Top beauty secrets from Net-a-Porter

Beauty editors have the very latest products and research at their fingertips, so who better to give us the best beauty secrets on how to look after our skin.

Beauty secrets

Beauty secrets

In its latest issue Net-a-Porter Magazine’s Evie Leatham got the lowdown from some of the highest profile beauty editors in the business to find out what they do to protect their skin in the sun.

Here’s a look at some of the best:

Sigourney Cantelo – Beauty Editor for Vogue Australia

Because of high skin cancer rates in Australia, Sigourney takes protection very seriously. She takes a Niacinamide supplement to boost her UVA and UVB resistance from within.

Valerie Zhang – Beauty Director for Vogue China

In China the fashion is for pale skin so high factor protection is vital. Zhang uses Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protector Extra Mild SPF30 because not only does it protect skin from the sun but shields against heavy city pollution.

Christina Han – Beauty Editor for The Cut, New York

Han reminds us that UVA can penetrate glass and cloud so we need to be careful in the summer months and always wear a hat outdoors. She uses Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF50+ or Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38 because they absorb without leaving a white residue.

Sally Matthews – Fashion and Beauty Director for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia

Matthews recommends Chanel’s UV Essential Complete Sunscreen SPF50 because it can be applied over or under make-up. She also uses Crème de la Mer’s new Reparative Body Sun Lotion SPF30 because its extra moisture helps to lessen the effect of the dry desert air in Dubai.

Read the article in full on Net-a-Porter: Beauty Sun Secrets

Constance Hotels & Resorts has 7 beautiful properties in Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar. Visit our website to find out more.

Constance guide to a family holiday in Mauritius

There’s much more to Mauritius than perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters. For families looking for a great climate, activities aplenty and a rich cultural heritage, Mauritius makes the ideal luxury family holiday destination.

Mauritius from the air

Mauritius from the air

Here’s our run down of the top 10 adventurous family days out in Mauritius:

1. Treetop Tracks Adventure Park

This treetop adventure park set above the heart of the Mauritius jungle is an exhilarating way to see the beautiful tropical interior of the island. The park has two treetop tracks you can follow with Nepalese bridges, knotted ropes and zip lines taking you and your family through the forest with awesome views of the Chamarel valley, the Piton Mountain and the Black River Nature Reserve.

2. Zip Lines Adventure

A thrilling way to explore the beautiful scenery of Rivière des Galets in the south of Mauritius this zip line adventure takes you past waterfalls, banana and sugar plantations and forest. Seven zip lines vary in length from 60m to 250m and take you through a range of stunning scenery. The zip lines are great for families with children over 4 years old. Many tours also offer a chance to swim in the waterfall pools so remember to take a swimming costume.

3. Feed giant tortoises at La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes

See giant tortoises, monkeys and crocodiles amongst other fascinating inhabitants of the Indian Ocean islands at this beautiful animal-rearing park. Follow one of the park guides through the shady, leafy nature trails and discover the unique species of the island, then feed the giant tortoises some of which are nearing 100 years old.

Walking with lions

Walking with lions

4. Take a pirate cruise to Ile aux Cerfs

Bring history alive for any children with a spirit of adventure with this trip on a wooden sailing ship, a replica of a genuine pirate ship. On board, kids will love the pirate show with live music and dance while cruising along the southeast coast of Mauritius before arriving at the beautiful island of Ile aux Cerfs where a pirate lunch is served. Other stops include a river trip up to a waterfall, and a swimming and snorkelling stop off at the stunning Ile aux Aigrettes.

5. Hiking adventure in the Yemen Natural Reserve Park

An adventurous day of walking, zip lining, climbing rope ladders and swimming in natural pools in the stunning surrounding of the Yemen Natural Reserve Park on the west coast. Swim through a canyon, take Nepalese bridges across ravines, hike through the jungle with a local guide who can tell you all about the local flora and fauna.

6. Explore the Indian Ocean in a submarine

Seize the opportunity for you and your family to become submariners for the day on a trip to the bottom of the ocean. Give your kids the chance to explore the beauty of the Mauritian reefs with all their vibrant inhabitants and explore a genuine shipwreck from the safety of a real submarine.

7. View Mauritius from the air in a micro-light aircraft

See the stunning island of Mauritius from the air in a private flight in a micro-light aircraft or helicopter. Fly close enough to really see the beauty of this unique island over land and sea and create the memories of a lifetime for you and your family.

Mauritius Aquarium

Mauritius Aquarium

8. Eyeball a shark at the Mauritius Aquarium

With a unique ‘walk the ocean floor’ experience and a touch pool so that kids can experience feeling and feeding some of the local marine life this is an experience not to be missed. The aquarium houses over 200 species of fish as well as several species of shark, invertebrates, live coral and sponges all of which are found in the wild of the Indian Ocean.

9. Make a splash at Le Waterpark at Belle Mare

Take a break from the beach for a bit of high octane water fun at the 25 acre waterpark on the east coast. Rides and slides abound with such names as ‘crazy river’, ‘giant slide’, ‘mountain skull’ and the ominously titled ‘black hole’. There’s plenty here to keep the kids, and more adventurous parents, busy all day.

10. Walk with lions at the Casela Nature Park

While the walking with lions is strictly for older kids (15 years and over) youngsters can still see the big cats and other animals including giraffes and ostriches from the safety of the safari bus. This is also a wild bird sanctuary so look out for the pink pigeon and other rare birds while you’re here.

Read more

Sunday Times recommends a September break at Tsarabanjina and Ephélia

Tempting you to make the glorious summer months last a little bit longer, in this week’s Sunday Times Chris Haslam recommends booking a September break in the sun.

A September break at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

A September break at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Resorts Haslam recommends for a last blast of warmth before autumn arrives in the Northern hemisphere include Constance Tsarabanjina in Madagascar and Constance Ephélia in the Seychelles.

Describing the laid back vibe of Tsarabanjina, basking in 25°C sunshine, Haslam declares, ‘The choice of activities is almost endless: you can lie in a hammock, go snorkeling, read a book, lie in a hammock, go snorkeling or circumnavigate the island in 45 minutes.’

He claims the Seychelles is also the perfect September getaway (average temperature 27°C with, ‘white beaches, sapphire seas, coconut palms and superb seafood.’

Read more

 

Discover the exotic birds of Madagascar

Famous for its unique wildlife Madagascar has always attracted visitors keen to discover rare and exotic plants and animals. Here we take a look at the extraordinary birds of Madagascar.

Madagascar Fishing Eagle

Madagascar Fishing Eagle

Madagascar Fish-Eagle

The large Madagascar fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides) is the largest raptor in Madagascar and is one of the rarest birds of prey.

The body is a dark reddish-brown with dark brown wings. Its cheeks and throat are a whitish colour while its short tail is pure white.

The juvenile Madagascar fish-eagle has streaks on its head and pale fringes to its flight feathers. Its underparts are paler and tail darker than the adult’s. It hunts near or over water and often perches for long periods on tall trees.

The Madagascar fish-eagle has a melodious call, similar to the closely related African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer).

Madagascar Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher or Madagascar Kingfisher (Alcedo vintsioides) is a member of the Alcedinidae family. It is found in Madagascar, and Mayotte (Comoros). Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.

The Malagasy Kingfisher is found in all types of wetlands, as well as along the island’s coastline. Both sexes are similar.

White throated rail

The Aldabra rail is the last surviving flightless bird in the western Indian Ocean.

It has a slender build with a long, fairly slender neck, legs and feet. The plumage is well defined, being largely bright chestnut except for the striking white throat.

The fairly long, straight bill is dark with, in females, a bright pink base, and in males, a dull or dark red base. Juveniles generally have duller plumage than adults.

Being a flightless bird, the wings are short and are often held close to the body where they blend in with the rest of the plumage.

Many consider the Aldabra rail a subspecies of the white-throated rail (Dryolimnas cuvier).

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

The symbol of Constance Tsarabanjina, the Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine, measuring 18cm in length and weighing about 12.2g.

Males have long tail plumes, which can add as much as 18cm to their overall length.

The female is largely rufous orange, with a black head and nape. The flight feathers on her wings are black with rufous edges, and she has a thin, light blue eyelid wattle.

Find out more

 

Recipe: Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Seychellois spices and tropical fruits combine to bring out the delicious flavour of duck in this popular recipe from Constance Ephelia.

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Ingredients

The meat:

  • 8 duck legs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5g honey
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 1 litre duck stock
  • 1 long pepper

1. Prepare, trim and season the duck legs with salt and pepper.

2. Brown them in a cast iron pan with a little oil, adding the garlic, cinnamon stick, long pepper, chopped onion and cloves. Let it all sweat for 5 minutes.

3. Take the grease off and add the honey, deglazing with the soy sauce and moistening with the duck stock.

4. Boil it and skim off the impurities. put the lid on and put it in the oven at 160˚C for about an hour and a half.

5. At the end of the cooking, take the meat out and reduce the braising liquid to three-quarters in order to obtain a syrupy sauce.

6. Put the duck legs in the sauce and keep them hot.

The garnish:

  • 2 Victoria pineapples
  • Dark Muscovado sugar
  • 200g smoked bacon/lard
  • 4 medium onions
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • Five Pepper Mixture: as required
  • Flat leaf parsley

1. Boil the smoked bacon/lard for an hour. Drain it and set it aside.

2. peel and cut the pineapple into quarters and trim the ends. Put the trimmings in a juicer to obtain some fresh juice.

3. Heat the Muscovado sugar in a pan, caramelise them in a pan, salt the quarters and deglaze them with pineapple juice. Then glaze them once more with some good juice. Store them.

4. Cut the onions into quarters, caramelise them in a pan, salt them and moisten them with the chicken stock and put them in the oven at 160˚C for about 25 minutes. Store it all.

5. Fry the parsley sprigs and set them aside.

Finishing and presentation

Put two duck legs on each plate. Add two pineapple wedges, two pieces of smoked bacon and reduce the braising liquid and finish off with the mixture of five peppers and fried parsley.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Bold dry white wine:

  • Alsace Sonnenglanz Grand Cru, Trapet Gewurtztraminer, 2007 France
  • Hermitage blanc, Domaine Marc Sorrel, 2005 France

The best hidden beaches in the Indian Ocean

Discover the utter joy of stumbling upon a stretch of unspoilt beach where you don’t have to compete with the crowds.

Anse Georgette, Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Anse Georgette, Constance Lémuria

Here’s our rundown of five of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the Indian Ocean.

Anse Georgette – Seychelles, Praslin

The beautiful, secluded beach of Anse Georgette on the northwest of Praslin delivers the Seychellois dream of white sand and calm crystal waters shaded by lush green foliage. The beach can’t be reached by car – to access it you walk through the golf course of Constance Lémuria – so there are never too many visitors and the reward for your effort is a pristine beach with very few people.

Trou d’Argent – Rodrigues

If you’re looking for that genuine Robinson Crusoe feeling then you’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere more deserted than the stunning Trou d’Argent beach on the island of Rodrigues. The island itself is a remote haven lying 600km to the east of its sister island Mauritius, connected by an inter-island flight twice a week.

Betania Beach – Madagascar

The laid back vibe of the Madagascan region of Morondava makes this beach overlooking the Mozambique Channel one of the most chilled out beach venues in the Indian Ocean. The beach stretches for miles and the only things you will be sharing it with are some local livestock.

Trou d’Argent, Rodrigues

Trou d’Argent, Rodrigues

Anse Lazio – Seychelles, Praslin

Anse Lazio is another stunning beach off the beaten track on Praslin. Lazio has a road and even a couple of restaurants but its situation at the top of the island, off the main roads, means this is still a quiet spot. Trip Advisor recently declared this the best beach in Africa – head there now before the rest of the world gets in on the action.

Gris Gris – Mauritius

The south of Mauritius is home to the most dramatic and quietest beaches on the island. The one that tops the must-go list is the breathtakingly beautiful Gris Gris. From the cliffs above you can look down to the wide stretch of sand below, and the huge waves as they pound the shore. It’s not safe to swim in the water due to the currents, but take a gentle walk along the shell-filled beach and shoreline, and feel your spirit soar.

Read more

Where’s your favourite beach in the world? Leave a comment here or visit our Facebook page.