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    Simple Cleansing Water⎜Compatible with Bioderma Miscellare

    This stuff aka Simple’s Cleansing Miscellar Water is amazing, totally compatible with the famous Bioderma Miscellare H20 makeup remover, and if you didn’t know, I swear by Bioderma‘s Miscellare H20, much like everybody else 🙂 But the one I’m raving about today is the Simple Cleansing Miscellar Water. I have been searching for something to replace the still hard-to-get Bioderma Miscellare H20, which is available but still expensive! And since I can’t make the trip to Paris any time soon, I had to find something. Read more
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    Worth the Hype? La Roche-Posy Serozinc and Pixi Glow Tonic

    I’ve had a good period of trying out these two unbelievably talked about (in the #bbloggers world) skincare products. These purchases were both made in their respective countries — one in London, UK, and the other in Paris, France. They were a totally blogger-induced purchases, and I tried quite desperately to love them as much as they promised to do for my skin.

    As you can see where this is going, I haven’t fallen in love with these two products (at all). The week when I got back from my trip to Europe, Pixi had just launched in the US and they were making this hit “Glow Tonic” toner available to the US customers. Had I known, I wouldn’t have had such trouble trying to carry that bottle back home. I spilt 1/4th when going to Paris, and then another 1/6th when I got back home!

    But if it was going to be worth it, I was okay. But all along when I was using it throughout my trip in Europe and then when I got back home, I just didn’t see what the hype was about. I was already committed to my Mario Badescu toners, and so this “Glow Tonic” didn’t stand out for me at all. My skin was quite congested and it just really did not do much for my skin. I didn’t break out especially either. Perhaps it is so gentle I don’t see a difference? I completely used it, to be fair, but I would not repurchase it again.

    The other hit item is La Roche-Posay‘s Serozinc toner. Again, a toner product that didn’t do much. It is supposed to clear up the skin and just make the biggest difference for the combination skinned peeps. I am one, but this didn’t make a huge difference in my skin. It does feel like water, and I do know that zinc is great for the skin– but did I clear up more after using this? Did my skin seem to produce less excess oil? Did my skin look fresher? Did it clean up my pores? Did it tighten my skin the right way? No, no.. no and no.

    I do have to say though that I did prefer the “Serozinc” over the “Glow Tonic”. I felt less congested, but again, it just wasn’t enough of a difference. Sigh!

    I am back to using my favorite toners from Mario Badescu. Hands down, still the best for me.

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    P A R I S

    The last time I went to Paris was back in 2009. I almost teared the moment I stepped land on France, and every landmark I saw, brought me to tears. That is how much I love Paris, France. Finally, after almost five years, I made it back to Paris and still, my heart flutters at every sight. I can see why this city is so loved, even after all these years. Although I didn’t tear up all too much, I still felt wonderful being in Paris. I sticked to staying in the touristy areas of Paris because I do find those to be the most beautiful. I’m not Parisian anyway, and I won’t pretend not to be a tourist! So, here is my travel-diary. Although it’s not all that specific (because it would be too long), I hope you enjoy it. It may be very cliche, the places I went to, but I don’t regret it one bit! 🙂 
    Because Paris was the second destination in our travel, we had to get to Paris from London. You can read my London travel blogpost here. We went from London to Paris riding the Eurostar, from the St. Pancras station to the Gare du Nord in Paris.

    Place stayed: Helzear Apartments (click to redirect to their website)

    • If you’re like me, hotels are probably the biggest concern when traveling. I don’t look for 5-star hotels, but I do look for hotels where I can feel at ease, comfort, relaxation, and joy in. That is a lot to ask for, isn’t it? Much like the Concept London Apartments, where we stayed at in London, we found something similar in Paris, this time called Helzear Apartments. We first reserved the apartment situated in the Marais district, in an apartment called Montorgueil. Unfortunately, it did not suit us at all and very kindly the staff moved us to their newest apartment situated on Champs-Elysees. Though our experience in the first apartment was close to terrible, the newer one we were moved to was so remarkably fine that after the move, travel became quite a joy!
    • Pros: It is situated in the best of the best. It is only a few blocks away from Avenue des Champs-Elysees where there were markets all down the avenue because it was Christmas season. That was a joy to see, and there is just so much to do on Champs-Elysees itself! The hotel is also so close to the George V subway station, where we were able to get to other places. But mostly, we walked because just seeing the streets was in itself a tour! Because of where it is situated, safety was also not a concern, which is important for three girls traveling. 
    • The service was also great. The staff were always helpful and ready to assist. They seemed really concerned about their clients, which is always a great plus for any hotels. Also, their apartment was top-notch in: design, equipment, cleanliness, accessibility. For me, an apartment being clean is so important! Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that at all. Also, the kitchen was fully equipped and so was the bathroom.
    • The room we stayed at was a room called Kleber. You’ll see a glimpse of the room as you scroll down.
    • I rate this experience a 5.0/5.0

    View from our window. It would’ve been better if we saw the streets, but it wasn’t too bad!
    Located right on Champs-Elysees, which let me say, was crowded this time of the year. I have learned a lesson not to come to Paris right before Christmas. It was hectic. They had markets set up all down the avenue, which were fun. Also, the streets were full of lights– vibrant than any I’ve seen in other cities! 

    And, of course the one and only Tour Eiffel in every angle. I obviously don’t get bored by seeing endless photos of the Tour Eiffel, so I’m hoping none of you would feel bored by that landmark!

     The prettiest bridge: Pont Alexandre III. This day, we decided to tour early and you can see the sun rising and the prettiest kind of morning gleam swept all over Paris! On one side of the bridge, you can see the Tour Eiffel. I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that I wanted to live in this city as I walked this bridge!

    On the way to the Louvre, we were greeted by a beautiful full vivid rainbow. The weather this day was slightly crazy, going from dark clouds that looked like they would reach the ground, to rain, and then to vibrant sunshine! At the end of it though, since we were gifted the rainbow, all was well 🙂

    The Notre Dame in Paris seemed smaller than the one in Strasbourg, but it still took my breath away. Nothing in Paris ever gets old. We went near the evening and didn’t bother to tour inside the cathedral since we saw it the last time we were there! In front was a huge christmas tree, beautifully lit and I also made sure to eat crepes from the stores all around it.

    Some people say that the Pierre Herme macaroons are more delicious than the ones from Laduree. They were pretty spectacular, although I forgot all the names of these flavors. I have to say though, you’d best know what you’re buying. Although the sales lady kindly told us what they were, half of them we couldn’t understand. What we got ultimately was a variety of selection, half of which were so good, and half of which were strange…

    Also, a friend of my sister’s came by with the generous gift of small French pastries. Supposedly the price of these varieties was something like 80 euros! But, since it was a gift, we ate them without feeling too guilty about having them. They were……. [you can fill in the sentence]. 
    Then, there was Laduree. Yes, I know we have them in New York too, but there is something about the original Laduree situated on Champs-Elysees

    Another hotspot cafe is the Cafe de Flore that people always Instagram when they are there. While, list on that cliche because I did the same! I loved it because it looked like that perfect French cafe one would dream about. I recommend their cappuccino as well as their breakfast pastries, however if you are a tourist from the States, try not to spend too much on actual breakfast meals or lunch meals like salads, soups, or croque-mosieurs because they didn’t taste all that great! Just have a coffee and munch on some croissants in the morning, and you’ll feel full just from plundering in the Parisian atmosphere!

    Another cafe I dragged my sisters to was Angelina. Ugh, I still regret being unable to sit inside and have their chocolat chaud! It looked so cozy and beautiful inside, and I’ve heard a great many things about their hot drinks. But, we were on a budget cut and you do pay less if you get the pastries to-go. So, I picked up a few and felt pretty excited about getting to the hotel and devouring them! They looked so delicious, and so instagrammable
    mille feuille, sweet potato cupcake/cake, eclair
    Finally, the last cafe I want to recommend is Carette right by the Tour Eiffel in a place called Trocadero. It was again, close to where we were and we couldn’t be more thankful than we were! We came here twice, lastly right before we left to catch our flight back home. Their sandwiches are delicious, especially their salmon one! Also, their french onion soup was the best we’ve tried in all the places we went to. I highly recommend them. Also, you can’t disregard the beauty of their interior and oh, their pastries…. 
    Shopping: I went to the two big department stores in Paris- Lafayette and Bon Marche. I was also fortunate enough to be gifted a Louis Vuitton bag. Finally, the other shopping I did was makeup and skincare- from stores MONOPRIX and CityPharma on Rue du Four. 

    It’s been a month since I got back from Paris, and it is only now that I found time to organize the pictures and post! There was actually more than a thousand photos to choose from, but I wanted to stick to photos that were location-based and pretty enough to post on my blog! I hope you enjoyed this really picture-heavy blogpost.

    But this is NOT THE END! My next lifestyle post will be my trip to Strasbourg. Keep tuned for that 🙂

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    P A R I S

    The last time I went to Paris was back in 2009. I almost teared the moment I stepped land on France, and every landmark I saw, brought me to tears. That is how much I love Paris, France. Finally, after almost five years, I made it back to Paris and still, my heart flutters at every sight. I can see why this city is so loved, even after all these years. Although I didn’t tear up all too much, I still felt wonderful being in Paris. I sticked to staying in the touristy areas of Paris because I do find those to be the most beautiful. I’m not Parisian anyway, and I won’t pretend not to be a tourist! So, here is my travel-diary. Although it’s not all that specific (because it would be too long), I hope you enjoy it. It may be very cliche, the places I went to, but I don’t regret it one bit! 🙂 
    Because Paris was the second destination in our travel, we had to get to Paris from London. You can read my London travel blogpost here. We went from London to Paris riding the Eurostar, from the St. Pancras station to the Gare du Nord in Paris.

    Place stayed: Helzear Apartments (click to redirect to their website)

    • If you’re like me, hotels are probably the biggest concern when traveling. I don’t look for 5-star hotels, but I do look for hotels where I can feel at ease, comfort, relaxation, and joy in. That is a lot to ask for, isn’t it? Much like the Concept London Apartments, where we stayed at in London, we found something similar in Paris, this time called Helzear Apartments. We first reserved the apartment situated in the Marais district, in an apartment called Montorgueil. Unfortunately, it did not suit us at all and very kindly the staff moved us to their newest apartment situated on Champs-Elysees. Though our experience in the first apartment was close to terrible, the newer one we were moved to was so remarkably fine that after the move, travel became quite a joy!
    • Pros: It is situated in the best of the best. It is only a few blocks away from Avenue des Champs-Elysees where there were markets all down the avenue because it was Christmas season. That was a joy to see, and there is just so much to do on Champs-Elysees itself! The hotel is also so close to the George V subway station, where we were able to get to other places. But mostly, we walked because just seeing the streets was in itself a tour! Because of where it is situated, safety was also not a concern, which is important for three girls traveling. 
    • The service was also great. The staff were always helpful and ready to assist. They seemed really concerned about their clients, which is always a great plus for any hotels. Also, their apartment was top-notch in: design, equipment, cleanliness, accessibility. For me, an apartment being clean is so important! Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that at all. Also, the kitchen was fully equipped and so was the bathroom.
    • The room we stayed at was a room called Kleber. You’ll see a glimpse of the room as you scroll down.
    • I rate this experience a 5.0/5.0

    View from our window. It would’ve been better if we saw the streets, but it wasn’t too bad!
    Located right on Champs-Elysees, which let me say, was crowded this time of the year. I have learned a lesson not to come to Paris right before Christmas. It was hectic. They had markets set up all down the avenue, which were fun. Also, the streets were full of lights– vibrant than any I’ve seen in other cities! 

    And, of course the one and only Tour Eiffel in every angle. I obviously don’t get bored by seeing endless photos of the Tour Eiffel, so I’m hoping none of you would feel bored by that landmark!

     The prettiest bridge: Pont Alexandre III. This day, we decided to tour early and you can see the sun rising and the prettiest kind of morning gleam swept all over Paris! On one side of the bridge, you can see the Tour Eiffel. I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that I wanted to live in this city as I walked this bridge!

    On the way to the Louvre, we were greeted by a beautiful full vivid rainbow. The weather this day was slightly crazy, going from dark clouds that looked like they would reach the ground, to rain, and then to vibrant sunshine! At the end of it though, since we were gifted the rainbow, all was well 🙂

    The Notre Dame in Paris seemed smaller than the one in Strasbourg, but it still took my breath away. Nothing in Paris ever gets old. We went near the evening and didn’t bother to tour inside the cathedral since we saw it the last time we were there! In front was a huge christmas tree, beautifully lit and I also made sure to eat crepes from the stores all around it.

    Some people say that the Pierre Herme macaroons are more delicious than the ones from Laduree. They were pretty spectacular, although I forgot all the names of these flavors. I have to say though, you’d best know what you’re buying. Although the sales lady kindly told us what they were, half of them we couldn’t understand. What we got ultimately was a variety of selection, half of which were so good, and half of which were strange…

    Also, a friend of my sister’s came by with the generous gift of small French pastries. Supposedly the price of these varieties was something like 80 euros! But, since it was a gift, we ate them without feeling too guilty about having them. They were……. [you can fill in the sentence]. 
    Then, there was Laduree. Yes, I know we have them in New York too, but there is something about the original Laduree situated on Champs-Elysees

    Another hotspot cafe is the Cafe de Flore that people always Instagram when they are there. While, list on that cliche because I did the same! I loved it because it looked like that perfect French cafe one would dream about. I recommend their cappuccino as well as their breakfast pastries, however if you are a tourist from the States, try not to spend too much on actual breakfast meals or lunch meals like salads, soups, or croque-mosieurs because they didn’t taste all that great! Just have a coffee and munch on some croissants in the morning, and you’ll feel full just from plundering in the Parisian atmosphere!

    Another cafe I dragged my sisters to was Angelina. Ugh, I still regret being unable to sit inside and have their chocolat chaud! It looked so cozy and beautiful inside, and I’ve heard a great many things about their hot drinks. But, we were on a budget cut and you do pay less if you get the pastries to-go. So, I picked up a few and felt pretty excited about getting to the hotel and devouring them! They looked so delicious, and so instagrammable
    mille feuille, sweet potato cupcake/cake, eclair
    Finally, the last cafe I want to recommend is Carette right by the Tour Eiffel in a place called Trocadero. It was again, close to where we were and we couldn’t be more thankful than we were! We came here twice, lastly right before we left to catch our flight back home. Their sandwiches are delicious, especially their salmon one! Also, their french onion soup was the best we’ve tried in all the places we went to. I highly recommend them. Also, you can’t disregard the beauty of their interior and oh, their pastries…. 
    Shopping: I went to the two big department stores in Paris- Lafayette and Bon Marche. I was also fortunate enough to be gifted a Louis Vuitton bag. Finally, the other shopping I did was makeup and skincare- from stores MONOPRIX and CityPharma on Rue du Four. 

    It’s been a month since I got back from Paris, and it is only now that I found time to organize the pictures and post! There was actually more than a thousand photos to choose from, but I wanted to stick to photos that were location-based and pretty enough to post on my blog! I hope you enjoyed this really picture-heavy blogpost.

    But this is NOT THE END! My next lifestyle post will be my trip to Strasbourg. Keep tuned for that 🙂

    Share:

    My Trip in London, Through Photos.

    It’s been a little less than a month since I’ve come back from my trip to London, Paris, and Strasbourg. The amount of pictures I’ve taken is so overwhelming that it is only now that I’ve made the time and effort to organize them and finally write blogpost about my tip. This post, as the title connotes, will be about my trip in London. I can’t guarantee I’ll be any amazing trip advisor, but I’d like to share what I loved the most about my trip in London. 

    Let me talk a little before I let you scroll down to the stream of pictures! 
    Duration of Stay: Arrived on the 14th of December, and stayed until the 16th. Let me say, it was high-time Christmas season and it was HECTIC. It was my second time going, but the last time I went, London was a bit more beautiful because it was less crowded. Whew, don’t recommend the near Christmas season! 
    Where I stayed: I realized that everything in London is expensive, and hotels are especially such. My entire trip, I used my brain calculating the currency exchange between pounds and dollars and every time I want to buy something, a die a little knowing how unfair the conversion is! (It takes a near two dollars to make one pound!) So, I didn’t stay at a hotel but reserved out a small studio in Notting Hill, London from a rental-housing company called Concept London Apartments. The price was so much more affordable than any hotels in London. They have several different apartments all over London. I chose the Notting Hill apartment, right on the heart of Portobello Market
    Now, apologizes ahead of time, I have NO decent picture of the room. If you go on their website, you can definitely see better pictures but somehow, none of the pictures I took accurately shows what the room is like.
    lobby. our room was straight, second door on the left! tiny hallway I say 🙂
    • Pros: 
      • Price
      • Transportation: not difficult to get to other parts of London
      • Situation: You can spend a whole day or two visiting the shops on Portobello Rd. There are just so many cool pretty things you’ll see!
      • Necessity: Has what you need. A good working bathroom, water… there are plates, forks, and dishwasher soap to do your dishes too! There’s also a microwave and a hairdryer. That’s pretty cool. The bathroom also gives a small size of shampoo and body wash and soap. 
      • Temperature: good temperature control, and a nice window to help ventilation if need be. 
    • Cons: You get what you pay for, right?
      • Space: I can’t say it was a big deal, but you definitely can’t expect the spaciousness of a 3-star hotel. It’s affordable and very compact so it might be a bit difficult. The bathroom is very small.
      • Cleanliness: Though on the face of it, it seemed all very clean, I couldn’t take my shoes off and walk around because the floor was slightly stick. The water pipes were also quite grimy, but I tried to get my mind off it as much as I could.
      • Noise: We were situated on the first floor. We could hear most of the people coming in and out, and especially the room next door. There was also a family living in the apartment next to ours, and their dear child was crying so much it was quite hard to ignore it! 
    • Recommendation:
      • For the studio room, it is BEST for one person, and at most, two people. Three, you might suffocate. 
      • I might try other apartments that are located in more luxurious parts of London, but again, the $$$ will go up I assume. 
      • If you can afford it, maybe a hotel is better. If you’re on a big time budget but you don’t want to get a room in a hostel… then this apartment is THE BEST. 
    Places Visited: I went to the obvious touristy places. We used mainly the tube, and near the end of our travel, we used the buses because they were better to see the streets and such. Even though they are quite slow because the traffic in London sucks, I still recommend it for tourists!
    • Portobello Road/Market (below):
    • Buckingham Palace (below): It was crazy this day. I actually thought something was going on because there was so many people. Eventually, I had to see what was going on through the screen of another person’s iPad that rose high into the air, blocking a lot of people’s views. But it was almost like live broadcasting through that iPad 🙂 As for what was going on, it was only their Change of the Guards that they do a few times(?) throughout the day. 
    • Trafalgar Square
      • You can’t miss this place. It’s kind of the heart of what I think of London. I would get to Trafalgar Square, and then from there, walk to either Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and Convent Garden. 
      • Here are pictures of not only the Square, but what’s around as well:

    • London Eye: this thing is seriously beautiful at night, and when it’s raining and the streets are wet, the blue light illuminates everything under it! It’s beautiful but sadly, I didn’t get to ride it because it was quite pricey. 

    • Houses of Parliament/Big Ben (below): Most of the touristy places are viewable as you walk down from Trafalgar Square. On the way to see the London Eye, you could see the Houses of Parliament/ Big Ben.
    • Convent Garden
      • I highly recommend you take a walk around this place. It’s so alive and full of music! There is a great vibe in this place with a lot to eat. 
      • I was almost run over. There were just so many people around and about, and though it helped make the atmosphere it was crazy!
    • Westminister 

    Shopping
    • Boots
    • Selfridges
    • Liberty
    • John Lewis
      • I compare this store with Macys. A huge bargain department store with good tidbits here and there.
      • I picked up the Liz Earle Cleanser here. 
    • SpaceNK
      • Had a horrible experience at SpaceNK! The staff there were so rude and unenthusiastic to help! I literally ran out of the store because they made me feel so unwelcomed!
      • I also went in to get Emma Hardie cleansers but of course, they were sold out…
    • Kooples
      • Goodness, one thing I realized was that there are A LOT of Kooples store in both the UK and Paris! 
    • Primark
      • the best shopping experience I had. I call this the Forever21 of UK, even though they have their own Forever21 there. Clothes are affordable and so cute! I picked up a good amount of clothes here 🙂
    Food: So, I understand London is not known for eating. I knew it, but sadly, I rediscovered this truth in this trip. Goodness, I couldn’t help but crave some good diverse foods from the States. Not only are most places so expensive, they shouldn’t be worth the price they are! 🙁 I stopped by places British Youtubers/Bloggers often recommend on their channels and Instagram, but most were fails. I did, however, discover the BEST MILLE FEUILLE BAKERY ever…
    • Patisserie Valerie, there’s a lot– but I went to the one around Trafalgar Square and Convent Garden
      • Try their Mille Feuille it was better than the ones I tried in Paris. The other pastries I’ve tried from their store was bleh, but their mille feuille was addictive. 
    • Wahaca, near Convent Garden
      • Mexican food
      • Best Virgin Mojito 
    • Kitchen Pantry, on Portobello Road
      • don’t recommend
      • too salty! 
      • bad service
      • but pretty place, I have to admit…

    And, finally here are random streets of London. For sure, you must visit Carnaby Street. It was one of the cutest and prettiest streets I saw!
    Cute shops:

    I hope you enjoyed that! I tried to organize this post as well as I could, but there was seriously so much going on and so many pictures I had to choose from! Tell me what you think, and if you’ve been to London, what you loved the most!

    The next lifestyle post will be about my stay in Paris, and for that I have A LOT to say! Stay tuned 🙂

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