If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitiser and the electric toothbrush. We asked Anna Singh, co-founder and creative director of knitwear brand Chinti & Parker, about the mascara, tracksuit, and tongue scraper she can’t live without.
These are like natural hormone-balancing pills, and you take one every morning. They act by smoothing out some of the stressful hormones you get, the up-and-down ones. It’s a way to balance everything out. This blend includes iodine, which is good for calming the nervous system and a worried mind. I find it really helpful.
I like things that have more than one functional purpose. This wash doubles as a mask — so you can leave it on for an hour while you watch some naff telly and then wipe it off with a hot muslin cloth. Or you can massage it in and wash it off like any other facial wash. Afterwards, my skin is glowing and clean, it’s very quick and the results are immediate, it’s great. I recommend using it at night, right before you go to bed.
I’m a product person, so I’m always try new things. I happened to be in the shop of my friend Alex Eagle, who has a wonderful spot in Soho, and I bought the mascara on her recommendation. It just has a real wow effect on your lashes, not in a sort of thick, clumpy way (although some people might go for that look), but just in a very sort of long, elegant, defined way. In terms of what I’m after in a mascara, it gives a very quick lash. It also wears well — sometimes with other products, you can end up with mascara dripping down your face. This holds.
I’m Indian, and all Indians, when they brush their teeth, they scrape their tongue too. This one is something my mum would have picked up when she was in India. It’s basically just a strip of plastic. You can get ‘proper ones’, they’re these U-shaped stainless-steel ones with little plastic handles. If I don’t have a tongue cleaner to hand, I’ll just brush my tongue. It’s a good part of someone’s hygiene routine!
I like to take candles with me while I travel. A nice candle changes the energy of a room. It can give it a bit of a vibe, a bit of an atmosphere. Taking a candle with me somewhere can remind you of home. And at home, it’s nice to have a ritualistic element to lighting a candle. In the living room, or maybe the kitchen — I never light a candle in the bath.
She is a trained healer and she comes from a long line of them. I’ve actually been seeing her for years. So for me, this book gives a lot of very practical advice, if you’re that way inclined, in terms of trying to be aware of your surroundings and the energy you create, or other interactions with others, be it good or bad. For example, if you’re wearing vintage jewelry, featuring a crystal or an old stone or something, she suggests washing it in salt. It helps cleanse all the bad energy from it. Because if you wear something that three other people have worn over a long period of time, it’s like living their lives and taking on their burdens and other things. It’s important to cleanse all that away.
It’s a chic alternative to having to put your toiletries in those nasty clear plastic bags at the airport. Sometimes airport security do stop me from taking this through and make me take everything out, which is a pain. But it has loads of compartments, and I always have it packed with all my essentials at all times, so if I suddenly have to travel for work, I can see at a glance that everything’s in its place. And if anything spills, it’s easy to wipe clean.
I have Muji pens in multiple colours and thicknesses, but personally, I love a fine nib. I’ve got three or four in my bag at the moment actually, I just love the aesthetic, it’s very clean and minimalist. My favourite colour for general note-taking is actually the green one, or the turquoise. Do people normally say black?
I’ve been wearing this navy one for six or seven years, it’s my go-to. I always get cold on planes or when I’m in transit, so it’s a great, cosy piece to wear and it looks great with a pair of white sneakers. People always ask me if I have some crazy cashmere routine, but no: I hand-wash it in lukewarm water (not cold). I live in Notting Hill, and there is a famous Notting Hill moth — like a strain of them, basically — that live in the area. I suppose it’s all the vintage clothing. If I see more than one moth, that’s when I declare an emergency. The frozen food comes out of the freezer and I get as much of my cashmere stashed in there to kill off any moth eggs.
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