Tinos Countdown

In June, I count the days. The days until I am eating a Greek salad and drinking a glass of rosé at my favorite café at the Port of Rafina, in Athens, awaiting the ferry that will take me to my happy place, the island of Tinos. There, for two weeks, I will enjoy the sand, the sun, the sea, I will swim and read and eat and think and write and sleep.

In addition to counting the days, I relish the weeks leading up to that day and the anticipation by preparing for my trip in very specific ways. Here is my vacation preparation routine.

  1. I like to have 5-10 books to read during this two-week period – both fiction and non-fiction, both what one might consider “trash” and business books. On my list so far are The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Who is Rich, In the Name of Gucci, Off the Clock, The Verdun Affair, Principles, and more.
  2. Bathing suits. New year, new bikini. My collection is slowly but surely growing. I love Volcom, VIX, and Roxy.
  3. Even if I have any left from last summer, I purchase new sunscreen every year (it expires and all that). Of course, daily, the Alchimie Forever Daily Defense SPF23. And in addition to that, LaRoche Posay’s Anthelios Nourishing Oil SPF 50+ and Coola Sport Face SPF50 White Tea Organic Sunscreen Lotion.
  4. Beach body. I strive to eat healthy year-round, but in June I pay particular attention. More water, more vegetables, no carbs or sugars (I make an exception for champagne and wine), less cheese. And hopefully a three-day JRINK juice cleanse…
  5. Beauty appointments. The week before I leave, I make sure to get my eyebrows waxed (thank you Erwin and Karma!), have a pedicure (choosing a particularly exotic nail polish shade), and do a full body polish (this, at home, with Aveda Beautifying Radiance Polish).
  6. Every summer has its own playlist, songs to listen to on the road, at the beach, on the balcony. I have not yet started this summer’s playlist… any recommendations?
  7. Goal list. I head to Tinos with a list of goals, usually involving thinking projects, content creation, strategic planning. It’s amazing what happens to my brain when I let go of the daily tasks and activities and make room for the bigger picture.
  8. Don’t bring to Tinos list. I usually get a couple projects done in June that have been on my gameplan for months – because I refuse to “take them” with me to Tinos. Whether it be a project I have been procrastinating on or a random administrative task I have not yet figured out how to delegate and must take care of, it is getting done before I get on that ferry.

Is it June 29 yet?

Michelle Iannaccone, Senior National Sales Director of COOLA Suncare

Beauty View: Michelle Iannaccone, Senior National Sales Director of COOLA Suncare

One thing I particularly appreciate in the beauty industry is the ability to speak about products and ingredients to people who know what they are talking about. This is particularly true when I ask my favorite kind of questions – those that are slightly politically incorrect. At a recent industry event, I walked up to Michelle Iannaccone, Senior National Sales Director of COOLA sun care brand, and asked her if she really thought there was such as thing as 100% organic sunscreen. I know, quite the introduction… And instead of getting all defensive, she laughed, said “no,” and explained COOLA’s ingredient and marketing strategy in much detail. That’s when I decided we were going to be fast friends.

AP: What city were you born in? MI: Brooklyn, NY.

AP: What city to do you live in? MI: Irvine, CA.

AP: What is your middle name? MI:Jacqueline.

AP: What is your astrological sign? MI: Aquarius.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? MI: I have six beautiful children. My significant other Wayne has three boys, and I have a son, and twin girls. About three years ago we blended our families, and are now the Ultimate Modern Day Brady Bunch!

AP: What is your most prized possession? MI: My children. They’re what I cherish most.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? MI: Sheryl Sandberg.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. MI: Ultimate Target Fashionista!

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? MI: I don’t wear a watch, but strongly considering the iWatch J

AP: Diamonds or pearls? MI: Diamonds, they are a girl’s best friend!

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? MI: Hydrating! I’m a huge fan of recovery oil in the evenings, and my COOLA tinted moisturizer for daytime wear.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? MI: I love the custom fragrance blending kit by Fred Segal. I gravitate towards the Amber Vanilla, and Citrus Zent.

AP: Botox or not? MI: Personally, I’m not a fan of Botox. I do have many industry friends who are true believers, and if it’s something that will allow one to feel beautiful- then by all means go ahead!

AP: Hair color: natural or not? MI: Not!

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? MI: I’ve found that the healthiest, is smaller meals, multiple times per day. Also, always making sure to eat breakfast, even if it’s a quick banana on the go!

AP: What do you do for exercise? MI: Love Pilates, and getting ready to start Orange Theory.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? MI: San Pellegrino, lemons, and parmesan cheese.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? MI: I love wine and my favorite wine is Whispering Angel! (And what a name…).

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? MI: Prioritizing and time management are the key!

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? MI: 40-60,000 per year.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? MI: 1. Noise Canceling Headphones 2. OGIO travel luggage. 3. TSA pre check is the ultimate life saver!

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. MI: 1. Hello by Adele. 2. Ex’s & Oh’s by Elle King. And 3. Toes by Zac Brown Band.

AP: What book are you reading right now? MI: Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.

AP: Quote to live by. MI: “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.” Wilferd Peterson

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? MI: When someone talks while their chewing.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? MI: I wake up around 6am, and go to sleep between 10 and 11pm.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? MI: The people: they truly are the kindest, generous, and loving group of professionals!

AP: Least favorite thing? MI: Fast food. I’ve never been a fan, and always prefer a home cooked meal.

AP: Who is your mentor? MI: My Dad; he’s the definition of strong work ethic, and dedication.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. MI: Stand out, always set yourself apart from your peers.