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A Parisian Chic Honeymoon

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location Europe


Ms Filigree

Seine River

Affectionately known as ‘The City of Love’ and ‘The City of Lights’,  you can’t go past Paris as a honeymoon destination if Europe is on the cards for you and your loved one. With an indescribable and seductive allure, Paris certainly is the place to start your romantic lives together!

When experiencing Paris, it’s hard not to get swept up in the enticing Je ne sais quoi (an essential, although unnameable characteristic) that encompasses each and every one of the intricate cobblestone streets and monuments.

Here is our guide to the must-see sites of Parisian chic!

Live like a Parisian

Whilst opulent Parisian hotels are plentiful, they are also quite highly priced, especially if you’re honeymooning throughout Summer or Christmas. To experience life as a Parisian local, opt for renting a Parisian apartment for your stay. With a much broader selection for absolutely every taste, desire and budget, there really is something to suit everyone. In order to choose the perfect location for your stay, make a list of the key attractions you’d like to see and choose something central to those. My personal favourites would be the 4th and 6th Arrondissements. In the 4th, you’ll find the medieval masterpiece Notre-Dame de Paris and a bevy of contemporary shops and cafes, whereas the 6th is situated on the left bank amongst Saint Germain and is home to the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) which you won’t ever want to leave!

Pont Alexandre III Bridge



Must See Sights

A trip to Paris will, without a doubt, involve iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. If you’re headed there in peak season (July through to August) make sure you pre-book your main activities to avoid waiting in the endlessly long lines.

Eiffel Tower

Heading up to Level 2 of the Eiffel Tower is a marvel for the view you have of Paris on a clear day. However, if heights aren’t for you or you’re short on time, you do not need to climb the Eiffel Tower to appreciate its architectural finesse and beauty. Walking underneath was by far my favourite experience because it is here you have a complete appreciation for the design and the magnitude of this monument. After you’ve finished marveling (if that’s possible) soak up the sunshine and the view with a romantic picnic on the grass nearby.


Eiffle Tower View

Eiffle Tower2

The Louvre

Whether you decide to go inside or not (opinions are very divided on this one!) the external architecture of The Louvre is not to be missed. Spend your time sitting by the fountains in the courtyard and enjoy taking in the exquisite architecture. From here, stretch your legs through the Tuileries Garden which will take you through to the Place de la Concorde, up the Champs-Elysees and eventually to the Arc de Triomphe.


Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe

With almost two kilometres of shopping, cafes, restaurants and theatres on the Champs-Elysees, you’ll be able to shop all your favourite fashion from chain stores such as Gap, Zara and H&M to designer labels including Cartier, Balenciaga and Armani. Whilst your meandering up this amazing promenade, a visit to Laduree for a sweet touch of complete Parisian authenticity is a must!

Once you reach the top end of the Boulevard, if you’re feeling active, a climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is a must! And the views of Paris? Amazing!

Arc de Triomphe

Monet’s House and Garden

Take a day trip out to the beautiful town of Giverny which is famously home to Monet’s house and garden. Tour through both to see where the inspiration was sought for some of his most exquisite works. With a variety of whole and half day tours on option, there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy your time walking across the romantic bridges which are only inches away from the famous water lilies!




Palace of Versailles

Nothing says romance like the centuries’ old Chateau that was home to Marie-Antoinette. What I wouldn’t give to spend days upon days exploring the Palace and the surrounding gardens! Guided tours will take you through the indescribable Hall of Mirrors, a selection of living quarters and will also showcase the impeccable décor and detail of the Palace from every viewpoint. Once your tour is finished, you’ll have time to explore some of the almost 2000 acres of surrounding gardens! No amount of time would ever be enough here so be sure to savour every second of your Versailles tour!




High over the city of Paris, Montmartre is the bohemian artists quarter filled with cute cafes with tables and chairs spilling out onto the sidewalks. Start at Sacre-Coeur which has uninterrupted views over the city and if you’re lucky, there will be an amazing busker performing to complete a picture perfect moment. As you begin exploring the cobblestone streets, take your time through the street stalls and the boutique art stores and even have a portrait drawn of you and your loved one to capture the memory!

Basilica of Sacre-Coeur | Montmartre

A note on French Style

As the birthplace of Couture and home to many of the world’s most impeccable design houses, Parisians have mastered the art of flawless style and fashion. Whilst there are times when your sneakers may be more practical than a kitten heel, be sure to pack some of your special wardrobe pieces for romantic dinners or trips to the Opera.

For the ultimate in Parisian shopping, you can’t go past Galeries Lafayette with its exquisite dome, glass, gold and leadlight detailing, not to mention the designer fashion for as far as the eye can see! Oh Paris, how I love you!!!

Galeries Lafayette1

Galeries Lafayette

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Oh, je t’aime Paris for a honeymoon – or any time of year! Renting an apartment and immersing yourself into Parisian life is very chic – a daily pain au chocolat please!

The Elegance of Emporium Hotel

by | Honeymoons, Reviews, Where To Stay


Chloe van der Werf

If you are to be wed in the lovely city of Brisbane, I highly recommend spending your first evening as a married couple in the oh so classy and elegant Emporium Hotel. Located in the Emporium precinct of Fortitude Valley, only minutes from the city and six kilometres from Brisbane airport, travel time won’t be an issue. Because who wants to travel a vast distance after a long day of celebrating!

Now this hotel is all about first class service. On arrival you will be greeted by a lovely bellboy, who will happily take care of your luggage and your car will be securely parked by the charming valet! I recommend the Enchanted Evening package to get your honeymoon off to a romantic start; included is a king spa suite, a turn-down service that involves candles and rose petals, a bottle of French Sparkling, full delicious breakfast in bed and 1pm check-out. Your first evening as husband and wife will be just as it should be – carefree and romantic.

Your 40 square metre king spa suite has everything you would expect from a luxury hotel. From a glassed enclosed marble shower, large spa bath, Molton Brown bathing therapies, to his and her bathrobes (honestly, I was sold on the robes), a plush king-bed, Bose sound system, kitchenette (Patron nightcap anyone?) and in-suite laundry. Oh, and ladies, if you forget your hair-styler, don’t fret! Emporium Hotel can provide GHD stylers on loan (crisis averted). The suite really caters to your every need.

What I love most about the Emporium Hotel other than the aforementioned, is its walking proximity to many cafes, bars and restaurants. If you are staying for more than one night, I suggest heading to Cloudland for a divine meal or classy cocktail. But if you prefer to stay in (I totally get that) the Emporium Hotel will cater to all your dining needs. Try the Belle Époque Patisserie for breakfast or lunch, the quaintest Parisian cafe this side of Paris.

Outside of your room, the hotel features a heated rooftop swimming pool with sweeping views of the city, gymnasium and stunning cocktail bar which is decorated with stunning pieces that were either custom-designed or  sourced from the far corners of the globe. It really is worth a visit and if you are staying on a Friday or Saturday evening, you’ll have the added ambiance of live music.

All images via Emporium Hotel

So if you are planning a Brisbane wedding and are looking for elegant, romantic accommodation, Emporium Hotel is number one on my list.  I know I’ll be visiting again!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Absolute luxe; I can see myself lounging around by the pool with a cheeky cocktail! An amazing ‘wedding night’ stay!

Beach Honeymoon Hair and Beauty

by | Honeymoon Style, Honeymoons


Yvette van Schie of Ethix

bohemian-destination-wedding-in-greece0054Image by Chris Spira Photography via Shannon & Joss’ Bohemian Destination Wedding In Greece

So the wedding is over and now for the next exciting part of getting married, the beach honeymoon!

Many girls tell me at Ethix Makeup, Beauty and Styling that the hair they painstakingly grew extra long for their wedding – that they tolerated living with by pulling it back in a pony tail for so many long months – suddenly just looks and feels like an unwanted appendage once they reach their honeymoon destination! t looked so wonderful on your wedding day, but how can you make it look that divine for your romantic dinners out whilst away on a honeymoon, especially when you spend most of your waking hours in the water, or lying on a beach!

During those lovely sunny days on the beach, I highly recommend that you apply a good moisturizing hair mask to your hair – NOT at the roots as that will make them oily, just from the mid lengths to the ends of your hair to protect them from becoming dry and hard to manage. The best way to do this, is to tip your hair to the side after brushing it, and just apply to the parts of your hair you are about to put up.

All of the ideas I am putting forward will work for all types of hair. Thin, flat, or crazy curly frizzy! If your hair is curly frizzy, trying to straighten it in the humidity is going to drive you crazy. This is the time you just need to embrace your hair, or you will spend more time on it than on your man and your honeymoon!

For during the day, a tightly pulled up ballet bun (or as my daughter calls it, a ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ bun) on the top of your head always looks fresh and tidy; it is also a great way to keep it out of your face in the surf. If your hair is thin or lacks body, tease the pony-tail before wrapping it around. Once pinned in, pull the sides looser to create volume and messiness. Or take the front section of your hair above the ears, and braid both sides loosely, before grabbing all of your hair, braids and all, and popping your hair up in a pony tail at the back of your head. Grab both the braids once up in a pony tail and wrap each one in opposite directions around your elastic band and fasten with bobby pins. This will give you a ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ style of pony. If your hair looks limp due to the moisturizing mask in your hair, once you have all of your hair up, braid the pony tail using the existing braids as well; pull these so they are messy and loose, and then pin back on your head for a quirky bun.

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A braid is a great way to keep hair out of the way, and it always looks great. Even a classic braid starting at the base of your head or a braid with your hair to the side. The moisturizing mask will help keep the frizz under control.

For the evening, after you have double washed the hair, mainly washing the roots to remove excess oil, dirt, sweat, salt and sand, condition mainly the ends of your hair again. This is in actual fact is how you should look after your hair all of the time – it keeps it full of volume and eliminates that flat greasy look we often get (unless you are someone with thick dry curly hair!) To create a messy and easy bun, tip your head upside down and blow dry all of the moisture out of your hair. If you have naturally straight fine hair – you can add a volumising spray to the roots, or sea salt texturizing spray to all of your hair. If you have curly unruly hair, add Moroccan Oil or anti frizz serum to smooth out the curls.

Grab the front of your hair on both sides to just above your ears and clip forward or up on top of your head to keep it out of the way. Grab the back half, and pop into a low pony. To create more volume at the top of your head, gently pull hair upwards from the pony. Depending on how much hair you have, either twist the hair into a bun, or tease the pony to create more volume and then pin into a messy bun. Drop the hair down from the front and grab the side with less hair. Loosely twist the hair back from your face and then pin it over the top of your bun, repeat on the other side. Pull some hair so it is loose around your face which will soften it. You will end up with what looks like a messy bridal do!

If you are happy to put more work into your hair, once blow-dried, section the top half up. Spritz thermal protection spray on your under layer of hair which is still hanging down, and with a curling iron, curl small 2 centimetre sections in alternating directions (one curl to the front and one curl to the back) Repeat on the next level, till you have done the top section. If your hair is flat on top of your head, gently tease it at the roots. Run your fingers through the curls breaking them up to create a messy beach curl look. Smooth the top of your head and spray lightly all over with hairspray to keep it looking glamorous.

So – you are thinking – I am on holiday! I don’t want to spend more than 5 minutes every night getting ready! Then do a version of the day time styles, but with messily blow dried hair as I have recommended for the two evening styles.

Another great trick is, if you have been for a swim in the morning, then decide to go out and see the town, wash your hair, and whilst wet, pull into a pony tail on top of your head to keep you cool, braid and pin up. That night when its dry, you will have gorgeous loose messy curls; all you will have to do is tease your hair at the roots a little to add volume and spray!

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As to keeping your face looking glowing, when heading out, apply a zinc based sunscreen. Do not read the sun protection factor just read the ingredients. All chemical based sunscreens will only just last for two hours after application (and that is only if you do not hit the water). They also do not block out UVA rays, which are the burning, cancer causing and aging UV rays. Zinc Oxide blocks out UVA and UVB, it also has more protective lasting ability when immersed in water.

Even if the product says SPF 50, unless it contains zinc oxide,  you are not protecting yourself properly. Always apply sunscreen after the water, and don’t forget your décolletage! It shows your age just as much as your face!

But today there are now so many stunning sexy hats – this is a great chance to show off your hat style! Just remember, water reflects, so you will still burn if you are not wearing sunscreen.

Even with sunscreen you will end up with a divine healthy glow, so make use of this at night. Apply a cream blusher in a ‘blush’ colour (something similar to the colour you become when you naturally blush), to the balls of your cheeks; if not sure where that spot is , smile at yourself with your lips closed and the cheek area that sticks out, is the ball!

Apply a cream eye shadow in a golden colour over your eyelid; this will add a gorgeous shimmer to your eyes. Line the top with a liquid liner if you can, and run a dark brown pencil under the eye and in the outer corner of the lid. With a cotton tip, blend to create a smoky look. Or use the dark brown pencil on the top of the lid where you would apply the black liner (if trying to apply liquid liner causes you to run screaming out of the bathroom!)

Shape your eye brows with a brow shadow, not pencil, so that they look soft and natural and apply a warm rosy pink gloss to your lips.

If you naturally have dark circles around the eyes, use a concealer lighter than your natural skin tone. The one you would normally wear when at work should do the trick, as you are most probably quite a few shades darker now than before you took off for your honeymoon (excluding the fake tan!) If you are a red-headed beauty with snowy white skin who is spending most of the holiday drifting from one shady spot to the other, then your normal concealer will still work for you. Make sure you blend the concealer well with your finger tips so that you create a no makeup look.

Ok – so you have managed to get sunburned water skiing behind the ski boat all day! Besides packing on the moisturizer, the makeup will still work minus the cheeks!

bohemian-destination-wedding-in-greece0057Image by Chris Spira Photography via Shannon & Joss’ Bohemian Destination Wedding In Greece

As for your skincare, sunscreen is not a moisturizer, so I highly recommend you moisturize your face and body twice a day. Now I know that in the heat, the last thing you want on you is more stickiness. Choose a light weight body lotion, or even one you can use in the shower. A body oil does not moisturize – it just adds more oil, so stick to a light moisturizing cream to keep the hydration up to your skin. Pack a light weight moisturizer and eye cream for daily use, and a super rich cream just in case you get burned –  it happens to all of us! Also pack some Aloe Vera gel as this will calm the burn and heal it faster than anything else. Pop it in the fridge when you arrive, as it will be cold and soothing if you need it.

Don’t forget to exfoliate every three days – even the best sunscreen will tend to clog your skin when used daily. And you’ll need a lip balm with sunscreen – again zinc oxide based is a must have to stop your lips getting burned.  Lips hurt more than anything else when burned and like your nose, they seem to always be the first place to burn. A good lip balm will also stop you from getting wind burn if you are paragliding, water skiing or doing anything as wonderful as that!

Bon voyage! Enjoy your beach honeymoon!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: So many great tips about honeymoon beauty – a sunscreen with zinc oxide is so important. And don’t forget the lip balm!

About Yvette van Schie of Ethix Makeup, Beauty and Styling: I started my makeup career in fashion and still work as a commercial and fashion makeup artist today. By keeping up with the latest makeup application techniques and hairstyles, I can deliver the best wedding makeup and hair for brides – without that ‘caked on’ ‘look. As a holistic beauty therapist and wellness expert, I work with you to look your radiant best for your wedding day from inside and out.

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