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Thursday, November 30, 2017

The official starting date of Christmas markets throughout Europe came at last on Sunday 24th November, so all enthusiasts, for four weeks, will be able a visit to some of them throughout all Europe.
Christmas markets have a special ancient charm that bring back our childhood memories long forgotten.  
My favourite ones are held in Alsace, where you can experience a magic and friendly atmosphere like nowhere else. 
Christmas spins its magic all over Alsace, since all fairy villages and towns of the area rival in putting up their best decorations and reviving all ancient rituals and traditions.
In every small town you are welcomed by sparkling lights, smiling hawkers, the aromatic fragrances of chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon, aniseed, mulled wine, Christmas tea, but also by carol singing, fairy tale and legend suggestions accompanying you in impossible travel though time...
Certainly I advise you to visit both Colmar, whose old town centre and its cobble-stoned streets lined with colourful timber-framed houses ornamented with breath-taking winter decor and brightest lights, are a like precious jewels; Strasbourg, which boasts several markets throughout its urban area and whose illuminations further enhance the outstanding heritage of the old heart of the city. 
However, I think that the best suggestion for an unforgettable visit is to stroll through the more picturesque markets of the small villages, set in a wonderful winter landscape, such as Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Ribeauvillé, which are less commercial and more genuine.

There, you can still find stalls selling the more traditional biscuits, delicious, freshly baked treats such as "Mannalas" (soft brioche in the shape of a little man with chocolate chips) and original handicraft products, like candles, tea-light holders, holiday-themed tablecloths, textiles and homeware.
And if you are lucky enough, you will be able to experience the sight of a stork flying back to its nest on top of the roof of a timber-framed house, and believe to be transported back in time like a character in a folk tale...
Once back home, the warm "souvenir" of a less consumer Christmas search for presents, free from the frenzy of expensive shopping spraining your credit card, but based only on the choice of good-taste small gifts with your heart in them will accompany you forever.
And just imagine that's an incorrigible shopaholic saying that!...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday is coming! This date has recently become more and more regarded not only in US, but also in Europe as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. 
Since lots of department stores have started a whole week of promotional sales and I'm a "fashion girl", I am really excited about the best time to score sales from a plethora of brands I love. 
So, yesterday I profited of this very welcomed opportunity to add some new festive makeup picks to my beauty-case, which will help me to create a flawless, sophisticated, cocktail look to wear in view of the flurry of holiday invites.
I'm generally clearheaded about makeup and clothes-style choices, and since I'm a big fan of Chanel makeup, I went directly to the Chanel counter, where I was immediately attracted by the Rouge Allure Ink Matte Liquid Lip Colour, a truly long-lasting liquid lipstick with a smooth texture that glides on like a gloss and sets with a luminous, velvet-like finish. From the range of bold and provocative red/pink-tint shades available, I chose the warm shade of Red n.148 Libéré, which suits my golden pale complexion and blonde hair. 
I matched it with an iconic long-lasting high-shine red nail polish, Le Vernis Rouge Essentiel n. 500, for a bright, classic and refined total makeup that will add some glow to my looks for the holidays' nights. 
I was also tempted by a product for the uniformity of my complexion, so I chose a light golden powder from Les Beiges Collection Shade n.40 to add a radiant natural finish to my skin after the application of my usual foundation. 
I complemented it with silky-textured blush Joues Contraste n.370 Élégance, for a simple touch of colour and healthy glow highlighting my cheekbones.
And the finishing touch: a spray of Chanel n. 5 l'Eau, a new modern, vibrant version of the traditional, glamorous and unmistakably French-style Chanel n. 5. 
To conclude my beauty report, I wish you a nice Black Friday shopping and... If you miss the chance of good bargains, tomorrow, don't worry! 
The only shopping day better than Black Friday is Cyber Monday. You just need to make a list of favourite products you want to hit first thing on Monday to upgrade your vanity just in time for the New Year. Trust me, everyone will have eyes on the best products discounted, and you won't miss your chance...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Outerwear is certainly the most important element of any fall outfit.
Why? It's the first, and sometimes, the only thing that people will notice while you're out and about during the colder months. 
The right jacket has the power to effortlessly elevate a casual jean and T-shirt outfit. And the light and short coverups can hold their own next to your fanciest dress. 
This is what happened to the aviator jacket, which has become a high street garment, after being "on" since several seasons, and it has spawned many synonyms such as bomber, or biker jacket, or flying jacket. This in itself is a sign of an important fashion trend followed by designers, who were at the forefront of giving the seal of approval to this jacket that has cropped up in many guises this past decade.
The best part of this trend: There's no need to spend a ton of money to make a statement. You can get a head-turning fall jacket for about 150 euros. And if you know what to look for, while shopping, you can bring home an option that you can wear season after season.
Such is the case of the aviator jacket I've bought this fall from Motivi: a very versatile and functional piece in black butter soft lambskin with the edgy, chunky details of an extra belt added at hip level and zippered cuffs. And its extra added value of a fox-fur collar + warm lining allows me to wear this outdoor wind-cheater piece throughout the whole season. 
Moreover, if you had a crush on this trend and want to choose a jacket that is wearable also during freeze days, designers created shearling versions of this piece. 
Matching this statement piece with other fashion garments, for a luxury look, is lots of fun, since it allows infinite combinations: with either a pair of black jeans for casual street-style, or midi / mini skirts and large pants for a contemporary feel, or long & short ditsy floral dresses for winter boho, or below-the-knee brocaded skirts and suede boots, or sequined skirts & dresses for a seventies' flimsy evening inspiration...

Saturday, November 11, 2017

This year also in Europe, like in US, we have experienced the benefits of Indian Summer, which has given us warm and sunny days for the whole October, and has slightly delayed the phenomenon of foliage.
Now fall has come, at last, and nature has been displaying its best palette of colours before us. 
I have always been fond of autumn with its wonderful array of shades of red, yellow, purple, orange, pink, magenta and brown, as well as with its crops ready to harvest. So when this time of the year comes, my mind invariably flies away overseas, since I find that foliage in USA, particularly Vermont, is like nowhere else. 
Of course, if you can't actually fly overseas in this period to experience "the best foliage", you will be able at least to benefit of a picturesque walk in a park nearby, or have a glimpse of glorious fall colour displays in the collection of pictures I have chosen for you. 

If even that isn't enough, the last option is to sit comfortably on your settee and watch some movies containing a celebration of fall scenes. 
One of the most representative in this category is "Autumn in New York", directed by Jaon Chen and casting Richard Here and Winona Ryder. 
Personally, I didn't appreciate its tearful, pathetic plot, when I first saw it, but I must admit that it certainly deserves to be seen if only for the golden-light suffused splendour of the scenes. And perhaps you, like me, will enjoy an unforgettable autumnal stroll in Central Park, where the camera cranes out and over the area, swooping down through golden leaves dappled with pale autumnal light,  before picking up the protagonists, as well as beautiful extras walking on sidewalks, and children running in innocent delight. On the soundtrack, Diana Krall sings a soft-pop jazzy "Let's fall in love", and everything is bathed in a magic autumn light, like in a dream...