9 Feb 2015

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets #9

iris apfel, architectural digest, the best kept beauty secrets, vicki archer

One of the best kept beauty secrets is engagement.

I’m not talking military manoeuvers or diamond sparklers, but engagement of the mental and emotional kind; being engaged with others.

Engagement is all about listening, being interested, participating and actively sharing in what our friends, colleagues and families think and feel. It is about being there; about the one to one.

When someone is captured by what you have to say it is the most flattering of sensations.

For in a way, engagement is an art.

To be engaged we need to fine tune the senses, know when to listen and when to contribute. Engagement means positive contributions not overwhelming advice or reiterations of i-told-you-so. Engagement is not for selfish people, those who are only interested in their own stories, journeys and adventures. It’s a two way street and we need to take the time to really hear what our pals are saying, for if we do, they will surely reciprocate.

Being made to feel beautiful, interesting and valuable is a precious gift.

Engaging with someone in our most genuine way is how to bestow such generosity. Putting ourselves last in line and considering others before self, especially when we feel as if our world is balanced very precariously, is not the easiest. To be preoccupied with our own goals, successes and problems is natural. The key to good engagement is balance. To be able to step outside of ourselves and really focus on others for that moment.

Engagement like swings and roundabouts, means our turn will come.

Another way to show an engaged persona, is to be present in the moment. Remember what it feels like to be in the company of someone who makes you the centre of their orbit, their only focus, the only one that matters. We forget all about ourselves and we become mesmerised by them. It is uplifting and builds confidence. The tables turn and their interest in us makes them so desirable.

All the fame, intelligence, wealth and physical allure in the world means absolutely nothing if the ability to engage with others is absent.

Beauty has many faces; engagement is only one of them.

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets

#1  //  #2  //  #3  //  #4  //  #5  // #6  //  #7  //  #8

for a more practical beauty secret, have you seen the valentine’s kit?

truly, perfect… xv

iris apfel photographed for architectural digest

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post: ,



Mimi Gregor

*Nods* I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, at a young age, and am so glad I did. It speaks to this very subject and more, and I wish that it were required reading in our schools. I know that it is an old book, but it’s lessons are timeless. The chapter on how to make conversation was an “aha” moment for me, as I had always been shy and didn’t know how to make “small talk”. I think that many people would grow up with more self-assurance if they read this book early on. And self-assurance is the cornerstone of any beauty or chic. Thank you for reminding us of this.

Anita Rivera

Your thoughts are SO wise and your phrases well-turned. How true, how absolutely true is it that we must give and give and our turn will come. One of the most flattering things that I’ve ever experienced is when someone is really listening to me, undistracted and inquisitive. Some people in my life are not as such, and that is something I’ve had to resign myself to. But the remedy for that is to be the one who listens. Oh Vicki, you are wonderful. Go engage yourself in someone today. I am. Anita

Stephanie Anderson

“Being made to feel beautiful, interesting and valuable is a precious gift” is something I believe you give to each of your readers…I never leave one of your posts not feeling that you truly care about each and everyone one of us! This is a “precious gift” that you have given us…Today…begins a more caring and attentive person! Love my Net-A-Porter Valentine Gift! Thank you for the suggestion. ❤️


Thank you… and it’s true, I do care about my readers greatly.. What would be the point otherwise? :)

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

Just an FYI – I am never ahead of the fashion game, and I do not pretend to be, but on January 30th you posted a gorgeous pink dress that was/is so gorgeous. Last night at the Grammys Rihanna was wearing it. The minute I saw it I remembered seeing it on your site.



I think Iris Apfel is an engaging kind of woman… no real connection, I just liked it.. and as I think she is an inspiration.. why not? :)


Your words are so very true, Vicki. How important it is to live in the moment, both with other people and also when alone: observing life around us – the beauties and also the sad or ugly things.
In our daily lives we can get so caught up with thinking of mundane to do lists or issues requiring action – or drifting over things from the past – and then miss the moment. As we get older we realise much more that our days are finite and how important it is to really live each day and make the most of each hour.
Have noticed how many people seem to have one eye on their mobile phones all the time they’re in a conversation. How engaged can they be with the person they’re with if they can’t put the phone down?
Agree, also really like this picture of Iris Apfel in her home. She’s quite a remarkable woman. Best wishes, Pamela

Vicki D

For me being engaged means keeping your heart open and not letting the past or the future get in your way. As you said, be in the present. Stay open.


Your “pop up” for subscription keeps popping up right over the article as I am reading it! And there is no way to delete it! I am already subscribed but I’m ready to unsubscribe because of this pop up that is interfering with my ability to read your post!


I am really sorry… I have been trying to fix this and it seems to be ok, then happens again…
Could you by any chance send me a screen shot of what is happening to vicki@vickiarcher.com I would really apreciate it :)
I also wonder if it is happening to many or just a certain operating system..


Thank you Vicki. If anyone has talked to a person who is not really there, their mind is elsewhere, well you might as well be speaking to a wall. The opposite as you describe is so memorable and means so much to both parties in the conversation! It is not that hard to be in the moment and be kind, considerate and engaged!

Featuring The HighBoy


I find women such as Mrs. Apfel and Beatrix Ost so inspiring. I have no connection to the advanced age blog (and the film, book) and I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it as source of great inspiration. Wish advertisers would agree and stop showing us teenagers and 20 somethings as models.

Ruth Kendall

Thank you for your beautiful words. My wonderful husband has this quality. I’m still working on it.

Segreto Secrets

A very thoughtful post on being present- you’re right, it is a beautiful quality to possess!
xo. Leslie
Segreto Finishes


Wonderful post Vicki, this is just following on from the Dali Lama’s way of thinking, of always being in the PRESENT moment. The book by Eckhardt Tolle – The Power of Now, is another fab book. I have not read How to win friends and influence people, but I will. Inspirational and something I try to put into practice each day. xx


Wonderful reminder! I love the picture of Iris Apfel! She seems to me to be a person who is definitely engaged with Life!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Inspired By #5