Author: Corinna von Bassewitz

My curriculum vitae is as colorful as the world. I was editor at ELLE, tested cars and participated at off-road tours. I lived on a small island in Florida for twelve years and from there I travelled the Caribbean and almost all states of the USA for various magazines, conducted interviews with interesting people, reported on beautiful homes and exotic travel destinations. After my return to Germany I worked for InStyle magazine for 14 years in various positions. And it was there that I first came into contact with the topic of beauty. To this day I still enjoy immersing myself in the fine cosmos of creams, perfumes and lipsticks. (photo: Thomas Dilge)

Tested for you: Face Oil “Pistachio Face Oil” by Irene Forte

A special kind of face oil: We are familiar with melatonin in capsule form, the human hormone that helps us to fall into a deep sleep during jet lag. Phytomelatonin, the plant version of human melatonin, on the other hand, is now a tried and tested ingredient in cosmetics that reduces the visible signs of skin ageing. Plant melatonin counteracts the degenerative effects of UV radiation and stress factors on the skin. With its “Pistachio Face Oil”, Irene Forte Skincare has launched a product that smells gently of pistachios and effectively rejuvenates our skin. How does the face oil work? The special feature of the face oil is its fast-absorbing formula. Phytomelatonin, which is extracted from Italian Alpine plants, plays a key role in its effectiveness. Using a patented process developed by the scientific director at Irene Forte Skincare, the active ingredient penetrates deep into the skin, promoting cell regeneration and rejuvenation. 28 percent stabilized vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, softens the skin and strengthens the natural skin barrier to prevent moisture loss. A revitalizing blend of omega-rich oils – avocado-, olive-, and pistachio-oil – further moisturizes the skin. The key ingredients of “Pistachio Face Oil” are harvested on Skincare founder Irene Forte’s organic farm in Sicily. Who is the “Pistachio Face Oil” suitable for? The face oil primarily for people with mature, dry skin. It has also been dermatologically proven to have a positive effect on sensitive skin. What else is special? In line with Irene Forte Skincare’s commitment to sustainability, the “Pistachio Face Oil” comes in an innovative glass bottle with a replaceable interior. Refill components are available separately. Irene Forte Skincare is at the forefront of the Natural Science movement. Accordingly, their vision is “Natura e Scienza” (Nature and Science). The skincare range achieves outstanding results with natural ingredients based on the research of scientific director Dr. Francesca Ferri. The Italian is a pioneer in the medical use of plant extracts to treat skin conditions. Was ist der B-Corp Status? Dr. Ferri has developed a unique extraction process for Irene Forte to obtain this active ingredient, also known as APM, from Italian Alpine plants (Avena sativa, Achillea millefolium, Salvia officinalis). Irene Forte Skincare is certified with B-Corp status and is part of a global movement that stands for an inclusive, fair and regenerative economy. For a better understanding: Certified B Corporations or B Corps are companies that have been verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability „Pistachio Face Oil mit Phytomelatonin“ by Irene Forte Skincare, 30ml, 150 euros… weiterlesen

Tested for you: Retinol in handbag size „Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick“ from Melumé

Retinol stick instead of serum – Retinol is the current miracle weapon against skin ageing. It stimulates cell renewal and the production of collagen and elastin. It is responsible for an even complexion, refined pores, and the smoothing of small wrinkles. The anti-ageing hero normally comes in liquid form as a serum. The “Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick” from Melumé, a brand that relies on active ingredients in their most bioavailable forms to guarantee effective absorption and availability, is brilliant for on-the-go use. How does the “Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick” work? The highly concentrated, nourishing serum balm with 10% encapsulated, time-released retinol microspheres, astaxanthin, omega-3,-6,-9-Polyglycerides,, the exclusive Gmod Complex and botanical oils ensures flawless skin. Thanks to the innovative encapsulation technology, the retinol is released bit by bit, resulting in better efficacy and less irritation. Targeted to areas of the skin that need more attention and nourishing care, the handy stick can be used to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, spots and pores. What exactly is the Gmod complex? The G-Complex developed and patented by Melumé is a triple skin-affine power formula made from the patented Melilotus officinalis melilot peptide. It activates growth factors and increases the GDF11 protein level. Dolichos biflorus from plant cell cultures strengthens the anti-inflammatory microflora and glycokines, oligosaccharides from biofermentation, stimulate hyaluronic acid synthesis. Why is the “Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick” so special? For the experts at Melumé Skinscience, highly concentrated active ingredients for application to the skin’s surface and prolonging their effect are an essential part of product development. In their formulations, they use intelligent active ingredient delivery systems such as encapsulations, microspheres and liposome systems that extend bioavailability, deliver the active ingredients to their precise target and to the exact depth of the skin, thus intensifying their effectiveness. “Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick” – the ideal companion for on the go Carrying a serum with you in your handbag can be precarious. The cap comes loose and the valuable liquid spreads over the contents of your bag. The stick in its solid form is therefore perfect for quick care on the go. I often travel by train or plane, so the “Micro-Encapsulated Retinol Stick” is now a reliable companion. I always apply it in a circular motion to the laugh lines, lip lines and cheeks – an uncomplicated and non-messy booster to my skin that instantly smoothes out, visibly rejuvenates and moisturizes the skin. Finally, a few words about Melumé Skinscience Melumé Skinscience was developed by passionate and successful experts from all areas of the beauty industry.… weiterlesen

Bali – Island of Gods and Spirits

That’s Bali. White haze shrouds the mountains and valleys like a veil. The air is velvety, the temperature 25 degrees Celsius. Welcome to Bali, the island of gods, spirits, and mystical temples. Worship of Bali’s gods and spirits are not to be overlooked on the grounds of the wellness hideaway Como Shambhala Estate. A mighty stone temple stands in the entrance area, protected by a black and white parasol. Every full and new moon, a religious Hindu ritual is celebrated on this hill, prayers are said in honor of the ancestors or Nyepi, the day of silence, is observed. “Black and white represent good and evil,” Mika explains. He too is a follower of the Hindu religion, which over 90 per cent of Balinese follow. “Almost everything in Bali is faith,” he adds. “Two dragons hold the island, the spirits live on the beaches, the gods live on the mountains. Unspoilt landscape Mika is one of 60 butlers at the Estate. They make sure you get to yoga class on time. They organize canoe trips over the rapids of the Ayung or a tour by bike through rice fields. 30 residences and detached villas are available for overnight stays. They are spread over almost six hectares of natural landscape, which is tended by over 300 gardeners all year round. The architecture is Balinese, with lots of bamboo and tropical wood. Or contemporary with clean lines and panoramic windows. And each accommodation has its own pool, some also have a Jacuzzi fed by the waters of the nearby Ayung River. Service is a priority at Como Shambhala Estate. Not only does every guest have his or her own personal butler, the resort also employs its own dietician. Eve Persak is responsible for the most important feature of the Como Group’s hotels and resorts: wellness holidays with customized meals for every need – from detox to diet and high-protein diets for extreme athletes to juice cures for people with gluten intolerance. “These personalized meals make the Como Shambhala Estate very different from conventional wellness resorts,” says Eve. Good karma for all We travel to the legendary artists’ village of Ubud, nestled on the volcanic slopes in the heart of Bali. The former royal town is famous for the film adaptation of the bestseller by Elizabeth George “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Many come to get good karma from one of the many healers, to have their picture taken with the monkeys in the Monkey Jungle, to browse for art in one of the many galleries.… weiterlesen

The Arula Chalets in Oberlech: Visiting Friends

The Arula Chalets enchant with extraordinary luxury. Imagine spending your holidays with Friends&Family undisturbed and just you on the Arlberg. A utopia? No, it’s possible! In Oberlech at over 1,750m in the landscape of the Vorarlberg High Alps. The Arula Chalets’ location: Right in the middle of the small village, two interconnected, ultra-luxuriously equipped Alpen Chalets, accommodating up to 30 guests in total on 2600 square meters. It is an ideal world for families, for friends, for children, offering the best of everything – undisturbed with a view of the mountain panorama. A self-playing grand piano and your own chef Arula Chalet 1 and Arula Chalet 2 offer a level of service that other properties struggle to match. It starts with high quality and individually decorated rooms with en-suite bathrooms for a total of 22 guests in Chalet 1 and lovingly selected toys for children, for whom a bunk bedroom is available. Chalet 2 can sleep eight people. Each has its own bar, a self-playing grand piano, a well-stocked library, gaming tables for backgammon, a pool table and a dartboard, courtesy of the British owner. In the dining room of Chalet 1, the house’s own chef also serves dishes to order, and the sommelier selects the right wines – international rarities and Austrian vintners – from the cellar. A butler service is available 24/7 for additional requests. Both Arula chalets have their own wellness facilities, each with an indoor swimming pool, treatment rooms, gyms, saunas, jet stream baths and infrared cabins. An in-house therapist is on hand for massages and facials. There is plenty of space for dining and socializing on the large terraces and one of the best views from a hot tub in Europe. Or would you rather watch a film in the comfortable cinema room? Out you Go! Especially in summer, you succumb to the charm of this sunny place. The path is the destination. Blooming mountain meadows, crystal-clear mountain streams, tranquil hiking trails such as Tannberg, Gipslöcher and Arlenzauberweg are right on your doorstep. Due to the snowy winters, the mountain meadows on the Arlberg display an extraordinary biodiversity of flowers and plants even after the ski season. For extreme sports enthusiasts: challenging via ferratas lead into the high alpine landscape and mountain bikers will find countless bike routes in various degrees of difficulty. In Lech, down in the valley, there is a newly built golf course with 9 holes and a driving range.… weiterlesen

Florence – a Place of Nostalgia

13 cool tips for filled days in the Italian city on the Arno. Florence has much more to offer than the Uffizi Gallery and the Ponte Vecchio. 1. Hotel Villa La Massa A 15-minute drive from Florence, the 5-star Hotel Villa Massa opens up a whole different world: an oasis on a bend of the Arno River on 25 acres of land and at its center a palace built in the 13th century. In the 15th and 16th centuries it served as a summer residence for the Medicis, the ruling family of Florence. In 1948, the villa was converted into a luxury hotel. Over the past seven decades, outbuildings, barns and storage rooms have been converted into luxurious accommodations. Today Villa La Massa offers 51 rooms and suites in five unique buildings. There is also a small church. It’s where David Bowie and Iman said “I do” on April 24, 1992. I stayed in a room overlooking the lazily flowing Arno River in the Nobile’s main house, the original Medici palace, whose huge entrance hall hints at the magic of bygone festivities. If you prefer something more modern, book into La Limoniaia, an outbuilding where lemons were once stored after harvest. The Casa Colonica offers four suites, a private kitchen, a garden and an outdoor dining area. I learned how to bake the perfect Foccacia at a cooking class in the Casa’s kitchen. The Villa La Massa has been part of the Villa d’Este Group since 1998 and continues the reputation of the legendary Lake Como hotel: first-class service and hospitality. 2. Restaurant at Villa la Massa The flagship restaurant Il Verrocchio is under the aegis of Chef Stefano Ballarino, who previously worked at Villa d’Este. It is the only restaurant of this caliber to have an unobstructed view of the Arno River. The personable Ballarino can be found throughout the property, and he’s just as likely to be preparing a delicious primi of wild boar tortellini as he is making the rounds at breakfast to check that everyone’s eggs are just to his liking. If you ask nicely, he might even tell you the secret to the irresistible focaccia served at Bistro L’Oliveto by the pool at Villa La Massa. Or you can take the cooking class! Pizza tasting is a must-do at L’Oliveto. The pizza expert in charge is Marco Manzi, and he prepares the popular topped dough patties seven different ways.… weiterlesen

From 100 to zero: Detox Crash Course at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Albir, Spain

If, like me, you live a more or less hedonistic lifestyle – the odd glass of wine, the occasional poultry or steak, three espressos a day – anxiety sets in: Three full days of detox, no alcohol, no caffeine, no sugar, no salt, no animal products. Why a piece of land overlooking Benidorm seems the perfect place for a health clinic is baffling. The dystopian skyline of the towering apartment blocks on the Costa Blanca did not deter owner Alfredo Bataller when he built and opened the clinic in 2008. Since then, the 92 elegant suites, 11 family-friendly villas of the SHa Residences (children are not admitted to the SHA) and over 60,000 square meters of wellness space are almost always occupied throughout the year. The design of the snow-white hotel is bold, and it adds a chic touch to the medical core: a rooftop infinity pool, next to it the chic SHAmadi restaurant, an aqua lab (pools with turbo jets that blow through the body, a waterfall that loosens rock-hard neck muscles), a hair salon, a tea lounge with oxygen bar, a lecture room that serves as a cinema in the evening, cooking classes. Alfredo Bataller, who treated his own health problems with a diet and lifestyle change propagated by the Japanese nutritionist Michio Kushi, built the SHA to encourage his guests to become managers of their own health. Kushi’s name still stands for the most restrictive of the three low-calorie diets based on Mediterranean cuisine and Japanese nutrition. What sets the SHA Wellness Clinic apart is that its principles are rooted not only in the Japanese-Mediterranean fusion diet – which advocates eating whole grains, vegetables, soy protein, seafood and seaweed and avoiding meat and dairy – but in an approach that combines cutting-edge Western science with ancient Oriental therapies. Most participants come for the weight loss, but the sleep recovery and tobacco control programs are also popular. The stress management program to combat burnout is also in demand. Like other clinics, SHA treats people with a mix of Eastern and Western philosophies. I did this crash course in wellness because I wanted to test whether I could sustain such a program, i.e. come down from 100 to zero. Spoiler: I could. Day 1: 9.40 h – General Medical Consultation. Measure blood pressure, palpate liver, kidney, abdomen, determine weight and height. My BMI is perfect, which means no super strict diet.… weiterlesen

Villa d‘Este – 150 Years Excellende – A Visit

It was seven years ago when I first visited the Grand Hotel Villa D’Este in Cernobbio on Lake Como. It became a place of yearning for me. At that time I had accepted an invitation from the BMW Group Classic, which has organised a unique show together with the hotel every May since 2005: the “Concorso d’Eleganza”, probably the most extravagant presentation of classic cars in the world. The setting was perfect. The lake glistened in sunshine, the magnificent house, a palace, in yellow and white with high columns and stone balconies provided the backdrop. I sat on the terrace, directly on the water, and let the Bugattis, Ferraris, Porsches, BMWs and Fords of past eras pass by me. They were driven by ladies and gentlemen who were dressed in the style of the 20s, 30s or 70s according to the vintage of their cars. I don’t remember the details. But I do remember the villa, which I did not enter that afternoon, but which nevertheless became a place of yearning. The builder was a cardinal n 1568, Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio had architect Pellegrino de’ Pellegrini build a villa on the shores of Lake Como, grandiose with perfect proportions, intended as a meeting place for literati, musicians and artists of his time. For about 200 years, the villa, then called Garrovo, was owned by the Gallio family. The subsequent owners were a motley crew: from a playboy from Milan, who bequeathed the property to his widow, a former ballerina at La Scala in Milan, to Caroline of Brunswick, England’s uncrowned queen, who gave the house the name “Villa D’Este”. Finally, in 1873, a couple of Milanese businessmen bought the property and rededicated it into the luxury hotel it still is today. The synonym of luxury is splendor And it is seen everywhere in this wonderful property: in the 10-hectare Renaissance gardens, where a 500-year-old plane tree reigns over the flowerbeds along with numerous statues; in the entrance hall with tall columns of white marble, by the mighty crystal chandeliers, the works of old masters on the wall, by the only swimming pool in the world that floats on a lake and the temple-like complex, which is decorated with mosaic stones and is one of the most photographed buildings beyond the Colosseum in Rome. My gaze falls on the mosaics as I stand on the balcony of my room, an exuberantly appointed space with a princess bed, a velvet couch and a honey-colored marble bathroom.… weiterlesen

Isla Holbox – A Paradise on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico

An island is a cosmos in itself: it is surrounded by water, and the only way to escape it is to board a boat and sail back to the mainland. But why should you do that? Especially when the island is called Holbox, lies off the Maya Riviera on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and has such a strangely unconventional appearance that at first, you’re not sure: Am I in the right place here, or not? After a 20-hour journey via Zurich (seven-hour layover), I landed at Cancún International Airport on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula at 10pm. I had booked a room for the night at the Hotel Oh!Cancun The Urban Oasis in the centre of town. 20 minutes by taxi, tiredness set in. As a welcome, my luggage and I were sprayed with disinfectant spray, the room was friendly and clean. The Urban Oasis is a mile from the Centro bus station, from which I had booked a shuttle bus to Chiquila for the next day. Ferries leave every half hour from the small port town and take you to the island of Holbox in 30 minutes. In my jet-lagged state, I had forgotten that there was a delicious breakfast at the hotel. The taxi to the bus stop cost five US dollars, the ticket to Chiquila 13. Thank God I had stocked up on dollars, the bank where I wanted to buy Mexican pesos in Munich didn’t have them in stock. ATMs, the bank clerk warned, are rare. The minibus jolted through dense vegetation for two and a half hours. Every now and then a village appeared, fruit stands at the roadside, huts and traditional cottages in turquoise and pink. Countless people offered guava lemonade. To discourage drivers from speeding, steep speed bumps rise every 20 metres in the local areas, which can be managed at a maximum speed of 5 km/h. The outside temperature climbed to 30 degrees Celsius. In the minibus, the air conditioning rattled and blew ice-cold air into the passenger compartment. Mexican highlight: Holbox, an island without cars The harbour town of Chiquila is essentially a handful of ugly concrete shacks, car parks and kiosks where you can buy ferry tickets. 13 dollars, one way. The Isla Holbox appears in the distance. 42 kilometres long, two kilometres wide, about 1500 inhabitants and guests from all over the world. A good three dozen occupied the ferry today. Spanish, French, English and Dutch snippets, anticipation of what was to come.… weiterlesen
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Tested for you: Facial treatment at the Anassa Thalasso Spa in Cyprus

In the northwestern part of the island of Cyprus on Chrysochou Bay, there is a fantastic 5-star hotel: Anassa, which belongs to the exclusive Thanos Group. It’s appearance lies somewhere between a grand palace and a relaxed beach resort, perched high above the Mediterranean. And it is home to the award-winning Thalasso Spa. A short walk from Pelagos restaurant, one of the hotel’s four dining venues, where I was served an exuberant variety of mezes at lunch, leads me to the hotel’s beauty temple. Fuchsia-colored bougainvillea cascades over whitewashed walls. The paved path to the spa meanders past the small Byzantine chapel along snow-white single-storey villas with gardens, it’s 30 degrees Celsius and most of the turquoise shutters are closed. Once and again, I catch a glimpse of the azure Mediterranean between the high pines and olive trees. Facial: Augustinus Bader’s anti-aging treatment Normally I avoid treatments in hotel spas, I can book facials in my hometown, where I know the beautician and she is familiar with my skin needs. For the the Anassa Thalasso Spa I make an exception: since June of this year, the hotel has been the first in the world to offer treatments with products from Augustinus Bader. The German stem cell expert’s power skincare range was launched in 2018 and has since been showered with prestigious beauty awards from VOGUE to Glamour to Tatler. I am convinced. I signed up for the VIP treatment, 90 minutes of regenerative facial, foot and hand massage included. My way to the cabin leads past the indoor pool, which looks like a Roman temple with its tall columns and ornamental tiles. A delicate scent of lavender accompanies me. How do Augustinus Bader’s products benefit the skin? Augustinus Bader is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of stem cell and biomedicine. As head of stem cell research at the University of Leipzig, Augustinus Bader developed a wound gel in 2008 that heals third-degree burns without surgery or skin transplant. The gel works because it sends a series of healing signals to the wound or burned site. This activates the skin cells and enables the healing process. Based on this insight, the stem cell specialist initially developed two facial care products, “The Cream” and “The Rich Cream”, which he launched in 2018. The aim of the duo: vitamins, nutrients and minerals that bring the healing information to the skin’s own stem cells with the help of transport molecules.… weiterlesen

Diving with Sharks in the Maldives

“There is no strong current today,” said Divemaster Hussain Sharmeel, known as Sharky in his briefing aboard the dive boat. “Diving down quickly will not be necessary. We’ll glide slowly down the reef and watch the sharks.” This is my first time in the Maldives. And my first time diving with sharks. My base is the small Como Cocoa Island in the South Malé Atoll, 40 minutes by speedboat from Malé Airport. 350 meters long, 34 overwater villas, a restaurant and a bar. The night before the dive I hung out at the bar and drank martinis on the rocks. Faru Bar on Cocoa Island is a bar you couldn’t imagine more seductive: Bottle next to bottle on an open shelf and a view over the Tiffany-blue Indian Ocean, where the sun sets behind the horizon every evening with a psychedelic light show. The adrenaline rises As you can guess, I was nervous. The Martini was only good for my nerves. I had learned to dive years ago at Looe Key Reef off Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. Maximum diving depth there: a little over nine meters. The most exciting underwater encounters I had were with stingrays that glided weightlessly through the water with their outstretched wings like angels. I swam in a school of transparent shimmering jellyfish, every now and then I saw a small nurse shark. Otherwise, I admired the colorful diversity of the inhabitants of tropical waters. Sharks in the variety, as they occur on the Maldives, I only knew from hearsay. Ideal conditions for the first dive with sharks The next morning at 9:00 a.m. Sharky and I had reached the dive site Vaagali Thila at the South Malé Atoll in the Maldives after 30 minutes boat drive. Behind us, the water sparkled in a soft turquoise. In front of us, the Indian Ocean shimmered dark blue. The unfathomable depth, the reef drops to 30 meters at this point, could only be guessed. The water temperature measured 29 degrees Celsius at the surface, the visibility was good at 25 meters, the current one knot. I had completed around 50 dives in my life. But this, despite ideal conditions, was another story. I was worried about the sharks, about the depth, about creatures unknown to me. As befits a pre-dive briefing, Sharky’s instructions got my adrenaline pumping. Did I have enough lead weights? Would the nitrox air supply, fortified with supplemental oxygen, be sufficient?… weiterlesen
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