notes on elegance #5: smile

hello lovelies,

today’s topic is a simple but very important one. i’ve been realising lately that no matter how much effort i put into planing hair, makeup and clothes, nothing will ever beat the power of a smile. i’m not suggesting to force yourself to smile but rather to cultivate inner peace which in turn, will lead you to smile softly.

i’ve often seen people who seem elegant physically but give off a negative aura. what i wish for myself is to feel grateful, content, and at peace. seems like a lot, but i honestly believe everyone has the right to feel that way, all the time.

i personally try to watch my thinking patterns and try to cultivate positive and loving thoughts. whether it’s criticising another or myself, it doesn’t do any good. by smiling, i remind myself what a joy it is it live and what a blessing it is to feel creative and learn from other people. by smiling, i want to connect and extend warm-heartedness to others. much like how you would smile to a cute baby in a stroller who brings a light of joy in your day.

let me know how you feel about today’s fast-paced world and the difficulty to reach out to others. i’d love to know what you think!

until next time,

marie

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three things for the weekend

hello, hello!

a quick post to share three things for you to try over the weekend!

1. jack johnson : inaudible melodies

jack johnson always gets it right.

“slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast” is what i’ve been telling myself lately!

2. autumn cleaning

a little mid-season clean always picks me up. if you’re already on top of your cleaning schedule, may i suggest a new candle or a little succulent to brighten up your windowsill?

3. gilmore girls

i never get tired of this show. fall is the season where i seem to always go back to my dvds!

take care and wishing you a lovely weekend.

marie

ten autumn beauty and wellness favourites

hello lovelies!

it’s been a while since i’ve posted. apologies! hopefully i’ll be able to post a regular basis from now on!

as a little fun comeback post, i’ve compiled a list of beauty products that i especially love for fall. although i have combination skin, i do tend to be dehydrated and very dry on my body.

1. bite beauty agave lip mask, $30 CAD

bite beauty agave lip mask

i gave in to the hype…this product is great! i have been having serious chapped lips for a few weeks and none of my lipbalms have been working properly. i have recently found out that i do not agree with products containing petroleum. lanolin, the first ingredient of the lip mask, seems to do the trick. what really makes this a winner, however is how thick the product is. it is very moisturising and i don’t feel the need to reapply, which is great considering the price. however, for those of you who do not like scented products, this is very sweet (think vanilla birthday cake).

2. avene cold cream, $36 CAD

Avène Cold Cream

my legs have been very itchy lately and this product has really helped. i apply the creme right after a shower, normally before bed. it doesn’t leave a greasy film, which is handy if i do need to apply in the morning before getting dressed. it is unscented but it does have a funny smell that i’m not really a fan of. however for me, it’s all about performance! it doesn’t linger and i prefer to use unscented products since i do have a perfume that i like.

3. avene cicalfate hands repairing barrier, ~$16 CAD

Avène Cicalfate Hand Cream

much like the cold creme, this is excellent before bed. non-greasy and effective, it does the job right and keeps my hands in top condition.

4. tressemme rejuvenating mud mask, $5 CAD

Tresseme Rejuvenating Mud Mask

the change of season also led me to have dry hair! this mask is wonderfully inexpensive and often on offer. i have fine hair, but a lot of it and found it to be light enough for me.

5. stila convertible colour, $33 CAD

Stila Convertible Colour in Camellia

this product is an all-year favourite but i especially love the shine i get on the apples of the cheeks during autumn. i own four shades (this is how much i love the product…) and my current favourites are camellia and rose. they are great on the lips as well but i find them a little drying.
(pictured: camellia)

6. stila lip & cheek stain, $32 CAD

Stila Lip and Cheek Stain in Pomegranate Crush

i own this in the shade pomegranate crush. absolutely love the fact that i can build it up to an intense colour. smells wonderful and has good staying power! haven’t tried it on the cheeks and feel it might be too sticky for that purpose.

7. traditional medicinals herbal tea, $5 CAD

Traditional Medicinals: Chamomile Lavender

herbal tea is my new bff! i have been feeling very bloated for the past couple of months and herbal tea has helped me keep that under control. my current favourite is chamomile and lavender, great for unwinding before bed. this brand is not for people who like very flavoured teas, the brand focuses on the performance of the ingredients and have a solution for just about everything.

8. calm.com

feeling stressed? meditation can surely help! this is my favourite app to use for a quick meditation session. love the sound effects as well!

9. un-fancy.com & into-mind.com

i am trying to keep it simple recently and caroline and anuschka’s blogs have helped me clear out and manage my closet. i am happy to report that i shop less and have a better idea of what i want while shopping. a huge thank you to both these ladies!

10. nujabes

what a wonderful discovery! i love nujabes’ album modal soul and would recommend it to everyone. great for those rainy cold autumn evenings.

 

what are your autumn favourites? please do share in the comments!

wishing you all the best for this beautiful season!

hugs,

marie

notes on elegance #4: soft confidence

hi everyone! hope you’re doing well.

today’s topic is one that we’ve probably all struggled with at some point in our lives. confidence is a word we’re taught young. self-confidence is valued by many but also fragile.

i’ve always thought i was a confident person. however, lately, i’ve found that i might have projected that image but deep down, i’ve had many moments of uncertainty.

to me, self-confidence is not to be able to speak eloquently, win arguments or have an impeccable physical appearance. to me, confidence isn’t harsh, it isn’t pushy and it is not selfish.

i’ve worked on my self-confidence mainly through faith. if spirituality is your thing, i highly encourage that you explore your own faith and even branch out to other faiths/philosophies.

so far, i’ve learned that self-confidence is soft. it is patient, it is loving. it goes hand in hand with compassion and a love for others. i’ve often heard that you must love yourself in order to love others. however, rather than endlessly focusing on taking care of the self, i try to be compassionate towards others and apply the same compassion towards myself.

to me, to be softly confident means:

1. patience: it’s ok if you’re not like others and if others don’t agree with you. be patient, what you truly seek will come to you in due time.

2. kindness: towards others and towards yourself. treat others with respect and treat yourself the same way. everyone is incredible in their own unique way, and so are you. be as healthy as you can and take care of the ones you love.

3. optimism: learn to have a positive outlook. frustration and sadness may block the way to feeling happy about our current situations. count your blessings and make the most of what you have.

4. be in the moment: enjoy to simply be. if a situation is difficult, work through it with the energy you have and be as considerate as possible.

5. love: to be in love does not mean to be in a romantic relationship. to be in love is to be thankful, to be caring and to be in the moment. single friends, don’t despair. if you’re in love with your life and your relationships, your true love will find you quickly.

i hope you enjoyed this post on self-confidence. as a closing reminder: be patient, be kind and be in love.

xoxo

marie

notes on elegance #3: respect

today’s topic is broad and i would love to hear your thoughts.

respect is a priority for many people in their relationships. however, i’ve found that most of the time, i tend to forget about self-respect and self-worth as well as respect towards the environment and strangers.

self-respect, to me, is the foundation on which one is able to build sincere respect towards others. the inner dialogue is extremely important and i’ve found myself treating others just like i treat myself. most of the time, i consider myself an accomplished person but some days, i just can’t seem to be able to believe that.

i’m not quite sure who is to blame for implementing negative thoughts about my looks, my education, and my quirks, but it’s sometimes not a pretty picture. when i’m feeling like this (which, thank goodness, is not most of the time), i tend to have a short temper towards others and sometimes, even say hurtful things.

i encourage myself and others to train a positive mind. in order to do that, i try to have faith in everything. sometimes i feel like the news, documentaries and articles tend to make us discouraged and generally negative towards society. however, to be aware of a problem does not mean that it must continue to remain a problem, but rather encourages critical thinking and a drive for positive changes.

for inspiration, i’ve always been interested in what my faith as well as other faiths have to offer. philosophy is also another good source of positive critical thinking and it’s a priority for me to always feel like there’s hope.

it’s when i have faith in something that i start to feel present. and in feeling present i respect both myself, others and the environment.

by being more respectful, i’ve found myself to live in moderation. eating less, lounging less, buying less and arguing less. it’s a really hard thing to do, but i feel that it’s extremely worthwhile.

respect is of utmost importance when cultivating elegance. respect brings forth compassion and good etiquette (without studying emily post, although i find her fascinating!). respect is a will to learn and let things be.

that said, how can respect affect an elegant appearance and lifestyle?

– by respecting oneself, good hygiene, elegant deportment and style as well as a good diet is a simple affair

– by respecting others, manners and politeness comes naturally

– by respecting the environment, it is possible to minimise waste and practice gratefulness

 

please do share your thoughts on the subject!

wishing you all the best,

xoxo

marie

notes on elegance #2: style

hello all!

it’s been a sunny couple of days in my little corner of the world and i’ve been reflecting a lot on style and elegance.

in the previous post, i made sure to disassociate elegance as simply being tied to fashion and beauty. what i would rather like to explore in this blog post is how compassion towards others, ourselves and our environment leads to an elegant style.

now, i don’t know about you, but i have spent far too many minutes standing in front of my wardrobe in the morning saying to myself “goodness, i don’t have anything to wear!” while staring blankly at a closet full of clothes.

it’s no question today’s fast-paced world has brought a lot of needs to our attention. with online shopping, anything can be sent over to your door.  it’s a blessing to be able to discover new products and technologies but it can also lead you to spending money blindly towards things that you don’t really love and appreciate.

recently i’ve been in the process of streamlining my closet. it’s a hard process because i’m finding myself attached to things i no longer wear or that no longer fit my style. this realisation leads me to my next point:

1. define your style

a personal style, for me, is a summary of adjectives that describe an overall feeling of how you want to visually project yourself. for me, at the moment, my style would be sweet and classic. i like small and clean details and like to feel put together without feeling too formal. the sweet element of my style would incorporate light and airy colours, lace, light cotton, silk, linen, polka dots, flower prints and small details like buttons, bows or embroidery. my jewellery is also very understated. i wear short teardrop-shaped gold earrings, dainty rings and a lightweight necklace.

classic elements would include neutral colours such as tan, brown, grey, white, ivory and classic pieces such as button downs, fitted jeans and leather handbangs in neutral colours. i tend to stick to classic shoes and currently only wear black leather ballet flats and flat black sandals.

by defining my style, i feel more comfortable in my clothes and how i present myself. when i branch out, i try to indulge in true luxuries that aren’t noticeable to others but make me feel special. accessories tend to be perfect for this purpose as well as wearing a pop of colour or a special fabric that’s extra-soft.

wear what’s comfortable for you in the way that you feel the most presentable. presentation is just the pretty cover on the wonderful content of a person. it’s undeniably important and tied to elegance of the mind and heart.

2. streamline!

by defining your style, you can then move on to edit your wardrobe and keep what matters most and what makes you feel extra special.

i recommend reading A Guide to Elegance by Geneviève A. Dariaux and Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. A Guide to Elegance gives interesting insight to 1960s fashion as well as haute couture standards. it may not be realistic for 21st century shoppers, but the general advice is still extremely relevant.

Jennifer L. Scott’s book is a fun read. she explores life in Paris through the eyes of an American college student. the realisations she lived through resonate deeply with observations i make in my daily life. her video on getting started on a 10-Item wardrobe sums up the corresponding chapter of her book.

let me know your thoughts on style, fashion and consumption. i feel it’s a hot topic at the moment and would love to hear your thoughts!

until next time,

marie

notes on elegance #1

Elegance is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake: human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium and harmony.

– Paul Coelho

hello everyone!

to follow up on my last blog post, i wanted to create a new series titled “notes on elegance”.

in today’s whirlwind of a world, it’s sometimes difficult to take a moment and evaluate your relationships and interactions with others.

i’ve always been a sensitive person, which as most of you may know, can be a very good or bad thing. i’ve noticed that i tend to get bothered easily if people are rude, aggressive, or hurtful, but also can feel extremely happy to find kindred spirits and see positive and generous actions.

i’ve also noticed that i haven’t been the best example. lately i’ve been focusing on trying to find balance in both my life and relationships. i’m learning to be patient, compassionate and loving with myself and others. it’s a hard process to go through, especially since people and society tend to be unforgiving and have high expectations.

since i love to make lists and categorise, i’ve come up with areas of my life that i feel need brushing up on:

– self-respect: faith, good diet habits, good sleep habits, exercising, positive self-image

– compassion towards others: improved listening skills, appropriate image (clothes, hair and makeup), openness when dealing with people with different philosophies

the paul coelho quote which opened this post seems to sum up these categories perfectly. the elegance which is associated with fashion and beauty may be part of an elegant image, but does not make a person elegant. i wish to be kind towards myself and others and in the future posts, i’ll be going the elements listed above and share how i am working on improving them.

i hope you can join me in this journey and please share your thoughts on the subject!

xoxo,

marie