Petite Pleasures

Life is all about the small pleasures. It is the small treats that make the difference between a difficult day and a pleasant day, between a mundane life and a stimulating life. Realistically, the big moments in our lives are very few and far between, if any. Think about it—how many times do we win the million dollar lottery?; or how many times are we elected as the President or Prime Minister of a country?; or how many times do we receive a standing ovation from a theater full of people reciting in unison, “Encore, Encore” while building it up to a crescendo? Alas, never in my case (although I am trying to adopt the new-age theory of positivity and religiously strive to use the mantra of yes, I can make it all happen; yes, I deserve all the best; and yes, I have the power within me…) I will let you know how the mantra works for me down the road. If it does, you might just see me in the pages of Vogue, as that is the energy I am sending out into the universe, and in particular to one specific shining star named Ms. Anna Wintour.

So, while I am awaiting the receipt of an e-mail in my inbox from the illustrious Ms. Wintour, I make efforts to infuse my daily life with petite pleasures. For me, a blissful moment is when I get a “surprise package” in the mail. Okay, true, the “surprise package” has a bill that is waiting to be paid by my credit card. But the joy I experience in receiving the small package far surpasses the ugly monstrous head of the credit card statement at the end of the month. Realistically, since these are small pleasures the damage to my wallet is minimal and the joy is maximum. (I like this equation; it is equivalent to minimum input and maximum output.)

The small packages contain wonderfully smelling lotions and potions, wrapped in beautiful packages, some with exotic foreign languages on the label that I enjoy reading with the help of Google translate.

I am a big proponent of web-shopping and have web-shopped for years. I love the joy of sitting in my comfy PJs, sipping a hot steaming cup of coffee, with only the click of a key between me and what I describe as euphoric ecstasy.

Today I want to share with you a few of my favorite beauty products and the sites I have used for years to provide me “petite pleasures.” I promise you it will be as good as shopping on Via Condotti in Rome—well, almost!

10 Corso Como

The brainchild of Carla Sozzani. Yes, she is the sister of the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani. It is one of the hottest perfumes in Milano. Imagine the style quotient of the perfume—two Sozanni sisters from Milano, and both associated with Vogue Italia…could it be any more fashionable!! (This truly calls for two exclamation marks.)

Spuma di Sciampagna

Luxury bath products from Italy. Try the bath foam (yes, a very European concept) and the perfumed soap packaged in a beautiful, clean, quintessentially Italian packing. Good enough to eat.

Avene Thermal Spray

A face spray, so refreshing that it seems you are standing under the fountains in Versailles. It gives the face a dewy glow that lasts almost all day. I have received many compliments on my skin after using the spray. It works very well after the application of make-up. It is my equivalent to a cheap microdermabrasion.

Rescue nail polish

Rescue has modern, cutting edge colors. My favorite is the Concrete Jungle. It is an asphalt, cement color, very similar to the latest “it” Chanel Le Vernis nail polish, without the hefty price tag.


For the worry warts like me who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and frown even while sleeping, Frownies are the most natural alternative to Botox or other draconian measures of controlling facial lines. It is analogous to applying a piece of tape on your frown lines while you sleep, and not uncomfortable at all. Sadly, Frownies train only the facial muscles, and not the brain muscles, to be worry free.

Lorac Sheer Wash

I have used the tinted cheek wash for years as the stain creates a natural flush that lasts all day, even after my sporadic exercise sessions. To top it all, it is very mild and not oily at all like blush gels or creams. This is a boon for a person like me with oily skin.

Rice paper tissues

If you are “blessed” with oily skin like mine, or just want a refreshed look during the mid-day slump, use the all-natural Rice paper tissues. The packaging is adorable and comes in a petite package with a sketch of a Japanese woman on it. Yes, it even has aesthetic value. The tissues absorb the oil on the skin, without removing the make-up or depositing any chemicals. They leave the face with an air-brushed look and you will be compelled to say, “I am ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

So, revel in the petite pleasures and the jubilance you will experience will make you shout out, “encore, encore!”