Friday, December 23, 2016

{Touch} Being more feminine blog series





I love to feel feminine, and am always creating my own inspiration. I find that introducing little pockets of femininity into my day helps everything run smoother. I feel more ladylike and life is enjoyable – even when I’m doing mundane tasks.

The final post in this series is on using the sense of touch to be more feminine.

Choosing fabrics that feel pleasing to your skin

Sometimes I wouldn’t wear clothing items simply because I didn’t want to, and when I asked myself ‘why are you bypassing your new top, Fiona’, it was because the fabric felt bad against my skin. I now know to avoid slithery knits (they feel as awful as they sound) and anything scratchy such as linen that is too rough.

Some of it has to do with the quality of the fabric, because in the fabric world there is short staple fibre fabric and long staple fibre fabric. As I understand it, short staple fibres are cheaper because they use scrappy fibres, and those short, stiffer fibres stick out of the fabric more and poke into your skin (they are microscopic). Long staple fibres are more expensive, using long fibres that are more supple and weave through, with the ends not sticking out as much. If anyone knows more, perhaps they could share?

That’s the reason why buying cheap high-thread count sheets are a false economy. I used to think that thread count was a guarantee, but I realised it is not after I bought some pure cotton high-thread count sheets from a discount store. They are stiffer and scratchier (even after washing) than other more expensive sheets I have, despite their high thread-count.

Quality isn’t always related to price though, because the scarf in the photo above, I bought from H&M here for NZ$9 (about US$6) and I love it. It is light as a feather (and has feathers printed on it, coincidentally) and feels wonderful against my skin.

Having fabric touch your skin that is displeasing threatens your femininity because it makes you grumpy! When I am grumpy with something, I tend to be more masculine by stomping, snapping, harsh words etc. It just feels nicer to and puts me in a better mood when I have nothing irritating my skin.

Keeping your skin hydrated

I am a huge fan of moisturising and do it now more than I ever have before. It’s so important to both the health and appearance of your skin, and I think this is what sets us apart from men – having soft skin. It’s a particularly feminine thing to do (you'd hardly ever see a man moisturising his hands) and I adore the ritual of my morning toilette where I moisturise my whole body after my shower.

Additional moisturisings throughout the day include:

Hand lotion or cream many times

Neck and d├ęcolletage before I go to bed

A thick cream on my feet (not every day, but maybe twice a week)

To supplement external moisturising, keep your skin hydrated from the inside out by drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich foods (fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables), and good fats such as raw nuts and avocados

Whether it’s internal or external, I don’t believe you can hydrate your skin too much. You will never look back in life and think to yourself ‘I wish I hadn’t drunk so much water over the years’ or ‘I wish I hadn’t eaten so much fresh fruit in the past’!

What are some ways that you use the sense of touch to feel more feminine in your life? I would love to hear, because (as always) I really enjoy all the ideas in the comments section. If you have never commented before, I invite you to today!

And I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Christmas, whatever you are doing. We are hosting my husband's family on Christmas day, and it will also be our last Christmas in Auckland. Next Christmas we will be sunning ourselves at our new home in Havelock North on the beautiful east coast of the north island of New Zealand (we don't have a new home yet and will begin the process of selling our home next year, but I'm sure we will find a wonderful home before next Christmas).

Thank you for making this blog what it is; I have 'met' so many kind, funny, beautiful and lovely ladies and appreciate every page view, comment, suggestion, idea, email and message. How lucky am I? Every day I think that, so thank you.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Fiona

30 comments:

  1. I particularly love soft cable knit throws that are backed with fleece...and my ultra-soft plush robe.

    Merry Christmas, Fiona! Your makeup looks terrific - can I ask what mascara (and other items) you used to get your look?

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    1. Hi Amy, I love the sound of your soft and cozy winter essentials :)

      The mascara is a cheapie Covergirl I bought from Amazon on a whim and I love it! http://amzn.to/2iktrKB I have been asked to do a makeup video so I am working up the courage :)

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  2. Definitely using moisturizer is one of the quickest ways to make me feel better with soft skin. I love this tip. I love your scarf! Merry Christmas Fiona!

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  3. I have fleece sheets on my bed! They feel so cozy, I love climbing into bed at night! They are so thick and luxurious, the top "sheet" is like a blanket. (it's winter here right now).

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    1. I have enjoyed fleece sheets too in the past - they are so good, like sleeping in a big hug!

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    2. I got mixed up - I have had flannel sheets, but not fleece. I have heard fleece is divine too :)

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  4. I cut the tags out of all my clothes; I loathe itching at my neck. I agree about feeling grumpy if you're uncomfortable, and I have passed along perfectly nice pieces that just felt wrong. I especially hate static! I won't get near fleece, as it's just polyester all gussied up.

    Thank you for sharing your life and wisdom with us! Visiting your blog this last year has been a wonderful treat. I'm so excited for your new life! Can't wait to hear as it unfolds.

    As Amy said above - you look just beautiful. Your skin kills me. (Not one of my best traits). Oh well! We each have our gifts.

    Merry Christmas Dear Fiona!!

    Erina

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    1. I cut all tags out too! Preferably unpicking, but cutting out as a last option. I also unpick or cut out the side seam tags as they annoy my muffin top :)

      Thanks so much, Erina!

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    2. Yes, I similarly cut the labels out of necks of garments. Why put them there in the first place? Why not put them at the bottom of the side seam, near the washing/dry cleaning instructions? Surely manufacturers will know that if these irritate our necks, we will remove them anyway? But at the risk of snipping the material of the garment, too!
      Margaret P

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  5. I love soft fabrics which accounts for my cashmere obsession. Once I had tried cashmere I knew I couldn't go back to scratchy wool.
    Merry Christmas Fiona from a cold and very windy Scotland.

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    1. I've never had a cashmere anything Susan. Maybe I'll have to start saving for next winter :)

      I have romantic notions of Scotland, plus a soft spot because it is where my ancestors are from. Merry Christmas!

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    2. Sadly I can't were cashmere. Wool irritates my skin and I thought I could get away with cashmere, but no, lovely and soft though it was, it was still itchy!
      Margaret P

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  6. I think comfort is very feminine. If you're uncomfortable in your clothing it shows and that is not at all attractive.

    Soft is definitely feminine. Silks instead of scratchy wool. Flannel or linen sheets instead of rough cheap cotton. Linen works if you don't mind the wrinkles- I have a ten year old linen dress that's so comfortable in summer. Flannel is also nice for clothing, I've got a winter dress made of flannel that always gets compliments and makes me feel as cosy as jammies.

    Merry Christmas to you as well, Fiona!

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    1. Hi Aurora, I love the sound of flannel clothing, how delicious!

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  7. Hi Fiona, You look lovely. You have the most beautiful skin and I really like your makeup. I've been on the hunt for a healthy, natural colored eyeshadow without too much shimmer. Yours looks like a perfect rosy nude color. Will you consider doing a video on makeup some day?

    I've gotten rid of clothes that irritated my skin too. They include all linens, wools and cashmere - I must have been lesser quality. I've even had to donate nice wool coats because even the slightest touch of the fabric at the collar on my neck would have me itching there all day. I'm relegated to cottons and, unfortunately, synthetics.

    To keep my skin and hair smooth and moisturized, I use pure camellia oil. I alternate this with commercial moisturizers and creams. Also, I am trying to be consistent with exfoliation so that they all absorb better, but I am pretty lazy about it!

    D.

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    1. Typo queen here again. I meant "it must have been lesser quality", not "I must have been lesser quality".

      Ha ha, that was the best typo from me yet!

      D.

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  8. Hi D,

    I bought that Mac eyeshadow after going to their counter and asking for an everyday matte shade - it's called Velux Kid and I love it! I will do a video :)

    Pure camellia oil sounds very luxurious! Love your typo :) Don't worry, you are of the highest quality, so obviously it was a typo.

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  9. Oh, I love the sensation on the soles of my feet when stepping onto a soft and fluffy bath rug after shower. Another ultra feminine habit is to care for my hair so that it feels silky smooth when gathering or running through it with my hands. A good pillow paired with a smooth, high quality cotton pillowcase is a must for my beauty sleep too! Who wants ones facial skin to be rubbing on a scratchy pillowcase 8 hours (or more) a night?!

    You look so fresh and radiant, Fiona! I am much imspired by you to take even greater care of my skin this year. Thank you for this lovely series and happy holidays! :D

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    1. Me too, Natalie - we have a cotton floor rug in the bathroom which is machine washable. We actually have two so I can wash them often and they are always soft and clean... lovely.

      I agree about silky hair too, it's lovely to brush it before bed, feel how nice it is after washing and blow-drying. Changing pillowcases more than the sheets is a nice treat too.

      Enjoy looking after your skin; it really feels like a treat when you approach it from a spa point of view.

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  10. I learned about cheap high thread count sheets the hard way. You are right they were a false economy. I put them away and never used them again on the bed. One of them is used for my little Fuzzy Pomeranian to rub and roll himself dry after his bath. He finds the sheet very satisfactory.

    Silk is my favorite fabric. I wish I could afford more clothing made from it.

    It made me chuckle as I read about other people cutting all of the labels off of their clothing. I do too. Funny to think about how many of us are sitting down, sharpest scissors we can find in hand, under the brightest light we have,carefully trying to cut just the right threads of the label (and not the blouse). It is good to see that at least on some cotton tees the info is being printed on the fabric instead of those stabby, stiff little labels.

    Your complexion is lovely, such a healthy radiance.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Tee hee, Susie, glad you found a use for the scratchy sheets :)

      Yes! - the brightest light to sit under, the finest, sharpest scissors, plus, for professionals, a Quick Unpick (seam ripper). What also bugs me about labels, apart from the bother against my skin, is that labels sewn onto the back of a top will start pulling holes in the fabric after a few washes. Just to be on the safe side, I remove a lot of clothing labels before the garments are even washed once :) Call me obsessed.

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  11. First of all, apart from some of my brief (brief for me, har, har!) comments above, I would like to thank you, Fiona, for your lovely blog which has been so inspiring, even for an old codger like me! I love your approach to life and how you are now changing a very stressful life, selling your business and moving to another part of your country. I wish you well with all your future plans.
    I would also like to thank you and some of your readers for having encouraged me to have my own blog and I started this last August. I am still quite a novice and don't know how to add other people's blogs that I read to a list, as you and others have done, but perhaps one of these days I might solve that problem. But I am gaining new readers and finding out, by trial and error, the kinds of posts those readers enjoy.
    As for feeling feminine, all the senses are employed here, but mainly it is how I carry myself, how I walk, and this is often aided by the clothes I wear. If I wear old jeans and jumper in which to do the housework, I don't feel particularly feminine but I know that if I don't wear them, even wearing an apron as Jennifer L Scott (The Daily Connoisseur blog) advises, for Jennifer would never wear tatty clothes even to do the housework. I would splash my dress or best jeans with bleach. But if I wear a dress and tights (my usual choice is usually 60 denier opaque navy tights)I certainly feel more feminine. And always wearing perfume make me feel feminine.
    At night, soft lamps by the bedside, fresh white cotton sheets (ours are from The White Company) and a rose pillow spray are also feminine touches. I also have pink roses in the bedroom, buying them fresh with the groceries each week. Also, as well as drinking water from a cut glass tumbler, sometimes indulging in a small box of chocolates, especially for myself (although husband may have some, of course)makes me feel feminine - that seems daft as they are calorie-rich, but a little indulgence is fine now and again, and I love violet creams (nicer even than rose creams.)
    Feeling feminine is perhaps an attitude of mind as much as body? Some days when I feel bleugh I don't feel feminine at all, but others, and I am positively vampish, even at my great age!
    Happy Christmas to you and your husband, and to all your lovely readers who meet here,
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. Beautifully said, as always, Margaret :) I am in awe of you that you agreed to start a blog. You are an inspiration to live well and keep on growing.

      I completely agree, feeling feminine is both an attitude of mind as well as how you adorn/look after your body.

      Vampish, I love it!

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  12. Hi Margaret. I so love your comments and had a bit of a giggle at how similar our traits are. I also adore violet creams (Mr Stanley are the best) Roses but mine are white, drinking glass from crystal goblets. I would add that a crystal jug filled with water is a must!! Regards Sharon

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    1. I have never tried violet creams, but I'm sure I would love them :)

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  13. Fiona, we are all lucky & happy to know you! I shall never forget my excitement when I found this site, some years ago, & I've always followed & enjoyed it. And like Margaret, I too have not yet figured out how to add links to other blogs on my own sites, but that is definitely a top 2017 priority.

    I do agree about hydration. One of my favourite secret mentors (secret because she doesn't know about it!), Jerry Hall, said some years ago, that she had always known that our skin is like a flower, & needs watering. I nowadays incorporate much more water in many ways into skin care. I have noticed this it softens wrinkles.

    I love the touch of anything that feels cozy. And that includes my current slippers which mysteriously are still in use as it keeps switching from summer to a tad chilly, here in Auckland, New Zealand.

    Best wishes for a lovely Christmas Fiona xxxx



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    1. Oh I forgot to mention slippers! I love feeling cosseted in slippers so much that I wear them year-round. I have winter ones and summer ones!

      Merry Christmas to you also :)

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  14. Hi Fiona

    I also love good quality cotton sheets and how clothes feel is important to me too. I do have a weird inability to cut labels off clothes as I was bought up in a large family where clothes were handed on and that would "ruin" them! I must try harder :) I am really lucky that I an actually allergic to lots of things that touch my skin eg wool, nylon, metals, soap etc - so I have a perfect excuse to only wear things that dont make me itch like crazy or bring me out in a rash :)
    I love cashmere - the value for money I think is Brora.co.uk - it doesn't pill, is a very good price for the quality, has beautiful colours and shapes. Definitely check them out when you are ready to look. NZ brands like Tolaga Bay are nice too but much more expensive. Boden and m&s and chinese made Cashmere are made with lesser quality thread and pill and stretch out of shape easily. Look for at least 2ply scottish or european made.

    As you know I am a long time reader of your blog - have a great Xmas and I wish you well on your move to the Hawkes Bay.

    A thought I had was have you considered approaching indie bookshops for book signings - Ekor books in Wellington for example is a fab, quirky indie - I would love to come to a book signing and meet you of course :) Otherwise what about, as Tonya Leigh does, have an afternoon tea at the Langham or etc? Aisling x

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    1. Hi A, thanks for the cashmere info, it is very helpful. Funny about your label story - when I donate clothing sometimes I think 'they won't know the size, brand etc - oh well'. It's not a good enough reason for me to keep the labels on!

      Thank you for your book signing ideas, I will let them sink in! Merry Christmas :)

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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