My latest beauty discoveries came to me by surprise. In addition to running the MISSQA blog and store, I consult on and create fashion and beauty video and social media strategies for a major publishing house in New York. One of the magazines was cleaning its beauty closet and…. I ended up with some products I’m very excited to sample! 

* The luxurious John Masters Organics Sweet Orange & Silk Protein Styling Gel provides shine, texture and volume and has rave reviews even by those with fine strands.

* The Mandarin Maximum Moisture cream promises to provide immediate revitalization, is anti-aging and reduces sunspots which means this might be a cure for stress and sun! (Both are PETA cruelty-free certified and made mostly of organic ingredients).

* Holistic Dr. Hauschka bronzing powder is ultra-fine and has hydrating jojoba oil so it’s looks flawless even on dry skin; ideal for dehydrated summer skin.

* Dr Hauschka eyeshadow duo has the perfect brown/gray colors – I used them for my DMV photo today; let’s see how it turns out!  (Palette that includes these colors here)

-Annabella, New York 


STYLE: Fashionable Canvas Bags * Reader Question!* 

One of our dear readers has decided to try to never use plastic bags again, but she wants something chic and stylish to take along to the grocery store or when running errands, and even keep in her purse. Here are our favorite options.

1. Beau Soleil Bag, $55. This large raw cotton canvas bag fits groceries, but also idea for the beach or gym. The rope handle and vegetable ink statements are simply cool.  

2. Maude & Tilda, $45. Made of heavy weight canvas with a removable vegan leather bow. So funny that it could easily replace even your handbag. 

3. Feed India Bag, $75. Handmade by artisans in India from cotton, this bag that easily folds into your purse provides 50 school meals for children in India. 

- Annabella, New York 


STYLE: Floral Dress from Day to Night

Floral dresses are my favorite spring trend. Here, I styled my new summery shift by British eco label Komodo for a family event (accessorized with white bridal pumps and belt with a delicate chain), cocktail party (with blue sky-high heels and a luxe faux alligator clutch) and office (with black blazer, ankle boots and a studded shoulder bag that fits all the essentials like subway reading). I adore this versatile piece. Tomorrow, come back to see my other floral piece, the maxi dress, also styled from day to night! 

- Annabella, New York 



Sorace/d rings are stunning in their simplicity. The only rings I currently wear are my engagement ring and wedding band: I haven’t found a perfect compliment until I saw these with the silver and golden hearts. The wings-ring will, on the other hand, be a conversation starter; perfect for the up and coming fashion week events! All are made of 100% recycled materials in New York City.

- Annabella, New York


STYLE: Statement Rings

It’s still snowing in Finland and putting together stylish outfits can be a challenge!          Luckily, a bold statement ring always comes to the rescue. It’s my ideal accessory to look put together and chic, even if I’m are wearing a faux fur hat and corduroys. October Anniversary is one of my favorites (see Annabella’s video on how they are sustainable here): these jewels are a piece of art and always unexpected.

- Viola, Helsinki

* What are your favorite statement gems? Let us know in the comments below!



What did you think of the Puerto Rico vacation videos? I would love to hear!

Back to business, it’s time to find the IT-bag for fall. As my signature bag, I have been carrying a stunning black Stella McCartney tote for the last several seasons during which I have also acquired a collection of Matt & Nat purses and clutches. Thinking of a smaller signature bag for this season, I’m head over heels with this first-ever vegan and eco-friendly Bottega Veneta. The bag will be available in November (a few hit the stores during Fashion’s Night Out), so there’s a bit of time to save up!


STYLE: Jean Shorts in the City: Helsinki

I love denim cut-offs in the city - but only when paired with a light top and blazer for a look that’s chic and put together. I cut these shorts from full-length jeans I was no longer using (make sure to cut them long enough so you can fold the hem; it’s a tad more sophisticated that way!). The top and blazer are H&M’s Conscious Collection. This is also the perfect look for a date night with your significant other: if your hubby loves you in a jeans and a tee, and you add nude pumps and a tailored top to cut-offs, that’s the sexiest compromise he could ever wish for! 

- Viola, Helsinki

PS. This blazer is so chic, Annabella also bought one today from the H&M in Helsinki when she arrived. Photos to come soon. 


BRIDAL: Wedding Veil and Bridal Hair Accessories

Bridal veils with clips or hair combs are ideal as you can easily attach them to your hairdo so they stay in place when your excited groom leans in for the kiss!

My wedding was small and intimate, so covering my face or head didn’t seem appropriate or modern. To compliment my vintage-like dress, I opted for a care-free, flowing veil by Minna Hepburn that would look beautiful with a variety of hairdos. When - on the day of! - Viola and I decided on this look (we’ll do a video tutorial soon), the bridal veil was easy to attach as it came with a hair comb. For the reception, Viola was quickly able to switch my veil to a hair piece made of vintage silks and antique buttons.


STYLE: Spice Up a Black Dress

All black is easy to wear, but a bit boring. Spice up an LBD with a bold colored accessory such as a bright red bag. Add on red lipstick and you instantly go from blah to glam! My boots are from Beyond Skin and the dress is from a clothing swap. 

- Viola, Helsinki

PS. How do you spice up black outfits? 



I discovered this dark red varnish by Gabriel Cosmetics at Whole Foods and fell in love instantly-so sophisticated and perfect for fall! For a matching beauty look, try dark purple eyeshadow and lipstick by Aveda: 

For more fashion and style videos, please subscribe below!



Have you seen Kate Bosworth rocking those mid-calf pencil skirts (especially at Burberry FW2012 show)? She is my height (5'5") and completely inspired me to test this style that I had banned from my wardrobe. The skirt I’m wearing is part of the same Carrie Parry autumn collection that you saw on yesterday’s post; chic and comfortable as it falls slightly loose straight down the hips. I think this look is perfect for a walk in Central Park after a day in the office (bring ballerina flats!), when the leaves change color. What do you think is the optimal length for a pencil skirt? Would you dare to try the longer version? (This skirt will also be on missqa.com soon!)

- Annabella, Brooklyn



Bold necklaces are a major trend for fall, but I think bold rings are an even easier way to make a style statement: they go with almost any outfit from casual to fancy! These animal and nature inspired hand jewels by October Anniversary are made in New York out of recycled metals. The Warrior Panther will compliment to my rugged denim shorts and a tee as I go for a countryside movie with my hubby tonight (see our Fashiolista list for “Countryside Date Outfit below). Do you prefer necklaces, bracelets or rings when you want to add that extra oomph to your outfit? Let us know!

- Annabella, New York (now in Stockbridge, MA) 


STYLE: White, Black and Champagne - The Summer Party Look

On a hot summer eve, there’s nothing more sexy, chic and comfortable than a white chiffon dress. I love wearing this light peace-silk number with a black satin belt and cap-toe heels in champagne and black. If it does’t rain, I’ll wear this outfit to the Savonlinna opera festival tomorrow, if it pours, I’ll save this for a dinner with husband at the brand new Boulevard Social in Helsinki. 

::Ivana Basilotta eco dress::Stella McCartney vegan heels::Stella McCartney satin belt:: 

- Annabella, now in Finland


STYLE: Summer Pastels

Pretty in pistachio. This Camilla Mikama piece is perfect for the office or date in a museum or classy concert. Pastels have become a celebrity favorite on the red carpet: these light hues are ultra feminine and fresh. 

If you have tried on a eco-friendly pastel outfit, post a picture of it on our Facebook wall, so we can put it in our street style gallery with a link to your blog or social media site! We would love to see how you style this trend. 

PS. This dress will be available on Missqa.com soon:-) 

- Annabella, New York


THE FIND: Colorful Marble Pieces  

I picked up the Brittish Vogue on my way to a weekend in the country, and instantly fell for the marble patterns on the Stella McCartney AW12 evening collection featured in the “scrapbook”. Such an exciting new pattern on a dress, skirt, top or shoe. I can’t wait to sample this trend in organic fabrics come fall.  

- Annabella, New York


STYLE: Ballerina Flats

The sun came out in Helsinki! As city girls, ballerinas are a must for both us. We often swap to heels for a meeting, but these Beyond Skin nude flats decorated with a bow are so chic, we no longer have to! I’m in love. 

- Viola, Helsinki

PS. We are beyond excited that we are soon getting these ballerinas into our MISSQA e-boutique! For fashion alerts, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/kPek1

STYLE: DKNY Jeans Faux Fur Coat

Vogue has featured faux fur as a “glamorous,” even “cinematic” option! This gorgeous piece is by DKNY Jeans. The word in the Twitter world is that the coat only comes in black ($495). I have Tweeted DKNY Jeans (as I, for one, would love to white one), so be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the scoop! 

- Annabella, Brooklyn