Wednesday, 27 February 2013

SKINLIFE experience.

Walking through Chiado, in the heart of Lisbon, there's a shop everybody should visit: SKINLIFE. 
Aiming to offer a unique and exclusive collection of perfumes, make-up, skin and hair care and lifestyle products, the Dutch owners Dennis de Vries and Patrick van den Berg opened this boutique a year ago. 

Some of my friends told me about it after they went there and loved the experience, so I decided to stop by and see for myself what Dennis and Patrick have to offer. Skinlife is located in Rua Paiva de Andrade 4, a few metres away from Baixa-Chiado metro station outside the famous Cafe A Brasileira. 

Walking in is a completely different experience. It's no ordinary perfume shop. The spacious layout features walls covered with perfumes, skin and hair care products and make-up and the whole experience is enhanced by a fresh clean smell that makes you not want to leave. Dennis explained that the people who create their products are passionate about and only use the purest and highest standard ingredients to ensure the quality of the products. That is what it makes them "niche brands". Dennis worked for the top in the beauty brand, Creme de la Mer, and an exclusive Spa resort and did the make-up for a number of films and TV shows. His last job in Holland was Skins Cosmetics. Patrick, whose mum is Portuguese, started his career at Chanel Benelux and was responsible for make-up events, training and press lunches. During his 5 years at Chanel where he became head make-up artist, he travelled all over Europe to experience the differences in make-up cultures. He also worked as a make-up artist for several fashion shows, photo shoots, TV shows and films. The philosophy they both share is to bring exclusive brands to the Portuguese market so their clients enjoy something exclusive and distinguished. 

They invited me for a coffee and sat down for a little chat when they confessed they care more about the relationship they're building with the clients than the value of the products, and I have to say that their products are not as expensive as you might think. People might assume that, just because Skinlife doesn't look like a normal beauty shop, the products they sell are expensive. Well, that’s simply not true. For example, skin care products range in price from €22 to €85, make-up from €18 to €50, home fragrances (which I'm smelling as I write thanks to their gift of an amazing scented candle that I’m now addicted to!) from €20 to €85 and perfumes from €15 to €375. Nowadays pricing is so important and even more so when it comes to beauty products. So you see, it's not that expensive, is it? 

Apart from representing and selling these products, they also offer other high quality services such as eyebrow treatments using tweezers, daily, party and wedding make-up and workshops in groups where Patrick teaches you how to create a day time look and how to adapt it to the night - and all this while drinking a glass of wine or juice and nibbling on some appetizers. He also is available for masterclasses. The price range: from €25 to €50 per person. What a fantastic idea!? Why not take your friends and spending an evening at the boutique and learn some make-up tips? Or maybe what you need is your morning make up. In this case Skinlife offers you the possibility of having your make-up done while having a lovely breakfast at the boutique so you can arrive at work looking your best!

They also have a little section for leather goods: Guild of Holland. Guild has developed a style of product design that reinforces an understated approach through apparently simple ideas, structures and designs all with the highest quality materials available. They sell iPhone covers to key hangers, shopping bags and clutches which can be personalized with your initials and your favourite colour. 

Among smells of vanilla, fresh citrus and vetiver, Dennis and Patrick revealed that next month they will be launching a custom skin care service. How amazing is that?! So you'll know which type of skin you have and you'll be able to buy products specially created for you.

As a team they have years of experience, working for the best perfume houses in the world. Above all they are passionate about beauty.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Rule # 13: How to wear peplum.

Men don't find it sexy and attractive and this is considered not to make you look thin. It's a bit costumery, a detail that was hugely criticized in the past for being difficult to pull off, yet one thing is sure – peplums are fun, jolly and unique. And they are most certainly not a look that only slim girls can wear.

The peplum has come back to fashion with a modern twist and looks much simpler and more interesting now. It comes in various forms, both bolder and more demure shapes and is no longer considered to be a detail to be scared of. They appear on elegant dresses and jackets, skirts and tops, blouses and pants, shorts and even jumpsuits. And thanks to so many variations, there are numerous ways to wear them. However, if you want to look at your best in peplum, make sure to read through these style tips on how to wear peplum. 

Start with shapewear and cinch
Peplum is amazing for creating a sexy hour-glass figure and if you want that glass to be flawless and flare out only where the shirt does, make sure to wear a high-waisted panty or one-piece slimmer. If that doesn't help you much, you can always cinch the waist with a belt. If you are more self-conscious about your middle, you can use a skinny belt, and, on the contrary, if you feel you want to hide that part, a wide belt can always cover anything you don’t want to be much visible.

Keep it simple
Peplum is already an exaggerated detail, so try to keep things as simple as possible for the best results. Avoiding bold, eye-catching colors and prints is definitely a great trick. Certainly you can wear vibrant peplum, if you feel much self-confident. Besides, patterned and colorful peplum matched with a dark skirt or dark pants can make your body look smaller. And if you want to create the illusion of a slimmer upper body, go for a bottom featuring colored or patterned peplum. Also try to avoid designs with extra-large poofs on the area of the hips. Think more structured tops and dresses that don't add a huge boxy layer around the hips.

What to wear with peplum
To make sure your figure looks ideal in peplum, it's important to know with what item you are wearing it. The vintage trend is to wear peplum with a pencil skirt, as this way you'll accentuate the overall silhouette. However, keep in mind that pencil skirts tend to shorten the legs, so this look is more appropriate for taller girls. And if you are shorter or curvier, a pair of skinnies worn with peplum is the best fit for you. This modern way of wearing the peplum streamlines the lower body and makes it look slimmer. You can even try wide-leg pants.

How to accessorize when rocking the peplum
Since peplum tends to make one look shorter and curvier, it's advised to wear high heel shoes or platforms with it. Other than that, it's advised to keep your accessories to a minimum. You can play with waist belts to create the effect you want to.

A few more things to consider when choosing a piece with a trendy peplum

Peplums can have both sliming and voluminous effects. To know how to cover your flaws and accentuate your best assets, it's important to know these style tips and tricks:

• To accentuate your waist, go for a peplum on a jacket that is short and cute and that ends right above your hips. Use a belt.
• To add volume to the hips, think a skirt or a dress with puffy and fancy peplum that ends in the mid-section of your hips.
• To make the hips look narrower, try to find a sleek peplum with no volume. It should end after the widest part of your hips.
• To make your large bust look smaller, wear a skirt with darker color on peplum and a lighter color underneath.
• To get a slimming effect, opt for a total black outfit with a peplum.
• To balance your body proportions right, avoid A-line skirts with peplums. Only pencil skirts will be the trick.
• To make sure you don't look short in the peplum, avoid long skirts or dresses with this detail. The hem of your skirt or dress should hit above the knee and just below it.
With these amazing peplum style tips, every girl is sure to look mesmerizing and sexy in clothes featuring peplums and prove men that peplums are actually stylish and attractive.

Pictures: Pinterest, Getty.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Too many things have been said about thin models and how important it is to be healthy rather than skinny (if you're skinny and healthy, congrats!). For a few years now more "real" women have been appearing in magazines and TV ads but there's still a long way to go. Bloggers are a big influence in the fashion industry so we play our part and start posting more curves instead of thin models and "perfect bodies". At the end of the day, who is perfect or who wants to be perfect? Not me. We have to celebrate women’s curves, we have to empower their ego and make them feel good because they look good. We should help them to get along with their own body and enhance their best parts. Tyra Banks is one of a few models who appeal women to celebrate their own curves and the 10th season of her TV show America's Next Top Model was won by a "plus size model", Whitney Thompson.

Having curves is not a problem, it's a plus. If you don't know how to find the right clothes, get the help of an Image Consultant to guide you. It’s worth the money! 

Pictures: Pinterest, Getty.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Goya Awards 2013

Last night was the Ceremony of the Goya Awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars. On the red carpet was spotted lots of flash, glitter, black, sexy necklines and big jewelry. Maribel Verdú turned up in a long-sleeved black top and rose-printed ball skirt by Raf Simons for Dior. She got the best actress award for “Blancanieves,” a black-and-white silent film. Veteran actress Goya Toledo stuck with Elie Saab in a sultry gold-beaded gown which from my point of view was overtaken by her bad hair style. Top model and fashion TV presenter Nieves Alvarez wore a real sizzler by French couturier Stéphane Rolland in black and white with a giant red flower. And up-and-coming actress Amaia Salamanca opted for an asymmetrical second-skin number with striped transparencies by Zuhair Murad. Between the best dressed was Aitana Sánchez Gijón and her Lorenzo Caprile black dress and María León wearing Gucci, but the best of the night was Paula Echevarría and her spectacular Dolores Promesas emerald gown with Tous jewelry.

There were some styling disasters like Ana Obregón in a red gown, Candela Peña wearing a total white dress by David Delfín, Alba García in a black and white dress styled with pink shoes and clutch and Adriana Ugarte that wore a Second Skin & Co. mini dress. 

What do you think? 

Clockwise from top: Paula Echevarría, Aitana Sánchez Gijón, Amaia Salamanca, Nieves Álvarez. 

From left: Blanca Suarez (Emilio Pucci), Juana Costa (Armani Privé), María Adánez (Moises Nieto)

Clockwise from top: Adriana Ugarte, Ana Obregón, Candela Peña, Alba García.

Goya Toledo (Elie Saab), Gracia Querejeta, Kiti Manver.

Pictures: Getty

Friday, 15 February 2013

Politics are out of fashion but, is there fashion in politics?

I'm not into politics. I never have been and I think I never will. But I'm not here today to talk about politics, I'm here to talk about a politician who has become a role model. Politics are out of fashion but, is there fashion in politics?  Kirsten Gillibrand started her lawyer career back in 1991 in a law firm in Manhattan where she became a senior associate. In 1999 she went to work Hilary Clinton's Senate campaign and in 2001 she became partner of another Manhattan law firm which left in 2005 to begin her 2006 campaign for Congress. Kirsten won her first bid for election in 2008.  After President Obama announced his choice of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Governor Paterson appointed Kirsten to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat. She was sworn in on 26January 2009. At the age of 42, she entered the chamber as the youngest senator in the 111th Congress.  During the 111th Congress she scored two substantial legislative victories: the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the passage of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

As you can see even though politics and politicians are out of fashion, Kirsten Gillibrand is a role model as a politician and as a mother. I remember when I met her back in 2005 when she visited us. At that time she was preparing her first run for Congress and she spent most of her holidays working, studying and reading piles of folders but always with a smile on her face and always with time to spend with her little son Theo who was only 2 at the time. In 2008 she gave birth to her second son Henry becoming only the sixth woman to have a child while serving as a member of Congress. She continued to work until the day Henry was born and received a standing ovation from her colleagues in the House of Representatives for this! In November 2012 Kirsten won a full 6-year Senate term in her own right with a record 72% of the vote. 

Among all the other good work she does, Kirsten is also a big supporter of New York’s fashion industry and, in turn, has received support from leading figures in fashion such as Anna Wintour who hosted a fundraiser for her. The Senator was also seen dancing in Saks 5th Avenue on NY Fashion Night Out and in the front row at Carolina Herrera's NY show supporting one of the city’s greatest designers.  

In 2010 Kirsten was featured in Vogue Magazine US under the title "In Hillary's Footsteps". Here are some pictures that prove that there's still some fashion in politics.

Kirsten with her sons Henry (left) & Theo (right) 

For the sake of full disclosure, Kirsten is my sister-in-law and I’m very proud of her!

Pictures: Vogue US, Getty Images. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Your own Saint Valentine's Day.

Saint Valentine's day is here again. We haven't recovered from all our Christmas spending yet and now we have to dig into our pockets again: a little present for the one we love and a romantic dinner in a fancy restaurant. It’s what everyone else does, isn’t it. Well, this year I say ‘no!’ We can do better and be more clever than that. Instead of buying a present for your other half and spending your money on something they might not like, why don’t you buy something for yourself (shoes, lingerie, a statement necklace...) and use it to flirt a bit while having a delicious dinner you’ve cooked at home! Whatever you buy you will always be able to wear again! Cook a delicious dinner at home, buy a nice bottle of wine and wear whatever you have decided to buy for yourself. Here are some ideas. The rest is up to you! Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S: You also have other options of how to wear these pieces on a daily basic.

Kimono & lingerie, Topshop. Shoes & necklace, Zara. 

Kimono, Topshop. Lingerie, Women's Secret. Shoes, Zara. Necklace, Asos. 
Dress, Dorothy Perkins. Shoes, Zara. Necklace, Accessorize. Clutch, Aldo. 

Jeans & T-shirt, Mango. Shoes, Zara. Clutch, Asos. 
Boyfriends jeans & leather belt, Mango. Bag & wedge, Zara. Sunglasses, Prada. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Lush Lingerie looks to take you into the bed.

Great, memorable lingerie is the perfect gift for both parties — it's an extravagant gift to yourself that doubles as the present to the guy or girl in your life. And it's not just meant to be worn once for Valentine's Day. I think that great lingerie should be worn anytime you feel like setting off sparks. I've looked everywhere for lingerie at every price, avoiding predictable pinks for rich jewel tones.

Women Secrets €30,9

 Calvin Klein €78

Topshop €33

Topshop €33

Topshop €33

Stella McCartney €125

Victoria's Secret €43 €20