Paris Days 2 & 3

Sooooooooooooooo it’s been a while – I know. Almost 2 months of a while.

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Buuuuuuuut as you will read in the next couple of blog posts (which hopefully won’t take more than a few weeks to type up and publish ;) ) I’ve been travelling H E A P S since finishing up the semester. But before I can get into any details, I need to wrap up reflecting on the trip to one of my favourite cities – Paris.

So here you have it, part 2 (or at least what I can remember of it, because well, it really has been a while…)

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Days two and three were spent eating. A lot. And it was G R E A T!

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We started out with a walk to Rue Cler, for a visit zo L’Eclair – one of my favourite places for breakfast, brunch and dessert. Emphasis on the latter.

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IMG_0249Lots of emphasis on the latter…Especially in the form of cheesecake and warm chocolate cake after delicious, “healthier” and nutritious salads…We had to fight to finish the cake, but we didn’t give up easily ;)

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I love to walk around cities when I have the time, and generally log around 25000 steps on average walking around Paris. Basically my walks are planned around where my next meals are… with some sights and shopping thrown in as well. I will forever be a foodie, discovering a city one bite at a time. I secretly feel one learns a lot about a country’s culture, tradition and of course delicacies through the stomach ;) Our next stop after this feast was an ice cream & chit-chat date near the Notre Dame with a friend of mine from New York before heading to Kong for dinner.

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One of my favourite dishes at Kong were the truffle udon noodles.

 

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Look at all the glorious truffle!IMG_0336

Dessert was exquisite as well. I had the salted caramel eclair. Fun fact: I love salted caramel and walked all around London on Friday night looking for some… but more about that when I blog about London ;)

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All the walking around and fully planned-out days (and copious amount of sugar) meant we were rather tired (read: food coma) by the evening and ended up asleep by 1 am in favour of checking out the French night scene.

On our last day, we browsed through the Guerlain boutique for a unique perfume and dug in to lunch at Ladurée before rushing to the airport for our flight back to Zurich. Verdict on the restaurant after never having been there before: stick to the macaroons and dessert… I’ve had better food elsewhere.

 

 

IMG_0369 IMG_0365 IMG_0423 Stay tuned for an update on where I went next and what I’m doing now!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

 

Paris 2015 – Day 1

Happy Monday friendly faces! Hope your weekend was marvelous, and you enjoyed as much sunshine as I got to. Mine was rather low-key, spent “detoxing” (read: eating loads of fruit and veggies) and going to the gym, but I had a few busy days during the week! And as you can tell by the title of this post, those busy days were spent in Paris :)

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The first glimpse of la Tour Eiffel!

It was a super short, super spontaneous trip; we were there and back in only 2 days, but I enjoyed every single second of it! Paris is definitely my absolute favourite city, and the next trip is already in the works ;)

We landed around 10 in the morning, and took the train to Gare du Nord, munching on Luxembourgli we brought from Zürich. Pure decadence.

Once we got to the station, we figured out what metro we had to take to get to the hotel. We stayed at hotel Ekta. It was right off of Champs Élysées; great for shopping, but also great for safety while walking back at night – the busy main street is always alight with plenty of people walking around.

Upon check-in we took an hour to walk up and down and decide which shops we wanted to visit. The first one on my list was the renovated Guerlain boutique.

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They showed me their irresistible new scent, “mon exclusive”. I was told it was made specifically for the boutique, and lucky for me it isn’t as exclusive as I thought it was, as I could hopefully order the ravishing scent online. Although I do hope to make it back to Paris before then…

Our next stop was lunch at one of my favourite cafés in one of my favourite parts of the city.

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Breizh Café in Le Marais! Just walking around the area made me too happy for words – all the little boutiques, the bustling alleys, the different colours and scents… it’s just such a vibrant and lively part of Paris and always on my to-do list when I go. I definitely hope to stay around the area next time, as I would love to explore further than just this fine creperie.

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I had the goat cheese galette, and for dessert the rhubarb crepe. Galettes are made of buckwheat flour, so a great gluten-free option!

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We accompanied this meal with organic cider. Apparently they specialise in ciders and have an entire menu to select from! Personally not being much of a cider-conoisseur I expected it to be slightly sweeter… but it definitely was great with the meal!

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After our late lunch (we finished eating around 5) we walked through le Marais to Place des Voges – one of my favourite parks, not just because it is right next to a make up forever ;)

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Through that little alley we got to Rue de Rivoli where we took the metro to the Louvre.

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Paris to me is a city best walked. So I wanted to walk from the Louvre, through the Jardin des Tuileries, past Place de la Concorde back up Champs Élysées. And so we did!

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Which was also when I first glimpsed la Tour Eiffel!

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Looking back at the Louvre.IMG_0192The Eiffel Tower, spotted again :)

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We got back to the hotel around 7.30, where we rested, made use of the wifi and ate a Caramel Fleur de Sel truffel from Sprüngli before heading back out to dinner, to an Italian restaurant called La Fabricca, which was right around the corner from the Arc de Triomphe. Get ready for a few pictures coming your way of the Arc and the sunset!

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IMG_0337After dinner, which was around 11 (the Parisians were still eating!) we walked back to the hotel for an “early night”.

I dare say we had a rather marvelous start to our short trip, don’t you think?

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Stay tuned for day two and three! And don’t forget to check out Katie’s blog for more marvelous posts!

With attitude and nail polish,

Anoushé xoxo

 

Happy Blogiversary!!

My apologies for being absent from the blog lately. No excuse seems viable enough so I will just go with “I was building the suspense”…(but actually I was mainly just studying, hanging out with the munchkin and binge-watching reality TV).

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You see.. today is my two-year blogiversary. I started of pirouettes and concealers without any intention of it becoming my go-to place to vent; it was originally a dance and beauty blog after all.. but my little space on the internet has evolved and changed along with me, and over these past 2 years it has now become more of a lifestyle blog of sorts.

Yes, I am still makeup crazy, yes I still love dance – but there is more to me and this blog than just that. “Sticking with a niche” and “write what you would want to read” (some of the advice I have received along the way) to me also means stay true to yourself, and myself is saying: “go lifestyle”. Write about life.. and all the facets that go along with it.

As a student/journalism intern/young adult/little kid at heart I feel like I have things to share. Things that could be interesting to some, boring to others, but possibly helpful to those who seek affirmation through stages of their lives, like in my case through the stress of university, the fears of not knowing what career path to choose, and whether kale really is better for me than a piece of chocolate… So why not lend my experiences to the world if that could help even just one other reader looking for the answer via Google?

With this evolution I have promised myself to take some time to build my blog further. I have a rather long summer ahead filled with trips, goals and ideas, aiming at bettering myself and this blog in the process…

So happy 2 year blogiversary dearest blog, you have an exciting year ahead of you!

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Anoushé xoxo

Norouz 1394

20. March 2015 marks the Spring equinox – day and night are of equal lengths, Spring officially begins.

IMG_8337It is also Persian New Year – Norouz. 

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Families come together and indulge in (green herbed) rice, salad, overly sweet cookies and fish.

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 This picture is from Christmas, but rice is just as special to us no matter what the holiday is. The green rice (sabzi polo) is on the bottom right.

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Norouz isn’t just about food; we have a table with seven “s” (haft siin, see first picture), with each object on the table symbolically representing something. I should’ve put a lot more vinegar on the table as it represents patience, and I could use more of that ;)

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Although I do love ultra-sweet desserts, Persian cookies are sometimes a bit heavy on the rose-water, so some Swiss macaroons also did the job :)

I love Norouz because I not only get to gorge on Tahdig, but also love spending time with family to celebrate the beginning of Spring, one of my favourite times of the year :)

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Thinking out Loud Thursday

Happy Thursday friendly faces! I’ve been busy with University work so I thought it would be a perfect time for a random slew of thoughts!

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Thank you Amanda for hosting!

1. I found this picture a while back and am not sure if I posted it or not, but I am still very much in love with the adorable unicorn believing in us! :)

 

 

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2. Persian food is where it’s at. We celebrated our New Year last week (happy 1394!) and while I’m still drafting that post, I thought I would entice you with a few delectable images of my favourite part of a Persian feast:

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The crispy, crunchy, buttery crust that forms around the rice. Scrumptious! P.S My grandpa created a very special type of tahdig you can salivate over in the first few pictures; it contains all 3 kinds of crispy goodness: Bread, potato and rice!

3. I have finally received some of the photos from our LA trip! Will be blogging about the amazingness very very soon!

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4. Have you ever heard of a pugle? It’s a pug/beagle mix. I’m not sure whether I find them adorable or alieny… what do you think?

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5. Speaking of dogs, I took the munchkin to class a few weeks ago. Yeah.. not the best decision ever.

IMG_7970She sat rather still for the first few MINUTES but then decided to explore her surroundings – much to my fellow students entertainment. I however could not concentrate at all and ended up with little to no notes…

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There is another dog (the pug Kaiser) who accompanies his owner to class every day! I just received a video of him this morning and will share that with you soon :)

6. I managed to convince this guy to come to a big party with me at Aura a few weekends ago.

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Look how long my hair has gotten!

7. I recently fell in love with Shellack manicures.

IMG_8505 IMG_8510 IMG_8513This one is inspired by the great Jin Soon Choi.

8. Sushi. It’s why I am currently broke.

IMG_8378Currently saving up to eat more of those tempura rolls!! Also still going crazy over cheese! I want it on everything and anything. Especially eating it pure as fondue/raclette has been rather high on my list of to-dos lately. Weird, but I am not complaining ;)

9. IMG_8146What do you guys think of the Maple Macchiato? I personally find it too sweet with the added vanilla syrup so opt for a soya cappuccino with maple topping instead, as I do quite like the drizzle.

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10. And finally, I realise I haven’t been posting much about the gym, dance or anything sporty lately (let alone make-up…) but I swear I have been busy moving my bod (and applying beautiful colours)! I have taken up yoga again, try to make it to body pump at least once a week, recently performed in a whirling show

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and am also working hard on my flexibility.

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I’ll be sharing a few posts on my current obsessions as soon as I have gotten a good chunk of work done!

Until then, have a great week!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

 

 

Farfalla Silhouette Challenge

Disclaimer – This post is sponsored by Farfalla Essentials AG & KuK Kommunikation. All thoughts and opinions are however my own.

When I was approached to join the Farfalla Silhouette Challenge, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 21.39.28Hoping to shed the excess water retention in my thighs and get rid of any cellulite or stretch marks, I looked forward to testing the 4 vegan products sent to me within a few days of accepting to join the challenge. I have a few stretch marks on my inner thighs, and decided to use those as my benchmark. The boyfriend decided to join in on the challenge to help keep me accountable.

Along with the toning gel, body lotion, body scrub and shower gel, I also received a detailed description of what the 4 weeks should look like, including exact application suggestions of the products, a recommended (low-carb, high protein, highish fat Paleo) diet and exercise regimen to accelerate the expected results and a feedback form to jot down thoughts throughout the 4 weeks. You can find the challenge and a few tips in German here.

Having a rather “healthy” diet to begin with, I decided to really try to up my fat and lower my general sugar intake to see if that would help me attain visible results.

The first product we tested was the gel.

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Its refreshing scent and cool sensation when it touches the skin really woke me up. To apply the gel you simply spread some onto the desired area before reattaching the top of the tube that also acts as a massager and massage the gel into your skin.

The boyfriend found the massager a tad bit too ticklish. In addition to the gel, we also tested the body lotion.

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Smelling similar to the gel, and leaving the skin equally smooth after application (also with the massager head of the gel) I can imagine using the lotion more in the evening due to its more creamy feel which I prefer before turning in for the night. I have to admit, I ended up using the lotion more than the gel, as I am also an evening showerer and would apply it before slipping into my PJs. The boyfriend however got through the ticklishness and continued to use the gel more after his morning showers.

Speaking of showers, the challenge includes two shower products: a scrub and a gel.

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Farfalla recommends using the scrub twice a week. Otherwise they recommend alternating between cold and hot water to really rev up the metabolism towards the end of the shower. I am not a fan of cold showers, so I mostly skipped this step…

But I did really enjoy the exfoliating scrub as it was rather gentle and didn’t irritate my skin at all and the scent of both the gel and the scrub.

Not being as disciplined as I used to be when it comes to regimens, I didn’t manage to do this daily. I also did have a few “cheat meals” and one night out partying (pizza and alcohol) but other than that, I really did try to give the challenge a shot. I gave all my other lotions, creams and gels a break and focused on these products only. That alone to me is a big plus: You needn’t think of anything as the challenge includes everything you need. I did get slightly tired of the scent after a while, so I switched out the lotion for one of my others once or twice, but still tried to apply it with the massage head.

Other than those (minor) glitches I rather enjoyed having structure in both my diet and shower regimen.

Verdict after completing the challenge?

My legs are visibly smoother and feel softer. I have received quite a few comments from friends and family that they think I have lost weight (which I already had before the challenge, but my legs were definitely not as firm as now – I seriously think I spotted a slight thigh gap earlier!), and since I didn’t really switch up or change my diet much, continued with my usual exercise plan (dance, yoga and body pump) and generally have had trouble losing weight, I do think the firmer thighs have a bit to do with the gels – especially the massaging which I otherwise never did. As for whether my stretch marks (the original benchmark before the challenge) appear lighter; I really can’t tell as the marks are a combination of scars and stretched skin.

Nonetheless, I will continue using the products until they are empty (the bottles are only half way through and two people were using them) and will definitely follow up if the appearance of my stretch marks change in any way!

You can find the individual products, the whole silhouette miracle challenge and instructions to the program here.  The products were sent to me to test as a part of the challenge. All expressed opinions are my own. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

With attitude and nail polish,

Anoushé xoxo

 

Current Craze: Kylie Jenner Lips

As much as I am convinced I am meant to be a princess, I am equally sure that I was meant to be a Kardashian. Only drawback: I would need to change my name to one starting with a K. Hmmm – anyone know any pretty Persian girl names with K? yeah no.. probably not going to happen then after all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be the queen of my own reality TV show, right? Goals, people.. we all need goals.

Now back to the Kardashians.

Being an active user of social media and a complete sucker for trends and what’s “in”, I soon became obsessed with Keeping up with the Ks. I mean, just take one look at the current makeup crazes: contouring, big lips and butts are all the rage, and yup, you guessed it, the Kardashians are the ones we can worship thank for that (whether you like it or not).

I wrote an article about their first trend (contouring) when I worked at MADAME. This was brought to life by Kim, the second oldest sister. I didn’t actually start contouring my own face until I got my hands on Benefit’s “HOOLA”. I’ll be posting my tips as soon as I’ve received the pictures my friend took for me :)

Today, we talk about big lips – a trend the youngest of the clan (Kylie Jenner) brought to life. Although there is still plenty of dispute over whether or not she actually had lip surgery done, we can’t deny the magic of overdrawing lips with lipliner before filling them in with lipstick.

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With a bit of contouring

With a bit of contouring

Still trying to perfect the look myself, I don’t think I have enough tips and tricks to share with you just yet. Every single time I attempt an overdrawn lip, I end up redoing it over and over again thanks to feeling like I looked like a clown. So bear with me while I continue to practice, and I’ll be sure to post an actual tutorial ASAP :) Until then, here are some of the times I actually was quite pleased with the look #lipspiration

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For those of you who are feeling adventurous, here are the steps I’ve followed:

  1. Conceal on and around your lips and top with some powder -> this is to blur the outline of your actual lip
  2. Apply lip liner first above the cupid’s bow. Depending on how extreme a look you are going for, you can either apply your lip liner right around your actual outline or leave a bit of a gap. Make sure to return the liner to your actual outline before the transition to your lower lip (I aim to trace my actual lip for at least 1-2 cm)
  3. Same procedure goes for your lower lip; start in the middle and return back to your actual lip line.
  4. Fill in the gaps and your lips with the lip liner
  5. Trace over lip liner with lip stick in matching colour
  6. To complete the look, you might need to retrace your overdrawn lips with more lipliner, and then surround your lips with some more concealer and powder to set.

Enjoy your big lips :)

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Lipsticks: Mac, Chanel, Nars

Lipliners: Smashbox, Esteé Lauder, Makeup Forever