Armani Power Fabric VS Luminous Silk Foundation - Review and Dupes

11.2.18
Here is one fact about me that is not obvious on this blog: I am an absolute foundation geek. It is my favourite makeup product and I have to admit that I have a ridiculous collection of them. To me, it is only fun and I am perfectly able to go out without wearing anything on my face but I like to try new textures and new finishes. 


In the morning I decide on what foundation to wear (or if I am going to wear any) depending on my mood of the day, the result I want to achieve or the outfit I have picked. In my previous post I mentioned the fact that I don't follow fashion trends. For foundations though, it is quite the opposite as I keep myself up to date and it is not uncommon for me to turn up in Sephora asking for something that the sales assistant is not even aware of yet. So obviously when the whole internet was raving about Giorgio Armani foundations a few months ago, I had to get my own opinion of them. I bought the Luminous Silk Foundation before the Summer and got myself the Power Fabric more recently. As I have had enough time to play with both of them, I can now give you my honest opinion on both.


I love foundations that don't look caky and that make my skin look healthy and glowy. With the Luminous Silk foundation, you have a great product if this is what you are looking for and you want medium coverage. I find that it tends to shine a bit on the T zone by the end of the day so you want to powder it properly (and the award for the worse companion goes to Mika's mixed skin!) Also it is not extremely long lasting however it makes your skin look very healthy and is barely visible on the skin. To me, it is definitely a great product but if I'm completely honest, I think that you can get a very good dupe of the Luminous Silk Foundation with the new Bourjois Healthy Mix formula for something like 4 times less money. 


My opinion of this one is very mixed. On the one hand, it is extremely long lasting, it offers really high coverage and my skin looks fantastic after applying it. But what really disappointed me about it was that if like me you have dry areas, it really migrates to dry patches and to wrinkles and after an hour, the result is not so great anymore. I'm going to be fair to it though: at the moment I am using an anti-acne product which works really well (I have planned to write about it soon) but which has dried my skin a bit. Also the result is not that catastrophic once I have applied a good hydrating cream. I still have the problem that it goes straight into expression wrinkles after an hour or two and that's a bugger. I think that this foundation would be absolutely awesome for anyone with normal to greasy skin but definitely not someone with mixed or dry skin. I think that the Estée Lauder Double Wear would be a great dupe to it and I'm not even mentioning the unfortunately discontinued Shiseido Perfect Base (RIP, I will miss you loads) which to me is simply the best foundation that I have ever tried - I am definitely keeping an eye on Shiseido this year as they are renewing their whole makeup collection.

Conclusion 

You might think: "great, so you have reviewed the two and neither is quite the perfection that has been announced everywhere." True, BUT...
I mixed both and Oh My God! 
It's very simple, they balance each other's flaws and the mix of them is just perfect: glowy but long lasting, good coverage but does not mark dry areas, and the look of my skin! Seriously, I think we have something here. It's just a shame that you would have to shell out €100 to get this result. I'm going to be honest, it's not worth the investment but if you already have both in your possession then just try blending both. You'll see, it's awesome. And if you don't have both, stay tuned for the new Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation by Nars. I think it will have to be my next pal.

Have you tried any of these foundations? Let me know what you think of them!

Mika



Mon blog ne le laisse pas trop transparaitre mais je dois vous avouer un truc: je suis une fan inconditionnelle de fond de teint. C'est mon produit makeup préféré au monde et j'en ai une collection à faire pâlir un présentoir Sephora. Pour moi le fond de teint c'est juste du fun et je peux m'en passer sans aucun problème (je le fais souvent d'ailleurs) mais j'adore essayer de nouvelles textures et de nouveaux finis. Le matin, je décide du fond de teint que je vais porter en fonction de mon humeur, du résultat que je veux obtenir ou de la tenue que je vais porter. Dans mon précédent article j'ai mentionné le fait que je ne suis pas les tendances de mode. Et bien je dois bien admettre qu'en ce qui concerne les fonds de teint c'est tout le contraire: je me tiens constamment à la page. Il m'est même déjà arrivé de me pointer dans un magasin et de demander un truc dont la vendeuse n'avait elle-même pas encore entendu parler. Alors forcément quand le tout internet se met à chanter les louanges des fonds de teint Armani, il faut bien que je voie ça par moi-même. J'ai acheté le Luminous Silk un peu avant l'été puis j'ai acheté le Power Fabric plus récemment. J'ai pris le temps de jouer un peu avec les deux avant d'en parler ici et je pense m'être fait une bonne idée de ce qu'ils valent tous les deux. 

Luminous Silk Foundation

J'adore les fonds de teint qui ne donnent pas un rendu plâtré et qui au contraire subliment la peau et lui donnent cet aspect glowy. Avec le Luminous Silk, vous avez un bon produit si ce que vous cherchez est un rendu lumineux avec une couvrance moyenne. Je trouve qu'il a tendance à briller sur la zone T à la fin de la journée donc il faut bien le poudrer (et le prix de la peau la plus chiante revient à...) La tenue n'est pas folle non plus par contre il fait vraiment une jolie peau et la matière ne se voit pas ou à peine. Pour moi c'est un super produit mais pour être complètement honnête avec vous je pense que vous pouvez trouver un très bon dupe au Luminous Silk avec le Healthy Mix nouvelle formule de Bourjois (qui coûte juste 4 fois moins cher...)


J'ai une opinion très mitigée sur celui-là. D'un côté, il tient vraiment longtemps, il offre une très bonne couvrance et ma peau est juste magnifique après l'avoir appliqué. Mais ce qui m'a vraiment déçue, c'est que si comme moi vous avez des zones sèches, vous pouvez être sûre que le fond de teint va migrer droit dessus et va également se glisser dans les rides d'expression. Du coup, une heure après la pose, le résultat n'est plus si beau. Je vais quand même lui rendre justice: en ce moment j'utilise un produit anti-acné qui me sèche la peau à mort et j'avoue que le résultat n'est pas aussi mauvais si je me tartine de crème hydratante au préalable. Par contre j'ai toujours ce problème de  produit qui migre dans les rides d'expression et ça c'est bof. En fait, je pense que ce fond de teint peut être phénoménal si vous avez la peau normale à grasse. Un bon dupe pour ce fond de teint est le  Double Wear d'Estée Lauder et je ne mentionne pas mon feu Teint Lissant Perfecteur de Shiseido (tu vas me manquer) qui est le meilleur fond de teint que j'aie testé à ce jour - d'ailleurs cette année j'ai bien l'intention de suivre les nouveautés de Shiseido car je pense qu'on va avoir droit à du lourd.

Conclusion 

Vous devez pensez: "super, tu viens de nous parler des deux et visiblement aucun n'est aussi wow que ce qu'on nous avait annoncé." C'est vrai. Mais... 
J'ai mélangé les deux et Oh My God!
En fait c'est simple: ils se subliment et annulent les défauts de l'autre. Ce qui donne un rendu magnifique: glowy mais qui tient, une bonne couvrance mais qui ne marque pas les zones sèches, et l'aspect de ma peau! Très franchement, je crois qu'on tient quelque chose avec les deux ensemble. Le seul problème c'est que pour obtenir ce résultat il vous faudra débourser 100 balles. Je vais être honnête: ça ne vaut pas le coup de mettre autant, mais si vous avez les deux en votre possession alors foncez. Et sinon, restez branché sur le nouveau Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation de Nars. Je pense que lui et moi, on va bientôt être potes.

Avez-vous essayé l'un de ces fonds de teint? Dites-moi ce que vous en pensez!

Mika

The Fashion Rules I Live By

2.2.18
If you know me well, you might be aware that I have always been a very opinionated and principled person. I can at times be very black and white and I am quite rigid in what I judge to be good enough or not. And this definitely applies to fashion. With years of experience with clothes, I have built up a set of implicit rules that I abide by. Of course, I don't go shopping with a note pad and a check list, only buying items that tick all the boxes. Those principles have become for me a very handy natural filter and although I don't really think about them when shopping, my choices always instinctively follow suit. Of course, they are my rules and you might think the complete opposite of me - everyone has their own taste after all. However I am sure that we have at least a couple of them in common.

Here we go!

1. Don't wear visible brands.

My motto when it comes to fashion? "Elegance is what you don't see". The very reason I have thought about writing this article is the bag I am wearing on this look. Usually, I don't like Michael Kors bags as I find them quite bling - and god knows I hate anything bling. I know that 80% of women love them but I really don't like this massive MK that you can spot from miles around and I have never liked monogram bags for the same reason. To me, this brand is not always what I consider elegant. However the subtle look of this one caught my eyes straight away which is funny as I was just telling my granny "I really don't like this brand." I probably looked like a lunatic to her but she's used to it. What I like about this bag (on top of its cut of course) is that when I'm wearing it, I don't feel like I'm trying to make a point to everyone that I am wearing a designer bag. Now don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that I hate brands. Unfortunately, it's quite the opposite. I love quite a few which my bank account wishes I didn't (if you know about Maje, Sandro, Claudie Pierlot, Manoush, BA&SH, Bel Air and Sezane you will understand my sorrow) but none of them display their logo anywhere. In real life, I don't think that everyone needs to know where my clothes come from. If I could sum up my thinking in one sentence, it would be that (to me) showing off "expensive" brands looks cheap.

2. If it works for you, don't try to change it.

I have had the same style for years. I am very good at buying the same item in 5 different colours only because I like how it fits me. My mom often makes fun of me because of my passion for officer jackets or Repetto loafers but this monomaniac side of me does not bother me in the slightest!

3. Don't pay attention to what others think.

From very early, there has always been people to make fun of my style. A girl used to call me "rag girl" back in high school and even if her intentions were not necessarily kind, I have never felt hurt by that. Even today, my dad is often appalled at my sense of fashion and none of my sisters share my tastes. Luckily, I have always been quite bully-proof and very rarely influenced by others. Usually, I am the first to laugh along with my dad about some of my clothes and for instance I never check with my boyfriend if he likes my clothes (because I would still wear them even if he didn't).

4. Don't follow trends for the sake of it.

I love clothes, but I couldn't care less about trends. I am not interested in constantly seeking for hype, I have stopped buying magazines a long time ago and for having read a few books written by models, it confirms my thought that the fashion industry is not all glam and glitter. 

5. Know your cheap shops.

There are so many affordable brands that do amazing clothes. You might have noticed by now that one of my favourite shops is ZARA. Honestly, that shop never lets me down. But I also often get lucky with Topshop, H&M, Mango, Bershka and Pull and Bear for instance. However I really don't get the whole madness about Primark. I find that their clothes often look seriously cheap. and I'm not speaking of price: to me, it's not because it's cheap that it has to look cheap. I do find nice items from time to time but it takes me a lot of effort to find one thing that I like and which doesn't look like plastic so usually I just don't bother going in. I am also not drawn to their range of colours either. I know that we are now living in the era of fast fashion but I tend to keep my clothes for ages so long as they are in one piece and I find it hard to keep anything more than 6 months with Primark.

6.  Avoid useless details.

I think I can sum up my style very well: colour blocks, minimalist cuts, good quality material and no extra fuss. I usually don't like frills, ornaments, messages or brands, sequins, embroideries etc.  I love a  good pattern but it has to be all over and consistent like on this dress. Typically, brands like Guess, Morgan, River Island or Desigual don't find a good customer in me.

7. Know your body shape.

Since I don't have the body of Marilyn Monroe, I don't try to dress like Marilyn Monroe. I am so used to my morphology that I can tell if an item is going to fit me by just looking at it on the coat hanger. The task has been made easy by the fact that I pretty much have kept the same body since I was 15. I know what fits me and I stick to it.

8. Avoid total looks.

Typically, if you have spent a few years in Essex and have had the privilege to go to a few nightclubs there, you will know what I mean by total look. I have always found prom dresses completely has-been and the combo "shiny tight dress, high heels, fake tan, fake nails, fake lashes, curly hair and too much makeup" horrendous. It's funny because I have been asked "how do you French girls manage to get this effortless look?" a couple of times when I was in the UK. My answer to that? "You call it effortless for a reason..."

9. Buy the right size.

It sounds obvious but I often see people wearing clothes that are too tight. Honestly, it does not look good and it is mostly very uncomfortable or even unhealthy. For instance, even if I didn't think it was still possible past 25, I recently had to accept that my feet have grown and that I now need to buy a bigger size. Yay!

What are your implicit fashion rules?

Mika

Si vous me connaissez bien, vous savez sûrement que je suis quelqu'un qui a parfois des principes et des avis très arrêtés sur certaines choses. Je peux être assez manichéenne et rigide dans ce que je considère être bien ou pas et cela s'applique très clairement à la mode. A force d'expérimenter avec les vêtements, je me suis constitué un ensemble de règles que j'ai tendance à suivre religieusement. Evidemment, quand je fais du shopping, je ne me trimballe pas avec un petit carnet et une checklist pour vérifier si jeux cocher toutes les cases avant d'acheter quelque chose. Ces règles sont en quelque sorte devenue un filtre naturel et même si je n'y pense pas spécifiquement quand je suis dans un magasin, mes choix ont tendance à se faire instinctivement en fonction d'elles. Bien sûr, ce sont mes "commandements" à moi et vous aurez peut-être un avis totalement contraire au mien sur certains aspects - après tout, on a tous des goûts différents et heureusement! Mais je suis sûre que vous vous retrouverez dans quelques uns d'entre eux.

C'est parti!

1. Ne porte pas de marques visibles.

Ma devise au sujet de la mode? "L'élégance, c'est ce qui ne se voit pas." Ce qui m'a inspirée dans l'écriture de cet article, c'est le sac que je porte sur ce look. D'habitude, je n'aime pas les sacs Michael Kors parce que je les trouve très bling bling - et dieu sait que je déteste le bling! Je sais que 80% des femmes adorent cette marque mais je n'aime pas du tout ce gros MK métallique qu'on voit à des kilomètres à la ronde et je ne suis pas fan des sacs à monogramme pour la même raison. Pour moi, cette marque n'est généralement pas ce que je considère comme  élégant. Pourtant j'aime beaucoup ce sac car je le trouve beaucoup plus subtile que la plupart de leurs modèles et c'est marrant parce qu'au moment où je l'ai repéré, j'étais en train de dire à ma grand mère "je n'aime pas du tout cette marque".  J'ai du passer pour une folle mais je crois qu'elle a l'habitude depuis le temps. Ce que j'aime quand je porte ce sac (en plus de son look évidemment) c'est que je n'ai pas l'impression d'essayer de montrer à tout le monde dans la rue que je porte un sac de marque. Bon, que les choses soient claires, je n'ai rien contre les marques, bien au contraire. Malheureusement j'en aime quelques unes dont mon compte en banque aurait préféré se passer - si vous connaissez Maje, Sandro, Claudie Pierlot, Manoush, BA&SH, Bel Air et autres Sézane, vous comprendrez ma peine. Parmi toutes ces marques, aucune ne met son logo en évidence et c'est aussi ce que j'aime chez elles. Je considère que dans la vraie vie, les gens n'ont pas besoin de savoir d'où viennent mes vêtements. En fait, si je pouvais résumer ce point en une phrase ce serait que pour moi exhiber une marque à la vue de tous, c'est cheap.

2. Si ça fonctionne pour toi, ne le change pas.

J'ai le même style depuis des années. Je suis très forte pour acheter la même pièce en 5 couleurs différentes parce que j'aime comment elle me va. Ma mère se moque souvent de ma passion pour les vestes officier et les mocassins Repetto mais ce côté monomaniaque ne me pose aucun problème!

3. N'accorde pas d'importance à ce que pensent les autres.

Au collège déjà, certaines personnes se permettaient de me faire des remarques négatives sur mon style. Une fille m'appelait "torchon girl" au lycée et même si ses intentions n'étaient pas forcément gentilles, cela ne m'a jamais blessée (bien que souvent déconcertée). Aujourd'hui encore, mon père est parfois désespéré par certaines de mes tenues et j'ai des goûts complètement différents de ceux de mes soeurs. J'ai la chance d'avoir toujours été assez résistante aux critiques et très peu influençable donc ça aide. Généralement, je suis la première à rire de certaines de mes tenues avec mon père et je ne demande quasiment jamais son opinion à mon copain - car je sais que je porterai ce qui me plaît dans tous les cas.

4. Ne suis pas les tendances juste parce que c'est tendance.

J'adore les vêtements, pas les tendances. La recherche du hype ne m'intéresse pas le moins du monde, j'ai arrêté d'acheter des magazines il y a un bon moment maintenant et pour avoir lu quelques témoignages de mannequins, j'ai eu confirmation de ce que je pensais déjà: l'industrie de la mode est loin du glam et des paillettes auxquels on l'associe habituellement. 

5. Connais tes magasins abordables sur le bout des doigts.

Il y a tant de marques abordables avec des collections magnifiques qu'il serait dommage de s'en priver. Vous avez sûrement noté que mon magasin préféré au monde est ZARA. Honnêtement, je suis rarement déçue par leurs collections. Mais il m'arrive aussi souvent de trouver de belles pièces chez Topshop, H&M, Mango, Bershka et Pull and Bear par exemple. Par contre, je ne comprends pas trop l'engouement pour Primark. Je trouve que leurs vêtements font vraiment cheap and quand je dis ça, je ne parle pas forcément du prix. Ce n'est pas parce que ce n'est pas cher que ça doit forcément ressembler à du plastique. J'y trouve quelques pépites de temps en temps mais généralement ça me demande beaucoup d'effort pour peu de résultats. Je ne suis pas trop fan des couleurs qu'ils proposent non plus. Je sais que l'on vit à l'ère de la "fast fashion" mais j'aime bien garder mes vêtements le plus possible et ceux de Primark ne durent généralement pas la saison.

6.  Evite les détails inutiles.

Je pense pouvoir résumer mon style assez facilement: des coupes minimalistes, des couleurs unies ou des imprimés homogènes comme sur cette robe, des matériaux de bonne qualité et pas de détails inutiles. Je n'aime pas les frou-frous, les broderies, les messages imprimés, les ornements etc. Les marques telles que Guess, Morgan, River Island ou Desigual demeurent pour moi un territoire inexploré.

7. Connais ta morphologie.

Etant donné que je n'ai pas le corps de Marilyn Monroe, je n'essaie pas de m'habiller comme Marilyn Monroe. Je connais ma morphologie par coeur et je suis capable de voir ce qui me va ou pas directement sur le ceintre. Pour moi c'est d'autant plus facile que mon corps n'a pas vraiment changé depuis mes 15 ans! Je sais ce qui me va, et je m'y tiens.

8. Evite le total look.

Si comme moi vous avez fait l'experience de quelques boites de nuit dans la région de l'Essex, vous comprendrez tout de suite ce que je veux dire par total look. Je n'ai jamais aimé les robes de soirées (à part quelques rares exceptions, je trouve ce coté bal de promo complètement has been) alors je vous laisse imaginer l'effet que me fait le combo "robe de soirée moulante et satinée, talons hauts, auto bronzant, faux ongles, faux cils, fer à boucler et maquillage à la truelle." Ce qui est marrant, c'est que quand j'étais en Angleterre, on me demandait souvent comment les françaises réussissaient à obtenir ce look "effortless" à tous les coups. Ma réponse: ça ne s'appelle pas "effortless" pour rien!

9. Achète à ta taille.

Ça semble évident mais je vois encore trop souvent des gens tout serrés dans leurs vêtements. Honnêtement, non seulement ce n'est pas très beau mais c'est surtout hyper inconfortable voire mauvais pour la santé. Par exemple, même si je ne pensais pas que c'était possible après 25 ans, j'ai du me rendre à l'évidence que mes pieds avaient grandi récemment et que je dois maintenant acheter une taille plus grande. Joie dans mon coeur!
Et vous, quelles sont vos commandements mode?
Mika
I WEAR
Dress - Zara
Coat - Gerard Darel
Shoes - Claudie Pierlot
Bag - Michael Kors (small model here)
Tights and socks - Calzedonia
Sun Glasses - Marc Jacobs

Cristal and Wood

20.1.18
You might be aware of my passion for earrings as I dedicated a whole article to some of my earrings in my early blogging years (which makes me realise how much progress I have made in two years when it comes to photography). 
I have recently welcomed a few newcomers to my collection and I have to say that those two play on a different level of earring cuteness.



Vous êtes sûrement au courant du fait que les boucles d'oreilles et moi, c'est une grande histoire d'amour. J'avais même posté un article sur ça aux balbutiements de mon blog (qui me fait réaliser à quel point j'ai progressé en photographie).
Ma collection a récemment accueilli quelques petites nouvelles et je dois dire qu'en terme de mignonnerie, celles-là jouent dans la cour des grands.


The cristal earrings* come from a massive and very old French, family-owned shop which has been specialised in cristal for more than 130 years. Obviously I don't live in France anymore so the internet is your saviour if you want to check what they have in stock: home decoration, cristal jewels, you name it.
Personally, I really like these ones as they are typically the type of thing that I wear: elegant and simple. For me, they are perfect to add the final touch to a smart outfit but they can also work with any everyday outfit too.

The wooden earrings have been on my shopping list for about a year and my other half probably started feeling sorry for me as he just ordered them out of the blue. Salomé is an artist who makes elegant and modern wooden jewellery and honestly, I could buy the whole website. She is also a really kind and thoughtful person: my parcel got lost on its way to Spain and she was kind enough to re-send it to me without a question AND she had left a kind little note in my parcel thanking me for my patience!

Does any of these two babes tempt you?

Mika



Les boucles d'oreilles en cristal* viennent d'un immense magasin spécialisé dans la cristallerie tenu par la famille Vessiere depuis plus de 130 ans. Comme vous le savez, je ne vis pas en France mais ils ont aussi une boutique en ligne où trouverez forcément votre bonheur, que ce soit de la décoration ou des bijoux en cristal.
Personnellement, j'adore ces boucles d'oreilles car elles sont typiquement le genre de choses que j'aime porter: élégantes et sobre à la fois. Pour moi, elles sont la touche finale de n'importe quelle tenue, qu'elle soit chic ou décontractée.

Les boucles d'oreilles en bois étaient sur ma shopping list depuis une bonne année et je pense que mon copain a fini par avoir pitié de moi et me les a commandées. Salomé est une artiste qui crée des bijoux en bois modernes et élégants et si je m'écoutais, j'achèterais toute sa collection. En plus d'être talentueuse, elle est aussi super sympa: mon colis s'est perdu dans les méandres de la poste espagnole et elle me les a renvoyées sans même chercher à comprendre. En plus de ça, elle a laissé dans la boite un petit mot pour me remercier de ma patience!

Est-ce qu'une de ces deux petites merveilles vous tente?

Mika

*Product offered by the brand / Produit offert par la marque.

My 7 Steps to Success: How I Turned my Life Around

12.1.18
Happy new year everyone!

I wish you all the best and sincerely hope that you will be successful in anything you attempt this year. 
I have had this article ready for about two weeks but was hesitating publishing it as I am by no means a motivational guru. I just wanted to share with you these little things and positive thoughts that have helped me achieve my goals. I won't pretend that I have come up with a magical formula that turned my life into a fairy tale. Like anyone, I have had rubbish moments but I think that I have learnt a lot from past mistakes and I have dramatically changed my mindset and my life in a couple of years. 
A few weeks ago, I shared a very inspirational video on my Facebook page which made me think about the things that I have done to achieve my goals and which have been working. 
I think that I could sum it up into 7 steps/principles which I would like to share with you for the start if this new year. Obviously, this is what has been working for me but I am sure that a lot of them make sense and can be applied to anyone.


⭑ 1. Don't listen to others and believe in yourself only...
I have known what job I wanted to do since I was 14. I have also been very clear on what I would study at Uni. In school, I was one of the top achievers in my cohort so for a lot of people, "ending up" studying languages was a waste of my time. I was called "a poet", I was told that I would end up jobless, that I was wasting my potential, some people kept asking me when I would stop studying to get myself any job because what mattered was to be able to pay the bills. Regardless of that, I completed my Masters (after a little detour by a nursing school but I'll explain it better in my next point). I had also planned to live abroad after Uni and again, I had to put up with people's opinion on that. "What will you do there?", "Who is going to pay for your rent?", "Find yourself a real job in France first and then you can just travel like everyone", "Stop being so naive", "You're not going to succeed" were the type of comment that I heard on a regular basis. I never listened and went to the UK where I got the opportunity to complete a second Post Graduate. Today I can say that it is, by far, the best decision that I have ever made in my entire life because it changed it completely and I have shut everyone's mouth around me. 

⭑ 2. ...But accept that you made the wrong decision and try again.
It's ok to acknowledge that you have taken the wrong path and to start things all over again. For instance, when I was in Lycée (equivalent to 6th Form), I had chosen subjects which I slowly started to hate. I went to the Educational Adviser's office during the Summer holiday to tell him that I wanted to change to do business and sociology instead. I was told that I could not go up a year while changing subjects and that doing my year again was a real shame so I'd better stay where I was. As I wouldn't take no for an answer when it involved my future, I insisted and got what I wanted. When I went back home to tell my dad that I was going to fall one year behind, I thought he was going to have a heart attack but I did not care because I knew what I wanted and that was all that mattered. 
Later, between my Bachelors and my Masters I had a moment of doubt (which I have mentioned here). At that time, I thought that the path that I was taking was not compatible with living abroad so I started considering a job that could potentially give me some flexibility even though I had no real appeal to it. That's when the idea of becoming a nurse came to me. Everyone who knew me was wondering why on earth I had chosen that path and my family advised me against it but I still took the competitive exam to enter the nursing school and enrolled - in France, the selection is done at the start so once you're in you are sure to graduate at the end of the three-year course. I think that from early enough though I realised that this job wouldn't fulfil me but I gave it a chance and kept going. After a year wondering what I was doing there, I left. At this stage, I had "wasted" two years but never regretted it. You might think "you just said "don't listen to others" but if you had listened to your family, you wouldn't have wasted your time at the nursing school" and that's a fair point. But I disagree with this for two reasons: I prefer trying and thinking "thanks but no thanks" rather than "what if?" and never get an answer. The second reason, and the most important to me is that this experience made me realise that I wanted to do what I liked, and nothing else.

⭑ 3. Take risks.
This might be linked to what I have just said, but I do believe that if you never take risks then you can't really achieve anything. Taking risks involves the possibility of failure and that's why some people find it so hard to just go for it. It's normal to have fears. Even if you are determined, people's negativity can make you doubt slightly at times. But if your fear of living a meaningless and mediocre life is stronger than your fear of failing, you have done half the journey. There are always millions of excuses not to make a change in your life: kids to feed, a family that would disapprove in your choice, a rent or a mortgage to pay, the fear of losing a stable situation etc. but we all have examples of people around us who ended up having to make a change because life was sort of forcing them to. They would not have taken the first step themselves because of all the reasons I just mentioned, but because they had no choice, they did it anyway. What I have learnt from observing people in this situation is that most of the time, their only regret was to not have done it sooner.  Joanne Rowling once said "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case you fail by default." Honestly, I am not sure I can add anything to that.

4. Don't compare yourself.
You probably have heard the saying "comparison is the thief of joy" (I'm in the mood for a few quotes today!) Well, I completely agree with it. Usually, when we compare ourselves to someone, it is only to torture ourselves with this idea that they are more clever, successful, beautiful... than us and while we are doing this, we completely forget what makes us special. In other words, we are focused on them rather than ourselves. I have a very simple example for this: when I stopped reading feminine press a few years ago, I noticed that it matched the moment I stopped wasting my time with complexes. It might not be the only reason as I also just grew up and evolved, but at some stage, I was not interested in this self-flagellation anymore and I just wanted to take a more positive approach towards myself because nobody else was going to do it for me. This video sums it up better than me.

5. Have high expectations for yourself.
I'm going to be honest: I'm an absolute control freak. I love when things are done to perfection and I am very hard on myself. Unfortunately for them, I have the same expectations of others, whether it's at work or in everyday situations so I can be quite rigid and opinionated. When I think that what I'm doing is not good enough, I barely cut myself any slack until I'm happy with it.  Be careful though: even if I believe that having high expectations for yourself is a key to success, it is important to find the right level as it can easily turn into a chronic "I could still do better than that" problem (which I sometimes have).

⭑ 6. Be organised.
As Benjamin Franklin put it (last quote, I promise!) - "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".
If you are all over the place there is a chance that you miss deadlines and important things to do. The chance is even bigger that you don't manage your time properly and end up producing very average work. For me, one good way to tackle the problem is to make lists. Lists are great to gather your thoughts and ticking boxes is very satisfying. They are also a good way to avoid procrastination. A good friend of mine once told me "I don't need lists because it's all in there" (insert head emoji) and I told her "That's precisely what I want to avoid". I don't want to constantly have a gazillion things cluttering my mind so instead, I put them on paper to be able to focus on other things and I come back to my list when I need to.

⭑ 7. Have long-term purpose.
Of all the points that I mentioned, to me this is the most important and I think that this is what helped me get where I am today. It is directly linked to the video that I mentioned in my intro and to my points 2 and 3. What is worse than sticking to something that you don't like for months or even years only because you are too scared to make your situation worse or simply because you can't admit that you were wrong? A lot of the time, people simply dwell on short-term satisfactions not to have to look at the bigger picture. Their life does not make them happy but all they want to focus on is the nice dinner they will have after their horrible day at work, or their Friday night out with their friends to forget about their rubbish week. I don't think that wishing your life away is the solution and I refuse to be the type of person who sucks it up for too long when my personal situation does not fulfil me. So if you feel like you don't have purpose, read my third point again.

What are your personal steps to success?

Mika

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