Fall Beauty Resolutions

As we are in the middle of what always feels like the last weekend of summer, I am turning my attention to the rest of 2018, and to my fall beauty resolutions.

As we are in the middle of what always feels like the last weekend of summer, I am turning my attention to the rest of 2018, and to my fall beauty resolutions.

  1. I will discard any left-over sunscreen (any sunscreen I bought this summer will not be good next summer).
  2. I will continue to apply a day cream with SPF protection even when the sun stops shining (SPF 20 or above, per the recommendation of my father, Dr. Luigi L. Polla).
  3. I will practice regular exfoliation, on face and body, to help cellular turnover (I love the Alchimie Forever Gentle refining scrub twice a week).
  4. I will diligently use my Advanced retinol serum twice a week to repair any sun damage from the summer.
  5. I will continue to take extra care of my toes even after putting away my sandals (I am loving the clear polish natural look these days, beautiful in summer and winter).
  6. I will get two trims between now and the end of the year (this may sound like a minimalist approach, but considering I usually get one trim per year this is actually an aggressive goal for me).
  7. I will continue to exercise three times per week and will be mindful of my eating and drinking, in particular during the holiday period.  
  8. I will purchase a new lipstick color for the fall. I am intrigued by the new Aveda Feed My Lips colors…

What are your fall beauty resolutions?

Tips For a Successful Annual Family Meeting

A few years ago, we attended the INSEAD executive program on family business. It was a turning point for our family business in terms of identifying goals and best practices. One best practice that came out of this program was to hold an annual family meeting – we call it our Family Council meeting.

A few years ago, we attended the INSEAD executive program on family business. It was a turning point for our family business in terms of identifying goals and best practices. One best practice that came out of this program was to hold an annual family meeting – we call it our Family Council meeting.

The intended outcome of this meeting is to spend time together, of course, but beyond that it is to update those family members not involved in the day to day operations of the family business on the current states of our business units, and to benefit from their thinking, insights, and questions.

We just came back from our third Family Council meeting, held at Villa Verde Resort in Friuli, the region of Italy where our father grew up. Each meeting gets better, as we learn from our experiences. Here are our best practices so far:

Roxane:

  • Have someone take photos; these times are precious! My husband Guillaume is (one of) our assigned photographer.
  • If the work meeting lasts the equivalent of a full work day – which it should – make sure there is time to exercise or practice an outdoor activity before dinner. Your body fluids get moving again, your brain is oxygenated, and everything feels much better afterwards. I know I needed this time!

Rachel:

  • Do not schedule anything right after the meeting, as ours usually lasts longer than scheduled. We learned this the hard way our first Family Council meeting (we all had a train to catch): everyone left rushed and frustrated at not having been able to share everything we wanted to share (yes, we do talk a lot and the goal of these moments is to share, share, share). However, balance this with respect for timing and scheduling.
  • Set a clear code of conduct. I love ours – love, respect, no sleeping (see photo!).

Cyrille:

  • Organize some bonding time before starting the meeting. Reconnecting emotionally and tuning our energies towards one another makes the business discussions much more open, rich and authentic.
  • If one or more family members has a hobby they are passionate about, it’s great to include it in the schedule. Our dad loves golf, and so do some other family members. Thus, we set aside time to golf (see bonding time above). The rest of us were by the pool and that was superb too!
  • Include a festive and joyful together time after the meeting. Either a dinner – or even better, stay overnight and have some fun the morning after.

Ada:

  • Schedule “alone time” in the midst of all the “together time.” Without it, I am not very much fun to be around.
  • Include the children in the day as much as possible. Either in terms of them participating in the presentations and discussions (depending on the age), or in terms of them being present even if they are not actively participating. Per our Dad, it is never too early to start – and they learn by osmosis.
  • Think about all of the possible tension points that will surely come up during such intense family time. Plan for them. Figure out how to diffuse them before they occur.

We already can’t wait for next year’s meeting!

Strong and Healthy is The New Sexy

While I work to be healthy and active year-round, I can’t help but pay more attention to my diet and exercise routine during the warmer months, in particular as   my annual trip to Greece approaches. So for the past six weeks, I have been particularly diligent. It’s not easy… while in my 20s I could diet for 3 days and lose 2 pounds, the reality of being 40 is quite different. I have had to develop some new strategies along the way. Here they are – may they be useful to you as well.

While I work to be healthy and active year-round, I can’t help but pay more attention to my diet and exercise routine during the warmer months, in particular as my annual trip to Greece approaches. So for the past six weeks, I have been particularly diligent. It’s not easy… while in my 20s I could diet for 3 days and lose 2 pounds, the reality of being 40 is quite different. I have had to develop some new strategies along the way. Here they are – may they be useful to you as well.

Eating and drinking

  • For much of my adult life, I have lived on bread and cheese. That is now a treat versus my usual meal – once per week max.
  • Fish and vegetables have instead become my friends… (and I’ll keep telling myself that until I believe it).
  • I enjoy wine and champagne. In the warmer months, I switch to wine spritzers and “piscines” (literally, swimming pools – also a word to describe champagne in a large red wine glass filled with ice).
  • I am forever trying to drink more water… still, sparkling, naturally flavored, with Emergen-C powder in it – anything to help!

Exercising

  • I set out my work out clothes the night before… seeing them right there helps me put them on.
  • I’m a morning work out person, so I get in my workout clothes the minute I get out of bed. It’s often the hardest part. Once I’m in them, I know I’m heading out for a run.
  • I have been taking advantage of the nice weather to run outside more. Something about the river (the Potomac in DC) and the songs of the birds is so soothing.
  • Even if I have only slept 4.5 hours (as I did last night), I remind myself that a 30-minute run will do a lot more for me than 30 minutes of extra sleep.
  • When I know I am going to need some extra help motivating, I call one of my best friends to see if she will come to SoulCycle with me. Knowing she will be there helps me make it there. (Thank you Julie!)
  • Finally, I have realized that going for a fast walk in Dumbarton Park with a BFF is just as lovely as going out for a glass of wine. My friend Isabel in particular has been a fan of this idea (which now that I think about it might have been hers!). A way to blend exercise with girlfriend time.
  • I try to walk as much as possible – for errands, around my favorite spots in Georgetown, to and from SoulCycle. Every step counts.

It’s about making healthy choices and moving. Every single day.

Beauty Tips From Mom

As we approach Mother’s Day, it seemed timely to share some of Mom’s wisdom. Not general wisdom (which you can read about here), but her beauty wisdom. Most mornings, as I slather cream on every inch of my face and body, I think of her and of her beauty tips… Here are my favorite ones.

As we approach Mother’s Day, it seemed timely to share some of Mom’s wisdom. Not general wisdom (which you can read about here), but her beauty wisdom. Most mornings, as I slather cream on every inch of my face and body, I think of her and of her beauty tips… Here are my favorite ones.

  1. A hat and long sleeves at the beach always. My Mom learned from her Mom that porcelain skin is a sign of sophistication. No tan for her, ever… And sunscreen even in the shade.
  2. Applying creams, lotions, oils, balms to your face and body is an essential act of self care. Mom sees her time in the bathroom as her time of rituals, and the layers of creams as layers of chain mail – her armor to face the day, face the world.
  3. Every year you age, you need to spend one more minute in the bathroom every morning and evening, taking care of yourself. While you can jump out of bed, brush your teeth and put your hair in a pony tail and look perfect when you are 20, that rapid of a routine does not work in your 40s.
  4. There are few things a bath can’t fix. Physical pain, heart pain, head pain. Add some fragrant oils or Epsom salts for extra soothing benefits.
  5. Never forget your neck, décolleté, arms and hands – they will give your age away before your face will.
  6. Cute feet are an essential accessory. Take care of them. She applies Alchimie Forever’s Dry skin balm twice daily to feet and ankles.
  7. She never leaves the house without mascara or lipstick on – but doesn’t use any other makeup products.
  8. She believes, as Marilyn Monroe did, that “a smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.”
  9. Look at yourself in the mirror every day. Ideally naked, full length mirror. Pay attention to the changes in your body, your skin, appreciate them. If you do this, not only will signs of age not surprise you, but you will learn to love these changes in your face and body.
  10. Confidence is beautiful.

April Fool’s: Don’t believe these beauty myths

As the beauty consumer continues to become increasingly educated on skin care, ingredients, treatments, I continue to encounter a few deeply ingrained “beauty myths”… As April Fool’s Day was just a few days ago, the timing seemed perfect to debunk some of these.

As the beauty consumer continues to become increasingly educated on skin care, ingredients, treatments, I continue to encounter a few deeply ingrained “beauty myths”… As April Fool’s Day was just a few days ago, the timing seemed perfect to debunk some of these.

Myth: You only need to wear sunscreen when the sun is out.
Truth: UVs penetrate cloud cover, so you should wear an SPF every single day, January 1 to December 31.

Myth: SPF protection must be at least 50.
Truth: SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent. An SPF is a must in anyone’s skin care routine, and anything above SPF 15 is usually enough for most people’s “normal lives”.

Myth: Silicone makes your skin look better.
Truth: Silicone and its derivatives are known to clog pores and contribute to blackheads. Usually an ingredient to avoid.

Myth: Topical collagen builds your own collagen.
Truth: Topical collagen will hydrate, and plump and smooth the skin, but it will not stimulate your skin’s natural collagen production.

On that note…
Myth: Drinking collagen drinks reduces wrinkles.
Truth: The experts are divided on this topic… The truth is still being evaluated.

Myth: You have to wash your face with water.
Truth: Water can be harsh on the skin, and waterless cleansers are a great option if you are particularly dry or sensitive. Waterless cleansing (think cream cleanser and cotton pads rather than wipes please) is a very old-school (aka road-tested) European cleansing ritual.

Myth: An anti-cellulite product will make you lose weight or inches.
Truth: I wish it were that easy! Any anti-cellulite topical product that is well formulated (think caffeine) will help with the skin’s texture, and with water retention. But it is not going to change your pant size… Sorry!

All about lips

If you know me, you know I love a red lip. It makes me feel polished, powerful, put together. I have been loyal to the same brands for years.

If you know me, you know I love a red lip. It makes me feel polished, powerful, put together. I have been loyal to the same brands for years.

I have been loyal to NARS lip pencils for two decades. And I still love Dragon Girl and Sex Machine. In the last year or so, however, I have discovered some new brands, both reds and pinks…

Here are my current favorites lip products.

Guerlain Le Rouge Perfecto in 01. Super soft, sheer, pink that feels like a lip balm. The pink leather case is also a jewel in itself. (Did you know that Guerlain introduced the first commercial lipstick in 1828… it was a lip pomade).

Lucie Pompette lip pencils. These have pretty much replaced my NARS addiction. Rouge La La is my favorite bright red. Added benefit: it stays on all day, actually all night too (I have had many 6 am Soulcycle classes with this lipstick still on from the previous day, after face washing and tooth brushing, and does not dry out my lips.

I take care of my lips with Aveda’s Lip Saver. The best lip balm ever made if you ask me.

 And in the dead of winter, when my lips are chapped, nothing beats Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. A cult favorite that is just that good.

 What are you currently using?