Category Archives: Beauty and Fashion

Ethnotek Bags

“We see our bags as a flag. A flag you wave which says, “I care.”

Have you ever wondered about the origin of those trendy and colorful tribal textiles that show up on fashion blogs and magazines every once in a while?  We have, and we came across “Ethnotek”, a brand that offers one-of-a-kind backpacks handmade by artisans all over the world to showcase what they call “the hidden designers of the world”.   All bags can be customized with interchangeable woven panels called THREADS, making each piece timeless and versatile.  The company keeps a neat travel blog too!

Here are our favorite styles:

Designers Jake & Josh.

Perfect for stashing all your yoga must haves.

It’s a great travel companion!

For more info go to


All images provided by Ethnotek.

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One Rad Apple

For Daniela Etchevers, growing up with her mother and sister meant having beauty and pampering rituals as an essential part of their lifestyle.  After having the opportunity of traveling all over the world to experience great products and services, she decided to condense the best of the best into Manzana Studio, her first beauty business venture in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  A genuine and delightful spa and salon, Manzana offers accessible, natural services like custom-blended skin masks.  These utilize the inherent properties of fruits and vegetable to address the specific needs of each individual: apples are used for closing pores and spinach moisturizes while pineapples, strawberries and tomatoes soothe problem skin prone to blackheads and breakouts.  Hair is indulged with their best-selling Keratherapy, an organic keratin that is great for anyone looking to tame frizz while conserving fullness.  Even manicures and pedicures are enhanced with natural moisturizing lotions and afterwards treated to trendy designs inspired by runways, magazines, blogs and the likes of Lana del Rey, Dita Von Teese and Zooey Deschanel.  As for Daniela, her favorite nail trends include black and nude, brightbright pastels, stripes, wallpaper florals and the reverse french.

Want to see more? 

Visit their official site and facebook!

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More than Skin Deep

Photo Credit: Luis Carle

When it comes to creating beauty, stylist and make up artist Karlo Star doesn’t just stop at the surface: both his work and words resonate with the quality and balance of someone who has found his passion.  Read on to discover his personal views on beauty and his tricks on how to achieve it.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is as diverse as its audience. In the broadest term, beauty is anything that brings you pleasure and floods your senses with joy.  If I were to get hardcore about it, I would say that it is an experience that connects you to humanity and leaves you completely vulnerable.  Beauty has been known to forge alliances between empires, but also bring them down like in Cleopatra’s case.  Beauty is that powerful.

I can’t talk beauty without mentioning beautifying: an intention, something we owe to ourselves, to look and be our best, a joyous process in itself.

What is your favorite make-up brand? Why?

I love Make Up For Ever.  It’s highly pigmented, so one doesn’t have to use too much product and the skin doesn’t look heavy.  To apply makeup and be able to see the skin, that is glorious.

What would you say is the most important step in the make-up process?

Of course, I’m going to say that the most important thing is to take painting classes, where you learn how to use a brush and loosen up your wrist.  Also, wash and moisturize your face every morning and evening.  If you can do this the battle is half won.  Then, choose a good foundation, one that matches your skin tone exactly, please!

In terms of hygiene, what is the best way to keep make-up brushes and cases clean?

Keep your face clean, wash your brushes regularly and don’t share them.

Once in a while use an instant cleanser like Brush Off, but at least once a week wash them with soap and water.  I wash mine with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo; rinse, and then dip them quickly into a blend of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (1:1 ratio).  Shake off the excess water and place them on a  flat surface to air-dry.  A good quality brush can last years.

Photo Credit: Luis Carle

Could you name a beauty product women should always carry?

A condom.  It keeps them beautiful and stress free!  Besides that, lipstick.  It instantly brightens your face, men like it, and it writes smoothly on car windows.

Who would you say is a contemporary beauty muse? why?

Wow, this is a tough one, especially since I concur with Dame Westwood on her last comments about fashion and style.  To paraphrase Dame Viv, nowadays people are boring, copy-paste individuals.  Beauty is not exempt from this malady.  We should look into developing our own style.

At first hand names like Talitha Getty, Dalida, and Maria Felix come to mind – I would love to be able tobring them back to 2012.  Then I think of the beauty that has amazed us for decades, like Sonia Braga, Iman and Diane von Fürstenberg.  Tapping into these timeless glamazons, contemporary beauties like Sofia Vergara, Elena Anaya, Marion Cotillard, Joan Smalls and Adele have become modern muses because they all exude elegance in their way of living.  Natural elegance imbues your life from how you get out of bed in the morning to how you order your coffee at the bodega.

How do you spread good karma?

Good karma starts with your intentions.  It is self-awareness, purpose.  I scan my mind frequently, checking my thoughts. If I find some of them to be negative, I either turn them around into positive ones, or I get rid of of them entirely .

Good karma is about making your life mean something. Understanding people is key, so put yourself in the other person’s shoes and karma will guide you.

Spotlight on…

The Light Smokey Eye

For his favorite 2012 Beauty Trend, Karlo chose a subtler, more elegant version of the quintessential smokey eye.  His trick is to draw the eye with colors that complement the skin tone to achieve that naturally glowing look he describes as “a chiaroscuro waltz”, and pair those with light pinks and translucent corals on the lips and cheeks.  Take inspiration from super mogul Jennifer Lopez, whose face always looks like she’s spent an entire week sunbathing in Vieques

Stay updated! Visit Karlo’s Twitter and Blog.

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