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New Beginning

Hey there,

I put down my pen today and leave my stories on the side for a much more beauty appropriate post. I haven't written for so long on this blog that I haven't even said that I have officially started a career in the beauty world. Well... you can't really call it a career. For now, I'm just accumulating experiences as an intern. Back in January, I was interning for the brand Oh My Cream, which really taught me a lot about cosmetics, the good products for my skin, the best routine to adopt etc. I've learned that I have combination skin, with lots of dehydration, and that my skin is acne prone, which I did know already. My vision on skincare has really changed but I've been so selfish not to share it. The truth is, even though I have changed my routine, my skin hasn't followed along and my acne got worst for the last six months. 


I've learned that I should let go of my micellar water for good because it was the cause of many sensibilities and the reason your skin would not get better because it actually harms the skin instead of protecting it. I've been taught that I should take off my makeup with oil, cleanse my skin with a cleansing gel, exfoliate with a soft exfoliation powder; tone with a serum and hydrate with oil. So I did for 6 months, switching products every two months or so because my skin wasn't accommodating so well. And then the wake-up call... 

My skin has cleared up a bit after the third time I've changed my routine, but my acne got really worse two weeks before my brother's wedding. I lost all my confidence, and I was beginning to accept the fact that I wasn't going to clear my acne before the wedding. But then my co-worker came to the rescue and told me that the reason my skin was getting so bad, was probably because I've developed an allergy to face oil. My skin didn't react well to it, and it began to make sense as my acne has been worse since I've joined Oh My Cream


So once again I've changed my routine just in time for my 3 weeks vacation to California. I've switched my makeup removal oil for a micellar water under a gel texture, all natural, with no harm to the skin. I've kept my cleansing gel but switched for a much softer one, and I've let go of my face oil for a much more hydrating and repairing cream, which could treat the dryness of my cheeks and the spots and scars on the rest of my face. I now work as an intern for Birchbox and I can now say that my skin has gotten much better and if you're a little creep that wants to zoom on my photos, you can see that my skin is actually clear even though I am obviously wearing makeup. 


But ! I can now list my favorite products from my skincare routine : 
  • I take off my makeup at night with the Patyka Micellar Gel, but since I ran out of it during our vacation in sunny California, I now use the Drunk Elephant Cleansing Gel, which I found at Sephora US and really love. They both take the makeup off really efficiently but I would say the Drunk Elephant gel is better at it. Although the Patyka's texture is much more refreshing and nice on the skin, the Drunk Elephant leaves the skin nice and soft. I also love the foaming effect of the Drunk Elephant gel once you add water. However, the composition is much cleaner for the Patyka Micellar Gel.
  • I cleanse my face day and night with the Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel, which I really love the smell and the soft texture. I love how my skin feels fresh and glowy after I use this. I also use the Ren Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, which has a really soft action on the skin but really cleanses the skin. 
  • Once every 2 or 3 days, I exfoliate my skin with the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, which is "the bomb" for a Photoshop look. It takes off the dead cells on the skin and leaves it so radiant and soft. It doesn't harm the skin, it hasn't increased my acne or my scars. In fact, it has helped remove them. Definitely the best exfoliant I have ever used! 
  • I apply the Garancia Elixir du Marabout serum, which I have talked about before on the blog. It is seriously amazing to treat imperfections, nothing beats this. Although the Grown Alchemist Blemish Gel Treatment was also a great use on a more local scale.
  • For moisturizing, I now use at night the Ren Skincare Clearcalm 3 Rehydrating Cream, which has the greatest action on my skin to treat my oiliness and dryness, and my imperfections. The texture is a bit rich, which scared me at first, but it has helped my skin so much! 

I would get more in depth about the products I have tried and my impressions on multiple skincare products and routine in a future post, but I hope you still found this one useful. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on bloglovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

I left my heart

Hey there,

We knew we would love Venice Beach. Everyone kept telling us about how awesome this place was. And I simply believed them because although Los Angeles was impressing before we left, Venice felt more welcoming. Venice was so refreshing and it was weird to realize we were still in Los Angeles. Different neighborhood, same city, same state. California was full of surprises and Los Angeles was just as well. 


Even the air is different in Venice. We were so far from this warm and almost unbreathable air. We could feel the wind on our faces and we could smell the salt water in our hair. It was just as I imagined, but it was also like I've been there before. I've never been to Los Angeles before, I saw too many pictures, so many movies about this city. Venice was no exception. Every day you see this place on a screen and when you finally get to meet it in person, you are still mesmerized. It's its authenticity, the genuine welcoming vibe, the sun shining through the palm trees. It was incredible. We could have stood there for hours, just contemplating at the artsy buildings, or the waves coming and going on the beach. We felt like we belonged, we felt like we should spend the rest of our life here. 


We didn't start the day at Venice. Our only regret was to not even spend a full day there. We spent the morning Downtown L.A, which was a must see, but we didn't feel like we've seen what we came for. We were expecting much. Funny enough, we came to Los Angeles with the idea that everything was going to be impressing, everything was going to be all sparkles in the eyes and glitters in the sky. Hollywood and Beverly Hills were fulfilling our expectations, but Downtown L.A was a bit of a disappointment. But our expectations were set too high for this city and we should have stayed on the ground. We eventually did, as soon as we stepped outside of the car in Venice.


Actually, we didn't even step outside our car in Venice Beach. We parked nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The "hipster" area, the neighborhood where they allegedly charged you $10 for a coffee. Well, we did get lemonades for $4 each. We found it reasonable especially for the size of the lemonade. We walked on this boulevard, so different from Rodeo Drive, more laid back and welcoming, but still a bit high end. We walked through Venice houses, cute beach house so far from the beach but still warm and cozy. We found our way to the Venice canals, and it felt like a mix of Amsterdam meets Venice. It was still so unique, we wanted to picture ourselves living there by the water, with a boat in the garden.


We walked, it was peaceful. It seems like silence cannot be disturbed and the sun shines all day long. Finally at the end of our path was the beach. Not exactly actually, we still had a long alley to walk through. But the view when you're at the very start of this long alley, and you can see the beach from afar, you can see the blue waves and the light sand, and you're so excited, you want to run like a kid. When we reached the end of the alley, it was a different universe. It was so exciting to see the area we were dying to see. It was amazing to see the beach for the first time since we arrived in Los Angeles, and for the first time in what... 2 years? 


We walked on a beach, carrying our shoes in our hand, feeling the sand under our toes, and the rays of the sunshine on our face. It wasn't that hot, it felt nice. We walked until our feet met the sea. First time for him, his toes touching the Pacific Ocean. Second time for me, having the cold water tickling my feet again. It was nice to meet up again with this ocean. The air felt good. We stood there, and walked on the wet sand, having the water coming and going under our toes until we couldn't go straight anymore. We walked to Muscle Beach, contemplated people with more motivation than I will never have, doing push ups, or climbing a tree. We made our way to Venice Boardwalk, meeting surfers and teenagers rolling on skateboards. And we did the most spontaneous thing of this trip... We rented bikes, which was an unusual experience for me. American bikes are just like America... Giant. 


It was hard, like learning how to bike at 23 years old kind of hard. I was scared to fall, not because I was scared of hurting myself, but because when you plan an expensive 3 weeks vacation in California, and you hurt yourself on your first week, you don't want to end up in the hospital having to be sent home on an emergency plane ride. I was clumsy, slow and not too confident. We still biked along Venice Boardwalk among other people we've never met. We biked with the attention of reaching Santa Monica Pier. We gave up... I was too slow, the sun was getting low and we wanted to be on the Pier when the sun would set, so we headed back. 


It felt like being in a movie. Surreal and dreamy, biking along Venice Boardwalk. As touristy as it seems, there's nothing more local for me than to experience a part of a city on a bike. We loved Venice, we loved the ride on the bikes, kind of a love/hate relationship for myself really, but it was good memories to reminisce in the future. Once we had given back the bikes, we headed back to the car, we took a different path, passing more art, different houses, and new people. It was a short fifteen minutes walk, a much-needed one to talk about what we've just experienced. 


Venice was our favorite part of our week in Los Angeles. For the art, the people, the wind, the palm trees, the sun, the beach and the bikes We loved every single moment of this short getaway to Venice. My only regret was not staying longer. I hoped we would go back before leaving. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on BlogLovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.


Downtown

Hey there,

We've never expected how Los Angeles can be so different. Each area of this huge city is unique in so many ways. You walk through similar neighborhoods, but they have a different soul in the air. We didn't even think about how big this city was. Having to drive 40 minutes every time we wanted to see something, walk somewhere, visit... was unexpected. When you grown up in a country or even a city when the easiest way to go somewhere is to take the train for less than 20 minutes, and then you move to a town when you just have to walk to go wherever you want to go,  everything that will take longer or will demand a different kind of transportation is surprising. We weren't angry about it, it didn't change we saw the city, we didn't complain. Because it was worth it, and I like to remind myself that. Everything was worth it. 


Downtown L.A was not a breath of fresh air. Let's be honest, it was suffocating but not in a bad way. It felt like we were actually in a different place. We have left Los Angeles and stepped into an old New York City. Yes! That was it, that's what it felt like: a 50's vibe New York City. Every corner, every building was stepping from another dimension. The old cinemas, the old signs, the fire escapes,  the big windows, the old bricks buildings... every thing was still there. Except that it had changed, and the old spots where you could see the letters announcing a movie or a concert were replaced by letters from names like Urban Outfitters. It was like 2017 met 1955. A culture shock.  Everything could have been black and white.



Then you have the skyscraper string so high in the sky it hurt your eyes just to stare at them. A whole park with only tall glass buildings, with the windows which feel like mirrors. Each building reflects into another one with the sun and the clouds. Suddenly it's all that you see, clouds, skyscrapers and the sun. You have officially transported yourself into another dimension, it feels like you have your head in the clouds. Except, you are well grounded on earth, and it's only your head that looks up. The only thing that made us realized we weren't really in New York City was the fact that it wasn't all a concrete jungle. Downtown L.A only has a small concentration of building, all in one place. Like the outcast, the intellectual working while the hills have fun. 


We had fun walking through this city, having lunch in a crowded interior alley that was as hot as the subway on a hot day in Paris. We felt like true tourists among the locals with camera in our hands. But we loved it. Grand Central Market was the breath of fresh air, with the alley that gives you so much choice, you don't even know what to choose, but you end up sitting at a bar, eating a bagel with pickles on the sides, talking with the waitress that will perform at a stand up that same night. It felt so nice to talk with people, and eat even though it was 100 degrees in there because it was real and it was genuine.


We didn't stay long downtown because we found the atmosphere a bit weird. The streets weren't crowded, it was the opposite. It felt like we were the only ones left in this world. We would walk through empty streets for two blocks. Even when we were heading to the museum's avenue, the most touristic place, we were surprised to find no one... We were not going to complain about the situation because it was nice to have the city all to ourselves. We loved it, it made us appreciate the city even more. We met the authentic Los Angeles, the empty and genuine city of angels. 


We loved a few things about this trip downtown but our favorite was The Broad. Although it was not officially opened according to our guide, we still found our way in. We waited 40 minutes outside because free entrance doesn't necessarily mean "anyone can go in at any time". And we hoped the inside was worth the wait. When we finally went it, we found ourselves standing in front of amazing pieces of modern art that felt somehow so similar. Social medias are an amazing thing, isn't? It spoils the surprise and you see online whatever you want to see in real life. Sometimes, even when you try your best to live your life for real, and not live it through a screen, you can't... Whatever, because even a screen can mess the feelings you have when you stand in front of giant colorful tulips. So jokes on you Instagram because I was still mesmerized by everything in the Broad!


It was a quick visit but we loved the photographs on the walls, the golden Michael Jackson, the fresco that surrounds a whole room, the dinner table for giants, and the feminist memos. It was definitely worth the wait. It felt like the Moma but in smaller. You don't have to run or walk from room to room, with a pain in your back or in your feet. Everything is gathered into one big level. You run, you walk fast because you want to see everything. You don't want to miss anything. Every wall, every picture, every piece. It's Christmas, well the excitement on Christmas day. Art is so beautiful and worth to share and worthy of admiration, it's simply mesmerizing. 


It's funny how I don't follow our program at all while writing those blog posts. I still hope I'll get to finish writing about this trip completely. You'll understand my apprehension when I see how the last post from Copenhagen ended up in the trash simply because of lack of time. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on BlogLovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

City of Stars

Hey there,

When I thought of Los Angeles, I thought about stars, not the celebrities kind of stars, not the walk of fame, and certainly not the kind of stars you see in the sky when it's clear. The kind of stars you have in your eyes when you step into a dreamy place, and you have so many hopes and expectations about your life here. But when I first walked into the streets of Los Angeles, I saw broken dreams and fake stars, a parade of money, excess and expensive things, a bit of rudeness and sadness, and I was not so impressed. 


 I saw empty stores, hundreds of people in the streets, broken signs and empty streets. I saw the sad parts of Los Angeles before I saw the good ones. But It made me appreciate even more this trip. I gained sympathy for the city of stars, not out of pity, but not based on a good start I'll admit... As the days went by I grew a sort of love for this city... Because as I said to a friend when describing the city: "every street, every neighborhood is unique and worthy of admiration". What struck me was the importance of art and graphics. It's both beautiful and mesmerizing. 



Every wall is painted, and I believe it embellishes the city and makes it so beautiful, and worthy of the time you take to wander around. Every step you take in this city, it's like you're in a movie. Add music to your ears, and you'll have your soundtrack. My boyfriend has always asked me why I always listen to loud music. I didn't have any correct answers to give until I realized... When you listen to music with the volume so high, you can't hear anything else. The music isn't a background noise, it accompanies your thoughts and it becomes the soundtrack to your life. 


 Los Angeles is like a dream you don't want to wake up from, it mixes your worst nightmares or a few of them but it also gives you your happiest moments. You see so many pretty things, so unreal stuff, you keep asking yourself 'is this a dream?'. It's so weirdly pretty, so artistic, but then so empty. I thought it would be crowded but it wasn't. Although the touristic places were, the real streets, the ones with a strong culture, that actually live, weren't. I find it sad that we come for the historical spots, the famous ones, the most "instagrammable" ones. We leave alone the ones that are important to the locals. I guess that's what being a tourist is about, so that's okay. 


 I first thought that Los Angeles was pathetic, a city where it's all glitter and fake smiles, people showing off their cool cars, while people struggle on the streets. At some point, I felt overwhelmed by sadness. Then you see the art, the real smiles, you hear the laugh and you feel the happiness. People keep being nice to you and you feel like you belong. It's also nice, as contradictory as it sounds, to gather to the same touristic places, to watch a sunset. As cheesy and cliché as it seems, being gathered at the same place at the same time to watch the art of nature take form, it feels warm. There's a strong sense of community, and it feels nice. It reminds us that, at the end of the day, we are all together, we are the same and we could be united if we had to if we wanted to. Life can be so poetic and full of surprises sometimes, can't it? 


So there it is the first story of our California Road Trip. I wanted to start with an article about my first personal impressions of Los Angeles, and how I changed my mind as soon as I saw all the lights shining at night, and the art on the streets, that you will see on a different post, and the community that gathers to watch an amazing sunset over the hollywood hills. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on BlogLovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

 DRESS: BRANDY MELVILLE
EARRINGS: MANORA BIJOUX ON ETSY



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