Today ‘s ‘Seoulfull Conversations with…’ features the lovely Priya, who you might recognise as @Poofiepeej on Instagram…When I sat down to write this caption, the first thing word that crossed my mind to describe this beautiful person (both inside and out!) was…epicurist. And lo and behold, as I checked her bio, I saw the words ‘hedonist’ and ‘foodie’ which describe Priya to a T! She really is the ultimate foodie and connoisseur and a lover of all things Chanel. Did you spot those Chanel pancakes she made a few weeks ago? Priya is (like me) a firm believer that cleansers needs to spark joy and for that reason only, we can be friends. But she’s also a wonderfully supportive person, she always keeps it real and she is the Queen of Memes (I look forward to the memes she shares everyday on Instagram stories!) In this episode, Priya shares in her uniquely lively and hilarious writing style what she’s been up to, why she’s grateful for her brother right now (despite trying to return him to Sainsbury’s when she was younger) and stay tuned till the very end for six very comforting little stories that are guaranteed to lift your mood!
I hope you enjoy
A little bit more about me…Hello all! My name is Priya but most people know me as Poofie/Poof/Peej or PJ. You may recognise from my picture that I’m a New York Times best selling author. However….you recognised wrong (we are going to ignore the fact that you didn’t remotely think that at all, but that photo coupled with my illusions of grandeur about being a sensational writer is really working for me right about now and I would like to express my sincerest thanks to my publisher, Zarah).
In reality, I’m a 31 years young pleasure seeker who has her fingers in many pies – quite literally and metaphorically! Occasionally, I post my thoughts on Instagram about makeup, skincare and food but those are few and far between these days. I am however, partial to posting an eclectic mix of instastories with topics ranging from beauty to my solidly, at best – mediocre life – #qualitycontent.
I would have been doggy paddling in the Adriatic ocean off the coast of Dubrovnik this week, instead, I’m currently spending time with my family at my home in the exotic, east end of London – and I wouldn’t change it for the world! The weather is heavenly, food is fresh, drinks flow freely and the company is great, what more could I ask for?
When I wake up in the morning, I first… play music out LOUD – it sets the tone for the day. I’m really enjoying listening to music by Masego at the moment, someone described his style as being “jazz, hennessy and dim lights – a lounge with grown folks only kind of music” – pretty spot on I would say. It’s something to slow dance to in the golden hour with a glass of your favourite poison. My favourite tracks of his are Tadow (you need to listen to the studio version with Fkj, the saxophone nearly takes you to a state or Nirvana), Navajo, Prone and Queen Tings.
My friend and I also do a gratitude exercise in the morning, where we message each other 3 things we have been grateful for the previous day. It’s a really nice way to start the day on a positive foot and to be reminded that we are fortunate enough to live a life where moments of gratitude occurs in an abundance. A hat tip goes to Ayah @lipstickandteeth @drayah.s for getting us started on this.
My morning routine consists of…
Cleanse: Freshly Cosmetics Rose Quartz Cleanser. A gelee type cleanser with skin barrier respecting ingredients.
Tone: Klairs Supple Skin toner from @_tonic15. A delectable concoction to feed your skin post cleanse for hydration.
Essence: The pyungyal essence. A God send if your skin is having any sort of inflammatory reaction.
Serum: Suman Velvet Skin Brightening Serum. One of my favourite serums to help maintain youthful looking skin
Moisturiser: Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Comforting Face Cream. The most moisturising facial cream I have tried to date.
Facial oil: Ra Oils Eternal Radiance Oil. I find this to be a very clarifying facial oil which helps to even the disparity of having a combination skin type.
SPF: Dr.ceuracle Cica Regen anti-dust sun gel from @_tonic15 . One of best SPFs I have tried to date. An elegant, moisturising formula which leaves no white cast, blends effortlessly, free from alcohol, doesn’t sting my eyes and creates an impeccable base upon which makeup can be applied.
How my day looks like…consuming inconceivable amounts of tea and doing whatever, whenever, wherever and for however long I as I please. I am well and truly embracing this time without having the inexhaustible need to hold myself accountable for every hour of my working day.
Truth be told, I haven’t been into work for more than 2 weeks since early December and many of my projects came to an end conveniently before lockdown so I feel like I’ve been on an extremely long sabbatical of sorts. What remains consistent is that I wake every day at 6am to make the most of doing the least J.
How I’m attempting to exercise…it appears that my ability to perform any high intensity exercise is also in self isolation…that skill social distanced itself from my physical body at around 10 days into lockdown. I do however, religiously enjoy my morning pilates stretches with resistance bands and a daily jog – a missed day would mean I have the mobility of a flailing fish out of water.
My FitBit has been incredibly useful in monitoring my activity levels and it’s something I routinely rely on to make sure I am consistent with my exercise. If you’re on the fence about getting one – get it! It prompts you to get active, you can monitor various useful stats (from heart rate to sleeping patterns) and you can also get competitive with your family and friends. Not sponsored. Not an AD ;).
My everyday OOTD consists of… pyjamas on 24/7 – and I cannot stress this enough…matching sets. Anyone who conscientiously choses to wear mismatched pyjamas is a whole, home-grown, gluten free, organic, free from artificial colourings and flavourings anarchist
Isolation has given me the time to…revive some old skills. I like to draw, paint, colour etc, so I’m hoping to use my time to create a few paintings to hang up around my home, why pay for someone else’s art when you’re capable of creating a masterpiece ;).
Prior to lockdown, I was considering signing myself up for piano lessons…but I think with enough determination and grit I can teach myself. Maybe touch base with me 6 months from now ;)?
How I’m really feeling…a mixture of feelings, saddened by the deaths, nervous for the post pandemic economy but optimistic for the far future. Collectively us Brits have an unwavering ability to bounce back from anything we are subjected to. The camaraderie of key workers, communities and the NHS are beacons of hope given the circumstances. I worry for my family and friends who are on the frontline. Their and every key worker’s resilience and gracious willingness to serve in the face of adversity is inspiring and something I am immensely grateful for!
Currently binge watching…The Mandolorian on Disney+ prior to which I binge watched every single episode of Panorama on BBC iPlayer – intergalactic civil war coupled with Rajan from Delhi trying to scam OAPs out of their pension money is the type of erratic content I thrive off.
I’m now watching Phantom of the Opera for the 76th time because I love the soundtrack and according to nobody apart from yours truly, my family also loves my baritone rendition of ‘Angel of Music.’ Will perform on demand in exchange for eyeshadow. Or spaghetti. Or a bottle of Dettol.
The Ted Talks app is also brilliant to watch to some short presentations by influential experts on a range of interesting topics. My favourite talks include:
- ‘Do schools kill creativity’ by Sir Ken Robinson
- ‘How great leaders inspire action’ by Simon Sinek
- ‘The happy secret to better work’ by Shawn Achor – start with this one. It never gets old no matter how many times I watch it.
My favourite YouTubers to watch and books to read are…The Vagabrothers on YouTube. They are travel vloggers that capture the vibrancy of any country they visit beautifully. The cinematography is unparalleled; I particularly love their drone footage. They have a lot of travel tips and concise historical information for the avid jet setter.
Throwing in an honorary mention for Mark Weins, a travel food vlogger, who documents native dishes from across the globe. He’s eloquently descriptive of every thing he consumes and introduces the viewer to exotic spices and different methods of cooking some truly mouth watering culinary delights.
I also love reading, non fiction business books mainly. We live in a world which is being engineered to be wildly distracting, to find time to read in such as world can seem strangely arduous but it is something I would like to make more a habit of. Reading, I find is also a double edged sword, as you discover – the more you read, the less you know.
I find books I would like to read from The Sunday Times bestsellers, The New York Times bestsellers and The 100 best books of the 21st century by The Guardian or Instagram accounts such as @getbetterwithbooks @bookthinkers @booksforthewise
Everyday I look forward to…tea time in my garden. 4:30pm like clockwork. It’s the only time of the day I can indulge in something sweet and a strong cup of caffeine. Caffeine is dietary contraband in my normal life but I live in a lawless land now that is void of time and space – so, mazel tov my friend.
My guilty pleasure right now is… Canadian maple cream cookies! A friend bought me back a cabin sized bag amount of them which I was saving for a rainy day. Cometh the hour, cometh the m̶a̶n̶ cookie!
I’m really grateful for…having a sibling to talk to and enjoy doing things with but don’t tell him that, I was devastatingly upset when I found out my parents had chosen to bring home a baby boy from Sainsbury’s when I was 6 years old. Isolation has shown me he makes quite the companion – the Anna to my Elsa, ever present but undeniably subordinate. I’m glad my parents never returned him to Sainsbury’s for a box of Weetabix like I asked them to.
The best ways to stay in touch with friends and family I’m not seeing at the moment are…Whatsapp messages/calls, and Facetime. We’re pretty basic over here on the communication front. I was House partying and Zooming until I found out that details of users have been leaked onto the Dark Web. No, I do not want to be up for sale and available for same day delivery on the Dark Web thank you very much.
What is your comfort food at the moment and can you share with us an easy dish made with store cupboard essentials?
I’m enjoying home made, chunky vegetable soup at the moment prepared with as many varieties of beans I can get my hands on. That paired with some seeded flat bread, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil is what quarantine dreams are made of. I’m also enjoying freshly prepared South Indian thalis – a meal that is ubiquitous with my culture and bursting with delectable flavours.
An easy dish that can be made with some store cupboard essentials is Spaghetti Alio e Olio. There are copious amounts of recipes on the internet for it but it is essentially a base made of olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. I substitute the parsley with spinach and throw in a heart amount of chestnut mushrooms and Italian herbs. Once gently cooked under low heat to retain the flavours, stir through some spaghetti et voila, bon appetite! Pro tip – double, triple or even quadruple the garlic.
What does your night time skincare routine look like?
First cleanse: Heimish All Clean cleasing balm – obliterates make up within seconds and emulsifies off like milk.
Second cleanse: Freshly Cosmetics Rose Quartz Cleanser.
Tone: Klairs Supple Skin Toner from @_tonic15
Essence: Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner
Serum: The Odinary Lactic Acid Serum (if I am not using retinol) it’s great for getting rid of dry and flaky skin.
Retinol: This varies between Drunk Elephant, La Roche Posay and Alumiere MD (if I am not using lactic acid).
Moisturiser: Polar sleeping mask. Delightfully moisturising and really seals in all the layers of nourishment I applied.
Facial Oil: True Skincare Rosehip and Geranium facial oil.
It’s all very strategic but mainly intuitive when it comes to skincare with me.
The one skincare product I’m loving at the moment is…Elizabeth Arden Intensive 8 hour Lip Repair Balm! Since Nuxe changed their formula on their Reve de Miel lipbalm I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement and this formula strikes the right balance of being superiorly moisturising without leaving an unpleasant residue on the lips. I have read that those who are on a course of Roaccutane favour this balm as they are prone to developing incredibly chapped lips.
The luxury item that I cannot live without at the moment…apart from tech gadgets it will have to be my Aromatherapy Associates Bath and Shower Oils collection. They potent little potions which are perfect to unwind in the evening with, it really gives you a spa experience at home and a little goes a long way.
I’m currently coveting…I’m feeling very uninspired by the majority of makeup and skincare at the moment in time. Everything seems to be replicate what is ‘trendy’ but not necessarily beneficial. There are large disparities in creativity and product innovation between mainstream brands and their far eastern counterparts.
However, independent brands such as Apothaka, Dames & Dimes, Saint Iris Adriatica, Merumaya, Jane Scrivner and Deviant Skincare to name a few have really unique formulations if you want to explore a path less beaten.
What I am really coveting is a Moyogi bonsai tree which I will call Bey-onsai haha, a Bang & Olufsen sound bar which I cannot wait get an ASBO for and a book called The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway.
After isolating I cannot wait to…see all my family and friends! Hugs, conversations and good times!
What’s honestly keeping me sane at the moment…variety is the spice of life! I’m a notorious multitasker. I can be eating my lunch, listening to a book on audible and writing up a quarterly business plan all at the same time. Having a number of different things to fleet between keeps me busy and engaged.
My advice for everyone right now…I don’t have an all encompassing piece of advice which will be applicable to everyone but here are 6 little stories that may provide some solace:
1) Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered,
but only one boy came with an umbrella. That’s FAITH.
2) When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them. That’s TRUST.
3) Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning,
but still we set the alarms to wake up. That’s HOPE.
4) We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. That’s CONFIDENCE.
5) We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children. That’s LOVE.
6) On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence ‘I am not 80 years old
I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’ That’s ATTITUDE.