styledrifter

Essentially

With regards to anything health and wellness related I have (as many others I am sure), with time, become hugely skeptical of relying on social media recommendations. These days so much of the content has been paid for – in other words probably not even experienced by the so called influencers who merely rely on the content of a press release. At the same token endless amounts of conflicting information is being passed around by self proclaimed experts with no factual expertise on the topic. Everyone is gluten intolerant and everyones cousin is a certified yoga teacher innit.

And yet here I am about to release a blog post on the very topic of bottled green goodness. Whilst not a certified nutritionist I am a woman in my late 30s (as in: soon there are no 30’s left to it) but I look a decade younger (or so I am repeatedly told)! I am generally always in a jolly good mood, I sleep well, I have the energy to work 12-14 h days and since you ask, there is nothing wrong with my libido. Ok I made myself lol here but these normally are signs of overall health and so my day to day choices must be somewhat right. I am also very adamant about which brands I choose to work with and my consistent rule is that if I wouldn’t pay my hard earned pennies for the product I will also not accept it for free. (Juice cleanses – I will btw have you know – are very 2012. Bone broth is the new miracle potion and Dubai has gotten onboard with both Hapi and the Clean Living Company catering to the collagen thirsty consumers who don’t have a spare 12 h to roast a pile of bones.)

So –  whilst not a certified nutritionist or a smug insta yogini –  here are my two fills on green juices and why Essentially has been my go to brand since they launched 4 years ago.

I met Wiebke (the founder) on the first month of Essentially’s launch and I find her to be is a great spokesperson for her product. As harsh as it may sound I very much judge the book by the cover. It is a very short sighted approach and feel free to call me up on it but in the past I have met health food promoters who with their demeanor didn’t ooze of health and balance. Why I feel ok with typing these words is that as a stylist I too am a victim of snap judgement. I would probably starve to death if I tried to score new clients whilst looking like Waka Flocka.

I have also tried Essentially’s main competitors (and whilst mentioning names is not required I am sure you know which brands are equally active on the liquid goodness scene). I perceived one of them as heavily overpriced and too ”try-hard” with flavours and the other one as very weak ingredient wise. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to know that you won’t get much from juicing an iceberg lettuce.

Whilst I won’t be doing regular juice cleanses I KNOW that my current diet is poor on veggies and so a bottle of green juice (packing an impressive 1,5 kg of product in one bottle) feels like a very welcome addition to my current “always-on-the-go-eating-in-my-car”  day to day situation. The nut mylks taste like healthy milkshakes and the power balls are a nice and clean snack with my afternoon pick-me-up cup of coffee.

Essentially (and Wiebke) these days send me 2 days worth of juices a week in return for the social media love but like I said above – for the longest time I trekked to whichever RIPE market they were selling at in order to get my full priced fix. I will probably continue to do so if they were to stop. Now take what you wish from these ramblings and most importantly remember not to buy into blind social media endorsements without a little bit of research. / Teresa

Love story.

Most of us have had experiences where a certain smell—a flower, freshly baked cookies or the salty beach air—floods our brain with memories of a distinct event or location that we associate clearly with certain emotions.

There have been scientific studies using a variety of approaches to back up this anecdotal evidence. One was a study led by a female scientist at Brown University in 2004. Dr. Rachel Herz and her team found that a group of five women showed more brain activity when smelling a perfume with which they associated a positive memory than when smelling a control perfume they had never before smelled. This is likely due to the brains anatomy and I am going to stop myself here before I embark on diving further into medical terms like the amygdala and hippocampus (hippowhatWHAT?).

I consider the sense of smell one of my superpowers. It is one of my strongest senses (which is somewhat of a nuisance when the scents in question are unpleasant and makes public transport a no go) but it also makes me somewhat of a perfume connoisseur. As a blogger I have the privilege to receive most releases before they hit the shop floors and whilst I sniff them all (and oooh and aaaah over the luxe packaging); I am loyal to a very few.

In general anything with undertones of clean laundry or baby-powder-resembling-notes goes down well with me. Florals aren’t my favourites – with the exception of the delicate frangipani (and if you ever go to the Maldives they will quickly become your favourite too). The same applies to orange blossom which again is related to a fond memory of a certain place. The orange blossom is hugely prominent in the Middle East (my home as of the last 12 years) and works on soothing aching tummies, flavouring trays of home made baklavas and symbolises purity when used in abundant wedding bouquets. I have also grown to be very fond of oud and sandalwood based concoctions – both ingredients with a heritage strongly tied to the place that I nowadays call home.

Chloé’s latest release: Love Story Eau Sensuelle (which is the third fragrance in the brands story line and the second in my collection) has French actress Clémence Poésy as the face of the campaign. It combines orange blossom with sweet heliotrope and velvety sandal wood and hence makes it into my top 3 daytime favourites. / XXX Teresa

The StyleDrifterSHOP.

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I am genuinely happy to be back to the world of blogging! As you can see my latest post was more than 6 months ago, crikey! Then there was radio silence (although I was pretty active on Instagram and Snapchat whilst that lasted. Nowadays I stick to InstaStories; hungry for views and impressions as many influencers are these days).

The reason behind my blog hiatus is partially that for the longest time I was feeling rather stagnant in the overall of my ”fashion career”. I have pretty much achieved all that I inspired to achieve as a stylist – and whilst reading this if you catch yourself thinking *whoa, she hasn’t really done THAT much – I ask you to remember that these things are relative! Anyhow – in true Teresa style I am side stepping here. So where were we? Right, stagnant!

At the same token as a personal shopper and a regular consumer with a regular working persons income (this surely resonates with my Middle East based readers as we are daily exposed to shoppers with unlimited couture funds); I was very aware of the prominent gap between high street and high fashion. The idea to set up an online store (similar in format to the ever – so – brilliant Australian ”They All Hate Us” blog /store) was with me for over a year. One business plan, numerous Skype interviews with Important Finance People and one enthusiastic and supportive investor later I had the funds to do this right – with packaging, delivery, site design etc that are all up to my standards from day one of launching. You only get one first impression right?

I consider myself a very lucky girl and I can’t stop smiling whilst typing these words.

Right – the idea is that once a month I will upload a selection of items that I have perused the cyberweb to find for you. The pieces I have bought in are true to my personal style (although I have gone braver with colours as I dress mostly in beige and I know that the rest of the world does not LOL). At the same token the price point was very important to me – I do not aspire to compete with high fashion retailers for many many reasons. If nothing else, as I always say in my seminars, I believe that we live in what the experts refer to as the ”lipstick economy”. Females will remain females and hence they will never stop ”treating themselves” (treat yo’self being one of my favorite expressions haha) but studies show that we are a lot more reluctant to spending big. Call it situational awareness if you so wish.

*If you by any chance caught my talk at last seasons Fashion Forward (sponsored by Baume Et Mercier) you will remember me talking about this, complete with PowerPoint slides and other grown up stuff.

The items in my store will come in different EDITS as I call them – meaning occasionally I will pick them for the festive season or based on the theme. The idea is also that everything kinda sorta goes together so you will be able to buy a whole top -to – toe outfit. Through my blog and social media I am happy to illustrate how I think the pieces can be worn, being a stylist and all. Naturally you are able to buy them individually if you think that my suggestions are rather meh or waayyyyy too far out there.

WORLDWIDE shipping, FREE NEXT DAY delivery in the UAE *terms and conditions apply though but yes, mostly – and last but not least my very own special MARBLE BOXES that all the goodness will come in; (ones that are so pretty that you will want to keep them and use them for your knicknacks and in your sharpest Instagram flat lays I’d like to think) – these are all the final & significant touches I have been adamant about incorporating into the overall user experience.

This is all very exciting Lovelies and I cannot wait to get started. As I am typing this we are 24 h from launching and I haven’t slept for 2 days! / Good night! / Teresa

Level Shoes – the Ramadan edit.

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This Ramadan marks my 12th year in the UAE and yet again I am reminded of how much I enjoy this time of the year. Dubai life is known for being fast paced and these spiritually significant days allow for everyone to slow down, reflect and rediscover our fair city.

Iftars are a must to experience – thoroughly curated, culinary vibrant they are a beautiful way to connect with friends and family. Whilst simple in nature the dishes traditionally served are something I reminiscent for months and months that follow. Being somewhat of a fitness / wellness advocate I normally don’t include kunafe in my weekly meal plans. During Ramadan however this glutinous gooey cheesy treat is like the proverbial bucket of gold at the end of the mythical rainbow.

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Ramadan dressing revolves around modesty and good taste. Kaftans are a fool proof way of ensuring that you’re comfortable, culturally appropriate and on trend. With its nudge towards folklore through intricate beading work and embroidery, they are my preferred item of clothing that later during the year gets reinvented as resort wear. As homes get adorned with lights in anticipation of Eid Al Fitr, I invite sequins and cracked golden leather into my wardrobe. The N° 21 mules are the Holy Grail of Instagram footwear, frequently seen on street style icons all over the globe.

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Aquazurra can do no wrong and these brocade pumps, with their homage towards ethic footwear, work wonderfully well with a monochrome ensemble but would also stand their ground when matched with geometrical patterns – after all dis the season to embrace minimalism with open arms. Lastly – our very own Dubai made All Things Mochi has launched a collection of handmade espadrilles exclusively for Level. They are as comfortable as they are fun.

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All the footwear can be found on Level Shoe District – website and the physical store at The Dubai Mall.

How to do Paris like a fashion blogger.

As you may have seen on Instagram I recently came back from a trip to Paris. During that time I did a fair amount fashion week related activities but I also had heaps of “me time” to do exploring and wanderlusting and creating Instagram content.

I will only be mentioning names of venues (anything else would take me a week haha). They’re all tried and road – tested by me personally so when you google them they take you to the Google Map pin. Don’t you just love technology the days *she said sounding like a really old person.

Right – first things first.

Accommodation: I used Trivago.com to book my hotel (it was a self sponsored trip so I looked for something cheap(ish)). I looked for something that was new, had good reviews and was walking distance to the central parts of the city. I ended up at Hotel Le Malown in the 8th arr. (right next door to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. (http://www.lemalown.com/en/).

The hotel turned out to be a GREAT find! The rooms were tiny but I was’t really going to be spending any time in the room apart from the zzzz. Crisp white sheets and beige walls (none of the dated plush velour nonsence many hotels in Paris insist on), little balcony, friendly staff, bargain rate of under 500 aed / night and a location that allowed me to walk everywhere plus take the metro from the Opera station which connects all the metro lines going through the city. Score!

This leads me to the next discovery:

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Could this be the best (free) rooftop for aerial views?

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Both these shots are taken at the rooftop floor of Printemps – free for public access as a little lunch cafeteria / coffee house is located up there.

Save your calories for ground floor however: thats where Cafe Pushkin is located. Hands down prettiest cakes in Paris if you ask me.

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Walking distance from the hotel, opposite the Opera is Cafe De La Paix – excellent for a Parisian croissant / espresso breakfast.

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As you can see I threw all gluten caution to the wind. Parisian bread is just the tastiest though!

Another breakfast place often voted the best bakery in town is Du Pain et Des Idée (easily allocated on google maps as is everything else I mentioned). Noone speaks english and there are no tourists and it’s just warm, authentic and wonderful.

For more restaurant options I recommend:

  • Miss Ko – Nearby the Champs Elysée on Avenue George V. Very hip crowd, the the affordable sushi is AMAZING, and at night the music is great. The decor with Japanese murals is photo friendly bonus.
  • Alcazar Restaurant – This restaurant just re-opened after a major refurbishment and is one of the most popular places in Paris at the moment. Très Instagram friendly.
  • Les Bain Paris – It’s a bar/restaurant with amazing truffle popcorn accompanying the drinks. The interiors are incredible, and the staff actually isn’t arrogant (very rare for a trendy place in Paris). Dior hosted their perfume launch party here last season, and in general, it attracts a fashion-forward crowd. Downstairs turns into a nightclub in the late hours for Parisian style debauchery (there is even a small pool in the middle, a’la a 1970s Saint Laurent party)
  • Hotel Costes: It’s expensive and smoky and yet all kinds of wonderful. Crammed with good looking / influential people, with the worlds most instagrammed french fries and every single dish on the menu is a taste experience. I would know, I ate there daily for a week and tried one of everything in a tres indulgent manner.
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Nearby (3 minutes walk) is the infamous Colette department store where you dive into a world of all things eclectic and edgy. I get my fix of newly released sneakers, Byredo and Diptyque products in limited editions and cute electronic gadgets from there.

Otherwise my shopping go to district is Le Marais  – brimming with vintage stores, cheap eats, French designers like Sandro, Maje and Zadie & Voltaire (with selections far better to the Dubai ones sadly) as well as the newly opened Anine Bing store.

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How about the beautifully taupe Aesop store with pump flask testers on the street? Or mixing your own Le Labo scent with a customized label – all these can found on the streets of Marais. In general: if you’re looking for anything specific there are plenty of Time Out style articles that provide deep insight in the topic (such as vintage shopping which many might be into). I myself am not (strangely enough as it’s kinda expected from a fashion blogger). I like my things brand spanking new and still smelling of the fancy box they came in. 😀

On the topic of shopping and fancy boxes: the worlds only Louboutin beauty store (with the lipsticks and the nail polishes and oh the lipsticks, I am so in love with them all) is located in a covered passage close to Palais Royal. It’s called Galerie Vero-Dodat and is a beautiful old space with black and white floors. The Louboutin head office is located there so many ladies with red soles will swish past you when you’re around.

Across the road is my favorite breakfast place in the whole wide world called Claus (also on google maps like everything else). I was told that Claus himself was an ex high fashion PR executive that got tired of the fashion PR-ing game and launched the finest fanciest breakfast joint of them all. The male waiters will charm the crap out of you and you can have all day breakfast with a side of bubbly. Booking is essential or else there is a 45 min waiting list. Daily.

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For a morning of indulgence treat yourself to a one time breakfast at The Peninsula Hotel. It oozes luxury, serves the best Raspberry Brioche in town and has unparalleled Instagram values. It’s simply exquisite.

I could go on and on and on and if there is anything else you need to know just drop a comment below!

In the meantime: don’t overplan. Make time to do nothing – Parisian style. One of the nicest things about Paris to me is the sitting outside in a bistro (with none imposing a minimum spend or forcing you to commit to dining whilst there) and breathing in the atmosphere.

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Bisous! XXX