Tag Archives: Beauty

When Swan Lake meets the Torrens river

“Dancing is an art. The floor is my canvas and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart”.

To me, ballet is like a day dream, where the music takes you to a sweet escape and for one moment you belong to the story and everything falls in its right place. There is no need to speak, to explain, you just feel it and your imagination does the rest.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend to one of the most famous ballet : Swan Lake! Luckily a friend of mine managed to get me a ticket to the dress rehearsal at the Adelaide festival centre by the Torrens river and I really enjoyed this moment.

swan-lake-ballet-australian-ballet1I swear I could see the swans on the stage, the way they move, they were so real. The main ballerina was so gracious and really into her character : sweet and fragile as a white swan and her doppelgänger charming and confident as a black swan. The music was so touching, melancholic… and the end so sad… but we all already knew that, didn’t we ?!

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Swan Lake Dress Rehearsal, 25 May 2016

As it was a dress rehearsal, it was also interesting because I could see how they improve the settings, adjust the lights, how the dancers adapt and sometimes request to repeat a particular moment. When you see a ballet, the dancers make it so easy that it feels so natural that sometimes you forget all the work, commitment, dedication and hard training to complete the perfect  choreography.

What can be said about a classic like Swan Lake that hasn’t already been said! Some critics would say that the storyline lacks of originality but to me, if I should say in just one sentence how I felt about it, I would say:

Sweet and Bitter as Love can be sometimes…

Girls on films

What was the last time you were excited by a party?

Something you were really looking forward to discover, something that made you feel like a teenager going to her first prom, that made your heart jumped in your chest because you could not wait. Do you remember this feeling?!

Friday, I was invited to the most original girls’ night ever! Once a month, my friends and myself host a party in our houses (we take turns, yes, we are very organized haha). We generally pick a theme to spice up things and make it even more enjoyable. But I must say, last Friday, Nasim (my friend from Iran) took it to the next level! She rocked it!

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Artist in progress… Nasim so focus and me being so curious!

She had this amazing idea to re-create a photo-shooting session in a studio and it was so much fun. She asked my friend Jessica (from Mexico) to come with dresses and some make up and I was told to bring my favourite dress and all accessories I could think of (such as : hairbands, hair jewels, masks etc… as I have many of them). I was so excited when I packed my bag on the night before, it was like I was going on a magic trip.  And during the night I could hardly sleep because my eyes were full of shining stars ❤

So when the day came, I was all prepared and ready to give my best pose to the camera. Nasim had all it figured and had managed to turn the first floor of her house into a photo-studio, with changing rooms, beauty salon and photo-shooting area. The atmosphere was perfect, the music selection was good and loud, beauty products had been placed on a table. It was just perfect!

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Smile, it’s selfie time! Jessica, thanks for having my back!

We changed clothes and helped each other to get prepared. Nasim did my make-up and my hair. She took care of Jessica afterwards. Yes, this night Nasim was at the same time a make-up artist, a hair stylist and a professional photographer! She is a very versatile girl as you can easily imagine! She put the music on and the show began!

We had an exciting night, doing different pose : “give me wild, give me sexy, give me sad, give me angry…”. Jessica is a natural, I mean she was amazing, I swear this girl could be an actress! She had the perfect expressions and she knew how to play with the camera. Also it was very fun because when Jessica was modeling, I was in charge of the lighting and directing the wind in her hair (I was using a hairdryer : I told you, Nasim had it all figured). When my turn came, I was petrified (I guess due to overwhelming feelings of joy haha) and I was not that natural… Actually the picture I enjoyed the most are the ones where I am not posing or the ones where I am acting like a crazy person.

It was a great night and what makes it so great is the joy to be with friends. What makes it special is the desire to share new experiences. What makes it memorable is the pleasure to have so much fun together. The love for English language is the key that has united us, our different cultures and background are the foundation of our friendship and our friendly personalities did the rest. We are different but we complete each others so well, we are the 3 sisters (not those from Sydney), we are the world!

Now I can’t wait to see the results, since Nasim is still editing/working on the pictures. I haven’t seen them yet but I am sure it is going to be AWESOME!!!

More than a jeans!

Do you know what is the most common fear for people living abroad? No matter the origin, colour, religion… it is always the same obsession! You would think: the language to master? the new culture to adapt? missing your family so much that you can’t breath? I won’t deny that these are part of the concerns too but the most common fear is actually and surprisingly: gaining weight!

When you think about it, it does make sense! Afterall when you move overseas, you have a lot of free time when you arrive, meaning a lot of opportunities to taste local dishes, an enormous curiosity to satisfy and the desire to discover everything about your new culture and food is definitely part of the plan! But all these little culinary experiences have a price and soon before you realise you have gained 1 or 2 size and it can be more if you have abused of comforting food!

I have a little trick in order  to avoid this unfortunate experience! I have the perfect weapon that I always have in my wardrobe! Please I hope you are not thinking of Bridget Jones’slim panties! Please… No! My secret weapon is actually a pair of jeans that I used to wear in my early twenties! It has even a name: it is called the “Sienna Miller”! Why this name? because when I bought it, there was a big black and white poster in the shop featuring the beautiful Sienna Miller wearing this exact same jeans! She was absolutely gorgeous ❤ with her beautiful curves sublimated in this mythical denim pants!

Wherever I am going, I always bring my “Sienna Miller jeans” with me! I can’t really wear it anymore because it is 15 years old, very used and full of holes but I can assure you it works better than a scale. Whenever I am in doubt about my figures, I just have to fit the SM jean: if it fits it means I can still enjoy cakes and candies, if it does not then it leads automatically to more walking and less treats! It is as simple as that and so far it has worked for me wherever I lived and despite my love for St Viateur bagels in Canada, my obsession for scones with marmalade and cream in England and my sweet spot for Lamington in Australia!

In conclusion, a scale can lie to you because these are just numbers… it can be water retention, hormonal etc… but the Sienna Miller jean will always be true to you showing no mercy to extra kilos!

You should drink more water!

“No water, no life. No blue, no green” – Sylvia Earle

Forget about make-up, beauty creams, vitamins, miracle pills, fancy clothes, jewels to make you beautiful… because a girl’s best friend is closer that you think, it is actually: WATER!

Water has many virtues: it helps to digest, to regulate body temperature, to help with weight loss, to feel full of energy, to have a clearer skin, to stay fresh, to prevent headache, to beat colds, to think clearer! With all these benefits it should definitely be part of your beauty routine ❤

We are supposed to drink around 2-3 litres a day… which seems like a lot! But you can make it fun by adding cucumbers, lemons or fruits in your glass of water, to spice up things so it does not get boring! Here is a lovely article with 20 cool recipes and amazing pictures that will make you fall in love with your glass of water!  http://www.diyncrafts.com/7075/health/20-delicious-detox-waters-cleanse-body-burn-fat

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Water spiced up with mint, orange, lemon and cinnamon!

I personally adore tea so it is another disguised way to hydrate your body and feel splendid! My favorite time being in the afternoon while blogging and enjoying an homemade iced tea or a warm and comforting cup of my favorite blend.

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Delicious mint and lemon iced tea at “E for Ethel” cafe

You can also make it trendy and healthy at home! In Adelaide we are lucky to live near Mount Lofty and its natural springs. You can enjoy pure and refreshing water for a really decent price and it is always nice to buy local! It is non polluted,  it is natural, high quality and it tastes good! Here is my tip: buy a 10 liter Mount Lofty water pack (easy to find at Coles supermarket), it is convenient, cheaper and environment friendly! Then buy a beautiful bottle: I went for “Voss”, they have really stylish glass bottles but their water is so expensive because it comes from Norway springs! So now what I do, I fill my trendy “Voss” bottle with my “Mount Lofty natural spring water“,  I place it in the fridge and I have always fresh and  pure water to offer. I must say the bottle looks pretty cool on my table which is always a PLUS to feel good about yourself or when you have guests!

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10 litres pack of natural spring water
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Stylish Voss bottle

 

 

 

 

 

And now a funny story: I am going to reveal a little secret about Mount Lofty 10 litres pack that only Australian people know because they were born with it I assume. It seems that foreigners don’t know how to make the water flow from the box… My friend Nasim (from Iran) and I (from France) made exactly the same mistake, turning the plastic button from right to left and the other way around… we turned every part of it but nothing happened, not a single drop of water. One day Nasim’s neighbor (from Oz) paid a visit to her and Nasim asked her if she knew how to use the water pack! Her neighbor smiled and said, “Oh, it is easy, there is a little trick to know” and she showed her! Then it happened the same thing to me and I spotted that Nasim had a Mount Lofty water pack at home too, so I asked her to show me how to use it and she said, “it is easy, there is a little trick”… when thinking of it I feel stupid now haha… don’t turn the plastic bit, it won’t do anything! For god’s sake it is not a French wine barrel with a small pourer to turn on and off! So the technique is to lift the small plastic bit up or down like if you were switching a light on or off and the miracle will happen, you will have your own fountain of water springing in your home ❤ magic!

Peaceful Adelaide Himeji garden

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden”

Do you have a secret place where you enjoy going to dream and clear your mind? A poetic place where you feel free and inspired?

I know a lovely garden in Adelaide that is an invitation to inspiration. It is as beautiful as it is peaceful with its enchanting trees and flowers. It is a Japanese style garden celebrating religiously the beauty of nature. I like to walk slowly surrounded by the sound of silence on the stepping stones so I can admire every tiny detail. I enjoy gazing at the calm water of the lake and listen to the birds singing happily in the deep blue sky. I love the sound of the chanting waterfall melting poetically into the beautiful landscape.  Everything is in harmony with nature and my heart feels at peace here.

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The lake: the soul of the garden

I like to kneel in front of the magic stone bowl and feel the fresh water on my hand and my face. It is said that the holy water will purify your spirit and your soul: it is like leaving all my worries behind me and starting from fresh with a humble attitude.

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Water bowl (Chozubachi) so visitors may purify themselves

I like to contemplate the sea of sand. It is the perfect spot for contemplation thinking of the immensity of the sea, the waves, the continents. If you close your eyes, you can hear the sea… As Buddha said “With our thoughts we create the world” and it is up to us to make it beautiful!

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Sea of sand

I could spend hours in this enchanting garden: dreaming, reading, having a picnic, doing yoga… but suddenly I hear the ‘clack” of the Shishi-Odoshi: a large bamboo tube filling with water until horizontal and then emptying causing one end to hit a rock with a deaf noise. It brings me back to reality: happier, rested and aware of the beauty and power of nature… already time to go but I will be back soon, I promise 😉

 

Adelaide Himeji garden

South Terrace

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.postcards-sa.com.au/features/himeji_garden.html

Highway to heaven

I was 30 years old and it was my first time in the USA. My Californian friends had invited me on a road trip on one of the most scenic drives in the entire world: the iconic Highway One. We drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles and each day was a combination of natural beauty, breathtaking scenery and acknowledging life’s quality.

One of our final stops was in Santa Barbara, in a restaurant called ‘La Superica’. It looked like an old Mexican barrack with its white walls and blue windows. It was not fancy at all and it was nothing like what I would have picked to conclude a mind-blowing trip. But as soon as I went inside I felt that the atmosphere was very welcoming. It was packed with joyful people enjoying lively dishes and for a minute I forgot that my journey was nearly over. I ordered tacos and as soon as the food was placed on the table I understood why my friends took me here.

The fresh handmade tortilla was beautiful with a golden shade of yellow contrasting with the different mouthwatering ingredients sitting on its heart. I could smell the fragrant odour of the corn flour with a zest of lime tickling my nose. The meat had a lovely brown caramelised tint and smelt heavenly. It was tender, smoky, juicy and cooked to perfection. The red salsa was thick, creamy and attractively opaque in colour. I could tell the tomatoes had been cooked slowly and mixed with toasted Mexican chilles and chipotle peppers. The topping was a symphony of colours where the chopped green vegetables were dancing with the fresh herbs under a moon of white creamy cheese. I could see the finely minced onions blending with the minced crisp cabbages promising a textural crunch.

No sooner had the fresh taco touched my palate that I felt shivers and stopped. It was absolutely divine! An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses filling me with all California. Each bite, each colour, each flavour had the taste of my trip on the mythical Highway One. I could see the sunny valleys, the Spanish missions, the rugged beach and the surf towns. I could smell the farmers’ stalls on the side of the road, I could hear the Pacific Ocean crashing down below the steep cliffs and I could feel the intoxicating warmth of the Californian sun and the presence of my friends forever with me.

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California you’ve got my heart!

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This text is one of my assignments from creative writing class. I was asked to write about a vivid memory in 400 words so I picked a special moment I had the chance to experience a couple of years ago with my dear Californian friends: Teresa and John. My roadtrip in California was an amazing journey and I hope someday I will write the full story and share with you this beautiful and breathtaking adventure!

My favorite natural beauty products

Every girl has a beauty routine, products and brands she trusts because she knows it works well on her skin. No matter what people say or think: it is not that easy to find the equivalent version when living abroad. Nobody wants to risk an  allergy or to look like a “beautiful” red lobster. Every wise girl knows best that it is better to pack in your suitcase the beauty products you cherish the most to pamper yourself! It will save you time, money and stress, so you can explore then at your own pace local brands and find what works best for you!

Speaking of that I recently posted about a popular French beauty brand called L’Occitane as I think it is part of the routine of many women.  Actually the article received many likes so today I thought I could  share with you MY favorite French brands that I make sure to pack in my suitcase when moving abroad  😉

First I have to confess that I have tried in the past famous brands such as Chanel, Dior, Clarins… they were good but in my opinion not spectacular considering the price. Furthermore I have realised I was more into organic cosmetics so my selection is natural products orientated.

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction” – E.O. Wilson

So here is my top 3 ❤

1.  Senteurs de fée Paris

I absolutely adore this brand. I am a huge fan of all their products and I have been using them for many years. I am in love with the rose fragrance and a lot of their products contain this amazing ingredient! I find them extremely effective at keeping my skin nice and moisturized. They are absolutely perfect! There is only one shop and it is in Paris (Le Marais). When you enter the shop, the magic happens: the colors, the lovely smells, the atmosphere. I had the chance to meet Katia (the creator of this amazing brand) and she is as splendid and lively as her products! My favorites are:

  • Nectar de rose: an aromatic hydratating face care. It is actually an oil texture composed with apricot, macadamia nut and bulgaria rose. It is perfect for my sensitive skin since I can not possibly use cream.  If I could only bring one beauty product on a desert island, I will definitely choose “Nectar de rose” because it is the best product ever!
  • Rose huile vraie: a non greasy body oil which smells divine and makes your skin so soft… I just love it! The bottle looks so nice with a kind of retro look. Like I said I am fond of all their products.

If you travel to France, make sure to pop by this lovely shop, it is in a nice area in Paris and it is totally worth it.  They also ship worldwide, look for the English version! http://www.senteursdefee.com/index.php

 

2. Douces angevines

I like this brand and their products smell amazing (if you like the  smell of plants). I have read in the press that the French actress Marion Cotillard loves them too. One day, I was in a changing room in Paris trying some clothes on. When I handed back the clothes to the shop keeper, she asked me what my body lotion was. She said it smelt so good on the clothes. I actually was wearing Douces angevines’Baobab oil! On the other hand, one day I was at my parents place and my father came into the bathroom because of the smell. He said that it reminded him some kind of medication you use to breathe better and found awkward it was part of my beauty routine (men…). So I guess it is a matter of taste… I personally like it. My favorites are:

  • Fantômette: A non greasy plant fluid to remove make-up and clean the skin. I find it very effective on the eyelids especially when you are wearing waterproof make-up.
  • Berbere: A pre-shampoo fluid to protect and repair your hair. It smells very nice and when using it I find that my hair is more shiny, soft and beautiful with a nice glow!

You can find those products in organic shops in France or you can place an order via their website and take the opportunity to learn more about them:  http://en.doucesangevines.com/s/10843_beauty-of-the-face

 

3. Couleur caramel

Organic and natural make up range. The products are high quality, easy to use, look pretty all day long! I have been using this brand for many years and I am pretty happy with the results. Products last long so it is a plus! Furthermore the packaging is so cute! I really like this brand! My favorites products are:

Eyeshadows: silky, velvety made with micronized powder… they have a full range of beautiful colors! It is perfect for a natural make-up.

Mascaras: water based formula, will protect your eyelids and it is perfect for sensitive eyes! It is very easy to remove it and I like the natural smell.

Have a look at their website, there is a good selection and I particularly enjoy their special collections/editions for summer, valentine’s day, christmas… they are very creative! http://www.couleurcaramel.com.au

 

I hope you like my selection and as I said these are definitely nice natural French brands that you have to test when you go to France.  I am sure you will fall in love with them! What about you? What is your beauty routine? Do you pack also your favorite products in your suitcase when going abroad? What are your essentials?

As for me, after 5 months living in Australia, I am at this crossroad where I need to start buying local because now I am living here and I have to embrace my new lifestyle and I want to…  But I have been so busy these past few months that I did not have a real chance to explore and test Australian beauty brands. Shame on me!

So if you happen to live in this wonderful country (or New Zealand) and have amazing natural/organic brands to recommend me I would be really thankful!

SMILE 🙂 You are beautiful ❤