Cool Girl

it's all about the aesthetic

Category: lifestyle

Moving is insane

It is, there is no doubt about it, but it gets about a thousand times worse when you’re moving countries and you have a limit of two suitcases.

Because you see, you end up finding things you thought you’d lost forever, and you start to wonder if you’ll need a dress you haven’t worn in four years (yes, I should be more diligent with spring cleanings) and eventually you find yourself looking at a closet full of stuff without knowing exactly what to pack.

A little background: I’m moving countries in two weeks.

Between trying to choose a sensible number of books that I can carry without overloading my bag and getting all the documents I’ll need, I have kind of put off packing my clothes. Not because I don’t want to do it, but because I think I’ll have about 5 identity crisis while trying to choose what to take with me.

Clothes are weird companions, and some have become oddly comforting items. So, yes, while I haven’t worn that grey dress in four years, I’ll also miss looking at it every time I open my closet.

It’s weird, I know.

It’s also a reflection of my fear. Fear of leaving home, of going far away and of not seeing my family or close friends in person for at least a year. Because moving means I’m an actual adult, who has to go out, get a job and do adult things, without the safety net I’ve gotten used to.

Besides, I’m kind of terrified of failure.

For now, my clothes will remain in the closet, my hugs will get tighter and I might stare at old things a little bit longer, but in the end, it will be fine.

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The Beauty Day 101

I’m a huge fan of beauty days. These are days in which I have no previous appointments, nor do I have any problems to solve. Only, instead of sitting in front of the T.V. (as I would usually do), these are days when I’m particularly inspired to take care of my skin.

As a huge fan of any and all beauty products, I’m on a constant search for new and affordable face masks, cleansers and mists, and have an ever-changing beauty regimen that includes trying out new things and asking for tips from friends.

Free stock from Pexels

Free stock from Pexels

On a regular day, I stick to my anti-acne soap and a facial tonic in the morning and an azelaic acid pomade at night. All in all, it works well for me, keeps me mostly pimple free, and my skin fresh enough.

But beauty days are about feeling like the best version of yourself so….

Movies are important

Any beauty day requires one of two things: a movie you’re fond of, or exciting music. I’m partial to the movie because I enjoy following stories, though I tend to choose something I’ve seen already, as that way I can go to the bathroom to wash my face and still know what is going on.

Really, anything that makes for interesting background noise (or background story) is okay. Remember: this day is about having fun!

Pull Up That Hair

Alongside your face mask, now is also the perfect time to drench your hair in whatever you love to drench it in. Whether you like coconut oil (works wonders for dry hair) or prefers brand names (there are so many available hair masks, you can pick one no matter your budget, really).

When I was younger, this consisted of my mom making a rather smelly concoction of avocado, 1 raw egg and slathering that all over my scalp and leaving it for an hour. Though I’ve yet to try that again in my adult life (I really dislike the smell of raw egg), I recommend it even if only for the fond memories I have of scrunching my nose and saying “mooooom!” as she pulled on my locks.

Go For That Mask

I’ve gone on about my love for face masks in the past, and they are essential in a beauty day. Whether they are homemade (coconut oil, honey and lime juice make for a very good one, for example) or store bought (my favorite is the Nivea 5-in-1, that also works as an amazing exfoliator for days in which I’m in a hurry).

I start my beauty days by getting my favorite mask and rubbing it all over my face, then sitting back with a nice cup of my favorite beverage (ice tea for hot days, hot chocolate for cold ones) and drinking it slowly as I wait for it to dry completely. I recommend you do this some time after putting your hair mask on, as it takes far less time to dry than hair masks do to act.

Shower… Profusely

After your scalp and your locks are properly hydrated, and you can’t quite move your face, it is time to wash all of it off! At this time, I’m already feeling about 50% prettier and better about myself, but I carry on my beauty day regimen by exfoliating my body in the shower.

First, I do this with a natural sponge, as it helps me get rid of dead cells, but I carry on with my favorite body scub. Mine is from a Brazilian brand called O Boticario. It’s the Nativa SPA sugar and pitaya scrub and it smells amazing, making my skin feel silky smooth and free of dead cells. I’m particularly fond of slathering it under my armpits, elbows and knees, as those are the places in which my skin feels rougher.

Okay, ladies now let’s get in hydration.

That was a terrible pun.

After showering, hydration is key. Hydrating is important because it makes your skin look healthier, more vibrant and less prone to wrinkles, so don’t skip this step!

My favorite hydrators are the Nivea naturally enriched, which is great for really dry skin, or the Sephora brand head-to-toe hydrator. That is particularly useful because it works as a body and face hydrator (I really like all-purpose products, to be honest). I apply this all over my body, making sure to focus on specially dry places (elbows, knees, feet and hands).

Don’t stress.

Remember, these steps are about making you feel good about yourself, so adequate it to your beauty regimen. A beauty day, above all, is a day in which you take time to take care of yourself, it’s a day of relaxation in order to feel fresh, so try to keep it stress-free and filled with happiness. It is also perfect to invite friends over and make it a beauty-party with cocktails (or ice tea, if you’re underage), gossip and fun!

Enjoy your beauty day!

 

How to Stay Motivated

Lately I’ve had quite some trouble staying motivated. To go out, to get dressed, even to write this blog! And this got me thinking: how do people stay motivated.

Ironically enough, it led me to write this post.

Because nowadays, I have been feeling less and less like the creative type, and more like the “super-stressed-because-I-need-a-job-type”, which really bothers me because it keeps me from doing things I like, and from doing things I have to do. So… how do you fight it?

Although I’ve yet to come up with a satisfying answer (sorry, guys), I started noticing the little things that make me feel happier and more fulfilled, even if none of them come with a job offer yet.

Motivational photo for lazy people?

Long Walks on the Beach:

Despite seeming obvious, taking a walk really helps me clear my head. Usually, I do this with someone I like (my mom, my friends, or take a walk instead of taking the bus to meet someone). In spite of my self-proclaimed everlasting laziness, walking works really well to give me ideas for posts, stories or just to let go of any tension that might have built up.

Oh, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a beach. Most of my walks happen on asphalt.

Spring Cleaning:

Okay, so cleaning my house is really annoying. I have three dogs and two of them have an unsettling amount of fur, which leads to daily vacuum cleaning and constant fussing over carpets. However, it also forces me to stop worrying about other things. As I vacuum my living room, I force myself not to think about what is currently worrying me, and allow myself to think about what I have to do, and plan out my day (I vacuum in the morning).

In the end, I get a clean house and a clean mind, both of which I enjoy immensely.

The Queen of Face Masks:

Face masks are all the rage amongst beauty bloggers and everyone knows it. There are DIYs and store bought, mud, charcoal and sheet masks and more variety than one would think possible.

For me, it’s all about the ritual. From carefully spreading the mud-and-water concoction (or whatever else I’m currently into), to waiting for the mask to dry, to hopping in the shower, facial masks really make me feel good. Even if my skin doesn’t magically clear up, I feel more relaxed and refreshed afterwards, like I’m ready to do everything on my to-do-lists.

Just Do It:

Nike’s commanding slogan works really well too. If none of the above brings you closer to motivation, try doing. Though I still have to work on this advice for myself, I think that if we took a moment to go ahead and do whatever we’ve been pressing ourselves to do (or at least starting), we’d see that most of what we’d been worrying about was just that: worrying, and what, like this post, one needed to simply start in order to finish.

 

Oh yeah, let it be known that I intend on posting more often. Sorry about the dry spell, I wasn’t feeling myself or my writing.

Easy Indulgence: Chocolate Mousse

Here’s another confession: I’m passionate about desserts. I love making them, eating them and experimenting with them. However, I reserve a special place in my heart for anything with chocolate.

Chocolate mousse is amongst some of my favorite desserts, both due to its creamy texture and to how easy it is to make. It is the ultimate cool girl dessert for the same reasons. Macarons are pretty and a staple of French patisserie, but they are simply not a good answer for your late-night longings for something sweet (unless there’s a 24-hour French patisserie near you). Between the complex list of ingredients and the exact measures, macarons are a dessert to make if you have patience and time (and, quite honestly, skill).

Bottom line is, mousse seems much more accessible.

Especially in this recipe. With simple ingredients and a total prepping time of 10 minutes, my chocolate mousse is the ultimate busy person’s answer to the times when I needed a chocolate fix but didn’t want to simply eat a piece of chocolate (because I’d end up eating the whole bar).

I personally like to wait until the mousse has set in the fridge for a few hours before eating it, but the un-chilled mix of ingredients tastes just as good (albeit more runny) as soon as you make it.

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs;

200 grams of bittersweet chocolate;

2 table spoons of sugar;

200 grams of heavy cream.

 

Preparation:

Beat the egg yolks until they double in size;

Pour in the sugar and keep beating until the yolks turn a pale yellow (almost white);

Melt the chocolate. I do this in bain-marie, but feel free to use the microwave if that’s what you prefer. Just be conscious to melt it in 20 seconds intervals and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the heavy cream to the chocolate and stir until combined;

Add the chocolate and cream to the yolk mix, stirring quickly;

Finally, beat the egg whites until they have doubled in size and add them to your mix in parts, stirring slowly so that the mix is airy.

There, the ultimate cool-girl chocolate mousse is done!

Making the Case for Overdressing

These days I was watching a TV show in which the hostess lives with a different family each weekend. She’s opinionated, loud, funny and always overdressed. And as I watched her and her outfit changes, I started thinking of how lazy I am when it comes to getting dressed, at least most of the times.

Though lounging in my house like this would probably be too much.

It made me feel really boring.

So, I’ve decided to make the case for the unapologetically overdressed. I have a friend who, no matter where she goes, gets out of her house looking like she just came out of a 1950s moodboard (in a good way), and I know people who won’t leave their houses without a full face of makeup. I admire both of those things, since it involves planning an outfit, time to put on makeup and then assert that you like everything you put on before leaving.

Although, realistically, I’m never going to wear a faux-fur jacket draped over my shoulders as I go to the grocery store, I started thinking of ways I could “overdress” in my daily life, if only to feel it is a little more glamorous. Then, I’ve decided to commit to giving my outfits a little more thought before leaving the house in them.

I sort of want those purple pants, though… too much?

As the self-proclaimed queen of comfy-casual, this is gonna be tough.

So here’s the stitch: for one week, I will wear clothes I consider ‘going out clothes’ for common stuff such as grocery shopping, going to the mall, and, occasionally, just lounging around in my own house (okay, this one is because I’m lazy when it comes to changing once I get home, though), then by the end of the week I will write how I felt about it.

This is also a conscious commitment to try and feel less self-conscious about my outfits, my body and how others see me. Which is why I’ll be delving deep into feelings of inadequacy at the end of the week, probably. However, I can’t wait to start!

Let’s overdress.

Cool Girl travels: Cannes

My first (and so far only) visit to Cannes wasn’t what one would call glamorous. I had been on the road for almost a month, sleeping poorly, eating canned food and taking showers at the beach (those little shower heads saved my life and my hair). Still, when I got to the French Riviera it felt weirdly like I had become a character on Gossip Girl.

Maybe it is my own tendency to fantasize and daydream whenever I travel, but even in my run down Havaianas flip flops, jean shorts and t-shirt, I instantly felt more glamorous when I hit the city. Nice had seemed too much like a town and not enough like a dream to awaken the same feelings, and Cannes seemed to be covered in the type of mysticism that only a city that’s used to receiving millionaires and stars can be.

From the road that links Cannes and Monte Carlo.

As I walked through its cobbled stone streets, I could distinctively recall the days I had spent reading the Gossip Girl novels. At one point in my life, I had been obsessed with them (maybe, at a deeper level, I still am), and walking through a place that Blair Waldorf could choose to spend her vacation in felt like I was living a particularly good episode of my own life.

Although, in all truth, there isn’t much to do in Cannes if you don’t have money to spend and aren’t interested in gambling. Since I could not go to any of the glamorous restaurants and my group decided we wouldn’t gamble, I settled for the sights and held on to that strangely comforting Gossip Girl fantasy instead. I watched the yachts as if I could hop on one of them and sail away, and looked at the stores like I was perusing for new collection items.

The weather helped a lot. The blue sky stretched out infinitely above me, and the sea offered a cool summer breeze to placate the heat. I went in July, so there were no big movie stars or groups of paparazzi swarming the place. There were lots of tourists, French families who wanted to hit the beach, groups of Asian tourists that carried an insane amount of photographic cameras (though I was also guilty of that), and groups of German, English and other European families that, much like the group I was with, wanted to see what all the rave was about.

I also did tourist-y stuff, obviously, like visiting the famous red carpet of the film festival, Le Suquet and the old port, and allowing myself to lay on a nearby beach and just exist under the hot July sun.

DSC03241

I think Cannes is a cool girl destination because it is one of those places that, like Paris or New York, has the ability to make you daydream. Instead of being disappointed in the fact that I couldn’t party on a rooftop pool, go on a yacht trip or eat at an Instagram-worthy restaurant, I simply allowed myself to feel and see and experience the trés cool sensation that the place itself brought me.

However, I wouldn’t be opposed to returning it in more favorable conditions, if only to relate how that same feeling would show itself as I did any of the things mentioned above.