If there was such a thing as an It-girl in the 30s then Jeanne Toussaint would definitely fit the bill: flamboyant, stylish, Coco Chanel’s BFF, member of Paris’s artistic in-crowd, director of Cartier’s haute joaillerie department & Louis Cartier’s mistress. But it was her identification with that mysterious jungle cat (Miss Toussaint lived in panther coats) that eventually gave her star status and the nickname ‘The Panther’, which would later also become one of Cartier’s iconic symbols. Under her creative supervision Cartier gradually moved away from the hard Art Deco style to sultry creations inspired by India, Persia and the Far East. The jewellery quickly became a favourite of upper class women like Princess Grace Kelly, Barbara Hutton, Marlene Dietrich and Liz Taylor.
This creative heritage is currently on display at the Grand Palais in Paris. A must see exposition of more than 600 pieces. But you have to be quickly, the exposition closes the 16th of February.
Hallelujah. The quest for that perfect lipstick is o-v-e-r. Thanks to cosmetics company Bite Beauty it’s now possible to create a personalised lipstick, matching your complexion to perfection. In their newly opened store Lip Lab (Soho, New York) you can drop by and mix and muddle that perfect hue.
How does it work? You choose from pods of primary colours and deep reds and then simply finger-paint to get the desired result. Once you’re happy with the hue you select a finish (matte, sheer, luminous crème or crème deluxe) and a scent (citrus, vanilla, superfruit mint, lilac, cherry or mint). Bite Beauty experts in white coats then assist you in concocting the lipstick which is by the way 100% organic and gluten-free. Below you can find a nice little video of the production process.
The Dutch & Co is a new all day diner, that compares itself with New York’s iconic restaurants like The Standard Grill and Felix, but mixes this international allure with some good old Amsterdam attitude. Located in the typical Dutch quarter ‘De Pijp’ this new brasserie is the place to be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or mid night snacks. On the menu: croissants, yoghurt with homemade granola, club sandwiches, burgers, salads and other typical brasserie style foods.
The Dutch & Co, Frans Halsstraat 76, Amsterdam, 020-7372479, open daily from 08.00 – 01.00, www.thedutchco.nl
NEW HEALTHY LUNCH SPOT
DIY salads are a major hype in Amsterdam. After the launch of popular salad bar SLA, Amsterdam’s new healthy lunch spot is Venkel. On the organic menu: delicious homemade salads, vegetable juices & almond milk. There’s even a shop where you can buy homemade oil, vinegar and lemonade.
Venkel Amsterdam, Albert Cuypstraat 22, Amsterdam, 0207723198, open daily from 11.00 – 21.00, www.venkelsalades.nl
NEW BAR & LATE NIGHT DINER
Bar Huf is your go to place for a late night dinner and after party cravings. This new hotspot is the latest project of Casper Reinders (owner of a.o. club Jimmy Woo, Lion Noir, Rose’s Cantina) & Bram de Vries (owner of a.o Bar Paul and Club Ludwig). Bar Huf uses only local seasonal ingredients. The current menu consists of lovely winter dishes like sausages, burgers and cheese fondue. The interior has that typical Bram de Vries signature: clean & industrial with old wooden tables, factory style lamps and a brick wall.
Bar & Diner Huf, Reguliersdwarsstraat 43, Amsterdam, open daily from 16.00 – 01.00 and Friday’s until 03.00, www.barhuf.nl
Eco-friendly beauty products are making a serious comeback. You no longer need to be a scruffy yogi to enjoy an all natural beauty product. The simple ‘green’ routine with olive or lavender oil has been replaced with smart skin care solutions which combine natural ingredients with modern skin technology (for example REN, AVEDA, Aesop). The latest Tried & Tested products are your go-to products in the ‘green’ hair care category. Amazon’s Beauty Rahua shampoo & conditioner not only nourish your hair, but are also eco-friendly and look damn good on your bathroom shelf.
The products are made from 100% natural ingredients and are sulphate, chemical and detergent free. The key element is Amazonian Rahua (ra-wa), a highly potent, restorative oil. For centuries women from the Amazonian Quechua-Shuar tribes traveled deep into the Amazon rainforest to collect this oil, which they believe is the secret to their thick, flowing, lustrous hair. So how on earth did this wonder oil end up on the shelves of luxurious department stores you wonder? In comes Fabian Lliguin, a renowned New York stylist and colorist & a native Ecuadorian of Quechua descent (ahaaaa!). Back in the nineties the tribe shared their secret with Fabian who immediately used the Rahua oil on his clients’ hair back in New York: dry, damaged strands sprang to life, color treatments remained vibrant and irritated scalps were calmed. Amazon Beauty was born.
So by now you think, OK, but is it good? Definitely! Even tough the products are sulphate, chemical and detergent free, they are exactly what my sensitive color treated hair needs. The shampoo lathers gloriously, lifts dirt and grease & leaves my hair shiny, full of health. The conditioner is the nourishing cherry on the cake. Both products have a distinctive subtle nutty scent, to which you have to get used to. It’s not cheap but worth it. I’m a fan, Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan, need I say more?