If it's Good Enough for James Bond.........

Sep 29, 2010

This blog is about everything decadent (as the tag-line for our company is “Decadence for Divas”) and what more decadent a place than Monaco.
If you are from the USA you have Vegas. But if like me you are from Europe, then we have to settle for this little principality.

I have been to Monaco a few times, but the thing that strikes me is just how over-crowded and built up it is.

Here are some more facts I’ve gathered about the “playground for the rich and famous” :-

*Monaco is only about the size of Hyde Park (London), which is ony about 350 acres. Now you get a feel for just how small this prinicipality is.

*70% of people rent their homes in Monaco, including one of their richest residents Sir Phillip Green (owner of TopShop).

*the average rent for a “normal” apartment in Monaco starts at 25,000 GBP/ $40,000 or 30,000 Euros PER MONTH!

*A 4 bedroom duplex, facing the harbour will set you back 60M Pounds to buy. That works out to about 30,000 GBP/squared metre!

* 1.5 Million GBP will buy you 47 squared metre; basically a shoe box with no garden, or no pool. The most basic accomodation you can imagine.

*There are more millionaires per squared metre than anywhere else in the world.
There are approximately 2,000 Millionaires and 50 Billionaires currently living in Monaco.

*There is NO crime, and the papparazzi are banned from the principality.

*Every car licence plate is scanned and recorded as it enters Monaco.

*The streets are scrubbed clean every morning, and there is no graffiti anywhere

*40,000 workers from France cross the border everyday to work.

*Monaco is 6X the size of the Vatican

*It is the most densely populated independent country (as you can see from the photos)

*The Gran Prix started in Monaco in 1929,and is now broadcast to 100M people. It is now deemed the most glamorous Gran Prix in the world.

*Lets not forget the principle reason people move to Monaco; it is a tax haven.

* Jack Nicholson called Monaco “Alcatraz for the rich!”

So there you have it, some trivia about one of the most glamorous places in Europe.
If you could, would you want to live there in a shoe box simply because your postcode was Monaco? I’m really not sure I would. I think I would prefer to live just across the border in France and get more “bang for my buck!”
I would love to hear your views, and if Monaco is on your list of “Places to see before I die!”

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The Winner Is ........................

Sep 26, 2010

Dear friends I am SO pleased to announce our Giveaway winner-Nº16
Unfortunately I couldn't save the actual image from random.org (perhaps someone would be kind enough to tell me how to do it??)

Nonetheless, the lovely Sandy @ohhlafroufrou is the winner!!

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 24 Result: 16
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sandy, please send me an e.mail to:
vanessa@luxuria-jewellery.com, with your postal address etc

A HUGE thank you to all who participated. Don't worry if you didn't win, there will be another "Giveaway" in October.

Jewellery Giveaway Update!!

Sep 25, 2010

Dear Friends

as you all know our blog Giveaway ends tonight at 11pm (CET).
However, we have a small snag. I've just been advised that the earrings in our Giveaway are completely sold out in our boutique!! Good news for me, bad news for you!

Don't worry dear friends. I'm checking if the other color is available ( a beautiful Autumnal olive green), if not, another pair of equal value and beauty will be the prize. I will post the picture as soon as I get word from my assistant at "Luxuria HQ"!

Please accept my apologies to any of you that had your heart set on the purple. As soon as they are available again, I will run another Giveaway.

Fingers crossed for all of you!!

My Favorite Shop in the World (cont'd) !

Sep 21, 2010

OK, so in my last post I said I would give you some trivia and tit-bits about my favorite shop in the WHOLE world-Selfridges.
I used to pop in at least three times a week when I lived in London, and now I miss it like crazy. It's so true when they say you don't know what you've got until it's gone!!!I'm sure that phrase wasn't intended for a shop, but never mind.

OK here goes:

*Selfridges opened the world's first ground floor beauty department in 1910. Today, it has the biggest Beauty Hall in the world and sells 7,700 lipsticks, 2,800 mascaras and 1,000 nail polishes every week.Can you believe it is the biggest beauty hall in the world? God, how many times I walked up and down it not being able to find what I wanted. Now I know why?

*In 2007, Hermes created two exclusive Birkin bags in the Selfridges yellow - Pantone 109. More than 1,000 people tried to buy them!

* Years later, the British movie hit, Love Actually, included scenes filmed in the Oxford Street store in 2003.

* By 1966, 'Swinging London' was in the midst of its own youth revolution. Girls wanted short skirts and long false eyelashes - and Selfridges obliged by opening their own in-store boutique, 'Miss Selfridge'. I had no idea Miss Selfidge opened so long ago.

*The store's external décor to celebrate the Coronation of King George V1 in 1937 was said to be the most opulent for any building in Europe. It was certainly the most expensive with a budget of £50,000, which would be £1,250,000 today

*In April 2005, 77 Elvis Presley impersonators sang 'Viva Las Vegas' as part of the store's Vegas Supernova event - earning themselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most Elvis impersonators gathered in one place.

There you have it, some tit-bits about my favorite shop.
What's your fav shop/shopping experience (because shopping in Selfridges really is an experience!)

Please share:

Every DIVA's Dream!

Sep 19, 2010

My favourite store in the whole world (Selfridges) had a huge event last week. They opened their doors to the biggest shoe department in Europe (wouldn't you have loved to have been there). Just reading about it made me feel SO homesick.

Even Carrie Bradshaw could not have dreamed it up;35,000 sq ft of shopping space dedicted sole-ly (sorry!) to shoes.

It was unveiled on the eve of London Fashion Week.
Fashion royalty such as Vivienne Westwood were among the guests celebrating the London department store's new Shoe Galleries, where Paolo Nutini serenaded guests.

The vast space - which is bigger than Tate Modern's Turbine Hall - will showcase over 5,000 pairs of shoes from 120 brands, ranging from designer styles by the likes of Roger Vivier and Jimmy Choo, to collections from high street chains including River Island and All Saints.

Designed by architect Jamie Fobert, there are six different salons, each with a different look. In one, shoes are showcased like works of art on floating glass panes, appearing to float across the room. In another they are spotlit on long dark blue shelves.

And in anticipation of the shoppers likely to spend hours trying on the coveted designs, there is plenty of plush fuchsia pink seating.
The space will play host to 30 designs from labels including Balenciaga and Marc by Marc Jacobs, available exclusively to Selfridges.
There are 11 designer boutiques too, each with their own distinct style. The Chanel area is a recreation of Coco Chanel’s apartment, while the Christian Louboutin boutique boasts a red carpet and a trompe l’oeil chandelier.Can you imagine how wonderful to spend a Saturday afternoon playing about in Coco Chanel's apartment?

Ugg Australia hopes to inspire shoppers to buy its sheepskin boots with a chalet-style boutique, while Topshop's is the brand's first footwear department outside of its own stores.

The department even has its own restaurant, an outpost of French eatery Aubaine, should you run out of steam mid-shop.

Selfridges’ director of accessories, Sebastian Manes, said: 'The Shoe Galleries will be a new and exciting way to experience shoe shopping within one huge space.
'The new department will fit perfectly into the essence of what Selfridges is - a place where everyone can find something extraordinary to buy, from the inexpensive to the luxurious.'

Definitley a "pit-stop" for me when I go in December.

Next blog post I will bring you more fun facts about the fabulous shop called Selfridges.

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Friday Quote

Sep 17, 2010

"If God is the DJ, then Life is the dance floor, Love is the rhythm, and YOU are the music". (Pink)

To all the wonderful friends I met on my blog this week, here's to a weekend of dancing! Let the music play loud and strong.

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Oooh! You Smell Lovely.

Sep 14, 2010

"No elegance is possible without perfume". Coco Chanel

Do you agree and do you have a signature scent?

My signature scent has to be Diorella by Christian Dior. Why? My Dad's Accountant's girlfriend used to wear it. She was French, and she just epitomized everything that was gorgeous, glamorous and chic (when I was only 16!). She always smelled wonderful and I vowed I would use this perfume when I could afford too. When you are 16, that was a HUGE milestone.

It was in 1972 when this fragrance came out. Composed from a rather short formula by Edmond Roudnitska, it came as a female counterpart to his extremely successful Eau Sauvage: the masculine cologne that proved to be the most shared scent between the sexes in the 20th century. The heads at Dior soon saw that women who grabbed this magnificent, vivacious specimen from their boyfriends’ bathrooms would want a comparable fragrance to claim their own. And so Diorella was born exactly 6 years later, smelling as fresh as tomorrow.

What's your signature perfume? Do you even have a signature perfume or do you wear what you feel like on the day? Do you wear perfume if you are at home, or only when you go out?

Do tell us all your perfume secrets.

p.s don't forget to enter our 'Gorgeous Giveaway' if you haven't already.

So unassuming and yet......................

Sep 12, 2010

I used to pass this gorgeous town house every day when I lived in London 9 years ago. I never really gave it a second glance, although I always noticed chauffeur driven luxury cars waiting outside; but I still never thought twice about it, as it is quite common in this part of London.

However, with the introduction of Carrie Bradshaw and the gang, I now know that this very gorgeous townhouse is in fact the shop that all women revere. To say most women worship at this mans feet (feet is a big clue here girls!) is an understatement.

It is the gorgeous shop of none other than Manolo Blahnik. Surprised?

Here are some more facts and trivia that you may have not known:

*Jackie Onassis wore Manolos
*Madonna said his shoes were “as good as sex!”
*Princess Diana used to sit on the floor of his studio chatting to him while she tried on pair after pair.
*Sex and the City introduced his creations to a whole new generation.
*His father was from Prague and his mother was from Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands
*During the war his mother learnt how to make her own beautiful shoes with the help of an island cobbler.
*His parents wanted him to become a Diplomat and shipped him off to the University of Geneva to study Law. But he dropped out after his first forensic medicine class when he passed out on the floor at the sight of the corpse.
*One of his earliest creations was for Ossie Clark.
*His first shop was a tiny boutique in Old Church Street, Chelsea.
*He keeps one of each pair of shoes he has designed; 25,000 shoes are arranged in date order in panelled cupboards that fill up two adjoining houses in Bath. Wouldn’t you love to play around in that house for a day or two?
*He tries on many of his creations to ensure they don’t snap (a sight to be beholden!)
*His first “pop-up” store will open in Liberty’s of London which will not only sell his shoes, but also umbrellas, notebooks, cushions, silk scarves and drawings from his shoe archive.

So there you have it, some facts/trivia on the Saint of Shoes. If you are lucky enough to be in London to visit the pop-up shop, I SO envy you!

p.s if you haven’t already entered our ‘Gorgeous Giveaway’, do scroll down and enter. The winner will win TWO fab prizes.

Friday Quote

Sep 10, 2010

"And the day came when the risk to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" (Anais Nin)

I dedicate this quote to all the wonderful people I have met this week via Twitter, Facebook and my blog, each of which has helped me blossom.

Happy weekend, may it be a weekend of "blossoming out".


Sep 9, 2010

OK, I have bravely decided to do a blog giveaway. As I own a jewelery boutique, what better than to give one of our products.

So our giveaway is for the beautiful earrings (only) that form part of this gorgeous collection PLUS a $25 gift voucher to spend at our boutique (which will be sent with your prize)

OK, so here are the rules:

Become a Google follower (plus leave a comment)

(Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each of the following and an appropriate link/e.mail if you don't have a blog):
i)visit our boutique (www.luxuria-jewellery.com), and come back and comment on your fav item (who knows it might be in a future 'Giveaway').
ii)Tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name is @VanLuxuria)
iii)Follow Luxuria on Twitter and Facebook
iv)add me to your blogroll.

All really easy!

GIVEAWAY CLOSES:Saturday 25 September at 11pm (Central European Time= GMT +1)
RULES: Winner will be selected using radom.org and announced on Sunday 26 September
OPEN TO: World-wide

Good Luck!!!

The Diva we ALL Loved.

Sep 8, 2010

Our lives seemed to change forever when we met Carrie and Co.
What was it about Carrie that made us take her to our hearts?

Here’s some other facts about Sex in the City that you might not have known:

i)The tutu that Carries wears in the opening credits was nearly a Marc Jacobs slip dress.Producers initially didn’t like the tutu, but were forced to stick with it when traffic prevented them re-shooting the “bus-splash” scene. Now that tutu, will stay with us forever!
The ballerina tutu cost only $5 from a vintage store New York.

ii) The medicine cabinet in Carrie's apartment was first spied by Sarah Jessica Parker at a flea market shortly before filming began on the series. She and Matthew Broderick didn't buy it but reconsidered. When they went back, the cabinet was already sold to "some TV show". When she showed up for filming, the medicine cabinet was there.

iii) Manolo Blahnik delivered the truckload of shoes to the set of the latest movie because the sales of the Hangisi (the blue stain shoe that Big gave to Carrie when he proposed). Wouldn’t you have LOVED to have been there?
Being that I live in Spain (the birth place of Manolo) I think I will do a future posting on this great man; the ‘God of Shoes’ who I know we all pray too daily and think should be canonised into Saint Blahnik!.

iv)Cynthia Nixon does not have pierced ears. All of her earrings on the show were clip-ons. Sometimes the costume designers would send away earrings they liked to a jeweler to make them clip-on earrings.

v) From the very first season up to the 12th episode of the 4th season, in the opening credits, Sarah Jessica Parker's name was shown with the World Trade Center towers behind her name. After the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001 and the collapse of the towers, her name then appeared with the Empire State Building in the background. The same thing happened with the show's main title.

vi) SATC wouldn’t be the same without it’s cameo roles. More than 46 cameos appeared in the TV series. Scene stealers included Liza Minnelli, Miley Cyrus and Penelope Cruz.

What’s your favorite memories of SATC? What appealed to you about this series? Who is most similar to you of the 4 girls?
Would love to hear your comments.

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Every Diva Loves Lipstick

Sep 5, 2010

OK here's the deal. I LOVE lipstick. I haven't got my head around lip-gloss yet, as one gust of wind and my hair is subsequently stuck and smeared across my lips. So lipstick is still my faithful friend.

Here are some more "beauty by numbers":

13.2 BILLION :
is the number of British Pounds consumers spend on cosmetics and toiletries. If you ask my husband he will say 10 billion of that comes from our house!!

The year Parliament made lipstick illegal, declaring women who "seduced men into matrimony by cosmetics means" witches! Of course stuffy old "suits" always know best about cosmetics. Why do we never think to ask them??

This is the century in which Eugene Rimmel invented the first ever Rimmel.
God Bless Eugene Rimmel! May he be canonised (well he's my saint).

The number of lipstick shades the average woman owns.
A "conservative" estimate I would say. It's more like 5 per season or brand in my make-up bag.

The number of bottles of Chanel No.5 sold every 30 seconds.
I must be the only woman on the planet that has never tried Chanel No.5.Freud would say this stems from some traumatic event that happened in my childhood-perhaps!

The percentage of British women who wear lipstick.
I often wonder if this number is greater or smaller in France and the US.

What are you thoughts? Would love to hear abut your favorite lipsticks. Or maybe you can't stand the feel of lipstick on your lips; maybe you're a "gloss girl".
Do share your make-up secrets; Diva's united by lipstick!!!!!!!

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Friday Quote:

Sep 3, 2010

"You can always tell what kind of person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you" (Audrey Hepburn).

Just been thinking, my husband has never given me earrings..........what does that say Audrey?

Earrings shown available from our boutique LUXURIA
Images copyright© of Luxuria