Be More Dog.

bemoredog

 

I shouldn’t be here.  Not really.  When I consider the number of times that I should have genuinely died, I shouldn’t be typing at all.  It clearly wasn’t my time.  And life is all about timing.  I’m not a cat person.  I am a dog person.  I don’t know how many lives dogs are supposed to have.  But I must have more than the average cat.

 

1.The first time I should have suffered grievous injury (or worse, that I can remember) I was aged about two.  We were at a Safari Park and I didn’t like the lion clawing our tyres.  So I got out the car and told the lion off, apparently.  I told him or her that he or she was a ‘naughty lion’.  My mother must have required oxygen at this point.  I suspect the said lion needed much therapy.

 

2.As a wee tot, I would only wear, eat or engage with anything that was ‘custard colour’, after my hero, Dougal, from ‘The Magic Roundabout’.  Even my dad had to spray paint his VW Camper Van custard colour.  I was a strong-minded little bugger, even then.

 

I was wearing custard colour socks in a terribly grandiose Parisian banker’s house, aged five or so.  The marble staircase went from top to bottom of the very tall home.  You can see where this is going…and yes, I slipped and fell all the way down the staircase.  Apparently, my mother needed a tranquilizer.  I just got up and skipped about.  I rolled down five flights of stairs unscathed.  I wear slippers these days.

 

3 and 4.I must have loved the floor as my next two near escapes were on pavement.  Head first.  And I have the scars to prove it.  I’m not sure if I was made of rubber but I bounced up again.  War wounds added to the drama of course.  My mother’s heart must have been suffering somewhat by the time I reached eight or nine.  Scrambled my brains all this bouncing around, I am sure.

 

5.When I was 19 I lived in Israel before I went to University.  I would have stayed in Israel, done the Army and Uni but mother wouldn’t let me.  So, I made the most of my adventure time.  On a few of my days off I went to Dahab in Egypt, as most people did, back in the day.  And I caught dysentery as most people also did.  But unfortunately for me, a local Arabian witch doctor decided that he wanted to ‘take the devil out of my body’ and performed a ritual on me.  In Dahab, surrounded by candles and Capri Sun (the drink, not a three quarter length stylish sun).  I haven’t drunk a Capri Sun since.  He actually took a bite out of my forehead.  I screamed so loud, I think they could have heard me in Jordan.  I had a scar on my forehead for months.  Everyone on Kibbutz thought it was highly amusing when I returned to Israel. 

 

6.In 1996 (I think) I went to Mauritius on a Tatler shoot with Tamara Mellon (Jimmy Choo) and Tania Bryer.  To launch a new hotel there.  The very dramatic and moody French photographer decided that he wanted to shoot on a remote island stroke circle of sand somewhere in The Indian Ocean that no one had ever heard of.  Whilst the girls hurried back to the Touessrok Hotel in a taxi post-shoot, once they were landside, yours truly and the said photographer went the scenic route.  By boat.  As an avid seawoman, I thought this would add colour to my trip – wind in the hair and all that.

 

Alas, the wind almost ripped my head off, taking on the form of a gale.  Swathed in wet towels to keep me weighted down, the boat was rocking at 90 degree angles.  The coastguard apparently lost us.  At least I would have gone in style.  In Mauritius.  On a Tatler shoot.  Dahhhling.  We got to shore eventually.  I arrived looking almost as glamorous as the women eating their lettuce leaves at dinner.  Not.

 

7.I worked at Miss World in The Seychelles in 1997.  Awful place.  Full of witch doctors and freaky rain forests.  We kept on getting lost going from one side of the island to the other.  There was only one road.  It is one of the strangest places I have visited.  Whilst walking on the beach, a coconut fell from a tree.  Probably an inch from my ‘rubber’ head.  Literally, an inch away.  Once again, my headstone would have been classy.  “Miranda Leslau.  Died at Miss World in The Seychelles”.   At a glance people might have thought I won Miss World.  HAHA.

 

8.It was a giraffe the next time.  In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on safari.  This grumpy giraffe decided he didn’t like us lot on the jeep and tried to swipe us off a number of times.  You know when you are in trouble with a giraffe as they spread their impressive legs, steady themselves, sway their head from side to side in preparation and then take a swipe.  It’s a bit of a game to them.  It was a close call.  Twice.

 

9.You lot already know about 7/7.  I predicted what would happen at Liverpool Street and told the Police to clear the area the night before.  They didn’t take any notice of course.  And I should have been on that Piccadilly Line train.

 

10.I was pretty ill over the years.  In and out of hospital.  I walked into The Wellington c.2005 and the consultant thought I had 48 hours to live.  They hooked me up to a drip and gave me the wrong meds.  Or indeed the wrong dosage.  I just lay there very still, counting and actually saw the white light.  This is what I do to this day when stressed.  I count.  I do the same when planes start getting bumpy.  I was sure that if I counted for long enough it would just pass and I would come out the other end of the tunnel, alive.

 

11.My most scary brush with death was when I was drugged in a Marbella nightclub.  Roofied.  Me and a colleague at the same time.  It was the scariest experience of my life.  I must have lost about five hours.  I was robbed and found crying in the middle of the street.  I have no idea how or why I did this but I drove home.  I remember seeing the central reservation before my eyes.  I have no idea how I got home.  I even had the presence of mind to remove my heels and put on flip flops.  I wasn’t drunk, the feeling was way different to being drunk.  It was the strangest experience of my life and one I never wish to revisit.  There are some evil people out there.

 

And so we come to modern day me.  You notice how I didn’t even mention the dreaded C.  Nah.  It begins with C.  Like custard colour.  Dougal wouldn’t let that happen to his greatest fan.  Be.  More.  Dog.  Eleven lives and counting.  There’s a lot of life left in this old dog.

 

 

 

The Public Relations of War and Being The Ultimate Agent Provocateur

shalom

The night before 7/7, I was in Liverpool Street with a dear friend who was then No2 at British Transport Police.  I vividly remember standing on the corner of the street opposite the Station, taking money out of the cash point and telling her she needed to clear the area.  That something very bad was going to happen.  Liverpool Street and London were in danger.  The following day, I cancelled my taxi to catch the tube into Central London to lecture in PR at Boston University British Programmes.  I should have been on one of those trains.  When the world speaks of ‘terrorists’, these are the terrorists we should speak of: the ones who proactively plot to kill and whom I refer to in this piece as ‘the global enemy’.  The factions that infiltrate reasonable communities and intentionally and cruelly destroy people, places and damage the Human Spirit.  The Public Relations of War reminds us that words and images should be used carefully and that we should think before we act.

When I was a 20-something Travel PR, the company I worked for was appointed to represent the then war-torn Serbia.  There was much debate about this decision and over time we were challenged on many levels.  From death threats to some very heated journalist debates, Serbia was seen as the aggressor and should not be supported.  Our stance then and my own stance is and was the same: tourism can heal.  Today, who talks of Serbia as a country of terrorists or one that is hated or banning Serbs from shops or services?  The War in Serbia versus the West stays firmly placed in the recesses of our mind.

Serbia is a beautiful country, as is its neighbour Montenegro, with whom we also worked.  Its hard-working people are intelligent, funny, talented and understand sarcasm in the ‘British’ way.   I had done a promotional shoot with Claudia Schiffer for Hello! and !Hola! magazines some years before to promote Montenegrin tourism.  I was overwhelmed by this very small country’s multitude of gems.  Montenegrin tourism is thriving today.  Tourism has greatly contributed to healing the memories of war in The Balkans.

And so fast forward to 2014.  August 2014, to be precise.  I watch with horror as another very beautiful country, brimming with resources and gifts and one that I love (and have lived in) is at ‘war’.  The country I speak of is Israel.    Yet this is different.  Tourism, the natural healer, as has been the case after attacks in Thailand, NYC, Serbia and The Egyptian Riviera of Sharm El Sheik etc, is not enough for what is happening in Israel and Gaza unless the tide of ‘The Public Relations of War’ starts to turn (and fast).  Whilst people from all religious and cultural backgrounds: Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, Buddhist all may have visited Israel to pay homage to what they believe in or want to see and experience, tourism is not a solution, not yet anyway.  So what is ‘The Public Relations of War’?

I went to see a leading Jewry movement in the UK about Israel’s PR many years ago.  I told them Israel had a PR problem.  I recommended that they have (at least) some media training as the representatives on-screen for the world to engage with, came across as arrogant, pushy and aggressive (even if they weren’t).  Their Palestinian or Arab World counterparts (any representative, not the ‘global enemy’ to whom I refer) however, always came across as softly spoken, demonstrating intelligence and empathy.  My recommendations were spurned and dismissed.  This was a problem in itself.  Not admitting there was a problem.  Lesson one.

Unfortunately, the ‘global enemy’ that the world currently faces, knows that Israel has a PR problem.  ‘They’, the global enemy (and please respect my use of language here) happens to be quite brilliant at PR and when I say PR I mean influencing publics to buy into a product, service or way of thinking.  Not only is their collective view of Life/Death different to the rest of us eg they are willing (or forced) to blow up their own flesh for the cause, they do not care how many people die or suffer, albeit Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians, Brits or Americans, as prime examples.  Whilst always keeping Israel by their side, as ‘bad cop’ in this scenario.

Some highly intelligent people are currently naming and shaming Israel as terrorists.  Yes, I agree, Israel should not be ‘intentionally’ bombing or harming anyone: no one should.  Note the inclusion of the word ‘intentionally’.  The global enemy deliberately hides essential weapons and armaments under locations where children and individuals are made vulnerable.  They then use bully tactics to coerce or force people to remain in these locations so that they are ‘intentionally’ wounded or killed.  So when Israel reactively fires a rocket, the images that result show Israel to be the aggressor.  These images spark emotion, fury and demonstrations and secondly, latent or untapped level of hatred towards Jews and Israel.  If Israel did not have its ‘Iron Dome’ the world might not weep for those fallen.  And the death count would be much higher.  The same images might not provoke the same levels of emotion or seeming global rage against an enemy we all face.

Whilst I don’t want to get too deep into the Politics of The Middle East, that very, very few actually understand and shouldn’t even start to discuss unless they have lived or breathed that very existence, my piece refers to how the public relations of war is actually fuelling the power and intent of the global enemy.  Israel is capable of potentially helping save the world from destruction but they might never be thanked.  Israel would just want the job done and would not worry about the thanks.  Just safety and protection for their citizens and Jews being safe around the world.    

When and if Israel weakens the global enemy, such an achievement should be celebrated the world over.  But I doubt this would happen.  Not in the near future anyway.  Israel will continue to have a PR problem.  Even without the global enemy.  What the latter have achieved, quite spectacularly, is to well up fear and hatred within the very nations that shouldn’t be fearing or hating Israel.  The bout of unprecedented Anti-Semitism currently apparent on TV screens and social media feeds chills me to the bone.  The irony is that should the world fall into the dangerous hands of the global enemy, they will take down all the Anti-Semites and Arab nations too.  Israel will come last.  They are a useful bad guy to have on board who makes the global aggressor look like the victim and the good guy.  This war has nothing to do with Palestinian/Israeli borders.  The Arab nations are, ‘un-technically speaking’, crapping themselves.  They back Israel and the world should think about this and take note.  These are nations that have been at war with their neighbour (Israel).  They also know what the global enemy is capable of and wishes for.  These Arab nations fear for their own lives, families and natural gas/oil supplies.  This is not rocket science.

The PR Of War also infiltrates at different levels, to the voice of the people.  People who don’t know better: who want to believe in SOMETHING.  Who want an opinion and to belong, whatever the consequences.  Social Media is a PR dream for the global enemy.  Being the ultimate Agent Provocateur that my late father taught me about many moons ago, Twitter and Facebook is fuelling a fire that is gaining way too much blue (and white) heat.  The media divisions in the UK between left and right used to have more of this power – the impact of news splits into those who want to be told what to think and those who don’t care.  Today, we all want to have our say.  And we can.

With fewer national leaders to believe in and respect however, the ‘people’ create a voice of support for he who shouts the loudest.  In this case, it is the shout of the global enemy.  It is dangerous white noise.   The shout of the same people who blew up towers in the US capital and who, at the time, shocked the world without precedent and quite exceptionally.  The global enemy relished in every second of TV coverage, as well as the panic and misery that this dreadful and intentional war crime inflicted on the rest of the world. 

Yet Israel is still seen as the warlord and terrorist in many people’s eyes.  This is The PR of War.  And this is what all of us need to understand and prevent.  Not for the sake of Israel.  But for the sake of our children and our children’s children, whether they be in Madras, Mexico, Munich or Madrid.  The words and images we post, say, type and threaten will actually dictate how this war ends.  Israel is a very small piece of the poisoned jigsaw puzzle.  Like the Israeli’s I went to see all those years ago, I urge all of you to THINK before you dictate how The Public Relations of THIS War ends.  And please G-d when this dies down, do visit Israel.  It is a truly spellbinding and wonderful country.  I wish the healing of tourism was the answer, as it was with Serbia.  Shalom.  Peace, my friends.       

 

 

 

Modern living: the rise of social Fame and unsocial Media…

dougal

Back in the day of grainy photos, taking a film to be developed at Boots and desperately waiting for holiday snaps to be returned, my personal vision of ‘being famous’ equated to one of five things (aged 4+): either being crowned ‘Miss World’; appearing on ‘Top Of The Pops’ or as a guest on ‘The Muppets’; becoming a Tiller Girl (it’s true, I was obsessed although my little legs didn’t agree) or marrying Donny Osmond (or Dougal from ‘The Magic Roundabout’). 

Today, with the advent of social media, anyone can become famous, even if they don’t have a Simon Cowell contract.  The more ludicrous or bizarre the case for fame, the better.  Instead of retreating to a faraway resort in Montenegro as was the case with screen sirens such as Cary Grant or Sophia Loren (check out Sveti Stefan, mindblowing) where photographers couldn’t find them, the modern day celebrity wants their various publics to know everything about them.  The mystery and allure of the untouchable celebrity is no more.  So when did ‘Fame’ become so social and how has this impacted on our socio-cultural values?

Up until the launch of MTV in the 80’s, most of us Brits were limited to four terrestrial TV channels.  There were mobile phones but you needed to be The World’s Strongest Man to actually pick the thing up.  The cinema was a vehicle of communication, as was radio and print media.  The library was still a valid source of information and people talked to one another.  On a landline.

There was no such thing as reality TV.  Comedians were television and radio heroes, courtesy of excellent script-writing, timing and delivery.  Music was enjoyed and actually celebrated via the medium of TV, radio, record (Single or LP) and then CD.  Celebrated, as the word ‘celebrity’ reminds us to.  Being number one in the charts actually meant something and the release of a new video was deemed ‘newsworthy’ – eg the ‘Thriller’ video or George Michael’s ‘Outside’ hit national news agendas.

In short, our five senses were still intact.  As attention spans shortened, so did the medium of communication.  From phone messaging to Youtube, the images, sounds and words brought to us, had to work harder to exist or mean anything.  The internet and email changed our world beyond measure.  Record companies didn’t have the clout they used to.  We became exposed to far more and yet de-sensitised at the same time.

By default, the number of personalities and celebrities increased many-fold, from the ‘A’ to ‘Z’ list (the latter, too, have agents).  Competition has become more fierce yet evermore accessible.  Success stories happen overnight with the advent of ‘X Factor’ and the like and dreams really do come true.  Television personalities have become famous for being television personalities in reality shows – KUWTK is a fine example of achieving celebrity status without being a celebrity. 

Taking this one step further, social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and Youtube have allowed us to see into the private world of our heroes: from selfies, belfies (noun: self-taken photo of bottom) and belfie stylists to love spats, depression and baby births.  We all feel like we know modern day celebrities.  I remember being at a charity dinner with ‘The Dragons’ a few years ago.  They were all tweeting throughout dinner and loving it.  They loved being loved just as much as the next mere mortal.  Probably more so as the higher up the ladder you go, the more lonely it often becomes.  You never know who your real allies are.

Yet these modern day vehicles of communication and manipulation are not without flaws.  They often create a voice for the wrong people, driven from ignorance and ego and not for the greater good.  Getting a million hits on Youtube is financially recompensed.  Buying Twitter followers is accepted as OK and the lines between celebrity and Joe Public become fused.  Ri-Ri and Kim K are as famed for their belfies as they are for the talent that brought them into our lives in the first place (I am catching up ladies so watch out on the belfie status, LOL).  We spend more time on social media being anti-social than social. 

There is a danger that social media will take over reality and that we won’t actually need to look into the whites of someone’s micro-chipped eye or ever need to experience that gut-wrenching feeling of desire, one on one.  Mystery seems to have disappeared altogether in our lives other than in relation to acts of terror or tragedy: the why.  The old fashioned notion of a woman being mysterious, alluring and pursued by the Prince on the white charger seems less relevant than it was in fairy tales.

All this disappoints me.  I still believe in connection, in the true sense of the word, not just when my phone needs charging.  Don’t get me wrong, I love social media (and of course this is written as a blog, with the hope that it will positively impact upon someone’s day) and the fact that people can achieve their dreams.  But I also love ‘looking up’ and appreciating G-d’s gifts, reality as well as the power of magic.  I don’t know what my modern day view of ‘Fame’ looks like but I still believe in the ‘Pretty Woman’ tale.  I guess the film’s storyline is truer today than ever: we can all create our own literal and allegorical status.  Social media grants us this wish more than at any other time.  If the online algorithm genie is reading, maybe Dougal is single and we can hook up?  Donny is a bit busy.  And smiles way too much.  I like a man with a dark, less social side.  But that is a blog for another day.  I need to practise my belfies.         

 

Café del Miri – Wake up and smell the coffee…

coffee

Most people that I love and who love me back know that I adore a great coffee.  I’m not talking a pint cup of monstrous woppa-mocca-frappa-coco-choccoccino whose one shot of coffee tastes like burnt wood chippings, costs you way too much and whose calorific value probably equates to a quarter of an adult woman’s recommended daily intake. 

No my friends.  What I mean is the fantasy coffee that you would be sipping whilst people-watching in Monaco, Milan or Miami.   The ‘James Bond’ of coffees, the one that you would ideally be supping as Miss or Mister OMG is also drinking in the same establishment.  I think I watch too many films but back to the point.

Coffee is a passion in most European countries except GB.  The Viennese Coffee House is an art form, taken extremely seriously (Vienna is actually my favourite European city).  In Italy, the daily espresso is a way of life much like the baguette in France.  Coffee IS life.

Coffee drinking is not about high blood pressure or ‘this is bad for you’.  It is about living, socialising, engaging, taking in what is around you.  And reading newspapers.  It is not about going to a coffee house because it has a WIFI connection.  Technology moves you away from your connection with life.  The more you connect your charger or laptop, the less you look up and smell the coffee (literally and allegorically).

Coffee is by all accounts actually good for you.  Caffeine can be prescribed to migraine sufferers in Spain.  Many skin products contain it to ‘tighten the skin’ and it hasn’t killed off the Italian race just yet.  It is one of life’s pleasures.  It is one of my life pleasures anyway.  And whilst I am not a fan of booze, I don’t smoke (although I love a cigar) or do drugs, some people will try and make me feel bad about drinking coffee.

The problem is as follows.  Firstly instant granules, that should only be used when making the Greek style of iced coffee (I have the recipe if anyone wants it).  They are generally used with chemicals and would insult most coffee aficionados at first whiff.  The first whiff is actually injected into the jars anyway.

Secondly, George Clooney and the Nespresso advertisements.  OK, he sells machines for them.  But then the company tries to be clever and creates 82 million blends of coffee that no one really understands.  All we want is a decent cup of genuine blend.  Either with caffeine or without.

And on that subject, coffee will only affect your ability to sleep if you are not used to drinking it.  I would be more worried about the chemicals in the instant coffee than to a feast-of-the-senses type of coffee experience that can only be found in a few select parts of the world.  I have probably had a handful of decent coffees in London in 44 years.

Thirdly, most people will have never tasted decent coffee.  If they frequent the global chains that sometimes forget to pay their taxes, this will not train their taste buds to appreciate the real deal.  Most restaurants and cafés also don’t clean their coffee machines enough.  If the blend tastes bitter, it is either crap coffee or the machine needs cleaning.

Coffee, like tea and alcohol, also depends on the vessel used to drink it from.  A mug from Tesco’s is not quite the same as a traditional Italian espresso cup.  My late father, whom I blame for my extreme coffee fetish, would give me a Rombout’s one cup filter coffee in a traditional Rombout cup and saucer.  And we would often venture out where he lived in Antwerp for the same.   I loved this bond and ritual we had.  Coffee was associated with pleasure not with being tired, hungover or rushing for a train.

I have tried every make of cafetière and they always break.  So I have gone back to the traditional staple of a hob coffee maker.  As preferred by the French and the Italians.  Whilst this takes a bit longer to make, the end result it masterful.  Precious and enjoyed.  I am also a fan of soya milk to make the froth for a cappuccino.  The end result is astounding, much richer and creamier and you would never know it is soya milk.  Add your cinnamon on top and ‘way to go’…

You might think I am a lunatic talking about coffee is this way.  But that is part of the Western mindset (particularly in the UK or the US).  Food and drink is about ‘on the go’ and speed rather than ‘take your time’.  Enjoy your food and drink.  Then it will become part of your day rather than seeing coffee as a treat or something equally ridiculous.  Without guilt or regret that is more likely to make you ill than the coffee itself.

Quality food and drink should be relished and savoured.  Yes, I agree, don’t drink too much coffee as it could affect your heart etc.  But this could be said for any sort of visceral pleasure: from meat eating to whisky or head-banging.  The pleasure is in the experience.  A bit like Café del Mar.  Overlooking the sunset as Miss or Mister OMG sits down beside you…happy coffee trails my friends.

     

Lipstick Leslau (in the makeup sense) and Ms Kohl

lips-lipstick

 

I have a confession to make.  I am obsessed with ‘capsule’ everything (well, not everything!?).  The wardrobe I can do.  Toiletries are getting there.  But makeup, hell no.  In my quest to find the perfect set of makeup that, in my fantasy, adorns every Supermodel’s oversized day bag, I have spent thousands of wasted pounds, euros and dollars, on makeup that disappoints me.

 

Perhaps I need therapy about this?  I sit on easyJet planes from Malaga to London and back and dream about the perfect palette, particularly because I am determined to only travel with hand luggage in the future (you heard it here first, people).  Customs officers actually scare me…will they?  Won’t they. 

 

I might actually sue Boots as they claim that their plastic holdalls are an ‘ideal size for airport security’.  According to Luton airport staff, this is not the case.  Or holdall, to be precise.  Some of my favourite items were taken from me.  I felt robbed.  I am going to write to Boots, Lord help them.  Anyway, back to makeup…   

 

The travel sets so fondly created by beauty houses, whilst great in principle, never get it right.  What is this obsession with dull, ridiculous eye shadows, in colours that you just wouldn’t wear?  And so many of them?  Or colours so very sparkly that your eyelid resembles Christmas wrapping paper.

 

The blushers either make you look like a TOWIE reject or as if you are auditioning for Gerry Cottle’s circus (I’m thinking more clown than elephant).  The powders and their associated brushes are so small you end up getting either a streak of green eyeshadow to mattify your brow or a flash of bronze somewhere under your chin.

 

Don’t get me started on foundations, primers, concealers, brighteners, pigmentation dimmers or enhancers.  Laura Mercier is the best but I wish she would do mini versions.  In theory, I would love to use Bare Minerals but knowing my luck, customs would think I was a drug smuggler.  Or I would sneeze at the time of application and my joyous prizes would go everywhere except on my skin.

 

Lip colours are usually designed for the 80+ age group (no offence to 80+ mind you, respect) and this enters a whole different arena.  How a lipstick or gloss can look FABULOUS on your hand or in the mirror and then selfie mania begins and it then looks altogether wrong, is unfathomable to me.  I have found the perfect lipliner though, a saving grace in this sorry tale.  Terry is the brand.  So my capsule makeup kit is lonely, just one-item strong.  Most lipsticks should actually be banned.  They look hideous, even on the catwalk.  Some inspired beings should not watch fashion shows and should not be allowed to shop alone.

 

Eyebrows are another full-time job.  I actually end up using waterproof kohl pencils (blended) for my eyebrows.  Powders tend to make you look like the world is hovering above your brow (or too dusty) and pencils are often so hard that you end up with a graze.  I must have eight pairs of tweezers, ranging from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’.  The good ones I can always find.  The excellent ones are stolen in the wee hours by tweezer thieves, I am sure of it.  I might buy a metal detector.

 

Mascaras and eyeliners, I love the mini-versions so these get a tick, as long as they are decent.  I always wear waterproof eye pencils and mascaras but no makeup kit contains similar versions.  I don’t wear waterproof makeup due to the fact that I am prone to weep a lot.  Moreover, because I am a klutz, adore a big false lash and also to combat heat, humidity and cabin air or the like.  They also tend to glide on better.  I am a big fan of the kohl.  Not in a Helmut kind of way, mind you.

 

So, in summary, here is what my perfect makeup kit requires:-

 

Great base, with just that hint of reflectiveness and overall cover without making you look like a cake top – small size

 

Pore minimizer – small size, the Clarins one is great but comes in a cumbersome glass pot

 

Powder – flat and transparent in colour, with a washable applicator

 

Three eyeshadows – small, matte (2) and iridescent without colour for the evening (1)

 

Eyebrow pencil – that reacts to the colour of your skin

 

Waterproof mascara – a wand with brushes (small size but not compromising the size of the wand)

 

Kohl eyeliners – waterproof, small size, in two colours, one for day (khaki green for moi) and one for night (blue/black, also for moi)

 

Bronze/Blush – that reacts to your skin type – less on sparkle, more on pigment

 

8-Hour cream – does everything that a highlighter likes to do without making you look like cupcake frosting.  Many a lady gets highlighter application soooo wrong in her application (just look on Instagram)

 

Lipstick – dual ended, one for day and one for night, small size

 

Gloss – one, without lights or fluorescent beads but has to smell yummy (not essential if you have a mini 8-hour cream but we all love a Juicy Tube, right?).  Many a lady’s day has been made by a pack of Juicy Tubes

 

Brushes – two double ended brushes (blusher/bronzer and eyeshadow sponge/brush)

 

Lip liner – the one and only Terry lipliner

 

False eyelashes – Hooray for the false lash

 

Tweezers – the ‘excellent’ ones, when found by the new metal detector

 

Makeup bag – another big challenge, the zip being in the right place so that nothing falls out, enough pouches etc

 

So, who is going to be the genius that finds a solution for millions of women’s faces, travel thoughts and social media misdemeanours?  Let’s plot against the customs’ people.  Some women can get makeup so wrong…please help us minimise the fallout on Twitter and Whatsapp.  Or will I have to create Leslau’s Perfect Lipstick n’ Kohl.  Not a Helmut or Cheryl in sight.