Happiness is a confounding concept in today’s quickpaced world ; elusive as a unicorn and slippery as a catfish it is increasingly difficult to notice or appreciate it , even when it’s standing in front of us waving both hands in our faces. All the modern obstacles lie in it’s path, fogging our view : a lack of time and perpetual busyness, quick fix solutions, fear of missing out and boring old tiredness can choke natural levity, yet, happiness is the feeling we all want to snag -and why wouldn’t we?
After all, it feels like soft electricity and connectedness, flying with a flock of butterflies or floating over marshmallow fields while bathed in warm Caribbean sun. Happiness is stubbornly subjective, and this is where I believe we sometimes struggle as a society: we are told that there are paths and things and futures and people that make us happy, but sometimes, irrationaly and utterly annoyingly, they just don’t ring true for us.
We can start second guessing ourselves and feeling like maybe, somehow, we ended up on an out with happiness; why otherwise would it avoid us in this incessant way? Yet life is beautiful , joyous and filled with synchrinocities and surprises at every turn so just when we think there is nothing else, another path opens, another knowledge is learned, a little bit more we grow… and just like that, our very own definition of happiness changes.
When Lancome approached me about doing this collaboration, they asked: What is happiness to you? I reflect on the things that bring me joy in life
Blogging: Someone once told me not to fret about what I am going to do with myself because perhaps my dream job hadn’t been invented yet - I definitely feel this was the case with being a blogger. Which other job could give me freedom to travel and creative control whilst requiring that I write, take photographs and wear fabulous clothes on a daily basis? It gives me so much joy to create beautiful content and see projects through from the beginning to the end. This picture was taken by Adam Katz Sinding in my happy place of Paris. Because Paris, with it’s beauty everywhere and wonderful people is always a good idea.
( Alex Perry dress and Louboutin shoes, Toni Maticevski skirt and top )
My daughter Coco was born 8 years ago and not a day goes by where I don’t look at her and feel infinitely happy and blessed. She is a handful - a jokester and adventurer with a glint in her eye that is terribly contagious. I find complete happiness in the simple fact that she still enjoys to snuggle me, like in this picture taken on holidays in Croatia.
Time off : Dalai Lama once said: “Happiness is not something readymade; it comes from your own actions”. When reflecting on this quote I realised that for me, happiness comes from the action of consciously prioritising inaction. Yoga, meditation and daydreaming give me time to reflect, be alone and get in tune with my inner world. Without being mindful, I cannot be connected to the wavelength of joy.
Flowers: are one of my earthly pleasures that I spend inordinate amounts of time and money on. There is nothing I love more than waking up to a bunch of fresh gardenias on my bedside table. It’s absolute olfactory bliss - and to me, Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle evokes this same feeling of joy. It is a perfume of positivity and femininity - one that combines the elegance of iris as the main story, with a touch of patchouli and some oriental sweetness. A few spritzes in the morning and I’m ready to start the day with a positive attitude.
Travel : I love all the aspects of travelling – from planning my day-to-day schedule, meeting new people, my terrible attempts at speaking foreign languages, to capturing all the different cultures with my camera. I particularly enjoy buying one-of-a-kind, handmade crafts for my daughter from different parts of the world – these ones are from Mexico!
Cooking and and especially eating is something I look forward to constantly. My grandfather was an avid foodie who knew his way around the kitchen, taught me the importance of good ingredients and how to cook well. I’m now obsessed - it gives me great happiness to make feasts for my friends and family.
Gifts: Whoever says gifts couldn’t make one happy has clearly not encountered the joy of receiving glamorous accessories and elegant perfumes.
Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle, Christian Louboutin shoes, vintage earrings, Karen Walker sunglasses.
Go to the Vogue website now to enter to win $2000 to spend on your loved ones at Christmas, thanks to Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. View the competition here and be sure to enter before December 18, 2015.
Like all mothers, my morning make up protocol is overshadowed by hurrying, nagging and sandwich making. Thinking about looking radiant while unearthing school socks is hardly practical and most times, I do my 5 minute make up application in the rearview mirrow while stuck in traffic, making me the ideal candidate for any beauty product that shaves time off my routine and really delivers. Enter Miracle Cushion, Lancome’s answer to a fluid foundation in a compact. To be honest, I was sceptical at first; how can a fluid stay in a compact and what sort of texture would this product provide? My Korean friend was more enthusiastic, assuring me that this sort of technology has been all the rage in her home country and that it encapsulates BB cream, foundation and 23PA++ sunscreen in an easy to use format.
Upon first inspection, I felt a little like Tarzan coming out of the jungle into civilisation - there is a soft cushion inside filled with a wet liquid that doesn’t leak and an applicator that delivers just the right amount of foundation when pressed into the cushion ( what?! no messy fingers, no dripping onto my blouse?). The packaging is gorgeous and refillable, so do not throw it out - it's perfect for changing foundation shade due to the change of seasons . The results? This is a buildable foundation so the results can range from sheer to opaque depending on application - I must say I was quite impressed by the way the texture seemed light and natural while covering lines and blemishes. This is not a cakey foundation, in fact you will forget you are even wearing make up at all. And in the end- isn’t that exactly what we all want?
This story was shot at the heavenly Qualia resort in Hamilton Island,a child free paradise where I could incapsulate my fantasy of a perfectly serene beauty routine while wearing amazing clothes and accessories
Above: Make it sparkle: Miracle Cushion joins a host of light reflecting treasures (Clockwise from bottom: Balenciaga cuff and Oscar De la Renta clutch both from Net-a-Porter, Dita sunglasses, Paspaley pearls ring and earrings )
Photography & film by Alice Wesley-Smith