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 rêvais 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.

Jewelry Styles for Music Festivals

It’s that time of year. Jazz Fest time. Just like people in New Orleans have a costume closet (for the many occasions this city offers to dress up), people in New Orleans have a festival closet (for the many music festivals this city hosts). And an outfit is never complete without the right piece(s) of jewelry, which inspired me to reach out New Orleans BFF and jewelry designer Ashley Porter, the creative force behind Porter Lyons. Here are her recommendations for festivaling in (jewelry) style.

It’s that time of year. Jazz Fest time. Just like people in New Orleans have a costume closet (for the many occasions this city offers to dress up), people in New Orleans have a festival closet (for the many music festivals this city hosts). And an outfit is never complete without the right piece(s) of jewelry, which inspired me to reach out New Orleans BFF and jewelry designer Ashley Porter, the creative force behind Porter Lyons. Here are her recommendations for festivaling in (jewelry) style.

Ashley’s Do’s

  1. Layer like Woah! It is haute to wear a large choker necklace and layer with a long 32” pendant, stack your fingers high with rings and layer on the arm swag. (Insert Picture of the 3 girls)
  2. Mix Metals. Whether it’s silver, the range of gold K’s, hematite, or rose it’s a geaux. You want to make sure you keep the finishes so they all work effortlessly together. Think different sizes and shapes.
  3. Ear Cuffs: Go Faux. Forever fading is the commitment to an actual piercing with the increased illusion of being pierced.
  4. Finish the look with a fresh gel manicure & some nail art. Use your imagination to come up with a design, or to follow @madnails to get inspiration – love MOD nails, or the ‘fat French’
  5. As long as you feel comfortable and confident, you can never lose.

Ashley’s Don’ts

  1. Wear NO jewelry. It’s such a fun way to express your style and add an additional dimension to your look. Each piece can tell a story and set off your outfit with some metal texture.
  2. Wear the real stuff. We all know that shit happens. Whether you’re dancing, laying in the grass, and/or making out with some beaux, don’t worry your mind about losing your small fortunes.
  3. Midi Rings. Guaranteed to fly off, and with the risk of being Mean Girl-esque, “They were so last year”.
  4. Forget your SPF…You don’t want to be ‘that girl’ looking like a lobster because you negated the sunscreen.
  5. Stress about your hair. It’s most like going to be hot, dusty and humid. Whether your hair is naturally curly or straight, let that mane run wild and throw in a braid or two to give it some shape.
  6. Don’t wear necklaces if you are going to be jump-dancing; they bounce around too much…

Beauté intérieure – 1ère partie

Je vous parle de l’importance de la beauté des intérieurs dans lesquels nous pénétrons. Comment se sentir comblé chaque jour en franchissant la porte de sa maison, de son lieu de travail ou de son institut préféré.

La beauté que nous avons et ressentons à l’intérieur est source de bien-être et d’épanouissement. Elle mérite qu’on la cultive pour ensuite la transmettre à chaque personne que l’on croise, à chaque lieu où l’on s’attarde, à chaque objet que l’on créé ou que l’on mette en scène.

Personnellement, je me sens plus sereine et heureuse lorsque mon paysage intérieur est en symbiose avec celui qui m’entoure. C’est pourquoi il est si important pour moi que mon « home-sweet-home » corresponde à l’esthétique et à l’énergie qui m’habitent. La philosophie de Marie Kondo et la méthode de Clarity Home Detox m’ont accompagnées ce sur ce chemin bienfaisant.

Et puisque nous passons souvent plus de temps sur notre lieu de travail qu’à la maison, cela s’applique aussi à l’environnement professionnel. Cette réflexion est au cœur de la démarche créative de Forever. Comment créer un lieu qui reflète la philosophie d’une entreprise, qui soit juste, qui porte les mêmes messages que ceux qui y travaillent. Forever c’est avant tout l’expression de « la beauté dans tous ses états », liée à une technologie avant-gardiste, une vision lumineuse et futuriste de l’esthétique, une touche artistique et un rêve en constante évolution.

Forever Institut et Boutique sont devenus les écrins de notre savoir-faire grâce aux artistes et architectes talentueux qui ont adhéré à notre vision. Tout ce qu’il faut de transparence, une rivière de lumière, des couleurs fortes et douces à la fois, et beaucoup d’espace et de murs blancs où ont trouvé place nombreuses œuvres d’autres artistes contemporains.

Toute notre équipe se construit chaque jour dans ces lieux d’exception, lieux uniques, à notre image, où règne naturellement une harmonie, et qui font ressortir le meilleur de nous-mêmes pour l’offrir à tous ceux qui viennent nous consulter pour des soins.

Nous vous attendons dès demain pour poursuivre ce beau partage !

Forever Institut Architecture

The Polla Sisters are (sometimes vs. always) Superwomen

Cette dernière semaine j’ai été plongée dans les chiffres, les statistiques, notre mission et surtout la mise en scène oratoire. Ma conclusion de ce sprint : la préparation est à peu prêt aussi intense que l’exécution de la prestation. Mes quelques “tips” de survie…

Cette semaine était celle de mon Conseil d’Administration (synonyme de grand stress, donc). Sans faire exprès, j’ai rajouté la veille un workshop d’équipe de trois heures, et le lendemain l’équivalent, mais avec notre équipe médicale. Comme si cela n’était pas suffisant, j’ai entre deux dîné avec des investisseurs potentiels et rencontré un groupe d’apporteurs d’affaires chinois… sans compter tout le reste bien entendu. Quelques jours donc plongée dans les chiffres, les statistiques, notre mission et surtout la mise en scène oratoire. Ma conclusion de ce sprint : la préparation est à peu prêt aussi intense que l’exécution de la prestation.

Au crépuscule de cette semaine, je me suis penchée sur la manière dont je survis à ces journées plus intenses :

  • Premièrement, je me rappelle que les semaines de ma sœur aînée (Ada, CEO de Alchimie Forever) ressemblent toutes à la mienne ! J’ai également une pensée pour ma petite sœur Roxane qui fait des journées de 12 heures à l’hôpital. Ces deux exemples me permettent sincèrement de prendre un peu de recul et me rappellent la chance que j’ai d’avoir une équipe relativement large et donc de bénéficier au quotidien de soutien.
  • Ensuite, je m’appuie sur mes plus fidèles collaborateurs ; je me prépare avec eux, revois mes présentations plusieurs fois, jusqu’à ce que je me sente (presque) totalement prête… mes parents m’ont toujours martelé que le succès provient à 90% de travail, contre seulement 10% de talent ou de chance.
  • J’échange beaucoup avec mon conjoint, et m’ouvre tout particulièrement dans ces moments de stress à ses idées, ses éclairages… il me permet de prendre de la hauteur. En parallèle, j’appelle mes sœurs ou leur écrit et relis plusieurs fois leurs messages de soutien et de confiance, si précieux.
  • Je limite l’alcool le soir au cours de ces périodes (je me réserve pour après! Avec si possible une bouteille de Tignanello), et dans la mesure du possible essaie d’intensifier le sport, pour m’assurer que je reste complètement alerte et aussi reposée et positive que possible. Surtout, j’essaie vraiment de me discipliner à dormir au moins sept heures par nuitblog
  • Je prends du temps pour m’habiller en fonction des rendez-vous que j’aurai et fais particulièrement attention à mon apparence : l’habit ne fait pas le moine, je vous l’accorde volontiers. Mais à certaines occasions, cela aide vraiment à se sentir moine !
  • Enfin, j’écoute de la musique, et si possible je danse juste avant ces moments impactant pour mon entreprise. Je choisis toujours une musique entraînante et qui m’inspire puissance et maîtrise. Cette semaine j’ai écouté Natural de Imagine Dragons quasiment en boucle…

 

Et vous, comment faites-vous pour vous sentir comme la « superwoman » que vous êtes ?

 

La beauté des préliminaires, la force de la poésie.

Je ne sais pas vous, mais moi j’adore les préliminaires. « Le commencement : on est à l’origine de quelque chose. L’attente : le principal est encore à venir. La préparation : en vue de ce qui est à accomplir. La fondation : sur laquelle la suite va s’édifier. Le jeu : on passera ensuite aux choses sérieuses. L’exploration : le temps des décisions viendra après. L’ébauche : de ce qui prendra une forme définitive. »

Voici les mots décrivant l’exposition Préliminaires montrée à la Villa Dutoit en mars dernier. Je suis tombée sous le charme d’une pièce en particulier, réunissant le travail de 2 artistes : Patricia Terrapon Leguizamon et Barbara Polla. L’une créant des sculptures de seins, l’autre un poème érotique qui retranscrit parfaitement selon moi la beauté des préliminaires (Just before Love, à lire ci-dessous et à retrouver dans le New River Press Yearbook 2019).

Les préliminaires poussent à l’imagination et à la curiosité. Il y a d’infinies possibilités de désirs et de jeux, de manières de découvrir son intimité et d’explorer son corps ainsi que celui de l’autre.

Les préliminaires sont romantiques. Ils obligent à prendre le temps. Ils font sortir des stéréotypes répétitifs et ennuyants qu’on retrouve partout en image dans notre société.

Les préliminaires offrent un moment de liberté. Un temps où on ose exprimer sa sexualité et tester différents désirs sans trop les avouer juste pour voir la réaction de l’autre, juste pour savoir si on peut continuer dans cette direction ou non. Si c’est non, on oublie et on passe à autre chose, sans jugement.

Les préliminaires c’est différent pour chacun et à chaque instant. Ils peuvent être doux, crus, lents, rapides… D’ailleurs dans de prochains blogs je vous parlerai de deux accessoires que j’aime tout particulièrement : la photographie et les sous-vêtements.

Just before Love me donne envie d’écrire des lettres enflammées à mon mari, comme James Joyce le faisait pour Nora Barnacle. La poésie a une force particulière avec laquelle elle arrive à nous faire voyager et à nous stimuler avec ses mots, ses sons et son rythme, d’une manière qu’on peine à recréer dans notre langage de tous les jours.

Bonne lecture !

 

Just Before Love

Just before love
He likes to smoke a joint
Then he looks at me
And wants me to play
With my eyes and my smile
As if I were to go
Far away with another
As if I were to dance

Just before love
He likes to watch girls
While touching his balls
And then he looks at me
At my mouth at my lips
Ajar and wet and pink
Playing with my tongue
And my fingers in my mouth

Just before love
He likes me to sniff
From neck to ass
Along his vertebrae
His axilla and to kiss
And to sniff him all over
As if I were an addict
And needs to feel the need

Just before love
His nipples erect
His hair on his thighs
He likes me to ignore
Just for a while then adore
That he is all erect
Erection everywhere
Now show me your tits

Just before love
He touches himself
And likes me to Watch
And let me know
I can do it myself
You know look at me
You from below
From everlasting snow

Just before love
Lick it all up
You know, there
Deep in the rainforest
And your tongue everywhere
Let me let me let me
Grasp and strangle
And drown in your night

Just before love
Close your eyes close the world
Comes the night comes the sky
Come, come baby come
Then leave me alone
Alone with myself
Unwillingly and slow
Waiting for death

And after love
Let me let me let me

… and dance again

 

Barbara Polla