Hair? Check. Makeup? Check. Outfit? Check. These women don many hats in their daily lives. But that doesn’t stop them from looking fabulous everyday to attend the various events that they do. It can be for work or pleasure, they have mastered the art of working hard and networking harder. We dive into the diaries of five socialistas to find out how they swing it!
Natalia Shustova is a corporate real estate lawyer, a mother and the founder of her blog, Shoestova, a Dubai fashion and lifestyle blog dedicated to providing the latest fashion trends, beauty tips and travel destinations. Shoestova (a play on her name and her love for shoes) in a short span of time, has made a name for itself in the world of fashion and Natalia is a familiar face at almost every fashion event and a regular in the Dubai social scene.
With her signature look (red lipstick and a tight bun), Natalia’s life as a socialite began about five years ago when she was invited as a VIP customer for different boutiques to different events. Always on the move, Natalia, sometimes, attends upto five events a night and this cannot be done without a life planned to the nth degree.
Natalia’s day starts by sending her kids to school in the morning, after a family breakfast where they bond. After responding to five email accounts and uploading and updating her social media about her appearances from the previous night, she manages to squeeze in a workout. Once all morning activities are taken care off, Natalia begins her work meetings with her Shoestova team and by noon is already at her law office, meeting clients and preparing case strategies with her colleagues. Dinner is always with family and then she ventures out to be her fabulous self at the various events.
The only preparation Natalia needs to attend an event or a photoshoot for the next day, is a good nights sleep which helps her stay fresh and energetic the following day. So with as many events as she attends, how often is she updating her wardrobe? “I shop every single day. I’m shopping globally for known brands, for unknown designers, going to stores in Dubai. It’s because of my ever growing wardrobe that we keep changing houses,” Natalia laughs.
Part of her work is to communicate with her followers, to try out new beauty treatments and to give genuine reviews. She is always experimenting different procedures and treatments. However, she has a standard beauty regime that she follows religiously. Natalia swears by Dermologica and her regime consists of a precleanse, ultracalming cleanser, microfoliants and toner. Laura Mercier Skin Nursing Oil and Kiehl’s Hydro Pumping Serum then follow this. But attending so many events on a daily basis must take a toll somewhere. “My daily diet is affected extensively. I never have time during the day for a proper meal. I’m always eating at events, media breakfasts, media lunches or events after. Sometimes we make jokes that my diet consists of bubblies and canapés. But I try and keep it as healthy as possible. I’ve been a big fan of the Dukan diet for almost 20 years now as it’s mainly carbs free.”
Being a socialite isn’t as easy as it seems. Natalia believes that being invited to events means something to the host. According to her to be noticed, you need to bring something different to the table. Before attending any event, Natalia always makes sure she knows everything about what is going to happen at the event. She reads up on the designer or the brand which is being showcased so she always has a response.
Natalia is not only attending various events but also hosts a decent share of gatherings herself. “I’m always hosting people at our house for different affairs but recently have started to host fashion events as well. There, I communicate with my followers where I style them and give them image advice as well,” Natalia says. The socializing lawyer has three special projects coming up this month and styling workshops with her followers. Additionally she follows a theme for her own gatherings called ‘Fashion talks’ where she combines a meet and greet for people in the fashion industry.
So how important is it to follow the theme or dress codes that come with the invitations? “Extremely important,” Natalia says, “I love to dress up and feel that I belong to the event. If there is a specific brand we are celebrating, then I try and find something rare and unique from my wardrobe to salute the designers and their creations. When you’re excited about what you’re going to wear and where you’re going, this excitement builds you from the moment you receive that invitation. It feels fabulous when people are complimenting the way you look. It’s not necessarily about the money but more about the effort.”
However, every woman’s eternal worry is always about what to wear. Never enough outfits, risk of repeating without anyone noticing are the common concerns. The mother of three never has that problem. Natalia’s style is spot on. Her outfits are like art as she’s constantly creating new looks. “Sometimes I buy a skirt and wait six months until I find the right shoes or the right top to pair it with.” Her fashion is so impactful that her followers remember her just by her various looks. Once we learn all this, it seems as though there is more to socializing.
Natalia has zeal about her life that is aspiring and almost makes you feel green with envy. Looking at such a busy schedule makes one wonder on what she does to relax when not out and about.
“I love listening to music and going to the beach. Put this together and I will be found in Blue Marlin Ibiza mostly. Some may say this too means partying and not relaxing but for me it is.”