world according to sam

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

Month: September, 2014

Luscious Lashes

IMG_5215The holiday preparations continued in earnest until my day of departure, (there is a LOT of body to prep, believe me!) – yet another covering of those pesky and persistent greys at the glorious Daniel Galvin Salon and a quick trim too, all followed my Shellac Manicure and Pedicure at the beginning of the week.

And then my favourite beauty treat (for treat, read addiction) Eyelash Extensions – I am all about the eyes, and will happily forego lippie, blush etc for mascara. For the last seven years I have been having eyelash extensions with the gorgeous Liana of Lashes by Liana.  I honestly cannot live without my falsies.  A middle of the night loo visit isn’t nearly so terrifying when a doe eyed reflection of me stares back from the bathroom mirror instead of my (almost) lashless self.




I have tried other lash extensions at in-store concessions (to feed my lash obsession, on the rare occasion that I have not been able to see Liana), but have always been disappointed with the results. The High Street offers up the Good, The Bad and the downright Ugly …. in my mind lash enhancement should be subtle.  Horror stories on the internet and in magazines is down to poor practice rather than the lash extensions themselves.  Good lashes should feel weightless, add a little length and volume without making you look like Widow Twankie and be soft and natural to the touch. The BAD/UGLY are the lashes weigh the eyes down and are stiff and unmalleable and in some cases can result in eyelash loss and traction alopecia (bald bits).  A good lash extension therapist will take into consideration the health and strength of your own lashes and apply extensions accordingly.  As much as I would like to dolly up, Liana has advised me that my lashes (short and curlies) are just not up to taking the fringe brushing lengths I so desire …. which is how I have been able to keep having the lashes for so long without any damage.



They take maintenance and care, but they are worth it ….. you can’t scrub at them with oily eye make up remover and the best thing is to simply stand under a shower and allow mascara to wash away (though you only really need mascara when you are going out otherwise they are fine left natural).  You can’t use liquid eyeliners as the oils dissolve the lash adhesive and for the first 24 hours the lashes must not come into contact with any water – however after three weeks on holiday and putting my face in water every day and putting on and taking off a snorkel and mask my lashes are still looking great.  The lash extensions are adhered to your own lash at the base and will fall out when your own lash falls out, lashes last up to 8-12 weeks but lash infill maintenance is recommended in between to keep lashes looking full and ‘tangle’ free.

Liana is the leading light in lash enhancement, with an impressive clientele of actors, models and celebs.  Find her in a secret hideaway in the heart of London’s Marylebone, (details are revealed when you book your consultation), everything about the experience is just lovely.  This is not a speedy treatment and  will take about 90-120 minutes. but you are lying down under a cosy blanket on a very comfortable beauty bed …. you can even have a snooze and awaken looking transformed.  I am too busy chatting to sleep but the entire experience is very relaxing.  This may not be for you as a regular treatment but I would urge you to try this for a special occasion and is an absolute MUST for Brides and Mother of the Bride because you really don’t need to wear mascara and I tend to use my Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara in Black only when I am going out.


In my opinion this is one of the most flattering, anti-ageing beauty treatments you can have, soft fluttery lashes really do knock years off you and avoiding having to take off make up every day surely must help preserve the eyes too?


What experiences have you had with Lash Extensions?


Contact details for Liana          +44 (0) 7956 120 001  |  |



Leftovers Lunch

Delicious quick and easy recipe for lunch using leftover brown rice

Brown Rice*
1/4 Cucumber Diced
Piccolo tomatoes quartered
Stick of Celery – chopped finely
Tin of Charles Basset White Tuna
Tin of Flageolet Beans (or any other bean you fancy – except Baked obvs)
Splash of Rapeseed Oil
Juice of an Unwaxed Lemon and a little zest
Salt & Black Pepper to taste (I like Barts Garlic Pepper)
Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley


* (Make sure you refrigerate rice as soon as it is cool enough the night before, rice left at ambient temperature is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning!!)


Normal Service Will Be Resumed Very Soon




Forgive me for it has been 23 days since my last blog …. But I have been ON HOLIDAY … I had intended to write while I was away but frankly I was having too much FUN and for the first time in nine years I wasn’t tied to checking my emails and catching up on work each day so I took advantage of the break and did a lot of reading (reviews to follow), walking and snorkelling along with cocktail drinking and socialising so watch out for updates on Booking Holidays , Holiday Reads, Holiday Beauty Essentials, cocktail recipe and also feedback on all my pre-holiday prep



Holiday Maintenance begins …. Shellac Mani/Pedi


Today was the first of my (many) maintenance trips for my forthcoming holiday, to start with, a manicure and pedicure   I was somewhat cloven hoofed before my lovely technician, Jessica set to work with her battery of power tools.  I make regular trips to local nail bar,  Hands n Feet Dunn ….  Although now I am not working  I have had to cut back on the frequency of my visits.  Not sure Mr H considers my mani/pedi habit an ‘essential household item’ ….. Ideally I like to have my hands and feet done (Hands n Feet Dunn, geddit?) on the day of departure to ensure that I don’t chip any nails, but this year is an exception as Jessica’s birthday falls on the day we leave so she is taking a well deserved holiday. (My juvenile, selfish sulk when I heard she was away, was fleeting, I promise!) IMG_4697


I discovered Shellac (2 week manicure, though I can stretch mine to three weeks if everything goes in the dishwasher!!), when it was first introduced to the UK and I STILL love it.  Shellac does have its naysayers who complain their nails are dry after use but I use Solar Oil every day to keep cuticles and new nail growth nourished.  If I leave my nails au natural my nails flake and break anyway so I can tolerate a little dryness and I love the convenience of instantly dry nails, long lasting shine and generally longwear.  Pre Shellac I was constantly having manicures and then smudging my nails when I went to pay, not once did I remember to pay BEFORE my nail colour was applied!!


Shellac, with it’s insta dry, UV baked formulation isn’t so easy to apply to toes (but is brilliant in the Winter when it looks ridiculous to walk along in flip flops in rain/hail/sleet and instead you can put your feet back in your boots immediately with no chance of smudging).  It also takes a while to remove from toes (but its’ not impossible) so the introduction of Vinylux (as Shellacs complimentary little ‘sister’) was an absolute gift as feet tend to take less of a battering than hands so don’t require the longevity of Shellac. VINYLUX is a chip resistant, long wear nail polish that does not require setting with a UV lamp and is available in the same colours as Shellac.   I normally opt for Shellac on my hands and Vinylux on my feet, but for my holiday where my feet will be in water constantly and in and out of flippers for snorkelling I have gone back to Shellac.  Pre Vinylux I would have Shellac as I can’t bear for my upstairs and downstairs to be mismatched, so to speak! Of course the great thing about Vinylux is that if you buy the same colour (and the special top coat) as the colour applied in the salon you can always repair chips while you are away.


I am quite catholic in my colour choices, rarely straying from red, red or red.  I love a French manicure but am hypercritical of uneven tips and also find that due to the long lasting nature of a Shellac manicure that the pale colours takes on a slightly nicotine-ish hue (and not from smoking, I hasten to add) from using suncream etc.  The few times I have strayed from my normal colour choice I have two or three weeks of loathing what I have chosen, though I often have nail envy when I see colours on other people.  So the colour I have chosen is a newish colour from Shellac, ROSE BROCADE, which is a blueish red (which looks better than orange based reds on my already red skin tone). And happy to say I like it, I like it alot.


What has been your experience with Shellac or other gel nail polishes?



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