English summer, life discoveries and a well needed reset.

So, I took a break. What do you mean you hadn’t noticed it?

I know. I did not really think about it, I just took it which is good in a way, right? Holidays started with a long week-end around la Loire, followed by family events, then I went to London for about 10 days, came back and was basically in denial that summer was, in fact, going to end. Bring on autumn though, it’s by far my favorite season, but I have to say, I have loved this summer. It’s been crazy hot, I wore dresses every single day which you know was a new thing for me this year, I finished a book and started two new ones, I spent time with friends and family, it’s been NICE.

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To ease myself back into blogging I thought I’d share with you a few things I’ve learned and discovered over the past two months.

  • You’re on proper holidays when you have no idea what day it is. You’ve heard it before, but isn’t it so true? From my mother in law’s garden in the North of France to the crazy busy and hot Northern Line in London to my godmother’s vegetable’s garden in the middle of nowhere (I kind of had a connection with nature this summer, how insufferable of me!), I somehow managed to forget about days and time. It took me a few days of course but It had not happened in a few years, so I’m glad I was able to actually enjoy moments and not project myself in the past or the future. Oh you know what helps? Leave your phone away, don’t bring it everywhere with you, you will be fine.
  • Wine on the Eurostar is perfection. I mean I don’t even have anything else to say. Standard Premier was cheaper than normal tickets for some reason. Therefore, coming back home from London a little drunk because we had some free wine on the Eurostar was simply heaven.
  • Chemical exfoliation is not for me. I got super enthusiastic about being on holidays in London (I lived there for a year, that’s why I can’t shut up about it, I love it), and when in Liberty… bought myself the cult P50 by Biologique Recherche. Now, my skin has reacted quite badly to Liquid Gold by Alpha H in the past, not every time but a few too many, yet I really wanted to give a try to P50, and I could not retain myself when I saw the bottle on a (very lovely because Liberty’s a treasure for your eyes) shelf. Well, I applied it straight away when we came back home, and had an allergic reaction the next morning, that lasted 10 days! So I’ll stay away from chemical exfoliation for now.
  • Downsizing the number of people I follow on Instagram means I don’t have that many people to compare myself to. I took this decision after our holidays where I did not check my Instagram that much at all and consequently felt so much better about myself. I needed a bit of a reset. Of course I tried to find an app that’d help me to unfollow massive amount of people but I could not find anything that actually worked. They don’t make it easy for you, do they? So it did take quite some time but it was definitely worth it. Just be prepared if you’re thinking about it, might take an hour or so! I now only follow people who inspire me, and make me feel good. Easy peasy. I also have a personal Insta account with my friends etc, that I don’t use that much but it does allow me to separate the blog feed and the more personal stuff. I even got an Insta notification last week telling me “You’re all caught up. You’ve seen all new posts from the past 2 days”. Mad.

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  • Cerave hydrating cleanser if the perfect cleanser if you’re on a budget and have extremely sensitive skin. Extremely gentle, I don’t know about the hydrating claim because I leave it on for one minute but it does not strip the skin. I got it in Boots, but also found it in my local french pharmacy. Honestly, so good.
  • Real Techniques mini travel brush duo is cute and brilliant. Perfect size if you’re going away and of course, like all Real Techniques brushes, affordable and effective. Got them in Monoprix in my hometown, but you can get them in Boots of course, and online.
  • I need to start eating breakfast. I’ve never been a “morning person”, I mean, what even is that? (We’ll talk about that in more details in a different piece soon by the way.) I usually never, I mean ne-ver, have breakfast. It’s been like that since I was a kid. While on holidays, in my family and in London, I did have breakfast (i.e bread and butter) almost everyday and it made a big difference to my day to day life. So I’m willing to give it a go, I just don’t seem to find the motivation at 7am in my flat but I will make an effort. Might be life-changing for all I know, and everybody’s been banging on about it for decades so you know, thought It might be time I’ll think about it!
  • Now THAT, is a good show. We have been watching Treme the HBO TV series by David Simon who also is responsible for The Wire, probably my favorite TV show of all time. My friend really sold it to me and she was right : It’s brilliant, revolting, smart, moving, funny, best summer discovery.

That’s all for now! Hope you all had a lovely summer. Do share your highlights if you have any, I’d be interested!

I’ll be back, not in two months, no no, like, this week? This week!

Summer Style, Superga Sneakers and Self-doubt

When I was 20, I lived in London for a year. I absolutely loved it but that’s an other subject. Living there really helped my style, which I guess is no surprise as the Brits are known to have great, daring style. More than that, I can only speak for London but, people seem to simply not care about your appearance and that, is so liberating! Before London, I would wear jeans and boots in the winter, and well… jeans and boots in the summer. It was not comfortable, but I was not confident enough to wear skirts or dresses, let alone sandals. I’ve always prioritized comfort so that was a good excuse. The truth is I did not want to expose myself, I did not like myself enough to give it a try. I did eventually bought a dress because fashion was just too good that summer, and I decided to wear it one day to the park in Clapham. Now, because nobody really looks at you in London, I truly remember that day : I felt amazing and more importantly a tiny bit more free. But guess what? With the dress I wore boots.

Then, after I’d left London, sneakers were everywhere. You’d see girls wearing them on an every day basis on fashion websites and Instagram. To me, it was a little revolution. “Wearing sneakers on a Friday to go out for drinks, with a pair of jeans, and looking chic? Deal!” Quickly enough, this trend came to stores, and to the streets of London, Paris, etc.

When I wear my Superga, I kind of believe I could potentially look like a tennis player, which I’m definitely not, but I like the idea you know?

The next summer, after having spend a year back in France, I came back to London. On a shopping spree with my friends, I came across the Superga Store on Carnaby Street. It’s possible that I’d seen these before, either on Alexa Chung, or on the brilliant Man Repeller website. Anyway, got in, tried them on, bought them, never looked back.

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I love them (the style is 2750 Cotu) because they’re extremely simple, which basically instantly makes me think Chic. Also, when I wear my Superga I kind of believe I could potentially look like a tennis player, which I’m definitely not, but I like the idea you know? These sneakers go with absolutely everything. I have them in white, and beige which sums me up… I’m not really daring with my style, and I’ve come to terms with it. And to be honest, it was daring enough for me at the time to wear sneakers with a dress so that’s that.

I would not say they last forever, mine stay in shape approximately 2 to 3 summers, but it’s good enough I think, considering I wear them 5 to 6 months straight, from May to September. The main difference to me is, since I’ve been wearing them, I feel like I’m playing the summer game. With boots on, I’d get annoying questions all the time “aren’t you hot? Why would you wear these in summer? Don’t you have sandals?” Now, I do own sandals, but I’m sorry to say, they’re not that comfortable! Whereas these sneakers are light enough I’m not boiling, basic (in the best possible way) enough it suits my style, and comfortable enough I can walk miles in them. Win!

Like I said before, I find Spring/Summer season is tricky style wise. When thinking about this subject I realized how, buying these Superga one summer in London has actually, completely, changed the way I envision summer clothes. Something in me clicked, and since then, every summer I free myself a bit more. On that note, next week there will be a post about a clothing item I used to hate and now feel wonderful in! Summer style is an endless conversation, don’t you think?

Lip Liner Darling!

Lip liners are a thing now. They’re not brown lines around your lips anymore, they’re changing the game. As it happens, the makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is changing the game with her lip liners. And, I think it’s fair to say, one of them has changed my life a little bit.

I’ll tell you why in a sec… Now, even though I have been lusting over Charlotte Tilbury’s products for quite some time now, I’ve only ever bought one product. Firstly because, it’s not easy to get hold of in France, and also because, it’s quite pricey, and when I invest money into makeup, I always have an other product in mind that I’m dying to try out which I can easily buy in my town. That said, I totally get the price : the products have gorgeous packaging and have some serious reputation. So, I’m planning on getting a few other items, because I feel like Charlotte Tilbury has so many cool products now, I have to try more ! Also, she’s an extremely inspiring woman, I highly recommend you watch this series she did with Sali Hughes, fascinating ! Now, the product !

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When Charlotte Tilbury released lip liners, my attention was immediately drawn to it because she came out with quite a few nude shades. As you may now know, I’m really into nude lipsticks. My issue with them is that I don’t tend to wear matte lipsticks, I like a satin, balmy finish which looks great but does mean that the application is not as precise. Therefore, I always feel like I need a bit more definition around the lips. That’s exactly what Pillow Talk, one of CT’s bestsellers, does. It’s a browny-pink-nude, perfect for overlining the lips, making them look fuller, perkier and simply very defined. To me, it’s a very sexy product  because it gives me the ability to perfect the shape of my lips without it being too noticeable.

It’s matte, but I always apply something else on top : I really use it like a base. The range is called  Lip Cheats, I could not have said it better myself.

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Pillow Talk + Dior Lip Glow

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Pillow Talk + Chanel Adrienne
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Pillow Talk on its own

Here are my three favorite combinations :

It’s the only lip liner I own, and though I’m tempted to get other shades in the same range, I’d be happy to only have this product with me forever ! It’s that good.

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.