heart is in knots.
I may not always be into wood-based essential oils, but this really encourages me to let go of my ruminating and be still in the moment, accepting it for what it is. And for that, I’m thankful.
Time to get my hopes up x
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anais Nin
“The journey I’m taking is inside me. Just like blood travels down veins, what I’m seeing is my inner self and what seems threatening is just the echo of the fear in my heart.”