Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: ASPA

No that's not me! I could hardly take photos of myself during a treatment now could I?

The last time I visited a beauty salon I must have been about 16. Yes, Azra, owner of all-natural salon ASPA in The Hague seemed rather shocked too. I had booked my Prescription Facial after being told about Treatwell, an all-new website that allows you to book and pre pay your treatment online, easy!

The first thing that hit me when I entered ASPA was the gorgeous smell. Azra explained she would be using London brand Aromatherapy Associates on my skin today, hence the beautiful smell. After a thorough consultation in which I explained my problem areas (dry skin, oily T zone, blemishes) and daily routine, I was tucked in under a nice warm blanket and the treatment began. I proudly named all the beauty products I use on a daily basis (Bioderma, Olio Lusso, Benefit, Cetaphil and my beloved Clarisonic) but Azra shook her head. “No wonder you’re having problems darling, you’re over stimulating your skin!”

Ultrasound was used to pump more moisture into my skin, a peel to add extra punch. Azra explained she believes in layering products starting with a facial oil, then serum and finishing with a cream. I asked the owner of the salon why she preferred working with natural brands, my main reason for coming. She explained that it has become a holistic concept for her: the salon, a yoga studio upstairs and she even runs a health food shop.

After the treatments and a relaxing head-and-shoulder massage, my make-up was fixed with Jane Iredale mineral makeup, another all-natural brand that works with minerals. Coverage was great but I’m afraid I won’t be chucking out my Chanel CCs or Estée Lauder Double Wears quite yet.

I left ASPA feeling ultimately relaxed, with great-looking (and feeling) skin and a whole lot wiser. 

It’s now a few days on and I can already feel my skin adjusting to its new routine. The Clarisonic has been banned save one day a week and my Olio Lusso has finally become part of my daily routine now I know how to properly use it. I’m a sucker for a new beauty fad but hopefully, regular visits to ASPA will cure me of my addiction.

This is a partly-sponsored post. All opinions in this article are my own.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

DIY/ Neck candy

Inspired by @dylanlex on Instragram, Nina of Salt n Sun and I decided to try our luck at making some huge necklaces. We scouted every H&M, Bershka and Pieces in The Hague trying to find suitable necklaces within our budget. In the end I think we succeeded in creating some statement jewellery.

The steps are simple:
1. Gather a series of necklaces and lay them out flat
2. Decide how you want the necklaces to fit together and cut chains accordingly
3. Optional: I added a clasp to each end of the chain so I can take them apart easily
4. Attach your chains with jump rings or clasps
5. Done!

A tip would be to assemble your chains on a mannequin or friend as some will lay different when hanging.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shopping/ Humanoid

Well now I couldn't go all the way to Arnhem and not visit Humanoid could I? This amazing shop sells all my favourite brands including Acne and Isabel Marant of which I got a super-fluffy blue cardi and a simple white linen Tee. I know it seems silly to buy a warm knit when summer is upon us but honestly, with the low temperatures, wind and occasional snow (just kidding), it feels more like autumn here in the Netherlands!
Humanoid also stocks Aesop, an Australian cosmetics brand which uses plant-based ingredients resulting in some of the most lush smells around. As I will be in Venice all next week the travel kit and Ginger Flight Therapy seemed like a natural choice.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Expo/ Piet Paris

Named 'The Rooms of Piet Paris', the exhibition of illustrator extraodinaire, Piet Paris, opened last week in Arnhem. It was great to be lead through the exhibition by the artist himself and I really got an insight into his work method and driving force.
Not only are works by Paris on show but you can take a look at some amazing designs by Prada, Viktor&Rolf and Marni, among others. How amazing is that green embellished swimsuit?
I briefly spoke with Paris after the tour and asked him what he liked most about his retrospective. His answer was simple, get young people interested in the craft that is illustration.

Read my Design.nl review here

Friday, May 3, 2013

Design/ Highlights from Milan part 2

From top to bottom: Royal School of Arts, The Hague (KABK); KABK; Dutch Invertuals; Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (HKU); 010-020; De Invasie; COS pop-up store; Street Art
While I love scouting for Dutch talents during fairs, graduate shows and exhibitions, sometimes it can be nice to take a little break and just wander around the city. Here are a few photos of my favourite shows in Milan.

Once again the COS pop-up store was so super minimalist, pure perfection! Some of my favourite items were seen at 010-020 – a collective from Rotterdam and Amsterdam – creating the most vibrant fabrics (Mae Engelgeer) and simplistic racks to hang them from (Jeroen van Leur).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Design/ Highlights from Milan part1

Here are a few of my favourite photos taken during the Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this month. Each year the entire design world flocks to Milan to show off their latest products and furniture. Over at Rossana Orlandi, a space curated by the 'Godmother of design', you'll often find some real gems. I was impressed by Konstfack graduate Tobias Lutmann's brilliant Face-O-Mat, and the portrait he made of course! As always Scholten&Baijings presented some of the nicest combinations of colour and form, this year with silver company Georg Jensen. I also would love to own the glassware by BCXSY that goes from clear to completely opaque and would look great at a dinner party!

Read more about Spazio Rossana Orlandi here