Photo: orthodoxchristian.com

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

As the end of 2020 nears, many people are looking at the upcoming holiday season in a new light.

Traditionally, the end of year is a time for introspection and self-reflection.

Photo: Shutterstock

What you wear and how you express yourself through your outward appearance can have as much an impact on you as it does on those around you.

Self-reflection is one of the best ways that you can shift your mindset, increase positivity in your life, and discover a greatere connection with yourself and your heritage.

And wearing a religious token, an amulet passed down from your ancestors, or even a favorite scarf given to you by someone you care about can give you an inner sense of peace and tranquility in these most untranquil times.

Homage to the Virgin

The Spanish-based design house Tous has brought out a new collection of jewelry inspired by Mexico’s Virgen de Guadalupe.

Photo: Tous

The collection, titled “Tous Cachito Mio,” which also includes other pieces inspired by Mexican culture.

The Virgen de Guadalupe (Mexico’s patron saint) collection has both necklaces and wristbands, and is available now at Tous boutiques and online shops, just in time to mark Dec. 12, the country’s official Virgin of Guadalupe day.

The image of the beautiful, brown-skinned Virgin Mary, encircled in rays of sunlight with an angel and moon at her feet, is considered to be the most revered religious icon in predominantly Catholic Mexico and is eternally enshrined inside the majestic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City’s northern colonia of Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Believed to have been discovered by an elderly indigenous farmer by the name of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in the early twilight of Dec. 9, 1531, the story of the Virgin is as much a tale of national patriotism as it is a saga of religious devotion.

Photo: Tous

In October of 1945, then-Pope Pius XII officially decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe as the “Patroness of all the Americas” and declaring her feast day as Dec. 12, a day of holy obligation for all of Mexico.

And in 2002, then-Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego, transforming him into the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas.

Over the centuries, the Virgin has been depicted in Mexican art and has served as a mirror of national and cultural identity.

Nearly every Catholic home in Mexico today has at least one image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and each December, millions of Mexicans pay homage to her with elaborate pilgrimages to her basilica, often making their way to the sacred site in kneeled positions, legs bleeding and tears streaming down their eyes in awed devotion.

There is no more powerful symbol of Mexican culture and religious history than that of the emblemic Virgin of Guadalupe.

Photo: Tous

Tous is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and to commemorate the occasion, the family-run brand will by premiering its documentary “Oso” (“Bear,” about the company’s iconic little mascot) at the 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival on Sept. 25.

Then 75-minute feature-length film tells the history of Tous from its beginnings, when the family’s patriarch started out as an apprentice watchmaker and documents the business’ transformation process to a global enterprise, with over 4,000 employees around the world, operating in 50-plus countries through more than 700 stores.

Set the Mood

Aromatherapy can have a dramatic effect on your mood and disposition.

Photo: Loewe

Surrounding yourself with soothing scents can help you feel calmer and help to ease tension and anxiety.

With that in mind, Loewe has just debuted a new plant-based home scents collection, with fresh, invigorating aromas that evoke the essence of a vegetable garden.

The new collection of home scents is inspired by the meticulous recordings of plant life by artists working during the Age of Discovery: the cyanotypes of algae by the British artist Anna Atkins, the illustrations of exotic South American flora by the Spanish explorer Mutis, and the work of Kazuma Ogawa, who pioneered photomechanical printing as a means to document the flowers of Japan.

Based on Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson´s inspiration, the brand’s in-house perfumier Nuria Cruelles has interpreted 11 plants essences: honeysuckle, beetroot, juniper berry, tomato leaves, coriander, licorice, cannabis, luscious pea, oregano, cypress balls and ivy.

Photo: Loewe

Each essence is expressed in candles, wax candleholders, home fragrances, rattan
diffusers and soap.

The hand-crafted ceramic candles are inspired on Greek drinking vessels from the
fifth century BC, using wax is derived from natural ingredients.

The unique packaging, with images of the corresponding plant’s flower and color, are designed by Franco-Swiss photographer Erwan Frotin.

Loewe Home Scents are available in Loewe stores worldwide and on line through the brand’s website.

Light Up Your Face

Switch out your look with a new, super-clean, super-chic, flawless makeup overhaul.

Photo: Shiseido

Shiseido’s latest Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Collection revives your skin with light and a multidimensional glow to give you a glowing and unmarred natural-looking complexion for up to 24 hours.

Using Japanese groundbreaking technology
to visibly transform, lift and illuminate skin, this line includes three weightless products that work together to create a radiant complexion in any light.

Starting with a Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Soft Blurring Primer — available in liquid form as well as in a compact — these products instantly illuminate, smooth and protect against UV rays with a broad spectrum SPF 30, all while hydrating and nourishing your skin.

The primer synchronizes with skin and can be used alone or to prep skin for enhanced makeup wear.

Photo: Shiseido

The primer’s transformative and weightless texture blends easily and helps to blur imperfections for a soft-focus finish.

Its lush cream-to-powder formula features mattifying peptides to help decrease sebum production and minimize the appearance of pores over time.

The Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation, available in 30 shades in weightless-but-buildable coverage, is the definitive star of the collection, incorporating advanced formulas designed to withstand environmental conditions  and cutting-edge light-adjusting technology to reduce the appearance of fine lines, uneven skin tone and flaccidity.

The foundation is packed with collagen-supporting beech tree bud extract and vitamin C-rich mandarin peel concentrate, and is smudge-, transfer- and crease-resistant.

And finally, the Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting compact powder employs exclusive blend of pearls, powders and light-reflecting particles automatically balance and adapt to any ambient lighting condition for a lit-from-within finish.

Wear a Garden

Just because you are in lockdown and can’t travel as much as you used to, doesn’t mean you can’t bring the outside world to you.

Photo: Guerlain

The French design house Guerlain has just added a new scent to its Aqua Allegoria eau de toilette fragrance collection, inspired by the fresh bouquets of the world’s most beautiful gardens.

Aqua Allegoria Granada Salvia captures the intoxicating scents of pomegranate and sage, intermingled with the rich, citrusy scent of bergamot.

Guerlain created the Aqua Allegoria collection in 199 as an ode to nature, reinventing the simplicity of botanical accords from all the gardens of the world in fresh fragrances, encapsulating the aromas of flower petals laden with dewdrops, fruits steeped in sunlight, trembling leaves and delicate blades of grass.

Photo: Guerlain
Each of the Aqua Allegoria fragrances has the freshness of a cologne and the hold of a perfume, and the guiding thread of the collection is Calabrian bergamot.
All the joie de vivre of sunny days bursts forth from the Aqua Allegoria collection, and Granada Saliva is no exception.

Like the other 10 Aqua Allegoria eau fraîche, Granada Saliva is an upbeat, cheerful scent that draws on happy moments and joyous memories. (And that is something we all can use these days.)

Every Aqua Allegoria fragrance comes in a classic Guerlain bee bottle with its iconic golden mesh.

And unlike most fragrances, these wonderful botanical toilette waters can be mixed and matched.

…Nov. 12, 2020

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