The Ladybug’s Milan Design Week in a Few Pictures!

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My favorite time of the year in Milan comes in April. Hard to describe how everything changes in town: winter is just a memory, we say goodbye to tights, Spring blossoms on the trees and the streets are full of life again! This last part is mostly due to Milano Design Week (and the Fuorisalone) which brings to town stylish people from all over the world and creates thousands of events almost everywhere: you can literally have a drink at every corner while admiring installations and decorations and while getting lost in the mass of people enjoying the fresh spring nights!

There are books… or I should say encyclopedias with the list of all the events happening during the week and I always get lost on the third page of them because I would like to go and see a lot of stuff, but I rationally know that I won’t have time for almost any of it. So I try to put together a mini personal list just to not miss the essentials (well, my essentials!).

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My Milano Design Week started magically at the opening of the Elita Design Week Festival with one of the best concerts ever: Benjamin Clementine was in town for the first time in concert in Italy and I couldn’t miss the event! So my friend and I decided to bravely face the crowd of the first day (for this we needed a good beer!) and we immersed in the pure magic of Mr. Clementine’s voice and piano. Funny thing is that I heard about him not more than a week before and when I found his music on Youtube I was completely blown away. Not enough apparently, because when I left the theatre after his concert I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears: he was just AMAZING! Not bad for the start, right?

During one of my lunchtimes, I headed with my friends to the Brera Design Districts to meet my friend Roberta who was in town with a temporary installation for Gloook, The Eco-friendly Design for Homeware, with the most innovative use of paper… I mentioned it before (remember the opening of their store in Como?). I loved the greens and blues that decorated the installation: paper bees, deer, lemon trees, floral wallpaper and paper pieces everywhere (you can find more on

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On Saturday morning I decided to head to the city center to follow the Elita crew for the Extras’mall edition at the former Diurno Hotel in Piazza Duomo: the space was great (definitely worth a visit) and the market was full of handmade artists (even if quite small compared to the usual Elita’s events for Sunday Park). Among them I found Grazia, who makes beautiful headbands with African prints that can be worn as turbans or just headscarves (of course I stepped out with one of them on my head!).

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Last but not least, I took the occasion of a special installation at L’Arabesque Bookstore, Shop and Café to visit this beautiful retro space in Milan. The occasion was a special event during Design Week called “L’appartamento” (The Apartment) where an original apartment from the ’60s was re-created inside the shop with original furniture from that era. Unfortunately, my phone died by the time I got inside, but I did take a pic of one of the beautiful windows of this shop that is really worth a visit (can you see the amazing hats and retro bag? Well, they’re just some of the wonderful things that you can find inside!).

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The Ladybug on How To Become a True Vintage Lover: Milano Vintage Week

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Milano Design Week is over (I will tell you more about my Design Week next week), but there is no Design Week in Milan without one of my favorite vintage events in town… Milano Vintage Week.

This beautiful event is quite young (it started in 2014) and has two editions- one of which happens during the famous Salone del Mobile and the other during MDW. So it’s no surprise I immediately feel excited about the best vintage coming to town in the weeks before their arrival!

I travel a lot checking out fairs and events to spot the best vintage around, but when it happens in Milan (at the Showroom Riccardo Grassi) I feel even more excited! As surprising as it may seem, there are not many vintage events in Milano, but the Milano Vintage Week is a special one- mostly because of the accurate selection of the stallers. I know most of them and I consider them among the best vintage dealers and lovers in Italy.

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Among them, Opherty & Ciocci (in my opinion- one of the leaders in vintage research, quality and rarity of pieces in Italy, especially vintage designer handbags), Shabby Chic (who brought some wonderful handmade pieces made with original ’50s fabrics and amazing straw headpieces), Magnifica Preda (with a great quality choice of handbags and beautiful dresses) and A.N.G.E.L.O. (with his amazing collection of pin-up swimsuits and other rare accessories); just to name a few on the long list which definitely makes it worth a visit, so don’t forget to note it for the next edition!

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But Milano Vintage Week is not only beautiful vintage dresses and accessories. There’s also Italian vintage design (and why not, it is Design Week!), handmade, a beautiful fashion exhibit in collaboration with A.N.G.E.L.O. that told the story of fashion in the Postwar years and presented interesting news. For example: there were vintage hair and makeup tutorials in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden- who also offered vintage hairdos and makeup to those who wanted to try it for a day and know more about the story of this long-running brand! Plus a lot of tutorials and workshops and “how to” events, including vintage makeup, weddings, china and the use of foulards to make perfect gift packages to reduce the use of paper!

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Milano Vintage Week is the perfect event to actively try and experience vintage. It’s also the kind of event that I strongly recommend to those who want to know more about the beautiful world of vintage. I am sure that you will step in curious about vintage and leave a true vintage lover for life!

I couldn’t wear a vintage outfit as I wanted to because of my running errands during the day, but I paired my Acne Studios black jeans, H&M denim shirt, Lazzari brogues and Miu Miu handbag with a vintage striped shirt, vintage ’70s sunglasses by Maison Studio, handmade earrings by Metalica and handmade velvet turban by Madame Ilary.

The Ladybug Rallies the Army of White Shirts (“La camicia bianca secondo me”, G. Ferré)

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For how surprising as it may seem, I am not a huge fan of fashion exhibits: most times I leave them with a huge sense of disappointment. Maybe because the perfection I see within “style” is very hard to find nowadays, maybe I’m too nostalgic about an era that I will never live or I just feel that I could never wear these pieces in my life; whatever it is, I can’t explain it… But still, I go to fashion expos and mostly because I simply won’t begrudge the invitation in hopes of an exceptional case of true “fashion.” The exhibit held in Palazzo Reale, “ La camicia Bianca secondo me” (the White Shirt in my opinion), was a sort of anthology of the white shirts designed by Gianfranco Ferré, and this ladies and gentlemen, was one of those exceptional cases.

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Ok; maybe I didn’t leave with this slight sense of nostalgic disappointment, but it was really worth a visit.

When you enter the wonderful Sala delle Cariatidi and see this twenty-seven white pieces standing like soldiers in the dark- illuminated with white lights you can immediately feel a sense of excitement for what you are going to see. And it is just the beginning: every piece tells a story of magic. It is really hard for me to explain with words what I saw and what I felt. As I read somewhere online “It is here that taffetas, crepe of China, organza, satin, tulle, cotton, silk come in succession in an emotional crescendo that leads to ecstasy.”

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As I am not good enough with words to describe these wonderful creations, I thought that sharing some of my pictures might help!

The white shirt is maybe the most representative piece in Gianfranco Ferré’s fashion career. The sophisticated white shirt quickly became his personal signature in fashion design: in every collection he created one or more pieces that, even representing the fil rouge that linked his work with the Italian sartorial tradition, expressed the exciting challenge of breaking the rules, exaggerating the details in quite an architectural way (Ferré was indeed an architect and he was dubbed “the architect of fashion”).

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On the sides were all of the materials from the archive of the Fondazione Ferré, including original sketches, projects and phptographs from the runaways and fashion magazines.

For the occasion I wore a vintage white shirt from Vintage Divas Store in Ljubljana, Replay grey jeans, Topshop animal print coat, Tosca Blu ankle boots and my small Balenciaga bag. I added a handmade black headpiece by Madame Ilary from my turban collection.

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The Ladybug’s Vintage Tour of Germany Continues: Next Stop, Frankfurt!

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It looks like Germany is my second home so far this year! Munich, Berlin and now a little tour of Frankfurt!

But this lovely weekend was a bit different: one of my best friends lives there and I realized that the last time I went to see her there was when she moved… ten years ago!

Many things have changed since then and not only in our lives! Frankfurt itself is a different town: there is a lot to do, a lot of young people and plenty of nice places for brunch, coffee, tea or a lovely meal out. The weather was a bit cloudy, but as it didn’t rain, a lot of people were hanging out as Carmen and I enjoyed a good shopping session between our much more enjoyed busy and long chats!

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As for vintage I must say that Frankfurt is not really a vintage town: there are a few shops, but most of them are thrift stores. Now don’t get me wrong, you can still find some great bargains, like we did.

Epiphany is, for sure, my favorite shop in town: we spent a couple of hours inside the shop and we fell in love with the beautiful collection of designer, high street and even vintage pieces (shoes are to-die-for… consider yourself warned!) and we came out with a big bag full of second-hand and vintage pieces! Surprisingly; the prices are really affordable, I would dare say cheap in many cases, even for designers’ pieces. I was very proud of our finds, especially this pair of amazing late ’60s yellow Escada shoes! Carmen also stepped out with the beautiful coat that she’s wearing in the picture… not bad for our thrift shopping session!

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Secondelle is another lovely shop, but when we arrived it was closed and we could only admire the windows- full of Chanel bags and Louboutin… our credit cards were safe! For charity shop lovers, Oxfam has a couple of interesting shops in town too, one having only books, music and DVDs.

If you want to have a good brunch, you can head to the lovely and cozy Nordlicht where I took this picture. You could also take a trip to the Italian spot, Little Italy, that has a huge and tasty buffet. And for a lovely aperitif I may suggest Iimori, a delicious Japanese restaurant with a French touch that really deserves a visit! Speaking of French, La Maison du Pain is perfect for a French lunch or dinner or should I say a few fine desserts!

In these pictures I wore a Max&Co coat, Zara bow shirt, Peter Pilotto for Target skirt, Tosca Blu ankle boots, Miu Miu bag and a wonderful handmade wool turban from the amazing Madame Ilary!

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The Ladybug (the Woman and the Sun) Vs. Van Gogh (The Man and the Earth)

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About a month ago I visited one of the most crowded exhibits ever held at Palazzo Reale in Milano, the Van Gogh expo “L’uomo e la terra” (The Man and the Earth). The exhibit focuses on the importance of the simple life, the life of the farmers, of the villagers and the attachment to the earth (intended as mother of life) in Van Gogh’s art. This wasn’t the best Van Gogh expo, I must admit. Especially because this part of his artistic career is very often underestimated and not particularly famous, except for some pieces like The Postman.

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To be perfectly honest, I was a bit disappointed… maybe because it was quite small (compared to the Marc Chagall exhibit for example) or simply because it wasn’t my favorite of Van Gogh’s artistic eras!

But it was a wonderful sunny day, maybe the first real spring forward day, and I was in wonderful company so I decided to take some pictures around Palazzo Reale and just enjoy the blessings of the day!

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I wore a Please burgundy sweater, Acne Studios black jeans, Max and Co coat, Replay biker boots. My folk clutch is from La Maison Momonì, sunglasses are Céline. I added a lovely brooch from Hidden Forest Market in Verona and vintage red leather gloves from Sofia Vintage in Como.

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The Ladybug’s Vintage Adventure in Berlin

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Last Tuesday I told you about my trip to Berlin, but I deliberately didn’t mention my vintage tour of Berlin because this deserved a post of its own. I’ve heard many times that Berlin is the capital of vintage in Europe (a bit too risky a thought, lest we forget London?!) or at least in Germany, and I must admit that everything is vintage in Berlin. The vintage atmosphere is everywhere, there is something melancholically retro in the air that makes you breathe vintage from the very first moment your feet touch the ground! Vintage and second hand have their second home in Berlin for sure! I would have loved to have spent more time there to visit, for example, the huge Humana Vintage and Second hand store or many other shops that I easily found online, but my time was limited and in Germany Sundays are for relaxing and most of the shops are closed.

But I managed to find some interesting shops and tips for your quick weekend in Berlin.

First thing to do on Sunday morning (after a big brunch… Berlin is very famous for that!) is to head to Mauerpark: not only for the lovely quasi hipster area and for the nice park (wonderful if it happens on a sunny day, like when we were there!), but for the adorable Flea Market where you can find vintage clothing, antiques and collectable pieces along with handmade accessories and finger food! The Flohmarkt is very crowded on Sundays, but it is really worth a visit! I managed to find a vintage ’80s brooch (for 2 euros), two Prince vinyl records to add to my collection, a handmade wool headband (to keep my ears warm!) and a souvenir canvas bag of the market!

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During my Saturday afternoon tour I tried to do my best to visit a couple of vintage shops which wasn’t easy, especially because they were all quite far from the city center.

I managed to visit the famous Sing Blackbird vintage shop, considered by many the best vintage shop in town with a nice cafeteria with handmade cakes inside just to have a quick tea and cake while shopping! The shop is very nice indeed with very beautiful pieces and honest prices… such a shame that the dresses and shirts that I fell in love with didn’t fit me!

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Another crazy shop was Jumbo Second Hand, a must-see especially for the immensely huge, mind-blowing collection of vintage shoes! They have a great collection of vintage dresses too, and very affordable prices! But as it happens sometimes, there were so many great pieces that I couldn’t decide what should come home!

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Last but not least maybe my favorite so far, Made in Berlin: two floors of vintage happiness and enthusiasm! Here again I got lost in their huge collection of shoes and bags and even more dresses and shirts at very honest prices. I took ten pieces (more not less) into my changing room, but again none of them fit me which left me very disappointed because the shop was worthy a massive buy! I will definitely go back on my next trip to Berlin, and I’m sure I’ll have my luck with sizing!

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The Ladybug and Her Berlin Liebesgeschichte!

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In my last post I told you about my long experience in Munich and about how great it was to live it… even if just for the weekends! And although I really enjoyed my time in Bavaria, my colleague and I decided to fly to Berlin for a little weekend since neither of us had been there before and we were both very curious.

It was a windy, freezing and quite snowy weekend, but this this didn’t prevent us from enjoying this amazing town!

I know, you are thinking that I was in vintage paradise, and I was indeed, but I will leave this part for the next post… today I just want to talk about Berlin!

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It was such a special weekend: we walked a lot and tried to enjoy as many things as we could: from our first stop at Brandenburg Gate, to a long walk to see the famous Victory Column, Potsdamer Platz, a guided tour through the German Parliament (the Bundestag), the touristic Checkpoint Charlie, a long walk along the Eastside Gallery (enjoying the street art in the longest part remaining from the Wall), the Jewish Memorial, the Fernsehturm and the beautiful Cathedral- our day was quite busy. We just had a quick stop in a lovely Thai and Vietnamese restaurant near Checkpoint Charlie to recharge the batteries and warm our cold feet before going back to our busy tour! As you can imagine, we didn’t enjoy the Berlin’s night as much as we intended to! (if I’m not wrong, we fell dead in our bed at 9:30pm!)

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But the atmosphere of this sad yet modern and vital town is incredible and I didn’t believe it until I visited it myself! There is this space for the past, to remember, to keep the memory alive that contrasts often with the modernity and of the future towards which the city is going.

Walking along the wall was also a sad experience: although the street art is amazing (Bansky and other great street artist have made their artistic home all around the town), it is impossible not to think of how life was until just 25 years ago.

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These are my favorites of the pics I took there to share with you.

On my first day I wore my inseparable Woolrich parka and Ugg boots, Acne Studios jeans, Dixie beige sweater, Max& Co bag and Madame Ilary handmade black turban.

More about Berlin and our vintage tour next time!

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The Ladybug’s Tips on How to Enjoy (and Survive) 3 Weeks in Munich!

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Let’s be honest; traveling is amazing, but when you do it for work and it happens in January in the freezing and snowy Munich winter- it’s perceived to become a hard to survive three weeks!

But believe or not, I not only survived, but I thrived! Apart from vintage shopping, here are my tips to enjoy the beautiful Bavarian town, which has a lot more to offer than you think!

1. Be Bavarian! Bavarians are really proud people: they call themselves Bavarians and then Germans, but as it is hard for us foreigners to understand the story and the reasons, so for the most part, we settle for enjoying the fun and touristic part of it. First of all the food: a typical Bavarian dinner (and beer) in one of the many excellent restaurants in town (we had more than one… dinner and beer!) is a very good start! It’s better to pick the restaurants that locals advise (we loved Hofbräukeller) over those you’d find in guides: food is excellent and the ambiance less touristic. Speaking of food, don’t forget to order the famous Kaiserschmarrn (even better if you try it at Georgenhof) one of the best desserts I’ve ever tried! If you want to go further, head to the incredible shop Holareidulijö where you can try amazing handmade typical Bavarian costumes and understand how they look good on you and on your curves!

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2. Be International (at least when you eat!): Surprisingly, Munich has a lot of international restaurants, definitely more than Milan! We ate Turkish, Persian, Thai, Israeli, Korean, Japanese, Indian and we could have done a lot more if we had the time! But the best surprise was the Afghan cuisine: Chopan was one of the best ethnic restaurants I’ve ever tried and really loved from the Afghan community in Munich- not to mention its very cool ambiance. We also tried the famous vegetarian restaurant, Prinz Myshkin, were you can eat a delicious Tofu à la Stroganoff!

3. Visit the Museums! During the freezing snowy days one of our best activities was visiting the museums: Munich offers a great art and cultural panorama and you will be surprised of the hidden treasures that you can find. The three Pinakothek (the old “Alte”, the New “Neue” and the Modern “Moderne”) not far from one another can be really surprising… and they are just 1 euro on Sundays. You can find Van Gogh (the famous “Sunflowers”) to Klimt, Gauguin and Picasso- plus a huge quantity of paintings from the XV century to modern art and great contemporary exhibitions to feel extremely satisfied!

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4. Go the Opera! The Bayerische Staatsoper is one of the most famous and popular places in Munich. This beautiful place is, for sure, an unique experience that you must live. When we were there, we were invited by our colleagues to see the ballet Romeo and Juliet and we not only enjoyed the piece, but also the German experience. What I loved most was the long break where you could have drinks and sip your wine while admiring the incredible interior and the lovely women wearing their typical costumes in a very modern way (for example with a simple white shirt!). (I wore Marks and Spencer white shirt, Benetton white cardi, Imperial culottes, Tosca Blu ankle boots, Max&Co bag, Miu Miu frames and Rodedal earrings)

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5. Leave it for a weekend! But this will be in my next post… stay tuned!

The Ladybug Takes a Sunday Off at the Navigli Antiques Market

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If you live in Milan and you love vintage, the place to be every last Sunday of the month is the Antiques Market all along the Navigli. I talked about this place before and every time I get a chance- I head there for a lovely walk among the vintage and antiques stalls and shops for some great shopping… and why not?!

I have to say that due to busy weekends and traveling around, I can barely remember the last time that I was there. So when I was invited by my friend Ilaria (the incredible talent behind Madame Ilary designs) to Sunday brunch and a walk about the market, I accepted immediately!

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It was a great day! We were celebrating her turbans being sold by the adorable Ms. Laura from Italian Vintage Suite, and we took some pictures with our favorite pieces before walking around for some great shopping and some vintage street style (I love photographing Ilaria in her vintage pieces)!

Ilaria bought some great vintage buttons for her creations. As for me, I finally decided to gift myself some Marion Godart resin jewels, which I dreamed of for a long time, from Lorena Taddei’s beautiful stall!

I wore Max&Co black coat and messenger bag, vintage denim shorts, Tosca blu ankle boots, La Maison Momoni tartan scarf and my new palm brooch from Marion Godart!

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MILK Does The Ladybug’s Body Good: The Borotalco MILK Test Experience!

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Spring is here! This means summer is on its way and that we need to pay more attention to our body: our shape, our skin and last but least our scent… Yes! I mean it!

How many of you use public transportation every day? And how many of you fear that time of the year when even the unsuspected ones’ bad smell travels with them?

Well, I have a good news for you!

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Just in time for the beginning of “the season,” Borotalco launched a new line of deodorants created for those who want protection, soft and dry skin called Borotalco MILK. It is the first time that our favorite vintage beauty care brand has put hydrating milk in their deodorants with incredible soothing and nourishing properties for an all day soft and dry skin!

The new line comes in four different applications (spray, vaporizer, roll-on and roll-on tube), so I decided (for the purposes of a fair and unbias judgement) to test the spray myself, and give the three others to my friends (two girls and a guy).  We would test them for two weeks.

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Here are the results of my test:

  • S. tried the vaporizer every day for two weeks. She is a very sporty girl and as she goes from work to the gym every day: she told me that she was impressed by the long lasting property. Borotalco guarantees indeed a “48 hours” duration because of the natural micro powder that absorbs the sweat and leaves the skin dry for a longtime, even after a whole spinning workout!
  • B. is the delicate one: she has sensitive skin and she spends most of her day out because of work. Like me, she always has a bottle of deodorant in the bag to use during the day in case of need! She was amazed by the nourishing action in respect of her sensitive skin. She told me that after two weeks her skin was soft, dry and protected. This happens mostly because of the hydrating milk, rich in proteins and lactose, and of the protective active ingredients.
  • G. is the guy… not an easy test right? BUT I was surprised to learn from him something very interesting for guys who work all day in a suit; he told me that he was amazed (and even asked his wife to buy more Borotalco MILK deodorant!) by the “clean job” it did!  What he meant was this: his standard deodorant would leave yellow stains on his shirts, but during this two-week test, he realized that his shirts were clean at the end of the day! Indeed thanks to a new technology that reduces the use of powders, this new line reduces also the white and yellow stains on our clothes!
  • As for me, I was impressed by its long lasting action (especially after eight hours at work and a run or workout after!), and by how soft my skin was: no irritation, no bad smell, but a super hydrated and scented skin!

I love when my tests are successful and sharing my favorite products with my friends and readers was a great bonus.

And you? Have you tried it? Share your comments or do your own tests and let me know!

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