Category Archives: fashion

Beauty products that will get you ready for Spring and Summer travel

Great to use now or for your warm weather travel adventures…


Sisley White Ginger Leg OilA silky leg gel that invigorates the leg muscles while smoothing the skin. Smells divine of a light refreshing ginger that tingles a bit when first put on. Legs look radiant and even helps with soreness from walking all day long.



Nars WANTED eye shadow palette – The beauty of this makeup selection is not only the range of colours but of the finishes as well. A combination of silky, matte, and iridescent eye shadows in warm pinks and browns can create both dramatic and subtle looks. Great for travel as it gives you many options.



La Roche-Posay sunblock face mist I discovered this last summer and it was not only a life saver but game changer when it came to sunscreen for my face. While I am always diligent about putting on sun protection in the morning I don’t always reapply as often as I should especially on days I am not on the beach but rather just walking around in the sun. Another problem is that many sun products are greasy. But this small spray can of face mist is a sunblock with SPF 50, easy to apply regularly and leaves your face free of the shine that goes along with most sun protection face products.



Tom Ford Neroli Portofino – In warm weather sometimes fragrance can come off too strong yet if you are like me you always want to smell nice. This is where a lighter version of a fragrance comes in handy as not only is it not as strong, it doesn’t contain alcohol that causes skin to burn. For a fresh yet sophisticates summer scent Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino body mist is perfect.



Kiehl’s Butterstick tinted treatment – On the go beauty that adds a bit of colour to lips while providing SPF 25 protection and moisturizing treatment. One of Kiehl’s most popular products, if comes in 3 light shades and clear. My favourite is the Rose which is a juicy pink shade.



Dolce & Gabbana Passionate Eyes waterproof mascara –  Even if you are not swimming or at the beach, warmer temperatures and humidity in the city causes eye make up to run, smudge and come off. Its a good idea to switch in a waterproof mascara on the hotter days and this one by Dolce & Gabbana is kind to lashes while making eyes stand out.


Nars The Multiple – This multi purpose make up stick has been a summer and travel staple of mine for too many years to count. In a variety of colours, this easy to carry, easy to use, cream stick can be applied to eyes, face, and lips with shimmery effect. The silvery Copacabana is the one I use the most, but peachy Portofino is my go to for summer. If you can’t decide on which shade, he iconic Orgasm is a popular favourite.



Travel Tips: My packing basics

Here are a sample of my stylish ‘must-haves’ when I travel…

I wish I could count myself as one of those uber fashionable travelers that look ever so chic catwalking down airport lounges in well put together outfits while traveling. I really try, but given the amount of walking I do when on trips, and limited packing space there is only so much a girl can do when on the road. Yet I am not one of those back-packing, wear only two outfits girl either. I like to look put together, especially for city travel. This means I pack some modern basic pieces that are classic in style but at the same time dashing and comfortable. I want to look good when I am on tour.

Pick your base colour – I tend to stick to black as it doesn’t show dirt, but if you prefer navy blue, beige, or white, by all means use that as your ‘base’ and work around that. So I have basic pieces in black and work a travel wardrobe with those basics.

Stylish Coat or Jacket – If there is one piece of clothing that should make a statement it should be your outerwear.  A leather jacket, a wool coat in winter or a lightweight jacket in Spring is a must. A knee length wool coat can go day to night, and a classic Mac jacket works perfectly in any situation.

Cashmere –  A classic crew neck with jeans or trousers is one of the most timeless looks around. It can take you day to night, casual to elegant. And a cardigan, even in summer makes a lightweight item to pack and wear on the overly air conditioned plane flights.

Scarf – Takes up no room and can transform your look and change your base outfit with a dash of colour. I like to take at least two of different sizes and wear one on the plane so to have added warmth but also it makes you look a bit more put together at airport check in.

Wrap – On a recent trip to Capri where the locals are very chic islanders I noticed every woman wore a stunning wrap in the evening. It gave the ladies a very dressy edge to even the simplest of outfits. I went straight to Missoni and picked up one of their bright, multi-coloured wraps to enhance my travel wardrobe.


Missoni knits

Say ‘no’ to shorts in the city – Unless you are on the beach, on a boat, or by the pool, wearing shorts even when it is hot makes you stand out like a tourist. Not only that, going into some places such as churches is not allowed in shorts (and skimpy tops). Even if you are young and having fun, you do better wearing skirts of all lengths to keep cool. City shorts are fine if they are dapper, but skirts are still better.

Long skirt – Especially in the warmer months, I find this a more elegant and fresher look then trousers or jeans. It is nice to have a feminine touch and very easy to pair with a t-shirt for a comfortable day look. Can double for an evening look when paired with a silk top.

Shoes – Thankfully in the autumn and winter months I can get by with some flat, simple leather ankle boots that go with just about everything. In the warmer months this can prove more challenging if you are trying to find something with support to walk endlessly, yet look fashion forward. I cannot pull off the chunky sneakers, so I resort to a pair of athletic ballerina slippers or espadrilles and a pair of low heeled sandals. I’ll also take a pair of Capri sandals but those are for destinations by the sea. For evening I do love Aquazzura shoes as they have some embellished styles on lower heels. I do love their low block heel sandals in a variety of fun finished like coloured pom-poms or fringed suede. I can easily walk around in the evenings while still being au courant fashion wise. For colder destinations, again it is much easier with a pair of lower heeled boots. A pair of classic pumps always work well no matter where or what season.

15741043_1209219402494966_7591364200863473177_nAquazurra Wild Things sandals

Accessories – Always pack an umbrella! As a matter of fact I have a small, collapsible umbrella I just leave in my suitcase ready to go when I travel. Purses take up a lot of space so while I like to have choices I might prefer to leave room for some shopping in my suitcase. I take a tote or larger bag for day, that way I can throw my camera, and any small items I might buy along the way. For evening a simple embellished envelope clutch packs well and looks elegant for evening, or a small evening bag that you can throw a credit card, lipstick, and go.

Evening – While I tend to do ‘smart-casual’ for most of my restaurant choices, meaning a lively but popular brasserie, or a trendy trattoria, I still take one piece for that possible nicer night out. My rule of thumb is to take a couple pair of black trousers, and around 4-5 silk tops that I can rotate with the trousers, one of those tops a bit more embellished for the possible fine dining evening. All easy to put on if you are rushing to dinner after a day of sight seeing, and easy to pack. I also tend to have a polished black on black ensemble, of a classic top such as a sleeveless simple silk tunic, button down shirt, or vest, with slim black jeans or trousers. Can be worn more than once, changed up with a scarf and will always look chic.

That perfect travel handbag – After years of searching I have found the perfect bag to suit my needs when I travel. It is a black leather Hogan bag big enough to throw my ipad and book in, and four large zipper pockets on the outside for my passport and ticket, iphone, and compact. It is city chic cool, has a strap to wear cross body, and handles if you want to carry it. Had it for years and is my biggest go-to item when I travel.


Hogan bag

No matter the destination do check the weather the day before you leave. Even the warmest of destinations can suffer from cold fronts and you don’t want to spend your travel time shopping around for warmer clothing. Also, I always pack an extra top or one outfit and an extra pair of knickers in my carry on just in case my suitcases are delayed somewhere. That way I have a change of clothes. And don’t forget to pack knickers and pajamas!

Christmas gift list

Christmas gifts for the stylish traveller

When it comes to gifts I’d like to give or receive here are a few of my favourite things. For travel or inspired by travel…

For the gorgeous beauty traveller:

I have just discovered Charlotte Tilbury and there is nothing in her make up line I don’t love. She even has an eye shadow palette called ‘Dolce Vita!’ But the item I love to take with me on trips (and I will be giving them to my close girl friends this Christmas) is her Film Stars on the Go compacts which consist of two colours, one for the eyes and one for the lips. They are cream colours meant to be put on with just your finger, there are 4 duo palettes to chose from, I got Some Like it Hot. Great to have in your carry on to freshen up -easily- on any long haul flight.

fotg-some-like-it-hot_openSome like it Hot from Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstars on the Go line

For the cafe lover:

Jura has coveted top of the line coffee makers that grind beans and brew up anything from a ristretto to an americano. The trouble was they were very big machines and quite pricey. Well finally they have made an espresso maker a bit more accessible in size while still keeping all of the luxury of its predecessors. The Ena Micro 1 and the Impress A5 can easily fit into your tiny European flat kitchen, keeping it stylish while serving up cafe style espresso at home. Of course you can still go to the cafe afterwards and have a glass of wine.


Ena Micro 1

For the connoisseur of good taste:

The Life Negroni This is a fabulous book for those who love the fabulous life. Part in depth knowledge on all things Negroni, stylish places where to drink them, knowledge on the best gin and the history on vermouth and Campari, it is also a book about style, Italian lifestyle and La Dolce Vita.


The Life Negroni by Leigh & Nargess Banks

For the Fashionable techie:

The Apple iWatch may not be be everyone’s cup of tea… That is until Hermes came on board to take it from geek toy to fashionista accessory by adding a choice of three of their popular leather wrist bands as options to go with the latest trend.  And with all the great travel apps soon your ticket will be right on your wrist. NOW it is something worth wearing! and I may just have to have it!

double-etain-capecodApple Watch with Hermes Double Tour wristband

For the perfect Host or Hostess:

I love giving a candle. It might seem easy or cliche, but there is always something timeless and polished about giving a scented candle. There are many to choose from and you can never go wrong with one from Diptyque, but this year I found a beautiful candle both inside and out! Italian designers Dolce&Gabbana have released a special gift line for Christmas among which is a gorgeous luxury candle painted in their traditional Sicilian cart prints. A bit of a Sicilian souvenir. This candle gift will really stand out!

screenshot_3425Christmas candle from Dolce&Gabbana

For the On the Go but Still Stylish traveller:

Nails Inc have released a spray on nail polish that is easy and fun to use. The aptly named Paint Can nail varnish is available in two colours: pink and silver it is a great stocking stuffer. Not to mention great item to pack and travel with.

screenshot_3427Hoxton Market Paint Can Nail Polish

For a Good Cause:

Jewelry designer Monica Vinader has designed a special edition of her iconic cord and rose gold bracelet to help and promote Women for Women International. The #SheInspiresMe friendship bracelet is an easy and stylish way to promote a good cause with all profits from sales going to the Women for Women charity.

screenshot_3428#SheInspiresMe friendship bracelet by Monica Vinader

Fabulous and Fashionable Shopping on Capri

While much of the Amalfi Coast is hit or miss for serious shopping, Capri offers glamour and choice. Serious money can be spent on this fashionable island and whether you are picking up one of a kind handcrafted items, designer wares, or something all together boutique exclusive, there is lots to tempt.

photo limoncellos

The first thing you will notice are all the the limoncello shops and touristy type places. Actually give them a browse. Normally these are things you might skip but the sunny yellow mini limoncello bottles with painted scenes of Capri are really not half bad, as are the the cheery lemon soaps which actually make easy and inexpensive gifts. And you can’t leave Capri without a bottle of Limoncello! What you might notice next is that Capri has an abundance of jewelry shops, many filled with coral and cameo work. Some are better than others but there is an extensive selection to choose from so you are bound to find something special. You cannot leave Capri without some colourful sandals and here too there are lots to choose from.  It will be hard to pick just one pair!

As you make your way down the Via Camarelle, Capri’s answer to Bond Street, you will notice most of the big designer’s represented, many offering exclusive items for the warmer coastal weather so it is worth having a look even if you’ve been to say Miu Miu on the mainland. The Dolce & Gabbana was deceptively larger then it appeared from the street and had an extensive selection of their collection plus a few special pieces for their Capri shop. And most definitely check out the smaller boutiques which will have lovely one of a kind items, as well as handcrafted work made by the artisans themselves. Capri is a treasure trove.

While it is fun to browse and discover on your own here are a few to guide you…


Adele and Silvia (Ceramics, Home Design, Jewelry, Gifts) A charming family run gift shop selling a generous selection of ceramic items from the decorative to the everyday pasta bowl. The hanging lemons are a sweet Capri souvenir. Pretty linens and gift items along with some very affordable coral jewelry. Via Fuorlovado 23 Capri, Napoli 8007V

Michael (Jewelery) Right off the Piazzetta, going through the arch, is a tiny sliver of a jewelry shop with very lovely dainty pieces. The main attraction here are the delicately worked cameos. From pins to earrings and from classic to floral designs. Not to be overlooked are the other pretty items in the shop as there are charming pendants and a wide selection of coral items as well. Via Vittorio Emanuele, 3, Capri, Italy

Carthusia (Perfume) While Carthusia perfumes can be found in many shops these days, it is worth going to the original Apothecary boutique on Capri. Not to be confused with the smaller showrooms found on the island, this one can be found on the road to the Gardens of Augustus. So on the way back from enjoying the gardens stop in and have a look around. You can’t miss it, it smells divine. Their collection is extensive and many items not often found outside of their stores  Viale Matteotti, 2d, Capri, Italy

photo 3-5

Grazia e Marica Vozza (Modern Jewelry) Artisan jewelry meets high fashion with a Capri flavour at Grazia e Marica Vozza. Very stylish hand crafted pieces are all extremely haute couture while many gems used are from the province and the design inspiration taken from the island. Admittedly much in the shop is expensive, however there are accessibly priced pieces as well so do not be afraid do go in a take a look. The necklaces are real conversation pieces, while personally I like anything they do with baroque pearls.  38, Via Fuorlovado Capri, Italy T. +39 081 837 40 10

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Laboratorio (Women’s boutique) This well stocked boutique was a delightful find! Just around the corner from the Quisisana hotel on a quiet residential street one could almost miss it if not for the tempting items in the window. Choice selection of unique jewelry, stunning handbags bags, floaty scarves, and easy separates all make great buys. Via Ignazio Cerio 6, Capri, Italy +39 081 837 6296

photo 2-4

Antonio Viva (Sandals and footwear) Antonio Viva is a legend. Cobbler to the stars, even Jackie O, yet nothing has changed since he started making made to order sandals. His small shop in Anacapri is approachable and he is affable and jolly. All you have to do is pick from the large selection of sandal accents and decorations, which include anything from the bejeweled to simple coloured suede straps, and Antonio will hand stitch you a pair of sandals in your size in a matter of mere minutes. The best souvenir a lady can buy. Anacapri, via Giuseppe Orlandi 75

Art Exhibitions: Spring 2014

Spring 2014 looks to be a phenomenal season for art exhibitions throughout Europe. Whichever city you might find yourself in, you are sure to be met with an abundance of choice. Here is a selection of the highlights.




Henri Cartier Bresson at Centre PompidouThe granddaddy of photography Henri Cartier Bresson is having a major show at the Centre Pompidou. Many of Paris’ iconic and much beloved images have been captured by this artist so seeing this show is not only a must but easily enjoyed by all.

Paris 1900 at Le Petit PalaisWho does not love and imagine the Paris of 1900. A major exhibition to indulge our fantasies is here!


The Glamour of Italian Fashion at the Victoria & Albert MuseumWhether its Dolce Vita or Dolce & Gabbana its in here! Valentino, Pucci and Gucci are just some of the many fashionable names that are showcased in this ultra stylish show. Focusing on the rise of Italian design since after the Second World War, it highlights the talent of the designers and the sheer craftsmanship of the art they do. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser as who doesn’t love all things Italian.

Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice at the National GalleryKeeping with the Italian theme, the National Gallery has put on a monumental exhibition on Veronese. Grand, like the paintings themselves, if you don’t already appreciate the magnificent talent of Veronese’s opulent detail or the imperial statue of his subjects you will now.



Giacometti La Scultura at Galleria BorgheseCritical Surrealist artist Giacometti’s lithe primordial styled sculptures are being exhibited at the lush Borghese Gallery. Talk about a clash in styles, it should make for perfect viewing!


Klimt The Origins of a Legend at Palazzo Reale – Vienna Secessionist artist Klimt’s sensual paintings are on display in this major show near the Piazza del Duomo. After you can stop for a caffe in a similarly style and of the period Zucca in the Galleria.