25 Sep 2019

Best-Kept Beauty Secrets Q & A #1

Best Kept Beauty Secrets Q & A on vickiarcher.com

Let’s talk beauty.

I have asked my great friend Serena Crawford to kick off this new series. She has a wonderful voice both in real life and in words. She is effervescent, flamboyant and totally charming. You met once before.

I want to hear your take on all aspects of beauty, what works for you and what resonates. xv

Over to Serena,

Define your interpretation of beauty?

Glow. Glow from the inside and from the outside. There are many kinds of beauty, and the ones I admire the most, all require work. If someone glows from the inside, it means they have chosen to have a loving, generous and happy heart. It means they are loved and loving and it’s so easy to see.
They are passionately interested and interesting. They have a sense of humour and they don’t take everything so seriously or personally. They have a meaningful life that’s also full of fun and joy.
They are disciplined and resilient and understand nothing stays the same and everything that happens is ultimately for their highest good.

You are passionately interested and interesting. You have a sense of humour and don’t take everything so seriously or personally.

You have a meaningful life that’s also full of fun and joy.

You are disciplined. You are resilient and understand nothing stays the same and everything that happens is ultimately for your highest good.

When I see this kind of beauty it is completely wonderful and it is ageless. I also love the beauty of youth that is so filled with hope. I love young people especially beautiful ones that are laughing. I think someone laughing who also is in love is the pinnacle of beauty.

PS if you want to glow from the outside Chanel do an amazing stick glow, called, Baume Essential Transparent.

Who are your role models/muses when it comes to living life with beauty?

Nicole Kidman

Cate Blancett

Duchess of Cambridge

Audrey Hepburn

Jane Fonda

Rodger Federer

Taylor Swift


What is your “true” beauty routine?

*30 minutes of meditation every day

*No sugar and flour ever, lots of vegetables and salad.

*Best hairdresser and sometimes I forget to go as much as I need to go…a haircut is life-changing and I need to remember that.

*Walking in nature, swimming in the sea.

*Serums from Clarins Double Serum and Dior Le Lift.

*Lots of Dior Dream Skin and Chanel make up!


*A weekly manicure.

Best Kept Beauty Secrets Q & A on vickiarcher.com

Only one beauty product allowed, what would it be?

Mascara and I love Chanel Extreme so much. My eyes are tiny and pale and they need it ……but recently the most favourite beauty product is Rapid Lash for eyebrows and eyelashes. It actually works and I  now have ridiculously long eyelashes I grew myself with the help of this seriously amazing product.

The one beauty treatment you can’t live without?

One beauty treatment I can’t live without is a weekly massage.

The one beauty treatment you can live without?

Beauty treatments I can live without are any of those very fancy treatments for the skin that involves lasers and endless equipment.

I can’t see the point.

Beauty and exercise go hand in hand – what is your easiest and most sustainable exercise regime?

Well, the easiest is to put on my walking shoes and go walking…and I can do that anywhere, any time and in any weather. But I’ve recently invented “walking/dancing and singing” at the same time for myself. It makes me incredibly happy… and I feel it is a bit more exercise than just walking. It helps me get up tough hills. It involves a good playlist of dance music on Spotify, headphones and a complete inability to feel embarrassed.

When and where do you feel the most “beautiful”?

I feel most beautiful when I have honoured my commitments to myself, in terms of what I eat, what exercise I do and how calm and serene my day is because I haven’t over-scheduled myself…The last sentence is critical because I look ugly when I’m over-scheduled and doing too much. I particularly feel beautiful if I’m in good shape, this is a long hard battle for me and I work on in it every day.

I love clothes and in my case, they are the quickest fix in making me feel beautiful…and if I don’t like what I’m wearing it really affects me…and whether I think I look beautiful. Most importantly my loving husband thinks I’m beautiful which is so adorable (love is blind!) and tells me so often   … and that’s what matters to me!

When I’m all dressed up and I’ve had a manicure, my hair has been done, I’m wearing high heels and I have on lots of makeup and I’m excited I’m going to a party! I’m not a natural beauty. I love all that stuff. And I need it!!

Best Kept Beauty Secrets Q & A on vickiarcher.com

What influences and drives you to lead a more “beautiful” life.

I really admire disciplined people. REALLY.  So they influence me enormously. And any time I’ve overcome a potential towards a lack of discipline I get completely inspired in my life.  So this is what drives me to lead a more “beautiful” life. I believe the biggest gift you can give to yourself and your family is to lead a happy, fulfilled, growing and beautiful life. Everyone around you has the best time including yourself when you are happy, healthy, interested and interesting…nothing more beautiful than that!

When you are in your 60s you have a big job, and that is to share what you have learned, so it is no time to “retire” …this is your moment to be really busy being a mentor of some kind and constantly learning.  I am doing a Yale course online called The Science of Well Being (it’s the most attended course in Yale history and now you can do it online at Coursera.com) I can thoroughly recommend it. It is this sort of thing that keeps me leading an examined beautiful life. I read a lot of inspirational literature and listen to it on the Audible App. I’m so grateful for being able to access the best teachers in the world on Youtube and these are the people who influence me through literature, lectures and courses.

Discipline and stimulating ideas definitely influence me to lead a more beautiful life.

The 3 most “beautiful” and meaningful words for you?


Letting go.


I have written my 20 Best-Kept Beauty Secrets – what is your 21st Best-Kept Beauty Secret?

I’m not a beauty and I have no secrets!
Because I wasn’t a beauty I had to think of something else and part of my plan was to be interestingly and dramatically dressed and wear my hair long, very high heels to emphasise the fact I was already extremely tall… and Lots of makeup which I adored. That boat has sailed recently. I suddenly got older and I’m having to reinvent myself entirely and my looks daily. I can see the lifetime long hair now has to be shorter. The heels, the lipstick, too much jewellery all under the microscope or packed away. The opportunities to be dramatic have dwindled enormously especially as I don’t want to look like Iris Apfel which I think is a danger in my case. I don’t want to be a poster girl for Advanced Style. I’m trying to look interesting without overdoing it.

Recently I have faced the biggest aging spurt I’ve ever been through. I’m a tiny bit shocked by it as it happened so suddenly. I’m working out daily what it means and what I’ve got to let go of and what has to be tweaked. And how my diet, exercise and self-care has to be really worked on and worked out. I can get away with nothing now. Nothing !!!

I think constantly reassessing and refreshing who I am, and what I look like and being prepared to let go and change what isn’t working is my biggest beauty secret.
I love change and the new, so this is a new experience. It’s not easy to view yourself as an older person, but I’ve decided to be grateful for every wrinkle , crease, swollen, altered, worn, aged part of me, we have had a fabulous ride together and that is the price we have paid for the adventure of being alive and participating in the long movie of my life.

follow Serena on Instagram @serenacrawford

VA In Your Inbox

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In This Post:



Rene Hartman

Serena is my all time favourite on Instagram, I am also South African and what an inspiration she is! Love each of her Instagram posts tremendously – this piece of writing is a joy.
PS – I recently discovered Jane Fonda – My Life So Far –


Mine too… always something entertaining and informative… or beautiful! I shall have to discover Jane Fonda too :)


How Blessed am I today to have opened my email account and have two beautiful women in front of me; Vicki Archer and Serena Crawford. The passion you two share as friend’s is “beyond” lovely. The passion you two share with the world is “beyond” wonderful. Thank you for this.
Vicki, you must know by now I am a “huge” admirer of you and all you bring to my “life” with your beauty and knowledge of so many topics. 20 Best Kept Beauty Secrets opened so many topics of discussion for me. And now Serena’s “take” on beauty offers yet another “bonus” to an already fabulous 20 Best Kept Beauty Secrets. To two beautiful women Thank You.


Great interview, so inspiring! I love Serena and follow her on Instagram. She has such panache and a beautiful spirit! I do have a wee bone to pick with her though as she says “I am no beauty” and clearly she is both internally and externally! Thank you Vicki for sharing another one of your cool girlfriends with us!


Hi Vicki
Oh Serena, what a gem you two are. Yes a daily fix of the adventures, videos, stories, dogs, and roof making. Serena you have it all going on 360 • vision and acceptance of all going on in the world. Tha Autodidactic (self) education that I aspire to, well done. Can’t wait for more adventures.

Trish Murphy

Hello Vicki. I loved this interview with Serena. So much to absorb and everything she says resounds with all of us
of a Certain Age. I love her IG account. This interview would not happen without you thank you again for being our heath and beauty guru. Where would we be without you? Enjoying the Beauty Emporium. Have a lovely day. Xx Trish


“…I’ve decided to be grateful for every wrinkle , crease, swollen, altered, worn, aged part of me, we have had a fabulous ride together and that is the price we have paid for the adventure of being alive and participating in the long movie of my life.” What a great sentence! Thank you for sharing Serena.

Debra Shriver

Very inspiring. And yes, it takes work. Vicki, I’d love to see your answers too! 💜❤️


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