Tips to a (serene) move

At one point in my life, I moved five times in six years… so I had to master the art of managing a move efficiently. Thursday, I did it again 🙂
Here are my tips for a successful move

At one point in my life, I moved five times in six years… so I had to master the art of managing a move efficiently. Wednesday, after five without a move, there I was again, packing boxes, preparing to move the next day. I was excited, and overwhelmed – which I still am three days later… But the new home is so worth-it!

Here are my tips for a successful move:

  • Timing is everything: Don’t start packing too early… I started about two weeks ago, and it was soon enough. Living in boxes isn’t that much fun (except for my cat)! Don’t wait until the last minute either. Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot to pack, believe me, you have more than you think! Packing all-nighters are no fun (speaking from experience).
  • Make sure you keep the weekend before you move commitment-free, appointment-free, completely free. This way, you can focus on packing.
  • Be organized:
    • Pack boxes by theme – the kid’s room, parents’ room, kitchen… don’t mix everything together, or you will go crazy unpacking!
    • Write details on all boxes – not just “kitchen” (how many “kitchen” boxes do we all have?) but “glasses & silverware” etc.
    • Being organized helps the movers, and you want the movers to be your friends. They will be grateful and happier to help you if they know where each box goes – rather than having to ask you for each one of them! This time, feeling creative,  I decided to name each room in my new house and put a note on each door with the correct name. You can also color code if you want.
  • Have takeout food the night before your move… so you can pack everything except for your coffee mug (and/or champagne flutes) for D-Day. And make sure you have a bottle of champagne or rosĂ© wine – or anything you like to drink when you are on the verge of having a nervous breakdown – in the fridge, and a couple plastic cups. At some point, believe me, you’ll need it!
  • Finally, if you’re into clothes and feel like changing on a whim, or because of crazy weather fluctuations, pack a small carry on with clothes for the day of the move. That will also enable you to easily change for dinner, since everything will go so smoothly you’ll be able to go out for a nice celebratory dinner!

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That one special pair of jeans

We all have that one special pair of jeans we love. That one that makes our legs look longer and thinner, our buttocks look rounder and firmer and our waist look smaller. We wear down those jeans until they have so many holes, we decently cannot go outside in them anymore. When we finally decide to part from them, we shed a little tear because we know how difficult it’s going to be to find another magical pair of jeans.

For me, that one special pair of jeans has always been from the brand 7 for all mankind. Every time I enter another store that sells jeans, I always try on a pair or two thinking that maybe this time will be different, but each time I come out empty handed.

For my past two birthdays, my husband bought me jeans from 7 for all mankind and to no one’s surprise, they fit me perfectly. He got me crops that I don’t usually go for, but it seems that whatever the crop, they fit me just right. This year, the gift was even more tailored made for me than the previous ones because the brand created a new crop, the Roxanne crop, and surely that’s the one my husband got me. So now, not only do I have that perfect pair of jeans, but it has my name on it, literally.

Another advantage of the Roxanne crop is that, it’s either made specially for small people or maybe it’s supposed to end above the ankles on tall people, anyhow, it’s the first time I haven’t had to shorten my jeans.

What about you? Where do you find that one special pair of jeans?

Summer

Today is the first official day of Summer, the longest and one of the most magical days of the year. Summer vacation is on my mind, as I leave tomorrow for two weeks of rest and relaxation…

Today is the first official day of Summer, the longest and one of the most magical days of the year. Summer vacation is on my mind, as I leave tomorrow for two weeks of rest and relaxation…

Here are our four favorite summer destinations.

Roxane:

The island of Reunion, where I spent my honeymoon. I love islands because they usually combine hiking and the ocean in one single venue. Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, I have always had water (Lac Leman) and mountains close to me, making both an essential component of my well-being. On vacation, I look for the same combination with the addition of sun, heat, sand, beaches, and waves. I love to be active and hike in the middle of nature and could never spend all day lying on the beach tanning (you know, my dad’s a dermatologist…). But when it gets too hot, there is nothing like ending the day by having fun in the ocean. The true luxury for me is not having to drive hours between the hikes and the ocean but having everything close by.

Rachel:

Sailing (pretty much anywhere). I wake up every morning grateful for my life and all the beautiful places I have had the privilege to visit. Yet the one place I dream of when I think of summer vacation is a sailing boat. Whether I’m alone with my fiancĂ©, or with my daughter, or with friends… I am never as free as on a boat. Right there, admiring the sunset or the sunrise, I feel surrounded by my version of ultimate luxury: time, beauty, and space. 

  • Time takes on a different dimension, a different meaning, on a sailing boat: it flies at a very different pace – very slowly most of the time until suddenly something happens… 
  • I feel goosebumps whenever I recall the beauty of nature. Whether you snorkel or enjoy a solitary sunrise… the beauty of what surrounds you never leaves you indifferent. 
  • Space is the third magical ingredient, just as paradoxical as that of time: the boat is small but the sea immense and its grandeur never fails to surprise you. 

The moments I have spent on a boat are amongst the fondest and most serene I have. I cannot wait to go sailing again. 

Cyrille:

Italy. When I set foot on this land so dear to my heart, I instantly feel at home as much as on vacation. I could write a whole book about the reasons why… here are just a few:

  • Fruits and vegetables actually taste like they should.
  • There is at least one beautiful Piazza adorned with flowers and a fountain in the center each village
  • By just walking around, eyes wide open, you see the equivalent of ten art and history museum collections.
  • The language is heartwarming and melodious.
  • The concept of Aperitivo is so much more than having an after work drink…

I must say I have never had an unpleasant experience in Italy. And to be totally honest, there are 3 factors that definitely work in my favor: I am half Italian and I have learned the language; I have blond hair and blue eyes (through the eyes of Italian men, it makes you feel like an angel, a queen, a jewel…); I am a “Mamma” of an adorable boy (all Italians love kids, and all mammas are greatly respected).

Me:

The Cyclades. We started going to the Cyclades when I was little, thanks to my maternal grandparents who decided to live there for a couple of years (because my grandfather was a professor of Greek language and philosophy), and to me, this remains the most magical place on Earth. The sea is salty, cold, and clear (like Roxane, I need to be near water). The island is quiet and calm, and time takes on a different meaning (like Rachel, I need a change of pace). The food is authentic and mostly from the island, grown in the gardens behind tavernas (like Cyrille, I crave the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables).  

What is your favorite summer vacation destination?

Interview de Christophe Durand

Coiffeur et maquilleur de renom, fondateur du Bal des Créateurs, Christophe Durand est un homme d’exception. De grandes marques telles que Chopard et Tag Heuer lui font confiance pour leurs pubs. De grandes personnalités telles qu’Eva Herzigova, Tiger Woods ou encore Emmanuelle Seigner lui font confiance pour leur mise en beauté.

Les liens d’amitié entre Christophe et la famille Polla remontent à bien longtemps. Il a d’ailleurs repris les anciens locaux d’Analix Forever pour y créer La Bal, et nous avons eu la chance de collaborer avec lui à Forever Institut pour des shootings photo et un atelier sur les tendances. Le mois passé, pendant qu’il sublimait ma coupe de cheveux, j’en ai profité pour l’interviewer sur notre sujet préféré… la beauté !

Est-ce que ton sens de l’esthétique influence ton rapport au monde ?

De manière générale, je pense que l’apparence et l’esthétique influencent le monde et les rapports humains. C’est une évidence ; et pourtant nombreux sont ceux qui refusent de l’admettre. Lorsque deux personnes sont attirées l’une par l’autre et se lient – professionnellement, socialement ou amoureusement – elles parlent de « feeling ». Selon moi, ce « feeling » passe immanquablement par une sorte d’attraction physique.

Quels types de beautés te touchent ?

Je suis sensible Ă  la dĂ©coration d’intĂ©rieur des lieux que je frĂ©quente, Ă  l’architecture des villes dans lesquelles je sĂ©journe. J’aime la beautĂ© simple ; je n’aime pas le chaos dans l’esthĂ©tique – ça me fatigue !

Je suis touché par la beauté d’une personne lorsqu’elle dégage un charisme, une identité. La beauté se dégage dans les aspérités d’un visage. Il n’y a rien de plus ennuyant selon moi qu’une physionomie parfaite.

L’une des devises de Forever est « Looking good means feeling good means doing good ». Qu’est-ce que cette phrase t’évoque ? 

Cette phrase me plaît, mais instinctivement je changerais l’ordre des messages : feeling good means looking good. Imagine deux hommes aux traits ressemblants, portant le même t-shirt blanc. L’homme qui se sent bien dans sa peau sera beaucoup plus beau que celui qui n’est pas épanoui.

Que fais-tu pour te sentir beau ?

Je prends du temps pour moi et mon bien-être : je fais du sport, un hammam, je marche dans la nature, je fais l’amour … Les jours où je m’accorde ce temps, je me sens automatiquement plus séduisant.

Parle-moi de ton expérience avec la clientèle masculine.

De plus en plus d’hommes font des soins esthétiques (teintures, épilations, manucure, injections, chirurgie…) mais ils ne veulent toujours pas que ça se sache, ni que ça se voie. Notre société a créé un carcan autour de l’expression de la masculinité. Prendre soin de soi, faire des soins esthétiques est synonyme de vulnérabilité. Donc pour s’adresser aux hommes il faut je pense un langage hyper masculin et une discrétion absolue.

Et toi, as-tu déjà fait des soins esthétiques ?

J’ai fait des traitements laser à Forever Institut pour effacer mes taches brunes sur le visage et sur les mains. Je trouvais qu’elles me donnaient l’air âgé. Je n’en dirai pas plus…

Pour moi, le plus dur dans le fait de vieillir a été l’apparition des cheveux gris. J’ai tenté la teinture, mais c’était une catastrophe ! Ça me donnait l’air « fake ». Et un homme qui perd son naturel, c’est dérangeant. J’assume donc mes cheveux gris, mais pour ne pas avoir l’air d’un « papi », il faut que ma coupe soit absolument parfaite. Aucun écart n’est permis.

Christophe Durand

Et puis avec l’âge j’ai perdu mes cils. Ça aussi a été difficile. Je ne reconnaissais plus mon regard. Mes longs cils noirs, parfaitement recourbés, étaient ma signature. Récemment j’ai déniché un produit (Revitalash) qui les fait repousser. J’ai retrouvé un regard qui me correspond.

Spoiler alert

Cet Ă©tĂ© Christophe et son Ă©quipe lancent Le Bal des CrĂ©ateurs « on tour » – un van de collection qui propose tous leurs services (coiffure, maquillage, relooking) dans un espace itinĂ©rant et privatisable. On adore dĂ©jà !

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We want it all!

Part of our vision when my sisters and I created Forever Boutique was to address the wishes of those who want it all… champagne & detox; career & family; busy & tranquil; aesthetic medicine & natural results. And I can definitely relate to that kind of woman! 

Part of our vision when my sisters and I created Forever Boutique was to address the wishes of those who want it all… champagne & detox; career & family; busy & tranquil; aesthetic medicine & natural results. And I can definitely relate to that kind of woman!

Balance is one of my core values and needs. In all aspects of my life I seek a subtle equilibrium, and more precisely one that enables me to enjoy the 3 facets of my being – the mother, the woman (by that I mean the lover & friend) and the professional. The treatments that we selected at Forever Boutique are what we call « lunch-time » beauty procedures: quick, non-invasive and super efficient. Thirty minutes for a wow effect that makes us look radiant, relaxed and fresh, in spite of our busy lifestyles.

We created our beauty menu as one that provides happiness to everyone. Whether you want super plumped, Hollywood-style lips or a natural sexy look; whether you want a smooth forehead or Botox that remains super light; whether you want a deep-cleanse or a chemical peel for an instant glow; we adapt our treatments and product concentrations to your needs.

Another way I find balance in my life is by alternating intense and productive schedules with moments of tranquility that replenish my inner energies. This summer, for the first time ever in my life, I will be moving to a house located outside of the city center. This will be a new environment for me, as I grew up downtown Geneva, where the hum of city life and crowds filled me with positive vibes. I will now discover the bliss of coming home to a quiet garden and the feeling that I am on vacation.

As for my champagne routine, I balance it with weekly workouts at my local gym … Sweating it out on the treadmill heals my mind and body!

What about you ? How do you find balance in your life ?

Mountain life requires daily sun protection

On May 30thI turned 30. I celebrated with my friends and family in Nax, a village at an altitude of 1,300 meters in the Swiss mountains, where I am moving to next month. These past four days we discovered the area all together and it was amazing.

We hiked many trails around Nax. No need to take the car, you just come out the front door and start walking. We tasted delicious wines in the middle of vineyards at Simon Maye et Fils and Magliocco. We hiked our fist Via Ferrata, a protected climbing route. We swam in crystal blue mountain lakes and brunched outside in the yard of the house we had rented for the occasion.

The common theme linking this weekend’s activities was the sun. The region of Switzerland I am moving to, called the Valais, is known for many things, one of them being its micro climate. The sun shines more than 300 days a year.

I realized this weekend that if I want my skin to look as good at 40 than it does at 30, I’m going to have to change my skin care routine. I will no longer be able to use sunscreen only on vacation (as Ada describes it in her latest blog post) because I will be exposed to a burning sun on a daily basis. I need to integrate sun protection into my daily routine. Not only once a day, but every time I go outside or even get into my car (I just realized my car does not have UV protecting glass), and not only on my face, but neckline and hands as well.

I do not want to wake up in ten years and realize my skin is full of wrinkles, spots and redness I could have prevented by better skincare. Hence, the Alchimie Forever Protective day cream SPF 23 is definitely getting placed on my bathroom shelf and in my bag so I can reapply regularly throughout the day.

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Safe Sun

My two grandmothers, one from an Italian farming family, the other from a Swiss-German pastor family, did not agree on many things. But they did agree on one thing: too dark a suntan is borderline inelegant, and a sunburn is outright offensive.

My two grandmothers, one from an Italian farming family, the other from a Swiss-German pastor family, did not agree on many things. But they did agree on one thing: too dark a suntan is borderline inelegant, and a sunburn is outright offensive. Between them and my dermatologist father, with whom I have never been in so much trouble as when I sunburn my skin, I like to think I have perfected the idea of practicing “safe sun.” While this is something to think about daily, including in the dead of winter and on rainy days, it is particularly important during vacation season, which is upon us. If you are heading to the beach, the pool, on a boat, or anywhere else where you are planning on spending most of your summer days outdoors, keep this in mind:

  1. The safest way to be in the sun is not to be in the sun. In particular in between the hours of 11 and 3 pm, stay in the shade.
  2. Use sunscreen. Even if you are planning to be in the shade all day, sunscreen is essential. A body oil with SPF 2 does not count as sunscreen… UVA and UVBs are both harmful to the skin, so make sure your sunscreen says “broad-spectrum” (the SPF value only refers to protection from UVB). Keep in mind that SPF 30, which my father recommends for “beach vacation days” will protect you from 96% of UVB. A higher SPF will increase the protection by a few percentage points only: SPF 50 will increase it to 98%, and SPF 75 to 99%.
  3. Apply sunscreen liberally. Don’t think of it as applying your moisturizer or foundation – be generous, err on too much rather than not enough. The general rule of thumb is a shot-glass worth of product for an “average-sized” body.
  4. Re-apply after every time you get in the water. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen; the FDA does recognize the term “water-resistant,” so look for that word when making your purchase, and reapply.
  5. Purchase new sunscreen annually, at the very least. While you may not need a new bathing suit before every summer vacation, be vigilant about the expiration dates on sunscreens. The formulations are delicate, and do break down – an expired sunscreen will not provide the protection claimed on the bottle.
  6. Remember the ears, back of the neck, and top of the feet (where I have gotten some of my worse sunburns). Apply your sunscreen before you put on your bathing suit, to avoid getting a tan right around where your bathing suit meets your skin.

There are lots of great sunscreens out there, I tend to find a new favorite one every summer. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Nutritive Oil Comfort SPF 50+ and all Coola products are wonderful. Yet remember, no sunscreen is 100%. This means using an antioxidant product is key, both layered under your sunscreen and as a post-sun product, so that you instantly repair any free radical damage caused. Once again, there are many great antioxidant products on the market, my current favorite being the newest Alchimie Forever cream, Protective day cream SPF 23. As a first layer of protection, it is packed with antioxidants including blueberries, vitamins C and E, and edelweiss extract, and also has some chemical filters to help fight UVAs and UVBs.

Lastly, remember, you earn the skin you’re in! Protect it, and always practice “safe sun.”

Poetry. Chemistry. Alchimie.

Je partage ma vision poétique des formules alchimiques du Dr Polla.
A poem I wrote on the origins of our special kind of Alchimie.

Je souhaite rendre hommage à notre père, Luigi, qui est à l’origine de l’univers « Forever » dans lequel mes sœurs et moi évoluons et que nous faisons grandir à notre façon.

Luigi est un physicien, un esthète, un visionnaire et un poète. Il suit son instinct et ses convictions. Lorsqu’il a créé notre marque de dermo-cosmétique Alchimie Forever, c’était une grande partie d’un rêve qui se réalisait. Et une histoire d’enfance qui reprenait son cours.

Ce poème est inspiré par Luigi. C’est ainsi que je l’imagine, enfant solitaire et confiant, contemplateur et acteur.

Quand j’étais petit, je me sentais inventeur

je rĂŞvais de concocter des potions

pour immortaliser les parfums, les couleurs et la gaité

de toute chose chère à mon cœur.

Apprivoiser les molécules, la lumière et ses particules,

composer des formules sur la beauté du monde

et toute ses longueurs d’ondes.

J’ai cueillit des plantes dans le jardin de ma mère,

mélangé les ingrédients dans la cuisine de mon père.

Certaines de ces nuits blanches penché sur mes études,

je trouvais l’harmonie entre chimie et poésie.

Aujourd’hui c’est devenu Alchimie.

Luigi L. Polla

When I was a young boy a dream came to me:

create secret potions to exalt the coulors and joy of all things dear to me;

through my visions and equations, enhance the world’s beauty.

Design awesome formulas, invent new sciences,

tame complex molecules

and decipher the wavelengths of light particles.

I collected fragrant plants from my mother’s garden,

mixed my ingredients in my father’s kitchen.

Some of those sleepless nights leaning over my study,

I found the harmony in composing chemistry and poetry.

Today, it’s Alchimie.

180 seconds to save the world

How would I change my world in 180 seconds? To that question, a very simple answer came to me: I decided to ban plastic bottles from my home. This is my personal first step.
What will yours be? 

In December I had the privilege of being chosen as one of the 100 business leaders who represent the future of Romandie in Switzerland (Forum des 100 event). This past Thursday, I attended the annual event organized by Le Temps to celebrate those who are selected. I was happy to meet other entrepreneurs and had the amazing opportunity to listen to conferences and roundtables on the urgency of an ecological transition.

I heard David Hochschild who chairs the California Energy Commission, speak. He shared the state’s positive experience regarding its ecological transition: transformation can be a source of wealth creation! Paul Bulcke from Nestle had the courage to speak on such a controversial subject for the company; and without surprise, he was questioned and challenged on the responsibility of agribusiness multinationals in plastic waste polluting our oceans. Marco Simeoni, who founded Race for Water, a fabulous Foundation that works on water and ocean preservation, was particularly strong in his questions and challenges. I was myself deeply moved by what this successful entrepreneur has worked on and created following the sale of his business. His message resonated in the mother, CEO, and woman in me.

At the end of the day, I was left with one question: in 180 seconds, how would I change the world? I have many ideas, of course. Ban plastic. Rethink low-cost travel. Change consumption habits. Inform ourselves better. Stop taking everything for granted…

I was discussing this with my sister Cyrille, and she suggested that instead of changing the world, I should start at home. She asked: how would I change my world in 180 seconds? To that question, a very simple, clear, immediate answer came to me: I decided to ban plastic bottles from my home. This is my personal first step.

What will yours be?

The beauty of art

We choose to express our personality in many different ways. Some people use jewelry and other accessories to express their style (read Ada’s latest post “Jewelry Styles for Music Festivals”), some use clothes, others use words or music, I use art. Each painting, sculpture, photograph, video I own tells a story about me in a way I’m incapable of sharing otherwise. If you want to know who I am, all you need to do is to look at what is hung on my walls. For me, this is the beauty of art.

Here are some pieces of my collection and what they say about me.

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In Michaela Spiegel’s painting I see darkness, sensuality and sexuality.

91258a_38f6a33072e74993a076635618077fa4In Dana Hoey‘s photograph I see energy, youth and freshness.

img_5892.jpgIn Mounir Fatmi’s drawing I see religion and life and death in an operating room.

img_5909.jpgIn Rita Natarova’s paintings I see my obsession for the human body, I feel I can touch and smell it piece by piece.

BIGGS_BD_01.jpgIn Janet Biggs’ photograph I feel the power I used to feel while horseback riding.

img_5864.jpgIn Andrea Mastrovito’s painting I see my fear of being ordinary.

DSC_8796.JPGIn Abdul Rahman Katanani’s tree I see hope and defiance.

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In Eli Stertz’s picture I see loneliness.

corrected+POLLA+FIRE+POEM+7.jpgIn Robert Montgomery’s fire poems I see the freedom in love and the fear of being captured.

cache_33063970In Ornela Vorpsi’s drawings I can feel myself in my husband’s arms and I see my need of physical contact.

img_5903.jpgIn Mat Collishaw’s superpositions I feel the beauty that can be found in violence.

img_5877.jpgIn Conrad Bakker’s painting I feel my anxiety to be lost in our society.

img_5865.jpgIn Elke Krystufek‘s photograph I see positivity and enthusiasm.