Seoulfull Conversations with @hiddenharmonyworld

I remember the first time I stumbled on Binita’s @hiddenharmonyworld ‘s Instagram account. @gothamista featured her as a guest on her blog (please revive this Renee, of course I watch your YouTube videos without fail but reading blogs are a personal favourite) and christened her the ‘Balm Queen’. At the time, I was still very much solely immersed in the KBeauty realm but I trusted Renee’s  impeccable taste and headed immediately to read about Binita’s favourite balms. I was instantly hooked. I read that blog post earnestly, drooled over her eloquently penned description and beautiful pictures of her most treasured balms (including a very special creation of her own, her Calendula and Turmeric balm) and marvelled at her knowledge and expertise about ingredients. Yep, you read correctly, she does indeed create her own masks, body mousses and balms and they are totally drool worthy I assure you (check out the skincare porn under the hasthag hhwbalms . I consider it serendipity that shortly after that, I won her giveaway in conjunction with my favourite subscription box of all times (everyone knows this is Boxwalla) featuring a brand that is very dear to my heart, Earthwise beauty. That was the first time I got to try two of my most used products; Resiliency (reviewed here if you fancy a read) and Yasuni (a balm I fell in love with, read my review here) It all feels like this was written in the stars really and that everything aligned perfectly!

Binita is amazing, her Instagram accoun is full of vivant and vivid balms, impeccably crafted skincare routines sprinkled with selfies of her gorgeous face and favourite makeup looks. She has a very informative blog, and her skincare knowledge spans across genres, she can talk about Green Beauty, DIY skincare as effortlessly as she would about Dennis Gross and Aldi’s Lacura range.  I urge you to check it out here.

 In this instalment, we learn a little bit more about the elusive person behind HHW, her life in isolation with her family in Australia, her comfort food and how she really is valuing her family time during lockdown

Hope you enjoy my loves!

A little bit about me…I’m Binita otherwise known as HHW or @HiddenHarmonyWorld in IG realm. Currently, I reside in Melbourne Australia with my family (husband and daughter). Melbourne is under Stage Three Lockdown Restrictions which basically means isolate at home, and step out only when needed for grocery shopping, or visit doctor or chemist, or daily exercise or out in groups of no more than 2 (with household members only). In saying so, given this type of situation is a first in our life time, the interpretation of these rules isn’t black and white and police are empowered to slap hefty fines ($1652 individuals). Anyway I majorly distress, so life for me continues as normal however all from confines of my home.

When I wake up in the morning, I first…hit the snooze button for my 6am wakeup call. Given that I’m not a morning person, it takes me a while to wake up, hence the ‘snooze hitting activity’ persists for a while until I finally roll out of bed at 7ish. Thereafter,I have a warm glass of water to kick start my system. I don’t like talking or eating anything until I’ve brushed or washed my face or had a properly caffeinated drink.

My morning skincare routine… has remained consistent but the products I use tend to be different. It includes a good massaging cleanse (really helps draining any puffiness I may have had overnight), maybe a clay (Rejuvi Exfoliating mask or Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant) or enzyme brightening mask (Skinjuice Facial in Jar), patting in essence (Whamisa or Blithe or Jurlique), hydration serum (EWB Nap in the Meadow or range of hydrating serums in my stash) and light cream or gel (DrDG Hyaluronic Cushion, or Origins Ginzing Gel Cream or Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel). One thing I look forward to religiously, is removing the cleanser with Avène Thermale Water, misting with this generously I experience sheer joy each morning.

Homemade balms made by Binita
Binita’s homemade creations

How my days look like currently… they’re busier than usual, staying home and working is a lot harder for me. But still grateful that I’m able to do so, and that Ihave all flexibility I need (huge credit to an excellent team!!).

For exercise…long walks are my thing on cooler days. Also not sure if going up and down stairs endlessly for house chores counts as cardio. I do like my exercise ball and kettle bell to strengthen and tone muscles. 

My daily OOTD is… a comfy ventilating robe, PJs or something decent on the top (for video call meetings) while down I have PJs.

A new activity I’ve been experimenting with is… cooking a whole lot more elaborate and experimental recipes. I’ve never made these many Biryani’s in my life!

How I’m really feeling right now… fine. There have been minor adjustments to my daily routine but nothing is a deal breaker as such. I know that this will pass once under control, however can’t say same of the lasting impact on economy where I’ve seen number of people being laid off, people struggling to make ends meet etc. At least when it comes to Covid, we’ll have vaccines eventually. I can’t say the same for our global economy. Tanking markets make me very anxious and this will take years to repair. Potentially worse than last recession of 2008 too.

Currently binge watching… How to Fix a Drug Scandal on Netflix (next in line is Ozark’s new season). I’m also in the process of revisiting the Avenger series.. Between Disney, Netflix and Prime I’m occupied.

I don’t watch YouTube, or listen to podcasts or read any particular books or websites. I’m consumed by news, so daily 30min sesh with Reuters. I know many prefer not watching or reading news anymore as it feels gloomy, but I need to know and the ignorance is bliss principle doesn’t work for me.

One thing I look forward to on a daily basis is…family time, whether it’s play time or bath time with our daughter. Spending hours on end with my daughter is something I look forward to every minute. This isolation has made that possible for me 🙂 

Also, I love sitting down with glass of wine with Mr.HHW / my husband and just talk and cook together.

Right now, I’m grateful for… health and family. I don’t believe the human race needs much more than that to survive. Of course a major skincare stash is lovely too but it;s always the basics that I’m eternally grateful for. 

To keep in touch with family and friends…I’ve been fully exploiting FaceTime, be it for brunches, coffees, etc. My life hasn’t stopped or paused, the only difference is that there is no physical , in person interaction. However, I’ve never felt more closer to my family and friends. 

My all time comfort food..is Dal. Any type of dal, made from any lentil, but always a comforting bowl of Dal with a tiny dollop of Ghee (my mum would have a tear in her eye😆)

My night time skincare routine is…not as elaborate as I used to indulge in. I’m going through a phase where the routines mean business. I still tend to double cleanse with SKII Cleansing Oil (as I’ve had sunscreen on for a walk during the day or time spent in backyard) and Darphin Balm cleanser, removing it all with warm washcloth. I then follow this up with a serum and oil or cream. Depending on night, the repairing ingredients chosen vary between Retinol to Acid (AHA and/or BHA) intensive products. Oddly enough, my masking routines have significantly reduced while at home, but once in a while I enjoy slapping it on. I’ve also been trying to be consistent with NuFace Trinity however that’s been a constant struggle for me. In total, my routines don’t take me longer than 10mins, of course this doesn’t include brushing my hair (and applying new fave Christophe Robin Sandalwood Hair Cream on ends), dry brushing and moisturising my body.

Binita's honey DIY Honey cleanser
Binita’s honey DIY Honey cleanser

When it comes to skincare, I never wants to me without… an acid or treatment intensive product (with Retinol, or Niacinamide or AHAs with Peptides). Also in my case, I can’t just pick one product, so it is Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Cream, Monastery Made Glycolic XX Serum from the current Boxwalla and January Labs Triple Active Reclaiming Serum.

When all of this is over, I cannot wait for a…Hair cut! OH. MY. GOD!!! My hair is growing like weed, unruly and all over the place. Hence, it’s always in a Bun situation and desperately aching for a chop. I’d also like a proper facial and peel, mani and pedi, Korean body exfoliation as well. Lastly, a visit to to our local Hot Springs. Basically, I can’t wait for a self care day out.

I’m keeping myself sane by…constantly reminding myself to show gratitude for what we have and don’t have for that matter. I’ve heard many friends and colleagues complain about lockdown and isolation and homeschooling kids and so much more, but in my current situation, I believe I have much more to be thankful for. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Oh also, insanely indulgent food being cooked each day in our house.

My advice to everyone right now is…be grateful for good health and loved ones and most of all count your blessings. Nothing is a constant in life, it is all cyclical and this too will pass. In the mean time, be kind to one another and look out for vulnerable ones. Stop complaining (waste of energy and effort) and enjoy this time for what it has to present, because this won’t last. Someone recently sent me a card and it said ‘Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is the new wealth. Kindness is the new cool’. If only we traded our expectation for appreciation, the world changes instantly.

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