"Creativity takes courage."- Henri Matisse

Monday, January 31, 2011
Remember when I mentioned that most of my blogging occurs when I'm pressed for time? Yes...I should be studying for this week's test, but I'm frolicking online instead. Bad Chantelle. *evil headmistress finger wag* Anywho, I seem to have dropped into a virtual vie Bohème since I came across oh, hello there. Every link I've followed from this gem, has led me to fantastically wonderful thing-a-ma-bobs! [Her love of french cinema has also augmented my "Movies to Watch' List.] Here are some of my favourite finds:

{oh, hello there} - the lovely lady herself
That's all for now. The winner of the skincare giveaway for Perricone MD is here
I'll be hosting another give-away très soon! =D

Tough times never last, but tough people do. -Dr. Robert Schuller

Saturday, January 29, 2011
Salut tout le monde!

I cannot believe January is almost fini! Actually, I'm glad. -_- It's bloody freezing in Canada; I almost walked out in shorts when father informed me it was only -7˚C outside. Anyway, here's a quick outfit post from a few weeks back (I know, I'm such a douchebag for posting everything up late. Ahh..better late than never!). =D

{This hair-do was super easy to do. Thank you, youtube.}

{Doing what I do best: Smiling 'til I'm Asian. I was definitely mixed in my past life- I'm banking on Japanese.}
Also here's a list of things I have done since January 1st, that have made me feel better (hopefully I'll inspire a few of you to make some changes too) :
- Gym: What an endorphin kick! I love feeling sore out of my mind for days. I complain, but it hurts so good.
- Fluids: I'm just increasing my intake in general. I can't do the 2L of water a day thing, so I take more teas and actually finish what's in my cup during meals.
- Fish: I got a grey and baby pink mixed-beta fish to keep me company while I study. I've named him Baudouin, which means "brave friend". [Something he'll need to be during exam season.]
- Photography: I met a travel photographer while I was volunteering at the hospital last month, and she recommended I avoid deleting photos on my camera. Instead, I should load them onto my computer and see them full size; this helps illuminate the aspects I disliked about the photos, and how I can fix them next time. (I have even kept photos I deemed 'hideous' prematurely, because they looked a lot better blown up.)
- Vitamins: I can't keep a tight schedule with them, but I have started taking Vitamin D Chocolate tablets. Mmm...
- Skin: The face brush is magic. Seriously. I also stopped using face washes/toners/creams with acne medication. I do keep my spot treatments just in case, but my skin has been cooperating quite well lately. I can't say the same for my wandering hands..
- Food: Plain yogurt with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & strawberries. Antioxidants galore!
- Bags: I stopped carrying heavy one-shoulder bags to avoid bad posture. This article on Oprah's site was pretty interesting.
- Nails: I give myself a mani every week with mom. You know, girl time.
- Shopping Detox: No fashion-related purchases for a whole month. I'm only 2 days away from my goal! It has been liberating- I used the money to check out delicious restaurants & patisseries instead. And to be honest, it was easy. Winter wardrobes get so repetitive and tiring by the time January hits. I honestly don't want to buy another sweater, or long-sleeved t-shirt, ever.. again. COME ON SPRING!
- Hair: Went back to my L'OREAL hair mask mentioned in this post. Why did I ever leave you?

P.S. I only announced it on my twitter back in November, but I have my own domain! You can use www.bellechantelle.com to reach this site now- it's much faster to type. Woot woot!

Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours. - Swedish Proverb

Friday, January 21, 2011
Hey everyone!

I have a random ramble post, filled with awesome bits of infomazioni and updates from the past couple weeks.

✩ I was just perusing Salon.com and came across this article on kissing. Scientifically speaking, the act of kissing has always fascinated me on a hormonal level. The human body is amazing! However, I came across one section of the interview that frightened me:
    "There's a great study looking at attraction and scent. It turns out that women are able to identify men who have a very different genetic code from their own, and they tend to be more attracted to them, because if they mate, their children would be healthier and stronger and more likely to survive because of the diversity in their genetics. Interestingly enough, women who are taking the birth control pill seem to have the opposite reaction. They're more attracted to men with genetic immunities similar to their own. It starts to make you wonder what all these hormones that we take are starting to do to our bodies and whether they're masking these signals that we've developed over thousands and thousands and thousands of years. I came across some pieces asking, "Is it possible that for some couples divorce is a result of the woman going off hormones and all of a sudden feeling less attracted to her partner?" It's certainly an important question to ask."
I know.. it blew my mind too.

✩ The above article actually reinforced my decision to get off birth control. If any of you follow my formspring, you would have seen me mention Alesse (which helped clear up my acne after exams in May). Obviously, once something makes your skin look great... you stick with it. However, I felt that by December the results were nullified, and I got off it. Lately my skin has been acting much better, and I credit it to the following reasons: using a face brush with my Cetaphil (removes dead skin well), drinking more liquids (mmm tea), and Caudelie's beauty elixer. [I still bump around between several moisturizers because they don't break me out: Perricone MD and Cetaphil with SPF].

✩ Keeping a personal private blog/journal/notebook with your goals/dreams/aspirations. You don't have to update it everyday, only when you feel the urge to write. It feels great striking off the goals you've attained, and writing new ones to motivate you. Heck it even feels great ranting about NOT reaching your goals. Nobody's perfect! Here are some adorable notebooks to keep with you in your purse (Moleskines are my absolute favorite because of the paper quality): moleskine pocket journal, ban.do notebook

✩ Wearing 'inside' outfits, because if I went outside in this I'd get hypothermia. 
✩ Going on a month-long shopping ban on fashion-related items (clothes, shoes, accessories, etc). I'm only 10 days from completion, and it has been easy as cake. Once I'm done January, I'm going to see if I can push it through February. My obsession with minimalism has also revived itself; I've amassed piles of 'stuff' that I do not wear anymore and donated them.
✩ I have been coming across this "work-to-play" dilemma a lot recently. Many youtubers and fashion blogs/sites are throwing their 2 cents into making this an easy process. Above is ShopBop's take on the 'work-to-play' outfit changes. My favourite pieces (which, when you think of it, are wardrobe staples because of their versatility) include black pointy pumps - Kate Spade, chunky men's watches- Michael Kors Watches, an eyecatching clutch- DVF, slim cropped trousers- 6397, a large tote- Marc by Marc Jacobs, a fitted dress- Alice & Olivia, and a snazzy cocktail ring- Jacquie Aiche
✩ And lastly... cute underwear. You may be feeling and looking like crap on the outside, but underneath.. *roar*. ;) Here are some great brands that are available internationally: Eberjey, Hanky Panky, and Calvin Klein Underwear. P.S. Your significant other may also appreciate these. :)

 Don't forget to enter the Perricone MD give-away!
Especially those of you who want to start a new skin regime 
with high quality products.

Perricone MD Giveaway $150 + Wrinkle Cream Comparison

Sunday, January 16, 2011
Hey everyone!

I just wanted to do a quick review of a Perricone MD product that was sent to me in December! I've had a while to test out the 'Advanced Face Firming Activator', and I'm very fond of it! For my combination-oily skin this has done a wonderful job. I chose this product in part to decrease the size of my enlarged pores, and after applying my concealer a large fraction of them are hidden. They work great in conjunction, and I've become a big fan. Since this cream is mostly targeted to an older age group to combat wrinkles, I cannot tell you much on how well it works in that sense. However, there are many customer reviews here.

While I was perusing Women's Health Magazine, I came across a long piece on skin tips. Here are a few that I found most interesting:

Don't wash money down the drain. "There's no need to buy an expensive cleanser loaded with fancy ingredients," says photobiologist Daniel B. Yarosh, Ph.D., author of The New Science of Perfect Skin. "They're on your skin for less than a minute, so they don't have time to really do anything." Adding injury to insult: Some pricey ingredients can actually cause irritation (that would be you, peppermint and eucalyptus). Start with inexpensive face washes (try Biore Revitalize 4-in-1 Foaming Cleanser, $7 for 6.7 oz, drugstore.com) and see-through glycerin soaps like Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar ($3,drugstore.com). Both remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells without stripping away your skin's natural (and necessary) oils.
Use an anti-ager--now! Don't wait for the first crow's feet to appear before you reach for that little tube. "Even women in their twenties should be using a topical retinoid--unless they're pregnant or nursing," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Here's why: Retinoids, which contain vitamin A, are one of the most potent agents for preventing and reversing sun damage and signs of aging. And, says Hirsch, "they're the ultimate multitasker. They speed skin renewal by shedding dull, pore-clogging cells and increase collagen production to prevent wrinkles." Ask your doctor about a retinoid prescription or try an OTC, such as Roc Retinol Actif Pur Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizing Treatment--Night ($22 for 1 oz, drugstore.com). *Check out a wrinkle cream comparison article at the Perricone MD blog.
Don't strip for just anyone. We're not knocking your trusted doc, but dermatologists really are the best at knowing which growths are worrisome and which are harmless.A survey in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that derms had significantly higher accuracy in identifying abnormal skin growths than primary-care physicians.In fact, more than 90 percent of dermatologic surgeons have seen one or more patients in the past year with a skin cancer that had been overlooked or misdiagnosed by a non-dermatologist.Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is the third most common cancer in women ages 20 to 39, so book your skin screening now.
Get all in a lather. Anytime you sweat, your body produces more sebum (an oily pore-clogging secretion), says dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D., founder of dermadoctor.com.So if you're tempted to skip the shower after a lunchtime workout (and we're not judging here), don't! Since bacteria love to feast on sweat and oil, you're setting yourself up for breakouts.After any sweat-inducing activity, rinse off under cool water with a shower wash containing oil-clearing glycolic or salicylic acid. We like Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash ($6 for 12 oz,drugstore.com).
Don't feel the burn. Investing in special creams for each body part seems to make as much sense as Scarlett Johansson's singing career. Do you really need a separate eye cream? Actually, yes."The skin around your eyes is delicate and needs to be treated gently," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.Eye creams contain lower levels of potentially irritating ingredients, such as retinol, AHAs, and glycolic acid, than products designed for the face. *Check out the best eye wrinkle cream at Perricone MD.

So, with all this information in mind, I want you to go over to Perricone MD and choose your favourite product valued at $150 or less, and tell me why you think it's best for you. Yes, this is a give-away (note the title)! Here are the restrictions:
1. You must be from US or Canada. (Sorry everyone else. *sad face*)
2. Please leave your email address with your entry. 
3. You've got 2 weeks! The give-away will end January 30 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. 

I'm hoping to have another fun give-away up by the time this one is done-zoh! 

Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 07, 2011
Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been sick for over a week with the flu! BOO! It feels like I pulled a few muscles in my abdomen from coughing and vomiting so much. Not exactly how I wanted to start off the new year, but it's better than dead. Anywho, since I just got my laptop back from Apple and I have a few extra outfit posts sitting in my hard-drive, I thought I'd share:

Here is my new über-edgy winter jacket that I picked up at BCBG for dinners & nights out. Definitely not warm enough for a whole day in the cold freezer that is Canada.

Close up detail of the chain-link trim around the collar; definitely the selling point for me.

A pair of wedged winter booties that I picked up in NYC 2 summers ago, and should probably wear more often. Eh... they served their purpose for this shot.

Cheers. Hopefully I'll kick this flu soon and get back to regular life. Happy new years!