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Friday, August 1, 2014

Be Right Back

Dear reader,

I hope you're well. Because I'm not. Ok, ok, actually I'm fine, but just a little exhausted from that ballet program I spoke about a few days ago. But enough with the modesty; I said I'm "a little exhausted," but, in reality, it's more wiped (no energy left, and my body's falling apart, too).

I'll stop complaining and cut to the chase. While I recover from the wreckage, I will be taking a small break from Parisian To Be. It won't be too long, and you can still catch up with me on Twitter, but I need some time to reassert my focus back on blogging, again, since it has drifted completely to sustaining normal human movement these past five weeks. 

With that being said, I'll talk to you soon.

Love,
Lillian 

Image via

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Makeup Travel Kit

There are two types of "tweeters:" the ones that post every second of movement, and the ones that slack off...all the time, and rarely mention more than their latest post. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category, and, therefore, you're most likely oblivious to the fact that I've spent the last five weeks at a summer ballet program, away from my natural habitat--my home. You'd be surprised at how much stuff you need for five weeks; when it came to packing, I trotted around my bedroom and threw in everything, basically. But the makeup front was a more selective process. As much as I wanted to bring all three (okay, all seven) of my base options, I cracked the whip on my mental state and narrowed everything down to only the nitty gritty necessities. I've taken a little inspiration from my friend, Elizabeth (who blogs over at My Cup of Tea), and I decided to share what I totted along. Here's what I packed.

Base:
Cheeks:

Eyes:

Lips:

Tools:

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Weeklong Pamper

The "Sunday night pamper" is a favorite among beauty lovers alike. Instagram photos depicting nestled groups of LUSH Bath Bombs, fancy shampoos, soft pink bath salts, exquisite face masks, and a line up of cleansers, toners, and serums make even my heart beat a little faster. A picture is worth a thousand words, and one phrase that pops into my head when I see such swoon-worthy photos is, "not for me." As much as I would love to recreate a scene as dreamy as those I'm describing, the whole "pamper session" thing is not really for me, on account of a few reasons. First, I hate baths. I have too much anxiety to sit in a tub and do nothing. Also, I don't really have the time for a full out routine, with nail painting, hair mask, even masks for every part other of your body. So I have my own version of the pamper: the weeklong pamper. I designate one day per week for a particular spruce, of course throwing out the tasks I don't need, but here's the agenda.

Sunday

Even though I insist the week starts on Monday (not a very positive beginning, that is), Sunday is technically the start of the next haul. In the essence of maintaining the lavish Sunday night routine, I assign two tasks: a face mask and a nail spruce. Luckily, it works out quite well that you can keep your face mask on while you're pushing back your cuticles, clipping, filing, polishing, coating, and moisturizing your nails and cuticles to oblivion, so you're multitasking...and you can even watch TV during the agenda, too.


Monday

Now that your skin is in baby-shape and your nails are looking fab, Monday is really about boosting your conscience, because everyone hates Mondays. To make the worst day of the week a bit more bearable, perform a hair detox. It's quick, so you can roll into bed as soon as possible, and all you need is to wash your locks with a deep-cleansing shampoo and nourish the ends with a mask.


Tuesday

This is the time for your body spruce. Like I said, baths and I don't get along, so I scrub my limbs and bod, and even throw on some Liquid Dead Sea Salt (The epitome of luxury, no?) in the shower, then slather myself in the heaviest duty moisturizer when I come out.


Wednesday

You've made it through the hump. And alongside the champagne for celebrating (or sparkling water for those not yet of age), throw on another face mask. It can be the same as the Sunday option, or another variety for your skin's needs. Can you tell I like face masks? Why? Because I can watch YouTube and perform other tasks at my full ability while they do everything for me. 


Thursday

At this point, your manicure is looking slightly chipped, so it's time to remove the dregs from the beginning of the stretch and re-polish. To keep it snappy, you don't have to perform the whole nine yards with cuticle care, again. Just polish, and they'll still be looking fab.


Friday

It's party time, whether you're going out on the town or staying at home to cozy up with a movie. Either way, prep yourself for the weekend ahead (the most important part out of the seven days) by shaving...everything--as needed, of course. I trusted that you'd do regular top ups throughout the week, to your heart's desire, unless you live in the South of France--my dreamland.

Saturday

It's finally time for that bath. Saturday is the perfect time for such an indulgent treat: no early wakeup calls and, if you're like me, minimal plans. Do as you wish, accompanied with salts, fizzes, candles, and the rest of the lot. And if you have any tips for tub entertainment, let me know.


That's the way to a busy girl pamper. And, by the way, no, I'm not too busy to not make pancakes every morning. Priorities, people!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Favorite YouTube Channels


YouTube has a deep tie into my love for beauty. As a blogger, looking to cinematography is really inspirational and cues a lot of thoughts that then translate to my verbal niche. Nevertheless, this source of inspiration has become quite the obsession. I rarely turn on the TV (What's Mad Men?), and I can't tell you how many times I've sorted through the Vivianna Does Makeup and Essiebutton archives. Well, I just spoiled two of my favorites.

booksandquills: Sanne's channel is a recent discovery of mine, but her ability to get me excited about reading is truly magical. I guess I'm lucky that it's summer and I actually have time on my hands for somewhat pleasureful reading. (No, I don't consider reading with a highlighter in hand "pleasurable.")

clothesencounters: I mentioned cinematography above and Jen, hands down, has the best. Of course, her stellar style consisting of pieces I can only dream of pulling off are also a plus, but I'm the biggest fan of her vlogs and travel reels.

CloudyApples: Kassie does it all. Her recipes are amazing, her beauty tips dreamy, but I'm most drawn to her contagiously happy personality and her sound and ridiculously crave-able outlook on life.

essiebutton: The lovely Estée needs no introduction as one of my longest lasting channel loves.

essiebuttonvlogs: I'd go as far to say that this is by far the best vlog channel ever. Unfortunately, I may even have a small crush on Aslan, but it's nothing compared to that on Reggie. I wish I could move in with that family.

HelloOctoberxo: I found out earlier this year that Suzie reads this blog, which I'm still a little starstruck about. All I can say is that her channel is indescribably lovable and she'll have you wishing you could wear winged liner as well as she can anyday

Into The Gloss: Can this team do any wrong? Interviews, tutorials, and everything a beauty lover dreams of is right here.

lipstickandsunshine: If you couldn't tell, I have a thing for British YouTubers. Well, Tamira combines everything I love about those across the pond with the bond of living in the U.S. She's stunningly chic and I still can't believe she's so hot, she's a mom.

Lisa Eldridge: Okay, the name says more than I can describe. The queen.

missglamourazzi: I'm pretty sure that Ingrid is a favorite of everyone. Among all the remarkable things she has going for her, perhaps the most amazing is her perfect mix of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle that should appear in textbooks--or the YouTube handbook. Wait, does it not?

ViviannaDoesMakeup: I loved Vivianna three years ago, and I still love her to this day. Her taste is impeccable and she has the ability to make everything look chic.

vlogbrothers: This one is a little out of the mix, but vlogbrothers is the brain child of writer John Green (yes, that John Green, as in the TFIOS John Green) and his brother Hank Green. Their streams always add a laugh--or a dozen--to my day,

Now you know why there is an extreme lack of pop culture mentions on Parisian To Be. If you still don't understand how all of this takes up all my time, I forgot to mention that I spend five-eights of designated YouTube time to watching ballet videos, which I spared you the rave from. Ok, Marianela Nuñez is stunning; I just had to throw that out there.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Changing Limp Locks

When people say they're locks are limp, I glare at them, then tell them that I'd be happy to trade them mine. Then they figure out that mine have less grip than theirs...and they trade back. Nevertheless, changing my hair from drab to fab is slightly difficult, especially since my aspirations for a natural aesthetic doesn't mean I can just tease my hair into a rats nest--although, that would certainly do the trick. Although, despite my hair pain in the bum, I've found a routine that makes my hair slightly voluminous, manageable, and texturized; I've changed my limp locks.

Every haircare routine starts with shampoo. Perhaps my biggest epiphany when it comes to changing my hair is reducing dependence on sulfate-ridden shampoos. The John Master's Organics Bare Shampoo is certainly a favorite. It's sulfate-free, as well as unscented, so it's kind to your scalp. But beyond the sensitive awareness, it has also reduced the oil-levels on my scalp, has made my hair softer, has made my hair shinier, and has made it far more manageable than other 'poos I've tried in the past. Because I shampoo my hair everyday--when you load it with that much hairspray, as well as hair nets and bobby pins, you have to not look like bridezilla--a formula as gentle as this has certainly helped my bad habit. Nevertheless, I only wash the scalp of my hair everyday, and wash the ends twice a week. Another shampoo option that I've had success with is the LUSH Squeaky Green Shampoo Bar. It does contain sulfates, but I think it's the bar form that makes it so I don't use as much shampoo; in other words, it just doesn't make my hair as clean, equaling a more ideal hair state. On those two days that I do wash my hair all the way through the lengths, I follow up with the Bumble and bumble Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner. Above and beyond the smell of holidays, it adds weightless shine and nourishment, and always makes my hair look healthier.

Once I'm finished with the washing (if only laundry was this quick), I follow a few guidelines for the styling section. First, I don't blow dry my hair, mostly because I choose to enhance my hair's natural texture, which is always more defined when its air dried, but also because I simply prefer the way my hair looks sans heat. The one other styling trick that I have is the Sachajuan Volume Powder. Although this works more so like a dry shampoo (which I don't need thanks to the John Master's Shampoo, even if I do go a day without washing) it also adds weightless texture and volume without any grit or over-the-top appeal.

Whether this is old news or les nouvelles to you, all I can say is that my baby locks are disappearing...the texture, that is; I think I still have some baby hair.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Essie Nail Polish in Neo Whimsical


As I and the accompanying seven girls in my ballet class stood at the back of the studio, clad in our "boots" (i.e. pointe shoes), we leaned over our knees, enveloped in a veil of despair concerning our performance in that ridiculous pirouette from fifth combination. My teacher cued off the music and said, "Progress, not perfection, ladies." Her voice was high pitched, but also peaceful, like dripping water. We pepped up our spirits, as much as you could in a period of thirty seconds, and moved on to the next exercise. 

My metaphors are reaching heightened levels, because I'm about to compare none other than a nail polish to that principle: "Progress, not perfection." Last year, I was a neutral, sheer nail color lover. If it looked like I was bare-nailed, but actually wearing polish, that was the ideal. This year, I've stretched into new territory: reaching for colors. By no means is my penchant for neons inflating, but Essie's Neo Whimsical is my new love. I've worn it three times so far this month, and whenever I crack out the acetone remover and prepare to slap on another shade, all the other bottles seem to blunder into a ray casting down to this one. It's obviously purple (Essie describes it as a "rose-plum pastel"), but not really all that colorful. It's hard to explain, but I'll give it a go. Despite its pigmented appearance, at first glance, it almost makes my nails look like they don't have polish at all, which I consider a good trait. In other words, it mends so seamlessly with the color of my skin, it's just a pretty finger extension. Nevertheless, there's something about this color that's tricky. Although it looks absolutely stellar paired with my skin tone--those aren't my words, just a summary of the plentiful comments I've received--it doesn't look too fantastic on my mom's. Her complexion is warmer than mine, and a bit more tanned, as well; finally, the pasty situation is working in my favor. 

Back to the metaphor. In the nail polish arena, I'm making progress in expanding my nail color repertoire. But this nail polish exceeds the phrase, "Progress, not perfection," because while I'm making progress, Neo Whimsical is truly perfection.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Where To Start with Makeup

I look back at old pictures of myself and think, "Wow." And that's not a good reaction. In fact, that response holds a lot of sarcasm. I think the same thing when I look at my beauty stash. Okay, just as I look at some of the horrendous things in uncoordinated shades and textures and wish that they weren't there, mostly because I feel guilty now. I'm still getting to grips with what really suits me when it comes to makeup; I now know that eyeshadow isn't one of them. Nevertheless, I have some two cents to add in when it comes to starting with makeup. I did a post similar to this one last year, but I have some new advice and I look at the  previous lot and think it's a little novice. Here are some guidelines, and if you're looking for product recommendations to fit the match, I've linked those under their respective titles below; it's like an advent calendar.

Right now, I'm only talking about the necessities. You'll be able to tell from my own makeup preferences that I think base is the most important. When it comes to general coverage, I suggest starting off with a BB or CC cream. Yes, they may not be quite worth the craze they receive, but I'd say they're a good starting point for a few reasons. First, even though it may be a marketing hoax, they tend to be good all-rounders, supplying sufficient coverage that won't overload your complexion--even if you think you need it. Second on the pro-alphabet creams list is the fact that it's über simple to find a color match. I understand that girls with pasty complexions (i.e. me) and darker skinned babes may have difficulty, but, like I said, even I have had success, and it's a lot easier to match than foundation. Next on the base list is concealer. If you're a skincare junkie, or even just someone who has really good pH balances, you probably won't need this, but the normal lot of use require some extra coverage. In addition to the necessary two is a third: powder. I know that the step seems extraneous and, trust me, I was scared of the stereotypical powder, too. Nevertheless, I've come to realize that there's more to the finely milled formula than just oil control. I've found formulas that smooth over skin, others that add radiance, and some that do indeed mattify the skin. After the base comes only a few other constituents to the pack. Blush is another staple, and not just because I'm partial to its goodness; I know from my YouTube watching expertise that everyone looks better with a bit of color on their cheeks. When it comes to choosing one, try it on and if anything at all looks "strange," move onto another. The key with blush is to blend it well, so use a fluffy brush to apply a sheer layer in a centralized location, receding outwards. I think Queen Lisa Eldridge could help you with that one. Then, choose a mascara. I always think that lengthening formulas are the best place to start because they tend to fit in the clump-free zone and look the most natural. Lip balms are the place where you can have fun. They're low maintenance and gives the lip a healthy sheen unlike some of their relatives--the lipstick and the lipgloss.

I have to admit that most people look fantastic with as little makeup on as possible. But if you're just itching for some spruce, here's your guide--except I can hope it will only suffice.
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