On Buying Yourself Flowers And Feeling Pretty Good About It

Since I’ve decided to sort of re-start the whole blogging thing, meaning to reconsider why and how I was actually blogging, I’ve realized it’s :

1. Way more difficult to give more depth to the articles

2. Way more inspiring

3. What I’ve always wanted to do a.k.a write and share things that inspire me!

You know what I’ve always wanted to do as well? Buy myself some flowers. Now, you may think “it’s super easy to do, not a big deal, what is she on about hey?”

I’ve been buying myself flowers for years. There’s a lovely, very french, market every weekend approximately 5 minutes away from where I live but I suck at buying groceries. Every time I go to this market, I come home with burgers and flowers. I never know which fruits or cheese to get – well that’s a lie… I always know which cheeseS I wanna get -, some vegetables are still a bit of a mystery to me and let’s not talk about meat or fish. Basically going to the market to actually get stuff to cook with stresses me out.

So every time I’d go… “no, not a gift, they’re for me”. At first I was annoyed. But slowly I started to feel empowered by this question.

Yet, I find myself going back to this market, especially during spring/summer because I love the atmosphere : loud, chilled, smells lovely, people take the time to talk to each other… Oh and there’s a florist who sell gorgeous bouquets. I vividly remember the first time I got myself some flowers. I had no idea what the name of the flowers were and felt quite self-conscious about it, especially because in front of me in the queue, people seemed like bloody experts! When it was eventually my turn, I simply showed the ones I wanted to the florist. And then he said the sentence I was going to hear every time I’d ever buy flowers on my own. “Is it a gift?”

 

Non. No you don’t need to wrap them all up. They’ll be fine on their own and they’ll come home to a very nice household even if they’re not a gift per say thank you very much.

So every time I’d go… “no, not a gift, they’re for me”. At first I was annoyed. But slowly I started to feel empowered by this question. Buying flowers wasn’t a statement. I love flowers, and as soon as I moved out of my student flat into a more grown-up flat I thought it’d be nice to have flowers from time to time to lift up my mood and add a bit of color to my living-room. Yet it seemed like buying them for myself really was a statement. You know how for some people it’s not easy to go to the cinema alone? Well for me, it was the whole buying flowers thing. It gets easier though. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and maybe wiser, if it partly has to do with all the women I follow on Social Media who also buy themselves flowers and “treat themselves”… If it’s because we’re in an era of self-care and self-love, though to be fair I don’t think about it as taking care of myself, but it definitely is a comforting action!

It’s been a few years since my first visit to the market’s florist. Now, he doesn’t ask me anymore. And he gives me advices on how to take care of my bouquets. Also to be fair, it’s logical for him to ask if it is a present or not, because it could be. Next time someones asks me I might say, “Yes, it’s a gift. To myself. Wrap them all up like crazy please.”

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I Feel So Reckless When I Rock My Midi Dress

The other day my partner told me, I like it when you wear dresses, because you look like you’re feeling free. “Isn’t that interesting”, I thought. I thanked him because I was a bit moved by his comment, and then started to think about how true this sentence was. I did feel more free. The air playing with my legs, how floaty and fuss-free linen feels, how flattering the right shape can make you feel… Yet, this is an extremely new feeling for me. I used to HATE dresses. They’d be like a complete no-no. Of course, when I was younger I made a statement out of my deep hatred towards dresses. Do you remember the time when everything you did, said, thought was a statement by the way? I feel you. I so not miss my teenage years. So, yeah, I’d be the girl who wears jeans and boots, because I do whatever I want and F**** off if you don’t get it. Sounds familiar?

Last summer, Mango went all out with the summer dresses and released some pretty good items that made me dream of an Italian summer I’d never even experienced.

Years went by, and the last few years I started to feel conflicted. Like I was missing out on something. I could see other women who seem to enjoy wearings dresses, skirts, shorts and there I was, with my jeans on, an angry look on my face, and sweaty legs. I don’t have the best legs. They’re sturdy and keep me moving, they’re not the strongest but I can definitely count on them. They just don’t look great. My veins are really visible and though I try and apply moisturizer, they don’t look smooth. But I do love fashion.

 

Last summer, Mango went all out with the summer dresses and released some pretty good items that made me dream of an Italian summer I’d never even experienced. I started to imagine myself in those dresses, and I could see I’d be relatively happy in them. So I bought a few, and never looked back. Oh I think it’s fair to mention I completely freaked out after my purchase and immediately bought myself some Saint Tropez self tanner because every little helps! And it wasn’t that bad. It took me a few days to ease into it of course. But it definitely made me feel good, because super comfortable which is not something I had thought about. For some reason, I was convinced any clothing item showing my legs would be a nightmare to wear. I was so wrong. Comfort really played a big part in this process. I mean, You didn’t think I was going to wear something without having the comfort factor in mind first, did you? Still, that’s what makes the biggest difference. Fashionable? Sure. Uncomfortable? no way!

I’m now the proud owner of three dresses. And I’m not mad about it! All by Mango because they really do make the best summer dresses out there in my opinion. Pictured above is the last one I got. I love it. It’s 100% linen and has a great shape. I like my dresses to be cinched in at the waist, made out of only one fabric if possible meaning all linen or cotton for example, and midi length. I find it’s the most flattering shape for me and also the most comfortable.  I don’t think I’ll ever wear a mini dress or even an above the knee one, but honestly, I don’t even care, I feel so reckless when I rock my Givenchy midi dress!

Oh also, I do feel free.

The Style Story : Pretty confident about this blazer

Today I wanted to write about clothes and confidence. Though I’m wearing these amazing new white Topshop jeans, and felt pretty good about myself this morning, I’m now having a weird meh afternoon. It’s sunny outside, I’ve had the best weekend yet I feel really down. I’ve just reapplied some blusher, which is one of the things I realized I always do when I don’t feel the best. And I’ve also decided to go to the Post office with my new amazing crazy purchase, a Stella McCartney Blazer.

As soon as I put on the blazer, I felt taller. I’m already quite tall so it’s not particularly something I’m looking for, what I mean is, I felt elevated.

This item is my first designer purchase. I got it more than half price in the sales, let me tell you though, it still was super expensive. But I’m okish with it because it’s beautifully made, the fabric is 100% wool and the cut is impeccable. Also, I love Stella McCartney’s work and ethic. It’s an oversized fit wool checked blazer, with shoulder pads. It’s the kind of piece I’ve been dreaming about for years, and obviously when they were all the rage last summer I thought, “If I only buy one thing this year month (actually I had not bought anything since, got these fabulous jeans I told you about last week, and this dress from Mango, but more on that later), it has to be a wool checked blazer“.

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I believe it has something to do with my love for men clothes. I love a good oversize shirt for instance, with a pair of mom jeans and sneakers or black boots. To me chic means elegance and simplicity, and that’s where I want my style to be at. With that in mind, I knew this purchase was not going to be a mistake. I thought about it for about six months and voilà!

As soon as I put on the blazer, I felt taller. I’m already quite tall so it’s not particularly something I’m looking for, what I mean is, I felt elevated. Like I’d touched what Chic means in a way. Like I’d entered a world where I felt empowered, strong, sure of myself. Isn’t it weird that feeling like that depended on an item of clothing? Rhetorical question of course. But tell you what, I don’t even care. If this item showed me what it’s like to feel empowered and super strong, I at least know what it’s like even when I’m doubting myself, and I know I have it in me somewhere.

 

I have to say that I don’t think an item of clothing has to be expensive to make you feel amazing, I love all my clothes and they’re really not designer clothes. It simply has to be perfect for you, not the better version of you, not the when I’ll look my best, no no. It has to work when you feel at your worst. That’s how an piece is a game changer confidence wise. This article is actually going to be the start of a new series where I’ll feature my favorite clothes items and tell you all about them…

This morning, on my way to the Post Office, I felt fabulous. And that’s something right?

Style is like makeup to me. It inspires me and makes me want to dare, experiment and play. Is it the same for you? Or do you find it boring/overwhelming/stressful? (I do to sometimes…) What’s the ultimate piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel gorgeous?

Everyday Jewellery

My mum changes her earrings everyday which fascinates me because I basically always end up wearing the same things. But, I have been so into jewellery recently, that I do change my earrings from time to time, and I play with necklaces as well. Layering is a big trend, and even though I was not sure about it at first, I now find myself really attracted to this style. Ha, trends ! I feel like, because I wear clothes that are somehow classic and my style is not too experimental, adding necklaces or earrings (I tend to never wear both at the same time, call me prude) can really change an outfit.

I’ve always been into gold and since I was 15, I decided that gold would suit me best, and add some warmth to my pale complexion and dark features. It was not that fashionable at the time so finding key pieces in gold was a struggle. I have to admit as well, that Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City really inspired me with her bold gold necklaces and hoops. To me, it was a statement, a way to accessorize that would make me look cool.

Necklaces

Missoma is going to be heavily featured here, simply because I love the style of jewellery they make. I got these three necklaces as gifts for my birthday and Christmas, and was lucky enough to have had a Black Friday code at the time ! I was super inspired by Lizzy Hadfield, who has such a chic, innovative style and layers gold necklaces like a queen. These necklaces remind me of my family, and my partner, which is quite powerful because it can really make you feel good about yourself to have feelings and memories attached to jewels.

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The most special one probably is the Gold small initial necklace which has my partner’s initial and mine on the other side and it makes me feel very sentimental. Now, the blogger extraordinaire Lucy Williams worked with Missoma on two gorgeous collections and of course I fell in love with the Mini fang necklace, I mean, who hasn’t ? Great on its own or layered, subtle yet statement : perfect !

Last but not least, I preordered the Double molten necklace on plain chain back in december, and finally got my hands on it a few weeks ago. It’s much bigger and visible which I like a lot, and I particularly adore the two entwined circles. Again, Lizzy Hadfield wears a very similar one, and I actually discovered recently that hers is not from Missoma, but mine is, and I think it’s beautiful.

Earrings

I have three holes on my left ear, and two on the right one. I don’t wear earrings too often, but I always have two little hoops in the two holes of my left ear. One is Maria Tash, a complete crazy purchase I made in Liberty London, a gift to myself, so freaking expensive, still processing it…. It’s a tiny clicker ring with a spiky opal, which is gorgeous, and it’s gold. I never take it off, I sleep in it, I take showers with it, it’s the only jewel that I keep at all times. The hole above that, is still healing. So at the moment I have a little hoop from my mum, I think it’s gold-plated, and I never really take it off either.

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When I do wear earrings, I either choose these dainty Missoma mini dagger charm hoops, or the silver-ish hoops (actually a pale gold) made by Justine Clenquet, a french jewellery designer I love the style of. These hoops are a medium size with a dangly cross, unfortunately not available anymore, but check her website, her creations are beautiful.

So there you have it, these items inspire my style and mean a lot to me.  Also, because my style is quite minimal, I feel quite daring with my layered necklace… To each their own version of Rock’n’roll lifestyle am I right ?

Are you into jewellery ? Do you have sentimental pieces you can’t imagine yourself without ?

Double Cleansing : The Balmy Discovery

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As I told you before, I used to clean my face with a Dove soap many moons ago. Then I discovered beauty blogs (Caroline Hirons more specifically who’s a trained professional, and whom opinion I trust immensely) and realized it’d be nice to actually cleanse my face with a product designed for that purpose. Later on, I read online that some people would recommend to double cleanse and I was a bit sceptical. Though now, when I think about it, it sure makes so much sense to double cleanse ! You remove makeup, and then you clean your face. Quite logical right ?

At first I thought it might be a bit too much for my skin, and in France nobody I knew or read was talking about double cleansing at the time (around 4-5 years ago). Being quite low key I just was not sure it would be necessary for my skin. Yet it completely changed the texture and the quality of my skin. Et voilà, I would not ever not double cleanse (is that a correct sentence ? Pardon my English) !

2 steps is all it takes and the first one is a new discovery

Years went by, I tried my fair amount of cleansers, and today I thought I’d share my latest discovery with you. I have just found the perfect first step cleansing balm : if like me, you have sensitive, combination and dehydrated skin, this could be perfect !

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The cleansing balm is by the french company, Oh My Cream. I’d say it’s the equivalent of Space NK but in France. They have a very cool website, with great brands like RMS, Joelle Ciocco, Kjaeir Weiss, Oskia, Susanne Kaufmann,, Tata Harper, Paï, Antipodes, etc. They started in 2013 online, and have now opened a few stores all over the country. The most exciting part is that they have recently launched their own range, with gorgeous packaging, affordable prices, lovely ingredients and a very simple yet effective routine. They have released four cleansers, two oils and an exfoliating powder amongst with travel sized minis of the range. They do recommend double cleanse, which I find very interesting, because it means it’s probably something more and more people do which makes me really happy !

I got the balm, because I love how it does not go everywhere, and it travels really well. It partly contains coconut and jojoba oils, oat and salicylic acid and OMC recommends it for sensitive, prone to imperfections skins. It smells a lot like sweet oats (I’m not the best at describing smells, am I ?), which at first I did not like at all but it’s fair to say I really enjoy it now, so I guess I just needed to get used to it. It’s not too strong either, so it helped.

Its thick, gorgeous consistency removes all makeup, and leaves the skin soft and clean. I think it is going to last me a long time, you truly don’t need to use a lot which I appreciate and it’s so efficient and gentle, I simply don’t see myself use something else at the moment.

Next time, I’ll tell you all about my favorite cleanser used in the second step of this double cleansing routine. Basically, I always try to find a routine that involves an oily based product for the first step, and a milk or cream cleanser for the second step, so stay tuned for the next review !

You can get the Oh My Cream Cleansing Balm here by the way, it costs 29 euros for 150ml.

What do you guys use to cleanse your face ? Do you double cleanse ?

Tips everyone should know about : Thermal Water’s other purpose

Sometimes, my little sisters of a friend ask me something beauty-related, and I often think, “I need to share that with more people, because it’s so easy/cheap/useful/life changing”, you name it ! Simple stuff that I know of because I’m mad about skincare and makeup, but that if no ones tells you about, how the hell would you know ? Well, here’s the first edition of the “Tips everyone should know about” !

Thermal water might be underrated. To be honest, I did not think much of it a few years ago, even though it’s something we always had in the house I believe. My mum would hand it over to us during summer to refresh our faces, but that was about it. It helps that Avène is a French brand, that pretty much every French people knows about. It’s in every pharmacy, and a fair amount of French households might own at least one item from the brand. Yet it’s not the sexiest of item, and for some people, it’s just water in a can which I completely understand. I use it to tone after cleansing and before serum, it calms down the face, and prepares it to receive skincare. But that’s not why I’m telling you about it today.

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Here’s the tip you should know about. You know how, if you enjoy putting makeup on, you sometimes end up with way too much product on your face ? I do ! Too much concealer, then maybe too much powder, a subtle makeup can sometimes not be subtle at all… Especially if you use products you don’t usually tend to use, or if like I said you just ended up playing with makeup for far too long, things can get a bit cakey, or simply look too powdery.

Well, simply spray some thermal water on your face. Don’t spray in the air and jump in it face first. Actually, spray a mist of Avène or the one you use, ON your face. Let it set, or if you want, pat it down a little. And voilà ! Your makeup suddenly looks lived in, fresher, more natural, more glowy even. Now, you know !

Curly hair, letting go and a new identity in the making

I spent New Year’s Eve in London with my friends. It was after the Christmas madness, trying to see as many people in our respective families as we could. We arrived in London, knackered. But really happy. I always look forward to going back to what once felt like my town.

The first morning, I washed my hair and realized I had forgotten my oh so expensive, but oh so amazing, pocket Mason Pearson’s brush. I thought to myself “Am I really going to borrow a brush from my friend, that’s not going to work like my usual one and then plug my straighteners, but first blowdry my hair, just because I don’t feel confident enough to just let my hair be…?” I decided. Non. So I left my hair do their own thing. Which had not really happened in years. I guess I felt confortable enough to do it, to quit, cold turkey.

When I was 19, my mum kindly got me straighteners because I wanted to give this styling tool a try. Well, I tried, let me tell you.

So we left to have lunch in a pub in Chelsea. It was windy, my hair was wet, but for some reason I felt ok, almost nice actually. It might have had to do with the fact that my friends really encouraged me. Encourage me ? To do what you might think. Well, to me, letting my hair curl, be au naturel, is a new identity. Dry, my hair was actually really, really curly. It had not been this way in almost 10 years.

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When I was 19, my mum kindly got me straighteners because I wanted to give this styling tool a try. Well, I tried, let me tell you. The minute I straightened my first piece of hair, I knew I wanted to look like this forever. It was a new me. The closest I could be to kinda have hair like the actresses, singers, stars I’d grew up watching on TV, or seing in magazines. It made me feel more sophisticated, put together. Also, even though it’s actually harder to control straightened hair over curls, I felt like I was in total control. Paradoxically because I had to hide from the rain, (and it rains a lot where I live), hide from humidity, sleep with my hair tied up sometimes, not to mess up with the shape, and bring my straighteners anytime I’d go away somewhere for more than one night. But I felt good.

At least for the first few years. But as I was getting older, I felt guilty in a way to pretend I had this shinny, soft, frizz-free hair. Don’t get me wrong, I wear makeup and I love it, but I could go out without it. I don’t feel trapped when I put makeup on : it actually makes me deeply happy. It’s like being a kid again. I’m playing with colors, textures, looks. It’s refreshing and lovely.

But straightening my hair was not fun. It would take ages, and damage my hair quite badly. And again, the weather or a forgotten tool would make me feel shitty about myself.

Going out without doing anything to my hair was simply not something I was able to consider. That’s when it started to be an issue. Therefore, I had in mind I would stop that nonsense one day. Weirdly enough… I would always find myself excuses not to. But, when in London…

Back to now. When my hair was dry in London, in the Pub, my friends all noticed a difference, and one of them even said, “you look great and it looks like you’ve put some efforts into this look because of how nice the curls are”. This warmed my heart. And not only because it was very kind of my dear friend to say so. But because, it made me think that I looked pulled together, and sophisticated. See ? Why would I want that anyway ? Isn’t natural good enough ?

As you may be able to see on the pictures above, top left is when I used to straighten my hair. So, since that day, I haven’t blowdried my hair, or used a straightener. And I look more like the two other picures… When I came back from London, it was not that easy. I did not like it, thought I looked weird, different but not in a good way, not put together. But I pushed through these feelings, and I’m ok now.

It might appear frivolous but I would strongly say it is not. Hair can be such a big part of one’s identity. It’s funny how emotions, feelings, hopes can be attached to it.

With straight/put together hair I was armed to be strong, confident, and pretty. Needless to say I did not feel like that, but that’s how tricky it gets. If with pretty, controlled hair I did not feel amazing, how would it be with natural, curly, messy hair ? Who would want to know honestly ? I did not. Until a few weeks ago.

I don’t know why. It just happened. And I’m feeling brave in a way. Detached as well. Because curly hair just do what it wants to do really.

So I have to accept that and frankly ? It is so bloody liberating.

So it begins. I’ll take you on this journey with me ! Next up ? Products for curls !

A story about mascara

fullsizeoutput_1fae I feel like in any beauty interview of a celebrity, beauty editor, blogger, fashion designer, I read, the number one item women would not get rid of in their beauty routine is mascara. It’s either that, or red lipstick (which again, does not come naturally to me, more on that soon).

When I was younger, I did not want to feel left out in high school, so I did wear mascara sometimes, but I always felt like it would make my features look too harsh. I kept on trying because all my girl friends would wear mascara, and it’s something everyone knew about. It was easy to get hold of, not too extravagant, something I could borrow from my mum or friends.

At the time, I was not even considering wearing blusher or concealer, it was all about the eyes. I grew up in the 90’s, and makeup was “there”, noticeable, quite full on. It was not really fashionable to wear “no makeup makeup” at the time. And on TV, the only makeup ads I seem to remember were mascara ones. Ads that would show extremely long eyelashes, darker, fuller, than anything you’d seen before.

Mascara, does not make lashes look like real lashes.

Consequently, I do understand how important it became in women’s every day life. But in my life, it did not feel right.

I mean, I do understand that it makes lashes longer, fuller, nicer, Bambi-er…

But I can’t seem to know how to apply it without it looking fake. I love fluttery, soft, full lashes. Unfortunately, to me, mascara is always noticeable. You might argue that any makeup is, but I feel like if it’s blended well, concealer, foundation and even blusher can look natural and more importantly they look like real skin. Whereas mascara, does not make lashes look like real lashes.

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fullsizeoutput_1fadThat said, I have tried a bunch of mascaras, and one I really like is the Dior Show mascara in black. One of my friend uses it, and it looked amazing on her, so I tried it, and decided to buy my first fancy mascara ! It’s as close as it gets to looking fluttery without too much product just sitting there around your eyes.

To be fair, I have to say, but don’t hate me, that I have quite long and dark lashes. But still, they’re not insanely curled or anything. They’re just there, and sometimes I’d like them to be more present, you know ?

But I just have not found anything to actually create that effect yet. Also, how do you not rub your eyes when you have mascara ?

Anyway, now you know, I never wear mascara. And when I do, it ends up running down my face, and even if I double cleanse, there’s still some left under my eyes the next day.

So, non, I just don’t get mascara. Sorry.

What I do do, for special occasions, is use an eyelash curler. Mine is from Sephora, and it’s alright, not groundbreaking. I’ve been thinking about getting the cult Shu Emura ones, or the ones from Kevin Aucoin. Because I believe this item could be a game changer. It would make my lashes look curled, and potentially longer because they would truly be enhanced.

Do you have any good recommendations maybe ? Or do you also not wear mascara ?

 

Le perfume

I never really wore perfume until two years ago. I would not find anything I’d absolutely love. Everytime a friend or a blogger would talk about his/her favorite perfume, I would try it, and be systematically disappointed.

I remember once reading in the french Elle about a Paul Smith perfume. The article was so well written I thought, “that’s it, this is my perfume, this description is SO me”. The next day, I headed to Sephora. Needless to say, I did not like it. I really tried to find what the journalist described in the smell, but it just was not working for me. The funny thing is, I was so certain I would love it, I kept coming back to Sephora, to try it, give it time to develop, give myself time to love it, again and again and…

At first when I got the bottle, I’d spray it and it would smell a bit like cold rocks, you know like when you go visit a church in the winter.

It felt like this perfume was a secret I was not a part of. This somewhat anecdotic experience stopped my research for Le perfume. Then I discovered, can’t remember how which is silly, Ambre Fétiche by Annick Goutal, an emblematic perfumery french house.

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And, head over heels, fell in love. I got a little sample, and finally got the full size bottle for christmas a couple of years ago. Basically from october until april, I use it almost every single day. At first when I got the bottle, I’d spray it and it would smell a bit like cold rocks, you know like when you go visit a church in the winter. Then, with time, when the bottle is not brand new so I’d say a few days into it, it develops quickly into a warm amber enveloped in vanilla and smoke.

The Annick Goutal description is way better than mine if you want to check it out. It wraps itself around you in the best possible comforting way. I get compliments all the time which is nice, but what I absolutely adore is to re-wear a jumper on which I’d already sprayed perfume on : the smell is softer and becomes part of the fabric.

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I kind of wanted to find a new perfume this winter, because I’ve used two bottles of this one, but to be honest, when the owner of the shop I get it from told me that the “jus” (juice) of this perfume was fabulous, I felt so glad and, well, flattered…

I just got a new one again, because after all, it is my perfume.