Sunday, 7 October 2018

Design your Fall

Fall, autumn, leaves, fashion, colors

If you listen to Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft's podcast Happier, you're probably familiar with the idea of designing your Summer. The concept is that you should take control of your time and plan activities to make the most the warmer months. I've personally never managed to do it for myself in Summer, because time flies faster in the sun (apparently) and also because I find that warmer weather is more activity friends than Fall and Winter. In colder months I tend to just want to watch TV or read in bed and I'm not so keen on getting out of the house anymore. So here I five things I intend to do to spend a nice, cosy and creative Fall:

- Knit a Harry Potter scarf
- Try 3 new autumnal cocktail recipes
- Invite friends over more often
- Complete Nanowrimo
- Take pictures

What do you have planned for Fall?

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Books to Keep You Cool This Summer

reading list, Summer, books, winter, snow, cool, refreshing reads, books to keep you cool, Philip Pullman, jack London, The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey, Jules Verne

When the heatwave strikes and I can't move an arm without sweat dripping from my forehead, I like to use books to escape to cooler climates. Without further ado and before I melt into a puddle, here is a selection of reads to keep you cool this scorching hot Summer. There all (partly) set in some northern snowy landscape and with a bit of imagination they might cool you down for a moment.

- Jules Verne, A Winter amid the Ice: Nobody writes adventures like Jules Verne. A Winter amid the Ice is a short but thrilling read.

- Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child: A beautiful rewriting of a Russian fairy tale set in Alaska.

- Philip Pullman, His Dark Material Vol 1, The Golden Compass: A YA classic that you need to (re)read asap.

- Jack London, White Fang or To Build a Fire: Anything by Jack London is bound to make to you travel up North. 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

4 Apps I'm Loving at the Moment


Duolingo
One of my goals for the month of June is to learn a bit of Italian and I've found a great and convenient app to do that on the go. I've only been using Duolingo only for a week and I'm already hooked. It feels like playing a game, but you're actually learning vocabulary and familiarizing yourself with a new language. It might not make you a fluent speaker because the exercises are pretty repetitive and there are a lot of multiple choice answers, but it's a nice way to begin and it also allows you to refresh your knowledge of a language you haven't practiced in a long time (German in my case). It's also a way to turn your commutes into something productive. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, you get a fun brain workout (for free)!

Librivox
This app allows to listen to free recordings of literary works that are part of the public domain. It's basically like getting free audiobooks of literary classics. I'm currently reading Jane Eyre and I sometimes listen to a chapter or two on the bus, which means I can carry on with my reading without having to take the book with me. Also great for Shakespeare plays, which I find so much more enjoyable to listen to rather than to read on my own.

Moment
This app allows you to track how much time you spend on your phone each day. This makes it super useful if you feel like you daily screen time is getting out of hand and keeps you from being productive. It also gives you the number of hours you've slept, the number for times you've picked up your phone, as well as the percentage of your waking life you spend on your device. Theses features are free. However, there is a premium version that allows you to set a daily limit and to receive reminders throughout the day. It is a one-time fee of 4 francs and I find that getting a reminder every 15 minutes of screen time is so helpful to keep me mindful.

Headspace
This a paying app, but it is worth every penny! The subscription gives you access to hundreds of hours of guided meditation for every level and every aspect of your life. They also have great explanatory videos (with adorable animations) that makes the exercises more comprehensible. Meditation is something that I really want to turn into a daily habit because it is an "easy" way to take care of your mental health by being more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and by spending a few minutes a day truly alone with yourself. Mediation helps us not to be overwhelmed by thoughts and teaches us to consider feelings and emotions from a distance. 


Monday, 18 June 2018

Feline Wisdom

On Saturday, my boyfriend and I lost our beloved cat. She was very sick and it was time for her to go. She went peacefully, surrounded by love and gratitude. We now have to deal with the immense pain caused by her absence from our life. You might think we're crazy, but we're just sensitive beings who spent everyday of the last three years in the presence of a little companion. We discovered her personality, we received her affection, and life without her seems impossibly dull. 

I find it cathartic to look at (the thousands of) pictures we took of her (ok, maybe we are a little crazy, but that diminishes neither the love nor the pain). And looking back at those happy days brought three lessons to my mind that I've learn from my furry friend.

1) Never waste a ray of sunshine. (Whether you interpret it literally or figuratively is up to you.)



2) Rest is important 




3) If you want something, ask for it. If nobody gives it to you, get it yourself.



Friday, 15 June 2018

Patrick Starr x MAC: Me So Fleek collection


About a month ago, I treated myself to the gorgeous Me So Fleek collection that Patrick Starr created with MAC. The eyeshadow quad seemed quite unique and great for Summer. The lipstick looked just right: purple but leaning on berry tones to keep it wearable. The gloss looked fun and fresh. Not the mention the floral kaleidoscope packaging which is stunning and might end up is a frame on my wall.  The cheek product was probably the product that interested me the less because it seemed too dark, but the peachy side is actually nice if used with a light hand. 

I was really pleased with my purchase, the eyeshadows are very nice, even thought the bright pink  shade could be a bit more pigmented. The lip combo is fab, and so are the blushes.

I had fun creating a look with this collection. As it is sold out, I've tried to find dupes and alternatives, in case you didn't manage to snag the collection or if you just like one or two of the products.


eyeshadow, palette, quad, Mac, me so fleek

Alternatives for the eyeshadow quad: 
-In living pink (rose gold): Makeup Geek Wildfire Duochrome Pigment or Huda Beauty Angelic in the Desert Dusk palette.
-All's rosy (mauve): Silk in Kat Von D's Metal Matte palette, Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow in Tang
-Hickie (pink): Gossip in the Urban Decay Full Spectrum palette
-In the shadows (navy blue): Nebula in Kat Von D's Metal Matte palette or Color Pop Super Shock Shadow in Luckfully

Patrick Starr, MAC, lipstick, retro matte, lipgloss

Dupes:
Lipstick: Pretty Vulgar Matte lipstick in Darling be Daring (according to Temptalia)
Gloss: Urban Decay Hi-fi Shine lipgloss in Big Bang

Patrick Starr, MAC, blush, me so fleek

I did not dupe the cheek products, because I think peachy and mauve blushes are not that unique and pretty easy to find. However Temptalia mentions Nxy Pinched and Urban Decay Sesso as alternatives.

eyeshadow, palette



Monday, 4 June 2018

The Best Powders for Oily Skin


make up, Make up for ever, Nyx, it cosmetics, powder, setting powder, magnifying powder, blotting powder, bye bye pores, HD powder

If, like me, you're an oily skin girl, you might be dreading the arrival of Summer and higher temperatures as it is often a synonym of (very) shiny skin. Did you know that oily skin is actually far from being a curse and that it has several benefits? I heard that oily skin ages slower and it is much easier to manage make up wise because you're taking away extra "moisture" rather than adding it to a dry skin, which seems trickier to do. I personally can't really be bothered to touch up my face make up throughout the day, so I've found heavy duty setting powders that keep me matte for as long as possible and then I embrace the mid afternoon shine glow (It's all about perspective!). Keep in mind that I have very oily skin and that if these products can keep me matte for 6 hours, they might last all-day on you. 

My ultimate favorite setting powder is undoubtedly the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder. It controls shine perfectly and never looks cakey! It is unfortunately not available in Swiss stores and can only be ordered from Beautylish (if you're ready to pay 20 francs for shipping or if you place an order of 100 francs or more).

A good alternative is the Make Up For Ever HD Powder*, which is very similar and easily accessible in Switzerland. 

A most recent (hence the absence of visible pan) discovery is the Nyx HD Finishing Powder. It is a lot more affordable and works well, apart from the fact that it can cake a bit if you put too much on. 

What is your must have powder? 

*affiliate link

make up, Make up for ever, Nyx, it cosmetics, powder, setting powder, magnifying powder, blotting powder, bye bye pores, HD powder

Sunday, 3 June 2018

June Goals


As the half point of 2018 is slowly approaching, here is another round of goals that I'm hoping to reach this month:

  • Learn a bit of Italian. Both my grandmothers are italophones and I'm ashamed to say that I can't speak a word of Italian (although I understand it quite well). I have a trip planned to visit family in Ticino this Summer and I would love to be able to say a few sentences by then. Now to find the best app to learn Italian... 

  • Write a short story. I didn't write much in May, but I have found some amazing ressources for writers (storyaday.com and diymfa.com), so I have no excuses not to get started on a writing project.

  • Write guest posts. I have seen several calls for guest blogging on Twitter lately and I've expressed my interest for several of them. I'm already working on an post for bloggerclan.com and I'm going to write articles for a website on Geneva. 

  • Keep working on my morning routine. I haven't managed to build a consistent morning routine last month and I think it's because I need to find something shorter that Hal Elrod's s.a.v.e.r.s. I'm thinking affirmation and goal setting, as well as a bit of reading (maybe a bit of journaling if I feel like it). I find it a lot more convenient to keep mediation and exercise for later in the day. I'm also thinking about including a bit of tidying up, because it really puts me in a "get shit done" mood :)


  • Enjoy the Football World Cup. As a teenager I was really into football and although I've lost interest I still love the festive atmosphere of this event. So watching games with friends and drinking homemade frosé (this is a killer recipe by the way) is on the to-do list.


  • Use my clutches. I am a big fan of Studio DIY and I've been a member of their clutch subscription service for a year now, which means I have a ton of crazy cute clutches in my closet and they clearly don't get enough use. 
I'd love to know your goals for June. Leave a comment down below and tell me all about it! If you've written a blog post about it, feel free to leave a link.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Five Things I Know for Sure


Thank god for clutches with cheery message on this clutch, because I currently don't feel like I'm killing it at all.

I always assumed that that when I graduated, there would be a job waiting for me. I realize now how silly it was to think that a university degree would open the doors to employment nice and wide. When reading job offers I always feel like I'm missing something: experience, training, the right degree. I studied literature out of passion and interest, I now see that a career needs to be as carefully plotted as thriller and that spontaneity is out of the picture. A career should be like a group travel itinerary where you know exactly where to stop and for how long and where you'll go next. I feel like I should have started university already planning for a future job, doing internships to acquire experience, networking and all that jazz. And maybe I'm just plain stupid for not realizing that sooner, but, honestly, who has the next six years planned at nineteen? 

As a multi-passionate, I like following my interests and keeping my options open. Studying literature was a way for me to study various subject, while developing critical and analytical skills. It saddens me to see that so little companies actually value the versatility of this education.

I am thus currently in a really strange place full of contradictory emotions. On one hand, I feel like spending six and a half years on a literary master was useless and that I should have done like everybody else and studied something that pays. On the other hand, I think passion should always be the motor and that intelligence, curiosity and industry can outperform any degree and are way more useful tools when it comes to "killing it". It also feels like now is the time to follow my interests, since I have very little obligations. But the unemployment blues kills my motivation like nothing else and I find myself paralyzed by the anxiety of not having a job. Wearing motivational items of clothing might not solve this crisis, but it sure is a fun way to remind ourselves that there's always more for us to go and get.

In the midst of all of this career chaos, here are five things I know for sure:

1) Mistakes are great teachers.
2) Tiny steps can take you far away.
3) One action is often worth a thousand thoughts
4) I'll never stop learning.
5) Time and dedication make everything possible. 











Jacket and dress - La Redoute
Clutch - Studio DIY
Shoes - Secondhand
Belt - Naf Naf

Pictures by Romain Keller

Monday, 21 May 2018

One Minute Bliss: I weigh


Among the many responses to Kim K's sponsored Instagram post for appetite suppressant lollipops, I was delighted to find Jameela Jamil's (who is brilliant in The Good Place BTW) I weigh account, which encourages people to value what they actually are instead of how much they weigh. It such an empowering thing to put out on social media, and provides a nice dose of objectivity in the midst of all of this photoshopped perfection that we scroll through everyday. 

If you have a minute to spare today, why not go on social media to look at something realistic and yet very inspiring! 

One Minute Bliss is a blog post series where every Monday I share one small thing that brings me joy. You can find the other posts here.

Monday, 14 May 2018

A Game Changing Nail Product

Nail strengthener, nail polish, lacquer, base coat, nail polish base

These's something empowering about neatly painted nail. As if you're life might be falling appart, but as long as your tips look polished you can still pretend you're holding it together. On the same note, there's nothing like chipped nails to make me feel like a hot mess. However, my manicures tend not to be spotless for more than 3 or 4 days and the lazy girl that I am can't be arsed to to apply two coats of varnish, plus base and top coat, two times a week. 

Things changed recently when, noticing that my claws were breaking more frequently, I decided to pick up a nail strengthener. The most popular one is probably OPI's Nail Envy, but the hefty price tag made me take a look at more affordable options. The Maybelline Express Manicure caught my attention as it promised to strengthen as wear as prolong the wear of your polish. Plus it had a subtle blue shimmer running through it, which made me think it could look pretty worn alone.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, it was a success. It made my nail job last for an entire week without any chipping and it even withstood an intense cleaning session involving a wire sponge. I am now a happy sloth who can paint her tips every Sunday and not bother about it during the week!


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

5 life lessons from The Lord of the rings



We all need a bit of escapism once in a while, to get away from worries, to relax after a tough day or just to feed our imagination. I find that The Lord of the rings trilogy fits the bill perfectly. Tolkien built a world with so much diversity that it's such a treat for the mind to get lost in it. I think it's the where power of attraction of books such as Harry Potter, Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings comes from. Their creators invented a universe in which stories intersect and overlap. A delight for the hungry readers in need of distraction, but also a work full of wisdom. Here's 5 life lessons from Middle Earth to reflect upon.

1) Embrace the hobbit lifestyle. Living close to nature and its rhythm, being part of a small united community, enjoying the little things, living in a comfy hole... Even though the hobbits might sometimes seem a bit close-minded, their lifestyle is full of common sense and I definitely want to draw inspiration from them.

2) Courage can take you further away than anything else. You don't need to be a wizard or a powerful lord to accomplish something and change the world, you just need to be willing to face your fears.


3) Cultivate deep, meaningful friendships. Sam's devotion to Frodo is remarkable and incredibly moving. It's love in its purest form.

4) Connections are key. Gandalf's strategic alliances are also noteworthy. They're almost Middle Earth's equivalent of networking. He knows all the right people and is friend with seemingly insignificant species that eventually turn out to be key allies like the Ents or the Eagles. I think Gandalf's intelligence and strength comes partly from his connections.

5) Hit the road! One in a while, we're all tempted to pack our bag and go on an adventure. It's hard to leave but you'll only enjoy your comfy little home more once you're back.




Monday, 7 May 2018

One Minute Bliss: It's never too late to start

Picture by designedbyjess on Pixabay 
One Minute Bliss is a blog post series where every Monday I share one small thing that brings me joy. You can find the other posts here.

This post is totally last minute, but I just stumbled upon a video by the amazing Marie Forleo and it is too good and inspirational not to share. It simply proves that there is no such thing as "the prime of life" and that just because you didn't start young doesn't mean that you can't start now, whatever your age is.



Tuesday, 1 May 2018

May Goals


April didn't quite go according to plan. I'm still on the hunt for a job and I haven't worked out much. Tomorrow will be day 30 of The 100 Day Project and I've already missed 10 days. However last year I gave up around day 20, so I guess the fact that I'm still going is a victory in itself. On a more positive note I have managed to give up refined sugar, gluten and dairy for the past three weeks, which definitely makes me feel better in my own skin. 

Since April was a so-so month, here's the plan for May:
  • Spend time with friends and socialize. I am the biggest homebody and I really have to push myself to make plans and go out with friends, but I'm so happy once I've done it. I also want to start a book club...
  • Write. I want to to do more creative writing and become a better and more consistent writer.
  • Spend time outside and enjoy Spring as much as possible. (And maybe practice photography at the same time. Why not!) 
  • Have a more structured morning routine inspired by the "s.a.v.e.r.s." method invented by Hal Elrod. I'm not going to wake up at 5:30 am anytime soon, but I like the idea of starting your day with meditation, goal setting and visualizing, a little bit of exercise (I'm currently planking for one minute and adding whatever bodyweight exercises I feel like doing, whether it's squats, lunges, abs or dips...), reading and journaling. I don't necessarily do all of these steps and I sometimes switch the order, but I think having a routine can really be beneficial, especially if you "work" from home. It's so easy to fall into the trap of watching just one episode of Friends or one Youtube video while you eat breakfast and then one more and another one, and to end up destroying your productivity for the day. 
What are your goals for May? 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Bourjois Rouge Velvet: review and swatches

lipstick, swatches, drugstore, affordable, makeup, highstreet

When it comes to drugstore matte lipsticks, Bourjois is my go-to. I've been a fan of the Rouge Edition Velvet for years and when I saw that they were expanding their velvet range I was thrilled. The Rouge Velvet are supposed to be a hybrid between a liquid lipstick and a regular creamy one. It might seem too good to be true, but I feel like you actually get the best of both worlds: easy application, easy touch ups and lasting power. I personally never got along with most liquid lipsticks because doe foot applicators can be tricky to use (especially with darker colors) and a lot of them are drying, not to mention those that get really cakey when you layer them, making touch ups impossible. The Rouge Velvet lipsticks  feel like a balm when you apply them and then they set within a few seconds. The tear-shaped bullet makes it really easy to apply, even with dark shades. Comfort-wise they can be a bit drying but nothing that a thin layer of lip balm can't fix. Flaming'rose is my go to shade for an everyday look, but I also wear Hip hip pink a lot for a bolder but still wearable look.

lipstick, swatches, makeup, affordable, matte

matte, lipstick, affordable, swatchesmatte, lipstick, swatch, brick, red

matte, lipstick, swatch, affordable, red

matte, lipstick, berry, vampy, swatch, fig

lipstick, swatch, dark red, vampy, matte

lip swatches, lipstick, matte, affordable, drugstore, highstreet,


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

One Minute Bliss: Do it badly!


One Minute Bliss is a blog post series where every Monday I share one small thing that brings me joy. You can find the other posts here.

It recently struck me how often I keep myself from doing something because I think I won't be able to do it well. This omnipresence of perfection in our minds can have such a negative and restrictive impact. 

-I have to write the perfect cover letter. 
-I have to do a super intense workout or it's not worth it. 
-I can't send a draft of my essay/thesis to my teacher because it is not perfectly written. 
-I shouldn't hire a photographer to shoot my outfits because my audience isn't big enough, because I'm not a talented blogger, and so on.
-I want to start an online shop, but nobody will buy anything.

Having these thoughts on repeat means that for fear of not being perfect, you end up doing nothing. 

Since then I've been telling myself that I'm allowed to do it badly, as long as I do it and it's a rather liberating thought. It's ok to write a crappy short story. That's how you learn how to write. It's ok to do an easy workout. It's still a workout and it's better than nothing. It's ok to write a pathetic cover letter, you can rewrite it as many times as you want before you send it. 

I didn't know how to illustrate this article, but since I'm really into Friends as the moment I thought about Phoebe and I think she's a great example of this philosophy. So be like Phoebe Buffay! Write songs and play guitar even if you suck. Perfection is boring anyway!

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Color Stories

Topshop, red coat, bouclé

I am a color lover. You'll never find me in an all-black outfit and if I do wear black because I'm in too much of a hurry to think about my outfit, I won't feel like myself. Nonetheless, Winter makes me gravitate toward darker, richer tones like green, burgundy and navy, or toward muted shades of pink. Spring has reignited my love for bright colors and this Topshop coat is the perfect transitional jacket because it's still warm but pairs perfectly with light dresses and pink accessories.
Fun fact: I had a goth period when I was twelve during which I wanted to wear nothing but black, except that I didn't have a lot of black clothes so I was rotating between two t-shirts, a skirt and a cardigan. Fortunately I quickly moved on to my hippie phase, which was a lot more colorful. I had a friend who was always wearing flowers in her hair. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This might explain my ever-going obsession with flower crowns. Regarding pink, as a child, it was all I could think about (Barbie's fault!). Apparently I loved it so much that I got fed up and did not wear that color all through my teenage years. And now the craze is back and I can't get enough of this soft and feminine tone. Maybe our current tastes are nothing but a combination of our past fads...

Topshop, red coat, bouclé


Flower crown, headband, rainbow, multicolor


Micheal Kors, Pink, Crossbody bag, candy, bubble gum pink




Headband: Asos
Coat: Topshop
Dress: Mango
Boots: Bronx
Bag: Michael Kors

Pictures by Romain Keller

Bronk, Chloé Susanna, dupe, suede, studded, blush


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