OMNIVOGUES

| BY RAQUEL RINGGOLD |

This past weekend I found myself in Brussels, Belgium for a quick weekend trip. I've been traveling all throughout Europe while studying abroad for the past few months and lemme just say, Brussels surprised me. Reading up on it beforehand many forums were saying that Brussels isn't the most exciting place to be, but I completely object. Being a New Yorker, it gave me slight NYC vibes with high-rise buildings and a lot of bustle. There are cute shops all over the place. Surprisingly I did not shop, except for seeing a Mason Pearson brush inside of a hair salon window and caving into buying my dream brush that I've wanted for years. Oh, I also managed to bring my open Belgian chocolate through TSA.


STAY
First things first, thank you so much to Martin's Brussels EU for the ultimate treatment. Walking into my suite with Belgian chocolate and champagne was such a treat. I was upgraded to the Exceptional suite which made me realize how much more relaxing it is to stay in a suite that makes you feel at home. Over my weeks of traveling everywhere, most of the time I resorted to hotels on the outskirts of the town or Airbnbs with a decent price that is basically the size of a box. Being in a beautiful suite that I looked forward to heading back to at night put me at ease and helped me enjoy Belgium that much more.

The room had a plush king size bed along with a double-sink bathroom with the most flawless "getting ready" lighting. There were TV's in both the bedroom and living room, which has a divider that can separate the two sides. It is also the perfect room for business with lots of desk space to work with.

On the morning of check-in, I arrived a bit early so I went to the hotel's restaurant Icones for the business lunch which is €26,50 for 2-courses. I had the tartare starter and farm chicken for my main course.

EAT
  • CAFÉ MORT SUBITE- they only have small bites because they are more well-known for their beer hall which has some of Belgium's finest
  • CAFÉ GEORGETTE- best frites ever, need I say more...
  • BEAT- order one of the hashtag burgers and you'll thank me later
  • LA GAUFRERIE- this place has every waffle combination you can think of and you cannot leave Belgium without eating waffles
  • GOUP LE FOL- this bar is totally unique with vintage vibes and an eccentric, cozy feel
  • BELGA QUEEN- tablets as menus, beautiful detailing, fabulous food, the coolest bathroom, and a cigar bar/club to end the night downstairs


VISIT
  • CHRISTMAS MARKETS- if you visit during the holidays head into the center and walk throughout the streets full of vendors and festiveness
  • ROYAL GALLERY OF SAINT HUBERT- a gorgeous shopping center that lacks mainstream stores and has some of the best chocolate around
  • GRAND PLACE- check out this main square which has gorgeous architecture and is right in the center of it all







Icones



Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert




Café Mort Subite




BEAT






Goupil Le Fol




Belga Queen



STEP 1 CLEANSE
I've come to the conclusion that I wash my face more precisely in front of a mirror so that is where boujee me begins my nighttime skincare routine. I've always used Neutrogena cleansers and my go-to at the moment is the Fresh Foaming. It gets a really good clean without drying out my skin and it is pretty impressive when it comes to removing makeup. The only warning: PLEASE do not get it in your eyes. It burns, just trust me on that one.

STEP 2 EXFOLIATE
I exfoliate daily. The trick? Do it lightly. I use the Vivitar Facial Brush which is really inexpensive and works great. It helps ensure there is no residue left and keeps dead skin away.

STEP 3 RINSE
Next up I hop into the shower and slowly rinse off excess cleanser then proceed with showering.

STEP 4 REPAIR
Now towel dried and in pajamas, I sit at my vanity and put a few drops of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair into my moisturizer, which is listed in the next step. I've honestly watched my skin balance out so much since using this. By that I just mean I haven't been dry or oily, and haven't had a breakout in a long minute. My complexion has also been really even, too. I feel like it's a preventative for anything that could be an annoyance with skin. Technically it's an anti-aging preventative and my trick is to start before you age, so you never age. Makes sense?

STEP 5 MOISTURIZE
Last, but certainly not least, the key to the radiance, the glow. Currently I have been using Mama Nature Allure Cellular Renewal Gold Infused Rejuvenating Night Cream - say that five times fast. There's nothing more extra than a 24 karat gold moisturizer before you catch some beauty sleep. A MOOD. It has alpha hydroxyl acids which smoothens the skin along with a ton of other proteins, antioxidants, and so on.

HELLO. IT'S ME. This post has been way, way, way overdue but I am here from my long return. The where have I been recap is on ze wayOver the past six months I found myself more than ever and I began my year in the city I always talked about traveling to. Now that we have that settled, I am here writing underneath the glow of the moon because that's the only time words can clearly formulate in my never relaxing mind, but this post is going to be more pictures than words because that's really the only way I can explain Paris without rambling.

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and to you europe, je t'aime, you have my heart, & i'll see you soon. thank you for enlightenment, city of lights.

in new york i hustle, in paris i reflected. in new york i dread rain, in paris i found appreciation. in new york i learn survival of the fittest, in paris i just learned. in new york neighborhoods separate cultures, in paris arrondissements unified the city. in new york one is engrossed in what the city has to offer them, in paris one seeks the light and ascertains what they have to offer back to the world.

the light stays fueled. curiosity harvests. and carries you anywhere else you desire.

de la tour eiffel au monde.
from the eiffel tower to the world.

























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