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Galina Achkasova-Portianoi  Freelance journalist; Curious Russian in London website; Beauty & Wellness consultant; Mum of 2 bear cubs; Zen Warrior 💚

Решусь сделать честное признание-будучи большой поклонницей @harpersbazaar_ru с первого номера в России, в последние год-два я читаю его крайне редко. Раньше материалы были разнообразнее, насыщенней, колоритней, и мода и красота российской версии выгодно отличались от английской или американской. Потом журнал исчез с пространства Zinio, и прошлым летом я вдруг поймала себя на мысли, что я лучше куплю себе лишнюю вкусную и крепкую чашку кофе, чем очередной номер журнала. А вчера, прилетев в Москву, побежала искать августовский номер с Мирославой Думой на обложке. С удовольствием прочитала редакторское письмо @dashabazaar_ru , мысленно с ней согласившись, что digital detox полезен не только для головы, но и для души. Надеюсь Дарья не обидится на мои слова про журнал, главредом которого она является много лет-легче судить со стороны, чем делать ее работу, но и журнал меняется, подстраиваясь под интересы своей аудитории, и я, как читатель, тоже меняюсь, в бурном шквале жизненных, медийных, модных, культурных новостей. Так что мой комментарий это как заметки на полях и может ностальгия по версии Harpers Шахри Амирхановой @shakri ? Навеялись мысли жарой и ветром московским, спонтанно, незапланированно. Тем не менее, я очень советую почитать интервью с @miraduma , которая закончив МГИМО и поработав в Bazaar, достигла редких карьерных высот в профессиональной и личных стезях и несмотря на то, что скоро родит третьего ребёнка, не замедляется, а только набирает обороты. Со страниц глянца Мирослава шагнула далеко вперёд, связав свою профессиональную деятельность с технологиями и модой. С ней дружат, работают и уважают многие серьёзные карьерные титаны разных индустрий. Ни на кого не похожая, идущая по своей колее, она выглядит как чуть шаловливый прелестный подросток, а голове ее позавидует Страшила Мудрый. P.s forgive me, my English speaking followers, hot Moscow air made my brain go all sentimental on me & reflect on my perception of Russian version of Harper's Bazaar & the formidable creative career power force that is Miroslava Duma #мирославадума #harpersbazaarru #дашавеледеева #curiousrussianinlondon #заметкинаполях #ностальгияглядявбудущее

Thank you @jeanniejarnot for my swift @osmiaorganics order delivery & my goodness, the smell of that coffee & mint soap delighted my nose as soon as I started lifting the lid of the @beautyheroes box - pure enchantment of craftsmanship & of uplifting happiness 😍💚We might live in the fast-paced world, when beauty brands & products are being constantly launched & appearing on our peripheral vision, but I am a big proponent of tried & tested beauty things from the past, like soaps. To start with, there seems to be a great trend of traditional soap taking a place of pride by our sinks & in our showers again. Mind you, there is a big difference between liquid soaps & solid coffee bars. Osmia recently sent out a great newsletter about the benefits of using solid soap bars not just for human skin, but for the environment via drains & lack of plastic bottles. There is also the subject of glycerin in soaps - I can't recommend reading that insightful newsletter, written by Sarah & then taking the time to explore Osmia soap bar & body oils selection online 😉 & using this as a reflective pause, a beauty 'me-time' of sorts #hellogorgeous #soap #osmiaorganics #beautyheroes #glycerin #environment #curiousrussianinlondon #naturalbeauty #returntoyoyrsenses #artisan

I think I finally found the one - say hello to my coffee buddy @frankgreen_official 😍 Hailing from Australia this Smart Cup has been tested by yours truly - dropping it was unintentional, but it passed this test unscathed, phew ! You can read all about the other tests I subjected this reusable cup to in my latest post 😂 Care to share your favourite reusable coffee cup brand? #frankgreen #smartcup #coffee #environment #curiousrussianinlondon #drinksmarter

One of my favourite pastimes is getting to know brand founders before introducing them to you via the pages of my blog. @alexissmartflowerremedies has been on my radar for a while, but as she lives in LA & I haven't visited the city of angels since my late teens, until recently we kept in touch via e-mail & social media. As fate would have it, I got to meet Alexis in person this past weekend & spent several peaceful & inquisitive hours in her company, learning about her life, career path & AS tinctures. I was also lucky to have a 1-to-1 consultation with her, after which she created a personalised tincture in front of my eyes. A blog post about Alexis will follow in a few weeks, as I take my tincture & reflect on our conversation, but if you are in London on July 25 & 26, get in touch with Alexis via e-mail as she is doing one-to-one consultations & customised tinctures with Bach homeopathic remedies. Thought this might be of interest to you @phillyacupuncture @wonderlustinglynda @azurpr @eminerushton @rainbowfeetblog @islaapothecary @anetamak @sjwatson_massage @unbeelievablehealth @abeautifulworlduk @space.alchemy.interiors @thisistheantidote @fightingfifty @franklylisa99 I came home after my consultation feeling calm, reflective & very Zen - nothing rattled me for the rest of the day, after seeing Alexis & I just flowed peacefully, like a forest stream & it felt so blissful #alexissmart #bachremedies #holistic #body #mind #emotions #curiousrussianinlondon

A place of peaceful beauty, conductive for meetings or reflection while you grab a bite to eat or a glass or cup to drink - thank you @homehouselondon team for the charming service today 🙏🏻 & for your company & knowledge @alexissmartflowerremedies #weekend #homehouse #curiousrussianinlondon

A slightly bewildering for me experiences this afternoon of queuing in the rain to have a look at the @glossier one day London pop-up (in case you are interested it is at 33 Baker st today till 4pm). Long queue outside, but staff helpfully brings some umbrellas out while you wait. Inside it's the youth fest with very pretty Glossier girls in subtle pink overalls - smiling & helpful. Women cram for space to try glosses, serums, moisturisers, tints, concealer etc But, there is a big but for me - you can look, you can try but you CANT buy anything until Glossier arrives on British shores in October ( you can console yourself by buying a few of their glosses on @netaporter beauty for the time being). I understand that this marketing buzz helps work up the hype & demand before official launch, but I can't say that this approach appeals to me personally - to be fair though, I am probably not the brand's target demographic - younger women are !😂 #glossier #popup #skincare #makeup #london #curiousrussianinlondon

So lovely to see the golden team of @wunderworkshop Zoe & Tom, who were showcasing their two recent launches today #GoldenGlow & #GoldenBalance at @contentbeauty I couldn't miss a chance to drop by & say hi, especially after this morning discussion with Zoe about vodka & sea buckthorn cocktails 😉 I have been taking those adaptogen powders for over a month now, with a view to review soon & they fitted perfectly into my hectic lifestyle, particularly the Golden Balance. Today I actually tried one of the powders with oat milk & have to agree with Tom that in terms of taste it is a great alternative to dairy milk, if you want it. And looking at Zoe's golden glow (she modestly said that it was thanks to a wonderful make-over at Content), I think she is the best testament to holistic lifestyle & efficacy of her turmeric supplements, of which I am a huge fan 💚#turmeric #wellbeing #lifestyle #health #supplements #wunderworkshop #content #adaptogens #ayurveda #curiousrussianinlondon

Duck face or French girl? #caudalie #curiousrussianinlondon

I have been fascinated with @susansarandon ever since I saw her in #witchesofeastwick & since then she kept my attention - with her gorgeous auburn hair, the vivacious spark dancing in her eyes & ballsy attitude when it comes to the choices she makes, be it personal or professional. Her latest interview with @graziauk is a firecracker & I am sure it will provoke a riveting discussion on multiple subjects she covers. One quote particularly drew my attention: when asked by journalist Hannah Flint whether anyone would have been better than The Donald, even if it meant voting for Hilary as a US President this answer came back: 'I think that's really insulting to women. Am I supposed to support Sarah Palin? Or any woman that runs? Am I not supposed to look at their record, or who's paying for their campaigns? I'm an environmentalist against fracking; she's been selling fracking all over the world. I want a $15 minimum wage; she says that's impossible. I don't want to go to war in Syria; she does. I'm sorry, but I expect more'. There is more, so much more to that interview, but what resonated with me particularly, and I am not a feminist per se & Susan is, is this:'Real equality means that you can have assholes that are women as well as men.' Some of you might say 'well, it's easy for her to express her views, she is a celebrity'. Well, permit me to disagree. In our 'politically' correct times, when many of us seem to be afraid to express their thoughts or bite their tongues, in case it has a negative impact on their lives or careers, I value honesty & respecting opinions of others, unless one's opinion puts another person in the harm's way. Thoughts? #interviews #women #opinions #feminism #graziauk #curiousrussianinlondon #life #honesty #lifechoices P.s @ksenia_tatler Ксения, если Вы не читали это интервью Сюзан Сарандон английской Grazia, мне кажется оно Вам будет не безынтересно

If you think you know everything there is to know about colours, think again & visit @designmuseum #breathingcolour exhibition This particular installation (created by @hellajongerius ) is worth about 500k, so supervising kids can be heart attack inducing 😂 but what an amazing discussion about light, dark, shadows & tones it inspired! #art #colours #designmuseum #curiousrussianinlondon #learning

There is a lot to be said about the benefits of rituals, both for the mind & body. In the last few weeks I have been integrating @thehayoumethod rituals, of which there are four, into my daily life & they help me feel more grounded & happy about being myself & following my path. The tool that you can see is called Gua Sha & Katie Brindle, founder of HM, taught me how to use it during my consultation with her a few weeks ago. Now I do it every other day, in the evening. There is a great video of Katie's website that tells you about the ritual & teaches you the correct way to do it - something that is at the heart of this method - looking after yourself daily, creating peaceful pockets of time to nurture, re-charge & refocus on the things that matter to YOU. For those of you who are on Facebook, Katie does regular live 30 min chats, tackling topics like hay fever, ageing (July 18) & fatigue (this chat is scheduled for July 26) giving you knowledge on which you can build routines that help enhance your wellbeing #hayoumethod #guasha #face #rituals #facemassage #beautyrestorerritual #chinesemedicine #wellness #wellbeing #selfcare #empowerment #curiousrussianinlondon

In the last few weeks I have been contemplating the role of customer service when it comes to fashion & beauty retailers. This year has been the time of vast change & it's not just the usual practises of retail environment that have been shaken. Amazon plays a big part in this but factors are multiple. For me as a journalist it's been an interesting time to observe & accumulate knowledge, but as consumer one thing really comes to the forefront - customer service. You might have a great retail space or website, but if you fail me with the level of service & engagement, I am more likely to look elsewhere to make my purchases. On this note I really want to praise two brands - one an old favourite of mine @millimillu another a relative newbie on the accessories scene @hermosalondon In both instances I experienced some issues with my orders recently, but both teams responded swiftly & efficiently. Both displayed diplomacy & courtesy & solved the issues that I flagged up. So I want to thank both brand teams & remind many others that if you fail to engage with your customers, while pursuing your own business plans & desire for profit, you might find yourself on the losing side. Customers are the core of any business & dialogue & efficiency matter now more than ever #retail #business #fashion #customer #service #foodforthought #curiousrussianinlondon

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