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

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 #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

on elegance and refinement

hello everyone! it’s been a while! hope you’re well and that you’re blessed with beautiful weather.

today i wanted to write about a subject that has been fascinating to me for a while now.

it’s not a surprise that in our day-to-day lives we encounter a lot of different people. that in itself is a wonderful thing, especially considering that it’s now possible to connect with people all over the world.

now, i don’t know about you, but i feel sometimes uneasy in social situations. i’ve always been one to always try to be as considerate to everyone, even if sometimes it’s difficult (telemarketers being a prime example). i found myself to be very critical towards strangers and people i know because i found them rude, inconsiderate, vulgar and even unhygienic. i didn’t like to see myself think and talk about people in that way. that’s not who i was brought up to be, and that’s not who i want to be.

i’ve decided to embark on a journey of personal refinement (like a lot of people). and i’ve encountered a few interesting observations along the way. and since i love lists, here are the top observations i’ve made about myself that i’d like to correct:

1. i talk loudly. and fast. and sometimes cut people off mid-sentence.

that’s something i’ve noticed seems to annoy quite a lot of people. especially when discussing something important. i’ve recently been in a difficult situation at work and found myself to be quite defensive. i noticed i did all of these and that i wasn’t being respectful towards the person i was talking to.

2. i don’t look and act as feminine as i feel.

i think that being overly feminine is somewhat looked down upon in certain social realms. i’m sure someone would have great fun writing an academic article on the subject! i don’t think it’s realistic for me to look “perfect” (ie. flawless hair, makeup and outfit) all the time, but i do notice that slouching, and some misshapen clothes make me feel not as good as i would want to.

3. i don’t always pay attention

whether it be with a chatty stranger or a good friend, i sometimes find myself not listening to people properly. when i realise someone is doing that to me, it makes me feel sad, and sometimes insecure. i hope to find a genuine interest towards people and be compassionate.

4. swearing

as a teenager, i swore all. the. time. my mother despised it, and i would sometimes slip up in front of people i wouldn’t want to swear in front of (a teacher or a cute guy would be good examples). i think i picked up swearing from my social group as a teen and now that i don’t see them anymore, it really doesn’t suit who i’ve become and how i want to be seen. this bad habit is nearly gone, i hardly ever swear. but when i do, i feel very disappointed, especially if it’s done casually without being mad or upset.

5. closing myself off from people

i realised how absent minded and closed off people looked on public transport. i try to limit mindless activities like checking my phone because i feel “bored”, listening to music on a portable device and crossing my arms. i also try to avoid doing any kind of personal grooming in public. i feel that i can take my own time later in the washroom and fix my hair, makeup or whatever else is wrong. being focused on oneself in public sends the message that you’re in your bubble and wished not to be disturbed. at least, it does to me. i love spontaneous conversation and i try to be in the moment as much as possibe.

i hope this post was interesting to you! do share your thoughts in the comments.

hugs,

marie

forgotten beauty essentials

hello all!

today’s post is about my not-so-glamorous beauty essentials, the ones that i often overlook but are honestly important steps in my routine (click on the product image for more info).

1. tweezerman: slant tweezer

https://i2.wp.com/www.tweezerman.ca/intl_sites/tweezermancanada/uploaded_files/images/products/b_e3d3677758d47bb54b1397b5a398bc5a1231T.JPG

oh, the tweezerman. i have this one in red (so that i always find it in the bottom of my packed makeup bag) and i can not go a few days without pulling it out. i struggle with a lot of stubborn tiny little eyebrow hairs and this slanted pair does the trick. when i first purchased it years ago, i thought the price was a little outrageous, but to be honest, it’s still going strong and it’s been at least…four years?

2. nivea: hydro care lip balm

http://www.en.nivea.ca/-/media/NIVEA/fr-CA/packshots/products-packshots/lip-care/hydro%20care/NLC-HydroCare-Stick-1311.ashx?mh=350&mw=260&reflection=1&reflectionHeight=50

a perfect example of something that is purely functional and unglamorous. it honestly just keeps my lips hydrated. i like this particular one because it has no smell, no tingly feeling (i’m talking to you, blistex) and doesn’t do that awkward stuff at the corner of your mouth if you apply too much (if that’s tmi, i’m sorry!).
i only have this guy around during the colder months because i reapply so often that i need something that can endure my reapplication obsession.

if you don’t like slippery lip balms, this isn’t for you. but for someone like me who reapplies every minute, then it’s something to consider since it’s not too expensive (usually comes in a pack of two that are often on sale!).

3. clinique: take the day off cleansing balm

https://i1.wp.com/www.clinique.com/images/products/250x250/clq_6CY4_250.jpg

thanks to caroline hirons for lighting the path to this product. i am still mourning the fact that i can’t get the emma hardie cleansing balm for a decent price (or decent shipping) so i opted for this functional cleansing balm. although it may not be a spa-like experience, it really does get the job done. you don’t need much, it’s not scented and it takes off my stubborn waterproof mascara.

4. eucerin: calming crème

https://i1.wp.com/www.eucerin.ca/uploads/images/orig/produits/Calming_Creme.png

now, i use this because i have extremely dry and eczema-prone skin. i also tend to scratch my dry patches during my sleep and can not for the life of me keep gloves on during the night. this was recommended by my dermatologist and i have ignored it for the past two years because i was longing for a nice scented body lotion. but nothing calms the itchiness quite like this body creme. it is extremely effective and does the trick. after taking a shower in the morning, i mix it with something that smells nice and i use it on its own before going to bed. if you have scaly legs like i do, this is a product worth trying.

5. the turbie twist

https://i0.wp.com/ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-57964554255945/turbie-twist-3.gif

i bought this on a whim this summer and do not regret it. although it is not the most absorbent towel out there, what is amazing about this gimmick is that it stays put. and that’s what i want it to do! a little elastic on the back of your head allows you to keep your towel in place while you do other things. i have so much hair that i am extremely thankful to be able to run around the house with this on while my hair towel dries a little bit. otherwise blowdrying would take me about an hour!

i hope these products will inspire you to appreciate the daily essentials that are often underloved.

take care!

marie