30/01/2012

I Really Want You to Watch This Video!

Don't worry, it's not a video of puppies being skinned for fur (although I'd love you to watch those too).


Some of you might have seen this on my Tumblr. This is a video that was shared by my dear friend at Live, Love, Thrive! and I was instantly crazy for it. That same morning, I forwarded it to my entire office and everyone loved it.









Director Jesse Rosten was, like oh so many of us, tired of seeing plastic-skinned, giraffe-legged, unnatural-looking women on the pages of magazines and in advertisements, so that's how this "fake-mercial" for "Fotoshop" was born. I love it because it shamelessly mocks an industry that does the same to girls and women every day by telling them to look like digitally enhanced characters created by technology. It's time we took our beauty into our own hands, opened our eyes and realized that body image shouldn't come from completely unrealistic images of something that could never (and should never) exist.  I hope this video goes mega-viral, so feel free to share it!

27/01/2012

Things I Love TV: Hart of Dixie (and how to get Rachel Bilson's look!)



I discovered Hart of Dixie when a coworker told me she liked it and when she mentioned that Rachel Bilson starred in it, I knew I had to check it out. I've always preferred Summer to Marissa, plus the whole "New Yorker hits the countryside and has to wrestle with her Jimmy Choo heels getting stuck in the mud" thing really appealed to me (I guess I could relate).

Meet Zoe Hart, a New York City doctor (she looks about twenty years old, but sure, doctor) who finds out that she's inherited a doctor's practice in a quaint little place called Bluebell (I think it's in Alabama). Only problem is, well, she doesn't quite fit in there (think Carrie Bradshaw stuck at Aiden's country house...for EVER). The square-peg-round-hole situation quickly escalates into a funny and entertaining 40 minutes of TV.

...oh yeah, and I really love the flirtation between Zoe and country-boy hottie Wade:












...this so reminds me of when me and my boyfriend are fighting: a petite brunette telling off a blond dude who's playing the guitar, and he shuts her up by kissing her. So us. 


I also like this show because I'm getting addicted to the sheer joy of seeing casual-chic style done to perfection by Rachel Bilson's Zoe character. I've always liked the style tip "find a celebrity with a figure/colors similar to yours". Up until a short while ago, I've seen myself as a Zooey Deschanel (the light skin color and the dark hair) but recently I've concluded that I like my 50s-style floral dresses with tough biker boots and a faux-leather jacket. Which, combined with my not-quite-long legs, my dark hair and my light skintone, makes me more of a Rachel Bilson (of course I'm not as delusional as to think I'm half as gorgeous as her).


25/01/2012

Green Glamour Challenge: The Right Red

I haven't always been addicted to red lipstick.
Before my first-ever Nivea red (this was way before my cruelty-free lifestyle revolution!) made its way into my makeup bag, I was convinced that red wasn't for me. That bright colors were way too strong for my pale skintone and I'd either look washed out or clownlike. I shied away from reds in favor of calm nudes, flirty pinks and transparent glosses (oh, how we do mess it up when we're young and hopeless. Transparent gloss is to be applied on top of lipstick only!). I put my focus on my eyes, never leaving the house without my Winehouse-thick line of black eyeliner, not even to go to the supermarket. 

But then.

Then a website editor commissioned a piece on the history of lipstick from me. I started researching different eras of lipstick, red-lipped beauty icons, plus what it's actually made of and how come red is such a hot shade. 
That was the turning point that made me realize that there's a right red for everyone. My rose-toned, ultra-light skintone is at its best in scarlet hues with pink undertones, stricly avoiding any reference to orange.

Red lipstick does change your appearance. It makes your whole face look different: your features just "pop". And plus, it's just so sensual, so old-Hollywood, so Marilyn.




pic from Pinterest




Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck with cruelty-free makeup here in Italy. Body and skin products are quite easy to find, but actual makeup is another story (don't get me started on nail polish!). I'm somewhat wary of buying my makeup on the internet, so that leaves me with slim pickings. Until now, my choices have been Urban Decay and The Body Shop.

...and it's the latter that I wanted to talk to you about today!



The Body Shop, as many of you know, is a UK-based beauty-care brand that has always valued nature and ethical questions. I'm a huge fan and a frequent client of theirs, and here in Italy, where non-animal tested makeup products are a rarity, The Body Shop has become my little haven. Their products aren't tested on animals and neither are the ingredients used (The Body Shop complies with the requirements of the Humane Cosmetics Standard created by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection). And, well, that makes them pretty darn awesome.



It was during a vacation that I discovered Colourglide Lipstick:





pic from The Body Shop



Soft, silky texture and brilliant shades are practically everything I look for in a lipstick - and this one sure has it. On the negative side, it doesn't last very long at all, but it leaves your lips feeling smooth.

The shade I use is nr 53, Brilliant Red, that's perfect for pale girls like me!





pic from my Instagram


This is my must-have lipstick, with a Chanel nail polish that my sweet coworkers gave me for my birthday last year!


What are your thoughts on red lips? Do you have tips on cruelty-free makeup brands?



23/01/2012

Coffee and Heels Vs the Monday Blues

A new week is here! A fresh new start...right?


When my alarm went off this morning, my first thought was nopleasenonotagainsomebodykillmewhyohwhyohnooooo (and I have one of those lovely, tender, guitar-strumming alarms, not an annoying, angry-sounding beepbeepBEEP thingie). While brushing my teeth and trying to come to grips with facing a new week, I asked myself, why do we hate Mondays so much?


As the song says, "just another manic Monday" is an abrupt wake-up call to bring us down to Earth after two days of sofa-lounging, movie-watching, junk-eating, over-shopping, over-drinking, over-sleeping, over-everything. Monday morning is like that annoying teacher who called you back in from break in second grade, announcing that the fun's over, it's time to go back to acting serious and dedicated (and fast-forward 20 years or so, that often means staying awake and alert at work, eating sensibly, and drinking water instead of Pina Coladas). But are Mondays really all work and no play? Do we have to turn off the fun and frivolous side of our brains and become dreary, colorless beings until it's Friday night again?


Sure, as you drag yourself out of bed a pitch-black January morning, the Monday blues may seem incurable, but remember that Mondays also represent a brand-new start, a chance to make a clean slate and start fresh with your dreams and goals. All those things you didn't get done last week? Here's your chance to wipe the page clean.
And, why not, make Monday a bit more fun. Here's how:




1. Give yourself a tiny treat. 
I do my weekly magazine shopping on Mondays! That way I know that when I'm done with the first work day of the week, I can look forward to a night on my couch with a cup of green tea, a square of dark chocolate, and the new ELLE. If that's not luxury, then I don't know what is.




2. Write your to-do list for the week.
 Get your planner, your smartphone, whatever you prefer, and write down all the things you'd like to get done this week, from "pay my phone bill" to "order that cute dress I saw online." Start off the week in an organized manner and it'll feel much easier to approach.




3. Pamper yourself.
I often do my manis and pedis on Monday nights. Take a bath, try a new nail polish, give yourself a facial...start the week looking your best!




4. Make yourself a lovely dinner or a yummy lunch box.
While you're at the supermarket (because surely everyone does the grocery shopping on Mondays?), check out something new to make for dinner. Make Mondays your try-new-things-for-dinner night and go crazy in the kitchen. Or just make yourself a nice lunch to bring to work! My latest project: tofu and spinach pie.




5. Do something for the world.
I donate (a teeny bit of) money, write protest letters to nasty fur-sellers and sign petitions. Every day, but more so on Mondays, just to feel I'm starting off the week with a kick-ass change-the-world attitude (even if I wish I could do more!).


...and before you know it, it's Friday again!


What are your best tips on beating the Monday blues?






picture from Pinterest.

21/01/2012

Award Winner!

This week, Coffee and Heels has had the honor of winning not one but two awards!


First, the super-stylish Marta of Magazines for Breakfast gave me the Liebster Blog award:








...and I'm so thankful because I love Marta's blog, her style and the fact she's a cruelty-free fashionista!



First, Isotta ad Pieces of a Green Eyed Girl invited me to receive an award on her blog, which is a way that bloggers use to let their readers know of other blogs they know and love. 


I'm very thankful to Isotta and I'm also very happy to have discovered another vegetarian style-aholic like myself!


The challenge of this award is to tell your readers 7 things about yourself, so here goes... 





1. I am so terrified of insects it's not even funny.

At 28 years old, I'm embarrassed to admit that my usual reaction upon seeing a spider is running away and, at certain occasions, crying. It even ruins my vacations! And I don't believe that this is a phobia I can get over. I just have to live with the fact that there are places in the world that I'll never be able to visit.




Truth!



2. I was a child actress.

I started taking acting classes when I was eight years old and my first-ever paycheck came from being an extra in a TV show at sixteen. I went on to act on TV and in short independent films, and even studied theatre acting in Los Angeles for six months, before giving up acting in favor of fashion.





 My idol was Natalie Portman in Léon - I wish I was that good!


3. I don't have a driver's licence.

That's right, I'm 28 and don't have a driver's licence. It's partly because of the costs of owning and maintaining a car, and partly because I believe that the environment suffers with that many cars around and there's no harm in one less driver out there.Will I ever get one? Hard to say.




 I'm much happier in the passenger seat!



4. I'm a vegetarian, don't smoke, never done drugs, only drink a couple of glasses a wine a week, one coffee a day and don't even shop a lot, but my only vice in life is SUGAR.

You can keep your fancy diets - I'm a sweet-aholic and I don't intend to get clean! Even if there are visions of giant dentist's bills dancing before my eyes every time I dig into yet another triple-chocolate cake at California Bakery, I happen to be certain that a life without sugar isn't worth living.



I'm sorry, but "skinny" has NOTHING on this!


5. I'm 100% heterosexual and engaged to a man, but I find Mila Kunis to be one of the most gorgeous human beings ever.

...I mean, come on. Who doesn't?




...eh, thanks for the blessing, Mila.



6. I am so ashamed to say that I've NEVER been to a music festival! 

It's the whole tent thing! I'm not a tent girl (see point 1!) and I've never considered that camping wasn't compulsory for festival visitors. This summer, this must be fixed. Really.



...and I'll dress exactly like Kate at Coachella!


7. My number-one guilty pleasure is trashy TV! 

I say it now and I say it loud: I'm a trash-TV addict and I'm proud!
I've seen pretty much every episode of America's Next Top Model and I'm obsessed with Jersey Shore. What I love about these shows is the possibility to completely switch off my brain and just relax and laugh. I think that a healthy dose of  "silly laughter" should be a vital ingredient to everyone's day. And for me personally, that happens to involve Snooki and The Situation.



Guido (and guidette) power!




...so, there you have it! Seven things about me.


And then there's that tiny detail that you have to nominate other bloggers to take the challenge.

My nominees are some of the coolest bloggers I know, awesome girls with a killer style and brains to match:











Have fun!


all pictures are from Pinterest.



20/01/2012

it's Finally Here: The Coffee and Heels Tumblr!

I must admit that I don't really "get" Tumblr: what, it's a blog, but you can't comment? What is it good for, then? And where are your stats? Moreover, please don't get me started on themes: there sure aren't many that include a description, so unless you're ELLE or Topshop, you just have to fit it all into your header. Or is it just me who's Tumblr clueless?

Nonetheless, Tumbling does awaken my curiosity: I am a natural-born inspiration collector. I love to pin things up everywhere, be it on a moodboard, in a moodbook (I have TONS of those!) or on Pinterest. Or, you know, just putting pictures from magazines up inside my closet. An inspiration diary where I'll  "reblog" all kinds of inspiring pictures, quotes, videos, and other charming little crap? So my thing.


So behold, in all its glory:


The Coffee and Heels Tumblr.

I'll try and keep it as updated as I can with all kinds of inspiration!

Stop by as often as you like and feel free to follow!

Also, if you have Tumblrs, leave me your links and I'll gladly follow you!








pic from Pinterest - on my Tumblr.

17/01/2012

The Perks of Being a Fashion Editor: Dsquared2 Men's Show

As some of you may know, I work as an online fashion editor for a web agency here in Milan. Although it´s not as glamorous as you might think (not all fashion editors are of the Anna/Carine kind), the job definitely does have its upsides.

One of them is that when Fashion Week rolls around, be it men's or women's, we're often greeted with an invitation waiting on our desks!


...disclaimer: it's not always this steamy.

14/01/2012

Coffee and Heels People: Ginger Burr, Total Image Consultants

I am so excited to present the first-ever Coffee and Heels interview!

For some time now, I've been looking for interesting people in the fashion industry that are setting new standards and promoting a more compassionate lifestyle, and Ginger Burr certainly does that. A stylist and image consultant, Ginger has dedicated her life to helping women find their own style and express their personality through fashion. She launched Total Image Consultants in 1987 and has since then helped many women (brides-to-be and transgender clients among them) to communicate through style.

One interesting thing about Ginger is that she's one of the world's very few vegan stylists (in fact, I haven't heard of any others. If you have, let me know!). This was of course the part I wanted to focus on when I interviewed her:


12/01/2012

Things I love: Instagram

I know I'm light years behind on this, but I just got my iPhone a couple of weeks ago (and I'm in love with it, by the way). One of the reasons why I went for Apple over other smartphones is Instagram, an app-slash-social-network that allows users to edit, upload and share photos.

Instagram offers some fabulous effects and filters, which means that even a photography novice like myself can learn to take some okay shots. Here are some of my recents:





My and David's cat, Joey, who now lives with my mom and sister in Stockholm, where he can be outside every day and enjoy a fully privileged cat life! Here, he's enjoying some well-deserved sleep.




A pretty sunset in central Milan.





Black tights, red nails and The Ring!




A cup of cappuccino in Stockholm!




My New Year's Eve nails!




...and my latest one: my two fave reds (the Chanel polish was a birthday gift and the red lippy is my new Body Shop fave - more on that later!)



If you've got an iPhone and you'd like to follow me on Instagram, I'm at @coffeeandheels.


Some of my favorite Instagrams:

@thebeautydept: gorgeous beauty shots!

@emilyschuman the blogger behind the fabulous Cupcakes and Cashmere

@furfreela dedicated to keep the city of Los Angeles completely fur-free! 

@thisisnotphotography this is actually the marketing manager at my office! His pictures are really original.

@mejeritcher my fabulous sister, Sofie, who takes great pictures.

08/01/2012

On Volunteering.

My New Year's Resolution for last year, 2011, was to start volunteering at a dog and cat shelter. I kept that resolution, even though later than I intended, and today I want to tell you about my experience.

I'd always wanted to volunteer. When I was in college, I started blogging for an animal rights organization, trying to find homes for homeless dogs. And of course I always signed PETA's protest letters to improve conditions of animals around the world. But something was always missing: that hands-on approach, the possibility to actually DO something myself, not just write blog posts or sign letters encouraging others to do something.

I first started volunteering about two months ago, in a cat and dog shelter outside Milan. With the dogs, I started out after first taking a class (in our shelter, everyone has to take a course to learn different dog behavior and how to act around dogs) and seeing an experienced volunteer worker take a dog for a walk.

The following weekend, I went back to the shelter with one of the girls that I met in the class and we took a couple of dogs for a walk. Our volunteering activity consists in little more than taking the dogs for walks: the shelter workers feed, train and clean them, and all they need from us volunteers is activity, diversity and just long walks. And I never thought a simple walk could do this much for me, as well as for the animals.

The cat shelter is a different story. David came with me to the class, which took about half an hour. There are quite few volunteers at the cat shelter, because the work consists in cleaning litter boxes, sweeping floors and washing food and water bowls. But there's also the task of cuddling with the cats (yes, that's a real task) which I love.

If you're thinking about volunteering, I have to say: go for it. Find a cause that's close to your heart, be it animals, children, the elderly, the environment, the homeless, whatever you like, and commit to it. Before volunteering, I often felt depressed because of all the animal cruelty in the world. Now, I still feel devastated when I see how truly atrocious some humans are, but at least I know I'm trying to do my part for the animals. It's still nowhere near enough, but at least I'm trying.

And, well, I don't know if you watched that episode of Friends where Phoebe tried to prove Joey wrong by doing "selfless deeds", but I actually think Joey was right: all the good things we do, in the end we do them for ourselves as well as for the cause. When the alarm goes off at 8 on Sunday mornings, I never wish I could stay in bed. And when I leave the shelter, I always feel elated. Volunteering is the most powerful antidepressant ever.




Pinned Image


Pinned Image


pictures from Pinterest


03/01/2012

Things I Love: Amazing Veggie Food in Stockholm

I don't do much food blogging here at Coffee and Heels, but I'm a huge fan of dining out, and when I run into something extraordinary food-wise (vegetarian of course) I feel like sharing it.

My dad's Christmas present to me and my sister Sofie was a Smartbox. For those of you who don't know what a Smartbox is, it's an experience voucher to be used for an event or an adventure. Ours was a "foods of the world" voucher to a restaurant of our choice in Stockholm (out of about ten or fifteen) with our boyfriends! 
We chose Hemma Hos Kaj (for those of you living in Stockholm or coming to visit, the address is Hammarby Kaj 18...and the name means "at Kaj's house") because it sounded interesting, but we had no clue what we were going to eat, so when we showed up, we were really amazed by how gorgeous everything was. The restaurant was decorated lavishly and decadenly in dark reds, purples, and luscious browns, in a classic-meets-Oriental kind of style with a modern twist. Trust me, it was really something.

...and then came the food.

The waiters brought out two big wooden plates with meat and veggie dishes on one and a completely vegetarian (and almost entirely vegan) selection on the other one. Me and my sis stuck to the veggie plate (she's not normally a vegetarian, but she's doing a fast right now) and I have to say it was one of the best dinners I've ever had in my life! The vegetables were nicely matched with the spices, the hoummous and the aubergine cream were to die for, and the overall grade was a huge A plus, also because of the super-nice waiters. A beautiful night!















....proof that delicious, super-yummy and ultra-refined vegetarian dining is possible!

02/01/2012

A Fine Start to a Fine Year

Welcome to 2012 all of you amazing Coffee and Heels readers! I hope you've had an amazing New Year's night and are feeling upbeat and optimistic about 2012. I personally believe this is going to be an amazing year!

I wanted to show you my Happy New Dress: