Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What does it mean to be a lady?

Sine I’ve recently made a video on YouTube, talking about my view on being a lady, class and posture, I’ve received many comments and also private messages regarding this subject. What is interesting, is the fact how different the views on that can be. How various the standards of many, who describe a lady and her posture in their mind.
Some find a true lady to be a woman of grace and style, others focus more on the intellect and strength. At the end of the day, I think it is all that together, that defines a woman of substance, poise and class.

In my video, I talked about how my view on being classy is also based on the emotional intelligence a lady shows. Her empathy, kindness and generosity. And mind you, newer statistics claim that the impact of a message is only about 7 percent verbal (words only) and 38 percent vocal, including tone of voice and inflection. Which makes a large part of our communication non-verbal.

But there is more to it, isn’t there? In my mind, it is the ability to form her thoughts into words without being vulgar, yet with a clear call. Not depending on approval, yet does have an open heart and mind; able to connect with others. She is witty and doesn’t take herself too seriously. And finally, she is good at heart, but doesn’t take any sh#t.

Let’s take a look at the true dames of past decades. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich… Some where called divas, others just carried that titling throughout their life, without being anything like that.
What many of them had in common though, is the fact that they were anything but submissive. Some where called “difficult”, especially in the professional world. And we all know what that word is code for.
These ladies inspire to this day. Not only because of their beauty and style, but their strong personalities that formed a picture of them, stronger than the most beautiful photos of their surface.
Of course, their posture was different. Sitting straight was more demanded. They wouldn’t stare at gadgets for hours, holding their necks down. Clothes were designed to flatter a lady’s silhouette.
And getting out of a car looked often much different than on today’s photos of celebs showing off their internal organs while falling out of the limousine. But as much as I understand that some people think we need posture classes back, shouldn’t a person in general know how to get out of a vehicle?
Then again, we all need guidance to learn how to walk, read, use a fork and developing basic social skills. So a little help in being more classy, maybe couldn’t harm at times.

As the years went by, rushing towards the millennium, the terms ‘dame’ and ‘lady’ became less meaningful and rather only a way to address a person, not an actual definition of someone.
A “lady” is “old” in most people’s minds. A relict of the past. Dusty and obsolete. Definitely not cool.
And there is today‘s business situation: Especially due to the rising demands in the job- world, women often emulated masculine ways of interacting and even a much lesser womanly look, to score with actions and talent, not with looks. This was unfortunately too often necessary and still sets the agenda in many business situations.
When I worked in an office, a co-worker once told me, she’d love to wear skirts and dresses, but prefers the suit and no makeup to be taken more seriously.
And to be frank, my regular ‘I’m-Happy-To-Be-A-Woman-Style (including makeup and dresses) was often rather an obstacle, than a generally irrelevant matter. Which it should be.

Maybe now is the time to reinvent the womanly strength, apart from emulating men, but expecting respect and equal chances in a throughout feminine form as well. Naturally. Empathically.
Just because a woman enjoys makeup, she doesn’t lack talent. Just because she wears dresses, she doesn’t lack depth or intellect. We all seem to agree on this simple notion, yet the real world paints a different picture in various individual situations.
It’s just red lipstick, people. NOT a clown mask.
It’s just a skirt, NOT an invitation.
When a woman enjoys a tomboyish style, its completely up to her as well. They are just things, items, colors, forms of outfits and a little expression. If we could all put as much effort into reading a person’s character and intentions, as we are into scanning their bodies in order to judge, we would likely discover a lot more true ladies among us, than we think. And most important: The good in ourselves. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Recipe for Cocoa Cookies with Honey and Dates

Being a lifelong cookie-fan, I definitely ate my way through the long lists of  baked goods that include chocolate chips, peanut butter and all other kinds of ingredients.
But after I’ve decided some time ago, to reduce my sugar intake to the point of actually not buying refined sugar anymore, I needed to figure out how to bake my favorite cookies in a different way. Here is my recipe...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Russian Inspired Retro Style

The next stop in my world makeup and style series on YouTube, is Russia. A trip in mind to the largest country by area, includes two outfits that make the look perfect to me.
Fist I applied a glamorous, but light makeup. I want the skin to be not overdrawn and the structure still visible. Golden and brown shades make the eyes appear more vivid, though I don’t use any eyeliner or create generally any harsh lines. In fact, a freshness with clear red blush on the cheeks and a red semi-matte tone on the lips, is simple, yet effective.
A dress in brown and gold by VILLA is completed with a hairstyle that displays some volume in the front. I love to wear it as an evening dress. And with a cardigan and brown pumps, its perfect on colder days too.
On the next day I’ve shown the warmer outfit in my video. A combination of a 40s-Style skirt, with warm tights, pumps, a white turtleneck and a silk scarf, is completed with a little jacked. It has the colors of Russia and a lovely retro paisley pattern. A vintage- pice I actually once purchased from a Russian lady. 
Altogether I absolutely enjoy the style-trip to this part of the world. It will definitely not be the last time for me.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Quiche Lorraine Paris Style

There are thousands of recipes for Quiche online and offline. Different variations, ranging from no leek, but with cheese, to no cheese with tomatoes.
My personal favorite is a classic, that is not just simple to make, but absolutely a hit when its time for a spicy something, that can delight your friends at a party; just as much as being a dish that is an addition to conscious eating of smaller portions. To watch how easy and quick the Quiche is made, you can also watch a tutorial for this recipe on my YouTube channel.

Ingredients -

Dough: 250 g wheat flour
160 g very cold butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg

1 leek, if very big, just one half
1 red onion
100 g ham / bacon
4 eggs
100 ml cream

Here is what to do:

First, build a flour hill and press a little pan into the centre. Usually, people like to add the egg first, but I always start with rubbing some very cold butter onto it, then add an egg and finally the rest of the butter. Remember, the butter must be really cold.
Now add some salt. I mostly use Himalayan salt but you can of course any you like.
Knead the ingredients until you have a homogenous dough, that you wrap in foil and now put it in the fridge for about half an hour.
Meanwhile you can prepare the leek, using half a leek of a bigger size and a whole, if smaller.
Then cut a red onion into small pieces and about a 100 grams of ham or bacon.

Now its time to work on the dough again. Roll it out and place it in the form.
Then mix the eggs and cream In a bowl.
Starting with the bacon, you can now gently roast the prepared ingredients in butter and give it in the bowl as well. Stir until homogenous. After you’ve gently placed the mixture on top of the dough, it can bake golden brown for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F) (top / bottom heat). Bon appétit!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Literature and Poetry

...how reading calms the spirit


Oscar Wilde once said: “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” I stumbled over this quote and realized how many books I actually want to read again. Just to relive these moments of excitement, amusement or a writing that deeply touches my heart. To- again- live that life of a character in my mind, who I adored, maybe even missed after finishing the story.
Books can be the unbiased counsellors we sometimes need in life. And if bad, the most bias intriguers that don’t deserve space in our bookshelf. But even those can teach a lesson and make us think.

In the age of Ebooks, I am certainly a misfit in the world of gadgets. I have never given up on paper, as the smell and feel of a real book is- to me- an important part of the entire joy of reading. Some might roll their eyes when I say I like to spend time in libraries and feel happy when I found an ‚oldie‘, that has wandered through many hands. But I have this notion that losing the activity of reading an actual book might also do something to us. It feels as if ninety percent of every activity that includes amusement and reading nowadays, is experienced on the cold, slick surface of a device that has the appeal of a kitchen counter. Ironically, I find myself writing this for you on a laptop to read on such a device.

Further I believe that the movement of turning the pages and feeling the material is a different form of reading to the mind as well. I sure have no evidence to proof that. But isn‘t there a difference in how and on what we read?

Reading reduces stress. No, that is not a scientific fact that I‘ve heard of yet either. But I claim its true. The day can be as stressful as one can imagine. Once I find myself curled up with a book, my thoughts stop racing and my heartbeat seems to be regulated after a while. I‘m travelling a little. Get away from anxiety or anger I might have felt hours before. And its even adjustable!
Is your mind up for romance or the deep questions of life, read some poetry. Are you about to learn, read specific literature, or simply get lost in the life story of someone else. It sure will turn out to have just as many ups and downs as yours. 

For a long time now, scientists try to locate the level of the attention span of a human, compared to that of a gold fish or dolphin. Wherever this might go, I think humans have indeed lost a particular part of patience for the written word.
We feed our minds with photos and videos. Now faster than ever.
While once a photo was taken to catch the memory of a special moment, we now flood the world with thousands of fragments of our life. Lost is the specialty. But its quick and we don’t need to linger before moving on to the next one. 
A book expects more from us. Our attention, time and leisure.
And once lost in a good story, the feeling of wasting time, simply doesn‘t exist. Its an illusion as time itself. Reading is full of surprises and still- despite every modern trend- the friend that is always accessible. A comforter, right there, in the book shelf.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Light and Classic Winter Makeup Routine

The freshness of winter is certainly sometimes a challenge to our skin. Especially in combination with the indoor heating, it can quickly turn into the most difficult skin-phase of the year.
My makeup routine for this particular season has changed over the years. A journey through good and less good decisions, has brought me to a safe place of applying makeup in a classic way, that still isn’t too heavy on the already stressed epidermis.
Most important though, is to prepare the skin optimally, to reduce the overall amount of used products in order to create a less ‘heavy’ look. Which is often the problem in Winter: Many women put on more layers than usually in summer time. The complexion is paler, the rings under the eyes appear much more intense and the overall feeling says “more product, please!”
At an age under 30, the result can be very forgiving. But you often can’t get away with a mask-like makeup beyond that. As great and professional the makeup might have been applied, the daylight will bring out every detail and leaves us too often with a melting or crumbling façade after some hours, that shouldn't have been created that way.
So what I am doing is, stick to my favorite retro-style routine, but with a few crucial changes.
First, I like to wash my face with lukewarm water in the morning. I only pat it half-dry and let the rest of the moisture sink in for a moment.
Moisturizing is one of the best tips I can give you to improve your makeup routine. Especially from the inside! Drink a tall glass of water, right after you woke up. And keep drinking enough water during the day. That way your skin will look plumper and fresher, since dryness is one of the big enemies of a well-looking makeup.

The next step is to use my favourite oils, to nurture my skin. In winter, I like to first apply a few drops of an argan oil-mixture and finally add some sweet almond oil that I massage in gently.
You can find my post about oils as skin care right here.

Now that I’ve waited a moment, its time to apply the foundation. I know that many recommend light products, that others unfortunately often apply in vast quantities, because it all seems to cover up too little.
Instead, I’m using a heavier foundation from the natural cosmetics brand Alverde. And only a tiny amount of the no. 10 ‘vanilla‘, that I directly apply with my clean fingers. Sponges and brushes are an option, but with the perfect mixture of products, the surface should look just fine, applying them like that.

I’m using a bit of light creamy concealer under the eye. The German brand Rival de Loop makes one that is not too colourful and creates enough freshness for my taste. Too much concealing or over- contouring, is not a good idea in my opinion. Even though its heavily advertised at the moment, to put on more than your gentle skin can handle, stronger and brighter colors of a classic makeup, will likely pop in a distorted way.

My powder of choice is a transparent mineral powder by natural cosmetics brand Lavera.
I apply it with a soft bigger brush, unlike compact powders that I usually put on with a powder puff.
But this is supposed to be an extremely light affair. The best way to keep a natural touch, is to use as little coverage as possible, to still allow the light to get a glimpse of your real skin. (There is too much anxiety caused by bigger pores out there)
To contour, I like to use a darker compact powder, if I feel like it.
The rouge is simply fresh, either in peach, or a rosy tone.

The classic eyes don’t always require much drama. I’m using a matte light beige, or champagne eye shadow and a darker, rusty tone for the crease.
I completely skip an eyeliner, or darker tone on the lower lash line. What I focus on, are the lashes. I apply a few layers of my favorite Mascara, Maybelline Volum’ Express in brown. It has a reddish undertone and helps much with my greenish eyes.

For my eyebrows, I never use anything else, than a pencil. I know, it’s THE thing nowadays, to create
bulky brows that look exactly like what they are: drawn on. And they look truly well in certain faces, but not in mine. So I’m using the Alverde pencil in 01. Blond and it works perfectly fine with nicely trimmed lighter brows.

The lipstick I am totally hooked on right now, is the Lavera organic color ‘Matt’n Red’, that has a semi-matte finish and stays on quite long. I’m also using the soft red lip liner no.3, of the same brand.
The red is right in between warm and cool, so it works perfectly fine on paler skin as well as a deeper complexion.

And that’s how easy and quick my classic-winter look goes, with affordable and light amount of products.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Brooches on Coats

Pins on regular outdoor clothing could look a bit strange these days. Since many of the coats and jackets that are supposed to keep us warm during times of extreme low temperatures, are mostly looking like ski wear.
But once you’ve found a nice specimen of a vintage coat that doesn’t look like you’re preparing for a week in the alps, the time for pins has arrived. They are simply a must on a classic coat or jacket, as they are the best tool to upgrade any coat, be it ever so old and obviously used for quite some time.
Traditionally, men‘s brooches were often worn on the shoulder. Women wore theirs slightly closer to the breastplate or at the collar of a coat.
Its often ask where these little pretty items are supposed to sit; left, or right?
There is a saying: Jewelry on the left, name tag on the right. But does that apply to our modern interpretation of wearing pins?

Sure its about personal preference. What makes you feel comfortable, how you wear your hair, what kind of other jewellery are you placing and so on. Also, there might be a stain or small whole on your beloved vintage item, that clearly decides for you where to place the brooch.
For some reason, I personally wear brooches on the left and I couldn’t even explain why.
Recently, I learned that Queen Elizabeth II. does the same and so I feel quite safe in my choice of style in that department.

The tricky part is often, to push the pin through the often thick fabric, or layers, until it’s in the right position. But when that is done, you’ve not only spruced up your go-to items for winter. You’ve also created your very own look with a retro-twist, that is far from a stuffy lady-style and one of the most lovely trends that came back lately. Happy pinning!

Different pieces of jewelry - matching coloring

vintage camel hair coat, ca. 1960s / vintage 1950s leather purse / boots: former season
girl talk