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Monday, September 15, 2014

Building a Better Bath


While baths were mandatory as a child, because I was incapable of the mere task of standing to take a shower, they were also enjoyable. I would spend so long perching in lukewarm water that my whole body resembled a prune upon my mom's (finally successful) cogency to part from the tub. I guess I enjoyed playing bartender, mixing bath water with body wash into mixed drinks for my parents, too much. (Sorry mom, that's where all the soap went.) But baths aren't strictly reserved for small children, although turning them into a mature task is a bit of a toughie. Maybe I'm just inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Bath Challenge, but I've created a task chart for turning my bath from drab to fab, creating an oasis within the confines of my own room--even if I only hit this vacation destination once every other week...you get the idea.

I'll toss the blame on my "dirty" tub for my lack of bathing experiences, but, when the tub is clean, I run lukewarm water, dim the lights--because night vision is so much more relaxing-- and light a few candles (if I can remember). I'll admit that the latter step is brushed aside more often than not, but I never get in the bath without some added oomph. Sometimes this enhancing step comes courtesy of Epsom salts, or essential oils (lavender, peppermint, lemongrass), or the best smelling body wash in the world--which happens to operate like bubble bath, the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash. That's the stuff. But, more recently, my bath has been at it's peak performance for relaxation thanks to The Bathory Detox Salts*. The Bathory site allows prospects to customize their own soak from salt type to scent. The "Detox" formula contains pure Epsom salts and Rhasshoul clay to draw out toxins. If you're not into the whole detox regime like I am, they also have mineral-enriched and soothing mixes to float your boat. But customizing your soak base isn't where the fun ends; the swing continues with a choice of essential oils. My pick? Bergamot, eucalyptus, and lemon. With so many choices, concocting a blend is a difficult. And I nominate you for the challenge. The Bathory has graciously offered to giveaway a free soak. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.

Sitting in the bath is where the playground continues, but lounging can take some getting used to. Often my biggest snitch is that I end up sweating; baths are supposed to be tranquil, not sweat-inducing, right? Nevertheless, I found dipping my hair and face into the water solves it in a cinch. When it comes to bath entertainment, turn on some tunes, read a book (or a magazine, which relieves the stress of getting book pages wet), or vicariously hold your phone or iPad over the water for some digital pastime. Now that all your problems have melted away, another one just arose: getting out of your abyss. Uhhhh...good luck.



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Friday, September 5, 2014

My Daily Morning Itinerary


6:15 AM 
My wake-up call

6:15-6:17 AM 
When I ponder life on a profound level as I inch my legs out of the warm abyss, otherwise known as my bed.

6:17-6:30 AM 
I wobble to the kitchen to make breakfast, always starting with coffee brewing (garnished with a hefty amount of milk...so it's more like milk with coffee). Next, I throw some cinnamon raisin bread in the toaster, wash some fruit, then slather peanut butter onto the--sometimes burned--bread.

6:30-6:35 AM
Now, it's time for the final stretch to feeling effectively awake; the coffee had the first half of that duty. And the second comes from washing my face. My routine? Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Soap, Kiehl's Skin Rescuer, and MyChelle Dermaceuticals SPF

6:35-6:40 AM
Within this window of time, I throw on my daily slap...but there's no structure to that task so I can't quite relay that routine to you.

6:40-6:45 AM
Hair mangle time. 

6:45-6:55 AM
I get dressed, but throw on deodorant before that; I never want to be smelly. Last to complete my aesthetic wellness, I brush my teeth. (Okay, that's not quite "aesthetic," but still self-care for the five senses.) Unfortunately, I never learn to brush my pearly whites before I get dressed, because eight times out of ten I manage to drool toothpaste onto the same shirt I plan to wear for the rest of the day.

6:55-7:05 AM
I pack up my bag for the day, never forgetting my water bottle, and part for the beginning of the..."rest of the day" routine; that one's too long--and boring--to recount for in a post.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Favorites

August is perhaps the most sour (just like Sour Patch Kids) of all months. While it rings in the last souvenirs of summer--and, often those are the most memorable--it also marks the beginning of a new (although I say that word in the pejorative) school year for those of us still coming of age. Nevertheless, I'm topping off the month in a positive note on Parisian To Be with a round-up of favorites.

I maximized my last chance to fulfill my life with entertainment options of my choice. Musically, I've nurtured an obsession with Lana Del Ray. Her album Born To Die--The Paradise Edition is my favorite. (I'm even listening to it right now.) While I'm unable to listen to music while I read, I leafed through Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn in a mere four days--and I'm a slow reader. While it's certainly a book for adults only, it's a page turner, with ungulpable uncertainty, anxiety, and cliffhangers after every sentence. Although it is slightly awkward that my mom is reading it now, too, it's certainly one of the best reads I've discovered in a while. Another collection of paper is the Magma Sketchbook for Art & Illustration. Yeah, it's true; I now have the tangible version and it's stunning. The pages are a little more massive than your usual notebook, and, while un-lined, it makes for an inviting, creative blank canvas.

Beauty-wise, this month, I hit the miserable road block where all of my necessities run out at once--and that's the reasonable Lillian speaking, not the beauty-loving ego. In the shower, the L'Orèal Everpure Volume Shampoo offers, as the name tells, an uplifting formula that's also sulphate-free for my sensitive scalp. The Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash has been the cause of my extended showers because, honestly, I think it's the best thing I've ever smelled. Lapsing back to haircare, the Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder has filled the void for texture and volume now deemed a necessity in my haircare routine. While the powder is white, I find it doesn't leave a white-cast, but only packs positives in the lock department. I branched out to a new mascara: the Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara. While I have to cautiously move my attention away from the stunning packing and to the actual product, and it doesn't quite hold a curl as much as I would like, it oomphs up the volume and length to a favorable degree. After a little break, I've gone back to reaching for the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil on a daily basis because I've come to realize what a difference a little brow attention can do for my face.

That was a lot of favorites, but it's been a long summer. While I have a little bit of the "Summertime Sadness" (thanks for the inspa, Lana), I'm ready for some cooler weather *wipes sweat off forehead.*

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Some (Birthday) Wishful Thinking


By the time you're reading this, my birthday would have already passed, but that's no excuse not to play some "beauty product Tetris" (as the lovely Rebecca put it). But, if you can tell from the jigsaw art above, it's not all restricted to personal care products. There are quite a few collections of paper thrown in, one wearable item, but, of course, the potions, too. Ticking off the clothing category, first is this American Eagle Drapey Knit Hoodie. I'm not really into buying clothes at all, as I think I have more than enough as it is. But you can't tear me away from loungewear, and the "Cupcake Green" shade serves as an excuse to sprinkle in some color (other than my typical navy blue, grey, black, and white) into my wearable repertoire.

Since I'm not dancing at the moment (Damn you, injuries), I've been consuming my extra time with reading (mixed with Law and Order marathons), enveloping my conscience in a world other than my own at the moment--which is rather depressing dance-free. The Beginning of Everything by Robin Schneider was a recommendation I took from Estée and Sanne's "Easy Reads" video. If I remember correctly, it's yet another high school, romantic saga on my book list. The classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is also on my wishful radar, mostly because of the cover designed by Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co., but also because my "classics" list is lacking. The non-literary option is the Magma Sketchbook. Each book is color-coded depending on its inclination. The one above is for "Art & Illustration," but they also have fashion, cinematography, and idea generation covered with their other binds.

Now, for the part most of you have been waiting for: the beauty bumph, rounded out into three rather practical options (considering my current lack of a single body lotion, my daily scrapes around the sides of my existing mascara tube, and my pending need for muscle relaxation). The former fill-in is (or I hope will be) the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream. The name sounds amazing, and, since I have the body wash version, the scent is stunningly to-die-for, as well. The mascara front is covered by Vivianna's recent rave upon the Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara. It looks stunning on her lashes, and I'm always partial to some aesthetic packaging. The Mio Liquid Yoga also made the list. Beyond the fact that it sounds rather dreamy, unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in my day to squeeze in yoga classes, so this will have to do.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ch-ch-changes


Judging from my Bloglovin' feed and my sometimes incompetent memory, it seems as though I'm not the only one among my peer group of bloggers who are experiencing what I'll assign as "the slump." What is this slump, you may ask? Well, I experienced said happening a few weeks back when I said I'd "be right back," and took a break from Parisian To Be. Among the bulk of the reasons why I felt uninspired about blogging was burnout. Before I whisked away to my ballet program, I was a blog-writing machine and planned a plenty of posts for your eyes to see while I was away. And, when the scheduled posts had run out, I felt completely uninspired to write new ones. I was nervous about taking a break. I value my readers so much, I always feel like I owe it to you to provide entertainment. But, then, it got me thinking about a revised philosophy concerning this blog. 

Somewhere over the past couple of years running PTB, I got caught in a dangerous cycle: preferring quantity to quality and getting wrapped up in the numbers. Addressing the former, I insisted on solidifying a blogging schedule (posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), even if it meant that some of those posts were lacking in quality. I think I realized this whilst I was working in the moment, but (moving onto the latter), I read everywhere that the key to blog growth is to keep a solid blogging schedule. Then, the disconnect came; I was following this procedure, but not seeing as much growth as I anticipated considering the amount of time I was working. I've felt discouraged and have felt as though I need to prove something to my readers for the past year, and, while I want to churn out my best work, in retrospect, the views and general concrete statistics don't matter. 

Trust me when I say this isn't an epiphany that happened overnight, but while I was on said "break," it really hit me. That being said, I'm looking to change things up on here. (If you didn't read the preceding ramble to this point--I don't blame you--start paying attention now. This is the juicy stuff.) Parisian To Be will no longer be posting on a schedule. As much as it pains me to think that I'm letting you all down in some way, I need to remember that I blog not just to see my follower count rise or my analytics inflate, but because I blog for me. It sounds rather selfish, but I really think that blogging when suitable instead of when demanded will produce better content. And, last, I'm going to incorporate less beauty posts and more...other ramblings. While I still love beauty and everything about creams, pigments, and bristles, I feel like beauty blogging can be fake. Some people do it effortlessly, and their lead is why I was lured in the first place into the realm. But I recently realized that it's hard to blog about beauty and not sound vain, materialistic, and sometimes even ditzy. There's more to life than products and your countenance's aesthetic, and I want to share that front. Another thing about beauty blogging is that it seems like it's all about products. Again, some bloggers's philosophies are have mastered this demand and have created a niche on account. But it seems like an essential part to the beauty blogging game is keeping up with new releases. I don't have the funds to do that, nor do I want to, because, as Jen most recently pointed out, living life with excess is stressful (even if this excess includes stunning foundations). 

So I apologize for this rambley post, but I needed to have a small (okay...large) vent. I hope these words don't come back to haunt me or cause me to lose you. But I'm also looking forward excitedly to the future of Parisian To Be. Although I may not still be becoming Parisian,  I still always get a flutter when I walk into Sephora. I don't think that will ever change.

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:
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