To Dress Up Or To Dress Down, That Is The Question.

Interesting recent discovery: apparently, when the French say you look or dress really “American”, what they really mean is that you look vulgar. It’s the nicest thing they can say without saying, “Hey, you look vulgar.” Hello to the French way of being polite! Although, they could just leave the Americans out of it…
Twice, I’ve received this remark and both times I was wearing a dress/skirt that stopped 8cm above the knee with heels to match. Just as I would have back in Taipei, except ten times more conservative so as to try and fit in. Evidently, that didn’t work at all.
I know this is a controversial topic so correct me if I’m wrong but I have done some research and asked a few locals and well… I’m just trying to understand.

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Personally, a large part of going out is dressing up. Pre-game for girls is getting ready and doing each other’s make-up with a bottle of wine (or whatever alcoholic concoction of your choice). The other part is going out to town and taking in all the colourful, sometimes outrageous outfits of fellow party-goers. Then the rest of the night can commence in a flurry of social activity and more alcohol (wink*).

Paris…is a different ballgame. If you think that la ville de la mode will provide interesting eye candy to feast on when it’s time to venture out into the night and mingle, then you’re WRONG. If you want to see ridiculous outfits strutting down the cobbled streets of Paris, just wait for Fashion Week.
However, if you’re just going out, be prepared to look your most casual in jeans, a top and a pair of nice boots. Basically, what we’re going for here is “I tried but I didn’t try”. A casual chic vibe and sex hair with minimal (I REPEAT: MINIMAL) makeup always does the trick. The most you should ever put on your face is red lipstick. Can’t look more Parisian than that!

To be frank, I’ve toned it down immensely since arriving in Paris as I had previously lived in France for my exchange year so was already familiar with certain customs but it gets boring and every single time I’ve even attempted to dress slightly outside the norms, I’ve been met with judgmental stares and pursed lips which only leaves me feeling deeply constricted in terms of fashion choices.

All jokes aside, locals pointed out that dressing conservatively is also mainly for safety concerns which I can understand. You meet all sorts of hooligans who whistle and cat-call at women on the streets, even men who follow you from the metro station right to your doorstep!

Alors! In conclusion, when in Rome (Paris), do as the Romans (Parisians) do! You might learn some new things and while Paris does not always permit change, Parisians definitely do dress well! The men can pull off trousers of any colour, the women always emanate a natural beauty and everyone is always very put together. What are your thoughts?

The Parisian Dream: Realistic?

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Where does your mind wander off to when you hear the words ‘Paris’ or ‘France’? Does it conjure up images of endless pavements filled with sprawling terraces, the melodic chitchat of French and romantic fumes of cigarette smoke on a lazy summer’s day? Does your mind drift off into the streets of Montmartre while Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose’ plays in the background? Or do you smell freshly baked baguettes instead?

If so, you’re not too far off but you’re not seeing the full picture either. More often than not, tourists and first-timers are shown the shiny side of town. Eiffel Tower, Galeries Lafayettes, Arc de Triomphe, Le Louvre, La Seine, Champs Elysées et tous les incontournables! And do you know what? That’s okay because it is part of what makes up the true essence of Paris.

What’s not okay is thinking that that’s all there is to this city. What about Chinatown aka the 13th arrondissement? The slums around Paris? The colourful graffiti and the kebab restaurants that can be spotted here and there but especially around Gare du Nord? All the places that tour groups avoid because they’re not always pretty?

Perhaps it’s just where I used to live, but people often seem to have a rather distorted image of what a Parisian lifestyle truly entails. You have French bureaucracy (which is your worst nightmare and that’s putting it lightly), you have some interesting people to put up with, not speaking French will render even the simplest tasks impossible or highly complicated and the transportation is a mess.


You have delicious bread. A friend of mine once said, “If it’s not made in France, it’s not a baguette.” I thought it was just arrogance….until now, and while I’m on the topic of food, what about the countless gastronomic restaurants that make this city a chef’s dream? The museums and exhibitions are top notch and there is ALWAYS one happening somewhere. Summertime is when you sit along the Seine and share a bottle of crisp rosé with friends, laughing about life. The architecture is gorgeous, for the most part, and the shopping is great!

I guess what I’m trying to say, and this goes for everything in life, is that one should always try to be as realistic as possible. This way, fewer people would be susceptible to the “Paris Syndrome” (It’s a real thing!). Falling in love with anything or anyone requires you to accept the flaws just as much as you accepted the beautiful and the positive!

$1 Make-Up from SHOP MISS A


Prior to spending money on the website, I did A LOT of research by reading and watching various reviews. I learnt to avoid any “skin products” such as foundation, concealer and also tailored my order to my needs so I ended up getting all this:


  • Metallic Cosmetic Pouch – Gold
  • AOA Perfect Setting Powder – Soft Light
  • AOA Diamond Lipgloss – Glitz
  • AOA Diamond Lipgloss – Posh
  • Pumice Stone – White
  • Princessa Tru Fusion Blush – 3 Hot Pink
  • Kleancolour Retractable Waterproof Lipliner – Hot Red
  • AOA Studio Lashes – Luella
  • AOA Studio Lashes – Rose

Each item was $1 and the shipping was roughly $1 as well, but the shipping ended up being more expensive than the item. In total, I paid about $18/16,37 euros which is still INCREDIBLY affordable. The items arrived in about 7-10 business days, as promised and was nicely bubble wrapped and packaged!

The cosmetic pouch and pumice stone were just some things I needed and are both excellent quality basics. The lashes look promising as does the lipliner but we’ll be trying those next time. Today, my main focus was the setting powder, the blush and the lipglosses. So let’s get into detail!


AOA Perfect Setting Powder – Soft Light

I’ll be completely frank, I’ve never used many loose setting powders in my lifetime but I know how a good powder leaves your skin feeling (and looking!) so my opinion is that the AOA Setting Powder is BOMB! The finish is so smooth, the powder is fine and my only concern is that touching up when out will be a bit difficult, as with all loose powders.

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Princessa Tru Fusion Blush – 3 Hot Pink

Immediately with this matte blush, you notice that the packaging is $1. It is the cheapest, flimsiest packaging I’ve ever laid eyes on and it really is such a pity because the actual product itself is fantastic! It was EXACTLY the shade I wanted and was very pigmented. I’ve been wanting a coral blush recently and decided to add this one to the basket as all the other ones I had in my wishlist were sold out. Speaking of which, is it common to have products constantly sold out on Shop Miss A? They don’t restock that quickly either…

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AOA Diamond Lipgloss – Glitz & Posh

What can I say…Where do I start? These lipglosses are an AOA HOLY GRAIL! They’re comfortable, not sticky yet SO GLITTERY and they just look divine on the lips! I personally would pay more than a dollar for these glosses and definitely will be getting more from the Diamond Lipgloss collection. There isn’t a significant difference between Glitz and Posh but I prefer Posh on it’s own as it is a more pigmented pinky coral colour as opposed to wearing just Glitz on my bare lips. Glitz would be more of a lipstick topper lipgloss for me…for example, if you wanted to brighten up a red lip.



All in all, I am EXTREMELY satisfied with the quality of these $1 products! I’m sure I’ll enjoy the lashes just as much and am hoping the lipliner will stop my red Son&Park lip crayon and lip cube from bleeding.
One thing I did notice is that AOA products seem to be of much higher and more reliable quality in terms of packaging, the product itself etc. than those of other brands. Frankly, the packaging on the Princessa blush is so cringeworthy, I wonder if I’d ever be able to take it out in public…The only solution is to repot the blush! So, if possible, I will probably be buying more from AOA than from the other brands on Shop Miss A.
I will also be letting you know if I get an allergic reaction from any of these products but so far so good! Also, a good thing to know is that AOA Beauty Inc. and other brands on Shop Miss A have been certified by PETA as cruelty free!

Shop Miss A:


Korean Cosmetics: SON & PARK Part II

A little while ago, I wrote about their Skin Fit Foundation, their Gel Bonding Eyebrow (brow gel) and their lip crayons which were all just FANTASTIC products and generally worked beautifully. A little update, however, regarding the lip crayons: the darker shades, notably Flash Red and Wicked Burgundy tend to bleed so using a lip pencil is strongly advised.


The same goes for the Son & Park lip cubes. The darker shades are absolutely gorgeous, especially Rubian Red which is an attention-screaming, heart-stopping fire engine red. Berry Rose is a lovely shade that compliments the Wicked Burgundy lip crayon. Unfortunately, Love Sick was a indeed sickly shade of pastel pink and looked terrible in real life while Nude Veil was just the perfect, every day gloss but gave me a horrific allergic reaction. Very strange as I have never gotten an allergic reaction to … anything. All in all, my experience with the lip cubes were 3/5 and I will be giving the two lighter shades away.

As for the Air Chou Foundation in shade 23, the colour match is perfect but as it is an Asian make up brand, you don’t get a wide range of shades. The texture is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, however, a little goes a long way so be sure to take heed of their advice! I didn’t on the second day and the foundation definitely needed a little setting at the end of the afternoon as it had gotten cakey.

Otherwise, I am so in love with it! Definitely more full coverage than their Skin Fit Foundation which is more of a light, healthy summer foundation that gives off more of a glow whereas the Air Chou Foundation has a matte finish and even managed to cover the redness of some spots.

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In conclusion, I’d say: Forget about the lip cubes, get the lip crayons as well as the brow gel! Don’t sleep on the foundations either because after all, the Koreans are best known for their amazing skin products!

Chateau de Chantilly


If I had to sum up Chateau de Chantilly, I’d say it is a modest version of Versailles. The chateau, just 45 minutes away from Gare du Nord station in Paris, is a beauty surrounded by a moat with acres of gorgeous greenery and an enormous stable house (Les Grandes Ecuries or The Great Stables) just behind.


Walking from Chantilly train station, however, you’d most likely reach the stables first. These impressive stables could house up to 240 horses and 500 hounds back in the day and is considered a masterpiece of 18th century architecture. Today, this impressive space has been turned into a horse museum (Musée Vivante de Cheval/Living Museum of the Horse) and filled with a variety of equestrian equipment that look very much like torture devices. Truth be told, the horse museum was not exactly my favourite part of the visit but the sheer size and grandiosity of the building is indeed breathtaking. The first part of the visit stops at a little cafe serving sandwiches, refreshments and crepes so that you’re ready for the next part of the trip which involves crossing the road over to the gardens and the chateau itself.

The gardens itself are so large that you’d need more than the little afternoon I had given myself to escape the hectic ambiance of central Paris. Still, I managed to poke my nose into L’île d’amour. How magical would it be in summer ? The November fog gives the place an almost eery feel, very reminiscent of a 19th century vampire movie.


Inside, the Chateau is set up very similarly to Versailles. You’ll walk through rooms and rooms lavishly decorated with fancy armchairs, ornated tables and grand chandeliers that sparkle and glisten even hundreds of years later. What sets it apart completely, however, is the Musée Condé that houses the second largest collection of art after the Louvre. In here, you will find gorgeous pieces such as The Three Graces by Raphael and other works of art by famous artists such as Nicolas Poussin as well as my personal favourite: Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci by Piero di Cosimo. Also, can we just take a minute to talk about the library?! #Goals.


All in all, a calm and tranquil afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Just don’t wear white trainers, haha!

Before I sign off, here is some practical information. The chateau, the stables and the gardens make up the Domaine de Chantilly. To visit the entirety of this domain, take an entire day off and bring 17 euros unless you are handicapped, a student, between 3-17 or unemployed, in which case you pay only 10 euros. If you only want to visit the gardens, it is 5 euros during low season instead of the usual 8 euros but I am definitely going back next Summer to finish my tour of the gardens! See you then!

For more information about tickets and opening times:


Christian Dior Exhibition, Paris

I’d known about this exhibition since I came to Paris for vacation back in July but just never had the chance to do it until four months later! Crazy to think that so much has occurred in this short space of time…I moved to a new country, found myself a new job, a new apartment and cut ties with people who were just bringing in negative energy…So finally, I had some time to take a turn in the Museum of Decorative Arts!

dior entrance

It was a Wednesday afternoon, roughly an hour before closing so there was no line. The staff recommend a minimum of two hours to fully enjoy the exhibition but I’d say an hour is sufficient; 1.5-2 hours if you really want to linger on the details with a friend. I paid only 8 euros for my ticket as I am under 26. Full price is 11 euros but you save 90 cents if you purchase online. If you are lazy, like I am, I wouldn’t bother. However, they sometimes do let people with tickets in first.

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All I can say is that it is pure magic. From the first step you take into this exhibition, you are swept away into this world of dreams. You are under the spell of Dior and it reminded me why I wanted to work in the luxury industry in the first place. The core of it all was never the status or the money; it was always about the passion that they put into their art and the freedom of self-expression. The byproduct of an educated society climbing to the top of Maslow’s pyramid towards self-actualization.

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The flow of the exhibition itself was smooth and logical. We started at the beginning, as we always do, with the man himself. Christian Dior’s life story, the difficulties he had suffered, how he got into fashion illustration, how the maison came to be, the success he experienced, his sudden death and his successors who followed. As I have always been fascinated with the occult and the supernatural, one thing really stood out to me and that was a prediction a palm reader had made for Christian Dior.

“You will be penniless, but women will be good to you, and it is thanks to them that you will succeed.”

Women still are good to Christian Dior today, purchasing iconic Lady Dior handbags and Miss Dior perfumes.

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Personally, Dior will always be a part of that ’50s glamour when women were sexy without trying too hard or showing too much. What also makes Dior so distinguishable, for me, is that waistline. Whether it be a dress, a suit or even a coat, Dior always found a way to show off and accentuate the curves of the feminine figure.


For anyone who wants to go to the exhibition, do not consider the photos to be spoilers. It is worth the visit!


Testing Out Korean Make-up: Son & Park


The bag of Korean products that I’d purchased two months ago had been sitting underneath my bed for God knows how long.

So I took them out and had a little fun today!

Son & Park is a Korean brand created by two celebrity make-up artists. They’re best known for their Beauty Water which is a major best-seller in Asia as the product is incredibly versatile and effective but today, I’m testing out the Skin Fit Foundation in shade 23 Natural, the Gel Bonding Eyebrow and the Lip Crayons.

Let’s start with base. This Skin Fit Foundation falls right in trend with the dewy no make-up make-up look that is so popular in Korea (and most of Asia) right now. It feels light and effortless, but still manages to even out my skin tone. This is due to the green, colour-correcting core that cancels out redness. The built-in brush is convenient, though a little stiff. While blending, I seriously wondered if it was applying evenly but that may be just in my head because the finish was flawless!

skin fit foundation

Moving onto brows, I must say this product blew my mind. The Gel Bonding Eyebrow is, as its name suggests, a gel brow product but is quick-drying like I’ve never seen before! You have to be nimble or the gel will end up in uneven patches but switch over to the spoolie side and just brush off the excess! Unlike a powder product, it doesn’t remove easily which is great news for me. I sometimes rub off parts of my brow by accident and that’s not a cute look, especially when you don’t have your brow pencil in your bag for moments like these.

Last but not least are the Lip Crayons which were probably the most fun to play with! Naked Coral reminds me of Kinda Sexy by MAC, just with more of a shine instead of a matte texture. It’s a whole lot more hydrating as well!
Dry Flower is a strange name but the shade is gorgeous so I suppose that makes up for it! It’s what they call a “your lips but better” shade. It is also worth mentioning that Dry Flower is an awarding winning shade and a bestseller!
Your Son & Park fire engine red comes in the Lip Crayon Flash Red that pops so much more in real life than on pictures. It doesn’t translate well on photos sadly. Finally, we have a vampy brown berry shade in the form of Wicked Burgundy. The last three are all quite matte but so hydrating and light, you don’t feel the lipstick at all!

lip crayons

The Verdict

Son & Park might be a little up there price-wise when compared to drugstore brands but the quality you get for what you pay is incomparable. The packaging is simple but sleek and the products are innovative and easy to use. The downside is that their products are not readily available everywhere yet as Son & Park is an upcoming brand.

Son & Park Official Website:
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