Winter Skin Emergency Kit

Winter and summer have one thing in common. They cause a lot of problems to sensitive skin, from dryness, irritation, rushes, allergies, etc. Our skin is tortured with super dry and overheated indoor air, and few hours later it is tormented with the harsh and cold temperatures outside as well as humidity. With all those facts in mind, my lovely readers do not fear the winter as much because as a well experienced beauty junkie, I have tested a lot of cold-weather remedies recommended by the respected beauty and fashion gurus. Some of them worked, some of them heavily disappointed; therefore, I have prepared a list of 5 mistake-proof and many times tested winter-friendly beauty products that I swear by.

Embryolisse Lait Creme - Gold Edition 65th Anniversary
Let's start with the one of my most favorite face creams that most celebrity make-up artists keep in their arsenal as a secret and powerful weapon. The French miracle cream Embryolisse, is so amazingly emollient that it makes your skin moisturized immediately and never leaves a trace of greasiness. French women use it as a primer, make-up remover, first aid when it comes to skin rushes. I love it as a winter moisturizer.

Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+, Kiehl's

Kiehl's is a legendary New York-based cosmetic brand. I have been passing its down town Manhattan store for so many years and heard big praises about its beauty products from most of my friends. However, I got convinced to try it only when one of my favorite former-blogger, now a designer of the brand Toteme, Elin Kling referred to it as the only SPF cream that she could wear all year long. She was right. With the consistency of fluid, it quickly became one of my favorite sunscreens, as it is ultra light and perfect under makeup. Sun can be pretty deceptive during the colder months so it is always worth to protect your skin!

Gentle Milk Cleanser, Avene
There are so many theories when it comes to removing makeup: from no water at all, to using filtered water, cleansing oils, gels, you name it..With Avene, a favorite French beauty brand of many models, including Anja Rubik, removing makeup is super easy. Your skin is never irritated, feels super soft and it is enough to spray your face with Avene water afterwards your skin will feel super fresh and clean.

Badger Balm for Sensitive Skin
Winter is super harsh for our elbows, knees and feet and that is when beauty products made only of olive oil and beeswax come to rescue. Use it at night and you will be amazed with the visible effects in a very short time. The price is very affordable and its as organic as it gets and lasts forever. 

Chakra 6 Body Mist, Aveda
Finally, I found out about Avene body mist on Garance Dore's blog and I got intrigued by the promise of the mist that can be used as a room spray, linen spray and instant mood booster. With Chakra 6 in its name, as a guarantee of sensations related to the center of imagination, intuition and imagination, a blend of organic oils from orange to geranium leave, this mist will make your room smell as a luxurious meditation space. I love spraying it in the evening, just before I go to bed and I feel more relaxed, not to mention that I fall asleep quickly.

I am looking forward to hearing about your favorite winter skin saviors!!!! Let me know what really works for you and please do not keep any secrets! Stay warm!

Shoe Designer Crush - Havva Mustafa

My grandmother used to say: "If you can invest into one article of clothing, buy the best quality shoes you can afford. They create the best first impression of your style." Being brought up with that statement in mind, of course I grew up into a shoe connoisseur/collector. Shoes are my favorite fashion statement and I often get asked on the street where I got my shoes from. Shoes can reveal a lot about their owner's style; whether its conservative, daring, elegant or just budget-oriented. I value that shoes can be both very flattering, impossible to walking and at times comfortable. I am very picky when it comes to choosing the new pair, but at the same time very willing to spend extra if it's love at first sight.

Gloria Boot, HAVVA / Ewa Wisniewska

Havva Mustafa's shoes made an instant impression on me. Funnily enough, I found out about the brand on the Instagram. Havva is a graduate of a prestigious Cordwainers Footwear College in London, which counts Nicholas Kirkwood as one of its most talented alumni. She was brought up in the footwear industry family and naturally, since early childhood, she developed a deep understanding of what a perfect shoe should stand for.  I love the brand's mission statement:
"The Havva woman is not looking for appraisal. She is confident in her own mind. She knows what she wants. The shoes are the extension of her self-assurance."

Presley, Ankle Boot, HAVVA / Ewa Szykulska

I think that Mustafa shoes are perfect for a modern woman, as they they are the reflection of the premise that a woman can be sexy and elegant wearing shoes that break the boundaries between strictly masculine or feminine styles. As the designer behind them loves wearing leather jackets, jeans and dark clothes daily, the shoes are simple, very often black and have strong architecture inspired silhouettes, with strong reference to rock & roll culture and deep sense of femininity very characteristic of the sixties and the seventies fashion. 

Jackie, Fringe Pump, HAVVA / Pola Raksa

When I was looking for a visual inspiration for this post, I thought about the stars of the Polish cinema of the sixties and seventies. Those naturally beautiful women have such limited fashion resources due to our country's economic situation that they had to be really creative to look stylish and cool. If only they had access to Havva shoes during the times of their stardom, I am pretty sure they would have found them irresistible. 

Gosling, Lace Up, HAVVA / Beata Tyszkiewicz

Let me know whose your favorite shoe brand this winter. Are shoes your favorite fashion accessory? 

Color of the Year 2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity

Sky Blue Sweater, J.WonPink Lambswool Collar, Florence BridgeMini Blue Bag; Karl Lagerfeld
Fashion Illustration, Lovisa BurfittGroup Work

2016 Pantone's choice of colors of the year: pink quartz and blue serenity made me really happy for several reasons. It is the first time the winning combination of two shades have been introduced. In the times of gender equality, blurring lines between the traditional meaning of "he" and "she", the fashion world is officially ready to embrace the fascinating and liberating choices of colors, disregarding the fact of what is appropriate for women and men only. Those colors bring certain tranquility to modern stressful world we are a part of. They are soothingly contradictory; with rose representing warmer spectrum of color wheel, compassion, composure, wellness and restored sense of order; while serenity bringing associations of the clearest summer sky, relaxation, reassurance, sense of trust  and security. 

Part of my image consulting education was color theory, fascinating science of discovering how color  impacts human psychology; how colors that we wear can make us send a specific message, what colors can make particular complexion glow, the eyes stand out, make you look younger, vibrant, etc. Color is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to construction of your personal style and looking your best. I remember it was few years ago and when I was asked what was my favorite color, I answered: rose. The person who asked the question was perplexed and said: You mean pink? No, I mean dusty rose, the distinct combination of pink and grey, super light pink which reminds you of fading roses with a bit of nostalgia to them, the unclear shade of pink which migrates towards the coldest version of its original hue. That was one of my personal reasons to be super content with  Pantone's colors selection for 2016.

The other reason was the fact that "rose" proved to be my lucky charm in last few years years. Colors are pure magic, when we finally discover what works with our skin tone, which is a path of trial and error, unless you can afford a color analysis from a real professional, then mysterious things happen. To prove my point, last winter I had a job interview, which was extremely stressful, I knew that I was meeting with a celebrity stylist starting her own company. It was a dreary February day and I actually had no idea how to leave a memorable impression with someone who knows the tricks of the trade inside out. Last moment, against the gloominess of the aura outside my window, I went out dressed in super light pink winter coat and that, hopefully not only, made me stay ahead of the numerable crowd of applicants. I could not accept the job for various reasons but I stayed in touch with the company's owners since then and a tiny part of that is probably because of that coat, which was complimented few times during the interview.:)

The other "rose" tinted story took place in Los Angeles. I made reservations for garden dining at the legendary Chateau Marmont, actually first time in my life. I was beyond excited, still having memories of it from Sofia Coppola's movie Somewhere. My friend and flew to the West Coast from NYC and had only one hour to get ready for the dreamy dinner. The hotel was, like everything in LA, within "short" driving distance, that depending on traffic load could turn into a much longer experience. It took my lovely friend forever to get ready while I was nervously making rounds in my super classy rose Grace Kelly-inspired dress that was especially purchased for the occasion. When we finally reached our destination, we were 1h late, which is million light years when it comes to Friday dinner reservations at the Chateau Marmont. I was almost on the verge of tears and beyond  angry with my friend and then the manager came out and said to me: "This is such an amazing dress, very New York style, you ladies deserve a special treatment.", so we ended up at a perfect indoor table treated like royalties from the East Coast. How not to believe in the magic of colors?

Let me know what you think of Pantone's colors of the year? Please share stories of your favorite colors and luck they brought you!!! Stay warm!!!

Turtleneck, J.CrewPink Suede Sneakers, PumaBoyfriend Jeans, M.i.h Jeans

P.S. My "Rose and Serenity" collages were inspired by the amazing fashion illustrators: Anna Halarewicz and Lovisa Burfitt. Color inspiration could never be the same without the amazing designs of bathroom fittings of Sarah Trotter for Groupwork

As I always like supporting emerging designers, this time I encourage you to check one of my favorite websites Young British Designers, amazing source of inspiration, thanks to which I found  beautiful knitwear from J.Won .