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Travel: a weekend in Paris

48 hours in Paris

If you follow my social media, you probably gathered that we spent a lovely weekend in Paris last week, thanks to Toyota! It was our first time fully experiencing the city (insane, I know, since it's only a short 3.5 hour drive away), so when Toyota reached out to me to test drive their C-HR car, taking along my boyfriend and two other bloggers on a little road trip to/through the city of love, I absolutely jumped for joy. I had just been neck-deep into PhD completion limbo, and some time to take my mind off things was just what the doctor ordered. This post is entirely too long, but what do you expect from a first time visit to an iconic city like Paris? Sit back and enjoy the ride!

We picked up (and test drove) our car on Friday, and at 8am Saturday morning we met up with Nathalie and Jeroen to make the drive down south. Travelling with bloggers means you have a ridiculous amount of suitcases for two days of travel (them outfit switches to make the most out of those stunning Paris backdrops), but sure enough we found a way to pack everything into the trunk, and off we were! My boyfriend and I have some experience with France roadtrips since we holiday at the Côte d'Azur, and we always appreciate the toll roads in France for being so well maintained and pleasant to drive on - especially in comparison to Belgian roads. Around 11.30 am we arrived in Paris and used the hours we had before check-in at the hotel to visit a couple of tourist hotspots in a short amount of time, thanks to our car!

Arc de Triomphe, 48 hours in Paris

Nothing screams "you're in Paris!" like driving up to the Arc de Triomphe on our way to the Toyota flagship store in Champs-Élysées. Like always, these types of landmarks are infinitely more impressive in person compared to a picture.

48 hours in Paris

My favourite part of the Toyota flagship store: this prototype made entirely out of wood! It looks a bit like an old-time bond car that can turn into a boat, but alas, it only drives on land. Still, looks pretty awesome.

48 hours in Paris

Paris in summary: every corner you turn, there's another stunning piece of architecture to admire. And of course, we had to make our way to the Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower, 48 hours in Paris
Eiffel Tower, 48 hours in Paris

All things considered (Easter weekend, no rain), it was actually not that crowded anywhere we went, including the Place du Trocadéro which is the best place to admire and photograph the Eiffel Tower. After snapping some touristy shots, we made our way down to the carousel to grab a savoury cheese crêpe and do some people watching. Always one of my fav parts about visiting new places.

48 hours in Paris
48 hours in Paris
place Vendôme, 48 hours in Paris with Toyota CHR

Place Vêndome - formerly known as the Place des Conquêtes (or conquests' square) and about a million different other names. The wikipedia page is a fun read for anyone wanting a taste of the layers upon layers of Paris' rich and convoluted history. Also pictured: our Toyota C-HR! My boyfriend was quite sad trading in the keys to get our own (old) car in return, and I have to admit I very much enjoyed the self-warming seats. So comfy.

place Vendôme, 48 hours in Paris

What I was wearing: Uniqlo x Ines de la Fressange rainbow stripe polo top, H&M floral embroidery denim jacket, Levi's wedgie fit denim, Esprit fiddler cap and Manfield silver horsebit loafers - cute but comfy! I'll never become too much of a blogger to not prioritise comfort over style when travelling.

place Vendôme, 48 hours in Paris
place Vendôme, 48 hours in Paris

After this first taste of Paris (and outfitpics, natch), we dropped by the Travelwifi offices to pick up the pocket wifi I had ordered just an hour earlier - talk about last minute service! As a chronic online oversharer, and googler of everything, I couldn't visit Paris and not have unlimited data at my disposal. And then we were off to our incredibly charming 17th century Hotel des Deux Iles, nestled comfortably in the heart of historic Paris, a stone's throw away from the Notre-Dame de Paris. I'd scored discounted rooms using Booking.com, pro tip!

hotel Des Deux Iles, 48 hours in Paris

Staying in such a historic building absolutely contributed to our overall experience of Paris, being immersed in its atmosphere. Although I have to admit I generally go for "quaint" over "modern" anyway.

I took some time to get some work done and my boyfriend took a short nap, and then I changed and we were off to explore our surroundings, the Rive Gauche, Quartier Latin and then get some dinner!

the Seine and the Notre Dame, 48 hours in Paris

The Seine and the Notre-Dame, breathtaking.

the Seine, 48 hours in Paris

After consulting google for well-rated restaurants in our vicinity, we picked Lengue, a tiny restaurant that served Japanese cuisine along the typical Izakaya formula where you order some dishes in multiple rounds until you are satisfied. This turned out to be a lovely surprise, the food was amazing and the service was attentive and friendly. We sat at the bar and enjoyed dishes like lemon chicken, vegetable-squid wafers and pumpkin croquettes. So flavourful! My dessert was the showstopper, though: mochi filled with lychee ice cream. I just about died. Also, one of the waitresses complimented me on my dress. If a Parisian woman compliments you on your outfit, your day will be made.

dessert at Lengue, 48 hours in Paris

After dinner, we just followed our feet exploring the beautiful streets of Paris, passing by landmarks such as the Sorbonne and the Panthéon. By the time we stumbled upon the Panthéon, we were both convinced that Paris is in fact as amazing as people make it out to be. As night fell and the lights were turned on, the magic just increased.

Paris Panthéon, 48 hours in Paris
48 hours in Paris
48 hours in Paris
48 hours in Paris

Wearing: Vero Moda red lace dress, H&M floral embroidery denim jacket, Pimkie tights and Ras loafers. I was amazed at how comfortable these were after a night of walking!

the Seine and Notre Dame at night, 48 hours in Paris

How do you not fall in love with views like these? Impossible. After exploring the Rive Gauche, we made our way up again to the Rive Droite and found a little cocktail bar where I had the most amazing blackcurrant cooler and we sat under the outdoor heaters watching the city go by. Honestly, I was surprised at how alive Paris was even late at night, with young couples still taking their kids out for a walk at 11pm. Lovely atmosphere!

48 hours in Paris

Bedtime!


After sleeping like a baby (must be all that walking), we went out to look for breakfast. We had some bad luck picking the wrong streets to find a bistro, but in the end it was all worth it because my scrambled eggs and orange juice were heavenly, and my croissant was hands down the best croissant I have ever eaten. And I have eaten a lot of croissants.

48 hours in Paris

Loved this stylish older lady in her Blondie harcut, Louis Vuitton purse and silver pumps.

48 hours in Paris

On our plan for today: exploring the Rive Droite. So much to see in one afternoon!

48 hours in Paris
48 hours in Paris

Yes, that's a Pierre Hermé bag filled with macarons. 100% worth it.

48 hours in Paris

What I wore: H&M floral embroidery denim jacket, Primark star printed shirt dress, oldskool Vans.

Also pictured, probably my favourite piece of architecture visited on day two: the Palais du Louvre.

Paris palais du Louvre
Paris Louvre

For some reason I always thought that that glass pyramid was the Louvre, while it's really only a small feature of the museum. Yeah, super dumb, I know. I just never really thought about it! Ah, to be a PhD researcher and still be a moron.

Paris Jardin des Tuileries

The Jardin des Tuileries, gorgeous place to soak up some spring sunshine and do some more people watching! We both loved how much green there is in Paris, it really adds so much to the city and creates some space to breathe. Another thing we loved is how the historic center of Paris has such an amazing flow: you just walk from one piece of gorgeous history into the next, and all of it is easily walkable and connected.

Paris Jardin des Tuileries
Paris Place de la Concorde

When we made it to the Place de la Concorde we were already kinda dead from walking, but once we spotted the Pont Alexandre III in the distance, we knew we had to go the literal extra mile to see it up close! Such a stunning piece of history.

Paris pont Alexandre III

Honestly, I feel like there is still so much more to see and do in Paris - we didn't do any shopping or museums, for one, because we just didn't have the time! But rest assured, we will be back. It really is the perfect city for a short car trip if you are lucky enough to live in Belgium.

A big thank you to my boyfriend for the beautiful time we had together, to Nathalie and Jeroen for being awesome travel buddies and the Paris tips, and Toyota for getting us there! I'll never forget this weekend in Paris.

Beauty: diy IPL hair removal at home review

This post has been sitting in my to-do folder for agesssss since I always get questions about at home ipl hair removal, so I figured many people are in fact looking for info, and I'm more than willing to help out!

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

I've always struggled with hair removal. I have fair skin and dark (and plentiful) hair, and to top things off, I'm very prone to all things fun like razor burn and ingrown hairs. I had tried everything, really: hair removal creams (smells horrid and burns the skin if I leave it on long enough to actually remove all of my hair), shaving with the direction of the hairs (great if you want to have permanent stubble), epilation (extremely painful if your hair is thick and your skin is thin, up to three days of bruises and ingrown hairs), waxing (same deal as epilation). Only thing that did work was PFB vanish, a roll-on shaving lotion that disinfects your skin after hair removal and contains exfoliating agents that stimulate your skin renewal, keeping the skin thin and making it easier for new hair to break through rather than grow in. However, it was still a permanent hassle in the summer months,

Ipl hair removal seemed to be the best option for me, as it would radically reduce the hair growth and remove the roots of the hair as well, which was a pro for me since my skin is so thin that you could still "see" the dark roots underneath even if I had shaved. I had been looking at groupon type deals to get ipl hair removal done somewhere, but the prices were steep and research told me that the results would not be permanent. Since my pockets aren't that deep and I feel ridiculous spending that much money to get rid of hair, I kept putting it off. However, when one of my friends was putting up her Remington i-light Pro for sale, I pounced on that deal, and I'm so happy that I did!

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

In short, this is how ipl (and laser) hair removal works: the machine emits pulses of light that heat up any type of dark pigment in your hair, basically burning the roots of your hair and damaging those roots to the extent that they won't produce new hairs for months and months. Yes, "dark pigment" includes possible moles or your own dark skin, so this procedure is not suitable for people with darker skin tone or lots of birthmarks! On my own pale skin with dark hair however, this worked perfectly.

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review
Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

The Remington i-Light pro is very simple to use; you just switch it on, then you hold your arm over the little window until it beeps to tell you if your skin tone is light enough to safely use the device, and the i-Light pro will suggest the best light intensity for you to use. 

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review
Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

The device has a small (about 3 x 1.5 cm) window that zaps your hairs with light, and it also comes with an even smaller window to use on your face for more precise use. You start out with shaved skin: if you use it on longer hair, you might get some minor burns. Once the device is powered on, you have offered up your arm for verification of skin tone and chosen your light intensity (I usually used the lowest one), you just press down the head of the device so that the window makes contact with your skin. Once you hear the "beep" that tells you the device is ready to blitz your hairs, you press the button and feel a small pang of heat. It's never nearly as painful as epilation or waxing. 

Slowly make your way over the area you want to make hair free, and repeat the treatment once a week/every two weeks. After about four weeks, you should notice your hair falling out naturally and not coming back. I think it took me about 2 months to get the end result I was dreaming of: 90% reduction of hair growth! I honestly didn't believe it would work as well as it did so I was over the moon.

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

Is it permanent? No. After about half a year, I noticed that my hair was slowly coming back. However, it only took me about three treatments to get back to my previous end result, so the upkeep is absolutely minimal compared to the hassle of hair removal before I tried the i-Light pro. Cost-wise it is infinitely more cost-efficient than going to a salon to get ipl hair removal because you only pay once instead of going back again and again for hundreds of euros. 

Only extra cost you have to keep in mind is that after x flashes, the bulb in your device might burn out and need replacing, but I've seen replacement bulbs online for about €30 so that's nothing to worry about. In fact, I would suggest buying one of these to share with a friend! You could easily split the cost and use it for a month each to be free of hair for half a year, which would make this option so much more affordable. Since you only need to use it once in a while, sharing it is a possibility. 

Only negative I can come up with is that the window is so small that doing my legs would take me absolute ages, and since shaving works for my legs, I just don't find it worth the work. For my bikini area however, this has been a godsent.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to help! It's been two years since I started using this and I'm still incredibly happy with it. I was not sponsored in any way for this review :-)

Beauty: diy laser hair removal at home review

Outfit: head to toe metallics in jumpsuit

silver loafers, gold culottes jumpsuit

Beauty: vitamin C Clinique Fresh Pressed review

Beauty: vitamin C Clinique Fresh Pressed review

While I used to think that a simple moisturizer was enough, skincare has become a passion of mine over the past few years. Of course, you shouldn't expect miracles from skincare (you're never going to get a result from a cream that you might get from fillers or botox, if that's what you're after), but as someone who spends quite some time staring at their face while playing with makeup and editing pictures, I've come to notice the small but significant changes made by particular types of skincare. 

Today, I'll be talking about Clinique's Fresh Pressed regime, which is basically a 7 day plan that uses vitamin C to clarify your skintone and increase your natural glow. I tried a vitamin C based skincare routine last year when I tested Auriga's Flavo C range, but I wasn't entirely convinced by the result. However, when I received this adorable mason jar filled with Clinique goodies, I was inspired to give the idea another go. Especially when reading the claims!

- cell renewal is boosted from the first use
- your complexion should look brighter after only one use, and after a week of daily application, your skin will be more even, smoother and firmer
- after four weeks, hyperpigmentation should be reduced by about 20% (no idea how they measure this though), and fine lines and wrinkles have reduced by 30%
- after 12 weeks of contnued use, hyperpigmentation has reduced by 30%, and wrinkles by 40%.

Sounds pretty impressive! I only used the product for 7 days, so let's see if we can see those claimed end results.

Giveaway and Beauty: Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 avant premiere

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 inspired makeup look

Hey guys, fun post today! I mean my posts are always fun (I'd like to think) but today is a two-for-one. First, I'm giving away THREE sets of two tickets (so six tickets in total) to go see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX at the night of its exclusive premiere at Kinepolis Brussels, April 25th. Second, I'm sharing a makeup collab I did with my lovely sister, inspired by two of GotG's most kick-ass female characters. We were both pretty proud of the end result, so you're in for a treat!