Mother of moun­tains

Friday - - News -

By any­one’s stan­dards Maria Con­ce­icao had it tough as a child. Her mother was too ill to look af­ter her so the au­thor­i­ties in her na­tive Por­tu­gal wanted to send her to an or­phan­age or put her up for adop­tion. But Cristina, an An­golan refugee cleaner, in­sisted on rais­ing her along with her own six chil­dren. She made Maria’s child­hood happy and con­tin­ued to fight “tooth and nail” for the lit­tle girl as it was un­heard of 33 years ago for a black woman to raise a white child.

Her ac­tions in­spired Maria, a for­mer Emi­rates air­line cabin crew mem­ber, to start her own char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion to help slum chil­dren she met on a stopover in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2005. Since then she has done ev­ery­thing to help them – in­clud­ing most re­cently risk­ing her own life to climb the mother of all moun­tains, Mount Ever­est. At the best of times, it’s a haz­ardous climb, but Maria, 35, was de­ter­mined to raise Dh3.67 mil­lion. She trained for a year, and even scaled sev­eral peaks in­clud­ing Kil­i­man­jaro to be fight­ing fit for the chal­lenge. But on page 28 Dubai-based Maria tells us how she ended up fac­ing her own mor­tal­ity af­ter risk­ing ev­ery­thing to reach the sum­mit. Luck­ily she sur­vived and con­tin­ues to be the chil­dren’s ‘mother’ – and our in­spi­ra­tion. Un­til next week, This week I’m loving… 1. If there’s one beauty prod­uct you should in­vest in it’s La Prairie Cel­lu­lar Re­vi­tal­iz­ing Eye Gel. Ex­pen­sive yes, but a lit­tle goes a long way and what price can you put on hav­ing your eyes look their best? The blue gel chills as it re­duces lines, puffi­ness, dark cir­cles and ban­ishes signs of fa­tigue. It even plumps out wrin­kles with mi­cro-fill­ing spheres so you can look wide awake and years younger. Dh580 at se­lected beauty counters. 2. Matte skin is back and what bet­ter way to stave off the shine than with Laura Mercier’s smooth fin­ish foun­da­tion pow­der. It hydrates skin, cam­ou­flages im­per­fec­tions and re­duces lines too. Re­sult! Dh195, at Harvey Nichols from Septem­ber. 3. David Beck­ham’s new Clas­sic fra­grance is the epitome of style. A fresh blend of lime and gal­banum give way to a spicy nut­meg, cy­press and mint aroma. The warm, woody base notes make this per­fect for balmy au­tumn nights. Dh170 (60ml) at se­lected beauty counters from Septem­ber.

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