Monday, April 14, 2014

Tête de Mule!

Black: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Cream: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Colour: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Wedges: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Metallic: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Mules are my favourite to-go shoes for the spring and summer, as they carry both comfort and elegance, and are extremely versatile. I like to think that during a hot day, I can kick off my shoes in a single movement (it's also extremely practical for security lines when traveling). Also, the lack of a sling in the back avoids the painful burns on the back of the ankles that come with new shoes, or any worn for extensive periods in hot weather.
While mules are also known as "slings" in English, and a search for the former term on popular online shoe retailers yields very little results. Being the ever-French and proud Francophile that I am, I still prefer the earlier term, which, in French, is also used to designate a very stubborn person (such as a toddler, but not limited to) with the charming expression: "tête de mule."

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Week

I've been unable to put down Magnus, by French author Sylvie Germain. It is pure unadulterated genius! Read it, preferably in French! 

While this week has undeniably been difficult and stressful, I'm glad that it is coming to an end, and that a new, far better one is about to start. Plans for today include writing, relaxing, some housework; it was supposed to be a stay-at-home day, but my iPhone cable has decided to fail, and I need to go out and purchase a new one or be phone-less, which is very tempting, but not envisageable for the moment.
In the meanwhile, here are a few positive snapshots of the past few days! 

Best remedy for the blues: Trader Joe's dark chocolate!

Getting ready for the gala last Saturday; my dress (which was coincidentally my very first rental from Rent The Runway) fit like a glove! 

Lunch at Mamma Lucia's in Bethesda: their portobello raviolis are to die for! 

I picked up lavender roses at the Bethesda Women Farmer's Market; these flowers (unlike those you find at the grocery store) all smell so strong and delicious!

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On Tranquility

The past ten days were horrendously stressful. Too much was happening at the same time, and my anxiety got to a point beyond what I could handle. I started feeling the familiar, uncomfortable tightness in my throat that made my breathing difficult; my skin broke out completely, and I could not find sleep. Add to this the fact that in the same week, I was twice in situations that unexpectedly triggered my claustrophobia, including the gala I was so excited about (it was otherwise a very beautiful night), a new romantic situation (more on that as it develops), and the guilt I felt for not working at all on finishing my novel (which a psychic I consulted not long ago said would be published before the end of 2014).

Needless to say, I started smoking again.

I was able to distract myself from those tumultuous times, mostly thanks to two very good friends: Kitty, who is pure, undistilled awesomeness, and a former history teacher who has now become an excellent friend as well, and who, in spite of being sick, came out to see me because she knew I was having a rough few days. And of course, there's always my father, who fills me with safety no matter how much I'm panicking.

Yesterday was the turning point, the moment where I felt worse, before beginning to feel better, to realize that the news I had received that day were not that bad, actually, and that I was safe. After spending the night enjoying pizza soaked up in red wine and watching Gossip Girl, I fell asleep, and woke up this morning peaceful and relaxed, for the first time in a very long time.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring-Summer Wishlist

After weeks of extremely cold weather, the spring has finally arrived to DC, and with it comes the necessity to update my wardrobe for the next few months, that will see many fluctuations of temperature and humidity. Here are my essentials items for this rather capricious season:

1. Maxi dress: I like a fluid, simple black fabric that is easy to accessorize or dress up for hot, humid days. Given my pear-shaped silhouette, I like a deep v-neck and a tight waist.

2. Wicker handbag: There's something about the material that immediately brings up images of vacations on Mediterranean islands... It's my way of bringing in the summer before it has arrived.

3. White top: Simple, versatile, and summery.

4. Capri pants: Also versatile and extremely confortable.

5. Bathing suit: I like to find a model that flatters my silhouette, and in a classic colour like black, but with an interesting embellishment.

6. Light scarf: To add a touch of colour to any outfit; I like to wear mine around my neck, tie it to a purse, or wear it around my waist or sarong-style over a bathing suit.

7. Mules: they're my favourite type of shoes, because they're so comfortable, allow you to flaunt your pedicure, and can be kicked off in a second (I'm thinking airport security lines), yet bring the sexy walk and posture of high heels. I like a simple black model that can be worn anywhere from the beach to work to a party. 

8. Beaded necklace: I love to accessorize with statement jewelry all year long, but I find that small glass beads belong much more in the spring and summer. Also, they're more confortable to wear in hot weather than metal jewelry and are less likely to leave you with an atrocious green mark on your skin.)  

9. Trench coat: for those occasional cold or rainy days. I like a cherry red, that is enough of a statement colour but still adapts with many others.

10. Facial spray: On the other side of the Atlantic, it's quite a common beauty reflex. I like to use it year-round to rinse my face, since tap water here is filled with too many drying chemicals, but especially in the summer, when a light spritz is enough to cool off but doesn't unsettle any make-up or make my face look soaking wet.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Beauty for the Ball

Christina Hendricks photo via - Smokey eye via

I'm extremely excited to attend my high school's annual fundraising gala at the Turkish Ambassador's residence this coming Saturday. I've already mentioned how much I have always loved formal events, from getting ready for one, to the party itself, and even the aftermath, those early-morning hours when you're finally home, your feet hurt, and yet you want to keep on your dress, make-up and hairstyle for a few more minutes before heading to bed. I've already found and ordered my gown for Saturday from my newest discovery/love, Rent the Runway, and cannot wait to get to try it on. I've selected it with the help of Kitty Darling, who dissuaded me to go for what he called the "American Prom Dress" at an event mainly attended by French expatriates. 
With the dress (and accessories) now found, what I have yet to do is plan for hair and make-up so I don't have to deal with last-minute stress on Saturday (and look accordingly ghastly). The theme of the party being the Orient-Express, I've opted for a classic, chic look that will complement the drama of my dress, and that I can achieve myself at home.

Hair: having recently gotten a medium-long bob, I'm going for retro curls with a side part. I've already styled my hair this way many times, and can do it quite fast now. After parting my blow-dried hair, I wrap small sections around my curling-iron (a barrel of a smaller diameter is best) for ten seconds to create bouncy curls. Once done, I run my fingers through my hair to make the curls slightly less springy, then set with hairspray.

Eyes: While I enjoy wearing red lipstick, I still think my eyes are my best asset, and intend on playing them up for this event (and will probably just apply Rosebud Salve on my lips, so I won't have to worry about touch-ups or leaving lipstick traces on my glass). Using my Sephora Collection IT Palette in Nude, I will create a smokey eye, then apply a coat of Benefit They're Real on my lashes to lengthen them. 

Face: I guess there's no magic solution to avoid stressed skin at the end of what will probably be a long, weary week (aside from maybe praying? Or bathing in chicken's blood at midnight?), but I plan to use my everyday products to make my skin radiant: the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, followed by a subtle swipe of my ever-faithful Coralista blush. And last but absolutely not least, my ultimate beauty discovery (which you can still win by entering my giveaway!), Benefit High Beam, which will take my look to the next level by highlighting my face and bringing dimension to it. 

Scent: Given the Turkish theme of the soirée, I'm planning to go all in with the heavy, spicy, oriental scent of Yves Saint Laurent's Opium, a favourite fragrance of mine.

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