escentric-molecules-daarboven

We’ve probably all been there, standing in a perfumery or a department store, walls covered with pretty bottles, not knowing where to start. I know I always felt a little lost (and still do). So I usually chose the easy way out and opted for the it-scent of the moment; Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, DKNY Delicious, you name it. I liked the smell of course, I’m not that easy, c’mon! But they never stuck. Most scents give me a headache after a few hours and I also didn’t like the fact that I knew at least three other girls who wore the same fragrance as me (I’m such a diva. I wish you could see my Mariah hand movements. Spot on!).

Now I’m not someone who wears a different scent every day or who has a perfume for different occasions. I prefer to stick to one option until the bottle is empty. I tried to find my signature scent. You know, that scent by which you are able to recognize someone when they walk into a room. It took me a while, but I have finally found mine: Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. I’ve been wearing it for several years and still love it. It’s the most subtle and unusual scent that slowly develops on your skin. You can hardly smell it yourself, but the people around you can. It’s amazing, it disappears and reappears throughout the day and it’s lasting power is incredible. I’ve received so many compliments, even from people I hardly know. I bought my third bottle last week.

Are you a one-scent woman or do you like to keep your options open? What are your favorite scent(s)?

shopping-rotterdam-daarboven

Although I love the city I live in, it’s nice to visit another city in your own country every once in a while. Now I know a lot of people tend to go shopping or sightseeing in Amsterdam which is one of my all-time favorite cities too of course. But ever since I started working in Rotterdam a couple of years ago, I discovered it’s a pretty exciting city to spend your day in, with a lot of things to see and/or do. So I created a map with my favorite spots divided into 4 categories: shopping, food/drinks, art/architecture and others and added a description of three of the places you will most likely run into me (which, in most cases, is probably not a good thing). Let me know if you feel like there’s anything missing!

SKINS COSMETICS
Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 137 I website
In case you ever wondered where to buy those pretty Diptyque candles that you’re seeing all over Instagram and blogs, Skins is the place you’re looking for. A cosmetics store that exclusively sells niche brands such as Aesop, Diptyque and Byredo. But most importantly my favorite perfume, Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules.

KOEKELA
Nieuwe Binnenweg 79a I website
Hands down the best bakery in Rotterdam when it comes to pies, muffins, bars and cookies. Or maybe I should just describe this place as Heaven. I don’t think I ever met someone from Rotterdam that wasn’t familiar with this bakery. I highly recommend the caramel shortbread, lemon meringue pie and well, pretty much everything else too.

MUSEUM BOIJMANS VAN BEUNINGEN
Museumpark 18 I website
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. It houses a unique collection of art from the Middle Ages until today. Here you will find works by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali and Margritte. This autumn the museum is showing an exhibition about the future of fashion with contemporary fashion designers including Viktor&Rolf, Christophe Coppens and Hussein Chalayan.

5-piece-wardrobe-basics

Before I present to you my wish list of five for this season, let’s discuss basics first. Last week I wrote about the 5 piece French wardrobe and how a high quality, well-chosen selection of basics is key to making this work. Over the years I’ve read a lot about this shopping method and some people seem to wonder what qualifies as a basic. For instance, I hardly ever wear skirts or dresses, so I don’t consider them basics but they might be for you. What’s important to keep in mind is that your basics are the items that hold your wardrobe together and make it easy to mix and match with your investment pieces (aka those 5 items you’re spending your money on).

So here is my list of wardrobe essentials:

Tops
– T-shirts in black, grey and white
– A white and black long sleeve
– A cashmere sweater or cardigan
– A white (preferably silk) shirt

Bottoms

– Black skinny jeans
– Grey skinny jeans
– Blue skinny jeans
– A pair of black trousers

Shoes

– Black ankle boots
– A pair of black flats or loafers
– Sandals
– Converse sneakers

Jackets/coats
– A trenchcoat
– Black leather jacket
– Oversized winter coat
– A black blazer

Accessories

– Medium sized black bag
– Small black/navy bag
– A delicate bracelet or necklace
– Silver watch

Pretty basic right? I could throw some of these items on and be done for the day. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be the most exciting outfit, but since I made sure I bought the best basics suited for my body, I would feel 100% comfortable, put together and myself. And to me, knowing that I look my best and not having to worry about anything, is the most important thing. Now tell me, what would your list of wardrobe basics look like? Would it be very different from mine?

makeup essentials

You know those bloggers with the gorgeous beauty and makeup stashes? I’m not one of them. When it comes to makeup, this is as good as it gets. Although I just noticed I forgot my eye pencil and MAC’s Ruby Woo (my all time favorite), but I’m sure we will all survive. Truth is, as much as I love to read about it (and watch Lisa Eldridge’s videos), I don’t know a whole lot about makeup, just what works for me. I like to keep it minimal and barely-there, but will occasionally opt for a bright lip to spice things up a little.

Rouge Coco Rivoli by Chanel
Price $35 I Swatch by Tinted Red I Get it here
A super chic burgundy shade. I wear this whenever I feel like dressing up. It’s slightly transparent, not too shiny and almost feels like a lip balm. During the day I usually wear it as a lip stain, but in the evenings just as a regular lipstick. Now I only need the same lipstick in Mademoiselle for a more natural everyday lip color. 

Pink Truffle for lips and cheeks by Bobbi Brown
Not available
Such a pretty color, but apparently no longer available. I have no clue why they discontinued it. Oh wait, Google tells me it’s from the Desert Twilight Collection from 2012. So that explains it. You can still get other colors as a pot rouge though. Speaking of Twilight and just to make this post a little more personal; I watched all 5 movies in the cinema and have no regrets. Moving on…

Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder by MAC
Price $26 I Get it here
I use this powder on top of my Mineralize Skinfinish. It’s great for oily skin and because it’s a pressed powder, you can take it everywhere. It looks white but has a transparent finish and also works on my olive skin. Just a small warning though, applying too much may result to this, when someone uses a flash because it reflects light. So no, not selfie-proof in bad lighting conditions.

Le Volume de Chanel
Price $30 I Swatch by Miss Lipgloss I Get it here
I’m blessed with short Asian eyelashes, so when it comes to mascara, I need both length and thickness (and preferably a little curl). From all the mascara’s I tried over the years, this one works best for me. I love the brush, it’s easy to apply and no clumps whatsoever. The only downside? It’s pretty expensive for mascara. But Ici Paris sometimes offers a 40% discount!

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural by MAC
Price $32 I Get it here
The best thing about this powder is that it makes your skin look flawless and doesn’t feel or look powdery at all. I just apply a tiny bit to even out my skin, but it’s very build able if you’re looking for more coverage. I absolutely love it, but only use it in the evening or during a night out. I have very easy skin so in the daytime I prefer my Origins moisturizer.

VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-boosting moisturizer by Origins
Price $36 I Get it here
Have you noticed that I seem to love expensive makeup? It’s just that whenever I go to a drugstore, I can’t figure out which powders, foundations or tinted moisturizers are best for me. I always need a little help. But back to this moisturizer which is described as follows: Slip it on first thing tomorrow—you’ll look like you eat right, sleep tight, and don’t have a worry in sight. I have nothing to add here.

What are your top 3 essential makeup products? Anything that I should try?