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Galina Achkasova-Portianoi  Freelance journalist; Curious Russian in London website; Beauty, Wellbeing & much more; Mum of two bear cubs; Zen Warrior πŸ’šgalina@galinka.co.uk


GRATiTUDE is something that I finish my day with nightly, but sometimes it's not a bad idea to start the day with it, particularly when it is grey outside. Last week, as autumn officially came into focus, two wonderful British artisan brands launched new products. Wild Beauty Balm from @asapoth will have its own spotlight soon, but I want to highlight two new launches from @elijahchoo founder of @bodhiandbirch Elijah created two Xmas gift sets (can't believe it, but it's not THAT far away). One is a Body Oils mini collection that is a great way to delight your senses & choose one or two that will cocoon your skin in colder months (choose from Sicilian Rose, Chinois Blue & Nordic White). Another set contains brand new launches, a trio of Bath & Shower Oils Collection ( Rosa Verde, Jasmine de Lune & Rapturous La Botanica that appealed to noses of all of my family members, big & small). I am grateful not just for the fragrant surprise that greeted my return from a road trip on a Saturday afternoon, but for the knowledge & kindness that my friend Elijah shares with anyone that he comes into contact with. One of the reasons why I choose to support smaller artisanal natural beauty brands is the personal engagement & desire of its founders to create products that make YOU look & feel good inside & out. The don't make fake promises of unrealistic results. They work damn hard, following their inner calling to create products that nurture your skin & impart positivity & delight on the senses. And I am grateful for the open dialogue & support that I always get from Elijah & Amanda & like-minded people within the industry. They don't compete with each other, they are unique & they support each other, which is a gift in itself in our pushover competitive times #bodhiandbirch #british #artisan #elijahchoo #bodycare #bodyoils #nature #nurture #senses #wellbeing #curiousrussianinlondon πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’š

Let's talk about the joy of theatre on a Sunday morning, of the Saturday night before, shall we? Yesterday my OH & I dashed to Apollo Theatre to see Benedict Andrews take on Tennessee Williams timeless play 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'. I wont spoil it for you what the play starts with, but it pushed my brain up a gear or two & the play only got stronger right until the end. Sienna Miller, glamorous & sassy holds her own & proves yet again that she is so much more than a beautiful woman. Her American accent is punchy, her glamorous streak & self-assurance mixed with heartache & longing are palpable, her character expertly created with every step & phrase. Jack O'Connell is as intense as you expect him to be & his talent is really pushed by the setting he is put in by director. At times you hope his aorta doesn't burst from the suppressed emotional intensity of his character. I also want to bow my head before Colm Meaney as larger than life Big Daddy & Lisa Palfrey, whose nuances of Big Mama make you swing between laughter & hearache. Hayley Squires creates a very dislicable character of Mae, as does Brian Gleeson as Gooper. The drama that plays out in front of you, mashed up from heartache, hate, jealousy, love, family feuds, marital discord & human mistakes & tragedies in their search for love & their place in the world is riveting, and I say this as someone who had seen this play on London theatre stages a few times. Another thing that I want to touch upon is nudity. There is a fair amount of it. Tasteful as it is, sometimes I questioned in my mind if that was needed to such an extent. There is also a very powerful use of props & an iPad & iPhone that bring an old play into modern reality. We might be going through accelerated progress motions, but human emotions don't seem to be touched by the passage of times. Moral compass of society might change, what we all long for doesn't. Bravo to the cast & the director, you gave us a very memorable evening in your company & engaged the process of reflection for days to come #YoungVic #theatre #westend #catonahottinroof #siennamiller #benedictandrews #jackoconnell #love #curiousrussianinlondon #YoungVicCat #mustsee

Harvest festival at @daylesfordfarm is such a glorious, nourishing & colourful feast for the senses #harvest #autumn #daylesfordfarm #organic #equinox #daylesfordfestival #harvestfestival

What is fashion without beauty? This weekend calls for reading latest insightful @bof print edition about the young generation of talented professionals & trialling @rosalenaskincare face mist & face oils created by two vivacious mothers, whose sense of humour & creativity are like an elixir of youth when you are in their company. Ultimately society shouldn't be driven by youth alone, as different generations can learn from each other, complimenting each other's knowledge & driven by aspirations for the future, continuing to be active & evolved members of society for many years to come #bof #bof500 #fashion #beauty #rosalena #skincare #curiousrussianinlondon #reflections

Equinox & ....the powers of adaptogens shouldn't be underestimated @wunderworkshop This was a great day of shifts, from inner turmoil to quick & unexpected changes. Of nerves & frustration to inner calm. I am ending the day sated, happy & peacefully reflective on the fact that if you trust the universe & smile at the world, your positive vibes will be replenished & smiles will be magnified. When you know that the world is full of good people, even complexities doesn't look so bad. Thank you for making today what it was - a reflective feast for the senses, mind & heart @asapoth @sjwatson_massage @space.alchemy.interiors @natashamendelsohn2016 Sweet dreams πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’š #gratitude #turmeric #adaptogens #supplements #wellness #equinox #curiousrussianinlondon #life #trusttheuniverse #positivevibes #friendship

Afternoon mood - reflective πŸ€”#arthurelgort #edition7l #pattihansen #curiousrussianinlondon

In my latest post that just went up I talk about a new baby skincare range from @aureliaskincare called @littleaurelia While technically it is a baby & toddler range, my two bear cubs no longer fit either category, yet willingly volunteered their testing services, so you get a combination of their & my thoughts & experienced with a trio of products that we have been using in the summer months. So if you want to know why a list of ingredients does matter when it comes to child's wellbeing, why a little book of poetry helps create very special family bedtime rituals, why those products are good for tired mums & much more, click on the link in my profile & let me know your thoughts on the subject #babies #children #toddlers #bedtime #sleep #rituals #family #littleaurelia #curiousrussianinlondon #bedtimestories

'The great work comes from digging deep' - motto for the week ahead #anjelicahuston #joanjulietbuck #curiousrussianinlondon

Choices, choices - Boo & I are thinking of where to begin...There is @oprah 'What I know for sure' - an ideal book for bedtime reading & reflection on life, before the land of dreams shuts the brain off. There is a searing book about women during the World War II that was recommended to me twice in the last couple of weeks, by @anetamak & @theboxwalla founder Lavanya. I am somewhat embarrassed that I haven't registered Svetlana Alexievich & ''The unwomanly face of war' on my reading radar before. The cover alone, striking in its vivid simplicity, instantly brought memories of my grandparents & their friends, who gathered every 9 May around a huge & welcoming table to share the stories & remember those who lost lives, saving & protecting ours. There is a first book 'Beyond the label' by the former CEO of Chanel Maureen Chiquet, who went through dramatic life changes in the last few years & now, on a new career & personal path, she shares her journey with the world. And there is the autobiography of @mariasharapova 'Unstopable: my life so far'. A fiercely strong-minded woman & athlete, I think she divides opinions. When I mentioned the book to a tennis coach I know last summer, after reading a very memorable profile by @jonathanvanmeter in American Vogue, she gave me a long, somewhat fierce stare, that was quite telling. I think that we all have a right to an opinion, but it's always good to learn both sides of the story, before drawing conclusions. I actually look forward to reading a book about a young woman, who came to the US aged 6, not speaking much English, but determined to train with Nick Bollettieri in order to fulfill her dreams. And let's be honest, I don't think it is her good looks that won her a Wimbledon title, aged 17. I am happy that in our divisive & unsteady times there are so many books written by women on a variety of subjects, all of which will hopefully engage not just the heads, but the hearts too. Reading is like a remedy for the soul, it brings delight & comfort #books #bookstagram #svetlanaalexievich #mariasharapova #maureenchiquet #chanel #tennis #women #life #oprah #lifelessons #curiousrussianinlondon #theunwomanlyfaceofwar

Most of us don't see the work behind the scenes before a fashion show & those who do often take their privileged position in their stride. I expected the hustle & bustle today at the @joannehynes show but her team was cool, calm & collected, as well as full of the Irish welcome! The make-up was done by the charming @eoinmakeup & skincare provided by the funniest & talented duo that is @rosalenaskincare The clothes were eye catching & you could purchase them online as soon as the presentation was over, the jewellery was vintage & the Irish charm & hospitality were such a delight to bath in. Thank you @pilot_pr for getting me up early in the morning & for arming me with the strong coffee & to Helena & Maja for misting me with Goodness & Tonic. I left high on laughter, inspiration & in awe of creativity #lfw2017 #joannehynes #fashion #models #makeup #rosalena #creativity #naturalbeauty #fun #curiousrussianinlondon #madeinireland #eoinwhelan #londonfashionweek #mua

What is beauty without laughter - gorgeous Maja & Helena, founders of @rosalenaskincare before the @joannehynes LFW presentation #JHXDS #fashion #naturalbeauty #curiousrussianinlondon #lfw Thank you @pilot_pr @charlottefraser22 for inviting me

What if I told you that in order for you to look after your long-term health, beauty & wellbeing you only need one minute? In part two of my post about @thehayoumethod I talk about four transformative rituals, that help shift deep held tension & stress from your body, clarify your complexion & re-energise you. All YOU need to do is take control of your wellbeing & show up at the alter of self nurture every day. Hayo'u is almost like a call to action in order to master your long-term wellbeing! Having read Grazia's beauty section yesterday, where innovative gadgets, costing up to Β£774 are recommended to us, I immediately thought how HM Beauty & Body Restorer, costing Β£35 each, won't break the bank, but will help you look & feel better. I am privy & part of many conversations where women lament the lack of time for themselves, guilt when they have some & complain about complexities of beauty products & treatment navigation, some saying that they can't & wont pay ridiculously high prices. Progress is all very well, but modern women are more stressed, more out of sync with their bodies & often lacking confidence, after being bombarded with photoshopped images & unrealistic expectations. After my consultation with Katie Brindle, HM founder & using her rituals & products for almost three months, I can see & feel the difference in myself & my body responses to life's stresses - for that I am truly grateful. What makes Katie's method different is that she wants to empower people by giving them tools & the understanding of how to look after themselves. It helps to remember that magic pill doesn't exist, any achievement takes effort, determination & hard work. And results are so much sweeter when YOU achieve them! #hayoumethod #rituals #foodforthought #wellness #wellbeing #chinesemedicine #holistichealth #curiousrussianinlondon #selfcare

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