Updates from the Cookie Kitchen.

Two weeks since the lockdown was lifted. Austria has had 16,358 cases, and 635 deaths, There are 190 in hospital right now, 31 of which are in the intensive care units. Figures taken from the official update Friday 22 May. No second wave right now.

Masks are everywhere. The most popular place to keep them seems to be hanging from the rear view mirror, followed up closely by in the pocket, or hanging around the neck, or pushed down under the chin. All the restaurants and bars have reopened, and life is moving on. The hospitality staff wear masks or visors. I had to laugh yesterday in Linz, I walked by a waiter serving on the terrace with his visor pushed up onto the top of his head in a kind of duck bill way. I fully understand. Talking with one of those plastic sheets in front of your face is awful. Still people are making the best out of it and not wearing them when you don’t have to. Except those that do, and these are the ones you see driving their cars with their masks on. Really? Folks are social distancing of course, to the best of their abilities. That did not include a huge group of leather-clad bikers at a burger stand yesterday. I guess there were around fifty of them, and at least thirty huge bikes. Definitely all one family.

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Conclusion? Masks on public transportation, in supermarkets and shops, banks and post offices, gas stations and the like? Everyone is doing it. Still, I do not see it catching on long term.

The countries around Austria will open their borders over the next month, that is the plan. And I cannot wait to go down to the beach in Italy for a few days. I am also planning a few days in Switzerland mid-summer, and will go on the train. Scotland was on the cards but I don’t see a trip to the UK happening this year.

Restaurants are slow, business is not back to usual by any stretch of the imagination. Shops the same. Economy suffering. I cannot imagine how bad the tourist industry is gonna suffer. The government is really pushing the “Holiday in Austria this year and help the industry” theme. Fair enough.

Cookie Kitchen is back in swing, but not as busy as usual. Yet.

MEANWHILE ……………

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I have never had a Holy Grail anything, that is until now. Fanfare. Tara introduced me to the NARS Soft Matt Complete Concealer a couple of years ago. It is amazing stuff. However, she also gave @b.londeswuder a sample of the IT Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer. Well I tell you, the IT stuff is incredible. It’s amazing. The texture, the consistency, the coverage, the colors, the tube it is in. The tiniest amount is all you need. My daughter is as blown away by it as I am, we bought our tubes together. Superb stuff. It stays put, does not melt, does not dry out, and I have ordered back ups. The NARS comes a very close second, but second is not quite enough.

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Malle’s Rose & Cuir has been my Scent of the Post-Lockdown.

So where y’all at?

“Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” Monty Python. Life of Brian.

CQ.

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Lost Days – Lockdown Lethargy

I was chatting with friends in our WhatsApp group when I said how we are all having lost days now and again. We agreed it’s not something a lot of people are acknowledging in social media but is happening to many of us. While some are publically posting about their various projects, others are quietly having whole days either under the duvet or doing precisely nothing.

Sometimes I wake up and just feel down and/or lethargic and it stays with me all day. I don’t feel like working out, turning on the laptop or even getting dressed. This used to make me feel guilty which made me feel more depressed than I already was. Now I just put it down as a lost day and write it off, knowing that tomorrow is likely to be better (and it always is).

If you have empathy, it’s very hard to carry on in your own little bubble and not let what is happening around the world affect you. Sometimes it’s just too much, even though I’ve cut down on the news coverage. As for using this time to learn a new skill, that’s great if you feel up to it but this is not a sabbatical, it’s a global pandemic. Most of us are just in survival mode, living from day to day, coping the best way we can.

I experienced my first migraine preceded by an aura during my sixth week indoors. I suddenly found my vision was obscured with bright zig-zag patterns. A terrible headache followed around 20 minutes later. I concluded it was a combination of not sleeping well, anxiety and cabin fever. I’m immunosuppressed so am having to ‘shield’ myself inside for 12 weeks. I was bound to hit a wall. It’s nothing compared to actually having the virus or being on the frontline, but we are all affected in some way.

These lost days aren’t the norm though. Most are manageable and I do feel gratitude for the positive aspects of lockdown. I’m connecting even more with family than usual and I like working from home. It’s a chance to reflect on how I want things to be after this strange period comes to an end. As much as I miss my old life, it’s worth thinking about what I want to go back to and what I want to change. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to step back and assess the way you live for this long.

So, one day I’m over the moon that I can lay in the garden and enjoy the sunshine on a weekday, the next I’m down in the dumps even though nothing has changed. Life is a series of ups and downs and as we ride the ‘coronacoaster of uncertainty’ these emotional highs and lows are more pronounced than ever.

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Are you experiencing highs and lows? Do you think about how you’re going to alter your life when we come out of this?

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Mood Scent 4: Super Power Scents

Hey there A Bottled Rose, It’s a Mood Scent 4 week. WOO HOO! This month the crew are looking at Super Power Scents. Super Powers! We all want them, dream we have them, fantasise about which ones we’d get if we had a choice and use perfumes to add what we sometimes feel we lack. Here are a few of my favourite perfumes that make me feel like I have super powers.

Obviously, these choices are subject to change, daily.

Can’t wait to read about your favourite Super Power Scents in the comments too.

So excited to be blogging with these three superstars again: Esperanza L’Esperessence, Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha I Scent You A Day. Check theirs out too.

Mood Scent 4: Super Power Scents

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CQ’S WTF CV19 (THERE IS NO LOCKDOWN ANYMORE) TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

Saturday 2 May – Friday 8 May.

Life is pretty normal for me now. The restaurants re-open next week which means I am back to my cookie prep this weekend, and on Tuesday I will have the first Cookie Run (my weekly delivery to Salzburg) in about eight weeks, I will be wearing Malle’s Rose & Cuir. The longest break I have had from work since we started the business some twenty years ago. Despite it being a bit weird at the beginning it has been a pretty relaxed time. I know the I am both privileged and lucky to be able to say that. So many people have lost their jobs, are still in lockdown, are having to teach, feed, and keep kids happy. People have died, people are sick. I am aware.

I delivered some cookies to a store in a huge shopping mall just outside of Linz. As you know masks are mandatory inside shops and buildings, public transport and so on. We spent a good hour walking around the mall and I tell you this. There is no way I am gonna do that again. By the time we left we were ready to freak out. It’s like you can’t think properly with the mask on. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against masks in any way. They serve a purpose and were necessary to get us out of the lockdown. We drove on into Linz city. I have no problem going into a shop on the high street wearing a mask, when you come out you can take it off. That is doable. But a shopping mall? No chance, I hate them at the best of times.

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In the Linz harbor, there are a lot of warehouses, containers, and cranes. The whole area has been pimped up by turning into a graffiti gallery. Some of the artworks are enormous. The artists came from all over the world, and it is quite a hotspot. It was not really open when we were there, but that has never stopped my husband and we were on our bikes so we just biked through the whole area. Very cool.

I am trying to call it physical distancing now, and not social distancing. Makes more sense.

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My cat continues to be fine, and I continue to find lurking bloody sneeze drops in the bathroom.

That is really about it. The drama of the last few weeks has died down for me, back to business as usual. Well, not quite. Gyms are not open yet, that will be at the end of the month. But I have done at least four proper workouts a week over the last eight weeks and am dead chuffed with myself. So —– I will pop back in a fortnight with an update and see how it is going with all of you in different countries. Anything dramatic should happen just drop it into the comments here at anytime, Tara and I wanna keep up.

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Lockdown Free Perfumes of the Week.

Chanel 1957 and Boy. Frederic Malle – Une Rose. Vero Profumo – Mito Extrait. Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur Extrait and a ton of Bombay Bling.

“And you may ask yourself, well how did I get here?”  Talking Heads.  Once in a Lifetime.

CQ.

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Portia’s Lockdown Loveliness

Hey A Bottled Rose peeps. Hello from slightly unrestricted lockdown here in Sydney, Australia. I’d like to take a moment to virtually hug anyone affected by C19, including your crew and loved ones getting sick. We are watching a lot of the world with sad dismay. In Oz we are now allowed to visit in pairs of adults with attendant children. Especially to help the aged, disabled, solo or depressed. It is a small but significant step towards normal life. Our new cases confirmed rate has dropped below 20 per day for all of Australia over the last week. To today we have had 95 deaths in total in all of Australia and only three of them under 60 years old. We know it’s not over yet but it definitely isn’t looking so grim.

What have I been doing with my week?

Quite a bit of phone time, both face and audio, with mates around the world and here in Oz.

Watching Netflix. Jin and I have watched After Life S2 together, a couple of Korean reality serials (nope, still don’t understand a word), The Fast & the Furious series 1-7, everything that has Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) in it and other odds and ends.

Sleeping. Staying up late watching TV means I also sleep in. Some days till 11am! Plus I have an afternoon nap most days. I know right, HEAVEN!

Cooking. With Jin working I have done a lot more of the cooking than usual.

Cleaning. I’m now giving the apartment its thorough clean once a week still but now I’m also doing a couple of mid week spruces. Spending so much time at home I want it to be nice.

Reading. I’m rereading Dune and finding it really hard because my eyes are having trouble with the light reflected off the page. I do have a Kindle but it feels so good to be reading a BOOK even though it’s also torture.

Running Turbo Trivia LIVE in Isolation on Friday and Sunday has been fun. If you’d like to join in go check the Turbo Trivia Facebook page for details. https://www.facebook.com/TurboTrivia/ Even if you can’t be there for it live you can still play the game later. Zoom with your friends and play against or with each other.

Wearing perfume! Here is a small selection of the stuff that I’m spritzing. I have been wearing a lot of the ends of decants as well, grabbing the last few ml and spritzing the whole lot! HUGE!

Hedonist Iris Absolute by Viktoria Minya

I’ve nearly finished my 15ml of Hedonist Rose Absolute. I sent a bit to friends I thought might like it and have worn it a LOT. Now I’m hitting the Iris version hard. It smells so good. For any iris averse peeps out there I think this might be your gateway drug. It’s iris but not as you know it. Darker, more mysterious and charred.

Gardelia by Bogue

No, I do not have a bottle. WISH I did. This crazy assed bottle is to freaking die for. Antonio very kindly gave me a decant before release and I’ve been eeking it out until lockdown. Suddenly I want to smell like this ALL THE TIME! Breathy, poopy gardenia done right. I have not yet had the courage to leave the house wearing this monster.

Granville by DIOR

The loveliest spring style green of them all. It seems to also be fitting my 2020 autumn lockdown.

Samsara by Guerlain

What is it about this OTT diva of a scent that grasps me so firmly? Is it the creaminess, the tropical vibe, the ultra deluxe glamour or the screaming madness? ALL of the above. Samsara is exactly how I want my sandalwood treated.

Tendre Nuit by Isabey

This strange and lovely sweet nothing by Isabey is now about 1/3 empty. I don’t know why I love it so much. Sweetly almond and stuff that just seems to hit the spot perfectly every time.

Misia EdT by CHANEL

Hiding away in its box unloved since my first mad crush on her, Misia is back in action. Lipstick style iris, all waxy, powdery and rose tinted. It’s hard to feel blue when you smell this fabulous. My favourite of all the makeup style fragrances. YUMMERS!

Also, I got challenged to do one of those Facebook seven days of photos. It was really fun to go through and pick some I loved. Here are four that didn’t make the cut. These are the three men I have long term loved. First is Paul, yes he was and still is a handsome rake. This photo was taken maybe 1991 at the inaugural DIVA Awards when the group I was in won Best Show! Second is Varun, also extremely handsome and with a body to die for, we spent an amazing couple of years in Sydney and then another bunch of years long distance because he had to move back to India to run his family’s hotel business. In this 2003/4 picture we are traveling India and up in Jammu Kashmir for our friends’ wedding. The last two are my gorgeous husband Jin. The man who has provided the easiest, most wonderful, fun filled years of my life. Of course it mayn’t last forever, as many beautiful things come to an end, but I enjoy every day we spend together and all our friends, plans, holidays etc. He is a seriously lovely man and I’m still gushy-gushy in love with him. First pic is at the Fullerton in Singapore 2016/7 and the second is Christmas 2018.

Yesterday (Sunday) while Jin was at work I had both Kath and Alice over for lunch. It was the first time the three of us have been together in about 5 weeks and it was absolutely terrific. We chattered and laughed a couple of hours away. I made us Boscaiola Pasta and Kath snapped this shot of it. I was too busy enjoying the girls company.

Hugs and love till next week when we have a Mood Scent 4 project for you all,

Tell me what you’ve been up to, wearing or making while in lockdown?
Portia xxx

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CQ’S WTF CV19 (WE ARE NOT IN LOCKDOWN ANYMORE) TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN

Tomorrow at 07:30 I will be at the hair salon. And taking brownies for the reopening.

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Saturday 25 April – Friday 1 May.

It is Friday morning and I am writing this update a little earlier than usual. It’s my radio show tonight and wanna get ahead of myself. Today is May Day and a national holiday here. It is also the first day of no lockdown. That ended at midnight yesterday. Seven strange weeks.

The rest of the shops will open tomorrow, the shopping malls, etc. I am guessing that the fire brigade, or police, or army, will be patrolling the parking lots of the bigger complexes. After living with the same furniture for seven weeks, IKEA would be your first stop huh?

Restaurants will open on the 15th, which is what I have been keeping my eye on, as my cookie business depends on that happening. Four adults will be allowed at a table, along with their kids if applicable. There will be social distancing between tables of course, but not at the table you are on. Obviously. Waiters and waitresses, and the cooks, will wear masks. You cannot choose the table you want to sit on. I think you may have to put on a mask if you get up to move around the restaurant or go to the bathroom, but don’t quote me on that.

Churches and some schools will open at the end of May, as will hotels and swimming pools. There are certain rules accompanying these openings, just ask me in the comments if you really wanna know. Universities will stay online for the moment.

We can meet up with friends again and legally go hangout with Oma and Opa for hours. Masks will remain mandatory in all shops, and on public transport. I will update you on theaters and cinemas and stuff when there is information.

Life has felt much more normal the last couple of weeks, but then when you look around in the supermarket and everyone is masked you know things really have changed. I mean I now keep a mask stash in the car. As one does.

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This is my cat before the drama and after the drama and when there is no drama tbh.

CAT DRAMA

Tuesday evening the cat suddenly got a nosebleed. And by that I mean the blood poured out of her nose and it did not stop for 20 minutes. We called the vet who told us to put her in her carrying box to calm down, and to go to the vet in the morning. The bleeding slowed down as she sat in the box, and if a cat can look green, she did. So did we. She started to rub her head on the bars of her box, and I chose to let her out as I was sure that would start it all up again. I Googled it and then stopped as I did not want to read about cat tumours. She went out and hung out on the balcony most of the night, and appeared normal enough in the morning. Until she went into the bathroom and sneezed. It looked like a scene from Carrie. I put her in the box and headed to the vet. We got seen immediately. He checked her mouth and teeth and throat and ears, took her temperature and all that was okay. He did say that if it was a tumour in the nasal passages he would not be able to detect that and we would have to go to a specialist. She got an antibiotic and cortisone and who-knows-what-else shot and we went home. Yeah well, three days later and she appears to be fine again. I know it could recur but hope it doesn’t as that would indicate a bigger problem. I went and bought her some special cat treats and some new expensive gourmet cat food, She rejected the lot. So far, so good.

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(Last week of the easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Frédéric Malle – Portrait of a Lady and Dans Tes Bras. Vero Profumo – Rubj EdP. Chanel – 28 La Pausa. Neela Vermeire – both of the Mohurs.

No lockdown, semi-lockdown, who-knows-when-it-will-end-lockdown? Update us all please.

“You keep me running round and round, well that’s alright with me, nothing, nothing, nothing’s gonna step in my way. Living on the ceiling, no more room down there, things fall into place, you got the joke, fall into place.” Blancmange. Living on the Ceiling. 1982.

CQ.

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Portia’s Hello from the Abyss

Hiya Bottled Rosers. Tara kindly asked if I’d like something to fill my time while in lockdown. What a freaking champ she is. Hopefully this finds you all coping in whatever way helps. I’d love to read what you’re all up to in the comments too.

This made me laugh quite a lot.

I’m not going stir crazy actually. It’s a very weird sensation not working after having my job define me since 1988, and working since 1985. So much of how I see myself is to do with this business of being a Drag Queen, the constant struggle to stay employed and to ensure others employment.

Thank everything worth thanking that Jin has remained employed, his hours are drastically reduced but we are still able to stay afloat. Also, our government has offered payment for people whose livelihoods have disappeared and my accountant has offered his services to make that happen for me. People can surprise us every day.

Jin and I spend quite a bit of time cooking and hanging out together. We’ve already watched all seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls again, about to embark on the eighth, awful season. I’ve watched the complete series of The Mummy films, Black Lightning three series, a bunch of rom coms. We have also seen countless hours of Korean TV, none of which I can understand, with a running commentary from Jin.

I’ve always walked the dogs two or three times a day but now that is my main source of exercise and I’m trying so hard to maintain my daily 7k steps. I’ve slipped back to 4k a couple of days but also hit 10k twice last week.

Perfumes that have had some skin time include: Amouage Opus XI and Figment Woman, Divine EdP, Viktoria Minya Hedonist Absolue, L’Eau Bleue d’Issey pour Homme, Tendre Nuit by Isabey and Neela Vermeire Mohur/Rahele/Ashoka. Vintage Hermès Caleche, Guerlain Shalimar/Vol de Nuit/Mitsouko and a bunch of decants that needed using up. There are others that don’t spring to mind.

We have started doing Turbo Trivia online. It’s free to play. Medium to easy questions. Is a bit rude, silly and funny. It would be super fun if any of you wanted to join in. We will be playing live at Turbo Trivia page in FaceBook.
You guys can link up on ZOOM, Watch Party or FaceTime and play as a team, then have me on your phones, pads or desktop.
Of course you can also play solo.
It doesn’t matter how you play, as long as you’re here for some fun.
Come join us Friday and Sunday
LA:2am/ NYC:5am/ London:10am/ Austria:11am/ Delhi:2.30pm
https://www.facebook.com/TurboTrivia/

I’ve also been doing one of those 10 days of travel pictures on FB. Here are some shots of when we were able to travel. Happy memories, every one.

So that’s my wrap up.

What’s going on where you are?
Portia xx

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CQ’S WTF CV19 (AND THE STILL EASING UP) LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

“Life’s a bleach and then you die.” George Takei Tweet 24 April.

Saturday 18 April – Friday 24 April.

Life is moving along. The rest of the shops will open on May 2, including hairdressers. I am seriously counting the days! Schools go back between the 4th of May and the beginning of June. Staggered. Restaurants and hotels as planned on the 15th of May. That should have me back with some sort of Cookie Run. I am not yet sure of the new rules that will be put into place but they will include masks somewhere. I honestly don’t mind any more. If wearing them is what it takes then so be it.

A friend lost her father to C19 last week.

I baked up and delivered some cookies to one of the MyIndigo (the company I supply) stores in Salzburg. They have a new guy doing their marketing and running their social media accounts. He wanted a picture of me. Not a hope in hell with this hair. So I substituted my head, as one does. I also saw how difficult it was to have a proper conversation with people whilst wearing a mask. And it turns out that the marketing dude used to work with Zenology, Jeroen Oude Sogtoen’s brand. (Also of Mona di Orio). Seriously.

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Fragrant Tidbits

It was two years ago this week that I was in London with Portia. We also met up with Neela Vermeire and her husband at the same time, at the Art and Olfaction Awards. As mentioned in my last four CV19 posts, I have been wearing NVC Mohur EdP a lot. This week has been no exception, and my daughter (@ b.londeswunder) came home for a few days and stole my Mohur travel. AND the highlight of the week? I got a travel of Mohur Extrait in the post. Richer, more condensed, deeper, warmer smoother. Sandalwood and kid leather. Good things come to those who wait. I was and still am as excited as a child. That perfume can to do that to me is a rare joy, and one I live for.

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Portia filming our thoughts on Roger Dove in Harrod`s.

My girlfriend drove down to the Italian border yesterday, just to see if it really was shut.

As we move onto the next stage of opening the country back up, and there will be many, I know that a lot of you are still in stricter lockdowns. My posts may get shorter, but I will continue them until the last reader is free. So please don’t stop with all of your updates.

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(Still easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Hiram Green – Lustre. Ormond Jayne – Woman. Mona di Orio – Musc. NVC – Mohur EdP and Mohur Extrait. Vero Profumo – Rubj Extrait. Chanel N°5 Dry Oil.

“Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang and the music played in a de boomtown.” JERRY DAMMERS. GHOST TOWN. 1981.

CQ.

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CQ’S WTF CV19 (EASING UP) LOCKDOWN TALES FROM THE COOKIE KITCHEN.

This is a fairly rushed idea of the week with an eased up lockdown. I had planned to take some time with it but then the radio show happened. So much for sunbathing and writing a blog post.

Saturday 11 April – Friday 17 April.

I just this second got back from doing my Baking Bad with the Cookie Queen live radio show. It was planned that I return on the 1st of May, but they called today and asked if I wanted to do a two hour show tonight. I had nothing prepared but said yes anyway. So excited to go back. A little bit of normality. I have the playlists from the last ten show so just picked a few tunes from them. Apart from disinfectant bottles in every corner, and wiping down the equipment before and after the show, it was pretty much the same.

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Easter was nice. We went to my in-laws after four weeks of isolation. We had a socially distanced schnitzel in the garden, and only stayed a couple of hours. Was a really hot day which made hanging out on the lawn, with them in their garden house ideal.

Tuesday saw the reopening of all the shops under 400 square meters, all garden centers, and the hardware and building supplies stores. This included our shop. In case someone is reading this who does not know – we have a bike and cookie shop. My husband was and is absolutely snowed under. Manic. So much work. It has gone crazy. High season overnight, There is usually bit of a build up around before Easter, but it was shut then. I made some cookies for some of the stores I supply, and delivered them myself, for them to give away to their order-and-pick up customers. The restaurants and hotels will not reopen until at least the middle of May, so we all do what we can to support each other.

We have to wear masks in all the stores now and also make sure our customers are wearing them too. Everyone is just doing it though. And you could feel a lightening up in the air with the change in the lockdown. Social distancing will go on for months obviously. There will be no large events until the 31st of August, if then. I cannot imagine summer here without all their different fireworks and fests and ……. but I know that is gonna be the scene for all of us, wherever we are.

Not much else to report really. Bumbling along in this new reality. I did have one morning where I burst into tears in the shower. Not that it helped much! I should know to have coffee beforehand. I washed and ironed our cotton facemasks and no way in a million years would I ever have imagined I would be doing something like that. And yet here we are.

If you feel so inclined update us here at ABR as to how your lockdowns are going. I know I have an easier time than many others. Don’t get me wrong, it has been the strangest of months, and my old life seems like a dream, but it has not been hard, not really. You wanna know what really stresses me, big time? The USA government and the lockdown stories there. I have had to stop looking at it, as it makes me so upset and so angry.

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(Easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Malle – Rose & Cuir. Lutens – Un Lys. Jorum Studios – Trimerous. Hermès – Galop. Neela Vermeire – Mohur. Chanel – Bois de Iles Parfum.

I have to go to bed. I nearly had a normal day.

“Those who feel the breath of sadness, sit down next to me, those who find they’re touched by madness, sit down next to me, those who find themselves ridiculous, sit down next to me, in love, in fear, in hate, in tears ….” SIT DOWN. JAMES. 1989.

CQ.

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Lockdown Skincare Routine

It’s no surprise that my skin has been reacting to staying in as well as the rest of me. It’s normally combination but now it’s become more oily and more dry. I rarely get a spot but I had two in the first two weeks of lockdown. It’s no doubt a result of increased stress, more sugar and less fresh air.

It’s very tempting to skip my normal skincare routine, but for the most part I haven’t let it slip and I think that’s helped me feel better overall. (I was letting my hair revert back to its natural frizz-ball state but the psychological effect wasn’t worth it so I’m straightening it again).

I’m using very gentle cream cleansers that are kind to the skin. I heard lots of positive things about The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser and it’s as good as they say. Squalane is deeply nourishing and the cleanser has a white, balm-like consistency that breaks down easily. Although, my favourite at the moment is Superdrug’s Vitmain E Hot Cloth Cleanser as championed by The Guardian’s Sali Hughes. This has an incredibly soft feeling on the skin and like the Squalane, never leaves it the least bit tight. I always apply cleansers to dry skin and remove with a damp microfibre cloth (from Amazon). I can’t bear splashing my face with water and that isn’t very effective anyway.

In the morning, if I am suffering from dryness I may start with a face mist. I ordered La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra 8 Soothing Daily Moisturising Concentrate after skin expert Caroline Hirons recommended it for stay home skin. As a result of this, it’s now hard to get hold of and my bottle is yet to arrive. It should be a nice way to boost moisture after cleansing. A face spritz isn’t a necessity but hey, I have the time.

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I don’t feel like I’ve done my routine properly without including an active and in the A.M. it’s Niacinamide Serum by The INKEY List. It has anti-ageing properties but the fact that it supports the skin’s barrier function is a bonus. Vitamin C feels too irritating at the moment.

I’ve tried to tackle flaky, dry skin, particularly around the eye area, with various lotions and creams. Nothing has worked for long. Then I kept hearing about a cheap as chips serum from Superdrug and for £2.99 thought I’d give it a try. It’s been game-changing and definitely my current hero product. It’s the Simply Pure Hydrating Serum for sensitive skin. I use it all over the face paying particular attention to the eye area. I haven’t had a single flake since.

I’m very skeptical of expensive eye creams and am currently using CeraVe Eye Repair Cream morning and evening. I tend to think my general skincare migrates to the eye area anyway and that it’s most important to keep it hydrated.

As I currently have access to a garden (hurrah!), I finish with Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturiser SPF 50. I agree with the adage that the best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use. A cheaper alternative I’d love to get my hands on when this runs out is The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF 50 which has had rave reviews for its light texture.

In the evening, I remove the SPF with the Vitamin E cleanser and follow with 0.05% tretinoin from Dermatica and my eye cream. I leave that to do its thing for a while and then may follow up later with the Super drug Simply Pure Hydrating Night Serum. (It was buy one get one half price so why not?) Sometimes, for extra comfort and to counteract the drying effect of the tret, I add a final layer of moisturiser which would normally be CeraVe PM Moisturising Lotion but I also use Natural Moisturising Factors by The Ordinary.

I feel like this routine is now really working for me and my skin is looking and feeling much better.

How is your skin doing during lockdown? Are you giving it a break from make-up and seeing the benefits or it is having a freakout all of its own?
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