The 7 Chakras

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In the middle of a two week Balinese vacation, my friends and I spent two nights at the luxurious AYANA Resort and Spa. It was just the right amount of let’s-hang-out-at-a-fancy-hotel-before-we-settle-into-a-beach-house. It is rare for me to get a massage, but no one had to twist my arm when I heard about AYANA’s massage therapist, Cok (pronounced like cocoa), who gives a Seven Chakra Dhara Journey. You had me at Chakra.

7 chakraThis one-of-a-kind signature experience is drawn from time-honored traditions of Ayurveda combined with synergistic aromatherapy blends, gemstone therapy and chakra sound healing to relax your body, open your chakras and renew your spirit. Cok, my Hindu therapist, used pranic healing by visually projecting a color out of her hands onto my body and chanting internally a sacred tone that’s called a bija mantra, to transmit universal energy for my body as it chooses. There were moments when I heard her ring a bell near stones placed on my body and I smiled thinking if only my friends saw this now, they would have a chuckle at me. I loved the treatment and I wholeheartedly believe in it.

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Walking through the next door of your life is essential to your full existence. To be renewed and balanced in the moment is the beginning of infinite well-being. Learn more about your seven chakras with this beginner list. And, if you’re ever in Bali, wander through this doorway.

Image Credits: Jenny Graham

The Bulgari Resort

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The Bulgari Resort stands atop a Balinese cliff like a medieval fortress town, walled and secret. Each villa has its own garden, pool and outdoor living room that looks over the Indian Ocean. The construction of each piece of this luxury resort respects local techniques. Each stone is cut and chiseled on site by hand. This attention to detail is simply the beginning for my friends and I were lucky enough to witness all of the jeweled glory as we sat beside the ocean for a cocktail before strolling the property, eventually dining at the incredible Sangkar Restaurant. A rare gem, the resort is a divine experience.

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 We took an unknown path that paid off in major vacation moments.

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After small bites and cocktails, lounging cliffside by the pool, the only reasonable thing to do was to taste a five star meal under a full moon, of course! Day or night, the power of the stillness of this rock by the Indian Ocean is a feeling I will remember for a long time to come.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham

SEKAA TARI KECAK {ULUWATU, BALI}

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A weeknight adventure in Bali is the Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance in Uluwatu. My friends and I didn’t plan on attending, but our pal at the jewel of all luxury resorts recommended the ancient ritual dance on the Island of the Gods. Why not? Upon entering Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of Bali’s sacred directional temples protecting the island from evil spirits in the Southwest, we were given special sashes and sarongs to wear and ward off any evil influences.

uluwatu 2Like any brilliant drama, the dance itself tells a story, accompanied by a choir of chanting and singing men, with a woman named Sita at the center of it all.

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There were moments I felt as if I were back in college, sitting within Shakespeare’s Globe, for the performance is an absolute spectator sport.

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Throughout the evening, leading up to Sita’s reunion with her husband, Rama, the energy was palpable. An unforgettable dance of life alongside the Indian Ocean as it broke against an Indonesian cliff at sunset. I’m telling you, kids, you must go to Bali. For more on the Kecak dance story, click here.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham

Sisterfields Cafe {Seminyak, Bali}

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Hands down my favorite Seminyak cafe to eat and linger the day away is Sisterfields. Located near Bali’s Seminyak Square, it was in walking distance from our Airbnb villa. From the clean design and chic decor to the divine food and drink, I adore this little spot located in paradise.

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A latte and a carrot-ginger-apple-celery-lemon mixed juice were my daily faves.

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The place is just damn cool. Easy breezy feeling and delicious real food. I even spotted my doppelgänger as I dined amidst the fun decor.

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Sisterfields is one of Bali’s best secrets. Now go tell all of your friends.

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Image Credits: #1. Christopher Leggett #2-#7. Jenny Graham

Bali, Indonesia

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Guess what? I am traveling again. This jetset is extra special, though, as it is a long-time-coming vacation with a wondrous trio of friends. We are off to Bali, woohoo! I am not sure what to expect (beyond a two day flight, save for German and Malaysian stopovers), but I am ready to surrender to the planet.

Be back to you all soon. xx, JBD.

Image Credit: The Bali Bible

Claudia Fallah Cosmetics

Have you ever had a facial? My mom always taught me less is more. A facial meant swimming in an ocean and moisturizer was nothing but a touch of olive oil here and there. As I grew up I changed some of my beauty habits, yet it wasn’t until last year when I had my first facial. I was in the UK for work when a personal publicist on a red carpet heard me admit my non-facial status. The next thing I knew I was in a luxury hotel suite, my face under a billow of enchanting steam. I had no idea my newfound facialist, Claudia Fallah, was a celebrity skincare guru across the pond. The moment in time was a high five for my skin. Fortunately, no matter where any of us live, we have access to Claudia’s superb talents via Claudia Fallah Cosmetics. As a facial convert and a Claudia Fallah devotee, today I share London’s best kept skincare secreta brilliant, humble woman who is serious about how she can help you.

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When did the Claudia Fallah brand launch? How was it conceived?

My brand was launched in London on October 25, 1999 which means this year will be my 15th anniversary! I originally decided to have my own range formulated due to the difficulty I encountered trying to find natural products without perfumes, parabens or other skin irritants which I could use in my clinic when treating clients who suffered from different types of skin micro-trauma. This followed a strange experience I had a couple of years before whilst living near Abbey Road Studios. One night I had a dream that I was at the Dorchester Hotel in London at an exhibition of my skincare range. In this dream people kept coming up to me and asking if I was “the” Claudia Fallah. When I awoke I actually said to myself how silly… I would never be able to make my own product. Little did I know what the future held for me.

What is your background in skincare?

I began with my training in Germany as a facialist and nutritionist, graduating in 1989. I soon realized my vocation was to specialize in sensitive and micro-traumatized skin. Eventually moving from Germany to London to be closer to the center of excellence known internationally as Harley Street. I soon opened my own clinic in Marylebone and it was a great success. This gave me extensive knowledge of different skin conditions and requirements across a range of age and nationality. I managed to save enough money to embark on my previously mentioned silly dream.

Your products take time to create. Do you oversee the team of chemists during the process?

Yes. This is an area that I pride myself in as I have small batches made so as to keep the quality and potency of my range at its optimum. I have learned over the previous decade and a half that the natural ingredients that I favor can vary from time to time. I know exactly how I want them to feel, smell and perform. I am the end for quality control before the batches are filled and made available to my clients. If it does not come up to my standards it will not be approved!

What is your inspiration in developing a better product?

The driving force behind my desire to produce a better range was actual slightly selfish! I am very allergic to certain additives widely used in cosmetics. I felt the need to develop a range that would be safe for me in the long term. In much the same way as we choose what foods we put in our bodies I believe we should be concerned about what we also put on our bodies! My goal in the future is to be able to actually visit the organic and ethical growers around the world, whether they are existing suppliers or potential new suppliers, to choose the raw active crops for use in my exclusive range.

What are three must have products for facial care?

Water! Drinking plenty of water will help to control the PH levels and moisture in your system and will help to flush out toxins, all of which contribute to things like breakouts and aging. This is such a hard question for me to answer as I love all of my product range for different reasons and different people and different conditions. But for my personal use, my three must haves are:

The Cover Rescue Creme. It has so many healing and regenerative actives in it, a first aid kit in a tube.

The Azulene Foam Gel Active. My morning and evening routine would not be complete without first washing my skin with this gentle astringent. Even on its own it leaves my skin with a radiant glow.

The Intensive Repair Creme. This is my second first aid kit at all times of the day, especially when my skin has been under attack from the rigors of modern life such as air travel, partying or just too much sun.

Where can we buy Claudia Fallah Cosmetics? Do you work from a proper spa or salon or by private appointment only?

From my own secure website in the UK with world wide shipping available and also at a few exclusive clinics. We are interviewing potential distributors, clinics and chemists from around the world who would like to be involved in the future success of my skincare range. With all of the work on re-branding as well as making minor improvements to the range over the last two years, I have scaled back on treatments and only see clients by private appointment either at my headquarters near Canary Wharf or at their homes. There are special instances for my extra-special clients. In one case I was asked to fly to Copenhagen while he was away on a show and needed urgent micro-trauma treatment.

Best natural remedy to calm the skin?

This depends upon what it is you are attempting to calm? A good general rule of thumb would be the Cover Rescue Creme for small areas of trauma and the Intensive Repair Creme for larger areas.

What will never go out of style?

Claudia Fallah Cosmetics cleanser, toner and moisturizer. And water!

 

Image c/o  Claudia Fallah. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Lit From Within

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It’s June. Hello! I was back on the road last week, visiting family in the South and hopping around the Midwest for work. Instagram is my go-to social media when I surrender to the inner KerouacIf you were wondering what happened to JBD, just click right here my dears. The idea of shakin’ up my home address gets me going. Cindy walking this street is the trifecta: New York City sidewalk life meets Parisian chic meets City of Angels soul. Ah, where will the wind take us?