The Pleasure Principle

GOOP WELLNESS Double-Sided Wand Vibrator $95

The pandemic has been going on for over a year, with the threat of a new variant arriving on our shores. Self-protection against the virus has made people skeptical about proceeding with adult relations. Instead of asking if someone has been tested for HIV, it’s going to be the new normal to ask to see a vaccination card.


In this day and age it’s more important to give yourself self-love and that comes in various forms, like meditating, getting plenty of sleep, going for long walks, or working out. But one people find taboo is the art of love. There are new toys out in the market, so ladies if you don’t have a live-in designated partner, here are a few of the tools available to give yourself LOVE.

For Sexual health


Here’s to love…….

Manuka Honey

Bee Venom Mask $59

Manuka Honey is a natural ingredient that aids the skin in clearing up and preventing acne. It’s also a great skin brightener, it helps diminish dark spots, wrinkles and laugh-lines. The skin’s appearance overall is dramatically improved when Manuka Honey is used in any skincare routine.

Manuka Honey Cleanser $39

Dead skin is sloughed away, and Manuka Honey acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it’s safe for all skin types. Manuka Honey is also good for treating burns and healing scars. It’s a win-win situation when Manuka Honey is added to your skincare routine, and it’s great for teens.

I’ve added il Bagliore’s Bee Venom Mask and Manuka Honey Cleanser to my skincare routine and the positive results are noticeable. The Bee Venom Mask is a great alternative to Botox, a more natural way to lift, tighten and firm the skin.

il Bagliore is a new skincare brand created out of decades of skincare research. It’s based in New York, and designed to provide a glowing and healthy complexion. Please don’t use Manuka Honey derived skincare if your’e allergic to bees.

Here’s to achieving the glow…….

The Quintessential Ballet Flat


I’ve been wearing ballet flats for years, I used to stock up during London Sole’s yearly sale, with adding a few pairs during the regular season, often buying duplicates. The London Sole boutique on Maiden Lane closed it’s doors long before the pandemic and I had to swing by a London Sole location while traveling to London in 2017. Unfortunately they didn’t really have what I wanted in my size, but I had to come home with a pair. While in Paris I did purchase a pair of Repetto’s in a black patent leather. Loving ballet flats like I do, I had to do a little research and this is what I found.

Lili ballerinas

Ballet flats went out of style after Catherine de’ Medici asked her cobbler to add 5 cm to her wedding shoes and then heels went out of style after Maria Antoinette walked to the guillotine wearing a pair.

Audrey Hepburn brought back ballet flats and then the American designer Claire McCardell had Salvatore Capezio make ballet flats with rubber soles to match her designs. In 1947 Rose Repetto designed ballet flats for her son, who was a famous ballet dancer and choreographer, Roland Petit.

Cendrillon ballerinas

However Repetto didn’t make it on the worldwide stage until Brigitte Bardot wore a pair of Repetto’s, instantly creating a media frenzy, since then ballet flats have been here to stay.

Brigitte ballerinas

I ended up purchasing my Repetto’s for a lot less, since we didn’t have to pay taxes. There are other brands but Repetto is the quintessential ballet flat one brings home from Paris.

Here’s to running around chic…..


Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum $47

I suffer from Alopecia areata . I had an outbreak 20 years ago and another slowly began and ended becoming worse while the pandemic was underway. The first time it was in several different patches around my scalp, and this second time it was all around my hair part. During the pandemic it was coming out in clumps, and I finally broke down and went to see my dermatologist. My dermatologist stopped the progression of losing hair, but I had to start combing my hair differently, and using products that strengthened my hair and helped me cover up the thinning around my hairline/scalp.

Compact Styler $16

I also started taking vitamins, like Viviscal, which helped strengthen hair from the inside out. Another product I started using after the shower, or even on a non-wash hair day, besides the use of corticosteroids is Better Not Younger’s Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum. I can totally see a difference in hair strength. I have much less hair falling out, and I can see the new hair growth.

I also found products that not only covered up the grey, but that also fill-in any thinner spots on my head.

Not only do I use a Mason Pearson hairbrush, but I also comb out my hair with the Compact Styler from Tangle Teezer. I spray my wet hair with Pinstripe by R&CO and comb away before applying any other product.


My all-time favorite shampoo is by R&CO too, Analog. My hair is left silky soft and manageable.


Now to coverup the greys and the thinning hairline I use R&CO’s Bright Shadows Root Touchup Spray, in dark brown. My hair looks more natural with this product.


Another item I’ve been using to help prevent hair issues is my hair towel by Aquis. I have several and travel with them too, I don’t spend the night anywhere without my Aquis hair towel or turban.

Here’s to running around chic with healthy tresses……

Madame Serpent

Courtesy of @frankeverett – @Sothbysjewels – @bulgariofficial
Queen Victoria’s Engagement Ring

Serpenti jewelry first came on the worldwide scene when Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria, the engagement ring was a serpent with an emerald head. Queen Victoria’s engagement ring was a promise of a happy ever after, and fertility. Since then the serpent has been a favorite among jewelry designers, like Bulgari, Graff and Cartier.

The serpent is a symbol of good, evil, wisdom and eternity. It is also seen as an amulet for protection, good fortune and health.

Courtesy of @frankeverett – @Sothbysjewels – #GraffDiamonds
Courtesy of @frankeverett – @Sothbysjewels – @bulgariofficial
Elizabeth Taylor taking a break on the set of Cleopatra wearing the Bulgari Serpenti watch that will be exhibited at PAD London by Siegelson.
Hemmerle Diamond, Colored Diamond and Gold Snake Bracelet – Courtesy of fd_gallery
Courtesy of @frankeverett – @Sothbysjewels – @bulgariofficial
Buccellati Gold and Diamond serpent ring – Courtesy of fd_gallery
Cartier Multi-Gem and Gold bracelet – Courtesy of fd_gallery

There are other budget friendly pieces, and you can always have one custom made. I once bought myself an Elsa Peretti silver snake pinky ring, but I misplaced it during a move and have never been able to find it…..

Here’s to running around chic…..

Style Profile: Dr. Manuela Maria Vazquez of LaMaria

Courtesy of

I first came across Dr. Manuela Maria Vazquez researching Menopause and found her approach refreshing and modern. Her philosophy is to embrace our bodies changes and to nourish our skin, even the most delicate part of ourselves.

Courtesy of

I never heard the term “Pro-aging” before, normally it’s always “Anti-aging” her brand is a new concept in the market, LaMaria is highly received, recommended and trusted by fashion/beauty insiders and most importantly women. After various email exchanges, I’ve come to highly admire Dr. Vazquez and needed to know more about the woman that is leading us on a path of self-acceptance.

Courtesy of

Dr. Manuela Maria Vazquez is a mother of three, runs a successful OB/GYN practice and even though she’s been busy, she found time to answer a few questions.

Fashion Icon: My amazing mother. She has always had the most impeccable style. Whether dressing for a dinner party, going to work, or just spending a day with me and my sisters, she exudes effortless elegance. I have always seen her fashion as an extension of her confidence. No matter what she puts on, she makes every outfit she wears look classic and chic. From a very young age, I have a very vivid memory of her telling me: “it’s about quality, not quantity.” She doesn’t have a closet full of clothes, but rather a well-thought-out collection of beautiful pieces that are treasures, evoke memories, and transcend generations. 

 1140 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA

Favorite Restaurant: True to its name, Café Secret in Del Mar, California is a hidden gem. It’s a sidewalk café that has the best ceviche outside of Peru. In Southern California, there’s nothing better than fresh seafood. Plus, Café Secret is within walking distance to the beach. What better way to top off a delicious meal than with a barefoot walk on the sand and a beautiful sunset. (Café Secret is currently looking for a new venue)

Last book read: I can’t say that I’ve had very much time recently for any pleasure reading. Lately, I mostly get my reading done while snuggling with my daughters at bedtime, meaning that most of the books I read wind up being children’s books. Having said that, the last book that I read was The Berenstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree…it’s a classic.

If you could live in any piece of clothing, what would it be: As a working OB/GYN, I spend 90% of my week wearing blue scrubs, so I relish any opportunity to wear something else. I am a big fan of the brand Trovata and spend as much free time as I can in their flowy dresses and blouses. Whether I’m chasing after my girls in the backyard or videoconferencing with a colleague, I always look put together while still feeling comfortable. The fact that the fashion designer happens to be my husband is just a plus.


Last purchase before the pandemic: My husband and I bought a trampoline for our daughters the week before the world went into lockdown. It’s been a wonderful distraction throughout the quarantine. They’re 5, 6, and 8 years old, so they have a LOT of energy. The trampoline gives them somewhere to bounce it out. Plus, it’s a great workout for the whole family.
Courtesy of

Is it true that a woman’s estrogen product slows down once she hits 30: Absolutely. Estrogen is one of the most important hormones contributing to the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, the crucial components to maintaining skin elasticity and hydration. As our estrogen levels start to decline in our thirties and beyond, the estrogen receptors in our skin become depleted and we don’t produce as much of these critical molecules. The resulting hormonal changes and the depletion of estrogen especially impact the skin and lead to dryness, thinning, fine wrinkling, and poor wound healing.

Besides using your products, what other options are there for women to help them stimulate collagen, that are approved by you, example, teas, foods etc.: Obviously, I think that topicals like my Mineira Facial Moisturizer are the best way to get a luxurious daily dose of the ingredients that stimulate collagen production in the skin. Otherwise, the most efficacious treatments to stimulate collagen production are collagen-remodeling procedures, including laser resurfacing, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and skin needling.

Oral supplementation with collagen bioactive peptides has also been shown to increase collagen. That said, there is only a limited number of clinical studies that support these claims. 

Courtesy of

Pro-Aging is a new term, what does it mean: The reality is that we are all going to age, and it is much easier and healthier for the soul to embrace that reality than to work against it because either way, nature wins in the end.

Self-acceptance is an act of self-love, and self-care means recognizing that peace of mind is inseparable from peace of body and peace of spirit. There is so much beauty, joy, and pride that can come with a life well lived, and the women of today are more confident and surer of who they are than they ever have been. They don’t want to turn back the clock to a younger version of themselves; they want to relish the moment they are living in now, and the trials and triumphs that got them there.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Very well said, ladies it’s time to embrace and nourish…..

For more information To follow Dr. Vazquez on Instagram @LaMaria.

Here’s to running around chic….

Parisian Profile: Wallace Woo “Zentimeter”

Courtesy of

Wallace Woo is so chic, he’s also an artist in Paris. He’s also a pop music singer, Fashion Week influencer and journalist , need we say more?

I remember him as a stand out personality at some Paris fashion week shows, always dressed to the T and chic style in his designer wardrobe. He later became a regular fashion friend I’d see at some of the shows, but then the pandemic appeared and changed the world and the fashion week schedules forever it seems.

We met up the first weekend Paris finally liberated/opened the terraces in the 6th Arrondissement of Paris. We went to see a Vernissage of a Female Chinese artist before going to Rue de Buci to have a glass of white wine and a mint water, where we chatted.

Courtesy of

What have you been working on during these pandemic restrictions? It’s called “Zentmeter”, I am really happy I finished this collection. Using “centimeter” I changed the “C” to “Z” to give the element of Zen to my visuals. During the confinement, I felt a lot of pressure, like most of the people. We were sad, we were crying, we didn’t know the future during the confinement, so I didn’t want to use so much color, at that moment we didn’t see color, we lost a lot of color, so that’s why I use “Black and White” in the collection, it also adds a calm peaceful feeling, so people can feel my paintings. Influenced by traditional Chinese Ink paintings, I use acrylic but normally acrylic is so thick and its hard to make water shapes on canvas, so that’s why I use European techniques to make Chinese style designs.

courtesy of


How to describe your fashion and art style here in Paris: I have a Fashion background, when we attend Fashion week, we must dress very fancy, very colorful, but actually that kind of thing is not really me. I mean when I dress up like that, I like it, but when we dress up and go there, it’s really only for working. If you dress up too simple, no one cares about you in Paris, because in Paris we can say they are very cliché, so I have no choice, I need to survive, its my work, I need to stand out, so I dress up very colorful, but I prefer the black and white, minimal like in my art. It’s a contrast, I like that. I was a monk in my past life.

What is the message in your art: Very simple, find peace, I mean everyone has their different mindset, their different backgrounds, what they think is different, so I cannot control what they think, but I’d be happy when they see the colors, see the images if they find they are peaceful, I am already very happy. To spread peace. My soul is full of Vipassana. I’m still looking forward to an art expo, if someone can connect to my art, I’d really appreciate it.

Blanket by Wallace Woo Art

And you have expanded: I’m also doing fashion and lifestyle pieces, limited quantity of Interior Deco, which includes blankets, pillow covers, shower curtains and even customized Converse or canvas sneakers and other derivatives it’s all on the website

Shower curtain by Wallace Woo Art

What is your beauty routine and advice: First thing, is to stay happy. Happiness is most important. Second, no matter how tired, you really need to wash your face, no matter how late or tired you are. First using makeup remover, then a cleansing foam/gel with bubbles, going deep into the pores it cleans it better. Also, remember to use lip balm before bed, because when you sleep you open your mouth to breath and it chaps lips.

Photo by @losangelinainparis at DIOR SS21

What restaurant is your favorite here in Paris: My Favorite restaurant to go to in Paris is Uptown in Montmartre. Look at their instagram, you’ll see what I mean. I like Haute cuisine restaurants.

18 Rue Francœur, 75018 Paris, France

Where is your next vacation plan after this last year of lockdowns: I really want to go to Mexico, to South of America. I’ve already traveled quite a lot in Europe, so that’s why I want to go to Mexico, to try a margarita. I love tequila.

Citrus margarita @pujolrestaurant

Any “after covid” advice: “Wash your hands!” What I really want to say is “be happy” every day, we really need to value our time and do something you really want to do, we really don’t know what could happen tomorrow.

Courtesy of

Wallace Woo is a multimedia artist living in Paris.

To follow him on Instagram For more at and on YouTube for his music.

Here’s to running around artistically chic in Paris!

by Cindy Lucas



Moon Tea, a Herbal Beauty Tonic

Photo Courtesy of

I came across Botanical Rituals by accident and I am so glad I did. I’ve been into wellness and healing. I started by listening to Gabby Bernstein and Dr. Wayne Dyer but more about that later. Slowly I am being drawn to more spirituality, like writing mantras down in a journal, listening to meditation music, praying more and just believing that the universe does have my back.

How to prepare your beauty infusion:

One ounce of dried organic Nettles

One ounce of dried organic Marshmallow Root

Two 32 ounce Mason jars or larger

a couple more mason jars, glass bottles, or glasses for storing (0r another larger Mason Jar)

-Spring Water or Distilled Water

-a strainer


To prepare this Beauty Tonic,  place one ounce of Nettles into a mason Jar,  then fill up with 32 ounces of water.  You don’t have to be precise, this is just a guide.  The whole point is to relax and enjoy while you are doing this, not to stress out over measurements.   The water to be used is room temperature.   Put a lid on this jar, and place it outside or next to a window so it’s exposed to the Moon overnight, thus making “Moon Tea”, and bringing a more feminine and nurturing energy into this infusion.

Do the same with the Marshmallow Root, you can even include Rose Quartz to infuse the tea with love. Then combine the two teas into a bigger jar and enjoy.

I went as far as to purchase a healing bracelet, I’ll let you figure out which one….

You Glow Girl

ILLUMINATING PRIMER- Brightening CC Serum $91

I love, love skin illuminators. I first discovered their magic when I tried the Bobbi Brown Pink Brick Shimmer. I liked the opalescent color and applied it under my eye area, right above my cheekbones. I received so many compliments. Bobbi Brown also had another opalescent illuminator, it came in a little bottle/jar and when I went back to replenish, I found out they had discontinued the item. I was heartbroken. I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since.

Sheer Healthy Glow Highlighting Fluid $48

At one point I was relying on skincare to achieve my glow then I realized that I was starting to look less bright-eyed and bushytailed, even though my skin looked good. It was time to find something new. That’s when I invested in By Terry’s Brightening CC Serum, it doubles up as a primer too and ladies it did the trick. Another Illuminator I invested in is Les Beiges by Chanel. I layer them all around my face by patting the precious liquid onto my skin , especially the V – the triangle from your eyes, passed your cheekbones to your mouth.

And we can’t forget YSL’s Touché Eclat, a complete miracle worker in itself.

Here’s to glowing……

The Oversized Shirt

Oversized neon silk shirt

I’ve always worn oversized shirts, especially during extreme weather, like the summer heat. Usually in cotton or linen blends with the sleeves rolled up. It’s nice to see the oversized shirt is everywhere now. I heart skipped a few beats today when I discovered the New Valentino oversized dress shirts, especially in that gorgeous shade of pink. I’ve been drawn to pink lately and emerald green. Basic white and blue pinstripe are always nice, but color is good. I love the emerald green from Cos, especially the pleats in the back, simply divine. The only issue is that I am not supposed to be shopping anymore, at least not until after my Maui vacation, can I hold out?



Lash Growth Serum $55

Have you ever wore false eyelashes, left them on overnight and woke up looking gorgeous? That’s because long lashes is all we really need, besides healthy looking skin. There was a period in my life when I was alternating Jan Marini Lash, Revitalash and Talika Lipocils. My results? Super long and thick healthy lashes.

Knowing from experience after wearing false lashes, I knew that lashes was all I needed to wakeup looking beautiful, especially after an adult-sleepover. I then decided to get a lash perm at Neva’s. My lashes were so long they hit my eyelid and it was uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that trimming my lashes was the only recourse.

Ladies, I can vouch for the products I’ve mentioned, I’ve had no negative side-effects when using either of those products. A new lash serum I recently started using is by Better Not Younger’s SuperPower Lash Growth Serum.

Finally, your lashes have a superpower of their own! Our serum has been clinically proven to increase lash density by 82% for naturally thicker, fuller, stronger lashes in as little as 4 weeks*. Powered by our proprietary blend of peptides, vitamins and nutrients, you’ll love the look of healthier lashes that are longer, darker and beautifully conditioned so they always bat a thousand.

Here’s to batting a thousand…..

Style Profile: Monica Mahoney, Designer At Monica By Monica Mahoney

Courtesy of Monica Mahoney

It’s impossible to not want a dress or blouse by Monica Mahoney, they are beautifully made and remind you of summer vacations. The perfect dress/blouse that transports you to summer. I don’t wear dresses often, but a dress or blouse from Monica is definitely on my wish list.

Courtesy of Monica Mahoney

She’s been traveling, holding Trunk Shows in Hawaii, but she found time to answer a few questions.

Grace Kelly on Holiday

Fashion Icon: The first fashion icon that pops to mind is Grace Kelly, in To Catch a Thief or Rear Window.

Grace Kelly

Last item purchased before the pandemic: I’m so happy I bought a cozy pair of cashmere slippers that became my best friends during Covid.

Last book read:  My Dad has written a memoir of his life as a Hollywood press agent called, “Get Mahoney!” and I have been having a great time helping him edit it during the pandemic. Reading and re-reading all his fabulous stories.

Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077, – (310) 472-1211

Favorite Restaurant: I have a thing for a Champagne and French Fries dinner at The Hotel Bel Air. It’s in the neighborhood and it’s so swanky at the bar….

Courtesy of Monica Mahoney

Inspiration: My inspiration mostly comes from vintage pieces my mother wore during the 70’s to cocktail parties and resort vacations with my father. Fabric is another passion of mine and I am constantly on the hunt for fun textiles and vintage sources that dictate what they want to be.

Favorite Beauty Products:  I am in love with Beauty Counter. I know and love the creator of the brand and everything she stands for. The products are clean and fab…
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney
Courtesy of Monica Mahoney

If you could live in any piece of clothing, what would it be: A glamorous caftan. (Need we say more?)

Ladies, you do receive 20% off on your first purchase too, to shop

To follow Monica on Instagram @Monicamahoney .

A Love Affair With Beads……..


Did you know that beads were one of the first forms of trade, and that having beads scattered around your home is considered good luck…….

Amanda Thompson @Amanda_Thompson_Design
Amanda Thompson Sodalite Necklace @Amanda_Thompson_Design

My friend Twiga used to own an African Gallery, where she sold antique beads, some dating before AD. Because of Twiga I am the proud owner of an Evil Eye Bead, it would normally sell for 1k alone, but she gifted it to me during a period in my life where I needed spiritual protection. If I recall, it’s a Roman bead, made out of stone or glass, but what is special about this bead is that the colors are an intense navy, and the color seeps through to the inside, it fits on a standard chain. Amanda Thompson‘s Sodalite necklace reminds me those Evil Eye Beads of Twiga’s.

Amanda Thompson – Blush Rose Quartz Necklace @Amanda_Thompson_Design
Amanda Thompson – Pearl Necklace @Amanda_Thompson_Design

I remember the necklace she made out of those beads, she mixed them with 24k beads and antique coral beads, the result was stunning. Twiga was selling the necklace for 30k +, I kept telling her not to use so many Evil Eye Beads, but she wouldn’t listen. I wonder if she ever did sell the necklace. She went back home to Tanzania. Twiga was my introduction to beads, because of her I invested in a few necklaces and they are currently boxed away but eventually I’ll pull them out again. I helped her around her shop when she was away on vacation, and she had several books on beads. I remember a quote from a Prince that was enamored by beads and wore the same strand everyday, but I forget the actual language of the quote. I found that quote beautiful, I ended up ordering that same bead book the other day, “The History of Beads“.

I have several strands of pearls, in white, a baroque grey, a more traditional grey and gold, long strands and shorter collar size strands. I have periods where I would wear them daily, alternating them. One day I was wearing the long baroque grey, doubled and a co-worker was enamored with them, she said “I love your necklace” and I became one of those people that literally forget what necklace or earrings I had on, I always wondered how anyone could forget but now I know it happens. I mean you literally forget what your wearing sometimes. I answered” Oh, the beads, thank you”. I refer to pearls as beads, that’s how much the Prince’s quote moved me. I went as far as to scatter beads around my room too.

Amanda Thompson designs the most beautiful jewelry, for retail locations here.

“The creative inspiration that encourages me comes from my faith, loved ones, travels and years of an appreciation of good design in many forms.”

— Amanda

To follow Amanda on Instagram @Amanda_Thompson_Design

The Sneaker of the Moment

Air Zoom Superrep 2

I’ve been addicted to sneakers, I think I have 6 new pairs since the pandemic started, and over half are still in boxes. Wearing slippers around the house for the first 4 months of the pandemic played havoc with my feet. I have sneakers branded on my brain and these are the latest from Nike, they are by far the funkiest yet.

Air Zoom Superrep 2

I think it was the color combination that sold me, and the fact that they appear to be slip-ons. I can’t wait until they arrive next week.

Here’s to running around chic…..

Night-Table Reading

I’ve been buying books although I am in the process of reading three books that I haven’t finished yet. Part of the reason I ask “Last Book Read” is because I am honestly too exhausted to go book-hunting. It’s easier to have book recommendations from my peers, well-read women. I once had someone tell me, a long time ago that they admired the fact that I was well-read. Honestly , I prefer the classics and biographies. But this is good, branching out is good.

Here’s to summer reading…..