FASHION | The Retro Librarian

When I put together this outfit, it instantly reminded me of a librarian look. Probably because there's a shirt, taupe/brown shades, and I wear glasses and an updo. I kinda felt like a librarian from a children's film, but maybe it's just me! Anyways, I quite like this look whether it is book-related or not. As you've noticed, I have managed to sneak in a bit of Harry Potter as well, because there's always a way to add some Potter-ness to life! 
I love my tweed jacket, it looks quintessentially British - and somewhat old-fashioned, you know I love my old-fashioned styles! The khaki green undertones match my skirt and bag quite well I think. On the whole, the shades of this outfit seem more fitted to autumnal months I'll admit, but I took these photos during the week of hell - aka when it rained non-stop around Paris and the river Seine threatened to flood everything that stood in its way. What an awful start it was to the month of June!

On a more serious note, I have been struggling with my blog these past few weeks. I feel less inspired and motivated to create new posts, which is really annoying because I love blogging. That's just a phase though, at the moment I want to get out of the house all the time, spend time outdoors and I've been busy travelling as well. This shall not last though haha, once we hit mid-July, everybody will be gone on holidays and I'll be alone at home again. I always come back to blogging in the evenings, once I'm home, winding down and taking some time off the world out there! ;)

Do I make a convincing librarian in this outfit? Also, tell me what your favourite book is!


TRAVEL | Palermo, Sicily (part 1)

A few weeks ago, my friends Céline, Julie and I took a few days off and flew to Palermo, Sicily. For a little background info, Julie and I have been friends for a while now, and we met Céline last year in England during our Erasmus. She doesn't live around Paris, so basically, we had not seen her since June of last year. Talk about a long time! It felt so good to be reunited again. We decided to go to Palermo, the capital city of the beautiful island of Sicily, for very simple reasons: beautiful weather, Italy, and good prices. But there are a lot more reasons to visit Palermo, and I'll tell you why in this post! It might be a long one, and quite photo-heavy, but I'm sure you'll enjoy!

First off, Palermo is a real city. Sometimes when you go to islands and picture-perfect destinations, it can feel like the whole place was made for it. Made for tourists, made to sell its beauty and to make you feel like you are stuck in a postcard. This is totally fine and of course it can be pleasant to travel to such a place, but sometimes, it all feels a bit fake, don't you think? Well, Palermo is not like that. Palermo's real, it is loud, it is a bit messy, a bit wild, but it is all kinds of beautiful and authentic. If you are looking for luxury travel and quiet time by the pool, maybe try Capri or Portofino. But if you want real adventures, a mix of city bustle and calm nature, yummy but fatty food, Palermo is for you!
I have decided to split this photo diary into two parts. This one is all about the historical centre of the city, and the second part will about the beach and the port. Of course, I'll pop in some tips if you want to visit Palermo yourself!

The Historical Centre of Palermo

One of the main features of Italian towns and cities are their churches. The historic centre is full of beautiful, old stone churches that you shouldn't be afraid to explore. Because of its history, Sicily has very unique art and architecture styles, thanks to the different peoples who ruled it over the centuries. The first photos are of Palermo Cathedral, which is so impressive when you see it in real life. It is a wonderful blend of Norman and Arabic art, two peoples who had a massive influence on Sicily, it also has elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. If you visit the Cathedral, I recommend getting the full ticket (7€) which allows you to climb the tower of the building and have a beautiful panoramic view of the city. 

Another church we've visited, and in which I took the last two photos below, is the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, at the piazza Bellini. The entry fee is 2€, and what you'll see inside the church is invaluable! Bizantine art, along with medieval and baroque features... a complete time-travel machine. Of course, you don't have to do all the churches of Palermo, and I think you shouldn't do that at all because at some point, it would probably get repetitive. Instead, just have a walk in the tortuous streets of the city!

The city itself is a gem, and you just have to walk around to realise it. One of my favourite areas is the Quattro Canti, a crossing of roads between two of the biggest and most important streets of the city. At that crossing, four concave buildings, carved with ornaments, statues and fountains, encircle the area. Following the via Maqueda, you'll stumble the Fontana Pretoria, also called Fontana della Vergogna - this means Fountain of Shame, and it was nicknamed that way because of the naked statues that are - shamelessly - displayed there. It is a huge fountain and the actual statues are worth having a look at. Finally, the last threes photos of this post were taken at the Teatro Massimo. This impressive theatre is the third biggest of Europe, and I love its Roman-inspired façade and the beautiful Corinthian columns (#Ihavethisthingwithcolumns). You can visit the theatre (tickets cost only 5€), it is a guided tour that takes you in the beautiful room where operas and concerts are held every day. We even had a glimpse into a ballroom, where ballet dancers were practising. It almost felt like we were part of this world for a moment!

I'll stop here for today, this post is long enough as it is! There are a lot more things to see and do in the centre of Palermo, I have only selected the most interesting and iconic to show you. Watch out for my second post about Palermo, which going to be all about getting down to the beach and enjoying the crazy warm Italian sunshine!

Have you ever been to Palermo, or to Sicily? Where would you go on holiday to discover beautiful architecture and art?


BEAUTY | Lagertha (VIKINGS) Makeup + Hair Tutorial

Well, this is quite a change for me! I've never done one of those 'transformation' makeups before, but here I am! I've wanted to try to recreate Lagertha's look for a while now, so I thought why not share it with you guys. 
If you're not familiar with Lagertha, she is one of the female leads of the series Vikings, from the History Channel. I love this show, it is just a feast for the eyes - beautiful scenery, beautiful costumes and makeup, beautiful people (yeah, that counts too haha) and you just get sucked in the story. Obviously the looks of the Vikings are massively made up and invented from scratch because we have so little imagery of this people, but I think what they've created is beautiful and I've had a lot of fun studying and doing this look.

So here are the pictures of Lagertha I took inspiration from:

Well, I'm not as badass and gorgeous as she is so I'm not claiming I completely transformed into her, I only tried to create a similar makeup and hair, and something that was reminiscent of Lagertha. Honestly, she is a total babe (and I never use that horrible phrase so it really is a big deal!). I'm going to talk you through all the steps for the makeup and hair, let's start straight away! 

The Makeup

I decided to start with a sheer base, and I used a sample of the Diorskin Forever foundation and added just a tiny bit of Full Cover concealer by Makeup Forever under my eyes. The foundation is actually amazing, it really feels like you're wearing nothing at all - and by that I mean really nothing. Because Lagertha is a Viking, I didn't want to risk a heavier coverage that would instantly look fake and too put together. My motto for this look was 'messy and natural' (well, apart from the obvious emo eye makeup haha).

For the eyes, I wanted something very dark and smokey. That's the look that Lagertha wears for battles generally, but other female characters from the show wear very dark eye makeup (even the shipbuilder Floki does so, although his makeup is even more extravagant). I started by applying the shade Creep from the Naked Palette 1 on the lid, but I didn't go all over and stayed on the inside of the lid, blending out the edges. In the photos Lagertha is wearing a very thick line, I wanted to add a subtle touch of smokey effect to the look. 
Then I used a black kohl pencil from Maybelline to draw a thick line on my upper and lower lashline. You don't have to worry about being precise, the thicker the better! It's easier to start with a thin line and build it up slowly all around the eye. No need to blend it out, the roughness of it makes the whole look!

Finally, I added a touch of glitter in the inner corners with Half Baked, also from the Naked Palette. It just adds a bit of light to the eye makeup, and if you look at the second photo of Lagertha in full size (it's a huge photo, very handy because you can see every little detail) it seems like the inner corners of her eyes are highlighted. Just a bit of mascara with the YSL Effet Faux Cils (false lash effect), no need to go all out with lashes because you can't even see them with all that black haha.

For the rest of my face, I decided to skip blusher because it looks too put together and not natural at all. To have that messy look that Lagertha often ends up with, I added touches of black eyeshadow in some areas of my face, as you can see from the photos above - on the top of my cheek, on the sides of my forehead, and on my chin. Just dot a few black marks and blend them out, to imitate the look of dirt - when you're a Viking in battle, you can't look completely neat and fresh can you? ;)

Last but not least, I put on a baby pink lipgloss, the Instant Light Perfector by Clarins. In most photos I've seen, Lagertha seems to have that light glossy look to her lips which is super easy to recreate, and again looks quite natural.

And this is what the complete makeup looks like!

The Hair

For the hair, I did something very simple and easy to recreate. Thanks to the awesome makeup and effects team of the show, the Vikings have amazing hairstyles, especially the women - intricate, braided hairstyles that I dream of being able to create. But as I'm not good with hairstyling, and my hair is still slightly too short for complex styles, I went for braided side-swept hair. As shown above, I've braided my hair on one side, up to the front of the hair. Side-parting makes it easier for that because you've got more hair to work with. I tied all the braids at the back, crisscrossing them on the side to give it more depth. I added two or three braids on the length of the hair, at the side. 
I wish I had more hair and skills to do something that looks more like Lagertha's hair, but I thought the inspiration still came through with this style.

I really, really hope you liked this post. This is very different from my usual content, but I'd love to do more makeup transformations or specific looks in the future, from films or from different eras, so I'd love your feedback. And let me know if you think Lagertha is the epitome of awesomeness as well! ;)

Do you watch Vikings? What do you think of Lagertha's look?